Steel Price Forecasting – An Econometric Modelling Approach

Steel price forecasting is somewhat fundamental to all investment decisions in the iron and steel sector. Recent volatility in steel prices however has been unprecedented. The international steel markets saw prices for hot rolled steel coil – very much a ‘benchmark’ steel product – rise from under $600/tonne in the first quarter of 2008 to almost ~$1000/tonne by mid-2008. Just a few months later, by early 2009, the hot rolled coil price was under $500/tonne, with similar price oscillations seen for reinforcing steel bar. Such wild and sudden swings in the international steel price have rarely if ever been witnessed before.

Price expectations

For some months after the onset of the crisis, it was felt that it would be several years or even longer before prices would return to the heady levels of mid-2008. But in the January 2011, discussions again turned to benchmark steel prices hitting $1000/tonne within a matter of months. The scene is set therefore for what may be very much more variability in steel pricing in the future than has been evident in the past. In these circumstances, the ability to correctly judge future steel price movements becomes yet more difficult.

An econometric price forecasting model

A statistical approach to price forecasting can be made, using econometric modelling techniques. Econometrics are defined as the application of mathematics and statistical methods to the analysis of economic data, so the approach should be well suited to the task. On this basis, a mathematical model was developed by MCI whereby:

  • monthly historic prices for hot rolled steel coil and reinforcing bar were gathered across a 16 year time horizon
  • monthly prices were also gathered for a range of commodities, including crude oil (as an indicator of commodity prices, generally), natural gas (as an important power source for steel pants), thermal coal (as an important fuel e.g. for steel power plants), metallurgical coal (used in the blast furnace), electricity prices (used to power electric arc furnaces), iron ore (as a dominant source of iron units for basic oxygen steel making), ferrous scrap (as a dominant source of iron units for electric steel making)
  • statistical correlations (i.e. the mathematical model) were established between the steel products on the one hand; and the commodity prices on the other.

Correlating factors

The steps above allowed a model to be developed between historic price of hot rolled steel coil and rebar; and the other commodity prices. The approach showed that some factors such as coal and scrap prices correlated very well with the historic steel price, whilst other price factors (e.g. electricity prices) did not.

Looking forward

Looking forward, independent estimates of future commodity prices were obtained from leading sources such as the World Bank and the Energy Information Administration. These forecasts were then plugged into the mathematical model obtained above. The result of this econometric modelling approach indicates that:

  • the forward projection is for maintained relatively high future hot rolled coil and steel rebar prices, with
  • average prices remaining well above pre-crisis levels from now to 2015
  • prices staying relatively constant across 2011 to 2013
  • further price rises expected in 2014 and 2015, which will raise f.o.b. hot rolled coil / reinforcing prices some $150 per tonne in the medium-term
  • but without return to a scenario involving f.o.b. steel prices at $1000-$1100/tonne [prior to 2016].

Greek Gods – Artemis and Apollo

Zeus and the goddess Leto, daughter of Titans Coeus and Phoebe, bore two children who would rise up to take a place in the Olympic pantheon. The twins were named Apollo and Artemis, and their arrival in the world was not so simple.

Hera, wife of Zeus, was insanely jealous of Leto and sought to prevent the birth of Leto’s two children. She antagonized Leto and sent a serpent to terrorize the goddess and stop her from finding a place to bear her children. It was the goddess Asteria who offered refuge to her sister on the island of Ortygia and there that Leto bore Artemis and Apollo.

Artermis was born first and immediately set about assisting her mother through the nine days of labor she endured to deliver her son Apollo. Leto’s aunt, Themis, acted as caretaker to the twins, feeding them ambrosia and nectar, the food of the gods.

Apollo and Artemis loved their mother deeply and protected the safety and honor of their mother. On tale of Greek mythology tells how Artemis and Apollo prevented Leto from being raped by Titus in the grove of Delphi. Called by their mother, they attached the giant Titus with their arrows which rained down upon him and killed him in an instant. Zeus was outraged by Titus’ actions and consigned him to Hades.

Another myth tells the story of how Artemis and Apollo killed all of the goddess Niobe’s children when she boasted of her own children’s superior beauty, insulting Leto. Though it’s unclear if this was a defense of their mother or motivated by their own outrage.

At a young age, Artemis was told by Zeus to name the gifts that she desired. Artemis chose a bow and arrow, free reign of the mountains, a city to dwell in and eternal virginity. Zeus granted all these wishes. Artemis would come to be viewed as the virgin goddess of the hunt and wildlife. She was also seen as a protector figure of women in childbirth.

Apollo would become the god of archery, healing, music and youth. Greek mythology tells how Apollo took up the bow created for him by Hephaestus and pursued the serpent into Delphi where he killed it. Gaia was incensed at having her shrine, where the Oracle of Delphi resided, desecrated. Apollo was not punished for his crime and in time became the god of Prophecy, and the Oracle of Delphi became the Oracle of Apollo.

He would also become an influential god of music whose musicianship was unparalleled. Many challenged Apollo to contests of musical prowess, but all failed to best the god.

Apollo never married though he was definitely not an immortal virgin. He fathered more than a dozen children with many women both goddesses and mortals alike.

The twin god and goddess, Apollo and Artemis, were forever connected in Greek mythology. They are both expert archers and hunters who often enjoyed hunting together. They shared the capability of subjecting mortals to plague and pestilence as well.

Starter Clicks But Engine Does Not Turn Over – Tech in Trunk?

If the car’s starter clicks and the engine does not turn over, this could be caused by several things. The most common cause of clicking when the car is being started is a low battery. Most people would assume that the starter is bad if it only clicks, but low-voltage can cause the starter to make this sound.

The battery is the heart of the starting and electrical system. If the battery has been drained or has a weak cell, this can cause the starter to only click. Many times the battery could just been drained due to a door left slightly open, making the dome light stay on. Other times a vanity light or a phone charger could be left on. During my time as a master auto technician, I’ve had a trustworthy co-worker close me up in the trunk so I could make sure the trunk light went off when the trunk was closed!

In order to test the battery it must have a good charge. If the battery is not charged completely the tester will indicate that it needs to be charged before testing can proceed. The first step when checking the starter and electrical system is to make sure the battery is in good condition. Most parts stores will check batteries for free. Once it’s determined the battery is good the rest of the system can then be checked. Loose or corroded connections can also cause a clicking and for the car not to start.

Starter

The starter solenoid on many Ford vehicle’s is on the inner fender well, on most other vehicles the starter solenoid will be mounted on the starter. The clicking that is heard many times is the solenoid. But low-voltage either from a drained battery, bad battery or poor connections can cause this. Most of the time if the vehicle can be jump-started the starter is okay. This would also indicate that the connections to the starter are good.

Alternator

Once the vehicle is running the alternator output can be checked. If the alternator is not charging the battery, it will be drained during the process of starting the car and driving. When the alternator is checked, the voltage and amperage output can be measured. Also the diode pattern will be checked to make sure the alternator won’t drain the battery when the engine is turned off. In the past do-it-yourselfers could disconnect the battery while the vehicle is running to check the alternator, if the car kept running the alternator was good. Doing this on computerized vehicles can be harmful. If the battery is disconnected while a computerized vehicle is running the alternator output can increase sharply allowing excess voltage to spike the computer.

Battery

When purchasing a replacement battery the cold cranking amps required for the vehicle should be checked. It’s best to purchase a battery with more cold cranking amps than the minimum required. Also when purchasing a battery you should consider if you want maintenance free or not. If the battery is hard to access or has a cover then a maintenance free battery is preferred. For instance on some Chrysler Sebrings and Chevrolet Corvettes the battery is located behind an inner fender and on a Chevrolet SSR. the battery is located underneath the bed where the spare tire would normally go. If installing the battery yourself be sure to notice which side is positive and negative in case you were sold the incorrect battery.

Terminals

The terminals should be free of corrosion and should tighten up well. Sometimes especially on import vehicles the battery terminals will be very thin and can have hairline cracks causing a poor connection. Avoid forcing the battery terminals on by tapping them. The battery casing can be damaged causing a leak, if the battery acid seeps out it can cause fast corrosion. If the battery terminal bolts will not tighten, then replacing the terminals is recommended. When the connections are tight you should not be able to twist them by hand.

How Important Is Roof Restoration?

If you will ask someone, what is the most essential part of the house, some will say the rooms. Well, maybe it is vital but the most important one is the roof. The roof defines the building in each aspect as well as its beauty. It gives the inmates the protections that they need for all types of weather condition. In the long run, you can find that the roof of the house starts to lose and decays. This is the time that you have made some roof restoration.

Majority of people think that roof restoration means implying some good looks; this is the concept that is totally wrong. Roof restoration is making the decays of the roof to be alright. This restoration is part of the house maintenance and these needs to be done. The main aspect that you need to consider is the roof age. It's good to have roof repair when they start to show some signs of aging.

If you are to have roof restoration for your house it is vital that you apply today's latest technologies. It will make sure that the roof would be able to withstand all the elements of nature more than what the old one did. As a result, the frequency of roof repair would be small and you'll be able to save lots of cash.

Roof restoration is complex and expensive methods. As a result, you must never try to work on it for yourself. Having trained professional would be the best. When you try to work it on your own, sometimes you end up with crap and you lose your money. You will also have some bad roofing which will always need professional repairs in the future.

At the preset times, there are lots of roofing services that you can find online. You just have to type roof restoration services then you will have the list of roofing companies that specialize in various roofing works. These companies will make everything for your roof needs. They will also offer you good values ​​for your investments. The best things are the work would be done so competently, you will not shell out a dime any where in the future.

Roof restoration is really important as this will give your family and your home furniture the protection that they need. You just have to look for professionals that will work right on your roofing. The roofer or expert then contains the opportunity outlays and the extent of the estimate for the roof restoration. It is advisable to attain a lot of offers and decide the best, because you can possibly save money.

RGB to CMYK – What's the Problem?

Lots of graphics programs provide the opportunity to work in an RGB (Red, Green, Blue) or CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) color space. To understand each set of colors we need to understand how they are used and why they are used.

RGB Color Spaces
When working with RGB you are literally working with light. Recalling from school when you shine white light through a prism you get different color spectrums. The most basic colors are Red, Green and Blue. The colors are measured my intensity on a scale of 0-255 for all three colors (255 or or 16 million colors). If you have no color (R = 0, G = 0, B = 0) you get black, if you have 100% of all three colors (R = 255, G = 255, B = 255) you get white.

CMYK Color Spaces
When working with CMYK you are working with pigment and that is why it's used for printing. Pretty much all color printers (inkjets, laser printers, dye-sub printers, and even full color offset and web presses) use CMYK. Some printers come with more than one shade of Cyan and / Magenta in order to achieve more color combinations but they are all basically CMYK printers. All CMYK colors are based on the paper being printed on being white. CMYK is measured in percentages from 0% to 100% for all 4 colors. If you have no color (C = 0%, M = 0%, Y = 0%, K = 0%) You are left with white (the blank paper.) To make black you can either use 100% Black and 0% of all the other colors (know as standard black) or you can use a combination of all the colors to give you a darker black known as Rich Black. The most common ratio of colors to get rich back was popularized by Adobe Photoshop which uses this ink mixture when converting RGB black to CMYK (C = 63%, M = 52%, Y = 51%, K = 100%).

When to use RGB or CMYK
Knowing when to use RGB and when to use CMYK can save you lots of time and headache and the rule is very simple. If your purpose is to display images and colors on a computer monitor (slide shows, web pages, movies, power point presentations, emailing flyers, scanning pictures) use RGB. If you are going to be printing images and colors they need to be in CMYK (although printers can convert the images for you to you may incur additional charges or unexpected results since there are many colors in RGB that can not be replicated in CMYK.

What's the problem?
The main challenge with the two color spaces is in the printing. RGB colors that are bright and vibrant are typically much duller when printed in CMYK (after all since RGB is light itself you are never going to get a brighter image on paper.) The toughest colors to reproduce for CMYK is blue and red. On the screen RGB blue looks bright and very blue, on paper however you end up with navy blue instead. If you ever printed out a webpage with blue links on it you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Is there a solution to the RGB to CMYK problem?
Yes. The solution to the problem is to always work in CMYK when printing. If you are using print design software (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, PageMaker, Quark, FreeHand, etc.) then you can select CMYK before you get started and you will not have to worry about a thing. If you are using a program that was not designed for printing (MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, etc.) then you will never have the option of changing to CMYK because the software was not designed for printing. It pays to have the right software.

The Easiest Way To Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets Like A Pro

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets – Easy Guide For Weekend Warriors And DIYers

We always suggest that you hire a professional to do the job for you for multiple reasons which include experience and insurance of a quality job! But for those who want to know how to paint kitchen cabinets without a professional sprayer, this is how you can get professional looking results for under $200.

How To Achieve Professional Results When Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

I have been getting a ton of questions via lately about one of our Facebook postings in which I painted our kitchen walls and cabinets. Most people are curious and want to know how to paint kitchen cabinets, and how much it cost to get our cabinets looking like new.

Our house is very old and so are our cabinets. It didn’t bother us at first but eventually, we got sick of looking at that ugly veneer look so we decided it was time for a makeover.

It’s not very difficult to paint over veneer it just needs the right prep work. If you hire a professional I would suggest trying to do as much as you can yourself such as taking off the doors and hardware and maybe sanding them lightly with a 220 grit sanding block. Just a light scuff will do (imagine you are cleaning a window). That will save you a few dollars. But if you decide to do it on your own here are some tips on how to paint kitchen cabinets and get amazing and long lasting results.

Preparation When Painting Kitchen Cabinets

After you remove your doors (or just masking your hinges) lightly sand/scuff the surfaces that are being painted with a 220 grit sanding block. Use a type of degreasers such as Windex or Zep Citrus Degreaser.

Next, you have 2 options.You can use a 220 grit sandpaper and lightly scuff your surfaces or use Krud Kutter-Gloss Off which you can wipe on using a rag and let it sit for 10 minutes. Your surfaces will be deglossed without having to sand them.

Your next step is to prime the surfaces with the right primer. I used one coat of “INSL-X Stix” which is a urethane acrylic You can find it online or at your local Benjamin Moore Supplier. Check your local Hardware store.

Using a good quality paint will help you get the best finish possible. I suggest using Benjamin Moore Advance Alkyd. It is very easy to work with and dries to a hard and durable finish.

Using a 2-inch Nylon paintbrush start cutting in around the hardware (if you did not remove the doors) and any places your Whizz™ roller will not reach. Next, use your Whizz™ roller to apply your ALKYD enamel. Try to paint in the same direction as your grain (if your cabinet has a fake wood pattern). Let it dry overnight and repeat. You can hang your doors now but keep in mind that even though the enamel will dry overnight, it still takes 30 days to fully cure so be careful and try to avoid scrubbing them before those 30 days.

Benefit From Using Steel Beams in Commercial Construction

RSJ steel beams are very stable, lightweight and durable, flexible, stable, and lightweight. They’re also considered a green material as of 2015, and recycled steel can be used which can make any builder feel better about implementing this material into any project

There’s simply no comparison when it comes to RSJ steel beams and those lesser materials like wood and concrete. Nothing is as long-lasting and safe.

Strength and Durability Guaranteed

According to the best sources all over the world, RSJ steel beams have the most reliable strength of any other building material as far as ability to hold the most weight.Tests have been conducted comparing steel to both wood and concrete, and steel outshines them all.

If a project is being undertaken in an area that is subject to natural disaster, steel will ensure that the building holds up to anything including tornadoes, flooding and earthquakes. This should be enough of a selling point for most builders as they want their buildings to last forever, and keep those utilising it safe.

Much Less Expensive than Other Metals

There’s no doubt that building projects of any size can be costly. Whether residential or commercial, RSJ steel beams are going to be less expensive than their metal counterparts, such as aluminum and titanium.

A quick comparison will show anyone that they can save thousands of dollars by going with RSJ steel. Widespread use is part of the reason it’s offered for less cost, however that doesn’t mean it’s less effective. As stated already, RSJ steel beams are much stronger than any other option.

Choosing a well-known fabricator can make a difference in price as well. Consider that the more business they receive, the more deals they can offer customers. Just be sure their reputation precedes them and get a full price quote for the particular job. Then, make sure it’s in writing. Saving by using steel can allow one to add a few elements to the build than they could have originally.

Versatility like no Other

If one wants a variety of design options within their new construction, RSJ steel beams can easily suit a greater variety of architectural styles. These steel beams are quite flexible and easily machined to accommodate for different widths and lengths as well as the ability to bend or curve with innovative designs.

RSJ steel beams are also more lightweight making the installation process much easier. However, one should never overlook quality. Again, working with a stellar company that is well-established will ensure quality, as their reputation will be on the line.

No Sagging

Playing into versatility, RSJ steel beams can be used in larger sections between supports. That shows one just how durable they are. They will easily resist sagging and offer unparalleled support. This allows one to implement more designs including the sought-after open floor plans that are popular in homes and businesses alike.

It’s clear that steel is the winning choice for building materials in every way. For those who want a building or structure that will stand the test of time, they’d be doing themselves a disservice to go with anything other than RSJ steel beams.

Who is Isabel De Los Rios?

Isabel De Los Rios may not be a wildly famous name yet, but I would bet a significant chunk of change that she’s going to be. In fact, Isabel is already a well respected speaker and owns her own wellness practice. If you don’t know who Isabel De Los Rios is, I think that you should because her new ebook, the Diet Solution Program, is one of the most interesting and eye-opening nutrition books I have read in quite a while.

The Diet Solution Program is the culmination of years of research and “in the trenches” hands on experience which Isabel has in the nutrition and health industry. What is important about this book is that it goes into great detail and describes the true nature of many of the foods that we eat on a regular basis and exposes the truth about many of them.

And the truth may surprise you as it had me. Some foods which are considered healthy like soy are, according to Isabel’s book, far from being all that good. And there are other examples which I won’t go into here for lack of space.

The Diet Solution Program attempts to educate people about the right way for them to eat according to their own metabolic makeup. Each of us is genetically different from the next, and so it’s ridiculous to try and force all of us into some preconceived eating plan. We all need different amount of macro-nutrients like carbs, fats, and so on. We all need all of them to some degree, but how much we need varies, and the Diet Solution program shows us how to arrive at the right amount for us.

The Diet Solution Program is more than a weight loss book, though it can prove highly effective as one. It’s a comprehensive and encompassing healthy lifestyle volume of information which can help you alleviate or avoid any of the common diseases which plague so many people like high blood pressure and diabetes. I believe it’s a must read book for any health lover.

Macular Degeneration – 6 Tips on How to Prevent & Reverse Age-Related Macular Degeneration

All of us have one thing in common. As time passes, we age. Aging does have some benefits. For example, as the years march on we gain more experience and become a little more savvy and wise.

But aging also comes with a laundry list of effects that range from being merely inconvenient to being life-altering. Maybe your memory is not as sharp as it used to be, so you are experiencing those dreaded “senior moments.” Maybe you can’t hear as well as you used to, or have aches and pains.

One of the areas that begins to deteriorate as we grow older is our eyes. If you are over the age of 40, you’ve probably experienced some vision problem or another, whether it’s near-sightedness, far-sightedness, “tired” eyes, watery eyes, or dry eyes. Many of these problems can be controlled with lenses or medication.

While the kinds of eye issues above are annoying and sometimes inconvenient, what concerns us more are those vision problems that are linked to blindness. For many of us, the idea of going blind is one of the most fearful things about aging. Not only does blindness mean we can’t see our loved ones, read a book, or watch television, it also diminishes our independence. People who are blind can’t drive, do everyday chores around the home, and have difficulty doing self-care tasks such as getting dressed, grooming themselves, or making a meal. No wonder why the thought of going blind is so terrifying.

One leading cause of vision loss and blindness is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD). In this condition, the retina becomes blocked by debris, which affects your central vision. Central vision is your “straight ahead” vision, the kind of vision you need to read, drive, or do any kind of activity in which you need to focus in front of you. Macular degeneration does not affect your peripheral vision. People who suffer from macular degeneration see black spots and wavy lines that obliterate or distort the objects in front of them. Age-related macular degeneration can deplete vision up to 60 percent, and is one of the more prevalent causes of age-related blindness. While we don’t know exactly what causes macular degeneration, we do know that poor blood supply to the eye, oxidization of the retina, and leaky capillaries can all contribute to this condition.

Unfortunately, age-related macular degeneration can’t be simply treated with eye drops or lenses. Because doctors aren’t sure what causes macular degeneration, there is no medically accepted cure. As a matter of fact, if you’ve already been diagnosed with macular degeneration, chances are your doctor has told you there’s nothing you can do, aside from learn to accept the idea that blindness is in your future.

However, you don’t have to accept the fact that you are going to go slowly but surely blind as a result of age-related macular degeneration. While there are no pills that you can take to slow or stop macular degeneration, while eye drops and special lenses won’t save your vision, there are things you can do to stop, slow down, and even reverse age-related macular degeneration. What’s more, as additional research is being done, more and more progressive eye specialists agree that there are steps you can take to maintain or restore your vision in a safe, natural way.

Do you want to halt, delay, or even reverse macular degeneration? The answer lies making new lifestyle choices. Stopping, slowing, and reversing your macular degeneration is as easy if you follow the 12 easy steps below. These steps are safe and natural, and you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying them. Best of all, these healthy lifestyle choices will not only have a positive impact on your eyes, they will have a positive impact on your overall health in general.

Step #1: See Your Eye Doctor

Macular degeneration isn’t commonly talked about, and many people don’t know what it is until they’ve been diagnosed with it. Be sure to have your eyes checked annually, and ask your doctor to test you for macular degeneration. In order to determine whether you have macular degeneration, your doctor will ask you to look at a tool called an “Amsler chart.” This chart is essentially a grid with a black dot in the middle. If, after focusing on the dot in the middle of the graph, you see shaky, uneven, or undulating lines, you are most likely experiencing the early stages of macular degeneration. A dark spot or blob in the center of the graph may also indicate macular degeneration. Your ophthalmologist will characterize your macular degeneration as either “wet” or “dry.” “Dry” macular degeneration is the less serious of the two types, and accounts for about 90 percent of all cases of macular degeneration. Unfortunately, there is no surgery, drug, drop, or lens that can treat “dry” macular degeneration. Severe “wet” macular degeneration can be treated with last-ditch efforts designed to preserve sight for an additional amount of time, but these treatments carry significant risk and offer no long-term solution.

Step #2: Take Stock of Prescription Drugs

Some experts believe that aspirin, Ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs can cause retinal hemorrhages in the blood vessels, which can then develop into macular Degeneration. People with high blood pressure are particularly at risk for developing retinal blood vessel issues as a result of taking NSAIDs. Other drugs that have a negative effect on the retina and may contribute to macular degeneration include Plaquenil and Cortisone. Talk to your doctor about replacement drugs if you take any of the above drugs.

Step #3: Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

UV-A and UV-B rays, as well as Blue Light, cause oxidization in the retina, which contributes to macular degeneration. Investing in a high-quality pair of sunglasses that filters out these dangerous rays, and wearing a hat with a brim, will protect your eyes.

Step #4: Add Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements to Your Daily Diet.

There are a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and supplements known to contribute to eye health, including vitamins A, C, D, and E, omega 3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, magnesium, garlic, zeaxanthin and lutein, selenium, taurine, N-acetyl cysteine, zinc, hydrochloric acid, coenzyme Q-10, boron, chromium, copper, and manganese. The best place to find eye-healthy vitamins and minerals? In your food. But to be sure you’re getting enough of what you need, take a multi-vitamin that includes the majority of the above vitamins and minerals, and supplement with anything it doesn’t include.

Step #5: Up Your Antioxidants and Amino Acids

Because one of the causes of macular degeneration is oxidization of the retina, it makes sense that adding anti-oxidants to your diet can help fight off macular degeneration. Lack of antioxidants in the diet can allow free radicals to multiply, causing more blocked capillaries in the retina. Be sure your diet contains plenty of vitamins C and E, quercetin, bilberry, selenium, bioflavonoids, beta-carotene, and ginko biloba. Plenty of amino acids in the form of N-Acetyl cysteine, L-glutathione, L-glutamine, and L-cysteine are also integral for eye health.

Step #6: Watch Your Fat and Cholesterol Intake

According to a study done by the University of Wisconsin Medical School, diets rich in saturated fat and cholesterol increase macular degeneration by 80 percent. Stick to mono-unsaturated fats like olive oil, and eat healthfully by incorporating natural carbohydrates such as beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Eating plenty of soy protein and fish, as well as having one alcoholic drink per day if it fits into your lifestyle, can boost your good cholesterol levels.

To get 6 additional tips and a free subscription to the “Healthy Vision” Newsletter, visit www.MacularDegenerationAuthority.com

How do Commodity Options Work?

How is the value of an option figured out?

First you have to understand the meaning of intrinsic and extrinsic. The option premium is made up of both of these values. Intrinsic is the value of the option if you exercised it to the futures contract and then offset it. For example if you have a Nov. $ 5 soybean call and the futures price for that contract is $ 5.20 since there is a .20 intrinsic value for that option. Soybeans are a 5000 bushel contract so 20 cents multiplied by 5000 = $ 1000 intrinsic value for that option.

Now let's say that same $ 5 Nov. soybean call costs $ 1600 in premium. $ 1000 of the cost is intrinsic value and the other $ 600 is extrinsic. Extrinsic value is made up of time value, volatility premium and demand for that specific option. If the option has 60 days left until expiration it has more time value than it would with 45 days left. If the market has large price moves from low to high the volatility premium will be higher than a small price movement market. If many people are buying that exact strike price, that demand can artificially push up the premium as well.

How much will an option premium move in relation to the undercoming futures contract?

You can figure this out by finding out the delta factor of your option. The delta factor tells you how much the change in premium will occur in your option based on the underlying future contract's move. Let's say that you think Dec. gold will go up by $ 50 / ounce or $ 5000 / contract by expiration. You bought an option with a .20 or 20% delta factor. This option should get approximately $ 1000 in premium value of the $ 5000 expected gold futures price movement.

Can an option speculator have a profit before the option has intrinsic value?

Yes, as long as the option premium increases enough to cover your transaction costs such as commission and fees. For example, you have a $ 3 Dec. corn call and Dec. corn is at $ 270 / bushel and your transaction costs were $ 50. Let's say your option has a 20% delta and the Dec. corn future market moves up 10 cents / bushel to $ 2.80 / bushel. Corn is a 5000 bushel contact so 1 cent multiplied by 5000 = $ 50. Your option premium will increase by approximately 2 cents = $ 100. Your break even was $ 50 so you have a $ 50 profit without any intrinsic value because you are still out of the money by 20 cents.

Futures and options investing is very risky and only risk capital should be used. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Cash, options and futures do not needarily respond to similar stimuli in a similar manner. There are no guaranteed good trades.

Different Uses of Candles and Steps in Making Candles

Candles have been a very useful commodity since the ancient times. They are used in so many ways. The basic function would be lighting up a dark place, or creating an intimate ambiance. It provides light in a very classical way.

Candles are made of wax, with a wick in the middle. The wick is lighted with fire to create light. The wick slowly burns and melts the wax in the process.

The people in the Middle Ages would use candles while worshiping. Before worshiping their gods, they light a candle and they worship with all their hearts. In modern days, candles are used more than just providing light or worshiping. It is used to create an intimate and romantic ambiance in a dimly lit room.

There are candles now with scents. When lighted, this scent slowly diffuses in a room and provides a relaxing atmosphere. Candles are popular gift items now.

Candle making is not difficult to do but it requires dedication. It also requires serious personal involvement. Since candle making deals with fire, it is very important to be very careful in the process.

The process of making a candle differs from one country to another. In ancient times, people use extracted solid fats from animals. These shallow fats are usually from sheep or goats. They call these fats, tallow. Since candles are their main source, people make ling candles. They use a long rod called, broach. In this broach, wicks were suspended. People melt the tallow and pour it in the container. The wick is then immersed three times in the container. Afterwards, it will be hung to dry. The candles are then repeatedly immersed to get the thickness that they need for a candle.

People in the Middle Ages use beeswax to make candles for rituals. People put molten beeswax to a wick material so that the candle will be prepared. The use of molds in making candles comes during the 15th century. This was first introduced in France. They use hollow open ended cylinders that have a cap and small hole that are meant for wick.

The modern days uses high quality wax for good quality of candles. There are actually two types of candles: the ordinary candles and the transparent candles. In these two types of candles there are two different types of wax being used.

The steps involved in making a candle are very easy. The first thing to do is melt the wax you wish to use. These waxes are flammable so there should be enough heat to melt it. On ordinary candles, you are going to add a candle hardener but on transparent candles, candle hardeners are not needed.

After melting the wax, transfer the melted wax to the molder in much the same way like the ancient people do. They immerse the wick to the melted wax. After placing the melted wax to the molder, put the wick and wait for the wax to dry.

There are also some candle makers who put color and scent to the candles that they make. This adds beauty and nice smell to the candles. These kinds of candles can be good to display at home.

There is lots of molder that are available in the market. There are those that have designs. You can actually make a candle to be given as a gift or a decoration. There are also candle makers that recycle the used candles that they have used and make a new candle.

Pole Less External Plant

Introduction Conventional method of installation of phone connection in BSNL is by erection of overhead lines from the nearest cable DP. Generally 20 and 10 pr DPs are in vogue. Due to the advent of the principle of “Mission Better Communications” and introduction of jelly felled underground cables, for every three phone connections, one external DP is permitted into the conventional method followed hither to.

This system is practically found to be more faults prone due to various factors such as the quality of line materials used and the location of external DPs, which are subjected to various seasonal vagaries.

In the said scenario introduction of internal DPs inside subscriber’s building can achieve a total fault free condition.

Pole less external plant

You are aware that the external plant network comprises of underground cables, cabinet/pillars. Distribution points, drop wire laid on telephone poles, Lines Jack unit, telephone instruments etc. the pole less external plant means that the outdoor plant network is free from the pole alignments and its allied components.

Background

Reduction in fault rate has always been a serious concern to the Telecom Department. In this connection during 80s and early 90s, all the electro-mechanical exchanges were replaced by electronic exchanges in phased manner in internal plant. The fault rate improved to some extent only as the performance of the external plant has not kept pace with it.

You are aware during last two decades there had been tremendous growth in the telecom network. Over the years large number of new connections have been added to the network. The number of new connections have been added specially in the last three or four months of the year, majority of which do not confirm to standard quality norms.

The drop wire constitutes the last link in the communication network from the DP to subscriber premises. This is generally a single pair PVC insulated wire, designed for continuous out door units.

Earlier cadmium copper drop wire of diameter 0.9 mm was in use in the Telecom network. But thereafter, self supporting drop wire (SSDW) of diameter 0.5mm was developed with a view to economise on copper. But there have been field complaints on this drop wire from number of Circles. Most of the complaints related to the poor quality of insulation of breaking of conductor. There was also termination problem of these drop wires in Distribution Point (DP).

A High Committee was formed in 1997 to review the reasons for high fault rate in external plant. The problems of drop wire DPs and telephone instruments were reviewed and following recommendations were implemented

Lessons Learned – The Flight 401 Disaster

The acronym CRM is commonly understood to stand for customer relations management. It has another meaning however in the aviation world, Crew Resource Management. The job of flying a commercial aircraft from one airport to another can be likened to a project; it has a start date (departure), an end date (arrival) and delivers a unique product or service namely the safe transport of the passengers at their destination. CRM became a hot topic and important discipline in the aviation industry after the crash of Eastern Airlines flight 401 in the Florida Everglades in 1972. The television show Mayday aired a piece on this tragedy recently and I think the lesson learned by the aviation industry is one that can be applied to the project management profession.

Flight 401 flew from JFK in New York to Miami the night of December 29th, 1972. The airplane was a Lockheed L1011-Tristar, which as state of the art at that time. The flight crew was led by the Captain, Robert Albin Loft, and included Flight Engineer Donald Louis Repo and Co-pilot Albert John Stockstill. In addition to the standard cabin crew were Warren Terry, a co-pilot, and Angelo Donadeo a maintenance specialist. These latter were “dead-heading” to Miami. Dead-heading is airline slang for hitching a free ride to return to their home base. The pilot had 32 years experience flying for Eastern, and the engineer had 25 years experience. Although the co-pilot had much less experience than Loft, he had more experience with the L1011 and previous flying experience in the air force. This was the team in control of the cabin.

Flight 401 received permission from the tower to take off at 9:20 pm that night and proceeded south over Norfolk Virginia then over Wilmington North Carolina and then out to sea for the rest of the flight. The planes navigation system would bring the plane to “Barricuda point” over the Atlantic and then it would start its turn westward over West Palm Beach and then south to Miami. Shortly after take-off Warren Terry decided to move from the cabin to a vacant seat in first class which left Angelo Donadeo the lone “dead-header” in the cabin. Co-pilot Stockstill flew the plane while pilot Loft operated the radio. This was standard procedure for Eastern and was the way in which it gave its co-pilots flying experience.

Eastern Flight 401 arrived at the Miami airport at about 11:20 pm, behind National airlines flight 607. The National plane was directed to land on runway 9 right leaving runway 9 right for the Eastern plane. Just before landing the crew on flight 607 radioed the tower that they were having trouble with the landing gear in the plane’s nose and were having to deploy it manually. They also asked that the airport have fire trucks ready for their landing in case they should experience trouble.

When it was Flight 401’s turn to land a few minutes later the signal light for their nose landing gear failed to turn on. Stockstill asked Loft if he wanted to circle until the problem was fixed. After conferring with the control tower, Loft instructed him to circle. When Stockstill asks about retracting the landing gear Loft instructs him to leave it down and then pushes on the throttles to compensate for the extra drag. Loft did this even though Stockstill was still flying the plane.

The problem light was located on the co-pilots side of the plane but Stockstill couldn’t reach the light because he was still flying the plane. The tower instructed Flight 401 to turn north and then west on a course that would take them over the Florida Everglades. The plane reached an altitude of 2,000 feet and then leveled out. Loft instructed Stockstill to put the plane on auto-pilot and then try to extract the light bulb so it could be replaced. Stockstill succeeded in extracting the panel holding the light and gave it to Repo so he could replace the bulb. Donadeo witnessed this transaction but says he did not see Repo replace the bulb with a spare. Repo attempts to replace the panel but inserts it sideways so the light is still inoperative. Loft orders Repo to inspect the landing gear visually from a small bay below the flight deck accessed through a trap door. As Repo is disappearing into the “hell hole” Stockstill is now struggling to remove the panel without success. The cockpit recorder captures the conversation which shows Loft’s frustration with the malfunctioning light and the rest of the crew’s laughter reveals that no-one is taking the incident seriously at this point. Stockstill is still struggling to extract the panel.

At this point an altitude warning is heard on the recorder but Loft and Stockstill are still completely focused on the landing gear light. Their discussion totally ignores the warning and focuses on the light, the likelihood it is merely burned out, and their certainty that the nose gear is down at this point. Repo appears through the trap door and announces that he cannot see whether the gear is down or not. Loft directs him to try again. Meanwhile, Stockstill has one hand on the steering yoke, which also controls the altitude of the plane by controlling the angle of the flaps, and one hand on the panel holding the light. Donadeo witnesses this as he moves to the bay to help Repo. Stockstill is heard on the recorder telling Loft that something has happened to the altitude. Loft’s last words are “Hey, what’s happening here?”

At this point, Flight 401 disappears from the controller’s radar screen. A hail from the controller to the airplane produces no answer. The airplane had crashed into the Florida Everglades about 18 miles west north-west of Miami. It hit the swamp at about 220 miles per hour and slid for 1/3 of a mile breaking up into 5 pieces before finally coming to rest. Out of a total 176 passengers and crew, 103 died in the crash. Due to the quick response time and heroic efforts by an airboat operator by the name of Robert Marquis, who happened to be on the scene, and the Coast Guard 73 passengers were rescued from the swamp.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for conducting investigations of all air incidents. Naturally more attention is paid to investigations of crashes where lives are lost like the Flight 401 accident and the NTSB brought all their considerable resources and expertise to bear on this crash. Their investigation began at the crash scene and they found the control panel almost entirely intact so were able to determine the exact time of the crash (11:42 pm), that the panel containing the nose gear indicator lights was jammed sideways in its receptacle and that the two light bulbs were indeed burned out. From the flight recorder they were able to determine that plane speed was 198 knots when the plan crashed and the throttles were in full forward position indicating that the crew had likely become aware of their situation at the last moment and tried to pull the plan up. The NTSB also had the assistance of Angelo Donadeo who had survived the crash.

Through the cockpit recorder, the physical evidence, and Donadeo’s testimony the NTSB were able to reconstruct the accident. The plane had approached for a landing and deployed the landing gear. The indicator lights for the nose gear failed to light which could mean that the nose gear failed to deploy or the lights were malfunctioning. The flight tower orders them to change course to a path over the everglades and maintain an altitude of 2,000 feet while Loft orders Repo to visually inspect the landing gear. Good so far. Next, Loft tells Stockstill (who has control of the plane) to engage the autopilot. The plane maintains its altitude, then drops 100 feet, levels out, and maintains that altitude for 2 minutes. After that the plan starts a gradual descent. This descent is so gradual the crew doesn’t notice and after 70 seconds the plane has only lost 250 of altitude. The 250 feet is sufficient to trigger a warning chime that can be clearly heard on the recorder but is ignored by the cabin crew, who are totally focused on trying to replace the burned out indicator lights.

The planes rate of descent, which had begun so gradually, gathers momentum. A further 50 seconds and the plane descends below the 101 foot level which triggers another alarm which the crew do notice, but by this time the plane is descending at a rate of 50 feet per second. Stockstill responds by giving the plane full throttle but the corrective action is too late and the plane crashes.

The autopilot is engaged by 2 switches on the control panel but can be disengaged by applying pressure on the control column (or yoke). The NTSB surmises that when Loft turned to Repo to tell him to visually inspect the nose gear he accidentally disengaged the autopilot by bumping the column. The autopilot does not become totally disengaged at this point but will maintain whatever altitude the pilot selects by pushing forward or drawing back on the column. Accidental bumps against the column account for the further descent of the plane.

The NTSB report recommended a number of technical improvements which might have prevented the tragedy. The visual inspection apparatus in the inspection bay proved to be too difficult to operate by Repo contributing to confusion in the cabin. The board recommended a change to the apparatus making it operable by one person (the pilot had to switch a light on which was located overhead, there was no evidence Loft did this). The altitude warning system sounds once and then flashes an orange light. At altitudes above 2500 feet this light flashes continuously, below 2500 feet it only flashes once. The board recommended it flash continuously at any altitude. The NTSB report noted the attention focused by the cabin crew on the burned out lights but made no further recommendations at that time. Subsequent incidents where pilot and/or crew error led to disaster, or near disaster, triggered the creation of Crew Resource Management (CRM) and a mini-industry sprang up to teach pilots how to maintain control of their crew and aircraft.

By this time you will be asking yourself “what in the world does all this have to do with me or any other project manager?” The answer, in a nutshell, is this: the same lack of focus by the leader which caused Flight 401 to crash can cause a project to crash. Project managers can learn some lessons from that tragedy and employ some CRM strategies of our own.

The fact that stands out above everything else in this tragedy is the focus of the entire cabin crew of that airplane, including the pilot, on two burned out light bulbs: total value $12. Cost of the lack of focus on flying the plane: a $15M airplane plus 103 lives. The lesson is clear; the project manager cannot lose focus on the overall project goals and objectives because of the failure of a minor task or deliverable. The pilot on an aircraft has overall responsibility for the success of the flight and the safety of the passengers and crew. The project manager has overall responsibility for the success of the project, although the responsibility seldom extends to personal safety. The pilot has command of the cabin crew and is responsible for assigning tasks to that crew in such a way that the airplane reaches its destination safely. The pilot cannot afford to lose focus on that responsibility because the crew is struggling to resolve a relatively minor technical issue. As it turned out, the landing gear was down and the plane could have landed safely. The crew either knew this, or strongly suspected it because they were examining ways of changing the light bulbs. If Loft had assigned the replacement of the bulbs to Stockstill or Donadeo (he was in Loft’s charge) he could have focused on flying the plane and averted the disaster.

Project managers should accept the responsibility of meeting the overall goals and objectives of the project. This means that when a build fails, or trouble reports mount, or a new application doesn’t meet performance expectations we cannot become so bogged down in correcting the situation that we lose sight of the overall project. We must make intelligent use of the resources given to us to meet project objectives. Assign investigation of the causes of the failure to someone on your team who has the necessary experience and knowledge and then trust them to deliver. If you haven’t got such a person on your team, approach your sponsor and ask for the resource. Don’t allow a sense of responsibility for fixing all the problems on your project to detract you from your primary responsibility: overall project success.

If ever you find yourself in the position of wanting to get down in the trenches and get your hands dirty resolving a technical problem that is plaguing your project, remember the experience of pilot Robert Loft. Don’t let your stakeholders down and crash the project by focusing on a $12 part rather than a multi-million dollar project.

IVF Implantation Help With Acupressure

While most doctors will tell you that there isn’t much you can do to help with implantation during IVF, there are actually a few methods that have anecdotal evidence showing that they work. One such method is acupressure. Before you write this off as just a bogus alternative medicine theory, you should learn about what acupressure does, how it works with your body, and how it might be able to help with IVF implantation.

What is Acupressure?

You’ve probably heard of acupuncture before, and when you think of it, you might be a little frightened of all the needles involved. Acupressure is based on the same principles as acupuncture except that pressure – instead of actual penetration of the skin – is used, which is pretty obvious from the name. One of the good things about acupressure is that you can actually learn how to do it at home on your own.

You can use your own hands to stimulate stress points on your hands and feet, and you and your partner can use acupressure techniques on one another to promote stress relief and overall health. Although there are some actual acupressure tools on the market right now, all you really need is your hands or a blunt object like a pencil eraser. You can use websites, books, and videos to learn how to give yourself or other people minor acupressure therapy. Because the pressure you’re applying won’t break the skin, it’s safe to do even if you aren’t trained by a professional.

How does it Work with IVF?

Because it is based on ancient Eastern healing techniques, people argue about how acupressure works. In the traditional thinking, it works by balancing energy in the body. While scientists in the Western world don’t agree with this theory, they can definitely agree that manipulating certain points in the body with acupuncture and acupressure actually does work.

The way that acupressure will affect you will depend on the points you’re working with and your goals. Overall, it can have a very calming effect on the nervous system. It has also been shown to help hormone regulation, especially LH secretion, which is very helpful for IVF treatments. Because stress has been linked to infertility and lack of success with ART treatments, though, you may find that the simple stress relief brought on by acupressure is enough to help improve your chances of IVF success.

Why to Use Acupressure with IVF to Assist Implantation

For the most part, the doctors who say there’s nothing you can do to hinder or enhance implantation are right, but you can prepare your body for implantation and keep it healthy during your two week wait, which will only increase your chances of a successful pregnancy. Using acupressure on a regular basis leading up to your egg retrieval and transfer can keep you feeling calm and energized, and it may help to keep your hormones properly balanced.

During your two week wait, you can use acupressure to stay calm and collected. This is good for your mind, but it’s also good for your body. At this point, anything that’s good for your body is definitely good for the new life that may be growing inside it.

Need Help With Bed Bug Elimination? 8 Tips You Can Use Today to Eliminate Your Bed Bug Problem!

Bed Bug elimination has often been referred to in context as “Don’t let the bed bugs, bite.”

Well, for many, this statement is true and frightening.

Before going further, a description of a bed bug is needed. A bed bug that is a mature adult is about one-quarter of an inch in size. Because they are so small, they are able to hide and this they do well.

When bed bugs are small they can usually be eliminated effectively with most pest control products, but when they get bigger it is harder because they are stronger and more adaptable to their environment.

Because the bed bug is so secretive and comes out only at night, it makes the job of eliminating bed bugs harder. One way you can tell if you have bed bugs, is if there are small drops of blood on your sheets or pillow cases and small bites on your skin.

For getting rid of bed bugs it is better and possibly more effective, to have pest control experts come to your home and utilize the methods they have of getting rid of them. However, if this is not possible, then with some help, hard work and bug spray tools you can do the job yourself.

The steps to take to get beg bugs out of your house are the following:

* Since the main area where bed bugs hide out is the bed it is important to wash all sheets, blankets, pillow cases-everything on the bed-in hot sudsy water and with bleach. Then, with a vacuum, thoroughly clean your mattress. (When possible, after all bedding has been cleaned put on a clean mattress cover. This will help prevent bed bugs from returning.) Also clean thoroughly with furniture polish and clean rags, the surrounding pieces of your bed, from top to bottom.

* Also sweep, vacuum and steam clean all other furniture in your house-as much as possible– and also under and along, the edge of wall-to-wall carpeting-particularly behind beds and other furniture. Be sure to also dust in tight-fitting areas and other objects like clocks, etc. where beg bugs can also hide.

* Get rid of any and all clutter in your bedroom and in your home-anywhere the bed bugs might be hiding out. Do not allow them any place or space where they can make a home.

* Vacuum thoroughly all cracks, crevices and other areas where they are hiding. Also vacuum all rugs and floor areas and do so, on a continual basis.

Once this is done you are ready to spray and/or dust:

* A general purpose spray can be used on furniture, carpets and baseboards. This will help to eliminate some of the population of dust mites.

* Bed bug sprays. Suspend SC, a general purpose natural spray is used by many because it is water safe for fabrics and are preferred by many because of its effectiveness.

* Insecticide dust. This is put on last, after your insecticide spray has dried. Drione Dust is one of the best products you can use to eliminate bed bugs. It is recommended to use a Crusader Duster when applying this product and follow all instructions when applying.

* Once you are done, continue to keep all surface areas clean by vacuuming on a regular basis, dusting with polish and using disinfectant sprays when you have finished cleaning, to help keep things sanitized, clean and dry.

Note: When using disinfectants and dusters, be sure to follow instructions and protect your skin when applying the chemicals. And, to protect your lungs you may might to wear masks, especially when using dusters towards Bed Bug Elimination.

These tips are just the start of helping us get control of our bed bugs problem.