Commodity Trading – Advantages and Disadvantages

What Is Commodity Trading?

Commodity futures markets allow commercial producers and commercial consumers to offset the risk of adverse future price movements in the commodities that they are selling or buying.

In order to work a futures contract must be standardised. They must have a standard size and grade, expire on a certain date and have a preset tick size. For example, corn futures trading at the Chicago Board of Trade are for 5000 bushels with a minimum tick size of 1/4cent/bushel ($12.50/contract).

A farmer may have a field of corn and in order to hedge against the possibility of corn prices dropping before the harvest he might sell corn futures. He has locked in the current price, if corn prices fall he makes a profit from the futures contracts to offset the loss on the actual corn. On the other hand, a consumer such as Kellogg may buy corn futures in order to protect against a rise in the cost of corn.

In order to facilitate a liquid market so that producers and consumers can freely buy and sell contracts , exchanges encourage speculators. The speculators objective is to make a profit from taking on the risk of price fluctuation that the commercial users do not want. The rewards for speculators can be very large precisely because there is a substantial risk of loss.

Advantages of commodity trading

Leverage. Commodity futures operate on margin, meaning that to take a position only a fraction of the total value needs to be available in cash in the trading account.

Commission Costs. It is a lot cheaper to buy/sell one futures contract than to buy/sell the underlying instrument. For example, one full size S&P500 contract is currently worth in excess off $250,000 and could be bought/sold for as little as $20. The expense of buying/selling $250,000 could be $2,500+.

Liquidity. The involvement of speculators means that futures contracts are reasonably liquid. However, how liquid depends on the actual contract being traded. Electronically traded contracts, such as the e-mini’s tend to be the most liquid whereas the pit traded commodities like corn, orange juice etc are not so readily available to the retail trader and are more expensive to trade in terms of commission and spread.

Ability to go short. Futures contracts can be sold as easily as they are bought enabling a speculator to profit from falling markets as well as rising ones. There is no ‘uptick rule’ for example like there is with stocks.

No ‘Time Decay’. Options suffer from time decay because the closer they come to expiry the less time there is for the option to come into the money. Commodity futures do not suffer from this as they are not anticipating a particular strike price at expiry.

Disadvantages of commodity trading

Leverage. Can be a double edged sword. Low margin requirements can encourage poor money management, leading to excessive risk taking. Not only are profits enhanced but so are losses!

Speed of trading. Traditionally commodities are pit traded and in order to trade a speculator would need to contact a broker by telephone to place the order who then transmits that order to the pit to be executed. Once the trade is filled the pit trader informs the broker who then then informs his client. This can take some take and the risk of slippage occurring can be high. Online futures trading can help to reduce this time by providing the client with a direct link to an electronic exchange.

You might find a truck of corn on your doorstep! Actually, most futures contracts are not deliverable and are cash settled at expiry. However some, like corn, are deliverable although you will get plenty of warning and opportunity to close out a position before the truck turns up.

Instructions For Salton Yogurt Maker

Making yogurt with the Salton Yogurt Maker is fun, easy and worry-free. A few things you’ll need are milk, powdered milk for thickening, a thermometer and a yogurt starter. Be sure your yogurt maker is clean before starting. It will provide a stable temperature for incubating the yogurt. In this article you will find the best instructions for Salton Yogurt Maker.

1. Add ½ cup of dry milk powder to 1 qt of whole or skim milk.

The milk should be heated on the stove to 185-190°F, stirring frequently.

2. While you’re waiting for the milk to heat, plug in your yogurt maker so it can be warming up.

3. Let the milk cool to 110-115°F. I usually place the pot in a large bowl of ice water, stirring the milk until it’s cooled to the right temperature.

4. Pour about 1/3 of the milk into a separate clean container and add ½ cup of plain yogurt with active cultures or 1 pack of yogurt starter. Stir until mixed evenly.

5. Pour this starter mix into the remaining milk and stir.

6. Finally, pour the milk into your pre-heated yogurt maker.

7. You should allow the yogurt to incubate 6-12 hours. The longer it is heated, the more tart the taste.

8. When the batch is done, put the container in the frigerator and allow it to cool for several hours or overnight. The yogurt will thicken as it cools.

Now you have a wonderfully delicious batch of plain yogurt. If you like it flavored, add some maple syrup, honey, fruit or jam.

Homemade yogurt is a healthy alternative to store-bought brands. You have control over the ingredients and there’s no risk of eating unhealthy additives and sugars. The Salton Yogurt Maker is inexpensive and easy to use. You don’t have to part with large sums of your hard-earned money for a more expensive unit. Making homemade yogurt is exciting and I hope you find these instructions for Salton Yogurt Maker useful.

Mobile Home Duct Cleaning

It is a common myth that people think that they cannot have their air ducts cleaned if they live in a mobile home. This is half true. Most companies that offer air duct cleaning, use what is called “negative air” machines. This is equipment that sucks out debris while the duct is being agitated heavily. This type of equipment can be pretty rough and is not recommended for mobile homes. If you want your air ducts cleaned you must use a “rotory brush vacuum” with a soft bristle brush. This type of equipment is mainly for residential ducts and the latter is more popular for commercial applications. In mobile homes there are a lot of soft flexible ducting. A spinning brush vacuum with soft bristles is the only way to clean this type of duct.

Mobile home ducts are especially susceptible to dust and debris since they are located in the floor. Often times the ducts are not sealed very well and anything from pet dander to insects can easily accumulate in them. It is recommended that you have your ducts professionally cleaned approximately every one to three years.

The most critical part of the duct system to clean is the return side. This is where the real scary stuff collects. Mobile homes do not have a traditional return system. Typically the compartment that the furnace sits in and the furnace itself is the return. With this in mind, it is important to have your furnace professionally cleaned and serviced every year.

Once the ducts are cleaned out by a professional, sanitizing can take place. Think of sanitizing like cleaning a kitchen table after you have eaten, once you remove the crumbs, you then spray a cleaner to disinfect so as not to promote unwanted bacteria growth. The same is true for your ducts. An anti-microbial agent is fogged into the duct work killing any fungus, mold or bacteria that might have been growing. This part is vital to ones respiratory health. Most companies use a gentle ant-microbial agent that will not put you out of your house.

It is important to think about what you are doing and what you are preventing. Most people do not think about the hidden dangers inside of their air ducts. It is out of site and out of mind. You will benefit greatly getting your mobile home air ducts cleaned. A service that will pay for itself in healthy air to breathe.

High End Garden Tillers From Troy Bilt and Mantis

Let’s look at some of the high end mini garden tillers. The most well known brands are Troy bilt and Mantis. With these brands you get the best in mini garden tillers like the Mantis 4 cycle tiller with an engine from Honda.

The most used miniature or small garden tillers fall under tillers and cultivators from Troy Bilt and Mantis. You’ll find small 2 cycle as well as four cycle engines, some louder than some others, some till somewhat deeper than the others, and several are heavier. You really need to take note of your own unique horticultural specifications, such as how rocky and also rooty the land is going to be.

You’ll have to decide if you are looking to get an electric powered or maybe gas tiller. Electric powered tillers sometimes have more advantages and are easy to start and they are less noisy, but gas tillers could possibly be more reliable and also strong. It all depends upon your needs plus your lawn.

A number of users have concerns about small-scale tillers simply being overly springy and difficult to manage. This will depend on which small tiller you are looking at. For example the well-known Mantis 7225 2-cycle gas tiller weighs in at merely twenty two pounds so you would possibly find that it’s slightly springy. Although the Troy Bilt TB154 electric powered garden-cultivator is actually 34 lbs. and that is really not very hefty but yet may be easy to operate.

Either way it is a great idea to have a relatively good pair of gripping gloves which will help you operate your tiller.

So you’re able to notice that there are various elements to take into consideration, not all tiller and cultivators will have every option. That being said take into consideration what exactly you need for your very own garden so you can order a good tiller which could accomplish the job the garden needs.

Whether or not you decide to go with the Mantis 7262 or Mantis 7225 or the Troy Bilt TB154, you will want to bear in mind that these would be compact tillers which can not take on big stones as well as larger plants roots. They will tackle smaller sized rocks as well as plants roots well however they simply have so much strength. Also smaller tillers aren’t generally designed for tilling very hard terrain.

I recommend you opt for either the 7225, TB154 or the 7262 when one of these is suitable for your situation. Yet small tillers tend to be powerful, useful, and usually very easy to store in your storage area or garden shed. If you find yourself sick of the hands-on back-breaking labor of hand-tilling, maybe it’s time to invest in a mini lawn tiller.

Sectionals: The Benefits of Sectional Sofas As Living Room Furniture

Sectional sofas are an ideal option for any modern living room furniture. Sectionals are very popular for what to many are obvious reasons, although there are also some that are not so obvious. Here are some benefits of sectionals and sectional sofas:

1. Versatility

When you use sectionals as the basis of your living room furniture you have the versatility to make the best use of the shape of your room. Most people purchase their sofa and chairs and then try to arrange the rest of the room around these. With sectional sofas you can arrange your seating furniture to suit your room. You can make best use of the natural features of your home and use those awkward corners as focal points rather than dust traps.

The majority of sectionals can be arranged into several configurations, including L-shapes, semi-circles and horseshoe shapes. This enables you to change your configuration to suit your needs – and also your moods. You can easily change the furniture around and move it to suit the needs of visitors.

If you feel like a change of room, simply move the sectionals to a new place and new configuration and your entire living room furniture will look different. You can even move sectional sofas to other rooms in your home – they will fit any room!

2. Extra Living Room Space

Because you can use sectionals to fill in corner spaces, and to run around awkward pillars and so on, you can arrange your living room furniture to make best use of the available space. This in turn offers you two options: either enjoy the extra space and extra room you suddenly have, or fit in more furniture so you can accommodate more people.

Thus, you can generally use the sectional furniture you regularly need and enjoy your extra space, but when you have a particularly large number of guests or visitors, you can bring in extra sections. You can then expand the seating, while still maintaining a natural look that does not appear as if you had stuffed more furniture into the room. When they leave, the extra pieces can go back into the room they were borrowed from.

Their use of space is a particularly useful property of sectional sofas for small rooms. Rather than having two or three separate pieces of seating furniture, each needing its own ‘walk round’ space, you can use sectionals. The minimum access space needed and the perfect use of corners make these versatile sofas the perfect form of small living room furniture. The apparent increase in living space has to be experienced to be believed.

3. Sophistication in Design

The functionality and design sophistication of modern furniture can be incorporated into your sectional sofas, chairs and loveseats. They can incorporate recliners, sliders, swivels and even sleeper sofas to offer you the maximum possible levels of comfort and adaptability. Storage space and console cup holders can be incorporate into your arrangement for maximum convenience.

You can have any arrangement of sliders and recliners, or even both, included in your personal choice of pieces, and a sofa bed offers an extra bed when needed. Modern sofa beds are sleek and comfortable, unlike the bulky back-breakers they once were. You can also include tables, ottomans and footstools, all upholstered in the same material as the sofas and chairs.

The range of fabrics and their shades and finishes is almost unlimited, and you can also have synthetic or natural leather in black, white and a range of browns and tans. Each piece is stable, but very easily moved around your room without scoring the floor.


A few tips on choosing sectionals. A good way to choose sectional sofas is online. You are able to carry out a direct comparison of several different makes and also different configurations. Yes, it is good to see your choice on real life before purchasing, but never buy the first you see just because it looks good. They all look great, so never commit yourself until you have had a chance to compare several options – and you can do that best online!

Do not worry too much if your room looks too small to accommodate your preferred choice of living room furniture. It is easy broken up into smaller units that can either be use singly, or used in a bedroom, home office or study. Also, you will be surprise at just how much sectional furniture can be fitted into a room – keep in mind you will be able to use all that previously lost corner space.

Sectional sofas are a form of living room furniture that provides you with complete flexibility of choice in arranging the seating in your home. It can be used in most rooms in the house, and all brought together for one large arrangement should the number of guests require it. Sectionals make the best use of your complete living space, and are ideal for the smaller home. What more can you ask for in living room furniture?

Understanding How Moonlight and Moon Phases Effect Swordfishing

In order to better understand why swordfish concentrate their feeding habits in certain depths on any given night or why the bite is better during different times of the month requires you to better understand how the effects of moonlight influence swordfish.

Before you can understand how moonlight affects swordfish, you must understand the moon and its phases. The moon revolves around the earth in 27 days. The first phase of the moon at the beginning of its new revolution is what we call the “New Moon”. The new moon is when the moons face is in the shadow of the earth causing the moon to reflect no light and look dark to us. A week after the “new moon” the moon will be in its first quarter, meaning that one quarter of the moons total surface is reflecting light back to earth. Since we only see 50% of the moons surface, when the moon is in its first quarter it is actually referred to as a half moon by many of us since one half of the moons face is reflecting light. One week after the first quarter the moon will be full, and the whole face of the moon which is visible to us will be reflecting light. One week after the Full Moon and again the moon will appear as half since it will be in its last quarter. One week after the last quarter the moon will have completed its lunar cycle and be a “New Moon” again.

Now, if we look back to our past swordfish trips and our catch statistics we would see patterns for a few nights when all bites were at depths greater than 200′. And we would also see a pattern for a couple nights when all bites were at depths less than 100′. These changes are a direct effect from the amounts moonlight which was present during these patterns. We know swordfish are predatory species feeding on concentrations of squid and mackerel which are both diurnal species, meaning that during the bright daylight hours they stay in the deeper darker depths of the ocean and as daylight diminishes and night falls they rise to the shallower depths. Now, moonlight plays a role in where the concentrations of the bait will be congregating. For example, during a full moon, since much of the moonlight is shining through the oceans surface, the bright moonlight will cause the bait to stay deeper in the water column. Conversely, during a new moon with virtually no moonlight breaking the oceans surface the bait will congregate in shallower depths closer to the surface.

Of course, we should always have a bait in both the deeper and shallower part of the water column no matter what moon phase we are in, just in case there is swordfish wandering. Although, the brightness of the moon is an extremely good indication of what depth the majority of the swordfish bites we will be. During nights when the moon is full and bright the majority of baits should be fished deeper in the water column.


Yoga and Health Benefits

Most people who actually benefit from Yoga are those who practice, and continue to practice. Often times beginners try Yoga once and never again. They do not see how doing stretches or putting their body in uncomfortable poses helps their life. Here are 5 reasons why us Yoga lovers love the practice:

1. Yoga Relaxes:

When you practice yoga, your full attention is required. The practice allows you to detach from your long, hard day and turn in. For an hour or so, your practice requires you to be in the present moment. Most of the day, we are busy working, or making plans, or thinking about where we need to go, what we need to do… During this hour or so, your mind must focus and detach from all those things that you did or have to do because in order to do any pose, or listen to the instructor’s direction, you need to pay attention. By leaving your work load behind or skipping through your thoughts about your “must do’s,” for that hour, you are clearing your mind. When your mind is clear, you can better reflect on the past, plan your future, and enjoy your present moment.

2. Yoga Strengthens the Body:

Yoga is workout – Of The Mind! There is no doubt that Yoga postures and poses strengthen your muscles and help you lose weight and manage cellulite. It also depends on how often you practice (on and off your mat). Practicing on a regular basis will strengthen those more than others. Yoga allows you to learn about your own body. Which poses can you do? Which poses do you like or dislike? It teaches you your physical limitations, physical capabilities, and physical preferences. How can you strengthen your body without first learning about your very own first? By practicing, you are able to find out if you are a back-bender, arm balancer, or both! I can tell you, I never considered myself flexible before I began to practice Yoga. Over time, I discovered that I am much more flexible than I thought (in my body and my mind)! Being flexible and open in the mind, allows you to be flexible and open in your body. Try it, you have everything to gain.

3. Yoga Strengthens the Mind:

Simple- “Healthy Body = Healthy Mind.” Yoga offers us the tools that help us think clearly. You say, “How can going upside down help me clear my mind?” Well, actually, going upside down reverses your blood flow to your brain which washes out the old and pumps the new and fresh. Besides that, the practice of Yoga (asana) has everything to take with you off your mat. For example, as you practice, one goal is to keep your body engaged, yet soft. We call this Sthira-Sukha. (Sthira – Firm and Alert) and (Sukha- Ease and without Tension). Sound like a piece of cake? Think again. Our practice helps us to find this balance because by finding this balance, we can advance our practice. Otherwise, poses simply remain poses. Think about how this could benefit life outside your mat. In your workplace, employers favor those who have the ability to lead, be strong and firm, speak up, be quick (qualities that Sthira brings) BUT- they also need those who remain calm during crisis, have problem-solving abilities, are polite, communicate well with others (qualities that Sukha brings). Wouldn’t having both benefit you in your work place? Absolutely.

4. Yoga Teaches you to Prevent:

Not only does Yoga help you reflect and sort out all of your issues (even the ones you did not realize you had), but it also helps you to prevent future problems in your life. Yoga enhances your thinking skills. Sometimes, we like to do things over and over again and hope or expect a different result each time (definition of insanity). I know that I am guilty of it as well! Yoga practice is that little light bulb that pops in your head and tells you, “hey, maybe I should try something different since this clearly is not working.” So, you may ask, “how can doing a yoga pose possibly help me with this!?” Here is why: Since the poses teach you about your body, they also teach you how far you can go or if perhaps you have gone too far. If your body does not feel good in a pose or causes you pain, you are asked to COME OUT and try a different or modified pose that is better for your body. See the connection? A lot of times these concepts are not even noticed. We begin to say, “Yoga feels good, puts me in a better mood, changed my life.. etc” It is because as we begin to practice, we begin to recognize the things that are getting in our way and we recognize them more quickly than before, then by having a clear mind, we take action. Over time, this becomes a prevention tool.

5. Yoga Changes Old Habits:

You know those bad habits you have and find a very hard time stepping away from them? Well, here is where Yoga can help you in that area of your life. Yoga practice makes you recognize all sorts of things about yourself that you did not know. Simply because, as mentioned before, it requires your full attention. Once you learn about yourself, you recognize your habits (the good and bad ones). As you may know, the first step in changing anything is recognizing the problem. In this case, recognizing your bad habits. Sometimes we are not fully aware of our habits. So how can we change them if we do not even know we have them? By practicing Yoga, we learn about our body, preferences, and our health. Naturally, paying close attention to ourselves is like studying our own self and seeing ourself through the eyes of the world outside of us. This is not so easy to do, especially if we are so caught up in our stressful and busy lives. As we practice over time, we become extremely sensitive to notice everything about ourselves and that is when we clearly recognize our habits. To go into more depth, we begin to recognize how we could possibly make our habits better or shift things in other areas to help balance out the things that we cannot change. For example, excessive smokers or drinkers who wish they could stop their habits may find it almost impossible to let go. Working with your body, over time teaches the concept of “letting go of that which does not serve me.” Over time, with practice and most importantly commitment, change will come and it will come naturally.


Maintenance Of Woolen Fabrics

We make use of woolen fabrics in our day to day life, right from below the toes to above the head – carpets to caps. Following characteristics makes wool more useful and comfortable too:

– Wool is one of the most breathable fibers on earth.

– Wool gives comfortable warmth to your body.

– Wool is capable of absorbing moisture and rapidly evaporating it and keeping your body dry.

– Wool can regulate body temperature and humidity.

– Wool is flame-resistant due its natural moisture content and its chemical structure.

– Wool is also recommended to heart patient as it keeps blood pressure low and heart rate calm.

– Wool is durable and keeps its good appearance for a longer period of time.

Besides all these benefits wool demands a high care in terms of buying, using, cleaning and storing. Woolen fabric is vulnerable to moths, dirt, moisture, and general wear and tear. The suggestions below will help to tackle these problems:


– When buying a wool product check for the quality, wool mark and read instructions properly.

– Give woolen cloths one day rest after wearing. This will remove the wrinkles and bring to its original shape.

– Hang knitted woolen cloths on shaped hangers with closed zips or buttoned.

– Fold knits gently and keep freely in drawers.

– Use soft brush to remove surface oil on woolen cloths. Use a damp sponge for knits.

– To remove wrinkles keep it in steamy bathroom.

– Dry the woolen garment in room temperature only.

– Regularly check the stored woolen garments for moth.


Wool by its nature has a natural characteristic of shrinkage. Two conditions are responsible for shrinkage: Heat and Water. Wool is hydrophobic as well as hydrophilic. The outside of the wool fiber repels water while inside of the wool fiber absorbs water. So to some extent it repels moisture but after a certain point of getting wet, it starts absorbing water. Such characteristic leads to overlap and cause shrinks.

To avoid shrinks let the woolens dry in a cool place. Stretch out and remove crease when fabric is still wet. Hand wash can be a better option if handled carefully. The American Wool Association labels cloths as ‘SUPER WASH’ which can be treated with machine wash.


Very few insects are able to attack woolen as it is difficult for them to digest wool. Among the few are: larvae of the webbing clothes moths -Tineola bisselliella and the carpet beetles -Dermestidae. For their growth they require Vitamin B as a nutrient, which they can get from soil and perspiration present in the woolen fabrics. So it is necessary to keep woolens dry and clean in order to avoid their attacks. Larvae are most commonly found under collars, cuffs, and other hidden areas.

Proper and a regular diagnosis of the pest is the first step in exercising control. Furrows or depletion on the surface implies the existence larvae. It is formed because of their habit of lacerating. During heavy infestations, they may create holes.

If you find the woolens like clothing, blankets, and tapestries already targeted by moths, they should be laundered or dry cleaned. Throw rugs and Small carpets can be treated with brush and beaten to remove most of eggs and larvae. Large size carpets and rugs can be treated with pesticides, if labeled for such applications. Treat the base of carpets and beneath chairs, sofas, and tables. Clothing and bedding should always be avoided for pesticide treatment. Pesticides should be applied carefully and after thoroughly reading precautions and instruction on the label and also the details of direction for use.


Woolens should be pressed using steam. Do not press totally dry woolen cloths. Whenever possible apply on reverse side of cloth to avoid surface shine. If shine is created by pressing then can be reduced by sponging white vinegar on surface of woolen cloths.

Always use a pressing cloth while ironing. If the surface of woolen fabric is slightly parched when pressing, rub gently with an emery board. Hydrogen peroxide in the form of dilute solution can also be applied if it is severely scorched. Test it first on any hidden area.


Keeping woolens clean and dry in storage is the most effective protection. In addition to this make sure that woolens are 100 percent dirt free before packing. Brush the woolen cloths after each wearing. Not only cloths but closets, trunks clean, and dresser drawers should also be clean. Keep woolen fabrics in airtight containers like well sealed bags or trunks with secure lids. Storing at temperature of 40 degrees or lower discourages infestation.


While deciding on cleaning method, label instruction should be referred first. Most of the woolen manufacturers recommend dry cleaning while some for hand wash and very few for machine wash.

Dry Cleaning

Give cloths to a reliable dry cleaner only. Identify if any spots or stains need to be given special treatment.

Hand Washing

Use a mild detergent in lukewarm water, don’t use hot water. Avoid bleach as it dissolves wool fabric. Soak for four to five minutes and then gently squeeze. Rinse thoroughly with cool water to remove all the traces of detergent.

Dry on a flat surface, reshape if necessary. Do not expose it to direct sunlight or heat. Never use dryer for woolens, it may result in shrinkages.

Machine Washing

Garments labeled SUPERWASH can be treated with machine wash and dryer. Set the machine for gentle action at a short cycle and water temperature at cool or lukewarm level. Use mild detergent. Wash each cloth separately. Once clean, they should be gently brushed to restore their original look.


For the best removal, stain should be treated as soon as possible to prevent them from getting absorbed in to the fabric.

Cloths with stubborn stain like paints, dyes, etc should be treated by dry cleaners. Use stain removal solution for stains based on chocolate, oil or make-up. Test it first in any hidden area.

Stains should be removed before pressing otherwise it will set in wool fabrics.

Periwinkle and Chemotherapy Drugs – Why Limit Its Uses to Just Chemotherapy?

Periwinkle: This simple little plant is the source of most common chemo drugs used in the treatment of cancer. The properties which linked Periwinkle to the treatment of cancer were discovered inadvertently by a major pharmaceutical manufacturer while looking for a drug to control blood sugar in diabetics. Common folk lore attributed such a property to Periwinkle, but painstaking research revealed that the plant had no effect on blood sugar levels. Instead, the research uncovered the antineoplastic effects of plant extracts, prominent among them, the extraordinary properties of periwinkle and components in its makeup which form the basis of our common chemotherapy drugs.

The plant components, vincristine and vinblastine, in periwinkle, were found to bind to tubulin in cellular microtubules. The short story here is that the process arrested cellular division and killed the cells.

But the embarrassing factor in this that keeps getting swept under the rug is that these drugs don’t particularly discriminate between healthy cells and cancer cells. As a result, numerous healthy cells are killed in the course of chemotherapy as these drugs, in their mission of killing off cancer cells, go about causing general and widespread cell death, including the cells that comprise our immune system.o It’s like using a shotgun to kill a fly on an elephant. Not good.

The logic of chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer just doesn’t make any sense at all. That is, as far as curing cancer is concerned. Or curing any other disease for that matter. Our immune system is designed to attack and destroy any harmful invading organisms. So where is the logic of killing the immune system in order to cure a disease?

But there is still a very solid logic to the use of chemotherapy. It is the most profitable therapy in medicine. Profitable to the pharmaceutical industry, profitable to all segments of the medical business involved in the treatment of cancer. And this seems to explain why the many extraordinary properties of periwinkle are being quietly passed over in favor of the logic of profit in chemotherapy.

The therapeutic uses of the periwinkle plant are not limited to its derivations of the chemo drugs. The plant itself was introduced in Europe during the mid 1700s, as an ornamental plant. Today it grows throughout the world, mainly in the warmer climates, and it has been widely used in tropical folk medicine. Besides being useful in the treatment of cancer, decoctions of the plant have been used for maladies ranging from ocular inflammation, diabetes, hemorrhage, and insect stings.

Research conducted by several pharmceutical companies, and later abandoned, show derivatives of periwinkle to be a high octane fuel for the brain. This is due to an almost miraculous brain booster called vinpocetine. It is so effective against fading mental processes that it is being used routinely in supplemental form by nearly 50 countries.

Vinpocetine has been shown to improve blood circulation to the brain, reducing senility and age related dementia. It has been used successfully to improve hearing function by relieving that ringing and buzzing in the ears known as tinnitus, and it has eliminated vertigo (dizziness). Vinpocetine is also used extensively in Europe for improving visual function, including night vision, and in preventing or relieving glaucoma and age related macular degeneration.

Periwinkle is also an excellent, all around astringent that may be used internally and externally. Mainly it is used in the treatment of excessive menstrual flow. And as in other remedies that can affect the uterus, it can be used to address similar processes in the urinary system. Digestive problems can also benefit from treatment with periwinkle; problems such as colitis or diarrhea where it will act to reduce the loss of fluid or blood. Nose bleed, bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, and sore throats, all benefit from the use of periwinkle.

There are few health hazards associated with the use of periwinkle as a therapeutic drug, although anyone wanting to avail himself of this drug would be well served to consult a homeopathic physician who understands its uses. Overdosage can result in a severe drop of blood pressure. Other than that, the side effects seem to be very minimal, being largely limited to gastrointestinal complaints and skin flushing. The drug is usually made available in the form of ampules, capsules, coated tablets, and compound preparations.

It seems totally ironic that the USFDA continues to “protect” us from the perceived dangers of such a beneficial plant, in spite of its internationally proven safety and effectiveness while at the same time, allowing virtually unrestricted use of the same plant’s well known most toxic elements.

Is Professional Tile Cleaning Worth the Price?

It is time to clean your grout. Saying that one phrase often makes people sick or worse, depressed. Is it really worth paying someone else to handle this sometimes daunting task? Let’s see what the benefits and drawbacks are to this relatively new home service.

First of all, many people are unfamiliar with this home service. Carpet cleaners have been around for years and most people are aware of the service or have had their carpets cleaned at one time or another. Whether or not the customer has been satisfied with the cleaning service is an entirely different matter. With any service that centers on your home, trust is a big factor in taking that first step into allowing someone else to work on your prized possession. As of course there are many terrific carpet cleaners in the industry, there are just as many that give the industry a bad name. This is true for any industry, but once you have been duped or had poor service, you are reluctant to return down that road.

This brings us to the world of tile and grout cleaning. Is it really worth paying someone to do what most people assume they can do themselves? If you search the internet, there are countless home remedies and solutions for cleaning your grout yourself. In some cases these solutions are not bad options. Minor spot cleaning and pet stain removal can come in handy in many instances. However, if you are staring at an entire floor that needs restoration or just a good cleaning, you may be up against a monster.

Anyone that has ever been down on their hands and knees with a scrub brush and some horrible chemical can tell you that it is anything but easy. It can be smelly, messy and tough on your body and there is always the chance that you may even make things worse looking then before you started. So you are wondering, when is he going to tell me what makes paying for this service so great and why I should spend my hard-earned money to do just that. Well, lets find out!

First of all, you should be aware that not all tile and grout cleaning services are created equal. The old adage “You get what you pay for” holds true here just as if you were comparing the purchase of a new car, printer or camera. You want to make sure you are getting a quality service you will be happy with; but not one that will break the bank. Depending on your region of the country, you can expect to pay anywhere from .75 cents to $1.50 per square foot of tile cleaned.

This is standard and of course could vary depending on the condition of the grout or if there are existing sealers that have to be removed first. So on average, a 400 square foot kitchen would cost you between $300-$600 depending on your area of the country. Many people would look at that number and say that is ridiculous. I can get my entire house of carpet cleaned for less than $200. Well, lets take a look at the real difference here. This will also help you qualify a true tile and grout cleaning company versus a carpet cleaner acting as a tile and grout cleaning company.

The keys to a quality tile and grout cleaning job are contained in these four components. Emulsifier(detergent), pressure, heat and extraction or vacuum. If your tile and grout cleaning company does not have these four components, you can easily eliminate them from contention. Here are the reasons why.

Water on its own will not be enough to get the job done. Your tile and grout cleaning company needs to have a sufficient detergent to tackle your particular job. The detergent is used to loosen the dirt and grease molecules from your tile and grout. Without this, you might as well be throwing water at oil, with a result you might expect.

Pressure, and here is one of the major ones besides the detergent. If you spray a normal garden hose on your driveway, you may wash off the surface dirt. However, if you really want it to look new, you grab a pressure washer and do the job right. The same holds true with cleaning grout. Grout is porous and is a cement product. Now, I don’t recommend taking a pressure washer to your kitchen floor unless you want to bring your swimming pool indoors. You do need pressure however; and not just steam pressure.

Most carpet cleaners deal with pressure between 100-500 psi to clean carpets. To clean tile and grout, you really need to start out around 1200 psi and can go upwards from there. If your carpet cleaner’s machine will not provide that much pressure, then you can eliminate him/her from your list. Now, if they do a good job cleaning your carpets, keep them for that. You just will need to find someone else to do your tile and grout cleaning. Pressure is key, as it loosens the dirt and grease from the grout. It works in conjunction with the detergent to get down deep into the grout’s pores for a thorough cleaning.

A scrub brush will not and cannot do the same. A brush only gets the top layer and then either pushes the dirt farther down or just moves it to another surface. You may see some adequate results, but in most cases they are only temporary, as the dirt that has been pushed down will find its way back to the surface.

Heat is not always a necessity, but most of us know that when you add heat to most any cleaning procedure, you get better results. Now of course there are exceptions and I am aware of that. You wouldn’t want to clean silk at 200 degrees, but we are talking tile and not fine fabrics. Heat not only helps loosen grease particles trapped in your grout, but it also helps kill bacteria that are present as well. Trust me on this one, there are definitely germs and bacteria growing in your grout. Grout is like a sponge, it will soak up everything.

Lastly, extraction or vacuum is essential. What good would it do you to have your grout cleaned only to leave the dirty water sitting on your clean tile and grout. It wouldn’t be clean for long. Having a powerful truck mounted vacuum is very important. When you are putting that much water down onto the floor, you want something that will extract it rather quickly and fully. This not only will fully remove the dirt from your newly cleaned surface, but it will also help your floors dry out much quicker.

Armed with this information, you can now make a more informed and hopefully confident decision when you decide to have your tile and grout professionally cleaned. Remember, no company is perfect, but with the proper equipment and trained professionals, the job can be done right. Just make sure you qualify any cleaning company before they start the job. Ask for references and make sure they can answer all of your questions completely and that they have the four components to properly clean your floors.

Next week, we will talk about sealers and their role in a residential application.

Please fell free to contact me with any questions.

Make Money Investing in Olive Oil

In a world of increasingly heart conscious consumers the consumption of olive oil doubled between 1990 and 2000 and according to authorities will likely have doubled again by 2020. Ninety-five percent of olive oil comes from the countries bordering the Mediterranean with Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece being the leading produces. Because of the expected increase in consumption many believe that the major producers will just not be able to keep up with demand. There lies the opportunity for investing in olive oil.

An investor can certainly go into the business of growing olives. If he or she had an agriculture degree or, better, comes from a family with generations of experience in tending olive orchards and making oil, they may be set. However, the investor will need to find land at a reasonable price where soil conditions and climate are conducive to producing high quality olives and oil. On the other hand the investor can find an investment opportunity related to olive production. That is what this is about.

There is a company in Spain. (Spain is the world’s number one olive oil producer.) This company will work through a subsidiary in Algeria on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea to grow olives. The Algerian government is promoting a project to plant a million hectares (2.5 million acres) with olive trees for production as the fruit and for olive oil. Through its subsidiary the company will plant 1,500 hectares as an olive orchard. The company will devote 500 hectares to private investment.

Without having to till the soil, plant trees, harvest olives, grind into paste, process the paste into oil or in any way get their hands dirty an investor can profit from this endeavor. The company will be building its own modern processing plant and will have an operation that takes the olive through to the production of high quality oil from the Arbequinia olive. The potential investor would need to contact the managing representative of this project  for details. However, the investment comes down to this. After investing in the project the investor will receive interest as well as a payment of $2 per liter of oil produced for one hectare of olives. The Arbequinia olive can produce 20 liters of oil per 100 kilos of olives and is a strong producer. The investment will run for ten years and the last payment will include interest, profit on olive oil produced, and the initial investment amount.

This sort of investment is backed up by land, the olive trees, and a processing plant. Olive trees live for a long, long time. (Olive trees 2,000 years old exist around the Mediterranean.) Thus, there is a security in investing in olive trees and olive oil production. With the steadily increasing demand for olive oil this is likely to be a profitable venture far into the future. The principals in this investment estimate that investors will double their money over the ten years of the investment. With this sort of innovative thinking the company will attract those interested in both green and socially conscious investments to a project to meet a public need and grow profits as well.

An Intro to Blending, Grinding, Degassing and Packaging Coffee

1. Blending and Mixing

Blending means using different Arabica coffees or Robusta and then blending them together. Blending per species can be done before roasting if the screen size is in conformity.

Mixing means simply mixing 2 types of coffee species.

It is to be noted that blending is an important factor in securing consistent quality, as the overall taste is not dependent on one type of coffee classification. Should crop quality vary, the taste of a blend is then affected minimally as other types of coffee will support the overall taste.

A blend is each roasters intellectual property and the more attention is paid to blending, the less are the chances of competition being able to copy taste profiles and the higher the product can be differentiated in the market.

Blending coffee after roasting is certainly a plus as the roaster can focus on getting the best out of each bean before finding the right balance of beans.

2. Grinding

This process is very simple, however needs great attention, as the ground size is an important factor for cup quality. The coffee is typically fed into a hub and out comes the ground coffee. The grinder can be adjusted to several sizes, from fine to coarse. Each brewing method has its own distinct particle size characteristics. Espresso is very fine to allow the pressurized water to penetrate in a way to extract most flavors and French press is the coarsest. Ground coffee should have 4% moisture and is hydroscopic, meaning it can easily take up moisture. This should be considered in countries where humidity is high.

3. Degassing

This process is necessary to prevent ballooning of packaging, as coffee releases CO2 up to 10 days after roasting. The degassing time is in relation to roasting time so the longer the roasting time, the shorter the degassing time. In larger roasting facilities, degassing usually takes place in a silo.

Degassing occurs fast after grinding as the gasses can be released around 35% quicker when the bean is broken down into particles. So for whole bean coffee blends the degassing time is higher.

4. Packaging

After degassing, the coffee is ready to be packed either whole bean or ground. Some roasters include one-way valve technology for whole bean coffee in order to save time with degassing. But not only that, the valve enables the CO2 to escape to the outside and stops oxygen entering inside of the packaging. Not only does the valve support the degassing process, it also keeps the coffee much fresher as it creates a semi-vacuum condition. Most producers pack coffee in pouches with rather thick material, using 105- 110 microns of 4 plastic layers to ensure freshness and to prevent creasing. Packaging is an important element of product presentation, hence an important part in marketing.

Your House Number Numerology Profoundly Influences All Aspects of Your Life

Are you planning to move house soon? Or relocating to a new city? Or hunting for an investment property? Are you undecided about which house to choose? Then let numerology be your guide. Your house, apartment or unit number interacts with the frequency of your own personal numerology to determine whether you live in harmony or discord. Your lifestyle and personality traits are affected by the vibrations set up by particular house numbers.

Love, relationships, health, money, happiness and general abundance aspects of your life are all impacted by your house number. The experiences you will have in your home can be predicted by your house number – the good, the bad and everything in between. While no one house number is best or worse, there are numbers you should try to avoid in a home address. House numbers can be interpreted and tell of opportunities and challenges as they relate to your personal life, be they in your personality or life path.

The numerological transformation of house numbers is straight forward. Indeed there are many online calculators and resources giving general numerological meanings of the nine base house numbers. However, the real skill lays in the psychic reading and interpretation of your house’s number. To transform your house or apartment number, take the individual digits and add them. Then keep repeating this process until you arrive at a single digit. This is then your house’s special number. For example, say your home number is 672. First add 6+7+2 to get 15. Then add 1+5 to get your base number of SIX. Often units and apartments have more than one number (for example Unit 272, Number 87 Happy Road). The more unique number is the most important, in our example, the unit number ‘272’ – but your numerologist will be interested in both.

Business and work place addresses work the same way as house and apartment numbers. Ask your numerologist to figure out your house number and also to look at your work place number for its meaning to build a more complete picture of your numerology.

Even though the mechanics of determining a dwelling’s base number are reasonably easy, it takes a gifted and well practiced numerologist to interpret this number and determine the interactions with your personal life stage numerology.

What happens if my numerologist doesn’t like my house number? Do I have to move? Well not necessarily, as with anything there are degrees of harmony between you and your house or apartment number. It is more a case of being aware of dissonance and compatibilities between your house and you. Your numerologist may recommend adding a complimentary number to the inside of your front door or letter box to modify the house’s base number and restore harmony.

Eventually, you will move into another phase of your life when the incompatibility will go away anyway. For example, if you are young, single and carefree you may be best suited to a house with a base number of THREE. Later, when you have settled and growing a young family you may be more interested in security which can be found in houses with a base number of FOUR.

Better still, if possible get you numerologist to examine your potential house street number before you buy or lease the house in the first place. If all else fails you can of course move house to find a more compatible house number, but this should be last resort. Bear in mind that some house numbers are harder to sell than others. Selling a FOUR house can sometimes be problematic. The natural extension of this last point is that house number numerology has a big impact on property investment. Also, if the house or unit is an investment property, you need to consider the impact of the numerology of the house number on the potential tenants. Are they going to be compatible with the dwelling and live there happily?

I hope you can see now that the number of where you live interacts with your own personal numerology to impact on the all aspects of you life. If you are looking for a new house to buy or apartment to rent then consider the numerological implications of the house, apartment or unit number. And don’t forget that even if you’re house numerology in not favorable – all is not lost. There are things an expert numerologist can recommend to neutralize and overcome the negative connotations of your house’s street number to reinstate harmony in the dwelling. While it is a simple arithmetic task to calculate your house’s base number, it takes a gifted and professional numerologist to decipher the interactions between your own personal numerology and that of your place of abode.

The Difference Between Plagiocephaly and Brachycephaly

Flat Head Syndrome is a name often used to describe plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, and less likely, scaphocephaly. These conditions are not the same however, and the way that they will affect your child’s appearance and development also vary. In this article, we’ll help you understand the differences between plagiocephaly and brachycephaly.

Positional plagiocephaly is a condition which results from a child frequently being placed to sleep on their backs, without repositioning of the skull. For example, if your son or daughter prefers to sleep with their head facing left or right and does not ever sleep facing the other direction they may be at risk of developing plagiocephaly. Of course, it can be difficult to understand how this differs from brachycephaly. Brachycephaly, however, often results from a child facing up while they sleep, and not ever facing left or right. Some children develop a mix of the two deformities, making diagnosis more difficult.

The primary means of differentiation and diagnosis of these two conditions is conducted using a series of skull measurements. For plagiocephaly, a relatively reliable measurement involves the use of a craniometer to determine the level of skull asymmetry present. Brachycephaly is measured using a different set of measurements called the cephalic index, or cephalic ratio. Unfortunately, the reliability of cephalic index measures has been widely questioned, and over ten different diagnostic measurements have been proposed since 1979.

Plagiocephaly is thought to potentially cause developmental delays including gross motor skills delays, or at least to be related to these delays in many cases. Brachycephaly that goes untreated has been tied to the presence of sleep apnea in recent years. Both conditions are thought to be related to TMJ, vision, and hearing problems when left untreated.

Children with lambdoid synostosis may be misdiagnosed as having positional plagiocephaly, since the two conditions appear similar externally. In positional plagiocephaly however, the cranial sutures have not closed early. The affected area of the skull takes on a flattened appearance, and surrounding bones and structures bend to accommodate the altered cranial form. Usually, this flat spot occurs on the side-rear of either the left or right of a baby’s skull. One ear may stick out, and your child’s facial features may change as a result of moderate to severe plagiocephaly. Many children with positional plagiocephaly also have muscular torticollis. The exact relationship between the two diagnoses may vary – in some cases muscular torticollis may be the cause of plagiocephaly, while in others it may result from the condition.

Positional brachycephaly differs from plagiocephaly due to the location on the skull which it affects. This condition causes a nearly symmetrical flattening of the rear of a child’s skull, often leading to an exaggerated height in the rear of the skull and perhaps to an altered forehead shape, as well. Your baby’s ears may stick out on both sides if he or she has brachycephaly, and their face may be wider than normal as well.

Plagiocephaly and brachycephaly can both be corrected. The primary techniques used to help a child regain normal head shape from these conditions include physical therapy and repositioning for minor cases, and the use of helmet or band therapy for more severe incidents of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. If your child has been diagnosed with either of these conditions, first ask the treating physician about the severity of their particular case, and then inquire about recommended treatment options. While the ramifications of these conditions in the long term are still unclear and there is debate as to what types of treatment are most effective, early intervention is crucial to therapeutic and orthotic success.

What’s the Difference Between DS3 and T3 Bandwidth?

Don’t be confused about the difference between DS3 and T3 circuits. These terms are really synonymous. Instead you should focus on what they can do for you…and the best scenarios for application.

Digital Signal (DS) is a system of classifying digital circuits according to the rate and format of the signal (DS) and the equipment providing the signals (T). DS and T designations have come to be used synonymously so that DS1 implies T1, and DS3 implies T3.

A DS3 line (also known as a T-3) is an ultra high-speed connection capable of transmitting data at rates up to 45 Mbps. A DS3 line is equal to approximately 672 regular voice-grade telephone lines, which is fast enough to transmit full-motion, real-time video, and very large databases over a busy network. A DS3 line is typically installed as a major networking artery for large corporations and universities with high-volume network traffic. Other example applications include large call centers, enterprise wide VoIP and IP PBX systems, Internet service providers, research labs, video conference centers and software development companies. A DS3 is the second fastest, non optical connection offered in North America. A DS3 line is comprised of 28 T1 lines, each operating at total signaling rate of 1.544 Mbps.

DS3 circuits provide businesses and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with up to 45 Mb/s of dedicated Internet connectivity. This is an ideal solution for users who have outgrown their T1 connections and are in search of unlimited, high-capacity access. A DS3 line actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64 Kb/s. DS3 lines are extremely high bandwidth connections into a carrier’s backbone. They typically include SLAs (Service Level Agreements) that guarantee uptime and performance.

The DS3 signal itself is composed of 28 DS1 signals and is constructed using a two-step multiplexing process. First, the 28 DS1 signals are multiplexed into seven DS2 signals. Second, the seven DS2 signals are multiplexed into one DS3 signal. Each multiplexing step uses bit stuffing to handle the different input frequencies. Overhead bits provide alignment, error checking, in-band communications, and bit stuffing control information.

Line rate: 44,736,000 b/s

Signals: 7 DS2 signals = 28 DS1 signals

Overhead bits:

56 bits total/frame

F-bits (framing) 28 bits/

M-bits (multiframing) 3 bits/

C-bits (stuffing) 21 bits

X-bits (message) 2 bits/

P-bits (parity) 2 bits/

Data bits between overhead bits 84

A DS3 connection is comprised up of two monthly charges: the local loop and the port charge. The local loop charge is the cost of the circuit provided by the Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) that allows DS3 access into the carrier’s network. The loop charge is based on the distance from the customer’s location to the edge of the carrier’s network; the farther the customer is from the network, the more the loop will cost. Nearly every carrier prices loops differently so it is in your best interest to price DS3 service with several providers to ensure that you get the best deal.

DS Internet Access is the ideal solution for businesses that require high-bandwidth access at a reduced price. Whether you host high-traffic Web sites, support Web hosting or need high-capacity bandwidth on an as-needed basis, there’s a level of DS3 service (Full or fractional) that will meet your needs. Fractional to full DS3 or T3 circuits run from speeds of 3 Mbps up to 45 Mbps.

For customers that require more bandwidth than a T1 line can provide but do not yet require the capacity of a full DS3 line, a fractional DS3 connection is the ideal solution. A fractional DS3 is similar to a full DS(T)3, only with some of the channels turned off. This reduces the total monthly cost and provides additional capacity that can be turned up in a matter of days. Unfortunately, the DS3 (T) loop is still required for this service.

If a full DS3 line is more bandwidth that you really need, it is also possible to get Fractional DS3, which gives you a portion of full DS3 bandwidth at a lower cost. Of course, DS3 is also available in multiples to increase bandwidth, similar to bonded T1 service.

DS3 service can be deployed for a wide verity of applications. The most common uses are DS3 point-to-point, DS3 internet, DS3 frame relay, DS3 voice and DS3 VPN. The pricing for these connections varies widely depending on the carrier, location of service and the application for which the connection is being used. Visit DS3 Bandwidth Solutions to obtain current “real time” rate quotes for your location.