Learn Digital Photography – Take Up the 365 Photo Challenge

I like to think of myself as an avid photographer but there are times when the creativity wanes and the inspiration dries up. The trigger finger stiffens from lack of use and generally I start to suffer from photographer's malaise. This is when auto-pilot needs to kick in and get me up and running again. How do I switch on the auto pilot? With the 365 Photo Challenge. A photo a day for a whole year.

A photo a day keeps the staleness away. Staleness and boredom with a hobby like photography is a killer and before you know it you're advertising your gear on eBay. I have found a simple way to keep the pot boiling on the stove. All my students know this one. It is simple and it's most certainly not time consuming.

There are two ways to approach this.

  1. The simple photo a day challenge. By this I mean that you allocate yourself a few minutes a day to shoot one image that you like or even dislike for that matter. Just shoot an image at some point during your day. Carrying your camera with you every day would help. Whatever you do make sure that you take one photo every day. Even if it is the clock on the wall before you go to bed. Of course it would help if you make your subjects different each day.
  2. The best photo of the day challenge. This is a variation of the challenge and gives you more leeway meaning that you shoot as many images as you want but that at the end of the day you will select the best one, the one with most meaning or just a random choice if they are all good.

In order to make this interesting you can add a touch of variety to it by choosing a theme or using a common thread. I know of a photographer who took a small beach ball with him where he went and this ball featured somewhere in every photograph. Choose something and add it as a common thread to all 365 days.

With the advent of Facebook, blogs and Flickr you can really make this interesting and even generate regular interest in your images. Change your Facebook profile every day replacing it with your daily 365 Challenge shot. People will eagerly login every day to see what photo you have loaded. Not only will this make you more enthusiastic but will generate an interest in your images. The same goes for your blog. Upload a daily image and makes some comments on it. This way you can keep a record of the how, when, why and who of each image. This could actually turn into a form of photo journal documenting your life over 365 days.

This could be the beginnings of a really fun experience and the bottom line is that you will keep your creativity, inspiration and enthusiasm alive and at the same time learning and entertaining others. If you can find a way to make your photography fun and inspiring it will never die and you will continuously shoot photos throughout the year.

One more tip before we go. It is great to sit down and write down ideas and thoughts about what you will do, what themes to shoot and how you will display the images, BUT, unless you get out there and 'just do it' you will get now. If you will run with the idea I can guarantee you that in 365 days time you will not believe the improvement and progress you've made as you learn digital photography. What the 365 photos show you is just how you have improved and they become your timeline of growth in creativity and skill.

How to Cook a Pig

In planning to cook a pig, you will need to decide how large a pig you need to buy. A good rule of thumb is to allow 2 pounds per person. This will yield approximately 1 pound of succulent, juicy meat per person. Actualible meat will yield about 40 to 50% of the delivered weight. The leftovers freeze very well.

You will need to find a grocery store or meat market that can provide a whole pig. Most suppliers will be able to provide you a pig in a couple of days. It's always best to line up your source several days ahead. Be certain you inform your supplier that you do not want it frozen. Also inform your supplier that you want the head, tail, and feet removed. That's only because some people are squeamish about the head.

While most suppliers will know what you are doing with a whole pig, it would be wise to ask your butcher to separate the shin and hip socket and split the spine and remove the spinal cord so you can lay the pig out flat.

PREPARATION (on how to cook a pig):

If you do not plan to cook your pig right away be sure you have a cooler large enough to keep the pig cool until you place it on your cooker. Now it's time to fire up your cooker. Preheat your cooker to 200 degrees. If you are cooking with charcoal you must be careful that you do not get the cooker too hot. Cooking with charcoal adds a wonderful flavor to the meat, however if you are a novice always remember, you can not damage the pig by too low a temperature, but you can ruin it by too high a temperature. The amount of charcoal density is not the same as cooking steaks. So, as a rule of thumb, if you are using charcoal, start out with 10-15 pounds of charcoal and add about 8-10 pounds per hour. Make certain that the temperature does not exceed 200 degrees during the first 3 hours.

You will receive the pig from your supplier with it split down the middle. Place the pig on the grill in a spread fashion with the skin side down. After a couple of hours increase the temperature to 225 to 250 degrees. Continue to cook the pig skin side up for approximately 6-7 hours. Cooking time will vary with the size of your pig. The following table should be used as a guideline. Note, that the hours shown includes total time including the last 1-2 hours skin side down.

60 to 100 pound 7 to 9 hours
100 to 120 pound 8 to 10 hours
120 -130 pound 9 to 11 hours

Most people prefer the smaller size pigs to cook. Do not allow the temperature of the cooker to exceed 250 degrees. If you are using a meat thermometer continue to cook until the internal temperature of the pig reaches 170 degrees.

The first 6 to 7 hours of cooking is with the belly side down. After this period of time flip the pig over with the skin side down for an additional 1 to 2 hours of cooking. Flipping the pig requires the efforts of at least two people. Before flipping make sure the meat is free of sticking to the grill.

Once you have the pig flipped with the skin side down you can now add your favorite sauce. Be very generous with your sauce and apply often during the remaining cook time. Do not cook longer than 2 hours with the pig on its back. You do not want to burn the skin but it should be crisp.

An easy test to determine if the pig is done, is to by stretching the foot with a towel and twist the leg bone. If the leg will rotate, then you are ready to eat.

Pregnancy Diet Plan For A Healthy Pregnancy

Diet plans for pregnant women are important in order for them to ensure the health of their unborn babies. And a healthy pregnancy diet plan requires the soon to be mummy follow a highly nutritious diet. A pregnant woman needs to have at least four servings of dairy products in order to provide the baby with vitamin D and calcium to promote bone growth. Pregnant women also need to eat lean meat, chicken and fish as proteins, DHA and EFA from these food items will support muscle and brain development. It is also important to top off the diet plan with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in order for the mother and her baby to get vital nutrients and vitamins that will help them both develop stronger immune systems.

But apart from considering the healthy food a pregnant woman needs to eat, she also needs to know what things she should avoid in order to maintain this healthy diet plan. First of all, you need to understand a pregnant woman’s diet plan is not the same diet plan a woman who wants to lose stomach fat follows. You should never deprive yourself of food, but you should not overeat either. Pregnant women who gain too much weight during the pregnancy will find delivering the baby to be more difficult. This is why it is very important for you to always check with your doctor to make sure you are keeping at your ideal pregnancy weight. It is also important to avoid not getting enough sleep or rest while you are pregnant.

Also, just because you are pregnant does not mean it is okay to eat whatever you want. One of the first things you need to do when you find out you are indeed expecting, is to ask your doctor what to eat during the pregnancy. Your doctor will be able to give you a list of the things you can and cannot eat and this is a list you should follow to the letter. While there is no problem indulging in ice cream or tacos every once in a while, you need to always remember that everything you are eating or putting in your body, your baby is also eating and ingesting. A part of a pregnant woman’s healthy diet plan is to always do regular exercises. These exercises actually need not be very extensive. Come to think of it, even taking short walks regularly can do a lot of help when the time comes to deliver the baby.

5 Keys to Really Good Copywriting

Copywriting is a fine art that can take years to perfect but here is everything you really need to keep in mind in less than 500 words.

1. It pays to have a bit of a folksy, down-home style to your writing. That's a very good thing! Using phrases like "chewing the fat" and "that's a head-smacker" is the exact opposite of corporate-speak so it will resonate with readers. They will not feel like you're selling to them.

2. Tell stories rather than trying to make a sales pitch. Make use of humor and the unexpected.

For example, I was at a networking event recently. A few days earlier I've severely cut my left forefinger. Several people not aware the very obvious bandage and asked about it. I answered by telling a true, but unexpected story of how it happened.

" It was a tragic oatmeal accident. " (Stunned silence.) " Seriously. I was cutting up dried fruit to put in my oatmeal and it fought back. Oatmeal is dangerous stuff.

That was as much as I told. The people I was talking to (your readers if you were writing that in a promo) can figure out for themselves what really happened.

3. They may also be left wondering how much truth, if any, is in your story. A little mystery is a good thing for building interest. In situations like that, the truth is unimportant in most instances. The purpose of copywriting is to elicit a response, not to educate or inform. (Although sometimes that's necessary in order to make the sale.)

4. It's also important to write to an audience of one. When you are speaking, say mingling at a conference or during happy hour, even if you are telling a story to a small group of eight or ten people, you tell it in a personal way. Not as if you were addressing an impersonal audience of thousands.

Write the same way!

5. It's a good thing to have a large vocabulary but do not feel compelled to trot it out for every paragraph you write. No one's going to consult the dictionary just to understand what you've written. They will simply toss it into the ol 'round file instead.

You are not writing to impress. In fact, your writing should be mostly invisible. Like the light switch on the wall.

When you walk into a room, you flick the switch without giving it a second thought. You do not think about all the parts in that switch or the route the electricity had to take in getting from the power plant to your light bulb. You flick the switch, you get light. End of story. Everything else just fades into the background.

Good copywriting should do the same.

Heat Treated Glass

Over the years use of glass has increased tremendously. Modern structural design considerations, aesthetic tastes, energy saving and comfort consciousness demands glasses having increased strength, safety and thermal performances. This situation demands increased use of heat treated glass.

The Principle of Heat Treatment

The basic objective of heat treatment process is to create an initial condition of surface and edge compression. This condition is achieved by first heating the glass, then cooling the surface quickly. These cases the center of the glass to be hotter than the surface. As the center cools it forces the surfaces and edges into compression. Therefore such glasses can be Brocken only after over this compressed extra surface.

The heat treated glass is fractured into small relatively harmless pieces by the tensile forces released from the glass center core and this phenomenon of breaking glass into small particle is called dicing.

The Process of Heat Treatment

Annealed float glass is cut into the required final size, the edges either seamed or polished and washed. There are two principle manufacturing method for heat treatment. One process heat treat it in a horizontal position while the second method moves the glass through the furnace in a vertical position with each light held by metal tongs. It is then heated to approximately 650 Degree Celsius. Upon withdrawal of hot glass from the tempering furnace, it is quickly cooled (quenched) by blowing carefully controlled air flow from fixed or reciprocating or rotating blast nozzles uniformly onto both surfaces of glass simultaneously. Higher airflow rates produce completely tempered glass having a surface compression of 700kg / m2 or more and an edge compression of 680 or more and much lower air flow rates produce heat reinforced glass having a surface compression between 250 to 700kg / m2 and an edge compression between 390 to 680 kg / m2 ..

Response of Glass Properties to Heat treatment

The color, solar properties, chemical compositions, hardness, specific gravity, coefficient of thermal expansion, softening point, thermal conductivity and stiffness remain unchanged after heat treatment. The only physical properties that changed are improved flexural and tensile strength, and improved resistance to thermal stress and thermal shock. Heat treatment changes the break pattern of glass. Fully tempered glass disintegrates into reliably small harmless pieces.

Type of Heat Treated Glass

Heat treated glass are classified into two types

1. Fully Tempered Glass

2. Heat Strengthened Glass

Fully Tempered Glass

Both fully tempered and Heat Strengthened glass is having the same heat treatment process and only difference is in the method of quenching. Higher airflow rates produce completely tempered glass.

Characteristics of fully tempered glass

Fully tempered glass is approximately 4 times stronger than the normal annealed glass and 6 times thermoplastic to that of annealed glass. It can be used up to a working temperature of 300Degree Celsius. Tempered glass is also able to resist temperature differences of 100 to 150 Degree Celsius which could cause annealed glass to crack. Typically breaks into small particles which are normally non-injurious and can be used as safety glass. It can be laminated with a suitable number of PVB interlayer. It can not be cut or drilled after tempering. Since tempering improves the structural property. Tempered glass is considered as a structural element and it can be used for frameless glass facades, doors and point support systems and also can be used with any type of windows and curtain walls.

Uses of Tempered Glass

Tempered is using widely in Construction Industry for windows, curtain walls, frameless structural glazing work, sky lights etc. were applications requiring increased strength and safety.

It also uses in automotive industry as side and rear windows in automobiles.

It is also find application in refrigerators, furniture, ovens, shelving etc.

Tempered glass should not be used were building codes require wired glass for fire resistance.

Heat Strengthened Glass

As described earlier low air flow rates at the time of quenching produce Heat Strengthened Glass.

Characteristics of Heat Strengthened Glass

Heat Strengthened one is approximately 2 times stronger than the normal annealed one and 2 times thermal resistant to that of annealed one. It can be used up to a working temperature of 150 Degree Celsius. It breaks into large pieces almost like annealed glasses and can not be used as safety glazing. It can be laminated with PVB interlayer. It can not be cut or drilled after tempering. Heat Strengthened glass is not a structural glass and must be glazed on all four edges in conventional or structural silicone Aluminum system. It is not suitable for frameless facades. It is ideal for use in high-rise buildings and towers projected to elevated wind load and temperature. Surface defects like optical distortion and bow etc are less than fully tempered. Nickel Sulphide inclusion is not considered as a significant source of fraction as in the cause of fully tempered.

Fake Gold Coins

If you’re collecting gold coins or investing in them, there is a good chance that sooner or later you will be introduced to a dubious specimen that you would wonder about whether it’s a real thing or a counterfeit. It’s not easy at all to recognize fake gold coins and you may not spot them at first (and probably even at last either), but you should know at least a few things that may help you not to fall into a trap.

The oldest way to check if the coin is real was simply biting it – please note, I don’t recommend doing it, but rather just mention it. You must have seen it in movies about old times, treasure hunters, and pirates. It may seem odd but in fact, there is a very rational explanation for it. Gold is very soft metal, comparing to some base metals, such as copper or bronze for example, and biting a real gold coin would leave some teeth marks or at least leave a feeling that it’s biteable. Again, I would not advise testing fake gold coins this way for two reasons: if it’s a fake, you may break your teeth, and if it’s a real thing, you may ruin it by biting (and possibly break your teeth anyway).

Another way to check if the coin is a fake is to listen how it jangles. Fake gold coins sound dull and boring according to people who have very good ears. Again, this test may rather be not always reliable and you would have to spend years listening to real and fake gold coins to learn how to tell them apart.

Nevertheless, jokes aside, the most reliable way to check if your coin is real, is to ask a professional. Get you coin to your local coin dealer and most likely he or she will have enough experience and appropriate equipment to check if your treasure is genuine. There’re several devices developed for this purposes, but they may be quite expensive, hence not always accessible or affordable for general public fiddling with gold coins.

There’re a few things again that you can try even if you have no access to or desire to communicate with your local coin dealer:

Check for the coin details. If you don’t have a real coin to compare with, find a photo online and compare very little detail of the original with the one you’re checking. Look at the space between letters, look at the size and number of elements – it may sound stupid, but counterfeiters do miss such simple things for some reason and they even do grammar mistake, especially when then do it in foreign languages, so check spelling as well.

Find a coin forum (CoinForum for example), become a member, and ask there – there’re plenty of real experts and they will help you or at least will give you some pointers. You can usually attach a link to a web page or put a photo of the coin in question.

Check the coin weight and size. If you don’t have a coin catalogue, you can almost always find these details online. Fake gold coins are usually lighter and sometimes even smaller in diameter.

Check the coin rim (edge). Fake gold coins sometimes are made in halves and then soldered or glued together and sometimes you can see a very thin (or not very thin) seam on the rim of a fake coin.

Dare your seller to make an “acid test” – gold is a noble metal so it will not react or dissolve in nitric or sulphur acid. Hmm, this one is a bit too extreme as if your coin is not 99.9% fine gold, which is quite common for real gold coins, the test will still damage the coin, so this one is for your information only.

Be very careful whom you’re buying from. Buying online is fine, but see where your seller is, check his or her feedback, and check that this feedback is for selling gold coins, not for buying 5c post cards.

A Rarely Used Strength Secret

Most trainers and strength coaches all over the world use a few strength building exercises, the squat, the dead lift, the power clean for over all body power. These are great strength builders, but how effective are they really? And do they promise all the hype of real strength building?

I will tell you there is a better way of building overall body strength that will transfer to all athletic sports and everyday life. It's an exercise that our bodies are made for. You do not need a lot of weight for a total over all body workout.

If you look and think how the body has been used for centuries you will see that some things modern day trainers look at as full body workouts are damaging to the body.

The squat is considered the "King of exercises" but how often do you really need to put 300lbs on or shoulder in real life and stand up? The fact is that if you ever did need to stand up with 300lbs the chances are you would fail. Why? Because, in the real world 300 lbs that you are lifting would never be balanced, it would be awkward and most men that could squat 300lbs would have a tough time standing up with 200 lbs on their shoulders.

Squatting is big in football, for instance a lineman is always coming out of a squat, there is more pushing than anything else. The pushing will require overall body strength and a big part is the core and not one of the 3 exercises I mentioned will strengthen the core to a point of real function.

Same goes with the dead lift, deadlift 400lbs now grab a 250lb rock and lift it up. The rock is a lot lighter but there is no nice bar to grab your body needs to call on muscle memory to lift something compact, awkward with a whole different body dynamic.

The power clean is another story, most people do not do it right. Most people are doing it like an explosive reverse curl. Olympic style weight lifters do this correctly most others do not.

The body does not know whether you are lifting sandbags, logs, weights, digging ditches or moving furniture it's all weight.

But the one thing you can do to build a functional strong body from head to toe is the simple method of carrying and carrying an unbalanced object for time or distance up hill and downhill. I say it will build strength from head to toe because carrying will strengthen the entire body and the core muscles that are required in all sports and in everything else that will need total body strength and the head meaning it takes mental toughness to carry a weight for time or a predetermined distance.

The great thing is a weight as little as 40 or 50lbs will enough for most men try carrying a 50lb sand bag, rock, log for a m mile or more switching the object from shoulder to shoulder. I like to use a 70 or 100lb heavy bag for walking hills and climbing steps and walking wooded trails. And if you want to build heavily muscled traps and shoulders try bearing and carrying and let me know how them shoulders and traps feel.

Shouldering and carrying an awkward object should be a big part of any strength training program. Balanced objects fool you into thinking you are stronger than you actually are. Just like bodyweight exercises that require more muscles to do pushups than it does to do bench presses.

Toughness Builds Winners

Facts About Chainsaws

Chainsaws have a variety of uses, and depending what someone needs one for will depend on the type of chainsaw that will provide the best option. While most of these motorized saws are used for jobs related to sawing wood, there are also models that have been specially made to cut concrete and others that are specially crafted for use in what is known as chainsaw art.

A chainsaw is nothing more than a portable mechanical saw. It can be powered in a number of ways, including hydraulic power, compressed air, or electricity. The most common power source is that of a two-stroke engine. Gasoline versions are the most common type of chainsaw that uses a two-stroke engine. They are lightweight and portable and are used for a number of different jobs.

There are many people who use this to cut wood for their fireplace. Many professionals and non-professionals also find they are useful in cutting down branches and trimming foliage. Tree experts use powerful chainsaws to cut down trees and also use them for things like pruning, limbing, and bucking. A chainsaw makes all of these tasks much easier than having to get the job done manually.

There are basically four main parts to a chainsaw. The first part is the engine, which is either electrical or a two-stroke gasoline engine. Next is the drive mechanism, which is usually a sprocket and a clutch. The guide bar features an edge slot that guides the cutting chain. The cutting chain features the teeth, which is the small sharp blades that are used to do the cutting. All four of these parts have been improved over the years, which has helped cut down on injuries and deaths related to the use of powerful saws. Some of the safety features made today include anti-vibration systems, chain brake systems, and better chain design.

The art of chainsaw carving has become more popular than ever, and the motorized saws that are available for this type of art have evolved into units that feature short, narrow-tipped bars that have been specially made for carving. These models are named based on the size of the tip. There are nickel tipped, dime tipped, and quarter tipped units that are now available for those who enjoy the art of chainsaw carving.

Chainsaws for cutting brick, concrete, and stone are traditionally less dangerous than those used for cutting wood. The cutting edges are embedded with diamond grit and are either gasoline or hydraulically driven. Due to the high friction and the need to remove stone-dust, water is used to lubricate the chain. This equipment is typically used by firemen, construction workers, and those who enjoy sculpting with stone.

Sexual Health: 3 Macrobiotic Home Remedies for Men

Are you looking for a way to bring passion back to the bedroom? It’s easier than you might think, when you have the macrobiotic secrets to creating healthy libido and sex drive.

A macrobiotic diet is a powerful tool for health, cleansing the entire body, strengthening the metabolism, restoring health and energy, and even boosting libido. But a macrobiotic lifestyle means more than just removing animal fats, dairy products, refined flour, and sugar from your diet. It can also include natural home remedies that strengthen the sexual and reproductive organs and improve sexual health, such as the following three libido boosters for men:

1. Ginger Compress on Kidneys

The kidneys control adrenal function, including your stress response, energy levels, and sexual vitality. A ginger compress on the kidneys breaks down stagnated fat and mucous. It also increases circulation by naturally opening the blood vessels and alkalinizes bodily fluids, bringing them back to a more balanced and healthier state. It’s easy to bring back the passion to your sex life with a simple ginger compress to strengthen the kidneys and adrenal glands.

1. Grate 5 ounces of fresh ginger and wrap the pulp in cheesecloth.

2. Bring a gallon of water to a boil.

3. Turn off heat. Add ginger “bag” to water, and allow ginger to steep 5 minutes.

4. Using rubber gloves, immerse an organic cotton towel in the ginger “tea” and wring it out.

5. Place the hot folded towel over the kidneys and cover it with another towel to maintain heat in the compress.

6. When the towel begins to feel cool, wet it again and replace.

7. Repeat the same procedure for 20 minutes.

To strengthen sex drive and libido, it’s best to use this ginger compress twice a week for one month.

2. Ume Sho Kuzu Tea

Ume Sho Kuzu Tea effectively strengthens the digestion and also restores overall energy and sexual vitality.

1. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of kuzu root starch in 2-3 tablespoons cold water.

2. Add an additional cup of cold water to the kuzu-water mixture.

3. Bring to boil over low flame, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.

4. When the opaque liquid turns translucent, add ½ to 1 whole umeboshi plum.

5. Reduce flame and add ½ teaspoon of shoyu soy sauce.

6. Stir and simmer 2-3 minutes.

7. Drink while hot.

Take Ume Sho Kuzu Tea every other day for three weeks.

3. Miso Soup

One bowl of miso soup daily helps dissolve fat and mucous in the reproductive organs, restores energy, and improves sex drive. Barley or brown rice miso neutralizes toxins, alkalinizes the blood, and provides beneficial bacteria for the intestines. You can prepare the soup with various vegetables like wakame seaweed, chopped carrots, onion, daikon, or shiitake mushrooms. Green leafy vegetables may be added when the soup is almost ready to serve. Prepare the soup in its simplest form by adding 1 teaspoon of barley miso to 1 cup of liquid.

Along with removing mucous-causing foods from your diet, these macrobiotic home remedies can help to improve overall health while boosting sexual energy and vitality.

Tips on How to Create Your Own Vacuum Cleaner

Things you will need:

* Empty Bottle or Jar
* Garden Hose
* Kitchen Sponge
* Silicone
* Fast Fill Electrical Air Pump (usually made for air mattresses)

Most people would think that a vacuum cleaner makes produces a vacuum. Actually, it pulls air in one end and releases it in the other end. It is the air pressure that causes the air to rush in to the unit to replace the released air. In the machine, there is a filter that keeps holds the dirt and allow the air to bypass. You can do an experiment by making your own vacuum! Or you make the cheapest vacuum by acquiring some parts. Here are the steps:

Step 1

Cut a long hose into two pieces, one is shorter than the other. The short hose will be connected to the bottle with pump and the longer hose will suck the dirt. Make sure that the length of the hose is enough to make the cleaning process faster.

Step 2

Mount the hose to the top of the bottle by cutting a hole on top. Glue one end of the shooter hose to the whole. Make sure that the whole will be covered up with the hose. The other end of the shorter hose will be connected to the air pump that will blow the air out.

Step 3

Setup a filter. Ensure that the bottle can withstand air pressure. You can use a plastic storage jar. Cut a hole in one side of the bottle. This will serve as the exhaust hole of the vacuum cleaner. The dust should be held inside the vacuum while the air passes out. You can use a kitchen sponge as the filter. Glue the sponge inside the bottle over the hole.

Step 4

Finish the connections. Attach one end of the longer hose using the silicone to the other hole in the air pump (the hole that sucks the air). Ensure that all connections are tightly sealed to avoid any air leakage. The sponge is the only open area, where the air will be blown out.

Now you have a complete system. Air and dirt go in the longer hose. Then it goes through the pump, and is blown through the toilet hose. The air and dirt ends up in the bottle. Air pressure builds up in the bottle and the air is pushed through the sponge, leaving the dirt behind.

Note: Everything will pass through the fast fill electrical pump. This is not its main purpose. It can not handle coins, nails, or other hard objects. This is the type of vacuum cleaner that will not last long, and it does not offer an easy way to empty the dirt out of the bottle container. This vacuum has limited usage. This is just an experiment on learning how a vacuum work and it can only get rid small amount of dust. If you want to have an efficient vacuum, there are numerous models available in the market.

Overcoming the Barriers to Adopting E-Billing/Invoicing

If you put the term “e-billing” into the Google search engine, almost 10 million results are returned and articles and items stretch back for over 10 years since people began talking about the topic in earnest. But adoption rates have been slow and very few companies have taken the plunge. When asked why, most companies say that there are too many barriers to overcome and they are therefore still waiting for better options. So what are these barriers and are there any ways in which to overcome them? When you analyse the most often mentioned obstacles or barriers, 5 seem to emerge as the most significant. Let’s look at each of these in turn:

1. Too many people don’t have or don’t use the Internet

While this was true 10 years ago and partially true even 5 years ago, it is largely not true today. Over 23 million people in the UK now have access to the Internet and over half of these have broad band access. Furthermore, 2 in every 3 adults in the age range 18-65 now log regularly into an Internet bank account to perform a variety of transactions. With ready access to on-line banking sites via smart phones, this number will quickly increase further.

2. Customers won’t like it

Customers are notoriously slow to accept change and will usually only do so if they have compelling reasons to do so. Almost 100% of possible customers famously rejected using ATM machines when it was introduced as a concept over 20 years ago, and yet there are now 60,000 of them in the UK (1 for every 1000 people in the population). In addition it has become the most popular and convenient way to not only get money but to perform other financial transactions. This turnaround was achieved with ATMs by making the whole experience simple or straightforward. Hence, the “trick” for e-billing adoption is to make it as easy as possible for customers to use it-this means that the approach should be user-friendly, fast (only a few clicks) convenient and safe-an issue we will look at next.

3. Accepting on-line payments is not safe or secure enough

This is a serious concern and one which is much discussed on Internet blogs and elsewhere (especially when people have bad experiences). Research suggests that 25% of people do not like using their credit cards on line as a result of safety and security concerns. However, apart from the 75% who clearly are, the credit card companies have done much to improve on-line systems in the last couple of years, with “3D-secure” technology being one of the most significant. In addition, good e-billing and payment sites do not require credit card detail storing and therefore provide an “instant pay” option. This allows customers to make a 3D-secure based credit or debit payment as many times as they like until they feel more comfortable to register (and even then, only do so at a site that provides a login/password/anti-login robot process).

4. It’s too disruptive to existing billing practices/processes

The entire billing and payment system can involve quite a lot of people and processes so its easy to feel that the effort to change can be quite time consuming at least and very disruptive in some cases. However, once again, it depends what solution you decide to bring in. Many full digital billing solutions (such as payswyft) operate as an adjunct payment channel to existing processes. The beauty of this approach is that an organisation can offer its customers a full ebilling experience without necessarily changing very much at all in the short term. Customers are merely told (on either their physical bill or on the company web site for example) that they can pay on-line and can do so easily. At a later stage, as people and processes are ready, the organisation can then more strongly incentivise the customer to use the on-line system and use the savings to fund process changes and the re-purposing of people’s time (as effort is saved on older practices).

5. The software integration is too difficult or complex

While occasionally true this is often an excuse to “leave things as they are” and in reality, once gain, really depends on what solution you decide to bring in. It is true that many software based solutions require quite a lot of work to integrate the e-billing software with the internal accounting system (which may be quite a difficult task at times). However, the best and easiest solution is to use a third-party portal (again such as PaySwyft) which allows invoices to be easily uploaded to the site (in bulk at one go) and then be paid by a variety of means in just a few clicks). Such sites allow API uploads straight from accounting software packages and will allow easy reconciliation back to receivable files (saving huge amounts of time and effort).

Summary

E-Billing and payment is the way of the future but many organisations feel that adopting it may take a lot of time and effort. However, as we have seen above, by adopting a full digital solution with a sophisticated third-party portal, the whole process can be made quite simple and involve very little time and effort. As a result, any organisation, no matter how small or large, could be e-billing successfully within just a few days of deciding to offer it (and be saving lots of time, hassle and money in doing so).

Prime That Pump! Part 1

Perseverance. Tenacity. Stick-to-it-iveness. Patience.
All these words are driving at the same thing: DO NOT GIVE UP.

Now I do not particularly like negative statements, so let me
reword this. Keep on keeping on. Hang in there. Keep on
truckin '. There, that's better, because you see, I want to
be your favorite cheerleader.

I want to point out to you what you're doing right so that
you can keep on doing more of it. I want to show you that
you already have the qualities you need to make it (and make
it big!) in a successful home business.

That's right! You already possess the "tools" that you need.
If you did not, you would not be reading this article! You
already have desire, vision and initiative. You want more
out of life, you see the possibilities for yourself, and you
are taking action.

I applaud you!

Now, my job as your self-appointed personal cheerleader is
to encourage you to keep on picking up those tools. I want
to entice you to fan the flames of your desire, sharpen your
vision and to keep taking regular action. I wish to show
you what to expect so that you do not go running away before
your dreams reach you.

How many of you out there have ever joined a gym or started
an exercise program? Well, starting a profitable home
business is a bit like starting an exercise program.

When you first start out, your enthusiasm is jumping,
expectations are high, visions of a beautiful body and
ripply muscles are dancing in your head, so it's off to the
gym you go. Desire, vision, action.

Now it's time to get down to business.

The muscles are out of shape, so you have to work up
gradually as your body learns to handle the extra usage.
There's a period of adaptation when the muscles seem to be
crying out, "Bad idea, Man!"

You're sore all over. You're feeling more tired than usual
because you're body is burning more energy than before, but
you're not getting any extra sleep to make up for it. And
what's worse, you're not seeing any results. In fact, you
look even flabbier than before!

What's wrong with this picture?

There is nothing wrong with this picture. It is part of the
PROCESS!

Body fat becomes flabbier before it is actually burned off
and converted to muscle. As you keep on working out, the
soreness soon goes away. Your stamina steadily improves.
Your body gets sleepy early because you're burning more
energy, so you get a little more sleep than usual. And you
keep on working out. Then comes that glorious day when you
start to see your results.

Ahhh, such a satisfying feeling.

See, you did it! Now, even if you did not stick with it for very
long, you witnessed the process. You are, in fact, capable of
producing the desired results. If you do not want to go the
distance, well, you will not get to where you want to go. It's as
simple as that. But do not tell yourself you do not have what it
takes. This is simply not true.

This gives you an idea of ​​what to expect when you start your
own business.

Just as your body fat becomes flabbier before it is actually
burned off and converted to muscle, your mind may need to
grapple with old negative, "flabby" thinking patterns while
it teaches how to convert those thoughts to a new, more
positive framework.

Mental work is very taxing, even more so than physical work.
Your brain might feel a little "sore" from the extra work-out,
and you might find yourself needing a little more sleep than
usual, at least for a while. Most people do not get enough
sleep as it is, so a little indulgence while you temporarily
"catch a few more zzzz" is probably a good idea.

Let's try another analogy. How many of you have ever had to
pump water from a well?

Starting a profitable home business is like priming a pump.
You feel thirsty and want something to drink, so you picture
a big jug of nice, cool water, and you head for the well.
Desire, vision, action.

When you first start to pump for water, you pump and you
pump, but nothing comes out. There is nothing wrong with
the pump. This, too, is part of the process. Knowing this,
you keep on pumping and pumping.

Finally, the water reaches the top of the well and it starts
to trickle out. Pretty soon, all you have to do is keep
applying slow, steady pressure, and the water just comes
gushing out!

It's like that with building a business, too.

Remember that we are ENTREPRENEURS, my friend. Pioneers,
if you will. We are not the 9 to 5 employees who do a straight,
mediocre exchange of time for money. In this business, 95%
of what we do will SEEM like wasted energy. This is an
illusion !!

ALL of our activity is part of the process, and it will pay off
handsomely if we just do not give up.

I know I've not provided you with any new earth-shattering
information. What I HAVE done is to remind you of things
that you already know but may have temporarily forgotten.

Also, I hope that I've given you an analogy that might just
be the one that "catches," the one that resonates with you,
the one that you can read call to mind in a moment of
need, and most especially, the one that will cause you to
keep putting one foot in front of the other and to keep on
keepin 'on! This is my fervent desire.

And the crowd roars,

"Prime that pump, Baby! Rah, rah, rah !!

Prime that pump, Baby! Sis, Boom, Bah !!! "

(Stay tuned for Part 2.)

History of Lean Manufacturing

In order to improve their position in the global market and have an extra edge over the products of the other Industrial countries, American Industrialists recognized the importance of lean manufacturing. In 1911, Henry Towne, the then president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, first spoke about it in his foreword of the book "Shop Management" by Frederick Winslow Taylor. However, he did not use the word "lean manufacturing" in the way it is used today but certainly meant and intended to use it the way it is implemented at present.

It was Henry Ford who finally developed and implemented the lean manufacturing system through his keen observations of the factors affecting productivity and profit levels, including the ways in which they can be improved and resolved. The whole idea of ​​lean manufacturing and its importance and effectiveness can be summed up in the words of Henry Ford when he speaks about waste in "My Life and Work", "I believe that the average farmer puts to a really useful purpose only about 5 % of the energy he expends- Not only is everything done by hand, but seldom is a given given a logical arrangement. of putting in a few lengths of pipe? "

Henry Ford initiated the "Design for Manufacture" concept. According to him, a manufacturer should study what all is absolutely relevant for any product and eliminate the useless part completely. This concept applies to any object, which is on its way to the shop floor, irrespective of its size and value. Whether a shoe or an airplane, the concept works in the same way. Ever since the concept, also called the assembly line, has been implemented, the focus of the Industrialists has changed to produce maximum results with least possible inventory.

Levinson is of the view that it is Ford's concept and its implementation that historically made America the richest Industrial power in the world. Ford's production chief, Charles Sorenson, said that the victory of the Second World War was rooted long back in the birth of the Ford Motor Company in 1908. Subsequently, Taiichi Onho adopted Ford's idea of ​​lean manufacturing system known as the Toyota Production System.

Home Improving while Budgeting

As we all know, budgeting and home improvement does not always go together but this article will give you information that could help improve your home and still save a little money.

Home improvement projects regularly scare people off, because many judge that they will pay thousands of dollars to alter one room, because they do not have the skills to do the job them self. They may also feel that the job is costly because supplies and tools are needed.

To the contrary, home improvement does not have to be costly at all. Of course, if you hire a subcontractor or contractor to do the job, you will pay a fortune, but if you have patience and the ability to read and stick to the directions, then you can renovate an whole room in your home for fewer than a hundred dollars. Of course, you will need to change and correlate materials.

Before starting the procedure of improving your home, you will need to system of funds and a schedule to get started. You will need to ponder various notions when considering and preparing home improvement. For example, do you plan to paint your home? Do you plan to tile your home? Do you want carpet in your home?

Going through the final part of this article, you will see just how important budgeting and home improvement can be done which will help save you money and improve your home.

Asking questions is part of analyzing and preparing for home improvement. One of the best tools to have when considering home improvement is calculating what you like and calculating what you want. When I improve my home the first thing I do is explore my mind searching for favorites and what excites and appeals to me. Thus, when I go to the home improvement warehouses, I already have in my brain what I am ready to purchase, therefore this relaxes my quest to improving my home.

If you are short of funds to improve your home, then setting up a financial plan will help you get what you want as well as put away some cash for a rainy day. You may even think about purchasing equipment and tools for home improvement at the companies that propose lower prices and/or purchases with no payments until a particular date. This notion will give you time to get your home better while putting away the currency to purchase the improvement equipment and tools.

Unfortunately, many people go for another home loan to enhance their home. Receiving loans from lenders regularly lead to debt, and home loans for improvement only leads to paying off your home twice. Thus, elude high interest rates and loan payments and learn to plan your finances to improve your home.

Let me give you a general view of what one area could cost you for repairs. Say you want to paint a specific room in your home. You will need plaster, sealers, primer, paints, paint thinners, scrapers, screwdriver, paint opening (often come with paint purchases), patches, paintbrushes, tray, and so forth. Now you may think this will cost you a lot of money to improve your home, but to the contrary, you are wrong.

The paint and tools will cost you the most, while the other items will be priced less; thus, primer, sealers and plaster be priced around fifteen dollars if you go to the correct store.

Paint thinners, trays, brushes and screwdriver will cost around fifteen dollars if you go to the right store. Thus, the patches should be purchased with a plaster kit, which will salvage you a few pennies. The paint will cost around twenty dollars per can, depending on the kind of paint purchased. Therefore, for around a hundred bucks you could alter a room in your home lacking hiring anybody to do the job providing you stick to the instructions.

What about the bathroom, can you alter the room on a financial plan? It depends on the range of the area, but if you are yearning to tile your bathroom and paint the walls you could get the job done for around a hundred bucks give or take. If you go to the correct home improvement store and know what you are doing, you could remodel a small bathroom or average bathroom for around fifty bucks.

Learning to create a financial plan and prepare for home improvements can help you to remodel your whole home (if the home is in good standings) for a few hundred dollars. Furthermore, completing the work yourself, you will recoup you thousands of dollars.

Having this budget and home improvement information handy will help you a great deal the next time you find yourself in need of it.

VW Performance Parts – Engine Upgrades

If you're like me you want your car to go faster. There are a few easy ways to get more "fast" out of your volkswagen. Depending on what type of VW you have the selection of parts available to you will vary wildly. There are a lot of people out there tuning their golf / GTI but obviously there are a lot fewer Toureg parts out there.

There is a large community of VW tuners out there and visiting the forums where these people hang out is a very good idea. They can give you an idea of ​​what to expect out of various aftermarket parts. If the part exists the chances are good that someone on these forums has tried it out and written about it. This may sound silly but a couple of the best things you can do to make sure your car is running its best is to get your car a tune up and an oil change. Adding performance parts to a car that is not already running its best is not going to be nearly as effective. Another important but overlooked thing is making sure your tires are properly inflated. This can improve the handling of your VW as well as ensure you're getting optimum gas mileage. Once these basic steps have been completed there's a few other things you can do to upgrade your ride.

Engine / Power Upgrades

1) Upgrade your intake . This can be as simple as making sure your current air filter is clean. The more air your engne can get the better it will run. The next easiest option is to install a high performance air filter that replaces the stock one. These provide better air flow which should increase engine power slightly. The next step after that would have to install a complete aftermarket take system. Cold Air Intakes draw cool air from outside the engine compartment rather than regular systems which suck in hot air from around your engine. Most of these systems are fairly easy to install and can be done yourself in a few hours or less. An aftermarket take can cost anywhere from $ 50 all the way up to $ 300.

2) Upgrade your headers : The headers and downpipe is where the exhaust first leaves your engine on its way towards the atmosphere. Higher performance headers allow more exhaust fumes to escape, which can give a dramatic increase to horsepower. Aftermarket header prices can range from a couple hundred dollars to well over $ 1000 depending on what type of vehicle you have and what brand you choose. One thing to look out for is that cheaper headers tend to have fitment issues (you can not get them to line up correctly for a simple bolt-on installation), and they may have resonance issues. Resonance is caused by the exhaust vibrating the metal and will create a noise that others most people. Headers can be installed yourself if you're experienced enough.

3) Catback exhaust : These exhaust systems start where the headers end. They connect to the Catalic converter and replace the entire exhaust system to the back of the car. Depending on how free streaming the stock exhaust is on your car this may be one of the last upgrades you choose to do. These exhaust systems are not cheap and may require welding and / or professional installation. They usually give your car a higher performance sound over the stock setup. It is also possible to just replace the mufflers if all you care about is the sound.

4) Tires . Probably the most overlooked performance enhancement you can do for your car is to replace the tires. Adding lots of engine power will not do you any good if you can not get that power to the pavement. Replacing your tires with a wider tire or tires with a stickier compound will help you get more transaction. Choosing tires is typically a compromise between Performance, Ride Comfort, and Tread Life. High performance tires do not last as long as regular ones. High performance tires can cost quite a bit of money too.

5) Underdrive Pulleys . You can reclaim some lost power from your engine by installing a lightweight crank pulley. These are made of aluminum and tend to weigh several times less than the stock ones they replace. Underdrive pulleys are slightly smaller than the stock ones, which means they turn the accessories they operate at a slightly lower speed. This is not a problem for most people unless they have a huge stereo system. These pulleys are usually less than a couple hundred dollars, and can be installed yourself. You will need a breaker bar to get the old one off, and a serious torque wrench to attach the new one. The last thing you want is the pulley coming off while you're driving down the freeway!

6) Turbochargers . If you have lots of money and are serious about upgrading your car a turbo kit might be what you need. Turbos use the exhaust from your engine to spin a turbine, which forces air into your engine. This pressurizes the air and improves horsepower dramatically. These are not very likely to be something you would install yourself. They also may require other configurations to your car, so the cost is out of reach for most people.

I hope you've learned some of the basics of how you can upgrade your VW to get better performance out of it. Just remember to do your research before making a purchase, as there are a lot of products out there trying to scam people like us.