History of Construction in the United States

The Empire State Building, the White House, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the United States Capitol – all have one thing in common (except for the obvious fact that they are all situated in the USA): they all testify to the rich history of architecture of the USA.

The architectural timeline of the USA can be divided into 5 different periods viz.

* The Colonial period (1607-1830)

* The Federal Age (1789-1865)

* Victorian Era (1837-1914)

* Arts and Crafts (1860-1920)

* Modernism (1920 and beyond)

In the 1600s, USA was mainly occupied by immigrants from Europe who settled in various parts of the country. Thus, the buildings built by them mainly constitute the architectural timeline of this period. Early colonial architecture varied considerably from region to region, based on the nationality of the settlers. What is now commonly called as folk architecture is normally a direct effect of uncomplicated motifs of the homelands of the builders finding their way into the architecture. Important constructions of this era incorporate Virginia state capitol (one of the leading examples of Georgian architecture) and Pennsylvania state house.

Federal constructions were a usual find in the post colonial era, from the creation of the US constitution to the starting of civil war. Federal architecture predominated government buildings and was heavily found in American settlements (mainly New England).

Federal period architecture is generally based on the English form of architecture. However, a renewal of Greek forms is also noticed, signifying the architectural freedom of America from the European heritage. With the commencement of the Civil War however, the acceptance of the Federal form died down. The United States Capitol was built in this duration.

In 1837, Queen Victoria started her command in United Kingdom. The early decades of the Victorian era witnessed the enlargement of the industrial revolution. Mass production began to set in, thus lowering the price of materials and handling time. Houses started to shift out of their squarish shapes and box like structures, paving the way for more complicated floor structures and confused architecture. As the luxury of American cities spread, a widespread demand for a today’s (according to timelicurrent (according to current (according to timeline) shape of architecture was noticed. This led to a widespread tradition of the Victorian form of architecture. However, inception of World War 1 in 1918 marked the ending of this period.

However the increasing industrialization of the Victorian age had a frequent feedback as well. People started returning to craftsmanship, instead of heavily relying on machinery. Spanning the whole of Victorian age and going beyond the World War, the age of Arts and craft was a notable duration throughout the whole world. America was no exclusion.

Modernism in American architecture is simple, and notional. Going beyond the 1920s and more, modernism is heavily influenced by futuristic designs. With examples of giant skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center, modernism has given America the pet name of the melting pot. The roots of the background is expressed, while a substantial move towards more futuristic designs is maintained, signifying the fact that variation is absolute.

Understanding How Soundproof Window Treatments Work

Having soundproof window treatments installed is popular for both residential and commercial spaces. The benefits of soundproofing home and office windows and doors range from noise level reduction to safety and security. This is why more and more people choose to have soundproofing done instead of having their original windows replaced. But how exactly does soundproofing window treatments work?

What is it made of?

To better understand how these type of windows work, let us take a quick look at their composition. Soundproof window treatments are composed of PVC track systems, aluminum frames, and a tough and hardened acoustic laminated plate glass. The last component is actually three layers where a plastic sheet is sandwiched between the two sheets of hardened, toughened plate glass.

Why use sandwiched plastic with glass?

Glass, on its own, cannot be completely soundproof. Making it thicker will not stop sound waves from going through the glass. Standing alone, glass used in houses magnify and project vibrations (or noise) and are not invincible against cracking or breaking. To make soundproof glass, plastic acts as a seal that keep two layers of glass together. The PVC plastic is the material that laminates the glass so that it becomes stronger in nature. Think of an ordinary wine glass. Hitting it will produce a ringing sound, but see what happens when you put your hand around it. It no longer makes a sound. The plastic in between the glass layers in windows that are soundproof acts like your hand.

Where are soundproof window treatments used?

They are installed in front of the interior side of your original windows. An original window’s designs will not be changed or altered by the soundproof window. These windows are often used in homes and offices that are located in areas with high levels of noise caused by automobile and people traffic, airport sound waves, and industrial sounds.

Why are soundproof window treatments considered barriers?

Because of the strength of soundproof glass treatments and the way they are installed with a dead air cavity right in front of your existing window, the total structure of both home fixtures forms a protective layer for your house. It is a barrier because when sound waves enter the original glass window, the laminated glass traps the noise in the air cavity, so the sound waves are stopped before they can enter your house. But soundproof window treatments do not just stop sound waves, they also minimize heat transfer and air flow so your house will reduce its heat loss and its heat gain. Eliminate 99% of UV rays and hot and cold drafts.

Soundproof windows will not only give you peace and quiet, but they also make great energy-saving fixtures for any home and office space.

What Made Nationalism in Thailand Different From That in Most Other Southeast Asian Countries?

Nationalism is a term that connotes two phenomena: one is the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their national identity and the second is reflected in the actions that citizens of a country have when seeking to achieve self-determination. So, one has to look for these two factors if in order to determine the presence of nationalism in a person or in the members of a nation.

Let us take the definition of these two factors for a better understanding. National identity is the depiction of a country as a whole, encompassing its culture, traditions, language, and politics. On the other hand, self-determination is defined as the process by which a group of people, usually possessing a certain degree of national consciousness, form their own state and chooses their own government. As a political principle, the idea of self-determination evolved at first as a by-product of the doctrine of nationalism.

Thailand has built up its principle of nationalism different than in most other Asian countries. But what could be the reasons behind its people’s strong nationalism? Is it simply from the fact that they were not occupied by Europeans in the past unlike their neighboring countries? Or perhaps, looking at a different perspective, it is due to their rich cultural heritage and effective rulers?

The Effect of Colonization to Nationalism

The colonization of many Asian countries during the past has resulted in its mix of culture. On common occasions, the culture of the colonizer dominated the one that the subjugated nation used to have. This overlapping of cultures has resulted to either the original one’s complete loss, or it simply becoming a sub-culture. Take for example the country of the Republic of the Philippines, which is among the neighbors of Thailand in Asia.

The Philippines was colonized by various superpowers in various periods, namely the Europeans and Americans. It was initially taken over by Spain who introduced Christianity in its various regions. Then the Americans arrived, who westernized many of its ways through its introduction of the American – based system of education. Both these strategies worked in imbuing their cultures and traditions to the Filipinos. To date, the Philippines has around four-fifths of its population who are practicing Roman Catholicism. On the other hand, the traces of the American-based system of education are still very evident today. The English medium of instruction in schools, has also catapulted this country as the third largest English-speaking country in the world.

Basing from the experience of the Philippines, colonization can really affect the factors that make up nationalism. Its culture now has strong traces of Roman Catholicism, while the English language appears to be more preferred in schools due to its status as one of the international languages.

In the case of Thailand, it was never colonized by Europeans even during the Colonial Era. So, somehow, the undisturbed rule of its people and their preservation of their way of life contributed to their strong nationalism, which is unlike its neighboring countries that underwent a series of transitions in culture due to colonization such as the Philippines. The lack of widespread of foreign practices and foreign languages also help in the preservation of its own.

The way that nationalism was imbued in Thailand is very much different from its Asian counterparts. Let us take for example the Philippines again where nationalism was sparked by the injustices and unequal treatment of the ruling Spaniards to the Filipino people. People like Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Juan Luna, and other national heroes rose to the occasion. They were able to help the people regain their sense of pride and nationalism through literature and other publications exposing the misdeeds of the colonizers.

Based from this example of the Philippines, loss or gain of nationalism can either be a result of colonization. The loss of its factors can be caused by the total acceptance of a colonized territory of the ways of its foreign occupants. On the other hand, oppression or inequalities can be a fuse that could spark the flame to renew it. Lacquer pointed out that nationalism in colonized Asian countries like the Philippines, India, China, Japan, and the rest, came as a result being subdued by foreign powers and for the need of independence. Self-determination as discussed in the earlier part of this write-up is the need to be independent, for the people to decide for their own government. Thus, this supports the idea that nationalism can sprout also due to colonization.

In the case of Thailand, its nationalism was a by-product of its need for self-preservation or its need to protect its common people’s interests during the Colonial Era. The only struggle is within its system, wherein it saw a series of regime changes from the 12th century up to the overthrowing of the system of monarchy, and the monarchy’s eventual preservation.

Thailand may not have been directly colonized, but its European contemporaries during the Colonial Era have maintained control over the external affairs of this country. Hence, this makes it indirectly under the power of the powerful nations controlling their trade and other external privileges. Even though this may have threatened and subjugated them in terms of their management of external affairs, it did not affect them in terms of their nationalism because of the strong hold and effective policies of their rulers during that time.

The Effect of the Rich Cultural Heritage of Thailand to Nationalism

This country has been inhabited by people during prehistoric times, probably around the Palaeolithic era, about 20,000 years ago. The oldest materials, which were unearthed by archaeologists in the Khorat Plateau of the country, dates back from 3,000 B.C to around 4,000 B.C. Then, the first documentation of the existence of the Tai, the people of Thailand, dates back to the 12th century A.D. It is written in the Khmer temple complex of the famous ancient site called the Angkor Watt. They were referred there as Syam or “the dark brown people”, and later on, this evolved into the modern term, “Siam”.

History is important in molding nationalism to the citizens of a country. The colorful past of Thailand, having been in existence as a society since time immemorial, makes its citizens truly proud to be where they are right now. It is further strengthened by the presence of available historical data and structures that reflect the grandeur of their land in the past. Even King Rama VI saw the importance of this during his rule in order to establish a national identity, which we will tackle on the next section of this document.

The Contributions of King Rama VI in Instilling the Sense of Nationalism to the People

When one talks of the Thais’ utter sense of nationalism, one cannot dismiss the contributions made by King Vajiravudh or King Rama VI. This is because he was able to instill nationalism not only in the way that the common Thais act or speak, but he was able to build their nationalism in a spiritual sense. When King Rama VI assumed his position, he understood that national unity cannot be achieved just by uniting the ruling parties of the nation as his father believed it to be. From his point of view, this can only be achieved when people share a common physical and spiritual interests as well as aspirations. So, he devised a way to unite the common people in order to bind the people in spirit. For him, a cohesive spirit shared by the commoners was the only way to achieve modernization and to protect the country’s interests.

King Rama VI started his plan to build the peoples’ spirit of nationalism by looking at the rich heritage of his country. According to him, letting the people appreciate the wealthy heritage of their nation will impart the feeling of pride and belongingness.

However, the road to achieving Rama VI’s vision was a long one. It was met with a backlash from his own military due to its ineffectiveness at first (Schrichandra and Poonvivatana). Alarmed by this event, Rama VI included nationalism in his policy, to maintain control of his countrymen especially his military corps. This made the people adopt it in a forcible way. Then later on, he managed to release a lot of literary works aimed for the masses in order to enhance their knowledge about their Thai heritage which is a source of pride and nationalism.

Conclusion

Thailand, being a country not colonized by Europeans may have contributed to their strong sense of pride and nationalism. This is because it never disrupted their way of exercising their cultures and traditions, which effectively preserved their national identity.

Other Asian countries only recognized their need for a national identity and self-determination during times of oppression by their colonizers. But in the case of Thailand, the internal struggles in its system due to the needs of the masses became a reason to spark nationalism.

The thousand year old historical pride of the Thai’s plus its available ancient structures also contributed to their strong sense of nationalism because of its effect in establishing the people’s national identity. Without extensively knowing their identity, nationalism cannot be instilled as what Rama VI believed.

Lastly, the strong love of the Thais for their country can be attributed to the efforts of its rulers to strengthen it through effective policies, modernization, literature, and sometimes, using military force. The most notable ruler who has exercised all his power to spark nationalism to the people is King Vajiravudh or King Rama VI. Although his ways may not have been able to meet a hundred percent acceptance from everyone, it surely produced a significant result. So up to now, when one thinks of the strong nationalism of this country, it is hard not to think about him. His words still resonate on the popular slogans and literature about nationalism up to the present day.

Advantages of Mechanically Attached Roofing Systems – TPO-PVC Systems

Mechanically attached roofing systems are systems such as TPO Roofs and PVC roofs. These mechanically attached roofing systems are installed to low slope roof decks with fasteners and plates that are screwed in through the lap of the membrane.

The most important fact is having a good clean roof substrate, is keeping any loose debris clear of the membrane before installation.

The advantages of the mechanically fastened systems are that less mechanical attachment of insulation vs. fully adhered roofing systems. A smaller crew is possible, and not quite as a labor intensive as other single plies systems.

Virtually no waste as all the discarded sheet goods can be utilized on the mechanically attached roofing system. The bonding adhesives in the field areas can be eliminated from use. The lightest weight of any installed thermoplastic system, the mechanically fastened system has a reflectivity of white sheet vs. rock or paver ballasted systems. Minimal installation equipment is needed for the attachment of the mechanical systems.

Half sheets are only required with the mechanically attached systems, T-joints are required on all 60 and 80 mil TPO and only 80 mil on the PVC. If the roof you are working on backs up or butts into a higher building, you don’t need half sheets at that particular wall. If installing a fully adhered system, there is no need for the fasteners at a change of plane detail. The fasteners are required for all the mechanically attached and ballasted systems. All the valleys in all Everguard systems must be adhered to the roofing system itself.

Material Handling

Material handling is the science of movement, handling and storage of material during transportation. People can move material by lifting the items directly or use handcarts, slings, and other handling accessories. Material can also be moved using machines such as cranes and forklifts. These are generally used when heavy materials need to be moved.

Material handling requires systematic recording, critical review and overseeing of all related activities to eliminate as many unnecessary movements as possible. It is a primary activity in all industries and involves numerous people and specialized material handling equipment.

Different types of material handling processes are required at different locations. Cranes are used at docks, trucks are used to transport factory products and conveyor belts are used at airports. The main objectives of material handling are to prevent damage and improve productivity. If one sees long queues at supply and dispatch areas or if one receives goods in a damaged condition or at a date much later than the expected date of delivery, it's definitely a case of bad material handling.

The two main factors that affect material handling are related to engineering and economics. The nature of the material to be handled and the material handling equipment are the factors related to engineering. The cost of handling the material and the equipment used are related to economics. During the last few decades, handling of material has become highly automated. Computers are being widely used to systematize material handling.

Generally, material handling is considered an important activity along all the links of the supply chain, which include production, distribution, storage and retail. Minimizing the complexity of handling operations can increase productivity and cut costs.

How to Create a Reverse Painting on Glass

Introduction:

Glass is a non-absorbent painting support which does not allow paint to easily adhere to it – apart from through the paint’s own drying process.

For this reason the outlines of a subject painted on glass need to be simplified when applied to an extremely smooth glass surface. Simplifying a subject does not necessarily detract from the end result after the painting is completed and the final result can often have an appearance similar to that of naive art in relation to composition and form and a certain number of other details. Many artists may find that such simplification can actually be very appealing.

Working the paint or changing outlines without smudging the surrounding areas of undried paint may require some concentration in the beginning, as well as a certain amount of skill, but with patience and the development of their skills using this painting technique, artists will find that applying and mastering the use of glass as a support will become easier as time progresses.

MATERIALS REQUIRED FOR PAINTING ON GLASS

Glass

Choose clear unflawed glass (or plexiglass) in the shape and size you wish to use. In order to begin mastering the technique of reverse painting it is advised to choose smaller sizes to begin with.

Paints

It is important to use a paint that will adhere properly to the surface of the glass. Oil based paints or acrylics are often used for this reason.There are also opaque and transparent ceramic artist colours that have been especially manufactured for using on a non-absorbent surface. Metallic colours (eg. gold, silver or copper) can also be interesting to work with. There are an increasing number of new art products available today that may be suitable for painting on a non-absorbent surface such as glass.

Paintbrushes

To begin choose a selection of small or medium-sized paintbrushes with fine, flat and pointed tips. Larger brushes can be used for working on a larger scale. Artists can also use less conventional tools for applying paint if they wish, depending on the effects obtained through experimentation that may interest them.

A penholder

Used for outlines (if required) and finer details. It can be an advantage to use interchangeable nibs suitable for creating both thick and thin outlines.

Ink for creating outlines on glass

The inks used need to be suitable for applying to a non-absorbent surface such as glass. As an alternative paint can also be thinned down into a more liquid form and used for creating outlines in which case attention must be given to to creating the right mixture of fluidity and thickness.

A painting palette or something similar to mix your paint on.

A palette knife -(optional) for mixing paint.

Artists paint cleaner or thinner – used for cleaning or sometimes for thinning, and depending on whether oil based or water-based paints are used.

A paint-drying agent – (optional) For mixing with paints to help speed up the drying process

Paper towelling or some clean rags

A mirror – (optional) can be used to check the progress of your painting while you are continuing to work. Place the mirror in a position where it will reflect your artwork from its viewing side.

Cellotape – or a similar average-width sticking tape

An easel – (optional) to prop your work on

A glass-cleaning product

PREPARING THE GLASS

Choose a piece of clear glass in the dimensions you would like to work with and check carefully to make sure the glass is neither scratched nor flawed. It is worthwhile remembering that a flaw in the glass itself will often detract from the finished appearance of a painting and may be impossible to remove after the completion of your artwork.

The sheet of glass that is to become your artwork constitutes the following:

(1) The ‘painting side’ – which is the side you will be painting on.

(2) The ‘viewing side’ – which is the side you will be looking at (or through) as you progress with your work and after it has been completed.

To render the cutting edges of the glass safe take a length of cellotape that will correspond to the length of one edge. Apply it carefully along that length (ideally so that it is folded equally over each side of the glass).

Repeat this procedure for the other 3 glass edges. The edge of the cellotape will also help mark the outer limits of your artwork.

Clean the surface of the glass thoroughly with a glass-cleaning product. Use paper towelling or any cleaning material that will not leave dust or threads on your painting surface.

Store the glass where it will be safe. If placed between sheets of newspaper it will be protected from scratches and dust.

CREATING OUTLINES

Art products in liquid form that are suitable for creating outlines on glass may be readily available in some countries. Oil-based paint,water-based acrylic and ceramic paint can also be used for this purpose.In order to create fine lines these paints must sometimes be thinned down in order to use with a pen nib or similar line-drawing tool.

To prevent lines from being effaced too easily you can use a paint that is oil based for creating the outlines of your subject if the paint you will be applying over the top of it (after it has properly dried) is water based. Reverse this procedure if your outlines are created with a water-based paint.

Always use a liquid paint product that will provide the best adhesion possible to a glass surface.

Due to pen nibs clogging relatively easily, attention must be paid to cleaning the nibs regularly.

OUTLINE METHODS

Method 1.

If you have a steady hand you can use a freehand method for applying outlines directly onto the surface of the glass.

Method 2.

Use an original subject for your painting (e.g. a drawing) and place this under the glass then copy it onto the glass surface.

Method 3.

Place a layer of carbon-paper on top of the glass then place your drawing on top of the carbon paper and with a pointed object trace the subject onto the glass. Be careful not to damage your original image (the image being copied) when using a pointed object.

Method 4.

A tracing table can be used for creating outlines. This is a table with a sheet of clear glass inserted into the top and with an electric light source situated beneath it. For those who frequently need to trace their work a tracing table can be very practical and useful.

Method 5.

You can omit outlines altogether.

APPLYING THE PAINT

Most artists have a preference for how to work when creating an artwork. Once it has been decided whether to work on a table or use a table-easel or a standing easel, it will be necessary to view the artwork regularly from its observation side in order to see its progress.

Some artists simply take the glass in their hands and turn it around to look at it directly from the observation side. Others prefer to use a mirror placed directly opposite their working area so that they can observe their progress while they paint.

Mixing and blending

If you are blending colours always do so on a palette or similar flat object before applying them to the glass. If colours are not well blended or mixed the result will be a streaky appearance in the paint on the observation side of the glass.

Avoiding smudges

When creating a reverse painting on glass it is important to watch out for smudges or particles of dirt or dust that may accidentally be transferred onto unpainted areas of your artwork as you are progressing. Unless removed these may appear as flaws that will show when viewing the artwork from its observation side. If they are also inadvertently covered with a layer of paint removing them afterwards may become very messy and difficult. When lifting off any smudges always be careful not to damage outlines or other areas of paint you have already applied.

Applying the paint

Once the outlines of your subject have thoroughly dried you can begin to apply paint to fill in the remainder of your artwork. Begin with the smallest and most detailed or intricate areas first e.g. eyes, faces, small figures or objects etc – and always keep in mind that your artwork will be observed from the opposite side to the one your painting on and that you are painting in reverse and that therefore foregrounds precede backgrounds.

When applying the reverse painting method it is a good policy to reflect carefully on the sequence in which your painting will develop before beginning to apply your paint. This will create a methodical attitude that is essential for this particularly interesting but also intricate painting technique.

Wishing you many pleasant hours of reverse painting!

10 Entry Level Jobs on Oil Rigs That Need No Experience

If you are willing to face a certain amount of physical danger to earn more money, you should look at no experience jobs on oil rigs. There are few places where someone without a college education can make $50,000 a year. In fact, jobs in the oil industry have some of the highest salaries in the world, easily comparable to the sin industries of tobacco and alcohol. Here is a short list of the work available on an offshore oil rig where you can get paid the big bucks to do honest, hard, sweaty labor.

1. Roustabouts

A roustabout provides general labor, doing almost everything on board the oil rig. He is the muscle, cleaning and painting the oil rig, and carrying, storing, setting up various pieces of equipment. On more complicated jobs, for example, when carrying out certain tasks on the drill floor, he will work under the supervision of the roughneck. If you play computer strategy games, the roustabout is basically guy who does all the basic work like the peon, peasant, drone, probe, SCV and what not. For all his sweat and hard work, he takes home $45,000 to $55,000 a year, better than many white collar jobs.

2. Steward

If you have ever worked in the hospitality industry, you will know all about this job. For those who are unfamiliar, the typical duties include helping out in the kitchen, doing the laundry and cleaning the accommodations. The only difference is that you will be working on board an offshore oil instead of a hotel or cruise ship. For facing the risk of the oil platform exploding, the salary goes up to $45,000 per year.

3. Rig Welder

A skilled welder in the dying manufacturing industry can easily make the transition to rig welder. Due to government regulations, rig welders need trade certification (CITB for the United Kingdom, AWS for the United States). For daring to work on top of the ocean instead of on dry land, the welder doubles his salary from $30,000 on dry land to $60,000 on the offshore platform.

4. Scaffolders

Like a scaffolder in the construction industry, a scaffolder on board an offshore oil rig works in high places. Some companies need their scaffolders to be certified, others do not. Even compared to other oil rig jobs, this is considered rather dangerous. That is why he is paid an extra $10,000 more than the roustabout.

5. Radio Operator

Obvious from the description. Easy and boring, but critical, which explains the $60,000 salary.

6. Medic

Again, no description needed. Most medics are ex-nurses. Salary is around $70,000.

7. Storeman

Same duties as a storeman on dry land, but gets a higher salary of $60,000.

8. Painter

If you painted tall apartment buildings for a living, you should think about switching over to an offshore oil platform. There is slightly more risk, but you also get a lot more pay. Salary: $58,000.

9. Motorman

Basically the junior mechanic, maintaining and repairing the machines. For an increased salary (compared to a normal mechanic on land) of $58,000, sometimes has to do repairs in high places while suspended from a crane.

10. Electrician

In charge of making sure all the electrical equipment works (even the light bulbs). Unlike a normal electrician, needs to have a head for heights – some of the work will be done while hanging from a crane. Salary: $65,000.

These are the 10 entry level jobs on oil rigs which do not need prior experience on an oil rig and do not need a college degree. The roustabouts and stewards do not need any kind of trade certification. The other positions may need a trade certification.

Can I Wear Shearling Coats in All Types of Weather?

Among the variety of benefits that are offered by owning a shearling coat, including fashion sense and price, shearling coats are also perfectly suited for all types of weather. Unlike most other types of coats and jackets made from animal skin, these coats possess all of the qualities that allow them to be worn in most types of cooler weather, from cool to very cold. It is for these reasons that shearling coats are considered a “best buy” among consumers.

Like other garments made from animal skin, a shearling coat’s primary function is keeping the wearer warm during the colder months – while looking great at the same time. But because shearling coats are made from sheepskin, they are thinner and lighter than other garments made of fur and can be worn comfortably in relatively warmer temperatures.

How is this possible? Shearling coats and jackets contain insulated lining and are able to “breathe,” meaning they allow some interchange between the air inside and outside the jacket. This means that in either warm or cold temperatures the coats don’t allow the temperature inside the jacket go too far into one extreme or the other. In colder temperatures, the temperature inside the coat or jacket is warm, but not hot or stifling; and in warmer temperatures, the material allows some air-flow to keep the wearer cool.

You can tell which type of coat it suited for the varying weather conditions by the length of the coat. Jackets and cats that extended to the waist are intended to be worn during the temperatures that can range from cold to warm, generally between 50 and 70 degrees. The longer the coat is, the colder the weather it is intended for.

Of course, where you live will influence what style of coat you will need. The higher the latitude (i.e., the further north you are if above the equator, the further south you are if below the equator), the colder the winter months. That means the need for warmer coats. Be sure to buy a coat that matches the weather conditions of your area; otherwise you’ll be either too hot, or to cold in your shearling jacket if you have not bought the appropriate coat.

Shearling coats and jackets owe most of their usefulness to being thin and light. These qualities make these coats stand out compared to other garments made of fur. The coats are made of sheepskin of the highest quality from professionals who use hundreds of years of experience to create them. Most of these professionals are from Spain and South America, and have a history of tailoring many different types of clothes form the material. The coats are made to withstand any weather condition while remaining flexible and strong, keeping the wearer comfortable at all times.

In conjunction with the fashion and hardiness of shearling coats, they are also a great buy, with prices for these coats maintaining a steady price over the last several years. For the buyer interested in finding suitable clothing for colder temperatures that can also be fashionable outside the winter months, shearling coats are a must buy.

How to Get Your Girlfriend Back After a Breakup – Ways to Win Your Ex-Girlfriend Back

Have you ever watched the romantic 80’s comedy Say Anything? If so, how can you forget that poignant scene where Lloyd Dobler holds the ghetto blaster high over his head and plays Peter Gabriel’s song, In Your Eyes underneath his ex girlfriend’s window. You may be able to relate to Lloyd’s heartbreak, but this is not the way to win back your love. Lloyd’s techniques may work well in Hollywood’s land of make-believe, but they have absolutely nothing to do with reality. If you want to learn how to get your girlfriend back after a breakup, you need to start using real world strategies that actually work.

The most important goal for all of you men wanting to know how to get your girlfriend back after a breakup, is to ditch the whole needy act. Women aren’t attracted to clingy, needy men in the first place, so they definitely will not be interested in this type of guy the second time around. Don’t bother doing things many men do such as calling her up to tell her how much you miss her, sending her flowers or driving by her house. These things will just push her away. By just walking away, she may start to question why you aren’t actively pursuing her. After a while, she will probably end up giving in to her urge to pull you right back.

There is another surefire method you can use if you are fretting over how to get your girlfriend back after a breakup. Make her realize that she isn’t the only fish in the sea. Human nature shows that everyone wants what they can’t have and women are no exception to this fact. Therefore, show her that you have lots of other great options since breaking up with her.

Start dating as many other women as you can and be sure she sees you with them. She will get jealous when watching you enjoying the company of other women. You can even go as far as dating her friends. You may think this would turn her off, but you will be surprised how fast she decides that she wants you back.

If you want to learn more about methods like these, try connecting with a popular internet subculture of men known as the “seduction community”. They will offer you more techniques and advice on methods that actually work. These men all have the same goal – to learn how to achieve better success with women. Therefore, they can be very helpful when you want to win back your ex. They can also refer you to great e-books such as Swinggcat’s Real World Seduction and David DeAngelo’s Double Your Dating.

For all the men who are losing sleep over how to get your girlfriend back after a breakup, you can rest easy. Try acting disinterested and just walk away instead of acting needy. Show her how many other women are already interested in your company so she realizes all the other options you have besides her. Follow these steps and you will leave her no choice but to get back with you.

The Racist Strike – Albert Pujols, Stan Musial and Jackie Robinson’s Contract

In honor of last year’s Major League Baseball All Star Game in St. Louis, Missouri, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, I thought I’d tell the tale of one of the most famous contracts of all time, Jackie Robinson’s signing by the Brooklyn Dodgers to break the baseball color barrier, and the Cardinal players’ planned strike that never happened, a phantom from another era.

Over the broad expanse of a crimson hood, the two hallowed outfielders smiled for photographers on Opening Day of the 2009 season. Smiles on their faces, they rode a red car through the bowels of Busch Stadium and out into the light of the field’s open air, waving to fans and chatting with each other as they basked in applause and each other’s reflected glory.

Who knew this day would be possible many decades ago? It may have been hard to envision for Stan Musial, the greatest Cardinal hitter of all time, who played for the mighty Cardinals of the early 1940s, a team made up of white players, in a league full of whites, without a single black or brown skinned player to sully the supremacist ideals of the time. But today, on this Opening Day, Musial, the white skinned Pennsylvanian, rides in the car next to Albert Pujols, a brown Dominican, and the greatest Cardinal hitter since Musial. Pujols is so great that he may actually be better than Musial, as Cardinals aficionados will no doubt debate endlessly in the years to come when Pujols amasses more hits and honors in our grand expected future imaginings. But, for now, forget about the unknown future, for this day, today, provides a future we already know, a future we can surprisingly see from the strained past of 1947.

What do we see? We see Musial and Pujols smiling at each other, mugging for the cameras, praising each other’s hitting prowess, Pujols querying Musial for tips on batting, Musial cracking jokes in response, as beloved as ever to the Cardinals patrons, forever their Stan “The Man.” Pujols maintains such respect for Musial that he rejects the nickname, “El Hombre” (Spanish for “the man”), which the St. Louis scribes bestowed on him, saying that there is only one man, Stan Musial, and the press should not refer to any other with that appellation.

Seeing this respect, this torch, handed down from the 1947 generation to the 2009 one, must be an inspiring sight to behold from 1947 eyes. Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, had signed Jackie Robinson, who in that year took over second base and, more importantly, became the first black player in Major League Baseball. Many writers have detailed the numerous death threats, curses, slights and horrific indignities faced by Robinson, and James Giglio offers an account of the Cardinal reaction in the biography, “Musial: From Stash to Stan the Man.”

Giglio called 1947 “A Troubling Year.” And the troubles were many. Dixie Walker, Robinson’s Dodger teammate, led the vitriol among his fellow southern players within the Dodger clubhouse. When the Dodger’s star shortstop, Kentuckian Pee Wee Reese, defied this confederation by befriending Robinson, Walker’s support whittled away. However, Walker knew players on other teams who felt the same. Chicago Cub starting pitchers were directed to knock Robinson down. Alabaman Ben Chapman, manager of the Phillies, encouraged his players to bean Robinson with pitches and spike him on the basepaths. It’s important to note that not all southerners were unfair to Robinson, though, who recalled that Cardinals second baseman and South Carolinian Marty Marion “was always nice to me.”

Many teams even considered voting as to whether or not they would be willing to play the Dodgers. Several key factors set the stage for the Cardinals’ strike talk. St. Louis boasted one of the largest contingents of southern players in the National League. St. Louis was the home of Sporting News, the self-styled bible of baseball, which had previously been against integration. The Cardinals and Dodgers were two of the preeminent teams of the ’40s, with a strong rivalry that generated great enmity. And the Dodger manager, Leo Durocher, previously played for the Cardinals, starring on their great 1930s “Gashouse Gang” teams. Even worse, the Dodger general manager, Branch Rickey, used to be the general manager of the Cardinals.

Back in 1917, the Cardinals were a second class team in their own town, trailing the St. Louis Browns in revenue and popularity. Branch Rickey took over as General Manager that year and built the Cardinals into the greatest team in the National League with his innovative minor league farm system. But in 1942, after a falling out with Cardinal President Sam Breadon over his contract renewal (apparently the two had a cool relationship over the years, though with mutual respect), Rickey jumped to Brooklyn, leaving St. Louis behind (Rickey apparently was particularly upset that his contract had not been renewed even though his Cardinals had beat the Yankees and won the World Series that season). The chasm between the Dodgers and Cardinals was deep and wide. Jackie Robinson was not just Dodger black, he was also Dodger blue, in the face of Cardinal anger, a Cardinal red ember.

On May 9, New York Herald Tribune writer Stanley Woodward let the baseball world know about a threatened Cardinals player strike against the Dodgers. According to Woodward, Sam Breadon was having none of it. He flew to Manhattan for an audience with National League President Ford Frick. When the meeting ended, Frick told Breadon that the would-be strikers should remember this:

“If you [strike], you will be suspended from the league. You will find that the friends you think you have in the press box will not support you. You will be outcasts. I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don’t care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another…. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness.”

Woodward’s story may have encouraged other team owners to pressure their players to not strike as well.

The Cardinals and the legendary St. Louis sportswriter were aghast at these accusations, arguing that while there was grumbling among a few Cardinals players, nothing had approached the level of angst described by Woodward.

What was Musial’s take on the affair? He apparently confided to another Tribune writer, Roger Kahn, that the Robinson talk amongst the Cardinals was “rough and racial,” but nothing worse occurred. Musial also denied the existence of any strike vote. Decades later, at a mid-90s St. Louis event promoting one of Kahn’s books, Musial bizarrely found himself seated between Kahn and Broeg, who argued vehemently over the degree of anti-Robinson Cardinal fervor. Musial tried to stay above it all, but in 1997, at an event honoring the 50th anniversary of Robinson breaking the baseball color barrier, Musial argued that the Cardinals never even discussed a strike. Giglio was not so sure, and openly wonders if Musial made that statement so as not to embarrass many of his southern teammates who ended up on the wrong side of history. Regardless, Musial did tell Kahn that “he had no trouble with integration,” and took the time to honor Robinson.

Despite Musial’s respect for Robinson, Musial paid the price for Robinson’s detractors. If a Cardinal pitcher deliberately threw at Robinson, then Durocher ordered the Dodger pitcher to retaliate by throwing at Musial. When Musial complained, Durocher apparently said, “You’re the best man I know on the Cardinals. For every time [Robinson] gets one, it looks to me like you’re gonna get two.” Durocher felt that this kind of retaliation stopped the Cardinals cold from hurting Robinson. Cardinal manager Eddie Dyer at the time may have helped to eventually convince his players to treat Robinson fairly, as Robinson remembered his first visit to the Cardinals’ stadium, Sportsman’s Park, where Dyer stopped Robinson in full view of the Cardinals and said, “he was glad to see me and that he wished me luck.”

Robinson said that “Musial always treated me with courtesy.” In one game, enraged after being spiked by the Cardinal outfielder Enos Slaughter, Musial heard Robinson say how badly he wanted revenge. Musial allegedly told him, “I don’t blame you. You have every right to do so.”

Thinking about our rights is perhaps the most fitting way to end this story. The underpinning of our entire economy and way of life is embodied by the concept of a contract, a deal struck between two parties, one desiring nothing more than the meritorious services of the other, and that other desiring nothing more than a chance to ply a trade, whether to work in a coal mine, wait tables, run a major corporation, or even play baseball. When you strike a deal with someone, you generally expect it to be met, your expectations realized, and your rights fulfilled. Robinson’s breakthrough season represents the true attainment of this contract right, as he fulfilled his dream to play Major League Baseball, no matter who tried to preclude his Dodger dealings.

In this vein, 1947 dissolves into 2009, leaving us with just Musial and Pujols, sitting in a car, gliding through a stadium, embraced by the Cardinal faithful, happy but perhaps unaware of the racial tensions that would make such a noble gathering inconceivable many years ago.

(This article relies on James Giglio’s excellent coverage in “Musial: From Stash to Stan the Man”)

Review-Pasta Magic Makes Tragic Pasta

The other day I picked up a kitchen gadget called the “Pasta Magic” and today I allowed it to approach the wonderfulness that is my spaghetti sauce. After judging the results of this supposed time-saving device, I have to give it a hearty thumbs-down. Actually, not only do I have to give it the thumbs-down, but I really want to.

Opening it up and looking at the contents, I found two containers, two strainer lids, two lock-down sealing lids, instructions, and a thermal sleeve that’s supposed to help you not burn your hand while pouring out the water you’ve just used to cook your pasta. I’ll go through each of the components, because I have something to say about each.

The containers are sturdy enough, and they don’t look easy to tip over. They have a rim around the bottom to keep them upright. They have one big flaw that I will discuss in a moment.

The strainer lids….suck. I tried for a while to get the one I used to ‘snap’ on to the container and failed. The thing was, I couldn’t tell while I was doing it whether I was failing at it or not. There was no snap, and neither was there any indication that they hadn’t been pushed on as far as they could.

The two lock-down sealing lids seemed alright at first, but they don’t seal with a click either, so it’s not clear that they’ve been tightening all the way.

The instructions are the best part of the whole package, actually. They are clear and concise and tell exactly how to use the gadget.

The thermal sleeve has no grip to it on the inside, so while you are trying to pour out the water from the Pasta Magic, the sleeve slides up and down the cooking cylinder.

And that leads me to what happened and why this thing really is useless.

I made the pasta as instructed and waiting the full 10 minutes listed in the instructions (it says 7-10). I took off the sealing lid and, gripping the thermal sleeve, attempted to pour out the liquid. Although the straining lid was supposed to act as a collander to strain the pasta, I decided that this was the first time I’d used the Pasta Magic and so I’d have backup and put on in the sink. Well, the thermal sleeve slipped, the water pushed up against the straining lid, which knocked it off into the collander and, the cylinder not having any sort of pouring spout, the still near-boiling water poured on my hand. I tipped it back upright, and tried to fish the straining lid out of my collander so I could pour the pasta in its place and fried my fingertips further. Eventually I got that cleared out of the way and poured the pasta so I could take a look.

Horrible. Some pieces of pasta were cooked thoroughly, some pieces were chewy, some pieces were ‘al dente’, and a lot of it was stuck together. I tried to pull those pieces apart with a fork and it was clearly undercooked.

We tried to eat it anyway. Some people have the misconception that pasta should be sticky, half-cooked and unappetizing. I’m not one of them.

* Physical quality: Poor…the lids don’t snap on, and that’s the primary useless feature of this gadget

* Ease of use: Poor…the sleeve doesn’t grip the way it needs to and the cylinder needs a pouring spout of some sort

* Results: Poor…the pasta was really quite bad

So that is why I say “Pasta Magic makes tragic pasta”. Don’t buy this except as a gift to the relatives you hate.

On the plus side, we’re going to use them to store pasta on the countertop. Maybe the whole product should be remarketed for that purpose.

Aerocool Swamp Coolers Reviewed

Gone are the days when keeping the house cool is the summer months was an expensive affair. Aerocool swamp coolers are cost effective and easier to maintain. The swamp cooler has two main components. One is a box-like frame, and the other, a pack water-wet pad made up of cellulose to filter out dust and pollution. The portable cooler evaporates water from the atmosphere and stored in the water-wet pads, thereby cooling the air that is percolated. With this, the interior of your home becomes cooler.

Swamp coolers are more affordable and easier to maintain when compared to their more expensive cousins – air conditioners. They are the best option for small enterprises and middle class households. Unlike a regular air conditioner, these coolers can work even when the doors and windows are kept open making it more suitable for office and commercial places.

With the unique mastercool mechanism these cooler do not contain any liquid or gaseous cooling liquid making its contribution to indoor pollution minimal. Aerocool swamp coolers are available in different sizes it is best to choose a cooler corresponding to the size of the room or office. These coolers are portable and so can be shifted from room to room and even be used in open spaces like patios and pool areas.

The Convair Arctic Breeze 1500 has a wide cooling range when compared to other similar cooling units. It cuts the heat in the summer months and adds humidity the dry winter. Most other evaporative coolers in this range do not have similar power or cooling capabilities. These evaporative coolers are durable, economical and powerful at the same time. The non-corrosive polymer construction keeps the unit from rusting for years.

Dubstep Mixing Guide – Snare Drum and Mix Placement

Mixing the snare drum for dubstep

Your snare drum will be sitting at around 500hz-6khz, a +3DB boost at around 1khz will bring out some definition and bite along with some punch. Also adding a compressor with fast attack (1.5 – 3ms), 8:1 ratio and 8-10db of gain reduction will ensure the snare is prominent and hard hitting in the mix. I always add some subtle overdrive or distortion to my snares to further enhance the dynamics, and add more punch. Go easy, you don’t need a lot.

As the snare is a vital part to any mix its important to get it to stand out, even in a very busy mix. Here are some pointers about how a snare is made up:

The Body: This is the part of the snare that hits you in the chest, try experimenting with subtle wide boosts at around 200-400hz, be careful here as this is also around the potential muddy areas so you will have to find the exact frequencies and use very precise EQ.

The Crack: The crack of the snare occur between 900hz – 2khz, a peaking band works well here, so by using a narrow boost of a few db on the specific area should help define this part of the snare in the mix.

The Wires: For those unfamiliar with the design of a real snare drum, to get the resonant high frequencies the drum has ‘rabbit wires’ under the drum, kind of like loose springs that vibrate when hit. These can be present or not in snare drum, the dry ‘ping’ kind of snares do not have the wires, were as snare that are more ‘psssht’ and toppy will more likely have wires. They usually can be found in the 3-5k region.

Head: This is to the top part of the snare sound, boosting the 6-10khz range can add a lot of texture to the sound.

Here are a few compression settings that tend to work well:

Hard hitting: Ratio 8:1, 10db gain reduction, 1.5ms attack 200ms release

Medium: Ratio 6:1, 7db gain reduction, 3ms attack, 200ms release

Soft: full: Ratio 4:1, 3/4db gain reduction, 4ms attack, 200ms release

Root Understanding: Mix Placement

When mixing a track you are essentially trying to spread out all the sounds into individual clear spaces in the 3D sound space. You have 4 main controls, volume; this controls the sound up and down in our 3D sound space, pan; this controls the sound left or right in the 3D space, reverb; this controls the sound back and forward, more reverb will make a the sound appear further away from the listener. There is also a 5th; phase, this also controls the sound back and forward similar to reverb, sounds out of-phase with the mix will sound further away, were as reversing the phase on 1 stereo channel can cause the sound to jump out. You should use all these tools available to create space and clarity in your mix.

Fast Track Ivy League Admissions Tips

The Ivy League is an athletic union of American educational institutes based in the north-east of The States including Harvard, Yale and Columbia University. Many people mistakenly believe MIT and Stanford are members of this union. While we reference these institutes in this article, they are not.

There are a series of factors that will determine your acceptance to the Ivy League or other elite institutes. Here we’ll analyse the best approach. Let’s begin with your GPA.

GPA Requirements

Of course, your GPA is a pillar of your application. But is your application a house of cards without it? Not necessarily. Why is it that some students with 4.0 GPA’s are rejected, while others with sub-3 GPA’s are accepted? Because the value of the courses you took is often of equal value to your result. Because your application needs to demonstrate extra-curricular pedigree.

Your record at school needs to display academic rigor – don’t opt for the easiest courses. A prescribed high school path featuring 4 years of the cornerstone subjects, English, Math and Science, are best complimented with 4 years dedicated to History and learning a foreign language.

That brings us on to Extra-Curriculars.

Those Darn Extra-Curriculars

Meet John. John has a 2.7 grade point average and equally unremarkable SAT results. Although John was never the best student, he excelled in sports, holding the post as captain for his Baseball, Basketball and Football teams, winning awards for his sporting ability. It’s these strengths that secured his place at Harvard. Meanwhile many thousands of students are rejected every year with outstanding academics.

Stories of a sub-3 GPA turned Harvard graduate are the exception, but there’s a moral to this tale. If two students are equal academically, universities like employers, will opt for the candidate who has held leadership roles or displayed an extra-curricular spike. Without these traits, your application will be lost.

Financial Aid

Unfortunately, you’ll have to factor cost into attending your dream school. Fortunately, though, the world’s most prestigious schools are often in possession of the largest financial aid endowments. Consider Harvard which has a financial aid budget of $172,000,000. This aid is reserved for students whose parents are earning under $60,000 per year. The net result means the cost of attending actually matches or bests 90% of other universities. Before preparing your FAFSA application (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you’ll need to know where you stand.

What About Reach Schools?

Universities with low admissions rates, including Harvard and Yale are considered ‘Reach Schools’. A ‘Match School’ is one that has a high probability of acceptance. Identifying reach schools and match schools is smart forward planning.

Perhaps your heart is set on attending Yale. You may dream of being published in Yale Law Review before one day running for Congress. Students negotiate a path towards their dreams every year. Equally there are who students fail to reach the school of their dreams without Plan B. Identify other institutes with a prestigious record of graduating the finest minds in your field.

Post-Graduate Success

When creating a shortlist of schools, it’s wise to assess the post-graduate success student’s are likely to experience. Let’s take MIT. While the US economy struggles and jobs are scare, MIT bucks the trend. Studies demonstrate just 20% of students find employment on graduation. MIT students however, fare better than the national average with on-campus hiring still prevalent.

The idea that your post-graduate success is purely dependent on your education, however, is mistaken. History is shaped by those who defy the rules and define their own route. Be they a Harvard reject Warren Buffet or Princeton reject Ted Turner. So, you don’t need to graduate the Ivy League to be a success… But it helps.

How To Highlight Lottery Numbers In An Excel Spreadsheet Using VBA

When lottery researchers want to test a theory, it’s a good idea to so some testing on some real data. A typical scenario is to find occurrences of specific numbers in recent results.

This article explains how to use VBA to accurately highlight specific numbers over recent draws.

Creating The Initial Parameters For The VBA Program

We’ll need to establish three main factors.

  • The initial data set of results
  • Where the analysis should start from
  • The list of numbers to look for

The data should look something like this:


8 19 26 29 30 33
2 9 12 22 35 39
6 9 12 19 20 31
5 16 20 22 27 29
18 20 35 15 31 2
3 19 20 27 31 35

Next, we need to consider the subset of data to analyse; in this example we’ll take the last four lines. Finally, we need to define the numbers the code should look for.

Creating The VBA Code And Highlighting The Selected Numbers

First, we’ll move to where the data is held and create a range. The range is just the data that we want the code to move through. We’ll remove the formatting so our code starts again from scratch each time we run it.


Dim rng As Range
Worksheets(1).Activate
Range("a1").Activate
Cells.ClearFormats

Next, we’ll tell the VBA code how many rows from the bottom we want to use; we’re telling it to look at the last 4 draws.

Also, we’ll define the paremeters of the data, the number of columns and rows. This will help us create the data range.


myRows = 4

allRows = ActiveCell.End(xlDown).Row
allcols = ActiveCell.End(xlToRight).Column
startRow = allRows - myRows + 1

Now we can actually select the data. If you were to end the program here, you’d see the last four rows of data selected by the cursor.


add1 = Range("a" & startRow).Address
add2 = ActiveCell.Offset(allRows - 1, allcols - 1).Address
Set rng = Range(add1, add2)
rng.Select

With our data selected, we need to define our selected numbers, run through the selection and highlight any numbers found.


myNumbers = ",5,27,"

For x = 1 To rng.Rows.Count

For y = 1 To rng.Columns.Count

testNo = "," & rng.Cells(x, y) & ","

If InStr(myNumbers, testNo) > 0 Then

rng.Cells(x, y).Font.Bold = True

End If

Next
Next

The code above is referred to as a nested loop; it’s going through the data row by row and column by column to find the numbers. In this example any numbers found are changed to a bold font.

One important point is for the code to identify the actual number and not confuse numerals such as 5 and 35. That’s why the search code adds a comma around the numbers so it searches for “,5,” and not just “5”.

Summary

Although Excel has its own conditional formatting tools, for lotto research the standard tools won’t really do the job, especially for more complex ideas and theories. This is where a little knowledge of VBA can take your lotto research to new heights.