The First Background Image Advertising Company Relaunched As an Advertising Platform

Adcamo, the company based in Scottsdale, Arizona re-launched yesterday as a background image advertising platform. Previously, the company was an ad network itself using the same technology which now it leverages to publishers and other ad networks. By doing that, Adcamo can concentrate on improving their technology and also function as a gatekeeper (Google is also a gatekeeper in advertising, which made them rich).

Background advertising was never touched before (except MySpace to some extent) and Adcamo patented this technology (patent-pending, actually) and it empowers others to use it. That means publishers who wants to sell their background as an advertising space now can use Adcamo’s technology to manage this. The company also released an API which can be used by the ad networks and agencies to integrate into their own systems or software.

Their platform not only offers features which can be found in a standard ad platform (create campaigns, track click, impressions, view details – similar to Google AdWords or OpenX platforms), but also offers a unique feature: TBC (Time Before Click). This metric measures the time from when the page loaded until the user clicked on an ad, which indicates how effective an ad is: the sooner a user clicks on an advertisement, the more effective that advertisement is.

They offer three background ad formats:

tiled background (the image is spread to fill in the entire background and it moves as you scroll up and down (frankly, I don’t like this format because it can ruin the design of a webpage and make it look amateurish…look at MySpace pages, and you kinda get the idea).

pillar (the image stays on top of the background and when you scroll down the background image disappears towards the top – I believe this is the best background ad format so far. It’s not that intrusive and certainly not ruining a webpage design too much; it actually blends with the design tendencies in the last period of time).

projection (in this case the background image is in fixed position so when you scroll, the content scrolls too, but not the background image – this is a compromise between the two options above).

These three formats are also clickable (yes, you can see the background ad but you can also click on it).

These background ad formats will make publishers and ad networks/agencies carefully choose the banners they use for their campaigns. The publishers will want banners that won’t spoil the design of their website/page and will also give them a good payoff. The ad networks/agencies will probably work with the advertisers to make banners that won’t interfere too much with a website design. The banners are sometimes tied to the background image, so whatever is shown in the banners will also show up in the background image. But sometimes they are not, so the background image and the banners could be separate yet complement each other.

Now, the only thing left to prove is if the background advertising will take off. I’m pretty sure many users are very annoyed by the pop-up ads, pop-under ads, layer ads, and interstitial ads, so I think it has a good chance.

Will they be annoyed by the background ads too? (and, by the way, there’s no way for now to block the background ads like there are ways to block pop-up and pup-under ads).

If the users will embrace this kind of advertising (like they embraced the text ads) then Adcamo could be quite successful as a business.

What do you think as a user (publisher or advertiser)? Do you see Adcamo winning this potential market? (I am pretty sure the competition will start popping up, maybe using other variations of this theme).

Safety And Productivity Go Hand In Hand

Lasting productivity improvement requires transitioning from a “fix it” mind-set, to a “solve and prevent it” mind-set. No where is this more important than when addressing safety in the workplace. Safety and performance improvement go hand-in-hand. An effective performance improvement program requires that you dig into the causes of accidents, determine the conditions that are at the root of those causes, and determine the best practices to prevent those conditions from reoccurring. The solution is the implementation of a productivity & safety program

An effective improving productivity & safety program requires creation of a core implementation team The core implementation team plays an important role in that it will initiate the Productivity & Safety (IP&S)process in a target area, begin implementation, and teach others in the area about the system.

The core implementation team manages the Productivity & Safety implementation process. However, the team’s most important responsibility is to encourage participation in the use of the IP&S system so that it can become part of everyone’s daily work.

After you have established your core implementation team you can begin developing your IP&S program. The way you prepare the project will either make it or break it. The most important step is to make sure you have the right people on board-the people who can give you the facts and make effective decisions.

Another critical part of the preparation is to make sure that the purpose and targets of the project are crystal clear. The team members have to understand and accept their mission to improve workplace safety conditions through IP&S.

One way to do this is to set up a flip chart with two columns. First, identify your target area. In the left-hand column, list what your current conditions are, and in the right-hand column, list what you want those conditions to be after you have completed IP&S for Safety.

Another key element of preparation is to document occurrences of problems and to set improvement targets. Keep in mind that 29 minor accidents and 300 near misses occur for every major accident! Be sure to track these top three layers, measuring them by day, or even by shift. You can post weekly totals for everyone to see.. Use this information about current trends to set targets for improvement. Most of this information should be readily available because it’s required by law.

Scan the workplace to gather data and then analyze the data. After you have identified the problems and sorted them into categories, you need to get down to the root causes of each problem. You can do this by using a technique called the “5 Whys.” The 5 Whys technique requires participants to ask “why” at least five times, or work through five levels of detail. Once it becomes difficult to respond to “why” the root cause has probably been identified. While asking the 5 Whys do not switch to asking “who?” The focus should be on the problem and not on the person involved. Sometimes you will need to ask “why” more than five times in order to get to the real cause of your problem.

As you can see, simply identifying the problem category, and then asking why the problem exists, can dig out the root causes that underlie many safety problems.

Best practices are effective, reliable methods. They have already shown that they will improve safety in the workplace. Each time you identify the cause to a safety problem, you can choose from a number of best practices that other companies have found effective in dealing with that same cause.

A combination of recent OSHA guidelines and tested IP&S safety techniques will give you a strong body of best practices to choose from. First and foremost, make sure you are in compliance with current OSHA guidelines. You may find instances where you are not-correct them immediately.

Next, continue to work toward total control of conditions by using IP&S best practices. Remember, the workplace is a dynamic, ever-changing environment. Your problems are always changing.

Making the IP & S program work in your facility requires that you:

  • Develop new awareness and skills.
  • Get support from management.
  • Provide ongoing, company-wide communication.
  • Make Improving Productivity & Safety standards part of daily work.
  • Promote total employee involvement.
  • Create visual controls.

People control and manage the work area, therefore it is essential that everyone be able to tell the difference between what is correct and what is incorrect. Consider using visual techniques such as lines, labels, signboards, color coding, and lights make it possible to grasp the standard at a glance and immediately correct any variance.

Types of Picture Frame Spacers and How to Space Framed Pictures

What are picture frame spacers?

When framing pictures under glass it is recommended that the picture you are framing doesn’t touch the glazing material. With works on paper, fabrics or other flat substrates it is common to space the artwork by using a colored mat board. The mat board is made from either wood-pulp based boards or cotton based boards. These boards are made and purified to different levels depending on the application. The simplest paper-based boards can contain lining or woody fibers that can cause quite rapid deterioration.

But what happens if you don’t want to use a mat board as your spacer material?

In some circumstances the artwork or picture may look better without a border surrounding it. The artwork when framed will still require spacing from the glazing but will have to be spaced with something other than mat board.

What else can you space artwork from the glass with?

The spacing between glazing and artwork can be achieved by using several readily available products.

Some of the most common spacers used include timber slip frames, fillets and synthetic extruded sections that often have double-sided adhesive coated to one surface.

To determine which spacer is most suitable to use for your picture framing project you should consider the following factors.

1. The material the spacer is made from.

2. The depth of spacer required.

3. The color of the spacer

4. The ease of use.

The material used to make the spacer is important if you require something archival and acid-free. Many of the commercially available spacers are either a solid plastic strip or an extruded rectangular hollow tube. These plastic spacers often have a double-sided adhesive applied to one surface. The adhesive is used to adhere the spacer in position to the surface of the glazing material. You can make a spacer from timber, metal, cardboard and foam boards. Timber spacers can either be visible from the front of the frame adding a decorative edge called a fillet or they can be a simple square edged profile that is just functional.

The plastic spacers are usually available in several thicknesses. For deeper applications where a colored liner is required you can glue mat board to foam board and then cut it into the widths required. The strips are then glued to the frame molding between the glass and the art work. This is a useful technique to employ when you want the spacer and backing material to match as in the case of an artwork floating on a mat backing.

Common pre-fabricated spacers are colored black, white and clear. You could color the spacer to match the frame when you are using a timber variety. You can easily see what spacer is least noticeable by cutting a small piece and holding it temporarily in position between the item and the frame. Generally the white and clear spacers are used on light-colored works and inside pale colored frames and the black spacer is used on darker works.

The easiest liners and spacers to use are the adhesive pre-coated types as it is a simple job to just cut them to length and stick them in place. One tip when positioning the spacer is to cut the top and bottom sections to a tight length first. Then when you fix the side members into place they help by holding up the top piece stopping it from dislodging in the future. The hollow plastic types can be easily cut with a sharp craft knife and the solid types can be scored and snapped or clipped to size with angle cutters. Pay attention to cutting the length accurately to ensure you have no untidy corners.

You can combine spacers with matting and stepped frames to create interesting depth in your pictures whilst adding the extra benefits of the increased air gap from the glass or acrylic front.

When you are next framing an object consider using a suitable spacer or fillet.

How To Get Rid Of the Stink Bug Smell

Getting rid of that stink bug smell once it gets on your clothes, the carpeting or any rugs on the floor, any fabric items in your house, or even on your skin can be quite a bit challenging. The odor that this particular species of insect emits can be quite potent while at the same time it is pungent.

Stink Bug Smell On Your Clothes Or On Fabric

Once the smell gets on your clothes or any type of fabric material, it is a simple matter of throwing them into the washing machine and using a good quality laundry detergent. That should be sufficient to do the trick.

If the item requires a little bit more delicate handling or is too big to fit in your washing machine, such as a bed comforter, or is a professional suit, you may want to take it to the dry cleaners.

Getting rid of the stink bug smell in the aforementioned scenarios is pretty straightforward and is a no-brainer.

Stink Bug Stench On Your Skin

But what if it gets on your skin? Many people have reported that try as they might, the foul stench of the stink bug won’t go away with soap and water. That doesn’t seem to be sufficient.

In that case, what should you do?

While there is no textbook answer, there are many “home-remedy” types of solutions that many people have shared in various discussion forums online. For example, will swear by using acidic solutions such as that found in tomato juice or lemon juice. You basically wash the affected area with these juices. The acidic composition of the juice will usually permeate the skin, neutralize and eliminate the stubborn odor-causing molecules of the stink bug stench.

Stink Bug Stench On Furniture Or On The Walls

You can use an aerosol air freshener to mask the stink bug odor in rooms where it has become prevalent, although this will not permanently eliminate the source of the odor. If you happen to know what surface(s) the stink bugs were on when they released their trademark odor, then it may be possible to cleanse the surface and purge it of the odor-causing chemicals that may have saturated it.

As for cleaning furniture or walls, you should resort to using whatever cleaning agents you might have normally used otherwise for anything else. Any highly concentrated cleaning agent for fabric upholstery will do on furniture. Any chemical cleaning agent designed for cleansing wood, steel, or plastic will do the job just fine.

So, sorry folks, if you came here looking for some kind of exotic answer. While the stench may be quite pungent, it isn’t something that can’t be overcome with today’s modern household cleaning technology.

The good news is that the chemicals released by stink bugs that cause the stench are not in any way toxic. They are just annoying. (Although to many people, the smell happens to bear a strong resemblance to that of the herb known as cilantro.)

If you are having a difficult time figuring out how to get rid of that stubborn smell, then you really should just make sure that you are using a highly concentrated dosage of whatever cleaning agent you use, and that you scrub it thoroughly. Sometimes it may take several tries to get the odor out, but it eventually will.

And in the worst case scenario, you can resort to (or supplement with) using room air fresheners or scented candles to mask the smell.

Guide to Cleaning Up Spilled Vinegar on the Carpet

Vinegar can be used in a lot of different ways inside your home. It is primarily used as a kitchen ingredient to help make some dishes nice and flavorful. It is also sometimes utilized to remove stains and spots on your clothes or fabric as it can be a really good substitute for commercial cleaning agents.

Sadly, if you spill vinegar on the carpet, it can create a spot and leave behind a strong smell which will be unflattering for your carpet. While vinegar is good when combined with water and some other household items to create a cleaning solution, spilling concentrated vinegar is not something that you want to have on your carpet.

In order to keep your carpet nice and clean, you should know how to clean up this mess right away. Here are some of the steps that you should take to clean up spilled vinegar on your carpet properly.

1. Absorb the excess spilled vinegar on the carpet by using a clean sponge and dabbing the spill. This will help in removing the vinegar so that the only thing that you have to contend with is the spot or stain as well as the strong odor it has left behind on the carpet.

2. Prepare a cleaning solution for the vinegar stain or spot on the carpet. What will work great for this particular kind of stain is a detergent-based cleaning solution that you can create yourself. Just mix a teaspoon of non-bleach laundry detergent with a quart of warm water to make a useful cleaning solution. Then, use this onto the stained portion of the carpet.

3. Use a clean white cloth to blot the vinegar stain that is left behind on the carpet. Do this again and again until the entire stain is gone. It could take some time but what is important is that you keep on blotting until the stain is completely removed.

4. Rinse the carpet area with a cup of warm water to help flush out any residue that could get left behind. If the carpet still smells like vinegar, use some of the cleaning solution again and then blot the area until the odor is no longer there. Dry the area completely with the use of clean rags to finish off the job.

Vinegar spills can be hard for anyone to clean on the carpet but with the guide above you will have an easier time trying to fix this issue. Try it out and see just how quickly you are able to get your carpet looking nice and clean once more.

Build Your Own Gymnastics Balance Beam

There are several methods to make a gymnastics balance beam for home use. They can run the gamut from the most basic wooden beam to one covered with carpet. Or you can make a more elaborate balance beam padded and wrapped in synthetic suede. However you decide, this project isn’t too difficult and can save you money. Most supplies you need can be found at a local home improvement store.

First a little background. All competitive gymnasts are required to perform on the balance beam apparatus. Beams used in international gymnastics competitions must conform to the strict guidelines and specifications set forth by the International Gymnastics Federation Apparatus Norms. Originally, the balance beam surface was polished wood. Since the 1980s, beams have been covered in synthetic suede. Today’s competition beams are also sprung to accommodate the stress of high-difficulty tumbling and dance skills. This is why gymnasts who are competing can be very particular about the apparatus they use at the gym vs the apparatus you might make at home. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consider the level of the gymnast when deciding to start this project

The regulation length for a competition balance beam is 16 ft 5 inches. Many homeowners can not accommodate an apparatus of this size in the home, therefore decide to make a shorter one. Many home-made balance beams range from 8 to 12 feet in length, however, all are a standard 4 inches in width. The height of the beam will depend on where it is used. We do not recommend using balance beams outdoors as it can be difficult to get a stable surface to prevent wobbling. Your apparatus should always be used on a flat surface.

For beginners age 3-6 a basic wooden beam will provide a great introduction to the sport. As the gymnast gets older this same apparatus can be wrapped in carpet to provide a bit of padding or you can choose to wrap it in synthetic suede to give it the realistic look and feel of a standard balance beam.


(6) 1 x 6 lumber 8 ft. long (or any desired length)

(2) 2 x 4 lumber 20″ long for the legs

Wood Glue (such as Elmer’s Carpenters wood Glue)

3M Spray Adhesive

3″ wood screws

Wood Stain

Industrial Carpet

Suede Topper for carpet beam (option for carpet beam)

4 inch adhesive loop strip (option for padding)

Synthetic Suede Fabric (cover option)

Iron leg brace option

C Clamps


Step 1

Glue the six 8-foot pieces of 1-by-6 inch pine lumber together so that their sides are fully contacting one another. This will create a block of wood that is 8 feet long with a side of about 4.5 inches.

Glue liberally between the boards and use clamps to make sure that the glue fastens itself to the wood. Let dry overnight. Using a Belt Sander go over entire beam and sand to smooth finish. If staining your beam you can use finer grade sandpaper with an Orbital Sander to create a smooth finish. If covering the beam with carpet or Suede this step may be omitted.

Step 2

For a stained wooden beam. After sanding to smooth finish, apply stain to your beam.

To make a carpet covered beam you will use heavy-duty staples and wrap the beam with the carpet. Start by stapling carpet to bottom side of the balance beam and tightly wrap carpet around beam and staple underside of beam only. You may also use spray adhesive to further secure the carpet to the beam.

For a synthetic suede covered beam you will want to pad the beam first using a neoprene strip. It can be difficult to find 4 inch wide neoprene which is used on professional beams therefore many home-made beams use yoga mats to pad the beam. You do not want the beam to be too soft so minimal padding is needed. Do not staple padding. Use glue only as staples will cause dimples. You can also use 4 inch wide adhesive peel and stick loop to create padding as well. Continue attaching the suede to the beam by applying spray adhesive to the top and sides of the balance beam. Working from the bottom of the beam, staple the Suede along the bottom. This is a 2 person project as one needs to tightly pull the Suede around the beam evenly while it is being secured with the adhesive. Make sure your balance beam is completely dry before use.

Step 3

For a basic beam you will screw the (2) 20 inch 2 x 4 wood braces to each end. Place each brace at a 90 degree angle to the beam 12 inches from each end.

Alternatively, you can purchase iron manufactured balance beam braces you simply screw into the bottom of your beam. These braces come in a variety of heights and can even make your beam adjustable. It is possible to convert your basic beam to metal braces later on. One advantage to metal braces is they are tall enough to allow a mat to slide under the balance beam while the gymnast is using it.


Use home-made balance beams at your own discretion. As your beam is not a professionally made piece of equipment it is only as strong as your craftsmanship. Use with supervision as gymnastics is a sport with inherent risk of possible injury.

Cleaning Procedures for Different Wooden Home Furniture

Wood furniture can be painted, polished or oiled. How you clean your furniture depends on the variety of wood it is made up of. For example, some types of wood are lightly lacquered and do not absorb oil, while others like rosewood and teak do not have any finish and can be handled with annual oil application.

Let us see how you can clean different types of wood home furniture be it wooden beds, almirah, sofa set or cabinets:

Painted Wood

Excessive rubbing and cleaning can damage the decor, colour and finish of furniture. If your wooden beds and other furniture pieces are of painted wood, least care and maintenance is needed for them round the year. You can clean your painted wooden almirah and other furniture regularly with the help of a brush. Wiping occasionally with sponge can help in removing finger marks and smudges. If you feel the need of wax, use of hard paste wax once in a year can serve the purpose.

Oiled Wood

Oiled wood furniture has a soft, warm glow which requires only occasional oil application. For example, if you oil your wooden sofa set once in a year, it will retain the shine for a long time to come. It is important to note that you should never wax an oiled wooden surface. Wax can block the pores making the wood dry and brittle. If there are white spots on your oiled wooden furniture, rub them with tooth paste spread on a soft cloth. You can also use oil and a mild abrasive to rub those white spots. Such abrasives may be pumice, baking soda, salt or ash. The oils that you can use may be cooking oil, olive oil and petroleum jelly.

Polished Wood

Polished wooden furniture pieces are usually finished with wax, lacquer or varnish. Any wood polish can clean a wooden surface quickly. You have to choose the one which is appropriate for the kind of finish done on your wooden furniture. For example, wax in paste form gives a long lasting finish to the furniture, as compared to liquid or spray polish. This kind of finishing is usually recommended for antique wooden pieces.

Always wear cotton gloves while waxing the furniture, as this will not leave any fingerprints on the surface. Sprinkle some corn starch on the recently polished wood surface, and rub it for better gloss. Corn starch absorbs the excess wax or oil from the surface, leaving a glistening wooden surface free from any fingerprints. If there are white spots or rings on your wooden sofa set, you can apply mayonnaise, allow it to sit for around 60 minutes, wipe it off with a cloth and then polish. All these are terrific techniques to keep your wooden furniture glowing like new.

Specialty Wood

Specialty woods can be bamboo, rush, cane, rattan, wicker etc. These woods have natural finish, but some of them may have shellac or varnish coating. You need to vacuum them regularly with a brush attachment.

With all these steps, you can keep your home furniture as shiny as new.

A Definition of Office Stationery

Office activities such as purchases, sales, payment of remuneration, etc., may be recorded in physical form and/or electronic form. Though there are electronic vouchers, bills, and other documents, paper is still used extensively in offices, especially small and medium sized businesses. Paper sheets are also used for recording internal communication within an office premises, as well as communicating any terms and conditions to outsiders, or ordering any material. Therefore, most of the office stationery is in some way used in relation to paper.

The list of such office stationery includes, ball pens, graphite pencils, highlighters, markers, erasers, crayons, sketch pens, pencil sharpeners, blades, paper and adhesive tape cutters, adhesive tapes, scissors, paper clips or clamps, pins for paper charts, files, folders, trays to keep incoming and outgoing documents, staples, and staplers, printer ink, printer ribbon, toner, glue, sticky notes, memo holders, etc. The list of office stationery mentioned above is certainly not exhaustive.

An essential characteristic of any office stationery is that it gets consumed within a short period, and cannot be reused. Therefore, a chalk or marker used in the conference room to explain and discuss certain strategies would also be office stationery, even though it is not used on any paper. However, the board on which something is written with pen can be used for several years. Therefore, the board may not be classified as a stationery item.

This differentiation is, of course, for accounting purposes. There are accounting standards and guidelines for such classification of objects and consumables used in any office premises. It may be argued that refills may be used in pens. Again standards would allow classification of pens as office stationery primarily because of costs. Consumables used in office premises are different from consumables used in factory premises. Whereas consumables in manufacturing unit get blended or integrated into the product being sold by the company, such direct consumption of office stationery is not there. But in case of businesses offering services, office stationery is equivalent to the consumables of the manufacturing company.

Over the years, consumption of office stationery has come down due to new electronic tools. But it will be sometime before electronic medium completely replaces paper vouchers, and documents. Security and portability are the main reasons for using physical copies of any documents such as vouchers, invoices, salary statements, agreements, etc. While a person can carry the information on a laptop or tablet PC, taking a hardcopy of all the information generated electronically is a good practice because PCs can be stolen, or damaged. Another drawback is the dependence on power for retrieving any information in electronic medium. One of the reasons that paper vouchers are still around is the accounting stipulation relating to them. The accountant is required to obtain recipient’s signatures on vouchers when payments are made in cash. This is difficult in electronic medium.

Bat Rolling – What You Need to Know Before Rolling Your $300 Bat

Composite bats are made of many layers of fiber, resin, and glue. When a bat comes from the factory the resin and glue between the fibers are stiff and less pliable. As a is hit by a baseball or softball the resin and glue begin to break, this is what players would call “breaking in”, literally. As the resin and glue breaks up the bat becomes more flexible in that spot. The same thing is accomplished through bat rolling, it is compressed through nylon or hard rubbers rollers and the resin breaks up leaving the area more flexible. Now when we do that around the circumference of the bat 8-12 times it becomes much more flexible. This flexibility equates to an increase in ball speed and farther distance of hit baseballs or softballs. Studies have been done and found that some bats after being rolled jump up as much as 5mph in batted ball speeds. You can figure about 8 feet per mph of ball velocity.

Now, wait a minute isn’t perpendicular rolling sufficient? Sufficient is a good word because the answer is yes, but if you want the resin broken up completely you would have to make about 8-12 more passes through perpendicularly hoping you roll the bat through the correct spots. After the bat is rolled perpendicularly, an assured way to break in the rest of the bat would be to roll it through a parallel rolling machine. This breaks up the resin that the perpendicular rolling missed, for a more consistent and flexible bat. The parallel rollers can not be too long, although, because there will not be a consistent and even pressure over the length of the rollers. The rollers really need to be a maximum of a foot in length; this would cover any sweet spot on any bat.

It would seem like breaking up the resin would decrease the longevity of a bat. To an extent this statement is correct so you could spend about 24 hours of batting practice breaking in every spot on your bat, hoping you did not miss a spot or get the stick rolled. In the first case you would have about an extra 24 hours of bat life as long as you didn’t hit the bat in the exact same spot 10 times therefore decreasing its life. If you had trouble following that I will explain: bat rolling breaks in the entire bat with one swoop. Breaking in a fire stick in by hitting balls endlessly causes an inconsistent break in and heightens the chances of breaking the bat sooner. Now the bat still has a strong interwoven mesh of carbon fibers throughout the entire bat which is very strong, this is what makes it possible to stay durable and flex when the brittle resin is broken up.

So let’s go over this; bat rolling increases ball speed and has a longer life than a bat broken in the same amount through normal hitting.

A Brief Introduction to Lannon Stone

Lannon is a type of stone that has a rich and interesting history. The stone was originally located in the area that is now referred to as a city located in Southern Wisconsin. This city derives its name from a man of the same name who came to this area of Wisconsin in the early 1800’s. There is a widespread legend that this couple saw the rocks laying around on the ground in an inviting manner. They felt as if the rocks were urging them to construct a home from them. The native rocks were then referred to as “Lannon Stones” based on the legend of Mr. William Lannon. Here, we will learn a few exciting features regarding this special stone, as well as the benefits of using this unique stone.

What is Lannon Stone Widely Used For?

Lannon stone has been used for many different things throughout history. However, typically, it has been used to construct beautiful homes and unique businesses. In addition to this, this type of stone has been used throughout history in order to create amazing church structures, garden tapestry, and landscape design structures. This type of stone is considered to be treasured by those who have a true appreciation for natural rock and stone structures.

The Benefits of Lannon Stone

There are many different benefits associated with this stone. First, it is a natural stone that does not have to be produced in a factory. This type of stone is natural to the environment and comes in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Furthermore, this type of stone is extremely durable. This means that it can hold up to a wealth of conditions – whether it is wear and tear or weather conditions. Many crafted homes and done so with the ever-popular Lannon stone. It adds exquisite beauty and style to any area where it is used.

Where to Find Lannon Stone

This is a very popular stone as far as demand, but in order to find this type of stone may prove to be a bit challenging if you are unsure of retailers who specialize in it.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Dual-Key Apartment?

Most people do not really understand the concept of a dual key apartment. It means that you bought a property that shares one main door and foyer. However, the primary unit and the adjoining studio were created separate entrances. In Singapore, this concept is being adapted by some developers such as the Heron Bay executive condominium at the Upper Serangoon. Even the small developments find the idea attractive enough to local and foreign families.

Best for extended families

This concept is best for extended families who want to live close to each other. With kids around and going to school within the neighborhood, having one main door is just right so they can play without inside the house but not inside each apartment because they have separate entrances. This is very safe and parents can go to work knowing their kids can bond with each other without messing the house really. This is what we call living together yet apart because of the main door concept but with separate entrances.

Prices are affordable

If you intend to buy because you need to keep the children near the school, then yes, the prices of these dual key apartments are affordable even if you have a second home. The maximum rent you can fetch is about $1,000. The three bedroom unit price is only about $837,000. First time buyers in Singapore are entitled to a $30,000 CPF housing grants. If you think you are eligible, then better get one.

Elderly parents

The units may be good for couples and elderly parents who need their respective privacies but want to live closer to each other. This idea is very new and many people are still trying to figure out how much benefit they get out of it.


For the executives and business entrepreneurs needing a separate office or home office, the dual key would be a great idea. However, there is one thing you might not like. If you ask colleagues to discuss important matters in your office, then they will know where you live. With the kind of affordable pricing and convenience that you get, you may want to reconsider this option.

Presale discounts

During presale, you get a discount with an option to resell.

What you need to know and watch out about dual key apartments

You need to know that you may not be able to rent the unit as high as you like. Sometimes, prices fluctuate. Based on the readiness of the market, you can only fetch to as high as $1,000 if you rent it out. During the construction, the market may drop, so don’t expect much about rent amount it can fetch.

Common areas

Some dual key properties may have shared kitchen and lounge. You may want to ask the seller about this before you give the downpayment. Other units share only one front entrance door and hallway. The rest is separate. If this suits you, then clarify about the shared space first.

Otomix Wrestling MMA Combat Shoes Product Review

Most athletic shoes for sports that require any amount of running have a slightly raised heel. This pitches your weight a bit more over the ball of the foot offering a faster transition for the first step of a run and better ability to pick up or maintain speed. This style of shoe offers the best ergonomics for the most efficient way to run. However in most combat sports, athletes perform in smaller areas and do very little actual running. These activities are better performed wearing shoes with a completely flat sole. The problem is the selection of flat-soled athletic shoes pales in comparison with the millions of raised heel running footwear for sale. One of the best and most popular flat-soled athletic sneakers is made by a brand named Otomix. This company has been making original and authentic performance workout shoes since 1988. Flat soles make Otomix footwear a top choice for combat athletes such boxers, wrestlers, martial artists and mma fighters. However all the different styles are excellent for any weight lifting and of course looking great when lounging around away from the gym.

Otomix wrestling and boxing workout shoes are high top w/incredible ankle support from thickly padded sides. They also offer some of the best low top athletic shoes designed specifically for martial arts training. Otomix shoes are well known for lasting practically forever. They are not the cheapest priced athletic sneakers you will find, however the price is worth the quality you will get. All styles are made with the most premium quality materials and expert craftsmanship for incredible durability. No matter what you want them for, Otomix combat weight lifting shoes are very lightweight and excellently balanced. All styles are built for comfort, support and performance that will improves the quality of your training translating into more wins and success in your sport. Another great feature of Otomix combat shoes is their fantastic look that will add more style to your appearance and swag in your step.

While traditional martial artists train in bare feet, many are finding better performance from the added support and traction of a good karate shoe. Otomix mma and martial arts combat footwear offers additional support for the arch while they hug the mid-foot and heel for a snug but comfortable fit. Otomix martial arts shoes and boots also offer great protection for the toes when kicking an opponent or heavy bag. Besides the glove-like, comfortable feel, these extremely lightweight karate shoes have a soft sole with tread designed for best gripping traction on carpets, training mats, ring floors and even tile. The flexible sole allows the wearer to really feel the floor, enhancing balance and kicking power while also providing an effective safeguard against ankle or foot injury. The Otomix karate shoe is perfect for mixed martial arts training, Taekwondo, Karate or sports performed on mats and even Yoga.

When it comes to flat soled shoes, you will find boxing shoes to be the flattest. This is so fighters can plant their back heel for power punching and keeping balanced for fast evasive movement when backed up against the ropes. Otomix boxing shoes are amazing for all types of boxing training and competition combat in the ring. All Otomix boxing boots come high on or over the ankle to provide additional protection and support for the joint when moving laterally or an unexpected fall. Otomix MMA shoes are also excellent for boxing in for a shoe that’s not quite as high on the calf, however their mid-calf boxing boots are some of the best in the business. The soft rubber soles of this boxing footwear offer maximal grip in the ring for incredible traction. Besides sparring and competing in the ring, Otomix boxing shoes are also excellent for jumping rope, bag work, practicing combos on focus mitts, shadow boxing and footwork.

The best wrestling shoes have soft rubber flat soles, are extremely lightweight and are highly flexible for the best traction on the mat. A common complaint however is their flexibility often takes away from the amount of support they offer. This is simply not the case with Otomix wrestling shoes. Otomix makes several hybrid wrestling shoes; these are the Escape Stingray MMA boot and Ninja Warrior Combat Shoes. Comparatively, these sneakers may not be as light as some of the top brand wrestling shoes (yet they are still very lightweight) but they offer the most support around the ankle. If you’re an athlete who struggles with weak ankles or just do better with a tighter feel around this area, Otomix wrestling shoes are for you. Otomix grappling sneakers also tend to last longer than most other brand name wrestling shoes as the material used is much thicker and craftsmanship a bit more sturdy. Most wrestling shoes are lucky to last a full season, however you will easily get several from Otomix footwear.

In weight lifting, if your weight shifts forward over your toes during an exercise, it can be disastrous, particularly in the squat and deadlift. These exercises plus many others require flat soles so you can stay balanced over your heels. Besides grappling and boxing, Otomix three-quarter and high top athletic footwear is also excellent for amateur and even pro weight lifting. The Otomix Escape MMA wrestling shoe, Ninja Combat and even their boxing shoes offer great support, grip and balance for nearly all types of strength training. These flat soled shoes are fantastic for keeping you safely grounded on your heels for the best performance during all compound lifts. Besides powerlifting, Otomix wrestling shoes are also excellent for bodybuilding, strongman training and even quite a bit of cross fit. Otomix flat soled Combat shoes are not however, designed for running on surfaces much harder than a grappling mat. These shoes do not have the amount of arch support or tread that running on pavement or long distances requires. They are not good for sprinting on pavement, aerobics or long distance treadmill work. Overall, any Otomix combat shoe is a great buy for how long they last and how well they perform. If you’re into combat sports, weight lifting or just want to add more style to your look, buy a pair of Otomix shoes, you won’t be dissatisfied.

Causes and Effects of Dysfunctional Family Relationships

To raise a healthy child requires consistent reliable diligence, love, kindness, effective communication and the ability to apply reasonable parameters and boundaries of discipline in the home. Understandably, financial and emotional provisions are standard necessities if one is to raise a balanced family and have a reasonable lifestyle. When parents repeatedly fail to deliver their roles with awareness and sensitivity to each member of the family, the family unit may become unbalanced. Difficult behaviours may result in one or all of the family members. Dysfunctional relationships occur and are maintained when the action and communication lines are continuously breeched and broken and cannot be restored for the benefit of each party.

The infant is designed positively at birth to receive a level of quality nurturing from its biological care givers. Apart from the infant’s absolute dependency, all infants come into this world with physiological and emotional needs that ought to be considered responsibly and lovingly as they grow and develop. The family environment that parents create plays an important role in determining how an infant will be raised and whether it will be a well adjusted child, teenager and finally, a responsible adult, who in turn will rear its own well orientated family.

Long term deprivation, neglect or abuse of specific needs (caused by insensitive parenting roles), are able to affect a child’s development, emotional responses and personality formation. These behaviours will readily transfer from parents to their offspring. If dysfunctional role modelling and communication have occurred within the family without any intervention and no behaviour modifications are managed in the individual’s lifetime, the transmission of these behaviours is probable and will very likely prevail into the next generation.

Frequent displays of negative (or absent) communication and behaviour, by one or more persons within the family, which are ultimately difficult for the family members to cope with, will seep into the family, creating a dysfunctional set of relationships. Each individual in the family may encounter a level of reaction while relationships spiral and change into a fixed pattern of responses that deal with what they are experiencing. These burdening moments defy the norm. Families may be openly oblivious of these events and may accept the havoc as it comes because this is what they are used to, while others unused to the change may grasp for unusual coping mechanisms or hopefully, realistic and humane solutions to avoid their re-occurrence.

All families experience their unique troubles and problems at some stage or another. In all fairness, these events should pass. We all know this. Life in this millennium is not designed to be a straight line without hitches and bumpy rides now and again. However, when problems re-occur frequently in the home, parents need to be aware of them and pay attention to their remedy if they are to avoid permanently dysfunctional relationships within the family.

Symptoms that may be the cause or effect of the dysfunctional family may include one or more of these consistent behaviours:

– Difficult parents without adequate flexibility and insight

– Absent parenting style (there, but not there)

– Ridicule or belittling, or over-criticizing

– Prejudice towards one or more family members

– Mixed feelings of love and hate

– Faulty communication

– Lack of attentiveness to issues of importance (brush off, downplay or avoidance)

– Lack of care or concern for the needs of another (absent care or denial)

– Lacking in the ability to empathise with children, siblings or parents

– Dual values and double standards, or lack of clear boundaries

– Diminished ability to make decisions

– Over-interest or micro management of one member or the entire family

– Insensitivity towards other family member(s)

– Emotional intolerance

– Emotional outbursts

– Emotional insecurities

– Depression, deep rooted anxiety and feelings of gloom and despair

– Childish behaviours in adults

– Poor self image and worth, or lack of sufficient self identity

– Controlled/contrived speech or stifled speech

– Verbal abuse which others must tolerate

– Sexual or physical abuse that other members must accommodate

– Overworked family environment lacking any family fun (workaholic – no recreation)

– Perfectionist behaviours, over-demanding parents or children

– Disowning behaviours of parents or children

– Isolation or inadequate socialising with others

– Narcissistic parents or children

– Rule-by-fear parenting

– Bullying (to re-gain the upper hand)

– Growing up too fast because of advanced roles

– Reduction of roles and responsibilities caused by over protectiveness

He’s on the Line – Reel Him in by Playing Hard to Get!

Do you know how to tease a man to the point he’s begging you to go out with him? How do you get the perfect man to invite you on a date without asking him yourself? What do you need to do to keep him interested once you have him? If you have no idea what the answers to these questions are, then you’re just one of millions of women. It’s time to change the rules; you’re going to get him on the line and reel him in by playing hard to get.

As long as men and women have been in existence, women have been playing hard to get. Not every woman is an expert at playing this game, but every woman should become one. As little girls, women learn that if you chase little boys for a kiss, they run screaming in the opposite direction. When girls ignore the boys, then and only then do the boys find them interesting..

Here it is, plain and simple – men are hunters; they do not like to be chased. If you are always there, he does not have time to miss the good things about you, and since you are there, does he really need to think about you anyway? On the other hand, you do not want to act uninterested either. If you do, then he may think you are not interested.

Knowing exactly when to reel him in by playing hard to get requires delicate timing. When you first meet him, give him very little, only vague responses to keep him curious. At the same time, you also want to let him know that you are interested in him, but it must be a discreet signal. If he takes the nibble, then he’s interested in you as well. If the line doesn’t waver, then you probably need to recast the line.

You will be tempted, but do not call him first. Even if two months have gone by, and he still has not called, do not call him. If he has not called by that time, then he’s not interested. Don’t let it break your heart; he was not good enough for you, girl.

Normally if a guy is interested in a girl, he will wait a short while, and then call to invite her out for a date. When he calls, pretend you don’t remember him for a few seconds. Remember, he’s on the line; now we need to reel him in by playing hard to get.

Go ahead and say yes if you want to know him better. Don’t accept the first date he offers you. Let him assume your days are quite busy, and no matter what, do not ever cancel other plans to go on a date. Even though you think he’s wonderful may be the most important person in your life, he doesn’t need to know that now.

Don’t be nervous on the first date. It’s not a marriage ceremony; it’s a first day. Make him laugh; then let him discover that not only you are interesting but that you’re also extremely intelligent. Some men are turned on by intelligent women; if he is, play that brain card but not too much.

Refrain from talking about your past boyfriends. Tonight, it is all about you and him. Get to know him and tell him about you. Under no circumstances, should you ever, ever bring a Bridal Magazine and the name of your priest to a first date. That is a huge NO.

Well now you know enough about fishing to get him to take your bait. Remember to leave him curious after every meeting and always wait for him to come to you. If you hold the line and follow these steps, you can easily reel him in by playing hard to get.

DIY Ethernet Splitter – How to Build and Use Your Very Own Ethernet Splitter Cable

Ethernet splitters are a great way to reduce the amount of network cable you have in your house and save money. Splitters work by simply allowing two lanes of traffic to travel down an ethernet cable. Ethernet cables only use 4 out of the 8 wires they have when sending and receiving data. A splitter makes it possible for you to force two lanes of traffic down one cable. This allows you to almost halve the amount of cable between to network connections by using one cable instead of two. If you want to make your own ethernet cable splitter then the good news is that they are actually very cheap and anyone should be able to construct one without any outside help. If you are up for the challenge then here is what you need to do to make your own splitter.

The main components of the splitter are very basic and extremely cheap. It shouldn’t cost anymore than a few dollars to get everything you need. The parts that you will need include two RJ45 crimpable plugs, four RJ45 keystone jacks and some scrap ethernet cable. In addition to this you’ll also need the following tools to make assembling the splitter possible. One RJ45 crimp tool, a cutting knife (craft cutting knife is recommended), a 110 punch down tool and some super glue. That’s everything you will need and once you have that you can start assembling it all together.

The first step is to crimp the RJ45 plug onto the ethernet cable. Wire 1 needs to be matched to white and orange. Wire 2 is matched to just orange. Wire 3 is matched to white and green. Wire 4 is matched just to blue. Wire 5 is matched to white and blue. Wire 6 is matched to green. Wire 7 is matched to white and brown. Wire 8 is matched to brown. Once you’ve done that, the next step is to cut off the other end of the scrap ethernet cable, about 9 inches, and punch down the four pairs of RJ45 keystone jacks. The wiring for the jacks should be as follows:

Jack #1:

1 White/Orange to pin 1keystone jack

2 Orange to pin 2 keystone jack

3 White/Green to pin 3 keystone jack

6 Green to pin 6 keystone jack

Jack #2:

4 Blue to pin 2 keystone jack

5 White/Blue to pin 1 keystone jack

7 White/Brown to pin 3 keystone jack

8 Brown to pin 6 keystone jack

You are almost done. The next step is to super glue the keystone jacks together and then you are done. Since splitters need to be used in pairs, you will need to make a total of two of these. Simply repeat the steps above to make a second ethernet splitter.

Splitters can be used anywhere that you need to connect two networks together. Network here could mean computers or hubs and switches. It isn’t important, what is important is that you setup the splitters in pairs. Since splitters force two lanes of LAN traffic down one LAN cable, you need one splitter on one end to funnel the traffic into the single lane and then another splitter on the other end to separate the traffic as it comes out. IF you use just a single splitter, what you will find is that no data can be sent or received along your cable, because there is no separation of the traffic being done on both ends.