A Review of the Limitations of the Grandfathering Clause For Zoning Compliance

The term ‘grandfathering’ is commonly used in many different circumstances when dealing with a possible exemption to a rule, requirement, or change to any existing conditions or standards that apply to a variety of situations such as businesses activities or occupational requirement. Often employees or tradepersons find themselves in a situation where they may become exempt to a new professional requirement by the act of being grandfathered-in by means of previously acceptable conditions. In fact, there are a wide variety of circumstances where the grandfathering of a pre-existing condition or requirement is applicable. However for the purposes of this article, a common situation where the application of a grandfathering-in of a structure, use or occupancy when dealing with zoning codes, land development regulations, and permit requirements will be reviewed. The term grandfathering is often applied to address uses, activities, and structures that may be adversely affected by the adoption of new restrictive ordinances, land-use designations, or code requirements.

Historical Perspective

The term grandfathering or grandfather clause has been cited as having its origins in the amendments to constitutional provisions of many southern U.S. states around the late nineteenth century. Black’s Law Dictionary and West’s Encyclopedia of American Law explains that the original purpose of the ‘Grandfather Clause’ was to keep newly freed African-Americans and certain groups of people from voting, mainly in the southern U.S states. Theses clauses denied voter registration to people who didn’t meet certain requirements unless their grandfathers had served in the Confederate Army therefore if a person’s grandfather could vote, so could they. In 1915 the U. S. Supreme Court declared these types of clauses unconstitutional; however, the term grandfathering is still a commonly accepted term when addressing exemption provisions for zoning regulations. Today, grandfathering of a structure, business activity or use provides an exemption from current codes or other newly adopted regulations that would make it otherwise prohibited or fail to meet current codes because it was lawfully in place prior to any change or requirement affecting its existence, use or lawfulness. When a property or use is grandfathered-in, it is said to be non-conforming to any current codes or requirements. There is often a misconception that just the prior existence of a structure or activity or other use is okay if built or in place prior to the adoption of a related code or ordinance, however, the key to grandfathering is that the affected area or item of concern must have been lawfully in place prior to any change or prohibition. Additionally, there are laws that can be adopted for life-safety reasons that would not allow the continuance of any use or structure that is determined to be dangerous just because it has always been so or an new law may contain an amortization period where affected persons are put on noticed of a certain time-frame for when a use must conform to current codes or otherwise be ceased to exist.

Concerns for existing structures

It is important for owners of older properties to check with their local building and zoning departments prior to pursuing any construction or repair activities, not only to ensure what permit requirements may be necessary, if any, but also to obtain knowledge of any pre-existing conditions or new requirements that may affect the project or use. Any use or structure that does not conform to current codes or requirements for similar uses or structures would be considered non-conforming or that which does not conform. For example, in Florida, there are windstorm requirements for the installation of shutters or safety approved windows for new construction due to the changes in the Florida building code due to need for building safety from hurricane force winds and related effects of these storms. For an existing structure with older windows that do not conform to the latest safety standards, if the replacement of these windows becomes necessary, in order to meet this requirement, it may be required to upgrade all the windows or provide proper window safety coverings installed over the windows on the entire structure. Because of the life-safety and property protection nature of this requirement the existing windows on your property may not be grandfathered-in due to this requirement. However, the local building department would be able to advise if an exemption to this requirement would be allowed for only minor repairs for broken window panes or a replacement of only one window is needed.

Further considerations

Another scenario could involve the repair of an existing accessory structure, such as a fence, where there has been a change in permit requirements or new restrictions limiting size or location of new fences, the grandfathering provision may also not apply. Just because the fence may already be in existence and previously permitted, modifications or major repair may constitute adherence to any new regulations or requirements adopted by a local jurisdiction, change in building or zoning code or sometimes even a local neighborhood restriction as an architectural guideline or neighborhood enhancement standard. Often when existing structures are not in conformance with current code, such as one that may restrict the location of new fences in front yards, when an existing fences that are located in front yard need to be replaced, this may cause this existing fences to now be required to conform to the current neighborhood standards. Unless there is a minor repair provision, usually repairs to an existing structure that exceeds a preset percentage of the structure, such as a certain value of the work such as exceeding 50% or more or the area of the structure or value of the work or if a new building or zoning permit is required will require the structure to now be brought into conformance with current code requirements. This is how a neighborhood progresses towards all properties conforming to current neighborhood standards by requiring adherence to current codes when it makes sense and only exempting those properties that truly remain grandfathered-in by maintaining their nonconforming status either because no major repair or modifications requiring permits where necessary or changes to the a structure or use have remained within prescribed limitations. Be very wary of any contractor that tells you that a project does not require obtaining any permits or local jurisdiction approvals or homeowner association reviews unless it is for minor repairs or you are absolutely sure that it does not because if it does or it may affect a grandfathering status, it may cost you more money and headache in the long run if it is to be corrected after the fact.

Scenario of a common dilemma

A common area of concern occurs when a new property owner is faced with the dilemma of dealing with work that was previously done without permits to a property that they now own. When parts of real property such as an accessory structure like a shed or a property addition has been constructed without permits and required inspections it can be a real headache, especially if the work does not meet current code requirements or even worse, if it is not allowed or in the wrong place. This often occurs because the previous owner or owner at the time that the work was performed failed to obtain permits for the work and therefore the construction was never reviewed by all applicable agencies such as building, zoning, environmental, and engineering. Even though the work was done prior to a new or current owners awareness, it would not be grandfathered in because it was not originally done lawfully. Often property owners who find themselves in this type of situation may feel that the lack of a permit should be overlooked because whatever was done may not be thought to bother anyone else or that it does not serve any substantial purpose or protection of the general welfare to require a permit be obtained after the fact or if a long period of time has passed. However, the fact that a previous owner overlooked the responsibility to obtain a permit and required inspections does not negate the responsibility of the jurisdiction to enforce the codes once it has been made aware of the violation. To do so would be neglectful and the problem would not go away but would remain to be dealt with by a future unsuspecting purchaser or if something terrible were to happen because of poor workmanship or the unearthing of unknown consequences. In some cases, the building or zoning official may be able to provide alternative options towards bringing the property into compliance or obtaining an exception to the code requirements if a variance is sought and certain conditions are met. This is important if the problem was not self-created such as in this scenario.

The Quest for the Grandfathering Status

The need for the application of a grandfather status to a particular situation often arises when a new owner who is unaware of any problems or limitations on a property begins a home improvement project and either clears away obstructions that have concealed the construction from view, such as with overgrown landscaping or vegetation or upon the review of property survey or construction plans for the application of a new permit. Another common situation is when a change to an existing use of a property that is no longer allowed by the zoning code occurs or a new property owner applies for a use that is determined to have been previously discontinued and can no longer occur. The discovery of an existing problem may even occur upon property visits by a code inspector for other violations, when inspections are performed for the permit for new home improvement work or even by obvious visual reasons where a seasoned inspector can easily see that work was done without permits. This often occurs because since un-permitted work has not been reviewed by building and zoning officials, the awareness of code requirements or zoning limitations, such as setbacks from property lines, can be easily violated without being aware. Unless a new property owner can address this issue with the previous owner or through some type of title insurance claim, they are usually faced with the unfortunate responsibility and costs of trying to correct any problems un-permitted work may cause or address an expected use of a property that will not be allowed by the zoning department. Some jurisdictions may require that any property owner who is aware of work done without permits or if a violation has already been issued be responsible to disclose same to any future or prospective purchaser of the property. For example, in the State of Florida, Chapter 162.06 of the State Statutes requires the following:

“If the owner of property that is subject to an enforcement proceeding before an enforcement board, special magistrate, or court transfers ownership of such property between the time the initial pleading was served and the time of the hearing, such owner shall (a) Disclose, in writing, the existence and the nature of the proceeding to the prospective transferee; (b) Deliver to the prospective transferee a copy of the pleadings, notices, and other materials relating to the code enforcement proceeding received by the transferor: (c) Disclose, in writing, to the prospective transferee that the new owner will be responsible for compliance with the applicable code and with orders issued in the code enforcement proceeding; (d) File a notice with the code enforcement official of the transfer of the property, with the identity and address of the new owner and copies of the disclosures made to the new owner, within 5 days after the date of the transfer. A failure to make the disclosures described in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) before the transfer creates a rebuttable presumption of fraud. If the property is transferred before the hearing, the proceeding shall not be dismissed, but the new owner shall be provided a reasonable period of time to correct the violation before the hearing is held.”

Certain state constitutions or statues may allow for a use or structure to continue if it has been in existence over a certain period of time depending on the law. An example of this would be if a state provides a statute of limitations whereby if a building code permit provision has not been enforced for the construction of a structure for more than twenty-years then a local jurisdiction cannot require the structure to be brought into current code conformance unless the jurisdiction is able to meet certain requirements that warrant such action. However, because the building codes are usually considered specifically dealing with life-safety, most work done without permits unless specifically exempt by code or statue would not be allowed to exist once discovered. The codes are not only designed to prevent harm and property damage to the general public but also to protect each and every individual from harm to themselves, family, tenants, or guests by occupying or utilizing unsafe structures.

Conclusion

Although code enforcement officials and inspectors are tasked with the responsibility to address possible violations for losses of nonconformance or items that are not in conformance with current codes, every situation encountered should be treated as an individual case and handled based upon its own history, facts and records. Code officials can assist with researching records, such as building permits, zoning approvals, certificates of uses or other prior board determinations to make a determination if something is or is not grandfathered-in. If a property was lawfully existing or a use was already established before a change was made to prohibit such use or construction, certain evidence such as photos, plans, and even testimonial affidavits may become very useful in assisting the local building and zoning departments to establish a legal nonconforming use or structure. Additionally, because there are always other factors, circumstances or applicable laws that may affect a determination of grandfathering, any concerns regarding the application of grandfathering should be discussed with your code enforcement official, local building and zoning department officials, municipal or county attorney and other qualified professional or counsel. There may be numerous procedural steps, exemptions, and laws that may apply to your particular situation so be sure and get all the assistance and information that you can, especially when dealing with any legal concern. It is often recommended that before the purchase of any property, that buyers obtain the services of a reliable and reputable inspection service, as well as, paying a visit to your local building and zoning departments. Some jurisdictions may offer a prospective property buyer to obtain a pre-purchase or pre-occupancy inspection for a property to determine if there are any existing liens, encumbrances, outstanding permits, violations or limitations on proposed uses.

Living With Breast Cancer and Beating It

Breast Cancer, to be informed that you have such a serious disease has to be a life altering point in a woman’s life. No one can ever prepare themselves to receive bad news of that caliber. Even with the advances in treatment, support systems, and recovery statistics, fear of the unknown is omnipresent. Fear of the side effects of radiation therapy and chemo therapy can cause the stress level to increase substantially. It’s a natural response to a serious situation

Extensive research has revealed the various ways people respond to their cancer has a direct affect on the course and intensity of the disease. Additional research has proven that intense negative emotions over time can impede the body’s ability to combat the disease.

One thing we must be aware of, however, is short term stress can actually be a good thing because it stimulates the fight or flight response. Oftentimes the jolt of a serious diagnosis spurs some people to take a proactive attitude towards the new and challenging situation. This positive attitude frequently gives them the energy to do whatever it takes to defeat this cancerous foe.

We should also be aware of the consequences of a negative attitude. If one becomes consumed with fear, negative thoughts and attitudes, the results will be an immune system that is less efficient and vulnerable to an attack by an aggressive cancer. Doctors who practice a holistic approach to breast cancer agree that the mind-body approach like meditation, yoga, and Qi Gong can relax the mind, reduce stress, and make it easier for the patient to cope with the magnitude of the issues at hand.

Chemicals produced from long term stress shorten the telomeres found on the tips of the chromosomes. Telomeres are the end-caps that prevent our DNA from unraveling, thus preserving its strength and preventing damage that can ultimately lead to chronic disease. Cells with shortened telomeres have a tendency to age prematurely. This premature aging process poses a potential risk for the development of new cancers. Stress, a pessimistic attitude, negative thoughts, and a negative attitude can affect your immune system by seriously damaging and often destroying critical immune cells. This, believe it or not, can result in the cancer intensifying. Some research strongly indicates a cancer risk increases in women who experience long periods of stress.

Stress reduction is of primary importance in the fight against cancer. A good way to fight depression, fear, anxiety, and other stressful states of mind is by practicing meditation on a regular basis. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to sit quietly, focusing on deep slow breathing to decrease the intensity of your stress related hormones. Numerous studies have shown that meditation can significantly stimulate immune function, reduce pain, and improve ones quality of life.

There are additional mental-physical methods of reducing stress and improving immune function. They are called moving meditation because they combine deep mental concentration with slow methodical movement. Examples of moving meditation are Tai Chi and Qi gong where the emphasis is placed on deep methodical breathing that helps correlate the connection with mind and body to facilitate a greater healing capacity.

Never underestimate the healing power of joy. It can be your best friend and cancers worst enemy. Doing something you really enjoy will significantly reduce your stress. Take a relaxing nature walk, hug a baby, laugh, interact with family and friends. All those types of activities will improve your mental state which will fortify your immune system.

We now know about the strong connection between our mental state and this insidious disease called cancer. There is also a strong connection between our eating habits and cancer. You have probably heard this in the past but it bares repeating. And that is to avoid grain fed red meat, fried foods, and sugar. These three items have been shown to increase your risk of contracting cancer. Sugar feeds inflammation and stimulates tumor growth. Try to cut back on the white stuff and make it a habit to read those food labels because that’s where much of your sugar comes from.

Raw organic fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, provide an abundance of antioxidants that assist in neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals. Raw organic fruits and vegetables contain high concentrations of phytochemicals which are key players in the fight against cancer.

Broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are extremely beneficial because they contain ingredients that stimulate breast health by assisting in the balance of a woman’s hormones. One ingredient that is especially helpful is DIM which is produced naturally in the body when broccoli, kale and cauliflower are digested. Once DIM is exposed to the body’s interior, it helps to reduce inflammation, fortify the immune system, and ultimately fight the invading cancer cells.

The types of food we ingest plays an important role in our fight against breast cancer, any cancer actually. But lets not forget the role supplements play in this fight. In numerous documented cases, supplements have shown great success in the fight against breast cancer, even in aggressive cases.

Some of the key supplements in this fight are Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP), Beta-Glucan, Maitake Mushroom, Turmeric, Chinese Skullcap, Astragalus, Quercetin, and DIM. All of those have a variety of cancer fighting attributes. But there is one attribute they all have in common, and that is they all fortify your immune system.

We now know that the most successful method of fighting breast cancer is to combine a positive mental approach with a healthy organic diet and key supplements. I’m sure you are aware that there are no guarantees in life, but your chances of a successful outcome will increase greatly if you apply these methods.

Historiography of the Peace Conference of 1919 and Surrounding Events

The events of history have been documented as an objective form of non-fiction throughout time. The way in which historians compose these events is termed historiography. Historiography in its simplest terms is a historical form of literature. A more accurate description of historiography is that it is the principles, theories, or methodology of scholarly historical research and presentation. It is also the writing of history based on a critical analysis, evaluation, and selection of authentic source materials, as well as composition of these materials into a narrative subject. It is the study of how historians interpret the past. Historiography is a debate and argument about previous and current representations of the past. Historiography is present in all historical works big and small. The notorious Peace Conference of 1919 has received its fair share of historiography. There are many viewpoints and interpretations of the ins and outs of the peace conference by vast numbers of historians; the historical works that will be focused on in this composition are The Illusion of Peace: International Relations in Europe 1918-1933 by Sally Marks, The Peace Conference of 1919 by F.S. Marston, Great Britain, France, and the German Problem 1918-1939 by W.M. Jordan, and Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan.

The extent as to which the conference was discussed varies by historian. Sally Marks’ The Illusion of Peace, is broken down into six chapters that focus primarily on peace. These chapters are titled The Pursuit of Peace, The Effort to Enforce the Peace, The Revision of the Peace, The Years of Illusion, The Crumbling of Illusion, and The End of All Illusion. For the sake of this composition we will focus on chapter 1, The Pursuit of Peace, which deals primarily with the Peace Conference. Marks begins The Illusion of Peace by stating that “major wars often provide the punctuation marks of history, primarily because they force drastic realignments in the relationships among states.” F.S. Marston chose to take a slightly different route in recording the occurrences of the Peace Conference in his The Peace Conference of 1919. Marston’s main focus was not on the concept of peace itself but the actual procedure of the Peace Conference. In the preface of The Peace Conference of 1919, he states that his purpose for writing the book was because “there was an obvious need for an objective analysis of the organization of the Conference.” Marston breaks The Peace Conference of 1919 into eighteen chapters. These chaoters go into great detail about the characteristics of the conference. The book begins with “The Paris Peace Conference was a unique gathering of the nations. We are still perhaps too near it and too deeply involved in its consequences to make a final appraisal of its work.”

Another perspective to be discussed is that of W. M. Jordan in Great Britain, France, and the German Problem 1918-1939, which is divided into seventeen chapters. These chapters discuss everything from the concepts of peace of 1914-1918 to the European framework of territorial settlement. Professor C. K. Webster states in the foreword of Great Britain, France, and the German Problem that “this study makes painful but salutary reading. It faces relentlessly certain facts which have produced the world in which we live now. It is objective, and the author has taken the greatest care to be as fair to France as to Britain.” The last perspective to be discussed is that of Margaret MacMillan, who, by far, presents the most information on the Peace Conference out of the previous listed historians. Her Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World, has eight parts and thirty chapters. In the foreword written by Richard Holbrooke, it is stated that MacMillan’s account of the seminal event in Paris 1919 contains several success stories, but is measured against the judgment of history and consequences.

Marks begins, early on in the Illusion of Peace, discussing the sudden collapse of Germany and the surprise it caused to the victors. The defeat of Germany was so prevalent in the minds of the Allies that they failed to consider planning the peace that follows after war. Marks stressed that what little peace planning that was in progress was not even close to being considered effective. She states that out of all of the major Allies, the French were the closest to being the best prepared for matters of peace. She gave the reasoning behind this to be that the French had a predetermined notion of what mattered to them and were less than interested in what occurred on a global scale. Marks writes that the American standpoint on peace was obscured by President Woodrow Wilson’s highly ambiguous Fourteen Points, which are ideally good points, but from a realistic standpoint face a difficult time being implemented because of their complexities.

As for the location of the Peace Conference, Marks writes that Paris was not the ideal place for such a conference. Paris was considered a poor location because “wartime passion [ran] higher there than any other location” and the capital was in no condition, after four years of war, to provide lodging and other important amenities to the leaders. In the first chapter, Marks, uses Erich Eyck’s A History of the Weimar Republic to support information on the relationship between the Allies and Germany. She also discusses the fatal influenza that was sweeping across Europe and the rest of the world. During this discussion, Marks writes that Germany was fortunate in that its people were not starving like the rest of the war torn countries. As for the actual conference, Marks writes that “When the conference finally got down to business, it functioned very haphazardly. Much of the work was done by committees.” She elaborates on this statement by stating that several things played a major part in the haphazardness of the decisions made. Some of these things included influence and idiosyncrasy, and personality and prejudice. When dealing with the League of Nations, Marks writes that provided the circumstances of such damaging characteristics the League was set up to fail and the creation of such a thing presented a misleading illusion of peace that was impossible to achieve.

In Marks’ recordings of the Treaty of Versailles, she explains that the treaty has been criticized a great deal throughout history and deserves to be because of its numerous inadequacies and lack of attention to “economic realities.” Marks writes that despite the criticisms for the economic aspects of the treaty, great care had been taken in the preservation of economic units by the Allied leaders. She presents several different views of certain events in order to provide the reader with as much objectivity as is possible. She explains that despite what has been recorded or despite popular belief, there is always room for argument as to what was and was not effective during the Peace Conference of 1919. The last pages of The Illusion of Peace are dedicated to a chronological table of the events that took place before, during, and after the Peace Conference. There is an extensive bibliography that includes documents and official publications, such as the official journal of the League of Nations, and diaries, letters, and memoirs, such as David Lloyd George’s Memoirs of the Peace Conference. An extensive number of secondary sources were used in addition to several periodicals as well. The last component of The Illusion of Peace is Marks’ notes and references. All in all, this account of the Peace Conference of 1919 was presented in an unbiased and informative manner.

F. S. Marston took on the role of composing a historical rendition of the organization and procedure of the conference in The Peace Conference of 1919. Marston’s position on the organization of the conference is as follows: “The following pages will show the extent to which the throwing away of the fruits of victory twenty-five years ago was due to premature relaxation of effort and failure to make immediate use of the organization that had been so laboriously developed.” One of the first things included in The Peace Conference of 1919 was a chart depicting the general organization of the conference. The Council of Ten is the center of this chart, which branches out into the sub-councils, which in turn branch out into smaller more centralized committees. Marston describes the conference in relation to earlier conferences and events. According to Marston, the most critical development that occurred in the year 1917, just two years before the Peace Conference, the Supreme War Council was formally established. Marston includes references from General Bliss to reiterate a fact about the war council and its roles. The primary function of the council was to monitor the conduct of the war, but it also acted as a political body.

After discussing the Supreme War Council, Marston proceeds into discussing the Armistices in chapter two. Within the first paragraph, Marston writes that “The main background to the peace negotiations of 1919 was foreshadowed by the German Note of 4th October asking President Wilson to take the necessary steps to secure a suspension of hostilities.” The bulk of Marston’s information is based on times, dates, and locations. Chapter two does not focus so much on who did what, but rather when the event took place and for how long did the event last. Marston jumps from the Armistice to the Conference in chapter three and in chapter four. He begins chapter three by discussing the importance of the time interval between the Armistice and the Peace Conference. “It was a time of intense diplomatic activity, but of very little tangible progress, preparation for the Conference being combined with complete uncertainty as to the exact point at which it was to take charge of the negotiations” writes Marston.

In the remaining chapters Marston continues to explain and present the organizational characteristics of the Conference in great detail. The very last chapter is titled Retrospect and includes Marston’s view on how the Peace Conference of 1919 has affected the world and how it will continue to leave its mark. He writes “The Peace Conference of 1919 must certainly occupy an important place in the long succession of similar gatherings, if only because of the scale on which it was organized.” Immediately following the Retrospect, is the Chronology. Marston’s bibliography includes documents, diaries and letters, and general works, followed by his many references. He presents the information about the Peace Conference critically at times, believing that the conference was inadequate in performing the duties it was set to perform.

The perspective of W. M. Jordan, in Great Britain, France, and the German Problem 1918-1939, is one that focuses on disarmament, reparation, and security during the events surrounding the Peace Conference and the events of the Peace Conference. Jordan admits to omitting information that strictly “belongs to the history of this central problem.” As with the historical works discussed previously, Jordan begins chapter one, titled Concepts of Peace: 1914-1918, discussing the events that led up to the Peace Conference of 1919. He focuses on the breakdown of the Versailles settlement among other things. Jordan quotes several key people in the events of 1914-1918. One such person, was an American writer or European origin. This writer, according to Jordan, stressed the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, was held at esteem by the British because of his principles of idealism. Jordan discussed that “the idealism which inspired the Allied cause in the Great War of 1914-1918 was, in the first instance, the achievement of British Liberalism.” This war was inadvertently a war for democracy. Jordan presented the idea that it is important to understand that the war was not directed at the German people, rather at the Prussian military caste that was controlling them. Jordan also presents two more reasons for the war: the war was meant to liberate nations and become a war to end war. Jordan includes excerpts from Lloyd George’s speeches to convey this message. He focuses a great deal on President Woodrow Wilson’s role in the quest for peace. When discussing the Fourteen Points, Jordan admits that they are too well known to need to be quoted.

In chapter two of Great Britain, France, and the German Problem, Jordan discusses the fact that “historians have paid little attention to the preparation of the document signed on 11th November 1918, which set out the military and naval terms with which Germany was required to comply as a condition of the suspension of warfare.” The purpose of this chapter was to study the political implications of the Armistice. This document started the ball rolling on the Peace Conference. The major players in the composition of the Armistice were Haig, Foch, and Bliss. Jordan discusses that the study of the conflicting views of the three men reveals that the problems with the armistice’s military terms were not of a military order, but of a political order. During this discussion, Jordan presents the reader with several questions of the actions of the three men. It is also, in chapter two in which Jordan opposes the notion that the armistice was drafted mostly from President Wilson’s policy. He states, “The claim is hardly well founded.”

The subsequent chapters of Jordan’s Great Britain, France, and the German Problem, discuss the actual Peace Conference and the results of the conference. Chapter 3 is titled The Conference and the Treaty. In the opening paragraph, Jordan gives a description of what to expect from the chapter. According to Jordan, the Peace Conference’s course of negotiations in relation to the main aspects of the settlement between Europe and Germany is “given separate consideration” in the concluding chapters. Jordan believes that the chronological order of the Conference’s sequence of events is broken up by such an arrangement. He writes, “It may be desirable to preface this chapter by a short composite account of the negotiations in 1919.” Jordan also records the illnesses of the conference’s key players in chapter three. He describes how President Wilson falling ill played a part in changing the speed of the conference. Lloyd George began to lose hope for a quick resolution after Wilson became ill and was not able to participate in the Council of Four.

Jordan goes to great lengths to remain objective in his descriptions of the personal characters of the leaders. He uses a great amount of quoted material from Lloyd George, President Wilson, and Clemenceau. There is a rather lengthy excerpt from a speech given by Clemenceau on December 29, 1918. This speech was Clemenceau’s response to a challenge by Albert Thomas on the eve of the Conference. Jordan is full of questions about the events of the Conference; on every page there is a question or some form of insight presented to be pondered upon by the reader. Jordan presents the perspective of several different countries during the Conference. He discusses the plight that France faced as a result of the Treaty of Versailles. Jordan writes, “France is now left to bear alone the brunt of German resentment. She must insist on the payment or reparation; she must protect the new settlement against disturbance by Germany.” Jordan explains that Great Britain’s opinion of the Treaty of Versailles was condemning and spawned many debates. In describing the views of the Treaty, Jordan presents the idea that worrying over the criticism the Treaty of Versailles was receiving, necessitated too much digression and is unessential. He focuses on the misjudgment of the purpose of the Treaty. He writes, “That the Treaty had been conceived in the wrong spirit-this was the more general and the more trenchant charge.” In discussing the Treaty, Jordan includes his evaluations of many historical works, one of which was Economic Consequences of the Peace by J. M. Keynes. He focuses his attention on two passages of which he claims come to the conclusion that the Treaty was “incompatible with the economic prosperity of Europe.” Jordan stresses the idea that Mr. Keynes’ economic criticisms were embedded in political philosophy. Jordan provides a historical work of the Peace Conference of 1919 that transcends the times in which it was written. He is bold in his statements, forthcoming with his questions, and fair as one can be in discussing the leaders themselves.

One of the most recent historical renditions of the Peace Conference of 1919 is Margaret MacMillan’s Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World, which was published in 2001. MacMillan provides a well balanced look at the events in Paris in 1919. She is able to work past the easily taken road of blaming the many ills the world has experienced since this time on the Peace Conference. MacMillan also readily admits that many mistakes were made by the peacemakers. Some of these mistakes could have been easily avoided. Macmillan does an excellent job in taking into consideration the many factors that made many of the decisions made during the Conference seem more reasonable. She addresses countless issues involved in the meetings and committees of the Versailles conference, as well as the politics involved amongst the victorious allies. She addresses the fact that the Conference is most remembered for the production of the Treaty of Versailles; however, she writes, “but it was always about much more than that. The other enemies had to have their treaties.” MacMillan seems biased and apologetic. She attempts to win over readers by using an unorthodox approach which is oblivious to the balance of historical facts. For example, MacMillan explains that Keynes was “A very clever, rather ugly young man.” Keynes physical attraction seems irrelevant to the events surrounding the Treaty of Versailles, but MacMillan finds it important to make such a statement in describing his entire character. She also makes it a point to bring up the idea that the “Big Three” leaders were from democratic governments.

The format of Paris 1919 is interesting because each chapter focuses on a specific area of the conference. As a reference it is helpful, because each country is focused on in its own chapter. The negative side to this format is that it eliminates the chronological flow of the conference; therefore, making it difficult for the reader to follow the order of event occurrences. The cultural differences among the French, English, American and Italian as well as the German, Japanese, Chinese, Greek and others was outlined rather thoroughly by MacMillan. This book goes section by section through the world and talks about the effects of peace on the east, Middle East, Africa, and Europe. It redraws the borders, shows the alienation of Italy as well as the harshness of German reparations. The failure of the League of Nations is coached in this treaty and these six months were a catastrophe for the world. She also outlines the evolution of America into a world power. MacMillan addresses the contrast among President Woodrow and his European counterparts. Wilson was adamant about international morality; whereas, his counterparts focused on national gains as a result of the war. “Hitler did not wage war because of the Treaty of Versailles,” MacMillan writes in her concluding chapter. Even if Germany had retained everything that was taken from it at Versailles, he would have wanted more: “the destruction of Poland, control of Czechoslovakia, above all the conquest of the Soviet Union” as well of course as the annihilation of the Jews.”

In the introduction of Paris 1919, MacMillan writes “We know something of what it is to live at the end of a great war. When the Cold War ended in 1989 and Soviet Marxism vanished into the dustbin of history, older forces, religion, and nationalism, came out of their deep freeze.” She believes that it is a valid argument that resurgent Islam is our current menace; whereas, in 1919, the menace was Russian Bolshevism. Chapter one is dedicated to discussing Woodrow Wilson and his trip to Europe; a trip that is in itself one for the history books. This is so because never before had a United States President ever traveled to Europe while in office. MacMillan focuses on Wilson’s biographical information; discussing when and where he was born and the way of life during this time. She also discusses in great detail, Wilson’s struggle with depression and illness. This discussion can lead one to doubt Wilson’s credibility and ability to make proper judgments during the Peace Conference, because of his weakened mental state. MacMillan goes so far as to discuss President Wilson’s relationships with women and the gossip surrounding such relationships. She writes, “During his first marriage he had close, possibly even romantic, friendships with several women.”

Chapter four is dedicated to one of Wilson’s counterparts, Lloyd George. This chapter begins almost like a fictional novel. MacMillan writes, “On January 11, David Lloyd George bounded with his usual energy onto a British destroyer for the Channel crossing.” This is a rather playful description of the British leader. It seems a bit out of place in a historical rendition of a vastly serious world event. MacMillan goes into great detail about his character and physical appearance as well. MacMillan seems to place great emphasis on building up the British leader. Her objectivity can be questioned because of her familial connection to Lloyd George; she is his granddaughter, a fact that she fails to acknowledge in Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World. Armed with this information, it is hard for the reader not to see the pedestal Lloyd George is placed upon by MacMillan.

MacMillan’s chapter five moves beyond the descriptions of the leaders and moves into their unity as the “League of the People.” It is in this chapter in which MacMillan deals with the composition of the Supreme Council. In addition to discussing the Council, MacMillan deems it important to provide the reader with descriptions of meeting places and how they appear present day. She writes, “The great staterooms at the Quai d’Orsay have survived the passage of time and a later German occupation surprisingly well.” She goes so far as to even describe the furnishings and color scheme of the room. MacMillan provides a great deal of information on the meeting held in places such as this. She writes that the Supreme Council met at least once a day, sometimes two or three times. These events led to the creation of The League of Nations, which MacMillan writes, “Only a handful of eccentric historians still bother to study the League of Nations.”

MacMillan recorded a thorough rendition of the Peace Conference of 1919 in Paris 1919. She left no area of interest untouched. Her four hundred ninety-four page work is broken into eight lengthy units which include thirty chapters total. She includes maps of Europe in 1914, Germany and Europe in 1920, East Central Europe in 1919, The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, The Middle East from the Treaty of Sevres to the Treaty of Lausanne, China and the Pacific 1914-1919, and Africa in 1919. She also includes many different photographs taken during the Peace Conference and its surrounding events. She addresses issues in many different countries; such as, China, Poland, Palestine, Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Yugoslavia to name a few. MacMillan’s appendix is composed of Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points and nothing else. She has a very extensive bibliography and an extensive note section. MacMillan’s evaluations of the many different works lead to a rather interesting historical rendition of a complicated and controversial period in history.

There is little doubt that the events, and the outcome, of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 played a major role in changing the world. Every historian discussed in this paper believed this to be so. Their views on certain aspects of the Conference, and how significant certain aspects were, may vary. All works are presented, in their forewords, as objective historical works that are composed of by extensive evaluations of other historical works and documents. The Illusion of Peace: International Relations in Europe 1918-1933 by Sally Marks, The Peace Conference of 1919 by F.S. Marston, Great Britain, France, and the German Problem 1918-1939 by W.M. Jordan, and Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan have provided readers with different views of the Conference. The way in which these historians composed their views of the Conference is termed historiography, which can described as, simply, a historical form of literature. A more accurate description of historiography is that it is the principles, theories, or methodology of scholarly historical research and presentation. Marks, Marston, Jordan, and MacMillan combined all of these aspects to carry on the legacy of Peace Conference of 1919 and the end of the First World War.

References

Jordan. W.M. Great Britain, France, and the German Problem 1918-1939. Surrey, England: Gresham Press, 1971.

MacMillan, Margaret. Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World. New York: Random House, 2001.

Marks, Sally. The Illusion of Peace: International Relations in Europe 1918-1933. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1976.

Marston, F.S. The Peace Conference of 1919. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1944.

The National Centre for History Education. “What is Historiography-and why is it Important?” Available from http://www.hyperhistory.org/index.php?option=displaypage&Itemid=735&op=page. Internet; accessed 23 April 2008.

Getting Past an Apartment Background Check

Most apartment complexes now conduct criminal background checks and this is in order to avoid discriminatory accusations of biased renting and also to protect their investments. Apartments also want to ensure that they keep their reputation as a safe neighborhood so existing tenants can renew their leases. All these factors weigh heavily into why apartments screen their prospective tenants. Another reason why apartments feel compelled to conduct criminal background checks is because they do not want their apartment to be a regular source of police activity and thereby drive rent prices down.

So if you have a criminal record, what are the tactics you can employ? There are a few tactics you can employ but one of the most effective is to get someone who is esteemed in society to vouch for your character. You can achieve this by getting someone like a pastor who knows you to write a letter to the apartment and state that he or she knows you and that you are a reformed person and an outstanding model citizen. To augment the letter, you can also write your own that also explains your side of the story.

One other thing you can include in your letters is the any membership to any community volunteer services. These can be extremely helpful and can sway the apartment manager into granting you an approval.

Apartment managers are also employees who also have bosses and upper management monitoring their actions. Sometimes the apartment manager does not have the freedom to grant you an approval and he or she may have to go to his or her manager. In our experience, if you present yourself convincingly, you may be granted an approval.

Renting an apartment with a criminal record can be a frustrating ordeal especially if you do not know where to start. You may end up with numerous denials which can really wreak havoc on your self-esteem. One thing to remember is not to give up and to think strategically because there is a solution no matter how bleak the situation.

You can also seek more advanced publications which can give you more tips on how to get past an apartment criminal background check.

Act 1, Sequence 1 of "The Goonies" – Three Act Structure: Part 25

This article explores act 1, sequence 1 of the classic 1980s movie “The Goonies.” In three act structure, there are 8 sequences. Act 1 begins with the first sequence. As a screenwriter, understanding three-act structure is key to successful screenwriting.

“The Goonies” is a classical ensemble picture. As with stories involving a group of people, there is always one primary character, a main protagonist. He makes a majority of the critical decisions. However, many of them are made with the assistance of his companions and all of the characters have arcs as the story moves to its conclusion.

LOGLINE: Action/Adventure – Two brothers and their gang of friends go on an adventure in search of pirate treasure that could save their homes from foreclosure.

ACT 1 GOAL: Mikey Walsh wants to convince his friends to go on an improbable search for pirate treasure to save their homes.

Act 1 Sequence 1

FADE IN:

Meet the Fratellis, a ruthless crime family. Mama Fratelli and son Francis Fratelli help the other son, Jake, to escape from jail in the town of Astoria, Oregon. During the ensuing car chase with the bad guys and the police, the kids — soon to be called the Goonies — are presented: Andy, Data, Stef, Mouth, and Chunk. Finally there is the group’s leader, Mikey Walsh. He is in denial about losing his home and fighting with his older brother Brand. The INCITING INCIDENT has already happened.

The neighborhood known as the Goon Docks has been sold to a developer and everyone has to move out. They planned to enjoy their last weekend before their families are evicted from their homes, which are to be demolished to make way for a golf course. Unfortunately, Brand flunked his driver’s license test, so they are stuck being bored. Mikey does not want to believe that they are going to lose the house. Data, Brand, Mouth, and Chunk decide to go into the attic, where Mr. Walsh keeps excess items from the museum. Mikey tries in vain to convince them to leave all the stuff alone. Then Mikey finds a framed painting that looks like a map. Mikey’s FIRST CRITICAL DECISION is to have Chunk hold the painting. He knows that his friend is clumsy and will drop it, which Chunk does. They discover that the painting contains a map.

Now that you have a better understanding of act 1, sequence 1, try writing or rewriting sequence 1 of your screenplay.

How Archery Can Help Relieve Stress

Are you consumed with stress? If so, I bet you have tried many different stress relief techniques, but have you tried archery? If not, you should.

In the old days, archery was used as a defense weapon and as a hunting tool to find food. Today things have changed; while people still use archery to hunt, many more are using it to challenge themselves and as a fun hobby to enjoy. By opting to try archery, you not only get to improve your shooting, but you get to spend time in a stress-free environment.

If you are ready to give archery a try, start by doing a little bit of research on local organizations and clubs to join. Archery is a sport that you can enjoy by yourself, but all beginners are encouraged to get started with a club or organization. They will not only provide you with some training, but give you advice on which archery bows and arrows you need. They will also make recommendations on some of the best brands, such as Parker bows.

Since you are starting out with using archery as a stress relief device, don’t fret or worry too much in the beginning. You will come across a few quasi-pro shooters whose prowess may be a bit intimidating! Don’t be discouraged by their experience – they have probably been practicing and enjoying the sport and training for years. Most importantly, for stress relief only do archery when you feel you want to. Keep it fun. Hours of training every day is only recommended for those who have goals of winning competitions. However, it is still beneficial to join an archery club because you will find yourself hitting your targets with your Parker bows much sooner.

Speaking of equipment, know that some organizations and clubs have equipment available for rent, such as Parker bows and others. This is a good approach to take as a beginner. Right now, you are unsure if archery is a sport you will enjoy for years. Also, renting gives you the option to experiment with different brands and models; you can find the perfect fit for yourself before investing in your own equipment.

If you want to learn more about archery, as well as the equipment used, you can get started online. There are many information websites available, as well as discussion boards. You will not only get tips on how to improve your target practice, but you will find brand recommendations. Don’t be surprised either when other users share good deals they found online for much needed equipment, like Parker bows.

Cockapoo Eye Care

Just the same as our own eyes, your Cockapoo’s eyes are extremely sensitive and require good care and attention. In this article I’ll be sharing a few points and suggestions to ensure that your Cockapoo’s eyes stay in a healthy condition and infection free.

Here are a few tips to help maintain your Cockapoo’s eyes

  • Examine the sides of your Cockapoo’s eyes and make sure they’re totally free of mucus. Unwelcome bacteria will rapidly grow in the mucus and this could potentially be transferred to the eyes. If your dog suffers from a mucus build up, then ask for the local veterinarian’s help and advice. They will typically suggest a sterile eyewash that will allow you to eliminate the mucus.
  • In your Cockapoo is a little ‘intense’ in the presence of other dogs, it is important to maintain good control of your dog, since eye traumas sustained from fights can be extremely unpleasant – regrettably many a dog has lost an eye via some sort of ‘scrap’.
  • Does your dog constantly ride with his or her head out of the car window? If this is the case then its very easy for small particles to enter his eyes, which could cause infection or injury. Likewise, larger objects such as the branch of a tree or a rock thrown up by another vehicle, could cause a more severe injury to your dog.
  • Take care not to expose your dog to substances which are potential irritants, so consider where it is that you walk with him, what is on the ground, or what fumes may be in the air.
  • Take a set of blunt scissors and then clip the hair from about your pet’s eyes. Doing this will help to ensure that any long hairs will not prick against your dog’s eyes and may also help to prevent unhealthy present on the hairs microbes from coming into contact with his eyes.
  • Tear stains are a problem in Cockapoos simply because this breed of dog does not possess good tear duct drainage. Any tears that cannot drain away merely roll down and off the eye and may lead to staining around the eye, because the damp hairs attract and accumulate debris and dust. You can easily help alleviate problems with this discoloration by simply making certain that the hair surrounding the eyes is frequently cut. If the discoloring is high then there are several commercially obtainable solutions and products which can help. You should always check with one’s veterinarian for help and advice before of applying any sort of treatment solution on your dog.
  • By routinely checking your dogs eyes you’ll be able to spot any issues before they get serious. Should you see anything amiss then I suggest you contact your vet’s as soon as possible. Eye problems in dogs are actually commonplace, with the most typical being conjunctivitis. Eye infections are usually bacterial and will be easily cured with antibiotics. The antibiotics will either be in liquid or in a lotion.
  • Eye bacterial infections will certainly clear up a lot quicker if your dog is not able to scratch or paw at their eyes. You should get a cone collar because they will put a stop to the dog itching at their face. It will also help in preventing the problem from moving from one eye to the other.

The above facts are presented as a general guide. For anybody who is unsure on precisely how to care for your Cockapoos eyes then make sure that you talk with your veterinarian. They can describe for you all of the symptoms of the commonplace eye ailments, along with the symptoms that you need to be looking out for. They’ll also be able to demonstrate the ideal way to cleanse and maintain your dogs eyes, so that they remain healthy and problem free.

6 Top Reasons why Air Conditioners Leak Water

An air conditioners primary job is to remove moisture from the room to give us a feeling of comfort. During this process they create a lot of water. How much, is dependent upon humidity in the air, size of the air conditioner, its operating efficiency, and whether it was properly installed.

Water removed from the air during operation falls down the cooling coil and drops into the base. From here it follows channels or passages to the rear of air conditioner. Some of the water is lifted up by the fan blade and used to cool the heating coil, while most proceeds to the rear. Once at the rear it drops out of the base and onto the ground. That is, if everything is working perfectly.

The reality of window air conditioners is that they can leak water. One that leaks can drive you crazy trying to find the cause of the problem. The following are a few suggestions of the most common reasons why water leakage occurs.

1. Improperly installed.

A window air conditioner must be slightly lower at the rear than the front. This allows the water being removed from the room to drain to the back of the machine. A difference of one inch is sufficient. This is always the first thing to check. Many are improperly installed in the haste to get relief from the heat. If installed too low at front the water will flow into the room rather than outside. If installed too low at rear, water can roll out front edges before has chance to exit towards rear drain.

2. Icing up.

Water being de-humidified can turn to ice if there are problems with the cooling system. There are many reasons for an air conditioner to produce ice. Remove front grille while machine is operating. If ice is present on the cooling coil you will probably need service. For more information see our other article: Why window Air Conditioners Ice up.

3. Air leakage around air conditioner.

If warm air is able to enter around the air conditioner it will encounter cooler, dryer air. When they meet condensation will occur. If water leaking from front of air conditioner inspect to see if dripping from body of machine, or water droplets clinging to front area. To test, operate machine for 30 minutes and then use flashlight to check under front edge of base. Small water droplets here indicate an air leakage problem. Add foam insulation to stop warm air from infiltrating.

4. Drain hole blocked.

Rear of air conditioner base has a drain hole or groove to allow water to escape. If becomes blocked water can back up. To test, operate machine for 30 minutes and then inspect if draining properly. If appears blocked use a small piece of wood to open drain hole at rear of metal base. CAUTION: Never be tempted to drill holes into the air conditioner body to relieve water pooling. Severe damage can result.

5. Internal drains blocked.

There are small passageways that allow water to drain from front of air conditioner to the rear. If they become blocked water will pool at front of machine and overflow onto floor. If this happens the air conditioner will require removal from window and servicing.

6. Outside temperature too cold.

This occurs at end of cooling season. If outside temperatures drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night the cooling coil may ice up. If no leakage at bedtime but water in front of machine in morning, suspect this problem. If this problem suspected turn off machine before bedtime and restart as day warms. Alternately, operate machine at night with selector switch in ‘fan only’ position. This will circulate room air during night but not allow cooling.

Basketball Stations – Basketball Drills For a Pre-Practice Warm-up

As a beginning coach, I ignored warm-ups and used half-speed two-ball dribbling drills as a warm-up for more intense activities during practice. When I moved to Sweden to coach a professional women’s basketball team, the players were married to their warm-ups and could not function without an extended warm-up period. When I practiced with the club’s men’s team, I felt like more than half the practice was a warm-up. I acquiesced, in a sense, with my team: we arrived before our practice time and players jumped rope for 5-10 minutes above the bleachers as our warm-up and then we did one sub-maximal drill on the court before moving into our practice.

In our first game, our opponent spent 25 of the allotted 30 minutes of pre-game warm-up using a basketball. Later in the season, I watched another player go through an extensive plyometric pre-game warm-up. While Americans criticize European players for their defensive deficiencies, the Swedish players’ defensive footwork impressed me. We generally assume that a foreign-born player with adept footwork developed her footwork by playing soccer, but as I reflected on my experience coaching abroad, it appeared as though their pre-game and practice routines focused on footwork and led to its development.

The following season, as I prepared workouts and practice routines, I implemented a series of warm-ups to begin practice: drills to focus on footwork and jumping ability. Coaching women, the pre-practice jumping and agility program is an attempt to increase performance and reduce injuries, as researchers believe women can reduce the risk of ACL injury through a small plyometric routine.

I use three general warm-up routines: (1) jump rope’ (2) stations or (3) full court dynamic warm-up (carioca, running backwards, bounding, lateral bounding, high knees, butt kicks and high/power skips). Our warm-up now lasts 10-15 minutes.

Warm-up Stations

When we do our station warm-up, we jog, backpedal and carioca. Since we have 10 players, we work in pairs. Our focus is to teach quick changes of direction and first-step quickness.

Station 1: Mirror Drill (15 seconds on, rest for 15 seconds, 15 seconds on)

We teach most of our on-ball defensive stance and movement through this drill and later in 1v1 drills. The players face each other and one player starts as the offensive player and one as the defender. The offensive player leads, moving laterally, and the defensive player tries to remain face to face. The offensive player’s goal is to create space between the two of them, while the defender tries to stay within the width of the offensive player’s body.

Station 2: Mikan Drill

The first player goes for 30 seconds and then the second player goes. Drill practices baby-hook shots. Start under the basket and step out with the left foot on the right side to shoot with the right hand; grab the ball from the net, keeping the ball above your shoulders and step to the left side of the rim with your right foot, shooting with the left hand. Continue.

Station 3: Jump Squats

Squat and jump as high as possible, swinging arms high into the air. Focus on a soft landing so they land properly from a vertical jump and absorb the force of the impact throughout the muscles of their legs, not just in the quadriceps and knee joint. Squat to a half-squat, with the bottom of the thighs parallel to the ground before jumping.

Station 4: X-Lay-ups

Make as many lay-ups in 30 seconds and then switch. Start at one elbow, dribble and attempt a lay-up. Rebound and run to the other elbow; dribble and attempt a lay-up from the other side. Continue for 30 seconds.

Station 5: Partner Shooting

Player 1 passes to Player 2 and closes out. P2 catches, shoots and follows her shot. P1 contests the shot and relocates, moving continuously and calling for the ball. P2 passes to P1 and contests shot. Partners shoot for one minute.

Station 6: McHale Drill

Left hand tips ball continuously against the backboard while the right hand grabs the net (rim). Do six and switch to the right hand side. Right hand tips ball against backboard while left hand grabs the net (rim). Repeat on the left hand side for a total of 18 tips. Switch partners.

Station 7: T-Drill with 2 Ball Dribbling

Set up the T-Drill with cones 5-7 feet apart in the shape of a T. Start at the base of the T and sprint forward while dribbling two balls. Shuffle to the left cone, then to the right cone and finally back to the intersection. Back pedal to the base of the T. Go three times and rotate. The other player practices stationary two-ball drills while resting.

These quick drills provide a fast-paced warm-up that needs little instruction and insures the players break a sweat. Our focus is getting through the drills quickly: players sprint from station to station and practice with intensity in each drill. The warm-up focuses on ball control (6 and 7), quick changes of direction (1 and 7), jumping (3 and 6) and shooting (2, 4 and 5), training a variety of skills in a short amount of time.

Burmese Bamboo

Burma is well known for its richness in natural resources and when speaking about this people do usually think immediately of e.g. Rubies, Jade and/or teak but no one would ever think that (although very beautiful when used for gardening and landscaping purposes) something as inconspicuous and ordinary as bamboo is an equally valuable natural resource. Burma has an awful lot of bamboo, which is of immense economic value and as such constitutes a presently, alas, almost untapped but highly profitable source of additional income.

Contrary to e.g. precious stones and jade, which are not renewable, thus finite and teak wood (that to renew till it becomes commercially valuable takes between 20 and 30 years) and bamboo (that to renew till it becomes commercially valuable takes only 3 years) are infinite.

As a member of the sub-family Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae or Gramineae, bamboo is a perennial flowering evergreen that is said to be originated some million years ago in what is nowadays China from where it started to conquer practically the entire world and developed into more than 1.400 ground and above-ground growing species in 115 genera.

Should someone ever ask whether you know the fastest growing plant on this planet you can rightfully answer, “Yes, I know that is bamboo.”

Out of the in Burma recorded total of 97 bamboo species, 15 belong to the species ‘Dendrocalamus’ (the local names of the top-three of them are Hmyin, Wapyu and Wabo-myet-san-gye) and 11 to the species ‘Gigantochloa’. These bamboos are also some of the 10 most economical species and are members of the group of so-called ‘Giant Bamboo or Timber Bamboo’. They grow under favourable soil and climate conditions within one growing season of some 4 months (rainy season) from ground/shooting level to their full height of about 33 ft/10 m with a culm (also called pole or stalk) diameter of 12 inch/30 cm. At this speed you can literally see the bamboo grow; no joke. Although the first harvest is possible after 1 year, the best harvesting time is after 3 years when the culms are fully hardened.

There is no natural resource that is renewing itself faster and no plant that is more versatile, stronger and at the same time flexible than bamboo. Burma’s Bamboo forests cover about 4.000 sq mi/10.500 sq km) of its land mass, which makes Burma – after China, Indonesia and India – the country with the world’s 4th largest area of valuable wild bamboo forest. Additionally to the already existing bamboo forests large areas of idle land could be transformed into environmentally friendly and balanced bamboo plantations.

Bamboo is a very easy to grow and undemanding, environmentally sustaining plant that easily adapts to different or changing soil and climate conditions. This, in turn, has the potential of turning raw bamboo and moreover bamboo article into products that will significantly contribute to the county’s export income once the Burmese bamboo (and Rattan) industry is capable of producing top-quality bamboo article. This will put the country in a position to successfully compete in the global market with other bamboo and bamboo products exporting countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand and India. Globally, bamboo and bamboo article are a multi-billion USD business and for Burma is a large chunk of it up for grasps.

Bamboo is put to many uses. It is a formidable alternative to wood and used to build complete houses, a large array of furniture, household article and utensils, to make paper and textile fibre and, last but not least, its shoots are a delicacy in many (predominantly Asian) countries and its manifold medicinal properties are highly appreciated in traditional medicine.

With increasing popularity of bamboo and bamboo products in the west the global demand for bamboo and high-quality bamboo articles is rapidly increasing what offers Burma the great opportunity to translate its richness in the natural resource bamboo relatively quick into urgently needed hard cash on national, regional and local level. It opens windows especially for SME’s in the Bamboo industry what includes local private bamboo forest owners.

Main bamboo article in the global bamboo and bamboo product trade are apart from 1st class top-quality culms, for instance, bamboo flooring, bamboo walling, bamboo plywood, bamboo charcoal (to be used as fuel and/or filter), bamboo pulp and paper-based articles, bamboo furniture, bamboo woven products, as food article, preserved bamboo shoots and as ingredients for traditional medicine (homoeopathy) liquid extracts and dried and pulverised parts of several different bamboo species. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Panda bears just can’t get enough of delicious bamboo leaves and tender twigs.

Green Building Products and Materials – 7 Factors to Consider When Making Green Selections

There are many products on the market that claim to be green. It is up to you to determine which products are green and which are not. Beware of “green washing”! Many products are advertised as green, but after review really do not live up to their claims. Here are 7 factors to consider when selecting green or sustainable products and materials for your project.

Renewability – Are the products made from material that is rapidly renewable such as cork or bamboo? Wood products are also a renewable resource. Choose wood products that are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. Many engineered wood products are made from fast growing trees such as aspen and require less wood to make them than conventional lumber.

Recycled Content – Using material with recycled content not only reduces strain on our landfills, but reduces the need for raw material. Paper, cardboard, plastic, steel and aluminum are a few of the most commonly recycled materials. Recycled paper is used in cellulose insulation and paper countertops. Plastic is used in carpet. Metals that are recycled can be made into their original form.

Reusability and Recyclability – Many products, such as metals, can be recycled after their useable life. Others can be salvaged and reused somewhere else.

Durability – Choose products that will stand the test of time and require little maintenance. This will save time, money and energy on repairs at a later date.

Embodied Energy – This is the energy used to produce, transport and install a product or material in the place where it will be used. Choose local products when possible and products that do not require a large amount of energy to produce.

Air Quality – Products like carpet, cabinetry, plywood and paint can contain petroleum products or formaldehyde and off gas VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). There are now many products available that give off little or no VOCs. These products will give you a healthier home to live in. When you are not able to find suitable products, ventilate the new or remodeled space prior to moving into it. Open windows and doors when possible to remove the VOCs from the home.

Waste Reduction – Choose material that does not create a lot of waste and can be used efficiently. Order material in sizes and lengths that are efficient for your job.

Some products may be green in one area but not in another. Example: Although it is very durable, brick has a high embodied energy because of the energy used to fire the kilns and transport it. It would be a greener option for someone in North Carolina than someone in New York because the clay that is used to make it is a local product. Use these 7 factors and your best judgement to determine which green products are the best for your project.

Kitchen Safety Tips

The kitchen is part of our daily routine. From morning to evening, we work in here to prepare and cook foods. Since it is where most of the pointed objects are kept like knives and utensils and where heating appliances are placed like the stove, it is important to keep the area safe for everyone in the family especially for children.

First safety tip is to use floorings or floor mats that are slip resistant. This will help you avoid falling with a sharp knife or a hot casserole in your hand. There is also specialized flooring like laminate and vinyl that are slip-resistant. You can have this if you like to keep the kitchen floor safe all the time. Next tip is to keep the plugs and electrical switches away from wet surfaces or water sources. Also, always keep a fire extinguisher near the kitchen.

Equip your kitchen with good lighting. This will make you and your family work better in the kitchen. Good light will keep you focused on preparing and cooking food. Give ample space for traffic. A good amount of space will avoid someone in the family interfering with your cooking or operations in the kitchen.

If your kitchen is not the type that is safe as mentioned above, kitchen remodeling Minnesota can help you. Yes, you may remodel your kitchen and put in the safety features. In doing this, the first thing you will consider is the kind of change you want. Would you like to replace the marble floor with laminate flooring? Do you want to elevate countertops or the sink? You can also think of the style you want your kitchen to have like a modern style.

Next is to consult the expert or contractor like the kitchen remodeling Minnesota. Discuss the changes you want to have with your contractor. This will make you knowledgeable on the process or length of time needed for the remodeling and the cost.

Kitchen remodeling Minnesota can also give you tips on how to make your kitchen more functional. You can visit their site on the Internet and see the testimonials of the people who kitchens became better after remodeling.

Global Craziness

This week–perhaps emboldened by the groundhog predicting an early spring–Old Man Winter came roaring back, blanketing much of the nation with a sheet of ice. In fact, a number of residents of the Midwest and Northeast felt as if they were living in a new Ice Age, thanks to a thick coat of ice that brought vehicular traffic to a standstill.

As they shivered amid wind-chill levels well below zero, it must have come as a comfort that Al “Global Warming” Gore is once again at work, trying to free the world from the tyranny of temperatures above the freezing mark.

Gore announced plans this week for a series of musical concerts designed to, in Gore’s words, “solve the climate crisis.” His accomplices in this mission of misguided mercy include musical artists ranging from the rapper Snoop Dogg to American Idol star Kelly Clarkson.

Venues for the “Live Earth” concerts include Shanghai, Sydney, Johannesburg, London, and yet-to-be-determined cities in Japan, Brazil, and the U.S. The campaign behind this effort is ironically titled, “Save Our Selves.”

Gore was quoted as saying, “We are launching SOS and Live Earth to begin a process of communication that will mobilize people all over the world to take action. The climate crisis will only be stopped by an unprecedented and sustained global movement. We hope to jump-start that movement right here, right now, and take it to a new level on July 7, 2007.”

Earth to Gore: It’s 12 degrees outside. Are we really suffering from global warming–or just a liberal propaganda campaign that’s now gone musical?

It’s heart-warming to see musical artists come together for a good cause–after all, what would Labor Day be without the Jerry Lewis Telethon? But fighting muscular dystrophy is one thing–fighting Mother Nature is quite another.

By trying to cast Mother Nature as an extremist, environmentalists such as Gore are trying to hide their own extremism. Their solution to the earth’s problems is to regulate businesses out of existence. They’d sacrifice American jobs to save a single tree, and they often put animals on a pedestal above human beings. It’s a world view that’s positively frightening but, unfortunately, there are no rock concert promoters around who are willing to stage a musical extravaganza to combat environmental extremism.

Since when does a failed Presidential candidate have such pull with the music industry? I don’t hear of Ross Perot getting the Black Eyed Peas to sing for his pet projects.

When the worlds of music and politics embrace, it is often a scary proposition for us all. Look at how many folk groups credited themselves with ending the Vietnam War. Forget military strategy and political acumen, to their way of thinking, it’s four-part harmonies that determine victory or defeat on the battlefield.

I can only hope that, when the SOS concerts roll around, this week’s deep freeze will be fresh in the memories of Americans who might otherwise be hoodwinked by the global warming crowd.

What Is Corrugated Plastic Roofing?

Corrugated plastic roofing is a good way to protect your decks, sheds an walkways from rain and the elements while at the same time allowing in a fair amount of sunlight. Plastic roofs are a great substitute for tradition roofs. Even though they may be a little weaker, they more then make up for it with their ease of installation and affordable pricing. In addition, these roof can be easy to maintain and keep clean. When properly taken care of, these roofs can even last as long or longer than other traditional roofs. Corrugated plastic roofing material can even be used to make fantastic green houses.

Plastic roofs are made out hard plastics. Their ridged shape allows them to be even stronger. In addition the ridges help to channel off rain water and make the shingle more resistant to the wind.

When installing these types of roofs, here are four things you should always remember;

  1. Make sure that you install them on a slope of at least 1 inch for every foot they are long. This will ensure proper drainage.
  2. Before installing the screws, it is a good idea to pre-drill the holes in the plastic. Doing this will keep the shingles from cracking and will save you a couple of them. You may also want to use a washer to hold the screws in place and keep them from drinking through.
  3. When installing side by side panels. Make sure to overlap. You also want to caulk the sees to prevent water from getting trapped in between the shingles. Start at the bottom and then work towards the top so that the shingles can overlap on the way down.
  4. Be careful not to walk on the plastic roofing material. It may look safe enough, but a roof of this type is not designed to take your weight. For this reason, it may be a good idea also to regularly clean it off if you have heavy pin needles fall on it or if you get more then 6 inches of snow.

Anterior Lordotic – Pelvic Tilt

Do you have a protruding stomach or bum despite being reliably thin, or suffer from a sore lower back after standing for prolonged periods of time? If you answered yes to any of these question it is possible that you have a common yet relatively unknown postural defect called anterior lordotic / pelvic tilt (APT). This defect is a result of muscular imbalances that control the positioning of the pelvis, pulling the hips down and forward often making the bum and stomach stick out as well as overemphasising your lower back lordosis (arch). Although not a serious condition by any means, the presence of anterior lordotic tilt does increase the changes on injury to the lower back. Self diagnosis of APT and those areas that require remedial work can be difficult and may require expert opinion, as such and if in doubt all corrective exercises should be performed regularly.

Corrective measures
Sufferers need to stretch those muscles that are strong / tight to loosen them, and strengthen those muscles that are weak / loose to make them stronger and tighter. If the muscles that control pelvis alignment are properly / evenly developed they will pull the pelvis into a neutral position. You should be stretching the strong / tight muscles while strengthening the weak / loose ones in conjunction for maximum benefit.

Specific muscles you need to loosen:
-hip flexors: bird dog stretch, hip flexor stretch.
-quads: simple quad stretch.
-back / erectors: the lower back is built for stability and should not be stretched, the cat stretch should be adequate for most.

Specific muscles you need to strengthen:
-transverse abdominals: (provides support for the lower back), planks, vacuums.
-hamstrings: hamstring curl.
-glotes: lunges and squats (squats should only be performed IF you have good form).

A visible improvement should be seen after consistent remedial work but may return if halted and old habits remain. Although resolving APT can be tedious corrective exercises do slot into a conventional exercise program (which you should be doing) relatively easily.