Getting a Look at the Proform XP 160 Elliptical Trainer

Selling for around $400, after discounts, this particular elliptical trainer will deliver a great many features that usually aren’t found in machines in this price range. Generally speaking, one has to spend several hundred dollars more to get everything this machine offers, even though it sits at the lower end of this particular segment. For the price one will be paying, one will be getting quite a bit of trainer, to be honest.

For example, the XP 160 comes with several different stride lengths, which trainers costing this little usually can’t offer. The length can be set for as much as 18 inches, which is also something not seen in the machine at this price point. Normally, the most one can hope to expect is about 15 inches of length, which is acceptable – make no doubt – but which is overtaken by the full 18 inches available in the 110.

Additionally, magnetic resistance capability is offered in the Proform XP 160 elliptical trainer. For the price that this trainer will be offered at, that’s a little surprising, because one doesn’t often see magnetic resistance for this little, truthfully. There are also a wide range of resistance settings, which will prove to be more than enough for most anybody of any sort of fitness.

It will sit nicely and with a great deal of solidity wherever it is placed, and the frame is guaranteed to hold up well to users coming in at as much as 300 pounds. Additionally, there are a number of different workout regimens, with all of them having been designed by certified fitness trainers. Usually, though, most new users just play around with the resistance settings instead of going to the workout regimens.

There are two different ways that this machine is powered – meaning how it uses its LCD screens and other functions – with the first one being batteries. For those who tire of swapping out such things, there is an unmarked plug where a 6 volt AC adapter can be connected. The machine itself weighs a bit, so it’s a good idea to be sure of where it will be located because moving it around will take two people, usually.

Getting a look at the Proform XP 160 elliptical trainer, then, reveals a machine fully comfortable in its own skin and certainly attractive enough, especially after one spends a few minutes with it giving it a try. The price is also sure to attract those who may have a more limited budget but who also want quality for the money they can spend. This trainer will more than meet that criteria, it must be said.

Demons In A Dream House: The Sober Truth Behind The Amityville Horror

P aranormal researchers – if they are prudent – trust little of what's heard, and nearly nothing of what is read. Sensational stories, one finds, particularly of the supernatural sort, are catnip for a media often geared more to profit than truth.

Such was the case with Amityville.

The evolution of this infamous story tracks back to November 13th, 1974: Ronald De Feo, the Long Island son of a prosperous car dealer, fired eight shots from a.35 caliber rifle, killing his mother, father, two brothers and two sisters as they lay sleeping in their spacious, three-story Dutch Colonial home.

News of the criminals sent ripples of anxiety through the normally placid town, lifting the floodgates of speculation. Unexplainable wax drippings –leading a trail between rooms in the house – evoked dark murmurs of Satanic ritual and sacrifice. Others pondered the mystery of how De Feo managed to commit each of the six murderers without arousing his victims from sleep, asking why no one in the neighborhood had heard gunshots, and why all six victims were found lying face-down in death.

As Amityville's gossip mill ground overtime, attorneys in the case hunted for a motive. They did not need to look far. Abundant evidence shown De Feo harbored a deep-imprisoned malice for his family along with a "thirst for money": plaintiffs cinched their supposition of robbery with the discovery of a $ 200, 000 life insurance policy and an empty cash strongbox found hidden benefit the saddle of a closet in the family's master bedroom.

At first demonstrating his innocence, De Feo finally broke down and confessed. "It all started so fast," he told police. "Once I started, I just could not stop." He stated he had heard "voices" just prior to the murderers and upon looking around saw no one there, and assumed "God was speaking to him". William Weber, De Feo's attorney, pushed for an insanity plea, but lost. On December 4, 1975, De Feo was sent to twenty-five years to life on each of the six counts of second-degree murder for which he had been convicted.

Many residents expected that with De Feo's conviction the ugly fog of sensationalism which depended upon Amityville would at last begin to disperse.

But it did not; in fact, it thickened.

George and Kathy Lutz, a young, married couple from Deer Park, Long Island, were busy house-hunting. George worked as a land surveyor, and earned a respectable income. LaTelly, however, business had fallen off sharply, placing him in a financial squeeze. Of the 70 houses he and his wife had inspected, the De Feo house about the only one they found they could afford. Undaunted by its tragic history, high taxes and heating costs, they purchased it, and moved in with their three children on December 18, 1975.

The Luts had bought the house for $ 80,000, half of which was held in escrow by the title company because of a legal complication tied to the De Feo family estate. Sporting six bedrooms, 3-1 / 2 baths, an enclosed porch, and a matching boathouse and garage, it was – in the Luts' words – a dream come true. That dream, as much of the world already knows, was rudely shattered when, 28 days later, the Lutzes fled their home, declaring it was infested by demonic forces.

Newspapers such as Newsday and the now defunct Long Island Press splashed coverage on the story, reporting that De Feo's defense attorney, William Weber, had been introduced to the Luts in January by "mutual friends" and was now providing them "legal advice."

The Lutzes, Weber said, had expressed concern over "strange noises, doors and windows which mysteriously opened, inexplicable changes in room temperature, and sudden personality changes from pleasantness to anger", in the Amityville house. He added he had discovered that the land on which the house was built in 1928 was once a "forbidden" burial gound, and that one of the original owners had the name of a cultist who appeared in colonial folklore.

Based on the Luts' paranormal complaints, and providing an early whiff of foul play, Weber announced he was seeking a new trial in which he planned to argue that Ronald De Feo had been suborned into murdering his family through "demonic possession."

In the spring of 1977 – and ironically enough in Good Housekeeping – journalist Paul Hoffman presented a chronological summary of the Lutze's alleged experiences in a piece entitled "Our Dream House Was Haunted."

Hoffman had conducted extensive interviews with the family, and provided a dozen or so examples of paranormal activity that supposedly terrorized them into leaving. Many of the examples, however, were surprisingly mild in nature: senses of "unseen forces", temperature changes, strange noises and odors, mood shifts, episodes of obsessive-compulsive behavior – unsettling, no doubt, but far from extraordinary.

As for physical evidence, the Lutzes mentioned "black stains" that appeared on bathroom fixtures that could not remove and "tricks of red" that occasionally ran from some of the keyholes. The front door, which George Lutz claimed he'd double-latched earlier one evening, was discovered "wide open" the next morning; windows opened and closed by themselves. And once, George Lutz claimed, he awoke to find his wife sliding across the bed "as if by levitation."

Not long after Hoffman's article hit newsstands, Jay Anson, a screenwriter noted for his work on The Exorcist, conjured up real terror with his book The Amityville Horror: A True Story – creating an instant bestseller.

Within just a year, hardback sales of the book climbed to 3.5 million, and a movie – staring James Brolin and Margot Kidder, and penned by Anson himself – followed, and became a box office smash, raking in over $ 40 million in one month in New York alone. Anson and the Luts split all proceeding 50-50, making the Amityville story, not only one of the most publicized, but one of the most profitable in the history of the paranormal.

What instantly struck me while reading Anson's 200-page book was how dramatic and varied the phenomena had become since it had been reported to journalist Paul Hoffman earlier that same year. This kind of improvement – experience has taught me – is a sure sign of trouble.

How could anyone, for example, believe the Luts would have forgotten to tell Hoffman about something as shocking as a red-eyed pig named "Jodie," a ceramic lion that attacked and bit them – or green, gelatinous ectoplasm that oozed down from the ceiling? If anyone's memory is that bad, then it obviously can not be trusted at all!

Smelling a large rat in the woodpile, and anxious to expose what more and more I came to believe had been a tragic hoax, I began an official investigation into the case in November of 1977. Working in collaboration with a New York photojournalist named Rick Moran , I studied Anson's book carefully, and over a period of several months followed a trail of evidence that historically forced the case to crumble under an avalanche of contradictions, half-truths, exaggerations – and, in some cases, outright lies. In reality, one could devote an entire volume to all of the discrepancies dislodged during our investigation; in this condensed report, we will confine ourselves to the most glaring.

A central figure in Anson's book is a priest from the chancery of the Rockville Center Diocese. Anson credits this individual with a baffling array of hair-raising experiences, masking his identity with the name Father Frank Mancuso. The priest, it is claimed, was asked by the Luts to bless their new home and, upon entering the front door, was confronted by a disembodied voice commanding him to leave. Later, as the priest was traveling along the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens, his car was forced upon the shoulder of the road, the hood flew open, and, as he attempted to brake the car, it stalled. Shortly thereafter, Mancuso was supposedly afflicted with abnormally high temperatures accompanied by red, blistery splotches which appeared on the palms of his hands.

At the same time, reports Anson, the putrefying odor of human excrement pervaded the perpetrators' quarters at Sacred Heart and caused other practices to flee the rectory.

The priest – who real name is Ralph Pecoraro – was forced to leave his practice in New York as an ecclesiastical judge in the wake of massive public stirred by the release of the book. Pecoraro filed a lawsuit against the Luts for "invasion of privacy," claiming that was reported in Anson's book concerning him had been "grossly exaggerated." The suit was eventually settled out of court.

In addition, a fellow clergyman who challenged he was with Pecoraro on the evening of that fateful drive on the Van Wyck claims they experienced nothing more than an ordinary flat tire! The impact of the vehicle as it stuck a claim reportedly caused some minor damage opening the hood and door, but the reason for the accident was an old car in disrepair – not the interference of unseen forces, as Anson implies.

In a final blow to the story, Father Alfred Casola, pastor of Sacred Heart, dismisses the report of a pervasive odor in the rectory as "nonsense." Priests present at the time of the alleged incident also have no recollection of any such stench and deny being forced at any time to leave the building.

More troubling inconsistencies emerge with regard to Sergeant Pat Cammorato of the Amityville Police Department. Shortly after the publication of Anson's book, Cammorato found himself burdened with chronic problems over trespassing and vandalism at the Amityville house. Although by then the house was occupied by new owners (Jim and Pat Cromarty) who had not reported any psychic activity, this seemed to have done little to dampen the enthusiasm of the steady stream of thrill-seekers who nonetheless came at all hours of the day and night to inspect it.

Cammorato's heads were composed by claims made in Anson's book that the police officer once conducted an "official investigation" into reports of psychic disturbances at the Lutz's home during which he witnessed a wrecked garage door, the snow prints of a "cloven-hoofed" animal , and was overcome with "strong vibrations" upon entering the house. Cammorato punctures deep holes in these claims, and hauled out police logs to show why they could not possibly be true: on the very day Anson claims Cammorato visited the Luts, the logs indicate Cammorato was out on sick leave for surgery. The logs also testify to the fact that the Luts had not contacted the police during their own stay in the house, only afterwards, at that time requesting that the house be watched on account "it was empty."

For me, however, a nagging question about Seargeant Cammorato remains. Was he implicated in Anson's story merely by accident? Or was there possibly an ulterior motive? An incident concerning Ronald De Feo and Cammorato that occurred in the summer of 1973 suggests a possible answer.

While driving home from work one evening, Cammorato stopped at the De Feo house to talk to Ronald (whose nickname was Butch). Commarato had known the De Feo's since they had first come to Amityville, and his daughter was a good friend of Ronald's sister, Allison. "You know, Butch, we're having an awful lot of larcenies of outboard motors," he told him. "We have reason to believe you may be involved. If you are involved, you bettter stop because we're going to get you." "I do not steal outboards," De Feo replied.

Near the end of September, Cammorato spotted Suffolk Police arresting De Feo outside the latter's home. The officers were standing next to the open trunk of De Feo's car, which contained an outboard motor. Cammorato stopped to get the details. The seventeen-hundred-dollar motor had been stolen from a Marina in Copiague. Although Cammorato had nothing to do with the collar, he could not resist saying something. "See, Ronnie," he told De Feo, "we did get you." A few weeks later, the sergeant's daughter told him that Butch De Feo had threatened his life. The sergeant phoned Ronald De Feo, Sr., who blew up at his son.

Did Anson learn of De Feo's refused for Cammorato by entering into a secret collusion with him?

Alex Tannous, a noted psychic, recalls an interesting visit he made to the Luts' Amityville house in the spring of 1976. While there, he says he could sense nothing of a paranormal nature. Deciding to try psychiatry, he asked the Luts if they might happen to have anything personally connected to De Feo. He was handed a sample, he says, of De Feo's handwriting that he was shocked to see was part of a legal contract outlining he distribution of profits from a proposed book and movie. The experience served to reinvigorate his original feelings that the matter was a collective hoax.

The "horror" in Anson's book about Amityville is provided, in large measure, by manifestations of physical damage – at times mushrooming into epidemic proportions. Through the story are countless reports of damage to the house, garage and grounds we are told were fixed by outside repairman. Proof of this, however, is notably absent.

The book states that George Lutz contacted the services of the same repairmen and locksmiths that were originally used by the De Feo family. Checks, however, made with these businesses failed to confirm the commission of any such repairs at the Lutz home. More importantly, my investigation into this case with Rick Moran culinated in a detailed inspection of the entire house and no signs of damage were visible anywhere – no new hardware, no new locks, and no signs of repairs to any doors.

A comic perversion of logic was never more striking than in Anson's report of how George frantically nailed boards across the doorway to one room he felt was most negatively "tainted" by the surrounding forces of evil. We could not help noticing, however, that the door to this room, as do all doors on that floor of the house, opens inwardly – and, once again, shown no signs of damage.

In another scene from Anson's book, Cathy Lutz hurls a chair at a red-eyed entity through her daughter's bedroom window; yet there are no signs of any such damage and that particular window is at least as old as the others on the floor.

As for the third-floor window which the Luts often claimed "opened by itself," Moran and I found it surprisingly easy to reproduce this effect purely by stomping our feet in the center of the room. The window, it turns out, is counter-weighed improperly, with the weights heavier than they need be. The result is that any moderate-sized vibration will cause the window to open if they are not latched properly; that latch is broken now and was broken when the Luts lived at 110 Ocean Avenue. On interviewing the De Feo housekeeper we learned that finding the window open was no surprise, as it happened even when the De Feo's lived there.

A prominent feature of Anson's tale is a "secret" red room, hidden behind a bookcase in the basement of the Amityville house. The room is approximately 2 feet by 3 feet, with head room too low for anyone – except perhaps a hunchback mouse – to stand in. In reality, it is part of an existing gravity-fed water system from an earlier house built on the lot. The land was originally owned by Jesse Purdy, who was then in his 90s and lived in the house that once stood at 110 Ocean Avenue. This house was moved in the early 1920s to lot several hundred yards away. Part of the water storage system for the old house, the "secret" room is now used to give access to the water pipes that otherwise would have been walled up. Why is it painted red? Local neighborhood children said they painted it that color. As they indicated this is where they traditionally stored their toys, red appeared an appropriately bright and cheerful color. Anson, though, blithely ignores these facts, and links the room to images of blood, demons and animal sacrifice.

In discussing the physical phenomena Anson claims held the Lutzes in a visgrip of fear for 28 days, I would certainly be remiss were I did not make mention of the infamous green. gelatinous substance said to have nearly flooded their home. This material has undergone a radical change in both form and color since I first saw it mentioned in Paul Hoffman's article in Good Housekeeping, in which the Luts witnessed a keyhole in one room oozing a "red, blood-like substance, a few drops at a time. " In Anson's expanded version, however. the material looks more like lime gelatin, although George Lutz tasted it, and remarked that it was not. The substance, according to Anson, ran in such quantity that it had to be taken out in bucketfuls and dumped into the Amityville River. Here again we are faced with a truly unfathomable mystery: why would George Lutz be so curious as to taste and smell the offending material, but not curious enough to save some for analysis?

Anson closes his book of horrors with a description of a dramatic seance conducted at the Lutz home on February 18th, 1976. Seated at the dining room table were a useful of psychics, one newsman, and a representative from the Psychical Research Foundation (PRF) in Durham, North Carolina. The participants, according to Anson, reported impressions which ranged from glimpses of dark menacing shadows to shortness of breath, heart palpitations, numbness, quickened pulse rates, and nauseous unrest. Except for PRF's field investigator, psychics present at the seance, says Anson, were firm in their belief that the house on Ocean Avenue harbored a demonic spirit and could only be removed by an exorcist.

In contacting Jerry Solvin, Project Director of the Psychical Research Foundation, however, I was informed that while the book's description of the seance is basically accurate, Anson, Solvin charges, tends to "select facts to support his own conclusions." Solvin, for instance, dismisses Anson's claim that George Kekoris, PRF's representative at the time, suddenly became "violently ill" and was forced to quit the room. Solvin claims he has recently become "queasy", but does not find this odd given the hot, stuffy, "emotionally-charged" situation. Moreover, he explains, the room was small – approximately 12 feet by 15 feet – and more than 20 persons were present, including a film crew using hot movie lights. Solvin also explained that members of the Psychical Research Foundation did not conduct a full investigation of the Amityville case for two reasons: 1.) the family had moved out of the house at an early stage, reducing in PRF's opinion the probability of continued activity; 2.) the phenomenon reported were far too "subjective" to be reliably measured.

Given the foregoing, it seems impossible to escape the conclusion that Anson's account of what transpired at Amityville was large, if not entirely, one of fiction. This is based not only on conflictual evidence and testimony, but on disturbing revelations published by People magazine and other sources in 1979. William Weber, Ronald De Feo's defense attorney, announced that year he was suing the Luts for "breach of agreement" and for a share of the Lutz profits on grounds they had "reneged on a deal with him and another writer." "I know this book's a hoax," Weber confessed. "We created this horror story over many bottles of wine." I told George Lutz that Ronnie De Feo used to call the neighbor's cat a pig. . "

While under oath, George Lutz began to repudiate some of the book's more spectacular claims, accusing Anson of abusing his creative license. A solid wooden door which, according to Anson for example, was wrenched off its hinges by a "demonic force" was in reality, Lutz said, a frail metal screen door which had blown off during a winter storm.

Lutz also deflated Anson's account of the infamous green "slime", noting it was more "like jello", and that there had only been small "dabs" of it which appeared here and there.

Being a charitable sort, I will concede the possibility of Lutses may, in fact, have been telling the truth when they first reported their experiences of light paranormal phenomena to the press in February of 1976, and to Paul Hoffman the following year. Allowed for this, however, severely dissuades parapsychologists from consigning the case to the circular file.

So badly tainted is the affair, so slippery the characters implied, that in the end one is left wondering as to who the demons of Amityville really were.

Used Brick – Blessing or Curse?

Do you have 'used brick' on your home or business? If so then you probably know by now, that they can be a blessing and a curse as well. How is that … you may wonder? Well used brick certainly are a beautiful veneer for colonial or traditional applications however, if they are not maintained properly … watch out!

You could find yourself deep into the thousands in repair cost that could have been avoided, if you had only followed these simple tips to used brick maintenance.

What are used brick? Used bricks are salvaged from old building when the building are torn down or demolished. They became widely available in the '70s when many older downtown buildings across the country were being raised. They were in abundance and a source of cheap building materials for the builders.

They can vary broadly is size and shape and are usually red, orange, brown and a pink-salmon color. They have rounded corners from the demolition process, soft and sometimes have chips in the face. Most were salvaged from the back-up portion or interior walls of old masonry buildings and have various stains ranged from black soot, whitewash to paint. It is one of the few bricks though, that blend perfectly with colonial architecture. Unfortunately architecture aside, they were used extensively on all types of buildings because they were cheap and easy to find

How do I know if I have used brick on my home or business? Used brick have a specific character of being soft and when you look at a used brick building from the street it has an old appearance. If you take a screwdriver and scrape it along the surface of a used brick, you will likely gouge the surface of the brick easily.

A new brick wall on the other hand would be too hard, if not impossible to gouge and are more regular and rectangular in shape. If you looked at a new brick building from the street it would have a more uniform appearance and look 'newer'.

How do I look for damage in used brick? Fortunately used brick tend to deteriorate as individual units unlike new brick, which tend to deteriorate in sections. As you walk around your building look closely for bricks that have a chalky, orange color to them. These bricks are the first to deteriorate in a used brick wall and for some reason will be very noticeable.

As you look closer at the wall you may also find bricks that are 'powdering' which means that they turn to powder as they deteriorate. Regardless of how they manifest, you should remove and replace all the damaged used bricks that you find. While inspecting the individual bricks for damage also look for cracks and loose or missing mortar. Fill in any holes that you find and repair any cracks. This will go a long way to preventing excess water from entering the wall.

After you have completed the repairs you are now ready for your final and most important preventive maintenance chore.

Seal your bricks! There is nothing more valuable to your used brick building than a saturation application of high quality masonry sealer. I can not be more enthusiastic about the protection of used bricks with sealer. Most used brick are probably over 100 years old at this point and need protection.

As you watch that liquid gold being sucked into your brickwork by the gallons, remember that it will protect the used brick and save you ongoing maintenance and repair cost over the long haul. It is the cheapest insurance that you can buy against used brick deterioration.

How to Get F1 Drivers Autographs and Photos

F1 autograph hunting TIPS for people with not much money. (Legal stuff only) If you have no money to pay the paddock club access then how on earth would you ever go close enough to the F1 drivers to get them sign your merchandise/autograph/photo. Your not even related to any F1 crew. That was my question since I first attended my first Formula 1 race.So what did I do to tackle this problem? How did I manage to get autographs and photo’s with F1 celebrities not to mention a few World Champions(Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Niki Lauda, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikonnen) from the past and current lineup. Here I share my tips ->

Tips 1 – Identify your target.

Know the drivers family members, gf’s, race engineers,technical crew,team directors, owners and entire crew if possible. It’s always good to know who is who. Reason? not many people know them, so +1 point as competition to take photos with them are less. You can even ask them were and when the actual F1 drivers will arrive at the circuit. Do not focus on only 1 famous F1 driver. You might not know that a young rookie would be famous one day. My F1 circle of friends took photos with Sebastian Vettel when he was still the 3rd driver for BMW Sauber. Imagine him now and you know what I mean. So the keyword here would be identify and do not be picky.

Tips 2 – Always bring a marker pen + merchandise

Bring stuff for autograph in your backpack at all times during Grand Prix weekend. You will never know who you bump into. A friend of mine bumped in Sebastian Vettel in a local Puma store and there was no publicity on that!

Tips 3 – Identify and hangout at the drivers/crew Hotel.

How? – you need to be good to the hotel personals before the F1. You can even go and ask the receptionist and pretend as if you are going to stay at the hotel. It may not be so ethical but the important thing is it’s legal. You will be surprised on how easy to get some drivers photo’s or even autographs. You can also check your local forums and ask around where the drivers are staying. Someone out there might know!

Tips 4 – Wait in front of the paddock access gate.

Some circuits, drivers walk to the paddock. Example(Singapore GP). This is a great opportunity to get them to take a photo or sign autographs.

Tips 5 – If the paddock lane is open, get your way in front of the garage.

On race day, normally teams who win P1 will have a team photo session. Smallers teams will celebrate P2 and P3. But you will never know, so make sure you wonder around the teams who made it to the podiums. I’ve personally took pictures of Ferrari, McLaren Mercedes 09, and RedBull team photo’s. The drivers were so near to me and I manage to take pictures with them as well! Best time is after race when the teams are packing but you must be sensitive enough, some teams who didnt do well might ignore you but don’t stop and just go to next garages/teams.

Tips 6 – Wonder at your local airport the day after the F1 race finishes.

You will be amazed on how little supporters are at airports! You will never know who you might bump into. Seriously I’m talking of experience. Some friends and me have meet Fernando Alonso at Changi Airport once.

Tips on Building a Quality Wooden Poker Chip Case

So you have decided to invest in a poker chip case to store all of your poker chips. Before you get started, whether building the case yourself, or ordering a custom case from a third party, there are some things to consider that differentiate a quality poker chip case from just a plain wooden box.

JOINTS

Joinery is a part of woodworking that involves joining together pieces of wood, to create furniture, structures, toys, and other items. The characteristics of wooden joints – strength, flexibility, toughness, etc. – derive from the properties of the joining materials and from how they are used in the joints. Therefore, different joinery techniques are used to meet differing requirements. When designing a poker chip case, you have to take into account the weight of the chips, which can approach 50 lbs for a 1000 chip case. The joints have to be strong, or the case will fall apart under the weight of the chips.

Most pre-made cases bought on the market utilize a butt joint. A butt joint is a joinery technique in which two members are joined by simply butting them together. The butt joint is the simplest joint to make since it merely involves cutting the members to the appropriate length and butting them together. It is also the weakest because unless some form of reinforcement is used, it relies upon glue alone to hold it together. Because the orientation of the members usually present only end grain to long grain gluing surface, the resulting joint is inherently weak.

When building or ordering a custom chip case, you should avoid butt joints and use a something stronger, such as a dovetail joint. A dovetail joint is a joint technique frequently used in fine woodworking joinery. Noted for its resistance to being pulled apart (tensile strength), the dovetail joint is commonly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front. A series of pins cut to extend from the end of one board interlock with a series of tails cut into the end of another board. The pins and tails have a trapezoidal shape. Once glued, a wooden dovetail joint requires no mechanical fasteners.

Another simple and strong joint is the mortise and tenon joint, which has been used for thousands of years by woodworkers around the world to join pieces of wood. This is commonly used when the pieces are at an angle close to 90°. Although there are many variations on the theme, the basic idea is that the end of one of the members is inserted into a hole cut in the other member. The end of the first member is called the tenon, and it is usually narrowed with respect to the rest of the piece. The hole in the second member is called the mortise. The joint may be glued, pinned, or wedged to lock it in place.

HARDWARE

Hardware for a poker chip case must also be durable. A variety of hinges and hardware are available, but you should avoid a stamped hinge, which is the weakest type of hinge. When building or ordering a custom case, there are a variety of hinges you may request.

A full length piano hinge is a long narrow hinge that runs the full length of the two surfaces to which its leaves are joined. This imparts additional strength to the hinge when a heavy solid wood lid is used.

Concealed Hinges are used for furniture doors (with or without self-closing feature, and with or without dampening systems). They are made of 2 parts: One part is the hinge cup and the arm; the other part is the mounting plate. They are also called Euro/cup hinges, and give a cleaner look to the case.

FINISH

One thing to consider when choosing a finish for your wooden chip case, is to be sure to use Polyurethane or a non-soluble varnish that does not stain or seep into your chips. You should avoid any type of Oil finish such as Tung or Danish oil, as these oils can penetrate into clay chips over time.

TRAY SIZE

The majority of poker chips are 39mm in size, however, large denomination chips, as well as chips based on the Paulson Inverted Hat and Cane mold, are 43mm size. Be certain that the chip trays are appropriately sized for the type of chips you have. If ordering a custom chip case, be sure to specify the size of your chips.

So when building or designing a custom wooden poker chip case to store your chips, remember to consider the type of joints, hinges, and finish used in the design of you case.

Introduction to Nutrient Pollution

Introduction

On August 27, 2009 the State-EPA Nutrient Innovations Task Group issued an urgent call to action to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. The task group studied documented levels of excess nutrients in our nations waterways. Current, and past, efforts to control these pollutants have been undertaken on the national and statewide scale. Efforts to date have been predominately "regulation at the pipe" and have not addressed the non point sources that are the root cause of elevated concentrations of nutrients in ground and surface waters. Nutrient pollution significantly affects all of us. It affects our drinking water, our recreational water, such as beaches and rivers and lakes, and it affects, and even kills, aquatic life. None of us want a bunch of dead rivers, but what can we do?

What are Nutrients?

Nutrients are elements that are essential to life. Being essential to life they are also essential components of the molecules that make up living tissue. Decaying organic matter and human and animal waste are significant sources of nutrient pollution in ground and surface water. The chemicals we manufacture and use in day-to-day life may also contain nutrients, as well as the fertilizers that we spread on our yards and farms. It is the broad application of fertilizers, the animal feeding lots, the widespread use of septic tanks, and runoff water from rainfall to school kid carwashes that are responsible for the immeasurable depths of nutrients that find their way into the watershed. These are the non-point sources that can not be easily regulated.

For 30 years the Clean Water Act has regulated industrial and municipal effluents. Limits are getting lower and lower. It is easy to take a sample at the end of a pipe. It's easy to know where the sample comes from, and who is responsible if pollutants are too high. Unfortunately, 30 years of regulation of industry has not significantly reduced the problem. Obviously, there are other sources.

And the sources are us. Our everyday activities of washing our cars, fertilizing and watering our lawnns, irrigating farms, and even desiring green golf courses. The essential nutrients that are in the fertilizers and detergents are entering the groundwater, not by an industrial effluent but down the gutter and into the storm drain. Rainfall is washing nutrients into creeks and rivers and carrying them into basins such as the Gulf of Mexico or Chesapeake Bay. Hypoxic zones, also known as dead zones, are forming where excess nutrients are deposited.

The excess nutrients cause a rapid growth of algae. The algae grow so quickly that they cut off their own light and die. This is a normal, geologic process, occurring more quickly than normal. As the algae dies it decays and the decay process consumes oxygen. Without oxygen aquatic life can not breathe.

What is Nutrient Pollution?

Nitrogen and Phosphorus are the principal elements reported to when discussing nutrient pollution. Other essential elements, such as carbon, silica, and sulfur are not included in this discussion. Organic nitrogen and organic phosphorus are associated with the organic matter we measure and report as TOC. Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential elements in DNA, RNA, and nitrogen is a major component of protein and urine. Nitrogen and phosphorus occurs as both water-soluble and water insoluble species. Unfortunately, both soluble and insoluble become bioavailable. Looking at this table, we see that Nitrogen and Phosphorus are somewhat similar chemically, for instance, the plus 5 ions known as nitrate and phosphate are very stable and highly water-soluble.

Nitrogen

Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth ranking only behind carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in total quantity needed. The nitrogen gas making up about 80% of the atmosphere is large inert and unavailable to life directly. Lightning will convert small amounts of nitrogen to nitrate. Nitrogen in fertilizers comes from the chemical reaction between nitrogen and hydrogen gas to form ammonia. The ammonia can then be oxidized to form nitrate. Fertilizers will often contain ammonia, nitrate, and / or urea as the sources of nitrogen. Organic matter, referred to as humic matter, manure, mulch, etcetera contains about 5% Nitrogen. This nitrogen is slowly converted to ammonia by bacteria and is always oxidized to nitrite then nitrate. During a storm event, or during erosion the nitrate in soil is easily leached into the runoff.

Dissolved inorganic nitrogen including nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia. Dissolved organic nitrogen including water-soluble proteins, amines, amides, and so forth. Basically declined organic life and some man made chemicals that are dissolved in water. Total Organic nitrogen is the sum of dissolved organic nitrogen and particulate organic nitrogen. Particulate organic nitrogen is, well, the insoluble organic compounds, or organic matter, in the water. Total Dissolved Nitrogen is the dissolved organic nitrogen plus the dissolved inorganic nitrogen, and Total nitrogen includes all of the above. Notice, there is REALLY no such thing as total inorganic nitrogen. This is because inorganic nitrogen compounds are all water-soluble.

Chemical Analysis of Nitrogen Compounds

Total dissolved nitrogen, or the result you get when analyzing total nitrogen on a filtered sample complexes of dissolved organic nitrogen, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia. Methods used to determine TDN typically rely on an alkaline persulfate digestion that converts all of the nitrogen present to nitrate and then the nitrate is determined colorimetrically. Analyzing inorganic nitrogen alone will only recover about 30 – 40% of the total dissolved nitrogen in the natural environment. Sewage treatment and industrial plant effluents, on the other hand, are predominately inorganic nitrogen (nitrate) since the treatment process is designed to completely oxidize dissolved organic nitrogen and ammonia to nitrate.

Total nitrogen, or the result you get when analyzing total nitrogen on a non-filtered sample complexes of dissolved organic nitrogen, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia plus particulate nitrogen. Since all inorganic nitrogen compounds are soluble, particulate nitrogen is almost entirely organic nitrogen, or PON. Methods used to determine TN can rely on the same alkaline persulfate digestion used to determine TDN with the exception that samples are not filtered. Since samples are not filtered, the automated version is not applicable if there is a significant amount of sediment (or solids) in the sample. In other words, the automated inline digestion methods measure TDN and are only applicable if TDN and TN are essentially equivalent (there is no particulate organic nitrogen).

The DIN fraction, measured to calculate the Total Organic Nitrogen content can be, and should be, analyzed on a filtered sample. Remember that there is no such thing as Total Inorganic Nitrogen since it is equal to Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen. Another infamous parameter in the total nitrogen world is, of course, TKN (Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen). TKN, as routinely used, does not measure nitrate or nitrite. It is essentially a measure of organic nitrogen plus ammonia nitrogen.

TKN is the classical, if you will, analysis for total organic nitrogen. TKN has its roots in food and feed analysis as a way to quantify the amount of protein. TKN has been extrapolated to environmental analysis and is the regulated parameter for Total Nitrogen. Unless steps are taken to include nitrate and nitrite the regular TKN method does not measure it. TKN essentially measures organic nitrogen and ammonia. TKN is sufficient in POTW or municipal influences because these samples rarely have nitrate in them anyway. Recall the nitrogen reactions. An influent to a POTW will contain particulate nitrogen, dissolved organic nitrogen, and ammonia. The particulate nitrogen mostly settles as sludge removing it from the equation. Organic nitrogen and ammonia are oxidized to nitrate during the treatment process. The TKN digestion boils the sample in concentrated sulfuric acid in the presence of a metallic catalyst to speed the reaction. Potassium sulfate is added to raise the boiling point to about 380 C. The digestion will not completely recover all organic nitrogen compounds making the TKN result actually less than or equal to the TN determined by alkaline persulfate oxidation.

According to the EPA definition, Total Nitrogen equals TKN plus nitrate plus nitrite.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient found in living organisms as part of DNA among other important molecules. Phosphorus is always found in nature bound to other atoms and usually as the inorganic phosphate. It is phosphate that is available to plants and used as a fertilizer. It is phosphate that is consumed by algae and has the potential to cause algal blooms. Measurement of total phosphorus is important because it can, with time, convert to bioavailable soluble phosphate.

Dishwashing, laundry, and many hand detergents and / or soap contain phosphorus. The phosphorus content in detergent can be as high as 8.7%. Phosphate is a very effective way to improve soap quality, especially in waters that contain high amounts of calcium and magnesium. Unfortunately, the phosphates in these detergents find their way into the environment. In the 1970's green rivers and lakes were becoming common and phosphate usage in soaps began its eventual reduction. Although there is not a federal ban on phosphate is soap many states are taking action. For example, Washington State has limited the amount of phosphate in dishwasher detergent to 0.5%

Chemical Analysis of Phosphorus

Phosphorus can exist in water in different forms. The standard method for phosphorus is meant to measure only phosphate, also called reactive phosphate. This is because what is actually measured is defined by the molybdate reaction itself. Phosphorus species are distinguished from each other empirically by filtration, and then a series of digestions that selectively convert phosphorus to phosphate. After the digestion phosphate is measured. Thus, to analyze organic phosphorus only, one digests for total phosphorus in one sample aliquot, and hydrolysable phosphorus in another aliquot. Reactive phosphate is then determined in each digest and Organic Phosphorus is calculated by difference.

Total Phosphate is water-soluble. Instrumental methods require that samples be filtered, or the turbidity and / or solids will interfere. There is certainly to measure total phosphate you must filter the sample. Since total reactive phosphorus is equal to filterable reactive phosphorus the results are the same. Remember though, that for best results, filtration should be in the field. The portion for the total analysis is not filtered. If the particulates (TSS or SS) are high, then continuous flow methods should not be used for the analysis of Total Phosphorus. Total phosphorus is batch digested that converts all phosphorus compounds to phosphate. The digest is filtered and phosphate is then measured, usually by molybdenum blue.

The continuous flow method for TDP utilizes 254 nm UV irradiation to assist in the digestion of organic material. Since continuous flow methods can not be used to adequately digest samples containing high amounts of solids and continuous digestion should not be used unless the total phosphorus is essentially equal to the dissolved phosphorus.

TKN is the classical digestion for total organic nitrogen. The TKN digest can also be used to analyze for total phosphorus. The advantage in this is not added recovery, for the acid persulfate quantitatively recovers all of the total phosphorus. The only advantage in the TKP is the ability for the laboratory to test for TKN and TP in a single digest. The perceived benefit is time and labor savings. Because of the higher acid and salt concentration of the resulting TKP digest compared to persulfate digests, TKP detection limits are typically higher that limits found by persulfate. The other advantage to TKP is, of course, that it is EPA approved.

All of the colorimetric methods used for the determination of phosphate by molybdenum blue are highly dependent upon final acid concentration and the amount of molybdate. Attempts made at analyzing total phosphorus digests without careful attention to acid concentration are often not successful. After the digestion is complete, you are measuring orthophosphate. Any method used to measure phosphate can be used. The problem with extending a total P determination to Ion Chromatography, for instance, comes from the excess sulfate ion introduced in the digestion. Early methods utilizing persulfate in sulfuric acid neutralized the sample and then analyzed orthophosphate. Some continuous flow methods measure the phosphate in the acid solution adjusting the acid in the reagent accordingly. The TKP digestions have really only been tested using a mercury catalyst, and excess chloride must be added to prevent interference from the mercury. Like TKN, the blue color of a copper catalyst may interfere with the method. The auto dialysis method helps to control the final acid concentration and some of the residual color introduced by the copper. Dialysis is essentially an online dilution leading to a higher detection limit than the cleaner persulfate digest. To sum up, for lower total phosphorus numbers (say below 0.1 ppm) it is recommended to use the acid persulfate digestion because the matrix will be easier to control and work with. For concentrations above 0.1 ppm, the TKP digestion is adequate.

Conclusion

The clean water act was signed amid stories of massive fish kills and rivers catching on fire. We all know that these things rarely happen in the US anymore. We have monitored sewage treatment effluents and in many cases applied numerical volumes on the amount of nutrients that can be discharged. We still have a ways to go.

Our chemical analysis methods were written for highly polluted water. The methods we use were not validated at the lower concentration levels we need to measure today. Many of the conditions of these methods assume higher concentrations will be present, and the former rigid nature of the Clean Water Act rules did not let us change anything. Fortunately, in 2007 the EPA added Part 136.6 to the CFR allowing us to make configurations to our nutrient methods providing the modifications improve method performance. These modifications are going to allow us to monitor more water, with better accuracy and detection limits.

We have more to go, because regulation of point sources has not solved the problem. Much of the problem is the non point sources we call storm water run off and irrigation water. We need to watch what we do when we apply fertilizers and watch what goes down our storm drains. But more importantly, what we need is increased monitoring of our rivers and streams. The only way we can begin to solve our problems is to know exactly what they are. To understand this problem we need more data, and the data we need is accurate, low level quantitative analysis of nutrients.

Metal and Wood Baby Furniture – Pros and Cons

Are you currently looking for baby furniture and want to know the pros and cons of woods and metals? With so many choices out there, doing some research can really help you narrow down what is the best fit for your home. While so many metal and wood baby furnishings are pretty, will they meet all the functions you have in mind for them? Hopefully this article can answer some of those questions for you and give you a clearer picture of what your needs and wants are for your dream baby nursery.

Pro’s of Wood:

* Style options! One of the obvious reason’s wood is a zealous choice is because of so many choices out there for styles and finishes! With crib brands like DaVinci, you can get anything from light natural finish to a dark espresso or black and in-between. Young America furniture from Stanley takes design a step further and has almost any color you can think of like pink, green, blue and purple. In the style section, every design out there is now available for wood baby furniture. Take any theme you have in mind, and you will find wood furnishings to coordinate. Retro, modern, French, classic, traditional and much more!

* Functionality! In today’s baby crib market, you can buy one baby bed and have it last your child’s entire lifetime. DaVinci and Storkcraft brands offer wooden convertible cribs that can transform to up to four different bed sizes. Most of the time there are additional parts you will need, but what a time and money saver to get a bed your baby can use as long as he wants? Not only is that beneficial to the family, but it makes a deep impact on the planet by helping with deforestation.

* More storage selections. Choosing wood will increase your storage options. Armoires, dressers and chests aren’t readily available in metals. DaVinci has a combo changer and dresser in almost any size that you can use as a changing station for the first few years, then you can just take off the changing pad and use this as a full time dresser his whole childhood.

Pro’s of Metal:

* Upscale elegance! No one can deny the fashion statement that an elegant metal crib makes in a nursery. The opulent iron scrolled cribs like Corsican and Little Miss Liberty offer incomparable sophistication. Notably, metal cribs are now offered in several themes and colors. You can get bunny, horses and tea time finials with the post iron cribs that really tie up a nursery theme.

* Durability. Of course a metal crib will be more durable than wood. If you’re looking for a solid and simple crib that can work with a lot of different themes, LA Baby has taken their industrial grade cribs that were once only available to professional places like hospitals and daycares and opened them up for parents. These cribs have stout hardware and concentrate on stamina versus themes.

Con’s of Wood:

* Not as strong as metal. Wood is definitely durable or the majority of furniture wouldn’t be wood, but when comparing it to metal…metal will definitely win out. You always run the risk of scratching paint and finishes more easily with wood. To ensure that wood furniture retains its new appearance you can get furniture markers that match the finish for when touch-ups are needed.

Con’s of Metal:

* Selection. If you have in your mind a very upscale and antique styled nursery, getting a lavish iron crib will really set the scene! But besides antique and classic, you’re going to be hard pressed finding other styles in metal furniture. You will also struggle finding other baby furniture in metal that will match your crib and nursery theme. If you go with the industrial design, you can get lots of colorful pieces you can use for storage, but you won’t find metal baby furniture in categories like armoires and full size dressers. You can pair wood furnishings with a metal crib if you get furniture with coordinated metal knobs.

* Price. These extravagant metal cribs can cost a pretty penny! Their intricate designs and solid frames are costly to make and they only last one stage. Many parents decide on the iron cribs for the heirloom factor and then subsequently buy big kid furnishings and pass the crib down through generations. Metal cribs are generally more of a sentimental investment rather than something you’ll be buying for function and overall versatility.

Final Thoughts

There’s no argument that both metal and wood have their positives and negatives! You have to determine what your wants and needs are and get what will fit best. Metal is a smart choice for pure luxury and heirloom quality or as a contemporary industrial sleep environment with amazing crib functions. Wood on the other hand can be found in designs that are diverse and useful at any stage of your child’s life. They do stand up to use, but will require some minor maintenance through the years. You can find wood baby furniture in any theme, price, style and color for you to create whatever nursery d├ęcor you have in mind.

A Critical Valentus Review – Should You Join?

If you’re reading this Valentus Review, then chances are you’re either looking to join the company as a distributor or maybe you’re someone who was approached by a Valentus distributor and you’re doing a little bit of research. Regardless of how you found this review, you’re at the right place because in this third party Valentus Review I’m going to cover the essential details you need to know before making an educated decision about the company. Now before you proceed, I do want to disclose that as I write this I am not a Valentus distributor nor am I affiliated with the company in any way. And to be totally honest, it really doesn’t matter to me one way or the other if you join or not so you can be sure that you’ll be getting a truly unbiased perspective.

First things first, let’s take a look at the company itself. Right out of the gate, I couldn’t find much information except that the company was started by CEO Dave Jordan. Also when I checked the website, it wasn’t really clear where their home office is located although it lists a Nevada address as a place to return product. With that being said, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the company isn’t legit. It is a start-up company that just recently launched less than a year ago as of this writing. And typically, start-up deals don’t have much information posted online. One thing I will say that I do like is that the company looks to be very friendly to the whole online world and online marketing. If you’re going to join a Network Marketing company, it’s always a major benefit to partner with a company that is friendly to both offline and online marketers.

As far as the products go, Valentus carries 4 products you can promote. The first one is Weight Loss Coffee. Coffee is a huge Industry and in my opinion there isn’t a better product to market via Network Marketing because almost everyone consumes it and you don’t have to change people’s buying habits. The coffee contains Garcinia Cambogia, Ginseng Extract, Green Tea Extract and Chromium. These ingredients all aid in weight management and fat loss. The second product they carry is Weight Loss Tea. The tea contains Garcinia Cambogia, Raspberry Ketones and Maqui Berry. The third product is a fruit flavored drink that aids in immune support. And lastly, they carry a fruit flavored energy drink that contains Guarana Seed, Maqui Berry and Gotu Kola. I haven’t personally tried any of the products but they look to be of high quality. I like how they’re packaged in single serving packets which make the products easy to carry around and give out to prospects to sample.

Now let’s cover the actual compensation plan. Distributors are able to earn income 7 different ways. You can earn immediate income by retailing product and personally enrolling new distributors into your team. While there are several ways to enroll people, just assume that everyone joins at the $499 Pack for the sake of simplicity. Whenever you personally enroll someone, you’ll personally earn a $100 Bonus. There’s also a Coded Bonus program that pays out $100 Bonus on your Legacy Team’s production. For big recruiters, there’s a lot of money in the Coded Bonus. Just make sure you understand it well and how it works if you’re serious about joining the company and starting a home business.

As far as the residual income part of the compensation plan goes, the company has a Binary Two-Team structure. As you build your right side and left side, the company pays you a $20 Cycle Bonus whenever there’s 200 BV on one side and 100 BV on the other side. Here’s my take on this… On one hand, it’s very attractive because getting a $20 Bonus on essentially 300 BV is pretty aggressive. The one thing though is you have to make sure you understand the Binary and how it works. For example, if you have 300 BV on one side and 0 BV on the other, you don’t cycle. In other words, you need to be really good at balancing your two legs if you want to make a healthy residual. Now to be clear, I’m not saying this is a bad thing or good thing. You can certainly make serious income regardless as long as you understand the compensation plan and how to structure your group. It’s also important to note that the company pays out 2%-25% Matching Bonuses on up to 7 Generations which is pretty generous.

So should you join Valentus or not? Well… only you can answer that. In my opinion, the pros of the company are they market easy-to-share products like coffee and tea, and the company is very friendly to online marketers. The cons are it is a start-up which is very risky and there isn’t enough information on the actual company and its infrastructure. That being said, these are just opinions and what I may think of as a pro, might be a con to you. One thing is for sure is that if you do decide to partner with Valentus, you’re going to need leads. Having an on-going steady flow of leads is critical to your success. Why? Because it matters not that Valentus has great products and a lucrative compensation plan if you have no one to talk to about the deal. Your ultimate success will depend on your ability to personally enroll new people and get customers, and those two things depend on how many leads you are getting. Of course, you can talk to your friends and family (and you should) but when your warm market runs out, it’s important that you know how to leverage Attraction Marketing so you can get leads online and build your business even if your warm market dries up. If you’re able to put Attraction Marketing to work for you, there’s no telling how prosperous your business can be.

What Are Laminate Floors?

So, be honest: how often do you walk in to someone's home that just got a laminate floor installed, stop, and say "Oh my god what is that !?". Okay, so no one does that, but I bet you're wondering now! Not many people think about flooring and laminate is not exactly new, so most really do not give a lot of thought as to what they're made of. However, there are always those of us that are curious so, if you are one of them, keep reading.

What's The Difference Between Laminate Floor And Pergo?

Let's get this out of the way: Pergo and laminate flooring is the same thing. You have to respect a brand that is a household name in an industry so competitive as flooring, but Pergo really is nothing more than a laminate floor brand. People tend to start calling things by their brand name, since that's what's mostly advertised, but calling laminate floors Pergo is akin to calling all sodas Coke or Pepsi. So, when someone says they have Pergo, you know that what they are really saying is laminate flooring, but I would not point that out since some people will just argue the matter.

Laminate Floors Are Not Real Hard Wood

But, at the same time, they kind of are. Although they are not hard wood, and there are ways to tell as much, there are some higher quality floors that you really must get down there with a magnifying glass to really be able to tell. There is, to be sure, real wood mixed in there as laminate flooring is based on a wood chip composite material, but that does not really tell you the whole story. If you can not tell if the floor is real wood or laminate, use your knuckles to knock on it. Laminate will give off a plastic sound tick, and wooden ones are more of a thunk or thud.

Laminate Floors Are Designed To Look Like Hard Wood Floors

In essence, a laminate floor is a picture of a hardwood floor, only pasted on to a much more hardy material. Laminated flooring excels at surviving the same conditions that make owners of hardwood floor hiss through their teeth in consternation. Scrapes, scratches, and scuffs are still possible, but much less likely, and a lot easier to repair if needed. In homes where there is a lot of kid or pet traffic, real wood floors are really becoming outdated and cumbersome by comparison.

Laminate Floors And Traditional Lamination

Yes, they are both derivatives of the same process, called lamination. Most people think that lamination is basically the act of putting some paper in some plastic, but that's a very watered down definition. If you were to put plastic around your cell phone and either glue the plastic or seal it with heat, you would have laminated your cell phone, which would be either ridiculous or hilarious, depending on the circumstances. In the case of laminate floors, the plastic surrounds and protects a photograph of wood which then sets, amusingly enough, on a base of wood chips. The result is almost all of the benefits of hard wood floors with few of the drawbacks.

The Carbon Footprint Of Log Homes And Timber Frame Homes

Log Homes and Timber Frame Homes may have the lowest carbon footprint of any other type of construction. A carbon footprint is the measurement of carbon dioxide released as a result of using a particular product or other human activity. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere and major contributor to global warming.

A report prepared by the Edinburgh Center for Carbon Management (ECCM) compared the carbon dioxide footprints of three structures and the benefits when more timber was introduced into the construction. The results were astounding. ECCM estimated that there could be up to an 88% reduction of greenhouse gases by using log or timber structural elements wherever possible rather than other conventional building materials. The reduction of greenhouse gases was achieved by replacing materials high energy, high CO2 production values, such as steel and concrete, with solid wood. The report states that the production of steel and concrete materials accounts for 10% of the total global emissions of greenhouse gases. These materials have a high CO2 output created during the extraction of raw materials, refining, processing and manufacturing of the finished product. As reported in a study published by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, the energy consumed to process a tree into a finished sawn timber is about one-tenth of steel production.

In another report prepared by The Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) compared four different structure using different wall systems – two woods, one concrete and one steel. The report found that the steel wall system generated 33% more greenhouses gases than wood and the concrete wall generated 80% more greenhouse gases than wood. The study also reported that the wood structures out-performed the steel and concrete houses in energy use and the impact on air and water quality.

Wood walls are typically framed or solid. Conventionally framed walls use a combination a several materials including processed wood products such as plywood or other laminated wood products, fiberglass insulation, exterior siding, interior sheetrock and some type of wall covering. Solid wood walls using logs or timbers have basically one product – the log or timber. The energy consumed and the CO2 produced in the production of logs and timbers is a fraction compared to the production of all the various materials in a conventionally framed wall.

Consumers are much more aware the environmental impact of using different materials and are being increasing sensitive to the hazards of exposure to chemically processed materials. Logs and timbers are 100% natural. As a natural product, they do not emit VOCs or other pollutants into the outdoor or indoor space. Trees are produced from soil, water and air combined with the energy from the sun, in a miraculous process of photosynthesis. Ecologically and environmentally, solid wood is the only building product that is renewable, biodegradable, recyclable, energy efficient and extremely beautiful.

Sustained and plantation forest growth actually reduces greenhouse gases by consuming CO2 out of the atmosphere while the trees are growing. Political pressure to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, such as the Kyoto Protocol, is sure to continue and it will become increasingly important to find solution. The use of solid wood construction such as log homes and timber homes can make a positive contribution.

Benefits of Wearing A Wonderbra

Who does not know the Wonderbra? Every woman knows the benefits of wearing a Wonderbra, even men do. This is the most famous brand that has created a trend among the less-endowed women. After its sensational launch in the United Kingdom, the Wonderbra made its way to the United States and debuted in 1994. If we look into statistics, one was sold in the United States every 15 seconds during the peak of the Wonderbra.

The Wonderbra became popular because of how it was created to give every woman its maximum benefits. Each cup of the Wonderbra has three components. The back and under-wire were angled for maximum support and breast enhancement. Cookies or removable pads are included which helps boost the breasts. The gate back and rigid straps provide support and enhance the cleavage. With these components, the Wonderbra lifts the breasts up and closer together, thereby, creating a look of larger breasts and a dramatic, sexy cleavage.

There are many remarkable benefits of wearing a Wonderbra. Listed below are some of the major benefits that you can get with this product:

  • No side effects
  • No surgery needed
  • No breast implants means no risk complications
  • No drugs, no medical or chemical compounds
  • No exercise or lifestyle adjustment required
  • No equipment needed
  • No large expenses since it is relatively affordable

In order to get the maximum benefits of wearing a Wonderbra, you must get your right bra size. Remember that wearing a wrong bra size gives you discomfort. Buying a wrong size of bra is a common mistake women make. It is evident that women bodies come in different body shapes and sizes so you have to find and wear one that best fits you. In order to get the best bra size, you just need to take two measurements. First, take a tape measure and hold it 1 inch below your bust line. Next is to measure around and over your breasts, commencing with a point 1 inch below your shoulder blades.

After learning the benefits of wearing a Wonderbra, you are now ready to choose the best style and fit for you. It comes in different styles and colors. There are push-up bras, special occasion bras, seamless and strapless bras to name a few. You have the freedom to choose your very own a Wonderbra. They are available both in stores and online.

So if you truly agree with the look of natural lift this Wonderbra can give you and if you truly accept that the increase in breast size is in appearance only, then a Wonderbra is meant for you. Also, if you are more interested in a larger breast appearance than increasing the size of your breasts through surgical procedures then there is no stopping you to avail of the Wonderbra.

The benefits of wearing Wonderbra are truly unmatched as this product works remarkable wonders in its natural form. With a Wonderbra, a fuller and seductively shaped breast is created. You do not only look great but you will feel even more attractive.

How to Get Rid of Moths the Easy and Effective Way

While moths seem harmless enough, there are actually a couple of diseases instigated by these critters. Just like all flies and mosquitoes, they tend to visit very dirty places such as sewage, gutters and moldy walls. They transfer the bacteria, germs, virus and other micro organisms that they carry from these places into your food or your walls of your home. These micro organisms can trigger a number of illnesses.

There are also cases wherein moths and their caterpillars cause skin diseases. These creatures actually have very tiny spurs on their legs, especially the larger moths. If the moth happens to land on any part of your skin, some of the spurs in their legs will stay on your pores. This may sting or lead to a case of dermatitis.

Certain species of moths are also capable of biting your skin just like ants. If you hate ants and use ant killer, you should also consider ways on how to get rid of moths. Some moths are also a lot like fleas, in that some types of moths can even feed on human blood.

The spurs in the legs of moths may also cause allergic reactions. They can trigger the excessive production of histamine that may cause difficulty in breathing, enlargement of the tongue or tonsils, swelling of the skin and lips and even blisters. Eye infection caused by hair or spurs of moths may also be experienced when it gets in contact with the eyes.

If you go the extra mile in buying ant killer, you should also consider getting a good moth repellent. The most common moth repellent used by many is the mothball. They come in packs. However, not many people like the pungent odor of these mothballs. They certainly do not want to use them in keeping moths away from their clothes. While it does a good job in keeping moths away from clothes, they also tend to make the cabinet and the clothes smell bad.

To learn how to get rid of moths, you should consider consulting the professionals. If you are already dealing with an infestation in the attic or the bedroom, it should be left to the experts to prevent moths from coming back.

The thing is, treatments really depend on what they are feeding on and how large the affected areas are. For instance if you are getting rid of fleas, you have to go beyond the infected pet. Some of the most common treatments for infestations are fumigation, use of smoke generators and use of insecticides.

There is also the problem of the eggs. While adult moths can be easily killed with the use of insecticides, the eggs are a mite more resilient. They require special insecticides that will be placed in the areas where the adult moths laid their eggs. After the initial infestation has been treated, you can proceed to the task of finding good quality moth repellents that you can stick to in order to prevent future infestations.

Just like when getting rid of fleas or buying ant killer, learning how to get rid of moths can take a lot of initial work. You have to first inspect signs of infestation and determine what species of moth has attacked your house. This way, you can really find good quality treatments that will do their job.

Just like when getting rid of fleas, make sure you also look for high quality moths pest control products. While there are many products and insecticides in the market, not all of them will really work for you.

One of the most preferred solutions for getting rid of moths is moth traps. They look like your ordinary fly trap. They are mostly used to get rid of pantry moths. To make the moth traps more effective, you can purchase pheromone squares which actively attract moths. So if you are having infestation in your pantry, this should be an ideal solution.

We can not do anything to completely stop the existence of pests. There are many ways to control them by using ant killer pesticides or natural pest killers. Getting rid of fleas , moths and ants can be easier if you know what exactly you are dealing with. Especially with moths, you have to know what the species you are dealing with is, so you have a better idea on how to get rid of the moths.

Wood Vs Metal File Cabinet

The metal file cabinet is among those in popular demand when it comes to organizing and storage needs. But today, there are even more choices, particularly when it comes to the material of the filing cabinet. File cabinets now come in plastic materials as well as genuine wood. A lot of people are now going for wooden materials for their cabinet, but which is better? Is it wood or metal?

A wooden filing cabinet can have both practical and aesthetic qualities. Oak is a popular choice in this case, since it offers a wide range of natural colors and patterns. White oak allows you to easily paint over it with different finishes from very dark to very light.

On the other hand, a metal filing cabinet can offer durability and strength. Thus, it is mostly preferred for use in offices to keep very important files. While they may not fit in most home decor, they may do well with modern interiors.

So which is better, a metal file cabinet or a wooden one? There isn’t one answer to this one. The most practical thing to do would be to first consider your basic requirements. What are you going to use the cabinet for? Where will you put it? For instance, if you’re going to put it in the patio, it will have to be weatherproof. You may then consider how you want your cabinet to look like. A wooden one matches more in a home setting, while a metal would probably fair better in an office setting.

Save For A Home – Vintage Collectible House Banks

I wanted a house for so many years before I could afford one it’s no surprise that I began to collect small, affordable houses. Vintage banks shaped like houses that is.

One year, at an antiques show in Boston, I found a small house-shaped bank marked “Save For A Home.” Since that’s precisely what I was doing it was a must have. Several months later I found another vintage house bank at a garage sale marked “Save For A Purpose.” Voila! A collection in the making.

Trouble was, it turned out to be a fluke that those two vintage collectibles had turned up so easily. For the life of me I couldn’t find another. Obsession set in. Every time I cruised the aisles in an antique shop I was really looking for just one thing. Soon half a dozen of my friends and family were enlisted in the search. My collection grew at the rate of about one house bank per year — with a lot of hunting in between each discovery.

And then they created eBay. My collection doubled in size within three weeks and the obsession was lifted.

The focus of my obsession is small — about 3.5″ wide and 2.5″ high at the peak of the roof. These banks were give-aways — usually by banks or credit unions, sometimes by insurance companies. They are made of an early plastic with a metal bottom that is opened with a key. If you’re lucky the key will still accompany the bank. There’s a metal plate affixed across the front of the base that reads “Save For A Home,” “Save For A Purpose,” or “Save And Have” and a metal plate on the other side that has the bank or company’s name and address. The body is off-white and the color of the metal plate matches the color of the roof — red, green, or blue. Earlier versions were made of cast iron or tin.

Shaped like a quintessential Cape Cod style house the banks are charming and remarkably detailed. The Cape is complete with dormer windows, shutters with cut-outs, and a fanlight over the door. There are miniature details like a door knocker and a pair of lantern-style lights that flank the door.

The best way to track down house banks is to search on eBay. Do a search that includes the item description field for the term “save for a home” in quotations and you’ll find them.

My grandfather built a Cape in the 1960s financing the construction in large part with the coins he’d been collecting. It’s probably no longer feasible to finance a home purchase with change but I still think these house banks are a great inspiration for somebody who’s trying to amass a down payment or who’s dreaming of their first home. “Save and Have” is certainly a better plan than “Borrow and Spend.”

As for me I just like houses – in any size – so my vintage house bank collection lines a shelf above my desk

Linksys E1000 Router Set Up and Troubleshooting

All Linksys E series routers work on the N technology. You can get wireless speed up to 300 Mbps. You can connect wireless computers, wireless printers and other Wi-Fi devices up to 300 Mbps. Linksys E1000 is nothing but Linksys WRT160N router with a new Cisco connect software.

All the E series routers have Gigabit Ethernet ports which can give you speed up to 1000 Mbps wired connection speed. E1000 router works on 2.4 GHz wireless signal. E2100L router also works on 2.4 GHz wireless signal. This router has a USB port on it. You can connect the USB hard drive to the router and share the hard drive with all the computers connected in the network. E2000 and E3000 routers work on 2.4 GHz as well as 5 GHz powerful wireless signal. You can connect your gaming devices, blue ray players, DVR system to this router for smoother and faster video streaming.

Linksys E1000 router setup:

All the E series routers come with the great Cisco connect software for the easy installation. Before installing the router, make sure that your Internet is working properly through the modem. Connect your computer directly to the modem and try to go on line. If you are able to access the Internet from the modem, then your Internet is working properly. Now insert the CD in to the same computer. Do not run the CD on any other computer. Use the same computer that you used to connect to the modem. Follow the steps of the CD. It may not ask you to connect the computer to the router. But it is recommended that you should connect your computer to the router for the initial set up of the router. You will need to connect the computer to one of the Ethernet port on the router and the modem to the Internet port on the router. That means there will be 2 connections to the router. Now go to the next step on the set up CD. It will take up to 5 minutes to set up the router.

Definitely you can setup the router without CD also. You just need to open the setup page of the router and change the settings manually.

The Cisco connect software is a very intelligent tool. It will check your Internet connection settings and it will try to set up your router automatically according to those settings. It will also create wireless network automatically with the unique network name and password. On the final step you will see that the router is set up successfully. It will open the window where you can check the settings of the router. It will create an option on your computer in the all program list. If you want to change the settings of the wireless network, you can open the Cisco connect software and change the settings.

The Cisco connect software will run only on Windows XP with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 or better, Windows 7, Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.9, Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.11, Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8, Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.1.

This software will also give you option of parental control where you can limit the access to the Internet according to time as well as websites. This software is capable of creating a guest network access. You can limit the number of guest computers. The guest wireless network will be totally a different wireless network. This guest network works on different IP address range so that the guest people can not share your main wireless network. The guest will not be able to access the router settings or the computers in the main network. But you can set up the Guest network only if you run the Cisco connect software.

Once you have the main computer up and running through the router. You can use a small flash drive to create a set up key. On your other wireless computer, connect this USB set up key and run the program. It will connect your computer to the wireless network automatically. It will search for the wireless network and it will connect on its own. You don’t need to do anything. You can run the USB set up key only if the wireless connection is managed by the windows connection manager. If you change the wireless settings of the router using the set up page of the router, the Cisco connect software will stop working.

If you are not able to set up the router using the Cisco connect software, you can set up the router manually. But you will not be able to use the advantages of Cisco connect software like USB set up key or Guest network access. You can open the set up page of the router and change the Internet connection settings manually according to the Internet service provider.

The hardware warranty for Linksys E series router is 1 year but the free technical support is only for 90 days.