The Cold War: A Look At The Myths And Reality Of Berlin

I will take you on a fascinating journey through a time where the World was completely different to the one of today, a journey that I hope you enjoy.

10. Access to West Berlin.

During the Cold War Berlin was divided into four sectors. The West was controlled by the French, British and Americans and the East was controlled by the Soviets. Sat in the heart of East Germany West Berlin was connected to West Germany by three main supply routes. The Berlin transit corridor was an autobahn that ran from Checkpoint Alpha in Helmstedt, West Germany to Checkpoint Bravo on the East German/West Berlin border. The Berlin railway network – The British train ran to and from Braunschweig. The French train ran to and from Paris and the American Train ran to and from Frankfurt. Finally there were the Berlin air corridors.

Travelling along the Berlin transit corridor was fascinating. Approaching the border was like something out of a science fiction film. Row after row of high-powered lights lit up no-mans land and the sentry towers. The Soviet manned checkpoints were an opportunity for me as a child to spot the rank, unit and sporting medals worn by the Soviet sentries. The Berlin travel document contained all names of those travelling in the vehicle. It was written in English, French, German and Russian. The only two places that Allied soldier’s and their families were allowed to stop in East Germany was at the Soviet controlled checkpoints.

9. The Berliner Fernsehturm.

The Berlin TV tower is an iconic sight that sits just inside East Berlin. The Soviet/East German propaganda machine was always in play and the story of this building was no exemption. Construction started in 1965 and was completed in 1969. It stood at 356 metres and registered as the fourth highest free standing building in Europe. An old cold war tale suggests that Pope Paul VI gave millions of dollars to the East German Government in order to build churches. The East German Government was lead by Walter Ulbricht. Ulbricht decided that the money should be spent on a TV tower instead.

So when construction on the tower was completed in 1969, 3 million turned out to see it. When the sun shines on the steel dome at the top of the tower a cross appears in the reflection. Rumour has it that the planners were not aware of this ingenious creation. The citizens of Berlin nicknamed the tower the ‘Popes Revenge’.

The Berliner Fernsehturm is still going strong today giving tourist an opportunity a bird’s eye view of a magnificent city. At the top sits a café, which rotates twice in the hour and sits just below the viewing platform. This is not a place to eat for those with a fear of heights.

8. The BRIXMIS & SOXMIS.

The British Commanders’-in-Chief Mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany and The Soviet Exercise Mission were in a nutshell ‘authorised spies’. The BRIXMIS were made up of officers and NCO’s who were trained in identifying different types of Soviet armour and units. They worked out of their HQ in Potsdam, East Germany. Travelling around in small teams generally in Range Rovers or Opel Senators, these were known as ‘Tour Cars’. Tour Cars were marked up with a yellow number plate, a number and a Union Flag.

Tours took BRIXMIS teams across East Germany to the training areas of the Warsaw pact forces. Often crossing the line of duty, BRIXMIS operators would go that extra yard to get a close up photograph of a new piece of Soviet armour.

The SOXMIS ran in a similar format, operating out of black Lada cars in West Germany and West Berlin, somewhat less luxurious of their British counterparts. British soldiers and their families were encouraged to report Soviet tour cars. If I remember rightly the number was Herford military 2222.

The French and Unites States military also ran missions in the East. If you are interested in Cold War history there are numerous books worth reading on the subjects. The missions literally took part in a game of Cold War hide and seek.

7. The Stasi.

The East German Secret Police were ruthless and feared. Approximately 13 million residents lived in East Germany and around 900,000 were employed by the Stasi is some form or another. This was a big case ‘Big Brother’ and paranoia.

The Stasi developed out of the internal security and police apparatus established in the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany after World War II. The law establishing the ministry, whose forerunner was the Kommissariat 5 (modeled along the lines of the Soviet KGB), was passed by the East German legislature on February 8, 1950, four months after the establishment of the German Democratic Republic. The Stasi, whose formal role was not defined in the legislation, was responsible for both domestic political surveillance and foreign espionage, and it was overseen by the ruling Socialist Unity Party. Its staff was at first quite small, and its chief responsibilities were counterintelligence against Western agents and the suppression of the last vestiges of Nazism. Soon, however, the Stasi became known for kidnapping former East German officials who had fled the country; many of those who were forcibly returned were executed. Source Britannica Encyclopidia

Any telephone call made by a resident was automatically recorded if the call was over a certain distance. Residential flats were bugged and generally at least one flat belonged to the Stasi and was used as an intelligence cell.

It was encouraged to report any suspicious activity undertaken by your neighbour, failing to do so could result in a prison sentence.

Millions of files were produced by the Stasi on its citizens. To date almost 2 million people have looked at records that were kept on them. What is ironic about this organization is that it was still active less than 25 years ago. The chilling Stasi museum was opened to the public and can be found in Berlin.

8. Intelligence gathering.

Intelligence agencies will go to any lengths to gather information. In this list you will be interested to know that they were given information for free.

Due to the fact that East Germany was a communist country, Westerners including Allied troops and their families enjoyed cheap shopping in East Berlin. Porcelain could be bought at giveaway prices. Such was the value of dining in East Berlin, social function were often organised by British soldiers wives committees.

The wives would travel across into East Berlin via Checkpoint Charlie and enjoy cheap dining and alcohol. It is rumoured that the Stasi and KGB bugged waiters, tables and restrooms for purposes of intelligence gathering. Wives would often have ‘lose lip’ syndrome after a few glasses of wine. In turn snippets of information would be leaked, intercepted and analysed by specialists. Even the smallest amounts of information were priceless. What seemed as an innocent social function turned into an information gold mine for Eastern intelligence services. I am sure that any of the good lady wives that are reading this will laugh about this today, at the time it was a serious matter. I never did like East German restaurant food, especially the cheap imitation black fizzy soda.

7. Soviets In The West.

I have already touched on the SOXMIS. Despite having control of East Berlin, the Soviets also had a permanent location in the West of the city. The Brandenburg gate is one of the most iconic buildings in the World and lies in between the Reichstag and where checkpoint Charlie used to stand. During the time of a divided city, the Brandenburg gate sat in the East a few hundred yards away from the Berlin Wall.

From the West you could drive slowly up to the Berlin Wall and approach the Brandenburg gate. On the left where two Soviet tanks from the Second World War which formed a monument for all the Soviet soldier’s who lost their lives in street to street fighting in 1945. Guarding those tanks were two ceremonial Soviet sentries.

It is rumoured that a vehicle once stopped and the Soviet sentries were photographed. Remember this is a time where digital photography had not been invented. As a result stopping in a vehicle was completely forbidden.

The Soviet memorial in the West was another reminder of the cities dark past and a reality check that there was indeed a ‘Phoney War’ taking place. As a child I remember my parents driving around the sights of Berlin. As I was sitting in the back of the car looking at two Soviet sentries I often wondered who they were. The were probably thinking about being stood inside the warmth.

6. The Teuflesberg.

Situated in the Charlottenberg district of West Berlin, the Teufelsberg or Devil’s Hill was man made. In 1945 Berlin was just a sea of broken buildings. Millions of tons of rubble were moved and a lot of it ended up in the spot that is now known as the Teufelsberg.

Its origin does not in itself make Teufelsberg unique, as there are many similar man-made rubble mounds in Germany (see Schuttberg) and other war-torn cities of Europe. The curiousness begins with what is buried underneath the hill: the never completed Nazi military-technical college (Wehrtechnische Fakultät) designed by Albert Speer. The Allies tried using explosives to demolish the school, but it was so sturdy that covering it with debris turned out to be easier. In June 1950 the West Berlin Magistrate decided to open a new rubble disposal on that site.[1] The disposal was planned for 12,000,000 m3 (16,000,000 cu yd). Wikipedia

The Teuflesberg had two main functions, it was a recreational area for the public and it was also the eyes and the ears of Western intelligence. In 1961 Allied intelligence agencies ran operations from the top of the hill. They listened in on Warsaw Pact radio traffic. Such was its suitability it was decided to build a permanent sight there. The field station was manned 24 hours a day and I recall a neighbour of ours worked there as an operator in the Royal Signals. I would love to bump into him now and chat about some of the intelligence that he was privileged to have handled.

What was once at the heart of the Cold War now lies in ruins. Vandalised and covered in graffiti, the famous land-mark can still be visited by tourists.

5. The Iron Curtain.

The thousands of miles of barbed wire, watch towers and lights were given the name the Iron Curtain by Sir Winston Churchill in his famous speech. Even today the sight of the heavily manned border that divided Western and Eastern ways of life still are still fresh in the memory.

People talk about light pollution, unless you actually crossed the border at night you have never seen light pollution. Evenly spaced out watchtowers dominated the skyline, they overlooked no-mans land to their front and beyond into the West.

Attack dogs roamed in areas between the huge fences, a deterrent to any would be escapee. Reports have recently suggest that the attack dogs were pretty docile. Either way, I would not have like to have taken any chances.

East German border troops where paired up according to their marital status. Two single border guards where not posted together for fear of one of them trying to escape themselves.

German civilians who had been granted authority to travel from the West to the East or vice versa where subject to strict vehicle searches, even to the point of having their fuel tanks dipped. I will come on to escape attempts later on.

For those that never had the chance to see the East-West divide, imagine a prison but only on an enormous scale. That was what the ‘Iron Curtain’ looked like.

4. The threat of war.

The Allied troops in West Berlin were simply there as a token effort. Britain had just 16 tanks stationed there. Some 40 miles to the North West of Allied controlled West Berlin was a Soviet garrison that housed some 15,000 troops. Vogelsang was a ghost town that was home to armour, howitzers and infantry fighting troops.

In parts of RAF Gatow the only thing that separated it from the might of the Soviet Army was a 12-foot fence. The Allied Forces stationed in West Berlin were little more than a token effort of force. It is hard to say how long they would have lasted in the event of an all out war.

Both Allied and Soviet powers paraded their military machines through the streets of West and East Berlin respectively on an annual show of strength.

The British often ran an Exercise known to the troops and families as the ‘Rocker’. Exercise Rocking Horse and later Exercise Berlin Bear Defender was a crash out test. Troops were called into their respective garrisons in response to a ‘notional Soviet attack. There were often wagers between friends on when the next ‘Rocker’would be called by the Brigade Commander.

3. Checkpoint Charlie and the escape attempts.

Some 24 years after the Berlin Wall was declared ‘Open” Checkpoint Charlie still holds a vivid image for me. The checkpoint was the main crossing point between West and East Berlin. Plenty of myth and legend surrounds the famous land-mark. Bizarrely it has been moved from its original location along the Berlin Wall.

East German guards would occupy the controlled crossing point and would demand to see an individual’s passport from page one all the way through to the back page.

The Checkpoint Charlie museum paid homage to those that had escaped from across the border to West Berlin or West Germany. One such escape attempt involved an East German athlete hurdling the checkpoint barriers and leaping for safety into West Berlin.

Another audacious attempt involved a pilot flying a light aircraft underneath East German radar and over the border into West Berlin.

Arguably the most famous escape attempt was depicted in the film ‘The Crossing’. Two families made a hot air balloon of a period of months. The piloted the balloon from East Germany across the Irion Curtain into the West.

West German officials often returned some successful escapees to the East. They were not the lucky ones; interrogation normally proceeded a long stint in the Siberian salt mines.

2. Life in tow cities.

A city of enormous proportions, the residents of West Berlin went about their daily business just like any other populous in Western Europe. The only disruption came during the Berlin Blockade, which will be covered in my final list. Public transport was what you would expect of any normal German city, first class, reliable and punctual. Shops were always well stocked and showed no signs that it lay in the heart of communist East Germany.

The City often hosted the biggest rock concerts. Artists such as Michael Jackson performed in the West. His ‘Bad’ tour in 1988 attracted hundreds of thousands of supporters. Concerts where often held on 17 Juni Strasse near to the Brandenberg Gate. This was a propaganda stunt designed to show the East what they were missing.

In the East, the residents lived a completely different life. Paranoia, empty shelves, poor housing and low wages where typical of any communist state. There was a very long waiting list for the East German car the Trabant. Made from fibre glass with a two stroke engine, the cars often looked like patch work duvets. In late 1988 advances were made on the cars, they came fitted with a sun roof. I remember walking along the streets of East Berlin on our monthly visits, locals would literally stand and stare at you the ‘Westerner’. It was surreal.

1. The Berlin Blockade.

It was arguably one of the most iconic events in Cold War history, along with the Cuban Missile Crisis. On the 24th June 1948 until 12th May 1949, the Soviet Union blocked the rail, air, road and canal routes into West Berlin.

The Berlin Blockade resulted in a massive operation undertaken by the Royal Air Force, United States Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force and South African Air Force. Fuel and food was flown into West Berlin in wave after wave of logistical resupply sorties. Over 200,000 flights were flown.

The Allied powers never gave up on West Berlin and eventually the Soviet’s lifted the blockade. Their plan had failed and brought about the berth of two new states of power.

In 1949 East and West Germany were born as a result of the Berlin Blockade. The separate German states would remain for another 50 years.

On 5 April, a Soviet Air Force Yakovlev Yak-3 fighter collided with a British European Airways Vickers Viking 1B airliner near RAF Gatow airfield, killing all aboard both aircraft. The Gatow Air Disaster exacerbated tensions between the Soviets and the other allied powers. Internal Soviet reports in April stated that “Our control and restrictive measures have dealt a strong blow to the prestige of the Americans and British in Germany” and that the Americans have “admitted” that the idea of an airlift would be too expensive.

On 9 April, Soviet officials demanded that American military personnel maintaining communication equipment in the Eastern zone must withdraw, thus preventing the use of navigation beacons to mark air routes On 20 April, the Soviets demanded that all barges obtain clearance before entering the Soviet zone. Wikipedia

Looking back, living in Berlin, the history and the situation at the time almost seems mythical. It wasn’t, it was very real but it felt very surreal. Even after all these years talking about those Cold War days still make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I recently sat down for a discussion with my uncle who served in Berlin as a British Soldier. He visited a Soviet camp shortly after the German unification. He talked about the large number of Soviet vehicles that were just static lumps of rusted steel and iron. It makes you wonder, had the balloon gone up, would the Soviets have been in any shape to put up a fight against the Western Allies?

Using a TENS Machine to Fight the Negative Feelings of Depression

First of all, I’m not a doctor or therapist. I just have spent most of my life learning from them, to undo the effects of major depression that I’ve had from childhood. If you suffer from depression, first talk to your medical professional to see what approach is best for you. That is what I’ve done, but I add to what I’ve learned by trying a few other things on my own. Don’t do anything to yourself that is potentially self-injurious, it pays to research any new technique or approach thoroughly, just to be safe. Whatever works for me may not work for you, we all have our own ways of responding to different treatments. I just know that not all my recovery has come from what was learned at the doctor’s office. Being exceptionally strong-willed, my mission has mainly been to boost self-esteem, and fight those inner feelings of sadness that never go away (effects of depression.) Here are some ways that have helped me live a productive and successful life, despite mental challenges.

Six months ago, it was necessary for me to go for physical therapy for a slipped disk in my back. The therapist hooked me up to a small machine called a TENS unit, for one of my treatments. They put small, non-invasive sticky circles (electrodes) on the part of my body needing therapy and then turned the machine on. It felt really good, sort of like a massage. Depending upon how the therapist adjusted the dials, the machine would make knocking or pinging sensations on my back. There are also knobs to adjust the intensity of each sensation. After researching the TENS unit on the internet, I ordered a small one, about the size of a deck of playing cards.

According to what I read about them, TENS machines are not only good for distracting your body into feeling good sensations rather than pain, but they can make your body produce endorphins, or feel-good chemicals, too. This intrigued me, since having depression, I’ll take all the feel-good anything I can get (as long as it is both moral and legal.) So, I set up to test this on myself and see if there was any merit to the theory. After years of taking various anti-depressants, some work more than others but none completely take away depression, in my experience. Not being a scientist or doctor, I read up on everything about the TENS machine. There are rules that come along with the machine, like not putting the electrodes on the head, neck or the heart areas. Make sure to follow all of them thoroughly. People with pacemakers should not use TENS units, because it can interfere with the way they work. As with medicines, ask your doctor before using one.

By placing the electrodes along my spine, and setting the TENS settings to the recommended low frequency (pulse) levels. You want low muscle contraction, and to use the TENS for approximately 20 to 40 minutes. If you set it for higher muscle contractions, your muscles may ache later, so I rely on what the experts say, to use it at low settings. For more detailed information, I found these sites helpful:

http://www.bootsmaternityrentalproducts.co.uk/abouttens.php
http://www.medcareservice.com/Pain-Control-Mechanism-Article.cfm

Using the TENS unit has helped my overall mood, it seems, as after using it, my demeanor is calm and relaxed. Though I don’t know if this is due to the machine itself or not, but I believe that using it has helped me. Combined with other treatments, this TENS therapy is assisting me (along with other techniques for reducing depression) in making a more enjoyable life. Go ahead and research TENS units online, and see if this is something suitable for you. In my point of view, it is a viable way to help combat depression.

Best Herbs for Internal Detoxification – 5 Channels of Elimination

The case for ridding the body of accumulated waste is a strong one. Powerful natural healers over the years have pointed to internal cleansing time and again as a cornerstone of optimum health. Natural health adults including Dr. Bernard Jensen, Dr. Norman Walker, Ph.D., Dr. Jon Matsen, author of Eating Alive, one of the best natural health primers ever written, Dr. Paul Bragg, Dr. Herbert Shelton, Dr. Paavo Airola have all emphasized the need to cleanse our internal bodies. The list of advocates goes on and on. The question no longer is whether to detoxify, but how.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, of Kellogg's cereal fame and subject of the film The Road to Wellville, offered his guests a variety of cleaning programs at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Later, Dr. Jensen assisted thousands of patients treat a wide assortment of ailments through internal cleansing at his ranch retreat in Escondido, California. But these days it is not practical for most of us to drop everything for days, weeks, or even months at a time to "clean house". We may no longer have the time, but our need to detoxify is greater than ever.

Today, toxins from every direction bombard our bodies. Poisons pollute the air we breathe. They see into the water we drink and infiltrate the food we eat. There's just no avoiding them. In 1993 over 271 million pounds of toxic chemicals (phosphoric acid, ammonia, sulfuric acid, methanol etc.) were dumped into our water supply. Agribusiness uses 33 times more pesticides today than 50 years ago. The simple truth is your filtering and eliminative organs were not designed to process such a heavy load. Sometimes they become overworked, sluggish and toxins begin to accumulate through the entire body.

Staying inside will not work either. The EPA reports that levels of pollutants inside buildings can be as much as 100 times greater than outdoor pollution levels. Time magazine, December 21,1998, in an article titled This Place makes Me Sick, reported on the escalating problem known as sick-building syndrome, a disease of modern architecture in which sealed, energy conservation buildings have become breeding grounds for some particularly insidious stuff. These include out-gassing of paint, vinyl flooring, insulation and furniture; chemical contaminants oozing from copy machines, fax machines and laser printers; molds, fungi, bacteria and dusts belching from dirty air ducts and inadequately maintained air conditioners. It's enough to make you sick … and it does.

But if this toxic monster seems unbeatable, do not despair. Therapeutic, internal cleansing can take the load off your eliminative organs and free them up to do their work. Remember that these poisons are hiding all over your body, in all the soft tissues, organs and systems. Avoid the mistake of concentrating solely on the colon. A colon cleanse will do you some good, but improvement will be marginal. The large intestine is only one of your body's five channels of elimination, albeit the most obvious one. The lungs, lymph system, kidneys and skin each have critical rods to play in the cleansing process, and you'll need to address them all to get maximum results. The liver, the primary filter for the blood stream, will almost certainly need detoxifying. However, unless it is especially weak or toxic, cleansing the liver should wait until you've lowered the toxic load on the rest of your body.

Fortunately, modern herbalists have formulated some excellent cleansing products you can use to great effect, without putting your life on hold. Keep in mind, different herbs target different organs and systems. A cleansing product's design should be comprehensive enough to do a thorough job. The best cleanses activate all five channels of elimination and promote the release of toxins from every nook and cranny. Here's what to look for.

Channel # 1 – The Colon
Without you are having 2-3 good bowel movements every day you are constipated and invariably toxic.

Therapeutic Herbs

Chickweed to strengthen the bowel.

Fennel seed to relieve gas by improving digestion.

Ginger Root which acts as a cleansing agent.

Marshmallow removes hardened mucous from the intestines.

Peppermint cleans and strengthens the bowel.

Plantain is one of the best herbs for neutralizing poison and breaking up intestinal mucous.

Slippery Elm heals and soothes the bowel (and the lungs).

Fenugreek lubricates the intestines and dissolves hardened mucous.

Health Food for the Colon

Flax Seeds – a gentle bulking agent.

Miller's Bran – a fiber to help restore peristaltic action.

Whey – to acidify the colon.

Brewer's Yeast – supplies B-complex vitamins, amino acids and minerals to support nerve supply to the colon.

Yogurt – supplies friendly bacteria.

Super-Green Foods – chlorella, spirulina, and blue-green algae help detoxify and build the entire body.

A colon friendly diet is large vegetarian with lots of high fiber vegetables, fruits, whole grains, cereals and salads.

Channel # 2 – The Lungs

Every time you exhale you are eliminating waste.

Therapeutic Herbs

Black Cohosh helps to loosen and expel mucous from the bronchial tubes.

Fenugreek helps expel phlegm, toxic waste, and protects against infection.

Ginger Root is a cleansing agent for the lungs.

Licorice Root reduces excess fluid in the lungs.

Mullein loosens mucous.

Marshmallow removes mucous.

Slippery Elm is soothing and healing to the lungs.

Lobelia relieves bronchial spasms and congestion.

Health Food for the Lungs

A diet for lung health should be high in vegetable proteins, whole grains, and low in refined carbohydrates and starches. Pitted fruits like apricots, peaches and plums are good for the lungs, as are cultured foods like yogurt, kefir and miso.

Channel # 3 – The Lymph System

This circulatory system removes cellular debris from all over the body and is home to a large part of your immune system.

Therapeutic Herbs

Black Cohosh stimulates secretions of the lymphatic system.

Echinacea improvements lymphatic drainage.

Fenugreek promotes the expulsion of toxic waste from the lymph.

And because liver exhaustion and stress weakens lymphatic function, support your liver with:

Dandelion Root is a powerful liver detoxificant.

Milk Thistle is very protective and cleansing to the liver.

Health Food for the Lymph System

Too many saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and insufficient water make lymphatic flow sluggish. A colon friendly diet is also good for the lymph. You'll also want to add some potassium rich foods like broccoli, bananas and black olives. Fresh vegetable juice made from carrots, celery, spinach and parsley is great for the lymph system and the liver. Buy it freshly made at the health food store or, if you are feeling particularly motivated, get a juice extractor and make it yourself using 3 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, a a bunch of spinach and a a bunch of parsley.

Channel # 4 – The Kidneys

Regulation of water and electrolytes, maintaining normal acid-base equilibrium, retention of vital substances and the elimination of metabolic waste is the kidneys' responsibility.

Therapeutic Herbs

Burdock Root helps detoxify the kidneys.

Ginger Root detoxifies the kidneys.

Horsetail tones the kidneys and bladder.

Health Food for the Kidneys

Emphasize garlic, onions, papayas, bananas, sprouts, leafy greens, cucumbers, and watermelon- all are healing to the kidneys. Try to avoid heavy starches, red meat, dairy products (except cultured), refined, salty and fatty (fast) foods- they all inhibit the kidneys' filtering ability. In general, a healthy diet that includes plenty of water will support healthy kidneys.

Channel # 5 – The Skin

The body's largest organ also happens to be the largest organ of elimination, removing over 20% of your body's waste. If you want to detoxify you're going to have to sweat.

Therapeutic Herbs

Herbs that cleansse the blood have a beneficial impact on the skin.

Black Cohosh neutralizes poisons in the blood.

Yellow Dock a great blood builder.

Burdock Root one of the best blood purifiers.

Dandelion Root detoxifies the liver and the blood.

Yarrow opens the pores to permit free perspiration.

Health Food for the Skin

Foods for healthy skin include: mineral rich foods like leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, sunflower and sesame seeds, fish and sea vegetables. Cultured foods like yogurt and kefir supply friendly bacteria. Eat lots of high water content foods; vegetables and vegetables, and drink plenty of water, 6-8 glasses of bottled or filtered water every day.

Turbo-charging the cleansing process with herbs and lifestyle modification has helped thousands of my clients alleviate digestive problems, lose weight, improve poor skin, eliminate allergies, constipation, fatigue, headaches, brain fog, menstrual problems … the list goes on and on. Chances are, it can help you too.

Sam Rose, CN MS is a licensed and certified nutritionist and owner of Rose Nutrition Center in West Los Angeles. He can be reached at sam@rosenutrition.com or 310-473-8835.

TheBestDetox.com

How to Wallpaper Over a Brick or Cement Block Wall

The problems of concealing grouting and rough surfaces are easily overcome. Lining paper, if properly applied, will stretch over and hide the rough patches and the effect can be completed by using a heavy or embossed wallpaper.

This technique also applies to walls built of cement blocks. If you are building with brick or cement block and know that you want to wallpaper certain walls, ask your builders to apply the mortar so that you have a nice flat surface, rather than raking out the joints. With existing walls, the secret is in preparing the raw surface.

These are the tools you’ll need:-

A long table or bench, a trough, sponge or foam paste applicator, scissors, soft brush for smoothing wallpaper on to wall, a ruler, plumb line, razor for cutting.

A paint sealer is applied to dry any moisture from the wall, then a latex based wallpaper liquid size. A well soaked pre-pasted wallpaper lining will be just sufficient to soften the size and bond the lining firmly to the wall so that when wallpaper is pasted over, it won’t weaken in any way.

The same principle can even be applied if you are papering over rough-caste walls (walls that have been plastered and raked or scrolled upon when wet). If your brick wall has an extremely rough and raised surface it will have to be plastered over prior to wall-papering.

Here is how it’s done:-

1. Prior to start working on an absorbent raw wall, you’re first step is to seal and size the wall. Coat it with a paint sealer and leave to dry overnight. Next apply a latex based wallpaper liquid size; this is especially good on absorbent surfaces. This takes about an hour to dry. If time is short you can apply two coats leaving an hour between coats, instead of the over- night sealer.

2. Apply pre-pasted lining paper. Soak it in a trough to soften and roll out to arm’s length. Fold over and back half-way, forming pleats to the end of the roll.

3. Holding the top piece of paper in one hand, and pleats in the other, stretch the first pleat along the wall and flatten out with sponge. Stretch next fold and flatten and so on to the end of the roll.

4. To paper around a corner, leave 25 mm (one inch) overlap and “butt” the adjacent strip of paper on to it.

5. Repeat soaking and folding procedure and bring next roll of paper lining overlapping approximately 6 mm (quarter of an inch) onto the first. By having paper on paper you will prevent the joins from edging into the grooves between bricks.

6. Leave lining paper to dry overnight. As it does so it will tighten and stretch out over grooves and rough patches on the wall surface.

7. Before applying wallpaper, coat again with the latex based wallpaper liquid size as added insurance that the lining paper has sealed properly and tightened on to the wall

8. The type of wallpaper used is important. It should be embossed or a heavy natural weave to ensure that the imprint of the design is not lost when pasted on.

9. Hang your selected wallpaper vertically in the normal way.

Sit back and admire your masterpiece.

4 Things to Think About Before Designing Your Own Custom Phone Case

One of the most popular personalized merchandise options available on the market today is the customized phone case. Not only do these make great gifts, but they also allow the designer to express their own creativity and personality through the images and text that they choose to adorn their cases with.

With many people reliant on their devices today to keep in touch with friends, colleges and family, having a nice phone case design can inject a little dose of fun into the everyday, and having pictures of loved ones on the case is a nice reminder of the people that you care about.

Before you start with your design, however, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration – here is what to do when you are thinking about how and where to create your own phone case.

Firstly, ensure that you choose a quality company to order from, as there are more and more service providers on the market today, yet not all of them are equally reliable. Quality is very important when printing images onto a phone case, and this is especially true when it comes to photographs, which need to be crisp and clear.

For this reason, look around at several companies that offer this kind of service before you make your mind up who to order from. If possible, ask to see sample photographs of completed orders and read customer reviews of the products that they received from the company – this will give you a valuable insight into whether it is worth your money or not.

Secondly, look into using a service that provides a clear and realistic online design tool that gives you a very accurate idea of ​​what you will be receiving when you create your own phone case. Some tools can be clunky and too abstract, meaning that your finished design might look different from what you were expecting when you placed your order.

Make sure that the online tool that you use gives you the chance to preview your design, and one that allows you to see a realistic 3D model of the phone case as you apply your images and text. This will help you get a better idea of ​​what the final product will look like and you are far less likely to be disappointed with your order for design reasons.

Another thing to think about is how long production and shipping time is going to be, and if you will be able to return and have the item refunded if it is not to your satisfaction. This is because many companies overseas offer this kind of service, but it may not be the highest quality out there and shipping and returning the product could be lengthy.

If you create your own phone case as a gift for someone else this is important, as you may be on a tight deadline. Take into account shipping times and consider using domestic services with free domestic shipping if you think this could potentially be a problem for you.

Lastly, make sure that on your end you are using high quality photos if you are applying these to your custom design, as blurry and overexposed photos will appear exactly the same on the case once they are printed!

Make sure that you take the time to be careful about the photos and images that you select for your design, that they are the right resolution and that they are of sufficient quality to be printed. A company may be unwilling to refund you for your mistakes in this department, so the onus is on you to be careful when designing in order to avoid receiving an inferior product.

Why Do You Need Brick Sealers?

Brick sealers are important for any masonry work or application. No structure can claim completion without having the finishing touch of this application. We would try to look at what these applications really are and why you should need this.

When you go around the streets and closely observe the walls of the houses, you would be very clearly able to make out the difference between a house with a brick sealer and the house without one. If you find the house walls not sealed, then there would be probably lots of cracks and openings in the wall. The cracks would not only be on the exterior part of the structure but it would be in the interior too. These cracks might have existed in your walls for quite sometime but you would have probably discovered it only now.

There could be lot of reasons for these cracks on your walls. Some of them could be dirt, grease, grime and at times weeds too. All these different external sources are put under a common name called contaminants. The damage causes by these contaminants are either external or internal in nature. The external damage happens when the outer surface of the wall is being penetrated. The internal damage is more serious and it loosens out the entire inner body of the wall structure. As far as the weeds are concerned, they start growing on these walls and the roots of these weeds eventually end up causing cracks and damage to the wall.

These damages can be visible from the outside but you would not be able to very accurately guess the reasons for the damage. It is only for this reason that brick sealers are used as they protect the wall from all damages, no matter what the root causes are.

Before the application of the brick sealers, there are some things that need to be done. Prepare the wall for the sealing application by cleaning the surface of the wall by water and detergent. The cleaning will help you get rid of the weeds and also expose the damaged and affected areas on the wall.

The next thing is the application of the wall paver. For the application process, you might need some special tools like heavy duty sprayers. These sprayers can be easily purchased from the retailer. Do not go for cost cutting here and try to buy the most reputed sprayers as these are the ones which are really very effective and give results that you desire. Buy brick sealers as per the requirements of your walls as these are generally available in different-sized cans and quantities.

The Theory of Everything Finally Revealed – Secret Relationship Between Gravity and Electromagnetism

The theory of everything (TOE) is a theory that fully explains and links together all known physical phenomena. Neverheless, this theory has not been found yet.

After Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity was published in 1915, the search for the theory of everything combining gravity with electromagnetism began. Although Einstein thought it was possible to find such a theory, many physicists thought the task was impossible. The "doubting Thomases" continue to this day.

Albert Einstein believed that a theory combining gravity with electromagnetism would have the ability to fully explain and link together all known physical phenomena. I agree.

Sadly, Albert Einstein died trying to find such a theory. Although he never found it, he left behind a very valuable hint. The hint lies in his mass-energy equivalence formula. Using basic physics, I'll attempt to conceal the theory of everything (TOE) that's buried deep within Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula.

EINSTEIN'S MASS-ENERGY EQUIVALENCE

In physics, mass-energy equivalence is the concept that mass is energy, and energy is mass. This relationship is expressed using the mass-energy equivalence formula

E = mc2

where

E = energy,
m = mass,
c2 = the speed of light squared.

NEWTON'S SECOND LAW OF MOTION

F = ma (force equals mass multiplied by acceleration) is the second law of motion proposed by Sir Isaac Newton.

F = ma teachers us that accelerating or enlarging an object increases its force.

For example, a car hitting a brick wall while accelerating to 100 miles / hour hits the wall more forcefully than a car accelerating to 10 miles / hour, if both cars have the same mass. Likewise, a 10-pound bowling ball hits bowling pins more forcefully than a 1-pound bowling ball, if both balls accelerate at the same speed.

F = ma can be written as m = F / a.

Therefore Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula "E = mc2" can be rewritten as "E = F / ax c2."

EQUIVALENCE PRINCIPLE

Albert Einstein's equivalence states states that acceleration and gravity are equivalent.

Two scenarios illustrate this.

First Scenario: Let's suppose you're standing in your kitchen holding a cup of coffee. You release the cup. The cup falls to the kitchen floor, spilling coffee on the floor.

Second Scenario: Let's suppose you jumped out of a highflying airplane while holding a cup of coffee. You're free-falling weightlessly. You release the cup. The cup floats weightlessly next to you; spilled coffee floats weightlessly next to you and the cup.

In the first scenario, you're under gravity's influence. You're gravitating instead of accelerating. In the second scenario, you're under acceleration of influence. You're accelerating instead of gravitating.

By substituting for gravity, acceleration can cancel gravity's effects. In fact, acceleration and gravity are the same thing! Now you know why astronauts float weightlessly within an accelerating space shuttle orbiting the Earth.

Using "g" to symbolize gravity, Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula "E = F / ax c2" can be rewritten as "E = F / gx c2."

ELECTROMAGNETIC ENERGY

Electromagnetic energy is a specific type of energy.

Examples of electromagnetic energy are radio frequencies, microwaves, terahertz radiation, infrared radiation, visible radiation (light), ultraviolet light, x-rays, and gamma rays.

Using "EM" to symbolize electromagnetic energy, Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula "E = F / gx c2" can be rewritten as "EM = F / gx c2."

THEORY OF EVERYTHING (TOE)

"EM = F / gx c2" combines gravity with electromagnetism, meeting the criterion for being the theory of everything. So we can stop rewriting Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula. Since "EM = F / gx c2" focuses on electromagnetic energy and force per gravity, we can rename this formula "electromagnetic-energy and force-per-gravity equivalence."

This formula states that electromagnetic energy equals force divided by gravity multiplied by the speed of light squared. In other words, electromagnetic energy and force per gravity are equivalent – the same thing!

Theory of Everything: Electromagnetic-Energy and Force-per-Gravity Equivalence

Formula: EM = F / gx c2

where

EM = electromagnetic energy,
F = force,
g = gravity,
c2 = the speed of light squared.

Notice that electromagnetic energy and gravity are inversely related. The stronger the gravity, the winner the electromagnetic energy. The weaker the gravity, the stronger the electromagnetic energy.

GRAVITATIONAL REDSHIFT

You may be wondering, "Are electromagnetic energy and gravity really inversely related? And if so, why?" To answer your questions, we need to turn our attention to a phenomenon called gravitational redshift.

Gravitational redshift occurs when electromagnetic energy such as a light beam escapes from a gravitational field. As the light beam escapes, its color shifts toward red. Red means that the light beam has lost energy, has a longer wavelength, and appears to travel slower in time.

Gravity's ability to stretch a light beam's wavelength, causing energy loss, and its ability to slow down a light beam's speed does not make sense; because the speed and frequency of light can not be changed.

In fact, gravity can not really slow down a light beam of speed and frequency – but it can slow down time related to the light beam! And that's exactly how gravity makes a light beam appear slower with a longer wavelength!

The phenomenon of gravity slowing down time is called gravitational time dilation. The stronger the gravity field, the more time is slowed down within that gravity field. The weaker the gravity field, the less time is slowed down within that gravity field.

So the stronger the gravitational field, the stronger the gravitational redshift. And the weaker the gravitational field, the maker of gravitational redshift.

SUMMARY

In summarizing, the Electromagnetic-Energy and Force-per-Gravity Equivalence (EEFpGE) formula combines gravity with electromagnetism, giving it the ability to fully explain and link together all known physical forces. You can see that strong force, weak force, or any other force can easily incorporate into this formula.

The Electromagnetic-Energy and Force-per-Gravity Equivalence (EEFpGE) theory makes the following assumptions:

Assumption # 1: Electromagnetic energy and force per gravity are equivalent – the same thing!

Assumption # 2: Electromagnetic energy and gravity are inversely related.

Assumption # 3: The stronger the gravity, the more time slows down.

Assumption # 4: Since the EEFpGE theory combines gravity with electromagnetism, it meets the criterion for being the theory of everything.

Assumption # 5: The EEFpGE theory can fully explain and link together all known physical phenomena.

How To Maintain Steel Doors And Roller Shutters

Roller doors and shutters provide a robust and secure barrier against intruders and destructive weather elements. They're made according to specifications, including great fit, smooth operation, and utmost security. More importantly, their low maintenance factor makes them an economic choice. Neverheless, these shutters and doors require regular checks to ensure they're in good working condition.

Checking for balance should be done each month by a skilled technician, preferably someone licensed and insured. The doors should be balanced, being smooth to roll up and down the roller tracks and able to stay stationary at any point along the tracks. Otherwise, the steel doors are out of balance and need to be adjusted.

Jammed and stiff doors should not be forcibly raised or lowered. Check individual parts such as springs and rollers for damage and have them repaired immediately. At times, all that is needed is some cleaning and removal of accumulated debris and dirt.

All moving components, save for roller tracks, should be lubricated each month. Lubricant facilitates smooth, safe and sufficient operation, but when placed in the tracks, it joins more grime and dirt that disruptions operation. Lubricant likewise increases the life of the moving parts, and the entire security shutter device. Among the important parts that need lubrication are bearings, hinges, rollers, and springs.

To prolong the life of the roller tracks and to encourage smooth and quite operation, occasionally apply silicon spray. The spray gives the tracks a slippery finish, enabling the doors slide properly. If you want to lubricate the tracks, use petroleum lubricant, but brush away dirt and grime before application and wipe away excess lubricant after.

Automatic doors and shutters should be set in manual mode annually or semi-annually. Manual operation should then be predetermined and done according to manufacturer instructions to prevent damage. The support brackets should be checked if they need servicing. If so, it's always advisable to contact a qualified technician right away.

Springs should be re-tensioned periodically, and each time the roller shutter gets abnormally heavy or difficult to lift or roll. Avoid operating doors with damaged tension springs because this causes damage to the motor and the opener.

Steel cables on the sides of the doors should be checked as well if they are in ideal shape and position or not. Replace protruding and broken cables right away to avoid accidents and worse damage to your doors.

All bolts and fixings should be tight in place. Loose ones can easily snap out of their holes and make the doors unstable and dangerous to operate. When there are loose bolts, do not operate the doors automatically rather, operate in manual mode in order to control the speed at which the roller doors are moving up or down.

How to Build Your Very Own Stretch Limousine

How many times have you watched a limousine being driven down the road and thought to yourself, "man that sure would be nice to own one". The cost of purchasing one because is the prohibitive factor for most people. There is an affordable option though and that is to turn the car you now own into a stretch limousine by following these simple easy to follow instructions.

Start Taking Your Car Apart

Your going to start by removing all of the interior paneling and seats, down to the point where the car is pretty much bare inside. Next, you will need to climb under your car and remove the drive line and any brake fluid lines that are running up the under carriage.

Cut Your Car in half

Also, you will want to remove any wiring that is running the length of your car both inside and out. Next, remove all of the side windows as well as the doors. Your next step will be to get a saws-all and a pack of new metal cutting blades and saw the car in half.

Head to the Wrecking Yard

Make sure that your cut line avoids any doors for simplicity. Have a friend help you to pull the two halves of your car apart and set them up on blocks. Now head to the wrecking yard and find a car just like yours that you can cut a midsection chunk from.

A Total of Six Doors!

Bring the chunk back and weld it in place. Now you have two extra doors in back, for a total of six doors in your car! Grind and sand down your welding seams, finish them off with bondo and then hit them with a good coat of primer paint.

Easy As Pie !!

Take your drive line to a machine shop, have it extended and start to put your limo back together. Some of your interior panels will fit and some will not, so you are going g to have to do some creative upholstery work. Your also going to need some extra long brake lines and an extended wiring harness. Hit the car with a paint job and you are good to go!

Laminate Worktops

Composite worktops are slowly porous and therefore they are intolerable to staining and the only way to remove that staining is by rubbing the surface down a little with abrasive papers again. Something you've never got to do with laminate worktops as they are completely stain resistant.

Granite and Marble works can look fantastic and the price of them has been tipping now for quite some time. The trouble is that they are a natural product and you can never be quite sure of exactly what you are going to get. With laminate worktops the pattern is predictable even if some of the patterns are only reproducible every metre or so along the length of the worktop.

Granite and Marble worktops are also porous and have to be sealed against staining ~ there is a tendency for the sealing to wear down and even wear off as time goes by. Granite and Marble works are also extremely heavy ~ this makes installation a specialist job and it is impossible to cut a little bit off here and there to get the exact fit required ~ this again is never a problem when installing laminate worktops.

Stainless Steel worktops can look fantastic when new but soon dull down as a myriad of scratches occurs ~ this is unavoidable and indeed the worktops acquire certain sheen. Stainless Steel worktops, though, can not be cut to size on site and that is a disadvantage. Cost is also an issue with Stainless Steel worktops costing much more than laminate worktops.

Glass worktops are also offered theses days and there are some fabulous finishes available though they have to be made exactly to size off site and can not be trimmed to size on site. Glass worktops are sooner to scratching and thermal shock is not unknown either, laminate worktops are then again a better and more economic choice here too. Concrete worktops are also available but who would want to buy or use this option when there are concrete look-a-likes in laminate worktops?

So you would be well advised to think carefully how your worktops might look two or three years down the line and also consider the cost benefits of laminate worktops over the alternatives.

American Mobsters – George Leonidas Leslie – King of the Bank Robbers

George Leonidas Leslie started out in life as one of the privileged class. Yet, he wound up a criminal, known by the New York City Police as "King of the Bank Robbers."

Leslie was born in Cincinnati in 1840. His father owned a brewery and Leslie started out as an academic, graduating from the University of Cincinnati with honors and a degree in architecture. After both his parents died, Leslie sold his father's brewery, cave up his architectural career and moved to New York City. There he fell in with a bad crowd and decided he could make a good career in robbing banks. It is estimated that in the ten years period spanning 1874-1884, Leslie was responsible for 80% of all bank robberies committed in the United States, taking in cash estimated to be between 7-12 million dollars.

In New York City, Leslie posed as a man about town with considerable means. He belonged to the most exclusive clubs and was a regular theater-goer and a patron of the arts. He used his guise to gain access to various bits of information that make his bank-robbing life most profitable. Leslie would often spend as many as three years planning a bank job. When he found a bank to his liking, Leslie would try to get the blueprints of the interior of the bank. If this were not possible, he would visit the bank posing as a depositor, and with his experience in architecture, he would draw up rough plans on the inside of the bank himself. Sometimes Leslie would have one of his gang members get a job at the bank as either a night watchman, or a porter, so that Leslie could get the exact specifications, and make and model of the bank vault.

After obtaining this valuable information, Leslie would buy a duplicate of the bank safe. He spent days and sometimes weeks, perfecting the art of opening the safe. He shied away from using dynamite to crack the safe, deciding that would cause too much noise and lead to being detected. Leslie method of opening safes including boring a hole underneath the dial, then using a thin piece of steel to manipulate the tumblers into place. To cover almost any contingency in robbing a bank, Leslie had a set of burglar tools specially created for him that cost the staggering sum of $ 3000, which was more than most people earned in several years.

To perfect the job he was planning, Leslie sometimes set up a room, in a loft he rented downtown, to resemble the inside of the bank he was planning to rob. There Leslie, and the men who he selected for that particular bank job, would spend considering amounts of time practicing exactly how the bank robbery should develop. Leslie would darkened the lights and watch his men go through their maneuvers in the darkness, then critique their work. His cohorts consist of various known criminals like Jimmy Hope, Jimmy Brady, Abe Coakley, Shang Draper, Red Leary, Johnny Dobbs, Worcester Sam Perris, Bill Kelly and Banjo Pete Emerson.

In May of 1875, Leslie decided to rob the Manhattan Savings Institution at 644 Broadway. Leslie, through his "inside man" at the bank, Patrick Shelvin, found out the make and model of the lock on the bank's vault. He procured an exact model from the manufacturers, Valentine & Bulter, and spent six months perfecting the opening of the lock. On October 27, 1875, Shelvin let Leslie and his crew into the bank at night. When their work was done, they had stolen $ 3.5 million in cash and securities, almost $ 50 million in today's money. No one was arrested until May, 1879, and as a result Jimmy Hope and Bill Kelly were kissed and sent to prison. Abe Coakley and Banjo Pete Emerson were also arrested, but were acquitted at trial. Leslie was never arrested and his involvement in the robbery was not known until after his death.

Leslie reputation drew to such gigantic proportions, he was often called in as a "consultant" by other bank-robbing gangs. It was believed he received more than $ 20,000 just to travel to San Francisco to look over plans for a local bank heist.

Yet, if Leslie had one weakness, it was for the affections of women. He began an affair with the girlfriends of one of his cohorts, Shang Draper. On June 4th, 1884, Leslie's decomposed body was found lying at the base of Tramps Rock, near the boarder line between Westchester and the Bronx. He was shot twice in the head. Police speculated that Leslie was killed by the jealous Draper in a house at 101 Lynch Street in Brooklyn, then his body was carted away to Tramps Rock by three of his associates, who had been seen near Yonkers at the time the body was discovered. But there was little evidence of the crime and no one was ever arrested.

Affordable and Sustainable DIY Earthbag Homes

Earthbag building (sometimes called sandbag building) is surely one of the lowest cost, most practical building methods. First used by the military for building durable, bullet and blast resistant structures, this building method has recently experienced a surge of interest among do-it-yourself builders. There are now an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 earthbag structures, including homes, offices, shops, schools, temples, clinics, orphanages and even ecovillages.

One of the strongest selling points is affordability. A simple earthbag dome, for example, using recycled grain bags and earth can be built for around $100. A larger, more comfortable home can be built for around $500-$1000. The EarthDome House at Terrasante Village in Tucson, Arizona is just one example.

Earthbags are ideal for owner-builders. The necessary skills for each step of construction can be learned in a few minutes. It boils down to simply filling bags with an appropriate fill material (typically subsoil or gravel) and tamping them solid. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Also, few tools are required – shovels, buckets, garden hose. The few additional tools needed (tamper, slider) can be made cheaply and easily.

Earthbag buildings are sustainable since they are made primarily of earth from or near the building site. Earthbag domes do not require wood, thereby reducing pressure on our forests. Expensive concrete foundations are not required if you use gravel-filled bags. In addition, these structures are safe, quiet, nontoxic, rodent proof, and fire, hurricane and flood resistant.

Energy efficiency is another strong plus in favor of building with bags. The massive earth walls stabilize interior temperatures in hot climates. In cold and hot climates, earthbags can be filled with an insulating material, such as lava rock, pumice, vermiculite or perlite. Some builders are experimenting with rice hulls for insulation, which are often free for the taking. In general, lightweight insulating materials (such as those just mentioned) require far less labor than those of tamped earth and provide comfort through the harshest winters or hottest summers.

Earthbags can also be used to create underground (root/storm cellars, etc.) or earth-bermed structures, privacy and retaining walls, planters, furniture (built-in benches, etc.), and many other uses. Earthbags are very adaptable and work just as well for domes as they do for structures with vertical walls. They also excel at creating free-form, curving structures.

As earthbag building grows by leaps and bounds, NGOs and other organizations are exploring their use for emergency shelters. Millions of victims of wars and natural disasters need low cost housing and temporary shelter. More durable than tarps and more comfortable than tents, earthbags work perfectly since even unskilled workers can build their own shelters – all without destroying local resources.

Architectural Interior Photographer Discusses: What Determines a Good Interior Photograph?

Interior Photography is the most challenging of all the professional genres of commercial photography. Every detail is critical; every prop must be correct and in just the right location; busy-ness must be avoided; things must be cleaned up and simplified; lighting can be challenging; and in addition to all that, one must understand how best to portray the "look and feel" of the space that architect of interior designer worked so hard to convey. The photograph will always be better than the reality! It will have clarity of vision; illustrate what your client is selling; have an atmosphere of light (usually created by the photographer's lighting); be inviting; have a feeling of "presence;" have a clean and simple look; and it will have drama and movement.

Some simple rules to start with:

1). Define your client: Who is your client? The architect, builder or realtor will want to show relationships of the design to the space and the intention and flow of the design layout. The interior designer will be concerned more with the furnishings and the details of their design. Architects like drama and usually do not mind some wide-angle distortion, whereas, the interior designer or the product photo my find distortion to be a problem. In any case, the distortion must be used judiciously – it has to contribute to the overall composition in an effective way.

2) Angle: The One point perspective or "head on" view is strong and symmetrical. The Two-point perspective may define the space effectively but pay close attention the how the space of the photograph is divided. The emphasis should be on 2/3 of the composition; do not divide the space in half. For architects and builders, be sure to show significant design detail and take into consideration how the spaces work together. Do not 'try to show too much – keep the viewer's attention on important elements. A couple of good photographs are far more effective than a lot of weak ones. Go for quality, not quantity. Remember the adage: "Less is more" – wide angle does not mean that one should show more, just because it is possible to do so. EVERYTHING in the photograph must hold it's own weight and be accountable to the overall composition. Every angle, line and detail has to "work" in the photograph.

3) Height: A low angle foreshortens and can be very nice for some views, however, it is important to show the important elements of the interior also. Be high enough to separate the elements and keep the composition clean and clear. Avoid a cluttered look and having things "grow out" from the tops of furniture, etc. Occasional a high view is required but usually I find that a little lower than eye level (if one is not too tall) is favorable and pleasant. The higher the lens, the more foreground distortion; A piece of furniture too close to the foreground (especially a round table) will be very distorted with a higher view. Often the foreground will determine the camera height. Having the foreground "fall" out towards the bottom edge of the photograph is very disturbing and must be avoided by either adjusting the camera height, camera position or moving the furniture back from the foreground.

4) Arrangement: After the angle has been determined, frequently the furniture must be rearranged to fit the format and perimeter of the photograph. Sometimes this may be subtle; other times it may be drastic. A pleasing composition and balance must be found and concerns such as distortion of furniture, tangents and "busyness" are addressed at this time. I always get the large pieces in place first and then work down to the smaller scale furniture from there. Everything must be perfect – from the direction and relationships of the furniture to each other as well as their relationship to the room. Always adjust everything "to camera" – the room setting may appear entirely out of place from another vantage point, but it will look correct from the camera position and that is all that matters.

5) Props: The final details in the set are the arrangement of the props. I start by taking out all the clutter and then carefully putting things back or finding other elements that compliment the space. Bookshelves are rearranged to look more uniform and uncluttered, desks and work areas, totally cleaned up. I almost always add fresh flowers and plants to "soften" the look and feel of the space as well as books to fill space on tabletops etc. I like to have height to contain the edges of the image; taller plants can work well for that. Kitchens are particularly challenging to prop; they must look clean and orderly but also look livable. I frequently use bread, bowls of fruit, flowers, etc. Simple breakfast settings of orange juice, coffee bagels and a newspaper can also work well. Pay particular attention to chair legs – they can get very busy looking if not handled carefully. In corporate settings, conference room chairs should have the legs and wheels all going in the same direction, the chairs should all be spaced exactly the same – again – it may not appear that way way from another position, but it must look very uniform form the camera position. A clean, styled uniform look, that is also loose enough to feel real, is the key to successful propping. One of the most important qualities that the interior photographer must have is patience as well as being extremely detail oriented. It is essential to have everything perfect; the direction of the cup handles; the arrangement of the flowers in the vase; the space between accessories on the table; lamp shades must be straight and undistorted; the color of the page in the open book. Every element in the interior photograph must "play" off and work with each other, as well as within the context of the whole.

6). Lighting: Good lighting separates the average photographers from the great ones. Light defines the feel of the space and it gives it a three-dimensional look. The trend laTely, especially since the advent of digital photography, has been to use predominately ambient light. For some clients and under specific conditions this may be acceptable, however, compared to what good lighting can do for the scene, the results are very flat, uninspiring and "dead" My approach to lighting varies depending on the space and client, but my philosophy is consistent – I light to create a beautiful photograph; my lighting always enhances the space and I use my lighting to lead the viewers eye through the space and feature important details and design elements. A good photograph will always look better than reality. Sometimes my lighting will simply enhance the existing light, other times I will totally transform the interior or the exterior of the building. Whether the lighting set-up is complex or simple, good lighting will always enhance the overall look of the photograph; it will add highlights and shadows, separate tonality (especially with dark with tones and shadows) and emphasize texture; it will bring saturation to color and a feeling of LIFE to what would otherwise be a lackluster image. Regardless of how beautiful the space is and how well the designed lighting adds atmosphere – adding lights will ALWAYS help the scene. The only exception to this rule would be in very large spaces, and even, then placing lights in strategic spots can make a big difference.

As with anything else in life, in order for one to excel in a particular field one must be passionate about it. Photographing interiors is a highly specialized field and it is not for the feint of heart. An Interior photographer must be very detailed oriented, and have a love for and at least a layman understanding of, architecture and interior design. Often times the client will totally depend on your expertise, so one's knowledge of what "works" in the interior photograph must be at least on a level as the professional what you are working for. Personally, I find the blend of technical details with aesthetics to be very pleasant; every shoot is like solving a puzzle – the work never gets mundane or boring.

Repairing Your Model Train Transformers

A common issue with model trains over time is the malfunctioning of a transformer. When trains sit for a long period of time without use they will go bad. So what do you do when this happens? You can either pay someone to fix yours or you can spend your hard earned money to buy another one. If neither of these choices appeal to you then maybe you should consider fixing it for yourself. It will only cost you a little bit of money and use a little patience as well. Soon you will be able to say that you are able to fix them yourself.

You will have to get a few supplies together before you get started. You will most likely need each of these in the course of your model railroading hobby anyway so it is a good idea to go ahead and put them aside just for that purpose. You will need some tweezers, a pair of wire strippers, spare wire of different gauges, some oxidation remover, screwdrivers, solder, and a soldering gun.

Once you have your tools you are ready to determine exactly what your transformer needs in the way of repair. Carefully plug in your transformer and see if you hear any noise coming from either it or your model train. If you can hear noise coming from the transformer and not the train then most likely the contacts on the track will need to be cleaned well.

Once you have done this try running your train once again. If it works then you will know that you have successfully solved your issue. SAFETY ISSUE: Do NOT handle the interior of the transformer unless it has been fully discharged. This can lead to sickness or even injury. The next step involves opening the case of your transformer and examining the interior. If you are an adolescent then get your parent to help you with this step.

If the transformer itself appears dead then you will need to unplug it and get inside the case. Take the appropriate screwdriver and carefully open the case being careful not to touch your screwdriver to any parts inside the transformer itself. While you are doing this you must make sure that you are well grounded just in case of accidental discharge.

Check for burnt, loose, frayed or missing wires. Also make sure there is no oxidation on them as well. Corrosion can be a huge factor in malfunctioning electronics. Any that have gone bad will need to be replaced. If any are just loose then you can use your soldering gun to reattach them.

Any oxidized wires can be removed safely with the soldering iron. You also need to make sure that you remove any extra solder from the wires. Once you have done this then you are ready to remove the oxidation. Dip the ends of the wires into your oxidation remover and let it dissolve the oxidation completely. Make sure that you allow them to air dry and then you can safely reattach them with your soldering gun once more.

Close your transformer back up once you have replaced everything and cleaned it up. You are now ready for another test run. Check your AC/DC output and see if you are getting a proper output. If it is low or non-existent then you should try replacing the plug itself. If this still does not work then you will have to buy another transformer for your model train.

Exactly What Are The Different Printmaking Techniques?

Printmaking is an art that has been created by transmitting an impression from one object right onto yet another two-dimensional surface area. Printmaking is among the oldest and most basic of artistic representations.

It began ever since the time of the ancient Chinese and from Dürer, artists have used and made techniques of recreating images on paper. These fine art print methods have grown as well as continued to evolve as time passes. Printmaking methods fall into 4 categories. 1) Relief – Woodcut, Linocut as well as some collographs; 2) Intaglio – Etching, Drypoint, Mezzotint as well as Aquatint; 3) Serigraphy – Silkscreen; 4) Planographic – Lithography.

Listed under "Traditional Printmaking", the following print types are classified as: Collagraph, Drypoint, Etching, Lino, Lithograph, Monotype, Silk Screen, Woodblock.

Collagraph – is actually a print obtained from a collection of materials that have been glued or adhered to a supporting surface. They can be basic or very rich in texture. A few might likewise classify prints done with a combination of print types as being a collagraph. These mixture prints can at times be categorized as monotype as well.

Drypoint – Both this and etching could come under a more expansive heading of intaglio printmaking. Intaglio prints all have the graphic being printed below the surface of the plate. With drypoint, the lines as well as tones will be hand-scratched right into the surface area of ​​the plate with the lines as well as burr holding the ink. In most cases, the traditional surface to do this on will be metal. Zinc as well as copper happened to be two of the most frequent metals utilized.

Engraving as well as mezzotint can likewise be included in this classification probably since they both of them are dry methods. Engraving is crispier and cleaner than drypoint. Mezzotint requires the whole surface of the plate having a fine even texture put into it. The artist then scrapes and burns the surface to make varying degrees of smooth surface areas which will lead to finer shades when printed.

Etching – Yet another print type whichought to be under the leader heading of intaglio printmaking. Acid as well as acid resistant grounds are used to create the graphic on the plate for this printingmaking technique.

Lino – These are relief prints achieved from a plate which has had the image cut or gouged into it and then the elevated surface area is inked with the cut image being the white or lighter regions of the print.

Lithograph – this print form is based upon the concept that grease as well as water do not mix. The graphic is produced with materials which have an affinity to oil. Special litho pens, crayons, wax crayons as well as liquid tusche are some of the things that could have been utilized to produce the oily graphic on the surface. The stone or metal with the graphic on it is then sponged down as well as inked. The ink sticks to the greasy graphic and is repelled by the damp areas with no image in it. The print is then taken.

Silk Screen – This makes use of stencils of a single form or yet another with a screen in which the ink is forced through the stencil to show the image on the printed surface. Stencils could be cut or created with emulsions.

Woodblock – As with lino prints, these are typically created with lines being cut or gouged out of the surface. These mark creates the white or light parts once the plate is inked on the raised surface and then printed. Reduction prints are a procedure where multiple layers are printed on top of one another with more cutting into the surface occurring between registrations.