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.

The 8 Best Natural Ingredients to Look For in Skin Cream

In the last few years there have been countless new-fangled ingredients in skin care that the sound very fancy and make incredible claims. Some professor to make your wrinkles disappear in one day, others claim that you could bounce a quarter off your skin after using their product, and still others have so many ingredients that you can not pronounce, you might as well be reading a science book .

Ingredients will come and go but over the centuries natural quality ingredients for skin care never change. Some may be the current hot thing, but most if not all have been used for centuries in and they still hold up in modern natural skin care. Do not be fooled by modern fancy sounding names, most are just made up to sound good for the expensive marketing campaign that the giant conglomerates are going to spend 20 million dollars on. Below is a list of the eight best natural additives that you should be looking for in your skin care.

The first ingredient is olive oil. This amazing wonder of nature comes from the most ancient of lands, in fact it was mentioned in the bible and also used by the Greeks and Romans in many of their skin care regimens. Interesting how we have learned so much in modern science about such an ancient ingredient. Olive oil contains polyphenols, which are the known as strong antioxidants and are reported to reduce the incident of skin cancers when applied to the skin directly after UV exposure. Also the vitamin A found in olive oil has been known to be beneficial for wrinkles, age spots, and other skin damaging effects from the environment.

The second natural ingredient is shea butter. Found mostly on the savannah in Africa, shea butter is a natural fat that is extracted from the nut of the karate tree. Shea butter is an amazing natural carrier of Vitamin A & E. Many studies site shea butter for its ability to fight wrinkles because of the high amounts of these two vitamins. The vitamin E is helpful to the skin because it increases the micro circulation which results in better blood supply to the skin, therefore helping the skin recover better from free radical sun damage.

A fruit butter you probably have never heard of, but should of, is cupuacu butter. Grown in the rainforest of Brazil this fruits' seed contains the most magnificent butter, and is also known as the plant alternative to lanoline. Studies have shown that Cupuacu butter is highly beneficial for dry and damaged skin. It has properties that promote long lasting skin hydration which means it gives skin more significantly ability to easily absorb and retain water. Because of the high levels of phytosterols within cupuacu butter, the skin becomes more elastic, and consequently is better able to reduce the appearance and development of wrinkles. It also has been shown to help in the healing of eczema and dermatitis.

The forth natural ingredient is squalene. Derived from olive oil, squalene is chemically similar to the skins Sebum, which is the normal lubricant of the skin. It keeps the skin supple and forms a protective bacterial and fungicidal coating that helps moisturize the skin's surface. It just so happens that the sebum is overflowing with squalene when a person is youngger, but as we age we loose the ability to produce this substance in sufficient quantities that is required for soft and supple skin. Because squalene is part of the natural skin lubrication process, tests have shown that it has the ability to provide hydration and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Squalene is easily absorbed into the skin and makes it the perfect natural non-greasy skin care ingredient that also improves the youthful appearance of skin .

The fifth ingredient is honey. Honey is also one of those ancient skin care miracles that science has only recently begun re-discover. Honey is rich in vitamins and amino acids that nourish the skin; it also contains powerful antioxidants, allowing the skin to fight free radicals, therefore helping to reverse the aging process and also reducing the development of wrinkles. Honey is also known as an antibacterial and antifungal. A University of Wales study concluded that honey produced an antibacterial effect reducing if not eliminating the incidences of skin infections. It seems that ancient wisdom in conjunction with modern science all agree that honey is one of the finest skin care ingredients in natures collection.

Propolis, another incredible bee ingredient, which is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used by the bees to seal the hive, the same way we use caulk to seal gaps in our house. However, unlike caulk, propolis contains flavonoids which makes it a proven antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Because of the high levels of vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene skin care ingredients containing propolis are known for their ability to stimulate the healing of skin, especially when it is used for anti-redness and other skin irritations.

The Seventh great natural skin care ingredient is silk protein. Silk protein is obtained by the breaking down the actual silk cocoon so it can be used in cosmetic preparations. Silk protein is used in skin preparations as a natural moisturizer, a skin elasticizer, and may even help to control the growth of melanin in skin that leads to age spots. A Japanese study concluded that a type of silk protein even has the ability to suppress skin tumors caused by chemical and UV radiation. So, silk is not just a natural product you should wear, go ahead and use it on your skin.

The final product that must be stated is Beeswax. Some people make the assumption that beeswax when used in skin cream formulas blocks your pores. In fact beeswax is non-comedogenic and will not irritate skin or block your pores. It is one of the only waxes that will let your skin breath while still having the knack to keep it hydrated. Beeswax is one of nature's most wonderful ingredients to use, and does an amazing job as a skin soother and softener. It also has natural antiseptic properties. The mayo clinic even recommends lip balms made from beeswax instead of petroleum based ingredients. Beeswax is an effective multi-purpose skin ingredient that effectively softens your skin and also locks in the moisture while still letting your skin breathe. Look for it in all you skin cream products.

Please use these natural products in your skin care, not only will you be helping the environment by using these durable products, you will feel better, look younger, and probably be more healthy overall.

Ball of Foot Pain – Causes and Treatments

Ball of foot pain is classically defined as metatarsalgia (MET – tuh tar – SAL – juh). The term metatarsalgia is used as a catch-all term used to describe a number of medical conditions which cause pain under the ball of the foot. The long bones in the foot are called metatarsals and the end where the metatarsals meet the toes are called the metatarsal phalangeal joints. Combining the name of the bones, "metatarsal" with the suffix "algia" means pain appropriately describing this condition. The heads of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th metatarsals make up what most consider the ball of the foot. These joints are the most commonly affected due to excess pressure, overuse and / or microtrauma, which results in inflammation and pain.

The most common symptom is deep, achy pain under the ball of the foot which can become sharp or stabing with standing or walking. There may be shooting pain or tingling in the toes, which would indicate an inflated nerve. A feeling of walking on a lump or cord or a "bunched up sock" under the foot is common. The pain is usually worsened with walking and long periods of standing, especially when pushing off of the ball of the foot. Narrow shoes can increase the pain and rubbing or massaging the forefoot may alleviate the pain.

A few of the common causes of ball of foot pain include faulty foot mechanics, structural deformities such as hammertoe or dropped metatarsal, ill fitting shoes and being overweight. Many times it's a combination of the above contributors which results in metatarsalgia. Faulty foot mechanics are an inherited trait resulting in abnormal motion of the foot. In forefoot conditions, tight calf muscles and overpronation (over-rotation and foot collapse) cause excess pressure on the forefoot. Tight calf muscles cause the heel to lift early when walking and this redistributes the weight towards the front of the foot. Over-rotation of the foot and arch collapse, in combination with hypermobility of the 1st ray (arch and great toe) causes the weight to shift from the great toe to the smaller toe joints when walking. An essential and abnormal force is placed on a small area of ​​the foot during "push off" and these results in repetitive strain, irritation, inflammation and pain of the small joints (2nd, 3rd and 4th metatarsal phalangeal joints) in the foot. Specific conditions, such as a neuroma or second metatarsal overload syndrome may develop.

âEUR¨Runners have a high risk of developing metatarsalgia because of the repetitive forefoot impact, but any sport which involves push off at the forefoot can be a potential problem. When an athlete changes their training regimen by adding hills or sprints, excess pressure can cause pain and inflammation at the joints in the forefoot. Poor quality shoes, lacking support and shock absorption can contribute to the development.

Structural deformities such as hammertoes can cause pain under the ball of the foot. The hammertoe is a crooked toe which causes retrograde force on the metatarsal head. As the toe cocks up, the head of the metatarsal is pushed down. The metatarsal head is now prominent on the bottom of the forefoot and more susceptible to increased pressure. Many people will complain of the feeling of a lump or nodule under their foot or complain about walking on a bone under the ball of the foot.

Poor quality or ill-fitting shoes are one of the more common reasons for the development of ball of foot pain. Narrow, tight shoes compress the forefoot and force the metatarsal heads together. This position impairs normal function of the foot when walking and increases rub and irritation in the forefoot area.

Treatment involves identifying and addressing the cause of the problem. In many cases it is a combination of faulty foot mechanics, poor quality shoes and an change or increase in a training regimen or recent weight gain. Orthotics should be used to control abnormal foot motion and disperse pressure more evening. Shoe should be rigid along the sole, only bend in the toe area, have at least a 1/2 heel and have adequate support. Calf stretches or night splints can be used for those with tight calves to eliminate the heel lifting early during walking. There are a variety of metatarsal pads which can be used to distribute the pressure under the ball of the foot to help alleviate pain and accelerate healing.

Is the Serta Mattress the Best on the Market

Serta have been making high quality mattresses for over 70 years and claim to make the world's best mattress. But is their claim justified, especially with the development of the memory foam mattress by new innovative manufacturers?

Serta are firmly placed near the top of the mattress pile. Along with Sealy, Simmons and Spring Air, Serta dominate the mattress market. Not only are their mattresses found in millions of homes but, the chances are, the next time you check-in to a hotel, it'll be a Serta mattress you'll be sleeping on.

You can not make a good quality mattress if you do not use top notch materials. There's no denying that Serta does use the best materials. The heart of the Serta mattress is the StabL-Base Double Beam Foundation. It is on this wooden frame that the spring system is mounted. Only the best wood is used – without knots – which would cause structural weaknesses. Also, every mattress Serta makes coming with an advanced open-flame resistance system; FireBlocker. The ticking and quilt layer also uses the best materials.

A Serta mattress uses the best materials, but does it use the best manufacturing technology? Serta relies on a spring system to give the customer the correct posture and comfort. The innerspring mattress has been around a long time and remains the most popular type of mattress, and this is the system used by Serta. There are three types of innerspring mattresses; hourglass-shaped, continuous-coil and pocket springs. Serta's Perfect Sleeper series uses continuous coils. Whilst continuous-coil springs are more durable, and maintain their shape longer than hourglass springs, they are inter-linked, which means you're disturbed by the movements of your partner. Pocket springs are different: they are in their own "fabric pocket" rather than being connected to each other like hourglass and continuous-coil springs, so the springs move a little more independently and you are less affected by your partner's movements. Serta's Perfect Night mattress uses pocket springs. Serta's innerspring mattresses rate is highly many consumer reports; in fact, for the $ 880 to $ 1100 price range, the Serta Perfect Sleeper is probably one the best innerspring mattresses you can buy.

There's no denying that the memory foam mattress has caused quite a stir in the mattress world and is becoming ever more popular. For people with back problems memory foam mattresses have been shown to improve sleep quality. Serta has finally realized the benefits of the new viscoelastic mattresses and have begun making their own; The International Touch. Serta claim that their memory foam mattress is the cheapest on the market – up to 30% cheaper than the market leader. However, being cheaper does not mean better. If you can afford it, you're probably better buying the market leader's memory foam mattress – the market leader being Tempur-Pedic.

But memory foam mattresses are not everyone's favorite. That's because foam mattresses do not feel as fluffy or squishy as an innerspring mattress with pillow tops and cushy quilted ticking. Also, many consumers have reported a rather unpleasant smell from their new foam mattress.
So, if you prefer the more traditional foam mattress, then you should seriously consider a Serta mattress. Many consumer reviews highly rate the Serta mattress and they have been making mattresses for longer than most. A Serta mattress is good value for money when you consider the quality of materials and manufacturing that goes into the making of each mattress. Serta can claim to make one of the best mattresses on the market.

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.

Hummingbird Houses – A Shelter For The Birds And A Delight For You

Through the centuries, bird enthusias and other people have been putting up bird houses all over the country and all over the world. These bird houses are designed to attract different kinds of birds, and they are very helpful in enhancing your bird-watching experience.

One of the most intriguing and captivating birds to watch is the hummingbird. Hummingbirds are generally found in South America, and they are the smallest birds in the world. They are the only birds in the world that are able to fly backwards. Because of these characteristics, hummingbirds are among the most watched-after creatures of bird watchers everywhere.

In order to spend hours watching this delightful little bird, you would have to be able to make it stay in the same place for a long time. You can do this by creating a hummingbird house in your own backyard. This is a bird house specifically designed for the unusual hummingbird species.

You do not need to spend a lot to put up hummingbird houses. You can even make them yourself. Hummingbird houses are small, so you can use small boxes or even tin cans for this. When building hummingbird houses, just remember that if your open hand can fit in the box, then it is big enough for the hummingbird.

In order to prevent other birds from crashing your hummingbird house, make sure that the opening is only big enough for a hummingbird.

Hummingbird houses are quite tiny, and it is rather hard to see them once they are in position. Typically, hummingbird houses are placed on the trees themselves, very near the tree trunk. However, they can also be put up practically anywhere else in your backyard, such as under the roof of your house, or on other tall plants in the garden. Just make sure that the hummingbird houses are out of reach of cats and other house pets on the ground.

The best way to attract hummingbirds, though, is to place your hummingbird houses near flowering plants. Hummingbirds like hovering near flowers because they feed on the nectar of the flower. These birds are most attracted to colorful flowers like the trumpet vine and honeysuckle.

Your hummingbird house will also be more attractive to the tiny critters if you put hummingbird nectar inside. Make sure you do not offer them sugar water because this may cause fungus on their beaks, and could even be potentially lethal to the little birds.

Coping With Foundation Creep on a Sloping Site

Foundation creep is a common type of foundation damage found in houses built on sloping sites. With this kind of damage, a foundation element (wall, footing, slab or pier) can begin to move downhill in response to gravitational forces, soil pressure and other factors. Since foundation elements are usually tied together with a combination of steel reinforcement, continuous masonry or framing; multiple elements can be affected when one element shifts.

If not addressed, foundation creep is likely to worsen over time. Homeowners who occupy sloping sites are well-advised to contact a foundation repair specialist if they notice foundation damage. When proper repairs are done in a timely fashion, high repair costs and more perilous foundation damage can be avoided.

Sloping Sites Present Problems

Contractors prefer to build a house on a flat, open site, but they don’t always get their way. Sloping sites are often developed because flat sites are no longer available. They can also be chosen because of attractive views and other features like rock outcroppings to create special appeal. Regardless of the reason for developing a sloping site, property owners have reason to be concerned when soil creep causes foundation damage.

A number of forces and factors are usually involved when soil creep occurs. Most obviously, gravitational force causes soil pressure to increase as the slope grows steeper. Vegetation usually helps to stabilize a steep slope, because plant roots consolidate the soil and also help to absorb excess moisture. However, vegetation also adds weight to the soil. It can increase downward pressure on a foundation if most of the roots are above the slip plane where soil movement is most likely to occur.

A discussion of soil movement usually involves water. Soil stability is enhanced by certain moisture content– in the same way that damp sand can be molded to create a solid form. However, adding more water to a sand sculpture will cause it to crumble and wash away. Soil can behave in similar fashion. On a sloping site, the pull of gravity begins to effect soil when a certain level of moisture saturation is attained.

Foundation creep can also be caused by clay-rich soil that expands naturally as it absorbs moisture. This type of soil pressure often damages foundations on flat sites. On a sloping site, soil expansion typically causes a downhill push against the foundation.

Tiebacks and Tiebeams Solve Foundation Problems

A foundation repair contractor is the best professional to diagnose and repair foundation creep on a sloping site. Helical tiebacks and tiebeams are possible solutions to stop the creep and restore stability to the foundation.

A helical tieback is a steel anchor equipped with helical plates that allow technicians to drive the anchor into the soil like a giant screw. A series of these anchors are typically driven through the foundation wall on the uphill side of the house, and deep into the soil. Such an installation effectively pins the upper foundation wall into the slope. The same repair technique is used to stabilize and restore retaining walls that are tilting due to soil pressure.

Since it’s usually the foundation wall on the downhill side of the house that is creeping downward, the repair strategy often involves installing beams to connect the stable uphill wall with the downhill wall. The combination of tiebacks and tiebeams is a commonly used repair strategy. However, the foundation specialist is likely to suggest other remedial work to help control drainage so that the soil around the house doesn’t get too heavy or too saturated.

Are LED Flashlights Better Than Traditional Flashlights?

In almost every way, LED flashlights outperform traditional flashlights. Let's break down the pros and cons of flashlights that use LEDs over traditional incandescent flashlights.

1) Less Energy Consumption – LED flashlights use just a fraction of the energy incandescent flashlights consume. Incandescent lights work by heading a thin wire inside the bulb, creating both light and heat. Unfortunately, much of the energy needed to create light is lost in the form of heat. By using LEDs, less of the energy is lost to heat, meaning the same amount of light requires less energy to produce.

2) Brighter & Whiter Light Beam – Unlike incandescent bulbs, which produce more than a yellow, washed out color, LEDs produce a brilliant white light that is far brighter than what can be produced by an incandescent bulb. This is important when using a flashlight, as LEDs allow you to see farther and clearer.

3) Longer Lasting Bulb – As mentioned earlier, LED bulbs use less electricity than do incandescent bulbs. This equates to LED bulbs having a much longer life span than flashlights using incandescent bulbs. In the long run, this means saving you money on both batteries for your flashlight and purchasing replacement bulbs.

4) Increased Resistance To Impacts – Incandescent flashlights have a wire filament that acts as the light source. Unfortunately, these filaments are highly prone to breaking, giving even light falls and weak impacts to the flashlight a chance to break the filament. LED flashlights have no such filament and are so much more likely to be fine even after drops, impacts, and vibrations.

5) No Warm Up Delay – While this is not a problem for incandescent flashlights, there is a common misconception that LED Flashlights need a period of time to reach maximum brightness. Most people are confusing LEDs with CFL lights, which indeed do have a warm up time of up to a minute.

The only con of LED flashlights is that the initial cost for high quality LED flashlights may be higher than traditional flashlights, though those prices are quickly dropping as LED technology increases. In the long run, however, the cost of owning a flashlight that uses LEDs is lower, as the number of batteries used and replacement bulbs needed is less. If you're considering buying a flashlight sometime in the near future, consider an LED flashlight as a strong option. These flashlights are long-lasting, reliable, and give off brilliant light.

Newsboy Hats and Ivy Caps

[This is article # 8 in a series on Iconic Hats. It joins The Top Hat, The Bowler, The Fedora, The Cowboy Hat, The Beret, The Baseball Cap, and The Fez.]

Newsboy caps and ivy caps – variously known as flat caps, baker boy hats, driving caps, golf caps, English caps, eight-quarter caps, etc. – date to pre-World War I and historically are associated with the working classes. In pictures from this period, as well as in literature, one finds factory workers, employers, construction workers [there is a famous 1932 photograph by Charles C. Ebbets of construction workers on a beam over NYC – Lunch Atop A Skyscraper- where most are wearing a newsboy or ivy cap], etc. wearing variations of cloth caps. Because this headwear was cut-and-sewn primarily from either cotton or woolen fabrics, variations were plentiful and a man could easily distinguish himself from the next by his choice of color, material (eg tweed, herringbone, etc.), or style ( cut. Furthermore, these caps were inexpensive when compared to the full size hats of the day like bowlers, top hats, or fedoras, so a person could own more than one and, if so inclined, change his hat from day to day. Because of the small size, soft nature, and portability of these caps, their popularity spread to young professionals, college fraternities ("ivy" cap as in Ivy League), sportsmen ("golf" cap as worn by the likes of Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan), etc. A man accustomed to dressing up for work during the week with a full size hat, could now wear this informal cap on the weekend signaling his "time off" while he pursued leisure activity without stepping down in class.

Today, the popularity of ivy and newsboy hats is perhaps second only to its ubiquity in the early 20th Century. The English-born Kangol 504 cap helped to revitalize this style in the mid to late 1990s. Movie stars, musicians, golfers, fashionistas, skate boarders, people young and old, can be found on a daily basis wearing a newsboy or ivy cap frontwards, backwards, or sideways .. Those who determined that this was "my style" quickly learned that the variations of this headwear style are virtually limitless. Many – like my father – make a hobby of collecting caps and make sure to pick up one or two while traveling in the British Isles or Europe.

05 Tips to Insure Your Rental Limo Car

When you reach somewhere with a limo, it not only gives you an exciting experience, but also creates a good impression about you among others. That is why many people want to hire any model of limo during an occasion. However, sometimes, cost seems to become a major concern among many people.

1. Region where limo business is located

The region from where you have hired limo is the major factor that helps to determine the charge. For instance, Limo Hire may be different from limo rental of some other cities. In addition to it, the number of passengers in limo may also determine your expenses because you have to choose the limo size, as per your need.

2. Services may vary as per the companies

Some of the Limo Hire Companies on offer only a single-way trip, while others may allow you to stop at different places. Again, some limo hire price rates include champagne, whereas others also comprise office premises and staffs. Thus, it is really important for you to make sure that you have chosen the suitable firm.

3. How much time you have enjoyed the car?

The amount of time, for which you have continued your journey with limousine, may also enable you to know the price for car hire. Your trip may be for 2 to 3 hours. Most of the Limo companies generally set a time frame for their limo rental service. You know that the companies expend something in order to keep up the vehicle's condition. However, renting the vehicle for less than 2 hours may not include such kind of expenditure.

The charge that you have to pay covers the time period for which your limo has been waiting before your arrival, and this period is calculated just after your limo reaches your gate.

4. Model of limousine

The charge for Limo Hire is set in accord with the limo design that you have chosen. All limo patterns and designs are not the same, and so, it is better to know the price for hiring every limo model. This simple step may help you to enjoy limo ride affordably.

5. Season of hiring and your own purpose

It is known to all the prices of any product increases during a particular season, when there is a high demand of that item. The same thing may be said in case of the limo. It is particularly during prom and wedding season, the limo hire companies may charge a bit higher price. However, you will be able to make the deal more cost- effective by hiring multiple limousines at a definite time.

However, if you are now hiring a magnificent limo for bridal ceremony, the price may be affected with that event because a wedding limo is decorated with the use of ribbons, flowers, bows and many other things. The specific charge may be related to your own specifications.

Thus, find the rate of limo hire, considering all these above mentioned factors.

My Wife Cheated on Me While Drunk – It Was Just Once, But I Can’t Let It Go

Did your wife cheat on you while under the influence of alcohol?

Has your wife’s drunken mistake nearly cost you your marriage because you’re struggling to recover from the news of her unfaithfulness?

It’s frustrating because YOU are the one that works all day and puts food on the table, and the moment that your wife gets time alone she has an affair supposedly because she was drinking.

If you’ve been cheated on only one time by your wife, and it was under the influence of alcohol, then my guess is that there’s one resounding question echoing through your mind:

How Do I Know My Wife is Trust Worthy?

After all, she could just be lying about the drinking part. Or if she’s not lying about drinking, she could be lying about exactly HOW drunk she was.

Further more, what if she wasn’t even out with the girls? Many women, when backed into a corner, will lie through their teeth to make an affair seem LESS bad. In her mind she knows that a one-time fling while drunk isn’t nearly as bad a full blown affair, so that’s what she tells you happened.

Before you can do anything else you should make sure that you really and truly believe your wife’s story about alcohol’s involvement in the affair…If she was lying then that could be all that you need to know.

One Beer or Five?

Let me ask you this: Your wife comes to you and confesses that she cheated on you because she was absolutely plastered, but later you learn she’d only had one or two beers to drink before cheating on you…

What do you do?

I mean, obviously she wasn’t PLASTERED after so little alcohol… Do you still forgive her if she was just tipsy instead of full on drunk?

Many women know that the more drunk they say they were the less blame will naturally fall on her shoulders. So it makes sense for her to like about how much she drank. There’s almost no way to find out the truth except take your wife at her word.

My suggestion would be to try and get a hold of one of the people she was drinking with. Perhaps they can confirm what you can’t trust your wife to.

I Can’t Get Over the Fact That She Slept With Another Man

Unfortunately, there’s just no easy way for you to magically forget what your wife did with another guy. This is a sad fact of life; I honestly wish that there were some button I could push to erase your memories or imagination, but I just can’t do it.

Here’s my advice: Only ask what questions you REALLY want the answers to. Avoid asking any questions about the actual act of cheating, at least until you’re more prepared for the answers.

The only real cure in this situation is to hope that your wife will be there for you and do her part to rebuild your trust. You have to hope that your wife is willing to work even harder than you to come back from her unfaithfulness and rebuild your marriage.

Acrylic Trimmers – Essential Inventory of Dental Supplies

Dentistry involves a variety of procedures carried out to maintain oral health and restore or replace damaged teeth. Some of these are:

• Tooth whitening to remove stains
• Bonding to take care of chipped or cracked teeth
• Enamel shaping to modify teeth
• Veneers to cover the front side of the teeth that are worn or stained
• Braces to correct crooked or crowded teeth

To carry out these treatments effectively, the dentist needs quality dental equipment and instruments. These are the tools that help to examine, adjust, restore and extract teeth and treat the area around them. Every dental clinic must maintain an essential inventory of dental supplies to ensure that the patient can be offered quality treatment. These can be:

• Anaesthetics and drugs
• Instruments like hand pieces, burs and abrasives, acrylic trimmers
• Impression materials, cements and liners
• Cleaning and infection control products
• Restoration materials
• Dental equipment related to surgery
• Disposable bibs and gloves
• Endodontics materials

Prosthetic dentistry deals with the restoration or replacement of teeth. As a specialist area it focuses on recreating teeth that are missing or severely damaged using precision dental equipment.

This involves procedures related to fixing the following:

• Fillings to treat cavities
• Crowns to cover teeth fully and restore their function
• Bridges to replace missing tooth or teeth
• Dentures that replace a missing tooth or a complete arch
• Implants to replace one or more missing teeth

Dentists usually try and prevent the loss of teeth by maintaining the oral structure to promote oral health. For example, if a crown is required, besides treating the damaged tooth, its appearance is also taken care of with a variety of non-metal options ranging from acrylic, composite, ceramic and porcelain.

The most common materials for dental crowns used to be porcelain or gold. Gold was invariably used for teeth at the back of the mouth while porcelain was used on the front teeth for its aesthetics and similarity to a natural tooth.

Today a number of alternate materials are available. These can not only withstand more stress without wearing out the other teeth but also look natural. At the time of fixing the crown, the dentist must be careful while working with acrylic as it is a clear material.

A material of choice in dentistry

Acrylic is very popular for a variety of reasons and is used for a number of things like making impression trays. It is used as a tooth colored veneer to cover the surface of the tooth directly or on the crown covering the tooth to be restored. After the tooth is ready for the crown, a temporary crown made of acrylic is often used before the permanent crown is fixed. Using an acrylic trimmer, the crown is shaped carefully and used until it is ready to be replaced with the permanent crown.

Acrylic trimmers come in different shapes and sizes and are used for cutting and trimming various dental materials. They are generally pear shaped and used with a dental hand piece for grinding down acrylic bases or managing the thickness of the denture from the outside. The most popular ones are tungsten carbide acrylic trimmers.

With good quality dental equipment, supplies, instruments and medicaments, dentists help maintain oral health.

Game Design Jobs for Felons – Tips To Getting Hired As A Felon Game Designer

Game design jobs for felons could be a good career choice for you. This article will talk about jobs for convicted felons in game design and describe what you will need to do to get a job in this industry. Skills seem to be what sets those apart who get hired for game design felon jobs, not your background.

What is game testing and design? Almost all of us have played computer or video games so it’s not too difficult to explain it. Simply put, game programming and design is the creation and development of gaming software.

So are there about jobs for convicted felons in Game Design? Yes, of course!

The gaming industry is one of today’s fastest-growing industries in the U.S. From 2005-2008, the U.S. economy as a whole grew by 1.4 percent while the gaming industry grew by an amazing 16.7 percent during the same period, according to the Entertainment Software Association. In fact, gaming is expected to become a $58 billion business by 2012.

Around 120,000 people are employed by the gaming industry which means that there are plenty of game testing jobs for convicted felons. This industry is one where people are more concerned about what you can do now than what you have been doing in the past.

Video design professionals are paid very well. The average annual compensation per gaming industry employee was $89,781 in 2009 and this figure is not expected to decrease any time soon.

Video design jobs for felons are suitable for those who are very creative and imaginative. You should be detail-oriented and disciplined. A passion for gaming is also a good quality for a game tester.

The first thing you will need to start a career in game testing is a high school diploma. Then you will need to learn about digital game design by getting a certificate or degree in video design. Core courses in a gaming program include animation, gaming technology, video design process and level design.

Once you graduate, you can get an entry-level job in a game design or entertainment company. These video design jobs for felons will involve tasks such as working with a team to design, develop, test and produce games, or create animations and 3D scenes.

Developing games or multi-media entertainment requires different types of game design professionals such as testers, programmers, concept artists, animators, sound technicians, modelers, music composers, level designers, story writers, producers, directors, etc.

The first few months in a video design company is mostly spent learning the ropes. Typically, the first job of a video design graduate will be an internship or a job as a tester. Game testers play a specific part of the game over and over to try to spot and document any flaws or bugs in the game programs or graphics.

In conclusion, game design is a good career choice for ex-felons who are interested in video games and are creative, artistic and imaginative. To get a job in the gaming industry, you can study game design and then apply for a job in one of the top a game design or entertainment companies. There are many game design jobs for felons available because the industry is experiencing very rapid growth.

Boa Feeding Tips – 7 Hints For Tempting Snakes to Eat

Boa Constrictors one are the most commonly kept snakes, and with good reason. They tend to make excellent pet as they are docile, easy to handle, and have modest care requirements. They are also generally good feeders, usually taking defrosted rodents without trouble.

Some boas however, particularly wild caught specimens, can be problematic to wean onto defrosted prey. Having a snake which refuses to eat can be extremely frustrating, but there is usually no need for concern. If the boa is otherwise healthy it can go for considerable amounts of time between meals.

If your snake is refusing to eat, monitor its weight, and follow these tips to help get your boa feeding readily and easily.

1. Feed appropriatively sized prey: All species of boa can be fed exclusively on rodents in captivity. They type and size of prey is entirely dependent on the size of the snake. Neonates may be started on pinky (day old) mice, and the prey size should gradually increased as the snake grows. Small, through medium, to large mice should be followed by rats, and even rabbits for larger boas. The key is to offer prey no larger than the girth of the snake to avoid training the boa's digestive system.

2. Feed your boa at regular intervals: How regularly you offer prey items will depend on the age and size of your boa. For most species, neonates should be fed weekly, while adults can be fed fortnightly since it takes them longer to digest the larger meal. Boa with slow metabolisms however, such as the Emerald Tree Boas, only need feeding every 21 days.

3. Defrost the rodents safely: While pinkies and small mice can be safely defrosted at room temperature, larger items will take longer, increasing the chance of bacterial growth. To safely defrost prey items, place in the refrigerator overnight, sealed in a plastic tub. Before feeding, warm them slightly for 30 minutes under a lamp, or near a radiator. Always ensure that prey is thoroughly defrosted, and avoid using a microwave which will partially cook the prey.

4. Tempt your boa with defrosted prey first: If your boa will not take defrosted prey on its own, try leaving it undisturbed in the vivarium overnight. Another trick is to try leaving the prey, and the snake, in an unfurnished plastic tub for an hour. If none of these methods work, you should try 'tempting' the boa with the prey. Either use a long pair of forceps and dangle the prey in front of the snake, or drop the rodent on the floor of the vivarium, and gently wiggle it with a stick. With a little patience this is often enough to get a boa eating. 5.The 'bait and switch' method: If the above methods have failed, you can try using a freshly filled mouse. Dangle it with the forceps, and try to get the boa to strike. Once in feeding mode, you can swap in a defrosted rodent.

6. Offering freshly killed prey: If, after a number of attempts with the above methods, you really can not get your boa eating defrosted rodents, try offering one which is freshly killed. If your snake takes the prey, try offering a small defrosted rodent immediately afterwards. Often, once the boa is already in feeding mode, it will take the defrost, and once a boa has eaten one defrosted rodent, it will take more in the future. If this fails at first, the next time you feed the snake, hold a defrosted rodent against the half swallowed fresh kill. This can be enough to trick the boa into eating both, and again, once they have taken a single defrost it is easier to feed more in the future.

7. Offering live prey: Only if all of the above methods have failed should live prey be offered. A live rodent has sharp teeth and claws, and can seriously injure a snake. Never leave live prey in with your boa for more than 15 minutes, and never unattended. Keep a close eye and be ready to remove the rodent quickly if necessary.

By following the above methods you should be able to tempt just about any boa to eat, and slowly to wean them onto defrosted food. Once taking defrost, try to keep them on it without absolutely necessary.

In the rare cases where all the above methods fail, and a boa is losing weight, it may be necessary to force feed. This is a stressful, and dangerous method of feeding which should only be attempted by experienced herpetoculturists and is beyond the scope of this article. If you get to the stage where force feeding is necessary, consult your veterinarian, or find an experienced keeper via your local herpetology center. However, with patience and the methods outlined above you¡¯re unexpectedly to ever need to resort to that.

Why Laminate Flooring is So Popular

Laminate flooring is an affordable alternative to hardwood flooring or ceramic tile. It is available in a wide array of colors to give the appearance of different species of wood in a variety of finishes. You can also have the look of natural stone in a laminate floor with such choices as colonial brick and granite.

The ease with which you can clean laminate floors is also another reason why homeowners are opting for this choice of flooring material. You can sweep the floor or vacuum it. Washing up requires only a mild cleaner and warm water. The flooring has a wear layer so that it resists wear and tear in high traffic areas and it will not stain easily when such liquids as juice are accidently spilled on it.

Laminate floor looks very realistic even though it is not made from real wood or stone. Along with its long lasting qualities, it is easy to install. The planks or tiles have interlocking features through tongue and groove applications so that you simply snap each piece together. You can choose to either nail the planks to the subfloor or glue them down to give the effect of a floating floor.

You do not have to bother with refinishing laminate floors as you would with hardwood. Neither do you have to take the time to apply grout like you would with ceramic tile. Laminate is not recommended as the material of choice for kitchens or bathrooms because of the high moisture content in these rooms of the house. Neverheless, many people have installed laminate flooring in these rooms with great success.

You do need to use an underlay on the subfloor before you install the laminate planks. This is because the planks can cause hollow sounds when someone walks over them and this can be particularly annoying for anyone on the floor benefit.