The Pros and Cons of Overhead Projectors

Despite the rise of LCD digital projectors, overhead projectors are still widely used in different settings such as classrooms and business meetings. They are very sturdy, easy to use, and fairly affordable. In short, an overhead projector can be rightfully considered as a practical tool for presenting visuals to a large group of people.

Read on and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using this type of projector.

Pros

1. They are easy to operate. The most obvious benefit here is that these projectors are equipped with simple technology. It doesn’t have complicated parts nor does it have too many cables that’s why setting it up is never a hassle. You won’t have to worry about figuring out different settings and requirements such as software troubleshooting and others. This also means you will be able to avoid computer-related concerns which could possibly ruin your presentations.

2. They are less expensive to acquire and maintain. Compared with modern LCD projectors, overhead projectors require lesser amount of money to acquire and maintain. Purchasing from the right resources could lead you to about 50 percent savings and so this makes a nice choice if you are tight on budget. Look around and try browsing the available options. You will likely find projectors that have almost the same price as an LCD lamp.

3. Transparencies are available everywhere. Regardless if you are using an inkjet or laser printer, there are transparency films that are perfect for your device. These transparencies can be bought from nearby stores that carry office supplies and they are often available for a cheap price.

Cons

1. The heat. Although projector cases are designed to endure the heat of internal lamps, you as a user may still find it too hot to touch. Moreover, certain parts could even cause burns if you are not too careful. Also, be extra cautious not to place flammable materials beside it during or after use. This is important so you can avoid untoward incidents.

2. The toxins. There’s always the tendency for the projector’s plastic and metal parts to melt because of its heat level. When this happens, the machine will likely release toxic chemicals which may induce dizziness, skin irritation, and others. In case you suspect that you are are experiencing any of these symptoms after using the machine, then it’s always best to contact a professional technician to perform checks and repairs.

Different Types Of House Cleaning Services

The house cleaning companies offer several different and supple regularities in their services. A cleaning service is one opportunity you might consider in opening a business for your own. Having a beautiful, well-kept and clean home is always a plus point. Today, there are several types of house cleaning services being offered. Some of the notable major types of house cleaning services include agencies, companies, local independently working cleaners, “mother’s helper”, freelancer, franchise, maid service companies and apart from the types, house cleaning services can also be categorized as domestic and commercial cleaning services.

Domestic cleaning agencies are where you act as a manager and you take on board local cleaners to carry out the cleaning for you. I think that professional home cleaning companies are the finest of the lot. You do all the cleaning, advertising and appointment bookings yourself. But the cleaning is done by the local individual or helpers. Mother’s helper or commonly referred as house helper is actually a group of people – unlike the name – this group consists of men and women who offer different house cleaning solutions. You can get your job done and pay a usually feasible hourly rate.

A freelancer means referring to those individuals actually who are generally not insured or licensed or who are busy in doing several private jobs at once. The advantage of using this type of service for house cleaning is that you get the choice of suitable time for the job to be done. Several unemployed as well as employed individuals do freelancing jobs on a part time basis. There are many franchises offering cleaning solutions of the big companies but their staff is local and all the resources are of the person locally in-charge of the franchise. Maid services companies are the preferred ones when it comes down to house cleaning. When you are hiring the maid service then you are making sure that quality is going to be the excellent one as such organizations are insured and have proper license, which means they are very reliable.

If we talk about the other types: commercial cleaning and consumer house cleaning, then all the services such as window cleaner, residential maid services, carpet cleaner or any other relevant cleaning solutions comes under the category of consumer cleaning. While the other services such as janitorial services that offer more range of services including giant cleaning companies related to every type of cleaning services comes under the category of commercial cleaning. Whatever services you go for always do your homework.

Thermal Spray Foam Insulation

Thermal Spray Foam Insulation is used in buildings, and refers to the application of thermal insulated materials, which are applied using various spraying methods, into a roof space or wall cavity to prevent heat loss.

The application of this process is normally completed within two days. Thermal spray foam insulation does not particularly address ventilation or sound proofing issues. It simply refers to the insulating materials being used to slow heat loss. The effectiveness of it is usually evaluated by its R-value, but this does not take into account construction or local environment factors. Thermal spray foam insulation is  easy to apply. Foam insulation is sprayed onto or into the underside of the roof within the attic/loft space, and dries to a rigid foam.

 Thermal spray foam insulation is an important factor to achieving thermal comfort for the buildings occupants, and thermal spray foam insulation reduces unwanted heat loss, and reduces the energy requirements of cooling and heating systems.  Thermal spray foam insulation simply refers to the insulating materials being used to slow heat loss.

One of the most effective types of insulation spray is polyurethane foam, which has been specifically formulated for use within the insulation industry.

This type of foam is a very cost effective insulation material, and works in two ways by keeping the desired space or area warm in winter and cool in the summer. It can also help with the problems that arise from condensation, and is an ideal solution for ambient and cold storage.

Polyurethane foam is easy to apply, lightweight in structure and can cover large areas quickly and efficiently, making it a very cost effective solution for many commercial requirements.

The application of foam spray uses a rigid polyurethane foam which sprays to a fine cellular structure with high compressive strength and good adhesion and insulating qualities. Many of these foam spraying techniques and materials do not contain or use any CFCs.

Thermal spray foam insulation will adhere to most structures and other materials such as fibre, sheet metal, cement, asbestos sheeting, concrete and steel. When sprayed it can expand to over thirty times it thickness. It is lightweight in structure, weighing only three kilos per square metre at a depth of fifty millimetres. (approx)

Insulating a building with this method will help to keep it warm in the summer and cool in the winter, reducing temperature control costs and providing a dry and comfortable environment for staff and workforce, and controlled storage for stock and materials.

Thermal spray insulation can offer the following benefits:

  • Domestic installations can be carried out within a day
  • Stop leaking roofs
  • No need to re-roof
  • Reduced carbon footprint.

Spray insulation is widely used in the domestic, agricultural, marine, and commercial industries.

Advantages of a Sheepskin Underlay For Babies

Infant Care Sheep skin offers unique advantages as an underlay for babies.

One of the advantages of a sheepskin underlays for babies is portability. Sheepskin is lightweight and easily rolled up, which means that you can always keep a sheepskin underlay at hand to provide a sanitary layer benefit your baby.

The fibers are held in place by a covered leather backing that is both fluid- and urine-resistant, in the case of High Temp sheep skin This gives sheepskin characteristics such as durability and water resistance, making sheepskin underlays suitable for both indoor and outdoor use as a protective layer.

Another advantage of a sheepskin for babies is that it draws moisture away from your baby, first pulling moisture away from your baby's skin, then trapping between 30 and 36 percent of the sheepskin's own weight in moisture, thanks to the high-density, soft, springy wool fibers of natural sheepskin

The fibers also provide padding, another of the advantages of a sheepskin underlay for babies. The fibers distribute weight over a larger surface area than do other materials.

Sheepskin fibers regulate temperature, too. On chilly days, sheepskin will keep cool air away from the baby's skin. On hot days, it will reduce heat by allowing air to circulate. Typically babies sleep better on a sheepskin underlay.

A final advantage of a sheepskin as a baby underlay for babies is that High Temp sheepskins may be machine washed and dried. Using a soap that includes lanolin-sheepskin's natural oil-will help ensure that your baby's sheep skin underlay will remain in good condition for years.

Licensing is Everywhere – Examples of Licensed Products

When consumers purchase products online or in a retail store, they usually assume that the products are the ideas of their manufacturers or distributors. This is often not the case. Instead, manufacturers license products from inventors and market them to their established target markets. Product licensing benefits manufacturers in a number of ways including reducing research and development costs, utilizing excess manufacturing capacity and personnel capacity, and giving the manufacturer the ability to introduce more new products in a shorter amount of time. Licensed products are all around us; here are some examples of product licensing that you may have come across recently.

Toys

Licensing is very popular in the toy industry, because it allows toy manufacturers to come out with many new toys each year. Even toys based on popular movies and television shows are licensed from their inventors. You may see licensed toys from Batman Begins, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Spongebob Squarepants, and Shrek at your favorite department store or toy store.

Board Games

Board games from popular companies such as Hasbro are often licensed from their creators. This has several advantages for board game companies. They can introduce new games to the market more quickly than their competitors and they can also cut research and development costs since board game creators usually do their own testing and prototype development. Board game creators benefit from licensing because they are not forced to deal with marketing and distributing the games they have created. This leaves more time for creating and testing new games that can be licensed to other manufacturers in the future. Chances are that many of the board games in your home or local recreation center are licensed.

Action Figures

Action figures are usually based off of movie and television characters. Good examples are Superman, Spiderman, Batman, He-Man, and GI Joe. Most of these action figures are licensed and distributed by manufacturing companies with a wide market reach and excellent manufacturing capacity. This gives product creators the time to create new products instead of spending time figuring out how to market and distribute products they have already created. Product licensing also benefits action figure manufacturers. These manufacturers are able to capitalize on the popularity of movies and television shows in order to make more sales. Licensing also makes it possible for manufacturers to introduce these action figures without having to spend a lot of money on testing and developing the products in house.

Video Games

Video game manufacturers also take advantage of licensing when creating video games for the child and adult gaming markets. It is much easier to sell video games when they contain recognizable characters from movies, television shows, comics, and cartoons, so video game manufacturers will often license popular characters and use them in new video game offerings. This gives the manufacturer an edge in marketing and selling their new video games to both children and adults. Licensed products are all around us in the marketplace and provide excellent forms of education and entertainment. The best part about these licensed products is that everyone involved wins. Creators are compensated for their products, manufacturers are able to cut costs and remain competitive, and end users are able to continue buying new products for entertainment and educational purposes.

Fix Modern Warfare 2 Black Screen

Many PCs running Modern Warfare 2 have encountered a problem of black screen during the game play. This short article will help MW2 lovers to fix the problems and enjoy game without any glitches.

Follow the instructions mentioned below to fix MW2:

Change Desktop Resolutions
Close Background Applications
Configure Sound Acceleration
Fix Modern Warfare 2 Registry Entries
Re-Install Modern Warfare 2

Change Desktop Resolutions

Modern Warfare 2 black screen appears due to improper resolution configuration. To set proper resolution follow the steps below:

Right click on empty area of ​​your desktop
Click on Personalize
Click on Display Settings
Change resolutions to 1024X768
Set colors to 32-bit High
Click OK

Close Background Applications

To avoid MW2 black screen make sure that before launching the game you have close unnecessary background applications. Sometimes running other programs along with game may prevent you from playing the game smoothly.

Follow the instructions below to close all the background applications:

Hold Windows key and press R
Type msconfig command in Run search box and press Enter
Click on Startup tab
Click on Disable All button
Now click on Services tab
Check Hide All Microsoft Services box and click on Disable All button
Click OK
Restart your computer

Configure Sound Acceleration

Improper sound configuration for Modern Warfare 2 may result in game crashing, freezing and black screen. For proper configuration of sound acceleration follow the steps below:

Click Start and open Control Panel
Click on Sounds and Audio Devices icon
Click on Volume tab
Click on Advanced under Speaker Settings
Now click on Performance tab
From here reduce the hardware acceleration to basic
Click Apply and OK

Note: Bring the sound acceleration settings to normal after playing the game.

Fix Game Registry Entries

If the registry entry of Modern Warfare 2 gets corrupt this may result in a black screen problem. In order to resolve the problem you need to install a registry clean program to fix the MW2 registry entries. It can be done manually by opening registry editor. But any wrong step may result in crashing of Windows. Therefore you should install a Registry Cleaner program as it automatically repairs corrupt registry entries.

Re-Install Game

MW2 black screen issue may appear if the installation files are corrupt. Installing MW2 again may resolve the problem. Follow the steps below:

Open Control Panel
Click Programs and Features
Select game and uninstall
Follow the instructions
Before restarting the PC delete the MW2 folder from C:
Restart your PC
Install the Modern Warfare 2 again

Steamer Deck Chair Plans – Things to Consider in Building Your Own Deck Chair

Steamer deck chair plans makes the best blueprint to follow when you’re planning to build an outdoor furniture. Steamer deck chairs are simply one of those furniture which you can easily build if you have ample planning on your part.

These kind of loungers makes a good fixture in your yard, patio or poolside as it adds to the relaxing ambiance of the place. There’s something definitely calming and relaxing when you see a good lounger in the outdoor landscape of your home.

Just like any other woodworking projects, it is imperative that you go all through the different aspects of the project so all details will be covered and construction can run smoothly. Some things to consider for this project are:

Budget and Materials

Though it’s definitely less costly to build your own steamer deck chair, you still need to shell out some cash for the project. The number of deck chairs you’re going to use will also determine how much you can possibly spend on a project.

Though if you are a complete beginner in woodworking, I strongly suggest that you start with one first. Then, when you have a feel of how things are done, you can go from there and build other chairs of this kind.

As for the materials, you need to choose what type of wood you will be using to build chairs of this type. One of the most common we see in the market these days are teak. And honestly, I’m not that surprised as teak are both beautiful and durable.

Size

Steamer deck chair comes in a variety of sizes and designs. You need to decide beforehand on the size and design of the lounger you are going to build yourself. Keep in mind for this your personal preference as well as the needs of your family.

Steamer Deck Chair Plans

Construction is so much easier when you have the help of quality steamer deck chair plans. Not only will you have a helpful guide in the preparation ad planning stage of the project, you also have something to guide you so the construction can run smoothly.

I personally prefer plans with step by step instruction as this will prevent you from making so much mistakes causing you to spend on materials more than you have to. Elaborate illustration will definitely help as well. This will supplement the instruction in the event that you’re struggling with its clarity.

Disadvantages of Having Parrots For a Pet

Parrots can be pretty hard to take care of. Unlike other pets that can be left alone in their cages, parrots are restless creatures who you have to check up on a couple of times every day. Here are just some things that parrots can do to your home.

Parrots can be pretty messy

If you are the type that would like the house to be spotless, try to reconsider getting a parrot or any pet for that matter. Parrots can be really messy, even a small parakeet.

Their food can be flung everywhere even when they are inside the cage. Your floor can be filled up by pellets, seed, and nutshells. Sticky foods may also be plastered on the walls, on the bars of the cage and even at the ceilings. Foods will literally be everywhere.

Another problem that you may have are their poop, which you really have to clean everyday. And they are not that disciplined to only poop in one place. They actually poop everywhere, in bars, in their food dish and even with the toys that you give them. They may even poop in between bars, which may end up on the floor and sometimes even on you.

If you have a cockatiel variety or the grey breed, you will also have to contend with the powder that they have on their feathers. The feathers will stick everywhere. So, you really have to dust everyday.

Because of this, you have to scrub the cage, their dish and the whole of the area at least once a day to prevent bacteria from settling in and of course the bad smell.

2. Parrots chew on everything

Parrots love chewing wood. In fact, owners of parrots often give them wooden toys to play and chew with inside their cages. Parrots however are not satisfied with just these toys. When they get the opportunity, they will chew on everything that they get their hands on. They will puncture your clothes, your furniture, even your books.

This can be really frustrating especially if you are the type of person who wants a clean house. Parrots are not recommended in homes that have dainty and fragile furniture. They should also not be placed in areas where they can break things and chew on antiques.

Be careful with wearing jewelry because they will sure to grab it or chew it. Parrots love shiny things. They can claw the stone right out of your favorite jewelry.

His Most Famous Painting (Portrait of Violette Heymann) – Odilon Redon

French Symbolist painter, printmaker, draughtsman, and pastellist Bertrand-Jean Redon or Odilon Redon (April 20, 1840 – July 06, 1916) was an eminent frontrunner of ‘Post-Impressionism’ and ‘Symbolism.’ He was only 10 when he won a drawing prize at school. Odilon began studying drawing formally at 15, but had to switch to architecture on his father’s insistence. He was back to painting, once he failed to pass the entrance for architecture, at École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. The creator of the “Portrait of Violette Heymann,” Redon, studied etching and lithography under Rodolphe Bresdin, until his artistic career again had to take a break when he joined army in the Franco-Prussian War, in 1870.

The year 1878 gained Odilon recognition, with his creations the ‘Guardian Spirit of the Waters’ and his first album of lithographs, ‘Dans le Rêve’ in 1879. In 1890s, he started using pastels and oils, which was heavily seen in his works for the rest of his life. He added a couple of etchings and lithographs catalogs to his count, later in life. Odilon’s works were hugely imaginative, which ranged right from a human headed spider to quaking ground. His popular works included ‘Spirit of the Forest’ (1880), ‘Cactus Man’ (1881), ‘The Crying Spider’ (1881), ‘The Buddha’ (1904), and the “Portrait of Violette Heymann.”

The “Portrait of Violette Heymann,” created during the last years of Redon’s life in 1910, was one an immensely imaginative work. Measuring 72 cm x 92 cm, this pastel work displays a young woman, Violette Heymann, surrounded by many, intensely colored, blooming, and somewhat unfinished flowers around. To match up with the theme ‘Violette,’ Odilon has made an ample use of violet color. Violette is shown sideways, sitting on a chair, which is supporting just her back, while her neck and head stay unsupported. She looks passive, owing to her expressionless flat face. Her dress is also quite simple without much elaboration and style. She is a wearing a white colored, high neck inner, with a greenish-blue upper having golden border. Her black hair is shoulder length and is pinned at her back.

Odilon Redon described his works as ambiguous and indefinable. He explains, “I have often, as an exercise and as sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an insatiate thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased.” Reflecting his own thinking and psyche through his work, Redon tried to “place the visible at the service of the invisible.” The same ambiguity is reflected in Violette’s expression, owing to which Odilon’s this artwork always gathered mixed reactions. The “Portrait of Violette Heymann” is presently displayed at the Museum of Art at Cleveland, Ohio.

What You Need To Know About A Fireplace

If your home already has a fireplace when you move in, you may not be familiar with all the benefits that come with owning a fireplace. They not only look exceptional when lit but they can also be the main source of heat if the power goes out. If you do not have a fireplace in the home, you may want to consider putting one in. It's fast and easy and you can design it any way that you want.

Fireplaces have been used for years. They were the only way of heating years ago. Fireplaces were created to include a firebox and a flue where the smoke and gas could escape. Fireplaces kept people warm when the cold was too much to handle. It was also used to relax and watch as the fire flickered in the night. Later on, a fireplace mantel made a fireplace more attractive and became a place to set lanterns, display art or place to decorative items.

There are different types of fireplaces. The masonry fireplace is made from brick or stone. Tiles could be used to line the flue which could keep the chimney from being corroded with soot from the fire. Manufactured fireplaces are another type of fireplace that is reinforced using metal pipe that runs up and outside of the chimney to ensure safety and to protect the lining of the chimney. The different designed fireplaces can range from the traditional square fireplace to a round fireplace with a large or small opening. Because the fireplaces are made to fit the home they do not come in a particular size. When the power goes out you will always have access to heat. You need to be able to keep wood close to the home that has been cut and split to fit inside your firebox. The firewood will need to be kept dry so you can use it immediately when you need it.

When you use a fireplace, make sure there is nothing around it that can cause a fire to get out of hand. To start a fire put newspaper or little bits of wood on the bottom of the fireplace. When you strike a match, put the match to the paper or bits of wood and wait until they are burning. You may need to fan the flame a bit in order to allow it to grow. Once the small flame is bigger and hotter it will allow the wood to heat up and catch fire. Although it may catch fire quickly, your fire is being maintained inside the firebox.

To avoid fire popping out onto your carpet or floor you may need to use a safety screen. This screen can be placed directly in front of the fireplace in order to keep the flames from jumping out if you are not there to watch it. You also may want to consider glass doors to keep closed while your fire is burning and while there is no fire in the fireplace to keep the cold from going down the chimney and out into your home.

Hamsters Will Rule the World

Is the end nigh? How will the world end? Are we all doomed? Ever since the dawn of time, we have been fascinated by the end of the world. Giant flaming meteorites seems to be the most common theory, but i think the answer lies where we do not expect. I think it lies with hamsters. Yes, those cute little fluff balls that some of us keep as pets. Sniffling away, going 'eek'. Or are they?

When you are sleep, the hamsters head under the earths surface, into a giant lair. Full of them, debating the end of the world. Or rather, how they will ever take over the world. You see, I have a strong belief that they are engineering a super-hamster in the dark depths of the earths crust. Building super-hamsters that will one day crush us, and conquer the world.

Of course, people are not going to be scared of these little creatures, trying to nibble off their small toe. They are clearer than you think. These super hamsters are in actual fact over 10 feet high, with huge sharp teeth, a viscous streak that dwarfs the killer rabbit from the holy grail, and a really mean attitude that even a super hamster can not get elected of the united states.

Lock down the hatches, secure the windows, bolt the doors, the hamsters are going to get us soon.

You see, when the time is right, these super hamsters will rise up out of the ground, laser eyes vaporizing people, giant knife like claws tearing up cars and buildings. Once everyone has turned into classic horrific b-movie victims, its then the real terror will begin. The rest of the hamster army will scurry from their lairs, forcing the human population into the oceans, where the cycle of evolution will begin again. The hamsters shall rule the earth.

Buying a Home? Watch Out For These Estate Agent Tricks

This is the second in a series of three articles warning home buyers and sellers about the main tricks estate agents use to get hold of your money. These articles are aimed at helping you avoid being fleeced by your estate agent.

Selling to Buyers

Although we all know that agents are acting for sellers, many are experts in befriending buyers and getting them to feel that they are on our side, working to help us get the best property at the best price. If you're buying a property you should be on your guard against several sales traps including the block, stock-shifting, pumping up the price, the spider's web and the sealed-bid scam.

1. The Block

Of all estate agents' tricks, the block is probably the one people least expect. Most of us absorb agents want to sell properties to us and so it does not happen to us that they may be interested in preventing us from buying. There are several reasons an agent might try to block us from buying a property. The most obvious is that they've planned a slash-and-grab for themselves or one of their contacts and so do not want us to disrupt their plans by buying at a higher price than they're offering. Another reason may be that the agent has a buyer who is also taking out a mortgage through that agent or an associate mortgage agent. The agent can earn almost as much commission from flogging the mortgage as from selling the property and so may be less interested helping a buyer with cash or who has organized their own mortgage. In both these cases, an agent may withhold our offers from a seller or, if they do pass on our offers, they may discourage the seller from accepting them by suggesting that we may not be in a good position to buy. An investigation by one journalist found that of six offers made to estate agents, only two were passed on to sellers.

2. The stock-shift

Buyers may be looking for their ideal home, but agents can only sell the properties they have on their books. Moreover, they have to shift their stock if they are to meet their sales targets. Without an agent is lucky enough to have properties that perfectly match buyers' requirements, the only way they can get their monthly bonus is by convincing buyers to take whatever they've got to sell. So the art of a successful agent is to influence buyers to compromise and take what is available rather than hold out for their dream property.

There are various ways of getting buyers to compromise. The easiest is to use fear to push you into making an offer. An agent may tell you that they have the perfect property, that this has just come on the market, but that you'll have to move quickly before someone else snaps it up. Or if a buyer is hesitating, the agent will use the phantom buyer trick and claim that several other buyers are also interested. To add a little color the agent may also say that one of the phantom buyers is a cash buyer and therefore in a much better position than you. Or an agent may arrange for several buyers to view a property at the same time. This is intended to make buyers believe that there is competition for the property and can lead to buyers being infected by auction-fever – always a great way to spur them into action and push the price up. Typically an agent will say that prices in the area are going up so if you do not buy quickly, you'll end up paying a lot more in a few months time. And there's the sandwich – here the agent shows a buyer three properties with the first and the third being either unsuitable or out of their range and the middle one being close to what they want. This helps create the impression in the buyer's mind that there are few properties fitting their requirements and makes them more open to being fobbed off with something which is reasonably close to what they were looking for.

3. The price pump

Research has repeatedly shown that around 70% of buyers spend on average about 20% more for their homes than they had originally intended. So, whatever a buyer may say to an agent about their price limit, the agent already knows from experience that the large majority of buyers can be squeezed well above this if shown a property they like. The simplest way for the agent to push the price up is to claim that they already have several offers on a property, so if you're interested, you're going to have to put in a fairly juicy bid. Or else an agent may use the build-up – show you four or five properties, starting with the cheapest and moving on to the most expensive. Most buyers, when seeing a property they really like, will stretch their financial limit rather than letting the property go to someone else. Another tactic is to show you a home that is way above your financial limit. In comparison, any subsequent properties will seem reasonably priced. Or the agent could use the sneer – take you to an expensive property and then suggest that it's a pity that you can not stretch your budget to buy such a perfect home. This is particularly easy if the agent can use buyer's partner or family to pile on the emotional pressure.

4. The spider's web

In addition to sellers and property developers, agents have a wide web of people who can help them increase their earnings. For example, if an agent convinces a buyer to use a particular mortgage advisor or supposedly independent financial adviser, on an average loan the advisor will pocket about £ 2,000 and the agent £ 1,000 to £ 1,500. Even if a buyer has finance available, an agent may tell buyers that 'it's company policy' to ensure that all buyers get the best loan deals available and so, either you want it or not, the agent makes an appointment for you to meet a mortgage salesman with business connections to the agency.

Similarly, an agent will usually get generous kickbacks if they pass buyers onto lawyers and surveyors that they regularly work with. An added advantage of using lawyers and surveyors known to the agent is that they will tend to overlook problems with properties to enable sales to go through. In any town or even areas of a city, most agents, lawyers and surveyors will have worked together in the past and none will want to upset any of the others. So even when a buyer believes their lawyer and surveyor are representing their interests, it's likely that the lawyer and surveyor will be more sensitive about maintaining continuing a good relationship with the estate agent rather than worrying about the interests of a buyer that they will probably never deal with again. When I began to question both my lawyer and surveyor about things they had apparently 'overlooked', the lawyer paid me £ 6,000 and the surveyor £ 2,500 – this may have been because they were mostly nice people and particularly liked me; or it may have been because they realized their moral little arrangement with the estate agent had been rumbled and so were keen to avoid any possibly embarrassing statements. Any buyer who gets caught in the spider's web of the agent's business associates may find it a very expensive experience.

5. Sealed-bid scams

If there are multiple buyers chasing a property, the seller and agent may ask all the potential purchasers to submit their 'best and final' offer in an envelope by a certain date and time with the understanding that the highest bid will be accepted. This is a wonderful way of getting the price up as buyers' competitive natures can cloud their common sense. But the sealed bid process is open to abuse. For a start, the seller does not have to accept the highest offer – a slightly lower cash offer may be preferred to a higher offer from someone who needs time to arrange finance. Also, once the bids are opened, the agent can easily go back to the bidder with the deepest pockets and suggest that if they increase their offer by a certain amount, then the property is their. If they think a potential buyer has access to more money, the agent can also lie about the level of the highest bid or invent a phantom bid in order to push the price higher. Or, if they want to do a slash-and-grab to get the property for themselves, a developer, a family member or friend, then an agent may withhold some bids.

Rojenny, A Tourist Village In the Heart of Igboland

Still waters run deep. That adage aptly qualifies Rojenny Holiday Village, the single largest tourism resort in South-East Nigeria. Located in the serene town of Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area of ​​Anambra State, just on the outskirts of the commercial city of Onitsha, along Owerri-Onitsha Expressway, and occupying a long stretch of land estimated at 8 sq. km, it is unduly a dream destination for holiday-makers from across the world.

A stop at the gate gives you no idea of ​​the buzz of activities that go on inside the concessions. Even the ROJENNY HOLIDAY VILLAGE engraved boldly on the gate does not reveal much. But as you step into the compound, you are amazed. First, the gentle breeze caresses your face, as if to say 'welcome to our world'. This sure is the home of African hospitality. You look straight ahead of you and behould a massive expanse of land, long stretch of trees, beautiful lawns, and gigantic structures dotting the length compound. You are awe-stricken. Wow! you exclaim, and the person next to you says you is not seen nothing yet.

This is where your tour begins. A walk around is even more eye-opening. You discover immediately that a day is not enough to see everything that there is to see. Where do you start? The tourist attractions are too numerous: the lush-green fields; the zoo (which habours such wild life as baboon, python, the green monkey, tortoise, lion, etc; rare birds such as peacock, eagle, flamingo, ostrich, etc; aquatic animals like turtle, alligator, crocodile, etc); the Ozo Village and Museum; the Rojenny International Stadium, which was said to have hosted seven continental matches involving Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Morocco, and Cote d'Ivoire during the time of Jasper United and Udoji United Football Clubs, and also camped Nigeria's Golden Eaglets under Fani Amun for two years and three months during the time of Ibrahim Babangida as Nigeria's Military President; the over 1000-capacity conference hall; the amusement park for children; the joy rides; the lawn tennis court; the basketball court; the volleyball court; the Olympic-sized swimming pool with elaborate and fully developed poolside; the Paradise Nite Club; among others.

More interesting is the fact that you never perspire while you are walking around. Although a manmade tourist center, Rojenny has a natural feel, which makes an all-year-round tourist delight. Coconut and other trees line the two sides of the avenues and ensure a regular supply of cool and gentle breeze, giving the environment the feeling of a temperate climate.

In case you get hungry, there is the newly developed Angelic Garden and Restaurant (which has sprung on the ashes of the African Restaurant and Bar) for your quick relaxation and refreshment, and there is also the English Bar for assorted wines. If you decide to stay the night, which of course is the ideal thing in a place like Rojenny, there is the Nwaezeora Lodge which has the beautiful and tastefully-furnished rooms for all guests, plus the new guest house which is currently at the furnishing stage. Beside these, there are also vicinity hotels which work in partnership with Rojenny to accommodate any number of visitors.

Again, Rojenny is a tourist destination. Modeled closely after Disney World in the United States of America, it provides at once all the things necessary for a tourist to stay busy as long as his tour lasts. It is developed in such a way to serve as a base for tourists wishing to visit other tourist sites in South-East Nigeria, like the Ogbunike Cave, the Umuahia War Museum, the Agulu Lake, the Igboukwu archaeological sites, the Njaba River, and so on. The position of Oba is also an added advantage. It is said to be at the center of Igboland, whether from Agbor in Delta State, from Nsukka in Enugu State, from Ndoni / Ikwerre in Rivers State, or from Ozuitem Abriba in Abia State.

Rojenny is also a place for spiritual tourism, irrespective of one's religious conviction. The Blessed Michael Cyprian Tansi Memorial Chapel provides a place of worship for Catholics and Christians of other denominations. There is the African traditional shrine for adherents of African Traditional Religion; and there is the Mosque for the Muslim brethren.

The quiet atmosphere of Rojenny makes it conducive for writers and researchers from any part of the world. The tourist sites are enough inspiration to any writer and can eliminate the so-called writer's block. Sitting very close to Tansian University, Oba, and just a few kilometers away from Madonna University Okija, Rojenny is certainly the destination of many research students who may wish to use the library facilities of both universities. Moreover, research students working on Igbo culture may have no better place to go.

Conceived and developed by Chief Rommy Amandi Ezeonwuka, a native of Akpo in Aguata Local Government Area of ​​Anambra State, Rojenny is indeed a wonderland, a multipurpose center with a complex mix of African culture and western civilization. It is a choice destination for excursions, sports recreation, relaxation, picnics, conferences and seminars, research, cultural entertainment, and so on. This tourist haven, constructed between 1983 and 1986 and opened to the public in November 1986, will soon host a Diaspora Tour, which is aimed at giving African Americans, which ancestors were taken away from Nigeria as slaves, an opportunity to visit Nigeria and have a feel of the land of their ancestors.

Eco-Friendly Insulation

It’s always economical to have good insulation throughout your house. Unfortunately, many times your house either wasn’t insulated well enough or it’s insulated with things that aren’t eco-friendly, and that could cause other issues. But there are many green ways to insulate your home without using dangerous products.

One way to have your home insulated is by using recycled newspaper. The way that works is instead of single sheets of insulation, installers will blow it between your walls with a big hose. The more they can get in there, the better your walls will be insulated. You might have to deal with some newspaper dust for a couple of days, but once that’s settled it makes a fine way to protect your home.

Something else that can be used that’s relatively new is, believe it or not, mushrooms. Although this is very new technology that’s not widely available yet, what it will offer is a natural way to protect your home. It’s being developed to resemble packing material more than either sheet insulation or balls of insulation, which means it would work best being installed at the time a house is being built. Supposedly because of the density of mushrooms, the insulation wouldn’t have to be that thick and yet would still be very effective.

Another nice alternative to fiber glass insulation is insulation made out of cotton. There are some manufacturers who have been making insulation made out of cotton for years, which is a more dense type of material than what most of us are used to seeing. It costs a little bit more to produce, but it fills a house just as well as any other type of insulation, and is much safer for people overall.

Finally, something you probably wouldn’t have thought of is using insulation products that are soy based. It’s mixed in with a foam that’s sprayed into the walls, and can expand up to 100 times its normal size. That means you don’t have to use as much of it to insulate your home, and it will make a very tight seal between your walls. It also turns out to be water resistant and animal resistant, as it’s been found that the little nasty things that like to invade your home don’t like to eat it. If you go this route however, you might want to check with the people using it to ask them what percentage of soy is actually contained within the product.

Where Africa Casts Its Spell – Limpopo Province Revisited

The real Africa, the Africa that casts a spell over its visitors, is closer than we realized. We, my son Jonathan and I, had a date with a game reserve only 170 kilometers from Johannesburg. On our way we called at our local supermarket to load up with meat for a braaivleis (Afrikaans for "burnt offering", or "barbecue"), and other perishables like milk, cheese, bananas, etc. Then we hit the N1, the Great North Road, that stretches from Cape Town to the Zimbabwe border at Beit Bridge. Getting through all the traffic on the way to Pretoria was a nightmare. The freeway is being expanded from three to five lanes in each direction, which will be a relief once it is completed, but at present it is a nightmare.

Once we were past Pretoria the traffic thinned out, the road was fine, and it was a joy to travel. We were thrilled at the prospect of visiting Limpopo again, the province in which I had done so much evangelical work. On reaching the Total Petroport we decided to take a lunch break as recommended on a road safety billboard at the side of the road. It is considered good practice not to drive more than two hours without a refresh break. On long trips I tend to fall sleep at the wheel, so for me it is good practice to have frequent stops to freshen up. On this occasion Jonathan was doing all the driving. I had to stay awake to make sure that he did not fall sleep.

This Petroport is a haven of useful facilities for the traveler. There is a service station, a shop called Bon Jour, and a Steers Restaurant which spans the double highway. While having lunch I took a photograph of the highway, looking south towards Pretoria. This was for the benefit of friends in America, who are interested to see conditions in South Africa.

Refreshed, we continued our journey. Shortly after leaving the Petroport there was a sign welcoming us to Limpopo. With the change of province the road surface improved, becoming very smooth. For the whole distance of 100 kilometers the road is almost dead straight, having only three light bends. The condition of the road is excellent, probably the best in South Africa. The road crosses a vast plain known as the Springbok Flats. There are only gentle undulations, no hills of note. According to the history books this plain used to be home to large herds of springbok and to many lions. There is still a lot of virgin bushveld, so that that it is difficult to believe that springbok once roamed there. Springbok like open country like Botswana and the Northern Cape. There is also much farming activity. Cattle are to be seen, as well as fields of maize, wheat, and grain sorghum. Cotton is also grown here but we did not see any.

We left the N1 at the Bela Bela off ramp and proceeded towards Settlers on the R536, a distance of 4 kilometers to the main entrance to the Sondela Game Reserve. Here we were given a blank receipt form for an unspecified conservation fee, which would have to be paid at reception, which was 4.1 kilometers from the entrance. The speed limit in the reserve is 30km / h. The road winds through the dense bush. I had just remarked to Jonathan that we had not seen any game when a herd of black wildebeest emerged. Their road manners were excellent; they waited for us to pass before crossing the road. Shortly after that we had two impalas dancing along the road in front of us. Arriving at the reception center we were treated to a glass of orange juice and a pancake by a beautiful blue-eyed young lady with long blonde hair. We handed in our receipt for the conservation fee. After paying the R100 it was stamped and we were informed that it was our gate pass. Without it we would not be able to leave the reserve.

On the way to our chalet we passed some people near a kudu. Jonathan remarked with astonishment that they were feeding it. At our chalet was a neat carport with an A-section roof of shade cloth. As we were unloading, three kudu's came to inspect the new arrivals. They were very inquisitive and very tame. The large bull kudu stand a little distance away, keeping watch. Every now and again he would tap lightly, silently, on the ground with his right foot, apparently a signal understood by the two kudu's that had their noses on the wall of our verandah. First one kudu came timidly and put its nose on the wall, then the other, seeing that the first was safe, came and joined in. Considering that we had seen a group of people feeding a kudu we thought it safe to feed the kudu's that had approached the wall of our verandah. First we gave them some cauliflour. That went down very quickly. It was followed by some broccoli and then by a piece of apple. Those disappeared fast. The kudu's were remarkably disciplined. They showed no sign of fear and allowed us to stroke their noses without flinching. Unfortunately, that was the last we saw of them.

Our chalet was very comfortable. The center part furnished the lounge, dining room and kitchen. Each wing contained a bedroom and a bathroom. The dining room table was set with six places. Each place had enough dishes for a five course meal. The chalet was served each morning by three maids, members of the local Tiwana tribe. As we were only two, we never had to wash dishes or make our beds or clean the house. Visitors would be well advised to include a fly spray in their baggage. That was something we could have done with, but had overlooked when packing.

As we were having supper, Jonathan thought he could hear a monkey in the loft room above the kitchen. He proceeded up the wooden staircase in semi-darkness. When he came down he reported that there had been a monkey there. The fanlight was open and the monkey jumped out when it saw him. He closed the fanlight. The next morning our maid informed us that it was not a monkey but a bushbaby. She referred us to a notice on the refrigerator door, which stated that bushbabies (Lesser Galago, the world's smallest primate) were often found in the chalets, and this was considered a privilege for the guests.

We spent a comfortable night and had a late breakfast. We decided to braai our meat. There were two braai facilities. The one on the verandah was built into the chimney. There was a warning warning us not to use it as there were owls nesting in the chimney. Inside the chalet was a fireplace with a similar warning. So owls had right of way in our chalet. The external braai facility was very suitable. We had with us a very good boerewors and some excellent lamb chops. I had expected them to last us the whole week but Jonathan had other ideas. Come bedtime we had ate them all

During the day we had visits from a number of nyala's. They were not as obliging as the kudu, rarely keeping still long enough to be photographed. They were happy to have us in their mid but unlike the kudu's they did not allow us to touch them. They romped about in the vicinity and we found their presence companionable. I did manage to get a few photographs. A male declined to scratch his hip with his mouth and still still long enough for a photograph. The nyala were our most frequent visitors and we certainly enjoyed their company. The birds also made us feel welcome. The bird life was not as prolific as at some of the other reserves but there was a good variety. There were hoepoes, gray louries, mousebirds, hornbills, and many that we were not able to identify. The guinea fowl and pheasants were ubiquitous but difficult to photograph as they were always on the move. It would have been a good idea to have bought one of those many "Birds of South Africa" ​​books with us, something else we omitted to do.

Having finished our meat the previous day, we decided to visit the local shop, which was in the reception complex. On the way we passed a large sign reading "Owls!" We did not see any but this is another place where they obviously enjoy right of way. The shop is called Bosveld Kombuis (Afrikaans for "Bushveld Kitchen"). Here we obtained a supply of meat and soft drinks. As we emerged from the shop we noticed a game viewing vehicle. It is typical of the vehicles used in the game reserves for game viewing. They are not very comfortable. The passengers sit high up and have large roll and pitch moments. On previous trips to other game reserves we have occasionally taken a ride in one of these vehicles. In mountainous country they often follow 4X4 tracks, which are very uneven and make for an uncomfortable ride. The passengers cling to the handrails to keep themselves steady, the only exception being Jonathan. Jonathan served with 1st Parachute Battalion during the South African Border War and he has an uncanny ability to keep his balance. He is also very observant, his sense of direction is always correct, and he always knows exactly where he is, without using a GPS. He is very good company in the bush.

Jonathan was enjoying the scene while sitting on the verandah, when a bushbaby perched on some of the woodwork supporting the roof and stared at him. Talking of bushbabies, the script on the refrigerator door says that they can jump 7 meters (23 feet). They jump around in the trees at lightning speed, jumping from tree to tree in long flat trajectories. They move so fast it is almost impossible to photograph them.

Jonathan was preparing to get the braai going when it started to rain. At first there was a fine rain swirled around by a strong wind. Then with lightning flashes and loud crashes of thunder it rained very heavily. The paths become fast-flowing rivers. There was also much hail. Hailstones sliding off the roof of the verandah piled up in large heaps on the ground. Soon, as far as the eye could see, the ground was covered with hail. Several times, for short periods, the electricity supply was interrupted, then, with a great flash of lightning and crash of thunder, the electricity supply cut out completely. It was 4:30 in the afternoon. The sky was dark with clouds but the rain was abating slowly. Jonathan was determined to braai the meat. I went to bed while it was still light enough. A flashlight should be considered essential on these trips, another area in which I had folded up. I could smell the delightful aroma of meat on the braai. The lights came on at 03:39 on Friday.

A word of warning about Africa's spell. Women in midlife are particularly vulnerable. Perhaps it is because the remoteness and the adventure of being there with the wildlife gets to them. They feel they have missed something, now is the time to start a new life. One form is known as "game ranger fever." Many a handsome game ranger has been attacked by a woman with this malady. Most treat it as a joke but it could lead to a charge of sexual harassment, or even rape, or even worse, to marriage. Women be warned.

A good pair of hiking boots is essential if one intends to walk the hiking trails. They should be worn the boy scout way, with hiking socks and an inner sock. I have found that pure silk socks, obtainable from suppliers of men's evening wear, make a good inner. Turning the hiking socks down so as to cover the tops of the boots, will ensure that no little stones can enter the boots.

To avoid sunburn, and possible solar skin damage, a wide brimmed hat should be worn and the exposed skin treated with a sunscreen cream. This is important owing to the low latitude and high altitude. Failure to take these precautions could cause you to end up with skin cancer, requiring cosmetic surgery, as in my own case.

We agreed that what we liked most about this trip was just being there in between the animals and the bush. Once again Africa had cast its spell. There was the sensation of being one with God and His wonderful creation, of latent adventure, of remoteness from the turmoil of modern city life, of Africa calling, "Come and I will reveal my hidden treasures to you."