Weak Hamstrings: Cause Of Lower Back Pain

Tight, inflexible hamstrings get a lot of attention as a cause of lower back pain, but weak hamstrings may also be the source. The hamstring is actually a set of three muscles that run from the pelvis to the knee in the back of the thigh. These muscles are used to facilitate the bending of the knee behind the midline of the body while the hip is extended, such as when running or walking. The group also helps to keep the knee aligned.

Tight quadriceps and weak hamstrings are a common muscle imbalance. We tend to use our quads more in everyday life, and many popular exercises at the gym emphasize the isolated development of quads. There are two main ways in which weak hamstrings can cause back pain.

1. Biomechanical

Hamstrings work with the quadriceps to stabilize movements of the knee and pelvis. This requires that the muscles are equal in strength, length and flexibility. If the hamstrings are weaker than the quadriceps, then the pulley system formed by the muscles is disrupted. The tighter, shorter quadriceps will pull downward on the pelvis in front and upward on the knee, since the hamstrings are too weak to exert a counterbalancing pull.

When the pelvis is pulled down in front, the lower back arches inward. This is called hyper-extension of the lumbar spine. Tight hip flexors and erector spinae muscles in the lower back often accompany weak hamstrings because of this postural change. As vertebral angles change in the spine, there is an increase of pressure placed on the back side of spinal discs, which can lead to premature disc wear, bulging or herniation. These disc changes can cause sciatica.

2. Fatigue

Weak hamstrings can quickly turn into tight hamstrings. Weak muscles tire quickly due to their lack of strength, and tired muscles go into contraction to protect themselves from further use. This forcible tightening of the muscle sets up a ripe situation for strain; the quadriceps fire into action before the hamstring has recovered and lengthened. A pulled, strained or torn hamstring can result.

When the hamstring is injured, the body will naturally compensate for it by employing other nearby muscles to do the work the hamstrings normally do. Lower back muscles may be called into action when the leg is moved, though this action is beyond its scope of natural duties. The muscles in the back and hips that compensate for hamstrings can become sore and strained.

Signs Of Hamstring Weakness

There are a few symptoms that point to hamstrings as the cause of back pain. If your hamstrings are weaker than your quadriceps, you may notice that your bottom sticks out and that you have an exaggerated lumbar arch.

If you have localized pain in the hamstring and pain in the lower back, then a strained hamstring is indicated.

Another sign of a quadricep/hamstring imbalance is clicking or cracking of the knee when it is bent or straightened.

Prevention and Treatment

Hamstring weakness and injury can be prevented by pursuing an exercise regimen that includes both strengthening and stretching of the muscle group, balanced with strengthening and stretching of the quadriceps. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGTcgPVexrI for a number of hamstring exercises. See 4 hamstring stretches at http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/flexibilityexercises/a/hamstingstretch.htm.

Treating a well-established muscle imbalances requires a combination of myofascial release and targeted exercise. If your quads have been chronically tight, they will need to be forced to relax and re-lengthen. Foam rolling at home or myofascial release performed by a practitioner can accomplish this. Once the quadriceps have regained elasticity, the hamstrings can be developed.

A pulled hamstring can usually be resolved with a brief period of rest and ice. The above steps will need to be taken in addition to rest and ice to prevent re-injury if a muscle imbalance is responsible for the strain.

It is important to understand that weak hamstrings may be at the source of back pain and hamstring strain. Keeping your body in balance will help to resolve lower back pain.

How to Tell the Difference Between Fiber Optic Transmitters and Light Sources

:: What are fiber optic transmitters?

Optical transmitters generate the light signals transported by a fiber optical communication system. a transmitter includes a light source but also includes signal generation circuit and components such as an electro-optical modulator.

The transmitter contains electronics that modulate the light source. At low speeds, the transmitter directly modulates light emission by varying the drive current to the light source. But the transmitter needs a high performance external modulator such as a electro-optical modulator for high speed applications. It maintains a constant drive current to the light source, producing a steady output beam, which passes through the external modulator that produces the 1 and 0 signals.

Transmitters can have more than one light source. Each light source operates at different wavelengths and are modulated separately with their corresponding signals. These light sources are then coupled to a single fiber with WDM (wavelength division multiplexing) technology. DWDM (density wavelength division multiplexing) technology essentially expand a single fiber's information carrying capacity by hundreds of times.

:: What are fiber optic light sources?

A fiber optic light source emits continuous light without any modulation or signal processing. It is one component of a fiber optical transmitter.

In fiber optic communication, the standard light sources are LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and semiconductor lasers. Other types of lasers such as gas lasers may be used in some special cases.

Lasers emit much higher powers than LEDs and can transmit much faster signals. But lasers are also much more expensive than LEDs.

:: LED light sources

All plastic fibers transmit visible light better than infrared light, although they can only carry low speed signals at short distances. So visible red LEDs are widely used in all plastic fiber data links. One sample application is a data link on the same floor of an office building.

Light sources emitting at 750nm to 900nm (central wavelength is 850nm) are used for higher speed and longer distance applications which utilize glass optical fibers. This type of light sources include 850nm LEDs and 850nm semiconductor lasers which are made from gallium arsenide (GaAs) and gallium-aluminum arsenide (GaAlAs).

A typical application for this type of light source is between buildings on a campus. LEDs do not offer any cost advantage over inexpensive GaAs lasers so they are less common.

:: Semiconductor laser sources

Semiconductor lasers emitting at 1310nm, 1550nm and up to 1610nm are used in much longer distance glass optical fiber networks. The applications range from inter-building links to transcontinental cables.

These lasers are made from indium gallium arsenide phosphate (InGaAsP). They produce much higher power and speed. Their major applications are in telecommunication systems.

:: Considerations for light source

Many factors determine the choice of light sources for fiber optic systems. Here are a few listed.

1. The wavelength must fall within a transmission window of the optical fiber being used

2. The power must be high enough to span the distance between optical amplifiers

3. The power must not be too high so that it causes nonlinear effects in the fiber or overloads the receiver

4. The range of wavelengths emitted by the source should not be so broad that dispersion limits transmission speed

5. The light source must be able to couple light effectively into the optical fiber

Yin and Yang Food – How Does it Affect You?

Did you know that Yin and Yang, the principle at the heart of Chinese philosophy, applies to Chinese food and cooking as well? In Chinese medicine, all food can be divided into four Qis: Hot, warm, cool and cold; or yang, mild yang, mild yin and yin respectively.

In general, yang food improves blood circulation and warms us up, but too much yang food (or eaten during the wrong season e.g. summer) will induce constant thirst, hot flashes, night sweats and constipation. In contrast, yin food quenches thirst, cleanses our systems and cools us down, but if eaten inappropriately it will lower our metabolism and weaken our bodies. In particular, according to traditional Chinese, pregnant women are traditionally advised not to eat yin food (e.g. crab, watermelon) as it may increase the chance of miscarriage.

So what are some examples of yin and yang food?

Grains and Beans

  • Mild Yang (warm food): glutinous rice, black rice, barley, sago, sorghum
  • Mild Yin (cool food): wheat, barley, green beans, buckwheat, millet
  • Right in the middle: Rice, corn (maize), sweet potato, sesame, soy beans, rice beans, oat, long beans, sweet peas, kidney beans, mung beans, lentil, broadbean

Meat and Dairy Product

  • Mild Yang (warm):beef, lamb (mutton), chicken, shrimp, lobster, mussels, goat milk
  • Mild Yin (cool): duck, abalone
  • Yin: duck egg, crab, clam, octopus, squid, escargots, raw food
  • Just Right: chicken egg and egg white, pork, scallop, fish, cow milk, yogurt

Fruits and Nuts

  • Mild Yang (warm): peach, almond, dates, lychee, long yan, lemon, papaya, pine nut, walnut, chestnut, cherry, mango
  • Mild Yin (cool):apple, pear, orange, strawberry, pipa
  • Yin (cold): Persimmon, pomelo, banana, starfruit, kiwi, water melon, sweet melon
  • Just Right: plum, pineapple, grapes, olive, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, peanut, hazelnut

Vegetables

  • Mild Yang (warm): spring onion, garlic, leeks, coriander / parsley, onion, pumpkin
  • Yang (hot): pepper
  • Mild Yin (cool): tomato, celery, egg plant, choy shum, spinach, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower, tofu (including soy milk), gluten, lotus root, winter melon, cucumber, mushroom, needle mushroom
  • Yin (cold): bok choy, arrowhead, water spinach, watercress, bamboo shoots, seaweed, straw mushroom, bitter melon, water chestnut
  • Just Right: carrot, potato, taro, mushroom, turnip (very mild yin), black fungus (very mild yin)

Other Food and Ingredients

  • Mild Yang (warm): spices such as young ginger, clove, dill, rosemary, sage, turmeric, thyme, horseradish, cayenne, nutmeg, wild pepper, cumin, star anise; stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, black tea and other caffeinated drinks; red sugar, ginseng
  • Yang (hot): Cinnamon
  • Mild Yin (cool): green tea, honey, beer, chrysanthemum tea, mint
  • Yin (cold): Soy sauce, soy bean paste, salt

How Does This Apply To Us?

According to the Chinese, each of us are born yin, yang or somewhere in between. For example, if you always crave for spicy food you may have a “yin” body; and if you love watermelon anytime in the year you are likely a Yang.

Your health condition can also indicate the yin-yang balance of your body. Constant cold hands and feet? A Yin; Get soar throat easily and have a quick temper? A Yang. Seasonal and geographic variations will also affect our preference on yin and yang foods.

The Advice

  • When cooking yin food (applies to most veggies), add yang ingredients such as garlic, spring onion, ginger and coriander.
  • Eat seasonal food: let the nature guide us how to eat.
  • Balanced diet: if we eat a wide variety of food, the yin and yang will balance out.

Using Graphic Design Inspiration and Avoiding Plagiarism

One of the most difficult things to do is gain inspiration without copying or stealing someone else's ideas. Because we are surrounded by designs and art in everyday lives, trying to find that fine line between inspiration and theft proves to be problematic at times. Especially when you take into account that all designs are essentially influenced by the earlier created works of art we are surrounded by. The Internet alone has millions upon millions of graphic design inspiration at your fingertips. These days, with so many resources so readily available, finding inspiration for a design is pretty easy. The difficult part is taking the idea and making something new of it. How do you do that, you ask; by incorporating various concepts, approaches and design features together.

When doing a search for graphic design inspiration, do not stop at one idea. Keep your searches going for additional designs that are related or similar in color, content and structure to what you are looking for. The objective is not to choose one design and duplicate it, instead find a collection of elements that can work together in a different way. As you're doing your search you should be looking at the design and picking it apart to see if any piece can be meshed with another to create something fresh. Your ultimate goal is to combine the best components of each of these, creating a new design that inspires you.

Once you've gathered some inspirational ideas, take a deer look and study the fine details that really make them stand out and catch your eye. Look for typography, light effects and gradients; these are the subtle details that bring the design to life. You should be asking yourself, "Why do I love this design so much?" Once you have it pinpointed it will be easy for you to create a new vision with different concepts. When you're finished, it should not look like an imitation of any of the other designs. It should be a renovated design created with the contribution of them all. You must work to fuse the different elements with common stylistic methods to transform your design into something brand new.

There is no guidebook that teaches you how to search for graphic design inspiration and not commit plagiarism, but there are some forthright ways to avoid it. By using the strategies mentioned above we can all help the circulation of new ideas, creating new inspiration for everyone.

What Are The Best Shoes Or Sandals For Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is an amazing journey in so many ways, not the least of which is the way our bodies change. Our hormones, while transforming us into givers of life, also bring with them a number of uncomfortable side effects. Morning fatigue and tiredness are common in early pregnancy, however many women do not realize that the hormones of pregnancy may also lead to various aches and pains all over the body, especially the feet.

Relaxin, the hormone responsible for relaxing the ligaments of the pelvis, in order for it to open during childbirth, exerts its effect on all ligaments in the body. Relaxin combined with the additional weight most women carry through a pregnancy quite often leads to very sore, aching feet. Problems in the feet may cause a domino effect through the body: knee problems, hip aches, back ache and headaches. A simple solution is to invest in at least one pair of supportive and contoured shoes or sandals. Birkenstock footwear is one such brand that delivers unsurpassed support and comfort and is definitely the best brand to wear during pregnancy.

Birkenstock has many styles to choose from, and all feature the famous contoured foot-bed, offering strong arch support, a deep heel cup and toe grips. They are crafted out of all natural products including cork and latex, designed to cradle and support the foot. The cork is an excellent shock absorber and will also soften and conform to your own foot shape and walking pattern. Most styles have an adjustable strap, allowing you to achieve a perfect fit through your pregnancy, even if you suffer from fluid retention and swelling. Many of the styles are also 'slip ons', saving you from bending down to do them up, which can be a challenge as your pregnancy progresses!

Birkenstock sandals and shoes are also the perfect shoe to wear while in hospital after the birth. Forget the fluffy slippers, and pack a pair of stylish Birkenstock Gizehs in Silver. They will go everything including your pajamas, they look sensational, they are easy to slip into while carrying your gorgeous new baby (also especially helpful if you've just had a cesarean) and will make you feel great too ~ And by-golly you need all the help you can get directly after childbirth!

The benefits of Birkenstock do not stop after childbirth either, you will probably find yourself out walking with the pram or stroller most days, and you will be so glad to have great feeling feet and to have sandals that you can slip straight into without fussing around with buckles or laces, especially when baby might be unsettled. Once baby is walking, you can then give him or her the best start in life with their own pair of Birkenstocks!

How to Be Sexy and Find Love – A Stripper's Secrets Revealed

Strippers are real women just like you, but they have learned the secret combination to sexiness and have got it down to a fine art. You do not need a wig, fake tan, stilettos or professional lighting to make men eat out of the palm of your hand. External appearance can help, but it mostly comes down to confidence and attitude. You do not need bucket-loads of money either. Here are a few simple, yet minor tricks you can use to ooze sex appeal and unleash your inner sex kitten.

1. Confidence
Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what makes a woman alluring. There's just something about the way she stands, moves or her intrinsic body language that says, 'Hey baby. I am a powerful and sexy woman. Come on over (meow …). ' At the root of this mysterious quality is self-confidence. To become sexy you need to build up your self-confidence. The best way to do this is to accept and love the body that God gave you (with a little perseverance, it's easier than it sounds). Believe me, not all men are attracted to Barbie doll look-a-likes. Your body is unique and you owe it to yourself to compliment and celebrate it.

Find ways to boost your self-confidence and your sexiness level will soar. One way you can do this is to focus on highlighting your best features. For example: If you have beautiful eyes, then apply cosmetics to enhance their impact. Another way to build self-confidence is to practice saying positive affirmations to yourself like, 'I am woman. Hear me roar! ' or 'I feel positive and vibrant everyday,' or 'I love my body. I feel sexy and voluptuous. '

2. Posture
The more you work on building your self-confidence, the more you'll notice your post improvement. Women who are confident and stand up straight, look and feel like they're ready to take on the world. So stand up straight and stick your breasts out. You will immediately get more attention and look more approachable. Your entire energy will change in a more positively sexy and assertive way.

3. Premeditated Body Language
Just like posture, body language has a powerful effect on the senses. You might ask why I refer to it as 'pre-meditated?' I call it this because body language is usually something you're unaware of. However, in the following techniques we kindly think about how we are going to use body language to influence and seduce men.

You can use body language to your advantage by echoing the movements of the man you're attracted to. If he looks in a certain direction, take a few seconds, then look in the same direction as him (this could also give you both another talking point in your conversation). Also, if he takes a sip of his drink, synchronize with him and take a sip of yours at the same time. You can also use your hands to rub or softly trace lines and circles on your glass, on the bar, your handbag or on either of your bodies. Only do this in nonsexual places, like his arm or tie (you want to be sexy, not tarty). Move slowly and gracefully in everything that you do. These tame, but flirtatious movements go along way to concreting your sexy mojo vibe. Tip: Do not play with or flick your hair too much. It does not project the desired sexiness and some men find it irritating.

4. Appearance
Take pride in your appearance. You do not have to take on an exhausting beauty routine, though you must at least shower regularly and moisturize your skin. Usually the bigger the beauty routine, the better the confidence. Add a few little finishing touches here and there, week by week and see what makes you feel the most seductive. For example, use a scanned body wash or paint your nails.

5. Listen
Listen to what he is really saying and focus all of your concentration on him. Forget about "trying" to be accepted and making yourself look good. Stop talking, and let the spotlight fall on him. This does not mean you will not make any contributions to the conversation. It just means that it will not be so focused on you. Many males have the mistaken belief that women talk too much. Ask him questions about topics he's passionate about and slowly he will open up to you. If you take the time to listen to him, it will give you an element of mystery that will increase your sexiness. This is because most people can talk about themselves all day and when somebody else is interested, they immediately feel connected and more intimate with them. By doing this, you create the space for more sexiness to breed.

6. Pheromones
On the subject of breeding, I always struggled in my science classes when I was at high school. Even though I sucked at it, I did pick up something worthwhile. Here's a valuable chemistry lesson every woman should know. Pheromones are invisible secretions from our sweat glands that travel through the air and let men know that you are ripe and ready for breeding. These pheromones encourage attraction, intimacy and action! Some scientists believe oral contraceptives can interfere with your natural pheromones and change their quality.

If you're on the pill you could consider alternative methods of birth control and see if your sex appeal changes. But it's most important your method of contraception works effectively for you. There are natural alternatives you can try that will boost your invisible booty call. They include taking herbal supplements like zinc, sticking to a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and showering with no soap (as long as you do not get too stinky). There is also a range of products on the market that claim to increase your pheromones. Some of these perfumes, gels, oils, lotions and love potions are a little 'hocus pocus' so only choose reputable companies with proven results.

7. Self-respect
If sexiness was a diamond, self-respect is probably one of the diamond's hardest facets. Self-respect can be tough to build and does not usually just happen overnight. It can take a lifetime to develop and involves caring about yourself and acknowledging your worth on all levels. The best way to develop self-respect is to be true to yourself and your needs while still respecting the needs of others. Look after yourself and take care of your appearance because it will help you to build confidence. Another way to nurture self-respect is not taking criticism personally and not comparing yourself with others.

If you become jealous of someone else this can make you feel worthless in his or her shadow. The key is to celebrate their success with them and treat it as another source of happiness available to you. Be comfortable with yourself, rather than trying to impress others with fancy cars and accessories, etc. Look for the good qualities in everyone and they will be mirrored back to you. Why is self-respect sexy? It is the epitome of class that we all strive for, gives you a particular air of mystery and colors your mannerisms in an intoxicating way.

You might think that some of these ideas are unorthodox, but trust me when I say they've been tested on thousands of men with great success. Some elements of sexiness like building self-respect and self-confidence will take practice, but others are easy to gain like changing your post and improving your appearance. The more you work at it, the better results you'll get. Do not give up if you do not get a response immediately. Once you get the combination of these factors just right, 'Mr Right' is sure to come your way. On the road to finding (or keeping) your man, you may even discover you have gained something more valuable. You can not put a price on feeling happy, passionate, confident and positive about who you are and the life you are living. Every woman describes to feel sexy and so do you! So, go get em 'tiger …

Geox Shoes: Waterproof and Breathable Soles With Style

Geox shoes provide ladies with more than protection for their feet and good support. The brand has a good reputation for producing modern styles and high quality. This is seen no better than in the Geox ladies shoes line, but Geox also makes shoes for men and children in addition. One of the best features of Geox shoes is that they make shoes in every design which follow the current trends.

Geox, and its Geox ladies shoes, is known for its Respira technology. Respira technology makes sure that your feet remain cool and dry. Shoes from Geox are made with a leather sole that lets the feet breathe normally while its membrane keeps out moisture and water. Therefore, the leather sole by Geox is revolutionary in that it's actually an impermeable leather. Geox achieves this by putting a specialized, micro-porous membrane into its leather soles. This membrane is specialized because its micro-pores are smaller in size than the average size of water droplets. However, these micro-pores are still larger than vapor molecules. As a result, the vapor that's created by the feet is then just absorbed and also automatically released through said leather sole.

Your feet are also kept cool and dry by Geox's Respira technology through its patented rubber. This patented rubber actually works to remove moisture from Geox shoes and also regulate the microclimate within Geox shoes. Research has actually proven that Geox ladies shoes that feature this Respira technology are more successful in keeping your feet from overheating. When your feet do not overheat as much, they tend to stay both cool and dry, especially in comparison to shoes that use ordinary rubber that is not Geox's patented type.

The Goex brand and its Geox ladies shoes keep out water and moisture from entering the shoe. This is a lot more than what can be said about many of their competitors. The importance of having a breathable sole can not be stressed enough because it allows the sweat on your feet to evaporate. The convenience and comfort of a waterproof shoe make sure that you can carry on with your day without having to worry about your shoes and feet. Even Geox ladies shoes like pumps and heels are waterproof.

To experience this Geox benefit for yourself, purchase this brand the next time you're at a shoe store. Good places to start are online retailers as they tend to have the best prices.

Exciting Sicily Excursions and Adventures!

There are Sicily day trips to please every taste. Apart from the breathtaking scenery and the lure of the Mediterranean Sea, your Sicily holiday can offer many exciting things to do, many of which the average tourist may not have thought of. For example, your Sicilian vacation could include a boat tour around the Aeolian Islands, a visit to a local winery, a mud bath in Vulcano, visits to historical, classic ruins to capture a bit of the blamed history of the island, or even mountain skiing down the Mount Etna volcano.

The Aeolian Islands are an archipelago of eight islands with volcanoes and gorgeous natural beauty. A boat cruise around the islands is full of breathing vistas from atop the turquoise Mediterranean waters engulfing sights not to be missed.

A bit of a more unusual experience would have taken a mud bath in Vulcano, one of the Aeolian Islands located 10 minutes from Lipari. The Laghetto di Fanghi mud baths are famous for their relaxing and therapeutic qualities (even if it is a little smelly). Afterwards a soak in the sea where underwater springs create a natural hot Jacuzzi is recommended for the ultimate in relaxation.

From Taormina a definite must is a day trip is a tour within the city. The day trip includes a visit to the Greco-Roman Theater, an impressive piece of Roman architecture, and tours around the public gardens. The trip continues along the coastline and up to the majestic pyramid of Mount Etna which presents scenes of indescribable beauty. The

The tourist can also take a tour inland to visit the country-side-the famous Godfather country. Here the peaceful atmosphere is set against stunning mountain views looking out over the distant sea.

A visit to a local winery accompanied by a Sicilian cooking lesson also makes a great day trip for the tourist looking for something different.

Examples of other tours the tourist may enjoy include: In Trapani, the "Myth, History and Ancient Cookies: Erice and Segesta" tour, which is a full day private tour to learn about the history of Sicily, view a Greek temple and theater, and sample the almond cookies and marzipan from ancient recipes; the "Alcantara Gorge and Fancavilla" tour, which is a private tour along the gorge to witness how the lava flows affected the river creating the impressive gorges and ravines and where the tourist can rent hip-waders to get the full river experience; there is also the "Messina Taormina Jewish Tour" where visitors can see the Jewish quarter in the city of Messina.

The traveler has many options on how to see Sicily, depending upon how active or adventurous they want to be. They can sit back in luxury and cruise around the island by boat (also visiting the Aeolian Islands) or they can sit back in a private rented car with an English-speaking guide. They can travel the mountain summit by hiking it, or they can cycle around the island by renting bicycles. They can get accompanied bus tours or take walking excursion around the cities making their own discoveries. They can go in groups or be privately escorted. They can ski, swim, hike, walk, or ride-whatever suits their pleasure.

From historical tours to see the Sicilian history come to life, to exciting adventure tours hiking up an active volcano, Sicily offers the tourist an abundance of things to see and do. Beautiful scenery, fun beach vacations, the country-side, the market-places, fantastic food and wine excursions, ancient architecture, exploring marvels like volcanoes, experiencing healthy mud baths-all will award the traveler with a great Sicily holiday.

Advantages Of Steel Frame Kit Homes

Generally, standard kit homes are made from good old timber chemically treated against attacks from termites and mold. Although timber can also withstand the wear and tear of wood through different seasons, this material still remain vulnerable to fire. In contrast, steel frame kit homes are specifically made of steel trusses and wall frames. Because of the material, these homes rarely need maintenance check-ups and repairs. Other advantages to building steel frame houses are expanded in detail in the following discussion.

Steel Frame Buildings as Warehouses for Business

Steel frame kit homes can be used as commercial buildings, such as warehouses to store perishable goods. Wooden frame kit houses also work fine as storage areas, but they’re prone to termites and mold, not to mention a favored nesting place by birds and mice. If you’ve got food in there, then you’d be greatly concerned with the possibility these animals might invade your space any time and steal your goods. As a result, your business gets compromised and you have to spend money on repairs in case the mice gnawed holes or the rafters, walls, and foundation needed another round of anti-termite treatment.

Steel Frame Homes as Secondary Dwellings

These types of kit homes may be constructed as secondary dwellings, such as storage sheds for an extra pantry space or for chopped wood, or as storm shelters. According to expert builders, steel frame structures are more well-grounded and durable than timber frame buildings. Homes built with steel in their trusses, rafters, and frames aren’t likely to buckle, divide, distort, rotate, chink, rot or splinter because of climate changes or an incoming storm. Actually, the material is resistant to corrosion, and so, it won’t worsen and age as fast as wood and not in the same way as timber frame houses do.

Reduced Costs in Construction of Steel Frame Houses

Kit homes made of timber often need the hand of professional builders because of the measuring and refining of fittings. In comparison, steel frames are made to make it easy for owner-builders to assemble their house or shed. Whether they use their new building for commerce or for shelter, these kit homes don’t need extra labor during construction. And so, owners may save up to $35,000 in labor costs alone. In addition, they may save further maintenance costs by around $60,000 or more depending on the number of repairs done and the termite treatments needed every six months.

The Golden Rules for Faster Hair Growth: Hair Help 411

A great black hair care regimen will include the following: a high quality shampoo, preferably an all natural one, a high quality conditioner, natural hair oils for a healthy scalp, and an all natural daily moisturizing lotion, cream, or serum. For added perks, a hair healthy black hair care routine will also include a monthly hot oil treatment and protein treatments. Yet, many individuals with African American Hair do not employ such hair care regimens. In fact, African Americans often only shampoo their hair once or twice a month and left the rest of their hair care maintenance to the application of petroleum based hair "greases" and mineral oil based hair lotions. Unfortunately, bi-weekly washes with poor shampoos and the application of traditional black hair moisturizers that are mineral oil or petroleum based will only lead to hair breakage, splitting, and thinning for African American hair.

Here are the Golden Rules to Growing Long African American Hair:

African American Hair Growth Golden Rule # 1: Keep Your Hair Moisturized.

African American hair needs moisture and deep conditioning, especially when the hair is exposed to chemical relaxers, stressful styles, and heat appliances, like blow dryers and flat irons. You must deep condition Black hair, at least once per week for it to thrive. A conditioner is nothing more than a cream that is applied to the hair to smooth the cuticle, soften the hair, add sheen, and restore moisture. Although conditioning your hair can not make it grow — it can reduce shedding and breakage. As a result, your hair will actually become longer.

African American Hair Growth Golden Rule # 2: Find the Right Conditioner

Instant or Leave In Conditioners are great for African American hair, because they coat and give the hair body and shine quickly. However, they often contain silicones, which make the hair look shiny, but also seal the cuticles and coat the strand so much that additional moisture is unable to penetrate the hair strand. That's why I recommend that you use hair lotion or leave in conditioners. Try to choose an all natural hair lotion that has EFAs and natural oils, such Beauty 4 Ashes GodHead hair care products (wwwdiscoverb4acom) .. If you can not find an all natural hair lotion then definitely try Carols Daugther (wwwcarolsdaughtercom).

African American Hair Growth Golden Rule # 3: Deep Condition Your Hair.

Deep Penetrating Conditioners: A conditioner that is absorbed into the hair shaft to improve the health and appearance. Usually made from keratin and amino acids. Beauty 4 Ashes GodHead Silky Smooth is an excellent conditioner for African American Hair. It contains amino acids and essential fatty acids, two necessary components for healthy, longer African American hair. It also has almond, jojoba, coconut, olive, shea, and a host of other hair shaft penetrating moisture rich oils, which contain protein and vitamins to reduce breakage and splitting in African American Hair. You can find it at wwwdiscoverb4acom. Make sure your thoroughly rinse your hair after using a deep penetrating conditioner.

African American Hair Growth Golden Rule # 4: Shampoo Your Hair Regularly.
As an African American you must protect against dry hair, but you also have to protect against unhealthy, clogged, and dirty scalp. You need to wash your hair at least once per week. However, you can not do this with cheap shampoos or high priced shampoos that contain the same harmful ingredients as the low priced, disguised under better brand labels. As an African American, it is best to use all natural hair care products that contain natural oils. If you purchase quality products like Aubrey organics or Beauty 4 Ashes Super Hair Growth Products, then your scalp can be healthy and your hair will not be dry. Just remember, dirty scalp benefits short hair. Remember, that after shampooing and rinsing your hair, gently ring your hair to remove excess water. Towel blot your hair dry, and use a quality hair lotion before applying heat. Do not rub the towel up and down your hair. This will result in breakage and splitting. If using a deep penetrating conditioner, just gently remove the excess water from your hair.

African American Hair Growth Golden Rule # 5: Style Your Hair from Home Section your hair into even parts.
Apply Olive or Jojoba oil directly to the scalp. Then follow with a hair lotion or leave-in conditioner, and style. Everyday you need to treat your hair just as well as you did the moment you walked out of the salon.

African American Hair Growth Golden Rule # 6: Pay close attention to the ends of your hair

African American or Curly Hair needs a lot of moisture at the ends. When conditioning your hair, or even applying protein treatments or hair lotion, make sure you target those hair ends.

Remember that to grow long and healthy Black hair, you have to condition it. Do not neglect this. Black hair that is not conditioned often is dull, brittle, and damaged. Do not purchase cheap products with hair stripping ingredients, such as sulfates, alcohols, glycols, and silicones (any ingredient ending in the word "cone"). This eliminates about 96% of black hair care products available on the market. The best conditioning products on the market for African American and Curly Textured Hair are made by Beauty 4 Ashes ®, Carol's Daughter, Aubrey Organics, and Ojon. Preferably, use Beauty 4 Ashes or Aubrey Organics, as they are all natural.

Attic Insulation

If you are told that your attic along with the roof are two of the weakest places in your thermal insulation system it is possible that many may not believe. According to statistics poor (or absent) attic insulation will account for up to 15% of the total energy loss in your house. Insulating an attic which is generally unheated is vital in the home energy saving process.

What is really the attic in your building?

Attic is defined as the space enclosed by the building wall and is located directly under the roof. As this is an area generally not occupied continuously by anyone (except in special designs and home modifications) it is unheated. Some components of utilities such as water heaters, hot water storages, air conditioning and heating air ducts and also goods storages may be located here depending on the volume of space available. Typically the roof and the floor are insulated although more often than not inadequately.

Areas of heat loss in an attic

Some major points of heat loss have been identified by researchers. For example;

  • Roof
  • Attic floor
  • Air vents
  • Attic access
  • Poorly identified hot / cold air distribution ducts and,
  • Poor insulation in hot water tanks and plumbing

The silver lining in the whole issue is that of all insulations of an old or new building attic insulation is the easiest to tackle. And in most cases can be transported out by semiskilled amateurs as a DIY project during during a weekend!

Types of attic insulation

Commonly used attic insults are as follows:

  • Cellulose Insulation – loose fill
  • Cellulose Insulation – Stabilized Insulation
  • Fiberglass and mineral wool Insulation- loose fill
  • Fiberglass and mineral wool insulation- batts
  • Expanded Polystyrene or Phenolic foam insulation- rigid boards
  • Cellular Foam Insulation – sheets of Butyle and Nitrile rubber foam etc.

Tips for DIY enthusiasts

  • The use of cellulose insulation is currently gaining grounds over fiberglass and mineral wool insulation. The reasons being none other than economy! The thermal resistance value "R" per unit material cost for cellulose fill is the lowest for any attic insulation.

Further the modernized material does not require a vapor barrier (subject to local building codes permitting it)

  • The cellulose loose fill can be filled in between timber joists. This may raise dust posing a health hazard. Adequate precautions are advised. These fibers may settle about 20% over the time. An overfill of at least this amount is there recommended. On the other hand stabilized cellulose material does not show this weakness and is therefore better suited for the job in spite of the higher price.
  • On the other hand the EPS, PF and cellular foam slabs can be easily cut to exact size between joist spacing and also can be fitted over them completely eliminating any thermal bridges unlike fiberglass, cellulose material etc.
  • Handling of Fiberglass or mineral wool insulation should be done with care. Protective clothing and masks need to be worn.
  • Check all hot water plumbing insulation and renew if necessary. Continuous insulation through out is essential. Check near the storage tanks for weak insulation and rectify as needed.
  • Hot / cold air ducts are easily neglected items in an unconditioned attic. Poor seals between flanged joints, weak insulation in these places and elsewhere, non continuity in insulation etc. may cause high thermal energy losses.
  • Another cause of heat loss from conditioned areas to the attic is the recessed light fittings. Caution should be exercised when insulating the fitting as this will also entrap the heat emitted by the lamp leading to disastrous fires. Seeking manufacturer's instruction is therefore essential in this matter.
  • Vent grilles to and unheated attic is essential for proper ventilation of the occupied areas. Special care need to be taken to prevent obstruction of these grilles (generally located at the periphery of the attic floor).

LOTRO Crashes – Learn How to Fix Lord Of The Rings Online (LOTRO) Crashes in Computer

LOTRO (Lord Of The Rings Online) is a popular game played worldwide, however, it is reported by its players that LOTRO crashes in PC. There are various problems linked to this game. Sometimes lotroclient.exe crashes and sometimes the game crashes while loading.

This article would brief you on how you can prevent and fix LOTRO crashes. Steps are outlined below but important thing is to keep the sequence while following steps.

Ø First of all you have to delete the File User Preferences. Follow these steps.

1. Click on the Start button.
2. Go to Documents.
3. In the Documents double-click on the folder named Lord Of The Rings Online.
4. Delete UserPreferences.ini file.
5. Restart game and now it should work.

Ø LOTRO may crash because of improper settings. To fix this problem, you have to restore all settings to default. Try these steps.

1. Click on the game to open.
2. Go to Launcher Options.
3. Press down arrow and restore the game settings to default.
4. Done.

Ø Security permissions may be the cause of Lords Of The Rings Online crashes. You can fix it by performing following steps.

1. Click on the Start button.
2. Go to Computer.
3. Program Files (C: Program Files).
4. Right-Click on Codemasters and select Properties.
5. Now move to Security tab and click on Edit.
6. Then click on Add.
7. Enter user name and press OK.
8. Check the box Full Control in Allow column and now click on OK.
9. Done.

Ø Uninstall the game.

Ø Download a registry cleaner and PC optimizer software.

1. Open a web browser.
2. Download Registry Cleaner and PC Optimizer.

Ø Reinstall game in another location eg (D: My Games LOTRO)

Ø Now run the registry cleaner and PC optimizer on your system.

Ø Clean system junk and optimize your browser with the above software for smooth performance.

Experts believe that using a third party registry cleaner on your system allows you to fix hidden Windows problems for smooth performance of games.

Wood Vs Metal File Cabinet

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

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

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

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

Acoustic Jazz Guitars – Some Fascinating Facts

Acoustic guitars produce sound by acoustics through vibrations of its six strings. They have a rich history; Spain has a big contribution in developing it. The art form of jazz music has been around for quite sometime now. The jazz guitarists choose their instruments very carefully as they want a clean dry note with little or no effect. They go in for acoustic guitars of a specific kind.

Brief History Of The Instrument:

Let's first try to look at the history of the acoustic jazz guitars. Cithara is the earliest form of modern acoustic. Romans introduced these instruments, after that Moors developed the shape and made it a four string one. The six string guitar lute was very popular in Europe. The Spanish introduced a guitar like instrument Vihuela, which looked like a guitar but had to be tuned like a lute. This was then developed further and it took the current form. Modern acoustic guitars are of different types: twelve string guitar, classical guitar and bass guitar etc.

Classical guitars: They consist of nylon strings which are played by the fingers.

Twelve string guitars: This is made of six courses of paired up strings. It is a guitar often used for playing rock and roll, jazz and folk music.

Acoustic bass guitar: There are only four strings in this guitar; these strings are made of steel.

There are several types of acoustic jazz guitars like the Russian, Portuguese guitars, flat top and arch top guitars, extended range guitars etc.

Jazz Players' Guitar Selection:

There is a wide selection of instruments available for jazz players. Traditionally, they are hollow body semi acoustics, though it's not always like that. These tend to favor P90 or hamburker style pick-ups to produce the desired sound. Earlier, only acoustic guitars were used for jazz. However from 1940s, many guitar players started using the electric guitar on a regular basis. They used an archtop electric guitar with magnetic pickup.

But in 1990, there was a fresh interest amongst guitarist to go back to the acoustic jazz guitars. Now they were experimenting with archtop acoustics guitars with floating pick-up. European spruce, Sitka spruce and Engelmann spruce are mostly used for the resonant tops of flat-top or arch top models. Some guitar makers also use Red Spruce or Western Red Cedar for the acoustic jazz guitars. The archtop guitars most often have Quilted Maple and Curly Maple backs.

There are a small number of handmade flat-top and arch-top guitars. Mass produced guitars made by several manufacturers, are also available. Building a guitar takes six months for a jazz guitar. Builders spend time to choose the maples, spruces, exotic woods, building instruments. Finally they apply hand rubbed lacquer finish. Due to unavailability and high cost of premium quality tone wood, many manufacturers have started making guitars with alternate species of wood. All musicians agree that a good solid top is the base for good quality of the guitar's tone. Many jazz players prefer acoustic acoustic guitars with laminated sides and back.

A perfect guitar suitable to the different styles of playing jazz, takes time and fine artsmanship to achieve. Acoustic guitars are very interesting instruments; they are hassle free in handling and easy to carry. Before the invention of electric guitars, all guitars were acoustic. The terms classic guitar, steel string guitar, folk guitar, all are actually used for acoustic guitars. The various combinations of woods, strings, along with the design and construction elements contribute to the overall performance or tone of the guitars. Experts believe that tone of well-made acoustic jazz guitars improves over time.

African-American Hair – Tips To Obtain Semi-Relaxed, Healthy Curls

While it can be difficult to manage, African-American hair is extremely versatile in terms of being able to achieve a wide variety of hairstyles. For many women, the ideal style is a semi-relaxed, loose curl that still has plenty of body and moisture and is not discharged out or neglected by harsh hair products.

Here are some tips for keeping African-American hair soft, loose, manageable and healthy-looking:

1. The bottom line for soft, healthy black hair is moisture. Start by moisturizing your hair from the inside. Drink lots of water!

2. Select the right shampoo, using one that's moisture rich and detangles while cleansing without stripping the hair of all its natural oils. Also – do not over-shampoo which can strip hair of moisture. Wash your hair no more often than every week to week and a half. And shampoo only once, never twice.

3. Be sure that shampoo is completely rinsed out before conditioning, and be patient – leave conditioner in for several minutes to help moisturize your hair. Hop out of the shower and cover your hair with a towel or shower cap while you organize your jewelry or makeup tray or take off old nail polish, just so you are not tempted to shorten the moisturizing time.

4. Try hemp-based moisturizers on your hair, such as Malibu's Hemp Moisturizer for Dry Skin, as a moisturizer for hair also.

5. After rinsing out the conditioner, towel dry and add natural plant oils back into your hair, such as grapeseed oil, almond oil or a very light application of virgin olive oil. Use your palms to spread one of these shine-enhancing oils evenly through your hair and then comb or brush your hair to secure the ends are also moisturized.

6. Apply a gentle straightening product such as Curlaway® Relaxing Gel, which is natural and semi-permanent. As Curlaway relaxes curl is also moisturizes with plant oils, Vitamin B-5 (panthenol) and MSM. Unlike alkaline, quick-acting relaxers, Curlaway Gel can be used on chemically straightened, permed or colored hair, which permits highlights or even a shade change.

7. All heating appliances can dry and damage hair. It's better to use a mid-range setting and best to let hair dry naturally tightly on rollers. Ironing your hair while it is damp or slightly damp can cause severe breakage and damage.

8. For sleek, romantic waves, set your hair with large rollers or use narrow rollers for sexy, bouncing ringlets.

9. For the tousled, casual look, use a medium barrel curling wand and let the curls fall where they may.

10. After using rollers under a dryer bonnet or air-drying naturally, running your fingers through your hair a few times after you are done straightening will help smooth out your hair, and achieve a natural look.

11. To keep great volume, use a flatiron only on the top layers and the front to achieve a frizz-free, smooth look, while the curlier hair underneath pumps up the volume.

12. Find a style that works with your natural hair type and growth pattern, and do not over-relax your hair until it is bone straight, strawlike and life-less without body or curl. Show off your curls! Try to work with your hair and not against it.

13. Eat a balanced, HEALTHY diet rich in fruits, vegetables and protein and your hair will grow faster and healthier, as well.

The bottom line is, to have healthy-looking, semi-relaxed hair use gentle relaxers and shampoos, lots of moisturizing, and avoid too much heat.