How To Fix "Spore" Game Crashes On Your Computer – Working "SPORE" Game Crash Fix

Spore is one of the better known PC games in the market today. Enjoyed by millions of gamers, this video game is built for Mac and Windows operating systems. New editions of the game have also enjoyed tremendous success and have been equally well received by the gaming community. Spore is a game known for its complexity, which unfortunately is also the cause of its downfall. The game's high degree of sophistication makes it vulnerable to errors and it is not unusual for the game to slow down without warning in PCs. Many gamers have already complained about Spore's failure to maintain speed for a sustained period of time. This tutorial will teach you the ways on how to rectify speed issues in Spore.

What Causes This Game To Crash?

When Spore is not running as fast as it should be it is highly likely that there are far too many programs running simultaniously in your computer. It could also be due to problems or errors in the game itself. The top three reasons for speed problems in Spore are: Spore not having adequate resources for its operation, Spore's accessibility to read settings and the game having problems with its options and files. Also, when the settings in Spore are set too high, the game could consume far too many computer resources which could have an adverse effect to the game's speed. To bring Spore's speed back to normalcy, just follow the steps in this tutorial.

How To Fix Spore Game Crashes

A lot of gamers when playing Spore also allow many programs to run in their PCs simultaneously. When you have a series of programs running in your computer all the same time, a lot of your PC's memory gets used up, which could significantly slow down your PC's speed. To rectify this issue, you need to bring the number of active programs in your computer to a minimum, which can be done by shutting down applications. When shutting down competitiveness programs in your computer, you first need to open Task Manager by clicking on the CTRL, ALT and DELETE keys simultaneously. After opening Task Manager, choose the Processes option. From a list of processes that will be displayed on your screen, choose the ones that are not associated with Spore. Close these processes by clicking on the End Process tab.

The registry is one area in your system where you would not want to see problems since these could easily lead into far more serious system issues. For example programs and applications such as the game Spore are highly likely to slow down and crash whenever you have issues in your registry. The registry plays a critical role in your system as this is where you can find all the settings and files that Windows uses for its operation. If it is not working properly, many computing processes in your computer would have been adversely affected. It is thus imperative that the registry is kept in good running condition all the time. In cases where this is not possible, it is recommended that you use tools that will fix errors in your registry. Registry cleaners are good examples of applications that you can use to repair problems in your registry.

Different Types of Insulation

Insulation helps in energy conservation, which keeps your house warm during winters and cool during summers. This helps in saving money on energy bill as there the place is airtight and needs less power to keep it cool or warm. Apart from offering heat insulation, these also offer sound insulation which helps in reducing the sound transmission from one room to another or from outside to inside and vice versa. There are different types of insulation available in the market, such as fiber glass, cellulose and foam insulation, which have different R-value. Moreover, these insulation material also differs in thickness and density. The most commonly used insulation, found in residential and commercial buildings, are blanket insulation, loose-fill insulation, rigid board insulation and spray foam insulation.

The loose fill insulation is made up of loose fibers and fiber pellets, which fill in the cavities or attics using special machines. Although these are expensive, it is also efficient as it completely insulates the thing and makes it airtight. There are two types of loose-fill insulation, namely cellulose as well as fiberglass and rockwool mixture. Green insulation, cellulose is composed of recycled newspaper which can be chemically treated to make it fire resistant. In contrast, the fiberglass and rockwool mixture uses the blow-in blanket system which offers full coverage and better insulation.

On the other hand, the blanket insulation is made from mineral fibers and are available in blank rolls of varying widths. These are generally used to insulate floor, ceilings as well as walls, and are installed between wooden frames and rafters. These are most affordable type of insulation, however it requires utmost precision and care, while installing, for it to be effective.

In contrast, the high quality rigid board insulation is made from fiber glass, polystyrene or polyurethane and is available in varying thickness. It is generally used in cathedral ceilings, concrete slab ceilings and for reproofing of the basement walls and flat roofs. The only precaution that needs to be considered while installing it internally, is that should be covered in accordance with the building codes and fire safety measures. In case you install it externally, then it must be covered with weatherproof facing.

The spray foam is composed of two liquids, namely a polymer agent and a foam agent, which are sprayed into cavities to make things airtight. On application, the liquid form expands and turn into solid plastic, accounting countless air-filled cells. These are expensive than other forms of insulation, but it is also easy to install and can be done without professional help.

Here, depending upon your home's requirement you may use Foam Insulation, fiberglass insulation or any other type of insulation, which not only preserves energy but also offers Sound Insulation. As a responsible citizen, it is advisable that you use Green Insulation , such as cellulose which is environment friendly.

Device Hardening, Vulnerability Scanning and Threat Mitigation for Compliance and Security

All security standards and Corporate Governance Compliance Policies such as PCI DSS, GCSx CoCo, SOX (Sarbanes Oxley), NERC CIP, HIPAA, HITECH, GLBA, ISO27000 and FISMA require devices such as PCs, Windows Servers, Unix Servers, network devices such as firewalls, Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS) and routers to be secure in order that they protect confidential data secure.

There are a number of buzzwords being used in this area – Security Vulnerabilities and Device Hardening? 'Hardening' a device requires known security 'vulnerabilities' to be eliminated or mitigated. A vulnerability is any weakness or flaw in the software design, implementation or administration of a system that provides a mechanism for a threat to exploit the weakness of a system or process. There are two main areas to address in order to eliminate security vulnerabilities – configuration settings and software flaws in program and operating system files. Eliminating vulnerabilites will require either 'remediation' – typically a software upgrade or patch for program or OS files – or 'mitigation' – a configuration settings change. Hardening is required equally for servers, workstations and network devices such as firewalls, switches and routers.

How do I identify Vulnerabilities? A Vulnerability scan or external Penetration Test will report on all vulnerabilities applicable to your systems and applications. You can buy in 3rd Party screening / pen testing services – pen testing by its very nature is done externally via the public internet as this is where any threat would be exploited from. Vulnerability Scanning services need to be delivered in situ on-site. This can either be performed by a 3rd Party Consultant with scanning hardware, or you can purchase a 'black box' solution wherey a scanning appliance is permanently sited within your network and scans are provisioned remotely. Of course, the results of any scan are only accurate at the time of the scan which is why solutions that continually track configuration changes are the only real way to guarantee the security of your IT estate is maintained.

What is the difference between 'remediation' and 'mitigation'? 'Remediation' of a vulnerability results in the flaw being removed or fixed permanently, so this term generally applies to any software update or patch. Patch management is incrementally automated by the Operating System and Product Developer – as long as you implement patches when released, then in-built vulnerabilities will be remedied. As an example, the recently reported Operation Aurora, classified as an Advanced Persistent Threat or APT, was successful in infiltrating Google and Adobe. A vulnerability within Internet Explorer was used to plant malware on targeted users' PCs that allowed access to sensitive data. The remediation for this vulnerability is to 'fix' Internet Explorer using Microsoft released patches. Vulnerability 'mitigation' via Configuration settings ensures vulnerabilities are disabled. Configuration-based vulnerabilities are no more or less potentially damaging than those needing to be remedied by a patch, although a strictly configured device may well mitigate a program or OS-based threat. The largest issue with Configuration-based vulnerabilities is that they can be re-introduced or enabled at any time – just a few clicks are needed to change most configuration settings.

How often are new vulnerabilities discovered? Unfortunately, all of the time! Worse still, often the only way that the global community discovers a vulnerability is after a hacker has discovered it and exploited it. It is only when the damage has been done and the hack traced back to its source that a preventive course of action, either patch or configuration settings, can be formulated. There are various centralized repositories of threats and vulnerabilities on the web such as the MITRE CCE lists and many security product vendors agree live threat reports or 'storm center' websites.

So all I need to do is to work through the checklist and then I am secure? In theory, but there are literally hundreds of known vulnerabilities for each platform and even in a small IT estate, the task of verifying the hardened status of each and every device is an almost impossible task to conduct manually.

Even if you automate the vulnerability scanning task using a scanning tool to identify how hardened your devices are before you start, you will still have work to do to mitigate and remediate vulnerabilities. But this is only the first step – if you consider a typical configuration vulnerability, for example, a Windows Server should have the Guest account disabled. If you run a scan, identify where this vulnerability exists for your devices, and then take steps to mitigate this vulnerability by disabling the Guest Account, then you will have hardened these devices. However, if another user with Administrator privileges then accesses these same servers and re-enables the Guest Account for any reason, you will then be left exposed. Of course, you wont know that the server has been rendered vulnerable until you next run a scan which may not be for another 3 months or even 12 months. There is another factor that has not yet been covered which is how do you protect systems from an internal threat – more on this later.

So tight change management is essential for ensuring we remain compliant? Indeed – Section 6.4 of the PCI DSS describes the requirements for a formally managed Change Management process for this very reason. Any change to a server or network device may have an impact on the device's 'hardened' state and therefore it is imperative that this is considered when making changes. If you are using a continuous configuration change tracking solution then you will have an audit trail available giving you 'closed loop' change management – so the detail of the approved change is documented, along with details of the exact changes that were actually implemented. Furthermore, the devices changed will be re-assessed for vulnerabilities and their compliant state confirmed automatically.

What about internal threats? Cybercrime is joining the Organized Crime League which means this is not just about stopping malicious hackers proving their skills as a fun pastime! Firewalling, Intrusion Protection Systems, AntiVirus software and fully implemented device hardening measures will still not stop or even detect a rogue employee who works as an 'inside man'. This kind of threat could result in malware being introduced to other secure systems by an employee with Administrator Rights, or even backdoors being programmed into core business applications. Similarly, with the advent of Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) such as the publicized 'Aurora' hacks that use social engineering to dupe employees into introducing 'Zero-Day' malware. 'Zero-Day' threats exploit previously unknown vulnerabilities – a hacker discovers a new vulnerability and forms an attack process to exploit it. The job then is to understand how the attack happened and more importantly how to remediate or mitigate future re-occurrences of the threat. By their very nature, anti-virus measures are often powerless against 'zero-day' threats. In fact, the only way to detect these types of threats is to use File-Integrity Monitoring technology. "All the firewalls, Intrusion Protection Systems, Anti-virus and Process Whitelisting technology in the world will not save you from a well-orchestrated internal hack where the perpetrator has admin rights to key servers or legitimate access to application code – file integrity monitoring used in conjunction with tight change control is the only way to properly govern sensitive payment card systems "Phil Snell, CTO, NNT

See our other whitepaper 'File-Integrity Monitoring – The Last Line of Defense of the PCI DSS' for more background to this area, but this is a brief summary -Clearly, it is important to verify all adds, changes and deletions of files as any change may be significant in compromising the security of a host. This can be achieved by monitoring for should be any attributes changes and the size of the file.

However, since we are looking to prevent one of the most sophisticated types of hack we need to introduce a completely infallible means of guarantee file integrity. This calls for each file to be 'DNA Fingerprinted', typically generated using a Secure Hash Algorithm. A Secure Hash Algorithm, such as SHA1 or MD5, produces a unique, hash value based on the contents of the file and ensures that even a single character changing in a file will be detected. This means that even if a program is modified to expect payment card details, but the file is then 'padded' to make it the same size as the original file and with all other attributes edited to make the file look and feel the same, the modems will still be exposed. This is why the PCI DSS makes File-Integrity Monitoring a mandatory requirement and why it is incrementally considered as vital a component in system security as firewalling and anti-virus defences.

Conclusion Device hardening is an essential discipline for any organization serious about security. Furthermore, if your organization is subject to any corporate governance or formal security standard, such as PCI DSS, SOX, HIPAA, NERC CIP, ISO 27K, GCSx Co Co, then device hardening will be a mandatory requirement. – All servers, workstations and network devices need to be hardened through a combination of configuration settings and software patch deployment – Any change to a device may adversely affect its hardened state and render your organization exposed to security threats – file-integrity monitoring must also be employed to mitigate 'zero-day' threats and the threat from the 'inside man' – vulnerability checklists will change regularly as new threats are identified

What Is The Difference Between Laminate Flooring and a Floating Floor?

What is a floating floor? I get this question often from customers because someone has told them they should get it. But, they don’t understand what a floating is.

Technically, a floating floor means that it is “floating” on top of the floor below it and is not directly secured to the floor (i.e. no nails and no glue). Instead it is held down or secured around the edges of the room – the base molding/shoe molding and transitions. This is often used if it is going over an existing floor or on top of cement – more about this later. Now, because the floor is floated and not secured to the floor there tends to be a bit more movement in the floor – you especially see and hear this in laminate floors and it’s more noticeable if it was poorly installed.

Given the definition, there are many types of floating floors as you’ll see below, so anytime someone tells me they want or think they need a floating floor, I need to dig a little deeper to make sure I’m understanding their wants and needs because there are many types of floating floors. (Plus sometimes someone tells me they need a floating floor and when I get to their house I discover that they don’t need a floating floor).

1. Laminate floors -Laminate floors are floating floors. Laminate is fake – it looks like hardwood, but it’s not – it’s a digital picture of hardwood and it clicks together. (There are also versions that look like tile) One of the advantage of laminate is that is less expensive than hardwood – both material-wise and labor-wise and it can often be placed on top of existing flooring without needing to rip it up, so this saves more money in labor.

2. Some engineered hardwoods are floating floors. Hardwoods can be installed 3 ways: 1) nail down (if there is plywood there), 2) glue down (engineered only) and 3) floated (engineered only). Some hardwoods are specially made to click into place just like a laminate does (they are easier for do-it-yourselfers and some can be installed over radiant heat). You click them into place and once they clicked, they are locked into place. The other option for non-clickable engineered hardwood is to glue the joints of the hardwood. Either way, both options require underlayment underneath the hardwood just as you would use for a laminate.

3. Cork is a floating floor. They come in interlocking pieces (usually 1 ft x 3ft) and click together just as a laminate does.

4. Some vinyls are floating floors (but most aren’t). Usually vinyl is glued down, but some of the more recent fiber floors that have some fiberglass and extra cushion for your feet can be glued or floated. If they are floated, they just lie on top of the floor and are secured along the base molding or cove base along the walls and cabinets.

So, after all of that, why would someone want a floating floor? Here are some of the reasons:

1. They want to save money by not ripping up the floor. Instead, they just want to go on top of it.

2. They have asbestos tile on the floor and it would be dangerous/illegal to remove that (or very costly to have an abatement company come in and professionally abate it).

3. They have a floor where glue will not adhere to it well (e.g. epoxy floor or floor w/ lots of ridges and not a flat surface.

4. They are putting hardwood on top of radiant heat (and hence need to avoid adhesives and nails).

Here are some reasons why customers mistakenly THINK they need a floating floor.

1. They don’t have plywood or it’s going over a cement subfloor. This is the most frequent area of confusion. While floating floors definitely will work over cement, you do not need to do a floating floor. You can, but you also have the option of doing an engineered hardwood and gluing it down. So, be sure to understand your objectives and your budget before ruling options out.

2. It’s below grade/in a basement. Floating floors can work in the basement, but other floors can also work so this is where it’s necessary to understand the objective of the room, moisture issues and budget.

3. There is a moisture issue. Well if there is a moisture issue, this should prob. be addressed first. Or, if you are not going to make any changes, then pick the appropriate floor that will work with moisture. Hardwood, laminate and cork are no no’s if you have a moisture issue. Many customers mistakenly believe that laminate is waterproof, and I have news for you…it’s not. It’s made w/ hardwood shavings, so if you are concerned about hardwood and moisture same goes for laminate. If there is a moisture issue, consider vinyl or tile.

4. They have a sloping or uneven floor. Hard surfaces don’t generally work well over uneven floors regardless of whether it’s hardwood, laminate, or tile. it’s best to level these out first, but the floor prep will cost you more money. If budget is a concern w/ the leveling, the consider a more flexible surface such as vinyl, carpet or rubber.

I know there are a lot of issues to consider and I suppose this is why it’s best to consult a professional. Everyone’s situation and budget is different. Frequently, I will narrow down to the 2 or 3 choices that could work for my customers and price them all out and then let them decide what works best with their needs and budget. I’ll always add in my 2 cents (or sometimes even a nickel).

Network Design Process – Effective Network Planning and Design

Overview

The network planning and design methodology describes a process with 9 specific steps and a sequence for those activities. As mentioned it is an engineering life cycle that supports technical initiatives such as Windows migration, IP telephony and wireless design to name a few examples. The methodology begins with examining company business requirements. It is absolutely essential that you understand the company business model, business drivers and how they are growing from a business perspective. That will build the foundation for a design proposal that serves the business, technical and operational requirements of the company.

STEP 1: BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS

Any design project starts with an understanding of what the company does and what they need to accomplish from a business perspective. This begins with an understanding of their business model, which really describes how their company works from an operational and business perspective to generate revenues and reduce costs. Many vendors today have contacted their own return on investment (ROI) studies for new implementations such as Unified Communications and Telephony. It is an effective sales tool that illustrates the cost benefits compared with investment over a specified period of time.

This is a list of some typical business drivers:

• Reduce Operating Costs

• Generate Revenue

• Client Satisfaction

• Employee Productivity

This is a list of some typical project business requirements:

• Budget Constraints

• Office Consolidations

• Company Mergers and Acquisitions

• Business Partner Connectivity

• Telecommuter Remote Access

• Implement New Offices and Employees

• New Data Center Applications

• Reduce Network Outage Costs

• Cost Effective Network Management

• Vendor Contracts

STEP 2: DESIGN REQUIREMENTS

Now that you understand the basic business requirements of the company, you can determine the standard and specific design requirements. The design requirements process is focused on clearing requirements from a technical perspective. Those requirements along with the business requirements will build the framework that is used to define infrastructure, security and management. Design requirements are defined as standard and miscellaneous. The standard design requirements are generic and represent those considered with many design projects. Miscellaneous requirements are those that are not defined with any of the standard requirements.

• Standard Design Requirements

• Performance

• Availability

• Scalability

• Standards Compatibility

• Rapid Deployment

STEP 3: NETWORK ASSESSMENT

A network assessment is conducted after we have finished the business and design requirements of the company. A network assessment provides a quick snapshot of the current network with an examination of the infrastructure, performance, availability, management and security. That information is utilized for making effective strategy recommendations and design proposals to the client relating specific information systems configurations. The network assessment model has 3 sequential activities, which are assessment, analysis and recommendations. The current network is examined using five primary surveys: infrastructure, performance, availability, management and security. When the surveys are completed, the information collected is then reviewed for trends, problems and issues that are negatively affecting the network.

STEP 4: INFRASTRUCTURE SELECTION

After doing an network assessment we are ready to start selecting specific infrastructure components for the network design. This phase starts building the infrastructure with a specific sequence that promotes effective equipment selection and design. It is important that you consider business requirements, design requirements and the network assessment when building your infrastructure.

The following numbered list describes the specific infrastructure components and their particular sequence.

1. Enterprise WAN Topology

2. Campus Topology

3. Traffic Model

4. Equipment Selection

5. Circuits

6. Routing Protocol Design

7. Addressing

8. Naming Conventions

9. iOS Services

10. Domain Name Services

11. DHCP Services

STEP 5: SECURITY STRATEGY

We must now define a security strategy for securing the infrastructure. The need for enterprise network security should not be ignored with the proliferation of the Internet. Companies are continuing to leverage the public infrastructure for connecting national and international offices, business partners and new company acquisitions. The security requirements and network assessment recommendations should drive the selection of security equipment, protocols and processes. It identifies what assets must be protected, what users are allowed access and how those assets will be secured.

STEP 6: NETWORK MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

This section will define a network management strategy for managing all equipment defined from infrastructure and security. It is necessary to define how the equipment is going to be monitored and determine if the current management strategy is adequate or if new applications, equipment, protocols and processes must be identified. Management components are then integrated with infrastructure and security to finish building the proposed design. These primary elements comprise any well-defined management strategy and should be considered when developing your strategy.

• 7 Management Groups

• SNMP Applications

• Monitored Devices and Events

STEP 7: PROOF OF CONCEPT

All infrastructure, security and management components must now be tested with a proof of concept plan. It is important to test the current design, configuration and iOS versions in a non-production environment or on the production network with limited disruption. Implementation of newer network modules at a router, for instance, could require that you change the current iOS version that is implemented. Making those changes could affect WAN or campus modules already installed at production routers. That is the real value of doing a proof of concept and certifying that the new equipment and iOS versions integrate with each device as well as the network. The following list describes the advantages of doing a proof of concept with your network design. The proof of concept test results should be examined and used to modify current infrastructure, security and management specifications before generating a design proposal. The proof of concept model suggested here involves prototype design, equipment provisioning, cleaning tests, building equipment scripts and examining test results.

1. Prototype Design

2. Provision Equipment

3. Define Tests

4. Build Equipment Scripts

5. Review Test Results

STEP 8: DESIGN PROPOSAL / REVIEW

With the proof of concept finished, you are now ready to build a design proposal for the design review meeting. Your intended audience could be the Director, CIO, CTO, Senior Network Engineer, Consultant or anyone that is approving a budget for the project. It is important to present your ideas with clarity and professionalism. If a presentation is required, power point slides work well and could be used to support concepts from the design proposal document. The focus is on what enterprises a standard design proposal and the sequence for presenting that information.

The working design proposal is presented to the client after addressing any concerns from proof of concept assurance testing. The design review is an opportunity for you to present your design proposal to the client and discuss any issues. It is an opportunity for the client to identify concerns that they have and for the design engineer to clarify issues. The focus is to agree on any modifications, if required, and make changes to the infrastructure, security and management before implementation starts. Business and design requirements can change from when the project started which sometimes will necessitate changes to infrastructure, security and management specifications. Any changes should then go through proof of concept testing again before final changes to the design proposal.

STEP 9: IMPLEMENTATION

The final step will have us defining an implementation process for the specified design. This describes a suggested implementation methodology of the proposed design, which should have minimal disruption to the production network. As well it should be efficient and as cost effective as possible. As with previous methodologies there is a sequence that should be utilized as well. Once the implementation is finished, there is monitoring of the network for any problems. Design and configuration configurations are then made to address any problems or concerns.

Copyright 2006 Shaun Hummel All Rights Reserved

How to Wallpaper Over a Brick or Cement Block Wall

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

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

These are the tools you’ll need:-

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

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

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

Here is how it’s done:-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sit back and admire your masterpiece.

Introduction to Nutrient Pollution

Introduction

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

What are Nutrients?

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

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

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

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

What is Nutrient Pollution?

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

Nitrogen

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

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

Chemical Analysis of Nitrogen Compounds

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

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

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

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

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

Phosphorus

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

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

Chemical Analysis of Phosphorus

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

Laminate Flooring and Excellent Choice for Almost Any Room

Laminate flooring can offer such a wonderful look, yet be much more economic than real wood flooring. If you're considering remodeling your home this year you really should look into the many benefits of laminate for your next project. This article looks at some possible solutions for your next home remodeling and flooring project.

Laminate flooring offers the homeowner so many wonderful choices of color and style patterns. This type of flooring surface offers many wonderful applications from kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and beyond. The prices are very economic to.

One of the main benefits of using laminate style flooring is that you can often times by large amounts very economically at your larger home improvement stores. By purchasing the product in bulk at a wholesale outlet you're able to then install the flooring yourself and save a reasonable amount of money.

If you have been thinking about adding a den, family room or a great room to your home – this type of flooring is an excellent choice of material. Many people love to add some nice amenities like a pellet stove or gas fireplace to the room.

Laminate wood is so realistic looking, often times someone has to look very closely to see whether it's real or not. This type of surface has proved to be very durable and able to handle a fair amount of heavy traffic, making it the perfect choice for your next project.

You'll want to make sure that you check with the dealer who manufactures the laminate flooring that you decide upon for proper care instructions. You will want to take some precautions if you plan on installing it yourself. However, it's a reliably simple job with plenty of information available online.

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.

3 Franchise Opportunities For Health Nuts

For those who are passionate about health, there are plenty of franchise opportunities for health nuts that can make it possible to pass on that passion to others and to create a healthy community. Franchise opportunities for health nuts include gyms and spas, weight loss centers, nutritional supplement retails stores and more. These businesses are constantly in demand by customers because they are always needed. Everyone needs better health, and most people are actively seeking out ways to get it.

The Zoo Health Club is a small, personal health club that gives its members personal attention and training. The small size of the gyms not only ensure that there is personal attention paid to each customer- it also keeps business costs low. Each Zoo Health Club is a family-friendly business that has a kids area and a variety of strength and fitness equipment. The Zoo gyms are popular because there are no contracts- members pay on a month-to-month basis instead. This immediately makes an impact on any are that is full of people who want to join a gym but who are afraid of getting locked into long contracts. With these health clubs, owners can spread their love of health and fitness to other members of the community, teach healthy habits and watch customers get into better shape over time.

Jenny Craig International is a well-known weight loss company that helps members to lose weight with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Like other franchise opportunities for health nuts, Jenny Craig International is a business that is rewarding to anyone who is passionate about improving the health of others. With a Jenny Craig franchise, business owners offer food items as well as training for members to eat a balanced diet and to stay active. With the personalized training that the company is known for, health nuts can spread their enthusiasm about good health and create lots of other health nuts in the community.

Massageluxe is a massage franchise that is taking advantage of the growing massage industry to create big results for both owners and clients. For owners, an influx of people who need to relax and pay more attention to their health can make a business grow quickly. For clients, the chance to spend time relaxed and in tune with the body can be a valuable health remedy for a number of stresses and strains. It can relive pain, calm anxiety and treat problem areas. Franchise opportunities for health nuts often give the owner the satisfaction of making a difference in the health of consumers, and this one is no different.

With franchise opportunities for health nuts, it's easy to never forget your own health goals. Some entrepreneurs go into health-focused businesses simply because it makes it easier to keep their own health in mind. Others choose them because they want to see a healthier community. No matter what the reason for choosing them, business owners who choose a business that centers on health find it a rewarding experience.

You Need to Understand the Extent of the Sin of Fornication and Adultery Which Are Against God

Have you read of the story of Joseph and Portiphar’s wife in the Bible? The Go to Genesis 39:6-12. Most youths and individuals of our present generation will marvel and exclaim “wow!” he is super human to resist such a caliber of lady and who knows, she may be as well a very pretty woman. But if you understand why fornication or adultery is sin against God, then you must have understood why Joseph did that, and you can also have the strength to say “NO”. Here are several reasons:

1. Such sin gives Satan a chance to taunt Christ and ridicule His sacrifice on the cross. It is Satan who charges God, “You are unfair to expect mankind not to sin! sin is my invention, and it is so strong that it is impossible to say ‘No’ to it! The Bible says Christ died to save His people from their sins: not in them. (Matthew 1:21) ha ha ha! look at your ‘child’ who has fallen into adultery-that proves I am right, God, and You are wrong! Christ has died in vain.” If Joseph had said “Yes” to Mrs Potiphar, Satan would have taunted God like this.

2. It is because of our sin that murdered the Son of God on the cross. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5); that hurt! Someone may object, “Yes, but was nearly two thousand years ago. and His suffering was “once for all” and it is finished now. My continued sinning doesn’t hurt Him any more!” This is the lie that many professed Christians believe. Let us read how Hebrews describe man’s fresh re-crucifixion of Christ.

There is no longer any sacrifice that will take away sins if we purposely go on sinning after the truth has been made known to us. What, then, of the person who despises the son of God? Who treats as a cheap thing the blood of God’s covenant which purified him from sin? Who insults the spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26).

This was what Joseph “saw”, and his faith kept him from doing it. It wasn’t fear that held him back. He didn’t say, “oh, maybe my father or my brothers will hear about it”, or “perhaps I will get a venereal disease.” or “maybe portiphar’s wife will get pregnant by me.” No! “By faith Joseph…” felt a deep heart-appreciation of the sacrifice of the son of God for the sins of the world. How could he treat it as “cheap”? “Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul!” he prayed; he would not “insult the spirit of grace,” nor “crucify the son of God and expose Him to public shame.” Yes! Joseph may have lived years before Christ won born on earth, but in general he saw the mercies of God, His grace as something not cheap to be thrown in the gutter by compromising his faith. Thank God for Joseph! The world owes a great debt to him….

3. Adultery or fornication always brings sorrow and suffering to someone; in fact, there is murder wrapped up within it. Millions of people, for example, openly recognize that abortion is murder; and it is almost always the result of sin. Even when fornication or adultery is done only for “recreation” or “fun”, someone will surely get hurt. The pleasure of the moment is offset by the guilt that will remain, poisoning the heart and life. In order to silence the sense of guilt. many people simply renounce all title to heaven, give up, and choose to go to hell. They may appear outwardly to be happy once they have made that final choice, but as Jesus says, “Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” And they know it. And since it takes two people to commit fornication or adultery, one has led the other to the loss of his/her soul eternally. also many a marriage is poisoned within the painful memories of pre- or extramarital sexual transgression; and again, the children are the unfortunate losers. They are deprived of the happiness and peace of a home every innocent child has a right to have. Their parents always bear the “wound and dishonor” that their sin brought (see Proverbs 6:33).

Many girls are also led into prostitution. They are to blame, of course, but others are to blame also. Those who patronize them help to make and keep them what they are. What a misuse of human capability! Even when the girls become so hardened that they have forgotten how to shed tears and have become dehumanized as it were, the misery is deep. Joseph didn’t want to add to this destruction of humanity. And it was in Africa that this mighty victory was won for the world!

4. All this resultant pain and suffering Christ feels. The Bible teaches, “In all their affliction He [Christ] was afflicted” (Isaiah 63:9). HE feels it even more keenly than we humans feel it. for He sees the end from the beginning. “His souls was grieved for the misery of Israel” because of their wrongdoing (Judges 10:16). A wise writer once said:

Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ’s agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His…. humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very beginning, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him…. As the “whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together” (Romans 8:22), the heart of the infinite Father is pained in sympathy. Our world is a vast scene of misery that we dare not allow even out thoughts to dwell upon. Yet God feels it all. In Order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and HE has put it in our power through cooperation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end- Ellen G. White..

This is what Joseph “saw”. This is why, when Potiphar’s wife offered him that alluring, almost over-mastering temptation, he said “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Someday we shall see all the fruits that have been borne by the seeds of sin. It will be a terrible sight. God will not say one word to condemn us- He won’t need to. We shall condemn ourselves, and the whole universe will condemn us as the world today condemns Hitler. Is it not good that the Holy spirit convicts us of sin today so we can find repentance before it is too late?

God has revealed His grace for the salvation of all mankind. That grace instructs us to give up ungodly living, and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this world, as we wait for the blessed day we hope for, when the glory of Our great God and savior Jesus Christ, will appear. He gave Himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us a pure people who belong to Him alone and are eager to do good (Titus 2:11-14).

Cleaning Cubic Zirconia

The basic rule of jewelry care is to apply all lotions, make-up, hair spray, etc. first, then put on the jewelry. Pearls are especially sensitive to the solvents in hair sprays. In the reality of the jewelry business, I see people who refuse to remove rings and those who do so only once in a while. When we clean a customer's jewelry and inspect for wear and loose or missing stones, the jewelry most often needing repair is a ring that is "never" taken off the finger and cleaned by the owner.

Persistent dirt gets between the metal settings and the stones causing abrasive wear and sometimes sometimes a loose stone. Everyday wear on the outside of stone settings may lead to lost stones, too. A regular home cleaning and good look at the jewelry will prevent most stone loses, allowing for repair or tightening before it is too late. It is not common to see really clean jewelry come into the shop. When we do, that jewelry is generally in much better condition than the dirty items.

Hand lotions and soap film are some of the more difficult materials to remove. With CZ stones, a clean stone is vital to keep the "sparkling diamond" look. Just a little lotion on the bottom of the stone will take away much of the visual life of the stone. Fortunately, CZ's are fairly hard and tough. Cleaning may be more aggressive than with stones like opal or pearls, for example.

Start by taking the ring off the finger long enough to clean it! Using a soft tooth brush and a warm to hot solution of a dishwashing detergent like Joy, brush as well as possible to remove the scum and lotion. Rinse well in warm water. Pat dry and take a look. If more cleaning is needed, soak the ring in hot tap water with about 1/3 detergent to 2/3 hot water. (The mix is ​​not critical.) Then brush again.

The brush and even the end of a toothpick will not damage the stone. Do not use any abrasive cleansers. Most will not damage a CZ but will take the shine off the metal and may scratch some softer kinds of gemstones. Do not use toothpaste or similar stuff. Short of buying a small home sized ultrasonic cleaner, the detergent approach is one of the best for home use.

With CZ a little sudsy ammonia may be added and will greatly improve the cleaning speed and effectiveness. Do not use any ammonia cleaners with silver, turquoise or pearls. Ammonia will cause spots on sterling. Use enough ammonia to liven up the fault hearted and do have a window open and some air moving.

With regular cleaning, you "get to know" the jewelry and can spot worn metal and loose stones before a loss happens.

When you can not get the dirt off, let the jewelry store clean and inspect the jewelry. Strong detergents in heated ultrasonic cleaners followed with high pressure steam cleaning will remove most all dirt. Soap scum takes a little longer but comes off ok.

CZ is hard enough to cut glass. Most faceted gemstones are hard enough to cut glass. However, dust in the air contains a lot of silica (think sand). Hand lotions will leave a film on jewelry for dust to stick to. Over time, this rock dust in the air will abrade metal settings and some softer gemstones. Keep the lotion off the jewelry if at all possible. Not only does lotion free jewelry sparkle and look better every day, it will wear longer, too.

Why Are We So Fascinated By Koi Tattoos?

One of the principal reasons people get tattoos are in order for them to symbolize something significant in their lives through art on their bodies. It is quite literal like wearing one's heart on one's sleeve or back or where it is one happens to have a tattoo placed. That is why tattoos of koi fish are so popular. It is because these fish are laden with symbolism in the Japanese and Chinese cultures from which they come.

The meanings associated with koi are generally those of perseverance, aspiration, advancement, non-conformism or downright good luck. Perhaps this is because there is an ancient Chinese koi myth about these fish being the only one of their kind to swim up the waterfall towards the "Ryumon" or dragon gate at the upper edges of China's "Huang He" (Yellow River). It is at the dragon gate that it is said, the carp were transformed into dragons. From hence also comes the Japanese idiom, "koi-no-taki-nobori" or "carp swimming up the rapids," which is used to describe success in life sometimes in the same way that we use, "going against the grain."

Tattoos of koi fish are also taken to mean "love." This may be due to an old Japanese chronicle called the "Nihonshoki" which tells of how the Emperor Keiko fell in love with Princess Otohime (meaning Shy and Modest princess) and tried to make her visit him at Kukurinomiya Palace. The Emperor was known for taking pleasure in viewing his koi pond at the palace for this was common practice among the aristocracy of the Heian period (794-1185 BC). To the emperor's delight, the princess who happened to share his same pastime, could not help but finally pay him a visit. This paved the way for romance, all thanks to the koi fish.

Another symbolism for tattoos koi fish is that of masculinity, bravery and heroism. In Japan, koi are called "bushyi-go" or "Japanese warrior fish" because of their serene and determined manner of swimming, sometimes even jumping out of water. It is also said, that much like a samurai, koi fish do not flinch under the knife.

Tattoos of koi fish are often accompanied by backdrops of streams. To some, a koi swimming upstream or in rough water might mean one is struggling with a challenge. If the fish is swimming downstream it may mean that one has failed that challenge. Oftentimes however, koi representations are those of victory. Which is why even celebrities such as Cherliize Theron and her mother both sport the same tattoos of koi fish after their successful battle with cancer. Others like the late Alexander McQueen had a koi tattoo on his chest; popular singer John Mayer also wears one on his right shoulder.

Finally, a depiction of five golden koi may mean increased wealth or good luck, five being considered a lucky number in the East. This would be reason enough for anyone to have these beautiful carp close by. By having tattoos of koi fish one can be certain this is always the case.

How Structural Analysis of Buildings Works

Structural analysis is one of the most significant elements in Building Structural Engineering. Structural analysis is used in quite a big amount for steel detailing, reinforcement detailing, concrete detailing and industrial region. Structural analysis needs massive concentration and strategy planning.

Structural -analysis of buildings combines current and emergent technologies to produce accurate prediction of different types of reinforced concrete structures, residences and other building structures for different end uses. Structural- analysis basically works out as a method of prediction of behavior of any building structure.

Structural -analysis works according to set of certain laws of physics and engineering mathematics required to study and predict the behavior of building structures. Structure analysis consists of predicting the behavior of any building’s structure. This covers following:

– How your building -structure is going to handle loads

– How capable your building- structure will be when it will face stresses

– How your building -structure will withstand external forces and loads

Structural -analysis services can workout brilliantly in followings:

– Reinforced Cement Concrete Structures like buildings, tanks, retaining walls etc.

– Structural Steel plate girder, truss girder, gantries, industrial sheds etc.

– Deteriorated structures

– Wooden structures like fish repair centers, sheds, residential structures etc.

– Composite structures

– Pre-stressed and Post-tensioned structures like parking structures

Here structural- analysis mainly focuses on computation of deformations, internal forces and stresses as far as above mentioned things are concerned. It is to drive the building design process or prove the soundness of a building’s design without a dependence on directly testing it.

Simple, But Effective Ways to Repair Car Dents Right in Your Own Garage

Nobody wants to have problems with their cars. This is why many car owners are too careful when driving their cars. However, there are situations that can be totally unbearable like instances when you have to deal with car dents. You see, one of the things that can really mess up the nice look of your car is when there are deferred areas in your car. As a matter of fact, seeing car dents can absolutely spoil the day of the car owner. For them, this means another expense especially if they do not want any imperfections in the entire body of their car.

Taking your car with lots of car dents to a car body repair shop can be costly. However, there is no reason for you to fret since there are plenty of effective ways to get rid of car dents, or simply make it less noticeable. The good news is that car dents can be properly taken care of by means of some of the easiest but the most effective tips on how to repair dents of your car.

One of the oldest and most reliable methods to repair car dents is to make use of the plunger to suck out the dents in the car's body. First you need to position the plunger on the midpoint of the deferred area. Slowly push the plunger in and then out as if you are using it in the toilet bowl or blocked sink. You need to be patient because it is not possible to see results immediately during the first attempt. It will take a lot of attempts and you should use this method for small dents only.

Do you have a hair dryer at home? Well, do not be too amused when you hear that using the hair dryer can get rid of the small dents in the car body. What you should do immediately is to heat the deferred portion for about one minute. Afterwards, proceed to spraying the whole area by means of an air duster. In doing so, you are actually working on to make the dent pop out and be less obvious if not completely eliminated.

Another way to get rid of car dents without causing any damage or imperfections on the car paint is by means of using block of dry ice. All you need to do is put the block of ice atop the car dent to be repaired. It may not show off perfect results during one application but after repetitions, you would see how effective it is in repairing dents in the car's body. When you decide to make use of this method, you should not forget using hand gloves since dry ice can harshly burn the skin of your hands.

When you follow any of these guaranteed but simple to do tips about repairing car dents, you would realize that taking your car to the professional shop is not the only solution to eliminating the painful to the eyes dents in your car. This will save you from spending your hard-earned dollars for repairing car dents that can easily be done right in the comforts of your own garage!