What Are The Best Water Filters On The Market Today?

5-Simple-Ways-to-Prevent-Pollution-at-Home2

A kitchen of any house is a special place where the aroma and delicious taste of food is created and wonderful family conversations take place over cooking food. Most food preparations require water and you do not want to pose any risk to your family by using contaminated water in the vital act of food preparation and of consuming plain water. To ensure that pure water goes into your food and tummies, you must employ filter taps. These are fitted with a filter cartridge that removes all contaminants such as debris and chemicals. Out of the many filter taps available in the market, you should choose the ones which have a reputable name in the market. This is because, the filtering capabilities of a non- branded tap cannot really be trusted. It would be a bit like trusting burst pipes in the kitchen to prevent your house from flooding.

One of the most trustworthy companies of kitchenware is Franke. The company has been in the market since 1911 and has been innovating on kitchen products consistently. Moreover, Franke‘s filter taps come with a 5 year warranty on valve mechanisms and a 1 year warranty on their coatings and finishings, generating valuable trust among customers.

Along with trust, the company also offers variety in the form of a diverse range of filter taps that come in different designs, heights and functionalities.While picking a uniquely designed tap is a matter of personal taste, you must know which kind of tap serves which function. Thus, let us see the range of differently functional Franke kitchen taps below:

Single-Flow Spout and Bi-Flow Spout : A Single-flow spout tap implies that the flow of only one channel of water can be adjusted by the use of one available lever while a bi-flow spout tap has two levers, with which flow of two channels of water can be adjusted. You must use the former in places where you can do without water of two different temperatures.

When building a new home, you will do well to consider the inclusions I have mentioned here in this article. Another thing to remember is to make sure you have an adequate building inspector on the job, as a backup to your builder. You need to have the peace of mind that you are being treated fairly and respectfully and the presence of an independent building inspector is going to make your home builder aware that you are on to his corner cutting tricks.

Triflow: If you need water in three different temperature qualities, namely, hot, cold and moderate, then you must make use of a triflow tap. You can use hot water for cooking while cold water can be used for making a drink.

Boiling Water: This kind of tap not only delivers hot and cold water, but also water that is super hot (ie water of 100 degree Celsius). Such hot water can be used in cooking and brewing tea quickly.

Spray Tap: You can either buy a stand alone pull out spray tap or a bi-flow spout tap with a spraying handle as well. This kind of tap can be used for washing vegetables and fruits with speed.

Thus, with a diverse range of variously functional taps, you can enjoy clean water in different ways.

Funerals At Home – What Is Old Is New Again

The world’s knowledge was said to have doubled every century of human history before the 19th century. As technology was further developed, it got faster. As of today, it is believed that knowledge doubles once every year or so. What has not changed is the fact that humans die. Death is as natural as life. Although knowledge is doubling at record levels and technology is rapidly advancing, something old is becoming new again. Families are conducting funerals in their homes.

Considering that most of the world still buries their dead through the simple process of a home funeral, it is not surprising that the trend is gaining momentum in America. Families are opting out of the hiring of funeral homes and funeral directors and they are caring for their own dead. Until the time of the Civil War, or around 1860, families always cared for their own dead.

Funerals in the home are a simple, inexpensive, personal and fulfilling way of caring for the dead. Nothing takes the place of “hands on” experience. As a certified grief counselor, it is my opinion that families involved with home funerals experience a more natural and healthier grief process. I have counseled with individuals that worried if the funeral home buried or cremated the right person. There is no concern of this happening in a home funeral setting.

Home Based Funerals – Since The Dawn Of Time

Many families view the process of home funerals as a natural and normal part of family life. Parents care for babies when born. Parents raise, educate, train, develop and love those babies throughout their lives. Babies grow up to be the adult that cares for their parents when they die. The circle of life completes itself and nothing is more natural about life than death. Who is more qualified to care for a person that died than the very family that cared for that person when they lived?

Laws in all states do allow home funerals although particular laws concerning the involvement of funeral directors do vary from state to state. A family does not have to contact a funeral home or funeral director in some states. Unfortunately there still are a few states violating individual rights with unjust laws that force families to hire a funeral director whether they wish to or not. Hopefully those laws will be amended or changed in the near future.

Home Funeral Guides are available in many areas of the country to instruct, educate and encourage families through the home funeral process. A quick search on the internet using your favorite search engine will bring up any that may be in your area. Education seminars, one on one instruction or books are available through your local expert. You can also search on the website of the National Home Funeral Alliance (nhfa) http://homefuneralalliance.org/, which is full of great information concerning home funerals.

Home Building Advice

So you’re thinking about building your own home…

It’s a great idea, because you can get a lot closer to what you really want when you build rather than buy. But there are some critical things to be aware of, in order to keep risks and surprises to a minimum, and end up getting the home you want. We’ve compiled this helpful guide from a number of industry sources and our own experience. We hope it gives you a good introduction. This article is bought to by Avenue Building Group – www.avenuebuildinggroup.com.au

1. How important is it to choose the right builder?

Your new Melbourne home is going to be one of the most important investments you will ever make both financially and emotionally. You want to get the design and construction right so that it suits both your present and future needs and lifestyle. There are a lot of builders out there prepared to build you a house but which one is the right one? Which one will turn your dream into reality? Follow the steps in this information pack and you will be several steps closer to fulfilling your dream, especially if that dream is to have a luxury home builder do the job right the first time.

2. Your role in the process

Before beginning the design the following needs to be conveyed to the designer:

Your budget

The size of the house to be designed – including room numbers, their locations and functions

Facade type including exterior finishes for walls (e.g. rendered, face brick) and the roof type and finish (e.g. tiled, metal)

Individual design features that you would like

Specific details like ceiling heights, window sizes, and bathroom and kitchen fittings.

The time frame. Note that plans have to be submitted to various authorities and this may take longer than expected. Build this into the construction time frame.

3. The designer’s role in the process

When using an architect, building designer or engineer the charge for designing the house will be in addition to the construction costs. When using a builder who provides a design service as part of the package the design is factored into the price. This will have some bearing on the amount of time that can be spent in working with you on the design. Consider this as well when selecting who designs your home.

Designers must be up to date with the following:

o Latest legislation

o New building trends

o Environmental and energy considerations like insulation, water saving, building materials and energy saving systems like solar power and solar water heating

They should also be able to advise you on the most appropriate house orientation in relation to the sun and prevailing winds. They should also be able to advise you on how best to make use of a site’s topography.

For example it is often better to build a house on a sloping site that makes use of the shape of the site rather than bringing in a bulldozer to reshape the site. Earthworks can be expensive.

At your first meeting with a designer you need to assess whether they will be able to meet with your expectations in terms of being qualified to do the job.Attached is a checklist (see page 8) of questions that you should consider asking the designer.

4. Builder’s reputations

Once you have a list of builders your next step is to find out about their reputations and the quality of their work. Probably the best way is to visit homes they have built and talk with the owners. A reputable builder with satisfied customers should have no problem in providing the names and addresses of recent customers that are willing to talk to you.

Some questions you can ask:

Are you happy with your home?

Was the house built within the agreed time frame?

What problems did you experience?

Were they attended to promptly and to your satisfaction?

Would you have this builder build another house for you?

Some observations you can make and note down:

Quality of the finishes including cabinetry, paint and trim

Quality of the construction

Style of design

Construction type

Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Your new home is probably going to be the biggest investment you have made to date!

5. Advantages in working with a builder to design your home

There are some definite advantages in individual designs. These include:

Personalised and flexible design process

Design suits your lifestyle and budget requirements

Inclusions not limited

Tailored to your particular site

Reputable builders that specialise in individual designs have examples of their work in display villages. This gives you the opportunity to see examples of their work without confining you to the plans you see displayed.

6. Project homes

Project home builders usually offer a range of standard plans in different price ranges including varying fittings and inclusions. They may specialise in single or double storey homes but are limited in inclusions and colour selection choices, design changes and site falls.

7. Individually designed homes

Building designers, engineers, architects and licensed builders provide design services. Probably the most commonly used design service is that offered by builders who specialise in individual designs. They both design and build the homes and the service is included in the price whereas building designers, engineers and architects will charge for the service. The majority of builders who build custom designs will have a portfolio of plans of homes they have built or standard plans, often based on their display homes. They will quite happily adapt these plans to suit your requirements or design a completely new plan. In addition they may specialise in a certain style of home like colonial or federation or in designing and building homes to suit difficult or sloping sites.

Regardless of whom you select to design your home you should feel comfortable with them. At the outset you should ensure that you both clearly understand each other’s roles and responsibilities. This will reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and disputes.

8. Designing your home

Design services are provided by the following:

Licensed building designers

Architects

Licensed builders

Engineers

Licences can be checked on the BSA website, www.bsa.qld.gov.au. or by phone. Note that architects and engineers do not require a licence but must be registered with their professional associations.

9. Design choices

There are effectively 3 design choices:

Make use of a standard design package supplied by a builder. They will usually have a range of designs from which you can make a choice. Often referred to as project homes.

Review the builder’s standard plans and adapt them.

Have a builder, designer, engineer or architect do a custom design.

10. Colour consultation

Uncertain about your homes finishes? Reputable builders have qualified colour consultants who can guide you through this important process. They usually have sample finishes available to view, either in-house or at their display homes. They ensure that you get the finish that suits you, right down to the smallest detail. Working with the colour consultant to choose your finishes usually occurs after the deposit has been paid and the design agreed (note not all builders provide this service so take this into consideration when selecting your builder).

You will be provided with a pack of information on finishes and invited to meet with the builder’s colour consultant for a several hour appointment to review the various options. This is your opportunity to ensure that all the finer details are not missed or taken for granted.

11. Inclusions

As mentioned earlier, project builders often have houses on view in display villages. Be warned that these houses are quite likely to have inclusions that are not included in the base price.The following items will probably not be included in the base price:

Inside:

o Floor coverings with the exception of wet areas like bathrooms, toilets and laundries.

o Blinds, curtains and light shades

o Items like wallpaper, fixed mirrors (outside of bathrooms) and picture rails

o Furniture that is loose

o Dishwashers and washing machines

o Security systems

Outside:

o Garages and carports, and car detailing companies

o Paths and driveways

o Security and fly screens

o Tiled and concrete floors under verandas and entry porches

o Landscaping

o Garden sheds, outdoor furniture, pergolas and fences

o Clothes lines and letterboxes

o Spas and pools

o Connections to services

However some builders will offer several levels of fit out as different price packages. Take care to identify exactly what you are being offered and ensure that the builder has an in house colour and fittings consultant to guide you through the process.

12. Additional costs

Do you have a sloping, timbered or difficult site on which to build? Be aware that the type of site on which you want to build can add considerably to the overall cost of the project. Note that builders are required under the Domestic Building Act 2000 to provide customers with foundations data before finalising the contract. Most project homes are quoted for building on flat stable sites with little underground rock. A site that is steeply sloping, unstable or has rock beneath the surface can add considerably to the cost of building a home.

If you have a difficult building site then it may be worthwhile to consider approaching a builder who specialises in building on this type of site. They usually design a house to suit the site minimizing the amount of excavation and making best use of the inherent benefits of a sloping site.

Check whether the builder has included the cost of soil tests, contour surveys and building approval fees in the required deposit.

Note that despite a soil test being done it is usually only from two or three boreholes and may not accurately represent the entire site. The builder may have rock removal as a provisional item in the contract and it may become very expensive.

Ensure that your contract has a fixed price for the footing excavation and footings (excluding rock removal) and that you have copies of the survey reports on which this is based. Also ensure that the contract specifies who is responsible for removing excess earth left after excavations.

13. Designer Question Checklist

1. Licence

Does the designer, whether a builder, engineer, architect or building designer have the appropriate BSA licence or professional registration? This you can check prior to your meeting. Yes No

2. Does the designer provide the following services?

o Site inspections to ensure the characteristics of the site are taken fully into consideration in the design process? Yes No

o Elevation sketches of the house in 3 dimensions to show what the house will look like when built? Yes No

o Preparation of documents and plans and lodgement with the authorities for their approval? Yes No

o Check for easements and utility locations (e.g. sewerage pipes) that could affect the design and siting of the house? Yes No

o Check with Local Government or private certifier to ensure that plans include any special requirements before lodging? Yes No

3. Contract

o Does the designer provide a standard contract? Yes No

o Have you obtained a copy and read it carefully? Yes No

o Will it accurately cover any agreement you have reached with the designer in terms of costs and service? Yes No

4. Deposits and fees

o Have you ascertained what deposit the designer requires up front? Yes No

o Have you ascertained how the designer’s fee is calculated? (e.g. fixed sum or percentage) Yes No

o Are there additional costs involved in varying the plans once they are complete? Yes No

5. Timeframe

o Have you ascertained how long it will take the designer to draw up your plans? Yes No o Does this fit into your timeframe? Yes No

14. Building complaints

The Building Services Authority has a website that keeps a record of disciplinary proceedings against builders. On the BSA site should check the record of each of the builders on your list against the information on this website. No guarantee that you will not experience problems with a builder but past history often determines future behaviour. You can then cull from your list any builders that you doubt.

15. Queensland Master Builders Association

The first step in process is to decide on the type of home you would like to build and to work out how much you can spend. You then need to make a list of local builders that can build your chosen home style within your budget. One way is to go to the Queensland Master Builders Association’s website at www.masterbuilders.asn.au. They have a search function that will provide you with a list of local builders in your region. Contact details and links to websites are included but no detailed information. This means that a lot of searching is required to find key information so you may want to consider other sources.

16. Other sources

If you want another way then advertisements in property supplements, magazines like Homebuild, website searches and display homes will provide more information in easier to use formats. Identify those builders that specialise in the style of house in your price range. Make a list of these builders. You might even want to create a file with information printed off their websites or sourced from property supplements and magazines.

The 10 Steps to Designing and Building your Home

1. The land Maximising the investment you have made in your land, not only as a financial investment but as an emotional investment is important. You’ll want to build a home that will make best use of your land and its aspect to enhance your lifestyle. Our design consultant will visit the site with you to ensure that the design incorporates what you want and makes best use of the attributes of the site.

2. The plan You have decided to build. You may know exactly what you want or you may just have some ideas. The first step is it to turn these ideas into a concept plan. Sit down with one of our design consultants and discuss these ideas. Look at designs and photographs of homes we have built. These will help clarify what you like and what you want in your new home.

3. The investment At this stage you’ll have a draft plan. Go through our inclusions brochure and decide what you’d like. Once you have done that our consultant will be able to give you an estimate of the investment you’ll be making in your new home.

4. Soil test and contour survey The next step is obtaining an engineers survey of the site. This is a legal requirement and it is essential safeguard in ensuring that your home is built with proper foundations and on the correct position on the site. This is also the point where we require a deposit to cover these costs. Once the design consultant has this information he can finalise the design with you and provide a base price with standard inclusions.

5. The final price quotation At this stage we can give you a quote which includes all the details. You’ll need to go through this thoroughly with the consultant to make sure that you are happy that it’s exactly what you want. With this signed off it’s time to turn your dream into a reality and that begins with signing the contract and paying the balance of the deposit. With that paid can get on with preparing the building permit applications and all the paper work that’s involved to get the plans approved.

6. Colour and finish selection Now it is time to meet with our colour consultant who will assist you in colour selection and those final touches which will your turn a house into a home. Our inclusions brochure is a great start here and it’s worth browsing through it before your free appointment with our colour consultant. And in the meeting you’ll see sample finishes too – so much easier when you can see the real thing.

7. Beginning the build This is your dream home – it can’t be thrown up in a few weeks from mass produced elements knocked up offsite and still maintain the quality you want. So we’ll agree with you on a reasonable time to build your home without compromising quality. With all the paperwork done we’ll begin the preplanning and within a few short weeks construction will begin…

8. During the build It’s hard to keep away from the building site while your home is being built! You are encouraged to visit the site on a regular basis however, it is standard practice to be accompanied by your site supervisor due to safety requirements. You’ll meet the building Supervisor at the beginning and he will keep you up to date on the progress and explain each stage.

9. Completion When everything is complete and when we have thoroughly pre inspected the house it will be time to hand over the keys. But before we do that we’ll accompany you on your own inspection to make absolutely sure that the home we have designed for you has been built as promised.

10. Moving in You’ve moved in but we still want to make sure that our promise to you to build the home you want is kept. The six month maintenance period is your opportunity to make sure that we have kept our promise and a further six year structural guarantee.

Beginning the process Give us a ring on 1300 858 177 or visit one of our display homes at Brookwater and in the QMBA village at Daisy Hill. You’ll get the opportunity to meet one our consultants and find out how easy it is to design your own home. We hope this information has been of assistance and wish you well in building your new home!

Matthew Dore
http://www.djbuilders.com.au

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Stephen_R_Johnson/239956

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School Ski Trips to Lavarone

In the Dolomites Folgaria and Lavarone offer fantastic learning opportunities for not only beginners, but also intermediates, and experts alike. Surrounded by panoramic views and horizons that extend from the Dolomites, you will find 30 km of ski runs in Lavarone and 130 in Folgaria. The majority of ski piste are equipped with snow making technology (200 snow cannons that cover the entire ski area) and modern four seat chairlifts (capacity of 40,000 persons per hour ). Famously, Lavarone offers the beginner slopes that are free of other skiers, which make them so much safer than some of the big-name resorts. This has been the attraction for many teachers choosing Lavarone over other resorts with safety being their number one concern. Canada ski trip is one of the most exciting adventure that can complete your bucket lists.

Many hotels in both Folgaria and Lavarone offer doorstep skiing. This is highly convenient for the school groups in particular as it allows instructors to come to the front door of the hotel to pick up the pupils, and also to drop them off at lunchtime for their hot lunches. Returning to the hotel after the afternoon lesson as well, any party that is on the doorstep hotel gets the benefit of maximum time on slopes and minimum time hanging around. Lavarone is considered by many to be the Europeans favoured choice for any beginner or intermediate looking to improve themselves in a safe and varied environment, surrounded by stunning scenery.

Ski hire takes place at one of several ski hire establishments in Lavarone, and all of these outlets have up-to-date and modern innovative ski equipment. Another benefit of the resort being a little-known secret is that the equipment is never old or overused but in fact always in good condition and fit for purpose. Should any equipment not fit as required (and we are yet to have a school where all ski boots fit exactly as required!) the equipment can be readily exchanged without any hassles or lengthy queues. In fact the equipment stores actually have the time to analyse the pupil or staff member thoroughly before issuing kit. The hordes that quite often visit other resorts typically add so much time pressure that this personal service is not possible.

Lavarone is only 10 km away from Folgaria and this means that school ski trips can take advantage of visiting another resort, which is quite different in terms of slopes, technicality and scenery, within their week away. Typically schools will visit Folgaria for two days out of their six skiing days, and for some of the more experienced skiers from Lavarone this allows them to stretch their legs and practice their new-found skills.

The apres ski within Lavarone is ideally suited to schools. Tubing, disco and bowling are on the doorstep of most of the hotels. Swimming is also available locally and is a popular choice for visiting schools as the swimming pool is a good size with a wave machine and other fun items! Nevertheless, tubing tends to be the number one choice preference by visiting schools as, despite the quite impressive speeds, the activity remains safe and carefully guarded and monitored by staff. Races between schools, between friends and in positions that defy physics on the tube are commonplace. Not only is everything within walking distance (including après ski) but the resort does not pretend to be the choice of large parties and experts. The benefit here is that it is ideally tailored to those who want a safe, stressfree, school ski trip environment which accommodates all standards of skier and also all ages or pupil.

Transfer times to the resort of Lavarone if traveling by air are relatively quick. Typically transfer times will be around two hours maximum, depending upon the airport chosen. Conversely, those traveling by coach will find Lavarone a straightforward journey and of course once resort those parties traveling by coach will have the advantage in private transfers to Folgaria.

Lavarone is always slow sure from January through to mid-March and offers the discerning school a solid choice for snow. Skiers and snowboarders alike enjoy Lavarone, and indeed Folgaria, as both resorts have snow parks and freestyle areas. Both resorts are pine treed and offer a truly stunning experience on empty slopes (even during February half term!).

As is quite often the case in Italy, all of the locals are original residents and in fact are renowned to be friendly and open. The local area is famous for its food and cuisine and all school parties remark on the quality of food in the hotels. Typically this would involve the continental breakfast in the morning (as is the case everywhere else in Europe), a hot lunch of at least two or maybe three courses, cake and tea post skiing and finally a three course evening meal with a vegetable on the side.

For those schools traveling by coach all pupils and staff will be issued with a packed lunch, which will be relatively substantial, and is designed to satisfy the appetite of teenagers and tired skiers on a return extended journey. For those schools traveling by air food will be issued for the next meal and quite often this is all that is required until they arrive back home in the UK.

In terms of child protection and safeguarding, Lavarone is hard to beat. The roads are not busy and the resort itself is built in a circular position. This makes everything easy to get to and quick to find. There are no labyrinths of roads and little alleyways for pupils to get lost in, instead obvious landmarks and single carriageways with wide footpaths make navigation easy. In short the resort is an excellent choice for any school with beginners and intermediates.

Toby Weeden is the Director at 321ski www.321ski.co.uk. 321ski school ski trips are uniquely designed by teachers. 321ski provides school ski trips to Austria, Italy and France and uniquely employ only ex-teachers with years of experience in leading their own school ski trips. All trip planning documents are provided.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Toby_A_Weeden/1308639

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7532081

As a 3D/Concept Artist Can We Get Job In The Games Industry

I teach games development and my students are all potentially the next generation of games developers, whether in 3D modelling, texturing, animating or programming. You may have an interest within the games industry that relates to the above areas but I’m sure one question rattles around in your mind….. “do I have what it takes to succeed in the ever growing and competitive Games Industry?” A good concept board artist can easily identify the story that the audience wants in any different genre.

The obvious answer would be “YES OF COURSE YOU DO!”

Now while that may be true on the most part, in this article I will explain as honestly as I can how difficult it can be and how to make it easier for yourself. There are two routes to get into the games industry and I will explain both below.

Route 1: Education and Qualifications.

We all know the importance of getting through education with sparkling colours and top marks and that in fact is VITAL. With a good grade in your CV you get looked at as a candidate, on the other hand if you hold a low graded qualification then your application may not even get looked at. This is not only valid across the games industry but across ANY industry. Better grades equal better prospects for a better job…END OF!

It is not good enough to just scrape through education, it is not good enough to just THINK that everything will turn out fine and that you will find a job in the games industry because you hold ‘a’ qualification. You have to want to BE THE BEST, it’s as simple as that. You have to be determined, focussed, prepared to dedicate hours into creating the best possible work, push yourself to the limit and then some.

Back to the point of creating the best possible work that you can… Well it’s simple isn’t it? Potential employers in the games industry will always look for a good portfolio, in fact they will look for an OUTSTANDING portfolio. You need to demonstrate that you can stick within a poly count, if applying for a character modelling job you must show that you understand human anatomy and the human figure. Also that you can texture well because a model can be great but can be let down with a badly painted and stretching texture. The same applies for applying for a concept artist job, you need to show that you understand the human figure, that you can shade well, understand lighting and shadows, and also the composition of an environment/scene. So from THIS point you should always create your work with the intention of including it into your portfolio. With that mindset you will automatically show an extra desire to create work of better quality and finesse, I mean after all it could be seen by potential employers so you need to feel that bit of pressure.

As long as you stay along those lines your portfolio should be heading along the correct lines.

Route 2: Without Qualifications

Now with me being a lecturer in games development I could say that attempting to gain employment in the games industry without a qualification is plan stupid. Now on most parts that is true, but there is a small grey area where you may be considered. What you would have to do is read through the portfolio guidelines mentioned above and dedicate your life to them, so to speak. In simple terms you must have an absolutely OUTSTANDING portfolio demonstrating a vast number of assets/characters using creativity and flair. You need to shine, stand out, sell yourself as the best.

This is by no means the recommended way to do it, but I just thought it was important that it is not impossible to go down this route, it’s just DAMN HARD!

You should always seek feedback on your work from colleagues, peers, friends or family. Feedback is great because it provides you with areas that you may not see that require developing. There are some great online forums that allow you to post your work up for feedback. There are a vast number of professionals that love to share their knowledge with up and coming designers. Don’t be afraid of getting your work slated or ‘torn to bits’ as forum members will only look to provide constructive criticism.

Conclusion

I will keep this short, if you wish to gain employment in the games industry it is HIGHLY recommended to gain a qualification in the field (I’m talking about University here!). If you don’t hold a qualification (and in fact this applies even if you do hold a qualification) then you have to work extra hard to create work that is as close to perfection as possible. Make use of normal maps to add additional detail to your models and demonstrate that you can use a variety of different skills. Don’t forget that there will be hundreds if not thousands of other hopefuls applying for the same job so you have to push yourself to stand out, create work that makes use of many techniques and to shine like a beacon to the games studios…. you need to make them think “WE NEED THIS GUY/GIRL WORKING FOR US”.

At the end of the day you will get out as much as you put in, so if you’re lazy and expect a job to fall on your lap then think again, but if you’re hard working, determined and create good looking work then you have every chance of getting into the games industry.

GOOD LUCK!!!

Learn the Skills to Become a Games 3D Artist at [http://3dstep.co.uk]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jayesh_Ranavaya/1273258

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6856596

Smith Micro’s New Moho 12, Delivers Cutting-Edge Animation and Convenience

New features, UI refresh, and streamlined workflows “change the game” for digital artists seeking complete, all-in-one animation tool

ALISO VIEJO, CA, August 10, 2016 – Building on 10 years of innovation, Smith Micro Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMSI) has released a rebranded and greatly expanded Anime Studio® graphics application, now called Moho™ 12. The latest version of the company’s award-winning, all-in-one tool for 2D animation delivers 16 new major features, a new user interface, streamlined workflow tools, and five new characters, offering professionals, workgroups, and hobbyists an affordable tool to create professional quality animation from start to finish. Artists have different perspective that is one reason why you should find a storyboard artist for hire for your film.

“Moho 12 is the most complete drawing and animation solution on the market. It offers incomparable value for professionals looking for a powerful, efficient alternative to expensive tools or tedious traditional animation,” said Fahim Niaz, Director of Product Management at Smith Micro Software.

Moho 12 Highlights Video

Moho 12 extends the industry’s most powerful 2D rigging system with innovative new features and group collaboration improvements, making it faster and easier for teams to work together to deliver professional quality animations. See highlights of the new features and content in this YouTube video.

Professional Animators Comment on Moho 12

Mike Morris, Director, Disney Television Animation: “Moho 12 is a landmark release of this software. The folks at Smith Micro have really upped their game on this one!”

Danny Sugar, Sugarcube Studios founder: “Moho is back with a bang! Now with Bezier path control, split channel animation, precise deformation maps, improved drawing tools and more, and all controlled by the amazing Smart Bone system. If you’ve been holding off the upgrade, now is the time, and if you’ve never used Moho – do yourself a favor!”

Charles Kenway, storyboard artist: “Moho 12 changes the game with incredible new tools and enhancements. Drawing is now a breeze. Fluid, expressive freehand line work is fast and fun with superb point reduction and Bezier control. Smart Warp brings a new dimension to your animations. Join the Moho revolution!”

“We rebranded the product back to its original name to better reflect the broad uses enabled by Moho 12, including cartoon creation, feature films, vector illustrations, stop motion, cut-out animations and much more,” continued Niaz. “The industry response to the rebrand and feature set has been fantastic!”

Notable New Features of Moho 12

  • Bezier Handles: Users now get more design control with customizable vector Bezier handles, optimized for animation, which enable the creation of unique line bends with fewer points
  • Smart Warp: For both images and vectors, users can now create custom meshes that can bend, shape, twist and animate assets
  • Simultaneous Multiple Layer Animation: Boost productivity by editing multiple layers on the same timeline, without having to jump back and forth between layers
  • Enhanced vector import / export capabilities: True SVG support allows for vector art outside of Moho to be imported without compromises, and for vector art in Moho to be exported to another vector editor with all points and animation intact
  • Select Switch Window: Eliminates the need to memorize Switch Layer names; includes time saving workflows for lip synching, eye movements, hand gestures and other frame-by-frame tasks

Key Collaboration Enhancements of Moho 12

  • New Library: Re-built from the ground up, the Moho 12 library safely houses important assets with a slick, responsive interface
  • Workspaces creation: Arrange folders and assets to suit the job at hand; share workspaces with other team members to easily create a consistent work environment
  • Moho Exporter: Streamlined panel makes it easy to drag and drop video files into the converter, while compression and save location options make navigating easier

A full list of features and enhancements is available here.

Pricing and Availability

Moho Pro 12 is available for $399.99, and Moho Debut 12 for aspiring animators is $69.99. Detailed product, pricing and upgrade information is available here.

For information about other Smith Micro graphics and animation solutions, click here.

About Smith Micro Software, Inc.:
Smith Micro develops software to simplify and enhance the mobile experience, providing solutions to some of the leading wireless service providers, device manufacturers, and enterprise businesses around the world. From optimizing wireless networks to uncovering customer experience insights, and from streamlining Wi-Fi access to ensuring family safety, our solutions enrich today’s connected lifestyles while creating new opportunities to engage consumers via smartphones. Our portfolio also includes a wide range of products for creating, sharing, and monetizing rich content, such as visual messaging, video streaming, and 2D/3D graphics applications. For more information, visit smithmicro.com (NASDAQ: SMSI)

Safe Harbor Statement:
This release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, forward-looking statements relating to the company’s financial prospects and projections, the company’s ability to increase its business, and the anticipated timing and financial performance of new products. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are new and changing technologies, customer acceptance of those technologies, fluctuations or cancellations in orders from customers, new and continuing adverse economic conditions, and the company’s ability to compete effectively with other software companies. These and other factors discussed in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, could cause actual results to differ materially from those presented in any forward-looking statements. Smith Micro assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release.

Smith Micro and the Smith Micro logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Smith Micro Software, Inc. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Smith Micro and any other company.

Wyndham Extra Holidays Invites Travelers to “Book Early for Ski Season”

ORLANDO, Fla. (September 20, 2016) — Wyndham® Extra Holidays, a subsidiary of Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO), the world’s largest vacation ownership company and member of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies (NYSE: WYN), invites you to book a spectacular winter getaway with special travel deals to more than 15 ski resort destinations across the U.S. and Canada during the “Book Early for Ski Season” Sale available at www.ExtraHolidays.com/Ski. Some spectacular winter getaway is to spend time with skiing, usually I go with ski Canada deals which I found on Bluepowder.com.au.

To take advantage of all the best adventures the winter season has to offer, book early to secure your preferred reservation dates at ski resorts offered by WyndhamExtra Holidays. Whether you’re drawn to some of North America’s favorite mountain destinations for the skiing and snowboarding, or you prefer the shopping, sightseeing and relaxing fireside, your winter vacation with Wyndham Extra Holidays will be a memorable one. Enjoy the comfort of condo-style suites, most complete with all the comforts of home from spacious living and dining areas to private bedrooms and fully equipped kitchens. Take advantage of special deals of up to 25 percent off at popular ski resort destinations across the U.S. and Canada including the resorts featured below.

Wyndham Resort at Avon — Avon, Colorado
Wyndham Resort at Avon is an upscale, all-suite resort featuring modern decor with the comforts of home including a full kitchen, living/dining area, private bedrooms, washer/dryer and balcony. The resort is located a short distance from the Express Gondola, providing convenient access to the world-renowned ski slopes of Beaver Creek. Revel in the great outdoors in this idyllic retreat, stroll around the charming alpine village, and indulge in the resort’s abundant amenities including the largest indoor hot tub in Colorado, ski valet service, fitness center, ski lockers, an outdoor fire pit, game room, and accommodations that sleep up to 10 guests.

Carriage Ridge Resort — Horseshoe Valley, Ontario, Canada
Venture an hour north of Toronto and stay at this lovely ski-in, ski-out resort adjacent to Horseshoe Ski Resort and nearby Mount St. Louis Moonstone. Hit the trails on skis, snowboards, snowshoes, snow bikes and snow mobiles. It’s a snow-lovers paradise! After an exhilarating day on the slopes, relax in spacious studio accommodations or indulge in the comfort of a one- or two-bedroom suite, complete with a full kitchen and living/dining area.

Wyndham Park City — Park City, Utah
Wyndham Park City is a new ski-in/ski-out resort with mountain modern design, offering ideal access to skiing, snowboarding and outdoor adventures. Comfortably accommodating up to four or eight guests, each one- or two-bedroom suite features private bedrooms, a queen-size sleeper sofa, full kitchen, dining area, private balcony or patio, and an in-suite washer/dryer. Wyndham Park City is conveniently located at the base of Park City Mountain Resort’s Canyon Village at the entrance to the Frostwood Gondola and is just 1.5 miles from historic Main Street in Park City.

Wyndham Vacation Resorts at Shawnee Village — The Poconos, Pennsylvania
Located along the scenic Delaware River, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Shawnee Village features superb access to premier skiing, snowboarding and tubing at the Shawnee Mountain Ski Area. After a day of outdoor adventure, relax in the comfort of two-bedroom family suite accommodations complete with spacious living and dining areas, full kitchen and private bedrooms.

Book now at www.ExtraHolidays.com/Ski or call 800-670-3620 and mention code SKI. Book by October 31, 2016. Travel November 23, 2016 – March 31, 2017. Two-night minimum length of stay required. WorldMark Canmore-Banff, Wyndham Park City, Wyndham Resort at Avon, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Steamboat Springs, and Wyndham Pagosa have three-, four- or five-night minimum length of stay requirements during the months of December 2016 through March 2017, specific dates may vary and depend on travel dates selected. Valid for new reservations only. Reservations subject to availability. Reservations not valid over holidays and special events. Cannot be combined with any other offer. All monetary amounts are noted in U.S. Dollars unless otherwise noted. Fla. Seller of Travel Reg. No. ST-35519.

About Wyndham® Extra Holidays
Wyndham® Extra Holidays specializes in offering quality vacation accommodations throughout the United States, including Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, Mexico, Fiji and Puerto Rico. Wyndham® Extra Holidays is a specialized provider of rental vacation accommodations and a part of Wyndham Vacation Ownership, which is headquartered in Orlando, Fla. A subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide, Wyndham Vacation Ownership is the world’s largest vacation ownership business, as measured by the number of vacation ownership resorts, individual vacation ownership units and owners of vacation ownership interests.

LLumar® Named Official Window Tint and Paint Protection Film of Will Castro Designs as seen on “Unique Rides”

Window tint and paint protection film featured in the first season of the series, premiering Tuesday February 2, 2016 at 9PM ET/PT on Velocity

Kingsport, TN, Feb. 2, 2016—Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) announced LLumar has been named the official window tint and paint protection film of Will Castro Designs as seen on “Unique Rides,” a new series featuring the world-renowned Will Castro and his Team Unique. Viewers get an inside look at the creation of exceptional custom celebrity builds. LLumar Window Tint and Self-Healing Paint Protection Film will be part of the customization of every build during the season. Most car paint will not last long, that is already part of our car maintenance but there are a lot of companies where you can choose for paint protection in Sydney, one of those is Nanoshine.com.au.

“Will Castro Designs as seen on ‘Unique Rides,’ and LLumar are an ideal match,” said Mark Gershenson, director, LLumar global brand management. “LLumar enhances vehicle style while it helps protect inside and out. It is the brand the experts trust.”

“We depend on LLumar Window Tint and Paint Protection Film to finish and help protect our custom builds,” says Will Castro, founder, Will Castro Designs. “Our clients invest in their vehicles. LLumar window tint offers the style our clients demand, the privacy they need, and helps protect the customized interior against fading while paint protection film helps protect the exterior. We’ve been using LLumar film for over 15 years.”

Learn more about LLumar Window Tint and Paint Protection Film then get a sneak peek of the new show on Velocity.

About Will Castro Designs
Will Castro Designs is the leader in luxury automotive design and customization for elite car enthusiasts. Headquartered in Long Island, New York founder Will Castro has been a pioneer in design and automotive customization for decade Castro and his Team Unique from Unique Automotive has been the trusted partner with corporate brands, A-List celebrities, professional athletes and exclusive clientele. Castro also partners with automotive dealerships to make Unique Edition vehicles accessible across the nation. Will Castro Designs has been recognized globally and garnered a reputation as the trusted source for design and customization. To learn more, visit www.willcastrodesigns.com.

About Eastman
Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in approximately 100 countries and had 2014 revenues of approximately $9.5 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA and employs approximately 15,000 people around the world. For more information, visit www.eastman.com.

Media Contacts:
Maureen Blazevic
[email protected]
314.304.7911

Jasmine Ojeda
Media Contact for Will Castro Designs
[email protected]
631.319.8715

Clay Bar and the Proper Maintenance of Paint Finishes

Of all the information out there and of all the products being sold to the public to preserve and protect your vehicle’s finish, little or nothing is said about a simple product used in the Automotive Detailing and Paint Repair industry. The breakthrough paint protection technology effects from your car is different from other paint protection products.

Some detailers don’t really understand the benefits of using this product in the way I am going to talk about, and how it is beneficial to their customers and why it should be done on a somewhat regular basis!

Well what is this product?

It is called a Clay Bar.

This is not a new product or a secret product. However, it is not a well know product. Its use even by manufacturers is not well explained or understood.

We have some insight that is unique and not well understood by detailers or body shops because of the range of automotive appearance restoration we specialize in. Since many of the vehicles we work on have already been detailed we have to leave the vehicles “front line ready” when we are finished.

Unlike a body shop whose job does not include any kind of ‘detailing” we have to leave the vehicles we work on “front line ready”. Also, unlike a detail shop we have paint restoration experience.

Why does this matter to you, and how can our experience and knowledge benefit you?

First of all let me explain a basic rule to paint preparation when preparing for refinishing. The surface being worked on has to be completely “sterile” and properly scuffed in order for new paint to adhere well to the area being refinished.

Let me illustrate it this way. If I paint something that has decal on it and I paint over that decal what happens if that decal’s glue looses its adhesive quality? That area will certainly peel off sooner or later. You would not paint over a pin stripe or decal but on a larger scale if you have removed all surface contaminates you will have great adhesion and a long lasting paint job!

One of the biggest things that makes a paint job a quality paint job is how well the surface has been “prepped’! I cannot stress this point enough!

Have you ever priced a paint job? Have you wondered why some body shops can do a paint job for $400 and others will tell you $3000?!

Did you know the factory paint job on your vehicle can be valued somewhere between $3000 to $6000 depending of the make and model? Any paint work that is not done to the factory standard can devalue your vehicle the amount of your factory paint job.

The prep work done for a paint job when done properly can be the difference between a factory quality paint job and disaster!

So you have this $3000-$6000 paint job on your car, how do you protect it?

First of all do not neglect it by not removing damaging surface contaminates such as tar, sap, bugs, industrial fallout etc. Sap can actually boil in the sun and burn off the finish under the sap, ruining the panel where the sap is.

Second, make sure your waxes or sealants used to protect your paint job are of good quality and prepare the finish for proper adhesion of your wax or sealant.

Should you “prep” the finish for was or sealants? Absolutely! However, most people think they are but they are not. So how do you “prep” the finish for wax?

The best way to “prep” your vehicles finish for wax or paint sealants is the use of a clay bar! Before you wax and after you have washed your vehicle use a clay bar at least once a year or every six months for the best protection of that expensive paint job.

A clay bar will remove any surface contaminates that washing did not. It can even remove hard water stains on the paint if they are not too bad.

How do you use a clay bar?

A clay bar has to be used with a lubricant. It is a simple process really. In fact you can even use water as a lubricant. However, it is better to use a spray way that will both lubricate the panels you are clay baring and can be used to clean up clay residue as you go.

Simply spray the area you are clay baring…a 12″ X 12″ area is best and rub the surface with the clay bar back and forth in a side to side motion. You will hear the clay bar picking up light contaminates and as the surface is cleaned you will stop hearing the movement of the clay bar.

You can also feel the surface. If it feels rough like tiny pieces of sand after you have washed it, it needs to be clay bared. Use the same method above and listen and feel the area you are working on after you dry it off.

So work your small area wipe it dry when you think it is finished and check the surface with the inside of your hand rubbing lightly feeling and listening for rough areas. Once you have completed a section you can move on the next.

A word of caution, it has been said, although I gave never experienced this, that a clay bar can rub the paint off eventually if not kept lubricated while using. Use common sense and you should be fine.

Well there it is, this is the best way to prep for waxing your vehicle and a great way to be sure you are getting the best results from your wax.

Enjoy and I hope this article helps!

[http://www.headlightcare.com]

[http://www.headlightcare.com/smf]

I own an automotive paint repair company specializing in spot repairs, custom color matches, color blends, body repairs, touch up and scratch repair. We also run a website where we sell our exclusive headlight restoration kit which we designed and created. We have sold well over 2000 kits from our website and on eBay. We also have over 1900 positive feedback for our headlight restoration kit.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Dana_Lind/288370

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2139974

Custom Inflatable Commercial Canopy and Pop up Event

As a company or brand, you don’t always do business from your store or office. You go out, too. And we are not talking about that lone business promoter you send out to get more business. We are referring to outdoor events. Customization of your outdoor events’ canopy is a great way of promoting your brand.

The temperatures might be dropping and snow might be covering some commercial outdoor and patio space, but increasingly, winter’s grip has little effect on outdoor commercial activities. From football tailgating to temporary outdoor restaurants and from shopping booths in New York City’s Bryant Park to every big and small event in between, outdoor business activity and branding starts with a quality canopy no matter the calendar date. And of course, southern California’s at-times rainy winters do little to dampen canopy spirits.

Outdoor commercial activities often involve brands setting up a booth, using a tent or canopy to protect their merchandise and promotional products, as well as keep out rain, snow, or any other form of precipitation. For these purposes, custom-printed outdoor event tents and canopies are often a great way to go, driving instant recognition and brand promotion. You can use your company logo or brand name to custom print on the chairs, canopies, and curtains and make a public presentation of your business. Think of your business’ outdoor canopy as an extension of your brand (and even a little bit of you).

Now what sort of canopy you choose depends on the size of business activity you have in mind, or you are expecting. If for a winter fair, free-standing canopies or tents may suit your needs, however, a curtain type of canopy may also be appropriate. Another aspect to consider is your canopy/tent patrons. Will your audience come and stand or will you make them sit? Will you have many staff members inside the canopy too or will there be a limited number of them? Will your event require equipment and supplies, too? How much space will you need for the same? Working out these answers before determining the correct size of the tent or canopy is critical. It’s also a good exercise in business discipline; deciding exactly what and how much material and staffing you need to get the job done in a confined space.

How much cover you want, also determines the size of the canopy. Will you provide shade and/or weather protection to the first few customers you are interacting with, or will you want most of the waiting customers covered from the sun, rain, snow, and everything else Mother Nature can throw at an outdoor event during the winter months? The last thing you want is an aggravated customer whose non-waterproof leather jacket is getting damaged. Whether you choose to have a half wall canopy with the audience on the other side in the open or you choose a 20 ft. tall canopy housing 50 people at a time, always spend time on thinking ways to customize it.

Free-standing canopies are an easy and highly convenient option. You can also experiment with the shape of the tent or canopy. Some brands prefer square tents as they are common at outdoor venues and provide four walls for displays, which can serve as a small-scale version of your actual brick and mortar location. But these structures also run the risk of becoming too much like the surrounding canopies, failing to stand out. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous and like a bit of style, you may choose the hexagonal tents too. A different shape tent is a great way to capture the audience’s attention, only because it looks a bit different from the rest. And with six walls to work off, there’s even more space for product promotion!

Once you have chosen the proper size and shape of the canopy, you have to make them look special, and really stand out. Use your brand colors, logos, and graphics in a way that they suit your free-standing canopy or tent with style. Apart from the company logo, you can get the canopy customized with the pictures and fonts you like. Experiment with colors and graphics until you arrive at a design that will not only be eye-catching, buy will lead to instant brand recognition and support retention too, driving customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Beyond size, and the canopy’s design element, there are other factors to consider. Easy setup and post-event dismantling are equally important. What’s more, tents and canopies should be durable enough and easy to maintain. So if you plan on using it in a series of events spread in different regions all over the state, you’re guaranteed your outdoor structure will last.

Whether you buy tents or shade awnings or other canopies, make sure to customize to best suit your brand and services.

So this winter, as Pacific storm winds howl, or “panhandle hooks” blanket the plains in white or Nor’easters barrel up the Atlantic seaboard, don’t let Old Man Winter give you the seasonal blues when it comes to outdoor events. With a little shade, warmth, and protection from the rest of Mother Nature’s cold weather tool belt, your outdoor event will be as ready as can be.

This article has been written by an expert associated with Academy Inc., a premier manufacturer, designer, and installer of commercial canopies and awnings. Academy Inc. is located in Los Angeles, and has a wide array of products outside of canopies and awnings including, but not limited to cabanas, carriage tops, commercial signage, and an array of shade structures for commercial purposes. Academy Inc. is a fully licensed and insured company that has built a great reputation by combining quality products with unparalleled customer service.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_Richman/1192438

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6792304

Why A Leaky Faucet Doesn’t Have To Cost You Hundreds Of Dollars To Fix

Proper plumbing is essential to maintaining your home. Sometimes, you will need to pay special attention to your plumbing but it isn’t always necessary to call a plumber. The tips provided below will teach you some great ways in which you can easily handle issues with the plumbing in your home. If you want for plumbing upgrades in Sydney area, I highly recommend Aussieelectricalandplumbing.com.au.

Check for floor damage around your toilet. If the floor around your toilet feels softer than the rest of the floor in your bathroom, there’s damage you need to address. Another great way to check is to actually sit on the toilet and move in a rocking motion, going back and forth from right to left to see how much give you feel. By noticing a problem early on, you can save yourself a bunch of money if you were to leave it alone.

Place a strainer over the drains to collect anything that could clog and cause stoppage. The strainer in the kitchen sink should be cleaned each time you have large particles trapped in it. Clean out the bathtup strainer every few days before it becomes clogged.

Each month, treat your drains by pouring one cup of baking soda down it, and then follow that with a cup of regular white vinegar. Seal off the drain with a conventional plug or a piece of fabric while the natural chemical reaction takes place. Flush it with boiling water after a few minutes. Although this is useful for clearing away simple clogs made of hair and soap debris, it will not work for serious blockages.

Ensure your overflow holes aren’t clogged up. The overflow holes are there to make sure the sink doesn’t overfill, which can become a problem if they are blocked. When checking for potential problems and repairs, you should also remove obstructions from the overflow holes.

When it is time to replace your shower head, you should consider paying a little more for a better one. Some people think that one shower head is like any other, so decide on price alone. The issue with that is they’re less tough and can break.

If you need to buy a pipe cleaner to unclog your pipes, it is best to find one that is enzyme based. These types of cleaners will use natural bacteria so that the sludge will turn into liquid form, and be removed from your pipes. Some of the finest cleaners are enzyme cleaners.

Applying prevention measures is key to preventing plumbing issues. A common serious repair is removing clogs in the drain. Hair can cause clogs, among many other things. To keep hair out of your plumbing, use a screen or cover for your drains that allows water through but keeps hair out. It’s a lot simpler to eliminate hair that is on a screen than eliminating it off a pipe.

Avoid using drain cleaners as much as possible. Corrosive chemicals erode the metal pipes slowly. If your drain is clogged, hire a pro to figure out the problem.

The toilet should never be leaking, so make sure. Check for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank of each toilet. Look at its bowl, then if you spot any colored water within just a few seconds, there’s an issue that must be dealt with soon.

If you start to have sewage backup inside your toilet, it is because of blockage that is inside the branch line which connects the sewage line and the main line. A professional can help if you can’t clear the problem yourself. They will use a plumbing snake to get rid of the clog.

To better the efficiency of the water heater, see what size a tank your household requires. Knowing how many appliances use hot water and how many people live there will help you decide.

If you see a pipe coming out of the drainage pipe when putting in your new water heater, reconnect it before you finish the job. It is usually a recirculation pipe. This pipe is essential to keeping your water nice and warm without wasting water, which will help keep your bills down.

If you start seeing wet spots or water drops on any walls, it is critical that you shut your main water supply down and get a plumber out as fast as possible. The dripping water indicates that there could be a major problem with the plumbing in your walls. The possible consequences, including floods, mold, and mildew, are all dire.

You can avoid unnecessarily heating your water by buying a new, tankless water heater. Instead of collecting,storing and heating multiple gallons of water, a tankless model heats water on demand as you require it. This reduces the amount of energy they use, since water is only heated when it is called for.

When looking for plumbing fixtures, give strong consideration to those made of brass. Brass fixtures are known for their durability. Also, the look of brass fixtures is much nicer than similar counterparts. They are also easy to locate, just about any hardware or home repair store will have them.

There are a lot of amateurs in plumbing, so if you’re a pro, you might want to get an apprentice. This has two advantages. Firstly, it gives you an assistant at a reasonable rate, and secondly, it gives you a chance to pass on your skills and put another trained person out there.

Sticky substances like bananas, chicken skin and pumpkin pulp can clog your drain even if they go through the blades. Take these items out of the sink before running other food through the disposer.

To save both time and money, consolidate all your plumbing problems into a single visit from the plumber. Fix everything that needs attention in one visit, rather than calling for service repeatedly. This way the plumber can handle all problems at once and not have to come back, which will only cost you more money and time.

There are many methods that you can learn to fix plumbing. By utilizing these tips in your home, you can not only fix your plumbing in an emergency, but you can also cut costs by reducing the need for a professional plumber.

An EU strategy on cooperative, connected and automated mobility

Today the European Commission adopted a European Strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), a milestone initiative towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility. With such advances in autmated mobility, it is essential to find a solid business partner, when it comes to clear and effective marketing solutions.Absolutesignsolutions.com.au are specialists with vehicle signage in Sydney and are professional in every aspect of their business.

The Strategy will make it possible to deploy vehicles that can “talk” to each other and to the transport infrastructure on EU roads as of 2019.

The market potential of cooperative, connected and automated driving is estimated to be worth dozens of billions of euro annually and to lead to the creation of many new jobs. The Strategy therefore delivers on the Commission’s political priorities, notably its Agenda for Jobs, Growth and Investment, the Digital Single Market and the Energy Union.

What is C-ITS?

Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) allow road users and traffic managers to share information and use it to coordinate their actions. C-ITS are based on technologies which allow vehicles to “talk” to each other, and to the transport infrastructure. In addition to what drivers can immediately see around them, and what vehicle sensors can detect, all parts of the transport system are thus able to share information.

For instance, vehicles automatically warn each other of potentially dangerous situations (e.g. emergency braking or end of traffic jam queue) and communicate with local road infrastructure (e.g. optimal speed advice). This improves decision-making, either by the driver or – in the future – by the vehicle itself.

Why this strategy?

The objective of the European Strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems is to allow for a wide-scale commercial deployment of C-ITS as of 2019. This is expected to significantly improve road safety, traffic efficiency and comfort of driving, by helping the driver to take the right decisions and adapt to the traffic situation.

Most importantly, digital technologies help reduce human error, by far the greatest source of accidents in transport. The steady trend in improving road safety that the EU has seen over the last decade has slowed down. C-ITS can help to revive a positive dynamic in the reduction of road fatalities, in order to reach the EU target of halving the overall number of road deaths in the European Union between 2010 and 2020.

Communication between vehicles, infrastructure and other road users is also crucial to increase the safety of future automated vehicles and their full integration in the overall transport system. In other words, connectivity and cooperation are prerequisites to safe automation.

In all, this Strategy focuses on those services that can be readily deployed in the short to medium-run but display long-term benefits on road safety, sustainability and automation.

What are the main elements of the Strategy?

1. Avoid a fragmented internal market

Many C-ITS deployment activities are currently taking place in the EU, often supported through EU funds. The industry has stated its intention to start full scale deployment of C-ITS enabled vehicles in 2019. The first objective of the Strategy is therefore to avoid a fragmented internal market in the field of C-ITS and to create synergies between different initiatives, in order to ensure continuity and interoperability of C-ITS services throughout Europe.

2. Define and support common priorities

In order to ensure continuity, availability of C-ITS services across the EU for end-users must be ensured. This is why the Strategy considers a list of technologically mature C-ITS services with clear benefits for transport and society at large, which should be deployed quickly throughout the EU by Member States and local authorities, vehicle manufacturers, road operators and the ITS industry. The Strategy also includes actions to support Member States and industry financially in deploying such services.

3. Use a mix of communication technologies

C-ITS messages will be transmitted for a wide range of services, in various transport situations and between different actors. Generally, drivers are indifferent to the communication technology used to transmit C-ITS messages, but they will increasingly expect to receive all information on traffic and safety conditions seamlessly across Europe. To achieve this, the Strategy presents a hybrid communication approach combining complementary and available communication technologies. Currently, the most promising hybrid communication mix is a combination of WiFi based short range communication and existing cellular networks.

4. Address security and data protection issues

When it comes to connectivity, security and data protection issues become critical. Security of communications must be ensured, and citizens must have the assurance that their data are protected and used properly. This is why the Strategy includes the development of a common EU security policy for C-ITS, as well as specific actions to safeguard the right of citizens to control their personal data.

5. Develop the right legal framework

A specific framework is needed to provide legal certainty to public and private investors, and to ensure that the necessary technical rules (services, communication technologies, standards, frequencies, security, data protection etc.) are widely applied, leading to interoperability and continuity of C-ITS services throughout the EU. This is why the Strategy includes the development of such a legal framework, in close cooperation with, and learning from experience of C-ITS deployment projects such as the initiatives gathered under the C-ROADS platform.

6. Cooperate at international level

The C-ITS market is developing globally, international cooperation is already taking place with Australia, Japan, Singapore, the US and within the G7 in areas such as research, security and the development and harmonisation of standards. The Strategy includes the continuation of cooperation with international partners and initiatives in order to learn from each other, in particular the twinning of research and innovation projects.

Which services for the user?

Building on the work of the C-ITS platform, the C-ITS Strategy sets priorities for a coordinated deployment, by Member States and industry, of technologically mature C-ITS services which are expected to help reduce congestion, casualties and injuries on EU roads.

The services identified to be deployed first include amongst others: warnings about traffic ahead, road works, emergency vehicle approaching, notifications of weather conditions, in-vehicle signage of speed limits and advice on optimal speed for green lights (so-called green wave).

What about privacy and data protection?

Protection of personal data and privacy is a determining factor for the successful deployment of cooperative, connected and automated vehicles. Users must have the assurance that they have full control over how and for what purposes their data are being used. The C-ITS Strategy proposes specific actions to safeguard this right while facilitating the deployment of C-ITS, in particular the publication by the Commission in 2018 of first guidance regarding data protection by design and by default, specifically related to C-ITS.

What about security of communications?

Cyber-security of C-ITS communications is critical to avoid hacking and cyber-attacks, and requires action at European level. Information received from vehicles or from the infrastructure must be trustworthy. The C-ITS strategy proposes the development, in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders in the C-ITS domain, of a common security and certificate policy for the deployment and operation of C-ITS in Europe.

Is C-ITS good value for money?

Thorough analysis has shown that technologically mature C-ITS services for road transport – when deployed in an interoperable way across Europe – will produce a benefit cost ratio of up to 3 to 1 from 2018 to 2030. This means that every euro invested in C-ITS should generate up to three euro in benefits. Rapidly deploying as many services as possible will also mean they break even more quickly and will lead to higher overall benefits.

Did the Commission consult stakeholders when elaborating the Strategy?

The elaboration of the European Strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) followed a bottom-up approach. It builds on the work of the C-ITS platform, a cooperative framework including national authorities and all relevant stakeholders, which was set up by the European Commission in 2014 in order to develop a shared vision on the interoperable deployment of C-ITS in the EU. The delivery of the Strategy will continue to follow such bottom-up approach.

What are the next steps?

In line with the recommendations of the Declaration of Amsterdam, the objective of the C-ITS Strategy is to facilitate the convergence of investments and regulatory frameworks across the EU, in order to see deployment of mature C-ITS services in 2019. As such, the C-ITS Strategy is not an end in itself and work will intensify over the coming months.

This will notably involve continuous coordination, in a learning-by-doing approach, with the C-ROADS platform, which gathers real-life deployment activities in Member States. Through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) projects have been funded in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Further down the line, it will also include the adoption of the appropriate legal framework at EU level by 2018 to ensure legal certainty for public and private investors, the availability of EU funding for research and development projects, and international cooperation with other main regions of the world or at G7 level on all aspects related to cooperative, connected and automated vehicles.

For More information

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/its_en

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/its/index_en.htm

Tips To Help Console A Grieving Friend

I speak through my own experience from the loss of my husband, but it is good to note that no one’s experience is ever the same with grief. There is no right or wrong way to deal with the loss of a loved one, the process is unique and personal for each individual. Globalfunerals.net.au take the concept seriously to honor your love ones, so far I have recommended them as the best funeral parlours Sydney.

How it feels to lose a loved one and the stages of grief –

The loss of a child, partner, sibling, parent or close friend is unimaginable and indescribable. It leaves a hole so deep and painful that it is unmatched by any other. Your world stops. The exact moment is marked for memory, the details etched into your mind forever. Life goes on around you but you don’t feel part of it, it’s like watching a movie that can’t be happening. Everything has changed, it’s a different world, one in which your loved one is no longer here. There is nothing anyone can do or say to make things easier. You don’t know how you will survive, and you are not sure you even want to.

Things seem meaningless and you feel overwhelmed. Nothing makes sense. You are in a state of disbelief. You may want to talk about it, going over and over things to try and sort them out in your mind. You may not feel like talking and withdraw, searching for answers. No matter how many friends are around you, you feel alone and isolated, like there is a wall between you and everyone else. You feel like you will never be whole again. It is a strange new world, and the only person you want to be with is gone forever.

You go through various stages of grief which may include, anger, blame, guilt, hopelessness, depression, sadness, disbelief, regret, panic, loneliness and pain. These can last for different periods of time, or you can also go through all of them in one day. Life feels incomplete and unfinished.

Finally the reality will sink in, they are not coming back. In time, you will learn to live with your loss, but it will never really leave you. Grief is a part of the healing, and it’s a slow process. The hole that is left will never quite be filled, but you will find that one day, things will get easier.

What to do and what NOT to do when a friend is going through grief –
You cannot make them feel better; there are no words to fix this pain.

DO NOT fail to mention the loss for fear of hurting your friend even more. Pretending that nothing’s happened because you don’t know what to say, is the worst thing you can do. TALK about their loss, tell them how sorry you are, offer your deepest sympathies and any assistance they may need. Failing to acknowledge their loved one is like denying their loved one’s existence and lessening the importance of their loss.

DO NOT try to tell them you know how they feel if you have experienced a loss of your own, each loss is unique, you do not know how they feel. Do not compare notes, “I remember when John died….” John means nothing to your friend right now.

LISTEN! Sometimes they will need to talk about it for hours, days or weeks. They will go through the same details over and over, trying to make sense of them, or accept the finality. They may not get tired of talking about the same thing and although you may be tired of listening to it, keep listening! Telling the story is part of the healing, it helps to dissolve the pain and understand the loss. They must get it out. Don’t try and move them on. Let them talk. Grief must be witnessed to be healed. When it is shared, it is lessened in some small way. It reinforces that their loss mattered.

DO NOT interrupt or add in any of your own experiences. I had a friend who kept interrupting and trying to tell me about someone else they knew who had experienced similar things. I didn’t want to hear anything; I needed to talk about MY loss. So I stopped talking to her.

DO NOT force them to talk about it. There are times when they don’t want to talk at all. This is no need for alarm. Showing ‘concern’ about their silence will only make them retreat even further. This does not mean that they are not dealing with their loss; it is merely another stage of the long and difficult journey of grief. They are most definitely dealing with it; they just sometimes need to do it on their own.

DO NOT complain or be offended if they don’t return your phone calls. I ignored my phone for months! The best thing is to send them a phone message or email just to let them know you are thinking of them. DO NOT expect any response. You probably won’t get one. And please don’t get that hurt tone in your voice if they do return your call a little later than you expected. Have no expectations of your friendship. Try and offer unconditional support and understanding.

DO talk about death. Death is a normal part of life. It is something that many people shy away from. Talk about their loved one when he was alive. Share memories together, this confirms that they still exist as part of us.

DO phone them or send a message to say your thoughts are with them on days that you know are especially painful, like anniversaries or holidays. You will not be reminding them of anything they don’t already remember. For me, the first Father’s day came and went and no one mentioned my loss or said that they were sorry that my children did not have a father on that day. People are afraid to remind you of your losses but you know them all too clearly anyway. As time goes by, it seems that everyone carries on their lives as normal but there will never be anything normal about your life again. It’s good to know that people still acknowledge your grief, even after years.

Be sensitive, there is no end to how far the pain can go.

DO NOT be offended when your friend cancels appointments. They can go from feeling OK to feeling devastated in a matter of minutes. This is how grief works. Cancelling a plan at the last minute is completely normal. Be sure that they know that it’s OK with you to confirm on the day IF they feel up to it. There are good days and bad days and you never know what’s coming. It is their prerogative to change their mind.

DO NOT force them into anything they are not comfortable with. Sometimes they will feel like company, and much of the time, they may prefer to be alone. I had friends nag me saying, you NEED to get out. All I felt like at the time, for months, was staying at home and being introspective with my children. No one can know what is best for you. Even if you think you are doing something that is in that person’s best interest, don’t do it or have any expectations before checking with them first. Trust that they know best.

BE sensitive! The last thing I felt like after losing my husband was going to a couple’s dinner where I was the only one without a partner. My children also struggled at outings or parties where they were the only ones without a dad! When you invite your friend somewhere, let them know exactly what the situation will be and tell them that it’s OK if they are not ready for it. Be understanding.

DO NOT judge friends about their behaviour. If you think they are drinking too much, eating too much, going out too much or dating too soon, keep it to yourself! Each person has to find their own way to get themselves through. I had people tell me that they were worried about my weight loss. I could barely manage to get through the day let alone think about cooking dinners! What you think is concern can easily come across as not being sensitive or understanding. Rather say something like; I know it must be inconceivable to cook meals right now, so I’m bringing you dinner ever Friday night. If you feel there’s a real problem, perhaps you could mention the name of a good grief counsellor you have heard of without mentioning that you think they have a problem. There is no right or wrong time to pack up a loved one’s belongings. Some people want to be alone, others can’t manage. Some do it immediately, some wait months or years. Do not judge or say things like, you really should get around to that, let me help you. Belongings carry memories and feeling far deeper than you can ever imagine, this needs to happen gently when the person feels ready.

Emotions seem to have no end.

DO NOT try to fix things or help them snap out of it. It is a natural reaction to try and cheer people up and get them to look at the bright side. In grief, there is no bright side. They feel more alone than they ever thought possible, and wonder if they will ever feel anything again.

DO NOT get taken aback or offended by any emotions, from anger to blame. They are all normal. They may snap at you, and say things like – what do you know about what I’m going through, you still have your partner. DO NOT lash back. Let them be angry, let them scream if they want to. Love and accept them through it all.

DO NOT worry about depression. Depression that is directly related to an exceptionally stressful situation is normal and understandable. Depression at length for no apparent reason is the only depression to worry about. Society sees any depression as needing treatment. The depression that comes with loss does not necessarily need treatment, it needs understanding and acceptance. Depression will come. A friend of mine wisely told me that it was fine if I didn’t feel like bathing or brushing my teeth for days, I must just be depressed and flow with my feelings. She set me free to feel depressed without worrying about myself. As time passes, it comes and goes less often. The sadness is an understandable result of loss. It is only if the depression becomes ongoing and life debilitating that they need to seek help.

DO NOT tell them they need to be brave! I had people tell my children this. Let them CRY! Tears are healing. In our society, it’s the done thing to hand over a tissue as soon as someone starts crying. This is a subtle message saying ‘stop your tears’. I heard of a psychologist who refused to hand out tissues just so that the person would not feel as if they had to stop crying. Your friend is already thinking they must stop crying. It feels like they will never stop crying but of course they will. Allow them to let it all out. Sometimes they will cry for what looks like no reason. This is a reminder that the loss is always there, living alongside them. And that is normal. Do not tell them to be strong!

Practical ways to help –
There are some practical ways you can help. Often your friend who is grieving will not even know how to ask for help or what to ask for. Use your initiative and try some of the following, making sure not to invade their space or overstay your welcome.

Cook dinners, wash dishes, offer to lift children to school, have children over to play, do the grocery shopping. If you are going shopping, just pop them a message asking them what they need from the store, then drop it off and do not go in, unless invited. Offer to collect post, go to the bank or do any chore that needs doing.

Handyman services. If your friend has lost a partner who used to do certain things around the house, e.g. mow the lawn, change lightbulbs etc. think about how they feel now that there’s no one to do those jobs. Send your husband along to help. Or if you don’t have one, send an electrician, gardener or handyman to them for the day to do any thing that needs doing.

Gifts to buy – instead of buying flowers so that your friend’s home looks like a funeral parlour, rather get them something they can cherish. Like photograph albums, journals, book vouchers to buy any book they may need to read, pamper vouchers for a massage or healing session.

Leila Summers lives in Durban, South Africa with her two daughters, three dogs and four cats. Leila enjoys reading and writing and has a passion for research. Her particular interests include the topics of parenting, homeschooling, children, spirituality, death, grief and loss. Leila has just finished her first book. http://www.leilasummers.com

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