Monday, March 18, 2013

Choosing the Right Boat Motor

There are a number of systems and options available to you. Are you interested in AC, DC, or engine driven? There are also numerous choices regarding components, modules, condenser designs, and unit cooling (air or water). The right system for one sailor may not be the right one for his friend even for the same vessel. It depends on the type of boating undertaken, where the boat will operate and what other onboard equipment is in existence or will be installed. We have itemized some of the main considerations when choosing each type of system. Naturally, this is only a guide, but it will help you focus on the type of system you, as an owner will need for your style of boating. Even if you have something like a pontoon boat from Manitou Pontoon Boats: you still may need a heavier engine.

Before discussing types of systems, let’s look at dual and single cold plate piping when used with two separate condensing systems. When dual piping is in use, each system has completely separate controls and gas circuits. In short, if one fails the other will not. Most clients favor this total redundancy. However, the downside to this is the extra running time to pull down the plates as only half of the available piping is used. Knowledgeable clients choose the single piping plate method as they can repair the system should a gas leak occur. When installing a single cold plate, circuit system with two separate condensing units, either AC or DC supporting the engine driven system, special attention must be paid to the design along with certain check valves and other components fitted to ensure long reliable service. We have achieved excellent results over the years by testing hundreds of these systems, but for the novice, the separate circuit may be the best way to go as the extra pull down time is offset by the peace of mind.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Less Invasive Surgery for Back Pain Sufferers

AMMAN, JORDAN - JULY 28:  A patient is wheeled...
Getting open back surgery due to back pain can be an incapacitating process. The surgery itself is invasive, recovery time can often take weeks and after the whole process, it is still possible that scar tissue can appear near the nerve roots and continue to cause pain after surgery. With all of these risks, many people still choose open back surgery because chronic back pain can be debilitating, hurting the entire body whether sitting, standing, walking or even lying down. Without surgery, life may be unbearable.

Fortunately, there is a new, less invasive back surgery that forgoes opening up the patient. This procedure is called Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF) and is not for everyone. Performed by physicians with Orthopedic Surgery jobs: leapdoctor.com/Home/OrthopedicSurgery-medicine-jobs, it is only used for anterior lumbar fusion and does not work on L5-S1. The procedure does, however, work for L1-L5 and can treat degenerative scoliosis, foraminal stenosis, recurrent disc hernations, degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis. Many are reporting less pain with XLIF than open back surgery and speedier recovery times.

The outpatient procedure is quite simple: small incisions are made in the back, coupled with real-time X-ray images and monitoring equipment that allow the doctor to remove disc material without opening up the entire back. Then, the disc material is replaced by a bone graft that is protected by a cage of carbon-fiber, bone, titanium or polymer. This cage keeps scar tissue from growing and causing postoperative pain.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

ADA Pool Access Law 2012 Controversy

lift
lift (Photo credit: emmma peel)

In 2010, the United States Department of Justice released the final regulations concerning the addition of pool lifts in public swimming areas. While the original law was to be fully implemented by March of this year (2012), a new deadline has been levied that extends the requirements to January 31st, 2013. The announcement of this extension has re-ignited the debates that initially swarmed while the legislation was being proposed and amended. 
 
The law itself states that public swimming facilities must be equipped with ways to allow disabled individuals to enjoy the same usage as others. The purported way to achieve this utilitarian standard is through installing technology outside of the pool for usage. Because of this, the act is considered an extension of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. What specifically constituted a "pool lift" was left vague enough to prevent a single company or conglomerate from creating a monopoly. There was plenty of specificity in regards to what constituted a public swimming facility, however. Such things include, but aren't limited to, hot tubs, hotel pools, and walking pools. 
 
It is important to note that, according to the fine print, there is no mandate that every single pool be equipped with a device. That would be like saying that every building could no longer have stairs, but must use ramps instead. The legislation purports equality in opportunity. Meaning that if there are multiple pools and aquatics programs, those with disabilities must be able to enjoy the same programs and usage of aquatic facilities. I.e, if they have two pools, as long as they are both fundamentally congruent, only one of the pools have to be equipped with the technology. 

There are those who openly embrace and laud the law. To them, this action is another step forward in achieving de facto equality in America. Why is it fair, their argument goes, to deny and deprive certain Americans of opportunities simply because they can't gain access to the pool? Especially if, once in the water, they would be able to take advantage of the opportunity? For them, it is an issue of fundamental fairness and the implementation of the law represents a step in the right direction.
 
There are those, however, who disagree with the law. Although many do indeed sympathize with those who can't use the pool because they can't gain access to it, the issue boils down to economics. The mandate for the inclusion of the technology doesn't just apply to new construction; older pools must also have this technology in place. As of now, it is up to the proprietor to foot the bill for the expansion. Indeed, once one realizes that each device can run up to several thousand dollars, the economic arguments are, in some aspect, merited.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Thing About Lead

metal detecting for lead pipes DSCN9450
metal detecting for lead pipes DSCN9450 (Photo credit: DrJohnBullas)

It seems one of the things that is always with us is lead.  Heavy, dull, dark, like that blind date your former friend fixed you up with last month, lead is always around and hard to get rid of.  In the seventies lead paint was finally recognized as the health hazard it was and children were tested for lead poisoning.  It was mostly the ones who ate paint chips that were at risk.  I know what some of you cruel and heartless types are thinking. “If they are dumb enough to eat paint chips maybe it is just nature’s way of thinning out the weak minded and a good case for natural selection.”  Sheesh you are probably the same people who say things like, “Then let them die and decrease the surplus population.”  Enough of that and let’s get back to the point, lead.

You would think that after all these years everyone would have gotten the idea that lead is not real great stuff to put in paint, particularly paint that is going to be used on toys, handled by children.  Enter the Chinese.  Perhaps in China, a country with a serious overpopulation problem, lead painted toys are seen as social engineering and heartily endorsed, but maybe they should have run the idea by the American consumers before they sent us toys painted with toxic paint for our children.  Now let’s be honest, anyone who has ever been on a long flight with a crying baby in the next seat, or tried to have a meal in a restaurant with a bratty kid at the next table, has probably been tempted to give the little nippers a lead painted toy, but we really wouldn’t do it, it’s just a fleeting thought.  For every person who thought of buying a lead paint tainted toy for a particularly obnoxious child there are millions who are appalled by the idea of toxic toys. 

The same can probably be said of the millions who were appalled when it was discovered that certain Firestone tires were exploding and causing terrible accidents.  Oh sure, there were a few people at the time who had been contemplating divorce who saw the idea of putting Firestone tires on their spouse’s car as a cheap alternative to divorce, but they were a very small minority.  The point is, we consumers do not want dangerous things, like lead, in our products.

This brings me to another point, and that is that sometimes something like lead can be a bad thing in one place and a good thing somewhere else.  For instance, lead in a pencil is a good thing, although it is actually graphite.  When I was a teenager I used to eat at a little diner in Rhode Island.  The waitress, very kindly and motherly, would always make sure I had a large helping of the special and on more than one occasion told me it would put lead in my pencil.  Apparently she realized that at that stage in my life I had decided to become a writer, although the twinkle in her eye seemed to indicate she was interested in more than my writing career.

So sometimes lead is good and sometimes it is bad.  If you are worried about lead paint and other toxic substances in your products, rather than asking your favorite waitress for advice, perhaps you should visit a site like Safe Toys Info  Where you will find information about safe toys and other consumer products too numerous to mention here.

In the meantime, may your children always be safe and may your pencil always be full.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Conveying the Importance of Conveyor Systems

United Parcel Service logo (2003–2011)
United Parcel Service logo (2003–2011) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was recently watching a YouTube video showing Jamie Oliver talking to children in large cities about food. He was showing them a random assortment of vegetables, everything from eggplant down to potatoes, peppers and corn on the cob. Amazingly to me, the kids were unable to identify the vast majority of the foods. It was quite clear that many children have no idea where their food comes from anymore. It comes pre-packaged and prepared and ready to eat. Macaroni and cheese, to them, really does grow on trees. Food is food, it doesn't come from parts, it simply is.

This led to a really interesting discussion shortly after with some friends of mine who were discussing how little modern man knows about anything. Some highlights included:
  • How do we make a lightbulb?
  • Where does electricity come from?
  • How do we fix the engine in our cars?
  • How do we have access to everything at all times?
The last point to me was really interesting. The question was posed originally about the internet, but it expanded into - how do we get fruit in North Dakota in the middle of the winter? 70 years ago that sure wasn't happening, but now you go to the store and there it is. You need a TV tomorrow? You don't even have to leave your house, go online and order it and it's at your door in moments.

Interestingly enough, the true hero in this scenario is logistics. More importantly, if you wander into a FedEx hub or a UPS one, you'll see automation and conveyor systems at their finest. Automated picking systems select and sort products at critical points and move them quickly and efficiently from point A to point B to point C and eventually to your doorstep with a bit of human intervention at each point along the way. 

The efficiency and smarts built into these automated conveyor systems are amazing. Products can be scanned and sorted, routed and picked based on weights, RFID and other means that few of us can even comprehend. 

While many kids may no longer know what's for dinner, I do know that the things that landed on their plate are largely due to automated logistics and some amazing conveyor systems that make our lives much more luxurious and a whole lot easier!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Image representing Hewlett-Packard as depicted...
Image via CrunchBase

The dip in soybean production caused by farmers gravitating to ethanol production got you down? Well, the 2/25 issue of Business Week highlights another potential shortage you might see in 2008: Television ad time.
The shortage is caused by the need for Presidential candidates to broadcast their message to us in those tasty bite-sized nuggets, the 30 second commercial:
Politicians are expected to spend $3 billion on TV ads this year, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group. The spending spree, up from $1.7 billion in 2004, will do more than raise the prices in the $26 billion TV spot ad market, where rates could double in contested battlegrounds such as Ohio and Florida.
Leave it to Spend Management leader Hewlett-Packard to offer strategies to manage this short term capacity constraint and prove that good sourcing is not just for procurement any more. Scott Berg, HP’s global marketing chief plans to use good sourcing practices in a non-traditional market:
  1. Increasing the use of substitutes: HP will shift their focus to spend more on internet and radio ads.
  2. Identify spot pockets of unused capacity: Berg’s team will identify local TV markets where candidates have dropped out of races, leaving inexpensive ad spots available for opportunistic buyers.
Obviously TV ad time isn’t a “commodity” many of you are regularly purchasing, but HP’s silver lining approach to market conditions shows that Spend Management isn’t just a procurement department goal. And you’ve got to admire their flexibility and creativity in adapting to external events. Certainly not bad goals no matter what you’re purchasing.


Friday, July 13, 2012

3 Reasons We're Struggling with Obesity

Obesity Campaign Poster
Obesity Campaign Poster (Photo credit: Pressbound)

According to the great article I just read, three things are contributing to our “growing” obesity problem in this nation: 

1) Poor Diets
2) Lack of Exercise
3) A Plethora of Mis-Information.

The article shines some light on all 3 of these problems and shows exactly how they tie into the obesity epidemic that is spreading all over our nation. Poor diets slow metabolisms, making it harder for your body to burn fat; they teach people that “quick fixes” exist and that weight loss can be as easy as starving ourselves.

Lack of exercise, well, that’s an obvious one, if we don’t exercise, we don’t stay in good cardiovascular health, we don’t have our bodies running at its best potential, and due to that, we gain extra weight.

Bottom line, all 3 areways that obesity is so successfully sweeping across our nation. Avoid those 3 and you’ll avoid the obesity. Go to a gym where they have hydraulic resistance circuit training routines that can help you stay in the best shape of your life.

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