Portfolio 231481 October Articles

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Industrial wooden pallets are a quiet but ubiquitous part of modern life. Their purpose is to make goods move movable by providing a consistent base for a fork lift truck or other loading and moving machines to lift the goods with. Generally, pallets are flat, wooden bases but they also may be metal, plastic or plastic. They have become more popularized with the advent of shipping containers; another formulaic shipping method which favours flat bases, stackability and uniformity. Initial pallet-style transport packaging arrived in America at the very end of the eighteenth century as moving equipment was developed. The format we recognizably use today had developed by the end of the Forties. Currently there are no international standards that mete out the specifications of pallets. As different industrial areas have different storage areas and different doorways or passageways, pallet uniformity is difficult to encourage. However, there are ISO standards that allow a certain level of predictability in pallet use. After use, pallets may enter pallet recycling or become reused in pallet crafts. As mentioned above, pallets come in a variety of materials from paper to wood to plastic to metal. Stronger pallets made of hard wood are more durable and more usable as they can support lifting in all directions. Modern engineered paper pallets have a load-bearing capability comparable with wood. Plastic has the advantage of being cleaner, more impervious to decay but cannot be easily repaired. Steel has a high durability and is often used in rough industries but is more expensive and tends to weigh more. Aluminium pallets combine the strength of metal with the light weight of plastic, paper or wood and are very durable; these are normally used for outdoor storage as they don¶t rust, rot or plastic creep. Softwood pallets are the least durable and strong of the pallet types and these are generally expected to become waste after use. They are only built to be lifted from two sides unlike the stronger pallets. These pallets have a high level of re-use and forms of pallet recycling are becoming more common. Companies world-wide provide pallet stripping services where pallets are broken down into their components and rebuilt into new, stronger pallets. Another simple use for these is as firewood, although you must take care not to inadvertently release toxic chemicals into the atmosphere as a result of burning the wood. If your pallet is safe to burn, you can break it up with a crowbar or have fun jumping on it until it cracks. Alternatively, you can take advantage of their pre-constructed shape and turn them into garden or home furniture. We all have days when we want to take all our money out of the bank and stuff it in the mattress ± that last bounced cheque fee, the charge to transfer money or a sudden withdrawal of your overdraft just when you weren¶t expecting it. Unfortunately, insurance policies don¶t look kindly on massive wads of cash lying around the house. Generally, they won¶t cover more than a few thousand units of currency and understandably so ± wads of cash are easily accessible and portable by nefarious types. However, there are alternatives to banks that you may not have heard of. There¶s probably one in your city right now, if not more! Credit unions are co-operative financial institutions owned and run by their members. They aim to provide a more supportive and ethical service than traditional banking services, characterised by frugality, low-cost loans and a focus on community and international development. Generally, these organisations are considered to be not-for-profit and hold a smaller amount of assets than national banks (although assets are likely to still be within the amount of millions). They do not count as charities though and cannot accept donations ± they must be self-sufficient and not in need of hand-outs to operate. They started in response to financial problems in rural Germany in the 19th century. Larger banks didn¶t consider the rural cash flow to be worth investing in as it was small, seasonal and the countryside made staffing complicated. Instead, Franz Herman Schulze-Delitzch started a system which contributed a seminal idea to credit union systems ± that of social capital and the idea that human relationships hold value and are worth investing in alongside financial concerns. So how does one choose the best credit union for you? You may find one suitable based on your geographical location. Another may reflect your religious group which would likely appeal as a good choice to make. They can also reflect your trade, discipline or career group, which in turn will affect the particular services they offer, making it a better financial decision for your company or your general interests. As they are generally run not-for-profit, credit extension is much better than the bigger banks and interest rates are higher. Your search for the best credit union may also reflect a poor credit rating. Where traditional banks have shied away from lending you money, you can shop around to find the best deal for you with this banking alternative. When you settle into your life of conjugal bliss with your partner, it isn¶t all µDid you remember to pick up some milk?¶ and µThe kids are suspiciously quiet ± go and check on them¶. For, hopefully, 8 hours a night, you and they are going to be tucked up in slumberland together, snuggled under blankets and snoozing away like bear that got at the tranquilizerlaced honey. If you¶re anything like me, it¶s more likely that you are thumping pillows all night, waking up with a jolt for no good reason, kicking the duvet around and generally tossing and turning. A good night¶s sleep requires commitment to sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is the practice of adequate preparation and commitment to your night¶s sleep. If you share your bed with others, it¶s worth you working together to commit to this goal. The first concern is obviously the bed. It needs to be big enough to accommodate all occupants and their sleeping movements. By all means, seek out cheap king size beds ± you can always upgrade the mattress or improve it in other ways. The mattress and bed need to provide the right consistency for your skeleton ± some like it hard, some like it soft. This may be a problem if your partner has different rigidity needs to you. You can get around this by buying a mattress topper, using blankets or duvets under the bed sheet (also deliciously insulating in winter) or using my parent¶s favourite trick of slipping a bit of wood under whosever side needs a little more support. Mattress toppers have come a long way and one and barely turn the pages of a parochial and mundane newspaper without coming across large advertisements for these products. So you¶ve sought out your cheap king size beds and your mattress toppers and thrown some duvets, blankets and maybe even a bit of old wood into the mix. Your next concern is pillows. My partner and I struggle in this regard. He likes about 8, I like about 2. I¶ve even been known to have none or sleep on the floor in my quest for spine comfort. He has also taught me the bad habit of folding pillows in half to get just the right height of pillow ( he has a much bigger skeleton than I). I don¶t recommend that you fold pillows. What you should do is replace them ever few years, take time to wash them several times a year and give them a good airing. Like any product, the more care you take, the better they¶ll support you and the longer they¶ll last. Between beds, mattresses and pillows, you¶ve taken the first steps to sleep hygiene by preparing a comfortable sleeping area. Diet, room quality and pre-sleep activities are the next concerns. The advent of the internet has been great for knitters. Really great. We get to see yarn craft from all over the world, we get to pick and choose knitting motifs to use in our patterns and see the more unusual, artier combinations of techniques. For me, I really enjoyed learning about a design student¶s 3D crocheting whereby they had created a footstool made from very large crocheting in 3D! I use the internet to source all kinds of knitting, crocheting and general craft designs and ideas. My last purchase was for a 1940s pattern that allowed you to create shoes! You crocheted the inner sole, you crocheted the outer sole, crocheted them together and then attached some fabric to make a pair of sort of espadrilles. I haven¶t made these yet ± partly because I¶m intimidated and partly because we spilt beer all it at a recent party and the stain from the table turned the paper brown ± but was amazed I could find them. The last free pattern I got was to knit a lovely jumper that was in garter stitch and you knitted it sideways. I started it but the pattern doesn¶t seem to reflect what I¶m making. The problem here was knitting needle conversion. The internet may allow us a huge resource of patterns but everyone uses different knitting needles sizes. Some countries may even have an µold¶ sizing chart and a µnew¶ sizing chart or one in numerals and one in letters. This makes knitting needle conversion or crochet hook conversion much harder. I tend to just google µknitting needle conversion¶ and use what comes up but it¶s not always reliable. I also have various knitting, crochet and craft books that are sometimes a help but again, these may not be quite right or, in the cases of countries with the µold¶ and µnew¶ size charting, out of date. The best way to avoid mishaps with getting the right size needle is to pay attention to the part of the pattern which tells you the gauge. Gauges will say how many stitches you should get to an inch (or some such measurement); a certain number across and a certain number down. Chunky knits may be only 2 or 3 stitches across and 1 or 2 down. Finer knits will be more. It¶s tempting to want to skip the gauge check but you will only learn the hard way that it does need attending to. I still hate doing it and still waste my time knitting, unpicking and starting again. Learn from my mistakes and check your conversions with a gauge test! Rationally, I know that there are lots of sensible things to spend ones money on. Rationally, I am familiar with the law of diminishing returns ± that the more you have of something, the less good it can provide you. I know as a 21st century woman I can do pretty much anything I please and I have the confidence to pull it off. I worry about social issues, I support my community, my family, I consider the deeper meanings of social structure and interaction and I ponder philosophy in an educated fashion. I also really love shoes. I love how they look, I love the things they are made of and I love how they look on people¶s feet. I love the people that design them, I love the people that sell them and I often feel sorry for the people who make them. Accessories make the outfit and provide the nuance to sartorial statement. This is why I seek out shoes online cheap. This way I can have more of them which can really help with my other concerns. When I am gardening in the park at the local shared vegetable plot, I wear my darling old-style hiking boots that look great in a retrospective fashion and function properly as good, strong leather boots. When I am visiting my family, I wear comfortable but chic and hip training shoes with the ubiquitous smooth shell toe so we can go for a nice walk without being joined by blisters. If I¶m having a ponder or consideration about social issues, I¶m probably at home wearing my beautiful Polish slippers that I found hidden under a rack in a charity shop. They are so beautiful and comfortable that I¶m not sure quite what I¶m going to do with myself once they fall apart and believe me when I assure you that I will wear them until they fall apart. My favourite reason to go on the internet to find shoes online cheap is to assuage my guilt. I don¶t like contributing to sweatshops, I don¶t. I don¶t many people actively do like contributing to sweatshops but I also try not to ignore it. The nice thing about getting shoes online cheap is that you can buy second-hand or find more ethically produced shoes in sales or at outlet sites, when the season has finished and you need to flog them quickly. New, these ethical, recycled shoes cost a great deal. I managed to pick up a pair for a third of the price. Auction sites give you a chance to pick up footwear that is basically still on-trend and again, you get to sidestep the issue of sweatshops and so on as you are buying them secondhand. When you delve a little deeper, this isn¶t an ethical action pure as the driven snow. You¶re still in the consumer cycle and you¶re still buying more than you need. Still, it¶s a start. One step at a time, eh? E-learning comes in many forms. It may also be known as computer-based learning, webbased learning or internet-based learning ± the phrase, e-learning, however, covers the whole range. It may be as simple as young children learning to read from an animated book on a CD or playing a counting game to increase their understanding of mathematics up to something as complex as a university-level virtual learning environment (VLE). Such environments are used world-wide by universities and colleges to enhance their students¶ learning opportunities and capabilities. There are also many providers of this type of service. For instance, students at the University of North Carolina have access to Student Central UNC. A good example of such environments will make administration more central and simple; allow the student to take advantage of self-service, decreasing the amount of time that your staff will have to spend in dealing with queries and problems; allow users to personalise their experience and make the VLE more uniquely usable and helpful, according to their needs; and transmit material for learning quickly and keep it portable across different platforms. Tutors can interact with their students in a variety of ways, in order to both administrate their course and teach. Module information, calendar-based information, enrolment and innovative methods of teaching are all available to the technologically-minded lecturer and education provider. It can also allow the student more ownership of the education pathway as it can be used to sign up to and leave different courses, to function as an intranet that makes for a more cohesive and coherent student experience, access more general information about the school, college or university and access online libraries and teaching materials. Users of Student Central UNC, for example, are able to access their course results and get their scores for the academic year. Forms of VLE were first tried out in the 1960s in California with gifted students and developed into a more familiar system in the 1990s when email lists were involved. The use has spread widely today and is even a topic of academic pedagogical research. Recent developments into E-Learning 2.0 make use of our online focus on social networks and the post-modern assumption that much of our learning is socially learnt. Another contemporary popular method is to use screen casting to broadcast live the flow of educators thoughtprocess and teaching. E-learning has also had a great impact on language classes as modern technology allows language tuition to take place with native speakers from anywhere across the world with a computer, web-cam and internet connection. The first chat room has been logged as being run by an executive for Compuserve in the 1990s and was a dedicated, text-based channel for CompuServe users. Chat rooms can be considered a form of mass conference and, as such, can be used for both formal and informal purposes. This service can be text-based, avatar-based, video-based, 2D or 3D. It can also be provided in context of a computer game and is analogous to MMOs or MMORPGS where multiple players come together to interact for a shared purpose. Generally, such communication channels are used to bring together people who all share an interest in a certain subject and desire to talk to each other about this shared subject. It is different from a forum or mailing list as it is real-time and if you were to leave your computer, the conversation would be appreciably different by the time you got back ± unlike a more static communication system where the conversation would probably have only moved on a step or two in your absence. For some users, chatting is more about the direct social interaction than the sharing of information and opinions. To increase this, different technology has developed to facilitate it. Web cameras allow the transmission of audio and video to the other participants in the chat room. As such, in web cam chat rooms, a stronger connection between conversationalists can be perceived as the others are seen and heard and emotion can be derived from their body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. This is important to human beings as it is estimated that, in normal face-to-face conversation, the actual words we say account for very little of how we understand the other participant This level of communication has strongly caught on in adult arenas where it allows a remote form of prostitution or sex show. The user need not leave their house in order to enjoy adult interaction and can instead pay for a very private sexual experience without fear of public embarrassment, arrest or social transgression. If they have a particular preference for sex partners from another part of the world, this can easily be managed without physically travelling to another part of the world. Web cam chat rooms, in this context, allow greater safety to the sex workers also. There is no risk of STD or STI, no risk of physical violence and less risk of stalking or domestic insecurity. The workers have more control over the rates they set, the hours they work and the clients they choose ± poor behaviour is removed with the press of a button, rather than the need for a security guard. Believe it or not, there are millions of dollars of unclaimed federal funds sitting across the world. Money owned by individuals or their inheritors and it is sitting in a bank account somewhere and not in the individuals¶ possession. Sometimes, tax refunds can go uncollected when people move house and fail to update their details on the municipal register, meaning that cheques are returned to the sender. When Credit Unions are liquidated, Credit Union shares may never be cashed in and many, many people fail to collect their private sector pensions. Sometimes, savings bonds bought by individuals stop generating interest and should be reclaimed in order to be reinvested. Most pertinently, if a financial institution fails and in liquidated, shareholder funds and insured deposits regularly go un-retrieved. . A culturally significant type of fund is that related to the Third Reich and to Holocaust victims and their families. The Nazis took a huge amount of assets and these are still not correctly redistributed. There are two American online databases, mostly administrated by the state of New York. Property may also go unnoticed. An economically significant fund is that of the United States. Collectively, the country has, nationally, hundreds of billions of dollars of unclaimed federal funds related to around 30 million Americans, and locally, by state, around $23 billion. The UK is estimated to have £77 billion at the very least. Shockingly, 1 in 3 life insurance policies are never paid out because heirs to these policies do not contact insurance companies to retrieve the money and little effort is made on behalf of the companies to find them. The US Government will also never aid you to retrieve your money ± you must do this autonomously. Some municipal holders will looks after these unclaimed funds forever whist making efforts to find the correct owners. These are held by the state in many cases. Making claims on unclaimed federal funds will require different processes in different places. Certainly, effort is made to process applications within a reasonable amount of time. However, there is no central database to make this job easier. If the asset owner is deceased, you will need to provide documentation that you are truthfully the heir to that asset. Potential claimants may also be contacted by ³heir finders´ who will assist you in retrieving your assets in return for a percentage of the value. It is possible these people will have information not available to typical consumers. Safaris have had a long-standing popularity amongst tourists visiting Africa. Originally, going on safari meant to engage in a big-game hunt or trophy hunting but contemporary usage has evolved to reflect the pressures of ecological protest of the Seventies and Eighties and safari now generally refers to observation tours, conservation tours and photography expeditions, rather than hunting trips. Contemporary trips tend to take place in the Eastern and Southern regions of Africa due to the specific environments expected of a safari. Modern safari holidays cover a range of unusual practices such as elephant-back safari, balloon safari, river safari, µfly-in¶ safari or even safari-themed weddings! This type of holiday is valued for the emotional content, unique memories and unusual experiences it presents. Tourists often are able to get closer to exotic wild animals than they ever expected. However, contemporary forms of safari can also include the opportunity to go µwingshooting¶ ± where fowl are beaten from their cover and hunters attempt to shoot them in flight or µon the wing¶. The term originally came from the Arabic µsafra¶, meaning µjourney¶ and was adopted and changed into the Swahili µsafari¶ which means µlong journey¶. In African context, it can be used to mean any journey such as travelling overland to another city but in English language use, it is used to refer to a particular type of hunting trips (or as noted above, the more contemporary photography or observation tour). The initial structure was clearly intended to be a holiday rather than a show of will or strength as, upon safari, one rises late in the morning, walks for the bulk of the day, takes an afternoon rest and then reposes comfortably over dinner, drinks and story-telling. A more forceful and challenging form of hunting trip than contemporary safari is that of the Big Five game. This involves a higher level of danger and complexity than a standard safari and participants aim to kill a lion, leopard, black rhinoceros, African bush elephant and Cape buffalo. A contemporary form of challenge in completing this set of animals is related to the leopard ± These animals are the hardest to get hunting licences for, before one even approaches the difficulties in actually hunting them. In recent years, the black rhinoceros is not available to legally hunt at all as it is considered endangered as opposed to classified µvulnerable¶, like the lion and African bush elephant. This tradition is commemorated in the production of South African money where different denominations of rand show a different Big Five animal. I¶ve been reading a fair bit of Annie Proulx recently so when I got tasked with writing about a map of the Midwest, my mind leapt to Proulx¶s depictions of Wyoming and my heart leapt with excitement at learning more about the still, pregnant plains and hills she describes. To my uneducated Englisher surprise, when I looked at a map of the Midwest Wyoming is not considered part of the Midwest. The Midwest isn¶t even where I thought it would be. It¶s laterally µMid¶ but not longitudinally µMid¶ to the map of North America. To be fair to it though, it is slap-bang in the middle of the Northern continent if you include Canada so I can see where they¶re coming from. The Midwest, such as it is, comprises of Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Ohio (which I thought was a city, not a state) and Michigan (again, a city«right? No.). Culturally, the Midwest births the accent you are mostly likely to hear on American media as it is the easiest to understand of the American accents. The population is largely derived from German, Polish and Scandinavian colonies with the more recent addition of broad Hispanic and Asian. One can see how these cultural influences, combined with geographic centrality, might combine to form a relatively neutral and understandable accent! It also borders much of the Great Lakes, which are the largest group of fresh-water lakes on Earth by both volume and surface. I always thought that kind of accolade would go to a group of lakes like Lake Victoria and Lake Tanzania but the former only holds the record for Africa¶s largest lake and the latter, only that of Africa¶s deepest lake. The Great Lakes of America are of such stature that they are sometimes referred to as the µThird Coast¶ or µNorth Coast¶. It also has another country-topping feature ± The Mall of America. This mall is the largest in the country with 8 acres of skylights, 4.3 miles of shop frontage and over 30,000 plants. The annual number of visitors is around three-quarters of the population of the Midwest itself! For me, the Lakes hold more appeal. You can go boating, see historic lighthouses, visit National Parks on its islands or relax on the beaches. Whether this gets you hot under the collar of your waterproof jacket or if instead, your idea of the outside is a nice patio, the Midwest has habitats for either. Whether you break an ankle on an Ybor City walking tour, overdo the Long Island Iced Teas and fall off a cruise ship or get mauled by an alligator in Lettuce Lake Park ± there are many hospitals in Tampa, FL for you to seek balm, get wrapped up in bandages and lick your wounds. There are over 20 hospitals in the Tampa area and 4 trauma centres, should you manage to do yourself a real mischief. Moreover, you can rest easy knowing that you can find high-quality care also; three of the medical providers are considered to be part of US News and World Report¶s ³America¶s best hospitals. Your injury may even allow you to contribute to research at one of the many health research institutions! A notable hospital is a paediatric hospital funded by the Tampa Shriner community. This hospital specialises in orthopaedics and also has four burns units. It is especially childfriendly with a play pit, outdoor water fall and a further outdoor play area. It also is a teaching hospital. Cancer sufferers may be interested in the services offered by the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Centre & Research Institute. This was one of the hospitals to be rated as one of the best hospitals in America. Alongside cancer, it also performs very well in nephrology, gastroenterology and gynaecology. It is recognised as a hospital that can adequately treat for very sick patients with challenging illnesses. It also has a great deal of research on-going. The Memorial Hospital of Tampa is an all-rounder that looks to service all maladies and is suitable for your standard day-to-day or holiday accidents. They have a research and clinical trials unit with no apparent speciality. Other hospitals in Tampa, FL include St. Josephs¶ Hospital and the Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute. St. Joseph¶s Hospital was founded in the 1930 by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and runs as part of a not-for-profit collective of hospitals in the area. It is especially focused on work surrounding Atrial Fibrillation, Cancer, Stroke and Neuroscience work and heart problems in general. As a result of its Franciscan heritage, St. Joseph¶s purposely has several µHealing Gardens¶, intended to treat patients holistically and increase their sense of well-being. Florida Hospital¶s Pepin Heart Institute is, as the name suggests, a centre for sufferers of varying heart disease. Its heart program has been running for over 20 years and in that time, they have carried out over 11,000 open heart surgeries. They also meet and exceed the Gold Standard for care in acute cardiovascular medicine. Child safety on the net continues to be a high priority for the well-meaning parent. The internet is a sprawling echo chamber and without cautious use, your little darling make end up seeing things that are neither little nor darling. They say the best way to learn is to teach so why not learn with your kids about using the internet safely by coming together to make your own website for kids? By working together to contribute to their online presence, you can guide your children towards the kind of activities you hope for them to undertake and steer them away from the less palatable ones. This also has the bonus of teaching you about how the internet works, being a simple, cheap task and one that will strengthen your relationship with your kids and teach them about the kind of person you hope they will be. Moreover, with their own site to contribute to, they will be less focused on sites like Facebook, Youtube, Myspace and Bebo which, whilst not bad in themselves, can inadvertently host inappropriate users or content. Website building need be neither complicated nor expensive ± indeed you can do it for free and even generate money with a popular blog when it hosts advertising. A popular option these days is to use blogging software to create a presence online. It¶s simple, formulaic, recognisable and easily updatable. Some blogs even allow you to text in your new posts. For instance, you may take a picture when out on a family walk and you want to share that. Text away and the sharing is done! Alternatively, you may want to take the opportunity to flex your learning muscles a little further and get to grips with website code or a website design program. Years ago, you could just learn a little HTML and quickly have a simple website. Now, with the spread of the more attractive µWeb 2.0¶, other programming languages are expected to make the user¶s experience a little more enjoyable. However you choose to do it, joining with your children to make your own website free for kids will be great fun. Perhaps you¶d like to make homework more enjoyable and engaging by having them do it online or write about what they did and what it made them think of. Maybe your family is spread over different countries and you want to encourage them to find a way of keeping in contact and telling their loved ones about their development. Alternatively, perhaps they have a particularly hobby and you want them to develop their extra-curricular engagement with it. Whatever your ideas, the possibilities are there to discover together. You say you love me and yet I come home to the washing up not done yet again. You say you love me but the bin is overflowing and the bed is crumpled and covered in your old pants where you got halfway through doing your laundry and got distracted. Actions speak louder than words. Escape your partner having thoughts like these by investigating the different types of electronic housework support available. Software companies have taken notice of our low attention spans and busy timetables by coming up with programmes that take the work out of arranging housework. Where once a coloured-in timetable on the wall sufficed, you can now get daily email reminders of the housework needed or find calendar schedules that reflect the need for order in both our routine and homes. Design companies also aim to solve our cleaning problems with niftily-designed furniture; for instance, a recent rubbish bin design incorporated the functionality of a dustpan and brush into the very body of the bin. The lid was detachable and worked as the dustpan to sweep debris into and the fine wood and bristle brush was held on the side by rare magnetic earth metals. Not only does this save space but it also encourages and prompts you to remember this kind of task. A Spanish design student recently came up with the idea of combining the eco-ideal of using up waste water with the housework friendly plan of building a mop bucket underneath a sink pedestal. After washing your hands or some other similarly low-dirtcreating activity, the grey water collects into the bucket, ready to be used next time the floor needs mopping. Not only does this save resources and time, it¶s clever and kind of fun. You say you love me and now I can see that you do. Actions speak louder than words. Demonstrate to your darling that you truly care for them by taking an equal share in the household. Delight, not in lolling around and wasting your day, but by seeing their eyes light up as they come home to a tidy living room, neat show rack, dishes washed and wet clothes pegged up outside to dry. Maybe it rained that day. You didn¶t ignore the washing outside, you brought it in! Their favourite books are dusted, their sandwiches made for work and the picture of your anniversary holiday is polished. Take advantage of the clever modern solutions available to make your life more harmonious and show your love that your loving can be seen in more than just words.