Monthly Archives: September 2016

4 Petty Mistakes that Will Cost You a Fortune in Spa Maintenance

Spa MaintenanceOwning a spa as a business initiative is a lucrative and rewarding venture. However, spas require maintenance and regular upkeep for their smooth operation. To reap maximum returns on this business, you need to avoid making the following mistakes.

  1. Using Normal Cleaning Agents

This is a common mistake, especially among new spa owners. Household cleaners have chemicals which can react with the acrylic lining used in a spa. This causes damage to the unit. Spa owners need to use dedicated specialist cleaners. These cleaners are specially formulated to work well with the chemicals used in the spa.

  1. Failing to Clean the Filters and Jets

This is another common mistake that can quickly turn your spa into an unsafe place and may turn your customers away. Every spa model comes with a set guideline on how to clean the jets and filters, says an expert from Preferred Pool and Spa. Some of the models need to be removed when cleaning, while in others you need to change the filter. A regular thorough cleaning is important for smooth operation. Debris and dust particles tend to easily get caught in the filters, hence the need for regular cleaning.

  1. Wrong Temperature Settings

Keeping the water in the spa too cold can cause damage to the internal parts. It is also ill advised to keep it too hot. Hot temperatures create a good breeding ground for harmful microorganisms and bacteria. Bacteria buildup can also result in a bad smell. Every model will have an ideal temperature which is included in the manual.

  1. Failing to Cover the Spa

Keeping the spa covered is part of routine maintenance that is often overlooked. Spas come with covers which serve the function of keeping debris and leaves out of the spa. Leaves in the spa call for extra cleaning as they can also get stuck in the inner parts. This can easily cause clogs and other major issues.

Your spa can serve you for many years if you avoid these petty mistakes.

Landscapes of the Future: Function, Sustainability, Resilience, and Charm

The Beauty of Landscape ArchitectureIt is amazing what modern landscape architecture can do to transform spaces into highly functional, climate-resilient, and much-loved attractions. Forward-looking smart designs play such a crucial role in community life: they create a venue where people can socialize, and they offer solutions for long-standing problems like flooding.

According to MPFP, the Delta District in Vinge, Denmark, and Yanweizhou Park in Jinhua City, China, are examples of stand-out landscaping work.

Delta District in Vinge, Denmark

Denmark has long had a problem with flooding, so in the future city of Vinge, landscape architects transformed this formerly agricultural site into a residential space where there are plenty of opportunities for community engagement. It is designed to have a high walkability score and support for cycling.

Not only is it a low-impact development that absorbs excess rainfall, the district addresses the flooding problem in the area by incorporating a rainwater management system. The design includes man-made creeks and delta for rain. The strategic placement of the man-made creeks creates nature space all over the district so that every resident can enjoy the beautiful outdoors. It is envisioned to be a community where people meet and greet each other.

Yanweizhou Park in Jinhua City, China

The goal was to create an attraction near the City’s opera house. Winner of the World Landscape of 2015 with thousands of visitors daily, Yanweizhou Park achieved that and more. Once a lifeless ditch ravaged by monsoon rains every year, the park now features a network of colorful bridges designed not to prevent or resist water but to welcome it. The highly adaptive design has vegetated terraces with water resilient plantings. It is outstanding in its regard for the natural environment in that biodiversity is preserved, even enhanced. An inner pond in the inland helps mechanically and biologically clean the water.

New York landscape architects can work the same magic on your spaces, but only as long as you can communicate clearly.

Oil Spills: Their Long-Term and Short-Term Effects on Marine Life

Oil Spill in AmericaNo one could forget the disastrous effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 when the oil tanker grounded on Bligh Reef in Alaska. The incident is considered the worst oil spill in American history.

It was considered so due to its immediate and long-term effects on the surrounding marine life. Over 100,000 seabirds, 2,800 otters, 300 seals, 250 eagles, 22 orcas, and an unknown number of salmon and herring were killed.

With those numbers, it seems oil spills can pose enormous harm to deep ocean and coastal fishing and fisheries. And without immediate remediation, the spill could lead to devastating long-term effects not only on the environment, but also on us humans.

Short-Term Effects of Oil Spills

Wildlife other than fish and other sea creatures, such as birds and reptiles, may also be poisoned by oil waste. Apart from choking them to death, the hazardous waste may destroy their thermal insulation and their reproductive systems. Others face a number of problems like mutation; the oil may work its way into the feather or fur of the animals, so they may find it harder to float in the water or regulate their body temperatures.

Oil spills may also harm mangrove forests that protect coral, causing a ripple effect. Fish that then rely on corals for protection from predators may also decline in numbers.

Long-Term Effects of Oil Spills

Over time, the oil leaked into the water from an oil spill may change the entire ecosystem.

Oil waste may poison the sensitive marine organic substrate. This may interrupt the food chain the fishes and other sea creatures depend on. And because oil may destroy the animals’ reproductive systems, species populations may change or disappear.

With that, commercial fishing companies — and end consumers of fishes — may be permanently affected as well.

Other short and long-term effects of oil spills are yet to be fully observed, but the issues listed above are evident. To fight these effects, corporations, public institutions, and even end consumers should have a solid plan in place when this devastating emergency strikes.

Skipped Dental Appointments: A Timeline

Skipped Dental AppointmentsAny person with enough exposure to dental promotion should know by now that six months is the maximum advisable time in between visits to the dentist. But, what if a person ignores dental appointments altogether?

Dentists from The Priory Dental Practice note that with aspects of personal hygiene, diet and even genetics at play, the biannual interval lends enough time to address new issues and patients enough treatment to maintain their oral health.

There are those who will argue against the efficacy of dental visits as frequent as twice a year, but it is undeniable just how much patients can save, both financially and among their own teeth, by following the recommended interval. While it is true that many people have gone years without dentist intervention (half of all adults to be exact), it would be interesting to see just how such cases of dental neglect progress.

Fortunately, The Independent has prepared a thorough timeline of how untreated oral features can deteriorate, summarised here:

Six Months

Small cavities begin to form and the early symptoms of oral cancer start to manifest.

One Year

Patients may have already developed gum disease, causing pain and tooth loss.

Two Years

Cavities now need root canals to fix. Gum recession has started and much simpler, cheaper procedures are no longer viable.

Five Years

Minor issues from years ago now need multiple, intensive procedures to correct. Some will even call for surgery.

Ten Years

The development of a misshapen mouth is now the major concern. In many cases, reconstruction is necessary to regain one’s full dental form and functionality.

People have varying success rates when it comes to keeping their oral health at optimum condition. For individuals with lifestyles that tend to go against common dental guidelines, it is important to counteract the damage they do by visiting the dentist at least twice a year. This way, circumstances like those mentioned above are less likely to occur, and patients avoid undergoing procedures any more intensive than they have to be.

Know How Storage Tanks Can Help You

Storage tanksWhen you own a factory or a business where you need to make sure that hazardous waste, petroleum products, or other bulk items wouldn’t just be all around the place, it is important that you get proper storage for them — and that is where above ground tanks come into play.

Amazing Stability

One of the best things about above ground storage tanks is the fact that they are reliable and stable. They aren’t just like normal water tanks, or other storage devices that can easily be damaged or broken into. They are designed to be placed on flat surfaces — meaning there would be enough support to address the threat of a letdown.

Smaller Footprint — with Huge Capacity

The problem with other storage materials is that they take up a lot of space, and yet, they do not provide you with enough space. However, that is not something that you would experience with above ground types of storage tank, mostly because they are designed not to take up so much space — and at the same time, making sure that the things that need to be kept will be kept in a safe place.

Better Efficiency

Because of the height and size of the tank, its performance is more efficient — which also happens because of the hydrostatic head of the tank itself. Therefore, you can expect that there would be less pumping costs and that the base plate would be able to help everything stand, making sure that you have less to worry about.

Distribution of Stress

This isn’t a negative kind of stress, but stress that pertains to the strength or capacity of the tank, which would be working with great strength, and would eliminate the stress points in other kinds of tanks.

Surely, with the help of proper storage for complex materials, your business would adhere to sanitation rules — and it will be so much better in the long run.

Start Your Future Right: Building Your Own Home

New Home in Salt Lake CityOne of the best goals to have when starting a family is to have a home you can call your own. After a long day at work, nothing beats coming home to a place where you can relax and be yourself together with your loved ones. Buying or building a house will not only provide you with wonderful memories, but it is also a great investment. Why rent when you can have your own home?

Here are some things you should include in your checklist:

1. Budget is the most important thing

Before anything else, the first thing you need to consider is your finances. Make a summary of your bills each month, and decide how much you can set aside for the monthly due payments of your new home construction in Salt Lake City. It won’t hurt to start looking at possible home loans, so you will have an idea on the interest rates and plan your finances accordingly.

2. Next stop: Location

Start looking for possible locations. Choosing the right neighborhood is one of the most important things you have to consider. Proximity to your work, schools, hospitals and to the city should be the points you have to keep in mind. Aside from these, you also have to examine the overall look and atmosphere of the neighborhood. Is it well kept and well lighted? Are the people friendly? Are the amenities complete?

Don’t forget to check the crime rate, so you can gauge the overall safety and security of your future home. Visit the area at different times and talk to the neighbors if possible.

3. Design and space

Research for designs you want in your home and let the creative juices start flowing. This is the most fun and enjoyable part of building your own home, as you get to pick the design and arrangement. After all, building your own home based on your preferences, needs, and personality is rewarding.

What are you waiting for? Start the construction of your new home, it will be one of the best decisions you will make in your life. Remember, own home equals freedom.

On Creativity: Gunpla Construction and Design

Gunpla Building and DesigningThe hobby of building and designing Gundam models in Japan is popular amongst fans as Gunpla. The portmanteau derives itself from ‘Gundam plastic model’. These Gundam model kits have been on the market since the 1980s. This hobby has brought out the creativity of builders and fans, as contests abound to exhibit and showcase the sleekest and cleanest of designs.

Funding Your Passion

In building and designing Gunpla, you will need more than just the model kits. These come in a variety of scales. The 1:144 measures about 13 cm tall, while the 1:100 stands at about 16 to 19 cm tall and the 1:60, which is approximate to 30 cm. The other kit scales are 1:200, 1:48 and the SD series. The model kits come with the parts necessary to build a Gundam, along with stickers or decals.

If you are going to be a serious builder and designer, you may need more cash than a casual fan. Rapid Loans, an online loan provider, can fuel this passion with personal loans. These loans, as unsecured, can serve to finance your interest in building and designing this popular mecha. With fixed payments, you can clear your debt in time while enjoying your hobby.

Once you have enough funds and have bought the model kit you intend on building, the other tools you may need to purchase in designing a well-made Gunpla include:

  • A cutter or blade, such as side cutters or nippers; for ensuring the smoothness in detaching the parts from the plastic frames.
  • Sandpaper serves for smoothing out the rough edges of the cuts, and also, in preparing the Gunpla for painting. You can also use a metal file for the nub marks and flat surfaces.
  • The medium for colouring; this can be a set of markers, airbrush or paint — whichever you are comfortable with in using. This includes alcohol-based paint markers that are easy to use. Acrylic, lacquer or enamel paint are popular media, too.
  • You may also need some glue for holding parts together.
  • A top coat is optional, but it can give your Gunpla a protective finish.

Becoming a master Gunpla builder does not happen overnight, but with enough practice, you will get there.

Diesel Emissions: What Problems Come With Different Smoke Colours?

Heavy traffic producing a cloud of smokeDo you own a diesel-powered vehicle? If you do, then you already know that they tend to emit a lot of smoke. If you find your vehicle puffing clouds of blue, black or white smoke, there might be a problem within.

DrDiesel.co.nz shares that the colour of the smoke emitted can help you identify an engine problem. Whether it is a simple or severe engine issue, it is important for you to know what each colour means so you’ll be aware of what auto centres can help you.

White Smoke

During the cold weather, you may encounter white smoke coming from your exhaust – that is steam, not smoke, and it is a common phenomenon when you are warming up your engine. When your vehicle does emit white smoke, it would be safe to assume that there is a leak or that the engine is burning transmission fluid or coolant. Other causes of white smoke are water entering cracked cylinder heads or faulty head gaskets.

Blue Smoke

One of the main reasons of blue smoke is that oil may have entered engine cylinders. The oil in the smoke causes it to have a blue tinge – ranging from translucent blue to bluish white.

Black Smoke

By far the most common smoke colour emitted by diesel engines, black smoke indicates the high toxicity of exhaust gases or the incomplete combustion of the fuel. You may think that black smoke indicates a powerful engine, but it is quite the opposite.

If you own an older diesel-powered vehicle, it commonly emits black smoke, especially in a cold start or while accelerating.

Are you fond of DIY? It would be best to start checking the fuel injectors, the fuel pressure regulator, and the air filter.

Leaving engine problems unfixed effectively reduces your vehicle’s service life and result in expensive repairs. It is important that you visit auto centres regularly to stay on top of engine tuning.

Artists Make the Hard Decisions for Clutter-Free Portfolio

Authentic Contemporary ArtCould you be having a problem creating a portfolio of authentic contemporary art? There are a couple of things you need to work on to bring your portfolio back in shape—to give you a handsome return on investment.

Make the hard decisions.

Note that if the collection of art that you are putting on sale is unwieldy and seems to overwhelm prospective clients, make the hard choice of cutting through the clutter. In short, if it is not that important to offer your customers, just remove it from the offering. Otherwise, you could lose potential customers who might not be patient enough to rummage through all the different pieces of art you have marked for sale, TWFINEART points out.

Put first things first.

First things first: Lest you trade in a mediocre seller over a bestseller, which will ultimately limit the rate of having happy return clients. Typically, bestsellers make up the least percentage of most artists’ overall portfolios, and this is where they miss it all, while there is always plenty of room in emerging markets. Why should you have a slow seller clouding the view of a bestseller, or multiple sizes of bestsellers, and other picks that your customers rarely purchase?

You need to check these areas so you not only keep your investment afloat but also enjoy optimal profits.

Stick with your best picks.

Perhaps you can offer one size of paper, on at most two different types on paper. Pulling out the choices that, for one reason or another, hardly sell and sticking with the choices that you feel could best build you a valuable portfolio is the best route to take.

Speaking directly to customers and prospective clients t gives you a consultative edge that you now have the opportunity, as an expert in your field, to suggest an image or medium for them – and you know a perfect bestseller that will ultimately get you out there.

Employees’ Sharp Social Media Posts: Freedom of Speech or Defamation?

Social Media Posts in ChristchurchWith so many people doing it, saying ‘I hate my boss’ or ‘I hate my job’ in 140 characters seem harmless. But such thoughtless posts on Facebook or Twitter can get you in big trouble at work; in particular, it could cost you your job.

The question here is this: should things posted online be accepted on the grounds of freedom of speech or opinion? Or do they warrant disciplinary action—even dismissal?

Lawyers knowledgeable in employment dispute cases agree that it depends on the facts of each case.

Blylevens v Kidicorp Limited

In the case of Blylevens v Kidicorp Limited, the Employment Relations Authority found that an employer was right in dismissing an employee, Blylevens, on the grounds of her Facebook activities. Ms. Blylevens simply liked two Facebook posts by her advocate, Ms. Rolston, who posted derogatory comments about the company on her Facebook page.

In the posts, she included information related to Ms. Blylevens’ employment situation, saying Kidicorp’s human resources as ‘vindictive’. She also called out the standard of care the company provides children and called the company a ‘toxic’ environment.

Justified Dismissal

The Employment Relations Authority found that the employer was justified in dismissing Blylevens, a childcare Centre Manager of Kidicorp Limited. Not only did Blylevens liked the posts, but also commented, ‘Interesting article pep! As a parent looking at childcare it’s good to be informed’.

Blylevens was dismissed because of the effects of her actions. By liking and commenting, she ‘shared’ the posts via her own Facebook page to be seen by countless users. Kidicorp Limited claims it damaged their reputation. In addition, Blylevens ‘undermined her ability to operate effectively as a leader’.

It is, therefore, important to understand that some statements, although protected under freedom of speech, may cross the threshold of defamation. Although it is tempting to treat social media posts as a private chat with workmates, these posts have a wide audience. They can easily reach your employer, and if they do, they can be used against you in your employment case.