Monthly Archives: January 2015

Originality Is Non-Existent: A Question on Intellectual Property Theft

Intellectual Property Theft

Intellectual Property TheftAmerican novelist, Chuck Palaniuk, wrote, “Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.” This statement runs in contradiction with the rising popularity of issues of online identity and branding, and intellectual property theft. For creatives who thrive online, it is crucial that original and inspired content are regularly posted. Once it goes live, it becomes for public’s access: for their criticism, their approval, or the most flattering of all, their thievery.

Various researches, studies and institutions deal with this issue, but they barely skirt around the issue of originality. It is a difficult body to tread as the boundaries are as muddy as it can get. The world witnessed some of the best creatives admit to stealing; thievery doesn’t always equate to lack of authenticity, they say.

Is Palahniuk right?

Sharing makes the realm of social media operate. In a single click, a piece of information can become viral. With this ability to share is the liability of the content: whose was it first? The original proprietor becomes taken over by the number of users who repeatedly share it that it becomes a non-issue in the end. Credit belongs to the site that framed it and made it popular to hundreds of thousands of unique clicks.

From trademark hijacking to impersonation online, the landscape of social media has it all. And although it is true that legal laws apply the same way, enforcement, risks and responses are different when applied online. Only rightfully so, as the internet is basically a landmine of plagiarised content.

The future of ideas

More than the issue thriving online, it also exists offline. Recently, it has been an obsession with international fashion brands, Hollywood, and in the corporate industry. Frustration over mimicked designs, stories and brands is understandable. Ideas have become a collective property. Because really, once you realised you discovered a goldmine of an innovation, you probably won’t shut up about it.

Despite the numerous issues and stories about intellectual property theft, its boundaries still lack emphasis and shape. Consulting a commercial lawyer can, however, offer illumination when it comes to protecting your ideas you insist are originally yours. Palahniuk may be right in his genius of a statement, but the things you put up online, especially those blurry photos of a day in your week and your noob doodles, they are still yours.

Preparing for Your First Race? Here’s What You Need to Leave Behind

Preparing for Your First Race

Preparing for Your First RaceHave you ever imagined someone shouting, “You’re a marathon finisher!” when you cross the finish line? You must be having goose bumps right now just imagining that moment.

Nothing feels more overwhelming than crossing the line after months of rigorous training. Sometimes, there are things you need to give up to start physically healthy and finish strong. You just need to pack a few things to reach your goal—patience, perseverance, and determination.

So, if you want to kick-off your new running shoes and head towards your first race, here are a few items you need to leave behind:

Leave pride Behind

For first-timers, the primary goal is to be ahead of anyone else. But, before heading to the racing track, put that pride aside and start running at your own pace just like you practiced. Just remember, your main competitor is yourself, so strive to go beyond your own previous record during your training.

Forget Alcohol

When preparing for a marathon, it’s easy to reach for the nearest alcoholic beverage. For some athletes, alcohol serves as a comfort blanket, a pre-race award waiting to be won. But, even though a glass of wine won’t trigger negative side effects, it’s important to recognize the implications after too much intake. Those undergoing alcohol rehab Salt Lake City residents recommend can attest to this. So, if you’re a regular drinker and willing to overcome that weakness, you can tap organizations or institutions that offer substance and alcohol rehab treatments. Some offer gospel-centered solutions to help you further.

Prevent Fiber-rich Food

Fiber contributes to regular bowel movement, but taking too much of it may leave you feeling bloated or uncomfortable. In some cases, too much fiber will result in diarrhea, which may affect your performance. Worst, you might not be able to make it on the big day. Make sure to eat fiber-rich food two weeks before the marathon starts to keep you feeling light.

Weight Management: What Do Hormones Have to Do with It?

Healthy Fruit Bowls

Losing weight is more than jHealthy Fruit Bowlsust counting the calories or having the willpower. Scientists say that there’s a link between your weight and your hormones, too.

What Hormones Do

You’ve probably experienced it before: the sudden gain of a few pounds after one stressful week. We’ve all been there, and it’s a reality we all have to deal with. More importantly, this is something you can blame on your hormones.

There are hundreds of chemicals in your body, right? At least 40 of these govern two elements that result in your weight: appetite and satiety. The former is all about your desire to eat, while the latter covers the sensation you feel when you’re full.

Here are some popular hormones that influence these two weight-related factors:

  • Cortisol – The famous fight-or-flight hormone drives you to be more energetic when there is a stressful situation. At the same time, it also influences your cravings for carbohydrates and sugar. Researchers have also found a link between cortisol levels and belly fat.
  • Leptin – This hormone tells you when to stop eating.
  • Ghrelin – This hormone is functions in the opposite way as leptin: it tells you when it’s time to eat.

When your hormone levels are in unusual levels, there is a great chance that you will find yourself eating more than the usual or not feeling full after eating your usual meal. In effect, your subconscious will tell you to eat more – which, once you do, leads to weight gain.

The Foolproof Trick

So how do you control your weight? Experts say that it is easier to control and lose weight with balanced hormones. Sure, the method of counting calories still works, but it becomes more effective when you are in a healthy state – that is, when your hormones are at optimal levels.

To achieve hormonal balance, you have to eat whole foods, regulate stress, sleep adequately, and raise your endorphin levels.  To be sure you’re doing the right thing, talk to a doctor and a nutritionist.

Hormones govern your body. These dictate not only your stress levels and your sex drive, but also your weight. So, if you want to stay fit and maintain your weight, your best bet is to keep your hormones in check.

We Are Legion: The Health Risks of Legionella

medications

medicationsRegular maintenance of your air conditioning and heating appliances in your home not only prolongs the life of the unit, but ensures that the unit functions more effectively as well. In addition, it also keeps Legionella from colonising your cooling and heating units.

Legionella, while a natural part of the environment, can easily spread to places where there is moisture, such as HVAC units, plumbing, and garden fountains. When cooling or heating units have biofilm formations, legionella can grow and spread in your home as well. Fortunately, this microorganism does not seem to like cars or car AC systems.

The Legionnaire’s disease and a slightly milder version, called Pontiac fever, are the direct results of Legionella infection.

The Spread of Legionella

According to Cleanair UK, Legionella can spread when you use heating and cooling units through aerosol forms, which you inhale in the process. The organism can spread through your humidifier at home as well. This can cause severe pneumonia, among other respiratory issues, or even total lung failure that leads to death.

Prevention

Regular cleaning of your heating and cooling systems in your home is key to preventing the growth of biofilm and the spread of Legionella bacteria. Professionals can easily clean the internal parts of the air conditioning and heating unit, ensuring that the unit is free of biofilm.

Most HVAC contractors have professional cleaning experience as well, and they have the equipment and the skill set to handle the removal of biofilm formations in the units.

Professionals who provide specialised cleaning and maintenance services of cooling and heating units do not just come with the knowledge to keep the units in good running condition. They make Legionella risk assessments as well to let you know when you need to clean your heating and cooling systems, and keep it free from a source of debilitating disease.

Weight Loss Efforts Failure: Blame it on Your Kitchen

kitchen

kitchen
In an episode of National Geographic’s Crowd Control, behavior expert Daniel Pink shared a social experiment on controlling appetites in a buffet restaurant. He changed the scenery in the eating area, switched the color of traditional plates, and examined its impact on people’s portion sizes.

The result is surprising: the people who chose to eat in the new environment consumed less and took more time to savor the meal. The color of plates also affected the food choices of normal customers, encouraging them to add more greens to their plate.

This social experiment only shows that the eating environment can affect your diet. While weight gain is highly dependent on what you eat, your plates, pantry, and kitchen atmosphere can affect your eating habits.  Almost all the things you keep in the kitchen can have a direct effect on what and how much food you consume. According to studies, the wrong kitchen setup and dinnerware can cause you to overeat.

Ansons.ph shares how your kitchen setup contributes to weight gain:

Big Plates

Dinner plates today have grown almost 25 percent bigger, reaching 12 inches in diameter.  This encourages you to load the plate with more food and finish what is served. The ideal plate size is 10 inches in diameter. Crowd Control’s experiment also suggests that changing the color ofplatesto green can help. This is because leafy greens don’t stand out much if the plate is the same color, causing you to fill up on veggies.

Wide Glass

Research suggests that people drink more juice or soda when using short and wide glasses, instead of tall and skinny ones. This is mainly because people tend to focus on the height of a container when pouring a drink. It is better to use thin glasses for juice and use wide cups for water and healthy beverages.

Bright Lights

Excessively bright lights are known to increase stress levels. This stimulates the appetite, causing you to eat more and faster than usual. It is better to choose recessed lights or lighting fixtures with dimmers to create a more relaxing eating atmosphere.
Cluttered Space

A messy kitchen makes eating a lot more difficult. You may find it easier and more convenient to order a pizza or grab a bag of chips instead of cooking a healthy meal. Clutter also increases stress, fueling your hunger.  Clean your kitchen regularly and reserve an area for eating only.
Don’t let your kitchen sabotage your weight loss efforts. Be wise about your dinnerware choices and kitchen layout to set you up for success.

Factors That Affect Roofing

Roof Plates

Roof PlatesHomes are just enclosures without a roof. It is important that a home must have good roofing to keep the elements out and protects its inhabitants.

These days there are numerous designs and materials used for roofing, but there are certain factors as well that dictate which one to use. There is no restriction on the material used for roofing, however; metals or natural materials like slate or tile are quite effective.

Some factors in roof design and material are below:

Design and Shape

When designing structures, architects make sure that the roof shape fits a building. It is important to do so to maintain an effective envelope to make it habitable and energy efficient.

Of course, building trends will dictate the choice of materials and the choice of homeowners. In the case of roofing Perth residents commonly see, most materials are suitable and it comes down to how long these materials last and the cost of a new roof.

Local Climate

Climate plays an important role in the kind of roofing materials that a builder uses. They account for factors like snow, rain and humidity before choosing roofing style. Local availability of raw materials is also important.

Building Regulations

Many countries have building codes that dictate the materials to use and how to perform renovations. In the process of renovation, there is a good chance you may find asbestos in the walls or on the roof. Asbestos was common until 2003, when the government banned it. Qualified companies can help with asbestos removal in walls, roof, and fencing.

Make sure that you test samples tested before constructing a new roof. Many homes built before the 1990s in Australia are likely to have asbestos. Still, if the integrity of the material is good, then it is better to leave it in place.

It is a good idea to check current health and building codes before making a decision on removal.  Hire a professional to remove asbestos, as they are familiar with doing the job efficiently and can safely dispose of it as well.

Roofs are arguably the most important part of any home, as it is what defines the house itself. Familiarise yourself with the factors that affect its style, but make it a point to check for hazardous materials used in its construction.

Cherry-Picking Cherry Pickers

cherry picker at house roof

cherry picker at house roofBefore you start planning or working on your next cleaning or construction project, the first thing to do is to take stock of all the equipment and tools. There are hard to reach areas like roofs and windows that need fixing.

There are many occasions when home and business owners need specialized equipment to either clean a building or fix some important part. Whether one needs cleaning equipment or cherry pickers, there are rental companies that offer these services at affordable prices.

Classic Hire deals a few things on what you need to know about cherry pickers.

Cherry Pickers and Their Uses

Cherry pickers, also known as boom lifts or basket cranes are strong, sturdy hydraulic work platforms that can lift people and offer access into tight spots. This equipment has either a work platform or a bucket that can give a person access in orchards, to clean windows, in construction, to trim trees and even to work on restoring telephone lines. These are just a few uses for this kind of equipment.

Rental Companies

Construction equipment rentals exist in Perth and other Australian cities. They have knowledgeable people who can offer advice on the type of equipment to rent and how to use it safely.

Whether a tradesperson wants to rent equipment or a company, it makes sense to do so rather than buy. First off, they are prohibitively expensive and maintenance can be quite an issue.

Safety Issues

Rental companies are quite careful about safety issues and make sure all equipment is in good working order before leasing them out. Cherry picker lifts and other equipment repairs and maintenance are the responsibility of qualified staff, using genuine parts they source from the manufacturers themselves.

Every cherry picker hire company offers training on how to use the equipment safely. Still, it is up to the user to make sure to read instructions and follow safety regulations to avoid injuries.

Air Conditioner Maintenance – a DIY Guide

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Air Conditioner MaintenanceLong summer days can be hard on people staying indoors without a cooling system. And if they do have a cooling system, then hot days can be hard on the system itself. It is important, then, to maintain the system and keep it in top operating condition.

What can you do? The following tips may help when looking for air conditioning service in Tampa, FL, says abscoolteamac.com.

Constant Monitoring

Hire a good AC service to maintain your system regularly. Regular maintenance will help avoid larger problems or total failure during hot summer months or even down the line. You should watch for signs of any problems and follow some simple tips to make sure the system works smoothly, and it operates on its peak performance.

Regular Maintenance

It is best to look hard at it before summer to avoid problems later. The inspection should include an assessment of the equipment, checking the coolant levels, flushing the drainpipe, oiling the fan, cleaning the condenser coils and general maintenance. This kind of annual checkup will identify any potential problems and rectify them before they escalate.

Keep the level of coolants at recommended levels for the system to be energy efficient. Make sure the drainpipe is free from clogging, otherwise the condensed water cannot drain out and the unit will tend to back up. There are secondary pipes but at times, both can have obstructions. Once this happens, the water will spill over and start dripping.

DIY components

Apart from the annual inspection by the professionals, you should also do some routine maintenance. You can replace the filters periodically. Do this monthly, especially if you notice dirt or debris congestion in that period.

It is also important to keep the condenser unit clean and sheltered. For the system to function as intended, the condenser unit should exchange cool air with hot air consistently. In this case, if tree branches touch the condenser, or if some heavy object rests on it, the condenser will not function well.

Thus, following a few tips and regular professional maintenance can help keep the system efficient for a long time. This would serve you well in the coming summer months.

Crash Me Not: Three Ways to Avoid Car Crashes

Car CrashWith wide roads and more than enough signs for guidance, Aussie drivers can expect to be informed whenever out on the road. Recent statistics, however, paints a picture many Australians are not aware of.

In Western Australia, car crashes and accidents are often caused by drunk driving and distracted driving. This means that while the roads may not be safe, the drivers themselves are the ones who pose a threat to other motorists and pedestrians.

It is important to remember that car accidents can be prevented. Take a look at the following pointers to avoid from finding yourself involved in an avertable accident:

Keep Away From the Fast Lane

Most drivers want to use the fast lane; if you are not in a hurry, however, it is better to stay away from it. Staying on the leftmost lane allows you to change lanes or pull onto the service road more quickly. Also, you have a faster reaction time when you are not required to drive fast.

Mind the Blind Spots

Many expert car accident lawyers in Perth say that many of the cases that they have handled involved one driver not seeing the other. When driving, always beware of possible blind spots or areas not easily visible by looking on your side mirrors. Always pay extra attention to adjacent lanes when changing lanes or turning a corner.

Check if Your Car is Road-Worthy

Finally, you must make sure your car is road-worthy before you drive. Check the engine, tires, and brakes if they are still in good condition. It is also wise to schedule regular maintenance to avoid inconvenience while on the road. Keep spare parts ready and list down the contact details of emergency centres.

As a driver, you are responsible for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians sharing the road. By keeping these things in mind, you can avoid car accidents and be on the safe side.

Granny Flats: Smaller Doesn’t Mean Easier

granny flats

granny flatsThe design industry has more than its fair share of critics, mainly because of the subjective nature of their work. Many people feel that anyone can become a designer. Whilst design, especially interior design, isn’t immune to amateurs infiltrating its ranks, critics forget that there’s one test that can expose the pretenders from the real deal: the granny flat.

Granny flats pose a unique challenge to many interior designers; the staff at Classic Granny Flats can attest to the fact that not everyone is cut out for designing one. Due to the limited amount of space they’re given to work with, the floor plan needs to be efficient, comfortable, and beautiful. Considering how easy it is to fill spaces twice the average granny flat’s size with clutter, the challenge is no small matter.

Ground Level Lofts

The first trick to efficient granny flat design is to discard as many walls as possible, and go for a loft-like look. Every square foot counts in a granny flat, and designers can’t afford to waste what little room they have on dividers and walls. This allows for greater flexibility in deciding what goes where in the latter stages of the construction or design process.

Wall Buddies

Keep bathrooms and bedrooms next to each other as much possible; doing this will minimise the need for walls and keep the two most essential rooms together. Shortening the midnight trek from the bed to the toilet is a luxury most older people can appreciate.

Many designers like to place these two rooms as far away from the entrance as possible. This is so that the necessary walls don’t hinder the line of sight visitors have of the room, making it look bigger than it actually is. Some granny flats take a different approach to the bed and bathroom placement. But, it takes plenty of skill and creativity to do this without making the entire space look cramped.