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Ground Floor: Looking Back at the History of Elevators

Inside almost every four or more storey building, regardless if it is an office, school, house, or commercial structure, you will notice at least one elevator. This technology is one of the longest running machines that still function as what it was designed for: to provide people and things a lift.

elevatorMore than Lifting

Elevators can also add as much as 10% more value to your property, according to the contractors of A+ Elevators & Lifts. These are probably among the list of most useful inventions man ever made. An elevator can be custom-made, depending on what the building needs.

Even During the Ancient Times

Some people may ask, “When and where was this machine really invented?” Based on historical records, Egyptians were already using a prototype elevator. They use this to lift heavy limestone in building their enormous pyramids. Other accounts, meanwhile, claim that the first man-powered elevator used to transport people instead of things was invented in the 18th century.

So Near, Yet So Far

Over time, a few more inventors developed the idea. Instead of manually pulling rope to lift the box, they have used a belt and a steam-powered device to raise or drop it. The steam-powered elevators were later replaced by hydraulic machines in 1870s. A heavy piston moving in a tube supports this hydraulic machine. It is operated by water pressure sourced from the pumps.

Contemporary Designs of Elevators

Modern elevators, though, are attributed to American inventor Elisha Otis. He introduced the freight elevator equipped with a safety feature, in case the cables snap. This made elevators more popular with the public. He later developed it further by adding brakes to the safety system.

Although he did not invent the elevator, his design is where modern elevators were patterned to. This brainchild is what made skyscrapers not just a dream. Without elevators, man would probably crowd the grounds and unable to utilize the air space.

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Protect Your Property the Right Way

home securityYou will never know when intruders will strike, but you can always be prepared and protect your family from these dangers. While installing bars, grilles, roller shutters, and surveillance cameras help improve home security, adding security window films is another effective option. These are good deterrents and can help protect your home from other unexpected disasters.

Boosting home security with window films

Industry specialist notes that a window film is thicker and stronger than regular solar control films used on cars, homes and buildings. These prevent any force used through the glass by overlaying a clear and durable film layer inside the surface. This means any intruder who wants to break in will have a hard time getting into your property — and this delay gives law enforcement more time to respond, preventing bigger casualties.

Other advantages

  1. Cost-efficient – These window films are more affordable compared to roller shutters and security gates. The best thing is you can usually get a free consultation from film professionals. You can choose from many options such as anti graffiti films, decorative, solar protection, and high security films.
  2. Easy-to-install – Upon order, your service provider will send a professional to install your window films. They just need to get the exact measurements. Unlike roller shutters, it would only take a few hours to completely install.
  3. Effective – Installing the right window film is a proven method. Today, even large offices and government buildings use window films to secure their premises.
  4. Low maintenance – Another advantage is the maintenance. It does not require much cleaning, as these are usually dust proof.

You can always find a better way to protect your property and your family. By installing this new technology, you can have peace of mind when you walk out your front door. Always remember, it’s better safe than sorry.

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Setting the Mood: How to Make Your Landscaping More Romantic

landscapingThere are few places more romantic than a well-designed garden, and when done right, it feels like you’re walking from your home straight into a fairy tale. It is a place where you escape from the troubles of the world, where you can peacefully contemplate and relax.

Many Australians are starting to design their landscapes not just for aesthetic appeal, but to create truly romantic spaces. While they vary greatly, here are some common themes.

1. Use lighting intelligently – If there’s one thing that separates mediocre gardens from gorgeous ones, it’s the lighting. For both practical and aesthetic reasons, good lighting has always been an important part of landscaping. Perth, Western Australia garden experts say that it directs the eyes and helps people fully appreciate the true beauty of the landscape. Besides, you don’t want parts of your outdoors to only look nice during the day, right?

2. Play with space – You can take a cue from historical times. Romantic gardens from Victorian times typically have winding paths through shrubbery, concealing the way ahead. This creates a pleasantly mysterious atmosphere, and allows the person to fully appreciate what is around them.

3. Achieve balance with colours – No matter what kind of landscaping or home you have, be subtle with your colour choices. Apart from clashing tones, you should avoid sharp contrasts or plants with excessively bright colours, as you want people to take in the entire area without any distractions.

4. Create a place to rest – People best appreciate romance at a relaxed pace. Walking through the garden is fine, but creating an area at the end where you and your guests can sit down is also important. Going all out and creating an outdoor room is an option, but a simple table and chairs work while still blending in.

5. Be selective with ornaments – A romantic landscape is fully devoid of any tacky gnomes. Fountains, statues, and other traditional and understated decorations are acceptable, but make them a natural part of the environment.

Romantic landscaping projects are difficult, but definitely worth it. Visitors will love it, and you’ll never get tired of walking through the paths.

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5 Steps to Setting Priorities in Your Company Budget

setting company budgetBusinesses are always changing and adapting. In just a few months, companies often have significantly different goals, opportunities, and problems. Because the company budget plays a key role in determining how well the business responds to these, it’s important to revisit it from time to time.

Adjusting the budget to accurately reflect these new priorities is a daunting task, however. Here is a step by step process to make things easier.

1. Build the right team – This is never a one-person job, regardless of the size of your company. Drawing input from the rest of the management team and involving key front line personnel will give you priceless insights. Refocusing your budget requires a coordinated effort and a considerable amount of time.

2. Set profit and cash flow targets – Too many small and medium sized businesses make the mistake of only considering final profits. Even if your company sells a lot, a lack of cash flow planning will cripple it. Not having enough money for overhead is a disaster that can drive your business into the ground, so make sure to include cash flow in your budget plans.

3. Determine what is essential – These are the things that your business simply cannot do without. When one of these factors is missing, the entire operation usually grinds to a halt. This results in massive losses, which is why essential items should always be the first priority in any budget.

Obvious examples include raw materials and equipment, but underappreciated things such as a steady internet connection also count. Most businesses cannot function properly without the internet, which is why Internet Solutions and other providers report an increasing demand for reliable commercial internet connectivity.

4. Look at expenses individually – It’s easy enough to say that your current budget works because the company is profitable; however, that’s not always the case. There are usually some wasteful costs that drag down the bottom line, but not enough to raise alarms or draw attention. Review where your money is going, and see if there’s anything you can cut out.

5. Be prepared to make trade-offs – The whole point of prioritising is making sure that enough money goes to the right places in your company. This usually means that you will have to reduce spending on other departments and projects. While there are no obvious answers, being disciplined enough to make these hard decisions is necessary to the success of your business.

Create a flexible plan, and make sure to continually go back to it. Budgets are only useful when companies regularly consult them when making decisions. Make any changes necessary, and see how well your company is meeting its financial targets.

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Reaching Out for an Extra Hand

virtual assistantDocumentation is essential in every business to keep things in tracked and recorded. From simple memos to big contracts, it should contain clear and comprehensible phrases to avoid any confusion and misinterpretation. A simple word or punctuation can alter the meaning of a sentence or even the whole document.

Most companies, however, do not have the means to employ proofreaders to check the accuracy of the documents. Fortunately, they can hire a virtual personal assistant to help in the copy editing job. Precision plays a vital role in a company’s success, which is why it should never be often overlooked, according to experts.

Role of Proofreading in Business

Sending out poorly written proposals, letters, contracts, and other files can tarnish the reputation of a company. Documents that are full of typos and errors can cause a negative impression from existing and potential clients. In business, there is no room for mistakes and carelessness.

The slightest grammatical errors can hinder the credibility and authority of companies from solidifying their presence, thus delaying their success. Well-written papers can convey class and professionalism of the entire company.

Importance of a Separate Proofreader

Every business owner wants to do better than the others. They want to be on top of the competition. That is why an error-free document is crucial. One of the most common mistakes companies commit is that only one person writes, edits, and proofreads every document.

A writer tends to overlook unseen mistakes in the document because it is typically his style. It is wise to have two separate employees for writing and checking. Studies show that people who keep reading their own work become unwary of their mistakes. Fresh eyes tend to catch errors easily.

Proofreading should never be underestimated. Business owners who communicate within or outside the company represent and reflect the business as a whole. More than the reputation, poorly written documents can cause harm, especially if interpreted as the opposite. Avoid loss in business by prioritizing correct grammar.

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Maintaining Good Oral Health During Your Senior Years

oral healthWhen it comes to oral health for senior citizens, brushing and flossing regularly is not enough – at least for some. Know, though, that age is not the sole reason behind weakening oral health. There are certain issues that can put you at risk for a number of dental problems. General health conditions, the use of certain medications, and wearing dentures are some of the issues that can affect oral health.

Here are a few suggestions for maintaining good oral health:

Difficulty to Brush

According to Church Road Dental and Cosmetics, there are certain procedures that are designed to make dental care less painful. You can try using an electric toothbrush to help you with brushing teeth.

Fighting Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common problem for the elderly, which can be caused by certain medications or medical disorders. This makes it difficult to eat, taste, swallow, and speak. Drink plenty of water and avoid sweets, alcohol, and caffeine to fight dry mouth. Your dentist can also suggest methods to restore moisture in the mouth to prevent the onset of issues related to dryness.

Dealing with Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem as people age. Your gums recede overtime and expose parts that are not protected by the enamel. These parts can become prone to hot and cold foods. In some cases, exposed areas can also be sensitive to sweet and sour food. If you experience tooth sensitivity, use anti-sensitivity toothpaste and see your dentist find out about any other possible causes.

Be Concerned About Gum Disease

Gum disease is mainly caused by plaque, and can get so severe that gums may begin to recede and weaken the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, particularly if you have osteoporosis.

Maintaining a healthy mouth as you age can help you avoid heart disease and diabetes. Make sure to keep your dentist informed about any changes in your medical condition to prevent dangerous drug interactions and other serious health issues.

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Invest in Yourself: 3 Things Your Future Self Will Thank You For

proper investmentIf someone would take away everything from Rupert Murdoch and he suddenly becomes homeless, he would probably be back to his normal life soon. That sounds crazy, but the reason behind it is that he has a lot of human capital. As Australia’s most influential international businessman, Murdoch focused on managing and investing in his career.

It feels great knowing you are in the right place at the right time with the right people. Keep in mind that the actions you made today will reflect tomorrow. Now that you’ve made the decision to follow the career path you’ve chosen, you may want to invest in your most valuable asset: yourself.

Go the extra mile

To have a rewarding career, you need to discover your strengths and capabilities. These will give you a competitive edge in your specialised industry. If you want to be in the education industry, you need to get the training and the necessary certificates. Kirana says acquiring Cert IV Training and Assessment allows you to raise your self-worth and make good career decisions. You’re going to instruct and train students in a wide variety of fields, which is why it’s important to master your craft. Go in the direction of your dreams; you don’t want to regret the chances you did not take.

Find a mentor

Always think of the benefits you will do today. Find a mentor who’s knowledgeable in your line of work and can help you grow. It’s best to have a mentor that adds value to your career. Determine what you want from your future mentor, so you will know when and where to search.

Know your why

Find out your motivation now. To be effective in your work, you have to understand the “why” behind your intentions. Why do you work? Why do you choose that industry? Discover the purpose that inspires you to pursue what you want to do. It’s what keeps you busy and awake at night. Having realistic goals is important to make you feel fulfilled.

Notice that successful people in the world already know what they are good at. Always aim to grow stronger every day.

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Steel Pipes: Because Tap Water Should Taste Fresh

steel pipeFresh-tasting drinking water is barely a problem in the United States. As a matter fact, America has one of the best public water systems on the planet. Unlike in Third World countries, you have the luxury of gulping the very same water you use to wash the dishes.

Despite this, tap water is still subject to contaminants. Hence, the quality of water may become compromised. This is a serious cause for concern, as it clearly puts your family’s health at risk. With so much at stake, it only pays to do what’s necessary and keep your drinking water safe always.

Steel over Plastic

A study revealed that plastic pipes may affect the taste and odor of drinking water. While researchers are yet to confirm if the water running through a plastic pipe work become less safer or healthier, it’s hard to think nothing bad is going to happen in drinking water with a distinct flavor and stinky smell.

Plastic may be the less costly piping material, but going for steel to keep your family’s health in check makes sense. Any expert in hydraulic steel tubing and high-strength pipes would tell you that this specialized alloy is made for plumbing. The surface of steel doesn’t breed bacteria and particle buildup easily, preventing water contamination at home.

Pollution and Wearing Pipes

Pollutants can spoil clean water supply on its way to your home. Even if it tests positive at its source, certain harmful organisms present in the environment can render public water unsafe while it travels along the pipeline.

In addition, the rust produced by deteriorating pipes can turn your tap water taste metallic and colored reddish brown. While it’s not primarily a health concern, it may harm people living with hemochromatosis—a rare condition wherein excess iron amasses in a person’s body organs. Pipe restoration is paramount to avoid all these possible risks.

The tap water’s taste may not have a direct link to our health thus far, but drinking fresh is the easiest way to gain some peace of mind. Installing steel pipes and making timely replacements are necessary to have tap water of good quality.

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Is Artificial Grass any Good?

grassLet’s face it: not all areas in your home enjoy the ideal condition for the optimal growth of lawn grass. Add the frequently uncooperative weather in the UK and you would see that it can be quite tricky to keep your grass green.

This is why many have explored the use of artificial grass in a lawn. But before you scoff at the idea of artificial grass in your home, you should know that the synthetic material is actually a good choice for different reasons.

Easier maintenance

One of the main benefits to having artificial grass is the minimal maintenance work necessary to preserve its appeal. Contrary to real grass, the artificial kind does not need all the mowing, trimming, or watering. You can simply install artificial grass in your home and leave it be whilst you have fun elsewhere. Rest assured that when you come home, your lawn would remain as verdant as you left it.

Better flexibility

Landscape gardeners in Essex would probably agree that the best edge of artificial grass its inherent flexibility. Artificial grass can exist in places where real greens can’t. Rooftop gardens, for example, would require that the structure is capable of supporting the weight of all the soil, water, and grass for it to work. Contrast this with the idea of artificial grass, wherein you would simply install it and you would have an instant green patch on your rooftop.

More savings

Although the initial cost might surprise you a little, faux grass is actually worth the investment. Think about this: investing in artificial grass is a one-time thing. Once the landscapers install the grass in your home, there’s no need to contact the exterminator regularly or purchase fertilisers. Over time, you get to recoup what you paid for in the form of savings.

Fake grass isn’t all that bad. As a matter of fact, it has its good points. When you want a flexible, cost-efficient alternative to your home’s green patch, consider this as one of your options.

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From Fast to Faster: The Wonders of Bike Fitting

bikingBike fitting is as old as time. In the beginning, though, as long as you could stand over a bicycle, then it fits; but this is not the approach anymore. The term now means the science of synchronising the rider and the bike for optimal performance.

Just because you can ride the bike and move fast it doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. As an exhausting pursuit, it sure does make you sweat, but not suffer. Cycling should be effortless and pain-free; if you’re experiencing discomfort as you pedal, then it’s a sign you need to visit a bike store because something is wrong.

Chances are you would not think you need to fit your bike until you realise its significant benefits.

Unveil Hidden Problems

An innovative bike fitting system can reveal the secrets why certain parts of your body ache while cycling. Whether your back, neck, bum, knees, or hands hurt, chances are the components of your bicycle is not proportionate to your body. Having the stem or the saddle one inch higher or lowerA single than it’s supposed to be is enough to make life miserable for you. An assessment is necessary to determine the right measurements of bike parts that suit your physique.

Small Adjustments, Big Improvements

The shoes, cleats and insoles are the minor stuff that matter. They provide ample support and balance the pressure on your feet for hours of pedaling. The experts would recommend the gear that matches the size and shape of your foot to prevent hot foot, or Metatarsalgia, and ride your bike over long stretches with ease.

Ultimate Potential

In cycling, proper positioning is the key to reach the peak of your speed and stamina. Riding the bike in comfort and pedaling with efficiency are only achievable if you’re on a bicycle that suits your frame. Triathletes, especially, require a fitted bike to compete at the highest level.

In the words of Ivan Illich in his essay, Energy and Equity, “Man on a bicycle can go three or four times faster than the pedestrian, but uses five times less energy in the process.” Indeed, the bicycle is the most efficient vehicle that has ever been created. With proper adjustments, going from fast to faster is a breeze.

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