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5 Things You Never Knew About Steel and Its Uses

If you are like most people, you generally are aware that steel is used quite pervasively and in a variety of different “things.” With that said, if you are like most people, you likely only have a limited understanding of how important steel has been and continues to be throughout the past couple of hundred years, and up until today.

Recycled Steel Has Been Used for Generations

One of the most remarkable things about steel and its uses is that the recycled version of the metal has been used for many generations. In fact, recycled steel has been used for over 150 years.

Steel represents one of the first items that was recycled. It remains one of the most widely recycled substances in this day and age. Nearly every steel object in use today contains recycled steel Indeed, a typical steel product contains from about 25 percent to 100 percent recycled content.

Steel itself is completely recyclable. In addition, it is cheaper to recycle steel than it is to mine and process virgin steel. About 65 million tons of steel is recycled in the United States annually at this juncture in time.

Steel and the U.S. Railroad System

Although people realize that trains run on tracks, when quizzed, many people do not realize that railroad tracks are steel.

The railroad system, using significant amounts of steel, started to come into being in a more major way in the mid-1800s. By 1850, about 9,000 miles of steel railroad tracks had been placed in the United States. Slowly but surely, the U.S. railway system was moving westward.

The pinnacle of the efforts to link the east and west coasts of the United States with rail service occurred on May 10, 1869. On this date, the final stretch of steel railroad tracks was placed in California, linking the entire country from east to west to the railway system.

Steel Made High Rise Structures Possible

In the early 1900s, steel became an important element in commercial construction projects. Thanks to the use of steel in building projects, high rise structures like the Empire State Building and other towering structures became possible.

Steel permits the framework to be created necessary to construct buildings many stories higher than was ever possible before its use in commercial construction projects. As an aside, steel also played a vital role in the creation and development of the elevator. The elevator has also been an important element in the construction of ever taller buildings.

Steel has made the amazingly tall buildings constructed in recent years possible. This includes the tallest building on the planet, the Burj Khalifa, which is 2,722 feet tall. That is about a half a mile in height. The Empire State Building is 1,454 feet tall. One World Trade Center, currently the tallest building in the United States, is 1,776 tall.

Surgical Instruments

During the course of a lifetime, nearly all individuals will end up facing some type of surgery. People certainly are aware that a variety of instruments are utilized in surgical and other types of medical procedures. However, this represents another area in which people are not fully aware of the ubiquitous use of steel in the creation of surgical instruments, and other types of medical tools and devices.

In addition to surgical instruments themselves, a broad spectrum of medical devices rely on steel. This includes medical devices that are placed inside a person’s body via some type of surgical procedure.

Some of these devices that are placed into a person’s body require very small quantities of steel to function. These small medical devices present one of the spectrum in which varying quantities of steel are utilized. The construction of mammoth buildings represents the other end of the spectrum.

Steel and Exploration

Steel is also playing an important role in exploration. Even in this day and age, when pretty much the entire planet has been mapped out, there remain places on the globe that we are still exploring. Steel is playing a significant role in these exploratory endeavors.

One part of the planet that remains largely foreign to us is the Antarctic. Steel is vital in the creation of strong, weather resistant structures in what many consider to be the most hostile location on the planet.

In addition, steel is being utilized in underwater crafts that are permitting exploration into the deepest depths of the oceans of the world. Without steel in these underwater crafts, what we would be able to explore under the water would be significantly limited.

Jessica Kane writes for Advance Online, a leading provider of web-based OSHA. DOT. and HAZWOPER training.

Strange and Unusual Destinations in North Dakota

North Dakota is a state with many wide open places. It is also home to a number of tourist destinations that are frequently visited by travelers. In addition to some of the better known tourist destinations, there are also some strange or unusual sites to be seen in North Dakota.

The Pyramid of North Dakota – Nekoma, North Dakota

One of the most unusual destinations in North Dakota is a site that has become known as the Pyramid of North Dakota. In reality, the Pyramid of North Dakota is an abandoned nuclear missile complex located at Nekoma.

The Pyramid is in reality a radar system. When the site was in operation, it included dozens of launch silos for nuclear weapons.

The complex took $6 billion to construct. Once completed, the site was in operation for less than three days. The Defense Department concluded, after all the time and expense of building the complex, that it would not be effective. There was also a concern that missiles would accidentally be detonated over friendly territory.

Albino Buffalo – Jamestown, North Dakota

The North Dakota Buffalo Foundation at Jamestown is home to three very rare albino buffalo. In addition, the Foundation has other “traditionally colored” bison in its herd as well.

The albino buffalo can be seen roaming about on the ranch maintained by the Foundation. What makes these albino bison even rarer is the fact that they are female. Female albino buffalo are far less commonplace than albino males.

The Geographic Center of North America – Rugby, North Dakota

The middle of the North American continent is in North Dakota. There is a monument in Rugby acknowledging this reality.

When one realizes the geographic center of North America is in North Dakota, a person really understands how big all of North America is — and how far north the continent extends from the United States.

Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site – Cooperstown, North Dakota

The North Dakota Pyramid is not the only remnant of the U.S.A.’s nuclear defense system. The site was decommissioned and is no longer an active part of the country’s nuclear defense system. The Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site has been maintained in part to permit visitors the opportunity to see this type of facility up close and personal.

The military name of the site technically is Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facility and the November-33 Launch Facility. It had been managed by the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Tent Pole Monument to Circus Dead – Wahpeton, North Dakota

A grim monument is found on the plains of North Dakota at Wahpeton, North Dakota. The Tent Pole Monument to Circus Dead was erected to commemorate two circus workers who were killed by lightening in that town.

On June 10, 1897, the Ringling Brothers Circus came to Wahpeton. When putting up the tent, a storm raged in, with lightening that ended up taking the lives of these men. Despite the deaths, the show did go on.

Fargo Wood Chipper – Fargo, North Dakota

The movie “Fargo” was critically acclaimed and highly popular. The movie draws to an end with a gruesome sequence involving a wood chipper. The wood chipper has become a popular tourist “site” and is located on the west end of the city of Fargo itself at the F + M Visitors Center.

Tourists pop in to see the wood chipper, particular fans of the movies. It is common for a visitor to take a selfie with the former movie prop.

World’s Largest Buffalo – Jamestown, North Dakota

The world’s largest buffalo is a roadside sculpture at Jamestown that clocks in at 46 feet long and 26 feet high. The sculpture weighs as much as 60 real life buffalos.

The sculpture has been around for over 50 years. On its 50th birthday, a contest was held to come up with a name for the buffalo. Dakota Thunder was the winning name for the buffalo. The enormous buffalo statue is not far from the live buffalo herd that includes three albino bison.

KVLY-TV Mast – Blanchard, North Dakota

What virtually no one knows is that the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere is not located in New York City, but in Blanchard, North Dakota. Indeed, this structure is the fourth tallest structure in the world at this juncture in time.

The KVLY-TV mast towers above the Western Hemisphere at an amazing 2,063 feet. The structure has collapsed and been rebuilt twice. In 1968, a Marine helicopter crashed into it and in 1997, an ice storm with 70 mph winds, resulted in the structure’s collapse.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.

Helen Bonfils: A Pioneering Woman Entrepreneur

The name Helen Bonfils is not one most people recognize, but they should. Helen Bonfils was a pioneering entrepreneur from the 1930s into the 1970s. She accomplished things during her life that remain unmatched even nearly 50 years after her death.

As women continue to progress in the realm of entrepreneurship, it is important to understand how women in the past century worked tirelessly to lay the foundation for what can be done today. The life story of Helen Bonfils is part of the mission to better understand the heritage of female entrepreneurs.

Helen Bonfils: The Early Years

Helen Bonfils was the daughter of Frederick and Belle Bonfils. Frederick did many things in life, including founding the Denver Post. He had the reputation as something of a rapscallion during his life. He was said to own gambling casinos, speakeasies, and even houses of prostitution during his lifetime.

On the other hand, Helen’s mother, Belle, was a pious, devote Catholic. She was essentially the exact opposite of her husband.

Helen had one sister, May. May ended up eloping with a sheet music salesman when she was a younger women. This resulted in a rift between May the rest of the Bonfils family.

Helen Bonfils Takes the Reins of the Denver Post

Upon the death of Frederick Bonfils in the 1930s, Helen made the decision to take over the reigns of the Denver Post herself. Helen really was the first woman to publish a major daily newspaper in the United States.

Helen and her sister May would end up twice involved in lawsuits over the Denver Post. Ultimately, Helen prevailed, including when her mother Belle passed away. When Belle died, Helen received her shares of Denver Post stock. These legal machinations resulted in the two sisters never really communicating with each other again during the remained of their lives.

In addition to overseeing the Denver Post, Helen became a major philanthropist, as did her sister. For example, Helen founded the Belle Bonfils Blood Bank, which ultimately would become the largest blood bank west of the Mississippi. Although operated under a different name, the blood center is still in operation today.

Helping the poor was also a major deal with Helen. For example, when she was in her office at the Denver Post, day in and day out people in need would line up in the hallway next to her office. These people came to Helen for help, and she would.

Helen Bonfils Takes on Broadway

While running the Denver Post, Helen maintained an interest in theatre. In the late 1930s, Helen married Broadway producer George Sommes. They would remain married for about 20 years, when he passed on.

While married to George, Helen would start a production company. She ultimately became a successful Broadway producer.

She would also become a leader in the Denver theatre scene, founding the Bonfils Theatre. Ultimately, after her death, an endowment derived from Helen’s estate would build the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Her endowment keeps the lights on at DCPA even today.

Helen Bonfils and the Making of a Wildcatter

At the age of 69, following George’s death, Helen would marry her 28-year old chauffer. Not comfortable with marrying a chauffer, Helen would set the man who became known as Tiger Mike up with his own oil company.

Tiger Mike Davis, while married to Helen, ended up having an affair with Phyllis McGuire, of the McGuire sisters musical trio. Phyllis herself was having a notorious affair with mobster Sam Giancana.

Helen would end up divorcing her second husband, about a year before she died. Tiger Mike would continue his relationship with Phyllis, remaining in her life long after the mobster fled the country and died.

Tiger Mike passed away in 2017. Phyllis McGuire survives, living in a magnificent house in Las Vegas, built with money that ultimately came from the pocket of Helen Bonfils, through Tiger Mike.

The Bonfils Girl: A Take on the Live of Helen Bonfils

In 2015, the full-length, one-woman show entitled The Bonfils Girl hit stages across the United States. The play stars veteran actor Cathy Washburn, who has been playing the role of Helen Bonfils since the play opened. The Bonfils Girl is the brainchild of Mike Broemmel, who spent nearly a decade researching the life and times of Bonfils.

The Bonfils Girl is a comedy-drama that plays homage to the life of this amazing women. Helen is a true inspiration for both women and men entrepreneurs. Her life story will remain an important tale into the future.

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Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.

Working on Your Own? A Look at Internet Cafes and Fed Ex Shops

The coffee shops and internet cafes of Los Angeles have become something of clichés when it comes to being populated by people working on their screenplays. The coffee shops, diners, and internet cafes of the Upper West Side have never fallen victim to being classified as one sort of cliché or another. Rather, the internet cafes and similar venues of the UWS each have their own, individual flare.

If you are a resident of the Upper West Side, or a visitor to this fine neighborhood, you may have the need for an internet café, or similar destination, to spend some time to tend to business — and to enjoy your surroundings at the same time. There are a number of destinations that are well-suited to a person who enjoys taking care of business in a comfortable setting, one that offers a selection of beverages and eats.

Irving Farm Coffee Roasters

Many locals consider Irving Farm Coffee Roasters as the location to work and enjoy beverages and eats at the same time. At any given time, if you venture into Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, you will find a multitude of people at work on their laptops, conferencing with one another, and engaged in similar pursuits.

This underscores one of the realities of Irving Farm Coffee Roasters. It nearly is always busy. There can be times when finding a place to sit can be a challenge. In this regard, more than a few people “stake out a claim” early in the morning to ensure that they have a place to work or tend to their day’s to-do list. As an aside, weekends are even busier, with a wave of people coming to Irving Farm Coffee Roasters to brunch a couple of hours away.

Irving Farm Coffee Roasters is large. Keep in mind that in addition to the seating in the front, there is another large section in the rear of the establishment.

Irving Farm Coffee Roasters

224 West 79th

Café Lalo

Perhaps is some ways Café Lalo is the quintessential internet café. Café Lalo was featured some years ago in the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie, “You’ve Got Mail.” Many folks who frequent Café Lalo, and have spent time in the City of Light, compare Café Lalo with a Parisian café.

Café Lalo is in reality a cozy place where you can tend to your affairs (or all types) online. The café offers a solid selections of beverages and eats, which nicely accompany whatever task you might have at hand that necessitates internet access.

You do need to keep in mind that Café Lalo remains fairly widely known as the “You’ve Got Mail” café. As a result, it is a popular destination for visitors to New York. As a result, the café can be quite busy with folks checking out the scene of one of their favorite flicks.

Café Lalo

201 West 83rd

Orwashers

Although technically a bakery, locals flock to Orwashers and hang as if it were intended to be an internet café. Early birds typically can find a seat to claim and tend to business while enjoying the delectable offerings of Orwashers. Keep in mind that Orwashers does draw a later breakfast crowd than is the case with many other eateries on the Upper West Side.

Orwashers actually traces its origins back a century, and to the Upper East Side. In this day and age, it really has become an iconic establishment on the Upper West Side. The spot consistently garners high marks for tremendous eats and great java.

Orwashers

440 Amsterdam Avenue

Peacefood Café

In recent times, there really is something for everyone when it comes to eateries on the Upper West Side. This includes people looking for a spot do a bit of work, and enjoy some tasty food and beverages. Peacefood Café is a completely vegan establishment.

A notable percentage of people who work for themselves follow diets that depart from what might be called the mainstream.Peacefood Café provides a marvelous vegan menu, in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

Yes, it is possible to tend to business at Peacefood Café. But, “camping out” for a more extended period of time may not always be possible due to the seating situation at the café, coupled with its popularity.

Peacefood Café

460 Amsterdam Avenue

Federal Express Centers on the Upper West Side

The typical freelancer, or self-employed person, is likely to not only take advantage of internet cafes, but also may require the services of Federal Express. There are two Fed Ex centers on the Upper West Side:

Fed Ex

2233 Broadway

Hours:

Monday through Friday

7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday

8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday

12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Fed Ex

221 West 72nd

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.

 

A Look at Solar Energy Versus Coal Power

One of the hot topics of discussion in the United States, and elsewhere around the world, in recent years has been about the pros and cons of solar energy versus coal power. Making decisions regarding solar energy versus coal power does necessitate an understanding of some of the key facts associated with both types of energy.

Trends Relating to Coal Use

Less than two decades ago. coal was responsible for 56 percent of all electricity generated in the United States. Since that time, the utilization of coal as a means of generating electricity has been in retreat. An examination of what types of underlying energy resources are being utilized in new power generation facilities illustrates the point.

Coal Versus Solar in New Power Generation Facilities

The most remarkable change in regard to the utilization of coal versus solar power is found in the type of energy resource being utilized to run new generation facilities. In 2014, solar and wind were utilized with 52 percent of all new power generating facilities that went online in the United States. In that same year, coal accounted for 1 percent of new power generation facilities.

The trend shifted more dramatically still a year later. In 2015, solar and wind power were utilized with 69 percent of new power generation facilities and coal was used at none.

Construction Costs of Solar Versus Coal Power Generating Facilities

One of the main reasons why solar is winning the new power generation facilities race in recent years is the fact that the construction of a solar facility is cheaper than building a coal plant that has so-called clean coal technology. In recent years, with regulations and other considerations, the movement has been moved to the construction of coal plants with clean coal technology, at least when those plants were being built.

The estimated cost for building a coal power plant that utilizes clean coal technology is $2.6 billion. On the other hand, a typical solar power plant costs $1.8 billion.

As noted, traditional coal plants are not even particularly considered when it comes to the construction of new power generation facilities. But, in the interests of full disclosure, if there was a shift back to building old style coal power plants, the cost of such a facility would be $1.5 billion.

The cheapest type of power plant to build is one that runs on natural gas. The cost for constructing this type of plant is $482 million.

Materials Used in Power Plant Construction

There is some commonality in the types of materials that are utilized in constructing coal, solar, and natural gas power plants. The same holds true if you add wind power into the mix.

One type of material that is found in the construction of all types of power generating resources is steel. For example, steel pipe is utilized in different ways in coal, solar, and natural gas power plants. Steel pipe is also an important component in the generation of wind power as well.

The Future of Coal Power Plants

Another trend associated with coal power plants is going to become clearer in the not too distant future. As mentioned a moment ago, traditional coal power plants were not really being build at all for some time. In addition, the rate of construction of new coal plants with clean coal technology bottomed out all together.

The typical coal plant has a useful lifespan of about 30 years. After that, the plant typically is shuttered and decommissioned. Historically, a new plant would be constructed to take its place.

As plants in operation today begin to approach the their 30 year anniversary of operation, there has been little movement to construct replacements. Therefore, in the approaching future, there is likely to be a good many coal plants permanently decommissioned and not replaced with even some type of next generation coal plant alternative.

Of course, what policies take root in Washington, D.C., will play some role in the future of coal and solar energy. This can, and does, change from one Administration to the next. The Obama Administration was decidedly more favorable to alternative energy resources and contributed to the lessening of use of coal for the generation of electricity. The Trump Administration appears to be intent on returning to the use of coal on a broader scale, but that evident determination has not yet played any appreciable role when it comes to building new or replacing old coal power plants. Determining what will happen in that regard will take a few years.

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Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading steel tubing suppliers of carbon, alloy and stainless steel pipe, tubes, fittings and flanges.

How to Start an Indoor Winter Garden

After enjoying fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruit from your own garden during the summer months, you may be disappointed when winter comes around. Of course, you can buy organic produce from many local markets. However, there is something enriching about the process of growing your own produce.

The reality is that you do not have to completely abandon growing your own produce in the wintertime. You can cultivate an indoor winder garden. What follows are some tips, suggestions, and strategies to grow vegetables, herbs, and fruit indoors during the colder months of the year.

Herbs

Herbs represent the easiest edible plants to grow indoors during the winter months. With that in mind, basil is the simplest of the herbs to grow indoors — and, if you are like most people, basil is likely one of your favorite herbs. Growing basil can be done successfully by planning seeds in a pot placed next to a south facing window.

Other types of herbs oftentimes can be better grown indoors if you start them from cuttings, rather than seeds. These include rosemary, thyme, parsley, and oregano. These herbs can be planted in a pot place in a south facing window as well.

Root Vegetables

You may have grown different types of root vegetables outdoors. You can grow some of these successfully indoors during the winter months.

Radishes definitely can grow in an indoor setting because this vegetable doesn’t root as deeply as other root vegetables. Certain varieties of carrots can also be grown indoors as well.

The key to cultivating radishes and carrots indoors during the winter months is to select a box or trough of an appropriate depth (deeper for carrots). Seeds should be planted any time from mid-autumn to late winter.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms can be grown inside during wintertime. You may be unfamiliar with cultivating mushrooms. Indeed, you may think that there is just something too mysterious about growing mushrooms. In fact, you can cultivate mushrooms fairly easily.

You need to have a draft-free, dark place in your home. A cupboard of pantry can work. Ideally, the space should be such that you can maintain a temperature between 50 and 60 degrees.

You do not need to begin the process of growing mushrooms completely from scratch. You can purchase special compost that contains mushroom spawn. All you need to do to start the process of growing your own mushrooms is to water the soil and then leave it in your predesignated space.

Leafy Greens

If you want a bit more of a challenge, you can cultivate certain leafy greens indoors in wintertime. This includes lettuce, spinach, and arugula.

Leafy greens require more sunlight than the other vegetables previously discussed. IN reality, leafy greens are likely going to need more sunlight that can be gleaned even in a window with a southern exposure in wintertime. Therefore, you need to seriously consider investing in fluorescent grow lights to supplement natural light. You will want to leave the grow lights on between 10 to 12 hours each day.

Beyond the issue with ensuring leafy greens get enough light, the rest of the process of tending to these types of vegetables is not hard. You begin the process by planting seeds in moist potting soil. You need to water your leafy green crop regularly.

Tomatoes

You do not have to abandon home-grown tomatoes in the wintertime. As with leafy greens, tomatoes to require a bit more effort when grown indoors during the winter months.

You do need to select smaller varieties of tomatoes. With that said, you will still want to stake the plants to ensure that the weight of the fruit properly is supported. You will also want to use a larger pot or container to accommodate a tomato plant.

Edible Flowers

You may not have yet had occasion to experiment with edible flowers. You might want to take the plunge to growing and using edible flowers during the winter months.

Two edible flowers are particularly easy to grow indoors in wintertime. These are impatiens and calendulas.

These two types of edible flowers are delicious addition to salads. They are perfect salad toppers, adding color and an additional dash of flavor.

As with most of the other plants recommended for an indoor winter garden, edible flowers can be placed in a south facing window in your home. The amount of natural light received each day via a window on the south side of your house should be enough to sustain the growth of edible flowers.

Jessica Kane is a writer for Grow Ace, your best online option for getting your new hydroponic grow operation up and running quickly and easily.

Music Therapy for Dogs

Just like us, dogs can feel anxious, sad, and hyperactive. There is nothing worse than hearing your dog whimper when you leave the house or noticing how nervous they get from fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Though it can be disheartening to not be able to calm your dog down through conversation, we can be hopeful because there are a lot of science-based resources to help with this. Music therapy, in particular, has been a promising area of research and is easily accessible to you and your dog.

How it Works

Dogs hear at a more acute level than humans do. Therefore, even low-level background music can make a difference in their mood. It is a known fact that sound changes internal bodily rhythms like breathing and the heart beat. Therefore, music with a slower beat will induce calming sensations like a slower breathing and heart rate. When functions like this occur, the mind-body connection calibrates with one another and an active mind begins to slow and calm down as well.

Everyone likes an upbeat song once and a while, which has the opposite effect on the body relative to slower music and its rhythms become more active. Some dogs could use external motivation to be active, so dog owners should take advantage of this and play music that helps their dog become more physically and mentally active.

The study of how music affects the body is known as psychoacoustics. Though there has been decades of research dedicated to how music impacts the human body, a sound researcher, Joshua Leeds, was approached by classical piano player, Lisa Spector, to study and create music that is calming for dogs. They modified and rearranged traditional classical music to meet the known psychoacoustic features of dogs, and their results were profound. Presentation of their music reduced stress-related behavior in 70% of dogs in kennels and 85% of dogs in households.

Music Dogs Like

Some of the most popular sources in music therapy for dogs rely on high pitches that ebb and flow throughout the melodies of each song. These are thought to mimic the pitch of a dog whistle and help to keep the dog’s attention. This, with a combination of slowly paced sound effects, various instruments, and soundscapes has been shown to keep the dog’s attention while also reducing their blood pressure.

Although it is known that dogs enjoy melodic tunes from composers such as Mozart or smooth jazz, dogs will pick up on the type of music their owners listen to and create positive associations with this. You can take advantage of this by choosing music that is scientifically known to calm your dog down but also reflects your musical taste to remind your dog of your presence.

Though we might think of calming music as a way to slow anxious and hyperactive dogs down, music with upbeat tempos has also been shown to be helpful for dogs with depression or dogs on the lethargic side. Similar to music that is calming to dogs, consider playing upbeat music that reminds your dog of your musical style to help energize and improve their mood.

How to Provide Music Therapy for Your Dog

You do not have to hire a pet psychologist to provide music therapy for your dog. In fact, playing music in the comfort of your own home might be more effective since it is where your dog is most likely to be comfortable.

Relax My Dog (at www.relaxmydog.com) sells four albums of music therapy for $19.99 on iTunes. This website also features a blog and community forum where dog owners can ask each other questions and get support and ideas on how to best provide this service for their dog. Video blogs and music are also available on Relax My Dog’s YouTube channel.

The psychoacoustic researchers, Leeds and Spector, also have several resources for music therapy for dogs. In their book and CD set, Through a Dog’s Ear: Using Sound to Improve the Health and Behavior of Your Dog, dog owners can play the music these researchers composed that had such profound effects in reducing stress-related behaviors in dogs. The book is also co-authored by a veterinary neurologist, Susan Wagner.

If you have Spotify, a great resource is Pet Care Music Therapy. These artists have over 10 albums dedicated to music therapy for dogs and cats and are included with your Spotify account.

YouTube is also an excellent resource, and there are particular channels dedicated to dog music therapy that can play on your device while you are home or away.

Jessica Kane is a writer for Handicapped Pets, your most trusted source for dog wheelchairs and harnesses.

Seven Ideas for a Perfect Man Cave

The Rustic Cave

A perfect look for man cave is the rustic look. One of the best courses to take in this regard is to have design elements like exposed brick and perhaps even a fireplace. A thought is to go for the look and feel of a log cabin.

Consider complementing the space with woodsy colors. In addition, consider complimenting brick with natural wood, including on the floors, whenever possible, with this type of man cave.

Stylish Cave

At the other end of the man cave spectrum is the stylish cave. This is a space that is designed to focus on style and comfort. Rather than being something that appears to have been thrown together in a haphazard manner, the stylish man cave is attractive in its appearance. Indeed, it is a space that took time to conceive. There is a definite commitment to interior design in creating this type of man cave.

No, this doesn’t run against the concept of a man cave. Rather, this underscores the fact that different people have varying ideas and concepts about what a particular room in a residence is to look like. This includes men and their caves.

The Arcade Cave

The arcade man cave is designed to take into consideration the pub or bar experience. Even in this day and age, a good many neighborhood puns feature arcade games. Tis includes the ever-popular pinball machine.

The arcade cave is designed to pay homage to a neighborhood pub, with its arcade games, pool tables, and dart board. This type of man cave usually does come complete with a bar, perhaps even a wet one. The bar itself blends seamlessly in with the games, turning the space into a truly enjoyable man cave.

The Sports Bar Cave

A space somewhat related to the arcade man cave is the sports bar man cave. As the name suggests, this man cave includes memorabilia of the kind commonly featured in the typical sports bar. The sports bar man cave usually features at least one big screen, oftentimes two or three. This really ads to the look and feel of a sports bar.

This man cave really is suited to watching games and other sports events. It is the place where friends and family gather to watch games and enjoy each other’s company, perhaps over a favorite brew.

The Rock and Roll Cave

Many a man enjoys rock and roll. Different men may enjoy rock from different eras, but many males do tend to like this kind of music.

The rock and roll man cave is designed to celebrate the particular rock era, or star, that an individual man likes. The rock and roll man cave nearly always is outfitted with a solid audio system, including high quality speakers. However, big screens and bars are typically the order of the day in this type of man cave as well.

The Upscale Cave

The upscale man cave is a space that takes the stylish man cave up a notch. In reality, this is probably the least used man cave theme. However, when it is the underlying theme for a man cave, the results are not only stylish, but amazing.

It would not be out of the question for this type of man cave to include a chandelier. High quality furniture and other accoutrements certainly will be featured throughout this time of man cave.

There is likely to be a fully operational wet bar. The space may have something of an upscale movie viewing room presentation. This is the type of man cave that comes into being when a person has a bit more money to spend on this type of space than is the norm.

The Retreat Cave

A final type of man cave is what appropriately can be called a true retreat. On some level, this probably is what many people think of when they contemplate a man cave.

In the grand scheme of things, there is no unifying theme for this type of man cave. Rather, it is a complete and absolute reflection of the needs, goals, desires, and tastes of the man who needs this cave.

Of course, having explained the underlying concept of a retreat man cave, all man caves can be categorized in this manner. However, in the case of a retreat man cave, there is less of a focus on developing a space in which a man can entertain others. It really is a space where he can retreat to spend a little time with himself.

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Jessica Kane is a writer for The Pinball Company, the best online source for new, used, and refurbished pinball machines, arcade cabinets, and more!

Get Your Home Ready for Sale: Enhance Its Curb Appeal

Curb appeal.

Realtors typically defined curb appeal as: “The general attractiveness of a house or other piece of property from the sidewalk. This term is often used by Realtors trying to sell or evaluate a piece of property.”

If you have made the decision to put your home on the market for sale, a key consideration is whether the curb appeal of your residence is up to par. If you think this may not be the case, you need to begin to consider what you should and should not do to enhance the curb appeal of your home. There are a number is tactics that you will want to give a good look at when it comes to increasing the overall curb appeal of your home.

Refresh or Redo the Paint

One very basic step you can take to enhance the curb appeal of your residence is to refresh or redo the paint. Generally speaking, this is a step that you can take without breaking the budget. You can also accomplish this task in short amount of time.

You also have two courses to consider about accomplishing this task. First, you can go the do it yourself route. Second, you can hire a professional painter.

Improve the Lawn

Take a good look at your lawn when you are contemplating what does and does not need to be done when it comes to enhancing the curb appeal of your home. If you are like most people, there very well may be issues with your lawn that need remediation. You may not have really focused on this issues.

The reality is that simply because of its presence in front of your home, the state of your lawn does send a message to prospective buyers. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, prospective buyers who see a flaw or issue with your lawn may take that a step further. These people will conclude that you are not on top of other elements of home maintenance.

Odds are what needs to be done with your lawn will not prove to be very complicated. Indeed, it more than likely will prove to be a matter of laying some fresh sod here and there or reseeding in certain places.

Establish the Right Greenery Balance

On a related note, examine what is going on in your front yard in the way of plants, trees, and bushes. A mistake that some people make when it comes to striving to enhance the curb appeal of their homes is to plant more of just about everything. By taking this approach, these individuals overkill.

In the final analysis, when it comes to plants, trees, and bushes in your front yard, moderation matters. You want the front of your house to look vibrant. On the other hand, you don’t want to leave a prospective purchaser with the idea that if he or she bought the house, that person would be left caring for a proverbial jungle.

Deal with Concrete Cracks

Another step you will want to take when it comes to improving the overall curb appeal of your home, you need to make sure that the driveway and sidewalks are in good repair. Take the time, and make the investment, in repairing any issues associated with concrete in front of the residence.

Ensure an Attractive Entryway

Make sure that the entryway to your residence is up to par. Once a prospective buyer evaluates the general appearance of the overall front side of your home from the curb, that individual’s focus is more than likely to zoom onto the entryway and front door. You need to make sure that the entryway looks inviting and well kept. Unless you’ve allowed the property to get off track for some time, dealing with the entryway should not be a significant task.

Final Note on Safety

If you plan on taking on some curb appeal enhancement project on your on, in anticipation of putting your home on the market, you must keep safety in mind. The last thing you want to have happen is to end up injured as part of a DIY home improvement effort.

When it comes to sprucing up the front of your residence, including painting and landscaping, you may find yourself using a ladder or scaffold. These have the potential to be to dangerous pieces of equipment.

You need to make absolutely certain that a ladder properly is positioned and a scaffold appropriately assembled. A common cause of accidents associated with a ladder or scaffold are incorrect position of the former and improper assembly of the latter.

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Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Scaffold Store, the favorite and trusted scaffold supplier of the largest contractors.

7 Ideal Types of Retirement Gifts

When a person finally reaches the point at which he or she retires, it really is a milestone. If you have someone in your life that is getting ready to retire, you likely are wondering what type of gift to give. There are seven categories from which an ideal retirement gift can be drawn.

Years of Service Gift

For generations, the most common type of retirement gift was one focused on years of service. This type of gift oftentimes was given by an employer. However, that was during a time period when most people spent the greater part of their working lives in one, or perhaps two, jobs.

With that noted, a years of service gift is still a solid choice, even if it doesn’t officially or formally come from an employer. This type of gift could come from family, friends, or colleagues and will still have a nice impact.

Examples of years of services gifts include things like a watch or some type of jewelry. Silver is a solid choice when it comes to this type of years of service gift.

Hobby Gift

If the new retiree enjoys some type of hobby, a gift related to that endeavor is wise choice. People have a wide range of hobbies in this day and age, some of which are easier to find an appropriate gift. For example, if a person is a wine connoisseur, you will likely be able to come up with some obvious options.

If your associate has a hobby you are not particularly familiar with, reach out to that person. Ask him or her what type of item would be highly useful in the pursuit of that hobby.

Travel Gift

If the retiree is fond of travel, or has indicated a desire to spend time traveling once retired, considering giving the individual some type of travel gift. Examples of these types of gifts include luggage, passport holder, or personalized luggage tags. Books about possible travel destinations are solid ideas.

Depending on your relationship with the retiree, and your own budgetary considerations, giving a trip is a wonderful gift for a retiree. If the cost of a trip is beyond your own budget, odds are you will be able to organize people to collectively buy this type of gift for a retiree.

Experiences Gift

By the time many people reach retirement age, they have accumulated a good deal of “stuff.” Another idea for a perfect retirement gift is something from the experiences category.

Examples of what you can consider giving from the experiences category includes tickers to a concert, theatre, or sporting event. A gift certificate to a nice restaurant is another idea.

You can take one of two approaches when you give an experience gift. First, you can take the retiree and his or her significant other, if there is one, to the experience. Second, you can purchase tickets and let the retiree plan the specifics with whoever he or she would like to take.

Industry Gift

Another category of retirement recognition is the industry gift. As the name suggests, this type of gift is something associated with the industry or profession in which the person worked. This type of gift does hearken back to days gone by when an industry gift was more commonplace. As with a years of service gift, some years ago, this type of gift was quite commonly given by an employer as a means of commemorating the work of a retiree.

Charitable Contribution Gift

Many people heading into retirement have spent at least part of their working career in support of some type of charitable organization, at least in some manner. In other words, there is a strong possibility that the retiree has what is best described as a favorite charity.

If that is the case, you might want to consider making a contribution to a particular charity on behalf of the retiree. If the retiree doesn’t seem to have a favorite charity, you could ask the individual if there is one he or she would like to see a donation go.

Social Gift

This is something of a derivation of the experience gift. A social gift oftentimes is something added to another type of gift.

In basic terms, a social gift is one in which you invite the retiree to join you for something like lunch or dinner at some point in the future. You could be creative and make a coupon which the retiree can redeem at some point in the future for a social connection of some sort.

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Jessica Kane is a writer for Silver Superstore, home of the internet’s best flatware.