Why Do Women Get More Urinary Tract Infections Than Men?


Technically, women have roughly the same immunology as men, and yet they seem to be more prone to getting bladder infections. It is not due to women’s lack of immunological competence, but due to their anatomy that women get more bladder infections than men.

Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a bladder infection. Bladder infections occur when bacteria, usually from stool around the anus, get up inside the urethra. If not flushed out with frequent urination, the bacteria adhere to the bladder wall and cause infection of the bladder. The bacteria, in some cases, can get flushed up into the kidneys and therefore can cause a kidney infection. Both kidney and bladder infections are more common in women.

In part, this is due to the much shorter urethra in women, which makes a shorter path for the bacteria to travel to get to the bladder. A woman’s urethra is an inch long or less, while a man’s urethra is 7.5 inches long or more, traveling up the penis and into the pelvis. Women also have the danger of wiping bowel contents up onto the urethra when urinating and defecating. This means that a woman should always wipe from front to back so as to keep the bacteria away from the shorter urethra.

The urethra is also very near the vaginal wall and so women are more likely to get urinary tract infections from the sex act. When there is penile thrusting, bacteria get up into the urethra and unless they are flushed out completely by voiding after intercourse, there is an increased risk of getting a bladder infection after sex. Women who have sex with men who use condoms impregnated with a spermicidal substance have an increased risk of getting bladder infections.

Women who are post-menopausal can get bladder infections more frequently because the lack of estrogen in the system causes a drying out and lack of protection from the tissue surrounding the urethra. Both the bladder and the urethral opening are dried out and do not protect the urethra from getting bacteria pushed up into it. This is an easy fix, however, and women can take estrogen cream by means of an applicator and push the vaginal cream into the vagina. It is recommended that women do this every day for a week or so and then do it 2-3 times per week after that. This thickens the vaginal mucosa and the lining of the urethra so that they are more protected against bacteria and makes for healthier tissue.

The only time men begin to have as many bladder and kidney infections as women do is in the 60s or later in their life. This is when men begin to have enlarged prostates and prostatic cancer. Because the urethra passes through the prostate on its way out of the bladder, it can become constricted with an enlarged prostate and bacterial infections of the prostate are more common. The bladder doesn’t flush out bacteria well enough because it doesn’t empty completely. A PSA test or a digital rectal exam can confirm if this is the case.


Tips to Make a Move Easy


Tips for making the big move:

Clean Up

Go see your landlord or apartment complex office and get a replica of your move-in inspection. If you did not do an inspection when you first moved in, request for a copy of the move-out inspection papers your apartment utilizes to evaluate damage. Review the papers and see if you’ve caused extra damages after your move-in. Inspect your apartment again with the manager or landlord to establish what has to be repaired or cleaned and have him/her sign a confirmation that the damages you have to fix are the only ones you’re accountable for.

Your next step is to make sure that you repair damages on your walls (for instance, take off any staples or nails and fill out holes you’ve incurred). Clean your kitchen-this may involve cleaning the over, refrigerator, cabinets, sink, lighting fixtures, flooring, and other surfaces. You may then move to your bathrooms and clean them, focusing on the tub, sink, shower and toilet first. Clean your bedrooms, living room, windows, doors, and so on.

Have A Checklist

Your checklist needs to indicate that belongings be packed up and moved out in due time. All trash and dirt should be taken away from the apartment or home. Your apartment or home should have already been in its original condition when you moved in, and all keys have been returned. You must make sure that you follow this basic checklist so that you won’t have to deal with additional check out charges and other billing.

Almost There

Search for a reputable moving company in your area. Ask recommendations from experienced people who have already tried moving out of their old home in the past. Gather a list of your top moving companies and contact each of them. You must meet up with the agents in person and obtain quotes in writing.

When the big day is fast approaching, begin by organizing all your things-throw away those things you absolutely do not need anymore. You don’t need to bring EVERYTHING with you, as additional items may make you burst your budget. Gather some moving boxes (or, if within your budget, rent professional grade boxes from your moving company) and materials such as tape, labels, cutters, and marker. You should be very organized with your packages-make sure you categorize your items (i.e. kitchen utensils, plates, furniture parts, breakables, office materials, etc.) and mark your boxes accordingly. It’s best to list down all items inside each box so that you can easily check if any of them are missing at the point of arrival in your new location. It could take 4 to 5 hours to pack up personal items so you may want to invite some friends to help you out.


An Overview Of Bruno Stair Lifts


Michael R. Bruno and his wife Beverly founded Bruno Stairlifts over 20 years ago. The company is now one of America’s leading manufacturers of mobility aids. Today, Bruno manufactures over 50 different products, ranging from stair chair lifts, vehicle lifts and turning automotive seating. The company makes straight and curved stair lifts for indoor and outdoor use.

The company has been awarded the ISO-9001 certification, which means that Bruno Stair Lifts are recognized for product excellence worldwide. Indeed, the company occupies the high-end of stair lifts. Most companies don’t have the technical expertise to produce outdoor stair lifts or curved stair lifts; Bruno and some others like Stannah Stair Lifts do.

All stairlifts are sold, installed and serviced by Bruno’s factory trained network of dealers. Bruno stair lifts come with a 2 year warranty on all parts and a 5 year warranty on the gear box, motor and rail system, which is as good as any warranty in the industry.

Bruno makes 3 home stair lifts; the Electra-Ride LT, the Electra-Ride II and the Electra-Ride Elite. It also makes an outdoor model called the Outdoor Electra-Ride Elite and is the first in the industry that can carry a pay load of 400 lbs.

All of the straight stair lifts made by Bruno can operate up to a maximum incline of 45 degrees and to a minimum stair case width of 32″. Other companies can offer better specifications; the Stannah 120 stair lift can handle an incline of 52 degrees and the Acorn Superglide Perch stair lift can be fitted on narrower stairs. However, most domestic staircases can be fitted with a Bruno stair lift.

Bruno also makes a curved stair lift called the Electra-Ride III Curved Rail. Again what’s impressive about this stair lift is that it can carry up to 350 lbs. The Stannah curved stair lift carries less than 300 lbs.

All of Bruno’s stair lifts are powered by DC 24 volt rechargeable batteries. Just about all modern stair lifts now use batteries rather than mains power. There are many advantages to using batteries; they’re safe with no possibility of electrocution; they provide smoother starts and stops; and you can still use the stair lift during power outages. What is particularly impressive about Bruno stair chair lifts is the length of their battery life. The company claims that the battery will last an amazing 3-4 days or 15 trips up and down the stairs. The battery itself is built to last 3-5 years and replacements can easily be bought from your local hardware store.

Bruno’s products have been awarded accreditations and awards, including the Today’s Caregiver Magazine’s “Caregiver Friendly” product award and the Da Vinci new product award for a lift-up power mobility seat.

So, are Bruno stair lifts the best on the market? Well, we have to say that there stair lifts on the market that offer more features as standard and look more stylish; the Stannah Solus stair lift being one. Also, other manufacturers supply stair lifts at a lower price; the Ameriglide stair lift being an example. However, in the price range of the Bruno stair lift, it probably does offer the best product. You can get more features from other brands but you pay more, or you pay less for another brand stair lift but you’ll get fewer features than the Bruno.


What You Can Learn on a Visit to a Planetarium


A Planetarium is a specially designed dome-shaped theatre for viewing educational and interesting astronomical shows. What you learn will depend on the planetarium you visit, the shows they offer and perhaps even who you visit with. A group of 11 year old school kids will learn different aspects of astronomy to say an astrology group watching a specific show about the 12 signs of the zodiac. Most planetariums seem to have their standard pre-recorded shows but also offer themed shows for the time of year e.g Autumn Sky, Christmas Star. Some shows are just recordings that you watch whilst others may have a presenter who is available to answer questions. Nearly all planetariums will have static or interactive displays in their building from which you can learn a lot before you even enter the theatre’s dome. Again, most larger planetariums will have a telescope which allows you to view that night’s sky, weather permitting. This is a great advantage of planetariums in that you get to view the stars whether it is cloudy or not and you don’t have to worry about being cold.

Some shows are specifically aimed at toddlers and young school children, whilst others will be aimed at older school kids. Planetariums are great places to visit as a trip for a group such as special needs or autistic children, senior citizen outings. Some planetariums are even offering their theatres for parties, functions and just image your wedding dinner under the stars! Examples of shows available that I have come across in my research on planetariums include titles such as: Aurora, Summer Sky, Winter Tales, Legends of the Night Sky – Orion, Zodiac, Stellar Evolution, Black Holes, The Sky Tonight, The Moon and so many more… Planetariums are also used by groups training to navigate by the stars.

So what will the experience be like? Awesome and unforgettable – I still remember my school visit to a Planetarium some 25 years ago – before the advent of 3D imagery in planetarium presentations. I certainly don’t need an excuse to take my 3 kids on a visit to one when they are a little older and will be able to appreciate the information and not just the amazing visual spectacle. Worldwide, most planetariums provide shows to the general public. You should be able to choose from pre-recorded or live presentation formats. Live format is preferred by many venues because a live expert presenter can answer any on-the-spot questions raised by the audience.

3-D digital planetariums have been in existence since the 1990’s and these add a valuable sense of real depth to the whole experience rather than the night sky appearing as a star map! This new virtual reality capability to enable the viewer to travel through the universe provides important educational benefits because it vividly conveys that space has real depth. This in turn will assist audiences to leave behind the misconception that the stars are stuck on the inside of a giant celestial sphere and instead to understand the true layout of the solar system and beyond.

For example, a planetarian (presenter of a show) can now ‘fly’ the audience towards one of the familiar constellations such as Orion, thus revealing that the stars which appear to make up a shape from our earth-bound viewpoint are at vastly different distances from Earth and so not connected at all, except in human imagination and mythology. This experience can be much more educationally beneficial than other demonstrations particularly for those people who are especially visual or spatially-aware. Music is an all important element to complete the experience of a good planetarium show. Music featured is usually space-themed or from the genres of space music, space rock, or classical music. In fact I have even seen shows advertised as being set to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon!


Race and Social Class


In American society, issues of race and social class are entwined together like a chain of DNA. One cannot have an honest discussion about race without looking at the equally important issue of class since the two are closely linked. Although discussions of race and class are often avoided because these type of issues make people uncomfortable, Hurricane Katrina and the various television newscasts that followed stripped away the curtain to America’s dirty little secret: there are many people in American society who have been unable to escape the double jeopardy of being born African American and poor.

The four readings by Sklar, et. al., Oliver & Shapiro, Mantsios, and Bartlett & Steele in the text (Ore, pgs. 69-99) illustrate how race and class was socially constructed for the advancement of Whites and the making up of a social class of poverty-stricken African-Americans who could be blamed for everything wrong in society. Furthermore, all four articles reflect how these two systems of oppression are interlocked in a never-ending structure of domination (matrix of domination), as stated in the text.

In the article entitled “Race, Wealth, and Equality, Oliver and Shapiro discusses how three historical events in American society – the Reconstruction, the suburbanization of America, and contemporary institutional racism has lead to a vast amount of income inequality between Blacks and Whites. Although American society had several opportunities to make amends to African-Americans by giving them same economic advantages Whites took for granted, it never happened because Blacks would be on the same economic playing field as Whites. That is why there is such a large gap in wealth between Blacks and Whites in American society.

The Mantsios’article takes this discussion about the large wealth gap between Blacks and Whites further by examining how the media, owned by the ruling class, has played a major role in distorting views about economics by pretending the ruling class do not exist and poor Blacks are the dregs of society. The media with its ‘magic’ can make the sins and harshness towards African-Americans disappear by pretending it is their fault that they are poor.

By doing this, upper and middle-classed Americans learn to fear and loathe poor Blacks and refuse to make the connection between systematic racism and high poverty levels amongst African-Americans.

In a similar vein, “The Growing Wealth Gap” describes how crooked but legal dealings between corporations and politicians has led to work wages stagnating for decades and millionaires turning into billionaires. This article also made reference to the Oliver and Shapiro article, illustrating how African-Americans have little, if no net worth and even if differences in income, occupation, and education were removed, White income would still be higher than Blacks due to the racial barriers that have kept them stagnated for centuries. Bartlett and Steele discuss that although the American government slashed welfare benefits for the needy, it subsidizes large corporations at the expense of the taxpayers on a regular basis. It is okay for corporate America to be on welfare but welfare for corporations is called “incentives.” Corporate America can do this because they have good Public Relations, meaning the media to help sell economic dreams to the unsuspecting American public, going back to Mantsios article. All four of these articles are connected because they reflect that although the economic system in America was built build on the backs of African-Americans, they cannot share in its riches.

After reading this material, one cannot help but think about the mostly African-American and poverty stricken victims of Hurricane Katrina and how much American society is to blame for their economic situation. They were not only the victims of a horrible natural disaster but victims of a system that has historically kept them on the last rung of the economic ladder. The victims of this tragedy for the first time had my face and economic background. I am an African-American single mother who was receiving welfare benefits at the time Hurricane Katrina occurred who could not and still can drive and my family would have been one of the many labeled “refugees” if I lived in New Orleans. Although I was an active participant in the creation of my past situation, being told that I could not attend a four year college because it would take too long by a TANF case worker tells me how much the system is against people like me even when you are trying to do the right thing.

Observing a White supervisor stir up competition between African-Americans and Hispanics on the workplace showed me how much corporate America is against the advancement of minorities. Living in a neighborhood that is forty minutes from downtown Chicago but is surrounded by vacant lots filled with trash tells me that America has forgotten about a certain segment of people based on their skin color and economic background. Unless there is a fundamental change in the redistributation of the wealth and racist attitudes in American society, the wealth gap between Blacks and Whites will only get larger.


Write Your Family History – 50 Questions You Must Ask Parents Or Grandparents Before They Die


No one expected it.

While climbing into his hot tub, my healthy 87- year-old father-in-law slipped, fell, and broke a rib. He began internal bleeding that the doctors couldn’t stop. In two weeks, Gene was gone.

Fortunately, we had taken time a few months earlier to record Gene’s life story, and discovered some amazing facts. He was a semi-pro baseball player, a fine watercolorist, and a US Marine. As a marketing executive for Kaiser and later Del Monte, he worked on national advertising campaigns with mega-stars of his day, including Joan Crawford, Debbie Reynolds, Stan Musial, Lloyd Bridges and others.

We recorded Gene’s life story on two occasions: once at a small family dinner, then during a living-room interview a few months later.

We transcribed the audio files of the recordings, added pictures, and then uploaded the whole package to a new free web site that helps people write great personal and family stories. (See resource section,below). Gene’s family and friends can view his story and add comments or photos if they wish. The profile that we co-created with Gene is a celebration of his life. It’s also a direct, meaningful connection with his daughters and their grandchildren. Anyone can create a life story for themselves or a loved one. It’s as simple as setting aside some time and doing some careful listening.

I’ve helped hundreds of people across the US, Canada, and Mexico capture their life stories. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews, I’ve boiled down my experience into three key tips, and the 50 most productive questions you can use for success.

Success Tip #1: Pre-Interview Preparation is Key

To get the most from your family history session, be as prepared as possible.

. Inform the subject of the purpose of the interview, who will see it, and how it will be used · Prepare your questions in advance · Set aside a quiet time and place free from interruptions

· It’s a good idea to use a voice or video recorder; test all equipment thoroughly before starting

· It’s often useful to use a tape or digital recorder and transcribe the dictation

· Photos, mementos, or other visual aids are great memory-joggers. Ask your subject to prepare some in advance

· Listen attentively and gently; ask questions of clarification

· Don’t try to force the subject into something they are uncomfortable discussing

Success Tip #2: Be Flexible and Creative

When I first started doing life story interviews, it seemed as if people spent the majority of time talking about their early days. As I got more experience, I began to realize that most people have one, two or possibly three key defining times in their lives. For many, it’s childhood. For a lot of men, it’s WWII, Korea, or Vietnam. The defining moments emerge like finding a gold nugget in a streambed. Be sensitive to these defining moments and episodes. Listen extra-carefully, and ask questions. Often a deeper portrait of an individual emerges, laden with rich experiences, values, beliefs, and layers of complexity. If you don’t complete the interview in one sitting, set a date to resume your conversation later

Success Tip #3: Organize Life Stories into Chapters

Most people (yes, even shy ones) love to be the center of attention and share stories from their lives. There are two challenges for a family historian. The first is to capture the stories in a structured, logical way. The second is to make sure that the stories are as complete as possible and contain facts (names, dates, places), fully-drawn characters, a story line, and perhaps even a finale. The GreatLifeStories web site divides the life experience into 12 “chapters” that follow the progression of many lives. On the web site, each chapter contains anywhere from 10 to 25 questions. (Below, I’ve selected the 50 questions that usually get the best results). Don’t worry; you don’t have to ask them all. In fact, after one or two questions, you may not have to ask anymore-the interview takes on a life of its own.

The most important objective is to make sure you cover as many of the chapter headings as possible. The chapter headings are logical and somewhat chronological in order: Beginnings, School Days, Off to Work, Romance and Marriage, and so forth. Feel free to add your own chapters, as well. The 12-chapter system is a great way to organize both the interview, as well as the life story write up, video, or audio recording.

CHAPTER 1: In the Beginning

1. What were your parents and grandparents full names, dates of birth, places of birth.

2. What were the occupations of your parents?

3. How many children were in your family? Where were you in the lineup?

4. Generally speaking, what was your childhood like?

5. What one or two stories do you remember most clearly about your childhood?

6. Are there any particularly happy, funny, sad or instructive lessons you learned while growing up?

CHAPTER 2: In Your Neighborhood

1. What was it like where you grew up?

2. Describe your most important friendships

3. Where and how did “news of your neighborhood” usually flow?

CHAPTER 3 School Days

1. Be sure to capture names and dates attended of grammar, high, colleges, trade or technical schools

2. What are your earliest school day memories?

3. Are there any teachers or subjects you particularly liked or disliked?

4. What did you learn in those first years of school that you would like to pass along to the next generation?

5. Were you involved in sports, music, drama, or other extra-curricular activities?

CHAPTER 4: Off to Work

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?

2. What was your first job, and how did you get it?

3. What was your first boss like? What did you learn from him or her?

4. Did you leave? Quit? Get promoted? Get fired?

5. Were you ever out of work for a long time? If so, how did you handle it?

CHAPTER 5 Romance & Marriage

1. What do you recall about your first date?

2. How did you know you were really in love?

3. Tell me how you “popped the question,” or how it was popped to you.

4. Tell me about your wedding ceremony. What year? Where? How many attended? Honeymoon?

5. Tell me about starting your family.

6. Were you married more than once? How often?

CHAPTER 6: Leisure and Travel

1. What were the most memorable family vacations or trips you can recall?

2. What leisure time activities are you involved with?

3. What are your greatest accomplishments in this field?

CHAPTER 7: Places of Worship

1. Do you follow any religious tradition?

2. If so which one, and what is it like?

3. Have you ever changed faiths?

4. What role do your beliefs play in your life today?

5. What would you tell your children about your faith?

CHAPTER 8 War & Peace

1. Were you a volunteer, drafted or a conscientious objector?

2. If you didn’t serve, what do you recall about being on the home front during the war?

3. What key moments do you recall about your service?

4. What would you tell today’s young soldiers, sailors and fliers?

CHAPTER 9 Triumph and Tragedy

1. What were the most joyous, fulfilling times of your life?

2. Any sad, tragic or difficult times you’d care to share such as losing a loved one, a job, or something you cared about?

3. What lifelong lessons did you learn from these tough times? Joyous times?

4. Were there any moments you recall as true breakthroughs in any area of your life?

5. If you could do one thing differently in your life, what would that be?

CHAPTER 10 Words of Wisdom

1. What have you learned over your lifetime that you’d like to share with the younger generation?

2. People will sometimes repeat aphorisms such as “honesty is the best policy.” If they do, be sure to ask how they learned that life lesson.

CHAPTER 11: Funnybones

1. What were your family’s favorite jokes or pranks?

2. Who is, or was, the family comedian? “Straight” man?

3. What’s the funniest family story you remember?

CHAPTER 12 Thank You

1. What are you most grateful for you your life?

2. How have you taught your children to be grateful?

3. Are there items or places that mark special gratitude for the ones you love? What are they? What are their stories?

In closing, it is always a good idea to ask an open-ended question such as:” Is there anything I haven’t asked about that you would care to comment on?” You’ll often be surprised and delighted at the answers!


For many more tips on how to capture precious family history, visit www.GreatLifeStories.com


How A Window Cleaning Business Survives During The Winter


In some parts of the country window cleaners are able to clean commercial and residential windows year round regardless of what month it is, because the seasons in their part of the country are much milder and more constant.

Well that’s great for them, but what about the rest of us? Is the sentiment I hear expressed most often in regards to this topic. But I have good news for you. Just because its winter time doesn’t mean that your income has to die, it just means that you have to adapt and expand on the services you offer.

Before I get into describing some of the various ways a window cleaner can make money during the winter, let me remind you that while the residential market may die down during the winter months, the commercial market still continues to provide stable income. Why? Because commercial businesses need to maintain clean storefronts and office spaces in order to make them inviting for customers. This means that they need your window cleaning services as much if not more during the winter than they do in the summer.

Now on to some different ways you can keep your window cleaning business in profit during the slow winter months. I will share with you several services you can offer, but please don’t let yourself be limited to only these services. Think outside the box and think about what your customers need during the winter months besides window cleaning.

Christmas Light Installation

One of the most profitable services you can offer your existing and potential customers in the winter time is a Christmas light installation service. In this case your customers would pay you to hang up there holiday lights and then come back at the end of the season and take them down. This can be extremely profitable if done right as you charge the customer upfront for both the installation and the removal. This can lead to a nice chunk of change in your hand right before Christmas time. Christmas Light Installation has become such a large part of my winter income that I started another company that only deals with holiday and special events lighting.

Gutter Cleaning

This can be a year round service, but is much more profitable during the fall, and winter months. Gutter cleaning is essentially just using your ladders to reach the gutters of customers homes and then cleaning out all the debris. This is an essential service for many homeowners who live in areas with lots of deciduous vegetation, as leaves, dirt, twigs and other debris can very quickly clog up a homes gutter system. Not only is this debris unsightly, but it also causes a fire hazard as well as prevents the gutters from doing their primary job of shedding water away from the house. Water damage is a very expensive repair and many homeowners are more than happy to pay you to clean out their gutters once or twice a year.

Pressure Washing

This is another service that can be offered year round, but can also be very lucrative in the winter months. Water mixed with dust and dirt makes mud and mud gets everywhere in the wintertime. Especially in areas where the city transportation department spreads dirt over the roads to prevent people from sliding on the ice; that dirt has to go somewhere and a large percentage of it winds up in parking lots and against commercial businesses. These businesses become very excited when you offer a pressure washing service to clean up their sidewalks and walkways.

The services outline above are just but a fraction of the services a window cleaning business can offer its customers during the winter months. This article is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to help get you thinking about what you can offer your customers to make additional money in the slow season.


2nd Grade Science Fair Projects


Science projects for second graders help them learn a scientific principle through an experiment or a series of experiments. The project helps them to apply the skills that they have been taught. Through the second grade science fair project, children learn to ask questions, collect relevant data, write conclusions and present their findings in an attractive and effective manner.

While choosing the topic for the second grade science fair project, the raw materials required should be kept in mind. Very good second grade science fair projects can be done using household materials and material, which are commonly and easily available. Expensive laboratory equipment is not necessary for a second grade science fair project.

The entire second grade science fair project has to be thoroughly planned. The reports that are written should be clear and to the point.

Presentation is the key factor in second grade science fair projects and the following should be kept in mind:

1.The child should understand the topic very clearly and should have absolutely no doubts.

2.The child should be able to explain the project without reading it out.

3.The child should be confident and enthusiastic.

4.The child should be able to speak knowledgeably.

5.The child should present the project in a well organized and clear manner.

6.The project should be original and unique reflecting the creativity of the child.

Topics for second grade science projects are innumerable. However, interesting and original projects can be based on these questions: –

– How far can an animal be heard?

– How are diseases transmitted?

– How long are the blood vessels in different animals?

– Do plants lose water through their leaves?

– Which side of a plant leaf takes in Carbon dioxide?

– How do different colored lights affect plants?

– How fast can a rat/guinea pig run through a maze?

– Why is the sky blue?

– How are rainbows formed?

– Why does ice cream melt?

The advantages of doing an experiment so early on are innumerable. Such projects arouse the curiosity of the student. They are also intellectually stimulating as the child searches for answers instead of being spoon fed information. The students conducts the experiment and gets the result and then explores the reason behind the result and the scientific principle or principles involved.

Some experiments are done in groups. In such cases, children learn to co-operate with one other and work together as a team. They learn the importance of team spirit and they learn to adjust and compromise. In case the project has to be done individually, the child learns to be independent and self confident, however, these projects must be very small in scale, because the students are still to young and disorganized to do anything too complex.

These experiments also strengthen the bond between children and parents. The parents and children sit together and discuss various topics and the options available to them. The child feels happy that the parent is involved in his or her school work.

The second grade fair science projects also enable a student to learn a topic thoroughly and as he or she has learn it on his/her own, the child will not easily forget the scientific principle involved. Also, these experiments encourage children to enjoy science and develop a love for the subject.


Collections – Why Do People Collect Things?


There were seashells everywhere. The room was furnished with couches and chairs with a seashell pattern on the upholstery.There were lamps with shades covered with shells. Sculptures made of shells and books about seashells sat on the tables. Family photos in seashell- encrusted frames lined the shelves. A curio cabinet was filled with more shells. I was visiting the home of a new acquaintance. She collects seashells. A special room in her home was dedicated to shells. There were shells from all over the world everywhere in that room. Even the business card she gave me was decorated with a photo of a large shell.

People have a natural tendency to collect things. Seashells may not be their passion but whether its coins, stamps, postcards, spoons, or more bizarre things like teabags, chocolate bar wrappers or traffic signs we human beings seem inclined to be collectors. Dr. Steve Anderson, a neurologist at the University of Iowa says our need to collect may harken back to an earlier point in our evolution, since many animals hoard things, especially food.

According to Susan Pearce, author of the book Interpreting Objects and Collections one in three North Americans collects something. There are many different kinds of collections and collectors.

Some collections are souvenirs or mementos of a place. I once visited the home of a couple who collect masks every time they travel. One wall of their dining room is covered with traditional painted masks from South Africa, Egypt, Vietnam, the Philippines and dozens of other places. When they are on a trip they never have to stop and think about what to buy as a souvenir. They just look for a mask to add to their collection.

Some collections are gifts. I know a man who gives his mother a china plate every Mother’s Day with a message or saying about mothers on it. He hunts through antique stores and curio shops, often for weeks, until he finds a plate and a design that he hasn’t already purchased. His mother has more than twenty such plates in her collection.

Some collections are of practical use. I have friends who are world travelers and collect Starbucks Coffee mugs from every place they visit. There are Starbucks franchises in more than forty countries. Our friends don’t have forty different mugs but certainly enough for a fairly large group of coffee drinking guests.

The desire to learn new things can also be the impetus behind a collection. I know someone who collects military artifacts from the World Wars. He has uniforms, machinery, vehicles, sheet music, maps, books, flags and photographs. His collection has helped him learn a great deal about military history.

Some people collect things because of their monetary value. I used to work with a woman who collected Barbie Dolls. She assured me someday she would sell her collection and make a mint of money.

Susan Pearce says there are some collections which she terms ‘magic’. There is no rhyme or reason for collecting them but they have a certain appeal or attraction for the collector. I imagine this might apply to a collection of snow globes or a large collection of Superman memorabilia.

Collections can remind us of positive experiences and important people in our lives. They can help us learn new things. They can be practical or magical. If you’re not a collector you might want to think about becoming one. Collections can enrich our lives.


Problems With Foundations Constructed on Sandy Loam Soil and How to Identify, Prevent, and Rectify


A soil composition primarily known as “sandy loam” is a mixture of sand, clay, silt, and organic matter. Sandy loam is a very stable soil that shows little change with the increase or decrease of moisture and can easily support a slab foundation. Problems occur if the builder added fill to the substrate that was of a different soil composition. If this added fill consists of a higher clay content then expansive conditions can occur if balanced moisture is not maintained around the foundation

Let us identify some readily apparent observations. If your interior doors are difficult to close and you are observing cracks in the sheetrock, or cracks in exterior siding or perhaps masonry; then you may be experiencing foundation problems. Whether your house was built on pier and beam or on a concrete slab foundation these problems can occur.

The most common cause of these problems is due to the perimeter of your foundation being unequally saturated with moisture. Whenever there is a period of several months with minimal rainfall, you will have a variation of moisture saturation in the soil around the perimeter of your foundation. The out of balance moisture will cause stress and movement and if one part of your house settles more quickly than another then you will have problems.

The older your foundation, say twenty or so years, the more you will need to apply the following simple preventive procedures. By doing so you will get many more years of trouble free enjoyment from your home.

The simplest method of prevention and control of this problem is a timed irrigation system around the perimeter of your home that activates three or four days a week for 15 or 20 minutes each day. A well maintained gutter and down spout system is crucial in order to keep balanced moisture around your foundation.

Observe the drainage around your home as improper grading often results in future foundation problems. Grading should always divert water away from your home so as to not allow water to puddle around the foundation. Surface grading needs to be sloped away from the foundation at 5% or greater pitch for the first ten feet from the foundation.

Another worry with sandy loam is erosion, also a good reason you want to make sure you have good drainage around your foundation. Puddling saturates the sand causing it to shift around creating movement which is known as a floating slab.

If your foundation is experiencing excessive settling you must correct this problem as soon as possible because in wet weather the ground will swell and in dry weather it will shrink causing constant stress on the foundation. Over a number of years this recurrent movement will cause extensive damage and will be very costly to repair.

If your house is on pier and beam, a house leveling company merely raises your house, levels it, then makes adjustments to the building blocks it is resting on. If you have a concrete slab you may have to turn to slabjacking to correct damage. The is accomplished by digging footings every 6 to 7 feet under bearing beams and compressing concrete cylinders down to a competent soil layer.

House leveling and stabilizing will need to be completed professionally and inspected by a registered engineer.

After the identification and repairing of the foundation settling problems, hasten to take preventive action as suggested in this article in order to avoid further damage.