How to maintain your wooden climbing frame

It is important to check that any wooden climbing frame on your property is safe for your children by carrying out maintenance each year.

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Level placement and anchoring

Start with an initial check of the ground to ensure that the frame is still sitting on a level surface – use a spirit level to check this. Next, make sure that the ground anchors are fastened securely; if they are loose or detached, the whole frame is less stable. Either move the frame to a part of the garden in which the soil structure is denser and the anchors are gripped more tightly, or concrete the anchors into place so they cannot move.

Cleaning and preserving timber and fixings

Check that the climbing frame has not become sticky, dirty or slimy; if it has, it will need cleaning before the children start using it again. You can use water and a mild detergent to clean the wood. Take this opportunity to look for any cracked or warped parts of the climbing frame and check that the supporting joints are in good condition.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has some good advice on the safe maintenance of children’s play equipment and points out that, as a natural material, wood is prone to cracking.

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There will normally be no great effect on the strength of the wood structure if the cracks are no wider than 10mm; if they are wider than this, they can be a ‘finger trap’ for children, as they may try to use the cracks as grips to help them climb. This particularly applies to climbing frames for older children, in which case you may wish to purchase a replacement from a supplier such as http://www.niclimbingframes.com/climbing-frames.

It is often difficult to tell whether wood has rotted simply by looking at it, as the outer wood may appear sound while the inner wood has rotted. Tap the wood with a rubber hammer or simply knock on it – decayed wood will sound hollow. You will then need to probe the area with a thin steel spike, such as an awl, and pick out some fibres of wood to examine them. If decay seems a probability, this part of the structure must be replaced to ensure the structural integrity of the climbing frame.

A guide to shirt fabric types

The type of fabric used to manufacture a shirt is one of the most important factors. Poor-quality fabric leads to a poor-quality shirt that is not pleasant to wear, does not look good, and won’t last as long as a shirt made from superior fabric. In addition, some fabrics lend themselves better to casual shirts, where comfort is far more important than appearance, while others are better suited for use in formal dress shirts where a classic look is desirable. Here’s a brief guide to some of the most popular shirt fabrics.

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Oxford cloth

Oxford cloth is a coarse fabric that is used in many men’s shirts. It’s comfortable and soft yet can withstand a lot of wear and tear. As Primer Magazine points out, the enduring popularity of the Oxford shirt is partly due to the fact that it’s a durable and hardwearing item of clothing It has a unique textured appearance and is great for colder weather as it tends to be fairly warm.

Twill

Twill is generally used for more formal shirts and has a rich texture that gives twill shirts a lot of depth. It’s commonly used in dress shirts and is popular because of its elegant appearance.

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Reputable retailers such as http://ejmenswear.com/brands/farah offer a variety of shirts, including mens Farah shirts in a huge range of styles and colours, making it easy to find the perfect shirt for any occasion.

Poplin

Poplin is similar in weight to Oxford cloth, but it has a smoother and generally more refined appearance. This is because it is woven using both a fine yarn and a thicker yarn. It’s a popular choice for informal, casual items of clothing and can frequently be found in striking patterns and a wide variety of different colours.

Herringbone

This type of fabric boasts a distinctive pattern that resembles the bones of a herring. This is commonly used in outerwear because it is a heavy and durable fabric. It is warmer than many of the other fabric types listed here, and it is also tougher and more resilient.

Broadcloth

This is a very fine fabric that is frequently used for formal shirts. It is made by weaving yarns tightly to create a solid, smooth texture. It displays intricate and delicate patterns very well thanks to its close, tight weave.

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Advantages of being authentic at work

If we take a look around us, we see that the behaviors, the way of dressing, even the way of speaking each time is more homogeneous.

Authenticity and originality seem to have gone out of style. Says the philosopher Ralph W. Emerson: “Being yourself in a world that constantly tries to transform you into something different is the greatest achievement.” Are you authentic in the workplace? Continue reading “Advantages of being authentic at work”

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The most sociable and festive cities in the world

When traveling to all we like to go to sociable and festive cities, where we treat ourselves well and have a little party. Hostelworld has conducted a study called “Sociable Cities”, a comparative analysis of social life in different cities around the world. The results are quite surprising.

The study of Hostelworld is the first comparative study of social life in different cities around the world, analyzed the social behavior and attitudes of 12188 residents of 39 major cities in 28 countries. The study examines ten categories of sociability. Young travelers seek destinations that offer them a social and cultural experience.

The results of the study are quite striking. In the first place we have the city of Gothenburg (Sweden), followed by Stockholm, Chicago and Boston. Continue reading “The most sociable and festive cities in the world”

Some of the most popular fabrics used in architecture

Fabric structures are becoming more and more popular. Attractive, flexible and hardwearing, they can increasingly be seen in anything from shopping centres to churches, exhibition centres and markets, but what exactly are the fabrics made from and how do they withstand the wear and tear of everyday life? After all, fabric buildings must be able to withstand the elements in addition to being strong, durable and safe.

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According to digital media publisher Engineering.com, the fabrics used in such structures are not only very strong but also easy to repair if the worst happens.

Here we take a brief look at the most popular fabrics used in architecture today and see just what makes them so special.

Outside use

The fabrics used for outdoor structures are usually made from one of two different materials: polyester cloth coated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or glass cloth coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE – also known as Teflon). Both have long lifespans and both are easy to keep clean, meaning they will retain their good looks for many years.

Those with a PVC coating contain additives such as fire retardants, UV stabilisers to ensure they do not fade quickly, and antifungicides to keep away the mould. A PVC membrane can also be protected by fluorinated polymer lacquers, which will improve its cleanability.

For more information on this type of tensile structure, visit the website of a company specialising in tensile structures, such as http://fabricarchitecture.com/.

Inside use

For interior use, there are three commonly-used fabrics: cottons, glass mesh and glass cloth.

The most widely available and economical, cotton comes in a wide variety of colours and is ideal for areas in which a more natural look is required. As it is liable to shrink and stain over time, it is not suitable for long-term use.

Glass mesh, which can be coated with PVC, is more durable, but has more of a gauze-like feel; meanwhile, glass cloth is usually coated with polyurethane, which makes it hardwearing while giving it the appearance of a more natural cotton.

Glass cloth can also be coated with silicon, which has a high resistance to fire. In some instances, where more strict fire regulations have to be met, pure glass meshes can be used.

In certain circumstances, materials such as Lycra and silk have been approved for use indoors.

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Alcohol incites more violence than other drugs, but it will not come out on the news

The mainstream media tends to issue more news about illegal drugs than alcohol. Stories about illegal drugs are also more negative and the media are more likely to present them as dangerous, morally destructive and associated with violent behavior and drug users as irresponsible and degenerate people.

In fact, the media are more likely to link illegal drugs to violent crime, sexual assault and homicide than alcohol. All this despite a study finding that 47% of homicides in Australia over a period of six years were related to alcohol.

The coverage of the recent Rainbow Serpent music festival in Australia is an example of how the media relates illegal drug use to violence. There were alleged physical and sexual assaults during the festival, which took place over five days, including Australia’s national day.

However, the truth is that there was not as much violence or sexual assault as would be expected in relation to alcohol in such a large concentration of people during Australia’s national day.

Given that media information plays an important role the opinions that people form, this could make people believe that illegal drugs are more likely to lead to violence than alcohol. This is due to a cognitive tendency or “mental shortcut” known as the heuristic of availability that leads people to form opinions based on the most recent information they receive.

What do data tell us about the likelihood that alcohol or other drugs will end in violence? Are there drugs that are worse? Continue reading “Alcohol incites more violence than other drugs, but it will not come out on the news”

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Dry Shampoo

We all know that over-washing hair can strip away beneficial oils while rinsing away dirt and grime, and this has led to recent increases in the sale and use of what are known as ‘dry shampoos’.

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What are Dry Shampoos?

On the market since the 1970s, a dry shampoo absorbs oil, removing grease and dirt without the need for wetting the hair. It also has other advantages such as adding volume to limp strands. Applying dry shampoo after a trip to the gym can refresh hair. Additionally, those with coloured hair may find that reducing washing and using a colour enhancing dry shampoo means a reduced need for recolouring, saving both time and money.

Common Mistakes

Dry shampoo comes in powder, liquid or aerosol forms, and each brand will differ slightly from the next. If the first one that you try doesn’t work for you, try another one, and keep trying different ones until you find the one that works for your hair.

Tinted products are available, so remember to double check that you are not accidentally using the wrong one.

Grease and oil comes from the scalp, and so only roots need treating. However, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and if using an aerosol don’t succumb to the temptation to spray too close to your hair.

Once the product has been applied, leave your hair untouched for a couple of minutes as this gives the product the time it needs to absorb the grease and grime. Using this time to complete your morning make-up or to clean your teeth means you will hardly even notice it, but it will make a huge difference. Then rub it firmly into your scalp until any residue is removed and style to finish.

One final point – dry shampoo is not a replacement for wet washing. You are essentially coating your hair with a product, and in the same way as you wouldn’t leave make-up on from one day to another, ensure your follicles don’t get all clogged up by alternating dry washing and wet washing with a nourishing product such as KLORANE shampoo with mango butter, which is available from retailers including http://www.lifeandlooks.com/klorane-with-mango-butter.html.

Although dry shampoo is an essential part of any bathroom cabinet, it is not a replacement for wet shampoo.

How to Choose the Right Metal Coating

Metal components are found all around us. Their strength, conductivity and malleable properties make them highly usable. However, they are subject to corrosion.

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The cost of corrosion is significant. According to the World Corrosion Organisation, the annual worldwide cost of corrosion is US $2.2 trillion (more than 3% of the world’s GDP). 20-25% of these costs could be saved by using corrosion control methods. Costs are related to materials and repair work, the loss of function and loss of material. Prevention is better than cure.

Passive protection, in the form of coatings, provides a barrier between the metal being protected and the corrosion reagents and water.

Established Epoxies

The most common and long-standing coating technology is epoxy. They are often applied to the products in the factory and offer excellent resistance to impact, moisture and chemicals. Their metal bonding adhesive properties mean they are also often used as priming layers.

Strict environmental regulations surrounding the use of Volatile Organic Compounds have led to the development of 100% solid content epoxies.

The downside to epoxy coatings is their lack of flexibility and brittleness at low temperatures, which can both lead to cracking. Furthermore, they can become discoloured under UV exposure.

Polyurethane Protection

This has led to the development of polyurethane coatings, which, alongside the positive attributes of epoxies, also offer good flexibility and a high-gloss, high-pigment finish. They can be applied as a thin coat for weight saving, and they cure quickly, even at low temperatures, with the use of a catalyst.

Polyurea Developments

Moving on from polyurethane, these coatings cure more rapidly and without a catalyst in more challenging conditions. As thicker layers can be built up, they also offer some structural attributes. Polyureas should not be used for thin coat applications.

The coatings must be mixed exactly and special equipment and training is required.

The Best of Both

To achieve the preferential properties of polyurea but the ease of application and finish of polyurethane, hybrids of the two technologies have been developed by companies such as http://www.ct1ltd.com/.

This reduces the cost compared with polyurea but offers higher performance when the application environment is not so challenging.

Which Way to Go?

Selection of the most appropriate coating will be dependent on several factors: the finish required, time constraints for curing, application environment, desired properties and budget.