Saturday, February 18, 2017

Advise on Choosing a Colour Scheme for Your House

Understanding Colours

Type of Colour
Primary Colours: Blue, Red and Yellow
Secondary Colours: There are three secondary colours. They are made by mixing two primary colours.
Tertiary Colours: There are six tertiary colours. They are made by mixing a primary colour and a secondary colour.

Key Colour: The pure colour (eg Yellow).
Tint: A colour mixed with white. It is a lighter hue.
Tone: A colour mixed with grey.
Shade: A colour mixed with black. It is a darker hue.

Colour Wheel
The following colours are the colours of the colour wheel. Imagine them as a circle rather as a line (ie the first and last colours are next to each other). Primary colours are bold. Secondary colours are underlined. Tertiary colours are in italics. The colours have been split in to 2 lines here. Read them like you would normally (ie the last colour of line 1 is next to the first colour of line 2).
Red .. Orange-Red .. Orange .. Yellow-Orange .. Yellow .. Yellow-Green ..
Green .. Blue-Green .. Blue .. Blue-Violet .. Violet .. Red-Violet ..

Warm & Cool Colours

The colours on the top line of the colour ‘wheel’ above are warm colours.
The colours on the bottom line of the colour ‘wheel’ above are cool colours.

Warm Colours
Warm colours make a room seem smaller and/or more cosy. They are good to use in rooms which get morning sunlight, which is bluer.

Cool Colours
Cool colours make a room seem larger and/or fresher. However, if used in a room which gets morning sunlight they will make the room feel cool. They are good to use in rooms which get afternoon sunlight, which is redder.

Colour Schemes

Monochrome uses intensities of one colour and is based on the four hues.
A monochrome scheme is restful.
Monochrome colour schemes includes neutrals (white; greys; black; hues of cream; hues of beige)
Example of a monochrome scheme: variants of green.

Retared uses colours that are either next to or close to (next-but-one) each other on the colour wheel.
It creates a relaxed atmosphere so can be used for rooms which are used a lot.
Use one colour as the main theme with the other as a highlight or accent.
Colours which are next-but-one to each other one the wheel may work better than colours which are directly next to each other. To use colours which are directly next to each other use a tone of one and a shade or another, or a pure hue of one and a tint of another.
Examples of a related scheme: blue & blue-green; blue & green; yellow & orange.

Complimentary uses colours which are directly opposite.
It is a more vivid colour scheme.
Take care when using colours directly opposite each other as they can shout at each other.
Use one colour as your main theme and the contrasting colour as an accent or highlight.
Complimentary colour scheme is good for teenagers and people who love colour.
Examples of a complimentary scheme: red & green; yellow & violet

Split Complimentary
Secondary contrast uses colours which are opposite-but-one.
This scheme is a safer choice as they give a less violent contrast.
Examples of a split complimentary scheme: red & blue-green; yellow & red-violet

Triadic scheme uses three equally spaced colours.
Use one as the main colour with a dash of the other two.
Examples of a triadic scheme: red, blue & yellow; orange, green & violet

Labels: Advise on Choosing a Colour Scheme for Your House

Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria

For over 50 years, antibiotics have been the answer to many bacterial infections. Antibiotics are chemical substances that are secreted by living things. Doctors prescribed these medicines to cure many diseases. During World War II, it treated one of the biggest killers during wartime – infected wounds. It was the beginning of the antibiotic era. But just when antibiotics were being mass produced, bacteria started to evolve and became resistant to these medicines.

Antibiotic resistance can be the result of different things. One cause of resistance could be drug abuse. There are people who believe that when they get sick, antibiotics are the answer. The more times you use a drug, the more it will decrease the effect it has on you. That is because the bacteria has found a way to avoid the effects of that antibiotic. Another cause of resistance is the improper use of drugs. When patients feel that the symptoms of their disease have improved, they often stop taking the drug. Just because the symptoms have disappeared it does not mean the disease has gone away. Prescribed drugs should be taken until all the medicine is gone so the disease is completely finished. If it is not, then this will just give the bacteria some time to find a way to avoid the effects of the drug.

One antibiotic that will always have a long lasting effect in history is penicillin. This was the first antibiotic ever to be discovered. Alexander Fleming was the person responsible for the discovery in 1928. In his laboratory, he noticed that in some of his bacteria colonies, that he was growing, were some clear spots. He realized that something had killed the bacteria in these clear spots, which ended up to be a fungus growth. He then discovered that inside this mold was a substance that killed bacteria. It was the antibiotic, penicillin.

Penicillin became the most powerful germ-killer known at that time. Antibiotics kill disease-causing bacteria by interfering with their processes. Penicillin kills bacteria by attaching to their cell walls. Then it destroys part of the wall. The cell wall breaks apart and bacteria dies.

After four years, when drug companies started to mass produce penicillin, in 1943, the first signs of penicillin-resistant bacteria started to show up. The first bacteria that fought penicillin was called Staphylococcus aureus. This bug is usually harmless but can cause an illness such as pneumonia. In 1967, another penicillin-resistant bacteria formed. It was called pneumococcus and it broke out in a small village in Papua New Guinea. Other penicillin resistant bacteria that formed are Enterococcus faecium and a new strain of gonorrhea.

Antibiotic resistance can occur by a mutation of DNA in bacteria or DNA acquired from another bacteria that is drug-resistant through transformation. Penicillin-resistant bacteria can alter their cell walls so penicillin can not attach to it. The bacteria can also produce different enzymes that can take apart the antibiotic.

Since antibiotics became so prosperous, all other strategies to fight bacterial diseases were put aside. Now since the effects of antibiotics are decreasing and antibiotic resistance is increasing, new research on how to battle bacteria is starting.

Antibiotic resistance spreads fast but efforts are being made to slow it. Improving infection control, discovering new antibiotics, and taking drugs more appropriately are ways to prevent resistant bacteria from spreading. In developing nations, approaches are being made to control infections such as hand washing by health care people, and identifying drug resistant infections quickly to keep them away from others. The World Health Organization has began a global computer program that reports any outbreaks of drug-resistant bacterial infections.

In the early 1900’s, the discovery of penicillin began the antibiotic era. People thought they have finally won the battle with bacteria. But now since antibiotic resistance is increasing rapidly, new strategies must be developed to destroy these microbes. To many scientists the antibiotic era is over.

Labels: Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria

Antibiotic Overuse in the US Population

The discovery of penicillin and sulfonamide antibiotics in the 1930s and 1940s led to significant advances in the treatment of surgical wounds and infections in health care. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the enormous value that antibiotics confer to individuals with harmful infections. Despite the obvious strides made with antibiotics, a downside with antibiotic in the last 20-30 years erupted with antibiotic drug resistance.

Antimicrobial Resistance

Antibiotic drug resistance refers to the phenomena of an antibiotic that normally kills an infectious organism as no longer able to do so, because the organism adapts to the antibiotic drug rendering the drug ineffective. According to The Scripps Research Institute , tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria and childhood ear infections represent some of the common diseases resistance to antibiotics.

A Public Health Problem

Antibiotic resistant bacteria represent an escalating public health problem around the world. A Reuters News Release in May 2010 describes a financial burden of $1.87 billion to treat infections in the U.S. for just six drug resistant microorganisms. The publication, Scientific America , reports on the soaring use and misuse of antibiotics. The antibiotic treatment in humans in the U.S. shows only about half of the antibiotics prescribed reveal an actual treatment of bacterial infections.

Nature of the Problem

According to “Lancet” in 2009, industrial countries prescribe the majority of antibiotics in the outpatient setting for upper respiratory infections or colds. A significant proportion of these antibiotic prescriptions for these conditions are unnecessary. The research demonstrates that the healthcare provider prescribes antibiotics when patients expect to receive these medications and not according to the assessment of the illness in the patient. This situation creates an indiscriminate overuse of antibiotics that contributes to the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Interventions to Address the Problem of Antibiotic Overuse

According to “Medscape Infectious Diseases” in November 2010, a multifaceted approach works well when directing information at both the healthcare providers and the consumer to decrease the inappropriate use of antibiotics. The CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work program provides educational sheets directed to parents and adults about the appropriate use of antibiotics for different conditions. Not all infections can or need treatment with antibiotics. A discussion with a healthcare provider about the proper situations to use antibiotics provides a suitable tactic to prevent antibiotic overuse and drug resistance. The public can help to be part of the solution to prevent drug resistance and not be part of the problem by insisting on antibiotics.


“Lancet”; Characteristics and Outcomes of Public Campaigns Aimed at Improving the Use of Antibiotics in Outpatients in High-Income Countries; B. Huttner, et al.; 2010

“Medscape Infectious Diseases”; Conquering Antibiotic Overuse; L.A. Stokowski, RN, MS; November 2010

Labels: Antibiotic Overuse in the US Population

Adopting a Fostered Pet

If you are in the market to buy a pet cat or dog consider a pet that has been fostered. A fostered pet is socialized and nurtured in a loving home until they are adopted. Pets become better and well adjusted in a home environment. An animal that has been loved and cared for from fostering makes a better pet for you and your family.

A few years ago, my young daughter wanted a cat so we went to a local animal shelter. My daughter walked among the cages and spotted three orange tabby cats in one cage. The woman from the shelter said the cats were just brought in. We petted and held each one and my daughter picked her favorite; a beautiful male orange tabby cat we named Flynn. We decided to adopt him and brought him home. I knew from the first time he walked out of the pet carrier that he had never been socialized. Flynn later confirmed my thoughts. He would stalk and attack us from behind, jumping on our legs or back. If you would walk by him, he would scratch you. If you picked him up, he would bite. He basically terrorized my daughter and I and never felt safe with him. Flynn wasn’t socialized to an indoor environment. I never was able to get the wild out of him-he just couldn’t be tamed. Still, we kept him for another year until he went outside one night and never came back. After searching for three days, we gave up. Two weeks later, I got a call from a man who asked if we had a cat named Flynn. The man had accidently ran over Flynn with his truck.

Most animal shelters and pet adoption agencies have pet fostering and are always looking for volunteers to foster pets. I made the mistake of adopting a cat that was just taken in off the streets without being socialized.

A year later, I was driving by a pet specialty store and saw a sign that said, “Pet Adoption Today”. The pet adoption organization, Home Fur Ever, was holding their pet adoptions at the store. They had quite a few cats for adoption. I instantly spotted a gorgeous pure white cat with green eyes, aptly named Princess. The woman told me her daughter had been fostering Princess for the last month. After holding and petting Princess, I told the woman that I would come back with my daughter, who wasn’t with me at the time. Princess seemed like the perfect cat for my daughter.

Later my daughter and I went back to the store. My daughter was able to hold and pet Princess, who behaved perfectly. I knew we found our cat. The woman said that we could take Princess home before we actually adopted her, to see if she would be a good fit. After a week, I called Home Fur Ever to let them know we were interested in adopting Princess. I told her that Princess had a great disposition, was gentle with my daughter, and liked to stay indoors. We set up a time to meet at the house to make the adoption and purchase arrangements.

We have had Princess for three years and she has been great, especially with my daughter. (No more band-aids from cat scratches). They adore each other. Princess is a beautiful, sweet, lovable cat.

Labels: Adopting a Fostered Pet

A Reverend's Take on the Science vs Religion Debate

The New York Times reporter George Johnson commented recently on events of the scientific conference entitled “Beyond Belief” A Conversation at the Salk Institute November 5-7, 2006. He quotes Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, who warned that “the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief.” Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City and an adviser to the Bush administration on space exploration, held up the proof that blind nature, not an intelligent overseer, is in control, showing photographs of newborns misshapen by birth defects. Many good questions are posed by the effort, including whether religious and scientific worldviews can be reconciled, or whether evolutionary biology, anthropology and neuroscience will assist our understanding of belief, empathy, fear and awe.

However, to ask whether religion is a natural phenomenon, or if we be good without God, is more of a philosophical, rather than a scientific endeavor. There is overlap between these fields of inquiry, to be sure. To posit that we must now choose one or the other is to borrow a page from the fundamentalist playbook. They have been setting up straw men since the days of the Scopes trial.

It sounds more like a scientific smack down of religion, calculated to create ire rather than a serious philosophical conversation. However, I seriously doubt it will change anyone’s mind, and that is a real concern. My suggestion to all the parties involved would be “keep talking.” The creative tension between science and religion is a good thing because it generates communication. However, I get uncomfortable when scientists begin sounding like more televangelists on a worldwide crusade to rid the world of religious thought. I think scientists are most enlightening when they speak from a research laboratory rather than a bully pulpit. When science works from its’ strength – careful observation and slow meticulous recording of data, they are indeed enlightening. Religion needs science and vice versa.

I was trained in a conservative seminary. Before that, I attended a Christian College for four years, and before that, 12 years of very conservative Christian education. I have no regrets about my education, but in spite of it all, the scientists convinced me! I attended the creation research seminars. They were exciting for a young person. There were people who appeared to know a lot more than I did. They told us how the flood was a worldwide, not a local event. They were saying that such a cataclysm could explain the fossil record. They told us that we could believe in dinosaurs after all; they just weren’t as old as science would want us to believe. They talked about the laws of thermodynamics. It was a show, and we were all invested in listening and learning. But they did not convince me.

I never was taught evolutionary theory; I learned it on my own. I became fascinated by the discoveries of the genetic code and DNA. In fact, it was this great interest that led me to embrace evolution. I could never see why conservative scholars demanded a younger universe – there are no numbers about the age of the universe in the Bible or any other sacred text. The idea of a date for creation began when C.I. Scofield added up the ages in the genealogical record to arrive at 4004 BC as the date of creation in his 1901 Reference Bible.

When theologians try to use numbers as a theological tool, they are on thin ice. Scofield’s theory has been discounted even by the most conservative religious authorities. However, his theory of Seven Dispensations is a worldview popularized in the “Left Behind” series, still very much embedded in modern conservative religious consciousness. I was raised with Scofield’s Reference Bible. I also listened to many evangelists, most of whom explained Bible Prophecy by making bold assertions concerning their imminent fulfillment in our lifetime. Prophetic visions have always helped people make sense out of chaos and find purpose in life. I just don’t know how much it helped me.

Biblical prophecy is a scary subject. When I was 12, in 1972 I attended the Jack Van Impe crusade in Binghamton, NY. He preached a series entitled “Marked for Death,” where he claimed that the communist flag would fly in Independence Hall on or before July 4th, 1976. I believed him – after all, this was a man who had personally committed the entire New Testament and much of the Old Testament to memory. People called him the “walking Bible.” By the way, Jack and Rexella, his wife, are still at it, and can be seen on TV. Jack never retracted his claim; nor was he discounted for it. He did not face the traditional stoning prescribed in Torah law for a being a false prophet either. But a lot of people still listen to him.

This was the vision of my youth. I truly believed that I would never get married – that the rapture would occur before I reached 18. As I got older, I got wiser. I went to Seminary and studied eschatology (the study of last things). I learned Biblical Greek, Hebrew along with some Aramaic and Latin. After all of it, I was left with more questions, and the Stars and Stripes were still flying over Independence Hall in Philadelphia, now my home town. My wife and I had a family of four children. We survived the Communists, prophecy or no.

My belief in evolution came about much like the theory itself. It evolved over time and experience. Now I can say that evolutionary theory provides the core and is itself a great source of spiritual strength in my life. Recently when on a trip with my family, we descended into Carlsbad Caverns. We witnessed the story of the amazing journey our planet has taken. It is written in the vibrant colors and formations left behind by eons of chemicals interacting with each other. We saw the violence of change and the slowness of time. I sat down in the center of the great room. Above me was a formation called they called “The cross.” I meditated upon the small but significant part I play in the still unfolding story of creation. I received great comfort in the stability of Earth through the billions of years it has existed. As a child of the nuclear age, someone who heard Neil Armstrong reading the creation story from the LEM on Apollo 8, I had this overwhelming feeling that it was going to be alright. It was one of the greatest insights of my life.

Was this a scientific insight? No; it is what theologians call “faith.” – a gift from God. I have no problem believing that, because it felt like I had been given something beautiful and amazing. I have a great deal of respect for science because it shares some great qualities of good theology – it requires rigorous honesty, some intuition, a lot of careful observation, thought and then, a hypothesis. It grows and changes, just as religions have come and gone.

There is one thing science can’t do, and should not do. It should not seek to silence its’ opposition; nor should it assume that the other side is an enemy. Scientists, along with the rest of us, still have questions and opinions. Science welcomes questioning minds, even disagreement in its’ own ranks. Scientists’ who want to end religious thought should take a lesson from religious history – Copernicus and Galileo are household names, and no Council of the Church can change that. Religion should take lessons from science. We need to go back to ancient art of observation and humbly continue to ask the hard questions of meaning, purpose and value with more courage and faith than ever, because these questions are of great significance in the continued evolution of the human race.

Rev. Strother Gross, M.Div., B.C.C.
Chaplain, Via Christi Regional Medical Center
Pastor, Southwest Presbyterian Church
Wichita, KS

I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, USA and Board Certified chaplain with Certificate in Health Care Ethics from Rush University Medical School. I currently work in a psychiatric hospital and a level one trauma Center. I worked 5 years in Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections; for a suburban Philadelphia Police Department for eight years and several communities over twenty years of ordained ministry; currently as pastor of Southwest Presbyterian Church. I grew up in Africa as son of medical missionaries in East & West Africa.

Labels: A Reverend's Take on the Science vs Religion Debate

Antibiotic Overkill: Why Less is More when Using Certain Types of Cleaning Products

This winter season as many people prepare to welcome holiday guests and out-of-town relatives, the last thing anyone wants is to have to slow down because of a cold, flu or other some such infection. The flurry of holiday preparations may include giving the home a deep cleaning, and a thorough going-over of every nook, cranny and surface that may be touched. Since there is no way of knowing for certain which germs may find their way into the home during the winter, perhaps the best way to protect yourself against getting sick is to use those antibacterial cleaning products.

Or is it?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that antibiotic resistance is a leading public health concern. In addition to overuse of antibiotics in the clinical setting, antibiotic and antimicrobial cleaning products are needlessly being promoted for home use. Every time an antibiotic is used on a disease-causing organism, the organism is not wiped out in its entirety. Some life forms linger behind and are able to develop a degree of resistance to that particular antibiotic. With each application of antibiotic, the organisms resistance may increase. Eventually, an antibiotic that was once effective in wiping out this tiny creature is now rendered powerless.

In order to avoid this problem in the home, antibiotic or antimicrobial agents should not be used everywhere. There are plenty of cleaning products that do a completely effective job without posing the risk of creating antibiotic-resistant germs in your home. Additionally, a separate type of cleaner need not be used in every room of the house. For example, instead of using a toilet bowl cleaner, a shower foam and a product for your counters, use the shower foam for all three jobs.

Antibiotic/antimicrobial cleaners are an unnecessary cost as well. Consider investing in one good product (like Simple Green) and use varying dilutions of it for every surface in the home. Alternatively, one may investigate the the more traditional “home remedy” methods that make use of common products you may already have in your home. Baking soda for example is wonderful to use to deodorize a stinking garbage disposal or freshen the carpet.

A stroll down the cleaning aisle at the grocery store has many products to offer, but few of them are truly essential to keeping a home germ free and clean.

Labels: Antibiotic Overkill: Why Less is More when Using Certain Types of Cleaning Products

8 Affiliate Marketing Tips that Can Make or Break Your Success

Although everybody shares a basic knowledge of affiliate marketing and techniques that can be used to earn commissions, everybody has their own special system for promoting. This comes from not being afraid to try new things in the world of affiliate marketing and sticking to what works. Finding what works takes a little bit of trial and error on your part, but I can assure that when you find what work you will fall in love with your earnings. Here are some tips that can make or break your success as an affiliate marketer:

Tip #1 – Make sure you are promoting the right affiliate products. Everybody has their own techniques for finding the right affiliate products to promote and you will have to find a technique that works best for you. In my opinion, the best way to do it is to find products in your niche that has the least amount of competition. Now the reason that I think this is a good idea is because there it can sometimes be harder to promote and earn commissions from products that a bunch of other people are trying to promote as well. Promoting the right affiliate products include:

• Doing a little research to see if there is a need for the product in your niche.

• Trying the product out to see how it works and how your potential customers can benefit.

• Checking out the reputation of the product to see what people think of it.

• And determine if the product is affiliate product is affordable to your target market.

Always keep in mind that the more you know about your affiliate product, the better you can promote them, and the more money you can earn.

Tip #2 – Promote products that you can feel comfortable promoting. Now this may sound like common sense, but some people try to promote products that they are not comfortable promoting just because the commission is attractive. This is one of the worst things that you can possibly do because if you are uncomfortable or embarrassed by the product that you are promoting then you won’t be able to effectively promote your affiliate product or earn your commissions.

I would suggest that you check out Clickbank’s marketplace because there are tons of products that will pay 50% or more commissions. You will definitely find something you like there, so don’t fall victim to these individual affiliate programs that have commission’s that seem too good to be true. The commission won’t mean a thing if the product is crap.

Tip #3 – Take advantage of any training videos and materials that are offered. Some affiliate programs will give you some training videos that you can watch before you head out on your own, and I would highly suggest that you take advantage of them. You can learn a lot from these training videos and they can help you to avoid some unnecessary mistakes along the way. Some other materials that may be offered include advertising banners, emails, text links, etc.

Like I mentioned before, the more you know the better off you are. So take a few minutes to check out all of the training materials that your affiliate program has to offer before getting started.

Tip #4 – Never promote products that pay a commission less than 50%. Unless the product you are promoting is expensive, promoting products whose commission is less than 50% is going to be a waste of your time. This is another instance where Clickbank would be a good idea because there is a large selection of products that offer 50-75% commissions.

#5 – Learn how to master one product before taking on multiple. Sometime new affiliate marketers get in over their heads by trying to promote too many products at one time. Now there is nothing wrong with promoting multiple products, in fact some make thousands a month from do that. But you can’t jump into it right away. Allow yourself to start an income stream with one affiliate product at first and then you can gradually add more.

#6 – Don’t just stick with one niche, explore others. There are a lot of different niches that are pulling in good money. I refer to these niches as “profitable niches.” You can easily do keyword research and find out what niches are most popular and which ones will generate more money for you. A good technique to use for this is to use the search feature on Twitter and see what people are talking about. That will give you an idea of the hottest trends and niches.

#7 – Learn how to stand out in the crowd. You have to understand that some of the affiliate products that you are going to promote will have some competition. And where there is competition you have to be creative and stand out in the crowd. Sometimes standing out in the crowd means to find unique ways to promote your affiliate products while branding yourself.

#8 – Always collect customer email addresses before sending them to the affiliate page. If you directly send your customers to the affiliate link then they are lost to you forever. Now they may purchase the affiliate product and you may earn your commission, but that’s just a onetime deal. But if you put a system together where you can collect their email addresses first, then you can continue marketing to those customers and earning commissions.

These are some tips that really helped when I started out in affiliate marketing and I am sure that it will help you as well. You have to spend time learning your craft and improving it. As long as you do that then you will be just fine.

Labels: 8 Affiliate Marketing Tips that Can Make or Break Your Success

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