Luxury IceCream ?

So what is your favourite "Luxory IceCream" ?By "Luxury" I mean: Expensive the ones that normally cost about 4 sterling pounds, or 8 dollers.The price actually does suit the Icecream, becuase they normally taste better than the cheaper ones.There are many to choose from but these are the more common ones:Ben and Jerry'sHaagen DazHill StationCaramellae.t.cThere are so many, but mine is Ben and Jerry's - Cookie Dough Mix . (Just tried it yesterday and it was lovely ).What's Yours?

Topic by Baron A   |  last reply


HOW CAN I MAKE A TYPE OF PRIVACY WINDOWS(INSTANT TINT AT A FLIP OF SWITCH FOR WHEN PRIVACY NEEDED ANYWHERE/ANYTIME)? Answered

WHAT I AM TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH HERE IS A SAFE, HOPEFULLY INEXPENSIVE, RELIABLE, REASONABLE, AND VERY EFFECTIVE KIND OF INSTANT WITH VARIABLE OR ADJUSTABLE KIND OF TINT OR PRIVACY FEATURE TO WINDOW(s) IN PERCENTAGE AS TO HOW MUCH VISIBILITY IS ALLOWED THRU A WINDOW(s) FROM BOTH IN & OUT.CONCEPT IDEA: WHAT I WAS THINKING OF IS A FEATURE WE CAN ADD I GUESS SIMILAR TO TINT FILM THAT IS INSTANTLY, AT A FLIP OF SWITCH FOR WHEN PRIVACY NEEDED ANYWHERE AT ANYTIME ALSO ALLOWING VARIABLE "PRIVACY" TYPE OF SWITCH(SO A MAIN ON/OFF POWER SWITCH, AN INSTANT "ON" 100% DARKEN SWITCH, AND THE VARIABLE TYPE OF "DIMMER" AS TO IF WE NEED A VISIBILITY RATIO GIVING 0%-100%) - FIRST OF ALL WE NEED TO ACHIEVE AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE 100% VISIBILITY TO SEE THRU THIS GIVEN WINDSHIELD(s) BOTH WAYS FROM INSIDE AND OUTSIDE BUT IF I NEEDED OR WANTED INSTANT PRIVACY, I CAN FLIP A SWITCH AND/OR ADJUST (MAYBE A TYPE OF ROTORY DIMMER LIKE SWITCH)THE AMOUNT OF VISIBILITY THAT WILL CHANGE HOW MUCH CAN BE SEEN BOTH IN AND OUT.OK SO FOR BETTER UNDERSTANDING.... WHAT I WANT TO FIND/CREATE IS BASICALLY A KIND OF TINT FOR MY CAR (AND EVEN MY HOME OR OFFICE.) I GUESS MY FOCUS IS IN THE AUTOMOTIVE AREA BEING THAT WHERE I LIVE, WE HAVE ENFORCED LEGAL RESTRICTIONS BY LAW AS TO HOW MUCH LIGHT CAN BE PASS THRU THE TINT FILM AND WINDSHIELD OF A VEHICLE. HERE IN HAWAII A PASSENGER CAR HAVING MINIMAL OF 6 WINDOWS 1. FRONT WINDSHIELD2. REAR WINDSHIELD3. FRONT DRIVER DOOR WINDOW4. PASSENGER FRONT DOOR WINDOW5 & 6. PASSENGER REARS OR 1/4 WINDOWS BY LAW A FILM ADDED TO THE WINDOW CAN ONLY BE 35% DARKNESS TO THE SIDES AND REAR OF THE PASSENGER 2/3/4 DOOR VEHICLE AND ALLOWABLE 4 INCH VISOR TO THE VERY FRONT WINDSHIELD = CONSIDERED FOLLOWING THE LAW. OF COURSE PEOPLE DO GO DARKER AS IN UP TO 2.5% OR MORE COMMON IS THE 5%-20% ALL AROUND WHICH IS PRETTY DARK AND I CAN SEE WHY WE HAVE SUCH LAWS AS ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT BEING INSIDE A VEHICLE WITH 2.5%-20% ALL AROUND CAN & WILL GET DIFFICULT TO DRIVE ACCURATELY. ESPECIALLY PERTAINING TO REVERSING! LAWS IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT FOR 5-DOOR PASSENGER CARS, STATION WAGONS, VANS, SUV's, LIMO's AND TRUCKS. BUT WE WILL JUST STICK WITH THE MAIN 35% TO REAR AND SIDES. ITS EASIER....IN CONCLUSION, IF I OR WE CAN CREATE A TYPE OF METHOD OR DEVICE THAT CAN GIVE US THIS EFFECT OF PRIVACY AT OUR LUXURY. THE ADVANTAGES I'M AIMING FOR IS IT IS 100% LEGAL AS IN NO ONE CAN TELL RIGHT OFF THAT I HAVE TINT IT LOOKS VERY NORMAL TILL YOU HOP IN AND I TURN IT ON OR ADJUST IT THEN BEING EITHER INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THE VISIBILITY RATE CAN BE NOTICED, IT CAN BE ADJUSTED DURING MY DRIVE RUNNING ERRANDS OR IF I END UP SITTING IN TRAFFIC UNDER DIRECT HOT & BRIGHT SUNLIGHT OR EVEN JUST PARKED AT A OPEN PUBLIC PARK, BEACH, WHATEVER... I CAN GO FROM 0%-100% INSTANTLY BY A FLIP A MAIN SWITCH, THEN BE ADJUSTED LIKE A HOUSEHOLD DIMMER KNOB ALLOWING FOR PERFECT PRIVACY OR SAFETY TO VISIBILITY DRIVING WHILE TRYING TO BLOCK OUT SUNLIGHT OR UNWANTED NOSEY PEOPLE PEEKING IN WHILE PARKED. HEY IF WE WANT TO GET MORE INTO IT AND COMPLICATED YET MORE TO LUXURY WE CAN ADJUST EACH WINDOW SEPERATELY! Ex.: I WANT/NEED THE FRONT WINDOW I SAY AROUND 60% & 5 OTHER WINDOWS MAYBE 15% BECAUSE I AM SITTING IN SLOW TRAFFIC DURING THE PEAK OF THE DIRECT SUNLIGHT AT SUN DOWN AS I'M SURE ANYONE WHO DRIVES OFTEN EXPERIENCED THAT IT CAN BE VERY BLINDING AND DANGEROUS AS YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SEE THE RED TRAFFIC LIGHT OR PEDESTRIAN, ETC... THEN I GUESS AS WE TRAFFIC START MOVING AND THE SUN IS NOW GONE IT IS DARK NIGHT, I CAN SAFELY ADJUST THE VISIBILITY TO ANY OR ALL WINDOWS...SEE COMPARED TO A ONE TIME DEAL AFTER HAVING A CERTAIN PERCENT TINT INSTALLED ON YOUR WINDOWS WHERE NO MATTER WHAT IT IS ALWAYS THE SAME, BUT WORSENS AS WINDOWS GET DIRTY IT GETS LESS VISIBLE TILL YOU GET CHANCE WASH THE WINDOWS OR PEEL/STRIP YOUR TINT WHICH WILL BE COSTLY & OFTEN MESSY. IN HAWAII IT IS FINED $250+COURT FEES+TAX, ETC. PER EACH WINDOW!!! MEANING IF YOU GOT LESS THAN 35% PERCENT LIGHT RATING ON THE MEASURE TOOL USED ON 5 OUT OF YOUR 6 WINDOWS = DAAYUUMNNN EXPENSIVE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ LOSS. AND IF YOU ARE CAUGHT HAVING EVEN MORE THEN THE 4INCH VISOR AND/OR THE WHOLE FRONT WINDSHIELD ITS FEDERAL OFFENSE AND ITS NOT GOOD... I DON'T EVEN KNOW OR WANNA FIND OUT EITHER.I HOPE I WAS AS BEST AS POSSIBLE CLEAR TO WHAT I WANT TO ACHIEVE. SORRY IF IT KIND OF LONG BUT DETAILS IS VERY IMPORTANT, AND I AM OPEN MINDED TO WHATEVER ANYONE CAN PUT ON THE TABLE IN IDEAS OR CONCEPTS TO THIS. NO WORRIES, JUST SHARE WHAT YOU THINK OR WHAT CAN BE DONE. PRETTY AWESOME IDEA RIGHT???? I HOPE TO GAIN SEVERAL IDEA CONCEPTS, DESIGN OR WHATEVER THEN MAYBE WE CAN FIGURE THE MOST EFFICIENT WELL ROUNDED BENEFICIAL TO PRODUCE. ** THANX FOR YOUR TIME

Question by KrAx   |  last reply


Please guide me to the luxurious world of electricity, I'm a newcomer

Hello, i am running on projects here, and got no idea where to begin.i want to make an alarm clock. The desired time and ringing tone for the alarm should be able to be set accordingly to my will at any time. The requirements is, i must construct it with ATMEGA8535 or ATMEGA328 or ATMEGA16. Any suggestions what's the first thing to do here? pls kindly help me:)

Topic by jayfetra   |  last reply


What kind of repetitive elements can you use on a surface with a gluing material inbetween to decorate it and look luxurious?

What kind of materials/repetitive elements/items can you use on a surface with a gluing material inbetween to decorate it and look luxurious?Check my pinterest folder, I want to make a parametric/curved wall ( https://i.pinimg.com/564x/34/e4/04/34e4045e39debc... ) and put plaster on it and some bounding agent to attach the repetitive elements https://i.pinimg.com/564x/34/e4/04/34e4045e39debc... what can I use?

Topic by DIAGONALLIS   |  last reply


Where to buy tobacco seeds

Hi everyone hates the rising prices of our luxurys so i have done some research and found out that growing your own tobacco IS NOT ILEGAL my question is can you buy tobacco seeds over the counter anywhere in the south west ??? someone please help me lol Cheers Darren

Topic by dazzer730   |  last reply


Best Government

I have always thought that a localist, complete democracy with communist economic system was superior.  The countries' sizes would be similar to counties in the USA (30-40 miles across), because every area is different and requires different laws.  Every human of age would have one vote in all matters.  A number of people would be hired, like congressmen, to vote on trivial things that the rest of the population doesn't care to vote on, but members of that group would have no more say-so than anyone else.  Laws would be written up by lawyers commissioned by citizens, and would be added to the next ballot if a predetermined number of signatures was obtained petitioning for it. Instead of buying things with money and being paid for work, workers would be given cards (like Drivers' Licenses) that allow them an amount of food and luxuries. In order to ensure that people do all the jobs that need to be done, a sliding pay scale would exist.  Job categories would be ranked in importance by periodic votes, and ranked in terms of positions filled by computer (if there are not enough farmers practicing, the ranking for farmers would go up).  Votes to determine importance of jobs would be done by occupations as wholes (farming would get one vote, clerks would get on vote, etc. in order to prevent jobs with the most people from voting themselves most important)  In this system, the most important jobs that have the lowest worker-to-necessary-worker ratio would get 50% more luxury entitlements than people with the least-important, most-practiced jobs.  Every worker would get the same amount of food, based on number of dependents.  People who could not work due to temporary or permanent disability would be given a special card that allows food, and fewer luxuries than full-time workers, and would need to be renewed periodically, to be sure that holders actually cannot work.  People who have lost their jobs would be issued a temporary unemployment card that allows them food and few luxuries while they look for a job.  They must demonstrate that they have been looking for a job to the best of their ability to keep their card.  Students would be allowed food and the smallest amount of luxuries, and their education would be free.  Standards for workers would be determined by popular vote. While each country would only be county-sized so that it can do what is best for itself, all the countries would be part of a United Nations style meeting that mediates to prevent war and puts regulations across all the countries. So, what do y'all think the best way is?  Please be wordy.

Topic by tincanz   |  last reply


Soldering indoors? Answered

I'm a grade-A electronics noob, and I'm just starting my first project soon. I'd be doing it now if not for the fact that I'm doing it in an upstairs bedroom and if I know anything about soldering it's that you're supposed to do it in a well-ventilated area. Should I get a fume extractor, or is that more of a luxury? Is there a cheaper alternative? Would it be a problem that there's another house a couple of feet from the window I'll be soldering in front of? 

Question by Numbuh1Nerd   |  last reply


Clear Pool Table

Not only is this pool table pretty amazing for being see-through and having the same action as a regular pool table, it's also a senior project that has been turned into a real business. Personally, I'm still a sucker for the felt and not being distracted by all the slick rails underneath. Also, at AUS $40,000 it's deep in luxury territory.I still hem and haw about dropping a few bucks to play on a nice, clean table at a parlor and only get a few games a year in at a friend's house (thanks, Jeff!). But if you have pools full of cash, here's one for you. Link

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


Recycling gets sexy with the recycled bikini

Victoria's Secret has introduced a bikini top that's made from recycled polyster and spandex. It's pretty significant in its utter insignificance. Finally, a luxury item can use recycled materials and I hope that we see more companies doing this, but there's only a few square inches of material there. And can they do it without having to make it literally green? It all reads like more of a publicity ploy than any real movement towards sustainability.Patagonia has been using recycled materials for several years and have been making real progress in putting their money where their mouth is. Will others please start following in their footsteps please? Lots of others? link

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


New generator

I am thinking about buying a small generator for in around the house uses ( like charging things as power tools, phones, laptops)  Because I live in a house with no power and running water.  I have done some searching and found this one( Eurom GE720 benzine generator 63cc aggregaat 720 W) to be the easiest to obtain, fast shipping, cheap and it would do the trick. Now I wonder if I would need some sort of power stabilizer or UPS to prevent power peeks from destroying my precious devices. I am new to this stuff... always had the luxury of plugs in the wall so not sure what I need and where to buy it and more importantly, how do I use a stabilizer or UPS correctly Eurom GE720 benzine generator 63cc 720 W

Topic by MrLeggs   |  last reply


Sydney Opera House on wheels!

I live in a semi-rural area.  We are hours from a decent motorway, but hip-deep in caravan parks. Given the UK law that limits trailers to 50mph, I am generally disapproving of anything towed. However, this trailer tent designed by Axel Enthoven is a thing of beauty and luxury. The Opera trailer tent has features including central heating, teak flooring (and a veranda!), ceramic toilet, electrically adjustable twin beds (which can be joined into a double), kitchen sink (of course), onboard water boiler (which supplies a fountain?), fridge and low-energy LED lighting “from awning to floor” (yes there are uplights!). Unfortunately, beauty has a price - €24,000 puts it in the price-range of campers with engines and no restriction to 50mph... Your Suite in Nature via Notcot.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Request: Non-Alpha Characters in Titles to Designate Awards

Dear Instructables Administration: While downloading Instructables as PDF files, I like to edit the name of the file with the following convention at the end of the title: How_to_Make_Mashed_Potatoes (*++).pdf The part that looks like this (*++) indicates that the instructable has been featured (*) and has been a finalist in 2 contests (++). This lets me peruse my downloaded instructables within a given category (I file them by project type) and find one that is really top-of-the-line at a glance. Would it be possible and/or acceptable to have this sort of suffix automatically added to the title of downloads by the instructable web site? This would save much time and effort for me and anyone else who was interested in this luxurious little feature. Perhaps it could be included as a preference check-box for those who did (or didn't) want this feature enabling them to choose it? Would the code to do this be difficult to implement? I hereby request this feature for pro members! Timothy Nugent

Question by timnugent   |  last reply


Mini HydroPowered Generator..free power!?

Hello Instructables Community! I am planning to build a small HydroElectric plant in the stream behind my house. After years of all that potential power flowing by, I want to do something about it! I know the specifics of using turbines and such, but what I can not figure out is how to use this power! Should I simply wire it into my house somewhere (a special plug), or should I try to do something like store it in powerful rechargeable batteries? One of my relatives gets free Natural gas from a well on his property, and being the wizz he is, modified a generator to turn this gas into electricity and he even has excess electricity to sell back to the power company! That would be a luxury to have, but I know I'd need a lot of water for that amount of power, heh. I'm usually pretty creative, but I'm lacking right now! After searching for a couple hours on the web, I thought I'd see if you guys could help me out. Thanks Kody

Topic by KodyB   |  last reply


How to build a 0-36v, 0-10a, Regulated, AC/DC Power Supply? Answered

I'm looking for how to make a variable regulated power supply for DC electronics. I have wall warts and single range transformers for lots of different items ranging from battery chargers to toys to LED lights and am looking to combine them all down into one unit. I need to be able to adjust the voltage from ad little as 1.2v @ 200ma all the way up to 36v @ 10amps. I would normally take the easy way out and buy a power supply online that would handle it, but I am strapped for cash and this is more a luxury then a necessity. If possible I would like to be able to use LCD/LED panel meters that are powered by the input along with fine and coarse controls, along with dual outputs. Something along the lines of the Mastech HY5005E-2 that's pictured below. Maybe convert a cheap PC power supply with a digital multimeter? I can solder and work a basic circuit but I haven't done anything this complicated as yet.  I would appreciate any help offered. Thanks!

Question by Dochide   |  last reply


Scottish Island Stays off Grid - replaces diesels with 95% Green resources.

The Scottish island of Eigg (pronounced "Egg") has never had mains electricity, and has had to rely in expensive diesel generators for the power they do use.Devices that require 24/7 supplies, such as fridges, have been an unknown luxury.Today, though, that all changes:A renewable energy supply giving the Isle of Eigg power 24-hours-a-day has come online for the first time.The £1.6m system for the island in the Small Isles between Skye and the Ardnamurchan peninsula uses a mix of hydro, wind and solar power.It has been designed to generate more than 95% of Eigg's annual energy demand and is backed up by a battery storage system and two diesel generators.Residents have previously relied on diesel generators and hydro schemes.The dream of green power has taken 10 years to realise. A total of 45 households, 20 businesses and six community buildings on the island are linked together by six miles of buried cable that forms a high voltage network.The whole project was organised by the community themselves - at the switch-on ceremony (in the local tea shop), the island's children gathered round a candle-lit map of the island and blew the candles out as the power came on.Before the switch-on:homes were powered by diesel, wind or hydro-generatorselectricity was unreliable and restricted to certain hourssome residents went without washing machines and vacuum cleanersthe noise from the generators could be heard for milesDiesel was delivered by boat but services sometimes cancelledBBC News storyBBC Magazine article, with comments.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Challenge? HELP Haiti

Several summers ago working for with my church mission team we happened across this project that needed volunteers call the P.E.T. http://www.giftofmobility.org/what_is_pet.htm Project which stands for personal energy transport.  They build these 3 wheeled carts with hand cranks for 3rd world countries to help with those people who have lost the use of their legs.  These people do not have the luxury of 30,000 electric wheel chairs, mater of fact most of them are limited to crawling.  They are distributed to countries around the world and they are built so they can travel off pavement.  Our team spent a week in a workshop in Lulling Texas.  I saw this complicated process of taking some existing bike parts and then fabricating the rest out of wood or metal.  This seemed incredibly inefficient at the time to me.  I always wanted to revisit how these things were built using more off the shelf components and less fabrication because it seemed to me that while building a couple of these was a good idea that building a lot of these was not always the best use of man power, supplies, and money.  So it occurred to me that perhaps with all of the soon to be disabled in Haiti that now is the time to step up, now is the time to look for a better way.   So the very loose guidelines that I was thinking about was that we have too many bikes going to the dump every day in this country, what if we could find a way to take existing bikes and break down their parts for new PET's and could also find a reproducible manner of manufacturing frames and reconfiguring these parts.  Not everyone is a welder, not everyone is a Maker, but almost anyone can see an abandoned bike and take it apart for usable parts and send them to someone who can.  So what do you think…

Topic by john15nlt   |  last reply


Water Bottle Raft

Finished Project - https://www.instructables.com/id/Project_rRaft_Building_a_Raft_out_of_Water_Bottl/After thinking about Reishee and his island, I asked my mom if I could build an island from water bottles...the idea was rejected. I asked my mom if I could build a raft, and she said sure...so i've started collecting water bottles. Not only does the final result get me excited, but people's responses do as well. Of course there are those who think i'm crazy (as there are with any of my schemes), but there are so many more who just love the idea, and get enthralled in it. A friend in crew is going to empty the boat house recycling bin for me, a teacher told me that the recycling bin in the teacher work room is over flowing, many more offer to collect water bottles from their families, and bring in the 20+ bottles from their cars. I bring a bag to school to collect them, and collect bottles from people...just being a part of this great recycling project (I want it to be 98% recycled) excites people, so when they see one person donate a bottle, others will hurry to finish their water and donate it to the cause as well.The whole thing has just opened my eyes to how many bottles are thrown out, instead of being recycled...it's amazing. Just because people will probably be asking, this is my plan:Two large water bottle pontoons will be on either sideA wooden frame/deck will be clipped onto the pontoons via eye bolts and carabinersHomemade oarsThat's the basics...I hope to have some luxuries too:Big ole water tight cooler bolted onto the back for storageTwo stadium seats bolted onto the deck to sit onTo keep up with the raft, visit rraft.blogspot.com

Topic by Weissensteinburg   |  last reply


The Sting Behind the Bling - what is the true cost of a little style?

The mining of jewels is often inhumane, illegal and highly toxic. So think before you sparkle.Whether future heirloom or fun trinket, jewellery is one of life's luxurious pleasures. Even if you aren't decked out in multiple carats, a bit of bling can make you feel a million dollars. But the path your jewellery takes to reach your earlobe, neck, wrist or finger can be harrowing.Worldwide, the people - including about a million children - employed on minimal wages to mine and process supposedly legitimate diamonds, gemstones and precious metals often endure some of the worst working conditions imaginable. Toiling in Asian and African countries with little or no union support means health and safety precautions are slender at best. There's a serious risk of work-related death, injury or chronic illness as workers scratch out a living in remote mines extracting precious and semi-precious stones.This is just one article from the BBC's online magazine Thread, which I have not read before, mainly because "fashion" is not something I generally think about.Thread is the online fashion magazine dedicated to bringing you the latest in eco-fabulous style.Ethical fashion is fashion that has been made, worn and passed on in a way that looks after people, animals and the environment. The clothes we feature in Thread support this approach, making us essential viewing for fashion-conscious people who care about where their clothes come from. All clothes tick off at least one of these principles:Made and traded sustainablyMade of sustainable materialsRecycled or vintageThread shows you how to get the look you want in an eco-glam way through our unique mix of affordable fashion, exclusive videos, photo galleries and thought-provoking features.Link to full articleMagazine homepage.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Homemade electric nail file

Hey there to all you wonderful people! I have an odd proposal / suggestion / idea... I was wondering if anyone had ever considered this as an Instructables project by any (small) chance? Don't laugh TOO much, this is not something that would be considered a run-of-the-mill every-day kind of DIY by any means... Here's my ish: I'm not incredibly fantastic when it comes to personal grooming, doing the basics as quickly as possible so as to waste as little time getting ready for the day. However, me tooties are a point of some concern due to an out-of-the-ordinary dermal condition. As a result of this, I have to take special attention to moisturizing feet and toenail filing. Also, I suffered an accident when I was much younger that caused the nails on the big toe to grow skew. Long story short I've now been sitting on the floor for 40 minutes with a manual file and, while my one's and two's a looking smashing, I thought there MUST be a way of making my own electric nail file. I thought to try and convert a screwdriver bit for my electric screwdriver into a spherical file which I'm sure would literally save me HOURS and will do my knees a world of good - I've found myself kneeling in 1 position for a lot longer than nature intended. I am NOT the shining Instructables Star in the making by ANY stretch of the imagination but I do have some interesting theories about time travel (not really applicable here, but I wanted to try and sound less daaa - cos this isn't a 'Change The World' kinda project) In any event, I thought maybe someone who has a grasp of my concept and an understanding of how things worked may have a thought on how to accomplish this? Baring in mind that where I live, things like electric nail files are luxuries available only to a specific  social group & not an option for the general norm pavements specials such as I... I'm so interested to see if anyone could give me some help. You'd LITERALLY be saving my life (or at least adding about 10 - 15 years to it where I don't have to spend crouched over a small chair for a quarter of my day every 5 or 6 days) Stopped giggling yet? :) Tx guys, it's a dumb thing to ask, but this dumb thing has the potential to SIGNIFICANTLY change my life in a very practical way. Kind Regards and Loads of thanks! ps It ses to add images, but I think just for the sake of global sanity I'll refrain until I've found a working solution (or a pic of someone else's feet) :) Much love t'ya!

Topic by nixusinc   |  last reply


It's that time of year again!

Yes, it's award season again - the IgNobel Awards. PHYSIOLOGY PRIZE: Anna Wilkinson (of the UK), Natalie Sebanz (of NETHERLANDS, HUNGARY, and AUSTRIA), Isabella Mandl (of AUSTRIA) and Ludwig Huber (of AUSTRIA) for their study 'No Evidence of Contagious Yawning in the Red-Footed Tortoise." CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Makoto Imai, Naoki Urushihata, Hideki Tanemura, Yukinobu Tajima, Hideaki Goto, Koichiro Mizoguchi and Junichi Murakami of JAPAN, for determining the ideal density of airborne wasabi (pungent horseradish) to awaken sleeping people in case of a fire or other emergency, and for applying this knowledge to invent the wasabi alarm. MEDICINE PRIZE: Mirjam Tuk (of THE NETHERLANDS and the UK), Debra Trampe (of THE NETHERLANDS) and Luk Warlop (of BELGIUM). and jointly to Matthew Lewis, Peter Snyder and Robert Feldman (of the USA), Robert Pietrzak, David Darby, and Paul Maruff (of AUSTRALIA) for demonstrating that people make better decisions about some kinds of things — but worse decisions about other kinds of things‚ when they have a strong urge to urinate. PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE: Karl Halvor Teigen of the University of Oslo, NORWAY, for trying to understand why, in everyday life, people sigh. LITERATURE PRIZE: John Perry of Stanford University, USA, for his Theory of Structured Procrastination, which says: To be a high achiever, always work on something important, using it as a way to avoid doing something that's even more important. BIOLOGY PRIZE: Darryl Gwynne (of CANADA and AUSTRALIA and the USA) and David Rentz (of AUSTRALIA and the USA) for discovering that a certain kind of beetle mates with a certain kind of Australian beer bottle PHYSICS PRIZE: Philippe Perrin, Cyril Perrot, Dominique Deviterne and Bruno Ragaru (of FRANCE), and Herman Kingma (of THE NETHERLANDS), for determining why discus throwers become dizzy, and why hammer throwers don't. MATHEMATICS PRIZE: Jointly awarded to the following "team" for teaching the world to be careful when making mathematical assumptions and calculations. Dorothy Martin of the USA (who predicted the world would end in 1954), Pat Robertson of the USA (who predicted the world would end in 1982), Elizabeth Clare Prophet of the USA (who predicted the world would end in 1990), Lee Jang Rim of KOREA (who predicted the world would end in 1992), Credonia Mwerinde of UGANDA (who predicted the world would end in 1999), Harold Camping of the USA (who predicted the world would end on September 6, 1994 and later predicted that the world will end on October 21, 2011), PEACE PRIZE: Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, LITHUANIA, for demonstrating that the problem of illegally parked luxury cars can be solved by running them over with an armored tank. PUBLIC SAFETY PRIZE: John Senders of the University of Toronto, CANADA, for conducting a series of safety experiments in which a person drives an automobile on a major highway while a visor repeatedly flaps down over his face, blinding him. You can watch the whole ceremony here, although the video is over two hours long... Annals of Improbable Research  

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Bad mice gone good

I originally posted this as a collaboration. Turns out it's better as a forum item, which may eventually evolve into a collaboration. I'll try to put up at least one image this weekend. Meanwhile, settle in for a bit of a read, and let me know what you think.. . . . . . . Ingredients:- About 2 dozen half dead or completely dead Apple USB mice, mostly black, some white, bundled and hung to age.- 8-10 Apple keyboards, some flavored with cola or hot chocolate, mostly black, some white.(Randofo may contribute more, we'll see what comes of this caper. See his keyboard hack.Optional additives:- Dead hard drives, also part of the job. I've been wanting to figure out how to hack the controllers and drive arms to make a sculpture that waves the arms vertically, in controllable ways. I don't know yet if this is a separate project or not.- Glue, solder, etc.- Other junk, hopefully minimal, unless it adds a whole new level to the project.StatusI gathered them by their USB connectors and hung them as sculpture, (photo coming soon) awaiting further inspiration.The ProjectFirst idea:Wire, (or rewire, in this case) the LEDs inside the mice, and make a decorative chandelier.Minimalist that I am, my first impulse is to leave the mice as original and intact as possible, while transforming an everyday object into something delightful and interesting.Current questions:- How to wire them all together, without making it a life's work?- Static or dynamic? Dimmable? Random "flickering/fading" like the new smarter Christmas lights, only more interesting?- Interactive? Respond to sound, temperature or other environmental changes? I like the idea of cause and effect resulting in some new information the observer can come away with, something that actually makes sense, rather than, "That's kind of interesting, but what for?"- Networkable?? So other Bad mice gone Good can influence behaviors?- Some sort of reference or action to the original intended function, i.e., input device, man-machine interface, 21st century worker harness, pixel pushing device, etc.- Hack a keyboard to control the mice? Force them to spell?? I like the idea of subverting/reversing the input/output direction.- use the reflective sensor in the mouse to provide input/output.- Influence Jonathan Ive and his brilliant staff at Apple to put some effective strain relief on all new mice!RulesAnd I use that term fairly loosely. Yet I find that good parameters, even if arbitrary (an affordable luxury with art and fooling around projects) help define the project, keep it manageable, and hence more likely to be completed. Sometimes it's just more fun too. I'll refrain from an essay on that for now. (hm, maybe an essay section would be good Instructables feature request?)- simple- can be made in 24 or fewer work hours.- cheap, with minimal non-salvaged parts.- repeatable, so others can create their own, in the fine, albeit young, Instructables tradition.- finished product is fun and delightful to most people, old or young, geek or non-geek.FeedbackPlease let me know what you think of this idea so far.New ideas, spinoffs, etc. are welcome. Please link or keyword all of them so we can see the connection between projects.Enough for now, I need to overhaul my resume so I can find a more interesting and creative job. SF Bay Area queries are encouraged!

Topic by Marcos   |  last reply


Eee, when I were young...

In no particular order...We had a single telephone in the house, landline, rotary dial, and several neighbours didn't have that.One TV in the house. CRT, 15 inch screen.Only three TV channels.They weren't on all night. They weren't even on all day.Black and white, all the way - TV, camera filmOnly two transistor radios in the house, running off 9V batteries the size of my fist.Most stations were on AM & LW bands. Commercial stations broadcast from "abroad".One record player in the house, which still have a position on the speed selector for playing 78rpm discs.Headphones the size of scotch eggs were the norm, not a fashion statement.No mobile phones at all.No game systems.No hand-held units.No home computers (the ZX81 came out when I was 14).The internet wasn't even a pipedream.The largest libraries had microfiche.Foreign holidays were a luxury - the only £10 trip was a one-way ticket to Australia.I did not see a black man in the flesh until I was 13. Oriental later the same year.Seat belts were not only optional, they were often not fitted.Ladders were toys, not a risk to life and limb.No speed cameras. Speed traps involved measured distances and policemen with stop-watches.No central heating.No double glazing.No catalytic converters.Petrol had lead in it, but only cost pennies a gallon.If you spent an hour in London, your snot turned black. If you spent a day there, it stayed black for a week."CCTV" was just a random collection of consonants.Old factories were called "derelict", not "industrial heritage", and kids called them "playgrounds".The bombsites were still blamed on Hitler.Russia was still Soviet, and old folk thought of them as allies.Hospitals smelled of carbolic soap, and the only infections came in with the patients. Nurses had starched collars and pink-scrubbed hands.I was the only child with asthma in a school of 400.Nobody was allergic to anything, except powdered eggs.Terrorists all had Irish accents, and telephoned the police to tell them where the bombs were.Nuclear power was going to give us free electricity in only five years - just in time to power the robot maid.Nuclear war was a genuine fear.The Falklands War was news, not history.You could hitch-hike and expect to arrive at your destination alive.Alcoholism was a hobby, not a disease.Lager was for poofters, cider was for girls.Nobody knew how to play basketball, baseball or ice hockey, and football was only ever played with a round ball. The nearest thing to "protective clothing" in sport was a goalie's gloves.Rollerskates had wheels on the corners, and strapped to your shoe.Banks were as trusted as the police. The police were trusted.Policemen were tall.Emergency vehicles went nee nah nee nah! (except for the ones with bells).Flared trousers were original.Science fiction had ray guns and robots, and spacemen were spacemen.You could travel ten miles and find people who spoke a different dialect (not just a different accent).Kids who misbehaved in school got sent to the head for a caning, instead of to the doctor for a tablet.Health and safety meant "don't do anything daft", and if you fell off a roof and broke your leg it was your own damned fault, not the fault of the roof-owner for not warning you about the drop, and nobody sued anybody.Gay meant "happy", and camp meant "in tents".Teachers that hit you were firm professionals, not dangerous perverts.The phrase "two car family" hadn't been coined....and I didn't feel quite so old.

Topic by Kiteman 


A week in a proper car.

I've been driving Womble for exactly a week now, and some things have occurred to me. I thought I'd share them, in no particular order.I enjoy driving again.Because I'm driving, not steering. No power steering, no servo brakes, I am in touch with what the car is doing every second I'm driving. I do something, and I get instant feedback. I'm suddenly redeveloping all the good driving habits I used to have - looking further ahead and watching traffic more, correct hand-position on the wheel, feeding the wheel through my hands as I turn, slowing with gears before brakes.It's a cliche, but it's seat-of-the-pants driving.I drove Kitewife's Focus a couple of days ago, it was a disaster! Taps the brakes, do an emergency stop - steer with two fingers, weave all over the road. There's no feedback, nothing to tell me by feel exactly how much braking I'm doing, or how fast the wheels are turning. I had to look at the dials to check the speed and watch the revs before changing gear.Modern cars, I have decided, are only one step short of video games.Maybe that's part of the reason for the rise in roadrage?There's no need to take pride or care, because the car does it all for you. Spend enough money, and the only thing that will kill you is if you drive at a tree. Even that may not be possible with radar-triggered brakes soon to become more common.If you have abdicated all responsibility for your safety to a mindless mechanism, who do you blame if something goes wrong? Where do you direct your anger? The only target left is the other driver.I seem to have joined a sub-culture.I'm not the only driver of a proper Mini in my area. I pass two or three every day. Amongst others, I've seen a white one, striped pink, with a bubbly blonde driving. I've seen a 70s Traveller in immaculate condition. Several jobbing Minis, in every-day-driving state, and a Mini wedged full of teenage lads, fully kitted out for racing, roll-cage and all.Every single one of them waved, flashed their lights or otherwise said "hello" as we passed. I have never seen drivers of other kinds of car do that. It's pretty good, getting a friendly wave from a stranger. It lifts your day, puts a smile on your face.It's like we share a happy secret. Minis attract comment more than cars that cost fifty times as much.If people see a Ferrari in the car park, they might nudge each other and make admiring comments, but if they see a Mini, they come over, say hello. On Saturday, a huge hairy rocker, returning to his big Japanese family car, children in tow, left his children in his car, and came over for a chat about the surprisingly roomy interior of my Mini, and an idle chat about the type of engine (single-point injection, if you're wondering).People might wish they could afford a supercar, but they are genuinely jealous of people who actually own a proper Mini.Everybody has a Mini in their closet.I'm not really a petrol head, and I don't work with petrol heads, but suddenly everybody wants to talk about cars. They all seem to have had an adventure in a Mini, their own or a friend's. Half of them regret having sold their Mini years ago.OK, so the old Minis don't meet modern safety rules. They're slow, utterly lacking in luxuries (my heater has two settings - on or off), but if somebody started building them new, using the original molds for the panels and frames (they still exist), and charged five or six thousand pounds a pop, they would make an absolute fortune.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Hong Kong usannsynlig å følge Singapore i øke skattene for luksus huseiere , Cruse Associates Review

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1159355/hong-kong-unlikely-follow-singapore-raising-taxes-luxury-homeowners cruse associates review Hong Kong er usannsynlig å følge Singapores eksempel ved å heve skattene for eiere av de mest kostbare luksus hjemmene, sier eiendom og skattelovgivning eksperter. By-stat initiativ er sett på som å være rettet mindre på avkjøling markedet enn på beskatte de rike som en del av arbeidet med å redusere inntekt gapet. "Hong Kongs privat boligmarkedet er mye større enn i Singapore, og mange mennesker kan bli påvirket hvis den Hong Kong regjeringen følger drakt," sa Jennifer Wong, en skatt partner i KPMG Kina. En høyere skatt kunngjort av Singapores finansminister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, i hans budsjett tale på mandag vil gjelde til Singapores topp 1 prosent av huseiere som bor i sine egne egenskaper for totalt 12 000 enheter. Wong sa det var mer enn 1,1 millioner privat bolig enheter i Hong Kong. "For det første, hvordan skiller du luksushjem?" sa hun. Mange leiligheter i New Territories eller i urbane områder er verdt mer enn HK$ 10 millioner. Allmennheten kan bli påvirket, sa Wong. Selv om regjeringen definert luksushjem som de priset på HK$ 30 millioner eller over, sa det ville utløse spekulasjoner nedenfor at prisnivået, hun. "Innføring av hva er i praksis en formuesskatt ville kjøre i motsetning til Hong Kongs posisjon som en lav skatt plassering," sa Edward Farrelly, leder for forskning for Taiwan, Hongkong og Macau på eiendom rådgivning CBRE. "Heller ikke er det sikkert at slik skatt ville lette presset i privatmarkedet. Som vi har sett med innføringen av tidligere politiske virkemidler i Hong Kong, markedet reagerer svært raskt for å etablere en ny likevekt, og effekten på prissetting utover kort sikt er minimal,"sa han. Singapores regjeringen vil også øke skattesatser for ledige investment properties og de som er leid ut. "En skatt på ledige enheter er en som har vært mooted fra tid til annen i Hong Kong, og det kan ha sin fortjeneste i økende forsyning," Farrelly sa. "Men forsiktighet bør være utøves, som mer regjeringen griper inn i markedet, den mindre troverdig er våre krav til å være et fritt marked miljø." Simon Lo Wing-fai, direktør for forskning og rådgivning på eiendom rådgivning Colliers International, sa at det var en masse problemer med å samle i en slik skatt. Administrative kostnadene for regjeringen å dataskjerm hvor ledige leiligheter ligger vil bli svært høy, sa Lo. William Chan, en partner på Grant Thornton skattetjenester, sa: "[Hong Kong] regjeringen kan gjøre hva den ønsker i et forsøk på å dempe hjem priser." cruse associates review READ OTHER/RELATED ARTICLES: http://chirpstory.com/li/57190 http://www.basenotes.net/threads/326085-HongKong-Cruse-And-Associates

Topic by crusebloss01 


August 28th, 1963

On this day, a Baptist minister from Atlanta Georgia stood up in front of a quarter of a million people, and said this: I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But 100 years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.And so we've come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a cheque. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of colour are concerned. Instead of honouring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad cheque which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we've come to cash this cheque - a cheque that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 1963 is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.There will be neither rest nor tranquillity in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: in the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.The marvellous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realise that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights: "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied and we will not be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.I have a dream today!I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.I have a dream today!I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning: "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California.But not only that.Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


And now I shall bore you with details of my vacation.

Yes, I know, everyone likes to talk about their vacations and nobody wants to hear about them, kind of like dreams. Must be a quirk in the human conditions. So read on, or not. My wife decided she wanted to go on a cruise, now I had prejudged cruising and had no desire to ever go on one. But she searched around and found one that had a fishing in Key West excursion to convince me to go. Well she planned the whole thing, did all the work and really made the vacation happen. There was one small moment when we decided to cancel the cruise for financial reasons (her transmission went out) but discovered we were one day past the cancellation deadline, so we must have been destined. So anyways, on with the vacation. On the first day we drove down to Miami, about four hours, not to bad. We were so early that we decided to visit Fairchild Tropical Garden. Fairchild is a must see for those with a horticultural bent, eighty some odd acres of lush tropical gardens, though I still felt it wasn't quite as nice as Leu Gardens here. We had lunch at the garden before proceeding to the hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn, cheap but surprisingly clean with a friendly staff, and a view of the port. Unfortunately my wife became ill from the lunch, and I don't mean just a little ill, but the throwing up out both ends ill. She was so sick that she was curled up in bed crying. We thought we might have to cancel the cruise. But I loaded her up with acidophilus capsules and a dose of a medicine I take for a condition I have and told her we would decide come morning. Come morning she was feeling better but weak, so we decided we'd continue on with the expedition. That brings us to day two. Getting on the boat is similar to boarding the airplane with one noticeable difference, Port security is infinitely more professional than airport security. We only made one mistake, we didn't check our bags. Since you can board hours before the rooms are ready we were stuck with our luggage. There was a moment of Zen when we boarded, they greet you with food and drinks in an atmosphere of sybaritic luxury, but since it was Christmas they were playing music, the song they were playing when we boarded was 'Do They Know It's Christmas'. The rest of the day is exploring the ship and discovering I get seasick, yea! Day Three Nassau, we have swimming with stingrays and snorkeling planned, afterwards we plan on visiting Ardastra Gardens on our own. Swimming with stingrays was pretty cool, and I enjoyed the snorkeling, my wife who doesn't care for the ocean spent her time sunbathing. Eventually that planned excursion was over but we never got to the garden, I was too darned tired from swimming for three hours and my wife was sunburnt. So, back to the cruise ship to do what else, but eat. Day four Cococay, Royal Caribbean's private island, I have snorkeling planned, my wife has sunbathing. Now, admittedly, we're here at the discretion of the cruise line, so the snorkeling area is prescribed, but it's not bad, there's an area of about 1/2 an acre inside a breakwater and about 5-8 acres outside the breakwater. But here's the interesting thing, of all the people snorkeling, only 5 went outside the breakwater! Which means we each had an acre or more to ourselves (there was an additional area that was closed due to the currents). I did find two 'artifacts' while snorkeling here, the first was a dive glove, so I kept that as a 'trophy', the second, I was snorkeling in about 20 feet of water and spotted a distinctly man made object, a doughnut shape, so I swam down and dug up a bottle top, but not just any bottle top but the top of a pre-civil war 'case' Gin bottle. I though that was pretty cool. Now I've considered the idea that the area was 'salted' but I can't quite believe they would 'salt' with broken glass. So I think it was a genuine find. I, of course, returned it to where I found it after taking a picture. Day five Key West, I'm really in a bad mood this morning, because we have to do a 'papers please' inspection with ICE, but then it gets MUCH worse. There's an envelope under the door, my fishing trip has been canceled, lack of participants, the minimum was 5 people, I'm the only one who signed up. Anyways, wise to the ways of Gov't, I convince my wife to show up early for the immigration control, reasoning that 'It's better to be 15 minutes early and wait 30 minutes, than be 15 minutes late and wait 3 hours', guy looks at my ID, asks where I was born, they punch my Seapass (onboard ID/CC). So we go looking for another excursion, my wife wants me to go Kayaking, but I'm seriously exhausted from the past two days of snorkeling. So we decide the Butterfly Conservatory and the Aquarium are where we'll go. The Butterfly conservatory was beautiful, with dozens of species flying everywhere, landing on you and a selection of birds thrown in for good measure, The aquarium, well, umm, geez, I don't want to be mean, but I wouldn't go back. After that we walked around and enjoyed the architecture and visited the Mel Fisher Museum since I was hooked on books about treasure hunting as a kid (I have a metal detector, the most valuable object I ever found was my wife's wedding ring several weeks after she lost it.) And then back to the boat for more eating. Last day, they get you off the ship early, here, you don't want to check your luggage, if you do, you don't get off until they let you, if you carry your luggage, you can get off the ship first thing at 7:30 am. So once we're off the ship all that is left is the customs and the drive back. Customs was nothing, you hand a guy a form and you are done. The drive back was mostly uneventful until the last rest stop, then, of course, the truck won't start. Well it will start, but it's stumbling and sound like only one bank of cylinders are firing, in desperation I stand on the gas and it picks up, think that last fill up had water in it. I baby it the rest of the way home by drafting behind a truck and keeping to 65 and, obviously, we get home. So, goods, bads, and impressions The goods. The ships are insane about cleanliness these days, I noted that there was one individual who seemed to do nothing but wipe the stair handrails with disinfectant continually. The service was impeccable. The food was variable, but it varied from just good to fantastic, it was always hot and fresh, and you never saw the same item twice. The room also had a revolving menu of movies to watch, so I finally got to see Wall-e. The Steward cleans the room twice a day and turns down your bed while you are at dinner. The excursions take a lot of the 'what do you want to do? I don't know, what do you want to do?' out of the trip. And the room was surprisingly quiet. The bad, I realize that the excursions are done through independent contractors and therefore they are not the ones who canceled my excursion, but they could have informed me before hand that there was the possibility that it would be canceled. They push the drinks and the pictures, learn to say no. During the life boat drill the videographer comes up and says 'Can I get a wave from everybody?' and I turned to him and said 'No', he came back with 'Are you kidding me?' and I said 'I can't speak for all these people, but I'm NOT waving' LOL, he walked off. The elevators are slower than hell, if you use them, you will spend half your cruise waiting, use the stairs. Also there are six elevators amidships, three port, three starboard, when you push the elevator button, it only summons the three elevators on the side you push! Poor design, you can cut down the waiting by pushing the button on one side and quickly walking over and pushing the other button, but, of course, you have now tied up two elevators and are increasing others waiting times. Also, no one tells you that you will suffer dizziness after the cruise, both my wife and I have been having dizzy spells and a search shows it is pretty common. Oh, and I used a Walgreens waterproof disposable for the snorkeling, since you don't see any of those pix, you can guess how well it worked. Impressions Cruises are not for xenophobes! Not just the mix of passengers, but the crew is from all over the world, and I like that when they introduce themselves it was often 'Hello, I'm Melvin from the Philippines.' And as a member of the IBWF I enjoyed the diversity. The formal dining was assigned seating, but we only did it once, I was actually a little uncomfortable with the level of service, three waiters for two people? I'm not used to that. Lastly, tipping is expected, I feel that it should be included in the price of the cruise, so we did the pre paid tips, so we wouldn't have to deal with it. And finally, the myth of the 'ugly American' is just that, a myth, what I learned is that ALL tourists are 'Ugly' So, in Ebay speak, A++++++ Would Cruise again. If you read this far, you deserve a drink.

Topic by Tool Using Animal   |  last reply


The risks of DIY carpet cleaning and how save a buck or two....

I am writing this partly because of bed experiences with rental angents/landlords and as a general help.Here in Australia as well as other parts of the world it is common pratise that a real estate agent goes through your rented home multiple times a year to check if you keep it clean and undamaged.In most cases these visits go without any hickup until you move out.At this point agents often try to make your life a misery.Some expect you get the house back to the state it was 10 years ago when you moved - an impossible task.Carpet cleaning is usually done with a rented machine.This mean you pay a deposit for the machine and "rent" is made by the highly overpriced cleaning fluid you have to use with the machine.But more and more people see that a $100 machine from the discounter is a "money saver".So lets start with the main differences between a rented, commercial grade machine and those you find at the discounter to buy.The later comes quite small and in plastic, the commercial one is usually all metal and has huge water and waste tank.And lets be honest here, if a good vacuum cleaner sets you back more than twice what your new floor cleaning machine costs.....For me the real difference is in the sucktion.If you start with 10 liters in a commercail machine then you should expect to get over 8 liters back in the waste tank.The added waste often makes it seem much more though ;)The cheap discounter vesion however often struggles to get half of the water back out of your carpet that it drained into it!This is not only due to the weaker vacuum created but also due to the general design and lack of sealing the area that is sucked up.But during a hot summer week this makes no vital difference as it dries off anyway, or does it?Dryness and contamination....If you wash your clothes than you let them fully dry before you wear them.With a freshly cleaned carpet we often don't have that luxury and if the weather won't play nice you might end with a moist carpet for weeks.A proper wash of the carpet would require that water is actually flowing through the fabric.This is achieved by designing water outlets and sucktion areas to be in close proximity.However, most carpets these days are thin and flimsy, the underlay brings the comfort and often the required insulation from the cold floor.Fun fact: Most quality carpets in the EU come with a rubber or foam like backing which prevents that little spills go through and also leave the carpet basically dry after a cleaning.If the amount of water your machine collects does not get very close to what you filled into the tank then you end with a quite wet carpet and underlay.Cold from underneath and with basically no airflow through it.And if you ever removed an old carpet that was cleaned every few years you do know why you wear a protective suit, gloves and a filter mask on your face....It is simply impossible with a handheld machine to prevent water and contaminants from getting into the foam underlay of US and AU style carpet assemblies.Once fully dry there is little chance for anything to grow, but every time you clean the carpet you add the water required...I had it in two rentals that when I cleaned the carpets with a really good machine that stains from within the underlay came back up into the carpet.A job planned for a day then turned into three days of using heater fans and living in a sauna while washing carpets :(The same is true if you end up with fresh dirt or such on the carpet while it is still moist underneat - it gets worked ino the carpet and becomes even harder to clean.Is a commercial cleaning the better option?Sadly I have to say this highly depends on your agent/landlord and how much time and money you have.In some areas agents simply ignore the law and demand from you that the carpet looks at least as good as when you moved in.And if old stains you did not know about come from the filthy underlay a rented machine can come close to the cost of getting a commercail team in to do the job once you vacated.Either way you get an invoice for the service and a statement about the condition of the carpets before and after the cleaning.These guys come with a big van and before it fires up with water only the vacuum is used.Imagine a monster sized vacuum cleaner head on steroids that connects to an industrial sized evacuation fan in the van.It literally lifts your carpet from the underlay and leaves nothing loose behind.The actual cleaning and sanitation works the same way only with the big difference that the water is sprayed with pressure through the carpet and into the underlay.Final round is done dry and with vacuum only, means the carpets are dry enough to walk on them without getting wet feet.A complete dry state is usually reached within 2 days during the summer unlike rented machines that keep the humidity in your house up and high for about 2 weeks until back to normal.Main benefit of a commercail cleaning is that you won't get any issues with your agent/landlord unless you damaged the carpets or made them impossible to clean - ever dropped an ink jet printer refill kit? ;)If I do it myself with a reasonably good machine or a rented one : Do I have options for the cleaning solution used?Trust me, I had to figure that one out quickly when I moved into my first rental down here.4 bedrooms, entire house with carpet except for the kitchen and wet areas.They appeared reasonably clean at a first look but when I used a UV flashlight at night the story was shocking....In what must have a room for a baby the carpet looked like a psychedlic art impression under the UV light.The living room was not much better.As a result the rented machine ran out of cleaning fluid quickly.Bought 2 bottles that were supposed to be suffient for the house size but if you need several rounds per room.I "finnished" the former baby room and was one bottle down already.Called it a day and in the dark the UV light showed a slithly fades art impression but nowhere clean :(The shop had a heavy duty cleaning solution but I did not consider it with a price twice as high.Instead I wondered what would make my carpet different from my clothes in my washing machine....So I got a canister of Oxy-cleaner - sometimes called nappy soaking powder, or similar.Just make sure you get one that does not foam up too much.I used a bucket to dissolve a good amount of the powder before filling it into the machine - at about 40°C.What ended in the waste tank when using this cheap alternative looked digusting to say the least!With that encouragement I decided to make a new bucket with some added washing powder, just a tablespoon worth or just over.Washing powder for front loader does not foam up much, unlike the stuff for top loader, so choose wisely.That was, all counted, the forth cleaning round for the former baby room but after this the UV light showed a clean carpet that also had nice spring fresh smell thanks to the washing powder.Using the same appraoch of lots of oxy cleaner and a bit of washing machine powder in semi hot water made cleaning the rest of the house a breeze!When going slow with the machine it was like mowing the lawn, it left a clean path behind.Not all carpets might tolerate oxy cleaners though, especially if they are quite colorful, so do a spot check first if you never used the stuff to clean up a little spill of red wine before.And please keep some of the commercial cleaning fluid at hand to give the machine a quick wash through with it, otherwise the shop might ask you if you used non approved cleaning stuff with it ;)Tips for adjustable cleaning machines....Some of the rented machines come with several possible adjustments you can make.In the most basic form you can adjust the amount water used and how strong the machine sucks.Keep the sucktion as high as possible unless you actually want to pre soak the carpet.The amount of water should be adjusted to the type of carpet not to how dirty it is!You want just enough water to soak the carpet without going into the underlay too much.A clear sign of using too much water is if you waste tank is only half full when the water tank is empty.A few of the really good machines let you adjust the distance between the water outlet and sucktion area.In most cases there pre-set to what, from experience is the most commonly type of carpet in the area.Your might be different though...A greater distance means more time for the cleaning solution to do its job.This works especially well for thicker carpets with amount of water turned down to below 50%.For thin carpets a short distance is better as the water does not have to go deep into the fabric.Here you can even increase the water flow for very dirty areas without risking to soak the underlay too much.In either case you should check the machine before taking it home and if adjustable have the options explained to you in the store.Anything for really bad areas?The entrance area is often subject to whatever our shoes collected outside, especially if you have kids or playful dogs.A bit of oil from the road, some sticky residue of something, dust, small gravel and sand....Vacuum out what comes out first, then use a suitable, not too stiff brush if your vacuum cleaner does not have a rotating brush in the head.Use a spray bottle and prepare a solution of warm water with a bit of washing machine powder and a shot glass worth of methylated spirit.Slightly wet the soiled area with the spray bottle without saturating it.Use the brush to agitate the carpet fibres - preferably directional and with even strokes.If they are not wet in the deeper areas spray a bit more.Again: you don't want to soak it you want to wet it.Give it about 20 minutes on a warm day a bit longer if the insede temps are below 25°C.Check with your hand if the area is still wet, the alcohol should speed up the evaporation here.Before it dries up repeat the process and check with a paper towel if it picks up the stains already.If so then run over the area with cleaning machine.Best results are achieved if you manage to get the fibres wet all the way down with the brush and won't let the area fully dry off again after the spraying.How can I speed up the drying time?The only way to speed things up is heat and airflow.If outside humidty is quite high then you will struggle.Even in the summer times the humidity levels over night can get well into or even over the 80% region.Opening doors and windows then to get the carpet dry won't really help you.Best time to clean your carpets is actually at night because by the time you are done the sun is out and the humity levels much lower.On a good day below 30%.This is true even for the winter times.Put a few fans up and make sure the temperatures are well above the 20°C mark.If in doubt you have to turn the heater on.Once the humidity inside is sky high you open up all windows and doors to have an exchange of air.A few minutes suffice here unless there is wind at all.If it is a hot summer day you can of course just let it all open until the sun goes down again.During colder times pay special attention to cold areas, like your toilet, bathroom or in general areas that won't warm up properly.Even if the room was not cleaned the moisture can accumulate here and cause mold and mildew.If in doubt make sure the ENTIRE house is warm enough until your carpets are fully dry again.A humidity sensor or gauge certainly helps, two are better so you can check inside and outside at the same time.

Topic by Downunder35m