5 Unexpected Things That Can Trigger Asthma

asthma preventionAsthma is a health condition affecting millions of people across the globe. Most people simply think of it as a problem that makes breathing difficult. Others think asthma is just a minor nuisance, but for many, it is a major problem that may lead to life-threatening attacks.

There really is no cure for asthma, but you can at least control it by knowing what causes the attacks. Once you identify it, you can take an active role in reducing the occurrence of attacks. Exercise, smoking, mold, and pets are the most common triggers, but what about the weather, traffic, and food additives? Unusual things can lead to an asthma attack, too.

Sudden Weather Change

The effects of the changing weather conditions on those with asthma aren’t fully understood, but clearly there is a connection. A number of studies show that people find their asthma symptoms get worse due to sudden changes in weather. Hot and humid air is an asthma trigger and wet weather encourages the growth of mold spore, which is another issue. According to Airtime-HVACUtah.com, a house needs ventilation to keep those with asthma comfortable. This allows you to control the temperature and avoid asthma attack.

Food Additives

Food colorings, flavoring agents, and other chemicals added as preservatives are dangerous for people with asthma. If the food additives have potassium bisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, sodium sulfite or sodium bisulfite, it might be best to avoid from adding that to your cart.

Traffic Induced Asthma

Really bad traffic leads to longer exposure to fumes coming out of cars. Though your windows are close, the small molecules can get through. Check the traffic situation before you head out or look for alternate routes.

Scented Candles &Air Fresheners

Scented candles and air fresheners may seem relaxing, but can actually harm you if you have asthma. The volatile organic compounds such as limonene and esters in the product cause respiratory tract irritation.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are not only gross; their feces and saliva can trigger asthma symptoms in some individuals. Make sure your house is free from cockroaches by sweeping regularly and using roach traps.

Triggers vary from person to person, but knowing what could possibly harm you is always best. Remember, it’s easier to stop something bad from happening than fixing the problem after it happens.

Factors to Consider when Designing a Staircase

stairStaircase design is a tricky aspect of any home building project. Many homeowners who take the building process upon themselves may encounter a number of structural problems eventually. When it comes to construction, builders will have to consider the following factors: the way the space is used and safety.

Active Metal Pty Ltd. explains that the staircase design should also be in compliance with building regulations. For instance, builders should keep in mind that there is a minimum distance required when it comes to exit stairwells. There are a few other things you need to keep in mind when designing and planning your stairs, especially if you’re thinking of adding a landing.

The Rise

The stair rise refers to the measurement from the bottom floor to the top floor. Knowing the measurement will help you determine how high the riser, or the stair step’s vertical plane, should be. A tall riser may make stepping up difficult, while a low riser may make climbing inefficient.

The Steps

The number of treads or steps will depend on how high the rise is. Normally, the number of treads is one less than the number of risers. The steps should not be too narrow enough nor too wide, as climbing will become inefficient, let alone risky.

The Landing

Building stairs with a landing is different than constructing the regular ones. You need to measure the landing as a different stairway. Architects or engineers usually measure the height of the landing using the height of the risers.

The Balustrades

Many minimalist designers discount the use of balustrades. They are, however, extremely important, especially if you have kids and handicapped family members at home. The gaps between the balustrade railings should be narrow enough to prevent kids and pets from slitting through.

Also, don’t forget the head clearance above the stairs. The materials you choose should be sturdy enough. You may also consider putting a carpet over the steps to avoid slips and lessen the impact of falls. Don’t hesitate to consult an architect or an interior designer in case you’re having a hard time measuring and thinking of the style.

How to Screw Up Your Marriage Proposal

wedding proposalWhen you get down on one knee to pop the question, there are only two scenarios that can happen. Number one is, predictably, she’ll say yes and you’ll spend forever in each other’s company. The second scenario is that you mess up somewhere and turn your “forever” into a “never.” You wouldn’t want that, would you? Especially when we’re talking about the lady of your dreams, the last thing you want is for her to reject you and rip your world apart.

So, how do you make sure that she says yes? For starters, you should avoid screwing up your proposal. And truth be told, there are quite a handful of ways in which you can blow the whole thing apart, such as these:

Proposing at the Wrong Time

Whoa there, Romeo, just because you’ve been together for three months doesn’t mean that it’s finally okay to ask her hand in marriage. All relationships go through a honeymoon phase, so you have to let your boyfriend-girlfriend status pass that stage before you pop the question. Unless you want to crush your dreams of having her forever, do not do anything rash until both of you are really comfortable with each other.

Presenting an Ugly Ring

First off, let us define an ugly ring as any piece of jewelry she does not like. You are giving the most special present to your would-be wife, the least you could do is skim through catalogues of unique engagement ring designs and buy a special, stunningly-designed one. Never trust your own taste, and ask friends close to your lady for advice as to what ring design you should get for her.

Banking on Clichés

Some “experts” say that the best way to propose is to take her in a very romantic location and pop the question there. But this runs the risk of being cliché, especially when you propose in a common, often-proposed-at place. Look: every woman wants their proposal to be special. Do not let her and her best friend share the same proposal story just because you did not have enough creativity to think of a truly unique gimmick or location for her.

So, yes, avoiding blunders like these will help you in the long run. Go and get her “yes” the right way – that is, without a hitch or an error. Good luck, brother.

Life Without Elevators: Facing the Challenges of Living in Heights

skyscrapersModern cities boast of towering skyscrapers and buildings that show the splendor of the business world. With these high-rise structures, people have come to embrace the use of elevators to reach top floors in just a few minutes.

But, have you imagined how life would be without these convenient lifting systems? If anything, life would be less convenient and going to the top floors would be quite a challenge.

Here are some scenarios that only stress the importance of having elevators in buildings:

  1. There Will Be No Penthouses

The use of an elevator, Idaho experts say, changed how people lived in multi-story buildings and gave way to penthouses. Before the invention of lift systems, the top floors were reserved for the utility staff and low-rent paying tenants of luxury hotels or apartment complexes. Celebrities, wealthy corporate executives, and prominent figures lived in the lower and more accessible floors to avoid going up multiple flights of stairs.

  1. You Will Always Deal with Sore Legs and Inconvenience

Going up three flights of stairs can be a great exercise, but climbing up to the 20th floor of your apartment complex would only give your leg muscles a weeklong sore. With elevators, you can avoid the inconvenience of walking the stairs and the throbbing pain of over-exercising those legs.

  1. The Elderly and Disabled Will Have Trouble Going Up

If anyone will benefit the most from these lifting systems, they are the elderly and disabled individuals. Elevators provide practical solution for seniors and those who do not have the capability to walk up the stairs. The ADA follows certain standards for accessible design to meet the needs of the elderly and disabled individuals. Regulations state that lifting systems must have easy-to-operate functions to provide convenience when going from one floor to another. Some units must also have large spaces to accommodate wheelchairs and other equipment for people with disabilities.

Elevators gave a new meaning to convenience, and improved the quality of life of those who need these lifting systems the most. Without these machines, people wouldn’t have the opportunity to marvel at the city views from a much higher vantage point.

Five Floor Installations That are Perfect for Restaurants

restaurant floorRestaurants are some of the busiest commercial establishments. Due to daily foot traffic, it only makes sense to choose the right kind of floor installations.

There are a few things to think about before deciding on the kind of flooring that suits your restaurant’s style. Apart from its aesthetic qualities, the floor must also be non-slippery, non-flammable, durable, and easy to clean. Whether you’re building the establishment from the ground up or just doing a makeover, About Floors n More suggests these five commercial flooring options you can consider:

#1. Concrete

In addition to being low-cost, concrete is also one of the most resilient types of flooring. Sharp objects cannot easily scratch it. High heels and furniture legs won’t damage it. It’s also easy to maintain as all it needs is regular mopping as well as sealing or waxing every three to nine months.

#2. Hardwood

Wood is long-lasting. It can hold its own for decades, and it gives your restaurant an old-world yet timeless feel. The color does not fade and no two wood patterns are exactly alike. More importantly, wood is also easy to clean with just a few mop strokes.

#3. Epoxy

You may install epoxy flooring in the dining spot, although it is the best for the kitchen area. It has a chemical resistance to oils, harsh detergents, and even blood. It won’t crack or peel. There are also a variety of colors to choose from.

#4. Vinyl

With vinyl, you don’t have to worry about spillage. It doesn’t trap liquid and it only takes a few wipes to clean up. It gives off a more modern vibe to any restaurant. It is damage-resistant, affordable, and easy and quick to install.

#5. Tiles

Tiles are some of the best-looking options for flooring. As tile comes in different shapes and patterns, it can be placed as flooring or walling. Commercial-grade tiles are not slippery, unlike those made for residential properties. Tiles are very easy to clean with just one wipe.

Whatever type of flooring you decide to install in your restaurant, always remember to conduct regular maintenance. It prevents degradation and preserves the floor’s original state, which can leave a great impression on your clientele.

Using Clay Pebbles to Grow Plants (Because Soilis Too Mainstream)

clay pebbleTo take better care of their plants in their homes, many people these days are turning to hydroculture. This is an innovative way to grow plants without using any soil. You just have to use highly absorbent aggregates, such as clay pebbles. These clay materials have been exposed to tremendous heat, causing them to have a porous and open inner formation within a solid outer shell. As a result, clay pebbles are quite light, portable, and can absorb a significant amount of water.

Ideal for indoor plants

Clay pebbles are the ideal choice for growing indoor plants since they are more effective in smaller pots or containers. The porous nature of clay pebbles can soak some elements all right, although not as well as other aggregates, such as, say, rock wool. With smaller pots, you can make the job way easier for the pebbles. Another thing that makes clay pebbles ideal for indoor plants is its odorless attribute. The pebbles are also clean, making them easier to maintain.

Lessens the need for regular maintenance

You can use clay pebbles for a long period because they are reusable, which can help in reducing the cost of maintaining an indoor garden. The round shape of clay pebbles provides better aeration as they create natural air holes throughout the pot, allowing the roots to breathe and keep them from rotting.

In addition to improving soil aeration, clay pebbles create a moist environment for the roots. They are capable of absorbing and retaining water, which is then released back to the plant. This reduces your need to water the plant frequently.

Economical and efficient

Since you can reuse the clay pebbles repeatedly, they are economical as they are efficient. If you want to transfer the pebbles to another pot, Youngstown Barrel & Drum Co. suggests soaking them in a metal pail that contains a sterilizing solution. After soaking them, wash the pebbles to separate the dead roots, and they’re good to go.

Using clay pebbles as a growing medium is truly beneficial to your plants. As mentioned, these are ideal for indoor plants although growers of flowers and certain vegetables are now also seeing the advantage of these pebbles’ useful properties.

Surplus Military Gear Revealed

Military GearThe tension and violence in Ferguson, Missouri, has provoked a debate regarding the militarization of local police departments. The argument intensified due to the statement of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security that it “permits the Secretary of Defense to transfer excess DoD supplies and equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies for use in their law enforcement duties.”

It added that the equipment is “procured at no cost to the agency with the exception of any shipping or transportation costs.” Meanwhile, industry analysts said authorities must ensure that the packing of military gears are preserved and protected. It noted the importance of national security when it comes to these services. That way, companies like Mil-Pac will surely comply with DOD standards.

Data of excess military gears

The Washington Post reported that the Defense Logistics Agency provided data that specify the transactions it made since 2006. The highlights of the report are:

  • There were 243, 000 transactions worth around $2.8 million for firearms, rifles, pistols and grenade launchers.
  • Pentagon transferred $420 million worth of goods to local agencies in 2013.
  • There were 27 mine-resistance and other armored combat vehicles transferred to local law enforcement agencies in 2012. After a year, it increased seven times.
  • Florida, Alabama, Texas, California and Tennessee received more budget for military equipment compared to other states.

1033 program reveals operation

According to the official website of the 1033 program, it transferred more than $5.1 billion worth of equipment since it started. In 2013, it allotted $449,309,003.71 for the equipment of local law enforcement agencies.

The program run by the Defence Logistics Agency provides tents, generators, trucks and ATVs, but law enforcement agencies use it to acquire military aircraft, grenade launchers and armored vehicles.

The Pentagon-to-police transfer is not new. During the war on drugs, Congress created it to increase the weapons of police to eliminate drug gangs. The amount of available military surplus increased rapidly when the Pentagon geared up to fight two wars.

Michael Cera’s Indie Album Creates Buzz Online

Michael CeraThe ‘Superbad’ star Michael Cera surprises fans by releasing “True That,” an 18-track indie album over at his Bandcamp account.

CNN cites The Daily Beast on comparing this clever move to the Queen B, Beyonce. Before Cera’s album, everybody believed that only the ‘Drunk In Love’ singer can release an album without pre-publicity.

Michael Cera proves otherwise.

The Daily Beast’s Amy Zimmerman tells about her take on Cera’s album with references to Beyonce. “In ‘What Gives,’ Cera samples what appears to be a child’s voice, which is a blatant attempt to rival Blue Ivy’s vocal styling on ‘Blue.’ ‘Sexy Danger’ has all the wild, sensual energy of ‘Drunk in Love,’ but with absolutely no words!” the report says.

The world first knew about Cera’s album through his friend Jonah Hill. He tweeted, “My great friend Michael Cera not only is a brilliant actor, he also makes great music. Check it out: http://www.michaelceramusic.bandcamp.com.”

Fans are now also raving about the indie album and sharing their favorite tracks on the social media. A fan commented:

“Fragments of Beulah, Jens Lekman and more winsome indie-pop amble about here in a casual lo-fi debut. This is music that does not want to be a big deal, and that’s its charm. Favorite track: Steady now.”

Cera has collaborated with American rock band, Weezer and indie band, Mister Heavenly. He played Evan in the 2007 film Superbad and Nick O’ Leary in 2008 film Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Celebrate with a Bang: UK Holidays Made Special

fireworks displayThe use of fireworks during holidays can make merry old England so much merrier. With popping lights brightening up the night sky and loud bangs popping everywhere, all can have a jolly time.

The joy of fireworks transcends all borders. You just have to stop and take in the awe-inspiring beauty of a fireworks display. There are many holidays when fireworks for sale are essential, says Fireworksinternational.co.uk:

Guy Fawkes Night

No 5th of November would be complete without raucous skies filled with vivid colours. Also known as Bonfire Night and Fireworks Night, this holiday has historical significance as it commemorates Guy Fawkes’s botched attempt from centuries back. Make sure to come complete with your mask handy to better feel the holiday spirit.

New Year’s Eve

Few things make the annual singing of “Auld Lang Syne” more complete than with the cricking, crackling, and popping of colourful fireworks displays. There is no better way to welcome the New Year than with a loud bang. A simple peak outside the window or hopping up a building’s rooftop for a few minutes are great ways to take in the dazzling light shows of fireworks displays.

St. Patricks Day

You do not need to be Irish to enjoy this special holiday. With everyone on the ground clad in green apparel, the night sky needs to be tinted with every hue imaginable. While St. Patty’s day is best known for imbibing pint after pint good old beer, fireworks definitely add to the already festive atmosphere.

Other celebrations

Fireworks are not limited to official holidays. Even weddings, birthday parties, and company events can be made livelier and more special with a few fireworks.

Fireworks are indispensable for all types of merriments. Holidays would simply not be complete without them. Lights and explosions make for stunning treats for the visual sense. With the right amount of fireworks and ample safety measures, holiday celebrations are sure to be more memorable.

Take note, however, that fireworks should be handled with utmost care so as to not turn moments of joy into emergency situations.

Tips for Marketers on Attending the San Diego Comic-Con

You see a myriad of what seems to be backpackers roaming around and taking pictures of themed stalls and ladies all dolled up. You may also get to run into George R.R. Martin and other famous faces, who are there either because they’re promoting a sci-fi film or they’re self-confessed geeks. Welcome to the San Diego Comic-Con, where superheroes appear larger than life.

in an eventWith more than hundreds of thousands of participants hailing from different parts of the globe, the San Diego Comic-Con is easily a marketer’s paradise. If you’re an independent studio or a small press comic publisher looking into appearing at this convention for the first time, you should know more than enough about the industry. But with the competition on the ground, you may also need the services of providers, such as Vonazon, or use social media platforms appropriate for the crowd, such as Twitter and Reddit.

More Customer Segments Than You Think

It’s a typical notion that Comic-Con is a big geekfest, but not everyone who attends this event love comics and action figures. Many of the attendees are people who usually get excited due to the event’s extravagance. You may be also surprised to see women and children, complete with their costumes. Realizing that attendees are diverse, you should refine the targeting capabilities of your marketing tactics.

A Bit Professional

Comic-Con doesn’t always focus on costume plays and themed booths to attract attendees; it can also be a professional occasion. Every year, the convention features panels, which involve professionals from the industries of TV, film, gaming, and publishing. They usually give talks about the trade and answer questions from the audience. As a marketer, you may want to grab this opportunity if you want to break into the industry someday.

Big Announcements Everywhere

The Comic-Con is where some of the biggest announcements in the entertainment industry are made. For one, it was disclosed at last year’s convention that Batman and Superman would be in a movie together. As you realize that the Comic-Con has the biggest announcements, you may want to get the scoop ahead of time, and base your campaign on it. Your booth will surely be a hit.

The San Diego Comic-Con is more than just a convention; it’s where the happiest things happen. As a marketer, be sure to make the most of your time there.