I Don’t Know Who My Husband is Anymore – Tips and Advice That May Help

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I recently received correspondence from a wife who was feeling increasingly distant from her husband. Over the past few years, she had noticed some changes in her husband. And, these were changes that she didn’t like all that much. She told me that her husband used to be easy going and laid back. Today, he was critical, uptight, and judgmental. But, every time she tried to bring this up with him, he became offended and pulled away from her.

The last straw was when she found out that her husband had hidden a demotion at work from her. She heard about it from the wife of a coworker. It had happened months ago and yet the husband had remained silent about the whole situation. He had lost some accounts and was apparently in a downward spiral at work, and yet he had kept this news which affected both of them to himself. This lead the wife to believe that he might be hiding other important things from her. She told me, in part: “I’m not sure if I know who this man is anymore. He is not the man I married. I don’t believe in divorce, but I’m not sure that I want to be someone who won’t even be honest with or share things with me.”

I’m asked about situations like this quite often. And, I don’t completely buy the theory that someone can change who they are overnight or even over large periods of time. Often, I find that the circumstances surrounding that person have changed. And, the person’s reactions to these changing circumstances are sometimes reactions that the other spouse can not embrace or does not approve of. This doesn’t mean, however, that the husband is a different person and that she no longer knows him. What it means is that his reactions to new and troublesome situations feel quite foreign to her.

In my opinion though, this marriage could most certainly improve and even survive. This might require some give and take on the part of both spouses. But, I didn’t buy the theory that the husband woke up one day as someone else. And, this was actually good news for the wife. I will discuss this more in the following article.

Looking At Both The Circumstances And The Person: It was very easy and tempting for the wife to focus solely on her husband’s changing personality. But, she had glossed over the very notable changes in their lives. The economy had forced them to drastically change their lifestyle and this had brought on a lot of additional worries and pressures. Within the last 18 months, they had added a child to their family and the husband’s mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Because of the economy, the husband had lost many of his sales contracts that the family had relied upon. He likely felt very helpless, frustrated, and vulnerable as the result.

The wife conceded that all of these factors weighed heavily on her husband, but she asserted that this still didn’t give him the right to act like a complete stranger. And, she certainly had a point. But, sometimes if you can look at it from your husband’s point of view, you might see the situation a bit differently. This can help your perceptions which can in turn help your situation.

Seeing Things From The Husband’s Point Of View: I will admit that I didn’t personally know either of the parties involved. But, I have heard from many husbands in this situation. And here’s what many of them tell me. They will often say that they see it differently. They will say things like: “My wife used to accept me for who I am. In fact, she used to love who am. Today, she seems to loathe the personality traits that she used to love the most. She just doesn’t see how much pressure I’m under and how much is on my shoulders. I’m doing the best that I can for our family. But, instead of seeing this, she just criticizes me and this only makes me feel worse about myself. Doesn’t she realize that the more she criticizes me, the more I am going to withdrawal and the more she is going to see the person that she doesn’t like all that much? Am I perfect? Of course not. But she would probably get a better result if she would support me and try to help me rather than to criticize me.”

Moving On From Here: Hopefully, you can see that both spouses have valid points of view. The wife had every right to be concerned about the changes in her husband. But, the husband had every right to ask for support rather than criticism. I suggested that the next time that the wife wanted to bring up this issue, she might approach him from a place of concern and support rather than from a place of criticism. Instead, she might say something like: “I’m noticing some changes in you that hurt and frustrate me and I’m pretty sure that you’re not having the best time either right now. Is there anything that I can do to help or support you right now? I want to lighten your load, but I can’t do that if you keep things secret from me, become defensive and critical, and keep me in the dark. I miss the man who used to make me laugh and I know that you miss the woman who supported you no matter what. Can we work together so that both of us get more of what we want?”

Granted, one conversation was probably not going to magically turn this situation around or solve all of the couples problems. But an attitude of cooperation will often go a long way toward making some improvements. If the husband felt more understood and supportive, he was less likely to be secretive and critical. And once the wife started to see the attributes that she loved and was very much missing, she was going to have an easier time being supportive. So, the whole cycle would start to feed on itself in a positive way rather than a negative one.

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6 Most Creative Housewarming Gift Ideas for Art and Music Lovers

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If you have a friend who sees art and hears music in everything, you would probably know what it’s like to receive a creative housewarming gift. More often than not, they are handmade, down to earth and most importantly, they are out of the ordinary. In simple words, they are simple, thoughtful and straight from the heart. So, when the time comes to return the favour, it only makes sense to do the same for the art and music lovers. So what if your mind does not bend creatively as much as theirs, shopping for gifts for art and music lovers can fun. All you need is an insight into what ‘wows’ them and the right place to look for gift ideas.

Books

Every artist and musician appreciate an elaborate book on their field of art and its old and contemporary techniques. This is why they make amazing gifts for all occasions. Since housewarming is a great opportunity to present decorative items to the recipients, coffee table books are something you can consider. Not only they add a classy touch to the coffee table, enjoying reading while sipping a hot beverage always feels nice. However, it is up to you and the budget you have decided for the gift, whether you should buy an expensive coffee table book. In case, you want to please your friend, but in a less expensive way, look for hardbound or paperback copies of books they would enjoy.

Music Collection

For a music-loving friend, there is nothing greater a gift than the gift of music itself. He or she would probably have a vast taste in music, wider than what is commonly heard. Different genres, different languages, different temperaments, your musician friend might have an inclination towards it all. You can compile his or her kind of music on an MP3 along with the songs you enjoy listening together so that he or she thinks of you while listening to it. You can even give them a music gift basket comprising of music DVDs of famous musicians from all over the world from various genres.

Wall Hanging Gifts

They make ideal housewarming gifts. Please the friend or loved one, who has recently bought or shifted to a new home, with a charming wall décor. You can spend a good amount of money on a ready made wall hanging. However, your friend would appreciate handmade décor made of jazzy embellishments and craft items. Take Do It Yourself crafts lessons online and create something wonderful depending on the theme of their interior décor.

Picture Frame

A lovely picture frame brightens up the place the moment it is displayed. These days, picture frames are available in a variety of materials. Wood and metal being the most favourite of all material, are often preferred with engravings. Make the picture frame more special as a gift by framing a painting replica of their favourite artist or someone they idolize in it. You can even frame a long forgotten picture of the two of you to bring back the memory of the good old times.

Tapestry

The best thing about giving tapestry as a gift is that, you can make one yourself and the effort that you have put in it truly shows in the intricacies. However, Do It Yourself tapestry costs more patience than it costs money. So, go ahead with it only if you think you have what it takes.

Metal Art

Metal sculptures enhance the home and garden with their elegance and rustic appearance. Wrought iron artefacts, brass figurines, copper decorative pieces look amazing in various settings and under all kinds of lightings. Besides, the more they age, the better the metal art appears that too in an effortless way. Make sure you do not pick the first thing you see in the market. Put some thought into it while making your selection.

It is wise to have a set budget in order to shop the best comfortably. However, if you have a tendency to go overboard you must buy gifts online. The best quality products are priced reasonably, asides being available in a wide variety.

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My Watercolor Palette – A Magical Palette of Hues

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Is this watercolor? I am often asked. It looks like oils it is so rich!

I am often asked what colors I use to create my luminous and transparent reality. It is not a straightforward answer. But one of the main reasons my work looks as if the subject has a presence is because I use a multi-layered technique using transparent or semi-transparent watercolor.

Why?

Because they allow our paintings to glow. Think of several fine layers of color, laid one on top of the other. Each one will be influenced by those laid beneath them. The final color glows like a jewel because the colors are unsullied by opaque pigment.

I will share my magical palette of hues below. But first – let me explain a very important factor when choosing pigments: Not all hues are equal! The same names are often used by the color houses for very different colors. They are not interchangeable. For instance Indian Yellow in one brand is very opaque – but in the brand I use – it is very transparent. Transparent colors are crucial in the success of unsullied color using my methods.

These are Schmincke colors and are available at many of the large art supply stores:

1. 208 Aureolin Modern

2. 220 Indian Yellow

3. 218 Translucent Orange

4. 363 Scarlet Red

5. 357 Alizarin Crimson

6. 351 Ruby Red

7. 367 Purple Magenta

8. 484 Phthalo blue

9. 494 Ultramarine Finest

10. 519 Phthalo Green

11. 530 Sap Green

12. 787 Paynes Grey Bluish

These can be bought individually or in a set that should be available in November 2009.

I have a few favorite mixes that I like to share on my DVDs and also with those on my workshops:

To create a gorgeous Sap Green:

Mix Sap Green with Translucent Orange = fabulous, clean, fresh and very transparent green.

To create a brilliant purple:

Thalo Green and Purple Magenta = stunning clean purple ideal for floral studies

To create a rich dark luminous transparent black:

Mix Alizarin Crimson with Thalo Green – add a touch of Thalo Blue

If your color is too strident or you simply wish to grey if off slightly – just mix a touch of the complementary color to it and voila – you have the perfect subdued color – that juxtaposed to other bright colors, will allow them to really sing.

You can dull a colour down to create beautiful grey – by simply adding more of the complementary color to a hue.

Complementary colors:

-Blue/Orange

-Orange/Blue

-Red/Green

-Green/Red

-Purple/Yellow

-Yellow/Purple

By using transparent colors you will not create mud. You can create browns and earth colors that will resemble mud in hue – but they will always glow beautifully from within.

Try my palette and you will see what I mean.

Have fun!

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6 Facts About Oil Paint

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1. The earliest known paintings that were done in oils date back to the 7th century BC. These paintings were Buddhist murals that were discovered in caves in Western Afghanistan. Oil paint didn’t become widespread for use in art works until the 15th century, when it became popular throughout Europe. Jan van Eyck, a 15th century Flemish painter, is widely believed to have invented it, though in reality he did not invent it, instead he developed it.

2. Oil paint is credited with revolutionising art. One of its key properties is that it’s very slow to dry. It gave artists a lot more time to work on their paintings and it allowed them to correct any mistakes they might have made. Oil paints allowed for artists’ creativity to flourish more because artists could devote more time to each painting. Many of the most widely praised paintings were done in oils.

3. For a few centuries artists had to store their oil paints in animal bladders. This was because the paint tube wasn’t invented until 1841. It was invented by John Goffe Rand, an American painter. Before the tube was invented, artists would have to mix their paints themselves before painting. They would have to grind the pigment up themselves, then carefully mix in the binder and thinner.

4. The most basic type of oil paint is made up of ground-up pigment, a binder and a thinner, which is usually turpentine. For the binder there are lots of different substances that can be used, including linseed oil, walnut oil and poppy seed oil; each of these gives the paint different effects and has different drying times.

5. There are modern versions of oil paint that can dry a lot more quickly than the standard version. The way that it dries is not by evaporation, but by oxidation, the process where substances gain oxygen. It is generally accepted that the typical painting done in oils will be dry to touch after about two weeks, though it can take six months to a year before the painting’s actually dry enough to be varnished.

6. Oil paint is very durable and tough, so it’s used as a finish and protector. It can be used on wood and metal and in both cases, it can be used internally as well as externally. It’s often applied to wood during building construction and can be found on metallic surfaces on things like planes, bridges and ships.

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Why Do Black Belt Martial Artists Get Beat Up By Street Fighters?

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If you want to learn to defend yourself, you join a karate school, right? After all, anyone who has a high ranking black belt and a slew of shiny trophies proudly displayed in their window should be able to teach you how to survive one of the worst situations that could ever happen to a human being… Right?

I think you and I are both old enough and experienced enough in the world right now to know that appearances are often very deceiving. What seems to be one thing is often something very different. And, learning self-defense from a karate-expert, at least a modern-day one, is no exception.

How can I say this? What do I have against karate students, teachers, and black belts?

I’ll start by saying that I have absolutely nothing against dedicated students and teachers of the martial arts – regardless of rank or style. In fact, I commend and respect them for their dedication, motivation, and discipline toward attaining both skill and rank in their chosen form.

Why do I question their ability to defend themselves, even in light of their having attained black belt or been awarded trophies in one or more tournaments or competitions? One word…

Statistics.

Crime reports and statistics are rife with accounts of people trained in the martial arts, many holding black belt rank, falling prey to the brutal attacks of common street thugs – fighters with no formal training in the martial or any other combat arts.

How can this be? After all, aren’t these people learning how to deal with a violent attacker? Isn’t that what you learn in a karate class?

To be honest with you, it’s very difficult to go into all the reasons that this logic falls through. If you want to really understand how and why this type of situation happens, and more often than you might think, you really need to read the book, “The Karate-Myth: Why Most Martial Arts and Self-Defense Programs Are Wrong.” This one powerful book, and it’s supporting materials, should be the first thing that anyone serious about learning to protect themselves reads before taking a single step towards enrolling in a class.

For now, let’s just explore the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there’s more to being able to defend yourself than merely learning a few cool moves. Maybe, just maybe, belt color or the size or number of trophies, tell us little to nothing about how someone will fair in a real world self-defense situation against an enraged or demonic attacker bent on getting more from you than a plaque or trophy. Maybe.

Let me just finish by saying that, just as there are dozens of reasons why someone may take up karate or martial arts training, there are dozens of benefits that one can derive from them as well. But, and this is a big “but,” if your goal is to learn how to effectively, efficiently, and confidently defend yourself against a real life bad guy, it will take more than a piece of cloth that represents how much time you’ve been practicing a set of punches, kicks, and blocks. It will take more than a big shiny trophy or two, unless of course you plan on using the trophies as weapons (I would…).

In fact, it will take many of the same things that the street fighter brings to the situation – things that I find to be seriously lacking in most of the conventional karate programs I’ve witnessed being taught across North America. If you’re going to win against an assailant who has nothing to lose and everything to gain, you’re going to have to make sure that you arm yourself with the same tools he’s carrying in his arsenal. And, I’m talking about guns, knives, or any other weapon of the sort. I’m talking about…

  • A commitment to winning – no matter what

  • Survival Instinct
  • Superior Attitude
  • A Complete Disregard for “doing it right,”
  • and…

  • No Delusional Belief about so-called “fair-play”

Until karate students can separate the traits developed for sportsmanship and being a positive member of society from those needed to survive in a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation, I’m afraid the outcome will always be the same. And that is…

…he that is fighting to win – to survive – will always win over those who are simply going through the motions.

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The Secrets of Scientific Street Fighting

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Scientific street fighting is all about understanding the human bodies physiological response to a fight and understanding the effectiveness of various street fighting strategies based on statistics.

Scientific street fighting may sound complicated but it’s not. It is actually quite simple. The best part is it is actually easier than learning a martial art. The key is that scientific street fighting eliminates showing difficult to do moves in favor of simple techniques that have a proven track record of success.

So here we go…

How Your Body Reacts To A Street Fight:

The first thing many people notice (and the most important things when it comes to fighting) is that your hands begin to shake. This is not a sign that you are scared; it is your body’s natural reaction to a life threatening situation.

What does this mean for scientific street fighting? It means that fine motor skills shut down, things like hand writing or complex martial arts moves (like joint locks that require several steps). This is critically important so pay attention.

Why in the world would your body shut down fine motor skills when your life is being threatened? The thing is your body sacrifices fine motor stills for increased strength and speed in gross (or large) motor skills. These are much more important things like running, jumping, punching, and kicking.

The key to scientific street fighting is understanding this reaction, and creating a fighting system that takes full advantage of your stronger and faster gross motor skills. Don’t even waste your time trying to learn complex moves your body simple won’t let you use in the heat of the moment.

The loss of fine motor skill is by far the most important part of scientific street fighting but here are a few more reaction that are pretty cool:

Your skin will go pale, because your body is restricting blood flow to the skin. This reduces blood loss from shallow cuts and scrapes you will likely receive.

To save energy you brain stops recording as many short term memories. This is why people often can’t remember exactly what happened after a disaster or fight.

There are a lot of other really cool things your body does to get you ready for a fight, but when it comes to scientific street fighting the number one thing to think about is focusing on gross motor skills.

Any move or technique that will work well in a street fight should be simple and easy to learn. In fact it should not take you more than a few hours to become proficient in any self defense technique.

I’m not saying you will master anything in a few hours, but you should be able to learn it well in this amount of time. If you can’t it’s probably based on fine motor skills that take tons of time to learn. These fancy moves are likely to get you hurt when you really need it.

Okay now for the scientific street fighting statistics…

The number one street fighting statistic you should learn and live by is that the average street fight last between 3 and 8 seconds. That’s right. No 5 minute street boxing scene from some movie, just 3 to 8 seconds of ugliness.

So if you are going to focus on scientific street fighting this means that you need to take care of business fast.

To further illustrate this point I like to use another statistic. The person who hits first is way more likely to win the street fight. If you haven’t figured it out yet hitting first means that for at least one or two of those 3 to 8 seconds you will be ‘winning.’

The last statistic is that after 12 seconds the fight will almost always go to the ground. Now most fights never get to this point. 12 seconds is a long time in a street fight, but if it does go that long it will go to the ground.

What does this mean for scientific street fighting? Well, first of all it means that you should try your best to end it in less than 12 seconds.

Going to the ground dramatically increases your chances of getting seriously hurt. I often tell people nothing good happens on the ground. You will get cuts, scrapes, lose skin on your palms, elbows, knees, and face, and don’t forget about having your head slammed into the concrete (and I didn’t even get to the part where bystanders or you attackers friends start kicking you).

Bottom line, try to end the fight in less than 12 seconds by hitting first, using gross motor skills, and dirty fight moves.

You should also realize that if the fight does go longer than 11 seconds you will need to know how to handle yourself on the ground. There are scientific street fighting skills that will dramatically improve your chances of winning on the ground but I’ll save that for another occasion.

Okay here’s a quick review of scientific street fighting:

  1. Don’t waste your time on fine motor skill moves, they won’t work in a street fight (This is not an opinion it’s a fact).
  2. Use gross motor skills like punching, eye gouging, ear slapping, head butts, kicks and only the simplest joint locks.
  3. Always hit first if you want to win a fight.
  4. Most fights end within 8 seconds so hit him with your nastiest barrage of attacks right from the start (using gross or simple motor skills of course).
  5. End a fight as fast as possible to avoid going to the ground.

For more scientific fighting tips check out my blog at Fightfast.com/blog.

Stay Smart and Stay Safe,

Bob Pierce

President, Fightfast.com

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Top 10 Aikido Techniques

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Aikido is derived from three Japanese words. Ai, to join, Ki means spirit, and Do means ways. Generally, aikido is a form of art that fuses the body, spirit and mind in order to find peaceful ways of overcoming challenges in life.

Morehei Ueshiba created the Aikido Japanese form of martial art. People in his area usually call him as O sensei, means the great teacher. Aikido techniques involve throws and joint locks. These techniques are developed from kenjutso and Jujitsu. Aikido’s way uses your opponent’s energy against themselves. Aikido’s method emphasizes the correct reaction against movements and dynamics of motion. Here are ten Aikido techniques.

Technique 1

Ikkyo. In this technique, control can be gain by gripping your opponent’s elbow with single hand and using the other hand to grip his wrist. This can result a leveraging opponent on the floor. Moreover, this grip applies pressure to the ulnar nerve.

Technique 2

Nikyo. This technique involves wrist lock that can bring the muscles together. The target may experience a painful pressure to the nerve and twisted arm.

Technique 3

Sankyo. Here, the wrist is turned, which results upward tightness. The motion advances all through the elbow, arm and shoulder.

Technique 4

Yonkyo. This is a shoulder control which is almost the same to Ikkyo. Except that, the forearm on the opposite side should be grip with both of your hands. Here, pressure is applied on the radial never of your opponent.

Technique 5

Gokyo. This is a variation of ikkyo, wherein the hand that grips your opponent’s wrist is reversed. In addition, shoulders and arm are rotated with a downward pressure which is applied to the elbow.

Technique 6

Kotogaeshi: A throwing technique which involves wrist locks and throws that stretches the extensor digitorum.

Technique 7

Iriminage. This technique is a throw that is known as the entering the body. Here you are going to move into the space occupied by your opponent. This method is a classic akin way of the clothesline technique.

Technique 8

Koshinage. A hip throw, wherein you have to position your hip slightly lower than your opponent’s hip. This can help you flip your opponent with a pivoting action.

Technique 9

Tenchinage. This is known as the heaven and earth throw. Here, you will have to move forward while sweeping one of your hands high which represent heaven. And the lower hand represents the earth. This can cause an unbalance body motion to your opponent which makes him topple over.

Technique 10

Kaitennage. This is a rotation throw, wherein you have to move your opponent’s arm backwards, until you lock his shoulder’s joints. Maintain this hold to apply more pressure.

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Why Sealing and Painting Does Not Eliminate Odors

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The property you are considering buying has the potential to make you a lot of money. Only it has one major problem, and this problem is the reason you are able to buy this property at such a bargain. The problem is odor, odor left behind by a host of pets.

Should you seal or paint the floors and walls to trap the odors? Will that solve the problem for you? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Sealers are intended to block stains on walls from bleeding through and staining new paint applied to a wall. They are not designed to seal or block gases (odors) from escaping or passing through. Some-but not most-paints do produce a continuous membrane finish that is not gas permeable. Consider, however, that only one of many sides of an object like a piece of drywall or flooring is being painted, this approach offers limited odor control and success.

Both fire and tobacco smoke are exceptions. But even long-term contamination of walls and ceilings with tobacco smoke can be sealed in only after most of the tobacco tars have been washed away with Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP). The remaining tobacco smoke odor can be eliminated with chlorine dioxide gas. It is a small packet of powders that when exposed to water vapor, produces a gas called chlorine dioxide. This gas oxidizes the smoke residue and removes the odor completely in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

Sealing urine odors into flooring can work on plywood flooring, but a careful analysis of the process reveals some serious flaws. Sealing sheet flooring actually reduces the amount of water and water vapor getting to the urea salt (produced by the urine residue) so that the salt does not produce the odor in the form of mercaptan gas.

When the floor is put back in to service, however, small movements of the surface caused by occupant traffic and furniture will cause the sealers to crack and leak water vapor in and mercaptan gas out. The cracks are large enough to allow water vapor and mercaptan gas to escape, but too small to allow this and water liquid to get in to work on the urea salt. Also, floor boards have six sides. Sealing one side is not enough to fix the problem.

Using sealers or paint to seal concrete floors is more effective, but most sealers and paint are gas permeable. Additionally, scratches and wear spots in the sealer or paint will cause mercaptan gas to leak past the seal again, creating the problem mentioned above.

Heavily contaminated wood and concrete flooring present yet another problem. When the urea salt gets wet from water drawn from the wood or concrete, it expands and will actually lift sealers and paint off the floor. When these blisters burst, the odor returns.

So if sealing and painting doesn’t work, what does?

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Galactic Archaeologists Build A Stellar Family Tree

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Traditional archaeologists deny the many mysteries of our ancient human ancestors by digging for the lingering remnants of long-lost civilizations that can be excavated and observed today. Astronomers are now borrowing the same principles applied in archaeology and biology in order to piece together the mysterious family tree of the stars that stay within our Milky Way Galaxy. Galactic archaeologists do this by carefully tracing the history and formation of our Milky Way from detailed observations of the stars, gas and other structures that can be observed from our own planet today. In February 2017, a team of astronomers announced that by studying chemical signatures found in the stars, they have pieced together stellar evolutionary family trees by observing how the stars were born and how they are all connected to each other. The stellar signatures act as a proxy for DNA sequences in genetics.

In 1859, Charles Darwin published his revolutionary theory of evolution suggesting that all life forms on Earth are descended from one common ancestor. This theory has been the basis of evolutionary biology ever since. However, Darwin's theory is now being adopted by some scientists who are in an entirely different field. One such "adoption" happened as the result of a recent chance encounter between an astronomer and a biologist over dinner at King's College in Cambridge, UK. The conversation inspired the astronomer to entertain the possibility of applying what she had learned from the biologist about biological evolution to the host of dazzling stars that dance around within our large barred-spiral Galaxy.

Writing in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in London, England, Dr. Paula Jofre, of the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy, describes how she went about creating a phylogenetic "family tree" that connotes a large number of stars that inhabit our Galaxy.

"The use of algorithms to identify families of stars is a science that is constantly under development. Phylogenetic trees add an extra dimension to our endeavors which is why this approach is so special. shared history, "Dr. Jofre noted in a February 20, 2017 University of Cambridge Press Release.

Stellar Generations

All stars are massive, roiling spheres of glaring, searing-hot mostly hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is both the lightest and most abundant atomic element in the Universe, and the stars transform their supply of hydrogen fuel into heavier atomic elements in their nuclear-fusing cores by way of a process termed stellar nucleosynthesis.

The first stars were not like the stars that we are familiar with today. The first stars were born directly from the lightest primordial gases – hydrogen and helium – which formed in the Big Bang birth of the Universe almost 14 billion years ago (Big Bang nucleosynthesis) . In fact, the only atomic elements that were manufactured in the wild, exponential inflation of the Big Bang are hydrogen, helium, and trace amounts of lithium and beryllium. All of the rest of the atomic elements, listed in the familiar Periodic Table , were created deep within the secretive, nuclear-fusing hot hearts of the stars, their stellar furnaces progressively fusing the nuclei of atoms into heavier and heavier elements – or, in the case of the heaviest atomic elements of all (such as gold and uranium), in supernovae blasts that mark the violent demise of massive stars.

Without these heavy atomic elements, created within our Universe's vast multitude of stars, there would be no life. The oxygen we breathe, the carbon that is the basis for life on Earth, the elements that compose the stones and sand that we walk upon, were all manufactured in the hidden hearts of hot ancient stars – billions and billions of years ago. We are the dust of stars. When massive stars perish, they meet their inevitable doom brilliantly and explosively. It is thought that the first stars to dance around in our Cosmos were huge, possibly weighing-in at hundreds of times solar-mass. When massive stars go supernova they violently hurl their batch of newly formed heavy elements out into interstellar space. Because the first stars were so huge, they lived fast and paid for it by dying young. The more massive the star, the shorter its "life". When the first generation of stars died in horrific supernova blasts, they tossed out into the space between stars the very first batch of heavy elements – so necessary for the emergence and evolution of life in the Universe.

Pristine primordial hydrogen and helium were coupled together to form knots of gas that were bound by gravity. The cores of the first generation of newborn baby stars (protostars) made fabulous fire within the frigid dark hearts of these very ancient knots of pristine gas. The dark tightly bound knots collapsed under the relentless pull of their own gravity, until their raging nuclear-fusing stellar fires at last ignited.

The sparkling members of the first generation of stars are termed Population III stars. Our own Sun is a member of the youngest generation of stars, and is a Population I star. Sandwiched between the oldest generation of stars (Population III) and the youngest (Population I) stars, are the Population II stars.

Population III stars did not ignite until approximately 100 million years after the Big Bang, and their ancient birth is one of the greatest mysteries in scientific cosmology. It is currently thought that the Population III stars were not only very massive, but also brilliantly bright, and their birth is primarily responsible for causing a sea-change in our Cosmos – changing it from what it was into what it is . The so-called "ordinary" atomic matter that formed first in the Big Bang fireball, and was later manufactured in the hot hearts of stars, is made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons are glued together into atomic nuclei encircled by a cloud of electrons. Hydrogen is composed of only one lone proton and one electron. Helium is composed of two protons, two neutrons, and a surrounding cloud of electrons. The nucleus of a carbon atom is made up of six protons and six neutrons. The nuclei of heavier atomic elements, such as iron, lead, gold, and uranium, contain larger numbers of protons and neutrons.

The metallicity of a star describes the percentage of its matter that is made up of chemical elements heavier than helium. Because stars account for most of the visible matter in the Cosmos, and are mostly composed of hydrogen with smaller amounts of helium, scientific cosmologists (for convenience) use the general term metal when they are referring to all of the atomic elements listed in the Periodic Table that are heavier than helium. Therefore, the term metal in astronomical jargon is not defined the same way that it is in chemistry. A nebula (cloud) that has been abundantly gifted with nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and neon would be termed metal-rich by an astronomer, even though those elements are not defined as metals by a chemist.

Stellar metallicity can reveal the well-kept secret of a star's true age to the prying eyes of curious astronomers. When the Universe first came into existence, its supply of atomic matter was almost entirely hydrogen. However, through the process of primordial nucleosynthesis , an abundant amount of helium formed, as well as very small quantities of lithium and beryllium– but nothing heavier . Therefore, the older generations of stars– Populations II and III – have fewer metallicities than bouncing stellar babies, like our Sun, that are designated Population I.

The stellar generations I, II, and III , exhibit decreasing metal content with increasing age. Therefore, relatively young stars, like our Sun, show the highest metal content when compared to their ancient forebears. The first generation of stars (Population III) were born completely barren of metals. Population II stars are very ancient, but they came after the first generation of stars (Population III) , and before reliably youthful Population I stars. Population II stars are not barren of metals because they inherited the freshly forged metals manufactured by the primeval Population III stars.

Even though the most ancient stars contain lower metal contents than their stellar descendants, the fact that literally all of the stars so far observed by astronomers contain at least some small quantity of metals is a perplexing puzzle. The current favored theory proposals that Population III stars must have owned the baby Cosmos in order for these heavier atomic elements to have been manufactured – even though not one Population III star has ever been observed. According to this explanation, in order for the ancient Population II stars – which have been detected – to contain their reliably puny quantities of metals , their metals must have manufactured in the nuclear-fusing hot hearts of an earlier generation of stars- -the Population III stars. Soon after the Big Bang, the Universe had no metal content. For this reason, theory suggests that only stars with masses hundreds of times that of our own Sun could have been born in the primeval Cosmos. As they approached the grand finale of their hydrogen-burning (main-sequence) "lives", the Population III stars fused the first 26 atomic elements listed in the Periodic Table by way of the process of stellar nucleosynthesis.

As later generations of stars were born in the Cosmos, they became increasingly more and more metal enriched. This is due to the gas-laden natal clouds – from which the later generations of stars emerged – contained metals cooked up in the stellar cauldrons of earlier generations of stars. The youngest generation of stars – like our Sun – have the largest metal content. However, all stars – of any stellar generation – are mostly composed of hydrogen. Even metal -rich stars contain only small amounts of any element heavier than helium. In fact, metals (according to the definition used by astronomers) make up only a small fraction of the total chemical composition of the Cosmos.

Going On A Stellar "Dig"

Galactic archaeologists work on a wide range of areas and problems within the general theme. These include:

-understanding the dynamic and chemical properties of various stellar populations lying within our Milky Way Galaxy.

-hunting for very metal -poor stars. Stars with low metallicity include the most ancient stars– Population III –that were born early in the history of our very ancient Galaxy.

-discovering the mysterious origins and characteristics of globular clusters , which are very common spherical stellar clusters.

-Hunting for our Milky Way's retinue of satellite galaxies.

-apping our Milky Way's structure. This would include the stellar streams and substructure that developed during the accretion of neighboring galaxies.

-investigating the properties of the Large and small Magellanic Clouds. This nearby duo of dwarf galaxies are reliably close neighbors of our Milky Way.

Galactic Archaeologists Build A Stellar Family Tree

Dr. Jofre's team chose twenty-two stars, including our Own Sun, to study. The astronomers carefully measured the stars' chemical elements, based on information derived from ground-based high-resolution spectra, grouped by large telescopes located in the north of Chile. Once the stellar families were identified, using the chemical DNA, their mysterious evolution was investigated – using what was known of their true ages and kinematical properties that had been obtained from the space mission Hipparcos.

A space observatory of the European Space Agency (ESA), Gaia is the successor to the Hipparcos mission. Designed for astrometry, Gaia's goal is to create the most precise, as well as the largest, 3D space catalog ever constructed – totalling approximately 1 billion astronomical objects including stars, planets, asteroids, comets, and quasars among others. The spacecraft will monitor each of its target stars approximately 70 times over a five year span to study the exact motion of each star relative to our Galaxy. This will include about 1% of the Milky Way's population with all stars brighter than magnitude 20 in a broad photometric band that spans most of the visible range. Part of ESA's Horizon 2000+ long-term scientific program, Gaia was launched on December 19, 2013 by Arianespace using a Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-MT rocket soaring from Kourou in French Guiana. In addition, Gaia is expected to spot thousands to tens of thousands of Jupiter-sized exoplanets in orbit around stars beyond our own Sun, 500,000 quasars, and tens of thousands of new comets and asteroids within our own Solar System.

Stars are born when specifically dense blobs, embedded within their natal giant, cold molecular clouds collapse under the merciless and powerful tug of their own gravity. A duo of sister stars with the same chemical compositions were probably born within the same natal molecular cloud. Some lucky stars "live" longer than the age of the Universe, and because of their longevity, they can serve the important role of fossil records revealing the composition of the gas at the time they were born. The oldest star in the sample analyzed by Dr. Jofre's team is estimated to be almost ten billion years old, which is more than twice the age of our 4.56 billion year old Sun. The youngest star studied by the team is a "mere" bouncing baby at 700 million years old.

According to Darwin's theory of evolution, all organizations on Earth are linked together by a pattern of descent with modification as they evolve. Because stars are not living, they are very different from living organizations on our planet. However, stars do have a history of shared descent as they are born from their natal giant, cold molecular clouds of gas and dust. The stars, in a way that evokes a comparison to living things on Earth, carry their history in their chemical structure. By applying the same phylogenetic methods that biologists use to trace descent in plants and animals on Earth it is possible to investigate the mysterious "evolution" of stars dwelling within our Galaxy.

"The differences between stars and animals is immense, but they share the property of changing over time, and so both can be analyzed by building trees of their history," explained Dr. Robert Foley in the February 20, 2017 University of Cambridge Press Release. Dr. Foley is of the Leverhulme Center for Human Evolutionary Studies at Cambridge.

With more and more datasets being made available from both Gaia and more advanced telescopes on Earth, as well as on-going and future large spectroscopic surveys, astronomers are progressing ever closer to being able to assemble one stellar family tree connecting all the stars in our Milky Way.

The new research is published by Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, DOI 10.1093 / minras / stx075 , under the title Cosmic phylogeny: reconstructing the chemical history of the solar environment with an evolutionary tree (Paula Jofre et al .).

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Source by Judith E Braffman-Miller

The Pros and Cons of Using Oil Pastels

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When it comes to painting with pastels, you have a choice of different types that you can use. If you are used to or have been using soft pastels, using oil pastels will open a whole new world for your creative energy. Below I’ve listed some of the pros and cons of how to paint using oil pastels:

The Cons

Because of their oily texture, oil pastels are not as easy to remove from the surface of your paper. Fine detail and extreme precision is something that you will find difficult to accomplish with these pastels. Oil pastels are more difficult to blend because their oil causes them to quickly adhere to the paper, which additionally leave less room for error. They take a longer time and require more pastels to fill in large areas of your scene, portrait, or whatever the artwork is that you’re creating. Their oily texture makes the darker colors prone to smearing, which makes it difficult to add the lighter colors.

Simple Remedies to the Cons

Choose the area that you want to color first and then outline sketch it. It will leave less room for error when it comes time to add your oil pastel colors. Choose a painting style, object, and scenic choice that doesn’t need fine or intricate details or use another instrument (such as an eraser’s edge or blending tool) to scrape in the fine details.

For the areas that need lighter color, outline them with a white pastel to ensure that no smearing occurs. If smearing does occur when adding the darker colors, simply scrape back to the white area for an easy fix. Choose smaller painting sizes to eliminate the need for filling in large areas of space, or choose colored paper to begin with instead of white paper, which creates the illusion of fuller color.

The Pros

Because of their soft texture, oil pastels make bold, vibrantly color works of art. They don’t have a dry, dusty texture, so the vibrant color won’t diminish if bumped. Unlike the flaking that occurs with soft pastels, fixative sprays will create a glossy sheen on oil pastel paintings and keep them safe from smearing. There is a wide variety of surfaces (such as cardboard, wood, or canvas) on which they can be used. Oil pastels don’t require the use of lots of supplies, such as brushes, palettes, easels, and turpentine (or other cleanup supplies), and so on that other mediums have the need for.

Coming out of your soft pastels comfort zone may not be what you wanted to try right now, but this type of pastel may just what you need to help with artist’s block and free up your creative imagination. The pros and cons speak for themselves. After reading this article, you may still not be convinced that using oil pastels is right for you. Don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself. A picture is worth a thousand words!

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Source by Emma Ralph