A Look at the Electric Violin

An electric violin is an amplified violin that sends out a signal through an electrical pickup device. There are several different models of electric violins. Some are standard acoustic violins with an electric pickup added to the bridge. Other types of electric violins are designed differently and only work properly when plugged in. Electric violins are often used to play different types of music than standard acoustic violins.

The pickups of electric violins are important. Since electric violin strings are usually made of metal, either magnetic or piezoelectric pickups are used to transmit the sound to the amplifier. This system is similar to the way electric guitars work.

Some people add an electric pickup to a standard acoustic violin so that it’s signal can be transmitted to an amplifier. The problem with putting a pickup on an acoustic violin is that acoustic violins have a hollow wooden body that can create feedback when it is played electrically. The resonance of the sound vibrating in the violin’s body interferes with the sound made by the strings and can cause annoying, high-pitched squealing noises to come out of the amplifier.

Most electric violins have a solid body design. The solid body keeps the instrument from feeding back. Also, any necessary electrical equipment, such as any wiring or batteries, is housed in the body. Since the electric violin is a relatively new invention, it has no standard body shape or design, and makers are free to experiment and invent new ways of designing the instrument.

Electric violins are usually used in different situations than acoustic violins. An electric violin is viewed as an experimental instrument and is not found in classical or traditional music, but is often used in avant-garde music. Guitar effects like reverb, chorus, and distortion can be used to give the electric violin a unique, otherworldly sound.

Electric violins are unique instruments with a sound all their own. Electric violins are perfect for musicians and composers who want to have their own individual sound.

A Look at Solid Hardwood Floors

Solid hardwood floors should neither be installed over a concrete slab nor below ground level because of high moisture sensitivity. Unsightly gaps appear when moisture dries and the floors contract in the winter heating months. The floors expand and gaps disappear during summers. The wood planks may buckle or cup because of excessive moisture. In view of these facts, enough space should be left for expansion and wood should be acclimated. Nail-down installations are most appropriate for these floors. The possibility of re-coating and refinishing increases the life and appearance of solid hardwood floors. Generally solid hardwood floors are made up of ash, maple, red oak and white oak.

Solid wood floorings are divided into three sub categories: strip flooring, plank flooring and parquet flooring. Thickness of strip flooring varies between 5/16 inch and ¾ inch. Available widths are 1 ½ inch, 2 inch and 2 ¼ inch. Though plank flooring is sold in two thicknesses, width can range between 3 inches and 8 inches. Parquet flooring has geometrical patterns that are created with wood slats.

Hand-scraped hardwood floors are hand crafted. Character markings on handscraped hardwood floors (hand sculptured floors) are a unique feature. These floors offer the best finishes for either the modern world look or the old reclaimed wood floor look. Both engineered and solid hand sculpted floors are sold. Beautiful handscraped hardwood floors are very expensive. Engineered handscraped hardwood floors are best suited for a structure erected on a concrete slab and in high humidity conditions. A few companies also market distressed hardwood flooring that has machine made markings unlike hand made markings in handscraped hardwood floor. Handscraped floor is costlier than distressed version, but both floorings offer a rich look.

Hardwood floors should be cleaned with products recommended by the manufacturer. Regular use of a vacuum cleaner will clean dirt, mud, grit and small stones that may spoil the finish. Welcome mats at the entrance for wiping feet before walking on the floor are of great help in protecting the finish. When choosing furniture for you home, do not buy products with sharp metal or wooden legs to prevent denting and scratching. Use of furniture coasters or felt protectors for all legs will prevent scratching. Non-staining and wide rubber cups are a must for heavy items like piano. The use of a paste wax on the hardwood floor with a polyurethane finish damages the finish. Spills on hardwood floors need immediate attention. Clean them with a paper towel or damp white cloth and dry the area.

A Look at Snoring Treatments

If your own efforts to stop snoring do not help, consult your physician or an otolaryngologist — or a doctor for the ear, nose, and throat. If you choose to try a dental appliance as a snoring treatment, you will need to see a dentist specializing in these devices. Some medical snoring treatments are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), oral devices (including dental appliances and lower jaw positioners), and surgery.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure consists of sleeping with an air mask to maintain continuous air pressure in the throat. CPAP is a treatment for sleep apnea, as well as for snoring.

A wide range of dental appliances, oral devices, and lower jaw adjusters are available to alleviate snoring. Some people experience significant improvement with these oral appliances, which bring the lower jaw forward during sleep. Most of the products fit inside the mouth, but some products on the market are worn around the head and chin to adjust the position of the lower jaw.

As far as surgery goes, Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP) treats snoring and various types of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The types of TAP include: laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP) and radiofrequency ablation (or “somnoplasty”). Laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP) vaporizes the uvula and a portion of the palate with a laser in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia. LAUP effectively removes obstructions to the airway, which may be causing snoring or sleep apnea.

Laser-Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty has a higher success rate than Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty for sleep apnea (UPPP), but it requires a surgeon with expertise in laser procedures. Radiofrequency ablation, or somnoplasty, shrinks excess tissue in the upper airway with a needle electrode. For snoring, the soft palate and uvula are reduced. For Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the base of the tongue is reduced. For chronic nasal obstruction, nasal turbinates are reduced. Somnoplasty does not require general anesthesia.

According to many experts, while other snoring treatments may help in cases of milder snoring problems, for heavy snoring, surgically correcting obstructive conditions in the nose, pharynx, or uvula may be the only solution.

A Look at Shiatsu Massage Chairs

The term “shiatsu” refers to a form of Asian massage. This traditional massage uses techniques of digging deep into the muscle tissue to ease out knots and relieve tension. The shiatsu technique can involve patting, rotating, sweeping and vibrating the affected areas. Another popular technique is the “barefoot shiatsu” in which the therapist walks on the back of the patient to remove tension.

Many of today’s shiatsu massage chairs are designed to imitate human touch. These chairs are often useful in the treatment of headaches, digestive problems, back pain and more. The benefits of shiatsu massage chairs can be likened to an actual massage. The difference is that with a massage chair, you can reap the benefits of this popular massage from your home at any time you wish.

New shiatsu massage chairs have buttons the consumer can choose from for different options. These options include kneading, pulsing and tapping. The key to getting the most from your massage session is to relax. If you are more tense than usual, you may be uncomfortable, and in some cases bruising may occur. To get a relaxing massage, relax and start out slow; limit your session to no more than fifteen minutes.

Shiatsu massage chairs are certainly at the head-of-the-class when it comes to massage chair therapy. These are probably among the most popular designs and those who have purchased them often say that they would never give it up.

If you are reluctant to the idea that a chair can provide a soothing deep massage, you should go try one out. Chances are that a store near you carries several lines of massage chairs and the salesperson will be happy to let you take a test massage. Although many people comment that the chairs are far from attractive, the massaging benefits are well worth lack of stylish appearance.

A Look at Scuba Wet Suits

Scuba wet suits were not taken seriously until World War II and the advent of Navy Frogmen (SEALs) who became one of America’s most effective weapons of the war. On any kind of measurable basis, costs of operations versus costs of effectiveness, man-to-man, or overall kill ratios, the SEALs exceeded expectations on any level. Once recognized, the military put a much time and money into improving the effectiveness of its frogmen. That meant improving the design, effectiveness and durability of wet suits.

There is a controversy that developed at the time over whether or not wet suits had to remain dry. Sounds like a set up for a joke but it’s not. All underwater, rubberized protective outfits are called wetsuits. The controversy was over whether heat loss from the diver’s body could be controlled better if the wetsuit kept his skin dry or not. It was Hugh Bradner who is credited with the first wet suit in 1952. Mr. Bradner was actually working as a physicist at UC Berkeley’s radiation laboratory where he was testing the reflections of shock waves on unicellular material and was invited to attend a Swimmer’s Symposium. His concept was that the diver’s skin does not have to stay dry to prevent heat loss if the thermal insulation used in the wet suit was obtained by air entrapped in the material of the suit.

With the French invention of the Aqua-Lung, Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) was used in the war and afterwards spawned investigative teams exploring the ocean’s many mysteries. As soon as this began, the pressing need for wetsuits was made painfully obvious by the divers suffering from hypothermia after only a few dives. The divers tried everything from greased long johns to leftover Air Force survival suits, and the Bradner wet suit. Bradner was the first to use a unicellular material similar to the type he was working with in the radiation laboratory in his wet suit. The material came from a company called Rubatex and was called Neoprene and the original model for today’s high-tech, three-level wet suit was born.

A Look at Portable Dishwashers

Portable dishwashers are just the ticket for those with less than enough space for a more permanent and heavier dishwasher. They range in widths from a slim 18 inches to a maximum of about 24 inches for the “larger” portables. In general, they are also less expensive. They usually run anywhere from $200 to $500, rather than to $600 or more as with permanent units.

Portable dishwashers have wheels on them. You can roll your portable dishwasher to the storeroom if you don’t plan on using it for a while (and would rather opt for hand-washing). It’s also much easier to maneuver, for those who plan on moving to a new home in the near future.

They usually contain two rolling baskets for placing dishes into. They don’t usually boast the usual whistles and bells of large units, but they do have enough settings to choose from. For example, many units have a super-powerful cycle for pots and pans. Some also offer an option for boosting the water temperature when the house’s hot water supply is low.

To operate a portable dishwasher, you must roll it over to the sink and connect it to a hose. That part is easy. Just screw the hose to the sink’s plumbing. Make sure you won’t be using the sink during the machine’s cycles, and also be sure to unclog the sink first, if necessary. Drano or Liquid Plumr should do the trick. Also, be sure to rinse dishes before putting them in the machine. This will prevent the number of cases of clogging and grime buildup. If it ever does get plugged up, emitting a black gunk that ends up on your dishes, try scrubbing the walls down with vinegar and running the machine with a cup of vinegar.

Almost all manufacturers of standard, full-size dishwashers also offer a portable model. This includes Bosch, KitchenAid, Maytag, Whirlpool, GE, and Kenmore.

A portable dishwasher’s top acts as a countertop in many households, a godsend when space is at a premium. Alternatively, some portable dishwashers are made to sit atop an existing countertop in your kitchen. These have smaller capacities, as one might guess. But their performance is every bit as good as a floor-bound unit.

Perhaps the best part about portable dishwashers is that they are simpler machines than standard dishwashers. This means less repair work is needed, and less often.

You can purchase your new portable dishwasher at Sears, Menards, Target, ABC Warehouse, or any other large appliance retailer. They usually offer 1-year parts and labor warranties. But with care and attention, your new dishwasher can last for years.

A Look at Picnic Gift Baskets

Picnic gift baskets are a great gift for just about anybody who likes the outdoors and who likes to eat. Most people enjoy the idea of picnicking, but haven’t invested in the supplies to be able to do so. You can personally add some extra enjoyment to their spring, summer, or fall by giving them the necessary supplies to enjoy a picnic outdoors.

Virtually all picnic baskets are picnic gift baskets. The style that comes to mind when people think of picnic baskets is either wicker or rattan. These classic weave-type baskets are egg-shaped, bowl-shaped, or bundle-shaped. You can buy them built for two, four, six, eight or more people, depending on how many you are looking to impress.

If you want to buy a picnic gift basket for the new neighbors in town, try giving them a non-traditional basket. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness and your hipness for choosing something so different. Some picnic baskets come with a backpack full of supplies, allowing you to hike and then picnic with ease.

These non-traditional picnic basket backpacks often come with quality, solid, nylon shoulder straps, and contain everything required for a fine picnic for two, including plates, salt and pepper shakers, a bottle stopper for wine bottles, silverware, napkins, a corkscrew, picnic blanket, and a cutting board.

A Look at Marble Chess Sets

Marble is considered to be one of the great building materials in existence. For many centuries it has been used in the construction of buildings ranging from monuments, to temples, to palaces. Marble is sturdy as well as beautiful and can be carved into nearly any shape. The artist’s imagination provides the only limitation when using marble as a medium for a chess set.

Marble chess sets are also among the most beautiful. They are expertly crafted because the pieces are carved individually and often with extremely fine detail. Marble chess sets can come in a variety of colors but the most common combination is black and white. Black and tan, green and white, and red and white are just three of the unique color combinations also available. The marble itself looks stunning with its rich color, fine grain, and beautiful natural swirls. Marble chess sets often look like miniature monuments.

Many people purchase marble chess sets as decoration. They buy the set in colors that compliment the rest of the room and leave the set displayed on a table or pedestal. This is a good option for people looking for a unique way to show their appreciation for chess while adding character and class to a room.

However, marble chess sets are not just for decoration. The pieces are sturdy and heavy enough that they will not break except under extreme conditions. Marble chess sets are weighted to insure that the pieces are well balanced and will not fall over. The marble chessboards are also heavy enough so they can be used outside.

Marble chess sets are beautiful as well as functional. They look like miniature sculptures and are designed for play as well as for their appearance. A fine marble chess set is perfect for both decoration and regular use.

A Look at Luxury Down Comforters

For those striving to create a bedroom retreat, a haven from the rest of the world, luxury is a necessity. Along with good color choices and fine furniture, a lavishly dressed bed is top priority. One of the most important ingredients for an extravagant bed is a luxury down comforter, and price is no object.

Down comforters are made from a variety of materials. They can be made from the down of ducks or geese. The most luxurious, though, are those made from goose down. Goose down is heavier and produces warmer, fluffier, and more luxurious down comforters.

Different geese produce different qualities of down. Eiderdown comes from the Eider duck of Iceland. As you can imagine in such a cold climate, the Eider duck has a very full and luxurious down, resulting in a warm and fine comforter. Eiderdown has to be hand harvested from Eider duck nests, making it difficult to acquire. At around $7000, its price reflects that quality and rarity.

Siberian goose down is considered the best, and is available for around $1000. Siberian goose down is known to have superior warming power, and is fluffier than all other varieties.

In shopping for luxury down comforters, one of the most important things to consider is the fill power rating. Fill power refers to the comforter’s fluffiness, the higher the rating, the better. While any fill rating over 550 is considered good, the more luxurious down comforters often have ratings of over 800.

Thread count is another important consideration. The thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch. Again, the higher the number, the better the quality of the comforter. A high thread count means the comforter will be softer, lighter, and less likely to leak filling.

The comforter cover material is less important because the comforter itself should be covered with a duvet. However, some truly luxurious cover materials exist. Some comforters are covered in silk or Egyptian cotton for optimum softness.

A Look at Laser Toners

Laser toner is the ink for laser printers. It is an extremely fine synthetic powder (usually plastic) packed into a cartridge. You insert the cartridge into your laser printer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the printer goes to print a page, there are several steps to the process:

1. The printer receives an image from your computer.

2. Lasers project the image onto an electromagnetic drum.

3. The drum is charged positively and negatively, and at varying levels of charge, according to the image.

4. The drum attracts the four colors of toner in the cartridge according to the charges the colors are attracted to. The four colors mix to create any of millions of colors.

5. The drum rolls the image onto a page of paper, the page goes through a heating device to melt or burn the color onto the page, and the page is ejected.

This process uses up a lot of laser toner. Typically, a laser toner cartridge will yield a few thousand pages before needing to be replaced. The drum, too, eventually wears out from all the positive and negative charges it gives off, and needs to be replaced every 10,000 – 30,000 pages. Some printers are made with cartridge-and-drum replacement units in mind, while other printers are designed to separate the cartridge and drum. This way, when the cartridge runs out of toner, you don’t have to replace the longer lasting drum with it. This saves you money.

You can buy laser toner from your printer’s manufacturer, a computer supply store, online, or at any of a number of other types of retailers. To save money, you might want to consider buying in bulk.

Three of the most popular brands of laser toner are HP, Brother, and Samsung.