Why Quilting is the New At Home Hobby That Americans Love

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quilting

The Japanese people say that whenever you touch something with your hands, you transfer to that object part of your energy, you give it a little bit of you. People who enjoy craftwork know this all too well, as they pour all they heart and energy into the pieces they create. Quilting is a type of craft that requires you to bind together, usually by sewing, pieces of material to make a home use or décor item, such as a blanket, a pillow case or a table apron. Some people frame their quilting and turn them into a sort of painting.

Tools of the trade

If you decide to start quilting, you could benefit from a few tools and tips to make your life easier, at least until you get some experience. Although you could use plain scissors to cut fabric, it is advisable to get a rotary cutter (much like a pizza cutter, for fabric). Another good item if you are serious about this hobby, is a long arm quilting machine, which replaces a traditional sewing machine. An expert explains that this is a good investment but it takes time to get used to it:

“For people who want to start a quilt finishing business, I would advise them to start out slowly. It will take you awhile to get to know the machine and it will take some time for your body to build up the stamina it takes to quilt on a long-arm all day long. Don’t plan to go from never having spent a whole day quilting on a long-arm to using it eight hours a day.

Lastly, I’d advise you to ask for references from the dealer and talk to others who have bought long-arms from that dealer.”

Other tools include a pressing station or at least a good heavy iron and a long table. You can also press your finished product on the floor, as long as you are careful not to damage it.

Fabrics and threads

Beginner quilters are advised to go 100% cotton, both regarding fabrics and the threads, since cotton tends to be easier to maneuver. As you get better you can use a blend of cotton and polyester, or go full synthetic, but only after you have a good grasp of what you can do with the sewing machine.

Some good advice related to the types of threads you will need:

“[…] always use 100% cotton thread.  You will find that polyester or mixed threads that work beautifully when sewing other projects, can damage the cottons you use for your quilts. 

Also, do not try to collect every color of thread in the rainbow, just because you are making multicolored quilts.  White, gray and beige, with an occasional dark color if you use dark fabrics should be all you need.

You may have come across quilting thread, which works well for hand quilting.  Do NOT use it in your sewing machine, however, where plain cotton thread is best.”

Patterns

If you are just starting this hobby, think geometrically and use squares, rectangles and triangles in the beginning. Lay out your own design on a big table or on the floor to get a feeling of the finished product. You can download patterns from the Internet, get inspired by Pinterest or some item you want to re-create.

How to Find the Best Quilting Reviews and Info

The easiest quilts are the Amish inspired quilts. Quilter’s Review, an authority site explains:

Amish quilts were originally created as a frugal way to use up fabric scraps, Amish quilting has transformed into an art form. This style of quilting uses simple but striking designs with solid colors, like blue, black, purple and red.”

The same source suggests that you could do patchwork quilts, appliqué quilts or even cathedral window quilts.

Whatever type of quilting appeals to you, remember to start small and grow with your craft. Don’t invest a lot before you master the techniques.

Technology Making Dentistry Easier in 2017

Posted on Posted in Tech news

 

dentaltech

Technology worked its way into everyday life in a way that makes us wonder if in some decades we will have spare parts for medical purposes much like in the same way we have for cars or appliances. Health professionals from various domains are taking advantage of the new available techniques in their endeavor to make treatments easier, shorten the recovery period and perform the medical act with as little pain as possible.

Dentistry is one of the most frightening parts of medical care for both adults and children, therefore any type of treatment that promises fewer injections and less drill work sounds extremely promising and worth trying, putting costs aside.

The most important aspects of dental work are customization and time as a recent article explains about a dentist’s choice to use 3D scanning and printing:

“Christchurch dentist and early adopter George Glausiuss bought his 3D camera, CAD design software, 3D milling machine and oven in 2011 for […] $250,000. For the patient, Glausiuss’ ability to complete two crowns in one appointment meant he saved an extra two hour return trip to Christchurch from his home in Banks Peninsula. In the past, Glausiuss would have taken a mould and given him temporary crowns – requiring a return appointment in two weeks time.”

This new technique in not embraced by all dentists, as most are not ready to make a quarter million dollar investment in technology, neither are emotionally prepared to let go of the small drill and the years of hard work practicing to perfection and just hand over the credit to a computer.

Yet, the ability to use just a tooth-brush type of instrument which is painless, a printer and some simple dental work to give the patient a fully customized solution in a matter of hours means a whole new era.

Another milestone is represented by the pioneering technique which promises pain free cavity elimination and self-healing of teeth in a natural way, which, applied early enough to a cavity could eliminate completely the need of mending it through classical procedures including anesthesia, drilling and filling.   

Named EAER which is short for Electrically Assisted Enhanced Remineralisation this revolutionary procedure means a deep cleaning of the affected tooth and spraying on minerals under electrical pulse to ensure assimilation.

Dr Rebecca Moazzez explains the reasoning behind the superiority of this technique:

getting a cavity and having it filled is a vicious cycle, because they’re not made to last forever so it means a patient will always have to get it touched up and refilled, forever. The new procedure won’t replace the effects of regular tooth brushing and cavity fillings, but by repairing slightly damaged teeth, this team of scientists may have found a painless way to stop cavities from maturing.

If these practices seem taken out a science fiction movie and you can’t expect to find them at your local dentist in the next few years, there are still some improvements of which you can take advantage even in small family practices.

We have spoken with Dr. Behmanesh, a Family Dentist in the Bee Cave Texas Area and an expert in digital radiography about the other benefits of this technique, apart from being just more ecological, since the pictures are sent to a computer and stored online. The patient has to undergo less exposure, making this the best way to treat children who can withstand less X-rays.

However, the most important benefit of going digital resides in the fact that the patient becomes involved in the medical act as they can understand exactly what is going on by comparing before/after radiographs in a way similar to weight loss pictures, getting more confidence in their dentists and hopefully becoming more relaxed about the procedures.

New Technology to Help Test for Weed Use Now in Testing Phase

Posted on Posted in world news

duilaws

Photo via HuffPost Article.

Of concern to proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana use is that there is currently no test for being stoned while driving. This makes for a DUI citation impossible to carry out. Using current breathalyzer tests does not prove the level of how high, usage, or canabinoids in the bloodstream. In light of this, Hound Labs, an Oakland company announced that they have developed a test to determine cannabis levels.

We spoke with Mike Lynn, Lynn a Knoxville DUI Lawyer suggested, 

“The concept is based on the amount of time since the driver smoked or ate marijuana. Since marijuana has residual levels in the bloodstream long after smoking a joint, it is possible to determine if he is stoned, with a test akin to an alcohol breathalyzer test. The company has joined with the University of California, San Francisco in testing the concept as well as the device.”

It is also being tested by law enforcement authorities and it should be available for use as early as late 2017.

The problem of driving under the influence of marijuana was not determined until after its recreational use has been legalized. Data from traffic incidents in Washington State and Colorado shows that marijuana-related traffic accidents and deaths have doubled since recreational use was legalized.

Proposition 64, which proposes the legalization of marijuana for both medical and legal use in California does not have any articles regarding the use of marijuana while driving a car, operating a vehicle or heavy equipment. Many in the law enforcement community deem this as a concern and a problem for the implementation of the law. It is possible that a driver might be asked to pull aside, and the officer determines that the driver is high on marijuana. However, since there is no breathalyzer test for marijuana, the driver would have to be let go, even if there was a stash of weed lying on the front passenger seat.

Advocates of Proposition 64 have been adamant in their position that there has not been any scientific study linking the THC levels in the blood stream and the capacity to drive. Without any baseline to say that there is a person is too high to drive, then necessarily, there can be no arrests for driving while stoned.

The medical and recreational benefits of marijuana has been thoroughly studied. It has also been studied in comparison to the toxic and addictive substances in cigarettes. However, there has not been any studies linking the use to risks while driving. In the same manner, there has not been any study to develop a device to determine how stoned a person is.

This is going to be a growing concern, even as other states are legalizing the use of marijuana, medical or otherwise. With an increase in marijuana related driving incidents, the concern is that the public has not been properly educated about the dangers of driving while high.

There are now twenty-five states plus the District of Columbia which have legalized marijuana either for medicinal, recreational reasons, or both. It is expected to be only a matter of time before the rest of the country follows suit. Each state has their own laws regarding the use and ownership of cannabis, as well as planting, and sales of marijuana leaves and its derivative products. There are also considerations about doctors prescribing or giving out subscriptions for medical use of cannabis.

The Future of VR – What You Need to Know

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In the present day, you can strap on a rectangular black headset and climb to the top of a snow capped mountain or traverse a sunken ship at the bottom of the ocean. This is the promise of virtual reality (VR) headsets such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

As impressive as virtual reality already is, many pundits still believe that the technology is still in its infancy. This may be due to the fact that previous VR-style efforts have flopped in the past e.g. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy.

In a recent time interview we see

However, the latest crop of gadgets in this field are deemed more promising, thanks to their vastly improved head-tracking abilities, much improved graphics and more. Below, therefore, we take a look at 3 important things that you need to know about the future of VR as follows:

 

VR is likely to get more physical

As a recent times article summed up,

“Anyone who has tried or seen the HTC Vive will know that some physical activity is involved. The Vive, together with its two controllers come equipped with sensors that allow players to wield an imaginary paintbrush or swing a virtual golf club. But what systems like the PlayStation VR or Hive currently lack is a sense of touch i.e. you may look like you are wielding a paintbrush but the device in your hand essentially feels like a video game controller. This will be one of the first areas where virtual reality will improve. (The Oculus Rift still does not support motion controllers, although the company plans to launch such devices later this year).

 

The next evolutionary phase of VR will be where people get to participate physically in the VR world and not just sitting back. For instance, if you are playing quarterback, you not only get to throw a football, but you can also interface with the team as well.”

 

Phil Carey of Cornerstone Media believes that incorporating more sophisticated touch controls will only be the beginning of advanced future VR devices could replace concepts that were first introduced in the early 1960s with old school systems like Sensorama. Sensorama,  incorporated elements like smells and winds and other odors. Granted, today’s headsets perform an great job of catering to the visual senses and even a little bit of audio as well. But those are only two senses. Once you start catering to the rest of the senses- like what we feel temperature-wise, smell-wise, and body-wise, the reality factor of VR technology becomes much stronger as the virtual pieces begin to fade.

As Carry, one of Australia’s leading corporate video producers mentioned,

“It is not exactly clear how-and if- the technologies described above will ever take shape. But it will definitely not be for the want of trying as there are numerous companies that are committed to taking VR technology to the next level. For instance, the startup Thalmic Labs makes armbands that are capable of controlling electronic devices through the use of gestures that also work with the Rift; while Leap Motion- a startup that launched motion-sensing cameras for computers in 2013- is now developing technology that can be used to interact with VR environments without using a controller.”

Perhaps all of this is best summarized in the below video:

 

tyvek printer image

Revealed: Medical Packaging Applications- A Guide to Tyvek Printing

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Revealed: Medical Packaging Applications- A Guide to Tyvek Printing

Printing on pharmaceutical packaging styles and medical Tyvek can be done using suitable inks and standard commercial printing equipment. Due to the unique requirements for medical and pharmaceutical packaging, it is important to know that these Tyvek styles have no corona treatment or antistatic coating. Therefore, special measures have to be taken in order to obtain the best printing results. When printing on pharmaceutical packaging styles and medical Tyvek, it is advisable to first begin by testing before commencing production operations aided by the following 4 guidelines:

Printing guidelines- Flexography

The ideal technique for printing on pharmaceutical packaging styles and Tyvek medical is flexography. For optimum results, use the sheet’s smooth side- the difference between the smooth side and the rough (wire) side is minor but can be felt. Additionally, some rolls supplied by sterile packaging manufacturers are wound with the smooth side out while others may be wound differently, so ensure that you ascertain with your supplier or manufacturer beforehand. Because it is quite difficult to tell the difference between Tyvek’s two sides, a simple procedure has been developed to help users distinguish the rough side from the smooth side. Your supplier/manufacturer should equip you adequately so that you can make this determination.

Flexography- Press Conditions

Optimizing press conditions for a Tyvek printer will help prevent ink pick-off, softening of adhesives, registration issues in multi-color jobs, and sheet distortion. It is thus advisable to use chilled rods, maintain web temperatures below 79ºC (175ºF), and keep tensions below 1.3N/cm (0.75lb/in) of width before windup.

Flexography- Printing Plates

Identifying the appropriate choice of printing plate depends on the nature of the printing task(s). For ultimate performance, the best practices in general printing ought to be followed so as to optimize the pressroom’s conditions. Printing variables include but are not limited to the cushion, plate, anilox, and ink. As always, it is recommended that the printing plate be cleaned with 100% alcohol before inking in order to enhance ink transfer.

For printing type, solids, and other detail-oriented images, one should use a medium durometer plate that should be complemented with a firm or medium density cushion. Further, anilox selection should be based on volume and a line screen that prevents over-inking of the plate. Remember to check for the manufacturer’s guidelines pertaining to pH, viscosity and other transfer properties that are dependent on your resistance and ink application properties.

For images that are characterized by fine line screens and dots, a harder durometer plate is recommended. This can be complemented with a medium or soft density cushion. Again, anilox selection here ought to be based on line screen volumes that guard against over-inking the plate. Lastly, and as pointed out above, seek your manufacturer’s/supplier’s guidelines for pH, viscosity and other transfer properties that are dependent on your resistance and ink application properties.

Flexography- Inks

Besides choosing the appropriate ink for your printing processes, it is important to also verify its suitability in applications where there is likely to be direct contact with the medical device. The best rub resistance and adhesion is typically provided by alcohol-based polyamide inks while adding microcrystalline wax to the aforesaid inks should reduce the offsetting. Alternatively, water-based inks make it easier to achieve high-quality results with the added benefit of complying with environmental regulations.

 

2016 Reduction in Solar Panel Prices

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In recent years the cost of installing solar panels in order to take advantage of solar energy has begun to drop making this technology more affordable for a wider segment of the population. Solar energy has many advantages that make it an ideal way for our society to transition from being reliant upon fossil fuels to making use of renewable energy that is better for the environment. The problem that plagued the widespread implementation of solar energy in the past was the high cost of having solar panels installed.

While in the long run an investment in solar panels would pay off, it would usually take decades to actually pay off. For the average person or family this meant paying out a lot of money up front, which was often beyond their financial means. The good news is that a variety of factors have come together to help reduce these costs making solar energy a viable option for many more people.

solar cost graph via of Solar Ottawa
So why exactly has the cost of solar panels gone down?

The main reason behind this is an improvement in the materials and manufacturing process used to make them. As Ottawa Solar Power owner Sean Sergio stated, “As materials for solar panels are being manufactured on a larger scale many companies are finding ways to cut costs while still keeping the quality level high. ” Sergio, an avid solar energy supporter has been selling solar panels in Ottawa for years mentioned, “In fact many new solar technologies are emerging that are lower in cost as well as more efficient and longer lasting than previous generations of solar panels.”

This means that for the consumer you can get a product that is better, longer lasting, and will have a substantially lower up front cost. While this up front cost is still high, it is far more affordable than it was in the past making a future with solar energy more attainable by all.
Another factor making solar energy more affordable are the growing number of companies that utilize a lease program for solar panels. Instead of paying a high up front cost homeowners that deal with these companies instead pay a monthly lease for their solar panels.

So while you have to make a monthly payment to a solar energy company the amount you have to pay each month on your electric bill will be much lower. In fact the combined amount you pay for electricity and for your leased solar power panels is usually much lower than your electric bill would be.
While it’s a better long term investment to actually pay for you solar panels instead of leasing them, leasing is an option that is more affordable for many people. The good news is that whether you pay for your solar panels yourself or lease them, you will save money long term while also helping to protect the environment.

Solar energy is the future, it’s a clean, endlessly renewable source of energy that is becoming more commonplace everyday. As technology and manufacturing processes continue to improve the cost of buying your own solar panels will continue to drop which will put solar energy in reach for most of the population.

Technology Making News a Thing of the Past

Technology Making News a Thing of the Past

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It seems that almost every year, a new iPhone is introduced into the market, and due to the technology that makes phones into smaller, more portable computers, news is traveling to people in ways that no one could have expected fifteen to twenty years ago. To find out what is happening in the world, people no longer have to wait the next day or week for newspapers and magazines to be published so they can be informed about current events. Instead, due to disruptive technology, such as the smartphones and their apps*, media outlets that have been around for years have become outdated and are now considered old media.

According to Caroline Howard in her article for FORBES**, disruption “changes how we think, behave, do business, learn and go about our day-today”. So therefore, disruptive technology is thus labeled because it is part of daily life, and concerning the media, it completely changes the way we receive and distribute news. This change creates new media distribution channels that can include the typical news outlets you can find on the television to the social media on the internet (Twitter, Facebook, BuzzFeed, etc.). Any media outlet that can carry news in a faster way due to the introduction of disruptive technology can be considered new media because these outlets are the main sources of current events.

Right now, it may not seem that we can receive news any faster than we already do. However, as Jill Lepore states in her article featured on The New Yorker, “Disruptive innovation is competitive strategy for an age seized by terror”. Her reference to terror is more specifically referring to the fear of losing financially. This is why technology companies consistently create better products—so they can increase their profits and try to stay ahead of others who do the same. But in this technology race, new media is created, causing current forms of the media to either adapt or risk joining the floppy disks and 8-track players living amidst piles of dust.

Although the numerous innovations that take place over an increasingly shorter span of time may sound negative due to the businesses and media outlets that may go under because they could not adapt, they can also be positive. These innovations, sometimes labeled as disruptive, cause people to change in the way we think and act, creating different jobs, and placing different emphasis on what is important to our society. These new technologies challenge the media and other technological companies to think of new ways to stand out and appeal to people all over the world. With the constant introduction of new technology, soon, most likely what we call “new media” will also become an outdated tool to find information. Even with all the changes in technology that we have seen in just the last twenty years, it may be hard to imagine a world where news can travel faster than our fingertips.