Sunday, April 26, 2009

Is there Life Out There? How can we know?

Mankind has gazed out into the stars at night to wonder about what’s out there. The fascination of the mankind to their origins and to know if there is life out there amongst the stars has been an obsession for the humankind. For centuries, mankind has gazed at the cosmos to wonder about it. Many writers, scientists, philosophers have pondered about this issue for centuries. Is there Life Out there? How Can We Know?

In the 20th century with the advancement of the Space Age, this quest has become a reality with the start f the Space Age in 1957. Mankind has obsessed himself with finding out the question of is there life out there? Especially NASA has invested millions of dollars for the Search of Life in Outer Space to see if there is the possibility of the existence of Intelligent Life out there. Just for this purpose NASA has initiated the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) program. In this program very big satellite dishes (hundreds of meters in diameter) are used to listen to clutter of the outer space. This method utilizes the power of radio astronomy as these huge dishes listen to see if there is anything in outer space. Especially lower frequency and higher wavelength signals are listened to as these frequencies and wavelength cross the gulf of space to the Planet Earth. It is hoped someday, we can get some sort of signal that there are other life forms in outer space. There are hundreds of professionals out there that listen to what the cosmos has to say. Also another interesting development happened in the year 2007 as two prominent directors from NASA quit because they were afraid that these SETI efforts would backfire and cause belligerent life forms to focus their attention on us. As much as this sounds like a science fiction, it must be seen that the possibility exists and people are thinking about it.

Besides listening for signals from outer space, mankind has launched several probes into the deep reaches of outer space to see if there are any marks of any life forms out there. Probably the most famous part of this task is the Voyager Program of NASA. In the Voyager Program, man kind has used the Voyager Satellite as a Bridge to Extra Terrestrials in case the Voyager probe cam across a alien life form. Just for this purpose, the Da Vinci Pictures of man kind was put in the probe along with the Greetings Message from every language in the Planet Earth. In addition, some simple things like the Metric System, The Periodic Scale, and some simple mathematics was put in the satellite. In case Voyager was intercepted, these would serve as stepping stones to the extraterrestrial life forms out there, to understand us better. In any case since space is vast and infinite it is safe to say that someday we will come across other intelligent life forms besides ourselves and we will find out that mankind is not alone. If you think about the endless amount of space volume that exists in the universe, you can see that there must be other solar systems out there that have similar conditions for supporting life. In fact, some several exciting work by NASA scientists have uncovered some extraordinary planets that can have the capability to support life. Especially with remote sensing equipment like the Deep Space Observation Hubble Telescope, we can see to hundreds of thousands of light years and beyond. Thus, we are finding more and more planets and stars everyday and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that someday we can find M class planets that are similar to our Planet Earth and can support life. Of course, if life is found out there probably it won’t look the same as the gravity and light conditions of the planet would make them look different.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Overview on the Interesting Facts about Solar Energy

There are lots of interesting facts about solar energy. Educating yourself about this will prove to be beneficial in the long run. You can share the information to your loved ones. You can teach them of ways on how they can help to conserve the energy. You can also do your share to help this method to advance if you are a genius in the field. But if you are an ordinary citizen who only wants to enjoy, then feast on. But remember that you also have responsibilities to the environment that you must accomplish in order to do your part in the whole scheme of things.

The Facts that Matter
1. Solar radiation makes it possible for the energy coming from the sun to be used as power source and energy that can in turn be used for many purposes. The technology on this aspect is characterized in two ways. They can either be passive or active. This will depend on the methods that are used to get, convert and allocate sunlight.

What are active solar techniques? These utilize pumps, photovoltaic panels and fans to renovate sunlight into useful resources. These aim to increase the energy supply that is why these can also be referred as supply side technologies. The passive solar techniques, on the other hand, use only selected resources with constructive thermal properties, utilize the kind of spaces that can circulate air naturally and apply the position of buildings and structures towards the sun. These will lessen the need for other sources and can also be referred as the demand side technology.

2. Solar energy has influenced many factors that surround people. This can be referred in planning and designing buildings. This process can be rooted back at the early days of the architectural history. The Greeks and the Chinese first used such factor in building and constructing their architectural pieces and on their planning methods.

3. Solar energy is also being utilized by the agricultural sector because they rely heavily on its benefits in order to gain more harvest. They developed ways in order to plant the kind of crops that will grow according to the amount of sun that they will be getting for the season. This can also be used to dry the crops, pump water, brooding of chicks and to dry animal manures that can later be used as fertilizers.

4. On seasons like the Little Ice Age, fruit walls were used by French and Chinese farmers to be able to collect and store solar energy to help them keep the plants warm and to speedy up the process of ripening of fruits. These walls serve as the thermal masses. The fruit walls that were first developed were perpendicular to the ground and faced the south direction. Over time, innovations were done and slopping walls were used to gain more advantage from the sun.

5. To convert the solar light into heat, people have developed greenhouses. These enable the production and cultivation of specialty crops all year round. Such innovation made it possible for crops to be produced in untimely seasons and in places where you think that those plants won’t grow.

And these are only some of the interesting facts about solar energy. These give you a good peek at how wonderful nature is and how people have developed ways to use it to advance in many aspects of their lives.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jiu Jitsu – Fun during Trainings

Jiu Jitsu is very important these days. You can never really tell if you’re safe once you go out to the streets. The usual reaction of an individual who is being attacked is to panic. When this happens, you can’t do anything to defend yourself from the attacker. If you know Jiu Jitsu, there will be no room for panic because you will instantly know what to do when you see the attacker.

It doesn’t really matter how large or big your opponent is because if you know the proper BJJ techniques, you can use your attacker’s strength and momentum to your advantage. The Jiu Jitsu trainings can be a very enjoyable and pleasurable experience. Many experts advise people to learn any form of martial arts, especially Jiu Jitsu.

Jiu Jitsu was designed for self defense and so it is quite effective to use when you’re being attacked. Whatever you’re reason is for learning Jiu Jitsu, you can easily sign up in BJJ clubs in your area. There are those who want to lose weight to achieve physical fitness, and of course, for self protection. You can also try searching online for BJJ clubs just in case you find it hard to look for one in your area. If you want to achieve peace of mind or improve your thinking abilities and confidence, Jiu Jitsu can help you out. After a considerable time of Jiu Jitsu training, you can build stronger character. As you grow older, you can use these things to your advantage and to achieve more success in your life.

Learning Jiu Jitsu is not always serious. In fact, you will have fun during the training because you will practice as a group. There are also support teams available that are ready to attend to the needs of the students. Just make sure that you choose a licensed BJJ club. That way, you can learn all the BJJ techniques. Aside from the techniques, students will also learn about proper leverage. This is the key to defeating a much larger attacker. If you can combine proper leverage and Jiu Jitsu techniques, you will surely win the fight.

Teachers and instructors don’t allow unsupervised fights in the club. But when you go out, you should still practice the principles of Jiu Jitsu and use it only for defending oneself when an unexpected situation comes up. You should never use it to provoke a fight.

By being self disciplined, you will have a better social life. There are no pressures in the BJJ clubs. It’s really quite amazing how the students feel so relaxed and at ease during the training. The instructors see to it that their students show respect to one another to promote a better training environment. They are also taught to properly balance their time so that they can also excel in school and in other activities.

If you want to become a better Jiu Jitsu player, don’t forget to purchase additional instructional materials like videos. If you can afford a private teacher, you can also hire one, the learning process should not stop as you leave the training grounds. You should regularly practice in order to become a better Jiu Jitsu player.

While you’re practicing and learning BJJ, you should never forget about having fun because if you enjoy what you’re doing, you will learn faster.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Digging into the iPhone Hardware

Apple introduced iPhone as a device which is distinguished apart from any other phones because of the hardware that was modified to amaze and make people love it’s every angle. To better know the system involving the hardware, it is important to dig into the details of the report. The inner core of the iPhone includes its interface and screen, audio feature, battery, SIM card enabler, storage and other accessories.

Interface and Screen

Screen was made as a nine centimeter liquid display which includes an HVGA touch screen. The glass of the screen was specifically made to be resistant to mild and moderate scratches that may collide with its surface. The screen was created specifically for the fingers out of sensing through multi-touch, meaning no keyboards and clicking through every key just to achieve the desired composition. Because of it having the capacity to be manipulated through multiple fingers, it is a requirement that the device goes bared-skin. A normal glove or styles enables the prevention of conductivity of electricity.

Every input is focused on the screen which has the capacity to understand gestures either simple or complex via its multi-touch. User interface within the device enables the person using it to move any contents through touching and dragging the finger up or down and even left and right. Zooming of pages is one very good application of the interface.

Audio enhanced

Similar to current featured smartphones, the device also has headphones but with an added microphone. Basing on the microphone, there is a button which serves to be multipurpose and can be used to stop, pause or play a particular song. The button can also answer several phone calls and end one and skip music that you don’t like, which all can be done without even touching the phone. Earpieces, wireless in nature, which is supported by Bluetooth application, can communicate with the device and are separately sold although, it does not support stereo audio.

Phone battery

The gadget has a built-in battery which is conveniently rechargeable and is not replaceable, dissimilar to almost several mobile phones existing. Once the battery has reached the end of its life in a premature state, ideally, the phone can be returned to Apple and be replaced for another but must still be within the given warranty time – usually about one to two years from the time of purchase. If the warranty has already expired, one can replace new battery although he or she has to pay for it, shipping charges included.

SIM Card

Originally, the equipment showed its SIM card in an open slot being ejected. For those countries having the gadget, the device is sold with a SIM lock that prevents the use of SIM cards to other networks.


Initially, iPhone was released with 2 options for its internal storage which can either be 8 GB or 4GB. Time came when Apple announced that models having only 4 GB memory are going to be discontinued in its circulation to give way to a more expanded and reliable storage.

Other accessories

Other items and accessories are already included upon purchase of the iPhone and iPhone 3G. Some of the accessories would include headset and microphone, cleaning cloth, dock connector, a USB adapter, and a SIM ejector tool. Some of these are made exclusively for iPhone 3G and some are present in both models.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Embroidery Supplies for Hand and Machine Embroidering

Embroidery Supplies for Hand and Machine Embroidering

Do you want to adorn your living room or bedroom by displaying pillows embroidered with eye-catching designs? The secret doesn’t lie on whether you made it by machine or by hand but on the embroidery supplies you use to craft it.

Before you make embroidery as a hobby, you have to determine first the method of embroidery you are comfortable with. Then, familiarize yourself with the various embroidery supplies and accessories available. Whether you’ll use machine or hand embroidery, it is important that you have the right tools you need for the type of work and the design you chose.

Hand Embroidering Supplies

• Thread

The threads used in embroidery are further classified into two – the stranded cotton and the soft cotton. The former is made up of six loosely twisted mercerized strands while the latter are designed for tapestry projects and bold hand embroidery.

• Needles

Crewels, another term for embroidery needles, are offered in sizes that range from 0 to 10. These sharp hand needles are medium in length and have long eye that provides a room for a number of embroidery cotton strands that need to be threaded at the same time.

• Patterns

If you want to embellish a piece of fabric, say pillow cover, you need to have beautiful and creative patterns. There are now a good number of embroidery supply stores that offer attractive patterns for towels, quilts, pillowcases, and the likes. Novice embroiderers also have nothing to worry about as there are various beginner patterns and starter kits offered especially at online stores.

Machine Embroidering Supplies

As expected, a switch from hand embroidery to machine embroidery means additional supplies. To mention some are the machine itself, the computer software, and various digital patterns.

• Embroidering Machine

The machine you’ll get, particularly the new ones, contains basic patterns you can use. If you wish for a creative and more unique design, the net has lots of patterns to choose from. Some can be customized so you can put your personal touch. Just don’t forget though to bring with you the model name and number of your machine so would be able to choose the patterns that work on it.

• Editing Software

So you now have your design file. The next thing you can do is to edit or alter it to make your own design. Among the software editing programs to choose from are:

Digitilizing: This software includes stitch, and line types as well as border frame, and texture styles.

Lettering: Such software comes with choices of fonts and lettering styles as well as underlay types.

Other important features of software editing programs include display hoop, design locator, on-screen rulers, and lock stitches and trims.

• Needles and Thread

These supplies are less expensive but are really important to achieve the embroidery project you have in mind. The thread used for machine embroidery is a special thread that’s different from the ones used for hand embroidery. Though available in various sizes, the 40-weight needle is the commonly-used thread.

Such thread is also offered in various fiber choices ranging from natural to synthetic. Rayon, polyester, silk and cotton are among thread choices available in the market.

Before you went off to shop, be sure to bring with you a list of these necessary embroidery supplies because these are the stuff that will help you create quality embroidery result. Remember: with the right supplies, you will be able to do away with the usual embroidery problems.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Christmas Tree

Thinking about Christmas immediately brings Christmas trees to mind. As a matter of fact, Christmas trees are one of the most recognized images of the Christmas season and they are visible just about everywhere. Furthermore, many of the traditional Christmas activities revolve around Christmas trees. First there is the ritual of selecting a perfect tree, then setting it up in a prominent location in the home, then comes the decorating aspect, piling up the gifts under it, coming together around it to sing Christmas carols and drink eggnog. But how did it all begin?

The earliest story that was ever found that associates trees with Christmas dates back to the beginning of the 700s. This story talks about a British monk and missionary who was born in 680, was christened as Winfrid and was eventually canonized as St. Boniface. As the ancient story goes, St. Boniface delivered a sermon about the Nativity to a group of Germanic Druids on the outskirts of Geisma in Germany and attempted to convince them that the oak tree was not sacred or as inviolable as their pagan teachings have led them to believe. Often referred to as the Apostle of Germany, St. Boniface proved his point by chopping down an oak tree right then and there. As the mighty tree fell and crashed to the ground it left everything crushed in its wake — every shrub but a single little fir tree sapling. This surprising survival of the tender seedling was quickly interpreted by St. Boniface as a miracle and he concluded his sermon by calling it “the tree of the Christ Child.” From then on, planting of fir saplings was added to the ensuing Christmas celebrations in Germany.

Researchers, theologians and historians have found countless documents attesting to the fact that fir trees which remained outdoors as well as those which were brought inside homes were decorated with devotion and religious zeal by the sixteenth century in an attempt to commemorate the miraculous event with St. Boniface in Germany. In an insightful effort to save forests from complete destruction by religious Christian zealots, a decree was issued from Ammerschweier, Alsace in 1561 which proclaims that no one “shall have for Christmas more than one bush or more than eight shoes’ length.” The earliest accounts of decorations on Christmas trees describe “roses cut of many colored paper, apples, wafers, gilt and sugar.”

Many theologians and religious historians believe, and no evidence was ever found to contradict this belief, that it was Martin Luther, the sixteenth century Protestant reformer, who first added light to a Christmas tree by affixing lighted candles to its branches in order to emulate the twinkling of stars in a fir forest.

The Christbaum which means the “Christ tree” was a deeply rooted tradition that was permanently established and branched out to other parts of Western Europe by the 1700s. However, it failed to gain popularity in England until Prince Albert, the son of the duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (a duchy in central Germany), married Queen Victoria of England in 1840, and brought the custom of decorating Christmas trees from his childhood in Germany into his married life in England.

The Christmas tree and its customary decorations were most likely brought into the New World by the Pennsylvania Germans. This fact is strongly affirmed in a diary that belonged to Matthew Zahm of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and its entry which was dated December 20, 1821 where he speaks of the Christmas tree and its many decorations. Thus far, this is the earliest written record associated with Christmas trees that was ever found in America.

F. W. Woolworths Company was the original chain of five and dime stores based in the United States and in 1880 was first to sell manufactured Christmas tree ornaments which were extremely successful. In 1882 the first electrically lighted Christmas tree appeared and in 1923, President Calvin Coolidge flamboyantly lit the first outdoor tree on the front lawn of the White House.

Having state all that I had thus far about Christmas trees, it would be remiss of me not to mention that decorating of trees dates back to the pre-Christian Era in Egypt where evergreen trees were felled, mounted and adorned with offerings of food and precious gifts to their pagan gods. Evergreen trees were selected for remaining fresh and green through the four seasons, therefore symbolizing immortality and fertility. Egyptian priests went even further by teaching that evergreen trees grew out of the grave of their god Osiris who was resurrected by the energy of an evergreen tree after having been killed by another god.

Even the Bible, Jeremiah 10:2-6, speaks out about the pagan custom of the tree: "Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen . . . For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Caring for Your Tapestries

Here’s the situation, you have a centuries old tapestry that have been passed down from generations to generation in your family. It is very old and simply damaging it is not an option. You know you will be haunted if your ancestors found out that the tapestry got ruined under you watch. There are several caring tips for your tapestries that would help you maintain them so you can pass them down to your children as your parents and grand parents did before you.

First things first, tapestries were made to be hanged. So it would be best to remove the tapestries from the storage room and find a wall somewhere where you could place them. So the first caring tip that you should know is how to hang tapestries correctly. Improperly placed tapestries can and will damage them in the long run.

When hanging tapestries, you will have to consider the weight and placing the appropriate support to keep the weigh of the fabric balanced. You can use a rod to hang the tapestries or a backing fabric, both of which are provided in most modern tapestries. However, you might encounter some problems with antique ones that don’t have rod pockets sewn on the fabric. If that is the case, you might have to employ someone to fix or sew the rod pockets for you but it is important to go to persons that deal with old tapestries to avoid further damage on the fabric. Using Velcro has been recommended before but due to the weight of some tapestries, sticking Velcro on the back of the fabric might bring more damage than good.

Also, if you don’t know what you’re doing, stop. Let the experts to those stuff. One of the things that you should not do is to cut the corners. I don’t know what your reasons would be for doing that, but that is something that you should not do especially if the piece of tapestry is a really old and valuable one.

Now back to the hanging, or tapestry hanging rather. You need to consider the climate in your area as well when hanging your tapestries. If you live in a more humid environment, then it would be better to create some space between your fabric and the wall just to avoid molds growing on both the walls and the tapestry.

Cleaning your tapestry comes with the territory of caring for it. The reason why your age old tapestry survived and is hanging on y our wall is due to the fact that your parents and grandparents were very careful with it and used proper cleaning methods. Now, you are quite fortunate today since you have several technological cleaning innovations at your disposal.

For instance, vacuuming the tapestry for dirt is one of the basic regular cleaning that your tapestry needs. By removing the dust on a regular basis, you prevent them from accumulating on the surface. You might have to dust the fabric as well.

That’s at least the way to clean the surface of the fabric. However, when tapestries need some really thorough cleaning you will need to consult the experts. Tapestries are quite sensitive. Sometimes even plain water can proved to be damaging since tapestries are made from different materials including the threads and color dyes used.

Here are just a few caring tips for you tapestries. Hopefully you can make your own last so your little ones can enjoy them in the years to come.