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HANS Device: From condemned inconvenience to lifesaver

HANS Device: From condemned inconvenience to lifesaver


In the world of Formula One, nothing is more important than driver safety. And one of the most successful and acclaimed facets of Formula One driver safety is the HANS device.

HANS stands for the Head and Neck Support system. This device, which during and accident will reduce the forward momentum of the driver’s neck and head caused by deceleration of the car, was invented in 1980, but was not made mandatory in Formula One until 2003.

The HANS device is actually quite a simple device. It consists of a carbon fiber ‘collar’ which fits around the driver’s neck. The two “arms” of the HANS collar then slides under the shoulder belts of the safety harness. The device is then in turn connected to the actual driver’s helmet by three tethers, which gives the driver the ability to still move his head freely under normal driving conditions.

When the driver is involved in an accident however, the normal forward momentum experienced by his head, which in turn can cause not only skull fractures but also neck damage is counteracted upon by the tethers attached to the helmet and reduces the amount of forward momentum experienced by the drivers head.

The HANS device is also entirely passive, as it does not need any electrical power to operate. The device is simply attached to the driver’s helmet and under his safety harness.

Testing figures have shown that the HANS device reduces head movement by almost 45 percent, the acceleration of the head by 68 percent and the forces applied to the neck during an accident by up to 86 percent.

The initial HANS device was however unsuitable for Formula One and revisions had to be made. But with the testing figures as an indication of the effectiveness of the device and with minor tweaking for the restrictive cockpits, it was official made mandatory in 2003. Most drivers however immediately complained about their comfort levels within the cockpit while wearing the device, citing concerns over shoulder aching, restrictive movements, and concerns of it’s actual effectiveness.

Formula One driver Roland Ratzenberger died during the 1994 San Marino Formula One Grand Prix of Basilar skull fractures – a high force injury that may cause cerebrospinal fluid leakage due to possible laceration of vessels of dura (the outer membrane of the meninges which envelope the brain and spinal cord), which in turn leads to intracranial bleeding.

During the 2007 season, Formula One driver Robert Kubica had a very similar high speed accident during the Canadian Grand Prix, but not only survived the accident but only suffered a mild concussion and sprained ankle.

The HANS device is now used worldwide in almost all forms of racing in various models and it was finally accepted as being one of the most innovative and injury reducing protective device available to the drivers today.

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Time-Saving Devices – Sat Nav, Wireless Internet, USB Stick

Time-Saving Devices – Sat Nav, Wireless Internet, USB Stick


These days there are so many expectations place on individuals, which make time management skills a useful resource for daily life. There are a wide range of gadgets now available to help save time, with four key devices including Sat Nav, wireless Internet connection, USB memory sticks and digital voice recorders.

Time-Saving Devices – Sat Nav and Wireless Internet Connection

Two very simple ways to save time both in terms of work and leisure, include purchasing Sat Nav and changing Internet connection to wireless. Sat Nav, which stands for Satellite Navigation System, is an essential tool for those who have to travel a lot. This handy gadget allows one to be guided through a combination of voice, symbols or on-screen maps. Those prone to getting lost can also save an awful lot of time, because Sat Nav will automatically provide a new route to get back on track. When stuck in traffic, Sat Nav allows one to work out a new route, without the need to waste more time checking maps.

Another really useful device is wireless Internet connection, this is absolutely ideal for those who work from home, as it provides one with the freedom to work outside or choose a cooler location in warmer weather. Wireless Internet connection is a great time-saver, as it means one can also multi-task much more easily.

Time Management Devices – USB Memory Sticks and Digital Voice Recorders

As identified by Short (2008) in Time Management For Dummies, USB memory sticks have the ability to save anything from a few documents to several hundred files, by simply plugging the memory stick into the USB port of the computer. The USB memory stick is perfect for work meetings and is also useful for holidays, where a spare memory stick can be used to provide extra photo storage. An additional use for this device is in terms of having a back-up of important documents. Digital voice recorders are another useful time-saving device, allowing personal reminders to be stored digitally through the use of a hand-held gadget.

A digital voice recorder offers users the ideal opportunity to save time whilst commuting to and from work, as one can use the device to record new ideas and to-do lists for the day ahead, or for organising jobs which need doing within the home. In long meetings or on work-related courses, this handy gadget allows important information to be stored, thus making scribbling notes unnecessary.

As highlighted above, key time management devices may include, USB memory sticks, wireless Internet connection, Sat Nav and digital voice recorders. These gadgets are excellent time-savers for those who regularly work from home or have to do frequent business trips.

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Sizing Electrical Cables

Sizing Electrical Cables


There are two main problems when it comes to transmitting electrical energy though wiring. The first is the resistance of the wire, which is a factor determined by the material, its purity and surrounding magnetic impedance factors.

The second problem is the heat generated when the electricity encounters resistance. An extreme example of this would be to to run the entire power supply of one’s home though a small copper wire, like the kind used in headphones, which of course is far too dangerous to actually do.

The result would be the wire turning white hot almost instantly before either vaporizing or melting into a molten puddle. By contrast, if a technician were to try to run a simple low voltage audio signal though a huge steel bar line, it would degrade beyond audibility quite quickly due to resistance.

Choosing the Wire Gauge

There are two main factors to consider when choosing a wire gauge. The first factor is what gauge is required by local fire, building and electrical codes to be legally used. The second factor is whether or not any other gauge of wire is acceptable for the job by using a different approach.

For example, it may not be legal or safe to use a lower gauge wire to transfer a high wattage between two points, but if the starting end of a circuit splits the current evenly between several lengths of a lower gauge wire the wattage is reduced per wire. The transmission wires can the be recombined at the other end of the circuit to achieve the initial level of energy concentration.

When in doubt, refer to the local electrical code or defer to an electrician for advice.

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Make Cash Online Selling Surplus Electronics: Earn Quick Money From Old Cell Phones, Computers, More.

Make Cash Online Selling Surplus Electronics: Earn Quick Money From Old Cell Phones, Computers, More.


Rather than hanging on to a clutter of outdated consumer electronics waiting for a garage sale, or dumping them in the local landfill, consider making cash online selling them.

Quick Cash for Old Electronics

“Each day American’s [sic] throw away more than 350,000 cell phones,” says resale/recycling site Gazelle.com, ” and 30,000 computers daily.” That makes over 125 million old cell phones and some 10 million computers.

Add to that millions of discarded calculators, old floppy and hard drives, and other electronics, and it’s easy to see why Gazelle.com calls electronic waste “the fastest growing part of the U.S. use garbage stream.”

There have been numerous attempts at a solution, ranging from government programs and recycling centers to private endeavors like Costco Gadgets to eWaste management entrepreneurs to online reselling and/or recycling companies like Gazelle.com and MyBoneYard.com.

Making Money Online From Resale Sites

These sites offer to pay for used electronics – “You get green while being green” as Gazelle puts it – such as camcorders, cell phones, desktop computers, digital cameras, flat panel monitors, game consoles, GPS systems, laptop computers, or music players.

Both Gazelle and MyBoneYard, for example, have web sites that are well-organized, quick to provide an estimate of value, and easy to use. Both sites provide prepaid shipping labels, even for for valueless recycle items, as long as the shipment contains something marketable, such as a relatively new laptop or cell phone.

Gazelle claims to pay promptly (the process takes about a week, the site says) for saleable items.

These sites want electronics that are

  • Relatively new (anything more than a year old is worth little)
  • Fully functional
  • Free from water damage
  • In excellent condition (even normal wear and tear seems to bring a price drop)
  • Still in demand

Anything that doesn’t work perfectly, has liquid damage, or is in bad condition will be wiped of data and recycled.

How Much Money From Online Recycling Sites?

Here are some specific examples of pricing, using cell phones in good condition with all original equipment :

  • Motorola RAZR-3 or a Treo 650 – $8 to Gazelle, $5 to MyBoneYard
  • Apple iPhone 3G 8GB – $117 at Gazelle, $85 at MyBoneYard
  • Blackberry Rim Curve8330 – $48 at Gazelle, $51 at MyBoneYard

The difference between Good condition and Perfect condition is only a few dollars for each. And water damage can be caused by something as simple as bringing a digital camera from a cold car into a warm room (internal condensation will occur).

Quick Cash Online – Resale Sites, Auction Sites, or Private Sale?

Are the online resale sites the best way to go? Not necessarily.

That iPhone might get $150 in a private sale, if a buyer can be found. The author was able to sell on eBay some phone power supplies dumped by his employer; they were worthless to the online resale sites. The main benefit of the resale sites is their simplicity and free shipping labels.

Even those may have their hassles, according to Benny Goodman’s Gizmodo, review of his experience with the Costco Trade-In Program (which is partnered with Gazelle.com).

His conclusion: “If you are looking for riches in exchange for your gear, your best bet is still probably eBay, and if you just want to keep your stuff from the garbage, there are plenty of charities” that will accept older cell phones and computers that are in usable condition.

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Selecting the Right e-Reader: Kindle 2 or The Nook – Which is the Better Choice?

Selecting the Right e-Reader: Kindle 2 or The Nook – Which is the Better Choice?


Years ago the idea of reading a book in electronic form was the stuff of science fiction. Now there are not only ebooks and e-readers, but the number of titles is growing daily. And there are many e-readers to choose from. The two main contenders are the Kindle 2 and the Nook.

The Kindle 2

The Kindle from Amazon is in its second iteration with the Kindle 2. This e-book reader is slim and lightweight, measuring just 1/3 of an inch thick and weighing in at 10.2 ounces. Books are delivered wirelessly over a 3G network – globally – and there’s no contract or need to connect to a computer to get content. A reader can use their Kindle2 worldwide – pulling down content as it’s needed. There’s also limited internet searchability, the full Wikipedia is available, and a complete dictionary is onboard.

The Kindle 2 can carry over 1500 books and read pdfs that are transferred from a computer. (The original Kindle needed an interim step or the user had to pay a fee to get pdf content on the Kindle. This is no longer the case.) There are over 420,000 books available, along with a large number of national and international periodicals and newspapers. The content is delivered in under a minute and books cost less than their physical counterparts. And the Kindle 2 displays e-ink on a screen that reads like real paper. Even in the sunlight.

The Kindle 2 is less bulky than the original Kindle. And the weight is just right. Reading on the Kindle 2 feels just like reading a physical book. The battery life is excellent. It can go for several days without a charge – especially if the wireless connection is turned off when not in use. There’s an experimental feature on Kindle 2 that allows for books to be read aloud. This is excellent given that Audible.com content can be transferred from a computer to the Kindle 2 and read aloud by the Kindle. The Kindle 2 also can read any book or newspaper aloud. It supports jpg and mp3 files, and non-subscription purchases can be shared among Kindles registered to the same Amazon.com account.

What’s not fantastic about the Kindle 2?

The Kindle 2 doesn’t support the EPUB format and so cannot make use of free content on Google. It’s also not possible to share books with friends or access WiFi with the Kindle 2.

The Nook

This newly-introduced e-reader from Barnes & Noble has a number of useful functions. It’s half an inch thick and weighs 12.1 ounces, giving it the feel of an actual book. It’s got a color touchscreen for easy navigation and receives books wirelessly over a 3G network – new content available only in the US – as well as via free WiFi in Barnes & Noble stores, although a user cannot search the web with the Nook. There’s no contract for the 3G network. Personal photos can be used as a screensaver and a complete dictionary onboard.

The Nook can carry about 1500 books and read pdfs that are transferred from a computer. There are over 500,000 books available, along with a large number of national and international periodicals and newspapers. The content is delivered in less than a minute and costs less than physical material. The Nook uses e-ink and can be read in sunlight.

The battery life is excellent. It can go for several days without a charge. It does not have text to speech although it does support jpg and mp3 files. It’s possible to lend books to other Nook owners – whether or not the devices are registered to the same account. A reader also has options for customizing the back cover of the Nook and can set a personal photo as the screen saver.

What’s not fantastic about the Nook?

The Nook doesn’t allow the user to search the internet. Content cannot be purchased and downloaded when outside the US.

Which is Best?

The biggest differences between the Kindle 2 and Nook are that the Kindle 2 allows internet searches and international purchases while the Nook does not. On the other hand, the Nook reads EPUB material and allows device users to lend content while the Kindle 2 does not.

It’s simple to decide which e-book reader is best when the needs of the reader are considered. If a reader frequently travels outside the US and wants to travel light – the Kindle 2 is the obvious choice because of the ability to access new content and search the internet with one device. If international travel and internet searchability are not urgent needs for the reader, the Nook has more free content and customization options available, along with the ability to share content among friends not all registered to one account.

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Lower Electric Bill With More Efficient Bulbs: Energy Star Rated Items Can Save Money and the Environment

Lower Electric Bill With More Efficient Bulbs: Energy Star Rated Items Can Save Money and the Environment


The average 60-watt incandescent light bulb has been providing comfort to people in their homes for many years and has come a long way since its invention in the 19th century. Not only are incandescent bulbs reliable, but they are also very inexpensive at the cash register.

Despite the advantages, incandescent bulbs are being phased out by newer, more efficient, compact florescent light bulbs, or CFLs. While CFLs cost more up front, the savings over time makes them a very worthwhile investment for any home owner.

Upfront Cost Versus Total Savings

Consumers can go to Staples and buy a six pack of 13-watt CFLs for $37 while only paying $11 for the same amount of 60-watt incandescent bulbs. However, according the energystar.gov, one can eradicate this price gap by just replacing one bulb and saving $30 over the lifetime of the CFL.

This savings equates to roughly $26. The real savings, though, is not in replacing bulbs one by one, but by replacing them all at once.

Replace All Light Bulbs Immediately

Do not wait for old bulbs to burn out. After all, the longer a 60-watt incandescent bulb is burning, the more money it is taking out of one’s pockets.

Plus, according to consumer advocate Clark Howard, the majority of energy that is burned up by an incandescent bulb is done so in the production of heat. Not only is this wasteful, but in the hotter summer months, it can be counter productive to air conditioning, even if only by a fraction.

Replacing all of the bulbs in one’s home can save hundreds of dollars. The amount can be estimated by counting the number of lights bulbs in one’s home and multiplying them by $26. If a home uses 20 light bulbs, then replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs would cost more than $100, but the savings would be $520, providing an estimated net benefit of $400 to the home in efficient lighting.

Consumers should be looking to get the most for their money. Using CFLs for home lighting is a great and easy way to accomplish this. The bulbs are built to fit like their incandescent counterparts while needing less energy to brighten up one’s home. In addition, the savings over time can be used to purchase airfare, buy an anniversary present, or pay off debt.

And with the alternative being to use the older incandescent technology and lose that money in electric use, it becomes a no-brainer that CFLs are the next generation in home lighting.

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Devices to Find Senior with Dementia Who Wanders: Modern Technology Helps Locate Missing Person with Alzheimer’s

Devices to Find Senior with Dementia Who Wanders: Modern Technology Helps Locate Missing Person with Alzheimer’s


According to a dbs Productions online article entitled “Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders SAR Research: Wandering Overview,” over 125,000 people with Alzheimer’s disease wander away from home each year in America. The wandering, or elopement, may be goal-directed, in which the person is seeking something or someone, or it may be random wandering, in which the person does not seem to have an apparent goal. According to the above article, a high percentage of wandering cases may result in severe or life-threatening consequences.

Technology may be able to provide someone with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, greater autonomy while giving loved ones and caregivers added peace of mind. Many different types of services and devices are available today in order to assist people to find someone who has wandered away from a safe area. These may be as simple as a buddy system or might include local and national networks. Tracking devices are now available to assist in search efforts as well.

Buddy System May Help People with Dementia

A buddy system can help prevent wandering because another person contacts the person with dementia on a daily basis. That buddy might be a family member, neighbor, caregiver, or someone through a local community program. This person might plan to go with the person on any trips away from home, which could help ensure the elder’s safety as well as decrease the likelihood of wandering.

The buddy might also be able to pick up on cues that the person with Alzheimer’s may be at risk for wandering. For example, the buddy might be told of plans to leave the area or may pick up on a sudden increase in confusion. A buddy might also discover that the elder is missing sooner, which could aid in recovery efforts.

Up-to-date Records May Assist in Locating Wandering Elder

Having a current color photograph, physical description, medical and health information, vehicle information, and other vital information could help others to locate a missing person with dementia.

Some or all of this information might be stored:

  • on papers at home
  • on a CD or other storage media
  • in a computer hard drive or web site
  • on a piece of jewelry like a necklace or bracelet, in a wallet, on a keychain, etc. such as with MedicAlert
  • on a USB flash drive, or memory stick, that might be worn around the neck, wrist, on a shoe or keychain, etc. with examples like Medical Facts on Board and MedTag, and MedMemory

This information can be sent to local and other authorities to assist in search efforts. Family members, caregivers, and community-based programs such as the National Silver Alert Program and MedicAlert + Safe Return may mobilize additional resources to aid in recovery efforts.

Modern Technology May Help Recover Someone with Dementia Who Wanders

Modern technology has opened new possibilities in assisting with recovery efforts when someone with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia wanders away from home. Project Lifesaver is a not-for-profit agency that offers personal locator units to place on someone with Alzheimer’s with an average rescue time of less than 30 minutes. EmFinders EMSeeQ offers a watch-type device that utilizes cellular network technology and is integrated with the national 9-1-1 system. Comfort Zone is a location-based mapping service that works similar to a car GPS system in which the caregiver or family member can set computer alerts about the elder’s location as often as every 15 minutes. LoJack SafetyNet uses a dedicated radio frequency emitted by a waterproof device worn on the wrist or ankle.

No plan or device is 100% certain to successfully recover a missing person quickly and without injury. Recovery efforts may depend on many things, such as:

  • someone noticing that the person is missing
  • whether or not the elder is wearing a tracking device and the type of device worn
  • how recently identifying information has been updated
  • environmental conditions
  • health status of the missing person
  • availability of computer access
  • cellular phone service in the area
  • how densely populated the area is

Options and Devices to Assist with Search Efforts if Someone with AD Wanders

Wandering is common among people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Although many things can be done to help prevent wandering, sometimes a person with dementia will still wander despite those efforts. This can lead to injury and perhaps death due to a fall, motor vehicular accident, exposure, dehydration, or other conditions. Caregivers and family members can plan ahead by utilizing appropriate resources, such as a buddy system, updating and saving important records, and considering tracking devices as needed.

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Automatic Watering Devices for Horses: Waterers Versus Water Buckets in the Barn

Automatic Watering Devices for Horses: Waterers Versus Water Buckets in the Barn


Many barn owners install automatic watering devices (or “automatic waterers”) for their horses. It means they no longer have to lug heavy buckets from the horses’ stalls to the spigot or drag a water hose down the barn aisle in order to keep the animals hydrated.

This is especially true in large barns where dozens of horses use countless buckets for feeding and watering. For example, some horses are kept in their stalls full time except when they are ridden, and therefore require two water buckets to provide sufficient liquid. This means a lot of work for stable managers that automatic waterers can eliminate.

What are Automatic Waterers?

An automatic waterer is a device that automatically refills water once the level drops below a certain point. They can be made of different material – most commonly plastic, stainless steel or aluminum – and are typically affixed to one corner of the stall.

There are also outdoor automatic watering devices for horses that are larger than the ones intended for stall use. They are typically the same size and shape as regular watering troughs and supply horses with a continuous flow of water.

Are They Better for Watering Horses?

The advantage of automatic watering devices is the ability to keep water flowing without manually having to refill a bucket. Of course, they are not foolproof and they do require constant maintenance to remain efficient.

One concern with automatic waterers for horses is the tendency toward clogs. If a horse defecates in the device or drops a mouthful of grain into it, for example, the water will not be able to refill. This happens more often than one might think and, over time, can permanently damage the device.

However, automatic waterers are a great way to save money when watering horses. The bowl itself is smaller, so even if it becomes necessary to empty it out less water is wasted. It stays cool and clean longer, and these devices do not have to be cleaned as often as water buckets.

What About Insulated Automatic Waterers?

For those who live in extreme climates (either heat or cold) there are insulated automatic waterers available. The EcoFount Series from Ritchie Fount, for example, is a stainless steel automatic watering device with a full-insulated poly casing. This means that water does not freeze in the basin or heat beyond drinking temperature.

It is still important to make sure pipes are protected when using insulated automatic waterers because damage to the pipes could still render the device unusable. Stable owners should research their options carefully with consideration to their geographic locations.

How to Buy Automatic Watering Devices

Before heading to the store and writing a check, it is important for stable owners to consider different models, sizes and shapes of automatic waterers for horses. Although watering horses is a seemingly mundane aspect of stable management, a dehydrated horse can easily become critical.

Stable owners should consider:

  • Water Valve.How is the water dispensed? Some automatic waterers use peddles or other cumbersome tools to signal a low water supply, and can actually deter horses from using them.
  • Material. Stainless steel is by far the most preferable material for watering horses. It does not rust and can also add aesthetic appeal to the barn. However, other materials are acceptable and less expensive.
  • Thermostat. Those who live in cold or hot climes might want to consider a waterer with thermostat control or insulation.
  • Consumption. Technology has progressed dramatically even in the equine market, and some devices come with water consumption meters so stable owners can monitor their water usage.
  • Mounting.How will the automatic waterer be mounted in the stall? Waterers with two or more mounting options are the best investment because they can be used in numerous locations.

Automatic watering devices can replace water buckets for horses, but it is important to make sure the horses are comfortable drinking from them. When first implementing this system, stable owners should leave water buckets in the stall for at least a few weeks until the horses get used to the sight and sound of automatic devices