DIY urban gardening with recycled items

Urban gardening is all the rage these days. Many in an effort to do their part, eat well, recycle old items and save money are growing their own gardens in their backyard. There’s a lot of cool ways you integrate your urban garden in to the design of your backyard. Fortunately, Purely Shutters has provided a handy resource to give us a bit more insight in to how you can make it happen.

Stylish gardens are a lot easier to create than you might think. Shutters make the perfect tool to hang pots and create an attractive display of herbs and flowers. Give it a little stain to tie the finished piece in with your existing decor.

Making statement garden pieces out of junk has become so popular that you can buy pre-made pieces on Etsy. Try stapling landscaping fabric to a plantation shutter to create a visually appealing garden piece that accomodates herbs, strawberries, lettuces and creeping perennials.

Just remember, if you set one up inside, place an absorbent mat underneath it to catch the drips.

Another great junk item to recycle in to stylish backyard decor, is an old ladder. Give it a fresh coat of paint and stack it full of potted plants to create a tiered garden.

See the images in the infographic below.


Myrtle Beach Vacation Guide

A popular vacation area in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach has more to offer than beautiful beaches and great weather.

Technically a man made island, Myrtle Beach was separated from the Contental US in 1936 by the Intracoastal Waterway. The city is separated from the beach by large sand dunes.

According to Captain’s Quarters Resort, there’s 20 must see activities in the city of Myrtle Beach.

  1. Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. Sit through a gourmet four course meal and watch a spectacular show that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat.
  2. Myrtle Waves Water Park. Take advantage of the sub-tropical climate by splashing around lazy waters, soaking in the family pools or riding all 10 water slides.
  3. Broadway at the Beach. Shop, eat and look at the many attractions that’ll keep everyone in your group happy.
  4. Fiesta del Burro Loco. The best Mexican cuisine around should be enjoyed after a long day at the beach and souvenir shopping. Take your pick of the large menu.
  5. Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Everyone loves baseball and what better way to enjoy your vacation than watch an exciting game of America’s favorite sport? There’s several games a week so you can work it in to your vacation plans.

There’s 15 more! Read on in the infographic below.


Paint disposal – household and industrial

Paint seems like a fairly friendly household item. It doesn’t bring red flags to mind when compared to other household items like bleach, drain cleaner, or antifreeze. However, there’s lots of nasty stuff in paint. Waste Xpress breaks it down for us.

Paint is composed of four types of materials. First is solvent, which is the liquid that carries the solid. It has a strong odor and is hazardous for humans and the environment. Next is the binder, which the solid film former that remains after the solvent evaporates. It binds the pigment to the particles. Third is pigment, which gives paint it’s color. Additives are the fourth and final ingredient that improves storage and application properties.

Paint is either oil based or water based. Oil based paints have a high VOC (volatile organic compounds) which are hazardous to humans and the environment. Water based paints is often referred to as latex paint and has a much lower VOC count.

The paint and coating industry is quite large, which is obvious since humans love color and companies sell more items that are pleasing to the eye. There’s about 1,400 establishments composing the industry, 43,000 employees, and 1.57 billion gallons of paint and coatings sold in 2013. That’s worth $20 billion.

There’s more to learn. Read on in the infographic below.


Product Your Product From the Elements with Ingress Protection (IP) Testing

Ingress Protection Testing is a complex system. Fortunately, Cascade TEK knows a little bit about IP testing and how the ratings work. There’s different levels of protection and having an IP test done will ensure your product is ready for selling.

First, a definition. Ingress Protection Testing is performed to determine if a product’s exterior case or enclosure will protect the parts that work inside of the product from water, dust or intrusion. Foreign particles can cause damage to your product, which is why it’s important to figure out how water-tight the enclosure is. IP testing is performed at accredited testing labratories.

In testing standards, an IP test is called out as IEC 60529. In ratings, the first few letters call out the type of test, followed by performance with water and solids. One is the highest rating you can get, with it being protected from vertical falling raindrops and protected from solid objects greater than 50 mm.

You can also test with UV sensitive dye. That will allow you to figure out for tight enclosures whether it passes or fails.

It’s important to know which test is best for your product. It can be done with calibrated nozzles, submersion tanks, or specific dusts and fluids. Whatever you do, just make sure it’s industry standard approved.

There’s more. Read on in the infographic below.


Which country should you cheer for in the World Cup?

Everyone’s all up in arms about this once-in-every-four-year event. People who normally abstain from soccer can be found skipping work to drink it up with buddies at the local sports bar. Kids usually tossing a football around are now kicking the soccer ball like nobody’s business.

The truth is, the World Cup is exciting. But with all of the games and countries, how do you know which one to cheer for? Especially if your home country has bit the dust, who do you watch next?

Fortunately, Sports Unlimited has provided a handy chart to figure out which country you should root for in this event.

First, you need to figure out how often you want to watch the World Cup games. If you’re only invested in the final, then the three countries to watch are determined by how you dance (Brazil, Spain, or Germany).

If you want to watch the knockout stages, then it depends on what you’ll drink during the games. If liquor is your choice, the root for the good ‘ol USA. If it’s wine, then your countries are Portugal, Argentina, France and Italy depending on a few other preferences. If beer is your poison, then the countries you watch are Netherlands, Belgium, Germany or England. Which ones depend on whether you’re an Amstel light kind of guy.

There’s plenty more where this came from. Read on in the infographic below.


Dog versus carpet

Man’s best friend is more than a pet, they’re part of the family. Everyone loves to play with the dog, and they’re the type of company that always wants to be around you. Grumpy? The dog will be there. Angry? The dog will be there. Sick? The dog doesn’t care.

There is something in your home that doesn’t mix well with dogs though. Your carpet. According to ChemDry, dogs and carpet aren’t the most sanitary or best for your health. There’s several reasons for that, which we’ll cover next.

First, there’s a lot of things that your dog leaves on the carpet. Saliva is one of them. Dogs have at least 20 species of bacteria in their mouths. You don’t want that on your carpet. Pet waste is another one. There’s 23 million bacteria in a single gram of pet waste. Got a little one crawling? Yeah, that’s not good. Fleas are another big one. Americans spend about $9 billion controlling fleas. Pet dander isn’t good either. About 10% of the population is allergic to pets, with their dander being the main cause. Dirt is another big one. Dirt carries a ton of bacteria and a square foot of carpet can hold up to one pound of dirt.

So what does this mean for your family? Indoor air quality issues can lead to allergies, skin infections, stomach illness, or worsened asthma.

There’s ways to conquer this without getting rid of the most loving member of the family. Read on in the infographic below to find out more.

All about the global manufacturing sector

Manufacturing is a very broad sector. It’s also one of the oldest. In comparison, the tech sector would still be considered a newborn. Over the years, manufacturing has evolved significantly.

Let’s take a look at a resource provided by Stephens Gaskets. It details some very high level statistics about the global manufacturing sector that can give us a general idea about the breadth, depth, and comparison to other much smaller sectors.

First we’ll discuss most earnings by country. China comes in first at $1,924,961. In close second is the US of A at $1,800,500. Japan trails at a distant third with 800,000 less at $1,091,175. Germany is next at $610,184. After that comes Italy with $306,196. Russia is surprisingly low for the vastness of their country at $260,435. France and the UK are in last place with $253,608 and $229,615 respectively.

Manufacturing sales by product also has interesting figures to look at. In 2014, food and products was the largest sector at 62.2 billion in sales. Vehicles and trailers come next at 39.2 billion in sales. Machinery and equipment are in third place for 26.1 billion. Chemicals rack up 24.1 billion and fabricated metal is an even 24 billion. Transport equipment is second to last at 22.1 billion and rubber and plastic are surprisingly last with 16.8 billion in sales.

There’s plenty more, see it in the infographic below.


How to budget for a bachelorette party

Weddings and wedding festivities are exciting. However no one who’s deeply involved can deny the cost of the event is pretty high. While nothing compared to the wedding itself, throwing a bachelorette party is no small figure.

Fortunately, The Bachelorette Superstore has shared a handy infographic to tell us more about typical activities and average cost.

It may be a surprise to know that 6% of brides don’t have a bachelorette party. Be prepared to throw the bride a fun party though, since most do. A party can cost anywhere between $420 to $1800 depending on the activities. Per person, this comes out to $35 to $150. For comparison sake, a bridal shower costs $15-$40 per person. There’s an average of 12 women that attend the party.

If you were to go to Las Vegas, prepare for a spendy weekend. Booking a hotel room six months in advance can still fetch prices from $74-$550 per night. Not to mention airline tickets that can be up to $465. Meals cost anywhere between $30 to $60 per meal and drinks are $7 to $18 a piece. Then there’s entertainment, which can fetch prices of $180 per ticket.

Just be sure to keep a checklist and all the attendees well informed. Be very upfront about the costs of the activities so that anyone who can’t afford it will know ahead of time.

Read on to find out how you can save money in the infographic below.


Franchise Opportunities in Canada

Many dream of being their own boss one day. The ability to manage your own income, direct others and be directly responsible for a business is a huge benefit. It also takes a ton of sweat, dedication and grit to make it work. There’s a reason so many small businesses fail, which is why franchise opportunities look so promising to many.

Be The Boss is an excellent resource for those looking to open their own franchise and has provided a visual for you. In Canada, the top franchises originate from Canada and the US, with 47% and 49% respectively. The oldest Canadian brand started in 1958 while the oldest US brand originated in 1954.

There’s many types of franchises, though food related ones are the most popular and have the most opportunities. Besides food, there’s hotels, real estate, automotive, pet, printing, advertising, cleaning, coffee, financial, moving, education, recreation, business, beauty, retail, home & garden, health and wellness, and fitness franchises. Quite a few to pick from!

Thirty-one percent of franchises ask for 75K to 150K in liquid capital to start while the inital franchise fee for 49% is between 20K to 30K. Twenty-three percent offer direct financing and twenty-eight percent offer a minimum of three week training program.

Read on to find out more in the infographic below.


BLDC versus Brush DC motors

The market is consistently changing. Sometimes that means moving away from a specific product in favor of a lower cost, lower maintenance, and longer lasting option.

Even though the market is moving away from from brushed motors, it’s still important to weigh your options and figure out what’s best for your business. Sinotech has provided a handy reference to help us understand some of the key differences in the motors and figure out what’s best for you and your business.

Brush DC motors have a few specific parts to be aware of. First is the commutator which transfers electric current through the brush assembly to the armature. Brushes ride on the commutator and send electric current to the armature. The armature is the rotating part of the brush DC motor that contains the wire windings. This is the primary motor thats been used for over 100 years.

Brushless DC motors are newer and part of a rapidly growing market. The stator is the outer, non-rotating structure that contains the windings. The rotator is the rotating part of the motor which contains fixed magnets. From 2003 to 2010, the brushless DC motor market grew from 300 million to 1.3 billion, due to the rise of technologies that include robots.

There’s more! Read on in the infographic below.