Month: April 2015

A Basic Guide to Porcelain Sink Refinishing

Porcelain coatings are known to offer a classic looking and durable surface for bathroom sinks and kitchens. They come in classic white and other color variants. According to Minneapolis MN kitchen refinishing specialists, sink refinishing is the definitive method to ensure that your kitchen or bathroom sink retain their original luster. Here are some basic tips to consider.

Initial Prep

Prior to refinishing a porcelain type sink, it is imperative that you check for the presence of any structural damage that can make the refinishing process impossible, like the presence of cracks that pass through the vessel. Once you have established the viability of the sink you can then proceed to prepping the surface area. Minneapolis kitchen repair experts recommend that you remove the old caulk from between the sink and the wall. You then drag a putty knife carefully along the caulk, thereby lifting it to easily pull out and disposed of. Make sure to use proper care with the knife so as not to chip at the drywall or tile. You also need to cover the faucet with plastic that is secured in place by rubber band and then remove the drain cover. Use plastic sheeting and painter’s tape on the walls for added protection.

Cleaning the Sink

Once the old caulk has been removed and you have instituted the necessary fixture protection, you can then proceed to clean the sink thoroughly. You can use rubber gloves and a respirator to begin cleaning the surface of the sink using an acid-based cleaning solution like TSP or trisodium phosphate. Make sure that you rinse thoroughly once finished. For best results, rub the surface with denatured alcohol which is essentially a multi-purpose solvent once you are done with the cleaning process.

Repair and Etching

In order to repair any surface cracks or chips, a polyester glazing putty that is designed for use in porcelain sinks is used to repair any surface blemishes. Once this has been applied and allowed to dry, you need to use a medium grit sandpaper in order to sand the surface properly. Etch the surface after sanding in order to ensure that the new coat of paint will adhere to it properly.

Spraying New Enamel

Spraying on the new enamel will give the sink the proper coating it needs to look amazing. You can use an acrylic urethane enamel specifically for this purpose. Spray on at least three coats in order to get a smooth finish.

To learn more about porcelain refinishing log on to Surface Specialists Metro.



Outdoor Fire Pit Design Choices

Fire pits offer a lot of opportunities for outdoor cooking and also provide a place to sit down and have a cool fireside chat with close friends and family members. Fire pits for the most part burn wood in order to create heat and light. Some fire pit designs are meant to be permanent additions to the landscaping while others are temporary and some are even portable so you can change their location easily. According to fire pits Zimmerman Minnesota specialists, a fire pit is one of the easiest means of adding dimension to your yard. Here are some design ideas to consider.

Stone and Brick Fire Pits

This type of fire pit design calls for digging a hole in the soil or gravel. To define the boundaries of the pit, a ring of bricks, stones or concrete blocks are stacked around the rim. This prevents logs from rolling out of the pit as they burn. This design can be a temporary one if set in place without any mortar. A permanent grill may be placed simply by mortaring it as you please.

Outdoor fireplace Design

According to landscape Plymouth MN specialists, this is basically an outdoor fire pit that is designed to look like an interior fireplace. It is basically an upright structure that consists of a chimney and is usually built out of stones, concrete blocks and bricks. The design can either be permanent or temporary. Most models burn wood while a select few ones are designed for gas use.

Gas Fire Pits

Due to the simple fact that not all locations are within the proximity of a good supply of wood for burning in a fire pit, gas fire pits are designed to specifically cater to these places. The design for gas fire pits usually consists of metal and is powered either by natural gas lines or propane tanks. The advantage is that unlike wood fueled designs, there is no cleanup needed after cooking with gas.

Chiminea Design

This is basically an enclosed outdoor fire pit that consists of metal, terra cotta or ceramic. It features a rounded body and a tall chimney. Due to the fact that they are more enclosed than the other designs, they are able to trap the heat they generate.

To learn more about outdoor fire pit designs log on to Sunshine Landscaping.


Boeing Company Granted Patent for Force Field-Like Technology

From what looks like a page from the latest science fiction novel, Boeing has been awarded a patent for a force-field like defense system, which led excited fans to announce the advent if something previously seen in the realms of science fiction movies. The patent application filed in 2012, the aerospace giant has been granted a patent for a method and system for shockwave attenuation through electromagnetic arc. What it claims is described more in detail below:

“A shockwave attenuation system, comprising: a sensor for generating a detection signal based on at least one of detecting an explosion capable of producing a shockwave traveling through a first fluid medium to a protected region, and estimating a location and time of the explosion, and detecting an explosive device and estimating a location and time of an explosion from the explosive device that is capable of producing the shockwave traveling through the first fluid medium; and an arc generator in communication with the sensor for receiving the detection signal therefrom, and in response thereto heat a selected region of the first fluid medium rapidly to create a second, transient medium, different from the first medium, interposed between the shockwave and the protected region such that the shockwave contacts the second, transient medium and is attenuated in energy density before it reaches a protected asset in the protected region.”

At first glance, it seems that they are researching into something quite similar to deflector shields seen in the Star Wars movies. The patent is clearly describing a technology that is able to detect a shockwave from a nearby explosion in order to establish a region of ionized air or plasma field between the oncoming blast and the asset it is providing protection for.

By establishing a temporary superheated parcel of air using a laser, microwave or electrical arc, scientists believe that the shockwave would in theory dissipate once it gets into contact with the plasma field, leaving whatever was within to be unaffected.






FAQS on Carrera Digital 132

What are the known differences as well as additional features of Carrera Digital 132 when compared with the Evolution PRO-X and PRO-X respectively?

Carrera slot car systems like the Carrera Digital 132 allow players to race up to 6 cars simultaneously on a single track. These slot cars are digitally controlled and individually codable using a speed controller. They can be used on the Evolution model. They feature front light Xenon and rear/brake light, sound finish body work. The pace car as well as the autonomous car can be operated. Players can customize maximum speed as well as the braking performance of the vehicle. The pit stop lane comes as an accessory and is compatible with the PRO-X. The track can be extended using any track material scale 1:24.

What is the technical data and scale of the Carrera Digital 132?

  • Scale of tracks 1:24 scale, scale of vehicles 1:32, track width: 198 mm, transformer: 14.8 volts, 3.5 amp
  • Up to 6 available for digital slot car racing

Does the Carrera Digital 132 Black Box feature six controller connections or is it only at 4?

The Carrera Digital 132 Black box still feature at least four controller connections. The IR system needs to be utilized in case 5 or 6 cars are needed for racing.

How is this Possible?

This can be achieved by using the speed controller extension box which is plugged in the connection of the speed controller 1 and therefore allows for a total of six speed controllers to be used.   Another option would be through a wireless connection. Connecting to Black Box Tower 1 and/or 2 in order to be able to control cars 1 to 4 via Wireless. Black Box connection 1 and 4 results in controlling speed regulators for car number 5 and 6.

Can the wireless option be combined with the Carrera Digital 132 or is there any fixed standard that needs to be followed?

Typically, the 2 systems are unrestricted. There are fixed controller connections for address 5 and 6. Both controller connections at the Carrera Digital 132 Black Box right hand side are specifically intended for address 5 and 6 with the IR system plugged in. Technically, only 4 cars may be controlled for the wireless option. Car number 5 and 6 have to be controlled via cable speed controllers located on the Black Box.

To learn more about slot car racing log on to Carrera Slots.



Battling Ebola and Cancer Using Nanoparticle Technology

The Holy Grail in the field of Medicine is to discover a substance that is able to effectively attack cancerous cells without destroying healthy tissue around it. From focused treatment regimens like monoclonal antibodies to surgery, cancers has still successfully evaded treatment that discreetly and separately attacks it without harming nearby tissue.


Nanotechnology is basically the manipulation of matter at a molecular and even atomic level in order to penetrate living cells is signifying hope for opening up a new front line against the war on deadly diseases such as Ebola and cancer.

According to Dr. Thomas Webster, the chair of chemical engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, significant research into medical nanotechnology is gaining ground and the medical establishment is beginning to take notice. At the heart of the technology is the ability to be able to attach drugs, and in some instance metals and minerals, to nanoparticles so that they would bind themselves to life threatening cancer cells and viruses.

Gold Nanoparticles

In one particular study, Dr. Webster’s team is developing techniques to allow gold nanoparticles to cancer cells. Infrared light would serve to heat up the nanoparticles, which kills the cancer cells, but leave healthy cells alive to perform their function.

According to Dr. Webster, “This technology has been studied for the better part of a decade, but we’re looking at ways of making it better, one that we’ve created in the lab we’ve called ‘nanostars.’

“A star shape has a lot more surface area, so they can kill cancer cells faster than a nanosphere because they heat up faster.

“Even if it’s carrying a drug, a star has a lot more surface area on which to attach it — it’s got a different morphology.”

The Future, Today

While nanoparticle technology is still considered in its infancy, nanostructured surfaces are already forming part of the medical firmament. Dr. Webster says, “These are being approved by the Food and Drug Administration and we’re seeing better bone growth, better tissue growth and we’re seeing the ability to decrease infection using these materials.”

These developments, he said, were helping patients in the here and now.

“What we’re using with this is the same materials that we are implanting today — so titanium for hip implants, polyvinyl chloride for catheters, silicone for breast implants.”

“We’re doing a lot of work with putting nanofeatures on materials that could stop cancers from coming back.”



Facts on Well Water Contamination

water wellThere are approximately fifteen million households in the US that totally rely on private wells for their drinking water. Each year, there is about ninety thousand new wells that are drilled in order to accommodate more people that require access to it. Well contamination is a serious concern that needs to be addressed not just by the authorities but the community as well. Volatile organic chemicals from nearby factories may seep into the ground and find their way into aquifers, thereby contaminating them. Changes such as taste, odor and color are some of the symptoms that signify you have water quality issues that need to be addressed promptly.


If your well water appears frothy or cloudy then chances are it has been contaminated by chemical detergents. If there are scaly residues present and soaps do not dissolve as they should, then the water has a high level of “hardness” due to the presence of manganese, copper, lead or iron. The presence of stains on plumbing fixtures and laundry may also indicate a corrosion issue that needs to be addressed promptly.


The smell of petrol is a sure sign that your well system will require VOC removal in order to be considered clean and safe for human consumption. Petrol can easily enter a well system from buried fuel tanks located at nearby gasoline stations, drilling operations or a recent chemical spillage. Testing for these chemicals is a time consuming and expensive process. Bad odor from water may also result from sewage leak issues as well as pipe corrosion problems.


Salty taste in water means that there is too much sodium already present. This issue usually arises in coastal areas where seawater found its way into the well water system. Leaching into a well system caused by heavily salted roadways can also be the causative factor. Despicable water taste may also be the result of pipe corrosion or the presence of hydrogen sulfide.

Recurring Illness

Recurring gastro-intestinal problems is a sure sign that the well water has been contaminated with coliform bacteria and viruses. This is usually caused by runoff from agricultural lands or contamination with municipal and industrial waste water.

To know about the different means of treating contaminated water log on to                                                


Get Ready for More Big Changes to Facebook

Social media giant Facebook is gearing up for some new changes that will affect the way you browse online. All of the said features are designed to make it easier for you to communicate not just with your friends but also with businesses.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the slew of platform modifications during F8, the company’s developer conference. Here are some of the things that you can expect to see soon.

Spherical Videos on your News Feed and Oculus VR headset

The company will soon support videos that were shot using 360-degree camera technology, which will allow users the capability to change the perspective by simply clicking and dragging the screen. YouTube, which is owned by Google, recently announced their support for the format as well. As video becomes the more popular format for file sharing, the two companies are expected to launch even more radical features very soon.

Online Purchase Tracking and Communication with Messenger App

Facebook’s messaging app will soon be integrated into e-commerce websites. In the near future, when you buy stuff online, you will have the option to connect to your FB account so that companies will be able to inform you about what you recently purchased directly in the Messenger application.

Replying to Messages Using Different Apps

In the past you will have to close an app in order to reply to messages. FB is saying that they are adding a feature that will allow you to open third party apps such as animated GIF-creator Giphy within Messenger and then be able to send a message.

Videos Posted on FB can now be Embedded Elsewhere on the Internet

As of late, when you upload a video on FB, you may only share the video by linking to it. The new feature is an attempt to make it more attractive for people to upload their vids on FB as opposed to YouTube alone.

Comments Posted on Other Sites will Show Up on Facebook as Well

The next time you want to say something regarding an article you have just read, please remember that it will soon show up automatically under the story that was posted on Facebook. The feature is designed to make it more convenient for media companies to achieve more engagement with their content.




What Causes Concrete to Crumble?

crumbling concreteConcrete is known as one of the toughest construction materials available. It is composed of the binding agent cement along with an aggregate that is usually comprised of small to large pieces of gravel. Crumbling or flaking on the concrete surface is called spalling. Damaged concrete is not only unsightly but also dangerous if not addressed properly. Here is what you need to know about what causes concrete to crumble.

Freezing and Thawing

While concrete is known to be a very stable material, consistent freezing and thawing can cause it to become weak. According to concrete delivery Minneapolis MN experts, concrete remains porous and tends to absorb water. If this water gets trapped inside when it freezes, it will push the cement binder apart. The resulting expansion and contraction when the water melts again causes it to crumble. If you live in a climate region with winter weather that is cold enough to freeze water, sealing your concrete walkways and steps at least once a year can really do a lot in preventing spalling.


According to ready mix concrete delivery Minneapolis MN providers, gravel used as the concrete aggregate feature certain mineral deposits that leech out slowly causing cracking and crumbling of concrete. Pyrites is usually the main cause of this problem in residential concrete. Other mineral of concern are silica and mica0, which cause deterioration if present in large amounts. Sophisticated concrete testing methods prevent these problems in new concrete but concrete used in older construction may be prone to this problem.

De-icing Salt

It is very dangerous to use a frost-covered concrete driveway. Therefore, sprinkling a bit of rock salt in order to encourage melting can offer the necessary traction needed but may also damage the surface of the concrete. Rock salt causes pitting and crumbling as a result of a chemical reaction. The use of alternative de-icing crystals such as magnesium chloride and potassium chloride can prevent this issue from occurring.

Wrong Water Ratio

If you do not follow properly the manufacturer recommendations when it comes to mixing concrete for your DIY projects, chances are you either have placed too much which can cause concrete to be weak or too little which makes it too hard. Use only as much water as the mix instructions indicate so as to prevent weak concrete that crumbles easily when exposed to pressure.

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