Thursday, May 17, 2007

Inversion Tables and Back Stretching: Better Ways to Treat Back Pain

Recently the Wall Street Journal published an article regarding the current trend in treating back pain. Persistent back pain can be a chronic issue for persons over the age of fifty, and that 30 million Americans regularly suffer from back pain. The number is expected to grow as the U.S. population ages and face degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis. Back pain ranks second behind the common cold for physician visits and accounts for 25% of all worker’s compensation claims. The article indicated that the current patient treatment includes excessive x-ray and CT scans and radical spinal surgeries to fuse vertebrae in the lumbar region, costing the health care system more than $90 billion annually. Moreover, many of the CT and X-rays are unnecessary and the back lumbar fusion surgeries can take up to a full year for recovery. Over treatment of back pain can lead to expensive and dangerous care than leaves patients in worse shape.
Now several medical experts are touting a more conservative approach: continued stretching, strengthening and flexibility exercises along with pain medication, if needed. Described as the new Back Pain Recognition Program, the goal is to reduce the number of scans and expensive treatments and adopt treatments that are proven to work. For many patients, the most effective treatment for back pain is much less invasive. Acute back pain usually subsides in four to six weeks with pain management, minimal bed rest, and a return to physical activity. Studies also showed than prolonged bed rest and limited physical stretching activity is not helpful. The highlights of the new plan include:

  • Stop Smoking: Smokers with back pain have more sever symptoms.
  • Maintain normal activity and avoid bed rest: Bed rest can lead to health problems such as joint stiffness, muscle wasting, and pressure sores.
  • Use X-rays and CT scans only when appropriate: Program considers scans unnecessary in the first six weeks after the onset of pain unless indications of a more serious disorder is apparent.
  • Use epidural steroid injections only when necessary: injections may be unnecessary unless symptoms include radiating pain such as sciatica, or herniated disc.
  • Hold off on surgery: Half of patients with radiating low back pain recover spontaneously. has a wide selection of inversion tables and back stretching devices that fit into the new program from the National Committee of Quality Assurance. Physical activity that provides for back stretching and flexibility gains are very important to back pain treatment. Inversion therapy and back stretching therapy are part of the right care for aching backs.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Google Check-out is here! has launched the new Google check-out feature; a fast, secure, and convenient way to shop online. As one of the early adopters of this new program, ComfortChannel is excited to stregthen their Google relationship, and offer the most up-to-date and convenient avenues in order to make your shopping experience painless.

Google, no doubt, is a trusted name in the web community. The new Google Check-out feature is only provided to 100% Google approved online resources - taking the guessing game out of finding reputable ecommerce solutions for your everyday online shopping excursions. Simply log in once and gain access to sites worthy of Googles stamp of approval.

Google Check-out is different then Pay-Pal. When you open an account with Google they store all of your information so you don't have to fill in those legnthly forms for each purchase you make. In fact, you can store as many shipping addresses and credit cards as you want in your account and your private information remains completely secure. Google will not share your credit card information with any merchant (even those you buy from), and offers the option of keeping your email address secure as well - this avoids spam. One form to fill out, one user name and password - thousands of safe merchants to choose from. You can review your purchase history and track your recent orders at any time. Google Check-out also provides fraud prevention- This is a dream come true!

Google any item you want to purchase and look for the results that display the "speedy little shopping cart". These are Google Approved Google Check-out providers. If you haven't already signed up, you can do it upon your first check out at participating merchants sites.

View the Google Press Release, take a tour and watch their Customer video! Sign up here! View the merchant video so understand the advantages of applying to become a Googe Check-out provider.

Monday, June 26, 2006

CEN RC Racing

CEN Racing Genesis 46 is the Monster of all RC Racing Monster Trucks. Bigger, more powerful, and better engineered with more advanced features than any other RC Racing Monster Truck on the planet. Things like:
  • Dual Front and Rear Disc Brakes - so you can slow down and let the competion look like a competition (otherwise, it would be a turkey shoot!).
  • 3 Speed Automatic transmission with adjustable shifting - so you can tune your truck to individual RC dirt oval racing tracks.
  • Real Oil Reservoir Coil-Over Shocks - you can literally DRIVE RIGHT OVER the competition, just like the Big Boys.
  • Rear Ported, .46 cubic inch Big Block SCREAMING Nitro-Powered Gas Engine.
  • Soon to be available is the Four Wheel Racing Hop Up Steering Kit - so you can out-turn, out-spin and out-maneuver every other RC Racing Monster Truck out there.

CEN Racing makes Champions. The MT2 is the National RC Monster Stadium Truck Champion 2 years in a row. How does CEN make winners? With tough 4 wheel drive super stable chassis, powerful nitro gas engines, and advanced engineering. Pure enthusiasm drives these Remote Control Racing Stadium Trucks and you can be a part of the winners circle.

If you want to rip up sand dunes and other rugged terrain, your gonna need a Nitro Dune Buggy like the new ATX. This is Off Road RC Buggy dune-busting fun! Featuring 4 Wheel Drive, extra long suspension travel and a low profile center of gravity, these nitro dune buggies are a blast to watch. Longer suspension arms and a low center of gravity make it ALL TERRAIN.

Or if you're a fan of RC Rally Racing, the CEN line of 4 wheel drive RC Rally Cars can't be beat. They ain't just copies of real world winners. After all, 2nd place is still behind the champions.

Blazing at speeds up to 72.4 MPH, the CEN CT4S RC Race Car is faster than Schamacher Nitro Fusion 21, faster than Traxxas Nitro 4 Tec, and way faster than the Team Associated Nitro nearly 25 mph faster! Loaded with high tech suspension hardware and reinforced 4 WHEEL DRIVE driveline, the CEN CT4S Remote Control Race car line will romp, stomp and blow away the RC Nitro Racing competition. Put real speed in your hands and drift car racing tricks in the parking lot with any one of the CEN CT4S RC Race Cars. Real power like this, must be CEN Racing!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

AeroGarden Aeroponic Indoor Garden

The AeroGarden by AeroGrow uses new high tech improvements in hydroponic gardening to grow plants five to ten times faster than soil gardening for amazing harvests in very little time. Unlike classic hydroponics gardening systems where plant roots are submerged in water, aeroponics systems use the plant's ability to take in oxygen through the roots. The plants are suspended in a 100% humid, "rainforest" environment where they are regularly bathed in a nutrient solution, resulting in accelerated plant growth.

AeroGrow International's indoor container garden is controlled by a microprocessor that monitors and delivers water, nutrients and light according to each specific seed kit. Lights on the Smart Garden control panel blink when water or nutrients need to be added. Full spectrum grow lights (2 light bulbs included) provide all the light needed for optimal plant growth. Engineered exclusively for indoor gardening, the efficient grow light bulbs use less energy than a sixty watt light bulb.

Bio-dome seed pods, or mini-greenhouses, encapsulate each seed for faster, healthier germination. The smart garden bio-dome regulates nutrients, oxygen and water delivery to the seeds as they grow. Simply ppen the seed kit and place the seed pods into their assigned slots on the AeroGarden grow surface. Make sure the label is facing forward and press each pod in place firmly. No Green Thumbs required!

Time released aeroponic nutrients deliver a balanced blend of 85 macro and micro nutrients for optimal plant growth. Aero Grow's patent-pending pH balancing system automatically adjusts any water system's pH. Drop in a tablet when the AeroGarden Smart Garden Control Panel reminds you - about every two weeks.

Use the nutrient tablets that came with the seed kit. AeroGrow nutrient tablets are specially formulated for each seed kit. Using a different seed kit's nutrient tablets may harm the plants you are trying to grow and result in less than optimal flavor and growth.

Nutrient tablets consist mainly of mineral salts and provide the 13 micro and macro nutrients that all plants require in the right proportians for growing Gourmet Herbs in a container garden. The tablets also contain seaweed for 70 additional micro nutrients, a pH balancing tap water buffer and a binder to hold the tablet together.

The AeroGarden home and kitchen garden with Salad Greens Seed Kit has everything needed to quickly produce AeroGrow's exclusive blend of Green Summer Crisp, Red Leaf and Red Butterhead lettuce. Begin harvesting in only three weeks and continue harvesting for about two and a half more months.

Other Seed Kit choices include:

The International Basil kit provides a mix of seven aromatic varieties of basil: Lemon, Thai, Napolitano, Marseilles (French), Genovese (Italian), Globe and Red Rubin. Begin harvesting basil in about four weeks and continue to produce for four to six months.

THe Cherry Tomato kit provides two Red Heirloom and one Golden Harvest cherry tomato plants. Flowers bloom in 30 days, tomatoes appear in six weeks. Harvesting begins in about 10 weeks.

The Gourmet Herbs kit provides a festive variety of colorful herbs: Cilantro, Chives, Italian Basil, Red Rubin Basil, Dill, Mint and Parsley. Begin harvesting in about five weeks and continue to produce for four to six months.

The Chili Peppers kit provide 3 varieties of miniature peppers: Mini Jalapeno (a Hispanic cooking favorite), Purple Super Hot (for color and punch) and Red Fire (great for Asian dishes).
Begin harvesting in about 12 weeks and continue to produce for four to six months.

The Cascading Petunia kit provides a multi-colored array of delightful Petunias. Flowers begin blooming in just thirty days and continue to produce big, colorful blooms for up to six months.

At AeroGrow International, Inc. it's all about the food and making it as fresh, nutritious and tasty as possible. Imagine cooking with fresh herbs grown on your counter with no pesticides, herbicides GMOs or soil contaminants. Yum!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Haier Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner

Haier's Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner uses ordinary tap water and 42,000 energy waves per second to clean your jewelry and eyeglasses. This ultrasonic jewelry cleaner has a 20.3-ounce capacity stainless steel cleaning chamber and auto shut-off. The automatic 3-minute cleaning cycle makes it easy to use.

What is Ultrasonic? Ultrasonic is a generated sound that is of such high pitch humans cannot hear it. High pitched sounds are created by high frequencies. Frequencies above 16 kHz are considered to be ultrasonic. Typical ultrasonic frequencies used for cleaning purposes are between 20 kHz and 80 kHz. The ideal cleaning frequency is determined by what is going to be cleaned. Simply speaking, the higher the frequency the more capable it is to remove smaller particles.

How can sound clean? When an ultrasonic sound travels through liquid it generates a physical effect called "cavitations". The cavitation is the process of a sound wave stretching and compressing the liquid medium to transmit sound. When the amplitude the sound wave reaches a level that liquid can no longer hold the stretch in, it literally tears the water apart. As a result, millions of vacuumed "bubbles" are formed under the extreme negative pressure. These vacuumed "bubbles" continue to grow in size until their equilibrium is reached. When this is achieved they rapidly compress and create millions of tiny liquid jets.

These jets release a tremendous amount of energy stored within the bubbles. In fact, each "bubble" holds (roughly) a temperature of more then 5000 degrees Celsius and more then 10,000 PSI (pounds per square inch). The incredible pressure each "bubble" releases is responsible for the effective cleaning action an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner offers. Since cavitation occurs anywhere liquid can reach, ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are capable of entering into fine trends or cracks to clean.

Examination prior to cleaning is a good practice as ultrasonic cleaning is an aggressive method. For example, many class rings are coated with a dark pigment to reduce their shininess. Ultrasonic cleaning can remove this coating. It is not recommended to use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner on gems that are soft or porous (opals, pearls, emeralds, coral etc). Cleaning agents can erode or infiltrate these gems. Ultrasonic cleaning is also discouraged for tanzanite, amber, or any gemstone that reveals a high degree of internal fractures.

Daily maintenance can also help keep your jewlery looking as good as the day it was purchased. Read on for some great tips from Kelly Gormly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  • Pearls are among the most delicate jewels and require special care. Wipe pearls off with a damp soft cloth after each wearing because sweat, body oil and cosmetic products can erode the pearls. Keep your pearls away from hard or sharp jewelry items that could scratch them. Pearls are best stored in a soft cloth pouch, or a separately lined segment of a jewelry box.
  • Store fine jewelry carefully; don't just toss it in a jewelry box. The metals, gemstones and other materials can get scratched, especially if they are softer gemstones. The hardest stones -- such as diamonds, sapphires and rubies -- are the least vulnerable to scratching, but they still need to be handled with care. Wrap pieces individually in tissue paper or velvet, or arrange them carefully in a jewelry box so that they do not touch each other.
  • When getting dressed, try to apply perfumes and hair sprays and let them dry before putting on jewelry, so that it doesn't develop a residue; this especially applies to pearls. Also, make sure all body lotion has absorbed into the skin before putting on jewelry.
  • Do not wear jewelry particularly rings or bracelets while doing any household cleaning, gardening, or other dirty work. Even wedding rings, which people often do not take off, will be in better condition if they are removed before chores. Over time, the household soaps can cause stress and fatigue in the metals.
  • Check jewelry pieces regularly for signs of wear and tear, like missing or loose stones, and obtain necessary repairs. If you have a pearl necklace that you wear frequently, have it re-strung annually with knots between each pearl, so that if the string breaks, the pearls won't be lost.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Misting Fans

Heat stress is an indicator of unsafe and unhealthy work or play circumstances. Heat stress has been documented to contribute to dangerous conditions such as heat stroke, fainting, cramps, vision impairment, and dehydration. Capable of cooling a large area down by as much as 35 degrees Fahrenheit, the Mighty Mister Misting Fan can last up to 8 hours! Fitted with wheels and a handy folding tow handle, the Mighty Mister Cooler Misting Fan is not only lightweight, but the Misting Fan can be stored in the Cooler during transportation or storage. Extremely energy efficient and affordable, the Mighty Mister Misting Fan is the way to go for both portable applications and anytime regular Air Conditioning is impossible.

Easily transportable, the VersaMist Misting Fans are a unique and clever misting cooling systems solution that simply attaches to the Igloo 10 gallon drinking cooler. Simply fill the cooler with cold water, insert the misting hose, attach the lid, hook the misting fan up to an AC Plug-in or choose the DC power supply model and turn on the misting fan. Schaefer Ventilation VersaMist Cooling Misting Fans can last up to 5 hours. Effective enough to cool an area of 180 square feet and lower air temperatures as much as 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stepping up the ladder in overall power and cooling ability, the Schaefer Ventilation VersaFog is a high-power, high-pressure cooling fog misting fan that can move up to 11,000 cubic feet per minute of cooled air. Mounted on a wheeled platform for easy transportation and set up in Fan Oscillation mode, this extremely effective air cooling system cannot be beat for pure cooling power and energy efficiency. The VersaFog can actually reduce air temperature as much as 35 degrees Fahrenheit!. Look to Schaefer Ventilation cooling misting fan systems to solve even the most challenging cooling problems and provide years of trouble-free use.

According to wiseGEEK, "A typical misting fan works on the principles of thermal dynamics and evaporative cooling. If you place a wet towel in front of an electric fan, you may notice the area around the towel becomes noticeably cooler. As the water from the towel evaporates, it takes a certain amount of heat energy along with it. The fan circulates the cooler air around the room, acting like a rudimentary air conditioner. Misting fan technology takes this idea of evaporative cooling and makes it much more efficient and productive."

Water is the key to misitng fans. Special high-pressure pumps generate a water pressure of 1000 PSI (pounds per square inch). Super fine nozzle openings compress the outbound water into micron-sized droplets, creating a thin mist. The mist evaporates upon contact with the warm air. These tiny droplets actually pull heat as they evaporate resulting in a significant temperature drop. An electric fan pushes this cold air and mist combination for several hundred yards or more.

Because the mist created by a misting fan system is so fine it is very unlikely that one would become wet, unless you are less than 6 inches (15 cm) away from the water nozzle. Misitng Fans usually filter the water supply and rarely use more than 1 or 2 US gallons (about 3.8 to 7.6 liters) per hour.

Misting Fans were originally created to cool crowds of people in outdoor arenas or stadiums, however, smaller home units are becoming popular. Misting fans are great for around the pool, backyard gardens, outdoor garages or while mowing the lawn.

How A Misting Fan Works

A standard fan uses evaporative cooling to create a cooling effect. When you sweat the fan circulates air over your skin and causes the perspiration to evaporate. This moving air efficient at removing radiated heat from your body.

A misting fan simply adds water to this basic principal. A fine spray of water is combined with the air movement of the fan. The water absorbes the heat and then evaporates, thus cooling the surrounding air up to 30 degrees. Misting fans work best in areas with low humidity.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Swamp Coolers

A swamp cooler is an effective alternative to an air conditioner. They operate on simple physics: Dry air absorbs moisture through evaporation. Evaporated water absorbs heat. In a swamp cooler, a fan is used to increase evaporation; making the air cooler and distributing it throughout your home. However, swamp coolers are only effective in dry climates with low humidity. It is important to keep ample ventillation and air circulation when using a swamp cooler. They rely on exits, like open windows, to erradicate hot moist air. Evaporative coolers are super energy efficient, requiring only one-tenth the energy needed for a traditional air conditioner.

Bi-annual maintenance is essential for your swamp cooler operation to remain smooth. Exposure to the weather causes a collection of dust and debris throughout the year. High mineral content in your water will cause large deposits in the cooling pads during evaporation.

Luckily, regular maintenance is easy. You should prepare your swamp cooler at the beginning of spring and at the end of fall.

Spring Maintenance
Usually, dry operation (fan only) is adequate in early spring so avoid filling the sump. The water pump should not be used when no water is in the sump. Wait until you are sure there will be no more freezes before filling the sump and connecting the water line to avoid bursting and replacement. If you chould need to replace the water line, copper tubing is easy to install and will last many years longer than plastic tubing.
  1. Turn off the circuit breaker to the swamper, if not already off.
  2. Remove all side panels and replace the cooler pads. Aspen pads are reccommended for cost and because they are biodegradeable. Synthetic pads don't work any better, but they cost more and must be cut to size.
  3. Clean any dust and debris from the water sump.
  4. Remove the sump pump and make sure theimpeller moves smoothly. If minerals or mud accumulate in the impeller housing it could prevent smooth rotation. When this happens, the motor will eventually burn out.
  5. Be sure that the drip-tubes at the top of the cabinet are firmly connected. A small, flexible "snake" can be used to be sure they are clear of any clogging.
  6. Check the V-belt connecting the fan motor to the blower fan. It should be replaced if excessive wear is visible.
  7. Check for free rotation of the blower fan and fan motor. Excessive noise means the bearings have probably accumulated dirt or minerals. Oil the pillow-block bearings at each end of the blower fan. Most fan motors have sealed bearings and will not need lubrication, but if yours has oil fittings, be sure to oil the fan motor bearings also.
  8. Connect the water line to the water source and allow the sump to fill. The float valve should close when the level is about ¾ inch below the level of the over-flow pipe. The cooler pads will hold a significant amount of water during operation. When the swamper shuts off, the water will drain into the sump. If your swamper continually over-flows onto the roof, bend the float-arm down about 1/8th inch at a time and check again. If the water level is too low and your sump pump is sucking air, bend the float arm up about 1/8th inch until the desired level is reached.
  9. Install all side panels and you should be set for the coming season.

Preparing for Winter

Preparing your swamp cooler for winter is basically the opposite Spring Maintenance.

  1. Drain the pump.
  2. Clear out any debris.
  3. Disconnect the water line before the first freeze.
  4. Cover your swamp cooler, or wrap it in a tarp to prevent winter drafts.
  5. Turn off the circuit breaker.