How to stop the flood of election junk mail?

Wherever you live in the world, whether it is a Local Council, State, Presidential or Federal election, your mailbox will groan under the weight of materials aimed at getting your vote. It may be the electronic age, but it seems that a letter in your letterbox is still considered the most efficient way of getting a message across.

While an informed electorate is important for the democratic process, there appears to be a glut of over-sending of junk mail for political purposes – and no clear way on how to solve this. What’s worse, the content of most of the political flyers is simply mudslinging about their opponents with little to no intellectual substance. Is anyone else reminded of children in the playground?

How can you help stop this unnecessary waste of resources? Imagine the strain on our environment and the large volume of greenhouse gases generated from all the trees cut down, printing and transport of the materials. Grab a cup of tea or your water bottle and let’s get down to it.

We know in Australia that material that is deemed to be political, educational, religious and charitable is exempt from “No Junk Mail” signed letterboxes according to standards conducted by the Australian Catalogue Association. So there is no way to stop it being posted in your letterbox along with the other junk mail catalogues enticing you to buy all sorts of things you don’t really need. It is likely the same in other countries.

Step 1. Incorrectly addressed political mail
A lot of of your mail may be addressed to past occupants of the house. You need to “return this to sender” with the note “no longer at this address”.

Step 2. Contact each political party or politician that is mailing you
There is no central database so you will need to call the office of each individual sender and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Remember to be nice! You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

Step 3. National Standard to stop political junk mail
Write a letter to the Electoral Commission asking them to implement a National Standard to limit the volume of pieces each political party is allowed to put in each household’s letterbox.

Step 4. Polling day
Don’t forget to recycle any materials you are given on the day – often the Greens Party has a box at the booths for such materials on polling day!

Written by Tracey Bailey, Director of Biome Eco Stores in Brisbane, specialists in water bottles and eco friendly, reusable choices for your home, body and lifestyle.

Core Drilling Brisbane

DIY vs Hiring a Concrete Cutting Service – including a Step by Step Guide

There is a vast variety of concrete saws and equipment that can be hired to do that pesky DIY project that you have always wanted to get done. But when should you hire a professional and when should you just give it a crack? To do your concrete cutting or core drilling job properly and on budget you will need: the right equipment, the right type – wet or dry, the right protection for yourself and the environment, the right skills and the right value for money. There is lots to consider, but if you read on and follow this step by step guide we can explore this in a little more detail.

Step 1.Choose the right equipment: For gener slab cutting Brisbane you will need a Floor Saw or Kwik Cut Saw (Hand Saw). This process is used when reasonably level and flat surfaces have to be cut and includes cutting through reinforced concrete, precast concrete, and other structural materials.

These surfaces include floors, roofs, bridge decks and suspended slabs. The surfaces are usually cut to provide expansion joints, to make openings for ducts, elevators, stairwells, machine pads, trenching and for demolition purposes.

For wall sawing Brisbane you will need a Kwik Cut Saw (Hand Saw) or Ring Saw. This process is used for the cutting of openings in vertical surfaces and surfaces with slopes so great that floor saws cannot be used.

These surfaces are usually cut to provide for doors, windows, vaults, silos, chests, foundations, ducts or large diameter pipes, or to remove part or all of existing walls. For core drilling Brisbane through a floor or wall you will need a core drill. Core drills can usually drill holes from 25mm dia – 660mm dia. This process is used for the drilling of circular holes in reinforced concrete, precast concrete, asphalt, brick, cinderblock and other structural materials. Usually the holes are made for electrical, plumbing, heating, sewer and sprinkler installations. Other applications include holes to anchor bolts or lifting rods, to place explosive charges, to install load carrying devices, or for analysis of the structure of the rock.

Step 2. Wet or Dry cutting? I don’t mean to scare you here, but cutting concrete can be very messy. You can probably figure out that the dry cutting means cutting without water and should be less messy… hmm not so sure. Cutting without water means dust and lots of it. Very messy, minute particles of concrete will billow into a thick cloud of grey concrete dust or red brick dust and coat everything nearby you own. Personally I prefer the wet cutting machines. Even though the mess is wet grey or red slurry, it is much easier to clean up all the mess with a wetvac (wet and dry vacuum cleaner) and a wipe over with a damp cloth. Dust on the other hand can get absolutely everywhere.

Step 3. Protect yourself and the environment. Basic safety equipment you will need include goggles, ear plugs, safety boots/steel capped gumboots and gloves. If you have chosen a dry cutting machine you will also need to work with a dust mask on to protect your lungs, and sun protection and long sleeves if you are working outside.

Cutting concrete can be very noisy so be mindful of neighbors and nearby businesses in case of noise pollution and air pollution. Think about what is below you if you are cutting on a floor higher than ground floor. Sadly I have heard of some terrible injuries because of falling cores and no safety barriers. Protect the environment with plastic sheeting, extraction fans and a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. In many countries, letting waste such as concrete slurry go down the drain is against the law and you will be fined.

Step 4. Check if you have the right skills. There are many dangers associated with concrete cutting equipment. Even though this equipment can be readily hired, this equipment should only be operated by experienced personnel. You won’t need to google ‘saw injuries’ to imagine the dangers of operating such powerful equipment without the right know how and strength.

Step 5. Check out the cost. Believe it or not the cost to hire a skilled professional who has all the equipment needed and can get the job done with minimal fuss, is often not much more than hiring the equipment yourself. Aside from the safety risk, mistakes in concrete are expensive if you get it wrong. Before you go ahead with the hire, at least get an idea of price from a professional by obtaining a quote.

For example you may be surprised to know that at elliottandfyfe.com.au you can hire a Brisbane concrete cutting operator to do a basic job for about $150.00. That’s hardly more than the cost of hiring the concrete cutting equipment, and comes with a skilled operator to do the hard work. Might just be worth the call?

Shaun McCabe Elliott and Fyfe Concrete Cutting Service – Brisbane. For an obligation free quote on any job call 07 3806 9100 or 0411 554 737.

Get Exciting Kids’ Entertainment With A Brisbane Childrens’ Magician

If you are organising a children’s party and want to make sure that it is full of energy, fun and the best entertainment, then you should consider hiring a talented magician for the occasion. The amazing range of tricks a magician can do inspires awe and excitement in everyone watching the show. Having a magician is the perfect way to liven up a party. Kids will absolutely love watching him make the impossible happen right before their eyes.

Johnny the Jester is a brilliant Brisbane childrens’ magician who performs magical shows for a range of kids events in venues across the greater Brisbane region. His incredible live shows are extremely popular with the kids who have a great time watching him perform awesome magic tricks or give fascinating demonstrations with live animals.

This childrens’ magician has had plenty of experience with working with kids and has done a great number of live performances. Johnny the Jester has been doing magical shows for fifteen years for various occasions and events across Australia and overseas. He has performed at many birthday parties, childcare centres, and schools. Because he is so popular, he also does live entertainment shows to huge crowds at a number of major shopping centres. With his level of experience and success at being a childrens’ magicians, he will be sure to wow at your child’s party.

His shows are filled with fun, games and excitement. Johnny the Jester’s magic show includes all sorts of marvelous tricks that will wow the kids and make them laugh. He also uses live animals in his performances such as Stewart the rabbit and Dorothy the dove, making them disappear and reappear to the childrens’ amazement. His popular magical python show is a hit with the kids. It is not only entertaining, but interactive and educational as well, teaching children about the different snake species in Brisbane.

Johnny the Jester caters for a variety of events in the Brisbane region, from birthday parties and school holiday fun to fetes. He can accommodate his shows for small groups of children to as many as 170,000 – so number is certainly not an issue. His magical shows can be performed indoors or outdoors, inside in the house or in the backyard. The shows go for a total of one hour, giving a great length of magical entertainment for the children to enjoy. Parents can sit back, relax and take pleasure in the show themselves.

Johnny the Jester is regularly entertaining and is available for bookings all days of the week. If you choose to book him for a weekday magic show, you can take advantage of the discount he offers. On weekdays he is also able to arrange free balloon figurines for children.

As you can see, getting a Brisbane childrens’ magician will add fun and enjoyment to any children’s party. And there’s no one better to do it than Johnny the Jester, a talented and experienced magician who provides interactive and highly entertaining live shows that will bring laughter and joy to all children who attend.

Styles of Yoga

Yoga originated in ancient India, and is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. Derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “union”, its primary goal is to help the student achieve union with the divine by way of specific poses (asanas), breath (pranayama), and meditation to achieve a state of spiritual liberation. Though yoga in the Western world focuses on health and fitness, it is important to appreciate yoga’s long history as a vital component of the Hindu philosophical and theological system.
As one of the most popular of natural therapies in the West, there are many types of yoga available for those seeking health and wellness. The following covers the more popular yoga styles in the West, and helps you have a clearer understanding of the basics of each yoga style so that you can choose one which best suits you and your needs.

Hatha
Hatha yoga is a generic title which describes any yoga style, and most yoga classes advertised in the West will be hatha yoga, unless otherwise stated. When a yoga class is advertised as hatha, it usually refers to a slow-paced and gentle introduction to yoga, incorporating basis poses and simple breathing exercises. Before attending a hatha yoga class, it is wise to ask the yoga teacher where he/she trained and what the class will consist of, e.g. yoga poses, pace, meditation and mantras etc. This will help to to decide if the yoga class will be beneficial for you.

Vinyasa
Vinyasa yoga is perhaps the most common for those wanting yoga purely for fitness. This form of yoga combines a sequence of flowing poses with rhythmic breathing, and is designed as an intense body-mind workout. As a generic term for any form of yoga that involves poses synchronised to the breath (where there is a flow as the poses run together), Vinyasa yoga is also used to describe yoga styles that have derived from it, such as Ashtanga and Power Yoga.

Ashtanga
As mentioned, Ashtanga is a form of yoga that has derived from the concept of Vinyasa yoga. It is fast-paced and based on six series of poses that increase in difficulty as each series moves through one to the next without stopping. As there is no time for adjustments, once a series of yogic poses and breathing are underway the student is encouraged to move through the series of movements without stopping, making for an ideal full body work-out that will stimulate and improve circulation and detoxification, and get that heart rate pumping!
Power Yoga
Another form of yoga derived from Vinyasa, Power yoga is a Western product based on the fundamentals of yoga tradition. More likely to be part of a gym curriculum, Power yoga weaves common yoga poses and breathe techniques to a rigorous exercise workout, designed to strengthen the body and promote flexibility. Power yoga is great as part of your training and fitness routine, but rarely addresses the philosophical aspects of yoga.

Bikram yoga
Designed by Bikram Choudhury, this form of yoga is better known for its use of sauna-like conditions to promote detoxification of the body through sweat. Bikram yoga classes are held in studios designed to replicate India’s climate, mimicking a hot and humid temperature. Here students work through a series of 26 traditional yoga poses (usually slow-paced and gentle) as they sweat and, as a result, promote fresh blood and oxygen to circulate throughout the body. This form of yoga is ideal as a detoxifying exercise to boost the immune system.

Sivananda
For those seeking a more philosophical approach to their yoga, Sivananda yoga is based on the philosophy of Swami Sivananda and his five principles:
1. Proper exercise
2. Proper breathing
3. Proper relaxation
4. Proper diet
5. Positive thinking/meditation

Sivananda yoga classes work through twelve basic poses. As a slow-paced form of yoga, the emphasis is on the full exploration of each pose so that the eventual mastering of each pose is achieved as part of an overall philosophical approach.

Iyengar
Iyengar yoga is based on the teaching of B.K.S Iyengar, one of the most influential yogis of all time. This form of yoga focuses on the subtleties of each pose, which are held much longer than traditional forms of yoga. Focussing on the physical alignment of the body in the poses, students are encouraged to attain perfect poses through consistent practice. This is based on the philosophical belief that once the body is in perfect balance by means of mastering each pose, the mind with reflect this balance. In addition, unlike other forms of yoga, Iyengar also uses props such as belts or chairs to accommodate any needs or structural imbalances in the body, which makes it a good option for those with poor mobility.
Anusara
Anusara means “to step into the current of divine will” and is a modern form of yoga created by American John Friend, with its origins derived from Iyengar yoga. Its practice focusses on three key areas:
• Attitude – by opening to grace one can awaken his/her true nature.
• Alignment – integrated awareness of the different
• Action – pose as expression of the heart and inner freedom.
This form of yoga reintroduces traditional Hindi elements of yoga, however is primary health orientated as it focuses on inner and outer body alignment.
Kundalini
Considered the most comprehensive of yogas, Kundalini is derived from the tantra yoga tradition and refers to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within us. Incorporating poses and dynamic breathing techniques, combined with specific mantra chanting and chakra awakening, Kundalini yoga acts as a holistic philosophy that keeps the body and mind strong and flexible in times of stress and conflict. This yoga style is suited for those wanting a holistic approach to their yoga practice.

There are many other forms of yoga available, with more yoga traditions and styles being introduced into the West every year. Like all things, however, it is best to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve from yoga and then find a style that best suits that. Happy yoga practicing from Radiant Heart Yoga Woolloongabba, Brisbane.

Can I really save fuel with a Truck Wheel Alignment?

Most heavy vehicle owners in the transport industry are asking themselves – How can I save money on my running costs? How can I save on fuel consumption? Will a truck wheel alignment help?

Research & studies conducted around the world show that around 80 percent of medium to heavy vehicles are incorrectly aligned, or have a mis-alignment. If your truck, trailer or bus has incorrectly aligned wheels & axles, you have what we call increased rolling resistance when travelling on the road. This means the engine is working harder than required to push the truck along the road, and the end result is an increase in fuel consumption. Given that fuel can account for up to 50% of the operating costs of a truck or fleet, smart operators must explore all avenues to reduce fuel consumption.
Generally speaking, correcting even slight alignment issues have been shown to result in a saving of 3 – 10 percent on fuel.

3% doesn’t sound too significant does it? Lets take a closer look – One truck runs Brisbane to Sydney (return) 3 times a week (6,000 kms). That’s 312,000 kms a year. Fuel consumption average is 1.85 litres/km. That’s 577,200 litres, current local prices are around $1.49 per litre. Fuel cost for the year – $860,028.00. If you reduced fuel consumption by 3%, you would save $25,800.84!!
Your scenario may be different, but you can see that small changes can make a big difference to the bottom line of your business. There are other areas where you can save on running costs, which will be covered in another article.

If you own one truck or one hundred, and you are not having a regular truck wheel alignment performed as part of your maintenance schedule, you really need to contact your local truck wheel alignment specialist for a chat.

Truckologist is a mobile truck wheel alignment business based in Brisbane, Australia.