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All That You Desired to Know Regarding Fulfillment for ECommerce

The fulfillment for eCommerce is the central part of your eCommerce sales chain that helps you deliver your products to customers. Basically, e-Commerce fulfillment is a comprehensive process involving activities ranging from receiving orders to documenting, picking, packing, and finally shipping of items through third-party logistics of global recognition. Simply put, in the beginning, while most online retail houses were used to maintain inventory while packing boxes in their workshop like a garage, etc., as they grow with millions of customers across the globe, they consider outsourcing their order fulfillment third-party logistics company or 3PL.

The consistency and similarity of predictable and accurate order fulfillment is the success key to keep customers happy, earn positive reviews, and multiply the market. A well-planned and professionally managed eCommerce fulfillment not only saves your money, time but equally helps your online retail business project operate seamlessly with increased market reach. To make this monumental project success, working with a specialized eCommerce fulfillment service provider should be your first priority that helps make your business lively and agile. Here’ we are going to discuss the four basic elements of the e-commerce fulfillment process:

Receiving

Having inventory in hand is essential to fulfill orders coming through your retail business partner. On receipt of the pallets, items are documented, logged in inventory, stored on the shelves, and other kinds of storage units. Since you are equipped with a professional fulfillment for eCommerce partner, maintaining inventory is essential to take care of fulfilling orders from your trusted associate.

Inventory storage

Inventory storage, which is widely expressboilerservice  known as warehousing involves effective organization as well as storage of the shipments, which should be done proficiently by your outsourced partner. To undertake your larger online operation successfully, the fulfillment point should have a large-scale storage arrangement combining with bins, shelves, high-tech mobile shelving systems, and also pallets. Appropriate inventory storage is essential to keep merchandise secure, protected, which offers higher visibility to understand what is available in stock or for the execution of order while which are about to finish. This helps in maintaining high-class integration among the retail stores and its 3L partner.

Order processing

As orders continue to come, they need to get processed keeping the same speed. This processing job involves 3 vital steps including picking, packing, and getting them ready for shipping to customers. Each material packed and ready for ship should be included with a slip explaining the warehouse location, quantities apart from instructions like the kind of packaging material used including boxes, ploy bags, packing tape, bubble mailers, bubble wrap – or using customized packaging that reaches end customers in undamaged condition. Finally, shipping labels should be affixed to the package.

Shipping

Immediately on the processing of the order and labeling is done, it needs to be shipped. This process of shipping usually includes global courier companies like UPS Store, DHL service, or its equivalent and once it’s shipped, the retail shop is sent the tracking info which can equally be shared with customers enabling them to track their deliveries.

Return processing

Whereas a customer returns an order, they are shipped directly to the fulfillment for an eCommerce service provider or the retailing point where it needs to be evaluated. Based on the cause of return, item quality, and the return policy of the retainer company, the item may be restocked as obtainable inventory or discarded due to faulty.

ePakShip is a fulfillment center located in Lexington, KY offering order fulfillment services such as pick, pack, ship, inventory management, warehousing, shopping cart integration, and so on. To know more,

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Functionality Provided by Product Development Companies

Get Excellent Services from Most Suitable Product Development Companies:

In order to get your product developed, one must opt for the best available product development companies. When it comes to the best and most appropriate product development companies, you will have to consider a number of factors. These factors will allow to you get in touch with a reliable company. One must look for the usability of their products, their synergy, available clients, and their relations with them, and their overall experience within the industry.

Functionality Provided By Product Development Companies

The help of websites makes the borisnet  one-man design company appear significant. Noting down the time which is being spent to visit product development company, meeting team, and taking the tour will help to separate and differentiate between one and another.

You will be able to check the infrastructure and check the required potential resources which will be required to fulfill the future requirements. The one-man shop can definitely create the CAD model, but is it possible to have a quality system? They are capable to test and build the prototypes? They are equipped to handle the first productions of your finished goods?

A good engineering firm will ensure that they should provide a fully functional machine shop on the website, 3D printing capabilities, and testing the facilities. Large firms should have the ability to transfer the necessary design to the introduction space for the first volume production of your design.

Usability

Usability is responsible for either breaking a device or its overall success. Product must be having the good quality to pass usability testing also termed as validation. Usability defines the overall working the device is going to provide, throughout the lifetime. It not well designed, it will not last long. It usually comprises of: whether the mechanism needs in person input? If yes how much effort will be required? Can it break quickly because of extra force? Will it make a loud noise or work silently? In case of loud noise, where to use it.

Synergy

It is very important to have coordination with your teams so that you can achieve the important aspects with a great working environment. Even the firm is having all the necessary capabilities which will be needed, poor synergy can definitely make the development look unpleasant and give disappointing results.

Synergetic relationships will go beyond the development of the business development team. Evaluation of a forms team can be done by checking the day-to-day manner of working as a selection process aspect. You should always check two qualities patience and empathy in the product development team. The firm which is able to relate themselves with your product or business usually has thoughtfulness and experience for executing the project.

Repeat Clients

When the company have repetitive and delighted customers, it will be proof of great service. It will act as a green signal for an appropriate product development company. Besides, it will reveal the presence of excellent relationship management with clients.

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Guide to Patio Door Types

Traditional or modern? Classic or contemporary? Varying tastes and different architectures throughout the years, as well as innovations and enhanced lifestyles, have given rise to the wide choice in patio door variations currently available in Britain. This article aims to describe the types of patio doors – their styles and functionality, similarities and differences, together with some of their main advantages and popular options – in order to provide readers with an informative guide.

Styles: French doors, sliding panels, retractable bi-folding doors, slide-and-pivot doors.

The latest patio doors innovation is slide-and-pivot doors. Developed and  healthguidetip   launched since 2007/8, slide-and-pivot doors incorporate the major benefits of bifolding doors and sliding patio doors. Comprising a number of individual glazed panels that fit snugly together when closed, there is a ‘master’ door that can be opened with a standard (pivot) action, enabling the other doors to be moved, individually, along the top and bottom guides; as each door is moved to the end of the guides, it can also pivot open to increase the access width between the divided areas ( to a suggested maximum of approximately 8 metres).

These are also called slide and turn or slide and swing. Because slide-and-turn doors have no hinges, there is no requirement for a sturdy side frame; its only purpose is to cover the gasket that seals the double glazed unit. This means that the views afforded through the expanse of patio doors have minimal interruptions. At the time of writing, there are two versions of frame-less glass doors available in the UK, both using the slide-and-pivot technique: one manufacturer supplies their frameless glass doors with kite-marked double glazed units which have a visible seal, the other uses an almost transparent method of sealing their double glazing. Contemporary by design, the absence of visible characteristics make frameless glass doors a viable option for period properties.

Bi-Folding doors were launched around the turn of the century; they can be installed in place of French doors, where both doors are hinged to fold as they open together to one side. Bi-folding doors can also span an opening to around 7 metres wide, depending on the frame chosen. A ‘master’ door can be placed amongst the doors, at the ends or in the middle, wherever the opening is required; this door is a standard (pivot) opening door which enables the other doors to be pushed to the side or sides of the aperture, resulting in a sliding-folding action, concertina-style, to maximise the width of the opening between home and garden or conservatory.

Originally, patio doors were all of the French Door variety; that is, a pair of doors that are hinged at the sides and open from the middle, each door pivoting in- or out-wards. French doors are still popular, especially with builders of new homes, as they are comparatively cheap and easy to accommodate in place of windows and offer an alternative evacuation route for families, especially for elderly or disabled people, to meet improved fire safety requirements.

Arguably, French doors could be considered as retractable as each door can be pulled back. The advantage of retractable doors is that maximum access is possible between the two sides of the aperture whereas sliding panel doors generally overlap unless built to retract into a recess.

In the mid-20th century, sliding doors became very popular – two or three panels of glass that slide along grooves in the floor. To distinguish them from traditional French doors, they were marketed with the thoroughly modern name of Patio Doors and this is often the image people have today when that term is used. Easily installed in place of a window, the immediate advantages were additional natural light and access to the garden. They also became a popular option to use where a pivot door opening space was limited or where the aperture was wider than a pair of French doors. Older installations were typically single-glazed, prone to warping and usually became difficult to slide open and closed. Still available today but in a developed form with double glazing and rollers for easier sliding, the popularity of sliding doors during this century has declined as bifolding doors gained market share.

Frame Styles – timber, metal, pvc, composite, frameless, profiles and sight lines.

Patio doors comprise an outer frame plus individual door frames. These can be made from wood (soft- and/or hard-wood), metal or alloys (usually aluminium), pvc (polyvinyl chloride, a thermoplastic polymer – the ‘u’ stands for unplasticised) or a composite material, which may comprise any of the foregoing materials plus grp (glass reinforced polymer). There is also a style known as frameless, where the vertical sides of each door have no frames.

Generally, timber frames are considered more traditional and can look beautiful! Hardwood such as oak is, as the name suggests, far more hard-wearing than a softwood such as pine. Weather, especially strong sun, can take its toll on timber frames which could need to be varnished or painted annually. Wooden frames can swell and shrink with humidity, therefore opening and closing doors can require force and gaps can allow draughts in colder temperatures.

Metal frames, usually aluminium, provide strength in a compact form. As notoriously good conductors (which is a bad attribute for insulation), frames made from aluminium are thermally-broken, which is a good attribute. It means that the metals on the inside and outside of the door frames are not joined, preventing the temperatures from being transferred between them. A bare metal frame would look completely unattractive so it is powder-coated in a choice of over 100 standard colours, including a white that resembles pvc.

As with timber, the quality of PVC frames available can vary – and generally, you get what you pay for. The better ones will usually be reinforced with metal, internally, for greater strength but the cheaper options can be a nightmare to live with – sticking, twisting, splitting, discolouring, warping – often within a very short time. Most usually supplied as white, some manufacturers offer limited colour options or wood effect finishes.

Generally stronger than pvc, composite patio door frames vary with each manufacturer, offering a variety of finishes.

Whilst frameless doors have no side frames, the top and bottom of each door requires a mechanism, typically presented in aluminium, to allow it to slide within the top and bottom guides. Frameless glass doors have the best sightlines.

‘Sightlines’ is the term used to describe the interruptions in the view through the doors; in other words, the width of the vertical opaque areas between the glass when the doors are closed. On hinged doors, such as French doors and bi-folding doors, timber and PVC frames generally have broad sightlines because, unlike aluminium, narrower frames would not be strong enough to be fit for purpose. As a guide to the width of two frames together, cheaper PVC door frames can exceed 200mm, aluminium frames are typically between 135mm and 160mm and frameless patio doors sightlines are under 40mm. Depending on the width of each door and the number of doors to be installed, the difference in glass to frame ratio could be significant.

Door profiles – the width of the visible door edges when open – may be a consideration. Additionally, some door profiles are ugly, showing mullions or working parts that would be better hidden from view.

Glass – Kitemark, thermal performance, tempered, unbreakable, toughened, tinted, Georgian, leaded-light, stained glass, integral blinds.

All patio doors are required to have double glazing, although glass room dividers and glass doors to non residential properties can be single glazed tempered “unbreakable” glass.

A visible “kitemark” on the glass is the consumers’ assurance that the double-glazed unit has been manufactured to British standards. The BSI has numerous standards, including U-value verification, Window Energy Rating and Window Installation. The lower the U-value, the better the thermal performance and most local authorities will require this to be 1.8 or better to meet building regulations.

Some manufacturers offer optional extras, such as tinted glass, anti-sun, laminated, obscured glass and Argon-filled double-glazing. It is also possible to match existing period features by specifying a Georgian bar or leaded-light in rectangular or diamond style. An innovative option is switchable privacy glass which enables molecules inside the double-glazing to become transparent or opaque at the press of a button; this is expensive, though, typically doubling the original price of good quality patio doors.

An alternative solution is to order patio doors with integral horizontal blinds, factory sealed inside the double-glazing cavity. Proven to be reliable, the blinds can be operated via a magnet system (there is an alternative electronic option) that enables the slats to be easily angled to control the amount of light filtering through and can also raise and lower the blinds for maximum light or shade. A major advantage of opting for internally sealed blinds rather than separate blinds is that they are totally maintenance-free – no arduous dusting or cleaning – and because the blinds are encapsulated inside the glazed panels, they are exceptionally difficult to break.

Hardware, Rolling, Thresholds and Security

French doors and bi-folds need hinges that are strong enough to withstand the weight of the doors. Sliding doors (including bi-folds) can be supported from the top or rest on the floor. Top hung systems tend to be easier to slide and will facilitate low thresholds.

Thresholds can be raised or virtually flush if the floor area is suitable. Raised is usually cheaper and may be more suitable to certain environments; other factors to consider are access by wheelchair users, young children and elderly, infirm or partially sighted people who may be liable to trip.

Consideration should be given to how secure patio doors are. Not only the quality of the frames and glass but whether the doors can be unlocked from the outside. French doors are often purchased “off the shelf” and afford access from both sides whereas bi-folding doors are often made to measure and can be supplied with locks on the inside only. Multiple door systems may have key-locks for each of the pairs of doors for extra security.

Access & Opening Widths

To recap, French doors come in pairs and therefore the maximum access width is in the region of 2 metres. Sliding doors comprise two, three or four sashes within a frame, the larger systems opening to provide maximum access width of approximately 3 metres.

Bi-folding and slide-and-pivot door systems are fully retractable, maximising the potential access width. The width-span of bi-folds is governed by the stress of the hinged doors, therefore, a link of six doors is considered the maximum although, in theory, two of these could be installed to form a centrally opening retractable glass wall of twelve doors spanning 12m, provided the over beam can be trusted (reputable companies will probably advise against this).

Without hinges and cumbersome frames, slide-and-pivot doors are lighter and operate independently, therefore their installable width span is restricted only by the length of the over-beam to which the upper guide needs to be attached. The upper and lower guides must be consistently equidistant along the full width of the aperture for the doors to slide. This system has been tested to approximately 8 metres.

Delivery & Installation

As previously stated, French doors can usually be purchased ‘off the shelf’ to standard sizes, as can smaller widths of sliding doors and pvc or timber bi folding door systems.

If purchasing a system that is made to order, it is advisable to ensure that it is manufactured in the UK. Main benefits include adherence to British standards and delivery timescales (not only for the initial import but for subsequent parts or problem solving).

When comparing prices, include cost of buying the door system, delivery service, installation labour (if d-I-y, cost of appropriate tools and materials), making good and clearing the site. Price is not everything, though. Consider the time it takes for the installation to be completed – typically, an experienced team from the supplier will complete the job in a day so that home-owners can enjoy using their new patio doors as soon as possible.

Commercial Use

Patio doors are generally installed in residential properties but are also popular in restaurants, canteens, reception areas, sports halls, swimming pools and communal areas. Where double-glazing isn’t required, single-glazed frameless slide-and-pivot doors may be preferred – reception areas, enclosing a terrace or cloisters, shop fronts in shopping malls and conference area partitions.

SunSeeker Doors is an established UK company, specialising in the manufacture and installation of Ultra Slim slide and pivot doors and frameless glass doors. SunSeeker Doors https://sunseekerdoors.co.uk for UltraSlim bi folding patio doors and French doors.

Bee Primrose is the founder of The BPc, specialising in Internet presence and website promotion for SMEs.

 

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AUTOMATIC DOOR INJURIES – High and Low Energy Automatic Doors

HIGH & LOW ENERGY DOOR SYSTEMS – WHAT MAKES THEM DIFFERENT?

Automatic doors are generally grouped into two major categories. Low energy and high energy doors. The difference between the two types of doors pertain to the ways that the doorways operate.

LOW ENERGY DOORS

Low energy doors are often thought of as “handicap accessible automatic doorways”.  doority  These doorways usually have signage showing the universal symbols that are understood as wheelchair accessible openings. In most installations, low energy door systems are either swinging or sliding doors. They are predominantly activated by a “knowing act” on the part of the doorway user. A button or push plate is used to activate the door operating mechanism. A person wishing to enter the doorway must push the button to start the door opening function. The low energy requirement of these doorways pertains to the forces exerted by the moving door through all aspects of the opening and closing cycle.

Some of the low energy door systems are strictly power assisted door openers. In their most basic form, these doors use motor controls to push or pull open a door. After reaching the fully opened position a basic timer will keep the door open for a specific set time. This allows a person in a wheel chair access without having to push or pull open the door in front of their path of travel. When the timer has counted down, the door will close, and cannot be reactivated to reopen without another push of the button.

Every low energy door system must operate slowly and with minimal force upon impact or resistance. A properly adjusted low energy doorway will stop, stall, or reverse when an obstruction is encountered during its operations.

The more complex or sophisticated the low energy door control, the more potential features will be available. Some possible options include a power assisted feature that will sense the force exerted by a user and activate the door motor control to take over the opening effort. A feature called “Push and Go” is often available which performs this type of function. There are also obstruction reactive elements that will stop, reverse or recycle the opener that may be included in the motor control command options.

According to specific industry wide safety standards, no optical sensor or proximity sensor of any kind is required on any low energy door system that is operated by a push of a button known as a “Knowing Act”. For this reason, these types of doorways are practical for low volume traffic. They are safe when used appropriately and regularly tested for proper force and speed when moving. These doors can be problematic when installed in place of a more costly high energy, fully automated doorway.

Daily inspections of all low energy door systems is an industry wide requirement. Most manufacturers provide signage and stickers that are positioned on door frames instructing the manager of any facility that the observation of these doorways is needed routinely. In an effort to improve the low energy products, retrofitted sensors and threshold protective devices used on fully automatic high energy door systems have been installed on low energy doors. This has become an industry wide practice that is acceptable. The sensors are often placed on these low energy openers to keep a “tailgating” pedestrian from being hit by a closing door that has “timed out” after the first user has passed through the doorway. When actual pedestrian traffic counts exceeds the original expectations of the architect or designer, it is a good idea to replace the low energy door system with a fully automatic high energy doorway.

HIGH ENERGY DOORS

High energy door systems are available in many different configurations. Swingers, sliders, revolving, bi-parting, and telescoping are the most prevalent types in usage today. Their application and installation are dictated by design choices, weather requirements and location parameters. These doorways differ from low energy door systems in the way that the door operates and the force and speed that the doors possess when moving.

In general, automatic door systems have an approach sensor, a threshold protection sensor and an egress sensor. The complexity of the automated door system dictates the level of sophistication of the entire door component control and sensor package. As discussed in previous automatic door articles, specific requirements of different automatic door systems govern the types and locations of door sensors and safety devices.

The one consistent requirement of every automatic door system is the need to perform daily safety inspections. Industry wide accepted standards have been adopted to help maintain the safety of all users of all pedestrian doorways. In the most general sense, no properly maintained and functioning automatic door should ever hit a user of that doorway.

Industry standards stating the importance of daily safety checks and component inspections are normally positioned on warning labels provided by the product manufacture adjacent to the door control activation panels. The proper methods of determining the correct functions and operations of the doorway are listed along with test procedures and instructions to seek professional service assistance if any of the safety devices fail to work as described. There is usually a warning to discontinue the usage of the doorway until all safety features function consistently and properly.

Because high energy doorways move at a much faster speed and force than low energy doorways when opening and closing, it is very important to know that all of the built in safety sensors are functioning properly at all times when the doorway is in use.

HOW THE STANDARDS FOR HIGH & LOW ENERGY DOORS ARE DETERMINED

Most standards are compiled from suggestions and the informed input from manufacturers, installers, architects, engineers, and door designers. The general public has the ability to suggest additions to these standards as well. When the standards are developed, written, and finally accepted, there is often a delay in instituting the new ideas until the next revision is printed and published.

Products that are produced during an interim period between standard revision editions are considered compliant at the time of manufacturing. However, they may not always comply with the revised standards shortly after their production period. In most cases the previous standards are incorporated into the newer editions. The basic parameters and ideas behind the earlier version of the standards have been more refined or finely tuned, not generally changed from the original concept.

With changes in technologies certain aspects of door controls, activation devices, door sensors, and safety equipment have made prior standards obsolete. An example of this is the current usage of overhead door sensing devices to control door functions. Originally, on the early automatic door systems, prior to the development of consistent and dependable sensors, floor mats with electric or hydraulic contacts were the most common form of door activation. Pressure sensitive mats are now in limited installations and considered outdated in most applications.

There are generally provisions in the standards that refer to older equipment that has been in service and still functioning adequately. But, the emphasis on safety is always the primary basis for automatic door standards and the reason that improved designs and newer technology products have taken over.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS FROM A DOOR SERVICE PROVIDER & DOOR EXPERT WITNESS

As the retained expert witness for both plaintiff and defense in hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death automatic door cases, there have been severe injuries and deaths occur as a result of every type and design of malfunctioning door systems.

In older automatic door installations, failure of the sensor floor mats often caused injuries. These older technology mats, and, in some cases, original system components were generally installed in grocery stores. They were most frequently associated with automatic swinging doors and were considered a great convenience to shoppers that no longer had to hold open the store doorways as they pushed their shopping cart in or out of the store.

Some old door standards make reference to control mat usage in sliding door installations. In actual practice, multiple scanning sensors were typically installed in place of the pressure activated floor mats in those systems. Pressure sensitive control mats would ultimately deteriorate due to heavy shopping carts constantly running over them. Weather related issues such as exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, or effects from freezing rain, snow, and ice, would cause the mats to become brittle, have contact problems, and fall apart. Pedestrians using these doorways would become confused as the mats failed to consistently signal the door operator. The doors would either fail to open, fail to remain open, or react erratically when stepped upon.

With more modern technology and the usage of scanning sensors, the zones of coverage and potential for increased safety of the pedestrian using the automatic doorway is greatly improved. Some new automatic doorways have integrated safety features that will deactivate the door operator. This integrated safety feature can render the doorway harmless to any user when these new state of the art sensors are malfunctioning or improperly positioned.

Even so, the majority of doorways that are currently in use must be inspected daily to insure that the sensors and motor controls are operating safely prior to the start of business every day.

There are many published articles available about maintaining automatic door systems. Those articles refer to numerous past cases where injuries resulted from a variety of deferred conditions or a complete lack of inspection and/or maintenance.

TYPICAL INCIDENTS THAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN AUTOMATIC DOORS MALFUNCTION

1. A woman entering a small convenience store was hit by an outward swinging automatic door when another patron approached the interior side of the doorway to leave the store.

In some installations, two-way traffic is possible with one door opening. In other installations, a door to enter and a door to exit is provided. Due to the fact that a single doorway was in place to allow both ingress and egress, the door system had to have safety devices in place to guard against this type of circumstance.

Upon inspection, it was determined that the overhead sensor on the exterior of the doorway was not sending information to the door motor controller which would have kept the door from opening outward when the patron on the interior of the opening was attempting to exit the building. For this reason, a two way door system that swings has often been replaced with a sliding or bi fold doorway to eliminate the possibility of collision or entrapment. The subject door inspected was not compliant with the industry standards for operation, and had not been tested or professionally inspected for several years prior to the incident.

2.A woman was entering a department store when an automatic swinging door struck her from behind, slicing her ankle. When struck by the jagged door edge, her Achilles tendon was cut and she immediately fell to the ground in the middle of the doorway.

After viewing the store video footage that captured the incident, reviewing the service records provided, and from testing and inspecting the doorway during an on-site visit, it was apparent that the door moved far too quickly. The sensors were improperly adjusted and there had not been any in-house inspection of the doorway as required.

3.A small boy and girl were walking ahead of their father through an automatic sliding doorway at a local home center store. The children were about to cross the threshold when the door suddenly closed upon one of them. The second child saw the door move and grabbed his sister as the door slammed upon her. The boy broke his hand, and the girl sustained a broken leg. The father quickly scooped up the two children, and was also struck by the out of control sliding door injuring his shoulder. The incident was captured on a video recording that was “lost” during discovery.

CASE OUTCOME

In case #1 it was discovered during a deposition that the store owner had not wanted to pay for professional service repairs. He enlisted the help of his son to disable partial function of the outside door sensor. Altering the function of the outside sensor allowed the approach portion of the exterior sensor to function while stopping the sentinel portion. The sentinel protection was designed to disable the door motor control when someone is occupying the outswing path of the door. That tampering with the sensor created the possibility of hitting pedestrians in the path of the door swing. The store owner claimed that he could not afford to repair the defective sensor, so he made do with what he had. His son was going to school for electrical engineering at a local school, and he knew how to make the door work without spending any money. By altering the function of the doorway sensor system, the store owner was found responsible for the injury. He was also found negligent in his store maintenance and daily operations.

In case #2 the store ownership believed that the woman using the door was responsible for her own injuries. According to the store manager, she had slowed down as she was entering the store or had actually stopped in the threshold while entering the store doorway. The store management claimed in depositions that daily inspections were made by their security guards. The security guards contradicted the management’s position stating that they turned on the power to the doorway, but never really checked the function when they opened the store each morning.

Observation of the store during subsequent months proved that no daily inspections were ever made by the store security or any other employees. When the doorway was inspected, it was determined that the motor controller had been damaged during a prior power surge, and the erratic operation of the door was confirmed.

In case #3, the store intentionally disposed of the video taken during the event. Any good attorney will issue a notice to preserve all evidence including video recordings from the time of an incident. Upon inspection, the doors operated as described by the father. It was determined that two cross threshold sensors had been disabled. The two children were not “seen” by the upper sensors as this older automatic sliding door relied upon electric eye type of beams to guard the threshold during operation. The store was penalized by the court for tampering with evidence, and was sanctioned. The store was found responsible for negligent operations and practices.

Automatic door systems are complex and can be potentially dangerous pieces of equipment. In deferred condition, automatic doors can exhibit significant forces that can lead to life threatening injuries. In the above three examples, all of the injured parties recovered fully. Many injured in automatic doorways are not so lucky. Every year there are many wrongful deaths associated with malfunctioning automatic doors. But that does not mean that a properly functioning and correctly adjusted automatic doorway is not safe.

AUTOMATIC DOOR MANUFACTURERS – Are their products safe?

The manufacturers of most automatic door systems provide products that are safe and time tested. Most of the products commercially available have been thoroughly inspected, lab tested, and put in to production after careful design and usage parameters have been met. In almost every case the defects found in the door systems have arisen from improper maintenance, a lack of policies, plans and procedures that the store management fails to observe, and an attempt to save the cost of hiring a professional competent service provider.

PEDESTRIANS – BE AWARE

As a pedestrian using these ubiquitous doorways, be aware of the doors that you are passing through. Observe the operation of any doorway prior to entering, and proceed with caution as you pass through the threshold. Diligence on the part of any automatic door user will help to assure safe passage. Be sure to report any defective operation to a store manager, and avoid distractions when entering an automatic doorway of any kind. Always pay attention as you walk through any doorway.

Mike Panish is the nation’s leading expert witness and most frequently retained automatic and manual door consultant. He has been involved in over 650 cases representing both plaintiff and defense evenly. Mike has a thorough working knowledge of door hardware and components. He has personally serviced, installed, and maintained major brand door products for many years. He is the author of many published articles that cover most aspects of door components, door hardware and door injury claims. Visit his website at http://www.constructionwitness.com for a list of relevant articles and to view all of his expert and consulting services.

 

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Titan: The Fantastic Moon-World

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran

Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.

Kubla Khan, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. It is also the second-largest moon in our entire Solar System, after Ganymede of Jupiter. Titan is a frigid, shadowy, twilight moon-world, veiled in an enveloping thick orange hydrocarbon fog. Long celebrated for its bizarre hydrocarbon lakes and seas, and its strange clouds of frozen methane, Titan is a “world in its own right”–a mysterious moon, that in many ways bears a haunting resemblance to the way our planet was, long ago, myimmunityboosters before life emerged here. This weird tormented moon, slashed with hydrocarbon seas and rivers, pelted with large lazy drops of hydrocarbon rain, and covered perpetually in a rust-colored mist, also sports a major continent that astronomers have named Xanadu in honor of the “Xanadu” of Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan”. Titan’s Xanadu sparkles with the cold fire of a sea of sequins.

In 2012, astronomers announced the discovery of three additional bizarre features possessed by this bewitching, distant moon-world: a curious surface feature that resembles a gigantic hot cross bun, a miniature version of Earth’s own Nile River, and–perhaps most amazing of all–Titan glows in the dark!

Incredible Moon

Titan was discovered by the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens in 1655. It is bigger than the planet Mercury–indeed, it is almost as big as Mars! Titan would certainly be classified as a planet if it orbited the Sun instead of Saturn. Unfortunately, the surface of this cold moon has historically been extremely difficult to study because the dense orange mist, composed primarily of complex hydrocarbons, keeps its surface well-hidden. Titan’s atmosphere is extremely dense, and it is made up of thick layers of haze, that weave together a complex tapestry of barriers. These dense barriers block the vision of orbiting instruments attempting to “see” its surface.

Like other worlds that dwell far from the searing heat of our fiery Sun, Titan is extremely cold, and the structure of Titan’s chemical atmosphere is frozen. Titan’s atmosphere is especially interesting because it is made up of a marvelous icy stew of compounds similar to those believed to have been present in our own planet’s primordial atmosphere. Titan’s extremely thick, veiling atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen–just like Earth’s–but it also bears much greater percentages of so-called “smoggy” chemicals such as methane and ethane. This smog is so dense that it actually pours “gasoline-like” liquids down to the surface of this tormented moon.

NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft attempted to take close-up images of Titan’s surface back in 1980, but it was unable to penetrate its dense orange veil. The images could only resolve minor brightness and color deviations in the moon’s atmosphere. At long last, in 1994, the venerable Hubble Space Telescope (HST) triumphantly obtained infrared images of Titan, which revealed the existence of glittering, bright Xanadu.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a joint NASA/European Space Agency/Italian Space Agency robotic spacecraft, that is currently investigating the ringed planet Saturn and its many moons. The spacecraft was originally composed of two main parts: The NASA-developed Cassini Orbiter that bears the name of the Italian-French astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712) who discovered four of Saturn’s moons, and the ESA-created Huygens Probe, named in honor of Christiaan Huygens. After a long journey from Earth to the Saturn-system, Cassini finally reached its destination on July 1, 2004. On December 25, 2004, the Huygens Probe was deliberately separated from the Cassini Orbiter. Huygens reached Titan on January 14, 2005, and descended down to the mysterious and long-veiled surface of the misty moon, sending precious information back to scientists on Earth. The mission will continue until 2017.

Hot Cross Bun!

Planetary scientists announced that radar images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft had uncovered some new and bewitching features on Titan’s mysterious surface. These weird features included an almost perfectly circular structure that looks like a huge hot cross bun–as well as shorelines of long-vanished hydrocarbon seas. These findings were presented at the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences meeting held in Reno, Nevada on October 16, 2012.

“The ‘hot cross bun’ is a type of feature we have not seen before on Titan, showing that Titan keeps surprising us even after eight years of observations from Cassini. The ‘bun’ may be the result of what is known on Earth as a laccolith, an intrusion formed by magma pushing up from below. The Henry Mountains of Utah are well-known examples of this geologic phenomenon,” noted Dr. Rosaly Lopes in an October 16, 2012 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Press Release. Dr. Lopes is a Cassini radar team scientist based at the JPL, located in Pasadena, California.

Steam that occurs during the baking process frequently causes the top of bread to crack as it lifts. The planetary scientists believe that a kindred process involving heat may be at the core of what is happening on that weird moon. The image revealing the “hot cross bun” feature was obtained on May 22, 2012, derived from Cassini’s radar instrument. Similar terrain has been observed on the planet Venus, where a dome-shaped feature approximately 20 miles across has been seen at the summit of a large volcano dubbed Kunapipi Mons. The planetary scientists have suggested that the Titan’s “hot cross bun”, which is approximately 40 miles long, was also caused by fractures resulting from uplift coming from beneath, possibly caused by rising magma.

Another team of Cassini planetary scientists, led by Dr. Ellen Stofan, who is based at Proxemy Research in Rectortown, Virginia, has been carefully analyzing radar images of Titan’s southern hemisphere. This research, derived from Cassini images taken from 2008 to 2011, suggests there were once huge, shallow seas at Titan’s south pole. One of these dry seas is approximately 300 by 170 miles across, and possibly a few hundred feet deep.

A Mini-Nile River!

Another group of Cassini planetary scientists have discovered what looks like a mini-Nile River, a diminutive version of Earth’s much larger Nile River. On Titan, a river valley extends over 200 miles from its “headwaters” to a large sea. This discovery represents the very first time images have captured a river system this immense–and in such high-resolution–anywhere other than on our own planet. The river is located in Titan’s north polar region, and is filled, not with liquid water, but with liquid hydrocarbons! The river on Titan is dark along its entire length in the high-resolution radar image. This suggests a smooth surface.

“Though there are some short, local meanders, the relative straightness of the river valley suggests it follows the trace of at least one fault, similar to other large rivers running into the southern margin of this same Titan sea. Such faults–fractures in Titan’s bedrock–may not imply plate tectonics, like on Earth, but still lead to the opening of basins and perhaps to the formation of the giant seas themselves,” said Dr. Jani Radebaugh in a December 12, 2012 JPL Press Release. Dr. Radebaugh is a Cassini radar team associate at Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah.

Dr. Steve Wall explained in the December 12, 2012 JPL Press Release, that “Titan is the only place we’ve found besides Earth that has a liquid in continuous movement on its surface. This picture gives us a snapshot of a world in motion. Rain falls, and rivers move that rain to lakes and seas, where evaporation starts the cycle all over again. On Earth, the liquid is water; on Titan, it’s methane, but on both it affects most everything that happens.” Dr. Wall is based at JPL.

A Moon That Glows In The Dark

According to a study released in November 2012, Titan glows in the dark. This eerie, strange soft light, that was spotted by Cassini, appears to be lighting up not only the upper layer of this moon’s atmosphere, but also regions further down, deep within its heavily nitrogen-laden veil of thick haze.

“This is exciting because we’ve never seen this at Titan before. It tells us that we don’t know all there is to know about Titan and makes it even more mysterious,” commented study lead author Dr. Robert West in the November 1, 2012 Scientific American. Dr. West is a Cassini imaging team scientist at JPL.

Titan’s built-in candle in the dark is very dim. Its power is estimated to be a mere millionth of a watt. Nevertheless, Cassini was able to observe this very soft glow by taking 560-second-long exposures in 2009. At the time, Titan was floating through Saturn’s shadow. This made planetary scientists feel confident that the light they were seeing came from the bizarre moon-world, and not from its parent planet.

This gentle light is termed airglow. Airglow originates from atmospheric molecules that have been excited by electrically charged particles or Sunlight, the scientists explained. “It’s a little like a neon sign, where electrons generated by electrical power bang into neon atoms and cause them to glow. Here we’re looking at light emitted when charged particles bang into nitrogen molecules in Titan’s atmosphere,” Dr. West continued to explain.

The airglow emanates from too deep down in the moon’s atmosphere to be caused by the excitation of atmospheric molecules by charged solar particles, the researchers continued to note. Instead, it is possible that the eerie glow is formed by deep-penetrating cosmic rays or light emitted by chemical reactions far down in Titan’s intriguing atmosphere, where all sorts of interesting chemicals dance around in the mist. These interesting chemicals include organic compounds, which are the carbon-laden building blocks of life as we know it.

Such a mysterious, soft glow is also seen on the nightside atmosphere of the planet Venus, where it is termed Ashen light. Some planetary scientists think that lightning on Venus is the source of this. However, no lightning has been spotted on Titan.

Cassini project scientist, Dr. Linda Spilker, also at the JPL, said in the November 1, 2012 Scientific American: “This kind of work helps us understand what kind of organic chemistry could have existed on an early Earth.”

Judith E. Braffman-Miller is a writer and astronomer whose articles have been published since 1981 in various magazines, newspapers, and journals. Although she has written on a variety of topics, she particularly loves writing about astronomy because it gives her the opportunity to communicate to others the many wonders of my field. My first book, “Wisps, Ashes, and Smoke,” will be published soon.

 

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Pikmin 3 Review

The first two Pikmin games came out on the Gamecube, and while they got ports on the Wii with new motion controls, we didn’t see a new entry in the series for the entire run of the Wii. Now with the Wii U we finally have Pikmin 3, a sequel that doesn’t necessarily feel like a sequel. This isn’t a bad thing though- in fact, it is probably one of the things that makes Pikmin 3 so good.

Rather than just continuing the story from Pikmin 2, Pikmin 3 follows three new captains from a new planet called Koppai, as they crash land on planet PNF-404. Thanks to a quick discovery of the Pikmin and how they operate, the captains are able to actually survive for longer than a day. alphabuildersanddevelopers The captains (Alph, Brittany and Charlie) were originally on a mission to collect fruit for their starving planet. Now that they have crash landed, you must collect fruit and turn it into juice until you can escape PNF-404. This is how you will spend each day in the game, finding the best way to use the Pikmin at your disposal and collecting fruit while defeating any monstrous wildlife that may cross your path. Eventually you’ll be wrapped up in the even bigger mysteries surrounding the planet. If you fail to keep your juice supply up you will starve, ending the game, so that is your number one priority. There isn’t an unlimited amount of fruit lying about though so you don’t want to waste days just getting one piece to get through the day and not progressing in the story and through the world.

Even the Pikmin you control aren’t a true continuation from the previous games. You’ll discover the now standard, blue, red and yellow, but white and purple are nowhere to be found in the main story. Instead two new Pikmin arrive in this game: a rock type and a flying pink one. How they are controlled ( by extension of the captains) remains essentially the same. Each Pikmin type has its own strengths and weaknesses and you have to use them appropriately to survive the world and solve the puzzles within. For example, red Pikmin are immune to fire, the blue ones can survive in water and the yellow ones are immune to electricity.

You can play the game using the GamePad, WiiMote, or Pro Controller. The WiiMote controls like it did in the Wii ports of the first two games, which allows for a lot more precision since you have an actual pointing device. I decided to use the GamePad though (just for the true Wii U experience) and while it may not have been as precise, I found it to be just as fun. The GamePad displays the map of the entire world and to me feels integral to the experience; showing locations of fruit, secrets and paths so you can plan your day. Even better it allows you to select one of the three captains and set them on a path, allowing you to delegate your tasks for the day and maximize your time.

Visually, Pikmin 3 is great. The art style is vibrant and charming and the graphics are striking and engaging. There are some lower resolution textures but this is not a problem with the Wii U, but rather merely a product of the real time strategy genre the game is based on. Since you spend most of your time high up and looking down on your characters the ground doesn’t need to be the most detailed thing, but all of the characters, enemies and bosses are great to look at. The music is also very enjoyable with some very well composed pieces making up the soundtrack, and the story and writing in general keeps you interested. I had a few laughs at the dialogue and actually felt connected to the three captains; it is hard to ask for more than that in this type of game.

Pikmin 3 is a wonderful new entry in the series with a lot of strengths and very few shortcomings. The length is great with some replayability and it has some challenging maps as well as an engaging multiplayer. It controls well, has a great story, an enjoyable presentation and the difficulty isn’t too hard or too easy. Even better is that though it is a sequel, you don’t need to have played the other games to get into its story or gameplay. It’s a solid choice for any Wii U owner, so come by your local Slackers and pick it up today!

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Can AI Combat Fake News?

The phenomena of “fake news” may have captured the imagination of Americans during the 2016 geotrendingnews Presidential Campaign and the later investigation of Russia’s attempts to swing the election to Donald Trump using fake news on Facebook among other schemes.

The truth is that fake or phoney news has been around as a tool for a while and by many to spread propaganda and conspiracy theories for many years prior to the 2016 election. Websites including InfoWars and Brietbart among others have been spreading fake news that supports their agendas.

However, it has become a political and societal issue since the election and poor Facebook has become the poster child of websites that fell for the scheme.

Recently the social media company has admitted to its mistakes and has tried to make things right with their subscribers. It is now flagging phoney news articles that are going to Facebook members via their news feed. It is using AI to achieve this.

The company is using AI to identify words or phrases that might signify that an article is actually fake. The data for this task is based on the articles that Facebook members have flagged individually as being bogus stories.

The technology is currently using four methods to spot fake news. They include:

  • Score Web Pages. First to use this technique was Google. It uses facts to create a score for websites. Obviously, scoring websites is an act in progress. Yet, as Google has been doing it, the technology has grown significantly.
  • Weigh Facts. This method is using natural language processing engines to review the subject matter of stories. AI using other models finds out if other sites are reporting the same facts.
  • Predict Reputation. This technique is based on AI using predictive analytics and machine learning to forecast the reputation of websites by considering a number of features including domain name and Alexa web rank.
  • Discover Sensational Words. Fake news proponents have used sensational headlines to grab the interest of a potential audience. This technique discovers and flags fake news headlines using keyword analytics.

The actual detection of these types of articles by AI is a difficult endeavor. Of course, the analysis of big data is involved, but it also concerns data veracity. Identifying it is actually involved with determining the truth of the data. This can be done using the method of weighing facts. What happens if a fake news article appears on hundreds of websites at the same time? Under this circumstance, using the technique of weighing facts may cause AI to determine that the story is legitimate. Perhaps using the method of predict reputation in conjunction with weighing facts can help, but there still could be problems. For example, reliable news source websites that don’t take the time to verify a news story could pick it up assuming that it is true.

It’s obvious that using AI to identify these articles needs more development. A number of organizations are involved in enhancing AI’s capability. One such establishment that is involved is West Virginia University.

The Reed College of Media in cooperation with the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources of West Virginia University has created a course that is focused on using AI to identify phoney news articles.

Senior students taking a computer science elective course are working in teams to develop and implement their own AI programs are also involved in the project.

Another group known as Fake News Challenge is also in pursuit of a way for AI to successfully combat fake news. It is a grassroots organization of more than 100 volunteers and 71 teams from academia and industry to address the problem of fake news. It is developing tools to help people fact check and identify fakes news stories.

As organizations work on enhancing AI to find these stories, there are a variety of tools that are available to strike a blow against them. These include:

  • Spike, which identifies and predict breakout and viral stories and uses big data to predict what is going to drive engagement.
  • Hoaxy, which is a tool that assists users to identify fake news websites.
  • Snoopey, which is a website that helps identify phoney news articles.
  • CrowdTangle, which is a tools that helps monitor social content.
  • Meedan, which is a tool that helps verify news breaking online.
  • Google Trends, which monitors searches.
  • La Decodes From Le Monde, which is a database of fake news and real news websites.
  • Pheme, which is a tool that verifies the veracity of user-generated and online content.

 

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Where Are the Best Brussels Apartments Located?

It is wrong to think that the best Brussels apartments in the city are those located downtown. Although they are nearer to where the action is, they are also closest to city noise. For travelers who want to experience quiet nights and don’t want to be disturbed in their sleep, staying in a downtown apartment is not the best choice.

In Brussels, the best apartments are those located uptown where they are far from the hustle and bustle of the city and yet, they are located closest to Brussels best landmarks and commercial districts. The best part is, ひたちなか市 学習支援  most parks are also located uptown and it is believed that this is the cleanest parts of Brussels.

When choosing a Brussels apartment, always consider the location. Most apartments located downtown are more expensive, smaller than, and not as well-appointed as those located in venues like Place Stephanie or the Louise Quarter. Downtown apartments are smaller and more expensive because they are located closer to Grand Place, but if you are coming with a large family or group, you wouldn’t want to spend your Belgian getaway in a crammed apartment.

It’s also difficult to find a parking space downtown and if you are visiting Brussels with your own car, you might find it difficult to get a good parking spot. Uptown, parking lots are aplenty and it is common for most uptown dwellers to use parking lots like Vinci Parking. You can easily locate Vinci parking lots with a Smartphone or over the internet.

For businessmen, the ideal apartment would be one located uptown where they are but one metro-ride away to important offices and government headquarters. If you feel like going out for a short walk to the Atomium and other iconic landmarks, start your trip uptown, as well.

For families, luxury Brussels apartments located uptown are often equipped with the best appliances and living amenities. Renting an apartment that comes complete with appliances allows you to bake and prepare large, hearty meals whenever and however you like.

Finally, for students, uptown Brussels apartments are often located near the bus stop that leads to Brussels’ top universities. If you want to be at least a bus-ride away from school, choose accommodations near Place Stephanie or in the Louise Quarter.

When selecting an apartment, make sure it meets your lifestyle. If you like an apartment that feels a lot like home, choose comfortable options along Place Stephanie.

Where you stay in Brussels could affect your trip, in one way or another, but if you need a place to start with, choose a luxury Brussels apartment [http://www.welcome2belgium.com] in uptown Brussels.

Let Welcome2Belgium help you plan your trip. We will walk you through the dimensions of the apartment rental process and help you plan any tours within and outside the city.

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How to Remember Things

I once came up with a metaphor I thought perfectly captured the sheer mass of material my classmates and I were expected to memorize in our first two years of medical school: it was like being asked to enter a grocery store and memorize the names of every product in the store, their number and location, every ingredient in every product in the order in which they appear on the food label, and then to do the same thing in every grocery store in the city.

When I look back now I can’t imagine how any of us were able to do it. And yet we did.  ひたちなか市 学習塾 The mind’s capacity to store and recall information is truly wondrous. Since I attended medical school we’ve learned a lot about memory and learning. Though much of what follows are techniques I used to survive my first two years of medical school, much of the science that proves they work is new.

STRATEGIES FOR REMEMBERING

1. Become interested in what you’re learning. We’re all better remembering what interests us. Few people, for example, have a difficult time remembering the names of people they find attractive. If you’re not intrinsically interested in what you’re learning or trying to remember, you must find a way to become so. I have to admit I wasn’t so good at this in medical school. The Krebs cycle (link provided only to prove how immensely boring it is) just didn’t excite me or relate to anything I found even remotely exciting (though I made myself learn it anyway).

2. Find a way to leverage your visual memory. You’ll be astounded by how much more this will enable you to remember. For example, imagine you’re at a party and are introduced to five people in quick succession. How can you quickly memorize their names? Pick out a single defining visual characteristic of each person and connect it to a visual representation of their name, preferably through an action of some kind. For example, you can remember Mike who has large ears by creating a mental picture of a microphone (a “mike”) clearing those big ears of wax (gross, I know—sorry—but all the more effective because of it).

It requires mental effort to do this, but if you practice you’ll be surprised how quickly you can come up with creative ways to create these images. Here’s another example: how often do you forget where you left your keys, your sunglasses, or your wallet? The next time you put something down somewhere, pause a moment to notice where you’ve placed it, and then in your mind blow it up. If you visualize the explosion in enough detail, you won’t forget where you put it. Remember: memory is predominantly visual (unfortunately, I can’t think of a good image to help you remember this fact right at this moment).

3. Create a mental memory tree. If you’re trying to memorize a large number of facts, find a way to relate them in your mind visually with a memory tree. Construct big branches first, then leaves. Branches and leaves should carry labels that are personally meaningful to you in some way, and the organization of the facts (“leaves”) should be logical. It’s been well recognized since the 1950’s we remember “bits” of information better if we chunk them. For example, it’s easier to remember 467890 as “467” and “890” than as six individual digits.

4. Associate what you’re trying to learn with what you already know. It seems the more mental connections we have to a piece of information, the more successful we’ll be in remembering it. This is why using mnemonics actually improves recall.

5. Write out items to be memorized over and over and over. Among other things, this is how I learned the names of bacteria, what infections they cause, and what antibiotics treat them. Writing out facts in lists improves recall if you make yourself learn the lists actively instead of passively. In other words, don’t just copy the list of facts you’re trying to learn but actively recall each item you wish to learn and then write it down again and again and again. In doing this, you are, in effect, teaching yourself what you’re trying to learn (and as all teachers know, the best way to ensure you know something is to have to teach it). This method has the added benefit of immediately showing you exactly which facts haven’t made it into your long-term memory so you can focus more attention on learning them rather than wasting time reinforcing facts you already know.

6. When reading for retention, summarize each paragraph in the margin. This requires you to think about what you’re reading, recycle it, and teach it to yourself again. Even take the concepts you’re learning and reason forward with them; apply them to imagined novel situations, which creates more neural connections to reinforce the memory.
7. Do most of your studying in the afternoon. Though you may identify yourself as a “morning person” or “evening person” at least one study suggests your ability to memorize isn’t influenced as much by what time of day you perceive yourself to be most alert but by the time of day you actually study—afternoon appearing to be the best.

8. Get adequate sleep to consolidate and retain memories. Not just at night after you’ve studied but the day before you study as well. Far better to do this than stay up cramming all night for an exam.

WHY MEMORY MALFUNCTIONS

One of the most common complaints I hear in clinical practice concerns worry over memory loss. Unfortunately, as a normal part of the aging process, many people start to find they can’t bring to mind names, places, and things as easily as they used to be able to do and worry they’re facing the beginning of dementia. “Benign forgetfulness” is the name we give to a process that occurs with normal aging in which a memory remains intact but our ability to retrieve it becomes temporarily impaired. Usually we try to describe the name or thing we can’t recall and when someone names it for us we instantly remember the word we wanted.

As long as this is age-appropriate and doesn’t significantly interfere with normal functioning, there is no increased risk for progression to dementia. However, the trick lies in assessing what is and isn’t “age-appropriate.” Formal testing is sometimes necessary in ambiguous cases. Reassuringly, in one study, patients over the age of 50 who initially presented with what was considered to be benign forgetfulness had only a 9% chance of progressing to dementia. Unfortunately, cognitive impairments other than memory loss are correlated with a higher risk of progression to dementia.

Another reason people often have trouble remembering things is because memory is a function of concentration. Which means when you multi-task you tend to forget more easily. Have you ever entered a room only to forget why you did so? More likely you’d remember if you weren’t simultaneously planning your dinner for that night and trying to remember the phone number of the person who just left you a message. This also explains why people who suffer from depression or anxiety have a harder time remembering things: both conditions interfere substantially with the ability to concentrate. The strength of a memory is also determined by the emotional state that accompanied the original event. Emotion, negative or positive, tends to embed events in our memory like a chisel carves lines in stone. A double-edged sword for people suffering from PTSD.

DECREASING THE RISK OF DEMENTIA

Here are three things you can do that have been shown in studies to decrease the risk of mental deterioration as you age:

1. Exercise your body. Evidence suggests this not only retards normal age-related memory deterioration but reduces the risk of developing dementia. It doesn’t even have to be vigorous exercise. Just 150 minutes of walking per week has been shown to be of benefit. Whether more intense exercise results in a greater risk reduction remains unknown.

2. Exercise your mind. Evidence also suggests that doing things that work the mind may delay or prevent memory loss. This research is just in its infancy, so here’s as good a guide as any to figuring out what activities will work: if an activity requires you to take breaks, it probably qualifies. We can watch television, for example, for hours on end without becoming mentally fatigued, but solving math problems, learning to knit, or even reading all require effort that tires the mind.

3. Take ibuprofen. Though one study suggests a daily dose of ibuprofen decreases the risk of developing dementia, the risk reduction appears too modest to justify the increased risk of stomach bleeding that accompanies ibuprofen’s daily use and I do NOT recommend this. However, if you’re already taking ibuprofen for some other condition, like arthritis, here might be an added benefit.

If the mind is indeed like a muscle (and research is validating that model more and more) then memory may very well be like muscle tone: the more the mind is used, the more robust memory may become. As I’ve moved on from my medical school days to reach early (very early) middle age, I’ve found myself experiencing benign forgetfulness far more than I like. As a result, I find myself comforted that the old adage “use it or lose it” is seeming more and more not just to apply to the body but to the mind as well.

Please visit Dr. Lickerman’s blog at http://happinessinthisworld.com to read other articles about achieving health and happiness. He can be

 

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Upcoming Video Games – tch Out for These Hot Releases

This summer had the release of a great number of video games for all systems, including the PC. In fact there are so many games that are being released every week that it is hard for gamers to keep up with either the finances required or the time to spend purchasing and playing these new games. However, there are a few upcoming video games for gamers to get excited about in the coming weeks and months.

First, and quickest, is Halo: Reach. This is the much anticipated “prequel” to the Halo saga. It features a single player campaign that will tell the story of the fall of Reach and leads right up to (storyline-wise) the rise of Master Sergeant, the  gaago.live shining star of the Halo series. This game will also feature multiplayer modes with new weapons and gadgets as well as new vehicles and game modes. Halo: Reach will release on September 14th for $59.99 for the standard edition. Microsoft has also released a special edition X-Box that will come bundled with the game. This game is sure to make a huge splash and if it is a title you wish to add to your collection, you should probably pre-order it to ensure that it is available.

If you would rather slaughter zombies instead of fighting in the Halo universe, you will be in luck with the upcoming video game Dead Rising 2. This is the highly anticipated sequel to Dead Rising and will feature a highly interactive environment, where you can take miscellaneous items, combine them and make new weapons out of them. Things like using a rolling trash can to push zombies around or attaching a chain saw to the front of a motorcycle and driving through a horde of zombies will no doubt make for some interesting and hilarious circumstances in this game. The game will release on September 28th for $59.99.

If shooters are not your cup of tea, there is another upcoming video game that might be a better fit. Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock offers a different spin on the usual Guitar Hero experience. Not only does it feature a new song list for you to work your way through (including Megadeath), but a new feature will bring more of a story. Your goal will be to awaken the warriors of rock, who are famous artists, who will then join you to play more difficult songs. This game will release on September 28th and comes in a variety of styles from just the game to a bundle that will include a guitar, drums, microphone and the game for $179.00.