Monthly Archives: April 2017

Sewage Treatment: An Unlikely Source of Energy

Someone drawing the concept of an energy efficient house Converting waste to energy is still an emerging, yet potent technology. One of these methods uses sewage or wastewater treatment for energy production.

The scientific community has already deemed current energy production rates unsustainable; partly due to increasing energy consumption, and partly because of their inefficiency. Fossil fuels are still the dominant energy source, responsible for an increase of 75% in power consumption.

Creating a sustainable method of reliable, cost-effective power generation has long been a challenge. Alternative energy is increasingly becoming the focus, with waste-to-energy demonstrating considerable potential. Industry experts have calculated that converting all biosolids produced by the United States into biomass energy would generate an astonishing 7 million megawatts of energy.

Compared to the entire wind power capacity of the US, which only amounts to an estimated 43,000 megawatts, sewage-to-energy is not only efficient but also environment-friendly.

No waste in waste

Sewage sludge treatment is the management and disposal process for sewage sludge created during wastewater treatment. Initial treatment via circular clarifier, similar to those on regular water treatment facilities, captures organics and other solids through gravitational sedimentation. The subsequent process treats the wastewater through consumption of the organics by microorganisms.

These plants then use anaerobic digestion for on-site heat and electricity generation, which makes use of the methane gas produced in the process.

Alternatives in algae

Other research probes the use of nutrient-rich wastewater to grow algae. Algae are convertible to biofuel, a viable alternative to gasoline. Utilizing algae in wastewater treatment offers advantages to conventional treatment processes. Among them are its low energy requirement, reduced sludge formation, and algal biomass yield.

Algae-based water treatment also helps eliminate toxic compounds in from wastewater, further proving its benefits in wastewater-based energy production.

Converting waste to energy provide an immense advantage to power generation and lessening harmful environmental effects. Instead of piling waste on landfills, they have the potential to serve as useful, adequate resource.

Trump’s Immigration Rules Will Hurt U.S. Tech Industry

Visa ApplicationIn January 2017, tech leaders across the U.S. and abroad expressed their qualms regarding President Donald Trump’s plans to change immigration policies across the board. Among the many visa categories, the president has proposed new rules for those wanting to enter the country via H-1B visa. As an employment-based, non-immigrant visa category, it will also hurt several tech employers in Utah and nationwide.

Proposed Changes for H-1B Visa Norms

H-1B visas are usually awarded to the highest-paying and highest-skilled jobs across a range of disciplines. Unlike other visa norms which are awarded through a random lottery, you won’t have to wait years to get an H-1B visa, granting that you meet all the requirements and have already secured a sponsoring employer.

One of the changes proposed by Trump and reforms lobbied by senators is to double the minimum salaries of H-1B visa holders to $130,000; furthermore, new rules are being positioned to give preference to students educated in the U.S. and to prohibit spouses of H-1B visa holders from working in the country. To sum it up, many of the proposed reforms are aimed at making it difficult for companies to employ skilled foreign workers.

How Does It Affect Utah’s Tech Sector?

A big percentage of the workforce consists of skilled migrants from India and Asia. You can say that they have played a big role in building one of the country’s most competitive and lucrative sectors. As a net creator of highly specialized jobs in the US, it is undeniable that R&D institutions will suffer from these changes. In the case of Utah and its metropolitan areas, new H1-B visa restrictions could hamper innovation and expansion operations.

Who Will Suffer the Most?

Indian tech companies have already expressed their outrage over the proposed legislation. According to a Hindustani Times report, over 86% of the H-1B visas issued for IT jobs go to Indian workers. This could mean millions of dreams shattered not only for highly skilled tech workers from India but from all parts of the world. The H-1B visa, which has allowed many of the best minds in the tech sector to work in America, will all too soon become more difficult to obtain.

 

Investing Under the Section 8 Housing Program: A Basic Guide

House Model with Keys and Pen on a Contract PaperMany seasoned investors prefer investing in real estate and rental housing. This is because property eventually appreciates, beats inflation, gives guaranteed returns and, the most important part, you have complete control over your investments.

Section 8 housing program

A rental property is a perfect investment. Now, if you are worried that you will be unable to handle rentals, then you should consider Section 8 property investments. Americas Housing Alliance, LLC says the US government has introduced housing programs to help people who cannot fully afford housing needs.

Section 8 housing is one of them and citizens who qualify for this housing program only need to pay only 30% of their pay as rent. The government subsidizes the rest and pays the property owners directly through a voucher system.

As an investor in Section 8 housing, you are sure of getting timely rental payments. This can reduce the stress of the property owners, which they face while collecting rentals.

Complying with requirements

The government will inspect the homes entered under this program on a regular basis. Therefore, the owner has to attend to all repairs and maintenance work promptly. Additionally, since the program is to help the low-income tenants, the government also acts on their behalf.

Issues on rental rates, eviction

Any concern regarding the rates of rental payments falls on the responsibility of the US government. The usual formula for the rates depends on the prevailing market standards.

Additionally, eviction is also a tricky process under this housing program. Just bear in mind that since this is a government program, it will do its best to protect the rights of the tenant, unless an owner can show undeniable cause for an eviction.

Overall, many investors do not mind the paperwork and legalities involved in applying for a Section 8 property investment. The advantages far outweigh its drawbacks, as there is no substitute for the peace of mind and financial security this program supplies for property owners.

Does Sleep Apnoea Affect Your Dental Implants?

Dental ImplantObstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which is a condition where you stop breathing momentarily while asleep, can have a negative impact on your dental implants. This is because people with sleep apnoea are more likely to grind and clench their teeth at night.

When you get dental implants in Knowle, you can enjoy chewing and eating as though you have real teeth. Dental implants are titanium roots implanted into your gums to replace missing teeth. A dental prosthetic, matched to the colour of your existing teeth, covers the implant. It functions just like a real tooth and should feel nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the teeth.

Though dental implants are incredibly durable, they are susceptible to damage if subjected to constant pressure. Teeth grinding, or bruxism may damage dental implants in the long run.

Possible Complications

A study published in the Journal of Oral Implantology shows that patients who have sleep apnoea and bruxism could exhibit possible complications with their dental implants, including problems such as:

  • Porcelain prosthetic fractures
  • Implant screw fracture
  • Loosening of the implant
  • Loosening of the prosthetic from the implant

The constant pressure created by the grinding can crack or loosen the structure of the prosthetic and the implanted root. On average, the issues appear within six years of having the implant if chronic teeth grinding is not addressed.

Treating Sleep Apnoea and Bruxism

Preventing damage to the implant can be minimised by treating the underlying causes of sleep apnoea and bruxism. Excessive weight is a common cause for apnoea, as excess mass around the throat could obstruct breathing.

In some other cases, the use of a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine can treat OSA by gently pumping air into the mouth or nose, which allows patients to breathe with ease while asleep.

Other practitioners may recommend the use of a specialised mouth guard, which protects the teeth and the dental implants from grinding.

Treating sleep apnoea and bruxism can ensure that the dental implants last, and help minimise the risk of complications in the future.

The Logistics of Your Wedding

A couple planning their wedding Your wedding is one of the biggest days of your life, and you surely want every minute of it to be memorable. But if you want to make it that way, you should make sure that all your bases are covered. Otherwise, it will be a logistical nightmare. It will be memorable for the wrong reasons.

If you are planning your wedding, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. Below are some of the things that you must have on your list if you want your wedding to become that day you will cherish for the years to pass.

Venues

There are two places you will need to secure: the wedding venue and the reception. But if you want to save, you can hold both the ceremony and the reception in one place. There are wedding venues in Kent such as Winters Barns that offers flexibility. When it comes to this, remember the following things: the venue size, car park, and accessibility.

Food

Food is one of the centrepieces of your ceremony, so you must make sure that it is going to be superb. You can go food tasting with your family and friends. Consider the theme of the event when choosing the dishes, and do not forget certain restrictions that your guess may have, such as allergy.

Entertainment

Entertainment should complement the dining experience. You can get a band or a just a wedding singer that will serenade you and your guests as they enjoy the fare. If you want an out-of-the-box idea, you can turn your reception venue into a disco.

Photography

You need to document some of the best moments of your life, so you need to hire a reliable photographer or videographer.

These are just some of the things you need to keep in mind when planning your wedding. If you want to keep things flowing smoothly, do not hesitate to work with a reliable wedding planner.

Rainwater Harvesting and How It Can Help Solve the Water Crisis

Rainwater in a Jug Rainwater harvesting has been a long-established practice. The Ancient Romans designed their houses with roofing systems that double as a catchment for rainwater. They store the water for regular household use.

With the emergence of modern cities around the world, rainwater harvesting became less popular. Central pressurised water systems were, instead, introduced to homes, and people got accustomed to taps as water sources. Water experts, however, suggest re-introducing large water storage tanks to harvest rainwater and bring them to depressed areas, to help solve the water crisis in many communities.

Communities Still Lack Water Access

Various factors have led to a dearth of potable water, including climate change. The steady growth in population, moreover, resulted in an increase in the acquisition and development of land, which in turn led to the depletion of water sources. The acceleration of property development also led to deforestation that compounded water deficiency, which caused regional rain to become unpredictable.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 780 million people lack water access, while 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation.

Rainwater Harvesting, a Realistic Option

With a steadily growing population and fluctuating flood and drought patterns, the problem of water supply continues to be a problem on a national and global level. In the search to bring forth new ways to bring clean water to communities, authorities are beginning to reconsider rain harvesting.

The process of rain harvesting involves accumulating rainwater and then filtering and storing it for various residential and industrial purposes. In residential areas, individuals trap rainwater from roofs and direct it into underground cisterns or storage tanks. Harvested rainwater can satisfy up to 50% of the water needs of an average family. If rainwater harvesting can do this much for a single family, imagine how much it can do for the entire community, if every household resorted to this system.

Ditch the Sweet Habit: Research Shows Increase in Milk Teeth Extraction

Smiling kids in plaid shirtTooth decay has a massive impact on an individual’s ability to eat, speak, socialise and even sleep; it is a common oral health issue across the UK.

It is especially noticeable among children aged four and below. In fact, according to NHS figures presented by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), there were 9,206 tooth extractions performed on children in 2015-16 alone. This is a 24% increase from the figures in 2006-07, so Gainsborough dentists might suggest avoiding sweets to address the issue.

An Issue among Toddlers

Milk teeth are supposed to fall out naturally as children grow older. The increasing presence of high-sugar food and beverages in toddler diets, however, leads to untimely milk teeth extraction by paediatric dentists. There is even a case wherein a two-year-old had to have all 20 baby teeth extracted due to extreme tooth decay.

The regulation of sugar content in a diet is one of the ways to tackle the recurring issue.

The Regulation of Sugar in Diet

The recent research by the RCS’ Faculty of Dental Surgery has warned that a relentless high-sugar diet is now beginning from the cradle. Its published long-term data provides evidence that nine of 10 cases of tooth decay among children were avoidable if only midwives, nurses, GPs and parents knew better about oral health.

But that is slowly changing now as researchers encourage oral health awareness and suggest limiting the daily amount of sugar in children’s diet. More importantly, parents should hone their children’s eating habits; avoid constantly snacking between meals and frequently drinking fizzy beverages.

Although the research focuses on tooth decay among children, you can also take advantage of the preventative measures that dentists would suggest.

Limit sugary food and beverage; brush your teeth at least twice a day, and set regular dentist appointments. Practice these habits and make sure your children do, too. This way, you can improve oral health and avoid having teeth extracted in an untimely manner.

Save Time and Money: How to Plan Your Ski Vacation Early

Happy family with their skiSpending time with your family does not only mean going to the mall or park. Today, one of the most remarkable activities your family can enjoy is skiing. It has to be one of the most active family activities you can plan especially during the winter season. It’s the time of the year when you can enjoy your week long holiday vacation.

One of the drawbacks of going on a vacation during winter is the number of people flocking to the mountains to ski. It is important to plan everything early so you can save time and money.

Create an Itinerary Earlier

An itinerary is one of the most important tools you should have during your vacation. It should be drafted ahead of time so you and your family will make the most of the time you have. Having a clear itinerary would also mean that you can allot time for skiing and other winter sports activities.

Book a Hotel

It is important to book a hotel early. This will ensure that you have a place to stay when you go to the mountains on your vacation. It’s recommended to book a hotel before the peak months, so you can have a good deal and a room reserved for you and your family. This will also ensure that you won’t break the bank, as you were able to compare the best hotels and find the ones that offer affordable rooms.

Rent vs. Buy

The foremost thing that you’ll need is a sturdy and reliable ski gear. The items come in different types and prices. As such, it’s important to know which ones to buy at home and which ones to rent at ski rental shops. If you’re visiting Vail, you can easily find ski clothing rental businesses in the area. Renting is more practical than buying your own gear, which will be used during vacations only.

Register to Ski Lessons

If you or your kids are not familiar with the know-hows of skiing, there are ski lessons offered in resorts across the country. It is best to reserve your slots before you even reach the resort because you can get great deals and you get to be served first.

Planning a ski trip with your family takes time, research, and money. But if you get to spend quality time with your kids and loved ones, all these are worth it. Always remember to plan early to be able to get the most of the deals and save more time.

Looking Younger Without Going Under the Knife

A woman having a botox injection Did you know that last year the number of men and women having cosmetic surgery dropped to only 40% of its all-time high of 2015? It’s still a popular choice. One reason is the growing availability of temporary facial aesthetics treatments, such as Botox and dermal fillers.

These are available at many dental practices, such as Ace Dental in Camden.

The reason more and more people are choosing their dentist for facial aesthetics is their intimate understanding of how the muscles, nerves, tendons, and skin of the head, face, mouth and neck work. They also have many years’ experience delivering injections with precision. Many have now specially trained in facial aesthetics, with a number of courses specifically aimed at dentists, nurses and doctors.

Here’s how the two most common treatments, Botox and dermal fillers, work.

Botox

Botox treatments focus on problem areas such as crow’s feet around the eyes, frown lines between the eyebrows, forehead lines and lines around the mouth. These areas are injected with just the right amount of Botox to temporarily block the nerve impulses to the muscles, which over the next few days relax and smooth out. The treatment will make you look younger and more refreshed.

Treatments with Botox last for about 4 months, so you may want to book a top-up session about 3 months after your initial treatment.

Dermal fillers

Dermal fillers work by plumping out the skin to smooth out folds, wrinkles and hollows that naturally form as a part of ageing.

As we age, we lose the collagen in our skin that fills it out, and we also gradually produce less of a vital substance called hyaluronic acid. This substance helps cells retain moisture. Dermal fillers replace your natural hyaluronic acid.

They can be used to plump out areas such as the lines that run between our noses and mouths, or wrinkles over the top lip that come from smoking, as well as crow’s feet and hollows in the cheeks.

Dermal fillers are administered via injection to produce a natural boost to your face, so it won’t look like you’ve had ‘work’ done.

Well Water: Ways to Keep it Potable

Water dropletMonthly bills come, and they always take a huge chunk out of one’s earnings for the month. Your bills often include credit card payments, mortgages, as well as utility bills. Lowering your expenses in any of these payments would mean adding something to your savings, no matter how little.

This is the reason why more and more Park City homeowners are investing in the installation of water wells to serve as an alternative water source. However, Exterra Drilling Services says that a degree of care should be taken when consuming water well. Here are ways you can keep well water potable.

Have it tested

Natural ground water contains bacteria that can be harmful to health. Upon installation, you should have your water tested. The government mandates owners to have their well water tested annually by professional bodies to ensure safety.

Proper test interpretation

Homeowners may misinterpret the results of the test once released from the lab. If there are any doubts about the results of the test, always ask for their proper interpretation and explanation from your local health department.

Protect well from physical contaminants

Bacteria and contaminants are not only found underneath the ground but also above. Make sure to prevent foreign objects from entering your well through installing locks and covers. Only open and expose your well when necessary.

Be observant

Annual testing is not enough. As a homeowner, you should know your home's environmental conditions. In this case, you should know the state of your water resources. If you observe changes in color, texture, consistency, or taste, you should inform the proper authorities immediately.

The use of wells is on the rise as more homeowners see the significant contribution it makes to one’s household, not only financially but also in their daily life. Be a responsible well owner and keep your well water safe for consumption and general use.