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The view from the tub

A hot tub is the ultimate in luxury. The warmth, the bubbles, the sensory delight of floating in water. But the feeling of luxuriousness is further heightened when it is combined with stunning scenery or a fabulous view. It is a luxury that is as old as the hills. What we today call a hot tub, the Roman Empire called a Caldarium, but the idea – using warm water to wash away stresses and soothe aching joints remains the same.

Here are five of the best hot tub views from around the world.

Where skiing was once all about hitting the slopes hard and then enjoying the apres ski in a bar in the resort, many of today’s skiers are more discerning. After a day of skiing, what better way to unwind and ease aching muscles than to slip into a hot tub and drink in the view of the very mountains you have just conquered on skis. The Swiss resort of Verbier is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, with some of the best accommodation. But when it comes to a tub with a view, then the hot tub in the Septieme Ciel chalet is recognised as the best in town.

The chalet is perched high on the Savoleyres side of the Swiss Alps and the hot tub has unfettered views across the mountains, making for great views and even better star-gazing.

View fit for a lord

On the other side of the world, where JR Tolkien found inspiration for the Lord of the Rings, New Zealand has some of the southern hemisphere’s best views. Whether it is mountainous views in the summer or snow-covered peaks in the winter, the Riverrun resort beside Lake Wanaka is just a beautiful place to sit and relax. The resort’s hot tub is a fabulous cedar wood design, with a roaring fire nearby so that getting out of the tub is also an enjoyable experience.

Tales of the tub

Closer to home and the hot tub in the Miss Potter Suite at the Holbeck Ghyll Country House has caused visitors to the hotel – which is located on the edge of Lake Windermere in Cumbria – to eulogise on TripAdvisor. “A hot tub with a view of Lake Windermere on one side and rolling hills and sheep on the other is fantastic,” says one reviewer. another visitor to the hotel said the ‘views are better than any other hotel in the area.’

Loch at the view

The Knoydart House in Loch Nevis, Scotland, offers its guests fabulous views of Loch Nevis, one of the beautiful lakes found on the West Coast of Scotland. The eco-lodge, which serves as a holiday home for up to 10 guests, boasts on its website that it has one of the best hot tub views in Scotland. Certainly the uninterrupted sea-loch views would bear witness to that claim. The hot tub has floodlit, wraparound lighting and mood lighting within the tub. Whatever the weather, the hot tub maintains a constant 40 degree temperature. Hot tub users can take in the gorgeous mountain views after a day of walking in the hills or doing waterspouts on the loch. With its coastal location, you might even catch a glimpse of a whale in the distance or a sea-otter near-by.

A glimpse of paradise

Our final tub with a view can be found in the Maldives on the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. The hot tub overlooks the azure blue of the Indian Ocean and is surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and miles of unblemished, white sandy beaches. With the decking literally touching the ocean, this hot tub is just one step away from being in paradise.

Time for a soak

When you use your spa is really down to personal preference, but for many people the ideal time to step into the warm depths of a hot tub is in the evening after work.

Feeling good

Psychologically and physically, the warmth, the sound and feel of the water on your skin and the sheer sense of floating will relax muscles and encourage fraught nerves to switch off. Many people use a spa as a way to induce relax, clear the mind and get the mind and body ready to go to sleep.

Spending 15-30 minutes in a hot tub at the end of a busy working day will help you switch off, forget work, put aside any tensions and concentrate on re-balancing yourself.

A morning dip

Conversely, many people like a spa session in the morning. As a way of preparing for the day ahead, a few minutes spent clearing the mind, wakening the body and getting ready mentally and physically for all the day has to offer, can be achieved while sitting in a hot tub. This is your time, with no distractions, and combined with a cup of coffee, it is a great way to start your working day. The warm water will encourage blood vessels to open widely and this, in turn, will increase circulation. This is good for people with circulation problems, but is also good for everyone as it allows the body to work more efficiently, transporting blood and oxygen effectively and strengthening your heart and lungs. It also leaves you feeling invigorated and refreshed.

Soaking away aches

For people who have just exercised, or taken part in strenuous activity, such as a mammoth gardening session, decorating or DIY, then a soak in a hot tub is a brilliant way to ease sore and aching muscles. The warm water acts as a gentle deep tissue massage, breaking down toxins and allowing muscles to come out of spasm and relax. Certainly, if you have picked up a sports injury, a few sessions in a hot tub will help your body recover quicker.

Healthy body and mind

For some people, time spent in the hot tub is a time to repair the body and heal the mind. As such, any time of the day or night might be appropriate. Medical studies show that the warmth of a hot tub can have a very positive effect on many medical conditions, including osteoporosis – or weakening of the bones – and many forms of arthritis. Arthritic Care UK recommends that people with some arthritic conditions can use a hot tub before exercise to warm their joints. While exercise is good for people with arthritis, sometimes the pain in the joints is a real demotivator when it comes to even starting an activity. Who wants to go for a work out when every movement hurts. By spending some time in a hot tub first, this will warm up the muscles and tendons around the bones enabling the person to exercise with less pain, allowing them to exercise for longer and at a higher intensity.

A time for friends

Of course, one of the best times to use the hot tub is with family and friends. Sitting in the warm temperature sipping a drink or simply chatting is a great way to relax, unwind and socialise in an informal setting. While there are all the usual precautions and advice about not drinking too much, which should be heeded closely, there is no more chilled way to get together with friends than over a glass of bubbles in a hot tub.

30. Understanding How To Name Companies For Business People

It seems that for every new business that is launched today, it is headed by an ‘entrepreneur’ and a growing term is ‘serial entrepreneur’ which many see as someone still trying to find a business that works for them in the modern age and does this by setting up multiple enterprises until they find one that works for them.

Reality

Whether you see yourself as an ‘entrepreneur’ or an old fashioned ‘business owner’, the outcome is still the same.  People still want to trade with companies who provide quality ideas, products and services which are delivered promptly and professionally.

Naturally, being a small business means that you cannot fulfil every role that your business requires and there will be a need over time to work with specialists in marketing, PR, branding etc.  Often the costs of hiring these specialists is prohibitive, especially for small businesses operating on a tight budget.

With the advent of technology in recent times, it has become easier than ever before to promote and develop the business if you are prepared to put in the hard work yourself.

Limitations

One of the greatest challenges comes in the form of naming a business. Generators are just not going to cut it in this regard. There are many software options that work on a keyword basis to create names, but are they going to appeal to the masses? Generally, they will not because they do not have that human connection. All that is required is a pen and paper when it comes to getting the right name.  You could ask family, friends and trusted colleagues to try to think of names that will appeal to your target market and work with their suggestions.

Branding consultants are responsible for ensuring that any brand that is created makes sense logistically and has the ability to woo the market into making purchasing and helping them connect.  There are many brandable domains online that can be pre-registered in order to help create automatic brands on their own. It is worth remembering that all of the best brands that have ever been created had a human element to them and it wasn’t algorithms that pushed them along.

Democracy with Creativity

Brandable domains can easily be compared to online photo libraries. For example, there was a time in the past where it was normal to pay a professional photographer a fee in order to create the image required. It would end up taking a significant amount of time and money to have everything completed. This is not the case any more with creativity being a click away. Today’s consumer wants everything in an instant.  Brandable domain services are becoming the fastest way to find a business name and company image with just a few clicks of a mouse allowing you to launch your new business immediately.

31. What is Power Over Ethernet (PoE) For Your CCTV Camera?

Power over Ethernet, or PoE, is a new contemporary technology which allows for electric current to pass over wired Ethernet LANs (local area networks). In conventional systems you would have two connections:

  • a network connection which will carry data to your computer screen
  • an electrical connection which will send the required electricity to power the system.

With PoE, the electric power is delivered through exactly the same cables used to carry the data on the Ethernet connection. This offers one major advantage as it cuts down how many wires are needed to power the machine. As a result of this two-in-one mechanism, PoE systems are generally seen to exhibit greater efficacy, both in terms of setup and maintenance costs. In addition, they often provide a system that is much more versatile as there’s no need to hook them up to conventional electrical cables.  Installation costs are reduced dramatically as there is no need to employ an electrician due to the lack of demand for electrical wiring.

But aside from lower setup and maintenance costs, PoE has some major advantages:

  • Versatility

As the units don’t need to be connected directly to electrical outlets, you have more flexibility in how you manage your CCTV cameras. The cameras are linked to the security system through an IP network rather than through cables. If you have a strong WiFi connection you can position your camera wherever you want to as they are quick and easy to re-position to suit your needs.

  • Dependability

As the electricity for your system comes straight from the same compatible principal source, rather than adapters that were connected, the potential for system failure is significantly reduced. Additionally, with data transferred straight through an IP network, you can regularly back-up your files to ensure that data is saved and protected in case of a system malfunction.

In addition to versatility and dependability, many complex PoE systems are more secure because they have additional security components built into them which close the machine down when a fault is discovered. This prevents overheating of the device or overloading. It also ensures greater dependability when protecting the data gathered.

How can PoE Work using an IP camera?

For a PoE system to work, you must make sure that the data transmission does not interfere with the electrical current and vice versa when they are transmitted along the same cables. In order for this to occur, the electrical current enters the system via an injector in the power source.

If devices in the system are PoE compatible then the system will run easily without needing to make alterations or additions. If, on the other hand, a component part isn’t compatible you will need to use a “picker” that will draw off the electricity at the location of the device.

People are seeing the many advantages of updating their surveillance system to embrace PoE technology.  It allows for a much more efficient, dependable and affordable system with ever greater clarity in the pictures and information being gathered. Before installing a PoE system, please consult with a professional to advise you on the best system for your individual circumstances.

32. Why You Need To Upgrade To A Power Over Ethernet Surveillance System

Power over Ethernet or PoE is a modern day technology that allows an electrical current to pass over a wired Ethernet Local Area Network (LAN). Traditional systems have two types of connections:

  • the network connection that can transmit images to monitor and video devices;
  • the electrical connection that sends the electricity for the system to get power.

With Power over Ethernet, an electric current is delivered via the same cables transmitting data over your Ethernet connection, lowering the number of wires needed within the system. As a result, this type of system is typically considered to be more efficient considering its lowered costs of installation, running and maintenance. These systems are normally more versatile as they do not need to be directly hooked up with electrical wires in order to get powered up.

Have a look at some of the benefits that come with the use of such a system:

  • Reduced Costs and Increased Productivity

By eliminating the need for traditional electrical cabling in such a system, you save more on installation and material costs. Power over Ethernet systems do not require an electrician to get the system hooked up on the mains power supply therefore saving you time on installation and maintenance.

  • Versatility

Power over Ethernet units are more versatile than traditional units as they do not require a direct connection to power. This in turn makes your CCTV cameras system more flexible as they only need to be connected to your system over an IP system rather than through an electrical source. If you have Wi-Fi that is strong enough, you could position your CCTV cameras wherever you like and still have the ability to quickly and easily re-position them as you deem necessary.

  • Reliability

As the entire system’s power comes directly from the same central and compatible source, as opposed to series’ of connected adapters, chances of the system failing are greatly reduced. At the same time, as data is transferred directly across your network, routinely backing up your files becomes easier as data can easily be stored and protected in case there is a system malfunction.

In more advanced Power over Ethernet systems there is usually an extra safety element built in the system which shuts the system down in case of a fault to prevent the overheating and overloading of the system. This offers greater reliability especially when it comes to saving the data collected.

How Does The System Work with an IP Camera?

In order for Power over Ethernet to work, there is a need to ensure that the data and the electrical current do not interfere with each other as they are being transmitted over the same cables. For this to take place, the current enters the PoE at its power source via an injector- a small component that allows electrical currents to flow through cables while not disrupting data flow through the same cables.

If the devices in use (recorders, cameras etc) are all PoE compatible, then the whole system will run smoothly without requiring any further modifications or additions. However, if a component is not compatible, maybe due to the fact that you are looking at upgrading the system whilst retaining some of the older equipment, such an issue can be overcome by installing something known as a picker which draws off electricity from the device location.

There are many benefits of upgrading your surveillance system to a high definition CCTV network that is more efficient, cost effective and reliable and adopting Power over Ethernet is the best solution. A PoE surveillance system will require less space, less maintenance and is not as demanding whilst at the same time providing high quality image clarity and improved data collection.

21. How To Get Back Care That Treats Your Whole Body

While most people have heard about osteopathy, not many actually know what it is. A general answer to this question is that osteopathy is a way of thinking about both disease and health that is more holistic and natural than other healthcare disciplines.

Most people who visit an osteopath for the first time go because they are in deep pain. Conventional medicine has long sought to understand pain and invariably doctors prescribe painkillers as a short term solution but then fail to continue to find what is causing the pain.  Often it can make the problem worse in the long term.

On the other hand, the mission of an osteopath is to examine more than just the symptoms before treatment begins. Working with the patient, they compile a medical history that includes life style, a complete examination of the muscular system, as well as a general health history. This broader view helps the osteopath uncover the root of the existing medical problem that is causing the pain.

Osteopaths often operate with many different facets of alternative medicine at their fingertips. It is not uncommon for an osteopath to be a practicing chiropractor or kinesiologist (a specialist who studies muscles and their movements within humans). This broader approach to medicine deepens their understanding of the condition. Treatments are based upon this compilation of information and are tailor made to suit  specific problem areas or illness. For this reason, a comprehensive treatment plan by a osteopath surpasses the simple prescription of painkillers to mask persistent pain.

What About The Stress of Modern Life?

Let’s face it. Modern life has turned up the volume when it comes to stress. Each day brings multiple stress-inducing elements into our lives. For example, background noises such as buzzes or beeps may seem to fade into the background noise but they affect our bodies by changing the production rates of our hormones, such as cortisol. While cortisol naturally acts as an anti-inflammatory to protect our bodies during periods of high stress, persistently high levels begin to cause damage.

Scientists have discovered that the production of cortisol actually falls off when stressful conditions are long lasting. When this happens, inflammation goes unchecked and many people find that they suffer from nonstop back pain. That’s why the holistic approach used by osteopaths turns out to be more effective for people with chronic pain.

Osteopaths work by treating multiple body systems simultaneously. A close examination of the patients history allows us to narrow in on activities that may be causing problems and a thorough medical examination means that affected systems can be pinpointed with accuracy. This holistic approach is pulled together by a single aspect of your biology. The human body has evolved to be an organism capable of healing itself.

Osteopaths work with their patients to create the conditions for natural healing. Methods may include careful manipulation and adjustments of injured joints and limbs. The entire treatment process is centered on the patient as the doctor takes the time to explore the stimuli that lead to the existing condition that is causing the patient so much chronic pain.

Now that you understand why osteopathy is referred to as holistic, it might be time to take your chronic pain to a osteopath for a broad view of your condition and a natural and drug-free treatment program.

22. Reducing The Size Of Your Commercial Kitchen’s Carbon Footprint

As an industry leader, we at Cucina have been doing some research on commercial kitchen trends. It is our desire to always do our best and to stay on the right course. This is the reason why we are totally committed to understanding all there is to know about commercial kitchens so that when you approach us, we are able to assist you by offering you the best advice on what’s available, what will work for you and which products and designs will best suit your specific needs.

Today, the need to lower our carbon footprint is becoming increasingly important if we want to have a sustainably healthy future. And it is without a doubt that the commercial kitchen is a major contributor of carbon emissions. As we focus on ways to lower these emissions, there are three specific areas that we need to look at to accomplish this. These are improving equipment efficiency, recycling and saving energy.

Saving Energy

In recent times, energy costs having been making headlines and have become a major concern for both domestic and commercial customers. Over the years, pubs and restaurants have seen the cost of energy soar, eventually becoming a considerable part of the overall operating costs. Most commercial kitchens are busy and are usually synonymous with leaving ovens and stoves on for more efficient service. However, it is the heat from this traditional equipment that is of most concern. It therefore important for commercial kitchen owners to start looking into whether they are wasting energy unnecessarily as they go about their work.

One way to do this is to start recording your kitchen’s energy consumption. This way you can see if there is a need for reduction. Meter your gas, water and electricity consumption separately. By doing this you are able to measure your usage, allowing you to see where to improve and what to change. For larger energy consuming appliances, installing individual meters would be worth investigating if you want to know how much energy they are consuming and within what time frame. By gathering such information, you are then able to come up with a working benchmark that lets you know how your operating costs measure up to the covers you have served. This will help you understand and be more specific on where you can save.

Improving Equipment Efficiency

Apart from monitoring your kitchen’s energy consumption, you also should work on improving the efficiency of some of the equipment in use in your commercial kitchen setup. To begin with, you need to ensure that all your equipment is properly cleaned and well maintained for improved performance. Doing this alone could help considerably. However, when it comes to the replacement of some of the equipment, it is vital that you purchase items that are eco-friendly and more energy efficient than their predecessors. Replacement options to consider include:

  • Induction Cooking: under this option, the cooking vessel gets heated via electrical induction instead of an electrical heating element or gas flame.
  • Contact Grill: this type of grill only operates when it senses a plate on its base.
  • Combi Oven: this is a multifunction oven that gives the user freedom to perform many cooking styles on just one appliance.
  • Eco-friendly Freezers and Refrigerators: the energy consumed by these appliances gives off heat which is released into the immediate environment. The less energy an appliance consumes, the less the heat it will release.
  • Blast Chiller: a blast chiller is a great food cooling option that will ensure that your food is safe for storage and consumption at a later time.
  • Energy Efficient Dishwasher: look for a dishwasher that uses the least amount of water. At the same time, there are dishwashers that will reuse energy from your drainage water and steam to heat your input water.

Recycling

With so much wastage in a commercial kitchen, it is best that we learn from an industry leader on the best practices when it comes to recycling. In 2010, Biogen Greenfinch, a food waste specialist, ran a test with UK’s restaurant and hotel group Whitbread. Whitbread estimated that food waste constituted about a quarter of its restaurants’ waste stream between 2008 and 2009. Twelve of its establishments were picked for a trial and the staff were trained on how to segregate food waste from all other waste. The food waste collected was then recycled using an anaerobic digester. These trials were so successful that Whitbread took up the procedure and it is now in use in all of their 300+ premises. In 2010 alone, estimates show that the diversion of food waste from landfills has probably saved the world from over 3,000,000 Kgs of carbon emissions.

While this is just an example, it may perhaps prompt you to think about ways through which you can introduce a better way of recycling into your commercial kitchen as you look to reduce your carbon footprint.

It is our hope that this piece has led you to reflect on ways you can make your kitchen into an eco-friendly commercial kitchen with a smaller carbon footprint. If you feel we could be of assistance to you as you design and plan to create a new, eco-friendly commercial kitchen that is not only delightful but also sustainable, then get in touch with us today!

23. The Importance Of Risk Assessments

Many people think risk assessments aren’t really necessary, so they skip some, basing their decision on the belief that “it won’t happen to me”. Nonetheless, not doing the proper risk assessments for your workplace can be hazardous, as ARC Fire Safety shows us in the article below.

It is mandatory to conduct fire risk assessments in your workplace. There are so many ways a fire can start that you can’t face it successfully if you aren’t prepared. New and old buildings alike present dangerous fire hazards so you need to be aware of and be ready to fix them if needed. When regular assessments are done, such risk are very much lowered. For instance, old and faulty wiring can cause a fire that could swallow your whole building in a matter of minutes. When you realise you have a problem, it may already be too late. Any workplace is exposed to such incidents and hidden perils can be reduced or even eliminated by regular risk assessments.

A fire risk assessment is also the best modality to make sure your staff knows the rules and regulations in case of fire. You need to provide them such training, as it is unlikely they will have learnt them from any other source. They need to be aware that they shouldn’t smoke indoors, that they make sure their cigarettes are fully extinguished when they finish smoking and that they shouldn’t leave the building without turning off electrical appliances such as heaters and air conditioning units.

The assessment needs to be followed by measures of fixing what was found to be not quite in order. All faulty wiring should be fixed or replaced, smoking in the building should be forbidden and all legal requirements regarding fire prevention should be observed and followed by everyone.

The Penalties

Leaving aside the disaster you are going to face in case of a fire, there are also legal penalties for companies failing to perform the regular risk assessments. You need to be able to produce evidence of such risk assessments should anyone come to audit you. Moreover, you may face prosecution and prison if you ignore the fire safety regulations that lead to human injuries or death. It is simply not worth ignoring these laws, as they are made with the sole purpose of protecting you, your assets and your employees in case of fire or other hazards that may occur at any give time in your building.

If you want to know more about fire risk assessments or about the current laws and regulations in this field, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to provide you all the information you need, so that your workplace becomes a secure space, with a very low risk of fire or of another disaster. We can help you through the entire process.

26. What to Look for When Buying Old Furniture

Old furniture is indeed priceless, which is probably why you are thinking about refinishing that worn out dresser or dusty chair sat in your basement. Older pieces, which were often mass produced between the mid 1800’s and the late 1960’s, serve as viable refinishing candidates. Their greatest attraction lies in their durability even though they are not as highly valued as rare antique pieces.

According to the author of ‘Foolproof Wood Finishing : For Those Who Love to Build & Hate to Finish’ Teri Masaschi, you should always consult an expert if you have any queries about the age of any of your furniture pieces. Generally, it is always wise to spend time in research especially if your piece was made before 1850, so as to know whether it should be conserved rather than restored. If it has been passed on to generations, then it’s worth finding out its value before damaging it.

Pieces from the Art Deco and Arts & Crafts period (as shown in the photo below), in some cases shouldn’t be touched so as to minimize any risk of damage. If you have any doubts on anything out of the ordinary about your piece, trust your instincts and ask someone who knows.

To help you properly assess the quality and age of your piece, here are some general guidelines. However, note that there are numerous exceptions to these tips, and you should always confirm your findings through credible sources.

Look for dovetail joints

To identify when your piece was made, you will have to carefully observe the construction detail of your piece. Dovetail joints in particular are generally very solid and require a distinct set of skills to create. Pieces designed using dovetail joints are highly valued and known to be made using quality craftsmanship. Even though specialty designers and antique enthusiasts still use dovetail joints, an old American piece made using hand-cut dovetails can date back to the early 1800’s. Masaschi says that this can be attributed to the fact that hand dovetailing was no longer applicable to furniture made in factories after 1890. Identifying hand dovetails shouldn’t be that hard, and you can easily tell from the slightly irregular form they take with thin and tapered pins.

Look for solid wood or plywood backing

The 20th century brought with it plywood backing in furniture. If it has a solid wood backing including that of the interior side of drawers then the piece is most likely from the 1880’s or before. If your dresser uses a particleboard within its overall design, then it was probably made in the 1960’s or later.

Check for manufacturer’s stamps or inscriptions

Even though rare, there are pieces that come with special markings on them indicating their origin. Handcrafted pieces from the early ages will sometimes have an inscription bearing the identity of the furniture maker that crafted it. Masaschi further explains that if they are indeed very old, the markings could be in form of simple pencil scribbling on the drawer’s interior. By the turn of the 20th century, furniture makers were using labels and stickers made out of paper (as shown in the pictures below). This later changed to brass made plaques attached onto the back or inside of drawers before again changing to spray-on stencils in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Furniture sets were sometimes identified by markings on only one of the pieces. If separated, it becomes harder to identify the origin of the pieces.

Checking for sticky labels

The 20th century also brought with it labeled furniture pieces bearing the manufacturer’s name. The mass-produced pieces were sometimes defined with standard labels such as Cadillac Cabinet Company. This not only shows you how old and valuable your piece is, but also how common it was back then and now and enables you to identify whether it is valuable enough to refurbish it or leave it as it is. In essence, mass produced furniture dating back to the 1950’s and 1960’s are viable refinishing candidates.

Look for authentic details and original hardware

If your piece consists of pulls made from wood or solid cast-brass then the piece is likely old or even an antique. Using a basic collectibles guide you can identify the various styles and original hardware on furniture so as to identify their age range. Popular furniture style examples include Victorian, Federal (as shown below on a chest of drawers original to the period), Hepplewhite, Queen Anne and Sheraton among many others.

According to the author, other details that can help you identify the age of a piece include
‘Battleship beds’ consisting of large headboards and marble-top dressers which are exclusively known to date from the Victorian era. These pieces are usually very easy to handle and ideal candidates for refinishing.

The 1930’s saw the introduction of furniture consisting of casters (wheels), and dressers entailing mirrors placed on harps indicate the turn of the 20th century. Having a clue on the brief history of your older pieces is not only interesting but helpful. It may or may not be an antique, and if you have sufficient knowledge on the pieces you can decide  whether or not to refinish them. Research widely on the various styles that defined furniture back then, or ask an expert instead.