A Beginner's Guide to Car Detailing

So you want to detail your car and don’t know where to start? Well, you’re in luck my friends because this post will get have you on your way and cleaning your car like a professional. We give you a detailed guide on how to detail your car. Sorry for the pun, but I couldn’t resist.
Cleaning your car regularly will extend its lifespan to keep your vehicle looking and running in tip-top condition. Then when it comes time to sell, you’ll get a better price. Now let’s get down to business.

Cleaning the Exterior

I always start by washing the exterior of the car.

You will need:

Two buckets
A hose
Tire polisher
A big sponge
A chamois
Fill one bucket with soapy water and one with clean water. Why may you ask? Well, I’m about to get into that. The soapy water removes dirt and grime. After each soapy water application, rinse your sponge in the clean water. Doing this will prevent dirt fragments from scratching your car while you wash it. Do this all over the vehicle until it is squeaky clean. Then before your car dries get in there with chamois and thoroughly wipe off the excess moisture. Try not to leave any streaks if you want to look professional.

The Tires

For the tires, use the same technique as you did with the paint job. First with the soapy sponge and then rinse in the clean water. After you have the tires looking spic and span wait for them to dry before applying the tire polisher. The tire polisher will not only have your tires looking shiny, but it also acts as a barrier and keeps the dirt at bay.

The Wax Job

As Mr Myagi from karate kid says “Wax on, wax off.” He was a brilliant man, and that’s precisely what you will have to do to wax your car. Wipe the wax on with a rag then wipe the wax off with a clean cloth. Waxing your car will bring the paint job back to life. If you’re good at it, you should be able to see your reflection in the paint job.
Giving your car a wax job is not only for aesthetic appeal. The wax creates a protective layer on the paint job of your vehicle and also prevents minor chips and scratches. You should wax your car every two to four weeks, so your vehicle is protected.

Cleaning the Interior

The interior clean is an entirely different beast to cleaning the exterior. Think of it more like cleaning your bedroom but instead of a room it’s a car.
You will need

  • Two buckets
  • A rag
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Interior cleaning products

First, you should remove all the rubbish from your car. Yes, that includes all the lost Maccas fries from under the seat. Then get your vacuum cleaner with a nozzle attachment and thoroughly vacuum your vehicle until it is spotless. Don’t forget to vacuum the seat and centre console. Then it’s a matter of doing the soapy bucket, clean bucket trick with the interior. Make sure to ring out your rag thoroughly to avoid excess moisture in your car. Too much water will seep into your upholstery and go mouldy.
After your dash and upholstery are clean. Use an interior product like Armourall to coat your dashboard. Like the wax on the paint job, this will create a protective coating over your dash and keep it safe from perishing in the hot Summers sun.
If all this sounds like too much time and effort, you can always call on the help of a mobile car cleaning service.  They come around to your house and do all the dirty work for you for a reasonable price. Plus, they have all the right tools and will more than likely do a better job than you.
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Home and Garden

Create Your Dream Alfresco with Travertine

Is it time to give your alfresco a makeover? Perhaps you’re starting fresh and building your first dream home?
Travertine pavers are the perfect solution for your outdoor paving needs, they are cut from a naturally forming stone and are the ideal paver for anyone looking to add a natural yet elegant aesthetic to their outdoor area.
The rustic nature and natural colours of travertine pavers will give your outdoor space a sense of warmth and create a welcoming and homely atmosphere. The beauty of travertine is that no paver is the same and the imperfections will ensure that your alfresco area will be distinctly unique. When I say imperfection, I’m talking about the random markings on each paver that form in nature.
Travertine tiles come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and finishes. They are also one of the most versatile building materials available and may be used on a myriad of various applications from retaining walls to flooring in the patio.
In this post, we will take a closer look at travertine tiles and how you can use them in your alfresco area to get the best results.

What is Travertine?

Travertine is a type of limestone found in mineral springs and hot springs around the world. It’s a calcareous, sedimentary stone used in the building industry for indoor and outdoor applications in the form of tiles.  Travertine comes in a range of colours such as tan, white, cream and a variety of different rust colours.
Travertine pavers are non-slip due to the course, perforated nature of the stone which makes them ideal for around the pool, patio or bathroom. They offer many benefits, from visual appeal to practical application and are a great alternative to standard tiles.

Travertine in the Outdoor Kitchen

Australia has the ideal climate for alfresco dining and outdoor cooking. You will be hard pressed to find a home with a barbie out the back. That’s because we love outdoor entertaining here in the land down under. Take your barbecue area to the next level by creating an outdoor kitchen from travertine.
Travertine pavers are the ideal flooring solution for your alfresco area. They are a hardy tile that will withstand the elements and the test of time. When it comes time to clean them down, all you have to do is blast them off with a pressure cleaner, and they will come up like new. The non-slip surface will ensure you stay on two legs while you’re giving them a clean.
Flooring isn’t the only application for travertine tiles. You can create your whole outdoor kitchen from travertine. It can be used to make benches, sinks, and barbecue stands. Your outdoor kitchen will be a thing of beauty. Try using different shades and sizes of travertine to create depth and dimension to your outdoor area.  Use on colour for the floor and perhaps a different tone for the outdoor kitchen benches and sink.
Using large travertine pavers will give you a different visual appeal than small pavers. Large travertine pavers create a subtler sweeping aesthetic, whereas smaller tiles will look busier. Not to say that busier is a bad thing.
If you alternate between large and small pavers possible to create beautiful patterns and mosaics, the best thing to do is to pick up a pen and paper and start designing your ideal alfresco area. Get creative and sketch in rough ideas and create a designer floor.

Travertine for Around the Pool

Travertine pavers are naturally non-slip. This makes travertine pavers ideal for around the pool area. Not only are they practical and safe, but travertine tiles will also give your pool area a rustic charm, one found in beautiful natural settings. Due to the random nature of travertine tiles, they are easily replaced if one breaks. You don’t have to re-tile the whole area because the tile you initially used is discontinued.
The sky is the limit with travertine. Travertine is a diverse natural stone that will surely bring a touch of magic to your outdoor area. The pavers can be used for a multitude of applications both indoors and outdoors. They are beautiful, durable, and non-slip and that makes them the ideal building material for your alfresco area.
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Health and Medical

Top 5 Supplements You Must Have And Why

Many people consider supplements to be ‘expensive urine’, i.e you’re paying good money for something your body doesn’t benefit from. This may be true if you buy cheaply-made, low-quality supplements, but there is plenty of positive evidence supporting the use of good-quality products.

Why Do We Need Supplements?

We all need to take some supplements on a regular basis for several reasons:

  • Our busy, stressful,l work-hard play-hard lifestyles mean our bodies have a high demand for nutrients
  • We tend to eat fewer fresh unprocessed wholefoods than we used to
  • The fresh produce that we do eat is lower in nutrient value than previously


5 Essential Supplements

The following are the top 5 supplements you should consider buying and taking on a daily basis.

Fish Oils

In days gone by, we would have supped on lots of fresh fish several times a week. This no longer happens and, in fact, government guidelines advise against eating more than two portions of fish a week because of heavy metals and other contaminants.
However, we still need nutrients specific to fish, especially omega-3 oils. Among their many functions, omega-3 fatty acids are potent anti-inflammatories and are very important for brain health and hormone balance.


FISH OIL180 mg EPA 120 mg DHAAnti-inflammatory, hormone balancer
B VITAMINSVaries for each individual B vitaminEnergy production, brain chemistry, hormone balance, liver function
MAGNESIUM300 mgEnergy production, hormone production, brain chemistry, muscle function, bone health
VITAMIN D1000 IUImmune regulator, bone health
ZINC15 mgImmunity, skin health, hormone health

*Assuming you have no particular health problems



B Vitamins

A good B vitamin complex is essential for energy production, our brain chemistry, hormone balance, liver detoxification, heart health and many other functions in the body.
Look for a good quality supplement that contains ‘activated’ forms of the B vitamins. If you can avoid synthetic versions, such as folic acid, as these are not easily metabolised by the body. Folate is the natural, more bioavailable form of folic acid.


Low magnesium is a growing problem in Australia especially among children –  three out of four teenage girls are deficient.
We need this nutrient for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It is part of the energy production cycle, needed for correct muscle and brain function and hormone production.
We use up and excrete magnesium at a much higher rate when under stress so it is especially important to supplement during these times.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies now. We spend more time indoors and, when we are outside, we slather our skin with sun block. So our main source of this nutrient – the sun – is no longer available.
We do get vitamin D from some foods, including eggs, mushrooms and butter, but this is nowhere near enough the amount we need.
Among its many functions, vitamin D is essential for immunity and bone health. Deficiency of this nutrient has been linked with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disorders (Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease).


Zinc is vital for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. This mineral is a potent antioxidant and is particularly important for healthy immunity – if you get lots of coughs and colds, you’re likely to be low in zinc.
Zinc is also key for neurotransmitter production and a common but overlooked cause of depression.

What About Probiotics?

Up until recently, the common thinking was that we should all take probiotics daily to maintain gut health. However, while probiotics contain strains of bacteria already found in the gut, they do not directly populate your intestines.
Their main function is to create an environment which encourages your own bacteria to grow. They do this by producing natural chemicals which provide a happy home for your existing good bacteria to grow and thrive and which discourages unwanted bacteria.
Unless you are sick or have taken a lot of antibiotics, you don’t necessarily need probiotics and can create this good environment very effectively through the use of diet and fermented foods.
Lots of fibre from vegetables (both root vegetables and green leafies) provides ‘food’ for our good bacteria.
Fermented foods contain chemicals such as lactic acid, which provide the right conditions for our own good bacteria to grow.
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FUSO'S Built Ready Wide Cab Canter Tipper Has Gained an Extra Tonne of Capacity

Fuso is one of the most renown names in the heavy truck and bus industry. The company’s history dates back to 1932 when the first Fuso, the B46 bus, was built by the Mitsubishi Shipping Company in Japan. The company has since grown to become a trendsetter in the trucking industry, constantly pushing boundaries and making new developments for the benefit of truck operators all over the world. Fuso has gone through several corporate developments since its inception and has now been an integral part of the Daimler AG family in 2006.

Fuso’s Built Ready Truck Range

Fuso’s affinity for innovation and dedication to customer satisfaction has led the company to constantly seek feedback and find ways to improve their customer experience. The trucking industry is exceptionally competitive and heavily regulated making the development of new innovations a challenging task.
In order to reduce delivery times of new trucks and truck spare parts, Fuso developed a range of Built Ready trucks. These new ready-to-go trucks were developed to help companies hit the ground running with a fully operational truck from day one. The Built Ready range trucks are available as Tipper, Alloy Tray, Pantech, and Refrigerated Body types for shipment all over the world.

The New Wide Cab Tipper with something extra

After years of manufacturing and operating tippers, Fuso realized that the industry required a new development in the area of truck capacity. Many clients measure trucks mainly by how much weight it can carry. However, the manufacturer knows that there are several conditions necessary to enable a truck to operate efficiently.
Fuso’s unique blend of technology and engineering solutions that have enabled the company to increase the capacity of their Canter Tipper by a whole tonne without breaking the trucking industry regulations and standards.
The Fuso Built Ready Canter Tipper’s GVM and GCM are now classified as 7.5 tonnes and 11 tonnes respectively. Moreover, it is now the envy of all other tippers in the region, gaining 14% more cubic carrying capacity to manage a load of 2.4 cubic metres without breaking a sweat.

Innovative Engineering Upgrades

In order to achieve the power and balance necessary to handle the extra weight and volume, Fuso engineers needed to implement a wide range of innovative engineering solutions. These innovations not only made the truck stronger and bigger but also increased its overall efficiency and ease of use. True to the company’s dedication to customer satisfaction, many of the engineering upgrades were made simply to make the client more comfortable.

Size matters

The main modification that Fuso made to their truck was to increase the length of the Tipper. Road regulations and standards generally limit the width of vehicles to protect other road users. The length of a vehicle, however, has fewer limitations.
Fuso increased the length of their tipper body by 300mm effectively increasing the internal body length to 3150mm. The truck’s robust construction including an I-beam front axle provides the necessary strength and durability t handle the extra weight.

Tipping Efficiency

The big question in the new truck’s design was how it would perform its primary task as a tipper. Tippers are typically loaded from above with a payload that can roll out the back of the truck when the back of the truck’s body is raised up. The truck uses a system of hydraulic rams to raise the front of the body while a pivot holds the back of the body in place so that the payload can be tipped off the truck.
The added tonne of weight in the new tipper’s capacity meant that the standard hydraulic lift needed to be upgraded. Fuso implemented a new hydraulic lift cylinder that could handle 8.0 MPA pressure as well as an increased maximum tip angle 60 degrees, as opposed to the conventional 55 degrees. The upgrades have made Fuso’s new tipper one of the most efficient tippers down under.

Safety Upgrades

The Tipper is also equipped with a Limited Slip Differential as a standard component. Conventional open differential systems allow power to move freely to the wheels while the limited slip has an added safety function. In the event that the truck wheels begin to slip, the limited slip differential system uses friction resistance to control the flow of power and make sure both wheels rotate with an equal amount of power.


Fuso’s innovative new wide Cab Canter Tipper is a successful endeavour in giving its customers more value for their money. With its added volume, the clients will be able to boost their productivity while reducing their overhead expenses.
To further cement their relationship with the customer, the new tipper comes with a five year or 200,000km Fuso manufacturer warranty. This assures the customer that Fuso is ready to confidently stand by its new product.
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Home and Garden

Adding a Fireplace Will Add Value to Your Home

The history of fireplaces dates back centuries into human civilization. However, the designs of fireplaces have changed over the years. Just as house designs vary according to preference and budget, fireplaces vary too. Interior designers and architects both agree that a fireplace is an important fitting in any home. It serves both aesthetic and functional purposes. Some fireplace designs have stood the test of time while newer ultra-modern designs have only just begun to gain popularity. Installing a fireplace in your residence has numerous implications. Topping the list is the addition of the value of your home. Here is how.

An investment in your home

Some fireplaces cost an arm and a leg. The purchasing and installation costs may be so large that it only makes sense to add it to the value of a home. Fireplaces vary in prices depending on the type of heater and the size. A wood fireplace is the oldest of the fireplaces with a rustic design. It is widely used and comes at an affordable price. On the other hand, gas fireplaces may cost a fortune depending on the size of the fireplace. Premium linear gas fireplaces are among the most expensive gas fireplaces. Ethanol fireplaces and electric fireplaces are the other expensive alternatives that not only look good but run efficiently. Regardless of your selection, an investment in a fireplace is an investment in your property.
Adding a Fireplace Will Add Value to Your Home

It’s a heating solution

A fireplace not only looks good, but it’s also designed to keep a living space warm. A fireplace is an efficient heating solution for many homes. The fitting comes in handy during the winter. The heating capacity depends on the design of the fireplace and the type of fireplace. Ultra-modern fireplaces are all about efficiency and effectiveness. They have fans to enhance heat distribution while employing green technology to improve efficiency. Some fireplaces have a portable design for improving the convenience of use and opening up new possibilities. If you are only looking to upgrade your fireplace, a fireplace insert can easily fit into your pre-existing fireplace with only minimal structural alterations. Since a fireplace is part and parcel of your home heating system it adds value to your house.

Serves an aesthetic value

When it comes to interior fittings, looks are important. A fireplace is a centrepiece in any room. Its size and effect make the fitting conspicuous. Therefore, it’s crucial that the design of a fireplace matches up to the aesthetic appeal of your interior space. More than keeping a room warm, a fireplace accentuates the interior design of a house. With all the array of designs available for a fireplace heating solution, most people seek the opinion of interior designers and architects before settling on a unit.

A fireplace is permanent

Some fireplaces are installed as the house is being constructed. Others require major structural alteration of a living space to accommodate their installation. Following installation, most fireplaces remain as permanent heating solutions. Even when not in use, fireplaces still offer an unmatched look in any living space. Fireplace inserts can be replaced but they still require the house to have the structural provision for the removal and installation of inserts. On the other hand, freestanding fireplaces do not require a chimney or a fireplace opening. Nonetheless, fireplaces are long-term investments that offer permanent heating solutions and thus add value to a house.

It’s a selling point

Studies show that the interior finishing of a house has the most influence on buyers and potential tenants. One of the most unique indoor fixtures to have in a house is a fireplace. It’s a selling point for many homes due to its aesthetic and functional value. The more elegant the fireplace the more valuable the house. Moreover, just having a heating solution is an advantage to anyone renting out their house or selling it. When it comes to interior fixtures, a fireplace is among the most valuable installations.
If you want to raise the value of your home and improve the living experience, invest in a fireplace. It is an affordable heating solution that not only looks good but also feels great. Get a new fireplace and enjoy the benefits.
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Freestanding Wood Fireplaces
All About Gas Fireplaces

Home and Garden

Laminate versus Hardwood Flooring

Laminate floors are made up of compressed sheets of several durable materials such as plywood and synthetic fiberboards for added strength. They are then topped with a sheet of the desired design and a melamine resin finish.
Basically, these are like a copy to the original hardwood floor design. They cost less and have some benefits as compared to hardwood flooring. Modern homemakers choose laminate floorings when they want a sturdy and attractive design without having to break the bank.
Hardwood flooring is the real deal. These are sheets made up of real wood from trees which are cut down and formed into planks. They are then sanded down to a refined look. Hardwood flooring provides a glorious, rich look to your house.
They are perfect for vintage style homes where the owners are willing to spend a little extra to get the real stuff. Exotic woods cost more than domestic wood flooring.
Let’s check out the facts and compare these to find out which one suits you the best!

Visual Appeal

Since hardwood floors are the real thing, they are generally more gorgeous-looking that laminate floors. The natural texture and unpredictable pattern of real wood is one of a kind and cannot be accurately duplicated.
It is safe to say that hardwood flooring has a timeless appeal and unique variety that only comes with this original stuff. For example, if you choose lighter colours of an oak tree, you can add a splash of colour like red, blue or purple stains to your floor.
Laminate flooring has come a long way and its quality has improved to a point where even experts can’t tell the difference between laminate flooring and hardwood flooring.
The more price you’re willing to pay, the higher quality product you can afford with more appeal and beauty. However, it is difficult to completely attain the natural texture and pattern like that of a hardwood floor.
Still, modern homemakers overlook this fact over the many benefits of laminate flooring which we will discuss here in detail.


Hardwood flooring costs more than laminate flooring. not only the product itself but also the installation process for hardwood flooring is comparatively complex and costs more than its counterpart.
In hardwood flooring, you have the option to choose between exotic and domestic wood. The former costs are higher because of its unique design. Although with laminate sheets, you can easily get a steady flooring job with a minimal budget.


One of the biggest reasons why homemakers choose laminate flooring lies in its durability. Laminate flooring can withstand tears, scratches, and heavy footfall. It is made up of stacked plywood and is very sturdy. It is perfect for private and commercial use.
Laminate flooring is also moisture resistant. It does not expand or contract as moisture levels change. It is excellent for bathroom and kitchen areas. You’d also want to stick to it if you have any pets around the house.
Hardwood flooring, on the other hand, is not moisture resistant and it is prone to cuts, breakage and scratching easily.


It is easier to maintain laminate flooring because the material does not get scratched as easily as hardwood. It can endure heavy footfall and remain intact in humid weather.
Hardwood flooring gets scratched easily as it is made of actual wood cut out from trees. It does not mean that it lacks longevity, it simply means that hardwood flooring requires more care and frequent maintenance.


Repairing is the second step to maintenance. Once a problem is found, it needs to be dealt with. That’s the benefit of laminate flooring. Everything is easy and manageable in terms of cost and efforts. Laminate flooring does not require frequent maintenance.
When it does so, it isn’t time-taking or heavy on the budget. Laminate sheets can be replaced, although it is difficult to find a sheet exactly like the one you used before (design/colour), so that can become a problem.
Hardwood flooring is pricy to repair. It is also the one that needs most care as frequent refinishing and polishing are required due to its proneness to scratches and moisture damage.
There are no right or wrong answers to your choice of flooring. Once you know your budget, it becomes clear automatically on which material you can afford easily. Although, it is important to keep in mind the maintenance and repair cost in the long term.
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Home and Garden

Making the switch

With electricity prices on the rise it’s important to know a little more about energy provider in Australia before making the switch.
Why do people switch electricity providers Australia? One of the most common reasons is simply because they may be moving homes, but there are many other reasons to make the switch. For example –

  • To take advantage of solar electricity rebates
  • To save money
  • In some cases, to simply receive better customer service
  • To obtain your energy from a more sustainable source.

Switching today is easier than it has ever been with some retailers allowing customers to change providers through online portals, this eliminates a lot of time-consuming paperwork and applications. In the past this process was handled via mail and telephone.
It can take up to 3 months before the switch comes into effect and while this seems a long time, it is because the providers read your meters every 3 months and they want to insure an accurate reading before they start billing you.
Depending on the arrangement you have with your existing provider, you may need to pay an *exit fee* if you cancel your contract early. If you are going to have to pay these fees it may be worth considering if it is better to simply wait out the contract and switch when your contract ends instead.
Paying for electricity is no different to paying for any other service – the provider is out to make money, so, if you want a better deal, you have to look for it. In the past 10 years alone residential energy prices have risen by 63% but, if you feel you are paying too much you should do something about it, or you will have to deal with having to pay with the high rates
The good news is, you don’t even have to *say goodbye* to your current provider, your new provider will do all the hard work for you, they will contact your previous supplier and close the account for you.
But, before you make the switch, it might be worth a call to your current energy provider and ask for a better deal. If they know you are leaving, they may be willing to offer you a better package, if they don’t, then you should go somewhere else. Remember you don’t have to contact them again your new provider will do all the work for you.
Make sure you are getting a better deal with your new provider and if you are a small household pay attention to the *Supply Charges* and if you are a larger household pay attention to the *Usage Charges*.

Personal Improvement

Why my kids love boxing

It’s not generally a good thing when your kids fight each other. Whether it’s the whiny refrain of ‘I’m not touching you!’ or ‘Mum, she’s BREATHING on me,’ it’s enough to drive a parent crazy. A while back, I was introduced to an … alternative approach. It’s a more down-to-earth version of this phenomenon I read about online. In Japan, some corporate spaces have a hologram room to help its employees de-stress. And yes, it’s exactly the kind of thing you’d expect from Japan. In this hologram room, staff members can programme a VR experience of their choice.
They could spend time on a virtual beach, go on a date, or even punch a hologram of their demanding boss. It helps them let off steam in a healthy way, as long as they’re not doing anything illegal.  Of course for my kids, I prefer something a little more … grounded in reality. So I thought about letting them work off their sibling rivalry in a safe, carefully monitored, keenly supervised environment. Sports seemed like a good starting point.

Contact sports FTW!

I figures the kids could be competitive without being toxic, and I could merge their after-school-activity run, which means more free time for me! I looked around for activities offered at their school, or in community clubs. Lots of our youth centres offer team sports, but I wanted something they could do at home too. So my criteria included paired activities rather than team clubs. That narrowed it down to things like tennis, badminton, fencing, or martial arts.
There’s a youth club near home that offers all these activities and more, so I cycled the kids through them. They tried each activity for a few weeks before we settled on boxing training in Sydney. I liked it because they can practice in the yard, or even on the porch when the weather is less than friendly. It doesn’t need much equipment, just some skipping rope and boxing gloves for home sessions. At their club, they can access punching bags, boxing rings, and sparring tools.
I like that it gives them a full body work-out. Kids can start training as soon as they can walk, and it helps their balance and motor skills. The kids don’t really get into proper technique until age four or five, and they can turn competitive at age 10, joining tournaments and contest circuits. I like that my kids’ boxing club has produced global champs, so there’s something tangible to aspire to. I also like that their coaches have a verifiable track record.

Healthy assertiveness

Of course I’m talking from a parent’s perspective here, so I decided I should get some input from the kids themselves. They said they like hitting things and not getting into trouble for it. And they like knowing they can defend themselves. That last part set off my protective parent alarm, so I asked them what they need to defend themselves from. Bullies, they said, and thieves.
I asked if they were being harassed at school, or in our neighbourhood. They said not really, because the mean kids ‘know not to mess with them.’ My daughter was especially emphatic. She said during recess, some kids pick on the little ones. Nobody likes to be a tattle-tale, so they don’t want to tell the teachers. But she said she likes knowing she can fight back, and that she sometimes protects the smaller children from being targeted.
I should probably have a chat with their teacher about that, just to be sure I’m not inspiring school yard brawls. But it did give me pause, because there’s so much talk about helicopter parenting. It does feel good to see my daughter proud of her own sense of agency. And I like that she’s thinking about defending those who can’t defend themselves. It shows character, and that makes me one proud mama. Plus, my twins box is a good gender model.

Structured living

My son – who’s a few minutes younger than his sister – says he likes the predictability. He has to be at gym at certain times of day, and practice for a set number of hours. That surprised me, because we hear a lot about kids needing routine and structure, but we also hear about the joy of unplanned play. In the 50s, where kids were left to their own devices and could play however, wherever, whenever, and with whatever they wanted.
They’d ivent their own games and entertain themselves until dinner. So it’s enlightening to see my kids wanting some kind of planned, guided supervision. And because amateur boxing tournaments focus on points and targeted hits instead of blood and gore, I worry less about hospital bills and injury. Clearly, boxing works for my family, and it could work for yours too.
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Home and Garden

All about The Lopi Freestanding Wood Heaters

For over 30 years in America Lopi wood heaters and inserts have been the favourite choice to heat a home. With a reputation for solid craftmanship, unbeatable heating efficiency and reliable performance it’s a winning combination. All heating appliances are designed, and hand assembled in the state of the art Lopi plant in Washington. So proud of their quality and design and confident in their product, Lopi offer a 5 or 7-year warranty with every wood heater they sell.

Why buy a freestanding Lopi wood heater?

  • It can be expensive to heat your home using electricity or gas, and with prices continuing to rise, it makes sense to use a freestanding wood heater instead. These convective and radiant wood heaters give you a penetrating and even heat that warms every room in your home all for a fraction of the cost of using gas or electricity to keep you warm.
  • Old and inefficient wood heaters generate pollutants into the air, but Lopi wood heaters are E.P.A Certified and emit as little as 1.3grams of particulates per hour. This means when you use a Lopi heater you are keeping the air in your neighbourhood clean and breathable. Wood is renewable, and Lopi heaters are so efficient that they use less wood than other heaters to give you the same amount of heat output.
  • Lopi heaters are not only built to perform, they are built to last from the mid-priced Classic line to the high performance Classic line. With heavy gauge steel construction, commercial grade firebricks and solid air-tight door, these heaters are built to last.
  • There really is nothing quite like a wood heater, while most wood heaters just warm objects in the room, Lopi heaters have a five-sided convection chamber system that circulates air around the stove, it then pushes the warm air through to other areas of your home. It’s a difference that you can feel.
  • Lopi heaters are quality heaters, Lopi heaters have the worlds best craftsmen and engineers, bringing you a heater that has a true unibody construction and the most durable door on the market. Doors are held in place with cold-rolled steel that is punched through the firebox and then welded on the inside to hold the door straight – permanently – when you are buying Lopi you are buying the finest wood heater on the market.
  • While pewter doors are available the solid brass door will last for life
  • Cast iron frame glass retainer ensures that there is a permanent air-tight seal around the glass. This frame sits an inch deep inside the door, guaranteeing the door will never warp or flex, this frame also protects the glass from having direct contact with the fire.
  • Some models have a by-pass damper that prevents smoke-backs when starting and reloading, it also assists with a quicker start-up.
  • Lopi stand by the performance and quality of their products year after year which is why they offer a 7-year warranty and offer you more protection on some of the key components of your heater.
  • Depending on the model you have chosen, Lopi heaters offer a range of accessories and options – DOORS – chose from three door finishes to accentuate or blend in with your rooms décor – solid brass, pewter plated or black painted. FREE-STANDING FAN – convection fans that are installed at the back of the unit are high on power but low on noise, they help circulate the heat by moving up to 160 cubic feet of air per minute. PEDESTAL OR 4 DECORATIVE LEG CHOICES – pedestal option instead of legs, or sculptured pewter finish, sculptured black steel, cast black or cast brass legs.

Green Smart
Starting your new wood heater has never been easier with starting a fire in your wood heater as simple as pressing a button. You no longer have to deal with starting a fire using newspaper and matches thanks to this new, breakthrough igniter. Fireplace safety has increased over the years, and you don’t need to leave a door ajar to help the fire start. The Green Smart system works just like a blacksmiths bellows with a compressor forcing 760-degree Celsius pre-heated air directly into the firebox and onto the wood which produces a clean, fast and smoke free start up.
This system is also great for refreshing old fires simply add some fuel on top of the old coals, close the door and push the button twice. For the best results use dry and seasoned wood when using the Green Smart system. Staring a fire in a wood stove, wood heater or insert has never been so simple.
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Business and Marketing Featured

The Key to Data-Driven Digital Transformation: Qlik’s 3rd Generation BI Approach

The business intelligence (BI) and analytics landscape has and is continuing to evolve rapidly in Australia. We’re now heading into what’s termed as 3rd Generation BI to help businesses better harness the potential within their data for a competitive edge.  Qlik is at the forefront of this new approach that revolves around a crucial principle, the democratisation of analytics. Here we’ll explore how BI has evolved and what makes Qlik’s 3rd Generation BI platform and approach unique.
Data has always held tremendous value, but for decades, most of that value has remained inaccessible due to technical limits and complexities. The centralised approach of the 1st generation of BI, known as ‘The Ask/Wait/Answer Cycle’, was based on a centralised approach to BI, usually too reliant on a few people within IT that possessed the necessary technical skills, often overworked and under-resourced, and therefore slowed down and diluted the full potential of value from analytics.
With the 2nd-generation of BI, a user-friendly, more decentralised approach to data emerged and eliminated technical complexities and enabled users to freely explore and discover connections within their data. This data discovery approach to BI emphasised data visualisation, self-serve analysis and transformed how users engage with data. But as the technology gained the capacity to analyse more types of data, the need to develop a secure and governed structure to deliver accurate data and reliable analysis also grew.
What has remained steady throughout an era of rapid technological development is Qlik’s pioneering and innovating ethos. The decentralised approach of 2nd generation BI has been the stepping stone to the development of a new wave of BI- the 3rd generation.
3 waves of BI pic
Nonetheless, data literacy has persistently remained an obstacle as insight without action cannot lead to value. As of 2017-2018, only 24% of business users considered themselves to be data-literate in a study conducted by Qlik.
The need for data literacy is crucial, Gartner talk about this in their latest 2019 Analytics & Business Intelligence Magic Quadrant Report, as data is the currency of the digital economy. The ability to extrapolate intelligence and anticipate customer needs to fully capitalise on discoveries requires available data to be accessible and actionable throughout the entirety of an organisation, in turn transforming how a business operates.
The 3rd Generation approach to BI is about bridging this data literacy gap, still enabling users to freely explore data to garner insights in the way they need to but with structure and data governance in place. This is about democratising analytics.  Qlik is one of the BI platforms pioneering this innovative BI approach.
Key to Data Driven Digital Transformation

What makes Qlik’s 3rd generation BI approach truly unique?

The answer lies in the interaction of three innovative technologies as the foundation of Qlik’s 3rd generation BI approach, which also encourages more widespread adoption of analytics across the organisation.  

The three-pronged approach underlying Qlik’s 3rd-Generation BI Platform:

1. The Democratisation of Data

All data and any combination of data is accessible to all users through governed, analysis-ready, enterprise-wide information catalogues. Qlik’s approach enables the creation of an enterprise-wide data schema that fully integrates all your data, from any source, regardless of how big it is or where it’s stored.

2. Associative Indexing Engine – Augmented Intelligence = AI2

Qlik combines the power of machine learning with human intuition, highlighting new insights and accelerating discoveries for users to explore whilst also increasing data literacy and trust. This combination of Associative Index with Augmented Intelligence (AI2) simplifies advanced analytics, eliminates bottlenecks, and elevates data literacy and insights.
Like the unique Associative Indexing technology, Augmented Intelligence combines human interactions with machine identified patterns. The Associative Technology maps associations among all the data, preparing it for analysis and creating meta-data and indexes that represent the data.

3. Embedded Analytics from the Edge to the C-Suite

Qlik’s open and extensible platform allows analytics to be deployed or embedded in a range of environments from enterprise servers to public cloud infrastructure to edge devices and IoT applications. This means analytics enters the streams of daily business processes from edge devices all the way to your core applications within the business.

Why 3rd Generation?

Combined, Qlik’s approach helps businesses extract the most value possible from data for competitive advantage, making it easier to prompt and discover insights and trends within the data, regardless of the level of technical skill of the user. Qlik has managed to strip out the complexity, technical limits, resource bottlenecks and skills gaps that have previously kept analytics out of the hands of business users. A radically different approach that will help achieve data-driven digital transformation and competitive advantage for businesses.  
To find out more, read the full report in this whitepaper, 3rd-Generation BI: Unlocking All the Possibility in Your Data, to discover Qlik’s innovative approach to BI.