Mononucleosis Explained

Mononucleosis is a viral illness that is common among young adults but can affect people of almost any age. Severe sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, fever and extreme fatigue are the recognizable hallmarks of this condition. Why the disease is more common in teens remains unclear. It may have something to do with the lifestyle, poor diet, not enough rest and stress, all of which lowers the resistance of the immune system. The underlying culprit is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). This virus, a member of the herpes virus family, is so common that 95% of all adults test positive for exposure to it. The EBV has been implicated as playing a role in some uncommon malignancies later in life or another condition chronic fatigue syndrome. However, keep in mind that the virus is very common. Even though exposed some time in their life by adulthood, most people do not manifest any clinical symptoms of mononucleosis. Viral transmission occurs through intimate contact with saliva or blood of the infected person. Hence, the antiquated name of the “kissing disease”. The virus is not airborne. The risk to others in the family or friends is very low unless there is intimate contact.

Severe sore throat, extreme fatigue, swollen glands and lymph nodes characterize the typical symptoms. The inflammatory process usually affects the liver and spleen resulting in some enlargement. In a small number of severe cases, abdominal pain or difficulty swallowing may be an issue. Twenty percent of people with mono develop a fine red rash resembling measles. Some medications in particular amoxicillin based antibiotics can also trigger the rash. The incubation period from time of exposure to onset ranges from 14 to 45 days. The average illness lasts 4 weeks. The first two weeks are most difficult because of the intensity of the symptoms including a severe sore throat that makes it awkward to maintain an adequate diet. The fatigue makes people want to sleep a lot. People usually miss two weeks of school or work during this time. The second two weeks are usually quite a bit better but energy levels are still waning. Getting up in the morning feeling good and somewhat energetic, but running out of gas after a few hours is characteristic. Some modification of activities with a limited schedule during the second two weeks is to be expected. A specific blood test can confirm the diagnosis in the doctor’s office. An exam to rule out other similar conditions is prudent.

Since it is a viral illness it will run its own course, there is no specific treatment. The majority of cases improve with rest and a balanced diet. In the rare severe case, other medications such as a steroid or an anti-viral drug may be used. There are a few instances when a second bacterial infection such as strep throat may occur at the same time. Appropriate tests can easily determine whether an antibiotic is necessary to treat a secondary infection. Symptomatic treatment is helpful just like treating the flu. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever or muscle aches, plenty of clear liquids and trying to maintain a healthy balanced diet are nonetheless important. Avoiding alcohol for six weeks is suggested while the liver inflammation subsides spontaneously. The biggest frustration for people is simply the lack of energy and fatigue. It can usually take 4 to 6 weeks or more before normal stamina returns.

Gamble Or Abstain!

ABSTINENCE [The sure way]

There has been great awareness campaign about HIV/AIDS for the past decades and It is believed that there is nothing really new about this particular ailment, the general Public is not aware of. Part of this awareness campaign is the preventive aspect of acquiring the Virus. Though this article is centered on abstinence, it is in no way in disagreement with the other ways of protection against   transmission  of the virus.

“Abstinence, being faithful, correct and consistent condom use are the only ways to successfully reach everyone when discussing HIV prevention. I believe that the abstinence message alone does not solve the AIDS epidemic”- a quote from the American actress, Ashley Judd. This true statement of fact is in total agreement to the former first lady to the United states and as well the 2008 Democratic party presidential aspirant, Hilary Clinton who said “there is a great deal of political pressure to only talk about abstinence and to deny support for condoms and education for using them. This policy will lead to the unnecessary deaths of many people”. This is also correct. You cannot live the lives of others or monitor their activities and actions. Preaching abstinence alone and preventing the other means of protection is far from the solution. But in as much as the use of condoms and other safe practices are not condemned, total abstinence is worth the greatest attention because it is a 100% sure way of prevention, therefore preaching it is aimed at encouraging those who are doing their best possible to abstain, and as well put more light on reasons to abstain for those who believe in it, but do not practice it.. Before we hit the nail on the head, let’s go through the ways of  transmission  of the virus from an infected person to one that is not infected.

 Transmission  occurs when secretions of affected persons come in contact with tissues such as those lining the vagina, anal area, mouth or eyes ( the mucus membranes) or with a break in the skin as such for a cut or puncture by a needles. These ways are possible via sexual contact, sharing of needles, and  transmission  from infected mothers to their new born during pregnancy, labor or breastfeeding. It could also be transmitted via blood transfusion. These following ways could be classified into two major classes. The controllable or avoidable ways of  transmission  and the Uncontrollable means of  transmission . The controllable or avoidable means are these methods of contacting the virus which can be controlled or totally avoided by the person involved. Note that this definition is specific to the person who is at risk. The uncontrollable means are the ones which cannot be controlled by the affected persons. Infected new born fall into the uncontrollable means as they cannot do anything about the situation. They fall out to be unfortunate victims and to a large extent, blood transfusion can be in this category. For this category or class of  transmission , abstinence cannot be preached since it was not the fault or carelessness of the affected persons.

In the controllable category, using of new needles each time you want to take drugs and dumping the old ones after using them; is a direct formula to preventing HIV infection via injection of needles. This reduces the risk to about 99.99%. If a person not only shares needles but uses them just once, he stands a great chance to be risk free, giving the control method a good efficacy. Nevertheless, 0.0001% is still a probability and we will see how probability counts in reality. Therefore, in order to really understand what abstinence is, focus would be placed on the two major controllable means (injection and sex), especially on sex.

In sexual means of  transmission , the break in condom cannot be totally avoided in a given formula. No matter the quality of condom, there are still chances it could break during sex. Some arguments stress out that the virus is smaller than the fiber of the condom and it can still get through, especially when the male genital is very huge, stretching the condom extremely well. Therefore, it gives the probability of 85%- 95% of HIV prevention for the males and 95%- 99% for the females if used correctly.

On the contrary, Abstinence is a straight 100% preventive measure; absolutely efficient and no slight chance no matter how negligible it may be. It is safer and easier to adopt. Remember that abstinence does not mean been a virgin forever but avoidance of more than one partner, and more concretely avoidance of pre- marital and extra- marital sex. Probability is the chance of an event to occur and no matter how insignificant the value is; it does not prevent the situation involved from existing. It is believed that the cru de chat syndrome (sterile females with immature sex organs resulting from the loss or deletion of a significant portion of the genetic material) occurs once in 5000 births. This does not mean cru de chat syndrome does not exist and you can understand that, a parent who has a sick child with such a syndrome would not be ready to listen to statistics from any doctor, because the reality still remains; his/her child is suffering from it irrespective of the slim chance of occurrence.

On a general note, abstinence is the sure way to avoid the controllable means of acquiring the virus. And from the following illustration below, we can justify this simple fact. The table below shows the estimated number of cases of AIDS amongst people by  transmission  category in the 50 states of the United States of America as of 2007.

Male- to- male sexual contact — 487,695

Injection drug use — 255,859

Male- to male sexual contact with injection – 71,242

High risk heterosexual contact – 176,157

Others (Hemophilia, blood transfusion, prenatal exposure and risk not reported or Identified) – 18,266.

[taken from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm ].

The first four ways are controllable means in which aside drug use, the rest are by sexual contact. These four means account for 990,953 cases out of 1,009,219, which is about 98.2% of all cases. Meanwhile 735,094 out of 1,009,219 cases are due to sexual  transmission  alone; accounting for 72.8% of all cases. Only about 1.8% of the total incidences are due to uncontrollable  transmission .

On normal grounds, occurrence of a situation caused by uncontrollable factors should be more, when compared to the same situation caused by the controllable ones. Another insight we can get from this statistic which is an extension of the first statement is; despite the control measures and protective means available, the controlled means are still far greater in occurrence than the uncontrolled ones. This justifies the fact that the only way this can be drastically reduced is through abstinence.

A teenage girl once said, “I have created an appetite for sex and I do not think I can stop it now”. The Human nature is such that, if you allow it take part in a pleasurable event more than once and continuously, it begins to yearn after that event due to its increased appetite. Charles DIkkens, a popular English Novelist of the Victoria era quotes “subdue your appetite, my dears and you’ve conquered human nature”. Human natured is meant to be conquered and in this way we can control ourselves- hence show great abstaining ability. If we do not conquer our human nature and allow our various tastes or appetite to explode, I think mutualism would not be a reality and a ‘jungle Life” scenario would be the possible resultant situation. If we can control our appetite or taste to any or all of the following; fashion, food, clothes, fame, drinks, sports est. why not sex? Is it normal to randomly have sex with different partners? As long as the Human nature could be stretched, it could also be tamed and the only way to do this is by abstinence.

Mr Anton Zakovich, a Russian economic lecturer said “Pre- marital sex is just like tasting soup while still cooking it. You taste the soup to know how spicy it is before it is finally cooked”. What if peradventure it burnt your tongue or distorts your taste buds? Would you be able to enjoy the soup later. Sex before marriage should not be compared to tasting soup, you taste the soup to know the quality for improvements by adding more ingredients if need be. But what sort of improvement do you need in pre- marital sex that you would not still accomplish when married. Marriage is a Life time commitment and the more the improvement in all factors at stake, the better the intimacy and possibility of becoming one. As for extra marital relationships, they are not only medically wrong, but as well morally and socially bad. If you think this Idea is too conservative, then think and take a look at the exposed extra-marital affairs of some celebrities such as Tiger Woods and John Terry, in relation to the general public and their fans. Then statistics will make you understand the ‘social- contempt’, extramarital affairs can stimulate.

Abstinence is not practiced, it is perfected. As we all have the ability to abstain. Dennis Wolfberg, the late American stand up comedian and actor, once quoted to confirm this statement. “I didn’t practice abstinence, I perfected it”. The major reason why abstinence becomes a difficulty is the fact that we kill this potential ability in us. And in some cases, it goes so bad to the extreme- addiction. The only way to sexual addiction is sexual exposure from an early age leading to continuous sexual activities as the child grows to his or her late teens and even older. This is also applicable to drug addiction.

According to SADD’s MISSION statistics of the year 2005, taken from around the entire states of the United States of America, 46.8% of all high school students report that they have sexual intercourse and 6.2% of high school students have had sexual intercourse for the first time before the age 13. Not only that, 14.3% of high school students nationwide have had sexual intercourse with four or more persons during their lives.

Talking about drugs, 9.9% of youth ages 12- 17 were illicit drug users; 6.8% use marijuana, 3.3% used prescription drugs for non medical uses, 1.2% used inhalants, 0.8% used hallucinogens and 0.6% used cocaine. Also, half of teens (50%) have tried an illicit drug by the time they finished high school. Though these statistics may have been taken years back, but surely it is appalling information and most probably parents and all stake holders involved (especially the school guidance and other parties) should put more careful attention to their children.

The best part of this statistics is the fact that youths ages 12- 17 who believed their parents would strongly disapprove of their using a particular substance were less likely to use that substance than were youths who believed their parents would somewhat disapprove of neither approve nor disapprove. SO, this have to do with home/ parental training which would not be discussed as it is outside the scope of the subject matter.

The point is, children of this present generation are sexually very active even from a very early age. And for this reason, they need adequate sex education with the sermon preached, not from a formal approach but rather done in adequate love, care and full attention. Taking advantage of the relationship to a great deal of understanding between the parent and the child would serve as the tool to achieving it. If this system is practiced there would definitely be an increase in the percentage of children who would adopt abstinence.

Now in general, consider this scenario. You want to go to the shopping mall by foot which is 5km from your home but there are 3 short routes about 2.5km each in which there is the probability of coming across wild dogs in one, been attacked by hoodlums in the other and as for the last- been hit by a car due to its busy nature (though, these incidences occur once in 2 months, but they continuously happen in that rate of occurrence). Would you still take the risk to follow one of the short routes? Some of us, knowing fully well the nature of events still follow one of these short routes and if unfortunate, get bitten by a dog (or some dogs) or been attacked or hit by a car. That is what majority of us do. The shorter time of going to the mall and back home should not be more of a priority to your Life and health. This is exactly the circumstance we face in Abstinence. It is a 100% route of safety but we prefer short- lived pleasure, which we would still enjoy later in Life or are enjoying with a legal partner.

All said and done, other preventive measures are never absolute and still give room or chances for the spread of the Virus to occur. If we can abstain why not give ourselves the 100% chance to be risk free from contracting the virus? There is great gain and full advantage when you abstain be it moral, mental, religious, and of course social. It also adds fun and spice to your marriage Life in the nearest future if you are single. Usually, you enjoy to the fullest, what you have been anticipating for a long time. Some people taste the soup two, three, four times and end up decreasing or even losing their appetite, therefore not enjoying the soup later when it is done. But when the soup is tabled for you to eat- fresh and new, you take it as though you could finish a drum of it and still ask for more.

On a final note, in as much as awareness on all the protective systems of avoiding the virus  transmission  is important; it is very necessary to stress the fact that Abstinence is the best and sure way and hence treat the best as the best. Do not gamble; abstain to sustain your Life.

Sex Education in Schools Pros and Cons

Sex education is the act of informing younger and adult generations about everything they need to know about sex. Sex education is one of the most controversial issues in education, which has been floating on educational institutions since ages.

Sex education is not just about sex. It includes other sensitive issues like sexual health, sexual reproduction, sexuality and others that parents often feel uncomfortable talking with their children. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of schools to address this issue, and inform and educate students about it as much as possible.

Often, sexual education in schools is considered as a recreational course rather than a serious issue. There are many pros and cons of sexual education being taught in the public schools.

Pros of sex education in schools:

– Classes are gender-exclusive. This saves embarrassment among students and teach them only what they need to know based on their gender.

– Properly taught, sexual education could become a regular and ongoing Human Anatomy and Biology complete with tests and grading that goes toward graduation credits.

– Students can be taught the correct terms of the reproductive system of sexually transmitted diseases and contraception birth instead of “street slang.”

– Myths surrounding sex can be dispelled (for example, can not get pregnant the first time).

– Studies show that many teenagers become sexually active before the inclusion of educational classes. Principles of inclusion of classes has been shown to help students stay or to abstain or at least be responsible if they are active.

– Proper education can have an impact on the prevention of sexual problems in adulthood.

Cons of sex education in schools:

– Students may still be subject to embarrassment or excitable by subject matter. This can make for out of control classrooms if students take to laugh or make inappropriate comments.

– Most education is taught as a brief interlude in physical education or health class. This is not enough time to relate effectively to serious material.

– Often, sexual education can go against moral or religious beliefs of an individual. Many schools do not teach abstinence-only, but to teach how to have sex safely, while many of the religious and family stress marriage before intercourse.

– Sex education is often seen as a “recreational” course and not a serious issue (this is a direct correlation with the fact that there are no grades or scores to be derived from class).

– Teachers are not always adequately trained to teach sexual education and may violate their own beliefs or morals on the subject rather than continuing with the facts.

– The attitudes of parents, educators and religious leaders in the community can make the stuff that vary from state to state or even school-to-school.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

Types and Characteristics of WANs

What is a WAN?

There are two prevailing definitions of a Wide Area Network (WAN). The book definition of a WAN is a network that spans large geographical locations, usually to interconnect multiple Local Area Networks (LANs). The practical definition of a WAN is a network that traverses a public network or commercial carrier, using one of several WAN technologies

What are its Main Components?

The main components for a WAN are routers, switches and modems. These components are described below in the hardware section.

CPE – Devices on the subscriber premises are called customer premises equipment (CPE).

The subscriber owns the CPE or leases the CPE from the service provider. A copper or fiber cable connects the CPE to the service provider’s nearest exchange or central office. This cabling is often called the local loop, or “last-mile”.

DTE/DCE – Devices that put data on the local loop are called data circuit-terminating equipment, or data communications equipment (DCE). The customer devices that pass the data to the DCE are called data terminal equipment (DTE). The DCE primarily provides an interface for the DTE into the communication link on the WAN cloud.

Hardware

In a WAN you will need various types of hardware components for it to function. The typical items of hardware that you will need in a WAN are:

Router – An electronic device that connects a local area network (LAN) to a wide area network (WAN) and handles the task of routing messages between the two networks. Operates at layer 3, and makes decisions using IP addresses.

Switch – A switch is a network device that selects a path or circuit for sending a unit of data to its next destination. Operates at layer 2, and uses MAC addresses to send data to correct destination.

Modem – Short for modulator/demodulator, a modem enables a computer to communicate with other computers over telephone lines. Operates at layer 1, where signals are converted from digital to analogue and vice versa for transmission and receiving.

Wan Standards

WANs operate within the OSI model using layer 1 and layer 2 levels. The data link layer and the physical layer. The physical layer protocols describe how to provide electrical, mechanical and functional connections to the services provided by the ISP. The data link layer defines how data is encapsulated for transmission to remote sites.

Encapsulation

Encapsulation is the wrapping of data in a particular protocol header. Remember that WANs operate at the physical layer and the data link layer of the osi model and that higher layer protocols such as IP are encapsulated when sent across the WAN link. Serial interfaces support a wide range of WAN encapsulation types, which must be manually specified. These types include SDLC, PPP, Frame delay etc. Regardless of WAN encapsulation used it must be identical on both sides of the point to point link.

Packet and Circuit Switching

Circuit switching and packet switching are both used in high-capacity networks.

The majority of switched networks today get data across the network

through packet switching.

Circuit-switching is more reliable than packet-switching. Circuit switching is old and expensive, packet switching is more modern.

General Routing Issues

What is a Routing Protocol?

A routing protocol is a protocol that specifies how routers communicate and exchange information on a network. Each router has prior knowledge of its immediate neighbours and knows the structure of the network topology. The routers know this because the routing protocol shares this information.

Protocol

RIP (Routing Information Protocol) was one of the most commonly uses protocols on internal networks. Routers use RIP to dynamically adapt changes to the network connections and communicate information about which networks routers can reach and the distance between them. RIP is sometimes said to stand for Rest in Pieces in reference to the reputation that RIP has for breaking unexpectedly and rendering a network unable to function.

Routing Algorithms

Distance Vector

This type of routing protocol requires that each router simply inform its neighbours of its routing table. The distance vector protocol is also known as the bellman-ford algorithm.

Link State

This type of routing protocol requires that each router maintain a partial map of the network. The link state algorithm is also know as Dijkstra’s algorithm.

IGRP

IGRP is a type of distance vector routing protocol invented by cisco used to exchange routing data in a autonomous system. Distance vector protocols measure distances and compare routes. Routers that use distance vector must send all or a portion of their routing table in a routing update message at regular intervals to each neighbour router.

Addressing and Routing

What does routing mean?

Routing is the process of deciding how to move packets from one network to another.

The directions also known as routes can be learned by a router using a routing protocol then the information is passed from router to router along the route of the destination.

IP Address’s

Every machine connected to the internet is assigned an IP address. An example of an IP address would be 192.168.0.1. IP addresses are displayed in decimal format to make it easier for humans to understand but computers communicate in binary form. The four numbers that separate an IP address are called Octets. Each position consists of eight bits. When added to together you get 32 bit address. The purpose of each octet in an IP address is to create classes of IP addresses that can be assigned within a network. There are three main classes that we deal with Class A, B and C. The octets of an IP address are split into two parts Network and Host. In a class A address the first octet is the network portion, this determines which network the computer belongs to, the last octets of the address are the hosts that belong to the network.

Sub netting

Sub netting allows you to create multiple networks within a class A, B or C address. The subnet address is the address used by your LAN. In a Class C network address you would have a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. A subnet mask identifies which portion is network and which is host. For example 192.168.6.15 the first octet three octets are the Network address and the last octet being the host(Workstation). It is important to subnet a network because gateways need to forward packets to other LANS. By giving each NIC on the gateway an IP address and a Subnet mask it allows the gateways to route packets from LAN to LAN. Once the packet arrives at its destination, the gateway then uses the bits of the subnet portion of the IP address to decide which LAN to send the packets.

Circuit Switched Leased Lines

A circuit switched network is one that establishes a dedicated circuit (or channel) between nodes and terminals before the users may communicate. Here are some terminologies associated with a Circuit switched network.

Frame relay is a telecommunication service designed for cost-efficient data transmission between local area networks (LANs)

Basic rate interference is a service used by small business for internet connectivity. An ISDN BRI provides two 64 Kbps digital channels to the user.

Primary rate interface (PRI) is a telecommunications standard for carrying voice and data transmissions between two locations

All data and voice channels are ISDN and operate at 64kbit/s

Packet Switching

http://www.raduniversity.com/networks/2004/PacketSwitching/main.htm – _Toc80455261

Packet switching refers to protocols in which messages are broken up into small packets before they are sent. Each packet is then transmitted over the Internet. At the destination the packets are reassembled into the original message. Packet switching main difference from Circuit Switching is that that the communication lines are not dedicated to passing messages from the source to the destination. In Packet Switching, different messages can use the same network resources within the same time period.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asynchronous_Transfer_Mode

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a cell relay, packet switching network and protocolwhich encodes data into small fixed-sized cells.

ISDN is used to carry voice, data, video and images across a telephone network. ISDN stands for integrated services Digital Network. Isdn also provides users with a 128kbps bandwidth. This is done through frame relay. Frame relay complements and provides a service between ISDN, which offers bandwidth at 128 Kbps and Asynchronous Transfer Mode which operates in somewhat similar fashion to frame relay but at speeds from 155.520 Mbps or 622.080 Mbps. Frame relay is based on the older X.25 packet switching technology and is used to transmit analogue signals such as telephone conversations.

PSDN stands for packet switched data network and is a data communication network. Packet switched networks do not establish a physical communication signal like the public telephone does (circuit switched network) Packets are sent on a fixed length basis and assigned with a source and a destination address. The packets then rely on the routers to read the address and route the packets through the network.

Mobile and Broadband Services

Digital Subscriber line(DSL) is mainly used to bring high bandwidth connections to homes and small business’s over a copper wire telephone line. This is can only be achieved if you stay within the range of the telephone exchange. DSL offers download rates of up to 6mbps allowing continuous transmission of video, audio and 3D effects. DSL is set to replace ISDN and compete with the cable modem in providing multimedia to homes. DSL works by connecting your telephone line to the telephone office over copper wires that are twisted together.

Asymmetric Digital Subscribers Line is most commonly used for home users. It provides a high download speed but a lower upload speed. Using ADSL, up to 6.1 megabits per second of data can be sent downstream and up to 640 Kbps upstream.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetric_Digital_Subscriber_Line

Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line is a digital subcriber line which runs over one pair of copper wires. The main difference between ADSL and SDSL is the difference in upload and download speeds. SDSL allows the same upstream data rate and downstream data rate as ADSL upstream can be very slow.

[http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0],,sid7_gci558545,00.html

HDSL High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line, one of the earliest forms of DSL, is used for wideband digital transmission within a corporate site and between the telephone company and a customer. The main characteristic of HDSL is that provides equal bandwidth in both directions.

IDSL is a system in which data is transmitted at 128 Kbps on a regular copper telephone line from a user to a destination using digital transmission.

The Local Loop enables operators to connect directly to the consumer via copper local loops and then add their own equipment to offer broadband and other services. This process involves operators accessing local exchange buildings to connect to a network of copper lines which connect them to homes and businesses. BT is an Example of a Local Exchange. The local loop connecting the telephone exchange to most subscribers is capable of carrying frequencies well beyond the 3.4 kHz upper limit.

Benefits of using DSL

DSL can provide virtually instantaneous transmission of voice, data and video over ordinary copper phone lines. A DSL connection can eliminate delays when waiting to download information and graphics from the Internet. It provides users with a cost effective high speed Internet connection. Another benefit is that a DSL connection is always on-line (like a LAN connection) with no waiting time for dialling or connecting.

There are now more than 10 million broadband connections in the UK. By December 2005 there were 9.792 million broadband connections in the UK and the average broadband take up rate during the three months to December was more than 70,000 per week.

Something Between The GS 300 And GS 400

Dissatisfied with the old GS 300, Lexus decided to start over, almost from scratch. The result is not one but two new cars: the GS 300, powered by an in-line six-cylinder engine, and the V-8 equipped gs 400. Both are mid-sized 4-door sedans whose declared mission is to upset the BMW-Mercedes applecart.

Inside

The inviting, easily accessible cabin has very comfortable seats upholstered in leather and equipped with power lumbar support. The driving position is very good, and the tilt- telescopic steering wheel retracts when the ignition key is removed to facilitate entry and exit. The driver’s-side seating memory (seat, mirrors and steering-column) can only be activated with the   transmission  in Park.

The rear bench can comfortably accommodate two adults, as long as they are not too tall — head room is tight.

The trunk is bigger than before but still just average in size, with a dual-level floor that adds nothing to practicality. The rear seat back does not fold and does not have a port to accommodate long objects.

Convenience and safety

The GS is impeccably fitted and finished but can get a bit noisy on rough pavement. Of the many storage compartments, the glove compartment is especially impressive; it houses a six-CD disc changer as well as a pollen filter.

Everything in the GS bears the stamp of quality. The various controls have a solid feel, and all are ergonomically perfect. Our one small complaint concerns the click of the turn signals, which is practically inaudible.

Comfort and convenience features include an excellent dual-zone climate system with separate driver- and passenger-side controls, and a powerful audio system.

The analog dashboard information is projected into deep dials. The projection is clear and easy to read, never tiring for the eyes.

Safety features include dual front and side air bags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and lockable head restraints. Xenon headlamps turn night into day; other headlamps pale in comparison. The view to the rear is limited by the rear head restraints, spoiler and small window.

Engine and  transmission 

The silky-smooth engine is lively and progressive through most of the rev range, thanks to Lexus’s VVT-i (variable valve timing with intelligence) system. Acceleration, both standing and passing, is adequate but timid compared to the gs 400.

The six-cylinder engine is melodious, if not spirited. More work is required to make the accelerator more progressive and communicative, and to rid it of its artificial fee.

The  transmission  is normally very smooth, but it can be slow to downshift in quick stop-and-go driving or when slowing almost to a stop, then re-accelerating. Combined with the jerky accelerator, this can generate abrupt, annoying shifts, inconsistent with Lexus’s “Relentless pursuit of perfection”.

Roadability

The GS 300 offers a very smooth ride, occasionally firm, never uncomfortable and perfectly compatible with its sport sedan status. The 300 has a very firm grip, a solid feel, and is agile and easy to handle on winding roads. When it detects a skid, the VSC (vehicle skid control) system applies the brakes selectively at one or more wheels while reducing engine power. Despite the feeling of safety, drivers should ignore the temptation to override the laws of physics.

Quick and precise, steering is a bit heavy at slow speed and should provide more road feedback. The brake pedal requires a firm foot to obtain full braking power.

The GS 300 is impeccably built underneath, an examination at the CAA-Quebec inspection showed.

Conclusion

Lexus classes its GS vehicles as luxury sport sedans. While the six-cylinder engine may not fully merit the “sport” label, the GS 300 is nonetheless a finely balanced car offering inspiring handling. Careful construction, quality materials and generous standard equipment are an added appeal in a vehicle built by a company recognized for the reliability of its products.

Start With a School Radio Station

My 15-year-old nephew asked me, “How and where to practice and develop one of the working skills during school time?” My first thought, at that moment, was “College radio station”.

At 16, I joined my college radio station and began my job as an editor for an online music program. From that day, I have become acquainted with terms such as noise, sound, broadcast, frequency and so on. Luckier than many people, with that job, I could earn money for my living, besides gaining very much experience and building up many good relationships which can support my current and future career. And with such experience, now, I can give advice to my nephew or any youth who wants to start a career and develop their skill, knowledge in working.

Well, let me think about what we need for a college radio station. If just listing out, we might think that it’s too simple and easy: a studio, or source of program, and the   transmission  lines. If you are beginners, don’t think you can do much and all but step by step. It was really difficult at that time when we began with various odd pieces of equipment. We started using the easiest means of  transmission  by broadcasting in the school canteen, in classes. And later, we added more ways to reach the audience. We concentrated on serving our school and at the same time extended to other colleges in the same area. Actually, the running of our school radio station was based on fund-raising and sponsorship money. Besides some necessary equipment such as Mini-discs, computers, recorders, we faced a bigger problem for a long time looking for an old, affordable multi-track mixer. We didn’t have the advanced and efficient equipment to support our work.

The first broadcasting show of ours was a two-hour program divided into 3 smaller sections. The first one was “Hello Morning” with 3 tiny bulletins of 3 to 5 minutes each. In these bulletins, we presented all good and happy news. The second section was “Music Dedication Program”. We compiled a few collections of music and one by one was presented everyday. The third one was “School loud speaker” during which we announced important events of the school for the following week. Day by day, the program was extended and the coverage of the program was enlarged.

We received more orders from many schools for radio storytellers, puppeteers, live music programs, music festivals, and etc. The students who worked in the radio station were really in situation in which we could practice and develop the skills of drawing up plans, solving problems, devising strategies and many more. Two years later, our radio station was presented with a big gift from a local station: a voice changer software and a music editor software. These advanced softwares helped us handle our job properly. Instead of needing many students to join in dubbing for a story or a drama, now, we just need two “technical operators” and two students to make the dubbing. The old weak multi-track mixer was “retired” and the music editor.

We learnt how to apply these efficient tools in work. Of course, we found them very useful and interesting. We could easily record, remix music, add sound and effects, change one voice into many others. These jobs used to require many people and much time . However, applying our computers and these softwares, we could do the job well with just 4 or 5 people.

We spent much time, thought and labor in this extra-curriculum job, but we loved it. We made school lessons more interesting and exciting. We created a different way for children to gain experience and helped them make a presentation in a new way. We made a radio program which was considered the “voice” of students, pupils in the school. We sent meaningful music messages to friends, teachers, and so on.

I join my current company, a provider of voice changer and music editor softwares, because of many reasons. One of these reasons is that I want to support many college radio stations. My friends who used to work with me in our school radio station are all having good jobs in professional.

We are very happy to give advice and guidelines to youth in starting a school radio station or a home music studio.

One of the first advices from me is that “Don’t wait until tomorrow what you can do today”. Seize any chance you have, start with your dream, step by step, and you can see a clearer road for your future.

Is Your Motorcycle Fully Protected?

Are you really sure your motorcycle is fully protected?

As, no doubt you know, the oil you use in your motorcycle lubricates the engine and the   transmission . If you do not keep close track and regularly change that oil you could be looking at a huge bill from the repair shop. Could be “just” an engine or “just” a  transmission  or both.

Clean oil is vital to engine performance and durability. Oil must lubricate, cool and clean the engine as it circulates and in order to remain effective, it must be filtered as it cycles.

What about the oil filter you use?

If you do use a long-life oil, does your filter last as long as the oil?

Some filters are only good for 3,000 miles. Some filters seem to be good for nothing. Some filters are good for as long as your oil will last. Is the filter available in CHROME? I know I like a lot of chrome on my bike, even if it is “just an oil filter”!

What is that filter made of?

The unique construction and full-synthetic media of AMSOIL Ea Motorcycle Oil Filters allow them to provide unmatched performance in motorcycles and other power sports equipment. EaOM Filters last longer, stop smaller dirt particles and offer less restriction than other filters. Ea Motorcycle Oil Filters provide filtering efficiency of 98.7 percent at 15 microns, outperforming the best cellulose/synthetic blend media on the market. And did I ask: Is your filter available in CHROME?

What are you protecting your paint with?

What is CNC?

CNC is the acronym of Computer Numeric Control and it is often associated with plasma cutting as in CNC plasma cutting. A plasma cutting unit that is controlled by CNC is controlled by a computer. There are two basic classes of controls, industrial PC-based control systems and hobbyist/artisan PC-based control systems. The industrial CNC systems, such as the ones produced by Hypertherm or Burny, are robust enough to stand up the harsh production environments. They have a touch screen that can be housed inside of a heat shield for additional protection. The industrial CNCs are very costly, but they come highly recommended for any application because they are not vulnerable to typical PC problems meaning they have very little down time. Due to the high cost you will not often find industrial scale CNCs in a hobbyist’s garage. The artisan and the hobbyist plasma cutter use standard PC-based controls with I/O cards for controlling the plasma systems and the drives. Since these are regular PCs they are prone to an array of computer problems, but none that cannot be fixed.

If you want to use a CNC for your plasma cutting there are some things you will need. You will need a table for the cutting to take place on. On each side of the table you must have a rail that the drives can use to move the plasma systems; we will call this the x-axis. A bridge or gantry must span the table and each end must rest on the rails. The plasma system must be attached to a rail on the bridge which will allow it to move back and forth; the y-axis. Industrial strength set ups us fabricated steel for the construction of the table, rails and bridge. On the other hand, extruded aluminum is used for the hobbyist and artisan CNC plasma cutter set ups. The difference is that the steel is more robust and will withstand constant use whereas the aluminum can only withstand occasional use. If building one of these machines sounds a little scary to you, there are lots of kits that you can buy or you have the option of buying ready built CNC plasma cutters.

If you cruise the web you will be able to find many videos showing CNC plasma cutters in action. It is not the easiest topic in the world to explain and I suggest you check out some videos if you have not seen a CNC plasma cutter before.