Reclining Sectional Sofas

A sectional sofa can decorate your home in a very beautiful manner. If you are looking at decorating your home and at the same time maximizing the usage of the space n the family living area then reclining sectional sofas are one of the best things to have in your furniture set up.

Sofas add a lot of dignity and style to any room, especially to the drawing hall. Without a good sofa set the furniture in the house is not going to be complete in any culture and in any type of home. Sofas became an integral part and an essential part in almost all types of houses.

Reclining Sectional Sofa:

A reclining sectional sofa will have a very long joining sitting area along with a long couch. They come in different sizes. Normally the length will be more than ten feet long and it can goes up to even eighteen feet long. They can provide sitting area to your whole family. Especially if you have kids in your home, then reclining sectional sofa is going to be a very big asset for your home. They are very comfortable to sit in also. They make the look of the home and the family living area complete.

Online Purchase:

If you want to buy a reclining sectional sofa, there is no need to go for an offline purchase which consumes huge amount of your time and money. You can order one online also. There are huge numbers of online stores that are available on the internet which is offering the selling services for reclining sectional sofas. On an online store, you can review various models through their photos or even through their 3d-  modelling  samples and you can order one which you like the most.

Precautions:

The sectional sofa of your dreams can be found online. What you need to do is measure the wall where you are going to be putting the sectional sofa. The measurements will be how long of a space you have. The space should match the size of the sectional you are purchasing. This is the only and the most important precaution that you have to take while buying a reclining sectional sofa on an online store.

It is always advisable to avoid using additional couches with the reclining sectional sofa that you purchase so that you are directly maximizing the available space in the living area of your home.



Role of MIS in Business Management

Despite the vast improvements in information technology, computers (on which modern IT is based) cannot as yet take over business management. However, business information systems have transformed the effectiveness, power and efficiency of management.

In an earlier article on business management software, we looked at surface aspects of how modern management information systems help businesses. We saw how computers sped up and improved the quality of operations. We also mentioned the existence of broad categories of business software – office suites, functional software such as accounting and inventory, and industry software such as retail management software. In this article, we seek to look more analytically at the role of information management systems.

Decision Support, Problem Analysis and Overall Control

Business managers often need to make decisions that can affect the business’ fortunes one way or other. For example, a company with sales outlets or distributors spread over a wide geographic area might want to optimize the logistical operations of delivering merchandise to the outlets. The best solution might be affected by numerous factors such as demand patterns, availability of merchandise, distances involved and the option of using external carriers (who can find two way loads and might prove a lesser cost option over long distances) instead of own vehicles.

While it might be possible to use complex mathematical formulas by hand to compute the best solution, computers transform the whole process into a routine task of feeding certain information as input and obtaining suggestions for best solutions as output. The task can typically be done in a few minutes (instead of hours or even days) and it becomes possible to examine several alternatives before deciding upon one that seems most realistic.

Identifying problems and analyzing the factors that cause them also has been transformed by modern computer information systems. In a typical MIS environment, standard reports are generated in a routine manner comparing actual performance against original estimates. The software that generates the report can be instructed to highlight exceptions, i.e. significant variations between original estimates and actual performance. Managers will thus become aware of problem areas in the daily course of their work simply by looking at the reports they receive, without having to do detailed data collection and computations themselves.

Identifying the factors responsible for the problem can also be routinized to some extent by using such tools as variance analysis. Variance analysis is an element of standard costing system that splits deviations from estimates (or standards) into causative factors such as increase in price of materials used, excessive usage of materials, unexpected machine downtimes, etc. With such a detailed report, managers can delve deeper into the problem factor, such as why there was excessive usage of materials.

Control is also exercised through variance analysis. Budgets are prepared for all business operations by concerned managers working in a coordinated fashion. For example, estimated sales volumes will determine the levels of production; production levels will determine raw material purchases; and so on. With good information system management, it then becomes possible to generate timely reports comparing actual sales, production, raw material deliveries, etc against estimated levels.

The reports will help managers to keep a watch on things and take corrective action quickly. For example, the production manager will become aware of falling sales (or rising sales) of particular products and can prepare to make adjustments in production schedules, and purchasing and inventory managers will become quickly aware of any mounting inventories of unused materials. MIS thus enhances the quality of communication all around and can significantly improve the effectiveness of operations control.

Effective MIS Involves Humans and Computers Working together

The major aspect to note is that MIS provides only the information; it is the responsibility of concerned managers to act on the information. It is the synergy between efficient, accurate and speedy equipment and humans with commonsense, intelligence and judgment that really gives power to MIS.



Why People Love Freebies

It has been observed that things labeled as “free” have always captured people’s interest and it acts as a catalyst in attracting many people. Free samples of products or services attract more attention of customer or consumers than the product or services with a specific price. It would be interesting to figure out why people love freebies so much.

Free Stuff and Human Mind

When people find out that there is something they will get for free then their mind and psychology make them believe that they are special and they have earned the thing to get it for free. The free things make them feel they have achieved something with no or less effort for getting it. People feel there is less risk in trying out free stuff and they feel that they have nothing to lose if they try the free stuff. So they reach out to try free stuff with no risk and loss. A similar human psychology works when we get attracted to discounted rates or prices of products and services.

Loads of Non-avoidable Expenses

In our daily lives, everyone knows earning money is not easy and it takes a lot of efforts to make a living. Most of the hard earned money goes away in the necessary non-avoidable expenses like groceries, fuel, and oil, paying bills and other expenses. When we find out we can get something for free, we tend to get attracted to it because we feel that we have saved some amount of money with the best bargain of free stuff for a product or service.

Some People Hesitate Spending Money on what they think is not necessary

There are many people who hesitate to spend money on what they think is not necessary even though they earn a lot of money to save money. When they find out that the product or service is for free then they are more likely to reach out and try the product or services. Such people would possibly try out free stuff than paying for it and experience how the product or service is.

Some People have Low Monthly Income

Some people don’t earn huge amount of money and they have low monthly income. They can’t spend too much money due to lack of funds so they find free stuff more likable and they look out for free stuff because they can’t spend too much.



What Is Randomness?

The BBC Radio 4 programme ‘In Our Time’ looked at the topic of randomness today. The In Our Time website has a link to the programme on the iPlayer, if you missed it first time round.

What is meant by randomness? Well, a truly random event is not deterministic, i.e. it is not possible to determine the next outcome, based upon the previous outcomes, or on anything else.

In actual fact, random processes are very important in lots of areas of maths, science and life in general, but truly random processes are remarkably difficult to achieve. Why should this be the case? Because in theory, many processes that we consider to be random, such as rolling a dice, are in fact deterministic. You could, theoretically, determine the outcome of the dice roll if you knew its exact position, size, etc.

The ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Democritus (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC) was a member of the group known as Atomists. This group of ancients were the pioneers of the concept that all matter can be subdivided into its fundamental building blocks, atoms. Democritus decreed there was no such thing as true randomness. He gave the example of two men meeting at a well, both of whom consider their meeting to have been pure chance. What they did not know is that the meeting was probably pre-arranged by their families. This can be considered an analogy for the deterministic dice roll: there are factors determining the outcome, even if we cannot measure or control them precisely.

Epicurus (341 BC – 270 BC), a later Greek mathematician, disagreed. Although he had no idea how small atoms really were, he suggested they swerve randomly in their paths. No matter how well we understand the laws of motion, there will always be randomness introduced by this underlying property of atoms.

Aristotle worked further on probability, but it remained a non-mathematical pursuit. He divided all things into certain, probable and unknowable, for example writing about the outcome of throwing knuckle bones, early dice, as unknowable.

As with many other areas of mathematics, the topic of randomness and probability did not resurface in Europe until the Renaissance. The mathematician and gambler Gerolamo Cardano (24 September 1501 – 21 September 1576) correctly wrote down the probabilities of throwing a six with one dice, a double six with 2 dice, and a triple with three. He was the first person to notice, or at least to record, the fact that you’re more likely to throw 7 with 2 dice than any other number. These revelations formed part of his handbook for gamblers. Cardano had suffered terribly because of his penchant for gambling (at times he pawned all his family’s belongings, ended up in a poor house, and in fights). This book was his way of telling fellow gamblers how much they should bet and how to stay out of trouble.

In the 17th century, Fermat and Pascal collaborated and developed a more formalised theory of probability and numbers were assigned to probabilities. Pascal developed the idea of an expected value and famously used a probabilistic argument, Pascal’s Wager, to justify his belief in God and his virtuous life.

Today there are sophisticated tests that can be performed on a sequence of numbers to determine whether or not the sequence is truly random, or if it has been determined by formula, human being, or some other means. For example does the number 7 occur one tenth of the time (plus or minus some allowable error)? Is the digit 1 followed by another 1 one tenth of the time?

An increasingly sophisticated series of tests can be fired into action. We have the “poker test”, which analyses numbers in groups of 5, to see whether there are two pairs, three of a kind, etc, and compares the frequency of these patterns with those expected in a truly random distribution. The Chi Squared test is another statistician’s favourite. Given that a particular pattern that has occurred, it will give a probability, and a confidence level, that it was generated by a random process.

But none of these tests are perfect. There are deterministic sequences that look random (pass all the tests) but are not. For example, the digits of the irrational number π look like a random sequence, and pass all the tests for randomness, but of course, it is not. π is a deterministic sequence of numbers – mathematicians can calculate it to as many decimal places as they please, given powerful enough computers.

Another naturally occurring, seemingly random distribution is that of the prime numbers. The Riemann Hypothesis provides a way to calculate the distribution of the primes, but it remains unsolved and nobody knows whether the hypothesis remains valid for very large values. However, like the digits in the irrational number π, the distribution of the primes does pass all the tests of randomness. It remains deterministic, but unpredictable.

Another useful measure of randomness is a statistic called the Kolmogorov Complexity, named after the 20th century Russian mathematician. The Kolmogorov Complexity is the shortest possible description of a sequence of numbers, for example the sequence 01010101…. could be described simply as “Repeat 01”. This is a very short description, indicating the sequence is certainly not random.

However, for a truly random sequence, it would be impossible to describe the sequence of digits in any simplified form. The description would be just as long as the sequence itself, which indicates that the sequence would appear to be random.

During the last two centuries, scientists, mathematicians, economists and many others have begun to realise that sequences of random numbers are very important to their work. And so in the 19th century, methods were devised to generate random numbers. Dice, but can be biased. Walter Welden and his wife spent months at their kitchen table rolling a set of 12 dice over 26000 times, but these data were found to be flawed because of biases in the dice, which seems a terrible shame.

The first published collection of random numbers appears in a book of 1927 by Leonard HC Tippet. After that, there were many attempts, many flawed. One of the most successful methods was that used by John von Neumann, who pioneered the middle-square method, in which a 100-digit number is squared, the middle 100 digits are extracted from the result, and squared again, and so on. Very quickly, this process yields a set of digits that pass all the tests of randomness.

In the 1936 US presidential election, all the opinion polls pointed to a close result, with a possible win for the Republican Party’s candidate Alf Landon. In the event, the outcome was a landslide to the Democratic Party’s Franklin D Roosevelt. The opinion pollsters had chosen bad sampling techniques. In their attempts to be high-tech, they had telephoned people up to ask them about their voting intentions. In the 1930s, it was far more likely for wealthier people – largely Republican voters – to have a telephone, and so the results of the surveys were deeply biased. In surveys, truly randomising the sample population is of prime importance.

Likewise, it is also very important in medical tests. Choosing a biased sample set (e.g. too many women, too many young people, etc.) can make a drug appear more or less likely to work, biasing the experiment, with possibly dangerous consequences.

One thing is certain: humans are not very good at producing random sequences and they are not very good at spotting them either. When tested with two patterns of dots, a human being is particularly bad at deciding which pattern has been generated at random. Likewise, when trying to create a random sequence of numbers, very few people include features such as digits occurring three times in a row, which is a very prominent feature of random sequences.

But is there anything truly random? Going back to the dice we considered at the start, where a knowledge of the precise initial conditions would have allowed us to predict the outcome, surely this is true of any physical process creating a set of numbers.

Well, so far, atomic and quantum physics have come closest to providing us with truly unpredictable events. It is, to date, impossible to determine precisely when a radioactive material will decay. It seems random, but maybe we simply don’t understand. At the moment, it remains probably the only way to generate truly random sequences.

Ernie, the UK Government’s premium bond number generator, is now on its fourth reincarnation. It must be random, in order to give all the country’s premium bond holders an equal chance of a prize. It contains a chip that exploits the thermal noise within itself, i.e. the amount of movement in the electrons. Government statisticians perform tests of the number sequences that this generates, and they do indeed pass the tests for randomness.

Other applications are: the random prime numbers used in internet transactions, encrypting your credit card number. The National Lottery machines use a set of very light balls and currents of air to mix them up, but like the dice, this could, in theory, be predicted.

Finally, the Met Office uses sets of random numbers for its ensemble forecasts. Sometimes it is difficult to predict the weather because of the well-known “chaos theory” – that the final state of the atmosphere is highly dependent on the precise initial conditions. It is impossible to measure the initial conditions to anything like the precision required, so atmospheric scientists feed their computer models various different scenarios, with the initial conditions varying slightly in each. This results in a set of different forecasts and a weather presenter who talks in percentage chances, rather than in certainties.

See also: In Our Time.



So a Friend Sharpens

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. – Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens iron is a common phrase when looked at in the natural sense can be misleading. Iron as it exists cannot truly sharpen other iron as they are of the same consistency and strength.

Before you all stop reading and run me out on a rail let me continue…

When iron is of the same density, just like any other substance it will not wear down or sharpen its counterpart. Therefore, and as is intended in the scripture, there would need to be differing levels of density,strength and texture for iron to sharpen iron.

The same is in the case of men, we can sharpen each other in these ways:

  • Mentoring
  • Spiritual guidance
  • Sharing experience
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Being a sounding board
  • Trust confidant

All of these and more can be accomplished without diminishing our character or causing one to be superior or inferior to the other. As men, if we are strong enough to admit our own shortcomings, we provide ourselves with the opportunity to learn and grow with others.

The challenges we face today is that many men were raised with the idea of asking for help is just not what we do. The men that gave us this advice however were of a different generation.

This generation was already unknowingly sharpening each others character in the form of things like the military, all boys schools, discipline in the home and at school, church communities, rotary and other men clubs (at the time), and most of all families that stayed together.

With these types of background the expectations of a man were pretty well established from early on.

In today’s world however things are quite different. No longer is military service required, the church communities are more focused on raising money rather than families, and the family structure is virtually nonexistent.

As men today, many of us are raised in broken or dysfunctional homes. We are then thrown into a world of chaos with little morality to be found. We are unprepared for the decisions before us and therefore are bound to pay for the poor ones.

We feel that we must maintain our Machiavellian bravado and refuse to show signs of emotion or weakness. We would rather make bad decisions and suffer in silence then ask for help. The idea of sharing our problems or concerns becomes an unbearable option.

Last time I checked we had the best teacher around that exemplified what being a man meant even if our own fathers didn’t. Jesus had twelve..okay eleven close male friends that he relied upon as both a mentor and companion. These friends were full of advice and were there to support,counsel and console Jesus along his journeys.

It would appear to me if we are willing to put our trust and faith in our Lord and his disciples from over 2000 years ago, we could probably do the same today.

I challenge you to seek out a group of men, men that share similar values and form a group. Make it a regular event whether by phone, or in person to check in with each other regularly. Put it on the calendar, hold each other accountable. Unashamedly speak the truth with the men you choose, confess as well as celebrate. No where does it say that you have to do all this life that God has given you alone.

Question: What are you willing to give to begin being sharpened in your life?

Blessings,

CJ



Perceptual Control

A thought that constantly springs to mind when writing a new post on my blog, is what on earth does everyone reading think of me? Looking at the traffic sources, there are a few people reading my posts who don’t know me in real life, nor do they appear to follow me on twitter; my blog is all they have to obtain an impression of me and my character. But is it accurate? I scarcely write blog posts, in fact, a post from June last year is still on the home page. How is it possible to build up an impression of me from these few posts?

I would love to be able to say that I doubt anyone does judge me from what I write because there is so little information about me in them, but that would be untrue – it’s human nature. When we meet people, watch a video they’ve made, read their blog, anything that can give us the slightest hint of their character, we will begin to build up a picture of them in our mind. Think about a person you ‘met’ for the first time in the past couple of weeks. I write ‘met’ because it doesn’t have to be someone in the real world, that person doesn’t even have to know that you ‘met’ them; it could simply be a YouTuber or a blogger. When you pull them into your mind, think of everything you associate with them and their character, as if those associations were labels. When that person popped into your head, it is likely that you have already decided whether you like them or not. But do you know enough about them to make that judgement?

Of course you don’t. You probably know very few or none of their defining characteristics. You don’t know what they do at home or with their friends, or what was running through their head at the time of writing/filming/whatever. You don’t know any of their life events, their experiences, or their hardships. In short, you don’t know anything that could possibly give you a right to judge them, yet you do. Even more interestingly, you are judging them based on what they are choosing to show you.

Allow me to explain that last point. In my spare time, I make video blogs on YouTube. In those videos, I generally appear to be quite confident and talkative, yet if anyone were to meet me in real life, I would probably be incredibly shy and awkward. I edit my Vlogs and refilm various parts of it in order to not make myself seem like an idiot, but in doing so, I make myself seem less like me. I also don’t tell my viewers everything that goes on in my life, all of my thoughts and opinions, everything about my past – and why should I? Almost every hint of my character that you can obtain through any of the mediums I present myself through, is there because of a conscious decision made by myself. I don’t post absolutely everything I do on twitter, I don’t write all my thoughts on Facebook and I don’t tell you my life history on my YouTube channel.

This extra degree of control over how people see you, is part of what makes online relations so interesting, and what separates them from interacting in ‘the real world.’ When you meet someone in person, they can easily see your mannerisms, they can tell when you aren’t sure what to say, and you have little control over the way you put your point of view across, unless you have prepared what you are going to say beforehand. Compare texting to a real life conversation. If it is a delicate subject matter, you may write out a text, read it, change parts of it to make them seem more conscientious and then send it. When speaking to someone in person, you have very little time to decide what to say and how to say it, in fact, your reply will often be formulated part way through speaking and, unless you are incredibly lucky, it is likely that you are going to mess up once in a while.

I am not saying that every person on the Internet censors their tweets/statuses/videos/blogs in this way, in fact, some people would probably benefit from a tad more censorship. I also don’t redraft every single text message I send, and I try to write things as I would speak them (which frequently comes across in my writing). But my point still stands.

In the digital age, we have more control over how people see us. It is possible for us to play a character online, for us to become someone completely different to who we are in real life. I know a few people who have an alter ego online, some are very discreet about it and try to keep it completely separate, and others integrate it with their personal lives in such a way that they may appear slightly schizophrenic to those around them. These alter egos are our own creations; we decide who they are, what they’re like and what they do. We are modelling our very own human being, whose role we then step into. But is it really a different person, or is that alter ego a reflection of our true self? Surely the person who you want to be, is the real you?

Your views on that last statement will be largely dependent on your locus of control. If you have an external locus of control, that last statement will most likely seem ridiculous to you. After all, we are who we are and we have no control over that, right? Our personality has been created through our genetic makeup, our life experiences and fate. We don’t control what kind of person we are, and constructing a personality which we can step into will never change that. There’s only one of us, with one personality type and set of mannerisms, isn’t there?

People with an internal locus of control beg to differ. But why? Well, because are in control of our lives and what goes on in them. We can shape ourselves to be whatever we want to be, we aren’t simply limited by fate and our genes, our personality can be whatever we want it to become. If we construct a character and decide that is who we want to be, what’s stopping us? Nothing. You are what you make of yourself.

Yes, I realise that in counter to that previous paragraph, you could say that the decision of who we want to be must be innate because else how would we get to that point? If we didn’t already have a personality in place, with all of our traits, why would a certain personality appeal to us? This entire argument could just turn into a vicious cycle. My point is, I believe that you can make what you want of yourself, if you would like to be someone different then there is nothing to stop you.

I digress. Actually, this entire article has become a digression, but the points relate to the main subject. The idea is, you are completely in control of how people perceive you on the Internet, and to a lesser extent, in real life. Your alter ego may be a completely fictional construct, or it may be a reflection of your true self, either way, you are the one presenting them to the public, and you can completely change the public’s perception of you.

The question for those of you out there with alter egos is: which of these alter egos is the real you, and which one would you prefer it to be?



Number 1 Key to Good Parenting

The numbers are chilling. Teen suicide and homicide rates have tripled from twenty years ago. There is a 50% increase in childhood obesity. Teenage pregnancy rates are the highest for any Western society. SAT scores have plummeted. 15-20% of kids are flunking kindergarten. Millions of children are medicated to be more “manageable” at home and school. One of the ongoing tragedies in our culture is that these problems are occurring in our most precious national resource, our children. Can these stats be turned around? Yes, and much of it can be prevented.

Here are the 5 basic prevention factors in raising good kids: good parenting, physical nourishment, love, guidance and environmental benefits. Simple Simon right? It sounds easy, yet Dr. Michael Dana, life coach and an expert in juvenile affairs for the Federal government states, “The mission of good parenting is the fostering of children in a manner that allows them to grow up to be normal, productive and law-abiding adults who have successfully realized their God-given potential.” So what does that mean to you and I as parents?

Here’s Dr. Dana’s Number 1 Key:

Effective parenting starts with being involved in your children’s lives.

In our busyness, we are often distracted and not really “with” our children. Giving children quantity and quality time, in today’s world is hard! Parents who are striving to spend more time with their children are learning to be creative. Barb, a busy mom of 2 girls, works part time so she can be home when her girls come home from school. “I want to make the most of every moment I spend with Kimmy and Carleigh. Even the time we spend in the car running errands can be productive; we play word games, work on spelling, or play audio books on CD. My girls know I’m interested in their school work and learning is more fun when we do it together.”

Dr. Dana, dad of three, emphasizes: some Be-Attitudes for Parents:

  • Be aware.
  • Be a listener.
  • Be good at helping your children express their feelings.
  • Be engaged.

Participate in your child’s activities and interests. This can be done in a variety of ways – by talking about family history, allowing them to have free time to play and explore, through reading good classical and faith-based literature, establishing family traditions, and by sharing your own life experiences.

There is an urgent need for families to lessen their hurried lifestyles and become a haven, one that is nurturing for both children and adults. Dr. David Elkind’s advice, in his landmark book, “The Hurried Child” written more than–can you believe it– 20 years ago, seems to have gone unheeded. “The pressure to grow up fast, to achieve early is a driving force in middle-class America. There is no room today for the “late bloomer”… Children have to achieve success early or they are regarded as losers.” Many parents push their kids to be involved in activities because they feel peer group pressure to make their children as competent as the neighbor’s kids. This not only robs hurried children of a childhood, but also robs them of the most important gift a parent can give – their undivided time and attention.

Family mealtimes, traditionally an occasion of family bonding, has seen a decline in modern times. Working mothers, who customarily carry the weight of this responsibility, often find it difficult to make regular home-cooked meals a reality. Bill and Nancy, both working parents, felt increasingly scattered and distant from their teenaged boys. They determined to prioritize their time as a family. Nancy finally came up with a solution – she marshaled the family to help on the weekend with cooking meals for the week. “This made all the difference in the world; we realized that our boys only had a few years left at home and we were missing it. Not only did the extra planning and time pay off in helping my boys learn their way around the kitchen, we experienced a lot more communication and connecting as a family.”

Parents as a group, are the least prepared to tackle the most challenging, and yet rewarding job of raising children. Think how much time and expense is spent learning a profession. Dr. Dana offers this advice, “No parent is perfect, but those parents who truly want the best for their children should always be vigilant to get support and education.” So follow Dr. Dana’s number 1 key to preventing problem kids and get involved before someone else requires you to get involved.



Why Are Diesel Engines Preferred Over Petrol Engines?

Globally, two types of engines are generally found – diesel engines and petrol engines. The classification is done based on the fuel used for the engines, because the construction, functionality and features of the engines vary on the type of fuel to be used. These engines can be found in cars, airplanes and even in commercial generators. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to spare some time and have a look into the reason behind the preference of one type of engine over the other.

Prerequisites

In order to have a deep understanding of the subject matter of this article, having a passion for the stuff under the bonnet would be helpful. But in any case, the material has been represented in such a manner that a person with little or no knowledge about mechanical engineering will also be able to follow; a bit of physics in your middle school or high school will suffice. To start with, let us try to understand the working principle of the two types of engines, so that we can infer the reason behind the popularity of one type over the other.

Working principle of diesel engines

A diesel engine is generally referred to as CI (compression ignition) engine. In a diesel engine, air is compressed by the pistons within a closed chamber by a process called adiabatic compression. Due to severe compression, the temperature of the air rises to very high levels inside the chamber. After achieving sufficient temperature, the fuel, which in this case is diesel, is slowly injected into the chamber in a controlled manner.

When the inflammable fuel comes in contact with the hot air, it starts burning. The gas produced from the combustion pushes the piston downwards which in turn produces the torque required. Due to its constructional features, it has very low leftover fuel and also the excess heat is dissipated easily, making the engine very suitable for prolonged hours of maintenance free operation under heavy loads. Among all the types of Internal Combustion engines, diesel engines have the highest rate of efficiency, sometimes more than 50%.

Working principle of petrol engines

Petrol engines, on the other hand, is an Internal Combustion engine with an entirely different working principle. Inside a petrol engine, fuel and air are mixed in a chamber and compressed gradually. Also, a spark plug is used to provide the necessary ignition point for the mixture, so that the entire process becomes quick and steady. Due to the presence of the spark plug, petrol engines are highly used in cold countries where the ambient temperature is very low and it is very difficult to maintain the temperature of the mixture suitable for combustion only through compression.

Also, the speed of petrol engines is higher than and its parts are lighter that of its diesel counterparts, making it the ideal choice for quick acceleration and high-speed maneuvers. However, the compression ratio of the fuel-air mixture is quite low for a petrol engine and it results in a lower efficiency of petrol engines as compared to diesel engines.

Which is the better choice?

Well, it depends on the nature of use. Experts recommend petrol engines for cases that need very high speed and high acceleration. Also, historically diesel engines are noisier than petrol engines and people associate it with nasty fumes coming out of the exhaust. But the fact is that carbon dioxide emission from petrol engines is higher than that of diesel engines.

Diesel engines are a better choice due to many factors like:

  • Cost of diesel is lower than that of petrol in most of the countries in the world.
  • Diesel engines last longer due to rugged build.
  • Efficiency and maintenance cost is a great deciding factor for the choice to be made.
  • At low speeds, diesel engines can generate very high power. This is the ideal case for commercial and industrial applications.

Due to all these reasons, it has also been observed that machines using diesel engines get higher resale values. Surveys have proved the fact that used diesel cars and used diesel generators generate more enquiries when put up for reselling. However, it is strongly advised to consult a domain expert to determine which engine to buy for your requirement.



Making Your Workers Your Partners

There is an inherent conflict between owners and managers of companies. The former want, for instance, to minimize costs – the latter to draw huge salaries as long as they are in power (who knows what will transpire tomorrow). For companies traded in the stock exchanges, the former wish to maximize the value of the stocks (short term), the latter might have a longer term view of things. In the USA, shareholders place emphasis on the appreciation of the stocks (the result of quarterly and annual profit figures). This leaves little room for technological innovation, investment in research and development and in infrastructure. The theory is that workers who are also own stocks will avoid these cancerous conflicts which, at times, bring companies to ruin and, in many cases, dilapidate them financially and technologically. Whether reality leaves up to theory, is an altogether different question to which we will dedicate a separate article.

A stock option is the right to purchase (or sell – but this is not applicable in our case) a stock at a specified price (=strike price) on or before a given date. Stock options are either not traded (in the case of private firms) or traded in a stock exchange (in the case of public firms whose shares are traded in a stock exchange).

Stock options have many uses: they are popular investments and speculative vehicles in many markets in the West, they are a way to hedge (to insure) stock positions (in the case of put options which allow you to sell your stocks at a pre-fixed price). With very minor investment and very little risk (one can lose only the money invested in buying the option) – huge profits can be realized.

Creative owners and shareholders began to use stock options to provide their workers with an incentive to work for the company and only for the company. Normally such perks were reserved to the senior managers who were thought indispensable. Later, as companies realized that their main asset were their employees, all the workers began to enjoy similar opportunities. Under an incentive stock option scheme, an employee is given by the company (as part of his compensation package) an option to purchase its shares at a certain price (at or below market price at the time that the option was granted) for a given number of years. Profits derived from such options now constitute the main part of the compensation of the top managers of the Fortune 500 in the USA and the habit is catching on even with more conservative Europe.

A Stock Option Plan is an organized program for employees of a corporation allowing them to buy its shares. Sometimes the employer gives the employees subsidized loans to enable them to invest in the shares or even matches their purchases: for every share bought by the employee, the employer will give him another free of charge. In many companies, employees are offered the opportunity to buy the shares of the company at a discount (which constitutes an immediate profit). Dividends that the workers receive on the shares that they hold can be reinvested by them in additional shares of the firm (some firms do it for them automatically and without or with reduced brokerage commissions). Many companies have wage “set-aside” programs: employees regularly use a part of their wages to purchase the shares of the company at the prices which prevail at the time of purchase. Another well known form is the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) whereby employees regularly accumulate shares and may ultimately assume control of the company.

Let us study in depth a few of these schemes:

It all began with Ronald Reagan. His administration passed in Congress the Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA – 1981) under which certain kinds of stock options (“qualifying options”) were declared tax-free at the date that they were granted and at the date that they were exercised. Profits on shares sold after being held at least two years from the date that they were granted or one year from the date that they were transferred to an employee were subjected to preferential (lower rate) capital gains tax. A new class of stock options was thus invented: the “Qualifying Stock Option”. Such an option was legally regarded as a privilege granted to an employee of the company that allowed him to purchase, for a special price, shares of its capital stock (subject to conditions of the Internal Revenue – the American income tax – code). To qualify, the option plan must be approved by the shareholders, the options must not be transferable (i.e., cannot be sold in the stock exchange or privately – at least for a certain period of time). Additional conditions: the exercise price must not be less than the market price of the shares at the time that the options were issued and that the employee who receives the stock options (the grantee) may not own stock representing more than 10% of the company’s voting power unless the option price equals 110% of the market price and the option is not exercisable for more than five years following its grant. No income tax is payable by the employee either at the time of the grant or at the time that he converts the option to shares (which he can sell at the stock exchange at a profit) – the exercise. If the market price falls below the option price, another option, with a lower exercise price can be issued. There is a 100,000 USD per employee limit on the value of the stock covered by options that can be exercised in any one calendar year.

This law – designed to encourage closer bondage between workers and their workplaces and to boost stock ownership – led to the creation of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). Those are programs which encourage employees to purchase stock in their company. Employees may participate in the management of the company. In certain cases – for instance, when the company needs rescuing – they can even take control (without losing their rights). Employees may offer wage concessions or other concessions regarding the work rules in return for ownership privileges – but only if otherwise a company is liable to be closed down (“marginal facility”).

How much of its stock should a company offer to its workers and in which manner?

There are no rules (except that ownership and control need not be transferred). A few of the methods:

  • The company offers packages of shares cum options of different sizes and the employees bid for them in open tender
  • The company sells its shares to the employees on an equal basis (all the members of the senior management, for instance, have the right to buy the same number of shares) – and the workers are then allowed to trade the shares between them
  • The company could give one or more of the current shareholders the right to offer his shares to the employees or to a specific group of them.

The money generated by the conversion of the stock options (when an employee exercises his right and buys shares) usually goes to the company. The company sets aside in its books a number of shares sufficient to meet the demand which will be generated by the conversion of all the stock options. If necessary, the company will issue new shares to meet such a demand. Rarely, the stock options are converted into shares already held by other shareholders.

In one of the next articles we will deal with the (surprisingly) dubious efficacy of stock option plans.



Finding the Best Drones for Kids

When it comes to finding the best drones and the best drones for kids, there are so many choices available it’s extremely difficult to pick out just one that can be considered the best drone. It just makes sense to attempt to find the drone that is the best fit for what you need it to do. The best drones for kids are going to be the ones that can really take a beating and keep on flying. Durability is going to be a priority when shopping for drones for kids.

Building and flying remote controlled aircraft has always been a very rewarding and enjoyable hobby for people of all ages.

Flying drones has become much more appealing as of late because of the advances that have been made in speed and durability and the quality of the hd cameras that are now being installed on the remote controlled aircraft.

The best drones pretty much all come with high-definition video cameras mounted on them these days. This allows the pilot to actually see where the drone is going just as if he were sitting in the cockpit at the controls.

Drones and quadcopters are tons of fun and easy to fly. Your first flight can be a little bumpy, but by the time you have taken off and landed a few times you will get the hang of it and be doing flips and flying upside down in no time at all.

One of the biggest and best advantages of learning to fly drones is the fact that you don’t have to find a runway to take off from or land on. You can actually fly a drone inside your house.

However, you still need to fly responsibly. One should always keep the aircraft away from airports and stay well away from regular aircraft, as a drone can cause serious havoc if it comes close to a regular plane.

When I first began building and flying remote controlled aircraft it was kind of difficult finding a place to fly. The only place available at the time was a grass runway that was owned and maintained by a modeling club. I had to join the club and pay membership dues.

I also had to join the AMA (American Modelers Association) and have my transmitters inspected and certified for use at the club field.

Finding a good place to fly was kind of a hassle. I needed a run way that was at least 200 feet long and about fifty feet wide.

This presents a problem if you don’t live in a rural area. Winter made things a little bit more simple because I had built ski’s that I could attach to the landing gear of whatever fixed wing plane I was flying.

The snow didn’t have to be real deep, just deep enough to make the landing area smooth and somewhat flat.

Transporting the plane itself was a challenge also. The planes had large wingspans and were really quite large. You could not just set one in the back seat of the car, I needed a truck to haul the plane and the wings and all of the equipment that was needed to make repairs, as well as the fuel for the motors.

This all probably sounds like a serious pain, but it was actually a lot of fun, and still is today. I still enjoy building and flying the large scale model kits.

The model kits themselves are not really all that expensive.

The radio gear and the motors are the expensive parts. I have seen some modelers that have well over a thousand dollars wrapped up in just one of the large-scale models that have multiple engines.

Radio controlled helicopters were much more difficult to fly. These required hours of practice to get to a point where you were proficient and not breaking something every time you tried to get it off the ground. Still a great source of fun, but frustrating at times. Now, with the tech. advances that have been made, owning and flying a rotary wing aircraft is much easier and way more affordable.

With the development of drones and quadcopters, none of that stuff is necessary anymore and the learning curve has been shortened substantially.