Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Use of Solitary Confinement in North Carolina Prisons is Declining

Man in jail hoping to be releasedThe terms “prison” and “jail” are tricky. In fact, people often use them interchangeably. Although quite similar, there is still a marked difference between them. “Jail” is where a person stays while awaiting trial, while a prison is where felons serve their sentence.

While you have the choice to avoid jail time by posting bail or seeking assistance from a bail bondsman in Raleigh, NC, you can’t simply leave prison by paying a fee. You commit a crime; you do the time, or so the saying goes. What happens though when an inmate needs disciplinary action? Well, prisons can subject the incarcerated to solitary confinement.

Solitary Confinement in North Carolina

Prisons subject inmates to solitary confinement for various reasons. This includes separating an aggressive inmate, protecting another, or disciplining an unruly one. Offenses that range from fighting to spitting on someone can land an inmate a 60-day solitary confinement, in fact.

North Carolina prisons used to be notorious for their use of the disciplinary tactic, but they are slowly cutting down on the practice because they’re finding it ineffective. Out of the state’s 38,000 prisoners, 5,330 were in solitary confinement at any given day in 2015. Through the effort of authorities, they were able to reduce the number to 2,540 in 2016.

Increases Assault on Staff

State prison Commissioner David Guice said that cases of assault on staff members increase in the locked-down units. Upon observing a decline in these kinds of attacks in states that are moving away from the practice, Guice made it his goal to end North Carolina’s heavy use of the method.

Triggers and Worsens Mental Illness

Inmates with a history of mental illness who spend time in solitary confinement suffered from worsening symptoms. Psychiatrists also state that the prolonged isolation could trigger depression, anxiety, cognitive disturbances, psychosis, and paranoia in inmates who had no prior symptoms.

Government support for this move has come from the highest position. Former President Barack Obama has already banned the practice of subjecting youth offenders (17 years old and below) to solitary confinement in federal prisons, stating that the prolonged absence of human contact is counterproductive and could result in lasting psychological effects, especially in younger, impressionable individuals.

Inmates spend 23 to 24 hours a day in their cells, which have limited access to sunlight and fresh air. Taking away even the most basic of human contact on top of this has proven to result in negative changes in an inmate’s behavior. Actions to abolish the practice are a step towards rehabilitating, not punishing, people who have committed a crime.

Lawn-Damaging Critters: Identifying Your Lawn’s Smallest Enemies

Hand on Well-maintained Lawn

Hand on Well-maintained LawnA healthy lawn is what every homeowner wants. But it’s not only visually appealing. If you decide to sell your property, an attractive yard gives you leverage because it raises curb appeal, which encourages more buyers.

If you’ve been dealing with an unhealthy lawn for quite some time and you’re sure it’s not because of a malfunctioning sprinkler, or the lack of fertilizer, then you may be dealing with something much smaller: bugs.

Many bugs can infiltrate your lawn and while some of them can be subtle with the damage they can cause, others can be ruthless, making their presence known by wreaking havoc. One way of dealing with these is by hiring the services of a lawn expert in Salt Lake City.

Here are just some of the potential bugs damaging your lawn:

Billbugs

These are the most common bugs you’ll find in your lawn. They come in three colors: reddish brown, jet black, and clay yellow. These critters feed on leaves with their long snouts and strong mandibles; and burrow in the grass stems.

Chinch Bugs

These thrive during hot, dry weather, when drought-stressed lawns are common. Mating season begins in spring or early summer and a female can lay as much as 500 eggs. The bugs hatch into nymphs after three weeks and become adults in no time. These emit a strong odor when they migrate in clumps, or if crushed.

Chiggers

You can find these everywhere, but they flourish in humid weather and thick vegetation. When they stick on animals or people, these ingest dissolved skin cells caused by a liquid they inject.

Japanese Beetles

The pest can be damaging to lawns no matter its stage in the life cycle. These bugs eat flowers and damage leaves of more than 300 plant species.

Don’t wait until your front yard begins to look unsightly. If you notice that your lawn is looking unhealthy despite watering it and using the right fertilizer, don’t hesitate to call lawn professionals right away so they can check for bugs.

Considerations When Building a Gourmet Kitchen

When you’re an avid cook, and you want to turn your kitchen into a gourmet Modern Kitchen Designkitchen, you’d have to plan the kitchen remodeling wisely. Fort Wayne, Indiana has many designers who can advise you on material and construction. From easy to clean and durable surfaces, professional appliances, to ample storage, your focus should be on performance, quality, and ease of use. Here’s what you should consider.

A professional-grade range: While most cooks like gas ranges, you could opt for induction cooktops. These heat up much faster and provide heat evenly to your cookware. There are also modular stoves with fancy pop-in griddles among others.

A refrigerator: Nowadays, standalone refrigerators come in various counter-depth configurations, making them look built-in and sleeker. Some people prefer a separate freezer and refrigerator, but newer dual-compressor units also work for others.

A convection microwave: You could use this a convection oven or your typical reheating unit.

A double oven: For the epicurean, two is always better than one. You should have a convection oven if you have two. It’s capable of circulating hot air so your food would cook more efficiently and uniformly.

Durable and easy to clean kitchen benchtop surfaces: If you haven’t decided on which material you want for your kitchen surfaces, consider quartz. It’s less porous, more durable, and stain-resistant than other materials. It also doesn’t need sealing.

Task lighting: Plan your lighting to focus on areas where you cook, make preparations, and clean up. 

When planning your kitchen to look fit for a gourmet cook, you should ask a top interior decorator in Fort Wayne for your kitchen remodel. They will evaluate your existing kitchen and set realistic goals for your renovation. This way, you won’t get off track when making tough decisions.

A Country of Math Whizzes: Singapore’s Love Affair with Numbers

Math Equation on a BoardStereotypes are normally a negative concept. When it comes the generalization that ‘Asians are good at math’, however, Singapore seems determined to live up to the stereotype. The city-state is consistently topping global rankings in mathematics, in fact. Their secret? An innovative approach to teaching elementary math.

The Singapore Mathematics Method

The ministry of education employed a team of teachers in the 80’s to develop the aptly labelled ‘Singapore Method’. They studied behavioral science and traveled to different countries to observe effective teaching methods. They also relied on the studies by the American educational psychologist Jerome Bruner which stated that people should learn in three stages: first by using real objects, followed by pictures, and then through symbols.

After their observations, the researchers settled on teaching a curriculum that focuses on modelling mathematical equations using visual aids and colored blocks.

Focus on Mastery

The Singaporean curriculum in schools and universities focuses on fewer topics but is particular about discussing it in greater depth. Students don’t just study math to get an answer for their exams later on — they learn how the equation works. There are 13 to 15 concepts discussed per grade level, and the Singaporean Method enables them to master each one.

Layered Lessons

The American approach to teaching math involves revisiting lessons months, even years, after students first learned them. This is often jarring for both students and teachers. On the other hand, the Singaporean curriculum focuses on one skill and uses it as a foundation for future lessons. This makes the progression from one concept to another easier and more natural for learners.

Aligned with Common Core Standards

Policymakers based the formulation of the Common Core standards on the success of other high-performing countries. It is no surprise, then, that some parts of the Singapore Method align with them. Further efforts to calibrate their educational system have pushed the state introduced new textbooks in 2014.

Singapore’s not-so-secret method on how to excel in mathematics involves using visual aids and focusing on mastery when learning equations. This tried and tested technique might encourage other countries to follow suit and step up the math education efforts.

What is Invisalign and What are its Benefits?

A Piece of InvisalignYou may already know the benefits of having straight and perfectly aligned teeth. More people today are signing up for an orthodontic treatment to help them achieve the smile they’ve always wanted. There was a time when most people you’d see wearing traditional metal braces were school-age kids, but now there are adults who wear them too.

There are many adults, however, who are hesitant to wear traditional braces, those with metal wires and brackets. Many feel embarrassed to be seen with them, whilst some are wary of the pain typically associated with metal braces. If you are not comfortable with the thought of using traditional metal braces to align your teeth, you have another choice, and that is to find a reputable Invisalign provider.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a brand of ‘invisible’ plastic aligners that are safe for teeth-straightening purposes. These are see-through aligners which your dentist will replace every two weeks to encourage your teeth to assume a straighter and more beautiful position.

What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?

Invisalign aligners allow you to live your life as normally as if you were not using aligners at all. Some other teeth alignment methods are known for the irritation they may cause the wearer’s gums or mouth, but there is no such problem with Invisalign aligners.

Your Invisalign trays are easier to wear as well as to remove. You can brush and floss your teeth, gargle with your favourite mouthwash and eat your favourite food without your teeth-straighteners getting in the way. You don’t have to worry that the metal wires on traditional braces might snap or the brackets might come off.

If you have a special occasion, such as a date or a speaking engagement, simply take the aligners off. Put them back on when you’re ready.

Invisalign aligners are also favoured for their reasonable comfort, even whilst you are actually straightening your teeth.

See your provider about Invisalign and say goodbye to misaligned, unsightly teeth – all without the disadvantages of traditional straighteners.

Why a Good Signage is Essential to Your Business

Restaurant SignThe signage of an establishment is just as important as the product labels because they are the ones that catch the potential customer’s attention. Below are the reasons you should seriously consider planning your signage, as it will greatly determine your success.

Your signage says a lot about you

Your business signage tells people things that are not just about your business. They also tell a lot about you as a business owner. You should invest in a good one.

Something as trivial as a tarpaulin sign without tarp eyelets can affect perception on your business. Displays specialist Eurotech says a tarp signage, when outdoors, quickly gets untidy and looking unprofessional. It said tarp eyelets provide the solution to this problem.

People will relate your signage to your product, and you fail to get some people who may judge your product based on appearances.

A good signage can stop people in their tracks

Imagine walking down a restaurant district and seeing a well-placed and well-executed signage for a pizza chain that offers huge discounts at limited times. It can make people stop walking and read the copy and even walk straight into the restaurant and inquire.

The same thing can happen for retail stores which have excellent window displays. A good signage can hold so much power. Do not miss this opportunity to get people walk into your store.

A good signage has the power of recall

Imagine driving on a highway and spotting a new billboard for a product that you like or even a very new product that you have never heard of before. If the advertisement is good, you will be able to recall it even days after.

Otherwise, you will forget all about it, and the investment business owners make on making that particular signage will go to waste. A good signage has the power of recall and makes people think about your product for days.

Signages are that important. They are your first lines of marketing offence, so to speak. Many times, you fight the battle for the hearts and minds of your would-be consumers outside your store, before they even enter.

Metal Fences: The Best Choice for Security or Decor

Metal FenceYour home might have a door but that does not mean that it is already secure. In some cases, you might need to make sure that you also have a fence around your property to secure it. Fortunately, the market is not without a multitude of choices. The question now becomes, which one should you go for?

Choosing the Right Material

Security fences come in a variety of materials. You can choose to use wood, wire, glass, or metal for your security fencing needs. For most people, security comes first when it comes to fencing, and would rather get metal or aluminum privacy fence panels.

However, like any major purchase, you need to ask yourself a few questions before you make any purchase. For example, do you need a fence that can provide you with privacy and not just security? Or do you want a fence that gives you privacy yet also gives you plus points in decor? It all depends on what you intend for your property, and in such situations, a metal fence using aluminum or steel would be best.

If you have pets and you need a fence that could withstand their gnawing, you should consider getting metal privacy fence panels. A metal fence would be strong enough to withstand your pet's persistence to go beyond your property lines. An aluminum fence would also withstand corrosion and could endure the elements for a longer time.

Choosing the Right Height

Regardless of whether you are going for metal privacy fence panels or aluminum ones, you should know the right height that would fit your property. The right height for a metal fence would give it the privacy and security you need. 

Whatever you choose for your fencing needs, make sure you consult a professional who could install it for you and give you the best quality fence in the market.

Technology is Revolutionising Australia’s Agriculture

Farming Equipment at WorkLike in almost every part of modern-day life, technology is now revolutionizing the agriculture sector in Australia. It offers new ideas and innovative alternatives to traditional farming practices that result in better use of resources, greater harvests and a more profitable industry.

Here are a few innovations to farming equipment that is breaking new ground in the agricultural sector.

Drone Mapping

Farm owners can now determine if their crops are having health issues or under stress using drones. Drones can conduct normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) – a method of mapping that determines if an area contains live vegetation or not.

Although the use of NDVI has been possible through aeroplane and satellite surveillance for over a decade now, drones allow the user to gather a more detailed resolution. In fact, they can provide information on areas that are accurate down to the centimetre, as opposed to the limited metre reading that satellite and aeroplane surveillance offers. Furthermore, they are also faster and cheaper.

This use of drones will enable farmers to make accurate and data-driven decisions.

Remote-Controlled Tractor

Tractors and other farming vehicles are gradually making the jump to remote-controlled operation. The cameras, radars and sensors on a tractor allow the farmer to remotely operate it from a control room or on a tablet.

Because of the automated and remote-controlled upgrades, some tractors can run for more than 20 hours a day. This kind of production output from expensive farming equipment is extremely valuable during harvest season.

Hi-Tech Field Sensors

Using high technology field sensors can help farmers optimise their harvest. One farm in Tasmania is using hundreds of these sensors in its black-soil fields, in fact. They monitor the microclimate of almost all its lettuce. In turn, the owner can accurately grow the best quality of lettuce and project their ideal picking time.

Lastly, the sensors can help improve the shelf life of harvests, reduce waste and boost the overall sales.

Technology is slowly improving every aspect of the agricultural sector, from making the produce inspection process more convenient to enabling an autonomous harvesting method. It will continue to modernise the industry over the years.

Why Your Home Needs a Chimney Caps

Man Fixing a Roof with a Chimney

Chimney: A Hidden Part of Your Home That Needs Care

Right now, think about a section of your home that you should always look after. The chimney isn’t probably the first thing that pops up in your mind, right? This is just fine as chimneys don’t really require a high level of maintenance.

However, protecting your chimney significantly contributes to protecting your home, and the best part is that it doesn’t take much to maintain it. If you don’t know any expert in metal fabrication, Utah has many service providers who could explain how you can get started installing your chimney cap.

Chimney Caps: A Cheap Solution for Lasting Protection

Chimney caps are inexpensive installations. It’s usually just a bit of metal that you will place on top of your chimney and preferably with the help of a metal fabrication expert. Here are just some of the many benefits of installing chimney chaps.

1. Drives downdrafts away

Downdrafts can get into your chimney when the winds are blowing in a particular direction. During chilly days, having a chimney cap can prevent wind-induced downdrafts from extinguishing the flames in your fireplace.

2. Minimizes moisture risk

If rainwater can get into your chimney, it can produce mold and mildew which can potentially damage it. To prevent this, having a chimney cap will effectively keep rain water away.

3. Keeps Your Chimney Clean

Snow, leaves, branches, twigs—all sorts of debris can build up in your chimney if left unprotected. Thankfully, chimney caps are there to block and prevent debris from clogging things up.

How to Install Chimney Chaps

Installing a chimney cap might be considered a minor addition to your home, but this doesn’t mean that you should do it alone! Professionally-installed chimney caps will give you the confidence that you’ve done chimney protection correctly.

There are various types of chimney caps available out there in the market, so it’s best to seek recommendations of metal fabrication experts in Utah to get the most out of protecting your chimney and your home.

What You Can Gain From Dental Implants

Dental Implants

Dental ImplantsIn general, people think of dentures when they hear teeth replacement. They are easy to manage and have been in use for centuries. There is, however, an alternative called dental implants.

Implants have been in use for a while now. Some even prefer it to dentures. They serve so many purposes. Here are the benefits of getting a dental implant treatment in Gainsborough.

Its Advantages

Among the greatest benefits of dental implants is that they feel natural. Dentures eventually need replacement, even with the proper care. There is also the possibility that they will get misaligned or fall out when you speak or laugh.

Implants literally take the place of your lost tooth; they stay put and are for long-term use. There is also little to no adjustment needed for implants — at least on your part. Once the dentist is done with the procedure, you can easily enjoy going back to your regular activities with no worries.

Health Benefits of Implants

One of the biggest issues with dentures is that they sit on top of the jawbone. This means the bone is not engaged. Therefore, it can eventually deteriorate, causing you to lose otherwise healthy bone. Implants help preserve the natural bone because the titanium base of the implant fuses with it.

Why worry about jawbone deterioration? Aesthetically, weak jawbones can lead to a prematurely aged face because the skin and muscle over it will sag. Also, weak jawbones can eventually result in the loss of more teeth, causing poor oral health.

The Cons

Dental implants cost more than dentures, and it may take months for your dentist to install implants. Once in place, however, you will be worry-free. All you need to do is to keep brushing and flossing as you normally would and visit your dentist at regular intervals.

You will find that a dental implant fits snugly into your lifestyle, without much adjustment and discomfort. Ask your dentist about how it can help you.​