The Made Thing

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Writing for a living was certainly a life goal but I thought it would happen much, much later in life.

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Thomas A. Edison

"Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

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Advantages Of Pull Up Banners For Exhibiting

Today it is not easy to find a way to be original and more creative than the rest of the crew that takes part in different trade fairs and conferences. Everybody can buy the finest computers and cutting-edge gadgets. Every stand can have a superfast Internet connection and a plentitude of info hubs in form of smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices. Ever IT experts can make your stand glitter and shine with extraordinary advertising panels and you can make the best video presentations in the world. All these features are not anything special these days. However, if everyone is capable of doing it or having it done, what can be created to be different and stay distinct from the competition in order to attract more attention and visitors? The answer is – pure art, i.e. hiring a visual artist to create an original visual concept for your trade show stand.

Hop Back for a Hip Look

Thanks to the trivialization process that has been going on at the same time as the Internet has been taking over the world, nothing is shocking or disgusting anymore. We have all become used to murders, beheadings, terrible news etc. In the world without any taboos to stay hidden, what draws attention is a conservative approach to things. Nowadays it is more interesting today to read classic novels than pulp stories that are being fabricated just like pop-music stars. The same goes for advertising. While twenty-five years ago, the music video with Chris Isaak and Helena Christensen hugging each other naked on the beach was considered provocative, today it seems incredible that that used to be tempting. That is why today we have the revival of vintage trade show stand design, which sails back to the past times, where it is looking for inspiration and information.

Banners For Exhibiting

New Solutions from Past Times

When applied to the trade show context, all this means that you should act in an old-school way. That implies hiring graphic designers and painters to make a creative advertising campaign with completely new works based on traditional artistic approach. If your business already has a recognizable and catchy logo, it could be redone and restyled for the trade you want to participate in. Another feature of such a classic approach is pull-up banners. They could be placed all over your stand and each of them could have a different theme. Your recent successes could be visualized on the banners, as well as your most recognizable brands. Also, you could also devise several posters with your most well-known and most successful products of all times. If your business has a long tradition, there must be some old posters and product labels that could be reshaped and serve as a real trade show attraction. On the other hand, newly established businesses can get inspiration from that vintage poster-making style.

Thanks to the overall openness and technological progress, everybody can make things that are either same or very similar. To make yourself stick out and stay witty and ingenious in advertising terms, you should go the opposite way from all other rivals – back to the past to get inspiration and then wait for the rest of your colleagues in your smartly devised future.

What is the difference between contract administration and contract management?

Contract administration and contract management are often thought of as being the same thing; however, they actually refer to different stages of the contract lifecycle. This article offers a brief overview of the differences.

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Contract administration

The contract administration stage of the life cycle takes place prior to the contract being formally signed. It can include such activities as identifying potential contractual partners and inviting requests for proposal. Contract administration also encompasses finalising contractual arrangements and negotiating such crucial terms as price, delivery dates, and expectations concerning the performance of the parties.

The role of the contract administration team is therefore to assist the organisation in ensuring each contract entered into is sound, fair and beneficial to all parties. This requires well-developed skills in business acumen and negotiation. The contract administrator also needs to have a strong grasp of the whole contractual process.

Contract management

The contract management stage of the life cycle takes place after the agreement has been entered into. Whether working in the private or public sector, the contract management team works to ensure compliance with the contract’s terms and that all contractual obligations are met. Contractual management also involves staying on top of performance; in this way, should any changes be required, the contract can be modified accordingly. In some cases, the relationship does not function as expected and the organisation may need to consider searching for new contractual opportunities.

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As this is such a complex and important function, many businesses use supplier management software from providers such as to ensure everything remains organised. A contract that is not performing optimally can have wide-reaching implications for an organisation in terms of cost and the quality of the service provided to end clients and customers. A good contract management team will stay on top of performance issues and remain in communication with the contract administration team so that the organisation can act to improve or change a contractual relationship.

As you can see, the roles of the contract administration and contract management teams are quite separate; however, both feed into the whole of the contract lifecycle and are equally important functions. Both teams need a strong understanding of the contractual process and the ability to work closely together for the benefit of the whole organisation.

Great reasons for spending Christmas in France

If you’ve holidayed in France and since become a bit of a Francophile, you should seriously consider spending Christmas there. Not sure why Christmas is so special in France? Here are some compelling reasons:

  1. The Christmas markets

For some of the best and biggest Christmas markets anywhere in Europe, it has to be France. The east of the country holds the most impressive and the oldest market can be found in the stunning city of Strasbourg. Here you’ll discover almost 300 stalls, local artisan gourmet and beautifully crafted traditional toys. The perfect place to experience the festive spirit.

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  1. Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve feels more special in France as it’s when many of real celebrations take place. Instead of making last-minute stressful trips to the shops, the French enjoy a get together meal called ‘Le Reveillon’. This meal lasts until late, with the children finally able to open their presents at midnight.

  1. A higher chance of a white Christmas

For ski-loving people, France is a top destination and it makes sense to visit if you really want to wake up to a white Christmas. What could be more festive than spending the festive season in a snow-covered mountain town in all its picture-postcard glory?

  1. Let the vino flow!

The French love their wine, but Christmas offers a further excuse to uncork some particularly exceptional vintages. Pop the cork on some excellent Champagne in the country that invented the beverage too. Cheese and sweet wine or liqueur combinations are good enough to be the only Christmas present you need this year!

  1. A warmer Christmas

Head down to the French Riviera if you hate the cold chill of winter. Christmas can be a much milder affair and you can enjoy all the festivities of the season without the bitter weather. You’ll also find some unique and different traditions down in the Provence region. Why not spend every Christmas celebrating in a warmer climate? To find Property for sale in France, visit

  1. Bûche de Noël

In the run up to the main event, the displays in patisseries and boulangeries will make your mouth water. Beautiful pastries and bright cakes will lure you in, but the piece de resistance is the buche de noel, a chocolate log or made from cream and fruit. A light sponge is coated in cream or chocolate and rolled into a log shape. It is then iced with further cream or chocolate. Delicious!

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  1. A Parisian Christmas

A trip to Paris is a good plan any day but it’s especially beautiful at this time of year. The capital becomes magical at night with the sparkling window displays of the Galeries Lafayette shopping gallery. The Christmas market on the Champs-Elysee is a must-see event, as is the ice skating by the Hotel de Ville and the Place de la Concorde Big Wheel.



Everything you need to know about potentiometers

A potentiometer, also known as pot, comes in a number of different shapes and can be used in a variety of different applications for daily life. A very common use for them is to control the audio volume in a radio. They were also formerly used to control contrast and brightness in television sets.

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On a more scientific level, a potentiometer is a manually adjustable variable resistor that has three terminals.

Potentiometer – so how does it work?

As mentioned above, a potentiometer comes with three terminals. Two connect to a resistive element, while the third terminal connects to an adjustable wiper.

The potentiometer is able to operate as a variable resistor known as a rheostat if only two terminals are used One of the outside pins that connect to the resistive element and the other pin that connects to the adjustable wiper are used. The position of the wiper determines the amount of resistance the potentiometer imposes on the circuit. You change the position of the wiper to change the amount of resistance.

Voltage divider

Potentiometer are electrical control components used as voltage dividers also. This occurs with the connection of three pins. An outer pin is connected to the VCC, while the other is connected to the GND and voltage output is from the middle pin. When used as a voltage divider, the wiper position controls the voltage output. The voltage divider is used to turn a larger voltage into a smaller voltage.

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One concept associated with potentiometers like those found at is the taper. This is the relationship between the resistance and the position of the potentiometer. The two most common forms are linear and logarithmic tapers.

Linear: This is the most common form of taper. In this type of taper, the relationship between the position of the potentiometer and the resistance is linear. So if the wiper is positioned at the halfway position then the voltage output will be half. Linear taper potentiometers are marked with a B.

Logarithmic: Logarithmic tapers like those used in audio control applications. This type of potentiometer has a bias built into the resistive element. This means that the centre position of the potentiometer isn’t half the voltage output as above, but follows a logarithmic taper.

Understanding the risk of Legionnaires’ disease

Thankfully, legionnaires disease is very rare, but it does occur more often than you might think. In the UK, cases normally peak between July and September and in 2016 there were over 300 confirmed cases. Outbreaks have also occurred abroad in popular tourist destinations. So, what is it and what are the symptoms? Many people still don’t know.

  1. Legionnaires’ disease is a very serious type of pneumonia which causes infection and inflammation of the air sacs inside the lungs. These air sacs fill with liquid, making it very difficult to breathe and for oxygen to travel to different areas of the body.

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  1. The disease is caused by a bacterium called legionella bacterium. A person gets infected by inhaling droplets from a contaminated item.
  2. The illness develops between 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the contaminant. The initial symptoms include flu-type feelings, aching muscles, fatigue, headache, a dry cough, shortness of breath and fever.
  3. The disease can be particularly dangerous for those with a weakened immune system and can prove fatal for them, especially those aged over 70.
  4. Legionnaires’ can result in serious complications such as organ failure and sepsis.
  5. The bacteria thrive in warm conditions such as water between 20 and 45C. It is often found living harmlessly in ponds and rivers in low numbers but can multiply quickly in water supply systems and air conditioning systems.
  6. The bacteria only becomes a risk to health when warm temperatures allow it to multiply rapidly. This often occurs in water systems that are maintained or cleaned properly or are poorly designed.
  7. Big complexes such hotels and offices are susceptible to the bacteria as their water and air conditioning systems are larger and more complex, meaning the bacteria can spread much faster. Make sure any water systems in your office are regularly and thoroughly cleaned. For Office Cleaning Gloucester, visit
  8. The disease can also be contracted through contaminated sprinklers, shower heads and in spas.
  9. It can be treated with a course of antibiotics and thankfully, approximately 90% of sufferers make a full recovery after treatment.
  10. Outbreaks are closely monitored in the UK, with a national surveillance system to identify and control any contaminated sources. When a suspected case arises, health teams must notify the local health protection teams as it’s a notifiable disease.

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  1. The reason for its name is that the disease was first recognised in 1976 when members of the American Legion became ill while attending a hotel convention in Philadelphia.
  2. Whilst the disease affects people of all ages, it is predominantly caught by people over the age of 50. It affects more men than women and is worse for those who drink heavily, smoke or have an existing weakened immune system.
  3. The disease is not contagious.
  4. Approximately one third of all cases in the UK are contracted abroad in areas such as the Mediterranean and India.

Four more elements to get a website’s balance right

We have already examined four important elements to consider when creating a relevant, engaging and practical website. Here we take a look at four more important considerations of website design.

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Every website owner knows that good SEO is a vital part of an effective website, yet far too many designers implement an SEO strategy at a late stage in the design process. To be truly effective, SEO needs to be taken into consideration at the design stage so that every aspect of the site supports the strategy.

2 Content marketing

According to a recent article in Forbes, Google’s Panda algorithm helped to promote the use of great content as a marketing tool. It has proved to be so effective that increasing numbers of businesses have seized the opportunity to spread the message about their products and services through the use of content spread across social media channels. This makes for one of the most effective marketing tools in recent years, potentially attracting a much wider audience to your website than you could expect from more traditional marketing channels.

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3 Conversion rate optimisation

A good web design company understands that the goal of an effective website is not only to attract visitors but also to convert them. When selecting your website design company Gloucester, Godalming and Glastonbury can all offer a number of options. It is important to choose a team that will help you to future-proof, enabling it to work for you for many years to come. Look for an agency such as Website Design Company Gloucester net9design to provide you with a complete service, from wireframing through to completion of your site. It is also important that it offers you a full marketing service, as this will ensure that your website continues to work at maximum efficiency whilst being upgraded as necessary to ensure it can cope with increasing numbers of visitors as your business expands and grows.

4 Great customer service

In an age in which everyone is a reviewer, it is more important than ever before to consider how well your customer service performs. Disgruntled visitors are quick to voice complaints about poor service, so you need to ensure that your service delights your customers at every opportunity and creates the necessary goodwill to ensure they return.

Four Common Grease Trap Problems

Grease traps are an important part of commercial kitchens, removing fats, oil and grease (FOG) from wastewater before it reaches the sewers. Without care, problems can lead to unsanitary conditions and health code violations, and the running of your business may be compromised.

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How Grease Traps Work

Wastewater thrown into the sink goes into the trap and cools. The grease part of the liquid then rises to the surface and hardens. At the same time, heavier solid waste debris sinks to the trap’s bottom. The middle section (wastewater) becomes cleaned and flows into the sewer system.

Here are the main problems that can arise with grease traps.

Blockage in Crossover

Grease traps have two compartments. One helps to separate the liquids and solids, while the other encourages waste to be released into the sewer. If FOG accumulates in the crossover line positioned in between both compartments, clogging can occur.

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Incoming and Outgoing Lines Clogged

In the incoming line, clogs lead to back-ups from the lowest plumbing fixture. The main problem linked to this is seen in the channels (that divert everything to the trap), which become blocked due to the excessive accumulation of FOG and debris.

Outgoing line blockages are relatively easy to see. This sort of clog can be either in the city main or outgoing line.

Grease Trap Overflows

If you don’t pump grease out of the first compartment regularly, the grease trap will overflow. Waste will spill over from the first compartment into the second and the crossover will be clogged – both outgoing and incoming lines.

Dip a pole into the compartment to gauge how deep the grease trap is. If it touches the bottom, you need to immediately pump the grease trap.

Stainless Steel Grease Traps are available from retailers such as

Some good practice tips are to be found here:

Foul Smell
A rotten smell is also a common problem. There are two main issues: firstly, gases in the grease trap can diffuse into your establishment from outdoors when the grease trap’s opening gets degenerated. Resolve this through gasket repair. Secondly, heavy sludge can occupy your kitchen plumbing, necessitating removal with a hydro-jetting machine.

Prevention is better than cure. Pump out and clean the grease trap regularly to avoid repairs and expense.

E-commerce Tips from Those in the Know

With online sales accounting for almost 20% of the retail sector, according to the Office of National Statistics, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses, large and small, to develop a dynamic online presence – one that increases sales and boosts profits.

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For many businesses, however, the world of e-commerce and having to set up a website to sell their product can feel daunting. It doesn’t have to be. By following some simple rules when setting up their e-commerce site, a business can build a strong online presence.

1. The Website’s Purpose

Websites can have many functions, including to educate and inform, but for any business their primary purpose should be to generate leads and increase sales, and this thinking should be front and centre when designing a website.

2. Don’t Make Homepages Too Busy

There are lots of things a business can say about who they are and what they do, and they might be inclined to try to put these all on the homepage. Doing so, however, can be confusing and off-putting for site visitors, and they may not stay on your site. It’s much better to have a simple design that leads people through the site to where they want to be.

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3. Share Important Information

When people are ordering goods or services online, they’ll want to be access key information quickly and easily. Business can help their customers by labelling products as in stock, on sale or available for immediate delivery.

4. Create Calls to Action

Labels can also help create a sense of urgency that encourages people to buy a product immediately – a countdown for how long is left for next-day delivery, for example, or how many items are left in stock.

5. Offer Incentives

Customers like incentives, which might include free shipping or same day delivery, which is particularly popular in cities. Same day courier Birmingham delivery, for example, might be popular. How much would a same day courier Birmingham service cost? It’s surprisingly reasonable.

Finally, businesses should make sure their website is secure because following these tips won’t mean anything if a customer doesn’t believe their data is safe. Companies should make sure that updates to web browsers are installed immediately, giving customers the peace of mind needed to make a purchase.


Heading off to Uni? Remember safe sex

Many young people will be about to head off to university at this time of year, having just received their A level results. It’s an exciting time and students will be feeling proud of their achievements and a little apprehensive about taking such a big step. After working so hard, many students will be letting their hair down and throwing all their energy (and student loan) into Fresher’s Week.

University is definitely about hard work and studying, but it’s also about learning to live in the adult world, being away from home and the freedom to have adult relationships! That’s why it’s important to get clued up about sexual health.

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AWARE UK is an organisation dedicated to ending the stigma attached to sexually transmitted infections and a survey they carried out among people aged 24 and under found that one third did not think they knew enough about how such infections were spread. Many didn’t know about possible symptoms and others were surprised that some had no symptoms at all.

Perhaps your education didn’t include a huge amount about sexually transmitted infections or you’ve heard so many myths and legends that you don’t know what’s real and what’s not anymore. It can be a confusing minefield. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be ‘easy’ to contract an STI, you don’t have to be sleeping around and you can contract an infection through having oral sex.

It’s also a myth that you would know straight away if you had an infection. With some infections having no symptoms, it’s the unknowing infected who are continuing to have unprotected sex and passing those viruses onto others.

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That is why it’s so important to get yourself regularly tested, even if you feel fine. For STI testing Greenwich, visit

Here is some useful advice for life, not just for Uni:

  1. Always use a condom or femidom – every time, no excuses. Don’t expect the other person to have one or take responsibility. It’s up to you to stay safe. Don’t except excuses such as they don’t like them as this indicates that they’ve most likely done the same with other partners.
  2. Get tested. If you’ve engaged in risky behaviour, then don’t panic you’re not alone. Just make sure you get tested as soon as possible. This means you can start treatment as soon as you can.

Stay safe and don’t forget to consider your health. It’s nothing to worry about, just try to be grown up, responsible and sensible when it comes to protecting yourself.

Mood Setting Western Furniture It’s Time To Kick Back Country Style!

So you’ve decided to go with a country western theme and add some Western Furniture.

There are many kinds of western furniture to choose from so let’s look at a few popular types to start with. For me personally, when I think of an old west bar room I think of squeaky wooden chairs.

Yeah, most people don’t want ‘squeaky’ chairs these days but that image sticks in my mind. Basically, everyone wants an ‘OLD WESTERN’ look and feel to complete their theme room because Western Themes look awesome!

Hand Carved – Authentic or Not

Western Furniture

Just think about it for a second. Hand carved chairs, bar stools a, d tables. Perfect for playing any game while hosting a party in your home game room.

Hand Carved Furniture has the look and feel of the old west and not that modern, comes from a manufacturer fake look. You want the real Old West not the “Plastic” Old West.

Log furniture may also be a great idea. Chairs and tables made with logs or carved from logs really would make you feel like you’re out on the range.

Then again furniture that gives you the western look you want whether hand carved or not will be a success. Now I’m going to contradict myself here because honestly it really doesn’t matter what the furniture is made of. Just as long as it fits into the western theme you’re creating.

Wagon Wheel Table

Western Furniture

You must not forget about the tables. There is no better way to enhance your cowboy theme room than with a wagon wheel table.

There are various wagon wheel table designs out there but sometimes they’re hard to find. You CAN find the wagon wheels themselves and build your own table. Talk about personalizing your theme room! No matter which route you go Wagon Wheel Tables make great poker and snack tables.

But don’t stop there. If you like the “Wagon Wheel” look you can find benches, lamps, chairs, chandeliers and more made from wagon wheels.

Crate Furniture

Western Furniture

If you wanted something a little different then crate furniture is a nice alternative. You can find some old western crate furniture online or make it yourself out of new crates.

Just paint and place a few in your game room for sitting. Not too many though. It’ll give you the look you want but may not be the most comfortable for your aging friends and family members.

Western Style Bar Furniture

Western Furniture

Don’t forget that you can always go with the regular bar stools, chairs and tables that have a western theme. Those would look just as good as wooden hand carved furniture.

Shades of brown always work nicely within a western theme room.

Some Other Furniture

Here are a few other ideas. A country love seat instead of a large couch would fit your western furniture look. An old wooden planked chest to hold all of your gaming supplies or a wooden cowboy hat rack.

This list could go on and on! It all really depends on your wants and needs. Hopefully, you now have some more cowboy theme room furniture ideas to work with.

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