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How to Sell a Product

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49
Selling a product isn't as complicated as it's made out to be. At its most basic, a sales program is defined principally by what you sell, who you sell to, and how you sell. Beyond that, it all boils down to staying focused on the details outlined next, suitable for both sales persons and for owners of small businesses. Steps Show enthusiasm for the product
  1. Love what you're doing when you're selling a product. The popular image of a salesperson is someone willing to "sell at all costs" is not the reality across the board in sales. A good salesperson loves sales, is motivated by what they're selling, and transfers this enthusiasm and belief to the customer. The customer will not feel as if they're at the receiving end of a hard sell without choices if they're dealing with a good salesperson. Indeed, the customer is given options, including the one to walk away, in order to avoid such undue pressure.
    • Learn how to listen to customers and to read their body language. Avoid interrupting or disagreeing with a customer and provide your customer with space to talk. Know how to interpret a customer's folded arms, eye contact, and manner of standing toward or away from you. Make the customer comfortable and you're off to a good start in selling your product.
  2. Be knowledgeable about the product. There is nothing more infuriating to a potential customer than to come across a half-hearted salesperson who claims uncertainty about what the product can and can't do, what it's made from, and what happens when things in it stop working. It is absolutely vital to know your product range inside out and if you do not know something a customer asks of you, to remain enthusiastic and prepared to
  3. As well as getting good product information to the right people, it is important to translate the product's features into benefits for the customer, thus making it easier for them to buy.
    • Have you used the product, tested it, tried it out, or worked with it, whichever is relevant?
    • Do you feel comfortable about being able to talk to a customer as someone totally familiar with the product?
    • Ask yourself one simple question: Why should a customer buy my product?
Understand the buyer's motivations
  1. Is the buyer wanting more than just the product?Understand the motivations of the buyer. When presenting the product to the customer, bear in mind that most successful products and services are bought, not sold. They are bought by people who have a need, and believe that the product will satisfy that need. This is often the result of marketing rather than selling, however. Selling the product rather than just offering it for sale almost always involves an emotional component.
    • Take some time to look at the marketing side of the product. What images and promises have been created by the marketing around the product that you're trying to sell? In what ways can you continue this theme where it seems most appropriate to maintain the promised satisfaction the marketing offers?
    • During your presentation, confirm that your prospective buyer will want or need your product. You will need to do this through a range of methods, including observing their reactions, listening to them carefully, and asking them clear questions about what they're actually in need of.
    • If you're visiting your potential buyer's office, look at their wall and desk. What photos, posters, images can you see? Are there images of family, pets, vacations that will provide you with a connection to this person's wants?
  2. Convert the customer's motivations into the product's characteristics. In marketing, this is known as "positioning", and it consists of equating the product with the customer's hopes and desires. The following positioning factors are all of importance when selling a product:[1]
    • Position the product in the best spectrum of the market possible. Mark H McCormack calls this finding your "biggest bulge of buyers", and not pitching the product too high or too low in terms of affordability and luxury.[2]
    • Position the facts about the product according to the person you're selling it to. You may have a handful of different facts but it's up to your skill to know which of those facts best serve each individual sale.
    • Position the facts so that they reflect the desired perception. However, don't fudge facts or lie outright. This is about perception, not deception.
    • Position the facts so that they transcend the product itself. This means that the desirable, positive values associated with the product sell the product and have very little to do with the product itself. Companies that excel at this include Coca-Cola, Apple Macintosh, and many designer goods or labels.
  3. Be across all the aspects that feed into the end sale of a product. Advertising, merchandising, and marketing are support functions for selling. Selling is the goal of these support functions and a good salesperson needs to have a decent understanding of each of these aspects in a product's life.
    • Read basic texts on marketing. These will quickly bring you up to speed on many of the tactics and techniques underlying advertising, merchandising, and marketing. In addition, texts on starting a small business will often provide useful overview information of this type. Read How to understand marketing for more details.
    • If your product is more for work than for play, learn a little about finance to quantify its benefits. If it's for a business, learn more about accounting to explain how it will make the investors as well as the employees happy.
Explain the product clearly
  1. Ensure that the product has been adequately explained. Good product information, including retail packaging, is important. Lots of salespersons and sales managers don't like to admit that sales can be completed by product information. They like to think it is their personal charm, intelligence, and determination that closes sales. For the most part, that is bunk. Not only can sales be made by product information, most sales are made this way. And this is more true today than in the past because of the proliferation of "big box stores" and other forms of product sales without the benefit of inter-human relationships.
    • The product information should be informative, true and complete. Ideally, it should give the prospect all the information they need to buy on the spot.
    • For most prospects who are selecting from amongst products without assistance, clear and easy to understand information, as described above, is important.
  2. Ensure that the benefits of the product are made loud and clear. Besides the actual utility, beauty, or even fame of the product, what are you offering above and beyond? Make it clear to the customer what key benefits the product brings to them, such as guarantees, warranties, and after sales service.
  3. When selling a product one-on-one to a prospect, translating the information to benefits is even more important than the information required. When a salesperson is involved, relationships are in fact more important than product knowledge, and salespersons who determine the client's needs in both product features and emotional needs will always win out over product information alone.
    • Know how to open with a customer. Instead of asking the close-ended question "May I help you?", ask the more positive, open-ended "Are you looking for something for yourself is it a gift for someone special?" And be alert to making comments on the product before getting into a deeper discussion with the customer, such as "These long legged computer stands are really popular this summer".
    • Be honest. Long-term lovers of your product will only come about if you've been honest with them. This means being transparent in your delivery of product information and also admitting your own lack of knowledge or mistakes you've made where needed. Don't be afraid of honesty; it builds trust.
    • Think like, not about, your customers. Think about what you'd like to hear and learn about the product if you were in the customer's shoes.
    • Don't take the easy way out and brush your customer off when stock is low or your knowledge is sparse. Always make a genuine effort to follow up customer wants, and to physically take customers to a product, and demonstrate it, where possible. A customer given a hands-on demonstration will feel more involved in the sale and more likely to purchase than one who is told "It's in aisle 5 that way" and given a brisk hand wave.
Close the sale
  1. Close the sale. There are many styles and methods of closing a sale. One of the most effective has the mnemonic, ABC: "Always Be Closing." As you confirm your prospective buyer's interest in the product, trial closes like, "Does this sound like the product you want?". When answered in the affirmative, this may mean you have completed the sale on that product, and it is time to build the sale with related products.
  2. Be prepared to give customers time to consider. Appearing over pushy is a turn-off for many modern-day buyers who do their own savvy internet research before coming to see you. They may want to go home and do a quick online search; let them do so with your enthusiastic and supportive pitch in their mind. If you've been truthful, helpful, considerate, and enthusiastic and the information you've given them matches with what they read online, it'll be your business they come back to for the product or your product they'll prefer over a competitor's.
Improve sales of the product
  1. Get key product placement, such as in movies and sports gamesSpread your product information. It is important to make your product information available through as many channels as possible. Today, the range of potential placements has increased a great deal thanks to the advances in communications. Give your potential buyers many possible places to find out more about your information including in the following ways:
    • Person to person, by representatives, dealers, salesmen, radio, TV, word-of-mouth by customers, mail and email (in various forms), distribution at trade shows, seminars, telephone, fax, computer networks, product packaging, airline magazines, retail storefronts, space ads, and the internet. And consider the worth of product placement in movies, sports games, and other big events that are televised.
    • Use social media. This is now a very important part of getting products out into the broader, global marketplace.
    • Use local community events. Donating your product to a local school gala for auctioning to raise school funds can be a great way to get your product known, as well as getting the goodwill from the community who recognizes your generosity.
  2. Increase your product's sales. Sales can only be increased by certain things over which you have control but which are not necessarily self-evident. Sometimes price changes are required, other times, tweaks to the product, or a broadening or contracting of your product range. All of this will be evident from undertaking regular inventory checks and follow ups on sales performance. Some methods to increase sales include:
    • Selling more of your existing products to your existing customers - which probably means new sales methods will need to be implemented.
    • Adding new products.
    • Adding new customers.
    • Having an exclusive product for a set period of time that everyone wants.
Troubleshoot poor product sales
  1. Get rid of products that aren't working before they drag down your businessReview. At regular intervals during and after the sale of your product, there should always be a review. Is the product selling well? If not, why not? Are stocks low or are you still tripping over product that has dust on it? Bear in mind the image that slow-moving or unsold products can create in the minds of a customer. Finding dust on items tells the customer the product has been there for some time and may be outdated. Seeing the same display month in and month out suggests to the customer that the product is stale and not very popular. Always review the viability of the products:
    • Can the product be deleted from your line if it's not selling so well? Try not to add new products until you've removed the old ones or you may just have too many choices and less leverage with which to convince the potential buyer. If you're a business owner, you also risk tying up too much of your cash in stock that has the potential to go obsolete faster than you can move it.
    • Can you liquidate obsolete products?
    • Can you look back over your target market and sharpen the focus? You may have been missing the best fit within the market for your product.
    • Re-evaluate product mix, product design, product location and selling methods if your product is in severe sales decline.
Video Tips
  • A database such as Microsoft Access can help you organize, re-organize, and display the information your business generates for all kinds of insights. A personal information manager (PIM) program, often part of an email program, specializes in organizing contacts. A customer relationship management[3] (CRM) program goes a step further by automating their use in marketing. For example, ACT! makes it very easy to get back to a potential customer every 30 days. Other computer programs, like OpenOffice.org are also extremely helpful in organization, running reports and similar tasks.
  • Know what your competitors are doing and find ways to outsell their ideas. Does your product have added features, special warranties, or a better price?
Warnings
  • Never let people into your home. It is better to have an Internet-run business where people don't have direct contact with you. It may seem hard running an Internet business, but when you get going, it is definitely worth all of the work.
Related wikiHows Sources and Citations Article Tools

How to Measure Your Online Influence with Klout

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49
Klout is a measurement tool that works out who the most influential people are across the social web. Klout is great for working out the real reach of a person's influence, as well as for identifying your own influence, perhaps as a means for spurring on your lackluster performance!  It's also a great way to see if you are encouraging people to take action based on your online activities. Here's how to use it. Steps
  1. Visit Klout. It's at: http://klout.com/.
  2. Have a play with it before joining. This will give you a good sense of how it works and the returns it brings. For example, add in your Twitter name and see what returns. You will see your Klout Score and Influence Matrix. You'll need to sign up to get your Score Analysis, or to measure your influence through other social networks.
  3. Sign up. Simply start by clicking on the button that says "Sign Up".
  4. Allow or deny access to your Twitter account. You will be taken to a page where it requests that you accept or deny the application to have access to your Twitter account. If you accept, click on Accept and you'll be redirected back to the Klout application.

  5. Fill in the application boxes. A standard box will appear and you'll need to fill in:
    • First name
    • Last name
    • Email address

  6. Click on "Sign Up" once you've filled in the details. You'll be taken back to Klout and you'll see your own sphere of influence. Is it what you expected or better... or worse? You can start doing a lot to change those numbers!

  7. Have a look at the different measurements on your own Klout page. You'll find:
    • Klout score – This is the measurement of your overall influence online. The scoring goes from 1 to 100. The reach is the size of your engaged audience. Influence is your ability to drive people to "action". Network influence is the influence level of your engaged audience.
    • Influence matrix – This is a holistic look at your influence and how you use it. There are 16 possible classifications.

    • Content analysis – This shows a list of the topics you're most influential about. If it's #followfriday, you're probably a great interactor but you need some more ideas!
  8. Increase your Klout. In your Dashboard, you can find ways to increase your Klout. If you haven't already added in Facebook and LinkedIn, add them as well now.
    • Click on Dashboard. Find the Facebook and LinkedIn buttons.
    • Facebook will ask for permission to access your information. Press Allow.
    • It will return you to the Klout application, advising you that there is a 72 hour wait before it's updated.
    • Click on Sign in with LinkedIn. Press "OK, I'll allow it". (You can change the access duration if wished, it's at the base of the request.)
    • It will return you to the Klout application, advising you that you'll be joined in as soon as the Beta version is launched.
  9. Play around with Klout. Check out other people's Klout!

Video Tips
  • Note: Klout can be slow in returning results. Just be patient.
Things You'll Need
  • Internet access
  • Twitter account, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts are optional but beneficial
Related wikiHows Sources and Citations Article Tools

How to Copyright a Song

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49
Under international law (the Berne Convention), copyright is the automatic right of the creator of the work. This means that copyright exists as soon as you have a tangible version of the music, such as sheet music and/or CDs.

However, in the United States, it is possible to register the copyright of your work. Doing so makes it easier to be compensated in court if your copyright is infringed. If you're in the United States, or if your music will be aired or used in the United States, availing yourself of the registration process is a good idea.

Steps
  1. Avoid poor man's copyright wherever you're resident. There is a long-standing myth in the music industry that the old-fashioned fix of recording a song, placing it in an envelope and mailing to to oneself guaranteed copyright. The post date on the stamp was supposed to serve as proof of the date of origin of the song, provided the envelope remained sealed. However, this method didn't stand up in various court cases and has since been discredited.[1] Moreover, given that your copyright exists on creation, and that an envelope's seal can be carefully unsealed and resealed, this method does seem rather convoluted, fallible, and unnecessary!
  2. Be aware that provided your country is a member of the Berne Convention, copyright in a song comes into existence when you create it. It does become more complicated when there are several creators who have contributed to the song, but there are rules governing these "layers" and it's best to seek legal advice in that situation.
US Registration Process
  1. Make a copy of your song. These days there are several choices including placing it on a compact disc, on a USB drive, mini-disc, cassette tape, MP3, or LP. Another possibility is to record it to video format if that works for you, just as long as it's in a recorded format.
    • Write out the sheet music to the song. If there are lyrics, include these as you see on sheet music.
  2. Register online. This process is much faster - about 4.5 months compared to up to 15 months for the mail and paper trail process.[2]
    • The eCo login logo Go to the US government's copyright website. It's located at http://www.copyright.gov/. Click on the Electronic Copyright Office (eCo login). This will take you to: http://www.copyright.gov/eco/, where you can make an online copyright filing.
    • Register a free account. Click on "new user" to open your account. You'll need to give your name, address, country if not from the USA, phone details, and preferred contact method.

    • Once you have an account opened, you can use this every time you'd like to make a copyright application. The account allows you to monitor your applications and to find various types of information concerning copyright. There is also a tutorial on making a claim provided.
    • Complete your online copyright application. Click on "Register a New Claim" under "Copyright Services" located in the left hand column of your account. Be prepared to answers about yourself, about the work you're seeking to copyright and where you'd like the copyright certification to be sent.

    • Pay the $35 fee via either a credit or a debit card, electronic check, or a copyright office deposit account.
    • Upload an electronic copy of your work. Many types of files are accepted but check the Copyright Office's complete list to ensure that you're not sending in an incompatible file.[3] If you don't want to do this, you can send a hard copy (non-returnable) and it has to be sent in a box, not an envelope (and CDs should in jewel cases). You can make a shipping address slip from the site.
  3. Register by mail. Be sure to obtain the proper form, which can be downloaded from the website or delivered by mail by contacting the Copyright Office and requesting the forms to be sent to you. The form for a sound recording to copyright is the Form SR. The form for Performing Arts, such as that which people listen to on the radio, from CDs to live music, is the Form PA or Short Form PA. However, Form CO replaces these forms, along with other forms, so you can choose to simply use Form CO.[4] Since the fees for forms PA and SR is currently $65 and the fee for form CO is $45, you might want to consider carefully which meets your needs most. Visit http://www.copyright.gov/forms/ for more information.
    • If you want the forms posted to you, the copyright forms can be requested at (202) 707-3000 or requested through mail at US Copyright Office Library of Congress Washington D.C. 20559.
    • Fill out the form. Read the instructions carefully and fill it out exactly how it is explained. If you have any questions, contact the Copyright Office for explanation. Place the forms into an envelope and include a $50 payment and a non-returnable copy of the music. Send your completed form to:
      • Library of Congress
      • Copyright Office
      • Independence Avenue, S.E.
      • Washington, D.C. 20559-6000
  4. Wait for the certificate of registration. Have patience because this part of the registration process can take a while. It can take up to 15 months if you've filed by paper in the mail according to the Copyright Office FAQ and averages around 8 months currently. The good news is that your copyright is effective from the day that your materials are received by the Copyright Office. You'll receive of certificate of registration when it does arrive.
Australian Copyright in a Song
  1. Write and/or record your song. Copyright is immediate on creating the song. There is no registration authority in Australia. You might wish to avail yourself of the US process, especially if your music will be played in the US market (probably highly likely given the existence of the internet).[5]
    • Don't use the poor man's copyright process as outlined above (mailing to yourself). It only establishes a possible date, not a copyright reality.
    • You can use the © symbol but you don't have to because copyright exists even without it. All the same, it's a good idea to use the symbol and/or to add a copyright notice to material to act as a warning that you consider it to be copyright.[6]
    • APRA is not the organization that provides you with copyright protection; it is the the organization that deals with the commercial royalties for your songs, not the source of copyright.[7]
    • Copyright protects your song whether or not it has been published.[8]
New Zealand Copyright in a Song
  1. Write and/or record your song. As with Australia, there is no register for copyright, and you receive copyright protection that come into existence upon creation of the song.[9] Again, you may wish to avail yourself of the US copyright registration process, especially if you intend the song to be heard, played, or used in the US market.
    • A common copyright notice is © Daffy Duck, 2011.[10] However, there is no need for any particular wording; it's up to the copyright owner. As with the Australian example, use of a notice or the symbol can be a helpful alert to people wanting to use the song that you claim copyright over it.
    • Usually your own statement of copyright in the song is sufficient, but if there is a dispute, then the court will probably need to get involved.[11]
Video Tips
  • Send your work to the Copyright Office by certified mail, and request a return receipt. This costs about $5.00. When you receive the return receipt, you'll know they have it and the process has started.
  • Remember, copyright is created and belongs to the creator of an original piece as soon as it is fixed in a tangible form.[12]
  • Be aware that your application will be available to others, with much of it accessible online.
Warnings
  • Make sure that your music is totally original. The rap hit Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice copied the bass line from Queen and David Bowie's song Under Pressure, and Vanilla Ice was sued.
  • The US advice assumes that you are a US citizen. In 1989, the US became a party to the Berne Convention,[13] meaning that if you're from outside the US, you're not required to register with the US Copyright Office before you can make a claim in a US court.[14] However, you may wish to seek legal advice about availing yourself of the US registration process should you wish to have your music aired, heard, performed, or otherwise used in the US market.
Things You'll Need
  • Any tangible version of the music (i.e. recordings, sheet music, etc.)
  • $50 paper; $35 online
  • Internet access (easiest, fastest method)
  • PA, SR, or CO Forms
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How to Get Your Friends to Trust You

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49
These steps will show you how to have your friends trust you from the very beginning of a friendship. Developing the bonds of trust early in a friendship can be fast or gradual depending on the experiences each of you bring to the friendship. It is definitely worth putting in the effort to create this trust, whatever your prior experiences, and you'll find that you gain an enduring friendship in which each of you can rely upon one another to the ends of the Earth. Steps
  1. Be trusting yourself. Before you can expect your friends to trust you, you need to show them that you are trustworthy and that you trust in them. Trust is a risk but when it comes to friendship, you're more likely to make and keep a friend by trusting them than by being a cynic and staying wary all the time. Ways for your friend to establish that you are trustworthy include:
    • Don't renege on promises and appointments when you make them. Provide clear explanations or apologies if something genuine does go wrong to prevent you from coming through with your promise.
    • Show emotion. Showing emotions to a friend is an important and easy way to show them you really care. Being open can result in two things: Either you get hurt because you left yourself open or you are given secrets when friends confide in you. However, it's better to reveal your emotions than to bury them so deep that your friend finds you shallow. Give it a chance.
  2. Be kind. Kindness is a large part of developing and maintaining trust because in trusting your friends, you are giving them the gift of compassion and support. It is a great kindness to be able to readily show faith in another person and support them even when they don't feel that same level of faith in themselves. It is kindness that cements the growth of trust.
  3. Listen intentlyAsk questions. If you ask a lot of questions of a new friend from the very beginning, they will see it as a sign that you are interested in them and their life. This will indicate to them that you're not someone who only thinks about themselves and your friend will begin to confide in you with their deeper feelings and even their innermost secrets.
  4. Be humble. Being humble is hard at times but, if you master it, then your friends will not be afraid of you judging them. Being humble is the best approach to reassuring a new friend that you aren't arrogant or condescending. A humble person earns trust because humility is about placing the other person first. In acknowledging that you make mistakes and that you're not all-knowing, your new friends can see that you're an easy person to like and eventually, to trust.
  5. Laugh with not at your friendsDon't tease your new friends. While you may consider it just horseplay or funny, they may see it as demeaning and lacking in respect for them. A person you don't know at the start is a person who will eventually want to confide in you. Teasing or making fun of them is not a good idea because a person who constantly makes fun of people is a person who can't really be trusted and may be insecure enough to be condescending toward the friend out of their earshot. If you tease a friend from the start, when that friend is ready to confide in you with something serious, they will pass.
  6. Avoid being demanding. Friendship is about give and take, not about dumping all of your problems on your friend. Trust can be difficult to establish when one friend demands too much time, comfort, support, or reassurance from the other friend. This can cause your friend to feel hassled out and to be wary of what you're going to dump on them next.
    • Give your friends space. Clingy and needy friends are suffocating and suggestive of a lack of belief in the friendship enduring breaks. Giving each other space is a sign that you trust your friend to still be your friend without having to be breathing down each other's necks constantly. You know your friend will be there when needed, and your friend knows that too.
    • Another reason to avoid being demanding and/or clingy is to lessen the element of fear or worry driving the relationship. A person is less likely to trust if they feel that there is a risk that the needy or clingy person might transfer their loyalty to someone who seems more supportive at the time, and impart confidential information just to win over a new friend.
  7. Be non-judgmental. Judging your new friend won't help them to trust you. Initially they may find your "advice" helpful but after a while, when your friends realize that you always think you know what's best for them more than they do, they'll be afraid to come to you with any confidences. Instead, treat your friends fairly, with respect, and with dignity. Listen to their confidences in a supportive and non-judging way and given them your unconditional support.
  8. Talk on the phone. Talking on the phone is an excellent way of getting your friend to open up and share new ideas and thoughts with you. The trick is to ask questions, to use your voice to suggest your emotions, and to try to be serious with them. All of these combined will allow your new friend to reveal things they are feeling at the moment. Eventually they'll confide in you and trust that you actually care about them.
  9. Share with your friends. Being nice is something easy we can all do. Sharing your things, your time, and your dreams with a new friend is an excellent way for them to grow to trust you. Your new friend will think about the whole of your goodness every now and then. You can share candy, money, clothes, your time, your skills, and even your holiday home. It's really up to you.
  10. Help them when they need help
  11. Buy them gifts
Video Tips
  • Avoid probing your friends for information they're not keen to give. If there is something they don't want to divulge, give them the benefit of the doubt and believe that their reticence to talk to you is not all about you. They'll open up in time.
  • Note their emotions and work out how to make them better. You will make your friend happy and this will make you happy
Warnings
  • Don't constantly ask questions.
  • Don't constantly call them. It's unpleasant feeling that someone is trying to track you down all the time.
  • Avoid making any personal jokes about your friend.
  • Especially avoid talking about personal issues at the wrong time.
  • Trust takes a lot of time.
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12 Tips for Living in Your Bedroom

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49

For a lot of people, the bedroom is their central habitat. This is especially common for people renting a room in a shared house. High school students or students home from college may feel more comfortable using their bedroom as a central living area and not having to venture out much into the rest of the house.

You can do many simple things to make your bedroom homier. Here are ways to turn your bedroom space into your complete living space, focusing on utility, function, form, and comfort. With a little planning and a little work, you can make this single room into a place of great comfort and utility.

Steps
  1. What can you afford for the space you have?Plan your budget. Paint, appliances, wall hangings, furniture, all cost money. If you plan well, you can accomplish a lot without spending too much.
    • Wait for the sales. Plan your work around what's on sale and around sale dates. That way, you can probably get away with buying hardly anything at the full price.
    • Look for used items. There are plenty of excellent places to source secondhand goods that will make your room work well. Check out the local thrift stores, used furniture stores, online auctions, Craigslist, and the Freecycle network. Do your wallet and the planet a favor by giving old things another chance.
    • Look around the whole house. There might be items nobody else wants; be sure to ask first though or you might be assuming too much about that so-called unused much-loved object! If you've left home, there's still no harm in asking your parents what they've got spare to donate to you. And if you're actually still in your parent's home, rummage around for unused items and decorative things like paint to see what's already available, free of charge.
    • Take stock of what you already have. Can you rearrange or repurpose the things you already own? Should you spend some time removing clutter and cleaning up?
  2. A plan... of sortsDo the design work. You need to have an idea of what you're going to do and what the finished product will look like: Modern? Retro? Classical? Keeping this general theme in mind will help you to shop efficiently for anything new you might need, and it also helps you to avoid buying things that won't fit into the theme. Also keep in mind that you will want to make your bedroom space as much like a living room (or den) as is practical.
    • Draw your room shape on paper or on a screen drawing program. On paper, arrange the room in the way that you'd like to see it. Put the furniture you already have into position and work from there. What's missing? What else will you need to create the various functions within the room such as mini-kitchenette, TV viewing space, study corner, and peaceful sleep zone? Where will you hang clothes to dry?
    • If you have an en-suite sink or bathroom, include this in your design too. An en-suite allows you to not only maintain your own hygiene but also becomes a clothes washing and drying space, a plant growing area (sprouts are great!), and a dish washing area using the basin. How will you incorporate these different activities within the en-suite space you've got?
  3. Paint the room. If you have the option of new paint, it is the fastest way to improve the look of a room. The color of the paint is very important; light paint will give a sense of greater space and brightness, whereas darker paint will tend to make the room seem more compact but the lower color might also be cozier. Perhaps do a few test colors on the wall first, after choosing from paint color charts.
    • Example of different wall colors in the same roomConsider using different colors within the room. Try painting the principal wall one color (usually the one a bedhead rests against) and paint the other three walls a slightly lighter shade of the same color group. Or, you might even want to paint a small area of wall marking out a corner for sitting, TV or games. Use your imagination.
  4. Curtains and blinds make a good differenceAdd appropriate window dressings. Ensure your privacy and keep out heat and cold with good window coverings, such as blinds or curtains. If they're not already in place, purchase ones that fit to the size of your window space.
  5. Arrange the furniture. Use the plan you drew up earlier to guide you on placement of the furniture in the room. You don't want it to be too cluttered. Try to make make some furniture do double duty. For example, can you use a sofa bed or futon rather than a bed and a sofa? If you can, it makes the bed space usable during the day.
    • A comfortable but compact chair or two will make a nice addition when you have guests, plus it's a great place to sit and read.
    • Get a comfortable ergonomic chair for the computer desk. You can also sit in it to eat, or use it as an additional chair when you have guests.
    • Consider getting a table that folds down or folds onto the wall for a dining table. It doesn't need to be huge, as it'll usually only be you eating at it, but it's better than eating over your keyboard at the computer desk.
    • Try making a sitting corner with bean bags, a large armchair, or a group of large pillows and cushions.
  6. Lamps add ambiance.Choose good lighting. Lighting can really change the mood and comfort levels of your room. Accent lamps are a great way to add a bit of mood to the room inexpensively.
    • Try moving a small desk lamp between the desk and the bedside table.
  7. Make sure you can keep your ice cream frozen!Create a mini-kitchenette. A bedroom won't have a lot of space for cooking, and in many cases, it would be dangerous to even try. But a microwave, a coffee maker, and a kettle are all useful additions that will let you make a wide range of easy-to-heat foods in your room, including noodles, steamed vegetables, canned or packet soups, etc.
    • Get a microwave. Any size will do, depending on what you are planning to cook in it, although the bigger it gets, obviously the more space it needs. You will need to have at least a good sized table or desk placed in your room for this, since you probably don't want your microwave on the floor.
    • Add a mini fridge. You can get these at just about any store that sells kitchen appliances. If you can find one with a good sized freezer, that will let you keep frozen dinners and ice handy. You can put your microwave on top of this if it's the right size. It's not good for heat transfer, but it will save space.
    • Anything small enough works. Size your appliances for one person. You might try a Foreman Grill, crock pot, or small toaster oven.
    • Coffee makers and/or kettles are good, too, if you can't live without your morning coffee.
    • Get some reusable and kitchenware such as bowls and flatware. You can rinse them out in the bathroom sink.
    • Get a covered trash can, and don't let your garbage pile up. It is stinky, attracts bugs and is unsanitary. Empty it regularly.
  8. A whole wall of storageCreate storage space. The beauty of storage space is that it tidies things up and makes it much easier to stay tidy. When everything has a place, you won't be so tempted to create piles or just leave things wherever they fall.
    • Get shelving and cabinets. If you plan on keeping canned foods or boxed snacks in your room, shelves and cabinet are ideal.
    • Bookshelves and cubby holes in desks work well for books, games, knickknacks and small electronics like cords, USBs, cameras, and MP3 players. Try some invisible shelves for something different and conversation-starting.
    • Have somewhere to hang and fold clothes if there isn't already wardrobe space provided.
    • Try to make use of every possible area for storage. A small room can look like a mess with just a small amount of floor clutter so keep everything tidy all the time.
  9. Add electronics. A wall mount for the television is a great space saver that's fairly standard nowadays. Consider a laptop computer instead of a tower or desktop and use a thin wireless keyboard that can be easily tucked away.
    • A hand-held video game system fits anywhere. A standard TV-connected console gives much more realistic graphics and can often be played with a friend. A well-equipped gaming computer leaps yet further ahead, and can be played online for hours without end - but don't overdo it.
      • Games a few years old are generally very inexpensive. Many free games are available for computers. A few-years-old game on a computer with a good video card will generally look better than a new game on a console.
    • Avoid amassing a huge DVD or CD collection. Rely on downloading your music and movies instead and using laptop and MP3 connections to play your downloads. If you don't want to pay all the time, hire DVDs from the local video store and remember to return them on time, or have them mailed to you if your area offers rentals by mail. Or see if your local library lends CDs and DVDs.
    • If you can, add a ceiling fan. You might not have complete control over the household thermostat. When it's too hot in the room, set the fan to pull air up towards the ceiling (or blow down on you) on high speed. When it's too cold in the room, set the fan to blow warm air down from the ceiling on low speed to mix it in without wind-chill.
    • If your housemates are polar bears that keep the temperature far too low for you, look for a small inexpensive space heater. Modern space heaters stay cool to the touch except for the front where the heat comes out. Don't leave it on while you sleep though. Use it to heat the room and turn it off when you go to bed.
    • Ensure that you can iron in your room. Get an iron, as well as a small ironing board and a mesh basket for taking clothes to the laundry and hanging outside if possible.
    • Switch off all electronics at the wall at night. Any buzzing, humming, or blinking, will distract you when you're trying to sleep and you can do without the electromagnetic interference too. Plus, turning appliances off at the wall saves money.
  10. Provide pet space. If you're allowed to keep a pet in your room, provide its sleeping quarters and other needs. You might have a cat and add its basket for sleeping, or a vivarium for your pet reptile. Also consider lighting, odor, and food storage issues.
  11. Be careful of not getting too messy!Plan how to keep your room clean and tidy. Since this is your home, you won't be able to leave the bed unmade and piles of take-out containers in a corner if you're planning on having people over. Plan a regular cleaning schedule and if possible, rely on the household supplies and tools rather than trying to store your own in the room. Once you have a schedule in place, stick to it and living wholly in your bedroom will be a pleasant experience.
    • Realize that odors are going to be one big issue in your tiny home within a house. If you're cooking in your bedroom, you'll need to have the ability to open a window to let trapped smells outside and you may also need air fresheners to disguise the odors. It is also wise to eat food with strong odors outside or at the place you've bought them from rather than having them in your room. Bear in mind that you'll have to sleep with the odors and that they're permeating your clothing.
    • Avoid smoking in your room for the same reason. A room that smells of stale cigarette smoke is unpleasant for everyone who visits, and it doesn't do your health any good to be smoking in close confines.
    • Consider opening your window for fresh air at least once a day, even during very cold weather (for a few minutes).
    • Keep an eye out for ants and other pests. They really like to get into areas with food. Keep ant traps handy and put one in each corner of your room before you can even see them.
  12. Keep safety in mind. Since you'll be cooking in your room, as well as living in there much of the time, safety is a high priority. If there isn't a smoke detector in place already, install one. In addition, have an all-purpose fire extinguisher. Keep your fire extinguisher handy but not near your cooking area. In case a fire breaks out, you want the extinguisher to be available.
  13. Put a lock on your door if you can, and get keys for it. Keep a spare key hidden somewhere outside so you don't lock yourself out, but hide it well enough so it cannot be found by others interested in prying. At night, you can also use portable security alarms sold to travelers if you're concerned about being broken into while you sleep. This might be overkill, but you'll know the safety of your own house and neighborhood.
Video Tips
  • If your room doesn't have an attached bathroom, then consider a basin/sink as an addition if you have room (and can afford it). These were extremely popular once, and for good reason. It will give you the opportunity to do a bit of wash-up without intruding on the rest of the house, and is a place to fill the coffee pot, as well as to wash dishes.
  • Keep a small vacuum in your room. They are inexpensive and a clean floor makes a huge difference in how you feel about your living space.
  • Wall hangings are an inexpensive and quick way to add color to a room, and they are more elegant than posters. Go to various stores and look for reasonably priced framed pictures that reflect your personal tastes.
  • Lamps and indirect lighting can dramatically change the appearance of a room. Pick designs that match the theme of the room.
  • Flowers brighten a room. Consider silk flowers or plants, or choose hardy houseplants. You might want to make a special area just for them.
  • Get furniture sliders for the heavy furniture. They make items easier to move and they protect the floor.
  • A spare fold-out bed can be useful if you're used to having a guest stay over now and then. Even easier are air mattresses that blow up with a pump. They take less space and provided you get an electric pump, they don't take much effort to blow up.
  • If you have a kitchen in the house but you don't want to use it too much, consider doing once-a-week (or so) cooking and freezing the results in your mini-fridge or in the main fridge, well labeled. That way, you can make use of a larger kitchen space but spend most of your time in your room. Or, perhaps do away with the whole kitchenette idea and maintain communal eating and cooking times and enjoy them as the opportunity to meet up with all housemates.
  • For free or nearly free furniture or other household items check out Yahoo Groups Freecycle or Bargain Hunters.
Warnings
  • Always keep an eye on the electrical outlets and make sure you're not overloading the circuits.
  • Keep the TV and music volume down. The last thing you want is to create an issue with the other housemates. Consider headphones.
  • Unless you have local permits and plan to have inspectors come out, do not try any major construction projects such as adding a bathroom or raising the ceiling.
  • If you're going to do any modifications (such as painting) make sure you have permission. If you're renting, you could lose your security deposit—or your lease!
  • Having separate rooms for sleeping, eating and recreation trains the body to sleep when you go to the bedroom. Reconsider your arrangements if you can't sleep at night.
Things You'll Need
  • Budget
  • Microwave
  • Mini fridge
  • Shelf/cabinet
  • Desk
  • Paper or plastic silverware/dishes
  • Trash can
  • Vacuum
  • Smoke alarm
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Trash bags
  • Light Bulbs
Related wikiHows Article Tools

How to Make a Cupcake in the Microwave

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49
A lot of people don't bake or get to enjoy homemade desserts as often because they feel like an entire batch is too much effort or even a waste of ingredients. For others, space or time constraints might hinder your cupcake baking efforts, such as in the workplace lunchroom.

Yet, there is a simple solution and you don't need to miss out – when you make single cupcakes in the microwave, they are enough to fulfill your "sweet tooth" (guaranteed to satisfy a last minute craving) and if you bake this at work, you can even wow your coworkers with the aroma of something quite different!

Ingredients
  • 5 leveled tablespoons (45 g) of yellow cake mix
  • 3 tablespoons (50 ml) of sparkling soda water
  • 1 leveled tablespoon (10 ml) of light vanilla flavored yogurt
  • 5 tablespoons (15 g) of whipped cream, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) of chocolate chips, optional
Steps
  1. This is a suitable containerGather the ingredients. If you're planning on making this at work or where you study, measure out the cake mix in a small container with a lid, and the yogurt into another. On the way to work or studies, grab some soda and place it all in the shared fridge in the staff or tearoom until needed. Remember to also take along some suitable baking paper to line the cup with, so that it doesn't stick.
  2. Mix together the cake mix, yogurt, and most of the soda water in a mixing bowl. Create a smooth consistency – there shouldn't be any lumps. Add the rest of the water and mix in thoroughly.
    • If you don't have a bowl, perhaps mix straight in the cup, although this will be more challenging. Even a small breakfast bowl is suitable for this cupcake mix.
  3. Lightly spray the microwave-safe cup with non-stick cooking spray or line with baking paper suitable for a microwave. Carefully pour the batter into the cup.
  4. Microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes. Monitor it closely, as microwaves vary in watts and temperatures.
    • The cupcake will be ready when it starts to move away from the sides of the cup and changes from a liquid to forming a firm-looking, sponge-like top. Perform the toothpick test to see if it's done.
  5. Allow the cupcake in a cup to cool for 10 minutes. Dress it up with whipped cream and sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top.
Video Tips
  • Instead of using eggs and oil, the yogurt is replaced as the dairy ingredient & adds low-calorie to the dessert.
  • Adding the sparkling water creates 'fluff' and bounce to the cupcake.
Things You'll Need
  • Non-stick cooking spray or baking paper suitable for a microwave (cut a piece out to take with you if taking to work or studies)
  • Mixing implement (a teaspoon is fine)
  • Small mixing bowl - a breakfast bowl is suitable
  • Small tea cup (about 8 oz), microwave-safe (no metallic paint)
  • Microwave oven
  • Serving plate
Related wikiHows Sources and Citations Article Tools

How to Help a Bereaved Parent

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49
It is often said that there is no greater loss than the loss of a child. It is what every parent fears and--if it happens--it can be intense enough to drive many people away. Yet, what every family member and friend faced with helping a grieving parent needs to know is that their help will be needed eventually. It may not be beneficial straight away, but some day it will be. You need to judge the timing and need by the nature of the people involved and by how events unfold.

What a bereaved parent wants the most is to have their child back. Sadly, no one can grant that wish. But, you "can" help. Knowing the right and wrong things to say or do when you are trying to help is important. While much of this will require your heightened sensitivity to the particular situation, this article will help to guide you to at least begin.

Steps
  1. Remember that your help or support will be needed long term. It is going to take time, and there will be false starts, and setbacks. Be prepared to be there for your parent friend for the a long haul.
  2. Start by attending the funeral and any memorial service. It doesn't matter what you need to cancel to be there. Making the effort to attend means a lot to the parents and shows them how much you care about their lost child, and that you are counted among those who intend to remember the lost child.
  3. Do some errands and fetch groceries for the parentsBe practical. Grieving parents need space to grieve. You can help this by providing meals, offering to keep the garden tidy, cleaning the house, or running errands for them. Do the everyday mundane things that suddenly seem pointless to them. Stay in close contact; simply calling and visiting can be a huge source of practical support.
  4. Be free with physical shows of support. Give lots of hugs. Give the parent your shoulder to cry on literally.
    • Hold the parent and let them cry. Many many tears are normal and healthy.
  5. Do some research on the grieving process. Go online and read about what parents feel when they lose a child. Jump into forums and talk to other people about their feelings and the things that helped them through during the initial stages of their grief. Sites such as Compassionate Friends can be a good place to start.
  6. Expect the grief to increase not decrease. This is grief for life, even if one day it is be the perennial missing-part-of-the-heart type grief; it's not something to "get over". Accept that there is no time frame on grief. For now, it will continue to grow in magnitude and you are much needed as the grief overwhelms your friend. Be a shoulder to cry on, someone who will listen, someone who will not judge, and someone who will keep being there, no matter what. Accept that a bereaved parent will never ever get over the loss of their child, but know in time, lots of time, they will get through it.
    • Don't ever tell the parent to "Get over it", or "Get on with your life, your child would want you to."
    • Never say "You can always have more children" if the parent is mourning the death of a baby or very young child. This is one of the most insensitive things to say to a grieving parent. And grandchildren are no substitute for lost adult children either; just don't go down this avenue of platitudes.
    • One really good phrase is simply: "Tell me how you feel." This lets the parent open up and talk in any direction wished. And to cry or scream if they want to as well.
  7. Don't try to mend things and don't try to counsel or advise. Unless you're professionally trained to handle grief, leave this part to the professionals. Your role is as someone who cares, listens, and respects the grieving parent. If you're inclined to offer religious or personally based advice, be one hundred percent sure it's welcome.
    • Allow the parent to talk about their child.
    • Allow the parent to cry, scream, sob, and be angry. Simply allow them to feel all of their feelings. It's their right.
    • If you don't know what to say, say nothing, just listen. Saying nothing is better than saying something like, "He is in a better place", "He is with God now", etc. If you feel better saying something, simply explain that you don't know what to say if that's what you're feeling. It's better to be honest than to bumble along and potentially make things worse.
    • Don't force or overly encourage the parent to socialize, or return to work.
    • Never put them down or discourage them from seeking support online with other bereaved parents.
  8. Never compare a child's death with a non-child death of your own you've experienced. The loss of a child carries very different connotations from the loss of a parent, sibling, or friend. Parents will often tell you that they wish it could have been them instead of the child and this is a feeling that haunts them for many years after. The pain after loss of a child does differ from any other loss of a person you know and love; accept this and acknowledge it where needed.
    • Share your pain over the loss of their child, but remember your pain is nowhere near their pain unless you have lost a child yourself. There is no greater pain than the death of one's child. Never tell a bereaved parent you know how they feel or you understand because you probably do not.
    • Do not compare the loss of your job, marriage, pet, or grandparent to the loss of their child.
  9. Don't be afraid to talk about the child. Every parent wants to know their child is not forgotten. And listen to the parents when they want to talk about their child. Whether the child was young or an adult, there will be many memories that the parents will want to talk about, as a way of bringing the child back into temporary existence.
    • If you talk about their child and they cry, it's okay. Allow them their tears, and know that you didn't hurt them.
  10. Stay in touchDon't just disappear. This can be the ultimate letdown for a grieving parent, to lose someone who was once a friend, a rock. The concern you feel at not knowing what to say or do is nothing compared to the pain, sadness, and loneliness the grieving parent experiences. It's better to put your foot into it and apologize than to just fade away and cease to be a resource your friend can count on.
    • Remember the parent on Mother's Day and Father's Day, they are still a parent.
    • Remember the child's birthday. Send a card saying that you remember their child.
    • Remember the child's date of death. Send a thinking of you card, call them, share good memories about their child, and listen.
  11. Give them space. As well as letting them know you're there for them, also accept that the bereaved parent may want to seclude themselves. Be wise to signals of distress about having you around and gently withdraw, still letting them know that you're there for them whenever they need you, just a call or text away.
Video Tips
  • The parent may want to keep the child's room exactly the way it was for a very long time, if not forever. Accept this and don't question it.
  • Accept that the bereaved parent may never be the same person you once knew.
  • Accept that everyone grieves differently.
  • Accept that the parent may grieve the loss of their child forever.
  • Sometimes you can make something special to remember the lost child by, such as finding photos of the child they didn't know you had taken. You could then turn these photos into a digital album or load them into a digital photo frame. If you do have mementos of the lost child, consider ways to give them to the grieving parent that will show them how much you care.
  • If the parent has created an online memorial site for their child, visit it. Light a candle, write a condolence, share a memory, offer your love, acceptance of their grief, and support. This is a wonderful avenue to show you remember their child.
  • If the parent doesn't have an online memorial site, offer to buy one for them in memory of their child. Many parents find great comfort in creating a memorial website for their child.
  • If you have photos of their child, copy them and give them to the parent. Bereaved parents cherish everything that shows their child's memory.
  • Have someone monitor the computer the child used so nothing is accidentally deleted, their favorite music, their favorite web sites, things they thought were funny etc.
  • Save the child's bed linens and dirty clothes so the parents has something that smells like their child. Put these somewhere safe if the parents aren't dealing with any of that well (and most times they won't be).
Warnings
  • Many bereaved parents contemplate suicide. Be alert for the signs and seek help if you're concerned.
  • Many bereaved parents struggle with severe depression and may need a doctor's care.
  • Expect some anger - possibly a lot of anger. Just listen, give them the space they need to be angry, and remain available for them.
Related wikiHows Sources and Citations
  • Partially based on advice from Jancee Dunn in "How to help a friend", p. 114, Australian Women's Weekly, (September 2006).
Article Tools

How to Make Your Period Lighter

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49
You don't want to go through this every time.Periods can be a pain in the - well, you get it. Heavy periods (also known as menorrhagia) can be a sign of your luck in the genetic draw, a result of what you're experiencing in life (giving birth, giving up the pill, etc.), or they can be something more serious from a health perspective, such as a disease, disorder, or a miscarriage. When seeking to lighten a period, it's important to deal with the possible health or lifestyle issues involved first, just to be reassured that there's nothing wrong with you. Your doctor's advice and reassurance will clear the way to try a few management methods to try and at least ease the burden of a heavy period.

If you try to see lightening your heavy period as being about making it more bearable, and managing it well, then it might be a bit easier for you to cope with heavy periods. While there are a number of things you can do try and lighten heavy periods, sometimes it may be about changing your approach to it.

Steps
  1. Determine whether you actually have a heavy period. While few women rejoice in the arrival of a period, it should be something manageable and bearable. Feeling that it isn't manageable though may not in itself be an indication that it's a "heavy period" but if your daily life is interrupted because of it, then that's a sign to seek help. Generally, heavy periods tend to occur mostly just after menstruation first starts (after which they settle into a routine) and then again in your late 30s to 40s.[1] Some indicators of a heavy period include (one or more symptoms):[2][3]
    • The bleeding lasts beyond 5 to 7 days[4]
    • Normal sanitary protection is insufficient (with the required amount of changes suggested by the packaging instructions); for example, you're soaking through your sanitary protection every hour for several hours in a row[5]
    • If you're passing clots
    • Bleeding or spotting between periods
    • Fatigue
    • Cramping and pain in the lower abdomen
    • If your periods have suddenly become a lot heavier than usual.
  2. Be aware that heavy periods are just the norm for some women.[6] In a lot of instances, it just isn't known why some women have heavy periods,[7] and it's part of how your body is. In this case, you'll need to learn to manage it for the duration of your reproductive years. One problem that may arise is anemia, so be sure to get regular iron level checks from your doctor if you do have regular heavy periods and to take iron supplements where warranted.
  3. Talk to a doctor. If you don't regularly have a heavy period or you've noticed differences in the way your period is presenting itself, it's important to see the doctor. There's a chance that excessively heavy bleeding could be from a health problem. The doctor will ask questions about the regularity of your period and whether you've noticed any changes in it over time. If the doctor is concerned that your period might be more than what is normal in terms of its heaviness, there are numerous things to consider, including your stress levels, your nutritional intake, and the possibility of a disease such as thyroid disorders, cancer, bleeding disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome, infection, noncancerous growths (fibroids, polyps), etc.[8][9] You will also need to consider the possibility that you might have experienced a miscarriage if you've had a single heavy period that is late, and intercourse has occurred within a period of two months; or it may be an ectopic pregnancy.[10] You might need:
    • A pelvic examination
    • A vaginal biopsy
    • Ultrasound (if a pregnancy or miscarriage is suspected)
    • Blood tests
    • Papanicolaou (Pap) smear test
    • Cervix biopsy
    • Dilation and curettage (D and C).[11]
  4. Ask your doctor for general advice about a heavy period. Even if there is no discernible health problem, it is prudent to talk to your doctor about dealing with the heavy periods generally. Ask for advice on coping and whether you should be taking particular supplements or other nutrients to assist you. Doctors should have access to the latest advice with respect to management of periods, so don't be afraid to ask questions.
  5. Consider whether there are some life stages that might be the underlying cause of your heavy periods. Some changes to your body or your lifestyle may be the cause of heavy periods. Be sure to check the following as possible reasons for the heavier-than-usual period:
    • If you're going through puberty, your periods may be heavy while your hormonal levels adjust; an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone can cause heavy periods.[12] You might have to be patient during this unsettled time.
    • If you've just stopped taking the pill. The pill tends to make periods lighter.[13] As such, after stopping the pill, you might experience a noticeable increase in the flow, and it may just be a case of getting used to it again.
    • Your method of contraception. If you've just had an IUD placed, chances are you're experiencing a heavier period for the first few months. The body initially treats the IUD as a foreign object and this results in heavier periods.[14] You might consider speaking to your gynecologist and possibly changing contraception methods if this lasts more than the first three to six months.
    • If you've just given birth, and you're experiencing heavy periods, you may need to wait. Periods following birth can be heavy, particularly if you don't breastfeed.[15] However, your usual level of period should be restored within two to three cycles, and if not, consult your doctor.[16]
  6. Consider the following methods for possible period flow reduction. Provided you've dealt with any possible underlying disorders needing treatment when you saw your doctor, there are a few things you can try to alleviate your heavy periods. The following list of suggestions may or may not work for you; each person is different and each unique body responds differently to different treatments. However, for a number of people, the following things have had an impact to some extent, in easing the period flow:
    • If you're prepared to take the birth control pill, this may assist in lightening your period.[17] Just as the previous step noted, the pill has a tendency to make periods lighter. Also, the sense of control over the regularity and arrival time of the pill can give you a greater sense of control over your menstrual cycles and how they "interfere" with your daily life. Sometimes this psychological boost alone is enough to improve your outlook on having a period and can be a blessing for someone used to heavy periods. However, be aware that for some women, the combined oral contraceptive pill results in heavier periods.[18]
    • Increase and maintain your intake of essential nutrients. Foods rich in essential fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B, C, and E are ideal for menstrual health.[19] In particular, focus on strengthening the blood vessel walls, with vitamin C, flavonoids, and iron being top of your list of must-haves.[20] Iron is important for restoring iron lost from excessive blood loss.
    • A healthy diet. For some women, it is possible that an unhealthy diet causes heavy periods (meaning, sugary foods, processed products, flour, and saturated fats.[21] This could be complicated by stress (causing you to eat unhealthily) and hormonal imbalances resulting from the unhealthy eating.[22] Check out the healthy food pyramid for your country or ask your doctor for healthy diet advice. It might also help to see a dietician or a nutritionist for a specific plan suited to your needs.
    • General good health. Exercise is always good for you, and it's important to do it regularly. Some people experience benefits from exercise in terms of lessening the severity of a heavy period but it's not a guarantee; what is a guarantee is feeling better generally and remaining flexible and strong generally. Good forms of exercise for the weary period-lethargic woman include swimming, yoga, or pilates. And there's always much good to be found in a walk through an area that calms you, such as a park or along the beach.
    • Aromatherapy. If you trust in using aromatherapy as a treatment method, then this might assist, and probably in conjunction with other methods. Try a blend of two drops each of rose attar, Roman chamomile, and clary sage essential oils with four drops of sweet marjoram oil and two tablespoons of sweet almond or olive oil as the carrier oil.[23] Rub this mixture over your stomach every night during menstruation, or have your partner do it for you.
    • Herbal remedies. There are a number of possible herbal remedies you could try but you should discuss these with your doctor and the health professional dispensing the herbal remedies before rushing in. Some of the herbal remedies may require precautions in case you're pregnant, lactating, or taking other medication. Reader's Digest lists blue cohosh (squaw root),[24] goldenseal (orangeroot)[25] and or agrimony[26] as possible herbs.[27] All herbal remedies should be taken strictly within the dosages recommended by a reputable herbal supplier or herbalist, and should not be exceeded.
    • Get plenty of rest.[28] Ensure that you're getting the amount of sleep each night your body needs to be fully rested and rejuvenated.
  7. Manage your heavy period with a positive attitude. This isn't about being Pollyanna; heavy periods are sometimes very demoralizing when they cut into life severely through fear of bleeding onto clothing, inability to participate in sports because of fatigue or discomfort, and through feeling generally lethargic. However, taking a more proactive and determined approach to managing your period can help alleviate your psychological angst about it, even to the point where you feel reassured that you can still carry on with life as much as usual during a heavy period. Things to consider here include:
    • Eating really well during the period, including as soon as you know it's coming. Avoid sugary, fast food fixes. While these are comfort foods that you might be habitually used to turning to, they create energy slumps and end up leaving you feeling a lot worse than the comfort they can initially instill. Prefer high energy complex carbohydrates, green leafy and dark vegetables, fruits, and nuts and seeds.
    • Keep menstrual pain medication or herbal treatments well stocked up and in date. If you're also experiencing pain along with the heaviness, you can at least deal with the pain and remove one source of distress. Don't suffer in silence; get rid of the pain side of the period. Speak with your doctor if you're not sure what's safe to take to alleviate your period paid.
    • Have plenty of sanitary ware on hand. Sure, they keep putting the price up on these disposable necessities, but these are something you shouldn't skimp on, including having overnight pads on hand (do not sleep with a tampon). Have plenty of supplies in super size to protect you. And don't be dismayed that you need the super super size that sucks up the most; so what? It says nothing about you as a person or your physique – tall skinny women have to wear these things for heavy periods as much as any other shape, so it's no reflection on how you look.
    • If you're worried that a sanitary item might be showing through your clothes, try to check in a large mirror or ask a friend to prove to you that it's not. Often it's more a feeling than a reality, although you may need to avoid some body hugging styles if they do show. And for some women, tampons may not ever be adequate with a heavy flow, so be prepared to trial different types of sanitary coverage, including pads, menstrual cups, and other forms of menstruation protection.
    • Cover things. Cover beds, couches, sheets, etc., where you'll be sitting or lying for a while with a towel or other cover that is easily washable and will dry fast. It's far easier than getting blood off the mattress or couch cover and nobody is any the wiser when you whip it away.
    • Deal with leakage. Women with heavy periods will experience occasional leakage onto clothing. It is not something to be embarrassed about; anyone who laughs is inconsiderate and lacks compassion. Instead, it is a good idea to have a second lower set of clothing in a locker, in a bag, etc., just in case. Good friends, teachers, coworkers, and caring strangers will be kind enough to warn you when it happens if you can't tell. Ignore anyone who is unkind.
Video Tips
  • Change your pads, menstrual cup or tampons more often. Sometimes heaviness is in the mind of the beholder, especially when you've forgotten to change and it leaks as a result.
  • Remember that each menstrual cycle releases about four to five table spoons of blood. It might seem like a lot, but really isn't. Overall blood loss is estimated generally at 1/2 to 10 ounces.[29]
  • Stressing causes a heavier flow, relax!
  • Drink lots of water, and make sure to eat!
  • There is promising research being undertaken into the role of endothelin, which is a substance that helps to stop bleeding; women suffering from heavy periods have very little endothelin.[30] If medications can be made that improve these levels in the future, there may be a medical cure.
Warnings
  • Heavy periods mean that you must keep a watch on your iron content, to prevent anemia.[31]
  • Avoid aspirin. Being an anti-coagulant, if can increase bleeding problems.[32]
  • Just as heavy periods can be a sign of a health problem, so can very light flows or irregular flows. Don't envy the women who brag about this; kindly suggest they might like to get a check up too.
  • Talk to your doctor if your flow is a serious problem, or if you're switching your diet.
  • Don't overdose on any vitamin supplements. Follow the instructions.
  • DepoProvera injections can cause heavier periods.[33]
Things You'll Need
  • Excellent supply of sanitary ware
  • Nutritious diet
  • Supplements (optional)
  • Doctor's advice and monitoring
Related wikiHows Sources and Citations Article Tools

How to Earn the Respect of Other Bloggers

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49
Good things to know when bloggingEarning the respect of other bloggers and those who read blogs is not something that comes easily. However, there are things you can do that will help you gain their respect. Read this article to get some ideas for finding your place in the world of blogs. Steps
  1. Remember that fellow bloggers are also readers. That means, when you're aiming to earn their appreciation, you're aiming to provide information that readers will want to read as well as share with people they know. Fellow bloggers are readers-with-benefits; if they like your blog, it's probable that they'll try to connect with you, share your content, and promote you. They may seek to get you guest blogging for them, or they may ask if they can guest blog for you.
  2. Provide quality content. As noted in the previous step, your fellow bloggers are also potential readers. As such, respect from other bloggers will come when they realize that you're providing original, interesting, and consistent content. While this might seem self-evident, there are many blogs out there that don't match this single most important requirement, such as blogs the simply regurgitate the news, other people's blog content, or don't even try to present something interesting to the audience. Other blogs overstep the mark by being nothing but a marketing vehicle for a single product that smells awfully of pyramid selling or a fly-by-night operation. None of these things attract the respect of other bloggers. Things to bear in mind when creating quality content include:
    • Use original opinions to put an interesting slant on the information you're providing. Even if everyone has read it before, a new slant with original thought can have people thinking again.
    • Use references. Don't expect other people to just take you at your word for factual statements; provide them with the evidence. As part of this, be sure to make it easy for them to find the resources that you used – no wild goose chases or made-up stuff.
  3. Make time for fellow bloggers. Take the time to answer their questions about your own blog. Visit their blogs and read and comment on their efforts. Create reciprocal relationships by being involved in what they're saying and doing too.
    • Ask your favorite bloggers if they're like to share a guest post on your blog. Offer to guest post on their blogs as well as offering them guest post opportunities on your blog.
    • Network with other bloggers continuously. Stay in touch with what they're doing and spread it via your Twitter and Facebook accounts; this shows that you care about what they're saying. Attend their online and real life talks and seminars if you can. And join social media network groups; a number of these are set up on sites such as LinkedIn. And develop a plan for how you will cultivate and increase your contacts.[1]
    • Be interactive with reader's comments. Bloggers leave comments too, and you may or may not know that those who have left comments are bloggers. Regardless of that, it's just good etiquette to respond to comments where you're able to, as it keeps readers engaged and alerts other bloggers to your blog being an interactive one (meaning it's well tended and cared for!).
  4. Chill on disrespecting other bloggers. If you start singling out bloggers and picking on them, or being negative about them, you're taking a very big risk. Maybe this is what you want from your blog but bear in mind that the following problems arise from this prickly approach:
    • Bloggers who support the attacked blogger will band together. And together they are a much wider source of spreading negative information about you if it's clear you're being spiteful, untruthful, or intimidating.
    • Being in a war with another blogger or group of bloggers does not make for interesting reading. You stand to lose a lot of readers if this is what your content ends up reflecting.
    • It's hard to trust someone who appears as if they can turn at a mere moment and start undermining you. By attacking another blogger, other bloggers won't know whether this is something you'll turn around and do to them or not.
    • Know the difference between constructive criticism and outright damnation and unkindness. You do have a role in pointing out errors and misunderstandings in a reasoned and evidenced way, but your don't have a role in dragging the person through the mud. Always focus on the issue, not the person.
  5. Know and respect the blogger's code of ethics or code of conduct. There are several variations of this idea floating around the internet but the basics can be filtered down to some of the following listed next. The important thing is that by following this code, you're likely to increase the potential for respect from other bloggers because you can demonstrate that you remain dedicated to using the blog as an informative, considerate, and non-combative medium. Some of the ideas involved in the various codes include:[2]
    • Be responsible for what you opine. If you think something, make it clear that it's you who thinks it.
    • Monitor your blog comments. Remove those that are hateful and inflammatory towards others.
    • Be honest and fair, don't plagiarize, avoid distorting images, and make lack of certainty or fact evident. Avoid publishing inaccurate information (do your research).
    • Don't misrepresent fact. Make it clear when you're writing opinion, fact, commentary, advocacy, or conjecture and avoid mixing them up.
    • The facts do matter even if they get in the way of a good retelling. Check your facts.
    • Don't hide advertising in your commentary or general write-up. Be open about what's marketing and advertising.
    • Be considerate of those who might be harmed by what you're writing. Think about privacy, respect, defamation, and intent when "exposing" people or activities.
    • Be sensitive when discussing minors, lurid issues, tragedy, or grief; err on the side of protecting private people's privacy and not crossing the boundaries of good taste.
    • Admit it when you make errors and do all you can to remedy them and repair your relationships to rebuild trust. Publicly correct misinformation that you've blogged; go back to the errant post and make it clear with a postscript that you've retracted the errors too (for example, strike through erroneous information).[3] And don't feel you have to be "perfect" – nobody is and to expect that is unrealistic.[4] Indeed, when you fluff up, you seem more real than ever and that's reassuring for most readers.
    • Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, and personal agendas. You can still have a field day with your personal affiliations provided people know where you're coming from.
    • Don't be unethical and don't stand for unethical practices in other bloggers.
  6. Be honest about your information sources. Not being honest about sources upsets other bloggers a great deal; "borrowing" (or to put it more bluntly, "stealing") their material, whether it's text or images, is infuriating. If you do this and you refuse to acknowledge where the information came form, you won't ever earn their respect. The best approaches are as follows:
    • Give credit where credit is due. Always credit your sources, even if they are just a source for ideas. It will be seen by other bloggers and the favor will be returned.
    • Make original source links clear. When you do put in the link to the original source, don't hide it. Allow it to be seen without it having to be looked for.
    • Don't watermark the images you use with your blog link. Doing this is cheesy. If it's a photo blog, you'll want to find some ways to protect yourself. As the original photographer, this is certainly acceptable. However, if they aren't your images, use hotlink protection for those images that you want to protect that aren't yours.
  7. Use your own bandwidth. Something that has worn out numerous website and blog owners over time is the use of their bandwidth. This has resulted in many people closing down their sites or blogs as a result of it not being affordable. Support your fellow blogger by hosting the images that you're using and not linking to theirs. And acknowledge where the photos hail from.
  8. Learn from constructive criticism. You will receive criticism as a blogger. See it as a learning experience, and try to improve your blogging approach, especially when the suggestions come from another blogger. In fact, other bloggers are an amazing pool of knowledge and resources for you to tap into, so if they do offer you advice on what to do better, consider this free training!
    • Nasty criticism from another blogger will be seen for what it is. Don't take it to heart, keep a sense of humor and make up your mind whether to reply at all, or just to give a brief reply that doesn't engage the nastiness but merely concedes the point of what could be done better, or brushes off the attack in a kindly, amused fashion.
    • Respect your readers. Don't be condescending to them (unless that is your 'thing' and it's what the readers expect and enjoy about your blog). Treat them as equals.
    • Show the same respect to others that you are trying to earn.
Tips
  • As tempting as it may seem, don't generalize and gripe about journalists. Many of them are now fellow bloggers anyway, and the days in which they held a haughty distinction between what they did and blogging are fast passing. Expect some bloggers to be journalists and express respect for all writers, authors, and bloggers who are doing their best to provide quality content and analysis to the rest of the world. And expect some journalists to find citizen journalism threatening; it's up to you to disprove them, not criticize them.
  • Be patient; most good and popular blogs take time and are the result of a long period of working consistently and patiently to build up a solid amount of content and linkages to other blogs in the blogosphere. This doesn't happen overnight and trying stunts to get yourself noticed earlier may backfire, so take great care to build your reputation on solid ground.
  • Write in proper English. Remember that only spell check is not enough.
Warnings
  • Be very careful with rant posts. They can alienate a lot of readers and leave bloggers wary of you.
Related wikiHows Sources and Citations Article Tools

How to Build a Homebrew Kegerator

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49
This guide demonstrates how to build a kegerator that utilizes a cornelius 5-gallon ball lock keg and has a tap (faucet) with shank installed in its door. It is relatively simple to build this type of kegerator, yet the kegerator will dispense your superb homebrew without compromise. Steps
  1. Obtain a refrigerator that will fit at least one 5-gallon (18.92 liters) cornelius keg plus a 5 lb (2.26kg) CO2 tank with attached regulator. Many compact refrigerators may not have large enough inner dimensions, especially if they have freezer compartments.
    • The Sanyo SR-4912M 4.9 cu ft (138.75 liters) compact refrigerator is an excellent, popular choice for a dedicated kegerator that can accommodate a single cornelius keg and a 5 lb (2.26kg) CO2 tank. It has a stainless steel door with black body and does not have a freezer compartment. There is an identical version of refrigerator that has been sold under the Kenmore brand, but it may no longer be available (although check online auctions as one possible source).
  2. Determine exactly where the tap and attached shank should be located.
    • If the refrigerator that’s used has a separate freezer compartment, make sure that the freezer compartment door won’t hit or interfere with the the tap or tap handle.
    • The end of the shank will protrude through the door and will be fastened from the inside with a fitting that screws onto the shank, so the inner surface of the door where the shank is located must be flat. It’s common to place the tap and shank somewhere along the vertical centerline of the door. Place it more than four or five inches (10cm to 12.5cm) from the edges of the door. It may be advisable to not place it toward the side of the door that opens (opposite the hinges) because the shank will be attached to the beer line inside the kegerator. Every time you open the door, the beer line will move, and you don’t want it to be forced outwards too far when you open the door. It can also obstruct access to the gas cylinder in the kegerator or get tangled up on the gas cylinder or regulator, and you want to prevent the gas cylinder from falling over, as well as the keg.
  3. Drill the hole in the door. Drill a hole for the shank through the refrigerator door with a hole saw. If using a standard shank that is 7/8” (22.2mm) in diameter, drill the hole using a 1” (2.5cm) hole saw.
    • Before drilling, align the hole saw and drill so that you will drill a level hole straight through the door.
    • Start drilling into the outer skin of the refrigerator so that the drill bit in the hole saw penetrates the metal. This hole will stabilize the hole saw when you make the larger hole.
    • Continue drilling. It may be somewhat difficult to drill through the metal skin of the refrigerator with the hole saw. As soon as the hole saw cuts completely through the metal skin of the refrigerator, cease drilling and remove the cut-out metal circle from the hole saw.
    • Now drill all the way through the foam and inner plastic skin of the door. Don’t push much on the drill because the hole saw will cut through the foam and plastic very easily. After drilling, clean up the foam and plastic particles.
    • Optional: After drilling and cleaning the hole, smear some DAP household aquarium-safe sealant/adhesive over the exposed foam inside the hole. This will prevent foam particles from getting on the shank when you insert or remove the shank from the hole. However, you will need to let the sealant dry before inserting the shank, and it will generally not be necessary to remove the shank once it’s installed unless you prefer to disassemble it for cleaning rather than run beer line cleaner through it.
  4. Double-gauge regulatorAssemble the gas components. Before beginning, make sure the CO2 tank is completely shut off and the regulator is off/dialed or adjusted to zero pressure with its barbed shutoff valve closed. Note that some regulators can only be dialed to output CO2 when connected to a CO2 tank. The gas hose (usually 5/16" (7.93mm) ID gas line) that connects to the keg via the ball lock gas disconnect will be attached to the regulator’s barbed shutoff valve. The regulator is attached to the CO2 tank with the large 1 1/8” (26.81mm) tank nut. It is best to use a double-gauge regulator, but a single-gauge regulator will work fine as well. As pictured, the lower gauge (left side) indicates the pressure in the CO2 tank, while the upper gauge indicates the pressure in the keg. Single-gauge regulators only show the pressure in the keg. The knob in the center of the regulator (which is sometimes a bolt or screw) is used to adjust the pressure in the keg. As pictured, the barb with the red lever is the shutoff valve that will be connected to the keg gas line. If desired, install a gauge cage on the regulator. This will help to prevent your gauges from being damaged or coming loose if your CO2 tank falls over or your regulator is otherwise impacted.
    • Regulator with gauge cage and assembled 5/16” (7.93mm) ID gas line with attached gas disconnectAssemble the gas line and attach it to the regulator. First cut a 3 or 4-foot (91.44cm to 1.21 meters) segment of gas hose. Use 5/16” (7.93mm) thick-walled gas hose with a standard 3/8” (9.52mm) regulator hose barb. Slide a hose clamp onto the hose and push the hose onto the regulator’s shutoff valve hose barb. It should be difficult to push on the hose, so gradually work it onto the barb. Secure it with the hose clamp. If you are using a ball lock gas disconnect with a threaded fitting, use a wrench to securely attach the barb to the quick disconnect before attaching it to the hose. Slide a hose clamp onto the far end of the gas line and push the gas quick disconnect's barb into the hose. Secure it with the hose clamp.
    • With the tank and regulator shut completely off, securely attach the regulator with complete gas line to the CO2 tank with a large wrench (1.5" wrench recommended). Because the gas disconnect seals itself when not connected to a keg, the CO2 tank’s primary shutoff can be opened briefly while the tank's main valve is opened to test for leaks at the regulator/tank connection and in the gas line (use soapy water and look for bubbles). However, always use very low pressure (such as 5 PSI or less) via the regulator when testing for leaks. The lower gauge should indicate that the tank contains pressurized CO2. Set the regulator to zero pressure and turn off the regulator’s shutoff valve to prevent CO2 from entering the gas line.
      • If desired, integrate a check valve into the gas line. Check valves prevent beer from entering the gas line and potentially ruining your regulator or contaminating your gas line. The topmost pictured device is a 1/4” (6.35mm) regulator shutoff valve that has a check valve built into it. It can be used to replace regulator shutoff valves that do not have check valves built into them. Be sure to wrap the threads of the shutoff valve with Teflon tape before screwing it tightly into the regulator so that gas leakage does not occur. To determine if a regulator’s shutoff valve has a check valve, unscrew it from a disconnected, unpressurized regulator and turn the shutoff valve on and off. If you do not see the valve opening and closing inside it, it has a check valve. The second pictured device is a check valve that is connected to the far end of the gas line, so it is connected between the keg’s gas line quick disconnect and the far end of gas line itself. It was purchased pre-assembled as pictured from a homebrew shop (the homebrew shop buys them from a distributor as is). It has a brass barb that will connect to a 5/16” (7.93mm) gas line and a short segment of pre-attached hose that will connect to the smaller 1/4” (6.35mm) barb of a standard gas disconnect (so you would not want to use a gas disconnect with a 5/16” (7.93mm) barb).
      • Check valve assembly installed between the gas line that is attached to the regulator’s shutoff valve and the disconnect.
  5. Assembled beer line with separate tailpiece and corresponding wing nut. The black attached component is the liquid disconnect that is connected directly to the kegAssemble the beer line. Note that shanks that have attached tailpieces do not require a wing nut or the neoprene washer that is sandwiched between the tailpiece and end of the shank.
    • Begin by cutting a 4 to 5 foot (1.21m to 1.52m) segment of 3/16” (4.76mm) ID (inner diameter) beverage line hose.
    • Showing tailpiece (far right) that is pushed into 3/16” (4.76mm) hose with wing nut (middle) and hose clamp (to the left of the wing nut). To complete assembly, the wing nut will be pushed onto the tailpiece, and the hose clamp will be tightened over the tailpiece’s barb.To assemble beer line that is used with a separate tailpiece, first slide two hose clamps and the wing nut onto the hose. Then soften both ends of the hose by holding them in hot water (hot enough to make tea with) for about 30 seconds. Then push the tailpiece’s barb into the end of the hose with the wing nut’s larger opening that will screw onto the end of the shank facing the tailpiece.
    • Then push the disconnect’s barb into the other end of the hose. Slide the wing nut right up to the tailpiece so that the tailpiece contacts it, and keeps it from slipping off the end of the hose.
    • Finally, slide one of the hose clamps to the back of the wing nut. Make sure there’s a small gap between the wing nut and the hose clamp so that the wing nut can rotate around the tailpiece when you’re screwing the wing nut onto the shank. Then tighten the hose clamp so that it secures the tailpiece. Finally, secure the disconnect’s barb with the remaining hose clamp.
  6. Install the tap and shank.
    • Perlick faucet screwed onto shank that is made for use with a separate tailpieceScrew the tap onto the shank. Make sure it’s tight but not overly tight. Don’t use a regular wrench to tighten it. Use your hands or a faucet wrench.
    • Insert the shank through the hole in the door and secure it with the shank’s large nut.
    • If using a separate tailpiece, put the black neoprene washer between the end of the shank and the tailpiece and firmly secure by screwing on the wing nut by hand.
    • If using a shank with a unified tailpiece, push the hose onto the tailpiece and secure with a hose clamp. It may be necessary to heat the end of the hose in hot water to soften it before it can be pushed onto the tailpiece.
  7. Connect the keg to the tap and CO2 tank. Note that it is best to first place the full, disconnected keg in the kegerator before attaching the gas and beer lines to prevent shaking or otherwise agitating it.
    • The bottom portion of the ball lock gas and liquid disconnects are pulled up when connecting them to the keg (gas IN disconnect is shown, but the liquid OUT disconnect will be attached first).
    • Before connecting the disconnects, pull the pressure relief valve that’s in the lid to relieve all the pressure in the keg. Then re-seal the pressure relief valve so the keg can hold pressure.
    • Turn off the CO2 tank’s primary valve, close the regulator’s shutoff valve, and make sure the regulator is adjusted to zero pressure.
    • Make sure the tap (faucet) is in the off (closed) position. Connect the liquid disconnect to the OUT post. Make sure it is securely connected.
    • Connect the gas disconnect to the IN post.
    • Make sure (again) that the tap is in the closed position. Fully open the main CO2 tank valve. Open the regulator’s shutoff valve. Adjust the gas pressure in the keg to about 12 PSI using the regulator’s adjustment knob.
  8. Keg hooked up to tap and 5 lb CO2 tank w/regulator with beer ready to dispense. Note the beer in the beer lineAdjust the kegerator and pour your homebrew.
    • Try pouring some beer. If it foams too much you can lower the pressure to 10 PSI, but be aware that pressures lower than about 12 PSI will usually allow gas bubbles to form in the beer line that will cause foaming. If the beer doesn’t foam at 12 PSI, see if it’s OK at 14 PSI, which is often a fine dispensing pressure (unless the beer foams at this higher pressure). 12 PSI should be perfectly fine as well in most cases.
    • Before adjusting the pressure in the keg you must first dial down the regulator to zero pressure, so it is shut off. Then pull the relief valve on the keg and vent all the pressure from the keg (this will happen very quickly). Then close or seal the relief valve and re-pressurize the keg to the desired pressure using the regulator.
    • Be aware that if your beer or kegerator is warmer, a higher pressure will be needed, while lower temperatures require lower pressures for beer dispense. It may be necessary to adjust the pressure a few times to get the best pour.
    • A “balanced” system will not produce overly foamy beer. This means that adequate CO2 pressure can be applied to prevent foam-causing gas bubbles from forming in the beer line, and the required pressure will not produce overly foamy beer. If your beer foams at 12 PSI, you may need to increase the length of your beer line.
  9. If desired, install a drip tray. Drip trays will keep beer from dripping onto the floor, and are a handy place to set down foamy glasses. Drip trays are secured with two or more self-tapping screws that will be included with the tray, so no pre-drilling is required. The drip tray's screw holes will allow the trip tray to be removed from the door. The drip tray should be centered directly under the tap, and leveled with a level. Allow for adequate space between the tap and the drip tray so that you can readily put glasses under the tap with plenty of room to spare. When you know exactly where to set the drip tray, mark the drip tray's screw holes with a pencil while holding it against the kegerator's door, then line it up with the holes and secure it using an electric drill (it should be possible to use a regular screwdriver, but it may be somewhat difficult). Do not overly tighten the screws against the drip tray, as the drip tray will be pulled free from the screws for regular cleaning.
Video Tips
  • If you’re having trouble pushing barbs into the vinyl gas and beverage hose, heat up the hose with hot water to soften it, shake excess water off the hose, and press the barbs into the hose.
Warnings
  • CO2 tanks and kegs are pressurized. Always use great caution when hooking up a keg to a CO2 tank, or when otherwise using a CO2 tank or pressurized keg.
  • Carbon dioxide can cause suffocation without warning.
Things You'll Need
  • Parts needed:
    • Refrigerator that can accommodate at least one 5-gallon (18.92 liters) cornelius keg and one 5 lb (2.26kg) CO2 tank with attached regulator
    • 5-gallon (18.92kg) ball-lock cornelius keg
    • A stainless steel 4 1/8” (10.47cm) shank with separate tailpiece, neoprene washer, and wing nut above a chrome-plated shank with unified tailpiece. The neoprene washer will be sandwiched between the end of the stainless shank and the tailpiece, and the wing nut screws onto the end of the shank to secure the tailpiece with neoprene washer to the shank. When using a shank with unified tailpiece, the separate tailpiece, neoprene washer, and wing nut are not needed.Shank (this will pass through the refrigerator door and connect the tap to the beer line). It must be somewhat longer than the thickness of the door. A 4 1/8”-long shank was used with the Kenmore version of the Sanyo Sr-4912M that was used for this article. A shank with either a 3/16” (4.76mm) or 1/4” (6.35mm) bore will work. If using a shank with a unified tailpiece, it should also be 3/16” (4.76mm) or 1/4” (6.35mm).
    • Tailpiece, neoprene washer, and wing nut for shank if not using a shank with a unified tailpiece. The tailpiece should be 3/16” for 3/16” (4.76mm) beverage hose. A 1/4” (6.35mm) tailpiece will work, but the end of the vinyl beverage hose must be heated in very hot water to soften it before the tailpiece’s barb can be pressed into it.
    • Stainless steel taps with handles. The tap on the left is a Perlick forward-sealing faucet, while the one on the right is a standard Micro Matic faucetTap (beer faucet or spigot).
    • Tap handle.
    • Ball lock disconnects (one for the gas line and one for the liquid line). These are available with permanently attached barbs or with barbs assemblies that are screwed onto 1/4” (6.35mm) MFL male threaded fittings. Most disconnects will be have 1/4” (6.35mm) or 3/16” (4.76mm)barbs that will fit 3/16” (4.76mm) beverage hose. It also appears that disconnects that are sold as being 1/4” (6.35mm) are in fact 3/16” (4.76mm). The gas line disconnects that have barbs that are screwed on can have either 1/4” (6.35mm) or 5/16” (7.93mm) barbs. Match the barb size of the gas disconnects with the gas hose size (stated as the ID or inner diameter).
    • Single or double-gauge regulator. Note that the regulator’s barbed outlet shutoff valve that connects to the gas line is usually 3/8” (9.52mm). This size barb is meant to fit 5/16” (7.93mm) hose. If you will be using a ball lock disconnect that has a 1/4” (6.35mm) barb, the disconnect must be connected to 1/4” hose, not 5/16” (7.93mm) hose. There are at least two ways to connect a 1/4” (6.35mm) disconnect with a standard regulator. The first way is to replace the regulator’s 3/8” barbed shutoff valve with a 1/4” (6.35mm) barbed shutoff valve. Use a shutoff valve that has a built-in check a valve that will keep beer from entering the regulator, even if the original shutoff valve did not have a check valve. The second way is to attach a check valve assembly to the end of the gas line that has a 3/8” (9.52mm) barb on one end and a connection for the disconnect’s 1/4” (6.35mm) barb or thread on the other end.
    • Full 5 lb (2.26kg) CO2 tank. This is the smallest size CO2 tank. If using a large refrigerator or if the CO2 tank will be kept outside the refrigerator, it may be more practical and economical to use a larger CO2 tank (you’ll need to have it filled less often and it usually cost the same to fill 5 lb (2.26kg) and 10 lb (4.53kg) CO2 tanks). A hole can be drilled in the refrigerator for the gas line, but instructions for this are not included in this article. You can have your CO2 tank filled at some homebrew shops, welding shops, and gas suppliers like Metheson Tri-Gas.
    • 3 to 4 feet of gas line hose (usually 5/16” (7.93mm) ID but sometimes 1/4” (6.35mm) ID). This hose is typically made of vinyl (or PVC). The hose must be thick-walled because it must be able to hold pressure. When using a standard regulator with a 3/8” (9.52mm) shutoff valve and a ball lock quick disconnect that has a threaded 5/16” (7.93mm) barb assembly, use 5/16” (7.93mm) gas line. Gas line that is 1/4” (6.35mm) can be used with 1/4” (6.35mm) fittings.
    • 4 to 5 feet (1.21m to 1.52m) of 3/16” (4.76mm) ID beverage line hose. This hose must be thick-walled and able to hold pressure. It’s important that the hose not be much shorter than 4 feet (1.21m) because the hose’s length helps to prevent foaming. The hose’s small inner diameter also prevents foaming.
    • Four stainless steel worm gear hose clamps. Use two for the gas line and two for the liquid line. Clamps that fit a maximum diameter of 1/2” (1.27cm) OD can be used for 3/16” (4.76mm) ID beverage hose and 5/16” (7.93mm) ID gas hose. Clamps that fit a maximum diameter of 7/8” (2.22cm) will fit the 5/16” (7.93mm) gas hose.
  • Tools needed:
    • 1” hole saw and electric drill
    • Flat head screwdriver
    • Adjustable wrench that opens to at least 1 1/8” (1.5” adjustable wrench is recommended)
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How to Adjust the Screen Timeout on an Android Phone

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49
Running applications (or apps) on an Android phone is notorious for using up battery power. However, leaving the screen display on is also one of the biggest battery killers. If you want to leave your phone on, but want to save power, here is how to adjust the screen timeout. Steps
  1. Go to your phone menu and tap on "Settings".
  2. Find and tap on "Display".
  3. Scroll down and tap on "Screen Timeout".
  4. Choose the time limit you want.
    • 15 seconds
    • 30 seconds
    • 1 minute
    • 2 minutes
    • 10 minutes
    • Never turn off.
  5. Learn that more battery power will be used on longer timeouts or if you select "never turn off". If the phone is being charged, timeouts aren't an issue.
Video Tips
  • Screen timeouts not only save battery power, but also avoid the potential "mistakes" of texting or calling someone.
Things You'll Need
  • Android phone
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How to Backup Your Gmail Account in Case Google Has Another Hiccup

How To do Stuff - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:49
A lot of information sent over email these days can be very important, such as account and password information, bank statements, university grades, business reports, and general correspondence among friends and family. It's always possible, though, that any data you store on the Internet could get wiped out. On February 28, 2011, Google confirmed that many Gmail users had temporarily lost access to their emails.[1] If you're worried about ever losing your emails to a similar glitch, it's probably a good idea to regularly backup your Gmail account. By configuring an email client on your computer, you can download your emails onto your hard drive by following these steps. Steps
  1. Log into Gmail and click on "Mail Settings" in the top right hand corner. This can be accessed from any Gmail page.
  2. Locate and click on the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab.
  3. Look under "POP Download". Select the first option, "Enable POP for all mail (even mail that's already been downloaded)".

  4. Click on "Save Changes" at the bottom.
  5. Configure your mail client following the steps below. Once your mail client is configured to download your email, remember to open it periodically to backup.
Apple Mail
  1. Click Mail > Preferences.
  2. Click the Accounts tab.
  3. Click the plus sign (+) at the bottom to add a new account.
  4. Enter your name in the Full Name field.
  5. Enter your Gmail address in the Email Address field. Use username@gmail.com, or username@your_domain.com for Google Apps users.
  6. Enter your Gmail password in the Password field.
  7. Check the box next to "Automatically set up your account". This only applies to Apple Mail 3.0. Skip this step if using 4.0.
  8. Click Create.
Outlook Express
  1. Click Tools > Accounts.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Click Mail.
  4. Enter your name in the Display name field and click Next.
  5. Enter your full Gmail email address in the Email address field, and click Next. If you use Google apps, enter 'username@your_domain.com' instead.
  6. Type pop.gmail.com in the Incoming mail (POP3, IMAP or HTTP) server field.
  7. Type smtp.gmail.com in the Outgoing mail (SMTP) server field. Google Apps users must enter the server name, not your domain name.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Enter your full email address in the Account name field. Enter your email password in the Password field, and click Next.
  10. Click Finish.
  11. Highlight pop.gmail.com under Account. Click Properties.
  12. Click the Advanced tab.
  13. Fill in the following information:
    • Check the box next to "This server requires a secure connection (SSL)" under Outgoing Mail (SMTP).
    • Enter 465 in the Outgoing mail (SMTP): field.
    • Under Outgoing Mail (SMTP), check the box next to "This server requires a secure connection (SSL)".
    • Under Incoming mail (POP3), check the box next to "This server requires a secure connection (SSL)." The port will change to 995.
  14. Return to the Servers tab. Check the box next to "My server requires authentication."
  15. Return to the Servers tab. Check the box next to "My server requires authentication."
  16. Click OK.
Thunderbird
  1. Open Thunderbird.
  2. Enter your Gmail username and Google password. Your username is whatever you put before @gmail.com.
  3. Thunderbird will download your e-mail. Note that Thunderbird doesn't backup your sent mail.
Windows Mail
  1. Click Tools menu > Accounts.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Select Email Account and click Next.
  4. Enter your name in the From field of outgoing messages. Click Next.
  5. Enter your full Gmail address. For Google Apps users, enter username@your_domain.com.
  6. Fill in all necessary fields with the following information:
    • Incoming mail server type: POP3
    • Incoming mail (POP3 or IMAP) server: pop.gmail.com. Google Apps users, enter the server name provided, not your domain name.
    • Outgoing e-mail server (SMTP) name: smtp.gmail.com
    • Outgoing server requires authentication: enabled
  7. Click Next, and enter your full Gmail address and your Gmail password. Google Apps users, enter username@your_domain.com.
  8. Click Next. Check the box next to "Do not download my e-mail at this time." Click Finish.
  9. On the Internet Accounts screen, make sure that your pop.gmail.com mail account is selected. Click the Properties button.
  10. On the Advanced tab, enter 465 in the in the box next to Outgoing mail (SMTP). Check the box next to "This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)."
  11. Check the box next to "This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)" under Incoming mail (POP3). The box next to Incoming mail (POP3) should automatically update to 995.
  12. Click OK. Close the Internet Accounts window.
Tips
  • It may take time for everything to appear because the mail is downloaded in batches instead of individual emails.
  • Only email that appear in "All Mail" or your inbox will be included. All "Spam" and "Trash" are not downloaded.
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Q2 motion-controlled internet radio

The Register - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 07:00
It's only rock and roll...

Review The Q2 is the simplest Internet radio you’re likely to find. It’s good looking too, with its tidy cube shape, rubberised casing and five colour options: white, black, lime and a couple of flowery pink and blue versions.…

Facebook lets users report friends who post suicidal content

The Register - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 06:00
Sign of the times

Facebook has introduced a service that allows users to report friends who have posted suicidal content on their account pages.…

Google to kill Gizmo5 VoIP on April 3

The Register - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 05:07
Pure VoIP Google Voice under test

Google will shut down the standalone Gizmo5 VoIP service on April 3, sixteen months after acquiring Gizmo5 and rolling the startup's engineers into its Google Voice team.…

Microsoft's pledges mobile open source love

The Register - Wed, 03/09/2011 - 00:11
Android and Apple stores failing compliance?

Microsoft is clarifying which open source apps are allowed in the Windows Phone Marketplace just as a survey reckons that a number of iPhone and Android open source apps are breaking those platforms' licensing rules.…

Reg Webcast: Video in the workplace - The future of business comms?

Anonymous probed for hack threat against WikiLeaker captors

The Register - Tue, 03/08/2011 - 23:09
'Operation Bradical' to avenge Manning treatment

The Pentagon has asked for an investigation into threats made by the Anonymous hacking collective against officials at Quantico, the Marine brig that is holding accused WikiLeaker Pfc. Bradley Manning.…

AMD claims 'fastest graphics card in the world'

The Register - Tue, 03/08/2011 - 22:23
Two Cayman GPUs, no waiting

AMD has unveiled a dual-GPU, easily overclockable, 3D-capable, DirectX 11–supporting consumer graphics card that it claims is "the fastest graphics card in the world".…

New service pitching IP bonding to channels

The Register - Tue, 03/08/2011 - 22:12
Time to share the load

Fusionbroadband, a new company based in Melbourne, is hoping to attract SIs as channels for an IP-based bonding technology developed in Canada.…