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The History of Toy Soldiers: Steps to Choosing the Right Collection

July 1, 2022 — by Richard Dawson

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Airfix British Paras plastic toy soldiers

People have always had a fascination with wars. I remember begging my parents for a set of military figures and toys at a very young age, before I understood anything about what war is. The appeal of military figures and toys has been there for centuries, but it started soaring in the late 19th century. Nowadays, though, they’re much more than just toys. There are many collectors who would pay serious money for some sets. If you’re new to toy soldiers, and are contemplating whether or not to buy that expensive set you’ve been eyeing for a while, here’s everything you need to know about them – from their history, to how they’re made and what you need to consider before buying a specific set.

Health & BeautyUncategorized

A Guide to the Different Types of Back Braces

May 26, 2022 — by Richard Dawson

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We slouch at our desks for at least 40 hours a week, and the rest of the time we hunch our heads even more over our phones. Not to mention the three-year pandemic that has hindered our normal way of life and turned us into even bigger couch potatoes, all of which significantly impacts our back health. Bad posture causes more than just momentary discomfort and stiffness, it can lead to a permanent hunch, which you definitely don’t want. So, is wearing a shoulder brace the key step to a better posture?

The Different Types of Back Braces

Back braces have the potential to be an excellent tool to better your posture, keep your spine properly aligned, remedy the negative consequences of a particular condition and reduce a recurring back discomfort caused by a spinal issue. When choosing a back support brace, the most crucial element to consider is where you want to focus the support, whether it’s your lower, middle, upper, or shoulder back, or a mix of multiple aching points. 

The shoulder support is composed of a special elastic material that is cushioned where it matters for a gentle touch against your skin, particularly under your arms where other braces might rub. This implies that the back support brace can be worn directly on bare skin and comfortably under your clothes.

Specific forms, formats, and materials may be better for particular ailments and even just for certain people’s bodies, so it’s crucial to see a physician if possible when selecting the right back brace for you. However, most back braces fall into one of three groups based on the materials used to make them, so you’ve got flexible, semi-rigid, and rigid models.

Soft Braces

The Different Types of Back Braces soft Braces
Source: shimspine.com

Soft braces are comprised of breathable, soft fabric with adjustable elastic or Velcro closures. Soft braces compress the abdomen area and reduce spinal pressure by supporting the muscles that normally support the skeletal structure. Soft bracing enables the spine to move forwards.

Some soft braces provide support when the wearer is performing heavy lifting at work or at home. Others just give mild, all-day assistance. Depending on the region of need, these orthotics come in various forms and sizes. Some reach from just below the sternum to the hips, and others being much smaller, resemble a big belt.

Because most of these soft braces are adjustable, you won’t need to be measured at an orthotics clinic for a tailored one. However, your medical or orthotics specialist can show you how to use your brace most successfully.

Rigid Braces

Rigid Braces
Source: facebook.com

Rigid braces, which include hard panels on the front, back, and/or sides, give the most support and stability to your back. This brace is often composed of hard composite materials or moulded plastic and held together by a strong covering of cotton or canvas that wraps around the body.

Rigid braces are good for patients who have significant pain or are recuperating from an accident or surgery that requires their back to be still. These braces provide comfort by providing strong pressure to the spinal column, shifting weight away from fragile or damaged bones. They also drastically lower spinal segment range of motion and even micro-motion, which is ideal for post-surgical treatments. 

Semi-Rigid Braces

Semi-Rigid Braces
Source: pinterest.com

Semi-rigid braces integrate the best features of both flexible and stiff braces into a single design. This is usually accomplished by adding solid supports or extra stiff padding to the body of a flexible brace. These extra supports are often detachable, allowing the user to tailor the amount of stability to their own demands.

The corset brace, which resembles a woman’s corset and features vertical metal or plastic stays that provide support and prevent mobility, is an example of a semi-rigid brace. Depending on the degree of support supplied, these stays are often incorporated throughout the whole circle of the brace, or simply in a few spots on the front, back, or sides.

How to Properly Wear a Back Brace

A prescription brace for back pain should come with use and maintenance instructions from the doctor, the brace manufacturer, or both. These instructions contain advice on how to fit the brace, how to put it on and take it off, and how to clean and care for the same. Many braces are custom-made for the patient’s needs and physique, and if worn inappropriately, they can cause discomfort.

Wearing a back brace incorrectly can irritate the skin, resulting in blisters or rashes. Washing the skin under the brace on a daily basis can help prevent debris and dead skin from accumulating and creating discomfort. Excessive moisture under the brace might irritate the skin and cause ulcers and/or skin degeneration.

As a result, avoid using lotions or moisturisers underneath the brace. After removing it, it is usual to see some red areas on the skin. These stains should disappear in 15 to 30 minutes. If they do not go away, or if the brace causes a rash or bruising on the skin, it is possible that it was not correctly placed and should be adjusted by a doctor or expert.

The manufacturer will normally include specific washing guidelines, which should be followed to ensure the brace’s longevity. Most back braces are not intended to be machine cleaned or dried. Instead, hand wash the brace with water and mild soap. Any extra padding or panels should be removed and cleaned separately first.

A brace should be hung or placed flat to dry. Before wearing the brace, make sure it has been well cleaned and completely dried since a soapy or wet brace is more prone to irritate the skin. It’s also a good idea to use a lint roller to remove any dirt, dust, or debris from the brace.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Back Brace?

In general, any patient with a musculoskeletal disease might benefit from wearing a back support brace by unloading compressive pressures on the spine, or patients who are in desperate need of postural correction. Patients suffering from the following conditions may benefit from spinal bracing because of its unloading, stabilising, and proprioceptive feedback effects: acute sprains and strains, post-operative fusion, laminectomy, discectomy, congenital or traumatic instability, disc herniation, spinal stenosis, postural backache, fractures, and/or degenerative joint/disc disease.

AutomotiveUncategorized

The Inner Workings of Cooling Systems Explained in Simple Steps

November 19, 2020 — by Richard Dawson

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coolant system in the car

Even though gas engines have come a long way since their humble beginnings, they’re still not efficient at transforming chemical energy into mechanical power. The majority of the energy is converted into heat, which is why every vehicle, including your Mitsubishi, needs a cooling system to prevent parts from overheating. The engine, in particular, runs at high temperatures. And while the engine should run quite hot to prevent parts from wearing, to reduce the emissions the vehicle releases and improve its efficiency, it shouldn’t run too hot. Otherwise, it will overheat, leading to damage. That being said, the purpose of the cooling system is to keep the engine at just the right temperature.

Inside your Mitsubishi’s engine, gas is constantly burning, and the majority of the heat from this combustion goes out the exhaust system. However, some of it soaks inside the engine, resulting in high temperatures. The engine runs best at about 93°C. At 93°C, the combustion chamber is hot enough to vaporise the fuel completely, leading to reduced emissions and better combustion. Further, the oil used to lubricate the engine is thinner, allowing the engine parts to move freely, reducing the amount of power the engine wastes to move its own parts around. Lastly, at 90°C Celsius, the metal parts wear less.

refilling the windshield washer system antifreeze

The cooling system of your Mitsubishi features a lot of plumbing and a few distinct cooling Mitsubishi parts and accessories that make up the whole system. These parts include a pump that sends antifreeze into the engine block where the cylinders are located, a thermostat where the fluid leaves the engine, and a radiator where the hot antifreeze is cooled again. There’s also an entirely different circuit for your Mitsubishi’s heating system, which takes the antifreeze from the cylinder heads and sends it through the heater core before going back to the pump.

It all starts at the pump, which is driven by a belt connected to the engine’s crankshaft. The pump circulates antifreeze whenever the engine is operating. Once the engine starts operating, the pump spins with the help of centrifugal forces. The inlet of the pump is near the centre so that the antifreeze coming back from the radiator hits the vanes. The vanes fling the antifreeze to the outside of the pump before going into the engine.

The radiator is the heart of the cooling system, and it’s the part where the magic happens. Most modern vehicles, including Mitsubishi, use aluminium radiators, which are designed to cool the hot antifreeze that passes through them before returning it to the pump. The reason most vehicles use aluminium radiators is their lightweight. Radiators feature a number of parallelly arranged tubes and fins. The fins are responsible for conducting the heat from the tubes and transferring it to the air that flows through the radiator. Sometimes, the tubes feature a fin known as a turbulator, whose purpose is to improve the turbulence of the antifreeze as it flows through them. This results in all of the antifreeze coming in contact with the tubes, allowing it to cool, which is quite important, as the amount of heat transferred from the antifreeze to the tubes depends on the difference in temperature between the two.

The cooling system also features a radiator cap, which increases the boiling point of the antifreeze by about 25°C. It does this the same way pressure cookers increase water’s boiling temperature. This is actually a pressure release valve that’s set to 15 PSI on vehicles. When the antifreeze heats up, it expands, resulting in a pressure build-up. The cap is the only point in the cooling system that allows pressure to leave. Once the pressure reaches 15 PSI, it pushes the valve open. Once open, the antifreeze leaves the cooling system and it goes to the overflow tank. This ensures air is out of the cooling system. When the radiator cools down, it creates a vacuum that pulls open another valve, sucking back the water from the overflow tank.

refilling coolant

Lastly, there’s the thermostat, whose main purpose is to allow the engine to heat up, and then keep it at a constant temperature of around 93°C. This is done by regulating the amount of water that’s allowed in the radiator. At lower temperatures, the outlet to the radiator is blocked, and all of the antifreeze is recirculated back to the engine. Once the temperature rises around 80-90°C, the thermostat opens, sending antifreeze through the radiator. By the time the antifreeze reaches a temperature of 90-105°C, the thermostat is completely opened. The thermostat is one of those Mitsubishi parts and accessories that do the seemingly impossible. It’s positioned in the small cylinder found on the engine-side of the devices. The cylinder is filled with wax that melts at around 82°C, which is then pressed by a rod, forcing the wax to expand. As a result, the rod is pushed out of the cylinder, opening the valve.

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Simple Steps to Choosing the Appropriate Shower Unit

February 25, 2020 — by Valeriya Vimon

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Creating the perfect bathroom is not that difficult. Except for jazzing it up with some of the large selection of accessories, choosing the right bathroom shower is one of the fundamental pieces of this puzzle. While bathtubs were one of the main choices in the past, they were slowly replaced with shower units. These tall and appealing enclosures are available in a large selection of designs and sizes. Just like bathtubs, shower enclosures can be placed almost anywhere in the bathroom.

Home Decor & GardenUncategorized

Steps to Picking the Right Bike Shed

October 9, 2019 — by Richard Dawson

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Whether you’re a bicycle enthusiast or a business owner who wants to promote a healthy lifestyle and add an extra amenity to their bicycle-riding customers, a bike shed can go a long way in ensuring your bicycles, or those of your customers are stored in a safe area. There’s a wide range of bicycle sheds on the market today and as is the case when buying most things, you need to carefully consider which type will best suit your needs. With that said, here are the steps to take to choose the ideal bicycle shed for your space.

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Guitar Playing: The Steps to Choosing Electric Strings

January 9, 2019 — by Richard Dawson

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If listening to music is one of the pleasures in life, then so is playing it. Playing an instrument certainly brings joy, no matter the age, and of course a sense of accomplishment, which goes to show why it’s one of the dreams of many. Now that electric guitars are having their great comeback, why not give them a try? Even if you don’t turn into a famous rock star, you could still entertain at home.