Know the Difference Between Rewards and Bribes

Children are the center of most parents’ lives and there is nothing that a parent will not do to keep their child happy. This is where most modern parents walk the fine line between good and bad parenting. In olden days when people where not so driven by consumerism, it was easier for parents to reward their kids without spoiling them. Now, with so many ways that kids can entertain themselves and with so much peer pressure to buy a certain brand of clothing or shoes, parents find it difficult to control children and not over indulge them.

The first tip to good parenting is to know the difference between rewards and bribes. While the former is an acknowledgement of good behavior, excellent academic performance and such, the latter is give to cajole kids to behave in a certain way. Knowing the difference between these two and how to discipline your child will go a long way towards bringing up kids without spoiling them. Always remember loving them does not mean that you can never say ‘no’ to them.

Remember that you will be doing them a great disservice by spoiling them for they will grow up to be petulant and spoilt adults. Very often, it is money that is the way that parents spoil kids. They can say ‘Throw the garbage and I will give you $5″ or ‘Get good grades and I will buy you a bike’ and make similar promises. Most kids are smart and when they find that they can bribe their parents in this way, they will never voluntarily help at home or study unless there is a monetary reward offered.

Parents will only set a dangerous precedent if they bribe kids from a young age for here are some ways that money as a reward can spoil kids:

• Will not appreciate the value of money

• Parents can never set or enforce rules

A child spoilt by being offered bribes will never learn the value of hard work and money. He will think that throwing a tantrum will get him what he wants and demand money for even small tasks like making his own bed. Spoilt children will be self-centered and self-absorbed putting his own wants above those of his family. Even if the family is facing a financial crisis, he will never tone down his wants.

If a child receives money for every act then his entire life will be governed by extrinsic motivations like monetary rewards and not intrinsic motivations like pride in doing a task well. Parents will never be able to set or enforce rules for a child who is used to monetary rewards will never listen to a simple ‘no’ but make demands for obeying rules. Spoilt kids will have a lot of problems integrating in society for they will be demanding when dealing with friends or teachers.

They will act like brats and expect always to get their own way and give prime importance to material goods rather than to simple love and friendship. A parent’s role is to prepare a child to be a good citizen and they will be doing a great disservice to their kids and society at large by spoiling them with too much money. So, how can parents reward children and not spoil them? Start by setting clear rules and boundaries and explain to them what is expected.

Tell them that some chores need to be done as being part of a family and not with the idea of receiving a monetary reward. Recompense your child for good behavior in non-monetary ways like extra television time or a dinner at their favorite burger joint. Let them realize that praise and a hug or kiss is also a kind of reward. If you do want to offer a reward for good behavior or performing an extra difficult task, do not let your child bargain and offer the reward after the task is performed satisfactorily.

If your child has performed extremely well at school, then you may wish to give a bigger reward like buying a bicycle. buy the bell or a special basket to go on the bike.

Kevin Keller’s Mousetrap Car

1. Defining the Problem

My Challenge: The problem I am assinged is to build a mousetrap car which can travel the farthest distance with the greatest accuracy. I have to build the car using a standard Victor mousetrap, and whatever materials I find suitable. Under no circumstances am I allowed to use a model kit. To successfully complete my project I have to use the Internet to gather information and I also have to follow a set of rules.

Using the Internet I have found many great websites detailing various methods of constructing a mousetrap car from a small one wheel version to a massive four wheel version.

Power Transmission to Axle

The mousetrap bar travels through an arc of approximately 180 degrees. This motion must be used to turn the car’s axle or wheels. The most common solution is to attach a string to the bar and wrap it around an axle. As the bar is released, it pulls on the string, causing the axle (and wheels) to turn.

Tying the string directly to the mousetraps bar, however, will not make good use of the energy stored in the spring. The distance between the opened and closed positions of the bar of a mousetrap is typically 10 cm, so this is how much string would be pulled. Wrapped around even a small diameter axle, this amount of string will not create enough revolutions to move the car as far as it might go.

To get around this problem, most mousetrap cars add a lever to the bar so that the lever will pull a much greater length of string and cause the axle to turn many more revolutions.

Friction of Wheels

Another reason to add a lever to the mousetrap bar is to reduce the amount of torque applied to the wheels. If too much torque is applied to the wheels, the force between the wheels and the ground will exceed the maximum frictional force due to the coefficient of friction between the wheel and ground surfaces. When this happens, the wheels slip and energy stored in the spring is wasted. Using a long lever on the mousetrap bar reduces the tension in the string due to the spring’s torque, and thus reduces the torque applied to the car’s wheels.

In addition to reducing the torque applied to the wheels, the coefficient of friction may be improved by using higher friction materials, such as rubber, on the wheels.

Step #1A string is attached to the mouse trap’s lever arm and them attached to the drive axle. Notice that the string has a loop tied at the axle end; this loop is caught by a hook on the axle so that the string is attached to the axle BUT it is allowed to release itself after the pulling force is spent. It is important to have the hook on the axle or the string will simple slip of the axle with out propelling the vehicle. Keep in mind that the hook must be short or it will re-catch the string and cause the car to stop.

Step #2Wind the wheels in the direction opposite to the motion you want the mouse trap car to travel, this will wind the string around the axle. Do not to wind the string loosely or it will snag itself. Do not push on the mousetrap’s lever arm during this process, you want the string to be tight and to pull the lever arm over.

Design Number 1:

In design number 1 I went for a four-wheel variant of the mousetrap car. The body is made up of 2 strips of balsa wood cut to size as indicated on the drawing. In between the 2 strips of balsa wood is a platform for the mousetrap to rest on. And in place of the mousetrap’s usual catch bar is a lever rod made out of balsa wood cut to the size indicated. This rod will have a hole drilled in the body roughly the size of a mousetrap’s catch bar; by doing this it will enable the rod to swing 180 degrees thus pulling the rear axle and engaging the car.

Design Number 2:

In design number 2 I decided to go for a two-wheel car. By using two wheels I am reducing the amout of friction thus enabling the car to go faster and farther. The design consists of one piece of balsa wood, cut to the size indicated, which will form the body of the car. I am placing one wheel on each side of the body to maintain the stability. The wheels will be held in place by a nut on the opposite side.

Design Number 3:

In design number three I designed a three-wheel version of the mousetrap car. The body is very light and simple as indicated in the drawing. The rear wheels will generate the speed required to launch the car the farthest distance in the shortest amount of time.

Is storing bikes in an enclosed trailer a good idea

I too am running out of space in my house to store my bikes. I have three bikes inside my house and my 5 kids bikes are outside in a shed (which is also over crowded). My idea is to buy a 6X12 enclosed trailer to store our bikes and modify it to also be like a bike shop. We take our bikes everywhere. My concern though is keeping the bikes in an environment that is not controlled. Although they will be completely sealed off from rain, etc., they will still be exposed to varying temperatures and humidity. Does anyone think storing these bikes in a trailer is a good idea?

It’s definitely not as good as storing them in a climate controlled environment like your house but if you’re buying a camper-style trailer it’s going to be a little better than throwing them in a shed out back and a lot better than leaving them out in the elements. As long as the bikes are getting ridden and maintained regularly, normal wear and tear should catch up to them before the effects of the storage method you have in mind will. Unless you’re running a climate controlled environment the two things you’re going to have to watch out for are high humidity levels, high temperatures.

Unless you’re running an AC or storing your bikes in a giant ammmo box, humidity is going to be a concern. Keep in mind that even if you don’t have a steel framed bike, many of your components are either made of steel or have steel bits which are especially susceptible to corrosion. Even if the trailer is reasonably well sealed you may want to consider getting a chemical dehumidifier. These are often made of a type of clay or silica gel and you should be able to find them at your local hardware or home improvement store, or obviously online. If you find that they’re getting used up faster than they should be then you probably have an issue with how well your trailer is sealed. Make sure to change the dehumidifier out as needed since the chemical type does get used up.

Regarding temperatures, extreme heat is the one you really need to watch out for. High temperatures won’t affect the metal parts of your bike but they will degrade most anything made of plastic or rubber over time. Try to position the trailer somewhere that doesn’t get much sun. If you live in an arid climate, consider venting it during the summer. However if you live in a humid climate leaving a vent open is probably just trading one problem for another. Cold shouldn’t be much of an issue.

As an aside, don’t store your bike in direct sunlight either. This is true of any storage method. The paint and/or anodization can fade over time which is purely aesthetic, but once again rubber and plastic parts (leather as well) are susceptible to degradation from sunlight.

Is a Bike Friday worth the extra cost

Folding Bicycles: Is a Bike Friday worth the extra cost?

I looking at folding bikes to make my commute (train + bikeride) easier. At first I was drawn to the Dahon D7, which is available locally for $500-600 depending on components. But Bike Friday offers some very nice folders starting at around $1000, or $1300 for the super-slick-folding Tikit.

I probably can afford a Tikit, so the choice is probably the Dahon D7 vs. the Bike Friday Pocket Companion. Other than the good feeling of buying a US-made bike, what does the 2X price increase on the Bike Friday get me?

I had both a companion and a tikit. The companion is a huge pain to fold. It may not seem like it in the showroom, but trust me, you will get annoyed. That said, the companion is a good, solid bicycle. The extra money gets you a much better ride.

If you considering the D7, look at the Tern Link D8.

Lastly, if you can squeeze it into your budget, buy the Tikit. I love it. It my only bike. I fold it routinely and ride it everywhere. I taken it on the subway. I keep it under my desk at work. I take it to Starbucks.

You looking at two VERY different bikes. The Speed D7 is an entry-level Dahon, and if you choosing between that and the Pocket Companion, you should really consider some other Dahons like the Mu P8 or the Vitesse D7HG. Second, the Pocket Companion is intended for travel, not for multi-modal commuting. It meant to be folded/disassembled to pack into a suitcase for a trip, then not folded again until the return trip. It a much better bike for long rides and carrying gear, but it not meant to be folded twice a day for commuting. That why Bike Friday made the Tikit.

I taken a Tikit on a 50-mile group ride and had no trouble keeping up with the roadies. My only complaint was that the bell rang every time I hit a bump.

Having sold and serviced both Bike Fridays and Dahons for years, and now Terns since they been available, I can tell you that Bike Friday customer support is bar none. They come with a lifetime warranty, and they mean it. If something breaks on a Bike Friday, the company will literally bend over backwards to help you. If a part can be easily replaced, they ship it to your local dealer. If it requires more involved work, send it to them and they take care of it. Furthermore, they a small enough company that if you call them with a question, the person who answers the phone may not know the question, but they likely know the person who does and will get it answered right quick.

Dahon makes good bikes, but frankly they not on the same level. They a much larger operation. The bikes are made in Taiwan by people who are very good at the specific operations they deal with, but don necessarily have a holistic view of the bike or the system. What this means is that if there a problem with the bike, you considerably less likely to get quick satisfaction than with Bike Friday. Whether or not this is worth it to you is what important.

As far as Tern goes, the verdict is still out, but they seem nearly identical to the Dahons.

To summarize: if you looking for a folding commuter, don consider the Pocket Companion, but definitely consider the Dahons and Terns that are better than the Speed D7. If you want a decent bike that will hold up well for a few years, any of the above should meet your needs. If you want something that you can use anywhere and that will last decades, save up for the Tikit.

Japanese automakers widen the profit gap

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Suit: Bank Practices Illegal CollectionBank Overdraft Revenue Rises to $31.5 BillionMortgage Rates Hit New Record LowGDP For Second Qtr Revised LowerStudent Loans Soar, Other Debt Falls

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The already huge per-vehicle profit gap between Japanese automakers and the Detroit Three in North America grew 32% from 2005 to 2006, even though General Motors gm has made significant improvements, according to a study released Tuesday.

Overall, GM, Ford f and Chrysler made an average $3,814 less per car or truck than their prime competitors, Toyota tm Honda hmc and Nissan nsany, according to a study of industry costs and profits by Laurie Harbour-Felax, managing director of Stout Risius Ross, a Chicago-based advisory firm.

The gap, which includes special write-offs such as early retirement, buyout and other restructuring costs, widened by $915 from $2,899 in 2005, Harbour-Felax said Tuesday while attending an industry conference run by the Center for Automotive Research.

GM cut its loss per vehicle in North America to $146 in 2006 from $1,271 in 2005, due largely to cost cuts that included the departure of more than 34,000 hourly workers to buyout and early retirement offers. It also is saving money by designing cars and trucks globally, increasing the number of parts common to all its vehicles and buying parts on a global basis, Harbour-Felax said.

“GM has done the most from this, as you look at their whole product lineup,” she said.

Still, GM made $2,123 less per vehicle than Toyota in 2006, according to the report. Toyota, most profitable of all automakers on a per-vehicle basis, increased its profit per vehicle from $1,175 in 2005 to $1,977 in 2006, the report said. The numbers for individual manufacturers are at times lower than the overall gap because they do not include special write-offs, Harbour-Felax said.

Ford, while it has made progress on cost cuts, common parts and globalization, still had a $3,939 profit gap in 2006 compared with Toyota, Harbour-Felax said.

Chrysler’s profit gap with Toyota averaged $3,088 per vehicle for 2006 mainly because it was “force feeding” the market by selling vehicles with heavy incentives, she said.

“They put all these vehicles on the market that the consumer wasn’t demanding,” she said.

The labor cost difference between the Detroit Three and the Japanese automakers amounts to $1,200 to $1,500 per vehicle, Harbour-Felax said. Even if domestic automakers could get parity with the Japanese in labor costs, that won’t solve all their problems, because labor costs make up only about 10% of the cost of a vehicle, she said.

Is it advisable to start driving a manual car in second gear

It is generally not a problem to start your car in second gear as long as you release the clutch properly.

The only downside will be that you will probably put more wear on your clutch disc than if you started in first.

This is because the whole reason for having multiple gears is so that you can choose the most appropriate combination for transmission input to output (a simple way of thinking of it is engine speed to wheel speed, though that not exact because of the differential).

You can start a manual car in any gear if you really want to. However, you generally start a car in first gear from a stop because that the gear in which your engine gets the most leverage against the pavement and therefore your engine is doing the least work and your clutch has to do the least buffering between the two. Starting in first will generally save you gas and make your clutch last longer.

That said, many transmissions for cars with small engines have a very low geared first gear to help you get up a hill or carry a trunk full of bricks, because otherwise those little cars would never be able to do either task. If that the case, and it often is, you will not hurt your car if the most appropriate gear for your situation is 2nd. If you on a flat surface (not to mention downhill) and not trying to accelerate fast and your trunk is not full of bricks you very well might do absolutely no harm starting in 2nd.

The way you will know this is by how hard your engine is working and how much you have to slip the clutch. If you are doing a lot of work with the clutch to start in 2nd, you should probably be starting in first. Also, if you have to go to relatively high rpms to go from 2nd you should also probably use 1st.

You can start a car with a manual transmission in any gear. Since the clutch pedal must be depressed to start the car (disengaging the transmission), it does not matter what gear the car is.

However if you attempt to move from standstill in second gear (or any forward-gear other than first), you may stall the car since there less torque available in the higher gears. This also places additional stress on the clutch, transmission, and possibly flywheel. (It is common to start moving in second in certain low-friction situations, like driving on ice.) In general, it not advisable.

You can, but as the torque is lower you need higher revs and you need to slip the clutch for longer in order to move off without stalling. This will cause higher wear on the clutch. You can move off in pretty much any gear, just the higher it is the more you have to burn the clutch!

Every usual passenger car with a manual gearbox I know is engineered in that way that 1st gear is the right choice to start driving from standstill. As soon the car is rolling, 2nd is okay. Most mid-size and heavy trucks have gearboxes which are geared for using 2nd gear for start. 1st gear is only recommended for starting under heavy load and/or at steep hills. Often you can spot these gearboxes by the shifting pattern. On usual gearboxes, 1st gear is in the left upper position, 2nd gear is in the left lower position. Gearboxes which are geared for using the 2nd for start have the 2nd in the left upper position and the 1st in far left lower position. There are, however, exceptions. Sports cars like the BMW M3 E30 were fitted with a Getrag 5 speed sports gearbox. Here 1st gear was located far left lower position, while 2nd until 5th gear formed the familiar H shifting pattern. The reason for this: These cars were suited for racing, And on a racetrack, you need 1st gear only for the start.

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Dirt bike parts. About 420 off road dirt bike connecting rods or crankshaft assemblies, manufactured in China and imported by Wiseco Performance Products of Mentor, Ohio, because the connecting rods could crack and the engine could lock under stress. This poses a risk of crashes. No incidents have been reported. The recalled products were sold by off road dirt bike distributors across the country and online between March 2007 and December 2008.

Radiators. About 36 Radson wall mounted radiators, because they can come loose from the wall and fall. An additional 113,000 are being recalled outside of the United States. The radiators were manufactured in Belgium by Rettig Belgium NV. The recalled radiators were sold by plumbing and heating supply companies between October 2007 and January 2008.

Feds keep popular campground open despite risk of devastating landslideTop 10 hikes around WashingtonUW plans 50 story tower on downtown blockNew advances lure boss Dr. Larry Corey back to lab$43 million deal to move UW labs for light rail lineSeattle Symphony and play to adoring crowd at Carnegie HallPot lottery winners already cashing inTake child school testing and shove it Danny Westneat Danny WestneatVideo: Watch scientists’ best computer model yet of universeKen Burns’ ‘The Roosevelts’ to open PBS season

PRLog (Press Release) Mar. 26, 2010 The topsy turvey economic conditions have caused many Michigan business owners to rethink their advertising budgets. Some have put everything on hold and are watching what is happening with their competitors before they dive in. Others have had to take that dive and they are reporting that the water is fine. Health care companies are shying away from traditional advertising such as billboards, radio spots and television but more importantly Yellow Pages. The newspaper industry has taken a serious tanking too namely ill fated Ann Arbor News.

So where are the health care companies turning for help? They are going to PR experts like Hot Metro Finds creator, Ted Cantu, an online marketer who has created 80,000 links for his companies. In just a few simple weeks Cantu has given new life to Yamaha atv parts dealers Powers Edge. He has also created more limelight for beauty suppliers Windsor Beauty with their OPI nail care line. The portfolio he represents online is quite diverse. Quite recently Cantu has even picked up a automotive green technology company based out of Metro Detroit.

“We recently created a lot of exposure for an MRI company based out of Michigan that offers treatment for cash!” says Cantu. “The response online has been massive and we have created a lot of exposure for this Metro Detroit based health care company. We are finding health care companies growing their practice online and really enjoying the benefit of smarter advertising through web communication.”

Nonstop promotion is the key behind this type of success. Cantu is finding out that many companies that come to him are enjoying a secret hidden benefit to promoting online. Press releases are a phenomenal way for many Michigan businesses to land third party credibility. Cantu explains, “We are getting a lot of companies who are getting on page 1 of Google but also are ending up in top media spaces like USA Today, Wall Street Hour, ABC Media, Dbusiness Magazine, Hour Detroit, CBS Media and more. That is where things get really exciting for us because now we are giving Michigan companies a second wind and propelling many of them into bigger cash spending arenas. We create popularity and credibility.”

Michigan companies have two choices. They can fight harder or they can curl up and die and believe it or not many Michigan business owners have chosen the later. Over 20,000 people are reported to leave Michigan on a monthly basis and many storefronts have boarded up as business owners called it quits. That leaves business owners with the traditional media advertising options. And in this cash poor economy those high end expense options are not attractive enough to lure spending. PRLog can’t be held liable for the content posted by others. Jones.

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