Rainwater Harvesting – Water Tanks for Rainwater Collection

In Australia drought and water conservation are of constant concern. We are a dry continent; in fact we’re the driest inhabited continent on Earth. Every drop of water is precious, and investing in rainwater harvesting is of benefit to both individual households and our nation as a whole.

Rainwater harvesting simply means the collection of rainwater for re-use, instead of allowing it to run off into the ground. The rain water collected has a myriad of uses; gardening, irrigation, water features, livestock, washing, bathing and heating.

poly-water-tank-alkatuff
Alkatuff Poly Water Tank

With minimal treatment, rainwater can also be used as drinking water, and is just as safe as the water that comes out of your tap. Just as solar power provides free energy, rainwater harvesting provides free water. Not only will it reduce your utility bill, it increases the sustainability of our reservoir and groundwater supplies.  Rainwater harvesting means that you can bypass water restrictions to some extent, using your own supply instead of a limited supply of main water.

Not only is Australia a land of droughts, in many areas floods are a constant concern. Without rainwater harvesting, almost all flood water is wasted as it washes away and becomes contaminated. Not only does rainwater harvesting find use from this abundance of water, it reduces the burden on storm drains and other water safety measures.

Domestically, the most common method of rainwater harvesting are roof catchment systems. Rain that falls on the roof is siphoned off via gutters into a large collection water tank. Hundreds of litres can be stored this way. With proper installation and the right filters, no effort is involved in rainwater collection other than the initial setup, gravity does all the work. Due to their size, roofs can collect an enormous amount of water. In a single story house the surface area of the roof is usually greater than the surface area of the house itself. Based on the average floor space of an Australian house, over 200 litres can be collected during a decent rainfall. Any excess is simply filtered out.

Rainwater collection technology from Alkatuff is constantly developing in order to deliver cleaner and more abundant water to harvesters. “First flush” diverters protects stored water from contaminants, which are most prevalent during the first flush runoff. Highly advanced meshes keep leaves and debris from blocking the gutters. Outlets and valves ensure a steady, stable flow of water.

There is a variety of water tank systems available. While the tanks themselves are fundamentally the same, a variety of inputs and outputs can be used. These can range from a simple gravity tap to an electric pump that delivers water into the house. Gauges can also be installed in order to monitor and regulate water levels.

The advantages and benefits of rainwater harvesting are so numerous that every household can benefit from installing some form of rainwater harvesting system. There are sizes and systems available for every budget, and the amount saved from reducing utility bills should be considered a discount to every purchase.

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Jester s- Not the Fools You May Think

A jester or fool was a type of entertainer and archetype in Medieval Europe, similar to a modern clown or comedian. With their colorful, eccentric outfits and repertoire of juggling, acrobatics and wit, jesters were a favorite of commoners and noblemen alike. Jesters were commonly travelling minstrels and acrobats, performing at village fairs and festivals. Those who were especially lucky or talented would be hired as court jesters, becoming a regular fixture of a noble or royal court. They would perform tricks, sing fables and satirize daily court life in front of the upper class.

Court jesters were granted special privileges, and were allowed to speak in a way that other commoners were forbidden to. With this license to offend, court jesters served as a “voice of the people” in a culture with rigid social barriers. A court jester could openly mock and satirize their social betters without consequence, and were often favored by their lords as trusted advisors who could always speak their minds. Queen Elizabeth I is recorded as having scolding her court jester for not being harsh enough on her.

A successful jester had to be skilled in both physical acts and possess a quick wit and knack for singing and storytelling. Jester performances were usually a mix of juggling, acrobatics and magic combined with fables, songs, jokes and political commentaries. There was no fixed costume for a jester, but costume usually involved loud, motley colours, bells and baubles and a hood with trihorns or donkey ears. Jesters are often portrayed as carrying a hobby horse or mock sceptre, as a parody of the knightly aristocracy.

While court jesters were generally beloved by nobles and commoners alike, their favored status and constant barrage of insults sometimes wore thin on some nobles. Many of the notable royal jesters ended their careers after developing massive egos and offending the wrong people. Archibald Armstrong, court jester to the Stuarts, was finally exiled from court after repeatedly mocking the Archbishop of Canterbury for being short. Sir Jeffery Hudson, a jester and dwarf who charmed his way into the English and French court, was exiled after killing a nobleman who refused to take Hudson’s military status seriously. Hudson challenged the nobleman to a duel over the perceived insult, and the nobleman, still refusing to take Hudson seriously, brought a water pistol to the duel. Hudson however, used a real pistol.

While fools and jesters were a real profession, their cultural status is generally attributed to their common appearance in the works of Shakespeare. Only some of them are court jesters, but Shakespearean fools appear in 25 of Shakespeare’s plays. They served as comic relief and a satirical voice that a common audience could relate to. As noted by critics and historians, the irony of the fool was that he was the most perceptive character. As Isaac Asimov said ‘That, of course, is the great secret of the successful fool – that he is no fool at all”. The legacy of fools and jesters can also be seen in playing cards; the Fool card in tarot decks and the Joker card in standard card decks.

Court jesters fell out of fashion with the decline of feudalism in Europe, although jesters remained popular in theatre and carnival culture. The modern successor of the jester is arguably the clown, colourful entertainers who perform similar feats of agility and silliness. While society has obviously changed since the days of knights and castles, the people’s love for ridiculous comedy theatre and performance.

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Buy the Best iPhone Cases in Australia

iphone-cases-australiaIn this era of technology, buying an iPhone is considered to be some kind of investments or even more than that. You will be deeply attached to your phone and even it may be the only thing that keeps you living. Just like any other types of investments, your iPhone is bound to go through turbulent times. It may fall down from greater heights, drop on water, get scratches among other unpleasant experiences. You can’t just sit and watch your investment degrading its value, you need to protect it and nothing can give your iPhone the best protection such as an iPhone case.

iPhone Cases have been specially designed to provide maximum amount of protection to iPhones. Keep in mind that once your phone gets physical damage, you will not only lose your money but also your data. This can happen especially if you had not backed it up. Your favourite photos, videos , music would just vanish right before of your eyes and it may take you some time before you recover them. Do not be a victim of such unwanted incidences, just spare some money and you will thank yourself later in future. Lets look at some of the reasons as to why you should consider buying iPhone cases.

They offer total protection

You will have total peace of mind knowing that your iPhone is safe and sound, free from any form of physical damage. An iPhone is a very delicate mobile device which is exposed to different types of dangers. As you become extra-careful to protect it from being rained on, the phone may just slide from your hands and fall on a tarmac road. You will be very lucky if you only get a cracked screen as most of the times the fall can be the end of the phone’s life. In such situation, the casing will not just protect it from water but will also shield it from physical damage when it drops on a hard surface.

Protection from scratches

Most of the time we put our phones in a our pockets. This is usually done without thinking about other items that are in the pocket. Your keys might also be in the pocket and as you drop your iPhone, the two might decide to know more about each other. The results will be scratches on the screen of your lovely iPhone. Of course this will reduce the physical attractiveness of your phone making it to look older and worn out. You will start hating your phone just because it has scratches both on its screen and on the body. Spare your such by getting an iPhone case in Australia.

It gives your phone style

Your iPhone needs to be more than just a regular phone, it should be stylish. All phones come in their original designs and shapes but this does not mean that they should remain like that. You can change something about the phone and make it look attractive to your eyes. This can be possible thanks to iPhone cases. Apart from offering protection, the cases play a big role in improving the aesthetic value of a phone. They come in different colors and decorations. You will be free to choose the color of your choice. You can also choose a special design that you want so long as it makes you happy.

Fashion statement

By using a styled case, your iPhone will stand out from the rest of other phones as it will be unique on its own. You won’t mind flashing it before other people making the envious of what you are having. Still on the matter of style, iPhone cases can be used to make a fashion statements. This can be achieved by buying fashionable and well styled cases which will not only give the phone a fashionable look but also will compliment your own fashion. You can opt to buy different cases that have different colors so as to perfectly match what you are wearing.

We are the leading retailer of iPhone cases in Australia meaning that we’ve got all the answers about iPhone cases. You can make a purchase right from the comfort of your living room thanks to our online store which has a wide variety of cases that one can choose from. We deal with both individual buyers and bulk buyers. This means that if you want to buy many cases for your organisation, we can still sort you out. In case you have any questions regarding the type of cases to purchase, our customer care staff will be at your service to answer all your queries.

How to find a good Property Manager?

If you’ve ever searched for a good property manager for your rental property, then you know how difficult it can be to find a good one. There are several property managers out there, probably more than what you really need to take your property on the market.

With so many options available, you may find it difficult to choose one for your property.


If you ask the right questions while shopping around for property managers, you will get a better idea of ??who would make the best fit for your property.

Ask them these questions when discussing your property to see if they are the right property manager for you:

1. What type of properties have you managed?
Experience counts for a lot in property management, and it can separate the good ones from the ones you should steer away from. Experience in this field, however, isn’t just about the number of years worked in the field; it’s also about what type of properties they’ve managed. Depending on what type of property you have, you can either go with someone who specialises in managing properties like yours or someone who has more varied experience managing different types of properties.

2. How do you screen potential tenants?
Screening potential tenants is one of the most important steps to property management, so the way they do this often reflects their level of service to your property. Ask them how they’ll match tenants to your property and what their process is like for finding tenants. This will give you a better idea of how they operate and what lengths they’ll go to to find the right match for your property.
3. How do you handle late payments by tenants?
Finding tenants is just one phase of property management; the longer phase involves managing the tenancy itself. Asking them this question will show you what their management style is like and how they’ll deal with critical rental issues like these. See if their process aligns with what you expect them to do and how you want your property to be managed.

4. How do you respond to complaints?
Similar to the previous question, this question allows you to gauge how well a potential property manager will handle the landlord-tenant relationship. Remember that a property manager will act as the mediator between you and your tenant, so it’s important that you’re comfortable with their process for dealing with any complaints or issues.

5. How often do you do inspections?
Routine inspections are important to any tenancy agreement, and the number of times it’s done per year will help give you better peace of mind as the landlord or owner. This question will also show you how well the property manager will look after your property even after the start of the tenancy.

6. What’s the right rental price for my property?
If you’ve done your research beforehand, this question will let you assess how well a potential property manager knows the market and what they can offer you. It also allows you to get a better idea of what your property is worth in the current market. Compare their answer with different property managers to see what they offer and to better understand where your property stands in the market.

7. What are the things I can do to improve my listing?
Asking them this question won’t just reveal their expertise in property management, but it’ll also help you put your property in the best position in the market. Note their suggestions, assess how relevant they are, and decide whether or not they can get your property where you want it to be.

8. What are the full costs and fees for managing my property?
Some property managers have small sign-up fees but a variety of hidden fees once you sign on and let them manage your property. Avoid getting surprised by such fees, and ask them to indicate all management and service fees included in their service. The more complicated their fee structure is, the bigger the headache (and expense) it will likely be.

9. What can you do that other property managers can’t?
This is where prospective property managers will try to sell you on what they offer and how well they set themselves apart from the competition. It’s also the part where you assess the intangibles in any working relationship, giving you a better idea of how well they meet your standards. Listen well, take notes, and assess if they provide what you’re looking for in a property manager.
With so many choices available today, finding the right property manager can be difficult. But by asking the right questions and doing your research beforehand, you’ll find that all the hard work you put into finding the right manager will be worth it. Once you find the right one, your property (and wallet) will surely thank you.

Osteoporosis Treatment

osteoporosis treatment Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones. As the bones start loosing their usual density they become weaker & are more likely to break. Studies have shown that every one in two women & every one in four men above the age of 50 tend to break bones due to osteoporosis. It can cause serious complications & appropriate measures must be taken to avoid extreme consequences.

There is no exact cure for osteoporosis. The idea of the osteoporosis treatment process is to strengthen the bones in order to protect them. The treatment primarily consists of a combination of drugs and suitable lifestyle changes that help in minimising the rate of bone resorption.

Preventive measures include a modification in the general lifestyle factors, doing more muscle-strengthening exercises and ensuring adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D.The medications used for osteoporosis treatment are anti-resorptive agents. Osteoporosis occurs when the rate of resorption in the bones overtakes the rate of bone formation. The anti-resorptive agents intend to inhibit the rate of resorption to put things back to a balanced state.

Drugs are the most aggressive way to hinder bone loss. Bisphosphonates are the most commonly seen osteoporosis curing drugs. They decrease the risk of hip, wrist and spine fracture for those who are affected with osteoporosis. The different types of bisphosphonates used are alendronate (Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva), risedronate (Actonel) & zoledronic acid (Reclast). The side effects of these drugs can range from acid reflux to nausea and they can even cause damage to the bones in the jaw. To reduce these side effects & to enhance the absorption of the medicine all bisphosphonates taken orally should be taken on an empty stomach in the morning, at least 30 minutes before breakfast.

For those people who are unable to tolerate bisphosphonates, hormones can be used as an alternative source of osteoporosis treatment. For Post-menopausal women who are usually at a very high risk of osteoporosis because of the dip in the levels of protective estrogen production, Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) like Raloxifene (Evista) do the job of bone-preservation to a certain extent. Thyrocalcitonin is a hormone that helps in regulating the calcium levels in the body. Synthetic thyrocalcitonin or calcitonin (Fortical, Miacalcin) is available as nasal spray or as injection. But the hormone treatment can increase risks of stroke, blood clots, breast cancer and heart attack. So, it is only used as a second or third line of defence for the patients.

osteoporosis-treatment-hipOne way to slow down the rate of bone loss is to add ample amounts of calcium and vitamin D in the diet. Calcium-rich foods like soy products, dairy products, grains, fresh green vegetables and breads can prove to be very helpful in terms building stronger bones.

Last but not the least, exercising is probably the most intriguing, positive way to take on the this complex disorder. Exercising not only helps in lessening the rate of bone loss & increase bone density, it improves physical posture, body balance & overall health. Exercises like weight training, walking, jogging or biking can act as a boost for the entire body including the bones.

These lifestyle changes & treatments can work together to produce the desired results. The patient would be well advised to discuss these things in detail with the doctor, weigh the hazards & the benefits and come up with an osteoporosis treatment plan that works best.

Learning Management Systems for Staff Induction

Staff induction is one of the most time consuming and occasionally most troublesome processes encountered by organisations. Staff retention and worker compliance, happiness, and success, as well of organisational efficiency depend on a great deal on how well employees fare during the first days and weeks of employment. Zahhly and Tosi (2006) found that “formal collective induction contributed to higher job satisfaction and lower work/family conflict” when compared with informal induction processes.

induction-training-leeuwinAn electronic learning management system provides a controlled, consistent platform that includes all information required by new hires, is easy for trainees and trainers to access, provides solid interaction between trainers and trainees, and assists in reinforcing learning for better retention, all contributing to higher initial job confidence. New employees who feel more confident beginning a new job are more productive, happier, and appear to remain on the job longer.

A learning management system is a “platform” onto which information is loaded and managed whereby learners access information, communicate with instructors and one another, and engage in learning practices and behaviours by means of a computer connected to a local system (such as a network in a school or a business) or to the internet. The information is usually constructed as a “course” organized into chapters to break down the information presented into logical and coherent segments. Each chapter provides several means for learners to encounter and work with the information so that it is thoroughly absorbed and retained.

Newly hired personnel are often nervous and apprehensive: there is considerable paperwork to be filled out, they find themselves in an unfamiliar environment surrounded by too many new people with whom they must interact professionally in order to make a good impression. A group orientation is more a distraction than helpful, and much of the information provided is often lost in a blur of stress and too many tasks. Retention of important directives may be limited during the orientation phase, causing a loss of confidence from day one, which can impact employee confidence, ongoing comfort or discomfort, and even job longevity. The use of a learning management system has been found to eliminate some the difficulties listed here through reducing several of the stress factors involved.

One of the primary values of utilising a learning management system for staff induction process is that all the necessary paperwork can be loaded onto the platform, completed by the new employees electronically, then automatically saved into the company filing system. The new employees are able to take the time necessary to verify that information entered is correct and complete, which saves Human Resources staff considerable time and confirms that nothing is lost in the process as often happens when paperwork is handled by several people.

The learning management system also allows the new employees to access and learn vital information on their own terms, in their own time. The system provides readings, examples, questions for consideration, and other learning tools, as well as quizzes and exams to assist student learning as well as track and save learning progress for certification or accreditation processing.

While some learning management systems are self-contained, whereby learners simply work alone to access and integrate orientation information, other learning systems also provide the means for interaction, questions, and discussion both learner-to-learner and learner-to-trainer. This allows new hires to meet electronically with one another or trainers and to comfortably learn about one another and the new work environment, discuss important information necessary to individual success within the company, and gain knowledge of company structures, goals, and procedures in an environment less stressful than traditional orientation before they begin their new jobs.

Learning management systems may also be of great value long after new employees have been successfully integrated into the company. One of the most important advances in education at all levels has been the implantation of electronic learning. From preschool to graduate school, students may take entire courses or complete degrees in an online environment supported by a learning management system or take electronically based courses integrated with classroom learning or on the job training. Because training is such an important part of every business beyond the induction stage, from initial skills necessary to learn a new job or to trained for advancement, to ongoing training for certification attainment, introducing new employees to a company specific curriculum accessed the learning management system stabilises anxiety not only in regard to the first day on the new job but also develops a comfort zone with regard to a highly efficient in-house training protocol that employees can access on their own in groups to hone old knowledge and skills and learn new ones.

One of the most valuable aspects of learning management systems is their ability to increase information retention, both in the system and by its human users. Since information is loaded onto the platform, it is always available and can be accessed as often as is necessary by the employee, who can go over it as many times as necessary, to increase recall and clarity. Information can be updated as necessary to allow training updates and policy changes, and be made available to any specific employee on a one-time basis or all employees simultaneously. Learning modules can easily be updated with the most recent information in real time which is particularly important in companies in particular industries such as the financial industry where numbers change second-by-second.

Finally, a learning management system can be used to track ongoing processes for individual jobs, for work groups or teams, or for the entire organisation. In many organisations, it is essential that updates to ongoing work be made available to designated individuals, work groups, departments, management or other in-company entities. While such information is often stored in a static filing system, a learning management system can be adapted to update information daily and access through the learning platform for any employee designated to utilise the material.

Learning management systems are an ideal means of processing newly hired employees. These systems are both a data retention device and a complete learning system that eliminate many flaws in the traditional HR induction process as well as in-house training procedure. Utilising a learning management system in HR induction smooths record keeping and provides a less scattered and easy to access method to orient and train new employees who research shows are much happier and more efficient through the use of the system.

Source:
Zahhly, J. and Tosi, H (2006). Journal of Organizational Behavior 10:1, 59-74,