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Wall Papering Stair Wells

by on Monday, March 16, 2015 19:10 under Do it Yourself.

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Paperhanging in stairwells is no different in principle from work in any other room. However, the job is made more difficult by the need to handle longer lengths of wall covering, and also because access to the higher reaches of the stairwell walls can be awkward. It is a job that requires careful planning, and is best tackled with the assistance of a second person.

First of all, work out the starting point. It is best to hang the longest drop – the one that reaches from landing ceiling to hall floor — first of all. Mark its position and check that other joins will not fall awkwardly round the rest of the stairwell, especially if it has a window opening onto it. Adjust if necessary.

The next thing to do is to work out how to gain access to the various wall surfaces involved without obstructing passage up and down the stairwell or blocking off the walls themselves. On a straight flight it may be possible to use components from a hired slot-together scaffold tower to make a suitable working platform. On flights with quarter or frail-landings it will probably be necessary to tailor-make an assembly of ladder sections, stepladders, homemade supports and scaffold boards; two typical arrangements are shown below. Nail scrap wood to stair treads to locate ladder feet securely, and lock scaffold boards together by drilling holes through them where they overlap and dropping a bolt through the holes (no need for a nut). Note that ladders or steps shown resting against wall surfaces will have to be repositioned as the work progresses

Aim to start work by hanging the longest drop first. Then work along the stairwell walls in sequence, turning along the stairwell walls in sequence, turning corners and tackling obstacles as for other rooms.

1. Fold up long lengths of wall covering concertina-fashion with the top end of the length uppermost, and carry them to the end of the length on the stairwell wall

2. Get a helper to support the folds of wall covering while positioning the top end of the length on the stairwell wall against a vertical line

3. When measuring lengths that will meet a dado (chair) rail or skirting (baseboard) at an angle, remember to measure the longer edge of the length.

4. Where the bottom edge of the length nests a shaped skirting, make small release emits in the edge and trim it to allow the curve.


Use a selection of ladders, steps, scaffold boards and homemade supports to construct a platform that allows access to all the wall surfaces being decorated without obstructing the stairs themselves.

Where the end of a handrail fits flush with the wall, cut the lower part of the length into two sit-ups so their edges can he trimmed around the rail and joined edge-to-edge beneath it. Use a similar technique to hide the wall covering around a flush newel post.


by on Saturday, March 7, 2015 4:47 under Health.

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When this occurs. part of the bowel twists on itself. The result is that the blood supply is suddenly cut off. This gains access to the bowel via the mesentery, a sheet of thin tissue that provides the bowel with its nutritional requirements. When this occurs, a closed-loop type of obstruction takes place. The immediate risk is that if complete, the bowel, devoid of its blood supply, may quickly die and become gangrenous and perforate. Peritonitis may quickly follow. Often the volvulus is not complete, and cases occur where it tends to come and go.

Sometimes symptoms come on rapidly, or they may be much slower. Symptoms simulate a bowel obstruction.

Volvulus Treatment

Acute cases must be surgically treated as an emergency. For chronic forms, more probable with older adults, decompression by a rectal tube may be possible. However, this again is in the province of the doctor, and any symptoms that indicate abdominal problems must receive prompt, expert medical attention. Delay may prove fatal.

One of the major changes in surgical care in recent years is the day-care centres. Here, the patient is admitted for one day (or part of a day) only. Many one-time major surgical operations have contracted to fairly “minor” procedures that can be completed in a short time.

With quick-acting general anaesthetics (or the use of local anaesthesia), a large amount of investigation and treatment can be quickly and expertly carried out. Theatres are often attached to the centres, with certain theatres being geared for a small, specific range of operations (eg endoscopic or colonoscopic surgery, eye surgery, various gynaecological or abdominal laparoscopic techniques). This not only reduces overall costs, but enables more patients to be treated in a shorter time. It appears to be the way of the future.

Steroid Abuse

by on Friday, March 6, 2015 16:33 under Health.

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Competitive athletes and body builders, of both sexes may be tempted to boost their phys.11prowess by using anabolic steroids. These compounds are chemically distinct from the corticosteroids (for example, prednisone) prescribed by physicians to treat allergic reactions, asthma, and many other conditions, While some forms of anabolic steroids are available treat specific medical problems, prescribing them athletic or bodybuilding purposes is illegal. Anabolic steroids are readily available too, through underground sources. Abusers of these may “stack” them (take more than one type at once and utilize “pyramiding” (increasing the dose, sometimes  to massive levels, over time). Their effects include rapid muscle growth, increased strength, and endurance in longer and more vigorous workouts. In the long run, there are numerous drawbacks for both men and women.

Male users may develop acne, reduction in size roll and function of the testicles, impotence, purplish skin, and male-pattern baldness. Women may develop a permanently low-pitched voice, thinning hair around the temples, enlargement of the clitoris, striae, and increased facial hair. Adolescent users may retard their growth or end it prematurely, resulting in  a shorter stature than they would have otherwise attained. All users risk liver disease, elevated blood pressure, and heart disease. In addition, aggressive behavior, imparted judgment, abuse of alcohol and other drugs, and in some cases significant psychiatric disturbances including losing touch with reality may be associated with the use of anabolic steroids.

School programs are now more actively address the issues surrounding steroid abuse. Adolescent stems abuse should be taken as seriously as any other illicit drug problem. A medical evaluation and ongoing counseling should be carried out to address dependency withdrawal symptoms, and the underlying causes of drug-seeking behavior.


by on Saturday, February 28, 2015 3:06 under Health.

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This is an intestinal mal absorption syndrome affecting some people who live or who have lived in tropical areas. India, Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia and Puerto Rico are the most commonly affected countries. Some cases have been reported in North America, the West Indies, Southern Europe and the Middle East.

It commonly occurs in middle life, the sexes being equally affected. Nearly all have a history of tropical living for a period, although the attack may come on years later. The bowel fails to absorb fats and certain starches.

The main symptom is diarrhoea, with pale, frothy, foul-smelling and greasy bowel actions. A high-fat diet aggravates, as does stress. Indigestion, flatulence, abdominal cramps, weight loss (often marked), pallor and wasting take place. There is often irritability, abnormal sensations in the skin (paraesthesia) and muscle cramps. Vitamin deficiencies, abdominal distension and mild oedema (swelling of the extremities) may occur. As fat absorption is impaired, often the correct absorption of vitamins and other nutritional essentials starts to become impaired also.

Sprue Treatment

Proper medical supervision is essential, both to form a diagnosis, and then to supervise the correct therapy. Control of the diarrhoea and replacement of vitamins and minerals and controlling complications such as dehydration are necessary.

Antibiotics (the tetracyclines) and the insoluble sulfonamides usually control the diarrhoea, but may have to be given for many months.

Folic acid often gives remarkably effective benefits for the intercurrent anaemia. Diet is also important.

Viral Skin Infections

by on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 14:23 under Health.

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This is a common skin disorder that occurs in the form of small blisters usually around the lips. They may become very sore. Often the lymph glands under the jaw swell and also become painful.

A day or two before the blisters (“vesicles”) appear, there is often a dry, tingling sensation of the skin. Patients suffering from recurring bouts should learn to identify this sensation, for local treatment applied at this stage can often check an attack.

Viral Skin Infections Causes

The disease is caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus-1 (IISV-1), and it is aggravated by many factors. It has nothing to do with colds, but sometimes follows respiratory tract infections. Fevers, infections, allergies, exposure to sunshine and emotional upsets have all been blamed for bringing on attacks. Although most common about the lips, Herpes simplex, or cold sores, is an ivkinine2s)/222 rite skin 1101.Sell by a virus. herpes simplex can occur anywhere on the skin. If it occurs near the eyes, it is imperative that immediate expert assistance be sought, for it can cause serious ocular damage.

Sometimes the virus produces blisters in the genital region, and it has mistakenly been diagnosed as venereal disease. When it occurs here, it is called 1-ISV-2 infection. It has recently been found that in women with this disorder there is an increased risk of cancer of the cervix. Therefore prompt medical attention is essential, together with a “smear test” to check for cancer.

Viral Skin Infections Treatment

Most cases of simple cold sores can be treated quite effectively at home with routine remedies.

Local cream. Idoxuridine 0.5 per cent Cold Sore Ointment (Stoxil) applied early will often prevent the occurrence of blisters. It is best applied to the skin surface when the dry, tingling sensation (well known to chronic sufferers) occurs. Apply thinly every hour for the first day. and four-hourly after this. at is of little value after blisters have appeared.) This preparation should not be applied to the eyes.

Other applications. Spirits of camphor, or 10 per cent camphor in alcohol, or Bismuth-formic-iodide powder (BFI Powder) arc often used. These may assist’la drying out the blisters and bring some relief.

Avoiding the causes. Check for possible -causes in your case, and avoid them in :he future. For example, be careful when sunbathing early in the season; avoid domestic squabbles and keep away from emotional stresses and crises whenever Possible; do not eat foods you suspect can bring a recurrence of blisters; keep infection-free as much as possible.

Further Treatment. If simple measures do not bring relief, and particularly if the eyes or genital areas become involved, it is necessary to seek medical assistance.

Other lines of treatment that may be included by the physician include:

Acyclovir. The antiviral antibiotic acyclovir has a dramatic effect on the herpes virus, rapidly destroying it. Medication is given early, and by oral administration. It may not be warranted for simple isolated bouts, but for severe recurring attacks, it quickly eliminates blisters, pain, itch and discomfort. It is a major step forward in the treatment of herpes infections.

Cryotherapy. The application of ice, or icepacks, in the very early stages of heroes infection, will often prevent the virus :rom multiplying further. Packs must be kept in place for 30-60 minutes, and re- –)eated 2-3 times a day. If applied at the :rst sign of an attack, it will often abort it. is simple, cheap and effective.

Eye applications. If the eyes arc involved and this may be serious), specially formulated Idoxuridine eye drops (Stoxil) may be used.

Thorough examination. Especially necessary in the case of genital herpes, _or there is an increased risk of cancer of :he cervix (neck portion of the womb that forms the upper part of the vaginal canal). The physician may perform a -smear test” to check for this.

Special Note. In these days of bulging some medicine kits, most people have .re:ady access to the steroid (cortisone) 1:earns and ointments. It is stressed that :eese must not be used on any herpes for they can rapidly make the conworse. This also applies to the eye.

This is one reason why steroid applications for any disorder should be given only under medical supervision. Shingles (Herpes Zoster or Zoster).

This is an annoying skin eruption affecting any age group, but is often more severe and more painful in older persons.

It usually occurs on one side only of the body, and the trunk is often affected in either the upper or lower part. Sometimes the limbs are affected. A severe form may occur on one side of the face and in unfortunate instances it will spread over the eye, causing serious damage.

It often commences with local discomfort and a hot, tingling sensation. This is followed by the appearance of a small blister on a red base. These increase in number and size, and often develop in a straight line roughly equivalent to the line of nerves just below the skin.

Shingles is caused by a virus (termed the Varicella or “VG” virus) that also produces chickenpox. In nearly every case there has been an attack of chickenpox in earlier years. The germ lies dormant in the nervous system for many years until a trigger mechanism causes a recurrence of activity in the superficial nerves. The course of the disorder varies. With children, there is often little discomfort, and the entire disease may be over within a fortnight.

However, in older patients (and particularly the aged, who may have an intercurrent infection) the pain may be intense and persistent. The blisters may break down and form skin ulcers. When the disease finally settles down, it is often followed by severe pain in the areas affected, called post-herpetic neuralgia. This may persist for months and even years, and may be difficult to cure. If the nerve leading to the eye is involved, this is serious, and an eye specialist must be called in for advice. Investigation shows there may be a relationship between shingles in older people and cancer, although other reports refute it. However, any older person contracting shingles should be thoroughly checked out by the doctor for the possibility of a hidden cancer.


by on Sunday, February 15, 2015 23:55 under Health.

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What is Osteomalacia?
Osteomalacia (and Rickets) This bony disorder is produced when body has an inadequate supply of vitamin D. It may be due to insufficient amounts of this vitamin being present in diet. But the body is also able to manufacture (synthesise) its own supply with adequate exposure to sunlight. Too little sunshine may also predispose persons to Osteomalacia, especially if aggravated poor supply in the food. It is far more prominent in places such as Great Britain, where summers are short. It is relatively uncommon in countries such as Australia, where there is a superabundance of natural sunshine, and exposure is a national pastime.
The body requires 400 international units a day for growing children, and substantially less in the adult state. The foods rich in vitamin D are few in number and are often not popular. They include the oily fishes such as salmon and herring, and margarine (that is fortified with vitamin D). There is a small, variable amount in eggs. Therefore, without sunlight exposure on a regular basis, it is easy for many people to be deficient. It also seems more probable in certain migrants (such as Pakistanis) who eat foods notoriously low in vitamin U, and come from an area where there is ample sunlight, to a country where there is a sudden deprivation.

Osteomalacia Symptoms

In children this disease is referred to as rickets; in adults, as osteomalacia. Bony deformity and muscles that lack tone are characteristic features. There is a marked reduction of calcium in the blood. In growing children, due to an interference with normal bone growth, bowing and knock-knees can occur, and the skull may show softening. Softened bones may cause pain. Commonly this starts in the spine and may spread to the thighs, arms and ribs, and perhaps other bones. Usually the bones themselves arc painful, rather than the joints.
Muscle weakness is often a prominent feature, especially the upper muscles of the lower limbs. This can make many movements difficult, such as walking up stairs. A typical waddling gait may be in evidence.

Osteomalacia Treatment

This disease is easily treated  by making certain the diet is adequate in vitamin D, that supplements are given in cases where a deficiency is Possible (such as with babies), or  making certain that there is adequate exposure to sunlight. Vitamin capsules of vitamin D (often in the form of calciferol) 1,000 mg per day are given.
However, in the event of a deficiency being in evidence, this dose may be increased to 10,000 mg daily. Often this is best given in capsule form. However, as there is sometimes “patient resistance” to this treatment, a tailor-made method may be necessary.

Stenciling Equipment

by on Sunday, February 8, 2015 9:25 under Home & Garden.

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A variety of materials can he used for stencilling, from special stencilling paints and sticks to acrylics and latex. Each has its own properties and will create different effects.

Acrylic stencil paint: acrylic stencil paint is quick-drying, reducing the possibility of the paint running and seeping behind the stencil. Acrylic stencil paints are available in a wide range of colours, and can be mixed for more subtle shades.

Acrylic varnish: this is useful for sealing finished projects.

Emulsion (latex) paint: ordinary household vinyl emulsion can also be used for stencilling. It is best to avoid the cheaper varieties, as these contain a lot of water and will seep through the stencil.

Fabric paint: this is used in the same way as acrylic stencil paint, and comes in an equally wide range of colours. Set with an iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it will withstand washing and everyday use. As with ordinary stencil paint, do not overload the brush with colour, as it will seep into the fabric. Always back the fabric you are stencilling with scrap paper or newspaper to prevent the paint from marking the work surface. Gold leaf and gold size: these can be used to great effect. The actual design is stencilled with gold size. The size is then left to become tacky, and the gold leaf is rubbed over the design.

Metallic creams: these are available in many different metallic finishes, from gold to copper, bronze and silver. Apply as highlights on a painted base, or use for the entire design. Creams can be applied with cloths or your fingertip.

Oil-based stencil sticks and creams: the sticks can be used in the same ways a wax crayon, while the creams can be applied with a brush or your fingertip. With either one, there is no danger of overloading the colour, and they won’t run. The disadvantage is their long drying time (overnight in some cases); also, the colours can become muddy when mixed. Sticks and creams are also available for fabrics.


Stencilling does not require a great deal of special equipment; many of the items used are commonly found in most households. A few tools, however, will make the job easier.

Brushes: it is worth investing in a set of good stencil brushes. The ends of the brushes should be flat and the bristles firm, to let you control the application of paint. A medium-size brush (4 cm/11/2 in diameter) is a useful, all-purpose size, but you may want to buy one size smaller and one size larger as well. You will need a selection of household paintbrushes for applying large areas of background colour, and small artist’s paintbrushes for adding fine details. Craft knife: use for cutting out stencils from cardboard.

Cutting mat: this provides a firm surface to cut into and will help prevent the craft knife from slipping. Masking tape: as the stencil may need to be repositioned, it is advisable to hold it in place with masking tape, which can be removed fairly easily from most surfaces.

Paint-mixing container: this may be necessary for mixing paints and washes. Pencils: keep a selection of soft and hard artist’s pencils to transfer the stencil design on to cardboard. Use an ordinary pencil to mark on your object the positions of the stencils before applying.

Stencil card (cardboard): the material used to make the stencil is a matter of preference. Speciality stencil card is available waxed from specialist art stores, which means that it will last longer, but ordinary cardboard or heavy paper can also be used. It is worth purchasing a sheet of clear acetate if you wish to keep your stencil design, to reuse time and again.

Tape measure and rulers: some patterns may require accuracy. Measuring and planning the positions of your stencils before you begin will aid the result.

Tracing paper: use to trace and transfer your stencil design on to stencil card

Wallpapering Ceilings

by on Thursday, February 5, 2015 20:53 under Do it Yourself.

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Many people regard the papering of ceilings with horror. In reality they are easier to deal with than walls because they are flat, do not have any awkward angles (except in rooms with sloping ceilings and dormer windows), and have few obstacles attached to them apart from the occasional light fitting(fixture), which can in any case usually be removed quite easily.

The only thing that takes getting used to when papering ceilings is working on an upside-down surface. The basic technique is no different from working on walls. The wall covering is simply positioned, brushed into place and then trimmed where it meets adjoining surfaces.

The most important thing to plan carefully is access equipment that will safely allow a complete length to be hung across the room. Nothing is more dangerous than attempting to step off of the chair; proper access is a must. The best solution is to use scaffold boards or lengths of staging, supported by stepladders, trestles or home-made supports to create a flat, level walkway spanning the room from wall to wall at a height that allows the ceiling to be reached comfortably. It will take only a few seconds to reposition after hanging each length, ready for the next.
This is also a job where an additional pair of hands will be a big help, at least before gaining the knack of supporting a concertina of pasted wall covering with one hand while:.-rushing it into position with the other— this can be done only with practice.

The first length should he hung to a guideline on the ceiling. The best way of marking this is with a chalked line against the ceiling at both ends snapped against it.


1. Paste the wall covering in the usual way, but fold it up concertina-fashion with the starting end of the length folded over on itself. Lining (liner) paper has been used here.

2. Hang the first length to a chalked line just less than the width of the call covering from the side wall. Support the folds on a spare roll of wall covering from the side wall. Support the folds on a spare roll of wall covering.

3. Trim the overlaps at the ends and along the side wall. Then hang the second length in the same way, butted up against the edge of the first length.

4. On meeting a pendant light fitting (fixture) pierce the wall covering over its centre and make a series of radial cuts outwards front the pierced point.

5. With the power turned off at the unscrew the cover and trim the tongues off, flush with the base of the fitting. Replace the cover.

6 Where the ceiling runs into an alcove, CIA the wall covering in line with the sidewall of the recess and brush it into place.’


The shape of an arch makes it impossible to get a pattern match along the curved join. It is best to choose a wall covering with a small design motif and a random pattern, to use different but complementary designs for the face walls and the arch surface, or to use lining (liner) paper inside the arch and paint it a plain colour.

To paper an arched recess, cover the face and hack walls first turning cut tongues of wall covering onto the arched surface. Then cover the arch surface as described below.

To paper a through archway, hang the wall covering on the two face walls and trim out the waste to leave an overlap of about 25 mm in all around. Make cuts in the edge so that the tongues can be turned on to the arch surface. Then cut a strip of wall covering a traction narrower than the width of the arch surface and long enough to cover it in one piece, and brush this into place. Work from the bottom of one side upwards to the top of the arch, and then down the other side. Always use special overlap adhesive with washables and vinyls.

Otic Barotrauma

by on Sunday, January 18, 2015 15:57 under Health.

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What is Otic Barotrauma?

This fancy name merely indicates the discomfort that can occur in the ear when situations creating pressure differentials between the middle ear and the exterior take place. In today’s jet era any people travel by air, and during transit, the problem is most likely to arise. It is far more likely if the person is suffering from a mild head cold, or any infection that may block the patency (openness) of the Eustachian canal. This canal maintains air pressures within the middle ear equal to that on the outside, and this is vital to continued comfort. Other conditions where a similar problems can occur include tunneling, and scuba diving in deep water.

Otic Barotrauma Symptoms

Often in a person who has a cold or upper respiratory tract infection there is sudden onset of pain in the ear(s) as the plane descends. The pain may become extremely acute and may even be excruciating. Examined soon after, the drum may he very red and infected, and on occasion bleeding may result. Fluid may accumulate and deafness occurs.

Otic Barotrauma Treatment

Being sensible and avoiding flying whenever possible if a head infection is present will avert trouble. If this cannot be avoided, or if it is not noticed that there is a mild infection, or if the condition occurs during flight, using this simple maneuver may give prompt relief. This involves holding the nose between the forefinger and thumb, and then trying to blow into the nose.
This may help open the canal, and a “click” to occur, so allowing the pressures to equal. It should be repeated many times over. Sucking sweets may also help by opening the partially blocked canal. If unsuccessful, medical attention may be necessary. The middle ear must be aerated, and this will probably be done by the ENT doctor through Eustachian catheterisation or by paracentesis under antibiotic cover.

Undescended Testes

by on Friday, January 16, 2015 14:45 under Health.

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Undescended Testes happens fairly frequently. Normally the testes descend from the body to the scrotum shortly before birth. But occasionally they seem to get lost. They may partially descend, then return to the body. This may keep on occurring. Alternatively, the testes may have developed in an abnormal manner, and are situated in some different place. This is termed an ectopic testis.

The testes belong in the scrotum from birth onwards. If they remain in the body, as age progresses, the sperm-producing capacity is adversely affected and infertility may take place in later life.

The other may be very hazardous. Testes remaining in the body have a high risk of turning cancerous. What’s more, it may be a very serious, rapidly growing and spreading type.

Undescended Testes Treatment

If a parent notices the testes are missing or come and go, referral to the doctor is essential, and the sooner the better.

What treatment is carried out? This will vary with the patient and the exact diagnosis. Some doctors prefer to give hormonal treatment a trial run first. They administer the hormone chorionic gonadotrophin, and this is occasionally successful in bringing the testes into the scrotum.

What if this fails?

And fail it often does. Then a surgical approach is taken. This is invariably successful. The testes are found and anchored securely into the scrotum. The operation is quite straightforward; the patient rapidly recovers, and usually the beneficial effect is lifelong. It is a highly successful procedure. But as you said earlier, the sooner a parent takes action, the better. Never neglect any disorder in this region. It’s often quite obvious, and a check is very simple.