3 Great Ways to use Antenna Alignment in Science Lessons

Before the internet age, antennas were commonplace extensions of most TV and radio sets, but these days they seemed to have disappeared. In reality, they have not disappeared, but rather we have come to rely upon devices that use smaller antenna. This growing reliance upon new forms of wireless technology has made the physics of antenna alignment more important than ever. Each of the following ideas can be used for a lesson that illustrates one of the important properties of antenna alignment.

Polarization and Orientation
Electromagnetic waves oscillate perpendicularly to the direction of propagation, with the electric and magnetic field components oscillating perpendicular to each other. This means that radio signals will have some sort of polarization, and as a result, there may be some optimal orientation between the transmitting and receiving antennas. A monopole, or “whip,” antenna is a single metal rod or wire that is most commonly used for AM radio and WiFi devices, and can be used to demonstrate the vertical and horizontal component of a linearly polarized radio signal by simply tilting a receiving antenna and measuring the change in signal strength.
Dipole antennas are composed of two metal rods, and can be used in circularly polarized radio signals. Such dipole antennas form the basis of more sophisticated antenna designs.

The directivity of a radio signal is used to distinguish a collimated radio beam from an omnidirectional one. Directional antennas have the benefit of focusing the power of a transmitted signal into a single preferred direction, while omnidirectional antenna radiate a signal whose power is uniform in all directions.
Placing a USB WiFi dongle in a Pringles or coffee can is often used as a cheap and easy way to turn an omnidirectional WiFi antenna into a directional antenna, and can serve as a practical demonstration of directivity. Parabolic WiFi antennas, such as the WindSurfer design, are also popular as they can be made using printouts from the internet and a little aluminum foil.

Wavelength and Antenna Size
Antennas have an optimal size, known as the electrical or phase length, which depends on the wavelength of the transmitted signal. Typically, the length of an optimal antenna will be the wavelength of the transmitted signal, but depending on the polarization and directivity of the signal, antenna components may be placed a one-half or one-quarter intervals of the wavelength. This effect can be observed by comparing the signal strength of antenna of various sizes.

Pros and Cons of Plastic vs Glass E Bottles

There is much debate on whether plastic or glass is the best choice. As with all things, both come with positives in addition to negatives. Depending on your life-style, money situation, or beliefs, you may feel more inclined to pick one or the other. Here is some simple information on both possibilities to assist you in that decision.



The most obvious fact about glass is that it is breakable. Many places around the country have banned glass bottles from their facilities simply for that reason. If you are a gym member or yoga enthusiast, for example, glass bottles may not be an option for you. There are however, companies working on making glass bottles that are shatterproof. For more on that, check out this NY Times’ article.


The chemicals found in most plastic are not an issue with glass, making glass a more healthy option, if that is an apprehension of yours. It is healthier for the environment, also. So if you’re worried about your carbon footprint, glass may be a good route for you. You will cut down on the amount of recycling done each year due to the plastic industry.


Glass products also tend to be more expensive. Plastic is comparatively inexpensive to produce. If you’re talking about single-use plastic bottles, the re-usable glass bottle will save you in the long run, considering you will stop buying the single-use bottles so often. Glass will definitely be pricier than a re-usable plastic bottle, however. The price of the glass reflects its quality.


The biggest concern about plastic to consumers is its toxicity. Many plastics contain BPA, or bisphenol A, which studies have shown may be linked to problems with reproductive and brain development, especially in children. Newer studies have also shown that the alternative to BPA, BPS (bisphenol S), can also cause the same effects. Read this CNN article for more on the BPA alternative, BPS.


Plastic, on the other hand, is convenient and cheap. It is easiest to just buy bottled water and throw it out when you’re done. No dish-washing, no clean-up, easier ease-of-access. The fact that it isn’t breakable, like glass, adds to the convenience factor, especially when considering a product for children. Single-use plastic bottles are convenient, but wasteful, while re-usable plastic bottles are cost efficient and obviously less careless.


All in all, the decision depends on your needs. Glass is breakable and tends to be more expensive. On the other hand, it is more friendly to the environment, and non-toxic. Plastic leaves a bigger carbon foot print, and can be made with toxic chemicals. The plastic option is also cheaper, less heavy, and sturdier. Like with all decisions, you must weigh each pro and con and use your best judgment.

5 Pottery Pieces to include on a Wedding Registry

When you are planning your wedding, make sure to register for gifts to help your guests understand what you want for your home. Pottery items are some of the most classic items to request as gifts, and there are five pottery items that are extremely popular.

1: Flower Vase

When a couple has a high-quality pottery flower vase, it is possible to use the item for a lifetime. If a wedding guest gives you a timeless flower vase that is made of pottery clay, then the item will look gorgeous on a fireplace mantel or bookshelf when it doesn’t have flowers. However, you can put homegrown or purchased flowers inside a pottery vase to create an attractive ambience on a tabletop in a dining room or on an end table in a living room. If you give your spouse flowers for an anniversary gift, then you can put the items in the flower vase that you received as a wedding gift.

2: Cookie Jar

Everyone needs a cookie jar in their kitchen to hold homemade or store-bought cookies. A cookie jar made of fired clay looks gorgeous on a kitchen’s countertop, and you can request specific colors or designs on your wedding registry at a local department store or online site. Cookie jars have tight-fitting lids to keep cookies fresh and protected from insects. When you have children, they will enjoy getting cookies from the cookie jar that was a gift for your wedding.

3: Cold Drink Pitcher

If you want to serve cold beverages at meals, then you need a pitcher that is made of pottery clay. With a beautiful clay pitcher, you can serve cold beverages such as lemonade or ice tea. Pottery pieces are glazed and fired to make the items waterproof, and you can keep a clay pitcher inside a refrigerator until it is time to serve guests.

4: Dishware

You will need dishware to hold food for the meals in your home, and you can ask your guests to buy a certain design or color of pottery dishware. Some of the dishware pieces that you want to request include plates, bowls and cups. In addition, you might want to have accessory pieces of pottery dishware such as a serving platter or a soup tureen.

5: Fruit Bowl

To display fresh fruit on a kitchen countertop or dining room table, you should ask your wedding guests to give you a pottery fruit bowl. It is easy to transfer a pottery fruit bowl from a table to a refrigerator to keep the fruit cold and fresh. However, displaying fresh fruit on a countertop is an important way to encourage eating nutritious food rather than candy.

6 Uses For Medical Marijuana

More and more, states around the country are legalizing the use of medical marijuana. Recreational pot usage still remains a controversial topic, but the use of medical marijuana is becoming readily acceptable. Most people agree that using this drug for medicinal purposes is different than using it for recreation. While some advocates for marijuana tend to overstate the medical uses, there are some great benefits from using this natural substance. There are two chemicals that have healing properties within marijuana, cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol. Both impact the brain and have pain relieving properties. Here are six medical issues that can be successfully treated or helped by using marijuana.


Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that causes increased pressure in the eye. Over time, it damages the optic nerves and leads to a loss of vision. Marijuana is known to decrease the pressure inside the eye. Studies go back to the 1970’s where people smoking pot had lower intraocular pressure. This drug is known to slow the progression of the disease, which can also prevent blindness.

Increase Lung Capacity

In January 2012, The Journal of American Medical Associated released a report regarding lung function. The report showed that marijuana doesn’t impair lung function, in fact, it can increase the lung capacity. The study looked at 5,115 people who had risk factors for heart disease. They tested their lung function over the course of two decades. Those who smoked tobacco lost their lung function. However, those who smoked pot had increased lung function. The fact that marijuana requires a person to take deep inhalations may be the reason for the expanded capacity, but many suggest that there are therapeutic chemicals in the drug.

Controls Epileptic Seizures

In 2003, a study was conducted by the Virginia Commonwealth University. Robert J. DeLorenzo led the investigation. They gave a marijuana extract to epileptic rodents. They found that the chemicals in the pot were able to keep seizures at bay for around 10 hours. It is known that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, binds to the brain cells. It controls both relaxation and excitability. The study was groundbreaking and published by the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Stops The Spreading of Cancer

Cannabidiol is believed to help thwart cancer from scattering. This comes from a 2007 study done by researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center. The San Francisco research facility found that chemicals in pot help to turn off a gene called Id-1. Cancer cells generate extra copies of this gene, more so than non-cancerous cells, which helps them disburse through the body. After treating breast cancer patients with pot, these patients had a decreased level of Id-1. Their cancer was less aggressive than before. Other studies show that it can stop cancer in its tracks.


One of the main purposes for medical marijuana is to stop anxiety. While many people seek help through prescription medications, the side effects are often unbearable. THC in marijuana, causes the body to be calm. It works to calm the brain and neurotransmitters that are misfiring. Those who use marijuana are known to be at peace for several hours later.

Multiple SclerosisMS is an auto-immune condition that is known to cause severe pain. It is thought that the THC in marijuana binds to the receptors in the brain. It helps to relieve muscle and nerve pain. Some studies show it stops muscle contractions too.

The preceding six conditions are just a few of many known to benefit from medical marijuana. Prescription medications come with expansive side effect profiles. Those who use marijuana usually notate a euphoric feeling and perhaps the need for food. If pot is helpful to even one condition, it should be utilized to help wherever it can.

3 Alternatives for Adult Diapers for Male Medical Issues

Incontinence has been linked to more than a few illnesses. In fact, a large number of cases result from post-prostatectomy, which might explain why dysfunctional bladders inflict so many older men. According to an article published by Bloomberg, adult diapers are expected to increase by nearly 50-percent within the next 4 years. Fortunately, the prospect of alternative means of protection has become a source relief for some men.

Urinary Catheter
A Urinary catheter is a tube that extends through the urinary tract, gathering waste into a disposable bag. For years, it has been a common procedure for men having little to no control over urine flow. These bladder issues can be caused by a number of complications, including kidney stones, blood clots, and even dementia. Also, if the bladder remains full for too long, it can put pressure on the kidneys, resulting in irreversible damage. In addition to those installed inside the body, catheters can also connect externally, using a condom that runs to a collection bag. The latter is often used in cases requiring short term solutions.

Urine Guard
For men experiencing slow leaks, a urine guard is a low-maintenance alternative. Unlike surgical procedures, bags, and uncomfortable diapers, its application and removal is a much simpler, non-intrusive process. The pouch resembles a small shower cap and easily fits over the penis. Urine is slowly absorbed into the device until it has reached its 2-ounce capacity, after which it can be quickly disposed of. Any man would be happy to learn that urine guards feels less like a medical aid and much less embarrassing than a diaper, a fact that can be beneficial in helping guys maintain at least some of their dignity.

Protective Underwear
One of the problems with wearing an adult diaper is having to call it an adult diaper, and reminding someone with bladder leakage that 1 out of every 3 adults experience incontinence doesn’t make things any easier. However, opting for protective briefs could make coping slightly more bearable. This specialized underwear is similar to adult diapers, offering the same protection, but it provides more comfort, replacing tape-on straps with a more natural feeling elastic band. Aside from the extra padding, protective underwear feels more like a pair of Hanes and less like a medically prescribed support system.

Patrick O’Brien wrote a 2015 Huffington Post article, in which he discussed the disparaging mental burden that almost always accompanies an uncontrollable bladder. Fear of humiliation can be overwhelming for a man suffering from incontinence. And although it may not be a cure, finding a solution that can restore confidence and ease the transition back into a normal lifestyle is a step forward.

3 Wedding Décor Trends Taking Over 2016

Deciding on the visual theme for a wedding can be overwhelming. The possibilities seem endless: baby’s breath? Metallics? Ceramic crockery? We’ve narrowed down the list to a few particularly on-point possibilities for a wedding look that’s fresh, chic and unforgettable.

1. Succulents
Ever had to maneuver a conversation with your table-mates around a huge, view-obstructing forty-rose centerpiece? Thank goodness the days of over-the-top floral arrangements are behind us. Cool, modern brides are swapping them out for centerpieces built around earthy succulents. Succulents occupy more horizontal than vertical space on tables, providing texture without blocking sight lines, and they offer a pleasantly neutral palette. They’re also super low-maintenance, which means they won’t require much care throughout the day or start drooping halfway through the reception. Succulents aren’t just for centerpieces either: they’ve popped up in bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, hairpieces, and even cake toppers.

2. Wood Accents
Reclaimed wood is having a moment, which might be why woodsy wedding décor has become a go-to motif for stylish brides this year. Wood-and-paint signage can direct guests to the bar or keep them appraised of the day’s schedule. Repurposed old wooden ladders make great cupcake stands. Stacked wooden stumps topped with candles can add drama and a touch of forest magic to the ceremony space as an alternative to the traditional archway. Brides who like the idea of wood accents but want to keep the aesthetic from skewing too shabby can still tap into the trend with laser-cut lumber, which has a cleaner look and works well for table numbers and doily charger plates.

3. Geodes
It all started with a cake. When the geode cake that Rachel Teufel of Intricate Icing Cake Design created for a launch party went viral earlier this year, brides-to-be across the country took note. Now geode accents are turning up in wedding décor in all kinds of creative ways. Richly hued, polished to a high gloss, or dusted in sparkly crystals, geodes are already beautiful in their natural state and need little embellishment. Agate slices with gilded edges make lovely coasters or can be used as an alternative to place cards; writing guests’ names on the surface can be as simple as investing in a gold permanent marker. With a little more effort, they can be strung through with fishing line and hung as garlands (it’s the 2016 take on bunting). Bigger, heavier geodes work wonderfully as architectural anchor pieces for a table arrangement. The geode motif is so striking and unusual that it’s sure to make for a memorable wedding look.

These snap-worthy décor ideas can keep nuptials from disappearing into the white wedding noise. Which is your favorite?

How to Help Your Child Succeed in Math and Science

An in-depth understanding of math and science equips young students with a host of skills that are needed to successfully engage a bevy of practical and academic pursuits. These include research, handling personal finances, critical thinking, successful entry into various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields, and much more. With a rigorous training background in mathematics and the sciences, the future possibilities are nearly endless. What can parents do to help their children succeed in these key subject areas?

Engage a Child’s Teachers

An active relationship with teachers is essential. Whether your child is young or old, feel free to reach out to his or her teacher and ask them about their science and math curricula. What portion of class time is devoted to the subjects? What adjunct educational tools are used? Do they get the chance to learn through laboratory instruction in addition to standard didactic teaching? What are their recommendations for further enhancing a child’s foundation in the subjects? Parents can couple the student’s homework with external resources, such as the incredibly rich website Khan Academy. Students can visit the site to practice problems and watch videos on hundreds of related topics.

Bring the Content to Life

Don’t leave science and mathematics in the pages of textbooks and practice problems. Children can be engaged much more deeply if they see the knowledge play out in front of them, through activities, labs, and experiments. For smaller children, learning about geometry through shapes and basic computation via money management makes things clearer. As they enter the high school years, encourage them to become involved with research, engineering clubs, and so on. An early emphasis on participation in science fairs and math competitions can eventually lead to future success through participation in the Math Olympiads and the Siemens Competition. In particular, the Siemens Competition is a prestigious opportunity that provides winners with thousands of dollars in prize money, an excellent item to list on their resumes when applying to college, and abundant networking opportunities.

Push for Excellence

Basic science and math classes may be a helpful start, but true excellence demands further study. For instance, parents can push their children to sign up for AP (Advanced Placement) classes when they reach the high school level. AP classes are designed to give students a college-level experience while they are still in high school. Moreover, a successful performance on the national exams administered at the end of the courses (AP exams) can push a child ahead when they enter college. Many universities offer credit for a score of four or five (out of five) on the exams. Students can then skip introductory requirements and start their freshman year of college one step ahead and move on to more advanced courses.

5 Outdoor Accessories that Will Wow Your Guests

If you want to impress the guests who visit your home, then invest in outdoor accessories such as a gazebo, water fountain or fire pit to improve the appearance of your lawns.

1: Fire Pit

The guests visiting your home will feel amazed when they see a fire pit in your backyard where everyone can cook food over an open flame. With a fire pit, you can enjoy a backyard earlier in the spring and later in the summer. It is possible to use propane, wood or natural gas to power your backyard’s fire pit.

2: Bug Zapper

If your guests are worried about mosquito bites, then install a bug zapper in your backyard near a deck. Insects are attracted to the lights inside a bug zapper, but the mosquitoes and other flying bugs are electrocuted by the wires inside the device. Having a bug zapper helps to make your outdoor space more enjoyable in the evening hours when many insects begin to fly around.

3: Water Fountain

You can have a landscaper install a water fountain on a lawn to impress your guests. Decorative water fountains look great alone or in combination with other landscaping items. You might want to have a water fountain in the middle of a flower garden to provide a beautiful place to relax each day. Place benches or chairs around a fountain so that your guests can enjoy the beautiful ambience of this item in your backyard.

4: Outdoor Kitchen

The newest way to enjoy your backyard is with an outdoor kitchen that has a variety of equipment, including:

• Grills
• Refrigerators
• Sinks
• Freezers
• Countertops
• Stovetops
• Microwaves
• Tables
• Chairs
• Lighting fixtures

With a customized outdoor kitchen, you can prepare and serve meals to your guests easily any day of the week. You won’t need to haul equipment to the backyard to cook hamburgers or scurry back inside your home for additional ingredients because you can store everything outside.

5: Gazebo

There are great reasons for building a gazebo in your backyard. When guests visit your home, they will enjoy sitting outside, but they won’t like being in direct sunlight. If you have a gazebo on your lawn, then you can place tables and chairs inside it in order to have a picnic. You might want to have built-in benches around the edges of a gazebo for additional seating, and if you install a light in the ceiling of a gazebo, then you can remain inside the structure in the early morning or evening.

Install Outdoor Accessories Over Several Years

You don’t need to add all of these outdoor accessories at one time because landscapers can install these items over several years.

4 Ways to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau

If you have hit a weight loss plateau, it may be difficult to understand why all of your weight loss efforts have all of a sudden stopped working. However, it is important to know that, according to the Mayo Clinic, weight loss plateaus are normal. It doesn’t matter how meticulous you are with your regimen of good health, eventually, you will hit a plateau. Here are four ways to move past the plateau and continue on with your weight loss journey.

1) Write Everything Down

Record every bite you take, whether you are eating, sampling, or tasting. Underestimating the amount of food you are consuming is a common mistake with people who are trying to lose weight. It can easily lead to a weight loss plateau. Keeping a diary of everything you eat can help you see where your problem lies. It may also keep you from reaching for that next cookie, because you know you will have to record it.

When keeping a food diary, write down the time of day and your feelings to figure out your problem times and certain emotions that may cause you to overeat. Recognize what your eating triggers are and replace them with healthier foods to keep your full. Monitor your progress, and reward yourself for your hard work, but not with food.

2) Be Careful at Restaurants

According to the New York Times, some restaurant meals have enough calories to fulfill three meals’ worth of food. Restaurant portions can sway even the strictest dieter. It is important to remember to practice portion control, even if you are dining out.

Try ordering a dinner salad or an appetizer as an entree. You do not need to order an entree that comes with a salad and then get a dessert to fill yourself up. Pay attention to how you feel and stop when you are full.

3) Load Up on Fruits and Vegetables

Eat a lot of low calorie fruits and vegetables rather than other foods that are high in fat and calories. Put your vegetables in the center of the plate so they fill most of the plate up. Alternatively, start every meal with a salad to fill you up a bit before moving on to your main course.

The U.S. government’s dietary guidelines suggest we consume 7-13 cups of fruits and vegetables each day. Make sure your kitchen is full of plenty of fresh produce and eat a little at each meal. This will boost your intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Also, if you fill up on nutrient-dense produce, you’ll be less likely to eat foods that are highly processed.

4) Practice Yoga

While people often turn to food for stress relief, a healthier option is to turn to yoga. Yoga not only lowers your levels of stress hormones, but it also increases insulin sensitivity. This helps the body to know to burn food rather than store it as fat.

4 Ways to Save Money When Buying a Portable Air Conditioner

Many homeowners dread checking their energy bills every month. Fortunately, there is a plethora of ways that you can take advantage of to save your monthly energy bills, one of the simplest ways being using a portable air conditioner. Whether you need just one portable air conditioner to cool your bedroom or several to cool an upper floor, you need to begin saving money right from the beginning—when buying your unit! In connection to this, here are 4 simple ways to save money when buying your portable air conditioner.

Go for the right Unit

Although you may be tempted to purchase a portable AC that uses minimal energy and only takes little space, such a model may not work efficiently for large living or family rooms. Before buying your unit, therefore, check its label to establish the size of area (in square feet) that the it can cool efficiently. You shouldn’t choose a large unit in a compact room, either, because such a unit will overwork to cool your room and in turn make it clammy.

Buy units that serve multiple purposes

While you may only require a portable AC to cool your room or home, you will save a lot of money by purchasing a unit that can do much more. There are air conditioners that you can use as a heater during cold months, a fan when you simply want added ventilation and a dehumidifier when it is rainy. In fact, if you live in an area with a variety of seasons, you will save a lot of cash by investing in a portable AC that can accommodate the changes in weather.

Energy Consumption

When making a purchase, endeavor to always find out where your unit is located in terms of its energy class and performance—it can add a lot to your monthly bill! Go for least energy-consuming portable ACs. Remember that the better the efficiency of your portable AC, the less the amount it will cost you to run. As a guide, units with high energy-efficiency ratio numbers (reached at by dividing their cooling output by electric energy input) are considered to be more cost effective.

Know when to purchase

Like any other product, knowing the right time to purchase your portable AC can save you a lot of money. When it comes to portable ACs, the best time to make purchases at a deep discount is obviously the winter. Demand for ACs is at its lowest during cooler months, so retailers find themselves overstocked with low demand. To encourage consumers to buy, various appliances stores routinely offer huge discounts to lure shoppers into stocking up in the off season.

A portable AC can be a great investment that can go a long way in easing the trouble of seasonal heat and subsequent high energy bills. Follow the above highlighted tips to ensure that you get the most bang for your hard earned cash and experience everything your AC has to offer.