Pneumatics and Control Valves Part 1

Pneumatics is a branch of mechanical engineering that deals with the use of air pressure in creating motion or some form of mechanical force. Pneumatics is used mainly in factories and industries where compressed air is dealt with. The compressed air or steam is stored in one location and distributed through valves. Compressed gases are a cheaper solution to using electric motors and actuators. Pneumatics is used because of the cheap availability of air. Air costs nothing. Compressed air can be stored and used even when electrical power is lost. The design is simple and straightforward, utilizing existing components like cylinders and pistons.

The first pneumatic tool probably was the bellows used by blacksmiths. Modern air compressors were designed in the 1800s and were used in department stores. The system was used between sections to get change. Air compressors were also used on barges and boats. These were hand operated and needed four hardy men to keep it going. The air pump was used to supply air to divers. Due to the limits of human strength high pressures could not be produced and this limited the depth the divers could go to. As steam engines began to be used, the man power was replaced by this.

Air compressors began to be used more widely in the second half of the 19th century. Compressed air was used to dig the foundations of the Brooklyn Bridge. The silt under the river was very porous and the water kept seeping into the caissons. Compressed air was used to keep out the water. Pneumatic machines gained popularity fast and industrial installations all around the country started using them. There were uncertainties on whether steam or electricity was the energy of the future. In the end electricity won out because small businesses could not afford steam systems.

The invention of the pneumatic tire called for a cheap, mass produced air pump. The hand pump was the first mass produced air pump. It became a standard part of bicycles, cars, and trucks. The hand pump was also found at garages and gas pumps. The introduction of electric motors meant businesses did not need to buy steam plants to power their compressors. The electric motor revolutionized the air pump. Air compressors could be made smaller and more inexpensive, opening out the market further. World War 2 added impetus to the air compressor development. Air compressors started to be sold in units of the pump, the motor and the receiver.

The better technology of air compressors meant that a variety of air and pneumatic tools were developed. Personal sized tools were developed to make them more affordable. Go to any auto mechanic and you will find that he uses air tools and has a compact air compressing unit. Today the air compressor is found nearly everywhere. Buildings use air compressors to operate heating, ventilation and air conditioning. If it wasn’t for air compressors very few rides in the amusement park would work.

How To Help A Pet Hit By A Car

December 31, 2008 was cold and clear when a white dog raised its head as we approached in our truck while lying in the middle of the two lane street. I asked my husband to return, and we did to protect the dog. I called my vet, found a phone number that was for emergencies, called that and found that it was the wrong county. If I had dialed 911, I would have saved valuable time. It was after 9:00 pm when we stopped.

They arrived, placed a muzzle that was too small on the dog, and used the towel I provided to load the dog, asked us some questions, and left. The dog died, but the important point is that it had a chance it would not have without Animal Control. It had no collar, no tags, and we didn’t know the dog. It was trying to bite, but did not bite anyone.

We found out that after hours 911 is the fastest way to contact the correct county Animal Control. If out of the county of residence and not online, information may help. Getting the numbers into the speed dial for local shelters is important.

Although there may not be a tax deduction, it is very helpful to donate towels, sheets and items dogs and cats can use. It is a good idea to have some of these items for emergency use while traveling.

Two other neighbors stopped to help us divert traffic while we waited for Animal Control to come help this dog. A muzzle in our car would have made the difference, although getting a muzzle on a hurt dog is not always easy. The options of taking the dog ourselves to an Emergency Clinic may save the dog, but may be out of pocket instead of paid by the county with Animal Control.

(c) Charlotte Fairchild 2008

The Benefits of Probiotic Foods – How Age-Old Cultured Foods Boost Immunity

We’ve approached a time in history when more people are taking responsibility for their own healing – seeking opinions from doctors and practitioners with a range of philosophies, discovering and treating the root-cause of illnesses, and remembering the wisdom behind the statement, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” stated by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine.

Throughout time, popular diseases have offered society a reflection of its own state of being. The predominant lifestyles, medicine, social issues, diets, etc. all amount to health challenges of those times. Quite often the insidious, debatable epidemics that affected large populations instigated societal growth and advancements.

One of today’s such diseases is Candidiasis, a fungal infection, caused by Candida albicans, that starts in the colon and can spread through the bloodstream affecting the immune system. Candida is caused by an imbalance of ‘friendly’ bacteria in the gut, resulting in an overgrowth of fungus ranging from severe to mild. The long-term danger of overgrowth is a compromised immune system. Seventy to 80 percent of what controls our immunity is a result of the health of our gut. Candidiasis has been linked to many symptoms, including skin rashes, food allergies, chronic constipation, chronic vaginal yeast infections, PMS, reoccurring headaches, mental fuzziness and more. But the majority of people don’t associate their systems with this modern epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 75% of all adult women have had at least one genital “yeast infection” in their lifetime. In those with weakened immune systems, like AIDS or cancer, candida that leaks into the bloodstream through the intestinal wall can (and often does) become the actual cause of death.

Although there are a number of pills and creams being prescribed for this infection by allopathic doctors, some practitioners believe that unless the colon’s environment is altered and “friendly” bacteria reintroduced, while the foods perpetuating this imbalance are eliminated, the ‘yeast infection’ will persist. New solutions proving to be effective include colonics, intestinal cleanses, special diets, and probiotics, some of the most potent probiotics can be obtained through an age-old method of fermenting plant-source foods.

Following is an interview with Carly Balsz, founder of Healing Movement in Santa Monica, California

Jara Fairchild: Carly, your mission is to help people develop balanced inner ecosystems by supporting them to create healthy digestion. How did you get started on this journey?

Carly Balsz: My journey began as an R.N., but I wasn’t healthy. My problem was a severe Candida infection, which was weakening my immune system. I found the Body Ecology Diet book, a system of healing by Donna Gates, which emphasizes that we all have unique dietary needs depending on the state of our inner ecosystems. For example, we might all agree that an organic, whole foods diet is healthy. But wheat, dairy, or even natural sugars may not benefit you. I was on a raw food diet, but the dates and fruits that I was eating were making me sick! So not only did I eliminate certain foods, I began fermenting vegetables and the water from Young Thai coconuts, the probiotic foods suggested by the diet to replenish my colon with ‘friendly’ bacteria. That’s when my immune system kicked in, plus these raw cultured vegetables and coconut water kefir as they are called, helped curb my intense sugar cravings, a common symptom that seems insurmountable to Candida sufferers.

J: So you sensed that there were many others out there like you suffering from Candida and set out to help them too?

C: First I was inspired by colon hydrotherapy because it was the first thing I did that my body responded to. None of the anti-fungal medications prescribed by my doctor helped. At the time, I was working the UCLA Medical Center’s Liver Transplant ICU and was responsible for administering antibiotics, the very thing that may have contributed to my condition. I also remembered the mid-90s when pharmacies, overnight it seemed, added sections dedicated to vaginal suppositories to treat yeast infections. I had this moment when I realized how much I wasn’t alone in suffering from a systemic fungal infection, but rather it had reached epidemic proportions — that’s when I quit my job. Today I have so many success stories. I’ve worked with an 18-year-old boy with Crohn’s disease for about a year who was on steroids. The other day his mother said he’s was off the medications and symptom free. She attributes it to the colonics, the diet and the probiotic foods.

J: So are all ‘probiotic foods’ created equally? Are the new yogurts on the market with probiotics effective?

C: They are NOT created equally. Despite the large-budget ad campaigns that almost make yogurt a convincing choice as a probiotic, many yogurts are not effective. First, they are counterintuitive to healing because they add sugar. Also, for people with digestive issues, dairy tends to irritate the gut lining or cause allergic reactions. And often the microflora from yogurt isn’t strong enough to survive harsh stomach acid so they don’t get into the gut to colonize. Cultured foods, however, are permitted by all diets — vegan, raw, macrobiotic and others. The process alone of making them with “starter culture” introduces a hardy strain of beneficial bacteria, a robust bacterium called Lb. Plantarum, which is resistant to antibiotics. The veggies and kefir work quickly because they are alkaline-forming foods. Microbes love acidic environments because they have a lot to feast on. So the goal is to balance the body’s pH. These foods are also fibrous for stronger peristalsis, while the kefir is hydrating, and both contain a rich source of enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

J: Is it easy to make the veggies and kefir at home?

C: Yes. Cultured foods have been around for thousands of years, kimchi and sauerkraut are two examples. So they are affordable and easy to make. When I started making the veggies, I rallied together a small group and we did two big batches a month. If you do buy them at the store, look for brands that don’t add sea salt to the fermentation process, which is how traditional sauerkraut is made. Sea salt slows down bacterial growth. You can add sea salt once they’ve cultured, as well as dressings, oils and seasonings. The kefir can be made from Young Thai coconuts, but you can also ferment regular coconut water. Some people add stevia, cranberry juice, lemon, etc.

J: Is there a link between digestion and children who develop autism?

C: Yes. Each child is different, but improving digestion should be the starting point. There has been much evidence that these children have an overgrowth of fungus, which cause toxins to absorb through the gut wall, enter the bloodstream and are carried to the brain causing neurological dysfunctions. I work with a child who in the beginning was constipated, but what we’ve observed over the past year is that his behavior improved as his digestion did. There are many stories of children recovering from symptoms of autism when placed on sugar-free, gluten-free, casein-free diets, and adding the cultured foods.

Mothers sometimes feel guilty when they understand the link, but it’s not their fault. However, education is important. Most women haven’t been given the right information about how to treat a Candida infection and most men who have it, don’t know it. I admire high-profile personalities with autistic children who speak out, like Jenny McCarthy, so we can spread the word about getting to the root-cause of this infection. So I’ve made it my mission to provide people with the tools that have worked for me. I’m planning to be a mom someday and I thank God I got sick. Now I know for sure that my body is ready.