The importance of Education and the role of the library.

§ October 15th, 2013 § Filed under Education § Tagged , , Comments Off

DSC02685

Every parent knows that a child’s education is important. Don’t neglect the value of a good education for your child. But do you know the part the library plays in your child’s education? Learning occurs in many different ways, one of which is by visiting the library.

Most schools have a library within the school that a child can visit. This school library has books that a child can check out and take home to read and also read in their classroom during quiet time. Schools with libraries also have story times or visits to the library where books or other media are presented to the children. Often there are themes to each story time or presentation – for example, during the Olympics children could learn about the country that is hosting the Olympics or read stories about the Olympics.

Research has shown that school libraries offer a positive impact on students’ achievement. More than 60 studies in 19 U.S.A. states and a Canadian province have been done on the topic. The studies have found that students who have had access to a well-supported school library media program with qualified school library specialists have scored higher on reading assessments, with no regard to their socio-economic status. One study done in Ohio showed that 99.4% of students surveyed believed that their school librarians and school library programs helped them to be successful in school.

Many who focus on the value of a child’s education think first of early childhood education, those years before the age of 8. It is because these years matter a great deal, even though some might not think these are the years when children are lifting Algebra books or learning more difficult school lessons. What they learn during early childhood education will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

A study done in Ypsilanti, Michigan with 3 and 4 year olds from low-income families who were assigned by random to a group that did not receive a preschool education showed that by the age of 18, they were five times more likely to be chronic lawbreakers than the children who did receive a preschool education.

The very same study also showed that low-income individuals enrolled in preschool went on to earn $5500 more a year by the age of 40 than those who did not attend. It also found these preschool students were more likely to have graduated from high school, to own their own homes and to have longer marriages. § Read the rest of this entry…

Precision Liquid Analysis for Drinking Water

§ March 4th, 2014 § Filed under Education Comments Off

Precision Liquid Analysis for Drinking Water

Precision liquid analysis is an essential component of quality control for a number of industries. These include food and beverage production, chemical processing, petroleum refining, mineral processing, semiconductor production, and public utility water supply. Because many of these industries create products that directly affect the health and safety of their users, reliable analysis technology is critical. Perhaps in no industry is this more important than in the public potable water system. Following are some of the most common parameters monitored and controlled by liquid analyzer systems for ensuring drinking water quality.

pH and Alkalinity

Alkalinity is the ability of an aqueous solution to neutralize the acidic nature of another solution. Depending on the alkaline/acid base components, the neutralization process results in purified water along with some form of salt.

This process is particularly important in determining water pollution in a stream, river, or lake. Normally, stream motion neutralizes acidic pollutants. However, excessive pollution can overcome the purification ability of the stream, leaving an acidic imbalance. Pollution can come by direct insertion of pollutants (factory runoffs), rainwater runoffs through polluted ground, and rain droplets capturing airborne contaminants falling into bodies of water. A similar problem exists with wastewater and its neutralization at treatment plants.

The acidity or alkalinity of water is measured on a pH scale. pH values generally fall within the range of 1-15. A value of 7.0 represents a neutral solution. Solution values measuring less than 7.0 are acidic, while those above 7.0 are basic (or alkaline). Although the pH measurement of water is a strong indicator of water purity, it is not essential that the water measure precisely 7.0 on the pH scale. This is because the body regulates its own pH levels. However, pure drinking water should be in the range of 6.0 to 8.5 for surface water and 6.0 to 8.5 for groundwater systems.

ORP

Oxygen reduction potential (ORP) is a common measurement for the quality of water. The potential is the voltage level, and indicates the tendency of the molecules in the solution to attract electrons, or in other words, to be reduced. Technicians monitor ORP as part of a chlorination purification process. The amount of chlorination for a given volume is calculated and introduced, and then the effectiveness of the process is measured through ORP in millivolts. When the ORP rises above 665 mV for over 30 seconds, the survival rates of such pathogens as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria shrink to zero. Certain localities are considering introducing the 650 mV standard as part of their official standard health codes.

Contacting Conductivity

Electrolytic conductivity, also known as contacting conductivity, is another method for measuring water quality. This measurement is simple and inexpensive. It is performed by measuring the conductivity (the current for a given voltage) between two probes. This is similar to standard resistance measurements. Because conductivity testing is so easy, it is a common method of perform continual testing for water purification at facilities ranging from public supply departments to wastewater treatment plants. Typical drinking water should fall into the conductivity range of 5 to 50 mSiemens/m.

Dissolved Oxygen

Dissolved oxygen (DO), or the level of oxygen saturation, should be at full saturation levels for well-mixed bodies of water. These levels are about 10 mg/L at 15 oC. Insufficient oxygen saturation is often a sign of the presence of organic matter decomposition or nutrient pollution. The problem nutrients include an excess amount of nitrogen or phosphorus, which can stimulate algae growth. Low levels of DO indicate a problem with water quality.

Turbidity

Turbidity is the measure of cloudiness or haziness in a fluid. This haziness is rarely visible to the naked eye, and detection requires specific measurement instrumentation and sensors. These sensors allow analyst technicians to use the cloudiness factor to determine the percentage of particulates, either suspended or dissolved, in the solution. For this reason, it is another key test of water quality.

The particulates measured by turbidity come from several sources. One of these is growth of phytoplankton, which are microscopic members of the plankton community. Inorganic particles can be introduced by sediment from runoffs near construction, agricultural areas, and mining operations. These types of impurities can be difficult to treat, because the suspended solids can block the treatment of viruses and bacteria by chlorine or by UV radiation.

The most common measurement for turbidity involves shining a light through a volume of water, and measuring the reduction of light intensity. This is reported in units of JTU (Jackson turbidity unit), the inverse measure of the length of a water sample column, which completely obscures a candle flame.

For health standards, water must be tested with a calibrated nephelometer, which yields an output as an NTU (Nephelometric turbidity unit) value. (There is no direct conversion between JTU and NTU.) Individual states take the national EPA standard for turbidity limits and either use the adopted values or modify them to generate their own standards. These are generally in the range of 25 to 150 NTU.

Other standard measurements of water quality include toroidal conductivity, gaseous oxygen levels, chlorine content, and ozone content. Additional water quality tests include the following:

  • Taste and odor tests (focusing on geosmin, 2-Methylisoborneol (MIB), and similar compounds)
  • Dissolved salts and metals including sodium, calcium, potassium, manganese, and magnesium
  • Microorganisms such as Escherichia coli, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia lamblia
  • Dissolved organics, including colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and dissolved organic carb on (DOC)
  • Other contaminants, including radon, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and hormone analogs

Other Considerations

The ability to measure these quality parameters is enhanced by new sensor technologies. These include the use of automated equipment to replace manual testing processes. This makes it easier and faster for analysts to take consistent, high-reliability measurements. Wireless technology allows sensors to be placed in remote, low access areas, and still allow technicians to gather measurement data through a wireless link. Finally, analysis software provides standard methods to compile and analyze the data. This makes data analysis efficient and accurate, and provides the ability to create problem alerts. These alerts indicate problems to purification plant personnel through audio, visual, and text message alarms when measurements exceed prescribed limits.

These water quality analysis systems allow water authorities in all areas to control the quality of public drinking water. Similar systems use these parameters to make similar quality measurements in liquids of all kind. This allows related industries to improve the safety and health of their products as well as optimize quality.

Six Chinese Herbs That Doctors Should Be Aware Of

§ December 16th, 2013 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off

Six Chinese Herbs That Doctors Should Be Aware Of

There’s a variety of animal tissues, herbs and minerals to be found in traditional Chinese medicine, and American doctors should make themselves more familiar with these herbs if they want to better treat their patients. There are six Chinese herbs in particular that doctors should take a closer look at not only so that they can educate themselves, but so that they can educate their patients as well.

traditional-chinese-medicine

Ephedra

Ephedra is most often used by Chinese herbalists as a way to either cause patients to sweat or as a way to treat asthma. One of the biggest differences in the use of ephedra in China and in the US is that the Chinese practically never use it as a sole agent, and it’s also not used as a weight loss supplement the way it is in America. When ephedra is used as a weight loss supplement, it can come with some rather adverse effects, such as insomnia, tremors, restlessness, tachycardia, heart palpitations and hypertension as well.

Even though ephedra is a stimulant, it wasn’t originally used in China as a way to treat fatigue. The reason for this is that if the person’s fatigue is caused by a lack of energy using an agent like ephedra will only lead to the person losing even more energy. In most cases it’s only used for a short while. Whenever a type of coldness or chill is part of the physician’s diagnosis, they’ll use ephedra to treat it.

Aconite

Aconite has also been called Wu Tou, Cao Wu or Chan Wu and is part of some of the more traditional Chinese formulas. If a person is experiencing a type of arthritic pain or what Chinese diagnosis calls a severe “cold,” than aconite can prove beneficial. One thing to take note of with the herb aconite is that it’s has been linked to toxicity that’s part of Chinese herbs that have been used in the West. Raw aconite has to be boiled for at least an hour before it can be used since it’s so cardiotoxic. One of the reasons that it’s been included in with many toxicity reports is that it’s often improperly prepared. Something else to keep in mind is that aconite has a very slight therapeutic window, which means that a toxic dose is only a touch more than a therapeutic dose.

§ Read the rest of this entry…

History Of The Clean Air Act

§ November 2nd, 2013 § Filed under Uncategorized § Tagged , , , Comments Off

Clean air in the United States wasn’t always a priority. In fact, in October 1948 air quality in Pennsylvania was so bad that 20 people lost their lives when a cloud rolled over the town of Donora and stuck around for five days. During that period, cities all over the country were facing similarly high pollution levels due to the absence of regulations over industrial processes and transportation. As such, the government started to realize that public health would be in serious decline if something wasn’t done to clean up and better control air pollution.

Even today, many cities experience high smog levels or high ozone levels at some point. During those periods, you should remain indoors as much as possible and the use of a high end air purifier will help keep your indoor air safer. The following timeline briefly explains the history of the Clean Air Act and how the government increased its standards of air care over time.

clean-air-act

1.       1955

On July 14, 1955, The Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 passed to become the first national air pollution legislation enacted by Congress. It made available federal funds to facilitate researchers in better understanding the effects and sources of air pollution, as well as the scale of the issue. While the act was technically overseen on a national level, it delegated jurisdiction to individual states to control and prevent pollution starting at the source. The United States Surgeon General was in control of the research, as well as educating the general public on the dangers of air pollution.

The downfall of The Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 was the fact that federal and local governments were not given the authority to punish individuals or organizations responsible for polluting the environment. Congress was also hesitant to take control for fear of taking away rights held by the states. As a result, the act failed to have the hoped impact. It did, however, start a much needed revolution toward studying the effects of pollution.

§ Read the rest of this entry…

Education for the Online World

§ October 24th, 2013 § Filed under Education § Tagged , , , , Comments Off

education-online-world

Everything is done online: banking, shopping, networking and communication. The entire world has gone online, including education. It follows that online learning can provide a great addition to traditional lessons. Access to information and the ability to cater to a student’s needs are just a few benefits of utilizing the Internet applications in education and online tutoring. However, children need to be taught responsibility and good judgment when utilizing these tools.

Responsibility Online

The baby boomer generation took typing classes. Today, the youngest generations are being issued tablets instead of books. Children are now introduced to new technology at an early age. Pre-schoolers can effectively use mobile applications and laptops, learning everything from addition to the alphabet through interactive programs and games.

Because of the ease of exposure to information online, children need to be able to use the tools responsibly. Educating children about the online world goes hand in hand with their ability to use it to their advantage. A 2011 study by the National Cyber Security Alliance revealed that educators believe that online safety is important but that their districts are not preparing kids for the digital age. Chief among concerns include:

  • Teaching children to keep their information private
  • Learning “cyberethics,” a course that would discuss bullying and inappropriate posts
  • Understanding online predators and what to do if you encounter one § Read the rest of this entry…

Marketing Tips For Libraries

§ October 18th, 2013 § Filed under Library Marketing § Tagged , , Comments Off

library

If you run a library, chances are that you are unsure of how to market your products or services. The marketing world is a lot different for libraryes than it is for large businesses. Knowing how to market library in a big business world could greatly benefit you and help you to compete with larger companies. The following are some tips that will help you to get started.

Don’t Mimic Business Advertising

Although you might want to jump right in with both feet and pull out some huge marketing strategies like your larger competitors, you really don’t have the capacity to do that yet. Large businesses have the reputation and the money needed to direct their marketing techniques in the way of name recognition and future sales. As a library, you probably don’t have that name recognition yet. Rather than marketing your name, market your products. Find ways to improve your sales today. Create promotions and offers that make prospective customers want to contact you in response to your ads. Don’t feel like you have to offer the exact same products as your larger competitors, either. Sometimes customers are simply looking for something similar and cheaper. There are others who might want the best quality product and will pay for it. Make that an option for your higher-end customers.

Attend Trade Shows and Have a Great Trade Show Display

You don’t have to have a lot of money to attend a trade show and market your products or services there. It takes some planning, but any business can do it on any budget. Pull together a team and start brainstorming ideas that will make your company stand out among the competition at a trade show. Be sure that you include details from who will buy the coffee the morning of the trade show to who will clean up the booth when all is said and done and everything in between. Delegate responsibilities to different staff members and follow up to be sure that everything is taken care of before the week of the trade show. § Read the rest of this entry…