How do rechargeable batteries work?

With an ever-increasing number of portable devices in our lives, rechargeable batteries of all sorts are becoming more common, and more important, than ever before.

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For a technology that the majority of us use multiple times per day, and one that has existed since the 19th century, most of us know almost nothing about how rechargeable batteries work.

How do rechargeable batteries differ from regular batteries, how do they charge, and what types of rechargeable batteries are available?

How do rechargeables charge?

All batteries function through electrochemical reactions between the contained anode and cathode. When the circuit through the battery is closed, usually by turning on the device, the electrolyte within the battery allows the anode and cathode to react with one another, producing the current that powers our devices.

Rechargeables discharge in the same way, but by using different anode and cathode materials. To charge, a charger subjects the batteries to consistent current, allowing the battery to ‘reset’ itself to its original state.

This process is not perfect, resulting in rechargeable batteries having a limited lifespan and causing the battery memory effect whereby the maximum charge a battery can hold is gradually reduced over a number of charge/discharge cycles.

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What types of rechargeable batteries are available?

Depending on a number of factors, such as required weight, volatility and cost, different types of rechargeable batteries are available.

The oldest type, developed in the mid-19th century, is the lead-acid battery. As its name implies, lead-acid batteries use a reaction between lead and sulphuric acid to provide a very high electrical current. Lead-acid batteries are very heavy but provide high current; therefore, they are often used in applications in which weight is not an issue. The include starter motors and car batteries such as the Odyssey PC680 battery available from stockists such as http://www.grovesbatteries.co.uk.

Most standard rechargeable batteries – AA, AAA and so on – were nickel cadmium (NiCd). These have largely been replaced by nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, which are more expensive but hold more charge.

Most portable devices are now powered by lithium ion batteries. These are not available in standard sizes and are vulnerable to overcharging, meaning they tend to require their own chargers.

Given the number of portable devices, batteries will only become more common, especially as more technologies are sure to emerge in the near future.

World Records About Horses

People just love setting world records. Weird and wonderful, people will do almost anything to get into the Guinness Book of Records. From the biggest pizza in the world to the most people assembling computers in one place, if you can imagine it, there’s a record for it. Here we look at world records involving horses.

Biggest number of people riding air horses

On June 5th 2011, the record was set in Brisbane, Australia for the most people riding air horses. 190 people at the Racecourse Road Carnival Day in the city gathered together to complete this hilarious challenge.

Quickest Rodeo Team Roping

In 2009, two people completed a team roping challenge in an incredible 8.6 seconds in Abilene, Texas.

Largest Collection of Horse-Drawn Vehicles

This collection can be seen by visiting the Remington Carriage Museum in Alberta, Canada. The beautifully restored carriages are arranged in rows and there is a huge variety including Hansom cabs, Broughams, Victorias and hearses. The museum here also has a stunning bronze statue of Seabiscuit and his jockey, George Woolf who died at the age of 35 in a horse race. For beautiful sculptures made out of bronze, take a look at the Bronze Horse Sculptures of Gill Parker.

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Smallest Chalk Horse Carving

The record was set in Hyderabad, India for a chalk carving called Fountain of Horses. It was made from chalk and the sculpture measured a tiny 2.7 cm. It was incredibly detailed and was the world’s smallest chalk sculpture.

World’s Tallest Horse

Big Jake is the official world’s tallest horse at just over 20.2 hands. He has a specially built stall which is 20×20 ft and he chomps his way through almost two bales of hay a day. Living with his owner in Wisconsin, he is apparently a bit goofy and likes to play around. Reservations can be made to visit him on Smokey Hollow Farm.

World’s Longest Pony Tail

A Shetland Pony holds this title. Golden Shante, or Topper as the pony is also known has a tail that measures more than 4 metres long.

World’s Largest Horse Parade

On August 9th 2013, the largest horse parade took place in Khui Doloon Khudag, Mongolia. There were 11,125 steeds and their riders from each of the 21 different regions in Mongolia. The length of the parade was longer than 2.5 miles. The oldest rider was 90 years old and the youngest was just 2. Video footage was taken and can be seen online.

World’s Smallest Horse

The name of the smallest horse in the Guinness Book of Records is Thumbelina. She is a dwarf Miniature Horse who was born and reared at Goose Creek Farm in St Louis, Missouri. She weighs less than 60 pounds and will never be bred.

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Largest Collection of Horse Items

The current world record rests with Edgar Rugeles from Bogota, Colombia. He is the proud owner of the world’s biggest collection of horse-related items as at 26th August 2013.

5 reasons to stay in a serviced apartment

Whether they are traveling for work or pleasure, there is an increasing number of travellers who are opting to stay in a serviced apartment. This trend is not only on the rise in London, but also in other key cities around the UK. We look at five good reasons to choose a serviced apartment over any other accommodation.

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Home away from home

These apartments, in general, have a lot of the luxuries that you would find in your own home. The bedrooms and living areas are most likely to be separate and you will often find a good entertainment centre. Birmingham apartments, more often than not, all have free WiFi. This means that you can work or log into your cloud to watch all your favourite movies and shows.

Customisation and personalised service

Your experience is also tailor-made. You can often call ahead to make sure that the apartment is stocked with your first morning’s breakfast or other goodies that you may need. According to https://www.whatcar.com/news/the-most-stolen-cars-in-the-uk/, London was the place where your car was most likely to be stolen in 2016. If you are staying in a serviced apartment, you have the luxury of calling ahead to arrange secure parking during your stay.

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Round-the-clock concierge

A majority of apartments offer a 24-hour concierge service. Someone is always available to help if you need the expert advice of a local who knows all the ins-and-outs about town.

A full kitchen at your disposal

Apartments like http://www.8waterloostreet.co.uk/ have beautiful, fully equipped kitchens for each individual apartment. For those with specific dietary requirements or those with small children, a kitchen is an untold luxury. Most business travellers also get tired of dining out all the time and love being able to stay in and cook their own meal.

Liberty and privacy

This is one of the key features of a serviced apartment. You have the freedom to have a meeting, entertain or even lounge about in your pyjamas all day if you want to. Privacy goes hand in hand with the freedom to do what you need to do without disturbing anyone else or needing to book an extra facility to do it in.

Serviced apartments are gaining great popularity with all kinds of travellers who enjoy the luxuries of home, their privacy and freedom whilst holidaying or working far from home.

Understanding the Causes of Insomnia

Insomnia is the condition where people face difficulty falling asleep or staying that way, even when they have a chance to do so. Medical and psychiatric conditions can cause insomnia as well as specific substances, unhealthy sleeping habits and certain biological factors as well. It is impossible to treat any problem unless you know what is causing it because it would continue to surface again and again. Thus, the first step to treating insomnia is to know what can cause it. Let’s take a look at some of the different causes of insomnia in detail:

Medical Causes

You can suffer from insomnia due to a variety of medical conditions, some of which are mild and some serious. In some cases, insomnia itself is caused by a medical condition while in others symptoms of the disease can create discomfort and make sleeping difficult. Some of these conditions are arthritis, asthma, low back pain, chronic pain, sinus/nasal allergies, neurological problems such as Parkinson’s disease, endocrine issues like hyperthyroidism and gastrointestinal problems like reflux. Medications taken for these problems can also give rise to insomnia.

Apart from that, insomnia could also be an indicator of an underlying sleep disorder. For instance, patients with restless less syndrome often suffer from insomnia because they have the uncomfortable urge of moving their legs every now and then. Another sleep disorder that’s connected with insomnia is sleep apnea. This is when your airways become completely or partially blocked during sleep, which reduces oxygen levels or pauses breathing, causing you to wake up.

Depression

Psychiatric conditions such as depression can also lead to insomnia. It can become difficult to sleep when you suffer from psychological conditions and insomnia itself can cause shifts in hormones and changes in moods and physiology. Sleep problems often serve as a symptom of disorder and patients who have major depression disorders often find themselves dealing with severe insomnia.

Anxiety

When you feel nervous or troubled, you will automatically find it difficult to sleep. In some cases, this can gradually become a pattern and it begins to interfere with your sleep on a daily basis. Feeling overwhelmed with work and responsibilities, getting caught up in past events and thoughts, tension and fretting about future incidents and a general feeling of being overstimulated and revved up can make you anxious, which leads to insomnia. Anxiety not only makes it difficult to fall asleep (onset insomnia), but also causes you to wake up during the night and not be able to go back to sleep (maintenance insomnia).

Luckily, when you become aware of the cause of your insomnia, it is possible for you to deal with it. Taking Etizolam can be immensely helpful if you suffer from insomnia and anxiety as it is fast-acting and synthetic. There are also relaxing therapies you can try out, which promote peaceful and healthy sleep. In addition, you should get your medical conditions treated so they no longer interfere with your sleep cycle. A combination of these methods is the ideal way of battling back insomnia effectively.

How to quickly and easily revitalise your decor

Tired of your worn-out décor? Sick of staring at the same wallpaper and furniture you’ve had for years? Fear not, as here are some quick and easy ways you can cheer up your depressed décor whilst sticking to a tight budget:

  • Remember that a home is a work in progress so you don’t need to replace everything in every room all at the same time. Taking things room by room will help you keep focused and keep that budget in check.
  • Replacing blinds or curtains is an easy quick-fix to brighten up a room. Ready-to-hang window dressings need not be expensive, can be installed straight away and make a dramatic improvement to a room.
  • Incorporate some fresh flowers or houseplants into your home. Houseplants help to purify the air and are known for their mood boosting qualities. Fresh flowers will make your home smell fresh as a daisy, so too will a display of potpourri. Think about a statement antique vase to add some glam to your living space.
  • Invest in a luxurious rug if you can’t replace flooring or carpets. Go bright and patterned or lush and super soft to totally transform a room. Your toes will thank you and you’ll be amazed at you can effortlessly change the feel of a room.
  • Think cosy family get-togethers in front of an antique fireplace. A stunning focal point like this can breathe new life into a home and makes a perfect spot for cold-evening gatherings. You don’t have to spend a fortune either as many antique items can be found at reclamation yards. For Antique Fireplaces Ireland, visit http://www.wilsonsyard.com/products/fireplaces.html

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  • A fresh lick of paint can work wonders on tired, grubby walls. Not only will it brighten the house but your mood too. This is a relatively cheap and easy option that should only take you a weekend and will freshen up any room. Don’t forget the outside. A new coat of paint on window frames, front doors, garage doors and fences can immediately transform your curb appeal.

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  • Update your lighting fixtures to change the atmosphere of your home. Maybe a lavish antique lamp or LED lighting in the kitchen? Simple, quick fixes such as these can make a world of difference. Angled and coloured lighting are great for creating mood and highlighting certain focal points and features in a room.
  • Hang some new art on the walls or create a stunning photo frame gallery to turn a dull wall into an attractive focal point. Installing decorative shelving is another idea for you to display pictures, ornaments, candles and any other collections you might want to show off.
  • Treat yourself to a new ornate mirror or several smaller mirrors in a pattern. Positioning mirrors opposite windows is a great way to reflect maximum light back into the room. This is particularly useful when wanting to make a small space look bigger. Large, beautiful antique mirrors are a perfect centre piece and talking point.

Web Awards

Did you know that are prestigious awards given out for the best website designs in the world? Called the Awwwards, they aim to recognize talent from the best website designers and developers across the world. The event itself is the perfect opportunity for digital professionals from far and wide to come together and share ideas, connect and maybe even seek inspiration.

The judges of the Awwwards include top professionals from the world of design, creativity and bloggers in the industry. They receive many submissions and their job is to assess the level of talent, commitment and effort that has been given to various web projects from around the globe.

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Various conferences are held throughout the year in cities across the world, including Barcelona, Amsterdam, New York and London. These provide the chance for top agencies and field leaders to discuss the current trends in digital design. 2018 sees conferences being held in Berlin and San Francisco, both cities renowned for their number of tech start-ups, innovation and creative culture.

Each year the Awwwards group publish a book containing the 365 best websites from around the world. This hardback book is an industry who’s who and contains a collection of a site for each day of the year with a featured site of the month too. If this makes you want to overhaul your current website design then think about Bristol Web Designers and visit http://www.aardvark-creative.com/ for more information.

Specific to the UK are the UK Digital Experience Awards which enable businesses to compete for the prize of best digital customer experience. The awards are growing in reputation with a panel of judges consisting of independent business people. Every entry receives a feedback report with judge’s comments and scoring for their written entry and live presentation. The five categories of competition are the automotive industry, online and high street retailers, hospitality, financial and charity.

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Each award aims to recognize a different area of digital business. For example, judges are looking for the best online user experiences, best use of technology to transform a business or website, best remote storage of data, best digital reward programmes or CRM, the best mobile strategy and the best omni-channel customer experience.

The event is not just about winning recognition but is a chance for those in the industry to get together and discuss ideas of best practice and make a commitment to continuing learning, development and improvement for the customer experience in an increasingly digital world. The final stage of the contest features finalists giving open presentations which other attendees are able to watch. This is a great opportunity to see what others in the business are doing, how they are improving things and how their insights are helping the customer experience.

Any company that has worked hard together as a team should consider entering and you’d be amazed at how a nomination can boost team spirit and morale even further. There is also some great exposure to be had at these events with much publicity surrounding the awards and a team on hand to offer media support and advice to promote your involvement with the event.

What Deductions Can Your Landlord Make from Your Deposit?

A tenant’s security deposit is a refundable amount that tenants pay to the landlord before they move in. It is returned when the premises are vacated, providing the terms of the lease have been adhered to.

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Justification

There are a number of reasons the landlord can keep part or all of the security deposit:

1. If your lease has an early termination clause and you leave before the agreed terms, e.g. twelve months or do not give 30 days’ notice, the tenant is responsible for money owed for the duration of the lease, therefore the landlord can deduct this from your deposit.

2. Non-payment of rent is considered a breach of the lease, so the landlord is therefore permitted to deduct this from your deposit. If you owe more than the deposit, the landlord can take you to court to recover the rest.

3. Damage to the property – the property should be left in the same condition as when you moved in, allowing for normal wear and tear. Damage such as broken windows, broken doors, damage to bathroom fittings, holes in walls, large stains on the carpets, any water damage to wooden floors should be repaired before leaving, otherwise, they will be deducted from your deposit.

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4. Cleaning costs – if the tenant leaves rubbish or personal belongings which need disposing of or the house is left in an unclean state, the landlord could claim back cleaning costs.

5. Pets – any damage caused by pets, for example, the cost of cleaning to remove pet smells, can be claimed.

6. Missing items – your landlord will give you an inventory of items which are provided within the property. If any of these items are missing after vacating the premises, the landlord can claim from your deposit to replace missing items on a like for like basis.

Agents

There are leasing agents all over the UK with houses and flats available to rent, for example, rent houses in Gloucester from http://www.tgres.co.uk/properties-to-rent, who will be happy to sit down and talk you through the ins and outs of leasing agreements and useful information on security deposits.

Lease

When renting a property, tenants must read the lease carefully and adhere to all the requirements, otherwise you could lose all or part of your security deposit.

11 Considerations before Signing Up for a Drug Trial

It is not uncommon for the cash-strapped to volunteer themselves for clinical trials for money, as payment can average at £100 a day.

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Constantly ongoing medical research means there is always a steady supply of new drugs arriving on the market. Pharmaceutical businesses must ensure their products are safe for the general public, and paying willing people is the best way to test them.

1.      Trial variations

Drug studies go through different phases dependent on how much prior research has been conducted. A trial in phase one means you will be among the first to take the medication.

2.      Same payment despite risk

Usually, you will not be paid more for testing riskier drugs as payment is calculated by the length of time on the trial.

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3.      Trials may last several weeks

It is normal for trials to demand a stay of a few weeks on site, which can be disruptive to your home life.

4.      Examinations

Once singed up, you will be subject to a complete medical examination to ensure your suitability for the trial.

5.      Placebo drugs

Not everyone taking part in the clinical trial will take the drug; some will be given a placebo instead.

6.      Needles

It is common to be uncomfortable with needles, but you will likely need to give blood and be subject to other tests.

7.      Risks

There is always an element of risk in paid research studies. There are common side effects like headaches, nausea and fainting, which can leave you weak for a few days. Sometimes there can be more serious side effects, although these happen extremely rarely and those who take the risk are priceless in developing new drugs.

8.      Trials are regulated

All research trials must meet guidelines set out under the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency), while an ethics committee also approves the trial.

9.      Aftercare

It is essential that you go for regular check-ups after the trial and inform your GP of your participation. Some adverse side effects cannot be predicted.

10.     Companies

There are a range of companies, such as http://www.trials4us.co.uk/, to choose from. Conduct thorough research and choose a company that is unbiased and well respected.

11.      Free to leave

If at any time you would like to stop the trial, you are free to leave.

10 low-cost ways to improve your home this autumn

Improving your home does not need to be difficult, time consuming or traumatic. Give your home a boost and make it easy on yourself with techniques that do not require too much effort, too much time or too much money. Here we look at 10 of the best ways.

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Stay mobile

Put your furniture on castors so that you can wheel it around wherever you want, whenever you want.

Power of paint

Give old furniture a new lease of life by painting it a different colour. The Guardian explains why chalk paints are a good choice.

Go green

Plants not only produce oxygen but also brighten a space and add a whole new dimension of leafy splendour.

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Work with quirk

Add interest and a range of focal points with some small and quirky items, such as an elaborate picture frame or an intriguingly decorated side table.

Dapper drawers

Add a fun aspect to your drawers by lining them with colourful wrapping paper or wallpaper.

Decoupage it

If lining has inspired you, why not take up decoupage? Applying patterns or images to the exterior of dull furniture will give it a new lease of life.

Cheap and cheerful

Get some old crates and make new furniture, then decoupage it as above.

Cushioning effect

Delve into your fabric stash and dig out the most exotic prints and textures to make covers for cushions and slip-on covers for sofas and chairs.

The only way is up

For more storage, get hanging. Hooks and other methods of hanging items from walls and doors will make it easier to declutter. There are some pretty funky hooks out there to choose from, which also look stylish.

Hang it

If you have art or photographs you would like to display easily, put a bulldog clip or clips on each item and hang them from a nail or one of your funky hooks.

Don’t forget about the exterior; for example, make sure your garage doors look smart. If you need Stevenage garage door repair, consult an expert such as http://garagedoorsrus.co.uk/garage-door-repairs-stevenage/.

Experiment and have fun. Try out different things and see how they affect the atmosphere in your home. The decor can reflect your personality very easily.

IT security spending is set to rocket

It comes as no surprise that IT has become invaluable to many businesses, so hearing that IT spending is on the rise across UK businesses is no shock. However, you may be interested in finding out exactly where this extra money is being spent and what it can do for organisations.

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What are the facts?

Gartner, a technology research company, has revealed that spending on IT security will soar to over $86 billion worldwide this year, which is the equivalent of more than £66 billion in today’s financial climate. This huge spend will typically be driven by influences like market growth and GDPR, a new regulation that organisations will have to abide by in the EU. An overview of GDPR can be found at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/.

What are the trends?

This huge figure is a 7% increase in spend within the same area in 2016, which is a positive sign that organisations are preparing for changes in the industry, like those that will become evident when GDPR is in full swing. It is expected that the increase rate will continue through to 2018, with spending being estimated at an impressive $93 billion.

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Why the drastic change?

There are a number of factors that have driven companies to spend more on IT security, one of which is the aforementioned GDPR regulation that will, of course, lead to many changes in the way that businesses run. High profile data breaches, like the recent cyber attacks on the NHS for example, have also meant that companies have had to better understand security and put new measures in place to protect their assets.

What will the money be spent on?

Gartner predicts that security services will be the fastest growing segment in IT security spend because of the focus on business impact of security incidents at CEO level. Security testing using new applications and products, like file integrity monitoring (https://www.promisec.com/file-integrity-monitoring-software/) for instance, will, therefore, be at the forefront as well as the increase in outsourced security services.

Does spending more mean that incidents won’t happen?

Introducing advanced security will not stop incidents from happening altogether because companies need to be aware of getting the basics right. Even addressing seemingly unimportant matters like centralised log management, backups, internal network segmentation and system hardening can significantly reduce vulnerability and the likelihood of security threats.