This is a series of posts that we will be using in various ways on the BlogMutt website and in marketing materials. Because we want to thwart nefarious folks to try to publish this and claim that they wrote it, we’re publishing it here. This is not really designed to be read all in one sitting. It’s quite a lot — Scott
Automotive Sample Posts
The Best Way To Add Growl To Your Engine Without Draining Your Bank Account
The upgrades we sell for a standard cold air intake systems are enough to make you drool at the sound of the engine turning over. We get that.
These are top notch parts from a homegrown, made-in-the-USA company. So… let’s talk a little about how installing a cold air intake system can boost your engine performance and add some guts to your glory.
Your engine gets its power by pulling in oxygen, mixing it with fuel, and then burning that mix. If you want more power, you need more air and more fuel. Adding fuel is no big deal; but adding air gets tricky.
A cold air intake increases your power by adding two things:
• More air.
• More oxygen in the air.
Let’s take a look at both of those:
More air. First of all, the opening is wider; but the cold air intake also delivers more air to the engine by reducing the amount of air flow resistance. Pipes are specifically smoothed and tuned to increase air flow. With excessive turbulence in the pipes removed, the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to pull in air.
More oxygen in the air. A cold air intake lowers the temperature of the air being pulled in. Cold air is loaded with more oxygen. More oxygen creates more power. Driving through the desert in the middle of August, this can be just the cool breeze your engine needs to maintain the giddyup in its horsepower.
There are other ways to add force, of course. Turbo- and Superchargers (otherwise known as forced induction systems) increase air flow and boost power. We like these, too, but if they are not factory installed they can be trouble. Installed after-market they can cost as much as a new engine.
For those on a tighter budget, a cold air intake is a cost-effective way to add growl to your drive. Not only is the part itself comparatively pretty cheap, but it improves performance significantly without dramatically increasing your fuel consumption.
Beware: Once you hear that gut-punching roar, you might just get a little heavy on the pedal.
If you’d like to learn more about cold air intakes, or any of our hundreds of other after-market solutions to improve your vehicle inside and out, please check out our online guide to parts, or ask us for a free catalog.
Renault Sport celebrates the ‘return’ of the ‘Berlinette’ concept car; hopes for future production.
We all know what concept cars are right? The jazzed up autos bedazzle auto show goers with gobs of technology wrapped in styling features to gauge just how readily you might reach for your checkbook once they arrive in your dealer’s showroom.
Back to the future. In 1961 when Renault gave us the ‘Berlinette,’ (Alpine A 110) both as a coupe and cabriole; the coupe made tracks as premier ‘rallyerlinette,’ (Alpine A 110) both the coupe made tracks as premier rally car, winning numerous outings, including the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally.
How sweet it is with Renault Sport’s announcement that they’ve “merged the stunning DeZir concept car with the Megane Trophy racer to celebrate 50 years of the A 110,” according to a Mark Tisshaw news item on Autocar. The DeZir was unveiled at the 2010 Paris motor show. It was some five decades ago that the genius of the A 110 received plentiful nods at —where else—the Paris motor show.
Until about 1976, the car sported a number of engines whose horsepower and displacement were always on the upgrade for a total of eleven engines, including the years:
- 1964 – 69: 1108 cc / 66 hp
- 1965 – 71: 1296 cc / 120 hp
- 1974 – 75: 1605 cc / 140 hp (fuel injection)
You might have had a chance to see the debut of this 395 bhp/ V-6 concept car (Renault Alpine A 110-50) if you were hanging around Monaco’s recent grand prix.
The jolt of power coming from this ‘395’ beast is transferred to “… the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential box gearbox and mechanical limited-slip differential.”
But if you missed the debut in Monaco, buy your tickets for the September motor show in Paris to covet much touted “…modern interpretation…” of the ‘60’s ‘Berlinette.’
So who do we thank for this chance to reveal in such a magnificent beauty? If you go back to 2009, that’s when the idea was forming in the mind’s eye of Renault design chief, Laurens van den Acker, who moved over from Mazda that year.
The real burning question, of course, is just when will this baby be available as a production model, right? Right now, that’s in the works, and yes, if it ever happens the look will be that mix of “…Alpine a 110-50’s design (with) the DeZir’s basic look with some nods to the original A 110 and some racing add-ons.”
You can almost count on a production model, according to Stephen Norman, a Renault Sport sales and marketing honcho; he’s keeping the buzz going out there, and the droolers drooling by adding that they will “…do everything we can to make it (the Alpine) work for production.”
Okay, now hold onto your spoilers because Norman is projecting a crystal ball date of 30 months, if and when they set their minds to it.
Huaraches–the shoes of the Tarahumara
In order to understand why we sell what we sell, it’s important to know a little bit about our inspirations–namely, you should know a bit about the Tarahumara and their shoes.
The Tarahumara are Native Americans living in northwestern Mexico. The name they have for themselves in their own language is Rarámuri, and depending on the ethnographer you ask, that either means “runners on foot” or “those who run fast.” Considering that they have a tradition of running up to 200 miles in one session across their widespread territory through rugged canyon country, we think the name for themselves may be a little modest.
The running tradition of the Tarahumara has drawn a bit of attention from the outside world. In the book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, author Christopher McDougall heard stories about the Tarahumara, and marvelled how they could run so far and so fast without the injuries that most runners sustain.
A runner himself, McDougall suffered many such injuries. Based on his observation of the Tarahumara, he came to believe that modern cushioned running shoes were a major cause of running injury, and that he overcame his own injuries by adopting the toe-running style of the Tarahumara.
Of course, running through rocky canyons means that even the heartiest of runners is going to want to put something between the soles of their feet and the jagged rocks below. Anyone who has stepped on a Lego block can understand the value of that. That’s why the Tarahumara wear a relatively simple sandal known as the “huarache.” And it seems to work for them; they’re running multiple marathons a day and yet there is no shin splint epidemic south of the border.
We sell shoes that are the modern spin on huaraches, designed so you can run and walk in the way nature intended. Given that the Tarahumara forget a lot more about running long distances in a week than the rest of us will learn in a lifetime, we’re inclined to take their word for it.
For more information please feel free to contact us.
Nick Stick Just In the Nick Of Time?
Let’s face it—sometimes shaving can be a bloody business. So to avoid walking around looking like an extra in a zombie movie, you can pull out our handy Nick Stick and swipe your cares—or at least your pain—away.
That’s right—we’ve got the perfect solution for those inevitable nicks and cuts which come with the territory whenever you shave. No matter now perfect your hand eye coordination, cuts happen. That’s why we created this handy little magic wand.
Actually, it’s neither a stick nor a wand. It is a liquid roll on—which dries clear, so you don’t have to worry about someone thinking you rolled your deodorant in the wrong place. Nor will you have little bits of tissues sticking to your face, or legs, or…wherever. Our roll on applicator is also self sterilizing, so you don’t have to worry about the consequences of getting a bit of blood on your nick stick when you use it.
Even better, the ingredients in our nick stick, like the rest of our earth friendly products, are safe, natural and organic. You can probably even pronounce most of them:
- Ethyl Alcohol (not for drinking; you can buy this stuff straight at local drugstores, called “rubbing alcohol,” for the treatment of “minor cuts, scrapes and burns”)
- Aloe Vera (known in some households as “burn cactus” because the plant lives in the kitchen for immediate use when the cook’s fingers accidentally touch hot ovens or stoves)
- Vitamin E
- Bergamot Oil (Bergamot is what flavors Earl Grey Tea)
- Hydroxypropylcellulose (ok, that’s a mouthful, but it’s just a technical term for a water soluble derivative of cellulose, the structural component of the primary cell wall of green plants)
- Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate (another mouthful; this is more commonly known as Lewis Acid, and it acts as a stabilizer).
So get on board and save your face (or legs) from appearing anything less than perfect. Get your nick stick today!
Don’t be afraid to ask “What is cloud computing?”
When the Internet was still a new and burgeoning technology, the hazard of computer viruses was just beginning to unleash itself upon an unsuspecting public. Because the technology was so new but it used words that we already had a meaning for, some of the more confused computer users would ask questions like “So can I catch a virus from my computer?” Indeed, such users tested the notion that “there are no stupid questions.”
Flash forward several years, and some computer users are wondering “what is cloud computing?” We hear the phrase “it’s in the cloud” all the time and while we know that there is no actual cloud (and that clear skies doesn’t mean we can’t do any computing), we’re still not sure if asking for the meaning of cloud computing isn’t a “stupid question.” Don’t worry, it’s not, and interestingly enough, you may already know the answer.
Think about e-mail. If you have a work e-mail system like Outlook or some other sort of program, what you have is the e-mail software loaded onto your specific computer that looks up information in a centralized location. This is not cloud computing.
On the other hand, if you have an e-mail account with Google, Yahoo or Hotmail, you use the web to access the e-mail software located on a centralized server. Your own computer doesn’t have the e-mail software loaded onto it; it just uses a web browser to access it. That, right there, is what cloud computing is all about.
Cloud computing, then, runs with that idea, taking it to the next level. For a business, instead of loading a bunch of programs and applications onto each individual worker’s computer, they can instead load a simple application or web browser with which they would access those programs from a central server. This allows for greater flexibility, as the worker could then access their “workdesk” from almost anywhere; their work computer, their home computer, their tablets or smartphones, etc.
With the cloud being centralized and Internet-based, that also means collaboration becomes a lot easier. No more “Could you send me that file?” or “Do you have a flash drive? This file is too big to e-mail.” Since the file is “in the cloud,” various workers can access that information with very little hassle.
Of course, this only touches a little on the raw power and versatility you can unleash with cloud computing. For more information about how cloud computing can work for you, or if you have questions, please feel free to contact us.
Embarrassing industrial security breaches ruin everyone’s day
The commando nun.
A security incident last year caused both red faces and anger for officials of the U.S. Government as well security managers of the Y-12 National Security Complex at Oak Ridge, Ten.
Once touted as the “Fort Knox” for manufacturing and safeguarding highly enriched uranium parts for U.S. warheads, the plant was an easy target for three protesters – an 82-year-old nun and two peace-activist cohorts – who broke through the outer fences and pad locks with bolt cutters and vandalized the plant property with spray paint and animal blood after over two hours in the plant.
Security people dozed
It seems that 82-year-old nun’s breach of the outer fence actually did trip alarms in the predawn darkness where the protesters didn’t do anything special – like wearing military camouflage nuns’ habits – to conceal their presence.
When the alarms went off, the plant’s industrial security protective force did not react. When they finally showed up, no one knew quite how to handle the good sister and her fellow protesters.
Just because the incursion was nonviolent, some factory officials may have not have taken the breach all that seriously. However, one DOE adviser on nuclear security took an extremely dim view of the situation:
“We were lucky in that regard that it was the nun and her cohorts, rather than a serious terrorist outfit…. You get through the fences, you get to the building, and if you have special forces guys — dedicated guys who are suicidal and heavily armed — all you do is blow the door off or blow a hole in the side of the building.”
A JFK jet skier walks right in
Then there’s the one about the lost jet skier in Jamaica Bay near JFK airport. It seems the 31-year-old skier had to abandon his broken-down craft and swim for it. Unfortunately, the nearest land was Runway 4-Left at the aforementioned airport.
The airport has an 8-foot-tall fence, which the hapless skier scaled, walked over two runways and into the terminal. Dripping wet, the man sought help, but was arrested instead.
Asleep at the switch again?
How the skier was able to get past a $100 million perimeter intrusion detection system and access unprotected runways is anybody’s guess. Neither the security company nor the Port Authority officials are commenting.
Industrial security goes beyond the technology
Both incidents – the commando nun and the hapless jet skier – are instructive. No matter how good an industrial or airport security system are, people have to be alert and looking about. Contact us and get the full scoop on industrial security, where we combine great equipment with expertise that could easily have thwarted the incidents described above.
Health Care samples
Top Five Benefits of Outsourcing Your Medical Device Manufacturing
The medical device manufacturing industry is booming.
Global Industry Analysts Inc. predict medical device outsourcing will hit $44 billion by 2017. In the past, the medical device sector was reluctant to outsource, fearing loss of control and intellectual property. However, in recent years medical device manufacturers have proven to be an efficient option for small and large medical device firms. Consider these five benefits of outsourcing your medical device manufacturing needs.
- Faster turnaround. The quicker a product can make it to market, the quicker you’ll see a return on investment. Companies specializing in manufacturing services already have staff, equipment, facilities and supply chains in place that would take the original device makers months to establish. Utilizing existing resources is especially advantageous when making a low-volume device.
- Specialized knowledge. Manufacturing service partners have a vast pool of expertise to meet the needs of any device. Original equipment makers might have to invest in specialized training, hire new employees or add facilities support to accommodate a new product. Firms specializing in manufacturing have broad experience in electronics, design, pharmaceuticals, technology and numerous other sectors. Partnering gives you access to all the same resources.
- Access a broad supply chain. Large manufacturing firms have access to global supply chains that they regularly monitor and qualify. Medical devices can be made of hundreds of components. Obtaining each piece in the most cost-efficient, environmentally friendly manner can be a challenge. Manufacturing firms, however, have the expertise to obtain the materials, taking into consideration regulations for hazardous materials, recycling, disposal and disassembly.
- Avoid Pitfalls. Since manufacturing companies work for multiple clients, you reap the benefit of working with a team that has experienced the success and failure of numerous prototypes. They can help you avoid mistakes others have encountered. Having been through the device development life cycle many times, your manufacturer is in the optimal position to recommend a streamlined process and alternative materials.
- Flexibility. You can choose to use a manufacturing partner simply as an extension of in-house manufacturing. If a higher priority project is needed right away, you can easily outsource other projects instead of having to put them on hold.
Contact us to learn more about how outsourcing your medical device manufacturing can benefit your company.
Disability Advocate News: Study Finds Autistic Young Adults are Isolated
A recent study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that adults with autism are often socially isolated, with some having very minimal social interaction or none at all.
Researchers found that while services for autistic children are abundant, it’s more difficult to find programs to help them transition into adulthood, specifically into a college setting. As a result, almost 40 percent of autistic young adults never see friends and 50 percent do not receive phone calls or invitations to social functions. A surprising 28 percent had no social interaction at all.
How can this trend change? What is the role of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
A Need for Social Interaction
One characteristic of autism is difficulty with social interaction. However, one of the researchers, Paul Shattuck of Washington University admitted, “Many people with autism do indeed have a social appetite.” However, they seem to struggle more than other disability groups. The study found that nearly one-third of autistic adults qualify as socially isolated, compared to less than 10 percent of people with intellectual disabilities and only two to three percent of persons with emotional or learning disabilities. Clearly, there is a need to find ways to encourage social interaction among autistic persons.
Children with autism qualify for special education programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Young adults often have difficulty adapting to post-secondary schools since they no longer received the benefits of IDEA. While IDEA does not apply to adults, the ADA does still protect their rights. How so? The ADA guarantees that persons who qualify are not denied access to educational programs because of their disability. Institutions usually require documentation to confirm the student is autistic. Then, reasonable accommodations are made based on individual circumstances. In a traditional college setting, common allowances made might include allowing the recording of lectures, preferential seating, extra study time for exams or individually administered exams.
All post-secondary institutions differ regarding the resources available. Additionally, the rules governing the treatment of autistic students are not as clear as when they are minors attending public school.
However, a successful transition into college life can be a huge factor in helping a young adult with autism develop the social connections needed to avoid an isolated lifestyle.
Does your post-secondary institution allow for accommodations guaranteed by the ADA? Let our firm, a disability advocate organization, help you identify ways to comply.
Contact us for your compliance assessment.
Can Improvements to Properties Within Your Self Managed Super Funds be Counted as a Contribution?
Here in Australia, some people have taken on property improvement projects to increase the value of the holdings within their self managed super funds to increase the value of their retirement savings. Do these projects count as a “contribution” if a related party donates the labour?
The short answer is Yes!
The National Tax Liaison Group (NTLG) Superannuation Technical Sub-group recently discussed the matter. Consider their conclusions:
Property improvements can count as contributions. According to Tax Ruling 2010/1, a contribution is defined as “anything of value which increases the capital of the super fund.” The NTLG further clarifies by saying the fund must provide the materials if they are not donated, a party related to the fund must provide the services and the improvement must result in an increase in the capital of the fund. For example, if an accountant were to donate his or her services there would be no contribution because those services do not result in an increase in capital. However, if a builder were to donate his or her services for the improvement projects, the value of the services could count as a contribution if the house increases in market value.
There are a lot of variables at play. Let’s look at an example to clarify. A builder wants to remodel the kitchen on a property he owns within his SMSF. He donates his services, valued at $10,000, and materials, valued at $15,000. When the project is complete, the home is assessed and shows an increase in market value of $30,000. This is where contributions become complicated. What counts? Is it the $30,000 market increase, the cost of labour, the cost of materials or all of the above?
Previously, the industry’s view was that only the cost of materials would be a contribution since the builder does not invoice for his donated services. Free labour does not create an asset or decrease a liability in the fund, preventing an increase in capital. However, the NTLG confirmed that the donated services could count as a contribution under Tax Ruling 2010/1. Depending on the circumstances, the NTLG admitted the value of the contribution could be the total of materials plus labour or the increase in market value.
Note this information is not tailored for every individual. As noted by the NTLG, circumstances vary, making contribution qualifications vary as well. This information does not take the place of professional advice. Before deciding to take on improvements to your SMSF properties, consider your objectives and circumstances. Contact us for professional advice regarding your investments.
Look at Asian Prospects, Part 3 in a series.
While we have focused much of our attention on China, it is not the only burgeoning Asian market for medical devices, and medical device outsourcing opportunities. South Korea has a fast-growing economy, with the country’s gross domestic product ranking 15th in the world in 2011 (the most recent year for which numbers are available). South Korea’s population increasingly expects to receive world class medical care, resulting in new needs for device manufacturing for South Korea. Here are some reasons to consider exporting, or outsourcing your medical device manufacturing, to South Korea.
- The Korea Drug Research Association estimates that “the Korean medical device market is worth more than $3 billion with an expected annual growth rate of 10 to 15 percent during the next five years.”
- While Korea has been steadily increasing the percentage of medical devices it is manufacturing, they still import a significant percentage of needed medical devices. In recent years, the annual growth rate for medical devices has averaged 9.7%.
- The Korean Food and Drug Administration, the regulator of South Korea’s medical device market, has modified its quality inspection audit process for foreign manufacturers, resulting in a somewhat streamlined procedure. Some onsite audit requirements have been eliminated altogether.
- South Korea’s population is rapidly aging, and almost all citizens are covered by the National Health Insurance Corporation, its public health insurance system. In fact, “South Korea has the highest healthcare expenditure of all the ‘Asian Tigers’, with an estimated 59% funded by the public sector.”
Given these strong economic and social factors, South Korea certainly invites a closer look. Contact us and let’s get the conversation started.