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Treadmill Frame Quality – All About Treadmill Frames

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Fortunately most prominent treadmill makers are manufacturing treadmills with good frames. However, there are some treadmill frame quality considerations when researching your treadmill purchase.

Frame materials

Frames are made with steel and aluminum. Most are steel.

Is steel better than aluminum? Vice versa?

Neither is necessarily better than the other. Aluminum is considered lighter than steel, but it’s not always the case.

When assessing steel vs. aluminum strength, there are two aspects:

  • Strength: How much load the material can handle.
  • Stiffness: How much the material bends with a certain amount of load.

Aluminum will generally bend more under loads, but that doesn’t mean it’s stronger or better as a frame.

In fact, you don’t want your frame to bend.

What type of treadmill frame material do I prefer?

Steel with a proper coating to prevent rust. I say this with cost in mind. In a perfect world, I’d get a top of the line aluminum frame, but that is extremely costly.

Frame construction

Frames are generally assembled by bolting or welds.

Again, neither one is necessarily better. Some bolting techniques, like those used on aircraft are very strong and durable. The bolting technique used on some treadmills is called “locking.”

Welding, although the predominant treadmill frame construction method, is not always stronger. Cheap or poorly done welds can result in a weaker treadmill frame. That said, for the cost, you’ll likely get a better deal on a welded frame. I say this because most treadmill frames are welded. That’s why getting a treadmill with a lifetime warranty and high maximum user weight is a decent way to assess a treadmill’s quality (see below).

If possible, get a treadmill frame warranty that includes the welds.

What costs more: steel or aluminum frame treadmills?

Generally, aluminum frame treadmills cost more than steel-framed treadmills.

So, how do you know if a treadmill frame is any good?

The information above might be interesting, but it unfortunately doesn’t give a clear answer as to whether a steel frame is better than an aluminum frame. That’s because there’s no hard and fast rule.

Even if you try some treadmills, you won’t know whether the frame is durable because you won’t have used it long. The only way you know for sure is buying it and using it until it doesn’t work… and it’s potential breakdown may not be related to the frame.

The quick and easy frame assessment

Without being an alloy expert or using every treadmill in your price range, the two best criteria for judging a treadmill frame are:

  • Frame warranty; and
  • Maximum user weight.

Treadmill frame warranty

If at all possible, get a treadmill with a lifetime frame warranty. More and more treadmills, even at the lower price range ($850 and up) are offering lifetime frame warranties.

Maximum user weight

The most common maximum user weight of treadmills is 300 pounds. However, if you’re going to be a demanding user, then look for a frame with a 350 pound or higher maximum user weight.

What about the Weight of the treadmill?

This provides some guidance. Generally the heavier treadmills are of better quality, but not always. That said, I’d look at treadmill weight as well as a third factor when assessing the durability and performance of a treadmill frame.

What about folding treadmills? Do folding treadmills have weaker frames?

There may be instances where a folding treadmill’s design compromises frame strength and durability, but I wouldn’t NOT buy a folding treadmill on this basis. Again, look to the frame warranty, maximum user weight, and weight of the treadmill to assess the frame.

How important is treadmill frame strength and durability?

Fairly important. You want stable and smooth performance. Stability and smoothness are contributed to by the frame quality.

Generally, the more you spend, the better treadmill frame you’ll get. That said, you really need to assess:

  • how often the treadmill will be used
  • the weight of the user(s)
  • the intensity of the use (i.e. walking vs. sprinting).

The more often, heavier load, and higher intensity a treadmill will be used, the better quality frame you should buy.

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The Best Football Team Ever, Probably

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Can You Pick Better?

Well dear readers I have been slightly annoyed at all the so called experts claiming that they could pick the best 14(11 plus 3 subs) in the world of all time ever. So I thought I would do something about it and stop all this confusion and post the definitive team ever no arguments. The formation I have chosen is 3-1-4-2.

1. Lev Yashin
At the first European Championship in 1960 – still called the European Nations Cup at that time – the lion of Moscow, otherwise known as the black panther, made a significant contribution to his country’s victory. His name: Lev Yashin. In 1963, he became the first goalkeeper to be named European Footballer of the Year. In 2004, he would have celebrated his 75th birthday.

2. Bobby Moore

Bobby Moore was England’s finest captain, a legend who led his country to its greatest triumph. He played for England 108 times, captained them in a record 90 matches (jointly held with Billy Wright), won the World Cup, the FA Cup, the European Cup Winners’ Cup and was Footballer of the Year, and at the end of Moore’s international career in 1976 he was capped by the USA for a tournament to mark their bicentenary.

3. Paolo Maldini

During his 16 year tenure as an international, he became Italy’s most capped player, representing his country 126 times. One of the big disappointments of Maldini’s otherwise extraordinarily high-achieving career, was the lack of major international silverware.However, Maldini could console himself easily enough by glancing up at his mantelpiece and reminding himself of the incredible success he has had (and still enjoys) for his club.

4. Franz Beckenbaur

Franz Beckenbauer is the only man to have won the World Cup both as a player and as a manager. His roll of honour is unique. Captain of West Germany when they won the World Cup and the European Championship, he also led his club, Bayern Munich, to three successive European Cups and also to the European Cup Winners’ Cup. The legacy of Beckenbauer’s golden career will last a long time, however. No other footballer, as an innovator and as a winner, ever reached such heights as The Kaiser.

5. Claude Makelele

Perhaps the finest holding midfielder of recent years, Makelele has made a career out of keeping it simple and protecting the back four. The Democratic of Congo-born player moved to Epinay-sous-Sinart, France, with family in 1977. He began his career with Brest in 1990 before signing for Nantes in 1992, he twice won the Spanish title, as well as the Champions League and the European Super Cup, and also played in the 2002 World Cup for his country he won the Premiership and the Carling Cup, in 2004/05 under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. Makelele picked up another Premiership medal in May 2006 and was then part of the France side which lost to Italy in the World Cup final. He bid farewell to the international scene after Euro 2008.

6. Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane has been given every major award that a player can achieve. He has won the precious Balon D’Or in 1998 and the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1998, 2000 and 2003.He can settle and distribute almost any pass thrown in his direction. In individual encounters, Zidane prefers to shield the ball and dribble away from pressure. His style is not flashy, but rather simple and elegant. Zidane can apply his playmaking skills in any circumstance and make it look effortless.

7. George Best

He reached unimaginable heights with his outrageous skills in a career that lasted a mere six years at the top, before self-destructing into alcoholism, bankruptcy and jail. To this day, Best maintains that nothing went wrong, that he just got bored with it all. In six magical seasons with United, he scored 115 goals in 290 games – six of them in one game! He won two League Championships, the European Cup and was voted European Football of the Year. Pele named him as his favourite player, which was remarkable considering Best’s international career with Northern Ireland never allowed him the opportunity of appearing in the World Cup finals.

8. Diego Maradonna

Maradona is a complete master of the ball who uses his talent and flair at incredible speed. He can beat defenders, he can score, he can distribute the ball… His versatile skills make him unpredictable and very dangerous. Few defenders could stop Diego in his hayday without committing fouls, a fact which has caused him dearly over the years. In addition, his scrawny stature has made him a target for aggressive defenders who simply have no other means of dealing with the Argentine.

9. Eusebio

Eusebio Ferreira Da Silva, the leader of a group of African footballers to come into prominence in the 1960’s he was the top scorer at the 1966 World Cup (9 goals) held in England. Here his lightning fast acceleration and wonderful dribbling skills earned him acclaim. His trademark was a spectacular shot, which allied to his powerful running and dribbling skills, made him one of the most dangerous strickers of his era.

10. Pele

“I was born for soccer, just as Beethoven was born for music.” Arrogant, pompous words. Except when they are spoken by Edson Arantes do Nascimento, the Brazilian genius known throughout the football world as Pele. A veteran of four World Cups, scorer of 1,283 first-class goals – 12 of them in World Cup final tournaments – a member of those magical Brazilian squads that won soccer’s greatest prize in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He was lithe, agile, strong and seemed to be able to make the ball do as he pleased. Blessed with a stunning shot and an ability to soar above defences, he was expected to perform some astonishing feat of trickery every time he was in possession.And Brazil played such adventurous football, always attacking, constantly looking to score. Who can forget the rhythmic chanting of their deliriously happy supporters? “Bra-zil, cha cha cha, Bra-zil, cha cha cha.”

11. Ryan Giggs

The Welsh wizard, Ryan Giggs, started his career at Maine Road, where he played for Manchester City’s school of excellence. When he was just fourteen Mr Alex Ferguson went to his home to ask him to sign schoolboy forms with Manchester United.Giggs has become one of the great players in the British game, entertaining the crowds with his dribbling skills and exhausting defenders with his blistering pace. He has won the PFA Young Player of the Year twice, the first person to do so and has been a major part of United’s success.

12. Fabio Cannavaro

There’s no question Fabio Cannavaro is one of the best centre-backs in the world. He possesses superb tactical awareness, speed, anticipation skills, phenomenal leaping ability and ball handling skills, and he’s a natural leader. Although Cannavaro has received numerous personal accolades and won a World Cup, one title eludes him: the Champions League, one of his main reasons for signing for Real Madrid in 2006.

14. Jimmy Johnstone

He was one of Scottish football’s gems, a diminutive but devilish talent who tormented defences with his dribbling and impressed the world with his courage. Johnstone was Scottish International team member, playing 23 times for his country. England captain Emyln Hughes was run ragged by Johnstone in an international, and remembered: “Scotland beat us 2-0 one year, and I was embarrassed to come off the pitch. Jimmy Johnstone absolutely crucified me. Alf Ramsey came up and said ‘you’ve just played against a world-class player today. He can do that to anybody'”.

15. Johan Cruyff

If Holland were the team that gave the world Total Football, then Johan Cruyff was THE Total Footballer. He won a hat-trick of European Cups with Ajax, the World Clubs’ Cup and was three times European Footballer of the Year. At their peak, the Dutch side he captained were the most exciting and talented team in international football, yet, strangely, they never won a major trophy during his reign.

There you go readers the best 14 players to ever grace the game in my own humble opinion, If you have any different opinions then please feel free to send your best team to me at [email protected]
I look forward to all your responses

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Loving Spankings- Part I

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It is rare that I am given the opportunity to bring such a poignant and articulate story to my reader’s as this. Carol has given me permission to quote or use her story as I deem useful.

While not everyone has the same outcome from spankings as Carol did–there are millions of people, who are too embarrassed and humiliated to tell their story or they believe as so many people do–“it didn’t do me any harm so it can’t do my child any harm.” Unlike Carol, they don’t connect the cause and effect of their emotional dysfunction and physical illnesses to their ‘Loving Spankings.” Please read Carol’s story in its entirety, because first-person truth is better than any research findings done by a clinical double blind study or case studies.

Non-abusive “Loving Spankings” Messed Me Up For Life

When I was a little girl and my mother thought I required discipline, she would pull me face down across her lap and give me a series of stinging slaps of her hand on my bare buttocks while I cried. In fifteen seconds it was over. I would be in tears and clutching my bottom for a minute or so, but it didn’t really hurt much after that, just a hot itch. My rear end would be a solid pink right afterwards. But in a few hours it would be back to normal. And that was that.

I was not “abused” as a child, just “spanked with love.” She never left a bruise when she “lovingly spanked” me. The permanent marks were inside, not outside.

Mother firmly believed in spankings as discipline for her children because they “worked” so well. All she needed to do if my behavior displeased her was say, “Carol, do you want a spanking?” and that would frighten me into obeying her. And if she told me to do the dishes and I didn’t do them very well and got spanked for it you can bet those dishes were unusually spotless for the next couple of days. But spankings also left me with lifelong emotional and sexual problems that I still don’t know how to fix despite years of therapy. My mother got an obedient daughter and cleaner dishes and I got a lifelong mess inside me.

If I were growing up today, Mother could post on parenting web forums about how “effective” spankings are as discipline for her daughters. She could brush aside concerns about emotional harm saying “an hour after I spank her, Carol is happily playing or doing her chores.” She could talk about my good grades in school. She could talk about how polite I am and respectful to my elders, and how she gets compliments from other adults about what a good girl I am in public. And if anyone tried to warn her that she might give her child a fetish, she could laugh and say, “Carol would never turn out like that. She hates to be spanked!” And nothing she said would be a lie.

I tried so hard to be good. But sooner or later I always found myself face down across my mother’s lap getting yet another spanking. I just couldn’t control it – except in my fantasies. In fantasy I could make everything happen just so, as if it really were under my control. My mother’s preferred discipline method emotionally upset me so much that I sexualized it – everything about it: the kind of clothing she wore and I wore, the things she would say before and after my spanking, the position she put me in, on and on. Fantasy let me cope with my trauma and get a pretend feeling of control over something really out of my control. When I imagined myself as a naughty girl over her Mommy’s lap getting her bare little bottom spanked I pictured myself crying and begging the Mommy to stop. Yet it was my fantasy so really I had total control. And by eroticizing, I made something awful and frightening into something delightful and pleasant.

And it worked. Becoming a spankophile at an early age kept me from falling apart. It comforted me when nothing else could. It made me feel in control when I wasn’t. And it gave me a make-believe escape from something for which there was no true escape. (How do you escape when it’s your very own Mommy who is hurting you???) And now I am stuck with it for the rest of my life.

Parents who say, “it didn’t do me any harm so it can’t do my child any harm” just don’t get it. Everyone is different. My mother got spanked when she was little, and she carried on the same tradition with my sister and me. But my mother didn’t become a spankophile. And although my sister got the same kinds of punishments as I did – across the same lap and from the same palm – she didn’t become a spankophile either. But I did. There is no way you can tell beforehand which of your spanked children will have a guilty sexualized fixation for the rest of her life. So any parent who spanks their child is putting them at risk. Punishing your child with spankings is just like playing a lottery where if you “win” you mess up your kid for life.

Most spanked kids don’t turn out as obsessed as me. But some of us do. And we aren’t rare. Growing up I knew two other little girls who both got spanked by their parents and who both loved to play House the same way I did: with play spankings, play spankings, and more play spankings all afternoon without ever getting bored. (At least two of us were strict disciplinarians of our dolls, too!) One girl would even get me to pretend to be her real life mother so we could re-enact actual episodes for which she had been disciplined in her home. For me to meet two others so like myself in this way would be almost impossible if kids like me were rare.

Now I am retired, unmarried, childless, on medication for depression. At a tender age I used my budding sexuality to cope with something I didn’t know how else to cope with. And it has left its mark on me forever. I’ve been paying the price all my life and I will never stop paying. I am unmarried because the circuits in my brain that should have been used for romance were vandalized by spankings instead. I am childless because I never married. So there is a direct link between my spankings, how I coped with them, and my being sexually abnormal, and hence never marrying and having any children of my own.

Not all of the harm is sexual in nature. An “it made me what I am today” pattern emerges whenever someone unexpectedly confronts me in an angry way about something I did. I have a bad habit of saying the first rationalization that pops into my mind, sometimes even lying. It just blurts itself out of me. And I don’t know how to change. It goes back so far. It is a habit I learned as a preschooler that sometimes saved me from a bottom warming. It usually didn’t, but something that works only occasionally is better than nothing at all.

Another lifelong bad effect of my spankings is that when someone orders me to do something in a stern authoritarian voice, I usually just cave in and do it even if I don’t feel right about what I am doing. It just happens, seemingly by itself. And it all goes back to my earliest years. Growing up in my “traditional values” family, children did as they were told and didn’t talk back. If you did, Mommy would turn you across her knee, pull down your panties and “teach you a lesson” right then and there. I sure learned my lessons! The trouble is, how do you unlearn that lesson as a grownup out in the world who has to stand up for herself? I just hate myself now whenever I realize that once again I let myself be someone’s doormat.

Today’s children should not have to go through what I went through. We know more now. Now we have websites such as nospank.net on which someone like me can tell what happened to her without sacrificing her privacy. My mother regretted spanking me once I finally told her about my fetish as an adult. She at least has the excuse that nobody told her how bad the side effects could be. Parents reading this website do not have that excuse anymore. No child should have to sacrifice their developing sexual self just to cope with the painful violence of a parent who claims to love them.

Spanking children is harmful, it is hurtful, it is violent, and it needs to stop. Parents reading this: please don’t use physical pain to discipline your children. ### Carol

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What is This New Backside Illumination on the New iPhone?

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Recently Apple announced the new iPhone and a number of the hardware changes were targeted at the camera. Thanks to the infamous lost iPhone fiasco we expected the 5 mega-pixel camera and flash, but Jobs announced the camera had backside illumination. That left us puzzled so we did a some research on camera chips.

What is backside illumination?

First stop giggling… OK… I’ll admit I think they could have found a better name. Some of the jokes I saw on Twitter seemed to be especially crude about this feature. Backside illumination is a trick of getting better digital photos by getting more of the available light to where it is measured.

First an overview on digital cameras

The key part of all digital cameras is a chip called the CCD (charge coupled device) which senses the light falling on its surface. The light affects the charge a grid of millions of tiny capacitors created on the silicon when the chip is made (making chips is called fabrication and involves a lot of etching and depositing of thin layers and different materials in precisely controlled ways). For simplicity just think about black and white CCD’s where the array of capacitors corresponds to the array of pixels which make up a digital image (color sometimes uses a lot more tricks). The chip has additional circuitry that measures the charge of all of the capacitors which is basically how the light levels of the image are read. To be able to read all of these capacitors there are minutely thin wires running over the top. They’re not actually wires but a thin layer of aluminum or copper that is effectively sprayed on to the chip and then carefully eaten away using acids to leave connecting traces, which are pretty much metal wires bonded to the chip.

Why backside illumination?

All those wires and other parts of the capacitors sit on top of a square silicon tile (called the die) with the capacitors at the bottom. The circuitry and wires don’t obstruct it too much as it works but it does block some light and scatter some in to surrounding capacitors which reduces the quality of image captured especially with limited lighting. Back to that square silicon tile. Silicon is the main ingredient of regular glass (aka silicon dioxide) but the stuff used in making chips is a super pure silicon crystal and transparent. With backside illumination the issues with traditional CCD’s of the capacitors being on the bottom is quite literally turned upside down and now you shine the image on what was the bottom of the silicon tile and let the light shine through the silicon to the capacitors. This way you avoid all the wires and get more light to the capacitors.

With this new camera chip Apple has shown some beautiful looking pictures but they key performance area will be low lighting. Capturing scenes like the last light of a fading sunset. The earlier iPhones (Original and 3G) had very basic fixed focus 2 mega-pixel cameras which struggled in low lighting. The 3GS brought auto focus and auto white balance that improved performance but still struggled with such scenes, often distorting colors. Now with the new camera chip the iPhone should take vastly improved photos, coupled with the in-built flash to handle low lighting indoors.

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