Friday 29 August 2014

Window Cleaner Donates - No Bucket Of Water Required

Michael Mears is urging people to donate bone marrow.
Ely window cleaner writes about his experience of donating bone marrow to help leukaemia sufferer and urges others to follow: While Michael Mears, 23, was in hospital, he took the time to write about his experience.

He posted the following message on the Bone Marrow Registry Awareness and Outreach Facebook page: “Hello there, my name is Michael Mears and I recently donated my bone marrow. I am now trying to dispel some of the many myths behind donating bone marrow, myths which often hold people back when it comes to applying to join the register. “This might be a bit of an awkward read as I am typing one handed but bare with it. As some of you know I am currently in Kings College Hospital in London.

“For those who don’t know the reason I am donating bone marrow after being found to match a patient with blood cancer - leukaemia. “I wanted to write about my experience, dispelling the myths that prevent others from doing this and give you a few facts. “A lot of people have told me how painful it is. It’s not, I have the pain threshold of a child, so when I say the most you feel is a prick and some aching you know it’s not that bad.

“Regarding a spinal tap, this is utter nonsense. The tests no longer involve a spinal tap. This was the case over a decade ago, not any more. “To the people who take delight in spreading these myths it goes beyond a joke and needs to stop. It is anything but a joke when people are being put off donating purely out of misplaced fears.

Window cleaner, Michael Mears is urging people to donate bone marrow.
“Now, I have to admit, I have never given blood, I have always been one of those people who says I’ll get around to it but never has. “That is something I intend to rectify because there is no reason not to. “With bone marrow and stem cells the match rate is nothing like blood types.

“I believe the figure is one in 5000 people are a match for bone marrow. So when someone needs a transfusion there is the potential to be 4,999 non matches. The attitude of someone else will do it doesn’t work. “Getting tested for a match is easy. Go online, search delete blood cancer or Anthony Nolan, apply for a test kit. “When you get this kit, it contains several swab sticks which you rub as instructed to collect samples. “It takes five minutes including the time to post it back in the prepaid envelope.

“You might not be matched for months, years or at all, but if you are matched you can potentially save a life. “This could be anyone, a boy, girl, man, woman, black, white, Asian, Indian -you get it - anyone. “I implore all my friends to get tested. Please, you can opt out at any time. I still could right now as I sit hooked up to the centrifugal system. “You have nothing to lose by being tested. Countless people are praying for a match to come forwards, you might be that match.”

Thursday 28 August 2014

After Window Wars

Once window cleaning competitors, Chris & Peter  - Did the little fish eat the big fish?
Last year Window Cleaning magazine UK followed two competing window cleaning companies in the US. One was a little fish compared to the other company with a turn over of millions of dollars. This year we filmed what happened after that show. We follow the little fish from last years film, Peter Artusa and ask him the question: Did the little fish eat the big fish? Direct link to Youtube here.

Window Cleaning magazine is the digital magazine that brings you information and news articles aimed at the professional window cleaner. Each issue we take a look at various topics that affect window cleaners and their business. We also take a look at new window cleaning products, and review some of the latest equipment being made available.

Click this link to watch Window Wars Part 1 first (recommended).
Click this link to watch Window Wars part 2 at source (recommended). 

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Window Cleaner Makes Suitember

Ian will be donning a different fancy dress outfit everyday throughout September.
'Suitember' fancy dress challenge for Torrington window cleaner - Don't be surprised if you look outside and see Batman with a bucket of soapy water giving your windows a good scrub. A man from Torrington is donning a different fancy dress outfit every day throughout September to raise cash for charity. From Spiderman to Elvis, Ian Kevern, 45, will be wearing a variety of costumes on his window cleaning rounds. Ian will be dressing in some madcap outfits for a charity challenge which he has dubbed Suitember.

He said: “I was thinking about something to do following Movember, so I thought of Suitember. I thought I could wear Batman or Spiderman suits. I put it to my wife who thought it was a good idea. “My wife is an art teacher and has offered to do my makeup if needed. I don’t want to be wearing a hot mask all day, so I thought makeup would be better.” Ian said he was keen to hear from people who had any particular costumes they wanted him to wear.

He said: “I am open to offers of suits. If people want me to wear a particular suit I will for an extra donation to charity, as long as it isn’t a mankini. “I have already had one person ask me to wear a bright suit covered in printed balloons.” Ian will be raising money throughout September for Edukid and the Barnstaple Chemotherapy Unit appeal.

He said: “I asked people on Facebook what charity they wanted to donate to. A few people mentioned the chemotherapy unit. “I have a few friends going through chemotherapy. I have had cancer myself from a malignant mole on my leg. “The chemotherapy unit was a charity I wanted to donate to. I did a charity bike ride for Edukid last year so I wanted to donate to them again.”

Ian said he was looking forward to dressing up for work. He said: “Every day, including weekends, I will wear a suit. I might be down at Bude dressed as Batman. “It will be a bit of a challenge window cleaning at times. I will have to pick the right suit for the job.” Search for Squeak Ian Clean Torrington Window Cleaning Service on Facebook for a blog of his challenge.

Visit if you want to donate.

Ian Kevern will be suiting up while he cleans windows this September.
A Torrington window cleaner will be the best dressed in town as he vows to wear 30 different suits in 30 days for charity. From a three-piece to Batman, Ian Kevern, 45, will be washing windows in various outfits as part of his own idea, ‘Suitember’. “I came up with the concept last October and have been waiting a year to do this,” he told the Gazette. “I’ve had to raid friends’ new year’s eve costumes, charity shops and eBay to find as many as possible. “If someone has a suggestion and sponsors me enough, I’ll wear it.” Ian will be raising money for Edukid and the Chemo Appeal and hopes people will get behind him and sponsor him. Go to or Squeak Ian Clean on Facebook for more.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Big Buildings - Dirty Secrets

The CTBUH uses the term "vanity spires" to describe tops of buildings where a ton of extra height is added, even though that space isn't used for people.
The List: how big buildings are cleaned - How big buildings are cleaned – from the Burj Khalifa in Dubai to the Empire State Building in New York. This week, a specialist team ascended London’s Houses of Parliament to clean the clock faces of the Elizabeth Tower – home to the famous Big Ben bell. The hands on each of the clock’s four faces were frozen for the week-long task but its chimes still rang out and the workers on the 96m-tall tower wore ear defenders to protect their hearing. Kasia Delgado reveals how four other big buildings around the world are cleaned.

1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai
The 24,830 windows of the world’s tallest building are made from a million sq ft of glass. When the 830m tower was cleaned in 2012 a team of 36 people needed three months to wash them. They started from the top floor and worked down, standing on specially designed machines that emerged from cavities in the skyscraper and moved along rails skirting its curved towers. The project manager at Grako, the cleaning company that took on the task, said that coping with the height was “all about mindset”.

2. Empire State Building, New York
Window-washers at the 6,500-window Manhattan landmark have reported how, in winter, food and drink thrown out of windows of high-up floors often freezes on glass lower down – and that frozen coffee and yoghurt, for example, can be particularly difficult to scrub off. This is, of course, far from the only problem when cleaning a New York skyscraper. Richard Hart, head of the Empire State window-washing team in 1937, remarked casually that, “I’ll be working away, and a gust of wind will come screaming up from 34th Street and for a moment I’ll be doing a tap dance on nothing. Anyway, it keeps me interested.”

3. Petronas Towers, Malaysia
When the Petronas Towers were opened in Kuala Lumpur in 1996 there was a dispute over whether they were taller than the Sears building in Chicago (now called the Willis Tower) – the world’s tallest when it was completed in 1973. What is not in doubt is the cleanliness of the skyscrapers’ glass. The two towers are fitted with a total of 11 cranes that allow cleaners to move up and down between the 32,000 windows. It takes workers a month to clean the panes on each tower and, when they finish, they go back to the top and begin again.

4. Hearst Tower, New York
It took engineers three years to build a machine that would enable cleaners to wash Norman Foster’s 182m tall skyscraper, which opened in 2006. The windows, made up of concave diamond shapes, were impossible to access using ordinary means so a rectangular steel box the size of a small car was designed to move around the roof of the tower on an elevated steel track. The project’s construction manager described the car as “like a ride at Disneyland”.

The 10 Tallest Vanity Spires - click to enlarge.
The World's Tallest Skyscrapers Have A Dirty Little Secret - The Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Bank of America tower in New York count among the worst offenders: Supertall skyscrapers aren't necessarily built to fit as many people inside as possible, sometimes they're just aiming to be, well, really tall. Large portions of these buildings are designed to increase height, but remain unoccupied. Wasteful!

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a not for profit organization that tracks the world's skyscrapers, just released some data on that subject. Surprise! Some really tall buildings don't need to be so tall. The CTBUH uses the term "vanity spires" to describe tops of buildings where a ton of extra height is added, even though that space isn't used for people. By unused height, above are the 10 buildings with the most ridiculous spires (click to enlarge picture).

So the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the World at nearly 830 meters, has 244 meters of unoccupied space. To put that in context, as the CTBUH does, if that 244 meters were itself a building, it would be the 11th tallest in Europe. Pretty crazy, right? But it's also not new. Think about classic skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, which were similarly designed with big spires. You might notice that the skyscrapers with the largest vanity spires were all built fairly recently (the oldest is from 1999) but there are also just more supertall buildings being erected. It would take a little more math to say buildings like this are on the rise, so to speak.

It's also not clear how these spires change the buildings' environmental footprints, although we know at least one of them listed above, the Bank of America Tower in New York, has some pretty serious efficiency issues. One of the study's authors, CTBUH's Daniel Safarik, wrote in an email to PopularScience that "we did not explicitly look at how vanity height affects environmental footprint for this study, but that is clearly one of the most vital issues implied by the findings." Just having the title of "tallest" is a draw for a building, he says, it matters less what all that space is used for. So what to do? "If [a tallest building] criteria were based on 'highest occupied floor,' in theory, there would be less of an incentive to have the 'vanity height,'" Safarik writes.

Until that changes, more buildings may add vanity height just to top other structures. Or maybe we can keep things the way they are, and just have a skyscraper where you can't go above the lobby.

So the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at nearly 830 meters, has 244 meters of unoccupied space. To put that in context, as the CTBUH does, if that 244 meters were itself a building, it would be the 11th tallest in Europe. Here, meanwhile, are those buildings broken down geographically. Click to enlarge.

Monday 25 August 2014

Photos From The WCRA & PWRA Convention 2014

Thad Eckhoff, one of the main organisers welcoming the attendees at the 2014 window cleaning & pressure washing event in Nashville.
Window Cleaning Resource & Power Washing Resource had Thad Eckhoff welcoming the attendees & said, "What an amazing experience the 2014 Pressure Washing and Window Cleaning Convention was!" "Over 400 attendees from North America, Asia, and South America came together at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee to share, learn, shop, and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow business owners." "Smiles and laughter abounded among the tropical gardens as we relaxed among 9 acres of rainforest atria." "The electrifying keynote address by Curt Kempton kicked things off with an explosion of enthusiasm and Kevin Dubrosky made us put on our thinking caps." "The trade show and breakout classes stayed packed the entire time." "We can’t wait to see YOU next year at the Gaylord National Harbor in Washington, DC!"

Kevin Dubrosky giving his keynote speech.
The year's biggest event was co-hosted by the PWRA and the WCRA and window cleaners, pressure washers, roof cleaners, and other contractors in related fields attended. The absolutely incredible Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN was the meeting spot for two days of fun and excitement.

The amazing venue, expert speakers, were appreciated as there were no extra charges for the classes. The keynote speakers spoke in the luxurious Delta Ballroom and doubled the trade show space for 2014 opposed to the 2013 Convention. There were 386 contractors from 186 different companies attending.

Kate Lambrinides with WCRA.
Anya Curry with Ambidextrous services.
Unger, always at the top window cleaning tradeshows.
Kevin Dubrosky & his keynote address & the psychology of selling.
Curt Kempton (aka ResponsaCurt) with Responsibid.
Street Bidder signed up more members.
Pressure washing heaven.
Charity Wilder & John Lee speculate.

Mole & Jersey live!
The Mole & Jersey show also made an appearance with a live show & also leaked the video below. What happens in Nashville, obviously doesn't stay in Nashville! 

Friday 22 August 2014

Bin Washers - Window Cleaning Add-On

The Morclean wheelie bin washers are sturdy and engineered fully self contained, purpose built wheeled bin cleaning machines.
Morclean Bin Washers: "The aim was to develop a brand new and innovative bin wash machine that would change the way operators think, to be the first to recognise the need for a totally new idea in this industry, and to be proactive in taking steps forward to improve what's currently available in the marketplace today..."

So said Peter Morley, managing director at Morclean, when asked to describe the thinking behind the new Bin Wash City. "We wanted develop and launch a product that the environmentally minded love, and a concept that operators want to be part of... a machine that turns heads and offers more than just compliance - and a smarter product that moves into a new direction as opposed to reworking the systems currently available.

"We have designed a system we feel innovates and is brand new to the marketplace. It provides operators and the community with a smarter, green, quiet, workable and viable solution to a dirty problem. "Morclean has endeavoured to produce a machine that lowers emissions and C02, reduces maintenance and lowers running costs, while being practically viable for both parties. We believe that the new machine will achieve more for this industry than any other machine on the market today and it will enabled us to reach into Europe and beyond.

The Bin Washers are built with a fully galvanised heavy gauge steel chassis to ensure a long service life and can carry up to 350 litres of recycled water in the baffled water tank, which is enough for a full days work. The effortless bin lifting mechanism aids efficiency at the touch of a button making the job less labour intensive and strenuous for the user.
Morclean manufactures and distributes industrial cleaning equipment. Many machines are niche or bespoke, and the company produces a variety of machines including a range of trailer mounted bin wash machines. Its existing range of bin wash machines, namely the Custom, are self-contained, light and portable, and the system recycles the water for a full day of washing.

The self-contained, purpose built wheeled bin cleaning machines feature an effortless bin lifting mechanism which aids efficiency at the touch of a button and the bin can be cleaned in seconds. Water is filtered and ready to re-use throughout the day.

Morclean developed the first Custom 3 years ago, and after its launch the manufacturer then introduced the 2nd generation machine which benefitted from several improvements. Like most machines on the market today, both systems run from a petrol engine.

The Bin Wash City: a brand new concept for 2014/15

During the last three years, Morclean - working with battery powered, high pressure water technology - has developed a brand new range of bin wash machines, which it has called the Bin Wash City. "The new City was developed so that we could provide a totally new concept, which we feel is an extremely innovative and unique product that will reduce fuel, costs and C02 emission," explained Peter. "The new City runs entirely from batteries and without a petrol engine. "We consider that this is an even better solution for the whole industry than what was previously available in the marketplace - both from ourselves and our competitors."


"Like many bin wash machines on the market today, we considered recycling water and saving energy was a requirement rather than an innovation," continued Peter. "We felt that machines were making savings for reasons of necessity, legislation and profit as opposed to being totally innovative. So, we tried to excel and improve the machines totally powered from batteries instead of an engine."

Morclean's NEW range of Eco, Custom and Trojan trailer mounted wheelie bin cleaners are robust and efficient wheelie bin washers, all fitted with automated bin lift and water recycling as standard.
Research & Development

The new City project has involved over three years of research and development, a totally new, fresh approach. This involves R&D, design and concept, tests and trials and prototypes. What Morclean has achieved, is a machine that is virtually silent, with little noise or fumes and what's more, it's carbon free. The manufacturer can now provide a quieter, more efficient system. "Operators can market their service as truly green, which we feel is a first in the market place," said Peter. "Setting this aside, everyone in the community benefits from less noise and pollution on their own doorstep."

The City offers a fuel saving - and little maintenance compared to a petrol engine, as well as very low charging costs. The machine switches to standby when not in use. It is easy to work with, quiet, simple to use, and it also takes a top-up charge from the vehicle during normal use. "The new battery technology has enabled us to develop an innovative and totally new concept like no other bin wash machine on the market today," said Peter.


In order to manufacture the machine practically and efficiently, Morclean has been able to have the battery technology produced in a 'pack' format. The existing model, currently fitted with a petrol engine, can be easily modified during normal production so that lead times are not extended. The R & D process has involved several members of the team - including Morclean's engineers, marketing and service support staff. The company has also extended its manufacturing area.

The manufacturer has exhibited at several International shows including the Cleaning Show at the NEC in Birmingham and ISSA/Interclean 2014 in Amsterdam, where visitor feedback on existing equipment and 'wish lists' were considered and discussed. Morclean will also exhibit at Cleaning Expo Scotland this coming September as well as the Cleaning Show, ISSA/Interclean CEE (Poland) in 2015 and ISSA/Interclean Amsterdam 2016. "We anticipate that the new City will allow us to further expand and sell into European markets where there is a significant push towards clean and quite machines," said Peter. "Our next stage of development is to use the battery technology and produce other models, including a larger machine for North American bins.

Thursday 21 August 2014

Ladder Fall - R.I.P. Patrick Garrity

Patrick Garrity, window cleaner died from a ladder fall yesterday in Long Hill Rd, Dromore.
Shock as Dromore man dies after fall (Co Tyrone): The man has been named locally as Patrick Garrity, who was aged in his early 50s. It is understood the long established window cleaner fell off a ladder and was killed instantly as he worked at a house on the Long Hill Road, Dromore. 

Mr Garrity was a single man who had three brothers. Offering her sympathy to his family, local councillor Ann Quinn said the community was “devastated”. “Patrick was a real gentlemen, very quiet and reserved,” she said. “He cared for his sick mother until her death a few years ago. He had built up a good window cleaning round and was very well known and popular. 

I spoke to people in the town, and they cannot believe this has happened to Patrick. They are devastated. He was a lovely man and my sympathy goes out to his family.” A spokesperson for Health and Safety Executive confirmed, “We have been made aware of an incident and are investigating. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.” Police have also stated they are aware of Mr Garrity’s death and said it is not being treated as suspicious.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Chemical Free Cleaning Trending In Commercial Sector

"Chemical-free" cleaning is something of a trend in the commercial sector, but expense and effectiveness doubts mean it's not catching on in homes.
'Chemical-free' cleaning is trending in the commercial sector (Debbi McCullough is an independent writer): Will greener cleaning methods, such as salt-based split stream water technology, replace conventional powders and bleaches?

Randy Reed, deputy assistant director of housekeeping at North Carolina State University, North Carolina’s largest campus, often fretted about the effects of chemicals on the 300 housekeepers as they cleaned. While nobody was ever seriously injured, he fielded several reports of rashes, occasional respiratory problems and headaches, possibly caused by exposure to the harsh smells the cleaners omitted.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a government agency, warns of this in its public safety warnings (pdf). Cleaning chemicals, OSHA states, can cause dangerous gases causing headaches, dizziness, wheezing, even lung damage. With this in mind, two years ago, Reed replaced traditional industrial cleaners such as Diversey Glance and Comet Cleaner with Orbio SC 5000 split stream water technology to clean floors, surfaces, even urinals.

This new system uses a salt-based, chemical-free process, where water passes through the system giving it an electrical charge. The solution cleans and sanitizes surfaces leaving it 99% germ free, Reed explains. “On our first trial our hygiene meter monitored the bacteria count on a urinal and found the technology removed as many germs as a regular sanitizer."

Orbio SC 5000 uses a salt-based process, where water passes through the system giving it an electrical charge.
NC State is part of a larger trend in which universities, retailers, sports facilities and large corporations are not just cleaning with greener chemicals, but without chemicals at all.

Companies including Coca-Cola Enterprises in the Netherlands; ISS, one of the world’s largest commercial facilities services providers; and Chapman University, (pdf) one of California’s oldest private universities, have made the switch. Examples include sanitizing facilities with technologies such as steam vapor systems, spray and vac systems using pressurized water to remove and loosen soils along with ozonated and electrolyzed systems using electricity to turn water into a cleaning agent. The use of microfiber cloths and mops, which require only water to remove germs, grime and bacteria also make up the trend.

While industry numbers don’t yet exist, Stephen Ashkin, executive director of The Green Cleaning Network, a non-profit working with corporations to green the cleaning industry, estimates that, based on his client research and surveys, 30% to 50% of corporations and institutions across the US, now clean their facilities with eco-friendly chemical cleaners or cleaners without chemicals at all.

“The professional cleaning industry has changed,” he says. “The newer trend experts are seeing is cleaning without chemicals.” Ashkin believes cleaning products minimizing chemicals will never replace floor finishes, heavy-duty cleaning chemicals or graffiti removers, but this is a “tool in the toolbox for creating a healthy and clean environment while leaving a minimal footprint.”

Defining Chemical-Free Cleaning

The trend is so new that even the description of these products is controversial; while some call them chemical-free, others say eco-friendly. Ashkin rejects the term “chemical-free” cleaning because no cleaning product or device completely avoids chemicals.

“Chemical-free cleaning is a marketing term versus a technical term,” he says. Case in point is companies offering chemical-free cleaning products, such as Tennant, maker of the Orbio systems, which use their own technologies to define "chemical-free."

OSHA defines green cleaning as products certified by independent organizations as safe to use and less harmful to your health and environment than conventional alternatives such as bleach and ammonia.

Wherever the definition lies, all this means good business for the big players. In April, Tennant posted quarterly results showing growth year-on-year. Other brands including Tursano, maker of the popular Lotus Pro device (similar to the split stream water technology), and the larger company Ecolab also reported positive first-quarter earnings. Makers of chemical free antibacterial microfiber cloths have good customer following as well. Norway-based Norwex, now in multiple markets including Canada, Australia and the US, sells microfiber towels and cloths, microfiber scarf clips for cleaning tablets, glasses and jewellery (instead of toxic sprays and wipes) and dry polyester floor pads for mopping.

But much of this market is in the commercial sector. Based on his client work, Ashkin estimates that residential cleaning remains only around 1-5% of the core eco-friendly and chemical-free cleaning market, probably because the conversion payback is higher for large corporations. Purchasing a chemical-free cleaning device for a commercial space can cost up to $5,000, a worthwhile investment, if used daily. A Lotus Pro split stream water technology cleaning device for your home averages $150 retail, too much for a parent worried about putting food on the table, Ashkin adds. Commercial facilities also have employees to compare costs, and review and analyze the cleaning products they buy, which the household consumer often lacks.

Homemade Chemical Free Cleaning

Another growing trend is Americans making their own cleaning products, with limited chemicals. Senior account supervisor at MMI Public Relations in North Carolina, Jennifer Fair ditched Clorox and other harsh cleaners for recipes she found on Pinterest such as pairing vinegar with baking soda. The vinegar dish soap concoction gets her shower super clean, she says. Other recipes suggest using baking soda, sprayed with water, to clean ovens.

This interest is valid given the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit group, has found through their Hall of Shame (pdf) study that 438 of 2,000 assessed cleaning products contain at least one chemical that the non-profit group Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics identifies as an asthmagen.

The worst offenders, the study claims, were those labelled as “green cleaners” such as the Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner (labelled as non-toxic and biodegradable) when one of its ingredients is 2-butoxyethanol, a solvent which can cause red blood cell damage and eye irritation. EWG also cites several studies showing pregnant women are more at risk for birth defects when exposed frequently to cleaning chemicals, especially window cleaner and air deodorizer sprays.

Effectiveness of greener cleaning products

Ashkin doesn’t believe home cleaning product recipes work well. “We have a romanticized view that because we can eat it, it’s good for you,” he says.

And can we say split stream chemical-free technologies clean as well as eco-friendly chemicals? Tennant doesn't know the answer to this question, and Ashkin says it’s too early to know. However, companies are evaluating the technologies, comparing the impact to chemicals and other devices along with the wattage. He suspects the environmental benefits of chemical-free cleaning devices and technology will outshine chemical cleaners.

“Conventional cleaning requires extracting the raw materials, turning these into ingredients, shipping to a formulator who mixes everything into an effective cleaning product before putting the chemicals into packaging (with their own environmental impacts) and finally shipping to the end user. Through green cleaning those impacts go away.”

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Sound & Water Manipulation Experiments

Water manipulated through sound.
Cool Sound and Water Experiment! This is really simple but has such an awesome effect. Fill a bucket full of water and place it about 5 feet off the ground. Place a sub-woofer about 1 foot lower than the bucket.

Run a plastic tube from the top bucket down in front of the subwoofer. Tape the tube to the front of the speaker. Then aim the end of the tube to an empty bucket on the floor. Get the water flowing from the top bucket.

Now just generate a 24 hz sine wave and set your camera to 24 fps and watch the magic happen. Basically your cameras frame rate is synced up with the rate of the vibrations of the water so it appears to be frozen or still.

Now if you play a 23 hz sine wave your frame rate will be off just a little compared to the sine wave causing the water to "move backward" or so as it appears. You can play a 25 hz sine wave and cause the water to move slowly foward.

Monday 18 August 2014

Big Ben Gets A Window Clean

A crack specialist team have been at work on one of the four faces of Big Ben’s clock at the Houses of Parliament in London today, abseiling down the clock face to perform vital maintenance and cleaning.
The brave four are suspended some 90 metres above the ground as they carry out the work, which will take all week, working on one face of the clock per day with one day set aside at the end just in case there are any weather delays. It is the first time in four years that the clock has been given a scrubbing.
Brave abseilers with head for heights give Big Ben's tower its annual scrub: The face of the Big Ben tower was given a scrub this morning by four cleaners with a head for heights. Specialist abseilers clambered down the 96 metre tall landmark and spent the day washing the clock face.

Every four years window cleaner’s abseil from the belfry and wash each clock face. Time is spent inspecting and repairing cast iron joints and the opaque white glass in the four faces, all while hanging 60 metres from the ground. Each seven metre diameter clock face has 312 panes which can often become damaged by pigeons and bell vibrations.

Clean-up: the four abseilers clambered down from Big Ben this morning.
The clock will continue to keep time during the cleaning process, but the hands on the face being washed do not move. Deputy keeper of the clock Steve Jaggs said: "Big Ben is one of the UK's greatest icons, and cleaning the Great Clock is a vital part of its maintenance. "The process is complex and requires a real head for heights. We have an expert team who will ensure that the clock is thoroughly cleaned and that this piece of our national heritage is safeguarded for future generations."

He said: “The glass panels over the clock face are terribly thin and fragile, because originally the dials were lit by gas, which is very dim. Birds can fly into them and break them. This is why our window cleaners have to be extremely careful.
Big Ben's clock gets big bath from abseiling cleaners: Dangling sixty metres above the ground from one of Britain's most famous landmarks, it is far from being an ordinary day in the office for these window cleaners. The four workers, wearing helmets and climbing gear, are tasked with buffing and shining the 312 pieces of glass that make up the iconic clock face on the Westminster tower that houses Big Ben. The Great Clock, which sits atop Parliament’s newly-named Elizabeth Tower, began ticking in 1859 and was last cleaned in 2010.

One face of the clock will be cleaned every day from Monday, with Tuesday’s crew working in the rays of the rising sun, and the north and west dials to be tackled on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. Paul Robeson, chairman of the British Watch and Clock Makers’ Guild, which maintains around 2,000 clocks across Parliament, told the BBC’s Today programme the cleaners were “very brave or mad, one or the other.”

He said: “The glass panels over the clock face are terribly thin and fragile, because originally the dials were lit by gas, which is very dim. Birds can fly into them and break them. This is why our window cleaners have to be extremely careful. “It’s no longer the biggest clock, it’s no longer the biggest bell, it’s no longer the tallest clock, or any of those things. But it is the most famous the world over.” The stopping of each side's clock for cleaning will also give technicians a chance to carry out essential maintenance on the 155-year-old mechanism.

Both hands were designed to be made of cast iron, but that proved too heavy, so gunmetal was used instead. But the minute hand was still too weighty and would struggle up to the point of midnight before dropping down four minutes in one go, so had to be replaced with a hollow copper equivalent.

Friday 15 August 2014

Cleaning Windows For Horses

Patrick and Annette Archambeau stand with their horse Mariah Storm at their home in Severance last month. The couple owns Willy's Window Washing, and part of the proceeds from their business help fund nonprofit Foal Rescue & Training program. The pair rescue young horses and raise them until they are about 3 or 4 years old, then find them homes.
Severance couple wash windows to help rescue horses: Patrick and Annette Archambeau wash windows in Northern Colorado to help clear the way for animals to have a better life. The Severance couple use most of the revenue they generate from their business, Willy's Window Washing, to support a nonprofit that focuses on rescuing young horses. The Archambeaus have been running the charity with a focus on assisting abandoned and injured animals since 1995. "Our job is the window washing, but what we do is the horses," Patrick, 53, said.

Through Archway Foal Rescue and Training, the Archambeaus are able to save some foals from being orphaned or killed by horse slaughterhouses. The couple commit to raising and training the foals they rescue for three to four years, then try to get people to adopt the equine animals. "These baby horses haven't got anybody; they have no voice," Patrick said. "A lot of 'em were rescued literally right out of the hands of the kill-buyer. They're going with us or they're going straight to Mexico or Canada."

The Archambeaus understand the issue of horse overpopulation and how costly the animals can be for struggling farmers, and they said they're not opposed to older or unusable horses being sold to manufacture products like glue or pet food. "It's not much fun to think they're going to go for dog food or whatever, but it's a viable thing," Annette, 53, said. "We're not against that. It's just the babies. The babies should have a chance to have a life."

Archway Foal Rescue and Training is a nonprofit operated by husband and wife Patrick and Annette Archambeau. The Archambeaus support the charity using funds from their window washing business.
The Archambeaus' nonprofit is partially funded by contributions from community members and a handful of organizational grants. The donated funds help the couple purchase hay and care services. Feed costs them a minimum of $600 a month, and every two months, they have to spend $300 to trim the horses' feet.

LaPorte veterinarian Allen Landes helps Archway Foal Rescue and Training by providing medical care and services to the seven foals currently in the program at a discounted rate. Often times he charges the Archambeaus only for supplies. "There seems to be a lot more unwanted horses these days," Landes said. "You know, veterinarians have to make a living too, but I feel like I can at least give back to the community by helping some of these rescues."

Another big help is people who buy King Soopers gift cards from the nonprofit, Annette said. The Kroger Company gives the charity 5 percent back from the purchase amounts made on the reuseable cards. Kroger's program, grants and community donations cover only about a third of what it costs to run the charity, the Archambeaus said. The couple is using money earned by Willy's Window Washing to pay for most of the nonprofit's expenses. They have owned the business for 27 years, and when weather conditions are good, they do about 60 residential jobs in a month.

Most of their work is in Boulder County because that's where they lived up until 2010. They're working on building more clients in Fort Collins, Severance, Windsor and surrounding communities, Annette said. "We're not rich, especially with the nonprofit, but we make it work," she said. "We take nothing compared to what's out there."

To get involved: Those interested in learning more about Archway Foal And Rescue Training can call (970) 482-5559 or visit The nonprofit's founders Patrick and Annette Archambeau are looking for people to buy grocery gift cards that benefit the charity, those interested in getting the foals used to being ridden or others who can help the organization.

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