Have Cane Will Travel – Disabled Travel in Australia

Award-winning comedy writer, Ian Heydon (Kingswood Country, How Green Was My Cactus, The Samuel Pepys Show, The Year My Country Broke) recently took out an unexpected award – for writing about travelling with a disability.

In 2010 Ian was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. That led to the question – what does a writer who has a disability and who loves to travel write about? The answer was pretty obvious. Because Ian uses a cane for mobility assistance, he built a website called Cane & Able Travel and that site won the inaugural Business disAbility Award for Business Innovation in 2012.

Back in 2003, Ian had a travel book on Australia published called The Small Guide to A Big Country (Explore) and he subsequently bought a travel agent’s licence (Small Guide Travel). Much of Ian’s research for that book is still valid. As Ian says, “They haven’t moved the Sydney Opera House or most of Australia’s main attractions, so all I really needed to do was update where necessary and add the accessibility and disability facility information. It’s a bonus that the Small Guide Travel consultants can assist with itinerary advice and bookings.”

When Ian travels these days he uses both a cane and a wheelchair for getting around. “Before my diagnosis with MS I guess I felt a bit of pity when I saw other people in wheelchairs. I didn’t realise that wheelchairs give a person with a disability so much freedom. Mine allows me to get around much better at airports, especially when the boarding gate can be a fair distance from check-in, and it makes art galleries, museums and theatre so much more accessible and enjoyable.”

Ian first took his wheelchair on a trip to Dubai, London and Paris in 2012. While there are websites with attractions and disability information for those destinations in the pipeline, Ian’s first priority is writing about Australia. In late 2012 he visited Cairns and road-tested attractions like Skyrail and Quicksilver’s Great Barrier Reef as well as disabled-friendly accommodation. From this came the destination specific website, Cairns Disabled Travel.

The next cab of the rank was Canberra. According to Ian, Canberra is arguably Australia’s most rewarding destination for travellers with a disability. “There are flights from all other major cities and centres, they have an excellent public transport and wheelchair-assisted taxi system and all the major attractions are accessible, with many of them free. There’s excellent accommodation, terrific restaurants and bars and so much to see and do. It really is a fabulous tourist destination. Sure, after a couple of weeks there might be some thumb twiddling but for a few days away it is fabulous.” Ian visited Canberra in 2011 and 2013 to research accessible accommodation and attractions and the Canberra Disabled Travel website is now live.

Ian has a multi-destination itinerary on the drawing board for all Australian capital cities and major regional centres so you could see him soon in your part of the country. But the Kingswood? No, he won’t be taking the Kingswood!

WEB DESIGN USING GRID-BASED LAYOUT METHOD

With any beautiful design or structure, from architecture to painting, there lies beneath it a grid-based layout from which these creations were originally derived. It is, in essence, the unseen mathematical component of all design that, for many web designers, has become standard in the pursuit for the perfect web design.

To understand what a grid-based layout for web design is, we first need to understand why it is referred to as “grid-based.” A grid is a structure consisting of intersecting straight vertical and horizontal guidelines that are made up of margins, flow-lines, columns, rows, gutters, modules, and spatial zones. This potentially complex composition provides the perfect structural base that allows a web designer to create graphic elements from, or to organise content within. It is this reason that grid-based layout is used in web design.

By using grids in the website design a sense of uniformed structure is achieved for the overall website, this helps achieve better usability for website visitors as they are able to navigate and engage with the website much easily than if the content was simply thrown together without structure. Another reason grid-based layouts are used is efficiency. By designing to a grid, the actual design process is simplified because design guidelines are already in place, therefore making it easier to decide on design elements, such as width and height.

When using grid-based layouts in our web design, we can either create our own grid, or download a ready-made grid template. If we create our own grid, we will need to rely on what option works best for us and the web design project we are working on. It is therefore valuable to follow some simple guidelines when creating our own grids. These are:

• Use only enough columns as needed for the web design. In other words, if you are only going to use ten columns, then only create ten columns – and not twenty.
• Watch the spacing. As a general rule, columns should have the same number of pixels across as rows are high.
• Don’t box yourself in. If you need to move outside of the grid for specific graphic elements, then do so. A grid is only there for structural support, and is not the end product.

If creating your own grid-based layout isn’t appealing, or you simple do not have the time to invest in it, then downloading a pre-designed grid template is available. There are many online sources that provide such templates, and by downloading a grid template you can save on time and have, at your disposal, an effective grid template ready to use.

It is important to re-emphasise that grid-based layouts for web design should not be mistaken for a strict rule by which all graphic elements or content must adhere to. Naturally, when creating anything we can move beyond specific rules in order to achieve our creative goal, and grid-based layouts are no different. If we use grids as a structural guide in our web design, then we are better able to create amazing web designs that will not only appear organised on our web page, but will hopefully inspire and engage every website visitor. Article from, web developer brisbane Nets and Webs

Can I really save fuel with a Truck Wheel Alignment?

Most heavy vehicle owners in the transport industry are asking themselves – How can I save money on my running costs? How can I save on fuel consumption? Will a truck wheel alignment help?

Research & studies conducted around the world show that around 80 percent of medium to heavy vehicles are incorrectly aligned, or have a mis-alignment. If your truck, trailer or bus has incorrectly aligned wheels & axles, you have what we call increased rolling resistance when travelling on the road. This means the engine is working harder than required to push the truck along the road, and the end result is an increase in fuel consumption. Given that fuel can account for up to 50% of the operating costs of a truck or fleet, smart operators must explore all avenues to reduce fuel consumption.
Generally speaking, correcting even slight alignment issues have been shown to result in a saving of 3 – 10 percent on fuel.

3% doesn’t sound too significant does it? Lets take a closer look – One truck runs Brisbane to Sydney (return) 3 times a week (6,000 kms). That’s 312,000 kms a year. Fuel consumption average is 1.85 litres/km. That’s 577,200 litres, current local prices are around $1.49 per litre. Fuel cost for the year – $860,028.00. If you reduced fuel consumption by 3%, you would save $25,800.84!!
Your scenario may be different, but you can see that small changes can make a big difference to the bottom line of your business. There are other areas where you can save on running costs, which will be covered in another article.

If you own one truck or one hundred, and you are not having a regular truck wheel alignment performed as part of your maintenance schedule, you really need to contact your local truck wheel alignment specialist for a chat.

Truckologist is a mobile truck wheel alignment business based in Brisbane, Australia.

Vinyl Cladding – What are the Benefits?

Vinyl cladding, also called vinyl siding, refers to plastic exterior cladding for homes and commercial buildings. The cladding is used as an alternative to traditional wood, fiber cement, and aluminum siding. The cladding is made up of about 80% polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin and the remaining 20%, ingredients to give the material its color, gloss, opacity, flexibility, durability, and impact resistance. Vinyl siding has been in the market since the late 50s and it is today one of the most popular exterior building products in the U.S. and Canada. There are several reasons why you should consider installing vinyl siding.

This is one of the most affordable sidings in the market. You will spend between 25% and 50% less than what you would have spent on aluminum and wood siding. Most vinyl cladding manufacturers offer competitive warranties.

Many people neglect their homes’ exteriors, but waterproofing the exterior is important because it improves the longevity of your walls and it saves you money on repairs. A strong wall is also important for your security.

Vinyl cladding comes in different colors, styles, and patterns, meaning there is something for everyone. You do not have as much flexibility with other options like brick and stucco.

You can go for years without maintaining, leave alone replacing the cladding. The cladding is very durable. It is not damaged by termites (the major problem with wood sidings) and other wood boring pests and insects, there is no fading, and there is no chalking. All you need to do is occasionally clean the siding with a mixture of water and a mild detergent.

Given that pigments are mixed with the resins, the colors are deep and penetrating. Unlike the case with aluminum and wood sidings which are painted on, blemishes and scratches are not visible with vinyl cladding. The fact that no painting is necessary means you get to save money.

Another advantage of vinyl cladding is that it is environmentally friendly given that it is recyclable. Wood sidings lead to the destruction of forests while extraction of aluminum from its ore is energy intensive and it leads to the emission of greenhouse gases. The insulation you get from the siding means greater thermal performance of your house and consequently reduced energy expenditure.

You could go for a vinyl cladding brand that features perforations for the moisture to escape. This is important because you will prevent mold, mildew, and condensation. Installing vinyl siding is also a good idea because it increases the resale value of your home.

Why You Should Buy A Treadmill – The Health Benefits

The treadmill is one among the most popular pieces of equipment at any gym. The popularity of this piece of equipment may be attributed to the many benefits that people get from using it as an aerobic exercise tool. Treadmills are easy to use and give you the ability to control every aspect of your work out. You can walk, jog or run. The treadmill also gives you the power to diversify you workout routine e.g. you can make a treadmill simulate a hill. Most importantly, people usually reap massive health benefit when they use treadmills to exercise. Here are some of the health benefits of using treadmills to exercise;

1. Reduces the risk of diseases affecting the cardiovascular system

Cardiovascular diseases are a common problem facing many people in the world today. Victims of cardiovascular diseases are usually people that do not work out to keep their cardiovascular system working properly. When you do an intense work out using a treadmill, you strengthen you heart and lungs. By spending at least 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week on your treadmill, you significantly reduce you chances of getting heart diseases and many other chronic diseases such as cancer, asthma, arthritis and diabetes.

2. Helps you lose weight

Being overweight not only makes you hate the way your body looks but also puts you at a risk of diseases such as stroke, coronary heart diseases, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis among others. You can burn a lot of calories when walking running or jogging on a treadmill. For example, when jogging at a speed of 9.6 kilometres per hour on your treadmill, you can burn up to 650 calories. If you want to burn more calories, you can simply adjust the settings to increase the speed and/or incline to make a routine more challenging. Therefore, if you want to lose weight the healthy way, get yourself a treadmill. It is the ultimate equipment that any person that wants to lose weight fast should own.

3. Helps to strengthen your bones

When you work out on a treadmill, you create strong healthy bones. You can never be a victim of conditions affecting the bones (such as osteoporosis) if you have been constantly working out on you treadmill. This is because as you walk, jog or run on a treadmill, you put more weight on your bones causing them to grow to be strong.

4. Improves your mood

An intense exercise on a treadmill stimulates your body to produce certain chemicals in your brain that help to bring a ??feel good mood’. The sense of well being that comes from working out on this piece of equipment makes you have a positive outlook on life and can also help you manage stressful situations. Prolonged stress is dangerous because it can lead to serious health problems. Medical research proves that exercising is one among the most effective ways of preventing stress and treating depression. Hence, if you want to relieve yourself from stress, just walk, jog or run on a treadmill as much as you can.

5. Improves your joint motion

If you have suffered back, knee, hip or ankle injury, a treadmill can greatly help you to recover. This is because as you use the treadmill, the joints on your back, knee, hip and ankle are kept in motion. This helps to reduce the stiffness in these joints. Doing a gently walk everyday on your treadmill will help you regain your flexibility by loosening your joints.

6. Increases your energy

When you exercise on a treadmill, you strengthen your heart and lungs. This improves their ability to supply nutrients to oxygen to all parts of the body. The result of all body tissues receiving the nutrients and oxygen they need is increased energy throughout the day.

Treadmills are considered as the most effective cardio machine that can be found in a gym. A treadmill gives you the opportunity to walk, jog or run at the comfort of your home. If you own a treadmill, you will never have to worry about the weather interfering with your work out plans. This explains why they are increasingly becoming common accessories in many homes. Therefore, if you have been looking for aerobics equipment that will keep you body healthy, get yourself a treadmill.