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Long-Term Care Protection can be Tough Decision


Clay CottonWe’ve all heard the horror stories about elderly people who can’t take care of themselves moving into costly nursing homes and “outliving their money.”‘

As Americans live longer, more and more of us will need some sort of long-term care, and the insurance industry has a blizzard of policies to help pay for it.

Today, the cost of nursing home care averages about $71,000 a year nationwide, and the average patient stays for 2.4 years “” for a total cost of about $170,400, according the AARP.

So I contacted AARP and got a quote from its designated provider, MetLife.

The results seemed encouraging. For $44.76 a month, a 55-year-old man can get a policy that would pay up to $131,400 in long-term care costs.

Suppose I paid $44.76 a month for 30 years, moved to a nursing home and used the entire benefit. I’d have paid a mere $16,114 to get all that coverage.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. This “Basic”‘ policy would pay for an assisted living facility or nursing home, but not for care in my home or to help defray costs of care provided by friends or family.

And you can’t just decide to move to a nursing home and begin drawing the money. To get benefits, one has to satisfy a set of “triggers,”‘ such as needing help bathing, dressing or eating.

Also, the premium is likely to rise over time.

Most important: The total benefit might fall far short of the costs I’d face 30 years from now.

So I also looked at the top-of-the-line “Select”‘ policy. It would cover those things the basic policy wouldn’t, and it would start out providing $219,000 in coverage. And that limit would increase by 5 percent a year.

Cost: $218 per month.

If I invested $218 every month instead of getting this policy, I might have more than $300,000 in 30 years “” enough to pay for lots of health care, at today’s cost.

But what about inflation?

Inflation protection in the “Select” Long Term Care insurance policy means it could pay out nearly $1 million three decades from now.

You get the picture: There’s no simple answer. So who should have it?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the organization for state regulators, offers some guidelines on who should “consider”‘ getting one of these policies:

People who have significant assets and income that they don’t want to run through if they need care.

People who are confident they can afford current and future premiums.

Those who don’t want to rely on others to support them.

And those who want some flexibility in choosing the type of long-term care they get.

But this insurance is not right for people who can’t afford the premiums, those who qualify for Medicaid or live entirely on Social Security or Supplemental Security Income, or anyone who has trouble paying regular expenses.

Long term care insurance activist, CB Cotton, and his wife, Kimberly, write for

– The Online Baby Boomers Decision Assistance Center, where you get Free Long Term Care Insurance advice, comparative rate quotes and personal guidance, all while safely at home in your favorite pajamas and bunny slippers.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Wikinews recently caught up with screenwriter and film producer Chad Ridgely to discuss his latest indie horror film, 6:66PM. The film is scheduled to show at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival in Buffalo, New York in November.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A new historic physics record has been set by scientists for exceedingly small writing, opening a new door to computing‘s future. Stanford University physicists have claimed to have written the letters “SU” at sub-atomic size.

Graduate students Christopher Moon, Laila Mattos, Brian Foster and Gabriel Zeltzer, under the direction of assistant professor of physics Hari Manoharan, have produced the world’s smallest lettering, which is approximately 1.5 nanometres tall, using a molecular projector, called Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) to push individual carbon monoxide molecules on a copper or silver sheet surface, based on interference of electron energy states.

A nanometre (Greek: ?????, nanos, dwarf; ?????, metr?, count) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre (i.e., 10-9 m or one millionth of a millimetre), and also equals ten Ångström, an internationally recognized non-SI unit of length. It is often associated with the field of nanotechnology.

“We miniaturised their size so drastically that we ended up with the smallest writing in history,” said Manoharan. “S” and “U,” the two letters in honor of their employer have been reduced so tiny in nanoimprint that if used to print out 32 volumes of an Encyclopedia, 2,000 times, the contents would easily fit on a pinhead.

In the world of downsizing, nanoscribes Manoharan and Moon have proven that information, if reduced in size smaller than an atom, can be stored in more compact form than previously thought. In computing jargon, small sizing results to greater speed and better computer data storage.

“Writing really small has a long history. We wondered: What are the limits? How far can you go? Because materials are made of atoms, it was always believed that if you continue scaling down, you’d end up at that fundamental limit. You’d hit a wall,” said Manoharan.

In writing the letters, the Stanford team utilized an electron‘s unique feature of “pinball table for electrons” — its ability to bounce between different quantum states. In the vibration-proof basement lab of Stanford’s Varian Physics Building, the physicists used a Scanning tunneling microscope in encoding the “S” and “U” within the patterns formed by the electron’s activity, called wave function, arranging carbon monoxide molecules in a very specific pattern on a copper or silver sheet surface.

“Imagine [the copper as] a very shallow pool of water into which we put some rocks [the carbon monoxide molecules]. The water waves scatter and interfere off the rocks, making well defined standing wave patterns,” Manoharan noted. If the “rocks” are placed just right, then the shapes of the waves will form any letters in the alphabet, the researchers said. They used the quantum properties of electrons, rather than photons, as their source of illumination.

According to the study, the atoms were ordered in a circular fashion, with a hole in the middle. A flow of electrons was thereafter fired at the copper support, which resulted into a ripple effect in between the existing atoms. These were pushed aside, and a holographic projection of the letters “SU” became visible in the space between them. “What we did is show that the atom is not the limit — that you can go below that,” Manoharan said.

“It’s difficult to properly express the size of their stacked S and U, but the equivalent would be 0.3 nanometres. This is sufficiently small that you could copy out the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the head of a pin not just once, but thousands of times over,” Manoharan and his nanohologram collaborator Christopher Moon explained.

The team has also shown the salient features of the holographic principle, a property of quantum gravity theories which resolves the black hole information paradox within string theory. They stacked “S” and the “U” – two layers, or pages, of information — within the hologram.

The team stressed their discovery was concentrating electrons in space, in essence, a wire, hoping such a structure could be used to wire together a super-fast quantum computer in the future. In essence, “these electron patterns can act as holograms, that pack information into subatomic spaces, which could one day lead to unlimited information storage,” the study states.

The “Conclusion” of the Stanford article goes as follows:

According to theory, a quantum state can encode any amount of information (at zero temperature), requiring only sufficiently high bandwidth and time in which to read it out. In practice, only recently has progress been made towards encoding several bits into the shapes of bosonic single-photon wave functions, which has applications in quantum key distribution. We have experimentally demonstrated that 35 bits can be permanently encoded into a time-independent fermionic state, and that two such states can be simultaneously prepared in the same area of space. We have simulated hundreds of stacked pairs of random 7 times 5-pixel arrays as well as various ideas for pathological bit patterns, and in every case the information was theoretically encodable. In all experimental attempts, extending down to the subatomic regime, the encoding was successful and the data were retrieved at 100% fidelity. We believe the limitations on bit size are approxlambda/4, but surprisingly the information density can be significantly boosted by using higher-energy electrons and stacking multiple pages holographically. Determining the full theoretical and practical limits of this technique—the trade-offs between information content (the number of pages and bits per page), contrast (the number of measurements required per bit to overcome noise), and the number of atoms in the hologram—will involve further work.Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, Christopher R. Moon, Laila S. Mattos, Brian K. Foster, Gabriel Zeltzer & Hari C. Manoharan

The team is not the first to design or print small letters, as attempts have been made since as early as 1960. In December 1959, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, who delivered his now-legendary lecture entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” promised new opportunities for those who “thought small.”

Feynman was an American physicist known for the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as work in particle physics (he proposed the parton model).

Feynman offered two challenges at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, held that year in Caltech, offering a $1000 prize to the first person to solve each of them. Both challenges involved nanotechnology, and the first prize was won by William McLellan, who solved the first. The first problem required someone to build a working electric motor that would fit inside a cube 1/64 inches on each side. McLellan achieved this feat by November 1960 with his 250-microgram 2000-rpm motor consisting of 13 separate parts.

In 1985, the prize for the second challenge was claimed by Stanford Tom Newman, who, working with electrical engineering professor Fabian Pease, used electron lithography. He wrote or engraved the first page of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, at the required scale, on the head of a pin, with a beam of electrons. The main problem he had before he could claim the prize was finding the text after he had written it; the head of the pin was a huge empty space compared with the text inscribed on it. Such small print could only be read with an electron microscope.

In 1989, however, Stanford lost its record, when Donald Eigler and Erhard Schweizer, scientists at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose were the first to position or manipulate 35 individual atoms of xenon one at a time to form the letters I, B and M using a STM. The atoms were pushed on the surface of the nickel to create letters 5nm tall.

In 1991, Japanese researchers managed to chisel 1.5 nm-tall characters onto a molybdenum disulphide crystal, using the same STM method. Hitachi, at that time, set the record for the smallest microscopic calligraphy ever designed. The Stanford effort failed to surpass the feat, but it, however, introduced a novel technique. Having equaled Hitachi’s record, the Stanford team went a step further. They used a holographic variation on the IBM technique, for instead of fixing the letters onto a support, the new method created them holographically.

In the scientific breakthrough, the Stanford team has now claimed they have written the smallest letters ever – assembled from subatomic-sized bits as small as 0.3 nanometers, or roughly one third of a billionth of a meter. The new super-mini letters created are 40 times smaller than the original effort and more than four times smaller than the IBM initials, states the paper Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The new sub-atomic size letters are around a third of the size of the atomic ones created by Eigler and Schweizer at IBM.

A subatomic particle is an elementary or composite particle smaller than an atom. Particle physics and nuclear physics are concerned with the study of these particles, their interactions, and non-atomic matter. Subatomic particles include the atomic constituents electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are composite particles, consisting of quarks.

“Everyone can look around and see the growing amount of information we deal with on a daily basis. All that knowledge is out there. For society to move forward, we need a better way to process it, and store it more densely,” Manoharan said. “Although these projections are stable — they’ll last as long as none of the carbon dioxide molecules move — this technique is unlikely to revolutionize storage, as it’s currently a bit too challenging to determine and create the appropriate pattern of molecules to create a desired hologram,” the authors cautioned. Nevertheless, they suggest that “the practical limits of both the technique and the data density it enables merit further research.”

In 2000, it was Hari Manoharan, Christopher Lutz and Donald Eigler who first experimentally observed quantum mirage at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. In physics, a quantum mirage is a peculiar result in quantum chaos. Their study in a paper published in Nature, states they demonstrated that the Kondo resonance signature of a magnetic adatom located at one focus of an elliptically shaped quantum corral could be projected to, and made large at the other focus of the corral.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Evacuees from New Orleans arrived on Sunday and have continued to come to Utah, utilizing the facilities at Camp Williams, the training facility for the Utah National Guard, to house the incoming people. Flights from New Orleans to Salt Lake City International Airport provided by JetBlue Airways under a contract from FEMA have been shuttling people from New Orleans to many destinations throughout the United States, including Utah.

In addition, Utah Air National Guard relief missions transporting food and other supplies to New Orleans relief efforts have also been returning with people in the cargo areas of the airplanes on return flights. “In keeping with our mission to assist in the security and safety of our homeland, we stand trained, ready, and able to respond to the call to assist our fellow citizens in Louisiana, Mississippi and elsewhere,” said Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, Utah National Guard Adjutant General.

The people on board the airplanes had no idea where they were going. In one case the airplane was headed to San Antonio and at the last minute while still airborne the destination was changed to Utah. Peter Coroon, Salt Lake County Mayor: “Some of the people look dazed. Some of them are just happy to be out of where they were. Some of them are eager to find their loves ones they’ve been separated. Some of them weren’t sure where they were going when they left New Orleans.”

Governor John Huntsman, Jr. utilized surplus state funds by declaring a state of emergency to begin efforts housing and clothing people coming to Utah, however some of this will likely be reimbursed by the Federal Government at a later date. He announced that Utah was willing to take up to 1,000 people at shelters in Utah, and that amount was later increased to over 2,000. On Monday, President Bush signed an executive order granting the emergency declaration in Utah to provide Federal assistance for the evacuees in Utah.

After arriving in Utah, one evacuee said “I want to thank the people of Utah for their hospitality and for restoring my faith in America.” Another evacuee said “it seems like heaven, looking at the mountains and getting a breath of fresh air and saying, ‘Thank God we made it.'”

Not all evacuees were pleased with the move to Utah. “I knew where Utah was, but nobody told me that’s where we were going. Nothing personal. It’s nice. But I don’t know anybody here,” said Bergeron, among the first batch of 152 evacuees to arrive at the Camp Williams Utah Army National Guard training site.

The Utah chapter of the American Red Cross has been training volunteers over the Labor Day weekend, and according to one official they have been overwhelmed with community support to help the evacuees. The line of volunteers to receive the training helping those at Camp Williams was litterally out of the door at the Red Cross offices today. One volunteer, Kayelynn Wright said, “The last couple of days we’d talked about it and said, ‘What can we do?’ So when I saw it (a call for volunteers) last night, I called (my neighbor) this morning and said, ‘We gotta go!'” The Red Cross has asked that you contact the local office if you plan on volunteering or donating any new clothing and other items to help the evacuees.

Volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday gathered at the LDS Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake to assemble more than 50,000 hygiene kits for hurricane victims. Plastic bags were stuffed with toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs, soap, washcloths and hand towels. The supplies will be shipped to a church-owned storehouse Georgia for distribution.

Transportation requests are also being honored by the Utah state government, and evacuees are having transportation to anywhere in the United States paid for at state expense. In addition, a small amount of extra money is being donated directly to each family to help with immediate expenses. The Utah Transit Authority has already established a regular municipal bus service between Camp William and downtown Salt Lake City, which will begin formal service starting tomorrow morning.

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Sled Dog Breeds – The Fleet Of Foot


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Rebecca Prescott

Sled dog breeds are characterized by endurance, strength, and intelligence. They are usually medium to larger dogs, with a very muscular build, and have helped mankind transport supplies in times before the automobile.

Nowadays, sled dog breeds are found as pets, as well as trained to participate in sled dog racing.Sled dogs were developed to withstand very low temperatures. Their coats have a double layer, with the undercoat acting as insulation against the ice and snow. Because they have such thick coats, they need regular brushing and grooming. They also shed a lot, especially at the beginning of summer when they lose a lot of their undercoat. This could be a problem for people with dog allergies.Traditional sled dog breeds include the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute, the Chinook, the Sakhalin Husky, the Canadian Eskimo dog, the Seppala Siberian sled dog, the Tamaskan husky, the Samoyed, the Eurohound, the Mackenzie River husky, and the Greenland dog.Whilst these dogs were purpose bred, many other breeds have been used, including mixed breeds. These days, that tradition lives on in sled dog racing, where the most popular breeds include the Alaskan Husky, and various cross breeds, often based on the German Shorthaired Pointer. However, many breeds have been used, including the poodle!Alaskan huskies are favored in modern sled dog races because they are faster than traditional breeds like the Alaskan malamute or the samoyed. They are not as strong, but in sled dog racing where speed is important, and the distances are shorter, Alaskan huskies were found to perform better.Alaskan husky dogs are not a recognized breed. They are bred for their performance, and so they cannot be easily characterized as a breed. Alaskan husky dogs represent a variety of types with different lines. They are hybrid dogs – a husky with another breed, that is determined by the needs and ideas of the breeders. A husky may be bred with a wolf, setters, or any other breed that can bring genetic advantages in speed and endurance. Sled dog racing is a winter and fall sport where the sled dogs are attached to a sled (or a 3 or 4 wheeled cart in autumn), and pull the driver along. The driver stands on runners. The dogs are harnessed individually, with tug lines attached that are linked into a central gang line. The dogs are linked in pairs, and there are up to 22 dogs in a racing team. Teams race either against the clock, and a winner then announced, or against each other in a seemingly chaotic race. There are dog sled races in three categories – short distance, middle distance, and long distance. Like the sled dog breeds themselves, the sport of sled dog racing has seen some interesting adaptions to modern times and different climates. In Australia, for example, where there is very little snow, even in winter, sled dog races are held. Here, modified scooters are used, and racing is done on dirt tracks. Australian sled dog racers tend to use all sorts of dogs as sled dogs, including kelpies, english pointers, and red heelers.Rebecca Prescott presents this site with information on dogs

, with articles on the

Alaskan Malamute sled dog breed

, and

purebred Siberian Husky dogs

Article Source:

Sled Dog Breeds – The Fleet Of Foot}

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The Wikimedia Foundation has received a copyright infringement claim from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon Church or LDS Church. The infringement claim is in reference to a URL used as a source in a Wikinews article about Mormon Church documents leaked to the website Wikileaks, titled “Copy of handbook for leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints obtained by Wikinews”. The URL was originally cited as a link in the sources subsection of the article. The Wikimedia Foundation is a donor-supported non-profit organization which runs Wikipedia and Wikinews. This is the first time that the Wikimedia Foundation has received a copyright infringement claim regarding an article published by Wikinews.

The Wikinews article, originally published on April 19, described material in the Church Handbook of Instructions. The work is a two-volume book of policies and is a guide for leaders of the Mormon Church. Wikinews obtained the Church Handbook of Instructions from Wikileaks, a whistleblower website which publishes anonymous submissions of sensitive documents while preserving the anonymity of its contributors. Wikileaks describes the material as significant because “…the book is strictly confidential among the Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka LDS in short form) bishops and stake presidents and it reveals the procedure of handling confidential matters related to tithing payment, excommunication, baptism and doctrine teaching (indoctrination).”

The material was released on the Wikileaks website on April 16, and according to the site was first made available on the document sharing website Scribd. A message at Scribd now states: “This content was removed at the request of copyright agent B. S. Broadbent of the Intellectual Property Division of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

On May 5, the Wikimedia Foundation received a copyright infringement claim from Intellectual Reserve, Inc., the legal entity that owns the intellectual property of the Mormon Church. The infringement claim is addressed to Jimmy Wales, the designated agent of the Wikimedia Foundation, and requests that access to the link to Wikileaks be removed. The link was removed from the article on May 5 by a Wikinews administrator, and the article remains available without the link. The infringement claim was sent by Berne S. Broadbent, president of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and director of the Intellectual Property Division of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to Mike Godwin, general counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, the Mormon Church has not filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice with the foundation.

In 1999, Jerald and Sandra Tanner, prominent critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, released material from the Church Handbook of Instructions to the Internet through their organization Utah Lighthouse Ministry, without including the copyright notice of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. or obtaining permission from the church. The website of the Utah Lighthouse Ministry describes as its purpose: “…to document problems with the claims of Mormonism and compare LDS doctrines with Christianity.” The Tanners had received a copy of the 1998 edition of Church Handbook of Instructions from an anonymous sender in October 1999. They published 17 pages of the 160-page handbook on the Utah Lighthouse Ministry website.

The church sent the Tanners a letter threatening a copyright infringement lawsuit if the material was not removed, and the Tanners removed the material from their site the same day, and posted the church’s letter to their website. The website still contained links to other locations that had the material, and an article in the Salt Lake Tribune listed addresses of these links. The church sued the Tanners through its company Intellectual Reserve, in the 1999 case Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry.

The plaintiffs filed their complaint on October 13, 1999, and the United States district court issued a preliminary injunction on December 6, 1999 barring posting of the material by the defendants as well as posting links to other websites which contain the material. The New York Times and other news publications called the injunction a “chilling effect“. In November 2002, the church dropped the lawsuit against Utah Lighthouse Ministry, on condition that the Tanners destroy all copies of the Church Handbook of Instructions, and not include more than 50 words at a time from the handbook in any of their future articles.

WikiLeaks will not remove the handbooks, which are of substantial interest to current and former mormons. WikiLeaks will remain a place were people from around the world can safely reveal the truth.

Wikileaks has received copyright infringement claims from organizations including the Church of Scientology‘s Religious Technology Center and the Swiss Bank Julius Baer, and the Chinese government attempts to censor every website with the word “wikileaks” in the web page address. Bank Julius Baer sued Wikileaks after sending cease and desist letters in January 2008 which cited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As a result of the lawsuit, the bank obtained an injunction preventing the site’s domain name registrar from associating with Wikileaks, but this injunction was lifted in March 2008 and Bank Julius Baer dropped the case.

As of May 13 Wikileaks had not taken down the material on the Church Handbook of Instructions, and a second webpage at the site with a different version of the material was also still available. In a statement to Wikinews, a Wikileaks representative commented on the material hosted at the site: “WikiLeaks will not remove the handbooks, which are of substantial interest to current and former Mormons. WikiLeaks will remain a place where people from around the world can safely reveal the truth.”

 This story has updates See Mormon Church warns Wikileaks over documents, June 20, 2008 

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Rhode Island district court has frozen all the US assets of the Palestinian Authority (PA), prompting Palestinian finance minister Salam Fayyad to request the aid of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The frozen assets include US holdings in an investment fund worth $1.3 billion, which was used to finance economic development, and $30 million from the Palestinian Monetary Authority.

The ruling was passed upon the PA when they refused to compensate the relatives of a Jewish couple shot dead by members of Hamas in 1996.

US citizen Yaron Ungar and his wife Efrat were killed while returning from a wedding near the West Bank, when their car was shot at repeatedly, killing the couple. Three Hamas militants were jailed as a result.

A lawsuit was filed in 2000 against the Palestinian Authority, the PLO, Hamas, and Yasser Arafat in Rhode Island.

Yasser Arafat hired lawyer and former attorney general Ramsey Clark as his defense. In the case, Clark argued that the PA was a sovereign state, and that it deserved immunity from prosecution accorded to most countries. The court disagreed with this, and in 2004 they ruled that Palestine is not a state, and ordered them to pay the Ungars $116 million. A federal appeals court upheld the verdict in March.

The head of Washington’s PA office, Hasan Abdul Rahman said that his office had been “paralysed” by the verdict.

“It paralyzes the function of the office, and I think that is the intention of the plaintiffs.” he told Associated Press shortly after the decision, and called upon the US administration to intervene.

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By Martha Vasquez

Rubber mats for horses, or floor coverings, are used to help keep a horse comfortable and also for their ease of surface cleaning. The covering provides cushion, which lessens stress on joints and do not cause sore spots like hard surfaces such as concrete. They also help insulate against cold and dampness.

Some of these coverings are manufactured with ribbing on one side and a smooth surface on the other. If the grooved side is placed up it provides good traction and drainage, however, it can slip on the flooring and get displaced. If the mat is placed so the smooth side is up, it provides little traction for the horse.

The benefits of using this type of product are many. They are cleaner than alternative bedding, such as straw or wood shavings, and save money on bedding since a good quality mat rarely needs replaced. Some, among many, of their uses include horse stalls, trailers, and wash areas.

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These floor coverings do require a periodic thorough cleaning and must be removed from the stall or other area to clean underneath them. The underside and the floor it lays on must be washed with water and detergent and must be disinfected to remove urine and other contaminants. Both the covering and the floor underneath should be allowed to dry before replacing the mats.

The majority of this type of product available are made of rubber, however, there are a few manufacturers who make the floor coverings out of different types of materials. Some manufacturers use recycled truck tires to make them. A benefit of this practice is that it assists in keeping old tires from being stored in piles and becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes and rodents or from ending up in landfills.

Flooring of this kind can be purchased in many different sizes and styles depending on what they will be used for. Most can also be cut to size, if desired, but the specifications of the manufacturer should be checked before doing so to ensure that the guarantee on the product will not be voided. Some are made with protrusions that interlock with other pieces of the flooring and, therefore, can be sized to fit with only the very edges needing to be trimmed.

Thickness varies from three quarter inch up to one half inch. The thinner ones tend to curl at the corners and are more likely to absorb urine odors, which makes them unusable over time. The thicker the mat, the better its quality tends to be. The thicker coverings, however, are more difficult to move around due to their weight. As an alternative, smaller sections of a heavier mat can be placed together to cover a desired area making them easier to clean or to relocate as the need arises.

Rubber mats for horses are very beneficial when used as the manufacturer intend. Horses will be much more comfortable and their stall or other areas they occupy much cleaner. As with any product, the benefits of using the product must be weighted against the disadvantages. In the case of rubber floor coverings, there are many options available to suit individual needs. It must be kept in mind, however, that mats are not always an ideal alternative to conventional horse bedding.

About the Author: Looking for a cost-effective stall flooring for your horses? These environmentally-friendly rubber mats may be just what you need. These horse stall mats provide comfortable support for your horses, and help to relieve join pressure and can absorb shocks.


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Friday, May 5, 2006

Australian Prime Minister John Howard and federal industry minister Ian MacDonald today announced that the federal government would be providing Ford Australia with a AU$52.5 million (US$40.4 million) “financial assistance package”. Additional assistance will also be provided by the Victorian state government.

According to Mr Howard, the injection will secure Ford’s manufacturing operations in Australia “for the long term”.

From the package, AU$40 million will be used for the design and manufacture of Ford’s next model Falcon and Territory vehicles, which will be built in Australia.

Despite being given a major facelift in 2002 and another in 2005, the Falcon’s bodyshell dates back to 1998. The current Falcon will need to serve the company until at least 2007 when the new model is anticipated. In the meantime, it will face stiff competition from the completely new Holden Commodore (the Falcon’s major competitor) which will be released in the second half of this year.

The additional AU$12.5 million will be spent on the development of a light commercial vehicle platform, which will be built overseas and marketed to around 80 countries. Mr Howard said that the light commercial project would involve construction of a research and development centre, which will become the base for R&D projects in the region.

Mr MacFarlane said that the research facility was exciting for Australia and that it would put the Australian automotive in the spotlight.

“The funding has helped Ford Australia secure the largest automotive R&D project ever undertaken in Australia which is equally exciting news for local Ford employees and Australian component producers” he said.

“The project will see Ford Australia become a centre for automotive design and engineering excellence in the Asia Pacific region which will bring spin-off benefits for the broader industry,”

“This opportunity will put both Ford Australia, and the Australian automotive and components sectors on the world map as far as our automotive design and engineering capabilities are concerned.” Mr MacFarlane said.

Mr Howard claims that the projects will create 273 jobs and secure the future of the “iconic” Ford Falcon, which has been built in Australia since 1960.

The financial package is conditional upon Ford Australia giving the Australian automotive component industry an opportunity to supply components for the vehicles produced by the two projects.

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