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October 28th, 2019

History Of Walnuts

The first historical accounts of walnut trees growing under civilized cultivation was in ancient Babylon (Iraq) about 2000 B.C.; however, walnuts have evidently been attached to mankind much earlier by excavations from cave fossils as suggested by archeologists. There is a reference point in the Biblical record in the Old Testament, that King Solomon was growing nuts (identified as walnuts by some translators), however, the likelihood of these nuts being other than almonds is very remote, because of the almond nut image that was used as symbols commonly in Hebrew icons and stone carving displays in Jerusalem inside Solomon’s temple. The adaptability of almonds is much more likely for almond trees to succeed than for walnut trees in the climate and soils of Israel.

The Greeks were credited with the first certified improvements in the size and quality of the Persian (Iran and Iraq) today called English walnut trees through selection and cultivation. The Romans soon established the Persian walnut trees throughout most of Europe and much of North Africa, that have most popularly become known today as the English walnut trees.

English Walnuts, Juglans regia, were brought into the United States by Spanish missionaries in the early 1800’s by Franciscan monks, who settled along the California coast. Because the English walnut orchards, that were rapidly established in Central California came from the seeds planted from those walnuts that grew in the Catholic missions, the walnuts were sold and distributed under the name ëMission Walnuts.í

Central California walnut tree growers today produce 99% of the total U.S. commercial walnut supplies of English walnuts. This production capacity of California also produces 65% of the world supply of English walnuts.

Famous chefs of the world use walnuts in many types of cuisines including meats, vegetables, desserts, and soup preparations. A world famous dessert–made from walnuts, honey, and paper-thin, buttered, flakes of crusts–is called ëBaklava.í

Important commercial types of walnuts that are grown today for profit are Juglans regia, the English (Persian) walnut, that is mainly grown and produced in the United States. Trees can live to an age of approximately 60 years and grow to about 60 feet tall at maturity.

Black walnut, Juglans nigra, a native walnut tree in America is grown mainly from New England to Minnesota and Nebraska and southwards down to the Gulf of Mexico. The black walnut tree can grow to a height of 60 feet and can live past 100 years. Black walnut trees have been grown mainly for their value in making expensive furniture; the nuts are harvested in considerably large quantities to use in baking, ice cream, and in candy recipes. The nuts can be easily shelled into large pieces if soaked overnight in water. The nuts are known for their crunchy flavor, which is distinctively spicy and enriched in its oil content.

Butternut or White walnut, Juglans cinerea, is genetically closely related to the black walnut, Juglans nigra, that forms oval shaped nuts, with a thick corrugated shell, 2 inches long with white kernels; richly flavored and preferred by many people to have a superior flavor over other cultivars of walnuts. The white walnut can grow 100 feet tall with a life expectancy of 75 years. The white walnut tree is the most cold hardy of all walnut trees, growing vigorously in zones 3-9. The roots of these trees, like black walnut trees, will exude a poisonous chemical that kills other plants (phytotoxic) growing nearby, thus other vegetation does not grow well if located within 80 feet of the trunk of the tree. The tree has a broader, leafy canopy than other walnut trees, but the wood is soft and inferior.

Walnut kernels are universally known to contain many antioxidants that offer health benefits and will lower cholesterol in the body, thus lowering heart damage from disease and cause a dramatic reduction of fatty coagulants in veins and arteries. The leaves have been used as a laxative since antiquity, as well as to induce vomiting, stop bleeding, stop diarrhea, as a cure to many skin diseases and herpes, and to kill human internal worms. Walnut hull extracts have been used to treat liver problems, to kill ringworms, and to help lose weight. Walnuts are highly beneficial in providing all of the Vitamin B series, Vitamin E, and many minerals that are beneficial to keeping a healthy body.

Walnut hulls have found many uses in a powdered state as a metal polish, as a thermal insulator in rocket nose cones and as a mysterious, secret ingredient in women’s cosmetics. Walnut tree extracts have been used for centuries to make ink and dyes. The Egyptians used walnut kernel oil to embalm mummies by replacing the blood with walnut oil.

Greek mythology records that Carya, (the Latin genus name for walnut), who fell in love with the Greek God, Dionysus, was transformed into a walnut tree at her death. The wooden walnut columns (and later, marble) at the Acropolis that stand above the city were transformed into her human image (catyatides) that today can be seen by tourists in Athens, Greece.

Luther Burbank in 1893 introduced fast growing walnut tree hybrids that only required 15 years of growth to reach maturity, rather than the usual 50-60 years of growth. One hybrid he named, ìParadox walnut tree, Juglans x Paradox by crossing the English walnut tree, Juglans regia, with the California black walnut, Juglans hindsii. This walnut tree is used as a grafting understock for commercial cultivars. ìRoyal walnut tree, Juglans x ëRoyal, by crossing the American black walnut tree, Juglans nigra, with the California black walnut, Juglans hindsii. This walnut tree still today produces almost a ton of nuts per year.

Other minor species of walnuts include the Heartnut walnut tree, Juglans ailantifolia, that is as hardy as the American black walnut, easily grown, very productive, especially after the trees grow older. It bears strings of nuts sometimes 30 or more in a single cluster that hangs down 1 foot in length. The kernels of these heartnut walnuts drop out into a container completely intact when the thin shells are cracked. Luther Burbank felt that this walnut was an intermediate variant of the Japanese walnut. The Manchurian walnut tree, Juglans mandshurica, was introduced as a variant of the Japanese walnut during the Civil War of the United States. The flavor of these nuts is considered spicy and superior in taste to other walnuts, while being crunchier. These trees grow to 100 feet tall or more and are cold hardy from zones 5 to 10. This walnut tree produces a staple food crop in Korea (Manchuria). Many excellent food products are available using the nuts from this walnut tree.

September 30th, 2019

Improving Manufacturing Times

August 20th, 2019

The Way Mobile Devices Will be used in The Coming ‘Internet of Things’

If you have been following along on the current trendy topic the ‘Internet of Things’ you have probably wondered about the relationships that smartphones and other mobile technology will have in the coming decades as all of the “things” that will make up this interconnected web of electronic communication get put on the market and begin to be used by the mainstream. Well, smartphones and other mobile devices are actually one big half of the equation because in order to make all of devices around us “smart” devices you just need to put sensors in them to collect information and pair them with a smartphone app that can interpret the data.

Some Examples of How Mobile Devices Will be Used

One of the “things” being manufactured right now are tires that have embedded technology so that an app can tell you when the tire pressure is too low or too high, or when the tires are worn and need to be replaced. But embedding the sensors in the tires isn’t really a technical challenge. The technology to do this has been on the market for decades but the real challenge will be creating the programs that will interpret that data and improving on the future technology so that it performs better.

Light bulbs are another new product that is on the market with new smart technology embedded in them. New light bulb technology will allow us to control the lighting in our home from our smartphone and be able to choose intensity, on and off and have a number of other features that will work with the application that controls them.

There is the potential for many more “things” to be controlled by your mobile device. Home security has already been available as a smartphone app for a while, but what is coming is even better security that will let you know instantly if something is wrong and where.

Smartphones could also be used to control your car in the near future. Imagine getting into the back seat of your car and using your smartphone to start your car and tell it where to go using GPS and sensors that are already in place on public roads combined with your own car’s sensors.

Smartphones will control not only the car, but also all of the convenience and entertainment devices in your car. You can even use your mobile device to order and pay at Starbucks so you can just pick up your coffee and run.

August 20th, 2019

Enforcing Stronger Building Codes

July 27th, 2019

Expert Systems Powered By Uncertainty

The Artificial Intelligence community sought to understand human intelligence by building computer programs, which exhibited intelligent behavior. Intelligence was perceived to be a problem solving ability. Most human problems appeared to have reasoned, rather than mathematical, solutions. The diagnosis of a disease could hardly be calculated. If a patient had a group of symptoms, then she had a particular disease. But, such reasoning required prior knowledge. The programs needed to have the “knowledge” that the disease exhibited a particular group of symptoms. For the AI community, that vague knowledge residing in the minds of “Experts” was superior to text book knowledge. So they called the programs, which solved such problems, Expert Systems.

Expert Systems managed goal oriented problem solving tasks including diagnosis, planning, scheduling, configuration and design. One method of knowledge representation was through “If, then…” rules. When the “If” part of a rule was satisfied, then the “Then” part of the rule was concluded. These became rule based Expert Systems. But knowledge was sometimes factual and at other times, vague. Factual knowledge had clear cause to effect relationships, where clear conclusions could be drawn from concrete rules. Pain was one symptom of a disease. If the disease always exhibited pain, then pain pointed to the disease. But vague and judgmental knowledge was called heuristic knowledge. It was more of an art. The pain symptom could not mechanically point to diseases, which occasionally exhibited pain. Uncertainty did not yield concrete answers.

The AI community tried to solve this problem by suggesting a statistical, or heuristic analysis of uncertainty. The possibilities were represented by real numbers or by sets of real-valued vectors. The vectors were evaluated by means of different “fuzzy” concepts. The components of the measurements were listed, giving the basis of the numerical values. Variations were combined, using methods for computing combination of variances. The combined uncertainty and its components were expressed in the form of “standard deviations.” Uncertainty was given a mathematical expression, which was hardly useful in the diagnosis of a disease.

The human mind did not compute mathematical relationships to assess uncertainty. The mind knew that a particular symptom pointed to a possibility, because it used intuition, a process of elimination, to instantly identify patterns. Vague information was powerfully useful to an elimination process, since they eliminated many other possibilities. If the patient lacked pain, all diseases, which always exhibited pain, could be eliminated. Diseases, which sometimes exhibited pain were retained. Further symptoms helped identification from a greatly reduced database. A selection was easier from a smaller group. Uncertainty could be powerfully useful for an elimination process.

Intuition was an algorithm, which evaluated the whole database, eliminating every context that did not fit. This algorithm has powered Expert Systems which acted speedily to recognize a disease, identify a case law or diagnose the problems of a complex machine. It was instant, holistic, and logical. If several parallel answers could be presented, as in the multiple parameters of a power plant, recognition was instant. For the mind, where millions of parameters were simultaneously presented, real time pattern recognition was practical. And elimination was the key, which could conclusively handle uncertainty, without resort to abstruse calculations.

June 10th, 2019

All About The Dremel

A Dremel is a high speed power tool. Consumers love the Dremel because it is very light weight and compact. It is a versatile power tool that is commonly used for wood work and crafts. While the Dremel is classified as a power tool, it has some unusual uses over the years. In the 1940’s, the Dremel was used by the Department of Defense to help create the first atomic bombs. During the war, the Dremel was commonly used to reduce the amount of scar tissue from wounds. It has been used to remove tattoos and even by dentists to shape dentures.

Today, the Dremel is the number one rotary tool in the world. That is quite an accomplishment with millions of them to choose from. The Dremel has over 200 accessories offered, giving it versatility. The possibilities of what you can do with a Dremel are endless.

There are many different models of the Dremel tool. The 400 Series offers high speeds as well as great quality. It is the most versatile of the Dremel series. The 300 Series is a precision tool. It is very compact and has several speeds to choose from. The Digital Rotary Dremel is very advanced. It features a LCD readout and an electronic feedback control. This Dremel model is commonly used by the science field.

Multipro

The original Dremel tool, the MultiPro is great for crafts and for doing hobbies. This is the top selling Dremel model, with various speeds. The two speed MultiPro gives you the option of a high or low speed for better control. The Single Speed MultiPro Dremel is great for those who only want one speed, commonly for someone who plans to use the Dremel tool for the same type of project again and again. The Cordless MultiPro is very convenient as is the Cordless MiniMite.

The fastest Dremel yet is the Lithium-ion Cordless model. This is the fastest and strongest cordless rotary tool available on the entire market. That is quite an accomplishment for the Dremel Corporation. The battery will stay charged for up to two years at a time. A very fun specialty Dremel is the orange and black pumpkin carving Halloween Dremel. It comes with an assortment of templates to help you make fun and creative jack-o-lanterns.

Dremel tools are very light weight so you can take them anywhere. You can also use them for lengths of time without the power tool feeling uncomfortable. There are two dials on the dual speed Dremel models. This allows you to control the speed with one and the power with the other. You will get free replacement brushes for the life of your Dremel tools as well as a five year warranty.

With so many Dremel accessories to choose from, it is a good idea for you to research the right accessories for the particular project you are doing as well as for the Dremel power tool you own. You can save money buy purchasing a Dremel power tool kit. This comes with a carrying case, the Dremel power tool, and a wide assortment of the various accessories you may choose to use for that particular power tool.

A Dremel is the perfect rotary power tool to add to your collection. They are very versatile and durable. You can choose from the various accessories to get even more use out of your Dremel power tool. This is a brand you can trust to be very reliable. The warranty says a great deal about the dedication this manufacturer has for providing the consumer with a trustworthy power tool.

June 5th, 2019

All About Power Saws

Power saws are used for small and large projects. Some of them are lightweight and other projects involve heavy objects. Power saws are available in a variety of sizes and different volumes of power to ensure you can always find the right power saw for any need you have.

The most common type of power saw is the chainsaw, used to cut down timber. They work well if you need to trim your trees or cut them down for firewood. One drawback of chainsaws is that the cut is often ragged so there is a great deal of splintering.

Circular saws are used for a variety of home improvement projects. They are very versatile, so it is a great choice if you don’t want to have to purchase several saws that you only use occasionally. Circular saws are powerful enough to cut through the very thick wood. Make sure you choose one that has a high level of power and comes with the on/off location in an easy to reach location in the event you need to turn it off in a hurry.

Miter Saw

A miter saw is a type of circular saw that works well for crosscutting. It is used to cut at exact angles, dimensions, and lengths. For very detailed work, a scroll saw works great. These are both very common tools used in woodworking.

Saber Saw

A saber saw works well to cut paneling and other thin, flexible materials. It is commonly referred to as a jigsaw. You want one that is sturdy and fits well in your hand. The quality of the saber saw isn’t that important, but the quality of the blades you use in one is a very important issue that will impact your cuts.

A table saw is used for bigger jobs or long pieces of material. It consists of a table with the saw blade located in the center of the table. This is a great way to have a surface to hold the other end of the material.

Band Saw

A band saw is the best option when you need to cut something in the middle or away from the edge of a piece of material. The band saw has a small table with a very thin blade that comes down from the top. Clamp your material in place to line up with the bland and pull the top part of the band saw down. This is great for cutting out wall plugs and door knobs.

There are several very small power saws as well. The crosscut saw is used when it is necessary to cut across the grain. A rip saw operates similar to a circular saw but it is smaller. A keyhole saw is used to make curved cuts or to put round holes in paneling and drywall.

Saws are very powerful tools. You should always be safety glasses while operating any type of saw. You also need to use any guards that come with the saw for your own protection. Make sure you fully understand how to operate the particular saw you are using. Take some time to investigate the right saw to use for your particular project. Some saws are very versatile and can be used for many different things.

May 18th, 2019

Decorate Your Concrete: Ideas for the Do-It-Yourselfer

decorative concrete

You can enhance your home’s existing concrete surfaces using acid stains, water based stains, epoxy paints, and scoring techniques. If you’re tired of looking at dull gray concrete, there are some fairly easy projects for the serious do-it-yourselfer to give your concrete a refreshing new look. Or perhaps you plan to have some new concrete installed but you don’t want plain gray concrete.

Decorative concrete work costs double to triple that of regular concrete and many people simply can’t afford it. There are inexpensive ways to decorate concrete after it has cured without having to pay skilled tradesmen.

Acid based concrete stains are becoming more and more popular for coloring concrete surfaces. They chemically react with the cementitious material to produce permanent color with variegated or mottled appearance like that of marble. This results in a natural, elegant looking surface. Acid stains are available in 8-10 different colors, mainly brown, green, and reddish earth tones. The cost is normally $60-$70 per gallon which covers 300-400 square feet. A coat of clear concrete sealer when you’re finished really brings out the colors and beauty of acid stains.

Water based concrete stains are an alternative to acid stains and are much more user friendly because they’re much less toxic. These stains don’t chemically react with the concrete; they are absorbed into the surface pores and act like a dye. The big advantage of water based stains is the wide array of colors available. You can find just about any color in the spectrum and create a more vibrant and consistent appearance. They also normally cost about $60-$70 per gallon which covers 300-400 square feet.

If you want to venture beyond the basic staining of concrete, consider using some scoring techniques to create patterns on the surface. You can make your concrete look like a tile floor for example. It’s up to your imagination. An angle grinder with a 4 inch grinding or cutting wheel is the ideal tool for this. The important thing to remember when scoring is to draw the pattern on the concrete first and make sure you’re satisfied with the way it looks because scoring is irreversible. Most people don’t own an angle grinder but you can rent one at almost any tool rental shop.

Epoxy paints make an excellent coating for garage floors and basement floors. Many commercial floors have epoxy coatings because of their durability and resistance to chemical spills as well as their appearance. In recent years, however, it has become very popular for residential use with an increasing availability of different colors. This is not a difficult project, but the key to successful application is surface preparation. Epoxy paints have also become available in a water based form making it safe for the do-it-yourselfer and ideal for indoor applications. They cost a little more than stains. For a 400 square foot garage, you’ll spend about $200 for the materials needed for this project.

October 29th, 2018

Could You Have Diabetes-And Not Know it?

October 25th, 2018

Lasting Home Value with Hardwood Flooring

Perhaps it’s time for a remodel and updating of your home. How about a remodel that will transform your home, add lasting value, beauty and elegance, and be something you will be proud of? Think about hardwood flooring, Kansas city..

Generally hardwood floors kansas city come pre finished, this is when the manufacturer applies a finish at the factory. This finish is generally at least four coats of ultraviolet cured urethane resin. Hardwood floors are generally easy to clean with a simple sweep of a dust mop or vacuuming. You will need to protect your hardwood floors from scratches as much as possible. Putting protective rugs under your furniture is an excellent way to prevent scratches on the floor. Hardwood floors are meant to last a lifetime.

You will want to choose a color of hardwood floor that will accent your home and home furnishings. As a rule lighter colors go with country, contemporary and casual settings. Darker colored wood floors are for formal or traditional interiors. But, of course, anything goes! Your decision should be based on your visual preference.

Lighter wood would be a white ash, sugar maple or southern yellow pine. Darker colors are beech, birch, red oak, heart pine and mesquite.

You want to make sure that your hardwood floor will be able to withstand denting and wear. Of the woods mentioned above mesquite is the hardest wood, and a southern yellow pine would be the softest. In the middle of these fall the yellow birch, heart pine and beech.

If you are going to be hiring and contractor to install your hardwood floor make sure you ask for references. Go take a look at a floor that he has installed. Make sure that he is comfortable working with the type of wood floor that you want to be installed.

Make sure that you thoroughly inspect the hardwood floor after the installation. Look at the floor from a standing position and with normal lighting. The finish on your floor will not be that you would find on fine furniture. Deep swirls or sander marks or splotchy areas may mean that the floor wasn’t finished properly. There will, however, be some irregularities on any wood floor. However, these irregularities won’t seem obvious and will only add to the character of the floor. For more information you can contact Midland Marble about your hardwood flooring by using our convenient contact us page.