How to Build a Printing Unit for Silk-Screening

Building the Printing Unit
Steps:
1.Cut a piece of 1/2-inch-thick plywood (smooth on one side) 2 inches larger than your screen frame all the way around. A solid baseboard is necessary for good printing.
2.Attach 1/8-inch tempered Masonite to the baseboard by gluing and screwing the edge to the top of the smooth side of the plywood. (You could laminate Formica to the plywood instead.)
3.Apply a couple of coats of polyurethane to seal the surface and aid in cleanup.
4.Attach two clamp hinges made especially for silk screen printing to the top of the baseboard.
5.Use hinges that have a wing nut that allows the screen to be inserted and tightened into the hinge. The hinge then allows the screen to be raised and lowered as necessary.
6.Decide how the art is to be positioned (vertically - the long way - or horizontally?) and how it is to be printed (are you going to pull the long way or the short way?).
7.Space the clamps so they hold the screen frame in the stablest way, about 3 inches in from the perpendicular side of the frame.
8.Screw the hinges into position.  
Tips: To have both options available, prepare screw holes, when making the baseboard, at one short end and one long one so you can switch back and forth.  
Stabilizing the Printing Unit for Optimum Registration

Steps:
9.Attach either angle irons or 2-by-2 blocks of wood to the baseboard on either side of the silk screen frame to ensure maximum stability and good registration for multicolor print runs.
1..Start by attaching the frame to the clamp hinges and placing the frame flush with the surface of the printing unit.
1..Butt the angle irons or wood blocks up against the sides of the frame so that the frame is snug.
1..Place them on either side of the frame about 2 inches down from the end that's not attached to the hinges.
1..Screw the angle irons, if you're using these, into the base of the printing unit.
1..Secure the blocks, if you're using these, with C-clamps.  
Tips: The advantage of the C-clamps is their easy repositioning for the next print run. As an added bonus, the iron rod that extends horizontally from the C-clamp can also be used to hold up the screen during printing. 
Overall Tips:
Have the plywood and Masonite precut at the lumberyard.
Attach the entire printing unit to a sturdy table that's high enough to print at comfortably. Attach either with screws or, if the table has other uses, with clamps for the duration of the print run.   

How to Create a Microsoft Access Query That Uses More Than One Field


Steps:
1.Open the database window (pressing the F11 key will open it).
2.Click the Query tab, then click New.
3.When the Query window appears, select Simple Query Wizard.
4.Select the table that you want to use in the query.
5.Select the two (or more) fields that you want to display in the query results, then click on the > symbol to move the fields into the window on the right.
6.Follow the directions that the wizard provides. Click Finish when ready. Your query opens. In the example given, you would see two columns - one containing your friends' names and another showing their telephone numbers. 
Tips:
To filter query results further - only display the friends whose names begin with B, for example - see the related How "Create a Microsoft Access Query That Uses Multiple Criteria in One Field."
You can use your query results as the basis for a form or report.   

How to Choose a Topic for a Dissertation


Steps:
1.Make a habit, as early as possible in your graduate career, of jotting down ideas for research while sitting in class and doing your reading. Particular findings can point to new and interesting questions.
2.Weed out ideas as the time to choose draws nearer. Consider such issues as level of interest (how excited do you get when you think about it?), practicality (too broad? too narrow?), and how significant a contribution it will make to your discipline.
3.Consult with fellow graduate students as well: they'll offer not only great ideas, but sympathy.
4.Ask your advisor and other professors what they know about work that's already been done on the topics that remain after your weeding-out process.
5.Find this work, and see how similar or different it is from your own ideas. If it's too similar, you've just eliminated another possibility.
6.Choose whichever of the remaining topics interests you the most.
7.Keep in mind that your topic is a work in progress, and allow yourself to be flexible. It's inevitable that some aspects of your topic will change as you progress in your research and writing. 
Tips:
Try to walk the line between an overly broad and an overly narrow topic. Broad topics can lead you astray and lack focus; narrow topics can be of limited interest and might not furnish enough material for an entire dissertation.
Keep your topic ideas in a central location, preferably a computer file that you can easily back up.
Consider setting yourself a deadline for finding a topic. Without one, grad school has the tendency to drift on and on. 
Warnings:
Be sure you've searched the literature thoroughly for related research. It would be awful to work for months and months only to find you've duplicated someone else's work.   

How to Shop for a Home Mortgage


Steps:
1.Compile a list of mortgage lenders from your local phone book.
2.Contact a mortgage reporting service, such as HSH Associates, to see if you can get additional information on mortgages in your area.
3.Check the business section of your Sunday paper. Newspapers usually have listings of available mortgages in your area.
4.Contact the lenders and create a comparison chart listing lender name, current rate on the mortgage you are looking for and how many points you might have to pay for that mortgage.
5.Consider hiring a mortgage broker to help you shop around. 
Tips:
Rates can change quickly, so try to make as many calls as you can as quickly as possible if you are ready to move on your mortgage.
Don’t rely solely on names of institutions you are familiar with. While they may give you a "warm-and-fuzzy" feeling, remember that they will probably sell your mortgage after it has closed.
See if your real estate agent has a computerized loan origination (CLO) system. These display different rates and lenders in your area. 
Warnings:
While CLO systems may be a good idea, know that agents are not required to maintain a minimum number of lenders on the system.
If your agent has a CLO system, ask how much you will be charged for using it. Current law does not limit how much agents can charge for this service.   Steps:
1.Start with your computer. There are several Web sites that will help you find a home throughout the country. Realtor.com is the largest and gets its listings straight from local boards of realtors. Other sites are HomeSeekers.com, HomeAdvisor.com and HomeScout.com. These are all good sites but each has its limitations.
2.Look up real estate firms on the Internet that are local to your targeted search area. Here you can find the names, addresses and phone numbers for all real estate companies that are listed in that area's yellow pages.
3.Investigate the individual Web sites of real estate agents you find in your Internet search.
4.Call real estate agencies that interest you and request a list of available homes in your price and criteria range.
5.Request a newcomer's information packet. These packets typically include information regarding schools, communities and surrounding areas.
6.Make plans to visit the area in person once you have a good idea of what is available in your price range. If you have selected a number of homes to preview, you are ahead of the game. 
Tips: Find a hi-tech real estate agent. Most likely this agent will also have a personal Web site; this agent will also be able to e-mail digital photos of available homes to you. 
Warnings:
Homes listed on the Internet show no listing date, and status update of listings is slow. You may find the home of your dreams on the Internet only to discover it sold several months earlier.
Internet listings give very little detailed information. If, for example, you are trying to find a home on more than one acre, you'll find that many programs do not offer that level of detail.
Home listings on the Internet are often incorrect. Someone may have input the information incorrectly, or perhaps the computer program doesn't have the ability to identify all the features of a property. You may be looking at the home of your dreams and not even realize it because the information is incorrect or incomplete.   Steps:
1.Determine your price range (see “How to Determine How Big a Mortgage You Can Afford”).
2.Decide on a location, which can be as specific as an address or as broad as your state of choice. A Web site may also ask you to search by ZIP code, region, city or neighborhood.
3.Decide on the property type and age of the home. For instance, do you want to live in a condominium, a co-op, or a single-family or multifamily home? Would you like to live in a home of a certain vintage, such as one built less than 5 years ago or more than 10 years ago?
4.Decide on a property size by number of rooms and bathrooms, as well as area in square feet.
5.Determine other features you want in your dream home, such as a swimming pool, fireplaces, a second story or a waterfront view.
6.Surf the Internet for sites that offer listings, such as Realtor.com - the site of the National Association of Realtors - and specific brokerages and agents in the area where you are hunting.
7.Enter the information from steps 1 through 5 as requested by the site.
8.Look at the expanded information and photographs for the properties that come up in your search results.
9.Contact the agent listed if you see a home that fits your criteria. Ask for further information, such as more photographs and the home’s history.
1..Set up an appointment to meet with the agent if you are still interested. 
Tips:
Request e-mail updates on available homes and additional information about the community you’re considering.
You can also find property listings at “For Sale By Owner” sites, such as the International Real Estate Digest (IRED), and local newspaper electronic classifieds. 

How to Apply for a Predoctoral Fulbright Fellowship for Non-U.S. Students


Steps:
1.Contact your country's binational Fulbright commission to obtain an application and information on eligibility criteria. Or, if your country doesn't have a binational commission, contact the U.S. embassy in your country.
2.Make sure you fit the criteria. Though they differ from country to country, you must at least be a citizen of a country other than the United States at the time of application.
3.Think precisely about what sort of program you'd like to design for yourself and about how you'd describe the project to the funding committee.
4.Consider designing your program around the theme of mutual understanding between nations, as this is what the fellowship exists to promote.
5.Notify professors, former employers, etc., well ahead of time for any letters you need from them.
6.Send in all the materials before the deadline. Again, dates vary by country, but apply well before the application deadline to avoid the risk of missing it. 
Tips:
See Related Sites for more detailed information.
Set up a calendar with deadlines for all the fellowships you're applying for.
Photocopy your application materials before sending them in, and keep a copy for your records. 
Warnings:
Be wary of any fellowship that sounds too good to be true; it probably is (see "How to Watch Out for Scholarship Scams").
If you have dual citizenship in the United States and another country, you are not eligible.
Fulbrights are not available for medical studies.   

How to Tell Your Neighbor the Music's Too Loud


Steps:
1.Start by smiling: Catch your neighbor's eye when he heads out in the morning or give him a friendly nod when he comes home.
2.Get to know a bit about him if you don't already. What's his name? Where does he work? How long has he lived on your street?
3.Try to make pleasant chitchat. Does he follow hockey or baseball? Is he into gardening? Try to find a common interest.
4.Mention, in an offhand way, that you can hear his music from your house. Tell him it sometimes wakes you up. For many people, this will be enough to let them know that their behavior needs to change.
5.Wait a week or two to see what happens.
6.Mention in a more direct way that you'd like him to keep it down. Be clear and specific with your request - and don't forget to be friendly.
7.Find out if other neighbors are bothered, if he still hasn't made the change. He might be more likely to modify his behavior if he knows it's bothering more than one person.
8.Consider soliciting the help of one of his friends on the block - he might be able to hear the complaint from someone other than you.
9.Wait a week or two, and lie low. You don't want to get into a macho contest if he's the sort to get defensive and hostile.
1..Go hardball if you think you must: Write a letter, solicit legal advice or call the police. Because these methods up the conflict ante, use them with care. 
Tips:
If you establish friendly relations with the people in your neighborhood at the outset, it's easier to make requests of them should the need arise.
In general, being friendly and direct will get you much better results than being hostile. 
Warnings: This is your neighbor - someone you might see every day for a long time to come - so make sure you act carefully, tactfully and thoughtfully. You don't want to come home to a feud every day.    

How to Prevent Tuberculosis


Steps:
1.Wash your hands frequently, especially when you have been around people with chronic coughs.
2.Wear a mask. A special, high-microfiltration mask will keep the TB bacilli from invading your respiratory system.
3.Have an annual TB skin test. These are available for minimal cost at most community clinics, and at health fairs offered at shopping malls and senior centers.
4.Have a chest X-ray if you are sensitive to the TB skin test. An X-ray can detect clinical signs of TB in your lungs.
5.Avoid standing too close to people when they are coughing. You can never know for sure if you are being exposed to TB, but if you stay away from the germs spewed about when people cough and sneeze, you will reduce your risk of becoming infected.
6.Breathe in lots of fresh air.
7.Eat a healthy diet, rich in vitamins, minerals, calcium, protein and fiber. 
Tips: Although the Centers for Disease Control says that you cannot "catch" TB from sharing drinking glasses, bedclothes or eating utensils, it is important to remember that the TB bacilli can survive out of the body for two to three hours. Theoretically, if a TB-infected person coughed onto a fork and you used that same fork ten minutes later, it might be possible for the germ to be transmitted to you. 
Warnings:
If you develop unexplained shortness of breath, begin coughing up dark phlegm, or have night sweats, you may have the early stages of TB. You can prevent the TB from worsening by seeing your doctor for early treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. 

How to Assume the Lotus Pose in Yoga


Steps:
1.Sit on the floor with crossed legs, bending both legs and crossing the left shin over the right.
2.Place your fingertips on the floor near your hips and use your fingers to help you stretch your trunk upward.
3.Pick up your left foot and place it on top of your right thigh. Press the outer edge of your left foot against the crease of your right hip.
4.Pick up your right foot and place it on top of your left thigh, pressing the outer edge of your right foot against the crease of your left hip.
5.Settle your feet as close as possible to your groin, moving your knees closer together.
6.Stretch your torso upward, keeping your shoulders down and back.
7.Place your hands on your knees with your palms facing upward.
8.Practice until you can hold the pose comfortably for several minutes. 
Tips: Placing your hands on your knees with your palms facing upward is energizing, but sitting with your palms facing down helps you ground yourself. 
Warnings:
To avoid injury, you should always listen to your body when doing a yoga pose, and not push yourself beyond your limits. When in doubt, consult a doctor.
If you're serious about learning yoga, a teacher is invaluable for helping you fine-tune your position in all the poses for maximum benefit. 

How to Help a Family in Need Have a Thanksgiving Dinner


Steps:
1.Check with your church, synagogue or other religious group to find out if it is collecting donations for food baskets. If so, find out what's needed.
2.Buy several frozen turkeys or hams and bring them to the Rotary Club, Elks or another civic group to distribute as it sees fit.
3.Donate bags of potatoes, stuffing mix, bottles of soda, and ingredients for pies that people can use to make their own meals.
4.Offer canned goods such as vegetables and soups to charity drives or food kitchens in your area.
5.Prepare a basket on Thanksgiving with a fully cooked meal consisting of items such as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce to give to a social service agency or civic group, which can deliver it to a family that would otherwise have nothing to eat.
6.Buy a gift certificate to a local supermarket for an organization to give to a family to select their own Thanksgiving food.
7.Contact organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the United Way, and the YMCA or YWCA and donate money for residents who need help.
8.Provide food for a Meals on Wheels program in your area. This organization delivers meals to people who are elderly or ill and can't leave their homes.
9.Volunteer to deliver a hot meal to a family in which the parents are homebound due to an accident or illness.
1..Donate money to a religious or civic group to host a community-wide dinner for people who have nowhere to go. 
Tips:
Bring a centerpiece, a fall plant or some other decoration to brighten up a family's table and get them into the spirit of the holiday.
Consider volunteering at a soup kitchen or shelter on Thanksgiving Day.    

How to Make Confetti or Almond Favors for an Italian Wedding


Steps:
1.Purchase sugared almonds from a specialty candy shop or gourmet market in your area a few weeks before the wedding. Look in the yellow pages to find out your options. Or, order them online. Do a keyword search on the Internet to find some suppliers.
2.Buy enough candy for all your guests. One Italian wedding tradition dictates that 5 almonds be given to each guest to symbolize health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life.
3.Buy netting or mesh (the fabric often used to make bridal veils) in the bridal section of a craft shop or fabric store. You will need enough to cut out a 6- to 8-inch round for each guest.
4.Select a color that matches your wedding decorations.
5.Purchase spools of very thin ribbon. Allow 12 to 16 inches for each favor.
6.Buy extra quantities of all of your supplies just in case you make a mistake or need more than you think.
7.Trace the outline of a small plate (6 to 8 inches) onto a piece of cardboard to serve as your pattern or guide. Cut out the circular shape.
8.Use the pattern to draw (in pencil) as many circles as you will need on the netting. (If you are making a large quantity, break this up into smaller batches you can do over time or ask bridesmaids to help.)
9.Cut out all of the circles and lay them flat.
1..Cut the ribbon to the length you want.
1..Place the designated number of almonds in the center of each circle.
1..Lift up all of the sides of the netting together around the almonds to form a little bag.
1..Cinch the bag with a strip of ribbon and tie it with a small, neat bow to finish off the confetti.
1..Place a confetti at each guest's plate at the reception so they will have a remembrance to take home. 
Tips: Consider ordering special ribbon that is printed with the names of the bride and groom and the wedding date. You can find such personalized items advertised in many popular bridal magazines. You can check with party stores in your area. Or do a search online for vendors.