For decades, fizzy drinks have dominated the bottled refreshment market. Visit any store refrigerator or cafe, and you’ll see shelves upon shelves of cola, lemonade, and sodas. However, the times, they are a changing! 2016 saw an explosion in the bottled water market, with varieties such as vitamin infused, coconut, flavoured, and medical water, and the consumers are paying attention. Between July 2016 and July 2017, bottled water sales in the UK outstripped cola sales, with 1.77 billion litres of bottled water being purchased, in comparison to 1.72 billion litres of cola, this is the first time in refreshment history that this has happened, and is the fourth consecutive year of double digit growth for the bottled water industry in the UK.
Employees must provide workers with an adequate source of drinking water, this should be free from contamination, and ready accessible, due to the Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations, 1992. So, we know that we must hydrate our workers – but what benefit does this provide us? Continue reading “Why keep your workplace hydrated?”
It’s a subject that’s regularly up for debate and consistently called into question: the beauty care industry. From the nearly unregulated use of “natural” and “organic” to the veritable smorgasbord of chemicals hiding behind the simple word fragrance, the beauty industry has a lot to answer for. Consumers continue to purchase products that are reportedly plant-based for peace of mind, but even then it’s a toss-up on whether or not the product is actually safe.
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In the most mountainous regions of the UK, there can be more than 4 metres of rainfall every year, and the rest of the country isn’t far behind. We talk about rain as if it’s this horrid, irritating blight that keeps us all inside playing Scrabble with our disgusting families, but in reality it’s a vital, replenishing force that keeps our planets green, our soil moist and our ecosystem stable.
Beyond simply letting nature water your plants, or reenacting your favourite scenes from any romcom released in the last 20 years, there’s another practical use for rain – collect and storing it. You can buy water butts in most DIY shops, but why bother with that when you can build you own? It’s a surprisingly simple process, and the rewards are well worth the effort.
Firstly, you need to get a storage unit. This can be a plastic barrel, bin or another other large storage container, as long as it has a lid. You want to be looking at a minimum of 100 litres of storage, anything smaller is pointless, you’ll be emptying it too often. If you decide to source one second hand, you need to make sure it had something non-toxic in it before, and then clean it with hot, soapy water. Get as many as you think you’ll need.
The next step is to create an actual collection system. There are a few different ways to do this, the main ones are to either redirect one your existing gutter spouts, or mount a length of hosepipe and a funnel. In the former case, you’ll need to buy an angled spout fitting to your home gutter system, replace one of the other spouts, place a grate at the top (so leaves and other debris don’t end up in the collector) and attach it to the barrel, sealing it all off with caulk. Alternatively, you can use bungee chords to hoist up a length of hose with a funnel (and filter) on the end and it does the same job without you having to lose a spout.
The last two things are the spigot and the overflow. Buy a spigot and make a note of the value size, then drill a hole of the same circumference in the side of the container, near the bottom, but high enough to fit a watering can or bucket beneath (the container should stand on some bricks or breeze blocks as well). Line the hole with caulk and then fit the spigot. Drill another hole of the same size near the top, parallel to the spigot, and fit it with a hose adapter, this way if you want a second container to catch the overflow, you can easily fit it.
The wide wonders of the PC world offer a motley of add-ons to optimise both PC and personal performance. These advancements can stretch far into the future in a never-ending quest for the next best thing. For example, a mouse bungee will make your wired mouse feel wireless for the reasonable price of £26.77. Water cooling, an efficient, quiet and visually-appealing method of cooling your PC, can cost anywhere from £70 to upwards of £300 for a custom job. It all depends on what you choose to invest in.
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For air-cooled rigs, a heatsink with heat pipes is attached to the CPU’s heat spreader by a layer of thermally-conductive paste. This paste is the avenue, enabling heat transfer by filling in any gaps between the heatsink and CPU. Once the heat has reached equilibrium across the CPU and heatsink, the heat pipes are responsible for ridding the system of heat. Pipes are “filled with a fluid that vaporises as it heats up and rises to the end of the heat pipes, which are usually festooned with thin aluminium or copper heat fins.” The fins are then cooled by a fan, transferring the heat to the air and cooling the fins. This is a basic explanation for how air cooling works.
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For the truly dedicated, overclocking your CPU will increase the performance of your PC (a plus), but will draw more energy, generating excessive heat in the process (a negative). Water cooling is the recommended method for computer enthusiasts who pride themselves on high speeds and multiple cores/cards/etc. since it can prolong the life and function if done correctly. For most people, the computer alone costs enough without fancy add-ons, but water cooling does tend to keep CPUs colder. Since water absorbs more heat per second, less heat lingers in important components. In fact, water moves more heat than air in the same amount of time. Unlike traditional air cooling, water cooling allows everything to be cooled on the same loop.
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Water cooling does use different parts than air cooling, but operates pretty similarly on principles of thermodynamics; it just has a more efficient avenue over which heat can transfer: liquid. Using water blocks, a pump, radiator, fan, reservoir, and, of course, hosing to facilitate movement, liquid cooling is a complex game designed for the rich man.
- Heat energy is transferred from the component of your choice to liquid using a water block which, like a heat sink, benefits from a large surface area. Blocks measure up against one another based on surface area and capacity. These blocks can add unnecessarily to your investment, depending on how many components you want to cool (CPU, GPU, RAM, HDD). Each will require a designated block and potentially cost more depending on your pump/routing.
- The pump you choose will depend on how many blocks you’ve chosen and your configuration plans. Comparatively, pumps differ in a variety of ways, but we’ll focus on the important things: flow rate and head pressure. Flow rate tells you how much liquid can be pumped without restriction (0). Conversely, head pressure is how hard a pump can push liquid with full restriction (100). The tricky bit is figuring out which pump offers the best flow rate. Move too quickly and the water doesn’t have time to absorb heat, too slowly and heat can build up, all of which is affected by the complexity of the path liquid will travel on.
- The radiator or heat exchanger is next on the list, used to transfer heat from the water to the air. Having a quality radiator will increase the efficiency of your water cooling system since the quicker your water is cooled, the more heat it will dispel. The radiator you choose will need to correspond in size to a fan, if you choose to have one. The heated radiator will be cooled by it, heating the air in turn.
- Reservoirs, not included in every system, are where you’ll have a store of liquid connected to the pump. Weird, shouldn’t the amount of liquid stay consistent? Air bubbles are going to pop up, but with a reservoir fitted, these bubbles can be replaced as the water loops through the system.
- Tubing and fittings are best left to a leisurely Saturday morning of research, what with different materials, sizing, and accessories.