The Halls are Alive With the Sound of Music

<b>The Halls are Alive With the Sound of Music</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As students purchase No. 2 pencils and notebooks, parents and teachers might want to think about putting something else on back-to-school lists — musical instruments.

Numerous studies demonstrate that musical education benefits children both in and out of the classroom. One study from Columbia University found that students in the arts are more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident and better able to express their ideas. Students in music programs show higher IQs than their peers, and art programs have been proven to boost critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

A study by Patricia Shehan Campbell, Ph.D., of the University of Washington examined essays by 1,155 teenagers on school music programs. The essays revealed that music gives teens the freedom to be themselves, as well as a creative and emotional outlet.

With music programs being cut across the country, independent organizations are working hard to help students access musical educations. For example, NAMM, the 109-year-old trade association of the international music products industry, has launched the non-profit Wanna Play Fund (www.nammfoundation.org) to support programs and activities that strengthen music education in schools. Endorsed by Mike Huckabee, a bass player and former governor of Arkansas, the Wanna Play Fund uses donations to fund community-based music programs and provide musical instruments to schools.

Another NAMM-sponsored program, SchoolJam USA, encourages teenagers to form bands through a unique, all-teen battle-of-the-bands competition. Amateur bands with members aged 13-19 compete to win prizes and musical instruments for their band, funding for their school music programs and the chance to perform live at the SchoolJam USA Finals in Anaheim, Calif.

The 2010 winner, a band called After Math, won $5,000 for its schools’ music programs, a trophy in the shape of a platinum album and a grand-prize trip to Europe to perform at the international 2010 SchoolJam finals in Frankfurt, Germany. Kids can take this opportunity to form their own bands and get involved in the contest. Teen bands can sign up for the 2011 SchoolJam USA competition after August 2nd, 2010, at www.schooljamusa.com.

Plastics Create Oil With Energy to Spare

<b>Plastics Create Oil With Energy to Spare</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – America’s quest to reduce its fuel consumption and dependence on foreign oil may lead it to look for energy sources in new places — like the bottom of a trash barrel.

JBI, Inc. (OTCBB:JBII), a global technology company, has developed a process, called Plastic2Oil (P2O), that converts raw, unwashed, unsorted plastic waste into a fuel similar to biofuel. In April 2010, an independent laboratory, Islechem, validated the P2O process through extensive chemical, analytical and process engineering testing.

Islechem tested the process over 40 times using multicolored, mixed plastics. The laboratory determined that the P20 process is repeatable and can be done on a large scale. Approximately 85 to 90 percent of the hydrocarbon composition in the feedstock is converted into a “near diesel” fuel, while about 8 percent is converted to a usable off gas much like natural gas. In addition, only 1 percent of the plastic becomes residue, and that residue does not contain any highly toxic elements and is safe for landfill disposal. Even better, more energy is produced than consumed by the process. Early data suggest that the process creates twice as much energy as it uses.

“It takes energy to produce energy. The key is to get more energy from the final product than it takes to make it,” said JBI, Inc. CEO John Bordynuik. “Our process has a high positive energy balance of 2.0, while gasoline from crude has a negative energy balance of 0.81.”

The fuel produced by the P20 process has another major advantage over gasoline from crude oil — its production, including labor, costs only about $10 a barrel.

Gasoline from crude oil uses more energy than it produces and currently costs between $75 and $85 a barrel — and yet gasoline companies yield high profits. A process like P20 could revolutionize the market by creating high-quality fuel at much lower costs, while also helping to reduce the amount of plastic that becomes pollution or ends up in landfills.

JBI, Inc. is currently in talks to create P20 processing facilities in Europe, Florida, New York, California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Georgia and Ohio. The company is also looking for waste disposal or recycling companies, and people with under-utilized facilities to convert into P2O factories. For more information, visit www.plastic2oil.com or www.jbiglobal.com.

Mastering the Alaska Home Heating Test

<b>Mastering the Alaska Home Heating Test</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – If a wall-hung boiler can heat a home in Alaska problem-free for 10 winters, then it can heat a home anywhere, according to mechanical contractor Mike La Fay.

La Fay, owner of Meadow Lakes Supply in Wasilla, Alaska, installed his first Baxi Luna modulating wall-hung boiler in early 2000. Since then, he has installed more than 100 of these high efficiency, eco-friendly heating appliances in homes throughout Matanuska Susitna County, which is a 50-minute drive north-east from Anchorage.

“It can be 30 below zero here for three weeks straight, so a reliable heating appliance is essential for both home comfort and survival,” La Fay says. “I have not experienced any significant problem with Baxi Luna performance. With Gensco, the exclusive Baxi distributor in Alaska stocking parts and accessories, I am really looking forward to my second decade as a Baxi contractor.”

Gensco is a leading wholesale distributor of heating supplies and equipment, selling only to qualified contractors trade in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana since 1947. More recently, Gensco supplied 250 Baxi Luna boilers for an award-winning community redevelopment of Seattle Housing Authority, which reported 37 percent energy use savings over another hydronic heating system.

“My neighborhood just got natural gas recently, so I now have a Baxi Luna heating our family home and my shop. Our former oil fuel bill was up to $500 a month, and now we are spending around $150 for gas,” La Fay notes. “You simply can’t get better than that — saving lots of money while knowing your heating system will withstand the coldest challenges of our winter.”

Baxi is one of Europe’s largest heating products manufacturer and has been making leading wall-hung boilers since the late 1960s. The firm’s Bassano, Italy, plant has been producing Baxi Luna wallhung heating since it opened in 1978 and now makes 4,000 boilers a day for export to 70 countries, including the United States. Baxi heat exchangers are stainless steel and bear the ASME H-Stamp.

“I can recommend this appliance to homeowners with confidence, knowing it has a proven Alaska track record for quality, safety and environmental performance,” says La Fay, who does ongoing maintenance of his installations and remains committed to learning more about the product. “I have learned a lot from a Baxi Luna training and contractor-certification CD-ROM. It is a great tool for a contractor located in Alaska.”

To learn more about proven Baxi energy-efficient, eco-friendly heating solutions, including modulating, condensing or near-condensing boilers

(in either combination central heating and domestic hot water mode, or heating-only), visit www.wallhungboilers.com.

Heated Stairs Step Up Safety, Convenience

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Anyone who has lived with snow knows that stairs present a unique challenge. They ice up quickly, becoming slippery and dangerous. Outdoor stairs, which often come in irregular sizes, can be difficult to shovel, especially for senior citizens.

And even if you remove snow, your stairs may still ice up. Melting snow from the roof often falls on stairs leading up to a doorstep, creating dangerous ice layers. Using sand or rock salt is hardly an ideal situation. Many Americans are not physically able to carry heavy bags. When the salt dissolves, it poses a threat to local flora and fauna.

Companies and schools with large facilities have taken a unique approach to ensuring safer stairs in wintery weather — instead of trying to remove snow after it falls, they’re using a product that melts snow before it has a chance to build up.

At age 15, Hillel Glazer decided he no longer wanted to shovel snow, so he disassembled a heating pad and combined it with a doormat, promptly shorting out the electricity in his parents’ home. As an adult — and with the help of engineers — Glazer returned to his original snow-melting mat idea.

Today, Glazer’s company, HeatTrak, makes heated mats that keep walkways clear of snow. Long used by large commercial facilities, HeatTrak’s Stair Mats are now available to homeowners.

Built with weatherproof, ribbed carpet, HeatTrak Residential Stair Mats are durable enough to be left outside for the entire winter. The mats plug into standard outlets and generate enough heat to melt snow at a rate of two inches per hour. If homeowners turn the mats on when snow first begins to fall, snowflakes will dissolve as soon as they hit the mats, leaving slip-free stairs.

HeatTrak Stair Mats are safe to own and operate. Each mat has a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) that instantly shuts off the mat when it senses a current leak. HeatTrak products are sold throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

For more information, visit www.heattrak.com.

Monster Jam Drawing the Crowds

<b>Monster Jam Drawing the Crowds</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Some people might not consider sports entertainment or theatrical competitive events as real sports, but a growing number of Americans, over 5 million to be precise, are attending Monster Jam events, Supercross races, Arenacross races, Freestyle Motocross events and IHRA Nitro Jam drag racing events -; while looking for some good old-fashioned fun and competition.

“Sportive” entertainment might have started with the Roman Colosseum, but today’s stadiums and arenas are featuring much more family-oriented entertainment, while still providing the same adrenaline rush. From the world’s top monster trucks competing on circuits, crushing anything in sight including cars, semi-trailers, busses, small planes and more, to drag races, sportive entertainment has become Americana to the core.

Spectators flock to both the top stadiums and arenas in North America and Europe to see their favorite motor sports stars perform. Feld Entertainment, Inc., the company that brings classic shows like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!, acknowledges motor sports entertainment’s immense popularity. The company recently purchased Live Nation Motor Sports, Inc., which has been renamed Feld Motor Sports.

“With the addition of our motor sports division, Feld Entertainment can now offer families everywhere an even wider range of live family entertainment options,” said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “We plan to take Monster Jam and all of our motor sports events to even more domestic and international markets than ever before.”

Monster Jam live events include three main elements: monster truck racing, monster truck freestyle and pre-show pit parties, where families can come to the venues early to get autographs and pictures with their favorite Monster Jam stars. In addition, many specialty events can take place at Monster Jam events like Quad Wars, Pro Arena Trucks and demolition derbies.

Many of the world’s top monster trucks compete on the Monster Jam tour including the likes of Grave Digger, Maximum Destruction, Blue Thunder, Monster Mutt and Captain’s Curse in addition to many studio-licensed brands like the Superman monster truck and Batman monster truck.

For more information, visit www.feldentertainment.com or www.monsterjamonline.com.