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Month: October 2018

Betta Fish Are Fighters to the Death

Posted on October 31, 2018 in Uncategorized

If you are a betta fish owner you probably know that they are Siamese fighters by origin. So exactly what do we mean when we say they are fighters? Do they fight among themselves or do they take on other type of fish in their territory? Do they fight to the death or do they just have a scrap?

These are some of the questions that you may be wondering about if you own one fish and is thinking about buying another. Or you may be completely new to betta fish and just thinking about getting your first one. Your first line of enquiry should be your local pet-shop owner although we will answer some of these questions in this article.

One of the characteristics of betta fish is that unlike most aquarium fish they can live in smaller containers without any filters and aerators that the aquarium fish require, because they are natural descendants of the wild betta that lived in oxygen deprived environments.

Bettas are aggressive by nature and breeders must therefore always be aware of problems mixing them with other fish species. Betta fish range in size from about 2.5 inches to just over 3 inches and sometimes bigger. In the wild two male betta fish do not fight to the death. The loser will always retreat at the end of a fight. But in a tank there is nowhere to retreat so the winner will always continue to attack the loser until this results in death of the losing fish. Therefore breeders keep a partition to separate adult male beta fish from harming each other.

In the case of a male and female betta fish again breeders keep the female out of reach of the male who will kill the female. They are only brought together if they are breeding or they are juveniles in which case they can share a tank. And before breeding, breeders use a partition to allow female display before putting them together.

There are compatible other species that breeders can put in the same tank as female bettas such as the catfish or tetras but this is only done after careful consideration of their compatibility. But the males should not be kept in the same tank as these other species as it tends to nip at their long fins. Bettas are known to be particularly aggressive towards long fin species such as the long-finned tetra or the fancy guppy.

Gold fish are unsuitable tank mates for the betta as they are more suited to cold water whereas the betta is a tropical fish suited to warmer waters. Also the betta might eat the slower moving gold fish although it has been known for gold fish to bite the betta’s tail.

Also small fishes may be eaten by the betta. And due to the similarity in appearance of fishes belonging to the same biological species as the betta such as Paradise fish they should not be mixed due to cross-species aggression.

Contrary to what some people believe bettas do need to be housed in a large enough tank like other tropical fish unlike the small containers you see them in at pet shops. They need to be kept at temperatures of between 77 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. And make sure that if a large tank is used with filtration that the betta fish has enough space to avoid the strong current which can damage the betta’s fin making it difficult for it to reach the surface. I hope we have answered in this article the issues raised at the top of the discussion.

Benefits Of Firefighters

Posted on October 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

Fire-fighters are considered to be professionals today. The fireman responds, as part of his duty, to emergency situations like fire, flood and even medical exigencies. Definitely he takes risks, as part of his duty of helping the community. So the need is for men of calibre to become a fireman in the Fire & Rescue Services (FRS).

Such a demanding profession definitely must attract benefits. As most firemen are employed by government bodies, he is considered as a government employee and enjoys similar benefits. Others of the profession are employed in industry and special organisations like the airport or oil refineries. Another organisation which has its own team of fire-fighters are the military. They too enjoy the benefits pertaining to defence personnel.

The fire services are part of or under the Fire & Rescue Services (FRS). This body is legislated by government and managed by the Fire Authority. So what are previously known as fire brigades or county fire services operating their respective regions come under the Fire & Rescue Authority, which is a legislative, public and administrative body.

Professional Benefits:

Firemen stand to benefit from medical benefits and dental coverage. Their families also benefit. The firemen have access to union memberships, insurance coverage, retirement programmes, etc. A New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (NFPS) was introduced. It is for regular and retained fire-fighters employed since 6th April 2006. Salary Benefits: There’s a national agreed salary structure for firefighters. Starting salaries are around £21,157 and raise up to £28,199. Crew managers and station mangers earn more. Higher up the rung are better salaries.

Personal Benefits:

The fireman enjoys a status in society or community. Mostly fire-fighters enjoy the special work environment they are in. They have a sense of camaraderie and trust, apart form a work schedule that exacts extremely long hours of stressful work, but alternatively enjoy long periods of rest and follow-up training. They go through physical conditioning besides class-room training and continuing education.

The training modules help the fireman to become a capable person. Leadership and management skills are taught. They are given career development guidance too. They are moulded mentally and physically to be a fitter person

Association Benefits:

Bodies or associations like the National Association of Retired Firefighters (NARF) further fight for benefits of the Fireman. Formed in 1968, the association fights for former fire-fighters, their widows and families. This organisation covers all of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Fire service women too have associations and are benefited. Even retained fire-fighters get benefits through the system.

Re-employment of Fire-fighters:

Retired firemen also have the chance of getting further employment on contract basis with the same department or elsewhere. Their professional skills and experience benefit them even in their later years. 17 colleges in the UK run Firefighter Training courses. The Fire Service College is a leading institution meeting the demands of the UK Fire & Rescue Service. Avenues are open for re-training and re-employment in to other sectors and industry. Some become trainers. Some are appointed as a Fire Safety Engineer.

The firefighting profession does have unique benefits and advantages apart from being an important duty for the community at large. It’s a career which has undergone changes over the centuries.

“In Grohl We Trust” – Foo Fighter Delivers SXSW Keynote

Posted on October 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

It’s not much of a secret that I LOVE the Foo Fighters. To me, they represent a lot of the raw energy and drive that is missing in music today. In short, they rock!

In particular, I am a Dave Grohl fan. Honestly, I wasn’t really a Nirvana fan, and would probably list them in the “slightly overrated” category. They were in the right place at the right time, and touched a throbbing nerve among the young and disenchanted. Of course, when the lead singer, Kurt Cobain, died from his own hand at a young age, he joined the ranks of the “too much, too soon legend status.” Many on this list are deserving of legend status, such as Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and to a smaller degree, Amy Winehouse, because she was a great singer, but a walking train wreck. I probably wouldn’t include Janis Joplin (another misdirected Amtrak in fur lined boots), or really any musician not named Winehouse who died before the age of 30 in the past 25 years. To me, Cobain is probably somewhere in between. But I understand why he was influential.

Grohl is different to me for many reasons. First of all, he’s a local guy, hailing from Springfield, VA. In fact, he attended my alma mater, Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, for a year or so, and was in the same class as my brother Jeff. He also played his first gig in Alexandria, an open mike outing at a hole in the wall bar in the Shirley Duke shopping center called Treebeard’s. It was literally just across the Duke St./South Jordan intersection from our neighborhood. I can claim to have attended a couple of those open mikes back in 1983 or so. For the record, the bar made many transformations, to Stoney’s Café, J.J. Mugg’s and Zig’s. A Chipotle is in that spot now, just in case anyone wants to put a plaque on the wall for rock history’s sake.

Here’s a true story from Ireton. Grohl’s English 9 teacher was Brother Rick Wilson. Bro. Rick was a patient man, but not much of a match for the always active Grohl, especially when he delighted classmates with his incessant drumming on the desk. Exasperated one day, Wilson chided his young student. For the record, Grohl neither confirms nor denies this incident; in fact, his response to the recollection was “too funny!”

“David, you’ve got to stop that. You’re never going to amount to anything with all that drumming.”

Seventy million albums later, there are a few people who might disagree with that remark.

Grohl is aware of a lot of these things, and shared his message of hope and music during a brilliant keynote speech at last week’s South by Southwest music convention in Austin, TX. Dressed in his grunge uniform of open flannel shirt and jeans, the 44-year old rocker kept 2,500 listeners in the palm of his hand for 48 minutes while reminiscing on his own path to fame and fortune.

His message -“the musician comes first.”

More specifically, it’s all about finding one’s voice.

“Left to your own devices, you can find your voice,” Grohl exclaimed. “Cherish it, respect it, nurture it, stretch it and scream until it’s gone.” In the end, he adds that it doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad because “it’s yours.”

It may come as a surprise to learn whose voices the head Foo Fighter is following these days.

“I think that Gangnam Style is one of the best f***ing songs of the past decade! It’s not about guilty pleasure. How about just pleasure?”

Looking back at the formation of Nirvana, Grohl admitted the timing piece of their success. “Here’s where music was when we were starting out, rattling off the top ten songs of 1990 to the delight of the audience. Laughing through names such as En Vogue, Phil Collins and Bell Biv DeVoe, he built his thought up, climaxing with the punch line, “do you know what the number one song was in 1990? Wilson F***ing Phillips – Hold ON!!” (Point of note – Grohl loves to drop the F-Bomb).

The speech was brilliant, and worthy of a man with Grohl’s talent. Certainly only three or four years away from Nirvana’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he is now held to a high standard, and delivers with one Foo album after another. Speaking of his band’s name, he called it “a stupid f***ing name – I just didn’t want the record people to know it was one caffeinated guy running from instrument to instrument.”

Most importantly, the message was about finding oneself. Grohl’s instrument of change was “Frankenstein,” the 70’s instrumental anthem from Edgar Winter. His own hope is to be the same inspirational voice for others. In closing, he spoke of introducing his daughters, Harper (3) and Violet (6) to the Beatles, in the form of their vinyl box set.

“I pray that someday that they are left to their own devices, that they realize that the musician comes first, and that THEY find THEIR VOICE, and that THEY become someone’s Edgar Winter, THEY become someone’s Beatles, and that THEY incite a riot, or an emotion, or start a revolution, or save someone’s life.

That THEY become someone’s hero.

But then again… what do I know?”

Well played Mr. Grohl.