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Pool deck – wood vs. concrete

Now that you’ve got your pool (or at least have the design of it in your head), it is time to build a pool deck that goes with it. Whether you already have something in mind or are simply looking for inspiration, read this guide to see what different kinds of pool decks exist. The material you choose for your pool deck will transform its final look so consider all of them and choose carefully.


When asked about what a standard pool deck looks like, a lot of people would answer ‘wood’. Wood has become a staple in the decking business and for good reasons. It looks amazing when paired with the blue water and the green lawn, giving your yard that natural look that will make you think of sunny resorts in tropical climates. Wood also comes in many colors which you can change at will if you have a can of wood paint and some free time. It is also the cheapest option out there, apart from not having a deck at all. Handy DIYers will also be able to handle the whole building process on their own so wood decks serve great as a weekend(s) home project.

However, wood is also prone to water damage. If you go for a wood deck then you will need to spend more time on its maintenance. Regular staining and sealing is an absolute necessity when it comes to wood decks and it’s not something you can run away from or you risk having your deck collapse. You also need to polish it to keep the wood’s surface smooth and prevent any splinters. All of this adds both time and cost to the price of a wooden deck.


Concrete is much more water-resistant than wood so no wonder that it is often found on the sides of a pool. It is also quite heat-resistant. Concrete is a durable material that will last you for a long time. If you aren’t a fan of how it looks then check these deck paints. A layer of paint on top of your concrete deck will change its look and also allow you to keep the deck in top shape by protecting it from external weather conditions like UV rays and rain.

However, avoid having concrete that is completely smooth because it will be more slippery, especially when wet. You can get your concrete stamped, even if it’s just the area closest to the edge of the pool. Also, some concrete deck paints add a non-slip finish to your deck’s surface.

Unfortunately, concrete decks are not a good idea if you live in an area with cold snowy winters. Freezing and thawing concrete cracks very easily and there isn’t much you can do to prevent that.

A pool deck is an indispensable addition to any pool. It will give you and your family a place to relax and watch over kids while they play in the water. A deck will transform the look of your yard completely. For other tips about pool maintenance, see this poolside site.

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Why You Need a Pet Pig

Pet Fever

Humans love company. We love it so much, in fact, that our brain evolved to use up 20% of all the calories we consume, while only weighing around 3 pounds. Why is that relevant? Well, because mother nature decided that granting us the ability to communicate was worth the calorie sacrifice. Whether we’re talking about verbal or non-verbal communication, mankind really is the cream of the crop. We weren’t blessed with the huge fangs of lions or the sharp claws of tigers, so words became our weapon of choice. Instead of waiting for evolution to instill new information into our DNAs, we could now verbally pass down customs and traditions to younger generations. We didn’t need to wait 5 million years for our stomach acid to turn nuclear so that we could digest raw meat –? we could just roast it over an open fire! Back then, we relied heavily on animals both as food sources, as well as for companionship, so we worked our magic and succeeded in taming them. Times have changed and, though we no longer require little critters to help us hunt or protect our food supplies, we’ve embraced pets and brought them along with us as our way of life changed. Nowadays, we like to be greeted by a pair of excited eyes and a wagging tail when we get home from work. We like snuggling up on the couch on lazy Sundays or doing homework in the company of a little rodent or colorful fish. The more time we spend caring for this other being, the better we feel about ourselves.

The Most Underrated Pet

Whether you have young children who are constantly begging you to get them a pet or you’re looking for a furry little buddy to keep you company while you’re stuck at home, I would highly recommend getting a guinea pig! They are smart, resilient, and reliable little creatures with an unquenchable thirst for adventure and a curious personality. They don’t require as much upkeep as cats and dogs, and they are a good size for both a house and an apartment. As far as rodents go, they are definitely on the bigger size, more closely resembling a bunny rather than a hamster or a rat. They like to keep to themselves – but are also open to human interaction and they’re very easy to train. As an added bonus, they are really easy to care for, so they make wonderful pets for children and young teens. Be prepared to spend a bit more money on supplies right before you get your fur baby, but don’t worry! You won’t spend nearly as much money as you’d have to shell out for a puppy or a baby cat. The one item you’ll be spending the most on is the cage. Food, bedding, and toys are relatively cheap, and pigs don’t require any special solutions or vitamins. The best guinea pig cage is one that gives them enough space to move around, without occupying half the floor space in your home. If you’re on the prowl to get a new hairy friend, definitely give guinea pigs a try! You won’t regret it!

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What are the effects of a night light lamp on the human body

Do you use a night light lamp when going to sleep? Or maybe you switch it on so that your children can fall asleep when afraid of the dark? If so, make sure that the kind you are using is not having any detrimental effects on your sleep pattern.

People have been using night light lamps to alleviate the pitch-black darkness of the night. These night lights should be bright enough to make out the contours of the room and furniture so that we do not trip when walking to the bathroom at 3 am. They give off gentle and dim lighting that can be comforting, especially for young children.


We should not overlook the lamp’s brightness when choosing to purchase one. Using bright lights during the time we’re supposed to be asleep can mess with the brain’s perception of daytime and nighttime. If the lamp tricks us, subconsciously, into thinking it is still daytime, the hormone called melatonin will not be released. Melatonin is the body’s natural reaction to darkness. It makes us drowsy and is helpful when falling asleep. Being around bright lights makes people alert and ready to work. Staring at bright lights during the night disturbs the body’s circadian rhythm which is why it is essential to choose a night light lamp that doesn’t shine too bright.

It is especially crucial when the night light lamp is supposed to go into the child’s bedroom. If the night light’s purpose is to combat the child’s fear of the dark then that means the lights are often going to be switched on throughout the whole night. And while the child might be able to fall asleep, that sleep will not be the best quality. If your child is waking up tired then check if the light in their room is not too bright. Multiple failures to sleep well can cause problems with the body’s development if the child is still growing. Lack of good quality sleep may result in irritability or difficulties with learning.


We know that light can have different colors. The lights used in supermarkets are often white while spas and other relaxation spaces tend to use more gentle, yellow lighting. This is connected to the concept of light temperature. The higher the temperature (measured at degrees Kelvin), the more ‘bright’ the light appears to be. Lower temperatures are warmer and more ‘yellow’ or even ‘red’.

Higher temperatures are similar in quality to the light given off by the sun. This is why brighter lights are able to make our brains think it is daylight. When choosing the night light lamp (or the lightbulb for the night light lamp) we should opt for brightness not higher than 3000K, maybe even lower than 2000K if you can find one. Warm lights promote relaxation and can make us feel sleepy even if we’re not.

Scientists say that sleeping with no lights at all is actually the best for the human body as it completely reduces the risk of melatonin decrease. But if you or your child have trouble falling asleep in the dark and you need to have a night light lamp in your bedroom, choose one that will help you sleep well.

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New Featured Courses for the New Year

New Featured Courses for the New Year

We change these about every two weeks, and choose them based on a variety of factors. We try to feature a range of providers, fields, and levels of difficulty. We look for vivid course descriptions that promise an enthusiastic and articulate professor. We research the professors to find a mixture of backgrounds and skill sets which we hope will appeal to Knollop students. And we aim for a mix of reviewed and unreviewed courses.

Essentially, we do our best to feature courses which we believe will be good experiences for our members! And here’s what we’ve got for you now:

New Featured Courses for the New Year

From the other side of the world, Knollop and Open2Study bring you a course on Indigenous Studies: Australia and New Zealand. This course focuses on “the distinctive stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia and Māori people in Aotearoa New Zealand.” The four sections of the class will cover a wide range, including Māori migration theories and the seven waka and Māori customary locations and traditional worldviews, and how Australia and Aotearoa were ‘discovered’ ‘renamed’ and ‘claimed’. Your leaders will be two excellent profs from the area: Prof. Maggie Walter, a descendant of the trawlwoolway/prelunnener people from North Eastern Tasmania; and Prof. Huia Tomlins-Jahnke, who is Ngati Kahungunu Ngati Toarangatira, Ngai nTahu and Ngati Hine.

New Featured Courses for the New YearFrom the National University of Singapore’s classrooms comes Valerio Scarani, whose goal (as he says on his excellent blog) is to “share ideas on how to spread the exciting discoveries of quantum physics beyond the academic boundaries.” He teaches Unpredictable? Randomness, Chance, and Free Will, which began this past Monday. Prof. Scarani promises to teach you about “the usefulness of randomness in communication and computation, the intrinsic randomness of quantum phenomena, the unpredictability of the weather, and the implications of the neural activity of the brain on our ‘free will.’”

From the halls of Harvard we bring you an Introduction to Computer Science. Enrollment in this Ivy League entry-level course jumped 590% in 10 years, and you can be part of the trend through EdX! Prof. David J. Malan will teach beginners how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Through videos, problem sets, quizzes, and a final project, you’ll cover six languages and topics like security and abstraction. The eight problem sets are even inspired by the real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming.

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Knollop’s New Provider: Complexity Explorer!

Knollop’s New Provider: Complexity Explorer!

Knollop is proud to announce that we have a new provider! It’s called Complexity Explorer, and it’s a project by researchers and educators at the Santa Fe Institute and Portland State University.

We’re especially excited about the wealth of materials they bring: not just online courses, but also an extensive complex systems glossary and easily searchable databases of syllabi, citations, and other resources related to complex systems topics.

Knollop’s New Provider: Complexity Explorer!

They’ve also got a Virtual Laboratory, with open-source simulation programs illustrating complex systems ideas, theories, and tools, along with plenty of support for teachers and independent learners who want to dive in further.

Right now they have two courses up on! Introduction to Complexity is currently in session and requires no prerequisites to introduce students to the tools used by scientists to understand complex systems. Introduction to Dynamical Systems and Chaos looks slightly more advanced and begins on January 6, 2014, so mark your calendars now!

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Knollop’s New Featured Courses

Knollop’s New Featured Courses

Today Knollop rolled out its new set of three featured courses!

We change these about every two weeks, and choose them based on?a variety of factors. We try to feature a range of providers, fields, and levels of difficulty. We look for vivid course descriptions that promise an enthusiastic and articulate professor. We research the professors to find a mixture of backgrounds and skill sets which we hope will appeal to Knollop students. And we aim for a mix of reviewed and unreviewed courses.

Essentially, we do our best to feature courses which we believe will be good experiences for our members!

Past featured courses include?Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society,?The Letters of the Apostle Paul,?Data Analysis,?China,?The Art of Approximation in Science and Engineering, and?Model Thinking.

Here’s our new set of courses:

Introduction to Complexity
This course from our new provider,?Complexity Explorer, teaches students without a science or math background about the tools used by scientists to understand complex systems. Some topics covered include dynamics, chaos, fractals, information theory, self-organization, agent-based modeling, and networks.?Professor Melanie Mitchell?is a member of the Santa Fe Institute and her most recent book won the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Science Book Award. Lead on, Professor Mitchell!

Knollop’s New Featured Courses

The Once and Future City
What is a city? What shapes it? How does its history influence future development? Answer these questions and more in this?MIT OCW?course taught by Professor Anne Whiston Spirn of MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Emphasizing twentieth-century American cities, this course will focus on the physical form of cities—from downtown and inner-city to suburb and edge city—and the processes that shape them. If this looks of interest, know that?Professor Spirn teaches a variety of urban studies courses?available on Knollop!

Poetry in America: Whitman
With Harvard Professor Elisa New, explore the great American poet Walt Whitman, and ask: Who, and what, are poems for? For poets? Readers? To give vent to the soul? To paint or sculpt with words? Alter consciousness? Raise cultural tone??Professor New’s course was recently profiled in the Harvard Gazette, and this module of a larger study of American poetry promises to be intriguing. Class begins on November 13th—get ready!

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Knollop’s New Provider: Open2Study

Knollop’s New Provider: Open2Study

Knollop is pleased to announce the fourth of our new providers in November! We’ve now got?39 courses?up from the Australian provider?Open2Study.

Open2Study is backed by Open Universities Australia (OUA), an Australian leader in accredited online education. Their courses are free—completely?free! There are no fees or admin charges, no textbooks or materials to buy and absolutely no hidden costs. These courses are available to everyone, for those simply curious about online study, looking to boost professional skills, returning to study or just hoping to learn something new for fun. Open2Study wants you to be able to sample a high-quality education, free of charge.

Knollop’s New Provider: Open2Study

They’ve also got two types of forums—the community forum, and individual classroom discussion boards. Just remember that all dates and times on the website and in their emails refer to Australian Eastern Standard Time (GMT +10)!

We at Knollop are especially psyched about the great range of courses from Open2Study, including some more typical (Financial Planning,?Chemistry) some quite creative (The Human Body as a Machine,?Water in a Thirsty World) and some entirely unique for Knollop (Midwifery!?Indigenous Studies: Australia and New Zealand!).

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New Provider on Knollop: Lynda!

New Provider on Knollop: Lynda!

Knollop is pleased to announce yet another new provider!?Lynda?is a California-based provider that brings a?whopping 2274 courses! Their stated goal is “to help you learn the skills you need to achieve your full potential,” and they do this by carefully curating the content and finding expert teachers. Their instruction focuses on video and audio production, software applications, computer science, and design, among other things.

Membership is required, starting at a very reasonable $25.00 per month. For that small price you get unlimited access to a vast library of high quality, current, and engaging video tutorials! Every week they add new courses, and these are included in your membership free of charge. Instruction is available at all levels and can be used on a mobile, tablet, or computer, and members can make custom playlists with their materials.

New Provider on Knollop: Lynda!

We’re especially interested in their?wealth of courses related to music, including one on?website management for bands, and another?with Devo’s own Mark Mothersbaugh! Other courses include sessions with?illustrator Ed Emberly?and?designer Nigel French.

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Knollop has run its course

Knollop has run its course

Over the last few years, the amount of interactive online courseware has exploded. Our goal was to help learners navigate this vast abundance of education with a website that indexed resources, reviews, and insights across providers. The act of building Knollop and reading thousands of reviews and comments about learning materials gave us new insights into the Internet as a tool for life long learning and teaching. We started exploring new projects and ultimately decided that our interest and passions lied with a new sort of learning concept.

The Knollop team is now building?Learnstream.?This website allows you to gather materials from around the web and organize them in a variety of ways. You can keep them completely private and use Learnstream as a personal bookmarking and file organization tool. Or, if you like, you can use your online resources to author guides. Many people have already published in-depth and general guides on a wide variety of subjects. For example, a guide on?The Business of Freelance Iillustration?or an?Introduction to Chess?or an?Introduction to Practical Haskell.?There’s many more, from the subjects of fashion to computer programming to physics and beyond!

Knollop has run its course

While Knollop is no longer around, Learnstream is already building an amazing, diverse community.

If you’re still looking for an online web course review site, I suggest checking out?Class Central?or?Coursetalk.?Or if you’d like to take in-person classes, check out our friends at?Course Horse.

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An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python

An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python

Course Characteristics

  • Video Lectures
  • Written Material
  • Syllabus
  • Homework and/or Tests
  • Instructor Interaction
  • Provides Certification
Level: ????Undergraduate
Session Info: ????Starting soon!
Session Dates: ????07 July to 12 Sept.

An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python

What you will learn

This course is designed to help students with very little or no computing background learn the basics of building simple interactive applications. Our language of choice, Python, is an easy-to learn, high-level computer language that is used in many of the computational courses offered on Coursera. To make learning Python easy, we have developed a new browser-based programming environment that makes developing interactive applications in Python simple. These applications will involve windows whose contents are graphical and respond to buttons, …

Take this course at Coursera

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