Livingston Reporting

DIY Tips – Saving Money by Demoing Your Kitchen

You can save a ton of money if you demo your kitchen instead of getting it done; however, it’s not for everyone. Depending on your health and any available help you may have, you might consider paying for your demo work instead. For those considering ripping out their old kitchen on their own, this article gives you a quick rundown of a few tips to follow before grabbing the crowbar and hammer. 

Prep the Space. Turn off the kitchen power supply from your circuit breaker box. A good tip you’ll want to remember is putting a piece of tape over the breaker for the kitchen, so no one accidentally turns them on, giving you an unexpected shock when you reach for an outlet. 

Turn Off the Water. Demo work is messy enough without burst water pipes. Be sure to turn off the supply usually found under the kitchen sink with a value or handle.  

Turn Off the Gas Supply. If you have appliances that run on gas, you will need to turn them off with the valve located behind the appliance. Ensure that you pull the appliance out carefully so not to dislodge the hose out of the valve. 

Rent a Dolly for Heavy Appliances. Don’t break your back, get some assistance by renting a dolly typically found at rental centers or home improvement stores.  

Lay a Drop Cloth on the Floor. This will prevent scratches and other damage. If you are also renovating the floor, you obviously do not have to do this.

Rent a Dumpster. A typical average-sized kitchen will require you to rent a six-cubic yard dumpster. These can be rented from your local waste management centers. 

Now you’re ready to begin the demoincluding the garbage disposal, sink, cabinets, countertops, backsplash, and dishwasher. For the next steps, read more from this article regarding the main kitchen demo.

These are just a few tips on prep work you will need to consider if you plan on remodeling your kitchen. Contact JFC Remodeling for your next kitchen renovation project at 810-923-1123.

External Components of the Linear Accelerator (LINAC)

The medical linear accelerator (linac) is a crucial piece of technology for the radiation oncology industry and is one of the most used machines in the field. The underlying principle of a linac is straightforward, but producing a consistent, stable beam of radiation and precise, sophisticated design for careful operation is essential.

A linear accelerator works by heating a filament that boils off a cloud of electrons; these electrons are then accelerated by an electric field applied between the filament (cathode) and a thin metal window (anode). The electrons then hit a target (where they produce Bremsstrahlung X-rays) or a scattering foil (to distribute an electron beam evenly.) 

Afterward, the beam can be shaped in the treatment head – a part of the LINAC machine. Below, we discuss the external and internal components of a Linear Accelerator.

External Components of a Linear Accelerator: 

Couch (Patient Positioning System) The couch supports and positions the patient during treatment. Modern LINAC couches allow for precise patient positioning for proper beam exposure, which can move on the x, y, and z-axis. More advanced couches may include the ability to allow a patient to be positioned to roll, pitch, and yaw.

Electronic Portal Imaging Device (EPID) The electronic portal imaging device forms an image using the MV treatment beam. EPIDs are valuable in tools for monitoring patient setup and quality assurance.

Gantry The linac is mounted on a rotating gantry that offers treatment from multiple angles.

kV Imaging System The kilovoltage imaging system consists of a kV X-ray generator and an electronic imaging device. Lower energies of the imaging system improve contrast, particularly when used to produce a cone-beam CT.

Stand Connected to the gantry, the stand contains electrons and other systems required for linac operation.

Read more on the internal components of Linear Accelerators such as the bending magnet, accelerating waveguide, circulator, and more.

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment. Our mission is to provide high quality, user friendly, low-cost parts for linear accelerators and radiation equipment.  | 877-704-3838

5 Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

Not long ago, it used to be that your business could get away with just a simple website and a few social media pages to compete in the online marketing space. However, in today’s online environment, it’s not enough. The digital marketing world demands that you always make efforts to get in front of your target audience by publishing content and digital ad campaigns. It’s also essential to stay ahead of emerging technologies and digital trends as the industry continually evolves and shifts. Below are five digital marketing trends for 2020 (and beyond) that you should be aware of:

  • Facebook is Not the Kingpin of Social Media Anymore

About 5-10 years ago, Facebook was the king of social media and held the second position for the most popular website (just behind Google). It’s now been replaced with YouTube. This doesn’t mean that Facebook is no longer a hugely influential and authoritative site to market on. According to Forbes, 41% of Facebook’s users are over the age of 65, which means the younger audiences have migrated over to Instagram, Snapchat, and now the emerging new social giant, TikTok. If you’re a local business, advertising on Facebook may make sense if you have an older demographic you want to get in front of. However, if you need to reach a younger crowd, consider looking into other social media sites where they spend most of their time. 

  • Instagram is Still One of the Top Choices to Reach Younger Audiences

Instagram has already passed one billion users and is one of the most rapidly growing social media platforms with a primarily younger crowd (typically under 30). However, one change that Instagram recently made was removing the “like” feature on posts to decrease competitive pressure among people who value popularity. Since Facebook owns Instagram, most likely, we might see Facebook follow suite. If you need to get in front of people under 30, Instagram should be considered a critical component in your marketing plan. 

  • Chatbots Will Start to Become Ubiquitous in Customer Service

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become a dominant factor in about 10-20 years as we’ll see smarter voice assistants embedded within our environments and robots’ services our stores. Many forms of AI are already here, even though they may not seem super-human yet. Several companies will start utilizing chatbots to help with customer service – acting like a virtual “concierge” by communicating with users and assisting them in completing their goals.  

It is said that 80% of businesses claim they want to start using chatbots this year. Some of the benefits are 24-hour service, instant responses to customer queries, and no need for break, vacation, or overtime pay. Tidio research company from January 2020 found that 43% of consumers prefer to message an online chatbot than talk to a person when it comes to customer service. With the benefits of chatbots becoming more cost-effective for business and consumers preferring it over typical customer support, this is one trend that is here to stay.

  • Video Should be Considered a Necessity, Not an Option

The popularity of video cannot be overstated enough. If your business isn’t already utilizing videos, most likely, your competitors are. Static images and text-based content can’t compete with the multifaceted layers videos can accomplish. More people are consuming video content than ever before, and they are using their phones to share the content. Think about these stats from Impact BND:

  • 70% of consumers have shared a brand’s video
  • 52% of consumers claim that watching product videos makes them more confident and guides their online purchasing decisions 
  • 72% of businesses believe video content has improved their conversion rates

Live streaming video is also a powerful way to engage your audience by posting live video updates about your products, services, and brand. Popular video sites like YouTube and now TikTok are great sites to get started if you’re considering video for your marketing. 

  • Content Is Still King

For years, it has been said that content is king, which is more accurate now than ever, with a few modifications. The changes are coming in sub-niches and nuances in content. You must provide exactly the right information that users are looking for when they land on a page on your website. Google released its BERT update in November 2019, which helps the search engine understand the natural language in user search queries. All this means Google is getting smarter, and companies must keep this in mind as they develop content that is relevant to the user and good quality if they want to stay ahead on search engine rankings. 

To read more digital marketing trends for 2020, click here

If you need assistance in improving your website and increasing your online presence, Creative Programs and Systems are here to help! Our team of staff is locally employed, in-house, with a dedication to detail. Call CPS, open Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm (810) 224-5252.

Organic Photovoltaic Cell Produces 17% Efficiency with Superior Processability for Large-Area Coatings

A research team lead by Professor Jian-Hui Hou from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has optimized the alkyl chains of the BTP-4Cl and synthesized a series of new non-fullerene electron acceptors (NFAs) that can be used for large-area coatings. The team applied the new NFAs in fabricating large-area coated OPV cells and achieved good results. Their study was published in National Science Reviews, “17% efficiency organic photovoltaic cell with superior processability.”

In cooperation with Professor Wei Ma from Xi’an Jiaotong University, they found that a BTP-4Cl-12 had balanced solution processability and aggregation features. The results were that the blade-coating film showed an excellent phase separation morphology, which contributed to the high carrier transport and suppressed charge recombination in the OPV cells. The findings demonstrated that the efficiency of the photoactive materials’ chemical structures substantially impacted large-area coating production.

To learn more about this research, read:

Apex Measurement Systems is a leading process analytical and quality control supplier in Brighton, MI. We place value on working with engineers and chemists focused on quality, process optimization, standardization, and automation. 

5 Trends That Will Affect the Water Industry in the Next Decade

The water industry is posed to have several new changes that happen within the next decade due to rapid urbanization, climate change, consumer demands, and emerging digital technologies. Complex business challenges will arise, and companies can turn these changes into opportunities that could benefit both businesses and consumers and the environment. Below, are five trends that will have an impact on the water industry within the next decade:

1. Extreme Weather

It is anticipated that we will have more extreme weather in the next decade than ever recorded before. Most of the climate change is attributed to water, and these changes will influence agricultural production, rises in sea levels, and wildfires leading to droughts and floods. 

Hard engineering structures such as dikes, seawalls, and levees can be built to protect coastal communities against severe flooding. The use of intricate water modeling technologies can help determine current vulnerabilities and offer better solutions to address these coastal challenges.

2. Agricultural Changes

The UN has projected that the world’s population will reach more than nine billion by 2050 and making sure that there is enough food for everyone will be essential. It is estimated that global food production needs to be increased by at least 70% to maintain enough food. To keep up with these demands, there needs to be enough arable land for crop production and more efficient irrigation technology to handle the requests. Precision farming systems, coupled with emerging technologies to improve agricultural production, will help in using less water for more crops. 

3. Reusing Wastewater

Wastewater is made up of many valuable elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and other resources that can be used for energy and be reused instead of letting them be discarded back into the environment. The current water consumption model is liner in nature, meaning that water is extracted from a source, checked for quality, consumed, treated, and discharged in a receiving body of water. In the next decade, we will see the emergence of a more circular model, one of which focuses on reusing wastewater and utilizing its properties we are currently discarding. To do this, we will need to rethink and redesign the current infrastructure. 

4. Customer-Led Revolution

Digital technologies are used by consumers nearly every moment of the day, empowering them more than ever. People expect more personalized products and services to improve every aspect of their life, which will only increase as time goes on. Businesses must accept that the new paradigm of the empowered customer adapts their mindsets to service this expectation. Technologies for smart water softeners, filtration systems, and other consumer products will give homeowners more control over bills, utilization, and overall maintenance. The water industry will be challenged to examine how to work with businesses, consumers, and technologies to achieve the desired goals for all. 

5. Smart Network and Technologies

As we progress into a more tech-driven world, smart water network solutions will increase in use and improve the reliability of physical water operations by gathering and analyzing data more effectively. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term coined to describe all devices connected to the internet and speak with each other, sending data, automatic process, and analytics. IoT will help better manage the water industry infrastructure and reduce non-revenue water losses; it will also support essential changes to how utility companies operate and function. This will allow the opportunity to improve productivity and ROI, all while enhancing customer experience and expectations. 

Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Reynolds Water is delighted to provide the highest quality products at a cost-effective price.

Huge Breakthrough Made in the Development of Creating the Worlds Most Powerful Particle Accelerator

Researchers affiliated with UNIST (Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology) have demonstrated, for the first time, the ionizing cooling of muons. For those who work in the field, this is considered a massive step toward creating the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. The new muon accelerator is expected to provide a better understanding of the fundamental properties of matter.

The Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE) collaboration has been behind the breakthrough, including many UK scientists. One of the pioneers is Professor Moses Chung, who leads his team at the School of Natural Sciences at UNIST. His organization’s work has been featured in the online version of Nature on February 5, 2020.

“We have succeeded in realizing muon ionization cooling, one of our greatest challenges associated with developing muon accelerators,” says Professor Chung. “Achievement of this is considered especially important, as it could change the paradigm of developing the Lepton Collider that could replace the Neutrino Factory of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).”

These experiments have demonstrated that the phase-space volume occupied by the muon beam can be controlled with ionization cooling, as predicted by the field’s theories.

Read more about this leading breakthrough in particle accelerators, here.

New Mexico Utility has Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Solar Array to Power Facebook

On Tuesday, June 7th, the largest electric provider in New Mexico had unveiled its solar array to power Facebook’s Los Lunas Center with renewable energy. 

The 50-megawatt facility had its virtual ribbon-cutting event at Encino Solar Fields, located in Sandoval County west of Rio Rancho. New Mexico Renewable Development LLC and Public Service Co. of New Mexico entered an agreement in 2019 to build the array to power the data center near Los Lunas. 

The Encino solar array power purchase agreements equal to 287 megawatts of solar and more than 350 megawatts of wind and includes around 180,00 solar modules. 

Facebook has devoted itself to supporting the utility operations with 100% renewable energy beginning this year, and additional renewable resources are anticipated to emerge for the following years. 

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment, such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. 

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How Covid-19 is Impacting Radiation Oncology in the U.S.

As we continue to move forward in 2020 with Covid-19 seemingly expanding wider, oncologic care is finding itself in an uncommon and challenging dilemma between the goal to protect patients who are susceptible to Covid-19 while also trying to provide the important treatment they need in appropriate time frames so not to jeopardize treatment outcomes.

Unfortunately, those patients who have cancer are particularly susceptible because of their age, health, and immunosuppression from ongoing cancer therapy. With about 50% of cancer patients receiving radiation therapy, radiation departments around the county have needed to adapt in a situation that is uncharted, requiring ultra-sterile environments, and sometimes uncomfortable processes that would not have been necessary before the Covid-19 era.

Radiotherapy institutions are contemplating major questions that can impact not only the quality of their patient’s treatments, but also their patient’s health and the medical staff who serve them. Comprehensive measures are being taken to mitigate risk from exposure and spread. Patients and medical personnel are oftentimes required to enter separate entrances before they take a sperate screening, with appointments broken out in separate intervals to minimize extensive overlap in the waiting room. For patients who are COVID-19 positive and need radiation treatment, all equipment must be sterilized, and extra precautions are taken than those who are Covid-19 negative. Treatment breaks are another issue for recently diagnosed Covid patients, as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines require a 14-day minimum quarantine, increasing treatment package and time sacrificing confidence in local control.

A new mindset for department operations is also developing with the use of telemedicine, which has become paramount in mitigating exposure for patients and health care workers while also lowering the number of employees in facilities. While these precautions are necessary and positive for maintaining the spread of Covid, we need to make sure that patients do not feel socially isolated or neglected by their health care providers in such a great time of uncertainty as this. Patients are already trying to overcome the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis and, world pandemic or not, we need to make sure these patients get all the care they deserve.

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New Cancer Treatment Delivers Weeks of Radiation Therapy in Just One Second

For decades radiation therapy has been used to treat cancer and is still the best option we have at defeating the disease. The downside to radiation therapy is that it often takes weeks or even months for treatment session cycles and comes with collateral damage by also destroying healthy cells in the body.

However, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered a way to deliver treatment in under one second. FLASH radiotherapy is an emerging form of therapy that involves giving a patient a one-second dosage of concentrated radiation that they would usually receive over a week. Experiments have proven that the result of the cancerous cells is comparable to the standard treatment duration; however, the exception being that damage to healthy tissue is significantly reduced.

Pennsylvania University researchers found that adjusting the fundamental particle used could make FLASH radiotherapy more effective. Typically, electrons are used in therapy, but they don’t penetrate very deep into the body, meaning they’re really only useful for shallower cancer types such a skin cancer.

The FLASH therapy model uses protons and showed that linear accelerators could be modified to produce and deliver these particles. Since protons penetrate deeper into body tissue, they can be much more effective in treating more significant tumor types.

“The is the first time anyone has published findings that demonstrate the feasibility of using protons, rather than electrons, to generate FLASH doses, with an accelerator currently used for clinical treatments,” says James M. Metz, co-senior author of the study.

Read more on how FLASH treatment is making breakthroughs in treating cancer here.

Radparts provides high quality, user-friendly, and low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. More information can be found at

Top Trends in the Electrical Industry for 2020

As we venture further from the industrial age of mass production and manual labor into the information age of electronic and automation systems, we see a dramatic shift in nearly every industry. This is especially true in the electrical industry, and the way we develop infrastructure, design cities, and consume energy will be almost unrecognizable.  

Technology has paved the way and is continually shaping and shifting markets and economies. Here are some of the top trends for 2020 in the electrical industry that will develop and drive us into the upcoming decade.

Energy Storage – 

A significant and essential trend this year is energy storage. Those who work in energy space believe it’s a critical component to improve and evolve the integrity of the grid. Consumers want more control over their energy, but the current system doesn’t allow for this type of movement on a mass scale. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has already implemented a “Pay-for-Performance” pricing structure to incentivize energy storage technologies development. This is one of the main ways that the U.S. energy grid will bring stability, and it has the potential to become a cost-efficient solution on a commercial scale. 

Increasing Energy Demand – 

Energy demand is expected to rise by 57% in 2050, and it has already grown more than 25% within the last decade. Embracing emerging technologies coming into the market seems to be the best way to address concerns of expanding energy demands. Technology like Distributed Energy Resources (DERS) for better energy storage and more accessible energy options will be a significant factor in optimizing energy consumption in the years to come. 

Renewable Energy – 

The EIA forecasts a 15% growth rate in 2020, which is the fastest rate in four years. The adoption of renewable energy is also increasing as consumer interest leads the charge for eco-friendly considerations based on emerging technology alternatives. By 2021, wind and solar are expected to grow by more than 17%, when coupled with more efficient energy storage options, it will lead the way for a larger energy source as the industry shifts towards grid parity. 

Grid Parity –

Grid parity is the next stage for all utility companies in the U.S. Grid parity happens when an alternative energy source like solar can generate power lower or equal to the price of a traditional energy source – say fossil fuels. Led by the interests of consumers wanting to have sustainable energy, companies that adopt with supplying the renewable energy market can capitalize on this widespread interest if implemented quickly.

Smart Cities –

Over 35% of mid-sized cities in the U.S. surveyed are already implementing smart city projects. Many electrical companies offer utilities that are already connected through homes and businesses, which can be used to detect water leaks, integrated air quality sensors, power smart streetlight systems, and so much more. Utility companies can also automate their operations and install backup power sources, battery storage options, and microgrids to prevent outages. However, these are only the first stages of smart cities. In the upcoming decades, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine smart streetlights that talk with your home devices to give you traffic updates, solar panel roads that charge nearby businesses and possibly your car. 

IoT & 5G – 

Undoubtedly, these two advances in technology will dramatically shape the landscape, not only in terms of energy but also in almost every other space that technology touches. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a blanket term used to refer to every device that is or will be connected to the internet. 4G has been the primary way data has been communicated; however, 5G will have 10X data transmission capacity of 4G. 4G will only accelerate IoT capability. As IoT increases in popularity, more connected devices will become typical and electrical contractors will begin encountering more of them. Electricians who become familiar with IoT devices could open themselves up to new job opportunities. 

Read about more trends emerging in 2020 within the electrical industry here

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