SK Designer Spotlight: Devin Barnes

Shirt Kong, custom, screen printing, embroidery, Year of Light, Devin Barnes, graphic design, designer, St. Louis, St. Charles, St. Peters, art, artist, chalkboard

Name: Devin Barnes Sex: Male Role: T-shirt Designer Interests: Doctor Who, all things comics, SCIENCE

If you asked me what I love the most about working in a screen printing shop, Id say its the people. Not just the ones we print for, but the creative, amazing individuals that I am lucky enough to spend 8 AM- 5PM with every weekday. If youve met me, then you know I am an energy-feeder (not the vampire kind, but one who works harder, aims higher and generally does better when surrounded by positive, productive and like-minded people). Its both a good thing and a bad thing, but I will say it definitely helps me connect with the right people; I have pretty good intuition when it comes to first impressions, and generally I can tell right away if someones personality will mesh with mine.

Enter Devin Barnes.

From Day 1, I was a fan of Devin. The dude rolls in on any given day, sporting a pair of thick-framed glasses, a black flat cap and a gently-worn T-shirt that either displays a familiar comic book character or an obscure band I already want to know more about. His love for art, design and science of all types runs deep; so deep, that I regularly find myself engaged in 20-minute conversations with him about everything, from the inspiration behind specific punk rock posters to the logistics that go into developing medieval combat weapons. One time I spent an entire afternoon Googling hashing after Devin filled me in on the 78-year-old concept behind his Wednesday night plans (non-competitive social running clubs with BEER!). His passion for knowledge and creation is something to be jealous of but its also contagious, which makes all of us at Shirt Kong the lucky ones.

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Elevate Your Mind, Elevate Your City  Original Artwork by Devin for Shirt Kongs T-shirts Speak campaign with Saint Louis Fashion Week

• How did you initially get into designing? What was your first graphic design job (position or project)?I spent a lot of time doing work at home to build up a portfolio. At the time, I was working at a fireplace factory stamping out sheet metal. I decided that I could not stand to work like that any more, and I took the leap, quit the factory and began taking my portfolio into every shop that was the least bit design-oriented. My first real design job was at a Sign A Rama in Swansea, IL. It was a painful process, learning to work in a place where I was the only designer, all while learning to use an entirely new software. The hardest thing about sign-designing is that often there can be $10,000-20,000 invested in the product you are designing.  It was a lot to hang over the head of a designer in his earliest stages of development. It was super stressful and at times entirely overwhelming, but I remember when things would get tough, I would remind myself that I was laying the foundation for a future where I would have the experience and skills to find the job I dreamt of. I firmly believe that my trials and tribulations in design have tempered me and prepared me for any challenges I face in the future. Also, I was reassured every day when I saw how happy my customers where and heard their praise for my work. One time I got to design all of the signage for a fish and chicken restaurant that was going up in Belleville, IL. I designed the paper menus, exterior signs, floor mats and overhead menus. They were so happy, they would bring me food at work all the time. And they are still there, still open, and still have my signs. They still remember me when I go in and still thank me for my work. Customers got me through a lot of my insecurities, and I thank them all.

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I’ve always had some great ideas, and I don’t like to hold on to them, I always have to get them out. Devin speaking on turning his thoughts into designs

• What is your design background?I feel like I have always been designing. In grade school when we would do class projects, I was always the one to step outside the boundaries of the assignment and try something unique. I specifically remember making Christmas snakes in 4th grade. They where these triangular, construction paper snakes with slits down their backs so that they would bend, and they had Santa hats on their heads. When I did mine, I decided to make it a hot rod Christmas snake, so I gave it wheels and flaming tailpipes. Every Christmas, I see little me’s Christmas snake because my mom still has it. I would always draw and paint and write because deep down I always knew I wanted to create. After an initial attempt at going to school for psychology, I took some time to re-evaluate my career choice . I went to ITT Tech for Game Design and Multimedia. While I was there, I strove to push every project to the limits of my abilities and learn how to move forward into the outer reaches of my imagination, places that I didn’t even know I could go. However, things got rocky, and I couldn’t make the trip to school (which was about 90 minutes per day, three times a week), so I put myself on a path of self-education. I used the education I had gained so far, coupled that with my design instincts and decided that no matter what it took, I was going to be a graphic designer.

• Did you go to school for apparel design, or was your talent something you discovered on your own?I began in signs, as I had mentioned. But, for some reason, screen printing was always nagging at me. I think it was because I didn’t understand how the process worked, but I loved the idea of it and I wanted to know. It wasn’t until I applied my existing talents to apparel design that I learned what I was capable of.

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Deep Tones Original Artwork by Devin for local band Old Capital Square Dance Club

• Why do you enjoy designing T-shirts?I love the way I can play with color and form on T-shirts. There are so many options and styles that I never get bored. I also like the idea of producing art that someone can wear. People have their favorite T-shirts, or at least I know I do. I like to think that some of the designs I make are someone elses favorites.

• Do you have a favorite theme, style or element that you draw from when creating your designs (comic book style, vintage style, etc.)?Oh so many, but I think most of all I like broken things, old things and worn out things. Vintage tech that will someday be viewed as artifacts from a golden era in product design. It seems like things used to have a form over function approach that I really appreciate. I’m also a big fan of rock poster art. There is so much freedom in those designs, and you can feel the artists touch in the finished product.

• What is your favorite design you’ve done? Why?That’s a tough one. I think my favorite design is a color pencil drawing I did for my daughters room. When I was in the factory, I would draw a lot in between loading the sheet metal. It was there that I conceived the initial concept for “The Song of the Oprapus”. I took the concept sketch (drawn on the back of a greasy piece of paper I used to mark my part list) into my drawing class, broke out my prismacolor pencils and began working on what was to be my final for the class. After class, I got it framed, and it now hangs above my daughter’s bed. I love the whimsical scene and the way it captures a sense of wonder. It’s perfect for my little girl.

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The Vanilla Beans Original Artwork by Devin for popular St. Louis band The Vanilla Beans

• What is your most popular design that you’ve created (based on feedback)? Why do you think it’s the most popular?You know, I’ve never really thought about that before. I think it might be a design I did for my old coworker’s church; they have a National Baptist Conference every year, and I did these really great shirts for them that they just ate up. The best feedback I ever got was for the America Proud shirts that I did for Walmart employees. I did several designs for Walmart on all the holidays, but this one sold consistently year round. I think it was because it wasn’t specific to any holiday and the design just screamed patriotism, stars, stripes and fireworks all the way.

• Have you experienced a “moment” in your design career that you treasure or that’s stuck with you?When I was designing signs, I got to help a couple of WWII veterans with some items they needed for a Wounded Warrior fundraiser. It was amazing to be able to speak with them and learn about their lives. I felt like they drew out the order so that they could come in more and we could talk. One of them came in and showed me some of the items he brought back from the war. He was an Indo-China Theater Air Force crewman in a B52 bomber.  He brought in a bomber jacket (which had a special patch on the back to inform Chinese soldiers that he was an ally), a collection of medals and a Nepalese Khukri knife given to him by a Gurkha mercenary. It was an amazing experience.

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Year of Light Original Artwork by Devin for SK Apparel/ Shirt Kongs chalkboard wall

• What are your goals as a graphic designer?Long-term, I would love to get back into game design. I’ve always had some great ideas, and I don’t like to hold on to them, I always have to get them out. Short-term, I want to learn more and expand upon the skills I have as I mature as a graphic artist. Maybe make some poster designs.

• Personally, what’s your favorite style of shirt? T-shirts? Tank tops? Sweatshirts?I’m all about fitted tees, thermal sweatshirts and zip-up hoodies. I’m a bit old-fashioned in that regard; I like comfort, and if I can couple that with style, that’s ideal.

• Do you have anything else you would like people to know about you or your designs?Just that I will put my whole self into any project. If I am working on artwork for someone, I want it to be something that they love, something that brings a smile to their face. It’s my own little way of splashing a bit of color on the world, one shirt at a time.

Adidas CrazyTrain Boost Elite Shoe Review

Adidas hit the training market in a big way earlier this year with the CrazyPower TR. In all honesty, they didnt have to do too much to attract all the sneakerheads already riding the Adidas train. Even though I thought the CrazyPowers were good shoes, they were a bit boring for my liking and didnt do enough to pull me away from my current favorite training shoes. Once again out of the blue, the Adidas CrazyTrain Elite popped up on, much like the CrazyPowers did. Pretty vague in description once again, but this time around there was a distinguishing feature that set the CrazyTrains apart from any training shoe before Boost.

Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about the inclusion of a full length Boost midsole on a training shoe. After all, Boost by nature is designed to be soft and comfortable the antithesis of an effective training shoe. Either way, I knew I had to give it a shot, on one hand because Boost, and on the other because I had a feeling Adidas wouldnt release their flagship training shoe, subpar. Keep in mind, Im by no means an Adidas Boost mega-fan; I do own Ultraboosts, Pureboosts, and NMDs, but I dont think theyre the end all be all shoe.



These quite possibly might be the best looking training shoe of all time.(In my humble opinion of course.)

The CrazyTrains have a distinctly Adidas look about them, similar to Ultraboosts, but its like they took the silhouette and pumped them up with PEDs. Though its no Primeknit, the one piece Close-knit woven upper is comfortable, looks clean and is very flexible. The package feels beefy and rugged for training, but still remains sleek enough looking to wear on the streets. There are bits and pieces of TPU that cover higher wear areas like the toe or places where you need more support, but overall the upper is primarily Close-knit. I think my favorite part of the upper is the rear pull-tab, thats very much like the one on Ultraboosts. Its simple, effective, and gives the shoe a more finished and modern look. Construction is on point, my pair had no signs of loose glue or stitching anywhere to be found.

​On the bottom, youll find an outsole almost identical to the on the womens CrazyPower trainer, which strikes me as odd because I thought the mens outsole of that shoe was a little more versatile. The main difference was that the mens had areas where the tread protruded versus the just flat surface of the womens (and CrazyTrain). Either way, the outsole does a great job in holding whatever surface youre training on and I never felt like I was at a loss of footing. Another thing that carried over from the womens outsole is the lip that extends out on the lateral sides of the shoes, giving you a little bit more of a platform without adding bulk. Theres no sign of Adidas Traxion anywhere, but the rubber feels the same for what its worth.


Adidas sizing is typically all over the place, which I think is generally an issue with all the different types of uppers that they use for their shoes. Materials like Primeknit make sizing a little bit more forgiving, whereas the normal NMD upper isnt quite as. The Close-knit woven upper on the CrazyTrains arent like either and feels more like a normal shoe upper. Sizing on the CrazyTrains run a little bit on the large side, but depending on your foot, it might not warrant a size down. I got these shoes in a 9.5 and I have a little bit of room in the toe area, but with my Mortons toe, its comfortable. If you do not have Mortons toe, where your second toe is longer than your big toe, size them down a half.

The shape of the shoe most closely resembles the Nike Metcon 2 so overall, I would just say size them exactly the same as that shoe. These are not narrow shoes by any means and they dont have much in the way of arch support.

My sizing for reference:

Ultraboost 9.5 or 10PureBoost 9.5NMD 10CrazyPower 9.5Metcon 3 10 (I started sizing this shoe up)Metcon 2 9.5Nano 10



The burning question in everyones minds:

Can Adidas make an effective training shoe, with Boost?

Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about this myself, but at the end of the day, Boost is just another midsole material that can be made into pretty much any density. Its made to be responsive and its Boost pellets are supposed to deform more naturally to fit your feet. The degree in which the Boost cushions in the CrazyTrains is the real question, and how they could stiffen up the rest of the chassis.  Upon first putting your foot into the shoe, youre going to notice that the insole compresses, but when you start moving around, youll find that the midsole doesnt compress, almost at all. You can compress the Boost on the outer rim of the shoe, but if you try to push down on the inside of the shoe, it doesnt go anywhere. In no way, can you even compare the stiff Boost in these shoes to the comfortable midsole of the Ultraboost.

So, whats the point of having Boost in a shoe if its not ultra-plush and comfortable? At the end of the day, Boost is a running shoe technology made for high energy return. Running and jumping movements in the CrazyTrains feel extremely responsive, better than almost every shoe Ive tested so far this year. The feeling inside the shoe is similar to the springy drop-in midsole of the Nike Metcon 3, but is more comfortable since Boost is more flexible. The midsole does a great job attenuating shock from landings better than most shoes without being cushy, your joints will thank you. Unlike Ultraboosts, the CrazyTrains have more structure thats created by the TPU midsole casing on the lateral side and the TPU bar on the medial side. Basically, the stiff Boost midsole also has a shell which adds rigidity necessary for a solid training shoe.


Lifting in the CrazyTrains feels as solid as it would in minimal shoes, though they are slightly taller than other training shoes. The midsole doesnt compress even under the heaviest weights, giving you an extremely solid platform to lift with. Blindfolded, you wouldnt even know these shoes used Boost. The TPU bar doesnt allow for much flex in the middle area of the shoe and the built in heel counter keeps your foot in place, giving you tons of lateral stability. Im still waiting on word back from Adidas about the drop, but it couldnt be anything more than 3-4mm; the shoes feel flat an neutral. I was able to work up to all of my 90%+ lifts (385BS, 215Sn, 265CJ) with no issues of stability and nothing in the back of my head telling me to change shoes. When I put the CrazyTrains up against some of its top contenders, I found that I liked the way they felt better, almost on par to my favorite training shoes, the Nano 6.0s. These are serious lifting shoes.

​Like all the best lifting shoes out there, where the CrazyTrains start to suffer is in running. The wide shape of the shoe feels clunky, but theyre not awful to run because the flexibility of the forefoot. Unlike the CrazyTrains running counterparts, these shoes do not have a plush ride at all and the only cushioning you get is the amount from the insole. Even though theyre not soft, the CrazyTrains still have a very responsive ride which still works well for sprints, bounding, and the shorter runs found in WODs.

Where the CrazyTrains really suffer, is the weight of the shoes. I weighed them at 13oz per a mens 9.5, which is much heavier than its peers. Truth be told, I didnt really notice the weight since the shoes feel so responsive. Youll definitely notice the weight compared to NoBulls or Inov-8s, but not so much against Nanos or Metcons.


At $140, the CrazyTrains retail for a little bit more than most of the top training shoe choices and $20 more than Adidas first true training shoe drop, the CrazyPower. Anything with Boost is considered a premium product, the CrazyTrains shouldnt be any different, so its not surprising to see the hike in price. Honestly, $10 isnt such a huge deal to me but some might be put off by this. If youre an Adidas fan, this isnt going to be a big deal to you either. Even though the CrazyTrains are excellent performing shoes and quite possibly my favorite pick at the moment, theyre not leagues better than their peers. If youre looking for bang for the buck, you could probably look elsewhere because other top training shoe choices usually still cost less.​

​To my utter surprise, the CrazyTrains ended up being my favorite training shoe of the year so far. They look great and performance is top notch for all things CrossFit, especially in the lifting area, but the most important thing is that they just feel good. Including Boost in the shoe seems just like a marketing tool in the case of the CrazyTrains, since it doesnt really work like it does on Adidas other shoes. Hearing that is going to turn Boost-heads off, but will turn serious lifters on to these shoes.  Big ups to Adidas for not making a shoe with Boost that you werent able to train in, just to make sales. This shoe legitimizes Adidas stance in the training shoe game (which might be good for Reebok at the end of the day).

Since Reeboks Nano 6.0s are still out of the picture, I cant really recommend them anymore. Right now, the Adidas CrazyTrains are riding at the top of my favorite training shoe list. If youre still skeptical of a Boosted training shoe, try them out! offers a 90-day trial period, but Im sure youll be just as surprised (in a good way) about the performance of the CrazyTrains.

Purchase your Adidas CrazyTrain Boost Elites here!

Filed under: Crossfit, Shoe Reviews Tagged: adidas, best crossfit shoes, best training shoes, boost, crazy power, crazypower, crazytrain, crazytrain boost elite, crazytrain elite, crossfit, crossfit shoes, elite, fitness, metcon 3, nano, nike, nmd, pureboost, reebok, romaleos, training, training shoes, ultraboost img_4913img_4960.trimimg_49421080p-24

Is The Light Bulb Ban A Bright Idea?

A new law that goes into effect on 01 January 2012 begins a ban on incandescent light bulbs starting with 100 watt bulbs and moving towards the lesser wattages over the coming years in an effort to save money.  The real question is, does the current replacement bulb, the compact fluorescent bulb, effectively replace the incandescent bulbs.  Has the bulb technology progressed to provide us with a suitable replacement.

Current compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFL’s, have claims of extraordinary lifespans but in reality the lifespans are vastly different between brands.  The CFL’s also are much more expensive than the traditional incandescent lamp.  The CLF’s also provide a different color light and are not suited for dimming applications or for lamps with multiple brightness settings.  CFL bulbs also have a much larger environmental and health impacts.  They contain mercury and cannot be cleaned up in the same manner as when a traditional bulb is broken.

 With all these drawbacks, it is necessary to look for more alternatives.  One alternative to the CFL is the LED bulb.  LED bulbs unfortunately have not progressed in technology to where they are a viable replacement for the incandescent or CFL bulb.  LED do require less energy and also have a much smaller impact on the environment (no mercury) but at the moment are nearly 50$ per bulb.  This extremely high cost puts it out of reach for just about any consumer, especially when the lifespan of the bulb is less than that of a CFL.

This brings up the issue of stop-gap measures.  Is this light bulb ban just another example of governmental propagation of environmental stop-gap measures? Or does it have a positive lasting effect on the environment?

Here is the link to the article I found in Popular Mechanics:  http://www.popularmechanics.



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Up And Coming International Vacation Spots

By Laurie Jo Miller Farr

We consulted with a travel expert regarding up-and-coming worldwide destinations. As founder of We Blog the World, an online luxury lifestyle website dedicated to transformative travel with more than one million followers, Renee Blodgett offered insights into a handful of top picks that touch on adventure, urban art and culture, oceans and islands.germany1 Up And Coming International Vacation Spots

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Germany: A Tale Of Two Cities

In 2017, Germany ushers in the next 500 years as it marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luthers Protestant Reformation. Music is key as the nation at the heart of Europe looks to tomorrow. If you havent been to Berlin since the 1989 fall of the wall, the transformation is nothing less than startling to the senses. Mighty cranes dot the Berlin skyline as the city re-builds and re-invents itself as a major cultural center. Eyes and ears are tuned in to Museum Island in the capital citys lively Mitte district where the beloved Berlin State Opera, an 18th century landmark, reopens after a seven-year restoration. Hop on a train for the 90-minute journey to handsome Hamburg, Germanys second-largest city. Wander across bridges over canals, along rows of restored red brick warehouses to reach Elbphilharmonie, the citys striking new concert hall and symbol of the city. Built atop a historic warehouse, it balances elements of design and purpose, with views and programming that have already outpaced visits to the legendary Neuschwanstein Castle. Ease of travel is boosted by Air Berlins launch of new nonstop routes from San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as increased service from New York and Miami.

Related: 5 Must-Visit U.S. Destinations For History BuffsArgentina: Beyond Buenos Aires

Surprisingly, Latin America is often overlooked, considering the advantages of the southern hemispheres reverse seasonality and nearly zero jet lag for travelers from the USA. Outside of Buenos Aires, less is known about Argentinas diversity, natural beauty and ecotourism. Outdoor enthusiasts will be blown away by majestic Andes skiing in June through October, plus mountain climbing, trekking, kayaking, 44 safari and hydro-speed adventure options. Journey to protected areas where you can see wildlife and birdlife in their natural environments. Immerse yourself by learning how to herd cattle and ride across the Argentinian plains, combine BBQ or empanadas cooking classes with Spanish lessons, attend a tango dance class, or go sports fishing in freshwater streams and rivers. Experience a national park, greatly varied in terrain from the north to the south, with jungles, deserts, lakes, and forests. For a detour worth the effort, dont miss Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian border, the worlds largest waterfalls system. Argentina offers so many diverse choices, you could take several trips and still be aching for more.

phillipines1 Up And Coming International Vacation Spots

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Philippines: Tropical Paradise

Cebu Province is a tropical paradise that combines pristine beaches, cultural attractions, plus the best mangoes in the world. Unlike so many other islands that have become more built up and overcrowded, Cebu Island and its 150-plus surrounding islands havent lost their magic at all. Pack hiking boots and bathing suits to explore Olango Island’s Wildlife Sanctuary and on to the untouched volcanic Camotes with their abundant palm-lined beaches. See the crystal clear turquoise waters of Bantayan and the secluded bays of Malapascua and Mactan, where exquisite diving earns it the nickname “Diving Mecca of the South.” There’s also a sunken island off the west coast of Cebu, which makes a great bucket list item for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Not a water baby? Cebu has lively markets, bars, and eateries as well as many cultural sites, monuments, basilicas, temples, and museums.

Madagascar: Everything Unexpected

Looking for something more remote? Madagascar is on the tip of everyones tongue at blogger conventions and travel trade showcases. Its one of those untouched gems, like Mozambique was 15 years ago and Cuba was less than 10 years ago. For travelers who want to experience adventure, take a break from more traditional destinations. And if you feel comfortable with exploring the unknown, Madagascar is a viable off-the-beaten path choice brimming with natural beauty. Situated off the eastern coast of Africa, the island nation is comparable to the size of France but with 3,000 miles of coastline. Imagine: Five percent of all known animal and plant species on earth can only be found on Madagascar. If you’re into hiking through astonishing natural environment, you’ll find plenty of diverse terrain, taking you from rainforest to desert within 200 miles. See sandstone formations in Isalo National Park, the geysers of Analavory, and rare, ancient trees lining a dirt road known as Avenue of the Baobabs in the Menabe region.

Internet Marketing Made Simple. The Best Tips And Tricks!

how to start an invention idea

Internet marketing, how are you thinking about it? Do you find everything you can and work to improve your marketing efforts? Magazines, books and videos are just a few of the resource materials available to help you learn more about internet marketing. Where should you begin? Use these tips to bring everything together.

A short-term sales promotion can quickly improve your websites PageRank. If the deal you offer is good enough, consumer deals sites will offer links to your website. Retail stores have used this strategy for years by using loss leaders.

Ask others to review your Internet marketing content. This is often critical in determining your success, as how you perceive things is not always the same as how others see them. Ask peers, family members and your potential clients for feedback. Use this advice to help you decide what to change in your marketing campaign.

Be sure to incorporate the use of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites in your Internet marketing strategy. These social media sites keep you in direct contact with your customers and give you the quickest way to promote sales or promotions. Do not share promotional material only; provide your audience with interesting and useful content as often as possible. Be sure to layer in original and more conversational posts along with your more promotional style messages.

Writing some frequently asked questions can often be new invention ideas helpful. Take the time to develop questions that allow for answers full of product suggestions. Although you will be promoting your product, the FAQ section should not seem like an advertisement.

When engaging in internet marketing, monitoring what your competitors are doing is a crucial step in the process. Competition is a constant issue, regardless of niche.

Ensure that information that is relevant to your customers is included on your website. If your website is a single page, only showing hours and an address, you will not see much traffic. Build up your website with useful content, interesting reviews and other things that shows your visitors that you know what you are doing and that you are not just a fly by night presence.

When you are developing your website, fill it with content that is comprehensive and highly relevant. You need to educate your customers as quickly as possible, so they will know what to buy. Repeat information, fluff and unreliable information should be avoided.

To have proper internet marketing, you will want to be listed in Google. Focus on the most popular search engines, and optimize your site with keywords your target audience will look up. The higher your Google ranking, the more profitable your business can become.

When you are shipping your product, put a sample inside! You could also put a coupon in there, as well. This can increase customers appreciation of your products and give them an additional reason to return to your site.

Assuring the security of your customers information and financial details is vital to gaining customers trust and business. Research online and ask others in your niche, how they handle security matters. Some of them include VeriSign or McAffee; these will be recognizable to your customer and they will feel safe. These security systems cost money, but theyre a must for safe online business.

Reading these tips, you start to understand and accumulate principles of organization that you can use in your company. Remaining organized and focused will help you advertise your business in the most appropriate manner. inventions Once you follow the information here, you should begin to see your marketing efforts paying off.


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Elago TripShell World Travel Adapter Written Review

The TripShell World Travel Adapter by elago is a must have this summer for travellers like me! The TripShell is an extremely useful, yet compact and affordable piece of kit designed by the folks at elago in California. Even better, elago include a free carrying case for the adapter to ensure that it remains safe and also that it does not damage any other things that you may have packed!

The compact design allows the unit to be easily slipped into your hand luggage when travelling, and again the carrying case ensures it does not get damaged during your travel or damage any other items in your bag. However the main feature of this travel adapter is its ability to charge up your electronic devices wherever you are! TripShell supports over 150 countries with US, UK, European, and Australian/New Zealand plugs. The plugs are easily deployed for action using the sliders on the side of the unit, simply slide down your required plug and it will lock into place. To return the adapter to its normal state simply press the release button on the side and slide the slider back down to move the plug back inside the travel adapter, it couldn’t be easier!

On the opposite end of the travel adapter there is a handy dual USB accessory, which can be used to charge two USB devices at once, for example your iPhone and iPad. The LED indicator ring around this USB hub indicates whether the device is function properly or if there is an issue. The accessory can be easily unplugged from the travel adapter, allowing you to use the TripShell as simply a travel adapter with any socket you require. You can even use the USB accessory alone without the need of the travel adapter as it is attached using a US plug, so it can be simply plugged into a US socket, and you can use the travel adapter to power something else! Even better for those who live in the US, you can benefit from this handy little device even when you’re not on holiday!

Elago helpfully include a spare 6.3A fuse, ensuring you will never be left stranded without a working adapter! Simply slide the cover off and it reveals a handy compartment containing the additional fuse. The fuse for the adapter itself is located amongst the plugs and can be easily accessed at all times in case it needs to be swapped. The world travel adapter by elago also comes with a built-in child safety shutter to ensure you children don’t get an electric shock!

I highly recommend this product, alongside all of Elago’s other products of which I have reviewed in the past. They all consist of premium quality, and each inherit additional small features and functions which demonstrate the time and care that goes into designing and manufacturing each of their products! If you would like to check out this product on elago please click here!



The little man brought the class pet tiger home with him this week which was all the inspiration we needed to have some tiger fun.


tiger face collage


sensory activities with jelly crystals and shaving cream with paint

matching joke questions with answers

tiger lunch

paper tiger crafts


Jenis Retak Jalan bag.1

A.Lapis Permukaan Atas


Retak adalah suatu gejala kerusakan/ pecahnya permukaan perkerasan sehingga akan menyebabkan air pada permukaan perkerasan masuk ke lapisan dibawahnya dan hal ini merupakan salah satu faktor yang akan membuat luas/ parah suatu kerusakan (Departemen Pekerjaan Umum, 2007).

Di dalam pendekatan mekanika retak diasumsikan ada bagian yang lemah pada setiap material. Ketika pembebanan terjadi, ada konsentrasi tegangan yang lebih tinggi di sekitar bagian tersebut, sehingga material tersebut tidak lagi memiliki distribusi tegangan yang seragam dan terjadilah kerusakan/ retak pada bagian tersebut dan berkembang ke bagian yang lainnya. Mekanika retak juga menggambarkan perkembangan retak tergantung pada sifat material tersebut (Roque, 2010).

Jenis jenis retak

Pengelompokan jenis-jenis kerusakan yang terjadi pada retak bermacam-macam, seperti jenis retak berdasarkan bentuk retak, penyebab terjadinya kerusakan retak, tingkat keparahan retak, dan cara berkembangnya.

Berdasarkan bentuk retak

Departemen Pekerjaan Umum (2007) mengelompokkan jenis kerusakan retak berdasarkan bentuknya menjadi:

1). Meander (meandering)

Yaitu retak yang terjadi berbentuk seperti sungai yang berkelok-kelok (meander). Jenis retak yang termasuk dalam kerusakan ini adalah: retak halus (hair cracks).

a).Retak halus (hair cracks)

Yang dimaksud retak halus adalah retak yang terjadi mempunyai lebar celah≤ 3 mm. Sifat penyebarannya dapat setempat atau luas pada permukaan jalan.

Kemungkinan penyebab:

Bahan perkerasan/ kualitas material kurang baik.Pelapukan permukaan.Air tanah pada badan perkerasan jalan.Tanah dasar/ lapisan dibawah permukaan kurang stabil.

Akibat lanjutan:

Meresapnya air pada badan jalan sehingga mempercepat kerusakan dan menimbulkan ketidak-nyamanan berkendaraan.Berkembang menjadi retak buaya (alligator cracks).retak jalan halus (hair crack)retak jalan halus (hair crack)

Hal yang perlu dilakukan untuk pemeliharaan :

1. Ditambal atau di tutuo sesuai dengan ukuran dan tingkat kerusakannya.Garis (line)

Yaitu retak yang terjadi berbentuk garis dan dapat berupa memanjang (longitudinal), melintang (transverse), dan diagonal. Jenis kerusakan retak yang termasuk dalam kerusakan ini adalah: retak tepi (edge cracks), retak pertemuan perkerasan dan bahu (edge joint cracks), retak sambungan jalan (lane joint cracks), dan retak sambungan pelebaran (widening cracks).

a.Retak tepi (edge cracks)

Retak ini disebut juga dengan retak garis (lane cracks) dimana terjadi pada sisi tepi perkerasan/ dekat bahu dan berbentuk retak memanjang (longitudinal cracks) dengan atau tanpa cabang yang mengarah ke bahu. Retak ini dapat terdiri atas beberapa celah yang saling sejajar.

Kemungkinan penyebab:

Bahan dibawah retak pinggir kurang baik atau perubahan volume akibat jenis ekspansif clay pada tanah dasar .Sokongan bahu samping kurang baik.Drainase kurang baik.Akar tanaman yang tumbuh di tepi perkerasan dapat pula menjadi sebab terjadinya retak tepi.

Akibat lanjutan:

Kerusakan menyeluruh atau setempat pada perkerasan jalan sehingga mengganggu kenyamanan berkendaraan.Retak akan berkembang menjadi besar yang diikuti oleh pelepasan butir pada tepi retak.retak tepi (edge cracks)retak tepi (edge cracks)

Hal yang perlu dilakukan dalam pemeliharaan :

1.Perbaikan bergantung pada tingkat kerusakannya, jika bahu jalan tidak mendukung pinggir perkerasan maka material yang buruk di bongkar dan di gantikan dengan material baik yang dipadatkan .

2.Jika air menjadi faktor penyabab kerusakan pecah ,maka harus dibuatkan drainase.

3.Penambahan parsial .

Striped Turtle Neck Refashion

Instagram Photo

I’m pretty pleased with this one! I know I say that about all of my makes I made this in something of a fever at about midnight one weekend. I wasn’t ready for bed y’all! Some go clubbing, I go sewing. Both equally valid btw, no judgement here.


Anyway, my partner had a big clear out and I grabbed this top because I love me some monochrome stripes. My thought from the beginning was to replicate a top I already owned, with some improvements. I have this turtleneck crop top, but it irritates me that I always have to wear a tank top underneath. I’m not going to wear it as a crop top, it’s long sleeved. My tummy gets just as cold as my arms people!


This is a pretty rough and ready ‘tutorial’ coming up here- remember how I said I made this at midnight?


Lay your top over the top to be refashioned. Draw around, adding seam allowance, with a fabric pen.


Unpick the sleeves at the shoulder sleeves and down to the cuff.

I then cut around the top pattern I had drawn onto the top, having tried the top on to see if the lines seem about right. Remember that the shapes for the fronts and backs of the armholes and neck hole will be different.


Sew the shoulder seams together, right sides together. All of my seams were sewn with a zigzag stitch. I like how I cut through the label as if it were the fabric, it means I have a cool half label reminding which bit is the back. I also like the idea that someone will find this top in years to come and be super confused about this top Next made.


Open up the top right side up, and pin the sleeves to the armholes. By doing it now you can shape the sleeve to fit around the armhole without having to work out how to cut them. It’s a much more forgiving order than constructing once the sides are attached. Just be careful to not stretch the fabrics as you do this.


Fold the sides and sleeves to right sides together, and sew in one long line. Here you’ll catch any extra fabric on the sleeves in the seam. Don’t forget to trim this down after.


Now, for the collar. I basically just sewed two of the side pieces I had left from taking in the top, sewed them together to make a long strip, and used that. Be a better person than me, and make sure the rectangle you’ve made is even. I ended up with a wonky collar. It’s fine, I evened it up enough so you largely can’t notice, but I believe you can do better. I measured around my neck how big the collar should be to look deliberate, but can also fit over my head. I then basically followed this tutorial for the neck which explains it better than I probably could-

Since I used a top for this, I didn’t have to hem the sleeves or bottom as that was already done for me. Hooray! I am really keen on this look. It doesn’t come across in these photos enough, maybe because I’d had a busy day at work and a lot of food before taking them, but it’s a very chic top. I definitely want to make more, especially since it was so fast!