Bubble-Up Effects of Subculture Fashion

Modification

The notion that trends in fashion take part in a phenomenon known as the trickle down effect has long been recognised by fashion pundits. A process of social emulation of society’s upper echelons by the subordinates provides myriad incentives for perpetual and incessant changes in fashion through a sequence of novelty and imitation. Dior’s ‘New Look’ of 1947 consisted of creations that were only affordable to a minority of affluent women of the time. Fashion was governed by haute-couture designers and presented to the masses to aspire toward. However, this traditional prospective has been vigorously challenged by many throughout the fashion world. Revisionist observations have introduced a paradoxical argument that fashion trends have, on numerous occasions, inadvertently emerged from the more obscure spheres of society onto the glamorous catwalks of high-fashion designers.

These styles can originate from a range of unorthodox sources, from leather-jacketed punks and dramatic Goths, the teddy boys of the 1950s, to ethnic minority cultures from all edges of the globe. Styles that emerge from the bottom of the social hierarchy are increasingly bubbling up to become the status of high fashion. There has been significant concern over the implications of this so-called bubble-up effect, such as the ambiguity between the notions of flattering imitation and outright exploitation of subcultures and minority groups. Democratization and globalisation of fashion has contributed to the abrasion of the authenticity and original identity of street-style culture. The inadvertent massification of maverick ideas undermines the ‘street value’ of the fashions for the very people who originally created them.

The underlying definition of subculture, with regards to anthropology and sociology, is a group of people who differentiates from the larger prevailing culture surrounding them. Members of a subculture have their own shared values and conventions, tending to oppose mainstream culture, for example in fashion and music tastes. Gelder proposed several principal characteristics that subcultures portrayed in general: negative relations to work and class, association with their own territory, living in non-domestic habitats, profligate sense of stylistic exaggeration, and stubborn refusal of massification. Hebdige emphasised that the opposition by subcultures to conform to standard societal values has been slated as a negative trait, where in fact the misunderstood groups are only attempting to find their own identity and meaning. The divergence away from social normalcy has unsurprisingly proliferated new ideas and styles, and this can be distinctly observed through the existence of fashion diversity. Ethnicity, race, class and gender can be physical distinctions of subcultures. Furthermore, qualities which determine a subculture may be aesthetic, linguistic, sexual, political, religious, or a mixture of these factors.

Sigmund Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays investigated the drivers of social control and the engineering of consent. Their psychological theories provide insight into the causes of deviation, by members of a subculture, from social norms. They highlighted the irrationality of human beings and discovered that by tapping into their deepest desires, it is possible to manipulate unconscious minds in order to manage society. Freud believed that stimulating the unconscious was crucial to creating desire, and therefore is conducive to economic progress and mass democracy. Bernays argued that individual freedom was unattainable because it would be “too dangerous to allow human beings to truly express themselves”. Through various methods of advertising, a distinctive ‘majority’ can be created in society, where a person belonging to this group is perceived to be normal, conventional and conformist. By using techniques to satisfy people’s inner desires, the rise of widespread consumerism plays a part in the organized manipulation of the masses. However, through the unleashing of certain uncontrolled aggressive instincts, occasional irrationality emerged in groups, and this repudiation of the banalities of ordinary life is believed to be a key factor in the generation of subcultures.

The expansion of youth styles from subcultures into the fashion market is a real network or infrastructure of new kinds of commercial and economic institutions. The creation of new and startling styles will be inextricably linked to a process of production and publicity inevitably leading to the diffusion and spread of the subversive subculture trends. For example, both mod and punk innovations have become incorporated into high and mainstream fashion after the initial low-key emergence of such styles. The complexities of society perpetuate continuous change in style and taste, with different classes or groups prevailing during certain periods of time. To deal with the question of which is the most influential source of fashion, it is necessary to consider distribution of power. It is not the same for all classes to have access to the means by which ideas are disseminated in our society, principally the mass media. In history, the elites have had greater power to prescribe meaning and dictate what is to be defined as normality.

Trickling down to shape the views of the substantial passive parts of the population, designers from high places were able to set trends that diffused from the upper to lower spectrum of society. Subcultures, it was suggested, go against nature and are subject to abhorrence and disapproval by followers of mainstream trends. Regrettably, criminal gangs, homeless subcultures and reckless skateboarders, among other ‘negative’ portrayals of subcultures have been accused of dragging down the image of other ‘positive’ subcultures which demonstrate creativity and inspiration. There is an unstable relationship between socialising and de-socialising forces. Nevertheless, German philosopher Kant observed that actual social life should and always will consist of in some way its own opposite asocial life, which he described as “unsociable sociality”.

Without doubt, fashion exhibits a dichotomy of conformity and differentiation, with contradictory groups aspiring to fit in and stand out from a crowd. Previously, the pace of change that fashion went through has spawned social emulation, a phenomenon whereby subordinate groups follow a process of imitation of the fashion tastes adopted by the upper echelons of society. Veblen, a Norwegian-American sociologist and economist, criticized in detail the rise of consumerism, especially the notion of conspicuous consumption, initiated by people of high status. Another influential sociologist Georg Simmel, classified two basic human instincts – the impetus to imitate one’s neighbours, and conversely, the individualistic behaviour of distinguishing oneself.

Simmel indicated the tendency towards social equalization with the desire for individual differentiation and change. Indeed, to elucidate Simmel’s theory of distinction versus imitation, the distinctiveness of subcultures in the early stages of a set fashion assures for its destruction as the fashion spreads. An idea or a custom has its optimal innovative intensity when it is constrained to a small clandestine group. After the original symbolic value of the idea has been exploited by commercialisation and accepted as a part of mass culture, the balance will have a tendency to tip towards imitation over distinction. An example of the imitation of a distinctive subculture is the evolution of blue jeans, which originating from humble American cowboys and gold-miners, demonstrate a bubble-up effect of a subculture. On a larger scale, it can be said that Western style dressing ‘bubbled-up’ from 19th Century Quaker’s attire, rather than ‘trickling down’ from the styles of Court aristocracy.

Simmel describes fashion as a process by which the society consolidates itself by reintegrating what disrupts it. The existence of fashion requires that some members of society must be perceived as superior or inferior. From economist Harvey Leibenstein’s perspective, fashion is a market constituted of ‘snobs’. The phenomenon of ‘snob-demand’ depicts consumers as snobs who will stop buying a product when the price drops too much. The trickle down effect has been related to a ‘band-wagon effect’ where the turnovers of a product are particularly high as a result of imitation. Every economic choice is bound not only to the pure computational rationality of individuals, but is influenced by irrational factors, such social imitation, contrary to what Simmel calls the ‘need for distinction’. However, a ‘reverse bandwagon effect’ acts as an opposing force when a snobbish consumer stops buying a product because too many others are buying it as well. The resultant force depends on the relative intensity of the two forces.

Subcultures have often endured a less than agreeable relationship with the mainstream as a result of exploitation and cultural appropriation. This often leads to the demise or evolution of a particular subculture once the originally novel ideas have been commercially popularised to an extent where the ideologies of the subculture have lost their fundamental connotations. The insatiable commercial hunger for new trends instigated the counterfeiting of subculture fashion, unjustifiably used on the sophisticated catwalks in fashion dictatorships of Paris, Milan and New York. It is not purely sartorial fashion but also music subcultures that are particularly vulnerable to the massification process. Certain types of music like jazz, punk, hip hop and rave were only listened to by minority groups at the initial stages of its history.

Events in history have had substantial impacts on the rise, development and evolution of subcultures. The First World War had an impact on men’s hairstyles as lice and fleas were ubiquitous in wartime trenches. Those with shaved heads were presumed to have served at the Front while those with long hair were branded cowards, deserters, and pacifists. During the 1920s, standard social etiquettes were discarded by certain youth subcultures, as drink, drugs and jazz infiltrated America, intensified by the alcohol prohibition of the time. A crime subculture emerged as smugglers discovered profit opportunities with Mexican and Cuban drug plantations. The Great Depression of the late 20s in North America caused pervasive poverty and unemployment. Consequently, a significant number of adolescents discovered identity and expression through urban youth gangs, such as the ‘dead end kids’.

Existentialists like Camus and Sartre also played a significant part in influencing the subcultures of the 1950s and 60s. Emphasis on freedom of the individual created a version of existential bohemianism resembling the beat generation. This subculture represented a version of bohemian hedonism; McClure declares that “non-conformity and spontaneous creativity were crucial”. In literature, Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” depicted the economic hardship of these times. Initially burned and banned to American citizens, condemned as communist propaganda, this book was given the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962. It only took a few decades for the previously socially unacceptable book to diffuse into mainstream culture.

The popularisation of folk and cowboy songs led to their unique underlying patterns being mixed with elements of jazz, blues and soul, creating a new subculture of western swing. Technological progress facilitated “instantaneous mass media creating large subcultures from the ideas of a range of smaller subcultures”. Accordingly, a bubble-up effect can be seen where, through a process of innovation and diffusion, original ideas can spread into mass culture.

The process of integration has a potential to lead to the polarisation of warring subcultures, contributing to social disorganization. Shaw and Mckay assessed that although their data is not sufficient to determine “the extent to which membership in delinquent gangs produces delinquency”, membership is probably a contributing factor. They use the term ‘differential social organisation’ to depict how subculture formation is a result of broader economic and demographic forces that undermine conventional local institutions of control.

The institution of the family is weakened by these forces, and as a result, alternatives to the traditional family have arisen as various subcultures. Ethan Watters elucidated this social trend in his book defining urban tribes as “groups of never-married’s between the ages of 25 and 45 who gather in common-interest groups and enjoy an urban lifestyle”. Analysis of the long term perspective of street trends reveal that youth trends bubble-up every five to ten years, and that individualism, anarchy and self-realization, are universal in these trends.

In the process of bubbling up, there are two important concepts to consider, that of ‘diffusion’ and ‘defusion’. Fashion diffusion focuses on the individual and the crowd, particularly in this case the spreading of fashion in a systematic way from small scale to large scale institutions. It highlights the idea that fashion innovation and creativity drawn from subcultures are integrated into mass culture. In the process, non-conformist fashion may be subject to defusion, a diluting of the fundamental intrinsic meaning of the original subculture. The commercialisation of fashion is especially central to the danger of decontextualisation of trend origins. For example, the wearing of ripped jeans, an accepted form of attire nowadays, does not necessarily relate to the image of ‘hippies’ in modern times. The concept of identity and its modifications and transformations after a period of time should be carefully considered.

Analysis of street style is another fundamental aspect in determining the extent of a bubble-up effect in fashion. It is an idea that opposes the view that high fashion has given way to popular culture. Polhemus proposed that “styles which start life on the street corner have a way of ending up on the backs of top models on the world’s most prestigious fashion catwalks”. Prior to this new train of thought, the predominant view was that new looks began with couture and ‘trickle down’ to the mass market mainline fashion industry. Polhemus suggested that the evidence he found gave insight to a chain of events; initially genuine street innovation appears, followed by the featuring in mass media, such as magazines or television programmes, of street kids. In time, the ritzy version of the original idea makes an appearance, as a part of a top designer’s collection.

Polhemus identified two basic street-styles involving dressing up or dressing down. Those from a relatively affluent sector of society, such as the Beatniks and Hippies developed a penchant for the latter, preferring to descend down the socio-economic ladder in the interest of authenticity. Nowadays, the variety of attire seen on streets and nightclubs show that culture is no longer only a prerogative of the upper class. Although, the creatively democratic society that we progress towards optimizes fashion innovation, cynics of the bubble-up effect, such as Johnny Stuart, condemned in his book on rockers, “the fancy fashionable versions of the Perfecto which you see all over the place, dilute the significance, taking away its original magic, castrating it”.

Social crises of the 1950s and 1970s brought about new ideological constructions in response to the worsening economy, scarcity of jobs, loss of community, and the failure of consumerism to satisfy real needs. Racism became a solution to the problems of working-class life. Such periods of social turmoil resulted in fashion defusion, with many subcultures becoming increasingly detached from their foundation symbolisms. The connotations of the attire of the teddy boys during the 1970s bore little resemblance to the style of 1956. The original narcissistic upper-class style was somewhat irrevocably lost in a wave of ‘second generation teds’ that preferred fidelity to the classic ‘bad-boy’ stereotypes. The concept of specificity, subcultures responding to circumstances at distinctive moments in history, is depicted as vital to the study of subcultures.

Therefore the resultant mass-consumed item may draw distance from the emblem of the original subculture, attainable to all who can afford it. The loss of identity may prove to be a serious problem as subcultures may feel exploited, estranged and meaningless without a sense of belonging. Subcultures established a sense of community to certain individuals during a new post-war age that witnessed the deterioration of traditional social groupings. Polhemus claims that subcultures like Teddy Boys, Mods, Rockers, Skinheads, Rockabillies, Hipsters, Surfers, Hippies, Rastafarians, Headbangers, Goths, etc, as “social phenomenon style tribes cannot be dismissed as something transitory”. Known as the Kogal phenomenon, a subculture emerged where groups of young girls between the ages of 15 and 18 appeared on the streets of Tokyo with long dyed-brown or bleached-blond hair, tanned skin, heavy makeup, brightly coloured miniskirts or short pants that flare out at the bottom, and high platform boots.

‘Field’ has become more appropriate in the analysis of fashion changes. People engaged in similar lifestyles with intrinsically similar cultural capital, i.e. nationality, profession, family and friends form group identities interacting with others in the same ‘field’. This has been an important contributing factor to the birth of subcultures.The anachronistic belief that class was a determinant of fashion has reduced significantly, as confirmed by Bauman, who proposed the idea of ‘liquid society’, where fashion exists in a more flexible and malleable state.

A particular phenomenon of recent times, subject to both a trickle-down and a bubble-up effect of varying degrees, is the democratization and globalization of fashion. There has been an emergence of ‘prĂȘt-a-porter’ invented by John Claude Weill in 1949. This development has increased the speed and diffusion of fashion trends across the world, which amplified the culture of fast fashion, massification and global standardisation. Standardised factory-made prĂȘt-a-porter clothes, of which ‘wearability’ is crucial, sometimes descend from places of high fashion, for example inspired from couture. Designers such as Poiret, Dior and Lacroix produce a ready-to-wear line alongside their haute couture collection to take advantage of a wider market. Nevertheless, its mass-produced industrial nature detracts away from the exclusivity of traditional couture.

By 1930, couturiers like Schiaparelli, Delauney, and Patou began to design their own ready-to-wear boutiques, understanding the new emerging system of fashion whereby the moment that people stop copying you, it means that you are no longer any good. The democratization of couture disallowed it to sustain its elitist nature and therefore haute couture was beginning to accept that fashion was about emulation. Nevertheless, attire was not entirely uniform and equalised. Subtle nuances continued to mark social distinctions but mitigated the upper class penchant for conspicuous consumption.

Democratising fashion came hand in hand with a ‘disunification’ of feminine attire, which varied more in form and became less homogeneous. The fundamental attraction of making profit inspired innovation in styles and a perpetual search for lower costs through efficient industrial manufacturing. Institutions were evolving to an extent that the pretentious elitist sectors diminished in favour of universal mass production. The end of the Second World War brought about increased demand for fashion, encouraged by films and magazines of the time and the take off of global advertising campaigns, i.e. Levi’s, Rodier, Benetton, Naf-Naf, etc, highlighting the need for high standards of living, well-being and hedonistic mass culture. It is the globalisation and rapidity of fashion movements, as Kawamura amply discussed, that underline the fact that “fast-changing tastes of consumers are matched only by the cleverness of the department store that identifies trendsetters among young consumers and feeds their knowledge into the production cycle”.

It is impossible to conduct discourse in fashion without associating it with change, unpredictability and a high degree of uncertainty. It is very difficult to distinguish which goods will be adorned by the mass population and which trends will be instantaneously rejected. In general, industries need economic capital and political solidarity to function but these institutions are particularly difficult to uphold in the aesthetic industry. A paradox exists in that while on a superficial level everyone associates fashion with change, the underlying forces value stability. They argue that it is not possible to speak of one single fashion, but rather of different fashions existing at the same time. This is especially the case for an intrinsically fast-paced, competitive and fragmented industry. A bubble-up effect is inherent to a globalised fashion world, and the upward flow of fashion stemming from various subcultures contributes abundantly to this process.

Source by Lisa Gan

Programming Your Computer For Satellite TV

Cars

With satellite television, you are offered far more channels than what you could get with cable. Although we have seen a number of exciting changes specific to television, satellite is considered one of the most powerful. After all, having the ability to choose the exact channels that interest you is a huge benefit to choosing satellite. With cable, you would be limited by the package deal you buy but with satellite, you can look through as many channels as you like. Because of this, we see a growing number of people trading out cable for satellite.

Keep in mind that programming for satellite television is actually a simple concept. The bottom line is that you get more channels within the same genre or different genre as you want. For instance, the two primary satellite television companies are now offering customers a broader range of channels so if you were a movie buff, you could choose all of the movie channels but if not, these channels could have been eliminated or bypassed.

With so many different satellite channels, you have a much greater variety. With multi channel programming, watching the stations that you want makes television easier. Another huge benefit to going with satellite television is that you never have to worry about when a special show will be broadcast. In other words, you now have advanced show time listings so you never miss another important show.

Of course, one of the greatest features of satellite television is taking back control over what your children watch. If you have concerns about your children seeing television with too much sex, violence, bad language, and so on, then you have the power to lock out those channels or specific shows. While not important for everyone, homes with smaller children find this to be a huge advantage over other types of viewing.

Keep in mind that many televisions today offer some type of security but without doubt, satellite programming is by far the best. In addition to security for your family, satellite programming, especially for High Definition TV or HDTV is the best. Remember, with HDTV satellite programming, you typically see variation from one station to another. In some cases, the larger channels that transmit HD come with four of the largest broadcast networks to include Discovery, ESPN, HBO, and TNT.

Anyone can watch satellite TV on PC online legally when you visit these resources http://watchsatellite-tv-pc.blogspot.com/

Source by Leizel Harwood

What Is the Difference Between Hubcaps and Wheel Covers?

Automotive

Can You Tell the Difference Between Hubcaps and Wheel Covers?

When you drive through the streets of your city, you’re bound to see vehicles with steel wheels, banged-up alloy rims, and busted plastic hubcaps. Your first impression? It’s always, “Wow, that’s ugly!” But if there’s a chance that someone’s saying that about your car, you should probably do something about it.

If you’re shopping for a solution for your boring wheels, you’ve seen the terms ‘hubcaps’ and ‘wheel covers’. What is the difference, and which one is right for you?

What Are Hubcaps?

Hubcaps aren’t actually what you think they are. Hubcaps are a component on older vehicles and some heavy-duty trucks that serves a small yet important purpose. It’s a small cup that fits tightly over a wheel hub – the area where the wheel bearing resides. It seals out dirt and moisture and holds in grease to keep all the delicate moving parts well lubricated.

Hubcaps are anything but pretty. In fact, most often they’re corroded, dented, and dull. Since hubcaps are smacked in place with a hammer, then pried off occasionally, they live a life of abuse. Because wheel hubs are most commonly a sealed assembly these days, hubcaps are no longer found on your everyday vehicle.

Alright, so it’s splitting hairs; a matter of semantics. But if the part you’re looking for isn’t called a hubcap, what is it? Maybe wheel covers?

What are Wheel Covers?

For a classy, dressed-up look for your wheels, there are a few choices.

You can opt for expensive painted, chrome, or alloy wheels. There are a ton of styles available so you can choose one that suits your style. The problem is that aftermarket wheels corrode easily and can be easily damaged. You could put out big bucks just keeping your wheels looking good.

You can choose wheel skins. These fit directly over your factory wheels and look just like the factory wheel. If you’re looking for the factory design, specific to your vehicle brand and model, this is the perfect choice. You just need to make sure that it’s the right design for the wheels you have, otherwise the wheel skins you buy aren’t going to fit.

Wheel covers, on the other hand, are another option. Wheel covers can be brand-specific or custom-fit. They can be chrome, silver, or painted your favorite color. Wheel covers are easily maintained, durable, and flexible.

Wheel covers are your best choice for customizing your car inexpensively. You aren’t locked into just one design or color, and there’s a hubcap – scratch that – wheel cover pattern you’re sure to love.

Have you accidentally rubbed the curb and cracked or scuffed your wheel cover? No problem! A new set of wheel covers costs a fraction of a single replacement alloy wheel. Have your tastes changed? Easy! You can pick a new wheel cover design and change your car’s look in just a few minutes.

Wheel covers are available in virtually every wheel size on the market. Many aftermarket wheel covers are a universal fit, dependent only on your personal taste. Or, if you’ve lost a factory-installed wheel cover, you can get an individual exact replacement.

Source by Rick Dynek

Cancer – It Won’t Get The Breast of Me

Cars

In 2005 I was diagnosed with an aggressive and invasive form of Breast Cancer. Even at age 52 it was a shock to me. An even greater shock was finding out through researching Breast Cancer that 1 in 8 women would, at sometime in their lifetime, be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. This statistic was staggering to me.

The good news is that the mortality rate, or number of deaths, due to Breast Cancer is on the steady decline. Treatment is customized for each patient’s specific cancer. Being an author, I decided to take notes about my treatment should I ever want to write a book about it.

When women think of having a Mammogram the first word that comes to mind is, ‘ouch!’ or something similar. Unfortunately, until medical science comes up with a better method, Mammograms are a fact of life for women, especially over the age of 40.

Being a person who is usually viewing life on the up side, I found more humor in what I was going through than I ever thought possible. People do not associate cancer with laughter but I hope to change that, to a degree, anyway. Your doctor will not tell you how to prepare for a Mammogram but I will here.

Exercise #1

1. Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast between the door and the main box.

2. Have one of your strongest friends slam the door shut as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure.

3. Hold that position for five seconds.

4. Don’t breathe.

5. Repeat again in case the first time wasn’t effective enough.

6. Repeat all steps on the other breast.

Exercise #2

1. Visit your garage at 3:00 a.m. when the temperature of the concrete floor is just perfect (anywhere below 32 degrees.)

2. Take off all your warm clothes and lay on the floor with one breast wedged tightly under the rear tire of the car.

3. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until the breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled.

4. Turn over and repeat for the other breast.

Congratulations! You are now properly prepared for your Mammogram.

The day of my first Mammogram after my diagnosis was one I will never forget. I entered Hooterville Breast Care Center with more apprehension than usual. When I told her I might be writing a book about my treatment, the technician said she wanted to be called Ginger. I made a note of that. I wasn’t sure if we would still be speaking after she was done with me. And, since the body parts to be examined are so personal, I named my right breast, Laverne, and my left breast, Shirley. Laverne was under the gun today.

I have to give kudos to Hooterville for supplying me with an extra large gown even though I told her that, at my age, all I needed to do was pull up my skirt! Then Ginger led me into the room with the Booby Trap. It’s the only contraption I know of that takes cups and turns them into saucers without having to sweep up glass. Ginger is tall, pretty…oh, who cares? This is about me.

You larger than tiny gals know the drill. I stepped up to the Booby Trap and introduced myself. He didn’t care and we all now it’s a ‘he.’ Ginger pulled out the largest shelf she had and invited Laverne to have a seat. Laverne obliged having had the memory of her last Mammo squeezed out of her.

As Ginger pressed the button on the floor, I knew what was coming even if Laverne didn’t. I was grinding my teeth as the top shelf began depressing Laverne into enough square footage to carpet my veranda! She began to spill over the sides and reminded me of that old fifties, ‘The Blob.’ Satisfied that she could squeeze no more, Ginger told me to hold my breath and don’t move. Now I must note here that it was not possible to take a breath because my right lung was oozing out my nipple! And as for moving…well that’s too ridiculous to even address. “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

Several pictures were taken in different poses and than Laverne was released to wait with me while Ginger put them up for auction on Ebay. As we’re waiting, I looked down at Laverne and she was as red as a tomato. It took all my self-control to keep from hollering down the hall, “I need a bucket of ice…I’m on fire in here!” Ginger must have found some takers because she returned to take me to the ultrasound room.

I can be flippant about it now because the pain is gone. What I want you to realize from reading this account is that attitude is very important in your recovery. I chose to see the humor in a difficult situation. Because of that, you had a good laugh or two by reading about it. I am pleased to say that I am a two-year survivor and should the cancer return, I hope I will again be able to laugh a little.

Source by Linda Coffman

The Difference Between Anti-Lock Brakes and Standard Brakes

Automotive

An Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) is a type of breaking system that prevents your tires from locking up, when placed under heavy load. When jamming on the break, the break pad will typically grip the rotors too hard, locking up and making it difficult to maneuver. Anti-Lock brakes will pulse, keeping the pads from locking onto the rotors, thus enabling the driver to maintain a level of control.

Traditional brakes do not have the ability to pulse and instead of lock into the rotors. This inhibits the ability to steer the vehicle, since when the tires aren’t rotating sliding straight is the only option. ABS is considered optional safety equipment, but comes standard on most newer vehicles.

Traction Control

Traction control is an option sold along with vehicles equipped with anti-lock brakes. This system helps tires keep traction on the ground during hard acceleration or turning. Traction control almost always works with a vehicles ABS and would not be included on vehicles with standard brakes. Some of the newest technology in anti-lock brake systems allows for detection of slippage, then controls the throttle and braking simultaneously.

Anti-Lock Brakes As Safety Equipment

Previously we discussed how anti-lock brakes can help keep the driver in control of braking vehicle. Well, there have been numerous tests done on how anti-lock brakes can improve the safety of passengers, one of the latest studies was by Monash University Accident Research Center. They found that Anti-Lock Brake Systems reduced the chance of multi-car accidents by 18% and Run-Off-Road accidents by as much as 35%.

Conclusion

So, when buying that next car, whether new or used, consider the added value of a vehicle with an Anti-Lock Brake System. The difference between an ABS and traditional brake systems makes the up charge worth every penny.

Source by Christopher Davidson

Audiovox Cellular Phone

Cars

Audiovox is an electronics company. They operate under the brands Audiovox, Jensen, and Advent. Audiovox products include car audio, home audio and home electronics. On November 1, 2004, Audiovox sold their Audiovox cellular phone subsidiary Audiovox Communications Corp to UTStarcom.

Audiovox Corporation is a major supplier of wireless communications products, mobile entertainment, security products and consumer electronics products. It ranks among the leaders in wireless products and is the industry leader in mobile video products. The company markets its products through two subsidiaries, Audiovox Communications Corp. and Audiovox Electronics Corp. Through these subsidiaries the company’s products are sold to wireless carriers and their agents, retailers, distributors, original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s), and the U.S. military. The company is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol VOXX.

Audiovox cellular phone handsets are the most exciting wireless handsets in the market today! The company offers Audiovox cellular phones for everyone; from the business executive who needs instant access to the Internet, to the on-the-go teenager who needs to stay in touch with mom and dad. Featuring the latest technology and the most user-friendly features, you are sure to find an Audiovox cellular phone that best suits your lifestyle.

There are 5 classes (plus Accessories) of Wireless Audiovox cellular phones available to you:

Analog – A signaling method that uses continuous changes in the amplitude or frequency of a radio transmission to convey information.

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) – GSM uses narrowband TDMA which allows eight simultaneous calls on the same radio frequency. Along with CDMA and TDMA it represents the second generation of wireless networks.

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) – CDMA assigns a code to all speech bits, sends a scrambled transmission of the encoded speech over the air and reassembles the speech to its original form at the other end.

TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) – A method of digital wireless communications transmission allowing a large number of users to access a single radio-frequency channel without interference. Each user is given a unique time slot within each channel.

PCS (Personal Communications Service) – A second-generation digital voice, messaging and data cell phone system in the 2GHz range. PCS is supported mostly by GSM. PCS systems use a different radio frequency (1.9 GHz band) than cellular phones and generally use all digital technology for transmission and reception.

Audiovox cellular phones have lots of inherent features, like integrated digital cameras, color display, PDA functions etc. Audiovox cellular phones also have lots of accessories. With Audiovox cellular phone accessories you can gain greater access to the world around you and have fun at the same time.

Audiovox offers a full range of accessories including Audiovox cellular phone hands free car kits (required by law in some areas for using your cellular phone while driving), desktop speaker phones, Audiovox cellular phone antennas and antenna boosters, holders, and cases. Spare or replacement batteries are also available for your Audiovox cellular phone, as are keypads.

Other accessories for your Audiovox cellular phone are: USB data cables and connectivity kits. An over the ear car headset will keep you hands free for other things like driving, working at your keyboard, or even fixing dinner. Earphones and a microphone are great for those not comfortable with speaker phones. Cases and pouches will keep your Audiovox cellular phone safe from grime and impact. Some Audiovox cellular phones are also waterproof.

You have access to a plethora of faceplates for your Audiovox cellular phone. There is a wide collection of downloadable ring tones, graphic wallpapers, screensavers etc to jazz up your Audiovox cellular phone. You can get an MP3 player for your Audiovox cellular phone, rapid chargers; they even have a double battery charger so that you can charge a spare battery as well as your primary battery.

A holster or belt clip for your Audiovox cellular phone can be a useful alternative to the pocket or purse when you are out. Audiovox has a whole line of cell phones for you to choose from, some of which are the pre-paid Audiovox cellular phones that can help you avoid the excesses of provider calling plans. Cellular phone joysticks for gaming, an FM stereo headset and an AC/DC wall adaptor for a car charger; all of these accessories are designed to make your Audiovox cellular phone even more useful and suited to your needs.

Source by Saurya Ghosal

What Is Considered A Junk Car?

Automotive

The term is thrown around quite often, you hear it all the time in conversations or in anger for times when a car is not performing as well as it should, but what is actually considered a junk car? Many people picture an orange rusty old little car sitting on a lawn or in the driveway, I mean that was the first thing that used to come to my mind before I became so fondly familiar with this field. It never occurred to me that anything beyond that mental picture could be called, and let alone considered a junk car. Just some old parted out “thing” that had no purpose for anyone whatsoever, see I still can’t get that image out of my head, but in many peoples eyes a car can be considered junk because of numerous different reasons or conditions.

Besides the image ingrained in my mind from way, way back when, a car that simply doesn’t run anymore is considered junk by many as well. You could probably just imagine a person kicking the tire of their car because it just stopped working in the middle of a highway. It’s the car on the side of the road because the transmission started grinding and just broke down, or the radiator just blew because something caused the car to overheat, or the car in the driveway for some odd reason that just doesn’t seem to want to start. Also cars that have been in accidents can be considered junk cars too, especially when they appear to be beyond repair.

Generally, any car that has little or no value to its owner is considered a junk car. Whether the car won’t run, got wrecked in an accident, or the cost to fix a broken down car exceeds the owners perceived value of the car, it is considered to be a junk or salvage car. Besides peoples perceptions, many states have the power the declare a car junk, salvaged, rebuilt, etc as well. Normally this happens after a car has been in an accident and was sold by an insurance company to a dealer because the total amount of damage and cost for repairs exceeded 75% of the current value of the vehicle. Most people don’t know this, but when a car is bought from insurance companies it is considered totaled, and most if not all states will be declared junk and be branded with a junked, salvage, or rebuilt title, and to get a car with this type of title registered in many states requires a separate anti-theft inspection on top of all other state requirements which is not a fun task at all.

I hope you found this article useful and have discovered how many people, businesses, and even states can perceive a vehicle as being junk, salvaged, or rebuilt.

Source by Mike Frantel

Seat Belts – Safety, Regulations, and Controversy

Automotive

Saving Lives

Seatbelts are one of the most common mechanisms used to protect drivers and passengers in the case of an automobile collision. Fortunately for drivers, statistics show that, despite being relatively ‘low-tech,’ seatbelts are a very effective layer of protection, saving an estimated 9,500 lives every year. On the flip side, other numbers show that over 60% of people who die in car accidents were not wearing seatbelts.

Some people are more likely to “buckle up” than others. Male drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 are statistically the least likely to wear a seatbelt. Unfortunately, this demographic group is also known for containing the highest-risk drivers in the United States; if anyone needs to learn good seatbelt habits, it is these young men.

Seat Belt Designs

Seatbelts have come in many different designs through history, ranging from the simple lap belt to the modern three-point belt which goes from shoulder to hip and across the waist.

Many considerations factor into a successful seat belt design. Because the goal of a seatbelt is to reduce the force on a vehicle’s occupants in the case of a collision, it must distribute its stopping power in a way that will minimize bodily injury. The three-point belt, for example, is designed to spread the impact of a sudden stop over the chest and into the strong shoulder and hip bones of the body.

Government Regulation

Given the strong evidence for the benefits of wearing a seatbelt, most governments in the United States have laws which make wearing a seatbelt mandatory. New York was the first state to require seatbelts, passing legislation in late 1984. Today, all US states, with the exception of New Hampshire, have laws requiring seatbelts in some form.

The penalty for not wearing a seatbelt varies from state to state, ranging from primary to secondary offenses. A few states make an age distinction in their seatbelt laws, though most do not. Fourteen states add indirect consequences for those who do not wear seatbelts; in these states, people who sue for damages following an accident may have their awards reduced if they were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident.

Ongoing Controversy

Not everyone is a fan of mandatory seatbelt legislation. Many people feel that such laws are an infringement on their rights. They argue that failing to wear a seatbelt harms no one except oneself, making it a “victimless crime.”

Furthermore, seatbelts are not without their dangers, argue opponents of these usage laws. Life threatening injuries to the chest, abdomen, and neck areas, as well as cardiac arrest have been linked to seatbelts, particularly in high-speed collisions. While injuries may arguably have been worse without a seatbelt, opponents of regulations say that forcing them to wear a potentially dangerous device is nothing short of illegal.

Defective Belts

On the other hand, it is clear that defective seatbelts are a threat to any driver or passenger. A seatbelt which fails to lock correctly or distribute the impact properly can result in very serious injuries, disabilities, and even death. Seat-belt related recalls are not uncommon, as retailers seek to limit their liability.

For more information on seatbelts and other related safety issues, check out the resources provided by the Milwaukee personal injury lawyers of Habush, Habush & Rottier, S.C. at their website http://www.habush.com

Source by Joseph Devine

The Best Design For Your HHO Fuel Cell

Automotive

Want to build an HHO fuel cell but not sure what type to choose? While most cells will generate some HHO, there can be an enormous difference in output from one to another – so it’s important to get the design right.

HHO is created by electrolysis: electricity conducted through water between two charged poles, or electrodes. The substance and form of the electrodes can vary, although they must be made of an inert metal, preferably stainless steel. The four basic electrode designs are described below.

The type of electrode that is easiest to build – and one of the most popular – consists of two or more wires wrapped in a spiral around a support mechanism. Unfortunately it is also the least effective, as so little metal (maybe a few square inches) is actually exposed. The the amount of HHO gas that can be generated directly relates to the surface area of the electrodes.

The second kind of electrode is made out of steel mesh, similar to the mesh you would use for screen doors or windows. The mesh is cut to fit into a container and stacked in various configurations. Each layer must be insulated from the others – if the layers contact each other, they can cause a short. This type of electrolyzer makes a lot of bubbles but is not very impressive in terms of the density of HHO gas produced.

Plate designs are the most widely used and the most efficient. Because of their large surface area, plate electrodes have the highest conversion of energy to Hydrogen and Oxygen, while wasting very little energy in the form of heat. High quality stainless steel plates are corrosion resistant, which is why they are used in industry to generate vast quantities of gas.

Tube designs are second in efficiency to metal plates. The tubes may be placed in a ring Stanley Meyer-style or stacked concentrically, one onside another. The problem with tubes is that their maximum usable area is going to be limited by the smallest tube. Tubes, along with spirals, are also prone to overheating.

Those are the four main types of electrodes. There are also two different styles of fuel cells: wet and dry. In a wet cell, the plate stack (or other type of electrode) is completely immersed in electrolyte solution. In a dry cell, the stack is not immersed. Instead, the solution is housed in an external reservoir and gravity fed through holes that have been drilled into the plates.

Both styles of cell have good and bad design points. Recently a third style of cell been developed that seems to combine the best aspects of wet and dry cells. Generally speaking, in this hybrid type the cell container serves as the reservoir but the electrolyte remains below the top of the plates.

As you can see there is no definitive version of an HHO fuel cell, which means it can be difficult knowing exactly which type to build. Using plans that have been developed by experts and tested over and over again can certainly save a lot of time. The most important thing is to just get started, and reap the amazing benefits than an HHO cell can provide.

Source by Jasper Lucas

A Fan’s Checklist Of What To Bring To A NASCAR Race

Cars

If you’re planning to attend a NASCAR race, then you can probably expect to spend a day at the track. There’s nothing worse than being unprepared for any outing, so consider a small checklist to make the day a fun-filled event.

  • Be sure to wear comfortable shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking. On a normal day, fans can expect to be at the track for a minimum of five to six hours and, depending on your seat location, there are stairs to climb and you will definitely want to have a comfortable pair of walking shoes.
  • Always bring a small umbrella or rain poncho – just incase those storm clouds decide to roll in during race time. If this should happen, the race will likely be stopped until the rain passes over and the track is dried. You’ll want to be dry while you wait for the race to resume. Purchase the smallest umbrella possible and tuck it in a purse or a pocket. There’s no need to carry a large, bulky umbrella around all day – especially if it ultimately isn’t needed. As a race fan, you’re always hoping for a sunny day, but it’s good to be prepared. If there’s a chill in the air, bring a light jacket.
  • Remember to bring plenty of drinking water. Bottled water is ideal, convenient and really hits the spot on a hot summer day. Keep in mind that racetracks are large and, as mentioned previously, there is a lot of walking involved. From the time that you arrive, climb the stands and find your seat, fans are looking at a potential 30 minute walk or more. Avoid the temptation to poor the water over your head and save it for drinking.
  • A snack is always a good thing to have on hand during raceday. Who wants to leave their seat when a hunger pain hits? Save yourself the time and pack a sandwich or candy bar from home. Don’t forget the hand sanitizer or soap, too!
  • Keeping in mind that attending a live event is different than a televised event is essential. Many of the luxuries of watching at home, on television, are absent at a live event. Sitting in the stands will leave you without the commentary, so consider a scanner and headphones. A list of driver frequencies are available at most tracks, which will enable you to hear the spotter and driver communicate with one another during the race.
  • Be sure to bring a camera and several rolls of film. If you’re using a digital camera, be sure that you have several brand new back-up batteries incase yours runs down through the course of the day.

Before you close that suitcase, there’s just a few more small items to remember. If you have a pit pass, bring along a small notebook for autographs. Consider bringing some cash, but not too much, for a visit to the many souvenir trailers lined outside the track. A final check should reveal that you’ve packed a pair of sunglasses and, if you’re seated high in the stands, grab a pair of binoculars and bring the action up close. After all, if a race isn’t close – what’s the point? Have fun.

Source by Bob Johnson