People who has owned a house knows that home repair can be expensive. Some small issues can trigger a big problem overnight. To cut the cost of repair projects, more and more homeowners are picking up a repair tool and joining the groups of do-it-yourselfers, in which can save you a big chunk of change the next time something goes wrong. In most cases, the repair work that needs to be done is much simpler than it looks.

One of my favorite annual gigs is judging our county’s 4-H King and Queen competition.

This contest, which consists of a speech to each area 4-H club (12 of ‘em!) and a presentation and interview with a panel of judges – including yours truly – determines the young lady and young man who will represent 4-H at our county fair.

The King and Queen, who are always high-school students, hand out ribbons at the Fair and are 4-H goodwill ambassadors throughout the year. They’re also eligible for scholarships.

Article I - Name

Section 1: The name of this organization shall be Illinois Development Council (hereafter referred to as The Council) and shall, when used on letterheads, and other printed material and for promotional, publicity and public relations purposes, be accompanied by the phrase, "An Association of Economic Development Professionals."

Section 2: The Council is incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation under the State of Illinois General Not for Profit Corporation Act.

Article II - Purpose

Section 1: The Council is a voluntary group of professional economic development personnel affiliated for the purpose of furthering the development of the economic base of the State of Illinois through:

a. Fostering cooperation among economic development professionals of the State of Illinois;

b. Encouraging statewide awareness of the economic development opportunities and problems within the State;

c. Affording professional economic developers a vehicle for assembly and collective expression.

Section 2: The definition of Economic Development is as follows: Economic Development is the process of attraction, expansion and retention of industry and business to a particular geographic area in order to expand the tax base and to create and/or retain employment.

A guide to Avoiding Back Pain and Injury

Every construction worker knows the agony of back pain after a long day work.  Construction work often involves lifting heavy objects, repetitive movements and contorting one's body in peculiar ways to get the job done.  

The most common injury in construction workers is muscle or joint injuries as a result of strains and sprains.   The nature of the job involves risk of back pain and damage caused by tasks like:

   body vibration from operating heavy equipment

   lifting and twisting at the same time or bending while lifting

   repetitive tasks like digging

   lifting awkward items with unusual shapes

   reaching to lift

   moving too suddenly

   lifting heavy objects

   repetitive one-sided movements like digging or using one-handed power tools

Wearing a hard hat is a standard safety precaution for every construction worker, but I would advise taking good care of your back.  

Avoid back pain and severe injury by following these simple guidelines.

1) Warm Up

Before working it is helpful to do a simple warm-up to increase blood circulation and reduce the chance of injury.  Include stretches in your warm-up and prepare your body for the work to come.

2) Good Posture

When lifting any heavy object, always do so with good posture.  Bend your knees and keep your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and lift with your legs while tightening your stomach muscles.  Always try to use slow and steady movements.  Avoid bending at your waist and straining to lift an object using your back muscles.  It can lead to acute lower back pain.  Try and keep your shoulders and head above your waist, not tipping back or forward.  Remember to face the object that you are going to lift.  Where possible, carry the object close to your body, in the chest area between your elbows and shoulders.  Keep your elbows bent and by your side to avoid strain on the lower back. 

3) Develop strong core muscles and abs

Strong core muscles help you lift weight correctly, supporting your posture and taking strain off of the lower back.  Regular excercise with inversion table will help you stay supple and can relieve stiffness.  Eat healthy and maintain a healthy body weight.  Being over weight will add to the strain on your back. 

4) Wear a Support Belt 

Support belts can greatly assist in preventing and reducing back pain.  In addition to the added support, the belt serves as a reminder to engage your core muscles and maintain good posture while you lift.

5) Get help 

Where ever possible use rolling carts and cushioned grips.  Divide loads into smaller parts or get assistance from a co-worker with heavier objects or irregular shaped items.

Due to the nature of construction work, there will always be awkward positions to maintain.  So try your best to avoid back pain and injury by following these simple guidelines.


If you do experience continued back pain, it is best to seek advice from a doctor as soon as possible to avoid permanent problems.

More info:

When matter undergoes a physical or chemical change there is also a transfer of energy. Energy is either transferred from the system to the surroundings or from the surroundings to the system. The system is whatever is being studied or observed and everything else is the surroundings.

HEAT (q)The transfer of energy is described as heat (q) and is measured in calories or joules (J). A calorie is the amount of heat needed to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius. This is not the same calorie used to describe the energy content in food. Food calories are actually kilocalories equal to 1000 heat calories. A joule is a derived SI unit and 4.184 joules equals 1 calorie. Chemists use both the calorie and the joule to measure heat.


When energy is transferred from the system to the surroundings the process is called exothermic. If energy is transferred from the surroundings to the system the process is called endothermic. All chemical changes are either endothermic reactions or exothermic reactions. The burning of a match is an exothermic reaction and photosynthesis is an endothermic reaction. However, the transfer of energy in a chemical change does not just happen. Both exothermic and endothermic reactions require a minimum amount of energy to occur. This minimum amount of energy needed is referred to as the activation energy and without it chemical reactions will not happen. It’s important to note that in an endothermic reaction the products contain more energy than the reactants, but in the exothermic reaction the products contain less energy than the reactants.

Physical changes also absorb or release energy. Any phase change in a substance results in an energy transfer. When ice melts it is because the ice absorbed energy from the surroundings and homemade ice cream freezes because it lost energy to the surroundings. But neither case resulted in new substances.


HEATA device used to measure changes in heat transfer is called a calorimeter. A calorimeter is an insulated container that contains water and a thermometer to measure the heat released or absorbed during an energy transfer. The amount of heat required to raise one gram of a substance one degree Celsius is called a substance’s specific heat (Cp). Since energy is conserved, a substance’s specific heat can be calculated if the system is insulated.Specific Heat Equation q = m×ΔT×Cp ΔT = Tf – TiA calorimeter and the above equation can be used quantitatively to determine the amount of heat released or absorbed. This same process can also be used to determine the specific heat of an unknown metal. By placing the heated metal in water and measuring the change in the water’s temperature and determining the water’s mass the amount of heat transferred from the metal can be calculated. Then using this data we can calculate the metal’s specific heat. (note: water has a specific heat of 4.184 J/g °C)Example: 40.0 g of water heated from 10.0°C to 30.0°C.Tell whether the above system is exothermic or endothermic. Then calculate the amount of heat released or absorbed.

The system is endothermic. The only way the water could reach 30.0°C is by absorbing energy. Use the equations above to calculate the change in heat.

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