Colorism – A Silent Bias in the World of Diversity

Colorism, what is it? The word “diversity” when used in the workplace conjures up many meanings, often determined by where in the world you are. In the United States and especially in the southern states most people immediately think- race. In some parts of the US and within most other countries, people will think- race and gender. Within organizations that have launched diversity and inclusion initiatives the meaning of “diversity” broadens to include LGBTQ, age, abilities and many of the other differences among us that when respected creates a healthy and productive diversity of thought. Rarely, however do people think of colorism as an aspect of diversity and bias.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Although the word ‘color’ is included as one of the many factors protected against discrimination, my work nationally and internationally continually surfaces an unconscious bias related to skin color regardless of ethnicity. In the US, until the 60s and 70s, the darker an African American person’s complexion the less likely that person would reach a high status in the workplace; the lighter the complexion and straighter the hair the more likely teachers Black and White would favor that child. Although thankfully this bias is fading as it relates to job advancement, research still indicates that little girls prefer to have fair skin and believe dark skin is bad and/or ugly. In the 80s and still present today, various media depict lighter skin tones as more attractive, and darker skin tone scary or dangerous.
My global work reveals the same bias. Often I am told, we just need to focus on gender equity because race is not an issue here, our culture is open and accepting. I am told, we are all French, or English, or Mexican no race or ethnic bias exists here. Yet, when I observe the community at large and the workplaces in particular, bias regarding tone of skin is evident. The lighter the skin the higher the position held. Immigrants and their descendants in countries around the world with darker skin hold the less prestigious jobs. Globally, skin lightening creams are sold and used even when the people, usually women, using them know of the potential health dangers.
The root of this bias runs deep. Perhaps that is why the acts of discrimination are so unconscious. Many communities and organizations celebrate diversity during the month of October. As you do so, I invite you to take a real look at color.

Ceramic Disc Taps

Taps drip. It’s inevitable, like death and taxes. They seal using a rubber ring screwed down over the end of a metal pipe. Sooner or later the rubber is going to go hard, split or just wear away and it will no longer seal. Then water seeps through, and the tap starts dripping. Left alone the problem gets worse as the water wears away the valve seat. Then you’ll have to either re-grind the valve seat(Do you own a valve seat re-grinder? Who would?) or replace the tap. Tedious in either case. But, it need not happen. Many taps now use ceramic discs.
How They Work
Instead of blocking the pipe by squeezing a piece of rubber onto the end of it, there are two slotted ceramic discs held down over the water supply pipe. The bottom disc doesn’t move, while the upper disc is rotated over it by the tap mechanism. When the slots align the the tap is on, and when the slots don’t align, the tap is off.
Why Are They Better?
There are advantages to this approach. The main one is that the discs are very hard and withstand the erosion of water very well. Hence they last much longer before needing replacement. Also, because the water flow is between the two discs, it’s the discs that wear not the tap body itself. Because of the arrangement of the discs, it only requires a quarter turn to go from fully off to fully on and the operation of the tap is very light. This has the advantage that they are easy to turn on with the back of the wrist if you have dirty hands or for people with restricted movement.
Where they are Used
The ease of operation and the long life mean that most good quality sink mixer taps have been made using ceramic discs for a while, but basin taps with ceramic discs are surprisingly less common. The more use a tap gets, the more attractive the use of ceramic disc technology becomes. This is doubly true in hard water areas, which can be murder on traditional taps.
Disadvantages
There are a few disadvantages. The discs do eventually wear out, but manufacturers seem to have standardised, so it is reasonably easy to get replacements. Basin taps are sometimes handed and sometimes not, and it can be annoying to have to work out which way to turn the tap in order to get water. They are also more expensive and not suitable for very low water pressure. The only other disadvantage is that if you are used to the old style taps, which need a number of turns to turn fully on, you may inadvertently turn the tap on more than you intended, you can get a unexpected full-on jet of water. Embarrassing!

Common Mold Removal Questions

How to know if the molds are present?
Mold assessment is done by visual examination. Careful detection of the premises along with the presence of odor caused by mold will help ascertain if mold are present or not.
Why should molds be removed?
Molds are formed as a result of moisture deposition and they reproduce by spores. Exposure to molds may cause the following health effects:
– Respiratory Problems
– Headache, eye irritation
– Cough and Throat Irritation
– Sneezing, nasal and sinus congestion
Hence, it is necessary to perform mold removal or mold remediation.
What are the methods for mold removal?
Methods followed by professionals such as removal of moisture and moisture causing agents will help remove and eradicate molds. In case of excess molds, chemicals and proteins are used for mold removal. Experts will best understand about which method of mold removal to follow, with methods ranging from dry brushing, dry ice blasting, vacuum and dry wipe.
Do hidden molds exist?
Molds may appear in places not visible to the human eye. Furniture and equipment are to be moved and checked for thoroughly if there are molds present behind them. This can be done periodically or in events where smell arises.
What are the methods for mold remediation?
Remediation follows a two-step approach. The first step pertains to the stoppage of moisture and moisture causing agents, while the second step includes usage of wall insulation, dehumidifiers, exposure to sunlight etc.
Are there varieties of molds present? If so, are they all equally harmful?
Molds known as black molds are highly dangerous, owing to the presence of elements which can produce mycotoxins. However, the mold removal and mold remediation procedures for all kinds of molds remain the same. It is best suggested to get rid of the molds present, without giving much significance to the kind of mold that exists.
What are black molds?
Stachybotrys chartarum, the mold which is greenish-black in color is known to be as black mold. They release mycotoxins based on the factors such as the humidity level, temperature etc. Mycotoxins are present in and around the areas contaminated by the mold, invariable of the fact that the mold is alive or dead.
Can I perform mold removal and mold remediation myself?
Mold removal or mold remediation can be done by people who are free from all sorts of allergies and prior known infections caused due to the molds. Molds should be handled with utmost care and certain preventive measure are to be taken before one plans to remove molds and it is highly essential that personal protection is worn during the process.
How can I ascertain that the molds were removed successfully?
If the molds do not reappear in a certain span of time, you can consider that the molds have been removed successfully. If not, the problem that causes molds still exists and needs to be dealt with.
Once removed, how can I dispose the molds?
Molds can be disposed in the remediation area and can be treated on par with construction debris, following the same procedures.

Why You Should Consider Buying a Windowless Air Conditioner

A windowless air conditioner  as its name suggests  is an air conditioner that does not require a window for venting. This isnt exactly accurate because it does need a small hole (about four inches in diameter) through which to feed its exhaust pipe.
But a windowless unit does not take up your window space like a window air conditioner. Rather, it is a free standing unit that takes up less than two square feet of your room. Because of this, coupled with its low price and high energy efficiency, has made the windowless air conditioner very popular in recent years.
In fact, some families who have central air conditioning have decided to invest in windowless air conditioners in an effort to reduce energy consumption and lower their bills. By using a windowless unit, you can opt to keep your central air conditioner off or at least minimize how much you use it during the hottest days of summer.
There are many advantages of purchasing a windowless air conditioner. These units are a cinch to install and most of them come on wheels that allow you to move them from room to room. In other words, you could purchase only one unit and use it throughout your room.
The downside of buying a windowless unit is that they are often quite heavy. Because all of the air conditioner parts (the compressor, the fans, the coils, and the evaporator) are housed in one unit, the windowless air conditioners can weigh over 50 pounds. The other problem is that windowless units are often less efficient than window air conditioners. Some experts argue that windowless air conditioners are significantly weaker than their stated BTUs and cooling capabilities.
If you do choose to go with a windowless air conditioner, there are a few other things to keep in mind.
First, these units can do a fine job cooling one room. They just dont pack a big enough punch to cool an entire house. It is important to keep your expectations in check if you do choose a windowless unit.
The second thing to bear in mind if you are planning to purchase a windowless unit is that they are very easy to install. Moreover, the installation is not permanent. You can install one of these units in a matter of minutes and you are also free to un-install it to you use it in different rooms as well.
Third, to determine which size windowless air conditioner you need, make sure you take measurements of the room where you plan to use it the most. You need to calculate the square footage in order to figure out how many BTUs you will need. Also, make sure you check with the manufacturer for the proper electrical requirements.
Finally, windowless air conditioners will need to be drained regularly. At the bottom of these units is a reservoir that collects excess humidity that is not dispersed through the vent. There is a valve at the bottom of the unit. You remove the stopper, tip the air conditioner back, and the water will drain out. If you live in an especially humid environment, you will have to do this fairly regularly.

Colour trends for your home

Orange is Hot for 2008 and 2009, the colour Orange continues its stellar run as a fixture for home dcor colour in 2008; and the leader in Colour forecasting, Pantone, projects that the Orange colour trend will continue on beyond 2010. Its no surprise why, Orange is a warm, inviting, dynamic, invigorating and energetic colour.
Home decor based on your Colour Personality – Confused about selecting colour for your home? Why not try choosing decorating colors based on your unique personality? I decided to have a bit of fun and searched out several websites that cover colour personality types.
The Pratt and Lambert colour quiz was the most comprehensive colour personality test of all those I reviewed. Taking into account not only colour likes but other factors that make you different. This test was the only one that returned a colour scheme that was very similar to my personal decorating style. I was impressed. According to the Pratt & Lambert site my colour personality:
Colours in this palette are reminiscent of a sunny seaside. These combinations are refreshing and invigorating. They provide sparkle with lightness while also imbuing a sense of soothing calm. Oceanic hues are ideal for making a bathroom, bedroom or study an oasis. These colours provide a balance for those with a hectic life. The person who decorates with these colours is looking for their home to be their escape.
Home and Garden TV has an interesting colour wheel that you can spin with your mouse and find the colour that sings to your soul. When I spun the colour wheel my eyes landed on my favourite colour Pink. Once I selected Pink, I was given five other shades of pink to choose from. I ended up selecting two pinks (Lavender Pink and Hot Pink) I adore. According to the HGTV site these colour choices mean:
If you like lavender pink, youre seeking to be more inventive. New possibilities flood your mind. By constantly examining possible practical applications, you create new things, new ideas. Using this purple-pink shade in room design is empowering. You and others will become more determined and self-constructive in a lavender pink office or library. Because it invites warm, exciting conversations, its perfect for dining or living rooms. Guests will feel welcomed.
If you like hot pink, you are constantly thinking about exciting things to do. Through your body language and appearance, without even being aware, you are sending out enticing messages. Designing with this magenta shade of pink creates adventurous conversations and situations. It makes you and others less sceptical and more enthusiastic. Use this colour to turn dull into exciting. Think party room!
Not scared to use strong colour, winters often love reds but avoid soft pinks. Achromatic colour schemes employing tonal variations of black, white and grey are commonplace, giving clean lines and sharp contrasts. Assertive purples are considered a safe choice for the main colour in a colour scheme, a sharp contrast to other seasons that will use purple sparingly as an accent. Blues run the gamut of ice blues through to blue blacks, cool and delineating and reflect onto the green palette giving a range of strong aquas. Neutrals are blacks, whites and greys for dramatic relief against the stronger feature colours. You wont find warm creams here. Simple colour schemes are favoured – one colour as the canvas and then accents of other strong colours for contrast and drama. Like winter personalities, the winter palette is self-assured and intense. Subtle colours are left to the other seasons.
Colour Psychology – Perhaps many of you are contemplating new decorating and painting projects and perhaps you arent aware of the impact that colour has on our mood. Before you pick up that paint brush or roller, read through our colour psychology information. It just might help you set the appropriate mood for your indoor space.
First Things First – Choosing a Colour Scheme
Red packs a wallop, physiologically speaking, increasing blood pressure, heartbeat and energy in most people. It instils feelings of intimacy and passion. Red also increases the appetite, which explains why it is used so often in restaurants, and why it can be a good choice for a formal dining room.
Orange, like red, tends to warm a room, but in a more friendly and welcoming way. As a result, paints in various shades and tints of orange work well in living rooms and family rooms.
Yellow is also warm and welcoming, but it is more attention- getting than either red or orange. For this reason, it is a good paint colour to use in poorly lit foyers or dark hallways.
Blue, which is part of the cool colour palette, makes us feel calm and tranquil, so it is ideal for use in bedrooms. But since blue works as an appetite suppressant (perhaps because there are few blue foods) it is not the best option for a dining room … unless you’re on a diet.
Green is another relaxing colour that is much more versatile than blue. Light greens are ideal for bedrooms and living rooms; mid tones are good for kitchens and dining rooms (many foods are green). Also, because green is calming, it is often used in hospitals, workplaces and schools.
Violet is a tricky colour, psychologically speaking. Many adults dislike purples, but are fond of the rose family, which can work in many rooms, including dining rooms, bedrooms and libraries. Young children, on the other hand, respond favourably to violet, so this colour can be used successfully in children’s bedrooms and play areas.
These general guidelines are a good starting point in your search for a paint colour. But remember that colour choice is a very personal matter. You’re the one who has to live with your new paint colour, so choose a hue that suits you, your family and your lifestyle.
And after investing time choose the right colour, make sure it continues to look that way long-term by investing in a top quality paint.