Two Types of Graphics – Bitmap and Vector

There are basically two types of graphics—bitmap and vector.
• Bitmap Graphics – These graphics are usually created in paint programs or come from digital cameras and scanners. They are made up of pixels. When small bitmap graphics are sized to a much larger size, they become fuzzy, because each pixel is increased in size. Examples of bitmap graphics are .bmp, .gif, .png, .jpg, and .jpeg.
• Vector Graphics – These graphics are usually created with drawing programs, which make up several pieces of the graphics that can be edited (moved, sized, filled with color, etc.) very easily. When vector graphics are sized to a larger size, they still look good, because each piece of the drawing is recalculated and resized.

Isn’t ‘fixed wheel’ better?

Better if you want to cheat! If you pedal a fixed wheel bike flywheel up to speed and then take your feet off, the pedals keep turning! With a fixed wheel bike, the momentum of the flywheel drives the pedals round. If you relaxed your legs they would move, but would not be generating any external work – in other words they’d be making no positive demands on the body’s adaptive reserves. With the freewheel X-Bike, the pedals only turn when you make them turn. Without adequate resistance, the drive-train is slack and it becomes impossible to pedal smoothly – in effect X-Bike prevents riders from wasting time with exercise at too low an intensity to produce cardiovascular fitness gains.

Graphic File Types (some examples)

File format
Stands For
Type
Benefit
.BMP
Bitmap
Bitmap – standard for PC
Strong quality. Microsoft Paint files are saved as .BMP.
.TIF/.TIFF
Tagged Image File Format
Bitmap
Uncompressed image good for use on Mac or PC; large image file
.WMF
Windows Metafile
Vector
Many Clip Art in the Microsoft programs are in this format.
.EMF
Enhanced Metafile
Vector
Can be a better image than .WMF.
.EPS
Encapsulated PostScript
Vector
Best used for printing high quality images
.PICT
Macintosh Picture File
Bitmap – standard for Mac
Good for screen display on Macs.
.GIF
Graphics Interchange Format
Bitmap – 256 or fewer colors
Used for clipart and drawings. Compressed files used on Web pages.
.PNG
Portable Network Graphics
Bitmap – 256 or fewer colors.
Can be more compressed than .GIF files.
.JPG/.JPEG
Joint Photographic Experts Group
Bitmap – over 256 colors
Used for photos and clipart/drawing with over 256 colors. Compressed files used on Web pages.
Web Graphic File Types
Following are the type of graphic files that can be used on Web (HTML) pages.
  • .GIF – 256 or fewer colors
  • .PNG – 256 or fewer colors
  • .JPG OR .JPEG – photographs

File Size of Digital Photos

With graphic files, the higher the resolution (pixels), the larger the file size (how much space they take up on the storage device, such as a memory card). Below is a chart of how file sizes are measured, so you can understand the difference between bits, bytes, kilobytes, megabytes and gigabytes.
Memory Unit
Contains
Think of It As
Bit
0 or 1
Binary Digit (Computers only understand zero’s and one’s.)
Byte
8 Bits
1 Character (Any one thing you type on the keyboard.)
Kilobyte (K)
1024 (~1000) Bytes
½ page of text
Megabyte (MB)
1024 (~1000) Kilobytes
1 book of approximately 500 pages (~1 million bytes)
Gigabyte (G)
1024 (~1000) Megabytes
Small library of 1024 books (~1 billion bytes)

What sets X-Biking programs apart from other group cycling programs?

X-Biking is quite different from other forms of indoor group cycling.  But different is not necessarily better.  So, what are the central features of the X-Bike indoor performance bike and X-Biking program that deliver unrivalled benefits to users?

Core (as mentioned above)

On a traditional rigid indoor spin bike with a fixed gear flywheel, the ‘equipment’ provides a stable platform on which the rider works.  The handlebar rigidity forces the arms and lower spine to act as stabilizers while the transfer of flywheel momentum through the cranks means that the pedal acts as a stable platform on the upstroke.  In essence, the stability of the equipment negates the recruitment of the core stabilizers.
On the X-Bike, the natural true-to-cycling movement of the handlebars and freewheeling drive train give the user fewer stable contact points and result in the engagement of the core stabilizers to fix the user over the bike in an appropriate position to pedal.

Stable bridge (as referred to in ‘hurt my back’)

When riding out of the saddle with a rigid bar, the active lower-body and rigid upper-body creates rotation of the pelvis and lower back.  On the X-Bike, when the rider initiates a pump of the X-Bars, it stabilizes the pelvis, allowing it to become the stable bridge between the now-active upper body and the lower limbs.

Recruitment

The X-Bike expands indoor cycling from its history as a linear lower-limb workout.  With X-Biking, so many muscles and planes of movement are used it makes for a neurologically demanding workout.  The pedaling action is in the frontal plane, the pump effect of X-Bar climbing is working in the sagitial plane and the core that is stabilizing the upper and lower halves is working in the transverse plane.
The degree and frequency of movement in X-Biking is great; therefore the amount of recruitment from agonist, antagonist and synergistic muscles is going to be high.  X-Biking is interval based, requiring dynamic movement with many different stress variables recruiting the rider’s stabilizing musculature.  Short and medium interval durations with repetitive periods which trains them for muscular endurance you can understand why we call it a full body workout.  

Proprioception

The need to stabilize the body whilst X-Biking requires a good degree of proprioceptive skill. Sensing the tension in both limb and core musculature ensures the correct body position.  Selecting power resistances in both pedals and handlebars whilst undertaking a pumping, out-of-the-saddle climb can enhance this proprioceptive training effect.

Upper-body

Obviously moving the X-Bars against resistance adds a significant element of upper-body conditioning. The ability to use varied hand positions to target specific upper-body muscle groups can further enhance the quality of the workout.

Interval Training

The interval training protocol of X-Biking delivers varied benefits.  The elite endurance athlete has long been aware of the efficacy of interval workouts as a means of enhancing Vo2max and any of the X-Biking ride profiles are specifically designed with this aim in mind.  X-Biking is wholly interval based and as such targets more then just the aerobic system.  Strength, short-term power, lactic acid tolerance and intensity threshold training can all be achieved by the careful application of intensity during the rides.
Interval training has also been shown to increase fat loss above levels attained during steady state training due to its high overall energy cost, appetite control, and enhanced post-exercise-thermogenesis, [PET].  X-Biking typically enables users to burn between 400 and 600 calories per 30-minutes class.
In addition, high intensity interval training has been found to enhance bone strength due to the greater magnitude of muscular loading.  Higher rates of muscle contraction enhance the stimulus for new bone growth and alteration of the normal pattern of bone loading [direction of the force] associated with movement across all three planes within X-Biking, even with other variables held constant, also stimulates bone growth.
Prior to each transition from freewheeling to pumping climb the core musculature engages to provide a stable base prior to the generation of pedal forces.  This cannot be achieved, with the same success, using other programs or bikes.

Freewheel

The freewheeling drive train was initially incorporated into the X-Bike purely to replicate the ‘freewheeling’ of an outdoor bike.  However it brings benefits in it’s own right, from the ability to undertake short duration intervals, to the safety aspect of allowing instant stops.  In addition, by removing the ‘fixed gear’ (found on current indoor bikes) and the added flywheel momentum a ‘fixed gear’ provides the user, an X-Bike rider must apply adequate effort to pull the pedals through the bottom of the pedal stroke.

Immersion/Anticipation

Fitness professionals are challenged daily to ensure and inspire ongoing participation in exercise programs.  X-Bikes and X-Biking are designed to help.  The imagery within the program takes you through a broad range of efforts and feelings.  X-Biking involves the visual, aural, tactile, smell senses and the unique movement opportunities delivered by the X-Bike. The powerful imagery helps riders become immersed in the activity.
Central to X-Biking is the ability of the body movements and music to facilitate awesome imagery as riders are led on a group ride.  When you are able to sprint hard and then suddenly stop pedaling, you can use real-world imagery and scenarios which mountain bikers and all other riders can easily identify with – it’s like playing the air guitar!  There are unlimited combinations of motivational and inspirational imagery.
X-Biking programs are designed to totally immerse you in a fun and exciting workout.  With the variety of movements that simulate real outdoor cycling, time roars by and before you know it 30 minutes feel like 20.  When you anticipate the changes in terrain and tempo, the program sucks you in with the emotive music as you pedaling in sync with the beat.  The workouts are comprehensively designed to deliver high-quality cardiovascular and full-body muscle conditioning.  When hard efforts are more interesting, a rider will be able to mentally sustain higher intensities because they are less focused on the effort and more involved in the rhythm and location of the ride.  The participants will reach new heights in fitness, as they will be able to consistently push their limits physically because the program will not mentally fatigue them. 

Digital Camera File Sizes

The following table is from http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/digital-camera2.htm. The higher the resolution setting on your digital camera, the larger the picture files will be (the more space they will take up on your memory card). TIFF files are uncompressed files and JPG/JPEG files are compressed, so they take up less space.
Image Size
TIFF
(uncompressed)
JPEG
(high quality)
JPEG
(medium quality)
640×480
1.0 MB
300 KB
90 KB
800×600
1.5 MB
500 KB
130 KB
1024×768
2.5 MB
800 KB
200 KB
1600×1200
6.0 MB
1.7 MB
420 KB

Compressing Digital Photos to Use on the Web

Graphic files sizes on the Web should be very small, so they will load in the Browser much faster. Higher quality pictures from a digital camera can be anywhere from 500 KB to 1.7 MB or more. Graphic file sizes on the Web should be compressed as much as possible—under 100 K is a good goal. There are many software programs available for compressing graphics, such as Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Market Watch – Jan. 2004

As we usher in the New Year, we can look for continued good news about interest rates and home sales in Cobb County, North Fulton and Cherokee, mixed with increased concern about unemployment numbers nationwide, causing economic forecasters to believe that 2004 will be a balancing act in the real estate sales arena, both locally and nationally.

Currently, interest rates are on the move downward again and the Federal Reserve is not expected to increase these rates for at least the next six months. Productivity in the U.S. continues to grow, keeping inflation in check. While all of this is good news for interest rate watchers, it paints a gloomy unemployment picture. To better understand, consider this: The economy is beginning to grow but productivity continues to rise, which is slowing job growth. In fact, many economic forecasters do not see the employment picture improving until 2005. Because of such, 2004 could require some juggling in the in real estate sales, with buyers and sellers forced to compensate for this uncertainty.

On one hand, the unemployment rate continues to cause concern; on the other hand, mortgage interest rates are expected to remain at current levels and may even go lower over the next 60 days. This push to lower interest rates may push housing sales up in the first quarter in the Atlanta area after several months of declining sales. (Housing sales have fallen about 10% over the past several months in the Atlanta area and housing prices have continued to show a slight decrease since the beginning of 2003.)

The “buyer / seller” arrow is now leaning towards a “buyers” market for the next several months. The “hot” price range continues to be the $250,000 to $400,000 range. However, we still see strong activity in the first-time homebuyer range of $150,000 to 210,000. The upper end of the market continues to lag but should begin to pick up some steam as more and more signs point to the fact that the economy is beginning to grow.
Furthermore, the upper end of the market will more than likely follow the ups and downs of the Dow Jones. This said, if the Dow can break 11,000, we should expect the upper end of the market to follow suit with appropriate gains.

Interest Rate Forecast for the Next 90 Days:

Look for 30-year fixed rate mortgages to retest the 5.50% level for the first time since last summer and fixed rates staying below 6% though the first quarter of 2004. Mid-range ARM‘s (5-year) should continue to stay well below 5% through the first quarter of 2004 and the 6-month Libor interest only loans should continue to stay below 3.5% through the first quarter of 2004. Overall, look for rates to remain stable to slightly lower over the next 90 days, with this stability sparking increased home buying activity in the first quarter of this New Year.

“The Green Hotel” in Mysore

The concept of sustainability revolves around three basic dimensions namely economic, social and environmental. The idea of long term maintenance of sustainability in the economy, society and environment has gained much popularity in tourism sector, which accounts to about 9% of GDP, 1 in 12 jobs, 5% of investment and 5% of exports according to WTTC. Tourism’s direct contribution towards GDP was US$ 2trillion and the industry generated 98 million jobs. Therefore the sustainability factor in this multifaceted industry is highly beneficial towards creating a greener world, healthy ecosystem, ethical consumerism and a stable society.

During the recently held event “tourism for a sustainable future” at Rio, participants agreed that Tourism’s role in providing jobs and supporting the livelihoods of millions, particularly of women and young people is central to advancing the three pillars of sustainability.

Mysore “Green Hotel” is such an example where one can literally see and experience the whole sustainable practice that became the heart and soul of this small heritage hotel. It was initially built as a palace for Mysore’s princesses and later restored as a hotel. The hotel looks stunning with a long green lawn, rose gardens, majestic trees and an aesthetic garden. All the rooms, corridors and common places are strikingly decorated with potted plants.

“Green hotel” has incorporated energy saving practices in its hotel policy. It is amazing to see that inspite of this hotel not having air-conditioned rooms, TV and generators, visitors come for a night and stay for a month! The soothing weather conditions of Mysore makes it possible to have this amazing experience. The hotel uses solar energy during power cuts and not even a single drop of rain water is wasted. The water which is used to clean the utensils is purified using filters and is then used to water the plants.

This hotel has long been practicing corporate social responsibility and till now donated most of its income towards charitable and environmental projects in India. Few of the programs for which the hotel has donated money are ‘Gramina Aksharasyata Arogya Padhakam’ for slum children, ‘Odin Nandi’ which works for the welfare of sex workers etc.

It is no wonder, this hotel is a pioneer, a model and an ideal for the practice of sustainable tourism. It has adopted equal opportunity policy when employing hotel staffs. Majority of the employees are women who are either widows or abandoned wives, for whom getting a job is really tough and unimaginable. The hotel provides six months training to get them acquainted with the hotel operation since they are not well educated. English, hospitality, accounting and multi-cuisine cooking are taught to these women. Through these measures they could help their family financially and live a good life. After all, all human beings are born equal.

Ajanta and Ellora Caves – Aurangabad

The caves including the unfinished ones are thirty in number, of which five (9, 10, 19, 26 and 29) are chaitya-grihas and the rest are sangharamas or viharas (monasteries). After centuries of oblivion, these caves were discovered in AD 1819. They fall into two distinct phases with a break of nearly four centuries between them. All the caves of the earlier phase date between 2nd century BC. The caves of the second phase were excavated during the supremacy of the Vakatakas and Guptas. According to inscriptions, Varahadev, the minister of the Vakataka king, Harishena (475-500 AD), dedicated Cave 16 to the Buddhist sangha while Cave 17 was the gift of a prince. An inscription records that Buddha image in Cave 4 was the gift of some Abhayanandi who hailed from Mathura. A few paintings which survive on the walls of Caves 9 and 10 go back to the 2nd century BC. The second group of the paintings started in about the fifth century AD and continued for the next two centuries as noticeable in later caves. The themes are intensely religious in tone and centre around Buddha, Bodhisattvas, incidents from the life of Buddha and the Jatakas. The paintings are executed on a ground of mud-plaster in the tempera technique.

The magnificent group of rock-cut shrines of Ellora, representing three different faiths: Buddhist, Brahmins and Jains were excavated during the period from 5th to the 13th century AD. The Buddhist Caves (1 to 12) were excavated between the 5th and the 7th centuries AD, when the Mahayana sects were flourishing in the region. Important in this group are Caves 5, 10 and 12. Cave 10 is a chaitya-hall and is popularly known as ‘Visvakarma’. It has a highly ornamental facade provided within the gallery and inside the chaitya-hall a beautiful image of Buddha is set on the stupa. Among the viharas, Cave 5 is the largest. The most impressive vihara is the three – storied cave called ‘Tin – Tala’. It has a large open-court in front which provides access to the huge monastery.

The uppermost storey contains sculptures of Buddha. The Brahmin caves numbering 13 to 29 are mostly Saivite. Kailasa (Cave 16) is a remarkable example of rock-cut temples in India on account of its striking proportion; elaborate workmanship, architectural content and sculptural ornamentation. The whole temple consists of a shrine with linga at the rear of the hall with Dravidian sikhara, a flat-roofed mandapa supported by sixteen pillars, a separate porch for Nandi surrounded by an open-court entered through a low gopura. There are two dhvaja-stambhas or pillars with the flagstaff in the courtyard. The grand sculpture of Ravana attempting to lift mount Kailasa, the abode of Siva, with his full might is a landmark in Indian art. The Jain Caves (30 to 34) are massive, well-proportioned, decorated and mark the last phase of the activity at Ellora.