The floor technicians at Pro-Kleen smarten up shag and refine tile with a combination of industrial-age steam power and cutting-edge technology. After a free estimate nails down a firm flat rate, berber inspectors put rugs through an eight-step process that includes inspection and pretreating stains. A truck-mounted Rotovac 360 machine dissolves soil, grease, and spots with 180-degree water before a high-powered vacuum extracts the mix, leaving behind soft, allergen-free fibers and terrified Lego people. The process removes most of the water it uses to saturate the fibers, reducing drying time to a few hours. All jobs are guaranteed and backed up with the promise to reclean any unsatisfactory jobs or refund the total cost.
Since opening in 1996, the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center has grown like a weed, from 1 to 182 acres, providing a home for thousands of birds, butterflies, and blossoming plants. Their gardens, greenhouses, trails, and boardwalks are set into the landscape of the Oso Creek, allowing guests to observe species in their natural habitat without provoking the ire of territorial snapdragons. Following a mission to advance knowledge and appreciation of the environment, the organization also hosts classes and workshops on topics such as orchidology and cooking cactus for dinner. Members’ annual contributions help to sustain the nonprofit organization and garner them unlimited admission, discounts at Nature's Boutique, and invitations to members-only events, such as the annual member-plant dance.
In the eight years since the start of Local Furniture Outlet, the cherished baby business of Mr. Aaron Masterson has grown up fast?from a 2,000-square-foot metal warehouse to four locations and more than 80,000 combined square feet of furniture. But the success didn't go to Aaron?s head. The proud father still traverses showrooms in casual flip-flops, enforcing a no-competition policy so that loyal staff members don?t feel pressured to make a quota. The stripped-down showrooms allow for lower price tags on direct-from-manufacturer brands such as Ashley, Simmons, and Crown Mark. Patrons are invited to peruse dining-room, living-room, and bedroom sets?or ?kick the tires,? as Aaron puts it?without the pushy-push of larger retailers, who may use turkey legs to reward team members for sales.
A smartphone's tiny screen relies on the strange properties of liquid crystals. Check out Groupon's study of LCDs to learn how they create the vivid pictures in your pocket.
The term liquid crystal seems a contradiction, but a liquid crystal is actually neither a liquid nor a solid?it's both, stuck in a sort of chemical limbo with its molecules somewhere between the liquid and solid phases. When an electrical current passes through a liquid crystal, its molecular orientation changes, and so does the direction of light that passes through it. By sandwiching these crystals between polarized glass and manipulating the current passing through them, your phone is able to control the light they channel, resulting in the high-contrast images that appear on screen. Although our brains only see each pixel as a single dot, each consists of red, blue, and green subpixels that, when lit at various intensities, can emit more than 16 million colors.
Despite their advanced applications, liquid crystals are not a recent discovery. They were first identified in the late 19th century by a scientist studying cholesterol extracted from carrots?a natural source of liquid crystals, as are human beings and most other living things, which tend to have them in their cell membranes. Liquid crystals and LCDs were the subject of research and patent applications throughout the early 20th century?including one filed by Marconi?s Wireless Telegraph Company in 1936?and finally hit consumer electronics in the early 1970s, when they were introduced in wristwatches.
For 22 years, Far Beyond Tint & Alarm proprietor Barry Morgan has personally helmed his business, amassing ample expertise in the realm of home- and vehicle-window tinting and alarm installation. His firm works to build a respectable reputation not only through its cherished relationship with customers such as local businesses and law enforcement, but also through its bond with its workers. The staff is comprised of employees who have tenures ranging from three to nine years, which is longer than presidents tend to stay on board at the White House. A host of expertly trained team members tend to the tinting and alarm-installation needs of vehicles and homes, with technicians boasting certification from the state in security-alarm systems and in automotive solar control from the IWFA.