Today’s Extra for Nov. 25: Why You Should Fulfill Your Resolutions BEFORE the New Year

Today’s Extra:

Why You Should Fulfill Your Resolutions BEFORE the New Year

The start of the new year is generally a time of optimism: This is your year. Youre going to lose that 10 pounds. Youre going to read 30 books. Youre going to start waking up and going for a run every single morning, rain or shine.   

But here’s the deal—millions of us commit to adopting new, better habits on January first. Millions of people, all striving to make massive self-improvements all at the same time. There is this sense of urgency, having come off a fun whirlwind of holiday festivities, to get back on track. Yet, a mere month later, 80 percent of us are unsuccessfully back at the drawing board. Failure.

Here’s the issue. Setting a New Year’s resolution puts too much pressure on the resolution-maker. Trying to make a major shift in your life cold turkey is ineffective. Lump that in with the social acceptability of failure (since the vast majority of us always fail to keep our resolutions), and you’re almost destined to achieve mediocrity. Everyone fails. Why bother?

That’s why you should start working towards your New Year’s resolutions NOW.

Use the month of December to gradually increase the amount of vegetables on your plate, work up to an intense workout schedule or take those painting classes. Improve your life now, and you’ll start 2019 by actually accomplishing something, not by focusing on “fixing” the areas where you feel like you’re lacking. Think about it. No pressure. No pomp and circumstance. By January 1st, you’ll be sitting pretty, feeling great about the progress you made, no stress. What a great way to start a year!

Also, be realistic with your expectations. Have you heard that it only takes 21 days to form a new habit? Well that’s only kind of true.

According to the original research conducted by Dr. Maxwell Maltz in the 1950s, it actually takes a minimum of 21 days to form a new habit or become adjusted to a new version of reality. Yes, minimum. The truth is, there is no magic number. If you’re still struggling with your new habit or goal after three weeks, don’t give in. Some habits just take longer to set in.

Be patient with yourself, start small, and start now. Think of all the progress you will have made by the time the February blues set in and throw everyone else into a resolution tailspin. The small shifts that you started in December will be strong, full-fledged habits by then—February be damned! Don’t put your goals off until January. It really pays to get a head start on your dreams.

Essentially, the key to a successful New Year’s resolution lies in not treating it like one. We should always be working to improve ourselves, and taking conscious small steps in December—before the hyped up New Year’s rush—can make a world of difference in how you feel about yourself and your potential for progress when 2019 hits.


Source: Care2


The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Nov. 25: HOW TO GET STAINS OUT OF CLOTHES


The best stain remover can sometimes be found right in your home, so check out these tips for stains and stain removal. Whether it’s oil or grease, ink, blood, food, wax, mildew, grass, or lipstick—we’ve got you covered!


  • Scrub a grease stain with a lather of laundry detergent and water. Distilled water works best for this since “soft” water cuts grease better than water having a high mineral content.


  • Put a piece of scrap fabric beneath the stained spot to blot any ink that may come through. Then spray the stain evenly with aerosol hair spray from four to six inches away. Blot the surface of the stained article after spraying. You may have to repeat the process a couple of times. Finally, give the garment a regular laundering.
  • Hairspray will also work to remove ballpoint ink stains from leather. Saturate the stain, let the spray dry and then brush lightly with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.
  • Another approach to removing ballpoint ink stains from leather is to coat them with petroleum jelly. You may need to leave the jelly on the stain for several days before wiping it off.


  • The first line of defense is to soak the soiled fabric in a solution of ½ teaspoon salt per 1 cup of cold water, rubbing as necessary until the stain has faded. Then wash as you normally would.
  • Older bloodstains call for an initial soaking in a solution of 2 tablespoons of ammonia per 1 gallon of cold water. Wash in cold water and dishwashing liquid to remove an vestiges of the stain left after the ammonia treatment.
  • If the bloodstain is on a large article, such as a blanket, that you don’t want to soak completely, make a paste of cornstarch and water and slather it dry, brush it off, and keep repeating until the stain disappears.


  • For chocolate, scrub the stained area immediately with ammonia, then wash as you normally would.
  • For egg stains, scrape off the excess with a dull knife, then soak the stain in cold water. Launder as you usually would. If the article requires dry cleaning, sponge the stain with cold water and take it to the dry cleaner right away.
  • Fresh coffee and tea call for the “hot waterfall” approach. First, stretch the stained part of the fabric over a bowl, as if you were putting a head on a drum, and secure it with a rubber band. Then pour boiling water over the stain from a height of two to three feet. Be careful not to burn yourself! Wash the article as you normally would, using a small amount of bleach if the fabric can tolerate it. The “hot waterfall” also works to loosen fruit and berry stains. It works with red wine if you first sprinkle a little salt on the stain.
  • After a wine spill, blot up as much of the wine as you can, then rinse with cool water or club soda. Sprinkle a little salt on the stain, and create a paste of salt and water. Then, if the fabric will stand it, pour boiling water through the stain with the cloth stretched over a bowl or bathtub. For tough stains, try blotting the stains with one of the following: ⅓ cup vinegar in ⅔ cup water; 2 tablespoons ammonia in 1 cup water; or alcohol, either straight or mixed with an equal amount of water. Rinse well and then launder as usual. In some cases, you may have to use an enzyme detergent to remove wine stains.

    • Small spots of hardened candle wax can be removed from tablecloths by rubbing with a generous dollop of vegetable oil. Wipe off any excess oil, then launder as usual.
    • Another way to remove small amounts of wax hardened onto a tablecloth is to spread the affected area over a large bowl and secure it with rubber bands, then pour boiling water over the wax to melt it. Follow up by washing the tablecloth as usual.
    • For larger wax deposits on tablecloths, first scrape off the excess with a dull knife, then place the stained area between two paper towels and press with an iron on a low setting. Replace the paper towels as the wax is absorbed into them, then launder when the paper no longer absorbs wax. (If the fabric is one that’s especially sensitive to heat, avoid burning it by holding the iron a couple of inches above the towels. You will still get enough heat to melt the wax.)


    •  To get rid of the black and gray stains caused by mildew, try moistening the stained area with lemon juice and salt, then drying the fabric in the sun. If this doesn’t work, sponge the stain with hydrogen peroxide and sun-dry it.
    • If you have a leather item stained with the powdery traces of surface mildew, wipe the affected area with a solution of equal parts rubbing alcohol and water. When the leather is dry, treat it with a conditioner such as caster oil.


    • To help remove grass stains from garments, work liquid laundry detergent into the stained area, rinse, then launder as usual.
    • Saturate grass stains on cotton with rubbing alcohol, let stand for 10 minutes, and launder as usual.


    • Rub peanut butter on the lipstick stained area. Before the peanut butter dries, wash the fabric with warm water and dish washing liquid.
    • Use vegetable oil, shortening, or petroleum jelly. Cover the stain with the oil, let it sit for five to ten minutes, and then wash with warm, soapy water. Make sure to remove all the oil, or you’ll have a different stain to deal with.If spilled beer has dried onto clothing or tablecloths, mix a solution of equal parts vinegar and dish washing liquid, then sponge it onto the stain. Rinse with warm water and launder as usual.



    This page was originally published in 2010 and is regularly updated

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Nov. 25: MAKE YOUR OWN LAUNDRY PRODUCTS



“After the ecstasy, the laundry.”  I’d say that famous zen saying also holds for agony.

Yes, the laundry always awaits.

Ecstasy or agony, laundry is a metaphor for everything about daily living that demands attention, and so also becomes part of a spiritual practice.

In this case, it meant turning my attention to making new batches of homemade laundry detergent and oxygen bleach, both of them cheap, easy, effective, and non-toxic to humans and the environment.

Homemade detergent

Ten minutes of time and a few pennies worth of ingredients makes two gallons of excellent laundry detergent. Here’s how I do it:

  • I heat a gallon of water in my stainless-steel stock pot and add about a third of a bar of grated goat-milk soap, stirring the mixture until the soap melts.  (You can use any hard soap for this recipe; I use the biggest holes on a cheese grater)
  • Then I add half a cup each of washing soda and borax, and continue stirring until the powders dissolve.
  • Finally, I add another gallon of hot water, stir the whole thing, and let it sit until the mixture cools. The end result: a lumpy gel that I funnel into a few recycled plastic detergent containers.
  • Because it’s lumpy, I shake my homemade mix well before measuring out ½ cup per load of wash. My lumpy gel works as well as any purchased detergent I’ve used.

I use unscented soap, because many scents in personal-case and laundry products make me sneeze, or even give me headaches. But if you like scented laundry, use nice-smelling soap or add a couple of drops of an essential oil to the pot while the mixture is still warm.

Homemade oxygen (non-chlorinated) bleach

This is a cinch to make, and it not only works well on most fabric stains, but you can also use it to clean just about everything–even as a gentle disinfecting wash for fruits and vegetables.

Here’s how I make it:

  • I mix equal parts of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and baking soda with two parts of hot water and shake well.
  • Then funnel it into a light-excluding bottle to maintain the stain-fighting power of the peroxide.

That’s it!

Although my homemade product doesn’t have the same disinfecting power as some commercial liquid oxygen bleaches (i.e., for disinfecting cloth diapers), I find it works equally well as a stain-remover.

Be forewarned: It doesn’t spray the way commercial liquid oxygen bleaches do, because the baking soda settles. I just shake it well and squirt or sprinkle it onto stains, or add add half a cup to the wash water.


“Living Naturally” is all about living a naturally healthy lifestyle. Margaret Boyles covers health tips, ways to avoid illness, natural remedies, food that’s good for body and soul, recipes for homemade beauty products, and ideas to make your home a healthy, safe haven. Our goal is also to encourage self-sufficiency, whether it’s re-learning some age-old skills or getting informed on modern improvements that help us live better healthier lives.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Nov. 25: MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANERS


Christine Halvorson and Kenneth M. Sheldon

Make your own cleaning products. Homemade cleaners are simple and a great way to save money.

WARNING: Never mix cleaning products containing bleach and ammonia, as dangerous fumes will result.


2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid
2 teaspoons borax
¼ cup ammonia
1–½ cups warm water

Mix the ingredients together, apply to oven spills, and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Scrub with an abrasive nylon-backed sponge and rinse well.


¾ cup baking soda
¼ cup borax
dishwashing liquid

Combine the baking soda and borax. Mix in enough dishwashing liquid to make a smooth paste. If you prefer a pleasant smell, add ¼ teaspoon lemon juice to the paste.


¼ cup ammonia
¼ cup dishwashing liquid
¾ cup water

Mix all the ingredients well, then soak your jewelry in the solution for a few minutes. Clean around the stones and designs with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Buff dry. (Caution: Don’t use this with gold-plated jewelry; with soft stones such as pearls, opals, or jade; or with costume jewelry, because it could ruin the plastics or loosen the glue.)


¼ cup powdered laundry detergent
1 tablespoon borax
¾ cup hot water
¼ cup pine oil, or pine-based cleaner

Slowly stir the detergent and borax into the water to dissolve. Add the pine oil (available at hardware stores and supermarkets) and mix well. For bathroom cleaning, use the mixture full strength. In the kitchen, dilute it with water.


½ cup vinegar
½ cup vegetable oil

Mix the ingredients well, rub on the floor, and buff with a clean, dry cloth.


¼ teaspoon dishwashing liquid
1 cup lukewarm water

Combine the ingredients. Use a spray bottle to apply the solution over a large area, or use the solution to spot-clean nongreasy stains. (Don’t use laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent in place of dishwashing liquid, as they may contain additives that can affect the rug’s color.)


1 cup borax
¼ cup vinegar or lemon juice

Combine the ingredients to make a paste. Apply it to the inside of the toilet bowl, let sit for 1 to 2 hours, and scrub.


1 tablespoon powdered laundry detergent
1 quart chlorine bleach
2 quarts water

Combine all the ingredients in a pail. Wearing rubber gloves, wash off the mildew.


1 cup laundry detergent
¾ cup ammonia
1 gallon warm water

Mix all the ingredients together and apply to a small area of the floor. Let the solution sit long enough for it to loosen the old wax, at least 5 to 10 minutes. Mop up the old wax (or scrape it up, if there’s a lot of it, using a squeegee and a dustpan). Rinse thoroughly with 1 cup vinegar in 1 gallon water and let dry before applying a new finish.


1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
1 tablespoon boiled linseed oil
1 tablespoon turpentine

Combine the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until blended. Dampen a cloth with cold water and wring it out until it’s as dry as you can get it. Saturate the cloth with the mixture and apply sparingly to a small area at a time. Let dry for about 30 minutes, then polish with a soft cloth. Note that this mixture gets gummy as it sits, so make just enough for one day’s work.


2 tablespoons ammonia
½ cup alcohol
¼ teaspoon dishwashing liquid
a few drops blue food coloring

Combine the ammonia, alcohol, dishwashing liquid, and food coloring, then add enough water to make 1 quart. If you prefer a nonammoniated cleaner, substitute 3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice for the ammonia.


1 cup crushed dried herbs (such as rosemary, southernwood, or lavender)
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda

Combine all the ingredients in a large jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to blend. Sprinkle some of the mixture on your carpet, let it sit for an hour or so, and then vacuum it up. It will give the room a pleasant smell and neutralize carpet odors.


1 teaspoon borax
½ teaspoon washing soda
2 teaspoons vinegar
¼ teaspoon dishwashing liquid
2 cups hot water

Combine all the ingredients. If you don’t have washing soda (generally found in the laundry section of supermarkets), use 1 teaspoon baking soda instead. For a more pleasant smell, use lemon juice instead of vinegar. Be sure to label the bottle accordingly.

Today’s Holidays Around The World for Nov. 25: Feast of Christ the King

Today’s Holidays Around The World for Nov. 25

Feast of Christ the King

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, commonly referred to as the Feast of Christ the King, is a relatively recent addition to the Western liturgical calendar, having been instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI for the Roman Catholic Church. In 1970 its Roman Catholic observance was moved to the final Sunday of Ordinary Time. Therefore, the earliest date on which it can occur is 20 November and the latest is 26 November. Traditional Catholics observe it on its original date, the last Sunday of October. The Anglican, Lutheran, and many other Protestant churches adopted it along with the Revised Common Lectionary, occasionally referring to it as Christ the King Sunday. It is also observed on the same computed date as the final Sunday of the ecclesiastical year, the Sunday before the First Sunday of Advent, by Western rite parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.[1] In 2018, the feast day is celebrated on 25 November.[2]

Roman Catholics adhering to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite as permitted under the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum to use the General Roman Calendar of 1960, and as such continue to observe the Solemnity on its original date of the final Sunday of October.

Origin and history in the Roman Catholic Church

Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in his encyclical Quas primas of 1925, in response to growing secularism and nationalism, and in the context of the unresolved Roman Question.

According to Cyril of Alexandria, “Christ has dominion over all creatures, …by essence and by nature.” His kingship is founded upon the hypostatic union. “…[T]he Word of God, as consubstantial with the Father, has all things in common with him, and therefore has necessarily supreme and absolute dominion over all things created.”[3]

“From this it follows that to Christ angels and men are subject. Christ is also King by acquired, as well as by natural right, for he is our Redeemer. …’ We are no longer our own property, for Christ has purchased us “with a great price”; our very bodies are the “members of Christ.”[4] A third ground of sovereignty is that God bestowed upon Christ the nations of the world as His special possession and dominion. “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18)

The feast has an eschatological dimension pointing to the end of time when the kingdom of Jesus will be established in all its fullness to the ends of the earth. It leads into Advent, when the Church anticipates Christ’s second coming.


The title of the feast was “Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Regis” (Our Lord Jesus Christ the King), and the date was established as “the last Sunday of the month of October – the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints”.[5] In Pope St. John XXIII’s revision of the Calendar in 1960, the date and title were unchanged but, according to the simplification of the ranking of feasts, it was classified as a feast of the first class.

In his motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis of 1969, Pope St. Paul VI amended the title of the Feast to “D. N. Iesu Christi universorum Regis” (Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe). He also moved it to the new date of the final Sunday of the liturgical year, before the commencement of a new liturgical year on the First Sunday of Advent (the earliest date for which is 27 November). Through this choice of date “the eschatological importance of this Sunday is made clearer”.[6] He assigned to it the highest rank of “solemnity”.[7]

In the extraordinary form, as happens with all Sundays whose liturgies are replaced by those of important feasts,[8] the prayers of the Sunday on which the celebration of the feast of Christ the King occurs are used on the ferias (weekdays) of the following week. The Sunday liturgy is thus not totally omitted.

In 2018, the Solemnity day falls on 25 November[9] (or 28 October[10] for those using the traditional calendar). The liturgical vestments for the day are colored white or gold, in keeping with other joyous feasts honoring Christ.

Significance for the laity

While the encyclical that established this feast was addressed, according to the custom of the time, to the Catholic Bishops, Pope Pius XI wanted the Feast to impact the laity:

“If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.” [11]

Observance in other churches

Those churches that use the Revised Common Lectionary observe Christ the King Sunday as the final Sunday of their liturgical years.[12] These churches include most major Anglican and mainline Protestant groups, including the Church of England, Episcopal Church, Anglican Church in North America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and other Lutheran groups, United Methodist Church and other Methodist groups, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Church of Christ, and the Moravian Church. Some, such as the Uniting Church in Australia refer to it in non-gendered terms as feast of The Reign of Christ.

In the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Sweden, this day is referred to as the Sunday of Doom, previously highlighting the final judgement, though after the Lectionary of 1983 the theme of the day was amended to the Return of Christ. In the Church in Wales, part of the Anglican Communion, the four Sundays before Advent are called the “Sundays of the Kingdom” and Christ the King is observed as a season and not a single festal day.


  1. Jump up^ Fraternity of St. Gregory the Great calendar
  2. Jump up^ “Christ the King Day”Holidays Calendar.
  3. Jump up^ Pope Pius XI, Quas primas, §7, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  4. Jump up^ Quas primas, §13.
  5. Jump up^ Pope Pius XI, Quas primas, §28, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  6. Jump up^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 63
  7. Jump up^ motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis
  8. Jump up^ Examples are the Solemnities of Pentecost and the Most Holy Trinity. Indeed before the reform of Pope St. Pius X most Sundays deferred to any feast of the rank of double, and these were the majority. (Missale Romanum, published by Pustet, 1862)
  9. Jump up^ “Liturgical Calendar for the Dioceses of the United States of America”United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2014.
  10. Jump up^ “Liturgical Calendar 2015”The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-02-04.
  11. Jump up^ Pope Pius XI, Quas primas, §33, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  12. Jump up^ Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings Proposed by the Consultation on Common Texts, Augsburg Fortress, 2005, p.p. 304-305, ISBN 0806649305

This Day In History for November 25: Elias Howe Patents a Precursor to the Zipper (1851)

Elias Howe Patents a Precursor to the Zipper (1851)

A zipper, zip, fly, or zip fastener, formerly known as a clasp locker, is a commonly used device for binding the edges of an opening of fabric or other flexible material, like on a garment or a bag.[1] It is used in clothing (e.g., jackets and jeans), luggage and other bags, sporting goods, camping gear (e.g. tents and sleeping bags), and other items. Whitcomb L. Judson was an American inventor from Chicago who invented and constructed a workable zipper.[2] The method, still in use today, is based on interlocking teeth. Initially, it was called the “hookless fastener” and was later redesigned to become more reliable.[3]

The bulk of a zipper/zip consists of two rows of protruding teeth, which may be made to interdigitate, linking the rows,[4] carrying from tens to hundreds of specially shaped metal or plastic teeth. These teeth can be either individual or shaped from a continuous coil, and are also referred to as elements. The slider, operated by hand, moves along the rows of teeth. Inside the slider is a Y-shaped channel that meshes together or separates the opposing rows of teeth, depending on the direction of the slider’s movement. The word Zipper ionomatopoetic, because it was named foror the sound the device makes when used, a high-pitched zip.

In many jackets and similar garments, the opening is closed completely when the slider is at one of the ends of the tape. The mechanism allows for partial fastening where only some of the tape is fastened together, but various movements and pressures may move the slider around the tape. In many kinds of luggage, there are two sliders on the tape, mounted in opposite directions head to head: the part of the zipper between them is unfastened. When the sliders are located at opposite ends of the tape, the zipper is fully unfastened; when the two sliders are located next to each other, which can be at any point along the tape, the zipper is fully closed. Some jackets have double-separating zippers. When the sliders are on opposite ends of the tape then the jacket is closed. If the lower slider is raised then the lower two sides of the jacket may be opened to allow more comfortable sitting or bicycling. When both sliders are lowered then the zipper may be totally separated. Although potentially convenient, there are often problems getting this type of zipper to start or to separate.

Zippers may
increase or decrease the size of an opening to allow or restrict the passage of objects, as in the fly of trousers or in a pocket.

join or separate two ends or sides of a single garment, as in the front of a jacket, or on the front, back or side of a dress or skirt to facilitate dressing.
attach or detach a separable part of the garment to or from another, as in the conversion between trousers and shorts or the connection or disconnection of a hood and a coat.

attach or detach a small pouch or bag to or from a larger one. One example of this is military rucksacks which have smaller pouches or bags attached on the sides using one or two zippers.

These variations are achieved by sewing one end of the zipper together, sewing both ends together, or allowing both ends of the zipper to fall completely apart.

A zipper costs relatively little, but if it fails, the garment may be unusable until the zipper is repaired or replaced—which can be quite difficult and expensive. Problems often lie with the zipper slider; when it becomes worn it does not properly align and join the alternating teeth. With separating zippers, the insertion pin may tear loose from the tape; the tape may even disintegrate from use. If a zipper fails, it can either jam (i.e. get stuck) or partially break off.

In 1851, Elias Howe received a patent for an “Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure”. He did not try seriously to market it, missing recognition he might otherwise have received.[5] Howe’s device was more like an elaborate drawstring than a true slide fastener.

Forty-two years later, in 1893 Whitcomb Judson, who invented a pneumatic street railway, marketed a “Clasp Locker”. The device served as a (more complicated) hook-and-eye shoe fastener. With the support of businessman Colonel Lewis Walker, Judson launched the Universal Fastener Company to manufacture the new device. The clasp locker had its public debut at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and met with little commercial success.[5] Judson is sometimes given credit as the inventor of the zipper, but he never made a practical device.

The company, reorganized as the Fastener Manufacturing and Machine Company, moved to Hoboken, N.J. in 1901. Gideon Sundback, a Swedish-American electrical engineer, was hired to work for the company in 1906. Good technical skills and a marriage to the plant-manager’s daughter Elvira Aronson led Sundbäck to the position of head designer. The company moved to Meadville, PA, where it operated for most of the 20th century under the name Talon, Inc. After his wife’s death in 1911, Sundback devoted himself to improving the fastener, and by December 1913 he had designed the modern zipper. The rights to this invention were owned by the Meadville company (operating as the Hookless Fastener Co.), but Sundback retained non-U.S. rights and used these to set up in subsequent years the Canadian firm Lightning Fastner Co. in St. Catharines, Ont. Sundback’s work with this firm has led to the common misperception that he was Canadian and that the zipper originated in that country.[6]

Gideon Sundback increased the number of fastening elements from four per inch (about one every 6.4 mm) to ten or eleven (around every 2.5 mm), introduced two facing rows of teeth that pulled into a single piece by the slider, and increased the opening for the teeth guided by the slider. The patent for the “Separable Fastener” was issued in 1917. Gideon Sundback also created the manufacturing machine for the new device. The “S-L” or “scrapless” machine took a special Y-shaped wire and cut scoops from it, then punched the scoop dimple and nib, and clamped each scoop on a cloth tape to produce a continuous zipper chain. Within the first year of operation, Sundback’s machinery was producing a few hundred feet (around 100 meters) of fastener per day. In March of the same year, Mathieu Burri, a Swiss inventor, improved the design by adding a lock-in system attached to the last teeth, but his version never got into production due to conflicting patents.

The popular North American term zipper, (UK zip, or occasionally zip-fastener), came from the B. F. Goodrich Company in 1923. The company opted to use Gideon Sundback’s fastener on a new type of rubber boots (or galoshes) and referred to it as the zipper, and the name stuck. The two chief uses of the zipper in its early years were for closing boots and tobacco pouches. Zippers began being used for clothing in 1925 by Schott NYC on leather jackets.[5][7]

In the 1930s, a sales campaign began for children’s clothing featuring zippers. The campaign praised zippers for promoting self-reliance in young children by making it possible for them to dress in self-help clothing. The zipper beat the button in 1937 in the “Battle of the Fly”, after French fashion designers raved over zippers in men’s trousers. Esquire declared the zipper the “Newest Tailoring Idea for Men” and among the zippered fly’s many virtues was that it would exclude “The Possibility of Unintentional and Embarrassing Disarray.”

The most recent innovation in the zipper’s design was the introduction of models that could open on both ends, as on jackets. Today the zipper is by far the most widespread fastener, and is found on clothing, luggage, leather goods, and various other objects.[8]


Coil zippers now form the bulk of sales of zippers worldwide. The slider runs on two coils on each side; the teeth are formed by the windings of the coils. Two basic types of coils are used: one with coils in spiral form, usually with a cord running inside the coils; the other with coils in ladder form, also called the Ruhrmann type. Coil zippers are made of polyester coil and are thus also termed polyester zippers. Nylon was formerly used and though only polyester is used now, the type is still also termed a nylon zipper.

Invisible zippers have the teeth hidden behind a tape, so that the zipper is invisible. It is also called the Concealed zipper. The tape’s color matches the garment’s, as does the slider’s and the puller’s. This kind of a zipper is common in skirts and dresses. Invisible zippers are usually coil zippers. They are also seeing increased use by the military and emergency services because the appearance of a button down shirt can be maintained, while providing a quick and easy fastening system. A regular invisible zipper uses a lighter lace-like fabric on the zipper tape, instead of the common heavier woven fabric on other zippers.

Reverse coil zippers are a variation of the coil zipper. In a reverse coil zipper, the coil is on the reverse (back) side of the zipper and the slider works on the flat side of the zipper (normally the back, now the front). Unlike an invisible zipper where the coil is also on the back, the reverse coil shows stitching on the front side and the slider accommodates a variety of pulls (the invisible zipper requires a small, tear-drop pull due to the small slider attachment). Water resistant zippers are generally configured as reverse coil so that the pvc coating can cover the stitching. A rubber or PVC coated reverse zipper is called a waterproof zipper.
Metal zippers are the classic zipper type, found mostly in jeans and pencil cases today. The teeth are not a coil, but are individual pieces of metal molded into shape and set on the zipper tape at regular intervals. Metal zippers are made in brass, aluminum and nickel, according to the metal used for teeth making. All these zippers are basically made from flat wire. A special type of metal zipper is made from pre-formed wire, usually brass but sometimes other metals too. Only a few companies in the world have the technology. This type of pre-formed metal zippers is mainly used in high grade jeans-wear, work-wear, etc., where high strength is required and zippers need to withstand tough washing.

Plastic-molded zippers are identical to metallic zippers, except that the teeth are plastic instead of metal. Metal zippers can be painted to match the surrounding fabric; plastic zippers can be made in any color of plastic. Plastic zippers mostly use polyacetal resin, though other thermoplastic polymers are used as well, such as polyethylene. Used most popularly for pencil cases, small plastic pouchs and other useful stationery.

Open-ended zippers use a box and pin mechanism to lock the two sides of the zipper into place, often in jackets. Open-ended zippers can be of any of the above described types.
Two way open-ended zippers Instead of having an insertion pin and pin box at the bottom, a two way open-ended zipper has a puller on each end of the zipper tape. Someone wearing a garment with this kind of zipper can slide up the bottom puller to accommodate more leg movement without stressing the pin and box of a one-way open-ended zipper. It is most commonly used on long coats.

Two way closed-ended zippers are closed at both ends; they are often used in luggage and can have either one or two pullers on the zipper.
Magnetic zippers allow for one-handed closure and are used in sportswear. [1]

Air and water tightness
Airtight zippers were first developed by NASA for making high-altitude pressure suits and later space suits, capable of retaining air pressure inside the suit in the vacuum of space.[9]

The airtight zipper is built like a standard toothed zipper, but with a waterproof sheeting (which is made of fabric-reinforced polyethylene and is bonded to the rest of the suit) wrapped around the outside of each row of zipper teeth. When the zipper is closed, the two facing sides of the plastic sheeting are squeezed tightly against one another (between the C-shaped clips) both above and below the zipper teeth, forming a double seal.[10]

This double-mated surface is good at retaining both vacuum and pressure, but the fit must be very tight, to press the surfaces together firmly. Consequently, these zippers are typically very stiff when zipped shut and have minimal flex or stretch. They are hard to open and close because the zipper anvil must bend apart teeth that are being held under tension. They can also be derailed (and damage the sealing surfaces) if the teeth are misaligned while straining to pull the zipper shut.

These zippers are very common where airtight or watertight seals are needed, such as on scuba diving dry suits, ocean survival suits, and hazmat suits.

A less common water-resistant zipper is similar in construction to a standard toothed zipper, but includes a molded plastic ridge seal similar to the mating surfaces on a ziploc bag. Such a zipper is easier to open and close than a clipped version, and the slider has a gap above the zipper teeth for separating the ridge seal. This seal is structurally weak against internal pressure, and can be separated by pressure within the sealed container pushing outward on the ridges, which simply flex and spread apart, potentially allowing air or liquid entry through the spread-open ridges. Ridge-sealed zippers are sometimes used on lower-cost surface dry suits.

Anti-slide zipper locks
Some zippers include a designed ability for the slider to hold in a steady open or closed position, resisting forces that would try to move the slider and open the zipper unexpectedly. There are two commons ways this is accomplished:

The zipper handle can have a short protruding pin stamped into it, which inserts between the zipper teeth through a hole on the slider, when the handle is folded down flat against the zipper teeth. This appears on some brands of trousers. The handle of the fly zipper is folded flat against the teeth when it is not in use, and the handle is held down by both slider hinge tension and the fabric flap over the fly.

The slider can also have a two-piece hinge assembly attaching the handle to the slider, with the base of the hinge under spring tension and with protruding pins on the bottom that insert between the zipper teeth. To move the zipper, the handle is pulled outward against spring tension, lifting the pins out from between the teeth as the slider moves. When the handle is released the pins automatically engage between the zipper teeth again. They are called “auto-lock sliders”.

A three-piece version of the above uses a tiny pivoting arm held under tension inside the hinge. Pulling on the handle from any direction lifts the pivoting arm’s pins out of the zipper teeth so that the slider can move.

The components of a zipper are:
Top Tape Extension (The fabric part of the zipper, that extends beyond the teeth, at the top of the chain.)
Top Stop (Two devices affixed to the top end of a zipper, to prevent the slider from coming off the chain.)
Slider (The device that moves up and down the chain to open or close the zipper.)
Pull Tab or Puller (The part of the slider that is held to move the slider up or down.)
Tape Width (Refers to the width of the fabric on both sides of the zipper chain.)
Chain or Zipper Teeth (The continuous piece that is formed when both halves of a zipper are meshed together) and Chain Width (Refers to the specific gauge of the chain – common gauge sizes are #3, #5, #7, #8 and #10, the bigger the number, the wider the teeth/chain width is.)
Bottom Stop (A device affixed to the bottom end of a zipper, to prevent further movement of the half of the zipper from separating.)
Bottom Tape Extension (The fabric part of the zipper, that extends beyond the teeth, at the bottom of the chain.)
Single Tape Width (Refers to the width of the fabric on one side of the zipper chain.)
Insertion Pin (A device used on a separating zipper whose function is to allow the joining of the two zipper halves.)
Retainer Box or Pin Box (A device used on a separating zipper whose function is to correctly align the pin, to begin the joining of the zipper halves.)
Reinforcement Film (A strip of plastic fused to each half of the zipper tape to allow a manufacturer to electronically “weld” the zipper onto the garment or item that is being manufactured, without the need of sewing or stitching.)[11]

Forbes reported in 2003 that although the zipper market in the 1960s was dominated by Talon Zipper (USA) and Optilon (Germany), Japanese manufacturer YKK grew to become the industry giant by the 1980s. YKK held 45 percent of world market share, followed by Optilon (8 percent) and Talon Zipper (7 percent).[12]

Indian Tex Corp has also emerged as a significant supplier to the apparel industry.

In Europe, Cremalleras Rubi company established in 1926 (Spain), continues to compete with the big multinationals selling over 30 million zippers in 2012.

In 2005, The Guardian reported that China had 80 percent of the international market. Most of its product is made in Qiaotou, Yongjia County.[13]

25 November 1851 U.S. Patent 8,540: “Improvement in Fastening for Garments”
29 August 1893 U.S. Patent 504,037: “Shoe fastening”
29 August 1893 U.S. Patent 504,038: “Clasp Locker or Unlocker for Shoes”[14]
31 March 1896 U.S. Patent 557,207: “Fastening for Shoes”
31 March 1896 U.S. Patent 557,208: “Clasp-Locker for Shoes”
29 April 1913 U.S. Patent 1,060,378: “Separable fastener” (Gideon Sundback)
20 March 1917 U.S. Patent 1,219,881: “Separable fastener” (Gideon Sundback)
22 December 1936 U.S. Patent 2,065,250: “Slider”

In popular culture
Zippers have entered into urban legends. American folklorist Jan Brunvand noted that “The zipper has been the subject of jokes and legends since… the 1920s”. Those stories reflect “modern anxieties and desires”, emphasizing embarrassments and accidents, primarily involving the flies of men’s trousers in stories such as “The Unzipped Stranger” and “The Unzipped Fly”.[15]

The zipper may be used to secure an article of clothing, a tent or other fabric enclosure, luggage, or other soft container. Another popular method of securing clothing presses a thin and sharpened wire through the fabric using a brooch or safety pin. A buckle is used in place of a zipper at times. Buttons are another way to secure clothing, and require dexterous fingers to properly use. Snap fasteners (also named poppers and press studs) and the hook and loop fastener are a few less common zipper alternatives.

Durability and repairs
The zipper is often the least durable component in any garment or type of equipment. Most often the zipper fails to close due to a worn or bent slider not being able to apply the necessary force to the sides of the teeth to cause them to interlock. This problem can sometimes be redressed by using a small pipe wrench or similar pliers to carefully squeeze the back part of the slider together a fraction of a millimeter. This can compensate for the wear of the slider. The slider is typically made as a magnesium diecast which breaks easily. It is necessary to reduce the force on the pliers before it can be felt that the slider actually gives in. If it is not yet possible to successfully close the zipper, the pressure applied to the slider should only gradually be increased. Another way to reduce the gap of the open end of the slider is by preparing a small block of wood by sawing a slot into one end so that it fits over the upper arm of the slider. Then a hammer can be used to exact a force onto the slider by carefully hitting the wood.[16]

When the protective coating of the diecast slider has been worn off by prolonged usage, the material can corrode. The corrosion products are usually metal salts which can accumulate and block the slider from moving. When this happens the salt can often be dissolved by submergind the slider in vinegar or another mild acid. Otherwise the slider needs to be removed and replaced.[17]

Henry Petroski: The Evolution of Useful Things (1992); ISBN 0-679-74039-2
Robert Friedel: Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty (W. W. Norton and Company: New York, 1996); ISBN 0-393-31365-4
^ zipper. (2009). In Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Retrieved from
^ Great Inventors and Inventions by Ron Shaw at Google Books
^ Friedel, Robert (1994). Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty. United States of America: Horton.
^ zipper. (2007). In Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. Retrieved from
^ a b c “Zipper History”. AnsunMultitech. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
^ Friedel, Robert (1996). Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 94. ISBN 0-393-31365-4.
^ Cooper, Wilbert. “THE FIRST WILD ONE: THE GENESIS OF THE MOTORCYCLE JACKET”. Retrieved 2014-09-16.
^ Mary Bellis (2010-06-16). “History of the zipper”. Inventors. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
^ MacGill, Sally (2010). Ideas That Changed the World. New York: Dorling Kindersley Limited.
^ Drysuits: Zippers, Seals, Valves and Maintenance, Illustrated dissection of a dry-suit zipper.
^ “Zipper Parts”. ZipperSource. Zippersource. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
^ Benjamin Fulford (2003-11-24). “Zipping Up the World”. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
^ Jonathan Watts (2005-05-25). “The tiger’s teeth”. The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
^ Ikenson, Ben. Patents: Ingenious Inventions : How They Work and How They Came to Be. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2004.
^ Kevin J. McKenna (2009). The Proverbial “Pied Piper”: A Festschrift Volume of Essays in Honor of Wolfgang Mieder on the Occasion of His Sixty-fifth Birthday. Peter Lang. pp. 31–. ISBN 978-1-4331-0489-3.
^ DIY Repairs COIL ZIP 1 – Coils not meshing behind a closing slider on the webpage of Wilderness Equipment, Australia
^ DIY Repairs COIL ZIP 2 – The slider is ‘frozen’ on the coil zip and can’t be moved on the webpage of Wilderness Equipment, Australia


Most Inspiration for Your Today, Nov. 25: What you can gain

What you can gain

Whatever challenges your skills, improves those skills. Whatever challenges your beliefs, can make those beliefs even more compelling, persuasive, and rewarding.

Certainly challenges are difficult to go through. However, challenges are great to have gone through.

When a challenge comes your way, take a moment to look at it from the other side. Imagine looking back on it and seeing all you’ve gained by working through it.

The bigger and more imposing the challenge appears when it arrives, the more value you’ll have gained when it is behind you. And that experience will prepare you to conquer even bigger challenges, and to enjoy even greater rewards.

Challenges have always brought out the best in you, and will continue to do so. It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

Choose to give your best to the challenges. And what you gain in return will be even better.

— Ralph Marston

Read more at The Daily Motivator

Inspiration for the Day for November 25: You Never Know Until You Try

You Never Know Until You Try


It is often said that at the end of our lives, we are more likely to regret the things we did not do than the things we did.

When contemplating whether to do something or not, a plucky voice in our heads may say, “You never know until you try.” This is time-honored wisdom that encourages us to be game rather than to hold back. It reminds us that it is only through experience that we learn about this world and ourselves. Even if we regret the outcome, we have learned something, and the newfound knowledge is almost always worth it.

This wisdom can be applied to situations both large and small. From crossing the Atlantic on a boat to trying Ethiopian food, there’s only one way to find out what it’s like. We have all had experiences where we tried something we didn’t think we’d like and fell in love. We may have found ourselves stuck with nothing to read but a “boring” book, only to kick-start a lifelong passion for Victorian literature. We may have decided that sailing was not for us until we fell in love with someone with a boat. On the other hand, we may try tofu only to learn that it is truly not for us. In this case, we gain greater self-knowledge from the experience. And yet, we might still remain open to trying it prepared in a different way. The right marinade might make you a convert–you’ll never know if you don’t try it.

It is often said that at the end of our lives we are more likely to regret the things we did not do than the things we did. As an exercise to test your own willingness to discover through doing, try making a list of things you regret not having done. You may begin to notice patterns such as a failure to say what you really think at key moments or closed-mindedness to certain types of activities. Just being aware of the opportunities you missed might encourage you not to miss them again. There’s only one way to find out.

Source: The DailyOM

Get A Jump on Tomorrow, Your Horoscopes for Monday, November 26


Get A Jump on Tomorrow….

Your Horoscopes for Monday, November 26

Claire Petulengro, Astrologer

From The Astrology Room


ARIES (March 21st-April 20th)
Try not to tell too many lies, as they will come back on you. You really do need to be prepared for the unpredictable. It is what will make your life a more fun and enjoyable place to be.

TAURUS (April 21st-May 21st)
Age differences appear to be relevant in your chart at this time and if you were thinking of getting closer to someone of a very different age to you then make sure you put others’ thoughts to one side, or you will place a bitter taste on what should be a memorable time.

GEMINI (May 22nd-June 21st)
Try to make sure you are doing your job as others have asked today. You may not realise it, but there is a fiercely independent feel to your chart which could well see you making up your own way of doing things.

CANCER (June 22nd-July 23rd)
I know there is a great deal of emotional pressure on you to do what others deem is the right thing, but there comes a time in our lives when we have to do what is right for ourselves and this my friend, is what is required of you now.

LEO (July 24th-August 23rd)
Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules and build a life you’re proud to live. I know this year has been hard for you and that you’ve done things you’re not proud of. You’ve acknowledged, you’ve learnt and now you move on.

VIRGO (August 24th-September 23rd)
Try to take the compliments which others will be trying to give you today. You may not realise it, but by taking a more laid back attitude recently you’ve learnt how to make yourself a priority. Keep up the good work.

LIBRA (September 24th-October 23rd)
You are rushing when you should be slowing your pace and taking in the view. I know you have given yourself a long list of things you want to achieve. However, it’s only by taking them on one at a time that you will reach your destination with a smile.

SCORPIO (October 24th-November 22nd)
Try not to get involved in arguments which don’t concern you, or you could end up being blamed for starting such dramas. New ways to get on with difficult family members make your life a better place to be.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23rd-December 21st)
There is so much for you to take in at the moment that it is no wonder you are feeling in a bit of a spin. Try to stop and take a breath. You should soon see what and who should be your main priority if you do.

CAPRICORN (December 22nd-January 20th)
Try not to accuse our close ones of things they may not have done. Get all your facts and figures first please Capricorn. It is the only way you will avoid looking and feeling the fool. A new attraction may well change upcoming travel plans.

AQUARIUS (January 21st-February 19th)
If you need a hero in your life, then become one. I know how hard life has been for you lately and I see that your time has not been your own. A sign such as yourself does not like to be ruled. Try to set standards you can be proud of and stick to them.

PISCES (February 20th-March 20th)
Jupiter pushes you to tie up the many loose ends you have left for yourself. Just make sure you are being true to yourself. To say yes to things you don’t want, will only open up a Pandora’s Box.


For Claire’s in-depth horoscope for this week, call 0905 072 0237
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