New Novel Recalls Romance at Roaring Twenties Dance Pavilion

In her latest novel, Lumina, North Carolina author Mary Flinn takes readers on a journey back in time. Lumina was a beautiful beach pavilion where dances were held every Saturday night for the first half of the twentieth century in Wilmington, North Carolina. Now Flinn returns us to the days of the Roaring Twenties when young ladies wore beaded skirts and young men covertly sipped whiskey when the dance matron wasn’t looking. It was an era of cultural change, marked by the first real sexual revolution, Prohibition, the introduction of jazz, and a time when music formed a bond for many whites and African-Americans.

Readers of Mary Flinn’s former novels will enjoy this chance to be enmeshed once again in her world. Although Lumina is her first historical romance, old favorite characters make their appearance in the form of Elle McLarin and some of her friends-Nate, Anne Borden Montgomery (AB), and Mr. May-from A Girl Like That. The story begins when Anne Borden finds a novel based on her mother’s diary and her uncle’s letters from the summer of 1928. The four friends begin a routine of sitting on Anne Borden’s porch and reading the novel out loud. As they do so, readers get alternate glimpses of the changes in the modern-day characters’ world while also hearing the endearing, but at times shocking, tale of Anne Borden’s uncle Kip and her mother Sylvie and the summer that changed their lives.

At the center of it all is Lumina, the magnificent dance pavilion built on Wilmington’s Wrightsville Beach. Known as the “Palace of Light,” it was the place to be on a Saturday night. As Kip describes it in the novel, “Lumina is the great equalizer for young people who are out for a bit of fun and to celebrate the happiness of youth. The best of the bands come there to play for the summer and thousands of people from all walks of life-tourists and locals, middle-class and aristocrats alike, arrive to dance the evening away on a Saturday night. Many a romance has been born at Lumina, I’ll tell you.” It is also a place for excitement and escapism. Kip says at one point in the novel, referring to the hours between eight and midnight, “We were perfect for four more hours.” It was a time when life seemed perfect.

It was also a time when you could meet anyone at the dances. Kip and Sylvie come from a middle class family. Their father owns a clothing store, but at Lumina they have a chance to rub elbows with the Carmichaels-brother and sister Clifton and Catherine-among the wealthiest people in North Carolina, friends of the Vanderbilts, and both attractive and charming, at least on the surface. Kip is instantly smitten with Catherine and begins a whirlwind romance with her. Clifton latches on to Sylvie, who can’t believe such a handsome gentleman is interested in her.

But both Clifton and Catherine have their demons, and as the novel progresses, secrets are revealed that threaten the young couples’ relationships.

Lumina is the perfect book to escape into, and yet it is serious fiction, as serious as anything Fitzgerald wrote. There’s a villain to rival Emily Bronte’s Heathcliff, and a sense of social injustice as strong as that of To Kill a Mockingbird. There are pleasant evenings spent on a porch that recall a past when neighbors actually took the time to speak to each other. There are fast cars and short skirts and a sense that the world is changing, no matter how much the characters wish they could freeze time.

Every page is vibrant with life, longing, and romance, and Flinn knows how to pace the story so readers can come up for air when things get too intense, while constantly keeping us in suspense.

My favorite section was near the end when The Shag-the great dance of the age-is introduced following the Feast of Pirates. It’s a perfect build-up to the climax that effortlessly blends history and fiction. If you’re not familiar with the Shag, it may not sound like a big deal, but when you read the novel, you’ll get goosebumps during these scenes. Flinn knows how to pace her story so that readers find themselves helplessly caught up in the excitement as if riding a rollercoaster. Time can’t be frozen, but these scenes in the novel become so intense they are permanently etched in the reader’s memory as golden moments to remember. Few novelists have this skill, and while Flinn makes it all look effortless, it is the result of years of mastering her craft.

Hollywood is dying to tell stories like this one. The sparkling lights of Lumina, the music wafting out onto the beach, the dazzling dresses, the smell of bathtub gin, the Southern charm, and the family secrets that won’t lay dying-they are all here, making The Great Gatsby look like child’s play.

MoS2 Low Friction Coatings – Not Just For The Aviation Industry Anymore

MoS2 low friction coatings (also known as molybdenum disulfide, also spelled, disulphide) are regarded the most widely used form of solid film lubrication today. What makes them unique (with the other dichalcogenides) is the weak atomic interaction (Van der Waals) of the sulfide anions, while covalent bonds within molybdenum are strong.Thus, lubrication relies on slippage along the sulfur atoms. All the properties of the lamella structure are intrinsic. No external form of moisture is required. In fact, best performance from MoS2 low friction coatings is attained in the absence of water vapor, which are prone to surface adsorption. This makes them ideal under vacuum.There are a number of methods to apply MoS2 low friction coatings, including a simple rubbing or burnishing, air-spraying resin-bonded or inorganically bonded coatings, and more recently by sputtering through physical vapor deposition (PVD).Thickness will vary, depending on form of MoS2 low friction coatings, but typically ranges between 5 to 15 micrometer. Sputtering techniques can produce thin films of 0.2 micrometer. While plasma sprays will result in higher builds, beginning at 0.003 inch or more.Friction coefficient less than 0.05 is attainable, but will also vary with humidity and sliding conditions. Tests show friction decreases with increasing vacuum strength. Friction also lowers with higher load, faster surface speed, or both. In fact, MoS2 low friction coatings are superior to both graphite and tungsten disulfide (WS2). Friction with MoS2 low friction coatings is independent of particle size, though the larger particles can carry more load.Dry lubrication for MoS2 low friction coatings remains superior at higher temperatures, with oxidation rates remaining relatively low at temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. And in dry, oxygen-free atmospheres, lubricating performance, even with oxidation products, is stable to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit.Higher air flow can affect oxidation kinetic rates in atmosphere. Molybdenum oxide products (MoO3) and sulfur dioxide. Since MoO3 alone offers dry lubrication, based on its relative softness, molybdenum disulfide coating are ideal in higher temperature environments. At higher temperatures, though, they are better suited under vacuum. In atmosphere, they are prone to water adsorption from air based on their hygroscopic properties.As with the other dry film lubricants, while differences may prove negligible, you will have to determine which is better for you: longer wear life or better performance, using MoS2 low friction coatings. Generally, friction will be slightly higher by coating both surfaces, rather than coating one surface only. But wear life will increase coating both surfaces.Friction can be good in so many areas of life. Without it we could not easily stop and start our motion, or change direction. But in moving machinery, friction causes considerable loss of energy, poorer performance, not to mention limiting wear life.As with many non-lubricated systems, the static coefficient of friction is higher than the dynamic coefficient of friction. The resultant motion is often referred to as ‘stick-slip’. Basically, the two surfaces stick together until the elastic energy within the system has accumulated to some threshold, where a sudden, forward slip takes place. Under magnification, it’s apparent the union of two surfaces is often limited to intimate contact only at the tips of a few of the asperities (small scale, surface irregularities). At these point areas, pressures relating to contact may be near the hardness of the softer material. Thus, plastic deformation occurs on some localized scale. This is known as cold welding. Where bonded junctions are formed between two materials.For lubrication to occur, these bonds, this adhesive component of friction, must be broken. And this is where products like MoS2 low friction coatings serve well.So, where are these products used today? Consider aerospace, automotive, marine and electronic, for starters. There, you’ll find MoS2 low friction coatings, again and again.

Ontario’s Wine Industry – Harvesting the Benefits of SR&ED

How wonderful it is to proudly browse the wide selection of Ontario’s wines at your local LCBO. Knowing that your own winery is both a driving force in the Canadian economy and an innovator of the local wine industry can certainly be rewarding, both personally and professionally.From challenges to opportunitiesQuite often the goal of a grape grower to produce a consistent, high-quality brand of wine is met with many unexpected challenges. With the erratic situation of the Canadian economy following the recession, wine makers of Ontario struggle to produce at the risk of manufacturing downsizing. In addition to economic factors, the wine industry of Ontario is faced with a higher stringency under Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) regulations, and the push from Wine Council of Ontario (WCO) to raise industry standards by participating in programs like Sustainable Winemaking Ontario.For the individual winery of Ontario, keeping up with competition means continuously utilizing new technologies and finding innovative ways to provide a premium product, despite such challenges. Simply put, this boils down to having the necessary financial opportunities become available to maintain a healthy competition. Are these opportunities available to the wine industry of Ontario? Yes – SR&ED is the answer!The SR&ED programThe SR&ED program (Scientific Research & Experimental Development) aims to reimburse companies for their experimental development expenses. For over 20 years and with about $4 billion a year in funding, it remains the largest single source of federal funding for R&D in Canada. The goal is to make creativity and innovation affordable in the Canadian business environment and foster future development.The program is highly relevant to businesses who are naturally involved in shop-floor
experimentation. R&D projects that qualify under the program include (1) work undertaken for the purpose of achieving technological advancement and/or (2) creating new, or improving existing materials, devices, products or processes. The actual refund amount depends on proper identification and qualification of eligible expenditures.Wineries in Ontario serve as ideal candidates for such funding. Typical SR&ED eligible activities that apply to the wine industry include:Developing new wines
Altering soil chemistry
Handling and harvesting technology
Improved bottling techniques
Altering practice as result of the weather
Many more…
Wineries and growers may be regularly overcoming such obstacles in daily operation. Your innovative solutions to these problems may very well qualify you for some SR&ED funding. The program supports any attempts to improve your business operations, even if they do not prove successful.Which costs qualify?Working on new ideas takes time, wastes material and requires equipment modification. The SR&ED program allows retrieving these expenses:68% of wages and salaries of personnel directly involved in R&D
41% of sub-contractor expenses
22% of capital expenditures
The refund has no strings attached – as a winery owner you are free to spend it anyway you like – buy new equipment, attempt new projects, or give everyone a big bonus – the decision is yours!How we can help?Submitting a SR&ED claim is a fairly complex and time consuming process. It involves properly identifying eligible activities within your business, associating the appropriate costs to these projects and completing a highly technical report to support the claim.Using the extensive experience of a professional consultancy like ourselves, business owners have the opportunity to review their potential for qualification, and complete the application process in a few hours, and with no up-front costs. We get paid when you do!Discovering that your business is eligible for SR&ED funding makes a world of difference. The goal is to help your winery take potential technical risks that will eventually lead to significant improvements in your industry.