Announcing the New Solid Surface Alliance Forum

For more info, to ask questions, or to find a tester, go to

We finially have the Forum up for the Solid Surface Alliance. Unregistered guests can browse all but one of the catagories, but if you want to ask a question or comment, you need to register. Registeration is easy, fill out the usual form, the system will email you with a link to activate your account, then just log in as usual.

The forum is brand new, so there won’t be much content until the membership grows, so add a question or comment if you visit to help get the conversations going. New forums are tough to start, people look around, see little going on, and leave. But, with the volumne of questions we get from the public, this forum will save lots of time and make the answers available for all interested internet viewers to find.

There is one section off limits to all but invited members, that is the Scientific Section which is dedicated for those who are working on the issues. There they can spreak freely, bounce ideas off each other, and not worry about info getting picked up and repeated elsewhere before the proper time.

Please contact us if you have any problems signing up or logging on. Remember you MUST click on the link in the email that is sent to you to activate your account. You might have to scroll down one page when you open the email to find the activation link.

For more info, to ask questions, or to find a tester, go to

Countertop Wars, watching the pros debate the issues on materials

Posted in Welcome by Administrator on the June 7th, 2008

For more info, to ask questions, or to find a tester, go to

June 4th, 2008
Not all countertop materials are equal, nor do all countertop fabricators share the same opinion on the pros and cons of the material. A consumer thinking to purchase an expensive countertop has to figure out which product is the best material but who to trust? Many of the websites on countertop mateial contradict each other. Who do you trust?

Easy, find a countertop war and see who is winning!

For a year and a half now, these battles have been raging on various consumer sites like Garden Web, Kitchen Forum, or with tons of info becoming available to the consumer. Problem was the moderation was lacking, bitter exchanges ensued, with informative posts being deleted, even posters getting banned in the interest of forum harmony. The lack of debate rules allowed unscruplous posters to waste readers time with personal attacks, poor logic, unsupported information, or childish behaviour.

Countertop Wars is designed to end that vicious circle. Here a set of rules will be followed. Repeated violation of the rules will get the miscreants post deleted, along with a specific warning on the rule violated so the poster can do better next time. If a poster doesn’t learn to do better, they will lose posting privileges.

Consumers wanting to listen in, or even join the debate, can follow the debate without the usual time wasting conflict present on these type of threads. Picking out which product is fairly represented will be far easier to do.

The rules are simple.

Avoid the use of Never.
Avoid the use of Always.
Don’t disagree with obvious truths.
Attack the idea not the person.
Use many rather than most.
Avoid exaggeration.
The use of often allows for exceptions.
The use of generally allows for exceptions.
Quote sources and numbers.
If it is just an opinion, admit it.
Do not present opinion as facts.
Smile when disagreeing.
You do not need to win every battle to win the war.
Concede minor or trivial points.
Avoid bickering, quarreling, and wrangling.
Watch your tone of voice.
Don’t win a debate and lose a friend.
Keep your perspective – You’re just debating.

Have fun and learn all about countertop materials.

Do you want to be taken seriously in the debate?

Posted in Welcome by Administrator on the June 7th, 2008

June 4th, 2008
If you want to be taken seriously, follow these four rules for every post.

1. If you want to debate the issues, positions should be backed with info from scientific studies or from the opposing camps own industry.

2. Posters should be civil, sarcastic comments will get the entire post deleted. Examples of rude behavior such as typing in all caps (shouting) except for an occasional emphasis, or personal attacks will not be allowed to remain.

3. Debate rules should be followed. Logical arguements should be used. The following fallacies should be avoided. Don’t worry about keeping them in mind, others will point out them for you!

Argumentum ad baculum / Appeal to force (only bad people believe this)
Argumentum ad hominem (the guy is an idiot)
Argumentum ad ignorantiam (no one can prove it)
Argumentum ad misericordiam (poor me!)
Argumentum ad populum (appealing to the people)
Argumentum ad numerum (everyone knows this is true!)
Argumentum ad verecundiam (Oprah says it is true!)
The fallacy of accident (from general to specific)
Converse accident / Hasty generalization
Sweeping generalization / Dicto simpliciter
Non causa pro causa / Post hoc ergo propter hoc (False Cause fallacies)
Cum hoc ergo propter hoc (causally related events)
Petitio principii / Begging the question (questionable premises)
Circulus in demonstrando (Circular argument)
Fallacy of presupposition (do you still beat your wife?)
Ignoratio elenchi (logically nothing to do with the conclusion)
Equivocation / Fallacy of four terms (a key word with two or more meanings)
Amphiboly (careless phrasing)
Fallacies of composition (parts must apply to the whole)

The slippery slope argument

Argumentum ad antiquitatem (if it is old, it is good)
Argumentum ad nauseam (same argument, over and over again)
Bifurcation (black and white fallacy)
Plurium interrogationum / Many questions (expecting a simple answer to a complex question)
Non sequitur (not logically connected)
Red herring (bait! Don’t fall for it)
Reification / Hypostatization (treating the abstact as a concrete thing)
Straw man (misrepresenting your opponent’s argument)
Tu quoque (but you did it too!)
Audiatur et altera pars (not stating your assumptions)

Below is an excellent site on logical argument fallacies

4. Posts must stay on subject, analogies are acceptable if brief.

Try to stay civil and have fun. The truth will come out in the end

Ya want to talk discuss radiation and granite, ya gotta learn the units used

Posted in Welcome by Administrator on the June 7th, 2008

June 5th, 2008
Boring stuff, but necessary, these units of radiation. Confusing, math required as well, but knowing the basics is the only way to keep up with the debate. I’ll keep it simple, leave out lots, and later you can fill in the gaps as you learn more about the issues.
First off, three things need to be measured:
1, The amount of radiation emitted. Activity
2. How much was absorbed by your body. Absorbed dose
3. How much damage did it do to your body. Dose equivalent
Some people like to use boxing as an analogy, how many punches were thrown, how many hit your body, and how much damaged did the landed punches cause.
Now it gets a little more complicated.
The rest of the world uses different units than we do in the USA and there are older units still found in some studies found on line.
The US uses Curie (Ci), Rad (r), Rem , and Roentgen (R). Uh oh, I mentioned four and we only had three to talk about. I’ll get to it.
The rest of the world uses Becquerel (Bq), Gray (Gy), and Sievert (Sv).
Curie measures the amount of radiation, same as a Becquerel.
1 Bq = 1 disintegration per second (dps) 1 Ci = 3.7 x 1010 dps 1 Ci = 3.7 x 1010 Bq
Rad measures the absorbed dose, same as Gray.
1 Gray = 100 Rad
Rem measures Dose Equivalent, same as Sieverts.
1 Sv = 100 rems
We will use the US units on this site for the most part, but sometimes the standard units are needed. Use the conversion factors above to convert into US units when needed.
Now what about Roentgen? That is a unit used to describe how much air is ionized by the radiation, which is how a Geiger counter works. So a result posted in Roentgens will pretty much tell you that it was a Geiger counter that measured the radiation.
But wait, some good news! For our discussion, we can figure that Rad, Rem, and Roentgen are roughly the same. Some particles like neutrons or Alpha are different, but for external exposure, we can assume Rad, Rem, and Roentgen are close to the same.
A Rem or a Sievert are very large quantities. We will need something smaller to discuss radiation. Standard math prefixes are used, most common are micro and Milli. A Milli is 1,000th of something. A micro is 1,000,000 of something. So a 1 Milli Rem (1 mR) is 1,000 times larger than 1 micro Rem (1 uR).
Now we have to add something, how long was the exposure? Usually hours or years are the units used, as in 1 mR/hr or 8,760 mR/yr. Remember that R can be thought of as Rem, Rad, or Roentgen.
If you have any questions, just post a comment and I’ll try to help.