Cooling Tower – Past and Present Scenario

Industrial revolution was the starting point for the need of industrial appliances. Electrical products, pressure equipment, manufacturing machines are a few to name. One most common industrial appliance today is cooling tower. It is an inexpensive way of removing heat to the atmosphere through cooling water.

  • History of Cooling Tower

Cooling Tower has its history way back in the 19th and 20th century. It is an innovative concept originated out of the development of condenser used in steam engine. A condenser uses cool water to condense the steam coming out of pistons and turbines. However, the mechanism requires considerable amount of cool water supply. To overcome the challenging situation, engineers began to introduce several cooling water recycling methods effective in those areas where there was limited supply of water. During the course of invention and innovation, they came up with quite a few designs. And, of the many outputs, cooling tower of today became the final choice of all.

  • Cooling Towers Today

Initially, the cooling tower used to be made up of wood only. But today, the product line includes towers made up of Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) and Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC). The manufacturing companies use high-end technology and certified techniques to construct each part of the equipment. They have experienced engineers to offer devices of better product life.

Today, a cooling tower catalog includes good number of varieties of industry standards.

Some of the most popular forms of towers are mentioned below:
FRP (Rectangle, Round and Square)

FRP cooling tower is gaining prominence in the present industrial scenario. The compact designs and light weight features allows easy installation on roof-top or any other specific location as per requirement. Engineers believe that FRP towers give optimum level of performance and help end-users to save considerable power. The kind of device can withstand high velocities and natural shocks without any complications.

  • Wooden Towers

It is manufactured out of the chemically treated timber wood. As of now, the usability of wooden cooling system is facing tough competition over FRP products. Yet, there are good number of steel mills and petrochemical mills using the system as heat removal device. Concrete

Constructed of RCC outer structure, it is a permanent cooling solution for industries. The tower is just an example of the 19th century condenser where water requirement is very high. Concrete cooling system is largely used in fertilizer plants and power stations.

  • Parabolic

Parabolic Cooling Tower has massive structural strength and has high resistance to wind loading. This kind of tower is mostly constructed to perform heavy heat duties in vast industrial areas.

The development in cooling mechanism has led HVAC industry to go a long way. Industries have wide options to make their best investment. However, it is always advisable to make thorough research before making any purchasing decision.

Simple Tips to Trim Your Car Insurance Bill

Who doesn’t want to own a car? You can commute to any place at anytime when you have a car. But, owning a car is not all about traveling convenience, rather it’s a sign of your living standard. However, every car owner must invest in a car insurance to comply with law of the land. This is where you need to consider a few things that help you reduce your premium. By investing less, you can reap a lot of benefits. Here’s how.

Experts say that insurers prepare a plethora of clauses under which one can avail premium discounts on car insurance. Understanding these features can help you be aware of what discounts you can avail; and how to avail these discounts and whether these discounts makes sense fiscally.

However, over the last few years, the criteria for premium rating factors has witnessed changes beyond the four parameters prevalent earlier, viz. engine capacity, geographical zone, price and age of vehicle. These days many new parameters are considered to determine the premium rates. They have given birth to a lot of ways to be followed to lower your car insurance bill.

You can, for example, reduce the premium rates by 10-30 per cent by giving the proper and correct information to your insurer when you buy a car insurance policy online or offline. A new insurance company may not always offer you the best quotes for the plan that fits your need and budget. By taking a few steps and paying proper attention to certain facts, you can save on your car insurance premium. Read on to learn more:

  • No claims bonus

A no claims bonus is a comprehensive facility designed to offer extensive benefits to customers. This facility is given to an individual when he or she does not claim against a car insurance policy during the period of time specified by the insurer. A no claims bonus is offered in a form of specific percentage reduction in your premium in the subsequent years. This bonus increases with each claim-free year. It typically starts with 20% and can go up to maximum 50%.

  • Voluntary deductible discount

A popular car insurance company offers a discount to its customers on their vehicle premium when it finds that customers can bear a certain amount of loss in regard to each claim. This is where a voluntary deductible amount plays a vital role. A voluntary deductible discount is an amount that a customer agrees to pay in order to get more cover by the insurer. What needs to be kept in mind is that higher the voluntary deductible, the lower is the premium. The discounts offered with this feature typically fluctuate between 20% and 35% of the premium, subject to a maximum of Rs 3,500. When you buy a car insurance plan online, do review the amounts of voluntary deductible against the discounts. Remember, the discount amount should actually be higher than the voluntary deductible.

  • Make and model of the car

One of the major factors to be listed on the to-do list is to consider the make and model of your vehicle. Every make and model possesses its own claim record. An insurance company fixes the price of the vehicle on its claim experience. It may be that some models are more claim-prone due to their structure or usage and the premium will factor in all these facets. Experts are of the view that there are some makes/models that have prohibitive repair costs. So discounts may even depend on repair cost charged on certain make/models.

So determine these three factors at the time of purchasing a car insurance policy. It will help you trim your car insurance bill.

A car does not just help you roam in and out of your town; it can also help you save a lot of time and money. However, for this you need to do a thought through research in order to know what affects your car most. By investing in insurance, you can save. This article tells you how to pay lesser premium and reap more benefits.

Business communication notes

This article contains a few simple business communication notes and links to other online resources.

In 2003, the Harvard Business Review Press wrote in Business Communication (Harvard Business Essentials):

“Communication is an essential function of enterprise. Whether written or oral, it is the conduit through which an enterprise speaks to its customers…An organization that is clear, consistent, and effective in its communications with customers, employees, shareholders, creditors, and the community is in a good position to establish trust and elicit their collaboration.”

Whether a billion-dollar conglomerate or sole proprietorship, businesses that are good communicators deliver a clearer message and experience more success with calls to action.

Successful organizations are masters at brand management, marketing, advertising, public relations, and employee engagement.

Types of Business Communication

There are various forms of business communication, including:

  • Face-to-face meetings
  • Reports
  • Presentations
  • Commercials
  • Emails
  • Telephones
  • Video Conferences
  • Brochures
  • Business Cards

Theoretically, any visual, digital, audible, or inter-relational exchange is a form of business communication as it serves to deliver a message and elicit a response.

Barriers to Communication

Communication barriers can be physical or psychological.

Physical barriers consist of the physical appearance of the presenter, including race, gender, hygiene, choice of clothing, and way of speaking. Physical barriers can also include clashing colors, misprints and typos in written or print communications and technical glitches in multimedia presentations.

Psychological barriers can include emotional blocks, such as likes and dislikes of and toward the audience or the message being conveyed; differences in perception; competition for time and attention; and the timing or context of the message being delivered.

Overcoming Barriers to Business Communication

There are many practical ways to overcome barriers to communication in business. People and businesses should always be mindful to deliver messages of help and value to their audience. Also, before a message is delivered, the presenter should be aware of language, tone and content. Consulting others before giving a presentation opens the door to constructive criticism.

Good communicators are also good listeners who are receptive to feedback, both during and after their presentations. The purpose of such feedback is to find out whether the audience has properly received the intended message.

Benefits of Effective Web Design and Development

Today, individuals are constantly on the go and have next to zero time to extra for relaxation exercises or shopping, and so on. They are vigilant for means and methods for lessening time used in doing different errands. They select means which are less time intensive to satisfy their needs. The primary motivation behind why individuals favor internet shopping to buy items is that it makes the errand more straightforward and speedier as well as advantageous as they get the option to do it from anyplace whenever.

In today’s situation, the virtual world is ‘this present reality’ for customers so organizations the world over are viewing for a space in there. With a specific end goal to expand their client base and contact them business associations are taking the administrations of web designers to make a website that is intuitive and simple to utilize.

The points of interest of a successful web design and development administration are too much. One of the fundamental preferences is its capability to make exceptional brand personality. Web designers are very mindful that organizations like to consume those errands that harvest long haul profits. So they design an exceptional brand logo or utilize a brand logo effectively show in the website to speak to their customer items and administrations in a manner that is stands out from whatever is left of the contenders.

An alternate playing point of web development administrations is that it serves to make appealing designs that can get the consideration of clients and make an effect on their psyche. Numerous individuals have a wrong idea that web designing is just identified with designing the fundamental structure of the website.

In any case, it includes significantly more than that. A website looks inadequate and sudden if there is no substance. A web development administration supplier will provide for you a complete bundle that incorporates content development and other related administrations. You are sure to get a website that is engaging and has clear and enlightening substance.

In any web development task, website streamlining assumes a critical part. It is not just the substance and design that guarantees the achievement of the venture however SEO has a real part to play as well. A web development organization will verify that the code markup is fitting and effortlessly intelligible by SEO creepy crawlies. This will verify that your website is noticeable online and is on the top postings of web search tools.

Utilizing the administrations of a web development organization will help decrease support cost. It is paramount that a website is customarily upgraded and kept up so clients get to see and read something new when they visit. Upkeep is an excessive undertaking and you can chop it around utilizing the administrations of an expert web development organization.

The designers of web designing organization make website that require less support and permit you to make the obliged change yourself. The preferences of a viable web design and development organization make it basic on organizations to utilize it further bolstering their good fortune.

AT&T to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion, countering Comcast and Time Warner merger

AT&T agreed on Sunday to buy the satellite television operator DirecTV for $48.5 billion, trying to tilt the balance of power with media companies as the market for broadband Internet and video shifts, according to the New York Times, which broke the story on Sunday. This is the latest sign that the wireless industry and the U.S. television market are set to converge as customers consume more video on their mobile devices.

AT&T is offering $95 per DirecTV share in a combination of stock and cash, a 10 percent premium over Friday’s closing price of $86.18. It will finance the cash portion, $28.50 per share, with funds on hand, asset sales and financing already lined up.

The transaction has a total value of $67.1 billion, including the assumption of DirecTV’s net debt.

To help its case with regulators, AT&T will sell its roughly 8 percent stake in Carlos Slim’s America Movil, worth roughly $5 billion. DirecTV has some 18 million customers throughout Latin America.

AT&T and DirecTV made their announcement just a few months after Comcast Corp offered $45 billion for Time Warner Cable Inc., a transaction that would create the leading U.S. cable and broadband Internet powerhouse. That merger would combine the largest two U.S. cable companies in what would be “an all-stock deal. “The Comcast proposal is now awaiting regulatory approval.

The AT&T and DirecTV deal is seen as a counter to the Comcast and Time Warner deal.

Comcast is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in January of 2011, acquired a 51% majority stake in media conglomerate NBCUniversal from GE. Comcast also has significant holding in several cable networks (including E! Entertainment Television, the Gold Channel, and NBCSN), a distribution business (ThePlatform), and other related businesses.

Tim Warner Cable is headquartered in the Time Warner Center in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Formerly known as Warner Cable Communications, is an American cable telecommunications company that operates in 29 states and has 31 operating divisions. It is the second largest cable company in the U.S. behind only Comcast.

This deal could yet be upended, as a Comcast and Time Warner merger would face tough scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission, said an analyst from MoffettNathanson LLC. The merged company would account for almost three-quarters of the cable industry, according to the National Cable Television Association.

The merger would also face review from the Department of Justice for anti-trust issues.

The combination with DirecTV, the No.1 U.S. satellite TV provider with 20 million customers, would beef up Dallas-based AT&T’s packages of cellular, broadband, TV and fixed-line phone services. For DirecTV, the deal will enable it to offer broadband Internet for the first time to its U.S. customers, filling in a gap that had made the company vulnerable to cable rivals, which can provide Internet service through their networks.

During a conference call, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said, “It gives us the parts to fulfill a vision we have had for a couple of years, that is, the opportunity and the ability to take premium content and deliver premium content over multiple points for the customer, whether it be through a smartphone, through a tablet, or television or laptop.”

According to a report in Reuters, Stephenson’s counterpart at DirecTV, Mike White, will stay on to run the satellite television business, which will continue to be based outside Los Angeles in El Segundo, California. AT&T currently offers a video service known as U-Verse and Stephenson said during a conference call the company would continue to offer it after the acquisition is completed. It expects the deal to close in about a year.

DirecTV, founded in 1994, has changed hands before. It had been previously owned by Hughes Electronics, which was part of General Electric, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and its most recent owner Liberty Media, which sold its stake in 2009.

The deal, which comes after a 25 percent gain in DirecTV’s stock price this year that was fueled by takeover speculation, represents a potential win for Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, the satellite provider’s top shareholder.

AT&T will not have to pay a penalty if regulators veto the deal.


New York Times – AT&T to Buy DirecTV for $48.5 Billion in Move to Expand Clout

Reuters – AT&T makes bet on video with $48.5 billion DirecTV bid – Comcast agrees to acquire Time Warner Cable Deal for $45.2 billion in ‘all stock deal’

Honda’s domestic CL72 Type 2 Scrambler… one of a kind in the U.S.A.

Just when you think you have “been there-done that” with most all of the Honda 250-305cc variants, which for me can include Police Bikes, solo-seat, rotary-gearbox Dreams, and first-year production Scramblers, something new pops up, quite unexpectedly. In preparing my book, “History of the Honda Scramblers” (Silver, 2012), all the data and manuals available helped to shape the story and filled in some gaps in the author’s knowledgebase. One of the reference material items was a Japanese-language Honda Scrambler Parts Manual, which included CL72, CL77 and CL300 editions. Tucked inside one of the production charts was a mention of some Type 2 (360 degree firing) CL72s.

Early US shop manuals showed the Type 2 engine option for 250cc Scramblers, and I have been aware of an early 1964 version, but overall these are very rare bikes to find in this country. In the Japanese CL parts book, it appears to show that the Type 2 engine was available in all years of production, from 1962 through 1965, at least. Generally, the only way that one of these machines turns up in the US is usually due to the actions of a 1960s-era servicemen, who bought one in Japan and had it shipped back when after a transfer or discharge from the service.

While researching the History of the Honda Scrambler book, I interviewed Dave Ekins (who was test-riding early pre-production models) and he stated that American Honda needed to make a decision about whether to bring in Type1 or Type2 models and asked him for guidance. Because the Type2 engines have more pumping losses at high rpms, he recommended that AHMC only bring in the Type1 powered machines which produced more power overall, even in stock form. Rather than bring in both, requiring extra parts inventories, the decision was made to stick with the Type1 models for US consumption.

Fast forward to March 2014 and an interesting Craigslist posting popped up during one of my recurring searches for vintage Hondas located in SoCal for sale. Their numbers are dwindling, but periodically something unusual or previously unseen/unknown turns up as a surprise. In this case, the headline title of the CL posting was: 1966 Honda CL72 Dream Scrambler. With only two photos to go by, a quick look revealed that the bike had DLS (double-leading shoe) brakes, seen only on 250 Scramblers made in 1965 (CL72-1008851 for US bikes and CL72-1502911 for domestic Type 2 models). The serial number shared by the seller over the phone was CL72-1503108! Considering that Honda began the seven-digit serial numbers at the beginning of 1965 for all models of 250-305s, the production date must have been in early 1965, the 3108th one built then.

The posting was both specific and vague, causing numerous replies to the ad to question the authenticity of the machine. Some thought that the tank badges were incorrect or fakes and others thought that the bike was built up from parts of other bikes. The frame and engine numbers were both close to each other, thus a factory pairing, but people were confused to see a CL72 with “big brakes.” Closer examination of the photos revealed a heel-toe shifter and turn signal switch on the right hand side of the handlebars. The handlebars appear to be unbent except at the left end and the cable system is that of the early CL72s, using the “mousetrap springs” with matching lever brackets and the large knob adjusters, which were eventually replaced with standard CB72-77 lever brackets and adjusters.

Once he gave me the serial numbers the next question I asked was “Does it have TYPE 2 on the points cover?” “Yes, it does!” he answered. While the owner was fairly informed about the 250cc Scrambler bike series, in general, he realized that “MrHonda” was feeding him all the confirmation of the bike’s features over the phone that he needed to make sense of what he had in the garage and why it wasn’t matching up with his on-line research of the 250cc Scramblers. What he had was a genuine Japanese domestic CL72 with the optional Type 2 engine, right from the factory. The “Dream 250” tank badges were superseded to “Honda 250” types in 1964, for the US machines, but I have seen domestic 1965 CP77 Super Hawks with “Dream 300” tank badges in place on original bikes. The AHMC rules here don’t always apply to those of the Japanese domestic market models!

An appointment was made and kept promptly, then spent an hour and a half reviewing the various features of the bike, one-by-one. The bike had steel fenders, just like those of the early CL77s sold in the US, along with the solid-mounted rear fender. The seat pan was the early-style double hook type, but the suspension pieces were all “late” CL77 style, featuring alloy forks and the “big brake” wheels. The rest of the parts which were Japanese domestic specification included the turn signal switch, kph speedometer, rigid driver footpegs, a Ministry of Transporation sticker on the swing arm, replaceable headlight bulb and front turn signal stalks coming out of the headlight shell bolts. The headlight switch was a 3 position type and the headlight reflector accepts the removable round base bulb. Revealed in the Japanese parts book was that 2nd and 3rd gear ratios were unique for this particular engine style. The main product code for the Type1 250cc Scramblers is -273-, however any Type2-specific parts are coded -274-. Those -274-coded parts include the camshaft, crankshaft, condenser and the two sets of transmission gears.

CL72-77 rims are always an issue with these models, as they have deep grooves which strengthen the rim, but also becomes a rust, dirt, mud channel which can ruin the rim completely in extreme cases. Today, even getting decent rims re-plated can cost upwards of $200 per rim, so this can be a big consideration. The rims on this bike had a few small areas where the wheels were left in one position for many years. There are some small pitting areas, but overall they should clean up pretty well.

Missing were the rear turn signal brackets and the top shock covers. Bonus items included the original Japanese language owner’s manual, service booklet and the tool kit/with tools still in place! Most of the rubber items, like the side cover bumpers, speedometer packing, tank mounts are degraded or missing. The fuel tank knee pads are in decent condition, however. The centerstand bumper was missing altogether, so the stand comes up above horizontal when retracted.

The engine compression readings were 180/170, which are quite good for bikes of this age, but the clutch lever pull was very difficult and the clutch adjuster lineup marks were off a ¼,” so something is amiss with the clutch assembly. The clutch cover screws are all looking a bit chewed up, so someone has been in there mucking around. When the clutch cover was reinstalled, the shift lever was misaligned so the toe portion was too low for the footpeg location, which didn’t help the shifting issue.

The stock exhaust pipes had the standard small baffles installed, but there apparently was no muffler installed in this 1965 model. It appears that the rear mount bolt, which ties the exhaust pipes to the frame, at the rear of the frame, has been replaced perhaps with a larger bolt. These mounting holes are often damaged when the bolt loosens up and backs out a little at a time, which causes damage to the thread holes. The special muffler mounting bolt is 8mm, so perhaps the stock bolt was lost and a plain 8mm bolt was installed in its place.

The bike fired up on the second kick, however it went into an artificially high idle and the speed screws could be backed all the way out with no change in rpms. A drive down the street yielded only 1st and 2nd gears after pulling firmly on the shift lever, so either the shift selector parts are worn/broken or there is something amiss inside the transmission. Some investigation is in order to remedy this issues, plus a few others before the bike is fully safe to ride again. The license plate is stamped 1984 and the student parking stickers on the fork legs date back to the 1977 era. This bike has been sleeping for a LONG TIME!

So far, the known history is the local seller got the bike from his father, who was in the Navy in the 1960s, bought the bike from a buddy when they were in California. The bike was titled in CA, then he moved to Indiana and the bike was registered there since 1966. The bike went into storage in the 1980s and just came to light recently when it was brought to California at the end of last year.

Stay tuned for the arrival, evaluation and repairs required to bring it back to full function once again!

Bill “MrHonda” Silver

Hamilton Crossing receives more approvals for the upscale shopping center

Goldenberg Group, developer for the Hamilton Crossing Center– the upscale shopping complex that would bring Costco, Lowe’s, and Target to Lower Macgunie– had five request before the township planning commission meeting on Tuesday.

The developer received approval on four of the five items, and the last one was rescheduled to be heard at the April meeting.

Two of the requests involved adjusting boundary lines between the land purchased for development of the upscale shopping plaza and a bordering mobile home park. Additionally a request for a stand alone restaurant pad and consolidation of a sub-divided parking lot were approved.

Goldenberg is also stepping up the efforts in financing the $140 million estimated for the completion of the construction project. The developer is working with the Lehigh County board of commissioner to use a tax increment financing (TIF) plan to fund the project.

The TIF plan, allows some of the new tax revenue from the development project to be directeded to Goldenberg Group over the next 20 years, offsetting their construction costs. The remaining money goes to Lehigh County and the local schools districts: East Penn and Lower Macungie Township.


Women’s apparel retailer Ann Inc (NYSE : ANN) will report it’s earnings early morning, 7:30 AM Eastern Time, Friday before the market openings. In an hour The Company will host a live conference call and simultaneous audio web cast which will include comments from management and a question and answer session.
ANN INC. is a leading specialty retailer for fashionable women’s clothing, serving clients across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Over the Company’s fifty year heritage it had become a well-known resource for quality suits, separates, dresses, shoes and accessories with a feminine, polished approach to updated classic style.
Ann Taylor and LOFT brands are marketed in 1,025 stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada through its, Ann Taylor stores, LOFT stores, Ann Taylor Factory and LOFT Outlet stores, and is also available in more than 100 countries worldwide online at and
The fundamentals looks good: three last annual and 4 quarterly reported EPS (Earnings Per Share) beats estimates.
More Photos
View all 6 photos

Actuals – EPS
Reported EPS Mean Estimate Surprise % Change
Annual Jan 14 2.19 2.16 1.40
Quarterly Apr 13 0.44 0.42 5.00
Quarterly Jul 13 0.76 0.65 16.70
Quarterly Oct 13 0.89 0.86 3.06
Quarterly Jan 14 0.10 0.07 36.36
Annual Jan 13 2.02 2.00 0.78
Annual Jan 12 1.70 1.69 0.31

Data Provided by Thomson Reuters

Ann share are up 9.6% from its last earnings release.
I also pay attention on PEG Ratio (price/earnings to growth ratio). The Company has PEG equal 1.57. It should be less than 2, but for long term I would prefer PEG less than 1.5.
But we are not going for long term. More than that, we are thinking about intraday speculation, that can continue from an hour to several days only.
The stock price chart of the Company looks promised. No warranty, of cause, but the Money indicator ready for jump. In hourly chart appear narrow wedges pattern that can end in a week or two by nice trend up (or fall).
Support probably will be in a $38 – $38.2 zone, resistance 39.40 – 39.5.
That means for me that in case uptrend price could jump approximately $1- $1.2
Regarding coming Friday I can tell only that I would by couples of shares in case Ann beats estimates and price got over $38.66 with positive several technical indicators . Exit point: $38 with loss 66 cents or $39.4 with gain 74 cents. Not the best set up. Do not forget that I can be wrong in both directions. I want also note that in any doubts I am not taking the position.

Semion Feldman

Trading options for income: Liquidity counts

In our quest to understand trading options for income, we spend most of our time locating good chart patterns supported by our favorite indicators, and often forget to consider the liquidity of the underlying option chain. Not only does the lack of liquidity make it difficult to adjust or exit a position, it has a steep cost due to wider bid/ask spreads.

Liquidity is a crucial criterion in the selection of an underlying. It is not enough to limit our selection to equities or ETFs with high daily volume (typically in excess of 1 million shares), it is also important to review the option chain to ensure it has both depth and breadth: the greater the depth, the more strikes are available; the greater the breadth, the higher the volume and open interest at each strike. As depth increases, we find that the increment between strikes grows smaller (typically, $1 to $5, based on the price of the underlying. As breadth increases, we find that the spread between the bid and ask gets smaller.

In addition, we rely on the Probability Model to calculate the location of our short strikes using the 1 SD (standard deviation) expected move (or multiples thereof). Option chains lacking liquidity are inefficient resulting in skewed option prices, and this leads to distortions in IV (implied volatility) and corresponding probabilities.

To get an idea of the costs, Tasty Trade looked at the following stocks using a 1 lot Strangle with varying bid/ask spreads for one year of earnings: INTC, JPM, NDAQ, and PDCO. They took the spread x 100 x 2 contracts x 2 (round trip) x 4 earnings cycles. The theoretical slippage costs ranged from $16 to $240.

Taking this to the next level, Tasty Trade tested the effects of option chain liquidity over an extended period. To do this, 3 liquid (option bid/ask spread of 1 – 2 cents) and 3 illiquid stocks (option bid/ask spread of 10 – 15 cents) were selected and traded only during earnings over 5 years.

The results: the liquid stocks had a theoretical slippage cost of $240 to $480, while the illiquid stocks had costs ranging from $2,400 to $3,600 (assuming fills could be made).

In conclusion, we can see that illiquid option chains can be very costly. This test assumed that fills were made, when in reality many would not have been filled even at market prices (since the market maker will increase the market price). It is, therefore, imperative that you trade only underlying with liquid option chains.

Mazda’s 2014 CX-9 is a compelling entry in the midsize crossover market

While Mazda’s CX-5 AWD crossover is a hot seller right now, if you need three row seating and gobs of cargo space, their CX-9 crossover is for you.

Although the CX-9 is considered a midsize, it offers seven-passenger seating whose interior is more full-size. It’s spacious and almost car-like with its 18.5-inch step-in. And Mazda designers did a superb job on the interior with a waterfall type dash design that melds nicely into door panels, vertical stack and console. They also maintained sensible, simple and straightforward HVAC controls without a gimmicky mouse or touch screen controls.

Offered in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring models, we tested the latter that came loaded with desired safety, convenience and amenity items. In fact there was only two optional items of rear bumper guards ($150) and GT Package ($2,438) that included Bose audio, Sirius radio and sunroof.

When slipping into the cabin you’re treated to nicely supportive heated leather seats with sueded and perforated inserts that had contrasting red stitching for a sporty look. Suede also extends to the door panels for a classy, warm look and feel.

As said, HVAC controls are simple large rotary dials that can be operated with gloved hands. A 5.8-inch touchscreen display doubles for audio functions, GPS nav and rearview camera. Offered too is Pandora radio and USB ports for auxiliary attachments.

With the Grand Touring model, the CX-9 comes shod with 20-inch Bridgestone tires, power liftgate, blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, bi-xenon headlamps, LED running lights rain sensing wipers and more.

Rear seat ingress/egress is easy thanks to wide doors that open almost 90 degrees. The second row seats split and fold and slide well forward by pulling a large handle on the sides of the seat. This allows easy access to the third row seats that, like most third rower’s, are mainly for kids or petite adults.

With the third row up, the space behind the seats measures 18.5 inches deep, 46.5 wide and 31.5 high. Flip them and depth extends to 48 inches. And when folding the second row, depth stretches to 78 inches or 6.5 feet. Cargo load height too is an easy 30.5 inches.

The CX-9 gets its spirited spunk from a 3.7L, 273-hp V6 that generates 270 lb/ft of torque. It sends this grunt to the wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. The combination has EPA mileage ratings of 16 city, 22-highway mpg and carries a tow rating of 3,500 pounds. The AWD version, incidentally, was 0-60 tested at 8.5 seconds. Not bad for a 4,585-pound crossover.

Ride and handling are impressive. This is the perfect vehicle for a trip to Orlando for a family of four or more. The ride is decent on the 20-inch tires but would probably be better on 18s. Despite this, it’s a quiet ride with good road feel. The compliant suspension feels planted and precise on city streets and interstates and it parks easily with a relatively tight turning radius.

With the aforementioned options, the top-line Grand Touring model bottom-lined at $40,995 with delivery, which included a 29×15.2-inch sunroof and rear entertainment system. This is, a lot of content for the money.

The only demerits given the CX-9 were for too tall rear seat headrests, and, lack of padding on the sides of the console box.

The headrest problem could be resolved by using the same lower profile center rest for the outboard ones. That, and the sides of the console could use padding since most drivers rest their legs against it while driving. It’s probably even more troublesome when wearing shorts.

The CX-9 received a “Good” rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a four star government overall rating, three stars for frontal crash, five for side crash (it comes with side impact door beams) and four for rollover.

To check out a compelling CX-9, stop by Lehigh Valley Mazda on Lehigh Street in Allentown. And to automatically receive auto news and reviews from Nick Hromiak, click on the “Subscribe” notation on this page.