Use this 3M material, called Tegaderm, for applying dressing over a bleeding injury. It’s much better than adhesive tape or a big band-aid. Tegaderm is an air-permeable plastic film, as thin as cling film, but stronger and with an adhesive. I’ve found it adheres perfectly and because it is so thin it’s unnoticeable, especially on joints. You don’t even remember it’s on. Because of its thinness Tegaderm works really great under clothing. It’s breathable, too, and won’t come off in water. And since it is transparent, the dressing is not as visible, and you can see what’s going on underneath. It comes in sterile packaging about the size of a playing card, so you can apply it right over the injury, with the option to include some gauze underneath at first. I’ve cut smaller pieces for finger cuts, but I’ve found that waterproof bandaids work better for this.
Nexcare Tegaderm Waterproof Dressing
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We’ve always used a standard, run-of-the-mill garlic press, probably just because it was what was in the drawer. It only used half the clove. It was a pain to clean. And stinky hands were hard to avoid. It’s a device whose engineering is outdated.
We were downtown recently, just having finished brunch, and decided to walk around the square. Just a couple of doors down we have a cute little kitchen store. It’s always a fun place to cruise, and as I’m checking out, with a brand-spanking new garlic press in my hand, there at the register is a box labeled Garlic Twist. It was the same price as the garlic press so I swapped.
This thing is awesome. Give the cloves a whack with the bottom of the press (it’s nice, sturdy acrylic). Remove the outer layer and toss them in the garlic twist. Slip the lid on and twist the top and bottom in opposite directions. Stop twisting when the garlic is the desired consistency. It works equally well with a single clove or a handful.
The package says you can also do ginger or olives or cherries. I haven’t tried that, but it should work just as well.
This book is a tome of body science for yoga teachers with over 1000 pages in the second edition. I purchased it a few months ago. While I’ve skimmed the entire volume, I’ve spent the most time on the appendix related to balance in yoga postures.
Most yoga instructors can tell you a handful of things that improve balance such as a gazing point, engaged muscles of the standing leg, and mental concentration. Mel Robin has written 80 pages on this subject. He covers gravitational effects on yoga postures; aspects of mechanical metastability; generating counter-torque when falling; balance sensors, and neural repatterning among many, many other topics. This one section alone has changed the way I practice balancing asanas and how I teach them to my students.
With the recent publication of William Broad’s controversial book The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards it’s more important than ever for yoga teachers to understand if and how science backs up claims related to the medical benefits of yoga. Robin’s book does just that. It looks at the science behind the asanas.
I understand that he is working on his newest edition…
A Handbook for Yogasana Teachers
Last year I replaced my old-looking but perfectly functional programmable thermostat with a better looking, WiFi-equipped model. The remote aspect of it was good. We could set “away” temps, and restore normal temps on our way back home. And the programmable part was always good – cool at night, not working so hard when we’re at work, etc.
But even though the thing was from a “major name”, it was a true PITA. While it worked most of the time, any time we wanted to tweak things, ugh. It was miserable. Then Nest came out with their Learning Thermostat.
I recently put one in and it’s well beyond what I was hoping the other might be. Superbly easy installation and activation, beautiful to look at, and as user-friendly as anything can be. It’s still in learning mode which basically means it is figuring out our daily schedules. But so far they’ve thought of everything, and this has given me complete confidence in its long term purpose.
Nest also provides apps that allow you to control your thermostat from your iOS or Android phone or tablet. You can also track energy usage history, etc. At $249 it’s a lot more than other thermostats, and so maybe not suited for everyone’s budget. But I’ll say it’s more than suitable for any home. It’s a beautifully designed and exceptionally functional thermostat that continues to do its job very well.
I often make my own beer at a local brew-it-yourself taproom (props to The Brew Kettle). The bottles we use are 22-ounces, so drinking one is almost like drinking two. Often times I'll end up drinking more than I wanted or drinking none at all (oh, the horror).
Stumbled across the Hermetus Bottle Opener and Sealer while looking for a Father's Day gift for my dad. Bought one for him, a couple guys in the brew group, and myself. To create an airtight seal simply slip it over the top of the bottle. It works perfectly.
Drank half a bottle one night then sealed it and put it in the fridge. Drank remaining half the second night, and it tasted the same and still had a nice head on it. I love the simplicity of the design!
It's many a graduate's dream -- pay your way as you travel around the world. I lived the dream myself when I was younger, so I know it is possible. Since then I've been tracking this subject faithfully, and have read through scores of books and websites offering how-to advice on the dream. They won't hurt, but this fantastic book -- now in its 14th edition! -- is really the only one that will give you much help before you leave.
Most of these kind of books are a bunch of hand-waving generalities, or out of date particulars; this one is very specific and very current. It is massively researched, with tons of incoming gossip on where the easily-gotten jobs are this year, and what to do about paperwork and visas in that particular place, and how to land the job, and what you should expect, and letters from those who just did it. It's all very helpful, practical and inspiring. But don't get your hopes too high. There are really only two kinds of dependable quick jobs to be found "around the world": 1) In the service industry in Europe -- working at hotels, resorts, bars, camps for other tourists; and 2) teaching English in Asia. For most kids, that'll be enough. There are hundreds of exceptions to these two, and this book will do its best to point you to them, but they are far fewer, and more dependent on chance. But even that skill -- cultivating chance -- is tackled with great intelligence in this meaty book, which I can't recommend too much.
The author Susan Griffith is very prolific and at the center of a number of other related ongoing books, also recommended. Teaching English Abroad, Your Gap Year, and Summer Jobs Worldwide.
Tear-Aid is watertight and airtight adhesive repair tape marketed for use in repairing outdoor products. I first found it when I was looking at options for repairing a tear in a self-inflating sleeping pad and read a recommendation of Tear-Aid from a former bouncy-castle operator. That real-world endorsement was enough to get me to try it and it has performed well for me.
I didn't want to experiment with a liquid patch because I couldn't be sure if the solvents would interfere with the composition of the sleeping pad, so this option was attractive. The instructions are clear and application was simple. After preppng the area with alcohol, I peeled the backing off and pressed the tape over the problem area. The tape is tough but flexible, and is transparent. It sticks very well and the sleeping pad now stays at pressure perfectly.
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Ponds can be used for swimming, wildlife magnets, irrigation, iceskating, fire protection, water gardening, landscaping, and fishing. You can build your own pond in your backyard, farm, or wherever.
Tim Matson is the established guru of building ponds with an earth-seal, rather than with a plastic or concrete lining. For 30 years he's been creating, advising, and collecting knowledge about pond-making. His classic Earth Ponds (2nd ed.) is the basic how-to, and comes with a DVD. It supplies the needed lessons in siting a pond, building it, maintaining it, enjoying it, and also restoring old ponds. This is not your average how-to; it's beautifully written and a joy to read. If you find the basics to your liking and need more, Matson has an updated Sourcebook with plenty of resources, and an illustrated encyclopedia of pond variations and building techniques. Finally, Matson has a helpful website with more videos and sources.
Earth Ponds: The Country Pond Maker's Guide to Building, Maintenance and Restoration
Tim Matson, 1982, 152 pages
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Having just finished a year of math and science heavy coursework, I am confident in stating that the Cambridge Quad Wirebound Notebook is one of the best tools I've used all year. Notebooks may seem like a silly thing to get worked up about, but having used this day-in and day-out for a year I can attest that it makes a difference.
When I first started looking for a notebook I was astonished by how much variety existed (especially in the world of graph paper), and consequently how much vitriol crappy notebooks generate. Everything from paper thickness to perforation was a potential sore spot. After field testing several varieties it was immediately clear that the Cambridge Quad was the winner.
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By means of insightful hand-drawn diagrams, Eric Sloane gives the best explanation I’ve ever seen of how weather works. Originally created to help sailors 50 years ago, it works for pilots, outdoor explorers, and anyone else dependent on a change of weather.
Eric Sloane's Weather Book
2005, 96 pages
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The ShopBot is a low-cost CNC, or computer controlled router. Think of it as a large-scale milling machine. It is great for small-scale production runs of machine parts in wood or metal. A friend of mine used his ShopBot to cut the gears and mechanism (other than the chime) for a full-scale replica of a grandfather's Clock. ShopBots (and their kin) can also fabricate extremely detailed 3D contour maps (whole cities!), and other intricate 3D surfaces.
We have one at the design school I teach at. It can cut anything programmable like the hull plates for a full scale sailboat. On a big boat, each plate of the hull is different shape, but the ShopBot just follows its orders and spits them out ready to install. It is very accurate. Hey, you can even equip it with a pen or the like, which permits very intricate drawings. The cheapest Shopbot is the small Shop Bot Desktop for $5,000. They are getting cheaper every year, but if you only need one occasionally, you can buy time on one at shared workshops like Techshop.
-- J. Baldwin
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This is not your grandma's canning book. Preserving is not really cheaper, nor is it a survival or disaster remedy. Canning these days makes sense as a culinary endeavor -- because you can make preserves that taste better, or are far more varied than anything you can buy. This book is the best of a bunch of new guides on modern canning techniques and recipes (like Put 'Em Up, which is decent but not as good). I prefer the recipes in Canning for standard items like jams and jellies because it calls for far less sugar than other books, and it has a wide range of culinary influences. The book is also intelligently and simply designed with beautiful illustrations of the preserved treasures.
Canning for a New Generation
2010, 304 pages
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I've used this tool, for about 6 months on a long-haired Chow/Labrador mix and on a Corgi. They both shed like crazy and the undercoat is a serious challenge with the Chow. This grooming tool takes care of the undercoat like nothing I've ever used. It's also apparently less painful for the dogs, as it doesn't have the tendency to dig straight in like the previously reviewed Furminator
, which I liked well enough before trying this one.
I have the 16-blade version. It gets down deep and pulls the undercoat and dander OUT. The blades are much more robust than the Furminator, and there's no chance of bending. It's a VERY well-built device, and the rubber handle looks weird but feels good in the hand. I can't think of a single improvement I'd make.
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Three times a week I get up early to go lift weights with a colleague. One of the main motivations for getting out of bed is the knowledge that I'll have ample coffee throughout the day to keep me going post-workout. In the past I've carried the previously reviewed Contigo
(which is still the best travel cup around) but found it held too little, especially if I share coffee with my work out partner. I've also used my fiancee's grandfather's old Thermos built around an insulated glass bottle which, while larger, is too fragile for daily use that involves rolling around in the trunk of my car. I realized I needed a replacement.
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There are now over 3,000 reviews of great stuff on Cool Tools
. In an effort to make that abundance more useful we've selected the best recommendations in a narrow field, updated the info, and formatted the reviews into a handy ebook. We are releasing the first of those ebooks today, as Cool Tools in the Kitchen: Things We Recommend. This collection of the best of Cool Tools was edited and updated by Steven Leckart, who formerly edited this Cool Tools website, and was designed and engineered in partnership with O'Reilly Publishers.
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