Sunday, February 27, 2011

Forever foods that can outlast you

HoneyAccording to Janice Revell, co-founder of, you'll be shocked by what you really don't need to throw away." What we do is often the opposite, we don't give a thought to stuff sitting in the kitchen cupboard or we automatically throw out anything that's been in there longer than we can remember. Here as list of things that last longer than you ever realized:

1. Sugar
Regardless of whether your sugar is white, brown, or powdered, it will never spoil because it doesn't support bacterial growth.

The challenge with sugar is to keep it from hardening into chunks. To keep sugar fresh, store it in an airtight container or seal it in a plastic bag. If your brown sugar is more like a brown rock, you can revive it with just a minute in the microwave on low heat.

2. Pure vanilla extract
If you have pure vanilla extract in the back of the cupboard, there's no need to throw it out because it lasts forever. It may be more expensive than its imitation counterpart, but its shelf life certainly outweighs the extra cost.

Keep that vanilla flavor at its best by sealing the botttle after each use and storing it in a cool, dark place.

3. Rice
White, wild, jasmine, arborio and basmati rice all keep forever so there's no need to throw them out. Brown rice is the one exception because it has a higher oil content so store it in the refrigerator or freeze it to maximize its shelf life. Once you've opened a bag or box of rice, move it to an airtight container or resealable freezer bag to keep it fresh.

4. Corn starch
You can thicken gravies and sauces for years with just one box of corn starch because it keeps indefinitely. Store this kitchen staple in a cool, dry area and be sure to reseal it tightly after each use.

5. Honey
Whether you use it in your tea, on your toast or as an alternative sweetener, that jar of pure honey is good forever. It may get grainy or change color, but it's still safe to eat — and delicious — because its antibiotic properties keep it from spoiling.

You can help keep it fresh by storing it in a cool area, and you can improve the quality of crystallized honey by placing the jar in warm water and stirring it until the grainy parts dissolve.

6. Salt
The contents of your salt shaker will never spoil, regardless of whether it's basic table salt or sea salt. Simply store it in a cool, dry place and salt will keep indefinitely.

7. Corn syrup
If you come across a years-old bottle of corn syrup in your pantry, don't throw it out. This sweetener keeps indefinitely as long as you keep it sealed and store it in a cool, dry area.

8. Maple syrup
What good are pancakes or waffles without maple syrup? Luckily, this flavorful syrup will never spoil if you refrigerate it or freeze it. For long-term storage, seal it in an airtight plastic container and freeze it.

"The freezer is such a useful tool that can really save you money because there are very few foods that don't freeze well," says Janice Revell of

9. Distilled white vinegar
This wonder product can be used for everything, from making marinades and salad dressings to cleaning house and doing laundry. But the best thing about distilled white vinegar is that it lasts for years. Simply close it tightly after each use and store the bottle in a cool, dark place.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wind-powered car sets records

Wind-powered carTwo German inventors have created an electric vehicle that recharges the battery through a wind turbine carried in the car. To test the vehicle, the duo recently completed a 3,100-mile trek across Australia.

It is almost like German adventurers Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer saw the latest models of electric cars, and decided to see if they could go out and make the manufacturers feel bad. In a move that will have green aficionados cheering and gearheads gently weeping at the state of the world, a new electric car powered by a wind turbine has just been unleashed into the Australian wilds.

The vehicle, known as the Wind Explorer, uses an electric battery similar to those found in most of the current generation of electric cars like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, but rather than needing to plug in every night, the Wind Explorer comes standard with a 20-foot retractable bamboo mast that holds a wind turbine to charge the battery. The Wind Runner can also be powered—or perhaps more accurately “dragged”—by a kite, assuming of course that there is ample wind. The result is a lightweight electric car that weighs under 500 pounds and has a top speed of 55 miles an hour, all with close to zero emissions.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Study: Negative experiences can stop painkillers working

negative experienceA patient's belief that a drug will not work can become a self fulfilling prophecy, according to researchers. They showed the benefits of painkillers could be boosted or completely wiped out by manipulating expectations.

The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, also identifies the regions of the brain which are affected. Experts said this could have important consequences for patient care and for testing new drugs.

Heat was applied to the legs of 22 patients, who were asked to report the level of pain on a scale of one to 100. They were also attached to an intravenous drip so drugs could be administered secretly. The initial average pain rating was 66. Patients were then given a potent painkiller, remifentanil, without their knowledge and the pain score went down to 55.

They were then told they were being given a painkiller and the score went down to 39. Then, without changing the dose, the patients were then told the painkiller had been withdrawn and to expect pain, and the score went up to 64. So even though the patients were being given remifentanil, they were reporting the same level of pain as when they were getting no drugs at all.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cristiano Ronaldo's girlfriend on Swimsuit Issue Cover

Irina Shayk
Irina Shayk, girlfriend of international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, is the cover model for the 2011 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

It will mark Shayk's first time on the cover of the annual issue. She has posed for the magazine for the past four years in addition to work with Armani and Guess.

The 25-year-old Russian said she was surprised when she was revealed as the cover model during the taping of Letterman.

Though the announcement was supposed to wait until the end of Letterman's show, word of Shayk's cover got out on Twitter late on Monday afternoon. Because "The Late Show" films in the afternoon, the billboard was uncovered briefly for taping and then recovered moments later. In that brief time, a woman took a photo of Shayk's cover, which let the cat out of the bag a few hours early.

Shayk (whose real last name is Shaykhlislamova) has been dating the Portuguese soccer star since last spring. The two are said to have met while working on a photo shoot for Armani Exchange.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Japan's Most Radical Sports Car at Geneva Motor Show

Radical Sports CarEsflow concept blends futuristic sports car styling with production-ready electric technology. Its streaky LED lights make it look like a sports car from Tron, but Nissan's new Esflow concept could be a pointer to an all-electric version of the company's famous GT-R supercar.

Nissan will use next month's Geneva motor show to display its new Esflow concept, a rear-wheel-drive two-seater that borrows drivetrain technologies from the production-ready Leaf electric hatchback.

The Japanese brand says the Esflow it its vision of a future zero-emissions sports car, blending driving thrills with environmental benefits. The Esflow's compact, 'fastback' shape has more in common with the company's smaller 370Z coupe, though the concept has been built on all-new, lightweight aluminium underpinnings.

The Esflow will accelerate from standstill to 100km/h in less than five seconds and travel 240km on a single charge, according to the company.

It's futuristic shape of steeply raked windscreen, indented bonnet, and ultra-short front and rear overhangs are complemented by LED lights that are slashed across the bodywork - blue at the front, red at the rear.

Aerodynamics and noise refinement are aided by the omission of side mirrors - substituted with tiny rear-view cameras positioned at the base of the windscreen pillar.

The Esflow's recharge sockets are even less evident - hidden in the air intakes below the headlights. They flip out when the sports car's battery pack needs replenishing.

Nissan has yet to reveal interior pictures but says the Esflow's cabin features gold leather/suede seats, dark blue leather and suede door trim, and multi-function LCD displays.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Android Topples Symbian

AndroidGoogle's Android operating system has dethroned Nokia's Symbian as the world leader in smartphone software. The change ends a reign that began with the birth of the industry a decade ago, according to figures released by analysts Canalys.

In total, 32.9million Android-equipped phones were sold globally during the last quarter of 2010 - roughly seven times more than during the same time period in 2009 - compared to Symbian sales of 31million.

The rapid turnaround highlights how quickly Google, which offers its software to phone makers for free, has raced to the top of the smartphone market ahead of Apple's rapid ascension.

Google and Apple have revolutionised the smartphone market, sending Nokia scrambling.

But the numbers also highlight Google's success in battling Apple, whose shipments of its popular iPhone increased to 16.2million from 8.7million in the fourth quarter of 2009, when it almost doubled Android's sales of 4.7million.

Unlike Apple or Nokia, Google does not make its own phone hardware, but instead offers its Android operating system to other phone makers who can adapt it to suit their devices.

As a result of this and being free of charge, Android has become the standard software for many phone makers. Aside from smartphones, Google also gained on Apple in tablet computers, where its market share rose to 22 per cent in the fourth quarter, while Apple's share fell to 75 per cent from 95 per cent, according to Strategy Analytics.