Wooden clothes pegs on a line.

Hanging the “balcony law” out to dry

I’m no eco-warrior but I do give the occasional nod towards being mindful of the environment. Having had my brother visit from interstate recently, I had to do five loads of washing this past weekend. Even though it was mostly sheets, that’s getting into baby territory as far as number of washes go. I live in an apartment where it’s forbidden to hang washing out on the balcony, but everybody ignores it. If you’ve ever been to Asia or Europe, you’ll have seen good reasons why they came up with the rule in the first place – looking at other […]

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Giving food its dues

An interesting piece of trivia: what is the only food that doesn’t spoil? Answer: Honey. The reason for this is the high sugar and low moisture content, which means that organisms (which depend on moisture) cannot survive and multiply. Hence, stored under the right conditions – i.e. sealed away from moisture – honey will last indefinitely. An often cited example is the honey that was found in sealed jars in Egyptian tombs, which were found to be edible. Unfortunately, other foods are less hardy. Regardless of how sophisticated the packaging, most of the packaged food that you’ll come across will […]

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Clearing the air

A couple of weeks ago my air filter died, and since then I have gone through unspeakable suffering with my sinuses. This is why I’m going to extol the virtues of good, clean air, and share with you how I’ve been getting it. Air filters / air purifiers It all started several years ago when a guy on an Internet forum offered to give away a supposedly dead Honeywell air filter. I nabbed it on a lark, and turns out that it was an American machine designed to run on 120V at 60Hz, and the only thing wrong with it […]

Tomato and egg fried rice

Recipe: tomato and egg fried rice

When it comes to cooking, I mainly look to fill my stomach in the quickest time possible – I ain’t getting all pro and fancy like some people :-) Especially when I come home after work tired and hungry, I prefer it quick and easy, like this recipe for tomato and egg fried rice. The good thing about this one is that instead of using tomato sauce like the version you’ll find in restaurants, this one uses real tomatoes, which helps in my quest to keep processed food out of my diet. Ingredients: 2 eggs, beaten 3 cups cooked rice […]

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Heat a frozen pie in the microwave

There’s really no help for it. A pie is definitely much nicer cooked in an oven than in a microwave, but sometimes – like at work – there’s isn’t any alternative. When I’m too lazy to pack lunch I’ll just take a frozen pie to work, and through several months of crappy pies I’ve come up this simple method to make sure that the delicious bundle of meat sauce wrapped in pastry is both heated through, and at least a little bit crisp and not totally soggy. What you’ll need: A frozen pie. I haven’t tried this with a defrosted […]

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Eating less is more

If your eating habits are anything like mine, then you’ll understand how it’s only after you’ve had one too many of whatever it is you’re eating, that you probably should’ve stopped. The point is, our bodies weren’t designed to cope with the sheer convenience that we have today of getting food, and it requires conscious effort to stop eating as if the next meal wasn’t a sure thing. At any rate, here are a few things to think about during your next meal: Red meat red alert: It pains me greatly to say this, but according to this Time Magazine […]

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Cheap to the (I)MAX!

I’ll get to how you can buy cheap tickets to see the latest blockbusters in 3D in a sec. First, let me put on my GeekReads movie reviews hat for a bit and say a few words: 3D movies were already starting to become mainstream long before Avatar came along, despite what the industry seems seems to think. Several (mostly Disney) animated movies such as Up, Coraline, Bolt, G-Force had already paved the way. Truth is, what James Cameron’s epic heralded the tipping point at which people started being enticed away from their home theatre systems and out of their […]

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Pumpin’ with rage

Pump packs are the work of the devil. Not only are they a waste of metal and plastic, when it’s finished there’s always a load of product at the bottom that gets chucked out along with the bottle ‘coz it’s just too much hassle to try and tap it through the (often skinny) bottleneck. Don’t you hate that spluttering noise when the stuff runs out, the deliberately* short straw is no longer immersed in liquid, and it’s just sucking up air like some kind of demented fish gasping for breath? The companies that make these products flog “refill packs” supposedly […]

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A bargain every day

One of the more curious phenomena on the Internet bargain scene is the proliferation of “daily deal” Web sites. The premise is usually that each day a new item, or sometimes several items, is offered. These are usually significantly cheaper than their regular retail price and have limited availability. They offer a wide variety of products, ranging from clothes, electronics, perfumes, toys, sporting memorabilia and occasionally even mystery items – lucky-dip style. Many of the products are mass-produced goods sourced from low-cost countries, and I reckon that most of the “limited offer” items are end-of-life or overstocked items that wholesalers […]

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Do not eat (but don’t throw them away!)

Jenny and I have been trying to eat more fresh fruit and vegies lately, even though it does mean shopping more regularly as produce spoils quickly (hence why it’s gotta be fresh!) Because there’s only two of us, this often leads to a lot of waste as we’re forced to throw out things that we can’t finish in time before it goes off. For example, we might only get through a couple of stalks of shallots before the moisture gets to them. In light of this, we recently “discovered” a great little food-saving tip – one of those things which, […]