How Jamaican Atheletes can make their own Gel Ice Packs

Ice packs are great for bumps, bruises, aches and pains. But the ones that you can buy at the pharmacy cost a fortune. Luckily I know chemistry and I happen to have some zip-lock bags handy……so I can make gel ice packs as needed.

The materials for a DIY ice gel pack are as follows:

  • Two zip-top bags per ice pack
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Water

If rubbing alcohol is not available, you can use the following replacements:

  • Dish washer detergent
  • Hair gel
  • Corn syrup
  • Salt

DIY Gel Ice Pack – How lower points mean slushes not ice

The steps to making your Gel Ice Pack are pretty simple:

  1. Add one cup of isopropyl alcohol to the zip-top bag.
  2. Add two cups of water
  3. Remove as much as possible using the Bathtub (Deer, 2016, September 30) method
  4. Place the bag inside the freezer for several hours until it gels

The reason this works is because isopropyl alcohol and all the other replacements has a much lower freezing point than water. When frozen, it doesn’t form solid ice but a slush that can be easily wrapped around limbs for hours of cool relief.

Make sure the zip-lock bags are durable so you can return them back to the freezer for reuse. Best of all it leaks, it water and rubbing alcohol, so no worries. Sharing is caring so share this with your friends.


  1. Burke, S. (2016, May 3). How to Make Your Own Gel Ice Pack or Moist Heat Pack. Retrieved from
  2. Deer, L. (2016, September 30). How to Vacuum Seal Zip Lock Bag Food using a Plastic Bath Tub. Retrieved from


The Health Benefits of Curry to Jamaicans

Jamaican love curry.

Traditional fare such as curried chicken and curried goat (mutton) and even curry patty (Deer, 2017, April 28), which GraceKennedy plans to sell in the US.

Cook shops, restaurants and homes use curry powder in their lunch or dinner staples. In fact, Jamaicans use curry an almost every meat and vegetable dish possible:

  • Ackee
  • Beans and peas
  • Breadfruit
  • Callaloo
  • Chicken
  • Conch
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Jackfruit
  • Mangoes
  • Mutton
  • Octopus
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Saltfish
  • Shrimp
  • Vegetables

Curry was also the subject of a recall by the  US Health Department (The Jamaica Gleaner, 2017, January 6) and our local supermarkets (Gordon , 2017, January 15) fearing lead contamination from curry made by Oriental Packing Company Inc.

Curry itself is a spice that comes from turmeric, a rhizome closely related to ginger (Deer, 2014, October 30).  The word ‘curry’ is the anglicised form of the Tamil word kari, meaning ‘sauce.’ Curry is used not only to describe the spicy powder but the foods prepared with the powder as well.

Curry powders, which can also exist as a paste, are actually a mixture of the following spices:

  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Fenugreek
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Mustard seed
  • Curry leaves
  • Turmeric

However, it is Turmeric that gives curry its signature yellow colour. The most common colour is a rich golden yellow, with greenish hue and red curries being mostly consumed by people of Indian ancestry.

So what are the benefits of eating Curry?

Benefits of Curry – Circumen Good for Digestion and other ailments

Curry has an active ingredient called Circumen the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.

Research has shown that it has the ability to:

  1. Decreased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease
  2. Halt or prevent certain cancers
  3. Improve cardiovascular health
  4. Improve digestion
  5. Prevent cataracts
  6. Reduce the long-term effects of diabetes
  7. Relieve gas
  8. Treat arthritis
  9. Treat multiple sclerosis

Not bad for an anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. More reasons for Jamaicans to love curry

So are there any dishes made with curry? Stay tuned to this blog post!!!!


  1. Deer, L. (2014, October 30). Ministry of Agriculture say Ginger can achieve 5% of Global demand by 2019. Retrieved from
  2. The Jamaica Gleaner. (2017, January 6). US Health Department Recalls Jamaican Curry Powder. Retrieved from
  3. Gordon , T. (2017, January 15). MegaMart Pulls Recalled Curry From Shelves. Retrieved from
  4. Deer, L. (2017, April 28). GraceKennedy to sell Beef and Curry Chicken Patties in the USA. Retrieved from

How to make a Hydrogen Sulphide Stinkbomb

As a Chemistry teacher at Holy Trinity High School and a former Glenmuir High Student myself, I try to impart my love for the subject to my students.

How to make a Hydrogen Sulphide Stinkbomb

One such opportunity arose when I mentioned the reaction of sulphide salts, specifically Zinc (II) Sulphide (ZnS(s)) with Hydrochloric acid (HCL(aq)), which produces Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S(aq))as shown in the reaction equation below.

ZnS(s) + 2HCL(aq) →  ZnCl2(aq) + H2S(aq)

This is similar to the reaction equation of Magnesium Oxide (MgO(s)) salts with Hydrochloric Acid(HCL(aq)), but instead of producing H2S(aq) it produces Water (H2O(g)).

MgO(s)+ 2HCL(aq) →  MgCl2(aq) + H2o(aq)

Both Oxygen and Sulphur are in Group VI in the periodic table, but whereas CO turns a solution of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3(aq)) or slaked lime milky white, one produces an offending odour.

This also presents the chance for a great prank, that being a stinkbomb. However, be careful, as H2S(aq) is explosive in large concentrations, so keep the stink bomb as small as possible!

Sharing is caring so share this with as many of you friends….

Best free Skype Video Calling Alternatives for Jamaican

When it comes to video calling, Skype isn’t the only Video Calling game in town, despite their popularity (Deer, 2013, May 20).

There are many alternatives (Wilson, 2017, June 14) that now offer Video calling in addition to IM (Instant Messaging) services. They often feature smartphone or tablet apps, group video chat features and even the ability to call international mobile and landline directly for a low monthly subscription fee as in the case of Google Hangouts (Deer, 2015, October 4).

Some even offer the ability to make calls in a browser and even the ability to send a 24-hr hyperlink to allow someone without the program (Deer, 2016, November 15) to participate in a Group or on-on-one video chat. That last feature is excellent if you wish to make money teaching online (Deer, 2017, April 22).

So without further ado here are the best free VoIP (Nightingale, 2017, February 22) alternatives to skype:

  1. AppeaIn (Web, iOS)
  2. Google Hangouts
  3. Oovoo
  4. Talky
  5. Viber
  6. Voca
  7. WeChat
  8. Whatsapp

Video calling will easily use up most data plans, so best to use Wi-Fi when video calling. Also you have to have a smartphone with at least a Quad-Core processor and 4GB of RAM with at least 32GB or internal storage. Sharing is caring so share this list with as many of your friends as you like.


  1. Deer, L. (2013, May 20). Skype clocks 2 Billion Minutes per Day worth of VoIP Calls driven by the Mobile Computing Revolution. Retrieved from
  2. Deer, L. (2015, October 4). How to make free International Calls using Google Hangouts Dialer. Retrieved from
  3. Deer, L. (2015, October 18). How to use Skype hyperlinks for Free Local and International Video Calls. Retrieved from
  4. Deer, L. (2016, November 15). How to make Skype call without an Account as Skype is the Snapchat of VoiP. Retrieved from
  5. Nightingale, R. (2017, February 22). Fed Up With Skype? Here Are 6 of the Best Free Alternatives. Retrieved for
  6. Deer, L. (2017, April 22). How Jamaican Teachers can make US$100000 per year teaching online. Retrieved from
  7. Wilson, M. (2017, June 14). The best free Skype alternative 2017. Retrieved from



Six image enhancement tools for aspiring photographers

Adobe Photoshop has come to be the name brand of photo-editing software on the market.

But it isn’t easy to use or cheap. Still fret not; don’t need to be a Photoshop pro to still receive Photoshop-quality results that will bring you on par (magic-admin, 2016, November 2) with professional Photographers. All while avoiding the headaches associated with learning photo editing software.

So here is my list of go-to photo editors!!!

iPiccy and Magic Picture – Microsoft Paint with a dash of compression

Magic Picture is a team-based software that works on both computer and smartphones. It does such a good job of sharpening images that they can look life-like.

It also doubles as a compression tool, saving you on cloud storage space or space on your external drive while preserving the original quality of you images.

iPiccy is the photo-editing software is for the Microsoft Paint fans out there. The site lets users edit photos with a one-click automated process by simply applying effects to the entire image.

SumoPaint  and Pixlr – Browser Based Photo Editors on par with Photoshop

SumoPaint is a “Photoshop lite” platform as it has a layout similar to Photoshop. Adobe users will feel right at home as the browser-based site, which is already easy to use come with an offline downloadable version.

Pixlr is a website that does image editing via two options:

  • Pixlr Express (effective)
  • Pixlr Editor (advanced)

The site also allows users to edit photos via tablet or smartphone, with both Android and iOS versions are available.

The Pixlr Express is a photo-editing platform that lets users work in layers. They can size, crop and transform images. The Express version, gives users access to creative filters, effects, and image overlays.

Fotor and PicMonkey – one-click photo filters for Photoshop-esque editing

Fotor is also another easy-to-use platform that offers modules that can be used for creating:

  • Greeting cards
  • Collages
  • HDR images
  • Enhancing selfies

They also boas a rather extensive gallery of filters, including:

  • B+W
  • Lens Flare
  • Tilt-Shift
  • Color Splash

PicMonkey is a tool for novice photographers. it has four main tools that offer professional grade photo editing:

  • Touch up
  • Editing
  • Design
  • Collage

The “Editing” option allows users to apply advanced filters, effects, spot correction and other super amazing effects. The “Touch Up” option, makes your profile pictures, selfies, and event photos sparkle.

So there you have it; a collection of six (6) of the best photo editing tools out there. Sharing is caring so share this post with your friends.


  1. magic-admin. (2016, November 2). BEST IMAGE ENHANCEMENT TOOLS OF 2016. Retrieved from