How to Vacuum Seal Zip Lock Bag Food using a Plastic Bath Tub

Are you a fan of Sous-Vide (Deer, 2014, May 14) the cooking technique that basically involves cooking food inside of ziplocked bags?

My past girlfriend Audia Granston (God Rest her Soul) used to cook everything this way, as she claimed it was healthier and made food taste better. This technique uses gentle heat from boiling water or a pressure cooker to cook food place inside of zip-locked bags with all the air removed.

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You can cook omelets this way as shown below.

The technique ensures that food is cooked with direct exposure to heat as would be in the case it was cooked in a pot. It also reduces the need to use oil, resulting in food that’s cooked but not burnt or oily.

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But how do you get all the air out, aside from using expensive vacuum sealing devices (Deer, 2013, July 26) or just squeezing the air out?

How to Vacuum Seal Food – Batch Vacuum Sealing with a Giant Bath Tub

There is a much easier and less expensive way (Martin, 2016, September 29) to remove as much as possible as show in this video.

The steps are dead simple:

  1. Place your food in the zip-top bag
  2. Zip the seal, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) open
  3. Find large a Bath tub
  4. Fill it with water
  5. Lower the bag of food into the water, leaving the 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) opening
  6. Seal the remaining corner of the zip-top
  7. Remove the food from the water
  8. Allow the bag to dry off completely before placing it in the freezer

That’s it!! Best way to remove air from a ziplock bag and seal it either for use in Sous-Vide cooking or just for airtight storage. You can do a whole batch of food items too, while you have that huge bath tub filled with water.

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Your food will last longer (Deer, L, 2015, September 21) as the moisture and air have been removed. And yes, you’ve found a new reason to run out and get a plastic bath tub!!!

References:

  1. Deer, L. (2013, July 26). How IndieGogo funded VacuVita makes Vacuum Sealing Food for Sous Vide Easy. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2013/07/indiegogo-funded-vacuvita-makes-vacuum.html
  2. Deer, L. (2014, May 14). US$169 Anova Precision Cooker is the Sous-Vide Immersion Cooker for the Masses. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/05/us169-anova-precision-cooker-is-sous.html
  3. Deer, L. (2015, September 21). Preserving Food at MICO – How to make Vegetables, Eggs and Shordy Bread last forever. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/09/How-to-make-Vegetables-Eggs-Shorty-Bread-last-forever.html
  4. Martin, T. (2016, September 29). Use this hack to ‘vacuum seal’ any freezer bag. Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/how-to/use-this-hack-to-store-foods-without-a-vacuum-sealer/

 

Why Chesterfield in Castleton, St Mary needs a Bridge to cross the Wag Water River

“It has become so embarrassing to see children, people — young and old of various professions — when they are going to school or church, or work, when dem reach the river they have to strip down to their underwear, some naked, in order to swim across the river”

Zepheniah Byfield, long time resident of a small farming community in Castleton, St Mary and their struggles without a bridge to cross the Wag Water River

The residents of Chesterfield, a small farming community in Castleton, St Mary, are still stuck in the 18th Century. This is due to the absence of a bridge to cross the Wag Water River (Matthews, 2015, December 17), they basically have to risk their lives getting to work, school, church, and other places outside their community.

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So far, some five (5) people have died over the past eight (8) years (The Jamaica Observer, 2015, December 18), and many other injured crossing the river. It’s also very degrading; many residents, whether going to school or work, literally have to remove their shoes and some of their clothes to cross the river.

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Pechoo, a resident of Chesterfield, confirmed that people have been killed whenever the river is in spate, quote: “The last man that died was a 50-year-old farmer who was washed away as he attempted to leave the area”.

So why is this community experiencing this problem in the 21st Century?

Chesterfield in Castleton, St Mary – 15 Years of Lobbying and still no bridge

The residents have been lobbying the Government of Jamaica to build a Bailey Bridge or better structure for the past fifteen (15) years.

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Other communities are experiencing this problem as well along with the embarrassment of having to strip naked to cross a river. People have even lost their jobs due to the lack of easy access over the river to quote Lenford ‘Judge’ Davis, a longtime resident of Chesterfield: “Many persons have lost their jobs because of this problem”.

And it’s not just bridges; roads and other vital infrastructure is missing, such as roads, reliable water supply and electricity.

So what have politicians done?

Chesterfield Forgotten by Politicians – Political Representation for the People Needed

These communities are forgotten by political representatives.

Many do not live in the communities they serve (The Jamaica Observer, 2015, December 18), otherwise they’d have fixed these problems a long time ago. The instead make promises every five (5) years in time for General Elections.

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They’d have a better chance if they opted to get the help of the Private Sector via a Crowdfunding Campaign (Deer, 2015, August 30) to have a bridge installed and the rods repaired.

So will anyone fix the roads and bridge over Wag Water in Chesterfield, Castleton, St Mary? Or do we have to await another General Election for this to be addressed?

References:

  1. Deer, L. (2015, August 30). How Jamaicans can use Crowdfunding for their Projects in 30 Days. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/jamaicans-crowdfunding/
  2. Matthews, K. (2015, December 17). DISGRACE! Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/DISGRACE-_45959
  3. The Jamaica Observer. (2015, December 18). The abject shame of Chesterfield, St Mary. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/The-abject-shame-of-Chesterfield–St-Mary_46156

JPS Co’s Islandwide outage due to Jamaicans turning off their Breakers simultaneously

JPS Co (Jamaica Public Service Company) has been having problems with keeping the lights on (Barrett, 2016, August 27) on Saturday August 27th 2016, when the island experienced an islandwide blackout.

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The OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) via the Electricity Act, 2015, pointed out that JPSCo had to produce a report (The Jamaica Observer, 2016, September 1) with 30 days of the date of restoration of power to the OUR. That report, being compiled by an independent expert (The Jamaica Gleaner, 2016, September 2), is due on Tuesday September 27th 2016.

Already, two employees (The Jamaica Gleaner, 2016, August 30) have been suspended and are linked to a failure in the protection system (Poyser, 2016, August 30), which is described as the mechanism that safeguards against procedural errors. This prevents the Network sudden spikes or drops in Power on their Network due to sudden shifts in power usage.

So what happened to cause this protection system to fail?

JPS Co’s Islandwide outage – Jamaicans turning off their Breakers all at once

In the case of JPS Co, I suspect that the coming storm (The Weather Channel, 2016, August 30) may have cause many Jamaicans to start disconnecting their houses by turning off their breakers. This as Jamaicans may have invested in mini Diesel Generators and decided to connect them; anticipating the storm, they began to decouple from JPS Co’s Power Grid to their own private Diesel Generators.

This caused a sudden drop in load being seen by the JPS Co distribution Network, as the Power Stations were producing extra power for the anticipated Saturday electricity usage.

With nowhere for that excess power, the electricity began to overload the Network, potentially causing surge. JPS Co Protection system, detecting the possibility of an electrical surge, initiated a shutdown of the power stations distributing power due to this drop in load.

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This caused a cascade failure through the system as the Protection System, in a bid to protect the Power Stations Heavy Bunker Oil and Diesel Generators from burning up due to the overload, disconnected the power coming from these generators. It also stopped distributing electricity, preventing the surge from spreading through the Network.

Interestingly a week later on Friday September 2nd 2016. the FLOW Jamaica Network also experience an islandwide blackout for a similar reason; a lot of Jamaicans were also using their Network to simultaneously watch the Panama vs Jamaica on Cable TV (Deer, 2016, September) as well as make International Calls, possibly to request money for their kids to go to school.

This excessive traffic cause their Network to crash as well. I know this as when I used to work at CLARO Jamaica, we had network failures due to excessive traffic on our network, a sign of congestion and not enough capacity to handle the traffic.

JPS Co’s Protection System – Works but Systems needed to Store Surge Electricity

Bottom line, when the JPS Co makes their submission to the OUR come Tuesday September 27th 2016, they’ll also have to find a way to channel and store that Excess Electricity, should a sudden drop in load occur again due to a coming hurricane.

This would be good, as it would allow the generator to keep working at full capacity with their electricity generated being stored for future usage, instead of shutting them down.

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Possible solutions range from storing it in large banks of Li-Ion batteries (Luoma, 2009, July 13). JPS Co already has plans to do this in partnership with Tesla Motors (Deer, 2016, August 7), who will be selling their All-Electric Vehicles in Jamaica.

They’ll also be selling their power Storage solution in Jamaica, effectively creating extra load that’ll make such an occurrence highly improbable, being as homeowners would keep the batteries on charge anticipating a coming hurricane or disaster.

Another more novel solution to the problem of a sudden drop in load is to use that excess electricity to pump water to the top of a reservoir, which, once filed with water would effectively become a form of stored Potential Energy. This can then be converted to Potential Energy that can be used to drive hydroelectric dams (Deer, 2014, March 22) to supply power during periods of high electricity usage.

These are the best solutions that JPS Co can implement, as the Protection System works; it just need to find a place to store all that excess energy, should Jamaicans again decide to all turn off their breakers all at once anticipating a hurrricane.

References:

  1. Barrett, L. (2016, August 27). Islandwide Power Blackout, JPS Says It Is Working To Restore Electricity. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20160827/islandwide-power-blackout-jps-says-it-working-restore-electricity
  2. Deer, L. (2014, March 22). How June on El Hierro in Canary Islands to become the first Territory to go 100 percent Renewable. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/03/june-on-el-hierro-canary-islands.html
  3. Deer, L. (2016, September 6). FLOW Jamaica Network Outage due to 1 Million Satisfied Customers. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/flow-mobile-broadband-network-outage/
  4. Luoma, J.R. (2009, July 13). The Challenge for Green Energy: How to Store Excess Electricity. Retrieved from http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_challenge_for_green_energy_how_to_store_excess_electricity/2170/
  5. Poyser, A. (2016, August 30). Protection Failure – JPS Says System Flaw Caused Islandwide Blackout. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20160830/protection-failure-jps-says-system-flaw-caused-islandwide-blackout
  6. The Jamaica Gleaner. (2016, August 30). JPS Suspends Two Employees Following All-Island Power Blackout. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20160830/jps-suspends-two-employees-following-all-island-power-blackout
  7. The Jamaica Gleaner. (2016, September 2). JPS Hiring Expert To Assess Protection System. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20160902/jps-hiring-expert-assess-protection-system
  8. The Jamaica Observer. (2016, September 1). JPS gets 30 days to submit details of islandwide blackout. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/JPS-gets-30-days-to-submit-details-of-islandwide-blackout_72600
  9. The Weather Channel. (2016, August 30). Hurricane and Tropical Storm Watches Issued: Tropical Depression Nine Takes Aim on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Retrieved from https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/tropical-depression-nine-tropical-storm-hurricane
  10. Deer, L. (2016, August 7). JPSCo US$5 million Smart Grid and Tesla Motors Battery Storage Tech Fixes Low Power Periods. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2016/08/JPSCo-US5-million-Smart-Grid-Tesla-Motors.html

Why Jamaicans may prefer Body Washes and Liquid Hand soaps over Bar Soap

 

“In order to turn sluggish sales around, new bar soap product launches could incorporate a wider variety of claims, especially for more luxury and premium bar soap offerings”

Beauty analyst at Mintel, Margie Nanninga, on their survey on the trend towards in-shower moisturizers i.e. body washes or Liquid soaps

While GraceKennedy is trying to boost the sales of washing powder (Deer, 2016, August 26) and Bar soap, millennials may have a different take on the matter; they prefer body washes or Liquid soaps.

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Turns out they mostly use in-shower moisturizers i.e. body washes or Liquid soaps (Farber, 2016, August 25) according to research firm Mintel. Here’s what research firm Mintel found based on soap, bath, and shower sales between 2014 and 2015:

  • 30% of soap, bath, and shower sales are Bar Soaps
  • 47% of soap, bath, and shower sales are Liquid Soaps

In 2015, liquid body soaps in the USA was a US$2.7 billion industry. Meanwhile traditional Bar Soap Sales are on the decline:

  • 2.7% growth in soap, bath, and shower sales
  • 2.2% decline in Bar soap usage

Usage of Bar soap in American households fell between 2010 and 2015:

  • 5 percentage points from 89% to 84%
  • 64% of all American consumers use bar soap
  • 68% of men use traditional bar soap
  • 60% of women use traditional bar soap

So why is this so?

Americans Millennials like Liquid soaps – Body Washes and liquid hand wash Soaps seen as modern and more hygienic

Americans like convenience.

They’re spending on in-shower moisturizers aka body washes and Liquid soaps for washing their hands as it cheaper than buying Bar soap. 66% of Americans prefer taking a shower than a long bath (Gray, 2016, August 26), and body washes makes bathing a lot faster.

Many are also buying cheaper bar soaps and spending the rest on in-shower moisturizers, as the body washes and Liquid soaps lasts longer and are more convenient. Also, Americans perceive bar soap as being unhygienic and something used by old people.

According to research firm Mintel’s survey:

  • 5% think traditional bar soap is less convenient than liquid soap.
  • 48% believing that bar soaps are covered in germs after use
  • 60% of consumers aged 18-24 strongly dislike the bar soap’s germ factor
  • 31% of consumers who are 65 and older strongly dislike the bar soap’s germ factor

So is this perception by millennials supported by science? 

Soaps are healthier for your skin – US and UK may be dumping Soaps on Jamaica

This is a rather misguided view by Millennials; bar soaps are actually germ free (PRNewswire, 2016, September 14), as bacteria cannot live on soap bars due to their germ-killing chemicals. So the perception that you can pass on germs by sharing soap is incorrect, based on research conducted by Cambridge University.

Bar soaps are also better for your skin, as they don’t contain sulphates or paraben, like most Body Washes and liquid hand wash Soaps. Soaps are also cheaper to make and can be made at home, requiring less packaging and are more compact, often lasting longer, based on my personal experience.

Bar Of Glycerin Soap On A Soap Dish In A Window Sill. (Photo By: MyLoupe/UIG Via Getty Images)

Also, Bar soaps can be recycled (Deer, 2015, April 18); Body Washes and liquid hand wash Soaps cannot be recycled. The use of bar soap versus body wash is also an act of conservation. They use less packaging than body wash and the product is much lighter and more compact to ship due to the lower water content.

Marketing people in Jamaica, sensing a similar shift in Jamaica, may be ramping up bar soap sales (Deer, 2016, January 16). But the end of Bar soaps in Jamaica may be inevitable, as noted with the switch away from Triclosan in soaps (Brouillette, 2016, September 2) containing microbeads (Deer, 2016, January 3).

So expect the USA and UK to begin dumping these unwanted products at cut rate prices on our shores.

References:

  1. Deer, L. (2015, April 18). @CleantheWorld Recycles Hotel Soap – How Hand Washing and Bathing with Recycled Soap can stem Ebola’s Rise in West Africa. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/04/Clean-the-World-Hand-Washing-Bathing-Recycled-Soap-Ebola.html
  2. Deer, L. (2016, January 3). How US microbeads ban by 2017 means NEPA ban coming to protect Coral Reefs. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2016/01/US-microbeads-NEPA-Jamaican-importation-Coral-Reefs.html
  3. Deer, L. (2016, January 16). How the return of Lux Soap means Bathing with the Stars is possible. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2016/01/02/how-the-return-of-lux-soap-means-bathing-with-the-stars-is-possible/
  4. Farber, M. (2016, August 25). Why Americans Are Dumping Bar Soap for Liquids. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2016/08/25/bar-soap-declining-sales/
  5. Gray, R. (2016, August 26). Millennials are turning away from soap bars: Sales plunge as young people opt for more ‘hygienic’ hand wash. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3760007/Millennials-turning-away-soap-bars-Sales-plunge-young-people-opt-hygienic-hand-wash.html
  6. Deer, L. (2016, August 26). How GraceKennedy and Hi-Lo can achieve 98% of soap powder market in 2 years. Retrieved from https://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2016/08/gracekennedy-1-dollar-soap-powder.html
  7. Brouillette, M. (2016, September 2). U.S. Bans Common Chemicals in Antibacterial Soaps. Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/u-s-bans-common-chemicals-in-antibacterial-soaps/
  8. PRNewswire. (2016, September 14). Bar Soap Is Squeaky Clean. Retrieved from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bar-soap-is-squeaky-clean-300327722.html

 

13 Portable Antivirus to remove any Virus or Malware on Laptops, smartphones or Tablets

Hello, it’s back to school again. That means doing assignments on your Laptop and getting viruses via infected thumb drives and hackers trying to steal your Scotia VISA Debit Card (Murray, 2016, September 20) that you use for online purchases.

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Rootkit Virus are a living nightmare, only removable if you know a little DOS (Deer, 2012, July 17) or have a bootable Rescue Disc (Deer, 2013, December 23) handy.

Fortunately, there are some portable antivirus programs (Deer, 2014, May 7) that you can keep on your Thumb drive for situations such as an Internet Cafe that doesn’t support installation of programs or scanning a non-windows machines or device.

Hence this handy list of free portable antivirus (Wallen, 2015, October 16) should do the trick, with many of them being relatively new (Beebom, 2016, April 18) to the antivirus scene. Many of them are really malware removal programs (Tengyuen, 2016, May 24), as the line between viruses and programs build with malicious intent:

Keep these on a separate thumb drive that you use to scan PC and Laptop before using them. Cleaning smartphones and tablets may require you finding the app version of these programs or just simply connecting the device to a computer by a microUSB cable and scanning as an external device.

They take a little longer than a typical antivirus and depend heavily on the processor to do their work, so temporarily copying them to the hard drive of the scanned device, if possible, is recommended to make them run faster.

References:

  1. Deer, L. (2012, July 17). How to recover files made invisible by malware using Fedora and Command. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/how-to-recover-a-files-made-invisible-by-malware-using-fedora-and-command/
  2. Deer, L. (2013, December 23). How to remove Rootkit Virus or Hidden Folder Virus using Bootable Rescue Discs. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/remove-rootkit-virus-hidden-folder-bootable-rescue-discs/
  3. Deer, L. (2014, May 7). How to Use Portable Anti-Virus Programs to Remove Viruses from smartphones and Tablets. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/05/how-to-use-portable-anti-virus-programs.html
  4. Wallen, J. (2015, October 16). Five portable antivirus and antimalware tools to carry with you at all times. Retrieved from http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-portable-antivirus-and-antimalware-tools-to-carry-with-you-at-all-times/
  5. Beebom. (2016, April 18). 6 Best Portable Antivirus Software. Retrieved from http://beebom.com/best-portable-antivirus-software/
  6. Tengyuen, N. (2016, May 24). 7 Free No Installation Portable USB Antivirus For Removing Scamware And Malware. Retrieved from https://www.geckoandfly.com/9751/free-portable-antivirus-software-microsoft-safety-scanner/
  7. Murray, G. (2016, September 20). Look out for random emails, it’s phishing season! Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Look-out-for-random-emails–it-s-phishing-season-