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From Andrea...

What is the best way to get rid of the smell of burnt microwave popcorn? I burned a bag a week ago but can't get rid of the smell. It has taken over my kitchen, and despite cleaning with water, baking soda, Lysol and Oust, it is still lingering. Any ideas?


Good morning Andrea! I love your questions. We've all have had the same problem and now I also know how to get rid of the smell. The only thing I ever cook is popcorn (ask Al). I have two different answers so I suggest you try one of them and let me know what happens.

Solution #1:

Put a paper plate on the bottom of the microwave to contain spills, then pour 1 ½ cups water into a large microwave-safe bowl; add half a chopped lemon, pulp and rind, and four or five whole cloves. Put into microwave and bring to a boil; let stand for 10 – 15 minutes, then remove and leave the door open for several hours or overnite to further air out the oven.

This information is from: magazines.ivillage.com/goodhousekeeping

Solution #2:

Fill a large, four cup, microwave-safe bowl with one cup water. Add ¼ cup white household vinegar or 1/3 cup lemon juice and allow this mixture to boil in your microwave for a full five minutes. Do not open the door or move the bowl for 15 minutes, so the water can cool. Remove the bowl and wipe out the microwave. Leave the door open to air the oven out. Open a window or turn on an exhaust fan to help dissipate the smell.

This information is from: www.nbc4.com

Good luck and have a great day! Happy Popping! Al's Mom

The iPhone 3G will bring along most of the software goodies that are available in the West.
All about iphone 3 G launch in India
Here we have it folks. An exclusive on the iPhone's availability in India. When, how much, what features, software -- everything you ever wanted to know about the iPhone 3G in India! Read on..
iPhone 3G Availability: Vodafone to have a 15 day launch advantage (available August '08 through Vodafone, and late Aug/September '08 through Airtel)
Model: Initially, the 8GB version only
Price: Rs. 11,500 to Rs. 12,000 (note: U.S. price of the 8GB iPhone 3G is $199)
Applications: App Store will be available
App prices: Application prices may see a revision to suit Indian market
3G: No fixed date for 3G availability; expected sometime later this year
 GPS: Present on the Indian version as well
Grey-market availability: Almost nowhere to be seen. One store expects to sell it next week at Rs. 50,000
According to our source in Airtel, the iPhone 3G will bring along most of the software goodies that are available in the West. In fact, the source went on to add, some of the features will be customized to suit the Indian tariff. The source confirmed that we would also be able to purchase software from the App Store with a possibly of a revised price for the Indian consumer, quickly adding that the price revision is not set in stone.

Today @ flip, we had Green Tea at evening tea break .I know its not a BIG deal to have green tea, but here in Kerala, its not common to use Green Tea as in Chaina or Ameria. ;) .
Just for a sake, I asked GooG about the same, and G uncle gave me some informations to me. Here is what I got.
People who drink at least a pint of green tea each day have a lower risk of death, a Japanese study shows.
The lower overall death risk among green tea drinkers appears to be due to a lower risk of death from heart disease. The benefit of green tea is especially pronounced in women, find Shinichi Kuriyama, MD, PhD, Tohoku University School of Public Policy in Sendai, Japan, and colleagues.
Green tea is a very popular drink in Japan. But some people drink more than others do. Women who drink five or more 3.4-ounce cups of green tea every day cut their risk of heart disease by 31% compared with women who drink one or fewer 3.4-ounce cups. Men who drink this much green tea cut their heart disease risk by 22%.
“”Green tea may prolong your life through reducing heart disease and stroke,”" Kuriyama tells WebMD. “”Our findings might explain the differences in mortality profile between Japan and the United States. The Japanese age-adjusted rate of mortality due to (heart disease and stroke) is about 30% lower than that of the United States.”"
The findings appear in the Sept. 13 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
—Green tea: might Americans benefit?
Kuriyama’s study is based on data collected since 1994 among more than 40,000 healthy Japanese people aged 40 to 79. More than 86% of the study participants remained in the study for 11 years. Participants filled out detailed questionnaires about their daily diets and health.
The study was conducted with meticulous care. But Kuriyama is quick to point out that this kind of study can’t prove green tea has any beneficial effect. Proof comes only from a clinical trial in which some people get green tea and others do not. The Kuriyama study shows only that there is a link between green tea and lower death risk — not that green tea causes lower death risk.
Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of the cardiovascular nutrition research program at Tufts University’s Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, is underwhelmed by the Kuriyama study.
“”This is association, not causation,”" Lichtenstein tells WebMD. “”The Japanese are so different from us in terms of diet and lifestyle. The data — at this point — do not support the hypothesis that adding green tea to your diet will significantly reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke. But stay tuned.”"
Kuriyama points to a Dutch study that suggests Westerners may benefit from green tea. That’s also the opinion of green tea researcher Tsung O. Cheng, MD, of George Washington University Medical Center.
“”I would think that the effect of green tea is worldwide,”" Cheng tells WebMD. “”There is no reason why it should be beneficial in the Eastern world and not in the West. I hope that Westerners will begin to drink more green tea, too. A person would drink two or more 8-ounce cups per day for maximum benefit.”"
—More benefits for women?
Why do women seem to get more of a benefit from green tea than men do?
Kuriyama and colleagues note that the men in their study smoked more cigarettes than women did. And smokers, overall, got less of a benefit from green tea than nonsmokers.
But Cheng says it’s related to estrogen. Green tea studies consistently show a greater effect for women than for men, he says. He suggests that green tea’s active ingredients may interact with the female sex hormone estrogen to boost a heart-protective effect.
—Green tea: no effect on cancer
Kuriyama and colleagues found no evidence that green tea protects against cancer death.
Kuriyama says that was a surprise to him, as “”abundant”" evidence from animal and test-tube studies suggests that green tea ingredients fight cancer.
But he notes that the current findings are in line with other, smaller studies that find green tea has no effect on several specific kinds of cancer.
—Green tea warnings
While it’s yet to be proved that green tea really will protect you against early death, there’s a lot of evidence that green tea is safe — with two major exceptions.
Cheng warns that green tea contains vitamin K. Vitamin K affects blood clotting. People taking the blood-thinning drug Coumadin, he says, should not start drinking more green tea.
And Kuriyama warns against drinking your green tea piping hot.
“”Drinking green tea at high temperature may be associated with increased risk of esophageal cancer,”" he says. “”Therefore, I recommend that green tea should be consumed at moderate or low temperature.”"
What’s the bottom line? For Lichtenstein, the message is to go ahead and drink green tea if you like it. But to prevent heart disease and stroke, what really works is a healthy diet and daily exercise.
Neither Kuriyama nor Cheng would disagree with that. But they both recommend green tea, too.
“”I personally drink two to three cups of green tea per day,”" Kuriyama says. “”On the basis of our study results, I would like to recommend the drinking of green tea to my friends and my family because our findings are the best evidence at present.”" Cheng says green tea is much better for you than oolong tea or black tea, which lose some healthy properties during fermentation. But that’s not why he drinks it.
“”I drink two cups a day because I like it,”" Cheng says.
 And out Team Lead, Mr saif made a Buzz about http://www.greentea.com/ and G gave me the image.

And I have found this funny but tasty thing.
Japan's tea ceremony may be boring, but it's still an auspicious part of Japanese culture. For green tea to have sunk to the level of being stuck in some Western chocolate bar must be a new low, just one step up from sprinkling it on french fries. To be fair though, with all the other flavours popping up, this just wouldn't be Japan without a green tea Kit Kat. However like green tea ice cream, I find adding sugar and milk to green tea totally ruins the flavour. If you've ever had real, high quality, bitter 'macha', you'll know what I mean. Green tea might be an antioxidant, but sweet green tea is an oxymoron, like putting maple syrup on sausages, or eating a cheese and jam sandwich. Some green wavy lines didn't make up for the sickeningly sweet taste and some fake green tea flavour. Next!

from Google blog

Late in 2007, our User Experience (UX) group—which does user interface design, visual design, user research, web development, and user interface writing—set out to articulate the principles that ought to guide Google designs worldwide. What are the fundamentals that all Google designers and researchers accept? Which approaches to design are particularly "Googley"? How can we encourage teams throughout Google to dream big and make smart design decisions?

A small team gathered to discuss these questions and define the Googley Design Principles:
1. Focus on people—their lives, their work, their dreams.
2. Every millisecond counts.
3. Simplicity is powerful.
4. Engage beginners and attract experts.
5. Dare to innovate.
6. Design for the world.
7. Plan for today's and tomorrow's business.
8. Delight the eye without distracting the mind.
9. Be worthy of people's trust.
10. Add a human touch.
These UX principles flow naturally from the Ten things Google has found to be true and the UX group's stated mission: to design products that satisfy and delight our users. We described the principles as "Our Aspirations" for two reasons:
  • We have a lot of work to do when it comes to implementation.
  • Every real-world product will have to strike a balance between all ten principles.
Still, we don't want to waffle too much. These principles represent the User Experience group's declaration of beliefs. With "Satisfy and Delight" stitched on our leotards, we're determined to get up on the tightrope and start juggling principles. Please applaud or boo, as appropriate, so that we can make the next act even better.

Yesterday, Google revealed their secret behind pageranking on their official blog

In my previous post, I introduced the philosophies behind Google ranking. As part of our effort to discuss search quality, I want to tell you more about the technologies behind our ranking. The core technology in our ranking system comes from the academic field of Information Retrieval (IR). The IR community has studied search for almost 50 years. It uses statistical signals of word salience, like word frequency, to rank pages. (See "Modern Information Retrieval: A Brief Overview" for a quick overview of IR technology.) IR gave us a solid foundation, and we have built a tremendous system on top using links, page structure, and many other such innovations.

Search in the last decade has moved from give me what I said to give me what I want. User expectations from search have rightly increased. We work hard to fulfill the expectations of each and every user, and to do that we need to better understand the pages, the queries, and our users. Over the last decade we have pushed the technologies for understanding these three components (of the search process) to completely new dimensions.

When we talk about queries at Google, we use square brackets [ ] to mark the beginning and end of queries (see "How to write queries" by Matt Cutts), a notation I will use throughout this post. (Pages and search results change frequently, so in time, some examples used here may not behave as explained.)
You can read the full article here