15 Brilliant Uses for Toothpaste

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Household Tips

Toothpaste: it whitens, brightens, deodorizes, removes stains, and restores and protects enamel. But toothpaste’s cleaning capabilities work wonders on many things besides our teeth. The same ingredients that help polish our pearly whites can also soothe some common ailments, make household items sparkle, and even get rid of stains and pungent smells. Try out these fifteen tricks with a white, non-gel toothpaste (unless otherwise noted), and watch that cavity-fighting, breath-freshening tube of wonder work its magic.
1. Relieve irritation from bug bites, sores, and blisters. These skin irritations all tend to weep and, in the case of bug bites, often itch. Apply a drop of toothpaste to a bug bite or insect sting to stop the itching and decrease any swelling. When applied to sores or blisters, it dries them up, thus allowing the wound to heal faster. It’s best when used overnight.
2. Soothe a stinging burn. For minor burns that don’t involve an open wound, toothpaste can deliver temporary cooling relief. Apply it delicately to the affected area immediately after a burn develops; it temporarily relieves the sting and prevents the wound from weeping or opening.
3. Decrease the size of a facial blemish. Want to speed up the healing of a zit? Apply a tiny dot of toothpaste to the affected area at night before bed. Wash it off in the morning.
4. Clean up your fingernails. Our teeth are made of enamel, and toothpaste is good for them, so it stands to reason that toothpaste would also be good for our fingernails. For cleaner, shinier, and stronger nails, simply scrub the underneath and tops of fingernails with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
5. Keep hair in place. Gel toothpastes contain the same water-soluble polymers that many hair gels are made of. If you’re looking to style and hold an extreme hair creation, try gel toothpaste as your go-to product if you’re out of regular hair gel. (This is also a great trick for making baby barrettes stay in place.)
6. Scrub away stinky smells. Garlic, fish, onion, and other pungent foods can permeate the skin cells on our hands. Scrubbing hands and fingertips briefly with toothpaste removes all traces of smelly odors
7. Remove stains. Toothpaste can make tough stains on both clothing and carpets disappear. For clothes, apply toothpaste directly to the stain and rub briskly until the spot is gone, then wash as usual. (Note that using a whitening toothpaste on colors can sometimes bleach the fabric.) For carpet stains, apply toothpaste to the stain and scrub it with an abrasive brush, then rinse immediately.
8. Spruce up dirty shoes. This tactic works great on running shoes or scuffed-up leather shoes. As with carpet stains, apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean.
9. Remove crayon stains on painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently on the marked-up wall and watch the Crayola marks disappear.
10. Make silver jewelry and other silver pieces sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. Make diamonds shine by giving them a gentle scrub using a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a little water. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of toothpaste. Do not use this method on pearls, as it will damage their finish.
11. Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. This remedy has been used with mixed success rates, but it seems to work fairly well on shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the disc and rub gently, then rinse clean.
12. Tidy up piano keys before tickling them. Piano keys retain oil from the skin, which then attracts dust and dirt. Clean away grime gently with a damp, lint-free cloth and toothpaste; after rubbing in the toothpaste, wipe the keys clean with a second lint-free cloth.
13. Deodorize baby bottles. If baby bottles develop a sour-milk smell, a good cleaning with some toothpaste and a bottle scrubber will clean away residue and deodorize. Always make sure to rinse well.
14. Remove the burned crust on irons. For those of you who still use an iron, you may find that after time, the plate of the iron develops a burned crust. The silica in toothpaste gently grinds away this rusty-looking layer.
15. Defog goggles. Scuba divers, swimmers, and triathletes may already know about this handy little trick: Rub a small spot of toothpaste into each lens of your goggles, then rinse thoroughly, and voila! There’ll be no need to ever buy expensive defogger gels again. Avoid rubbing too vigorously, though, as the abrasive ingredients in toothpaste could scratch the lenses.
I can see how using toothpaste could save me time and money over the course of a year, not to mention help me reduce my shopping time and cleaning-supply collection. I’d like to see my toothpaste work harder anyway. After all, if I’ve got to suffer through itchy bug bites, they might as well smell fresh.

23 Ingenious Uses for White Vinegar

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Household Tips

About 10,000 years ago, ancient people discovered a product that would change lives forever. Wine had been around for a while, but after some was allowed to oxidize, vinegar was born. It became an immediate hit. The Babylonians used vinegar as a preservative, as did Ancient Greeks and Romans. Some peoples, including the Chinese, believed that vinegar was a tonic that would give them strength and vitality, as well as bestow healing properties. Legend has it that Hannibal only succeeded in crossing the Alps because his armies heated mountain boulders and doused them with vinegar, causing the rocks to crumble and clear the path.
Vinegar’s magic ingredient is acetic acid, which comprises about 5 percent of the finished product. Vinegar has been produced commercially for about 2,500 years, making it one of the oldest products in use by humans. There are many different types of vinegar out there, all produced by the oxidization of alcohol into acetic acid, but white vinegar is the most useful and the most versatile by far.
White vinegar has dozens of household applications, and the best part is that it’s green. It’s enjoying a newfound popularity as many people try to avoid toxic or harsh cleaning chemicals around their pets and children, as well as save money by making their own cleansers. Not to mention that vinegar is cheap, it’s versatile, and it doesn’t irritate allergies like some fragranced cleansers. Chances are, whenever you run into a household funk, vinegar is your answer.
Kitchen Remedies: Besides adding zest to salad dressings, white vinegar is handy for many cooking tasks.
1. Adding a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the water when poaching eggs helps the whites stay formed. Add a few tablespoons to the water when boiling eggs, and if any shells crack, the whites won’t leak out.
2. If your leafy veggies are wilted, soaking them in cold water with a little vinegar can perk them right up.
3. After chopping an onion, you can eliminate the odor from your hands by rubbing them with a bit of white vinegar.
4. When cooking any vegetables from the cabbage family (like broccoli or cauliflower), adding a little vinegar to the water will perk up the taste and reduce the gassiness they can induce. This also works when cooking beans, making Mexican food a far more attractive option.
Cleaning House: Vinegar can help with a variety of cleaning tasks, since the acid acts as a disinfectant and an odor neutralizer.
5. Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal by mixing equal parts vinegar and baking soda and putting it down the drain. After letting this fizzing mixture sit for a few minutes, flush out the drain with warm water for a clean and stink-free sink.
6. The steam from a boiling a bowl of vinegar and water can loosen caked-on food and get rid of odors in the microwave, too.
7. One of my favorite vinegar remedies and my personal weapon against fruit flies is to set out a small dish of white vinegar and some smashed fruit, covered with plastic wrap with some holes in it–the flies crawl into the trap, but can’t get out.
8. If your stemware is cloudy from the dishwasher, wrap the glasses in paper towels soaked in vinegar, let them sit, and the cloudy deposits will rinse right off.
9. There’s no need to use bleach on tile grouting when you can let vinegar soak on it and then scrub with a toothbrush.
10. Bring lightly scuffed or dirty DVDs back to life by wiping them down with some vinegar on a soft cloth.
11. If you have water condensation marks on your wood, just rub the piece of furniture with equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil to remove them. Make sure to rub with the grain, and then invest in a set of coasters.
Cleaning Clothes: Vinegar works magic on upholstery and fabric, too.
12. If a child has an “accident” on a mattress, clean it with a solution of vinegar and water. Afterwards, pour some baking soda onto the mattress, and brush or vacuum the residue once it’s dry.
13. Spraying vinegar onto deodorant-stained shirts before the wash can remove the discoloration. It’s also great for fighting mustard, tomato sauce, or ketchup stains.
14. Adding a cupful of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine can freshen up bright colors and give you cleaner laundry. Acetic acid won’t harm fabrics, but it dissolves the soap residue that can dull dark clothing. It also acts as a fabric softener, a static reducer, and a mildew-inhibitor.
15. Vinegar will also loosen chewing gum stuck to car upholstery, rugs, and carpeting.
Outdoor Solutions: Tough enough even for the outdoors, vinegar can function as a car cleaner and an organic pest remover.
16. If your car still sports a bumper sticker from two elections ago, remove it by spraying the decal with white vinegar to saturate the area, and the sticker will peel off in a few hours. (You might need to spray it a few times.)
17. Wiping down your car windows and windshield with a three-to-one vinegar-water mixture can keep them frost-free in the wintertime.
18. Kill weeds and crabgrass growing in sidewalks and driveways by pouring vinegar onto them. A half-and-half solution of vinegar and water can even kill garden slugs if it’s sprayed directly onto them.
19. To extend the life of cut flowers, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water in their vase, along with a teaspoon of sugar.
Pet Protection: There’s no need to use chemicals near pets when vinegar can handle most cleaning and bathing tasks.
20. Wipe out itchy ears with undiluted vinegar to keep dogs and cats from scratching at them.
21. Cats avoid vinegar, so to keep them from scratching furniture or sitting on certain areas, spray a vinegar solution onto the spot.
22. For outdoor areas, soak a sponge in vinegar and place it in the forbidden area to keep cats away. If kitty likes to mark his territory, spraying the area with vinegar can help eliminate the smell and deter recurrences.
23. Vinegar also gets rid of skunk odor. Soak the animal with a half-and-half vinegar and water solution, and then rinse with fresh water.
Vinegar can disinfect, deodorize, and de-gunkify just about everything. From shower curtains to sofa cushions, there’s not much that it can’t do. As an alternative to expensive and harsh cleaning chemicals, vinegar is something you can feel good about keeping in your cupboards. White vinegar and baking soda can even remove product buildup from hair and leave it soft and manageable. A product that can clean you, the dog, your car, and your house is what I’d call a good, green buy.

iPhone 4 Pre-Orders Now Pushed Back To July 14

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPhone

Apple has pushed back the delivery date for iPhone 4 advance sales even more. The U.S. Apple Store is now showing that iPhone 4 pre-orders will ship by July 14, a 12-day delay to the original postponed delivery date of July 2.
Apple is having trouble fulfilling the surge of pre-orders that it began taking on June 15, noting in a statement on Wednesday that it has already sold more than 600,000 iPhone 4s.
Pre-ordering an iPhone 4 is not easy job, however. First off, AT&T suspended iPhone 4 pre-orders on Wednesday, only a day after its Web site was overwhelmed with demand from customers.
AT&T’s surge of interest didn’t just come from new customers, but also from current customers. AT&T extended the new iPhone 4 customer pricing to those whose iPhone contracts expire at any point this year, thus making them eligible for discounted prices starting at $199 (with a refreshed two-year contract).
AT&T’s servers couldn’t cope with the demand, and crashed early on Tuesday, taking down with them the iPhone 4 pre-ordering system on Apple’s own Web site as well. In this process, some reported a glitch that exposed some customers’ personal information to other users. AT&T said it was not able to replicate the issue on its end.
Afraid of the online ordering problems, many have turned to good old-fashioned brick and mortar stores, where long queues formed both on Tuesday and Wednesday.
That didn’t last long either, as Apple confirmed in a statement “many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock.”
If you didn’t manage to pre-order an iPhone, but you still want one on launch day (Thursday, June 24), there is still hope. Apple is expected to stock a limited number of devices at its own stores on the day, and Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy will also carry the iPhone 4 on launch day.

First iOS 4 Multitasking Aware Apps Appearing in App Store

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPhone, iPhone OS

Apple has started approving updates for apps that support the new features of iOS 4. The most notable feature that requires explicit support is OS 4 multitasking. One particularly prominent app that now supports the basic iOS 4′s multitasking API is Dropbox, a file sharing/syncing tool.
Apple’s iOS has never supported multitasking in 3rd party applications. Apple has cited issues with performance and battery life as chief concerns with unrestricted multitasking. Instead, Apple has introduced 7 specific background services for IOS 4 apps that will allow them to continue tasks after a user switches away from them. These include:
- Background audio – Allows your app to play audio continuously.
- Voice over IP – Users can now receive VoIP calls and have conversations while using another app.
- Background location – Navigation apps can now continue to guide users who are using other apps
- Push notifications – Receive alerts from your remote servers even when your app isn’t running.
- Local notifications – Your app can now alert users of scheduled events and alarms in the background, no servers required.
- Task finishing – If your app is in mid-task when your customer leaves it, the app can now keep running to finish the task.
- Fast app switching – This will allow users to leave your app and come right back to where they were when they left – no more having to reload the app.
The most noticeable change that should be implemented in every iOS 4 aware app is “Fast app switching” which allows you to switch in and out of an application without restarting the app. Dropbox appears to support this feature. Critics will correctly point out that this isn’t really multitasking, but it’s just a start of the support of the new iOS features. More impressive uses of the multitaking API will include apps such as Pandora Radio and Skype.
Apple will be distributing iOS 4 to the public on June 21st.

Apple iPhone 4 sets record sale pace despite gaffe

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPhone

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sales of Apple Inc’s latest iPhone blew away expectations in its first day on the market despite shortages and an embarrassing online ordering glitch that thwarted many shoppers.
Apple shares rose nearly 3 percent on Wednesday after it announced sales of more than 600,000 iPhone 4s, a record for just a single day of pre-orders. That put the device on track to surpass sales of its previous iPhone models as well as its iPad tablet computer, and sounded a strong challenge to rivals like Nokia Corp, which warned of weaker-than-expected sales at its phones unit.
But Apple apologized on Wednesday for having to halt sales temporarily after the surprising volume of online interest overloaded order and approval systems and supplies ran out.
Apple’s website said Wednesday afternoon that products ordered then would be shipped by July 14, three weeks after the phone’s scheduled June 24 launch in stores and slower than the July 2 shipment promised earlier in the day. The site was still slow on Wednesday, making it unclear if orders were going through.
The phone’s exclusive U.S. carrier AT&T Inc said it had halted pre-orders and that sales would resume as soon as inventory becomes available.
The Apple faithful appeared unconcerned. Analysts say the new iPhone would likely surpass sales of the last iPhone 3GS model, about 1 million units of which moved in its first three days. Helping drive that stellar performance will be an influx of new users jumping on the smartphone boom, as well as a two-year replacement cycle for existing iPhone fans.
The first round of carrier contracts signed for the first 3G-based iPhone — launched in 2008 — are due to end soon, JPMorgan analyst Mark Moskowitz said in a research note.
“It’s easy to forget how early we are in the adoption of this device,” said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis, saying many had underestimated the size of the iPhone’s addressable market. “There’s only 50 million of them out there. 600,000 is still a drop in the bucket.”
One analyst said sales of the device could reach 10 million per quarter, once Apple can meet demand.
“At some point in the next three to four months they’ll catch up. That’s when they’ll start hitting the 10 million per quarter mark,” Hapoalim Securities analyst Kevin Hunt said.
“There is probably enough demand (to hit that number) in the third quarter but there’s probably not enough supply.”
Another analyst, Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros, said his eight million estimate for the quarter is probably conservative.
Some other analysts have raised concerns that Apple supply shortages — which caused a delay in the international launch of the iPad, for instance — would drive impatient buyers to rivals.
Apple and AT&T have incurred several recent technical and public relations embarrassments, including a security breach on the iPad that exposed email addresses of public figures, and an investigation into a missing iPhone prototype.
AT&T also said it received complaints that potential iPhone 4 customers were seeing other customers’ data on its website. It did not comment on this in Wednesday’s statement.
Apple unveiled the slimmer, $199 iPhone 4 last week, kicking off its fastest-ever global product roll-out to try to stay a step ahead of rivals like Google Inc in a red-hot smartphone market.
The device boasts a higher-quality screen and longer battery life, video chat via Wi-Fi, and a gyroscope sensor for improved gaming.
VERIZON ON THE HORIZON?
Shares of Apple, still hovering near a lifetime high, closed up 2.9 percent at $267.25 on Nasdaq. AT&T slipped 0.08 percent to $25.52 on the New York Stock Exchange.
AT&T said orders of the iPhone 4 were 10 times higher in their first day than for the iPhone 3GS on its launch day last year.
It said it chalked up more than 13 million visits to its website on Tuesday, including customers checking to see if they were eligible to upgrade to a new phone. It said eligibility checks were three times its previous record for a single day.
Hudson Square Research analyst Todd Rethemeier said the sales numbers were good news for AT&T, especially because of widespread expectations that bigger rival Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc, will soon be able to sell iPhones too.
“It means they’re locking up customers into new two-year contracts. Nobody knows when Verizon’s going to the iPhone, but there’s a lot of speculation this will happen.” he said. “Anything AT&T can do to lock up customers now is a good thing.”
Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar said the technical snafus were more of a black eye for AT&T than Apple, and reinforced his expectation for a Verizon iPhone late this year. He does not see the problems helping rivals who make phones powered by the Android software from Google.
“People who can’t get their phones today, they’re not going to go to Android. They’ll just come back tomorrow and try to buy the iPhone,” he said.
AT&T said the availability of its inventory would determine whether it could resume taking orders. Apple apologized to frustrated would-be buyers and asked them to “try again” online and in stores once the phone is in stock.
“We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again … once the iPhone 4 is in stock,” Apple said in a statement.

40 fantastic uses for baking soda

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine

Most of us know that baking soda can be used for more than just making homemade cookies and other dough rise. It’s not uncommon to see an open box of this leavening agent deodorizing refrigerators, for example. But did you know that there are at least 40 different ways to use baking soda?
Baking soda makes a perfect stand-in for many personal care, cleaning, and deodorizing products. The list of benefits is long: It is inexpensive, free of toxic chemicals, versatile, and effective.
Wondering how baking soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, works its magic? It helps regulate pH — keeping a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. When baking soda comes in contact with either an acidic or an alkaline substance, its natural effect is to neutralize that pH. Beyond that, baking soda has the ability to retard further changes in the pH balance, known as buffering.
This dual capability of neutralizing and buffering allows baking soda to do things such as neutralize acidic odors (like in the refrigerator) as well as maintain neutral pH (like in your laundry water, which helps boost your detergent’s power). It’s a simple reaction, but one that has far-reaching effects for a number of cleaning and deodorizing tasks.
And so without further ado, here are some of the many creative ways you can use baking soda.

Personal Care

1. Make toothpaste
A paste made from baking soda and a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution can be used as an alternative to commercial non-fluoride toothpastes. (Or here’s a formula for a minty version.) You can also just dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for an extra boost.
2. Freshen your mouth
Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit, and rinse. Odors are neutralized, not just covered up.
3. Soak oral appliance
Soak oral appliances (like retainers, mouthpieces, and dentures) in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in a glass or small bowl of warm water. The baking soda loosens food particles and neutralizes odors to keep appliances fresh. You can also brush appliances clean using baking soda.
4. Use as a facial scrub and body exfoliant
Give yourself an invigorating facial and body scrub. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Rinse clean. This is gentle enough for daily use.
5. Skip harsh deodorant
Pat baking soda onto your underarms to neutralize body odor.
6. Use as an antacid
Baking soda is a safe and effective antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, and/or acid indigestion. Refer to baking soda package for instructions.
7. Treat insect bites and itchy skin
For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. To ease the itch, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower.
8. Make a hand cleanser and softener
Skip harsh soaps and gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water or 3 parts baking soda with gentle liquid hand soap. Then rinse clean.
9. Help your hair
Vinegar is amazing for your hair, but baking soda has its place in the shower too. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly — baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.
10. Clean brushes and combs
For lustrous hair with more shine, keep brushes and combs clean. Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.
11. Make a bath soak
Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration. It also makes your skin feel very soft. Or just focus on soothing your feet. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak feet. Gently scrub.

Cleaning

12. Make a surface soft scrub
For safe, effective cleaning of bathroom tubs, tile, and sinks — even fiberglass and glossy tiles — sprinkle baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub as usual. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. For extra cleaning power, make a paste with baking soda, coarse salt, and liquid dish soap — let it sit then scour off.
13. Hand-wash dishes and pots and pans
Add 2 heaping tablespoons baking soda (along with your regular dish detergent) to the dish water to help cut grease and foods left on dishes, pots, and pans. For cooked-on foods, let them soak in the baking soda and detergent with water first, then use dry baking soda on a clean damp sponge or cloth as a scratch-less scouring powder.
14. Freshen sponges
Soak stale-smelling sponges in a strong baking soda solution to get rid of the mess (4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water). For more thorough disinfecting, use the microwave.
15. Clean the microwave
Baking soda on a clean damp sponge cleans gently inside and outside the microwave and never leaves a harsh chemical smell. Rinse well with water.
16. Polish silver flatware
Use a baking soda paste made with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry for shining sterling and silver-plate serving pieces.
17. Clean coffee and tea pots
Remove coffee and tea stains and eliminate bitter off-tastes by washing mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. For stubborn stains, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and detergent or scrubbing with baking soda on a clean damp sponge.
18. Clean the oven
Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven. Spray with water to dampen the baking soda. Let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub, scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge, or vacuum, and rinse.
19. Clean floors
Remove dirt and grime (without unwanted scratch marks) from no-wax and tile floors using 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water — mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor. For scuff marks, use baking soda on a clean damp sponge, then rinse.
20. Clean furniture
Clean and remove marks (even crayon) from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.
21. Clean shower curtains
Clean and deodorize your vinyl shower curtain by sprinkling baking soda directly on a clean damp sponge or brush. Scrub the shower curtain and rinse clean. Hang it up to dry.
22. Boost your liquid laundry detergent
Give your laundry a boost by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry to make liquid detergent work harder. A better balance of pH in the wash gets clothes cleaner, fresher, and brighter. Or you can add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle for fresher sheets and towels or to neutralize gym clothes and odoriferous clothing.
23. Clean and freshen sports gear
Use a baking soda solution (4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water) to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment. Sprinkle baking soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize and clean golf irons (without scratching them!) with a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) and a brush. Rinse thoroughly.
24. Remove oil and grease stains
Use baking soda to clean up light-duty oil and grease spills on your garage floor or in your driveway. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.
25. Clean batteries
Baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc., because its a mild alkali. Be sure to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. After cleaning and reconnecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion. Please be careful when working around a battery — they contain a strong acid.
26. Clean cars
Use baking soda to clean your car lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats, and floor mats without worrying about unwanted scratch marks. Use a baking soda solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, bugs, and tar. For stubborn stains use baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge or soft brush. Eliminate odors by sprinkling baking soda directly on fabric car seats and carpets. Wait 15 minutes (or longer for strong odors) and vacuum up the baking soda.

Deodorizing

27. Deodorize your refrigerator
Place an open box in the back of the fridge to neutralize odors.
28. Deodorize trashcans and recyclables
Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trashcan to keep stinky trash smells at bay. Clean your recyclables container periodically by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge. Wipe clean and rinse. Also, sprinkle baking soda on top as you add recyclables to the bin.
29. Deodorize drains and garbage disposals
To deodorize your sink and tub drains and garbage disposal and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water — it will neutralize both acid and basic odors for a fresh drain. (This a good way to dispose of baking soda that is being retired from your refrigerator.)
30. Deodorize and clean dishwashers
Use baking soda to deodorize before you run the dishwasher and then as a gentle cleanser in the wash cycle.
31. Deodorize lunch boxes
Between uses, place a spill-proof box of baking soda in everyone’s lunch box to absorb lingering odors.
32. Remove odor from carpets
Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Let set overnight or as long as possible (the longer it sets the better it works). Sweep up the larger amounts of baking soda, and vacuum up the rest. (Note that your vacuum cleaner bag will get full and heavy.) An added bonus: You’ll also deodorize your vacuum cleaner.
33. Freshen closets
Place a box on the shelf to keep the closet smelling fresh.
34. Deodorize pet items
Cover the bottom of your cat box with baking soda, then fill as usual with litter. To freshen between changes, sprinkle baking soda on top of the litter after a thorough cleaning. Eliminate odors from your pet’s bedding by sprinkling liberally with baking soda, wait 15 minutes (or longer for stronger odors), then vacuum up.
35. Deodorize sneakers
Keep odors from spreading in smelly sneakers by shaking baking soda into them when not in use. Shake out before wearing.
36. Freshen stuffed animals
Keep favorite cuddly toys fresh with a dry shower of baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on and let it sit for 15 minutes before brushing off.

Miscellaneous

37. Cure all camping needs
Baking soda is a must-have for your next camping trip. It’s a dish-washer, pot-scrubber, hand-cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste, and fire extinguisher, and has many other uses.
38. Extinguish fires
Baking soda can help in the initial handling of minor grease or electrical kitchen fires, because when baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames. For small cooking fires (frying pans, broilers, ovens, grills), turn off the gas or electricity if you can safely do so. Stand back and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame to help put out the fire — and call the fire department just to be safe.
39. Care for the septic system
Regular use of baking soda in your drains can help keep your septic system flowing freely. One cup of baking soda per week will help maintain a favorable pH in your septic tank.
40. Scrub fruits and vegetables
Baking soda is the food safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a clean damp sponge, scrub and rinse. Here’s another way to clean your vegetables as well.

World Cup for Dummies

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Developer, iPhone

1. So what is a Vuvuzela and what’s the fuss?

It’s kind of an ear-shatteringly loud plastic trumpet. Coined South Africa’s “secret weapon” by many in the international press, it sounds like an elephant when you’re up close, or a swarm of VERY angry bees when you’re sitting in a stadium crammed full of excited fans ALL blowing on them. With gusto!
It’s used to excite the blower’s team…and distract the opposition.
FIFA considered banning them, but decided against it as long as it’s not used as a weapon. (The same goes for the “kuduzela” — a similar trumpet but in a kudu horn shape.)

Cape Town's rather large vuvuzela!

Cape Town's rather large vuvuzela!


“The vuvuzela is a true representation of what African culture is about, and what African culture is,” said Issa Hayatou, the president of the Confederation of African Football.
Although the noise can be unbearable (reaching a reported 131 decibels!) with players and coaches often unable to hear each other, South Africans are hugely loyal to the vuvuzela that’s become a symbol of so much more than just a football trend. It’s become a symbol of hope and rejoicing in the Rainbow Nation.

2. What’s the Diski Dance?

South Africa’s Diski Dance is a fab jive that features township football style moves transformed into dance. “Diski” is slang for football, and this dance was created especially for the World Cup.
“The whole idea was that we needed to come up with something that is truly South African,” says Wendy Ramokgadi, choreographer of the dance. “Our country’s football is rhythmic, and so all the moves that we use in the dance are those same moves that are used on the South African football pitch, moves you can only find in our country.
“The Diski Dance is one of the things I am most proud of, I really am excited about it,” says Ramokgadi. “When these people come to our country, let them come and feel the rhythm of Africa. We must just work, wear, eat, sleep the Diski Dance.”
Watch the video from South African Tourism to see it in action:


And now learn the Diski Dancing Steps yourself (everyone else is!)

3. Then what’s the Waka Waka?

Well, that’s being touted as the ‘official dance’ of the World Cup and it’s also pretty cool. It happens to also be the official World Cup song, performed by Shakira and featuring fab SA band Freshlyground. Full song title is: Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).
Waka Waka is a Cameroon term for ‘do it’ (as in ‘perform a task’) although others say it’s a Swahili verb that means shine. The song was originally from Cameroon…
Here’s the official video!

Shakira : Waka Waka Lyrics

Oooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehh

You’re a good soldier
Choosing your battles
Pick yourself up
And dust yourself off
Get back in the saddle

You’re on the front line
Everyone’s watching
You know it’s serious
We are getting closer
This isn’t over

The pressure is on
You feel it
But you got it all
Believe it

When you fall get up, oh oh
If you fall get up, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Cuz this is Africa
Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa

Listen to your God
This is our motto
Your time to shine
Don’t wait in line
Y vamos por todo

People are raising
Their expectations
Go on and feed them
This is your moment
No hesitations

Today’s your day
I feel it
You paved the way
Beleive it

If you get down get up, oh oh
When you get down get up, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa
Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa a a
Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa

(Lady Singing)
ame la mejole biggi biggi
mubbo wa, ET to zet
asi tsu zala makyuni biggi biggi
mubbo from east to west
asi waga waga ma hehe
waga waga ma eh eh
tendency suna tsibuye
CUZ THIS IS AFRICA

Voice: Tsamina mina, Anawa a a
Tsamina mina
Tsamina mina, Anawa a a

Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa a a
Tsamina mina, eh eh
Waka waka, eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa

Django eh eh
Django eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa a a

Django eh eh
Django eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa a a

(2x) This time for Africa

(2x) We’re all Africa

4. Why’s the SA squad called Bafana Bafana, and who’s in the team?

Bafana Bafana means “the boys, the boys” in isiZulu. It’s a term that was yelled out by jubilant fans during the team’s triumphant performance at the 1996 African Nations Cup. And the name stuck.

Bafana Bafana

Bafana Bafana


The team’s coach is Carlos Alberto Parreira. He’s a Brazilian who once led his own country to World Cup victory, in 1994.
Sadly SA is one of the weakest host teams in the history of the World Cup, ranked only 83rd, and the team has been ridiculed more than praised in previous years for its bad performance BUT things are turning around. With the mounting excitement around SA hosting the World Cup, and Parreira’s choice of a mainly young, fast team there’s renewed pride and hope in Bafana Bafana. And in recent matches — they’ve been winning!

5. Which are the Top 20 teams and where does Bafana Bafana stand in the FIFA Rankings?

Hmmm. This is where your team REALLY needs you. Bafana Bafana are ranked 83rd. The good news is that’s 7 places better than where we were until recently: 90! The not-so-great news is that the other teams in our Group are: France (#9), Uruguay (#16) and Mexico (#17).
Here’s the top 20:
1 — Brazil; 2 — Spain; 3 — Portugal; 4 — Netherlands; 5 — Italy; 6 — Germany; 7 — Argentina; 8 — England; 9 — France; 10 — Croatia; 11 — Russia; 12 — Egypt; 13 — Greece; 14 — USA; 15 — Serbia; 16 — Uruguay; 17 — Mexico; 18 — Chile; 19 — Cameroon; 20 — Australia

6. Who’s Zakumi?

Um, official mascot of the 2010 FIFA World Cup…but so far not really inciting the kind of excitement and support he’s meant to.

Zakumi

Zakumi


He’s apparently a party “animal” (being a green-haired leopard and all) and has been launched as “the mascot with an attitude” who’ll turn the World Cup into a huge party and show the guests the warmth and spirit of Africa.
He loves football (of course) and is named Zakumi after ZA (for South Africa) and ‘kumi’ (which translates into ‘10? in various African languages) — South Africa ‘10 (get it?).
In his biog it says he has “one striking weakness”. The weakness? He uses up so much energy that he requires frequent (short) rests, and can suddenly fall asleep at random moments. But so far — he seems to have been snoozing too much.

7. What’s a Makarapa

Another uniquely South African accessory! It’s a very colourfully decorated and elaborate plastic hard hat that fans wear on their heads, and that was created for…safety!

Makarapa

Makarapa


Alfred Baloyi (51), a very talented artist, created the makarapa years ago after watching a bottle flying through the air at an unruly match in Soweto.
“We used to go to the stadium without wearing anything on our heads and it was dangerous,” he said. “I realised that these hard hats could protect me.”
They’re called ‘makarapa’ because that’s isiXhosa for the migrant workers who wore hard hats in mines.
Nowadays most fans adorn the makarapa to immerse in the festive atmosphere at matches, and they’re as vital as the vuvuzelas.

8. Oops. What are the words to the anthem? I’m feeling VERY patriotic and I want to sing along!

The anthem’s called Nkosi Sikilel’iAfrika and you can print out a very easy-to-learn PDF of the words and then watch the video below and sing along!

Trade-in sites offering up to $320 for old iPhones

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: iPhone

Leery of coughing up $200 or even $300 for yet another iPhone? Well, you can always sell your old iPhone on eBay. But there’s another, potentially easier option: trading it in for cash. Some online trade-in sites offer up to $320 for iPhone hand-me-downs.
I checked out iPhone trade-in values at five of the most popular online gadget trade-in sites — Cell for Cash, FlipSwap, Gazelle, NextWorth and YouRenew — and found some pretty decent offers for all the previous (locked) iPhone models. In some cases the money would be enough to completely offset the cost of a new iPhone 4.
Of course, the price you’ll get for your old iPhone depends on the condition it’s in (mint? almost new? a little scuffed? cracked screen?) and whether you have the original accessories (namely the headset, the connector cable and the power adapter). Oh, and if your iPhone has suffered any water damage or doesn’t quite turn on anymore, well … good luck with that. Make sure to check with the trade-in site you pick to see what their policies are for phones that fall short of their wear-and-tear expectations: In some cases, a given service may not notify you if it lowers its offer for your phone, or won’t give you the option of getting your phone back if you disagree with a lowered offer.
Even if your old iPhone is in mint condition, you’ll have to be patient. Most trade-in sites will take days or weeks to cut you a check once they receive your old handset in the mail. Typically you send in your phone yourself. Some sites will send you a box for shipping, but then you’ll extend your wait even further.
I checked the iPhone offers on each of the five sites, using the assumption that iPhones were in “good” shape (between “mint” and “fair” condition) when I had the choice. I also checked the “have cables and power adapters” box where applicable. Also, keep in mind that the prices I’m quoting here are subject to change daily (usually ever lower as time marches on).
The results: Across the five sites, a 32GB iPhone 3GS fetched an average of $274, just $26 less than the $299 two-year contract price for a new 32GB iPhone 4. Cell for Cash offered the highest price — $320 — but the site doesn’t give you the option of indicating what shape your iPhone’s in, so it’s quite possible that an even gently used iPhone might get you less than that.
The average offer for a 16GB iPhone 3GS, meanwhile, was about $228.
What about the iPhone 3G from 2008? For the 16GB model, expect an offer in the vicinity of $150 (the highest offer, $186, again comes from Cell for Cash); the 8GB iPhone 3G might get you about $134, depending on the specific trade-in site.
Even the original iPhone will score you some cash: The 16GB version fetches an average of just over $100 (FlipSwap being the most generous at $114), and the 8GB iPhone yields a decent $81 average. Last but not least, the 4GB version will rake in an OK trade-in value of $67 or so (highest offer: $78, from YouRenew).
Wondering why you can (in some cases) trade in your phone for more than you paid for it? Well, keep in mind that the $299 price you paid for your iPhone 3GS last year was subsidized by AT&T, which recoups the cost through your monthly cell phone bill. The unsubsidized value of your phone is much higher — $699 in the case of the 32GB iPhone 3GS. Trade-in sites typically sell the working phones they receive to wireless resellers, which refurbish the used phones and put them back on the market. They may also strip a handset down and sell off its parts — or, in the case of a phone that’s truly busted, divert it to a recycling program.
Oh, and one more thing: Be sure to wipe all your personal data off your iPhone before you trade it in. Most trade-in sites promise that they’ll wipe your handset for you — but better safe than sorry. (To completely wipe your iPhone, tap “Settings” and then “Reset,” then select “Erase All Content and Settings.”)

Should AT&T-iPad 3G security breach worry you?

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPad

If you were an early adopter of the 3G-embedded version of the iPad — as in, you bought it on Day One — there’s a chance that your e-mail address and your iPad’s ICC-ID number were exposed by a group of hackers who exploited a weakness on AT&T’s website. How bad is the breach, and should you be worried?
First, a little background. Gawker broke the news late Wednesday that a group of hackers going by the name of Goatse Security managed to grab the information of more than 114,000 iPad 3G owners — including, as it turns out, such high-profile early adopters as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and maybe even White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel — by exploiting a wonky script on the AT&T website.
Basically, by hitting the script with an ICC-ID number (the unique identifier of an iPad 3G’s SIM card), the hackers were able to harvest the e-mail address associated with the account, according to Gawker. By methodically firing off one ICC-ID after another, the Goatse Security hackers managed to dredge up the e-mail addresses of one early iPad 3G adopter after another, including the CEOs of the New York Times, Time magazine and Dow Jones, as well as staffers at NASA and the Department of Defense.
Not good, right? Lucky for us, the hackers at Goatse Security seem more interested in revealing security holes than in exploiting them, and the group shopped around its findings to a variety of news organizations Sunday, according to Forbes, and Gawker bit. (Gawker, by the way is owned by Gawker Media, the same company that owns Gizmodo and paid for Gizmodo’s iPhone leak. Gawker says it didn’t pay for the iPad security breach story.)
In a statement to Gawker, AT&T said it learned of the security hole Monday (from a “business customer,” not Goatse Security) and had plugged it by Tuesday (a day before Gawker published its post). “We take customer privacy very seriously, and while we have fixed this problem, we apologize to our customers who were impacted,” AT&T said, adding that it would be contacting any and all customers whose e-mail and ICC-ID numbers were exposed. Apple has yet to issue a statement.
So, how did the e-mail addresses and ICC-ID numbers of iPad 3G owners end up on a publicly accessible website? As Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo explains, the problem was a “tiny convenience feature” on the iPad 3G that fills (or filled, as of Tuesday) in your e-mail address automatically when you’re checking your AT&T account from the iPad’s Settings menu. Now that AT&T has plugged the security hole, you’ll have to tap in your e-mail address every time you want to check the status of your 3G account.
So if your iPad 3G info was exposed, how worried should you be? According to Gawker, the only data that were scooped up by the hackers were e-mail addresses at the ICC-ID numbers associated with them — no phone numbers, street addresses, credit card numbers or any other personal information.
The New York Times also checked with some security experts, who note that there’s only so much someone could do with your e-mail address — hit you with a phishing attack (you know, a fake message from, say, PayPal, asking for your username and password), or flood your inbox with junk mail.
That said, “in the right hands,” your iPad 3G’s ICC-ID number could be used to track your iPad’s location, one expert told the Times, although another downplayed the threat, noting that an attacker would need “access to very secure databases that are not generally connected to the public Internet.”
Still, even if the damage to actual iPad 3G users is relatively limited (we hope), the breach is acutely embarrassing for Apple and especially AT&T, which managed to leave personal information about its customers vulnerable on a public website.
The snafu also raises the question: What other AT&T security holes are still out there, waiting to be exposed — or exploited?

Apple’s Safari 5 Now Available to Download

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc

Apple has sent word that Safari 5 is now available to download. Available for both Mac and Windows, Safari 5 features a new Safari Reader for reading articles on the web, a 30 percent performance increase over Safari 4, and the ability to choose Google, Yahoo! or Bing as the search service powering Safari’s search field.
“Safari continues to lead the pack in performance, innovation and standards support,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Safari now runs on over 200 million devices worldwide and its open source WebKit engine runs on over 500 million devices.”
According to Apple, the update contains new features including:
Safari Reader: Click on the new Reader icon to view articles on the web in a single, clutter-free page.
Improved Performance: Safari 5 executes JavaScript up to 25 per cent faster than Safari 4. Better page caching and DNS prefetching speed up browsing.
Bing Search Option: New Bing search option for Safari’s Search Field, in addition to Google and Yahoo!.
Improved HTML5 support: Safari supports over a dozen new HTML5 features, including Geolocation, full screen for HTML5 video, closed captions for HTML5 video, new sectioning elements (article, aside, footer, header, hgroup, nav and section), HTML5 AJAX History, EventSource, WebSocket, HTML5 draggable attribute, HTML5 forms validation, and HTML5 Ruby.
Safari Developer Tools: A new Timeline Panel in the Web Inspector shows how Safari interacts with a website and identifies areas for optimisation. New keyboard shortcuts make it faster to switch between panels.
Other improvements include:
Smarter Address Field: The Smart Address Field can now match text against the titles of webpages in History and Bookmarks, as well as any part of their URL.
Tabs Setting: Automatically open new webpages in tabs instead of in separate windows.
Hardware Acceleration for Windows: Use the power of the computer’s graphics processor to smoothly display media and effects on PC as well as Mac.
Search History with Date: A new date indicator in Full History Search shows when webpages were viewed.
Top Sites/History Button: Switch easily between Top Sites and Full History Search with a new button that appears at the top of each view.
Private Browsing Icon: A “Private” icon appears in the Smart Address Field when Private Browsing is on. Click on the icon to turn off Private Browsing.
DNS Prefetching: Safari looks up the addresses of links on webpages and can load those pages faster.
Improved Page Caching: Safari can add additional types of webpages to the cache so they load quickly.
XSS Auditor: Safari can filter potentially malicious scripts used in cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
Improved JavaScript Support: Safari allows web applications that use JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) to run faster and more securely.
Apple notes performance will vary based on system configuration, network connection and other factors. All testing conducted by Apple in May 2010 on an iMac 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system running Mac OS X 10.6.3, with 4GB of RAM. JavaScript benchmark based on the SunSpider 0.9.1 JavaScript Performance test.
Safari 5 for Mac OS X requires Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.2 or later. Safari 5 for Windows requires Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista or Windows 7. The free download is available at http://www.apple.com/safari/ or by Software Update on a Mac.

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