Monthly Archives: April 2015

25 Common Cooking Mistakes You May Be Making

Whether you’re a novice or an accomplishedchef, there’s one thing all cooks have incommon: we all make mistakes in the kitchen.But you can avoid many cringe-worthy moments with your foodie friends if you steer clear of thesecommon cooking mistakes:

1. You don’t let meat sit after cooking.
This is a cardinal sin in the culinary world. Whatever you do, fight the urge to cut into thatbeautifully-marbled piece of meat after you take it off the grill. Wait 5 minutes for the juices todistribute. Your taste buds will thank you.

2. You don’t taste the food as you’re cooking.
While it’s good to have confidence in your cooking, not tasting your food is a big no-no. Even ifyou’re following a recipe, taste early and often.

3. You put too much food in the pan.
Overcrowding your pans means more uneven heat distribution. Instead of stuffing the pan with food,make two batches.

4. You flip the meat on the grill constantly.
You know how many times you need to flip a good piece of meat? Once. That’s all it takes to get anice, beautiful sear.

5. You cook beef, chicken, or fish directly after you remove it from the fridge.
Let meat sit in the sink for about 30 minutes before you cook it so it reaches room temperature. Thisallows for even cooking, so you don’t get a medium-well steak when you want a medium-rare one.

6. You try and save a bad dish by adding more stuff.
Sometimes kitchen experiments go horribly wrong. It happens to the best of us. Don’t be afraid toscrap a bad dish every once in a while. It’s part of the creative process of cooking.

7. You take the lazy way out.
It’s easy to choose the “ready-made,” highly processed junk. But nothing makes up for the realthing. Buy all natural, real ingredients (from local farmers whenever possible).

8. You overseason.
It’s easy to get aggressive with the salt and other seasonings. When this happens, use water or anacid like lemon juice or vinegar to dilute it.

9. You under-season.
The only thing worse than over-seasoning is under-seasoning. That’s why you should always tasteyour dishes before you serve them (see number 2).

10. You overcook the meat.
There’s a simple solution for this one: use a meat thermometer.

11. Your food sticks to the pan or grill.
Buy a plastic bottle and fill it with olive oil. This will help grease the grates on the grill or pan so fooddoesn’t stick.

12. Your breading doesn’t stick to the food.
Try this no-fail process for getting your breading just right: first dredge in flour, then dip in liquid(like beaten eggs or buttermilk), then coat with bread crumbs.

13. You don’t know your kitchen appliances’ cooking times.
Hey, we’ve all been there. Sometimes it takes some getting used to your appliances, especially ifthey’re new. Practice makes perfect.

14. You added too much heat.
Spicy foods are great but it’s easy to overdo it with the spice. If possible, add a little water, lemonjuice, or salt to neutralize the heat. Or grab an extra glass of water, some tissues, and eat it anyway.

15. Your egg whites won’t whip.
There’s an easy fix for this one: let the eggs sit in the bowl on your counter for at least 15 minutes.Eggs whip easier at room temperature.

16. Your salads are soggy.
Green leafy vegetables are among the healthiest foods you can eat but they’re also some of themost delicate. To decrease the odds of a soggy salad, rinse your greens under cold water then drythem in a salad spinner.

17. You forgot to thaw the meat in the refrigerator.
Here’s a quick fix to thaw frozen food: put in a plastic bag and let it sit in a bowl of cold water foran hour.

18. You’re using the wrong cooking oil.
Certain cooking oils have lower smoke points, which means it helps to know which oils to use atvarious temperatures. Use olive oil and butter for low-temperature cooking; olive oil and coconut oilfor medium-heat cooking; and peanut oil, avocado oil, and ghee for high-heat cooking.

19. You don’t follow the recipe.
If there’s one common cooking mistake I’m personally guilty of the most, it’s this one. For thoseof you who like to “make it your own,” this can often lead to disastrous results. Sometimes it’sbetter to just follow the recipe, especially for traditional and complex dishes.

20. You don’t heat up the pan properly.
Your cooking surface needs to be hot before you place anything on it. Give your pan or grill at least 5minutes to heat up.

21. You overcook your veggies and they taste mushy.
“Shock” those veggies when they’re done cooking, which means tossing them into very coldwater after the allotted cooking time is up. This works particularly well for green beans, broccoli,asparagus, and corn.

22. You burn the bacon.
Cooking bacon in a pan can be a greasy debacle in your kitchen. Bake your bacon instead at 400degrees for 20 minutes.

23. Your guacamole turns brown.
Guacamole has a tendency to oxidize, which turns it an unappetizing brown color. If you’re servingguac, just squirt a little lime juice or lemon juice on the top periodically to prevent browning.

24. Your eggs are tough and dry.
If you struggle with eggs, lower the cooking temperatures. Lower the heat and cook at low tomedium heat until the eggs are still moist. Remove them from the heat source immediately andserve.

25. You remove the crock pot lid.
Using a crockpot can produce some of the most tender, memorable meals you can eat. But takingthe lid off every half hour means heat escapes, which can affect the cooking time and ultimately thetaste of your food. Check on your crockpot creation a maximum of once every 2-3 hours.

So what did we miss? What are other common cooking mistakes you’ve made?

Source: 25 Common Cooking Mistakes You May Be Making_Home

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Matching The Colors Of Summer

Short skirts, cold beer and tasty barbecued food are only a few of the elements that make summer enjoyable for most of us. The warmer temperatures and longer days seem to put a smile on everyone’s face, which is pretty much contagious. Yet there’s one aspect of the sunny season that puzzles me every year: Why do men generally have such a hard time choosing seasonal colors that go well together?

a palette of options

Could it be the effects of heat exhaustion? Or, maybe it’s simply because men don’t care about the way they dress. Nonetheless, whatever the reason may be, read up and find out which colors are in this summer, and which ones should be matched with one another.

First let’s find out which shades can help spruce up your wardrobe this summer.

Neutral colors

Neutral colors can be combined with nearly every shade and color. Here are some of the nicest neutral colors available this summer:


Softly tinted pales

Softly tinted pales or pastels will provide you with a gentle, subtle look. They can also easily be combined with most neutrals and darks. Look for these softly tinted pales this summer:


Mid-tone series

Combine mid-tone colors with whites for a crisp look, or with taupe-based neutrals for a softer, more comfortable look. Choose from these mid-tone colors:


Deep brights

“Deep brights” are generally seen on women, but this summer all colors are “in” for men. Try one of these deep bright colors:


Offbeat colors

Offbeat colors are drawn from vegetables and minerals. They can provide a rustic or sophisticated look, depending on how you wear them. Here are some of the nicer offbeat colors to choose from this summer:



Darks are generally more popular during colder seasons, however, when combined with neutrals like cement, blued gray, putty, or khaki, they can make a major impact for summer. Try out these dark colors:


Wild colors

Colors, colors and more colors. This summer it’s all about wearing distinctive hues, so you might want to show off tops in colors such as ivory, lavender, lilac, lemon yellow, mint green, light blue, and grayish or coral pink. Then again, wild colors might not suit everyone’s taste and style, so make sure you feel comfortable wearing them before buying them.

Now how do you match your colors?

matching your colors

Footwear and belts

When it comes to buying summer footwear and belts, you should stick to lighter shades. Opt for shades like light browns, tans and beiges. Darker shoes, such as black ones, should only be worn during summer for work purposes or for evening events. Also, remember to match the color of your belt with your shoes, and to harmonize them with the rest of your attire.

Trousers and tops

It’s usually easier to find nice looking tops than it is to find proper pants. This said, you should always anchor your summer wardrobe around a few stylish pairs of pants and Bermuda shorts. To make sure your pants match the majority of your tops, opt for neutral, offbeat and dark colors.

For example, a nice pair of light gray pants can easily be worn with a pastel, black, or mint green shirt. Neutral color pants are extremely versatile and can be matched with most tops, shoes and belts.

Generally, brown, beige and tan footwear also match each spectrum of color. Wear them with neutrals, softly tinted pales, mid-tone colors, deep brights, darks, and even funkier colors.

Contrasting style

Don’t hesitate to contrast darker colors with lighter ones. It’s fun and will give your style a nice impact. If your shoes, pants and belt are a light shade, just give your ensemble more contrast with a dark shirt. On the other hand, contrast darker shoes and belts with a slick pair of light colored pants and tops. It’s that simple.

This summer’s “in” colors

At the moment, black and white combinations are really fashionable for men and women. White shoes, white pants, and a striped black and white top are a perfect example of this stylish combination.

final words of wisdom

Matching colors appropriately is only one of many steps required in dressing stylishly. You’ll also have to learn how to match different styles of clothing, and how to buy the right styles at the appropriate time.

Enjoy the summer and keep on stylin’.

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The Artist

Finish this drawing.

"31 kids who are too clever for their own good". Hilarious!


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13 Tips for New College Students

College is the time to try new things, meet newpeople, and have new experiences. The things is, it can all fall apart if you don’t have a clear idea ofwhat you are getting into. Be sure to make the best of it with these tips for new college students.

1. Go to class
Oh, it will be so tempting to sleep in. After all, you’re a college student! You can do what you want,right? Well, you sure can if you want to scramble to make up for it later on. It is much easier to hold aGPA than to attempt to bring it up!

2. Know what you can handle course-wise
It is much better to finish a semester ‘late’ (who doesn’t these days?) than to have a nervousbreakdown because of over-scheduling yourself. In the bigger picture, a few months or even a yeardoes not make that much of a difference, unless you want to brag about how you finished school ontime.

3. Get involved
You might be attending school in a different state, or even in your own state. Either way you canafford to expand your interests and meet new people. College is an easy way to make contacts andnew friends!

4. Make friends in your program who are ahead of you
This way you might be able to borrow their old tests, notes and/or lab reports. This is not cheating,but using your resources and contacts wisely. Many sororities and fraternities have these resourcesavailable, some even in database form! You can trade off with this friend or do something nice likebake him/her cookies for their help.

5. On that note, consider joining a sorority or fraternity
I was/am a nontraditional student (about five to seven years older than most students at myuniversity), so this was not quite in my realm, but I was often jealous of the many opportunitiesafforded to these students. Yes, you have to go to social events. Yes, you might get categorized as asnob or fill-in-the-inappropriate-name-blank, but you really can benefit from the social network andresources (such as old tests).

6. Buy your books online or from a friend
Holy cow, the universities make a boatload off of textbooks! Using one book for a semester (evenwith selling it back) can cost $100 plus! Many companies like Amazon sell textbooks cheaper than atuniversities and offer gift cards at a decent rate to sell them back. I had a great experience with thebuyback program…much better than selling a book back for next to nothing at the school store!

7. Keep in contact with your family
Yes, you should make contacts and friends at college. This does not mean you should ignore yourfamily who likely supports you, or encouraged you to get to where you are today. Give them a call,Skype them, send them a card, or do something during the semester to let them know you arethinking about them.

8. Keep in contact with old friends
One of my biggest regrets in life was intentionally falling out of touch with high school friends. I hadjoined a group of people who convinced me that the only important thing was their group and iffriends or family did not understand, they should be cut off (read: I got into a pyramid-like scheme). Imissed out on so much, and now the stream of Facebook updates from my high school friendsmakes me sad.

Sometimes something similar happens if you meet the man or woman ‘of your life’ who youcan’t stand being away from. Break away and connect with the friends who have been there for youforever. You can undo some of the damage if you lose touch, but it will never really be the same.

9. Learn from mistakes
If you do something stupid (like join a pyramid-like scheme), learn from your mistakes. College is atime not only for learning about Chemistry and the correct way to cite a source, but for learningabout life. Learning how to come back from mistakes is a big part of the college experience.

10. Be silly
You have a little bit of margin during this time to get away with crazy things and not look too foolish(hey, it’s college!) Use this time to go on adventures and do silly things that likely will be lookeddown upon later in life. This is also a great way to bond with your new friends.

11. Be careful
Yes, have new experiences. Yes, be silly. Do not do things that you know might endanger your life,health or self-image.

12. Learn how to balance and prioritize
Time management skills are completely necessary to explore all that college life has to offer. Therewill always be activities, social events, school events, trips, homework, and tests for which to study.Part of life is managing the time that we have, so my advice would be to learn this early on in yourcollege career.

13. Learn about yourself
Figure out what you want out of life. You don’t need to know right away, but be thinking about thisas you experience new things, meet new people, and explore the world of knowledge.

Source: 13 Tips for New College Students_Tips

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15 Ways You Can Enjoy The Job You Hate_Careers Employment

If you’re that person who has never had a less-than-ideal job, then I salute you for being the luckiest person on earth. Pretty much everyone has had a job that they hated at least once in their life, whether they be a teenager, young adult or even a baby boomer.

Sometimes, however, the job you hate can be turned into the job you tolerate, if you handle it the right way. Here are some simple ways to do just that.

1. Take Pride in Your Work Space.
Whether your space is a laptop-friendly desk or behind a cash register, make cleanliness and organization a priority for where you spend the majority of your time. It can actually be fun to work when your space is an extension of your personality, giving you a comfortable place to concentrate and perform. Doing this will also keep you from losing important things (like money).

2. Talk to Your Boss Regularly.
Your boss may not be the nicest person in the world, but most people who are in charge tend to have a decent level of passion for the place they work in. When we work somewhere that is draining us, it can be refreshing for us to sit down with our boss and hear his perspective on how things are going. It may even inspire you to improve your own responsibilities, and the initiative won’t go unnoticed.

3. Do Something You Love While You’re Not Working.
For most of you reading this, you’re probably not doing the job you see yourself doing in 10 years. Your passions may lie elsewhere, and that’s a big reason why we sometimes have trouble enjoying a job that isn’t going anywhere for us. That’s why it’s important to always fuel your interests on the side. This can be a hobby, sport, activity or even side business that is related to what you ultimately want to do. Who knows? This could be a stepping stone to starting your own business.

4. Set Goals That Are Within Your Control.
Be realistic about your personal situation and what is necessary for moving forward. The job you hate right now might be a necessity for what lies ahead, but it’s important to make sure that you’re not taking shortcuts. Instead of trying to “wow” your boss with tough promises to keep, stick to working hard and accomplishing what’s in your power to perform. Doing this consistently is vastly more impressive.

5. Bring Snacks For Your Coworkers.
This is especially crucial if you are one of my coworkers. It should go without saying that being kind to others will make you (and them) happier, and if you’re working somewhere that always seems to have an air of negativity, then simple gestures like this will go a long way.

6. Show Up To Work Consistently Early.
Yes, I know that I said earlier to set goals that you can control, but that doesn’t make this tip any less useful for making your job more tolerable. It seems counter-intuitive (why would I want to spend more time in a place I hate?), but the truth is that this habit will set a good pace for your shift and give you momentum. Plus, it’s one of the easiest ways for you to stand out in the eyes of your superiors, leading to possible promotion opportunities.

7. Take Pride In How You Look.
Clothes make the man/woman, as they say. Dressing to impress is one of the best ways to build confidence at work, which leads to a smoother workday. If you show up to work looking disheveled and tired, then you may just end up feeling disheveled and tired.

8. Look Out For The Newer Employees.
You probably remember how confusing and disorienting it was to start a new job you know nothing about. Pay it forward by helping new coworkers find their place and learn. This is a great way for you to feel good about the job you have and what you’ve learned there so far.

9. Learn As Much As Possible.
Speaking of learning, one of the best ways to break the monotony of your job is by training yourself to do more than what is required of you. For some jobs, this is actually the only way for you to get promoted at all, as it is the type of ambition that supervisors are looking for.

10. Talk To Your Coworkers About Something Besides How Much You Hate Work.
Break room conversations have this nasty tendency to turn into “Who can complain the most?” contests. The problem is that complaining does nothing to improve your job, and it will barely even make you feel better. Plus, most coworkers don’t want to hear you complain anyway (and the other way around). Take a break from work and its problems when you’re with your coworkers, and talk about something that will actually make you happy.

11. Come Up With Ideas To Make The Company Better.
If there is something that you feel could be improved or fixed at work, come up with the solutions yourself. Also, you may have a great idea that will go over well with your boss. It definitely doesn’t hurt to show an attitude of problem-solving, and this is a great way to make real changes to a work environment that might not be working. Just make sure to always be polite and respectful when presenting your opinions.

12.  Have Fun With Your Coworkers.
As long as it doesn’t interfere with your productivity, playing games and having inside jokes with coworkers is a great way to keep up your morale during a stressful day. In fact, I’ve had plenty of bosses who get this and encourage short games to clear everyone’s head.

13. Start a Gratitude Journal.
You don’t have to show this to anyone, but it’s good to keep a record of the positive memories and milestones you’ve made at your job. Additionally, this can take the form of a social media group you have online where you can post pictures of good times you’ve had with your coworkers.

14. Take Breaks.
This is easy advice to follow for most of you, but it’s also important for you to be good at taking breaks. What I mean is that we sometimes come back from our breaks feeling less than refreshed. To avoid this, try getting fresh air and some quick exercise instead of eating junk food and staring at your phone.

15. Be Grateful That You Have a Job.
Always remember that some people would beg to have your job, so don’t take it for granted. Sure, it may not be perfect or what you want to do for the rest of your life, but focus on what you can do in the present to make your job matter.

Source: 15 Ways You Can Enjoy The Job You Hate_Careers Employment_Tips

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8 Scientific Secrets Of A Happy Marriage



Marriage isn’t just an art, it’s also a science.Happy couples follow these eight secrets which improve their relationship satisfaction and increasetheir chances of long-term success.

1. Celebrate Good News Together
One of the best secrets of a happy marriage is to celebrate good news and success together,according to research conducted by psychologists Shelly Gable, an assistant professor at UCLA, andHarry Reis, a professor at the University of Rochester.

They found that happy couples don’t have to celebrate just the major successes, like a jobpromotion, to be happy. Instead, couples who celebrate every day victories, such as finding a lostobject, are more likely to experience a happy marriage.

2. Keep Your Expectations High
In the past, most marriage experts have encouraged couples to lower their expectations based onthe idea that having too high of expectations will only lead to disappointment. However, newerresearch shows that if you expect good things from your marriage, it’s more likely to happen.

A 2004 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that couples weremost happy when their expectations matched their skills. Couples who had high expectations of oneanother weren’t necessarily doomed to be disappointed, but instead experienced high maritalsatisfaction when their partner met those expectations.

3. Maintain Close Relationships Outside the Family
Happy couples recognize that they can’t always meet one another’s needs. Therefore, theymaintain close relationships with friends and family and encourage one another to get some of theirneeds met by others.

Happy couples know how to give one another just the right amount of support and then allowothers to provide support when necessary. According to a study conducted by the University ofIowa’s Center for Couple and Family studies, giving unwanted advice can be detrimental to amarriage. Therefore, happy couples know when to back off and allow their spouse to seek supportfrom a mother, sibling, friend, or co-worker.

4. Enjoy an Active Intimate Life
An active sex life is important part of a happy marriage. Couples who are less sexually activeexperience less marital satisfaction, according to a study conducted by Denise Donnelly in TheJournal of Sex Research. Couples who engage in frequent sexual activity are more likely to have ahappy marriage.

A couple’s sex life doesn’t have to decline with age either. In fact, older men are more likely toenjoy sex more, according to a 2006 study conducted by the British Journal of Urology International.The study found that men in their 50s enjoy sex more than men in their 30s and 40s.

5. Seek Excitement and Surprise One Another
Staving off boredom in marriage is an important part of maintaining a happy relationship. Boredomin a marriage can undermine marital satisfaction, according to a study published in the Journal ofPsychological Science in March of 2009.

Maintain excitement in your marriage by going on dates, surprising one another frequently, andlooking for new activities to do together as a couple. Keeping the relationship fresh and exciting canincrease your chance of long-term success.

6. Resolve Conflict with Teamwork
The words couples use when they disagree can make a big difference in their marital satisfaction.Couples with a happy marriage tend to use the words like “us,” “we,” or “our,” according to a2009 study published in the Journal of Psychology and Aging.

Couples who used language that showed a desire to work as a team experienced less stress duringarguments. They showed more affection and had less negative behaviors overall. Happy couplesresolve conflict by using teamwork.

7. Say Thank You
Saying thank you to your spouse is really a small thing to do that can have a big impact on yourmarriage, according to researchers from Arizona State University. Their 2007 study revealed thatwhen people thanked their partner for completing chores, it led to less resentment over a perceivedimbalance in household duties. Showing appreciation for one another’s contribution to the familycan be an easy way to maintain a happy marriage.

8. Kiss Good-Bye in the Morning
Kissing good-bye in the mornings can start your day off with a more positive attitude. Germanphysicians and psychologists found that men who kissed their spouses good-bye before heading offfor work each morning live an average of five years longer and earn 20 to 30 percent more money than other men.

Men who kissed their wives before leaving even had a lower chance of getting into a car accident ontheir way to work. Couples in a happy marriage don’t overlook the small things, like a quick kissbefore parting, because they feel the positive benefits.

Source: 8 Scientific Secrets Of A Happy Marriage_Love

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Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G4 comparison: Battle of the flagships

At long last we have our first proper look at the LG G4, after the South Korean manufacturer unveiled it for the world to see at a special press event earlier today (take a look at our hands-on LG G4 review). So how does it stack up against the very best that Samsung has to offer?

lg g4 samsung galaxy s6 edge back camera 2

Has the LG G4 (left) brought enough fire power to take down the Galaxy S6?

We put the LG G4 head to head against the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge to see who comes out on top, comparing the flagship phones in terms of design, display, software, performance, camera and battery life. Scroll down for a full specs list.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G4: Design

The Galaxy S6 Edge is quite simply the best-looking smartphone that Samsung has ever put together. Glass plates front and back, aluminum around the sides and of course that curved screen, it’s a gorgeous-looking device that’s a home run in the aesthetics department.

The LG G4 is also a sleek-looking device, though it seems to have a bit of an identity crisis: You can pick up the phone with either a premium leather back or a cheaper plastic shell (though the brushed metal look of the LG G3 has been ditched). It’s solidly constructed but doesn’t quite have the flair of the Galaxy S6 Edge.

lg g4 samsung galaxy s6 edge front display

The LG G4 (left) sure is larger than the Galaxy S6 Edge (right). 

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G4: Display

The Galaxy S6 Edge display is unmissable, with its curved edges and Super AMOLED screen. The 5.1-inch display offers a QHD (1440 x 2560 pixel) resolution with a pixels-per-inch rating of 577 — that means individual pixels are virtually impossible to see.

In LG’s corner the G4 brings with it a larger 5.5-inch display but the same QHD 1440 x 2560 pixel resolution. The PPI isn’t quite as high, but it’s still a super-sharp resolution, and LG is promising some state-of-the-art technology to improve various aspects of the display quality: It says it’s 25 percent  brighter than the LG G3 display with a 20 percent wider color range.

samsung galaxy s6 edge mwc 02

The Galaxy S6 introduced a totally revised TouchWiz interface. 

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G4: Software

The Galaxy S6 Edge comes with Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and Samsung’s custom-made TouchWiz skin thrown on top. While there are still some superfluous Samsung-branded apps lying around, the user interface has a fresher look and has been updated to be more responsive and more intuitive.

The LG G4 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with its new UX 4.0 on top — as the company has previously shown off some of its features, we know it includes a quick shot hardware camera button (that even works when the phone is locked) and a Smart Alert system that makes activity suggestions based on the latest weather forecasts.

lg g4 front display

The LG G4 also brings some new interface action: LG UI 4.0. 

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G4: Performance

Samsung has gone all out as far as internal components are concerned for the Galaxy S6 Edge, though in our review we found some sluggishness in various parts of Samsung’s own software. It includes a 64-bit octa-core Samsung Exynos 7420 clocked at 2.1GHz plus 3GB of RAM, and in terms of graphics processing power it’s one of the very best mobiles out there.

Up against it the LG G4 opts for the Snapdragon 808 processor (featuring a mere six cores) and 3GB of RAM. On paper that puts the Samsung phone ahead, but the LG G4 is no slouch either, and it depends on how well LG has done with the G4’s software and internal wiring as to how much oomph you’re going to get out of this phone.

lg g4 samsung galaxy s6 edge back camera 3

The camera shootout between the LG G4 (left) and Galaxy S6 Edge promises to be a ripper. 

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G4: Camera

Thanks to Sony’s latest IMX240 photo sensor, the Galaxy S6 Edge is capable of producing some stunning shots in a variety of lighting conditions. The rear-facing camera is a 16-megapixel model (photos up to 5312 x 2988 pixels) and there’s a 5-megapixel around the front (photos up to 2592 x 1944 pixels). 4K video recording is also possible using the back camera.

The LG G4, meanwhile, also has a 16-megapixel camera at the rear of the device, and like the S6 Edge it features optical image stabilization (OIS) to steady your shaky shots. There’s an 8-megapixel camera at the front too. We’ll need to put the smartphone through its paces in terms of its photo-taking capabilities before we can declare a winner in this department.

lg g4 samsung galaxy s6 edge front display

LG opted to keep a removable battery in the G4 (left), whereas the Galaxy S6 now has a non-removable battery. 

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G4: Battery

Inside the Galaxy S6 Edge there’s a 2,600 mAh battery, which in our testing lasts about a day with medium or intensive use. Unlike the S5, you can’t remove and replace the battery, so you’ll have to resort to a powerpack if you think that’s not going to be enough. You can charge phone wirelessly if you want to.

The LG G4 features a bigger 3,000 mAh battery (though battery life isn’t just about battery size of course). LG says it’s good for 14 hours of talk time and 440 hours of standby, though until we write our official review we don’t know for sure. You can, however, remove and replace the battery, giving the LG G4 another slight edge over the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G4: Conclusion

In terms of specifications, the Galaxy S6 Edge lives up to its name by edging out the LG G4, but if you’re not concerned about the G4’s slower processor then the larger screen and clean UI might be a bigger draw. Both bring unique features to the table — a curved screen with the S6 Edge and a leather back with the LG G4 — but neither is likely to let you down. We’ll have to wait to see how the display, performance and battery hold up in real life before delivering a comprehensive verdict.

Which phone would you prefer? Who made the biggest improvements?

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Chemistry Ph.D. student illustrates her thesis in comic book

Late last spring, a doctoral student worked late into the night. As she doodled, her chemistry thesis took on a life of its own, transforming into a comic book.

Veronica Berns, 28, was working on her Ph. D. in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin -Madison. Berns said she long struggled to explain her work to her parents and friends. The self-described comic book fan said she began drafting her thesis on quasicrystals — a subset of crystals that diverge from the usual structural characteristics of crystals. Berns quickly concluded that she would be best able to describe the oddball compounds with illustrations.

“They’re not very well-polished illustrations. That’s on purpose,” Berns said. “I wanted it to be like I’m explaining on the back of an envelope.”

And on many occasions, it was on the back of an envelope or on a napkin that she doodled sketches of the chemical bonds to better show her parents what she was working on in the lab. Jody Berns, Veronica’s mother, said their family has a history of doodling and has shared comics for years.

Berns surprised her family with her comic book “Atomic Size Matters” at her graduation last year. The book depicts cartoons of Berns wearing various costumes and uses humor as well as simple comparisons to describe elaborate chemistry.

“We’re just really proud that she can take something so complex and put it into a fun visual explanation that everyone can enjoy,” Jody Berns said.

Veronica Berns’ professor Danny Fredrickson said Berns was the first of his students to construct her thesis in an artistic way. He said often it is difficult for scientists to explain what they do with proper context.

“If it’s worth doing, we should be able to explain it,” Fredrickson said.

And he said Berns managed to accomplish that.

Berns said she hopes other scientists will find ways to illustrate what they’re doing in the lab. She now lives in Chicago and works as a chemist. Berns also writes a blog in which she uses comics to explain the work of Nobel Prize winning scientists.

Berns started a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to finance printing a small batch of the books. She said she wanted to raise $5,965 to cover the costs of professional printing. The website says she has raised more than $14,000.

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LG G4 review: the new king has arrived [hands on]

LG has announced the LG G4 at simultaneous global launch events. We were at the LG G4 launch in London and have had a chance to do a first hands-on LG G4 review. The 2015 successor to the LG G3 is a real stunner and may even be enough to reclaim the crown. Take a look at our first impressions and let us know what you think.

lg g4 back leather camera

LG G4 release date and price

The LG G4 release date will be early June globally. The LG G4 price will be 649 USD for the model with the plastic back panel and 699 USD for the model with a leather back, which also comes with a spare plastic battery cover. South Korea will have the opportunity to buy the LG G4 first with 180 countries following soon thereafter.

The plastic battery cover will come in silver/gray, gold and white. The leather back comes in a variety of shades including red, brown, blue and black. The leather versions also come with a gold-colored plastic back. Keep an eye out for our full LG G4 review in the coming weeks where we’ll bring you more details about the available colors (as we only had hands-on time with the red leather).

lg g4 back leather plastic

LG G4 design and build quality

As expected, the LG G4 display is slightly curved. It’s not as much as the LG G Flex 2 but it does add a nice feel to the device and it looks great. The carbon optic detailing is quite nice, but the leather version will show scuffs and scratches quite quickly.

This is, of course, a natural feature of leather and not due to a manufacturing fault. As you may recall, the leather back of the Moto X (2014) also suffers the same weathered look after a while. It’s up to you if you like this or not. The same goes for the large decorative stitching on the back, which takes a little getting used to but is at least very recognizable.

The plastic version of the LG G4 is not just plain: it has a diamond pattern across its matte plastic surface. It’s actually a really nice detail and I’m pleased that LG didn’t use the same polished look like on the LG G Flex 2. In terms of build quality there is nothing to complain about on the LG G4. We’ll bring you more details one we’ve spent more time with the device in our full LG G4 review.

lg g4 back leather plastic

The LG G4 has two new looks: plastic with a diamond pattern (left) and a leather version. 

LG G4 display

The LG G4 screen is a 5.5-inch, QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixel) IPS LCD, sandwiched under Gorilla Glass 3 and featuring Quantum Dot technology. It is very bright and has very natural color reproduction thanks to the extra color boost provided by Quantum Dot nano-particles. It certainly hasn’t gone the same saturated route the LG G Flex 2 did with its AMOLED display. The viewing angles are stable and colors remain good from any angle. Unfortunately we couldn’t test the LG G4 screen in direct sunlight, so we;ll have to bring you more on that later.

lg g4 front

The 5.5-inch QHD IPS LCD is bright and colorful without over-saturation. 

LG G4 software

The LG G4 software is the new LG UX 4.0 running on Android 5.1 Lollipop. All of the LG apps have been adapted to Google’s Material Design guidelines and have all the requisite flatness and slight drop shadows. Having had such a short time with the LG G4 it’s hard to provide much detail on the software but from what we can see it is very similar to the LG G Flex 2 (which itself borrowed heavily from the LG G3 with a few additions like Glance View).

lg g4 front software

The new LG UI 4.0 brings Material Design apps to a LG G Flex 2 interface. 

LG G4 performance

The LG G4 specs include a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 chipset clocked at 1.8 GHz with 3 GB of RAM, microSD expansion, Cat. 6 LTE and all the usual connectivity options you’ve come to expect. Of course, LG isn’t saying why it opted to sidestep the Snapdragon 810 found in the G Flex 2, but we’re assuming the bad press (and those pesky thermal throttling issues) might have a little something to do with it. Stay tuned for more on the LG G4 performance and CPU benchmarking.

lg g4 back plastic

The LG G4 camera looks to step things up with a 13 MP main camera with OIS< laser auto-focus and f/1.8 aperture. 

LG G4 camera

The LG G4 camera steps things up by delivering a 16 MP main camera equipped with f/1.8 aperture, laser auto-focus, optical image stabilization (OIS), spectrum sensor and a 8 MP front-facing camera. We unfortunately can’t tell you anything about the quality of the images captured by the LG G4, but we’ll bring you plenty of test photos as soon as we get a final production unit in house. For now it’s safe to say you’ll see results at least as good as the impressive LG G Flex 2 and we do know you can capture in JPG and RAW formats and there’s some nice manual options too.

lg g4 battery

The LG G4 thankfully keeps a removable battery on-board. 

LG G4 battery

The LG G4 battery is a 3,000 mAh removable battery with wireless and turbo charging capabilities. LG decided to stick with a removable battery for its 2015 flagship – something will surely please those not happy with Samsung’s decision for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge battery. With this decision alone LG has made a powerful case for those that rely on user-switchable batteries to consider the G4. We’ll bring you more on the LG G4 battery life once we’ve had time tos pend several days with the device.

LG G4 technical specifications

    • TYPE:
    • Phone
    • MODEL:
    • Sorry, not yet available!
    • LG
    • 148.9 x 76.7 x 9.8 mm
    • WEIGHT:
    • 155 g
    • 3000 mAh
    • 5.5 in
    • LCD
    • SCREEN:
    • 2560 x 1440 pixels (534 ppi)
    • 8 megapixels
    • 16 megapixels
    • LED
    • 5.1 – Lollipop
    • RAM:
    • 3 GB
    • 32 GB
    • microSD
    • CHIPSET:
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
    • 6
    • 1.8 GHz
    • HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1

Early Verdict

The LG G4 is clearly a very accomplished device but the first time you see it the first thing you’re going to notice is that eye-popping leather back. LG is certainly not afraid to take some design risks and in this case it seems to have made wise choices. Having said this, the LG G4 doesn’t seem to be a seriously different device to the LG g3 – if you’re looking for revolutionary changes you might be disappointed.

The best way to describe the LG G4 is as a gentle evolution from the already impressive LG G3, in which some elements, like software and the slightly curved front glass, have been added from the G Flex 2. We can’t say yet if LG has done enough to challenge the impact of the Galaxy S6, but in a year of relatively minor upgrades to 2014 flagships LG certainly hasn’t done any worse than any other manufacturer with the G4.

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7 Things Your Eye Color Says About Your Health

eye color

There’s more to eye color than meets the…eye. For one, contrary to what you may have learned in grade school, there’s more than a single gene involved, which is why your specific hazel hue can look so vastly different from your daughter’s, says Rachel Bishop, MD, chief of the consult service section of the National Eye Institute. Though as with skin pigmentation, she says, you’ll see eye color similarities among families and ethnicities (dark eyes are more prevalent in an African population than a Scandinavian one, for example).

What’s more, whether they’re brown, hazel, green, blue, gray, or somewhere in between, your eyes can tell you more about yourself than you might expect—and not just in “the eyes are the windows to the soul” kind of way. Your eye color could dictate your risk for certain disease or even predict how your body handles booze. Read on to get clued in.

1. Dark-eyed people are more likely to have cataracts.
A fogginess appearing over the pupil of the eye is a common sign of cataracts, a clouding of the vision common with aging. And people with dark eyes are at greater risk: A 2000 study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology found that dark-eyed people had a 1.5 to 2.5 times greater risk of cataracts. Protecting your eyes from ultraviolet rays is one of the crucial steps of cataract prevention for anyone, but the researchers recommend dark-eyed sunbathers take particular caution. (Wearing sunnies and a hat with a brim is a good place to start!)

2. Vitiligo is less common among blue-eyed people.
A 2012 review of vitiligo research published in Nature found the autoimmune disease, which causes the loss of skin color in blotches, was less common in people with blue eyes. Of the nearly 3,000 vitiligo patients—who were all Caucasian—involved in the research, 27% had blue eyes, 30% had green or hazel eyes, and 43% had brown eyes, whereas the typical breakdown of eye color among Caucasians is 52% blue, 22% green or hazel, and 27% brown.

The researchers discovered that variations in two particular genes, TYR and OCA2, which play a role in blue eye color, also decrease risk for vitiligo, says study author Richard A. Spritz, MD, director of the genomics programs at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

3. Melanoma is more common in people with blue eyes.
From a genetic standpoint, “melanoma and vitiligo look like they’re opposites,” Spritz says. “The same variations we saw as protective for vitiligo increased the risk for melanoma.” One theory as to why: vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, meaning our natural immune response mistakenly attacks our own bodies. Over-activity of that response could be what makes brown eyed people more susceptible to vitiligo—and what fights off melanoma, he says. The exact relationship is unknown, but the genes that protect against vitiligo, those that protect against melanoma, and those that simply dictate the amount and type of pigment you’re given all seem to be intertwined, he says.

4. People with dark eyes may be more sensitive to alcohol.
alcohol sensitivity
If your eyes are black or brown, you may drink less than your blue- or green-eyed friends, according to a 2001 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. The researchers found higher self-reported alcohol use among women with light eyes as well as more frequent alcohol abuse among a group of light-eyed prisoners who they studied. They hypothesized that dark-eyed folks may be more sensitive to alcohol and other drugs in general, which may lead them to drink less to achieve the desired effects.

5. Women with light eyes may better withstand pain.
In research presented at the American Pain Society’s 2014 annual meeting, anesthesiology professor Inna Belfer, MD, PhD, presented findings suggesting women with light eyes may have a higher tolerance for pain and discomfort. A small group of women were studied before and after giving birth, and those with darker eyes exhibited more anxiety and sleep disturbances in response to the pain of the experience. Dark-eyed women also experienced a greater reduction in pain after receiving an epidural, suggesting more sensitivity to pain, MedPage Today reported. Belfer told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that the results were very preliminary, but could one day help doctors pinpoint a genetic cause of pain.

6. People with light eyes may be more likely to have age-related macular degeneration.
macular degeneration
One of the most common causes of vision loss after 50 is age-related macular degeneration or AMD, damage to a small part of the eye near the center of the retina that sharpens your eyesight. It can begin as blurriness and progress to spots that appear completely blank. Several small studies have suggested that, in addition to smoking and a family history of the disease, having light eyes also ups your risk for AMD, perhaps as much as twofold. However, most of these studies have been small, and some question the significance of the findings. AMD is more common among Caucasians, Bishop says, who are also more likely to have pale eyes, but she’s not familiar with any research supporting a causal link between the two. It could be an association, she says, such as how African Americans have a higher risk of glaucoma and a higher proportion of dark eyes, but the two may have nothing to do with each other, she says.

7. Changing eye color could be a sign something’s wrong. 

If you notice a reddening in the whites of your eyes, you might have undiagnosed allergies. If they turn yellow, you may have liver problems. If just one eye has recently changed color, it could be a sign of inherited diseases like neurofibromatosis, which causes nerve tissue tumors, or Waardenburg syndrome, which typically involves deafness and pale skin, or it could even signal melanoma of the iris, Bishop says.

If your eyes have always been two different colors, it’s probably nothing to worry about; there can be slightly different patterns of pigment assigned to each eye during development, Bishop says. But if you notice a recent change, you always want to rule out a problem.


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