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10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Do

10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Do

Microwaves are great for cooking food quickly, but there are quite a few other tricks you can pull off with this handy kitchen appliance. Ever want to deodorize a pair of socks? Done. Want your microwave to clean itself? No problem. In this article, we’ll cover some of the handiest tricks and tips you can pull off with your microwave.

1. Get Your Microwave to Clean Itself

Okay, your microwave can’t scrub itself down, but it can do half the job for you. Getting a helping hand from your microwave is a piece of cake.

Option 1 Slice a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into a half cup of water, then throw it in the microwave. Turn on high for 3 minutes, then wait 5 minutes more until you open the microwave. When you open the door, your microwave will smell like fresh lemon and any junk trapped on the inside of your microwave will come loose easily. Wipe your microwave clean with a paper towel in seconds, and you’re done!

Option 2 Kick your odor-killing power into gear with some baking soda. Instead of lemon water, microwave two tablespoons of baking soda in a cup of water. Follow the same procedure as above, and your microwave will smell fresh and be half clean by the time it’s done. A quick wipe down and you’re finished.

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Option 3 If you’re really in a crunch for time, forego the lemons and the baking soda. Simply soak a sponge with water and soap, microwave for a couple minutes, then wait a few minutes longer. Not only will many of the germs in the sponge be killed, it will have pre-steamed the microwave for you. Just a few short wipes and you’ll be done.

2. Pasteurize Potting Soil

If you’re a gardener, you’ve probably experienced the frustrations caused by fungi killing off your plants. The damping-off disease that kills your plants doesn’t have to be tackled with pesticides, though. To clear out the disease-ridden fungi from your soil, throw it in a paper bag, then toss it in the microwave. Experiment to find the right cooking time for your microwave, then use this method to kill off fungi before they kill off your plants.

3. How to Get a Quick Pair of Clean Socks

Have you ever found yourself without a pair of clean socks? Yes, it may sound unsanitary to put dirty clothes inside your microwave. But if it’s one thing microwaves are good at, it’s killing germs. To deodorize, disinfect, and clean a dirty pair of socks, simply dunk them in a bowl of soapy water and microwave on high for ten minutes. When they’re done, hang them up to try, and you’ve got a clean pair of socks!

4. Dry Herbs In Minutes

Want dry parsley, oregano, basil, or another herb? If they’re starting to wilt and grow old, don’t let them go to waste. Dry them and preserve them for later use. There’s no need to involve the oven or any other complicated drying procedures. Simply throw a cup of your fresh herbs on a paper towel and microwave for a few minutes. Crumble them, let them dry for a few more minutes, then store in a spice jar.

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5. Don’t Cry Over Split Onions

Onions are a great ingredient for countless dishes, but they’re no fun to cut. To make them  easier to cut and avoid crying when you slice them, break out your microwave. Cut the ends off, then microwave on high for around 30 seconds. After this, you can chop away all you want and you won’t shed a tear.

Onions aren’t the only vegetable that your microwave can help you cut, however. Microwave garlic cloves for 15 seconds to make it easier to remove the skin. The same goes for other vegetables, such as peaches and tomatoes – just add a bit more time for the larger vegetables.

6. Poached Eggs Made Easy

If you want to poach eggs, normally you’ve got to spend some time behind the cooktop. But if you’re a microwave-friendly person and don’t want to hassle with your stovetop, just microwave your way to some poached eggs. Use your electric kettle to boil water, pour it into a microwavable bowl, then add eggs and a dash of white vinegar. The vinegar will help keep the yokes from splitting apart.

Microwave at full power for half a minute, turn the eggs gently, then microwave for another 20 seconds. Pull the eggs out quickly so they don’t keep cooking, then you’re all set!

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7. Soak Beans, Lentils, or Legumes

Dried beans are cheap and tasty. The only problem is that they take hours to soak. If you want your beans fast, simply toss them in some water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to use them in a recipe of your choice.

For lentils, simply cut the microwaving time from 10 minutes to 2 minutes, then use as directed.

8. Un-Stale Chips and Bread

Chips gone stale? Bread gone rubbery? No problem. To bring back the crunch to your chips, simply throw them on a paper towel and put them in the microwave. Turn on high for 10-15 seconds, then they’ll be crispy once more. To resurrect stale bread, wrap the slices in a damp kitchen towel or paper towel, then microwave on high for 10 seconds at a time. Keep going until the bread is good as new.

9. No-Bake Chocolate Cake

If you’ve got a sudden craving for moist, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, don’t wait to bake. A few ingredients and a microwave will get you fixed up in no time.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A quarter cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • A quarter teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • A dash of salt
  • A quarter cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Your favorite spread

Mix the dry ingredients together, followed by the milk and vegetable oil, then microwave on high for 60-90 seconds. That’s it!

10. Make Your Own Play-doh

Parents and kids can rejoice with this recipe. A few simple ingredients and a microwave is all it takes to whisk up some play-doh that will keep your kids entertained for hours.

  1. First, mix a cup of water, food coloring, and a tablespoon of vegetable oil together in a microwavable bowl.
  2. Whisk together with two teaspoons cream of tartar, a third a cup of salt, and a cup of flour.
  3. Cover the bowl with a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.
  4. Mix again.
  5. Microwave again for 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat this 2 more times.
  7. If your mixture is still a little water, repeat once more.

If not, let it cool and have fun!

Featured photo credit: 10 things you didn’t know your microwave could do via google.com

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Published on November 9, 2018

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

So, are you ready? Here we begin.

6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

1. Spreadsheets and Databases

Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Access
  • Statistics
  • Data Analytics
  • Adobe Campaign
  • Quickbooks
  • XML Database management system
  • Filemaker Pro
  • MATLAB
  • Hive
  • FORTRAN
  • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
  • SAS

2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Google Analytics
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Email Marketing
  • Web Page Design
  • WordPress
  • Digital Media
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Campaign Management Software

3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • AutoCAD
  • CorelDRAW
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Maya
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Operating Digital Cameras

4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

  • HTML
  • C/C++
  • Java
  • Python
  • XML
  • UI/UX
  • LINUX
  • CISC and RISC architecture
  • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
  • Memory Management
  • PCB Layout
  • SQL

5. IT Troubleshooting

Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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  • Backup management
  • Diagnostics
  • End User support
  • Client-Server management
  • Installation and configuration
  • Issue tracking system (ITS)
  • System administration
  • Tech support

6. Enterprise Systems

Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

2. Rule the Social Media World

a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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4. Live and Breathe Creativity

a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

b. Canva Design School

From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

  • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
  • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
  • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
  • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
  • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
  • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
  • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

2. Work on Your Efficiency

Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

3. Look for Shortcuts

Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

4. Apply for an Internship

Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

The Bottom Line

Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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