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Yungbulakang Palace in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China by Yumian Deng on Bing Homepage 12 Feb 2018.

Yungbulakang Palace in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China by Yumian Deng on Bing Homepage 12 Feb 2018.

 

I really have nothing good to say about Bing, from the name to its performance.

 

But.

 

One thing they do incredibly well is choosing a photo of the day.

 

If you enjoy photography, and have the time and data, head over to bing.com and flick through their images.

 

And if you know something else that’s good about Bing, kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

 

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Check out this long url linking to this photo! It contains much more info than just the photo url, so make sure you clean it up first before you share it.

Check out this long url linking to this photo! It contains much more info than just the photo url, so make sure you clean it up first before you share it.

 

A url is not just a url in times of digital tracking.

 

After clicking on a link, chances are the url contains lots of cryptic tracking code.

 

An example in Facebook:

 

If I want to share a photo, the photo url can be a long tail containing more information than just the link to the picture. This could even be sensitive information, but is definitely unnecessary, and thus rather annoying:

https://web.facebook.com/pg/RatsMakeGreatPets/photos/a.508095925914082.1073741831.489807454409596/1663840230339640/?type=3&theater&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic&notif_id=1517478207624645

 

Look at this long url! It tells me the Facebook page, the photo album ID, the FB page ID, the actual photo ID, some stuff in between, the viewing mode, some notification info and some more cryptic code.

 

On top of it, Facebook shows my browsing device, in this case ‘web’. However, some apps don’t recognise ‘web’ and what if I want to share this link with someone who is not using a desktop computer to browse Facebook, but their mobile phone.

 

In addition, Facebook adds the identification for a Facebook page ‘pg’, which is basically superfluous code that just stretches the url even longer.

 

Instead, this link gets you to the photo just as well: https://www.facebook.com/RatsMakeGreatPets/photos/1663840230339640

 

Once you click on it, Facebook might extend this link to their long url, but at least the url you use to share is neat, short, to the point, and does not run the risk to reveal more than you had intended.

 

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I painted this bathroom door myself and love the result.

I painted this bathroom door myself and love the result.

 

When our builder’s workers started applying the primer on our interior doors while they were still hanging, I knew this would end badly.

So I decided to save some costs and paint the doors myself. It couldn’t get worse than how it had been done so far.

Of course I knew nothing about painting doors, so I first had to do my research which I’m happy to share:

 

Good Practices for Painting Interior Doors

 

1) Lay down the door flat on saw horses

Painting a new interior door is easiest on saw horses:

–  Only when the door is removed from the frame can you reach all the edges. Especially new doors need to be sealed everywhere to prevent moisture from entering – that includes the bottom edge.

–  Only when the door is lying flat down can you achieve a smooth streak-free paint finish. It is easy to miss drips and runs leaving unsightly paint marks on your door. Plus you’ll avoid any mess on the walls and floors.

If the door is already installed, take it off for painting. Interior doors are hollow and easy to remove from the hinges.

 

2) Clean the door

Make sure there is no residue or grime on the door that would spoil the paint.

Wipe the door clean with soapy lukewarm water.

 

3) Sand down the door

If new or old, before painting you need to roughen up the surface.

Use a sanding block for profiled moldings and sandpaper on flat boards to smoothen any irregularities.

Clean up the dust with a vacuum or brush and damp cloth.

 

4) Fix any holes

Should the door have any holes, cracks or scratches, fill them before applying any primer or paint.

 

5) Dampen the surface

This trick is meant to help you achieve a smooth paint finish:

Wet the door’s surface slightly with a sponge or cloth.

When applying paint on the damp surface, it’ll take longer to dry, giving you more time to smoothen out any unwanted streaks or tears.

 

6) Prime the door

New doors need to be primed to ensure good adhesion of the finish coats. Already painted doors need no primer if they’re in good condition.

Apply one coat of primer and let it dry.

Sand down any irregularities.

 

7) Paint the door

The best way to avoid brush marks is by avoiding using brushes. Only paint the tricky parts like edges and ornamental designs with brushes.

Use a foam roller on all straight surfaces for an even looking finish. You might need to apply an extra coat, if the foam roller spreads the coat too thin.

Apply as many layers of paint as needed for a great finish. If you can still spot some irregularities, give it one more coat. It actually goes quick and will leave you truly happy with the result.

 

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Oopsie, another bag full with used tea bags...

Oopsie, another bag full with used tea bags…

I drink at least 2 litres of tea a day. I use 3 teabags to brew 1 litre. That’s a minimum of 6 teabags per day.

So that 200 teabag bulk offer is probably what I go through per month.

Accordingly I have a lot of used teabags to do… well, what with? Read on for some useful tips.

 

What to do with used tea bags

 

Used tea bags belong in the garden.

A used tea bag is still full of nutrition. It is nitrogen rich and can be used like a fertiliser. Tear open the bag and sprinkle the tea into your pot plants or around your garden.

Line plant pots with old teabags, especially around the drainage holes, before filling them with soil. The tea bags retain water and nutrition.

Tea is a must-have for your compost, as it counter balances all the carbon-rich materials.

The caffeine in the tea is just as much a stimulant for your garden inhabitants as for you and has a great effect on earthworms: They will work and breed faster.

 

Used tea bags make great sponges.

Apparently adding used tea bags to your dishwashing water helps to break down grease and food stains.

You can use the tea bag itself to preclean dirty pans and trays. Be careful not to break the tea bag, as it works wonderfully to wipe up that grease, and simply throw it in the bin, instead of having to rinse your kitchen sponge with a lot of water. In addition, the tannins in the leaves will prevent the oxidising process, preventing rust.

Similarly, freshly brewed hot tea bags can be used to preclean windows. The tea’s tannic acid will leave the glass sparkling clean.

Scrub your dark leather shoes with a damp used teabag. Tanning leather involves tannin, the tea can add a new shine.

 

Used tea bags capture bad odour.

Place dried old teabags in the bottom of your kitchen bin to absorb liquids and odours.

Wash away odours from your hands: Rinse your hands with water and a brewed tea bag to remove odours of onions, garlic, fish and other foods.

If you’re a smoker or have an ashtray out for guests, put a wet tea bag or the leaves from a wet tea bag into the ashtray. When you or your guests ash in the tray, the wet leaves will hold the ash and absorb some of the smell from the smoke.

The antibacterial contents of tea bags will help neutralize the odour in your litter box as well. Just sprinkle the dried out contents of a brewed tea bag into the kitty / rattie litter.

 

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Always remember that the new year is next year.

 

I know that sounds odd, but it happens too easily that we keep on writing the old year when we mean the new year. Maybe it’s some kind of force of habit.

 

Especially during the switch-over in December and January, various examples pop up.

This sounds like a great resolution for the new year - which is 2018.

This sounds like a great resolution for the new year – which is 2018.

 

It’s easy to miss when proofreading copy for the new year, because, as we still are in the old year, the old year looks right to us.

 

So always double check the year!

 

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Whereas I only got South Africa’s desktop theme beforehand, I now have 4 more themes added to ‘My Themes’.

Whereas I only got South Africa’s desktop theme beforehand, I now have 4 more themes added to ‘My Themes’.

 

It’s like taking a mini holiday at your desktop:

By default Windows lets you see only desktop wallpapers from your region.

But if you activate themes from another country you get to see amazing landscapes right on your screen.

 

1) Unhide hidden folders:

Open Windows Explorer, unfold the drop-down menu beneath ‘Organize’, click on ‘Folder and search options’. Select the ‘View’ tab and ensure ‘Show hidden files, folders, and drives’ is marked, whereas ‘Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)’ is unticked.

 

2) Activate hidden themes:

Go to: C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT

Go into the different country folders that are presented to you and click on ‘Theme’ to double click and run the theme.

It will change your background image immediately. You can change it back to the previous version and reactivate it again later, as it is now saved in your Control Panel.

 

3) Change between themes:

Go to: Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Personalization

Click on the Windows Start button and chose ‘Control Panel’. Tap on ‘Display’. Beneath ‘See also’ on the bottom left corner click on ‘Personalization’.

Now you can simply select the theme of your liking and the desktop images update right away.

 

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It is hard to believe, with all its probiotic goodness: But because yoghurt contains lactose it’s a no-go when you change to a low FODMAP diet.

I cannot remember a day that I didn’t eat yoghurt. The only reason would be that I’m in a country where they don’t do yoghurt, like when I was travelling South East Asia.

Or where they don’t know how to make yoghurt, like in South Africa. Thank goodness for Amasi, which by the way contains less lactose, as that is what the yoghurt cultures eat: lactose. So the more sour your fermented milk tastes, the less lactose it contains. To me, a big fan of kefir and buttermilk and such, a fair trade.

So yes, I like yoghurt, but if I want to eliminate FODMAPs from my diet, I need to find a replacement, for two reasons:

1) The lack of calcium causes my fingernails to break, so I need to find an extra source of this mineral.

2)  What I’d actually miss about yoghurt is the yummyness with which it binds together my muesli.

You can read the answer to 1) here: #FODMAP #Tip: 5 calcium rich alternatives to dairy

As to 2) I think I found a good compromise: Replacing milk with coconut milk for the low FODMAP diet, I’m left with coconut pulp. It has a lovely yummy consistency and can be used just like yoghurt. It has no sourness to it, so less sweetening is required, and the coconut oil is filling. It is of course nutritionally completely different from yoghurt, hence 1), but for the time where no yoghurt is allowed it works well as a substitute.

Would you believe this is not yoghurt: Coconut puree makes for a great substitute.

Would you believe this is not yoghurt: Coconut puree makes for a great substitute.

Check out my low #FODMAP muesli recipe for breakfast: Banana, Buckwheat Granola and Coconut Puree.

This tastes as healthy as it looks: Low FODMAP breakfast cereal.

This tastes as healthy as it looks: Low FODMAP breakfast cereal.

 

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