Monthly Archives: February 2015

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Subscribe and Save Online Doesn’t Always Save You Money

Subscribe and Save Online Doesn't Always Save You Money

Places like Amazon and Target both have subscription shopping programs—you tell them what you need and how often, and they ship it to you at a discount. They may not always be cheaper compared to local stores or warehouse clubs, though.

Rather Be Shopping compared prices from different online subscription programs and local stores. Things like diapers depend on brand: Luvs is cheaper with Subscribe and Save but not Pampers. Dog food and toilet paper are cheaper online with the bonus of having those large items delivered to your door.

Like most pricing tips, like what’s cheaper at Costco or Amazon, your mileage may vary. That’s why you need a pricebook—so you know the price of the stuff you buy. Check out the link for one person’s shopping adventures with different household staples.

Subscribe and Save: What Items Provide the Most Value? | Rather Be Shopping

Photo by 401(K) 2012.

Harrison Ford confirmed for Blade Runner sequel

Don’t believe a word Harrison Ford says. Despite the actor repeatedly saying he’d never return to his roles as Han Solo or Rick Deckard, he’s already shot Star Wars Episode VII and has now confirmed he’ll be returning for Blade Runner 2.

The sci-fi sequel is set to start shooting next summer, 34 years after Ridley Scott’s original was released. Although Scott confirmed the new entry back in 2012 and was once set to direct, he’s now taking an executive producer role. In his stead, Denis Villeneuve, best known at present for tense thrillers Polytechnique and Prisoners, is in discussions to take the director’s chair.

The original movie, loosely based on author Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019, a neon-lit hellhole where artificial “replicants” hide amongst the human population. Ford, as Deckard, hunted them down, the film depicting his final, reluctant case. Dealing with themes of morality and humanity, the film is notoriously ambiguous, and the existence of a total seven different cuts of the film doesn’t help matters. One of the chief questions that plagues fans and critics to this day is whether Deckard himself was in fact a replicant.

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So why don’t more cars have fender mirrors?

Saw this picture of a second gen Nissan Cube with fender mirrors and thought it looked rad. But it made me wonder if there were any laws stopping the average person from installing some fender mirrors on any car they wanted here in the US. It seems that, as long as you have mirrors, they’re legal. For my state:

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These R/C Cars Drift So Much Better Than You Ever Will

Drifting R/C cars isn’t a completely new pasttime, but there’s still something magical about watching a trio of R/C cars go flying off a jump — sideways. It’s everything you ever wasted your childhood trying to achieve, but done by grown-ups with far more skill.

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10 high-tech gadgets that will improve your tennis game

The sport of tennis is no stranger to incorporating new technologies — from the electronic line judges of the early ’70s to today’s Hawk-Eye system with its multi-camera array. These days, players at all levels have a variety of high-tech tools to h…

Insane Crowd Funded Nissan Car Holds BBQ, Karaoke Machine, And Drone

Japanese automakers have been shoving all sorts of devices into vehicles, especially kei cars, for years now. We’ve seen many a wacky concept come out of design studios, and a surprising number of them have actually made it into production. Well, Nissan may have just taken it to a whole ‘nother level with their new "Ultimate Smart BBQ Vehicle."

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Proposed privacy bill protects industry more than it does people

If the return of Frank Underwood stoked a thirst for real drama from the nation’s capitol, perhaps the White House’s late-Friday news dump of the proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights will whet your whistle. Alongside common-sense things like Cong…

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Tea is only second to water when it comes to beverage popularity—so popular that it’s consumed as much as coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol combined. There’s always time for better tea, though, so here are ten tips and tricks to take your tea to the next level.

10. Don’t Make Tea in the Microwave

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

One of the elements of a perfect cup of tea is brewing it at the right temperature. Microwaves, as convenient as they are, simply don’t give us control over the temperature of the water, so it’s best to use a kettle.

9. Get the Temperature and Time Down for Steeping Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Speaking of temperature, this graphic provides recommended temperatures and brew times (as well as caffeine content), while this one (above) shows temperatures and steeping times in a much more immediate way. By the way, Steep.it is a web-based timer that also shows you brewing time—and tells you when to take the leaves out.

8. Control the Caffeine in Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Steeping time also matters when it comes to how much caffeine ends up in your cup. For more caffeine alertness, steep for a shorter amount of time. For less caffeine, you can do a brief steep, pour out the brew, and then re-steep to cut as much as 80% of the caffeine.

7. Buy the Best Tea-Brewing Gear

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

You don’t need a special tea kettle to make great tea, but they sure come in handy, with options to set the temperature, automatically turn on or off, and sometimes even remove the tea bag. The mugs, brewing baskets, and other accessories you use can also make a big difference in your enjoyment of your tea, so check out our crowd-sourced collection of recommendations. (I’m a big fan of the IngenuiTEA myself.)

6. Buy Better Tea Leaves

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Besides temperature and steeping time—and water quality—the other most critical element when it comes to a perfect cup of tea is, of course, the quality of the tea itself. Here are some recommendations.

5. Avoid Watery Iced Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

One of the nicest things about tea is you can enjoy it all year round, warming up in winter with a hot cup of tea or chilling out in the summer with iced tea. When it comes to iced tea, make sure you use double the amount of tea normally used so the ice cubes don’t dilute your drink or use iced tea you’ve frozen in ice cube trays to avoid this problem. You can also cold-brew your iced tea for a stronger, smoother cup (and brewing tea in the fridge avoids the risk of bacteria like sun tea has).

4. Find the Tea Alternatives to Coffee

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

I know this sounds like blasphemy to coffee lovers, but you can love both coffee and tea. Both have benefits. If you’re currently a coffee-only person, though, give tea a chance with these recommendations for coffee-like teas. (They’re not as strong as coffee, but they are uniquely flavorful.)

3. Ditch the Tea Bag

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Tea bags are undoubtedly more convenient than loose tea, but what you trade in convenience you probably are giving up in taste and quality. Tea Muse explains it like this:

There is, of course, a huge taste difference. Teabags generally contain bits of tea leaves (typically fannings and dust), not whole leaves, and these leaf fragments brew up a nice cup of blah tea. As any tea expert will tell you, one of the essential requirements of brewing tea is giving the leaves enough room to expand so that their flavor is properly extracted. Because space is limited in a traditional teabag, the size of the tea leaf is smaller to compensate. Thus, the quality of the flavor is decreased. Thus, loose tea reigns supreme.

On the other hand, for those times you are in a tea rush, tea bags from quality tea merchants that are pyramid-shaped instead of flat are a good compromise, since they allow the leaves to expand. You can also go with a coffee filter in a pinch in lieu of a tea bag.

2. Learn Everything You Need to Know About Tea in About 10 Minutes

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

If you’re new to tea or just need a refresher, this is the hacker’s guide to tea.

1. Drink to Your Health

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

This tip won’t make your tea better, but it helps to understand how tea makes you better (so you drink more of it!). There are so many ways tea is incredibly healthy for you—even healthier than water—and you can boost tea’s health benefits with lemon.

Bonus: The Many Other Things You Can Do With Tea Besides Drink It

Use used tea bags or fresh tea to hack your body and your home. For example, feed plants with used tea bags, clean windows with tea, sooth sunburns and stop bleeding with tea bags, clean hardware floors and hide scratches with tea, freshen up small spaces with a tea bag, and maybe even get rid of warts with tea.

Photos by Tina Mailhot-Roberge, Jessie Terwilliger, naama, JoshuaDavisPhotography, ~ Mers, Photosani (Shutterstock), Sean MacEntee, KuniakilGARASHI.

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Tea is only second to water when it comes to beverage popularity—so popular that it’s consumed as much as coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol combined. There’s always time for better tea, though, so here are ten tips and tricks to take your tea to the next level.

10. Don’t Make Tea in the Microwave

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

One of the elements of a perfect cup of tea is brewing it at the right temperature. Microwaves, as convenient as they are, simply don’t give us control over the temperature of the water, so it’s best to use a kettle.

9. Get the Temperature and Time Down for Steeping Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Speaking of temperature, this graphic provides recommended temperatures and brew times (as well as caffeine content), while this one (above) shows temperatures and steeping times in a much more immediate way. By the way, Steep.it is a web-based timer that also shows you brewing time—and tells you when to take the leaves out.

8. Control the Caffeine in Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Steeping time also matters when it comes to how much caffeine ends up in your cup. For more caffeine alertness, steep for a shorter amount of time. For less caffeine, you can do a brief steep, pour out the brew, and then re-steep to cut as much as 80% of the caffeine.

7. Buy the Best Tea-Brewing Gear

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

You don’t need a special tea kettle to make great tea, but they sure come in handy, with options to set the temperature, automatically turn on or off, and sometimes even remove the tea bag. The mugs, brewing baskets, and other accessories you use can also make a big difference in your enjoyment of your tea, so check out our crowd-sourced collection of recommendations. (I’m a big fan of the IngenuiTEA myself.)

6. Buy Better Tea Leaves

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Besides temperature and steeping time—and water quality—the other most critical element when it comes to a perfect cup of tea is, of course, the quality of the tea itself. Here are some recommendations.

5. Avoid Watery Iced Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

One of the nicest things about tea is you can enjoy it all year round, warming up in winter with a hot cup of tea or chilling out in the summer with iced tea. When it comes to iced tea, make sure you use double the amount of tea normally used so the ice cubes don’t dilute your drink or use iced tea you’ve frozen in ice cube trays to avoid this problem. You can also cold-brew your iced tea for a stronger, smoother cup (and brewing tea in the fridge avoids the risk of bacteria like sun tea has).

4. Find the Tea Alternatives to Coffee

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

I know this sounds like blasphemy to coffee lovers, but you can love both coffee and tea. Both have benefits. If you’re currently a coffee-only person, though, give tea a chance with these recommendations for coffee-like teas. (They’re not as strong as coffee, but they are uniquely flavorful.)

3. Ditch the Tea Bag

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Tea bags are undoubtedly more convenient than loose tea, but what you trade in convenience you probably are giving up in taste and quality. Tea Muse explains it like this:

There is, of course, a huge taste difference. Teabags generally contain bits of tea leaves (typically fannings and dust), not whole leaves, and these leaf fragments brew up a nice cup of blah tea. As any tea expert will tell you, one of the essential requirements of brewing tea is giving the leaves enough room to expand so that their flavor is properly extracted. Because space is limited in a traditional teabag, the size of the tea leaf is smaller to compensate. Thus, the quality of the flavor is decreased. Thus, loose tea reigns supreme.

On the other hand, for those times you are in a tea rush, tea bags from quality tea merchants that are pyramid-shaped instead of flat are a good compromise, since they allow the leaves to expand. You can also go with a coffee filter in a pinch in lieu of a tea bag.

2. Learn Everything You Need to Know About Tea in About 10 Minutes

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

If you’re new to tea or just need a refresher, this is the hacker’s guide to tea.

1. Drink to Your Health

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

This tip won’t make your tea better, but it helps to understand how tea makes you better (so you drink more of it!). There are so many ways tea is incredibly healthy for you—even healthier than water—and you can boost tea’s health benefits with lemon.

Bonus: The Many Other Things You Can Do With Tea Besides Drink It

Use used tea bags or fresh tea to hack your body and your home. For example, feed plants with used tea bags, clean windows with tea, sooth sunburns and stop bleeding with tea bags, clean hardware floors and hide scratches with tea, freshen up small spaces with a tea bag, and maybe even get rid of warts with tea.

Photos by Tina Mailhot-Roberge, Jessie Terwilliger, naama, JoshuaDavisPhotography, ~ Mers, Photosani (Shutterstock), Sean MacEntee, KuniakilGARASHI.

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Tea is only second to water when it comes to beverage popularity—so popular that it’s consumed as much as coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol combined. There’s always time for better tea, though, so here are ten tips and tricks to take your tea to the next level.

10. Don’t Make Tea in the Microwave

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

One of the elements of a perfect cup of tea is brewing it at the right temperature. Microwaves, as convenient as they are, simply don’t give us control over the temperature of the water, so it’s best to use a kettle.

9. Get the Temperature and Time Down for Steeping Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Speaking of temperature, this graphic provides recommended temperatures and brew times (as well as caffeine content), while this one (above) shows temperatures and steeping times in a much more immediate way. By the way, Steep.it is a web-based timer that also shows you brewing time—and tells you when to take the leaves out.

8. Control the Caffeine in Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Steeping time also matters when it comes to how much caffeine ends up in your cup. For more caffeine alertness, steep for a shorter amount of time. For less caffeine, you can do a brief steep, pour out the brew, and then re-steep to cut as much as 80% of the caffeine.

7. Buy the Best Tea-Brewing Gear

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

You don’t need a special tea kettle to make great tea, but they sure come in handy, with options to set the temperature, automatically turn on or off, and sometimes even remove the tea bag. The mugs, brewing baskets, and other accessories you use can also make a big difference in your enjoyment of your tea, so check out our crowd-sourced collection of recommendations. (I’m a big fan of the IngenuiTEA myself.)

6. Buy Better Tea Leaves

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Besides temperature and steeping time—and water quality—the other most critical element when it comes to a perfect cup of tea is, of course, the quality of the tea itself. Here are some recommendations.

5. Avoid Watery Iced Tea

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

One of the nicest things about tea is you can enjoy it all year round, warming up in winter with a hot cup of tea or chilling out in the summer with iced tea. When it comes to iced tea, make sure you use double the amount of tea normally used so the ice cubes don’t dilute your drink or use iced tea you’ve frozen in ice cube trays to avoid this problem. You can also cold-brew your iced tea for a stronger, smoother cup (and brewing tea in the fridge avoids the risk of bacteria like sun tea has).

4. Find the Tea Alternatives to Coffee

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

I know this sounds like blasphemy to coffee lovers, but you can love both coffee and tea. Both have benefits. If you’re currently a coffee-only person, though, give tea a chance with these recommendations for coffee-like teas. (They’re not as strong as coffee, but they are uniquely flavorful.)

3. Ditch the Tea Bag

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

Tea bags are undoubtedly more convenient than loose tea, but what you trade in convenience you probably are giving up in taste and quality. Tea Muse explains it like this:

There is, of course, a huge taste difference. Teabags generally contain bits of tea leaves (typically fannings and dust), not whole leaves, and these leaf fragments brew up a nice cup of blah tea. As any tea expert will tell you, one of the essential requirements of brewing tea is giving the leaves enough room to expand so that their flavor is properly extracted. Because space is limited in a traditional teabag, the size of the tea leaf is smaller to compensate. Thus, the quality of the flavor is decreased. Thus, loose tea reigns supreme.

On the other hand, for those times you are in a tea rush, tea bags from quality tea merchants that are pyramid-shaped instead of flat are a good compromise, since they allow the leaves to expand. You can also go with a coffee filter in a pinch in lieu of a tea bag.

2. Learn Everything You Need to Know About Tea in About 10 Minutes

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

If you’re new to tea or just need a refresher, this is the hacker’s guide to tea.

1. Drink to Your Health

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Tea

This tip won’t make your tea better, but it helps to understand how tea makes you better (so you drink more of it!). There are so many ways tea is incredibly healthy for you—even healthier than water—and you can boost tea’s health benefits with lemon.

Bonus: The Many Other Things You Can Do With Tea Besides Drink It

Use used tea bags or fresh tea to hack your body and your home. For example, feed plants with used tea bags, clean windows with tea, sooth sunburns and stop bleeding with tea bags, clean hardware floors and hide scratches with tea, freshen up small spaces with a tea bag, and maybe even get rid of warts with tea.

Photos by Tina Mailhot-Roberge, Jessie Terwilliger, naama, JoshuaDavisPhotography, ~ Mers, Photosani (Shutterstock), Sean MacEntee, KuniakilGARASHI.