Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fun Summer Adjustable Wire Button Ring

13, 8:28 PM.jpgI tend to lose jewelry more in the summer than the rest of the year.. My hands get warm and rings feel tight, I take them off somewhere and they disappear... These are great to deal with both issues. They are adjustable, so they can be loosened up when needed and they are CHEAP and fast to make, so I don't cry when one disappears. 13, 7:34 PM.jpgA button that attaches from the back ( not with holes going through the middle) Jewelry Wire (18 or 16 gauge works well) Nylon jaw pliers (or flat pliers- the kind that don't have 'teeth') A ring mandrel, or another hard round object- like a socket or a tube of lipstick

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How to tie a Turk's head coaster using a 3D printed model

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Cork or Twist: What's the Best Way to Stop Up a Wine Bottle?

Cork, synthetic cork, or screw cap? Each medium has its perks, it seems. But which one keeps wine aging the right way? The experts at Stack Exchange attempt to put the controversy to rest.

Although I am by no means a connoisseur (I don't really even drink it), I've been investigating the various means by which wine bottles are stopped up. This was prompted by a negative reaction by a more dipsomanic friend to a screw top wine that I had purchased. The impression I got from him was that a bottle with a cork was less tacky, and that somehow a bottle with a screw top gave the impression of teens in parks drinking Lambrini through straws. I've read a few articles online here and here, which seem to show some benefits to screw top bottles (namely that they aren't affected by TCA and are easier to open). But I haven't been able to find any resources which show an actual benefit to the wine that comes from using cork. The usual pros listed include the fact that it supports natural cork plantations (an ethical consideration) or that it just seems to be more sophisticated. So, is there any reason (when only considering taste) that cork should be used over a screw top?

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If a wine maker loves their wine and their customers, they will use screw caps. All the studies have come back positive for screw caps. (See screw cap initiative for starters.) Some main points are:

Corks taint the wine.Corks, real or synthetic, have a very high failure rate. Screw caps are basically 100% effective (maybe too effective).Wine ages better with a screw cap, as there is no chance of seal failure or tainting - Screw caps have been physically tested for over 30 years, and are designed to last longer than that.You can cellar wine bottles at any angle.The energy used in making a recyclable (aluminium) screw cap is significantly less than used in making a cork.Most corks aren't made in ethical plantations.No special tools are required to open and recap a bottle (cork knives can be a serious health hazard later in the evening).Wines age more safely. Corks do not breathe, but they may shrink and let wine out (bottles stored on side). Good vineyards will re-cork cellared wine every 20 to 25 years, or when corks start failing. The wine is topped up to the correct level, and often the wine/cork gap is flooded with nitrogen to avoid oxygen contamination which will "soften" the wine. All in all, some pretty convincing reasons to go with screw caps.An oenologist once told me that for young wines, artificial corks (and probably screw caps) are perfectly alright. Young wines should be consumed within a year or two. However, for aged wines, he'd stick with natural cork, because cork lets the wine breathe, letting the wine mature further inside the bottle.

The debate around synthetic is due to the fact that synthetic cork completely blocks the air. Some wine experts believe that some air is beneficial to the maturation of the wine. (Source: CellaRaiders.) The cork-bottled wine benefits from a process called "reductive aging." According to WineMaker Magazine, some wines need a little extra oxygen that seeps through the cork over a long period of time. Although cork-stoppered wines intentionally allow for miniscule amounts of oxygen to seep in over a long period of time, amounts beyond this can prevent the proper development of bottle bouquet, and proper varietal aromas can also be obscured or destroyed.

Some wines are more affected by oxygen than others (i.e., wines that are low in acidity, body, tannins, etc.—those traits that allow a wine to age extensively). A key factor influencing the potential oxidation of a given wine is its pH level. As pH rises (or as acidity falls), the potential for a wine's oxidation increases. When pH rises, the wine's phenols are in a state that fosters their reacting to each other and falling out as sediment and increasing the wine's potential for oxidation. Therefore, wines with a higher pH have lower potential for aging than wines with a lower pH.

According to Wikipedia, the benefits of screw caps in this aspect have yet to be proven. The advent of alternative wine closures to cork, such as screw caps and synthetic corks, have opened up recent discussions on the aging potential of wines sealed with these alternative closures. Currently there are no conclusive results and the topic is the subject of ongoing research.

This is an awkward question, because food is about so much more than chemical interplay on the tongue, and how molecules decay over time. If all we cared about was getting proper nutrition, we would swallow a handful of pills each day which contained the nutrients we need, washed down with a shake containing bulkier elements like proteins and carbs. If all we cared about was taste, we would construct artificial foods with perfectly synthesized flavor profiles. (I'm guessing we'd wrap our perfect mix of nutrients into beverages, if flavor was the goal. After all, we already do have a host of artificial flavored sodas and such out there.)But food is about so much more than that. Presentation makes food look engaging. Textures and smells have a huge impact on whether you find a food enjoyable. Wine glasses clink (particularly when toasting) to engage your hearing. The ceremony around uncorking a bottle creates a definite atmosphere which will color your perception of a meal, even down to how dishes taste.

So, as easy as it may be to find links to articles about bottle seals and preventing air exchange, that is by no means the sum of the flavor in a bottle of wine. And anyone with experience of different dining environments, who enjoys uncorking a bottle, will find much changed in the flavor by the change from a cork to a screw-top. Yes, it's psychological. But really "flavor" is about how chemical impulses from your senses are interpreted by the brain—all flavor is psychological. And all of your senses work together—it's never about a simple signal from one sense. Now, all that said, if you are not steeped in wine tradition, you likely will enjoy a glass of wine from a screw-top bottle perfectly fine. The fluid will be preserved at least as well, and if the only thing which changed in your meal was the un-corking became an un-screwing, a non-connoisseur probably wouldn't even notice. (Except all your "wine snob" friends will have a new topic for the next 20 minutes.) In wines produced to be consumed within 5-10 years, I highly doubt there is any worthwhile difference between any sealing method. And I doubt any of the wine collectors have allowed screw-top bottles into their collections yet, so we're still hundreds of years shy of long-term storage data.

I'll add that I had heard the common idea that cork is a depleting resource. This is often mentioned as a reason for the shift from corks to other closures in wine. I tried to Google this, and found several discussions (on semi-public forums, so I'll leave research to the reader rather than provide links) about this being a myth, and the shift being caused by a desire to prevent contaminants from getting into wine. So, it seems bottlers feel cork is a poor choice for wine.

Find more answers or leave your own at the original post. See more questions like this at Seasoned Advice, the cooking site at Stack Exchange. And of course, feel free to ask a question yourself. Image via Stack Exchange.

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This Week's Most Popular Posts: May 17th to 24th

This week we looked at the best Android phones around, got some career advice, and got some nice airline and hotel upgrades. Here's a look back.


Sometimes, you can do something the fast way, or you can do it the right way. Other times, those two things are one and the same. Here are 10 everyday tasks that you can do in 10 seconds or less.


There are so many Android phones on the market that choosing the best one can mean a ton of research, price-checking, and waiting to see what's coming out in the next few weeks or months. Some are exclusive to specific carriers, some run stock Android, some are littered with bloatware but have powerful features. This week we wanted to know which you thought were the best of breed, not just because they round out a checklist of features or high-end hardware, but because you think they offer a great overall experience. Here's a look at the top five Android phones, based on your nominations.

If you haven't settled on a career yet, this interactive chart from Rasmussen College can help you find the best options. It organizes occupations into four quadrants based on salary, expected job growth, and number of opportunities available.

A lot of people are uncomfortable with haggling, but just one quick question at a hotel's front desk has a great chance of earning you a better room on your next vacation or work trip.

Amazon often earns its reputation as the world's largest online retailer due to the fact that they offer tons of awesome discounts and services that most of us don't know about until they've been around for years. The latest? Their virtual outlet store.

Many men's suit jackets have three buttons down the front. Leave them all unbuttoned and you look informal. Button them all and you look like a schoolboy in his first suit or a school uniform. So which should you button and which stay open? This rule is easy to remember: "Sometimes, Always, Never," from top to bottom.


Few routers utilize their full potential out of the box because their firmware limits their functionality. Thanks to an open-source project called DD-WRT, you can unlock your router’s potential to broadcast a stronger signal, manage network traffic, remotely access all your home computers, and a whole lot more. Here’s how to install it, set it up, and supercharge your network.


When Google Keep launched, it never got the fanfare it deserved. The people that did review it compared it to all the wrong apps, like Evernote or Microsoft OneNote. That's a shame, because a surprisingly good note taking app went under the radar, underrated for coming up short against contenders it wasn't designed to face. It's about time to give Google Keep a fair shake, see where it shines, and how it fits in with the competition.

With just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice, you can go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well. That's the message from Josh Kaufman, author of The First 20 Hours. In the video above, he reveals the four steps to learning any new skill, fast.


If you've ever sat in a plane on the tarmac only to have the flight cancelled, been bumped just before boarding, or landed at your destination only to be told your luggage will arrive sometime in the next 12 hours, you know how air travel can suck. In all of those cases, the airline owes you for your trouble. Sometimes it's good customer service, and other times it's the law. Here are some of the legal rights you may not know you have, and how to go about filing your claims or getting what's due to you if you've been wronged.


I used to hate my workouts. Sure, I did them, but I was frustrated, grumbling, and upset the entire time. I dreaded going to the gym, and did almost anything I could think of to get out of it. At the slightest hint of a cold, I was so relieved to have a good excuse not to work out that I milked it for all I could. Then, something changed.


Most of us wouldn’t think to associate the words "joblessness" and "fun," but unemployment coach Katie DeVito says she wouldn’t have it any other way: "The best thing that ever happened to me was getting laid off."


Dear Lifehacker,
I have a couple old PC games from the Windows 95 days that I'd like to keep playing. However, I use Windows 7, which creates an obvious problem. Is there a way to play it on my current machine? More importantly, will I just have to give it up some day?

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Where Are You Looking? Right Here! At This Week's Open Thread

It's Friday. That means it's time to share what you know, ask what you don't, and generally partake in some conversation. Right here, right now!

Same drill as always but with a new twist, open-threaders! Ask questions, offer advice, discuss productivity tips, or just chat about whatever's on your mind. This week, we're coming to you from Hackerspace, the commenter-run playground for Lifehackers. Drop by Hackerspace any time you want to share your tips, how-tos, or just talk it out with your fellow readers.

As we like to do here, here's some music with which you may rock out's too short to even care at all from neontrees on 8tracks Radio.

Image:Flickr Commons

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