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Food Trends – Liquid Nitrogen

Gastronomy in the modern era has evolved, technological developments turning the art of cooking into an exact science. It focuses on the physical and chemical reactions that occur during the cooking process, and how those reactions affect the aroma and flavor of the dishes being made. Sometimes referred to as molecular gastronomy, this scientific approach to making food is becoming more and more common as time passes. This can involve the use a variety of chemical compounds and devices, the most popular of which being liquid nitrogen. Nitrogen is the seventh element on the periodic table, and it makes up more than seventy-five percent of the air in the atmosphere. It is difficult to change nitrogen into its liquid form, as it only maintains that state between the temperatures of negative 346 and 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of these incredibly low temperatures, liquid nitrogen can cause extreme damage if ingested or applied directly to living tissue. Despite these challenges to an average cook, liquid nitrogen is gaining popularity among professionals and amateurs alike in order to freeze food. The first culinary use of liquid nitrogen goes back as far as the nineteenth century, mentioned in the recipe book Fancy Ices by Agnes Marshall. Due to the extremely cold temperature of the nitrogen, it is able to freeze foods pretty much instantaneously. The speed with which it does this freezing causes microscopic ice crystals to form, exponentially smaller than those created by the use of a conventional freezer. These smaller crystals …

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Alternative Energy – Solar Power

Fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource, unable to replenish themselves in meaningful human timeframes at a sufficient rate. As they are also the main source of energy for the entire world, scientists have worked tirelessly to find cost-effective alternatives to these fossil fuels as a way to generate electricity. In recent years almost twenty percent of the global energy consumption could be attributed to these renewable resources. However, despite the potential it has as a replacement for oil and natural gas, solar energy only accounts for a fraction of that percentage. In simple terms, solar power is conversion of energy from light emitted by the sun into electricity we can use. This can be done in two primary ways. The first method to convert solar energy into electric energy is the use of the photovoltaic effect. The photovoltaic effect is the process by which certain materials, when exposed to light, begin to channel an electric current. This happens when the material (usually a metal) absorbs light, causing an electron within it to reach a higher-energy state. This causes different parts of the metal to have different amounts of electrical energy. This difference in energy levels, known as a gradient, leads to the flow of energy from areas where there is more of it to those where it is lacking. The devices that take advantage of this effect to produce and store electricity are known as photovoltaic cells. The second way that the energy of sunlight is converted into electricity is …

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Natural Holistic Health

Holistic medicine is a term used by its proponents to describe a theory of healing that includes all aspects of the human experience. In order to achieve and maintain good health, the patient’s body, mind, and spirit must be taken into account. If any of these aspects are neglected, then all of them will be negatively impacted. Holistic medicine practitioners believe that a person is made up of those three interdependent parts, and that an effect on one will have an effect on the other two. This belief in a connection between the body and the spirit is the cornerstone of holistic healthcare. Ultimately, holistic medicine is based on a belief that a person is responsible for their own well-being, and that love and support are their most potent tools in achieving this goal. There are four main principles that help expand on this core tenant. Firstly, the patient is a person not a problem. Practitioners of holistic medicine often find the methods of doctors clinical and impersonal. They see the doctor’s focus on objective observation and biological processes problematic, a way of missing the forest for the trees. The second principle is related to the first, in that it expresses a focus on a spiritual reality. It can be summarized simply as a belief that all people possess healing abilities innately. What is meant by that however is a matter of debate among those in the holistic health field, but most see this as an extension of the idea …

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Entrepreneurship – How to Raise Capital

Put simply, capital is the amount of money that a business has available to spend on whatever activities deemed necessary. For the average entrepreneur, raising this capital in order to start their business is the single most difficult task they must undertake. While to many it seems to be an insurmountable hurdle, there are a variety of methods available to them to raise capital for their business. As long as they are patient and stay determined, entrepreneurs are all but certain to achieve their goals. The first and simplest method of raising money is the one that people looking to start their own business are most reluctant to attempt at all; asking their friends and family for a loan or investment. This reluctance is understandable. After all, it feels embarrassing to ask the people closest to you for their financial support. Especially for an investment that is dependent entirely on your success and will not pay off if you fail. Regardless of what fears you might have about putting them in an uncomfortable position, asking friends and family for their money is the easiest and most reliable method of raising capital for your business. You would be pleasantly surprised how many of them would happily give a loan in order to support your dream. Another reliable and relatively easy way to raise capital as an entrepreneur is to apply for a bank loan. Most banks are happy to provide this service for small business owners, provided they have a good …

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Augmented Reality

Augmented reality refers to a type of interactive experience that combines real world environments with digital information. While virtual reality takes place entirely in a computer-generated environment, augmented reality merely overlays computer-generated perceptual information onto the world around you. There are two main types of this information, destructive and constructive sensory input. Constructive information adds to the information you received naturally, enhancing what is already there. Destructive information masks the natural environment, replacing and removing things from your senses. Either way, augmented reality technologies alter the way you perceive the world without replacing it entirely with a digital facsimile. In everything from literary analysis to military training, augmented reality devices are beginning to change the way everyday tasks are completed. One of the fields that has benefited the most from this technology is archeology. By feeding researchers visual information about how locations used to look and overlaying it on top of the modern remnants, AR has revolutionized the way archeological studies are performed. For obvious reasons, education has also benefited greatly from this technology, allowing students to manipulate models and images with an ease that was never before possible. Video game developers are now taking advantage of this AR technology as well, allowing their customers to experience the digital games they love in a very physical way. While recreational endeavors enjoy the low hanging fruit offered by AR, life or death situations have been affected as well. In the medical field, AR tech has been used to help guide surgeons, …

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Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a term that refers to the use of low temperatures as a part of medical therapy, both local and in general treatments. Most commonly recommended for the purposes of reducing swelling or helping to lower internal body temperatures, cryotherapy also has its uses in the treatment of more serious conditions or even surgery. Medical professionals consider the efficacy of cryotherapy to be doubtful, with no conclusive data published to support its use. However, it is still commonly recommended across the world, so the possibility remains that cryotherapy is an efficient and useful treatment. Cryosurgery is a very specific type of cryotherapy. It refers to the method by which a surgeon implements the application of extremely low temperatures in order to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue on a patient. During this process, the surgeon will typically apply small amounts of an ultra-cool liquid in order to freeze the tissue that is being treated. The substance applied, typically liquid nitrogen, causes the water inside of the cells to freeze and expand, destroying the cells. Most often this is used in order to treat minor skin conditions like moles and warts but is also utilized in the treatment of some types of cancer as well. Historically, the most common type of cryotherapy is simply called ice-pack therapy. Somewhat self-explanatory, ice-pack therapy involves the application of an ice-pack directly to the affected area of the body. Most frequently used to help with sprained joints and strained muscles, ice-pack therapy relieves pain and …

Intermittent Fasting and Diet Trends

The first noteworthy diets were created in the early eighteenth century. Doctors like George Cheyne and John Rollo published the first essays aimed at those suffering from obesity and diabetes, helping people find ways to reduce their weight without depriving them of necessary nutrients. Still in print today, the first diet to receive mainstream recognition was called ‘Banting’, named after the mortician who created it, William Banting, in 1863. All diets are designed around the same central principle; in order to lose weight, one must consume less calories than they burn off throughout each day. Which foods should be consumed or avoided remains a subject of debate amongst nutritionists, and as a result, dozens of diets have become popular and faded to obscurity over the years. Dieting fads have become dime a dozen in today’s society. Now more than ever, people are concerned with losing weight and achieving levels of personal fitness usually seen by models and actors, not the average nine to five worker. Popular culture bombards us with images of the skinny and the beautiful, to the point where the concepts are intertwined in our subconscious thoughts. This obsession with losing weight has led to the development of an entire industry of dieting plans and supplements for weight loss. Every year there seems to be a new best-selling book about the best diet to lose weight in a short amount of time without developing unhealthy eating habits. This allows authors and publishers to make millions, praying on the …

Cybersecurity

In this new era we live in, the age of computers, all aspects of our lives are becoming increasingly reliant on computer systems. More and more of the devices we use are equipped with internet capabilities, and almost all kinds of public and private information can be accessed through these networks.  As a result of this unprecedented level of interconnectivity, this information has never been more vulnerable to outside threats from hackers and viruses alike. More than just private information as at risk however; lives are very much at stake as well. Everything from the financial system, to basic utilities, and even medical equipment can be compromised through a competent cyberattack. The first computer worm was discovered in 1988, created by a curious college student attempting to find out exactly how many computers were connected to the internet. No real damage was done, as the malware simply slowed down the computers it had infected. The second notable breach in cybersecurity was far less innocuous. In 1994, the United States Air Force’s central command facility was completely compromised by several hackers, giving them access to classified information and several other public and private institutions including NASA. In 2007, the home goods company TJX was hacked, aimed at the financial information of hundreds of thousands of customers. Seven years later, both Target and Home Depot were hacked as well, leading to the theft of more than one hundred million credit card numbers. In 2015, what are believed to be Chinese hackers accessed …

Electric Vehicles

Fossil fuels are used to produce more than eighty-five percent of the world’s energy. This is a state of affairs that can not continue for much longer, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost among them, is that fossil fuels are not a renewable resource. Eventually, the global supply will be exhausted, and it will take millions of years to begin replenishing that supply. Secondly, these fuels create carbon dioxide as a byproduct, releasing billions of tonnes of the greenhouse gas into the atmosphere each year. The damage being done to the environment by this reckless use of fossil fuels is becoming the driving force in the development of more efficient electric vehicles. The first electric motor was invented in 1827 by the Hungarian priest Ányos Jedlik and was used to power a small automobile. Less than twenty years later the first patents were being issued for locomotives powered by rails used to conduct electricity. Electric cars were not mass produced however until the early twentieth century, when the first electric cars capable of competing with gasoline powered vehicles entered the market. Unfortunately for the producers of these vehicles, Henry Ford’s implementation of mass production of his gas-powered cars significantly lowered the costs when compared to their electric counterparts. This status quo then lasted for nearly a hundred years. Electricity-powered trains have remained the norm throughout the years, and the technology involved has continually evolved in order to keep pace with internal combustion engines. Electric cars on the other …

Firestone’s Ride-Rite & Air Spring Manufacturing and Technology

Air spring suspensions are a type of vehicle suspension powered by a special type of air pump or compressor, through a relatively simple process and design. Simply put, the pump or compressor forces air into bellows, usually made out of rubber due to its flexibility. As the bellows is inflated by the increase in air pressure, it raises up the frame of the vehicle. These air spring suspensions have almost entirely replaced steel spring suspensions in passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses. The purpose of this system is not only to keep the motor vehicle level, but also to improve the way it maneuvers and brakes when weighed or in rough conditions.  The most recent developments in air spring technology have been advances in the process of computerization and the ability to self-level the vehicle. This is particularly useful in buses, as the weight distribution is often quite uneven, due to passengers not spreading out throughout the vehicle. In trucks, this has done quite a bit to help slow down the process of tire wear, reducing costs for distributors of a variety of products. Firestone Industrial Products, founded in 1936, was created when Firestone Tire & Rubber Company decided to purchase a factory and expand its business activities. In 1938, barely two years later, we created the first pneumatic suspension device, called the Firestone Airide Air Spring. Since then, for more than seventy years, Firestone Industrial Products has remained on the cutting edge of air spring suspension technology. Acknowledged worldwide as …