Posts tagged ‘warm’

The Meaning of Care Symbols on Clothes Tags

By Kaye Nemec

When it’s time to wash a new item of clothing, most people check the tag to see what the manufacturer recommends for washing and drying.

Sometimes instructions are easily spelled out, other times the consumer is given a set of symbols to interpret. With no explanation or key to reference, there is no way to know what these symbols mean. Before you take a gamble with your clothing purchases, use the chart below as a reference guide for the most common symbols. For an extensive list of care symbols visit Textileaffairs.com.

  Machine Wash Normal
  Machine Wash Cold
  Machine Wash Warm
  Hand Wash
  Do Not Wash
  Do Not Bleach
  Tumble Dry Normal
  Do Not Dry
  Iron Normal
  Do Not Iron
  Dry Clean
  Do Not Dry Clean

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Sources: Textile Affairs

April 27, 2011 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Babies Don’t Shiver

By Kaye Nemec

When adults are cold, our bodies shiver to engage our muscles and produce more body heat. When babies are cold their bodies do not react in the same way. Instead of shivering, babies warm themselves by burning body fat.

Babies are born with brown thermogenesis fat, also known as brown fat (because of its color). Brown fat is basically a fat-burning type of fat. Scientists used to think brown fat was only found in babies but recent studies suggest it does not actually disappear with age. For adults this could end up being the ultimate diet solution. For a baby it is critical for temperature regulation.

Brown fat is filled with mitochondria. When the body is fueled with food (sugar) the mitochondria help to transform sugar into energy in the form of heat. This heat warms the babies until they are able to shiver like adults.


Does this process warm them? Yes. However, some studies suggest this takes away calories that should be used to help the baby grow.

It is usually recommended that babies are dressed warm and in layers but ask your pediatrician for specific recommendations on ways to keep your baby warm, like what temperature you should keep your house at.

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Sources: Riley Hospital for Children, brainyweightloss.com, Chicago Tribune

Photo: Kaye Nemec

December 22, 2010 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Idling a Cold Engine Is GOOD For The Environment

You may notice when you start a cold vehicle, its exhaust is visible at first and disappears after a few minutes. Here’s why.

Technically, modern vehicles do not require much warm up time before you can drive them; advanced lubricants and materials allow the vehicles to be driven shortly after a cold weather start. Of course, you may want to warm your car for your comfort and surprisingly, to reduce emissions.

This is not intuitive, unless you understand the emission control systems on modern vehicles.

The first system is called Exhaust Gas Recirculation, and it’s probably obvious from the name: it routes exhaust gases back into the engine. The vehicle computer system monitors and controls this process to lower the amount of Nitrogen Oxides, precursors to smog and acid rain, that are created in the engine and then expelled from the tailpipe. Depending on your vehicle, this system will not operate in certain conditions, for example: low engine temperatures.

Vehicles also have a component in their exhaust system that converts various pollutants into less harmful gases with various catalysts. That conversion occurs in the catalytic converter, and that chemical reaction doesn’t happen when the catalytic converter is cold.

According to WP, some catalytic converters can take up to thirty-minutes to reach ideal operating temperature. That isn’t to suggest you should wait that long before driving your car — there are countermeasures in many cars that make it effective long before that.

When your car is at idle, it uses less gas and releases less pollution than when you are driving it. Getting your emission system to an effective point before driving it helps reduce overall emissions. For my car, it take about 3-5 minutes before the exhaust is invisible and that’s about how long it takes to clear the snow anyway. It’s not an exact science and it varies by car and by temperature.

BrokenSecrets.com

Sources:  WP, WP, WP, EPA, GM

Photo: steveyb (Creative Commons)

December 14, 2009 at 12:53 am 2 comments

Keeping Takeout Food Warm While You Drive Home

As I mentioned here, when you put warm food on a cold surface, it gets cold. If you pickup Chinese, Pizza or your favorite restaurant food then you don’t want it to get cold while you drive home.

Allow me to share a secret: seat heaters are not just for keeping your butt warm, they also make a great warming zone for your takeout.

If your car doesn’t have seat heaters then you have some other options. If it’s hot outside, put the food in your trunk.  It’ll stay warmer there than inside your car (where you’re trying to keep cool with the A/C). If it’s cold outside and you’ve got frozen food, you can also put them in the trunk.

If you do takeout a lot, consider buying a cooler/warmer that plugs into your cigarette lighter socket. Some vehicles even have these coolers/warmers built in.

Oh, and don’t be afraid to have some bag fries during the ride.

BrokenSecrets.com

Photo credit: Spitzgogo Chen (Creative Commons)

December 3, 2009 at 1:41 am 1 comment

Why Restaurant Food Stays Hot on Your Plate

Here’s a good secret for Thanksgiving dinner or the next meal you cook. I learned this during a cooking class from the experts:

Never serve hot food on a cold plate!

warm platesHave you ever sat on a bench when it’s cold outside? Your butt gets cold almost instantly! The same thing happens to your really hot food when you put it on a (comparatively) cold plate.

When you’re at a restaurant, what does the server say whenever they bring your food? “Watch this plate, it’s extremely hot.” They’re not trying to burn you, they just want your food to stay hot while you eat it.

Even buffets respect the warm plate. You know the hole at the end of the buffet that the plates magically rise from (see photo)? That’s not there for ergonomics, that’s a plate warmer.

So, if you’re not doing it already, here is a list of ways to get your plates warm.

  1. Buy a plate warmer ($35 and up).
  2. Many ovens have a warming drawer underneath.  No, that isn’t a cookie-sheet graveyard.
  3. Set your cook-top on low heat and lay the plates on top.
  4. Rinse the plates in really hot water, then dry them.
  5. Some dishwashers have a plate warmer function, otherwise run the rinse cycle on high heat with a heated dry cycle.
  6. Put them in the microwave for a short time.

I should also say that the opposite is true, don’t serve cold food on hot plates.  For example, when you go to a buffet and they have hot bowls for your “hard” ice cream.

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers!

Disclaimer: some dishes may not be suitable for some of these methods.  Check with the manufacturer to be sure.

Photo Credit: LexnGer (flickr/creative commons/attribution)

BrokenSecrets.com

November 25, 2009 at 11:59 pm 6 comments


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