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Making hard-boiled eggs isn’t so hard — here’s how to do it perfectly every time

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It may be easier to hard boil an egg than to poach one, but there are still some ways to screw it up.

Everyone has an opinion on the way to make perfect, peelable hard-boiled eggs. Whether you’re making deviled eggs or are dipping them in dye for Easter eggs, you want your pre-birds to come out right. Why not sous vide or pressure cook them? Maybe you don’t have an appliance solely dedicated to eggs, but there are still plenty of methods that will have you ready to decorate or devour in no time.

On the stove

If you’re doing things the old fashioned way, don’t worry. You can still get perfect hard-boiled eggs on your stove. For this recipe, we took a page from J. Kenji López-Alt’s The Food Lab. He suggests pouring 2 quarts of water into a 3-quart pan and bringing it boil over high heat. Once you’ve carefully lowered in your eggs, cook them for 30 seconds. Add 12 ice cubes to the water then let it boil again. Lower the heat just above a simmer (about 190 degrees Fahrenheit) and cook for 11 minutes. Drain them and peel under running water.

For a simpler method, the Betty Crocker Cookbook suggests covering eggs with water, putting a lid on the pan, and bringing the water to a boil. You then immediately remove the pan from the heat and leave the eggs sitting for 15 minutes.

Over at the Prairie Homestead, there’s an explainer for how to use a metal colander to steam your eggs instead. This method supposedly works for easier-to-peel eggs.

Egg cooker

Cuisinart ($34) and Chef’s Choice ($40) both make dedicated egg cookers. They let you make eggs several ways, including poached and hard-boiled. They’re particularly foolproof. While the Cuisinart can make 10 at a time, Chef’s Choice is limited to seven. However, the Chef’s Choice cooker doesn’t require you to piece the shell before hand, so it definitely works better for Easter eggs. If you want something you can microwave, there’s the Nordic Ware option.

Sous vide

Anova, Nomiku, and Joule are just a few of the popular immersion circulators on the market. Clip them to your pot, and they will heat the water to a precise temperature. For hard-boiled eggs, one recipe at Anova suggests cooking them at 170 degrees Fahrenheit (76.7 degrees Celsius) for an hour. ChefStep has a whole egg calculator, based on firm you want both your whites and yolks. Perhaps it’s something about this method of cooking, but separating the eggs from their shells does tend to be a bit trickier.

Pressure cooker

Whether you’re using an Instant Pot or less-hip pressure cooker, the results should be similarly quick and painless.The Kitchn has instructions for hard-boiling eggs at low pressure: Add a cup of water, put in something to lift your eggs out of the bath, close the lid, set it on low pressure, and wait eight or nine minutes. Pressure Cook Recipes has Instant Pot-specific recommendations: eight minutes for high pressure, 12 for low.

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How to find a lost phone

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Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get a hold of your missing phone. If it’s a smartphone (or even a tablet) running iOS, Android, or even Windows Phone, chances are good it already has the software needed to hunt it down — or there’s an app you can install to track your phone. Here’s our guide on how to find a lost phone or a similar device.

Have you ever wondered what happens to a smartphone after it’s stolen? Read how this filmmaker spied on a thief to find out.

Smartphones

If your lost phone happens to be a smartphone, all three of the major smartphone platform providers (Apple, Google, and Microsoft) include phone retrieval technology in their smartphones. Usually, the way these apps work is through the account associated with your device. For Android devices this is your Google account, for iPhones, this is your iCloud account, and for Windows Phones this is your Microsoft account. All three allow you to remotely lock and wipe your phone, make it ring, and set up special messages to alert whoever finds it.

Of course, these features are only as good as your phone’s battery. If your smartphone dies, it’s about as easy to find as your wallet or anything else you might misplace.

We also recommend caution when communicating with anyone who has found your smartphone. Be careful to avoid giving away any personal information, such as your home address, until you know you’re dealing with someone you can trust. Stick with sending phone numbers or email addresses to communicate how the good Samaritan can return your phone. Here’s how each of the three operating systems work.

How to find a lost Android phone

Android not only offers Google’s proprietary service for finding and managing your device remotely but also a number of third-party apps designed for finding your smartphone. The easiest to use is Find My Device, which is built directly into your Android smartphone through Google Play Services — it can also be used in a browser or downloaded from the Google Play Store. Most devices running Android 2.3 or later should be able to use this feature.

Using the feature is as easy as searching  “Where is my phone” in Google, which will prompt the service to start looking for your smartphone. We’ve previously written about Find My Device and its ability to call you, set up a new password, and make your phone ring from afar, along with the variety of other functions it uses for notification purposes. While you can configure Find My Device ahead of time, the service should be available in the event you lose or misplace your phone. It will use Wi-Fi or GPS to help you hunt down your device.

To verify your Android smartphone has the Find My Device feature turned on, go to Settings > Google (or Google services) > Security and make sure Remotely locate this device is turned on in the Find My Device section.

If you can’t find your smartphone, you can always wipe it to prevent sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands. Your device will need an internet connection, however, and enough juice to communicate with you. In Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google also introduced Factory Reset Protection (FRP). It’s designed to prevent would-be thieves from being able to steal your phone, wipe it, and then use it or sell it. If you factory reset a phone with FRP enabled and try to set it up as a new device, you’ll be prompted to enter the username and password for the last Google account that was registered on the device, and if you can’t, the phone will remain locked.

There are also third-party apps that you can install to help you find your phone. Cerberus Anti-theft is a great app that offers remote access and control, allowing you to obtain more information regarding the whereabouts of your phone. It provides a number of additional features, such as more granular control on how you track your device, screenshots of what your device is doing, photos from the camera to possibly catch the would-be thief, and other, more detailed notifications that Find My Device doesn’t offer. If your device is rooted, there are even more features available to prevent someone from resetting or turning off your device until you can recover it.

Another option for select Samsung smartphones is the Find My Mobile service. It can be used to locate a missing phone, lock it down, or wipe it completely. You’ll need a Samsung account, though, and the Remote Controls options enabled on your phone. To check and see if Find My Mobile is available for your smartphone, go to Settings > Lock screen & Security. If you see Find My Mobile in the menu, you can use the service; enable the Remote Controls options via Settings > Security > Find My Mobile > Remote controls.

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How to find a lost iPhone

The best (and only) way to get your iPhone back is through Apple’s native feature, Find My iPhone. The app comes pre-installed on every iOS device and can display your missing device on a map to help you easily locate and manage it. You’ll need a computer or another iOS device with the Find My iPhone app to deploy this feature, however. Sadly, these features are only available when your phone is powered on and connected to the internet.

To use the feature, simply log into iCloud and open the Find my iPhone feature. The Apple service will locate your phone on a map and give you the option to play a sound on your device, send a message to your phone with “lost mode,” or erase its contents. All of this can be done without any additional configuration.

Find my iPhone is also able to locate your Mac, iPod, and iPad. It’s an incredibly effective tool for tracking down just about any iOS device. Don’t believe us? Check out this story about cops apprehending a criminal by using the app. This is just one of many similar stories where phone-tracking software helped save the day.

Apple also employs another form of security, known as Activation Lock, to keep your iPhone safe from theft. Like the reactivation lock for Samsung smartphones, Activation Lock requires you to enter your Apple ID and password before you can disable Find My iPhone, wipe your device, or reactivate it.

How to find a lost Windows Phone

Windows Phone owners, don’t fret. If you’ve misplaced your smartphone, you too can recover it with the help of Microsoft’s built-in service. The company has built a lost phone feature directly into Windows Phone 8.1 and later iterations thereof, allowing you to easily find the location of your phone or activate its ringer remotely. It doesn’t require additional configuration after you add your Microsoft account either, though it will only work if your device has power and is connected to the internet.

Find My Phone Windows Phone

All you need to do is go to Microsoft’s devices page. There, you should see all your phones and tablets, which you can then locate through the service. You can even add devices that are not currently on the list, remotely lock your devices, and wipe devices you think might have fallen into the wrong hands.

How to find your not-so-smart cell phone

Step 1: Call your cell phone. Listen for the ring or vibration and try to locate your phone through tried-and-true human detection. If your phone is truly lost and in someone else’s hands, then they’re likely to answer if they intend to return the phone. If you don’t have access to a phone, try using wheresmycellphone.com. It will call your phone for free and allow you to leave a message or talk to whoever is on the other side.

Step 2: Retrace your steps. Do a full-fledged visual search. If you couldn’t hear a ring or vibration when you called it, don’t immediately assume that your phone is located far away — the battery could simply be dead.

Step 3: Text your phone. If you believe someone has stolen or possibly found your phone, then send a text message to your phone with your contact info and a reward offer if you choose to do so. There are many online services that allow you to send free text messages, such as txt2day.com.

Step 4: Alert your service provider. If you’ve lost hope of finding it, then call your wireless carrier and let them know your phone is lost. Ask if they offer a GPS locating service. If not, ask them to suspend service to your phone to avoid any possible fraudulent charges. Carriers have differing policies about this, but it’s always worth a try, even for a smartphone. This FCC page has a handy list of numbers.

Step 5: Register your lost phone. If you know your phone’s IMEI number or have it written down somewhere, register it with Immobilize.

Step 6: Prepare for the next time you lose your phone. Maybe you’re one of those people who’s always losing their phone. You may want to consider registering for a tracking service such as AccuTracking.

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Health & Lifestyle

Fibroid: Causes, symptoms, and treatments

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Fibroids are the most frequently seen tumours of the female reproductive system. More and more women, especially black women are suffering from this problem which causes chronic pain and infertility issues. Here’s everything you need to know about fibroids!

Whether you already suffer from fibroids or are at risk from suffering from them, it’s important to know all the facts. Though they can begin harmlessly enough, fibroids feed off blood and can grow into a larger problem, sometimes ending in fertility problems and even leading to further health problems such as anaemia. In extreme cases, an otherwise benign tumor can even become cancerous.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids, also known as uterine myomas, leiomyomas, or fibromas, are firm, compact tumours that are made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue that develop in the uterus. It is estimated that between 20 to 50 percent of women of reproductive age have fibroids, although not all are diagnosed. Some estimates state that up to 30 to 77 percent of women will develop fibroids sometime during their childbearing years.

In more than 99 percent of fibroid cases, the tumors are benign (non-cancerous). These tumors are not associated with cancer and do not increase a woman’s risk for uterine cancer. They may range in size, from the size of a pea to the size of a softball or small grapefruit.

What causes fibroid tumors?

While it is not clearly known what causes fibroids, it is believed that each tumor develops from an aberrant muscle cell in the uterus, which multiplies rapidly because of the influence of oestrogen.

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Who is at risk for fibroid tumours?

Women who are approaching menopause are at the greatest risk for fibroids because of their long exposure to high levels of estrogen. Women who are obese and of black heritage also seem to be at an increased risk, although the reasons for this are not clearly understood.

Research has also shown that some factors may protect a woman from developing fibroids. Some studies, of small numbers of women, have indicated that women who have had two children have one-half the risk of developing uterine fibroids compared to women who have had no children. Scientists are not sure whether having children actually protected women from fibroids or whether fibroids were a factor in infertility in women who had no children.

There are factors that can increase a woman’s risk of developing fibroids.

  • Age. Fibroids become more common as women age, especially during the 30s and 40s through menopause. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink.

  • Family history. Having a family member with fibroids increases your risk. If a woman’s mother had fibroids, her risk of having them is about three times higher than average.

  • Ethnic origin. Black women are more likely to develop fibroids than white women.

  • Obesity. Women who are overweight are at higher risk for fibroids. For very heavy women, the risk is two to three times greater than average.

  • Eating habits. Eating a lot of red meat (e.g., beef) and ham is linked with a higher risk of fibroids. Eating plenty of green vegetables seems to protect women from developing fibroids.

Types

Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that appear in the tissues around the womb.

There are four types of fibroid:

  • Intramural: This is the most common type. An intramural fibroid is embedded in the muscular wall of the womb.

  • Subserosal fibroids: These extend beyond the wall of the womb and grow within the surrounding outer uterine tissue layer. They can develop into pedunculated fibroids, where the fibroid has a stalk and can become quite large.

  • Submucosal fibroids: This type can push into the cavity of the womb. It is usually found in the muscle beneath the inner lining of the wall.

  • Cervical fibroids: Cervical fibroids take root in the neck of the womb, known as the cervix.

The classification of a fibroid depends on its location in the womb.

Different types of fibroids

Symptoms

Around 1 in 3 with fibroids will experience symptoms.

These may include:

  • heavy, painful periods, also known as menorrhagia

  • anaemia from heavy periods

  • lower backache or leg pain

  • constipation

  • discomfort in the lower abdomen, especially in the case of large fibroids

  • frequent urination

  • pain during intercourse, known as dyspareunia

Other possible symptoms include:

  • labour problems

  • pregnancy problems

  • fertility problems

  • repeated miscarriages

If fibroids are large, there may also be weight gain and swelling in the lower abdomen.

Once a fibroid develops, it can continue to grow until menopause. As estrogen levels fall after menopause, the

fibroid will usually shrink

Fibroid symptoms

How are fibroid diagnosed?

Fibroid are found during a routine pelvic examination. This, along with an abdominal examination, may indicate a firm, irregular pelvic mass to the physician. In addition to a complete medical history and physical and pelvic and/or abdominal examination, diagnostic procedures for uterine fibroid may include:

  • X-ray. Electromagnetic energy used to produce images of bones and internal organs onto film.

  • Transvaginal ultrasound (also called ultrasonography). An ultrasound test using a small instrument, called a transducer, that is placed in the vagina.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A non-invasive procedure that produces a two-dimensional view of an internal organ or structure.

  • Hysterosalpingography. X-ray examination of the uterus and fallopian tubes that uses dye and is often performed to rule out tubal obstruction.

  • Hysteroscopy. Visual examination of the canal of the cervix and the interior of the uterus using a viewing instrument (hysteroscope) inserted through the vagina.

  • Endometrial biopsy. A procedure in which a sample of tissue is obtained through a tube which is inserted into the uterus.

  • Blood test (to check for iron-deficiency anaemia if heavy bleeding is caused by the tumour).

Treatment for fibroids

Since most fibroids stop growing or may even shrink as a woman approaches menopause, the health care provider may simply suggest “watchful waiting.” With this approach, the health care provider monitors the woman’s symptoms carefully to ensure that there are no significant changes or developments and that the fibroids are not growing.

In women whose fibroids are large or are causing significant symptoms, treatment may be necessary. Treatment will be determined by your health care provider based on:

  • Your overall health and medical history

  • Extent of the disease

  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

  • Expectations for the course of the disease

  • Your opinion or preference

  • Your desire for pregnancy

In general, treatment for fibroids may include:

  • Hysterectomy. Hysterectomies involve the surgical removal of the entire uterus. Fibroids remain the number one reason for hysterectomies in the United States.

  • Conservative surgical therapy. Conservative surgical therapy uses a procedure called a myomectomy. With this approach, physicians will remove the fibroids, but leave the uterus intact to enable a future pregnancy.

  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH agonists). This approach lowers levels of oestrogen and triggers a “medical menopause.” Sometimes GnRH agonists are used to shrink the fibroid, making surgical treatment easier.

  • Anti-hormonal agents. Certain drugs oppose oestrogen (such as progestin and Danazol), and appear effective in treating fibroids. Anti-progestins, which block the action of progesterone, are also sometimes used.

  • Uterine artery embolization. Also called uterine fibroid embolisation, uterine artery embolisation (UAE) is a newer minimally-invasive (without a large abdominal incision) technique. The arteries supplying blood to the fibroids are identified, then embolised (blocked off). The embolisation cuts off the blood supply to the fibroids, thus shrinking them. Health care providers continue to evaluate the long-term implications of this procedure on fertility and regrowth of the fibroid tissue.

  • Anti-inflammatory painkillers. This type of drug is often effective for women who experience occasional pelvic pain or discomfort.

Can fibroids turn into cancer

Fibroids are almost always benign (not cancerous). Rarely (less than one in 1,000) a cancerous fibroid will occur. This is called leiomyosarcoma. Doctors think that these cancers do not arise from an already-existing fibroid. Having fibroids does not increase the risk of developing a cancerous fibroid. Having fibroids also does not increase a woman’s chances of getting other forms of cancer in the uterus.

 

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