If you never used a pressure cooker before, then you did not find out how it is to cook fast. The pressure cooker may sound like a fancy cooking tool, but it is a rather old invention. This type of cooking pots appeared in France in the 1600s, the creator being Denis Papin. His pressure cooker prototype can be admired even today at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, in Paris. Actually, the pressure cooker is a pot, with a sealed cap and a pressure valve, which uses steam pressure to cook food faster. Of course, the inventor did not manage to create the perfect pressure pot right from the beginning, needing a bit of research to make it safe to use. As the steam pressure gets built in the pot, it can cause a serious explosion of the pot.
The functioning principle of the pressure pot is quite simple. The pot is placed on the stove, having the food and right amount of water in it. Then, the lid is sealed on, due to its rubber ring, which won’t allow air to escape. The pot will also have a valve, letting out the extra pressure, to avoid any unwanted accidents. Some modern pots will also have a pressure indicator, letting us know how much we have to cook a particular food. The sealed pot will increase the amount of hot steams inside, also increasing the cooking temperature, shortening the cooking time. A standard pot will not exceed the water’s boiling point, and that is 212*F. In a steaming pot, the temperature can rise to 250*F.
But the cooking process is not done due to boiling, but by forcing steam pressure onto the food. When hot, steams rise, reaching the top of the pot. The lid will not allow them to escape, and they will be forced to descent by other steams that wish to go up, creating a pressure circuit. Thus, the raising steams forced to descend, are putting their action on the food and cooking it. You might wonder how the high pressure inside the cooker does not destroy the food. The answer is that steam pressure always applies the same force on the entire surface of the food. But leaving the food too much in the pot will make it overcooked, which will give it the mushy look.
If you are wondering what can you cook in a pressure cooker, the answer is anything. There are no limitations when it comes to cooking in a pressure cooker. You just need to be careful with the cooking time and the required amount of water. Rice and veggies are cooked in minutes. Meat, especially red one, is done very nice and tender, in about half an hour, maybe 45 minutes. Even hard beans can be cooked in the pressure cooker extremely fast, without presoaking them in water overnight. The cooker is an affordable kitchen appliance and used very little resources since the cooking process lasts so little. Pressure cookers for stove use are cheaper. Today’s technology brought the best pressure cooker to market like these. It works on the same principle but uses another method to heat the water inside.
So the pressure cooker is a great asset in any kitchen. You cook fast, whatever type of food you wish, and all the flavors of the ingredients will remain inside the pot, making the dish a real delight. It is an excellent tool to help you spend less time in the kitchen, and the success of this pot can be seen in the fact that people use it since the 1600s.
Just like any other plants, grass has its own seeds. Grass seeds are planted in a piece of bare land such as lawn, garden, pasture and reclamation area in order to make it naturally beautiful. In addition, it gives some benefits both to humans and the environment.
However, in order to make any piece of land a real beauty, one should determine the kind of grass that can grow within a particular area. Depending on your location, climate and yard condition, you can find a grass seed that is easy grow and maintain for less efforts. Nowadays, it is quite easy to find grass seeds that are perfect either for warm or cold season. Our new favorite brand is Jonathan Green grass seed.
Benefits of Growing Grass
Just like fruit bearing trees and flowering plants, grass has several advantages to humans. There are times when we tend to ignore the grass because of the thinking that it’s not much of help to us. Many people believe that grasses are only clutter and should be removed from the garden or lawn. Little did they know that it performs some roles that can benefit people.
- Beautification – A bare piece of land only becomes attractive when decorated with trees, flowers and grasses. With the help of grass seeds, any idle land can be turned into a nice garden or lawn in just a short time. Combined with proper trimming, preparation and after care, any kind of grass can give a natural beauty.
- Soil Erosion – Just like trees, grasses also help the environment by controlling excessive water from the ground. Grasses have roots and this is the reason why they can help in holding up the soil to prevent it from eroding and from damaging some plants.
Technological Advances for Grass Seeds
So that grass seeds can provide more benefits to people and the environment, there are a few innovations and advancements developed that are now made available.
- Drought resistant – Water may not be present in all households. In some African countries, drought is a common scenario, but this should not limit people from using grass for various purposes – commercial or for the beautification. Given this, there are several types, which can live with less water or even midst drought and these are the Bermuda grass, Buffalo grass, Zoysia and Fescues.
- Fast growing – The process of landscaping a piece of land takes a while. To ease up the burden, use grass seeds that can grow easily. In as fast as 14 days, you can already see a garden with luscious greens and this is because of technology.
- Sturdy breeding – Just like what botanists do with flowers and plants, grasses can also be cultivated. Different kinds of grasses are tested and put together in order to come up with a good breed that is sturdy and multiplies easily. Aside from having a unique grass seed quality, breeding is also done for commercial purposes. In fact, the availability of different grass species is a great advantage for businessmen.
Disease-resistant – Aside from low maintenance, it is also important that grass type chosen is disease-resistant. When the grass can’t be easily attacked by insects and pests, it is considered as one of a kind. In addition to its attractive appearance, the grass should also be free from insects and various diseases that can kill it after sometime.
Eating, texting, reading at the wheel? Oh my…
Many new innovations are under development in the vehicle department. Among them are augmented reality dashboards, energy-storing body panels and vehicle-to-vehicle communication. But what’s really generating buzz is the creation of self-driving cars. If you live in the northeast, make sure you get the right car insurance in NJ to keep you covered. Imagine being able to eat, text, read a book and watch movies on your car screen as you’re on the road while your vehicle does everything else. However, questions are being raised regarding the technology. And while tech people may be ready for such a development, what about those upholding the law?
We blame Google
Google engineers were one of the first to introduce these cars to the public. They’ve already tested these cars in various public roads and highways. The cars Google designed will be equipped with cameras, lasers and radars that allow them to record images of the road, read traffic signs, identify pedestrians and look for alternative routes passengers can take to get to their destination – information that can all be analyzed from the detected surroundings. Possible advantages would be allowing car owners to steer clear of traffic and get to their desired location faster.
In the recent International Consumer Electronics Show, Delphi Automotive PLP even picture autonomous driving lanes in the future, where vehicles would enter those lanes and travel in autopilot. People are already working on technology that not only keeps vehicles in these lanes, but is said to also match the speed in which these cars run. It seems like a good idea – cars moving in one unit. The idea is likely to prevent cars from speeding, ergo preventing accidents, injuries and even deaths. According to a law firm in Portland, only four states currently allow the testing of these driveless car – California, Nevada, Florida and Michigan.
“I got this”
What’s more, describes an article in The Columbus Dispatch, is that “while in the autonomous lane, the car’s window glass frosts up, and function that had been disabled for the driving – like playing video games from a mini projector – turn on. The driver can pursue other activities such as surfing the web or even taking a nap. When the driver’s exit nears, the car gets increasingly persistent, demanding that the driver take back control. First the video player stops. Then a female voice intones, ‘Place both hands on the steering wheel and look ahead in the driving direction.’
As far-fetched as this concept may seem, it seems it will be made into a reality in the not so distant future. So, what do you think? Will this idea sink or swim? Have your say in the comments below.
Insurance premiums fluctuate annually or every 6 months. It boggles the mind to consider what daily fluctuations would do to the consumer’s wallet if wrist monitors determined diet, pulse and heart rate along with other important health factors that vary day by day. Greater health monitoring would naturally put the gadgets in a gray area on privacy. They would be beyond giving doctors deeper access to your data, to giving health payers, the big name insurers like Aetna, Kaiser Foundation and also self-insured employers, open access to data creating detailed risk profiles on insureds and put a lid on cost. Some independent health insurance agencies are excited that wearable tech may help lower premiums for some of their clients.
Tech entrepreneurs in the health space say insurance companies are currently figuring how to best access the data generated by today’s fitness trackers.
“They don’t have the solution,” says Florian Gschwandtner, founder and CEO of the popular running app Runtastic. Gschwandtner held several meetings with U.S. and Austrian company insurers last year, before he understood they weren’t looking to partner him, but wanted advice getting access to fitness data generated by apps like his company. He no longer takes such meetings
Kelly Barnes, insurer consultant, who tracks healthcare for PricewaterhouseCoopers, says regular feedback from wearables would be valuable to health insurance companies. “I’m very confident we’re all going to be on insurance marketplaces in the near future,” she adds.
Tracking “gadgets” already play a role in car insurance for some Americans. Progressive, for instance, offers drivers a small device they can plug it into vehicle instrument panels so the company can monitor their driving over 30 days. Safe drivers are then eligible for a discount.
Barnes argues that insurers could do the same thing with health care, especially since a large portion of today’s $2.6 trillion health care bill is driven by at-risk behavior such as bad-diet choices that lead clients to obesity and diabetes. The concept is simple. The healthier people live, the lower their premiums go.
“I can see health care going that way,” added Barnes. “If you can take this wearable and I can see a constant level of activity and constant parameters on fitness activities, I’ll take points off your premium. I can set rates on a daily basis as opposed to just once a year.”
Individual premiums typically increase annually as older people are deemed more costly to the system. Insurers make these decisions based on aggregate profiles that include gender and age. But wearable devices could define more exacting definitives as sensors pick up details of an insured’s heart rate and stress levels.
The next generations of devices like the Fitbit, Google Glass or Jawbone Up are already preparing to play a bigger role in how individual-and-group health insurance costs are decided, tech developers and experts in the healthcare space have told Forbes, thanks to the growing data they’re generating about our bodies.
Today only one out of every 10 American adults own a fitness tracker, but these devices should grow much more widespread over the next decade alongside an explosion of sensors that can monitor everything from a person’s steps, his breathing to his heart rate, and apps that can sense the onset of chronic illnesses or stress. In the meantime, more employers are opting to monitor data generated by fitness trackers to the extent they can see it on a dashboard, and are holding their insured staff to account with rewards as part of an increasing number of alleged corporate-wellness programs.
Some are even exploring financial punishments for unhealthy behavior monitored by a wearable device. With health insurance costs on the rise, it’s not surprising that Fitbit’s sales to employers are now one of the fastest growing parts of its business.
A variety of technological innovations, such as smartphones and tablets, have proven to help improve the productivity of insurance field employees and property risk engineers. But aside from those gadgets, there is one other recent innovation that has the ability to offer enhanced productivity and, at the same time, give its users hands-free connectivity and access to massive computing power. It will allow that user to easily take down notes, compile photos of and collaborate with a remote specialist in the field. And not to mention that it is one more step further into human integration, portability and miniaturization. The piece of technology I’m talking about is the new Google Glass.
Google Glass has produced a lot of hype, and it’s actually gained mixed reviews from the masses. But still, a lot of industries are exploring the ways of how this gadget can help make jobs easier and more efficient. In the healthcare industry, for example, Google Glass can enable doctors and nurses to gain mobile access to patient information so that they can learn more about their patients’ cases without having to read their charts. And in banking, execs are trying to look at different ways on how this little piece of technology can be used to improve customer transactions like depositing and withdrawing money and completing payments.
That said, one insurance agent I spoke to says it’s high time that insurance companies consider what advantages Google Glass can offer them. And it actually can help in a lot of different ways. Google Glass can minimize the list of items claims adjusters and risk engineers carry to a certain scene, they can be provided with survey guidelines to ensure they don’t leave anything out during surveys, and they can also take photos and videos or take down notes via voice command, enabling them to do perform other tasks with their hands. A video conference can also be done between them and remote specialists, allowing specialists participate in risk surveys and view scenes first hand that could help them easily come to a decision. When this happens, insurers can do away with multiple site visits, enabling them to quickly turn their focus on their risk survey reports.
Apart from aiding in surveys, Google Glass can also help in the submission of claims. Customers will be able to share a first-hand view of a car accident scene, for example, so that claims adjusters can have more to go on than just lengthy, inaccurate interviews. Or customers can show them to claims service representatives that could simultaneously guide them through the whole process to ensure their customers avoid payout loss.
In short, the time it take to process claims settlements will be reduced but, at the same time, customers get to experience improved service. But those are just a few things Google Glass can help them with. There are many other avenues in which this device can be useful. But in order for insurance companies and their customers to reap the benefits of improved transactions stemming from the use of such an innovation, insurers must undergo careful preparation. And to avoid losing customers to more well-equipped competition, they should be thinking of preparing right now.