Day: March 15, 2019

Reddit waits until it’s too late to ban violence-glorifying subreddits

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Another day, another internet giant belatedly deciding to apply its own policies in the face of a tragedy. 

Following the tragic Christchurch terrorist attack in New Zealand that left 49 people dead and scores more injured, and the subsequent sharing online of a livestream from the killer, Reddit has banned two subreddits that it now says glorified or celebrated violence. 

The first, r/watchpeopledie, was pretty much exactly what it sounds like — a place where people shared and commented on grisly videos of real deaths. The second, r/gore, was less specific in its death requirements but also contained violent video and images.  Read more…

More about Reddit, Tech, and Big Tech Companies

Guide to Cooking with Stoneware

This post is sponsored by Le Creuset.

Colorful, shapely, and durable, stoneware elevates everyday meals. Cooks have used it for centuries, and it still has an elemental appeal.

From oven to table, it makes even the humblest casseroles feel luxurious. If you’re new to baking in stoneware, you’re in for a treat.

WHAT IS STONEWARE?

Stoneware is earthenware—clay—fired at a high temperature, which makes it more durable. It’s resistant to chipping and it holds heat beautifully.

You’ll find stoneware in all sort of sizes, shapes, and colors. The stoneware used in most modern kitchens is glazed, and that’s what we’re focusing on here.

Circular and Oval Stoneware Baking Dishes

WHY BAKE IN STONEWARE?

There are plenty of baking dishes out there, from metal to glass. What’s so great about stoneware?

  1. Versatility: Stoneware is dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe, and oven-safe. It can go from the freezer to the oven. Some styles can even go under the broiler. And unlike glass, there’s no need to adjust your baking temps.
  2. Ease of use: Good-quality stoneware has a glaze so smooth and strong it’s nearly nonstick. Cooked foods release with ease, and cleanup is a breeze.
  3. Resilience: You don’t need to handle stoneware delicately. From dishwasher to cupboard to oven, you’d have to work really hard to scratch, crack, or chip any of it.
  4. Ability to hold heat: Stoneware holds heat very well and distributes it evenly. If you like the browned corner pieces of casseroles and gratins, stoneware is for you! Not just that, but stoneware’s superior heat retention makes it perfect for oven-to-table serving, keeping your food warm for meals.
  5. Curb appeal: The things we use every day should offer functionality, but there’s utility in cheer and beauty, too. Le Creuset stoneware, in particular, offers an enticing palate of colors. In the kitchen and at the table, those pops of color perk up your food and your mood.

Baked Mac and Cheese held in hands

TIPS FOR COOKING WITH STONEWARE

Here are a few more tips and tricks for working with stoneware. We mention Le Creuset in particular here; if you’re using a different type of stoneware, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Can stoneware go under the broiler? Not all stoneware can go under the broiler, but Le Creuset can, as long as it’s at least 2-1/2 inches away from the heat source. This means you can get those nice, bubbly tops on gratins and your favorite macaroni and cheese.
  • Freezer-to-oven! Into freezer meals? Le Creuset stoneware can also go from the freezer to the oven—the key is that it’s a cold ovenPut the frozen dish in the cold oven and then set the temperature, so the dish and the oven heat together.
  • Avoid direct heat: Most stoneware is not made for direct heat—don’t use it on a burner or grill.

SHAPE MATTERS

Choosing between round, oval, square, or rectangular dishes isn’t rocket science, but there are a few considerations:

  • Corners: Love browned, crispy corner pieces? Then you’ll want a square or rectangular dish. Round baking dishes won’t give you as much of the crispy edges that you desire.
  • Depth: Do you like crusty tops, or custardy centers? Round, deep dishes will give you creamier, oozier middles. Deeper dishes often take longer to bake. Shallower dishes, meanwhile, will create more surface area—perfect if you like browned and crunchy tops. They tend to bake faster.
  • Presentation: Switching up the shape really does make a difference in how you perceive the finished recipe once it’s on the table. There’s something elegant about oval dishes, while dishes with corners have a more casual feel. The classic French gratin dish is oval, for instance; if you bake a gratin in a square pan, it seems homier.

Overhead shot of stoneware dishes with lids

PUT A LID ON IT

Some stoneware comes with lids, and some does not. When is a lid an advantage?

  • Storing leftovers: If you have leftovers, just pop the lid on your cooled dish and stick it in the fridge.
  • Transport: Lids do a great job of keeping food warm if you’re taking it to a potluck. You can cover the dish with foil and then the lid for a one-two punch of insulation.
  • Protection from over-browning: A long bake time can make the top of a cake or casserole quite dark, or result in a dry texture. Some recipes call for covering during all or part of the bake time.
  • More curb appeal: Lids are cute, let’s face it.

No lid? No worries! Foil is a great lid. If you’re covering a dish for most of its baking time, we recommend greasing the foil so any cheese or other gooey ingredients don’t stick once you remove it.

Rectangular stoneware casserole dishes with lid

SIZE, CAPACITY, AND CONVERSIONS

Some recipes call for a dish with a specific capacity—say, a 2-quart casserole—and some call for a dish with specific dimensions, like a 9×13 dish. If you don’t know the size or capacity of your dish, how you tell if a recipe will fit?

  • Look it up: Manufacturer’s websites will tell you the capacity and dimensions of specific baking dishes.
  • Measure the volume: Fill the dish with water all the way to the top, and then pour out the water into a liquid measuring cup. This will tell you its capacity. If it’s 2-1/2 quarts, then a 2-quart recipe will probably work in there just fine.
  • Measure the length, width, and height. Because most baking dishes are fluted on the sides and therefore not exact rectangles, this method is imperfect, but it can give you a general idea. Measure the length, width, and height of the dish, measuring from its the inside edges (not the outside). Multiply those three numbers together and you’ll get its volume. (For instance, an 11-1/2” x 7-3/4” x 2-3/4” dish has a capacity of 245 cubic inches. A 9” x 13” x 2” has a capacity of 234 cubic inches. Swapping one of those dishes for the other is likely a safe bet.)

Last but not least, see the chart below. We did the conversion work for you!

Baking Pan Conversion Guide

CONVERSION RULES OF THUMB

Any time you do a dish swap, be mindful of the baking time. It may very well be a little shorter or longer than the recipe says.

It’s better to use a larger dish than called for versus a smaller dish. No one wants an overflow situation—particularly if it means any spillover burning on the bottom of the oven.

Doubling or halving recipes often will work, but you want to think of two factors: depth and surface area. Those will affect the baking time and consistency of your recipe.

How to clean stoneware

CLEANING AND CARE FOR STONEWARE

A smooth, sturdy glaze is your friend here. Le Creuset stoneware’s strong glaze is nearly nonstick and extremely hard. Besides a plastic-bristled brush or scrubby sponge, you shouldn’t need any special tools.

Melted or burned cheese on your casserole? Fill the cooled dish with soapy hot water and let it soak 10 to 20 minutes. That alone will resolve 95% of your cleanup issues.

You can use metal utensils to cut on the surface of your stoneware, but they can leave marks on the glaze. To get rid of those, a small sprinkling of a mild abrasive (such as Bar Keeper’s Friend) in the afflicted area should do it. Amazingly, it won’t leave any scratches.

STORING YOUR STONEWARE

If you have multiple dishes, you can stack them and not fret about scratches. To prevent them toppling over, it’s best not to stack baking dishes more than two or three high. If there’s a lid, you can invert it and store it in the casserole with the knob or handle facing down, creating a stackable upper surface.

TRY THESE CASSEROLES!

Got a yen to bake comforting casseroles and desserts now? Try these!

>> Shop here for Le Creuset Stoneware

Continue reading “Guide to Cooking with Stoneware” »

11 Tips On How To Write A Good College Paper

An essay is an excellent way to showcase what standardized test scores and grades can’t, your personality. Along with giving your admissions counselors and professors a glimpse of who you are, they’re excellent chances to showcase your writing ability. We’re going to outline several great tips on how to write a college paper below.

Open Your Essay with an Anecdote or a Mini Story

Instead of focusing your attention with trying to come up with gimmicky lines to grab and hold your reader’s attention, start with a small anecdote or mini story. The story you choose should give your readers a small hint of your personality, and this is what will grab and engage them from the start. They’ll want to learn more, so they’ll keep reading.

Get Help From a Writing Service

The use of writing services is on the rise, and it’s not because of lazy students. You might be surprised to know that even students with good grades are hiring these services. Apparently, some students’ load are too much too handle that extra help is needed.

If you’re an extremely busy student who needs that helping hand, you can try reputable writing services like Papersowl. They guarantee papers that are 100-percent free of plagiarism. You can also choose your style and subject before the site matches you with a writer.

Just make sure to do the final touches on your paper so that it still has part of your effort in it.

See Also: How to Find The Best Essay Writing Service for Students

Organize Your Writing

essay outline

Many people skip the organization step and dive straight into their writing. While this may seem like a good idea, it’s a fast way to get off track and lost. Create a rough outline that includes as many even paragraphs as you need to complete the essay while staying within the word count. Put an idea per paragraph, and structure your writing around them.

Combine Like Ideas into Sophisticated Sentences

Short sentences are one way to avoid punctuation mistakes. However, they can also make your paper seem choppy and disjointed. You should take your like ideas and combine them into more complex sentences. You should save your simple sentences for when you want to create a lasting impact that goes directly to the point.

Use Essay Hell for Inspiration

Essay Hell is not a writing service. It’s a site that helps students who are struggling with their essay-writing skills. Founded by a journalist and high school English teacher, the site offers tools like brainstorming sessions, writing tips, topic ideas, sample essays, and much more. It’s a place to find inspiration and conquer your essay writing block or fears.

Know Your Formatting Requirements

Formatting is huge, no matter which level you’re writing your essay for. Find out which formatting requirements your essay requires, and do a quick once-over to re-familiarize yourself with the guidelines. MLA and AP styles are both extremely popular, but there are more available. Most professors or teachers pick one and stick to it throughout the year, but it may not be the same from class to class.

Write Boldly and Vividly

Almost all essays follow a five paragraph format with generalized wording and observations. Imagine trying to grade them all. You want your essay to stand out. One way to accomplish this is to write very vividly and make pinpoint observations with sharp wording. Avoid generalized statements, and pack your essay with details.

Get Feedback

No one likes to hear that their writing or essay needs work. However, it’s vital that you get good and bad feedback on every essay you write. Pull a friend, college, or family member and ask them to review your essay and give their honest opinion. Just make sure that you keep the tone of the essay in your voice from beginning to end.

Proofread and Proofread Again

When you finish writing your paper, don’t just hand it in with a quick glance through for spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. Instead, put the essay away for a few hours and revisit it with a fresh set of eyes. You can also put it into a program that reads it back to you because it’s easier to catch auditory mistakes than it is to read them. You could also ask a friend to look it over.

See Also: How to Start a Proofreading Business At Home

Consider Keeping Your Essays Short

writing college paper

Unless you have a hard word count requirement, consider cutting your essay down. Shorter essays usually have less “fluff” or filler language because you have less space to fill in your ideas. Shorter essays are also usually more powerful. Cut out sentences that don’t add value to the point or points you’re trying to get across to your audience.

Cut Your Essay Into Three Parts

First starting out can be extremely intimidating when you think about an essay. But, you can cut it into more manageable parts to help create a clear outline. The three parts include:

  • Introduction – The first paragraph will introduce your essay idea to your audience. This is where you grab your audience’s attention and get them interested in your topic.
  • Body – Split the body of your essay into at least five paragraphs. Each paragraph should have one point or example you flesh out when you start to write that supports your introduction’s point.
  • Conclusion – The final paragraph will summarize your essay’s main point, examples, and the supporting points you highlighted in the body. Make sure that you tie up any open ends and reiterate your essay’s main point.

These 11 points on how to write a college paper can help you create a strong and compelling paper from start to finish. You’ll be able to use them to wow your professors or admissions clerks and make a memorable impression that carries through your college years.

The post 11 Tips On How To Write A Good College Paper appeared first on Dumb Little Man.