I’ve never used a meat thermometer, so when I got one for review, I turned to my grilling friends for help. They love it.
Compared to the typical thermometer on Amazon, the new Thermapen One is a bit of wizardry. It tells you the temperature in one second. That way, you’re not standing over a hot grill getting yourself cooked while waiting for a reading. It can test just about anything, including food from a microwave, oven, stovetop, deep fryer, refrigerator or freezer. Some use it to test the temperature of their bath before they step in.
My friend started off by using it to test Impossible Burgers. The directions say to cook them for two minutes per side to get the temperature up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. But after four minutes, the temperature was only 140 degrees. Without the Thermapen, the patties would have been undercooked.
Thermapen encourages you to test its accuracy in an ice bath or boiling water. They say it’s never more than one degree off, usually just half a degree. The probe only has to go in an eighth of an inch and is thinner than most, so it won’t leave holes in your baked goods. The LCD screen rotates as you turn it and lights up in the dark.
On the con side, the Thermapen costs $105 from Thermoworks.com, about four times more than the typical thermometer. But it’s built to last. It uses one triple A battery, which lasts 2000 hours in daylight.
A reader complains that his emergency phone is now worthless. He can’t get it to ring, and it’s not always near enough that he can feel it vibrate. Since he’s 82, he was hoping for a little help from Verizon Wireless. No such luck. So he mailed them a letter.
“They haven’t had the common decency to respond to the letter,” he said. “But they do still bill me about forty bucks a month for the five or six minutes monthly that the phone is in use. If they think this practice will entice this old geezer to buy a $600 phone that I don’t need or know how to use properly – they’re sadly mistaken.”
I suggested he call Consumer Cellular. They cater to seniors and anyone who needs tech support. My sister loves her plan. Their rates are low, starting at $20 a month. You can use your current phone, or buy anything from a $35 up-to-date flip phone to the latest smartphone. Like other carriers, they’ll transfer your number and cancel your old service for you.
Speeding up slow internet connection
If your Internet connection is slow, your provider might be throttling your service in favor of more profitable customers, according to TheVerge.com. The Verge suggests using a virtual private network to mask your identity. I like Proton VPN, because it has a great reputation and is free.
But there are other ways to speed up your internet. Turn off your router now and then, for example. If that doesn’t help, it could be because everyone in your house is online at once. Or perhaps your neighbors are using the same internet provider you are. Or you may have an outdated computer or a weak WiFi signal. Search on “causes of slow Internet” for more reasons and explanations.
Auto mechanics who make house calls
I got excited about Your Mechanic, an app launching in mid-August. It sends someone to your home to do one of 500 car repairs in your garage or driveway. But then I talked to a retired mechanic.
He worries that these traveling repairmen will skim the cream off the auto repair industry, by doing light tasks such as changing the spark plugs. Many tasks don’t require a shop’s sophisticated electronics.
But for some repairs, he points out, you also need a super clean environment. You shouldn’t tear down an engine and rebuild it in the driveway, for example. Dirt can get into the engine. Mechanics also prefer a repair shop’s hydraulic lift to a jack stand, which is a pain to use and can be unsafe. Finally, it’s much easier to service a car in the shop when the weather is rainy or snowy, You can’t easily do your work in a customer’s crowded garage. And yet, this could be the wave of the future for some repairs.
The last time I said you don’t need to worry about cellphone radiation, I got an email from Dr. Joel Moscowitz, a professor from the University of California at Berkeley. He said, “Yes you do.” His analysis was somewhat scary, so I put off thinking about it.
Now it’s even worse. Moscowitz’s new research found that in just 17 minutes per day over a 10-year period, your risk of a brain tumor goes up 60%. He looked at data from almost 50 countries, including Japan and the United Kingdom. Our government stopped funding such research in the 1990s.
What to do? Besides using a wired headset or earbuds, consider the “EMF & 5G Radiation Protection Pouch” from DefenderShield. It blocks all radiation but allows incoming calls and notifications. How? The signal gets through on the side that’s away from your body. Meanwhile, a multilayer shield prevents the radiation from entering in from the side facing you. Stick it in a pocket or hang it from its lanyard. The cost is $30 for the small pouch, and $35 for the medium and large.