New relaxed mood in Communist Cuba amid economic changes, better relations with US

Rolling toward customs with a 60-pound suitcase filled with clothing and electronics for friends, my stomach clenched when a female agent in a light green uniform approached. As a former longtime Cuba correspondent returning after nearly six years, I thought I knew what would come next: a search of my luggage by stoned-faced military men, a scolding, maybe even a fine. It was the first sign of …
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Is Soy Wax Better?

All right…I must admit…I was pretty pro-soy wax this weekend. I had a soy wax container candle – (one of the nice high ball glass candles I made with the Bramble Berry Soy Waxes) – that had burned down to the bottom.

Normally, I would just toss it out…or leave it to recycle at some (often much) later date. But then I remembered that soy wax can be cleaned up with just soap and water. And you know what? It worked. I used a butter knife to scrape out most of the leftover wax and the wick clip. Next, I used a few paper towels to wipe out most of the remaining wax. Then with some soap and hot water, the rest of the wax came out. The glass was as good as new and ready to be made into a new container candle.

I generally try to be pretty fair and balanced when it comes to preferring paraffin over soy wax…but this was pretty impressive.

Is Soy Wax Better? originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Monday, May 13th, 2013 at 18:19:17.

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Open Question: I make my own laundry soap, would Trisodium Phosphate make it work better?

I make my own laundry soap that uses, Borax, Super Washing Soda, and a bar of Fels-Naphta it makes quite a bit of laundry soap. However I’ve been reading into phosphates and wondered if I made the same thing and Added Trisodium phosphate to the same mix would the soap work better? TSP is a Base.
Borax Is a 9 so that makes it a Base
Super Washing Soda is an 11 so it’s a stronger Base than the Borax
the TSP is 12 and is a phosphate, which the government put a ban on.

Thanks for any info.

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Open Question: Is film really better than digital for movies?

In my opinion, it is. Let’s look at a few details.

First off, frame rates. Most 35mm films are shot at 24p, which is the revered “film-style” frame rate. Video is usually shot at higher frame rates, such as 30p or 60i for broadcast, which results in an unrealistic, “soap opera” effect. Movies shot on digital are still shot at 24p, although newer movies, like The Hobbit, are being shot at 48p, due to “motion blur” prevalent on 24p productions. Now, I believe that 24p is the best frame rate.

Why should I, right? It’s too antiquated, there’s motion blur, and it’s just not the standard anymore. Let’s look a bit more closely, though.

Now, the phenomenon known as motion blur – the common blurring of scenes when panning quickly across a shot – is a non-issue. GASP! Yeah, that is correct – it’s a non-issue. Why? Put your hand in front of your face, and move it from side to side, but do not move your eyes, and focus on ONE POINT in front of you, like your computer’s webcam. Do not deviate from that point. Move your hand from side to side. It blurs, right? Okay, good. Now track your hand with your eyes, moving your eyes in the direction your hand does. Your hand should always be in focus.

This is why motion blur is a non-issue. When we are not tracking our eyes on anything, motion blur exists IN OUR EYES! And do we track objects on a movie screen? No, we don’t, we take in the entire scene in. Higher frame rates allow us to track our eyes, but if we don’t, it makes no difference and the picture is unpleasant, and the tracking movement is extra work for us. 24p is the way to go. It looks real, but just unreal enough to remind us it’s a movie.

Now, let’s talk about picture quality. This is just all in the favor of film. In digital, you have tiny square picture elements. Any straight line that isn’t vertical or horizontal is not smooth, it’s jagged, and even if we can’t see the jagged edges, it is a noticeable degradation in picture quality. Film takes the frame and presents it exactly like how we see it in real life. All lines are distinct and smooth, and the resolution is unbelievably detailed. Colors are pure and true, and film also fades out beautifully. Digital sensors can’t pack in that much detail, because they depend on numbers, and numbers must be limited. Numbers are blocky and jagged. Film is analog, it doesn’t have any numbers. What is recorded is exactly what was seen in real life, and that’s what counts.

The resolution of film is simply unbelievable. It varies from image to image, but the amount of megapixels required to equal a single 35mm negative is approximately 26MP. The digital movie cameras produced today are nowhere close to that number, the highest resolution ones are 5K resolution, which is close to 5-6MP. If you wanted to project a digitally-created movie onto a gigantic display that’s 3 times the size of the screen at your local multiplex, you’d see rapid image quality loss and pixelation. If you try it with film, the loss of quality will be minimal.

So yeah, that’s my little ode to film. No matter what happens, I hope that celluloid still lives on in some form even after video takes over. There’s just something about film that makes us immediately associate it with the movies.

Fin.

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Open Question: what can i do to make my dry skin better?

ok so around 2 weeks ago i started to use Aveeno skin brightening daily scrub and Aveeno daily moisturizer with SPF 15. I used the Aveeno skin brightening daily scrub in the morning and at night everyday and afterwards the Aveeno moisturizer i did notice my skin getting dried. a week later i started to use Retin-A Tretion only at bed time after washing my face with aveeno scrub. In hthe mornings i start to feel my skin really really dry sort of red and flaky. My questions are should i reduce using the Aveeno daily scrub to once a week and wash my face with something else? should i use dove soap bar instead while on Retin-A ?

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Open Question: How do I make my eye feel better? (NO STUPID ANSWERS PLEASE)?

I had Dance Pictures last night, and I had SO much makeup on my eyes. So when I got home, my mom told me how to get it off. I used a rag, water, and soap. I didn’t necessarily know how to get it off, because I’ve never done it before. And I was scrubbing on my eye really hard because I thought I had to get it all off, like no makeup left. So I really really irritated my eye, its all red around it and it feels puffy on my top eye lid. How do I make it feel better? Or even go away? Please please help! It is really uncomfortable and ugly looking. It literally looks like I got socked in the face. A BUNCH of people asked me about it today at school, and they all said it looks like I got socked in the face. So is there any possible way I can make it heal faster? Or just go away overnight? Please Help! Thanks :)

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