Monday, 26 June 2017
Most of us wouldn't consider the toilet a 'clean' place, but hygiene expert Stephanie from Expert Home Tips revealed to NetDoctor two common mistakes that turn it into a real health hazard.
Mistake 1: Not closing the lid when you flush
Despite many of us being brought up to 'put the toilet lid down' after use, a Scrubbing Bubbles survey found that 68 per cent of men flush with the toilet lid up. What's so wrong with this? Well, it turns out there's some scientific reasoning behind closing the lid before you flush.
Stephanie points out that the role of the flush is to take away the toilet bowl contents. This contains various bacteria including Salmonella and Shigella in high quantities. The flush must be powerful in order to carry waste away, and can fire up to 15 feet in the air as a result.
The dirty, contaminated water from our flush lands on other surfaces in our bathroom, be that the sink, floor, or worst of all, our toothbrushes!
Stephanie advises: 'The safest thing to do with regards to preventing the spread of germs in the bathroom, is to put the toilet seat down before flushing. This keeps any germs inside the toilet bowl, away from other surfaces we come in contact with.'
What happens when the flush isn't enough? Most of us turn to a toilet brush, but Stephanie has identified this as another area of concern:
Mistake 2: Not letting your toilet brush dry
Using the toilet brush to scrub away faecal matter and then storing it away in the holder whilst wet is a common mistake. The bacteria found in stools is transferred to the toilet brush, before being placed back into the toilet brush holder, which provides perfect conditions for germs.
Stephanie adds: 'Bacteria thrives in moist environments, so storing your toilet brush in this way encourages germ multiplication. In order to minimalize this risk, the toilet brush should be bleached after each use to kill germs, then left to sit over the toilet bowl until dry. It can them be replaced in the holder.'
Most of us can't imagine going to the loo without having a toilet brush handy, but some expert are very much against them.
The authors of The Cleaning Bible advise against using toilet brushes completely, calling them, 'an unworthy compromise for strict hygiene.' Instead, they recommend using rubber gloves and cleaning products to get the job done.
Friday, 23 June 2017
Using a speedy laptop is infinitely more satisfying than staring at a frozen screen for minutes/hours/days on end.
If you want to give your laptop a spring clean, we've got some tips covering the latest versions of Windows and macOS.
How to clean up Windows
The most effective way to clean up the clutter on Windows is to remove apps you don't use: They take up disk space, they take up memory, and they give the operating system unnecessary work to do. In Windows 10, you can uninstall apps from the Apps section of Settings (which also shows you which apps are taking up most room).
After you've dealt with apps you don't need, you can turn your attention to personal files. Again, be ruthless with the ones you don't actually need-free tools like CCleaner and Duplicate File Finder can help you hunt down files that aren't doing anything but taking up room, though you do get full control over what's erased and what isn't.
Windows actually has its own cleaning tool that you can find by typing "disk clean-up" into the search box on the taskbar, and clicking on the top match. Select the types of files you want to remove, from temporary installation files to old antivirus definitions (click on any entry for more information), then select OK to start the clean up process.
To really tidy up Windows, you need to get it back to something approaching the state it was in when it was first installed, and thankfully the latest versions of the operating system make this much easier than it used to be. If you open Settings then click Update & Security, you can find the relevant options under Recovery.
Click Get started under Reset this PC to roll back your Windows software. You have the option to keep your personal files in place if you wish, but all apps and settings will be removed, so it's important to make sure you've got backups of your important data and know how to reinstall your applications again. It's a drastic move, but it can make a big difference in cutting down on the clutter and digital debris on your system.
How to clean up macOS
A lot of the clutter-cleaning tips we mentioned above for Windows also apply to macOS. For example, you can start by uninstalling all the applications you're not actually using very much-on macOS this is done by dragging the relevant icon from the Applications window to the Trash, or clicking and holding an icon in the Launcher and clicking the cross icon, or using the built-in uninstaller to get rid of a program.
Then, it's on to files-do you really need all those vacation photos your cousin sent you? Or downloaded movies you're never going to watch again? The latest Sierra version of macOS comes with built-in tools that can help here: To find them, open Spotlight (Cmd+Space) then type "Storage Management" and open the top hit.
All of the options here can help you remove files you don't need on your system, whether it's old emails that can be archived or iTunes movies that are safely backed up in the cloud. Work through the recommendations as you need to, or click through the individual entries on the left (applications, documents, and so on) to take a more hands-on approach.
If you feel the tools integrated into macOS just aren't doing an effective enough job, you can enlist the help of a third-party program like CleanMyMac, which covers everything from redundant program files to old mail attachments. It's smart enough to know what you need to save and what can be safely jettisoned too.
Finally, as we mentioned for Windows, a complete system reset is the most drastic and also the most effective way of cleaning up macOS-just make sure all your important files and folders are backed up first. You need to reboot your machine and launch the Disk Utility to get started, and Apple has a full guide to the process.
From Esquire UK
Thursday, 22 June 2017
London: Afghanistan and Ireland are poised to become the 11th and 12th members of Test match cricket's close-knit club on Thursday when the sport's governing body meets in London.
It's been almost two decades since Bangladesh were the last country to be granted Test status but International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson believes both Afghanistan and Ireland have impressive credentials.
"It's never wise to try and make a call too early, but certainly the applications of both are very well founded," said Richardson.
"They both, on the face of it, meet the majority, if not all, of the full member criteria that has been set.
"I'm optimistic that they'll be given serious consideration to have every chance of succeeding."
No longer rank minnows, Asghar Stanikzai's Afghanistan are up for consideration following their victories over Ireland in the Intercontinental Cup in March.
Unlike the sport's other major players, Afghanistan was never a colony of the British Empire.
Instead many Afghans' first contact with the sport took place during the 1980s and 1990s, as refugees fled to Pakistan to escape the Soviet invasion.
Cricket struggled under the hardline Islamist Taliban, who viewed sports as a distraction from religious duties - and famously shaved the heads of a visiting Pakistani football team as punishment for wearing shorts.
But it has become hugely popular in the country since the regime was toppled in a US-led invasion in 2001.
Recent successes, particularly in last year's ICC World Twenty20, have further raised the country's profile.
Spinners Rashid Khan, who idolizes former Pakistan international Shahid Afridi, and Mohammad Nabi both made their mark in the Indian Premier League.
Khan was the sixth-highest wicket-taker in his debut IPL with 17 scalps, and the pair broke into the top 10 of the ICC one-day international bowling rankings during the just-concluded tour of the West Indies.
'Best decision of the century'
Their former batting coach and former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif said a place among the Test nations was well deserved and would benefit them in the future.
"Afghanistan deserves Test status because their performances are good. Once they get to play Tests, more and more players will come forward just like happened in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - Kenya suffered because they were not awarded," he told AFP.
"I think it will be the ICC's best decision of the century."
Last year, Afghanistan's national team shifted its base from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Noida, Delhi, while India's former batsman Lalchand Rajput replaced Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq as their national team coach.
There are nevertheless questions about how well Afghanistan and Ireland will do in the game's longest format.
Bangladesh famously floundered for their first decade while New Zealand took 26 years to win their first Test.
Ireland, meanwhile, have beaten the West Indies, England and Pakistan in their time.
However, standing on the verge of Test status is a far cry from the years when the highlight of Ireland's season was the visit for a one-off match by the touring Test team to England or, in alternate years, a two-day game at Lord's against MCC, invariably made up of Minor County players.
The old Irish Cricket Union was founded in 1855 –- Phoenix Cricket Club, founded 25 years earlier, is one of the oldest in the British Isles - but it was not until more than a century later that the Ireland team first made the rest of the cricket world take notice.
On July 2 1969, Ireland dismissed the West Indies for just 25 at Sion Mills in a match recorded for all time by television.
It has gone into folklore that the West Indies, who had flown in the night before, after the conclusion of the Lord’s Test, had immediately availed themselves of some typically generous Irish hospitality.
But whatever the truth of that, they were bundled out in 25.3 remarkable overs.
Ireland knocked off the runs for the loss of one wicket, but with the game over so quickly, the teams agreed to play on and West Indies even had a second innings, reaching a more respectable 78 for four, after Ireland had declared on 125 for eight.