Posts Tagged ‘guide’

How to Make a Baking Soda Volcano

February 11, 2010

When your child’s class is assigned a science experiment, does a baking soda volcano come to mind?  The chemical reaction from combining baking soda and vinegar produces nothing more than carbon dioxide and water, making the project safe and fun.  Here are the materials you need to make a baking soda volcano:

  • If your child has an upcoming science experiment, follow these instructions on how to make a baking soda volcano.1 plastic water bottle
  • Lots of strips of newspaper
  • Papier-mâché mix (a water and glue mix can suffice)
  • Soda box
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Red or orange food coloring (optional)
  • Red fabric paint
  • Dark brown or black paint (optional)

Here are the modified instructions on how to make a baking soda volcano.  Photos from the original post can be seen here.

  1. Take the water bottle and cut off the top third of the spout.
  2. Invert the soda box so that it is upside down.  Tape the bottom part of the water bottle, open side up, to the top of the inverted soda box.
  3. Crumple up lots of pieces of newspaper into balls but do not pack them very tightly.
  4. Place the crumpled pieces of paper around the water bottle and tape them to the soda box and outside the water bottle, producing the shape of an inverted cone.  After taping down the paper, papier-mâché will be used to create a uniform surface for the volcano.
  5. Take a strip of newspaper and submerge it in the papier-mâché mix.
  6. Expand the wet newspaper strip vertically.  Pinch the top of the newspaper strip between the index finger and thumb of your left hand.  With your right hand, place the strip between your index and middle fingers just below your left hand.  Slide your hand all the way down the strip, removing any excess papier-mâché mix.
  7. Place one end of the newspaper strip at the very top of the volcano, laying it down the side of the volcano to its base at the soda box.
  8. Lay down papier-mâché-coated newspaper strips all around the volcano.  Make sure the dry newspaper in steps 3 and 4 is completely covered.
  9. Leave the papier-mâché to dry overnight.
  10. Paint the volcano the next day if it is completely dry, using dark brown or black as the base color.  Use red fabric paint to create streaks of lava originating from the mouth of the volcano.  Allow the paint to dry for a few hours.
  11. At last, setting up the eruption.  Take the baking soda and pour it into the water bottle inside the volcano, filling it up about a fourth of the way.
  12. Add a few drops of red food coloring in a glass of vinegar.  Stir until the food coloring is evenly distributed.  Pour the vinegar into the volcano slowly.  The reaction will take place right away.

If you want to be creative, use a water pump, as seen in the following video:

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Francis M. Unson


How to Drive in Snowy and Icy Conditions

February 11, 2010

As I watch the news about the recent snowstorms that have struck the East Coast, I wondered how people could manage to drive on snow-covered or icy roads.

Follow these tips if you must drive in snowy or icy conditions.Obviously, if possible, just stay home and avoid driving in such conditions.  Make use of public transportation as well, provided that services have not been shut down.  If you must drive in snowy conditions, however, follow the tips in the owner’s manual of your car specific to your vehicle as well as the following:

Driving safely on icy roads

  1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop.  You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding.  If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  3. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  5. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  6. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  7. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first.  Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  8. Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks.  The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  9. Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions.  Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.


By the way, the YouTube video, below, show what you should not do when driving on icy and snow-covered roads.

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Francis M. Unson

A Guide on Malware and Spyware Removal

February 3, 2010

Note: This guide will help you remove a significant amount of unwanted spyware and associated folders, files, and registry entries.  Serious infections need more steps or the use of Hitman Pro by SurfRight.

Step 1 – If you have any anti-virus software on your computer, install the latest definitions by running an update and run a FULL scan.

Step 2 – Install CCleaner, a system optimization, privacy, and cleaning tool that removes unused files, cleans traces of online activity such as the Internet history, and cleans registry entries.  Download CCleaner on CNET.

A step-by-step guide to removing harmful malware and spyware from your computer with the use of Spybot and Malwarebytes.Step 3 – Install Spybot – Search & Destroy, an anti-spyware application.  Download Spybot on CNET.  Run Spybot once so that you can download the latest updates.  When the Spybot-S&D Wizard pops up, click on “Search for Updates”.  At the Spybot-S&D Updater window, make sure all the updates listed under “Important Files” are checked, and click on Download so that the latest updates are installed.

Step 4 – Expand the Spybot-S&D menu on the left and click on “Settings”.  Click on the third option below it, also called “Settings”.  Go to the dropdown menu:

Automation >> System Start

and select the option, “Run program once at next system startup”.  Exit the application when done.

Step 5 – Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, another anti-spyware application.  Download it from CNET, as well.  Leave the checkboxes for “Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware” and “Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware” checked so that the application installs the latest Malware definitions.  Exit the application when done.

Step 6 – Restart your system.  When you see the logo of the manufacturer of your computer, go into Safe Mode by pressing F8.  Login to an account with the highest permissions (e.g. Administrator).  If your children have an account, DO NOT use it.  Spybot will run automatically just before loading the Windows desktop.  When the scan is completed, press Fix selected problems.  You may receive a warning popup window saying that “some problems couldn’t be fixed” and recommends that a restart is necessary.  Click on No and DO NOT restart your computer for now.  Repeat Step 4, then exit the application.

Step 7 – Run Malwarebytes.  Click on the Scanner tab, select “Perform full scan”, and press the Scan button.  When the scan is completed, press the “Remove Selected” button.

Step 8 – Run CCleaner.  “Cleaner” on the top left side of the window will be selected by default.  Make sure all the boxes are checked under the Applications tabs and all boxes except “Wipe Free Space” are checked under the Windows tab.  Click on Analyze and, when complete, click on Run Cleaner.  Next, click on “Registry” on the left side of the window just below “Cleaner”.  Click on Scan for Issues and, when complete, click on Fix selected issues….  If there was just one error found, click on Fix Issue.  If multiple errors were found, click on Fix All Selected Issues.  Do this step twice.  Exit the application when done.

Step 9 – Restart the computer.  Login as you normally do.  Spybot will run automatically just before loading the Windows desktop.  When the scan is completed, press the “Fix selected problems” button.

Step 10 – Many types of malware like to exploit out-of-date versions of Java, so update your Java Runtime Environment.  You can download it from Java’s website.

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Francis M. Unson

How to organize a successful yard sale

February 1, 2010

Why would you have a yard sale? Two reasons come to mind: to get rid of your excess clutter and, of course, to make money.  After all, “a person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”  In order to have a successful yard sale, follow these tips:

  • Follow these steps if you want to organize a successful yard sale.Gather your inventory.  If you haven’t used it, worn it, or it has sat in an obscure corner of your living room or closet for over a year, it becomes inventory.  Don’t give the item a second look; you didn’t give it a second look in a long time, anyway.
  • Do your homework.  No price gouging!  Visit a yard sale or two (or more) and do price comparisons.  Furthermore, depending on where you live, you may need a permit.  Know the rules!
  • Set the date.  Don’t overlook this detail.  Setting a date for the yard sale forces you to manage your time more effectively; you will not decide halfheartedly to do a yard sale “sometime in the spring”.
  • Advertise! Post BIG signs at the entrances of your neighborhood.  Set up a Facebook Fan Page.  Tweet about the yard sale.  Just get the word out!  The more foot traffic you can direct (or divert) to your yard sale, the more successful it will be.
  • Prep and price.  In order to save yourself a lot of time and energy during the yard sale, price every item you intend to sell.  Use masking tape or adhesive stickers.  Bundling will give shoppers added value.  Selling a dozen candlesticks for $10 will go faster than selling each candlestick for $1.
  • Setup shop.  Use your front yard, driveway, or garage.  Make sure that would-be shoppers can see the yard sale from the road.  Set up your wares on foldout tables, plywood, or old rubs.  Use a money-box or even a muffin tray if you are going to make change.  Keep a watchful eye over your inventory.
  • Sell, sell, sell! Just don’t sit there waiting for the customers to come to you.  Walk around, interact with the customers, and talk to them.  Share lots of information about the items.  The more information you give them, the less questions they will ask.  Offer free coffee and sell donuts.  If they’re eating, they’re staying–and if they’re staying, they’re buying, right?
  • Following the sale.  Box the unsold inventory and donate them to charity.  Go around the neighborhood and remove all the signs you put up.  Send a thank-you Tweet on Twitter for peoples’ participation.  And finally, take out the family to well-earned dinner.

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Francis M. Unson