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Akihito Fujii, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
Akihito Fujii, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

8 Tips for Scooping and Storing Ice Cream

Akihito Fujii, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
Akihito Fujii, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

While getting any scoop of ice cream from container to eating vessel relatively intact is a triumph in its own right, there are simple tricks you can do to ensure maximum deliciousness. Neal Gottlieb, founder of Three Twins Ice Cream, should know; since 2005, he’s been building a name for his brand, which is innovating the organic ice cream trade with its homegrown approach and a host of deliciously unique flavors (think banana nut confetti, lemon cookie, and cardamom). Gottlieb shared a handful of tips on how to get the most out of your next carton.

1. GET WET.

To get the best scoop, “Wet the ice cream scooper with room temperature water,” suggests Gottlieb. “This keeps the ice cream from sticking to the scooper and allows for a nice smooth, gliding scoop.”

2. LEFTIES AND RIGHTIES SHOULD SCOOP DIFFERENTLY.

“Right-handers should scoop clockwise from the edge of the container,” advises Gottlieb. “Left-handers should scoop counter-clockwise from the edge of the container.”

3. START AT THE EDGE.

“Ice cream softens from the outside to the inside, so the best place to start scooping is from the edges,” explains Gottlieb, who also cautions that you “always want to avoid having the melted ice cream on the outside fall onto the still frozen ice cream in the middle.”

4. CHUNKY FLAVORS ARE HARDER TO SCOOP.

It’s a fact, according to Gottlieb: “Any ice cream that has chunks will stay frozen longer and is more difficult to scoop.” Which doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try!

5. GELATO HAS ITS OWN RULES.

Though the terms “ice cream” and “gelato” are sometimes used interchangeably, they’re not the same thing. And as such, “gelato has a different scooping path,” says Gottlieb. “We recommend scooping in a straight line (not circular motion).”

6. FLIP YOUR PINT TO KEEP IT FRESH.

Even the most seasoned scooper could run into problems if he or she isn’t following the best practices for ice cream storage. And Gottlieb has got some advice in that department, too. “Though there’s not a whole lot that can be done to save a pint of ice cream after the ice crystals form, it is easy to tackle the problem before it starts,” he says. “The easiest way to avoid this is by not letting the ice cream melt in the first place, as freezer burn occurs when melted ice cream refreezes and oxygen gets into the pint. So, basically what we are saying is that you should just finish off your pint of ice cream in one sitting (no shame).” If that suggestion goes against all of your diet rules, the next best option is “flipping the pint over in the freezer, that way the melted ice cream will drip onto the lid and refreezing can be avoided.”

7. SHOOT FOR EIGHT BELOW.

This one’s easy enough: “The ideal temperature to store ice cream is –8 degrees,” states Gottlieb.

8. IGNORE THE DOOR.

Sure, shoving a container of ice cream back into the freezer door might be the easiest option, but Gottlieb says that’s a “big no-no.” Instead, he suggests storing “ice cream at the back of the freezer. Because temperature varies so wildly, the back of the freezer is the ideal spot for your sweet treat.”

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Hate Waiting at Baggage Claim? Here's How to Make Sure Your Suitcase Arrives First
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Air travel involves plenty of waiting, from standing in long security lines to preparing for takeoff. And even after you land, your trip is stalled until you locate your luggage on the carousel. Luckily for impatient fliers, there are several ways to game the system and ensure a speedy suitcase delivery once you step off the plane, according to Travel + Leisure.

To score true VIP luggage treatment, ask the representative behind the check-in counter if they can attach a “fragile” sticker to your bag. Suitcases with these kinds of labels are often loaded last and unloaded first. (Plus, they receive the type of kid-glove treatment that ultimately helps them last longer.)

Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need a new tag each time you fly. If it looks old, or was issued by a different airline, the crew might not pay attention to it, according to Condé Nast Traveler. Also, consider upping your suitcase game, as quality, hard-shell bags look like they contain delicate or important items. Their appearance—along with the fragile sticker—will inspire baggage handlers to give them special treatment.

Another trick that can shave a few minutes off your wait time is making sure you're the last person to check in, instead of rushing to be first. If you can't resist getting to the airport early, try asking if you can check it at the gate. This could make your bag one of the last on the plane, and thus one of the first taken out. This method isn't surefire, however, as loading and unloading systems vary among flights.

And if all else fails, Thrillist advises that you try upgrading your flight. Some airlines give priority to bags that belong to elite travelers and business class, meaning they’ll be stored separately from other luggage and come out first. Good luck! No matter what happens, at least you can't have it worse than the lady who had to wait 20 years for her bag to show up.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Use Wi-Fi? Your Device Is at Risk in the Latest Security Breach
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Another day, another way our personal data is being compromised. This time, the latest threat to your credit card numbers, social security information, and other personal data comes from a more-than-ubiquitous source: your Wi-Fi.

As Ars Technica and The Independent report, a computer security researcher has discovered a major issue with Wi-Fi that can be used to decrypt your data. The vulnerability is the result of weakness in the WPA2 protocol that secures modern Wi-Fi networks. Hackers can steal sensitive data that has been decrypted using a method called KRACK, or Key Reinstallation Attacks. While we can't know yet if hackers have actually taken advantage of the vulnerability, its existence puts every Wi-Fi-enabled device at risk.

“If your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected,” Mathy Vanhoef, the Belgium-based researcher who discovered the exploit, said. That means your phone, your computer, and even your Wi-Fi light bulbs. The hacker only needs to be within range of your Wi-Fi—not logged into your network—to take advantage of it and steal your data. However, Ars Technica reports that Android and Linux users are more vulnerable to severe attacks than Windows or iOS users.

What should I do to protect myself?

Unfortunately, changing your passwords won’t help this time around. All you can do is wait for security updates for your devices. In the meantime, treat every Wi-Fi connection like it’s the public network at Starbucks. As in, don’t go sharing all your personal data. You can make yourself safer by using a VPN. According to cybersecurity expert Robert Graham, these kind of attacks can’t defeat VPNs.

Most companies will no doubt be releasing security patches to fix this issue ASAP, so keep a look out for any available updates.

[h/t The Independent]

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