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Archive | August, 2013

Why Dry Ice Burns

Why Dry Ice Burns

You’ve probably either heard of this strange phenomenon or experienced it yourself: ice that can burn you. While this may seem initially counter-intuitive, dry ice can indeed burn your skin, but probably not in the way that you think.

When you think of ice, what probably first comes to mind are the cold opaque cubes produced from your freezer or ice machine. Dry ice though is actually quite different from this kind of ice and is rarely found hanging around your average kitchen.  Commercially, dry ice is mostly used to preserve foods that need to be kept at a low temperature without the use of a mechanical device; for example, an ice cream cart uses dry ice to keep temperatures low enough to keep the product in a solid frozen state and to avoid the need for electrical output.  But dry ice must be handled properly and with adequate protective gear or you can get a nasty and painful burn.

A burn from dry ice is not like a burn from a fire or a stove-top; instead, a dry ice burn is actually an acute form of frostbite. It quickly freezes the skin, and can cause damage just from a mere moment of contact.  This is due, in large part, to the fact that dry ice is a solid form of the semi-hazardous chemical carbon dioxide. Since dry ice is made of CO2 and not water, its freezing point is lower than that of H2O, allowing it to become much, much colder than your typical water-based ice. While it’s not strictly considered a dangerous substance, you must go to certain lengths to protect yourself from the potential harm of dry ice. Avoid direct contact and keep in a well ventilated area so that when the dry ice sublimates into CO2, you don’t run the risk of asphyxiation.

In the last hundred years, dry ice has become primarily a synthesized  substance, created in laboratories for commercial and industrial reasons, but dry ice is actually a naturally occurring substance – and not only on Earth.  Photo-optics on Mars showed that polar ice caps consist partly of dry ice. While we once believed the ice caps found on Mars primarily consisted of carbon dioxide based dry ice, we’ve learned that the dry ice is more like a layer on top of water, preserving the liquid treasured beneath.  Another example of naturally occurring CO2 based ice on Mars is dry ice storms. Much like our own thunderstorms, dry ice storms blow freezing carbon dioxide about in a thrashing blizzard that would be deadly to any exploring astronaut.  While thoughts of terra-forming Mars are still centuries away, hazards like dry ice storms keep us thoroughly at bay from the thought of settling the red planet anytime in the near future.

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Gmail Tabs… Don’t Panic!

Gmail Tabs... Dont Panic!

On May 29th, Google announced the roll-out of their new email tabs. In a nut shell, these tabs organize your Gmail inbox for you. There are 5 tabs, but only 3 are enabled automatically.

Default

1. Primary Tab – Person-to-person conversations and messages that don’t appear in other tabs, e.g. emails from family, friends and acquaintances.

2. Social Tab – Messages from social networks, media sharing sites, online data services, and other social websites, e.g. notifications from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare, Linkedin, Yelp, YouTube, etc.

3. Promotions Tab – Deals, offers, and other marketing messages, e.g. emails from online retailers, restaurants, services, etc.

Need to be Enabled

4. Updates Tab – Personal, auto-generated updates including confirmations, receipts, bills, and statements, e.g. order confirmations, invoices, shipping confirmations, bank statements, etc.

5. Forums Tab  – Messages from online groups, message boards, and mailing lists.

Initially, I wanted to thank Google for rolling out the tabs, because it gave me one less thing in my life that I needed to organize. But after a few weeks of having the new inbox, I was less than pleased. I’d forget about the tabs and miss out on smokin’ deals and promotions at my favorite eCommerce sites, I was late to get back to social notifications, and I panicked when I couldn’t find the order confirmation for my Dad’s birthday present when it was simply hidden in my “Updates” tab.

Okay, so I might be a little dramatic, but the tabs really did cramp my style. So what did I do? I found this YouTube video that changed my Gmail life.

“They” say change is a good thing and perhaps “they” are right, but at least this video shows Gmail users everything they need to do in order to receive the emails they care most about in their primary tab. And if you like the new tab setup, GREAT! Google must have had you in mind when making this new design.

One more thing…

If you are a restaurateur and your restaurant has email marketing (I highly suggest it if you don’t), make sure you inform your readers how to easily find your emails and highlight the advantages of being on your restaurant’s email list.

For example, the advantage of being a Tundra VIP is that you will receive:

  • Exclusive deals & promotions
  • Industry news & trends
  • New product updates
  • And much, much more!

Show your customers the value of your email program and how to easily disable the tabs in their Gmail inbox to ensure they see your emails right away. Heck, if you’d like, just link to the video above like we did!

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