What’s the best way to crack an egg

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 By Hanna Bolanos

Learning to crack an egg is a culinary rite of passage. Do it correctly, and the shell swiftly breaks, spilling the liquid contents out in one fell swoop. Do it wrong, and you end up with yolk on your hands and shell in your bowl. Luckily, science has hatched a formula that is nearly infallible. All it requires is knowledge of a few basic physics principles.

To complete the perfect crack, you need to know where and with what
force. “You want to initiate a crack at the flattest part of the egg, which is the middle,” says Volker Blum, a materials scientist at Duke University.

Like all objects, eggshells have breaking points, or limits beyond which
they cannot absorb more force. That limit is lowest where the egg is
weakest—its center. That’s precisely because the center area is the flattest, says Sinan Keten, a mechanical engineer at Northwestern University. Contrastingly, the top and bottom of an egg are the strongest—and therefore hardest to crack—because they have the most curvature. Think of a structure that is rounded as opposed to flat, like an arched doorway or an arched bridge. The arch is able to hold a heavier load without breaking because it distributes that weight more evenly. This is true for an egg, too. In fact, if you hold an egg between two fingers at each pole and squeeze as hard as you can, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll be able to apply enough force to crack it. That’s because the shell’s curves evenly distribute the pressure you’re applying.

Now that you’ve found the cracking sweet spot, you need to make a swift
initial crack that results in a fracture that’s just large enough for your thumbs to fit through. The rest is all about effort.

According to fracture mechanics, once you’ve created a crack in an object, that fissure will expand only slightly until you’ve applied the amount of force needed for the break to reach something called its critical crack length. Once achieved, the rift will grow rapidly as long as that force remains steady. If you’ve ever walked across a frozen pond of thin ice and watched a crack form beneath your feet, it’s the same basic idea. Soon after the critical crack length is reached, you fall through the ice. To successfully open an egg after cracking it, you have to apply the force necessary to the cracked edges for them to start and continue expanding. Be careful not to overdo it, though. Pulling the shell edges away from each other too harshly can result in shell destruction.

Ultimately, a clean, fast break across the egg-quator and some even-handed prying will save you a scrambled mess.

The Top 12 Best Jobs You Can Do from Home

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Earn a steady paycheck without ever leaving your house. These easy
work-at-home job ideas will have you earning cash in no time.

By  Daisy ChanKate Ashford and KKatina Beniaris

If you don’t relish the thought of hustling to a workplace every day or you’re having a hard time securing a local gig, there’s never been a better time to work from home: More than 40 million Americans do it, according to the advocacy group Telework Coalition. And as the economy improves, more companies will be looking for additional staff. For most at-home jobs, you’ll need a computer and an Internet connection, some basic skills and a can-do attitude. Click through this list of 12 employment areas that are booming right now.

The Job: Virtual Assistant

What It Pays: Around $10 to $15 an hour
Perfect For: Someone who is very organized with the
ability to multitask.
What It Is: Many companies hire self-employed virtual assistants to save employment costs. You will perform typical office duties from home such as replying to emails, managing calendars, entering data, and assisting with social media.
How to Get It: Start with websites like Upwork.com, FlexJobs.com, and PeoplePerHour.com to find freelance opportunities related to virtual assisting.

The Job: Transcriptionist

What It Pays: Up to $25 per hour or more
Perfect for: Someone looking for a flexible job that requires little to no prior experience.
What It Is: Transcription essentially involves you listening to audio files and typing out what you hear. Easy enough, right? Companies usually hire transcriptionists without much experience, so some job postings might only require you to have a computer and keyboard to get started. Transcription jobs can vary from transcribing a college lecture to a doctor’s medical dictation, while most companies allow you to make your own schedule.
How to Get It: As a beginner, you can find entry-level
transcription jobs on TranscribeAnywhere.com, TranscribeMe.com, and
Quicktate.com. Most employers give out a short writing test to measure
your typing accuracy and attention to detail before you receive any
official tasks.

The Job: Survey Taker

  •  What It Pays:  $1 to $50 per survey, depending on how much time is required
  • What It Is:  You might take an opinion poll, answer questions about shopping habits or review a product. You’re generally paid in cash (PayPal or mailed check) or with points that can be redeemed for gift cards.
  • How to Get It:  Visit companies such as DarwinsData.comPineconeResearch.com and PaidViewpoint.com. (Search “surveys” on RealWaystoEarnMoneyOnline.com for more options.) Then sign up with as many sites as you can. The sites will contact you when surveys that fit your demographic pop up, and you take them right away. A word to the wise: Do not register anywhere that has a membership fee, asks for your Social Security number or bank information, or is vague about payment.

The Job: Website Tester

What It Pays:  $10 to $15 per test

What It Is:  Many companies pay online testers to make sure websites are intuitive and easy to navigate. “You basically follow the instructions you’re given to check out the website,” says Anna Thurman, founder of RealWaysToEarnMoneyOnline.com, a site that has reviewed more than 500 online work opportunities. “It usually only takes about 15 minutes per test.” Thurman recommends registering with 10 to 12 different companies since the opportunities to test these sites are doled out first come, first served. “There are people who make $100 to $200 a month by staying on top of those tests,” Thurman says.

How to Get It:  Begin with sites
like  UserTesting.com,  YouEye.com and Userlytics.com. Register with multiple companies for opportunities to test as many websites as possible. Once you’re in the system, you’ll be emailed when testers are needed, and if you’re one of the first to respond, expect to spend 15 to 20 minutes completing the test. Many sites require a microphone and/or webcam, which are built into most laptops—but if you need to buy one, they aren’t expensive. The tester sites typically pay within a week or two via PayPal.

The Job: Film and Post How-To Videos

What It Pays:
$1 to $2 per 1,000
hits; Payment depends on how many people click on your video. Views on
popular YouTube tutorials range from 20,000 to 300,000 and higher.

What It Is:
Do people ask you
your secret to perfect pie crust or how you made that wreath? “Everyone
knows how to do something, or has a hobby they enjoy,” says Kimberly
Lawson, owner of
, who has created
fashion and beauty tutorial videos. “These can easily be turned into
profits.” Simply sign up for a free YouTube account. Then use a
smartphone or digital camera to record yourself explaining and
demonstrating how you work your magic. (If you’re more tech-savvy or
have a burgeoning teenage filmmaker in your house, you can use desktop
software, such as Windows Movie Maker, to create a slicker video.) “Once
you upload the video to YouTube, enroll in its partner program,” Lawson
says. YouTube will then place ads inside or near your video, and you
will earn money from the ads themselves, video views and click-throughs.
“The key is to put a unique spin on your video,” says Lawson, especially
if there are lots of others on the same subject.

How to Get It:If you shot the
video with your phone, open the YouTube app and hit “send.” If you’re
uploading from a computer, visit YouTube, and click the “upload” button
in the upper right corner of the screen. You’ll see a place to drag your
video file. To enroll in the partner program, click on YouTube settings,
check the circle next to “Allow Advertisements,” then click on “View
Additional Features.” On the YouTube monetization page, opt in.
Generally, you must earn a minimum before you get paid, and YouTube pays
monthly—if you don’t earn enough in one month, the balance rolls over.

The Job: Direct Salesperson

What It Pays:
It depends on the
company, but you typically take home 20% to 35% of sales in commissions.

Perfect For:
Someone with an
entrepreneurial spirit, loads of energy and a love of meeting new

What It Is:
Think Avon or Mary
Kay—you organize get-togethers to sell a company’s wares, whether those
are bath products, gardening supplies, books or wine. Over time, you
build a base of clients.

How to Get It:
You can apply directly through the companies, such as Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that had over $100 million in sales in 2010. A few other good ones include Pampered Chef (kitchenware), The Cocoa Exchange (chocolates and more) and Avon (cosmetics; which only has a $25 startup fee). You can also visit the Direct Selling Association website at DirectSelling411.org—all the
companies listed there agree to abide by a code of ethics, so they only
offer legitimate opportunities. Typically reps make a small investment
to get started (this is a legitimate and standard practice), and
sometimes pay a fee for the merchandise being sold. After that you can
work as much or as little as you want, and see profit based on how much
you sell.

The Job: Corporate English Trainer

What It Pays:
Around $15 an hour

Perfect For:
Native English
speakers with basic computer skills and an interest in other cultures
who love chatting online or over the phone. Office experience is very
helpful, since most students work in a corporate environment.You also
need your own computer and a high-speed Internet connection. If you’re
bilingual, that’s a plus.

What It Is:
Students in
countries including Japan, Korea, France and Germany are looking for
English speakers to practice with. Sessions focus on things like making
professional small talk or running a meeting (trainers are provided with
specifics on how to teach each topic, and are also trained themselves
for two days before starting the job). Lessons take place either over
the phone or on a live Internet video service like Skype—sometimes at
night, because you’re working with students in different time zones. You
need to commit to a minimum of 20 hours a week at consistent times, and
can work as many as 35 hours.

How to Get It:


is an English training company working with 12 of the world’s largest
corporations. There are also jobs out there for English as a Second
Language (ESL) teachers, which are more structured. Visit ISUS (iSpeakUSpeak.com),
a placement and training company. While a degree in education or ESL is
ideal, you are encouraged to apply if you are enthusiastic and

The Job: Telephone Nurse

What It Pays:
Competitive with a
regular nursing salary, which is $50,000 or more

Perfect For:
Someone with a
nursing degree.

What It Is:
Health insurers or
other health management companies, including Humana, Aetna and
UnitedHealth Group, hire nurses remotely to perform duties like case
management, treatment authorization and patient education.

How to Get It:
To find the right
position for you, check out the listings at major medical-job placement
firms like  MedicalJobsOnline.com, The Judge Group (Judge.com),
and MedZilla (Medzilla.com).

The Job: Search Engine Evaluator

What It Pays:
$9 to $10 an hour

Perfect For:
English speakers
who are up on movies and music, as well as those familiar with other

What It Is:
Companies like
Google and Yahoo! give you information to search for, and you tell them
how closely their results matched what you were looking for. Does a
search for Lady Antebellum turn up sites about the music group or links
to pre–Civil War period information? If you are Latina, for example, you
might be asked to search the way a Spanish speaker might perform a
search in English. Jobs are usually between 10 to 25 hours a week.

How to Get It:
Most companies hire through firms like Leapforce At Home and Appen Butler HillKristiane Vey/Jump Fotoagentur

The Job: Customer Service Representative

What It Pays:
$8 to $18 an hour

Perfect For:
“People” people
with patience to spare who are good at talking on the phone while on the

What It Is:
Companies are
looking for workers with excellent speaking abilities and solid computer
skills to help customers find a correct size, place an order or resolve
a conflict. Both full- and part-time positions are available, and you
are generally required to devote a four-hour block of time.

How to Get It:
Customer service is the biggest work-at-home field, with companies including Spiegel, Hilton, Best Western, HSN, 1-800-FLOWERS and many others using at-home reps. Fill out an application with staffing companies such as
,  Alpine AccessVIPdeskLiveOps, and Convergys, all of which vet the
companies who are hiring through them. If you need benefits, search through a staffing company that will hire you as an employee (Alpine Access, VIPdesk and Convergys do this) rather than an independent contractor. If you’re a contractor, you may be asked to pay a small fee (between $15 and $35) for a background check. While a fee can be a sign of a scam,  independent contractors are responsible for their own expenses.

The Job: Online Teacher

What It Pays:
The average salary
for the first year is around $30,000; teachers of some subjects are paid
more than others.

Perfect For:
Teachers who don’t
want a typical school schedule.

What It Is:
Instead of standing
in a classroom, you’ll teach via Skype or in a prerecorded session.
There’s a growing demand for teachers in all subjects, but especially
core topics like English, history and science.

How to Get It:
Check out K12 (K12.com)
and Connections Academy (ConnectionsAcademy.com).
Both organizations offer various benefits—including health insurance,
retirement savings accounts and paid time off—depending on where you
live. As in any job where you work with kids, there will be a background
and reference check as well as interviews. You may also need to be
licensed to teach in the state where the students reside.

The Job: Virtual Tutor

What It Pays:
$12 to $35 an hour

Perfect For:
People who only
have pockets of time to work and an extensive knowledge of or expertise
in a subject, or are fluent in a foreign language.

What It Is:
You work with a
student who needs extra help, usually for a half-hour over the phone or

How to Get It:
Sylvan Learning (Tutoring.SylvanLearning.com),

and Tutorzilla (Tutorzilla.com)
all offer a good cross section of the kinds of remote-based tutoring
jobs out there, and they all have great reputations with students and
teachers. Since you will be working with children, you can expect a
background check before you are hired.

Sources: Christine Durst, cofounder,
. Holly Hanna,
founder of
blog, Amy
Robinson, chief marketing officer, Direct Selling Association. Lois
Greisman, associate director, division of marketing, FTC




The Pros and Cons of Airbrush Makeup

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By Brittany Lo

Makeup airbrushing is extremely popular in the world of modeling and
movies, and has also gained popularity with brides. There’s no doubt
that airbrushing, when done correctly, creates a smooth, flawless look
that may be difficult to achieve with regular makeup, but there are some
things you should consider before receiving an airbrush application.
Here are some of the pros and cons:

1) All Day Stay

Most airbrushed makeup is silicone based, which means it lasts longer
and is more water resistant than regular makeup. It’ll be able to
withstand most of the hugging and kissing that will inevitably happen
throughout the wedding day.

2) Flawless Finish

Airbrushing allows for makeup to be applied evenly, creating an impeccably smooth finish—perfect for the hundreds of pictures that
you’ll be taking all day.

3) Minimal Makeup
Airbrushing requires less product for more coverage. Because of the
spray technique application process, a minimal amount of makeup goes a
long way.

4) Easy to Layer

Since you can apply airbrush makeup in such a fine layer, it dries super
quickly, so you can add more layers for coverage if you want.

1) Can Be Flaky

Airbrush makeup is great on moisturized, hydrated skin, but if your skin
tends to be on the drier side, the spray-on product may begin to flake.
Since the formula is waterproof, the consistency is a lot less creamy
than traditional foundation.

2) Hard to Re-Blend

If you do end up crying and your makeup streaks, it’s difficult to fill
in the streaks with more airbrushing or even regular makeup, making it
harder to re-create your original, flawless look. However, if it’s
applied and dries properly, then this shouldn’t be an issue.

3) Limited Shade Options

The type of foundation formula used with an airbrush is different than
everyday foundation, and there’s a more limited selection of shades and
brands to choose from. You may find that your skin matches better with
traditional foundation.

4) More Expensive

For most makeup artists, airbrush is considered an add-on and typically
more expensive than a normal makeup application. So if you’re planning
to pay for your bridal party’s services, airbrush may not be as cost effective. But if you’re curious about trying airbrush, ask about it during your makeup trial—it’s the perfect time to try it out to see if you like it before spending the extra money on the day of.

Ultimately, you want to look and feel like the prettiest version of yourself on your wedding day, so definitely consult your makeup artist to see what he or she recommends for you.

Brittany Lo is the founder and CEO of the New York City–based beauty
services company Beautini and an ultimate beauty junkie. She’s been
obsessed with makeup her entire life and knew she’d end up dedicating
her professional life to making women feel beautiful for the most
important day of their lives.