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A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk to Aaron Horowitz, CEO of Sproutel, about a project he's leading called Jerry the Bear. As a relatively new parent, I'm keenly aware now of just how fragmented and saturated the toy market is. There are several toys for nearly every niche one can imagine with quality varying from high to low, pricing from super-cheap to "those aren't toy prices", and playability from mere seconds of interest to a lifetime of attachment. As a firm believer in early learning through play, I find that most toys are educational in some respect (although some toys need a stretch of the imagination to determine how they aid in development). Rarely, have I encountered a toy like Jerry the Bear who is both cute and lovable and teaches children with health issues through role playing and caretaking.
If you have ever been to Zimbabwe or South Africa and you did not live in a cave while you were there, then you will know what a braai is (if you don't, check out this Wikipedia page that covers this). Because of the amazing weather and high temperatures that most of Southern Africa has all year round, braais are common way of socialising and a way of life for many. Southern African people spend a lot of time outdoors and so it is only natural that eating like this is so popular. Originally from Zimbabwe, Sebastian now lives in the UK where he spends some of his spare time in the kitchen cooking and experimenting with food and the gadgets that you find in the kitchen. You can visit his site covering his take on cookware and kitchen gadgets that interest him.
The blender. It's a great addition to every engineer's cooking toolbox. But, what do you need to know when you're ready to make the plunge to buy a blender? Do you really need to consider watts, amps and horsepower? What's the difference between a glass container and a polycarbonate container - other than the obvious?

I have your answers, so, let's get started.

This article contributed by April Jones from a resource for healthy eating tips, kitchen blender reviews and smoothie recipes. For a variety of recipes and cooking tips, join her free newsletter.
A Quick Analysis of Knife and Sharpening Steel Hardness Surface hardness of through hardened steel products is a quick test used for quality assurance to determine if the proper heat treatment properties have been attained. Surface hardness can also be used as a component of a reverse engineering process to determine relative quality compared to a known product and to determine steel grade and heat treatment. In this case we have tested eight knives by five manufacturers in carbon steel and stainless steel and four sharpening steels to compare the relative hardness and provide insight into the performance of the knives.
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