Cook Rice Inside Your Car

In the never-ending debate about which country makes the best cars, it’s common to derogatorily refer to a Japanese automobile as a “rice rocket,” “rice burner,” or “rice runner.” Really anything with rice.

But with a new product from Saitama-based company JPN, you can own that insult, and turn it into a positive.

JPN stands for Japan Professional Network, and befitting a company with such a vague-sounding name, it’s a little hard to find a common theme in their product line-up. Aside from interior paints and leather smartphone covers, JPN also sells car accessories such as door handle covers and cell phone chargers.

With mobile phones covered, JPN’s designers moved on to another machine near and dear to the Japanese way of life: the rice cooker.

Called Takeru-kun, JPN’s rice cooker plugs into the 12-volt electrical socket found in any passenger car. With compact dimensions of 160 mm (6.3 in) across by 155 mm (6.1 in) tall, the Takeru-kun won’t feed a whole family with one batch, but JPN claims it makes enough for two bowls of rice.

The machine isn’t any harder to use than the average suihanki rice cooker found in any Japanese home. After plugging it in, open the lid and add the rice and water. Pre-washed rice works best, of course, and JPN recommends a ratio of 1.1 parts water to one part rice. Shut the lid, hit the start button, and in about 25 minutes, the rice will done.

Although it’s technically ready to eat at that point, it’s best to let the rice sit, with the lid closed, for another 10 minutes or so. This extra steaming time will ensure that each grain is moist and fluffy, unlike the microwavable packs of rice bachelors buy from the 100-yen shop. Test testers have been fully satisfied with the results, saying that Takeru-kun’s rice comes out as tasty as the stuff they eat at home.

The standard Takeru-kun retails for 4,980 yen (US$50). A 24-volt version, usable with the larger capacity outlets on trucks and other large vehicles, is a little pricier at 5,480 yen, but cooks its rice just a little faster as well. Both models come packaged with a rice scoop.

Singing Exercises May Help Control Snoring

“Could singing stop snoring? Doctor says vocal exercises could be the key to a peaceful night’s sleep,” the Mail Online website reports after a study found that people who followed a daily exercise programme of singing saw improvements in their snoring.

The news is based on a trial comparing the effects of daily singing exercises with not singing in 127 people with a history of snoring or mild to moderate sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a condition where a person’s breathing is interrupted in their sleep. This prevents them from falling into a deep sleep, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness.

The study found that those who did the singing exercises for three months reported less daytime sleepiness and less frequent snoring than those who didn’t.

But the study’s results are limited by the number of people who dropped out. Among the singing group, 40% of the people assigned to the group did not complete their final assessments, with 14% of the control group dropping out. It is possible that the dropouts’ performance may have had a significant impact on the study’s final results.

Overall, these results show preliminary evidence that regular singing exercises may benefit people who snore or have mild to moderate sleep apnoea. The effect of singing on breathing at night would ideally need to be further established by larger studies using detailed sleep monitoring.

Where did the story come from? …..

Continue reading at NHS Choice …..