Micro Files


How fast is your 4G phone?

Wireless network research website OpenSignal recently published a report regarding the state of LTE around the world. It shows Australia has the fastest LTE download speed (24.5 Mbps) while the United States is ranked as the second slowest country (6.5 Mbps.) 

In contrast, Canada stands at the sixth place with at 19.3 Mbps. Within the big three telecom giants, Rogers has the best coverage and the fastest network, and Telus has a faster speed than Bell. These data are collected from users who installed OpenSignal app on their iOS or Android phones. 

Is Subway bread additive safe?

Food and nutrition blogger Vana Hari recently started a campaign against the use of azodicarbonamide, a dough improver used by Subway. She indicated that this additive is “the same chemical used to make yoga mats, shoe soles, and other rubbery objects.” What is the science behind this additive? Popular Science blogger John Coupland wrote an article saying, “azodicarbonamide itself is safe at the level used in bread.” It is toxic when we eat large amounts of it. Greater concerns are related to the further breakdown chemical products, such as urethane, a known animal carcinogen, found in bread made without azodicarbonamide. By using a toaster or the additive, the amount of urethane doubles or triples in bread. 

Why do onions make us cry?

Chopping up an onion can easily make us cry, but why does it happen? According to Scientific American, the moment you slice into an onion, you change its chemistry. When the knife breaks through, it releases the enzymes and molecules inside the cells of the onion. The chemicals released create an irritating gas known as the onion lachrymatory factor, which stimulates our lacrimal gland, which creates tears. 

Several tricks can minimize this human reaction. Storing it in a fridge for at least 30 minutes can slow down its enzymes, and briefly boiling an onion should have the same effect. You can try to cut an onion under water, which prevents the gas reaching your eyes, however, the easiest solution is wearing a pair of ski goggles or sunglasses. 


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