Lifestyle: do you have to proof yeast?

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor wonders whether you need to proof yeast.

When I started making bread, the first kind of yeast I used was active dry yeast. I was under the impression you need to proof yeast, so did so each time.

Proofing, from my point of view, means putting the yeast in warm water with the sugar. Next, you wait until the yeast starts to change. When it starts to puff at the surface, it’s “proofed”.

I thought yeast needs to be proofed so that it will be properly active from the very start of the bread making process. However, I read today that proofing the yeast is just done to assure it’s alive. If it indeed is, then it will work fine (to make bread) without being proofed.

Proofing the yeast became part of the bread making process, for me; I’m sure I’ll continue doing it, even with fresh yeast.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Handyman role: hinge measurements

Taking on the handyman role leads to self-tutoring: the tutor shares a discovery about hinge sizing.

At possibly around 20 years old, little things on a house can need replacing. Such was the case with the spring hinge on the door between the garage and the shoe room.

I sized the hinge, then went to the hardware store to seek a replacement. I knew I needed a 4″ hinge. However, the measurements on one package said 4″ by 4″ by 1/4″, while the other said 4″ by 4″ by 5/8″.

The measurement at the end, 1/4″ or 5/8″, stumped me. I couldn’t recognize anything that could be that measurement. Furthermore, I feared choosing the wrong one – whatever that measurement might mean – would turn out problematic.

My conclusion is that 1/4″ or 5/8″ means the radius that the mounting plate corners are rounded. I measured the rounded corners of the one to replace; they indeed have radius 5/8″. I bought the 4″ by 4″ by 5/8″ replacement spring hinge, and successfully installed it.

Looking at the spring hinges, I was imagining their functionality, so didn’t think, at first, about their decorative features.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, nutrition, health: Fibre battle: apple vs orange

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor researches which fruit – apple or orange – has more fibre.

Just before bed I tend to eat fruits and/or vegetables if I haven’t had enough during the day. One reason to eat fruits/vegetables is for fibre.

I’ve been wondering which fruit has more fibre – apple, or orange?

Apparently, they are dead equal, both averaging 2.4g fibre per 100g.

Oranges can be much easier to eat, though, especially when you’re not hungry but need to consume your daily allotment of produce.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Medical technology: is CT scan the same as CAT scan?

Curiosity has led to self-tutoring: the tutor discusses the two terms CT scan and CAT scan.

CT scan and CAT scan have the same meaning. CAT scan is the older term.

CT stands computerized tomography, whereas CAT stands for computerized axial tomography.

Tomography: a method to produce pictures of internal body structures. Tomography acquires information from many cross-sectional scans.

Computerized tomography conveys the idea that, once the cross-sectional scans have been taken, a computer program is used to produce an image from their data.

In the phrase computerized axial tomography, the word axial refers to the idea that the cross-sectional scans are taken by revolution around a common axis (axis=line). Specifically, a scan is taken around the patient, then another a short distance along, and so on.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: how to cook pasta

Yet more lifestyle self-tutoring shared by the tutor, who wondered yesterday if he was cooking pasta correctly.

When I was a kid, someone told me to add oil to the water when cooking pasta. My wife, however, says not to.

Apparently, my wife was right. (When is it else-wise?) Here are some tips I picked up, yesterday, from my research about cooking pasta:

  1. Don’t add oil to the water.
  2. Don’t put in the pasta until the water is boiling fiercely.
  3. Add salt when the water starts to boil.
  4. Cook the pasta in a big pot, with abundant water. (My wife says so as well.)
  5. Don’t rinse the pasta after it’s cooked.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: stainless steel pots and heat conduction

Yet more lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares a find from cooking.

I don’t like getting burned, so use oven mitts whenever something might be hot.

Yesterday, I was boiling water to cook pasta. I used a higher-quality pot than I usually do: Normally I just use the ordinary pots, leaving my wife to use the “better” ones.

I had the lid on the pot so the water would boil faster. When I could hear the water boiling, I looked at the lid – specifically, at its metal handle.

The lids of the pots I normally use have wooden handles, so are safe to grab even when hot. However, since this pot’s handle is metal, I wondered if it would be safe to touch. Beneath it, of course, was boiling water – would the lid burn me?

Reaching out, I gave the handle a light touch and found it to be safe. Surprised, I lifted the lid off, added the pasta, and continued cooking. Yet I wondered how the handle could be cool, when in contact with a lid above boiling water.

Today, research tells me that stainless steel has poor heat conductivity – meaning its temperature doesn’t rise or fall easily, even when around ojects hotter or colder.

I placed the lid back on the pot after reducing the heat. The handle did become noticeably warmer later, but still safe to lift the lid off quickly.

The pot doesn’t say its metal on it; I surmise it must be stainless steel.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: hamburgers in the oven?

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares a quick fix he tried a few days back.

Being the house-husband, I cook the dinners most weekdays. I tutor right after school, so try to have the kids’ dinner ready to serve when they get home. In addition, eating dinner right after school prevents them from having after-school snacks, which I’m not convinced would be as healthful as a meal.

The result is that I try to make dinner so it will be ready just before I leave to pick them up from school. It’s risky, since time can run short, which happened a few days back.

I had the burgers shaped, then went to put them on the grill, which I’d left to heat up. However, after ten minutes, it still wasn’t hot enough to cook the burgers. I didn’t realize that, with winter weather here, the grill needs more time to prepare.

What to do – collect the kids with no dinner ready, or improvise? I wondered if the burgers could be baked in the oven. I quickly found this recipe, which I didn’t follow. However, I took from it the idea of baking the burgers for about half an hour at 330F. Hastily I turned the oven to 330F, lined a pan with foil, laid the burgers in it, seasoned and sauced them, then put them in the oven.

The burgers turned out well. The only “complaint” I received was that they were harder to eat because they weren’t flat like they would have been from the grill. The flavour was approved, though.

Good luck with it, should you decide to try:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: why North Americans refrigerate their eggs, but many Europeans don’t

Cooking means constant self-tutoring. The tutor researches why some Europeans don’t refrigerate their eggs, while here, we do.

In the UK, for example, hens are vaccinated against salmonella so that it doesn’t contaminate the eggs internally. With no salmonella to incubate, the eggs needn’t be refrigerated.

For eggs in the US, however, the general case is that refrigeration is depended upon to prevent salmonella’s incubation to dangerous level, in case it’s present.

I don’t know for sure which side Canada is on, but at you are advised to store eggs in the fridge.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Biology: what is a basement membrane?

Tutoring biology, terminology is so important. The tutor gives a definition of the term basement membrane.

basement membrane: a boundary layer that fastens overlying epithelial tissue to connective tissue beneath. The basement membrane comprises glycoprotein from the epithelial tissue, with collagen fibres from the connective tissue.
A basement membrane backs the lining of the intestine, for instance.


Mader, Sylvia S. Inquiry into Life, 11th ed. Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: agoraphobia

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares some reflections about his new favourite phobia, and his own possible ensnarement therein.

To some degree, I assume, we all face anxiety. Some people truly don’t seem to, but perhaps that’s just poise. I freely admit that I do get anxious sometimes, for no reason at all.

Agoraphobia I’ve heard of, but only today did I finally look up its meaning:

agoraphobia: tendency to avoid particular settings for fear of trouble or embarrassment that may happen there. The trouble typically means social difficulty, such as being trapped in a line-up.


I find it hard to imagine someone who doesn’t try to avoid situations of trouble or embarrassment.

I’ve got a bad case of agoraphobia. My family particularly notice it; here are some of my symptoms:

  1. I typically avoid travelling because I don’t like long waits, line-ups, being stuck in a plane for 6-10hrs, etc.
  2. I avoid parking in crowded lots, choosing instead to park further away where there’s more room. (This tendency my family really notice. My wife and younger son think it’s lame.)
  3. I try to avoid grocery shopping at peak times. (I went up one time during lunch break – I learned my lesson.)

In a given situation, agoraphobia can self-generate. Suppose, for instance, you go to a store at peak time. Naturally, you get trapped in a line-up. If you’re like me, now you feel embarrassed, standing there in line, because I should have known better than to shop at that time. If I’d been just a little more agoraphobic, I would have thought twice and planned the shopping better, so it happened outside a busy period.

In a way, it’s embarrassing to talk about this, but it’s also liberating. I’m just glad it’s out in the open:)


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.