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How to describe every European economy, in 10 words or less

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Solutions

More Fantastic ways to add Text Effects in MS Office 2013

A few months ago I wrote about adding Rainbow Text to your Word 2013 document and a reader shared with me this really cool eBook on how to really use the Standard Text Effects in Word 2013. Check it out!

7 Best Text Effects By Vaclav Krejci
7 Best Text Effects By Vaclav Krejci

Remember Text Effects is a standard Office 2013 feature so this is doable in PowerPoint & other Office software as well!

Fatherhood, Solutions

Alternate way to cure asthmatic cough or bronchitis

Coughing kids are no fun

Many parents will go through this stage of their toddler having wheezing/asthmatic cough, which develops into bronchitis, causing sleepless nights for both parent(s) & child. The toddler may also lose appetite, requiring additional medication to boost appetite and/or immune system or to protect the lungs.

Clogged airways when the Bronchi is infected.

As a last resort, pediatrician may even prescribe antibiotics together with steroids which must be delivered directly to the bronchi through a nebulizer. Keeping the mask on the toddler is another adventure altogether! Steroids retard growth in toddlers so it’s only prescribed where absolutely necessary.

We bought this Omron Nebulizer NE-C801 for our boy.

Each course of treatment cost around SGD$300 & it’s no guarantee that it’ll cure the child immediately. We went back to the same pediatrician twice because he’s highly recommended but the medication only lessen the phlegm & cough but it never cure our 2 year old boy.

Sure looks easy doesn’t it? First thing a toddler do is claw at the mask!

Within 60 days, we burnt through $800 trying to cure our boy, including doctor visits, cost of the nebulizer + the 2 visits to the pediatrician. And our boy has hardly improved since day 1! Argh!

The Environment has no effect

While all the treatment is ongoing, we also tried ways & means to ensure a clean environment for him. We tried to purify the air in the room with our Delphin vacuum cleaner, use the 3M air-con filter with carbon, adjust the humidity & temperature (28C/26C) in the room, put special essential oils that supposedly helps with sinus problem & change his bed sheet every week. We even tried to open the windows + fan with ionizer.

Well, nothing really helps.

An Epiphany

We were about to bring our boy to an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialist, Dr Brian Heng, who cured my wife’s bronchitis & my client’s prolonged dry cough due to smoking, when I had an epiphany!

30+ years ago, my parents spent hundreds if not a thousand dollar trying to cure my childhood asthma. I even went for weekly swimming lessons to build my lungs to reduce my wheezing cough. Eventually, after a few visits to Dr William Heng, who’s Dr Brian Heng’s late father and a pioneer of ENT in Singapore, I was cured.

Unfortunately, it came back a year or so later and I had to go through the same treatment. However this time, the durian was in season & my dad bought a big bunch of durian home. I really loved durian & without thinking how it’ll affect my cough, I just ate a huge amount of durian!

(I seem to remember some old folks saying durian is heaty so you can’t eat it while having a cough.)

(We didn’t see Dr Brian Heng initially because we’re not sure if he can see a toddler. But we also didn’t call and ask.)

The Cure!

Yup! The king of fruits!

Disclaimer: This “cure” only works when the child has green phlegm or what Chinese call winter cough.

After taking the durian, I realize the next day that most of my phlegm has cleared & I only had a bit of itchiness in my throat. After taking a bit more of the cough syrup, I was completely cured!

I discovered early on that when I had “heaty” cough with yellow phlegm or just itchy throat, the durian actually makes things worse. So durian is not a cure-all.

So I did the next logical thing for my boy. I bought durian & made my boy eat as much as he wants. The next day, his phlegm was mostly cleared. I let him continue the cough syrup, stopped nebulizing, steroids, ventolin, etc., until he’s cured within a few days.

So now, every time he coughs with (usually green) phlegm, we’ll let him have the usual expectorant and ventolin for a few days, then finish it off with a round of Durian! 😀

Did it work for you or your child? Comments are welcome!

BTW, this works for adults as well! 😉

Solutions

Solving problems with Nokia Lumia Wireless charging shell

Overview

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is a fantastic smartphone & camera at a reasonable price. However, Nokia removed the wireless charging coil from the phone to keep it slimmer & lighter. In order to use the wireless charging pad I got from the Lumia 920, I had to buy the Wireless Charging shell for Lumia 1020.

For the first 2-3 months of owning the phone, I always have the Wireless Charging shell on, so that it’s easier to hold. Without the shell, the edge of the camera protrusion is quite uncomfortable to touch due to its sharp edge. This made me hold the phone lower & made it unbalanced. Every time I held it, it wanted to leap off my hand!

The Wireless charging shell improved the Lumia 1020 by giving it the capability to charge wirelessly & also made the phone a lot more comfortable to hold & use.

Problem

Unfortunately, as I suspected when I first got the Wireless Charging shell, problem started on the 3rd month of using it. I say as suspected because looking at the design of the connector, I know from experience it’s going to have contact issues in the future.

Nokia Lumia 1020 external power connector (inset)
Nokia Lumia 1020 external power connector (inset)

The symptom is straight forward. The Lumia 1020 wouldn’t charge when positioned correctly. When the induction coil is not aligned, the Wireless charging pad will blink white. I tried many positions & orientations & the LED simply wouldn’t turn white & charge the phone.

As you can see from the above picture, one of the terminal (probably – ) is blackened. This is caused by oxidation, especially when the copper contact points move around due to improper fit or insufficient pressure on the terminals. Guess what? The Wireless charging shell can move around when jiggled.

When the oxidation builds up, it insulates the terminal & can no longer conduct electricity. No electrical current, no charging, no white LED. Duh!

Solution

The solution is also very simple. You just need to clean the contact point & ensure it doesn’t oxidise again.

Little bottle of wonder.

Just take a cotton bud. Shape it such that the tip has a bit more cotton. Spray it with a little bit of WD40 or your favourite non-conductive lubricant.

Use the oiled cotton bud to clean the blackened terminal until it is mostly shiny.

Wipe off the excess oil from the polycarbonate body using blotting film or microfiber cloth & that’s it!

* Do Not wipe off the oil on the copper contact. Leave a thin film of oil to prevent future oxidation.

* Avoid using tissue or toilet paper as they may be abrasive & make micro-scratches on the phone surface!

Conclusion

This works & my Lumia 1020 is charging like normal. 😀