While every appliance might feel crucial in its own way, it goes without saying that the absence of a cooker really can limit a household's eating plans. Given that, one could argue that it's the most important device in the kitchen.

Bearing this in mind, the day when something does go wrong is often a frustrating one. The nature of cookers means that the potential for a problem always exists and unfortunately, these problems at least seem to always fall on the pricy side.

While appliance repairs are certainly becoming more affordable, to make things a little more bearable here are some of the most common cooker problems and the course of action if they should occur.

Problem #1 - The oven is burning everything

Firstly, we're going to assume that you have the temperature gauge set correctly - and you're also not leaving everything in for too long.

Once the above has been satisfied, the issue is most likely due to a broken thermostat. The problem with replacing this part isn't necessarily the cost, but more the complexity. It's not the easiest thing in the world to manipulate and you will have to make sure that the phial is not touched as you start the replacement process.

Problem #2 - You can't close the oven door

It goes without saying that not being able to close the oven door is going to have obvious repercussions for the state of your food.

However, at least in comparison to some of the other issues, this one is relatively easy to fix. It's not overly-technical, as the problem is mainly due to faulty hinges (or sometimes the runners).

In fact, it's usually both that are impacted (broken runners resulting in the hinges being damaged). If this has occurred, the general advice is to repair both hinges at the same time as it's rare for one to be in optimum condition, and the other to be broken.

Problem #3 - Your oven is noisy

The sound might suggest otherwise, but a noisy oven isn't always cause for disaster.

In fact, sometimes it's simply loose screws and while these should be fixed, it's probably not going to be game over if you do take your time before addressing them.

One of the most common reasons is the cooling fan motor being in the wrong position though. Even if it's slightly misaligned, it can give something of a screeching sound as it is catching other elements of the oven.

While the above might be true in newer models, if you have an older oven it could be due to a motor bearing failure. If this is the case acting quickly is absolutely crucial. If you don't, the motor will start to run too slow and the upshot of this will be that the fan will start to overheat. Suffice to say, when parts start to overheat, the problem is heightened significantly and more severe repair work might be needed.

The future of manufacturing will definitely include robots—and the future is now. There are already many automated processes, with more to come.  But how many more robots and automated machines will there be? Will all human factory workers eventually be replaced, or is this just science fiction?

Automation enabled manufacturing’s latest trend known as lights-out production, a term for facilities able to operate without lights and without any human oversight. At the lights out FANUC (factor automated numerical control) facility in Japan, robots are creating other robots.

Not only the lights are off, so are the A/C and heating. The automated workforce operates continuously, without any breaks. Through this automated, lights out process, FANUC creates 22,000 to 23,000 CNC machines monthly.

FANUC, with its 24/7/365 production schedule, is an uncommon production facility. What’s more common is having automated processes occurring during the third shift for a few hours a day—at least as a starting point.

However, before a company even considers lights-out production, automation systems must already be in place. Companies with interest in seeing if lights-out production is a cost-effective option, turn to specialists like Midwest Engineering Systems (MWES) for customized automation solutions and machine designs.

Although lights-out production isn’t for every company, there are some major benefits including the following:

  • Increased product quality
  • Improved throughput
  • Decrease in workplace injuries—especially in hazardous work environments
  • Fills in a skilled worker shortage
  • A decrease in labor costs

Douglas Peterson, general manager for collaborative robots maker Universal Robots, told Automation World the criteria to determine what would work is best for a robot vs. what work would be best for human workers.

“Robots are uniquely suited to any manufacturing task that is dirty, dangerous or dull. If the process doesn’t require human dexterity, mental agility or problem-solving skills, then it can be done by a robot.”

Implementing lights-out production is a complex and difficult process. CNC Cookbook outlines and details the many challenges that can come with starting a lights-out production process, with the largest challenge being perfecting processes.

For example, even with the most cutting-edge technology, if a single process is faulty, the whole system is at risk of failure in an automated environment.  Testing new equipment and ensuring a seamless production process is critical. Having human supervisors and maintenance techs on-site is often recommended.

On the finance side, the upfront costs of lights-out production can be cost-prohibitive for many. Experts say facilities debating a move to a lights-out system should expect a return on their upfront investment within two years. If the gains in efficiency and productivity will pay of the cost of the automated machines and components themselves within 2 years, the investment likely makes sense.

Automation’s popularity grows as lights-out production is becoming more commonplace and less of a novelty. Machines will likely replace many workers who perform more dangerous or repetitive tasks while helping to boost productivity gains and profitability for many manufacturers.

(Image Credit: Steve Jurvetson / Flickr)

Korea enjoys a rich culture, made up of a mixture of deeply historic elements alongside modern aspects like the blossoming K-pop world. Visitors to Korea can enjoy a variety of cultural and modern experiences unique to this fascinating country. Read on for ten fantastically unique products that can only be found in Korea.

K-Pop and Korean Drama Merchandise

K-pop, or Korean pop music and culture, is taking the world by storm, and is largely responsible for the burgeoning popularity of Korean dramas. Television dramas like Descendants of the Sun have enjoyed worldwide popularity, and Korea knows how to capitalize on the unexpected popularity of its pop culture.

K-pop merchandise can be found almost everywhere in Korea, but the real treasures lie in licensed souvenir shops run by major entertainment agencies.

Socks

While socks are certainly not a uniquely Korean item, the prevalence of sock-buying opportunities and the wide range of colors, designs, and characters available undoubtedly is. And they're not just targeted to children, as wearing socks emblazoned with favorite characters or even political figures is commonplace for modern Korean people too.

In fact, sock buying so common in Korean culture that sock vending machines can be found in popular areas of Seoul.

Cute Trinkets and Phone Cases

Much like the "kawaii" culture in Japan, Koreans love anything tiny and cute. Many cute items can be found throughout Seoul and other parts of Korea, from tiny teddy bears and dolls to intricate miniatures on keychains, and trinkets to attach to bags and cell phones.

As an offshoot of Korea's "cute" culture, the selection of cell phone cases available to purchase is almost unrivaled in Korea. The range of cases in the United States is a tiny proportion of what is available in other parts of the world, so it makes sense to bring home a selection of cell phone cases for yourself and as souvenirs for friends and family.

Beauty Products

BB Cream is one of the hottest beauty items on the market today, and by all accounts its popularity will only continue to rise. With BB Cream being a uniquely Korean invention, it is little wonder why people are exporting it in all its forms around the world.

But the Korean beauty market is so much more than BB Cream, with facial packs being another common and inexpensive item in Korea. In addition, a selection of strange and unusual beauty products can be found, from jaw massagers to double-eyelid tape, and antibacterial hand wipes to facial slimming masks.

Hanbok

Back to the traditional, the hanbok is for Korea what the kimono is for Japan. And just like in Japan, Korean men and women still wear their hanbok with pride during celebrations and social occasions. Visitors to Korea can order a custom-made hanbok, however they don't run cheap and can take up to three weeks to made.

As such, a variety of hanbok dolls and teddy bears are available for sale at various places throughout Korea, which have proven to be popular keepsakes.

Soju

Soju is the Koreans' alcoholic drink of choice, and like much of Korean culture, has become so popular overseas that the most well-known soju brand, Jinro, has been known to outsell other popular liquors in the United States.

A clear liquid like vodka, soju is typically made from rice and is considered to be quite bitter to taste, and not as strong as vodka.

Soju was traditionally made from rice, until rice shortages from the mid-1060s until the turn of the century caused the government to prohibit the use of rice in soju distillation. Creators needed to become inventive, and even today soju can be found with a tapioca, barley, wheat, or sweet potato base. The more expensive brands are once again made from rice, and soju that has been aged ten years in oak barrels carries a premium price.

Traditional Korean Masks

Masks have long featured in Korean culture, in royal courts, battle uniforms, ceremonies, and rituals. Today, traditional Korean masks still play a role in re-enactments of traditional plays and ceremonies, and as good-luck charms.

Korean Tea

Korea has a strong tea culture, with a variety of traditional and newer teas available. Meshil (sweet plum tea) and omija (five taste tea) are traditional variants that are still widely enjoyed today, while jakseolcha, an expensive form of green tea made from only the young buds of the leaves, is a firm favorite.

Hanji

Koreans have been making traditional paper, known as hanji, for thousands of years, and the tradition still endures today. Made from the bark of the mulberry tree hanji was traditionally used to over the windows, doors, and walls in Korean houses, but today is more commonly used for artistic purposes including stationery, paper dolls, and lamps.

Folding Fans

Folding fans have long been a part of Korean culture, with their use being considered essential, even in colder weather. Folding fans are widely available for purchase, and have traditionally been used as props in Korean dances and performances, providing shelter from the elements, and even to hide a person's face from onlookers.

Which of these products would you be most interested in bringing home from a trip to Korea? Are there other quintessentially Korean products that should be included on this list? Have your say in the comments below, and please like and share this article.

References

17 Uniquely Korean Items to Buy in Seoul - http://www.gpsmycity.com/articles/73-17-uniquely-korean-items-to-buy-in-seoul.html

A Guide to Cool “Korean” Things to Buy in Korea - http://grrrltraveler.com/countries/asia/korea/cool-things-to-buy-in-korea/

Top 20 Things To Buy In Seoul To Take Home - https://blog.trazy.com/2016/07/07/top-20-things-to-buy-in-seoul-to-take-home/

Top 13 Korean Souvenirs That Friends Will Love You For - https://www.tripzilla.com/buy-souvenirs-south-korea/19531

10 Best Seoul Souvenirs Worth Your Money - http://www.therealtravelers.com/south-korea/seoul/10-best-seoul-souvenirs-worth-your-money/

Top 10 Items to Buy in Seoul - http://english.visitseoul.net/top10/Top-10-Items-to-Buy-in-Seoul?indexSn=1&sectionSn=77

Items to Buy - http://www.lifeinkorea.com/shopping/items.cfm

It’s meant to be the period to relax and wind down following years of hard work, but fail to plan and retirement can be an absolute disaster.

It doesn’t matter whether you live in Oswestry or Sundorne, the same problems will still exist – as do certain myths that can wreak even more havoc with your post-work life.

It’s that last point that we are now going to focus on. Take a look at the following myths to ensure that you avoid the common retirement traps that are blighting so many people nowadays.

"My financial situation will almost remain the same"

Like a lot of the myths associated with retirement, this one is bordering on the understandable.

After all, once you stop working, you will immediately kiss goodbye to those annoying expenses like commuting costs, work wear and everything else that you pay with your job.

Of course, as well as losing the expenses, you also lose the income. While your income is highly unlikely to drop to zero (unless there has been years and years of mismanagement), it is still all but certain to drop in some regards. In fact, one study found that the average retired person would see their income drop by 52%. Its decreases like these which well and truly dwarf the expenses that you'll no longer be forking out for.

"I won't need as much money once retirement arrives"

This one is probably one of the stranger misconceptions, yet it's still one that is regularly used by the newly-retired.

With a lot more free time available, you'll also have much more free time to spend money. As well as this, you will suddenly start to incur expenses that might not have otherwise existed. Some people will notice their insurance premiums increasing, while others might have the foresight to plan for the likes of funeral arrangements to cut down costs for their family in the future.

All in all - you are unlikely to need less money than you do currently.

"If I don't have enough money - I can keep on working"

This is one of those typical "did you know" answers. While some people might think that they can bail themselves out by simply working longer, there's every chance that this won't be possible. Contrary to popular belief, the most common reason for retirement is ill health or injury. In other words, it's not because people "want" to or "feel the need" to retire - it's simply because circumstances dictate otherwise.

As such, continuing to work to pay the bills just might not work out.

"There's nothing to worry about if the mortgage is paid"

If your mortgage has been paid off, a lot of people believe that they are in the clear. While it's true that the main source of expenditure has suddenly disappeared, let's not forget that it doesn't cover your other expenses. In other words, your house isn't going to pay the bills - even if it might be able to bail you out in extreme circumstances if you need an injection of money later down the line.

There are but few things that make life spicy - having to celebrate anniversaries is one of such. From birthdays to marriages, friendship to festive celebrations and even death, there is always this aura around the anniversaries celebrated. Anniversary milestones are not all equal, various anniversaries call for different types of gifts. Meanwhile, one would ask,' what is so special about marking anniversaries?' You do not know right? That memory of the past and how it all started in a positive light is not something to trade with stupidly. It is equally a time to make your spouse, lover or friend feel amazing and letting your actions reflect your inner feelings that they indeed, are the single most important part of your life.

The celebration of anniversaries come in different colors and forms from going to see a movie to going on a vacation, renewing of vows and of course giving of gifts to make it more thrilling.

Gifts ranging from chocolate and champagne, down to long stemmed roses are best to give someone on an anniversary. Does it look expensive? Right,  others may say ' does it worth much to give?' Hell, yes, it does! Knowing how dear, that special person is to you, you would want to go the extra mile to make their day.  Anniversary gifts in a whole give people the chance of remembering past lovely moments and also bringing them into the present, which is true.

Roses with scent are the best to give to a loved one on an important day like an anniversary. Ladies are said to be general lovers of scented roses, taking it as a way of being romantic and touchy- you know that feeling right?  Moreover, if you want to make their day? Roses, carefully arranged with the sweet fragrance of perfume filling the room and candles set to illuminate the way to the gift, are sure the best. I bet you on it.

People have plenty ideas to make their anniversary a memorable and classic one. White cream, pastel pink, mauve colored rose bouquet with wine like most and chancellor, Domain Perignon Vintage, Glenmorangie Whisky, and chocolates, but don't forget the candles with a scent to add more aura to a couple's anniversary dinner, making it romantic and creating an inevitable love in the atmosphere.

In most cases, instead of a store-bought present, give your partner something truly unique, like a digital collection of your favorite songs (or songs that make you think of him/ her), or keep the dying art of handwriting alive by penning an old-fashioned love letter. If you are the creative type, craft an original song, poem or painting that comes from the heart.

Amidst all the gifts to be given to that special one are sweet smelling roses. Roses, especially red ones still stand the test of time creating more ideas of beauty, love, and romance. The color of traditional roses; red, represents passion. Unbelievably, a pink rose may stand for appreciation and grace, a yellow rose may stand for friendship and happiness, while the white rose may stand for innocence.

People say 'your lady will love you more if you get her teddy bears, chocolates, and candles ' but like hell would they appreciate something to be presented with the chocolate and teddies, and that is a ROSE.

So when next you are thinking of what to get for that special one, consider getting a bouquet of rose.

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