From The Tips Box: Dull Scissors, Gmail Errors

Readers offer their best tips for making iced tea, sharpening scissors and checking Gmail for sending errors.

Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.

Use Two Tea Bags for Perfect Iced Tea Every Time

Jvanderh shares a tip for tea lovers:

My opinion on how to make a perfect glass of iced tea using "regular" black tea: boil water, pour 180ml or so into a mug. Use two teabags. Steep one minute. Stir in sugar if you like, and pour it into a large glass of ice.

A lot of people let the tea steep longer when they're making iced tea, but tannic, over-extracted tea still tastes like crap when you water it down. The secret is to use twice the tea to account for the melting ice. This concept applies to coffee too — it's actually the residual heat (or the heat from the hotplate) rather than the time, that makes old coffee taste crappy. If you brew the coffee using extra grounds and immediately add enough ice and/or milk to bring it to room temperature, you can store it in the fridge and drink it days later, and it will still taste good.

Photo by Tehusagent.

Sharpen Dull Scissors Without Any Extra Materials

Craiglloyd tells us how to make your old scissors a little sharper:

Turn a dull pair of scissors into a sharper pair by pushing the two blades closer together while cutting.

This one's a little hard to explain, but essentially, while holding the pair of scissors (by the handles, obviously) you're using your thumb and fingers to force the two blades in opposite directions, pushing the blades closer together for a better cut. You can also do this to an already-sharp pair to get an even cleaner cut than normal.

Of course, you can also use the tried-and-true bottle method, notes seventhexile1:

You can easily sharpen your scissors by trying to cut the neck of a glass bottle several times or inserting one blade inside the bottle and trying to cut the top.

Photo by Alejandro Mallea.

Check Gmail for Sending Errors with a Hidden Link

Drilon shares a hidden Gmail tip:

I don't know if this is known to you all or not, but there seems to be a way to check for unsent email in Gmail. If you click under the drop down account select arrow in Gmail, it loads a page where it lists any errors or unsent emails.

I couldn't find any info about this tip on the net, but if you ever have any issues sending a message in Gmail, this could be a good place to check for more info.

Use Titanium Backup for Android with Google Drive

SarcasmSiempre notes a minor update in our favorite backup utility for Android:

As of the latest update, Titanium Backup Pro can now upload backups to Google Drive.


    Can someone verify the gmail tip? I can't seem to locate the button.

      Doesn't work here either.

        Nope not working for me either. Odd.

      Found it on my Google Apps email account. It's the yellow highlighted box on the top right (it highlighted yellow when I clicked it)

      I found it when using firefox, but it wasn't there when logged into the same account on chrome. weird.

    I have the gmail link, i found it by clicking and dragging around the area for a bit and saw where it was, mine isn't quite in the same location as shown above.

    This is a small tip for true iced tea lovers - allow your hot tea to slowly cool on the counter and it will stay clear. Cool it any quicker and it will go cloudy.

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