This Website Answers All Your Burning ‘Can I Microwave This?’ Questions

AndreyPopov/iStock via Getty Images
AndreyPopov/iStock via Getty Images

Microwaves are modern-day magical beasts that indulge our expectations of instant gratification and rescue children who forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer from the wrath of the parents who told them to do so. However, if you try to nuke the wrong thing, your microwave just might breathe fire.

To answer all your definitely not dumb questions about what the “wrong thing” to microwave actually is, there’s a website called Can You Microwave?. It covers everything from clothes (surprisingly, yes, with a few caveats) to cookie dough (sadly, no), and each entry contains an explanation of why it does or doesn’t belong in a microwave. If the item is safe, the site also provides directions on how best to microwave it.

As Lifehacker reports, the site is organized by category—“Cheese N Stuff,” “Materials,” “Breakfast,” and “Meat,” among others—if you’re interested in exploring, but you can also search for your item in the search bar if you have something specific in mind. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Submit your question on the contact page and wait for an email response.

By including such thorough answers, the site debunks some common myths that may be impacting how you usually use your microwave. For example, though plastic Ziploc containers seem like they should be kept far away from your microwave, they’re actually fine in there. As Can You Microwave? explains, people often think plastic shouldn’t be heated because it contains toxic chemicals called dioxins—but Ziploc doesn’t even manufacture any products with dioxins.

And questions that may sound a little off-the-wall to begin with, like “Can I microwave wine?” often turn out to make perfect sense. The person had refrigerated red wine to preserve it and then had forgotten to let it warm to room temperature before a dinner party. Interestingly enough, the answer was “Yes,” and even pointed to an old New York Times article claiming that sommeliers often use the microwave trick (though they might not admit it).

To learn even more about your microwave, here are 25 things you didn’t know it could do.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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What Movie Do You Want to Watch? This Website Analyzes Film Critic Reviews to Help You Choose

She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
Rowan Jordan/iStock via Getty Images

Much like sommeliers can detect subtle notes of who-knows-what in a sip of wine, film critics are fantastic at identifying influences and drawing parallels between movies. Cinetrii is a handy website that crowdsources all that movie knowledge to help you find your next favorite film.

Basically, you enter the name of a movie you enjoyed in the search bar, and the site will show you a node graph with film recommendations splintering off the search query. Click on one, and you’ll see a quote from a critic (or critics) who referenced the films together. This way, you get a list of recommendations based on different aspects of the movie, and you get to decide for yourself what you’d like to see more of.

If, for example, you were blown away by the special effects in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, you might like Doctor Strange; according to Variety, it boasts “a staggering visual effects innovation, in which the building-bending seen in Christopher Nolan’s Inception is taken to an extreme that would blow even M.C. Escher’s mind.” If what the Chicago Tribune calls an “elegant brain-bender” quality appealed to you more, The Matrix might be a perfect fit.

Films above your search query were released before the movie you typed in, while films below came out after it. The shorter the line, the more closely the films are related, as calculated by the website’s algorithm. And, as Lifehacker points out, that algorithm doesn’t give any special treatment to massive Hollywood blockbusters, so Cinetrii is an especially great way to find hidden gems. Because it shows you the critics' actual quotes, you’re not left to wonder why a certain film landed on the recommendations list—which can’t always be said for “Watch next” lists on streaming services.

You can explore Cinetrii here.

[h/t Lifehacker]