Monthly Archives: November 2007

Top 5 “deserted city” scenes in film

Written by deputydog

there’s a relatively easy way to give the audience a chill during a film: slip in a shot of a deserted city centre, a city centre that’s notoriously busy in real-life, the scene preferably culminating in the camera panning out to prove the crew didn’t just manage to clear 10ft of road for 5 seconds.

it’s a guaranteed talking point. look at vanilla sky: the film was bordering on atrocious but the one thing that always gets mentioned (apart from cameron crowe losing his grip) is the ‘how the fuck did they manage to clear times square?’ bit. if i was a director i’d have a deserted city scene in every film, regardless of the movie’s plot.

here are my 5 favourite goosebump inducing ’empty’ scenes.

5. philadelphia – twelve monkeys, 1995 (imdb)

the opening shot of terry gilliam’s top-notch ‘twelve monkeys’ is superb, bruce willis’ character coming above ground in a post-apocalyptic philadelphia to be faced with a world deserted but for wild animals roaming the streets. gilliam’s crew were given a corner of the city hall to work with, built a lip around the area to hide surrounding traffic and added snow to make it feel ‘more desolate’.

4. los angeles – omega man, 1971 (imdb)

‘omega man’ was the 2nd film based on the novel ‘i am legend’, the 1st being ‘last man on earth’ and the 3rd being ‘i am legend’, to be released in a few weeks. after coming to terms with the fact that a huge set would be too costly the producer realised prior to filming that l.a. was surprisingly quiet early in the day at weekends so all of the deserted city scenes were shot at that time of the week. the scene below even includes a pan-out for added despair and the echoes of ringing payphones.

3. madrid – abre los ojos, 1997 (imdb)

the gran via in madrid was completely closed off to film the scene below, the inspiration for vanilla sky’s big budget version in times square. it may not have the flashing billboards and an a-list star to run down the street like a maniac but the street’s architecture more than makes up for it. this clip is actually the first 10 minutes of the film, the initial 3-4 minutes being the ‘deserted’ section.

2. manhattan – vanilla sky, 2001 (imdb)

this remake of ‘open your eyes’ was largely disappointing, this scene being the best part of it. the crew were given 3 hours to shoot the times square sequence early on a sunday morning and crowe was determined not to use cg to remove any signs of life. the whole process included lenghty discussions with the new york mayor’s office, the new york film commission and the police department. the result is incredible.

1. london – 28 days later, 2002 (imdb)

it took 6 days to shoot the ‘deserted’ sections of this brilliant film on mini-dv cameras, the crew only able to get permission to close off entire streets in london for minutes at a time, and the effort was worth it. for the empty motorway scenes, they even managed to persuade the traffic police to close off a 10 mile stretch of the m1 for a very short period of time. warning: the clip below has been subjected to a shit soundtrack by the youtube user. turn the volume down.

sources: 1, 2, 3

60 Sources of Inspiration for Photography

Wrutten by laurie

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Photography: mab2413

Are you struggling for new ideas? Do your creative batteries feel as flat and lifeless as a skunk in the fast lane?

Here are 60 ways to breathe new life into your love of photography and re-energize your inspiration.

1. Play with Photoshop
So much of photography these days happens after the shutter release has been pressed. There’s probably a ton of things that you don’t know how to do in Photoshop. Learn something new and see what that does for your photography potential.

2. Read the Manual
It’s not just Photoshop that can do all sorts of things that you don’t know about. Your camera probably has more settings and functions than you know? or know what to do with. You might find a lot of new ideas in the middle of your camera manual.

3. Watch a Movie
Manuals are all well and good, but movies have cinematographers too. There’s not much you can’t learn about landscape photography by sitting back and watching an old Sergio Leone film.

4. Read a Newspaper
Or you can be a little more intellectual and read a newspaper. The Sunday magazines have the best photos but the work by the staff photographers can be great models for creating striking images for amateurs as well as for photojournalists.

5. Visit a Flea Market
Strange objects mean strange shapes, odd shadows and plenty of potential for unique compositions. And you don’t even have to buy anything.

6. Shop at a Farmer’s Market
You never know what you might find at a flea market. At a farmer’s market, you know you can find colors, spheres, people and displays. And dinner too.

7. Check out Some Wedding Photojournalism
It might not be the sort of thing that your clients expect, but the images on display at the Wedding Photojournalist Association’s website might get you thinking about brides and grooms in a whole new way. Instead of the posing and the tripod, you’ll get to blend into the crowd and document the scene. It’s a whole new skill and it could give your wedding photography a whole new lease of life.

8. Hit the Water
You don’t have to be a scuba diver to shoot underwater images. You just need waterproof housing and access to the sea, a swimming pool or even a pond. And once you’re wet, don’t forget to look up as well as down. Some of the most inspiring images can be taken at the point where the light hits the surface of the water.

9. Hit the Streets
There’s a good reason that street photography is so popular: there are so many good things to shoot there. If you haven’t been photographing roads and crowds, give it a go. And if you have, try a different road.

10. Join a Demonstration
Demonstrations are full of flags, banners, placards and crowds. You can lose people in the mass or pick out expressions in the crowd. The only cause you have to support is photography.

11. Watch a Sports Event
The pros have it easiest at sports events with prime positions and lenses longer than your arm. But you can still try something new at your park on a Saturday afternoon.

12. Visit the Zoo
It might not be as thrilling as a Kenyan safari, but a zoo still has the sort of photographic subjects you can’t find anywhere else. Of course, you don’t have to try to squeeze your lens between the bars. Shooting the kids in awe at the monkeys can create some interesting images too.

13. Shoot Fast at a Race Track

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Photography: joel.weismann

Race tracks also give you an opportunity to use a new technique: speed. Fast cars and a faster shutter speed can make for some inspired shooting.

14. Visit an Exhibition
Obvious, really. And yet so often overlooked. Any decent-sized town is likely to have at least one photographic exhibition on at any one time. Take in yours and see what the top photographers did to get on the wall.

15. Browse Google Images
You don’t even have to leave the house to find inspiring images though. Toss keywords into Google Images, admire the good photos that turn up and ask how you would have improved the poor ones.

16. Join Flickr Groups
The pictures in Flickr Groups are great places to see what other people are doing with a theme; the discussions are great places to find out how they did it. And you’ll probably find that the feedback you get on your own photos will give you plenty to think about too.

17. Just Step Back and Watch
For children’s photographers in particular, there can be a temptation to just dive in and get the photos. Sometimes though, lowering the lens, stepping back and watching the subject can reveal whole new sides. That’s true for portrait photographers, wedding photographers, animal photographers? in fact just about any photographer!

18. Roam the World with Flickr Maps
Flickr Maps might be a bit slower than Google Maps, but it comes with Flickr Images built-in. Choose a part of the world with interesting topography and see what photographers have done with it.

19. Change your Angle
Most people shoot an object by placing the lens right in front of it. When David Rubinger lay on the floor to shoot up at paratroopers in front of Jerusalem’s Western Wall during Israel’s Six Day War, he created an iconic image. What would you create?

20. Change your Time
Find yourself shooting at the same time of day each weekend? So break a habit. Discover what the light at dusk, mid-afternoon or early morning can do for your ideas. And it’s not just the light that can make the difference here. Just breaking your routine can often be enough to give you a new perspective and a whole new way photography habit.

21. Browse Stock Sites
You don’t have to be a buyer to check out the images on stock sites. You can be a professional photographer looking for ideas too? especially ideas for commercial images. And the searching is simple. Looking at the top-sellers will give you a good idea of what the market is buying, and browsing by category will show what other photographers are doing with their themes.

22. Write a Blog
Darren Rowse, over at Digital Photography School, mentions how much just writing about photography has helped to improve his picture-taking. It doesn’t matter if no one reads it; just putting your thoughts on the page could give you some new ones.

23. Read a Blog
Of course, reading a photography blog is even more inspiring thing than writing one. Not only can you learn what went into a photo and where the idea came from, you can also discover how to sell it. But then we would say that, wouldn’t we?

24. Buy a Photography Book
You can never own too many photography books, and each one you buy should give you a bunch of new ideas. Although that’s true of both books of photographs and books about taking pictures, you might find that photography guides give you more inspiration than a collection of images. The former will give you techniques to try out, while the latter will show you the techniques the greats have used. Stil, if you’re really stuck, go shopping.

25. Browse a Bookstore
Or save your cash, take a pile of book to the store’s caf? and sit and enjoy yourself. In fact, you don’t even have to take the photography books with you. Even the dust jackets of the hardbacks can give you ideas for shots, especially commercial images.

26. Step Away from the Magazine Racks
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Photography: cathyse97

And if book covers can give you ideas, just think what magazine covers can do. These are designed to be eye-catching and stand out on a shelf. They could make your next photo stand out too.

27. Make Friends in the Photography World
Some photographers find it easiest to shoot alone. Others like to shoot as a group. Everyone can benefit from the feedback, discussions and habits of other photographers.

28. Join Photography Organizations
If you’re a professional and you’re not a member of a professional photography organization, you should be. Not only can organizations help with insurance and legal matters, their news, contests, and profiles of other photographers can inspire to make your own splash among your peers.

29. Shoot Yourself

eye3.jpg

Photography: hen power

When you’re stuck for a subject, always remember that there’s an interesting one behind the lens too. Be brave. Put yourself in the shot for a change.

30. Revisit Your Past
You probably have a stack of old images that you rarely review, including many that you can’t bring yourself to look at. Give them another chance. A shot that failed a few years ago might well be achievable today – and give you ideas for more.

31. Revisit Places You’ve Been Before
And the same is true of locations. Even if you’ve taken a photograph in one location, it doesn’t follow that you’ll take exactly the same image a few days, months or years later. The light will be different, your skills will be different? and so will you.

32. Ask “What if??”
Some of the greatest artistic answers have come from asking the right questions. A good one to start with is always “What if??” What if you focused on the foreground instead of the background? What if you changed the ISO? What if you got a flash of inspiration?

33. Leave Constructive Comments
We’ve mentioned that writing blogs can help to give you new ideas, but so can writing comments on other people’s images. Just make sure the comments are constructive. Praise the photographer’s use of shadow, for example, and you’ll be telling yourself how to get similar praise.

34. Join Photo Contests
Everyone and their uncle these days seems to be running a photography competition. And for good reason. They’re a great way to motivate photographers to shoot outside their boxes.

35. Choose a Theme
Photo contests are helpful because in addition to prizes, they also give subjects to shoot. But you don’t have to actually enter a contest to win one of those. You can pick your own theme. You could even use the categories on stock sites as inspiration for subjects.

36. Check out the Big Winners
And of course, taking a look at images shot by the winners of big photo contests, such as the Pictures of the Year, can show how far your image are from those at the top of the profession? and what you need to do to join them.

37. Go Back to the Rules
You probably know the rules of photography. And you probably know how to bend them and when to break them too. So maybe go back to when you were first learning techniques and try working strictly to rule for a while.

38. Just Shoot Anyway
There are always times when you lift the camera, look at the screen and think, “No.” But what would happen if you did it anyway? At worst, you’d waste a bit of disk space. At best, you might surprise yourself and find a new kind of composition.

39. Get a Cause
Few people are more motivated than those who believe they’re working for the common good. So join them. Pick a cause, offer it your photography skills and the end will help inspire the means. You could find yourself shooting all sorts of things from campaign posters to t-shirt images to angry demonstrations. The variety should be as satisfying as the campaigning.

40. Play with Textures
While photographers often pay attention to light and composition, the texture of the materials in the subject can be left behind. Try focusing on touch rather than vision for a few shots and see what happens?

41. Play with Colors
Or be traditional and paint your pictures with bold colors and sharp contrasts. Or try using different tones of just one or two colors and see what that does for yourt results. It might not be original but if you haven’t done it before, it could be time to give experimenting with colors a try.

42. Drop Color Altogether

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Photography: cayusa

Of course, you could also be super-traditional and focus on practicing your skills in black-and-white. Do you know which shots would look best without color?

43. Play with Settings
Chances are, once you’ve found a camera setting that works for you, you don’t stray from it too far. So start straying. Play with the exposure, change the ISO, switch the shutter speed. And build on the results.

44. Play with a Point-and-Shoot
When you shoot with a DSLR, you can get used to all the bells, whistles and options that come with an expensive camera. So lay it aside, pick up an instant and shoot on the cheap. You’ll be amazed at what downgrading can do for your creativity.

45. Just Play
The beauty of digital photography is that there’s no penalty for making mistakes. That gives you a free ticket to stop worrying about whether a picture will turn out well or be an embarrassing flop, and just shoot. So try just enjoy taking photographs without thinking too much about the results.

46. Try a Different Specialty
Whether you specialize in wedding, portraits or anything else, try a niche you’ve never done before. You don’t have to do it professionally but just doing it for a while could give you a whole new bag of techniques and inspire new ways of creating your images.

47. Read Forums
We’ve mentioned that Flickr Groups can be good places to find inspiration but so can photography forums. Often, photographers use them to pose questions, but even those questions can get you thinking. The answers can get you shooting. (That can include your answers too. Tossing in your own two cents’ worth can get you thinking about all things you’re not doing – or haven’t been doing yet.)

48. Start a Project
Inspiration might come in a flash but you want it to hang around. Instead of thinking of an idea for one photograph, try thinking of an idea for a series of photographs. If you’d decided to take pictures of lightning for example, expand the concept to include extreme weather as a whole and add photographs of windswept trees and sun-bleached rooftops. That should keep you busy for a while?

49. Take a Photography Class
Photography classes make thinking up ideas very easy. You’ll even be given assignments so that you don’t have to think up subjects at all, just novel approaches to them.

50. Take any Class

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Photography: absolutwade

But you don’t have to limit yourself to a photography class. A cooking class will let you create photography subjects that you can eat. A flower-arranging class could give you new ideas for floral photography. Even an origami class could provide a pile of new ideas for images.

51. Define the Perfect Image
Do you know what the perfect image would look like? Bet you’re thinking about it now, right? Instead of thinking how good the next shoot would be, try thinking about what the best shot would look like? then find it.

52. Create a Shooting Schedule
One way to cut back on the regular head-scratching is to plan ahead. Pull out a calendar and decide in advance what sort of images you’ll be shooting each weekend for the next few months. And leave room for flexibility.

53. Pick a Different Model
If you always use the same models or models with similar looks go for something completely different: the opposite sex, a different height, a new age group. See what a different subject can for your ideas.

54. Ignore the Silly Criticism
This one won’t boost your inspiration but it might stop it being blocked. Ask people to comment on your photos and you’ll always get someone with something dumb to say. The challenge is to pick out the constructive comments and leave out the smartass ones that can make you think twice in the future.

55. Do Something Totally Outrageous
Ever told yourself “That would never work?” Well, here’s a “what if?” What if it did work? Go ahead, surprise yourself. Shoot what’s under the sofa. Snap the top of your head. Do something outrageously silly? and see if it works.

56. Give yourself Limits
Some of the greatest literature has been written under the strictest censorship. So limit yourself. Close the door and shoot only an object that you can find in the room. Or tell yourself that you have to produce a fantastic image within the next half hour. Take up the challenge

57. Tell a Story
Good pictures always tell a story. So try thinking of a story then go out and create the images that illustrate it. That could be the story of your street, a narrative describing a community or even the progression of a cub baseball team. Find where your story begins then use your camera to follow it through to the end.

58. Print your Pictures
It’s one thing to view your photos on a computer screen but printing them out and holding them in your hand can be something else altogether. Try printing a selection of your photos and see whether they still work on paper? and how you can improve them.

59. Take an Object, Any Object?
We started this list by pointing out that flea markets are full of strange objects to photograph. But there’s a limit to how you can photograph an individual object in a flea market. So take one home or pick something off the shelf and give yourself a whole new set of still lifes.

60. Buy New Equipment
And if all else fails, you can always use cash. A burst of new ideas always seems to come free with a new lens.

The Top 20 Ways to Come Up With Amazing Ideas

Post by skellie Written by Leo Babauta Photo by mugley

Photo by mugley.

I’m a pretty prolific blogger – between regular posts at Zen Habits, and writing regularly for blogs such as Web Worker Daily, FreelanceSwitch, NorthxEast and more, and writing guest posts for other blogs (such as the excellent Skelliewag), I write a lot of posts every week.

And what’s asked of me most often, besides “How can you write so much?”, is the more difficult question: “How do you come up with so many ideas for posts?”

That’s not so easy to answer.

Coming up with ideas is a skill, actually, something that’s become easier with practice. And I don’t have one single method of coming up with great ideas for articles, except this one:

I’m ALWAYS on the lookout.

Seriously. Always. Whether I’m in the shower, eating, reading, driving, exercising, talking, IMing, emailing, working, writing or playing with my kids, I always think to myself, “You know, that would make a great post!” It’s a bit sad, actually.

With that in mind, if you’re trying to find sources of great, wonderful, unique ideas, whether that’s for a blog post or a painting or a poem or a new product ? here are my favorite ways.

1. Carry a notebook. Seriously, carry it everywhere. I can’t tell you how many awesome ideas I’ve lost simply because I forgot to bring my notebook. And you know why I can’t tell you? Because I didn’t write them down. Carry your notebook everywhere, always have some kind of writing implement, and write things down immediately. Of course, you may need to pull your car over to avoid an accident ? or just start riding mass transit instead, to avoid that problem. Another good article on capturing ideas.

2. Keep a list. I have a simple Google Doc that I can pull up at any time with a few keystrokes (I use AutoHotKey to open all my most commonly used documents and programs instantly). On this list, I write down all my ideas. When I need to write a post, I am never short of ideas. Actually, I have dozens more ideas than I can ever use, so if anyone needs any, let me know. Just $5 an idea. 🙂

3. Exercise. OK, you’re going to skip past this one. That’s OK. I’m not saying you have to start exercising to have amazing ideas, but from personal experience, exercise is one of the absolute best ways to come up with ideas. It seems it is literally impossible to go for a run or a walk without coming up with an idea that will knock you on your butt. Which is why I now wear padded running shorts.

4. Driving. There’s something about the mindlessness of driving that allows me to come up with some of my better ideas in the car. To make this work, you have to drive slower than some of the maniacs out there (try it, it’s calming), and ignore the rude antics of your fellow drivers. Concentrate on avoiding an accident, but don’t worry if someone cuts you off or is driving slower than your average toddler can walk. Just stay in your Zen zone, and watch the ideas come to you effortlessly.

5. Read a lot. I’m reading a book every day, several times a day. It might take me a week to finish the book, but that’s because I take my time and enjoy the book. In addition, I’m always reading stuff on the Internet. Reading is one of the very best ways to find new ideas. And yes, you have to read the articles, not just the pictures. 🙂

6. Find inspiration. I find inspiration from many sources, including other bloggers, from friends and family, from life itself. Sometimes, an idea can be totally unrelated to the source of your inspiration, but the key is that spark, that energy, that ignition that gets your mind going. Whatever does that for you is worth its weight in gold. Failing inspiration, just rip off ideas (and make them your own).

7. Listen. One of my favorite ways to get ideas is by listening to other people talk. When someone talks to me, I try to talk as little as possible, and just listen to them and understand. That’s difficult when talking to engineers, of course. Those guys can talk! I also like to eavesdrop on conversations held by loud people when I’m in public places. Yes, that makes me weird.

8. Find twists. Found a great idea by someone else? As mentioned before, if you aren’t inspired by someone else, just rip off their ideas. But don’t just spit out the ideas verbatim – take them to another level by finding new twists on those ideas. How can you take this great idea (or even a common idea) and give it a new twist? Sometimes you can find the best ideas by putting a new spin on an old idea.

9. Examine your life. Take a few minutes now and then to step back and take a look at your life. What are you doing? Where are you going? Who are you? What are you all about? What’s important? What are you trying to achieve? What are you doing right and wrong? Ask yourself these types of questions, think about what it is you do every day and why. This kind of examination can produce dozens of new ideas.

10. Question everything. When you find yourself thinking or following traditional ideas that everyone assumes are right, question them. Ask yourself if it’s really true, and if so, why? Why does everyone think this? Is it possible there are other ways of doing things? Question everything, and you might come up with some surprising answers.

11. Trawl through fresh sources. Sometimes, if you drive home the same route every single day, it’s good to drive a new route, even if it’s a little longer. Change things up. Similarly, you should visit new web sites, read new authors, break out of your niche, talk to new people, start clicking on links in blogrolls and see where they take you. Get outside your familiar territory, and find new ideas in new places.

12. Bounce stuff off others. Got an idea? Bounce it off a friend or colleague. Sometimes their responses can spur new ideas in you, and vice versa. It’s amazing what can form when two people put their heads together. Avoid more than three people talking about ideas, though ? “ideas by committee” is not a smart approach.

13. Reader emails. I get lots of emails from readers, and while it can take a lot of my time to read and answer them, it’s well worth the effort. Some of my best post ideas have come from the suggestions of others. If you don’t get a lot of reader emails, don’t let that stop you ? find a way to solicit suggestions from others, asking for emails or comments on your blog or whatever it is you do. Let others come up with the ideas!

14. Forums. Similar to some of the items above, online forums can be amazing places for ideas. You can get suggestions from others, you can bounce ideas off people, you can read and be inspired by great ideas from people on the forums. And there are so many forums online that it’s practically impossible to run out of ideas from them.

15. Ask. When I’m running dry, or need a fresh source of ideas, I’ll ask my readers. I’ll do a post and ask them for suggestions for different topics. And let me tell you, there is no shortage of great topics when I do this. A few months ago I asked if they had “health and fitness” topics they’d like me to write about. I haven’t even gotten halfway through the list of ideas yet!

16. Magazine rack. When I go into a bookstore or grocery store, I like to spend a few minutes at the magazine rack. I don’t even read all the articles ? I just read the headlines on the cover, or flip through the magazines. And I don’t just read the ones I’m interested in ? I glance at them all. I’ve found some amazing ideas in these racks.

17. Look deep inside yourself. This is a difficult one. It’s similar to the “examine your life” suggestion, but it’s a deeper look at yourself. Really reach deep inside, and search the person you are, search your soul for your deepest desires, your innermost secrets, your most secret dreams and ambitions. You can find some of the most wonderful ideas deep within yourself.

18. Learn from your mistakes. While mistakes can be embarrassing, I love making mistakes. Sure, they’re sloppy and painful, but they’re anything but unproductive. Mistakes are the way we learn, and if we can harvest the power of mistakes to come up with great ideas, we are using our mistakes to their fullest potential. Think about the mistakes you’ve made in your life, recently and over the years. What can you learn from them? What can others learn?

19. Be inspired by nature. I love going outside, to take a breath of fresh air, to stretch, to get natural light into my computer-strained eyes. And to take a look at the beauty of the nature around me. Our world has some of the most incredible natural beauty in the universe ? take advantage of the nature around you, and find inspiration in it!

20. Music. I like to play a good CD or tune in to my favorite radio station, to get myself moving, to sooth my savage beast, to make my soul leap with joy. Music can be the most inspiring thing in our lives, if we open up our hearts and minds to it.

5 Best Things to Say When Caught Sleeping at Your Desk

Collected by Liz Kroll Written by stanford.edu

5. “They told me at the Blood Bank this might happen.”

4. “This is just a 15 minute power nap they raved about in the time management course you sent me to.”

3. “Whew! Guess I left the top off the Whiteout. You probably got here just in time.”

2. “Did you ever notice sound coming out of these keyboards when you put your ear down real close?” And the NUMBER ONE best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk…

1. Raise your head slowly and say, “…in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

———————-all of the 25 reasons—————–

25. “Oh, Man! Come in at 6 in the morning and look what happens!”

24. “This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!”

23. “This is in exchange for the six hours last night when I dreamed about work!”

22. “You don’t discriminate against those with Latient Atrophy Zymosis Yeast syndrome, DO YOU?!?”

21. “Gee, I thought you (the boss) were gone for the day.”

20. “They told me at the blood bank this might happen.”

19. “Oh, Hi, I was trying to pick up my contact lens without my hands.”

18. “This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in the last time management course you sent me to.”

17. “Whew! Guess I left the top off the liquid paper”

16. “I was just meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!”

15. “This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!”

14. “I was testing the keyboard for drool resistance”

13. “I’m doing the “Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan” (SLEEP) I learned at the last mandatory seminar you made me attend.”

12. “It worked well for Reagan, didn’t it?”

11. “This is a highly specific Yoga position to relieve work-related stress.”

10. “Just pacing myself for the all-nighter tonight!”

9. “I was working smarter-not harder.”

8. “Auggh! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem.”

7. “I’m in the management training program.”

6. “The coffee machine is broken….”

5. “Someone must’ve put decaf in the wrong pot.”

4. “Boy, that cold medicine I took last night just won’t wear off!”

3. “Ah, the unique and unpredictable circadian rhythms of the workaholic!”

2. “It’s okay… I’m still billing the client.”

And the #1 response if found asleep at your desk:

1. “…and I especially thank you for my excellent boss, Amen!”

8 Things You Don’t Really Have to Do

Written by Tynan

We grow up being told what to do and what not to do and can,t wait until we’re adults and can do whatever we want. When we finally get there, there are new people like bosses, cool people on TV, and the government who try to tell us what to do again.

I don’t mind getting into a little trouble here and there, so I tend to push the envelope a bit. However, even if you want to stay on the right side of the law, here are a few things that you probably THINK you have to do, but don’t really.

  1. Write in tip amounts You can just put the total amount and completely ignore the top box. Do you really think they’re not going to figure out how much it is? If you have super messy writing you might want to write it in to make sure they understand the amount, but if you aren’t a 2nd grader, you’re probably fine.
  2. Stop at stop signs in parking lots These signs aren’t actually legal signs. Have you noticed how they’re often not the same size or material? That’s because they’re made by the property owners. They’re as legally valid as me putting a crosswalk in the middle of my living room. So if it’s late and no one else is in the parking lot, just drive past them. It’s exhilarating.
  3. Check out at hotels There’s no real benefit to checking out at hotels. You’ve paid for a night and they’re expecting that you’ll be gone by the time you said you’d be gone. Just leave.
  4. Letting stores check your receipts You know those stores like Best Buy or Fry’s who treat you like a potential shoplifter after you leave and want to verify your receipts at the door? They have no right to do it! The worst is when there’s a huge line and they expect you to wait there. Just walk past and say “no thanks” when they go to look at your receipt. They legally have to let you go. The one exception are “clubs” like Costco where you’ve agreed to allow this in your membership agreement.
  5. Signing credit card receipts with your real name You’re probably supposed to sign it, but do you really think you’re not going to get charged if you write something else? I once drew a mountain range, a lake, and an indian in a canoe that was being eaten by a huge shark. When the cashier insisted I sign my name I just wrote “artwork by Tynan” at the bottom. The charge went through.
  6. Give your phone numbers and address when buying things This is a pet peeve of mine. Stores (RADIOSHACK!) always ask for your info so that they can send you tons of junk. I just tell them that I don’t want to give it to them, and they never refuse to sell to me.
  7. Writing out the numbers on checks How annoying is it to write out “Four thousand three hundred fifty two dollars and XX/100?? I hate it. Instead just write “?????4352.00????”. The chances that someone is going to try to tamper with your check are basically nil. Especially if you’re writing a check to some company.
  8. Get oil changes every 3000 miles The ideal amount of time between changes is actually about 4000-5000 miles, but motor oil companies have pushed the 3000 mile thing to sell more oil.

Have any more to add? Put them in the comments and I’ll add good ones here!

7 Geniuses and 1 Entire Science That Never Won the Nobel

Written by Mangesh

Scientists and Intellectuals are supposed to be above petty politics and popularity contests, right? Nope. Here are a few bright bulbs that never got the fancy Nobel gold medallion (or the millions of Swedish krona that go with it). And you thought the Oscars were bad.

1. Joan Robinson, Economics

Great Britain’s Joan Robinson may be one of the most exciting figures in the history of “the Dismal Science.” An acolyte of the great John Maynard Keynes, her work covered a wide range of economic topics, from neoclassicism to Keynes’s general theory to Marxian theory. Not to mention, her notion of imperfect competition still shows up in every Econ 101 class. Add to that the fact that Robinson’s greatest work, The Accumulation of Capital, was published way back in 1956 but is still widely used as an economics textbook. So why no Nobel? Some say it’s because she’s a female, and no female has ever won the Nobel in Economics. Others say that Robinson’s work over her career was too eclectic, rather than hyperfocused like that of so many other laureates. Still others claim that she was undesirable as a laureate because of her vocal praise for the Chinese Cultural Revolution, a fairly anti-intellectual enterprise.

2. Dmitri Mendeleev, Chemistry

Why would this guy deserve a Nobel Prize for chemistry? After all, his only achievement was to devise the entire periodic table of elements, the miracle of organization and inference on which all of modern chemistry is based. Mendeleev’s table was so good, it even predicted the existence of elements that hadn’t yet been discovered. But here’s where politics rears its ugly head. In 1906, Mendeleev was selected by the prize committee to win the honor, but the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences stepped in and overturned the decision. Why? The intervention was spearheaded by Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius, who had himself won the prize in 1903 for his theory of electrolytic dissociation. Mendeleev had been an outspoken critic of the theory, and Arrhenius seized the opportunity as the perfect chance to squeeze a few sour grapes.

3. Mahatma Gandhi, Peace

The Susan Lucci of Nobel Peace Prize contenders, Mohandas “Mahatma” (Great-Souled) Gandhi was nominated like crazy: 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947, and 1948.

More after the jump...

He certainly deserved it, as his nonviolent methods helped kick the British out of India and became the model for future Peace Prize laureates like Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi’s final nomination came in 1948, and he was the odds-on favorite to win it that year. However, the “Mahatma” was assassinated just a few days before the deadline. Since the Nobel Prize is never awarded posthumously, the prize for peace went unawarded that year on the grounds that there was “no suitable living candidate.” The decision was also motivated by the fact that Gandhi left no heirs or foundations to which his prize money could go.

4. James Joyce and 5. Marcel Proust, Literature

One wrote Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake, almost universally regarded as two of the most brilliant works of the 20th century (in the case of Ulysses, the most brilliant). And the other is, well, Marcel Proust. Proust’s towering work, A La Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time, or, sometimes, Remembrance of Things Past) is considered one of the greatest literary achievements ever, combining seven novels and 2,000 characters for a celebration of life, consciousness, and sexuality spanning 3,200 pages. James Joyce’s works and stream-of- consciousness style are the basis of countless college courses, doctoral theses, and poetic ruminations. But the writings of Proust and Joyce were probably just too controversial and “out there” for the more conservative Nobel committees of their day. And Nobel’s stricture against posthumous awards hasn’t exactly helped, especially since the influence of these two artists has continued to grow long after their deaths. Most ironic, Proust and Joyce have been major influences on many writers who went on to win Nobels themselves, like Saul Bellow, Samuel Beckett, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Hermann Hesse. Other literary giants who have gotten the Nobel shaft? Evelyn Waugh, Jorge Luis Borges, Bertold Brecht, Graham Greene, Henry James, Vladimir Nabokov, and Simone de Beauvoir, to name a few.

6. Jules-Henri Poincar?, Physics

Although Poincar? was a mathematician, his genius was too universal to be confined to one category. Sure, he came up with all sorts of mathematical theories with crazy names: algebraic topology, abelian functions, and Diophantine equations. But he was into physics, too. Poincar? laid the foundation for modern chaos theory and even beat Einstein to the punch on certain facets of the theory of special relativity. And one of his math problems, the Poincar? conjecture, even remained unsolved for nearly 100 years! So why was Henri overlooked for the Big One? Due to Alfred Nobel’s stipulation that his prizes go to those whose discoveries have been of practical benefit to mankind, the Nobel committees have often been accused of rewarding experimental discoveries over purely theoretical advances. Poincar?’s work in physics seems to be a victim of that prejudice.

7. Raymond Damadian, Medicine

Lots of deserving folks have been passed over for the Nobel, but few were as vocal about it as 2003 runner-up Raymond V. Damadian. He was the brain behind the science of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a technique that completely revolutionized the detection and treatment of cancer. But the 2003 Prize for Medicine went to Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield, two scientists who expanded on Damadian’s discovery. Enraged at the slight, Damadian ran full-page ads in the New York Times and Washington Post featuring a photo of the Nobel Prize medal upside down and the headline “The Shameful Wrong That Must Be Righted.” The ad featured quotes from other scientists backing up Damadian’s claim, even a letter of protest to be cut out, signed, and mailed to the Nobel Committee. Some claim Damadian was slighted because his fundamentalist Christian belief in creationism made him anathema to the scientific community. Others say it was because his discovery wasn’t really useful in medicine until Lauterbur and Mansfield improved upon it. Either way, 2003 left the poor scientist Nobel-less.

8. Oh, and Anybody in Mathematics

When dynamite inventor (that’s not a comment on his abilities; he really did invent dynamite) Alfred Nobel stipulated in his will that his fortune be used to establish a fund to award five annual prizes and famously left out mathematics. All kinds of theories have popped up to explain the omission, the most salacious of which claim that Nobel hated all mathematicians because his wife was schtupping one on the side. Nope. The most likely reasons for Nobel’s ditching math are (1) He simply didn’t like math all that much, and (2) Sweden already had a big, fancy prize for mathematics, bestowed by the journal Acta Mathematica. Although math is still a Nobel bridesmaid, a prize for economics was added in 1968, thereby giving the extremely boring sciences their due.

[Ed. note: this list was taken from Forbidden Knowledge]

Collection of BSOD Blue Screen Of Death

Collected by gamecheats.eu

How many times you have felt like kicking your computer or just throw it away because of the BSOD the famous Blue Screen Of Death i guess at least once if not many times.

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I hope you have enjoyed watching them. These images have been collected from Images.Google.com .

The 10 Funniest Pointless Rivalries Of All Time

Written by bestweekever.tv

Sadly, Michael Scott pushing poor Toby’s lunch tray onto the ground might be the last new episode of “The Office” we see for quite some time now. In order to draw out the Office talk as long as possible, we pose the question: Where does Michael’s irrational hatred of Toby rank in terms of the all-time greatest ridiculous rivalries? Here’s our all-time top ten:

Kimmy and Jesse10. Uncle Jessie and Kimmy Gibbler

“We can’t fire you. You quit!”

A classic sitcom rivalry – annoying neighbor versus smart-alecky, insult-dishing uncle – but with a Lolita-style sexual undercurrent tossed in. Ultimately, John Stamos managed to resist the temptation of his anorexic arch-rival, successfully burying his sexual curiosity beneath wall of cynical one-liners, not unlike the cops on “SVU”.

Trump Rosie9. Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump

“Rosie is a loser, she continues to be a loser?”

I wish for the sake of the gossip world’s integrity that this feud was an elaborate marketing campaign, but given the dreadful ratings of the last fifteen seasons of “The Apprentice” and Rosie’s belligerent, failed stint on “The View,” it’s pretty safe to say that this rivalry was just two A-hole celebrities acting like d*cks. Does something about innessentiality bring out the worst in fellow inessentials? I believe Dustin Diamond and Harvey Walden answered that question for us.

Kanye and 508. Kanye West and 50 Cent

“I am the number one human in music?”

Remember when hip-hop rivalries used to end with bullet-ridden corpses and thousands of hilarious subsequent conspiracy theories? The supposed rivalry between Kanye West and 50 Cent climaxed with the two rappers who supposedly couldn’t stand one another managing to do a whole bunch of interviews and photoshoots together on the eve of their album-release showdown. Is it an improvement? Yeah, probably. But it would be fun to hear stories about Kanye secretly imprisoned in Jamaica for drug trafficking.

Roadrunner7. Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner

The sound of falling?

One of the more one-sided rivalries in history, given that all luck, circumstance, and rules of physics go against the Coyote at all times, but the Coyote’s stubborn persistence to go after only the one specific Roadrunner, despite that Roadrunner’s ability to move at the speed of light and travel through paintings, indicates that the grudge went far beyond just food, no matter how frequently the Coyote brandished silverware and a bib. Were you trying to convince us that this wasn’t personal, Wile E., or yourself?

Uncle Phil6. Uncle Phil and Jazz

“Going out for lunch eh? Good, that means i have all the time in the world.”

While perhaps not the most prevalent rivalry on the list in terms of sheer frequency or intensity, Uncle Phil’s hatred of the Fresh Prince’s pal gave birth to the most iconic image in sitcom-rivalry history: Jazz doing something over the line, then a jump cut to the exterior of the house, and Jazz being thrown out the door and through the frame. Happened nearly every single time Jazz came over, and like everything on “Fresh Prince”, it somehow never stopped being funny.

Ahab5. Captain Ahab and Moby Dick

“If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it?”

Free of neighborly quips, adversarial respect, or rational resolution, Captain Ahab’s unflinching desire to exact revenge on the sperm whale that maimed him and the 10,000 pages of life-exploring metaphor that he causes in the process is, without question, the funniest rivalry in literary history. I don’t care if he serves as a poignant symbol for the consuming nature of revenge; he hits the whale with a harpoon and gets dragged into the ocean and dies (spoiler alert!), it’s like a frickin’ Will Ferrell movie about an incompetent ship captain. Paul Rudd is Ishmael. Also, I call dibs on this idea that began as a joke but realized midway through that it’s probably worth selling.

Al Bundy4. Al Bundy and Marcy D’Arcy

“Hey, Marcy, what’s holding the towel up?”

Most sitcoms have at least one pair of characters who trade jabs whenever they’re on the screen, but rarely is the viewer given the impression that the two characters would, given the opportunity, literally kill one another. The “Married With Children” neighbors turn the sitcom “lovable neighbor” dynamic on its head, multiply it by a million, then toss in small boobs jokes, tiny penis jokes, chicken jokes, and a genuine, directly stated desire to end one another’s lives. Kind of a throwback to Ricky and Ethel on “I Love Lucy.”

Michael and Toby3. Michael Scott and Toby

“No one asked you anything, ever.”

Steve Carell’s bumbling boss character thrives on levity, lame humor, and a complete avoidance of anything resembling a serious confrontation, and yet, the mere presence of his soft-spoken HR representative instantly yanks him into irrational anger. What makes the one-sided situation so amusing, though, is Toby’s complete lack of response to Michael’s way-over-the-line jabs, hanging his head like a hungry puppy any time Michael lashes out by, say, knocking his lunch tray on the floor after Toby tries to tell him a very personal story to cheer him up during a legal hearing in which Toby is trying to defend Michael?

Jerry and Newman2. Jerry Seinfeld and Newman

“Hello?Newman?”

The strength of the Jerry Seinfeld / Wayne Knight rivalry is built on an earned, albeit a despised, mutual respect for one another; Jerry is fully aware of Newman’s near-magical abilities to, for example, sleep with a model-looking woman, dump her, then ruin any chance of Jerry looking that girl in the eye when they’re trying to date years later. Still, when we get to witness Jerry and Newman calling a truce, or Jerry taking over Newman’s mail route, or Elaine encountering the dislikably friendly “Vargas” character in the Bizarro world, we are reminded that Jerry and Newman, like Holmes and Moriarty, absolutely need one another.

Homer and Ned1. Homer Simpson and Ned Flanders

“I have a question – were you on my roof last night, stealing my weathervane?”

Ned Flanders is a completely selfless, moral, upstanding citizen to every fellow human he meets, free of anger and vulgarity and incapable of any action other than compassion, and yet, Homer Simpson’s unbridled hatred for Old Painty Can Ned is completely and utterly believable. No matter how many times Homer forgets the name of his third child or gets pulled over for a DUI or makes his daughter’s suitors tar his roof, every child in the world would choose his love over Ned Flanders’ locked-out satellite dish and unflavored ice milk. It’s the most unique, humorous, and impossibly relatable rivalry in contemporary history, and I would compare it to the readers’ inherent fascination with Othello’s rival Iago, but I’m just not sure Shakespeare’s quite on that level.

Any more ridiculous rivalries we’re missing? Leave ’em in the comments.

6 Brilliant Marketing Campaigns

Written by wallstreetfighter

Here are 6 great marketing campaigns I’ve run across lately that are just brilliant. They are unique, memorable, and most of all, define the product

1. Buckley’s Cough Syrup:

Their ads are just plain hilarious. The premise of their ads is “It works really well, but taste absolutely awful” They use humor to get this tagline across. I first heard a radio ad where a guy asks “This stuff worked really well but is it really supposed to taste like the juice at the bottom of a trashbag?” and the announcer replies “Why yes it is”

2. Lifelock

“My name is Todd Davis and this is my social security number”. The CEO of Lifelock stands there with all the world to see with his social security number plastered all over the internet daring someone to mess with his identity. Wow, if the CEO is sharing his information then they must really be able to protect you. AND they will spend a million dollars on me making sure that nobody will mess with me. A great marketing campaign. So good that millions will spend $100 to do something they could do themselves in 2 hours a year. Well done

3. Mike Huckabee for President:

Who better to endorse a person running for President than Chuck Norris. Huckabee wants to protect our borders and who better to do it than Chuck, the toughest SOB on the planet. Nobody would even be paying attention to Huck if it wasn’t for this campaign. Brilliant campaign not brilliant man

4. Apple Computer

Everyone thought the “I’m a Mac” commercials were great but assumed they would get old and fade away. On the contrary, each one seems to get funnier. Even PC fans can’t help but laugh. They seem to find something that bothers PC owners and hit it, and use comedy to burn it in your mind. Well written and performed.

5. The Volkswagon Crash Ads:

Admit it. The first time you watched the commercial it scared the shit out of you. I was even caught off guard the next 3 times I watched it. I don’t know if there has ever been a more attention getting ad on TV. It is the television ad version of a “screamer” The ad was created
by Crispin who is one of the hottest ad agency out there.

6. Cabot Cheese

Perhaps the oddest commercial on TV. Comedian Luis Guzman on a set being asked why he loves Cabot cheese. It’s so crazy it’s memorable. Filmed this year but you’ll sweat it was taped 20 years ago. These cheese is delicious but either way, I’ll definitely remember Cabot Cheese from this point on. Here’s the video