Men are widely known for their straight talking and tell-it-like-it-is attitude. But sometimes, us gentlemen say things that we really do not mean. Things that more often than not, get us into trouble. It’s written into our DNA. We have to protect our manliness at all costs. If it means bragging about scoring with a porn star you met at a strip club – then so be it. We never reveal the truth that we were actually escorted from the premises for trying to ‘fondle’ said porn star! So what common things do we say and not mean? Let’s investigate.
15. I want to learn a new language. Do we really want to learn a new language? The majority of people struggle to perfect the Queen’s English and the advent of social media sites such as Facecrap has only made it worse. You’re not going to become the voice of your generation simply because you’re talking Italian!
14. “Let’s put the tip in, just for a second to see what it feels like.” As if! This is standard practice for deflowering women the world over. There was never going to come a point when we said, “Right okay, that’s not working for me. I’ll just pull it out and put my clothes back on.”
13. “I’m only having one drink tonight, lads.” Men are genetically incapable of having just one drink at the pub! One pint quickly progresses into karaoke madness, arm-wrestling competitions, a quick fumble in the toilet with the porky barmaid we swore we’d never touch and ends with us declaring our undying love to our best mate!
12. “It’s not you, it’s me.” This is the biggest lie ever uttered by man. Even women have got in on the act and are now using it as a way to dump us! The truth is – it is you but I don’t want to hurt your feelings. You’re too fat, crap in bed, you moan all the time, your friends are hotter and you smell really bad.
11. “Yeah, Dog Day Afternoon is a masterpiece of directing.” This doesn’t particularly apply to Dog Day Afternoon, but any movie that comes up in discussion down the pub that you haven’t seen! We try to blag our way through the conversation despite knowing nothing about the film, the cast, the plot or even what constitutes a masterpiece of directing!
10. “We need to catch up soon over a pint.” Don’t you just hate bumping into that annoying twat from school who was the sports star, ladies man and all around nice guy! The only way to get rid of him short of a shotgun is to agree to meet up soon. Preferably, when hell freezes over.
9. “Your new girlfriend is lovely mate. Really nice.” Well, what else can you say? “I know you’re lonely since the love of your life dumped you for her yoga instructor, but you need to set your standards a little higher than a woman with more facial hair than ZZ Top!”
8. “Give me the hottest curry on the menu. NOW!” In a desperate bid to show our manliness, we try to convince ourselves that shoving a vindaloo down our throats is the best way to establish our male dominance. In reality, we’re crying on the inside!
7. “I’m rethinking my career choices.” Every now and again we get a little jaded with our worklife and decide to research the possibility of joining an Alaskan crab-fishing crew. Obviously, we get bored quickly and check to see if anyone posted a comment on our zany “Get Me Out Of This Office” blog.
6. “Keep that up and I’ll phone the police.” We know we won’t call the police. We’d have to repeat the post code ten times to the operator, have to let the fuzz into our home to ask us questions and then watch as they drive away – never to hear from them again. Besides, chavs measure their success through ASBO’s so really, what’s the point?
5. “I’ll pay you back mate, I promise.” To be fair, this is half true. We will, eventually, pay you back. Once we’ve paid off our 50? LCD-HD telly, our yearly subscription to The Adult Channel, our gym membership and our brand-new Audi S3.
4. “Of course I’m listening to you, dear.” This is usually followed by a few caveman grunts and a nod or two. We’re not really listening but we are paying just enough attention to not get caught watching the football while you describe, in excruciating detail, everything that happened to you today.
3. “I’m not like other guys. I don’t kiss and tell.” This is a loop-hole in the dating system that men have exploited for years. Technically, we don’t kiss and tell. When we’re bragging to our mates about shagging you in the back of the car, the last thing we’d ever want to tell them about is the kissing!
2. “She’s just a friend.” Yeah, she’s just a really hot, big bosomed, nymphomaniac friend. Who are you trying to kid, chief?
1. “Oi! You and me, outside, right now!” In a desperate attempt to solidify our dominance in the presence of another alpha-male we try to bluff our way out of it by calling them out! For the love of God, why?? Chances are he’s going to answer your bluff with one of his own. The best you can hope for is that you’re both regretting your decision and when you get face to face, you have a bit of a shout, a few shoves and maybe beat your chest in that ever-so manly way before your mates mercifully pull you away!
What’s missing then gents (and ladies)? Drop a message in the comments and we’ll add them in.
“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
I’m nearly 35 years old, and I’ve made my share of mistakes in my life. I’m not a big believer in regrets … and I have learned tremendously from every single mistake … and my life is pretty great.
However, there are a few things I wish I had known when I was graduating from high school and starting out as an adult in life.
Would I change things? I’m not so sure. I might never have gotten into a mountain of debt, but then I wouldn’t have learned the amazing satisfaction of getting out of it. I might have made better career choices, but then I wouldn’t have all the work experience that makes me the blogger and writer that I am today.
I might not have gotten married that first time, so that I would never have gotten divorced … but then I wouldn’t have my first two beautiful wonderful incredible children from that first marriage.
I don’t think I would change any of that. However, looking back, there are some lessons I’ve learned that I would probably tell my 18-year-old self. Do I share them now to share my regrets? No, I share them in hopes that younger men and women, just starting out in life, can benefit from my mistakes and my lessons.
What follows isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s one that I hope proves useful to at least a few people.
“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it.” – Jack Handey
How to control impulse spending. If there’s anything that got me in trouble financially, it’s impulse spending. Buying clothes when I don’t need them. Buying gadgets because I gotta have them. Ordering stuff online because it’s so easy. Buying that new shiny SUV because … well, because it was going to help me with women. I’m not proud of any of that. I’ve learned to control my impulses, at least a little better. Now, I give myself some time to breathe. I think over my purchases, see if I’ve got the money, think about whether it’s a need or a want. That would have been a useful tool 15 years ago.
You gotta stay active. I was in track, cross country and basketball in high school, but once I started college, the running and basketball began to slowly fade away. Not right away – I played pick-up basketball for years after high school. But even that went away, until I became sedentary. Playing with my kids outdoors winded me. And I began to get fat. I’ve reversed that trend, and am very active now, but I’m still trying to burn the fat I gained in those inactive years.
How to plan finances. I always knew that I was supposed to budget and track my spending, when I became an adult. I just was too lazy to do it. And I didn’t have a good idea of how to actually do it. Now, I’ve learned how to plan, and how to stick to that plan. Sure, I deviate from my plan, but I’ve learned how to handle that too. Maybe that’s not a skill you can learn from book reading. You just gotta practice. Well, I hope to teach it to my children before they go out on their own.
Junk food will come back to bite you in the butt. Yeah, it wasn’t just the sedentary lifestyle that got me fat. It was all the damn junk food too. I would eat pizza and burgers and Twinkies and sugar cereal and desserts and donuts and … well, you get the picture. As someone used to being able to eat whatever I wanted, it never seemed like it would be a problem. Bad health was something to worry about when you got old. Well, my jeans began to get way too tight, and to my horror, I climbed several pants sizes and developed a gut that only now is going away. I wish someone had shown me an “after” picture when I was young and downing the Big Gulp sodas.
Smoking is just dumb. I didn’t start smoking until I was well into my adult years. I won’t go into why I started, but it didn’t seem like a problem, because I knew I could quit anytime I wanted. Or I thought I could, at least, until several years later I gave it a go and couldn’t do it. Five failed quits later and I realized with horror that my addiction was stronger than I was. Sure, I eventually beat the habit (quit date: Nov. 18, 2005) but it took a piece of my soul to do it.
Fund your retirement, son. And don’t withdraw it. This piece of wisdom, and probably all the ones above, might seem blisteringly obvious. And they are. Don’t think I didn’t know this when I was 18. I did. I just didn’t pay it serious attention. Retirement was something I could worry about when I was in my 30s. Well, I’m in my 30s now and I wish I could slap that little 18-year-old Leo around a bit. What money I could have invested by now! I had a retirement plan, but on the 3 occasions when I changed jobs, I withdrew that and spent it frivolously.
All the stuff you’re doing that seems hard – it will be of use. This is the first one that might not be as obvious. There were times in my life when work was hard, and I did it anyway, but hated it. I did it because I had to, but boy did it stress me out and leave me exhausted. Hard work isn’t as easy as I wanted it to be. But you know what? Every bit of hard work I did without knowing why I was doing it … it’s paid off for me in the long run. Maybe not right away, but I’m using skills and habits I learned during those times of high stress and long hours and tedious work – I use them all the time, and they’ve made me into the person I am today. Thank you, younger Leo!
Don’t buy that used van without checking it out closely. I thought I was being smart by buying used, but I didn’t check it out carefully enough. That dang van had loads of engine problems, a door that nearly fell off when I was driving, a door handle that snapped off, a side mirror that fell off, no spare tire despite three tires that were ready to blow (and did), windows that didn’t roll up, rattling noises, an eventual blown radiator … I could go on and on, but let’s just say that it wasn’t my best purchase. I still think buying used is smart, but check things out closely first.
That guy you’re going to sell your car to? On a gentleman’s agreement? He’s not gonna pay you. I sold another car to a friend of a friend, who I was sure would pay me even if I had nothing in writing. That was smart. I still see the guy once in awhile on the road, but I don’t have the energy to do a U-turn and chase after him.
Make time to pursue your passion, no matter how busy you are. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and get a book published. I just never had time to write. With a family and school and a full-time job, there just weren’t enough hours in the day. Well, I’ve learned that you have to make those hours. Set aside a block of time to do what you love, cut out other stuff from your life that take up your time, and don’t let anything interfere with that work. If I had done that 15 years ago, I could have 15 books written by now. Not all would be great, but still.
All that stuff that’s stressing you out – it won’t matter in 5 years, let alone 15. When things are happening to you right now, they mean all the world. I had deadlines and projects and people breathing down my neck, and my stress levels went through the roof. I don’t regret the hard work (see above) but I think I would have been less stressed if I could have just realized that it wouldn’t matter a single bit just a few years down the road. Perspective is a good thing to learn.
The people you make friends with are so much more important than your job or the things you buy. I’ve had a few jobs, I’ve bought a lot of things, and I’ve made a few friends over these last 15 years. Of those, the only thing that still matter to me are the friends. And I wish I could have spent more time with friends (and family) than on the other things.
All that time you spend watching TV is a huge, huge waste of time. I don’t know how much TV I’ve watched over the years, but it’s a crapload. Hours and days and weeks I’ll never have back. Who cares what happens on reality TV, when reality is slipping by outside? Time is something you’ll never get back – don’t waste it on TV.
Your kids are going to grow up way faster than you think. Don’t waste a minute. I just had an Oh My God moment recently. My oldest daughter, Chloe, is 14 going on 15 next month. I have 3 years left with her before she leaves my house and becomes an adult. Three years! I am floored by that single fact, because it really doesn’t seem anywhere near enough time. I want to go back to my younger self and whack that younger Leo on the head and say Stop working so hard! Stop watching TV! Spend more time with your kids! These last 15 years with Chloe (and my other wonderful kids) have gone by much, much too fast.
Forget the drama. Focus on being happy. There have been many things that have happened to me, professionally and personally, that seem like the end of the world. And while these things were bad, they get blown up in our heads so that they become major drama. They caused me to be depressed from time to time. What a waste of time. If I realized that it was all in my head, and that I could be happy instead if I focused on the positive, on what I did have, and what I could be doing … I could have skipped all the moping about.
Pay more attention to blogs when you first hear about them. They’re more than just journals. I first read about blogs 7-8 years ago, but when I took a look at them they didn’t seem like anything of interest. Just some people’s journals about stuff they read on the web. Why would I want to read those? I have my own thoughts about the web, but I don’t need to share them with the world. I spent a lot of time on the Internet, on various sites and forums, but every time I happened upon a blog I would brush past it without interest. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I discovered what wonderful things they could be (I mentioned some of my early favorites in my list of influences). If I had gotten into blogging years ago … well, I wouldn’t have been wasting all that time.
Speaking of which, keep a journal. Seriously. Your memory is extremely faulty. I forget things really easily. Not short-term stuff, but long-term. I don’t remember things about my kids’ early years, because I didn’t record any of it. I don’t remember things about my life. It’s like a lot of foggy memories that I’ll never have access to. I wish I had kept a journal.
Tequila is seriously evil. I won’t go into details, but it should suffice to say that I had some bad experiences, and I’m not sure I learned very much from them or benefited in any way except to learn that tequila is the drink of the Devil.
Yes, you can do a marathon. Don’t put this goal off – it’s extremely rewarding. Running a marathon had always been a dream of mine, since high school … something I wanted to do but thought was out of reach. Or if I ever did it, it would be years and years later. Well, I learned that it’s not only achievable, it’s incredibly rewarding. I wish I had started training when I was young and light and fit … I could have had some good finishing times!
All these mistakes you’re going to make, despite this advice? They’re worth it. My 18-year-old self would probably have read this post and said, “Good advice!” And then he would have proceeded to make the same mistakes, despite good intentions. I was a good kid, but I wasn’t good at following advice. I had to make my own mistakes, and live my own life. And that’s what I did, and I don’t regret a minute of it. Every experience I’ve had (even the tequila ones) have led me down the path of life to where I am today. I love where I am today, and wouldn’t trade it for another life for all the world. The pain, the stress, the drama, the hard work, the mistakes, the depression, the hangovers, the debt, the fat … it was all worth it.
“Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” – Mark Twain
If you think that iPods are used just for listening to music, you obviously haven’t been keeping up with the latest technology The Apple-developed music player now features all kinds of accessories to help you study better, and now other companies are in a rush to get their designs in sync with the iPod. Pre-teens, college kids and even adults are taking advantage of the educational benefits an iPod affords them. From downloadable podcasts to just-for-iPod study guides and applications, learning on the go has never been easier. To find out about the many different ways you can transform your iPod into a learning device, check out our list below.
Stop trying to keep track of all your Spark Notes and endless study guides. Use these programs to upload study materials onto your iPod.
Spark Notes: Long considered a busy high school or college student’s best friend, the online study guide database now offers users an iPod-friendly version. Get summaries and analyses of books like A Tale of Two Cities, Beowulf, Hamlet and more.
iPREPpress: This website provides study guides, travel guides and foreign language training, all compatible with iPods.
Raybook: This company has turned popular study guides and flash cards like Cliff’s Notes and Netter’s into iPod-compatible study sessions. Programs use video, audio and interactive media to help you learn more effectively.
VangoNotes: College students can browse this website for audio downloads in subjects like Sociology, Nursing, Business, Computer Science and other disciplines to access textbook study guides.
NotePods: Currently offered for just $1.99 each, these iPod-compatible study guides give summaries on Jane Austen novels, Shakespeare plays, works by Tolstoy and more.
WorldNomads Language Guides: Prepare for your next vacation by learning Spanish, Thai, French, Hindi, Arabic, Italian, Japanese, Chinese or any of the other languages offered here.
CramSession: Computer and IT students studying for professional exams can find audio study guides here, ready to download.
SparkCharts: This designed-for-iPod study charts help students prep for tests in biology, anatomy, chemistry, algebra, calculus, Spanish and other subjects.
SAT Vocabulary Builder: Get test taking strategies and access to a flocabulary hip hop audio session that will help you remember tricky SAT vocab words.
Cisco Study Guides: Students and professionals studying for Cisco exams can access iPod-compatible study guides here.
Podcasts and More
From podcasts to audio books and other downloadable learning devices, check out these tools that give new meaning to the phrase “continuing education.”
GoogleGet: Get your Google News and iPod in sync by installing this software program. You’ll stay current on all the top news stories, making you better prepared for class or work.
Smithsonian Global Sound: Listen to and learn about music styles from all over the world by checking out the downloads available at the Smithsonian’s Global Sound site.
Soundwalk: This site currently only sells CDs and MP3s, but you can use an MP3-iPod converter to check out unique self-guided audio tours like “The Bronx Graffiti Walk” or “The Paris St. Germain Walk.”
ESL Podcasts: Learn English by taking these ESL classes on your iPod.
Pod CityGuides: This site has hundreds of city guides that are compatible with iPods, so no one has to know you’re really a tourist.
iPod Spanish to Go: Learn Spanish on your iPod with this program that teaches pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and culture.
Mogopop: Use this online program to enhance iPod learning by adding notes, video and illustrations to audiobooks and study notes.
Video iPod Tutorial: Learn how to add podcasts, videos and more to your iPod by checking out this easy how-to guide.
Learning Podcasting: If you want to create your own podcast to share your skills or expertise on a particular subject, read this in-depth introduction to podcasting from Wise-Women.org.
Podtender 3.0: This software program will teach you how to make all kinds of tasty cocktails for your next party.
PodGourmet 2.0: Teach yourself to become a master chef when you get recipes for traditional and vegan meals with this iPod program.
iPod Lesson Plans: Use your iPod in clever new ways to engage students in the classroom. Lesson plan ideas include learning math with music and creating an audio tour.
Librivox: Access podcasts and recordings of book chapters from nearly all genres of literature.
LearnOutLoud.com: This popular website offers free audio books, lectures and other educational material that can be put on an iPod. Browse categories like technology, religion and spirituality, languages, science, politics and business, among others.
Check out these applications and software programs that will make learning with your iPod even easier.
iPodSync: Sync up your work or school Outlook accounts with your iPod by installing iPodSync. You can get automatic updates and transfers for notes, calendar appointments, e-mail, news feeds and more.
iGadget: Make your class notes, presentations, study guides and other materials iPod-friendly by using iGadget. You’ll be able to move documents and files back and forth between your iPod and your computer easily and securely.
Plato Video to iPod Converter: Use this app to transform all kinds of video formats into MP4 formats so that you can upload video clips and footage onto your iPod.
Anapod: If you’re a Windows user but love your iPod, use the Anapod to transfer files back and forth, including class notes, Web clips and more.
CopyTrans: If you’ve loaded up your iPod with tons of finals week study guides, formulas and translators, use the CopyTrans to back it all up and get in sync with your computer…just in case.
iSquint: Convert DVDs, TiVo, AVI, WMV and other video formats to iPod-friendly videos with iSquint.
iPodifier: Sync up your iPod with TiVo, Windows Media Player or SageTV to view video streams of the news, educational programming or other TV shows on your iPod.
iWriter: Talking Panda’s iWriter gives you the tools to create your own iPod study tools with this application and quick tutorial.
YouTube to iPod Converter 2.6: This free converter lets you watch educational videos, TV clips and more on your iPod so that you can review for tests, contribute to class discussions or add them to a presentation.
WiPod v1.0: If you’re looking for a place to study, do some research or prepare for a business meeting, use this application to help you identify the nearest public WiFi hotspot.
Find even more classes and audio books online here. Then, download them to your iPod and keep learning on your way to class, on the plane to your next vacation or anywhere else you have a few minutes to zone out.
Telltale Weekly: This audio book store allows students and literature enthusiasts purchase AAC-formatted audio books and stories for just 25 cents each. Browse categories like Drama, Nonfiction, Humor and Popular Authors.
Free Classic AudioBooks: Find books like Herman Melville’s Typee, Huckleberry Finn and Swiss Family Robinson in iPod-friendly formats here.
Made for Success: This popular personal and professional coaching program is now offered in an audio book format.
Sound Book Emporium: Browse categories like Foreign Language Study, Self Help and Business to find a class that meets your personal, professional or academic needs.
Talking Books Network: Students can quickly listen to key chapters of books they need to finish for class or hear critiques of literary works to help them contribute to in-class discussions.
Project Gutenberg: This large online library of audio books and e-books contains stories and books in languages from English to Greek to Danish to Korean.
iJourneys: Take walking tours in cities like Salzburg, Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris and Ancient Rome by downloading iPod-compatible guides from this site.
Audio Bibles for iPod: AllBibles.com offers iPod-compatible Bibles for theology and seminary students, or for those who just want a more portable version to take along with them.
iLingo: This easy-to-use foreign language program is designed for the iPod and includes tutorials in Italian, German, Portuguese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Russian and more.
PodGuides.net: Create your own podguide to give visitors an insider’s look at your community, or browse through other guides to enhance your next vacation to Melbourne, Brussels, France’s Opal Coast and more.
Supplement your class discussions with iPod tools like StudyGuideGuru and Portable Notes, which will keep your assignments fresh in your head all day.
The Teaching Company: Supplement your class assignments and syllabi with courses and study guides from The Teaching Company. You can search topics like Ancient and Modern History, Religion, Philosophy, Science and Mathematics and more.
Portable Notes: Use this guide to help you install Portable Notes on your iPod, making it easy to review class notes and study guides even if you’re away from your computer.
Rocketbook Video Study Guides: These unique video study guides can be downloaded as MP3s, but use a converter to make them iPod friendly. Humorous videos include guides for The Great Gatsby, Romeo and Juliet and The Odyssey.
Books on Board: Search for ebooks and audio books on this site, in categories ranging from Women’s Reading to Textbooks to Classics to Business.
iPlay Music: This set of music lessons is designed for a variety of multimedia devices, including the iPod.
MyTrainingCenter.com: Access hundreds of video tutorials and how-to guides that provide computer and business training. Downloads are compatible with the iPod.
Unerase Tool: Recover lost study guides, class notes and other materials with this handy tool made for iPods.
Budget Travel Podcasts: The famed Budget Travel site now offers downloadable podcasts for vacations to Las Vegas, Miami and Quebec City.
These top schools offer classes on iTunes U. Start downloading now to listen to Ivy League professors lecture, brush up on your foreign language skills or just broaden your horizons.
Stanford on iTunes: Take a class from Stanford by downloading one onto your iPod. Or, you can find interviews with faculty and lectures to help you better understand the course material at your own school.
Duke University: Listen to the Duke Featured Speakers Podcast or check out notes from the Theatre department or listen to the lecture series sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies.
New York Law School: New York Law School has lectures on iTunes on environmental law, family law, adoption policy, legal education and other hot topics.
MIT: This elite school shares lecture notes, project discussions and more on subjects ranging from engineering to philosophy to urban studies.
Michigan Tech”: Classes like Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering are all available in podcast form at iTunesU.
Yale Books and Authors: Check out this collection of podcasts from Yale authors and faculty, on topics like education, slavery and more.
Harvard Extension School: Take classes from Harvard from the comfort of wherever you bring your iPod. This program features podcasts of a variety of lectures and courses from the Ivy school.
Wellesley on iTunesU: Wellesley College courses and lectures like “Not Such a Small World: The Challenges of Globalization” and “Academic Frauds, Fictions and Fantasies” on iTunes.
Texas A & M: Find all kinds of workshop materials, lectures and other podcasts from this well-known school on iTunes.
Lehigh University: Listen to and watch lectures, news, videos and entire courses from Lehigh University.
Northeastern University: NU is another top school with classes, interviews and other educational materials on iTunes.
Queen’s University: Canada’s famous Queen’s University provides lectures, sports events, news and more to people all over the world wanting to advance their education.
Read below for fun tutorials and podcasts that will enhance your educational experience no matter where you are.
iPod in Education: Visit this site for advice, tutorials and downloads for using the iPod in educational settings.
Research at Chicago: The University of Chicago sponsors this podcast, full of interviews and reports fro the latest research projects in psychology, physics, law and more.
Business English: Learn how to communicate better and improve your professional English skills by tuning into the podcast on your iPod.
History According to Bob: Professor Bob takes his listeners through history, from Ancient Greece to World War I to the Aztecs.
Education Podcast with John Merrow: This PBS-sponsored podcast features correspondent John Merrow and his interviews and reports on the social, political, economic and cultural issues that affect our world.
Openculture: Free Educational Podcasts: Check out this extensive list of free podcasts from colleges and universities like Columbia, Dartmouth, Notre Dame, Stanford Law and the London School of Economics.
Future Shop is a Canadian consumer electronics retail chain. Charlie used to work there, and has now passed along the 7 most common lies he heard salesmen use on unsuspecting customers. Whether you have a Future Shop in your area or not, you’ll find these lies familiar. (We ran into a lot of them back when The Wiz was still in NYC, in fact.)
1) “The Service Plan covers everything” In fact, it doesn’t cover most things. Don’t believe any salesman who says it covers physical damage, spills, cosmetic damage, etc. Also, after you have you machine replaced (after 3 repairs), the Service Plan stops working. The salesman will act like the replacement is a benefit, really it’s so FS can wash their hands of your buggy hardware.
2) “I’m going to give you a discount” More often than not my co-workers would lie about high priced items, claiming to take off hundreds of dollars on cables or warranties to trick uninformed shoppers. Always shop around and find out how much things are worth, and watch what the items scan in at instead of taking his word.
3) “This model is a Future Shop exclusive” Danger Will Robinson. “Exclusives” are always a repackaged retail product, usually with a slight cosmetic change, but bumped up several hundred dollars. As my manager put it: “They move the speakers from the bottom to the sides, repaint it and we mark it up”. Salesmen make about triple commission on these models, so there’s strong incentive to push them.
4) “Setup will avoid hours of work” This only applies to computers, but it’s good to know. Most salesmen try to push this on technophobes, saying that it’s a complicated procedure involving special tools. Really, they click through the Vista install, run regedit to stop some software and burn a backup disk. Oh, and it’s automated. Unless your time is worth about 30 dollars an hour do it yourself.
5) “You’re saving on x” With some products there are legitimate discounts available for bundling, and managers have the authority to offer real discounts on unbundled product. However, avoid bundles like “Pay 350 dollars for setup and get free Office and Antivirus”. You end up saving about 20 dollars on Office and Antivirus, but you’re paying 80 dollars for useless setup still. If you’re going for a discount refuse to tack on anything you don’t want, and try to push the salesman. It’ll hurt his numbers to help you, but he won’t want to lose a big sale.
6) “You need Monster Cables/Setup/x to make this work well” Anyone who reads Consumerist knows Monster Cables are a scam, so avoid them like the plague. They make the salesman about 25 dollars per cable, and leave you with very expensive copper. Similarly, some salesmen say computers won’t work well without setup, which less technically-inclined customers tend to believe.
7) “You have to buy x” Legally, the store is obligated to sell you any available (nondisplay) product at the advertised price. Many stores “pre-setup” their laptops to avoid making customers wait for setup. Salesmen see this as an excuse to force the setup on you. Legally (at least in my store), if the customer didn’t want setup we had to give them the laptop at the sticker price, with setup. If the salesman is too pushy ask for a manager, who will know the rules a lot better.
obviously, construction technologies are advancing extremely quickly. couple that with multi-billionnaires / deep-pocketed companies trying to outdo each other in the quest for the next standout design and you have a near-future filled with mile-high skyscrapers and buildings that no longer look like buildings.
below are 9 strange and unique structures which have either been approved or are in the final stages of approval. some have already been partially constructed.
from a distance this skyscraper, to be completed in 2009 in chicago, will seem quite traditional. it’ll only be when you get close and look up that you can appreciate the ripple/jelly effect created by variously sized balconies from top to bottom.
the phenomenal chicago spire, when completed in 2010, will be the world’s tallest residential building and the tallest building of any kind in the western world. seemingly modelled on the image of a giant drill poking through the ground, the 609m structure will dominate the chicago skyline.
at a modest 234m the cctv building isn’t going to stand out from a distance. however the design and shape is a crowdstopper to say the least and will be another incredible addition to beijing’s skyline in time for the 2008 olympics. the shape, described as a ‘z criss-cross’ results in a very high, seemingly unsupported corner at the front. let’s hope there’s a glass floor up there.
taking on a nautical theme, the developers say the 10 smaller towers represent sailing boats whilst the larger building is ‘the lighthouse’. it’s the lighthouse that steals the show for me, possibly the most incredible looking structure i’ve seen for a long time. if it ends up looking anything close to these pictures i’ll be impressed.
construction has begun on residence antilia despite opposition from those who see it as an ‘excessive’ design in a city where more than 65% of the population live in slums. politics aside and after you recover from the initial shock of seeing a skyscraper that resembles an ikea cd rack, the building actually looks like it may succeed as a stunning, unique, green piece of architecture.
topped with an observation deck over the city of moscow, russia tower will become the tallest building in europe when completed in 2012 and twice the height of the eiffel tower. construction has already started on this angular beast which was designed by foster & partners, also responsible for the gherkin and spaceport america, currently in development.
following months of speculation and sturdy opposition, this humungous project is in the final stages of approval and apparently construction will start very soon. even so, due to the size of the plan it will take at least 15 years to complete. resembling a sci-fi city, the area will be crowned by 2 x 200m towers and completely transform the small island of penang.
this gigantic, 300m tall glass flame of a building will house the gazprom headquarters in st. petersburg, dwarfing all structures in its vicinity. it will apparently change colour up to 10 times per day depending on the position of the sun. the building has already been nicknamed ‘corn on the cob’ by unhappy locals.
this is the big one. when completed next year it will be the tallest man-made structure in the world and the tallest building by a long shot with a predicted height of 818m. note: currently the tallest building on earth, excluding an antenna, is taipei 101 in taiwan which stands at 509m. the photo below is the building’s current state: the skyscrapers below the burj dubai used to look tall.
Web 2.0 is a phenomenon and YouTube is the perfect symbol of Web 2.0 applications. It has become wildly popular – one of the most popular, most-visited sites on the internet. No matter how often you visit it, you always come back. Below, we present to you the best applications for dealing with Youtube.
iDesktop.tv – iDesktop.tv is basically a Youtube but with a way more interactive interface plus an option to download and save any video to your PC. It also allows user to choose and download video in desired format, including AVI (Windows), 3GP (Mobile), MP4 (iPod), and MOV (Quicktime).
OrbitDownloader (Windows) – Powerful all-in-one media downloader for your desktop. OrbitDownloader removes the download barriers from almost all popular social media websites, i.e. Youtube, Dailymotion, Pandora, Rapidshare and many others. Once installed, you’ll be able to speedy download from almost any video or music streaming website.
Download from social music and video websites.
Download acceleration. Outperforms most of the traditional Youtube downloaders.
Videoembed (Greasemonkey script) – This one is really cool. Youtube videos are linked from everywhere these days. And this addon lets you watch the video right on the page it’s linked from. It automatically adds embedded video after each link to pages like Metacafe, Youtube, Myspace? and many others so you can view the video without going to the website. Check it out in action on the Digg’s video section.
VideoFocus – Want to watch online videos without any distractions like ads, chats, comments, etc? This Greasemonkey script strips everything (ads, comments, related video?) but video and a plain background. Works with 30+ video sharing sites.
(By) Contributed by Sumesh and edited by Aibek. Sumesh is a blogger and freelance writer. You can check out his blog at Techzilo.com.
Sometimes they can be funny, sometimes thought provoking, other times they just mess with your mind. They’ll always take your breath away though and make you wonder at the skills of the people that created them. The following images are our favourite Photoshopped images. If you’ve seen better we’d love to hear from you.
Edison with his phonograph (1877). To “hear” Edison bit into his phonograph so the sound vibration traveled through his teeth to his inner ear.
You only have to look around you to see things that Thomas Alva Edison invented or made better. The prolific inventor (in his 84 years, Edison had 1,093 patents to his name) contributed to the incandescent light bulb, phonograph, electrical systems, motion picture camera, telegraph, telephone, X-ray and so on.
Most people think of the light bulb when they think of Edison, but did you know that the “Wizard of Menlo Park” actually didn?t invent the thing? Did you know about his idea of using cement to build homes, furniture, refrigerators and even pianos? Or, how about his role in the execution of a rogue elephant by electrocution?
In honor of his birthday (he was born in February 11, 1847), Neatorama has cobbled up 10 fascinating facts about Thomas Edison, the world?s most famous and prolific inventor:
1. Teacher Thought Edison was “Addled”
Edison was an inquisitive child but a poor student as his mind often wandered. The youngest of 7 siblings, “Al” as he was called in his youth, was deemed “addled” by his school teacher.
When she found out, Edison?s mother was angry and pulled him out of school after only three months of formal education. She home schooled him instead. Edison later recounted “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had some one to live for, some one I must not disappoint.“
2. Edison Built His First Lab at the Age of 10
When Edison turned 9, his mother gave him an elementary science book on how to do chemistry experiments at home. Edison was hooked: he did every experiments in the book and soon spent all his spare money buying chemicals.
At the tender age of 10, Edison built his first science laboratory in the basement of his family?s home. His father tried to bribe him with a penny if only Edison would get out of the basement and go read a book. This he did, but he also used the penny to buy more chemicals for experiments. And to make sure no one took his prized chemicals, he labeled all his bottles “poison.”
3. Edison Was Deaf and He Liked It That Way!
At around the age of 12, Edison started to lose his hearing. One legend has it that a train conductor smacked him in the ears after he started a fire in a boxcar by doing experiments. Edison himself said that he was injured when the conductor picked him up by the ears onto a moving train. Others had said that it caused by a bout of scarlet fever during childhood. In all likelihood it was a genetic condition as both Edison?s father and one of his brothers also suffered from hearing loss.
But one thing?s for sure: Edison actually liked being deaf (technically, he was hard of hearing, not completely deaf). He said that it made it easier for him to concentrate on his experiments.
Oh, one more thing: Edison actually did have a laboratory in a boxcar that caught on fire! Then 12-year-old Edison took a job selling newspaper and candies on the Grand Trunk Railroad from Port Huron to Detroit. He set up a lab for chemistry experiments and a printing press in the baggage car, where he published the Grand Trunk Herald, the first newspaper published on a train.
4. Edison Saved a Boy From a Runaway Train
At the Grand Trunk Railroad, 14-year-old Edison saved 3-year-old Jimmie MacKenzie from a runaway boxcar. Jimmie?s father, station agent J.U. MacKenzie was so grateful that he taught Edison how to operate the telegraph machine.
Later, Edison became a telegraph operator for Western Union. He requested the night shift so he could have more time for his experiments. One day he accidentally spilled sulphuric acid while experimenting on a battery. The acid ran between the floorboards and onto his boss? desk below. Needless to say, Edison was fired the next morning.
5. Edison?s First Patented Invention was a Flop
In 1869, when Edison was just 22 years old, he got his first patent for a telegraphic vote-recording machine for the legislature. Each legislator would move a switch on Edison?s machine that would record his vote on a particular bill.
When a business partner brought the invention to Washington D.C., this is what Congress had to say about it:
The chairman of the committee, unimpressed with the speed with which the instrument could record votes, told him that “if there is any invention on earth that we don?t want down here, that is it.” The slow pace of roll call voting in Congress and other legislatures enabled members to filibuster legislation or convince others to change their votes. Edison?s vote recorder was never used. (Source: The Edison Papers)
From then on, Edison decided that he would only invent something if there was a market for it.
6. Edison Proposed Marriage ? by Morse Code!
On Christmas Day in 1871, at the age of 24, Edison married his 16-year old employee Mary Stilwell, after meeting her just two months earlier. By February, Edison was exasperated at his wife?s inability to invent that he wrote in his diary “Mrs Mary Edison My wife Dearly Beloved Cannot invent worth a Damn!!” and “My Wife Popsy Wopsy Can?t Invent.” Mary gave birth to three children, the first two Edison nicknamed “Dot” and “Dash.”
Two years after Mary died, Edison met and married 20-year-old Mina Miller. The story of how the two met is quite interesting: After Mary?s death, Edison regularly went to Boston and stayed with his friends Mr. and Mrs. Gilliard. The Gilliards made sure that some eligible young lady was “visiting” at the same time. Edison, who was half-deaf, bug-eyed, plagued with halitosis and bad dandruff, would stick his face very close to the girl?s in order to hear her words. This naturally creeped them all out!
One day, the Gilliards introduced Edison to Mina Miller, to whom Edison was immediately smitten:
Edison found his own version of paradise in Fort Myers, then a small village, and apparently decided that he must do three things: build a winter home in Florida, marry Mina, and bring her to his tropical Eden. Once back in New York, Edison?normally a workaholic?was obsessed with his new love. He wrote in his diary at this time: “Saw a lady who looked like Mina. Got thinking about Mina and came near being run over by a streetcar. If Mina interferes much more will have to take out an accident policy.” (Source: Anatomy of Some Celebrated Marriages by D. Wallechinsky and I. Wallace, The People?s Almanac)
Edison taught Mina Morse code so they could communicate in secret by tapping into each other?s hands when her family was around. One day, Edison asked .? ? ..- .-.. -.. -.? ? ..- ? .- .-. .-. -.? ? . and Mina replied -.? . ?
7. Edison Has a Mysterious Tattoo on His Arm
According to a 1911 policy with the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, Edison had five dots tattooed on his left forearm. No one knew what the dots meant.
Interestingly, Edison was credited for inventing the basic tattoo machine. In 1876, he patented the Stencil-Pens, an engraving device that many years later was modified by Samuel O?Reilly to make the world?s first tattoo machine.
Though it would?ve been a neat thing, there was simply no evidence that Edison used his invention to give himself a tattoo.
8. The Edison Invention That Killed
After Wilhelm Conrad R?ntgen discovered X-rays in 1895, Edison directed his employee, a glassblower named Clarence Dally to develop a fluoroscope (then called the Edison X-ray focus tube). The device was a commercial success and ultimately became the basis of modern fluoroscopy used in hospitals today.
At the time, X-rays were not believed to be dangerous and Clarence had a habit of testing X-ray tubes on his hands. In 1900, he had developed lesion on his wrist that wouldn?t heal after several skin grafts and was so tenacious that his hand had to be amputated. Edison kept Dally on his payroll, even when he was so sick that he couldn?t work any more. Clarence?s condition worsened and even after the amputations of both of his arms, he died of cancer.
Shaken, Edison stopped all work on fluoroscopes as revealed in a New York World interview in 1903:
“Don?t talk to me about X-rays,” he said. “I am afraid of them. I stopped experimenting with them two years ago, when I came near to losing my eyesight and Dally, my assistant practically lost the use of both of his arms. I am afraid of radium and polonium too, and I don?t want to monkey with them.” (Source: New York World)
9. Edison?s Quirky Invention: the Concrete House
In 1887, Edison embarked on a project that would later prove to be a huge fiasco. He proposed an idea of extracting iron from low-grade ore and was immediately ridiculed by an editorial who called the idea “Edison?s Folly.” The stubborn Edison immediately invested his own money and built a huge plant and a town around it, only to find years later that it would be far cheaper to mine iron ores!
So, left with all of the heavy machineries from the failed ore project, Edison decided to get into the cement business. He noticed that one could mold concrete into a wide variety of shapes and thought that he could build a house by pouring concrete into a single, giant mold! And not only the house: “everything from bathtubs, windowsills, staircases, and picture frames to electrical conduits and reinforcing rods would be molded right in.” (Source: American Heritage)
Edison, who grew up poor, thought that he could solve New York?s housing problem and clear out the slums by mass producing affordable working man?s houses. But first, he needed a model: Edison hired a high-profile architecture firm to create a two-story, two-family house “in the style of Francis I.” At Edison?s request (he didn?t want to be known as “the father of ugly houses”), the model came with a large front porch and intricate exterior moldings.
This, of course, turned out to be impractical – so Edison downscaled his plan and casted his first concrete house on Hixon Street in South Orange, New Jersey, in 1911 (it was later demolished to make way for a supermarket and a parking lot).
In 1917, with Edison?s blessing, pocket-watch magnate (apparently there was such a person) Charles Ingersoll constructed 11 concrete houses and offered them at $1,200 each – roughly one third of the usual price – but not a single house was sold!
Some historians and Edison biographers blame the publicity and Edison?s grandiose predictions for the demise of his most altruistic endeavor. No one wanted to live in a house that had been described as ?the salvation of the slum dweller.? People were too proud to be stigmatized as having been ?rescued from squalor and poverty.?
But there may have been a more important reason for the Edison monoliths? failure to catch on. The architect Ernest Flagg, writing in Collier?s Weekly seven years later, noted that ?Mr. Edison was not an architect? it was not cheapness that wanted so much as relief from ugliness, and Mr. Edison?s early models entirely did not achieve that relief.? From looking at them, it is hard to disagree.
Wait, what about those concrete furniture and piano we talked about? Well, in 1911 Edison boasted that concrete furniture could be made just as attractive as wood but cheaper and more durable. He went on to use air-impregnated “foam” concrete to make a piano, bathtub, and cabinets for his phonographs. Like his concrete houses, however, the Edison concrete furniture just never caught on. (If you have a picture of Edison?s concrete piano, please let me know!)
In the late 1880s, Edison was embroiled in the “War of Currents” with George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. Edison had promoted the use of direct current (DC) for electric power distribution, whereas Westinghouse and Tesla wanted to use alternating current (AC).
At the time, Edison had over one hundred power stations in the United States that delivered DC electricity to consumers. But because of a power loss due to resistance of the wire during transmission, the power station had to be located within a mile of the consumers. Edison?s then-employee, a brilliant Serbian engineer named Nikola Tesla proposed that AC could solve this problem but Edison didn?t listen.
Indeed, Edison had previously asked Tesla to improve his electrical power stations with $50,000 ($1 million in 2006 US dollar, Tesla?s wages were just $18 a week back then) as a reward. After Tesla delivered, Edison reneged on his offer and thus created bad blood between the two.
Back to the War of Currents: to demonstrate that his DC system was better and “safer,” Edison noted that AC had a lethal potential and could be used to electrocute. Though he was against capital punishment, Edison (and a hired employee named Harold P. Brown) developed the electric chair.
In 1903, a circus elephant named Topsy at Coney Island?s Luna Park went berserk and killed three people including an abusive trainer, who tried to feed her a lighted cigarette.
The elephant was considered a threat and the owners wanted it executed. When animal advocates protested the proposed method of hanging, Edison saw a publicity opportunity and suggested electrocution with AC.
Topsy was fed carrots laced with cyanide and then electrocuted with 6,000-volts AC. She died “without a trumpet or a groan” within seconds. (Source)
Topsy?s execution was a public spectacle: about 1,500 people attended and Edison even filmed the event:
Despite of Edison?s publicity campaign (he tried to popularize the term for being electrocuted as being “Westinghoused”), Tesla?s AC system won out in the end.
We didn?t talk about Edison?s main inventions, such the electric light bulb and phonograph (after all, this is an article about the weirder things about Edison) If you?re interested, two good links to check out are the wikipedia entry on Thomas Edison and the Edison National Historic Site website.
Meet 19 year old Lynzee Stauss. The author of ?College isn?t necessary?. Lynzee believes that women should not have to go to college. Why you ask? Well because the boys should have to, and these boys need to work if they want to have a good life. She believes that a husband should get home from work so she can ?go out to eat with all the money he makes and also pay the bills.? You can read the rest of her grammatically amusing article below.
But is this real? Or is it some sort of internet hoax aimed at garnering attention for a website? Well, we did some searching of social networking sites and found Lynzee, added her as a friend, and she accepted. We think she has yet to realize her recent internet fame. Or that all of her photos are going to be circulated around the internet now that they are public domain.
So what do we do now that she has revealed everything to us? We release it, of course. Because even Libby Hoeller knows, once you post something to the internet you can?t take it back.
Below you will find her profile and albums including her mother who undoubtedly is partially responsible for instilling this brilliant logic upon her child. We cant help but wonder, did Lynzee?s mother go to college? Did she find a man who is successful and ?treats her like a princess?? We hope not, because uh, well you can see her mother below and draw your own conclusion. (It would be kind of a bum deal for him!)
About me: my name is lynzee. im 18i love life i absolutly LOVE my boyfriend he treats me like a princess. He is my prince charming. And there is nobody out there for me better then him. I have two of the most AMAZING friends. Amber and Charisma I dont know what I would do without them.
After further consideration, there have been some business objections to the rest of the content in this post. Thus, at the request of our owners it has been removed until we can get full approval.