Monthly Archives: February 2010

5 Things You May Know About Marijuana That Arent True

Written by Steve Elliott

The bulk of my writing is done for a pot-savvy audience, so it usually goes without saying that certain “cultural perceptions” about cannabis are wrong. To correct these marijuana myths to a crowd of potheads would be a classic case of singing to (an albeit higher) choir.

As editor of a pot website, I live and breathe marijuana (see what I did there?) every day, and have a great chance to fully inform myself.

But when speaking to members of the general public, I’m often struck (and stop that! It hurts) with the wide prevalence of beliefs about marijuana that have been scientifically disproven for years.

How many of these myths have you trusted lately?

1. One joint equals a pack of cigarettes.

This hoary old favorite comes back again and again, seemingly impervious to the onslaught of the real world.

Prohibitionists earnestly tell us that smoking just one joint “equals a pack of cigarettes.” Or maybe it’s 16, or maybe just four cigarettes; they seem a little unclear on the exact number.

This fallacious conclusion is derived from a study by Dr. Donald Tashkin in which the UCLA researcher examined airflow resistance in the lungs of tobacco smokers compared to that in the lungs of marijuana smokers. Dr. Tashkin did find that daily pot smokers experience a “mild but significant” increase in airflow resistance in the large airways, greater than that seen in persons smoking 16 cigarettes per day.

But what they don’t tell you is that, ironically, Dr. Tashkin also found – in the largest study ever of its kind – other, more important markers of lung health, in which marijuana smokers did much better than tobacco smokers. In the four years since Dr. Tashkin’s latest study results were announced, I’ve never heard a single anti-marijuana speaker mention this.

They also never seem to have time to mention that Dr. Tashkin’s study unexpectedly found that smoking marijuana – even regularly and heavily! – does not lead to lung cancer.

Dr. Tashkin said these results “were against our expectations.”

“We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” Dr. Tashkin said. “What we found instead was no assication at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”

2. Medical marijuana has been a huge problem in states where it is legalized.

The mass media narrative seems to be “Maybe there are a few patients who need medical marijuana, but legalizing cannabis for medicinal use has led to huge problems in California. Do we really want those here?”

When pressed on exactly what those “huge problems” are, anti-marijuana zealots will usually offer up the “more pot dispensaries than Starbucks in Los Angeles” argument, saying something about dispensary proliferation being “out of control.”

What they don’t mention is that the situation in Los Angeles is entirely due to a lackadaisical city council that took more than two years to draw up an ordinance regulating the dispensaries, thus opening the door to their uncontrolled proliferation.

Neither to they mention that in cities such as San Francisco and Oakland, where city governments have been on top of the developing marijuana dispensary scene for years, there haven’t been any such problems.

Not only do these cities have orderly, well-run, reputable marijuana dispensaries, but in the case of Oakland at least, the city is now reaping millions of tax dollars from the shops – which, in what may be a first for American business, asked to be taxed.

Remember, there are 13 other states besides California that have legalized medical marijuana. Have you heard about nightmare scenarios occurring in those?

States such as New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Maine have set up systems of state-authorized marijuana dispensaries to carry out the will of the voters in giving patients safe and legal access to medical marijuana. The system hasn’t produced major problems, and is working as intended.

The other favorite argument of pot prohibitionists is that marijuana dispensaries are supposed to somehow “attract crime.

This one seems to be particularly near and dear to the hearts of small town police chiefs, as evidenced over and over by their apparently earnest (but completely inaccurate) testimony at city council meetings.

Dispensaries, in fact, have lower crime rates than either banks or liquor stores, according to the Denver Police Department, which certainly should know, since they have 300 of them in town.

The police chief of Los Angeles agrees. “Banks are more likely to get robbed than medical marijuana dispensaries,” L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck told the Los Angeles Daily News.

A look at the facts quickly tells us that all types of crime are, in fact, down in states with marijuana dispensaries.

3. Legalization is a slippery slope. If we legalize pot, what’s next? Cocaine? Heroin? Meth?

The evergreen popularity of this baseless bugaboo is a bit puzzling.

The answer is easy and obvious. While the legalization of marijuana now enjoys majority support, according to recent polls, support drops precipitously for relaxing the laws around any other drugs.

Pot’s closest competitors, ecstasy and cocaine, each have only 8 percent support for legalization. Heroin and meth are even lower at 6 percent each, according to Angus Reid Public Opinion.

Legalizing pot won’t open the floodgates; in fact, the increased visibility of marijuana in American society only serves to highlight the stark differences between cannabis and most other illicit substances.

The American people know the difference between marijuana and hard drugs. Most Americans know someone who uses marijuana without it destroying their life. It’s not hard to see the chasm that separates pot, and its users, from the desperately addicted scenario that goes with substances like heroin and methamphetamine.

4. If we legalize pot, there will be carnage on our highways. Look at what we’re already facing with alcohol. Do we really want MORE impaired drivers?

The simple truth of it is, there are already millions of marijuana smokers using our roads and highways every day.

With estimates of current marijuana users in the United States running between 40 and 100 million, you can bet that if weed really caused wrecks, it would be a national tragedy on the level of drunk driving.

If marijuana resulted in motor impairment anywhere near the level produced by alcohol, those gory findings would have made banner headlines across the land – as has been the case with alcohol.

Many of us have, hopefully in our younger years, discovered on a very personal level that driving under the influence of alcohol is an extremely bad idea. But think about it: How many in your circle of friends have a “I was so high I totaled my car” story?

While I’m not encouraging anyone to take bong hits then rush out onto the freeway, a growing body of evidence indicates that marijuana is, on balance, far less a road hazard than is alcohol.

The tendency for stoners to overcompensate for whatever slight impairment occurs is one reason that marijuana-related car crashes aren’t in the headlines every day.

Even the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which in its understandable quest for respectability is very cautious around the stoned driving issue, grants: “…Emerging scientific research indicates that cannabis actually has far less impact on the psychomotor skills needed for driving than alcohol does, and is seldom a causal factor in automobile accidents.”

5. If we legalize it, everybody and his brother will become a flaming pothead.

Some of the pot prohibitionists have an interesting view of human nature. They think that as humans we are mostly seething cauldrons of pent-up desires just waiting to express themselves, if only legal repercussions weren’t in the way.

Now, I’m willing to grant this may be a reasonably accurate self-assessment for some of these guys, but for the rest of us, it’s just not so, when it comes to the pot laws.

The laws against marijuana been a spectacular failure in preventing its use. Since pot was made illegal more than 70 years ago, its popularity has risen almost every single year – even as the laws against it became more and more draconian in many locales.

The most extensive study ever taken on U.S. marijuana arrests and penalties, released last November, found that marijuana arrests have no impact on usage rates.

Meanwhile, another approach has been tried in places like the Netherlands, which relaxed its pot laws in the 1970s and has since seen teen and overall marijuana use at a level half that of the United States.

Those of us who make marijuana policy reform our work welcome an open, serious debate on the issues surrounding cannabis re-legalization.

All we ask is that in that debate, everyone should at least stick to the facts and not cling to outdated, shop-worn superstitions from the 20th Century.

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How You Can Live To 100

Written by Jodie Humphries

How would you fancy living to 100? Research has found that by controlling factors in your life, living to 100 is actually much more possible than previously thought.

In total, the US has the most centenarians with current estimates as high as 72,000, leading website The Centenarian states. In fact, if the population of centenarians continues to increase at its current rate of expansion, there could be close to one million people of 100 years of age or more by 2050 residing in the US.

Meanwhile, in the UK, while the overall numbers of centenarians are much smaller, the trend is the same. The Office of National Statistics reports around 9000 centenarians today in The UK and Wales, a 90-fold increase since 1911, and a seven percent increase from just half a decade ago in 2005. Estimates show that at the current rate of expansion, the UK’s centenarian population could reach over 40,000 by 2031. And, just as in other parts of the industrialized world, people aged over 90 are the fastest growing segment of the population in the UK.

In Japan, the number of centenarians are also extremely high, making Japan only second to the US with a current population of about 30,000 centenarians. At its current rate of expansion, Japan’s population of centenarians may rival that of the United States in sheer numbers in the years ahead. Certainly, by 2050, Japan proportionally will have the most centenarians in the world.

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Danish research

New research in Denmark suggests that most babies born in rich countries this century will eventually make it to their one hundredth birthday. In fact, according to Danish experts, since the 20th century people in developed countries are living around three decades longer than in the past. Now some believe that this figure could go even higher. If improvements in health continues, “a majority of children born since the year 2000 will celebrate their hundredth birthday,” states James Vaupel, of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, in Rostock, Germany.

The estimate comes after Vaupel and colleagues in Denmark examined studies published globally between 2004 and 2005 on numerous issues related to aging. They found life expectancy is increasing steadily in most countries and in Japan, which has the world’s longest life expectancy, more than half of the country’s 80-year-old women are expected to live to 90.

Overall, centenarians are the fastest-growing demographic group across much of the developed world and here at EHM we have taken a look at factors which can influence an increase your expected lifespan, so maybe you too can reach that grand age of 100.

The 12 Biggest Ripoffs in America

Written by Jonathan Rivers

Many of us feel ripped off in our day to day spending, so much so that bringing up even a single rip-off story in a group of people is likely to trigger a flood of them from everyone else. Whether it’s at the movies, in restaurants or on vacation, we seldom believe we are getting as much for our money as we ought to. Of course, some rip-off stories are more debatable than others. Often times, what is called a ripoff is little more than someone’s subjective opinion of what they “really” deserve for their money, whatever that means. However, other purchases actually do appear, by all objective criteria, to be a raw deal just about all the time. Today, BillShrink analyzes 12 common ripoffs that most of our readers are likely to be well acquainted with.

Movie Theater Popcorn

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Movie theater popcorn is as much an American icon as baseball and apple pie. Like a moth to its flame, movie-goers instinctively load up on hot, buttery popcorn before sitting down to enjoy the show. It’s hard to imagine things being any other way. That being said, movie theater popcorn is without question one of the biggest, most egregious ripoffs around. ABC News reported in July 2008 that a small bucket of movie theater popcorn will run you “around $5.50 — more per ounce than filet mignon.” University of California-Irvine professor Richard McKenzie, who wrote a book on this very subject, conjectures that popcorn costs less than ten cents an ounce to produce. That makes the markup somewhere between 900%-1,300%! The reason appears to be that movie theaters do not make much money on actual ticket sales. According to McKenzie, “the theater can be paying 70 or more percent of the ticket price to the studios.” That leaves concessions, like popcorn and candy, as the next logical place to raise prices and recoup some of the revenue being sacrificed at the ticket counter.

Text Messages

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Another ripoff most of us would hate to go without is text messaging. According to Srinivasan Keshav, a computer scientist who testified before the Senate on the matter during summer 2009, text messages cost about one third of a cent each for a carrier to deliver. But despite that cost, the typical pay-per-text plan whacks cell phone users to the tune of twenty cents and ten cents per each outgoing and incoming text, respectively. That equates to an eye-popping markup of 6,500%. Nor do unlimited texting plans completely eliminate the ripoff factor, since the carrier’s overhead is likely to be right around the $10 or so that is usually charged for such plans. Most of the time, the carrier comes out ahead regardless.

College Textbooks

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College textbooks have the unique feature of being a ripoff on at least two different dimensions. First is the price charged to students. CNN cites a study by the Government Accountability Office showing that “textbook prices nearly tripled from 1986 to 2004 — a jump that’s twice the rate of annual inflation over the last two decades.” In fact, the average estimated cost of books and supplies in a given college year is $900, and many students report paying far more than that. However, it’s not just the actual price of the textbooks. In many college courses, the textbooks are never or seldom even used! Savvy college students have found that they can often glean the material needed from the Internet, or simply by looking on with a friend on rare days when the text is being used by the professor. It’s bad enough to be gouged at the checkout counter, but to rarely even use the textbooks takes the ripoff factor to new heights!

Branded Painkillers

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Brand name, over-the-counter painkillers like Advil are sold at a 60% markup, according to Yahoo! Finance. Many will no doubt counter this fact by objecting that yes, the price is higher, but the pain relief is superior. But this is incorrect. As Yahoo explains, the law requires all generic drugs to be just as effective (and even use the exact same active ingredients) as the branded drugs they are modeled after. Yet still, a 50 tablet bottle of 200mg Advil somehow costs $8.49, while Duane Reade charges “just $5.29 for the exact same bottle of generic ibuprofen.” So unlike the age-old “store brand” debate where there is a qualitative difference between a generic and branded product, painkillers are the rare exception of being, literally, the very same product for a lower price.

“Free” Credit Reports

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Admit it – you’ve found yourself humming one of those catchy commercials at least once or twice. But while the commercials are memorable, the service being offered – allegedly “free” access to your credit report – is an unmitigated ripoff. For one thing, it’s questionable that there is a need for any business to offer such a service, as the government mandates that all consumers can check their credit score once a year for free anyway. Beyond that, most of these services unwittingly bilk people into signing up for paid monthly subscriptions that actually charge them for what was supposedly being offered free. Time Magazine reported in November 2009 that the government went so far as to issue public warnings that and their ilk were not free at all. When you charge money despite the word “free” being in your corporate name, it’s tough to argue that your service isn’t a ripoff to consumers.

Wine Service at Restaurants

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This ripoff rests upon a shrewd appraisal of human psychology by bar and restaurant owners. Most people, when dining with a date, will never order the least expensive bottle of wine on the menu for fear of looking cheap. Instead, they will opt for the second least expensive wine to cover their bases. According to Time Magazine, “restaurateurs know this behavior well, and so they often put the heftiest markup on that second-cheapest bottle.” In fact, the cheapest bottle on the restaurant’s menu might actually cost more if you bought the same thing at a package store. The best course of action is deciding upon a wine that you objectively enjoy drinking (regardless of where you are) and order that without regard for the psychological pricing tactics of restaurants and bars.

Hotel Mini-Bars

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Anyone who has ever paid $2.00 for a minuscule bag of Doritos is already nodding their head in agreement. It’s true: hotel mini-bars are one of the biggest ripoffs around. Here, again, human psychology is taken into account by the hotel operators doing the pricing. Years of experience have demonstrated that the typical hotel guest is tired and weary from a day or more of traveling. Once they arrive, the last thing they want to do is get back into the car and drive around a strange new area looking for a convenience store. In fact, they are so loathe to venture out on the road that paying 1,300% more than usual for candy and soda starts to look like a decent idea after all. Rather than paying such inflated prices, just anticipate that you will want snacks in advance and stop off somewhere before checking in.

All You Can Eat Buffets

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All you can eat buffets thrive on an all too appealing sales pitch: pay once, eat all you want. It might seem difficult at first to find fault with such a generous offer. However, buffet operators do not offer that deal because they’re generous – they offer it because they know their numbers and study their customers. While the typical buffet charges somewhere between $12-$15, they know that that the average customer is not likely to eat very much more than they would’ve purchased for $7 or $8 at McDonalds, despite the fact that they can if they choose to. Furthermore, it’s questionable whether the quality of the food being served is much better than that of a fast food restaurant. Therefore, what often ends up happening is that a buffet’s customers pay for the ability to eat twice as much as they actually eat, on average.

Premium Gasoline

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This one is sure to draw the ire of at least a few auto buffs. For whatever reason, many people believe that filling up with premium grade gasoline is somehow “better” for their car, or even that it “cleans out the engine.” Others actually believe that it is essential to put premium gas in their car and that it will malfunction if you try to run it on anything less. For most drivers, nothing could be further from the truth. Just check your car’s owners manual. If you need to use premium gas for a legitimate, mechanical reason, it will be stated in the manual so many times that it will be impossible to miss. Luxury cars (like Cadillacs, for example) often require premium gas because their high performance engines require higher octane – that is, slower burning – fuel. But if your owners manual makes no mention of it, you are simply wasting money on each premium gallon you purchase.

Actively Managed Investments

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In his book I Will Teach You to Be Rich, personal finance blogger Ramit Sethi writes that “fund managers fail to beat the market 75% of the time.” Not only do they fail to beat the market, Sethi writes, “but they actually charge a fee to do this.” With such a lousy track record of performance, one might expect mutual fund managers to lower the fees they charge. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort is true. It is common for mutual fund managers to charge 1.5%-3% on however much money you invest into their funds. It might not sound like much, but a 2% expense ratio on a $10,000 portfolio means $200 out of your pocket at the end of the year. Index funds, on the other hands, have few or no fees and generally at least match (if not slightly beat) the overall market’s performance year in and year out.

In-Room Movies

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As if gouging you at the mini-bar wasn’t enough, hotels are also happy to help themselves to your money via in-room movie sales. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with offering such a service, the rates charged are hardly what one would call competitive – as much as $10-$15 for a single movie, according to CNN. A Redbox machine, by contrast, will rent you a DVD for as little as $1 a night. A NetFlix account isn’t much more expensive, and streaming movies on your laptop is another inexpensive alternative. In other words, paying for in-room movie service at a hotel is just about the most expensive way to watch a movie imaginable. As with snacks and soda, it’s smarter to anticipate that you will want to watch one before checking in and make less expensive arrangements.

Health Club Memberships

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While not every gym or health club membership is a raw deal, many of them are. In most cases, it’s not the price that’s unjustified but the terms of the contract itself. Bally’s Total Fitness, for instance, hides a clause in their contracts stating that you cannot cancel your membership – even if you lose your job and sincerely no longer wish to use the gym – unless you die or move to a town where there are no gyms. No exceptions are made. Consumer Affairs even reports that a man who provided “military orders sending me to Europe” was denied the ability to cancel his membership. A gym that insists upon charging someone money for a service they are not using and do not wish to use, even when they are given orders to leave the country for combat, is a ripoff in the purest sense of the word!

5 Tips to Help Improve Your Home Cooking

Written by Dave Lieberman

Why are some people better home cooks than others? Some of it is an innate gift, the same way some people are great at construction or music or athletics or getting the pull-cord lawn mower started on the first try. Some of it is experience, which any grandmother can tell you is acquired only through a lifetime of trial and error.

Some of it, though, is just learning. There are tips and tricks that experienced, good home cooks don’t even think about but which yield better results, even given the same ingredients in a dish. Below are five of these tips that will improve your cooking.


elanaspantry @ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Culinary liquid gold. Can’t buy it this good in a TetraPak™.

1. Make your own stock. While there are some good boxed stocks out there–Trader Joe’s has a pretty decent one–nothing beats homemade stock. Save bones from roasted meats (even rotisserie chicken bones will work, as long as the marinade wasn’t particularly strongly flavored) and put them in the freezer. You can use them straight out of the freezer, no defrosting required.

Make the stock on a day when you’ll be home, so that you can keep the flame on the barest simmer (this makes the clearest stock). As you start, you’ll need to skim the protein-laden fluff that floats to the top, and you’ll need to add water now and then to keep the bones submerged, but it’s otherwise a fairly low-maintenance thing to make. Freeze the stock in manageable portions and you’ll have a base that will transport your soups and gravies to a new level.


neven @ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The stains give it character.

2. Put a quarry tile in your oven. Your oven is lying to you. It says it’s preheated to 400°F, but there might be a leak in the seal or a misfiring gas jet, and all of a sudden it’s actually 380°F or even 350°F in there, your food isn’t done when you think it should be, and dinner is late or ruined. Even if it’s brand new and perfectly calibrated (lucky you!), all ovens have something called “oven swing”. Ovens don’t run all the time, so the setting of 400°F is actually the average of a range between (if you’re lucky) 390°F and 410°F. If you’re unlucky, it could be as much as thirty degrees on either side.

Adding weight to your oven is the answer. While it will extend your preheat time (from 15 minutes to about 25 minutes is probably sufficient unless you’re actually baking directly on the tile), adding an unglazed quarry tile to your oven will reduce swing significantly and provide a source of pretty constant heat to the oven. You can leave it in the oven all the time. If you take it out to clean it, though, make sure you let it sit outside the oven to dry fully (a day or two) before putting it back in, or it may crack. Baking directly on the tile will result in crispy-bottomed pizzas and much better bread.

Alton Brown is right, incidentally; you don’t need a $30 pizza stone (though if you have one, use it), you can buy an unglazed quarry tile at Home Depot or Lowe’s.


jaxxon @ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Don’t believe it? Try carrots cut on the bias vs. coins.

3. Cut on the bias. The first thing chefs know that bad cooks don’t is how to hold a knife (hint: don’t point your finger along the back of the knife), and the second is that cutting on the bias changes your food in dramatic ways. Cutting on the bias means cutting diagonally. When applied to vegetables, it increases the amount of surface area and can result in quicker cooking. In the case of fruit with tough peels such as apples, it means that you won’t have a chewy piece of skin completely surrounding the flesh.

In addition, cutting grilled or roast meats (for example, roast pork or London broil) on the bias ensures that you cut across the grain and end up with a more tender bite. If you cut along the grain, the meat will be stringy and tougher, even if it’s a tender cut such as filet mignon.


shastamacnasty @ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Juicy chicken pec starts with bones and skin.

4. Buy bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. It’s a fact of life that the chicken breast is the most popular seller at the meat counter. It doesn’t have a lot of flavor by itself (it does not, in fact, taste like chicken), but buying it boneless and skinless removes the best chance it has to redeem itself. Those pictures on television of chicken oozing clear juice as it’s sliced (on the bias, of course) are easily done at home. Roasting chicken breast on the bone results in much, much juicier chicken, and leaving the skin on renders the subcutaneous fat down onto the chicken, keeping it moist while protecting it from the heat.

To roast the chicken, preheat the oven to 375°F. Rub the top of a half breast–one “lobe”–with a tiny bit of oil; a quarter of a teaspoon is plenty. If you want crispy chicken skin, called gribenes in Yiddish and an essential component of chopped liver, loosen (but don’t remove) the skinand rub another quarter of a teaspoon of oil directly on the meat. Salt and pepper the chicken, then place it on a dry roasting pan and put it in the oven for about half an hour, until the chicken is done (when pierced, the juices will run clear, not red). Let it sit outside the oven for just five minutes, then slice it off the bone, which is easy to do.


ndrwfgg @ CC BY 2.0

Feel free to use a more modern model…

5. Learn to weigh ingredients. A cup of flour today is not the same as a cup of flour tomorrow. If you’re scooping out of a bag that’s been knocking around your trunk on the way home from the market, it will weigh significantly less than if you scoop out of a bag that’s been sitting in your cabinet for a week. If you scoop and level, it will weigh significantly more than if you spoon the flour into the cup. The reason is that flour, unlike white sugar, can be compacted. Today’s perfect, ethereal buttermilk biscuit recipe may result in leaden, biscuit-shaped anvils tomorrow, thanks to flour’s tendency to settle in its package. The solution is to weigh it. A digital scale can be a big help here, but even a manual, spring-type scale is better than trusting to measuring cups.

You’ll need to do some research for your recipes. Measure like you normally do, then weigh the flour. Don’t forget to tare (remove the weight of the bowl by putting the bowl on the scale and resetting to zero). If the end result comes out like you like it, you’ll know how much flour to use the next time and you’ll have a much more consistent product. Other things that should be weighed include cornstarch in large quantities, cornmeal (the grind size can affect your weight), butter (those tablespoons on the wrapper are next to useless since they’re not consistently wrapped with the zero line on the end) and any large items like chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, etc.

20 Signs You Play Too Many Flash Games

Written by forkparty

1. You get invited to a birthday party and immediately start throwing darts at all the balloons.


2. You order a Cafe Mochi Frappuccino at Starbucks.


3. Your Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii are covered in dust.


4. Your notebook is filled with tracks for Line Rider and Free Rider.

5. You freak out when you accidentally close the browser window after you completed the first tutorial level without saving. That was precious time wasted!


6. The word “physics” has nothing to do with science and more to do with how blocks with smiley faces fall.

7. You build a maze to your fridge and defend it from anyone trying to get food.

8. The ad loading time before a game is the longest 15 seconds of your life.

9. Someone tells you about a new game that you have to actually download and install and you look at them like they are from the stone-age.

10. Instead of pop songs you get Flash game level songs stuck in your head.

11. Armor has nothing to do with the medieval ages any more.

12. You can’t finish your homework but you can find time to finish The Impossible Quiz 1 & 2

13. You watch Youtube walk-throughs of Flash games.

14. You learned to parallel park from parking game simulators.

15. You feel mentally and physically prepared for a real zombie/alien/penguin invasion from what you learned in Flash games.

16.  You believe behind every new PC or console release there is a Flash game they probably ripped off.

17. You think jmtb02 deserves a Nobel prize  for his groundbreaking work (he does!).

18. You believe a NinjaKiwi is a real fruit and you want to try it to see how delicious it is.

(Image Credit)

19. Whenever anyone closes a door on your room you immediately organize your inventory and try to escape.

20. You are wearing fancy pants right now.

Feel free to add your own signs you play too many Flash games in the comments.


Bonus!: I’m Sorry

10 Disney Chicks Sexier Than Your Fav Pornstar

Collected by smashinglists

Like everyone else, I have also spent my childhood seeing these Disney fairy tales but of course as I grew my love for them died. Since you can’t probably watch those cartoons to cherish your memories for the Disney princesses, the ten images below provide a way to that memory lane but in the more adult way.

10. Pocahontas

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9. Belle

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8. Jasmine

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7. Little Red Riding Hood

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6. Ariel (Little Mermaid)

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5. Cinderella

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4. Snow White

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3. Jessica Rabbit

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2. Rapunzel

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1. Alice (In Wonderland)

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The Truth Behind 8 Cell Phone Myths

Written by

The internet is rife with rumors about the miracles of cellular technology, as well as the dangers.  Depending on who you believe you may be carrying around a miracle tool or a death trap in your pants and Lord knows that’s a lot of stress for one person to deal with.  Best to get to the bottom of things and separate truth from fiction.

1. Your cell phone can unlock your car

No one seems to know where this story came from, but it’s been circulated in a number of emails.  The basic idea is that you’re out and about and in your frenzy to get things done, you lock your keys in the car.  Crap.  But, being clever and knowing you have a spare set complete with keyless entry at home, you call home and have someone press the button on your spare set to unlock your car over the phone.  The signal goes through the phone, to your car and you’re driving again.  Now that’s crafty.

So popular is this myth that the Mythbusters themselves had to test it.  Guess what they discovered… you’re going to be pointing your phone at your car for a long, long time.

The problem is the phone uses an audio frequency while your keyless entry is on a much higher radio frequency.  Which is to say you’re dealing with apples and oranges and once that keyless frequency hits your cell phone, it’s not going to get translated through to the other side at the same frequency.  So no, you can’t unlock your car with your cell phone, unless you plan on using it to break a window.

2. Cell phones cause gas pump explosions

This winner has become so ingrained in our minds that gas stations actually have signs asking you to not use your phone while at the pumps for fear of a massive fireball of death and destruction, all because you needed to say goodnight to grandma.  But when’s the last time you saw this happen on the news?

As it turns out, in the entire history of the entire world, there has never been an incident where someone blew themselves or any gas stations up with a cell phone.  It’s a complete fabrication.

According to Snopes, the story just showed up one day in 1999.  And every time it got mentioned, they said the explosion happened somewhere else.  So basically it’s a friend of a friend story, only in this case the friend is an explosion, and no one’s ever seen it in person.

The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association and the American Petroleum Institute both agree that phones just don’t blow things up and they’ve never seen any evidence to suggest they do.  Any news reports that have attributed fires to the use of phones were later proved false when someone, you know, actually looked for the real cause.

3. Cell phones cause deaths in hospitals

Similar to no phones at the gas pumps, most hospitals have signs in place telling you to turn off your phone.  While some have phone use in designated areas which us regular folks assume must be lead shielded rooms or some such, other hospitals ban them altogether.  The fear is that cell phone signals may interfere with the machines being used to keep people alive.  There are even reports that the use of cell phones in hospitals has been a contributing factor in the death or serious injury to patients as a result of machines malfunctioning, delivering incorrect amounts of medication and so on.

However, the FDA has no information whatsoever on cell phones causing any deaths in hospitals the FDA has no information whatsoever on cell phones causing any deaths in hospitals, nor has any medical journal mentioned it.  Reports that cell phone interference has caused incubators, heart monitors and IV pumps to go all wonky are the main cause behind the cell phone bans in hospitals, however the evidence for these is also sketchy.  Just what is it that would cause the problem, anyway?

In 2007, the Mayo Clinic decided to do a study to see what the effect of cell phone interference was, so they used phones near 200 different pieces of hospital equipment.  The end result was that the observed no clinically important interference at all.

So are you safe using a phone in a hospital?  Probably, just keep in mind that if they have signs up and you refuse to put the phone away, they can and will have security take you out.  In 1998, a man in Massachusetts was pepper sprayed for not hanging up.  Probably best just to leave a message and call back later.

4. Cell phones cause cancer

This is the biggest one you’re going to find online with the most confusing answers.  There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of websites that will assure you that cell phone use leads to brain tumors.

Dr Vini Khurana, a reputable neurosurgeon who trained at the Mayo Clinic, even wrote a paper back in 2008 that said cell phone usage caused more cancer than smoking or asbestos.  If you just said “holy crap” you’re well within you’re rights, as that’s a pretty damning statement.  But there is a but.

According to the World Heath Organization, and more than 30 other scientific reviews, cell phones do not pose a cancer risk.  And, apparently, Dr. Khurana’s work had not even been peer reviewed when it was released.

In a nutshell, cancer is caused by DNA mutations.  Some kind of radiation or chemical has to break down chemical bonds in our cells that lead to mutation.  But the radiation from a cell phone, the electromagnetic kind which is released by all kinds of electronics, is not strong enough to strip away electrons or break down chemical bonds, at least according to most scientists.  So cell phones just physically can’t cause cancer.   But why do people think they do?

Nearly every study on the link between cancer and cell phone use takes the time to point out that will no link is found, the risk of long term use requires further study.  Meaning that we found nothing, but if we kept going for a few years, maybe we would.  And leaving the door open like that has let people who are primed and ready to panic over their ear growing a second head walk right in.

5. Your cell phone can set you on Fire

Probably one of the last things you want your phone to do is spontaneously combust, especially if it’s in your pocket or, you know, against your head.  For the most part we like to think there are hard working men and woman out there ensuring that the products we use from day to day just don’t do that.  And while most things are pretty safe, very few things are 100%

Back in 2004, a teen in California was walking with her phone in her back pocket when, as witnesses say, it made a woosh sound, bulged a little, then spewed forth fist-sized flames.  The girl suffered 2nd degree burns.

So how could such a nutty thing happen?  An overheated battery.  Kyocera issues a recall of 140,000 batteries and the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued recalls as well for certain batteries that can short circuit, overheat and, yes, burst into flame.

There have been other reported incident of phones bursting into flames while charging as well and though it’s rare, it actually can happen, though it seems to have been the result of poor quality batteries more than your phone angry at the poor grammar used in texting as you might think

6. Your phone can spy on you

This one has been a favorite of conspiracy nuts for the last few years, the idea that the government can tap into your phone and use it to track your whereabouts, or ever turn on the microphone and listen in on your conversations, whether or not you’re using the phone at that moment.

In fact, it’s true that the FBI has used this technique, calling “roving bug” to eavesdrop on criminals, like in New York when it was used as a surveillance tool in an organized crime investigation.  Traditional wire tapping of land lines is a bit too old school and criminals are on to it, so the FBI had to adapt.  Since many phones will never fully power down unless the battery is totally removed, a cell phone is a perfect wireless transmitter for law enforcement to tap into, and it still falls under the purview of existing wiretapping laws.

In other cases, though judges are have batted the attempts down due to a lack of probably cause, law enforcement has attempted to get access to information about cell phone use – locations of cell towers that took calls from individuals, strength and angle of signal and timing of calls, which would allow them to approximate the location of an individual.  You’ve seen it in television and movies before and, for all intents and purposes, it’s fairly accurate.  With access to cell company records, you could be tracked in real time based on your cell phone usage, or even just having the phone on and in your possession.

7. Your cell phone can explode

If you’re the kind of person who figures a cell phone fire is no big deal, you may be more inclined to be slightly nervous of cell phone explosions.  After all, fire can be our friend and let us roast weenies and such.  Explosions just suck, by and large.

Back in 2007, word came out of Korea that a man who had his cell phone in his shirt pocket died when the phone blew up, sending shrapnel into his heart and lungs.  Last year in China, a man died shortly after changing his phone battery when the same thing happened.  It was the 9th recorded phone explosion in the country over a seven year period.

In one incident, a man working in an iron mill died when it was determined that the heat of the mill caused the liquid in the battery to overheat and blow up.  So it may be rare, but it can happen.  Let that be a lesson to you, never expose your phone to molten metal.

8. Cell phones cause infertility

Potentially the most horrible rumor of all, at least for some people, is the one that says cell phones lower your sperm count.  And apparently it’s true.

Research conducted at the Center for Reproductive Medicine at the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio suggests that there’s a chance using a cell phone is bad news for your boys if you’re the hands free type who keeps the phone in your pocket. Long term exposure to all that electromagnetic radiation so close to the goods may lead to an increase in body temperature.  And that can effect sperm count as well as mobility and shape.

The jury’s not out, of course, and odds are you need to be doing a lot of talking with the phone in your pocket, but probably to be on the safe side you could keep the phone over a couple of inches or two.  You never know.