Monthly Archives: April 2010

25 Consumer Items That I Won’t Even Think To Buy

Written by entrepreneurboss

25 Ridiculous InventionsWith our advanced brain and opposable thumbs, mankind, without a doubt, rules the world. Using these two great characteristics, we have come up with many wonderful things that have contributed to the development of civilizations. Sometimes, though, the creative process becomes a seemingly weird mix of strange genius, lack of common sense, skills, and perhaps alcohol. The result: ridiculous inventions.


Baby Toupee

Baby Toupee

Because it’s never too early to make your child feel like Donald Trump.




I think my dog will hate me if I make him wear these.


To Do Tattoo

To Do Tattoo

What’s wrong with writing the list on a piece of paper?


Motorized Cone

Motorized Cone

Some people are just too lazy to rotate their cone when eating ice cream. Hence, the motorized cone. Genius, right?


Wine Glass Holder Necklace

Wine Glass Holder Necklace

How do you walk with this hanging from your neck without spilling your wine?


Inflatable Toast

Inflatable Toast

Some of us are so unfortunate that we don’t have big lunch bags. In fact, there are some of us that have no lunch bags. Thankfully, we have inflatable toasts that we can just stuff in our back pockets.


Infant Hand Pillow

Infant Hand Pillow

Okay, how freaky are those things?


Time Beam

Time Beam

Or you can use your watch. That’s cool, too.


Paper Email

Paper Email

Wow, there’s even a BCC field!


Spaghetti Twirler

Spaghetti Twirler

Another wonderful product for the guy who can’t rotate his own ice cream cone.


Plastic Wishbone

Plastic Wishbone

Why? I have absolutely no idea.


Tandem Toilet

Tandem Toilet

Will save your marriage and the environment. But like I said, no thank you.


Half Deck

Half Deck

I have always found card games boring. I feel that these will definitely make them more interesting.


DVD Rewinder

DVD Rewinder

How I was able to live years watching DVDs without a rewinder is beyond me.


Pratone Grass Chair

Pratone Grass Chair

You pay more than $14,000 for this. I think I’ll just go and sit on my yard.


Finger Plate

Finger Plate

I wish they’d come up with a diamond-encrusted one to match my couture gown.


Global Warming Rug

Global Warming Rug

Now that is just depressing. Especially because I’m sure the polar bear will be terrorized by my cat.


Lap Pillow

Lap Pillow

If girls can have the boyfriend pillow, lonely guys can buy this.


Dribble Glass

Dribble Glass

Because normal glasses are just so boring.


Wrist Phone Carrier

Wrist Phone Carrier

Can you find anything more chic than that thing?


Immersion Scarf

Immersion Scarf

Because you will be so inconspicuous with this, no one will ever think of taking a peek at your phone’s screen.


Boyfriend Arm Pillow

Boyfriend Arm Pillow


I don’t know about you but I would be creeped out with this on my bed.


Flatulence Deodorizer

Flatulence Deodorizer

Apparently, this is VERY useful.


Beer Bra

Beer Bra

This is in production. I will be okay with this if they come up with a refrigerated beer bra.


Pillow Wig

Pillow Wig

I think I’ll choose coffee over this.

Bonus: Pop Songs Use the Same 4 Chords

4 Common Scams And How To Avoid Them

Written by MB Quirk Photo by scenemissingmagazine

Believe it or not, there are people out there who want your money and will do sneaky things to get it. Crazy, right? There are some new and super tricky ways these scammers have come up with to separate you from your hard-earned cash, so let’s read up with a How Not To list from the Chicago Tribune and get prepared.

Census scammers: These con artists will prey on your willingness to be counted. If for some reason your 2010 census form hasn’t been received yet, there’s a possibility that a census worker could ring your doorbell. But make sure they’re who they say they are.

“If you get an e-mail from the Census Bureau that says we want information, that’s not us,” Kim Hunter, a media specialist for the Census Bureau tells the Chicago Tribune.

They also won’t give you any online forms or ask for your Social Security number. If a real census worker is on your doorstep, they will have a badge with no picture, and you can ask to see their driver’s license. They shouldn’t come in your house or ask for money.

Phone number switcheroos: After Toyota began recalling automobiles, they set up an info line for consumers – 800-331-4331. But some scammers out there set themselves up with a number that was close to that number, says the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Michigan.

Customers who reached that number were directed to call another 800 number and ended up being charged around $6 on their phone bill.

And when it comes to the phone, don’t trust Miss Cleo’s pals. As if you didn’t know — psychics can see your money in the future, so if you call one and they ask you to press a number, you’re most likely going to get charged big money for being sent to a 900-number. Check your phone bill and fight charges that shouldn’t be there.

There is no money waiting for you in a foreign land: As believable as it is that there are millionaires dying every day with no one to give their money to — okay, it’s not believable at all, and anyone who emails you to ask for help depositing millions is just going to steal from your bank account. Delete!

Know your family tree: We all like helping a family member in need and scammers know this. If someone calls you and says they’re your long lost third cousin from your Great-Uncle Jack’s side and they need money to get out of a jam, yeah, they’re lying.

Sneaksters will read obituaries to get names of grandchildren to try and bamboozle senior citizens, according to a March report in the AARP Bulletin. Now that is just cold-hearted.

Basically, you should keep count of your grandchildren, don’t wire money to strangers, be wary of anyone taking your money, don’t give out SSN or credit card info to someone calling you out of the blue, and stay away from email heiresses.

Beware of latest scams to separate you from your money [Chicago Tribune]

Bonus:  iPhone-to-iPad Free Upgrade

The Top 15 Google Products for People Who Build Websites

Written by Jacob Gube

The Top 15 Google Products for People Who Build Websites

Google’s strategy of empowering site developers and owners with free and valuable tools has proven to be effective in garnering a fair bit of geek love for the company. But this affinity to Google by technology enthusiasts is not without warrant—they really do make excellent products that can be instrumental in building, maintaining, and improving websites. What’s more, they’re all usually free.

Check out some of the best Google products for developing, analyzing, maintaining and tinkering with websites.

1. Google Chrome Developer Tools

Google Chrome Developer Tools

Most developers know the advantages and convenience of testing and debugging in a web browser. It’s this fact that has led to the popularity of browser add-ons such as Firebug and Web Developer Toolbar.

Google Chrome, the latest major entry in the web browser market, has a robust, capable, intuitive, and downright helpful suite of tools geared for developers comparable to—and some might even argue, better than— web development tools such as Firebug. It includes a web page inspector for studying the DOM, a JavaScript console and tab for stack-tracing, debugging, setting breakpoints, and testing scripts, timeline-profiling (akin to YSlow!) of assets being downloaded in a web page for performance tuning, and more.

For Google Chrome users: access the Developer Tools by clicking on the Page icon and then going to Developer > Developer Tools (or pressing Ctrl/Cmd+Shift +I).

2. Webmaster Tools

Webmaster Tools

Though you might balk at the choice of name for this Google product (“Webmaster” is so mid-90’s), you won’t contest the usefulness of Google’s Webmaster Tools. The web-based application, once set up, provides you with plenty of information that can help you maintain and improve your website. It has a Diagnostics set of tools for identifying malware on your site and finding spider-crawl errors. Under the Diagnostics set, Webmaster Tools has an HTML Suggestions page that highlights how you can improve your site’s mark-up.

It additionally lets you discover your most popular web page by way of showing you the number of external links that point to it. It can even point out broken links on your website (see a tutorial on how to do this with Webmaster Tools). All that—and much more— makes the five minutes that this free Google service might take the average site owner to set up, more than worth the time.

3. Google Web Toolkit

Google  Web Toolkit

Google Web Toolkit is a development framework for web application developers. The framework streamlines the process of making high-performance and well-tuned web apps by giving developers a solid foundation to build their app on, sidestepping issues such as browser quirks and having to write common web functionalities (such as an authentication system).

Couple all that with the fact that GWT tightly integrates with the company’s other products such as Google AdWords, FeedBurner, and Google Ajax Libraries, and you’ve got yourself a great framework (especially if you are already a Java developer).

Get up and running quickly with GWT by reading Google’s tutorial doc.

4. Google Code Search

Google Code Search

Can’t seem to figure out how to get that stubborn login feature to work? Want to see how other developers tackle the feature you’re working on? For designers, it’s easy to find inspiration by viewing one of the many design gallery sites out there. But for developers, its slim pickings, even though our work is also creative and does need some inspiring ideas sometimes.

Google Code Search crawls and indexes publicly available sample code that developers and programmers can search and study. It has a robust search syntax that permits regular expressions in case you already know what you’re looking for. Not comfortable with search syntax? Their advanced code search has a simple user interface that will let you run highly specific search queries.

5. Page Speed

Page Speed

With Google search now factoring in a website’s loading time in an effort to improve user experience, it’s now more essential than ever to analyze your site for places where you can trim the fat and expose issues that you can fix to speed it up.

Page Speed is an open source Firebug browser add-on that helps you evaluate the performance of your web pages. Factors assessed by the add-on are based off Google’s Web Performance Best Practices, spearheaded by highly respected ex-Yahoo! Chief Performance and current Google executive, Steve Souders.

6. Browser Size

Browser Size

Though the applicability of the “above the fold” concept—a principle carried over from print design— in web design is highly debated, it’s still not a bad idea to see how your web page renders when first loading, in various web browser sizes.

Browser Size is a handy web-based tool for visualizing how web pages look on popular browser viewport sizes by overlaying boundaries and contours of visible areas on top of your chosen web page. This Google product is great for times when you want to see if important page elements are visible without scrolling.

7. Google Ajax Libraries API

Google Ajax Libraries API

Most websites take advantage of using JavaScript frameworks such as jQuery and MooTools for creating Ajax-enabled web apps. But serving these libraries can give your web server a beating, especially if your website generates a lot of unprimed cache site traffic.

Google Ajax Libraries API is a way of serving popular JavaScript libraries (there are currently 10 popular libraries being offered up) to your site visitors, giving you the chance to offload the burden to Google’s highly capable infrastructure.

Using the Google Ajax Libraries API is advantageous for many reasons, including the reduction of web server bandwidth and resource consumption and a higher chance that your site visitors will hit your web pages with a primed cache because they might have visited another site that uses Google Ajax Libraries previously, producing faster page response times and enhancing their experience.

8. Google Website Optimizer

Google Website Optimizer

Out of the list of concerns of web designers and developers, web page usability is on top. Google Website Optimizer helps you tease out issues with your web page design by allowing you to construct two or more web pages and comparing them side by side, in a process known as split testing (or A/B testing). Test your ideas and experiments with different web layouts easily with Website Optimizer.

9. Sites


Need to get up a website quickly? Sites—as you might have intuited by its name—is a Google product that gives you the ability to easily create your own site. Its tight integration with other Google products enables you to quickly post YouTube videos, slideshows, Gmail calendars, Gear gadgets, Google Docs spreadsheets, and other content types in your Site.

You can keep your Site private if you want, and in that case, it can become your very own personal web-based documentation tool.

10. Speed Tracer

Speed Tracer

Speed Tracer is a tool with a singular (but important) purpose: to help you, the developer, identify issues with your web application by presenting you with a visual breakdown of how your web app is rendering on web pages. Not sure how this is useful? Read about some use case scenarios.

11. Project Hosting

Project Hosting

Project Hosting is part of Google Code that gives open source developers a place to host their projects. For people not maintaining projects, Project Hosting becomes a repository of open source projects, giving you the ability to find open source project files that you can integrate into your site.

12. Google App Engine

Google App Engine

Google App Engine lets you run your web apps on the company’s infrastructure. What this ultimately translates to is that you can save your dough without sacrificing uptime and server resources. You can still use your web app on your own domain, but if you’re really that strapped for cash, you can use their free domain as well (

To get your feet wet quickly, Google devised a practical tutorial on using Google App Engine to build a guest book. Want to see what the Google App Engine can do? Rummage through the Applications Gallery.

13. Google Chart Tools

Google Chart Tools

Raw data and numbers presented in tabular form are boring, and can also be more difficult to grok and gain information from. Google Chart Tools allows its users to add charts, graphs and other data visualization types for embedding on web pages.

Google Chart Tools can have interactivity features that lets your users interface with the charts you present them, such as hovering over data points to reveal more information about them, as well as animation options to captivate your audience.

14. Closure Tools

Closure Tools

JavaScript closure is a good thing when understood and used properly. But the accidental use or misuse of closures can lead to memory leaks and poorly optimized code.

The Closure Tools is a development suite currently in Google Labs that consists of (at the moment) three tools: Closure Compiler, which is a JavaScript optimizer, the Closure Library, which is a JavaScript library for Ajax application development, and Closure Templates for creating dynamically generated HTML.

The Closure Tools speeds up high-performance web application and website development and can test existing JavaScripts for closure issues.

15.  Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics gives you relevant and useful statistics about how your website is performing in terms of site traffic. GA is a robust and powerful tool, enabling you to create custom reports, study various stats such as where visitors are coming from, what browsers they use, what their Internet connection speeds are, and more—all of which can give you a clear picture of your site’s audience.

This Google product also helps you in cutting down your server resources if you choose it over server-side software (which can be pretty taxing on your server when running and logging persistently). (Learn more about Google Analytics’ more advanced utility through this tutorial.)

Other Google Products

Here are other great Google products to check out.


This Google product is similar to Greasemonkey in that it extends the user’s ability to use web applications by giving them additional functionality through their web browser.

Chrome Experiments

Chrome Experiments is a gallery of user-submitted experiments showing what the latest open web technology standards (HTML, JavaScript, CSS) can do. It’s a great place to see some innovative work.

Google AJAX Feed

Using only JavaScript, Google AJAX Feed allows you to grab RSS feeds from websites to use for mash-up’s, such as, for example, displaying a sidebar widget of the latest new posts of multiple sites.

Google AJAX Language

With websites having a worldwide audience, Google AJAX Language enables developers and site owners to easily provide their readers a convenient way of translating page content into another spoken language.

The Go Programming Language

Go is a compiled software programming language that focuses on speed and performance.

Google Fusion Tables

Fusion Tables is a way to discover public datasets, as well as store your own on Google’s infrastructures.


Managing, creating and infusing site RSS feeds with more features is just so much easier with Google FeedBurner.

What Google products do you use to build and run websites, and why?

Anything Is Possible

Written by totalprosports

When Kevin Garnett screamed out the words “Anything Is Possible” after winning the 2008 NBA Championship, the first thing I thought to myself is, “what the f*&k is this guys talking about?”  After all, it is not like his team was an underdog faced with a seemingly impossible challenge.  At the time, Boston had three all-stars (himself, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce), an up-and-coming star in Rajon Rondo, and a great supporting cast.  The Celtics were a favorite to take home the title, and if anything, their victory proves that not much is possible unless you are willing to spend the money on the proper personnel.

Then I saw this kid, and he renewed my faith in the possibility of miracles.  How else do you explain his ability to perform a skateboard kick-flip with the aid of two walking crutches?  Perhaps next time he will treat us to a “front-flip over ten flights of stairs and onto your skateboard jump.”

Okay, so that may seem a bit far fetched, but “anything is possible.”

6 Questions I Want ‘Lost’ to Answer Before It Ends

Written by Bob Sassone


As last night’s episode of ‘Lost’ showed, this season really is giving us a lot of answers. And even if the show isn’t giving us all the answers we want/need, at least we can now feel a forward momentum driving us towards the end. There are only five episodes of the show left, can you believe it?

The show can’t possibly answer all of the questions, small and big, that have come up since the show started in 2004. I think they’ll answer enough of them for most fans, but you and I both know that 37 seconds after the season finale ends, some people are going to go online and complain. That was a lame ending! They didn’t even answer the question I wanted them to answer! I wasted six years for this?!

I won’t be one of those people. They’ve answered the question of the numbers enough for me, and several other mysteries don’t bother me. Unless the show ends in a WTF ‘Sopranos’ fade-out, I’ll just go with what the writers give us. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t want some questions answered:

1. What is the island? This is the big question, right? Although I have some problems with Jacob touching everyone and bringing them to the island and causing them so much pain supposedly under the guise of “good,” the show seems to be a good vs. evil battle between Jacob and Smokey. The “candidates” were brought to the island to see who would replace Jacob. How this will happen remains to be seen, but the larger question is what is the island?

Last night Michael said that the dead people are the ones providing the whispers we’ve been hearing since the show began. They can’t move on. That sounds rather Purgatory-ish, but didn’t Cuse and Lindelof at some point say that it wasn’t? Maybe it’s a spaceship and there are aliens involved or maybe it’s just, you know, an island. Albeit one with a giant frozen wheel that can make it disappear.

Chances this will be answered: Excellent.

2. Who are the skeletons? No, they’re not Nikki and Paolo. I have no idea who the skeletons in the cave are. Since we’ve jumped back and forth in time so many times and it’s hard to keep track of who was in what year and why, there really haven’t been any big clues. A lot of fans think the skeletons are Rose and Bernard.

Chances this will be answered: Excellent.

3. What happened to Rose and Bernard? We know where Rose is in the alternate timeline, but where are she and Bernard on the island? Didn’t we see them last a while back, older and living happily in the woods? I think Rose and Bernard have always been supporting players, but they’re supporting players that also happen to be two of the biggest fan favorites on the show.

Chances this will be answered: Excellent.

4. What’s up with Walt, Aaron, and Christian? Locke tried to get him to go back to the island, but he was busy with school and his life. He’s older now, but we need to find out what his part was in all of this. Why did the guys on the boat want him? Why could he see certain things, why/how did he visit Locke after Locke was shot by Ben, etc.

We’ve seen Michael now, but no Walt. Will the writers just assume that fans will be happy that the last time we saw the kid explains his story? And what about Aaron? He was major before but now he just seems to be a “Claire is going to kill Kate because she raised her kid” plot point.

Chirstian Shepard? Still not exactly sure what happened with him. Still dead? Taken over by the Smoke Monster? A ghost?

Chances this will be answered: Fair.

5. What’s the whole story with Ben Linus and Charles Widmore? We know what happened decades ago and we know that they’re enemies. But what exactly is their battle about and what does Widmore intend to do with the island? Is Widmore actually good because he wants to get rid of the Smoke Monster or is that just part of the plan? How does Eloise fit into all of this? And Annie?

I know a lot of this has been answered already, but I need more, because I think this is one of the more interesting aspects of the show.

Chances this will be answered more thoroughly: Very good.

6. What is the sickness? Sayid has it and it looks like Claire has it too. What is it exactly and how do you get it/get rid of it?

Chances this will be answered: Good.

I think if we went back and watched the entire series again, we’d see 3000 inconsistencies. So hopefully fans will be just accept what happens and enjoy the overall story. What’s the big question you want answered?

5 best south park episodes of all time

Written by Fidel Martinez


Tonight, South Park will air its 200th episode. In honor of the best animated series on air right now (Family Guy sucks, The Simpsons stopped being funny ages ago, and Archer is too new to merit the title), we’ve compiled our five favorite episodes from the show’s entire run.

5. Trapped In The Closet (Season Nine)

We’ll kick off our list with Trapped In The Closet, an episode that managed to piss off Isaac Hayes (the voice of Chef and a long-time Scientologist) so much, he demanded to be released from his contract because it made fun of his (pseudo-) religion. In Trapped In The Closet, Scientologists come to believe that Stan Marsh is the reincarnation of their religion’s founder and prophet, L. Ron Hubbard. The highlight of the episode is Tom Cruise locking himself in the closet after Stan–who he thinks is the Messiah– tells him his movies suck, forcing others (like John Travolta, Nicole Kidman, and R. Kelly) to convince Tom to come out of the closet. This is hilarious because Tom Cruise is probably gay.

4. Le Petit Tourette (Season Eleven)

Eric Cartman is a tour de force in the South Park universe, so it’s no surprise that more than a single Cartman-centric episodes made it on this list (ed. note: the other one is below). In Le Petit Tourette, the fat kid discovers Tourette’s Syndrome, a disorder that causes those who have it to spew out obscenities and swear like sailors. Cartman, of courses, tricks people into thinking he has Tourette’s, much to Kyle’s chagrin. Add to that a Chris Hansen/How To Catch A Predator subplot, and the end result is comedic gold. Interesting fact: Le Petit Tourette was the first South Park episode to have the ‘TV-MA LV” rating.

3. Make Love Not Warcraft (Season Ten)

Much like making fun of idiot celebrities, part of South Park’s long-term success can be attributed to Matt Stone & Trey Parker’s ability to satirize popular trends and fads. World Of Warcraft was no exception, and in Season ten, the series spoofed the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game). In Make Love Not Warcraft, a griefer who keeps killing every WoW character fo the lulz, prompting the kids to bring down once and for all. This plan, however, causes them to become fat, overweight losers who spend upwards of 21 hours in front of their computers, not unlike the real people who play the game.

2. Scott Tenorman Must Die (Season Five)

Matt Stone & Trey Parker really outdid themselves this time. The episode is brilliant because of its simplicity. Instead of having multiple plots, the focus of Scott Tenorman Must Die lies on Eric Cartman’s mission to get revenge from Scott Tenorman, a ninth grade boy who sold him pubes for $10. Oh yeah, and having Radiohead play themselves doesn’t hurt, either.The final scenes are so outrageous, we remember sitting in front of the television agape and trying to wrap our head around what we just saw. Scott Tenorman Must Die transformed Cartman from annoying fat kid to diabolical mastermind. (Spoiler Warning: the clip below is the episodes ending.)

1. Good Times With Weapons (Season Eight)

We wanted to put the previous episode here, but at the end of the day, our hearts wouldn’t let us. Why? Because, hands down, Good Times With Weapons is so sublime, so hilarious, it’d be a grave injustice not having it in the top spot. In Good Times, the South Park gang buys ninja weapons (illegally, we should add) at a swap meet and pretend to be roaming fighters with super powers. Not to be outdone, Butters– our favorite South Park character ever– creates the Professor Chaos alter ego and confronts the boy. Needless to say, Butters ends up getting a ninja death star lodged in his eye. What makes this episode stand head and shoulders above the others is its brilliant use of Anime animation, the English/Japanese song ‘Let’s Fighting Love”, and Butters.

Bonus: Remember Google Wave?

Top 10 Sarcastic The Simpsons Quotes

Written by The Sarcasmist

10. “Goodness, I had no idea! For you see, I have been on Mars for the last decade, in a cave, with my eyes shut and my fingers in my ears.” (In response to Sideshow Bob: You know, I used to have a problem with killing people.) –Cecil Terwilliger

9. “Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t understand.” –Homer Simpson

8. “A sarcasm detector, that’s a real useful invention.” (Sarcasm detector explodes) –Comic Book Guy

7. “But I’m a public servant. I can’t use my judgment.” –Superintendant Chalmers

6. “Family, religion, friends… these are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.” –Mr. Burns

5. “I’m proud of you, Mom. You’re like Christopher Columbus. You discovered something millions of people knew about before you.” –Lisa Simpson

4. “No, I get my news from the internet, like a normal person under seventy. Farewell, dinosaur.” (In response to Kent Brockman when asked if he saw the six o’clock news) –Comic Book Guy

3. “Oh no! Now who will sell oranges on the off-ramp?” (In response to Lisa saying that Bart is throwing away his future). –Homer Simpson

2. “Attempted murder? Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel prize for attempted chemistry? Do they?” -Sideshow Bob

1. “Owww look at me Marge, I’m making people Happy! I’m the magical man, from Happy Land, who lives in a gumdrop house on Lolly Pop Lane!!!!…… By the way I was being sarcastic…” –Homer Simpsons

Bonus: The Simpsons Congratulate South Park on 200 Episodes!

A loving reminder on the occasion of South Park‘s 200th episode that The Simpsons Already Did It

You can see more tributes at And be sure to tune-in tomorrow night for South Park‘s 200th episode at 10pm / 9c.


The World Would Be Better If Everyone Watched This Video

Written by Carl Sagan

If every person on our blue Earth watched this video, the world would be a much better place. At least for a few minutes. Listen closely to Carl Sagan’s words till the end. It won’t fail to get you teary.-JD

The spacecraft was a long way from home.

I thought it would be a good idea, just after Saturn, to have them take one last glance homeward. From Saturn, the Earth would appear too small for Voyager to make out any detail. Our planet would be just a point of light, a lonely pixel hardly distinguishable from the other points of light Voyager would see: nearby planets, far off suns. But precisely because of the obscurity of our world thus revealed, such a picture might be worth having.

It had been well understood by the scientists and philosophers of classical antiquity that the Earth was a mere point in a vast, encompassing cosmos—but no one had ever seen it as such. Here was our first chance, and perhaps also our last for decades to come.

So, here they are: a mosaic of squares laid down on top of the planets in a background smattering of more distant stars. Because of the reflection of sunlight off the spacecraft, the Earth seems to be sitting in a beam of light, as if there were some special significance to this small world; but it’s just an accident of geometry and optics. There is no sign of humans in this picture: not our reworking of the Earth’s surface; not our machines; not ourselves. From this vantage point, our obsession with nationalisms is nowhere in evidence. We are too small. On the scale of worlds, humans are inconsequential: a thin film of life on an obscure and solitary lump of rock and metal.

Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you’ve ever heard of, every human being who ever was lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings; thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines; every hunter and forager; every hero and coward; every creator and destroyer of civilizations; every king and peasant, every young couple in love; every mother and father; hopeful child; inventor and explorer; every teacher of morals; every corrupt politician; every supreme leader; every superstar; every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.

Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings; how eager they are to kill one another; how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity—in all this vastness—there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the only home we’ve ever known.

The pale blue dot.

This is an excerpt from Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. It talks about the photo of the same name, Pale Blue Dot, taken by Voyager I on February 14, 1990.

The short film was produced by David Fu. Thanks to our friend Alex Pasternack—from Motherboard—for pointing us to this amazing video.

How to Get a Drink at a Busy Bar

Written by artofmanliness

Drunk Fella: “Hey Chief! Chief!”

My co-worker: “If that guy calls me ‘Chief’ one more time, I’m cutting him off.”

As I write this, I’m sitting at my bar, just off of work on a Friday night. I feel sorry for my co-worker; I’m the one who got Drunk Fella that way.


What Drunk Fella doesn’t know is that he is being ignored on purpose.


When Mr. McKay asked me to write this article, I had to think about it for a couple weeks. I really had to talk to a lot of bartenders I know to find out what their process is for getting their customers drinks. Do they just start at one end of the bar and work their way down? Does a regular get served before someone they don’t know? Do friends take precedence? Or do they just serve the loudest guy first, in an effort to get him to shut his trap? After talking to a few co-workers and fellow bartenders, I think I’ve got it down to a few key concepts.

1. Always, always, tip.

An elephant never forgets. Neither does a bartender (or waiter, for that matter). If you don’t tip well, or at all, you are automatically on the bottom of the list. And don’t play games with your tipping, either. If you pay cash each round, tip with your change. Don’t pull it all back and then tip at the end of the night. Tipping is expected, no matter how much you think of it as “extra.” If you start a tab, tip when you pay at the end of the night, or when you get your rounds with whatever cash you happen to have. Either will do! Both!

Let’s be honest: if you don’t have money to tip, go to a liquor store, buy your favorites, and watch the game at home. If you don’t have money to tip, you don’t have money to go out in the first place.

Here’s a tip: tip big on the very first round. I have a customer that hands me a $20 bill after he’s paid for his first drink. I take care of him until he leaves. He often gets refills before he’s even done with his last one. I take care of him because he’s taken care of me already, and no matter how busy it is, I always have time for him.

And guys, your phone number is not a tip. Give my female bartenders out there a break.

2. Know what you’re going to order before you start yelling for service.

Hopefully, I’ve gotten there just as your group has approached the bar and I’ve asked you what you’d like to have. If you’re the one who ends up ordering for the group, I understand if you don’t know what everyone wants. That’s why I have no problem waiting for your order if I’ve approached you. But if it’s super busy and you’ve finally gotten me over to take your order, KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. There is nothing worse than hearing you call for service for a few minutes and when I get there, you don’t know what you are ordering. I can’t stress this enough. In the time it takes you to figure out what everyone is drinking, I could have filled two other orders. All that time spent yelling for service should be used for figuring out what your group wants.

Case in point: for some reason, I always end up being the “order guy” for my group. Last time, we had a new person with us and I didn’t know his drink, so I asked him BEFORE we got to the bar. When the bartender came over, I rattled it off to her, she quickly called my price, and I paid her. She took my money, ran to get the drinks, and brought them back with the correct change. The whole thing took 5 minutes. Because I tipped well, the next time, it took 2.

We understand that if we approach you, we’ve caught you off guard and you may not know who needs what. But if you’re yelling, waving your arms, slapping the bar, trying to get our attention, then we get there and you don’t know what you want, understand that we’re a bit unhappy.

3. Chief, Boss, Bro, Scout, Partner, Dude…

The list goes on. Don’t use them. For bartenders they’re the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. Now, I know that not all bartenders will call you “sir.” But they should call you something respectable if they don’t know your name. My line is “Sir, can I get you a drink?” and when I deliver, “There you are, sir. My name is Mike if you need anything else.” I expect to be called by my name or sir, or if you’re impolite, I’ll answer to “bartender.” “Chief” especially chills my spine.

The key is not the names, but what they represent: respect. Like it or not, the bartender is in charge of the bar. You are in his territory. Waiters come to YOUR table, but you have entered the bartender’s area. Treat it, and him, with respect, and you’ll both have a good time.

4. Don’t stand at the server station.

If the bar has a station where servers come to pick up drinks, it’s a bad idea to try to stand there to get one. You’ll get mad because the bartender is there 50% of the time, yet he’s ignoring you, and he’ll ignore you because you’re not supposed to be there in the first place, so he’s hoping you’ll get the idea and move.

5. Be a regular.

Find a bar you like. Go there as often as you can. If they serve food and it’s good, eat there on a slow night. Talk to the bartender when he’s not busy. Get to know about him and let him know about you. Create a rapport. When he sees you on a busy night, he’ll make steps to make sure you’re having a good time and getting taken care of. Unless you’re the creepy jerk regular that only tips with phone numbers given to the waitresses!

My Method

I’m lucky because I’m tall. Not NBA tall, but tall enough. I find a hole in the bar chairs that allows me not to reach over someone’s back. I hold my money in my hand, elbow on the bar, hand in the air, facing the bartender. I look at them until they’ve made eye contact. Now they know I’m there. Now I can scan the bar for beautiful women, friends I didn’t know would be there, or check the score of the game. But I keep watching the bartender. When they come over, I rattle off my drink order, and repeat if necessary. Explain drinks if necessary. The money is still in my hand. I say thank you when they bring the drinks back to me. They take the money. I say thank you again when I get my change, and because I know what I’ve already planned on tipping, I give it straight to them, saying thanks for a third time. If I need a helper for my drink load, they’re already there with me, and I start handing drinks back. Then I make my way to the spot where my group is. They next guy who is paying for a round usually ends up just giving me the money and having me do it…or we all just sit there parched while he calls the bartender “Chief” a thousand times…