Monthly Archives: November 2010

40 Sleep Hacks: The Geek’s Guide to Optimizing Sleep

40 Sleep Hacks: The Geek’s Guide to Optimizing Sleep

Read this Book in Google Docs

Table of contents

Section I: Hacking Sleep Schedules

1. Wake up at the same time every morning
2. Try free-running sleep
3. The 28-hour day
4. Polyphasic sleep
5. Keep a sleep log
6. Give your schedules 10 days to ‘click’
7. Reduce your sleep need

Section II: Diet

8. Eat whole foods, unprocessed foods, and raw foods
9. Eat light in the evening
10. Eat a small pre-bedtime snack
11. Drink caffeine in the morning, not at night
12. Eat breakfast
13. Control your cortisol
14. Avoid foods you may be sensitive to
Section III: Napping
15. Master the art of napping
16. Caffeine nap
17. Pzizz your way to sleep
18. Create your own nap mp3

Section IV: Dreaming and Creativity

19. Learn to lucid dream
20. Use lucid dreaming to cultivate peak performance, solve problems, and overcome fears.
21. Explore hypnagogia
22. Keep a dream journal
Section V: Sleep Environment
23. Sleep in complete darkness
24. Sleep in the cold

Section VI: Sleep Gadgets

25. Use noise cancelling headphones
26. Use a bright light alarm
27. Use a sun box
28. The SleepTracker watch
29. Use a sleep mask
30. Use an mp3 alarm clock

Section VII: Psychology

31. Use your brain’s internal alarm clock
32. Set up morning rewards
33. Write down tomorrow’s to-do list
34. Change your attitude toward sleep
35. Train your brain to wake up to alarms
36. Set two alarms
37. Maintain a positive attitude toward life
38. Wake up to euphoric music

Section VIII: Lifestyle

39. Meditate
40. Fall in love

5 Tips for Taking Great Vacation Photos

Written by mostlylisa

Mostly Lisa on Paradise Pier, California Adventureland

I just finished processing my snaps from my fabulous Disneyland birthday weekend and I thought I’d share some tips and tricks for getting great vacation photos.

As a die-hard photographer, I understand the tendency to want to capture every single moment of life, rather than experience it. While this will result in more photos of your trip, it may not result in the best photos. After a day of continuous snapping and being asked to smile and pose, even the most enthusiastic subjects will look like annoyed-looking grumps in your photos.

Fireworks above Sleeping Beauty's Castle, Disneyland

Instead of continuously shooting throughout the day, pick three or four times for posed family photos in front of main landmarks, and casually snap candids the rest of the time. Know when to put away your dSLR and just enjoy the day.

Disneyland Lollipop Bokeh

Taken while Pete was distracted by brightly coloured sweets. 🙂

All this goes out the window if there is amazing light. In that case, give your kids $10, point to the nearest ice cream store, and say, “Yay!! Ice cream!!” I find I can capture a lot of great shots when people are distracted with food or shiny things. I call it the “distract and snap” method.

Pete & Mickey PretzelOh look! A Mickey pretzel!

2. Pack the right gear

Oh Hai Disneyland!

5DMKII + 16-35mm + 430EX with an Omnibounce

On this trip to Disneyland, I brought minimal gear with me to the park because I knew that I would be trekking around a lot and going on bumpy, wet and generally gear-unfriendly rides. I brought my 5DMKII with the 16-35mm f/2.8, 430EX flash, Canon SD 1300 point & shoot, and my iPhone 4.

Pete in front of the Matterhorn, Disneyland

Pete waiting for the Monorail in Tomorrowland.

I only brought one lens because I find that I can capture great scene shots at 16mm and great people pictures at 35mm. Plus, it’s relatively small and unobtrusive. A 35mm, 24-70mm or a 18-55mm kit lens would work as well.

View from the Grand Californian

View from my hotel room at the Grand Californian.

If you are missing a zoom lens or wide angle, use a point and shoot or phone to grab these shots. Remember it’s all about about capturing moments, not perfect photographs.

2. Bring extra memory cards & batteries

Esmerelda, Main Street, Disneyland

Esmerelda, Main Street, Disneyland

I usually have 4 X 8GB cards and an extra battery for my dSLR on me at all times. I tore through all of these on this trip, especially when I was taking video. So depending on what you are shooting, I would recommend having at least 4 cards with you, if not more. Always pack an extra battery and make sure you charge your phone the night before.

Woody Vinylmation

Toy Story’s “Woody” in Vinylmation store.

3. Capture the story

While it’s great to capture the big breathtaking scenic moments of your vacation, try to capture all the seemingly mundane moments in between to connect all your images into a story of your trip.

Mickey Mouse Waffle

Snap a picture of your breakfast, the view from your hotel window, your family getting ready to go out, your boyfriend checking his feeds during dinner :-|, or any little candid moment you’d like to remember.

I find that these shots are the ones I really cherish, because they remind me of my experience, rather than the place itself. I love this shot of my epic R2D2 “Mostly Lisa” Mouse Ears getting made.

My R2D2 Mickey Ears getting made

MostlyLisa's R2D2 Mickey Ears

3. Capture the entire scene

Paradise Pier, California Adventureland

Paradise Pier, California Adventureland

Always take a step back and capture the full scene. It’s a good opportunity to actually focus on your photography for a moment. I usually try to grab a few good shots when I’m waiting in lines for food, transport or Space Mountain 🙂

Space Mountain, Disneyland

Space Mountain!

To maximize your photo taking, set your camera to burst mode, so you can fire off a bunch of shots really quickly. Another way you can increase your chances of getting a great shot is by bracketing the exposure to +2 and -2 EV. This way when you fire off three shots in burst mode, you get three shots of varied exposure: 1. Over-exposed; 2. Normally exposed; & 3. Under-exposed.

Mark Twain Riverboat, Disneyland

Mark Twain Riverboat, Disneyland

5. Don’t forget to get in the picture too!

Lisa's R2D2 Mickey Mouse Ears =)

Cotton candy & magic hour in California Adventureland.

There are so many times when I come back from a trip and realize there are no pictures of me, almost as if I wasn’t there. I know most photographers hate being photographed, but your loved ones and demanding Facebook friends will appreciate a few pictures with you in them 😛 Before you pass of your camera, make sure it’s set up correctly so that anyone can just click the shutter. I usually set up the frame and settings on someone and then swap with that person, so all my settings are correct.

Pete & Lisa Disney fun

Point and shoot shot of Pete & I after a ride on Indiana Jones.

I’m not keen on strangers handling my dSLR, so if I want a shot with me and someone, I’ll either set up my point and shoot on a little gorilla pod and use a timer or just hand hold it. NB. Hand holding a dSLR is not recommended unless you’ve got the guns to support it 😛

Mickey Mouse Toys at Disneyland

I look forward to seeing all of your shots of the upcoming holiday season!!!

Bonus! Hostgator Cyber Monday Special Discount: 50% Off Web Hosting

We all know about the Hostgator Black Friday deal, which helped many people to get their web hosting with a maximum possible discount of 80% and 50%. This is their best deal in their 8 years of web hosting and this made a lot of people to get their first hosting account. If you have missed that opportunity on Black Friday, here’s another one for you.

Hostgator Cyber Monday Promotion:

To celebrate Cyber Monday, Hostgator is going to run a Cyber Monday Deal with a huge offer. On Cyber Monday, they are again offering their 50% OFF promotion. This will give you a second chance to save a huge amount of money on web hosting, if you’ve missed out on the Black Friday Deal.

Hostgator Cyber Monday 50 Off Discount

The Cyber Monday Promotion will give the new customers a chance to get Hostgator web hosting at the price listed below:

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To get this discount on Cyber Monday, you just has to sign up for any of Hostgator hosting services, using the discount coupon CYBERMONDAY2010. Since this is again a huge offer from the Hostgator team, try to take advantage of this unique offer from HostGator on this Cyber Monday.

Sign Up for Hostgator Cyber Monday Promotion (Coupon: CYBERMONDAY2010)

Do let us know whether you’re lucky enough to get a web hosting account from Hostgator on Black Friday? Also let us know whether you have any plans to get their hosting services again on Cyber Monday?

5 Facebook profile pics that make you look like a tool

Written by Andrea Bartz & Brenna Ehrlich

Profile pics that look like Budweiser ads — or, say, this photo — are probably not the best choices for your Facebook page.

If a Facebook picture is worth a thousand words, we’re pretty sure there’s one word in the lexicon you’d be loath to have associated with you: tool.

(Unless you’re a handyman, in which case, carry on.)

Yes, Facebook started off as a gated community for college kids awkwardly trolling for chicks in their rooms because the outside world was just too bright … too bright. But now, as Mark Zuckerberg sallies forth with his plan to consume all of society, it has become kind of legit.

Last week, Zuckerberg unveiled a messaging system for the book of faces that will consolidate e-mail, texts, chat and Facebook messages. While we (unlike myriad reactionary news outlets) won’t be calling Z’s new baby a “Gmail killer” any time soon (dude, eradicate all those FB phishing scams and then we’ll talk), the fact that Facebook would take such a step got us thinking.

Every day, 4 billion messages are shot off via Facebook, and next to those 4 billion messages is something that could make or break the legitimacy of your missive — or, at the very least, amuse or horrify your friends: your profile picture.

This is your calling card, your public face. So why do so many of you contort it into that of a duck?

Read on for five common types of Facebook photos that make your friends want to block you, potential employers take pause and future suitors weep with frustration at the state of the human race.

The “MySpace shot”

The pouty, self-taken “MySpace” mirror shot just makes you look like a narcissist.

Oh, the “MySpace shot” — in which men pose shirtless in front of their bathroom mirrors and women pout into their boobs.

You think it makes you look sexy, but, truth be told, it makes you look like you have no friends. Which makes sense, considering the dudes are always hanging out shirtless in the bathroom and the chicks always look so freaking depressed.

Fun fact: Research from OK Cupid shows the “MySpace shot” is the most effective snap for women when it comes to racking up messages. Still, that same research shows that shots of a chick doing something interesting, as opposed to looking sexy, garnered more meaningful communication.

Yes, Facebook is not OK Cupid, but the research holds true: A cell phone pic may get you some attention, but, well, so will drunkenly passing out at a party and flashing your underwear.

And for those among you who are too deeply entrenched in the morass of narcissism to pry iPhone from hand, might we suggest getting an account on DailyBooth? This service lets you take a photo of yourself every day in order to track how your appearance changes over time. At least then you can call it art … or something.

Subbing in an inanimate object/pet/baby

Sure, he’s cute. But he’s not you.

“Hey Tim… so, I’ve known you for about five years now and I’m pretty sure you are not a crude drawing of a dinosaur, a cat with lasers for eyes or a green square. No, I’m pretty sure you’re a skinny dude with an only slightly unfortunate haircut.”

So thinketh your friends when nary a picture on your Facebook profile is actually of you. Also, people will start to wonder if you have been disfigured in some horrifying accident and — Phantom of the Opera-like — are masking your hideous face with that of Conan’s.

If you insist on getting creative with your profile pic, check out Twibbons, which lets you create profile images that promote a cause.

Liquoring up

A couple of party pictures in which you’re holding a glass of wine or a beer are fine, but a parade of profile pics that could pass for Budweiser ads — or, for that matter, the photo above — are probably not the best choice when it comes to looking like a professional/not an alcoholic.

Yeah, that pic of you in the pool doing Edward 40-Hands might be hilarious to your poker pals and fellow former frat bros, but the kids you teach fourth grade math to (and their parents) will probably be less than amused.

Group shots

Yes, we get it — you have lots of friends and are very popular.

Let’s say you meet a new dude at a dark party. The guy seems nice, and looks to be cute from what you can tell through the haze of the smoke machine and Four Loko (it hasn’t been banned everywhere yet, folks), but you can’t quite tell because of the crudely markered-on Castro beard (oh, forgot to mention it’s Halloween).

The next day, you eagerly seek out homeboy on Facebook, only to find a profile picture that features not one, but five similar-looking dudes lying in the grass — wearing Wayfarers and fedoras. How are you supposed to tell which is which, and whether you should click “friend”?

Yeah, Facebook is not technically a dating site, but let’s face it, the first thing you do after meeting a new romantic interest is stalk the hell outta him or her. According to a survey from Seventeen magazine, within one week of meeting someone, 79 percent of 16-21 year-olds add that person to their Facebook circle.

And, as shallow as it is, folks will judge you based on your profile — that same research shows that 43 percent of girls would decide not to date someone if his profile was a bust. So don’t hide behind your friends in the shot that’s supposed to show who you are. Save that for after the breakup, when you run into her at your local watering hole.

Holiday or wedding pics … months after the wedding

Sure, your wedding was awesome — way back in JULY. Don’t rub it in.

Yes, it was totally awesome that that Halloween party you went to featured not one, not two, but three Fidel Castros (you are the dude mentioned above, btw), but it’s not so awesome that you should still keep a picture documenting this phenom front and center in late November. A week or two tops, friends, and then it’s back to that lovely shot of you wearing pleated pants and a polo (we’ll tackle that problem at a later date).

The same goes for wedding photos. It’s really nice that you got married, and we all pored through every shot from the ceremony, but leaving up a portrait of you in full bridal garb for several months is akin to shoving your ring in your friends’ faces daily.

We are no longer happy for you. You are now just gloating. We fear the day when you produce offspring.

Bonus:Thanksgiving lesson from dad…

The Best Black Friday Deals

Shopaholics, your favorite day of the year is here!

Whether you’re shopping Black Friday deals online or in-store, We has a list of places that will save you money!

Check out our list of The Best Black Friday 2010 Deals!

Amazon Sale

1. Black Friday Deals

Amazon Black Friday SaleOne of the very best Black Friday sales has just started and it’s from This year is making a huge push to take on Walmart, Target, and Best Buy by offering their Black Friday sale the entire week. Not only will they be adding new products to their sale every day, but they will be matching or beating the Black Friday prices that you’ll find at the big retailers.

We do almost all of our shopping at because they have the lowest prices and they make it so easy to shop with free shipping and no sales tax. We suggest you check out the Black Friday sale and take advantage of some of the amazing specials they currently have in stock.

2. Target Early Black Friday Deals

Target Black Friday SaleTarget’s 4-day pre-Black Friday sale begins today and you will find a ton of toys, video games, and seasonal deals available to purchase online and in-stores. One of the video game deals that stood out to us was a Nintendo DSi gaming console for just $119.00 both in-stores and online. We are expecting some of these items to sell out quickly, so we suggest you browse the Target 4-Day Pre-Black Friday Sale ad to see if there is anything you are interested in.

The Target Black Friday sale has just started online! The Target has one of the best Black Friday sales this year and we absolutely love the deals they are offering. With that in mind, we think that many of these Black Friday specials will sell out quickly. We strongly encourage you to shop the The Target Black Friday sale right now and take advantage of these deals before they are gone.

3. MacMall Black Friday Sale

MacMall Early Black Friday SaleMacMall’s 60-hour Black Friday sale has just started and it features discounts on a bunch of different Apple products. As most Apple fans know, it’s very tough to get any sort of discount at all on the Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac Mini, or iMac.

During this MacMall 60-hour Apple sale, you can save $50 to $85 off select Apple computers. They are also offering discounts on the iPod Touch, Apple TV, and various computer accessories. To view the MacMall 60-hour Black Friday sale, click here.

4. Sears Black Friday Sale

Sears Black Friday SaleOne of the very best Black Friday sales has just appeared online! You can now shop at Sears and get all of their Black Friday deals. We really love the Sears Black Friday sale this year. They’ve got great deals on tools, HDTVs, clothing, and seasonal items. Just like all of the other sales going on right now, these special offers are for a limited time only and the popular items sell out quickly.

We suggest you shop the Sears Black Friday sale right now to lock in these deals while they are still available for their Black Friday prices.

5. Kohls Black Friday Sale

Kohls Black Friday SaleThe online Kohls Black Friday sale just appeared online. This year Kohls is offering over 400 early bird specials with deals on clothing, seasonal items, housewares, and much more. We highly recommend the Kohls Black Friday sale as they are offering some exceptional savings this year.

As usual, the promotions offered in this day after Thanksgiving sale will sell out quickly so we suggest you shop online right now and lock in your orders while items are still in stock.

Other Great Black Friday Deals:

Cabelas SaleExpress SaleSears Outlet SaleKmart SaleTiger Direct SaleOfficeMax SalePacific Sunwear Sale

Bonus! Hostgator Black Friday Discount: 80% Off Web Hosting

Update: 20% Off (Promotion Good Through 12/31/10)

Hostgator is one of the top shared web hosting providers along with Dreamhost. Although I am not using Hostgator Web Hosting for this blog, I am using it for two of my static websites and I am really pleased with their services and customer supports. I would recommend their services to anyone who is looking for a web hosting account. Regardless of their price, Hostgator is the preferred web hosting service for WordPress platform.

Hostgator Black Friday Discount

Hostgator is providing a huge promotional offer for their web hosting services to celebrate Black Friday. The Black Friday 2010 Promotion brings a huge lucrative offer for those who are looking to buy a web hosting account. This will also be their best deal in 8+ years of hosting. Just go through the details given below to know more about this huge discount from Hostgator.

Hostgator Black Friday Promotional Offer:

The Hostgator Black Friday 2010 Promotion Sale starts exactly at 12:00 AM Friday November 26th, 2010. For the first five years, you will get 50% off on anything you buy with them. The next four hours gives you the biggest discount offer in Hostgator History. They are offering 80% off everything you buy with them in these four hours. Since they have limited this huge offer for just four hours, they will follow the policy of “First Come, First Serve” during this time.

After those four hours, they will be offering 50% off on everything you buy with them until 11.59 PM Friday November 26th, 2010. Using this promotion, you can get 3 years of Hostgator Web hosting for as low as $35.64. You can also get reseller hosting as low as $4.99 per month, so try not to miss out this offer.

In short:

Shared hosting: 0.99$/month

Reseller hosting: 4.99$/month

VPS hosting: 3.99$ for first month

Dedicated Hosting: $34.80 for first month

If you are thinking about buying a web hosting plan for any your online business, then hurry up and take advantage of this unique offer from HostGator on this Black Friday.

Get 80% OFF Web Hosting with Hostgator

Update: The hostgator official website basically can’t open when 80% discount appears. After about 15 minutes all 80% Off Web Hosting has been sold out. there is only 50% Off now.

Other Hosting Black Friday Discount:

60% off web hosting by FatCow!

50 Free Apps We’re Most Thankful For

Collected by lifehacker

As we prepare to give thanks for our delicious Thanksgiving meals (and impending food comas), let’s not forget to pay tribute to the wonderful developers who bring us our favorite free apps.

With a little spreadsheet magic and a few choices of our own, we bring you the top 50 free apps we’re all most thankful for. Whether you’re celebrating the holiday or not, it’s a great list of free software that ought to make for some gluttonous downloading. The popular apps are some of the more obvious, however, so be sure to look further down the list for new free software you may not yet know about. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

The 50 Free Apps We’re Most Thankful For

  1. Dropbox

  2. VLC (Video Lan Client)

  3. Google Chrome

  4. Firefox

  5. Opera

  6. Google Apps

  7. Simplenote and Notational Velocity

  8. CCleaner

  9. uTorrent

  10. Transmission

  11. sabnzbd+

  12. Open Office

  13. Skype

  14. Evernote

  15. GIMP

  16. KeePass

  17. LastPass

  18. 7zip

  19. ImgBurn

  20. Microsoft Security Essentials

  21. AutoHotkey

  22. Pandora

  23. FileZilla

  24. TrueCrypt

  25. Handbrake

  26. VirtualBox

  27. Audacity

  28. Paint.NET

  29. iTunes

  30. Thunderbird

  31. Foobar2000

  32. Pidgin

  33. Adium

  34. avast!

  35. TeamViewer

  36. TweetDeck

  37. Launchy

  38. Quicksilver

  39. Instapaper

  40. ReadItLater

  41. XBMC

  42. PuTTY

  43. Cyberduck

  44. Perian

  45. XAMPP

  46. Windows Live Essentials

  47. Winamp

  48. TeraCopy

  49. Eclipse

  50. MediaMonkey

And that’s the list! Happy downloading, and happy Thanksgiving!

50 Things Every Guy Should Know How To Do

Written by A. Isaac

We understand that not every guy out there can be a jack of all trades. But at the very least, if you can master these 50 things, you’ll be able to hold your head high at the end of the day.

50 Change a tire

Nothing is more unmanly than having to call AAA or one of your buddies to change your tire. Assuming you have all the right tools and a semi-functional brain, the job should take no more than 10 minutes. Just a friendly reminder though, be sure to cover up the plumbers butt for all the bystanders.

49 Use a charcoal grill

Any idiot can turn on a knob on a propane tank and adjust the heat on a gas grill. But there are many times, especially in the great outdoors, when you aren’t afforded that luxury. Charcoal grilling has become a lost art and frankly, as a fat man myself, I find the food tastes much better. It takes some patience to wait for the coals to turn gray, but the reward more often times than not, is a perfectly cooked piece of meat.

48 Bong a beer

We’re certainly not asking that you relive your college days or go Old School on the masses. Nevertheless, at a tailgate with your buddies, when that beer bong makes an appearance, go Frank the Tank on it. “It just tastes so good when it hits your lips”.

47 Throw a punch without looking like a sissy

Inevitably, at least once in your life, you’ll find yourself in a situation where the fists of fury are required. There’s no need to panic, especially if you haven’t been in a fight before. The absolute worst thing you can do is open up your hand and bitch-slap someone or throw a wild haymaker like a girl. Compose yourself, rotate your fist and drive with your hips. A word to the wise, a straight punch to someone’s nose can get you out of a hairy situation pretty quickly.

46 Fry a turkey

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, there may be no better time to learn how to deep-fry a bird. A tip of the cap to the fine people south of the Mason-Dixon line for making this a popular trend. So grab some peanut oil and watch that bird turn a deep golden brown. You won’t regret it and trust me, it tastes a lot better than that roasted turkey your mom has been making since the 70?s.

45 Hook up the cable

Every guy should learn this, if only to avoid the day long wait for the ever-tardy cable man. In essence, it’s as simple a task as you’ll find on this list. A plug here and there, sticking it in the right hole, turning the right knob. Think of it like sex–put the required parts in, get out as fast as possible, and badabing badaboom, you’re watching TV five minutes later.

44 Pick-up a woman with a one-liner

“Is that a keg in your pants…because I’d like to tap that”. Regretfully, that line has not worked for me nor any other man since the Cro-Magnon days. But a first impression is indeed important when it comes to picking up women. A cheesy line gets you a drink in your face, a smooth one gets you in her pants. Your move Casanova.

43 Get your money’s worth at a buffet

Like any good strategist, a mapped-out plan of action is needed when you enter the wonderful world of a buffet. Skip the greens and fruits, that is, unless you actually care about living past 50. Go for the jugular right away–the carving station, the chicken wings and every other beast that was slaughtered for this fine spread. A good rule of thumb is to hold off on the heavy carbs until you’ve gotten your fill. Then feel free to enjoy some mash potatoes and mac & cheese. Make sure to leave some special time with the commode nine hours after you finish.

42 Some assembly required

Those three words scare the living bejesus out of 90% of men out there. Do not fear, you don’t need to be Bob Vila to follow simple instructions. The biggest problem for guys seems to be skipping steps and getting ahead of themselves. Don’t be that a-hole. If all else fails, the internet is your friend. Yes, it’s not just there for your daily porn intake.

41 Know your local professional sports teams

You don’t have to paint your face, you don’t have to regurgitate stats, hell, you don’t even have to sport the team colors. But dammit, on command, you better know all the sports teams in your city. Lest you utter the “Boston Yankees” in a bar and get your ass beat by a bunch of Southies.

40 Pour a beer

Perhaps nothing is more annoying than waiting for a frosty one at a bar and having one delivered full of foam. This isn’t rocket science people and you certainly don’t have to be Tom Cruise in Cocktail to figure it out. Tip the glass slightly as you pour that brewed delight. And yes, this is the only time in your life where it’s acceptable to give head.

39 Jump-start a car

Every guy has a friend whose car is in shambles–stalls at red lights, a bad transmission, and of course, a crappy battery. Don’t be the person standing around when the jumper cables come out, lend a helping hand–positive to positive (red to red) and make sure to ground that sucker. Otherwise, you’ll have a catastrophe on your hands.

38 Throw a football

Indeed, you’re no Peyton Manning, perhaps you’re not even as good as the local HS quarterback. Throwing a spiral, however, is as easy as anything in sports. Even if you have small hands and can’t grab the ball on the grip (that’s what she said), it’s still pretty simple.

37 Haggle for a lower price

“Never accept the first price” is something that’s hammered home to every young man by their father. This doesn’t necessarily mean you pretend you’re an Arab merchant and haggle at the local grocery store. But anything north of $100 bucks, in my opinion, is fair game.

36 Tie a tie

Regardless of whether your job entails dressing in a three piece suit, you will have to, at least a few times a year, be forced to wear a tie for a wedding or funeral. We assume you’re not wearing the clip-on variety so you’ll have to do the Windsor knot. It’s not as hard as it looks and again, the internet, especially YouTube, is your friend.

35 Erect a tent

The first time you erect a tent, naturally, it’s going to be confusing. You may even get frustrated to the point where you’ll never camp again. Take a deep breath, find some level ground and pound those stakes down. Work your way from there and you’ll find things a bit easier.

34 Cast a fishing rod

As a kid, it was acceptable to drop your tiny fishing rod off the dock and say “Here…fishy, fishy, fishy”. But as you get older, you’re actually going to have to cast slightly further than two feet beyond the pier. That is, unless you want to watch catch Sunfish and Bluegill your whole life.

33 Build a fire

One of the most satisfying parts in the movie Castaway was Tom Hanks ability to start a fire with two sticks. It’s an amazing feat and one that I’m sure all men would love to add to their repertoire. Nonetheless, in general, the need to build one without the aid of a match or lighter probably won’t arise. But building the fire itself, yea, that’s something you should eventually learn, lest you look like a foolish outdoorsman.

32 Tap and operate a Keg

We hit on this earlier, but a beer full of foam is worthless. If you, by chance, find yourself in charge of keg operation, it’s not necessary to wildly pump every five seconds. Let the beer settle, stop jostling the keg around and have some patience. That frothy goodness will be yours in no time.

31 Use a chainsaw

While working manual labor one summer, I pretended I knew how a chainsaw worked. Easily one of the biggest mistakes of my life. There’s this thing called a “chainsaw kickback”–it’s when the chain catches on something as it rotates and it kicks the guide bar back and up towards you. Well, I wasn’t aware of that nugget of information and almost lost an eye. Thankfully, I was still a young strapping lad and had cat-like reflexes.

30 Paddle a canoe/kayak

You’d be amazed at how many people can’t perform something as simple as sticking an oar into the water. Listen very carefully, because I’m only going to pass on my wisdom only once. If you want to turn right, stick your paddle on the left side of the boat, if you want to turn left, stick your paddle on the right side. That’s some aquatic knowledge right there.

29 Choose a scotch/whiskey

Age, region and blend are the three most important factors in choosing a quality scotch. In general, if it is not at least ten years old, it’s not worth your time. A single malt is certainly preferred, but you’ll have to dish out a few extra bucks for it. And yea, if you get a chance, try one from the Islay island region. The taste is a bit smokier than others but the strong flavor is worth it.

28 Drive a manual car

Admittedly, I suck at this. The first car I ever drove at fourteen years of age was a stick and I nearly crashed into a church. It scarred me for years. Despite that, I can operate a manual at the most basic level. Sure, I probably couldn’t go more than a few minutes without stalling like an idiot but in a bind, yea I can pull it off.

27 Pick-up a girl using your dog as a wingman

You’ve no doubt heard that a dog is a man’s best friend, and like any friend, a dog should be willing to be your wingman when needed. So if the chance arises where a woman is nearby, give your cuddly buddy some tender love and care. A scratch behind the ear and some rubbing of the tummy will score you some brownie points with the ladies.

26 Know how to navigate a road trip

We’ve become spoiled brats with our GPS, Google Maps and Mapquests. It’s essentially America’s lazy way of traveling. Ask somebody how to get to a store five miles away and they’ll plug it into their phone. No really, I’ve seen it happen and it’s embarrassing. Just wait for the day when you’re on a road trip and the damn satellite goes out. Watch how dumb you’ll look when you can’t read a simple road map.

25 Perform CPR

Not to be a Debbie Downer here but this is a stone-cold fact. If you’re not in the medical field and your performing CPR, you’re more than likely doing it on a friend or family member. Not a random stranger on the street, but somebody you love and care about. Do yourself a favor and spend five minutes a year reviewing this. In the end, it may very well save a person’s life.

24 Iron a shirt

You can’t always expect your wife or girlfriend to be around. Same goes for the local dry cleaners. If you spend any time traveling whatsoever, you’ll know that a shirt will get wrinkled in your luggage. Instead of looking like a slob, grab the hotel ironing board and start moving and grooving. Toss a little starch on those collars too.

23 Shine your shoes

You’re supposed to look your best from your head all the way down to your toe. So while most men may actually think your hair says a lot about you, a scuffed-up dull shoe has the same effect.

22 Do at least ten push-ups on command

Ten seems to be a good round number here. If you’re not able to perform at least ten reasonably solid push-ups, we suggest holding off on the McDonald’s value meals for awhile. Oh yea, keep that butt down too, none of those sissy push-ups.

21 Dance

We’re not asking that you pull out your best Fred Astaire impersonation. We simply ask that you function on the dance floor like a normal human being. Ditch the robot, the sprinkler and every other asinine dance move you learned in the 80s. Keep it simple stupid–some basic movies to the left and to the right and a dip here and there for the ladies. That’s it.

20 Play poker

No, I don’t mean online poker–there is literally no skill involved as you furiously click a mouse several thousand times an hour. I’m talking about staring someone in the face, knowing their bluff, and pushing all your chips in the middle of the table. You don’t have to be a pro to win a big hand, you just have to play your cards and the man, correctly.

19 Parallel park

Those who live in the country will rarely have to face this task. However, if you live in an urban setting, parallel parking is a must. Generally, it’s a matter of time and patience, something most men seem to lack behind the wheel. Fellas, you don’t need to do it on the first time, if it takes you two or three runs at it, no biggie. Just get the job done.

18 Unclog a toilet

While most toilet problems can simply be fixed with a plunger, there are times when you’re going to have to get down and dirty. Grab a snake and dig in because, for some reason, your wife thought it was a fantastic idea to shove a whole period’s worth of tampons down the commode.

17 Upgrade at a hotel

In the service industry, a “Benjamin” can go a long way. This applies, not only at the local strip club, but when you’re trying to get an upgrade at a hotel. Being casual about it is your best bet. As you slip them a credit card, stick the bill underneath and give the receptionist (hopefully a nice young lady) your best smile. You’d be surprised how often this works.

16 Rally after a big night of drinking

Everybody seems to have their own hangover remedy–a cup of coffee, a Gatorade with two Advil, perhaps some Chaser. I won’t sit and preach to you because, simply put, everybody’s body reacts to booze in different ways. What I can tell you is this…man up. If you need some caffeine, brew a whole damn pot. If you need to hydrate, hook an IV into your arm. Just get through the first few hours and worry about that raging headache later on.

15 Spot fake breasts

You’ll have to trust your eyesight on this one because it’s rare that you’ll be able to grab and feel for yourself. Personally, my rule of thumb has always been what I call “the jiggle factor”. If a woman can jump around or even walk without those things bouncing up and down, chances are, you got some silicone in your sights. Breasts are fatty tissue after all, and if fat aint jiggling, it aint real.

14 Choose the right urinal

There are unwritten rules for male public bathroom usage. No peeking, no excessive talking and by God, choose the right freakin urinal. If you’re the first one in, you DO NOT choose the unmanned one in the middle. The farthest one away from the door is your only choice. After that, it’s like a trip to the movies. Try to leave as many spots open between you and the next person.

13 Sew a button

Unless you’re some physical freak that regularly keeps themselves in shape, you’re going to gain weight as you get older. Gaining weight evidently leads to stretching out a shirt and snapping a button off. A simple thread and a needle is all you need. Remember, it doesn’t have to look pretty, it just has to work in a bind.

12 Unhook a bra with one hand

This is a daunting task if you’re a bit clumsy or lack any dexterity in your appendages. If needs be, practicing on a dummy or mannequin isn’t the craziest idea, although, it’s highly embarrassing. Our tip for you is pretty straightforward–reach back there and use two fingers. Actually wait, nevermind. That’s for something else entirely.

11 Open a bottle unconventionally

Not everyone carries around one of those fancy bottle openers on their keychains. One day, you’ll need to use a lighter or a hard surface to pop that baby open. Whatever you do, avoid the drunken rage of trying to pry it open with your teeth. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself at the dentist in the not-so-distant future.

10 Talk your way out of a traffic ticket

George Washington once stood underneath the cherry tree and uttered, “I cannot tell a lie”. Well, luckily for good ol Georgie, he never had to to talk himself out of a traffic ticket before. Beg, borrow, cheat, re-enact an event–anything it takes to avoid a $200 fine and taking it up the rear from your insurance company.

9 Off-road without flipping the ATV

First off, wear a helmet. You can only control an ATV so much as a beginner and you’re better off not becoming a vegetable. The most common mistake people make is taking a hill diagonally as opposed to head on. That’s the easiest way to lose control and inevitably, flip your vehicle.

8 Buy a gift for a woman

Those crotchless panties might seem like a great idea at the local porn shop, but if you ever plan to get laid again, you might have to be a little more thoughtful. Here’s an idea gentlemen, listen to what she has to say. It’s a novel concept, I know. Most women are willing to tip-off their likes and dislikes in normal conversation. If you’re willing to stay attentive for a few minutes, it hopefully will pay off sometime down the road.

7 Surf the web anonymously

We’re certainly not advocating you become a subscriber to every porn site imaginable, but there will come a time when you’ll want to peruse a few sites without someone else knowing. A few things you need to know: One, learn about proxies and two, clear out your cookies, cache and delete your history every time you use the web. That may very well tip off people to what you’re doing, but hey, at least they won’t know you enjoy Japanese anime porn.

6 Spot a liar

Unfortunately, the one person you’ll really need this type of wisdom for is your significant other. Yes, if your wife or girlfriend continually comes up with cockamamie stories of where she’s been or if she’s conveniently spending the night at her friends house, you have a serious problem. Confront her and ask direct questions. If she can’t look you in the eye or tries to change the subject constantly, well then, my deepest apologies fellas, you probably have a cheater on your hands.

5 Drive in crappy conditions

Be it rain, snow, sleet, hail, or even just muddy conditions, as a man, you have to be able to handle the elements. So adjust your driving accordingly. The absolute dumbest thing you can do is to try and be a hero. Your ultimate task is to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ without killing yourself. If that means driving 30mph, so be it.

4 Change a diaper

You may not have kids of your own, but inevitably, one of your buddies or siblings will impregnate a woman. Don’t think you’re in the clear here, because at the very least, you’ll be forced to babysit once. Stock up on the Huggies, the wipes, the powders and hope to God that kid isn’t lactose intolerant.

3 Make a drink

A few shoots of smooth liquor, a splash of juice and a lime wedge is all it takes for a solid drink. Nothing fancy, pretty straightforward and to the point. Once you start tossing around bottles and mixing stuff you have no idea about, yea, that’s when you’re asking for trouble.

2 Shave

Unless you plan on sporting the Grizzly Adams look for the rest of your entire life, you’ll need to put a razor to your face every once in awhile. Remember, up and down, with and against the grain, but never, EVER sideways.

1 Make a mean breakfast

Every man needs to learn how to make breakfast for one very reason. If you want that chick you hooked up with the night before to come back, you need to either a) be stellar in the sack or b) cook the most incredible breakfast ever. We’ll guess you’re no Peter North, so, throw on an apron and fry up some bacon and eggs buddy.