Monthly Archives: November 2010

The 25 Worst High-Tech Habits and How to Fix Them

Written by Christiopher Null

We dig deep to expose the types of bad behavior that can do permanent damage to you — and to your business.

Good citizens of technological America, this story is not for you. Today we honor the louts, the Luddites, and the lazy. Everyone has a little techie vice — raise your hand if you have ever used “password” as a password — but with this outing we’re digging a little deeper, calling out the really bad habits that can cause permanent damage to your high-tech psyche.

Without further ado, it’s time to get our hands dirty. We present to you our 25 worst high-tech habits.

1. Avoiding Security Software

So you thought you could get by without antimalware utilities, just by being mindful of what Web links you click and what e-mail you open. How’s that working out for ya? Use something — anything — to protect your PC from the bad guys, who are happy to have you as a target. You can even start with free antivirus software.

2. Failing to Back Up Your Computer

The funny thing about people who admit that they don’t back up is that they always preface it by saying, “I know it’s bad, but…” Listen: All hard drives crash eventually. All of them. Yours will, too. For help, see our simple guide to getting started with backup.

3. Neglecting Offsite Backup

A thief breaks into your apartment and steals your laptop. No problem: You just backed it up last night. Oh, wait, he stole your backup drive too, because it was sitting right next to the laptop. Store your data in multiple locations, with automatic backups scheduled for hard drives kept away from your PC — and make a backup plan to prepare for worst-case scenarios.

4. Replying to Spam

Why do spammers do their dirty work? Because enough people respond to it to make sending junk worth their while. Yes, clicking the “remove me” link counts as a response — though on rare occasions, if a message is clearly from a legitimate brand-name company, using that link is worth a try. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. In addition to following this commonsense advice, you can take an extra step to harness the spam-fighting powers of your e-mail service.

Tempting as the offer may be, put spammers out of business by ignoring their e-mail.

5. Traveling With an Operating Computer

Taking your computer from the kitchen to the living room while it’s running? No problem. Taking your running PC from the office, on the subway, for a mile-long walk, and up the stairs to your house? Terrible idea. Spinning hard drives can crash, and computers can easily overheat in cramped quarters. Shut the PC down. (Extra demerits if your hot, whirring laptop is sweating it out in a closed briefcase for the entire ride.) Windows offers custom settings for the power button and lets you tell a laptop to power off when you shut the lid.

6. Using a Laptop on a Bed

Use your laptop in bed all you want — it’s when you leave the machine running on your goose-down comforter that the problems begin. Fluffy cushions and the like can block ventilation ports, overheating (and ruining) your PC. Use a lap desk or a coffee-table book to keep some airflow between the two. Plus, you can hurt your body if you’re typing in an unnatural position, so pay attention to ergonomics.

7. Printing Everything

You already have a digital record — why do you need to print it out? Even forms that require signatures often can accept a “digital” signature that you create in Microsoft Paint. Save completed files as PDFs for even easier transportation and archiving.

8. Taking a Camera to the Beach

One grain of sand in the shutter or zoom mechanism, and it’s toast. If you must shoot beachside, put the camera in a waterproof case or a plastic bag. Better yet, get a waterproof camera.

9. Leaving a Laptop in the Car

Thieves stake out hot parking spots and wait for fancy-pants business types to leave their laptop bags in the car, even just for a few minutes. All they have to is smash a window and grab it, and they’re gone in 10 seconds flat. Or, maybe you thought you got smart, and you put your laptop in the trunk, out of sight — too bad you waited until you got to Sketchy Street to do it, where the bad guys watched you every step of the way. Trunks are even easier to pop open than windows. Stow your rig in the trunk before you embark on your trip. Better yet, take the laptop with you, or try a travel lock.

10. Keeping All of Your E-Mail

Every e-mail message you’ve ever received is sitting in your inbox in chronological order. Congratulations! You now have an unassailable historical record of your communications…and a guarantee that you will never find anything of any importance whatsoever. Use folders or tags to organize your inbox, and be liberal with the Delete key.

11. Failing to Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

Did you know that some people out there still aren’t aware that Ctrl-C is copy and Ctrl-V is paste? I’m not saying you need to learn every Alt-Ctrl-Shift combo, but the more Alt-F4s you pick up, the sooner you can go home. Drop the mouse and try a few essential shortcuts for shutting down a PC and more, and several specific shortcuts for Windows 7.

12. Installing Too Much Junk

Why is Windows so slow? You installed three instant messaging clients and seven browser toolbars on your machine. Once some of this stuff is installed, the damage is already done, as many of these apps leave behind traces that are impossible to eliminate. You can try uninstalling as much as possible, but a clean Windows setup is often your best bet.

13. Discarding Receipts

Null’s Law dictates that consumer products will always break immediately after the expiration of their warranty — but once in a while they break sooner. You might be able to get the thing fixed … if you saved your receipt. Keep a folder next to your medical records. Once you collect some receipts, you can scan and organize them with the Neat Receipts system.

14. Waiting in Line for Tech Stuff

Remember when you slept in a tent so that you could be the first guy in your ‘hood to own a PlayStation 3? Your parents are probably just as proud of that achievement as when you finally leveled your Druid up to 80. Trust us: The gadget works the same 24 hours later. You can probably even preorder it online and let it come to your door.

15. Hitting Your Computer

Be mad. Seriously, Windows aggravates everyone — get angry! Remember, though: We can offer a lot of aid, but throwing, kicking or otherwise abusing a PC physically will not help. And shelling out a few hundred bucks for a new computer will actually make you feel even worse in the end. Meditate, and restrain yourself. If your laptop is sick from a latte that you tossed on it in a fit of rage, clean it carefully. Luckily, you can try a few emergency tech fixes that can restore hardware to health if your tantrum goes too far.

16. Saving Files Anywhere and Everywhere

When you get your electric bill, do you just throw it on the table, mixing it in with family photos, flyers, the Sunday paper and your discs from Netflix, or do you take 20 seconds to file it away where it really ought to go? Wait, don’t answer that. As with your inbox, folders are your friend.

17. Checking in With Location-Based Services

The only people who care that you’re at Sizzler or TJ Maxx are people you really don’t want to know. Exceptions: If you’re someplace really cool — like Mt. Fuji, Versailles or Chernobyl — check in all you want. We’ve looked at some practical uses for services like Foursquare; stick to those.

18. Citing Wikipedia

When you need a fact to make a point, the perfect place to go is a gargantuan website that anyone can edit anonymously, and where hoaxes and gag entries can have a life span of years. If you must use Wikipedia, click the links in the footnotes on the page to get the real story, and to see how credible the information digested there really is.

19. Posting Hilarious Pictures Online

“Hey, coworker! Looks like you had a great time at your pal’s bachelor party. Oh, is that you posing with a Heineken in your hand? How original! Yeah, you and that girl look pretty wasted in that one. At least, that’s what our boss said when he e-mailed it to me. Good luck with that evaluation!” Save such moments for posterity in private — or else. Pay close attention to the privacy settings on Facebook (and untag yourself in those compromising pictures) and on photo-sharing sites. On Flickr, for example, click Edit your profile privacy from the ‘Manage your profile’ page to control who can see what.

20. Believing the Salesperson

Let’s put it this way: If that guy really knew a lot about computers, would he be wandering the aisles in a blue shirt and slacks asking if you need help? No. No, he would not. Do your research by googling for consumer reviews and comments before you get to the store, and learn which stores offer the best services and deals.

21. Ignoring the Specs

The big idea in tech today is to offer three classes of product: A bare-bones version, a power-user version and an “extreme” version, each with an escalating price tag. The problem is, the extreme edition may not really do anything that the bare-bones version can’t do — or it has features you don’t actually need — but you buy the expensive one anyway, because you didn’t really read the specs. It can take a lot of Web research time to figure out the meaning of some of the arcana — and what’s really important — but this is time well invested.

22. Using One Password for Everything

All it takes is a single data leak at your cell phone company for a crook to get into your e-mail, bank, investing, online shopping and accounts. It’s one-stop shopping for identity thieves! Having a unique password for every site is unrealistic, but use a series of several passwords and save your best for the most critical sites. Password managers can help.

23. Not Having a Disposable E-Mail Address

Don’t give out your regular e-mail address to newsletters, iffy Web services and girls or boys you meet after midnight. A disposable e-mail address that you check once a fortnight is a better solution. This is why Gmail was invented.

24. Failing to Lock Your Smartphone

When an unsavory type finds a lost phone, his first order of business is to call as many international and 900-type numbers that he humanly can. Then he harvests all the data on it for identity theft and spam purposes. Or you could, you know, prevent all of that by putting a simple PIN on the thing. You can find tools built to manage security for Android and other mobile operating systems.

25. Commenting Online

I know: You have the perfect bon mot to counter one of the points on this list, and you’re going to enter it painstakingly into a Web form at the bottom of this article so you can be clever comment #86 on page four. Congratulations, sir or ma’am. Touché. Seriously, people, this is 2010. If you have something snarky or inflammatory to say, at least have the common courtesy to tweet it (politely).

Bonus: Brothers are assholes


Life Hack – The 30/30 Minute Work Cycle Feels Like Magic

Written by chetansurpur

A year ago, I switched to the Colemak keyboard layout. I’ve since had zero pain in my hands when typing for many hours straight, I’ve been able to type faster, and I make fewer mistakes while typing.

A few months ago, I decided to try the biphasic sleep cycle. It worked as advertised, allowing me to get better sleep and need less of it. I used to sleep for 9 – 10 hours each day, and now I need just 6 – 7.5 to stay just as sprightly, if not more.

A few weeks ago, after these successful life hacks, my friend told me about the eccentric work cycle that he follows.

“You might think it’s crazy and stupid, but it works for me,” he said. “I sit at my desk and work for 30 minutes without distraction, completely absorbed in my work. Then, after the 30 minutes are up, I drop whatever I’m doing and go do something fun for 30 minutes. During this relaxation time, I don’t think about work at all – I play games, write, whatever, but no work. After 30 minutes, I go back to my desk, rinse and repeat.”

Immediately, I thought,

‘That won’t work for me.’

‘Switching context that often would be too distracting.’

‘When I’m in my groove, I can’t drop it and come back to it easily.’

‘It sounds like it would take twice as long to get anything done!’

‘Hmmm. Screw it. I’ll give it a shot.’

You can probably tell by now where this story is going.


It works.

  • While working on a software project, I would get stuck on a bug and spend hours trying to figure out what went wrong, addicted to the quest and unable to stop, even when I run out of ideas on what else to try.

    Now, I stop at the 30 minute mark and relax for half an hour, and when I come back to my computer, my calm mind has a divine inspiration in the first 5 minutes and I blow the bug to smithereens, saving countless hours of exasperation.

  • I would dread each essay assigned in my humanities class. I would have to spend 2 hours planning my essay, 3 hours staring at Microsoft Word and then another 4 hours painstakingly writing the essay for school (a total of 9+ precious hours down the drain). Most of these hours would be spent in frustration, hating life and the college humanities requirement, and refreshing Gmail and iGoogle every 5 minutes, putting off the time I would have to buckle down and write.

    The other day, I spent a total of 3.5 hours (1 hour planning and 30 minutes on each paragraph) and finished my latest essay, no sweat.

    Oh, and while writing the essay, I also ended up finishing the Halo Reach campaign.

  • I used to cordon off entire days to study for my midterms, and spend most of them procrastinating and wasting time.

    Now, I know that given 8 hours, I’ll have complete focus for 4 of them, and that’s all the total concentrated studying I need for the midterm. Planning is easier, and so is the studying process.

  • And the best part is, I don’t stress about work as much. I know exactly how much I can get done given a set amount of time. Time is now my bitch, not the other way around.
Revealing the trick

So why does it work?

  • The work you do is more focused.

    Instead of constantly checking your email or RSS feed while you work, distracting yourself and having to switch context every few minutes, you get 30 minutes of solid, focused work. And it’s not too hard to stay focused since the promise of a 30 minute break is just around the corner.

  • There is less time to work in each interval, so there is more incentive to focus and work hard in the little time you have.

    Normally, I find it hard to focus if I feel like I have a whole day to get something done, or something isn’t due for a while. The 30 minute restriction makes it feel like you only have half an hour to get something done, so it provides a psychological incentive to work harder and finish “in time”.

  • It’s less stressful, since relaxation occurs regularly.

    Spending a ton of hours trying to work still feels like a ton of hours of work, even if you end up getting nothing done. With the 30/30 cycle, you’re only working half the time, and the relaxation time actually feels like relaxation without the stress of work. This makes many continuous hours of work much more bearable and productive.

  • When stuck on a problem, taking the 30 minute break works wonders.

    Anyone who has fixed a difficult bug (or even been stuck on a difficult level of a video game) can attest to this. Clearing your mind allows inspiration to sneak its way in when you come back to your desk. Taking a break regularly is a useful habit to adopt even outside of the 30/30 cycle.

  • It’s fun!

    Work doesn’t even feel like work anymore. It feels more like a game, with checkpoints every 30 minutes and a regular prize to look forward to.

The proverbial catch

I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks, so I have yet to see if it’s a sustainable model. But it’s been working great so far, so I’m very optimistic.

It also takes a certain level of discipline when I’m in the 30 minute work interval, which I’m able to achieve now, because of the novelty of a new approach. But it shouldn’t be too hard to maintain, since the intervals are so short and there is always a reward to look forward to.

Go forth and prosper, my children

If you’re interested in trying the 30/30 work cycle, please let me know in the comments, and make sure you update your comments later with how it goes! I’d love to hear about it.

Oh, and if you think 30 minutes might be too short, feel free to experiment. One size most definitely does not fit all, and you might benefit more from a 60/30 min cycle, or whatever. After all, if I don’t have enough time, or if I’m working on something inherently fun, I end up using a 60/30 cycle. Basically, the point is to set aside regular intervals of relaxation and fun to keep your mind fresh and alert throughout. How you go about doing it is totally up to you.

Okay, my thirty minutes are up. I’m off to start the Black Ops campaign. Good luck and godspeed.

Bonus: Mustaches: What a Difference They Make!

50 Rules Of Fat-Burning

Written by Jim Stoppani, PhD

Whatever your doing must not be working. Why else would you be reading this?

You swapped fried chicken for grilled and your treadmill is finally getting more attention than your TiVo. But your body isn’t quite where you want it to be. Don’t worry: Your bag of fat-burning tricks isn’t empty yet. We’ve collected 50 comprehensive tips, all backed by more science than a NASA shuttle launch. By the time you’ve incorporated these fat-burning gems, we’ll have 50 more for you. But by then, you probably won’t need them.

What You Eat

Getting lean obviously relies heavily on a solid nutrition plan. So it should come as no surprise that what and how you eat can have a big impact on your success. Use these 11 food rules to amp up your fat-burning potential.

Bonus: Weight Watchers works because it’s not a diet. You’ll learn how to eat right & live healthy. Choose between two convenient options: Weight Watchers Meetings or Weight Watchers Online. At meetings, you’ll get support to stay on track. With Weight Watchers Online, you can follow the plan entirely online. Start today!

1. Go Pro

A high-protein diet not only promotes hypertrophy but also enhances fat loss. Researchers at Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, New York) found that when subjects followed a high-protein diet–40% of total daily calories from protein–for eight weeks, they lost significantly more bodyfat, particularly abdominal fat, than those following a low-fat/high-carb diet. One reason eating more protein may work is that it boosts levels of peptide YY, a hormone produced by gut cells that travels to the brain to decrease hunger and increase satiety.

2. Slow Down

When you reach for carbs, choose slow-digesting whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal and whole-wheat bread, which keep insulin levels low and steady, and prevent insulin spikes from halting fat-burning and ramping up fat-storing.

A study conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania State University (University Park) found that subjects following a low-calorie diet with carbs coming only from whole grains lost significantly more abdominal fat than those following a low-calorie diet with carbs from refined sources.

3. Get Fat

Not only will certain fats–particularly omega-3s –not lead to fat gain, but they can actually promote fat loss. Eating fat to lose fat seems counterintuitive, but if you keep your fat intake at about 30% of your total daily calories by choosing fatty fish such as salmon, sardines or trout as well as other healthy fat sources such as olive oil, peanut butter and walnuts, you can actually boost your fat loss compared to eating a low-fat diet.

4. Egg You On

Eggs are packed with protein and have been shown to promote muscle strength and mass, and research shows that subjects consuming eggs for breakfast not only eat fewer calories throughout the day but also lose significantly more bodyfat. We recommend eating eggs for breakfast daily, scrambling three whole eggs with three egg whites.

5. Unforbidden Fruit

A study from the Scripps Clinic (San Diego) reported that subjects eating half a grapefruit or drinking 8 ounces of grapefruit juice three times a day while otherwise eating normally lost an average of 4 pounds in 12 weeks, with some test subjects losing more than 10 pounds without dieting. The researchers suggest the effect is likely due to grapefruit’s ability to reduce insulin levels. Try adding half a grapefruit to a few of your meals such as breakfast, lunch and preworkout.

6. Milk It

Dairy products are rich in calcium, which can help spur fat loss, particularly around your abs. This may be due to the fact that calcium regulates the hormone calcitriol, which causes the body to produce fat and inhibit fat-burning. When calcium levels are adequate, calcitriol and fat production are suppressed while fat-burning is enhanced. Adding low-fat versions of cottage cheese, milk and yogurt (Greek or plain) to your diet are great ways to boost protein intake and aid fat loss.

7. An Apple A Day

Apples are a great slow-digesting carb that contain numerous beneficial antioxidants. One group of compounds known as apple polyphenols has been found to boost muscle strength, endurance and even fat loss, especially from around the abs.  While apple polyphenols appear to directly decrease bodyfat by increasing the activity of genes that enhance fat-burning and decrease fat production and storage, the boost in endurance and strength can help further fat loss by allowing you to train harder longer.

A typical large apple provides about 200 mg of apple polyphenols and about 30 grams of carbs.

8. Spice It Up

Hot peppers contain the active ingredient capsaicin, a chemical that has been shown to promote calorie-burning at rest as well as reduce hunger and food intake. Its effects are particularly enhanced when used with caffeine, and research also shows that it boosts fat-burning during exercise. Try adding crushed red pepper, hot peppers or hot pepper sauce to your meals to burn extra calories and fat. If you can’t stand the heat, try supplements that contain capsaicin.

9. Go Nuts

A study from Loma Linda University (California) reported that subjects following a low-calorie, higher-fat diet (40% of total calories from fat) with the majority of fat coming from almonds lost significantly more bodyfat and fat around the abs in 24 weeks than subjects consuming the same calories but more carbs and less fat. So be sure to include nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and walnuts in your diet.

10. Be Multi-Organic

Sure, it’s pricier, but organic beef and dairy are worth the extra bucks. UK scientists found that organic milk had about 70% more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk, and a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science found that grass-fed cows produced milk containing 500% more conjugated linoleic acid [CLA) than cows who ate grain. Meat from organically raised cattle also contains higher levels of CLA and omega-3 fats. Since omega-3s and CLA can help you drop fat as well as gain muscle, it makes sense to shell out the extra cash for organic cheese, cottage cheese, milk and yogurt as well as grass-fed beef.

11. Add Some GUAC

Avocados are full of monounsaturated fat, which isn’t generally stored as bodyfat. They also contain mannoheptulose, a sugar that actually blunts insulin release and enhances calcium absorption.

As mentioned earlier, keeping insulin low at most times of day is critical for encouraging fat loss, and getting adequate calcium can also promote fat loss. Try adding a quarter of an avocado to salads and sandwiches.

What You Drink

Beverages can play an important role in your ability to drop fat. Consider sipping or passing on these eight beverages to get extra-lean.

12. Go Green

The main ingredient in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), inhibits the enzyme that normally breaks down the neurohormone norepinephrine.  Norepinephrine keeps the metabolic rate up, so preventing its breakdown helps you burn more calories throughout the day. Drinking green tea is a great way to stay hydrated during workouts, as a new study in The Journal of Nutrition reported that subjects drinking green tea and exercising lost significantly more abdominal fat than those drinking a placebo.

13. In The Black

Green, oolong and black teas all come from the same plant, but different processing causes black and oolong teas to lose their green color and turn brownish/black. Oolong tea has been shown to enhance metabolic rate due to polyphenols other than EGCG.  Black tea may also aid fat loss: Researchers from University College London reported that black tea consumption can help reduce Cortisol levels, which encourages fat storage especially around the midsection.

14. Be Aqua Man

German researchers have shown that drinking about 2 cups of cold water can temporarily boost metabolic rate by roughly 30%. The effect appears to be mainly due to an increase in norepinephrine.

15. Get Energized

Certain energy drinks have been shown to boost fat loss. University of Oklahoma (Norman) researchers reported in a 2008 study that when 60 male and female subjects consumed a diet energy drink containing 200 mg of caffeine and 250 mg of EGCG from green tea extract for 28 days, they lost more than 1 pound of bodyfat without changing their diets or exercise habits.

16. Whey Lean

Drinking whey protein as a between-meals snack is a smart way to enhance not only muscle growth but also fat loss. UK researchers found that when subjects consumed a whey protein shake 90 minutes before eating a buffet-style meal, they ate significantly less food than when they consumed a casein shake beforehand. The scientists reported that this was due to whey’s ability to boost levels of the hunger-blunting hormones cholecystokinin and glucagonlike peptide-I.

17. Say Soy-Anara To Fat

Soy protein is a proven fat-burner. In fact, in a 2008 review paper University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers concluded that soy protein can aid fat loss, possibly by decreasing appetite and calorie intake. The scientists also found that subjects drinking 20 grams of soy daily for three months lost a significant amount of abdominal fat.

18. Get Thick

When you whip up a protein shake, consider making it thicker by using less water. It could help you feel less hungry while dieting. In a study from Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana), subjects drank two shakes that were identical in nutritional content, and reported significantly greater and more prolonged reductions in hunger after drinking the thicker shake.

19. Not So Sweet

Even though artificially sweetened drinks are calorie-free, drinking too many can actually hinder your fat-loss progress. It seems that beverages like diet soda mess with your brain’s ability to regulate calorie intake, causing you to feel hungrier than normal so you eat more total calories.

Other research suggests that the sweet taste of these drinks can increase the release of insulin, which can blunt fat-burning and enhance fat storage.

What Supplements You Take

While whole foods are the key element to getting lean, supplements can provide a potent fat-burning stimulus. Consider using these six supps.

20. Go Even Greener

The majority of studies showing the effectiveness of green tea for fat loss have used green tea extract. One study confirmed that the EGCG from the extract was absorbed significantly better than the EGCG from the tea. Take about 500 mg of green tea extract in the morning and afternoon before meals.

21. See CLA

You’ll also want to add the healthy fat CLA to your supplement regimen. CLA can significantly aid fat loss while simultaneously enhancing hypertrophy and strength gains. Research shows it can even help specifically target ab fat.

22. Go Fish

As mentioned in tip No. 3, the essential omega-3 fats in fish oil promote fat loss, which is enhanced with exercise. This is also true for fish-oil supplements containing omega-3 fats. Take 1-2 grams of fish oil at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

23. You Bet Your Astaxanthin

Japanese researchers reported in a 2008 study that mice supplemented with astaxanthin combined with an exercise program for four weeks saw accelerated fat-burning, greater fat loss and enhanced endurance compared to mice that just exercised. The scientists determined that astaxanthin protects the system that transports fat into the mitochondria of muscle cells where it’s burned as fuel. Take 4 mg of astaxanthin with food once or twice per day, with one dose taken with your preworkout meal.

24. Go Commercial

A 2009 study reported that lifters taking the fat-burner Meltdown by VPX (containing caffeine, synephrine, yohimbine and beta-phenylethyl-amine, to name a few) burned 30% more calories and had a more than 40% increase in markers of lipolysis (fat release from fat cells) for the 90 minutes afterward when researchers measured calorie burn compared to when subjects consumed a placebo. Regardless of the brand of thermogenic you choose, follow label instructions and take the other five supplements mentioned here as well.

How You Lift

The way you weight-train can have a huge effect on how much fat you burn. Consider these eight rules when hitting the iron.

25. Carry More Fat Away With Carnitine

This amino-acidlike compound is critical for carrying fat in the body to the mitochondria of cells, where it’s burned away for good. Research confirms that taking carnitine when dieting can help maximize fat-burning efforts. Take 1-2 grams of carnitine in the form of L-carnitine, L-carnitine L-tartrate or glycine propionyl-L-carnitine.

26. Go Heavy

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption refers to the increased metabolic rate you enjoy after a workout. Scien- tists at the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education (Oslo) analyzed multiple studies and found that training with heavier weights for fewer reps produces a greater rise in resting metabolic rate that’ll last longer compared to training with lighter weights and doing more reps. Although most guys may think they need to train with higher reps to burn more fat, you still want to lift heavy (3-7 reps) some of the time to maximize the calories and fat you burn when you’re not at the gym.

27. Go Light

While lifting heavy does burn more calories post- workout, performing higher reps burns more calories during the workout, as College of New Jersey (Ewing) researchers reported at a 2007 annual meeting of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.(51) Be sure to mix up your training by using lighter weight and higher reps (10-20) during some workouts and heavy weight and low reps (3-7) in others. Another way to get the best of both worlds is to perform four sets of most exercises, doing your first two sets with heavy weight and low reps and the last two with light weight and high reps.

28. Rest Less

Researchers from the College of New Jersey (Ewing) also discovered that when subjects rested 30 seconds between sets on the bench press, they burned just more than 50% more calories than when they rested three minutes.

To maximize fat toss, keep your workout moving by resting less than a minute between sets.

29. Force It

A study on collegiate football players found that using a high-intensity weight program–just one set per exercise for 6-10 reps to failure, plus forced reps and a static contraction for several seconds–caused more bodyfat loss in 10 weeks than a lower-intensity program consisting of three sets of 6-10 reps per exercise taken just to muscle failure. This could be due to a greater hike in growth hormone (GH) in the high-intensity group: In a study from Finland, forced reps boosted GH three times higher than training to failure. Go past failure when trying to get lean by using forced reps, static contractions, rest-pause or drop sets.

30. Be Free

Using free weights, especially in multijoint moves such as the squat, has been found to burn more calories than doing similar exercises on machines like the leg press. Scientists said the difference may be due to the greater number of stabilizer muscles used during multijoint exercises done with free weights.

31. Feel The Need For Speed

Fast, explosive reps burn more calories than the typical slow, controlled reps you’re used to doing in the gym, say researchers from Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana). They believe that because fast-twitch muscle fibers are less energy-efficient than their slow-twitch counterparts, they burn more fuel during exercise. To perform fast reps in your workouts, choose a weight equal to 30`% of your one-rep max (or a weight you can lift for 15-35 reps) for each exercise. Do your first two sets with 3-8 fast reps, then follow with 2-3 sets of normal-paced reps.

32. Be Negative

In one recent study, subjects who performed a negative-rep workout of three sets of the bench press and squat increased their GH levels by almost 4,000%. Since GH frees up fat from fat cells, using negative reps may help you shed extra bodyfat. To add negatives to your routine, either have a spotter help you get 3-5 negative reps after reaching failure on a regular set, or load the bar with about 120% of your one-rep max and have a spotter help you perform five negative reps that take you 3-5 seconds each to complete.

33. Tune In

Listening to your iPod can boost your workout intensity and fat-loss efforts. A study conducted by the Weider Research Group and presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the National Strength and Conditioning Association found that trained subjects listening to their own music selection could complete significantly more reps than when they trained without their preferred music.

How You Run

Cardio, obviously, is a primary component of getting lean. It’s the easiest way to burn the most calories during exercise. Use these eight rules to help you maximize your fat loss.

34. Go After It

Do your cardio after you hit the weights. Japanese researchers found that when subjects performed cardio after resistance training, they burned significantly more fat than when they did cardio first. The scientists also reported that fat-burning was maximal during the first 15 minutes of cardio following the weight workout, so hit the stationary bike, elliptical machine or treadmill after you lift, even if it’s for just 15 minutes.

35. Hiit It

The best way to burn the most fat with cardio is via high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This involves doing intervals of high-intensity exercise (such as running at 90% of your max heart rate) followed by intervals of low-intensity exercise (walking at a moderate pace) or rest. A litany of research confirms that this burns more fat than the continuous, steady-state cardio most people do at a moderate intensity, such as walking for 30 minutes at 60%-70% of their max heart rates.

36. Stagger It

In one study, subjects who did three 10-minute bouts of running separated by 20-minute rest periods found the workout easier than when they ran at the same intensity for 30 minutes. The intermittent cardio even burned more fat, and has also been shown to burn more calories postworkout than the same amount of continuous exercise.

37. Fashionably Late

The time of day you do your cardio can impact how many calories you burn post-workout. University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, researchers reported that endurance-trained subjects who performed 30 minutes of stationary cycling between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. raised their metabolic rates higher postworkout than when they did the same cardio exercise between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. or between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. While your best bet is to train whenever it best fits your schedule, try training in the evening to enhance your postworkout calorie burn.

38. Be Scottish

University of Edinburgh (Scotland) researchers reported that when subjects did 4-6 30-second sprints on a stationary cycle separated by four minutes of rest for just two weeks, their blood-glucose and insulin levels were reduced by almost 15% and 40%, respectively, and insulin sensitivity improved by about 25%, following consumption of 75 grams of glucose. Keeping insulin levels low and steady can help maximize fat-burning and minimize fat storage.

So even if you don’t have 20-30 minutes for a cardio workout, doing just 2-3 minutes of sprinting can at least help keep insulin down and fat-burning up.

39. Climb It

Consider other forms of cardio. A recent study from Italy found that when subjects rock-climbed, their average heart rates were about 80% of their max, which equates to a pretty intense cardio session. In addition, subjects burned about 12 calories per minute for a 180-pound guy, or just less than 400 calories in 30 minutes. Check out indoor or outdoor rock-climbing sites in your area.

40. Kick It

Another way to get your cardio is with martial arts. Wayne State College (Nebraska) researchers found that when beginning martial artists performed a tae kwon do workout of cycling between front kicks, butterfly stretches, forearm strikes, crunches, side kicks, quad stretches and push-ups, their heart rates rose 80% and they burned about 300 calories per half-hour. Besides tae kwon do, you can try aikido, jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, kung fu or any other style of martial arts.

41. Spit It Out

University of Birmingham (Edgbaston, UK) scientists found that when trained cyclists rode as fast as possible while rinsing their mouths with a beverage similar to a sports drink and spitting it out every 7-8 minutes, they could cover a certain mileage three minutes faster than when they rinsed with water. We don’t suggest you try this in an indoor cycling class, but rinsing your mouth every 10 minutes with a sports drink and spitting it out could help you train at a higher intensity–without the added calories.

Other Rules

Some things that can impact your ability to lose fat may not be directly related to what you eat or drink, or to your exercise routine. Still, these nine tips could aid fat loss.

42. Get Up

Research from Australia found that out of 2,000-plus subjects who exercised vigorously for at least 2.5 hours per week, those who watched more than 40 minutes of television per day had higher waist circumferences than those watching less than 40 minutes. The scientists theorize that sitting for prolonged periods compromises the body’s ability to burn fat, which was shown by University of Missouri-Columbia researchers in both animals and humans. Avoid this slump by getting up and stretching at least every 20 minutes while sitting at work or at home.

43. Take A Picture

A picture could be worth a thousand calo- ries. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that test subjects who recorded with photographs what they ate for one week reported that the images triggered critical evaluation of the food before eating it, prompting them to make better food choices. This wasn’t the case for subjects who simply wrote down what they ate. Try keeping a photo food log as well as a journal in which you calculate your macronutrient intake.

44. Portion It

One study from Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) reported that when moviegoers were given a large acontainer (about 22 cups)of fresh popcorn during a movie, they ate 45% more than those given a medium container (about II cups). Even more disturbing was that subjects given a large container of stale popcorn still ate about 35% more than those given a medium container, even though they rated the popcorn’s taste as bad. You can use this research in a couple of ways: For lean protein sources, give yourself a large amount; for side dishes such as rice, potatoes and bread, keep the serving on the small side.

45. Laugh It Off

Japanese scientists found that when subjects ate a 500-calorie meal while watching a 40-minute comedy show, their blood-glucose levels were much lower than when they consumed the same meal during a boring 40-minute lecture. The researchers suggest that laughter may have altered subjects’ brain chemistry in such a way that glucose entered the blood more slowly, or blood glucose was taken up by the muscles more rapidly. Try eating meals while watching something funny on TV to keep your blood-glucose and insulin levels low to help encourage fat loss.

46. Sleep On It

One study in the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that subjects sleeping five hours or less per night were one-third more likely to gain 30-plus pounds over the 16-year study than those who slept seven hours or longer per night. This may be due to an imbalance in the hormones leptin and ghrelin: While leptin decreases hunger and increases the metabolic rate, ghrelin boosts hunger. A study by University of Chicago researchers found that men who were sleep-deprived for two days experienced a rise in ghrelin levels and a drop in leptin levels, along with a concomitant rise in hunger. A Stanford University (California) study showed that subjects who slept the least had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin and bodyfat compared to those who slept eight hours. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to not only enhance your recovery but also aid your health and help you keep fat off.

47. Chew It

A study done at Glasgow Caledonian University (Scotland) found that subjects who chewed gum between meals ate significantly less food at the second meal than those who didn’t chew gum. The researchers concluded that chewing gum increases satiety and therefore reduces food intake.

48. Be A Transporter

Remember, any activity you do burns calories, and burning more calories than you consume is the most critical aspect of getting lean. So consider how far away certain destinations are such as work, the gym, the grocery store and your friends’ homes. Depending on the distance and the time you have, walk or bike to burn more calories and fat.

49. Feel The Vibe

In a study from Stony Brook University (New York), mice placed on a vibrating platform for 15 minutes a day for up to 15 weeks were found to have less bodyfat than mice not exposed to vibration. Research in humans has seen similar results with vibration exposure enhancing fat loss. If your gym has a vibration machine–often called a Power Plate–get a trainer to walk you through it and consider using it for a few minutes a couple of times per week.

50. Be A Gamer

The popular and very active video game Dance Dance Revolution can provide a great workout, according to researchers from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. They reported that adult subjects burned as many as 10 calories per minute playing the game, which is equivalent to a good run.


Bonus: Things I Like About Coffee


8 Things You Should Do Immediately After Launching a Website

Written by Karol K

So you’ve just launched your website. The only thing left now is to start creating content and arranging for some promotion, right? Well, not so fast. You first have to do several things to ensure that your site is set up properly and ready for the public.

Here are a few things you should do right after launching a website (and if you can, do them prior to launching your website publicly).

1. Create a Sitemap.xml File and a Robots.txt File

What are these files? These files are essential for search engines and other web services. They are two out of the five web files that will improve your site.

The Sitemap.xml file is a standard protocol for listing all the URLs that are contained within your website. It gives web spiders like Googlebot a better understanding of your website’s structure.

If you’re using WordPress, you’re in luck: The only thing you need to do is to install a plugin called Google XML Sitemaps, and it will do all the work for you. This is a valuable WordPress plugin, and is one of six plugins that Six Revisions uses on the site.

If you’re not using WordPress, you can have a look at, a simple tool for generating a Sitemap.xml file just by providing your website’s URL.

Robots.txt is yet another file that search engines love. It’s a simple text file containing information about which parts of your website search engines should and shouldn’t visit.

To create such a file, you can just use a template and modify it to you own needs.

Here’s my template (designed for WordPress sites):

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /wp-includes/
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins/
Disallow: /wp-content/cache/
Disallow: /wp-content/themes/
Disallow: /trackback/
Disallow: /feed/
Disallow: /author/
Disallow: /archives/
Disallow: /2009/
Disallow: /2010/
Disallow: /2011/
Disallow: /print/
Disallow: /index.php
Disallow: /*?
Disallow: /*.php$
Disallow: /*.js$
Disallow: /*.inc$
Disallow: /*.css$
Disallow: */feed/
Disallow: */trackback/
Disallow: */print/
Allow: /wp-content/uploads/

You should remember two things regarding robots.txt:

  1. You don’t want search engines to encounter any duplicate content on your website
  2. You don’t want search engines to index your private pages and scripts (e.g. the wp-admin files in WordPress)

If you use WordPress, check out this guide called Optimizing WordPress for Search Engines to learn more about Sitemap.xml and robots.xml in the context of SEO and WordPress.

2. Set Up Web Analytics

Having stats about the traffic to your website is simply priceless. Without traffic statistics, you won’t know how many people are visiting your site and you will have a hard time figuring out how to improve your site to draw in more traffic.

If you want a top-notch and free application that will report data about your website users, then look no further than Google Analytics.

Set Up Web Analytics

Of course, there are alternative web analytics software out there, but Google Analytics is the undisputed leader, and not simply because it was created by Google, but because the tool is extremely powerful and easy to use.

Here are a few guides and tutorials to read for getting up to speed with Google Analytics:

3. Set Up Google Webmaster Tools

Not many people use this tool — it’s not as popular as Google Analytics, for example — however, it still is one of the best tools to have as a website owner.

Google Webmaster Tools

Here are just a few things Google Webmaster Tools will tell you about your website:

  • What errors Googlebot encountered while indexing your website
  • The number of links pointing to specific web pages (both inbound and outbound links)
  • Keywords that Google sees as being used frequently on your website
  • Keywords that have been used by people using Google Search to land on your website
  • Info about possible security compromises and malware that might have been installed on your website

Want to learn more about Google Webmaster Tools? It’s not surprising that the best place to start is the official Webmaster Tools Help articles.

Also, make sure to check out the following guide: How to Find and Remove Broken Links in Your Website. This guide will allow you to make sure your hyperlinks work.

4. Monitor Your Search Engine Rankings

A good ranking in search engines is important to any site. Good ranking equals more traffic and increased levels of popularity. More traffic equals more money. That’s why it’s crucial to monitor whether or not your SEO efforts are bringing good results.

If you don’t want to buy software (i.e. spend money) there are two main ways of monitoring your keywords:

Manually: Just input a keyword in Google Search and take note of the position of your website. Important: Do not click on your listing because if you do, Google will remember it and next time you will see your website on a higher position. However, you will be the only person to witness that change; everybody else will see it on the actual position. This is because Google Search tries to predict what you will likely click on and, thus, previously visited sites bubble up to the top.

Use a Firefox plugin: There are a few Firefox browser add-ons for checking your keywords. I like the one called Rank Checker. Check out this video of Rank Checker:

Rank Checker is easy to use and has all the important features for search engine ranking analysis and monitoring.

5. Submit Your Website to Dmoz

I don’t really know why, but for some reason Google checks whether your website appears in Dmoz, and if it does, it gets some extra points when it comes to its search rankings.

Submitting your website is very easy. Just go to Dmoz, browse to a category that best describes your website, and then click the suggest URL link in the top menu.


Unfortunately, it takes some time for your submission to be reviewed. Sometimes even a couple of months. Here’s something important: Even if you don’t see your website listing yet, don’t resubmit it. Such a practice may result in your website dropping to the end of the line. I would suggest not resubmitting your site more than once in a 6-month period.

6. Set Up Google Alerts to Monitor Mentions

Google Alerts is brilliant. Let’s say that you’re interested in all things that have to do with the term, guitar. If that’s the case, then you probably want to know about every new website that appears on Google that covers this topic.

However, you can’t possibly monitor the whole internet (it’s a pretty huge place). Here’s where Google Alerts comes to the rescue. Google Alerts will notify you about every new web page that contains keywords you’re interested in. If you don’t see the power behind this nifty app, then let me rephrase my value proposition for Google Alerts: Google will let you know of any web page that contains your keywords. This lets you stay on top of competition, as well as monitor what people are saying about your website.

Set Up Google Alerts to Monitor Mentions

A good idea is to monitor your website’s name, your company’s name, your own name, and other things that are pertinent to your website. For example, Six Revisions might want to monitor:

  • (the other site of Six Revisions)
  • Jacob Gube (the founder’s name)

Set Up Google Alerts to Monitor Mentions

Talk about having your finger on the pulse — it doesn’t get much better than that. There are many more tools for monitoring your website’s mentions. For example, you can use the RSS feeds of places like Yahoo! Pipes, Twitter search and Google Blog Search.

7. Monitor Your Website’s Uptime

Without a doubt, the most important piece of information you can have about your website is if it’s online or not. The problem is that you can’t really visit each of your websites every minute of the day. Luckily, there’s an app for that. It’s called UptimeRobot. You can use UptimeRobot to track as many as 50 websites at the same time, and if one of them goes offline even for a minute, it will send you an email notification. The best part? The tool is free.


There are plenty of tools for monitoring your web properties’ uptimes. Be sure to check out this list of 12 free tools for monitoring your site’s uptime.

8. Check Your Site’s Speed

It was not so long ago when Google announced that one of the new factors for ranking websites in search engine results is site speed. Of course pleasing Google is not the only reason why you need to make your website lightning quick. User’s hate waiting, and they will less likely visit your website again if they remember it as being slow.

There are many tools for allowing you to make fast web pages. One such tool is YSlow: it checks your web pages to see issues and suggests things you can do to make your site faster.


There are many other tools you can use to check and evaluate your website’s speed; be sure to take a look at this list of 15 tools to help you develop faster web pages.


Dealing with all the things mentioned above will take you less than one hour (maybe a little more if you don’t have a web development background and if this is your first site). This hour might very well be one of the most fruitful hours you spend towards the well-being of your new website.

What other things should site owners do immediately after launching a website?

Bonus: How the…

40 Extremely Shocking Advertisements

Written by AN Jay

You can always take innovative approach in advertising your product since it is one of those industries which are never frightened not only to push the boundaries of acceptability, but also to offend so as to convey the message. These advertisement campaigns are almost against the domestic violence, cigarette smoking, alcohol and substance abuse, human rights violations and campaigns for nature preservation which were often focused in an ad campaign. These ads are the perfect example of call to action advertisement.

Here, we have compiled a list of 40 Extremely Shocking Advertisements that demonstrate how you can push the boundaries of advertising. These ads are not the ordinary ads rather they are somewhat very shocking and will call to action. Let us have a look.

Imagine This is Yours

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation: Chair

Amnesty International: Archery

WWF: Blood


Stella Coffee Pot: Spider

Save the Children: Child labour

Humans for Animals: Monkey

RSPCA: Woman

Stop violence against women

They Weren’t Born to be Worn

Masterlock: Hippies

RSF: Ink

Skins: Defy genetics, 2

Fur Free: Angry fox, 2

Ashtraymouth: Roach girl

Domestic violence: Livingroom

Lung cancer awareness: One

Smoking Kills

Humans for Animals: Seal (Don’t treat others the way you don’t want to be treated.)

Money isn’t everything

Stop Climate Change Before it Changes You

Not recycling this newspaper is the same as cutting down another tree

Lung Cancer Fundation: Second hand smoke in the home

UNICEF: Every child needs a family

One click could change your future, Belt up.

What does if take to get people talking about domestic abuse?

War leaves many scars

APAV, Victom Support

For a living Planet

Seatbelts Keep People Together

We dont have enough donors

Sharing The Pain Cuts it in Hale

Just When will you Start Recycling?

Ace: Tarantula

Spid will look after your baby. But not that baby

Popeye Detergent Hipoalergenic: Hell raiser

Workplace Safety Insurance Board: Sign

Government of the State of Santa Catarina: Hamburger

Aware Helpline: Verbal abuse (Verbal abuse can be just as horrific.)

Bonus: winter is coming and this means the world for your kids.

My son is gay

Written by Cop’s Wife

Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son. And he is 5. And I am his mother. And if you have a problem with anything mentioned above, I don’t want to know you.

I have gone back and forth on whether I wanted to post something more in-depth about my sweet boy and his choice of Halloween costume. Or more specifically, the reactions to it. I figure if I’m still irked by it a few days later, I may as well go ahead and post my thoughts.

Here are the facts that lead up to my rant:

  1. My son is 5 and goes to a church preschool.
  2. He has loved Scooby Doo since developing the ability and attention span to sit still long enough to watch it.
  3. Halloween is a holiday and its main focus is wearing a costume.
  4. My son’s school had the kids dress up, do a little parade, and then change out of costumes for the rest of the party.
  5. Boo’s best friend is a little girl
  6. Boo has an older sister
  7. Boo spends most of his time with me.
  8. I am a woman.
  9. I am Boo’s mother, not you.

So a few weeks before Halloween, Boo decides he wants to be Daphne from Scooby Doo, along with his best friend E. He had dressed as Scooby a couple of years ago.  I was hesitant to make the purchase, not because it was a cross gendered situation, but because 5 year olds have a tendency to change their minds. After requesting a couple of more times, I said sure and placed the order. He flipped out when it arrived. It was perfect.

Then as we got closer to the actual day, he stared to hem and haw about it. After some discussion it comes out that he is afraid people will laugh at him. I pointed out that some people will because it is a cute and clever costume. He insists their laughter would be of the ‘making fun’ kind. I blow it off. Seriously, who would make fun of a child in costume?

And then the big day arrives. We get dressed up. We drop Squirt at his preschool and head over to his. Boo doesn’t want to get out of the car. He’s afraid of what people will say and do to him. I convince him to go inside. He halts at the door. He’s visibly nervous. I chalk it up to him being a bit of a worrier in general. Seriously, WHO WOULD MAKE FUN OF A CHILD IN A  COSTUME ON HALLOWEEN? So he walks in. And there were several friends of mine that knew what he was wearing that smiled and waved and gave him high-fives. We walk down the hall to where his classroom is.

And that’s where things went wrong. Two mothers went wide-eyed and made faces as if they smelled decomp. And I realize that my son is seeing the same thing I am. So I say, “Doesn’t he look great?” And Mom A says in disgust, “Did he ask to be that?!” I say that he sure did as Halloween is the time of year that you can be whatever it is that you want to be. They continue with their nosy, probing questions as to how that was an option and didn’t I try to talk him out of it. Mom B mostly just stood there in shock  and dismay.

And then Mom C approaches. She had been in the main room, saw us walk in, and followed us down the hall to let me know her thoughts. And they were that I should never have ‘allowed’ this and thank God it wasn’t next year when he was in Kindergarten since I would have had to put my foot down and ‘forbidden’ it. To which I calmly replied that I would do no such thing and couldn’t imagine what she was talking about. She continued on and on about how mean children could be and how he would be ridiculed.

My response to that: The only people that seem to have a problem with it is their mothers.

Another mom pointed out that high schools often have Spirit Days where girls dress like boys and vice versa. I mentioned Powderpuff Games where football players dress like cheerleaders and vice versa. Or every frat boy ever in college (Mom A said that her husband was a frat boy and NEVER dressed like a woman.)

But here’s the point, it is none of your damn business.

If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to ‘make’ him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off.

If my daughter had dressed as Batman, no one would have thought twice about it. No one.

But it also was heartbreaking to me that my sweet, kind-hearted five year old was right to be worried. He knew that there were people like A, B, and C. And he, at 5, was concerned about how they would perceive him and what would happen to him.

Just as it was heartbreaking to those parents that have lost their children recently due to bullying. IT IS NOT OK TO BULLY. Even if you wrap it up in a bow and call it ‘concern.’  Those women were trying to bully me. And my son. MY son.

It is obvious that I neither abuse nor neglect my children. They are not perfect, but they are learning how to navigate this big, and sometimes cruel, world. I hate that my son had to learn this lesson while standing in front of allegedly Christian women. I hate that those women thought those thoughts, and worse felt comfortable saying them out loud. I hate that ‘pink’ is still called a girl color and that my baby has to be so brave if he wants to be Daphne for Halloween.

And all I hope for my kids, and yours, and those of Moms ABC, are that they are happy. If a set of purple sparkly tights and a velvety dress is what makes my baby happy one night, then so be it. If he wants to carry a purse, or marry a man, or paint fingernails with his best girlfriend, then ok. My job as his mother is not to stifle that man that he will be, but to help him along his way. Mine is not to dictate what is ‘normal’ and what is not, but to help him become a good person.

I hope I am doing that.

And my little man worked that costume like no other. He rocked that wig, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Bonus: Racist Cake

Why you gotta be like that?