Kamis, 31 Juli 2008

0 7 Tips to Develop the Habit of Daily Exercise

Written on 8/01/2008 by Danny Gamache, the Success Professor.


One life habit that is often neglected is the habit of daily exercise. There are several reasons for this: too hard, too painful or the ever popular, I'll do it later, when I have time.

Physical activity is not as hard as you think. In fact, is not as painful as you think either (you should be virtually pain free after about a week. For a short investment of time each week, you will reap a ton of rewards.

So, don't put off exercise. Get educated on what you want to accomplish and jump in. I'll even help get you started on developing a plan for daily exercise.
  1. Understand the benefits
    Most people vastly underestimate the value of daily physical activity. There are both physical health benefits as well as productivity benefits. The physical health benefits include obvious things such as burning calories and increased metabolism resulting in increased weight loss. Exercise also lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure and helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

    Exercise also helps with a number of things that improve life productivity. These include increased energy, better sleep patterns, and reduced stress. All of these allow you to be more productive in your work and play. Physical activity also reduces the risk of depression, increases your self-confidence and in general helps improve your mental state.

  2. Just get started
    Often the hardest part of any task is getting started. Just like a train engine uses the most energy getting up to speed, we often struggle to start anything new, especially exercise. Therefore the priority needs to be on just starting.

    Do something physical. You do not need to start by purchasing expensive equipment or joining a gym, instead you can start by going outside for a walk. Take a thirty-minute walk, or play a game with your kids; do something active. By doing something right away, you are starting to gain momentum. Once you've done something basic the first time or two, you can start developing your plan to maintain the practice and to develop the habit.

  3. Develop a set time
    Having a set time to exercise each day is an important way to keep you focused and accountable. The time you choose to exercise will depend a lot on your work schedule and productivity habits. One of the most popular times to exercise is in the morning. If you set yourself the goal to exercise in the morning you can complete it and know that you've started your day by completing one of your most important goals first.

    Another popular time is immediately following work, or between 4 and 6 PM. Here exercise serves as valuable transition between work time and your evening schedule. It allows you to de-stress from what you have been doing all day and clear your mind from problems that should be "left at the office".

    If you have a more flexible schedule, such as people who work from home, you may want to exercise in the middle of the day or when your productivity tends to slip. Often people will have a productivity decline in the mid-afternoon. Exercise can be a valuable way to fill this time.

    Above all, make your daily exercise consistent. Exercise at least six days a week. You can take one day off as a rest day, but don't consider it a "reward" day. If you consider it a "reward" you will soon consider the other six days as "work" that you need to do achieve the "reward". Exercise should be considered a reward on its own.

  4. Make it fun
    It is important to make exercise fun. If exercise is fun on its own, you will be more likely to follow through with your exercising commitment even on days when it may feel difficult.

    There are lots of ways to make exercise fun. First of all, choose an activity that you enjoy. For some people this means playing a particular sport. For others it means joining a gym so you they can be around people. For others, it can be fun to purchase a piece of exercise equipment and be able to work out in the comfort of their own home.

    Secondly, have fun by creating activities to do while you exercise. This may be watching a favorite television show that you have recorded on your DVR. It may be listening to music on your MP3 player. You can also have fun by setting challenging goals within your exercise program and then achieving them.

  5. Use the time for personal growth
    There are many ways that you can use exercise as format for personal growth. Simply by developing the habit of daily exercise and achieving your goal of improved health and well being you are demonstrating to yourself that you have what it takes to be successful.

    You can also use the time for personal growth by listening to podcasts, motivational lectures, sermons, or audio-books. Not only are these activities a wise use of your time, they will inspire you to continue exercising and pushing on towards your goals.

    Personally, I alternate between "fun" activities while I exercise (such as watching my favorite television show while I work out on our elliptical trainer), and personal growth activities. Both inspire me to keep exercising and help me to be more productive with the rest of my activities.

  6. Get a partner or support team
    Few things help you pursue your physical activities goals as having a partner or support team. A partner is someone you work out with. Having a partner provides both accountability and encouragement. If you have to meet your partner at a certain place and time for your exercise, chances are you will be there. You don't want to leave your partner alone.

    If you don't have a partner who will exercise with you, develop a support team - someone who will encourage you to keep exercising, remind you of the benefits, and challenge you to reach your goals. My wife and I serve in this function for each other. Because of our schedules we exercise at different times, however we both encourage each other and push each other to reach our goals.

  7. Celebrate your success
    Find some way to celebrate your new habit. Perhaps promise yourself a reward if you exercise at least 20 days in the upcoming month. Acknowledge that you have taken some big steps towards improving your life. Perhaps find a reward that you can use while you exercise, such as a new MP3 player, or a new CD. You reward doesn't have to cost money, it could be something as simple as a warm bath, or special meal. Celebrating success is a vital success principle.
Hopefully these tips will help you to develop the habit of daily physical activity. The rewards are significant, both in the short-term and the long-term. Start now, and before you know it, exercise will be a daily part of your successful life!

Danny

0 The Psychiatric Infrastructure of the City

A few years ago, the Boston Globe looked at what we might call the psychiatric impact of that city's Big Dig project. The Big Dig was a massively expensive urban engineering project that put Boston's Central Artery underground, freeing up space on the earth's surface for parks and businesses.

The project, however, was plagued with cost over-runs, engineering difficulties, and the periodic collapse of public support (even the periodic collapse of the ceiling).

From the Globe:
    In the short term, mental health experts say, tempers may flare as the public deals with the logistical inconvenience of detours, lingering uncertainty about the safety of the tunnels, and mounting cynicism about the project. (...) And there may be long-term effects as well – ones that could subtly reshape the city's identity.
What interests me here is not the obvious fact that bad traffic might cause tempers to flare, but the idea that people might develop historically unique psychiatric conditions because of a work of public infrastructure under construction somewhere in their city.

A new tunnel, say, is being dug between Manhattan and New Jersey, and moods in the city begin to darken. Psychiatrists notice a strange surge in patients; people come in complaining of nightmares of forced reunion, being in the same room again with an annoying relative they thought they'd left behind long ago. Homeowners wake at 3am each night, convinced someone's trying to break into the basement. The whole island is ill at ease.

And it's all because of that new tunnel getting closer and closer to completion.

Or, say, a new flood barrier is under construction outside London – a gleaming wall of metal that will rise from the tidal murk. Would it change the dreams of city residents? Would this distant piece of hydro-infrastructure affect how Londoners feel about their city – or about themselves? A new confidence. Dreams of survival. Psychoanalysts report that no one dreams of drowning anymore.

On one level here, the answers are both uninteresting and obvious: of course, these sorts of projects would affect the dreams, thoughts, and nightmares of a city's residents – after all, those new landmarks would be a part of the world these people live within.

But a less obvious, or less easily tracked, impact might be postulated here – that, say, a new bridge between San Francisco and Oakland might subtly change how San Franciscans think about their peninsular city, and that this only becomes obvious in retrospect, when someone notices that prescription rates have changed or the divorce rate has plummeted: it was the psychiatric implication of a new bridge that did it.

Put another way, if a new highway can have a measurable, and easily detected, impact on a city's economic health and administrative well-being, then could a new highway – or bridge, or tunnel, or flood wall, or, for that matter, sewage treatment plant – have a detectable impact on the city's mental health? After all, these sorts of massive public works "may carry a psychological burden," the Boston Globe wrote back in 2006.

It's the psychiatric infrastructure of the city.

(Thanks to Josh Glenn, Eric Fredericksen, and the Hermenautic Circle for the Boston Globe link).

Rabu, 30 Juli 2008

0 15 Lombard Street

[Image: The cover and a spread from 15 Lombard St. by Janice Kerbel].

15 Lombard St. is a book, published in 2000, by Janice Kerbel. It is "a rigorously researched masterplan of how to rob a particular bank in the City of London," the publisher explains.
    By observing the daily routine in and around the bank, Kerbel reveals the most detailed security measures such as: the exact route and time of money transportation; the location of CCTV cameras in and around the bank along with precise floor plans that mark the building's blind spots.

    Kerbel's meticulous plans include every possible detail required to commit the perfect crime.
The book was pointed out to me by Sans façon in relation to an earlier post here on BLDGBLOG about the city re-seen as a labyrinth of possible robberies and crimes that have yet to be committed – a geography of tunnels yet to be dug and vaults yet to be emptied.
But is there a literary genre of the crime plan? An attack or robbery outlined in its every detail. Is this fiction, or some illegal new form of literature? Would there be an impulse toward censorship here?
Or does one put such a thing into the category of counter-geography – a minor cartography, a rogue map? Or perhaps radical cartography, as the saying now goes?
There's a fascinating series of interviews waiting to be done here with people who work in building security – how a building is deliberately built to anticipate later actions. Or, should we say: to contain the impulse toward certain radical uses.
When the robberies get to this door, they will become frustrated that it can't be opened and so they will try to break this window – so we must reinforce this window and put a camera nearby.
The building has within it certain very specific possible crimes, the way this house contained a "puzzle." I'm reminded of the famous Bernard Tschumi line, and I'm paraphrasing: Sometimes to fully appreciate a work of architecture you have to commit a crime.
Architectural space becomes something like an anticipatory narrative – the exact size and shape of a future heist, nullified.
It outlines future crimes the way a highway outlines routes.

(Thanks again to Sans façon for the tip!)

0 My videos are awesome

New videos yo!

XIAXUE'S GUIDE TO LIFE


Going Blonde



Ever thought of dyeing your hair blonde?
It's not as simple as a tub of bleach man! A lot of effort one ok!
Got guest appearance by Kaykay. Click to see. :D


CHICK VS DICK

The Poker Challenge




Kaykay faces Paul Twohill in strip poker. Will kaykay lose all her clothes? Just joking la, it's normal poker! But still very funny nonetheless! Paul makes Kaykay hoping mad again, and for me, that's always fun to see. HAHAHA!!


CRACK COMEDY

Literal waitress



What happens when a waitress takes your orders literally?
Click to find out!


If you got any suggestions for Guide to Life or Chick VS Dick episodes, like for example, you want to see a video guide on how I brush my teeth, etc, do send an email to info! Your suggestion might just be taken up!

Lastly, here's my radio interview with Rosalyn Lee on 98.7FM. I love you Rozzie and the crazy intern!! muah muah!!



How come some people's embedding can be a chio pink colour frame one ah??

0 10 Cool Mobile Apps For Those Who Don't Have The iPhone Yet

Written on 7/30/2008 by Abhijeet Mukherjee, of Jeet Blog.

If you haven't been bitten by the iPhone frenzy yet or if you are still very much in love with your existing cellphone, this post is for you.

There are no two opinions about the fact that the iPhone 3G is an extraordinary and exquisite mobile phone with features one usually dreams of having in a cellphone. And with the introduction of the new iPhone app store, you can now get virtually every service imaginable on your iPhone.

However, today and for the next couple of years at least, there will be more people carrying plain old cellphones than shiny new iPhones. This is simply a fact.

So if you don't have the cherished iPhone yet and are feeling neglected and dejected, spice up your life with some cool mobile apps that can make your good old bag phone cell phone one handy little tool. If you do have an iPhone, read on. Most of these apps work on iPhones as well.

Google Mobile

The most common and the most useful too. Google Mobile brings the ubiquitous Google products like Google search, Reader, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Photos and many more to your mobile phone. It supports almost all the multimedia phones available including the iPhone.

ShoZu
Shozu connects your online life to your mobile phone. It supports a huge number of social sites which include Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and many more. You can upload photos and videos, download friend's feeds, read and reply to comments and a lot more right from your cellphone.
Opera Mini
Opera Mini is an awesome free-to-download mobile internet browser that lets you browse the web in a similar way to your computer's browser. Instead of showing the entire page on your little screen, it cleverly presents an overview of a page and you can easily zoom in and out.

Zyb
Zyb is an online service whose primary task is to safely backup your contacts on the cellphone. Apart from that it also lets you sync your contacts and other things, share media files and chat with your Zyb friends online.

Qik
Qik is a cool app which lets you stream live video to the web from your cellphone. I haven't tried this yet but it certainly looks like an easy process without the need to do heavy downloading or installing.

Fring
Fring is an easy to download and install mobile app which lets you make free calls and chat to your IM buddies on Skype, MSN, Yahoo, Gtalk and many other services using your cellphone's internet connection thus saving you money on outgoing calls.

Frucall
Frucall helps you to compare prices of a product at various online stores like Amazon, Shopping.com etc and hence helps you to clear your doubts about the cost of a particular product and where you can find it at cheaper rates.

Buxfer
Buxfer helps you track your expenses on your mobile and lets you know if you are going over budget.

Mobiluck
Mobiluck lets you stay in touch with your friends and alerts you if they are nearby. It also lets you chat with them for free.

Wapedia
Wapedia is a one click mobile encyclopedia which lets you search various Wikipedia entries and also search for images. A good app for students and researchers on the go.

The above list is by no means definitive and there are a lot of other cool apps which fit well in your mobile phone. I'd love to know what apps you use on your cellphone and how they have helped you in your daily life.

Cheers,

Abhijeet

Selasa, 29 Juli 2008

0 Be Absolutely You

Advertorial sponsored by Kimberly Clark

Ok here's a fair warning... BOYS GO AWAY! This is a girl's entry and purely for females only!

I told you to go away!!

Fine! Read it if you want! I'm gonna be talking about PERIODS!

Frankly, I hate having my period. Everytime it arrives, it reminds me of my early secondary school days when I would get cramps so horrific I can honestly just faint man!

But thinking back now, I realised I don't really hate periods that much anymore. They are more of a come-and-go thing for me and don't really bother me much.

Gone are the secondary school days of staining skirts! And why am I the one who's always washing people's skirts for them as they hide in the toilet??! (BTW I once used chalk/liquid paper to cover up my stain coz my uniform was white. Haha... My mother wasn't pleased.)

As medicine is invented for my cramps, other things are also invented that are a God-sent.

Such as pads so thin:


Kotex Soft and Smooth Ultrathin with wings

(Amazing hor...? And ultra absorbent too!)

The experience of having my period has come a long way since Feb 6 1995 when I first got it.

Yes! I still remember the exact date ok! I ran to my mother and told her, expecting her to hug me and exclaim, "Yes! You are finally a woman my little baby girl!" but she did nothing of that sort.

In fact she just nonchalantly gave me a pad.

A super thick pad!!

Nowadays periods are so much easier. Pads have improved drastically since 1995, and from slim, they become thin, and now... ultrathin!

They are no longer so heavy they make your panties look like diapers.They no longer leak from the sides.

My grandmama told me that during HER time, when pads were still not invented, women had to use pieces of cloth! And the women had to wash their own cloths coz they cannot afford to waste like that!

EWWWWWWW!!

Can you imagine?? So yeah I guess we shouldn't complain about the circa 1990s thick pads.

There can now be so much freedom when it comes to that time of the month. BE ABSOLUTELY YOU!

As long as you use a good brand you can trust (Kotex for me!), you can still go about dancing, jogging etc. No problem. Especially with the super long kind that will never, ever leak. (Unless you are extremely filthy and don't change for 3 days la)


And of course, the best thing about having your period is knowing you are not pregnant. Eh... If you are not ready la. Which I am not, so it's always good for me. If you want to get pregnant and you are not.. Well erm... good for your husband/bf I guess!! Ok... awkward... Moving on!

I was at Watsons the other day and I saw this on the shelf:



Everything is so prettified nowadays!


The flora box contains:



1) Kotex Soft & Smooth Ultrathin 23cm 20 pcs
2) Kotex Soft & Smooth Overnight Ultrathin 28cm 10pc






Kotex Soft and Smooth Ultrathin pads - 28 cm

Now in a minute 5 pc pack!


This chic little package is really convenient as it is super tiny and can fit into any small bag! It only has 5 pads inside. It's awesome for travelling.


After using up the pads, you can use it...



To put your own stuff!

I imagine if you buy a lot of these and keep the boxes you can build a mini-cupboard with them. Haha!

Can also cam-whore with it!!





Hahaha... So boh liao.

So anyway, advertorials always end with a bit of goodies for the readers.

This one is a DAILY lucky draw!

Everyday there is a winner, and you can be a winner more than once!


To enter, easy - just call 1800-6222-888!


With every purchase of $5 of Kotex Ultrathin products, you can stand to win $100 everyday! This starts from 1st July to the 15th of August - 46 long days.

If you still didn't win, fret not! Your entry will then be snowballed for the grand draw of $1,000! Sheesh, I don't mind getting that man. I'd totally get loads of Juicy stuff...! *salivating at the thought*


Click!


Get Kotex now! As my grandmama always says, don't wait until want to shit then go build the toilet bowl. *nods wisely in agreement*




p/s: Eh hello?? Reason why there are other bloggers blogging about this too is coz it's the advertiser's initiative? Nobody's copying anyone else as the drafts were all sent in before any publishing was done. OH GOD! People can be so stupid.

Senin, 28 Juli 2008

0 11 Things You Shouldn’t Leave For School Without

A simple list to simplify your life.

When you first arrive at college you will be introduced to problems that you never knew existed. While no list will ever include a solution to all of your ills, this one hits on some things that you may not have considered.

Here are some cool and fairly undiscovered websites which will solve many of your everyday issues.

Trust me - finding these sites now will save you a ton of time.

  • Campusi.com – Instead of looking through dozens of different websites for books, this websites finds the cheapest books offered on the internet, and shows the prices from all the other websites as well.

  • GetChunkit.com – Instead of clicking from link to link, this add-on is able to mine every link on a web page and pulls out the information for you. Makes researching 10x faster.

  • Instacalc.com – Online calculator that can do everything, and allows you to share your calculations with others online.

  • Ottobib.com – Enter the book’s name or ISBN, and this website does your bibliography for you in any format.

  • Bugmenot.com – Bugmenot lets you find and share disposable logins for popular websites that force you to register. Also use “email.bugmenot.com” for quick disposable email accounts.

  • Teleflip.com – Have your emails forwarded to your phone as text messages.

  • eFax.com – Nobody has a fax machine in school. So when you want to receive faxes, just use eFax. eFax will give you a phone number that you can give to people, and your faxes will show up in your inbox.

  • Qipit.com - Take a photo of your school notes or other documents, and this service will turn them into a readable, taggable document.

  • FranceRadio.net – Because you need to stop using Youtube for your music. And because downloading at school is a no-no.

  • Zoho.com – If you love free things and can’t stand Microsoft, then this office suite (and much more) is for you.

  • A hug from your dog.
What other sites or apps can you recommend to a new college student? Let us know in the comments.

Written on 7/29/2008 by Sasha R. Lahijanian, a reader of DLM that has no agendas to advance or blogs to promote, she just wants to help people.

0 8 Policies For Being An Average Joe-Superman

Written on 7/28/2008 by Alex Shalman, creator of the Practical Personal Development blog.


Superman is undoubtedly a legend, but what makes the story of Superman so intriguing is not the super-human capabilities such as laser eyes, x-ray vision, super strength or even flying. The unshakable integrity, and flawless character of our hero is what makes him transcend mankind.

The hope that it is possible for any of us, or all of us, to adopt these characteristics and be average Joe-Heroes is the real key to the Superman legacy.

Christopher Reeve would tell you, just as any fine actor would, that in order to have a world-class performance you must eat, breathe, and live the role of the character. It follows that the late Christopher Reeves had to spend quite some time analyzing, dissecting, and adopting the character traits of Clark Kent and Superman alike.

In my eyes this makes him a very qualified person to tell us about how any of us, with the right paradigm, can surpass even the highest standards of humanity.
  1. "Don't give up. Don't lose hope. Don't sell out.
    It's easy to think of an idea; it's harder to take action on it. It's harder still to not give up in the face of impediments. The same could be said for our identity, and the forthrightness with which we carry ourselves. You see that our identity, and our self-assurance are key elements in having high self-esteem.

  2. "When you sell your identity, by selling out your morals and beliefs, you lose the ability to feel good about yourself."
    And for what? A couple of bucks at a higher paying job that will buy you another model car, or a bigger house? When you think about it, you absolutely owe it to yourself to give it all you have and give your dying breath for what you believe in.

  3. "Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean."
    If we never leave kindergarten we'll never graduate. In the very same way if we stay inside our comfort zones, and never venture out into our personal deep water or uncharted territory, we will never exercise our abilities to grow, flourish, and achieve.

    Do a couple of extra push-ups, ask her on a date even if she says no, ask your boss for a raise, buy the instrument and play it daily, or learn the language you've always romanticized about. Whatever it is for you that will push your talents, skills, and character traits to a level you have never been at will turn you into average Joe-winner.

  4. "At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable."
    That's the most scintillating description of how our mind turns ideas into actions when we focus on what we want; whatever we think about expands. By consistently entertaining the thoughts of our dreams becoming reality, we are using the law of attraction to create opportunities.

    The opportunities won't necessarily be created, but they'll become more apparent. In the same way as when you buy a new car, you see everyone and their dog driving that same brand of car on the street. You no longer filter out those opportunities and they become flagrantly apparent. You either grab them, or grow your skills and resources and then grab them, but you do it all the same. Focus on what you want and don't give up.

  5. "To be able to feel the lightest touch really is a gift."
    One day changed Christopher Reeves' life forever. When he was out horse back riding, he fell off the horse, and became a paraplegic from the neck down. He couldn't move his body much, but he could still feel, and he somehow found it within himself to take pleasure, and appreciate, even the lightest touch.

    In our own lives we take many things for granted, like our eyes, our ears, and our ability to walk. By taking a moment to become conscious of our bodily functions, to look at them as a gift, and to show unprecedented appreciation for their function, we can open up a new realm of possibilities for our character. One where we also appreciate other people, and lead people by example, and show them this new realm of living life awesome.

  6. "You've got to give more than you take."
    If you look at this world from the eyes of a taker you're going to have a miserable life. All the riches in the world, all the fame and power, and all the sights your eyes can lay eyes on will never be enough if you are a taker. As a taker it is your JOB to set new goals for acquiring more whenever you reach a check point. It is your CURSE that you will always feel empty, except for tiny insignificant split moments of goal attainment which last only until that next goal is made in the next instant.

    If you look at this world from the eyes of a giver you're going to have a miraculous life. Each time you give a piece of your self, your time, and your resources you will feel the love pass from yourself to the other individual. All people will be a tool for you to experience pleasure, because you will always have an opportunity to give to them. The moments of pleasure will not be wavering, but will last as you think back upon the smile that you caused on the face of another.

  7. "Even though I don't personally believe in the Lord, I try to behave as though He was watching."
    This is part of a gift that Judaism made to the world. The gift of monotheism. Although it's clear that not everyone believes in G-d, and not in the Jewish paradigm of what G-d is, we can safely say that the idea of monotheism is a prominent one. If nothing else it allows for the sense of morals, an intuition of what's right and wrong, and the sense of responsibility to keep oneself accountable in the eyes of a higher power.

    When a person is operating from a place of "He is watching" the person has a large incentive to improve upon himself, his relationship with other people, and his relationship with the world. That's something that can be accomplished by any Average Joe-Superman.

  8. "A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles."
    In the movie Superman had special powers, but that's not what made him a super hero. If you remember, in one of the movies there were three other Super-people from his planet, and they all possessed superhuman abilities. However, they were no Supermen. Despite being able to fly and throw buses around they lacked the Superhuman compassion and empathy that Superman possessed.

    That which they missed, and that which Superman possessed is conveniently available to all of us. Placed at our fingertips and available at our whim, we have the ability to be average people that do extraordinary things. By loving ourselves wholly, loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, and exceeding even our highest expectations of how a moral human being should conduct himself we are able to access the Superman within us.
My challenge to you is to consider that the ideas I have presented you with in this article are absolutely worthless and meaningless. That is, if you do not take action, commit yourself to being better than you ever imagined possible of yourself. If not, than the ideas have been read in vain. You've wasted 2 hours of my time, and 10 minutes of yours. My challenge is that you take action.

0 Four Strategies To Work Smarter, Not Harder

Written on 7/28/2008 by Melanie K. of Relish for Women.


I recently discovered a self evaluation form that allows you to determine which entrepreneurial skills or aptitudes you have or need to improve upon. If you are interested in trying it, you can find it here.

In the self-evaluation, there is a category called “commitment to work contract”, which basically evaluates your commitment to completing a job, with questions such as: “I will do almost anything to finish a task on time” and “I treat my family, my friends and my own convenience as less important than getting a job done.”.

I can see what they’re getting at: you need to be prepared to work A LOT. But to me, it’s about working smarter, not harder. To me, this category should be about project management and time management skills, not how much family time we are willing to sacrifice to get the job done. Isn’t that why many are shifting to self-employment in the first place? To have some flexibility to do other things?

Anyway, the whole topic got me thinking about being more effective when I am working at home so that the 14 hour days are kept to a minimum. This is about how YOU work most effectively and efficiently to get the job done and do all the other things you want time for in your life.

Here are a four strategies I use to get the most out of my time at home:
  • When is your peak efficiency? At what time during the day are you most alert, focused and ready to go? How long does it last?

    Maybe you work best from 8am to noon. But, are so brain dead in the afternoon, you might as well be doing something else. Then perhaps you get a second wind after dinner for 3 or 4 hours, and voila, there’s your 8 hour day. Not quite your typical day at the office, but you’ve gotten twice as much done as you would otherwise. For some people it’s starting a 5 am, others like to work through the night.

    The trick here is to pay attention to your internal clock and figure out when your energy is highest.

  • Do other things during your down time: Exercise, groceries, oil changes. If you are not the 9 to 5 type, then this works perfectly because you avoid the crowds at stores, the gym, and the garage filled with the people who only have time on weekends and after 5pm on weekdays. No line ups, no waiting around = more efficient.

  • Create a work friendly atmosphere. Not only have dedicated workspace that is tidy and organized, but make it inspiring and inviting. Hang art on the wall, have potted plants in the room, play music that helps you concentrate, buy comfortable furniture. Feeling good in your environment results in improved productivity.

  • Stir things up once in a while. If you are uninspired in your normal space, set yourself up with a laptop and work in the dining room or living room, or add a cell phone and go to your favorite coffee shop once in a while. Sometimes completely new surroundings will help you work better and faster. Plus, it’s more fun!
Being flexible and incorporating interesting strategies into your work habits are some of the best advantages of working at home. Do you have any unconventional ways of improving your efficiency and effectiveness?

Melanie

Minggu, 27 Juli 2008

OH HAPPY DAY!!!!!!!

Sabtu, 26 Juli 2008

0 A general article on my general thoughts on Plagiarism on blogs

I wonder how you all will react if tomorrow you find out that a lot of my blog entries were plagiarised?

Copied wholesale from other sources. Other people's jokes, opinions, information etc... all passed off as if they were my own ideas?

Personally I think that the lowest a blogger can hit. A blog is meant to be an outlet for your thoughts and opinions - so if you have none, why bother to have a blog at all?

Why would anyone's blog be sewn together by bits and pieces of other people's ideas? That's just unfathomable to me.

Excuses people commonly give:

"I don't know how to write so I have to copy" - Better write shittily, or don't write at all; rather than copy.

"It's a personal blog" - Blogs are never personal, even the locked ones. Besides, as my current saga has taught me, it is NOT ok to anyhow write whatever I want on my "personal blog", right?

"I didn't know I had to cite" - Sorry, but ignorance is not an excuse. I doubt anyone older than a Primary Schooler would not know that copying is wrong.



I remember back in school, whenever someone gets caught for plagiarising, it is an immediate fail grade. Not only that, the plagiariser will be announced to the class to be shamed.

Passing off someone's else hard work as your own. Disgusting.


When applied to blogs, is just as grave an offence?

Or is it not that big a deal, because words in a blog are not used for academia measurements, therefore are not so important?

In this technological era, it is so easy to copy. Just a click of your mouse to select your favourite line, and a ctrl C and crtl V. Voila! You can sound as intellectual as you please.

I think it's an even bigger deal. Why? Because blogs are meant to be a platform for your opinions, and plagiarism just goes ahead to give this spirit a sharp slap on the face. Blogs are meant to be for you to express yourself... not pretend to be somebody else.

So in a sense, plagiarism on blogs stands for much more than that on acadamic papers.

On an exam answer sheet, plagiarism is done for an A.

On a blog... Why? It feels like something way more sinister.


By letting plagiarizers get away scot-free, we are endorsing the act of plagiarism.

Imagine you scored 80% in a test because you studied hard and wrote well. Tommy, your classmate, scored 80% because he cheated and copied.

Your teacher knows about this, and yet, Tommy still gets his 80% grade, although everyone knows he is a cheater.

Is this fair? Should Tommy get expelled and shamed?

In your opinion, what should be done?



WHY would bloggers plagiarise?

I can understand if you are lifting off paragraphs full of information, ie if you wanted to describe a movie, and you copy the movie's synopsis from somewhere.

What I cannot understand or tolerate is the lifting of other people's opinions, for example, copying someone else's movie reviews.

When someone reviews a movie it is his/her own opinions! How can you just copy the entire chunk and call it your own? Underhanded, lowly, and worst of all, EMBARRASSING when found out.

Do plagiarisers not have opinions of their own?
Or maybe they are so incoherent they cannot piece their own opinions together into a decent blog entry?

A blogger IS his content. Without my words and my photos, I will be nothing. Who ARE plagiarisers then? Is he/she still considered a blogger if it has been proven time and again that his/her image and opinions are both dishonest and copied? What is this Frankenstein of a blogger considered?


I cannot emphasize how much I detest copiers and plagiarisers. As a writer (yes, I am a script-writer and I wrote for several columns before), it is an unforgivable offence in my book, and I hope to see justice served to such offenders all over the world.


Plagiarism is serious and should NOT be downplayed.


Remember: Plagiarism is tantamount to stealing.

Stealing an idea; it's the same as stealing a wallet.

It doesn't matter if you plagiarized only once, it is still wrong.

But in my opinion, people who resort to plagiarism are people who disrespect originality. People like that rarely resort to copying/cheating only once. It was probably done HUNDREDS of times already before it was finally discovered.



p/s: This article is not referring to anyone in particular, just felt the urge to blog about plagiarism suddenly, dunno why.

I am trying to change for the better by making my blog full of kindness, respect, charity, love and pancakes.

So I urge no personal attacks on anyone. If you wish to do personal attacks, please kindly make it anonymous by using the name, erm, "Monkey".

For example, you can write something like, "Monkey plagiarised more than 50 blog entries and he/she is so shameless can?!"

If your Monkey works under someone, the company can be called "The Zoo". So for example, if you are pissed off about your classmate Lilian copying work, and you're studying in RGS, you can write,

"This Monkey in my class plagiarized! The stupid ZOO still allowed her to get full marks! I am so angry!" --> Like that la.

I would of course have no idea who you are talking about, but it's ok, it's your comment and not mine.

Any mention of any names in the entry will be deleted.


p/p/s:
I just want to thank my law firm Keystone Law Corp for their excellent job so far. I don't know how I would have gone through this without you guys, and couldn't have asked for better lawyers. (This is not written in exchange for a lower rate or anything btw.)

Jumat, 25 Juli 2008

0 5 Simple Steps to Make Feeling Like Crap Benefit You

Written on 7/25/2008 by Jonathan Mead who writes about the less boring side of personal development at illuminatedmind.net.


A lot of people would have you believe that trying to stay positive and upbeat all the time is the path to happiness.

While I agree that maintaining a positive attitude and looking on the bright side of things is important, it's definitely not everything. If you're so focused on the positive that you're in denial of the negative parts of your life, you have a problem.

Ignorance isn't bliss if you're efforts to ignore are in vain. Trying to repress your problems and look on the bright side of things isn't going to solve anything. In fact, it can make them worse.

So if staying positive and putting a smile on your face isn't everything, then what is? I think the answer is really taking a closer look at why you're feeling like crap in the first place. Simply smiling and looking on the bright side is like trying to put a band aid on a cut throat. It just doesn't cut it.

Here's my advice on hacking at the root of negativity, instead of clipping the twigs and the leaves:
  • Pay attention to what's making you feel negative. It all starts with awareness right? A lot of people don't want to face their negative emotions. And for good reason, it's unpleasant. But if we deny all our negative feelings, we're really denying ourselves and before long, there won't be much left.

  • Realize that negativity is there to help you. Negative emotions and responses are there for a reason. They're trying to tell us something just isn't right. Instead of just feeling your negative feelings, try to dig deep and see what's causing them. You might have to go through a few layers of emotions before you find the root.

  • Is it really important, or are you just whining? This is one of the most important questions you can ask and really forces you to be honest with whether you're just whining, or if your feelings are legitimate. After all, a really negative person, can make even the best situation seem terrible. In the same way an overly (unhealthily) positive person can make even the most negative situation seem positive.

    See, this article. If you think you're just whining, complaining and making excuses, you probably are. This is the test if it's something that can be fixed with an adjustment of your attitude, or if it's going to take some deeper work.

  • Untie the knot. In Buddhism, there's a concept called internal formations. Basically, when you have a negative emotion: anger, fear, frustration, depression, or despair, it's telling you there's something you need to take a look at. By simply accepting our negative feelings, we can witness the source and being to "untie the knot." When we find the root, we can go to work at what caused the knot to take form, and begin to discover how we can release it.

  • Look at the root. After we untie the knot, it's important that we look at the root of the knot in the first place. Let's say you're feeling like crap because you don't like your job. So you untie the knot, you take a day off of work and recoup. But going to work at the root, means solving the problem that caused the knot in the first place. If you really hate your job, figure out why and find a way to fix it. That might mean changing positions, working with new people, or simply quitting. Do whatever it takes to solve the problem directly, instead of making a quick fix.
We can either use the personality approach, trying to remain positive, focus on what we're grateful for, etc. Or we can be honest and realize that our negative emotions are trying to tell us something: something sucks and we need to do something about it.

It's the difference between taking the red pill or the blue pill. Do you want to live in truth, or denial?

Jonathan

Kamis, 24 Juli 2008

0 The Atlas of All Possible Bank Robberies

[Image: From The Bank Job].

It occurred to me that you could make a map – a whole book of maps – detailing all possible routes of bank robbery within the underground foundations of a city. What basements to tunnel through, what walls can be hammered down: you make a labyrinth of well-placed incisions and the city is yours. Perforated from below by robbers, it rips to pieces. The city is a maze of unrealized break-ins.
A whole new literary genre could result: Booker Prizes are awarded. You describe, in extraordinary detail, down to timetables and distances, how all the banks in your city might someday be robbed. Every issue of The New Yorker, for instance, includes an 800-word essay about breaking into different banks throughout Manhattan, one by one, in every neighborhood. Ideas, plans, possibilities. Scenarios. Time Out London does the same.
It soon becomes a topic of regular conversation at dinner parties; parents lull their kids to sleep describing imaginary bank robberies, tales of theft and architectural transgression. Buildings are something to be broken into, the parents say. It's what buildings have inside that's the goal.

0 Become an Autodidact: 10 Ways to Become a Self Taught Master

Some of the greatest people in history have educated themselves to a large degree using a process known as autodidacticism. This is something that's more easily undertaken these days with the great wealth of online tools available to anyone.

Whether you've gone to college or not, you can learn just about anything these days on your own. Want to learn about the classics? Carpentry and home maintenance? Philosophy or cooking? Chess or computer programming? It's all online, and with a little bit of excitement, you can motivate yourself to learn a subject in a growing number of ways.

Why self-education? Well, besides the obvious reasons of wanting to improve yourself, prepare yourself for success, and just learn as much as you can, self-education offers a few extra benefits: you can learn at your own pace, and in your own way. You can follow your passions, and learn about things that excite you. There's no price for failure, but there's every reward for success.



How do you go about becoming an autodidact? The answer is simple: any way you want. I would suggest you set aside just a little time each day to learn a specific subject, but that really depends on your learning style. Some people learn all in one great rush: they'll stay up late hours for a few days in a row, consuming everything they possibly can about a subject. Others are overwhelmed by an approach like that, and would rather learn a little each day.

However you go about it, here are some of the best tools for the modern autodidact:
  1. Wikipedia. A vast repository of great and useful articles, Wikipedia is the autodidact's dream. You could surf it for hours, days on end, or you could use one of many tools to make daily learning a breeze. One of the best is the Articles of the Day feature --sign up to get it in your email box. Another great option that I've tried is making Wikipedia's random page your home page.

  2. Online Courses. Today you can learn from the best colleges and universities, from the comfort of your own home. Just a few of the online offerings: Berkeley, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame.

  3. Chapter a day. Don't have time for books? Read them the easy way: a chapter a day is emailed to you or added to your RSS reader by DailyLit.com, which has a growing selection of free books.

  4. Word a day. Improve your vocabulary by leaps and bounds through the FreeDictionary, which has some great features you can subscribe to,including these RSS feeds: Article of the Day, In the News, and This Day in History.

  5. Take quizzes. One of the most fun ways of learning is through games and quizzes. If you do a quick Google search, you can find quizzes on just about any topic, including math, grammar, the U.S. Constitution ... you name it. Also try flashcards for effective learning.

  6. Art a day. If you'd like to learn about art, one of the best tools is Your Daily Art. Subscribe to the feed, and every day you'll get a famous piece of art, along with some notes to help your contemplation.

  7. Podcasts. Not a fan of heavy reading? Get your knowledge through listening. You can listen to a course while driving, while relaxing in the bath, or while your boss thinks you're working. Just kidding about that last one. Here are just a few of the available podcasts: UCLA podcasts, Berkeley on iTunes, Stanford on iTunes, Purdue University Podcasts, University Channel (Princeton).

  8. Free ebooks. Of course, there are thousands of great books online, available for free. Read them during your spare time, print them out for bathroom reading ... it doesn't matter how you use them, they're free! Here are some sites to start you out:
    Project Gutenberg, Wikibooks, Free Audio Books, Free Academic Textbooks.

  9. Learn languages. Tons of language courses are available online (BBC languages, FSI Language Courses to name a couple), and you can even learn them through iTunes: Chinese, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Greek and much more.

  10. Wikiversity. A growing number of courses are being offered through a great resource, Wikiversity. Also try BBC Learning.
Written for Dumb Little Man by Leo Babuata of Zen Habits

0 How To Beat The Stress When Working From Home

Written on 7/24/2008 by Abhijeet Mukherjee, of Jeet Blog.

If you aren't working from home, I know what you might be thinking. How can a web worker possibly have stress? They dictate their own schedules, work in their pajamas, etc.

I wish the above statements were true. However the reality is that web working could in fact be more stressful than an office job. If you don't believe me, then head over to New York Times and read this article. It talks about some blatant truths related to web working and throws light on the kind of stress which web workers face everyday. You will surprised to find people like Michael Arrington, at the helm of blogosphere, candidly confessing to having sleepless nights and leading a stressful and unhealthy life.

Although I may not completely agree with the NY times article, nobody can deny the fact that working from home is stressful at times and hence web workers are always trying to organize their methods of working in order to have more time at hands and lead a better life. Hence today I decided to share some points which I think could help in reducing this stress and make life better for someone who's working from home.

It's all about the time
Really, it is. When you decide to work from home, it is you who would decides your working hours and how you can get the maximum the time. I know time-management is cliche now and you are tired of hearing it again and again, still the fact remains that you can't get yourself out of the 24/7 schedule. If you set your priorities right and allot time to different parts of your work, in the end you'll work less hours and gain more out of it. In other words you'll be more productive.

Disrupt the continuity
Sitting at your desk for 5-6 hours continuously isn't a good thing for your eyes or your health. I mean, it's common sense right. So whether you take 3-4 short 5 minute breaks or 1-2 long breaks, you gotta take them.

Use tools like Workrave which does a pretty good job in reminding you that you need to stand up and go away from your computer. So make sure you disrupt the continuity of your work at regular intervals. It's important.

Exercise / Yoga

If you are working from home, you know that your body parts simply don't move as much when compared to going to an office. Sure there are stretches you can do at your workstation but there is no walk from the parking lot, not opportunity to walk up to the third floor, etc.

Hence it's important to fill that gap through exercise or yoga. I have personally struggled with this one; procrastination and the inability to peel myself from the PC simply won't let it occur.

So as I am writing this, I have decided to exercise everyday even if it's for 10 mins. I know this will energize me and help in draining the stress out of my mind and body. If you have been procrastinating like me, then start doing it from today.

Interact
One of the ways a person who's in an office job gets rid of stress is by interacting with friends/colleagues and sharing feelings and thoughts with them. When you work from home your primary way to interact is through email or IM. It simply doesn't compare or match the comfort that a human voice can provide.

So, don't stop talking. Talk to your family, to your friends, to your neighbors. Use your cellphone or use Skype. But don't stop talking; find a way to work some conversation into your day.

Music, Books and Movies
Music is known to be the best stress-buster. A nice and soothing song can charge you up like anything. A good book or perhaps an exciting movie can have the similar effect on your mind. So make sure you are in touch with these 3 sources of knowledge and entertainment and use them when you feel tired and stressed.

A Day for you
It's usually a 7-day work week for web workers. The internet won't stop for you and hence you try to match its speed too. But as Mahatma Gandhi said, "There's more to life than increasing its speed."

So take time out for yourself, at least a day in a week. Ditch the computer, forget it, go out and enjoy. You'll feel better and the next day you'll be more enthusiastic when you start working again.

There are some other very effective ways to beat the stress - for example, sex. But I didn't mention it above because it may not apply to all (I mean not everyone might have easy access to it :)

If you work from home, I'd love to know how do you get rid of stress and make your work-from-home life better and productive.

Cheers,

Abhijeet

Rabu, 23 Juli 2008

0 Mysterious Chinese Tunnels

[Image: The brick-arched entryway to a "mysterious Chinese tunnel" in the Pacific Northwest (via)].

72 years ago, a man named William Zimmerman sat down to tell a story about "mysterious Chinese tunnels" to the U.S. government. That interview was conducted as part of the Federal Writers' Project, and it can be read online in a series of typewritten documents hosted by the Library of Congress.
Zimmerman claims that "mysterious" tunnels honeycombed the ground beneath the city of Tacoma, Washington. These would soon become known as "Shanghai tunnels," because city dwellers were allegedly kidnapped via these underground routes – which always led west to the docks – only to be shipped off to Shanghai, an impossibly other world across the ocean. There, they'd be sold into slavery.

[Image: The cover page for one of many U.S. government documents called "Mysterious Chinese Tunnels"].

Subterranean space here clearly exists within an interesting overlap of projections: fantasies of race, exoticism, and simply subconscious fear of the underworld. White Europeans had expanded west all the way to the Pacific Ocean – only to find themselves standing in a swamp, on earthquake-prone ground, with a "mysterious" race of Chinese dock workers tunneling toward them through the earth, looking for victims... It's like a geography purpose-built for H.P. Lovecraft, or something straight out of the work of Jeff VanderMeer: down in the foundations of your city is a mysterious network of rooms, excavated by another race, through which unidentified strangers move at night, threatening to abduct you.
It's urban historical anthropology by way of Jean Cocteau – or Sigmund Freud.

[Image: Another "mysterious Chinese tunnel" in the Pacific Northwest (via)].

In any case, because "construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad required large numbers of railroad laborers," Zimmerman's tale begins, "many Chinese coolies" had to be smuggled into the "rapidly growing city of Tacoma." They "arrive[d] mysteriously," he says, "smuggled in on ships, and even Indian canoes, from British Columbia."
At that point:
    Several opium joints were known to be operating in Tacoma. And there was no question in the minds of many people that the narcotic was smuggled in through tunnels from their dens to cleverly hidden exits near the waterfront. They were also convinced that the tunnels were dug by Chinese, either as a personal enterprise or at the behest of white men of the underworld, as no white workmen would burrow the devious mole-like passageways and keep their labors secret.
Zimmerman adds that the Chinese "were forcibly expelled from Tacoma in 1885, but ever [sic] so often the story of the Chinese tunnels bobs up whenever workmen come across them in excavation work."
It's even rumored here in the BLDGBLOG offices that a mere 5% of the original tunnels have so far been discovered – until a graduate student in anthropology from the nearby University comes across a clue in an old government document, leading her to a small, bricked-over window near a drain in the downtown fish market... Directed by Gore Verbinski.

[Image: Entries to Tacoma's mysterious Chinese underworld? Photo by Stephen Cysewski (via)].

Meanwhile, that same year – 1936 – a 39-year old man named V.W. Jenkins sat down with a representative of the Federal Writers' Project, and he had this story to tell:
    In the spring of 1935 when the City Light Department was placing electric power conduits under ground, workmen digging a trench in the alley between Pacific Avenue and 'A' Street at a point about 75 feet south of 7th Street, just back of the State Hotel, crosscut an old tunnel about ten feet below the surface of the ground. This tunnel was about three feet wide by five feet high, and tended in a southwesterly direction under the State Hotel, and in the opposite direction southeasterly toward Commencement Bay. I entered the tunnel and walked about 40 or 50 feet in each direction from the opening which we had encountered. There it went under the hotel the tunnel dipped sharply to pass under the concrete footings of the rear wall, proving that the tunnel was dug after the hotel had been built. In the other direction the tunnel had a sharp turn to the left, and after several feet, a gradual curve to the right, so that it was again tending in the same direction as at the opening. About 50 feet from the opening on the Bay side the tunnel began to dip and in another ten feet began to decline very sharply so that it would have been necessary to use a rope to descend safely on the met slippery floor. The brow of the bluff overlooking the waterfront is but a short distance from this point, explaining the need for the rapid downward slope, although it is probable that farther on there is a turn, either right or left, and that the tunnel was dug at an easier grade before emerging at a lower level.
Jenkins then offers this bizarrely wonderful explanation for what else might have formed those tunnels:
    Some persons contend that these openings found in the vicinity of Tacoma were caused by trees buried in the glacial age, and after decaying, left the openings in the glacial drift. If this is the true explanation for the tunnel I have described, then the tree that made it must have been a giant that grow such in the shape of a corkscrew.
Of course, there are also "Shanghai tunnels" beneath Portland, Oregon. "All along the Portland waterfront," we read, "...'Shanghai Tunnels' ran beneath the city, allowing a hidden world to exist. These 'catacombs' connected to the many saloons, brothels, gambling parlors, and opium dens, which drew great numbers of men and became ideal places for the shanghaiers to find their victims. The catacombs, which 'snaked' their way beneath the streets of what we now call Old Town, Skidmore Fountain, and Chinatown, helped to create an infamous history that became 'cloaked' in myth, superstition, and fear."
That same site describes the actual process of Shanghai'ing:
    The victims were held captive in small brick cells or makeshift wood and tin prisons until they were sold to the sea captains. A sea captain who needed additional men to fill his crew notified the shanghaiiers that he was ready to set sail in the early-morning hours, and would purchase the men for $50 to $55 a head. 'Knock-out drops' were then slipped into the confined victim's food or water.

    Unconscious, they were then taken through a network of tunnels that 'snaked' their way under the city all the way to the waterfront. They were placed aboard ships and didn't awake until many hours later, after they had 'crossed the bar' into the Pacific Ocean. It took many of these men as long as two full voyages – that's six years – to get back to Portland.
It all sounds like some prehistoric narrative of the afterlife – a shaman's tale: you're blacked out and led through mysterious tunnels inside the earth's surface, only to wake up surrounded by the oceanic, on your way to another world.
This site offers quite a lot of history of the Tacoma tunnels, and ten minutes of Googling will reveal at least a dozen blog posts and assorted minor newspaper articles about the phenomenon; but there's something particularly intriguing about an official oral history, conducted by the U.S. government itself, in which tales of subterranean geography are revealed.
It's like a form of national psychoanalysis, where each session takes the form of geographic speculation.
More practically, such interviews are a fantastic premise for a short novel or film.

[Image: Photo by Michael Cook. "Looking into the bottom of the William B. Rankine G.S. wheelpit from the Rankine tailrace"].

Briefly, though, I'm also reminded of BLDGBLOG's interview with Michael Cook, posted last summer. Cook is an urban explorer based in Toronto.
Toward the end of that interview, I asked Cook "if there's some huge, mythic system out there that you've heard about but haven't visited yet" – some long-rumored underworld that might only be speculation.
Cook replies:
    I guess the most fabled tunnel system in North America is the one that supposedly runs beneath old Victoria, British Columbia. It’s supposedly connected with Satanic activity or Masonic activity in the city, and there’s been a lot of strange stuff written about that. But no one’s found the great big Satanic system where they make all the sacrifices.

    You know, these legends are really... there’s always some sort of fact behind them. How they come about and what sort of meaning they have for the community is what’s really interesting. So while I can poke fun at them, I actually appreciate their value – and, certainly, these sort of things are rumored in a lot of cities, not just Victoria. They’re in the back consciousness of a lot of cities in North America.
(With huge thanks to Alexis Madrigal, who sent me a link to the Tacoma tunnels last summer).

0 Thanks for the many supportive emails!

So many of you emailed me! Very touched. And to the person who donated USD$100... Thanks!

As you've maybe seen on Straits Times, I am NOT going to apologize to Dawn.

As I said, if she wishes to embarrass herself she can go ahead and sue me. Those who live in glass houses should not be throwing rocks.

Got something to clarify though. I know many of you have asked me for my bank acct no or my paypal email, but there is still no need to donate anything right now. I can still afford it as of now... not THAT poor la!!

Hahaha!! If she decides to go ahead with the lawsuit I'll inform you guys. :D

Something's wrong with me lor... I keep waking up damn early and sleeping damn early recently.

But I am happy! Tomorrow going to 98.7FM for radio interview with Rozz and Shan at 5pm... Maybe another radio interview with 91.3FM and Power 98. Those still tentative.

I also finally watched BATMAN!! Is the joker funny or WHAT?? It saddens me to think that Heath Leger (did I spell correctly ah?) will never be able to act in that role again... Maybe they should get T-bag (Theodore Bagwell) from Prison Break?

I think Heath's perverse lip-licking is inspired from T-bag lor! But dead, cannot confirm with him.


(SPOILERS)

Omg... I think batman doesn't want to kill him coz he also secretly thinks the joker is damn funny.

My favourite part was when the Joker was in the truck's passenger seat, and his driver got shot dead. He scooted to the driver seat, pushed the corspe aside, and politely told the corspe, "Sorry, got to drive..." and then kicked the corspe out of the truck.

AHAHAHAHAHHA!! I laughed DAMN HARD CAN!! It's just really funny! But to my horror, the entire theatre of people didn't laugh at all... Not funny meh? I think it's very funny leh! At this rate, my movie script will be a total flop lor!!

Oh sorry actually my favourite part is Joker dressing up as a NURSE!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!! GINGER WIG!!!!! HAHAHHAHAHA!!!

He very irritating lor keep telling people about his scar stories! Like those pesky evangelists!!

Then people not interested to listen he threaten people with his knife! Where got like that one?

(END SPOILERS)


Ok la I am off to play Mario VS Luigi before I sleepytime. It's 10pm lor! Gross. Zzzzzzz

(Comments regarding lawsuit is disallowed)

0 5 Steps to Planning an Effective Presentation

Written on 7/23/2008 by Aaron Stannard, editor of Working Smarter.


You can find plenty of information on presentation blogs about how to design effective slides and how to deliver an effective presentation, but one aspect that often gets overlooked is the work that goes into preparing the substance of a presentation.

You can be the most charismatic presenter in the world with well-designed slides, but if you try to present information in an incomprehensible sequence then you’re just as ineffective as the guy who does nothing but read bullet points out loud.

That being said it’s important to prepare your presentation and get organized before you begin worrying about your slides, your delivery, and all of those other details. Here are 5 steps you can take towards preparing an effective presentation:
  1. Outline Your Objectives
    What do you want the end result of your presentation to be? Do you want to convince people to buy something? Do you want to instruct them? The objective of your presentation will determine most of your substance; the simple act of writing down your objectives will make it that much easier to organize what you’re going to say and when you’re going to say it.

  2. Gauge Your Audience’s Expertise
    The next step is to determine how much your audience already understands about the subject you’re going to present. If you’re asked to give a lecture about gravity to elementary school students then you’re not going to treat all of them like tenured physics professors.

    Try to gauge the level of expertise and design your presentation to build upon what they already know. If you’re not sure how much experience the audience has had with a given subject, try to meet them somewhere in the middle.

  3. Make an Outline
    The next step is to make an outline of all of the concepts that you’re going to cover in your present. I like to use a mind map to organize my thoughts into a rough outline, since I think that they’re a better tool for fleshing out ideas than traditional bulleted lists are. Regardless of what tool you use, build an outline of the topics you want to cover during the course of your presentation.

  4. Sequence Your Presentation
    Once you have an outline of all of the topics that you want to cover in your presentation then you need to determine the sequence of your presentation. A good way to do that is to use a simple flowchart which lays out the order of the ideas that you’re going to present. Some people, usually hardcore PowerPoint users, prefer to use real storyboards where they produce mock-ups of each stage of the presentation.

    Personally, I think using a real storyboard can be pretty time-consuming so I prefer to stick with a basic flowchart when I’m sequencing a presentation.

  5. Determine What Visuals You Will Need
    The final step to preparing a presentation is to figure out what sort of visual aids you’re going to need. You probably won’t need a complicated visual for every single point of your presentation, but when it comes down to explaining something complicated, like how a business process works, then you’re going to want to support yourself with a good visual.

    Figure out which concepts are going to require a visual – typically it’s the most complicated or important concepts which really need it. Go ahead and make a list of what sort of visuals you’re going to need.
And that’s it – it’s really not too tough to plan a great presentation, especially if you start using these five steps more frequently. I’ve already prepared two different presentations this week using these steps and they really do work for me; feel free to ask me about my three-page-long flowchart storyboard :p

Feel free to leave some comments below with any questions you may have about planning presentations; I’ll be checking them!

Aaron

Selasa, 22 Juli 2008

0 Buyers Beware - You are being Tricked

I am not sure why but the movie Easy Money is an old time favorite of mine. In one scene, Rodney Dangerfield and his buddy are in a retail store and when the clerk tries to assist him, his response (said in a way you have to see to appreciate) is a crude, "I am just browsing".

Back then, this may have worked and for those with strong self control, it still may. However, new studies (there are always studies) show that humans are pretty darn gullible and that retail stores know it. In fact, they do anything possible to take advantage of our natural desire to simple want more.

LiveScience reports a new study shows that:
...happiness with a purchase depends on the choices that were available on a store shelf and how the items were presented.
Think about this for a second. Happiness is not judged by the value of the item, the necessity of the item in your life, or sentimental value; it's judged by presentation, perception, and perhaps how the item was displayed versus competing items.

After analysis and study, the conclusion states the following:
  • Researchers have known empirically for more than 20 years a "50% off" sign leads consumers to assume a price is attractive, even if they have no knowledge of the original price or reasonable prices for that product.

  • Studies have also shown that frequent but modest discounts - such as the constant sales at a car dealership - lead to perceptions of greater value than less frequent but deeper discounts.

  • When math is involved, most of us can't cope. For example: See if you can calculate the total savings in the setup: 20 percent off the original price plus an additional 25 percent off the sale price. How much is that item marked down? If you said 45 percent off, then your math skills are as pitiful as the 85 percent of college students who also got this wrong in a study last year by researchers at the University of Miami and the University of Minnesota. The right answer: 40 percent off.
There are several other con jobs that the article reveals. My question to you is this: Are you a gullible sheep or are you someone that can identify con jobs? In the end, everyone wants the green and only the smart will survive without tapping their home's equity, savings accounts or emergency funds. What camp do you fall into?

To read the remainder of article, take a peak at Buyer Beware: The Many Ways Retailers Can Trick You.

- Jay White

0 Kuku Klok - Wake up in Style

As I have mentioned in the past, I am a huge fan of the power nap. For that matter, any nap is good but for the sake of this mini-tip, I am talking specifically about power naps.

For those of you that remain in the dark about this, a power nap is a quick 20-minute nap taken in the middle of the workday. The idea is that you recharge your brain and as surprising as it may sound, this could boost your energy big time.

If you are currently taking power naps or if you are a new recruit to the club, an ongoing issue is that of the wake-up call. While you could certainly program your cell phone to ring you at wake-up time, some of us want more variety. In the past, OnlineAlarmClock was my wake-up. These days, a new site's Siren call has grabbed by attention.

Kuku KloK (read Cuckoo Clock) is a nifty little site that boasts a cleaner interface and more options for your alarm clock needs. There are multiple sounds to choose from and a crazily handy element that activates the alarm even if your internet connection goes down.

I am not sure what else you can ask for. Oh, I got it, an in fashion i-phone look (see below):


- Jay White
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