Minggu, 30 November 2008

0 How To Become A Google Power User

GoogleSearching the Internet for relevant information can be frustrating at times. More advanced researchers know tons of little tricks of the trade, getting them the desired results fast. But for the rest of the population, it isn't always easy to nail down information they are looking for.

If you find yourself amongst the second group, you might like the following tips and hints on how to find information fast. These can be considered Google tips for beginners. The next time you do a Google search, try it with some of these weapons.
  • Define search
    If you are unsure of a word's meaning, you can use the search term define: to narrow down on the list of definitions. Just be aware that sometimes this search isn't as accurate as it should be.

  • Number range search
    This is a cool search, especially if you are out to get an online bargain. Just say you shop for a blackberry phone but your budget is limited, use the following term (exchange your values and keyword to search your own) term = blackberry phone [$50]...[$400]

  • Date search
    If you are in the market for the latest blackberry phone but don't want old results showing in your Google search, use the search term daterange. To do so, enter "Blackberry" daterange:startdate-enddate. However, Google is a funny beast. The dates need to be entered as a Julian date and frankly, it's totally confusing. To speed things up, use Gmacker.

  • Quoted search
    Quoted searches are often used by niche marketers to find accurate results regarding their niche. Even though this is one of the most basic search terms, it seems many people don't use it at all. To do a quoted search, simply wrap your term into double quote marks; like this: "ipod nano 4GB".

    This will allow you to see the most relevant results without having to spend hours sieving through Google's links.

  • Allinurl search
    This is a neat search to give you results with your target keyword contained in the actual domain link. To do this, insert allinurl:ipod nano 4GB into Google's search box and in return you will find URL's containing that keyword.

  • Allintitle search
    This is the same principle like the allinurl search, but instead you will see results featuring your target word in the title of the result sites listed.

  • Cache search
    You might know what a cached page looks like. If you don't, head over to Google right now and search for any term or word. Once the results are presented to you look closer at the right hand side of each result (next to the green text or below).

    You will see a hyperlink called cache. Click on it and you will see what Google does to cache websites. It's like taking a snapshot, which allows us to go back in time and look at sites in the past.

    To do a cache search, enter this term into the search box: cache:www.amazon.com(exchange for any website URL).

  • Info search
    If you want to get more information on a particular website, you can do an info search by typing info:www.amazon.com for example.

    This will return all sorts of information such as cached pages, similar websites, websites that link to.. and sites that contain the term.

  • Site search
    The site search allows you to look for results from a specific domain only. If you do a site search for ipods on Amazon for example, you use the following search term: ipod site:www.amazon.com

  • Advanced search
    To perform an advanced search, you can specify from any results page whether you want to narrow your search to images, video, news, map or web or more. It will fast track your search and by opening the advanced options field, you can even further drill down for a particular difficult search.

  • Google has also released a personalized search option that is supposed to analyze the searches you perform to provide you with more accurate results over time. To do this go to www.Google.com/psearch and sign up for web history.
Written on 12/01/2008 by Monika Mundell. Monika Mundell is a passionate freelance writer and pro-blogger. Her blog Freelance Writing helps new freelance writers to get started in this exciting industry. If you like to work with Monika, feel free to visit her Portfolio site.Photo Credit: Google

0 The Return

[Image: Heathrow Terminal 5, via Wikipedia].

Back in San Francisco, after a 12-hour delay at Heathrow's Terminal 5 in London. We sat on the first plane – there were three planes – for five hours before they realized that they couldn't start one of the engines; so we all filed back into the terminal while our luggage was loaded onto a second plane – which was then hit by a truck. A third airplane was thus conjured up out of the drizzling darkness of an otherwise abandoned international airport at midnight – I was reminded almost constantly of Iain Sinclair's description of Heathrow as "a Vatican of the western suburbs," a system of piazzas dedicated to geometric worship of the sky – and it rolled over to the gate to collect our bags, the lights in the cockpit still off. It was nearing 1am by then, we'd been given bags of sea-salted potato chips, and bad pop songs were playing on continuous loops through steel security grills pulled down in front of airport music shops. One or two obviously bored employees were performing day-end inventories on refrigerators full of Ribena at Boots, the guitarists for a band apparently based here in San Francisco were throwing an American football around with a kid called Nicholas, and if you stood at the edge of the glass-walled lightwells that cut all the way down to the ground in Richard Rogers's new terminal design you could watch under-oiled escalators squawking their way, from one side to the other, up the nearly five stories to arrive where we were all then sitting, filling out customer complaint forms.
So thanks, British Air, for that odd glimpse of anthropology amidst well-engineered 21st-century architecture after everyone else had gone home – although I would've preferred to arrive twelve hours earlier, on time – and thanks, as well, to everyone who came out to see the variety of BLDGBLOG events last week in London.
The other surprise worth mentioning is that, having landed at the misty, pre-BART hour of 4am, we had to take a taxi home – and as we drove up Fell Street our driver pointed out that gas prices have plunged to a somewhat unbelievable $1.79 a gallon.

0 Four Easy Ways to Dodge Pre-Christmas Weight Gain

Your cupboards are already full of super-sized tins of chocolates for Christmas gifts. You’ve been invited to numerous parties in the first couple of weeks of December. Mince pies and mulled wine are being pressed on you by generous neighbors. And you’re just too busy to exercise.

You might be planning to go on that long-intended diet in January, but do you really want to be starting off with an extra five or ten pounds to lose? Here’s how to make sure you don’t pile on the pounds during December.

1. Avoid the Party Mindset
Many of us let healthy eating go out of the window when we’re on vacation, or when it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas. And whilst big holidays should be occasions for enjoying meals with family and friends – not times when we count calories and obsess over every morsel – it’s a good idea to avoid letting that party mindset start too soon.

Enjoy yourself if you’re invited to a Christmas event in early/mid December, but don’t use this as an excuse to stuff yourself with junk food every night. A occasional big meal out won’t have much effect on your waistline, but a month-long binge definitely will.

2. Go Easy On Alcohol
There’s a lot of booze around in December: remember, alcohol will still exist in 2009, and you don’t need to drink it all before then! If you’re being invited to a lot of midweek parties, why not agree to be the designated driver, and stick to the non-alcoholic punch? You’ll be glad you did the next day, when colleagues at work are all complaining about hangovers.

Remember that alcohol contains calories (which don’t fill you up), and often increases your appetite too. If you are drinking, try alternating each alcoholic drink with a glass of water – you’ll be less likely to get drunk, and staying hydrated will help you avoid a hangover the next day.

3. Stick to Basic Healthy Eating Principles
You’ll probably struggle to follow a rigid diet plan during December – buffet meals with big groups of friends, visiting relatives and office parties make it hard to keep up a diet. Instead, focus on core healthy eating principles:
  • Drink six – eight glasses of water each day
  • Eat at least two pieces of fruit and three servings of veggies
  • Only use a little bit of added fats like butter and cream
  • Go for wholegrains where possible
It’s also a good idea to eat sensible, regular meals. That means avoiding skipping lunch in order to stuff yourself at a party – and it means making sure that your day doesn’t just become a succession of snacks. If it helps, you might even want to tell yourself that you won’t eat anything between certain times (9am and noon works well, if you’re in the office and there’s boxes of Christmas cookies around – if you can hold off during the morning, you’re less likely to succumb during the afternoon slump.)

4. Get Some Exercise
If you have gym membership, make the most of it during December – as the gym will probably be the quietest it is all year! Exercising really helps if Christmas stress is getting to you: however busy you feel, making time for a brisk half-hour’s walk can really help to quiet your mind and reduce those worries about having to see awkward relatives, or having to buy presents for your extended family.

Staying active not only burns off some of those mince pies and Christmas cookies, it also helps you to keep fit and healthy, and stave off the chances of getting ill over Christmas (a particular danger if you live in the northern hemisphere where the weather is cold).

Do you find that you pack on extra pounds every December? Or do you manage to negotiate parties, festive drinks and Christmas shopping without eating tons of junk? If you’ve got any good tips, share them in the comments…

Written on 11/30/2008 by Ali Hale. Ali runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.Photo Credit: Whatsername?

Kamis, 27 November 2008

0 Waiting Room

[Image: The Waiting Room, Rome, by Jeffrey Inaba/Inaba Projects].

Jeffrey Inaba of Inaba Projects has a new pavilion on display now in Rome, sponsored by Enel, Italy's largest utilities provider. Because of that sponsorship, Inaba "wanted to use numerous forms of alternative energy applications," but decided, in the end, to apply "just one that was highly productive and cost effective." The pavilion is thus solar-powered – Inaba describes it as an "Alice in Wonderland mushroom meets solar-ray chomping Pac-Man."

[Images: The Waiting Room, Rome, by Jeffrey Inaba/Inaba Projects].

So what is the project? Solar-powered and lit from within, with a DVD player and monitors, it tries to rethink the hospital waiting room; in fact, the cartoon-like, festive structure with a kind of external tattoo of abstract graphics, is "sited at Policlinico Umberto 1, Rome's largest public hospital, and one that has been recently controversial because of scandals of unsafe and unsanitary conditions."
    As an "enlightenment" era hospital, it was planned in a decentralized way, with specialities (pediatrics, respiratory maladies, contagious diseases) distributed throughout the campus, with no single central space. The project attempts to create a centralized space for all kinds of waiting (waiting for an appointment, to be picked up, the diagnosis of a loved one, for treatment, convalescing to recover).
As Inaba himself explained in a recent issue of Art Review, the real purpose was “to create an environment to cope with our restlessness, if not through easing the irritation of having to wait, then at least through distraction from it."
"The aim," Inaba writes in a short essay about the project, "is to produce a distraction from waiting by introducing a mix of people, activity and stimulation to thwart the inward feeling of inertia that is triggered by delays."
Of course, this raises the possibility of a building so immersive, visually interesting, or simply distracting that you don't realize you're waiting for something. Time passes; nothing happens; you don't notice.
It's a sort of anti-prison.

[Images: The Waiting Room, Rome, by Jeffrey Inaba/Inaba Projects].

The website for Enel Contemporanea adds that "[c]olours, lights, geometric shapes and various environmentally friendly elements" bring "an element of comfort to an architectural space normally seen as a temporary and highly emotional environment."

[Images: The Waiting Room, Rome, by Jeffrey Inaba/Inaba Projects].

All of which is another way of saying that the project enlivens the experience of waiting inside architecture – highlighting the general but overlooked surreality of the waiting room, as a space in which you simply wait for something else to happen.

[Image: The Waiting Room, Rome, by Jeffrey Inaba/Inaba Projects].

It's up until February 2009 – so if you're in Rome, check it out.

[Earlier on BLDGBLOG: Trash Mandala].

Rabu, 26 November 2008

0 How to Keep Your Writing or Marketing Pitch Out of the Trashcan

Attention PR and freelance writers! If you are pitching a story that you think needs to be written by a reporter or written a major blogger, there’s no magic formula for getting it accepted.

Sometimes it’s luck, sometimes it’s skill, sometimes it's who you know.

However, there are several sure-fire ways to get your pitch pitched -- directly into an e-mail trash can, unread and unwanted. Follow a few of these tips and you will better your chances with a professional editor.
  1. Update your contact list
    Whenever I get a press release that starts – “Dear Becky,” usually I don’t read much further. If you are pitching a story to a media outlet or want to write for an editor, you might want to know their name. Even better, know the editors’ responsibilities. If you are pitching a sports story to the business editor, you aren’t going to get much traction. A simple call to the switchboard can make a world of difference.

  2. Don’t overhype
    Here is the subject line of a press release I got this week:
    “LIFE CHANGING INFO , YOU MUST SEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Seriously. It wasn’t from a Nigerian lottery scam or some phisher. It was from a legit PR firm. If you look like you have no anchor in reality, you are going to get flushed. The same goes when you are a freelance writer. If your pitch is that you’ve written the “best story ever about subject X”, you’re not letting the editor judge for themselves and frankly you’re coming off as arrogant. Don’t be that guy.

  3. Be locally relevant
    In these days of contracting media, more outlets are looking to be as interesting as they can to local readers. So, if you are making a pitch, you better make it very specific to the editor’s audience, not the audience you want to attract. Don’t call the paper in San Antonio and ask if they would be interested in listening to the teleconference about the exciting new yogurt stand in Manhattan.

  4. Don’t argue
    Learn to take no for an answer - really. An editor understands that you have a lot riding on a pitch, especially if you're a freelancer looking for some cash to pay the bills. But sometimes, the time isn’t right in the outlet’s budget, there isn’t a reporter available to get to your event (having more than a day’s notice helps) or there’s not an acceptable ROI.

    If you get shot down or don’t get a response, don’t question why. Just say thanks and hang up. You want to leave a good impression for the next time.

  5. Be patient
    Sometimes when an editor says “we’ll think about it,” they really mean it. But you’ve got to give them time to think. While you’ve been taught to be persistent and follow up, there’s a fine line between doing it judiciously and being annoying. Best to live by the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” motto. If you haven’t heard back in a week, try then. Most editors are working at most two weeks ahead in the newspaper business, a month ahead in magazines. If you check in on a Monday or a Friday, they will be staring ahead at a blank slate. Take advantage of the timing.

  6. Follow their rules
    Many publications and blogs have guidelines that will help point you in the right direction. Don't just send an email blast to every email address you can find, look for their submission guidelines and try it their way first.

Written on 11/26/2008 by Mike Koehler. Mike Koehler is a multimedia journalist in Oklahoma City working full-time to save the newspaper business, while helping his wife raise three kids under age 8. In his spare time he sleeps. E-mail Mike at .Photo Credit:
futureshape

Selasa, 25 November 2008

0 7 Festive Ways to Eat Light During Holiday Parties

by Phillie CasablancaThe holidays are fun times for parties and lots of food. However, the downside is many people gain a few stubborn pounds during this time just because there is so much food.

If you like the parties, but not the January rush to lose all the holiday weight, you have to be smart. It will be much easier come January 1st if you party with a few ground rules.

I’m not saying to give up on all the fun - just the fun that goes overboard leaving you feeling sick and unhappy with yourself.

Here are seven festive ways to keep off the pounds while hitting the parties.
  • Use A Small Plate – This is a psychological trick that can work for you at a party. Simply grab a small plate instead of a big one. Most every spread has both dinner and dessert sized plates. Choose a dessert plate for your food. The appearance of a full plate, even if small, gives the mental impression you are eating more than you would if the plate were larger.

  • Fill Up on Veggies – Most hosts who serve heavy hors d’oeuvres will have a veggie plate alongside the other goodies. Do yourself and the host a favor by eating mostly from the veggie tray. That way, they won’t have to throw the leftovers out and you won’t have leftover saddle bags to contend with.

  • Stand and Talk When You Dine – Have you ever been at a party and wanted a drink or a bite to eat, but you couldn’t break away from someone who was talking to you? Use the same technique to eat light. Stand and chat with people as you eat from your small plate. You might want to position yourself as far away from the food table as you can – so talking and eating means you won’t be pigging out. You’ll be a part of the conversations requiring you to temper your intake and eat slower. This will give your stomach time to realize it is full.

  • Sip Eggnog – gulp water – You may not want to cut out Eggnog and other fatty drinks completely, but taking a sip or two is better than a glass or two. Take a few sips worth into your glass, say a toast, drink up. Then wash it down with a glass of water. Water will make you feel more full as the evening continues.

  • Share Your Dessert – If your host is serving pie or cake, ask a friend if they’d like to share a piece with you. You probably won’t be the only guest who is trying to keep it off. So you will be a hero. Tip: Cut the dessert halves unequally sized portions. See if you can give the other person the bigger half too. This is always good for a laugh and a little spat about who can afford to gain the added weight. The compliments should keep you on track.

  • Don’t Eat What You Don’t Like – If you try some of your aunt’s “exotic” fruitcake and it tastes like exotic cardboard, don’t eat any more! Save those calories and fat for something else. In fact, anytime you find yourself not liking something you are eating, stop! Unless you are in real starvation mode, there is no reason to eat a bunch of junk you don’t like – especially at a party – unless your host is just a bad cook.

  • Listen To Your Gut – When you feel full, you’re full; it's time to do something else. Chat with your friends, play a game, sing some carols. Just step away from the snacks. Eating until you burst will make you unnecessarily tired and feel sick later. Tis’ the season to be jolly, not bloated and gassy.
Written for Dumb Little Man by Brad Isaac, a CIO and blogger. You can read more of his weight loss tips at his Achieve-IT! Goal Setting Blog.

0 Science Fiction and Architecture

A quick heads up that I'll be participating in a roundtable discussion tomorrow afternoon about "science fiction and architecture" at the Bartlett School of Architecture here in London. The participants are:It should make for an interesting conversation, with a great mix of perspectives on the intertwined topics of science fiction, built space, and the imagined environment, so do come out if you're in the neighborhood.
The event lasts from 4-6pm, and it is free and open to the public. We'll be awaiting your arrival in Room G02, Wates House, 22 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0QB. Here is a map.
Of course, I'll then be moving down the street for the feral cities event at UCL tomorrow evening.

0 10 Great Ways to Jumpstart Your Creativity

Many of us want to be more creative. If you’re a blogger, you are searching for a killer idea for your next post. If you work in marketing or advertising, you’ll be trying to come up with that brilliant concept that will bring in a swarm of customers. If you have a creative hobby, like painting or writing, you want the next piece to be a masterpiece.

Sometimes, we might feel as though we’re “just not very creative”. Other people seem to have better ideas and bigger projects. The truth is that there are plenty of ways to help yourself become more creative. Here are ten of my favorites:
  1. Read Widely and Deeply
    Whatever field you’re in, reading can only help. Go to the library and check out some good books – and don’t make all of them ones in your area of expertise. Why not get a novel you’d never normally read, or a book about a topic you have no knowledge on? This can jump-start your brain into working more creatively as you try to assimilate the new information based on what you already know from your own field.

  2. Try New Activities
    Another way to get your brain in gear is to try something totally new. Whether it’s salsa dancing, pottery or a medieval reenactment, taking up a new hobby can help shake things up and encourage you to think laterally. For example, you might be inspired to write an article using your new interest as a metaphor for something in your main field of work.

  3. Talk To Strangers
    Children are warned about “stranger danger”, but as adults, we shouldn’t be too afraid of talking to new people. We naturally associate with people who are like ourselves – the same income bracket, the same dress sense, the same career or industry – and this can stifle our creativity by making us feel that “everyone’s just the same”. Branch out. Chat to someone you don’t know in the cafeteria. Say “hi” to the person next to you in line at the coffee shop.

  4. Reject Your First Ten Ideas
    One great way to generate ideas, if you’re stuck for inspiration, is to sit down with a blank piece of paper (or a blank document on your computer) and list at least twenty ideas. Reject the first ten: they’ll almost always be too “normal” and bland. You have to get through these easy ideas in order to be really creative. If you’re writing a short story for a competition on “murder” for instance, the first ten ideas you have will be the ones that judges see time and time again.

  5. Experiment: Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
    We’re often wary of trying new ways of working or new activities because we’re afraid we’ll fail. But there’s no shame in failure – after all, as a baby, you failed countless times at walking, talking and potty training… but you’re an expert in all of those areas now! The path to success often requires trying out a lot of ways which don’t work.
    If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not
    discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” –Thomas Edison
  6. Make Connections: Link Two Projects
    Do you have a stack of half-finished sketches or half-written short stories languishing in a drawer? One very effective way to reignite your enthusiasm is to combine two different projects. Take a character from one of your short stories and insert him into the plot of a different one. Mix that fantasy dreamscape sketch with the steampunk idea. Take an idea from that zany game you were designing and put it with the brainteaser series that you had planned.

  7. Take An Unusual Perspective
    If you’re working on a long-term creative piece, like a blog or a novel, it’s easy to get stale. Try adopting an unusual perspective. You might write a scene in your novel from the point of view of an inanimate object, or through the eyes of a character whose state of mind has been altered by alcohol or drugs. You could try writing a post on your blog from someone else’s perspective. For me, one of the most memorable posts on Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger is “5 Things You Should Know About My Dad the ProBlogger”, purportedly from the viewpoint of his (at the time) one-year-old son:
    You see my Dad reads more than he writes. I think he does this because his writing gets better after reading what others say and because it means he’s
    learning more about his topics.
  8. Do Your Chores
    This might sound like odd advice – after all, chores aren’t exactly creative. But physical activities like vacuuming, washing the dishes or scrubbing the floors leave your mind free to wander – and it’s surprising how many ideas can occur to you when you’re not sitting staring at your desk.

  9. Use A Different Medium
    If you’re a writer, try drawing for a change. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw – use stick figures – but this can help jolt you out of your comfort zone, allowing you to approach a problem in a new way. If you’re a painter, try making up a tune and words for a song. If you’re a graphic designer, use modeling clay or create a collage. Don’t limit your creativity to just one medium.

  10. Daydream: Keep Asking “What If…?”
    The final, and most important tip for enhancing your creativity, is to daydream. Stare into space. Let your thoughts drift. Think about your project when you’re going to sleep at night – unusual thoughts often crop up in that half-awake, half-asleep state. Don’t try to force or rush creativity; give yourself time to let your ideas simmer away in the back of your mind.
Which of those ideas work for you? What tips would you add to the above list?

Written on 11/25/2008 by Ali Hale. Ali runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.Photo Credit: ecphaff

Senin, 24 November 2008

0 I should get some sort of award

Here's the "smashing" blog post.

I consulted many people before deciding to blog this. Some people said it's very mean, and there are many others who said they completely don't see how it is mean at all.

So I just decided to blog it lor...

The gist of this post is simple: I photoshop other people's photos to make them good-looking.

When I say good-looking I mean obviously good-looking to me lah. In the "conventional beauty" way.

It started off when Andie and I were looking at this blogger chick's blog photos and kept going on about how ugly her make-up is. Then, I challenged Andie to a photoshop showdown to see who can photoshop this fugly chick into a hot chick!

In the end, I spent about half an hour doing it till, in my opinion, she looked perfect!

Then I thought to myself, "Wow! It's so much easier to like her when she looks like that (end product of photoshop)".

So I further thought... How will other people I don't like look like with photoshop?

And therefore I photoshopped more and more pictures till people started telling me it's a waste not to blog about them.

Since most of the "victims" (or maybe they are privileged, coz loads of people wanna pay me to photoshop them) are people I don't like, I decided, for the fairness of this post, I'm gonna throw in also...

- People I do like
- People I am neutral towards.
- Random people I don't know at all.


Sorry if you got chosen... If I never expressed disliking you, it means that you are just randomly picked!

I was planning to do it on myself as well, but you saw that trick before.


Enough of the whining... Photos!


Let's make this more interesting, shall we?


YOU GET TO GUESS WHO THE PEOPLE ARE!!!!!


These photos you see are the photoshopped versions.

To see the originals (and the answers), please HOVER your mouse over the pictures!


Patience... It might take a while to load but it eventually will!
Just keep your mouse on the picture!


































Yes, she is a real person.



So which is your favourite?



p/s: All the original photos are either easily available online or proudly displayed on their owner's blogs. Credits to them.

0 Are You Adding Value?

We have, for the most part, been brought up to believe that we must compete with others to grab our share of limited resources and success. We learned as children that the ‘I’ is the center of the universe, and we tend to live our lives on subconscious scripts which promote and protect our own egos. For many of us, we think that meaning is found in a better job, a higher salary or net worth, a better job title and so on.

But there is another way of operating, another paradigm which insists that meaning is found only in serving others. Albert Einstein said that ‘only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.’ Service to others is what we could call adding value. The results of living in such a way ripple out and affect the world around us in profound and unexpected ways.
"We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results." ~ Herman Melville
If you’re not adding value, you’re destroying it. You cannot stand still – you can either give or you can take away. The manager who learns no new skills and fails to keep up to date with his field is going to fall behind and put his company at a disadvantage. The teacher who fails to keep up to date with recent developments in education is going to harm her students’ chances of academic success. You can grow, or you can regress; you can give or take away – but there is no standing still.

Adding value makes the world a better place. An author who writes a book that helps others; a teacher who encourages a student to excel; a manager who supports her staff to take risks and try new things; a sportsman or an artist who gives pleasure to others – all improve the lives of others, and hence improve the world.

You are going to get something back. Confucius wrote, ‘He who wishes to secure the good of others, has already secured his own.’ Nature seems to like to keep things flowing, so your talents, time and money ought to be sent out into the world – in return, things will come flowing back to you. If you hoard things or keep your talents and skills to yourself, they will decline and decay, but if you use them, you’ll keep them fresh and relevant and so they will be more useful to yourself an others. Or to put it another way, ‘Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves’ (James M. Barrie).

It brings opportunity. If you develop a reputation as a person who is always positive, always tries to find a solution and always adds something to a situation, you’ll make friends and influence others. There are two kinds of people – problem people and solution people. Which are you?

In the end, adding value is the path to true happiness and fulfillment. Adding value is what you were put on this earth to do. Albert Sweitzer said, ‘I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.’ So I encourage you to serve, to add some value. Opportunities for service are all around us. Meditate on the beautiful words of Anne Frank: ‘How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.’

Written on 11/25/2008 by Michael Miles. Michael writes about personal growth, communication, and increasing personal wealth at Effortless Abundance. You can download his book, Thirty Days to Change Your Life, for free. Photo Credit: joguldi

0 9 Power Tips To Utilize Your Firefox Bookmarks

Firefox 3 introduced a lot of updates and new features making online browsing better and a more productive experience for the end user. The entire interface went through many changes and the bookmark management was overhauled too. Beside some major changes in the code, bookmarking was made easier with the introduction of 'star' button (for one-click bookmarking) and tags (for better management).

However, it also means that you can now easily end up with a huge list of unsorted bookmarks and trying to find something in that huge list could be an exasperating task. Keeping that in mind, today I've decided to list nine tips and tools which would certainly make organizing and managing your Firefox bookmarks easier for you.

Manage Tags And Folders Efficiently
I talked about this in my previous article on Google Reader. It might be a little different here but the fact of the matter remains the same - wherever you have both tags and folders, just don't mix them. A folder should be like a broad category for that bookmark, while the tag should be a much more specific term describing it. That's it ! Simple, easy, and of course, manageable.

Get The TagSifter Add On
Once you know how to manage the folders and tag, and how to manage the tagging part efficiently, the next step should be making the navigation of tags easier. The TagSifter add on will do just that for you. It makes browsing your bookmarks by their tags a breeze.

Integrate With Delicious
If you frequently toggle between online and offline bookmarking, and assuming that Delicious is your online bookmarking tool of choice, I think the delicious bookmarks add on will do a great job integrating your Firefox bookmarks with what you have in delicious. It further makes the task of saving a link to delicious and tagging it a one click affair.

Add A Keyword
Did you know that you could add a keyword to that special bookmark which you visit everyday? For example, you've got dumblittleman.com in your Firefox bookmarks and you love visiting it everyday. Now you could add the letter 'd' as the keyword to this bookmark and the next time you want to visit the site, just type 'd' in the address bar and hit enter. It'll open up the site for you. Sounds cool and time-saving, isn't it ? And it's easy to do. Just right click a bookmark then click on properties to add the keyword.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts
The term keyword reminded me of keyboard shortcuts which are always time saving, no matter what the task. So when it comes to bookmarking in Firefox, there are three main keyboard shortcuts to remember: bookmark a page by Ctrl+Shift+L, bookmark all tabs by Ctrl+Shift+D and open the bookmarks organizer by Ctrl+Shift+B.

Synchronize With Foxmarks
In their own words, "Foxmarks is a free add-on for your Firefox browser that syncs and backs up your bookmarks and passwords across multiple computers and more." If you use Firefox on multiple computers, this is a must have tool.

Quicker Access To Unsorted Bookmarks
No matter how well you manage your bookmarks, chances are that there'd be a good number of unsorted bookmarks in your list. The Firefox Facts blog writes an excellent hack which gives you quicker access to your unsorted bookmarks. It's an awesome tip.

Quick Copy And Paste
Here's another cool tip to quickly copy and paste all your firefox bookmarks or just a particular folder within your bookmarks. In fact, if you are using the TagSifter add on, you could use the same trick to copy and paste any bookmark in a particular tag. This trick comes in quite handy when you want to share your bookmarks with someone.

Don't Forget To Backup
Although the Foxmarks add on does create a backup of your bookmarks, if you are using a single computer it might not make sense to install it. Instead, refer to my previous post on important backup strategies for your PC where I explain in detail how you can backup your browser preferences which includes your bookmarks too.

I hope you liked the tips. What other methods you use to manage your Firefox bookmarks ? Let me know in the comments.

If you liked the post, please give it a Digg and a Stumble. I'd appreciate it.

Cheers,
Abhijeet

Written on 11/24/2008 by Abhijeet Mukherjee. You can catch him at Jeet Blog where he blogs about different Web 2.0 apps a nd online tools and how they can help you become more productive.Photo Credit: Mozilla

Sabtu, 22 November 2008

0 The City Dehumidified

I'm in London, watching snowflakes fall amidst early morning rain flurries, reading David Grann's new book The Lost City of Z, and getting ready for the Barbican event tomorrow night.
But there's an article in the Guardian today about the WaterMill, which "uses the electricity of about three light bulbs to condense moisture from the air and purify it into clean drinking water." The company, Element Four, imagines a future for their product involving everything from irrigation and personal thirst to peacekeeping and disaster relief. Perhaps it might even require an update to the atlas of hidden water – where the water supply is "hidden" in the sky itself.

[Image: A diagram of the WaterMill at work].

As the company describes it:
    The system draws in moist, outside air through an air filter. The moist air passes over a cooling element, condensing the moist air into water droplets. This water is then collected, passed through a specialized carbon filter and is then exposed to an ultraviolet sterilizer, eliminating bacteria.
Further:
    The WaterMill is installed unobtrusively on the outside of your home, using outside air, so it won't dry out the air you breathe in your home. And don't worry if your outdoor air is less than pristine – even if you live in a crowded city, the Watermill's filtration system ensures your drinking water will be clean and free of toxins and bacteria – more pure than tap water or even spring water.
You're basically drinking water from a dehumidifier, then.
According to the Guardian, the obvious – if extremely uninteresting – next question is: "are you crazy?" But it would seem that the next question might actually be one of large-scale climate-engineering and the future of urban design.
In other words, would it be possible to re-engineer a city's weather patterns through the judicious and geographically strategic deployment of WaterMills? What might happen if this were to occur accidentally, over time, and according to no particular plan?
Over the years, say, tens of thousands – even millions – of these machines are installed in a humid city like New York, Tokyo, or London, achieving imperceptibly slow local climate modification. The city goes into a drought, with very little rainfall as humidity disappears – and it's all because of a certain line of products that have been installed, gradually, home by home, over the course of a decade.
Sucking hundreds of thousands of liters of water out of the air everyday, and re-directing that water into the sewage system through the metabolic processes of human bodies, these machines inadvertently re-engineer the local climate.
I remember walking to a restaurant through almost unbelievable summer humidity, thinking that massive, solar-powered air-conditioning units installed atop Manhattan skyscrapers could flood the surrounding streets with downward winds of cooled air to avoid uncomfortable nights – but industrial-sized WaterMills might accomplish the same thing, sitting up there in the heights of the marvelous, stealing water from the sky. Anti-clouds. Black engines atop roofs prevent rainfall. Whole summer storms could be stopped before they form. City-wide, temperatures drop and the humidity falters.
The resulting fresh water is then sold to Spain.
So if designer climates are the future of urban design, something explored in the forthcoming BLDGBLOG Book, then perhaps the widespread use of WaterMill technology might be an interesting way to start. Convince enough people in one large building, say, or even one borough, to install a home WaterMill... and see if the local climate begins to change.

Jumat, 21 November 2008

0 How Long Could You Survive Without A Job?

If you lost your job tomorrow, how long would you survive solely on your savings account? Here in the UK, a survey a few months ago revealed that a third of people have only enough saved to last them for eleven days.

However secure you think your job is, don’t assume that you’re immune to the current economic situation; good employees lose good jobs in bad times. Over the past several months, we’ve seen huge companies, once considered unbreakable, disappear overnight.

I am not going to tell you that I have a solution to our global economic dilemma. However, I am going to tell you that being fired while prepared is a lot better than being caught off guard. So, while you needn't get paranoid and start worrying that the sky is falling, you should work to prepare yourself a little. What is the contingency plan?

Here are four steps to get you started.
  1. Keep Your Resume Up To Date
    This is something simple you could sort out today – making sure you have an accurate, fully up-to-date resume. If the last time you wrote a resume was when you applied for your current job, it might need a lot of updating. Check out dates and job titles, and think about the “soft skills” you want to include. Get someone to proof-read your resume for you. Make sure that it’s as well formatted and displayed as possible. And double-check your contact details; even if you haven’t moved, chances are you’ve changed your mobile number or email address in the past few years.

    The last thing you want on your plate when bad news arrives is having to sort out your resume, so get into the habit of updating it on a regular basis – perhaps every six months.

    See also:
    Resume Presentation (from Monster.com)

  2. Build Up An Emergency Fund
    If you have a meager savings account, start building up an emergency fund. This is something you only dip into in the case of dire need: being sacked, medical crisis, family disaster. Even if you can only save $20 a week, that’ll be $520 after six months (and that’s without interest): enough to make a significant difference if times get really tight.

    Ideally, you want to get your emergency fund big enough to cover two or three months of expenses. Then, if you’re laid off, you have time to hunt for a new job without your family being in financial crisis.

    See also:
    How and Why to Start an Emergency Fund (from Get Rich Slowly blog)

  3. Minimize Your Expenses Now
    Cutting down on your outgoings now has two benefits:

    • You’ll start saving money which you can put into your emergency fund
    • You won’t be paying unnecessary fees if you do lose your job

    If you have gym membership that you rarely or never use, cancel it. Gyms and health clubs require a minimum of one month’s notice when you want to cancel – you don’t want to be hit with that steep monthly bill if you’re unemployed. Even if you are a regular gym-goer, look around for cheaper alternatives.

    Hunt for a better deal on any forms of insurance you have. Look at household bills, and see what’s costing a lot. Can you cut down on phone calls during peak hours or use Skype as an alternative? Are you paying for an expensive monthly plan on your mobile when you only use half the minutes?

    Don’t forget small, daily, expenses which can add up to more than the monthly ones. Brown-bag lunch to take into work, rather than buying a sandwich every day. Think about the costs of those bits and pieces you buy on impulse.

    See also:
    Evaluating Your Expenses: Housing (from The Simple Dollar blog)
    Evaluating Your Expenses: Monthly Services (from The Simple Dollar blog)

  4. Build a Second Income Stream
    Once you’ve sorted out your resume, started your emergency fund, and cut down on your expenses, you should be in a pretty good position to weather financial storms. However, this fourth tip allows you to actively get extra money – it could even grow to enough to replace your current job.

    Starting a second income stream means finding a way to make some money, however little, outside your primary job. That could mean almost anything: running a stall at a Saturday market, making craft items with your kids and selling them on ebay (selling the craft items, that is, not the kids…), creating a website that attracts lots of readers and earns money through advertising, etc.

    Good places to start building a second income stream are your hobbies and interests. What do you do in your spare time? How might you make money from it? Think creatively!

    The internet has opened up a huge number of ways for everyday folks to make good money, and it’s worth looking for non-scammy opportunities. I’ve enjoyed the free material that Naomi from IttyBiz has published as part of her “Online Business School” which includes the audio part of one of the pay-for modules, about creating small websites.

    See also:
    7 Key Factors to Build Successful Income Streams (from Moolanomy blog)
    40 Ways to Make Money on the Internet (from Dumb Little Man)
So what about you? How long could you survive if you lost your job tomorrow? What steps are you actively taking – or are you going to take – in order to make your financial situation secure, even with a temporary loss of income?

Written on 11/21/2008 by Ali Hale. Ali runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.Photo Credit: spaceodissey

0 Barbican Update

[Image: From Code 46, courtesy of United Artists (via)].

Next week's event at the Barbican just got even better, with the addition of Mark Tildesley, production designer for Code 46, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, The Constant Gardener, 24 Hour Party People, Millions, and many others, including Richard Curtis's forthcoming film The Boat That Rocked.
I'll be interviewing director Michael Winterbottom and Mark Tildesley both after a screening of their film Code 46. The event has already sold-out, but if you've got your ticket I hope you're in for a great conversation! For those of you who can't make it, the event will be videotaped and I should be able to host that on BLDGBLOG within a few weeks.
Also, if you heard about the event here, come up and say hello – I'd love to see who's reading the site in London these days.

More information: Code 46.

0 Can You Improve Meetings with Right-Brained Thinking?

Target Red RoomThe New York Times recently featured an article about how tapping into the power of the right brain can enhance meetings and improve productivity. The point of the article was simple; if you want to spur creativity, capture and hold attention, and promote innovation and interaction, you need to create a space that stimulates the creative, social side of the brain - the right side.

The left side of the brain is all about linear stuff - spreadsheets, lists, agendas and outlines. It's predictable, straightforward - and to most people, boring. On the other hand, the right brain thrives on non-linear activity - games and play, unusual activities, and non-predictable interactivity. It's fun, engaging and creative. So how do you tap into your team's right hemispheres?

Here are a few tips from the experts:

Keep them moving
"People tend to shut down if they can't get up and move around," notes Stacy Evans, executive administrator at Cisco Systems. Break up your meetings with games, stretching breaks, physically active exercises and other activities. Or hold the meeting outside in a beautiful setting and walk while you talk, stopping for breakaway sessions and rest periods as needed.

Get comfortable
"Hard wooden chairs don't do it anymore," says Meeting Professionals International chief executive Bruce MacMillan. Instead of a bunch of hard seats around a conference table, hold your meeting in a setting comprised of several small and comfortable seating arrangements. Not only will this help you keep your participants attention on the meeting (instead of their aching rear ends), it'll help promote conversation and breakaway groups.

Have fun
Play is a great way to stimulate the right side of the brain. It can be as simple as putting toys out on the tables or as complicated as a day-long scavenger hunt. No matter what level you choose, injecting play into your meeting will help participants tap into their creative energy, cross-pollinate ideas and relax into broader, more innovative thinking.

Enhance sensory input
Create a sense-stimulating environment to really rev up right-brain thinking. Colorful furnishings, art, live flowers, unusual foods and beverages, music, aromatherapy - all these things can turn on participants senses and turn up their creativity. The human mind is like any other thinking machine - the greater and more diverse the input, the better and more interesting the output.

Mix it up
Keep your participants' minds from getting stale by mixing up activities. Have a sit-down discussion in the morning over breakfast, then break out into walking discussion groups in the afternoon. Reconvene after dinner for an evening of games and creative brainstorming. On day two, start the day with a guided meditation, then split off into conversation groups to continue yesterday's discussions. The less predictable and more interesting the schedule, the more likely you are to jog loose something wonderful.

Bringing the right side of the brain into your meetings may mean using unfamiliar methodology, but the results can be incredible. Speaking about a sales conference that netted a 40 to 50 percent increase in sales (significantly above the normal "conference boost"), GroupSystems product management senior director Diana Peterson said, "It was about getting people in the right frame of mind…breaking down barriers, getting people talking and making decisions they might not make because maybe they feel more daring." And that's a result worth getting excited about.



Written on 11/21/2008 by David Bohl. David shares the viral message Slow Down FAST and helps people raise the roof on all facets of their lives without risking implosion. Get some must-haves here.Photo Credit: AlexanderK

0 Have a Merry Indulgz Xmas and a happy new year!

Advertorial

Update: New stuff at bottom of this post.

Once again it's an Indulgz free dinner! Wooo! This time they invited me over for tasting their spanking new festive Xmas and New Year menu.

So in case you are now kiasu-ly making plans for your holiday celebrations already, maybe you can consider dining at Indulgz!

This time I invited Ming (founder of Nuffnang and also a personal friend of mine) and his girlfriend Estee to have a quiet sort of dinner with Mike and I.

The last few times I went to Indulgz it was more like a rowdy party and kinda stressed me out coordinating everyone's timing and bringing props - so today I'm just relaxed, double-dating and happy!



Mike and I arrived first. It seems to rain everytime we go to Indulgz! That sounds like a mood-dampener but I actually felt extra romantic cozying inside the snug restaurant. :)



Beautifully decorated for Xmas. The people here really don't scrimp on making the ambiance right.



I'm dressed in a high neck, bare-back ruffled navy blue dress!

Very Christmasy right?



Mike in his usual boring clothes. I need to bring him shopping.


Us


Ming and Estee arrives!


I asked Mike to help us girls take the traditional photo at Indulgz' entrance.



Bah. Before I know what was going on, Mike already snatched the camera and proceeded to take a picture in double quick time. He then shoved the cam to me, like "Ok done, let's go back in"!!

The pic is totally fail lor! I told him to take another.



Same fail picture! No warning or 1,2,3 or whatever! I asked him to take another and he was like, "You want me to stand in the rain somemore?!"

He was so grouchy that day! I forgive him though coz I think he just can't wait to start on the food.



Third pic still not great but passable.



Ming and Estee.

Today we got to preview the Xmas and New Year menu!

Xmas ones are available on Xmas eve and day - and each meal comes with a Xmas cocktail. You can pick to come at 5.30pm to 8pm, or 8.30pm to 11pm. $89.90 per set!


The New Year menu is available from 31 Dec 2008 to 1st Jan 2009.


Foooooooooooood!



CLEAR CHICKEN CONSOMME (Xmas)

Ming and Estee were impressed by Indulgz's first dish!

This newly created soup tastes just like how I remember my grandma used to boil hearty soups - except even better.

It is savoury and sweet and when you drink it, you immediately know that someone took a damn long time to boil this such that all the ingredients' favours are fully infused into the soup!




Check out the smoke! I should take home some to drink during a cold night while watching an old movie with Mike. :D

And the best part about these clear soups is that you will never get tired of drinking it!



See?



CREAMY HOMEMADE CRAB BISQUE (Xmas)


Yums! I've already gushed about this before but here we go again!

This soup is thick, seafoody and creamy at the same time. I don't know how they do it!





The crab is painstakingly handpicked from cruel shells and served to us lazy eaters.


Our soups.



Just as we were craving for drinks, our cocktail is served to us.



SPARKLING CHRISTMAS (Xmas of course)

This is included in the Xmas set meal and it's sparkling joy in a glass!

Normally I hate anything alcoholic but Indulgz has mastered the art of making alcohol taste like any other sweet drink - yet it's pretty strong.

This is made of sweet white wine and something else... Some of us guessed plum, some guessed ginger beer, and I think it tastes like apple! It's actually passionfruit.

Maybe you can be a better guesser than all of us.



Cheers!



Ming and Estee said they look ugly in this pic so I chopped off their heads.


After Cocktail fun

Mike and I tied knots with cherry stems while Ming and Estee looked on, laughing.

Ming asked why people bother to do that and I said it's for girls to prove that their tongues are super strong and will do great in blowjobs and kisses.

Honestly though, it's not that hard to tie a knot so I doubt it proves anything! I think the double knot one is probably really hard. Know anyone who can do that?



Soup finished.



Nice pic! I'm thinking of framing it.



Yippee! Free candy cane!



Next we are served more soups:



WHOLESOME CLAM CHOWDER (NY)



Creamy and delicious! Very tasty and chockful of whole baby clams!



Loves! Normally clam chowders are a litle too thick for my liking. I like that Indulgz's is slightly less thick, but still very creamy and tasty.

There's corn, carrot and celery bits in it. Eeww to the celeries. But I didn't taste them at all coz they are all cooked till real soft.

Major Yums:



CREAMY TOMATOP AND SCALLOP SOUP (NY)

Does this make your mouth water or what?!

Indulgz makes this soup from scratch with real tomatoes that are pureed till they are reduced to this state!

The final result is very tasty tomato soup that's more sweet than it is sour - yet very creamy.

It's like tomatos full blast without the sour and raw part of it. :)

Did I neglect to mention that thing in the middle?


That's right, fresh jumbo scallop!

Needless to say how nice and fresh this is.



I do the cutting to prevent fights.



Proof that we loved it.



Time to cleanse our palette!


We had an intermission of...







STRAWBERRY COINTREAU SORBET (Xmas)




I love sorbets! This one is lovingly homemade and tastes like strawberries margarita. Cointreau is used so it's not too strong (but still quite strong as in alcoholic amount, not taste).

It is very refreshing and totally does its job of cleansing your palette for the main courses.


MAINS:




ROASTED PORK LOIN with
HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS STUFFINGS (Xmas)


This is cooked using the most tender cut of loin, and roasted for hours and hours to retain its juices!

Comes with sweet mashed potatoes and festive Xmas stuffings - and not to mention a dash of red wine sauce to go with the pork.

The stuffings are sweet and immediately reminds me of the joy of Xmas!

Made of walnuts, apples, raisins - among other things.



Ming keeps praising this dish and saying how difficult it is to make a meat so dense so juicy and soft.

One mystery though!

HOW DID THE CHEF CUT THE HOLE FOR THE STUFFINGS???????


The loin is in one whole piece and they said "no meat is wasted". We guessed they drilled a hole in the pork but it is not the right method.

Any guesses? Please tell me coz I am dying of curiosity! The chef won't share his secret. :(




BAKED SEABASS w CAVIAR SAUCE (Xmas)


Baby seabass - marinated and grilled. Served with white wine caviar sauce and fine beans. Drenched with a generous amount of almond flakes.




I love this!

The fish is exceedingly fresh and every bite is full of zest as the fish is done just right with really crispy skin!

The flavour is magically brought out with seasonings on the fish (peppery and salty) as well as, interestingly enough, the almonds.





Pork Loin and Seabass gone! I actually finished the fine beans and mashed potatoes after that.

I know. I'm so gluttony!





Grumpy Mike is happier now!

More courses await us....





GRILLED RIBEYE w Mushroom ragout,
Sauteed spinach and red wine sauce (NY)


I thought that Indulgz's beef can never get any better, but they prove me wrong time and again.

Their beef is well-marbled, and kept fresh by promising never to freeze but to chill.

Ribeye is the second most expensive cut of beef following tenderloin, and...



every bite is really like some taste explosion!

It's very juicy and more juices flow out with every chew. *goes soft thinking about it*

And what makes it even more perfect now is the combination of a few of my favourite things: Namely sauteed spinach and creamy mushrooms!

Omg!!

Omg again!

So fucking nice.



I know you are salivating.



But enough gushing about the beef. Next!!




PAN-ROASTED RED SNAPPER
w Carrot Butter Sauce (NY)



Fresh red snapper... Comes with creamy carrot sauce and asparagus.

Bonus: Also comes with 2 deep-fried oysters!



Soft, meaty and just divine on the inside, with a crispy skin on top of it.

The carrot cream sauce is innovative yet well made. The initial taste is cream and the aftertaste is a subtle taste of carrots.

Mike is overjoyed at the sight of this coz Red Snapper is his favourite fish.

We play with the candy canes.



Force-feeding Mike. "EAT THIS!"






Estee thinks of a better thing to do with the candy cane:



Haha! Looks good on you, Ming!


One more dish awaits us! This is the Special for this week. There will be at least one special dish every week to entice your tastebuds. If you would like to find out what is the specials of the week, just give Indulgz a call at 6238 7032.


We got...



CREAMY SEAFOOD and
ANGEL HAIR PASTA


for our special!



Filled with mussels, squid and salmon chunks... Soft angel's hair pasta... Covered in creamy sauce.



Generous portions.

We tuck in!



Check out the piping hot goodness.



I thought I was goddamn full by this point but I still ate it! Coz it's damn nice!

Normally I like my pasta al dente, but since angel's hair is so fine, it can never be semi-cooked like normal pasta can.

Nonetheless, it more than makes up for it because being so fine, the pasta soaks up more sauce than it normally will. It's something different, yet nice for a change!

The pasta is soft but not mushy, and goes great with the cream sauce!


DESSERT TIME!!!!!!!




Can anyone guess that this is?

We guess banana cake, chocolate, and other rubbish (after tasting it mind you) and we were all wrong!



STICKY DATE and WALNUT PUDDING (Xmas)


Interesting isn't it!?

I'm very impressed because usually interesting stuff are not very yummy but this is great!

It is generously sided with Indulgz's homemade caramel sauce. The inside is nutty, sticky, and sweet with an edge to it.

The slightly burnt aftertaste of the caramel also goes really well with the dense cake.

On top of it is something also surprising: SOUR CREAM!

And remarkably enough it goes great with the cake! It's like magic! Just like parma ham goes with melon! Or Mike goes with me! Hahaha



Estee likes it.


Last but not least, we have our Chocolate Mousse!



MILK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE w
White Chocolate Shavings (NY)




Chocolate mousse is relatively common but getting it absolutely right is not easy!

This one is perfect:



It tastes like soft chocolate ice-cream that's extra creamy and melts in your mouth. Love!




Chef Lawrence comes out to greet us!

I told him that this photo is very boring so I told him to give a cuter pose.


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.




Now he looks like a happy chef!



Happy meal thanks to him!

Wonder if he feels a lot of job satisfaction? Coz we love his food!



Proof.

Please call Indulgz at 62387032 for reservations or email them at reservations!!



Work in a company and would like to book a venue for corporate functions? Now you can at Indulgz! Check out this flyer for more info:








*****************************************


Mike and I just did something that makes me snigger in happiness everytime I think about it.

See, we had a pest problem.

Our door, our dear vulnerable wooden door, is attacked by what is called "woodborers".

Everyday an irritating amount of round hard wooden... shavings? pellets? fall out from under the door!

Day after day we keep stepping on these wood bits and after literally a year of procrastination, I decided to call the pest exterminators to come over to see what the hell is the problem with my stupid door.

The people from Ridokill (is this how to spell it?) were really nice and two guys came over wearing lethal-looking masks and looked like they were about to stop all my problems and give the culprits a good spanking at the same time.

The guys felt underneath the door and declared that there are indeed beetles living inside the door, because they could feel the little holes.

Apparently, these bastards eat the wood and multiply... AND GUESS WHAT?


THEY SHIT TRUCKLOADS.

That's right.

Those little wooden pellets that we thought we were stepping on is actually their GODDAMN FECES!

I've been stepping on them and going on my bed and sleeping literally with beetle shit!

CCB!

So anyway, the guys sprayed something that the beetles won't like into the holes.

"M'dm," he declared. "I cannot guarantee that this will kill all the beetles because the holes might be very deep and maybe the spray cannot reach them. But if they go to the area with the spray, they will die."

"Take how long to die?" I asked, imagining a beetle struggling for life futilely on its back and smiling to myself.

"Immediately." My smile widened.

I paid him $120.

Before he left he also assured me that their corpses will remain inside the door and not drop out of it, inconveniencing me. I know, right? How sweet of the beetles to die in a considerate way.

So weeks later...







Still the fuckers are alive and shitting!

I fucking had enough!


One day, Mike took clear duct tape and taped up the bottom portion of the door where their housing entrance is!!!


I imagine this is what will happen to them.


Day 1:


Young beetle:

Ma... I can't get out of the house for a bit for fresh air.



Mom beetle, looks up from eating my door and shitting at the same time:

Good. Come eat some more of this wood.



Young beetle:

Mommmmmmm........ I am sick of eating the same shit everyday! I want to eat something else! And I want to have a life!



Mom beetle:

Om nom nom.




Day 23:


Beetle:

Why is it so smelly?



Day 40:

Beetle:

ARGH! My humongous amount of shit is catching up with me! I am literally suffocating with the shit that's threatening to engulf me! Help! I have no space to manoeuvre! Oh dear what should I do what should I do?

If I don't eat I won't shit anymore but I will die of hunger. If I eat I get more space to move but I also will shit! Arghhhhhhhhhhhh! My life is a meaningless tragedy!

Oh but delicious wood! Om nom nom.



Day 50:

Beetles are dead and squished up in their own shit pellets - which they used to torment me and Mike for a year. It's almost like poetic justice or something.



********************************


New video clips!

XIAXUE'S GUIDE TO LIFE



Bff finals! Check out who wins!



CHICK VS DICK




Who beats who at Twister?
Would you get to see Paul's butt crack? Find out yourself!


***********************************


p/s: Ten years ago when I was 14 and Prince William was 16, all I thought of was marrying the cutest prince ever (that was before Harry usurped his position) and becoming a princess. Now, in year 2008, I got to see his penis. It's like... inconceivable. I am this much closer to my dream.

What does this tell us, girls? That's right... Anything is possible.


p/p/s: I demand that I am also shown Jerry Yan's appendage!!!!!

Just joking. I only love Mike and penises frighten me.


p/p/p/s: Don't know if you have seen this, but it's really funny.
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