Saturday, June 15

What's the Fastest Way to Peel a Bunch of Garlic?

What's the Fastest Way to Peel a Bunch of Garlic?If you've spent any time in the kitchen, you know how to knife-smash and peel a clove of garlic. But what should you do when a recipe calls for a whole bulb or more? The chefs at Stack Exchange have the answer.

How should I approach peeling a clove of garlic to get the skin off quickly? Is it different if I'm doing a bulb whole?

See the original question.

The Traditional Method: Answered by Crispy

Even with a whole bulb, break it into cloves. Put clove(s) on a cutting board. I usually cut off the root end of each clove. Lay a large chef's knife flat on the clove, then smack the knife to crush the clove. This breaks the skin of the clove and makes it much easier to peel.

Note: Be sure NOT to use a ceramic knife. It can easily break.

The Shake Trick: Answered by Joe

The trick is that you're bruising the clove of garlic a little bit so the paper will release easier. If you're using a bulb or less, it's not too bad to do the side of the knife press method, but if you're cooking up a recipe that calls for a dozen heads, there's an alternate trick:

  • Break the head into cloves.
  • Put the cloves into a sealable hard-sided container much larger (10x or more) than the garlic.
  • Shake the hell out of it for about 15-30 seconds. Pull out the cloves, and the paper should come off easily.
  • If cloves are still difficult to release, shake longer and more vigorously.
  • Repeat for the remaining bulbs. You can do this with two metal bowls of the same size, pressing together the lip on the rims while shaking.

Note: I don't recommend plastic containers, as you might impart a garlic flavor to them that will be difficult to remove.

The Shake Trick: Video: Answered by Hugh

Check out this great video on peeling garlic. It's basically the same method as that described in Joe's answer: Smash the head, put it all (if you need a whole head of garlic) in a large metal bowl, put another metal bowl on top, but upside down (so that the rims overlap), and shake hard for several seconds.

The Garlic Peeler/Roller: Answered by JeffG

I call them "Garlic Cannoli." (Actually, they're called, simply, "garlic peelers.") For Christmas, I gave my wife one of these as a stocking-stuffer. I had seen them in kitchen gadget stores for years, but was always reluctant to get one, believing it was another useless, cheap gadget. I was wrong! I used to peel garlic using a knife, but now, I can peel a clove every five seconds.

It's essentially a silicon or rubber tube. You place the clove inside and lightly press it and roll it on the counter, like you're forming a baguette. Penny for penny, I've never had such a useful gadget (except maybe a silicon spatula).

Disagree? Find more answers or leave your own at the original post. See more questions like this at Seasoned Advice, the cooking site at Stack Exchange. And of course, feel free to ask a question yourself.

via Lifehacker

Friday, June 14

Jeff Uitto's Amazing Driftwood Sculptures






Jeff Uitto, an artist on the coast of Washington state, creates breathtakingly vibrant sculptures from driftwood. I'm especially pleased by his architectural works, which look like settings from The Lord of the Rings.

Link -via Recylart

via Neatorama

Wednesday, June 12

Everything You Didn't Know You Could Do with Google's Voice Commands

Everything You Didn't Know You Could Do with Google's Voice Commands

Voice search is one of those features that seems silly, but is awesome once you start using it. Not convinced? Here are a few ways to turn voice search from a silly gimmick into a useful productivity tool.

Why Voice Commands Rock

Google's been pushing voice actions for awhile, adding tons of new features and trying to make it seem more appealing. I, like many of you, thought the whole thing was pretty silly until I actually started using it. Now, I realize that it actually solves my biggest cellphone annoyance: typing on phones sucks.

Voice search, on the other hand, is fast. Really fast. On Android, all it takes is a quick swipe up from the bottom of your screen to access Google Now, after which you can just say what you want and be on your way (iPhone users have to do a bit more work, unless they're jailbroken). No tapping, no correcting typos (as long as you're in a reasonably quiet room, of course), and no scrolling through menus for contacts if you're trying to call a friend. You can do everything nearly instantaneously—and it's more than just search.

Search for Information

Everything You Didn't Know You Could Do with Google's Voice Commands

Obviously, searching the web is one of Voice Actions' biggest features, but it's more than just a faster way to type a search query. The more Google's "Knowledge Graph" grows, the more voice search actually becomes worthwhile, since it gives you a very straightforward answer to the things you ask. Here are some of the cooler things you can ask:

  • How many quarts are in a gallon? Everybody knows Google can make calculations and perform conversions, but boy, it's a lot faster to ask it than it is to type it in. This is especially handy when you're in the kitchen and just need a quick answer, when you want to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, or...anything having to do with the imperial and metric systems, really.
  • Define "bellwether." My friend and I didn't know what this word actually meant, so I just asked Google.
  • Show me a video of how to peel garlic. If you specify that you want a video, Google will ensure videos show up at the top of your search results. The same works for images, too: Show me pictures of the Playstation 4 will push image search results right to the top. You can even give it more detail, like Show me pictures of the Lincoln Memorial at sunset.
  • When does Whole Foods close? This is way faster than looking it up on Yelp or Google yourself.
  • What's the weather like this weekend? Weather apps are usually just a tap away, but this is nice if you want to see the weather for a specific day without having to scroll through a bunch of information, I suppose.
  • When is Father's Day? I hate holidays that change every year.
  • What's a good Thai restaurant near me? It'll search nearby Thai restaurants. If you change your mind, you can then ask How about Mexican? It'll understand you're still searching for restaurants nearby and act accordingly.
  • How long is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? As if you didn't already know the answer was "too long."
  • What is area code 909? This is awesome for when you get those unnamed calls.
  • Who is the CEO of Ford Motor Company? Google knows who a lot of people are.
  • When is the next Red Wings game? You can also ask for the score of the last game, and other such things.
  • What time is it in Tokyo? Never try to convert time zones in your head again.
  • What is the status of US Airways flight 200? There are already a lot of other apps that deal with stuff like this (and can do more), but it's good to know that Google can do it too.
  • What's the theme song to Firefly? Shocker: it's not called "You can't take the sky from me."

You get the idea. It knows a lot more than you probably think it does, and anything you can ask, it can probably answer. Of course, if you're doing real research, this isn't helpful—but it's great for that quick stuff that you just need an answer to right away.

Integrate It With Your Android Apps

Everything You Didn't Know You Could Do with Google's Voice Commands

That's all fine and dandy, but if you're on Android, voice actions also integrate with a lot of apps on your system—and not just the built-in apps, either. Here are some really cool uses for it:

  • Text Kathleen "when are you coming home?" Okay, you probably already knew about this one—it's been around forever. But, did you know you can give your contacts "phonetic names" so Google can understand the more complicated ones? Just head into your address book, edit that contact, and add the phonetic name field to help it out. You can use a similar command to make calls, too.
  • Create new calendar event, lunch with Zach at 12:30 pm. Creating calendar events is a lot faster than it used to be on your phone, but it's still one of the slowest, most annoying processes I've come across. This is so much faster.
  • Note to self: I'm parked on level C3. This used to just make a draft in Gmail with that text, but now you can use it to add a note to Google Keep, Evernote, or Catch, which is awesome.
  • Set alarm for 30 minutes from now, label, get laundry. This is much faster than opening up the clock app and setting it manually.
  • Remind me to call Mom tomorrow at 2 pm. We've talked about this one before, but no list of productive voice commands would be complete without it.
  • Navigate me to The Alibi Room. This immediately starts navigation to my favorite taco restaurant, no searching or addresses necessary. You can also add phrases like "on foot" if you want walking navigation.
  • Call the Culver Hotel. Similar to the above, if it can find what you're talking about, it'll help you skip the search step and get straight to your call.
  • Listen to Never Gonna Give You Up. This will start searching your music library for that song, but you can also pull it up on YouTube if you don't have it on your phone, which is pretty cool.
  • What's this song? No need for Shazam anymore. This trick will work for finding out what's playing wherever you are. (You can also just tap the mic, then tap the music note icon instead of saying "What's this song?")
  • Integrate it with tons of web services. If you have an app that doesn't integrate with voice actions, you can usually work around this. If it integrates with SMS or email, then you can make it work with voice actions by adding its SMS code or email to your contacts. For example, you could add your Facebook email address to your contacts, call it "Facebook Post," and say something like Send email to Facebook Post: I'm using Google Voice search! and it'll post that status to your Facebook.

Do voice commands work perfectly every time? Absolutely not. It doesn't really work in loud rooms, and sometimes it just doesn't understand you (I tried to look up what a "morel" was the other day, but it just kept telling me what "morals" were). But, once you start using it, you'll get the hang of which stuff it does well and which stuff it doesn't. After that small initial learning curve, you'll realize you can save a ton of time with it over opening your browser and typing.

via Lifehacker

Sunday, June 9

Six Communication Tricks That Will Get Your Kids to Cooperate

Six Communication Tricks That Will Get Your Kids to Cooperate

As the parent of a preschooler, I often notice myself feeling frustrated and asking myself, “Why won’t she cooperate?!” If you have a young child at home, I know you understand. There are times when I’m tired or hungry or in a rush and I just want my daughter to do exactly as I say instantly without questioning, avoiding, or delaying.

What I’ve noticed is that as soon as I get attached to things going a certain way, my daughter has different ideas. I can understand why. Nobody likes to be forced to do anything. Not even young kids. Or maybe especially not young kids. I mean, toddlers and preschoolers are just developing their will and learning to act independently of us. So, of course they’re going to push back when we thrust our will upon them.

As a preschool teacher and now as a mom, I’ve discovered that there are certain things I can do that greatly increase the chances that kids will cooperate with me. Here are six secrets to getting kids to cooperate that have worked like a charm for me:

Invite, Don’t Demand

We all want our children to “ask nicely,” but the truth is, that’s easier said than done. My question is, where do you think they learned to be demanding and inflexible? Oh yeah, from us! If we want our kids to cooperate, then we’ve got to be the bigger, more mature ones and lead by example. Contrary to popular belief, asking nicely, inviting, and working together to find a solution to a problem doesn’t teach children to be more defiant or disobedient, instead, by doing these things you’re laying a foundation of trust and teamwork that your kids will soon learn to rely on.

Use this quick test to figure out whether your request is actually a demand. Ask yourself, “Would it be OK if they answered ‘no’ to this request?” If not, then you’re not actually inviting or asking, you’re demanding or requiring a specific behavior. That’s OK some of the time, especially if safety is an issue, but remember, the more demands you make on your kids, the less true, internally motivated cooperation you’re likely to get.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t have expectations of your children. It’s just that when those expectations aren’t met, it’s helpful to see that as an opportunity to problem solve together, rather than an excuse to punish them into submission.

Turn it Into a Game

Kids love to play. When you can make something fun, they’re far more likely to get on board. This does require some creativity and spontaneity on your part. When your child refuses to leave the park, can you find a way to make getting to the car more fun? Maybe you’ll pretend you’re firefighters and you have to jump into the firetruck to go put out the fire. Or perhaps you’ll race, or hop like a bunny, or offer a ride on your shoulders. Making things more fun isn’t just a great way to gain your child’s cooperation, it’s also a way to enjoy your time with them more. I mean, which would you prefer, a power struggle where you force your child kicking and screaming into his care seat or a fun game in which he climbs in willingly?

If you’re not sure what kind of a game will work best, tune in to your child’s interests. If she loves princesses, then you’ll be her knight in shining armor or her trusty steed. If he’s into trucks, you can ask if he wants to be fork-lifted into the car. Or maybe you’ve just read a story about a friendly fish, so try acting it out! If you just can’t seem to come up with an idea, ask your child what to play. Most kids are more than ready with a suggestion for a fun game or activity that you can alter slightly to fit your agenda.

Stop Repeating Yourself

This is a mistake we all make, especially when we’re not getting the results we want. Trust me that repeating yourself is the last thing you want to do if you’re trying to foster cooperation. Your child heard you the first time, and by repeating yourself, you’re simply training her to stop listening and wait for you to get frustrated before she acts.

Children are discovering all sorts of things about the world around them, including vast amounts of information about social/emotional dynamics. When they throw you off your game or induce you to get frustrated or upset, they’re gathering very interesting data about how to get what they want and what might cause you to reconsider your position. Don’t fall prey to their cunning.

When you can keep your cool and maintain clear boundaries, your kids will still test you, but after they’ve tested all their theories about how to get around your rule with no success, they will find other areas far more interesting and emotionally rich.

Be Forgetful

But what about when you’ve asked once and they’re not responding? Instead of asking again, take a different tack. Be forgetful and invite them to remind you what you said a moment ago. “Wait, I forget, didn’t I just ask you to do something? What was that? I think we were getting ready to go somewhere, but can you please remind me where?”

This allows the kids to be the smarter ones and if there’s one thing children love, it’s being smarter and more capable than adults.

Let Them Be In Charge

That’s why you’ll get a lot more cooperation when you allow them to be in charge. No need to constantly corral them, just put one child in charge of getting everyone ready and out the door and you’ll be surprised how quickly it will happen. This works especially well with my daughter when I underestimate her abilities and she gets to prove how smart and capable she is. “You don’t know how to do that all by yourself, do you?” And then when she has her shoes on and is climbing into her car seat, “Wow, you knew exactly what to do to get ready to go and you did know how to do it!”

Cooperate With Them

There are times when even the most cooperative child just needs some extra help. This could be because they’re tired, sick, hungry, or just feeling sad and disconnected. So if nothing else seems to work, offer to help. During times like this, we like to play a game in which my daughter pretends to be a baby and I have to do everything for her. After just a few moments of this game, she is far more willing to do what I’ve asked or help me with something. That’s because she knows that when she really needs some extra support, I’m there to willingly and happily provide her with the support she needs.

6 Secrets to Getting Kids to Cooperate | Lifehack

Shelly Phillips is passionate about being the best human she can possibly be and supporting others to do the same. She has helped hundreds of clients overcome personal challenges and develop the skills to live happier, more authentic lives. You can find her conscious parenting blog here, and Her Authentic World team here: Follow her on Twitter here or email her at shelly at

Illustration by Tina Mailhot-Roberge.

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How To Stop Work Overload With a Few Simple Boundaries

How To Stop Work Overload With a Few Simple Boundaries

Why is it that when your friends, family, and significant other tell you, "You need to stop working so much!"—you hesitate? On the one hand, you know they have a point. It's unsustainable to pull 12-to-14-hour days on a consistent basis, and you feel burnt-out and cranky. But when it comes to actually setting boundaries, you stall and tell yourself and others, "It's just a busy time. It will get better soon..."

But, it doesn't. And you find yourself wedged between the fact that you can't seem to get everything done and the feeling that maybe the problem isn't the situation—it's you. You feel guilty that everyone else seems to complete everything, but you can't. You worry that if you ask for help or say, "No," to anything that everyone will discover you're an imposter who doesn't add enough value.

Although those fears are understandable, they aren't necessary valid. As a time coach, I've found that one of the biggest keys to achieving balance is to start objectively evaluating the fact-based aspects of your schedule, rather than letting a vague sense of fear drive your decisions. No matter how valuable a team member you may be, no one can fit 100 hours of work into 40 hours a week, or even 60 hours. You can start to make changes once you have confidence that the expectations of yourself and others really are unreasonable and that you can set boundaries in a respectful, constructive manner.

Here are five steps to gain that confidence, which you can apply on an individual level or a group level if you have responsibility for managing the expectations of your team:

Step 1: Develop a Time Budget

People who manage their finances well follow a few consistent principles. For one, they spend only what they have, so they avoid unnecessary debt and the corresponding stress and cost. They also make sure that they allocate their money correctly, so that they have sufficient funds for everything they need to buy. Finally, they cut costs where they can, without a significant negative impact, and make sure to put money into investments where they have a good probability of a return. The same principles apply with effective time investment. To have a clear sense of what you can reasonably handle, you should start out by calculating how many hours you have to "spend" each week. If you tend toward over-allocating time toward work, you can do the calculations in reverse. For example:

Hours/Day to Work = 24 - (Number of Hours of Sleep) - (Commute) - (Personal Commitments) - (Exercise) - (Self Care)

By "personal commitments," I'm referring to items in your schedule that are an essential part of you feeling fulfilled. These vary from person to person but could include family time, volunteer responsibilities, social activities, or personal passions like playing the piano. Also, eating, showering, and getting ready fall under "self care." Once you have a sense of your daily time budget, you can calculate your weekly time budget by adding up the totals for each day. For some people, each day will look similar. For others, their personal commitments create large variations in their day-to-day time budget.

Once you understand the size of your time budget, then you can evaluate the different time costs during your workday. For example, you have "maintenance" activities like answering e-mail or planning, "execution" activities like attending meetings or completing a report, and "development" activities like networking or marketing. I recommend making a list of all the different elements of your workday and then either writing down an initial time estimate or percentage for each one.

For instance, 20% of my workday consists of answering e-mail, 50% of project work, and 30% of development activities. Make sure to not only consider the cost for a particular item but also the associated costs. For instance, a one-hour meeting could come with the related expenses of 15 minutes of travel time each way, 30 minutes of prep, and 15 minutes of follow up. That means that the total expense comes to 2.25 hours. So if you work a 9-hour day and want to spend no more than 50% of your time in meetings, then that limits you to an average of two meetings per day and ten meetings per week.

Step 2: Make Cuts Where You Can

After developing a time budget, you'll typically find that you really did expect more of yourself than you could possibly fit into the hours in a day. But that doesn't mean it's time to go running to your manager yet. Instead, you need to take a very careful look at how you spend your time and cut where you can, first.

One of the readers of my book took this advice to heart when she faced a major time crunch at work. Instead of trying to fight the reality of her time budget, she took this action:

"I was (once again) up against way too many competing projects with the same deadline and then trying to juggle other on-going & long-term projects too, which was causing lots of stress! So, I thought about what was causing the stress and tried to tackle things I had control of without just defaulting to working a lot of overtime. For example, I contacted one of the project managers with the longer-term project to see if it was possible to 'pause' my effort on his project over a two-week period, and he agreed with some negotiations. So that was about 24 hours saved over the two weeks. Then I attacked a few other aspects of the problem by recruiting some more part-time help from another department, adjusting the scope of one project, gaining an extension on another project, etc., etc. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and a victim of the circumstances, I felt SO powerful!"

You may need to take such extreme measures in times of work crisis, or you may take more subtle measures, such as taking yourself out of nonessential meetings, asking your colleagues to review items with you during one-on-one meetings instead of sending you 50 e-mails throughout the week, stepping off of a committee, turning off your e-mail pop-up, or spending less time on items where spending more time to get them perfect doesn't add value. Challenge your assumptions on what you should do and how long you should spend on different activities. If possible, only commit to putting tasks on your weekly to-do list if you have space to fit them into your schedule.

Step 3: Compare Expected Versus Actual

Once you've started to come to terms with the fact that time is limited and you've taken advantage of the quick wins, you'll need to further refine your estimates to compare expected versus actual time allotments. For instance, maybe you think that e-mail should only take one hour out of your day. But when you actually look at the time you spend, you find that it always takes two. (Any sort of tracking will do, but if you want to be precise, tools like RescueTime can help you to know exactly how you spend time on your computer.) When faced with the reality of the situation, you'll need to see if you can take time-cutting measures like writing more succinct responses, using tools like TypeIt4Me or asking for different e-mail strategies at work. If none of those reduce the time allocation, then instead of fighting the reality, you'll need to increase your budget in that area.

Using the 80/20 rule can also help you make everything fit within your time budget. But this will require you to more fully embrace the facts that you can't do everything and you can't please everyone. For instance, as you start to look at the value from different activities, you may find that declining meetings that people would like you to attend, but that keep you from your highest priority tasks, is the correct answer. Or you may discover that you need to spend less time than you might have thought to make the correct amount of impact.

For example, showing up for 30-45 minutes at your company happy hour may have almost as much impact as staying for two hours. By cutting out earlier, you can have time to invest an hour in exercise or finishing a proposal, which will have a dramatic return on the time investment. Although some of these choices may make people uncomfortable — especially you — the short-term discomfort caused by changing your natural default response will have a big pay-off in the long term.

Step 4: Ask For Direction

If you've followed the above three steps and still can't seem to accomplish everything you need to do, it's time to take courage and ask for help. You can do so in a clear, objective way as outlined below. But before you do, bolster your confidence by looking over the facts of your time budget once more and reminding yourself that you have no reason to feel guilty or like a failure. No one can do the impossible, so the fact that you're over your time budget isn't a judgment about you, but a sign that you need to adjust your overall environment.

Here's how to approach time budget negotiations with your manager and/or people who try to put more items into your schedule:

• Gather Your Facts: Have a concise list of projects and a rough estimate of how long the various tasks take you to do. (If you've followed the above three steps, you should already have this on hand.)
• Develop a Visual: This could look as simple as printing out your weekly calendar after having filled in both meetings and times for tasks, or as complex as displaying a full-scale project plan. The form matters less than the goal of showing the incongruence between the available time and the requested activities.
• Present the Information: Instead of seeing this as a battle between you and the people desiring work from you, approach these expectations negotiations as strategic sessions where you are working together to maximize the value you can contribute. Maybe a task could be demoted in priority, be delegated, or be simplified so that you can have more time to focus on the highest priority tasks. When done in this manner, asking for direction with setting priorities doesn't have to come across as disrespectful or insubordinate, but as a joint effort to work within the reality of your time limitations.

Step 5: Keep Rebalancing

Due to the dynamic nature of life and work, you can't simply set your schedule and then leave it for the next 10 years. Typically on a daily or weekly (or at the very least a monthly) basis, you will need to balance and rebalance your schedule. This means that if you had an under-allocation of time toward a particular activity one week, like processing e-mail, you will need to spend more time on it the following week. Or maybe one week you need to completely focus on presentation prep, so the next week you catch up on meetings. The realistic goal is to have the correct allocation of time within your workweek—and between your work and non-work time—average out correctly.

As a final word of encouragement—and warning—practicing what I've outlined will not only leave you healthier and happier, but also more humble. When you start to embrace your limits, you'll need to admit that you aren't perfect and can't do everything, especially all at once. If you have always been the go-to perfectionist on the team, this adjustment in your behavior could leave you feeling a bit at a loss in terms of your identity. You'll need to redefine who you are such as "the person who remains calm and delivers on-time, quality work" instead of "the stressed-out team member who meets ridiculously short deadlines and never says, No." This transition will take time but will ultimately empower you to enjoy the journey and make life more pleasant for those around you too.

Stop Work Overload By Setting These Boundaries | Harvard Business Review

Image via Jukree Boonprasit (Shutterstock).

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Fireflies of the Great Smoky Mountains in Elkmont, Tennessee

America's fireflies have been keeping a secret.

In 1680, Dutch physician Engelbert Kaempfer, on a voyage down the Meinam River in Siam, recorded one of the earliest Western accounts of the coordinated flashing of Asian fireflies: “A whole swarm of these insects, having taken possession of one Tree, and spread themselves over its branches, sometimes hide their Light all at once, and a moment after make it appear again with the utmost regularity and exactness, as if they were in perpetual Systole and Diastole.”

The synchronized flashing was a scientific mystery. When Philip Laurent wrote about the phenomenon in the journal Science in 1917, he argued that, “For such a thing to occur among insects is certainly contrary to all natural laws,” and suggested that it was is not the fireflies that had flickered in unison, but the observer’s eyelids. Today, scientists have come to understand how such synchronized flashing can emerge through a process known as “coupled oscillation.”

Long thought to be an exclusively Southeast Asian phenomenon, the dazzling behavior was only discovered in an American firefly species (P. carolinus) in 1992. The American fireflies were first brought to the attention of scientists by a reader of Science News, who thought it odd that an article on Asian firefly synchronicity mentioned nothing about the bugs near her own home. She wrote a letter to a Steven Strogatz, a Cornell mathematician who studies synchronization:

I am sure you are aware of this, but just in case, there is a type of group synchrony lightning bug inside the Great Smoky Mountain National Park near Elkmont, Tennessee. These bugs “start up” in mid June at 10 p.m. nightly. They exhibit 6 seconds of total darkness; then in perfect synchrony, thousands light up 6 rapid times in a 3 second period before all going dark for 6 more seconds.

We have a cabin in Elkmont... and as far as we know, it is only in this small area that this particular type of group synchronized lightning bug exists. It is beautiful.

In 1995, scientists confirmed the existence of the Great Smoky Mountain synchronized fireflies, and have subsequently discovered other populations in the Congaree Swamp in South Carolina and other high-altitude locations in the Appalachian mountains. As this curious phenomenon remained undiscovered for years, it is quite possible that there are other varieties of fireflies blinking in unison throughout the United States, perhaps even in your own backyard.

via Atlas Obscura

Clever Farewell Message By Google Employees

Clever Farewell Message By Google Employees (image : traitor)


via Geeky Fun

Saturday, June 8

Photoshop Artist Creates Real-Time Bus Stop Ads

via Geeky Fun

Friday, June 7

Actors Laughing Between Movie Takes

That really was a Hattori Hanzo sword ... and this really is a gallery of actors laughing between movie takes, as uploaded by Redditor Join_You_In_The_Sun: Link - via reddit

via Neatorama

Calvin and Hobbes for June 07, 2013

via Calvin and Hobbes (Unofficial)

Luggage woes of Jack Dee, Eamonn Holmes and Theo Paphitis at Gatwick

At least his wife didn't end up having to wear one of his suits for the duration of their trip, as he later tweeted: "Mrs P's suitcase eventually found at Gatwick and told now in flight on way to Palma ETA 23.30 hopefully trip to airport and all well ...
See all stories on this topic »

via Google Alerts - gatwick

Baby Names from Nature

baby names

Yeah, I definitely should have gone with Dragonhunter and Hellbender for my daughters.

Compressed Flapwort? That's so terrible that I can see it becoming popular. Bird and Moon may have done more harm than good by publishing this comic.

Link -via It's Okay to Be Smart

via Neatorama

Thursday, June 6

Blue Cave of Bisevo in Bisevo Island, Croatia

The blue cave of Bisevo is not terribly easy to visit.

First, you must get yourself to the Croatian island of Vis, by ferry from the city of Split. Once there, travel by bus or motorbike to the other side of the island, the tiny fishing town of Komiza. There, hire a boat or tour to take you to the island of Bisevo, about an hour boat ride from Komiza. Then you will approach the cave via a small rubber raft, which is just small enough to enter the tiny cave entrance.

The Blue Cave (Modra Å¡pilja) is located at the Balun Cove on the eastern side of the island. Though Croatian fisherman have known of the blue cave since ancient times, it wasn't until 1884 that a (relatively) easy entrance was blasted out with dynamite. Before this small hole in the side of the rock was opened, the only entrance into the cave was to dive underneath the rock wall in just the right spot.

The cave is at its most beautiful between 11 am and 12 pm on a sunny day. The bright blue glowing effect is created when the sun's rays enter through the water and reflect off the limestone floor of the cave. The bright sun lights up the water, and the glowing ocean illuminates the cave walls a brilliant blue, creating a ethereal glowing blue grotto.

Though not an easy trek, it is a rewarding one - the blue cave is a truly enchanting natural wonder.

via Atlas Obscura

Cenote Xkeken in Valladolid, Mexico

Sunlight beams into the Cenote (Flickr/soyignatius)

Before the rise of 21st century Mexican drug kingpins, and severed heads in the desert, the Mexican Underworld had a significantly different meaning.

Instead of accessing the Underworld through a dirty backdoor in a cantina, pre-colonial Mayan tradition believed the gates to the beyond lay in cenotes.

Just a few kilometers from Valladolid in the Yucatan Peninsula, the landscape is dotted with natural sinkholes, leading straight down into the earth. Unlike their unsightly name, the sinkholes are beautiful and filled with crystal clear, blue-green water. They are easily accessible and have become a tourist hot spot due to their proximity to spring break destinations like Cancun.

Despite their obvious aesthetic attraction, the Cenotes in the region have a fascinating history, dating back to the Mayans who inhabited the Yucatan before colonialism. Since the Mayans believed the holes led to the afterlife, they would often drop important objects into the cenotes. Some legends also state they were used in human sacrifice, an oft-debated part of Mayan history.

Since most cenotes in the region were explored and studied by archeologists in the early 20th century, you are unlikely to be swimming with the remains of a Mayan sacrifice. You are more likely to simply enjoy a relaxing dip among the stalactites and radiant beams of sunlight from the outside world.

via Atlas Obscura

Gatwick Airport Photo Thread - 400 Scale Hangar

Gatwick Airport Photo Thread World Wide Spotters.

via Google Alerts - gatwick

Tips For Success: This Is Not Another Article About Failure

Your fear of failure might just be the thing that's stopping you from succeeding spectacularly and the thing that...stops you...from...doing the...yada, yada, yada...

Honestly, I couldn't go through with it. I don't think I can read another article about how important failure is. Let alone write one.

The necessity of failure to an endeavor is widely appreciated, but there's something else out there that's spoken about in hushed tones in dark alleyways. It can equal fear of failure when it comes to blocking what you want, but it's something a little more subtle, a little more nuanced, a little more insidious.

It's the Fear of Success.

Read more »

via Dumb Little Man - Tips for Life

Make a Toothbrush Holder with Sugru

Make a Toothbrush Holder with Sugru

Multi-purpose, all-wonderful Sugru can hack just about anything. Add to that list your toothbrush, by mounting it to the inside of your cabinet or anywhere else in a cinch.

One little package of Sugru can make a custom holder for two toothbrushes, as shown above. So as long as you usually buy the same brand of toothbrush (or similarly shaped ones), you can get rid of that toothbrush cup and declutter your sink.

Sugru toothbrush holder | Instructables

via Lifehacker

Wednesday, June 5

This Explains A Lot

This Explains A Lot (image : dogsinternet)

via Geeky Fun

WiSee uses WiFi signals to detect gestures from anywhere in your house (video)

DNP WiSee video

Have you always dreamed of controlling your TV by flailing in the next room? Researchers at the University of Washington have just the system for you: WiSee, a gesture-recognition interface that uses WiFi to control things like sound systems and temperature settings. Since WiFi signals are capable of passing through walls, WiSee can detect gestures made from neighboring rooms, breaking free from the line-of-sight method relied on by devices like Kinect and Leap Motion. Unlike those two, WiSee doesn't require an additional sensor; the software can theoretically be used with any WiFi-connected device and a router with multiple antennae to detect Doppler shifts created by movement. The prototype was tested in both an office environment and a two-bedroom apartment, and the team reported a 94% accuracy with a set of nine distinct gestures. If you watch the video, embedded after the break, you'll notice that each user performs an identifying motion prior to the control gesture. It's a trick the team picked up from studying Kinect's solution for distinguishing between specific individuals in crowded rooms. Intrigued? Head over to the source link to read the report in full.

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Via: The Verge

Source: University of Washington

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"The scariest chart in the world right now"

The hyperbolic description comes from a Twitter feed, but the ominous implications of high youth unemployment in terms of social unrest are certainly real.

Via The Dish.

via TYWKIWDBI ("Tai-Wiki-Widbee")