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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

iPhone OS on a touchscreen monitor, multi-touch and all


by John Biggs

Now this is the hack of the weekend or the hoax of the weekend. Some intrepid hackers have run what appears to be iPhone OS 2.x on a “multi-touch” monitor with accelerometer support. I’ve found a few examples of monitors that could potentially pull this off but I haven’t been able to pin down a model number. However, because iPhone OS is basically a Linux Mach kernel it should be bootable on Intel hardware - at least in an emulator - all of this is feasible.

We’ll do a little digging but as it stands it’s an impressive hack.

UPDATE - It looks like it comes from Dreamfield.se, a Swedish design firm. They say it’s from their “labs” but they’re of an artistic bent.

10 Photos of Bicycle Fail, 1 Photo of Bicycle Win

bike

It’s extremely difficult for anyone to look cool while riding a bicycle, the helmets, shorts, and sunglasses do not allow fr it. Consequently, the fact that the following 10 people are bicyclists gives them a head-start on the fail-o-meter.

Throw in a huge puddle, a manhole, and the occasional light-post and we’ve got what we’re affectionately calling the Top 10 Photos of Bicycle Fail (And 1 of Bicycle Win!).

We’ll begin with Number 10…

10. Needs a facemask

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9. Not even close

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8. Eeeerm

69 Awesome Bike Crash Pic

7. Pixelated, but worth a nod

aaa_4_10

6. Unhappy ending

83 Mega Fail

5. Brush by

mlm-failure-losing-bike-crash

4. Showoff

2387403706_5e3e510931

3. Manhole Manwet

BikeFall

2. Treadmarks

ouch-bike-fall

1. Smile!… WTF?

bikefail

And Finally, Epic Bike For The Win!

epicbike

See Them While You Can: Endangered Butterfly Gallery

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With so many creatures facing extinction, it’s heartening to read of the Large Blue butterfly’s resurgence.

One of six members of the Maculinea family, it was once found throughout England but had vanished by the early 1970s. That’s when University of Oxford ecologist Jeremy Thomas went to study the island’s last remaining population.

Before Thomas’ work, scientists knew the outlines of Maculinea arion’s fascinating life cycle. After hatching from eggs laid on thyme flowers, the tiny caterpillars fall to the ground and secrete chemicals that make them smell like ants, who promptly mistake them for ant larvae and bring them back to the colony. Under the ants’ protection, the caterpillars spend the next 10 months feasting on real ant larvae, then build cocoons near colony entrances. Two weeks later the butterflies wriggle free, walk out and make a winged getaway.

Thomas found that this chemical trickery worked on only a single species of ant, Myrmica sabuleti, and M. sabuleti was also in trouble. Because well-meaning farmers had stopped grazing their livestock in the butterflies’ habitat and a virus had depleted wild rabbit populations, hillside grasses grew so long that soil temperatures dropped by several degrees, or just enough to become inhospitable to M. sabuleti.

By 1979, the last Large Blue butterfly colony was dead, but Thomas’ observations survived. Conservationists reintroduced grazing animals, cleared the hillsides and imported large blue butterflies from Sweden. As of last year, butterfly populations have returned to pre-decline levels.

Thomas’ original data was published Monday in Science, and provides a welcome respite from tales of conservation woe. Dozens more butterfly species, including the rest of the Maculinea family, are endangered or threatened. A handful are shown in this photo gallery, but most don’t even have a picture on the internet. If they disappear, their beauty could be remembered as nothing more than a disembodied name.

Image: David Simcox

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Jay Leno’s 3D Printer Replaces Rusty Old Parts

Jay Leno has a lot of old cars with a lot of obsolete parts. When he needs to replace these parts, he skips the error-prone machinist and goes to his rapid prototyping 3D printer. Simply scan, print and repeat.



It’s an amazing way to fabricate parts. The 3D scanner next to Jay creates a digital model of this flanged nut from Jay’s EcoJet supercar. The nut takes 20 minutes to scan and reverse model and 3 hours to print in plastic.

One of the hardships of owning an old car is rebuilding rare parts when there are simply no replacements available. My 1907 White Steamer has a feedwater heater, a part that bolts onto the cylinders. It’s made of aluminum, and over the 100-plus years it’s been in use, the metal has become so porous you can see steam and oil seeping through. I thought we could just weld it up. But it’s badly impregnated with oil and can’t be repaired. If we tried, the metal would just come apart.

So, rather than have a machinist try to copy the heater and then build it, we decided to redesign the original using our NextEngine 3D scanner and Dimension 3D printer. These incredible devices allow you to make the form you need to create almost any part. The scanner can measure about 50,000 points per second at a density of 160,000 dots per inch (dpi) to create a highly detailed digital model. The 3D printer makes an exact copy of a part in plastic, which we then send out to create a mold. Some machines can even make a replacement part in cobalt-chrome with the direct laser sintering process. Just feed a plastic wire—for a steel part you use metal wire—into the appropriate laser cutter.

Inside the printer, the print head goes back and forth, back and forth, putting on layer after layer of plastic to form a 3D part. If there are any irregularities in the originals, you can remove them using software. Once the model is finished, any excess support material between moving parts is dissolved in a water-based solution. Complexity doesn’t matter, but the size of the object does determine the length of the process. Making a little part might take 5 hours. The White’s feedwater heater required 33 hours.

Any antique car part can be reproduced with these machines—pieces of trim, elaborately etched and even scrolled door handles. If you have an original, you can copy it. Or you can design a replacement on the computer, and the 3D printer makes it for you.

People say, “Why not just give the part to your machinist to make?” Well, if the machinist makes it wrong, you still have to pay for it. The scanner allows you to make an exact copy in plastic, fit it and see that it’s correct. Even when you take plans to a machinist, it can be tricky. Say the part must be 3 mm thick here and 5 mm there. You get it back and then, “Oh no, it doesn’t fit; it’s too thick,” or “It’s too thin.” My setup lets you create the perfect part. And you could press the button again and again—and keep making the part—twice the size, half-size, whatever you need. If you have a part that’s worn away, or has lost a big chunk of metal, you can fill in that missing link on the computer. Then you make the part in plastic and have a machinist make a copy based on that example. Or you can do what we do—input that program into a Fadal CNC machine; it reads the dimensions and replicates an exact metal copy.

Some guys are so used to working in the traditional ways. They’re old-school. So they’ve never seen this new technology in use—in fact, they’re not even aware it exists. When you work on old cars, you tend to work with old machinery like lathes, milling machines or English wheels. When someone tells you that you can take a crescent wrench, for example, scan it, then press a button, copy it, and make a new wrench, these guys say, “Well, that’s not possible. You can’t make the little wheel that moves the claw in and out. You’d have to make it in two sections.”

But they’re wrong. You can duplicate the whole tool.

They stand in front of the machine and watch a wrench being made, and they still don’t believe it. It’s like The Jetsons. George Jetson would say, “I want a steak dinner.” He’d press a button and the meal would come out of the machine, with the roasted potatoes and everything, all on one plate. We may not have the instant steak dinner yet—but my NextEngine system is like the car-guy equivalent.



A 3D printer uses the data from the 3D scanner to build a plastic replica.

If you had a one-off Ferrari engine, you could scan each part and then re-create the entire motor. Right now, we’re scanning a Duesenberg body. It’s a classic example of high tech melding with old tech. There are cars sitting in garages around the country, and they haven’t moved in years for lack of some unobtainable part. Now they can hit the road once more, thanks to this technology.

My 1907 White engine would never have run again because its slide valve (or D-valve) was shot. We built that part, and now the car is back on the street.

Let’s say you have an older Cadillac or a Packard, and you can’t get one of those beautifully ornate door handles. You could go to the big swap meet in Hershey, Pa., every day for the rest of your life and never find it. Or you could take the one on the left side of your car, copy it, use the computer to reverse it, and put that new part on the other side.

It’s an amazingly versatile technology. My EcoJet supercar needed air-conditioning ducts. We used plastic parts we designed, right out of the 3D copier. We didn’t have to make these scoops out of aluminum—plastic is what they use in a real car. And the finished ones look like factory production pieces.

When I was in high school, a friend’s father bought the new Pulsar LED watch. He paid $2200 for it. It had a red face; you pressed a button, it lit up and gave you the time. The next year I bought a similar watch from Texas Instruments for $19.99. I went over and showed it to my friend’s dad, and he was sooo angry.

The NextEngine scanner costs $2995. The Dimension uPrint Personal 3D printer is now under $15,000. That’s not cheap. But this technology used to cost 10 times that amount. And I think the price will come down even more.

These machines are not suited for mass production, but they work well for rapid prototyping. Just as eBay has made many swap meets go away, this machine could eliminate the need to go to eBay for parts. Think about it: What old part do you want to make?

10 Most Spectacular Drives in the World - ABC News

Worlds 10 Best Drives
Road of the Karakoram Highway leading towards cloud-swathed mountains.
(Lindsay Brown/Getty Images)

10 Most Spectacular Drives in the World - ABC News

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What it's like to use the iPhone 3G on Verizon's network

i3g,jpgLast week, when Apple introduced its new iPhone 3GS smartphone, it highlighted by omission what many feel is the product's weakest link - that, in the U.S., it's only available on the AT&T network.

When Apple listed the providers who'd be offering tethering and multimedia messaging when the phone is available on Friday, AT&T was noticeably absent. In fact, when the wireless provider was mentioned during the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, the audience reaction ranged from snickering to outright boos.

Indeed, AT&T is the ubiquitous wireless provider you love to hate. iPhone users complain its data network is slow and congested, that its voice service drops calls frequently, and that its 3G coverage is too limited. As I've written before, I hear all the time from people who wish they could use the iPhone on Verizon, which has a reputation for a speedy, reliable and extensive data network.

Tales of an iPhone on Verizon's network have been around even before the phone was released. Tech legend has it that Apple initially approached Verizon to be the iPhone's exclusive provider, but the carrier turned its nose up at the new device.

So what would an iPhone on Verizon's network be like? Would it be as zippy and reliable at transferring data as iPhone fans hope?

I had a chance last week to find out. Verizon sent me a MiFi 2200, a device made by Novatel that combines a cellular modem with a Wi-Fi router. It connects to Verizon's 3G EVDO network in the same way as the air cards used with personal computers. It then allows up to 5 devices to connect to its 802.11g router. It's tiny - about 2.3-by-3.5 inches and less than half an inch thick - and easily fits in your pocket.

mifionmacbook

It's a nifty product, particularly for traveling. You can use it to provide everyone in a car with a Wi-Fi connection, turning your vehicle into a 70-mph hotspot.

And that's exactly what I did late last week. We drove to Missouri for my daughter's college orientation, and brought the MiFi along. I used it with my iPhone, and the results were very interesting.

In a major city such as Houston, I found the two networks performed about the same much of the time. AT&T's network could be noticeably slower at peak times, such as during rush hours. But on a Sunday night, when network traffic was light, the two networks performed similarly.

Here's a screen grab from the Speedtest iPhone app from Xtreme Labs. The results on the left are from AT&T; on the right, Verizon. This was typical of what I saw during off hours.

att3goniphone verizononiphone

I didn't take screenshots during peak hours, but performance was often - but not always - noticeably slower on AT&T's network. Verizon's network was predictably fast almost all the time.

The major exception to that was in rural areas. On the way to Missouri, we passed through north Texas and eastern Oklahoma, where AT&T has no 3G, and sometimes even the older EDGE network was nowhere to be found. In some of these areas, Verizon's data network was MIA as well. The MiFi often connected to roaming networks (its power button turns blue to signal this) and data transfers then were as slow as on AT&T's EDGE network.

In other words, forget about smoking marijuana or taking trips on LSD. We don't do wireless broadband outside Muskogee, Okla., USA, either.

Of course, there are many variables here. Using the MiFi, I was going through a Wi-Fi connection to get to Verizon's network, but theoretically the 802.11g protocol has plenty of throughput to handle what's coming from the 3G modem. There could be interference for both Wi-Fi and 3G signals. The number of other users on either 3G network is also a variable.

But overall, performance was more reliable on Verizon's network with the iPhone going through Wi-Fi, than on AT&T's network talking directly to 3G.

Still, I don't think frustrated iPhone users can see a version of their phone on Verizon's network as a panacea. However, the coming of next-generation data networks -- and AT&T's plans to increase the speeds of its current 3G network -- hold out some hope for the future. In the meantime, iPhone users will just have to grit their teeth and bear it.

The MiFi, by the way, sells for $99 online, but requires a two-year service contract for a broadband connection that costs $60 a month with a 5-GB cap. If that's too rich for your blood, there's a $40 a month plan with a measly 250-MB cap. You can also buy it with no contract for $270 and pay $15 for individual day usage. None of those plans, frankly, are a good deal.

Researchers Unveil Flexible Solar Cell Roof Shingles

by Jorge Chapa

solar roof shingles, solar power, flexible solar panels, solar panels, green power

By far one of the most wasted spaces of every residence is the roof - of course it is there to protect us from the elements, but surely it can be put to better use. Aiming to innovate upon conventional roof cladding, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recently unveiled a new breed of flexible and moisture resistant solar panels that are designed to be rolled out en masse as energy-generating roof tiles!

solar roof shingles, solar power, flexible solar panels, solar panels, green power

Solar Panels are a great source of green energy, but unfortunately they’re not the prettiest of things - massive solar arrays tend to stick out like sore thumbs. Traditional photovoltaic panels, such as those incorporated into building facades, also tend to be costly, and producing them in a cheap and usable quantity has been a common problem.

Researchers at PNNL developed a film encapsulation process that was initially used for protecting flat panel displays over 15 years ago. However with the recent emphasis on energy generating technologies, they decided to take a second look at the materials and encapsulation process. It turns out that this encapsulation process can be used to protect components that are intended to be exposed to ultraviolet lights and natural elements, making it perfect for waterproofing thin-film solar panels.

PNNL hopes to produce a solar panel that can be installed on a residence and generate power for a few cents on the dollar. Research is currently being undertaken in conjunction with Vitex and Batelle, and hopefully we’ll see a marketable product soon.

+ Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

12 Simple Ways To Impress Your Boss (And Everyone Else)


Just about everyone wants to do great work, look good in the eyes of their boss, and earn the respect of their peers. In my 15-year career I’ve worked at a large number of different companies and held a wide variety of positions. I’ve seen how this works from every angle, so I thought I’d share some thoughts on what’s worked for me and what I’ve learned along the way.

Two things before we get started: First, the theme of ItStartsWith.Us is to focus on ways that we can make a positive impact in the lives of the people around us. I hope that some of these ideas will help you do just that. But please keep in mind that using these tips to try to get ahead at your job isn’t what it’s all about. You’ll start to see a huge benefit when you treat everyone like this, not just the people you want to impress. It took me a while to see, but I now realize that living this way (for others) makes me a better person, and that’s more valuable than any job advancement.

Secondly, I chose the word “simple” in the title because none of these tips are very complicated. They’re easy to understand, and anyone can begin using them immediately. They are not necessarily easy to implement, however. Many of them may require a dramatic shift in the way you act, or the way you think about yourself in relation to other people. I’ve finally accepted the fact that there are no quick fixes out there. If you want to see a big result, you have to be ready to put in some hard work. The good news is, the more time you spend doing these kinds of things, the less it feels like work, and the more if feels like a natural part of who you are. And once you get there, the rest becomes easier, and the rewards start coming in.

So here we go.

  1. Care about people
    I put this one first because it’s the foundation for everything that comes after. Caring about others is an absolute necessity. If you don’t care about them, and you’re only in this for yourself, people will know. They can spot insincerity a mile away. If you’re labeled as insincere, it won’t matter how much you do for everyone; they’ll always be assuming you have an ulterior motive, and you’re just trying to work an angle to come out on top. The only way any of this will work in the long run is if you are truly interested in seeing other people succeed, and you do your best to help them along the way.

    If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you may as well stop reading this article right now – it won’t help you. Do us both a favor and go play some Flash games online (my kids highly recommend Dino Run). But if you do care about people, or at least want to make an honest effort to do so, read on.

  2. Always be honest
    This is the second foundational element. The most valuable resource you have with others is their trust, and it’s much easier to lose than it is to gain. This is a lesson we’ve all learned from childhood on up, yet we continue to tell lies or half-truths to make ourselves look better in certain situations. Don’t do this. Ever.

    If you have a habit of lying about big things, then obviously you have some work to do, and you should get on it. But what I’m mostly talking about here are the small things. For instance, if you mess up with someone, and fail to meet a commitment you promised them, don’t try to make excuses to cover it up. Apologize and ask what you can do to make it right – you’ll be respected for it. Doing anything else will show people that you’re willing to say whatever’s necessary to avoid the consequences of your actions. And if they see you doing that with small things, it’s a solid bet that they assume you do it with big things as well.

    You can sometimes break the rules, but you can never bend the truth. Losing trust is the worst thing that can happen, because it makes all the other things you do nearly worthless in the eyes of others.

  3. Speak your mind
    If you’re always honest, you shouldn’t have much of a problem speaking your mind when the situation warrants. This doesn’t mean you have to talk all the time (I’m one of the quieter guys in most of my meetings) . . . you have to determine when it’s important to talk, and when it’s okay to stay quiet. But if you’re always honest, people will know that when you do speak, you mean what you say.

    Here’s an example. The first time I wrote a big email to the CEO of my large company, it was to criticize him for something he said at an all-company meeting. Since this was my first major interaction with him, I was taking a big risk – and I’m not gonna lie, some of the things I’m talking about doing will sometimes put you at risk. But when you don’t put yourself out there and take a chance, you don’t get a shot at the big payoff.

    Because my CEO is a great guy, he thanked me for my feedback and took it under consideration. The next time I emailed him, it was in high praise of something he did at an all-company meeting. What do you think his first thought was when he saw another email from me with the subject “Feedback?” Probably nothing good. But when he opened it and saw my sincere thanks and appreciation for his recent actions, I’ll bet he realized something: that this guy is not a suckup, and will say what he thinks, no matter what the situation. And that is a valuable relationship to have with your leaders. Going forward, as long as you continue to remain honest and speak your mind, you’ll be building up trust with each interaction.

    One caveat to this point: you must be aware of the situation when speaking your mind. No one likes to be called out in front of their peers, so if you have criticism to give, do it in private, and be sensitive to the feelings of the person you’re talking to, especially if it’s a high-level leader who may not be used to receiving it.

  4. Be respectful – with an edge
    You always need to show the proper respect for anyone, be it your boss, your spouse, your friend, or even a stranger. That’s a given. But when you start giving your boss too much deference, and turn him into a demi-god, it doesn’t help anything. He’s just a person who happens to be in a higher position than you. And if he’s the kind of guy who enjoys it when people suck up to him, he’s probably not the kind of guy you need on your side anyway. I’d rather have the rest of the office backing me up in that situation.

    As a boss, I can tell you that I hate it when people suck up to me. It automatically drops you a few notches on my “trustworthy” list. Why aren’t you trustworthy? Because I can see that you’re willing to compromise your true thoughts and feelings to be viewed in a more positive light. And that tells me that you’re in this for yourself, and I can’t trust you to be someone who will help me or another team member with something that’s important to us.

    When you’re dealing with people who are in a higher position than you, remember that it’s not always what you say, but the intent behind it. I get away with saying a lot of things to senior leaders that other people can’t say. This is because I’ve built up a reputation as someone who always works hard to help others succeed. They know that I’m here to help support them, and if I have something that I really disagree with them about, I’ll be sure to let them know, and not go behind their backs. They trust me, so I can be free to joke around a little more, and have a bit more of an edge than most people, as long as I stay aware of the current environment and don’t overstep any bounds of respect. If you can get to the point where you can tell your boss that he’s a jackass, and he laughs about it, you’re in a good spot.

  5. Ask for help
    If you don’t know what you’re doing in a certain situation, don’t pretend like you do. Admit your ignorance and ask for help from someone who knows what they’re doing. I see two benefits to doing this. First, it helps you learn something new. Second, and more importantly, it makes someone else feel important. Their interaction with you, where they were able to help you out and feel good about their own knowledge and generosity at the same time, may well be the highlight of their day. Give them that gift, and pay attention to the friendliness and respect you’ll get in return. This is especially true if you’re in a leadership position. Never be too proud to learn from anyone else in the company. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that there’s always at least one thing you can learn from everyone you meet – so don’t take anyone for granted.
  6. Plan to wing it
    This sounds a bit contradictory, I know. We usually want to control our circumstances as well as we can to make sure everything works out in the best possible way for us. But the fact of the matter is that we’re rarely as in control as we think we are, and occasionally we’re thrown into complete chaos. In fact, we’re quite often judged more on how we handle the curveballs thrown at us, so it’s good to have a plan in place for dealing with them.

    I like to prepare for these situations by practicing once in a while. Take a controlled situation that you’re going into, and resist the urge to plan every detail. Decide that in this instance, you’re going to wing it, because the worst that can happen is not that bad. Voluntarily practice thinking on your feet, so the next time you’re forced to do so, you don’t freak out. People are always watching you, and if you can handle unexpected and difficult situations gracefully and effectively, your perceived (and actual) value will soar.

  7. Work hard to help others
    Everyone knows that there is incredible value in hard work. But when you work hard to help other people, that value is multiplied. If you make it one of your goals to help others achieve their goals, you’ll go through life being recognized as a great worker, but more importantly, you’ll also be seen as someone who cares about others. This will do wonders for your own attitude and personal satisfaction, but in addition to that, it will cause people to think of you first when they want to work with someone. And having everyone in the company wanting to work with you is a great card to have in your deck. [This comes from one of my favorite posts.]
  8. Ask questions and look stuff up
    Don’t be that clueless guy in the meeting who just nods like he knows what’s going on. If I’m talking and I see that going on, I’m always tempted to directly challenge that person on their knowledge of the topic. Of course I don’t, because I’m not in the business of making people look foolish, but for the love of Pete, if you don’t understand something, ask a clarifying question.

    I do this all the time. Sometimes I’m ignorant and need to be educated, and sometimes I catch the presenter being unclear or flat-out wrong. Either way, your boss will respect you for it. If you don’t have the confidence to ask the question during the meeting, follow up with the person individually, or look it up on your own. Do not walk away without understanding the topic or being prepared to learn about it. I was home-schooled through eighth grade, and I think the line my mom used the most was “Look it up.” What kind of teacher is that? Well, she’s the kind of teacher who helped me understand that we have all the knowledge we can handle readily available to us, and usually the only thing stopping us from learning is laziness.

    One final thought: when you do look stuff up and learn something, share it with the group. Don’t hoard information. Ever.

  9. Do what you’re not supposed to do
    You heard me right. Stop following all the rules. Rules exist mainly so that people don’t have to think about the right thing to do all the time – they can just follow the rules and pretty much be okay. And that’s fine for most people, but if you really want to stand out, take the time to figure out which rules can be bent, and which can be broken. But don’t just go around breaking rules and expecting good things to happen – be very deliberate in when, how and why you break a rule, and make sure it’s something that benefits other people, not yourself.

    If you break the rules for yourself, even if it’s for a perfectly legitimate reason, you’re viewed as a selfish, pompous, I’m-better-than-you-type person. But if you break the rules to help out other people, even for something small, you’re viewed as an altruistic, charitable person who goes to great lengths to help others.

    Here’s an example of what I mean: I was at an all-department meeting at work, and we were served lunch. The buffet line was up near the presenters, and everyone had had their lunch and dessert already – the presenters were in full swing. I was at one of the tables in the back. I had a little bit of a hankering for another brownie, but the rule says that I shouldn’t go up near where they’re speaking to go grab one – it could be viewed as rude. So I didn’t go. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve built enough of a reputation that if I wanted to go up, people wouldn’t think twice about it – that’s just me being me – not one to observe proper etiquette all the time. But in this case I had decided to stay put. A young intern at my table, however, mentioned that she would love another brownie, but was afraid to go up and get one. I waited a moment, then walked up there, grabbed a brownie (with the tongs), and put it on a plate. I walked back to the table, sat in my place, and wordlessly slid the brownie plate over to her. I used up a tiny bit of my political capital by walking up near the presenters, but think about how much of a positive reputation I gained from the seven other coworkers at my table, along with anyone else who saw what I did. This is the kind of rule-breaking I’m talking about.

    Know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it at all times, even if it may look strange to people who don’t know the whole story. You gain two things by approaching life this way. 1) You’re looked at in a positive light by those whom you help (and those who see you help others). 2) If you consistently break social norms in small, relatively inconsequential ways, people just note that you’re “a little odd”, and ascribe anything off-color you do to that mental model. If you’re okay with people thinking this way about you, it frees you up to make a lot of unintentional faux pas in the future and come away unscathed. It also frees you up to try a variety of social experiments, but that’s a different article. :)

  10. Give people more than they expect
    Seriously, this is way easier than it sounds. I do this all the time in very small ways, but they eventually add up. For instance, if someone asks me to provide them with some data, I’ll email it over to them, but I’ll also throw in a little note with a few related links that may also help them with their project. I’m pretty good at finding things online, and it doesn’t take me very long. For my extra two minutes of work, I may save them 30 minutes of additional searching. And even if it doesn’t help them this time, they’ll remember that I gave them more than they asked for, and that I’m a really helpful guy. If you can consistently produce small, positive interactions with people, pretty soon their image of you will begin to include all the things you want to be known for. [More on this topic here.]
  11. Get organized
    How are you going to do all these great things for everybody if you’re not organized? There are a thousand different ways to do it, and I can’t help you choose the right one. I have a habit I picked up when I used to do some fiction writing – I carry a miniature notepad and pen around in my pocket at all times. This helps me capture any idea, question or task that may be important. Once you start doing it, it’s really cool to know that you’re not missing anything anymore. Of course, you still need a good system to help you process everything. For that I recommend David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.” I intentionally didn’t link to the book on Amazon, because I want to make sure you know that I make no money by promoting this book. It’s just a method that has worked well for me, and it may be a good starting point for you. Staying organized makes doing all this extra work a lot easier.
  12. Whatever you do, do it with a touch of “you”
    I cannot stress this enough: Know who you are, and BE THAT PERSON. If you’re funny, don’t try to be too serious. If you’re serious, don’t try to be too funny. Look for ways that you can work in the things you’re good at, and stay under the radar when you’d be forced to play your weakest hand. Don’t try to fix all your weaknesses – that’s a losing game. Just mitigate any ill effects from those, and then capitalize on your strengths. The point is to be genuine and memorable in a positive way, and you can best accomplish that by doing what you’re good at.

    For me, one of the personal touches I put on email correspondence is by communicating in funny pictures, even to people I don’t know. I have a huge repository of images saved by the name of the idea they represent, and it’s become second nature to pop these into emails as I go. This doesn’t take me any extra time, but it makes my day more fun, and I’ve gotten numerous responses about how the recipient broke out into laughter during a meeting, or otherwise appreciated the gesture. Little things like that are what make you unique . . . don’t be afraid to use them to become memorable as well.

There you have it, folks. I know that was a lot of information to cover, but it’s some important stuff. You probably came to this page looking for some quick and easy things you could do to look better to your boss, but here’s the beauty of this system: if you actually do these things, you’re going to look better to everybody. And not in any kind of tricky or gimmicky way, either. You’ll look better because you’ll be better. If you want to be known for all the positive things mentioned in this article, the only way to achieve that goal is to actually be that kind of person. There are no two ways about it, and there is no substitute for hard work.

I hope this article helped give you some ideas about things you can do to make a positive impact in the lives of the people around you. If you have more ideas to share or examples of other things you do, or even if you disagree with some of these tips, I’d love to hear what you think. Please leave a comment below, and I’ll be sure to respond.

Good luck at work (and life) tomorrow!

Bruce Lee Mixer

skop.com — This site is awesome. You are the video editor. Use your keyboard to create Bruce Lee kung-fu fight scenes blow-by-blow, with simple control over timing, overdubs, music and sound - and you can record and play the results. click here Bruce Lee mixer

Hangover Sequel Talk

Director also discusses Old School follow-up.

June 15, 2009 - Now that The Hangover is a bona fide hit, talk of a sequel is inevitable. And the film's director Todd Phillips (Old School) says that while a follow-up to the drunken day-after comedy has been in discussions since before the film was even finished, a sequel is now confirmed to be in the works.

"We were thinking of sequel ideas when we were shooting, which sounds cocky, but we were doing it more because it was just fun to talk about ideas while hanging out on the set," Phillips tells MTV. "Two weeks ago I was saying, 'Let's see how it works out.' Now that the movie has really connected, it's something we're doing for sure."

The director says that shooting could begin as soon as next spring, and that all of the main characters will be back.

"I wouldn't do it unless all four guys were back," he adds. "I love The Hangover so much and I think we could crush it with the sequel. I've never had more fun making a movie, ever. Not that Old School wasn't fun, but these guys were so hungry and ready to kick ass everyday. We just all gelled so well on this film."

As for an Old School sequel, Phillips says it's "unlikely" to happen because of scheduling issues for the first film's stars, though a script does exist.

Faith No More Reunited 2009 – Live

faith-no-more-2009I am so glad that Faith No More is doing this reunion tour, but as of now they are not planning on touring the states. I hope they change their minds because I would love to see them. There are a lot of excellent videos of the reunion shows going on in Europe right now so I decided to do a post with a collection of the footage that is online from the reunion tour. I hope everyone enjoys as much as I did, and let’s hope they do come to the states and maybe even record a new album? Hopefully they will release a proper DVD of this reunion tour at some point. These vids are Live from the Download Festival in Donnington Park, UK.

If any of the videos are not working please contact me so I can find a replacement.

Reunited

The Real Thing

From Out of Nowhere

More videos here......VIDS

See the original image at ngm.nationalgeographic.com — Great Shot of a Tornado in Kansas w/Nearby Weather Truck


Click to Enlarge....

How To Make an Awesome 80's Action Movie


We are huge fans of 80's Action Movies....HUGE fans. Over the years, we've noticed that most 80's Action Movies follow a certain recipe, and contain specific elements that really seem to make them work. By following these simple steps, you too can create your own 80's Action Movie:
Step 1: Explosions
Any 80's Action Movie that's worth its weight in cocaine and lengthy vaginal pubic hair has to have explosions...LOTS of explosions. An 80's movie without explosions is like a sorority girl wearing a sweater: after a few minutes, you realize how stupid they are, because there's nothing there to distract you from it. Explosions are key, and when it comes to 80's Action Movies, it's impossible to use too many.
Step 2: The Hero
You have two options for The Hero: he can either be a white dude with a mustache, awesome 80's hair, and a vest, or a super-buff black dude who's not wearing a shirt. If you choose the black dude, he can't be too outrageously buff, because then he starts to leave the "Hero" territory and venture into the "Bad Guy's Number One Henchman" zone. The Hero will be a little bit rough around the edges, but good-natured and pure, and somehow he'll have learned how to kick major ass. They'll explain that he's an ex-Green Beret or something, and because he's selfless, he'll be happy to put his life on the line to defend the innocent, even if it's for no clear reason at all.
Step 3: The Boobies
80's Action Movies are all about a good set of big ol' boobies. You're going to see those boobies several times, and they're going to be real and natural. They'll also probably be wet, due to a shower or the ocean. At some point, the owner of these boobies will be kidnapped by the bad guy, and one of his henchmen will try to gently touch her boobies, and she'll inflict pain on his crotch, even though, two scenes ago, The Hero was squeezing her boobies like he was using a hand pump to inflate an air mattress on a camping trip.
Step 4: The Badass Car
No hero is just gonna walk around with his hot chick by his side, trying to defend justice on foot. He's gonna need a sweet ride. The rules regarding cars in action movies haven't really changed much since the 80's. Our hero is either going to drive the newest, sweetest, real-life sports car on the market, or he's going to drive some kind of futuristic, fictional car that doesn't really exist. He'll probably only drive the sweet car for a few scenes before he crashes it through something and uses it to trigger a huge, catalytic explosion that gets the final action sequence started.
Step 5: The Bad Guy
Since this is an 80's movie, there's going to be karate involved, even when it clearly doesn't belong. Whether the movie takes place in modern-day Harlem, or Dark-Ages England, somebody is going to get jump-kicked in the neck in slow motion. The main bad guy is going to be a sleazy businessman-type, who's trying to get money by taking advantage of some social system that's going to rip everyone else off while he gets filthy rich. Obviously, like any nefarious 80's businessman, he'll have an army of ninjas defending his fortress hideout.
Step 6: The Title
This is incredibly important: 80's movie titles, much like a Tijuana hooker, have to make you think that, for $10, you're going to have two hours of complete and utter awesomeness. To create the proper 80's Action Movie title, you'll need one word that's the name of the main character, but also the name of an object that's considered super badass, like a razor, or a chainsaw. Then, the second word in the title has to be a synonym for ass-kicking revenge. It's as simple as that.
Step 7: The Tagline
The last crucial element of the Awesome 80's Movie is the tagline. This is of utmost importance, because it needs to tell the audience what the movie is sort of about, and it also needs to be really cool. It should contain at least one pun and one ellipses, and it should end with an exclamation point, to further emphasize the action that this movie contains.
STEEL JUSTICE: Coming 25 Years Ago to a Theater Near You!

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