Friday, March 26, 2010
America’s billionaires are an elite and diverse group of people who either through luck or hard work and strategy have managed to build fortunes that most of us will only ever dream of having. Have a look at how these individuals propelled themselves into the world of the ultra-wealthy and fantasize about what you’d do if you had billions to play with.
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By Focus Experts
The interview is a classic point of stress for most job seekers, and with good cause. Many firms like asking indirect questions that make it hard to judge what information they're really fishing looking for. Of course, interviewers don't want anyone to know the motivation behind their method of questioning, or else potential job candidates could easily game the system. For this reason, most firms ask slightly different questions and have their own method of interviewing. Today, we explore twelve common indirect questions that employers often ask and the motivation behind them.
“How long have you been looking for a new job?”
A big sign that something is amiss with a potential hire in a normal economic climate is how long he or she has been searching for a job. What potential employers really need to determine is whether there is something wrong with the candidate that other potential employers have picked up on already. Of course, asking the candidate such a thing will not yield an honest answer, so instead, employers ask how long the candidate has been looking for a job. They can interpret the candidate’s response and try to gauge how likely it is that other interviewers have picked up on some glaring disqualifier that they have not yet discovered.
“How did you prepare for this interview?”
The more passionate an employee is about a particular organization, the more likely it is that he or she will strive to exceed expectations if they are hired. A good candidate will have read up on the firm, researched the products and services they offer, read a bit about the executives who work there, etc. A bad candidate takes the shotgun at the wall approach. This latter candidate takes walks into any old office building, hoping to get through the interview on personality alone. One way companies separate the two is to ask an indirect question regarding how they prepared for the interview. The candidate who mentions reading up on the organization and demonstrates a working knowledge of the firm’s strengths, services and management team is enthusiastic about working for that company and will likely strive to be the best they can be if selected.
"What are your salary requirements for this position?”
No matter how stellar a candidate might be, budgetary capacity often limits who companies can afford to hire. The firm might only have room for a $60,000 annual salary for the position and anyone requiring more than that is out of luck. Beyond a certain point, more qualifications and experience cannot equal a higher salary. This is why it is important to the company to determine if they can afford to hire new applicants. They might also try to determine if they can the right person for less than is budgeted for that position, because money saved equals a bigger bottom line. Of course, no interviewer will ever tell the candidate “we can afford to pay you up to $60,000, but we’d like to hear you say you’ll do it for less.” Instead, companies will frequently ask the person what their salary requirements are. The number they name will be important when they review the interview results of multiple applicants and make the final hiring decision.
“What kinds of people do you have difficulties working with?”
In today’s expanding global economy, it is almost unavoidable that any new hire will be working in some capacity with people from a wide range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. The last thing companies want to find out is that their new employee is a bigot and treats people differently because of their background. Not only will this cause problems in-house, it can also destroy the firm’s credibility and reputation, depending on how high-up a position he or she is assuming. However, it isn’t politically correct or at all professional to ask someone if they have a problem with specific groups of people, and even if an interviewer did, the candidate would likely deny it. Instead, many firms try an indirect way of asking the same thing, for example: “What kinds of people do you have difficulties working with?” By asking this question, the interviewer is subconsciously communicating that the candidate must have a problem working with some kinds of people. This method can be very effective in subtly revealing inner prejudices the potential hire might possess. In contrast, a good candidate will likely name some neutral group of people, like “dishonest employees,” or “perpetual slackers.”
"When have you been most satisfied in your career?"
Much like individual people, every company has its own “personality,” per se. This means that every new working environment has its own perks and bottlenecks, its own energy, its own level of employee-employee interaction, etc. Certain companies offer their employees more creative leeway while others demand strict adherence to guidelines. Every one of these factors (and many more) will directly effect a new hire’s motivation. Various people thrive under many different circumstances, and the job of the interviewer is to try to select the person whose personality best fits their firm’s unique environment. The problem is that people in interviews like to smile and nod along whenever the interviewer starts talking at length about the perks of their working environment, making it almost impossible to read what the candidate is really thinking. Instead, many companies have taken to asking something like, “When have you been most satisfied in your career?” This question will get the potential hire talking about the elements of their last few positions and will likely highlight aspects of those jobs that they felt happiest working under. From this, firms can determine if the person would fit in well with their atmosphere.
“What is your greatest weakness?”
Perhaps one of the most important tasks of the interviewer is to find a person with a level head on their shoulders. No company wants the narcissistic, fresh-out-of-grad-school candidate who thinks that they’re an infallible compendium of industry knowledge any firm would be lucky to acquire. These kinds of people hurt companies far more often than they help them because they refuse to acknowledge their weaknesses or consider the idea that they might need further training in certain areas. Rather, companies strive to find confident and qualified employees who can be honest with themselves about their shortcomings. These employees are likely to be flexible, honest and are less likely to try and pass blame around the cubicles when they make a mistake. In order to get a grasp on how realistic a candidate is, employers like to ask people about what they feel their biggest weakness is. This question will demonstrate whether or not a candidate can be honest in accepting that which they need to work on. (In contrast, a haughty candidate might spin off the tired response of “My biggest flaw is that I work too much.”)
“Where do you see yourself five years from now?”
A big problem in the corporate world is employees using firms as rungs up the corporate latter. Especially in today’s economy, the last thing a company wants is to allocate salary, benefits and human capital into acquiring a new manager only to have them jump ship to a competitor a year or two later. Sometimes this isn’t even the employees fault. One cannot reasonably expect a person to stunt their own professional life for the sake of a few headaches. Nonetheless, companies will try and gauge the likelihood of that happening by asking an indirect question such as “Where do you see yourself five years from now?” Responses to this question can be good indicators of how stable and loyal the potential employee is likely to be. A response like “I want to lead a large team at a marketing firm somewhere” is indicative of a mercenary attitude to the corporate world. In contrast, someone who says something like “At the moment I plan on growing my roots here in this company and rising from within to be the best marketer I can for XYZ Firm” demonstrates far more loyalty.
“What are some of your hobbies?”
Employers must be careful not to cross the line into asking too specific questions about a person’s personal life. Professionally speaking, your personal life needn’t impact your working life. However, in reality we all know that it does. For this reason, employers often look for indicators of stability and healthy hobbies in a person’s home life. The idea is that a person with a healthy and enjoyable life outside the office is likely to carry some of that positive energy into work with them. Workaholics and, at the other end of the spectrum, party animals, are not likely to be very friendly, emotionally stable people. Without probing too far, some interviewers will ask questions such as “What are some of your hobbies.” Answers to this question can help reveal a little bit about the potential hire’s lifestyle and serve as good indicators of roughly how they will carry themselves day to day.
“What were you hoping we'd ask today, but didn't?”
No interviewer can possibly ask all the right questions to highlight every one of the candidate’s strengths and accomplishments. At the same time, candidates are often somewhat nervous on the other side of the desk and might not freely offer up information pertaining to aspects of their personal or professional life that they are not asked for. Nonetheless, this information may positively or negatively sway the interviewer’s opinion of the candidate and it is thus necessary to prompt the potential hire to speak about it. Therefore, many firms now ask the open-ended question, “What were you hoping we’d ask you today, but didn’t?” This question gives the candidate a chance to touch on anything he feels is important to the interview and the employer a chance to hear the candidate speak on his own behalf.
“What do you think of your old boss?”
No employer wants to be maligned to other companies or to the public. Many ex- employees hold very sour opinions of their former bosses. Justified or not, this is not the kind of thing companies want people spreading around. Especially if it appears that a candidate was fired from their last position, an employer might ask about their opinion of their old boss. Of course, very few candidates will go on a tirade about the injustices they suffered at their old job during the interview, but even subtle hints of distain can be picked up on by the interviewer. This question gives the firm an indicator of how they may be spoke of to other firms this person interviews at in the future, should they need to fire him.
"If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?"
Many companies survive not on great ideas alone, but by the tireless work ethic and dedication of their teams. It is therefore of great importance for a firm to find people who are passionate about their work and who have a drive to get the job done regardless of reward. Of course, money is extremely important in our society, but the last thing a firm wants is a bump on a log who just wants to do the bare minimum and suck up his salary until he can retire. Questions such as, "If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?" reveal a candidate's level of passion about their field. Someone who quickly shouts "Yes of course!" without much thought is seen as being in it primarily for money. These are not the kinds of people most firms want to see in their inner circle.
If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
Questions about another person can only reveal so much about about them. Something companies really want to know is what the candidate thinks are the qualities of a good employee for that position. The idea is that if the candidate has a misconstrued concept of the roles he or she will be expected to play at that firm, they might not be the right person for the job. It is much easier to hire a person with notions of the job that are congruent with company expectations than to try to change a candidates entire idea of what's important in that position. To determine this, interviewers will often ask the question "If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?" This allows the candidate to give his concept of what a good manager is. His or her answer is a great indicator of how he or she will behave if hired.
by Mike Schramm
There's a video of Phipps showing the system off after the break (sorry iPhone users, it's in Flash). He originally used Bluetooth, but now has the car set up on its own wireless network and he's got it working with a RedEye IR system, so he can even do macros and open all of the doors with one button and so on. He can't actually drive the car, but he can turn on the ignition, start the motor and even rev it up, all from the iPod touch. Very, very awesome.
by JC Fletcher
If the PS3 rollout is any indication, you'll receive an e-mail sometime soon telling you if you're a lucky winner. Of course, if you didn't sign up for a disc, you're not going to get one. You should probably go sign up for one is what we're saying.
We all know too much butter is bad for your health, but who would have thought of using it instead to create these magnificent sculptures.
One of the world's fanciest chefs Vipula Athukorale has designed a Rolls-Royce car, a scene from Pinocchio and detail from the Pied Piper story.
The level of detail in his work is so fine that he cannot even breathe on the butter before cutting figures.
They might look like they're about to melt, but Mr Athukorale said the secret was using the right type of golden spread. He opts for pastry margarine, rather than butter, which tends to melt at much higher temperatures.
Spread of brilliance: Vipula Athukorale with his Rolls-Royce sculpted from butter
Mr Athukorale, 46, picked up two gold medals and a silver at the international Salon Culinaire Awards in London last week.
The judges were amazed by the level of detail and Mr Athukorale's patience.
'The sculptures take a very long time,' said the father of one from Leicester.
'The Rolls-Royce took nearly 90 hours, but the inside and the underside are all detailed.
'If you breathe, it moves your hand,' he said. 'You can't do that. So I lean in, take a deep breath, hold it, do what I need to do and then lean back and breathe out.'
Creamy goodness: A scene from the Pied Piper is reinvented. Mr Athukorale uses pastry margarine instead of butter because it doesn't melt so easily
Mr Athukorale also has to break regularly from his work and wash his hands in ice cold water.
'Otherwise, if my fingers are too hot, it's not good for the sculpture,' he said.
Once finished, the sculptures can stand on display for years. 'I did a Viking ship when I was in Bahrain, and that is still on display in the hotel lobby. It has been there for years.
'They don't melt. I do the sculptures in pastry margarine, not butter. It's a bit harder. You need to keep them covered sometimes, to protect them from dust, but they are OK.'
Steady: The chef holds his breath as he sculpts the intricate details of a scene from Pinocchio, which won a gold medal at the Salon Culinaire Awards
Mr Athukorale, who was born in Sri Lanka, has worked in top-class hotels in Greece, Iraq, Cyprus, Bahrain and England.
'When I was small, I was very good at drawing. Then someone gave me some clay and I started sculpting,' he said.
'I started doing polystyrene sculptures - that's my favourite - and then moved on to butter and food.'
He was made redundant late last year. Today, he finds himself in the curious position of being one of the best fine detail chefs in the world - but with no job.
'I am beginning to think that what I do is no longer needed,' Mr Athukorale said.
'Good hotels always used to have a kitchen artist. Now, they don't. I feel like all the things I can do, all the things I feel so proud of, they don't matter any more. It is very sad, but I want to work.'
Harry Potter world is Universal Orlando’s newest addition to its Islands of Adventure theme park.
While wandering the corridors of Hogwarts castle on their way to experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - the marquee attraction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - guests will pass through Dumbledore's office. The office is an exact replica of the one seen in the Harry Potter films, and is the place where the Hogwarts headmaster officially welcomes you to Hogwarts. (KEVIN KOLCZYNSKI, UNIVERSAL ORLANDO / March 25, 2010)
By Dewayne Bevil,
From Orlando Sentinel
Today they will announce June18 as the grand-opening date of the 20-acre expansion to Islands of Adventure.
Although theme parks typically have days or weeks of soft openings before officially launching, Universal would not comment on whether that will be the case with Wizarding World. However, last month it began selling vacation packages with Wizarding World benefits starting May28.
Visitors who have purchased those will receive everything that was promised, Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said. Those packages are still available, although some days already may be sold out, he said.
But for now, construction is in full force, with dozens of painters and carpenters completing the snow-capped Hogsmeade village and the iconic Hogwarts castle, which will house the park's new dark ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
The scene was a work in progress Wednesday, with machinery maneuvering through the attraction and around a small media tour getting a first look behind the construction walls up since 2007.
The tour included a walk through the village based on J.K. Rowling's bestselling book series; past shop windows packed with Potter props such as owl cages, caldrons and wand boxes; and then up to the castle, where park guests will enter the Forbidden Journey ride through the dungeon level of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
"You're meant to feel you're really down deep," said Alan Gilmore, Wizarding World's art director, as the trek began in the dungeon. In the lowest level are items such as a statue of the one-eyed witch and the Mirror of Erised that, in Potter stories, reveals the heart's desires.
The queue winds through several chambers and an outdoor area that represents a Victorian greenhouse with vines snaking over the roof and a cage of Rowling's mandrake plants. The greenhouse area leads guests to higher ground and a series of corridors with statues of notables such as Hogwarts' architect and the school's first headmaster.
The Forbidden Journey storyline revolves around newcomers to the castle.
"Hogwarts is open to muggles for the first time," said Thierry Coup, Universal Creative vice president. That's reflected throughout the wait, particularly with talking portraits unaccustomed to having muggles — Rowling's term for people with no magical ability — in the halls. The portraits, some as tall as 5feet, address one another and guests, too.
Eventually, the line flows into Dumbledore's office, where visitors will see the headmaster standing on a mezzanine behind his desk — about 18feet from the queue. He's a lifelike but somewhat ghostly being.
"We had to create some new technology for this," Coup said. However, Universal officials would not be more specific about that effect, the new filming process or the robotic ride technology, which are essential to Forbidden Journey. They refer to the seats as an "enchanted bench," although two test seats with over-shoulder harnesses are in position outside the castle.
The Dumbledore character is happy to greet guests — but wants them to sit through a lecture. Harry Potter (as played by actor Daniel Radcliffe) and pals Hermione and Ron intervene in the Defense of the Dark Arts classroom.
"They say, ‘Forget the lecture; it's boring. Forget the tour; it's boring. The quidditch match is about to start,'" said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. "Hermione casts a spell, and off we go, and the adventure ensues. We get sucked into a quidditch match; we go face-to-face with Dementors; we go into the Forbidden Forest."
Before that happens, there are safety instructions for the ride in the Gryffindor Common Room from three characters not seen in the films, including the "etiquette lady."
The bulk of the ride remains secretive — even its duration — although Woodbury expects the entire experience to take about an hour, from entering the winged-boar gates outside to exiting through the gift shop.
"In some of it you're touring the castle; in some of it you're flying around the world of Harry Potter," Woodbury said.
The complicated nature of opening a major attraction with new technologies usually requires a soft opening to work out the kinks, said Chad Emerson, author of Project Future and an upcoming book about the history of Orlando's theme parks. It's rare to open without a dry run, he said.
"Nowadays with technology as advanced and complex, that's sort of a risky move," Emerson said. "You've got to have a lot of confidence."
Dewayne Bevil can be reached at 407-420-5477 or email@example.com.
More Wizarding World morsels
Other details from the tour of Wizarding World of Harry Potter include:
•There won't be any walk-around Potter characters.
•Guests entering from the Lost Continent side of Islands of Adventure will see the Hogwarts Express train on the right. It's a 100 percent replica of what is seen in the films, Coup said. After that is Hogwarts Station, which conceals lockers for the Dragon Challenge (formerly Dueling Dragons), which has a new flag-flanked entrance there.
•On the left will be several previously announced establishments: Zonko's, Honeydukes, Three Broomsticks restaurant and the adjacent Hog's Head Tavern. In between are fake fronts of other Potter elements, but you cannot go inside such spots as McHavelocks, Dogweek and Deathcap
(with good and evil windows), Gladrags Wizardry, Scrivenshafts (inks and quills), Wiseacres (equipment such as crystal balls) and Potages, a caldron store. You can merely look in the windows and admire the theming.
•Back on the right are the Owlery (with robotic owls) and Owl Post, plus Dervish and Banges.
•In the middle of the pathway is a butterbeer cart, which also will sell a frozen version of the drink.
•Ollivanders is just beyond the Owlery, even though in the books, it's in Diagon Alley. "It was such an important part of the fiction, how the wand chooses the wizard, we want it to be part of this," said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. With Rowling's blessing, a Hogsmeade branch was opened for Wizarding World.
Copyright © 2010, Orlando Sentinel
Computer cases tend to reveal certain things about their owners. With one glance, your friends can estimate just how serious (or casual) your computer hardware addiction may be. Whether the chassis is a generic, cream-colored throwback from the 90's, a standard mid-tower with a couple of LED fans, or an extravagant full-tower gaming behemoth with see-through side panels and custom graphics, first impressions unavoidably start with the enclosure.
Although the market is loaded with a myriad of attractive cases, one product from Thermaltake caught our attention from the moment we laid eyes on it and it has captivated us ever since. The Level 10 gaming tower is a new over-the-top enclosure made specifically for enthusiasts who want to make a statement without saying a word; or at the very least, appreciate cutting-edge design and absolute precision build quality. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but few can deny the Level 10's eye-catching good looks and extraordinary construction. As you may have heard, this case was created by BMW Group Designworks USA for Thermaltake. The BMW Group designs new concepts for a variety of industries, such as yachts, trains, and aircraft. Let's check out its latest creation made specifically for gamers, to see if it's really as revolutionary and well-built as it looks...
| || |
ATX Full Tower
3 x External 5.25" Drive Bays
Front I/O Ports
4 x USB
2 x 60mm Drive Bay Fans
24.17" x 12.52" x 26.22" (Length x Width x Height)
3 Years Limited (parts / labor)
Click here for the full article and specs
Written by David Vellante
Data centers touch all our lives. Businesses rely on data centers to house mission critical information and run operational initiatives across the organization.Today’s largest data centers feature state-of-the-art technology, operation rooms spanning thousands of square meters, and are required to hold billions of pieces of customer and business information. As demand for cloud services increase these centers comprise tens or sometimes hundreds of thousands of servers, multi-petabyte storage systems and increasingly are situated in locations where cheap energy is plentiful.
In pictures, here is an inside look at ten of the world’s largest data centers.
Microsoft’s Quincy Washington Data Center
The recent NY Times data center technology slideshow illustrates in photographs just how impressive data centers are and how important they are to our day-to-day lives.
As servers become more powerful, more kilowatts are needed to run and cool them. Data centers worldwide now consume more energy annually than Sweden.
NJ2 in Weehawken, N.J.
(Photo: Simon Norfolk for The New York Times)
Inside NJ2, in New Jersey. Attention is now shifting to making servers less energy intensive and to spurring innovation in the design and form of the data center itself. (Image Source)
IBM Green Data Center
IBM operates eight million square feet of data center space on six continents. Through the company’s green data center initiatives, they expect to save more than five billion kilowatt hours per year with energy efficient products and services. View the entire photo gallery on Flickr.
The Tokyo Data Center
Japan’s Internet backbone. This is the largest data center in the world (or so they claim). This photo shows the entrance to the facility. (Image Source)
HDS Yokohama Green Data Center
(Image Gallery on Flickr)
Launched in August 2009, the HDS data center in Yokohama operates with 10,000 square meters of total floor space. Via press release, this green facility incorporates power-efficient data center technology designed to achieve a benchmarking rating of 1.6 PUE.
Microsoft’s Chicago Data Center
Opened in late 2009, the first phase of development includes the ground floor designed to hold up to 56 containers, each filled with anywhere from 1,800 to 2,500 servers. (Source)
Inside Facebook’s Data Center
Facebook’s data centers store more than 40 billion photos, and users upload 40 million new photos each day – about 2,000 photos every second. Via Data Center Knowledge, “Not surprisingly, the racks are packed.”
1&1’s Data Center
Via InformationWeek, 1&1’s data center is in Lenexa, Kansas, just outside Kansas City, the second largest railroad hub in the U.S. Five server rooms hold 860 racks and can accommodate at least 40,000 servers.
Inside a Google Data Center
Awarded a patent on a portable data center modeling in October 2008, Google’s data center features a “container hanger” filled with 45 containers, holding up to 1,160 servers each, and uses 250 kilowatts of power. Referred to as Data Center A, it spans 75,000 square feet and has a power capacity of 10 megawatts. (Information courtesy of Data Center Knowledge)
San Diego Supercomputing Center
Via NetworkWorld, San Diego Supercomputing Center’s new building features cool concrete exteriors, special windows treatments and windows that actually open. This image illustrates how by using robotic virtual tape libraries, SDSC is able to reduce energy costs.
Building a Data Center in 26 Weeks
Digital Realty Trust builds data center facilities all over the world. This photo gallery on Flickr provides a look at its data center construction process for their site located at 1201 Comstock in Santa Clara, California.
Who are we missing? Surely companies like Amazon and eBay should be on this list, though we had trouble verifying the authenticity of data center images found online. We’d love to hear about data center images and links we missed via the comments below or send Wikibon a message on Twitter!
In total, the rudimentary space camera cost just £500 ($747) on a project which a NASA spokesman admitted would have cost them millions of dollars.
Speaking to The Times, Mr Harrison explained: “A guy phoned up who worked for NASA who was interested in how we took the pictures. He wanted to know how the hell we did it.” The space experts thought Mr Harrison must have used a homemade rocket to take such spectacular shots from over 20 miles above the Earth’s surface.
The device uses materials readily available online, including loft insulation to wrap both the camera and a GPS tracking device to protect the digital equipment from freezing temperatures of -60°C (-75°F). The helium balloon which lifted the camera high above the Earth’s atmosphere expands to a diameter of up to 20 metres, before popping and letting the camera fall back to Earth via an attached parachute.
Mr Harrison said that he was by no means an electronics expert, and had picked up all he needed to know from browsing the internet, including how to reprogram his digital camera to sleep and reactivate every five minutes to take eight photos.
We have republished just some of the amazing photos taken here, but you can see the full collection at Mr Harrison’s dedicated website – The Icarus Project.
Space news posted by Carla Windsor on Thursday, March 25, 2010
Here is an awesome chart that my bro over at The Dope Smoker sent over to me. It shows the percentage of pot smokers from the populations from different countries around the world. Makes me want to do some traveling, especially after watching these videos.
All of the data comes from Wikipedia which cites the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for the info. Let me just say, I am surprised by some of the numbers that came up. I would have thought that Jamaica and the Netherlands would be top 10. I am glad to see USA ranked pretty highly even though I think that percentage is probably even larger than they project. What do you guys think about these numbers?
Over the weekend, I found myself browsing deep in the annals of Hulu, and there, I came upon a channel called WWE Classics. It's got a few hundred clips of old matches... many of which are from the late '80s and early '90s, when pro wrestling was my bona fide obsession.
Back then, the WWE was the WWF. (I know the World Wildlife Fund somehow strong armed them into changing the initials... but that still ranks up there as one of the stupidest name changes in history. Right next to Football Bowl Subdivision, Chad Ochocinco, and Two Guys and a Girl with no pizza place.)
Over the same weekend, in a completely unrelated event, I also found my way onto the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, looking at salary data for hundreds of jobs. That's what I do on my weekends. Watch old wrestling clips and look at data. It's a modern miracle I have a girlfriend.
I decided to combine those two web stumblings into one list and do an homage to the WWF of my formative years. In that era, WWF overlord Vince McMahon had a penchant for giving wrestlers gimmicks where they had other side jobs outside of wrestling. He's outgrown that now... it took about two decades too long, but he finally realized that fans aren't more likely to cheer, boo, or buy tickets to see someone just because he's billed as a wrestlin' plumber.
Here are the 11 old school WWF wrestlers who have the lowest-paying side jobs, based on the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Koko's gimmick was The Birdman... he would bring his parrot, Frankie, to the ring with him. I chose him as the representative for the nonfarm animal caretaker because Jake "The Snake" Roberts was eventually less defined by his snake wrangling and more by his psychological warfare (and debilitating alcohol and drug addiction). Plus, if Jake was a real caretaker, he would've found a way to stop the Earthquake from repeatedly crushing his snake Damien with butt splashes.
Unless that's an homage to Mount Splashmore from "The Simpsons" (which I am almost positive it's not), the concept of Mount Trashmore makes Parts Unknown seem grounded in reality.
[Edited 3/23 at 10:15 AM: Turns out there actually is a landfill in Florida that's referred to as Mount Trashmore. Kind of invalidates that rant. Oh well.]
The Bodydonnas tried that but, without having even one-two-thousandth the charisma of Rick Rude, any reaction was nothing more than a Pavlovian trigger based on hearing the name of the city. Skip was definitely more suited for his low-paying side job than for wrestling... at least the theatrical elements of wrestling.
Sunny, at least, ushered in the WWF's era of fake-breasted blonds... an era that, from what I can tell, has exploded today to the point where it's actually impossible to keep track of all the fake-breasted blond women the WWE has on the payroll.