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31 December 2007

Happy New Year Everyone!

New Year Wallpaper
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Mr. T Style New Year Resolution

It is that time of the year, for quite a few of us, to start taking action on the New Year Resolutions (NYS) that we've made. Here is how Mr. T helped us create our NYS - but first lets answer the question; Well, why Mr. T? Some say that he invented the I.Q. testing system so he could more accurately pity fools. Some say he beat Chuck Norris in a game of tic-tac-toe and Chuck invented racism. All we know is Mr.T puts the "T" in T.V., was a popular celeb back in the day and a hit with the kids. Find a celebrity now who tries to be a positive role model, let alone a video for kids where the main focus is self esteem and hard work.

1. Quit yo Jibber-jabber! You ain't hurt, yo pathetic!, Argh! If I ever catch you out like a crazy fool again, you're gonna meet my friend pain!

2. Know your roots: See this tree here? It's tall, big, beautiful and it is strong! But it wouldn't be here if it didn't have any roots.. and you wouldn't be here either, if you didn't have any roots. You see roots nourish us.. and help us to become what we hope to be!

3. Acknowledge that you a fool: If you are "sitting around crying 'what's wrong with me Dr. Phil what's wrong with me' then YOU A FOOL that's what's wrong with you!

4. Be somebody: Or be somebody's fool. You gotta be a leader, a high achiever! So if you want to be cool, just like me - You better try real hard to be some-bo-dy!

5. Recouping: One out of one Dr. T's recommend it!

6. Treat your mother right: Mother! There is no other! Like mother! So treat her right!

M is for the moan and the miserable groan
From the pain that she felt when I was bo'n!

O is for the oven with its burnin' heat,
Where she stood makin' sure I had somethin' to eat!

T is for the time that she stayed up nights,
And took my temperature when I wasn't feeling right!

H is for the hard-earned money she spent,
To keep clothes on my back and tried to pay da rent!

E is every wrinkle I put on her face,
And every worry that I caused when I stayed out late!

The last letter, R, is that she taught me respect,
And for the room up in heaven that I know she'll get!

7. Treat your friends right: Where I come from, a true friend is someone that when you get bit by a snake in the big toe [!!], they'll be there to suck the poison out! I mean, that's a real, true friend! Sometimes a true friend is hard to find.

8. Learn computers: Maybe Mr.T hacked the game and created a mohawk class! Maybe Mr. T is pretty handy with computers!

9. Be the "I" in I.T.: Hey, sucka! Be there! Don't make me mad, Arrr!

10. Stop saying "I Pity the Fool": It used to be fun in the 80's, not anymore.

Happy 2008! Do you have a New Year’s resolution?

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29 December 2007

Airplane Near Misses Building, Lands On Water

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27 December 2007

Make Your Own Fizzy Drinks At Home

Now here is something for those who are watching out for the contents of soda pops. If you are not a big fan of the amount acid, sugar, or artificial sweeteners in your soft drink, why not make your own? This is something I started doing for a few months now, it works great and tastes great too. What you need to do is take some carbonated water and add it to 100% pure juice of your choice. Simple!

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26 December 2007

Turn Your Desktop Into a Lava Lamp

Bring back 'far out' memories of the 70's with this mesmerising animated wallpaper. Drempels is a nifty piece of software that makes your computer's desktop behave like a screensaver, providing a hypnotic and psychedelic display of constant motion (best viewed on LSD). It allows you to add your own images and also runs in a screensaver mode. It's also open-source now, so you can get under the hood and tinker with the code if you so desire.

This is the first animated desktop program that we've come across that not only works, but it's stable and doesn't affect the system performance at all (when you put every setting on low and limit FPS to 10). Give it a try - it's really cool!

DIRECT DOWNLOAD (529 kb) - From the Drempels website:
"Drempels makes colorful, swirling, hallucinogenic patterns that resemble a hurricane or tornado. It normally runs in your Windows background or 'desktop', replacing your old still-image wallpaper with gently-animating visuals... and meanwhile, you can use your computer just like you normally would. It uses very little CPU overhead - so little that it even runs smoothly on a 233 MHz system!"

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25 December 2007

Drunken Santa Sightings!

Santa's a fat, creepy, snobby, vaguely racist hack worried more about his own gift-giving status than the children of the world. I met Santa at a party in New York once. And you know what? He was a totally self-absorbed prick, actually. He was all Santa-this, Santa-that, constantly worried about promoting the Santa "brand." As if we needed another reason to hate Santa Claus, he still hasn't owned up to his alcohol problem.

We used to think the red nose was cute; now we see it as a sign of a deeper problem.

Here are some pictures:

..some videos:

..and the flash game!

Text and links via BuzzFeed. Image and videos via Google.

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24 December 2007

POLL: Vote For the Best Ruff PC Review (and Video) - Round 2

Upon much discussion on the previous poll, we decided to break this giveaway down to 3 rounds. We received quite a few comments and emails like how people are supposed to read all the 80 reviews, and concerns about "bribing" for votes among other things led us to take this measure to allow the best reviewer win - not the one with most loyal friends. This is not a popularity contest and we hope the giveaway goes for the one who deserve it most. For a prize of this size, it is much more logical to have a few rounds rather than voting it off in a single poll. So, this is how it will be.

From the total 80 reviews, Top 20 made it to the second round and you have 5 days to vote for the best. On December 30th, Top 5 of round 2 poll will make it to the final round and those finalists will be voted down to one winner in another 5 days. The winner will be announced on Friday, January 4th 2008 on a separate post, and Ruff PC will get in touch with you to send out your Christmas New Year's gift.

There are a few rules as to how you can collect your votes this round. You can't spam people or bribe them with money. Use of any other non-monetary incentives like giving out links, kisses or candy is fine. However, you can vote only once and any violation of these rules or gaming the system will leave the participant out of the giveaway. So, no cheating. It's holiday season people - let's keep the spirit up.

Following is the Top 20 reviews from the first round in reverse order. If you don't have time to read them all, just read a few random ones until you find a review that you think is worthy of your vote. Merry Christmas and good luck!

LIST OF SEMI-FINALISTS (Votes from Previous Round)

01. John Chow Dot Com (5)

02. Homespun Honolulu (5)

03. Zero Hour Sleep (5)

04. Everything and Anything (5)

05. Jim's Rants (6)

06. Great Giveaways (6)

07. Samuel Nova (6)

08. Nakichiam (8)

09. Tim Christie (8)

10. Evangelical's Anonymous (10)

11. In The Brink of the Mental Warzone (10)

12. Kissowa Insider (14)

13. Drops of Blood (15)

14. Bloggrrl (17)

15. Must Read Files (21)

16. Love and Horny (23)

17. Widget's Lab (55)

18. Search for Blogging (73)

19. TechTreak - Review 1 and Review 2 (85)


UPDATE 1: Forgot to mention that votes from previous round will be added to the poll to choose the finalists. So, your efforts to gather votes are not wasted. Here are the results from the first round (click on it to see the PollDaddy report):

UPDATE 2: We also started a little side-contest, if you will, for the videos that were created by the reviewers. The rights of the best video will be bought by Ruff PC and used on the website, commercials..etc like Apple did. If you haven't already created a video, you can join now by mashing up something in less than 10 minutes using Animoto, send us your URL via email, and we will add it here. The following are the videos created so far and they are up for votes as well. The same route applies: Top 5 videos that make it to the final round will be voted again, counting the votes from this round as well, to choose the winner.


01. TechTreak - Demo 1

02. TechTreak - Demo 2


UPDATE 3: Wordout emailed me and opted out of the giveaway. Good luck to the rest of you!

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23 December 2007

Orgasmic Childbirth?

Now here is something different. A quick wikisearch leads to the Unassisted Childbirth (UC) page where it mentions that "the reasons for choosing to give birth unassisted range greatly from mother to mother but a few key factors are common to most... The understanding that birth is an intimate, sexual, and potentially orgasmic experience, and that privacy is absolutely essential for the erotic dimension of birth." There is a potentially Not Safe For Work (NSFW) link with more information about this concept but here is Laura Shanley's thoughts:

My introduction to the concept that birth could be orgasmic came via my college roommate Kim. We were discussing painless birth (I had just read Childbirth without Fear) when Kim casually said, "You know, some women actually have orgasms as they're giving birth. My mom had one with me."

What?! Even as open minded as I thought I was, the concept was almost embarrassing. I imagined this "mother" lying in a hospital bed, having an orgasm in front of a bunch of strangers - and doctors, no less. Yet I was definitely intrigued. If conception feels good, why not childbirth?

In the years to come, I would read about this phenomenon again and again, and although in my own births I was never able to achieve it, I think that in time, it will become more commonplace. Little by little, our culture is ridding itself of the fear, shame, and guilt that keep many of us from experiencing sex - let alone birth - as orgasmic. Perhaps someday, if we can fully accept our sexual natures, more of us will be able to know the joy that the following women have known."

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17 December 2007

Real Life FaceBook

Also watch the Top 10 real-life games. Absolutely hilarious!

Oh and one more thing - if you enjoyed this video, please digg or reddit the video itself - not this post.

Thank you, come again!

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16 December 2007

10 Steps To Play Rock Paper Scissors Like a Pro

While most of you probably already know how to play Rock Paper Scissors, there is more to this game than simple chance. It"s actually a perfectly balanced game that incorporates systems from mathematics to psychology, and it's often used as a method for creating appropriately non-biased random results in strategy games. However, unlike truly random selections, such as coin flipping or drawing straws, it can be played with skill if the game extends over many sessions, as a player can often recognize and exploit the non-random behavior of an opponent. Here are some of the techniques used in competitions such as the annual RPS World Championship.

Long story short; By being both observant and unpredictable, you can play like an RPS pro.

1. Watch your opponent play others. Often, they will lean towards one of the choices (for example, rock). If you have a chance to watch them play before they play you, look for an overall pattern.

2. Know rookie tendencies. The World RPS Society claims rookie men tend to lead with rock. If you're playing a spontaneous game against a male rookie, there's an increased chance that his opening throw will be rock, so you'll want to go with paper. Why do men start with rock? Perhaps the clenched fist evokes power and makes guys feel tough. If you're playing a female rookie, however, keep in mind that competitive player Jason Simmons claims that women tend to start with scissors, so go with rock.

3. "Train" the rookie. If an inexperienced player asks you to repeat the rules, you can subconsciously influence them to pick a certain gesture by dropping subtle hints. Physically demonstrate the gesture you want them to play more than any other gesture, and make sure it's the last gesture they see as you explain how the game works.

4. Play paper against an experienced player. A non-rookie may know that throwing an initial rock is too predictable, because of the tendency for male rookies to do this. They'll probably use scissors or paper. Therefore, you should start off with scissors, as it'll beat their paper or at least tie with their scissors. If your opponent is an experienced woman, she may be familiar with the "scissors" stereotype and will likely throw either rock or paper - thus, your best bet is paper.

5. Look for a double run. If someone makes the same throw twice, they will not want to make that same throw the third time, because they don't want to seem predictable. You can use this information to your advantage. For instance, if someone throws paper twice, they'll probably throw either rock or scissors on their third gesture; use rock so that you can either win or draw.

6. Beat your last move. This only works if you have just won; inexperienced or frustrated players tend to subconsciously throw the move that just beat them, so you should throw a gesture that will beat your own last move. For example, if you just won with rock against their scissors, they might throw rock next, so you should be prepared with paper.

7. Use probability to your advantage. In competition play, it's been statistically observed that scissors is the least common gesture. If you're at a loss for what to throw, using paper will give you a slight advantage, as it's slightly less probable that your opponent will use scissors.

8. Watch and react. Keep your eyes on your opponent's hand just as the gesture is being thrown. Watch what shape they are forming their hand into. If you see them extending into the paper gesture, for instance, you may have a split second within the count to react accordingly with scissors. But, be careful when trying to see what your opponent is doing because it could lead to slow throwing, which is illegal in competitive play.

9. There is no substitute for practice. Roshambo "RPS" can be played online in either a tournament or heads-up match setting at various websites. Although you won't be able to study the physical gestures of your opponent, you will be able to observe game play patterns and habits faster online. You can even earn money while playing RPS online with Moola.

10. Beware of non-rookies. An experienced pro may use all of these strategies against you. They might fake you out by, say, using scissors predominantly as their first gesture and then all of a sudden using paper when you least expect it.

For more advance RPS stategies, this article would be a good start. Oh and by the way; The 2007 championship was won by Andrea Farina - the first woman World RPS champion. Congratulations to Andrea!

Sources 1, 2.

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14 December 2007

Blind People Can Drive Cars Too

Blind DrivingBlind people driving cars? What's up with that? Did you think it to ever be posible? Well the folks in the United Kingdom think it's posible. Such a concept is not only happening, but the action itself is giving the blind an emence opportunity to do something special with the proceeds from the event allowing blind persons to drive going to a great cause. Not many might know this, but according to this article, there are "34 states that allow legally blind people to obtain a driver's license."

Apparently, blind people can "see" better with the aid of a bioptic device, a miniature telescope, that is fitted over the top of the lens in their eye. Thus, their vision is improved up to the point that they can drive a car legally - and you wouldn't see such sights as these:

Blind Driver

This article was written by Michelle Dyer from Writing Circle. Michelle is totally blind and yet she can put blogs together. Not just thought provoking but inspiring as well! If you are interested in contributing to the thinking process and become a guest writer on The Thinking Blog, find out more information here and be my guest!

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13 December 2007

Centralia: Town On Fire Since 1962

Located in Pennsylvania, United States, Centralia's population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005 and 9 in 2007, as a result of a 45-year-old mine fire burning beneath the town. In May 1962, the town council hired five members of the volunteer fire company to clean up the town landfill, located in an abandoned strip mine pit next to the Odd Fellows Cemetery. The firemen, as they had in the past, set the dump on fire, let it burn for a time, and then extinguished the fire, or so they thought.

In fact, the fire remained burning in the lower depths of the garbage and eventually spread through a hole in the rock pit into the abandoned coal mines beneath Centralia. Attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful. State-wide attention to the fire began to increase, culminating in 1981 when 12-year-old boy fell into a sinkhole 45 metres deep that suddenly opened beneath his feet. He was saved after his older cousin pulled him from the mouth of the hole before he could plunge to his probable death. The incident brought national attention to Centralia and in 1984 U.S. Congress allocated more than $42 million for relocation efforts. Most of the residents accepted buyout offers and moved to the nearby communities but a handful of occupied homes remain in Centralia today.

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12 December 2007

10 Crazy Ways to Cool Your Computer

Due to increased heat produced by overclocked components, an effective cooling system is necessary to avoid damaging the hardware. Overclockers go to great extents to keep their valuable hardware cool in the face of ridiculous speeds. Here are a few examples of MHz junkies that might have gone just a little too far while trying to keep their computers cool (in no particular order):

  1. The Turbocharger: This guy had an old turbocharger lying around and decided to put it to good use, pumping air into his flaming hot case faster than any 90mm fan out there.

  2. Liquid Nitrogen Cooled: The Reigning Champion, used again and again with every new chip released. The only way to go for a new 3DMark record. This was used to cool a P4 over clocked to 5.25Ghz!

  3. The Oversize Fan: Built on Plastic Tubing, with a rediculously large fan. Completely custom case with probably the best ventilation possible.

  4. Pool Cooled PC: Cooler Computer, Warmer Pool. This guy integrated the water cooling system for a few computers with his pool's piping to get a cheap and efficient water cooling system.

  5. The Case Fan Case: This case consists of 70 Case Fans total, all blowing air into or out of the case. The fans aren't screwed onto the case, they are the case.

  6. The Cookie Jar Trick: A fan mount, air duct, and hard drive silencing enclosure -- all in one! This practical mod is for anyone running a high speed HDD but looking for some silence at night.

  7. Refrigerant Cooled PC: Think of it as Liquid Nitrogen Lite. This mod uses the same technology as a refrigerator, and is fairly cheap if you have the supplies.

  8. The Water Cooled PC: From 1885? This beautiful rig combines style and substance. Truly a work of art.

  9. The Cooking Oil PC: $1000 worth of hardware submerged in oil. The vegetable oil acts as a good coolant but doesn't conduct electricity. Just don't play Crysis for ten hours straight or you'll end up with some deep fried chips.

  10. Air Ducts: Foam Boards Direct Air Inside Case. This is another cheap and practical mod anyone can do. A few peaces of cardboard and a couple fans to efficiently direct air in any case.

This article was written by Computer News. Speeding Computer offers interesting tech information and computer news. If you are interested in contributing to the thinking process and become a guest writer on The Thinking Blog, find out more information here and be my guest!

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11 December 2007

Ruff PC Giveaway: Competition Heating Up!

It's only been three and half weeks since we announced the Ruff PC laptop giveaway and the competition to write the best review keeps on heating up as the 20th December deadline approaches. As you might already know, the final list of reviews will be linked here, then readers get 5 days to check them out and vote on the best. So much so, the review battle is turning into a video mashup battle! See TechTreak's and WordOut's videos after the break and good luck in the competition. The winner will be announced on 25th December here, and Ruff PC will get in touch with you to send out your Christmas gift!

Actually, I think the best video could even be used by Ruff PC, like Apple did with the fan-made iPod Touch video!

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10 December 2007

DIY Wind Generator For Super Cheap Power

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09 December 2007

How To Protect Yourself From Evil Eyes

The evil eye is a folk belief that the envy elicited by the good luck of fortunate people may result in their misfortune, whether it is envy of material possessions, or of beauty, health, or offspring. The perception of the nature of the phenomenon, its causes, and possible protective measures, varies between different cultures. Belief in the evil eye is strongest in the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia and Europe, especially the Mediterranean region.

Nazar BoncuguThe amount of literary and archaeological evidence attests to the belief in the evil eye in the eastern Mediterranean for more than a millennium starting with Hesiod, Callimachus, Plato, Diodorus Siculus, Theocritus, Plutarch, Heliodorus, Pliny the Elder, and Aulus Gellius. Studying these written sources in order to write on the evil eye only gives a fragmented view of the subject whether it presents a folkloric, theological, classical or anthropological approach to the evil eye. While these different approaches tend to reference similar sources each presents a different yet similar usage of the evil eye, that the fear of the evil eye is based on the belief that certain people posses eyes whose glance has the power to injure or even kill and that it can be intentional or unintentional.

Evil Eye AmuletIn some forms, it is the belief that some people can bestow a curse on victims by the malevolent gaze of their magical eye. The most common form, however, attributes the cause to envy, with the envious person casting the evil eye doing so unintentionally. Also the effects on victims vary. Some cultures report afflictions with bad luck; others believe the evil eye can cause disease, wasting away, and even death. In most cultures, the primary victims are thought to be babies and young children, because they are so often praised and commented upon by strangers or by childless women. The late UC Berkeley professor of folklore Alan Dundes has explored the beliefs of many cultures and found a commonality — that the evil caused by the gaze is specifically connected to symptoms of drying, desiccation, withering, and dehydration, that its cure is related to moistness, and that the immunity from the evil eye that fish have in some cultures is related to the fact that they are always wet. His essay "Wet and Dry: The Evil Eye" is a standard text on the subject.

Nazirlikli Ucak KuyruguKnown as nazar, the evil eye talisman is particularly common in Turkey. Colourful beads, bracelets, necklaces, anklets, and all manner of decoration may be adorned by this particularly popular symbol, and it is possible to see it on almost anything, from babies, horses, doors to cars, cell phones and even airplanes. Disks or balls consisting of concentric blue and white circles (usually, from outside to inside, dark blue, white, light blue, black) representing evil eyes, the "nazar" is supposed to bend the malicious gaze back to the sorcerer.

So, next time you visit Turkey, make sure you pick up some of these for yourself, family, friends and loved ones - and protect them from those evil eyes!

UPDATE: Thanks for stumbling by! Please leave a comment and let us know what you think about this phenomenon.
Nazar Boncuklari

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