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5 Life Pro Tips of the Week – Part 109

Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.

1. Live support chat systems allow the business to see what you’re typing in real-time, so only enter the text you’re 100% comfortable with.

Almost all support live chat systems provide a “Sneak Peek” feature that allows a customer support agent to see what you’re typing in real-time before you submit. This can work against you if you’re negotiating a resolution and type something (however brief) that gets taken the wrong way. Keep your in-progress thoughts outside of the chat!

Vendor links:


2. To check if a map is up to date, look for South Sudan.

It is the world’s newest country, gaining its independence from Sudan in 2011.

3. Search on Craigslist in the weeks after Black Friday. Everyone will be selling the things they just upgraded from.

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4. If you or someone you know is in high school and wants to get into a good college, you/they might consider taking up the tuba.

Tuba players are heavily recruited by many colleges with marching bands that need people who play this bulky and awkward instrument.

5. Run a digital fire drill once in a while.

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If your phone and computer were lost, would you be able to recover all your online accounts, investments, etc.?



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25 Kickass Random Facts List #350

Here are 25 kickass random facts. For part 349, click here.

1-5 Kickass Random Facts

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1. After Nietzsche’s death, his sister Elisabeth curated and edited his manuscripts, reworking Nietzsche’s unpublished writings to fit her own German nationalist ideology while often contradicting or distorting his stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. – Source

2. When humans domesticated wolves, we basically bred Williams syndrome into dogs, which is characterized by cognitive difficulties and a tendency to love everyone. – Source

3. Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ was deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant enough for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the United States Library of Congress in 2016, the first metal recording to do so. – Source

4. The Cocaine Bear was found dead in the woods after eating 76 pounds ($15 million worth) of cocaine. – Source

5. There was a German architect who devoted his whole life to promote his grand scheme of damming and draining the Mediterranean to create vast amounts of land and to unite Europe and Africa into one supercontinent. – Source

6-10 Kickass Random Facts

6. Due to the way a rotting apple releases ethylene (which accelerates rotting), one bad apple really does ruin the whole bunch. – Source

7. The German Parliament has the graffiti “I f–k Hitler in the ass” preserved as a historic monument on one of its walls. – Source

8. Sir Richard Branson dislikes the formality of neck ties so much that he often carries around a pair of scissors with him, ready to cut the ties off of unsuspecting tie wearers. He even has a cushion that he keeps at his home on Necker Island made up from the ties of some of his victims. – Source

9. The song “d*ck In a Box” by the Lonely Island won an Emmy. – Source

10. During Charles Manson’s trial, the judge began carrying a revolver under his robe after Manson charged at him with a pencil. – Source

11-15 Kickass Random Facts

11. Most Americans aren’t aware of blackcurrant flavor (one of the most popular soft drink and confection flavors in the world) due to a ban on the plant in the 1900s because of its role in spreading disease among white pines, a principle industry of the growing American republic. – Source

12. Nintendo sued Galoob to prevent the release of its NES cheating device, the Game Genie, a legal battle followed. But for the Sega Genesis version, Sega not only allowed its release but officially licensed it. – Source

13. If you are thrown out of a Las Vegas strip club, you are entitled to be reimbursed your cover charge and the cost of any alcoholic beverage you purchased. (Las Vegas Code of Ordinances sec.6.06B.090(O).) – Source

14. Because Germany dubs Hollywood movies to their native language, for every Hollywood movie-star there is an equivalent German voice actor who is used again and again in the same films as their counterpart. – Source

15. Wayne Gretzky was so dominant in Fantasy Hockey, that many leagues split his stats into two players: Gretzky (Goals) and Gretzky (Assists). – Source


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25 Interesting Historical Photos – Part 111

Here are this week’s interesting historical photos. For part 110, click here.

1. View of Boston, the oldest surviving aerial photograph was ever taken, October 13th, 1860.

2. Walt Whitman, between 1860-65.

3. Austro-Hungarian tail gunner armed with ten Mauser C96 handguns, WWI.

4. Portrait of a bride and groom.

The hat is adorned with feathers for luck, Kraków, Poland, 1912 autochrome by Tadeusz Rząca.

5. The world’s 1st digital image, 1957.

6. Signature of Paris Agreements, ending the allied occupation of West Germany, France, October 23rd, 1954.

7. The First black girl to attend an all white school in the US.

Dorothy Counts being teased and taunted by her white male peers, 1957.

8. German Soldier lights a cigarette for a wounded English soldier after the Battle of Epehy, September 18th, 1918.

Photo by Lt Thomas K. Aitken, Imperial War Museum.

9. USS Constellation (CV-64) passing under the Brooklyn Bridge with her mast folded down, 1962.

10. A lone man refusing to do the German Nazi salute, 1936.


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5 Things You Should Know – Part 147

Here are 5 things you should know.

1. You are supposed to close your bedroom doors at night for fire safety.

It delays the spread of fire, smoke, and toxic fumes.

2. You should avoid posting future holiday trips on social media as you are literally advertising for thieves that you will be gone.

Also, wait until a week after your trip to post travel photos.

Thieves have been found to use social media to find out who might be gone from their property as a potential target. Even if you think only your “friends” will read it, unfortunately even this individual might be the individuals to rob you.

3. Serious alcoholics can die from withdrawals, going cold turkey can be risky based on the level of use.

Required citation:

4. Humans have 90-minute sleep cycles, so if you have to get very little sleep one night, it’s best to get 1.5, 3, 4.5, etc. hours of sleep.

It also means you’ll be less tired if you wake up with 6 or 7.5 hours of sleep than you would otherwise!

5. To dry an item of clothing faster, place a couple of dry towels in with it.


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25 Uplifting Headlines of the Week – Part 56

Here are this week’s uplifting headlines.

1-5 Uplifting Headlines of the Week

1. It’s now illegal to declaw a cat in Denver. – Source

2. Iranian weightlifting champion auctions Olympic gold medal to raise money for earthquake victims, “It belongs…to my people.” – Source

3. Surgeons repair spina bifida in the fetus for the 1st time in Canada. – Source

4. 8-year-old finds a wallet with $1,700 and returns it to mugging victim. – Source

5. A Texas car garage uses volunteer mechanics to fix and overhaul cars for single moms, widows, and wives of deployed. soldiers. – Source

6-10 Uplifting Headlines of the Week

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6. Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation is donating $30 million to The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to preserve and protect rivers and watersheds in the US and internationally. – Source

7. Nurses help sneak a dying man’s dog into the hospital to say a final goodbye. – Source

8. Homeless man returns $10,000 check to a woman who lost it. – Source

9. High school seniors held a funeral for a homeless veteran who died on the streets, and who had no living family members or friends. – Source

10. Nanomachines which can drill into cancer cells, killing them in just 60 seconds, have been developed by scientists. – Source

11-15 Uplifting Headlines of the Week

11. Law makes it illegal to leave pets outside in freezing temps for too long. – Source

12. Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is to invest $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital fund that brings together industry and government to seek treatments for the brain-wasting disease. – Source

13. A dog that lost its tail from too much wagging adopted after 2 years in a shelter. – Source

14. 11-year-old boy walks across the USA to raise awareness and money for type 1 diabetes and JDRF. – Source

15. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip release the new photo to mark the 70th anniversary. – Source


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17 Interesting Facts About Sushi

Here are 17 Interesting Sushi facts.

1-5 Sushi Facts

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1. The Japanese considered raw salmon dangerous since Pacific salmon was prone to parasites. Norway had too much salmon and decided to focus on teaching Japanese consumers that Atlantic salmon was safe to eat raw. It took ten years for Salmon sushi/sashimi to finally become popular. – Source

2. Wasabi was originally eaten with sushi to kill bacteria and parasites in the fish. Now with better sanitary conditions it’s not needed and eaten just out of habit. – Source

3. The pickled ginger served with most sushi is meant to cleanse your palate between different pieces and can be offensive to the chef if used as a topping. – Source

4. In 2013, a genetic test of fish in restaurants and supermarkets showed 84% of Sushi restaurants in the US mislabeled and replaced tuna with Escolar, a fish known to cause prolonged, uncontrollable oily an*l leakage. – Source

5. The US has about 3,946 sushi restaurants and Japan has about 45,000. – Source

6-10 Sushi Facts

6. Sushi is meant to be eaten by hand, rather than with chopsticks. – Source

7. The reason sushi with cucumber is often called something with “kappa” is that there is a Japanese mythical creature called Kappa, which lives in ponds and likes cucumber. – Source

8. Sushi was originally a preservation method for the fish. Only later did people come to eat the rice. – Source

9. There is a company in Vancouver that provides sushi served on nude female models. The rules are no talking to the model, no touching the model, and no lewd gestures or comments. – Source

10. There are transgenic fish used in sushi to make it glow. – Source

11-15 Sushi Facts

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11. Ikizukuri is a form of sushi where the fish is scaled, filleted, and served alive. – Source

12. Uni served in sushi restaurants are gonads, the only edible part and fivefold, of a sea urchin. – Source

13. The spicy sauce you eat on sushi is just mayonnaise mixed with sriracha. – Source

14. Eighty-six-year-old Jiro Ono is considered to be the world’s best sushi chef. Customers make reservations at his Tokyo restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, up to a year in advance. His rice is described as a cloud that explodes in your mouth. He also holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s oldest three-Michelin star chef. – Source

15. The most expensive price ever for a sushi-grade bluefin tuna was $1.8 million for a 222-kilogram fish in Japan. Over 80% of the world’s declining tuna stock is eaten by the Japanese. – Source

16-17 Sushi Facts

16. The longest sushi roll ever created measured 2,521.74 meters (about 8,270 ft.) and was made in Russia in December 2011 at the Sushkof Restaurant. – Source

17. Jeremy Piven was diagnosed with mercury poisoning because he ate sushi at least twice a day for 20 years. – Source



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AskReaders: What’s a 10/10 album from the last 15 years by a relatively obscure artist/band?

We asked our regular contributors through e-mail, What’s a 10/10 album from the last 15 years by a relatively obscure artist/band? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way and most of the respondents have requested to stay anonymous, so no names will be published.

1. Nujabes – Modal Soul.

Nujabes was a Japanese Jazz / Hip-hop producer who was truly a master of his craft. He utilizes samples from all different types of music from classical to electronic. He passed away while in his prime after a car accident back in 2010.

Here’s the first song from the album, one of my all-time favorites – Feather (feat. Cise Starr & Akin).

2. We like it here by Snarky Puppy.

3. Emancipator – Soon It Will Be Cold Enough. One of my favorite albums of all time.

4. PUP- The Dream is over.

5. Punch brothers – the phosphorescent blues

Basically, the five best bluegrass musicians in the world got together to use bluegrass instruments to play anything but bluegrass. Super detailed complicated music, amazing lyrics, awesome instrumentals. There really isn’t another band out there that is on their level. If you’re a musician, listen to each song again for each instrument individually, and it will blow your mind with something new every time.

6. Here is a list of the albums that when I first heard them, I just couldn’t stop listening to them. Many of these I listened on repeat for weeks or even months. I really like listening to new music so this list might get long. I know some of these are not “obscure” but I want to give people the chance to hear a band they might not listen to in their normal circles.

Major Parkinson – Twilight cinema


An Experimental Rock group from Norway, it’s hard kinda hard to describe their sound but it reminds me of Over the Garden Wall or like a nightmare about gypsies I don’t know. If you like them check out- Woodkid

The Dear Hunter – Acts I/II/III/IV/V

The Dear Hunter (one of my all-time favorite bands who deserve a spot of their own so…)

Acts I-V

IMHO one of the greatest bands of our time. The Acts tell the story of a boy born to a single mother in the 1890’s. The songs go from his birth to his struggles with the corrupt priest that runs the town, to his time in WW1, to his falling in love, etc. A masterpiece.

Brick & Mortar – Bangs

Locked in a cage

An indie rock duo from New Jersey. One of my top 5 bands. Bangs is their best album by far. If you like them, the closest band I found to them is IAMDYNAMITE they changed their sound pretty drastically after their first album so doesn’t really listen to their new stuff.

Fleshgod Apocalypse – King

Full Album

A Symphonic Death Metal band from Italy. If you don’t like growls and guttural vocals this isn’t for you. Fleshgod Apocalypse is a death metal band with heavy influences from classical and opera and they merge the very different genres beautifully.

Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden

Full Album

A doom metal band from Arkansas with very clean vocals and amazing instrumentals. Foundations of Burden is probably their best album. As with all doom metal, they have a very depressing sound. I listen to this album on repeat as I read Dracula for the first time and made it all the better. If you like them check out.


Shearwater – Animal Joy

Full Album

An Indie Rock band from Texas. A very chill band and a nice change of pace after all that metal. Very relaxing and their following album Jet Plane and Oxbow is equally as good.

Gunship – Gunship

Tech Noir

A Synthwave band from Britain. An Amazing band that takes Synthwave where no other band in the genre has before. If you are unfamiliar with the Genre, it’s like a pseudo-80’s electronic thing. It will remind you of things like Tron, Blade Runner, Etc. If you have been really into Stranger Things this might tide you over for awhile. If you like them check out –

Dance with the Dead


Mitch Murder

And by popular demand; Carpenter Brut

The Protomen – Act II – The Father of Death

Breaking Out

Light Up the Night

Dry the River – Shallow Bed

New Ceremony

An Alternative Rock band from London. A very relaxing band, they even have an acoustic version of the above album that rivals the original.

Grimes – Visions


An adorable Electropop solo artist from Vancouver. Here stuff is a little weird if this isn’t your style of music, but I found it very catchy and couldn’t stop listening to it when it first came out.

Hozier – Hozier

Take Me To Church

Angel of Small Death…

A singer-songwriter from Ireland. He is getting pretty popular with his song Take Me To Church, but the whole album is amazing and if you like that song, give the rest of the album a listen.

The Kin – Get On It

Get On It

A short EP but a really good one. I would have put my favorite song by them; Boy you’re a pretty girl but I don’t think they have a studio version on Youtube.

Ratatat – Classics

Loud Pipes

An Electronic Duo from Brooklyn. They are completely instrumental and have a unique sound that is unmistakable. They performed with Kid Cudi on two of his songs, most notably Pursuit of Happiness.

A Silent Film – Sand & Snow

Harbour Lights

A really good album that takes me back to high school and innocent, young love.

X Ambassadors – Love songs Drug Songs

Love Songs Drug Songs

The next Imagine Dragons. Enjoy them while you can, I swear you’ll hear them everywhere in a few years.

Active Child – You Are All I See

Johhny Belinda

Super chill singer-songwriter.

Alex Clare – The Lateness of the Hour

Up All Night

A solid album with great songs like Hummingbird and Too Close.

The Birthday Massacre – Walking With Strangers

Full album


An Electric/Dark Wave band from Ontario. Great for when you want to feel like an angsty emo 13-year-old. I still love them though.

Baroness – Yellow and Green

March to the Sea

Take My Bones Away

Chet Faker – Built On Glass


An Australian Singer-Songwriter. He does an amazing cover of No Diggity, Here is his live session of it.

Some individual songs I’ve been playing on repeat lately:

Ocean Man by Ween.

Ocean Power Because of course.

Space Song by Beach House.

First by Cold War Kids.

Into The Wild by LP.

The Wreck of S.S. Needle by Cult Of Luna Ft. Julie Christmas.

Source by Fever the Ghost, Video by the amazing Felix Colgrave.

Stratovarius – Nemesis


7. Pinegrove – Cardinal.

They’ve been gaining ground, as of late, but I still think they’re pretty obscure.

8. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition, the guy is barely known out of hip-hop but this album perfectly captures the man’s addiction and depression.

9. Gojira, from Mars to Sirius.

10. Jon Hopkins – Immunity.


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14 Interesting Facts About Popcorn

Here are 14 Interesting Popcorn facts.

1-5 Popcorn Facts

1. Movie theater popcorn costs more per ounce than filet mignon in the USA. – Source

2. Popcorn was banned from movie theaters in the 1920’s because of the noise it made while eating it. – Source

3. Popcorn became popular during the Great Depression because it was fairly inexpensive. – Source

4. There are popcorn hammers which heat popcorn in a pressure vessel so that it can’t pop until it is released, at which point all kernels pop simultaneously. – Source

5. There is nothing inherently technical or necessary in a microwave popcorn bag. You can make microwave popcorn in a brown paper bag with normal kernels. – Source

6-10 Popcorn Facts

6. The inside of a popcorn kernel becomes a gel right before it pops. The popcorn shape is due to the rapid cooling of this gel. – Source

7. Butter flavoring in microwave popcorn commonly contains a chemical called diacetyl. Despite evidence that suggests inhalation may be harmful or even fatal, the FDA recognizes the chemical as perfectly safe. – Source

8. Huge amounts of popcorn are used to simulate oil spills without affecting the environment. – Source

9. Popcorn was once sweetened and eaten as a breakfast cereal in the United States. – Source

10. Popcorn dates back to around 3600 BC. – Source

11-14 Popcorn Facts

11. A medium popcorn & soda combo is the nutritional equivalent of eating three-Quarter Pounders with 12 pats of butter. – Source

12. The first food deliberately cooked in a microwave was popcorn. – Source

13. The first corn domesticated by the ancient people of Central America was popcorn. – Source

14. In 2011, in Latvia, a man shot another man dead in a movie theater for eating his popcorn too loudly. – Source



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25 Crazy Headlines of the Month – Part 54

Here are this month’s crazy headlines.

1-5 Crazy Headlines

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1. Cards against humanity buy a plot of land on US/Mexico border to block border wall. – Source

2. Apology after Japanese train departs 20 seconds early. – Source

3. Ferry McFerryface to be the name of new Sydney ferry after a public vote. – Source

4. Man finds car 20 years after forgetting where he parked it. – Source

5. Philippines’ Duterte says he stabbed someone to death as a teen, then proposes hosting human rights summit. – Source

6-10 Crazy Headlines

6. 2 accidentally shot at church during church shooting discussion. – Source

7. Mankini-wearing ‘Borat’ tourists arrested in Kazakhstan. – Source

8. ‘Don’t block my drive’ note left on the ambulance. – Source

9. The Pope is giving away a white and gold Lamborghini because of ISIS. – Source

10. No death certificate has a cause of death as pollution: Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan. – Source

11-15 Crazy Headlines

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11. Greggs says sorry after Advent calendar launch replaces baby Jesus with a sausage roll. – Source

12. Chinese company offers single people a lifetime supply of alcohol for £1,275. – Source

13. Berlin road rage driver threatens ambulance crew saving a child. – Source

14. The singer sent death threats from the deaf community. – Source

15. Man uses a match to check for a natural gas leak, the gas ignites. – Source


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5 Things You Should Know – Part 146

Here are 5 things you should know.

1. When anxiety causing thoughts arise, start mentally describing objects or actions you see in your vicinity as if you were narrating a story.

This will distract your brain from spiraling down that dreaded black hole.

The idea is to make the voice in your head act as a narrator to things that are happening around you. This turns your focus outwards rather than inwards. Lots of anxiety arises from too much focus on oneself.

2. The US Navy has a set of manuals to teach basic math all the way up to pre-Calculus and statistics.

The Navy has four manuals used to teach those with very minimal education basic math.

To get a sense of the education level assumed, NAVEDTRA 14139 starts with a review of addition, subtraction, and multiplication (assuming that you’ve seen these things before but reminding you how to do them), the first full unit that is not a review is on fractions.

  • NAVEDTRA 14139 Mathematics Basic Math and Algebra – 13.8 MB
  • NAVEDTRA 14140 Mathematics Trigonometry – 8.39 MB
  • NAVEDTRA 14141 Mathematics Pre Calculus and Introduction to Probability – 10.4 MB
  • NAVEDTRA 14142 Mathematics Introduction to Statistics Number Systems and Boolean Algebra – 6.61 MB

3. Kidde is recalling nearly 38 million fire extinguishers made from 1973 through 2017.

If you have a fire extinguisher with a plastic handle, definitely check if it’s part of the recall.

More info here. Some other brands (presumably manufactured by Kidde) include:

  • Ademco
  • ADT
  • Bicentennial
  • Costco
  • Fire Away
  • Fuller
  • Gillette
  • Home
  • Honeywell
  • J.L.
  • Kadet
  • Mariner
  • Master Protection
  • Montgomery Ward
  • Quell
  • Sams
  • Sanford
  • Sears
  • Traveler
  • Volunteer


4. You can shape government by more than just voting: most western democratic countries seek public comment on proposed regulations on a regular basis. Links to some countries inside.

Here are a few examples in no particular order:

USAUKCanadaAustraliaNew ZealandNorwayEuropean Union

5. If a company suddenly makes it difficult to get a refund. You can call your fraud hotline for your credit and use it as evidence to justify a chargeback.


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