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5 Things You Should Know – Part 128

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Here are 5 things you should know.

1. Facial scans, iris scans, and your fingerprints are not protected by the fifth amendment and therefore not secure.

The general rule of thumb is that the fifth amendment protects what you know. It does not protect what you have.

In short, if it’s a physical thing that exists in reality, like your fingerprint, you can be compelled by a court to give that up. If it is information, something you know that only exists in your mind, you cannot be forced to give that information up (you can be held in contempt of court, but no technology exists that can extract information directly from your mind).

Keep this in mind when purchasing and setting up a new phone. Sure someone can beat you with a pipe wrench and hope you crack and give them the information, but you can always choose not to divulge it to them. They can pin you down to a table and hold your hand or your face to your phone and unlock it, but nothing will ever be as secure as a password that only you know.

“Why does this matter? I have nothing to hide”. I would like to draw your attention to the 2004 Madrid subway bombings. During the investigation into the attacks, detectives found a partial fingerprint on a piece of the recovered bomb casing. This information was forwarded to INTERPOL and the FBI. When the FBI ran that print against their database, they found it matched with a lawyer in Portland, Oregon. The FBI arrested him, raided his home and his office, and charged him with a terrorist attack that killed hundreds. The thing is, this man was innocent. He had never once been to Madrid. It turns out that there are more people on earth than unique fingerprints. This innocent lawyer in Portland was crucified by the FBI because he happened to be unlucky enough to have the same fingerprint as a Syrian born member of Al-Qaeda. The FBI sent expert after expert after expert to the stands to try to send this man away for life. It was only after the actual terrorist was caught that the FBI finally let the case go, but not before economically and socially ruining an innocent man’s life.

The thing is though, had they of not caught the real guy, they would never have given up the case against this innocent man. They would have gone through every message, every email, every scrap of paper, to try to build any connection, even circumstantial, that could convince a jury this man was a mass murderer.

This is why don’t use facial recognition. Don’t use iris scans, don’t use fingerprints. Encrypt your phone, and set a strong password. It could literally save your life one day.

2. Drowning doesn’t actually look like drowning.

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  • Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
  • Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  • Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  • Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  • From beginning to the end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

3. By using Equifax’s website to check whether you’re part of the data breach you agree to waive your right to sue them.

You should know that Equifax, after negligently leaking the private data of 148 million people, has created a website which purports to tell you whether your personal information was compromised upon entry of the last six digits of your social security number and your last name but which does not give you any information about whether your information was hacked. The website also has a term of service agreement attached to it that states that users waive their right to pursue or participate in a class action lawsuit against them relative to the hack. The website doesn’t work and only exists to get you to waive your right to sue them.

4. A lot of “fake” pockets are actually real pockets.

This is particularly common in suits and coats, and it is seen more frequently on finer items of clothing that have linings. It makes the garment look nice on a hanger until someone buys it and makes various aspects of transporting and stocking it less likely to mess it up. If you look/feel closely you should be able to tell, and then you can usually undo the thread usually a very loose stitch called a basting stitch with a seam ripper or a couple of careful snips with scissors. Ever noticed the flap on the back of a blazer or jacket that is stitched together only at the bottom? Same deal. Open ’em up. It looks really dumb on a job interview.

5. You can disable Cortana in Windows 10 with a few easy steps.

start -> run -> regedt32.exe

Navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\

create a new key “Windows Search”

go to the “Windows Search” key

create a new D-WORD (32-bit) : “AllowCortana”

make sure it’s set to 0. Then reboot!

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25 Interesting Shower Thoughts – Part 84

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Here are this week’s shower thoughts.

1-5 Shower Thoughts

1. Fake drawers are just as shitty as fake pant pockets.

2. People are concerned about the planet we’re leaving for our kids, but give zero f*cks about what kind of kids we’re leaving for our planet.

3. Villains are commonly portrayed as geniuses and mad scientists who use advanced science to take over the world. In reality, the evilest comes out of ignorance and the rejection of science.

4. We turned one of humanities biggest dreams, being able to fly, into one of the most boring, stressful experiences in life.

5. Snapchat is ruining all the progress we made on getting people to take horizontal videos.

6-10 Shower Thoughts

6. I always need my home to be 100% clean when my friends come over. Yet I never judge them for not cleaning up when I visit them.

7. People who buy 17 cases of water for the Hurricane probably sit around after the Hurricane wondering what to do with 16 cases of water.

8. We all laugh at Sheldon Cooper for obsessing over “his seat,” but I get annoyed when someone takes my unassigned seat in a lecture hall or classroom.

9. As far as we know, the Earth holds the entire universe’s supply of chocolate.

10. Ravioli look like pregnant post stamps.

11-15 Shower Thoughts

11. I know most people worry about humans during natural disasters, but all I can think about are the stray animals and pets left behind.

12. Instead of news articles blame Millennials for killing an industry, they should blame the industries for failing to adapt to a changing market.

13. I work at a Dunkin’ Donuts, but I have never seen any customers dunk a donut.

14. I often wonder how dead authors would react if they somehow came alive and realized their stories or poems were being over analyzed and possibly taken out of context quite regularly in schools.

15. When people say, “that movie wasn’t scary. I laughed the whole time,” I don’t think they’re difficult to frighten. I think they must be really annoying to watch a movie with.

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15 Interesting Facts About Taylor Swift

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Here are 15 Interesting Taylor Swift facts.

1-5 Taylor Swift Facts

1. Taylor Swift was born into wealth. Her father is “a descendant of three generations of bank presidents” and worked for Merrill Lynch. At the age of 14, her family moved to Nashville where her father purchased a stake in Big Machine, the label to which Swift first signed. – Source

2. In 2012, when Taylor Swift held a public vote for where she would visit and perform free concert 4chan users voted for a children’s school for the deaf and won the vote. – Source

3. After Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift, Comedy Central replayed the episode “Fishsticks” four times consecutively. – Source

4. In 2014, Taylor Swift accidentally released 8 seconds of white noise on iTunes for $1.29. It became #1 in Canada almost immediately before being removed. – Source

5. The same man is responsible for the popularity of Taylor Swift, the Backstreet Boys, N Sync, Britney Spears, and, Katy Perry. – Source

6-10 Taylor Swift Facts

Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

6. A few years after the Lostprophet’s disintegration as a band following the lead singer’s sentence for paedophelia, they uploaded a song to Soundcloud called “I knew you were trouble”. It was the original version sung by Taylor Swift. It was removed a few days later by SoundCloud. – Source

7. Taylor Swift donated all the proceeds from Wildest Dream to African wildlife conservation. – Source

8. Taylor Swift once made a rap video together with T-Pain: “Thug Story”. – Source

9. Taylor Swift has insured her legs for $40M. – Source

10. Taylor Swift owns the rights to the phrase “This Sick Beat”. – Source

11-15 Taylor Swift Facts

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11.  When Taylor Swift was sued for plagiarizing Shake It Off, the court’s dismissal was written using lyrics from Swift’s songs, such as “..the Complaint has a blank space..” – Source

12. Taylor Swift learned how to play the guitar from a guy who originally came to fix her computer. – Source

13. In 2014, Taylor Swift removed her music from Spotify because “music should not be free.” – Source

14. Imogen Heap and Ryan Tedder (One Republic) were some of the composers for Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. – Source

15. Out of all the teams that play at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Taylor Swift received a banner before The Clippers. – Source

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5 Life Pro Tips of the Week – Part 99

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Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.

1. If you’re a high school student looking for a job and are eventually planning on moving to a new city after graduating, aim for a job at a large chain like a grocery store.

They will often facilitate job transfers so that you can have employment lined up when you move.

2. In emergency or disaster situations, you can relay important information to others via your outgoing voicemail greeting.

In an effort to conserve phone power or if it looks like you will have no way to recharge in an emergency, leave your last location, general safety status, or other important information on your outgoing voicemail message.

3.  Whenever you are having work done on the house, always insist on being told the supplier of all the materials/parts (windows, doors, blinds, tiles etc. etc.) when you need spares 5 years down the line, there is no guarantee your contractor will still be around to tell you.

4. When completing work from home, change into clothes you’d wear out of the house, and out of your track pants/pajamas.

A small way to mentally wake up and feel ‘prepped’ for the working day.

5. Generators in disaster scenarios commonly lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Please leave the generator outside while running, if it is inside, you will be breathing in toxic fumes unknowingly.

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25 Kickass Random Facts List #340

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Here are 25 kickass random facts. For part 339, click here.

1-5 Kickass Random Facts

1. In Interstellar, they actually planted hundreds of acres of corn just for the sake of the movie and it ultimately cost nothing because they made all of the money back when they sold the crop. – Source

2. While working on “Malcolm In The Middle,” Bryan Cranston joined a song writers guild so that he got paid royalties for the tunes he hummed and whistled on the show. He threw parties for the cast and crew with the royalty cheques and as a result, the crew encouraged more humming. – Source

3. In 2009, OkCupid statistics showed that women rate 80% of men “below average”. – Source

4. Looney Tunes was created to promote WB’s music catalog in the 1930’s. That’s why it’s “Tunes” and not “Toons”. – Source

5. An Air Canada flight was asked by Australian authorities to investigate an emergency beacon. The plane, with 270 people, flew at 4000 feet as crew and passengers used binoculars to locate a stranded sailor, who was later rescued by police. The flight landed safely in Sydney, 90 minutes delayed. – Source

6-10 Kickass Random Facts

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6. Puyi, the last Emperor of China, spent his last years as a commoner in Beijing under the communist regime. On his first day of work as a street sweeper, he was lost and told passersby, “I’m Puyi, the last Emperor of the Qing dynasty. I’m staying with relatives and can’t find my way home.” – Source

7. Bill Murray said Kung Fu Hustle: “There should have been a day of mourning for American comedy the day that movie came out,” because it was the “supreme achievement” of modern comedy. – Source

8. Arkansas is the only state where rentals don’t have a warranty of habitability. So, landlords can knowingly rent dangerous or otherwise uninhabitable properties with no recourse for the renter. – Source

9. In 2002 a fake sequel to Harry Potter appeared in China with the title “Harry Potter and Bao Zuolong.” The book consists of the text of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit with names changed to those of Harry Potter characters. – Source

10. When Three Six Mafia beat out Dolly Parton to win the 2006 Academy Award for Best Original Song, Dolly was thrilled, and personally sent a congratulatory letter, “We’re proud of you guys, and I’m just glad that the Oscar came back to Tennessee one way or another!” – Source

11-15 Kickass Random Facts

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11. Nikola Tesla was able to do integral calculus in his head, leading his teachers to believe he was cheating. – Source

12. An officially recommended solution to a common problem with the Apple 3 was to “lift the computer two inches and drop it”. – Source

13. Katie Holmes’ father negotiated a prenuptial agreement for her that reportedly filled five bankers’ boxes. Because of it, when Katie Holmes made her bombshell announcement that she was divorcing Tom Cruise, the case was able to be resolved in a mere 11 days. – Source

14. The Simpsons character “Edna Krabappel” was retired after Emmy Award-winning voice actress Marcia Wallace died in 2013. To acknowledge her death, the chalkboard in the opening sequence was changed to read a single “We’ll really miss you Mrs. K.” – Source

15. Until 40 years ago scientists believed all life and food chains ultimately depended on the sun for energy. The discovery of deep sea vents with whole ecosystems driven solely by chemical energy changed this view. Now it’s thought that life may have actually originated from such systems. – Source

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39 Interesting Facts About Education and Literacy

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Here are 39 Interesting Education and Literacy facts.

1-5 Education and Literacy Facts

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1. The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, was introduced by King Sejong in the 1440s to improve literacy. The difficulty of Chinese characters favored privileged aristocrats, whereas Sejong’s phonetic alphabet allowed Koreans of all classes to learn how to read and write. – Source

2. In 1961, Fidel Castro closed Cuban schools for a whole year and formed teachers into a “literacy army” with the goal to eradicate illiteracy. By the end of the year, 707,212 previously illiterate people had learned how to read. – Source

3. Dolly Parton created the Imagination Library, which sends one free book per month to a child, to boost literacy and foster a love of reading. Founded to serve her native Sevier County TN, it now ships over a million books a month to kids in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. – Source

4. After the invention of the Cherokee Alphabet by Sequoya in 1825, the literacy rate of the Cherokee people soon surpassed that of their European and American neighbors. – Source

5. South Korea went from a 22% literacy rate in 1945, to an 87% literacy rate in 1970. – Source

6-10 Education and Literacy Facts

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6. In 1987, Myanmar lowered its official literacy rate from 79% to 19% in order to qualify for least developed country status to receive UN debt relief. – Source

7. Popular San Diego high school teacher John Corcoran was secretly illiterate during his 17-year classroom career, finally faced his shame and learned to read at age 48. He went on to write books and a create a foundation to promote literacy. – Source

8. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara raised the Cuban national literacy rate from about 60-76% to 96% within a year. – Source

9. Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat to help combat illiteracy. 348 words were identified as being important to first-graders, which he was asked to narrow down to 250. Nine months later, Seuss used 236 of them to complete The Cat in the Hat. – Source

10. In the 1920s, people feared that crossword puzzles would contribute to illiteracy. – Source

11-15 Education and Literacy Facts

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11. In an effort to demonstrate people’s lack of scientific literacy, water is referred to by an unfamiliar name, “dihydrogen monoxide”, followed by a listing of real effects of this chemical, in an attempt to convince people that it should be regulated, labeled as hazardous, or banned. – Source

12. Even though Calculus is often taught starting only at the college level, mathematicians have shown that it can be taught to kids as young as 5, suggesting that it should be taught not just to those who pursue higher education, but rather to literally everyone in society. – Source

13. The Beastie Boys won a lawsuit against a company for the unauthorized use of their song “Girls” and had the $1 Million settlement donated to a charity supporting education for Girls. – Source

14. A school in Poland is named after an Indian Maharaja, in honor of him providing shelter and free education to hundreds of Polish women and children after they had to escape Poland due to the World War 2. – Source

15. Most Japanese schools do not employ janitors or custodians. The Japanese education system believes that requiring students to clean the school themselves teaches respect, responsibility, and emphasizes equality. – Source

16-20 Education and Literacy Facts

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16. The word “Oklahoma” was put on the state flag to combat widespread illiteracy in the state. – Source

17. In 2010 George Lucas said “I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race.” Two years later, Lucas sold Lucasfilm Ltd. to Disney for 4.05 billion dollars and donated the proceeds to a charity that focuses on education. – Source

18. If you’re a child laborer for Apple or any of its suppliers, and you’re found out, your education is paid along with wages while studying and a guaranteed job at the end of your education. – Source

19. Eton College is one of the most expensive schools in Britain. It was originally founded to provide free education to poor boys. – Source

20. There’s a society of 1.2 million where men wear veils and women do not; most women are Literate while most men are illiterate; and where livestock is owned by the women. And they’re Muslim, living in the middle of the Sahara Desert. – Source

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40 Facts About Catholicism

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Here are 40 Catholicism facts.

1-5 Catholicism Facts

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1. European Royal Families had a “Court Jew” to handle finances and negotiate loans since usury was forbidden by the Catholic Church. – Source

2. Famous mathematician & scientist Blaise Pascal converted to Catholicism after having a 2-hour mystical experience. He spent the rest of his life mostly writing about theology and apologetics. – Source

3. JRR Tolkien initially fell in love with his future wife at 16 years old. His guardian, a Catholic priest ordered him to not have any contact until he was 21. He obeyed and met her under a railroad viaduct and she broke up her engagement, converted to Catholicism and married Tolkien. – Source

4. There are near about 80 married Roman Catholic priests. In almost all the cases, the priests were married before they joined the Catholic Church. Once they converted to Catholicism, they remained married and their vows are recognized by the Vatican. – Source

5. The last Incan emperor was captured by the Spanish and sentenced to execution by burning. A Spanish priest told him that if he converted to Catholicism his sentence would be commuted. He converted so instead the Spanish strangled him to death. – Source

6-10 Catholicism Facts

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6. There is a subset of Catholicism, recognized by Vatican called Eastern Catholicism which instead of taking the Latin rite take the Eastern Rite or Byzantine rite which among many differences allows their priests to marry. – Source

7. The pre-Meiji Japanese government differentiated believers and nonbelievers of Catholicism by making them step on pictures of the Virgin Mary and Christ. Those found guilty were often executed by being thrown into a volcano. – Source

8. It is a mortal sin to withhold a just wage in Catholicism. Remuneration “should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level.” – Source

9. During the French Revolution, Leaders tried to replace Catholicism with a “Cult of Reason” where Truth, Liberty, and Reason were worshiped. – Source

10. St. Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland was really just a metaphor for converting pagans to Catholicism. – Source

11-15 Catholicism Facts

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11. Sigismondo Malatesta was the only person ever canonized to Hell by the Roman Catholic church. – Source

12. Scientology founder, Ron L Hubbard, believes that Catholicism was created as a fake religion by Xenu, an alien dictator of a galactic confederacy. – Source

13. England’s Henry VIII break with Catholicism and confiscation of Catholic monasteries may have single-handedly delayed the Industrial Revolution by 200 years. – Source

14. “Hocus Pocus” may have been coined by Protestants to mock the Catholic transubstantiation incantation used to turn bread and wine into flesh and blood, “hoc est corpus.” – Source

15. In 1568, the entire population of the Netherlands was condemned to death as heretics after converting from Catholicism to Protestantism. – Source

16-20 Catholicism Facts

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16. Catholics are forbidden from joining Masonic organizations and those who do are subsequently in a “state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.” – Source

17. The Filet o’ Fish was invented so Catholics could eat at McDonald’s on Fridays. – Source

18. If a Catholic priest reveals anything someone confessed to him for any reason at all, he is automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church and can only be forgiven by the Pope. – Source

19. In 1517, a nobleman offered to pay a corrupt Catholic monk for an indulgence in order to forgive him of a future sin. The monk quickly agreed and granted it, but as he rode out of town the nobleman attacked and beat him. He then told the monk that was the future sin he had in mind. – Source

20. Atheism was banned within the Nazi SS. All SS men were required to list themselves as Protestant, Catholic or “believer in God”. – Source

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