Office Rumors

Office Rumors Blog – “Better reading this than the insides of your eyelids!”

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Lifehacker: Top 10 How To Videos

leave a comment »

Lifehacker has a great post for the MacGyver in you. My personal favorite on the list: using a sheet of paper to open a bottle of beer. If you can’t convert that skill into a free beer with your buddies, you’ve really lost it.

Here’s a list of the rest:

  • Buy a car without getting screwed
  • Seal chips without a clip
  • Get eight watch batteries from a AA
  • Fold a t-shirt in two motions perfectly (and fast)
  • Suck less at Photoshop
  • Upgrade or replace your MacBook’s memory
  • Pick a lock with a bump key
  • Boost your Wi-Fi signal with tinfoil parabolas
  • Turn a $5 flashlight into a $95 torch

All certainly useful, but less likely to earn you a free beer.

Advertisements

Written by walonline

August 13, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Posted in Life, The Web

Tagged with , ,

Coffee: Good for You!

with 2 comments

The New York Times has a very comprehensive look at coffee and the old question of whether its really good for you. I read through the article and struggled to find something negative about it, other than the “gut-rot” (stomach ache) that is sometimes associated with it.

Used under a Creative Commons License. "colorful coffee composition" by once and future (via Flickr).

Used under a Creative Commons License. "colorful coffee composition" by once and future (via Flickr).

That said, I’m a huge coffee drinker–black and unadulterated–so below are the good highlights.

Coffee doesn’t:

  • dehydrate you
  • contribute to heart disease
  • contribute to the development of hypertension (high blood pressure), but colas do
  • contribute to cancer development
  • cause bone loss (and with some cream/milk, it helps prevent it)

Coffee does:

  • improve athletic performance
  • improve memory and the completion of complex tasks (like driving to/from work in the wee hours)
  • lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease
  • lowers the risk of the onset of Type 2 Diabetes

In otherwords, weighing a stomach ache along side these positives, you should suck down that coffee–no matter how bitter.

Written by walonline

August 5, 2008 at 9:42 pm

Posted in Life

Tagged with , ,

Favorite Road Trip Snacks

with one comment

Car Lust has an interesting post on favorite road trip snacks. Here’s a good point:

[…] processed snacks make you fat, wreak havoc on your blood sugar, have wasteful packaging, poke gaping holes in the ozone layer, and introduce trans-fats to endangered species. They are also fantastic on road trips.

That’s precisely why they invented products like “Munchies.” Personally, I enjoy Chex Mix bold from time-to-time, but my all time favorites are sunflower seeds (ranch flavor) and a Dr. Pepper fountain drink (the bigger, the better).

For meal-sized eats, I prefer Taco Bell, despite it being difficult to eat. The true challenge isn’t in eating it, but in not staining clothing or car interior. True, this sort of multitasking isn’t recommended, and certainly isn’t safe driving, but when you have to eat, you do.

What are your favorite snacks for calming cravings as the miles fly by?

Written by walonline

August 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Life

Tagged with ,

One Question

with one comment

Can you buy expansion packs?

Constructable Drinking Straw.

Written by walonline

July 30, 2008 at 11:54 am

Posted in Life, The Web

Tagged with ,

Always Read It…

with 2 comments

Even if it takes a few cups of java noir.

Here’s one of the most recent “Indexed” from Jessica Hagy:

Thought you had a fixed rate, didn't you?

Thought you had a fixed rate, didn't you?

Its important to note this so simply (and for a second time this week): know what your security is.

Written by walonline

July 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Posted in Life, The Web

Tagged with , , ,

Is Reading Webpages Really Reading?

leave a comment »

Ann Althouse has an interesting take on this NY Times article (“Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?”). She certainly thinks that it is different, but that reading books is not the only or best way to read. What is particularly interesting is this quote:

I definitely think that reading on-line restructures your brain. That may be bad in some ways, but it’s got to be good in others. In any case, it’s where I am now. I still read books, but I read them differently, for example, I cut to the essence quickly and spring into alert when I detect bullshit. I’m offended by padding, pedantry, and humorlessness.

This reflects well with me. I am a voracious reader of what I call “current affairs”. This ranges from political and market/economic news to its in-depth analysis. I enjoy diving into a book and the different style it presents in comparison, but only when I can devote large chunks of time to it (such as when I’m on vacation, sitting on a beach or poolside).

In the same way, while in graduate school, we had a large amount of required reading from a variety of sources: papers, case studies, texts, the Internet, etc. After a short while, I was able to adopt much of my Internet reading style to these different media to absorb most of the authors’ discussion with minimal reading of the superfluous.

One thing that you learn to be comfortable with, when reading via the Internet, is the variety and quality of sources. A reader, as Althouse alluded, is stretched to quickly find the base meaning and filter for bias. (My good friend Paul blogged regarding a web reader’s attention span here, as it applies to the web marketing of churches.) This can be applied to a variety of sources, but can make longer passages and books difficult. As it says in the NY Times article: “‘It takes a long time to read a 400-page book,’ said Mr. Spiro of Michigan State. ‘In a tenth of the time,’ he said, the Internet allows a reader to ‘cover a lot more of the topic from different points of view.'”

You also find that a great writer can make subjects that traditionally are dry and boring quite the opposite. One of my favorite personal blogs is James Lileks’ Bleat. He talks about all sorts of odd things in his daily entries, but his observation of them is what’s interesting. This isn’t literature out of some musty (or brand new, tough-to-hold-open) volume, but it is still great writing that is easily available to me.

This article gives rise to a number of questions for readers:

  • What are your thoughts on Internet reading?
  • Do you think, as a community of bloggers/readers, we are merely confirming our own beliefs in posts such as this and Althouse’s?
  • Does it bother you that complex ideas tend to be so heavily summarized on the web (or do you subscribe to the idea that brevity is the soul of wit)?
  • How would you describe your reading style (does it differ in terms of the media from which you are reading)?

Please discuss these in the comments.

Written by walonline

July 27, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Posted in internet, Life

Tagged with , , ,

Investing Tips: Buy Stock on Margin When Young

leave a comment »

The CXO Advisory Group has an interesting blog post noting a recent paper entitled “Life-Cycle Investing and Leverage: Buying Stock on Margin Can Reduce Retirement Risk”. The gist of this is that there has generally been a 9.1% return on stock investing since 1971. Most margin lending rates are 5%. Therefore, you can leverage a portfolio to increase returns by 4.1% (you’re already earning 9.1% on your other assets that serve as margin collateral). They then go on to back-test a strategy derived from this to show that investing liquid savings and leveraging it 2:1 beat out other more traditional strategies.

This would appear to be a great strategy to use with one of the strategies I discussed in my post “How to Start Investing for Recent College Graduates.”

Written by walonline

June 2, 2008 at 10:53 am

Posted in Investing, Life, Markets

Tagged with , ,