Day: February 7, 2017

Omelette in a Mug

Mug Omelette

Friends, I have a new favorite way to cook eggs—in a mug, in a microwave.

No kidding. For reals!

Why??? Well first, it takes only a couple minutes to make, and clean-up is easy.

Second, while so many microwave mug recipes result in a poor substitute for something properly cooked, a microwaved mug omelette is surprisingly tender and delicious.

Third, when I’m trying to eat light, this way of cooking eggs cuts down substantially on added fat. It just uses a quick spray of cooking oil (or a wipe of olive oil) on the inside of the mug. (For those of you who count calories, I counted 200 in this recipe, your analysis may vary.)

Continue reading “Omelette in a Mug” »

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Personal Injury Claims After A Car Accident

Car accidents are on the rise all over the world. Statistics show that approximately 115 people die every day in traffic accidents. Car crashes also cost $43 billion each year in lost wages, medical bills and property damage.

Below is an overview of personal injury law, when to hire a personal injury lawyer, and how it can help accident victims obtain compensation.

Statute Of Limitations On Personal Injury Cases

Each area of residence has their own guidelines when it comes to personal injury cases. So, how long after the car accident can you claim injury? This depends on where you live. Many places have a 2 year statute of limitations, while others may have 3 years or more.

Common Car Accident Causes

texting while driving

While there are many different ways car accidents occur, some are more common than others. The most common causes of car accidents include:

1. Driving While Texting Or Talking On A Cell Phone
2. Being Distracted By Vehicle Occupants
3. Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs Or Alcohol
4. Speeding
5. Road Rage
6. Tailgaiting
7. Aggressive Driving

Typical Accident Injuries

People can sustain many different types of injuries after an accident. The most commonly reported accident injuries resulting from car crashes are:

1. Broken Bones
2. Crush Injuries
3. Internal Organ Damage
4. Spinal Cord Injuries
5. Brain Injuries
6. Neck And Back Injuries
7. Facial Fractures

Proving Negligence

Obtaining a settlement for injuries sustained in a car accident personal injury claim depend on your ability to prove that another driver was negligent and caused you to be hurt. Negligence means the other driver did not take reasonable steps to avoid the accident and your injuries are the direct result of his negligence.

How Much Is My Claim Worth?

Just how much your claim is worth depends on the severity of your injuries and whether or not you are disabled due to the accident. You will be awarded more money if you cannot return to work or cannot perform the same job due to your injuries. Personal injury lawyers use a car accident claim calculator to determine just how much you should seek in a lawsuit. For this reason, it is important to hire an attorney who has extensive experience in calculating medical bills, lost wages and expenses in these types of cases so you are awarded a fair settlement.

See Also: What To Look For In A Good Health Insurance Plan 

Expenses And Damages

expenses and damages

You may be awarded a monetary settlement for certain types of expenses and damages after a car accident. Some examples of these damages and expenses include:

1. Ambulance Costs
2. Emergency Room Fees
3. Hospital Bills
4. Cost Of Alternative Transportation
5. Doctor Fees
6. Cost Of Occupational, Physical And Speech Therapy
7. Price Of Mental Health Counseling

If your injuries are extensive, you may also be awarded damages for emotional distress or pain and suffering.

See Also: 5 Financial Emergencies Everyone Must Be Prepared For 

What A Personal Injury Attorney Can Do For You

If you are considering filing a car crash injury claim, it may benefit you to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. These claims are very complex and must be handled with care to be successful.

You can be helped with the following items:

1. Hire Accident Investigators To Prove Your Case
2. Recreate The Accident Scene
3. Obtain Police Reports Pertaining To The Accident
4. Speak With Medical Experts And Doctors About Your Injuries
5. Negotiate With The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
6. File Your Case In Court
7. Attend Hearings
8. Represent You During A Trial

If you have been involved in an accident and sustained injuries, contact a personal injury attorney for advice. After speaking with you, an attorney will let you know if you have a valid case and how to proceed. Retaining legal counsel may also reduce the stress that is always a part of accident cases, which may allow you to focus on your recovery.

 

The post Personal Injury Claims After A Car Accident appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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6 Best Valentine’s Gifts For Her This 2017

Valentine’s day is just around the corner and if you are a man who hasn’t figured out the best Valentine’s gift for her yet, now is probably the right time to narrow down your choices. Deciding on the last minute isn’t only stressful but it can also put you at risk of buying the wrong gift. For Valentine’s Day, you want your partner to feel as special as possible.

To make sure you impress your loved one, here are 6 awesome Valentine’s gift ideas you should consider this year.

If you’re still dating…

Camera

If your girlfriend likes keeping memories, a good instant camera won’t fail you. Polaroid-style instant print cameras make a great choice since they have a vintage feel and they’re very portable. She can easily take her camera with her during trips. She can even take pictures of your special day together.

polaroid camera gift

In case your girlfriend is into photography, you can give her something fancy, like a complete camera bundle. You can buy the items separately and just bundle them on your own or you can pick a store that sells camera-related products in packages.

Make sure that there’s an SD Card, tripod, extra battery and a case apart from the camera.

New makeup

Girls can’t resist makeup. Whether it’s another bottle of her favorite foundation or a set of limited edition lipsticks, you won’t have a hard time making her smile this Valentine’s Day.

When choosing makeup, make sure you know what your girlfriend’s skin type is. The right shade counts, too. These things are very important to consider, especially if you are planning to buy a face makeup. The last thing you want to happen is to buy an expensive foundation that’s several shades off.

For a safer choice, stick with an eye shadow pallet. Most pallets come with several shades she can use for work, special events and date nights. There are also lipstick pallets that go on sale during Valentine’s Day.

makeup valentine gift

Pro-Tip: Ask her sister or friend to help you choose the right brand or shades if you’re unsure.

If you’re newly married…

Jewelry

Diamonds are women’s best friend. This, however, doesn’t mean that any kind of jewelry won’t make a good pal. Women like jewelry because they can add style and spice even to a plain and simple outfit.

Pearl jewelry, for example, makes a good choice since it reflects innocence. It can complete a woman’s classic look and may even produce a calming effect. The nice thing about pearls is that they come in a variety of colors and even sizes. Pick one that can reflect your partner’s unique personality.

valentine jewelry

Heart-shaped jewelry is also a good valentine’s gift. You can pick out the right metal and stone depending on her preference or personality. As for the base, find one that fits your budget. Gold is more durable and long-lasting but it tends to be expensive. Silver looks stylish and it’s more affordable.

A romantic getaway

Just because you’ve already tied the knot doesn’t mean that you can skip the romantic trips you used to take back then when you were still dating. The nice thing about being married when you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day is that it gives you more time to spend with your loved one. You should know her a little bit more, too.

You can go hiking, or book a vacation outside of the city or even out of the country. Imagine yourself sitting in a tropical beach on a warm and balmy day.

romantic getaway

There are tons of packages available during Valentine’s Day so you won’t have a hard time finding one. The problem, however, is that a lot of people tend to book on the same season. To save yourself from the stress, decide early on the trip you want to take and book right away.

Apart from booking the trip, it’s a good idea to add in a few surprises, too. You can plan a romantic dinner or pack her favorite bottle of wine. You can call for room service and bring her breakfast in bed.

If you are already married for several years…

A planner

Whether your partner works a 9-to-5 job or she’s a full-time wife/mom, a planner would surely be a great help. It can help her keep track of important things, like your kids’ school play, meetings or due payments.

planner valentine gift

Apart from helping her remember things and plan her time better, a planner can also decrease her stress level. She can use it as a journal for venting out feelings. Planners are great for keeping memories as well. She can use it to track habits, too.

To make a simple planner more romantic this Valentine’s Day, sneak in a few surprises before you actually hand her the gift. You can block out specific dates in the calendar and plan something special for those days. You can write sweet notes on it, too.

At-home spa

If taking your wife on a spa getaway isn’t feasible, you can try recreating the same experience at home. A foot massage is the ultimate way to pamper her, and the Electronic Foot File with Diamond Crystals from Amopé makes it easy to give her a spa quality foot treatment in the privacy of your own home.

Amopé Pedi Perfect Foot File with Diamond Crystals
(The Amopé Pedi Perfect Extra Coarse Foot File with Diamond Crystals can be conveniently found at Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond for less than $50.)

Add some candles and lotion and you have everything you need for a romantic night in. And the best part? This gift lasts long after roses have died and will become a staple in her beauty routine.

In preparing her home spa experience, make her as comfortable as possible by setting the right temperature. Don’t forget to put out warm fluffy towels, a clean robe and pair of slippers, too. Spritz some lavender scent in the air. You can even add some rose petals to make her feel that she is really in a spa salon.

home spa valentines

This special day, make your beloved feel pampered, special, and loved. Remember… Happy wife, happy life.

Good luck and may your Valentine’s Day celebration be memorable and unforgettable.

 

The post 6 Best Valentine’s Gifts For Her This 2017 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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4 Ways to Enjoy Each Day and Do More With Your Life

I have a good friend who recently received some bad news concerning his health. A couple of days later, this same friend bumped into a co-worker in the hallway at his office.

When my buddy asked his colleague how his day was going, the guy replied, “It’s OK, but I sure can’t wait until this week is over!”

My friend just nodded and walked back to his cubicle with tears in his eyes. He recognized himself in that sentiment and couldn’t count the number of times he’d wished his days away, just waiting for something better to come along.

What he wouldn’t give, he told me, if he could go back in time and really squeeze the most out of each day and drink in all it had to offer.

Every day is full of the opportunity to make yourself happy right where you are if you’ll only put forth the effort. And, by enabling yourself to enjoy the journey, you might be surprised by how much more productive you become in the process.

With that in mind, here are four ways you can make today a joy for yourself and for those around while also getting more done than you have in years.

Engage

Do you like meetings? If you do, you’re in the definite minority and may be already more contented at work than the average American.

Truth is, most people dread meetings like the tax man, and usually for good reason. Meetings often are boring, and they don’t do much to help you get your job done.

But there’s a little trick you can use to turn every meeting into a stimulating and enriching experience: actively engage.

That might sound corny and idealistic, but it’s a practical tactic that you can put to good use with just a few simple steps:

  • Review the meeting agenda ahead of time. If the organizer doesn’t send an agenda, email him to ask for one or politely decline the meeting invite.
  • Leave your electronic gadgets in your office. Do you really think you’re so important the world can’t survive an hour without your email replies?
  • Arrive early and review the agenda again.
  • Greet each meeting participant as they arrive.
  • Watch each participant as they speak and try to get a read on their body language as they express their points. How engaged and passionate are they?
  • Take notes.
  • Add your two cents when you have something valuable to say.

Taken together, these steps won’t eat much more of your day than that hated meeting already would have, but they will make that time much more productive for you. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the issues discussed, you’ll feel like part of the process again, and you’ll strengthen connections with your co-workers.

This advice doesn’t apply to just meetings, either.

If you want to be happy where you are and when you are, make an honest effort to engage in what you’re doing throughout your day, both at home and at work.

See Also: 6 Ways Happiness Can Help You Be Better At Work 

Have a Goal

list-goals

One of the best ways to engage your situation is to always have a goal for what you’re doing.

In that hypothetical meeting we discussed above, maybe your goal is to ask enough questions that your boss finally explains what he means by “failure is not an option.”

If you’re stuck doing yard work on a beautiful spring weekend, your goal might be to finish cleaning the flower gardens by Sunday afternoon so that next weekend is free.

Once you have a target in front of your face, work tends to go much faster. Even better, it’s infinitely more enjoyable to tackle a challenge in your job or at home than it is to just punch the clock and wait for the bell to save you.

Consider these two scenarios:

You come to work, sit down at your desk, check your email, maybe peck away at a few memos you need to write. If you’re lucky, you can waste enough time to get you to your 10-o’-clock coffee break and then maybe play solitaire until lunchtime.

OR

You come to work, sit down at your desk, and pull up your list of daily goals. The first one is to complete a memo to your boss about a big case you’re working on. You give yourself a deadline of Noon for finishing the report and then dive in to pull together the information you need and start writing

Now, which of the two mornings will make you feel more engaged in your job? Which will leave you with a feeling of accomplishment? And which do you think will go faster?

In almost every case, it’s the second scenario when you’re working toward a clear goal.

Whatever you’re doing, and whenever you’re doing it, set a goal of some sort. Even if you’re “just” mowing the lawn or reading a book, make sure you have a target or you’re just going through the motions.

And that’s a sure road to a gloomy disposition and wasted time.

Solve a Problem

Sometimes our jobs and our home life don’t present clear goals to us. In those cases, you might have to get creative.

For instance, some programming jobs I’ve had are cyclical in nature. The team might work on a project 60 hours a week for six months and then have a two-month stretch when we’re basically just minding the store.

There will be occasional break-fixes during this period, but no heavy-duty development is happening.

How do you stay engaged and set goals during this kind fo “down time”?

Easy … solve a problem!

No matter how bored you think you are or how convinced you are that all of your work is done, there is always a problem — somewhere — that needs your attention. They’re often insidious, too, because we find ways to work around them rather than address them, and that just lets them fester and grow.

For instance …

How about tackling that drippy faucet in your bathroom sink before it stains the basin any further?

Or maybe you could fix that funky display error you noticed on your company’s website a while back but that, for some reason, no one has reported — yet.

Or how about something bigger? You know how your teenage son seems to have grown moodier and very quiet in recent weeks? Maybe you should take him out for a run or to play some catch and see if you can break through that shell to find out what’s going on.

Problems come in all shapes and sizes, so you can start small if you’re intimidated. But actively working on the troubles in your life, whatever they may be, will engage you in the day like nothing else and help you build a happier, healthier future.

Be Grateful

be grateful everyday

Think back to the story of my friend at the beginning of this piece, and about how he wishes he could go back in time and drink in all the experiences that his job and his life afforded him rather than watching the clock tick away his life.

He wants to fix some of the things he’s done wrong in the past, sure, but he also just wants to the chance to relish the moments that he let slip by.

What he wishes more than anything, though, is that he would have been more grateful for the life he’s lived over these last several decades.

More grateful for his family.

More grateful for his job.

More grateful for his camping trips.

Even more grateful for the Saturday mornings when his wife dragged him into her volunteer activities.

He wishes for this chance at gratitude because he knows now that he won’t always have these things, that they could be gone tomorrow.

But you and I are in a better position than my friend. We have his experience to guide us, and we can learn the lesson from him that he wasn’t able to teach himself until it was, maybe, too late.

Just take a few minutes each day, perhaps in the morning when you rise or at night before you go to bed, to think about all the really good things in your life.

Your family, your job, your house, even your car and your iPad and crisp winter air on a cold January morning.

Make your gratitude more concrete by writing these things down. You can use a Google Doc or a spiral notebook or a cocktail napkin, but just the act of jotting down your blessings will make them more real to you.

Now, after you remind yourself how great it is to have a job in a safe, warm environment with interesting people and steady work, don’t you think it will be easier to enjoy your time in the office? Don’t you think you’ll get more done?

I sure do.

See Also: 9 Baby Steps To Happiness For The Naturally Gloomy 

It’s Later Than You Think

You’re going to die someday and when you do, it will be too late to fix any of the broken pieces you left behind.

It’s easy to get caught up in feeling the impositions of a demanding world and wish for the weekend to hurry up and get here. Or for school to finally be out. Or for the kids to go back to school after Christmas break.

But you don’t have to live this way, and wishing away your life won’t make you happier and it won’t make you more productive.

If you choose to engage in the here and now and relish the opportunities that each day presents, you can enjoy your life — the one you have right now — while moving toward a brighter future.

Don’t wake up one day and wish you had enjoyed the blessings you held in your fingers but were too busy complaining to notice.

 

The post 4 Ways to Enjoy Each Day and Do More With Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Brain Damaging Activities You Need To Stop Doing Now

The brain is one of the most vital organs in the human body, and it is everyone’s responsibility to keep it in optimal condition. People race for time, information and money nowadays and some even cling to limitless brain pills out of their desire to perform better mentally. However, even with the desperation to become mentally infinite, there is little to no attention given to brain health.

There are many movements and advocacies done to help people lose weight and become more aware of their heart health. Less attention is given to brain health, yet more people are diagnosed with brain illnesses every year.

This increasing growth of brain illnesses is probably because brain damages mostly produce degenerative diseases that aren’t experienced in real time by individuals and the physical changes aren’t so visible. Nonetheless, there is a need for you to know how bad your day-to-day routine might be affecting your brain.

Excessive Coffee

excessive coffee

The aroma, the richness and the taste. That’s how we usually start our day. Quitting coffee is probably the craziest thing a sane man would do. However, studies showed that coffee is only healthy when you take in 4 cups with only 100 mg caffeine content. Coffee is an incredibly rich source of antioxidants, however, drinking too much can result in brain damage.

Many people believe coffee to be their morning wake-up call in a cup. Coffee lovers believe that coffee can imbue them with superhuman thinking and wakefulness that help them finish a 4-hour workload much much faster. Unfortunately, that’s not true.

Coffee is not a limitless pill. What coffee does is to hinder your brain’s adenosine receptors to make your brain think that you’re still good for the day and you’re not sleepy yet despite your adenosine levels shouting that you are. Of course, this wears off, and people who need to stay up late drink more coffee to stay awake.

The effect of caffeine hinders or alters the standard brain mechanisms and the body develops tolerance to its effects resulting in coffee addicts drinking more to stay awake and active as they were before.

Frequent Headbutts

There’s nothing wrong with boxing or football except the fact that you have higher chances of headbutts. A lot of sports superstars and athletes lost their brain health at an earlier age because they neglected to take headbutts seriously.

Muhammad Ali and Freddie Roach (Manny Pacquiao’s coach), to name a few, have Parkinson’s disease because they retired a little too late. Numerous football players also developed CTE ( Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), a progressive, degenerative disease that can be a product of head traumas such as headbutts and concussions.

Constant Exposure To Devices

“Is the drug from Limitless real?”

You may think staying in bed and googling all day is safe, but it’s not.

Constant exposure to devices also has its fair share of damage to the brain as research says. Technology has granted us the capability to be better multi-taskers. However, this caused a shorter span of attention even among adults. This chronic lack of focus is a result of a rewiring in the brain.

Getting used to instant gratification from being able to search things instantly actually rewires the brain and this results in a lack of focus and attention. Expect generation Z to be like this, though.

See Also: 4 Ways Technology is Gradually Ruining Humanity and How to Tackle it

Lack Of Sleep

Aside from cutting off years from your average life expectancy, lack of sleep also damages the brain. Sleeping is the body’s natural way to regenerate new cells even for the brain. Sleeping is also one way for the brain to develop new neural connections, to process the left-over information during the day which usually appears as dreams.

Sleeping is also the time when the brain develops plasticity in brain neurons, aside from brain stimulation. Mental flexibility helps protect the brain from degeneration and eventual cell loss.

Sleep is not just for the weak; it is for everyone.

See Also: Are You Sleep Deprived? 8 Health Risks Of Poor Sleep

Missing Breakfast And Insufficient Water Intake

Not eating breakfast is not just starving your tummy. It is also starving your brain. Lack of nutrients and enough energy to keep your body up and running for another busy day will make your brain work harder. Using your brain without getting enough nutrition is like expecting your car to run without enough gasoline.

Failing during exams is no surprise especially when you don’t usually eat breakfast to start your school day. If you don’t want to fall behind your colleagues when it comes to performance, you should eat your breakfast.

No breakfast, no work.

Another lingering concern that has been given little attention is the lack of water intake. Almost everyone doesn’t count how many of glasses of water they have taken for the day, and this is the reason why most are dehydrated but know nothing nor care about it.

The brain is more than 80 percent water, and having enough water to function, it will result to faster thinking, better focus, creativity, and clarity. The brain knows no other way to store water on its own, so it is important to stay hydrated all the time. Drinking enough water will help both your body and brain in all of their vital functions.

Overeating

In addition to the last item, overeating or binge eating is also not healthy for the human brain. Ever remember having a headache after a hearty meal?

Overeating slows your brain down, and this is why some people feel sleepy when they eat too much. Doing it on a regular basis can also become an addiction in the long run. Eating affects the brain reward system, which releases the hormone Dopamine, or the “feel good” hormone. If you overeat, the brain’s circuitry will change, and it will be difficult for you to control your eating habits.

Researchers think this is the reason why obese or overweight people find it hard to go on a strict diet.

Vices

Needless to say, there’s too much harm in illegal drugs and smoking.

Drug addiction in itself is a brain illness. Nicotine is addictive, and that addiction is a brain disease. Mood and anxiety disorders are said to tie in with drug and nicotine abuse. In fact, researchers think schizophrenia is highly related to smoking.

Although no study has confirmed this yet, we have heard of substance abusers seeing the devil in their mother’s face and what happened next is yours to imagine. Illegal drugs are not the pill from Limitless. It was either Modafinil or Donepezil.

Alcoholics are also subject to long-term brain damages. No one takes alcohol seriously because its effect seems instant and short term, however, there are a few studies that link alcohol to diminishing brain size which affects mental functioning.

Thiamine deficiency among heavy alcohol drinkers also leads to WKS or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome which affects cognitive function, memory, learning ability, eye nerve paralysis and muscle coordination.

Too Much Sugar and Unhealthy Food

too much sugar

Just like any other drug, there is a need to regulate the use of sugar in every household, especially when you know excessive sugar is addictive. Sugar intake also signals the brain to release dopamine- the reward. The brain will think that this practice is something necessary for survival and will naturally make you desire for more.

People who have too much sugar will have insulin spikes and lows, which eventually makes a super perked person suddenly tired. The only way to become high again? Sugar. People think sugar to be the “new limitless pill,” but it’s not.

“Junk Foods” also have artificial sweetening and may have an excessive amount of sugar; even some cereals can be part of this category.

Lack Of Mental Stimulation

Yes, boredom kills. Lack of mental stimulation will cause brain cells to die faster. There is a need for your brain to develop plasticity to protect the brain from cell death in the future. Solving puzzles, doing a little arithmetic and chess can save you a ton of brain cells.

Researchers suggest that the lack of mental activity or stimulation is the cause of cognitive decline and even dementia. Depression is also highly related to lack of mental activity.

Exercise your brain! Sharpen your memory, solve problems, practice reason and logic, and read. Train your brain.

Lack Of Oxygen When Sleeping And Pollution

Air pollution also causes brain damage. Toxins that live in the city air kills brain cells as numerous studies suggest. Lead exposure, carbon monoxide poisoning, pesticides and mercury toxicity are just a few of the air pollutants that exists in big metros.

Covering your face while sleeping will also cause a severe lack of oxygen which will make the brain suffer. The brain needs oxygen to function, and without enough oxygen, in the bloodstream, it can cause instant brain cell death.

So sleep somewhere not too cold so you won’t have to cover your face when sleeping.

Takeaway

The brain is the body’s headquarters, and it has the chief function of maintaining balance and organization in the entire body. Taking care of the human brain should be on top of everyone’s list. Although the brain can still reproduce brain cells throughout its lifetime, there is no guarantee that the brain is going to replenish them as fast as we lose them.

If you think what you’re doing is not brain damaging, think twice.

 

The post 10 Brain Damaging Activities You Need To Stop Doing Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Oppo is China's top-selling smartphone maker, while Apple sales slow

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Oppo may be little-known in the West, but the Chinese smartphone company has outsold everyone else across in China over 2016.

Analyst firm IDC reports that Oppo more than doubled its shipment volumes over the year prior, to clinch the top spot. It beat other strong Chinese contenders like Xiaomi and Huawei — as well as Apple, which posted its first decline in China.

The Chinese smartphone makers in the top five list have taken up a larger slice of the market, as their share grew from 46 percent in 2015 to 57 percent in 2016: Read more…

More about Vivo, Smartphones, China, Oppo, and Apple

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This new feature will change your YouTube life

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YouTube has released an update to its mobile app that will likely make a lot of users very happy: You can now skip 10 seconds forward or backward in a video by double tapping the right or left edge of your phone’s screen. 

Perfect for those quick replays or just skipping a boring portion of the video, the feature is in many cases vastly better than fiddling with the video’s slider on the bottom, especially when you’re in a hurry. 

The feature also lets you skip 20 or 30 seconds — Android Authority says these are invoked with a triple or quadruple tap, but I could only get it with a quadruple and quintuple tap, both of which are incredibly hard to get right. Hopefully Google’s YouTube dev team will conjure a better way for those longer skips; for now, I recommend you stick to the good old double tap which is the only one that works well.  Read more…

More about Skip, Rewind, Youtube, and Tech

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Alexa Voice Service goes international, now works in UK and Germany

int-avs-banner-_cb535474587_ Since first being unbundled back in 2015 in the U.S., Alexa Voice Service — the voice-response software that runs on the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot — has been one of Amazon’s chief tools to spread its services to a range of connected devices. Now Amazon is taking its strategy international. Today it announced that AVS will now also work in the UK and Germany, and will… Read More

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For some reason, Justin Bieber is not over that PPAP song yet

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Remember that Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen guy? Justin Bieber does.

The duo are teaming up together for a new Japanese commercial, in what could be the most unlikely bromance of 2017.

【ジャスティンfacebookより】#学割ってる #softbank
😱😱😱#justinJP pic.twitter.com/D2J6uCMvST

— Justin Bieber JAPAN (@bieber_japan) February 5, 2017

The actual commercial, for Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank, has yet to air, but a behind-the-scenes video has just been released and is getting shared quickly in Japan.

Japanese singer Piko-Taro took the Internet by storm last year after his song PPAP, which has been viewed over 113 million times, went viral.  Read more…

More about Softbank, Viral Video, Japan, Justin Bieber, and Watercooler

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You might have to prove your identity before topping up your phone credit in India

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In India, people may soon be asked to prove their identity before topping credit to their pay as you go phone.

In a move to fight digital fraud, the country’s Supreme Court has asked the government to make it mandatory for prepaid mobile phone subscribers to disclose their identity before adding refilling credit to their account. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar made the announcement Monday addressing a plea brought to the court. It has given the government a year to implement the program in a phased manner.  Read more…

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Man and his adult son maintain 7 sex dolls that they care for like family

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A man and his 18-year-old son’s story is going viral in China after they were featured with their rather unorthodox “family” — seven silicone sex dolls that the two care for.

58-year-old Li Chen (not his real name) and his son, Yangyang, live in Guizhou, southwest China.

According to the state-run Global Times, the unusual family started when Li brought home his first doll in 2010 after he divorced his wife for her gambling addiction.

Li putting several of the dolls to bed.

Li putting several of the dolls to bed.

Image: Pear Video/Weibo

Li carrying one of the dolls outside.

Li carrying one of the dolls outside.

Image: pear video/weibo Read more…

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TravelTriangle raises $10 million to bring India’s travel agencies online

luggage India’s TravelTriangle, a marketplace for finding and booking travel and holidays, has closed a $10 million Series B funding round. The four-year-old company is focused on bringing India’s largely offline travel agency space, which is dominated by small and medium-sized companies, online. That’s to both help travel brokers reach larger audiences, and provide more travel… Read More

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Dublin and London-based Frontline Ventures closes new €60M fund to invest in B2B startups

Frontline Frontline Ventures, an early-stage VC firm with offices in Dublin and London, has closed a new €60 million fund — capital it will deploy by investing in B2B software companies at the pre-seed and seed stages. Those investments will range from €200,000 to €3 million, while, despite its Irish roots, Frontline now targets companies right across Europe and even further afield. Read More

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Trailer of Bollywood film starring a friendly ghost has gone viral and how

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A Bollywood movie trailer dropped last afternoon. It features a friendly ghost, a young man forced into marriage rituals, a bittersweet love story, and some rustic Indian music. 

Within a day, the trailer crossed 10 million views on Facebook and YouTube combined. And Indians can’t stop raving about it.

‘Phillauri’ is a story set in the village of Phiallur in Punjab state in northwestern India. The film stars (and is also co-produced by) one of Bollywood’s leading actors, Anushka Sharma, and Diljit Dosanjh, who debuted in last year’s hit Udta Punjab — a film picked up by Netflix globally. Read more…

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Porn site posts rape joke on Facebook, and people are enraged

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A Filipino porn site has left netizens enraged after it posted an offensive “joke” on Facebook saying “it wouldn’t be rape if you enjoy it.”

The site, RBreezy, posted the picture, which received over 1.4k likes, on its Facebook page on Saturday.

The photo caption says LOL

The photo caption says LOL

Image: End rape culture ph/facebook

It also said “LOL” in its photo caption and to “tag your rapist friends.”

Its Facebook page has since been suspended, but screenshots of its offensive post have been captured on various other pages.

“RBreezy, if this is meant to be a joke, it isn’t funny. Stop making rape trivial or funny,” said a post by Facebook group End Rape Culture PH, which has since been shared almost 5,000 times.  Read more…

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Uber rival Grab introduces private bus service in Southeast Asia

Grab logo Tis the season for new ride-sharing services, it seems. A day after Uber launched multi-trip bookings in India, its rival in Southeast Asia — Grab — has introduced private buses. “Grab Coach” is initially available in Singapore where it is aimed at large groups that would otherwise require multiple cars. There are three types of coaches: 13 seaters, 23 seaters and… Read More

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This 'GOT' star teamed up with Google to capture Greenland's melting ice

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Google Maps won’t help you much if you’re trekking across Greenland’s icy terrain. But for the curious and desk-bound, Google’s Street View now offers compelling, panoramic vistas of the region’s imperiled ice.

To capture the scenery, which went online Tuesday, Google teamed up with Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, aka the one-handed Jaime Lannister.

The Danish actor hauled the 360-degree Trekker camera across southern Greenland and into the village of Igaliku, where he lives part of the year with his Greenlandic wife, Nukaaka, and their two daughters.  Read more…

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How GPS keeps up with the continent that's in constant motion

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Nothing on the Earth’s solid surface is static because all land is moving very slowly due to continental drift. This very slow movement affects everything around you in the same way so you can’t tell it is happening, unless you are able to very accurately measure where on the Earth’s surface you are.

The Australian continent, perched on the planet’s fastest moving tectonic plate, is drifting at about seven centimetres a year to the northeast. This is taking features marked on our maps out of line with the global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) such as GPS.

More about Geocentric Datum Of Australia, Tectonic Plates, Continental Drift, Australia, and Gps

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Slack is the Best Startup of the year at the Crunchies

_dsc8832 Slack‘s team communications platform — put in other words, a really fancy and well done chat room — is an integral part of many (most?) teams in tech. Even if you don’t use it, chances are good that the people who make your favorite apps and services do. Of course, this is hardly Slack’s first time taking home a Crunchie. They were named Fastest Rising Startup… Read More

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Otto wins Hot New Startup at the Crunchies

_dsc8813 Otto, winner of the hot new startup award at the 10th Annual Crunchies Awards, had a whirlwind year. The company came out of stealth in May 2016, revealing its plan to develop self-driving technology for semi-trucks. In August Uber purchased the company and all-star team to help expand its autonomous efforts. Then in October an Otto-powered truck made its first delivery, hauling 50,000… Read More

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Mandy Moore and that dude from 'A Walk To Remember' just reunited on Instagram

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While it’s true A Walk To Remember wasn’t exactly good, the 2002 film about a young woman with leukemia (Mandy Moore) and her whirlwind relationship with the love of her life (Shane West), stills holds a very special place in people’s hearts.

So it’s no surprise that a mini-reunion of the romantic yet death-obsessed film’s cast and crew has got Instagram all in a flutter — and feeling more than a little nostalgic.

Moore had been teasing a Walk To Remember get-together for a few weeks, recently taking to her Twitter to answer questions about the now 15-year-old film. Yep, you’re getting old. Read more…

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Melania Trump suit from 'Gawker-killer' lawyer claims harm to 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity' to make millions

A lawyer for Melania Trump argued in a lawsuit filed today that a since-retracted Daily Mail article claiming she once worked as an escort harmed her odds of establishing “multimillion dollar business relationships” during the years in which she would be “one of the most photographed women in the world.” In a sense, the lawsuit is all about a purported right to cash in on being the First Lady. Because that’s what being the First Lady is all about.

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Echoing Infowars, Trump lies that 'very dishonest' U.S. press are covering up terror attacks

President Donald Trump went full Alex Jones Infowars conspiracy theory wingnut today, saying the American news media are conspiring to cover up a vast series of Islamic terrorist attacks in which innocent God-fearin’ Americans have been killed.

Statements like this from authoritarian leaders are the sort of thing you hear when a regime is preparing to institute martial law. Perhaps that is where America is now headed. Hope not.

Today’s wackadoodle Trump camp statement was yet another nutty lie, just like Trump’s long-running racist birther campaign against President Barack Obama, whom we miss terribly, please for the love of God make this descent into national insanity stop.

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