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Taking Home Learning To The Next Level

Distance learning can be difficult for students all around the world. The abundance of distractions, atypical environment, and impersonal approach to education is hard to follow – a mere shock to students. It’s easy to let normal schedules slip when everyone is home, and technology frequently diverts our attention. However, this makes teachers and parents concerned their students will fall behind. Making learning fun could offer a solution.

It’s likely your student needs access to technology to engage in their online classes. However, most technology comes armed with a fleet of push-notifications – causing distractions amidst coursework. In fact, a study conducted in 2015 found that phone notifications was a major interference when it came to attention and productivity. It remained the case even when participants had no interaction with their device. Simply having technology around that is unnecessary to course content can be distracting.

make online learning fun

Reducing distractions

Luckily, you can limit these distractions. On Apple devices, you can use “screen time” to set time limits on specific apps and features. The similar options for Android devices is “focus mode,” which lets you block access to specific apps on a set schedule. On top of this, you can stop notifications altogether. Encourage your learner to turn on “do not disturb” mode during class. Additionally, suggest silencing notifications rather than simply putting them on vibrate. Vibrations can be as distracting as sounds.

Another way to minimize distractions for students is to build a class schedule around a type of activity rather than specific plans. For example, model out a day with alternating activities: some shared, some independent. Switching between quiet and active play can help avoid behavior problems and improve focus.

Smooth transitions

With that being said, you’ll also want to master the science of smooth transitions. Try giving warnings before a transition in coursework – and stick to them. More specifically, you have to make sure you have your kid’s attention, then provide instructions and say “go”.  This keeps your student engaged while switching tasks. Consider using a visual timer to set during these transitions. The Time Timer app can help your child understand how much time is left before switching gears.

Sleep well, learn well

You’ll also want to encourage sleep to reduce the amount of stress on your student. Having consistent sleep and wake times each day can help reduce cortisol – which is known as the stress hormone. Remember: you don’t have to keep your old schedule to have a consistent routine.

Getting more interactive

Furthermore, it’s also important for students to feel they’re in an educational environment. Allowing them to share and collaborate can help keep the same dynamic, improving their productivity and focus. Although in quarantine, students can schedule virtual sessions to help each other with schoolwork, or virtual playdates to catch up with friends. Video conferencing platforms can also help parents and teachers stay in touch to swap ideas on what works.

online learning

Technology in online education

Incorporating technology into education makes learning slightly more fun – music to every student’s ears. EdTech also makes learning more hands-on. Several libraries will allow you to get a card online if you don’t already have one.

This opens up the catalogue of selections by miles for students. Students can find free texts that are no longer copyrighted on Google Books and LibriVox, and loan their books on Amazon Kindle and Nook. Even more, many libraries will grant membership cards without local residency, or let you purchase a card for a small annual fee. If you add more library cards to your account, you can check out more items.

Apps for fun and learning

However, EdTech can make learning fun outside of English classes. Apps like Bedtime Math, Monopoly, and Yahtzee make learning easy – even if you’re not comfortable with math. Bedtime offers a daily math problem for children aged 3-9, including a short engaging story, and a problem based on your child’s age. The aforementioned family games help practice basic math skills. For an added challenge, use extra cards or dice to practice arithmetic as you play. Gaming can be very helpful in education. A 2018 study showed that when parents with high math-anxiety used Bedtime Math, children showed long-term improvement.

On the other hand, apps like iNaturalist and Google Sky can increase your child’s interest in science. iNaturalist provides recommendations and shares photos of plants and animals for the students to identify. Google Sky, meanwhile, lets you explore the solar system without a telescope. Similarly, Globe Observer tracks observations of clouds, land cover, and tree measurements. More interestingly, these apps are citizen science projects – which help scientists study nature on a larger scale.

The Takeaway

Based on a survey of California schools, nearly 9 in 10 parents are concerned their child could fall behind academically. Teachers are concerned 90% of their students will fall behind in Math, and 88% will fall behind in English. However, making learning fun can smoothen the transition to home learning. Check out the infographic below for visual tips on enhancing home learning for students.

Enhancing Home Learning
Source: Online Schools Report

The post Taking Home Learning To The Next Level appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Make Your Photos Look Retro

It’s interesting how with all the advancements we’ve made when it comes to photography, old school still has its appeal. We’ve moved from using film cameras to relying on the digital ones attached to our phones, and yet we find ourselves looking for that vintage charm.

And it honestly comes as no surprise. Through the years, trends have been regularly taking a cue from decades past; what used to be in fashion becomes passé, before it comes full circle and finds itself becoming hip again. The same holds true for photography styles and filters.

What’s great about giving your photos that retro look these days is that it’s now much easier than picking up an analog camera and reverting to film. All you have to do is snap the shot and edit — read on and we’ll show you how.

Use a Vintage Filter

make your photos look retro

The most obvious tip is definitely the easiest. The birth of Instagram as a social medium paved the way for filters — and we suggest that you take full advantage.

What’s great about going with filters is that it’s literally as easy uploading your image on an app, tapping on a few buttons on your screen, then sharing your photo wherever you please.

Using filters also gives you the benefit of consistency. If you’ve got multiple images you want to edit while maintaining the same vibe and look, all you have to do is run all of them through the same filter.

Getting your hands on great filters is just as easy, too. Aside from having a number available for use through Instagram’s own editing feature, your app store should be chock-full of free photo-editing software apps available for download.

One you can try is Instasize — aside from having over 80 filters you can choose from and play around with, the app also comes with editing tools you can use to further tweak and polish your images before uploading to your social media. (Click on through for some vintage filters worth trying out.)

See Also: How AI Makes You A Better Photographer

Give yourself some Light

Shooting in well-lit areas or making sure you have a strong light source won’t give your images a vintage look, but it will definitely make editing your visuals much easier.

Think of your images like a sheet of paper, and filters as light-colored markers. If the sheet of paper you choose to use is dark, chances are the colors of your markers won’t pop. The same goes for visuals — the lighter the photo, the more your filter will pop.

Play with Saturation and Contrast

making your photos look retro

One way to make sure your images look retro, no matter what year or decade you’re trying to encapsulate, is to edit your visuals to make them look like prints.

Unlike digital photos, prints tend to lose detail over time. Just look at some older photos or polaroids you might have lying around your house. Notice how the colors might have changed since the time you took them, with the edges possibly becoming faded. That’s because photo paper and chemicals age, leading to prints eventually losing structure and contrast.

Luckily, there’s no need to let time do all the work. You can cheat the look by adjusting the contrast and saturation of your shots. Reducing both can make your photo look hazy and washed out, both of which are perfect for that aged, vintage effect.

Go for Grain

Noise usually gets a bad rap, especially when you’re trying to get a decent shot with low lighting. The opposite is true when it comes to vintage photography, though.

Older photos naturally have some noise or grain because they were most likely shot using subpar cameras, in less than ideal settings. These days, grain is great — especially when you want your images to have that rugged, weathered feel. So bring on the noise! Go to your photo-editing app of choice, add some on, and see if it works with what you’re trying to achieve.

Frame your photo with a Vignette

Vignettes are commonly seen in prints when the camera lens doesn’t focus on the entire visual and causes the edges of the image to stay underexposed. Some photographers do this on purpose to dramatically focus on their subject. Others are like you — looking to embrace the retro look in the digital social media age.

Like every tip here, achieving the look is as easy as running your image through a photo-editing app and adjusting the settings accordingly. One warning when it comes to this tip, though: vignettes tend to make your images look dark… literally. So if you’re going to slap on a vignette, make sure it adds some flair to your photo without taking away from the vibe you’re trying to achieve.

CONCLUSION

One thing to keep in mind is that even if the goal is to look vintage, you have to do so in a way that still looks modern.

What we’re trying to say here is that as tempting as it is to take all the tips here and just apply them all in one image… remember to be mindful of your editing decisions. At the end of the day, you want visuals that are on-trend. Or better yet, stunning enough to set the trend.

So spend some time checking out what celebrities, influencers, and Instagram photographers are up to. See how you can copy their style, or better yet, learn from their visual tweaks to amp up your photos.

The post How to Make Your Photos Look Retro appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Industry of Mobile Gaming Explained

In its current state, the mobile gaming industry is worth billions. In fact, even games that are free to download are raking in millions by the month: Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, and Fortnite, to name a few.

How so?

People can’t get enough of their games. Human engagement with mobile playing continues to rise, growing by 10% every 365 days. By the time 2021 comes, about 1 in 4 people will be considered an active gamer. And by such time, consumers will have spent $90 billion on mobile games.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality is a major driver in captivating users to increase the rate of gameplay. Unbeknownst to most, this isn’t a new element in gaming.

In-game AI goes back to the days of Pac-Man. Using Pathfinding technology to plot the shortest path between two points, Mr. and Mrs. Pac-Man can quickly navigate through mazes. Today, developers use smart technology to enhance the personalization gaming provides. This was seen in Pokemon Go, Red Dead Redemption 2, and more. Let’s dig in.

See Also: How Augmented Reality Is Changing The Game

Since the beginning, gaming has fueled the necessity to advance data science. Although gaming and artificial intelligence (AI) have always gone hand-in-hand, AR or augmented reality was first brought into the mainstream by mobile games. The wow-factor AR presents is providing a more immersive gameplay experience.

mobile gaming pokemon go industry

The most popular AR games have earned billions. For example, Pokemon Go has reeled in over $2 billion to date. Jurassic World has a cumulative revenue of over $20.5 million. The Walking Dead: Our World has drawn in over $6.8 million.

All in all, 81% of today’s American gamers have played using AR technology at least more than once, and 53% play mobile AR games, such as those previously mentioned, routinely.

Reverting to the conversation of artificial intelligence as a driver for the business of mobile gaming, in-game AI features continue to improve. Let’s take Red Dead Redemption 2 for example. Its developers were able to define complex behaviors for Non-Player Characters (NPCs) by using its corresponding AI software.

As the industries of gaming and data science continue to mesh, user gameplay experience will be completely reinvented. OpenAI’s Universe Program is a great example of this, letting companies that develop self-driving car to train their AI algorithms by playing Grand Theft Auto.

Google’s DeepMind provides a similar advantage, capable of beating 99.8% of human players in StarCraft II. More commonly known, Microsoft’s Project Malmo uses Minecraft to test its AI ability to navigate the world and collaborate.

In the future, games will have AI-powered levels, open worlds, and graphics. Even more interesting, the growth of data science will allow games to be created from nothing and completely by artificial intelligence — without any human involvement. Graphics will be more realistic and based on real-world images, and levels will begin being based on developers’ game design.

Furthermore, Next Generation In-Game AI will present a new realm of self-learning that allows characters to learn and grow just like people. This same technology will also allow games to adapt to what each player likes, catering to individual user personalization. DeepMind is also producing flexible behaviors for their characters in simulated environments.

Today, 81% of digital gaming time is spent on mobile apps — reducing the demand for the heavier, more stationary console. As a result, mobile phone games are making millions. In 2019, Clash of Clans was the highest-earning gaming app in the iOS App Store, earning $1.54 million per day. This game isn’t the only high-baller, though. Homescapes earns $44 million per month, Candy Crush Saga earns $71 million per month, and Battlegrounds earns $31 million per month.

mobile gaming candy crush industry

To reach the point of futuristic gaming, developers will need to begin testing their AI software. Doing so can assist in checking their game’s speed and performance. It can also shorten the time needed to develop and release new games.

Furthermore, AI testing provides developers with a tool powerful enough to run through a whole game in no more that one hour’s time. It helps them discover things they didn’t know were inside the games they’ve developed.

The industry of mobile gaming is in the hands of artificial intelligence and vice versa. For more information about the future of gaming, check out the infographic below.

Gaming and Artificial Intelligence
Source: PinkLion.AI

The post The Industry of Mobile Gaming Explained appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

About Being Yourself, Receiving, and Interesting Points of View

Last December, I had joined the theater society in my college and had mixed feelings about it until a few days back.

On one hand, I was really happy because the society was really hard to get into. There was this whole procedure that one was supposed to go through in order to get in and I was able to do that! But on the other hand, I wasn’t really sure how interested I was in being a part of it. It was really exhausting and boring sometimes. Well, most of the time.

I was constantly asking questions:

What is right about this? What contribution can this give to my life? How much fun can I have?

And then one day, I asked my mom what to do. It was becoming more of a burden than a place of creative exploration and fun. What she said was something that changed my whole view about the things that I have to do in my life.

She asked me: What am I not willing to receive from the theater society that it is willing to offer?

I never really looked at it that way. I always saw it as something that I was investing time in. It’s something that I auditioned for, something I had to do out of obligation rather than something that might be investing in me and creating something greater for me! We always think that we are the ones who are doing everything!

being yourself

Now, let me also make it clear that this does not mean increasing expectations. It just means having an allowance to receive what something or someone has to offer to us.

This reminds me of another thing that was creating a barrier for me to truly enjoy being a part of the theatre society. One day, after practice, the directors of my play called me and said that they felt like I’m restricting myself and my body. It is showing clearly which creates a certain awkwardness.

While they were only referring to me restricting my physical body, it made me realize that I was restricting myself from being myself!

What do I mean by that?

I was always serious in the practice session. I never had fun or even thought of it. I’ve never voiced my opinion or suggestions, feared both of my directors and separated myself from them and the other actors.

All of the things that I mentioned are in stark contrast to my personality.

I am nothing like that! I mean, I am serious when I have to be.

So imagine pretending to be someone else the whole time from noon to 6 pm. No wonder I was finding it boring and burdensome!

Have you ever felt that way? Stuck in something so bad, but at the same time not willing to give it up? There might be something that you haven’t been looking at, just like me. Don’t worry though, I have got your back.

Receiving a gift is the gift

Wait… what?

Let’s break it down.

Being willing to receive the gift in something or someone is the true gift. Many of us don’t acknowledge but we have a hard time receiving anything that life has to offer.

But what if by refusing to receive we eliminate all the possibilities that exist? What if we receive everything like we receive free food?

Interesting. How joyous would that be.

What are you not willing to receive from something or someone that they have to offer? If that is, what would it take to change that?

About being yourself

about being you

For the sake of yourself and everyone else, always be yourself cause there is NO ONE like you. One of the most amazing things that one of my favorite people on the planet, Dr. Dain Heer, has said is the greatest thing in life is being yourself. It is the easiest thing one could ever be so why would one want to choose to be something else? If you were truly being yourself, what would that be like?

Take it from me, spending half the day pretending to be someone is not fun! Unless you are an actor, then sure!

Interesting point of view

This is a phrase that looks just like a normal phrase but has changed so many things for me. One of the things I realized is that I was restricting myself from truly being myself because I was too afraid of people I had kept on a pedestal. I was afraid of their judgment and I was preoccupied with all the things other people have said.

But what if everything is an interesting point of view?

Judgments, other people’s opinion, you own opinion — what if they were just interesting point of views that wouldn’t hinder you in any way?

See Also: 3 Things That Can Help You Start Being Your Best Self

The post About Being Yourself, Receiving, and Interesting Points of View appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Golfing Injury Prevention Methods Suggested By Chiropractors

Most people are aware of how fleeting the summer can be, particularly golfers. As such, if you enjoy golfing during the short summer season, you may be worried about injuring yourself while on the course. In fact, many golfers worry about potentially season-ending injuries.

Unfortunately, injuries occur more often than not. In fact, studies have found that roughly 70% of golfers have suffered from at least one injury during their careers.

Furthermore, while it is true that most golf-related injuries are relatively minor, approximately half are chronic injuries. This means that they will get worse with time unless they are treated properly.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent such injuries from occurring in the first place. Here are tips on preventing golf injuries.

Focus on Your Endurance

Did you know that walking on a golf course equates to about a ten-km hike? Hence, you will need to have great cardio endurance and overall fitness levels if you want to make the long trek across the course.

If you are having trouble traversing the terrain, then you can try going on brisk walks about thrice a week. Then, slowly amp up the intensity of your walks, as well as the distance covered over the next few months.

Also, we would suggest that you try and avoid using a golf cart whenever possible. Walking on the course serves as a great form of exercise.

Rectify Any Swing Issues

preventing golf injury

Every golf swing that you take incorporates complex and unique motions that trigger several muscular contractions in the body. Moreover, each swing also places stress or strain on your lead arm and your lower back. You will want to correct any swing issues that can lead to injuries down the road.

For instance, you can work on your swing by swinging in a fluid and relaxed motion. It should also be noted that your joint motion range, as well as muscular strength, will need to be optimized in every core joint and muscle component. This is one important tip in preventing golf injuries.

Don’t Forget to Warm Up

The vast majority of golf-related injuries are triggered by overuse.

You should focus on augmenting the intensity of your swing or drive in a progressive manner instead of trying to overextend. To do so, you should begin with just a small bucket of golf balls. Opt for an eight or nine iron, or a similar short club, when you hit the golf balls.

In addition, you should commence with easy swings, and we would recommend that you perform some rotation-based exercises that focus on the shoulder, trunk, and hip regions when you are creating your warm-up routine.

Select the Right Equipment

The golf clubs that you pick should match your unique body size and contours in order to reduce the risk of injuries. If you select a club that is a poor fit, then your swing will be impeded. You will have trouble swinging in an efficient manner. If you are in doubt in terms of what size will best fit you, then speak to a golf expert about the matter.

In addition, upper limb stress issues may result if you typically hit off of driving range mats or other such synthetic terrains. Most golfers tend to make contact with the surface before, during, and after having made an impact with the golf ball. As a result, you may incur shoulder, elbow, and/or wrist injuries that are caused by egregious and repetitive stress.

Visit a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist If You Are Injured

preventing golf injuries chiropractor

In some cases, patients with a pre-existing condition or injury may exacerbate their problem while playing a game of golf.

If the aforementioned scenario applies to you, then visiting a chiropractor or physical therapist may help. For instance, your chiropractor or physiotherapist may provide customized adaptations and/or treatment modalities that will allow you to continue playing the game that you love with minimal issues.

Moreover, they will be able to provide you with the information that you need to have a better grasp of how your golfing has a direct impact or influence on your body. In any event, if you suffer an injury while playing a round of golf, then seeing a physical therapist or chiropractor may allow you to get back on the course in record time. You will also not require a referral from your physician in most cases in order to see a chiropractor or physiotherapist.

See Also: 10 Ways You Can Benefit From Chiropractic Adjustments

Preventing Golf Injuries: Warm-Up Exercises That You Can Do

You should always warm up before you begin golfing. The quintessential warm up routine will usually only take about 15 minutes to perform.

To begin, you should perform an activity that is of low intensity. It must incorporate several different muscle groups at once. You can also further boost your cardio and endurance levels by parking at the furthest end of the lot.

Next, focus on stretching exercises that emphasize the muscles that you use before each swing. You should also gently hold each stretch for about 15 seconds. Focus primarily on your forearm, neck, back, shoulder, and hip muscle regions.

golfing infographic

Infographic Source

The post Golfing Injury Prevention Methods Suggested By Chiropractors appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Golfing Injury Prevention Methods Suggested By Chiropractors

Most people are aware of how fleeting the summer can be, particularly golfers. As such, if you enjoy golfing during the short summer season, you may be worried about injuring yourself while on the course. In fact, many golfers worry about potentially season-ending injuries.

Unfortunately, injuries occur more often than not. In fact, studies have found that roughly 70% of golfers have suffered from at least one injury during their careers.

Furthermore, while it is true that most golf-related injuries are relatively minor, approximately half are chronic injuries. This means that they will get worse with time unless they are treated properly.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent such injuries from occurring in the first place. Here are tips on preventing golf injuries.

Focus on Your Endurance

Did you know that walking on a golf course equates to about a ten-km hike? Hence, you will need to have great cardio endurance and overall fitness levels if you want to make the long trek across the course.

If you are having trouble traversing the terrain, then you can try going on brisk walks about thrice a week. Then, slowly amp up the intensity of your walks, as well as the distance covered over the next few months.

Also, we would suggest that you try and avoid using a golf cart whenever possible. Walking on the course serves as a great form of exercise.

Rectify Any Swing Issues

preventing golf injury

Every golf swing that you take incorporates complex and unique motions that trigger several muscular contractions in the body. Moreover, each swing also places stress or strain on your lead arm and your lower back. You will want to correct any swing issues that can lead to injuries down the road.

For instance, you can work on your swing by swinging in a fluid and relaxed motion. It should also be noted that your joint motion range, as well as muscular strength, will need to be optimized in every core joint and muscle component. This is one important tip in preventing golf injuries.

Don’t Forget to Warm Up

The vast majority of golf-related injuries are triggered by overuse.

You should focus on augmenting the intensity of your swing or drive in a progressive manner instead of trying to overextend. To do so, you should begin with just a small bucket of golf balls. Opt for an eight or nine iron, or a similar short club, when you hit the golf balls.

In addition, you should commence with easy swings, and we would recommend that you perform some rotation-based exercises that focus on the shoulder, trunk, and hip regions when you are creating your warm-up routine.

Select the Right Equipment

The golf clubs that you pick should match your unique body size and contours in order to reduce the risk of injuries. If you select a club that is a poor fit, then your swing will be impeded. You will have trouble swinging in an efficient manner. If you are in doubt in terms of what size will best fit you, then speak to a golf expert about the matter.

In addition, upper limb stress issues may result if you typically hit off of driving range mats or other such synthetic terrains. Most golfers tend to make contact with the surface before, during, and after having made an impact with the golf ball. As a result, you may incur shoulder, elbow, and/or wrist injuries that are caused by egregious and repetitive stress.

Visit a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist If You Are Injured

preventing golf injuries chiropractor

In some cases, patients with a pre-existing condition or injury may exacerbate their problem while playing a game of golf.

If the aforementioned scenario applies to you, then visiting a chiropractor or physical therapist may help. For instance, your chiropractor or physiotherapist may provide customized adaptations and/or treatment modalities that will allow you to continue playing the game that you love with minimal issues.

Moreover, they will be able to provide you with the information that you need to have a better grasp of how your golfing has a direct impact or influence on your body. In any event, if you suffer an injury while playing a round of golf, then seeing a physical therapist or chiropractor may allow you to get back on the course in record time. You will also not require a referral from your physician in most cases in order to see a chiropractor or physiotherapist.

See Also: 10 Ways You Can Benefit From Chiropractic Adjustments

Preventing Golf Injuries: Warm-Up Exercises That You Can Do

You should always warm up before you begin golfing. The quintessential warm up routine will usually only take about 15 minutes to perform.

To begin, you should perform an activity that is of low intensity. It must incorporate several different muscle groups at once. You can also further boost your cardio and endurance levels by parking at the furthest end of the lot.

Next, focus on stretching exercises that emphasize the muscles that you use before each swing. You should also gently hold each stretch for about 15 seconds. Focus primarily on your forearm, neck, back, shoulder, and hip muscle regions.

golfing infographic

Infographic Source

The post Golfing Injury Prevention Methods Suggested By Chiropractors appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Find the Best Nail Shape for You: A Quick Guide

Playing with different kinds of nail colors is fun and relaxing. But when it comes to truly making your hands beautiful, it’s not all about the color or finish of your manicure. To have beautiful nails, don’t just look at your polish. You also have to know how to find the best nail shape for you.

Each hand, finger, and nail shape is different, and we are all born with various features. However, with the right nail shape, short fingers can look longer and hands can look daintier, edgier or more sophisticated to go with a particular look.

Get the right shape that accentuates those beautiful hands with these tips on how to find the best nail shape for you:

  • Round

round nail shape

This type is the simplest and most natural look that you can do for your nails. It is effortless to maintain, especially if you have time growing your nails.

To achieve this look, simply cut your nails to create an arc similar to the arch of your cuticles. Then, file off any of the rough edges.

A round nail is best when you are after strong nails. If you have visually long nails even after cutting, this makes your hands look very feminine and beautiful. Gel manicure would look lovely over it.

  • Oval

oval nail shape

This shape is quite difficult to execute. The form should be symmetrical, and the point is a little between oval and almond. If you file it too much, you could end up getting either one so it would take time to file your nails to get the perfect shape. It’s perfect for people with long fingernails who want a beautiful, sophisticated look because it creates a more feminine vibe.

  • Almond

almond nail shape

Almond shape looks lovely on glamorous, eye-catching events. It looks a little like an oval, but it is more tapered on the sides to shape more like an almond. To make it noticeable, you have to have longer nails.

To get the perfect shape, make sure to ask your nail salon to do it for you. It is one of the most playful designs you can get because it works for medium length nails. When you get tired, you can turn it into a squoval – a square or even an oval shape.

  • Square

square nail shape

Square nails are the easiest to make. To achieve this look, just file your nails down and make sure that ends become perpendicular to the nail. It is one of the most versatile looks because it works for either short or long nails.

However, if you already have short nails, the square may make your nails look even shorter. If that’s the case, go for an oval, round or squoval to make the shortness look less noticeable.

  • Squoval

squoval nail shape

It seems the most natural because most people are already born with this kind of nail shape. That’s why it is suitable for both long and short nails.

For the nails you currently have now, you only need to file a little bit to get the perfect squoval shape and you’re good to go. If you want the square look but hate how sharp it is around the edges, this would work best for you.

  • Ballerina

ballerina nail shape

As the name suggests, the ballerina is a nail shaped like a ballerina’s pointed shoes. It is a longer version of a square, but it is a little more convex with a straight tip. It is slightly tapered like the oval. Instead of an arc, the tip is flat.

The ballerina works best for people who love growing their nails long or for people who love going to nail salons. It’s ideal for people who love putting on gel manicures or acrylics to achieve a longer nail and avoid damage to the natural nail.

  • Stiletto

stilleto nail shape
Via Pinterest

Stiletto nail design looks intimidating and deadly. Both sides are tapered to create a pointy end. It’s very dramatic, edgy, and can be best left in the hands of professional nail salons.

For this, you need the help of nail extensions or gel overlays to create the look. Your nail techs will shape and design your overlays to create the pointed tip for each nail. It also works best for gel manicure because the polish makes the design look more prominent.

  • Lipstick

lipstick nail shape
Via Pinterest

Going for an out of the box look for special avant-garde events? Choose the lipstick.

The lipstick is like a simple square nail but only longer and asymmetrical, meaning it is just tapered at one side of the nail. It creates an uneven look that is too risky, eye-catching, and highly unusual. It works best for an equally experimental or innovative fashion style.

There are plenty of options for you to choose from, but what would be best would totally be up to you. This guide on how to find the best nail shape for you is just here to help you out.

If you want feminine looks, you can make your hand look dainty and slender by choosing rounder nails shapes like round, oval, almond or squoval. If you want strong, intimidating nails, you can choose between the square, ballerina and stiletto.

See Also: How to Remove Acrylic Nails

The post How to Find the Best Nail Shape for You: A Quick Guide appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Inspiring Movies to Watch When You Are Low on Motivation

We have all had days when we have woken up feeling uninspired and listless. Those are the days when we know we have a long list of tasks to do, but are unable to find the energy to get started. All we want to do is lie in bed and binge eat.

At such times, do you know what can help? Watching movies for motivation.

Movies have the power to move us in ways we can never imagine. They compel us to think, introspect, and reconsider our perspectives.

So, the next time you are low on motivation, don’t beat yourself over it. Allow yourself to just be and watch an inspirational movie instead.

Here is a list of 7 inspiring movies to watch when you are low on motivation:

Rocky (1976)

rocky
Via bcmoviediary.com

“Going in one more round when you don’t think you can. That’s what makes all the difference in your life.”

It’s been over four decades since this movie was released but it still manages to have the same impact on people who watch it even today.

Headlined by Sylvester Stallone, Rocky is a boxing drama film that teaches some key life lessons in the process. It speaks about believing in yourself, always putting up a good fight, and, having relentless persistence in the face of adversity.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

the pursuit of happyness

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it.”

The Pursuit of Happyness is about a man dealing with life’s struggles and how he chooses to go beyond them and fight for his dreams. All this man had was motivation and that was enough for him to rise from nothing and make his dreams come true.

If this isn’t encouraging, then what is?

The Pursuit of Happyness is power-packed with inspiration. It is bound to leave you with a renewed sense of hope and courage to never accept defeat.

Life of Pi (2012)

life-of-pi
Via filmblerg.com

“I was giving up. I would have given up – if a voice hadn’t made itself heard in my heart. The voice said “I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine.”

Life of Pi is about how a sixteen-year old boy finds himself stranded in a lifeboat with a hyena, orangutan, zebra, and a Bengal tiger. He survives because of his undying faith in himself and a better world. It tells us how determination and faith can help us live our best life.

The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

the diary of anne frank
Via cinemacats.com

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”

Here’s a poignant story about a young girl who recorded her experiences in a diary while she and her family were in hiding in a warehouse during the Nazi regime.

Heartbreaking and motivating at the same time, this movie pushes you to see life in a new light. It uplifts you, makes you weep and leaves you inspired as this young girl teaches you some of the greatest life lessons.

Coach Carter (2005)

coach_carter
Via impaled.ws

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people don’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do.”

Coach Carter might be based on a basketball coach, but it delivers critical lessons. Through Carter, we learn about discipline, hard work, humility, respect and fearlessness. From students struggling to find motivation in college to entrepreneurs lacking courage to take risks – everyone needs to watch this powerful movie.

Julie and Julia (2009)

julie-and-julia
Via newonnetflix.ca

“Julia taught me what it takes to find your way in the world. It’s not what I thought it was. I thought it was all about-I don’t know, confidence or will or luck. Those are all some good things to have, no question. But there’s something else, something that these things grow out of. It’s joy.”

Julie and Julia is a heartwarming movie which teaches us how it’s never too late to make your dreams come true, rediscover yourself, and find joy. A must-watch for women, this movie gives you a dose of motivation in the most humorous and entertaining manner.

The Lion King

the lion king
Via bbc.co.uk

“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.”

What’s impeccable about this movie is that it can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Whether it’s the inevitability of life, believing in yourself, forgiveness, learning from past experiences or conquering challenges – Lion King is a powerhouse of valuable life lessons that has something for people across all ages and stages.

See Also: 30 Best Inspirational and Motivational Quotes of the Day

The post 7 Inspiring Movies to Watch When You Are Low on Motivation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Unique Dating Apps You Might Want To Try

The sun is shining. It is warming up again and the hormones are dancing the Samba: summer is coming. If you want to look for new partners with tech support, you probably think of Tinder first. Despite the supremacy of the app, which has since become popular among love seekers, there are many other unique dating apps which may actually be better.

Read on to find out more about them.

Fuck, Marry, Kill

Fuck, Mary, Kill, FMK in short, is a special app in every aspect. Designed as a game and a place to get to know each other, the title alone can be a deterrent to some.

The basic concept is relatively simple:

Three profiles will come up in your screen and that’s when you’ll choose which one you’d like to sleep with, marry, and kill. That’s where the fun starts!

Time to make a choice, who would you sleep with? Who would you marry? And lastly, who would you kill?

If two users have found each other, they can chat via the app. Furthermore, FMK still offers a ranking in which classification is visible. If we are often selected in the Marry category, we appear in the ranking under the wedding material. The app developers, however, stresses the fact that no one should be killed. Obviously, the category should be interpreted only as fun.

Fuck, Marry, Kill is available for free for iOS as a web app and Android.

Bristlr

Started as a joke, Bristlr is now a real dating app. The application has a very special target group in sight: a beard lover.

Anyone who has a beard or likes this specific genre should put his money to use here. It is not necessary to have an impressive profile. The only distinguishing feature of Bristlr is the beard.

When one registers, there’s not even gender queries. Therefore, the app is also one of the few dating sites that is completely open to all genders and sexual orientations.

Bristlr is available for free for iOS and Android.

Hater

hater dating app
Via datingscout.com

The app for special appointments wants to bring people together because of their dislikes. As with Tinder and similar dating apps, scroll left or right through the appointment catalog. Instead of images, we have a selection of several thousand voting topics.

On the list are food, celebrities, habits, and activities. Those who hate Trump or people who say “Babe” can find partners in similar meetings. If you have reviewed the various topics long enough, you may end up finding your Hater soulmate. Or lover, depending on the definition.

Hater is available for iOS and Android for free.

Whispar

Appointment app of the Austrian company Talk4Date eliminates text messages when searching for a partner. Instead, users learn about the app through voice. Whispar offers five new tips every day. Audio profiles can be monitored and evaluated directly. It takes almost 30 seconds to listen to each profile.

After the usual sliding principle, it can then be decided what to do next. If the other person’s voice is the way you imagined it, you can contact her directly after a game via voice messages. If voice messages are no longer sufficient for entertainment, Whispar also offers calls directly from the app. This has the advantage of not having to exchange numbers and still be able to chat with others.

Whispar is available free for iOS and Android.

Boompi

Boompi relies on the windscreen wiper principle. At first sight, it does not seem to differ from other well-known dating apps. Only when there is no interest on both sides does the game break. If two people rated themselves as interesting, they can chat via the app.

It is rare that not only the two potential lovers of meetings interact but also their respective best friends. Women can talk about news here and test the other person to finally decide if a meeting makes sense.

The function itself is available only for women. Neither men can take part in such conversations nor is there a similar function available for male stakeholders.

Boompi is available for iOS and Android for free.

As you have seen, there are many alternatives to the big players of dating apps. You just have to expand your horizons, and figure out which one is right for you.

See Also: The Truth About Tinder Dating

The post 5 Unique Dating Apps You Might Want To Try appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Reasons to Head Over to Seoul Right Now

You might have heard the saying: Go to Seoul to refresh your soul.

It is one of those emerging tourist spots where the new meets the old. If you haven’t visited this South Korean capital as of yet, then you should totally do it at least once in your lifetime.

Why visit Seoul?

Here are 7 great reasons why Seoul should be on your must-travel list.

Exciting Nightlife

seoul nightlife

The Seoul scene does not die with the sun. Instead, it comes alive with the darkening skies.

After a hard day’s worth of work, the South Korean population tends to get out of their houses and become a part of the vibrant nightlife culture. Amidst the dazzling neon lights and the echoes of laughter, you’ll find people clubbing to vivacious music in the Gangnam district and relaxing in the mini-pools of Club Bugatti Syndrome.

Other than that, you’ll see them heading to the famous Dongdaemun Market to get their hands on the latest fashionable items and to shop till they drop. Karaoke in Noraebang is also one hot nightlife activity which you should add to your list.

Historically Rich

seoul historical places

Seoul has a tale as old as time which is inscribed on the artifacts in its museums and embedded in its famous historic sites. One such site is the revered Changdeokgung which is a grand royal palace of the times of Joseon dynasty. It has a neat architecture and sprawling gardens.

Similar in the theme is the Gyeongbokgung Palace. It’s a large 14th-century wonder, having an attached museum and a peaceful landscape.

Free guided tours are offered for these sites.

Seoul is quite rich when it comes to museums, covering both antiquity and modernity. This includes the 1946-built National Folk Museum of Korea, which highlights the customs and culture of the Korean people. There’s the 2005-built National Museum of Korea as well which displays recent military artworks.

You can visit these, in addition to the famous War Memorial, traditional neighborhoods of the Bukchon Hanok Village, and the rehabilitated historical city gates of Namdaemun and Heunginjimun.

Technologically Savvy

Even though Seoul’s feet are dipped in its traditions, it continues to soar through the clouds of digitization. Just take a look at last year’s Olympics that Seoul hosted.

There were multi-lingual robot greeters, virtual reality ski-jumping simulators, ‘ghost skier’ technology and holograms, 5G speeds, and integrated AI to blow the mind of the internationally visiting crowds.

Other than this, Seoul’s passion for technology shows in its architectural wonders, too. Just look at the Lotte World Tower which was constructed in 2016 and opened to the public in early 2017.

It is a major recreational complex which hosts the world’s largest indoor theme park, movie theaters, and shopping facilities. But its most advanced and highlighting feature is its super-fast elevator which covers ten meters per second. It’s covered with animating screens on all sides.

Spiritually Enlightened

Even though the people of Seoul are becoming more religious, they still value their old traditions at heart. They continue to respectfully visit their Buddhist temples of yore.

These quaint places are full of spiritual energy and you can be a part of it by going for the so-called Templestay Programs. It’ll allow you to live like the Buddhist monks for more than one night. You can observe their rituals and even go on a lengthy discussion with the resident scholars. The 7-story pagoda temple of Jogyesa with vast halls should be on your list.

Low-Budget Options

Though it is true that the average cost of living in Seoul is going on the rise, there are still some pocket-friendly options which will not bore a hole through your budget.

The accommodation is pretty cheap. It’s around US $10 a night if you go to an Airbnb. You can also easily book a dormitory or rent a room in a guesthouse online.

Not only that, if you go around Seoul on public transportation instead of hiring a private cab, you’ll save a lot. Food is also quite budget-friendly and tasty.

So, it is possible to have fun in Seoul without going too much out of your way- money-wise.

Hiking & Mountaineering Possibilities

seoul bukhansan

Seoul is a confirmed metropolis but that does not mean that it lacks natural wonders. There are mountain ranges interspersed throughout the land, offering many hiking opportunities for the locals and the tourists.

Bukhansan is one such range. Having a triple-peaked face, it’s located near Seoul. It’s around 2744 feet in height and is a part of a wider Bukhansan National Park.

Other than that, there is a mountain fortress city to the southeast named Namhansanseong. It’s one of the ideal places to hike through. Inwangsan which means ‘mountain of generous king’ and Gwanaksan are other famous mountain ranges which you should look into.

Culinary Varieties

seoul culinary varieties

If meat-based dishes are for you, then you need to visit the famous Korean BBQ spots.

Imagine carving through the tender marbled cuts of meat lightly seasoned to suit your taste. Brings water to your mouth, doesn’t it?

Head over to Wang Bi Jib to savor such high-quality cuisine. If you’re a vegetarian, then there are Buddhist food options for you, too. One of them is located at the tranquil Sanchon. If you’re a fan of the weird and the extravagant, then Seoul’s themed cafes are waiting for you. Cartooned Hello Kitty or Kakao Friends cafes are some of the most popular sites.

So, what are you waiting for?

Make South Korea’s Seoul your travel destination ASAP.

The post 7 Reasons to Head Over to Seoul Right Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Take The Perfect Selfie (With Or Without AR)

For millennia, people have sought after the perfect method of capturing one’s likeness. From cave drawings to royal commissioned portraits to tintype photography, our perceptions of self are constantly changing. And now, a lot of people are focused on how to perfect selfie.

The Evolution of Selfies

As photography quality grew over the 19th and 20th century, so did people’s fascination with human faces. Photography quality improved so much in fact, that artistic trends began shifting in the opposite direction. Surrealism and expressionism boomed in popularity and inspired some of the most famous pieces of artwork known today.

The imaginative likeness of humanity through artwork, juxtaposed against the solemn nature of black and white photography captured the imagination of people everywhere. It ushered in a new era of not only how we see the world around us, but how we see ourselves. The idea that a self-portrait could be anything we wanted it to be. It was not just an expression of physicality, but of our very essence.

Today, we are expected to take over 25,000 selfies during our lifetime. By 2015, 95% of millennial had taken at least one selfie. With an average posting rate of 9 selfies a week, it’s not a surprise we see them as often as we do. Social media is the hub of selfies, but not all platforms are equal.

The Start of AR Selfies

Snapchat pioneered the world of AR selfies when the quintessential Rainbow Barfing filter rolled out in 2015. Users were blown away by the detail, tech, and the sheer absurdity of these augmented reality gems.

Using facial tracking technology, users were able to filter over their own features in real time. Adapting to movements and even more than one face in the frame, this feature boomed. It made Snapchat the selfie hub. More than one in three people who use Snapchat do so primarily to take, send, and save selfies. In comparison, only 4% of posts are solo selfies in Instagram.

In a way, these creative filters harken back to the days of when the extremes of human imagination were made real through art and early photography. Long gone are the days when selfies were considered a vain and attention-seeking practice.

Today, they are vital pieces of self-expressionism, especially among social media users. No matter how far we edit our selfies, we know it still remains an image of ourselves.

While there is no formula to the “perfect” selfie, there are general guidelines, tips, and tricks that many veteran selfie-takers can agree on.

Popular opinion consensus has decided that selfies are a good thing now, and the more creative and personality-filled, the better. After all, what’s more unique than a photo of one’s own face?

It’s only fair to take advantage of the seemingly endless online resources for selfie augmenting, whether it be in real-time like Snapchat or in post-production, so to speak.

How to Perfect Selfie

perfect selfie

When starting your selfie session:

  • Be aware of lighting, shade, and shadows. Many selfie “experts” may suggest avoiding shadows if possible. The good news is that there are many techniques that make shadow work to your strengths.
  • Don’t be afraid of the flash. In darker environments, getting your front-facing phone camera to focus can feel like an endless uphill battle. The flash may be scary at first, but at the right angles it can light up the high points of the face.
  • Everyone has a “good side”. Just because you play to your angles doesn’t make a selfie disingenuous. Often times front-facing cameras on phones are compressed in order to fit as much in the frame as possible. On some users this can make the nose appear larger, the forehead appear longer, and other distorting results.

Don’t forget that there is very rarely a “bad” picture. We are our own worst critics, and for photos that come out not quite right, we can be quick to judge ourselves negatively. When a selfie isn’t working out the way we hoped it would, remember back to the last time you saw a bad photo of someone else; we bet you can’t really recall.

Even a photo that seems to highlight your “flaws” is still a photo of you. To friends and family, that is exactly what they see. They see a loved one, not a bad picture.

There’s a time and place for everything and while part of the appeal of selfies is that you can literally snap one anywhere, it should not be taken:

  • in a place of worship during services
  • whilst behind the wheel
  • during a movie, lecture, or live performance
  • in museums, or memorials, and of course funerals

How do you use augmented reality to up your selfie game? Take a look at this infographic for more on the art of selfies, the future of AR development, and the influence of self-expression on technology itself.

The post How To Take The Perfect Selfie (With Or Without AR) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

35 Small Acts Of Kindness To Spread Happiness And Flex Your Kindness Muscle

You want to be happy.

So, you do everything to maximize your happiness. You do the things that make you happy. You set and achieve goals. You make as much money as possible so you can buy your way to happiness.

But, what if I told you that one of the best ways to feel happy is to give it away.

Here’s what I mean…

Happiness is not a scarce resource. The more you give or share happiness, the more you get it back.

The joy of giving love and kindness is one of the best things you can experience as a human.

So, how do you experience the feeling on a regular basis?

I’ve got your back. I’ve compiled the list of 35 best random acts of kindness you can do in your daily life.

You don’t have to think of great ideas to become a kinder person. Every small act counts. As Aesop once said…

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

So, without further delay, let’s get down to the list.

Smile at strangers

smile at strangers

A straight face helps no one. Smiling, however, can change your and others’ day in an instant. You don’t even have to fake a smile. When you’re genuinely happy to see fascinating people around you, the smile comes naturally.

Help a stranger

Helping people may require a donation of your time, money, effort, and energy, but it’s one of the best things we can do to keep humanity alive.

Be kind to anyone who serves you (even if you pay them)

Say “thank you”. Sure, you’re paying someone for their services, but don’t let money be an excuse for not being kind and grateful. Go beyond the transaction and overpay with kindness.

Forgive people

Everybody makes mistakes. You always forgive yourself no matter how big or small of a mistake you make. Do the same with every person who has done you wrong. It will liberate you.

See Also: 5 Reasons We all Deserve Forgiveness

Lower expectations

Expecting someone to do something for us is normal. But if someone doesn’t meet your expectations, remember that it is your job to manage your expectations. When in doubt, expect less. If they do more than expected, be grateful.

Give people the benefit of the doubt

If you don’t know the truth, assume a better judgment. It’s not about finding the truth, it’s about what you choose to believe. You may be wrong, but sometimes, it’s better to let go and choose what’s helpful.

Make someone laugh

Don’t you love those people who can make you laugh when you’re taking life too seriously? Laughing is a free therapy. The best part is that when you make others laugh, you get the therapy, too.

Listen to people

When I say listen, I mean REALLY listen. Like listening to others’ feelings, expressions, body language, and words. Don’t make it about you by thinking about what to say next. In the age of smartphones, giving full attention is rare but we can keep it alive.

Compliment people

Small random words of genuine compliments are beautiful. Genuine compliments come in your mind by training yourself to look for the good in people. Notice what’s good about others and don’t keep it to yourself.

Giving constructive feedback

While complimenting someone feels good, don’t shy away from giving constructive feedback. Because when you really care about others, you help others to do better by telling what they can improve on.

Waste fewer resources

Whether it is plastic, water, food, fuel, paper, electricity or other items, do your best to minimize the waste. When saving resources become a norm, more people will do it. And guess who can turn it into a norm? Us.

Donate or volunteer

Other than donating money, items, and clothes to a charity or a cause you believe in, you can donate your time by volunteering.

See Also: The Power of Volunteering

Inspire or motivate others

Your words have power whether they are verbal or in written form. One of the best use of your words is to inspire or motivate others to do the right thing.

Say good morning

Start off the day well by wishing people a good morning. It’s an excuse to practice gratitude.

Keep plants

Planting a tree, owning a garden or keeping plants at home not only helps the planet but staying in touch with nature is super beneficial for you.

Do an unexpected loving act for your loved ones

Help someone out with laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning or any other chore.

Spend time with someone without being in a rush

We all are busy. However, when you take out the time for someone without constantly looking at your watch, you can give them the best gift of all - your quality time.

Hug

Hugging releases oxytocin which helps us connect on a much deeper level. Some other ways you can connect are by giving a pat on the back and giving a high-five.

Have at least one vegetarian day a week

At least once a week, keep a day in which you won’t eat meat or just eat less meat in general.

Send a thank-you letter

Express love and gratitude by writing someone a thank you email, message or letter. It’s a small but high-impact gesture to let someone know how much you appreciate them.

Share what you have with others

You can share your food, resources, items, and so on. As we all know, sharing is caring.

Choose empathy

We make judgments about people instantly. It’s not your fault; it’s part of our nature. However, you can still choose empathy and let go of harsh judgments.

Cook a meal for someone

If you’re a regular chef, invite someone over. If you don’t normally cook at your home, try cooking a meal for others.

Give someone a book

If a book changed your life, share it with someone you love so they get can read it, too. It’s a small gift but it may have a huge impact on someone’s life.

Take care of yourself

When you take care and manage yourself better, you act less with your impulses and show up in a more positive way. Because if you feel negative, you spread the same vibes around you.

Pick up litter once in a while

If you do that, maybe other people will do the same and throw away less waste on the streets. Leading with an example is a step forward towards better public habits.

If someone’s in a rush, let someone get ahead of you in the line

You can also let anyone with a few items at a grocery store get ahead if you have too many items to check out.

Hold the door (or elevator)

Make it a habit to hold the door for the person right behind you. It’s not only kind, but a mature gesture to do.

Be happy for someone

Whether it’s a big or a small win, when someone achieves something, be happy for them and cheer them up.

Share your knowledge

If you know something that can help someone, teach them what you’ve already learned so they don’t have to hunt for resources to learn from scratch.

Call your parents

They miss you.

Pay for someone

Paying for someone’s meal, ticket or any other item is a great gesture of kindness.

Put gym equipment in its right place

Put in those reps, but make sure you put those weights back from where you picked them from.

Be super kind with a customer service rep

They listen to a lot of complaints all day long. Make their day by treating them really well by being extra kind to them.

Leave a positive comment or review

We consume a lot of stuff on the internet. But so often, we forget to hit the like button or leave a positive comment on the content we like. As a content creator, I know how big of an impact you make with such a small act.

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.“ - John Bunyan

This list is just a starting point. There is no limit to how kind you can get.

Kindness is a therapy. When you feel down or discouraged, come back to kindness. It will give you the strength and the positivity you need to get back up again.

Even when you don’t feel down, it’s best to turn acts of kindness into your habits. Because with these best random acts of kindness, you’ll feel happy spreading happiness around you.

As you become kinder, more people will follow your lead as you set an example of what humanity looks like.

The world has seen enough rage, distrust, envy, and hate. It’s time you show up like a superhero with your superpower - your kindness.

Let’s not let the standards of humanity fall down. Together, we can make the world a kinder place to live.

The post 35 Small Acts Of Kindness To Spread Happiness And Flex Your Kindness Muscle appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Famous Cryptids: Are They Real?

Do you believe in monsters, fairies or supernatural creatures?

Around the world, nearly every culture has stories of cryptids: beings which are commonly thought to be made-up stories. Whether it’s the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot or the Chupacabra, there’s little evidence to prove whether these famous cryptids do or do not exist.

What evidence does exist is usually grainy photographs or accounts of shadowy sightings. While many people believe in their existence, others reject it as simple misidentification and storytelling. Cryptozoologists search for evidence of their existence, while mainstream science insists their existence is impossible or implausible.

Let’s get know some cultural cryptids:

The Invisible Elves

the invisible elves
Via theatlantic

According to one survey, more than half of all Icelanders believe in the existence of elves. The legendary Huldufólk or invisible elves are nearly indistinguishable from humans. Their behavior and appearance are nearly identical to people, but their height maybe anywhere from a few centimeters to 3 meters (10 feet) tall.

The invisible elves are quiet and peaceful, keeping to themselves so long as their lands aren’t threatened. In contrast, the Huldufólk are territorial. They will lash out and disrupt construction and development that threaten their land. When something breaks down or goes sideways on a construction site, many think the invisible elves are to blame.

The Jersey Devil

In the early 18th century, so the story goes, a mother of 12 learned she was pregnant with her 13th child. Upon learning this news, the women cried out, “May it be the devil”. Her wish came true 9 months later when she gave birth to a beast that would become known as the Jersey Devil.

Description of the Jersey Devil alludes to a kangaroo-shaped figure, with the horns, bat-like wings, and forked tail often attributed to the devil. The Jersey Devil might have the head of a goat, horse or possibly a dog depending on the source, but he always has terrible claws hands and cloven feet.

Don’t believe in the Jersey Devil?

Reports say that the Philadelphia Zoo took it seriously enough to offer a $10,000 bounty to anyone who could capture the horrifying beast. Many searched the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey, looking for the legendary monster. Unfortunately, no one was able to catch it.

The Wendigo

wendigo
Via ancient-origins

In the forests of the Great Lakes region, from central Canada to Minnesota, First Nations and Native American tribes tell stories of the same monster. The Wendigo, a shapeshifting monster that eats human flesh is known in the legends of the Algonquin, Cree, Innu, and Naskapi. The giant can grow to as tall as the tops of the trees. It has a heart of ice, matted fur, a lipless mouth, and jagged yellow teeth.

The Wendigo possesses people and uses them to hunt down their family and friends. Its skeletal frame and ill-fitting skin denote its constant state of hunger. Each time it eats, the creature grows larger and therefore, more famished.

Other Cultural Cryptids

Probably the most famous cryptid, the Loch Ness Monster, is a giant sea monster. Believed to live in Scotland’s Loch Ness, it first appeared in 1933 after several sighting and photographs. People believe it resembles a large dinosaur.

The Black Shuck, a large, black dog is said to roam the English countryside. Its ghostly form is believed to be an omen of death. Harry Potter fans may recognize a version of the Black Shuck known as the Grim.

What Do You Believe?

Whether or not you believe in these famous cryptids, their effect on popular culture cannot be denied. From movies and TV to a museum dedicated to strange creatures and psychic phenomena, everyone loves a spooky story. In fact, in the 1930s, taxidermists grafted deer antlers onto jackrabbits, creating the image of a jackalope that persists in stories even up to this day.

Belief in the paranormal goes far beyond the existence of cryptids. More than half of Americans believe in psychic phenomena, extrasensory perception, and spiritual healing. The CIA even launched a program to investigate remote viewing and its possible uses for intelligence gathering.

Are all paranormal beliefs a scam or could some have real truth to them? Learn more about paranormal beliefs and psychic powers in this infographic:
strange beliefs

The post Famous Cryptids: Are They Real? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Best Rewards Cards For Funding Your Family’s Next Vacation

Family vacation costs can add up quickly, especially when the number of mouths to feed seem to grow with each big trip. Sooner than you realize, the cost of a big family trip can seem like a vacation experience straight from the movies. With that, you have to know how you can start planning a family vacation on a budget.

Whether your family is big or small, saving up for vacation and saving while on vacation can help bear the financial burden of your next big trip while maximizing fun for the whole family. Here are some tips you can use.

Saving Up For Vacation

saving up for vacation

Cashing In On Cash Back

A great way to save for your family’s next vacation is by squirreling away all that cash back earned on everyday purchases. If you don’t own a cash back card already, you may want to consider opening one. Your savings can only be accomplished if you pay off your balance before the close of each billing cycle though.

The best cash back cards to look for are those in which the cash back doesn’t expire, ones that have the highest cashback rates, and those that don’t limit cash back to certain categories.

Also, be on the lookout for special incentives, like bonuses if a certain amount is spent in a certain period of time. For example, Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is offering a $200 credit if you spend $1,000 within the first three months.

Let Your Work Travel Pay For Your Vacation Travel

If you find yourself traveling more and more for work and you’re booking much of the travel yourself, you might as well use a travel rewards card that allows you to rack up miles. Since vacation destinations for your family may require a different airline than what you use for your work destinations, a sure bet is to use a card that will give you universal rewards points redeemable for most airlines, such as Chase Sapphire or Capital One Venture cards.

Many cards will give you double the points for a variety of travel-related purchases in addition to 1:1 points on regular purchases. Plus, if you don’t already have a travel rewards card, you can take advantage of bonus incentives by opening a new one.

Saving While On Vacation

saving while on vacation

Making The Choice

While you may not want to have one card for cash back, one for airline miles, one for hotels, and one for resorts; by choosing the best cards for your family, you’ll be giving yourself more opportunity to save up for vacation and continue the savings while on vacation. Take your time, look at your current cards, and decide which points or miles card is right for you.

Hotel Rewards Cards

Another option worth considering is a hotel rewards card, especially if you’ve grown a preference for one particular hotel brand chain accommodations and decor over others. If you’re already a loyal customer to Hilton brand hotels for example, then you may be able to rack up some free stays quickly with the Hilton Honors American Express Card.

You can earn 50,000 Hilton Honors points by spending $1,000 in the first three months, and 7x the points with every dollar spent at a Hilton brand accommodation. If you’re more of a Marriott kind of family, take a look at the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card. They’ll give you 100,000 bonus points after you make $5,000 of purchases within the first three months (which isn’t hard to do for a big family on vacation).

Resort Rewards

One of the most popular resort destinations for families is Disney. Whether it be Disney theme parks such as Disney World, Disneyland, or a Disney Cruise, if your family is seriously Disney, then you may want to consider opening a Disney Premier Visa Card.

Not only will you be able to receive extra savings at these attractions, you can earn rewards points to use at Disney movies and on any Disney merchandise.

International Travel

If you’re planning on taking off to see the world with family in tow, don’t forget to consider which rewards card you’ll be using. Some card companies actually charge a 3% fee for any international transaction. This includes any transaction outside of the U.S. even though you may be making the purchase from your living room couch.

The best rewards card companies, like Chase Sapphire or Capital One Venture, will give you rewards for spending money on your international vacation. Consider them when planning a family vacation on a budget.

The post Best Rewards Cards For Funding Your Family’s Next Vacation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Millennials Still Go To The Movies?

Over the last 20 years, nearly 1 in 4 movie theaters have closed. Many people feel the days of the movie theater are behind us, with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu providing premium content from the comfort of home.

In reality, there are more big screens in the United States than ever, despite the lower number of theaters. The days of the small, dollar theater may be behind us but the multiplex is gaining popularity. And it may surprise you to learn that millennials are driving this trend.

But what’s with millennials and movies?

Movie theaters are far from disappearing. Box office revenues have grown over the past three years. In 2017, box office earnings hit a record high at over $40 billion. Of the top ten highest grossing films in history, six were released in the last five years. Moreover, two of these films, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, were out in the first half of 2018 and four are from the Marvel franchise.

Highest Grossing Films Worldwide

  • Avatar
  • Titanic
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Jurassic World
  • The Avengers
  • Furious 7
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Black Panther
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Who Goes to the Movies?

The people most likely to go to the movies are millennials who are nearly twice as likely to frequent theaters as any other age group. Common knowledge might say streaming devices are replacing trips to the cinema, but frequent moviegoers actually own more technology than the average adult. From smartphones, tablets, computers to gaming systems and personal assistants, nearly 80% of moviegoers own at least four different types of technology.

All of that tech might not be replacing the big screen, but it’s changing our media consumptions. Millennials and younger adults are the biggest users of online streaming services. Rather than replacing trips to the theater, streaming services are just another way to consume media. Young adults are watching, listening, and streaming more than ever.

Why Choose the Cinema?

movies and millennials

In 2017, more than double the number of Americans went to the movies as those who attended major-league sporting events and theme parks combined. These 1.2 billion moviegoers picked an outing that costs less than half the price of visiting an amusement park or basketball game. While the price of tickets is going up, movies are still an affordable option for those looking to treat themselves to a little luxury.

Compared to the cost of installing a professional-quality theater at home, a family of four could visit a luxury theater every month for 9 years and still spend less. Movie theaters are adding to the luxury with more amenities as well. Adjustable, reclining seats offer comfortable seating with more elbow and leg room than traditional theaters. And many theaters offer dine-in options or full-service bars that give you dinner-and-a-movie all in one place.

What’s So Great About the Big Screen?

Seeing a movie in the theater isn’t what it used to be and it’s not just the seats that are getting better. Theaters are switching from old, film-based projection systems to digital screens that offer better, brighter pictures. And new 3D technology makes movies more life-like.

The latest tech dual-laser projection brings a film to life with brighter displays, more vivid color, and a million-to-one contrast ratio. Today’s screens can display more nuanced tones and a greater spectrum of colors for the ultimate theater experience. What’s more, the newest and greatest technology can be added to existing screens, from the big screen to your home computer, with little more than a firmware update.

Surround sound is making strides as well, with 64 speakers installed on each wall of the theater. There’s even newer theater tech that does more than just place sounds in different speaker channels, like earlier versions of surround sound technology.

This new tech allows filmmakers to place each sound in a specific location in the theater, creating soundscapes that are even more nuanced and creating the same effect across theaters with varying speaker setups. Sound can pan around the room, moving seamlessly from speaker to speaker.

Check out this infographic to learn more about millennials at the movies and the numbers behind the big screen’s continued success:
Afordable Luxury: the summer blockbusterDolby

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A Quick List of Adventure Activities You Must Try

Whenever you find that you are losing focus on your mundane activities and daily chores, it merely implies that you need to relax and take it easy. There is no better way to break free from the monotony of everyday life than to set off on a short holiday. Whatever the case may be, make sure you enjoy each moment to the fullest. In this write-up, we’ll share with you a list of adventure activities you’ll definitely find appealing.

Let’s take a look at them:

Skiing

skiing vacation

With dusty mountains and soft snow around, you will undoubtedly be lured to try out the skiing facilities available at the resorts. Few of the best destinations for this sport include Austria, Switzerland, France, Quebec, Japan, and Dubai.

White shark cage diving

Some places in South Africa offer tourists the opportunity to dive with sharks. Yes, that is right!

Gansbaai, located on the southern side of Cape Town, is the place. You can also try and explore Mossel Bay. In fact, Cape Town is often referred to as the capital for white sharks.

Skydiving

Can you imagine jumping out of a plane and allowing yourself to fall freely while gradually embracing gravity? Usually meant for the strong hearted, skydiving will put even the bravest to the test.

Of course, you can always enjoy seeing someone else perform this stance. You will find spots in almost every country including Israel, Egypt, Malaysia, France, Spain, Norway, and Germany to name a few.

Surfing

Some exotic places where you can explore or try surfing are the Hawaiian Islands, South Africa, the Indonesian Archipelago, and French Polynesia.

Horse Riding

Horse riding is perhaps one adventurous activity you can indulge in. There are many places around the globe where horse riding is offered.

Whether you are a die-hard fan of Gulf stream horse track races or you want to just try out for your leisure, the most prominent places that you will find this sport include Western Riding (USA), South Africa, Iceland, Andalucía in Spain, Macedonia, Botswana, and Machu Picchu in Peru.

Paddle Boarding

paddle boarding vacation

There are many reasons for indulging in this sport. It not only relaxes you, but it is an excellent form of exercise as well.

So, if you are not able to hit the gym while you are on holiday, this activity will perhaps keep you on your toes and keep your weight in check.

Conclusion

Regardless of the type of adventure sports you indulge in, just make sure that you ponder over a few critical points to ensure your safety and that you make your trip a memorable one.

These include the following:

  • Make sure you are ready to take on the sport as far as health is concerned
  • Find out the rules and get acquainted with the guidelines
  • Seek assistance from a professional
  • Keep your medical kit handy

If your thrill-seeking heart is craving for a vacation, you can consider this list of adventurous activities that’ll give you the experience of a lifetime!

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What Should Be Your World Cup Drink This Summer?

The World Cup is in full swing. What better way to celebrate it than by drinking the traditional cocktails from the countries participating? For each of the 32 competing countries, there is a cocktail or mocktail to whip up to celebrate their culture and cuisine.

Whether you’re a football fanatic, a fairweather fan or an unwilling supporter who can’t seem to avoid being dragged along to watch the footie, there’s no better way to celebrate (or tolerate) this year’s tournament and get in the ‘spirit’ than with a cultural cocktail in hand.

Throwing a World Cup party? Add a touch of class and impress your guests by mixing up a batch of cocktails.

Here’s what you’ll be drinking for the next few matches.

Senegal v Colombia

For Senegal v Colombia, you’ll be drinking an exotic combination of Jus de Bissap. It’s a refreshing mocktail made of pineapple juice, lemon juice, dried hibiscus, vanilla extract, ginger, and orange blossom. It also has the somewhat stronger Carendals – aguardiente with soda water, lemon juice, and fresh strawberries.

Japan v Poland

For Japan v Poland, there are some fairly strong cocktails on the menu. Samurai Rock is Japan’s offering. It’s made by mixing sake with lime juice. For Poland, it’s the Zubrowka and Apple. It’s a lethal combination of Polish vodka mixed with apple cider.

England v Belgium

For the all-important England v Belgium match? You’ll be sipping a classic Pimm’s Cup where you add Pimm’s and lemonade with lots of fresh fruit and mint. You can also try the Black Russians to wake you up. It’s simply vodka and coffee liqueur.

Panama v Tunisia

For Panama v Tunisia, mix up a batch of Seco Sours. It’s Seco Herrerano, strawberry syrup, and lemon juice topped with lime and mint. You can also try the Arab Springs. It’s Boukha, lemon juice, and grenadine topped with ground cardamom, mint leaves, and pomegranate seeds.

Which cocktails will you be drinking most frequently?

favourite world cup drinks

Certain nations have performed better than others throughout the World Cup’s history. This means that as the tournament progresses and more and more teams get knocked out, the cocktails from countries like France, Spain, and Brazil are likely to be on the menu most often!

That sounds like a rather ideal situation, given that France’s national cocktail is the delicious Mimosa. It will transport you to Belle Paris and the banks of the river Seine.

Spain’s is the fruity Sangria which will bring to life visions of the beautiful Costa del Sol and Brazil’s is the tangy Caipirinha that can transform even the dreariest of days into a sunny day on the busy streets of Rio!

Other favorites from around the world

cocktail drinks

Here are the other national cocktails which you need to try out, too.

Australia’s Fairy Floss Windmills

This playful cocktail consists of vanilla vodka, strawberry floss, elderflower liqueur, apple juice, and cranberry juice with a twist of lemon.

Denmark’s Anaconda

Shake together cachaca, Midori, lime juice, and pineapple juice to create a fruity cocktail that tastes like a fruit cocktail!

South Korea’s Grapefruit Soju

The clue is very much in the name but this cocktail is a delightful combo of soju and grapefruit juice.

Serbian Rakija

Prosecco, Rakija, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice make up this Serbian thirst quencher.

Switzerland’s Champagne St. Moritz

This fancy aperitif is a recipe of gin, champagne, apricot brandy, and orange juice.

Make this World Cup a round-the-world trip of cultural cocktails. And of course, since the World Cup is being hosted in Russia this year, it’s only fair that each match should also be accompanied by a toast of vodka. Get either a straight or mixed with ginger ale to create the nation’s Moscow Mule.

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5 Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids about Responsibility

If you want your children to grow up into capable adults who are strong and independent, it’s important that you work on them and start in time. Molding young minds and teaching kids about responsibility is not something you can take lightly.

Now, considering that talking won’t help much (it’s not that they don’t want to listen – it’s their attention span), you need to come up with different ways to make this fun. Here are some suggestions you might find helpful.

Let Them Help Out

helping in the household chores

Many parents I know are putting their finest effort into getting their kids out of the way when doing chores. Instead of trying to explain that they will have enough time to deal with housework in the future, you should indulge their curiosity.

Teach them how to do household chores at an early age and be patient with them. They can take longer than you to complete the chores but practice makes perfect. Soon, they’ll find the tasks a lot more enjoyable.

See Also: Top 10 Tips to Help Children Develop Useful Habits

Adopting a Pet

This is every kid’s dream and you should try and make this happen for your children. Taking care of another being can teach them some of life’s greatest lessons.

You can get a dog or a cat. You can even get your children a bird or a fish. Just make sure to ask for their opinion when deciding on a breed.

Collecting Coupons

Cutting colorful pieces of paper can be fun for kids, especially if they get to eat their favorite cereal and get a toy as well. There are a lot of websites that offer great discounts for practically everything. You can join forces with your child, browse through fun items, and save money together.

Earning Pocket Money

kids responsibility

Sure, you can simplify things by just giving your kids money. However, if you’re planning on teaching children about responsibility, encourage them to work hard for their money.

It can be a valuable experience for them as they get to learn how to work hard, be frugal, and be responsible for their earnings.

Reward System with Consequences

The best way to prepare your kid for the big bad world out there is to teach them how hard work is always rewarded and that there are consequences if you are lazy. If you want this system to work, make sure that you explain everything in detail. That way, your children understand and know exactly what to expect.

For a chore completed carefully and properly, you can take them somewhere cool, award them with a few bucks or come up with an activity you both enjoy together. This will have a positive effect on your relationship with your child.

Don’t forget to set an example.

Children are like sponges. They’ll notice if you’re taking shortcuts and they will most definitely copy your behavior. So, act like you speak, be disciplined and persistent. By doing that, you can be sure that you have done your best in teaching kids about responsibility.

See Also: 8 Ways To Nurture Your Child’s Self-Motivation

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How to Create A Fairy Garden Outdoors

Despite what most people say, creating a fairy garden is surprisingly easy and you can do it by yourself or with the help of your kids. You can find fairy garden kits so you don’t have to spend a lot of time looking for all the bells and whistles to make a perfect garden.

If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a quick guide on how to create a fairy garden outdoors.

Materials and Fairy Garden Accessories

fairy village

First, we need to collect all the materials and fairy garden accessories you’ll need for your project.

The list includes:

  • Container with a drainage hole
  • High-quality potting soil
  • Plants (Irish Moss, Boxwood, Lithodora, living-rock plants)

Fairy Garden Accessories

  • Miniature furnitures like bark, twigs, and leaves
  • Pebbles
  • Fairy figurines
  • Decors

The Instructions

Plan the Design

A fairy garden is a make-believe concept which is why there is no limit to what you can do to it.

Start by sketching out the design on the potting soil using a stick. Decide where you will plant the tree and place the miniature bench, fountains, and other decorative items.

Start Planting

Remove excess potting soil from the container to plant the boxwood tree. You can use any type of plant you like.

While planting the tree, remember to keep an inch of space from the root of the tree to the rim of the pot. Tease the roots apart gently, plant the tree, and press the soil around the roots.

Now, plant the moss and other plants.

Start Adding the Pebbles, Stones, Furniture, and Decor

fairy garden
Via Pinterest

Make a path by littering small pebbles onto the soil. All the furniture should be natural. You can construct a mini bench using four sticks, a piece of bark, and a leaf. A small bird’s nest can be used to mimic a Papasan chair. A tiny bench can also be made by stacking a bigger rock above two smaller rocks.

Add A Fairy House

fairy toadstool house

A fairy garden feels somewhat incomplete without a fairy house. It’s not mandatory but if you want to include a fairy house in your garden, then make sure the house’s walls are made from different materials.

The walls can be supported by placing twigs vertically outside and stacking small stones inside. Twigs or bark work great for a roof.

We recommend you only build three walls since an open fairy house will make it easy for you to decorate it.

You can use small stones or pebbles as “tiles” or a bark as a “wooden floor”. You can use a leaf as a “carpet” inside the house, too.

To make the “beds”, try using flat rocks and the flower petals or scraps of colored fabric can be the “sheets”. You can consider building a playing area for the fairy children. You can make a swing from twigs, a string and a bit of fabric.

Fairy gardens look adorable and enthralling to kids. They also make good additions to your otherwise boring backyard garden.

So, what are you waiting for?

Author Biography

Leroy Perez is a well-rounded blogger who has a wide variety of interests and specializes in doing in-depth research for every garden. He’s a notorious Writer, Editor, Blogger. He loves gardening. He currently is a blogger for https://www.earthfairy.com.au in a genuine effort to provide the best quality content to his readers.

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Can Cycling Actually Change Your Health And Life?

Bikes can be life-changing machines. Although they are cheap and consume a lot of time when it comes to transportation, they can have a huge impact on your life. In fact, bikes can make you better and healthier.

If you are still thinking twice about getting your own, below are some good reasons why cycling is important.

Less money on transportation

less transportation cost

Have you ever calculated how much money you actually spend on transportation in a year?

Every month, it’s the same story — you have to spend a lot of money on public transportation. If you go to work by car, you may end up spending more.

Traveling in your bike can help you save a lot of money. You’ll be able to help protect the environment, too.

It’s good for your health

Doctors encourage all their patients to do more physical activities, regardless of their patients’ ages. Well, guess what – cycling is part of this category, too.

A half-hour ride is more than enough to burn at least 250 calories. You’ll be able to get rid of that body fat in a few weeks and you don’t even have to go to the gym!

You’ll also boost your cardiovascular health, have toned muscles, better immune system, stronger bones and better joints. You’ll even look younger. All you have to do is invest in a bike and use it daily for your transportation.

Better mood

Physical activities can boost one’s mood. Doing exercises, even with moderate intensity, can help improve your self-esteem and mood, reduce stress, and prevent depression.

More time for yourself

cycling alone time

Riding a bike will never be as fast as a car but for those who ride bikes to work and back, you can actually save more time. This is when you compare the time one needs to spend enduring heavy traffic to and from work. Finding and choosing an empty parking lot can eat a lot of your time, too.

What you have to know before buying your first bike

Those who have decided to buy their first bike should know a few important things first. Here’s a quick list:

  • Consider your budget– Decide how much money you’re willing to spend on your bike. You’ll also need to prepare extra money to invest in the right accessories, like a helmet, water bottle, and pump.
  • The style– Before you actually look for a bike online or in physical stores near you, you’ll have to think of the style that suits you best. One way you can do that is to take into account the way you intend to use your bike. Decide whether you’ll use it for work, exercising, or taking short trips downtown.
  • Look for a professional bike repair shop– Once you buy your first bike, you’ll have to take it to a workshop to have it ready. Make sure you look for a reliable and professional repair shop who can adjust the bike according to your needs and wants.

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The Top Tech Events You Need To Attend For Your Business This Year

The UK is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to technology and in 2017, the tech sector saw a record amount of investment at nearly £3 billion. This was almost double the amount that was spent in the previous year.

At a time of great uncertainty and with Brexit looming in the background, this just goes to show how powerful and infallible the tech industry is. As the tech industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, 2018 promises to be another massive year.

Tech events are great if you want to keep up to date with all the latest trends and developments in the industry. They’re also a great opportunity to network with peers and learn from the most influential thought leaders around.

Whether you’re interested in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence or digital marketing, there’s an event out there that will help you and your business to grow.

Here are the top tech events in the UK that you need to attend for your business this year:

The Wearable Technology Show – London (March 13 to 14)

wearable-tech-show-2018
Via electronicsmedia.info

Wearable technology has been soaring in popularity over the last few years, with many brands recognizing its huge potential. It has been used in sports, fitness, healthcare and augmented reality.

The Wearable Technology Show will be held at the ExCel Centre in London over two days. It will showcase the latest and most innovative wearable gears to date. There will be a range of different speakers and workshops that you can participate in.

Cyber UK – Manchester (April 10 to 12)

cyber uk 2018
Via ncsc.gov.uk

As our reliance on the digital world grows each year, so too does the need to improve cybersecurity. The threat of fraud, hacking, data theft and other nefarious activities online remain more prevalent than ever. This is why cyber security is so important.

Cyber UK will take place at the Manchester Central Convention Complex for three days. It will play host to thousands of delegates and online security experts from around the world.

The event is organized by the National Cyber Security Centre. It will include a number of different workshops, briefings, and talks from thought leaders, government representatives, and many more.

London Tech Week – London (June 11 to 17)

london tech week 2018
Via londontechweek

London Tech Week is the largest festival of tech in Europe, attracting more than 55,000 attendees from over 90 countries. The event is an all-encompassing celebration of all things tech-related. There, you’ll see techs linked to virtual reality, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and cybersecurity.

As a business, you have the opportunity to exhibit some of your work. You’ll also be able to network with and learn from some of the most creative minds out there. The Prince’s Trust Gala Dinner and the Leaders In Tech Summit will both be in the lineup while you’ll also have the chance to watch some exciting F1H20 Powerboat Racing take place.

Turing Fest – Edinburgh (August 1 to 2)

turing fest 2018
Via tech.eu

The Turing Fest in Edinburgh this year promises to be the biggest one yet, with six conference tracks providing an insight into how the most successful businesses use technology to grow and stay relevant. The event will be attended by some hugely successful CEOs, such as Eric Yuan of Zoom, Des Traynor of Intercom, and Samantha Noble of Biddable Moments.

You’ll have the opportunity to network and share tech insights with like-minded peers and participate in a range of panel workshops and keynotes. There’ll also be some additional informal fringe events.

DigiMarCon Ireland – London (September 5 to 6)

digimarcon ireland 2018
Via digimarconireland

While DigiMarCon Ireland is one of the largest Irish digital marketing events, it actually takes place in Heathrow, London. This event is not only ideal for digital marketing companies and startups but also for any brand that wants to grow and expand their reach.

You’ll be able to find out about all the latest developments in terms of generating traffic, boosting brand awareness, and improving lead generation. You will also know more about content marketing, SEO, and geotargeting during this two-day event.

It’s also worth noting that there are many other outstanding tech events that take place internationally, particularly in Australia and America. So, consider heading overseas to expand your tech knowledge- a perfect excuse to spend some of that business trip budget!

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Become Happier Today

Are you happy? How to be happy everyday?

This is a really subjective question when you think about it.

Happiness can’t really be measured easily through quantitative measures. Happiness is dependent on a lot of things, including your circumstances.

But one thing is for certain. You need to develop certain habits in order to become happier overall.

Factors Leading To Greater Happiness

Though happiness may be subjective and deeply personal, there is still a basic formula to it. Factors that affect our general happiness include economic, social, and the state of our health.

  • Economic -Income, employment, career
  • Social – Education, friends, family life, peer interaction
  • Health – Mental, physical, access to healthcare

The Happiest Place Isn’t Where You Think

norway happiest place on earth

Contrary to popular belief, that amusement park with animals isn’t the happiest place on earth- for that you’d want to visit Norway.

Residing in a cold and often dark climate, Norwegians’ survival depends on strong community support and close communities. Norway is also one of the wealthiest countries on the planet and their economic and security benefits offer universal education and family allowance.

Apart from that, Norway also:

  • Sees months with very little sunlight and the natural vitamins that boost the brain’s “happy” receptors
  • Is the fourth wealthiest country in the world based on GDP per capita
  • Offers free education in the university level for all citizens

America’s Happiness

The US comes in at #19 of 155 countries in terms of happiness, far behind Norway. From social unrest, healthcare concerns to education, the level of happiness Americans express is less than ideal.

The case of American happiness is a unique one and the following are cited as contributors to their decreased happiness:

  • Perception of lowered personal freedoms, such as body pat downs and invasive government surveillance
  • Income inequality issues and deteriorating educational systems
  • Political unrest and a general frustration with current political climates

Though it’s clear Americans collectively have a lot on their mind, it isn’t all bad. In fact, the happiness level and optimism of Americans are rising.

  • In 2017, 33% of Americans say they are happy (an increase from 31% in 2016)
  • 86% of Americans say they have positive relationships with their family members
  • 72% of Americans express they are optimistic about the future

Happy Habits Are The Key

When it comes to happiness there is a no one-size-fits-all solution. We all must approach happiness on our own terms. That said, there are steps that encourage happiness as a habit.

Here are some of them:

Practice gratitude: Psychology research shows that feelings of gratitude and thankfulness are associated with happiness.
Embrace and accept negative feelings: By acknowledging the full spectrum of our emotions, we can better appreciate the complexity of life.
Place a higher value on time than money: Prioritizing time is a behavior associated with greater happiness.
Practicing compassion and generosity with others: This will lead to more self-compassion and less negative self-talk

See Also: 8 Inspiring Habits of Happy People

Even physical effects can make us feel happy. Even just spending some time outdoors can do wonders for one’s mood and can even help establish happy habits.

  • Serotonin is secreted when the eyes come into contact with sunlight.
  • Vitamin D, produced when UV rays hit the skin, literally makes us feel happier.
  • Simply forcing a smile can “trick” the brain into feeling happy.

Happy people do have some traits in common with one another.

happy people

Living in the moment: Happy people seek out new experiences, even if they may seem a little scary at first.
Goal-focused and big-picture oriented: Happy people don’t necessarily sweat the small stuff but still keep the endgame in sight.
Optimistic and idealistic: Instead of dwelling on the problems of the world, happy people tend to be more proactive.

How Can You Become Happier Today?

The happiest man in the world, Matthieu Ricard, meditates daily for at least 15 minutes on happy thoughts and compassion. Start this habit today and see how it can uplift your mood.

Learn more about the habits of the world’s happiest people from this infographic!

See Also: 5 Key Insights For A Happy Life From Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations

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Top 5 Things To Do In Las Vegas

Las Vegas is considered the entertainment capital of the world and it’s easy to see why. The city literally has something for nature enthusiasts to nightlife lovers. This is why there were and over 42 million the year before.

If you are thinking of visiting the place, here are the best things to do in Las Vegas to help you plan your trip.

Concert Residencies

concert residences celine dion

Las Vegas is famous for its concert residencies from the world’s biggest superstars. Elvis Presley, Cher, and Prince have all headlined there in the past.

Nowadays, Sin City revelers have the chance to see stars like Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, and Britney Spears perform sellout shows along the Las Vegas Strip at famous venues, like the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and Planet Hollywood Resort.

Lady Gaga recently sealed a deal that will earn her an impressive $1 million per show. It’s set with 74 dates in MGM’s Park Theater beginning late 2018.

One act that has been going strong for many years now is David Copperfield’s residency at the MGM Grand Casino. There, he captivates his audience with spectacular illusions.

The magician performs 15 incredible shows per week in a residency that has lasted 18 years to date.

Nightclubs

mgm grand hakkasan

The nightlife in Las Vegas is one of the biggest attractions for young and old tourists. It has a wide range of bars and clubs that play host to the world’s most reputable music acts and DJs.

Venues like Hakkasan at the MGM Grand are the epitome of what nightlife is all about there. With a capacity of around 6,000 people, a mindblowing sound system, and the likes of Calvin Harris and Tiesto regularly headlining, it’s no wonder why tons of people gather there.

XS at the Wynn Encore has hosted EDM superstars like Skrillex and Diplo and features an outdoor pool which is perfect for cooling off from the stifling heat.

Fremont Street Experience

fremont street experience

Fremont Street Experience is an outdoor entertainment district that spans five blocks in downtown Las Vegas. It has countless free concerts people can enjoy all year.

It also has the world’s largest screen. It’s made up of 12.5 million energy-efficient LED lamps and accompanied by a 550,000-watt sound system.

You can find a number of bars and restaurants in the area. There are also a lot of games and various visual experiences. You can find a huge zipline, too!

17 million visitors per year see the free Viva Vision Light Show.  This makes the place a must-see for any tourist.

Grand Canyon

grand canyon las vegas

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A day trip is definitely one of the best things to do in Las Vegas.

More than 5 million people come each year to see the magnificent views filled with different types of terrain and inhabited by diverse wildlife. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is perched up over 4,000 feet above the surface, offering visitors the chance to dine in style with views of the Arizona sunset.

Spanning 446 kilometers in length and stretching 29 kilometers at its widest point, the Grand Canyon isn’t the deepest canyon in the world. It’s a title that goes to Peru’s Cotahuasi Canyon or Kali Gendaki Gorge in Nepal, depending on who you ask.

However, because of the spectacular view it offers, the place is definitely one of the most popular attractions in the United States. The Grand Canyon is located 200 km from the Strip, with multiple coaches and helicopter tours available daily.

Hoover Dam

hoover dam las vegas

Built in 1935, the Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark. It has enough water to irrigate up to 2 million acres of land. It’s a hugely popular tourist destination which you can find just over 30 miles away from Las Vegas.

There is a selection of tours that allow you to explore deep into the depths of the dam where you can marvel at the incredible engineering work. While you’re in the area, you can also take a relaxing boat tour to Lake Mead or the Colorado River.

The post Top 5 Things To Do In Las Vegas appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Top Technology Trends That Will Shape 2018

Groundbreaking steps are happening in the technology industry all the time. In the past couple of years alone, leaps and bounds have resulted in better augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, speech recognition, and more. This year, you can expect more tech innovations to enhance our lives.

Here are the top technology trends you need to watch out for this year.

Augmented Reality

augmented reality vs virtual reality

We’ve already seen what today’s AR mobile apps can do and games like Pokémon Go are a far cry from it, to say the least.

The AR technology from companies like the startup DAQRI, however, extends well beyond a mobile game experience. Its technology is found in other products, like its $15,000 AR helmets.

You can wear those helmets entirely hands-free and it can work for hours. A requirement for its primary users: industrial workers, sailors, and soldiers.

Take note that these headsets aren’t quite full-scale AR because they suffer from the common problem of most AR headsets. It’s the narrow rectangular view that cuts off images when the user moves.

Now, as the company has partnered with Two Trees, a holography specialist, and is working on developing new dynamic holography technology, it could possibly revolutionize AR.

See Also: How Augmented Reality Is Changing The Game

Google RankBrain

One of the biggest contributors to the advancement of search algorithms in recent years has been Google’s machine learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) system, RankBrain.

Since its inception over two years ago, Google continues to embrace RankBrain, using it to return the best results that match a Google user’s query. It has gone from being used in 15% of Google search queries to now being used in all of them.

Google has also been dabbling in other AI interests. This includes the development of a Cloud Vision API, which has the capability to recognize a huge number of objects. Plus, its Google Brain division has reportedly been developing an AI that can build AI better than humans can.

Artificial Intelligence

Google RankBrain aside, artificial intelligence isn’t only found in data. It’s in just about every industry. Journalism, financial services, video gaming, gambling, automotive, the military, and even healthcare are just some examples.

Currently, the vast majority of AI systems function as a supportive tool that can make certain processes more simplified, effective, and faster.

That said, as AI enters more and more fields, people like Jack Ma question what impact the future of AI will have on society as a whole. The concerns of Alibaba’s founder and Executive Chairman were made known earlier this year during the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos.

“The AI, Big Data is a threat to human beings. The AI and robots are going to kill a lot of jobs because, in the future, these will be done by machines,” Ma stated during a discussion panel.

He believes that AI should be used to support people and added that tech giants, like Alibaba, Amazon, and Facebook, need to be responsible and “should spend money on technology that enables people, empowers people, and makes life better”.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business

Smart speakers

Forget about talking to your smartphone. The future is all about voice-controlled smart speakers now.

This technology perfectly fits into the ecosystem of a smart home as smart speakers can function as the main control hub. They can answer questions, set timers, play music, and control other devices at home.

As you might imagine, there is a fierce competition between market leaders. Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft aim to develop and sell the most sought-after smart speakers.

Today, the competition is tight between Amazon and Google. These companies are leading the market with smart speakers that are affordable, accessible, and superior to Apple’s Siri.

And once Apple’s smart speaker (HomePod) is out later this year, fans will still flock to buy it despite the high price tag. That only reflects people’s desire to always get their hands on the latest technology.

apple homepad
Via Dezeen

Speech recognition

Speech recognition is another tech that has recently advanced both in its capabilities and its use. Whether you’re asking your smartphone a question or your smart speaker, speech recognition is at play.

While there has always been a lot of kinks to work out when it comes to this technology, last August, Microsoft claimed a new speech recognition record. It was able to reduce its error rate to an amazing 5.1%.

This percentage matched the error rate of multiple human transcribers in a well-known accuracy test.

Microsoft’s continued improvements in speech recognition technology are a part of its wider effort to advance state of the art AI and bring these new innovations to the market.

Conclusion

Of course, no one really knows what the future holds for these top technology trends. Maybe full-scale AR will eliminate the need for mobile phones. Perhaps, speech recognition may prove to be superior to human transcribers- or maybe not. Only time will tell where these innovations might take us next

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5 Flavored Popcorn Recipes You Need to Try Now

One can’t simply watch a movie without a huge bowl of buttered or salted popcorn in his lap and a cold drink in his hand. But who says popcorn only has to be salted or buttered?

In this article, we’ll introduce you to 5 innovative ways of spicing up popcorn. All of the recipes are super easy to make and preparation time can only take around 15 minutes. Plus, the ingredients you’ll need are only minimal. Seriously, you won’t burn holes in your wallet with these treats.

So, if you’re too curious to know, here are our must-try flavored popcorn recipes.

Popcorn with Herbs and Garlic

popcorn with herbs and garlic
Via thedomesticgeek

Garlic and herbs go together perfectly and complement each other’s tastes. This recipe has good chances of becoming your favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of sage
  • 1 tbsp of thyme
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp of rosemary
  • Popcorn kernels

Instructions:

  1. Mince or grate the 4 cloves of garlic and then melt your butter.
  2. Add the herbs and cook everything for 60 seconds. Make sure the stove’s not set on max because the mixture will be burned and that will surely taste awful.
  3. Put your popcorn in a bowl and pour the garlic and herbs over it.
  4. Add a few pinches of salt to enhance the flavor.

Cheese-popcorn with Parmesan, Cheddar, and Colby

This is for all the dairy lovers out there. In less than 5 minutes, you can get some popcorn that will blow your socks off. You are free to use any kind of cheese you like.

We’re doing it with parmesan, cheddar, and Colby. Some people use mozzarella, but we prefer not to because it doesn’t melt properly.

Ingredients:

  • Popcorn kernels
  • 1 full cup of parmesan
  • Half a cup of Colby cheese
  • 2 full cups of cheddar
  • 1 baking sheet
  • Salt

Instructions:

  1. Grate and shred your cheeses.
  2. Spread the popcorn on the baking sheet and heat the oven at 3000 F.
  3. Put the shredded cheeses on the popcorn and insert the tray in the oven. It should be ready in about 4 minutes. Stay by the oven and look inside.
  4. If the cheeses have melted properly, take the popcorn out and add as much salt as you like.

Popcorn with Curry and Turmeric

Curry and turmeric are among the healthiest condiments in the world because of their potent anti-inflammatory properties. Now, you can enjoy their health benefits by adding them to your popcorn.

Keep in mind that these spices are extremely powerful, so you certainly don’t want to use them in large quantities.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • ½ tbsp of curry
  • ½ tbsp of turmeric
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • Popcorn kernels

Instructions:

  1. Set the stove on low heat and melt the butter-stick in the pan.
  2. Add the other ingredients. You might be taken aback by the sugar – it’s actually important because it will mellow out the taste of the curry and turmeric.
  3. Cook the mixture for approximately 1 minute and a half (maximum of 2 minutes).
  4. Add the salt and spread the dressing on your popcorn.

Cocoa Popcorn

cocoa popcorn
Via POPSUGAR Australia

This will take a little longer to make than the other three recipes, but it’s certainly worth the wait. You will also need more ingredients than usual.

Ingredients:

  • Half a cup of butter
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla or half a spoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of cocoa
  • 1/3 cup of sugar (your choice)
  • Popcorn kernels

Instructions:

  1. Set the stove on low heat and melt the butter in the pan.
  2. Add the vanilla, cocoa, and sugar.
  3. Stir and let the mixture boil for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir so that the popcorn gets coated evenly.
  5. Set your oven at 2500 degrees, put the popcorn on a baking sheet and bake it for half an hour. The cocoa coating will become crisp and won’t fall off the popcorn.

Popcorn with Cinnamon and Bananas

This is such a delicious recipe that you’ll never go back to traditional popcorn.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh banana or 1 cup of dried banana
  • 2 tbsp of cinnamon powder
  • 3 to 4 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of sugar,
  • Some mint and chocolate chips (optional)
  • Popcorn kernels

Instructions:

  1. Melt the butter in the pan on low heat so you don’t vaporize it.
  2. Mince and then crush the banana with a spoon and add it to the butter.
  3. Add your cinnamon powder and let the mixture boil for 1 minute. Make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  4. Lastly, add the sugar and pour everything on top of your popcorn.
  5. You can add some chocolate chips or a few drops of mint oil.

Conclusion

These 5 flavored popcorn recipes are just some of the awesome ways to make your snack taste a lot better. There are surely a lot more recipes you can try if you just search around. In fact, you can even experiment and create your own!

The more you experiment, the more enjoyable your popcorn will be. Just make sure to watch your pot closely since popcorn kernels can burn pretty quickly.

The post 5 Flavored Popcorn Recipes You Need to Try Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Best Wine Regions To Visit Before You Die

When the weather starts to get warmer and the vines begin to grow, a trip to one of the best wine regions can be a really fruitful experience. Not only do you get the opportunity to sample and learn about some of the finest wines in the world, but you also get to explore the beautiful regions they exist in.

Here are 5 of the best wine regions that you simply must visit before you die.

Champagne

The Champagne-Ardenne region is located in the northeast of France and- you guessed it- it’s the birthplace of champagne, the most celebrated of sparkling wines. Because of its close proximity to Paris, you could easily make a day trip to the region.

However, if you really want to make the best of your trip, try to spend at least two nights there. This way, you can fit in a visit to the towns of Reims and Epernay.

In Reims, you can choose from a variety of wine production and cellar tours. Those tours include the world-famous houses of Taittinger, Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot, Pommery, and G.H. Mumm. While you’re there, be sure to pay a visit to Notre-Dame de Reims and the glorious basilica, Saint Remi de Reims.

In Epernay, the tourism is solely centered around champagne. It includes tours to the prestigious houses of Moet & Chandon, Perrier-Jouet, Martel and De Castellane.

Lombardy

Just like France, Italy is famed for its wine regions and Lombardy in northern Italy is one of the largest in the country. Lombardy also produces some of the finest sparkling wines around: Franciacorta and Lambrusco.

The region is known as the industrial capital of Italy but it has this really beautiful view.

Take a tour of the gorgeous Tenuta Montelio, a monastery estate where vines have been cultivated since the 13th century. While you’re in the region, you can also visit the many attractions that nearby Milan has to offer. Great examples include the Duomo cathedral and the Royal Palace of Milan.

Or why not hit the shops for a spot of upmarket retail therapy?

Catalonia

Catalonia is one of 17 autonomous regions in Spain and is home to more than 850 wineries. Because of the region’s warm weather, the wines of Catalonia are full-bodied and are generally high in alcohol content, particularly the red wines.

Red wine lovers should take a trip to Priorat, just south of Barcelona. It has a history of wine-making dating back to 1163.

There are a number of tours there that allow you to explore two to three cellars per day and sample many fine wines. Make sure you take the time to appreciate the incredible mountainous views the region has to offer before the wine gets to your head!

No trip to Catalonia would be complete without spending some time in Barcelona. There, you can enjoy beautiful architecture, culture, and art. Don’t miss the Sagrada Familia, the Casa Mila, and Park Guell. They are all designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi. Book your flights to Europe and start exploring!

Santiago

Santiago is considered to be one of the best wine destinations in the whole of South America. Some of the most acclaimed wineries and vineyards can be found in areas such as Maipo Valley, Casablanca Valley, and Colchagua Valley. They are only a short drive away from the city.

Maipo Valley is perhaps the most popular choice for tourists, renowned for its cabernet sauvignon.

The best time to visit?

Harvest season in April.

Wine tours and tastings are very bespoke here and need to be arranged beforehand.

While you’re in Santiago, trek up the San Cristobál Hill for a panoramic view of the city. You should also pay a visit to the Parque Forestal, which is dotted with famous landmarks and sculptures.

Melbourne

Melbourne provides the perfect climate for winemaking, allowing the region to produce chardonnay, pinot noir, and shiraz.

Yering Station Winery, a 43,000-acre vineyard, is only an hour away from the city, making it the ideal place to sample some fine red wines. You can also have a delicious meal at the restaurants there.

Yarra Valley, Sunbury, and Mornington Peninsula are just some of the other celebrated wine regions near Melbourne. They all deliver varying results due to their unique geographical characteristics.

Aside from the wine tourism, spending time along Melbourne’s sunny shores will surely make you understand why it’s often considered the most “liveable city” in the world.

The post 5 Best Wine Regions To Visit Before You Die appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Things to Do Without Internet: How to Make Your Internet Snow Day Better

Remember snow days?

You’d wake up, turn on the television, and wait to see your school’s name scroll along the bottom of the screen. Seeing your school’s name followed by “Closed” or “2-Hour Delay” was probably the best feeling.

It meant being able to lay around in your pajamas, play video games or go out with other neighborhood kids.

Now, as an adult, snow days usually mean working from home if you can, or losing out on a day of pay if your kids are out and you don’t have that option. Adulthood can be a real bummer sometimes. But one thing that can still save you is an Internet snow day. What do you do when the Internet goes out and you can’t work?

The Internet Is The New Office

internet office

What did people do all day before the Internet and even before there were computers?

There were physical letters that had to be typed on a typewriter, physical filing cabinets where things had to be properly stored, and do you remember Rolodexes?

My goodness, the Rolodexes.

There’s so much in the office of yesteryear that most people today would not even recognize. Today, people in offices report:

  • 78% of people who work in offices say the Internet is crucial to work getting done
  • 60% of workers say they lose the majority of their productivity when there is an Internet outage
  • 65% of office workers choose their location based on the Internet signal there

The Internet Is In Near Constant Peril

Solar flares and sharks can cause Internet outages.

Yes, real sharks can attack the undersea lines that connect the Internet between continents. Solar flares can knock out communications satellites, too.

The biggest threat to the Internet, however, are hackers. DDoS attacks have been responsible for many outages, including one that seized the unsecured WiFi connections of things like cameras and IoT to overwhelm Dyn, the system that routes traffic on the Internet. This knocked out access to popular sites like Twitter and Netflix for nearly a day.

For ordinary consumers though, sharks and hackers take a backseat to frustrating ISPs.

Things To Do Without Internet

Congratulations, you are embarking on your very own Internet Snow Day! If you are fortunate enough to work with really fun people, you could:

  • Go for a walk in the park
  • Check out an art museum
  • Head to the nearest thrift shop to rummage for interesting stuff
  • Have coffee from somewhere other than the break room

have coffee

  • Play a trivia game

And if you are still stuck in the office waiting and hoping for the Internet to come back on, there are still a few things you can do without Internet access:

  • Play the jumpy dinosaur game on Chrome
  • Pop a DVD into your drive and watch a movie or show
  • Write out your next blog post or social media post and just upload it once the Internet is back up

Will Internet Outages Soon Be A Thing Of The Past?

With great technology comes great frustration when it fails. That’s why ISPs are trying to improve the reliability of their service whenever possible.

Fiber Internet is one option for making the Internet more resistant to outages. It is physically stronger and lasts longer than cable. It’s also faster and this can decrease outages caused by traffic overloads.

Until the world is covered by Fiber, you should have a plan for your next Internet snow day. What will you do the next time there’s no internet?

You don’t get many snow days as an adult, so a little preparation can help you make the most of it. Learn more about the best things to do without internet from this infographic!

How to have the best Internet Snow Day

The post Things to Do Without Internet: How to Make Your Internet Snow Day Better appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Choose the Best Site for Online Casino Games

Online casinos are fun. They can help you pass time, double your money, and earn points without the need to spend on gas and drive all the way to a casino. They can even lessen your anxiety and stress.

Now, despite all the great things you hear about online casinos, not all of them can give you the best experience. In fact, if you fail to find the right one, you can end up falling victim to identity theft and fraud.

To make sure none of these things happen, check out these best tips on how to find the safest and best online casino.

Reliability

Since you’ll be depositing money into the online casino, you have to make sure that you can rely on it in keeping your money safe. The last thing you’d want to happen is to find all your money gone even before you start betting.

One good way to verify a casino’s reliability is to check its licensing company. You should also verify if its random number generator is legit. Otherwise, the casino could be swindling its customers and that’s not legal.

Reputation

As much as possible, stick with online casinos that have a proven track record for treating their clients fairly. AskGamblers, named one of the best casino portals, is a great example.

askgamblers

Now, how do you check?

You can do a quick search online to see what others are saying about the online casino you like. Take the time to read each review so you’ll know what to expect.

You can also try asking your friends about which sites they trust and how long they have been using them. Having lots of long-term users is a sign of a good reputation.

Take note that searching for and reading reviews isn’t a foolproof way to determine a casino’s reputation. However, they can give you an idea about which sites are trustworthy and which ones are shady.

Remember, try to stay away from sites that are plagued with negative reviews.

Selection of Games

Once you know your money and information will be safe, it’s time to get to the fun part.

In choosing the best online casino, you need to find out what makes it great and that includes the game selection. You’d want to have as many options as possible if really want to have fun.

Imagine this:

If you sign up for an online casino with a narrow selection, there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself searching for another online casino in just a few days. That isn’t only time consuming but frustrating, too.

So, before you start playing, make sure that the online casino you’ll be playing in is offering all the games you’re after.

Check if the site offers all types of games as well. An online casino that has about 40 types of video poker and only 5 table games won’t give you the best experience since it can force you to play the same type of game over and over again.

Graphics

Of course, you want your games to give you the best experience. And for that to be possible, you need to make sure that the online casino you choose uses the latest technology and graphics. You also need to make sure that it offers the latest games.

Excellent customer support

customer support

This might not sound that important but once you experience a problem, you’ll find the true benefit of having an excellent customer support. It won’t just help solve your issues quicker and easier but it can also make problem-solving a lot less stressful.

Now, testing a casino’s customer support isn’t that hard. All you need to do is send them an email with a few questions. Check how fast they’ll respond and how helpful their answers are.

If there’s a live chat support, try using it. Don’t wait until you have an actual problem before you test it out.

If you encounter a problem and that live chat support don’t work, you’ll have a hard time fixing your problem.

Deposits and Withdrawals

If you prefer a particular method for funding your account, you might want to check a casino’s depositing options. You should also check if you need to pay any additional fees to process your money.

Now, remember:

Most sites allow players to withdraw money from the same method they deposited their funds. This means that if you are going to use the bank method, make sure that your account allows deposits and withdrawals for the site you’re after.

Verify this before you deposit any money into your playing account.

Apart from deposits, you need to check the casino’s withdrawal process, too. Not all casinos process cash-outs at the same speed. There are casinos that follow a range of processes and that can delay your cash-outs.

Rewards

Online casinos usually post their rewards and bonuses so you can easily spot them the moment you visit their sites. In fact, they are the first things you’ll see.

Now, here’s the thing:

Although big bonuses and rewards look attractive, not all of them are great. Some of them can have hidden terms and conditions you need to keep an eye out for. Others require a higher wager which can make the rewards not that valuable.

If you are an occasional player, a welcome bonus is something you should look forward to. However, if you a regular gambler, try to find the best rewards for your wagers. The list includes reload bonuses, leaderboard contests, cashback deals, and VIP clubs.

See Also: Top 5 Strategies To Maximize Your Online Casino Profits

Conclusion

Playing online casino games are great as long as you can find the best sites to play. If you aren’t careful, you won’t just waste time and money but you can also end up compromising your security.

So, do your homework and use the factors above in choosing the best online casino. It may take more time and may require more effort but the peace of mind and sense of security can make your gaming experience a lot more enjoyable.

The post How to Choose the Best Site for Online Casino Games appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Simple Ways To Improve Your Piano Skills

I have been a pianist all of my life. I took lessons when I was about 13 and have never regretted it. By learning the basics of music and the piano at such an early age, I was able to build a foundation for music that lasts a lifetime. I play mostly by ear but by having the essential basics behind me, I am able to play a lot of things.

Not everyone takes lessons, though. Some people wait until they are middle-aged to learn an instrument and that’s okay, too! You’re never too old to learn, as long as you have the passion and desire to do so.

Do you find yourself wanting to become a more accomplished pianist or musician but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’ve become so frustrated at times that you just want to give up on your dream of playing altogether. Don’t do that!

If you want to do something, just try another way.

The piano has evolved over the years and there are several forms of this instrument. There’s the electronic keyboard, synthesizers, computerized musical composition software and much more. If you learn the basics of the piano, you’ll gain a wealth of skills and knowledge that you can use in a lot of ways.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to improve your piano skills and become a better musician.

Three Ways to Improve Your Piano Skills Now

These tips are not magical solutions for you to become the next Carnegie Hall performer. Instead, these practical tips can help you polish your act when it comes to achieving your music goals.

Make Use of Online Training Tools

There are tons of online tools you can use nowadays. One good example is the Online Pianist. It has created a piano online tutorial self-study that makes it easy for anyone to learn how to play the piano from home or on-the-go. This online tool allows you to learn the basics of piano and music theory in a fun and engaging way.

In addition to this, you can take a wide range of courses on Udemy, the famous online training and educational site that allows you to learn at your own pace. Simply visit their site and search for “piano”. From there, you’ll see the courses they have.

Feel free to browse and search on Google for more online training solutions and tools that can improve your piano skills as well as your music ability. By using these online tools, you can learn to play any instrument whenever and wherever you want.

You can also find a lot of helpful videos on Youtube. Instant Piano Genius is a great program that is showcased on that site. Pick up a few free tips or take the whole course. It features a non-traditional approach to learning the piano that you’ll surely enjoy.

Record Yourself Playing and Analyze It

One of the best tools you can use to improve your piano or musical ability is to record your performance and evaluate it. There are many cheap recording software solutions online, like Multitrack Studio. This software allows you to record both midi and standard audio inputs, mix it with other tracks and save your recordings. The cost of this nifty software is only $69.

If you would rather use a mobile app solution, try J4T. It’s a 4-track digital recorder that allows you to record up to four tracks and mix them together for your final output. You can record yourself playing piano using an external mic and this software. Once you are done, you can just mix in other tracks later, such as vocals or other instruments.

If you’re after an external solution, try the Xoom™ H4N handheld multitrack recorder. Amazon has this nifty recorder at some competitive prices. You can use this device to record up to four tracks. It allows inputs from professional XLR mic and other similar devices.

If you want to improve your music ability and skill, you will need to get used to the idea of recording as it’s a part of being a musician. Doing so will allow you to evaluate your performance and take notes of the things that need improving.

It can also help you be familiar with the recording techniques you can use professionally. Who knows? You might be able to sell your finished music on iTunes, CD Baby or Amazon in the future.

Practice and Review Your Weak Points

practice piano

Once you have a recording of your musical performance, you can listen to it carefully to see where you need to improve. Accomplished musicians and pianists will tell you that there’s no substitute for practice when it comes to developing your performance. Training does, indeed, make perfect.

You can also watch other performers that you admire and get ideas from them. Don’t copy their style but notice what makes their music high and see how you can apply some of their techniques.

Conclusion

Finally, have fun with your music!

One of the most successful groups in music history was “The Beatles”. When asked how they planned to become so famous, they said that they didn’t plan to be celebrated. They just wanted to have fun with it!

Perhaps, it is this kind of passion and dedication to music and not the actual ability or equipment that makes a great musician. So, play in your house, in the streets or in front of 10,000 people.

Whatever you do, just enjoy it.

Try our tips and see if they can help improve your piano or music skills. If they do, tell them where you heard it, okay?

The post 3 Simple Ways To Improve Your Piano Skills appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Brilliant Camping Tips To Make Camping Easier

What are the campgrounds near me? What should I bring to a camping trip? Are there camping hacks I don’t know about?

If you’re asking yourself or the all-knowing Google these questions, then you’re most likely new to camping. Camping is fun but it can take a lot of planning, patience, and work, particularly if your family is big. Without the right strategy, it can easily turn out as one of your worst outdoor experience. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to make camping more fun and less stressful.

Below, we’re sharing with you 10 of the most useful camping tips you can use to make your life in the campsite a little easier.

Use sage to keep bugs away

sage camping

Admit it.

Although camping is a great way to explore nature, it’s not always the best idea, particularly when bugs start bugging your campsite.

So, to keep those annoying insects from ruining a good campout, you can toss a bundle of sage into your campfire every now and then.

Now, you’re probably wondering: What if I’m not allowed to create a fire in your campsite?

There are other fragrant plants you can use to keep bugs away. Basil, lemon balm, and citronella can repel mosquitoes once crushed and rubbed onto the skin.

Make a Swedish torch

swedish torch camping
Via pinterest

Now, if you don’t want to create a huge campfire, you can just create your own Swedish torch. It makes an excellent and efficient campfire for cooking.

You just need a log and make three crisscrossing cuts that are almost to its core. Pack some fire-starters inside it and once it’s lit, you can practically forget about it. The cut you created through the log will allow air to naturally ventilate your fire, allowing the log to burn from the inside out.

And you know what else?

A Swedish torch can also double as a cooking surface. You can use it to hold cast iron pans.

swedish torch
Via thehomestead.guru

Do a makeshift lantern

makeshift camping lantern
Via adventuretogether

Camping lanterns are great in keeping your camping area well lit. But, once you place them inside your tent, it’s a whole different story. Most of them are way too bright, which can be blinding to look at.

To diffuse the light and make it softer, you simply strap the light to a gallon of water. Make sure to point the light towards the water to make this hack work.

Make DIY fire-starters

When you’re camping, it only makes sense to bring at least two types of fire starters to the trip. You wouldn’t want to spend the night at the campsite without a fire to keep you warm or cook your food, right?

One of the easiest DIY firestarters you can make involves just a few pieces of cotton pads. Dip them in wax and allow them to dry on a piece of wax paper. You can tear or cut them before lighting.

diy fire starters camping tips
Via preparednessmama

Another great way to create your own firestarter is to gather a few pieces of old cardboard. Cut them into 3×3 pieces, dip them in wax and then let them dry. They are easy to stack, so you won’t have any issues packing them inside your bag.

Pack your own emergency kit

mini camping emergency kit
Via pinterest

Accidents can happen anytime, so make sure you are prepared. Instead of packing a big kit, prepare a smaller one which you can take with you anywhere you go. Make sure it can fit a small compass, pain reliever, whistle, adhesive bandages and flint and steel.

You should also pack a few antibiotic ointments in your kit. You can cut up a straw and fill its pieces with the ointments. Seal their ends with a heat sealer or use a lighter to melt and close the ends.

mini first aid kit ideas for camping
Via pinterest

Put your eggs in a mason jar

eggs in a mason jar camping tips
Via khnutrition

The idea might sound bizarre but it’s actually one of the most brilliant camping tips, particularly if scrambled eggs are your favorite breakfast.

Before leaving for the trip, crack your eggs into a mason jar and keep it in your cooler until it’s time to cook the eggs. Just remember to shake the jar vigorously before you pour its content into your pan. Enjoy a no-fuss scrambled eggs in the morning with less work and less mess.

See Also: Five Clever Tips for Stress-Free Family Camping

Store your spices in Tic-Tac boxes

tic tac boxes spices
Via Good Housekeeping

Now, if you worry about your scrambled eggs tasting a bit off, you can keep a few spices in tic-tac containers. These boxes are just the right size to hold enough spices to make your food taste like it just came out of your own kitchen. Plus, they also have snap-tight lids which keep the spices from getting all over your camping tools.

Protect your toilet paper with an old coffee can

camping hacks toilet paper inside coffee can
Via pinterest

If your toilet paper gets soggy, it’ll be practically useless and having a roll of toilet paper you can’t use is a lot worse than not having one at all.

Agree?

So, instead of relying on a paper bag to keep your toilet paper fresh and dry, take an old coffee can and use it to hold your toilet paper. It’s the perfect size and it comes with a lid for extra protection.

Hang up pots and pans using a belt

camping tips pots and pans
Via experienceonstar

Since there’s not much space on your table or in your tent to keep all of your camping tools, you have to be a bit more innovative. Get a belt and wrap it snugly around a tree. Attach a couple of S hooks and use them to store some of your essential kitchen tools.

Make individual coffee bags

Listen:

If you are one of those people who can’t function well without a cup of coffee, this is one of the most helpful camping tips you can’t really miss.

With just a coffee filter, dental floss, and ground coffee, you’ll be able to get your daily fix of caffeine even if you’re in the middle of camping.

individual coffee bags camping tips
Via inspiredbarn

How?

First, you need to get a coffee filter and fill it with about 2 ounces of ground coffee. Hold the bottom of the coffee filter (where the coffee is) and twist its top part to create a pouch.

Secure it with a few inches of dental floss.

Each time you need to drink coffee, you simply need to place your coffee bag in a mug and add in water. It’s actually similar to how you prepare your tea.

See Also: Camping Outdoors: A Perfect Health Booster

We hope the above camping hacks will prove useful to you on your next trip. To find out the best place for your next adventure, check out an online campground finder like this one.

 

The post 10 Brilliant Camping Tips To Make Camping Easier appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Simple Yet Effective Tips To Win Online Slot Games

Who doesn’t like to win in an online casino game with a huge winning potential?

Everyone wants to do good with online slot games and earn the maximum while dreaming about what to spend their winnings on. Online slots are full of fun and excitement, even for those who are not interested in winning them. They’re one of the best pastimes and once you get on a winning streak, there’s no way you won’t develop a liking for them.

Let’s look at some of the simplest yet effective tips that can help you win big at top online casinos like EuroGrand Casino.

Understand the odds

It’s important to understand slots odds before strategizing to win. For instance, a 20-symbol 5-reel slot game has 1/3.2 million winning chance whereas a 20-symbol 3-reel slot game has 1/8,000 winning possibilities.

This is because a 5-reel slot game has comparatively more winning combinations than the 3-reel version. Hence, there’s a considerable difference in terms of odds in these types of online slot games.

Play only at reliable casinos

reliable online slot game casino

Though you may find various online casinos to play at, it’s important to sign up with a licensed one only. Look out for a casino that offers high-quality games. Make sure that you like its atmosphere and enjoy playing on its platform.

A good online casino should offer a wide range of slot games, should be fully licensed and should process withdrawals quickly. Furthermore, it should also offer other prominent online casino games, like poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, bingo and so on.

Money Management

It is very important to manage your money well while playing these online games. At times, people get so confident that they bet everything on a single spin; there’s no bigger folly than this. Please note that there is no guaranteed outcome in online slots or any other online casino games.

The game’s outcome can change anytime and cause you losses. That’s why you should always be prepared for the unexpected. Be cautious while placing your bets. Winning from a spin is just a possibility and there’s no certainty in it. There are various ways you can place your bets and use your money to play these games.

Before making any deposits, it’s important to know which would be the best currency to play online games.

See Also: Top 5 Strategies To Maximize Your Online Casino Profits

Have Fun

online slot games fun

 

You should play online slot games not just to win but to have some fun! Hence, it’s important to never take any losses to heart and stay relaxed while playing casino games. Although it’s important to pay extra attention while playing jackpots or tournaments where you’re expected to play quickly, you should never let it get to you.

Furthermore, never take your wins too seriously. These games are for your entertainment and enjoyment alone. The moment you start playing them for a livelihood, they lose their charm and lead to an unhealthy gambling behavior.

Conclusion

A lot of people play online slot games regularly. If you are one of these people, knowing and implementing the above-detailed tips can be immensely helpful in gaining an upper hand over the casinos.

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5 of The Best Hobbies To Get You Outside

It seems like everyone you meet is involved in interesting or unusual hobbies. Perhaps, it’s been a goal of yours to try one of those activities, too.

If that is the case, maybe you can try some fun outdoor activities.

You can pick up a new skill or learn a new technique to keep your brain and body healthy. You can also try out activities that can give you a better understanding of the natural world. Who knows, you might learn something that will greatly surprise you.

To help you get started, here are five unique hobbies you can enjoy in the great outdoors.

Metal Detecting

If you are someone who wants a new sense of adventure while outdoors, metal detecting is the hobby for you. Individuals and clubs involved in this activity explore different places where there might be a bit of treasure.

Whether it is combing an old battlefield for military memorabilia or seeking valuables in a nearby park, metal detecting is a hobby that enriches any explorer. You can rent cheap equipment or buy your own and go anywhere you want. You can go metal detecting when you go camping, road-tripping or just exploring nearby parks.

Gardening

fun outdoor activities gardening

A favorite hobby of anyone with a green thumb, gardening offers those passionate about growing plants endless opportunities for enjoyment. The internet, your local library or gardening club has all the information you need to start cultivating a garden.

Many people save money by using their gardening hobby to provide herbs, vegetables, and fruits for their families. If flowers are your thing, see how creative you can get by pairing perennials and annuals and growing inventive new color combinations.

Seeds are usually pretty cheap and the only purchases you might need are soil, new pots and perhaps a tool for weeding.

Paintball

Most areas have paintball clubs often sponsored by paintball businesses that have indoor and outdoor facilities.

Paintball is a great hobby for those looking to socialize, have fun and get active. However, you need to be in a pretty good shape and willing to take the stings that come with getting hit if you want to pursue this activity.

You can start a club or just join a local one. You might need to buy special clothing, pads or even a gun for it. There are, however, some facilities that provide them or you can just rent your gears there.

Motorcycling

A popular activity for people of almost any age, riding a motorcycle or renting one for an extended road trip can be the adventure of a lifetime. You’ll get to see America’s scenic highways from a whole new perspective. You’ll get the thrill of driving down a winding road like you never did before.

Be sure to study up or take a class in motorcycle driving and defensive techniques before trying out this activity. According to Abels & Annes, in 2011 there were 3,756 crashes involving a motorcycle in Illinois alone. Knowing how to predict drivers and to stay safe while driving a bike can save lives.

Always wear protective clothing and a helmet. If you can seat a passenger, make sure the other person is also wearing a helmet before you drive. This activity is great if you want to see many new places and get out in new campgrounds or trails.

Radio Controlled Vehicles

drone hobby active

RC cars and planes are a great outdoor hobby for those who enjoy building vehicles and don’t mind watching them break as they are being controlled. There are clubs, racetracks, and even RC airports where you can learn from and interact with other enthusiasts.

Check local regulations before flying any RC planes or drones on your own. Check local parks for busy times as well. With radio-controlled vehicles, you can have fun meeting new people or enjoy more secluded time alone.

See Also: How Auto Toys Can Keep Your Man Busy Outdoors

These are just some fun outdoor activities you can try. They can help boost your mood, alleviate stress, provide exercise, and expand your circle of friends. If you pick one and realize that it’s not right for you, you can just go and try something else.

The post 5 of The Best Hobbies To Get You Outside appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Turning Sixty: Top Things To Do In Retirement

Very soon, you’ll be celebrating your sixtieth birthday and that means you’ll be looking at your retirement, too. It’s natural to feel jittery about it as one question keeps popping into your mind: Now what?

It’s not that everyone over sixty goes through the same dilemma of finding new pastures. Some people keep working because they either need money or they just don’t want to get out of what they have become conditioned to. Well, in any case, if sixty is just not a number for you, it’s time to rev up your passion and pursue your hobbies like never before.

Before you enter your twilight years, you have every reason and opportunity to make your life rocking more than ever. By this age, you have lived most of your life, worked hard for your family and achieved success in ways that you know more than others do. Isn’t now the time you do something for yourself?

Here are the top things to do in retirement that can make your life more engaging and exciting:

Define your passion and purpose

This is going to be a new chapter of your life, so just sit back and ponder what has been missing in your life so far. What have you always been curious about?

Defining your purpose here means thinking about how you are going to spend your time in fruitful pursuits. It is the time to reassess your life and revisit your personal purposes that you couldn’t accomplish before. Now is the time to revisit the things that you always felt very strongly about.

Think young and spend time with your family and friends

Thinking young at this time simply means being energetic and enjoying the time you now have in your hands. Fun and enjoyment is a lifelong process and getting past sixty doesn’t mean that your attitude should be old and obsolete.

It’s time to have fun with your family and friends by talking and meeting with them more often. You can organize small parties and invite your friends to have sweet discussions and little toasts. This is the perfect time to give your friends an exotic bottle of wine or get them their favorite box of cigar. It is also the time to create sweet memories with your grandchildren.

Continue your hobbies

retirement hobbies

Following one’s hobbies is the biggest stress buster at any stage in life. So, continue what your favorite pastimes were even before your retirement. Be it gardening, traveling, reading, singing, dancing or playing golf. You always need to follow your hobbies to keep you fit and enthusiastic.

But, more importantly, your main focus should be doing the things that you enjoy the most. Pursuing your hobbies with heart and soul can give a completely new meaning to your life. So, get ready to make that push.

Volunteer your expertise

It’s time to use your expertise for a philanthropic cause in our society. Maybe your local library, school or pantry need your skills? Perhaps your local hospital and nursing home need an extra hand?

This might not sound like one of the most interesting things to do in retirement but volunteering your expertise will enable you to give back to the society what you learned as a professional.

See Also: Retirement Activities that are Financially Viable 

Develop new interests

retirement activity

There must be something itching inside you. These could be the activities that you were never able to do before or any untapped talent you have. Getting to know people with diverse interests will help you in that. Consider your retirement as a golden opportunity for you to try something new. It can be learning a new language or traveling to a place where you have never been but always craved to go to.

See Also: 10 Amazing Business Ideas For Stay-At-Home Retirees

Final Thoughts

The age of sixty is not the end of your days. It is, in fact, a new beginning where you can do the things that you were never able to do due to obvious obligations. It’s a new freedom and new purpose that will shape your life for the better.

 

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5 Steps to A Happy Beard

A happy, healthy and attractive beard is not just for the rich and famous. All men can have well-groomed facial hair with a little bit of effort and the right beard grooming tips.

If you’ve always wanted to grow beard that is free of beard dandruff, itching and other issues, here are five fast and cost-effective steps to implement.

Realistic Expectations

happy beard

The first thing to realize is that your beard will not necessarily look like another man’s beard. If you have unrealistic expectations from the beginning, you will set yourself up for disappointment no matter how nice your beard looks.

Just as in life, you have to be happy with what you have and stop looking at what others have. Contentment goes a long way in your perception of yourself. Your facial hair is unique to you and it might not grow as thick as another man’s, but it will look masculine and convey vitality.

When you look into a mirror, be happy with the new growth. If you are confident in yourself, others will feel that and will also like your beard.

Wash & Shampoo Your Beard

You’d be amazed at how many people forget to shampoo their facial hair when they shower.

Just the simple act of washing your beard whenever you take a shower will do wonders in removing any dirt or grime that is trapped there. Sometimes, facial hair gets tangled up if it is longer, so take the time to just clean and straighten everything out in the shower.

Washing your face regularly will help exfoliate the skin and open up your pores. This helps to increase beard growth, making it thicker and fuller over time.

A shampoo with a good scent is a great option. If you go for one with lime or aloe vera, it will do a good job of removing the dirt. Beard shampoos are available and you can compare ingredients to see what works for you.

Remember though, you don’t want to overdo it. Don’t wash your beard so often with shampoo that you dry it out. Moderation is best.

Resist the urge to scratch

Some guys scratch their beard so fiercely that they end up with inflammation, which makes the problem much worse.

While it might seem impossible, resist the urge to scratch it regularly. If you must, try gently scratching it with something soft. One great technique is to use your fingertips instead of your fingernails. This way, you avoid the harder end and make scratching gentler.

You can also try massaging your beard. It will help you get rid of the urge to itch while preventing damage to your beard and skin.

Use a nice oil

Controlling the itch that accompanies beard growth can be one of the most challenging aspects of growing a beard. A good beard oil can help you with this.

Immediately after washing, apply beard oil. It will help keep your beard soft, prevent excessive itching and keep it healthy. Beard oil helps to protect and moisturize your beard by conditioning it, keeping it hydrated and giving it a nice shine.

Comb your beard regularly

beard comb
Via beardoholic

Do you own a beard comb? If not, then get one as soon as possible. Beards grow in all directions and length they want, no matter how hard you try to direct them. They can end up looking rough and unkempt.

A beard comb has narrower teeth and will allow you to comb your facial hair more evenly. This helps your beard appear fuller and healthier. Combing also helps prevent tangles and split ends in addition to removing flakes (dandruff or beard-ruff) and reduce obvious patches.

Implement these five simple and easy steps today to have a happy, healthy beard that you’ll feel good about. Be patient with your beard.

At the end of the day, regardless of what you do, genes are an important factor in how your beard is going to turn out. If you take that into account from the beginning, you won’t expect too much and will be pleasantly surprised.

See Also: How To Grow Facial Hair Faster

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Happiness Techniques From Around The World That Can Change Your Life

When we look back across our lives, it is often the most prominent of events and landmarks that we remember: a kiss, a birthday party, a new job, or a sporting achievement. Yet it is the way we live our day-to-day lives that truly defines who we are and how we feel. Happiness breeds happiness, and it is important to start with the fundamentals.

All around the world, ordinary people and famous achievers alike have developed ways to buoy their daily experience for thousands of years. Whether due to the local climate, religious and cultural tendencies, or just a chance habit that caught the imagination of others in that region, every place has its own techniques to share on how to make regular life just that little bit nicer.

So let’s take a look at things folk from around the world do to give their day that tweak it needs, and how you can adapt these ideas to your daily life.

Japan

The Japanese have a relatively new ‘tradition’ to reconnect with their souls. It’s called ‘shinrin-yoku’, or forest-bathing, and was developed in the 1980s in an atmosphere of suffocating cityscapes and omnipresent technology.

shinrin yoku

To practice shinrinu-yoku:

  • Go for a walk in the forest, or a wooded area of your local park
  • Take time to think about every sound you hear while you walk
  • Appreciate the smells and the texture of the trees
  • Reconsider your existence in the context of our ancient natural world.

Hawaii

The Hawaiians have a particular method for dealing with problems in everyday relationships: ‘Ho‘oponopono’. Whether it’s your partner, a friend, or a colleague at work whom you feel has done you wrong, Ho‘oponopono is a means of figuring out things by yourself rather than responding rashly and making things worse.

Allowing resentment to build will ultimately hurt you more than the person to whom it is aimed. Instead:

  • Take a deep breath
  • Find ten minutes to think things through
  • Be grateful for what you have
  • Forget your own needs for a moment and consider the other person’s point of view
  • Express your own feelings calmly
  • Work towards mutual forgiveness.

Norway

‘Friluftsliv’, or ‘free air life’, is the Norwegian practice of spending time in the outdoors. Aside from the benefits of fresh air, subjecting yourself to decent amounts of natural daylight can help you to regulate your sleep and stay in touch with the natural rhythms of the world around you.

free air life norway

If you spend most of your time indoors:

  • Establish a morning and/or evening ‘outdoors ritual’, such as walking the dog
  • Use every coffee break at work as an opportunity to get some fresh air
  • If it’s warm enough, eat lunch outdoors; otherwise, take a stroll through the park before you eat indoors
  • Look beyond the borders of your town. It’s usually easy to find a national park or natural area to visit on the weekends.

Germany

If the Norwegians are all about heading into nature by themselves to ‘re-connect’, Germans are more about reconnecting with each other. ‘Gemütlichkeit’ is that particularly German manner of celebrating togetherness with a frothy beer, a song and a dance.

To get some of this goodness in your own social life:

  • Be careful not to take the people you live and work with for granted
  • Never miss a chance to raise a toast
  • Take time to greet people properly and say meaningful goodbyes, even if you see them every day.

Spain

The famous Spanish siesta is an endangered animal. Sadly, even as experts more frequently recommend an afternoon nap to boost workplace productivity, many business managers are concerned that lost time and energy is bad for profit margins.

spanish siesta

To take a healthy, effective siesta:

  • Nap for no more than thirty minutes
  • Sleep in an armchair or sofa rather than a bed
  • Make sure you do it regularly and not just as an occasional treat.

See Also: Get Strong, Sleep, Repeat: The Importance Of Sleeping

France

We are a generation of multi-taskers – but often, allowing our work and personal lives to overlap means doing a bad job at both and truly enjoying neither. A little daily ritual to demarcate the various areas of your life can help you more accomplished and relaxed. The French do this by taking a small drink between work and the evening meal: the apéritif.

apéritif france

To leave work behind for the day:

  • Change into a new set of clean clothes as soon as you get home
  • Switch off work notifications on your phone
  • Pour yourself a drink of something special – it doesn’t have to be boozy!

Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil

In 1909, the French Society of Hygiene told us: “Yerba mate raises morale, sustains the muscular system, augments strength and allows one to endure privations.” What they did not mention is that drinking this special tea in the company of friends is also good for the soul.

To tap into the South American ritual of mate-tea drinking:

  • Always offer a drink to everyone in the room when you’re brewing up
  • Try to establish a ‘tea tray’ culture for meetings at work
  • Try the real thing – yerba mate can be found in lots of health shops and some regular grocery stores.

Turkey

‘Keyif’ is all about idle moments of relaxation and contemplation. Remind yourself to take a couple of these each day – the manner of doing so is different from individual to individual.

To identify your moment of mindfulness:

  • Slow down – take the long route from A to B, and never be in more than a hurry than you need
  • Pay attention to what makes you happy, be it the sound of the breeze in a tree you walk past each day, or a particular seat in a café that makes you feel calm
  • Try watching a few ASMR videos for some ideas on how the mundane can become almost transcendental.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnian people like to break up their morning with a slow coffee, brewed in a special pot and served with sugar or candy. It’s thick and tasty like Turkish coffee, but just as important is the symbolic side: taking time to discuss the day’s events or a business proposition.

bosnian coffee

  • Enjoy tea or coffee as an experience in itself, not something to fuel you while you work
  • Use your coffee break to talk to other people, rather than staring at your phone
  • Look into buying a Bosnian coffee set online – it will change your life!

See Also: How to Supercharge Your Afternoon With a Napuccino (aka a Coffee Nap)

Nigeria

‘Ubuntu’ is the philosophy of putting the community ahead of the individual. Individuals become stronger in a healthy, happy community.

  • Try asking questions or listening rather than interrupting when you think somebody is wrong
  • Consider the benefits for your group as well as yourself when making decisions
  • Look at each group task as an opportunity to learn or to teach.

Try just a handful of these happiness techniques from around the world, and you are sure to see your quality of life improve!

 

The post Happiness Techniques From Around The World That Can Change Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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6 Hobbies For Couples That Can Strengthen Your Relationship

Feeling bored doesn’t have to mean you don’t love your partner anymore. It’s probably just the right time to find something new and interesting to do together. Taking up a new hobby is one great way to start.

It will give you something new to talk about. It can give you and your partner a fresh perspective, too.

If you are curious to know, take a look at these six hobbies for couples that you can try out today. They might just bring you and your partner closer together.

Cooking

cooking together

Whether it is Japanese or French, learning a new cuisine can be loads of fun for couples. It’s not only enjoyable and creative, but it can also let you learn new things.

Taking a class is an excellent way to start. If you don’t want to leave the house, there are many YouTube video tutorials and online classes you can check out at little or no charge. With a little practice, you’ll soon be able to try new and intriguing recipes.

Cooking together provides an excellent chance to take charge of your health. Besides, every chef needs an assistant, so it makes a perfect partner activity.

Physical Training

There are a variety of sports that are best done with a partner. Biking, running, weight-lifting, yoga and hiking are great examples.

Picking something that is fun and challenging for both of you will give you the opportunity to really support one another. It will also give you the chance to better your health and achieve things you never thought possible before.

Who would be better to cross a finish line with than the person you love the most?

With physical training, you’ll get the satisfaction of having pushed yourself to new heights as well as being able to form a deep connection with your partner.

Language

Learning a new language is one the most difficult yet useful things you can do.

Have you ever thought about traveling to another country?

If yes, then pick a place that interests you both. Once you have selected a place, you can begin doing your research. You can use online programs, software and apps so you can learn that country’s language from the comfort of your home.

You and your partner can learn and practice together. It won’t be long before you can say “I love you” in another language.

See Also: 5 Tips to Learn Languages by Reading Foreign Books

Games

fun relationship

It may sound like child’s play, but learning a new game is an excellent way to keep your mind sharp. You can try board, video or online games.

Most of these games require a lot of thought and strategy to master. These things can help build important relationship skills, like communication and respect. It can also teach you a lot about teamwork, too.

See Also: Video Games and Relationships: A List of Pros and Cons

Dancing

Whether it is ballroom or hip-hop, dancing is a rewarding pastime, especially with a partner. Learning choreographed moves to music helps build coordination, mental acuity and physical health. Doing it with someone you love makes it all the more fun. Dancing can also be very sultry and romantic. This can bring you closer both physically and mentally.

Building or Refinishing Projects

Maybe you have an old piece that needs updating already. If not, take the time to scour garage sales or flea markets with your partner and find cool items that you can update. Hunting for that hidden gem is a great activity to do together.

Even if they have no place in your home once done, you may be able to sell them again for a profit. Engaging your creativity along with your partner’s and then working toward a common goal, will bring you closer.

Conclusion

No matter what your hobby of choice is, having something that you can do as a couple can help deepen your relationship. Remember, hobbies for couples don’t have to be expensive. There are lots of tutorials you can find on the internet.

Hobbies can be therapeutic in general and, for a couple, that can translate to a stronger and happier relationship. Who knows, you may even discover some interesting new things about each other or yourself that you never knew before.

The post 6 Hobbies For Couples That Can Strengthen Your Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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3 Ways To Inject More Humor Into Your Relationship

As soon as you stop laughing with your significant other, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find yourself on the miserable road to relationship hell.

The person you were once so enamored with will start to take on the look of a hairless cat that’s been left out in the sun for too long. You’ll hear the cell block doors slam shut on your relationship as you look forward to a dim future with your crusty ball and chain.

And one day, you’ll gratefully fling your carcass into the earthy arms of an early grave.

Ok, we’ve taken a dark turn here. Let’s go back to the actual issue.

The real question is, how can you keep things fun and new? Let’s move on to the humorous portion of this article and explore a few ways to bring the laughter back to your relationship.

Why Laughter is Good for Your Relationship

In addition to the fun and happy moments that laughter provides, there are also some scientific reasons why humor is great for your relationship.

According to a study performed by the University of North Carolina, couples who laughed together reported better quality of relationship with feelings of closeness and support that stemmed from it.

Some of the findings include:

  • While women laughed more often, men’s laughter was found to be more contagious.
  • The female’s reciprocation of laughter had a positive effect on the men.
  • The longer the laughter continued, the greater the men’s rating of satisfaction, commitment and passion toward their partners.

Laughter makes us feel better, both physically and emotionally. This is likely to make us nicer to our partners. When you laugh more often, you’ll typically become less defensive, more spontaneous and you’ll have less inhibitions. In other words, your interactions can become much more upbeat and positive. You’ll end up enjoying each other’s company to a greater extent.

So, how can you tap into the benefits of laughter and use them to improve and maintain the quality of your relationship? Check out these three relationship humor tips you can actually use.

 

Going Back to Your Early Years

relive childhood days

What is your favorite childhood memory? Which places do you remember playing and laughing in when you were growing up?

If you know your partner well enough, it’s likely that you’ve heard about a few of their fond childhood memories. Taking the time to revisit the places or reenact the events together can be a fantastic way to tap into happy moments.

Sneaking off to the park and swinging together under the moonlight, watching an old treasured movie while you’re curled up together or dancing like nobody’s watching are just a few ways to bring back the magic of youth.

The Spontaneous Trick

be spontaneous

Some of the best fun is often the result of spontaneous choices.

Breaking away from the old routine might not be easy, but it’s a great way to bring more fun into your relationship. Some things you may want to try include:

  • Taking an unplanned trip
  • Trying something new together
  • Switching up the sexual routine
  • Saying yes to unexpected opportunities

Whether you are laughing at the ridiculous positions you find yourself in while taking that yoga class for the first time or find yourselves lost in a small town with a suspicious looking clown on the side of the road, you’re guaranteed to create some interesting memories when you make an effort to be more spontaneous.

A Good Old Fashioned Gag

This tactic is powerful, but it’s often neglected.

Most of us can probably remember the last time we picked up some flowers or a thoughtful trinket for our partner. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice gesture. But, how often do you bring home a great gag gift?

Bringing the laughter back into your relationship will probably take less time than you think when you implement a few of these relationship humor tips. Give them a shot today and experience the joy that comes with a good belly laugh.  

Are there any other techniques that you’ve used to amp up the humor between you and your partner? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.

See Also: Five Traits Women Want In A Partner

The post 3 Ways To Inject More Humor Into Your Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Movie Locations To Visit This Year

If you liked our previous article on movie locations, then you’ll enjoy this one too.

The best movies have the power to transport you to exciting places or faraway worlds. They can put you in the moment and make you feel like you’re part of the action. What could be more exciting than that?

Well, how about really being there?

We’re not talking about virtual reality tours or amusement park knockoffs. We’re talking about setting your feet on the same places that set the stage for some of Hollywood’s most iconic moments — or at least their real-world counterparts.

You can pretend you’re in the middle of your favorite scenes, so recite some lines if you feel like it or take a few Instagram-worthy snaps.

Bring Hollywood to life by visiting these five inspiring movie locations.

The castle from “Harry Potter”

First of all, there’s the famous Harry Potter series.

You’re a J.K. Rowling fan and you’ve got a wand and a Ravenclaw scarf to prove it. If only you could step inside Hogwarts and get a glimpse of Harry and his wizarding pals’ world.

Well, you can! And we’re not talking about the Universal Studios look-alike in Florida.

Although this movie used plenty of cool special effects to transport you to an ageless time, its makers chose a 500-year-old school as Hogwarts’ inspiration. Hop across the pond and visit Christ Church College in Oxford, United Kingdom. Guided trots around campus cost £13 (or about $17) per person and they’ll give you all the insights you can handle. Even a Slytherin would feel a little giddy about that.

“The Sound of Music” scenery

Unfortunately, you won’t be reenacting Julie Andrew’s iconic opening scene because the meadow where the scene was shot is privately owned. The owner isn’t welcoming to visitors, too.

Fortunately, the other scenes from this classic were filmed on location in Salzburg, Austria. More than 300,000 fans journey each year to this picturesque part of Europe, looking for their own chance to climb every mountain and spot Edelweiss in bloom.

Not sure you’re comfortable exploring alone? No problem. Tours abound for “Sound of Music” aficionados like you.

The Rebel base from “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope”

If you’ve got the skills to bull’s eye a womp rat in a T-16, then you’ll definitely want to check out Tikal in Guatemala.

This archeological site served as the Rebel Alliance base on Yavin 4. You won’t find any X-wings in the site’s temples. However, you can learn all about a civilization from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Tikal was one of the Mayan civilization’s largest cities during the Classic Era — more than 1,000 years ago.

Entry into the park will only set you back $20, but make sure you give yourself plenty of time. The central part of this ancient city covers almost 10 square miles.

The bridge from James Bond’s “Skyfall” thriller

Got a sweet spot for engineering marvels from the big screen? Then, you’ll want to check out the Varda Viaduct. This is where James Bond fell to his apparent doom in the opening of “Skyfall,” the Bond series’ 50th-anniversary offering.

Although train service prohibits tourists from walking the bridge, you can head to the surrounding cliffs in Istanbul and take in its 102-year-old glory. And if you’re going to Turkey anyway, you might as well absorb the culture.

The grate where Marilyn Monroe’s dress went viral

Finally, there’s that iconic white cocktail dress blowing in the air.

Although Marily Monroe is no longer with us, she’s cemented her place in American history and so has the location of her dress “slip-up” during the filming of “The Seven Year Itch.”

Monroe’s husband at the time, baseball slugger Joe DiMaggio, didn’t appreciate the publicity stunt. Fortunately, you can still appreciate one of the most famous subway grates in movie history. It’s in New York City, on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street.

While there are plenty of places we can’t visit (the Death Star comes to mind), there are tons of fantastic movie locations we can still visit. Next time you watch an awesome flick, take note of the scenery and do a little research after. You might be able to see a movie magic come to life.

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Top 10 Travel Destinations for Movie Geeks

There’s something quite magical about seeing filming locations with your very own eyes. The celebrities and cameras may have gone, but a story’s physical setting stays just where it is. You can consider it as a star in its own right.

Here are 10 travel destinations that should absolutely be on every film lover’s bucket list:

New Zealand

Starred in: The Lord of the Rings trilogy (1999–2001)

lord of the rings

“A rite of passage” is how a visit to New Zealand is described in this interactive map of the world’s top filming locations.One of the most beautiful places on the planet, New Zealand is the Lord of the Rings’ main filming location. The trilogy made full use of the location’s gorgeous natural landscapes and rolling green hills which any fan can recognize.  

London, UK

Starred in: Jason Bourne (2016)

jason bourne

The latest adventure of the titular spy-on-the-run brought plenty of white-knuckle, high-stakes thrills to the streets of the English capital. Eagle-eyed fans will quickly recognize the Woolwich Arsenal train station and its surroundings. These are the areas that were transformed into Athens in the film. They also wouldn’t miss the areas around Paddington Station and Paddington Basin, where Jason Bourne made a particularly tense phone call.     

New York City, US

Starred in: Ghostbusters (1984)

ghostbusters

We could have gone with any of the countless films shot in the Big Apple, but the original Ghostbusters is the one that truly captured New York City in its ’80s-glory heyday. Streets, plazas, skyscrapers, bridges- you name it.

Looking around as you walk through the city will instantly open up a floodgate of pure nostalgia and Bill Murray hero-worship. There are even guided tours available to match the location to the scene!

Toronto, Canada

Starred in: Suicide Squad (2016)

suicide squad

Toronto has ‘stood in’ for many other cities in movies, but Suicide Squad’s Midway City may be its best fictional incarnation yet. Visitors can check out the spots where some of the film’s most iconic scenes happened. Just by walking along Downtown Toronto’s main thoroughfares, you can check out Yonge Street, Front Street West and Bay Street.

Visitors can check out the spots where some of the film’s most iconic scenes happened just by walking along Downtown Toronto’s main thoroughfares. When in the location, you should check out Yonge Street (car chases), Front Street West (Deadshot’s rooftop rappelling scene) and Bay Street (the helicopter crash).

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Starred in: City of God (2002)

city of god

Considered one of the finest films ever made by fans and critics alike, City of God—and by extension, Rio de Janeiro—is a true assault on the senses.

A walk around the city’s famous favelas will give visitors an authentic taste of Brazil. It will also give them an idea of how life must have been like for Rocket, Li’l Zé, Knockout Ned and company. Reminisce and venture into the Cidade de Deus suburb from which the film takes its name.

Namibia

Starred in: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

mad max

Speaking of an assault on the senses, how about a visit to the deserts of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast? It’s the setting of the latest (and brilliantly madcap) Mad Max film.

It’s only a four-hour drive from the Namibian capital, Windhoek. It’s  far more accessible than Max and Furiosa would have you think.

Tokyo, Japan

Starred in: Kill Bill (2003–2004)

kill bill

Although much of the two films were shot in Los Angeles and Beijing, Tokyo is the place to go if you really want to get a feel of the locations and inspirations behind this Tarantino classic.

Navigating this vast, sprawling city can sometimes be tough, but not for committed fans. They can easily find themselves crossing the stunning Rainbow Bridge where the motorcycle chase took place. They can stop by for a bite at the exact restaurant where the infamous all-against-one fight scene was set in Volume 1.

Paris, France

Starred in: Midnight in Paris (2011)

midnight in paris

The City of Light is just as spellbinding in reality as it is on screen. It’s one of the best filming locations and it was brought to life especially well in Midnight in Paris. It’s so great that it even helped Woody Allen win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

A walk along the southern bank of the river Seine will bring fans to the exact magical spot where Gil time-travelled back to the 1920s where the story really began.

Los Angeles, US

Starred in: Back to the Future trilogy (1985–1990)

back to the future

More of a cultural milestone than a movie, the three Back to the Future films continue to leave a massive impression on film lovers worldwide. A trip to LA is like a pilgrimage for any fan.

The Lone Pine/Twin Pines Mall (aka Puente Hills Mall on S Azusa Ave), the suburb of Hill Valley (which still exists as a set in Universal Studios) and Hill Valley High School (aka Whittier High School, East Philadelphia Street) are just some of the locations you can visit while you’re there. You won’t even need a flux-capacitated DeLorean to do it.  

Sydney, Australia

Starred in: Finding Nemo (2003)

finding nemo

While most of the story was set underwater (in the Great Barrier Reef, in fact), Sydney is where most of the action happened for those without the fins. Fans will remember Sydney Harbour as the location where Marlin and Dory went in search of Nemo.

With rows of white sails on pure blue waters, you’ll definitely enjoy Harbour Bridge and Opera House. The real-life version of the film is just as spectacular as you saw it on screen and you’ll find the local seagulls just as loony.

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How To Start Reading More Books In Just 30 Days

Reading is one of the most common pieces of advice you’ll get when it comes to life improvement. Just think about Mark Zuckerberg. We often hear about how he devours dozens of books per month and how successful he has become for that.

To tell you the truth, there were many times I felt motivated to improve my reading habits. Unfortunately, that kind of resolution never seemed to stick.

Then, I moved into a new apartment and my roommate happened to be a real-life bookworm. I mean, I have never seen a person own SO MANY books just because she liked all of them.

It was astonishing to see how her drawers were full of books, and even more when she said they didn’t fit that she had to place them in two or even three rows. Amazed, I asked her to share some of her secrets.

Everything turned out to be simpler than I thought. So, here’s what I found out in my odyssey trying to read more books, based on both our experiences.

Forget the “Top 100 Best Books” lists

Though finding a good reading list advertised by popular magazines sounds like the best way to start your reading adventures, it is actually not. Most of the books on those lists will contradict your taste and (take it from me, I’ve tried) you’ll end up feeling unmotivated. You may even feel disappointed in yourself because you’re not able to get through the books deemed as the world’s best reads.

To start with, such lists are subjective, especially the modern books. Only time will tell how great a book is. Secondly, if you want to try a reading list, figure your taste in literature first.

It could be about fantasy, science fiction, realism, non-fiction or memoirs. After finding out your genre, do a quick search for the top ten books in that genre. This will heighten your chances of finding books you will genuinely enjoy.

See Also: 9 Ways Reading Fiction Can Jump Start Your Career

Drop a book if you are reading it forcefully

This is vital at the start of your journey. If you did the most reading in your school and college years because you were too diligent, then you’ve developed a certain aversion to reading because you did it forcefully.

If you feel like you are not enjoying a book, just close it and forget about it. Knowing that you don’t have to reread every chapter of a deadly boring novel twice because your professor will give an intricately difficult quiz is truly liberating.

Forget the idea that books should educate

reading for fun

The idea of books being educational is one of the reasons why a lot of people quit reading books after graduation.

When we come to college and start reading difficult books, we had the idea that they were meant to educate us. Some teachers and researchers believe that at the time those books were published, they didn’t have any educational purpose and were purely written for entertainment.

So, brush off the idea that books are all meant to be technical and educational. Curl up in a blanket and enjoy your favorite book about elves, battles, love and magic.

As a kid, I enjoyed reading fairy tales. I could read the whole evening without even noticing the time because I picked stories I really liked. I read for fun.

Find someone with shared taste in books

Once you meet someone who has the same taste as yours when it comes to books, you’ll find yourself too eager to start reading the book he’s just finished. You’ll feel eager to share your views and hear his opinion.

This approach works better than any motivational quote on how to read more books.

A Few Obstacles You Might Encounter

As I struggled on my journey to start reading as much as my incredible roommate does, I made the following realizations.

You won’t love books overnight

Although I would love to get as excited about new releases and upcoming books as my roommate gets, the truth is I don’t always feel that way. This, however, doesn’t mean that I won’t be able to enjoy a good read and finish more books.

Remember, aversion can have deep roots and overcoming it can take some time.

Recently, I’ve read a book in three days, two of those days were work days. The book wasn’t big, but I still stayed up to 2 AM because I wanted to know its ending.

If you can’t bring yourself to finish a book you’ve started, then that is the wrong book for you. This doesn’t mean that you’re a failure, lazy or unmotivated. You just don’t have the right book in your hands.

Find a challenge if you are an A-type person

reading is fun

I actually started reading books when my roommate told me about a book challenge she was in. It’s a challenge where you need to read a book starting with every letter of the alphabet. That’s a total of 26 mandatory books per year.

Although I failed drastically, I won at one important thing: I actually started reading. Though this was little compared to my enormous plans, I was still able to conquer it.

Aim for the process, not for the aim

If you often think about how your friends are going to react to the books you’re reading, then you’re thinking about the aim. If you feel good just because you are curled up with a new amazing book, it means you genuinely love the process. The habit is more likely to stick.

Experiment with timing

If you are genuinely bad at sticking to new habits, try to trick your brain by setting tiny goals. You can make it as tiny as you want.

When you set and accomplish small goals, it becomes easier for you to feel motivated. After a month, you’ll be surprised that you just can’t stop adding more books to your list.

See Also: 7 Reasons To Start Reading Books? Here’s why!

If you are horrified by the idea of having to read tons of books, don’t worry. All you need to do is find the genre of books you truly love and you won’t even find yourself complaining about how much reading you have to do.

The post How To Start Reading More Books In Just 30 Days appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Actually Useful Fortune Cookie Fortunes

During weekends, my son and I would go out and do stuff. We’d do different activities, like going to a video arcade and hitting different adventure games. It’s a lot of fun and it’s great that I could spend time with him.

But, as we go through our day, we inevitably hit a point where we get hungry and we need to eat something.

One of the things my son likes to eat is Chinese food. And, while I like the basic vegetable lo mein and General Tso’s Chicken, he ends up liking it more than I do most of the time. We’ll mainly hit Chinese buffets, but anywhere we go, it’s usually a relatively enjoyable meal.

At the end of the meal, we always have the fun of opening up our fortune cookies. Not only do they taste good, but the little fortunes inside are generally fun to play with.

As any of you who’ve eaten a fortune cookie before know, the fortunes are just basic words of wisdom and really very generic. They could be applied to pretty much anyone.

One of these times, it got me thinking. What would be the best thing that I could put in the fortune cookies for you?

Here are the 10 fortune cookie fortunes I came up with for you.

“Know Where You’re Going”

If you don’t know where you’re going, then it won’t really matter. You can decide to go north, south, east or west, but if you don’t have an exact destination, you’re just going to wander around.

To have a better chance of getting somewhere you like, stop wandering and figure out what you want and where you’re going. If you don’t know, then stop reading here and don’t continue until you do.

“Take Action”

This is the single thing that is hardest for a lot of people to do. People can decide where they want to go or what they want to achieve, but taking the action needed to achieve their goal is hard for them, especially if it requires stepping out of their comfort zone.

Say, you decide you want to go on a trip to London. You can wish it, plan it out and tell all your friends how you’re going to London, but unless you start doing the things you need to get there, you will never be able to go to London. Take action and do it now.

(Editor’s Note: Have you heard? Stephen Hawking is actually going to space very soon! A perfect example of taking action.)

“Be Consistent”

Action is great, but if you don’t take action consistently, it’s not going to matter. The same is true with exercise and eating healthy. If you aren’t going to do them consistently, you won’t be able to get their full benefits.

It also applies to success. People tend to be a lot more successful doing at least one thing each day towards their goal rather than trying to do everything in a day or two.

Be consistent. It really does make a difference

“Successes Are Built On Failures”

When you’re trying anything new, you’re not going to do it perfect the first time, and that’s okay. You just need to work through things. The more you work through, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you are likely to succeed.

Don’t be afraid of failures because they will eventually bring you success. A lot of today’s successful people failed massively before getting to where they are now.

See Also: Why The Road to Success is Always Full of Failures

“Success Can Be Exponential”

Think about this in an investing sense. If you go and put $100 on a stock and you happen to get lucky, you can increase it up 10 times. That means you can have as much as $1,000. Now, you can do the same thing and take that $1,000 out, put it in 10 other stocks, and see what happens.

You’re not going to hit that home run every time. You’re going to experience some losses along the way. Despite this, you should know that the more you try, the more you are increasing your chances of succeeding. Be smart about it and work hard. Learn from your mistakes and success will build upon itself.

“Good Friends Are Better Than Lots Of Friends”

good friends

This is something that you hear even in grade school and middle school. There’s a big difference between a true friend and an acquaintance.

You may be friendly and know a lot of people but not all of them will actually have your back. So, find a few in your life who can really be there for you and stick with them.

See Also: Why You Need to Get Out and Meet Your Friends

“Believe In Yourself”

No matter how many friends you have or how much action you take, if you don’t believe that you can do it, you’re going to find a way to fail every time.

This isn’t just positive thinking. Things aren’t necessarily going to be easy and things won’t just completely flow for you. It may be hard, you may make mistakes, but you have to believe it’s possible.

When you believe it’s possible, it becomes easier to deal with the inevitable setbacks and keep pushing on. Remember, if it’s possible for anybody, that means it’s possible for you, too. So, believe in yourself and believe that you can do it.

“Track What You’re Doing”

One of the biggest things I see people do is start taking massive action on something and have it not turn out as they expected. They may have a plan and an idea of where they want to go, and they start working on it without really knowing if the work that they’re putting in will actually give them the results that they want.

That’s why you need to track things. It’s kind of like a GPS for your goals that helps you to stay on track and get where you want to be- with fewer mistakes and less wasted effort.

There are various ways to do this and there are programs to do it. You can keep it on a spreadsheet or even a notebook.

In addition to tracking your goals and mistakes, it’s important that you also take down notes of your mistakes. This way, you’ll be able to learn from them. They will guide you in what you should and shouldn’t do.

“Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment”

food experiment

For a long time in my life, I just stuck with the things that I knew I liked. As I got a little older and more stable, I decided that I wanted to try new things.

One of those things is to go and take a trip to Japan for a couple of weeks or even a month. However, before actually booking my trip, I figured that if I’m going to be in Japan that long, then I need to make sure that I can eat Japanese food.

One time, when I was at a conference, I went and tried some sashimi. It was the first time I ever had it and I ended up liking it. Since then, I’ve been more experimental with what I do.

I gained more confidence in experimenting because I know that if I like something I tried, I’ll get to treasure it. If I don’t, then great. I’ll be able to avoid it in the future. Either way, I get to learn something new about myself. This mindset has opened up new possibilities for myself and new avenues in my life.

The best part is that you can apply it to all parts of your life. Failure is a lot easier to deal with when it’s just an experiment that didn’t work. It’ll be easier for you to say: “Ok, that way didn’t work. What else can I try?”

“Do The Truly Important Things First”

This is true in business, family, and life in general. You do the things in business that are going to move you ahead. Although there are little tasks that can take up a lot of your time,  make sure to prioritize the big things. They are the things that will keep your business moving forward.

It goes the same with family. You need to make sure you can be there for them when they need you. Show up at birthdays. Make sure you’re there for the important times in your family members’ lives as that will help build a great bond. Do the important things in life but make them your first priority.

 

The post 10 Actually Useful Fortune Cookie Fortunes appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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The Truth Behind Your Zodiac Sign And Your Desires

Believe it or not, your zodiac sign can reveal a lot about your personality and temperament. It can show your hidden desires and secret thoughts that drive your behaviors every day. And it’s not just your sign. In fact, each of the twelve signs in the zodiac chart has its own unique characteristics, both positive and negative qualities.

If you are curious to know, here is what astrology can say about the most hidden desires of each zodiac sign.

Aries

aries

Hidden Desire: To be a leader and achieve big things in life

Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and one of the most determined signs. Aries people are born leaders who dream big and strive to put an example in front of others. They are independent, enthusiastic and extremely driven people.

People with this sign usually have huge goals in life and are willing to give their 100% to achieve them. They desire to be leaders, and their kind nature and optimism make them great role models.

Taurus

taurus

Hidden desire: Safety and security in all areas of life

Taureans crave safety and security in all areas of their life, including home, love, and money. These people are extremely loyal and dependable, but they are not very confident and they prefer to follow instead of lead.

Taureans are cautious, stubborn and good with finances. Due to their stubborn nature, if they have set their mind to something, they will make sure to achieve it- no matter what.

Gemini

gemini

Hidden desire: Variety and new experiences

Gemini is a communicative sign which has a thirst for knowledge and information. These people desire variety, new experiences and learning new things.

Geminis are curious, talkative, clever and adventurous people who can easily fit into any situation. They are independent, energetic and restless.

One of their biggest desires is to feed their inner wanderlust with traveling and new experiences. They like to learn through experiences, discovery, and inquiry.

Cancer

cancer zodiac

Hidden Desire: To feel emotionally, financially and romantically-free

Cancer is the fourth sign of the zodiac chart and one of the most fiercely independent signs. Cancerians hate to be tied down, even though they are very loyal and dedicated.

Those born under this sign are very shy, insecure and sensitive. However, once they overcome their shyness, there’s nothing they can’t achieve.

Cancerians are also highly intuitive and prefer to use these powers to achieve their goals. Their secret desire is to be free and unrestrained.

Leo

leo

Hidden desire: Respect and praise from others

Leo’s hidden desire is to be praised, admired and respected constantly. People born under this sign desire absolute power, authority, and praise for their achievements.

Leos are born leaders. They are ambitious and confident individuals who have big aims and will work hard to achieve them. They’re very generous, kind and caring, but they also like to have things under their control. Their biggest desire is to achieve recognition for their accomplishments and they’ll find it insulting if they’re not.

Virgo

virgo

Hidden desire: To love and be loved

Virgos are reliable and loyal people who are filled with love. Even though they can be cold and calculating, Virgos crave love and are passionate about falling in love and finding someone to pour their affection on.

Virgos can be fussy about small details, but they are very intelligent and have great analytical skills. They use their skills to logically solve their problems and navigate their way out of difficult situations.

Libra

libra

Hidden Desire: Balance, clarity, and justice

Libra is a sign that desires balance, harmony, and clarity in life. Libras are content only when everything is at a perfect equilibrium. They are peace-loving individuals who want justice and absolute order.

Libras try to avoid conflicts in their lives as much as they can. They can be really indecisive at times so they usually don’t embark on big projects that require a lot of time and hard work.

Scorpio

scorpio

Hidden desire: To make it to the top

Scorpios are extremely determined individuals who will never back down from a challenge. Their biggest desire is to make it to the top and beat all odds, proving everyone who has ever doubted them wrong.

Scorpios are very ambitious and want to succeed where others have failed. They are passionate and won’t rest until they achieve all of their goals. In trying to achieve their goals, they can become jealous and a bit too obsessed with success.

Sagittarius

saguittarius

Hidden desire: To make a change in the world

People born under the sign of Sagittarius are innovators and builders who are not afraid to branch out and try new things. Their desire is to make real innovations and a difference in the world which can change many people’s lives.

Sagittarians are imaginative, creative and hard working people who prefer to work alone in order to maintain their independence. These people are introverts and prefer a small group of people. However, they are kind and loyal friends and great at solving problems.

Capricorn

capricorn

Hidden desire: To be admired by their family and friends

Capricorns have a desire for admiration and praise for their achievements from their family, friends, and co-workers. They are responsible, loyal and trustworthy, but they crave respect and affection from their families and friends.

They are great leaders and good friends who are always there when you need them. When they don’t receive the admiration and affirmation they crave so much, they can become moody and difficult to deal with.

Aquarius

aquarius

Hidden desire: To stand out from the crowd

Aquarians have a strong desire to stand out from the crowd and they desire recognition. People born under this sign are smart, witty and inventive individuals full of original ideas.

Aquarians are great humanitarians who want to help people in need. They can be emotionally detached and lost at times which can make them insensitive to the people around them.

These people are rebels who don’t like following directions and will never settle for anything less than what they think they deserve. They know their worth and they desire acknowledgment. Their humor and wittiness make them excellent leaders.

Pisces

pisces

Hidden desire: To turn their wildest dreams into reality

Pisceans are daydreamers who desire to turn their craziest fantasies and dreams into reality. Those born under this star sign are imaginative, compassionate and ultra sensitive. They are great friends and even better problem solvers who are always thinking outside the box.

Pisceans like to dream to the point that they become lazy. These people do not want to be in the lead; they prefer to follow and take directions. Their biggest desire is to see the world as they see it in their dreams.

The post The Truth Behind Your Zodiac Sign And Your Desires appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Of The Most Haunted Places In The World

Yes, spirits and ghosts do exist. While some may be friendly, others may give you spooky and spine-chilling experiences. If these experiences don’t frighten you, then here are 7 of the most haunted places in the world to feed your wanderlust.

Take a trip or stay the night to experience the eerie presence of the ghosts and spirits in these places.

Borgvattnet (The Haunted Vicarage), Sweden

haunted vicarage

Witness the ghost of the lady in gray wandering through the rooms, or the apparition of the three women staring without a flicker of the eye. You can also experience cold touches at midnight here.

If the mere ideas of these events brought a chill down the spine, imagine how scary the real encounter would be. These ghost encounters are so creepy that the keepers are even offering certificates to those who would dare stay the night.

Surprise Guests

Built in 1876, this vicarage has had a fair share of ghost encounters since 1927. You would be visited by the spirit of the old vicar and crying women at night.

Castle Of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa

castle of good hope

Having a rich history attracts tons of visitors. Unfortunately, the first guests in this place are spirits.

The gruesome history of torturous punishments inflicted on the soldiers has made this place a dwelling ground for their souls. The Castle of Good Hope or the Goede Hoop houses a number of haunted places within its precincts. This includes the battlements, bastion grounds, bell tower, and even the parapets.

You can find the spirits’ presence everywhere.

Surprise Guests

Built in 1666, this castle has a number of eerie spirits wandering through the grounds.

You will be visited by the ghosts of a tall man, a sad woman, and the ghost of Lady Anne Barnard. You can also encounter the Lady in Grey and even the strange apparition of the black hound.

Stanley Hotel-Estes Park, USA

stanley hotel estes park

Room no. 217, which is infamous for its eerie happenings and supernatural events, would definitely send chills down the spine. Like every other haunted place, this hotel also has tons of mysterious stories as to how the chambermaid’s spirit started wandering there.

We dare you to stay the night in the same room if you are an unmarried couple.

Surprise Guests

Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson, the head chambermaid, who was injured in the gas blast that took place in the infamous room no. 217 would visit you at night and do her routine work. Sometimes, she’d do way more than that!

Ancient Ram Inn-Gloucestershire, England

ancient ram inn

Built over an ancient burial ground, Ancient Ram Inn is one of the most haunted houses in the world. The countless tales of devil worshiping and a gruesome history of murders and deaths impart a spooky presence.

Take a tour of this place to witness ancient graves, stuffed animal heads, and other unnatural things that would haunt your dreams for nights to come.

Surprise Guests

Being a thousand-year-old house, the Ancient Ram has a number of evil spirits and spooky entities that would make their presence felt from time to time. You can experience the presence of a witch, a bishop, and several other child ghosts there.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium-Kentucky, United States

waverly hills sanatorium

This place is an old tuberculosis sanatorium where thousands of patients were exposed to brutal experiments. With more than 6,000 people killed there, it is believed to be filled with spirits.

While this story creeps us, the story of room no. 502, where a nurse committed suicide, is way more spooky. Footsteps thumping, screaming voices, and flickering lights are common there. Some people even experienced hearing balls rolling, muffled conversations, and other paranormal activities in the place.

Surprise Guests

With the death of over 6,000 people, it wouldn’t be a surprise if one of their souls decides to visit you while you’re there. Add to that number is the nurse’s spirit in 502.

Banff Springs Hotel-Alberta, Canada

banff springs hotel

Seeing an apparition of a bride dancing with her gown in flames can give goosebumps to any visitor. Located amidst a picturesque surrounding, hotel Banff Springs is one of the most haunted places in Canada. These uncanny and hair-raising presences can scare even the bravest of hearts.

Surprise Guests

Be prepared to be accompanied by several ghosts. While the spirit of the bellman would serve you in a friendly manner, the family of room no. 873 would haunt with their presence. And do not to forget the dancing bride!

Bhangarh Fort-Rajasthan, India

bhangarh fort

A warning signboard denying the permission to stay after sunset and before sunrise would welcome you to this fort. Legends say that the eerie state of the fort is because of a black magician’s spell (or curse). This curse lives on and no spirit has ever lived here in peace.

Surprise Guest

While some can feel a strange presence watching them throughout the trip, others have seen the apparition of a small boy locked inside a dark room.

Are you ready to take a trip to these haunted places and see for yourself?

The post 7 Of The Most Haunted Places In The World appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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A Map Of Mythical Creatures And Where To Find Them

Have you always dreamed of seeing a yeti? Maybe you’d love to have a beer with ol’ Bigfoot? Or sight a Sasquatch? Have a natter with Nessie?

If mythical beasts from folklore are totally your thing, why not ditch that planned all-inclusive holiday to Greece and head off to a fantastic creature-spotting adventure instead?

We’ve sourced five of the best mythical creatures and assembled a handy guide to these wonderful beasts. With our monster map, you’ll finally know where they live, what they do, and where they are from.

The Kelpie

the kelpie

Go to: Rural Scotland

This mythical creature is one of the most well-known in Scottish folklore. The first recorded usage of ‘kelpie’ goes back to 1759. Thought to haunt the waterways of Scotland, the kelpie is a shape-shifter that usually appears as a horse.

Nearly all rivers, streams and lochs in Scotland have some kind of kelpie story behind them. It’s thought that the kelpies’ ability to shape-shift (they can also appear as beautiful young women, children, and other forms) comes from its bridle.

So, if you’re strong enough to get hold of it, you could well find yourself in the rare position of having the upper hand over one of the most monstrous creatures from all folklore.

Black Shuck

black shuck

Go to: Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, UK

Black Shuck was the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, but the black spectral dog which hides in bushes goes further back than that. It terrorized parts of East Anglia in the 16th century as it stalked coastlines, graveyards, hidey-holes, and hedgerows.

Despite looking like it could cause serious harm, Black Shuck was not necessarily a violent creature. Rather, it was a harbinger, usually of bad luck.

The Loch Ness Monster

loch ness monster
Via 100photos.time.com

Go to: Loch Ness, Inverness, Scotland

Nessie is perhaps the most infamous of all mythical creatures, so it should be right at the top of your must-see list. Travel firm Expedia, who have put together a fantastic online map showing you places around the world where mythical creatures are said to live, explains that early sightings of the Loch Ness Monster compared the aquatic creature to a dragon.

The Nessie phenomenon started back in 1933 when the local paper Inverness Courier reported a sighting of the beast. The rest is history as Nessie cemented itself as a sensation. Expedia’s resource recommends going on a cruise to the ruins of Urquhart Castle, with live sonar on board, to maximize your chances of finding the creature.

Yacumama

yacumama
Via booksie.com

Go to: Manaus, Brazil

The Yacumama is a giant anaconda-like snake that has been frightening Brazilians for many years. This immensely strong serpent, capable of sucking up everything around it, has the power to cause mudslides and general chaos.

The mythical creature resource shows that explorers were reporting seeing the snake as far back as 1906. A report from Percy H. Fawcett reads: “We stepped ashore and approached the reptile with caution. It was out of action, but shivers ran up and down the body like puffs of wind on a mountain tarn. As far as it was possible to measure, a length of 45 feet lay out of the water, and 17 feet in it, making a total length of 62 feet.”

Bigfoot

bigfoot
Via geek.com

Go to: The forests of North America

Another big beast of popular folklore, Bigfoot, or Sasquatch as it’s also known, is thought to stand at least 9 feet tall and with dark fur and skin. The gorilla-like creature is thought to be a vegetarian, so it’s unlikely he’d see you as his dinner.

Where to start with a colossus like Bigfoot?

He’s practically the king of all the mythological beasts out there. The Bigfoot legend relates back to stories of ‘wild men’ that were prevalent in indigenous communities of the Pacific Northwest. The number of apparent sightings and close encounters concerning Sasquatch are legion, but he’s never been proven to exist. Most think Bigfoot is a hoax, albeit an elaborately crafted one.

So, if you’re planning an intrepid holiday to catch sight of your favorite mythical beast, we hope this monster map comes in handy. If you need to make a quick getaway, it’s great if you can take a car with you.

The post A Map Of Mythical Creatures And Where To Find Them appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Ways To Sharpen Up Your Would You Rather Game Questions

Would you rather is a classical social game that has stood the test of time and is among the most popular gather-around games in the world. Whoever says you can’t learn a lot about your friends over this game has probably never played it right.

In reality, the game is hilarious, engaging and informative. However, for you to reveal your friend’s deepest secrets with this game, you’ll need sharper questions that promise better answers.

Just as articles are required for a blog to rank high on Google, you need to have good Would You Rather questions to have a fun time. While some people are born with the natural ability of asking good questions without any preparations, others have to develop it through practice.

If you belong to the last group, here are 5 easy, simple and effective ways to help sharpen up your Would You Rather questions.

Find the Right Attitude

One way to improve your Would You Rather questions is to find the right attitude. Without the right mindset and attitude, a lot of people will avoid playing with you.

To start, you must first determine what makes a bad player. For one, they don’t take responsibility for their rude or inappropriate behaviors. They offend other players with big no-no questions and they curse and blame others for their own mistakes.

If you think you don’t have these traits, then you’re on the right path to improving your game.

Be Versatile

We, humans, have a tendency to keep hitting someone’s weak spot as soon as we find it. However, for the sake of fun, you should refrain from asking Would You Rathers from one category only.

The key to making the most out of the game is to be diverse and ask both serious and funny questions from as many categories as possible. As long as your intentions are friendly, you can ask any sort of question you want.

Think Twice Before You Pose a Question

think twice

Although you can ask any question you like, that doesn’t give you the right to be impolite, rude, and make others feel uncomfortable. To avoid an awkward situation, make sure you know enough things about the players, like their age, education level and personal preferences.

If you take the risk of asking a Would You Rather question without considering your friend, you may not only offend them and kill the mood, but you may lose them from your life for good. Before you start, make sure you know which questions are good to ask and to which players.

Practice Makes Perfect

As with any other games, practice is a crucial part of becoming a good player in a game of Would You Rather. There are a plenty of questions online that are conveniently sorted into different categories. You can just look them up if you want to get inspired or improve your skills.

It may be obvious that reading questions online can help you sharpen up your questions. However, it won’t be able to help you get better at creating your own. Crafting your own questions require more effort, but it is a much more effective way of getting better questions.

Prepare Yourself by Making a List Beforehand

 

Last, but certainly not the least, is to prepare a list of Would You Rather questions before you even set a game date. This is a better strategy than throwing random questions when you’re already in the middle of the game. Apart from letting you know more about your opponents, it will also give you more time to analyze them carefully.

See Also: 5 Sports From Fiction You Can Try And How You Can Play Them

The post 5 Ways To Sharpen Up Your Would You Rather Game Questions appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship

Anybody who has dated and experienced being in a relationship will know how complex the process can get. The longer you continue to see each other, the more dynamic the feelings become.

If you are still in the dark, here are 7 of the most obvious ways to tell if you’ve gone from dating to entering a relationship.

Nightlife Goes From Club To Couch

real relationship

Before, you used to spend most Saturday nights dating people at a bar, cinema, or restaurant. Now that you’re in an actual relationship, it will no longer matter where you are dating. As long as you’re with your loved one, you’ll be happy.

They Don’t Consume Your Every Thought

Once you’ve already gotten over the infatuation stage and realized that you and your partner are in it for the long haul, you’re less likely to think about him all the time. This, however, doesn’t mean that you’re bad. It’s just your brain showing how settled you are.

Arguments Aren’t Disastrous

relationship argument

In the delicate dating stage, one or two arguments can often spell the end of the romance. When you have settled into a real relationship, the bond between you and your partner is already strong enough that you no longer take silly misunderstandings seriously. Instead, you argue a bit, cool off, and the make up again.

They See The Real You

During the dating stage, people tend to create the ideal versions of themselves. It’s a way to entice a partner. However, once you have found someone special, you begin to let your guards down and show your real self. You wear less makeup and you pay less attention to how you look.

The Future Is Talked About

Bringing up what you want in the future is probably one of the worst things you can do when you’re casually dating someone. It’s a sure-fire way to scare somebody off. This changes when you are in a relationship. You find freedom and excitement in discussing what might happen in the next few years.

You’re Fully Connected

The idea of meeting each other’s friends and family is always a bit awkward when you’re still in the early part of dating. By the time you are in a formal relationship, you probably already know each other’s friends’ first names. You might even be sending them Christmas and birthday cards regularly.

Jealousy Is A Distant Memory

In a relationship, you no longer have to worry about other men or women paying close attention to your partner. Being in a formal relationship gives you more security since there’s less competition. Apart from that, there’s complete trust in one another, too.

The process of dating and entering a relationship isn’t at all bad. In fact, it’s interesting and exciting. Enjoy while you’re at it.

See Also: 5 Ways To Create the Foundation of a Long Term Relationship

 

The post 7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship

Anybody who has dated and experienced being in a relationship will know how complex the process can get. The longer you continue to see each other, the more dynamic the feelings become.

If you are still in the dark, here are 7 of the most obvious ways to tell if you’ve gone from dating to entering a relationship.

Nightlife Goes From Club To Couch

real relationship

Before, you used to spend most Saturday nights dating people at a bar, cinema, or restaurant. Now that you’re in an actual relationship, it will no longer matter where you are dating. As long as you’re with your loved one, you’ll be happy.

They Don’t Consume Your Every Thought

Once you’ve already gotten over the infatuation stage and realized that you and your partner are in it for the long haul, you’re less likely to think about him all the time. This, however, doesn’t mean that you’re bad. It’s just your brain showing how settled you are.

Arguments Aren’t Disastrous

relationship argument

In the delicate dating stage, one or two arguments can often spell the end of the romance. When you have settled into a real relationship, the bond between you and your partner is already strong enough that you no longer take silly misunderstandings seriously. Instead, you argue a bit, cool off, and the make up again.

They See The Real You

During the dating stage, people tend to create the ideal versions of themselves. It’s a way to entice a partner. However, once you have found someone special, you begin to let your guards down and show your real self. You wear less makeup and you pay less attention to how you look.

The Future Is Talked About

Bringing up what you want in the future is probably one of the worst things you can do when you’re casually dating someone. It’s a sure-fire way to scare somebody off. This changes when you are in a relationship. You find freedom and excitement in discussing what might happen in the next few years.

You’re Fully Connected

The idea of meeting each other’s friends and family is always a bit awkward when you’re still in the early part of dating. By the time you are in a formal relationship, you probably already know each other’s friends’ first names. You might even be sending them Christmas and birthday cards regularly.

Jealousy Is A Distant Memory

In a relationship, you no longer have to worry about other men or women paying close attention to your partner. Being in a formal relationship gives you more security since there’s less competition. Apart from that, there’s complete trust in one another, too.

The process of dating and entering a relationship isn’t at all bad. In fact, it’s interesting and exciting. Enjoy while you’re at it.

See Also: 5 Ways To Create the Foundation of a Long Term Relationship

 

The post 7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship

Anybody who has dated and experienced being in a relationship will know how complex the process can get. The longer you continue to see each other, the more dynamic the feelings become.

If you are still in the dark, here are 7 of the most obvious ways to tell if you’ve gone from dating to entering a relationship.

Nightlife Goes From Club To Couch

real relationship

Before, you used to spend most Saturday nights dating people at a bar, cinema, or restaurant. Now that you’re in an actual relationship, it will no longer matter where you are dating. As long as you’re with your loved one, you’ll be happy.

They Don’t Consume Your Every Thought

Once you’ve already gotten over the infatuation stage and realized that you and your partner are in it for the long haul, you’re less likely to think about him all the time. This, however, doesn’t mean that you’re bad. It’s just your brain showing how settled you are.

Arguments Aren’t Disastrous

relationship argument

In the delicate dating stage, one or two arguments can often spell the end of the romance. When you have settled into a real relationship, the bond between you and your partner is already strong enough that you no longer take silly misunderstandings seriously. Instead, you argue a bit, cool off, and the make up again.

They See The Real You

During the dating stage, people tend to create the ideal versions of themselves. It’s a way to entice a partner. However, once you have found someone special, you begin to let your guards down and show your real self. You wear less makeup and you pay less attention to how you look.

The Future Is Talked About

Bringing up what you want in the future is probably one of the worst things you can do when you’re casually dating someone. It’s a sure-fire way to scare somebody off. This changes when you are in a relationship. You find freedom and excitement in discussing what might happen in the next few years.

You’re Fully Connected

The idea of meeting each other’s friends and family is always a bit awkward when you’re still in the early part of dating. By the time you are in a formal relationship, you probably already know each other’s friends’ first names. You might even be sending them Christmas and birthday cards regularly.

Jealousy Is A Distant Memory

In a relationship, you no longer have to worry about other men or women paying close attention to your partner. Being in a formal relationship gives you more security since there’s less competition. Apart from that, there’s complete trust in one another, too.

The process of dating and entering a relationship isn’t at all bad. In fact, it’s interesting and exciting. Enjoy while you’re at it.

See Also: 5 Ways To Create the Foundation of a Long Term Relationship

 

The post 7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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What Jumping Rope Taught Me About Life And Fitness

We often judge activities based on how much they can change us physically. However, when it comes to their mental effects, we rarely care.

I used to be a runner. Treadmill or no treadmill, rain or snow, I ran every day from 5:30 to 6:30 in the morning and I hated every minute of it. From the moment I tied my laces until my last mile, running scared me.

So, why did I do it?

I used to be a chubby kid. I was ‘that kid’ who deliberately tried to get sick for sports day. During college, every time I ran, I had billions of voices shunning me down. At times, I heard the voice of my soccer coach calling me a ’tractor’. Other times, it was my classmates commenting on my man boobs from the sideline as I struggled to finish the race.

So, to me, running during college was a way to prove something. It was unhealthy, but I had to do it to cope.

However, I realized that I had to let go. I had to grow. That is when I came across jumping rope.

It has been a year and a half and jumping rope didn’t only alter my physique, it has helped me develop my character as well, by teaching me lessons about life and fitness.

Here are some of them.

Patience

jumping rope goal

There are a handful of jumping rope benefits once you get the hang of the activity. If you’re just starting out, you may need some trial and error before you get the right form. That process requires patience and perseverance. There’s no place for ego.

I used to run despite hating it because I felt I had to prove something to someone. It was as if I was still competing with my friends in high school.

Because I failed multiple times before finally getting the right form, jumping rope made me realized that I was just competing with myself. I did not have to get better than anyone else- just myself.

And that change in mindset helped me optimize everything.

Failure helped me touch base with reality and develop patience. It killed all that toxic thoughts that were bottled up inside. This made consistency easier.

Focus

As my form started getting better, my ego got bigger, too. In the middle of my workout, I would often find myself thinking about how cool I looked.

And those were the times when the rope would get stuck between my legs. Reality would hit me, forcing me to focus on what I was actually doing.

Thus, jumping rope trained me to stay focused. My coordination got better and I experienced improved balance.

These things significantly changed the quality of my work.

Reflecting on Failures

jumping rope focus

When we hit bottom, the obvious advice people give us is to try again. And, although that’s good, there’s something essential that we miss.

Reflecting on our failures.

What went wrong? Was it something out of control or something that can easily be changed?

Jumping rope is all about having the right form- knees bent, elbows drawn in and jumping no more than an inch.

Every time I fail at my routine, I’d reflect on whether it was due to a wrong form or lack of focus. After knowing what went wrong, I make the necessary adjustments and do it again until I get a more favorable result.

I’ve started applying this to the other areas of my life and it has optimized everything I do.

Doing Less

In a world that is so driven by accomplishments, we often lose sight of what is really important. A lot of us want more degrees, achievements and recognitions. Because we aspire to do so many things, we usually end up finishing nothing.

Think about how that applies to fitness. We have so many ways to get fit and, yet, most of us still fail to achieve our body goals.

As I got more acquainted with jumping rope, I started doing High Intensity Interval Training for thirty minutes every day. That’s it. No running or any other form of cardio.

This helped me gain clarity on what I really needed to do to accomplish my keystone tasks. It included practicing Intermittent Fasting, eating the right foods, hitting my macro numbers, and giving my hundred and twenty percent during HIIT.

It turned out that the combination of HIIT workouts and intermittent fasting is exactly what I needed to get lean.

See Also: How To Start Interval Training The Right Way

Movement is Essential

Working out can mean effort and extra time. When you are not used to it, it’s easy to consider it as a burden, which leads to inconsistency.

As proof, just think about the people who refuse to work out just because they don’t have the time.

But, what if moving your body was essential? What if it was a requirement to living a healthy life?

After every HIIT session, I felt great from the inside. It’s as if my body was thanking me.

My exercise routines last for thirty minutes a day only. Since it was short, I felt motivated to start doing it consistently until I was able to see positive results.

This feeling and the results I got helped me learn an important lesson about our bodies: they are made to move.

Jumping rope helped me fall in love with fitness. Working out wasn’t something I had to do anymore- it’s something I want to do.

See Also: Finding your Fitness Passion

Over To You

Jumping rope benefits are endless. More than your body, you can also use it to train your mind.

This, however, is not a plea for you to go start jumping rope. Instead, it’s a plea for you to go explore the different ways you can help your body and mind. See what works for you and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly.

The post What Jumping Rope Taught Me About Life And Fitness appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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What Can Employers Do For Employee Appreciation Day?

Your company is full of assets, I know. But there is one asset in particular that puts the soul into your business and without it you would be overrun and, almost certainly destined to fail. That asset is, of course, your employees!

Showing your employees your appreciation for their hard work and emphasizing how important they are to your company is vitally important for employee morale. After-all, by increasing their self-worth, you’re also increasing job satisfaction and motivation.

One great way to show your employees how much they mean to your business is by celebrating Employee Appreciation Day this 3rd March.

Although it’s not considered an official day in the US, there are plenty of employers who do follow it and make it an “official” day for their company. If you struggle to engage with your employees on a regular basis because of busy schedules, then use this day, along with other employers and business owners around the world, to show your employees how valued they are.

Celebrating the day is easy too, so you needn’t worry about it causing too much fuss or taking people away from their work.

Here are some simple and fun ideas for you to give back to your employees, wherever you are in the world.

Early Finish

Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated on the first Friday of March every year. This is the perfect day to let your employees finish up a little earlier. You can, for instance, let a 9-5 worker go around 1pm so they get a half day off and an extended weekend. Although you might “lose” half a day of working time, you’ll certainly gain productivity elsewhere, as this UK study shows.

Office Lunch

office lunch

By far one of the simplest ways to show appreciation to your employees is by providing lunch over an extended period. It’s not very often an entire company will be able to enjoy their lunch time together, so for a couple of hours, just turn off all phones and let everyone enjoy a lunchtime together.

An office lunch is also perfect if it’s too late to make preparations for an elaborate gathering. You can simply call your local restaurants and get delicious food delivered.

After Work Drinks

after work drinks

Often, your employees won’t be very happy if they don’t get a chance to unwind. Arranging an after-work drink is an easy and effective way to allow your employees to get some free, relaxing time to unwind and socialize with fellow workers.

Put together a kitty so every employee can get a drink or two on the business and allow everyone to have some fun while feeling appreciated. Come Monday, they’ll be feeling motivated and ready to go.

Team Building Activity Day

Perhaps one of the most effective ways to boost team morale is through a team building activity day. Not only will this feel like a fun holiday for your staff, but it also builds essential skills for your employees such as team work, making it a win-win situation for your company.

You might want to research your employee’s interests first though, as although you might enjoy extreme water sports, not everyone else will. There are, however, hundreds of choices when it comes to activity days with everything from paintballing to escape rooms. Each one has its own merits and all are perfect for showing-off your employee appreciation.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

 

The post What Can Employers Do For Employee Appreciation Day? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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