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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to close a chips bag without a chip clip.

Hey readers! I've been away for a couple of weeks, I hope you all missed me! I'm still pretty busy at the moment so I'll leave you with this post instead of nothing. I found this really cool way of closing your bag of chips and I thought I would share it with you. In a week or so I should be able to post more regularly, I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How To Hide Your Goods In Your House

As I was looking at this video:

I stumbled upon an interview of a "professional" London thief who makes a living out of stealing from people's apartment. This guy explained how he behaves once he is inside the apartment of one of his marks. As I was reading I started to realize that I hide my goods in the places that this thief was looking first. I made a little list of things you should and should not do when hiding your goods in your house.

1. It's not important how good you are at hiding your stuff, if a thief has enough time he will find what he is looking for. If you are going to be away from home for a considerable amount of time the best thing you can do is let him find a small amount of money, in order to convince him that he doesn't need to search further. The amount of money you leave depends on the type of home you live in. Don't expect to live in a Villa in Beverly Hills and leave $5 as "bait money"

2. Hiding your money too well can be counter productive. If a thief doesn't find what he wants he could destroy your entire house in the chance of finding it. You will end up making way more damage to your house spending way more money than the ones you were trying to save.

3. If you really need to hide your stuff the best place is a kids toy. I know that not everybody will be able to pull this off but if you have a family with young children consider yourself lucky.

4. If you have a safe be sure that it is safely stuck into the wall, most thieves wont try to force it open they will just bring the whole thing with them.

5. If you aren't creative enough, you can buy these, or you can make them yourself

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How To Make Up Believable Excuses

It happens even to the best of us to be in a situation where we have to make up an excuse in order to escape from a uncomfortable situation. Sometimes we need them to not make a situation worst than it already is, for example, when your boss asks you why you are late for work  you start mumbling "The Alarm-clock didn't ring...and there was a lot of traffic... and there were work in progress on the road..." To avoid all this awkwardness you have to follow one simple golden rule and that is to make up one simple, clear, quick lie; something you wont forget. Usually we tend to be very specific when we lie because in our head we think that the more excuses we find the more believable we are when what works is the exact opposite.

It's good to add some details but, too much of them will make you look suspicious to the eyes of the person being lied. My father used to tell me "Who lies has a short memory" with that in mind try to keep you lies simple and concise so that you can remember them in case you need to. If your excuses are intricate like a spiderweb when you will have to remember your lie you will probably tell a different version loosing your alibi (and sometimes your job too). I wanna make clear that I don't advocate lying nor I'm inviting you to do so. 99% of the time lying wont bring anything good but if your boss is really annoying and your wife cooks horribly, a little lie wont hurt nobody ("No honey, the food is great, I just have a toothache!")

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Video Games and Brain Pleasure Circuits

Allan Reiss and his coworkers at Stanford University performed brain scanning on subjects playing a simple video game. The subjects were eleven male and eleven female Stanford students, selected to have similar, moderate previous experience with video games and computers generally. The video game involved a screen with a vertical dividing line and leftward-moving balls on the right-hand side, which the player could click to remove. When a ball hit the divider, it caused the divider to move slightly leftward, reducing the player's "territory" on the left-hand side of the screen. Conversely, for each second that the area near the divider was kept clear of balls, it would move rightward, gaining territory for the player. The only instruction given was, "Click on as many balls as possible." All players soon deduced the point of the game and adopted a click strategy to increase territory. An earlier study using a different form of brain scanning (positron emission tomography, or PET) revealed increased dopamine release in subjects playing a tank-driving video game. Furthermore, those subjects who scored highest in the game had the largest dopamine-release signals in the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens. While this study is consistent with others demonstrating dopamine pleasure circuit activation in video games, it is complicated by the fact that the subjects were paid (eight UK pounds) for each video game level they completed successfully-thus conflating monetary reward and game play.
If video games can activate the dopamine pleasure circuit, does that mean that one can become addicted to them? The answer seems to be a weak, qualified yes. There is already a burgeoning industry, complete with standardized questionnaires and dubious therapies, that claims to aid in the treatment of video game addiction and Internet addiction. However, media accounts have overstated both the extent of the problem and its severity. The best indications are that most compulsive video game players recover without intervention.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Is smoking "uncool"?

If you're a parent these days, chances are you are wondering when your child will face peer pressure to try smoking cigarettes. After all, when we were growing up, almost everyone tried cigarettes, and many went on to continue smoking. It was considered "cool" and fashionable, even after campaigns began to decry the terrible effects that can, and often do, result from smoking.
Those who have personally suffered the ill effects of smoking or have been witness to a loved one's suffering, as well as advocates of the anti-smoking movement will be heartened to realize that the tide continues to turn against smoking. A recent survey by Yahoo! Shine with more than 1000 responders has shown that in the current generation of young people (ages 18-34), the majority are against smoking, and there seems to be an implicit stigma against smoking within this subset of the population. The survey shows that most young people think it is "very uncool" to smoke, and they would not want to date a smoker. They also indicated that smoking is gross and the smell is awful. While all this is encouraging, and may legitimately give parents some relief about this issue, more headway needs to be made to keep this positive trend going in the right direction. For instance, many young people consider smoking in the context of drinking (i.e., social smoking) to be relatively acceptable. The reason for connecting smoking and drinking is the general idea that smoking a cigarette "enhances" the effects of the drinking, providing an extra "buzz."
Thus, it seems that a main area for anti-smoking efforts needs to focus on decreasing social smoking, and specifically on breaking the association between drinking and smoking. Both alcohol and cigarettes are harmful substances with significant addictive potential, as well as considerable detrimental physical effects. Targeted education to counter their use and abuse in a social setting needs to be done both at home and in schools. Young people need to be given consistent messages that there is no benefit from smoking cigarettes, and even on an occasional basis, it is toxic to one's body.
So yes, we've come a long way, but we've not yet arrived. Let's keep the ball rolling!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The surprising truth about what motivates us

Hey everybody! Today's post is going to be less formal. While I was searching the web I stumbled upon this great video from the YouTube channel of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts) which explains very well the truth about motivation. I hope you will all enjoy this video, I know I did, and be sure to leave me a comment below giving me your impressions on this video. Bye!



Friday, October 14, 2011

Should you go to college?

So College is what every parent wants for their child, but what matters the most is, is college what the child wants or needs? In the past I remember my parents telling me "You'd better go to college or you'll be digging ditches" and now those ditch diggers are laughing at us because they are making sixtyfive dollars an hour on average. In the past it used to be that when you got a four to six year college degree you were set for life, but we all know that is not true anymore. I remember reading in a article some time ago a quote from Karl Christopher, a placement councelor at the Columbia Area Career Center vocational program, where he was saying "A four-year degree in business? What does that get you? A shift supervisor at a store in the mall!". The reality is nobody is college bound, so I think it's not fair for High Schools to push everybody into these college for everyone ideal. What if you are a technical or a creative person, will going to college for computers for 4 years make sense? Sixty percent of what you learn in college is going to be forgotten by the time you graduate besides the fact that their curriculum is not current enough to match the changes in technology. A technical trade school would do that and they are only one to three years. Let me ask you this question, how many people do you know in college who go and have no idea what they wanna do? You know why they keep going to college? Because they have been going to school their whole life, that's what they know and that's what their parents expect of them. Now these people are just wasting time and money, rememeber the average student loan is about $23.000 by the time you graduate. Now that is a lot of money! Why wouldn't parents who may have saved a college fund for their kids take that money, give that money to a kid who is entrepreneurial and let him start their own business or use part of that money to pay a technical school meawhile throwing the bases of their own business? See, we are in this mindset that college means success and with today's economy it is just not the case anymore. Personally I would much rather have money now and find my way to invest them rather than spend those money in hopes to make more money later in the future, a college degree doesn't guaratee you anything! Now, I'm not saying they are not useful, if you wanna be a doctor, a lawyer or a teacher than you absolutely need to get a degree as you may very well be aware of. The vast majority of jobs out there do not require a degree and if you are going to college just so you can say that I graduated from this college of that college than you are really making yourself an injustice. I'm not against intellectualism and I'm not here to say that colleges are just a waist of money, I'm just saying that the whole notion of a four-year college degree is just not practical for anyone. Remember that Mark Zuckerberg never graduated college, and Sean Parker never even went to college proving that succes and education are not necessarily linked.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lack of Interest

Procrastination and a lack of interest are not the same. Suppose you're not interested in painting flowers on your picket fence or in welding metal plates for a living.  By avoiding these activities, you lose nothing of value to you. On the other hand, put off priority responsibilities because of a lack of interest in the process, and this can have a boomerang effect. Beating procrastination on the small stuffYou tell yourself, "I'm not interested."  Okay, tell that to a hearing officer if you decide you are not interested in paying the fine for  a speeding ticket. You have a low interest in filling out tax forms.  College applications may be a pain to do and this type of discomfort  holds no interest for you. However, by giving the admissions people what they want, you can get what you want, which is your letter of acceptance.  Your roof leaks. A storm is heading your way. You have little interest in going through the paces of repairing the roof. You have less interest in incurring the greater expense of paying for extensive water damage. You do what you have little interest in doing to support a higher order enlightened interest. Some activities have a lack of interest written all over them. Changing your baby's diaper is an example. However, you may have a greater interest, which is to keep your baby healthy. Throughout your life, you'll do many uninteresting things. Learning to read may be frustrating and uninteresting. Yet, reading will later prove useful, interesting, and entertaining. Motivation for doing something uninteresting doesn't have to be a precondition for action.  Your enlightened interest may be to achieve a desired outcome or to avoid a negative one. Remember you don't need to be interested in a priority to do it.


Friday, September 30, 2011

YOU CAN make it through this moment.

This is not a real post I just wanted to share this video with all the readers. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Importance of Setting Goals

"Not all who wander are lost," they say, but for the great majority of us, having a road map for the future is a key element to well-being and success, however we choose to define it. This means setting goals for ourselves, and finding ways to achieve them. If you're a wanderer, it might be time to realize the boundless utility of setting goals.While it's not a good idea to try to change everything at once, you can set goals in virtually any domain of your life, from your wardrobe to your church to your workplace.

Of course, a thousand mile journey starts with the first small step. And whether we're embarking on the long trek of a mid-life career switch or the walk to the bedroom to finally organize that closet, it can be hard to gather up the motivation to make that initial step. While setting goals is in itself motivating, sometimes it's just not enough. Here are some tried-and-true ways you can begin to move toward achieving your goals, and maintain resolve when the going gets rough.

1. Put your goals in writing.
The act of writing down what you are going to do is a strong motivator. Writing down goals prevents you from leaving your goals vague. Be specific. Use action verbs. Let your goals have measurable outcomes. Specify completion dates. Also record what your reward will be for achieving the goal. Make a contract with yourself, then read it each morning and night. This will help you to be more committed your goal as each day passes. And while you've got the pen in your hand...

2. Make a list of obstacles.
Think of everything that might stand in your way. Then decide what you can do about each obstacle. Design a plan to reduce the influence of each obstacle and increase the chances that you will be successful in reaching your goal.

3. List the benefits of achieving your goal.
Knowing exactly what you will gain from reaching your goal is a strong motivator. Keeping my checkbook balanced will give me more spending money on the weekends. Walking a mile every morning will help me stay focused at work.

4. Identify subgoals.
Break down complicated plans into manageable chunks. Be specific about what has to be accomplished. Decide what you are going to do, and when. Make sure each step is challenging but achievable, and that you have a complete plan of action. Then write it on your calendar and review it regularly.

5. Learn what you need to learn.
If information or skill is keeping you from achieving your goals, determine ways to fill in the gaps, and build this into your action plan. Be willing to study and work hard to reach your goals. Think about how much time and effort will be required, and ask yourself whether you are really willing and able to do what is necessary. It is better to adjust your goals or your timetable than to proceed with a plan that is unrealistic.

6. Enlist the help of others.
Find someone, a coworker or friend, with whom you share a common goal. Get someone to go to the gym with you, or to quit smoking with you, or to share healthy meals with you. A partner can help you stay committed and motivated. Look for role models, people who have already achieved the goals you seek to reach. Ask them for advice and suggestions. Find how they got where they are, and incorporate what you learn into your plan.

7. Visualize yourself having achieved each of your goals.
The more real you can make your visualization, the better. Find a quiet place, visualize, write down your experiences afterward. Go through magazines and cut out pictures that represent your goal, then put them around the house. Provide constant reminders to yourself about what you're working towards. Describe your ideal life in the future. Write a few paragraphs describing what you have accomplished, and how your life is better as a result. Use the present tense as if it is happening right here, right now. This is another way of making your vision real.

8. Get organized.
When you are prepared and organized, you will feel better about your ability to reach your goals. Having information scattered in too many places makes you feel out of control and undermines motivation. Set up a filing system, set aside your workout clothes.

9. Reward yourself each step of the way.
Let yourself feel good about progress you've made. Treat yourself to rewards that will give you a lift as you accomplish each subgoal on your road to success.

It's simply a fact: when people have goals to guide them, they are happier and achieve more than they would without having them. It's a brain thing. Achieving a goal you've set produces dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure. Reciprocally, dopamine activates neural circuitry that makes you eager to pursue new challenges.Goals provide focus. With no guiding vision or plan, people tend to drift. Goals provide a measuring stick for progress. Goals enhance productivity. They bolster self-esteem. And most of all, goals increase commitment, so you're more likely to achieve whatever you set out to conquer.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How to never miss a deadline!

          I haven't updated this blog as often as I used to this week because I have been pretty busy with work. As a croupier you don't work every night and you don't even have a stable job, everything depends on whether the casino need employees. I've worked five days in the past week, and I've dealt great hands too! I'm just really glad that this week was so great because I had weeks where I worked only 1 day a week. To say it all actually, even though I don't work much, the times I do, I get paid pretty well and the winning players at the tables always leave good tips. Anyway, enough of that. As you might have understood from the title of this post, today's post is going to be about missing deadlines and how we can avoid missing them.
          Most of people miss deadlines because of procrastinating too much. In high-school I was a hardcore procrastinator, I was missing every deadline because of my procrastination, It had gotten to the point where I did not have anymore excuses to tell to the teachers in order to buy me some more time. Then I started realizing that something had to be done, and I started thinking about thing that I could do in order for me to never miss a deadline again.

Here are three simple things that would help me don't miss my deadlines:

1. I wrote down everything I had to get done. Just the fact of having them written down helped me me take seriously everything the things I had to do.

2. I would tell everyone I know that I had already started doing it or sometimes that I already finished it. I find pressure to be a great motivator, and if you choose to tell these "lies" to people that you don't want to disappoint the pressure will be even greater that way you will be sure to not miss that deadline.

3. If you know you got time before getting your job done, then start doing it little by little. Don't procrastinate into thinking that "you got time". Trust me, having your work half done will motivate you to finish it and a slowly planned and well thought work is much better than one done in a hurry.

          As you can see not meeting deadlines has a lot to do with procrastination, and as an ex student I can say that the habit of procrastination is the worst habit one can take. I hope this tips helped you and always remember that self discipline is the key to everything.



Saturday, September 10, 2011

Workout Motivation for Beginners

As I discovered, about 4 moths ago, that in order to feel good and proud about myself I had to do something social, intellectual, physical and work involving everyday I started doing so bit by bit and day by day. Only 3 weeks after I found the "requirements for happiness" (that's how I will reefer to them) I started the last bit that I was missing and that was the physical part. I actually said to myself to that I was going to start "the next Monday" but the lazy guy inside of me kept telling me to not not do it. I kept finding stupid excuses like, "I should probably wait until I buy those dumbbells" or "I'm tired today, I don't think I'm going to be able to finish the workout". For a person that doesn't workout these excuses might seem legitimate but once you start looking at things from a different prospective then you realize that that you actually lying to yourself which is the most humiliating thing that you can do to yourself.

          The biggest obstacle that I would find was tiredness. So I got a sheet of paper and I started writing down why I deserved that big meal or why I deserved watching TV or browsing the internet after work. On the back of that sheet I wrote what were all of the benefits that were going to come if I started working out. When I finished I realized that the reasons to not workout were a fewer than the benefits that would come if I started working out. This was one of my biggest motivation and I will keep being until I get the body that I want. Another big motivation for me was my grandfather who passed away because of his obesity problems, he was only 50 years old when he passed. Just thinking about the fact that I was making the same mistakes that my grandfather did, and I wasn't going to be able to see my grandchildren like he did, made me realize that I really needed to change and I needed to do it as soon as possible.

          Anyway, now all that all the initial struggle is gone I can't wait to workout and the more I workout the more I feel better about myself. As you might have already understood the change is not only physical but it's psychological too. Your start feeling better about yourself, your self esteem goes up, you will start having more social skills and you insecurities will go away. There is no reason why you shouldn't do it, you've got nothing to lose after all. I can spend here hours and hours trying to motivate you but remember in this life you've got one thing and one thing only and that is self discipline. You are your biggest motivation, make yourself and your life the best show that people have ever seen. Find you motivation, set a goal and achieve it. That is all folks if you wanna start working out today here is a link that will teach you the basics. I will leave you with a video that I watch every day before hitting the gym.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Thoughts on life...

I've never been the kind of kid that studied. I've never felt the need to study maybe because all I was learning was a bunch of crap that I did not care about, maybe because I considered myself too smart for what I was studying; either way I never fit in with all the "good" kids of my town. When I was in High School every single time I woke up to go to school I felt like my day was going to be so unproductive and I have this thing that if I don't do something productive by the end of the day I start feeling "guilty" and I'll keep that depression-type felling for the whole night. Just lately I've discovered that if I do something physical, intellectual, social and work involving I feel balanced by the end of the day. Getting back to the topic, I kept living my life like a parasite, just because my parents were telling me to and because they approved of it. If it was up to me I would have never gone to college, even though I was studying stuff that I cared. I felt like my time was being wasted because those were facts that I could have learned just with a Google search. When I dropped out of college and got a job at a clothing shop in Washington I realized that I had been going through so much pain for nothing. School wasn't for me and it will never be. All the schools go around saying that they "prepare us for our future" when in reality they are just turning us into buckets filled with not useful knowledge. All they ever teach us about is humanistic concepts that wont turn into nothing. They are making us cultured people but they are not teaching me how to use it in order to "survive". What I mean by survive is make money, because at the end of the day what matters is money and everything we learn or know must turn into money, it's sad but it's true. So getting back to the original point (I know I ramble a lot) all I ever learned in school was notions that I've never used in my life. As I am laying here on my chaise long with a beautiful view of the Colosseum I am proud of myself for not being the typical American guy who goes on a hike on the weekend with his family. I broke the schemes, I was able to forget everything that was ever taught to me and I educated myself according to my schemes. I left everything I had in the US to start a new life and I have to say that I was worth it. I hope this inspires someone as just thinking about how much I have accomplished in the past year keeps motivating me.

If nothing motivates you, try this.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

The story of how I moved to Europe - Part 4

I saw two police officers at the hotels reception. My heart was beating very fast, I was shaking from top to bottom, I was sweating like never before. Just the thought of that moment brings back the most uncomfortable feeling I have ever felt. I walked quickly to the elevator, ran to my room and hid all the money that I had in the bathroom's sink, I lied in my bed and hoped to fall asleep. I heard someone knocking on my door, I pretended to be asleep. It was the police, they kept knocking. I decided to open up and I acted as if I just woke up, I was scare shitless. They had found my social security card and they had been looking for me this whole time. It felt like a big stone was just remove from my back. Those were the most scary moments of my life. I hardly fell asleep that night, I kept struggling with the sense of guilt and fear that kept harassing me for the last couple of days. The next morning I woke up later in the afternoon and I decided to go look for a job. I didn't find a job but what I found was a croupier school. Considered my love for casino games and gambling I decided to enroll. On my way back to the hotel I noticed that a bar near the Colosseum was hiring a waiter so I went for that too. See, in Italy you don't have to apply for the job first and then wait for the response, if you ask for the job and the owner of the bar decides that you are able to do the job, you get the job at the moment. I was finally starting to feel like my life was becoming balanced. The owner of the bar offered me a bed at his place in return for some English lessons. His name was Marco and that man is as dear to me as my father is. To be continued

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The story of how I moved to Europe - Part 3

After waking up I felt better, my knees weren't shaking anymore, my mind was more relaxed, and I was slowly coming back to normality. I hit the hotel's gym for a half hour and had a good shower: I was ready to begin my "new life" if so we can call it. I had about € 450 in my pocket and I headed out searching for something to do, I wasn't sure as to what I was searching for but I knew that staying closed in my hotel room wouldn't do me any good. My Italian was poor but I managed to order a coffee and a croissant in this very crowded bar. I had never seen one like it before, people coming in and out like ants and the barman shouting across the bar to his assistant. I starting to feel strange since I wasn't use to having my personal space invaded so many times in such a short period of time, but I had to adapt, after all this is what I wanted right? I finished my breakfast quickly I headed out where a couple of old men where playing cards. They were playing 5 card draw poker. That's it I sat down and started playing, hand, after hand, after hand, I was on a winning streak. The luck must have been on my side that day since every time I play poker I seem to not get a hand right. Anyway, being around € 200 up I decided to say goodbye to my friends. I had managed to earn some money that day but obviously this couldn't go on much longer. From there I decided to get back to my hotel room and order some food in my room, when the inevitable happened. To be continued...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The story of how I moved to Europe - Part 2

All right! So, I'm back and I'll just keep writing about my journey. Once arrived at the airport of Fiumicino in Rome I was tired, hungry and broke. All I had was a couple of dollars and with those money I decided to buy a sandwich at the airport. I was happy though, I thought "did it, I am in Rome, the city I have been wondering about for the last couple of months" but I didn't have any money to enjoy all this beauty. I needed money, and I needed them fast, when a glimpse of my childhood memory came back to me. I remembered how fun it was to pickpocket my grandfather and to watch his surprised face when I returned his wallet back. Yeah, you guessed it, I started pick-pocketing people. I would only target man since they were the easiest marks. I remember how easy it was stealing wallets from young guys who wore baggy jeans, my whole hand could slip in that back pocket and he would even notice a thing. I spent my first hour in Rome hustling people, not a good start, huh? Finally I had enough money to get a Taxi to "Piazza di Spagna" which is one of the  most crowded places in Rome. Then I hustled some more. When suddenly my guilty conscience took over. I probably spent 3 hours in this park nearby just thinking of how many days I ruined. I decided to live with that. I found a cheap hotel and I spent the night there. To be continued....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The story of how I moved to Europe - Part 1

 I have to say that the best thing that ever happened to me was moving to Europe, Italy precisely. I love this country and I love the whole European "air" that I breath. While I was living in Washington my life was so boring, I'd spend my free time in front of my computer screen just browsing for absolutely nothing. My job was so boring that it got to the point where I fired myself and lived off of the money I spared. Long story short, I was unsatisfied with my life. I had only 1200 bucks left and I decided to buy my ticket to Italy with those money. Yeah you probably guessed it, I spent all my money on the plane ticket. When I came here I had nothing. But I planned out everything, my new life was going to begin now, and I was not going to screw up again. I mean, I had a lot of time to think and plan everything in minor details. But now it's 2am here and I'm felling kind of sleepy. I will continue in the next blog post. Ciao!