*When I was a kid, I’d sit and watch my grandmother while she sat and watched the microwave, marveling at its ability to heat a cold cup of coffee in one minute — WHILE THE INSIDE OF THE OVEN REMAINED COOL TO THE TOUCH, she’d say. “Ma” would tell stories of being a kid in rural Illinois and heating things up over a fire while I thought “What kinda prehistoric world was THAT?” and I’d watch movies like Back To The Future II depict what “the future” would look like.
While the Detroit manufacturer has been testing related technologies for about 10 years, their new testing program reflects their interest in moving self-driving cars from research to advanced engineering. Continue reading →
*The last time I shopped at a RadioShack I was looking for batteries and headphones. For my Sony Walkman. That played cassette tapes.
I didn’t even know they were still around until they filed for bankruptcy protection in February and closed more than half of their stores. I thought they were going the way of Circuit City (remember them?), and didn’t think they’d make it to ring in the holidays this year.
I’m quite conflicted about Black Friday, Thanksgiving and the notion that stores shouldn’t conduct business on the holiday, in order to preserve a romantic notion of tradition and time spent with family.
*And the innovations just keep on coming. And here you thought vending machines were only for those tasty snacks. Betcha’ never, eva…eva…thought you’d have an opportunity to buy a vehicle from one.
Well this, my dears, is now a reality.
A company called Carvana, based in Atlanta, has only been around for two-and-a-half years, but they are making a lot of noise because of their interesting business practice. For example: their car delivery service allows customers to purchase a vehicle online, and then its delivered to their doorstep for a seven-day, no questions asked, test drive.
I’m going to just give y’all a moment to digest that, K?
The statistics alone should startle you into submission. Whether you are a driver, spouse, parent, grandparent, or friend – texting while driving, no matter how good you think you are at it, or how lucky you have been — is equivalent to vehicular suicide just biding its time.
In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in auto accidents that involved a distracted driver. This compared to 3,360 deaths in 2011*.
And those are the ones who died. Not the 421,000 people who were injured – a 9% increase from the 387,000 people injured in 2011.
Still need convincing? Take a look at some more statistics*:
More than 50 percent of teens admit to texting while driving
More than 3,000 teens die each year in crashes caused by texting while driving
In 2011, nearly one in five crashes (17%) where someone was injured involved distracted driving.
In December 2012, more than 171 billion text messages were sent or received in the United States alone.
“Cell phones are a distraction and could be a contributing factor in this accident,” Ontario County Sheriff Phillip Povero said about the teen car crash that killed five cheerleaders in western New York, as they went out to celebrate their graduation last year.
Cell phone records had shown that a text message was sent from the phone belonging to the driver and a response was sent to her phone thirty-eight seconds before someone called 911 to report the accident that killed her and her friends.
And with so many new and inexperienced drivers on the road each year, this is especially troubling.
*We’ve seen ’em a million times. An act done in a seemingly authentic setting; something that touches the heart, blows the mind, shakes the core of our very being — goes viral. And once something gets leaked online it lives forever.
Even if it was a lie.
What!? You mean that wasn’t …isn’t Bruce Lee nunchuckin’?
—Bruce Lee Ping-Pong
• What people think it is: Archival footage of kung-fu master Bruce Lee playing ping-pong with nunchucks
• What it really is: An ad for the Nokia N96 Bruce Lee Limited Edition
• Agency behind it: JWT Beijing
• Year created: 2008
• Views so far: 17.6 million on main YouTube clip
Here’s the video:
The Backstory: JWT Singapore created this viral masterpiece using a Bruce Lee look-alike, deceptively grainy visuals and some digital trickery. It was for a limited-edition Bruce Lee version of Nokia’s N96 phone. An original 10-second teaser featured only the fake footage with no mention of a brand, and it tallied more than 700,000 views in the first 24 hours. Nokia followed up soon with the full video and product reveal. To this day, many share the supposed nunchuck footage as real, and given Lee’s limitless talents, that’s not too hard to believe.
—Amazing Ball Catch by Girl
You’re kidding. I JUST saw this one for the first time and it blew my mind!
• What people think it is: An impressive wall-crawling catch from a minor-league baseball ball girl
• What it really is: An ad for Gatorade
• Agency behind it: Element 79
• Year created: 2008
• Views so far: 6.1 million on main YouTube clip
Here’s the video:
The Backstory: Even the client was reported surprised that this video had gone viral. They expected it to be shelved after its creative responsibilities with Gatorade was over. But Element 79’s viral clip was leaked online, immediately blew up and remains a frequently passed around clip. Shot during and after a real game between the Fresno Grizzlies and Tacoma Rainiers, the ad used a simple wire-and-harness rig to create the effect of the ball girl climbing the wall. According to Snopes, the once-shelved ad ended up running during the MLB All Star Game in July 2008.
• What people think it is: Slow-build news footage of a crash-proof motorcycle prototype
• What it really is: A U.K. road-safety ad for Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership
• Agency behind it: ST16
• Year created: 2010
• View so far: 3.2 million on main YouTube clip
Here’s the video:
The Backstory : It’s low-budget and a bit cheesy, but for some reason that only makes this regional motorcycle-safety video more effective. The message, that technology only goes so far when it comes to avoiding disaster on the road, is one with universal appeal, and everyone loves a good (albeit grim) fail moment. The creators considered the video a success, largely because of how much discussion it sparked on motorcycle forums.
With our ever-increasing affection for mobile “phones” — and they ARE so much more than phones now, aren’t they? — a new verb has arisen: “phubbing.” It’s been defined as the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention to the person you’re with.
I’ve been there. On both sides of that muther phubber. But increasingly, both sides are driving me nuts. And I’m not alone — stopphubbing.com has my back.
The site offers posters for free download, some of which would be great for restaurants, coffee shops and the like. They feature messages like “While you finish updating your status, we’ll gladly serve the polite person behind you” and “Attention Phubbers: No Tweeting, No Facebook, No Instagram, No Foursquare, No Sexting. Respect the food, the music and the company you’re in.” Continue reading →
*And I wonder why I have so much trouble sleeping. Not that you care, but the picture above might give you a clue. If you’re anything like me, you go to bed when you can no longer keep your eyes open. Seriously, you can hardly finish watching the movie because you are practically nodding. I know I’ve missed significant parts of some movies or TV shows I’ve recorded because during the last 15 minutes I managed to fall asleep on and off during commercials. So what do you do? Repeat after me: I finally decide to “stop and save.” Cut off the TV. And go to bed. But two hours later, I’m wide awake. WTF?
Now you’re going to find out exactly why that is.
You’ve gotten into some pretty bad habits doing certain things too close to bedtime. And it is those things that is redirecting your brain from its time to go nite-nite to major activity mode.
Michael Grandner, PhD, a psychiatry instructor and member of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania says, “When people suffer from insomnia or other sleep issues, it’s often because of something they’re doing, probably unintentionally, when they should be preparing for rest.”
So rest is something we have to PREPARE for?
Yes it is.
So if you want to get some decent shuteye at night, here is 5 MAJOR things you might want to avoid.
That last glass of wine for one.
“Alcohol tricks you into thinking you will sleep better, because it often makes you drowsy and makes it easier to fall asleep,” according to Dr. Rosenberg. “But as your body begins to metabolize the alcohol, REM sleep, the period where our sleep is most restorative, is reduced.” Impaired REM sleep often leads to waking up tired and unable to concentrate, he adds. And a University of Missouri study done in 2014 points out that alcohol is a diuretic and may make you have to go to the bathroom throughout the night. The good doctor advises: For most people, it’s okay to have a drink or two with dinner, but skip the nightcap or the glass of wine on the couch right before bed.