Monday, July 29, 2013

Questionable But Amusing Advice

What The Location Of Your Mess Says About You (And How To Fix It)
(By ShelterPop Staff, AOL website, Aug 15th 2011)

 We've learned what a mess says about you, but have you considered the impact of where that mess is located? Author and environmental psychologist Sally Augustin, PhD, sheds some light on this surprising revelation. (And yes, we've learned lots from this!)

Mess location: The entryway

Chances are you are: Extroverted

"A mess in an entryway that contains personalizing items [think knick-knacks, photos, art, etc.] communicates a need to clearly and immediately establish information about themselves to their visitor," Augustin says. "People with this sort of mess are also apt to be extroverted and interested in establishing a bond with visitors. Personalizing items also establish territory."

What to do about it: Extroversion isn't a bad trait! But have you been welcoming so many people in your home that you don't have time to tend to your own needs? Then it's time to put "you" on your calendar. Make it a habit to clear up clothes, jackets, and other "drop off" items that you leave by the door when you get home and for when you are leaving. As much as you enjoy welcoming guests into your own home, your entryway should be equally welcoming upon visitor arrivals.

Mess location: The living room

Chances are you are: Tense

"Cluttered spaces...generate tension for humans because our eyes continually review our environment. With lots of stuff around, that process becomes more arduous. In addition, since our possessions are extensions of us, lack of care for them could also indicate, potentially, a lack of self respect-but it may also indicate a toddler is present, money is in short supply, or other similar things."

What to do about it: Since the living room area tends to be the cluster zone for your family, it's all a matter of finding space to hide the clutter. Utilize decorative storage bins and storage ottomans. Seeing a messy area will induce more stress and tension, so take that extra minute to keep things in allotted places. Then, recover from the visual tension by closing your eyes and listening to music.

Mess location: The dining room

Chances are you are: Avoidant/Shy

"A mess can indicate that the space-owner wants to avoid this area, which they might want to do for a number of reasons-from negative experiences in dining rooms at an earlier time in their life (like getting grilled at the table when young about their day in school), to a more current issue, such as being on a perennial diet."

What to do about it: It's time to bring in the storage benches...and work on reconnecting with friends. It doesn't have to be formal entertaining-a simple cup of coffee will do. Remember, avoiding the mess won't help your mind relax and overcoming shyness means sitting well in your own skin, so making sure that the dining table surface is cleared off and that non-dining related items--such as papers, magazines, mail, and the random pile of jackets--are not taking up space in the dining room will also help make tackling the mess, and life, easier.

Mess location: The kitchen

Chances are you are: Adventurous

"Messes in this space that are due to things like unusual items...think rarely-used spices...or a cookbook for varying cuisines indicates openness to new experiences."

What to do about it: Capitalizing on your interest in all things new and exciting is as simple as making sure spices and cookbooks are easily accessible. For the latter, use a step-style spice rack, which ensures that everything you need is in sight and in reach. And why not bring in a small bookshelf to store your culinary guides?

Mess location: The bedroom...or bathroom

Chances are you are: Feeling insecure

"Bedrooms and bathrooms are the inner sanctums of our lives, the spaces where, to the extent they are private, we are most free to express who we really are. Therefore, messes composed of personalizing items here indicate a need by the people who control the space to remind themselves of who they are as a person."

What to do about it: It's hard to feel secure when the last place you see before going to sleep (and the first thing you see in the morning) is a mess of magazines, books and clothes. Conversely, if grooming products and extra bathroom supplies are stumbling blocks in the morning, you won't leave the house feeling ready to tackle the world. For the bedroom, make use of under-bed storage with sliding storage containers or boxes. Limit books or magazines to one per person, then relocate the rest to a bookshelf in another area in your home. Or better yet, donate them. For the bathroom, throw out all the old cosmetics you never use and consider storing surplus supplies in a bathroom étagère that is sized to fit right where the toilet is.

What Your Handwriting Says About You
(By N. Bhatta,, Sep 14th 2009)

Of course, what you write is more important than how you write it, but arguably one's handwriting can be considered a window into the soul –or at least one's job satisfaction. Handwriting is an everyday skill that we use to convey thoughts and ideas, and studies show that there could be more to your scribbling than meets the eye. Whether you are handing in a report with notes in the margin or leaving a simple note for your colleague, your handwriting may contain important clues about your state of mind and your personality. Use these tips to analyze how your pen strokes might be declaring your persona to the people around you. Who knows? You might find your John Hancock telling you that you need to make a few changes to your modus operandi!

Handwriting Style: Small Script.

What it may say about you: If your writing is on the small side, you might be coming across as introverted and socially reclusive. However, small scripters are also known to be very detail oriented and methodical. If this sounds like you, perhaps you should look into a position where research is an important aspect of the job, like newspaper journalism or pharmaceuticals. You just might find that you have a knack for digging through sources to find the right information and your little letters will help you to squeeze a lot of information into a small space.

Handwriting Style: Large Letters.
What it may say about you: People who write in huge script are often displaying their large personality and extremely social nature on paper. Do you often find yourself being the life of the party? When it comes to jobs where working in teams is important, like in public relations or the hospitality industry, this quality will often be appreciated by your peers. Just make sure you're not so focused on being the center of attention that you miss out on what your colleagues have to say. Loner jobs aren't ideal for you, and you're better off in a lively environment where there is a good amount of face to face interaction.

Handwriting Style: Downward-slanting letters.
What it may say about you: If your letters lean down, this may sometimes appear as though your words are connected to pessimism and an unpleasant disposition. Only you can know whether or not you're a grumpy employee, and even if you're in a troubled industry like real estate, if you notice that your "p"s and "q"s are looking a little droopy, you might want to observe your interactions with colleagues to see how your presence is being received.

Handwriting Style: Upward-slanting letters.
What it may say about you: Whatever you're writing, it makes others feel like things are looking up! Everyone in an office appreciates the energy that an optimist brings to the workplace, and if your writing slants upwards there is a chance that you are among the most desirable of officemates. An upward slanted style can also be indicative of honesty and a strong will to succeed, and those qualities will serve you well in any field of activity, but especially in the field of training and at not for profit organizations.

Handwriting Style: Dark, bold strokes.
What it may say about you: Those who use a heavy hand and a good amount of pressure when writing are often thought to be people who are not afraid of commitment. Being able to take on commitment and owning the space (and the pages!) around you is certainly a positive attribute, especially in a field like consulting or banking. However, if your handwriting shows excessive pressure, then it might be a sign of aggression and a quick temper. In addition, you could be causing unnecessary physical stress to your hand and wrist.

Handwriting Style: Faint, light strokes.
What it may say about you: Most of the time, writing without too much pressure on the page displays an easy going nature and a level of sensitivity towards others a great trait in multifaceted industries like travel. But write too lightly and you run the risk of showing no confidence or liveliness at all, and nobody wants to hire an employee who doesn't have at least a little pep in their step and ownership of their words!

Handwriting Style: Squished words and cramped sentences.
What it may say about you: The way your words bunch together can often be a direct translation to how you create your personal relationships. If you write with little or no space between words, you may be a person who likes little or no space when it comes to people. The positive aspect of this could be that you are a social person who enjoys the company of others, which works wonders in an educational career or in recreation. However, leaving too little space between you and your colleagues might lead some to think of you as intrusive, so be sure to find a balance.

Handwriting Style: Words and sentences that are extremely spaced out.
What is may say about you: If you prefer to be alone or feel the need to have your own space at all times, look to see if your written words and letters reflect this by being far away from one another. Everyone needs space from time to time, but make sure that you are not sending yourself and your message to outer space while everyone else is trying to get work done as a close-knit team. Being a top level employee means having to work in groups on occasion, even if your career is an isolated one like those in computer software and hardware, so if you have tendencies towards creating distance, then you might need to make an extra effort to reach out to your colleagues.

A Guy’s Guide To Haberdashery
(By Curmudgeon, posted on Washington’s AchenBlog, July 15, 2011)

The other day it occurred to me there needs to be a set of formal rules and regulations for guys to follow when shopping for clothes. (Such a guide might be helpful to women, too, so they know what’s going through a guy’s brain, whichever organ may be processing his particular thought patterns at that moment.)  John Molloy’s old classic Dress for Success had a lot to recommend it, but John left a few things out.   Herewith, then, an updated and more inclusive Guy’s Guide to Clothes Shopping:

1) Shop in stores that have masculine, guy-sounding names, such as Sears, Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer, Larry’s Haberdashery, the Big-and-Tall Shop, the Short-and-Squat Spot (where I do most of my shopping), and places like that. Be wary of places with names such as “Banana Republic” and “Britches” unless you are a confirmed metrosexual, and any other place with a cutsey pun in the name (“Shirts Happen,” “Ascots for Glasshats,” etc.).  Unless you have two first names like Joe Bob, Billy Tom, Bobby Joe, Jimmy Jack, Joe Don, Don Joe, etc., NEVER shop in any store that has “-Mart” as part of its name.

Stores with names containing things like “Ralph,” “Tommy,” “Giorgio,” are trickier. Some are okay in a pinch, some are not (“Yves” is a no-no, as are any other French names). First, have lots of money. Second, if any of the clothes shown in the window are pastels or have shades with names like “periwinkle,” “fuscia,” “taupe,” etc., stay away. If the window mannequins show male models with long scarves draped around their necks, run like a bandit. 

2) Colors. For some men, colors can be tricky and a source of fashion error, but there is no reason for this to be so difficult. Consult any color wheel and make note of the primary and secondary colors. If the color doesn’t fall on this color wheel, or can’t be found in a box of no more than 16 Milton Bradley crayons, forget it; it is a high-risk color, and probably requires that the item be “matched” (technical jargon phrase “color-coordinated”) with some other item. This is nothing but a source of vexation, and so best avoided.  There is a rumor to the effect that some colors on the color wheel are said to “clash” with the colors directly opposite them on the wheel. I don’t know what this means; you can safely ignore such a silly theory. There is nothing wrong with orange socks and a purple shirt, so far as I’m aware. 

White, black, tan and brown aren’t on the wheel, but are also okay colors. Camouflage is not a color.  Black dress shirts are fine if you are Italian, a member of the Russian Mob, or going to a reunion of your old World War II S.S. battalion. Black dress shirts are always worn with a necktie of a solid color, which can include black and also black. (However, blood-red neckties can be useful for hiding stains, if you know what I mean.)

3) If you live west of the San Andreas Fault or south of the Miami Causeway, it is okay to wear an Armani suit over a T-shirt and/or to roll up the sleeves of said Armani suit. If you live anywhere else, it is not even permissible to own an Armani suit, much less roll the sleeves up. (Actually, it IS permissible to own an Armani suit; however, anyone who would do so isn’t likely to be reading this kit anyhow, so the point is moot.)

 4) Belts: Belts come in a wide variety of colors and materials: brown, black, and leather. Anything else is a fashion faux pas.  (Can somebody explain to me why the championship belt awarded to the winner of the World Wrestling Federation looks like something Liberace designed for Elton John? I could never quite figure that one out. But I digress.)

5) Suspenders: Mork from Ork and topless dancers at the Choo-Choo Lounge can wear them; you can’t. (Major exception: weddings.) Deal with it.

6) Bow ties: See No. 5, above.

7) Shoes: Shoes (ordinary everyday shoes, anyway) come in a wide variety of colors and materials: brown, black, and leather. They come in two styles: with laces, and without. Anything else is a fashion faux pas. Running shoes (formerly known as “sneakers”) come in a wide variety of colors and materials: white, with white laces. They used to come in two colors, black (high-tops) and white (high-tops and low-tops), but not any more. Now they come in a zillion patterns and styles, and some even light up when you bounce on them. If you pay more than $30 for a pair at any place except Pick-and-Pay, you are an idiot.

If your running shoes have little pinky slots for each toe, why then you are just adorable. Only you can decide exactly how adorable you wish to be. Personally, I am already way too adorable for my own good, and don’t need individual pinky sneakers to enhance my natural adorabullishness. Your mileage may vary (though I doubt it).  If you live west of the Mississippi and east of the San Andreas Fault only then can you wear cowboy boots, unless you are younger than eight years old or you are a topless dancer at the Choo-Choo Lounge.

 8) Socks: Socks come in a wide variety of colors: black, and also white. Black socks go with shoes. White socks go with sneakers.  Anything else is a fashion faux pas. See, wasn’t that easy?  If you live within 20 miles of a major body of water (i.e., has salt in it or is freshwater but has the word “Great” as part of its category) you may wear boat shows WITHOUT socks. In fact, if you wear boat shoes at any time, you may dispense with socks at any time, even in the dead of winter in ice-bound Point Barrow.  (If you are in the boating industry, then you already know there is one, and only one, acceptable uniform: Topsiders; no socks; chinos; white, short-sleeve, button-down Oxford shirt, blue hopsack blazer, optional “rep” tie. When I was a yacht broker and sold the Mayflower to the Pilgrims I was wearing Topsiders, no socks, chinos, a blue blazer, and a powdered wig.)

9) T-Shirts: T-shirts come in two kinds: white, and any possible flaming combination of psychedelic colors as long as it features the name and logo of a major rock band’s tour. (The older the tour, the better, as long as you don’t go further back than Rosemary Clooney.  A more recent, contemporaneous tour is acceptable, but Justin Bieber is off limits.)  Hope this helps some of you guys who are a bit sartorially challenged.

8 Ways To Stop An Alien Invasion (In The Movies)
(By Todd Gilchrist, AOL/MovieFone site, Nov 1st 2010)

In the new film 'Skyline,' a mysterious alien race descends upon various cities across the globe and draws humans towards their spacecrafts, presumably for nefarious purposes. But while many of these people, perhaps curious about the secrets of extraterrestrial life that lurk inside, venture eagerly towards the ships' welcoming blue glow, our mothers taught us to be suspicious of vehicles, passersby and especially otherworldly creatures that we don't know.

As such, we felt it only appropriate to assemble a list of ways to stop an alien invasion. Unfortunately, having never encountered an alien in real life, we weren't really sure where to start; with all of these batteries, loaves of bread and bottles of potable water taking up space in our living room, our house seems like more of a makeshift ark than a refuge from tentacled creatures hell-bent on conducting anal probes.

And so it seemed appropriate to go straight to the best source of information available (outside of Wikipedia, of course): Hollywood movies. As it is well-known that Hollywood movie-makers always strive for factual accuracy in all of their efforts, as long as you, the reader, adhere to our list of alien thwarters, you can rest easy knowing that you'll always have the upper hand when and if they choose to come a-probin'.

1. Fire -- 'Aliens' (1986)

Perhaps this is the most obvious of our proposed defenses, but there's no doubt that if you are attacked by a black, phallic-looking monster with two mouths and acid for blood, fire will be the best way to discourage said monster from trying to turn your head into a jack-o-lantern.

2. Water -- 'Signs' (2002), 'Alien Nation' (1988)

Since two thirds of Earth is covered with the chemical combination of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, it stands to reason that our planet might not be the best destination for aliens to choose for their flagship invasion. But it turns out that if you're not already located near a large body of water, it's probably a good idea to fill up all of your glassware with the stuff should an extraterrestrial stage a home invasion in addition to its planetary one. (It also helps if a member of your family is a disgraced baseball slugger looking for some kind of redemption.)

3. Refrigeration -- 'The Blob' (1958)

If fire and water don't get the job done and your attacker continues its sluglike advances, hole up in a nearby walk-in freezer. Other applications of cold to alien body parts can be administered via fire extinguishers, which will render a creature immobile just long enough for you to bring in a helicopter and drop off its frozen carcass in the middle of the Arctic Circle.

4. A Cold -- 'War of the Worlds' (1953)

In another somewhat stunning lack of foresight, it turns out that quite a few alien attackers are susceptible to many of the earthbound viruses carried in human germs, most notably in the form of the common cold. This of course means that the best place to put an alien is probably in an elementary school or a day care center. But if your little ones aren't ready to fend off a flailing space monster, just make sure that the one knocking down your door is at some point within sneezing distance.

5. Slim Whitman -- 'Mars Attacks' (1996)

Tim Burton's affection for kitschy music typically makes for some memorable scenes, especially when Tom Jones is involved. But the director was really on to something when he uncovered the secret truth that Slim Whitman's yodeling records are recorded on the same frequency that makes alien heads explode. The added benefit of this defense is that while keeping aliens at bay, you get to enjoy some really, really impressive yodeling – which is kind of like a victory in itself.

6. A Macintosh computer -- 'Independence Day' (1996)

As unlikely as it seems, it turns out that Steve Jobs was able to make Apple software a standard operating system for all extraterrestrial vehicles, which means that if you have a MacBook or other type of Apple computer, you should be able to upload a computer virus that will stop virtually any spacecraft, even if it's the mothership of an entire alien race. Of course, unless you for some reason understandably keep computer viruses on hand for just such an occasion, you'll need to be proficient in computer programming -- but if you're a fledgling hacker, please at least spare the rest of humanity the Nigerian email offer you'll be sending them. (We learned our lesson last time, and don't need the temptation again.)

7. A Small Nuclear Explosion -- 'Predator' (1987)

We realize that not everyone is going to have the resources on hand to use this particular method of defense (our local Home Depot has nuclear reactors on back order), but if you can blow the hell out of an alien with an explosive device, it's probably the best way to be absolutely sure that they won't be getting up for a second attack any time soon, if ever. And if you can blow them up with their own explosives, that's an even better victory, since you'll not only have successfully defended yourself and your family, but you'll be able to use one of our favorite phrases: "[the creature] was hoisted by its own petard."

8. Poor Box-Office Showing -- 'Battlefield Earth' (2000)

If all else fails, take a lesson from the rest of humanity and don't spend your money on crap. No offense intended to Scientologists, but Roger Christian's adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard's science fiction novel is seriously one of the worst movies about aliens ever made, and if any lesson can be taken from its awfulness, it's that the best thing to do when you see something that seems truly horrendous is to ignore it, and certainly don't support it with your heard-earned computer hacking money. If you've got to give your attention and income to something on this list, at least make it Slim Whitman, because even if you're not a fan of his quite wonderful yodeling, it's still less painful than watching John Travolta as a Rastafarian extraterrestrial.

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