Articles

Movie Gadgets You Wish Were Real

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2012 by cbresults

5 Of The Best “Wouldn’t Life Be Cooler If…” Inventions

1. Who needs a Segway?

The time-traveling DeLorean in Back to the Future is top of a lot of people’s lists of coolest movie gadget ever — not only is it a time machine, it’s a DeLorean! But from a day to day standpoint, the hoverboard that Marty McFly used in Back to the Future 2 might come in a bit more handy.

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2. Takes a licking and keeps on clicking?

Well beyond helping these kids learn to tell time, the watches in Spy Kids were simply awesome. Not only did they come with TV and internet access, they shot handy laser beams at the unwary and unsavory.

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3. Maybe not all that useful, but so cool

Although not necessarily as handy as HBO and Google on your wrist, a handle that pops out with a controlled laser beam that can slice, cut and melt just about anything — and makes a nifty sound going on and off. What would Obi Wan Kenobe be without his lightsaber?

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4. A whole new meaning to “air traffic”

From the Jetsons to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to The Fifth Element, flying cars are a popular movie modernization. Wouldn’t your daily commute be nicer if you could just get above it all for a little bit?

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5. Why go first class? When you could just… go?

Someday, the eptiome of wealth won’t be the image of sliding into the back of a luxurious car and murmuring “home, James” — it will be the notion of stepping onto a little disk and saying “beam me home, James.” The teleporter from Star Trek, like the machine that Willy Wonka uses to send actual chocolate to people’s television sets, could change everything.

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Articles

7 Fun Facts About Earth Day

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2012 by cbresults

1. Of the earth’s entire surface, only 11% is used to grow food.

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2. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 by 20 million people across the United States.

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3. San Francisco is named after Saint Francis, the patron saint of ecology.

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4. The Peace Bell rung at the United Nations every Earth Day was given to the UN by Japan in 1954 — it is made from coins collected by people from 60 different countries. The bell is also rung every September 21st, the International Day of Peace.

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5. In 1969, Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River was so polluted it burned — a year later, the percentage of citizens citing cleaning up air and water as a “top three” political party rose to 53% from 17% just five years earlier.

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6. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was founded in 1970 — a result of the efforts started that year with the first Earth Day.

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7. The UN declared April 22nd “International Mother Earth Day” in 2009 — the date was chosen in 1970 because it fell on a Wednesday, a day organizers felt it would be most likely for people to be able to get off work to participate.

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Articles

Why Isn’t Thursday the 13th Unlucky?

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2012 by cbresults

13 Facts About Friday the 13th

1. 2012 is a REALLY unlucky year

Tomorrow is the second of three — count ‘em, 3 — Friday the thirteenths this year. That is the most a single year can ever have. The first one was in January and the next one will be in July.

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2. Friday the 13th is expensive

Adding up absenteeism, train and plane trip cancellations, postponed medical procedures and other behavioral modifications, Dr. Donald Dossey, a psychotherapist specializing in morbid and irrational fears, estimates that fear of Friday the 13th could be responsible for nearly $1 billion in lost revenue for American business.

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3. Paraskevi-what?

The technical term for the fear of Friday the 13th is paraskevidekatriaphobia (para-skevi-deka-tria-phobia) — considered to be the most wide-spread superstition in the U.S.A. The general fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia.

4. Tuesday the 13th

In Spanish-speaking countries, it’s Tuesday the 13th that people dread.

5. Even presidents get spooked

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was thought to suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia — refusing to travel or host a dinner on Friday the 13th. He also refused to host a dinner with 13 guests.

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6. Apollo 13 exploded on a Monday, but…

After launching at 13:13 CST on April 11th 1970, Apollo 13 crashed on April 13th – which was a Monday.

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7. Happy Birthday, Butch Cassidy!

Butch Cassidy was born on Friday the 13th, 1866 (Paul Newman was born on a Monday, the 26th — which happens to work out to two times thirteen). Fidel Castro, Christopher Plummer and the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley were also born on Friday the 13th.

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8. Yes to wood, no to black cats

According to superstition, crossing your fingers, avoiding black cats, touching wood and throwing salt over your shoulder are all ways to stave off bad luck.

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9. The building isn’t that tall

Most buildings in the U.S.A. don’t have a floor numbered 13, nor do most airline terminals have a Gate #13.

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10. Drive carefully

The risk of being in a car crash on any Friday (not just the 13th) is higher than any other day of the week — something people who believe in unlucky Friday the 13ths might want to consider before hitting the road. Indeed, the British Medical Journal did a study comparing the incidence of traffic accidents on Friday the 6th with those on Friday the 13th — “the risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52%.”

11. We’ll pay you to join us for dinner

In France, hosts used to hire a “quatrorzieme” — a 14th guest for dinners where only 13 guests were in attendance — to avoid bad luck.

12. 13 is the deadliest number

There are 13 knots in a hangman’s noose, 13 steps to the gallows, 13 feet that the guillotine falls, the number of the Death Card in the Tarot deck.

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13. It even scares Stephen King

In an interview last year, the famed author admitted to being scared of cell phones, insects, elevators, and — yes — the number 13.

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Articles

Tax Facts You Won’t Believe

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2012 by cbresults

15 Strange, Mind-blowing, and Maybe Even Helpful Facts

 

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1. Americans spend about $28 billion doing their taxes.

2. More than half of Americans pay no federal income tax.

3. One woman legitimately claimed more than $1,000 worth of Evian water as a tax deduction, as it had been prescribed by her doctor.

4. You can deduct your moving expenses when you relocate for a job — even if it’s your first job out of college.

5. The U.S.A. has the lowest tax burden than any other country in the “rich world.”

6. IIn 1915, the U.S. tax code was 400 pages long — since then, it has expanded 16,775% to well over 70,000 pages.

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(image from Political Calculations)

7. 90% of people employing babysitters and housekeepers end up cheating on their taxes.

8. If Mark Zuckerberg follows through and exercises $5 billion of his stock options this year, his tax bill for 2012 could be close to $2 billion — the single largest tax bill ever.

9. If you’re currently employed, you can deduct the cost of looking for a new job in your same profession.

10. General Electric historically files the country’s largest tax return every year — more than 50,000 pages.

11. The easy tax form — the 1040EZ — comes with 33 pages of instructions.

12. The IRS has more than 110,000 employees — that’s more than the FBI and CIA.

13. Weird tax laws abound from the Atlantic to the Pacific — 

  • Anyone who grows, handles, sells, processes or in any way touches a Maine blueberry from field to store must pay a penny and a half per pound.
  • Illegal drugs are taxable — if you are arrested with illegal drugs in your possession, you are required to pay tax on them.
  • Although soft drinks in a bottle or can are taxed at 3% in Chicago, fountain soda drinks are taxed at 9%.

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14. Between 1996 and 2000, 61% of U.S. corporations didn’t pay income taxes.

15. It was Benjamin Franklin who wrote, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

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These facts and more gathered from:

Articles

The Amazing Blue Planet

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 by cbresults

10 Things You May Not Know About Earth

In celebration of Earth month — April, here are a few of the amazing truths about our planet:

  1. Earth is the only planet not to get its name from Roman or Greek mythology — the word “earth” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word “erda,” which means ground or soil.
  2. Almost 3/4 of the earth’s surface is covered by water — about 71%.
  3. The earth’s core temperature is thought to go as high as 7500° K — hotter than the sun.
  4. From a distance, earth is the brightest of the planets in our solar system — because of the sunlight reflecting off the water.
  5. The first photograph of the planet from outer space was taken in 1959 by the unmanned satellite “Explorer 6.”
  6. On average, the earth is about 93 million miles from the sun.
  7. The planet is not round — it bulges around the equator as a result of its rotation.
  8. It takes a little less than 24 hours for the earth to rotate on its axis — 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds to be precise; the missing minutes in our 24 hour day come from the sun’s daily shift compared to the stars.
  9. Although 75% of the earth’s atmosphere is contained within the first seven miles above the planet’s surface, the entire atmosphere extends about 6,200 miles from the surface.
  10. The earth’s atmosphere is separated into seven layers — the lowest is the troposphere, which extends 6.2 miles from the earth’s surface. The second layer, the stratosphere, occupies the next 25 miles — and contains the ozone layer, which is responsible for absorbing enough of the ultraviolet light emitted by the sun to protect the planet.

Articles

Did You Know Your Keyboard (Mouse, Computer) Could Do That?

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2012 by cbresults

5 Tips and Tricks for Mac and Windows Users

 

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1. Triple click (Mac & Windows)

Select a word or a whole paragraph in a flash — whether you’re in a word processing document or on a website, sometimes you want to grab a whole paragraph — maybe you want to move it, or delete it, or copy it. Triple click anywhere in the paragraph with your mouse to highlight the entire thing and then copy, cut, move or format it as you like.

Bonus tip: triple clicking in the address bar of your web browser will select the entire url — handy when you need to copy a website address to share in a document or email.

2. The power of Spotlight (Mac)

Find a file, an application, a web page in your history — the little magnifying glass in the upper corner of your Mac is often under-utilized and overlooked. Entering part of the file name you’re looking for into spotlight can often be a faster and easier way to find and open a document than through Finder or the application.

Bonus tip: you can use Spotlight as a calculator — simply type in your math (e.g., “365/25”) and Spotlight will do the rest.

2nd bonus tip: you can launch Spotlight without lifting your hands from the keys — just press Cmd + Spacebar.

3. Navigate through applications with one hand (Mac & Windows)

Ctrl-Tab (Windows) and Cmd-Tab (Mac) — when you’re multi-tasking, you might have multiple applications and windows open on your computer. Ctrl-Tab (Windows) and Cmd-Tab (Mac) will cycle you through your open windows (Windows) or applications (Mac) — making it easy to move from one to another.

Bonus Mac tip: When the app switcher is up on your Mac, you can quit any application while it’s highlighted by pressing “q” or hide an application by pressing “h.” You can also scroll through open windows in a single app with the keyboard shortcut Cmd+` (the key to the left of the 1 key).

Bonus Windows 7 tip: get a 3D view of your open windows on your PC by pressing the Windows (or Start) key on your keyboard and then using the Tab key to scroll through your open windows.

4. Open your favorite applications with a keyboard shortcut (Windows 7)

Windows (or “Start”) key plus the position of the app on your Task bar will open or switch to that app — you may already know that you can place icons for your favorite programs in your task bar and that you can drag them around to whatever order you like. What you may not know is the order you put them in has its own power — holding down the Windows key and pressing the number of whatever position that app holds on your Task bar will open or switch to that app. So if you have four applications — Word, Excel, Firefox and Skype — pinned in that order on your Task bar, pressing Windows + 4 key will launch (or switch to Skype). You can hotkey up to 10 applications this way (use Windows + 0 key for the 10th application).

Bonus tip: Keep pressing the keyboard shortcut to cycle through open windows of a specific application (e.g., if you have multiple windows open in Firefox in the example above, pressing Windows + 3 would cycle you through your open browser windows).

5. Format in a snap

Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows) + b, i, and u will apply or remove the three most common formatting styles — bold, italic and underline — to your text. Simply highlight the text you want to format (or un-format) and then press Cmd or Ctrl + b (or i or u) to apply or remove the formatting.

Bonus tip: you can select (highlight) text in a document (word processing, spreadsheet, etc.) with your keyboard as well —highlight a letter at a time by pressing Shift + à (right arrow) to select text to the right of the cursor (use the left arrow to go the other way, and the up and down arrows to grab a line at a time). To highlight a word at a time use Shift + Option (Mac) and the arrow keys, or Shift + Ctrl (Windows) and the arrow keys.

For even more tips and tricks, check out these resources:

Articles

The Lion, The Lamb, and St. Patrick

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2012 by cbresults

1. “Beware the Ides of March”

The dire warning made to Caesar by a soothsayer early in Act I of William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, has come to be synonymous with predictions of inescapable doom — the Ides of March (the 15th) was the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of Roman senators.

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Ciaran Hinds as Caesar in HBO’s Rome

 

2. In times of war

March is named after Mars, the Roman god of war. In fact, in the earliest Roman calendar, March was the first month.

3. In Like a Lion, Out Like  a Lamb

March roars in like a lion

So fierce,

The wind so cold,

It seems to pierce.

The month rolls on

And Spring draws near,

And March goes out

Like a lamb so dear

 ~Lorie Hill

4. He wasn’t Irish and he didn’t solve the snake problem

The man who became St. Patrick was born in Britain (~390 A.D.) and arrived in Ireland after being kidnapped and shipped there as a slave to tend sheep.

As for St. Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland? Relatively easy to accomplish, as there never have been snakes in Ireland. Metaphorically, however, snakes often represent evil (the snake in the grass, the snake in the Garden of Eden, etc.) — and St. Patrick is credited with sweeping the evil of paganism out of and ushering Christianity into Ireland.

5. Famous Ides of March birthdays

It might be a foretelling of doom, but for these folks it’s cause for celebration:

·        Eva Longoria

·        Will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas)

·        Sylvester Stallone

·        Fabio

·        Andrew Jackson (7th president of the United States) — James Madison, the 4th President, was born on March 16th

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Photo from IMDB.com

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