Pandemics That Shaped Our World

Because a virus doesn't care about state lines or national borders, it can wipe out millions and span multiple continents rapidly. Here is a look at the infectious diseases the world has battled throughout the history.

What is a Pandemic?
Derived from the greek word pandemos meaning "pertaining to all people," a pandemic is a widespread disease that affects humans over a wide geographic area.

SMALLPOX 10,000 BC - 1979
300+ million dead.
Symptoms: Fever, Headache, Fatigue, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Lesions.

In terms of an estimated death toll, smallpox is the deadliest pandemic in history. The highly contagious, rash- inducing infection has killed more than 500 million people. Some believe that 90 percent of the native population of the New World was wiped out by the disease.

MEASLES 7th Century BC - 1963
200 million dead.
Symptoms: Fever, Rash, Cough, Sore Throat, Red Eyes.

SPANISH FLU 1918 - 1919
50-100 million dead.
Symptoms: Fatigue, Fever, Headache, Skin Discoloration, Bleeding, Vomiting.

BLACK DEATH 1340 - 1771
75 million dead.
Symptoms: Bubo (it's an abnormal swelling of the lymph nodes).

Ring Around the Rosie, a Pocket Full of Plague.
Legend says the Black Death plague inspired the children's rhyme "Ring Around The Rosy," which alluded to the rash-like rings and ashes of the deceased victims.

HIV / AIDS 1981 - Today
25+ million dead.
Symptoms: Fever, Chills, Bubo, Weight Loss.

25 million dead.
Symptoms: Fever, Chills, Seizures, Bubo, Skin Discoloration.

12 million dead.
Symptoms: Fever, Headache, Fatigue, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Lesions.

TYPHUS 430 BC - Today
4 million dead.
Symptoms: Lesions, Fever, Cough, Headache, Nausea, Vomiting.

CHOLERA 1817 - Today
3 million dead.
Symptoms: Diarrhea, Vomiting, Nausea, Dehydration.

HONG KONG FLU 1968 - 1969
1 million dead.
Symptoms: Fever, Headache, Fatigue, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Lesions.

Honorable Mentions
Although the following viruses do not have a figure for total amount of lives claimed, they continue to terrorize various areas around the world.

MALARIA 1600 - Today
Common symptoms: Chills, Headache, Fever, Jaundice, Muscle Pain, Nausea, Vomiting, Seizures.
Death toll: According to the World Health Organization's 2010 "World Malaria Report," an estimated 781,000 people are killed by the virus every year.

Common symptoms: Chest Pain, Cough, Fever, Chills, Fatigue.
Death toll: There are almost 2 million tuberculosis-related deaths worldwide every year.

YELLOW FEVER 16th Century - Today
Common symptoms: Bleeding, Fever, Nausea, Vomiting, Delirium, Seizures, Jaundice
Death toll : Worldwide, 30 000 deaths are caused by the infection every year.

Reading Body Language Expert Level

Mentalists have used body language for centuries to make it appear they have the power to read minds. Through analysis of physical cues and using similar techniques from famous mentalists almost anyone can make it seem they know more than they do.

Physical Cues Used By Mentalists.

Arms Crossed.
Arms crossed and closed can be seen as defensive shield. When people have their arms closed they are also closed to new ideas or suggestions.
This is most commonly seen in use of 12 to 15 year old girls, in which case it is a territorial display of dominance. Proceed with caution.

Neck Touching.
Neck touching is one example of a nervous habit that can betray a person's true feelings on a matter. They could be nervous because they are concealing a truth. In a bar setting it could be sign you have been staring at them for too long.

Dilated Pupils
When someone finds another person or thing attractive, the pupils will dilate, In turn, that dilation is often found attractive by others. This is sometimes referred to as 'bedroom eyes' because of it's sexual connotation. Conversely, If you're Lindsay Lohan it could just be an alcohol-induced side effect.

Leaning Forward.
Moving forward can be an act of aggression and so signals anger. Especially, If it is done quickly and in concert with other aggressive signals such as an angry expression on the face. In debates, it is a sign of confidence. Be sure both debaters are not leaning forward at the same time. A concussion may follow.

Feet Crossed.
Crossing your legs or feet is sign of being comfortable or relaxed in circumstance or with a person. If their feet are crossed and their wiggling around their chair it is a sign of needing a bathroom break. Better cut the meeting short.


Captain Boyd is sent to a Californian Fort in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, as punishment for his cowardice. He is celebrated as a hero publicly after overtaking an enemy stronghold, but as he points out he was only able to do so by an act of cowardice. He played dead, and was stacked in with other dead men piled on top of him, their blood running into his mouth. This he says changed him, gave him strength, and he was subsequently able to fight his way out from behind enemy lines. Since it would set a bad precedent to explicitly punish him, the army sends him to the isolated post.

Fort Spencer is cold, lonely, and quite unsettling. There is but a skeleton crew - Col. Hart, Pvt Toffler, the religious one, Pvt Cleaves, Knox, and Reich, the soldier. Also at the post are two Native Americans, George and Martha, who it is said more or less came with the location.

One night a mysterious man shows up, claiming to have been lost on an expedition for three months now in the mountains. They survived by eating whatever they could until the first casualty, then they ate the body. Their taste for human meat was peaked, and they began killing each other off to quench their evergrowing hunger. That man is Calhoun. He claims that he ran away from the group, and that there is only one woman left, and a man who's hunger could not be sufficed, Col Ives. He leads the soldiers to a cave where it turns out he is actually the real Col Ives, and has tricked them into a trap.

The film turns from there into a cat and mouse game between Boyd and Ives, and a tale of to eat or not to eat human flesh, which the Native George explains allows the eater to gain the power of the eaten. Director Antonia Boyd, a vegetarian, makes scenes of eating rather repulsive, and uses music as a focal point for highlighting the strangeness of the picture. She makes Ravenous not a horror-gore fest (though there are moments horror in nature and occasional buckets of gore), but a pitch black comedy-thriller-suspense-mystery.

The music is more or less a star in the film itself. Its strange, amusing, bewildering, and fascinating all at once.

Studying To Achieve Great Results

Studying isn't just putting in time with a book in front of you. Worthwhile studying requires an attentive, active mind that's focused on the task at hand.

To get the most out of your study time, you need to work in an enviroment that helps you focus.
Turn off the TV. Television makes demands on your eyes and ears, so if you're "studying" while you watch, you're shortchanging something. Either that sitcom deserves more of your attention or a whole lot less.
Work out rules about the study time with roomates, housemates, and family so you can study without interruption. If you have pets, train them to leave you alone at these times.
Find a place free of distractions. If you can study effectively in social enviroments like cafés, fine. If you're distracted by people watching, be honest with yourself and don't go to the café until after you've studied. Reduce your exposure to things that compete for your attention. Don't study at your computer if emails is a distraction; don't study with the radio on if you can't help humming along to every song you hear.
Find a specific study area with good lighting. Wheter it's a room in your home, a corner of the library, or the ice-fishing shack on the lake, train yourself to go into study mode when you enter this space.
Libraries are obvious candidates for good study spaces. They offer many supplementary resources, if you happen to need them, and are otherwise relatively free of time wasting temptations.

Procrastination can be doubly disspiriting: at the end of the day, not only have you not done the schoolwork you were suppose to, but you also have to face the fact that you've spent three hours rearranging your cd cases so their spines look like a rainbow spectrum. The guilt and dejection you feel can make it even harder to get started. You're better off recognizing your tendency to procrastinate - and combating it cleverly - than simply bemoaning it.
When faced with a big task like a long paper or an impending final exam, you may feel you have no idea where to begin. Sometimes, the result is paralysis. To avoid this and other, milder forms of procrastination try the following:
Break the task into smaller parts. Study one unit of a chapter. Memorize one subset of Spanish irregular verbs. Track your progress in these smaller units.
Tell other people what you're working on. It's easier to procrastinate when you're the only one who knows how little work you've actually gotten done.
Do first whatever portion of the work you are most reluctant to do. If you get to a point at which you realize you're avoiding the next step, don't stop. Give yourself a little procrastination time later as a reward for pushing past the difficult part and doing some portion of what you're avoiding.
Rewards in general are a good idea. Beating procrastination sometimes amounts to little more than bribing your inner child - giving him dessert if he eats his broccoli. If you were going to watch a little TV before you started the paper, make yourself write four paragraphs first, or a complete outline and an introduction.

Budgeting your time is a key to being successful student. Before you can think about how to use the time you spend studying, you need to ensure that you make time to study.

Observe yourself
Time is a resource, and before you change how you allocate it, you need to understand how you use it now.
Though it may seem annoying, the best approach is to take a week and monitor your time use in half-hour blocks.
Have a small pad or a scrap of paper handy. When you finish an activity, or whenever it occurs to you, write down what you've been doing. It's harder to remember everything at the end of the day.
Be honest. The purpose of this exercise is to gain an accurate picture of how you use your time. Remember that the point isn't to eliminate all non-study or nonproductive time, but to be concious about where your time goes so you can make informed decisions.
How much time did you spend sleeping eating, studying, sitting in class, participating in sports, working at a job, watching a tv, playing video games, feeding your pets, or whatever. Are you surprised by the results? Are you spending more time doing some activities than you'd like? Now, take this information and put it to good use. Plan the upcoming week.

Budgeting time
Once you have an idea of how you use your time, look at your needs and obligations for the week and budget your necessary study time across the days. Be realistic. You can't utilize every minute in the day productively - you need a little downtime, and you don't want to banish all spontaneity from your life. But knowing how much you study time you need each week, as well as how much time your other obligations require, can help you build your week around these needs - and know what consequences to expect if you don't.
Decide how many hours you need to spend studying. This total may change from week to week, but you should allocate a basic amount of time below which you won't drop. For weeks when you have major papers due, or before big exams, you might need to budget more time. Every sunday take 15 minutes and map out your week, scheduling in study time around your obligations.
Know when you're at your most alert and use this time to study. If you get tired at night, don't put your chief study time between 10pm and midnight. Experiment with getting up earlier to see if you're sharp in the morning.

Prioritize. Which schoolwork is most important? Which is most urgent? The answers may be different each week. Not all school related activities are of equal value or importance -you know this. When you're budgeting your time, make sure you allocate enough time for the most important and most urgent tasks. If you have long term projects that are important, don't give them short shrift just because they aren't yet urgent.
Sleep is important. Your study time won't be worth much if you're constantly tired. Your play time won't be much fun either.

Dead time
You'll probably  discover that you spend a lot of time just spacing out; waiting for people; or riding a bus, subway, or train. These interludes are well suited to certain forms of study - particularly memorization and repetition. So develop some portable study aids. For language class, make cue cards of vocabulary; for chemistry formulas; for history, names and facts. Carry them with you when you leave the house and make use of your waiting time.

You need to have a level of studying that you can sustain, or else you'll just wear yourself down. That means time with friends, time listening to music, watching a movie, exercising, walking, and starring out the window. Any schedule that completely eliminates these activities is probably not schedule you're going to stick to.

Calenders, you'll need several calenders.
A calender with just your classes and standing obligations
A calender with just the due dates you know at the beginning of the term, from your class syllabi: midterm exams, final exams, final papers, etc. Display this prominently in your work are so you can keep in mind the big picture for whole semester.
A calender or planner that you add to and refer to daily. This should incorporate long-term deadlines but also include your weekly assignments and their due dates.
Make a quick to-do list in the morning or before you go to bed. Refer to your weekly calender. Check off each item as you finish.

Using your schedules
Unforeseen events take place, and situations change. Be as firm as you can but adjust when you have to. At least you'll know how much time you're putting in compared to how much you need to.
Be aware of your priorities. If you keep putting something off, recognize this avoidance: it's probably something you really need to do - and something that you think is hard to do. Break it down into smaller parts and do a part of it today.
Refer to your semester calender and your syllabus so you can anticipate the demands on your time several weeks in advance.

Remembering Information
It is easier to remember things when you understand them. In the long  run, it's also more useful. If you are trying to remember something, check yourself. Can you define it? Can you give examples of it? Can you describe how it is related to other things? Some material requires rote memorization, but teaching today places less emphasis on remembering dates and names and more understanding relationships and processes.

Mnemonic devices. This is a whole suite of memory improvement exercises and techniques. Some of these basic techniques are probably quite familiar to you. In general, It can be helpful to make associations with things you already know, so that what you know will remind you of what you've just learned.
Acronyms. Ex: HOMES = Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior (the great lakes).
Acrostics. Ex: Every Good Boy Does Fine = E, G, B, D, F (the notes that make up the staff lines in the tremble clef).
Linking information to physical locations.
Word association. Associating Information with words that sound similar.
Reviewing. A day later, you remember very little of what you have to read, This doesn't mean you have totally forgotten the information. You see when you review it how quickly it comes back. Reviewing frequently reinforces those connections our brain makes, mysterious machinery of memory.

Looking Good, Stylish And Classy

Exfoliate once or twice a week, it makes shaving easier. When you have your shower, soak your manly beard with conditioner of choice - this will soften the bristles and make for a better shave. Shave just after you've showered or when you're still in the shower, if you want. When you shave, use either gel, oil, foam or conditioner. Get yourself a decent razor, not a 99-pence-for-a-pack-of-20 disposable one. Shave with the grain - smooth and slowly. Rinse your razor after each stroke If you cut yourself, use either wet toilet paper, toothpaste, or a styptic pencil to stop the bleeding. Rinse your face. Re-apply gel, oil, foam or conditioner. Re-shave, this time against the grain, for the smoothest feel. Rinse again, with ice  cold water, this will close the pores and stop dirt getting into your skin. Liberally apply a soothing aftershave balm, but don't use alcohol-based aftershave, it dries out your skin. Dry your razor off on a towel after you use it, it will last a lot longer.

Spend  $60 on a pair of clippers and prepare to save a load of money on grooming and look good for the next several years. Need a haircut? Figure out which length works best for you (start at 1", then move down continuously until you're most comfortable) and spend 15 minutes going at it. Get a friend to straighten up the back for you.

Oral Hygiene
Want to know if your breath stinks? Lick your wrist, let it dry, and smell it. Yes it's nasty. yes it works. Want to get rid of the stink? get a tongue scraper. That grey crap on the back of your tongue is why your breath smells.

Place a fresh clean towel on your pillow before sleeping at night. Say goodbye to acne. A fresh towel also smells and feels awesome.

Body Hair
Trim your eyebrows, ear hairs and nose hairs. Ask your barber or hairdresser to go over the edges of your ears and to shave your neck.

Use moisturizer. Lots of it. unless you're going for that scandinavian fisherman look.

Trim your fingernails. File them. Do not bite them.

Use soap. Not shower gel or liquid soap or any of that crazy stuff. Buy a natural bar of soap. And use a cloth, maybe use a back brush too.

Throw out your can of Axe/Lynx. Buy a nice cologne. Two to three light sprays onto your skin, not clothes, should last you the whole day.

Forget logos. A nice fitting shirt is more important than the logo placed on it. Make sure where the seam on top of the sleeves is matches, where the edge of your shoulders are. If they aren't, it doesn't fit properly.
Hats and shoes are the only exceptions to this rule, because it's hard to find hats without obvious logos, and dress shoes are only shoes that come logoless. Keep your jeans free of large holes. If so, the holes should be limited to the shins. Absolutely no knee or thigh holes. Having the ends of the legs frayed from normal wear is not only acceptable, it's preferred. A pair of pants is good for about a week. After that, you need to wash it. A shirt is good for anywhere between 1-5 days, depending on whether or not you were sweating in it. Make sure you have atleast one suit.

Step into the shower without having a towel down. Stepping on the towel will put your feet bacteria on it, wash feet thoroughly and step out only onto a clean small towel until dry and put on clean socks. This prohibits you from stepping directly onto the ground your dirty feet were on. You'll never have stinky feet this way.

Wash your scrotum everyday. Then, put baby powder down there, to keep fresh. Don't shave, trim the hair. Hair is normal, but it's okay to keep it neat.

Less Sleep, More Time To Be Productive

A lot of people believe sleep has been proven to repair or rehabilitate the brain and body, but this is not necessarily true. We don't really know how much sleep. There's no clearly defined biological reason for it, and it is intuitevely an evolutionary disadvantage.

In the late 1930's a wealthy amateur scientist named Alfred Lee Loomis and his colleagues watched an EEG monitor for brain electrical activity during sleep, and they made a pretty remarkable discovery: there are actually five main parts to each of several phases of sleep that occur during a normal night. One of these stages is called REM (rapid eye movement), and it is where most of the benefit of sleep comes from. Ironically, It is in REM sleep that the brain looks the least asleep. In fact, it looks awake. This is the phase where dreams occur.

It seems that all you really need to survive and feel rested is the REM phase, which is only a tiny portion of your actual sleep phases at night. You only spend 1-2 hours in REM sleep during any given night, and the rest is wasted on other seemingly useless phases. This is where the opportunity to hack the brain presents itself. What if you could find a way to cut out the other phases and gain 4-5 more hours of productive wakeful time.

Polyphasic sleep
One of the ways to force your brain into REM sleep and skip the other phases is to make it feel exhausted. If you've gone to 24 hours without sleep, you might notice that you drift away into dreams straight from being awake. This is because your body goes instantly into REM sleep as a protection mechanism. The way to hack yourself into entering REM sleep without being exhausted is to trick your body into thinking you're going to get a tiny amount of sleep. You can train it to enter REM for short periods of time throughout the day in 20-minute naps rather than in one lump at night. This is how polyphasic sleep works.

With monophasic sleep, you sleep for eight hours and you get about 2 hours of good REM sleep. This is the normal schedule most people use, and it means about 5 hours of the night are lost to (as far as we know) unnecessary unconciousness.

There are five methods for polyphasic sleep that all focus on many 20-minute naps throughout the day and possbily a couple hours of core sleep at night. The most simple is the "Siesta" method, which includes just one nap in the day and then a huge chunk of sleep at night. Remarkably, adding just one nap during the day shaves an hour and forty minutes off your total sleep requirement.

The "everyman" method is just a stepped ladder acting as a guide to show how much core sleep to have for any number of naps. The amount of total sleep per day is drastically reduced for each extra nap you add.

The "uberman" method has six naps and no core sleep. Amazingly, you can function with just 2 hours of sleep using the uberman method.

The Catch
How awesome would it be to sleep a total of two hours a day and feel rested? Very awesome, of course, but there is a catch. The more naps you have (and thus the less sleep you have total) the more rigorous you have to be regarding your nap times. You can't miss a nap by more than couple hours in the 2 and 3 "Everyman" methods, and you must have your naps within 30 minutes of their scheduled times for the Uberman method. If you miss a nap, the whole schedule is thrown off and you'll feel tired for days.

The rigor of keeping the schedule makes most of these methods unrealistic for most people. but if you have a flexible schedule and can manage to pick a method and stick with it several months, you'll find that you feel amazing and you have a seemingly unlimited amount of time during the day to get things done.

Photoshop vs GIMP

The question of which is better, Gimp or Photoshop, basically revolves around whether you’re a graphic designer or someone who just needs to get a job done. Apple/Macintosh and Windows users war with Open Source purists over issues like these, and Adobe experts duel with oftentimes frustrated Linux users. Things like this can easily get ugly, especially since Adobe has not seen fit to port their high end graphics programs to Linux.

For the sake of clarity, let's look at some of the attributes and liabilities each of these programs bring to the table with them.

Photoshop wins the feature battle hands down. It's an older, far more mature project with a huge staff of capable programmers. That said, ordinary users need only a tiny fraction of what either Photoshop or Gimp are capable of doing. If you want to create a great looking logo or some icons or dress up a web page, Gimp is more than adequate. If you work in a graphic production environment for print publications, you can forget Gimp. It doesn’t have the kind of CMYK+ support print people need, and its font handling is atrocious compared to Photoshop.

Both programs are difficult for a complete novice to learn. Even things that would seem simple, like drawing a rectangle, require way more insider’s knowledge than most users bring with them. While Gimp’s UI is quirky but somehow still productive, Photoshop’s is far more polished with loads more fit and finish.

Adobe’s Photoshop documentation is well integrated, comprehensive, and feels like the work of a competent team that put hundreds of man-years into the job. Gimp’s documentation is hard to find and comes as a separate download. It’s much lower rent-looking and not at all pretty, but it’s thorough and will help you get the job done once you can find it.

There are a couple of good books on Gimp. No bad ones that I’ve seen. There are literally hundreds of books on Photoshop, many of them of very high quality. If you think of websites as documentation there are thousands devoted to each one, but Photoshop still wins hands down. Gimp folk will tell you about Gimpshop, which makes Gimp look a lot like Photoshop.

Gimp is free. Photoshop is comparatively expensive, though given its feature set, Photoshop is amazingly cheap.

Gimp support is haphazard. They don’t have a central support team, like Adobe. But it’s free, and if you’re persistent you will most certainly find the answer on a forum somewhere without paying a cent. On the other hand, Adobe support is expensive but has higher availability. Third party support for Photoshop is a universe of its own, with everything from your local PC configurator guy’s girlfriend to straight off the Adobe Classroom certification.

Photoshop isn’t copy protected, but you do have to register it. Adobe is generous about letting you run on both a desktop and a laptop, for example, and they haven’t balked even though I go through computers suspiciously fast (nothing sinister, they just deteriorate quickly in my house). Still… Gimp is free and certainly doesn’t require registration. 

Photoshop is much nicer to use than Gimp. It's highly polished and clearly at the head of the class. Gimp is still full of rough edges, for example its difficult to use text tool.

Programming Gimp is not for the fainthearted. Photoshop has a much more comprehensive automation model. You can do lots of awesome stuff with Gimp nonetheless. Much of its default functionality is in the form of plugins built with Gimp’s unusual Script-Fu language. You can hack Gimp in Python, but that means a less unified experience. 

All graphic artists know Photoshop. They have to. It pays the bills. Only a tiny fraction of professionals know and use Gimp. If you want to find good artists cheap, stick to Photoshop. 

Photoshop is measurably better than Gimp in every significant way. To me the most persuasive reasons to go with Photoshop are the availability of good artists and the greatly increased likelihood that in case of emergency, you will do much better finding a solution with Photoshop due to the vast third party landscape.

How To Get High, Safely.

How to get high using nothing but your own body and the most important thing is that it's safe. This could be useful if you ever find yourself incarcerated or bored.

Postural Hypotension.
You've probably already experienced a mild form of this before without really knowing what it is called or what causes it. It is also knows as a head rush or elevator effect, and sometimes occurs when standing up too quickly and is caused by a sudden decrease in blood pressure. Effects include euphoria, bodily dissociation, lightheadedness auditory/visual distortions, and fainting.

1. Sit in a squatting position.
2. Breathe in and out heavily for 30 seconds.
3. Stand up.
4. BLow on thumb as hard as possible.

Your brain will be deprived of oxygen for a few seconds and you will feel high and tenn likely pass out for a few seconds (don't worry - it takes several minutes of oxygen deprivation for cell damage to occur, just make sure you don't hit your head).

If it doesn't work for you, try putting your head between your knees when squatting and/or hyperventilating instead of step 2.

You may not have known it, but simple oxygen is a psychoactive substance. The O2 -> CO2 reaction that occurs by breathing occurs at a constant rate. By moving the greatest possible volume at the greatest possible rate (hyperventilating) you can minimize the amount of CO2 in your bloodstream, and thus maximize the amount of O2. After a significant amount of rapid deep breathing, your body will enter relaxed and calm state. After 5-10 minutes of this, mind-blowing highs can be achieved.

You may have already experienced this effect as well. Hypnogagia is related to sleep paralysis, which can be scary to those unfamiliar with it, but is actually a pretty good dissociative high with possible hallucinations, waking dreams and can even induce lucid dreaming when you're expecting it.

When you're about to go to sleep at night, simply lay in the supine position ( on your back ) and don't move at all. You will feel an urge to shift or roll over, this is your brain testing your body to see if it's awake. By staying still you can trick your brain into thinking you're asleep and your body will begin to paralyze itself and you will remain fully conscious and experience auditory/visual hallucinations and a waking lucid dream.

If you want to end your trip you can shock your body into waking up by holding your breath.

Runner's High
This one's simple: continually exert yourself with strenuous exercise, in which the level of intensity if between moderate and high, and breathing is difficult. Your brain will release endorphins just like one's sent to the brain during opioid highs.

Students Conducting Online Research

You're probably thinking but I know how to Google, but do you really? There is a lot more efficient Googling than you might think: in a recent study on student research skills, 75% of the students couldn't perform a well-executed search on Google. When the success of your term paper hangs in the balance, using Google effectively is crucial, but most of students surprisingly just don't know how.

Here we gonna go over some valuable tips that will help you refine your googling skills, as well as some other great things.

How to Google
Search terms called operators can help you get far more specific results than you would by only using generic search terms.

Lets say you want NYTimes articles about test scores in college, but not SATs, written between 2008 - 2010.

Google: ~college "test scores" -SATs 2008..2010

Site: only searches the pages of that site.
~ Will also search related words, such as higher education and university.
" " Searches for exact phrase, not each of the words separately.
- Excludes this term from the search.
.. Shows all results from within the designated timerange. 

Now you want to find a report on  the different air speed velocities of common swallows.

Don't ask Google questions. Think about how an answer would be phrased, and search for that (ie, never search for ' What is the air speed velocity...')

Google: filetype:pdf air speed intitle:velocity of *swallow

filetype: Searches only results of the file type you designate. Can use for pdf, doc, jpg, etc.
intitle: Only shows results with that word in the title (in this case, "velocity").
* Replaces itself with common terms in your search (in this case, Red Rumped swallow and Lesser Striped swallow will both be searched, along with many others).

Google Scholar

For most projects you work on in college, simple googling won't do the trick on its own. Enter Google Scholar, which exclusively searches academic and scholarly work - that is the kind of work you will need to be citing in your papers.

Example you want to find papers about photosynthesis by Dr.Ronald L.Green and Dr. Thomas P. Buttz.

Google: author:green photosynthesis "tp buttz"

Author: This will search for papers by green rather than papers involving the word green.
Just like a normal google search, this is where the topic you're looking for goes.
" " For more specific results, you can put the authors full name or initials in quotes.

Other Google tricks

Good for quick word definitions. Just put define: in front of the word you want.

Google: define:cattle

For quick math problems, don't worry about opening your calculator app. Just type the equation into Google using +,-,*,/ and parentheses for basic functions.

Google: (2*3)/5+14-5

Unit Converter
Easiest unit conversion ever. Just type what you're looking for in a sentence with the units you have and want.

Google: 60 pounds in kilograms

Keyboard Shortcuts
90% of internet users don't know how to use Ctrl + F to find items on a page. If you're one of those 90%, this section is for you.

Find on page.
The most important keyboard shortcut for research, ever. Press Ctrl + F when looking at any document or web page, type in the word you're trying to find, and presto, all instances of the word are highlighted for you.

Zoom In/Out
Sometimes online PDFs make for strained reading. Bump up the size a few notches with this simple command.

Ctrl  + / -

Select The Address Bar
Doing rapid Google searches in a number of tabs can fatiguing. Instead of mousing up to the address bar every time, just hit Ctrl + L and it's already selected.

Research Tips

Use Your Library's Website
Google should never be your only research option. Most colleges' library web pages have links to wealths of resources at your disposal. This is where you can find access to scholarly databases such as JSTOR, which publish content that you can't access for free elsewhere.

Don't Cite Wikipedia
Let's face it: we all use Wikipedia when conducting research. It's a great first resource to familiarize one's self with a topic, but using Wiki for a research paper is a deadly academic sin. But if you find a good wiki, check out the reference links at the bottom for more credible sources.

Mine Bibliographies
This tip is applicable for both digital and traditional research. If you find a great book, study, or article, chances are it cites some other great sources. Always thoroughly explore the bibliographies of your research materials for leads, and look up everything you find that seems promising

Mumble vs Teamspeak 3

Mumble and Teamspeak 3 are both high quality voice over ip programs, but which one is better? We all know that teamspeak is the popular one, but just because it's popular doesnt make it the best Voip. Stability on both seem to be relatively same.

Mumble has a reliable overlay whereas teamspeak 3 will crash in every couple of hours or so for most users. The overlay doesnt even work with some of the video cards and if it does it's seriously glitched or making the game crash itself. Though overlay is not needed if you're playing with close friends because you easily recognize their voices but if you are put together with 20 strangers, it becomes a problem.

If your internet connection is not that great mumble also lowers your voice quality, it might sound a bit robotic but it doesnt break up the connection, like it would in teamspeak. So you dont have to repeat yourself several times.

Speedwise mumble wasn't that great awhile back but now both are equal, mumble being faster about 2 milliseconds.

Operating systems - Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Android
License - BSD
Protocols/based upon/compatible with - CELT / Speex
Encryption - TLS and OCB-AES128
Max conference peers - No max (limited only by server bandwidth and memory)
Other capabilities - Chat with (limited) embedded HTML, Automatic Gain Control, Access Control Lists for user management, Customizable In-Game Overlay, Directional Audio, Plugin Support, Nested Channels, Echo cancellation, Logitech G15 support

Operating systems - Linux, Windows, Mac OS X
License - Freeware Closed / Proprietary
Protocols/based upon/compatible with - Speex
Encryption - Yes (Optional)
Max conference peers - Unknown
Other capabilities - Conferencing, File Transfers, Plugin Support, Logitech G15 support, In-Game Overlay

Overall when it comes down to it they are almost the same thing, more bells and whistles in TS3 then Mumble but Mumble was made to me simplistic anyways and if your friends are already on TS3 it's hard to switch over to Mumble.

Gangs of New York

People seem to feel divided about this film. To some, it is yet another impressive movie by Martin Scorsese finding it to be a very visceral experience. To others, it is the director's worst film finding it to be ridiculous overwrought. For me, I find myself a bit mixed about it. It's is an excellent piece of filmmaking but it is very much marred by conventional "Hollywood" elements.

Scorsese does an outstanding job at creating the lower Manhattan of 1863. It shows it as a city "full of tribes, rich and poor" where crime and corruption run rampant. Not to mention a society where rich lived the high life while the poor got poorer. It brilliantly shows the very vivid (sometimes graphic) details into the gang warfare of the time where the waring tribes battled against each in the most barbaric manner using only knives and clubs.

What really stands out in this film is the character of Bill "The Butcher" Cutting, brilliantly played by Daniel Day-Lewis. He steals pretty much every scene he's in. He is the leader of the gang known as "The Natives". He has an immense hatred of Irish as well as unbelievable skill with knives. He is someone who is prone to kill anyone he wishes without hesitation. He is without a doubt one of the best villains in recent movie history.

Bill's major accomplishment is killing Priest Vallon, the leader of "The Dead Rabbits." Priest Vallon's son Amsterdam (Leonardo DiCaprio) grows up and vowing to avenge his father's death. Amsterdam has Bill take him under his wing so he can find the right moment to exact his revenge. As Amsterdam himself says "When you kill a king you don't stab him in the back, you wait so the whole court can watch him die."

Still, this is an impressive film. The cinematography and editing are brilliant, The music is powerful, and the sets are stunning. The violence in this film can be quite intense and at times rather unexpected. The supporting cast which includes Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, and John C. Reilly is good and while their could have been a better lead than DiCaprio, he still gives one of his better performances.

This powerful if imperfect historical piece. Watching this movie is an exhilarating experience even though drama is somewhat clichéd at times. Whatever faults the narrative has is made up its remarkable atmosphere and historical accuracy. It is not one of Scorsese's best films but if you are a fan of his work it is definitely a must watch.


Martin Scorsese's Casino isn't as polished as his previous mafia masterpiece Goodfellas, but it is, nevertheless, another extraordinary entry into the director's astonishing body of work. Relying heavily on voice-over narration from both of its stars, the movie is a little sluggish in spots, making its running time of 178 minutes its most glaring flaw. However, the captivating performances of the three lead performers and the unrelenting violence overshadow enough of the film's minor flaws to make for a gritty, realistic experience of life in Las Vegas.

Scorsese regular Robert De Niro stars as Sam "Ace" Rothstein, a gambling perfectionist who is hired by the Chicago Mob to run the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas. Joe Pesci, in another psychopathic performance, co-stars as Rothstein's longtime friend Nicky Santoro, who is also sent to Vegas by the Chicago boys to keep the peace. After a very successful start in Vegas, Rothstein meets, and eventually marries, Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone).

Ace starts his inevitable decline just about the time he convinces Ginger to marry him. Ginger isn't totally committed, and is in fact still seeing an old pimp (James Woods), while Ace is forced to trust Ginger with his life. This turns out to be his critical mistake as Ginger spends his money about as quickly as Ace steals the cash.

While dealing with the Ginger fiasco, Ace also has to deal with his hot- head friend Nicky. By consistently cheating in the casino, Nicky puts himself in danger of not only being black booked, but also of tarnishing Ace's name. The friendship of the two men eventually decline over time as the power of greed effortlessly stars to control their lives.

I cannot say enough about these three lead performances. Pesci gives a performance that is on par, if not better, than his Oscar-winning turn in Goodfellas. De Niro gives another controlled, almost mechanical performance. Even though it seems so effortless for him, the audience is still captivated. And then there is Sharon Stone playing the former call girl, drug-addict wife of a crooked casino manager. It's a loaded character, and a loaded performance, but they come together perfectly.

So much of the movie is built on the scenes of confrontation between the main characters, and they are done to perfection. The movie is about greed, lying, deceit, and double-crossing the people you are closest to. There are bound to be multiple scenes of altercation, and if they weren't done right, the movie would've lost a lot of steam. One scene in particular comes to mind of an argument between Ace and Nicky. The scene I'm thinking of features Pesci in a polished suit and De Niro in a striped robe (his wardrobe is unbelievable in the film – in a good way), and I was in disbelief while watching the quarrel. The scene had to go on for about five minutes, and I'm sure a lot of the dialogue was improvised. The two actors, reminiscent of their roles in Goodfellas, are so perfectly cast that this brilliant scene seems so natural.

The movie is filled with moments that remind us how polished of a filmmaker Scorsese is, and how polished his lead actors are. Some might argue that the main flaw of this movie is that it is almost a recreation of Goodfellas…Well, there is some truth to that, but that doesn't mean that after I finished this film I wasn't wishing for more of the same.


To collect money for an investment, Jerry (Macy) sets a fake operation up for the kidnap of his wife, but it doesn't go according to plan.

 The Coen brothers have made a name for themselves over the past twenty years and this 1996 film, written and directed by the pair cements them into the highest class of different and brilliant filmmakers.

The unusual plot opens with "This is based on a true story" when in fact it isn't, which will set the tone for a bizarre but highly intriguing viewing, made even more strange as the plot unfolds and the direction and cinematography are established.

This whole ideology of kidnapping gives the Coen brothers a great chance to dive deep into their unknowing way of thinking, and is expressed through some wonderful artistic direction to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

The opening scene with the police cars driving towards the camera coming straight out of the mesmerizing mist is breathtaking and the different use of shots and a diverse approach to tell the tale will always surprise you in a consistent and exciting narrative.

Macy gives an Oscar nominated performance as Jerry Lundegaard a man who wants to succeed and his belief is in two criminals who he agrees to divide his earnings with, once they have successfully kidnapped his wife. Macy's portrayal of the nervous and unlawful man makes something out of the plot, and with his personal issues, do we see a real man with real problems and a real life situation in our hands, with some perfect realism with a consistent use of colloquial language to add consistency.

As good as the performances are, it is the Coen brothers who are the stars with a consistent well written plot and some fine diverse direction to make an ultimate realistic crime drama.