On looking smart in situations where you’re in over your head

Wednesday, 17 February, 2016

You’re sitting at your desk one day, trying as best as possible to plow through your work, when an email message arrives informing you that you’re now a director of the company, and your first board meeting will be tomorrow morning.

Elation soon turns to despair however, as you fret over what to wear, and, more importantly, how to act, since it’s all a new experience for you. Oh yes, I know the feeling. Happily, Dan Davies, writing for Mr Porter, has created a cheat-sheet, or how to guide, for this exact situation:

The first step is be convincing. Avoid non-verbal leakage (which can be as messy as it sounds). Don’t move your head suddenly when asked the question, touch your mouth, neck or throat, or shuffle your feet – they’re all giveaways that you’re mentally spinning. Verbal “tells” include repetition, offering too much unsolicited information (or padding) and qualifiers such as “If I recall correctly” or “If I am not mistaken”.

There’s also advice for looking the part at art shows, ordering wine at an upscale restaurant, and dealing with philosophy discussions at dinner parties.

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The Cardboard Home Cinema, putting a home cinema in every home

Friday, 5 February, 2016

Photo by Manuel Pita

I’ve not quite warmed to the idea of watching movies on my smartphone, mainly because I think the screen is too small. That I still own one with a four-inch screen, and intend to for sometime, doesn’t really help, but I think you’d need at least an average tablet size screen to really enjoy watching a film or TV show, on a smaller device.

However, if watching movies on a smartphone is your thing, you might get a kick out of the Cardboard Personal Home Cinema, essentially a cardboard box that sits on the floor, that you then crawl under, after placing your phone over a viewing slot on the top of the box. Actually, this is something kids might have fun with.

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The Lord of the Rings, too much like work to be able to enjoy?

Wednesday, 3 February, 2016

At last, someone who doesn’t like The Lord of the Rings… to the mind of Remy Porter, J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy saga is too much like work, and Middle Earth bares an uncanny resemblance to way too many workplaces.

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Write a crawl for your own private Star Wars story

Wednesday, 13 January, 2016

This is fun, write your own Star Wars crawl text… just what those who are into Star Wars role playing games, and the like, ordered I would think.

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What to do when you’re two digits short of a phone number?

Thursday, 10 December, 2015

A certain someone, who you have no other way of reaching, has given you their phone number, but somehow you’ve lost the last two digits. How might you solve such a problem? By dialling every possible combination of the missing two numbers? I’m guessing you wouldn’t be the first person to do that, nor will you be the last. Needless to say, much persistence is required.

Features some possibly NSFW language.

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R2-D2, loyal astromech droid, or a lying pile of scrap metal?

Wednesday, 11 November, 2015

I hope not to be featuring too many Star Wars theories, I expect you’ll run into no shortage of them elsewhere in the coming weeks anyway, but have you given any serious thought to the motives and integrity of R2-D2, everyone’s favourite astromech droid? Whatever way you look at it, he appears to have kept a great deal of information to himself:

In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke leaves the Battle of Hoth to go to Dagobah and seek Jedi Master Yoda to complete his training. R2-D2 knows who Yoda is, especially as a astromech droid who served the Jedi in the Clone Wars. Yet, when Luke shows up at Dagobah, R2-D2 trolls Yoda and Luke by fighting with the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy over some junk in Luke’s camp. That’s like you meeting Ghandi and throwing sand in his face.

It seems not a single character in the saga is really beyond scrutiny. Look closely enough at anyone, and there’ll be some reason to question who they are, or what they really stand for.

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When time travel disrupts the space-time continuum…

Tuesday, 18 August, 2015

I’m You, Dickhead, the latest short film by Australian actor and director Lucas Testro, explores the consequences of upsetting the space-time continuum as a result of time travel.

There’d be more than a few people who wish they could travel back in time to correct a past mistake, or offer their younger selves some life changing advice. All well and good. But what if the undertaking creates more problems than it was meant to solve? Go back again? That might only compound issues…

I can see certain, albeit absurd, parallels with Back to the Future here. Like, what if Marty had decided to stay in 1955, rather than return to 1985? That tangent is explored, in a way, here.

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Flying machines that, quite simply, do not fly. Or not far anyway

Friday, 7 August, 2015

A collection of photos from Flugtag, or “flying day”, events that take place around the world, that have been arranged by energy drink manufacturer Red Bull for over twenty years.

Long story short, participants are tasked with building a machine, the quirkier and less flight worthy the better, that is supposed to fly over a body of water. Most of these… craft hit the water pretty quickly, but some have managed to notch-up some distance.

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The holiday photos you don’t usually get to see

Wednesday, 5 August, 2015

Photo by Chris Bojke

I was about to say these quite gloomy photos taken by British holiday makers over what, I imagine, is supposed to be the summer, wouldn’t be Instagram worthy. Then again, one or two have aspects befitting the world’s favourite photo sharing application.

(Photo by Chris Bojke)

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To work from home, or not. As if you need an excuse

Tuesday, 4 August, 2015

More of a resource for those looking for a reason not to present at the office, as opposed to anyone who actually needs a reason to in fact work from home, rather than traipse into the workplace. The Work From Home Ninja may then be good for an excuse to do so. Work from home without actually working, that is.

If you’re going to be working from home in my home though, trust me, you’ll be working. Just to be clear.

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