17: Don’t Be A Bum

January 18, 2013

1. Kansas House Speaker Asks House To Pray For President’s Death

Mike O’Neil, Speaker of the Kansas House in an e-mail to other House members:

Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!

Embarrassing.

via @kingbry7 on Twitter

2. Apply For Enstitute

I’ve previously written about Enstitute — an apprenticeship program where students work for a startup in NYC and “learn by doing” — and I can’t believe I missed the news that it started accepting applications for 2013 last month. Applications need to be submitted by February 3rd and must include 1) a video explaining why you should be accepted to Enstitute and 2) responses to a series of questions (my favorite: What is the failure that you most celebrate? Why?).

If you’re even slightly interested, get on it now. Sorry to my readership outside of the US, Enstitute doesn’t have an international presence yet; it will eventually, so stay tuned if you like the idea. Otherwise, Enstitute is cool and if you want to work in the tech sector, there are few better ways to start if you can manage to be selected for it.

3. Because It’s Printed On A Mug

Have you ever wanted to be rude to people but didn’t have a good excuse? Well those days are over! The author of Guinea Something Good (one of the webcomics I read) uploaded a mug design to his DeviantArt page based on a mug in the comic.

The mug reads I CAN BE RUDE BECAUSE IT’S PRINTED ON A MUG and it’s selling for $12.99. I’ll be picking it up later, and it’s brilliant enough where you might do well to pick it up too.

(No I wasn’t paid or even asked to post this, I just really find the mug fun.)

4. It’s Not Just Chivalry That’s Dead

Alex Williams, New York Times:

Traditional courtship — picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date — required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego (by telephone, rejection stings). Not so with texting, e-mail, Twitter or other forms of “asynchronous communication,” as techies call it. In the context of dating, it removes much of the need for charm; it’s more like dropping a line in the water and hoping for a nibble.

Online dating services, which have gained mainstream acceptance, reinforce the hyper-casual approach by greatly expanding the number of potential dates. Faced with a never-ending stream of singles to choose from, many feel a sense of “FOMO” (fear of missing out), so they opt for a speed-dating approach — cycle through lots of suitors quickly.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been a participant in the “online dating” scene. I don’t particularly expect (or want) anything serious to come of it, but the idea that traditional dating is dead is interesting. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though; of my friends, two of the most successful relationships I know of started online.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? As vaguely alluded to in the quote above, when you aren’t restricted by location or schedules, you’re more likely to meet people who have similar interests. Traditional dating might be a casualty in favor of new communication mediums, but it’s a casualty that I’m okay with.

I say it a lot, but the world is changing.

via friends on Facebook

5. YouTube Might Be Investing In VEVO

If this rumor turns out to be true, it will turn out to be a pretty big “it’s about time” for YouTube. Janko Roettgers lays out the numbers on paidContent, but in short, one of the primary reasons people use YouTube is to watch VEVO videos. An investment by YouTube makes more than a whole lot of sense.

via FlipBoard for iOS

6. Mark Wahlberg And Ted At The Oscars

Mike Sampson, Screen Crush:

While making an appearance on Anderson Live – Anderson Cooper’s now-canceled afternoon talk show – Wahlberg revealed that, yes, they are working on a ‘Ted 2‘ but that it won’t take that long before you see him and his stuffed friend reunited. Says Wahlberg, “Ted and I will be appearing at the Oscars.”

If you follow me on Twitter you probably know that I’m not a fan of the Academy Awards — I view it as the industry patting itself on the back and film festivals are the events that really matter — but this will get me to watch at least part of the show this year.

As a sidenote, if you haven’t seen Ted, you really ought to. It’s one of the funniest theatrical releases last year and simultaneously has a lot of heart.

via FlipBoard for iOS

7. Tips To Succeeding In Online Courses

Some of the hardest classes that I’ve taken at traditional universities were online, and my performance in a few still sting me to think about. There’s an idea that persists among some students that online courses are easy — they aren’t. Online courses require a certain self-directing study ethic that’s hard to summon if you aren’t interested in the material, and US News has a list of five tips that can help students complete online courses.

My favorite of the tips is Have a consistent workspace. It probably seems obvious but, I know that when I was enrolled in traditional universities, I kind of threw study-places at the wall trying to find one that stuck. I’d rotate between a variety of coffee shops, the school library, my home, etc., and the inconsistency left me consistently distracted.

For somewhere around a year I’ve made a specific Starbucks my primary workspace for almost everything — homework, studying, blogging, coding — and the familiarity has amped up my productivity. If you do work on a portable computer, particularly important stuff like schoolwork, find a location you like and stick to it. The location might get boring after a while, but you’ll be there to work, it doesn’t need to be exciting; infact it’s better if it isn’t exciting.

via @StraighterLine on Twitter

8. S-VHS Teaser

While most of my Horror-friends weren’t incredibly appreciative of the indie Horror anthology V/H/S, I thought it was entertaining enough. As such, I’m happy to link you to the newly released teaser trailer for its sequel, S-VHS.

via @MrHorror on Twitter

9. Being A Minimalist

Design Taxi is a great blog that turns up in my feed every so often, and this time it’s an article about how to be a minimalist “in design and life”. The piece is effectively just a reblog of a comic by Grant Snider, but alas, credit where it’s due. If you’re looking to live a minimalist life, you’ll be hard pressed to find better advice.

via @MacTheDave on Twitter

10. Keeping Busy

At present I don’t make a whole lot of money; it’s been more than two years since I’ve had a well-paying, traditional job and I’ve lived off of pennies coupled with student loans and help from my parents since. Obviously that can’t go on forever — nor should it — and the reason why I’m learning Processing and hopefully other coding languages following is because I believe that skill can at least help me support myself. The icing on the cake is that it’s something I enjoy.

My last traditional job was as Apple’s rep at PSU for the 2010 school year, and that lasted between February 2010 to December 2010. It’s very easy to become sedentary when you receive the financial assistance that I have over the past two years, and it’s important to not let that happen.

The reason why I started blogging in December 2010 is because I didn’t have anything better to do. I liked movies, I felt like my opinions were half decent, and I didn’t have a job, so I started Picture This! Reviews and ran from there. Since then I’ve switched blogs outright, I’ve been hired onto a few others, I’ve even started a webcomic (which is admittedly on hiatus). I’ve consulted a little graphic design company on various things and through all this I’ve been going to school on-and-off.

When the time comes for me to make a half decent paycheck again, I’ll have a strong enough work ethic to do my job and do it well because I’ve kept myself busy for my two years away from regular cash. I didn’t have to — I would’ve received the financial assistance I have anyway — but I think that it’s important for my growth that I didn’t let myself become sedentary.

Even if you have to do work for pennies or even for free, it’s so much better than doing nothing and letting yourself become a bum. It’s so easy to do and I know because I’ve gone through periods where I took my assistance for granted and became lazy. Don’t do it. Keep yourself busy no matter what.

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