December, 2012 Issue 1
Impression The Student Medium
Real or Rumor?
How strong are your SPEECH skills?
Are we headed for the end of the world?
What to explore in London?
Visit MILKSHAKE CITY
Get in shape at home!
Whatâ€™s in a name?
Develop Your Confidence!
When EMOTIONS play a game
The Art of Gaming
From the Students, To the Students
The Life of Students
*No need for formal introductions, it applies to all of us, together. Photo courtesy of CoolFunClub.
I would like to express deep gratitude to my small, but enormously loyal team of writers, who didnâ€™t need to see, but believed, who didnâ€™t ask, but knew. Without their support and diligent effort, this publication would never have been possible.
Thank you all, Ivan Grozdanovski
Executive Editor Ivan Grozdanovski Assistant Editor and Designer Ana Grozdanovska Writing Committee Aleksandar Ilievski Laura Kreka Elena Radeska
What’s Inside: Fon Is a Brand……………………………………………………………………………………….………........….. 1 “So where do you go to school, pal?”
Two Factors Behind Confidence……………………………………………………………………..………..… 2 You don't have to do anything to fail. It’s success you have to work for.
London Olympic Games………………………………………………………………………………………...…. 4 I had a proper 2012 summer. I got to watch the London Olympic Games, ONLINE!
The Winner among the Emotions…………………………………………………………………………….... 6 Once upon a time, all of the emotions gathered in a meadow.
No Way! Really?!?.................................................................................................................... 7 By the end of each episode, the myths are rated as “Busted,” “Plausible,” or “Confirmed.”
Public Speaking...................................................................................................................... 10 You are an expert by now; it’s time you looked like one.
Forbidden Names................................................................................................................... 12 Would you name your child Superman, Gaza, Gandalf, or Arsenal?
Milkshake City....................................................................................................................... 14 Oh, wait! You haven’t heard of it before? Well, now you have.
Prerogatives........................................................................................................................... 16 “Because if I told you, I would have to tell everyone.”
The Art of Video Games........................................................................................................ 20 Their work is the same as a painter’s.
The 10 Best Books of 2012..................................................................................................... 22 Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself.
Judgment Day....................................................................................................................... 24 The best lies are forged on partial truths.
English Language Trivia........................................................................................................ 25 The most commonly used word in English conversation is ‘I.’
At-Home Workout................................................................................................................. 27 Guys, don’t be discouraged from doing this exercise like the woman on the left.
The World’s Dumbest Laws.................................................................................................. 30 But just like everyone has at least one dumb friend, every country has at least one dumb law.
Words to Make Someone’s Day Better................................................................................. 31 Let the people who spread positive energy around them know how it affects you.
FON Is a Brand Before the start of the new academic year, a student was out in the market shopping for the last of his school supplies. He walked into a stationery store. A day before the first class and a summer’s worth of procrastinat ion had resulted in an aspiring student who approached the checkout counter with an armful o f merchandise early in the morning. That singular sight was enough to rouse the store owner more than any number of cups o f coffee. He excitedly rambled about how he would reduce the total price by a hundred denars, as after all, the student was his first customer, and this was a good omen. The bill was pretty heft y st ill, so the student didn’t think it inappropriate to ask for yet a second discount of a hundred denars. Whether the owner didn’t understand, or pretended not to, his reply was affirmat ive, agreeing anyway that he would reduce the total cost by one hundred denars, and went on to place the cheapest of pencils and pens in the student’s hand. The student remained with his hand outstretched until the pile stopped growing, and pocketed the load. Then it was the student’s turn to fill the owner’s hand wit h compensat ion. All the while that he was dealing the bills, the owner was wheezing and licking his lips excitedly. Wit h the last placement of a bill, the owner exhaled deeply and wiped the sweat from his forehead. Then he asked casually, “So where do you go to school, pal?” He wasn’t prepared for the student’s reply. “FON Universit y.” The owner’s eyes jumped fro m the mo ney and fixed on the student. His entire body tremored a few times in successio n, and then he remained as before. The student was not unco mfortable in his societally imposed role o f antagonist and remained at ease. The student noticed that the owner’s hand had begun to rise, as if too light for its own weight. Quickly grabbing the hand in a firm clasp, the student gave it so mething o f a shake or a yank to keep the owner from falling over. As if lo st in the thoughts behind his clouded eyes, the owner murmured, “Who the hell are you?” Wit h an innocent smile, the student reminded the owner, “I’m your first customer, Sir,” and slowly backed out of the store and jo ined the crowds outside.
Two Factors Behind Confidence You see a guy walking towards you. His countenace is set, shoulders raised, back straight, and every stride he makes falls with dignity, grace, and above all, power. He has your attention. You break out of your spellbound admiration when he passes you and say to yourself, “Man, I wish I could look that cool walking around.” Admit it. Go ahead, you owe it to yourself, just this once, to relax into the serenity of truth. This has happened to you. The first step towards improvement is acceptance. Now that you know your walk can use improvement, let's examine how we can do that. The reason that some people walk with outer confidence is because they have inner confidence. It seeps out without any effort; they're not acting. It is because they feel good about themselves that they look good doing anything. They know they can do it, whatever that it may be. Unfortunately, most of how we feel about ourselves comes from childhood programing, when we could do almost nothing about what we understood from the world. The way our personalities turned out is largely a result of parental reinforcement, school, friends, and other influences. Do not take this, however, as an excuse and point to a difficult childhood as the cause of a lack of confidence today. If that is the case, then it just means that you will need to work on yourself a little harder. And if you do, you will change. Confidence is a combination of environment and inner control. With regards to the environment, you will have to take yourself away from negative ambients, and install yourself in positive ones. It's that simple. If you hang around brooding, angry, malicious people, they will bring down your energy level. You'll end up invisible in a crowd, with nothing good inside of you to attract attention. On the flip side, go to exciting people full of energy, people that make you feel good, that encourage your ambitions. And with time, strive to become one of them. Encourage your own ambitions. It has been said that we are more affraid of success than we are of failure. That is because failure is easy. You don't have to do anything to fail. It's success you have to work for. What's worse, people will expect it again in the future from you if you achieve it once. But what could be bad about work? Work is a virtue. As long as you are working—presumably toward something you are passionate about, something that will help you in the future—boredom cannot settle on you. You might begin to feel fatigue, and that's when you rest; a sweet, fulfilling rest. And then you get addicted to your work because you feel that you are doing something worthwile, that you are making a difference in the world and are an important asset.
Are you still invisible? Your energy level has gone way up, just from pursuing your dreams, and progress is the perk! People can now feel you, and there's your confidence. If you followed the first step, you have supportive friends helping you on your rise. Those negative downers you left in your dust would only have reinforced how dangerous and risky your endevors were. They would have been jealous of your prosperity. Just imagine how jealous they are now. You've done it without them because they weren't there to stop you. Make sure you don't overlook any dangerously negative people surrounding you in your environment. Get rid of them. Positive friends are what you are looking for if you are going to succeed. Say you've done all this. Does that mean your road to success is paved and open? No, life is never that easy, silly. Thousands of years of civilization would surely have figured out a formula for success if one existed. This is where the selfcontrol comes in. There will be unexpected detours, potholes, road construction, and even other drivers set on ramming you off your road to success and crushing you out of existance. As Newton put it, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and this is true in the social world as well. Life will resist your efforts to improve and test you to see if you really mean it, or if it's just an act you are trying out for the day. There will be days when you feel overpowered, but if you can compose yourself and push harder, shrug off any pain, then you have the self-control that will cement your newfound good feelings about yourself into your permanant personality. â€œNo one can make me feel a certain way. I choose how I feel.â€? Keep this in mind, put it on a sticky note on your computer or mirror, and make it your daily motto. Did you know that feelings are only a state of mind? It's true. We can change them if we want to. Accept this, believe in it, and practice it. In time, you will see the proof behind it. If you are feeling sad or angry, decide to be happy. If the switch isn't happening so easily, think of something that makes you happy, and do it. The brain responds to actions, and the response to doing something you enjoy is, you guessed it, joy. Happiness! Persue it.
I don’t know why, but it seems that everyone’s favorite question after summer ends is to ask how your summer went. Everybody’s comments about the summer of 2012 were similar to this: my summer was fun, hot, I enjoyed the beautiful sunny days, went on an awesome holiday, bought a yacht, I did scuba diving, my frog died… yeah, yeah, but don’t you think some of that could be bit exaggerated? If you ask me, I had a proper 2012 summer. I got to watch the London Olympic Games, ONLINE! Yes, you heard right! I had the best time watching all the best athletes from around the world in one place.
(Tom Daley was my favorite. How cute is he?)
While spending so much time online, watching and reading everything related to the Olympic Games this year, I had nothing better to do but get obsessed. Of course, my family was a good sport about it, and didn’t bother me with anything else. Entirely focused on the Olympics, I found out so many interesting, weird, cool, freaky and fun facts about the Games over the years.
I’d like to share some of them with you people: 1. Shakespeare was the first person to use the word “Olympian” in 1591, in Henry VI, with the line, "Promise them such rewards […] As victors wear at the Olympian games." 2. The ancient Olympics were first referenced in Homer’s Iliad, written in the 7th or 8th Century B.C. 3. The earliest record of the Games is from 776 B.C., when the only event was a foot race… 4. ... and women, slaves and “impious” persons were banned from watching or taking part in the Games. 5. The first post-classical “Olimpick” games took place near Chipping, Campden in 1612, exactly 400 years before the latest ones in London, 2012.
6. The colors of the rings were selected so that every nation’s flag would contain at least one of them. 7. The 1900 Paris Olympics were the first to allow women to participate, and winners were awarded paintings rather than medals. 8. The first female athlete to win an individual Olympic event was tennis player Charlotte Cooper from Ealing, West London, at the 1900 Games in Paris. 9. The White City Stadium took nine months to build, cost £60,000 and could hold between 70,000 and 93,000 people. 10. London is the first city in history to hold the Olympic Games three times. 11. The Olympic Motto for the 2012 London Games was “Inspire a generation.” 12. Women’s boxing took place for the first time at this year’s Games. 13. During the Closing ceremony, three flags are raised: the Greek flag to honor the Games’ birthplace, that of the current host country, and that of the country hosting the next Games. 14. Equestrianism is the only Olympic sport in which men and women compete against each other on equal terms. Which was your favorite? Do you know any other mind-blowing facts related to the Olympics?
The Winner among the Emotions Once upon a time, all of the emotions gathered in a meadow. They were bored, so
Wisdom pondered but at last agreed to play. Curiosity jumped at the opportunity to see what the game was about. Happiness started dancing and promptly convinced Appreciation and Suspicion to join in. Only Consideration, Pride, and Truth opposed. Consideration did not want to risk it, Pride thought it was a stupid idea, and Truth refused to hide. She knew that eventually everybody would find her. “One, two, three, four…” Impulsiveness started to count. Laziness hid behind the first stone she found on the road. Beauty dived into the pure crystal lake, and Faith ascended to the sky. Jealousy hid in the shadow of Success, and Forgetfulness forgot to hide. Generosity couldn’t decide where to go because every place seemed perfect for someone else. Shyness hid in the crack of a tree, and Freedom hid within the wind. Selfishness found a place to hide only for herself. Deceit hid at the end of the rainbow (though even that was a lie, for she was at the bottom of the ocean). And Passion was in the crater of a volcano. By the time Impulsiveness had counted to 99, Love still couldn’t find a place to hide, so she hid among some flowers. Then Impulsiveness finished counting and started looking for the rest. First she found Laziness, then Faith, who was arguing loudly with God. When she found Jealousy, she also found Success. She didn’t need to look for Selfishness since she revealed herself. Then Impulsiveness became thirsty, so she went to drink from the lake, and that’s where she found Beauty. But she couldn’t find Love! She searched every tree, every stone, river, and mountain. She was furious, so she took a thorn and started pricking at the flowers. Suddenly, a painful cry went up. It had come from the flowers. It was Love, and her eyes had been blinded by the stabs from the thorn. Impulsiveness prayed for forgiveness, and sought penance by offering to help Love. In the end, Love was the winner among the emotions, but her loss was in her sight. Now Impulsiveness remains with her everywhere she goes to show her the way.
No Way! Really?!? Haven’t we all wanted a television show that would finally separate fact from fiction and test the legitimacy of rumors, myths, movie scenes, proverbs, Internet videos, and news stories? MythBusters is it. It’s hosts are special effects experts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, and cohosts Grant Imahara, Kari Byron, and Tory Belleci. In every episode the hosts introduce a myth by showing a short and amusing video. Then, the MythBusters (the team of people, or the hosts) test the myth in a two-step process. First, the team attempts to recreate the circumstances of the myth so that they can determine whether the result actually occurs. If that fails, they increase and broaden the circumstances to the point that will incite the supposed result. Sometimes, the hosts will hold a friendly competition between themselves to see which of them can achieve the result of the myth more successfully. In order to test myths, the MythBusters construct whatever is needed for the experiment in functional workshops, including mechanical devices. Myths involving explosives, firearms, and vehicle collisions are common, so great care for safety and consistency is exercised. When testing physical consequences to a human body which would be too dangerous to test on a living person, the MythBusters use crash test dummies or pig carcasses to simulate human flesh, bone, and organs. They have also used real bones of specific body parts or simulated molds. After all, the nature of busting myths requires adherence to realistic tests. High speed cameras are used during the
experiments to verify the results and have become a trademark of the series. By the end of each episode, the myths are rated as “Busted,” “Plausible,” or “Confirmed.” Busted myths are those that can’t be replicated either under the described circumstances or reasonably exaggerated ones. They are physically impossible or highly unlikely to occur given the scientific facts; or the equipment that’s prescribed by the myth to reach the target results is neither available to the general public nor capable of producing the same results today. Plausible myths occur if the myth’s results can be replicated by expanding some factors to a realistic margin; if the myth’s results are achieved using the method described, but the main reason is different; if the myth requires a highly unlikely set of circumstances, yet it is shown to be possible under artificial ones; or if the described scenario produces a result similar to, but of less intensity, than the one described in the myth. Confirmed myths are those whose outcome the MythBusters are able to exactly or closely recreate. Some myths, such as paranormal concepts—aliens or ghosts—are not tested by the MythBusters because they cannot be tested through scientific methods. They also avoid experiments that are harmful to living animals, even though carcasses of pigs and chickens are often used. Many people argue over the show’s experiments, so an online section of the forums at the Discovery Channel called “Everyone’s a Critic” has been created in order to give fans a place to post their thoughts. Those myths that stir a lot of debate are revisited by the MythBusters.
WINTER MYTHS A reasonably sized icicle (over 1.5 ft., or half a meter, in length) falling from the roof of a house can kill a person. In the 80°F (27°C) San Francisco summer heat, the naked snowman representing Jamie melted considerably faster than the clothed snowman A clothed snowman melts slower Confirmed representing Adam. The clothes on the Adam snowman protected it from than a naked one. the heat and acted like a refrigerator which helped keep the temperature inside from rising. A urine stream can freeze in the cold When tested in a freezer at -70°F (-57°C) the fake urine stream the Busted of winter. MythBusters used did not freeze in midair. A falling icicle can kill a person.
MOVIE MYTHS It is possible to go through a plate At a run speed of 4.7 mph (7.5 km/h), a 160 lb (72.6 kg) subject was glass window if you get enough Confirmed able to smash through a pressurized plate glass window. force from running. An ordinary playing card can After shooting Jamie with a rather powerful (155 mph or 250 km/h) actually kill you if thrown with Busted card-throwing machine, it drew a little bit of blood, but not much more. enough power. A person will be propelled violently Busted A bullet fired by a gun cannot hold enough kinetic energy to do that. backwards if hit by a bullet . Bullets will spark when ricocheting The sparks produced by ricocheting bullets are simply Hollywood Busted off other objects. effects (real bullets do not spark). If a pressurized scuba tank is shot, it When the tank was punctured by a bullet, it simply decompressed Busted will explode. catastrophically. A penny dropped from a skyscraper A penny’s total mass is not sufficient to perforate human skin, even will land with enough force to kill a Busted when fired by a rifle. pedestrian on the sidewalk below. Higher velocity bullets disintegrate in less than 3 ft (1m) of water, but Hiding underwater can stop bullets Confirmed slower velocity bullets, like rounds from a pistol need up to 8 ft (2.5 m) from hitting you. of water to slow to non-lethal speeds. It is possible to split an arrow While it is certainly possible to rear-end an arrow with another, only a perfectly down the middle with a fiberglass arrow can be split down the middle. With a wooden arrow, Busted second arrow like in the movie The even under the most ideal conditions, the best you can do is a partial split Adventures of Robin Hood. along the wood’s grain. “Killer Quicksand” like in the Quicksand is denser than water; objects are more buoyant in denser Busted movies really exists. liquids. It is possible to jump from an Any attempt to use the raft failed due to the instability of the raft in airplane and use an inflatable life freefall. It was possible to rig the raft as a parachute and land with raft to safely return to earth (as Busted minimal injuries, but this would not be possible to perform while in Indiana Jones and the Temple of jumping from a disabled aircraft. Doom). Metal piercings increase one’s The lightning does seem to strike a pierced body more, but not the Busted chances of being hit by lightning. piercings directly.
FOOD MYTHS The “Five Second Rule” is valid when it comes to food dropped on the floor. Eating poppyseed bagels can cause one to test positive for heroin on a drug test. A can of biscuit dough can explode in a hot car.
This myth yielded a varied number of results, but in the definitive test where the only variable was time, the myth was definitively busted. Busted There was no real difference in the amount of bacteria collected from 2 seconds exposure as opposed to 6 seconds. Unripe poppy seeds are used to create opium, which is an ingredient Confirmed in heroin. If a test is sensitive enough, it can generate a false positive simply by detecting the poppy seeds. The dough can blow out of many types of biscuit cans at a car’s Confirmed internal temperature of 145°F (60ºC).
A gas tank will explode when shot by a bullet.
It has already been proved that when shot by a normal bullet a gasoline tank will not explode. However, if a gasoline tank is shot by a tracer round from a far-enough distance so that the round can ignite with air friction, it will cause the gasoline to catch fire. By the time this happened in the test, the tank was so riddled with bullets that there was no contained pressure, but the MythBusters surmised that, had the tank been properly enclosed, it would have exploded.
A black car heats up faster than an identical white car.
The MythBusters used two identical cars, one black, the other white, and left them both out in the summer heat with thermometers inside. By Confirmed mid-afternoon the black car had heated up to a temperature of 135ºF (57°C), while the white car topped off at 126ºF (52°C).
Driving while talking on a cell phone is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
Both Adam and Kari failed a general-purpose road safety test while talking on a cell phone and while driving drunk.
If you plug the tailpipe of a car with objects, the engine will be destroyed.
All objects were shot out immediately after the engine started up.
Will the engine be destroyed when different household products are put into the tank?
The engine was not destroyed.
ANIMAL MYTHS Sharks tend to be attracted to brighter colors like yellow. Sharks can detect a single drop of blood dropped into a pool of water. A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s. A goldfish’s memory lasts only three seconds.
When all the results were calculated, the sharks preferred to go for Confirmed the “yum-yum yellow” seal dummy before the other ones (red, blue, black, white, silver). Busted
The single drop diffused into the water before the sharks could detect it. However, much experience among scuba divers, not connected to this program, seems to say “Confirmed,” though this could be dealing with more than one drop of blood.
The sample collected from Adam’s mouth had much more bacterial growth than the sample collected from Lulu the dog.
Jamie trained his goldfish to recognize color patterns and complete an obstacle course under water. They remembered what he had taught them over a month later and easily completed the same course without his prompting. Adam’s fish, however, learned to eat their own feces.
Public Speaking Public speaking, when performed correctly, is an art form. In essence, standing in front of an audience involves two aspects: diction and acting. Public speaking goes way back in history, its beginnings marked by early philosophers. It used to be a valued vocation practiced by the educated. In fact, it would not have been an uncommon sight to see orators mumbling with a handful of stones in their mouths in order to develop clarity of speech. Public speaking was not regarded as talking, but as an expression of carefully prepared analyses. This is where the education part came in. Throughout centuries, the art of verbal expression has diminished in value. More and more rarely do we witness masterful use of language with the intention of proving a point. Aside from politicians and a small group of people, the vast majority, students in particular, do not have adequate training and practice with public speaking. Every once in a while they are assigned a presentation, with little or no direction from previous teachers on stage presence, and they display a book-worthy text on PowerPoint to be recited mechanically: voice quivering, legs rocking, arms heavily dead at their sides, and face chilled to a pale complexion with only the mouth shifting over frightened words. To say the least, it’s terrible!
Unlike the rare educated man millennia back, in today’s world we are all educated. We set aside the time and effort into research, we prepare, and examine, and structure, only to wipe out in the delivery. The secret is, when it comes to a presentation, all that is evident of hard work is the delivery, and if that fails, the presentation smears into ugliness. Of course, it’s also possible that the student doesn’t prepare at all for the all-important presentation that will show their value to their entire class. This article isn’t for such slackers. If you are willing to prepare for a presentation, I have no doubt that you will have the content figured out. That leaves us with the acting work, which begins when you rehearse your presentation at home. You can even practice seated in front of your computer at first. Repeat saying your presentation several times until you know most of it without having to read it off the screen. If you can discuss it leisurely over coffee, then you’re ready. The next step is standing and practicing your acting of the presentation. This is where you face an imaginary audience while lingering by your computer to glace at the screen occasionally,
but by no means will you be reading. Look at your classmates, not your professor. This is very important. It’s them you want to understand your presentation, so hold their focus with eye contact. Don’t worry if it feels awkward, or scary, because it looks a lot more awkward to them if you look at the professor for approval, as though you are unsure whether what you are saying is right. You are an expert by now; it’s time you looked like one. Keep your hands moving, emphasizing words the way an orchestra director works. Don’t plan gestures, they will take a natural course on their own. The important thing to remember is that if your hands are complementing your speech, they won’t hang dead at your sides. Focus on keeping your legs in place if you are one of those people who like to dance around, stepping forward and back to some tango no one can hear. You can walk over to a different part of the room every once in a while if that helps you. A good speaker is aware of how he carries himself the entire time because he is acting from the script in his mind. Thinking about the content, and about the acting, multitask to produce an intelligent and aesthetic speech. Try to keep your voice low. It sounds more authoritative that way. The biggest cause of a shaking voice is nervousness, and yes, good public speakers are nervous too. But they hide it. You wouldn’t tell a stranger your secrets, so why would you show your audience how nervous you are? Work yourself up mentally before stepping to the front. Know that you are brave, and this will get rid of the voice that sounds like you are crying. Remind yourself that you can talk to any of these people on break, outside, or in the hall. The only thing is that they have to listen to you now, and who doesn’t want to be heard? Don’t forget to speak loudly so that everyone can hear. It’s better to be too loud than too quiet. At least that way you affiliate with confidence. Don’t think about your hair, or how your shirt is a little tight over your belly, or if everyone notices the spreading circles of sweat under your arms. You probably look fine. It’s okay to have some fun as well. Make facial expressions appropriate to your message, and smile with your jokes. Show how clever you are. Focus on the great responsibility of looking your best while sounding your best, and surely your speech will impress. When the professor calls your name, feel your heart jump, and smile. Stand and walk with dignity to the computer, set up, look over your crowd, and begin. There is no rush. Do it just like you practiced at home. I’m sure you will find that you do it better in front of the class because everyone is watching, and there is no way you’re going to mess up. Be cheerful and confident, and you will do all of your preparation and yourself justice.
Forbidden Names Would you name your child Superman, Gaza, Gandalf, or Arsenal? How about if you were a really big fan of these things? These are all real and legal names of British children. Most governments around the world do not restrict parents from being creative with their children’s names, unless they could be considered offensive. Many names have been banned around the world throughout the years due to indecency, irrationality, or just plain madness. Here’s a sample. 1) Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii (New Zealand) A nine year old girl from New Zealand was the bearer of this odd name before the judge renamed her in a custody battle. “It makes a fool of the child,” he said. New Zealand law bans names which could cause offence to a “reasonable person.” It seems that New Zealand is a hot spot for weird names. Famous banned names from this country include 4Real, Fish and Chips (twins), Yeah Detroit, Keenan Got Lucy, Sex Fruit, Lucifer, V8, Christ, Messiah, 89, J, I, T, /, and *. Surprisingly though, Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence were allowed. 2) Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (Sweden) Before you hurt yourself trying to pronounce it, apparently it is simply read, ‘Albin.’ Sixteen years ago, the parents of this unfortunate baby boy tried protesting against Sweden’s strict naming laws. Swedish tax authorities must approve both first and last names before they can be used. Other names that Sweden has banned include Metallica, IKEA, Elvis, Superman, Veranda, and Q. However, Google was allowed. 3) Akuma –translation– Devil (Japan) In 1993, the Japanese authorities said that it was an abuse of a parent’s rights to decide to name a child ‘Devil,’ and after some time, the father gave up the fight, and the baby boy got a new name. Moreover, Japanese names must use one of the 2,232 ‘name kanji’ characters determined by the government. 4) Anus (Denmark) When it comes to names, the Danish government is very strict, providing a list of about 7,000 names that parents can choose from. Ethnic names, odd spellings, and even compound last names are forbidden, while special permission is needed if the name is a modification of one found on the list. Luckily, for this baby boy, Anus (along with Pluto and Monkey) made it on the list of 250 names rejected that year. 5) Chow Tow –translation– Smelly Head (Malaysia) Recently, the Malaysian government has increased its efforts in banning unsuitable names. In 2006, the government published a list of unwanted names that weren’t following the religious traditions of the country, such as the Cantonese name Chow Tow, which means Smelly Head. Ah Chwar (Snake), Khiow Khoo (Hunchback), Sor Chai (Insane), and Woti (Sexual Intercourse) also made the list. 6) @ (China) Come on, with one billion people, it’s hard to find a unique name to name your child. The ‘@’ symbol written in Chinese characters looks similar to the Chinese word ‘love him,’ so it made perfect sense to this baby boy’s parents. However, the authorities did not allow this name. The police has control over all names given to children born in China because they issue the
identification cards. But since details of rejected names are not allowed to be published, this is the weirdest one so far. 7) Ovnis –translation– UFO (Portugal) Portugal has an 80 page document which tells people which names they can and can’t use. It’s pretty strict and random; Tomás is allowed, but Tom isn’t. There are more than 2,000 names on the rejected list, including Ovnis, which is Portuguese for UFO, or unidentified flying object. 8) Venerdí –translation– Friday (Italy) In 2008, an Italian court banned a couple from naming their child Venerdí, or Friday. Since the name was inspired by the famous novel Robinson Crusoe, the judges said it carried the association of “subservience and insecurity,” along with “mockery.” However, the parents refused to give up and threatened to name their next child Mercoledí, or Wednesday. 9) Gesher –translation– Bridge (Norway) Kristi Larsen, mother of thirteen children, decided to name her fourteenth Gesher (Hebrew for Bridge). She said that she had been instructed to do so in a dream. The Norwegian court didn’t believe her, and in 1998, she spent two days in jail because she didn’t pay a fine for giving an “unapproved” name to her son. Recently, Norway has issued a general ban on nicknames featuring swearing, sex, and illnesses. 10) Miatt (Germany) This name was rejected by the Standesamt, a German department that approves or rejects names, because it was unclear from the name if the baby was a boy or a girl. Woodstock, Stompie and Grammophon were also banned, yet Speedy, Lafayette, and Jazz were accepted. Strange celebrity baby names: Girls – Blue Ivy (Jay-Z and Beyoncé), Harper Seven (David and Victoria Beckham), Melody Rain (Steven Covino and Layla Kayleigh), Moxie Crimefighter (Penn and Emily Covino), Sunday Rose (Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman),Tallulah Fufe (Patrick and Jillian Dempsey), Rain India (Nichols and Taron Lexton), Petal Blossom Rainbow (Jamie Oliver and Juliette Norton), Poppy Honey Rosie (Jamie Oliver and Juliette Norton). Boys – Cash (John and Joan Rich), Pilot Inspektor (Jason Lee and Beth Riesgraf), Sparrow James Midnight (Joel Madden and Nicole Richie), Zuma Nesta Rock (Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani), Nakoa-Wolf Mankauapo Namakaeha (Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet), Draco (Mike Verta and Danica McKellar), Buddy Bear Maurice (Jamie Oliver and Juliette Norton), Audio Science (Dallas Clayton and Shannyn Sossaman). Nevertheless, Helen Petrie, a professor at the University of York, observes a balance. According to her studies of the psychological effects on people with unusual names, such children have a difficult time fitting in with their peers. They get teased and experience trauma. However, adults want to have unusual names so that they can stand out from the crowd. “People with very common names sometimes feel that they aren’t unique enough. So I think there’s a happy medium to be struck.” This is just a sample list of some unusual banned baby names for you to read, laugh, and enjoy. It also makes you grateful for the name you have, even if it is fifteen letters or more in total.
Have you ever wondered about strolling through the streets of London and visiting cool places like Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, the British Museum, or the Tower Bridge? How about visiting Milkshake City? Oh, wait! You haven’t heard of it before? Well, now you have. Milkshake City is a ‘Posh Place’ in London. They call it ‘Celeb Hangout Coffee Shop’ because you get to hang out with real British and international celebs. Plus they offer brilliant shakes and atmosphere. One of the most obvious reasons to visit is their special VIP Milkshakes, made and designed by the celebrities themselves with all their favorite flavors (most of them are Nutella-flavored, and no one refuses a delicious Nutella-tasting drink). Among all these wicked reasons to visit Milkshake City, you should also know that they offer chocolates, candies, biscuits, spreads, fruit, all kind of desserts, smoothies, and hot drinks too! And the best part is their price list. You can buy each of these delicious snacks from around £1 to £6. Like it so far? Hold on guys, I’m not done yet. They offer merchandise products as well: cool stuff like hoodies, sweatshirts, snapbacks and key chains in more than one color. Treat yourself with one, and brag about it later. Moving on, here you have a personal review that Mike N. shared about Milkshake City: “I went here because my teenage daughter is a One Direction fan, and they frequent this place. It even has a shake named after them. The ambiance is simple. They have a wide selection of flavorful, well-sized shakes that are worth the price. I am a bit surprised they are not a chain, because I think it would work. Worth a trip, especially if you are a One Direction fan.”
So guys, to sum it up, I would have to say that one of the greatest perks of visiting and being in London is most definitely visiting Milkshake City and hopefully meeting your favorite celeb.
Here is the official address : 2 Halliwick Court Parade London N12 0NB Area: Dulwich 020 8362 0957 And here you have some photographic evidence of what Iâ€™ve been seducing your minds with. Enjoy
Prerogatives A man in a deserted bus station anxiously looked at his watch. His bus was running late. He had asked the disinterested lady at the ticket booth several times when his bus would arrive, only to hear an irresponsible, “It’ll get here when it gets here.” An employee trailing smoke from the limp cigarette in his mouth emerged from a dark corridor and stapled a piece of paper on the peg board. From where he was sitting, the man made out the title listing his destination in big letters. He jumped to his feet excitedly, and when the employee turned around, the man was waiting in front of him, offering a polite smile to the droopy complexion, tired eyes, and scraggly beard. “Hello,” said the traveler warmly. “So,” he shrugged, “When does my bus get here?” The employee started walking away, mumbling, “It’s on the sign.” “Hold up, pal,” said the man, stepping in front of the employee. “Since you are here, I want you to tell me.” “Just go read it.” “You wrote it,” reasoned the man, “Why don’t you tell me what’s on it?” Waiting so long had stifled his manners. “Because if I told you, I would have to tell everyone.” The man looked around. “It’s just me.” “Listen, guy,” the employee stuck his jaw out at the man so that his slightly liquored breath came perceivably. “I’ve been working all day. I’m tired.” “You’re wasting more words arguing with me this way. Just say the number.” The man didn’t see how the situation could be any simpler. “At what time does my bus get here?” “I don’t have to say it. I already wrote it, didn’t I? You just look at the sign.” “By the time I read all of it,” said the man slowly, fighting irritation, “You’ll walk away, and I won’t have anyone to blame.” The employee blinked in strange confusion. “I’ll tell you what. I’ll read the sign if you stay here with me.”
“Ah, now I understand. No!” yelled the employee. “You leave me alone, you hear me?” The whole time he was trying to walk away, but the man followed him. “I might have some questions,” he reasoned. “Who will I ask if you go away while I’m reading?” “That’s not my concern,” the employee shook his head defiantly. “Where are you going?” yelled the man after the employee, who could no longer be kept back. He didn’t answer. The man tore the paper from the peg board. At the sound, the employee turned to see, to his great consternation, that the man was walking after him with the paper in his hands. “I’m going to read the sign while walking with you,” threatened the man, straightening the paper in front of him. “You can’t,” the employee whined. Looking around, he found his inspiration. “I’m going to the bathroom.” “Suit yourself. But just know, that as soon as you go in there, I’ll read this sign.” The employee drew back in fear. “I swear I’ll do it, dammit! And when you come out, I’ll be right here. Waiting for you,” and he poked the employee in the chest with a triumphant finger. The employee blinked. His breathing came hard through flaring nostrils. “I don’t think I have to go anymore.” The man nodded with gravity. “I think we have an understanding then.” At one moment the employee looked all but defeated, and at the next, he exclaimed excitedly, “Hey, there’s your bus!” The man ran to the window, only to find the bus lot as deserted as before. He looked back, witnessing to his horror, the employee fleeing through the main door. It took him all of about a thought’s invocation to bolt after him, shoes pounding on pavement, employee scrambling, too desperate to look back at what could have been a dog snapping at his heels, so frenzied was the man to catch ahold of him. It was inevitable; he caught him at last, tearing his jacket off, and yet the employee twisted round in it in a clear show that he would forfeit the coat as long as that meant escape. But the man wrapped the coat around the employee’s head, swept his feet from under him, and held him pinned on
the ground. Both the man, and the sack of head he held in his hands panted. “Tell me what the sign says!” cried the man, stuffing the crumpled paper under the jacket in a way that the employee might read. “Alright, alright! Let me up, at least. Jesus Christ. I’ll read it. I need light. And air.” “Then get up,” barked the man at him, getting off. “Get up,” he kept yelling all the while the employee straightened, took the jacket off his head, and brushed his hair. The employee made to read the paper, squinted at it, and cleared his throat. And then he tore it in half, and again, and again, and chewed on the pieces, laughing maniacally through slobbered paper. “I would rather die!” The man could not believe what he was witnessing. Moments away from triumph, he was defeated. “All I wanted to know was what time my bus gets here.” He sounded lost. “Because it’s running late.” With the dissolution of the paper, their argument was baseless. “You wanted to blame me,” said the employee. “And it’s not my fault.” “If it’s not yours, and it’s not mine, then who will accept this fault? Who is the reason for my suffering?” “You are.” The man shook his head, unbelieving. “I’ll tell you what,” the employee went on, “I’m going to go back to the bus station. Wait for five minutes here, then come. There will be a new sign to inform you.” “But can’t you—” “No!” stated the employee peremptorily, and walked away. The man sighed, sat on the ground, and tussled his hair from irritation. He looked at his watch, and let his hand drop again. “Nobody ever accepts blame,” he mumbled to himself.
The man struggled up the steps of the bus under the load of a large package wrapped in black cloth on his shoulder. He was careful to avoid any
arms and legs in the aisle. Finding free seats, he flung his package by the window and stretched into a comfortable slump next to it. The driver went around to check the tickets before taking off and approached the man with raised eyebrows, whose eyelids were now threatening to close. “Sir,” said the driver. “Would you like to move the package to the compartment area below?” indicating toward the wrappings. “No, thank you,” said the man loudly, rousing. “I need it with me.” The driver started. “What’s wrong?” asked the man. The driver shook his head, “I thought I saw it move.” The man smiled. “Must have been gravity.” “I can take that for you if it’s trash,” the driver pointed to a crumpled piece of paper lying on the man’s lap. “Oh, no. Thank you. It’s very valuable. Very valuable. Besides, I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.”
The Art of Video Games W hat is art? According to Encyclopedia Britannica, art is “the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others.” W ell, if you agree with this definition, then video games are every bit of art, and more. As a man who can appreciate art and a gamer, I feel that I have the experience to enlighten you on the subject. Just as a few bad apples do not make the whole tree rotten, there are bad video games out there, but there are many more that are great. It is exaggerated attacks on video games from people who have hardly played any that for the most part contribute to the negative stigma. Video games started simple. They were nothing like the revolutionary masterpieces we see today. They started as arcade games, among the most famous being Pac-Man. Games have always been popular among loyal enthusiasts. However, because people tend to believe the media, which is usually biased, video games are seldom taken seriously. Thus, when we say video games, we automatically associate that with a waste of time. This lowers our opinion of the people involved in a field of work that otherwise has nothing unrespectable about it. Music, painting, writing. These are all well-respected arts. Names like Da Vinci, Beethoven, Dostoevsky, ring with respect and appreciation at the mention. Today’s video games are a combination of all of those great arts. They are composed of great stories, backed with mind-blowing visuals, and speciallycomposed music that can make you laugh, cry, mourn, or leap with joy alongside the characters. Though it started simple, the art form of video games has grown to new heights. But there is a downside. There always is. Because the gaming industry is just that, an industry, companies prioritize profit over quality. And sometimes games don’t feel like art, but glamour without content. Take the popular shooting games for example. They are just that. Popular. And maybe some of them have quality too, but they don’t sell because of that. They sell because of advertising, which uses cheap shots like patriotism and sells on your love for your country. On top of that, these empty games promote violence as a solution to all our problems. This is where the media turns the people against video games, pointing out the dangers of the few bad apples. Violence exists in all walks of life. Because of negative media coverage on franchises like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor, people think that that is all there is to gaming. Facts will show more than “a few” examples on the flip side. For example, multiplayer games help many kids who have difficulties socializing to start making friends and encourage an active social life. In one case a small boy was attacked by a bear and he survived by playing dead. W hen he was asked where he learned that skill, he said World of Warcraft. Games also help a lot of kids to develop
their thinking, with logical puzzles and word games embedded in the storyline. The best way to make children learn is to make them unaware of it. By playing smart games they learn and conclude things on their own. Probably the most obvious form of art in a video game is the visuals. Thatâ€™s what people notice most, and that is where games excel. Usually behind every popular game there is a team of artists that works on the development. W ith the help of the creative director they create worlds, new and exiting digital places where you can explore. Their work is the same as a painterâ€™s. Open world games like Skyrim and Dragon Age stun with their beauty and complexity. Just remember that someone had to take words and commands in a programming window and transfer those into pixels on a computer screen. The sound is another category that makes games special. No less than the music in films, the music in games makes a lot of difference. It can make a scary situation even scarier, or make it funny. It controls the tension that you feel while you play, inciting appropriate emotions. All in all, sound in video games takes the whole experience to the next level. The story is maybe the most important element. It is the backbone of a good gaming experience. The story for the game is written just like a movie script, and in many instances can stand by itself as a work of art. W hen put in a game, it gives meaning, and structure. It creates characters and a goal that they try to achieve. The story creates plot, romance, life or death, just like the great Shakespeare used to do in his plays. But donâ€™t take my word for it. Video games shout out their artistic value like any other piece of art out there. Their stunning pictures offer only a small portion of the kind of art video games regularly provide. The art is there for anyone willing to look with an open mind.
The 10 Best Books of 2012
“We read to know that we are not alone.” This is a well-known quote by William Nicholson. Another beautiful one would be, “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book,” by Groucho Marx…
I used to listen to one of my teachers say, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you will go.” But that’s not the real reason why I started reading books more often. I’ve learned that books are the quietest and most constant of friends, they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.
I’ve read plenty of good books lately, and new vocabulary words was not the only thing I absorbed. Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, or anything you may read, all of your experience of the world. You bring your history, and you read it on your own terms. I say that once you learn to read, really read, you’ll get addicted. Then you’ll be starving and craving for new book covers and stories.
It was really hard to choose the best ten books of the year because all of them are great. That’s why I decided to consult my best friend and adviser, Google. According to the New York Times, these are the 10 best books of 2012:
FICTION: 1. BRING UP THE BODIES
By Hilary Mantel. 2. BUILDING STORIES
By Chris Ware. 3. A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING By Dave Eggers. 4. NW By Zadie Smith. 5. THE YELLOW BIRDS By Kevin Powers. NON-FICTION: 1. BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. By Katherine Boo. 2. FAR FROM THE TREE Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. By Andrew Solomon. 3. THE PASSAGE OF POWER The Years of Lyndon Johnson. By Robert A. Caro. 4. THE PATRIARCH The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy. By David Nasaw. 5. WHY DOES THE WORLD EXIST? An Existential Detective Story. By Jim Holt.
Is any of the above-mentioned written by one of your favorite writers? I have to say that I was surprised not to find Danielle Steel or Janet Evanovich, both brilliant writers, on the list.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, the end is near. Just how many times have you heard that? I lost count to be honest. The most cited doomsday prediction has to be the Mayan one. So what makes it so special? The best lies are forged on partial truths. That’s their biggest weapon in this case. There are a lot of facts in the Mayan story, and that is why it is so convincing. The most obvious is the calendar. The calendar exists, and it ends on December 21, 2012. And the facts end there. So their calendar ends, so what? Our calendar ends on December 31st each year. That doesn’t mean the end of the world, now does it? According to the Mayas, December 21st is the end of a cycle, not the end of time. And the most it could signify is a big change. There is nothing more specific than that from what can be interpreted from the whole ordeal. With so much ambiguity, it made for the perfect situation from which conspiracy theories would start popping up. And, more importantly, it was an opportunity for any group that can provide information on the issue to act as oracles and make money. Mayan leaders today, descendants from the ancient civilization, have opposed the cynical interpretation of the end of their calendar.
So we know the when, now we need the how. The most popular apocalypse scenario is destruction by a solar flare, but that’s almost impossible to predict. Solar flares are real and a solar flare of that magnitude is possible, but highly unlikely. To be fair, the solar flare activity has spiked this year; however, it’s nothing serious. At least that’s what NASA says. Then there is the-Earthwould-run-out-of-resources Theory, and that’s completely impossible too. At the current rate of consumption, food and water are in abundance. Another theory is an asteroid crash. The closest asteroid that has a possible crash course with Earth is Apophis, and it is projected to approach our planet in 2029. And when I say possible, I mean a probability of one in 250,000. Even if the asteroid were on a crash course with Earth, we now have enough gun power to obliterate half of our solar system. One tiny asteroid shouldn’t be a problem. Then there is the planet Nibiru. This doomsday theory predicted that a planet would hurtle towards Earth and most likely crash into it. You should know that a lady named Nancy Lieder proposed this “theory,” on the evidence provided by aliens through an implant in her brain. The Nibiru disaster was originally predicted for May, 2003, but when nothing happened, it was conveniently updated to December 12, 2012. The thing is, Judgment Day will come. For all of us. Nobody is immortal. There are many possible ways in which we can be wiped out as a species. But the likelihood of all of us meeting our respectful maker on the same date is a little bit over the top, don’t you think?
English Language Trivia English, one of the most eclectic languages, has a lot of peculiarities. It started as a Germanic language, brought to Britain by the Anglo-Saxons in the fifth Century and existed until the eleventh. After the Norman invasion in 1066, Norman and French words were introduced to form what is now referred to as Middle English. Partly due to the standardization of the language which followed the advent of the printing press, Modern English came about, and was enriched with Latin and Greek words during the Renaissance. English is famous for its widespread borrowing and large lexicon. In fact, Britain’s colonization is responsible for foreign words entering English from more nations than it would be economical to list. Today, English is probably the most widely spoken language in the world, with many people learning it as a second or foreign language. It is estimated that there could be as many as 1.5 billion English speakers worldwide. Follow along and see how many of these facts about English surprise you!
‘E’ is the most commonly used letter in the alphabet, appearing on average once in every eight letters, while ‘Q’ is the least frequent. The word ‘almost’ is the longest in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order. The most commonly used word in English conversation is ‘I.’ The longest one-syllable words in English: scrunched, screeched, and strengths. Words which contain all five vowels in alphabetical order: facetious, abstemious, and annelidious. Words which contain all five vowels in reverse alphabetical order: duoliteral, subcontinental, and uncomplimentary. Words which contain the longest string of consonants: bergschrund, borscht’s, eschscholtzia, latchstring, and weltschmerz. The longest common word with no repeated letters: uncopyrightable. A sentence containing seven spellings of the /i:/ or ‘ee’ sound: “He believed Caesar could see people seizing the seas.” A sentence containing nine different pronunciations of ‘-ough:’ “A roughcoated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”
The longest words that can be typed on a standard keyboard with only the left hand fingers: desegregated, desegregates, reverberated, reverberates, stewardesses, and watercresses. The longest words that can be typed on a standard keyboard with only the right hand fingers: homophony, homophyly, nonillion, polonium, polyonomy, and polyphony. The longest word that can be typed on a standard keyboard with alternating hands: dismantlement. The longest words that can be typed on a standard keyboard using only the top row (qwertyuiop): typewriter, ruptrewort, and proterotype. The longest words that can be typed on a standard keyboard using only the middle row (asdfghjkl): alfalfas and Hadassah. Palindrome words like ‘racecar’ and ‘kayak’ can be read the same from left to right, or right to left. No words in the English language rhyme with month, orange, silver, or purple. The name of all of the continents end with the same letter that they start with. The sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” uses every letter in the English language. The shortest complete sentences in the English language: “I am” and “Go.” ‘Dreamt’ is the only English word that ends in the letters ‘-mt.’ There are only 4 words that end in ‘-dous’: hazardous, horrendous, stupendous, and tremendous. Words that have two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: o Cleave (‘adhere’ and ‘separate’) o Cover (‘conceal’ and ‘expose’) o Sanction (‘approve’ and ‘prohibit’) o Transparent (‘hidden’ and ‘known’) o Trim (‘garnish’ and ‘prune’) Seemingly contradictory synonyms: flammable and inflammable, toxicant and intoxicant. A strange word that describes the shape of the bubbles in beer foam: orthotetrachidecahedrons. The oldest word in the English language is ‘town.’ The word with the most number of definitions: set. The only two words in English that begin and end with the letters ‘-und-’ are: underground and underfund. The word ‘one thousand’ contains the letter ‘a.’ However, none of the words from ‘one’ to ‘nine hundred ninety nine’ has an ‘a.’ Relatively long words that alternate vowels and consonants: honorificabilitudinitatibus, antidisestablishmentarianism, and electrophotomicrographically.
At-Home Workout Just as there is a difference between an M3 BMW and a sputtering old Tico, there is a difference between a healthy body and a neglected one. Even a person that appears to be in good form can have a weak body in terms of strength, endurance, and stamina, all of which can be improved with regular exercise. There is a certain feeling of empowerment and vitality that results from developing the healthy body of your imagination: the air breathes cleaner, and you have an invigorating surplus of energy that beats boredom and stagnation. Don’t allow yourself to interrupt your mom from watching her soap operas to get up and bring you a glass of water because you don’t have the spurt to roll out of your personalized dent in the couch. If that’s the case in which you find yourself, it’s time to work out. Besides for improving the health of your heart and overall fitness, working out—coupled with a diet low in carbohydrates and high in vegetables, fruits, and protein—is the best option for those that have been meaning to reduce their weight for years, but have put it off for whatever reason. Consider this article your guarantee for weight loss, though may I add, only if you follow the program. And while we are making promises, you have to promise yourself that you will start today and carry on for a month at least (because after that, the results will be your motivation to continue). Remember the breathlessness of running laps in gym class in high school, or struggling to meet the required number of push-ups? Yes that’s how it begins, until you beat your personal best times and repetitions, until you see the results which do not come after one session. Persistence is key.
Proposed cardiovascular exercises for those interested in weight loss: One cardiovascular session should last for 20 minutes without any rest. Do this for three days a week, or up to four or five days for faster results. Your heart rate should stay elevated throughout the entire time. This is best reflected in your breathing: if you’re not panting, you will see no results from your workouts. 1. Spend a minute stretching, especially your legs, to avoid pulling a muscle, and limber up. 2. Flip to the music channel to distract you from the exertion, and begin doing jumping jacks for as long as you can (these are also great for toning your legs as you will notice). 3. When you feel like you can’t do another jumping jack, start jogging in place by raising your knees high toward your stomach. This is an easier activity that will allow you to rest without stopping and letting your heart rate lower too much. An alternative exercise is kicking one leg in front of you, then switching to the other with a jump. As soon as you feel a little rested, switch back to doing jumping jacks.
This is a hard cardiovascular session, but effective. For beginners who can’t go for 20 minutes, do this for as long as you can, and add some time every day until you get to 20. The goal, I cannot stress enough, is to keep your heart rate elevated for 20 minutes. That’s the magic number that is going to increase your metabolism to burn off fat, and with a diet of decreased carbohydrates (reduce bread and increase fruit, vegetable, and protein intake) your body will begin to apparently suck itself in, below the chin, the stomach, thighs, arms, and all over, while giving a great shape to your legs. You will feel them hurting for a few days from the jumping jacks, especially after the first few sessions, but that just means that muscle is coming.
Proposed strength-building exercises for those interested in muscle gain: The best way to pack on muscle and develop strength is of course to go to a gym, but if you don’t have the means, you can follow this program at home. Refrain from changing any of the exercises, as I have suggested these as the best way to build all of the muscle groups. 1. Spend a few minutes stretching and warming up. Get your blood flowing and muscles loose. 2. Start with three sets of push-ups. Place your hands on the floor a little wider than your shoulders. Do as many push-ups as you can, breathing in on the way down and out on the way up. Rest for one minute between sets. 3. Find a sturdy bar somewhere to do pull-ups. You have to find one because that’s how you will workout your back and biceps, and don’t say you don’t care about the back. It is very important to develop your entire body for symmetry. Grab the bar at shoulder-width with palms facing you. Do three sets of as many pull-ups as you can. If you can’t do any, jump so that the bar comes to below your chin, and lower yourself as slowly as possible until you develop the strength to do real pull-ups. Each lowering counts as one repetition. 4. Put your legs on a chair in front of you and grab another chair behind you, so that you are suspended between them. Have someone hold the chair behind you if you think it might fall from your weight, or use something more stable than a chair if you can. Lower your body as far as you can, and then push back up. Do this for 10 repetitions, three sets. Easier. Guys, don’t be discouraged from doing this exercise like the woman on the left.
5. Lying with your back on a soft surface, your feet up on a wall, and hands behind your head, do 20 hard crunches, focusing on the contractions. Abs will not show if you carry a lot of belly fat.
Again, follow a diet high in protein (meat, eggs, fish, dairy) to provide your fatigued muscles with the fuel to rebuild bigger, and fruits and vegetables, both healthy sources of carbohydrates. This program will develop your entire upper body over time (do squats if you want to develop your legs). Repeat it on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
You should always consult with a doctor before starting any exercise program. These are the best at-home workouts I can recommend from experience for the most effective results in losing weight and gaining muscle.
The World’s Dumbest Laws The world is a colorful palace. It is home to a plethora of different nations and creeds. And most of them are civilized and generally have similar laws. But just like everyone has at least one dumb friend, every country has at least one dumb law. I’ll start with the biggest and most influential countries, the countries you would least expect to have such laws. For example, in France, it is illegal to kiss someone in any railway. In Denmark, it’s not illegal to escape from prison, but if you are caught, you must finish your sentence. With this silly law you would think that Denmark is the designated haven for criminals. Denmark is one of Europe’s most developed countries, yet you wouldn’t guess it from this particular law. In Switzerland, it is illegal to flush a toilet after 10 P.M. The only reason I uncovered for why this law exists is because some cabinet minister had a neighbor with a very loud toilet (possibly with 5.1 surround sound). In Scotland, the law obliges citizens to allow whoever knocks on their door to use their bathroom. This is a very polite law but also not very safe these days. In the English city of Liverpool, a woman is prohibited by law to walk around topless, unless she is selling
Laws exotic fish at the market. I dare you to find a logical reason for this one. In Thailand, it’s illegal to leave your house without underwear. Now how stupid is this? Who’s going to know if you wear underwear or not? Maybe the underwear police. In Cambodia, the use of water guns is illegal at New Year’s parties. The damage you can do with those things… In California, it is illegal to shoot any game from a moving vehicle. Because that’s just not fair. You have to give the deer a fighting chance, right? There is only one exception to this law, and that is whale hunting. In Kentucky, people are prohibited from concealing firearms if they are longer than six feet. So basically, you can walk around with two sawed-off shotguns in your coat without a care in the world. But unfortunately not all dumb laws are funny. In most of the Middle Eastern countries, crimes like speaking your mind and stealing will get you in front of a firing squad. In San Salvador, drunk-driving gets you the death sentence. Isn’t that a little bit harsh? In Texas, you can own a gun when you are 16, but you can’t drink alcohol until you are 21. I guess a beer is more dangerous than a gun. These are just few of the hundreds of dumb laws out there. So if you are planning to travel to some exotic country, or just one you’ve read about in your textbooks, be careful, because a simple kiss can land you in prison, or worse.
Words to Make Someone’s Day Better With our words and actions we can easily make someone’s day better, make them happier, or even change the way that person sees himself or herself. Read these beautiful words that you can say to anyone, and you will realize how easily they can bring a smile to someone’s face. 1. “It’s okay, I am not in a hurry.” – This is a great phrase that you can say at a supermarket, restaurant, a bank, or anywhere. In fact, you can share it anytime you see a person who, in spite of all the pressure that the crowd creates, is trying to give their best. For example, when you are waiting in line at the cash register in the supermarket, if you notice the woman in front of you quickly and nervously picking up the products and collecting the money in her wallet because she knows that she is slowing down the work, saying, “It’s okay, take your time. I am not in a rush,” can really surprise her. In the next moment you will see an expression of relief and gratitude. Congratulations, you have just given another person some extra time and showed understanding! 2. “From what I have heard, you are smart, beautiful and a kind-hearted person.” – Surely you have heard nice words from your friends and colleagues about someone that wasn’t present. Tell that person what you heard; it will make them feel really good. This person may have difficulties accepting a compliment, but this time it is different since you did not say it. You are just transferring the words spoken by someone else. 3. “The way you do your job is wonderful.” – You can say this to anyone. There are people who do their job with such passion and shine that they are truly an inspiration. Encountering this kind of a person is rare, so flatter them with your attention. Say “thank you” to the people who set the furniture in your room. They may say, “It’s our job,” but it would be so nice if you added, “Yes, but not everyone does their job as they really should.” Most people forget to say a simple “thank you” to the waiter who serves them. Imagine how honored the waiter would feel if you treated him with a compliment like, “I am impressed. You are really good at what you do.” 4. “I saw what you did. That was really nice of you.” – There are people with good manners willing to help someone in need, but too embarrassed to be seen or receive any credit for doing it. Have you seen a boy helping an old woman? Or a girl feeding a stray dog? You do not have to
know them personally to tell them that what they did brought your faith in humanity back. Let them know that their little gesture was seen and appreciated by someone. 5. “You really are one of a kind!” – We all have weird habits that most people wouldn’t understand. It is like when your friend does that special thing while drinking their morning coffee. It would be really nice if you say that he or she is a unique person, one of a kind! 6. “I’ll do that for you.” – When you notice that someone is feeling down, offer to do something for them. The help you give won’t take much of your time, but to them it will mean a lot. When your colleague is super busy at work, offer to take her child to kindergarten. Or when your mother is tired, tell her that she needs to relax, and that you will take care of the housework. There are so many things you could do that would make someone’s day better. 7. “I love the sound of your voice.” – Just tell this to someone whose voice really makes you happy. There are people who talk so soothingly that they deserve this rare compliment. 8. “I’m here for you.” – It is so good to hear that you have support from outside of yourself, and that you aren’t alone in the important moments of life. When someone close to you is going through a difficult time, they deserve to know that they have you nearby. 9. “You brighten my day! You make me happy!” – It’s that simple. Let the people who spread positive energy around them know how it affects you. Tell your friends, sibling, partner or parent that you are truly blessed to have them in your life. 10. “I can’t decide without you” – It's nice to hear that your opinion is valuable to someone. Even if it is not an important decision, tell them that you really need help making up your mind.
Wishing You Happy Holidays!
*From left to right: Laura Kreka, Ana Grozdanovska, Ivan Grozdanovski, Elena Radeska, Aleksandar Ilievski
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