Category Archives: college
Expand Your Creativity. [volume 1]
Have you ever heard the term: “think outside the box”? Okay, do you know the origin of the phrase? Complete this puzzle:
Draw four straight, continuous lines that connect all 9 dots without lifting the pencil off the page (or in this case your finger off the screen):
Here is the solution: Click Here for Solution
If you couldn’t figure it out, you probably assumed you had to stay inside the box. If that’s the case, you know have the first major step in thinking outside the box. Eliminate your assumptions. The rules presented didn’t say you couldn’t draw outside the lines.
How do assumptions affect our ability to create success? Write down or type out your answer or answers, and think about what you came up with. This whole post can be applied to just about any area of your life, if you apply it properly.
This is a core element of the Blue Ocean Strategy. The Blue Ocean Strategy is geared towards business, and is spoken on and written into application towards business. But even if you’re simply drawing a design in a competition, or even just for fun, this will expand the creative processes your brain goes through. (refer to my past posts on the brain: Brain Train [part 1] and Brain Train [part 2])
Some DOs and DON’Ts are as follows:
Follow sequence in your plan – if you plot out steps, follow them step by step.
Focus on the big picture FIRST, focus on numbers SECOND. – If you have a time constraint, first take a look at what needs to be done, what your mission is, then think about the time, or the money involved, then tweak it.
Get into the field – see what other people are doing, and ask questions but listen when they answer.
Build enough time into the project – If you do have a time constraint, and you feel it’s a tight one, plan for it.
Approach field work as an anthropologist – Ask questions about the things they love and hate in the particular field you’re dealing with. If you’re drawing something for a contest, you may think of this as a no brainer, but ask what they look for, what “strikes their fancy” so to speak.
Do this work in a vacuum – Don’t do this work in an environment where the creativity is vacuumed out. If you’re drawing, like our examples are following, set yourself down in an inspiration environment.
Go too fast – Haste makes waste. Going in line with making a time plan, or some sort of schedule (preferably a time plan like a guideline rather than a strict schedule) so you aren’t rushing and lowering the quality of a specific part of the work.
Skip steps – If a baseball player skipped a step while running to home plate, the consequence to his action will be simple – he’ll trip and miss home plate. You’re going for a home run, run through all the bases without missing a step!
Too locked into current mindsets – Take time to think, without thinking about others in the field. If you’re drawing something, don’t think about other people’s drawings. Don’t think about any drawings. Just think about your own. Create a vision in your mind, visualize your completed drawing, and do it. However, you will eventually need to make some sort of comparison, but only to see what has been done, so you aren’t copying something else.
This is all part of the Blue Ocean Strategy. I highly, highly recommend you research it, buy a book on it if you can find one, or watch some videos online. If the place or company you work for is having any seminars or speakers on Blue Ocean, GO TO IT. You will reap major benefits. It will not be like any seminar or lecture you have ever been to, and it will be fun – guaranteed!
The book “Blue Ocean Strategy” is published by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne and you can find it at any bookseller.
Another great post I stumbled across is here: http://techiteasy.org/2006/12/05/nintendos-wii-the-blue-ocean-strategy/
Please comment with feedback on your experiences or anything you know about Blue Ocean Strategy as well!
[ Source: The Change Agent Group ( changeagentgroup.com ) ]
God speed, and Best wishes.
Brain Train. [part 2]
Briefly, I would just like to apologize for being absent last week. However, due to the events I promise you better information than what was available last week.
Also, I have two shout outs: One for all the Indy fans out there! I hope you all enjoy the movie today (or last night) as much as I’m sure I will this weekend. Secondly, a dedication to a very special someone who has loyally read my articles and grown to become one of the single most important things in my life. You know who you are. : ) Thank you for everything.
On to this week in That’s GN:
Have you ever done something, and later you realize you have no idea why? This is commonly dubbed as an “impulsive action” or usually something you do that you “didn’t think about”. How would you like to be in better control of, not only your impulses, but know how to tap into the impulses of others?
You have three brains, similar to what we discovered last week. What we’ll talk about this week is the survival part of our brain, that controls involuntary actions like breathing and our heart beat.
There are 6 stimuli, or, “attractions” that need to be understood about our “old brain”. It has been dubbed the old brain since every living creature requires it, and in fact has it, to sustain their life. The other 2 brains we as humans possess, many other mammals and creatures do not. Let’s divide these stimuli into points:
1: Self centered – To illustrate, please watch this video:
This is an example of the old brain lacking communication with your other brains, thus working on instinct rather than incorporating and reason into the decision. Thus the humor of the commercial, since anyone in their right mind would make a different decision.
2: Contrast – Our old brain easily picks out differences, or contrasts such as night and day, near and far, black and white.
3: Tangible – Things we can touch and feel whether it be physically or something we perceive to be real, despite how unrealistic it is to our minds (in other words by sight), it can appeal to us. Here’s another commercial that will give you an exaggerated idea of this:
While we know it’s (most likely) impossible to get the strength to push a car over a cliff from an energy bar, the point is well made, that this energy bar will give you a very good dose of energy. Instead of telling the consumer it does, they make the idea tangible by appealing to your tangible senses.
4: Beginnings and Ends – Please read this passage out loud:
“Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.”
How long did it take you to read that? Surely not very long compared to if it was unscrambled. In addition to this point, YOU MAY NOTICE THAT IT’S PROBABLY EASIER TO READ NON-CAPITALIZED SENTENCES SINCE CAPITAL LETTERS ARE NON-FEATURELESS BLOCKS yet sentences with letters having more variety in ascending and descending fashion are easier to differentiate between letters.
5: Visual – Aristotle said the mind needs an image to think. This is fundamentally entirely true. You can first think of when we hear a loud crash, you might think someone is breaking into your house. You naturally visualize on impulse someone breaking into your house, so you think of that. When we see an image, a split second process occurs.
To explain, there are actually two reactions that occur, and each follow a separate path through your brain. Both paths start at the thalamus where they split. The faster reaction path goes to the amygdala which specializes in reacting and triggering what you would consider the emotional fear. The second path travels to the cortex first, where the information received is analyzed using information from the other parts of the brain, then to the amygdala. The first, faster path produces an immediate “instinct” like reaction 250 times faster than the second path, which determines whether or not the reaction is actually needed. In this example, the loud crash could be a harmless cat, instead of a robber as our immediate reaction might tell us.
Even though the reaction differences are so fast, 250 times is still much faster. Coupled with that reaction speed, once an emotion is turned on, it’s difficult for the cortex and your reasoning to turn it off, so fishing for this sense makes your “hook” difficult to unhook.
6: Emotion – Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on 9/11? For the more experienced audience, what about Apollo 13 or Kennedy’s assassination? I remember where I was and what my family said exactly during the morning of 9/11. Our old brain makes associations with emotion. Very few of us weren’t heavily impacted by 9/11, and most of us probably remember exactly what was happening when we actually heard the news, not necessarily when it actually happened.
Whether your talking to someone, giving a sales pitch, or even picking someone up, keeping in mind these 6 stimuli will give your message more attraction to that instinctual part of your brain. Why is that such a big deal? When something appeals to your involuntary senses, it makes more sense to your voluntary senses to move forward or progress in that direction; it makes it more reasonable to come to an acceptance of it.
[ Sources: http://www.neuromarketing.com ; Entrepreneur.com – Is there a buy button? Inside the brain. ; Serendip.BrynMawr.edu – The Role of the Amygdala (paragraph 4) ]
God speed, and Best wishes.
Save money on gas.
In this day and age gas is on just about everyone’s minds, especially with consistent rising prices. I personally have a few ways of saving on gas, but nothing concrete or enough to actually save me some decent money. Here are 13 ways to significantly reduce your gas costs, brought to you by the great folks at About.com:
1: Choice of car. Granted this is very limited for people, 4 door sedans are usually the best bet, and cheaper than the popular SUV pick.
2: Upkeep. Believe it or not, if your car is in bad condition it can increase the gas use by up to 25%.
3: Steel-belted radial tires. They can actually pay for themselves in short time and decrease gas consumption by 10%
4: Gas tier. From the horses mouth itself, having a good friend with several Mobil franchises, I know now that unless your manual specifically states you need a certain level of gas, for example premium or unleaded, get the cheapest one. They’re all the same, save for differences most cars won’t notice.
5: Tire pressure. Every pound of under inflation causes up to 6% more gas usage.
6: Don’t top of your gas tank when pumping gas. Stop when it tells you to.
7: Don’t idle your car to warm it up. Running the engine makes it warm up faster, I also can confirm this. It works wonders on the way to work! I just bundle up before opening the garage door. 🙂
8: Combine your errands. Take the time it takes to drive between destinations each time you come and go from your home, and plan your trips out to save the gas of traveling from home often. This is probably the one you’ll remember and use the most.
9: Accelerate gently. Putting the pedal to the medal will burn your tires, and a hole in your pocket.
10: Watch traffic jams carefully. Plan your stop-and-goes.
11: Coast to stopped traffic ahead of you and apply brakes gradually. Don’t speed up and slam on the brakes.
12: Speed limits are there for more than you think! Driving faster, i.e.: 70 MPH takes more gas than 50 MPH.
13: Maintain a steady speed on the highway. Avoid slowing down and speeding up to match other cars. Cruise control is your friend! Careful not to fall asleep though.
[ Source: http://financialplan.about.com/cs/cars/a/SaveGas.htm ]
God speed and Best wishes.
For the Ladies.
I stumbled upon an article with a link to this site yesterday:
Mandy Moore has always seemed to be quite the sweetheart. Her goal for this site “…is aimed at helping women balance their “wellness” by sharing such stories to challenge and inspire each other to better their lives.” Having just launched it I felt it was perfect for the weekly Life post. For you lovely, loyal ladies visiting us at The Underground, this post goes out to you. Keep making the world run as well as you do.
[ Source: Mandy Moore aims to inspire life balance online @ Reuters ]
God Speed, and Best wishes.
Top 10 of top 10s: Ways to de-stress, progress and relax.
The holiday season is here and the rush has started. Working overtime, speed shopping early, winter driving, among many other things has grasped the majority of America and it’s no secret the extra stress that comes this time of year. Of course, this list isn’t bound my season and is invaluable to everyone no matter the season. Here is compiled list of the top 10 ways from top 10 lists to having a more relaxed time day by day:
#10: Organize. By far this is the most difficult hurdle to jump. Compile your diet, job, hobbies and anything else you find necessary in your life. Make a list, set your priorities and stick to them. Create a flexible schedule just as if you were making a budget on your time.
#9: Remember the important things. It’s easy for any of us to become focused on the negative and other things we really don’t need to focus on. Get involved in helping people, there’s always someone who has it worse. One common viewpoint is “how can I help someone else if I can’t help myself?” when in fact, helping other people is helping yourself.
#8: Accept others. What someone says, the person they are and what they do are as important to them as who you are is important to you. Accept others for who they are, as well as accepting what someone does for you. There’s never any harm (except to pride) in accepting help or consolation from someone else, especially those who have been in a similar situation.
#7: Communicate. Keeping certain things bottled inside is not healthy. Some things need to come out, whether it be something as simple as wanting to share a new interest, a favored song or a deep issue you’re dealing with. Communication is the foundation of love. Tell your family and friend you love them, tell your employees and employer you appreciate what they’ve done to help you in your career and so forth. Just remember the classic phrase “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. Also, don’t let things sit. Time is of essence!
#6: Take care of your physical health. Maintain a diet catered to your needs; avoid high sugar foods for breakfast, high calorie foods for lunch and high fats for dinner. Upkeep your hygiene. Wash your hands when appropriate, make your showers enjoyable or take baths when you have time. Even a 30 minute work out a day, jogging around your block, 15 minutes on a bike or a few sets of push ups can boost your daily energy more than you might think. It’s a good time to reflect, listen to music (refer to this guide) or turn on the TiVo and kill two birds with one stone. Don’t spend most of your time vegging out.
#5: Take care of your mental health. Have a good laugh regularly. Humor and comedy is everywhere, television, newspapers, internet; your daily body pains can actually be healed by a good dose of laughter. Write down your thoughts and read them; with retrospective you may be reminded of things from your recent past you had opinion or feeling on that you otherwise may have forgotten and perhaps may now view as unnecessary or more valuable than you did at the time. Most importantly, be good to yourself, fight your mind to be confident about who you are. If you’re struggling, restart steps 10-6 and continue to try your best.
#4: Have a place to go to and escape. Your faith, someone to be with or a special exclusive location you can call your own, are all ways to distract yourself from daily stresses. Be careful not to become dependent. Remember you’ll have to face a lot of that stress eventually.
#3: Keep your family and friends close. Being there for them will make them want to be there for you. Do your best to tolerate the little things, we all know family can be irritating. Accept your friends’ differences without falling into peer pressure. They’ll have respect for you and you’ll feel much better about standing or yourself and your values.
#2: Channel your stress. Stress can be your biggest untapped source of energy. Use your stress to push you to exercise a little longer, to motivate you to finish that project. Try to avoid making your stress the topic of conversation in a social setting, stress is contagious. It’s very important to tell someone about the things you’re dealing with, however, passing it on to others at an unfitting time keeps the focus in everyone’s mind including your own further preventing you and others to having a good time.
#1: Stay consistent. Stick to your guns, work at keeping what you’ve done for yourself steady and constant. Leave plenty of room for spontaneity but maintain some sort of routine and make sure to write it down somewhere! Go through this list again, ask the people around you what works for them. Experiment! Try different things if something isn’t working – Einstein described insanity as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.
I hope you find this collective list to be useful to you in your endeavors. Feel more than free to leave a comment or e-mail me with whatever stresses you may be dealing with, whether it be a personal issue, social issue, even technology issues. You can reach me at email@example.com and expect a response in 24 hours!
Best wishes and God speed.
[ Sources: WebMD top 10 ways to de-stress; About.com Effects on Stress; EzineArticles.com Stress and Your Immune System; Associate Content : College Essentials 101 Ten ways to relax this semester; EzineArticles.com Phew! 10 Quick Ways to Relax and De-Stress ]
[Edit 6/28/08] UltraSurf – World’s Best Proxy Surfing Technology
[EDIT: 1/30/08 – We at The Underground strive to get you the best programs, information, etc. It has come to my attention that Ultra Surf is not working as well as it should. Anti-virus programs have now named it a Trojan and will not let you install it with the anti-virus on. Because this file is marked potentially dangerous, you are downloading it at your own risk. If you have already downloaded it, you may remove it if you wish. There hasn’t been any large complaints about it but for the security of your info, you may want to scan your computer, delete the ultra surf file (if necessary), and find an alternative proxy program (or wait for us to do the searching for you!).]
Addition: 3/7/08 – Download link for a newer version of Ultra Surf has been added
Addition: 6/6/08 – Removed Rapidshare links to not violate WordPress ToS.
Addition: 6/28/08- Added Direct Download Link From UltraReach/Wujie (UltraSurf’s Company)
So at one point we had a post telling you all a bunch of proxies that would let you access blocked sites at school, libraries, etc. Well we found that, actually, the blocking programs got a step ahead and even blocked those site so you couldn’t even get to the proxy page in the first place. Well guess what, here at The Underground we like being the one with the step ahead so I did a little searching for you all… and found this- UltraSurf!
Why does this work instead of the proxy web site?
- Because the web blocking programs block the sites but they can’t block a proxy program running on the computer itself.
- That’s right, this is a program, not a website.
- UltraSurf is the back door you are looking for!
Here is some info on UltraSurf:
“So what exactly it is??
It is the flagship software product from UltraReach Internet Corp. for Internet anti-censorship. It enables users inside countries with heavy Internet censorship to visit any public web sites in the world safely and freely. it enables users to browse any website freely just the same as using the regular IE browser while it automatically searches the highest speed proxy servers in the background.
What does it means??
- 100% freedom to have 100% information in most secure way.
- It means no matter where you are you can access 100% freeversion of internet I mean no firewalls no restriction nothing….
- Almost all schools, universities and corporate offices raise firewalls to filter out not work related sites, now those firewalls will be of no use or they have to change their plans.
- Everybody can access various social networks like Orkut, Youtube, Myspace, Hi5, Facebook, Linkedin etc. which are blocked almost in 99% schools and offices.
- 100% real time and it’s encryption is better then any online banking system.
How to get going??
It’s very simple you have to just-
- download an exe file [Download Below]
- then extract it
- and run
- Set proxy if u have any (generally in offices internet are provided through proxies, you can find that, through tools>>internet options>>Connections>>LAN Settings>> there you are with proxy server for your LAN and it’s port
- Just copy that to proxy settings of Ultrasurf.
- Then a window will pop up, says some thing in Chinese, just close this window
- And open fresh internet explorer
- There you are, you can surf any information.
- For office people: beware don’t spread words to your colleagues keep this info as limited as you can, coz if system people got to know about it then they’ll take your comp for scrutinizing.
What is the Flip Side??
I should start with a quote that I’ve learnt in my life
“Too much freedom can Make you or it can Break you”
The flip side is that you can access to anything, I think you got my point, In school, universities and Work office various sites are blocked to raise their efficiency and productivity, and it is very much likely that if anyone get freedom he/she will definitely try to miss use it.
So do you want this program now, or should I just give it to you later? Lol, like I guessed, you want to Now. Well fine I guess I can give you a couple of download links…
- Rapidshare: [download removed]
- NEW – VERSION 8: [download removed]
- Geocities: on request
- Other: on second request (shouldn’t need this but just in case)
- Direct Download Link From UltraReach/Wujie: DOWNLOAD
Please Use Rapidshare if you can because I’m gathering points for your downloads. THANK YOU!
OK so once downloaded, unzip it (if at school, put it on your student folder so it will go with you from computer to computer, just hide it a little) and run the program. It will open up a web browser and another small program window. You will also see a Lock in the bottom right corner of the screen (I don’t know how to get it off but it doesn’t really bother me). Minimize the small program window and surf away on the web browser!
Enjoy your surfing freedom! Use it wisely and try and keep it a secrete because the schools, libraries, etc. will eventually find out if enough people are using it. This thing would spread like good gossip!!!