25 life hacks you didn’t know you needed, but do. Probably.

Hmm…Day made (:

TED Blog

David Pogue is a member of a very select club. As of today, he’s one of the few people with four talks featured on TED.com.[ted_talkteaser id=1725] (Two others who’ve reached this mark: Julian Treasure and Juan Enriquez.) Yes, we’ve shown you his talks on simplicity in tech design, cool phone tricks and the downloading wars. But we just couldn’t help but add this charming talk that The New York Times technology critic gave at TED University during TED2013. Genuinely useful technology hacks for the whole family? Sign us up.

Watch the talk — it’s Pogue’s delivery that’s half the brilliance. But below, find a condensed version of the 10 tech basics everyone should know:

  1. Use the space bar to scroll down a page. Hold the shift key and the space bar at the same time to scroll back up again.
  2. Tab between boxes on online forms

View original post 927 more words

Advertisements

Flightless Bird

H is for the hell I’m living in. E is for the envy slowly taking over. L is for the love I lost. P is for the broken pieces.

In spite of the government’s strict regulations against any form of worship or practice of religion, Mommy and Daddy had always prayed to a higher power, a God if you will. I was too little to remember the words, in all honesty, I’ve done my best to forget them. My memory only forgets things I have heard, anything I have seen or read is in my head forever. I’ve been on my own now for so long. I’m so tired of hiding. I  just wanna break out of this shell that has thrust itself upon me. I have nothing left to lose, no one even knows who I am. Still, I’m up against the world. There will be no compromise, no way out, it’s either them or me. There is no in between. I’m fighting a world that is completely oblivious of my existence. It’s a losing battle really, I just wish I didn’t have to go down alone. Maybe if it wasn’t just me, maybe then the odds would be different.  I do want to believe that there is a God of some sort, but how can I commit myself to somebody I don’t know, whom I have never quite understood before? Besides, I am not even for sure this God really exists. Hmf. . . Guess we would get along pretty well though, considering the state I’m in.

Ghosts of my past haunt me while I sleep, in never ending nightmares. I should be used to this by now, I have been seeing  the same scene of Hell for years. Only it’s not the same, every night behind closed eyelids I see the same imagery, but I know the meaning is much different. There seems to be more demons twisting with the plan of events. Demons who are determined to bring about my family’s downfall. Every nightmare has a common factor, no matter how hard I try I always fall short of saving my family and am forced to watch them crumble. Every nightmare portraying the very same message; I have failed my mother and father and because of my weakness they have died.

 

Mommy and Daddy are downstairs yelling, but I hear other voices as well. Neighbors? No. The stone cold voices I had heard were those of malicious guards. Guards who, by the President’s order, are here to kill my family. I pull the covers over my head, hoping this gesture will somehow carry my parents and I to safety. No such luck. Mommy is sobbing, I really despise people who make her cry. She is my source of strength, and she tries her absolute best not to let weakness show. She’s gotten pretty talented at building up walls around her heart. Whatever the guards are doing to her, to daddy, must be horrific.

The guards silence both mom and dad with a crack of their whips, and then the smell of gasoline fills the air. All my life Mommy has told me this could happen, and when she was preparing me for this, she said to use the escape ladder to climb out my east  window. The icy bars of the ladder send a numbing shock through my entire body. Trying my absolute best not to make any ruckus, I slowly make my way down from one bar to another. When my freezing feet finally reach the snow covered ground below, I make my way for the hidden cellar door. Mommy always said that she would be down there with Daddy waiting for me. Once I reached the bottom of the cellar I was frightened by the fact that neither mama nor papa were there. In my little eight year old heart, the world had stopped turning that very moment. I don’t even hesitate to jump right up and start up the stairs,  I have to find Mommy and Daddy!

It takes a lot of effort to lift the cellar door all by myself, but after much struggle I lifted it up just enough to crawl out. I am again taken off guard when I stand and head for the house. The white snow is glowing from the reflection of the wild orange and red flames that now ignite our house. It’s actually a pretty sight, shockingly beautiful. I am struck with awe as I watch the raging flames dance in the night, lighting up the sky.

As time ticks on, the angry fire only continue to consume the house. Feeding on the remains of my home, the detonating flames begin taking over, I throw buckets of water, as an attempt to calm the beast, but the fire is unchanging. In fact, the water only seems to be infuriating the monster. I throw the bucket aside and decide my next mission would be to save Mommy and Daddy.

The doors and windows are locked, and the escape ladder wouldn’t be safe now that the roof is caving in. I throw a rock through the window and use my body to break through the remaining glass. I could hear them screaming, but they were nowhere in sight. “Millicent run, get out of here while you can,” I heard Mommy’s voice but it startled me, it wasn’t the same sweet, innocent voice I would normally hear coming from her. Instead her voice was raw and course from the thick smoke that has been asphyxiating her now for a moment too long. “Millicent Jane you go, I want you to get as far away from this place as you can you hear me. . .” Her voice cut out and the realization of her death hit me like a steel bullet. “Milly, do as your mother said, leave. Go far away, and promise me you will never turn back.” My father’s voice was hoarse as per usual. My instinct was to run through flames and wrap my skimpy arms around him. However, my legs would not move. “I promise papa,” I am not sure if I meant those words or if I only said them knowing he would be going soon. “Milly, I love you.” All fell silent after that, except for the crackling fire and the sounds of the house collapsing.

I do not know where I am going, my eyes are closed and I am walking by memory. I decide to run in the kitchen so I can grab the doll that Mommy and Daddy gave me for my fourth birthday. I am in no hurry to get out, I’m not even sure I would care if I collapsed right along with the house. I promised. I run outside and hide in the cellar for the night. Before opening the cellar door, I turn to face the house. “I love you too Daddy,” and even though she never got the chance to say it I tell Mommy I love her too, because I know what her last words would have been.

I am awakened by what I think is hail hitting the cellar door. It’s been three days of constant storms. Sooner or later I am going to have to get out of this cellar. I made a promise to my Daddy. Other than this doll, that promise is the only thing I have left of him. I am determined to keep it. “I’m going to come through, Daddy I promise. Somehow I will find a way to pull through. I just wish I knew how.” Just then the storm calmed, there was no sound of rain or hail.  All of a sudden all the broken pieces fell together. If Daddy were here, he would have told me that I do not need to know how. I only need to know where I am going, and God will light the way. All I have to do is trust. I have known Him along. He is the reason I made it to the cellar. I grab my doll and lift the cellar door, within minutes the sun is shining and a beautiful rainbow illuminates the sky. In that very instant, I heard the voice of God speak. It was no boom of thunder, nothing obvious, just simple and genuine. It was then that I knew I was never alone, it was never me against the world. All it took was a rainbow among the cloudy sky, and I was reminded of the promise that my own Father had made to me many years ago.

Flightless Bird

H is for the hell I’m living in. E is for the envy slowly taking over. L is for the love I lost. P is for the broken pieces.

In spite of the government’s strict regulations against any form of worship or practice of religion, Mommy and Daddy had always prayed to a higher power, a God if you will. I was too little to remember the words, in all honesty, I’ve done my best to forget them. My memory only forgets things I have heard, anything I have seen or read is in my head forever. I’ve been on my own now for so long. I’m so tired of hiding. I  just wanna break out of this shell that has thrust itself upon me. I have nothing left to lose, no one even knows who I am. Still, I’m up against the world. There will be no compromise, no way out, it’s either them or me. There is no in between. I’m fighting a world that is completely oblivious of my existence. It’s a losing battle really, I just wish I didn’t have to go down alone. Maybe if it wasn’t just me, maybe then the odds would be different.  I do want to believe that there is a God of some sort, but how can I commit myself to somebody I don’t know, whom I have never quite understood before? Besides, I am not even for sure this God really exists. Hmf. . . Guess we would get along pretty well though, considering the state I’m in.

Ghosts of my past haunt me while I sleep, in never ending nightmares. I should be used to this by now, I have been seeing  the same scene of Hell for years. Only it’s not the same, every night behind closed eyelids I see the same imagery, but I know the meaning is much different. There seems to be more demons twisting with the plan of events. Demons who are determined to bring about my family’s downfall. Every nightmare has a common factor, no matter how hard I try I always fall short of saving my family and am forced to watch them crumble. Every nightmare portraying the very same message; I have failed my mother and father and because of my weakness they have died.

 

Mommy and Daddy are downstairs yelling, but I hear other voices as well. Neighbors? No. The stone cold voices I had heard were those of malicious guards. Guards who, by the President’s order, are here to kill my family. I pull the covers over my head, hoping this gesture will somehow carry my parents and I to safety. No such luck. Mommy is sobbing, I really despise people who make her cry. She is my source of strength, and she tries her absolute best not to let weakness show. She’s gotten pretty talented at building up walls around her heart. Whatever the guards are doing to her, to daddy, must be horrific.

The guards silence both mom and dad with a crack of their whips, and then the smell of gasoline fills the air. All my life Mommy has told me this could happen, and when she was preparing me for this, she said to use the escape ladder to climb out my east  window. The icy bars of the ladder send a numbing shock through my entire body. Trying my absolute best not to make any ruckus, I slowly make my way down from one bar to another. When my freezing feet finally reach the snow covered ground below, I make my way for the hidden cellar door. Mommy always said that she would be down there with Daddy waiting for me. Once I reached the bottom of the cellar I was frightened by the fact that neither mama nor papa were there. In my little eight year old heart, the world had stopped turning that very moment. I don’t even hesitate to jump right up and start up the stairs,  I have to find Mommy and Daddy!

It takes a lot of effort to lift the cellar door all by myself, but after much struggle I lifted it up just enough to crawl out. I am again taken off guard when I stand and head for the house. The white snow is glowing from the reflection of the wild orange and red flames that now ignite our house. It’s actually a pretty sight, shockingly beautiful. I am struck with awe as I watch the raging flames dance in the night, lighting up the sky.

As time ticks on, the angry fire only continue to consume the house. Feeding on the remains of my home, the detonating flames begin taking over, I throw buckets of water, as an attempt to calm the beast, but the fire is unchanging. In fact, the water only seems to be infuriating the monster. I throw the bucket aside and decide my next mission would be to save Mommy and Daddy.

The doors and windows are locked, and the escape ladder wouldn’t be safe now that the roof is caving in. I throw a rock through the window and use my body to break through the remaining glass. I could hear them screaming, but they were nowhere in sight. “Millicent run, get out of here while you can,” I heard Mommy’s voice but it startled me, it wasn’t the same sweet, innocent voice I would normally hear coming from her. Instead her voice was raw and course from the thick smoke that has been asphyxiating her now for a moment too long. “Millicent Jane you go, I want you to get as far away from this place as you can you hear me. . .” Her voice cut out and the realization of her death hit me like a steel bullet. “Milly, do as your mother said, leave. Go far away, and promise me you will never turn back.” My father’s voice was hoarse as per usual. My instinct was to run through flames and wrap my skimpy arms around him. However, my legs would not move. “I promise papa,” I am not sure if I meant those words or if I only said them knowing he would be going soon. “Milly, I love you.” All fell silent after that, except for the crackling fire and the sounds of the house collapsing.

I do not know where I am going, my eyes are closed and I am walking by memory. I decide to run in the kitchen so I can grab the doll that Mommy and Daddy gave me for my fourth birthday. I am in no hurry to get out, I’m not even sure I would care if I collapsed right along with the house. I promised. I run outside and hide in the cellar for the night. Before opening the cellar door, I turn to face the house. “I love you too Daddy,” and even though she never got the chance to say it I tell Mommy I love her too, because I know what her last words would have been.

I am awakened by what I think is hail hitting the cellar door. It’s been three days of constant storms. Sooner or later I am going to have to get out of this cellar. I made a promise to my Daddy. Other than this doll, that promise is the only thing I have left of him. I am determined to keep it. “I’m going to come through, Daddy I promise. Somehow I will find a way to pull through. I just wish I knew how.” Just then the storm calmed, there was no sound of rain or hail.  All of a sudden all the broken pieces fell together. If Daddy were here, he would have told me that I do not need to know how. I only need to know where I am going, and God will light the way. All I have to do is trust. I have known Him along. He is the reason I made it to the cellar. I grab my doll and lift the cellar door, within minutes the sun is shining and a beautiful rainbow illuminates the sky. In that very instant, I heard the voice of God speak. It was no boom of thunder, nothing obvious, just simple and genuine. It was then that I knew I was never alone, it was never me against the world. All it took was a rainbow among the cloudy sky, and I was reminded of the promise that my own Father had made to me many years ago.

Punching Bag

My heart is pounding hard and fast behind my chest. I’m short of breath, but cannot stop. Breathe Kesean. But I can’t slow down. 1-2 1-2 1-2-3. 1-3-2  3-1-2-3-3. I keep hitting the bag as if it will take all my problems away. I could never be so lucky.

 

Hours pass and I am still hitting my heart out in this gym. It’s getting harder and harder to even lift my arms high enough to swing. I shouldn’t be overworking my body this much, but I just can’t make myself stop.

Well, I don’t have to make myself stop because not even thirty seconds after I throw the last punch my legs give out on me. My body hits the cold gym floor. It doesn’t hurt, I’m used to collapsing on this floor. This was a normal day for me.

I spend nearly everyday of the summer in this gym. Pounding for hours at a time, letting out the anger, the hurt, the hate. Taking it all out on this eighty pound punching bag, one fist at a time.

I refuse to turn out like my father. I will not let myself lose so much self control. I can’t. It is not an option for me. Nor is it an option for my older brother Ky. Neither of us will throw away our families for a bottle of alcohol.

I was only four years old when it all started. He would come home from what he said was “work” and all hell would break loose. He was always drunk when he came home, and when he got here he would only continue to drink more. He would yell and I could hear things crashing against the walls or just straight to the floor. Eventually mom just stopped buying nice things because she knew he would just break them anyway.

Some nights were actually really good, not often, but sometimes. There were nights where he would come home early, even before mom was out of work. He would cook up a big dinner and surprise mom with flowers when she got home. If it was a really good day he would tuck us in to bed, maybe even read us a story before leaning in for a kiss on the cheek. Then he would get up and walk out the door, but before closing the bedroom door behind him he would whisper, “I love you” and then disappear into the darkness.

Like I said, those days were rare. Most of the time he would wake up the whole house, if not the whole block, when he came stumbling through the door in the middle of the night.

He never hit me or Ky though, just mom. But it never bothered him that his sons were watching, observing, and he never figured out the hatred he was stirring up in our young hearts. It’s been six years now since he was sent away. Six years that Ky and I have been on our own trying to take care of mom. Trying to keep her alive.

The last time he was with us he nearly killed her. He beat her until she just fell over. Kind of the way I beat the bag until I fall over. Only, mom was actually getting hit, not doing the hitting. He crashed a vase on her head and Ky ran outside, he told me to stay in the closet. When he came back there were three men with him. Policemen.

Dad went to prison, there’s no chance he will be out before he dies. Mom went to the hospital where she was in the Intensive Care Unit for over six months. When she was finally released, she went through group counseling, but that didn’t last too long before she gave up on that. She got into drugs, not just pot, like hard core drugs. I don’t know how she got her hands on the stuff but she’s not only addicted to cocaine and oxycontin but now she has this love for Ketamine.

So Ky has been raising me since the day that our father was arrested. And now him and I are working together to get mom healthy. It is a lot of stress and we miss out on a lot.

That is why I come here, to this gym. It has become my safe haven. My escape from the outside world. In here, no one judges, no hates, and no one asks questions. In here, it’s just me and this eighty pound punching bag.