4 Life Hacks To Make Your Life Coolbeans

I’m all about the hacks, y’all. I love reading life hacks. Life is already so hard, so I’ll take any chance to make it a little easier.

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I like to think that I’m a pretty creative person and have actually come up with a few hacks worthy of sharing. These won’t revolutionize your life but they may help you out a little, and if you can do them with success and then think of me fondly, then that’s good enough.

1. Get back a lost USB

It’s always a good idea to have a USB on you. Especially if you’re a student. I own several sticks but one of them I’ve had for years and it holds many important files, including my WIP novel, so it’s kind of important that I not lose it. So I came up with a way to ensure that your chances of having your USB returned to you are greatly increased. Check it out:

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That second last file you see there is a simple Word Doc that has my name, cell phone number and email. No one just blindly deletes files off a found USB, so chances are, when going through my files, someone will see my message, contact me and return it.

2. Overnight hair waves

This is for my long-haired ladies (or dudes) who hate spending time with a hair curler. It’s taken me a few tries but I’ve finally managed to get a system down that lets me get nice waves in my hair while I sleep. First, take a shower and wrap your hair up in a towel for about an hour. Go watch an episode of a TV show while you wait. Then take your hair out, comb it, and let it air dry for another fifteen minutes. Then, when it’s still slightly damp, wrap it up in a really tight bun and sleep on it. When you let your hair down the next morning, it should have some nice, light waves and curls.

3. Make rice in the microwave

Maybe this isn’t complete news, but everyone I’ve mentioned it to, including my high school cooking teacher, seemed baffled at the idea of making rice in the microwave. Trust me, this is so easy. In a microwave safe dish with a lid, add rice and water following the 1:2 ratio of cups of rice to water. Then you put in the microwave for 20 minutes on power level 7 and boom: perfect rice. No need to buy a rice cooker or anything. You’re welcome.

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4. Make your own nasal strip

As much as a small part of me thinks these things are just placebo, I’d rather use them than not when I have a cold. However, at school when I can’t swipe one or two from my parents and don’t want to go buy my own, I make some, and they work just as well. I take a sticky note and cut and fold it so it’s stiff and long enough to cover the bridge of my nose. Then I put a piece of scotch tape over it to tape it to my skin. There’s really nothing special about the actual product, so paper and tape work just as well when it comes to applying light pressure to one’s nose.
I know these may not be the most useful of hacks, but hopefully they’ll help you a little, as they’ve helped me. There are several other little life hacks I’ve kind of created over the years, but these four were the most useful to the most people. If you guys created or know any other life hacks, I’d love to know them!

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Our Online Legacy

There’s this line from Hamilton: “What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” As much as we’d all like to leave behind a memorable and remarkable legacy, the fact is, we probably won’t.

And you’re ready to tell me, don’t say that, you never know what the future holds!

Don’t bother, I’ve accepted my averageness. It’s fine.

Maybe I won’t leave a legacy fit for a history book, or even a Wikipedia page, but I still will be remembered. I know that when I die, my family and friends will mourn me, but in this day in age, so much of our lives are online too. My laptop spends an extraordinary amount of time turned on, it seems only fair that this extension of myself will be mourned too.

Several years ago I told my best friend where she’d be able to find a list of all my passwords so that if something were to happen to me, she’d be able to let my connections know. I’m sure she doesn’t remember and I’ve since moved said list so it doesn’t matter, but I still think it’s important that the idea remains.

My blog, my Twitter, my six emails accounts…They all contain my life. And every one of you reading this are a part of it. I’d hate for any friends or readers online to think I’ve just forgotten about them. I’d like to say now: y’all mean a lot.

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Facebook has a Legacy setting where you can pick people now to give access to your profile upon your passing. I use Facebook so insignificantly, I don’t think any friends would use it to remember me. A lot of other websites have ways of giving similar access. When I heard this information, I have to admit, I spent a few good minutes wondering if I could convince Twitter that the girl who has the @coolbeans4 handle is dead. Apparently, without any proof, I cannot.

But isn’t it weird, that one’s online presence can live on through other people? If my friend starting tweeting for me, could you tell? If someone else started blogging for me, would you notice? It seems like a creepy idea but Tony Stark basically kept Jarvis alive through AI and we just accepted that.

And you’re ready to tell me, but that’s fictional!

Is it though? Or is it…the future?

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There’s actually already sites where you can input someone’s text messages and probably other info and the computer can simulate conversation, like Replika. It was literally designed to help deal with the death of a friend in a car accident. Computers are smart, and the more info given, the more they’d be able to mimic the real style of the person.

And if that doesn’t sound like the start of the Robot Wars, then I don’t know what does.

It’s just interesting to consider. As our technology continues to grow, how we use technology to remember dead people will change as well. It’s weird that we have to plan for this already.

If you die next week (insert pause for my mother to whisper “God forbid!”), who will you leave your online presence to?

 

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Make Your Own Magic Eye!

You guys know what Magic Eyes are, right? Those 3D hidden optical illusion images that you have to kind of cross your eyes to see?

Can you see the two seahorses here?

If you can’t see them right away, don’t worry. There was a time when I couldn’t either. I remember my dad handing me one of these in a newspaper and asking if I could see a lady on a beach. I could not. I was sure he was making it up. And then a year or so later, I looked at one and I could see it! I could see the duck. It was there. Hidden. Magic.

The only tips I have to see these (and there’s no guarantee that they’ll help) is to either put it right against your face and slowly pull it backwards but keeping your eyes on the center, or to stare at it but let force your eyes to unfocus/cross a little. It’s hard for me to put into words what I now do so naturally. But just work at it.

Anyways, I was procrastinating homework bored in December and came across a website where you can make your own Magic Eye. If you’ve Liked my blog on Facebook, then you would have seen this work of art I made and shared:

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I’m not the most artistic, but this wasn’t too hard or time consuming.

The website is http://peeinears.github.io/MagicEye.js/ and though it’s not the best, I like it more than this other one I found here because it allows you to use a fairly small sized brush so your work can be more detailed.

You’ll have to play around with a bit to get used to it. You’ll never be able to make anything outstanding, but you can draw simple images or write a small message. I wish there was an undo button, but I can you can just draw over your mistakes with white. Also if you want to continue editing a one after viewing it as a Magic Eye, be sure to click Show Depth Map, otherwise you’ll lose your work. There’s also no way to save so I used my computer’s Snipping Tool to save the image.

I just found this really neat. I’ve loved Magic Eyes for ages. I think I had like seven years of Magic Eye calendars and I think they’re all still in my closet at home. So to be able to make my own now is cool.

And I’m wondering if it’ll help people who can’t see them automatically do so when they know exactly what and where the hidden image is because they made it. If you’re in this boat, let me know!

It’s funny, before I started this blog, and was just think of possible posts, I definitely wanted my blog to be a place where I could just share whatever weird thing I come across, but I don’t do it too often in actuality. I don’t come across that much, I guess. So I’m really pleased that I found and could share this, especially since I really love Magic Eyes! If you make a cool image, Tweet it to me or something! I want to see!

BYE

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Monthly Look Ahead: February 2017

Ah, February, you weirdly short month.

By now we’re all adjusted to the new year and have given up on our resolutions (you know it’s true), so let’s take a moment to think about all the fun activities going on this coming month.

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  • The Newsies movie. At the end of last year, the original Broadway Newsies cast got together to film the show and they’re playing it in select theaters for a few days this month. Luckily for me, Cineplex is showing it in a few theaters in Canada. Newsies is one of my favourite musicals so I’ve already got a ticket and am very excited to see the amazing dancing and singing again!
  • The Lego Batman Movie. Okay listen, The Lego Movie was pretty good and though Batman has never been my favourite, I love how sassy and silly they’ve made this guy. I think one of the reasons that DC movies so far have failed to impress me is that they’re always so dark and serious. Batman takes himself too seriously, and I don’t want to watch that. I want to watch Lego Batman joke around. I don’t know if I’ll go see this in theaters right away but I will see it eventually!

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  • Powerless. It’s a new show coming to NBC and it’s a DC comics comedy TV show. It’s not tying into any of the current DCTV lineups but from that, I think DC can do comedy well when they want to, so I hope this show works out.
  • Reading week! A week to go home, see friends, and procrastinate the homework I’ll have sounds nice to me!
  • My Quidditch team is having a Harry Potter movie night. I don’t need an excuse to watch Harry Potter, but this is a good one.
  • The Oscars on the 26th…I’m behind on movie watching and I usually get bored halfway through and I am very upset that Sing Street wasn’t nominated, but I’ll still tune in.

And that’s what I’ve got going on this month, y’know, aside from the projects and quizzes and job applications… What do you guys have going on? I’d love to know what’s getting y’all out of bed in the morning, so feel free to make your own MLA post and send me a link!

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An Archie Fan’s Perspective Of ‘Riverdale’

(This post obviously contains spoilers for the pilot!)

I struggle to put into words just how much I love Archie Comics and just how freaking excited I was for Riverdale‘s premier. I’ve been waiting for some type of Archie media for forever and my hopes got up each time a new rumor of a movie went around. As I mentioned when I posted my dreamcast, I grew up reading Archie and still do because it is timeless and so classic. There must be hundreds of digests jammed into my book shelf at home.

But Riverdale from the start seemed to shake up the foundations and as much as I was excited, I’ll be the first to admit that I was also a little concerned. I mean, Archie is a pretty vanilla story so I was surprised to find that the TV show’s plot was to revolve around the murder of secondary character Jason Blossom. It’s a bit of an extreme. And that’s only one of many changes I was aware of before the show aired. In the back of my mind, I wondered if I was hyping up the show only to have it let me down?

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But I have just watched the premier and am dying to share my thoughts (in more depth than my livetweeting). Overall, I really liked it. It was enticing and familiar and fun and it was so amazing to see the characters I’ve loved on screen. I imagine that a lot of viewers have read Archie comics but perhaps not with the fervor I did, and then there are those who’ve never read any but were interested in the show, so I thought it’d be interesting to share my opinion as I’m very familiar and devoted to the source material (related: here’s a quiz I made for Popwrapped [that the Archie Comics Twitter account also shared!!!]) and because I like to talk about TV. Here are some things I did and did not like about Riverdale.

What I liked:

  • Cole Sprouse as Jughead. Jughead is my favourite and though I was a little miffed when they first cast Cole, as soon as I saw that his black hair, I was sold. And Cole plays him perfectly. He’s quiet but smart and I can’t wait to see more.

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  • The easter eggs (eg. A Town With Pep)
  • Betty and Veronica’s friendship. As much as they’re always in competition with each other for Archie, they’re best friends first, so it’ll be nice seeing that friendship develop in the show.
  • Having the parents all know each other from childhood
  • Cheryl being as crazy as ever. She’s annoying but you’re not supposed to like her.
  • Betty-Archie-Veronica love triangle. It’s iconic and the only love triangle the world needs.
  • Jughead as the narrator. He’s perfect for such a role.
  • The murder is compelling. I want to know more.
  • Kevin Keller! He wasn’t in the comics much with the gang, so he’s a nice addition. I just hope he develops into more than The Gay Best Friend.
  • The show isn’t too dark. I was worried it’d get creepy, but so far so good.
  • All the casting is spot on. I am impressed.

What I didn’t like:

  • Geraldine Grundy being a hot 20-something that is hooking up with Archie. Not only is that super illegal and gross, but comic Archie would never do that. I knew this would be my least favourite thing of the show. I really dislike it.
  • Hiram Lodge is a snake? In the comics he was anything but. But if it means we get a chance for Hermione to shine, I’m okay(-ish) with it.
  • Why aren’t Juggie and Archie best friends??? What happened between them???
  • Archie’s music/football problem….so Troy Bolton.
  • The falling in love with your best friend trope from Betty and Archie. It’s not that I don’t like Betty and Archie, but they amped up the unnecessary drama to have Betty pining over him secretly and Archie not reciprocating feelings so now they have to be all awkward about it….ugh.
  • Betty being all anxious and awkward and a push over. I know they have her mom being a weird psychotic control freak, but I’m looking forward to some development and growth in our favourite girl-next-door.
  • Moose is a closet gay? I mean….okay?
  • Grundy and Archie. Gotta mention it again because I’m really bothered, actually.

Obviously, it’s just the pilot and pilots are never flawless. This show has a lot of room to grow, and I am very excited to see where it takes us. As much as a sitcom happy-go-lucky style show also would have worked with such feel-good source material, The CW is known for their drama and I think it’s working. The small town of Riverdale is being shaken to its core by Jason’s death and I really want to see more. I need answers.

I’m so glad I’m not disappointed by the show. The creative choices and changes made were for the most part, likable and interesting, so I approve. Fans of Archie have waited so long for this show and I am pleased that it’s here and seems like it can last.

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Did any of you watch Riverdale? What did you think of it? Will you be tuning in next week? Please discuss with me!

 

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