Improving your workplace

It’s a weird time of the year: everyone is exhausted and cranky. Your boss snaps at you, your co-workers are lethargic and it all leads to a negative experience that makes your year end exhaustion even worse. Here are five tips from Entrepreneur Magazine and Beth Thomas’s book “Powered by happy: How to get and stay happy at work” to help you through the next month and a half:

1. Stay rooted in the present. “Many of our negative thoughts come from worrying about situations that may never happen,” says Thomas. While entrepreneurs often have to make contingency plans, constantly thinking about the worst case scenario can place undue stress on your body and mind and drain it of resources that are better used in more productive ways.

“The best way to deal with negative thoughts is to separate fiction from fact,” says Thomas. So, the next time you find yourself facing a negative thought, analyze the situation and ask whether you’re reacting to a real or imagined situation.


2. Engage in positive thinking. Shifting negative thoughts to positive ones can help to improve your mood and mindset. “Every time a negative thought comes into your head, stop and think about a positive one,” says Thomas. Do this for a few weeks and you’ll quickly notice that you’re creating a new habit that will enhance your happiness not only at work, but in your daily life.


3. Help others. Whether getting involved in philanthropic activities or helping your staff improve in their jobs, Thomas says charity is the secret to lasting happiness. “Happiness at work isn’t about what you alone achieve. It’s not about helping yourself look better, but about making everyone on your team perform better,” says Thomas.

Setting up an employee mentoring program where senior staff members assist junior staff, or getting your staff involved in a philanthropic activity such as a local food drive or a charity cycling event can improve the happiness of everyone in the office.


4.Take a break. While entrepreneurs are often motivated by positive stress, the kind that pushes us to do more, it’s important to recognize when your mind and body need a break. “Even if you like your job, stress can weigh you down and make you unhappy,” says Thomas. Schedule a few days off or find an outlet after work or on the weekend to have fun, rest your mind and rejuvenate yourself.


5. Keep a gratitude journal. Happiness doesn’t come from getting something you don’t have, but recognizing and appreciating what you do have. Write down five things you’re grateful for each day before you start work, or before you leave the office at the end of the day, to retrain your brain to focus on the positive.

Source (Entrepreneur)

Luke & Leia

Star Wars meets the Breakfast Club

Fans of 80’s nostalgia will tell you movies by John Hughes such as The Breakfast Club, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and 16 Candles defined a generation. Combine that with Star Wars and you have a winning combination. Artist Denis Medri took the two together and created an 80’s version of Star Wars. It’s awesome:

Source (Geek Tyrant)


Avoiding regret

Forbes has a great article on “40 Things To Say Before You Die” by Jessica Hagy who uses visuals to communicate ideas. Here are number forty down to thirty-five:

40 “I wonder.”

Give yourself time to think so the time you spend doing things will be better spent.

39 “Today was good.”

If you can say it once, you can say it again. And again. And again.

38 “I believe in this.”

A god, a plan, a company, a person, an idea—you have to put your faith in something.

37 “I’m not finished.”

Only you get to decide when your life’s work is done.

36 “Thank you for making this possible.”

Because nobody does anything alone. We’re driven and supported and thwarted by others at every turn.

35 “That’s enough.”

Food. Drink. Episodes of Law & Order. Pairs of shoes. Overtime. Articulating your own limits is powerful.

Read the rest on Forbes, the top 5 are particularly awesome.


8 Sounds you’re naughty for copying

In honour of the Apple/Samsung trademark sham trial last week here are eight trademarked sounds that should elicit some waves of nostalgia. I’m hoping that I don’t get a lawyer knocking on my door.

1. The MGM Lion

So far there have been five different lions used for the MGM logo. The first one to roar (and the one who provided the trademarked sound) was named Jackie.

2. The NBC Chimes

This was the first sound to be trademarked, back in 1950. For the musicians in the audience, those three notes that make up the chimes are G, E and C.

3. The 20th Century Fox Fanfare

The music that plays behind the 20th Century Fox logo was composed by Alfred Newman, who served as the head of the studio’s music department for over 20 years. He also conducted the orchestra for most of the Rogers and Hammerstein musicals and won nine Academy Awards over the course of his career.

4. Harlem Globetrotter’s Theme (Sweet Georgia Brown)

The version that’s trademarked was recorded by Brother Bones and His Shadows. The ‘Trotters adopted it as their signature tune in 1952.

5. Lucasfilms THX Deep Note

The synthesized crescendo was created by Dr. James A. Moorer and debuted in theaters in the 1983 trailer for Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

6. Intel Inside Bong

Composed by Walter Werzowa in his home studio, the five note logo is allegedly broadcast somewhere in the world every five minutes.

7. Federal Signal Q2B Siren

This siren was used on almost all emergency vehicles at one time, but now it is mostly employed by fire engines.


The trademarked logo consists of a voice saying “Double A” followed by two car horn honks then “M-C-O.” In case you’re wondering, the same folks that founded AAMCO also owned MAACO – both names are combinations of their initials.

Source (Mentalfloss)


The best thing to happen to the net since lolcats

Consider yourself lucky for stumbling upon this blog post, you’re about to experience the greatest discovery on the Internet since lolcats.

Let me present: dog shaming. Take a naughty dog, expose them online for being naughty little shits and take a picture of their shameful faces. The site is regularly updated and can be found here. In the meantime, a gallery of awesome shamed dogs:


The human race is screwed

This just in, the Oxford English dictionary has added some new words:

  • tweeps, pl. n.: a person’s followers on the social networking site Twitter
  • lolz, pl. n.: an expression of fun, laughter, or amusement; used especially online.
  • Hackathon, pl. n.: an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.

Other popular online terms, such as “photobombing”, “UI” (user interface), the abbreviated “ridic” (from “ridiculous”), and the onomatopoeic “mwhahaha” (describing a maniacal laugh) have also been added to the database.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t get have people using new and interesting language but that’s totes cray cray.


Who is Honest Toddler?

One of my favourite Twitter accounts is currently HonestToddler, a rambunctious youngster that pretty much tweets everything a two year old would think and do. I took the following from parenting blog Rattle & Mum:

If you’re on Twitter and not following @HonestToddler, you are missing out on one of the funniest and most unexpected tweeps. HT is elusive and you don’t really know his/her identity, but whatever he/she tweets rings true – from toddler tantrums to parents’ “failings” and weaknesses.

Here’s an interview with Honest Toddler, via Parenting.com

Sabrina James: Honest Toddler, you are the voice of your generation! How does that make you feel?

Honest Toddler: I’m not sure. It makes me happy that people are listening to toddlers, but sad that I am cooperating.


SJ: How old are you?

HT: This many.


SJ: Are you a boy or girl?

HT: That one.


SJ: What is your name?

HT: “Come here right now.”


SJ: What made you decide to start your blog and Twitter account?

HT: An outlet. An outlet that won’t make fire if put a plastic fork in it.


SJ: What do you do when you are not tweeting?

HT: Playing, forced sleep, forced eating, running fast.


SJ: Where do you live?

HT: On a street with several cars, six or seven trees and plenty of ants.


SJ: How do you get what you want from your parents?

HT: Ask over and over until they are mentally fatigued and emotionally crippled.


SJ: What are the three words you would use to describe your mom?

HT: Mom: Rules, Secret Chocolate, Hugs


SJ: What are your favorite things about your dad?

HT: Daddy is wonderful at games, throwing me in the air, and being a giant. He could work on accepting the fact that the big bed is mine also.


SJ: Describe what you picture as the perfect mom and dad.

HT: They would be generous with cake for sure.


SJ: Why are you always anxious to have your dad come home, often tweeting him to tattle on your mom?

HT: I have no recollection of that.


SJ: What is it about co-sleeping you love?

HT: The cozy.


SJ: What do you want to be when you grow up?

HT: Powerful.


SJ: You have mentioned an older sibling, does he/she have the same attitude as you?

HT: My sibling is powerful, but I am increasing in power daily.


SJ: Can you share your observations on the following topics?

HT: Moms’ Nights Out: Terrible

Parent Drinks (cocktails): Terrible use of house fruit

Kids fashion: We are not Christmas trees. Ridiculous.

TV shows: Best is Aurthur because I love reggaeton. Worst is Curious George because I don’t like how he thinks he’s people.

Instagram: For showing off while pretending to be Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pinterest: For showing off while pretending to be Martha Stewart

Facebook: For showing off to your “friends”


SJ: What would you wear every day if you could?

HT: Naked.


Plus: read our round-up of Honest Toddler’s funniest tweets.


Lazy Journalism

There seems to be a new trend on news sites lately where an article is written about a Twitter trend or topic people are tweeting about. This is what’s known as creating news out of nothing.

Example 1:

Example 2:

Example 3:

There is more than enough happening, more than enough content and more than enough people on Twitter to not have to report on a social network. My thought is simple: we don’t mention how people are “abuzz” on Facebook, Google+, Linkedin or any other social network.

Anytime you see an article like this: please do yourself a favour and write a snotty comment.


Lego Madness

As a child I was essentially bought up on Lego. I had all the coolest sets including pirate ships, space shuttles and everything in-between. Every time I go into a toy shop I have to hold myself back from buying Star Wars Lego (two of my childhood favourites combined) so I really appreciated this work of art:

This half scale LEGO model of a Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 jet engine was built by Rolls-Royce and Bright Bricks for last weekend’s Farnsborough Air Show in the UK. The model weighs 676 pounds, is 6.5 feet long, and is made of 152,455 LEGO bricks.

Some more pics at the source