Monthly Archives: December 2013

You don’t need to run faster than the bear, you just need to run faster than the other guy running from the bear



Those huge, cuddly looking things you had in small, stuffed animal form as a child are not quite as cuddly when you meet them in the woods.

So how do you increase your chances that both you and the guy you hope you can outrun will survive a bear encounter?

Step 1: Keep your distance. 300 ft is recommended. Although in my opinion, if you can measure the distance, you are too close.

Step 2: Avoid eye contact. If the bear spots you, keep your eye on the bear without directly looking it in the eye. Move away slowly and start talking in a low, calm voice. It doesn’t matter what you say, this is just supposed to tell the bear that you are non-threatening. Personally, I would probably begin the conversation with “I am non-threatening” just in case it speaks English.

Step 3: Look as big as possible. Keep moving away slowly, but do not run.

Step 4: Know your bear and its intentions. (Lol, I know, I know, but stay with me) If it’s a non-predatory attack by a grizzly or a polar bear, drop to the ground and play dead. Lie on your stomach covering your vital organs, and cover your nape with your hands. The bear will hopefully realize that you are not a threat and leave you alone. However, if it is a predatory attack, fight back. Also if it’s a black bear- always fight back.

Or, if you can’t read Bear minds and have no idea what its intentions are, assume the worst and fight like the dickens.

Happy hiking, everyone!

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Chewing gum does lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight

Have you ever stopped to wonder why chewing gum loses its flavor?

It’s not as if any other food stops tasting like the thing you originally put in your mouth after a few chomps. Could you imagine if you took a bite of shrimp cocktail and before it reached your stomach it started tasting a little bit like a tire and had the consistency of one too?

You’d spit it out faster than anyone could make a joke about “see food”.

However, in all fairness I eat too quickly to know what food tastes like after more than a couple chews anyways. It tends to be in my stomach so fast one may be left wondering if I tasted it at all. (Answer: not always.)

Gum, on the other hand, has a special place in the hearts of consumers. Despite the whole losing-its-flavor-and-turning-rubbery phenomenon we just talked about, we still eat it up like it’s, well, inedible candy.

Unlike regular food, gum should never reach the stomach. Humans are unable to digest it, which is part of the reason it loses its flavor in the first place.


Gum is made from gum base which is a form of synthetic rubber. (Yum.) However, the softeners and sweeteners that make gum so delicious and chewy are all digestible.

Therefore when you chew a piece of gum, the saliva in your mouth gets to work digesting those flavors and leaves the gum base behind in all its flavorless and rubbery glory.

So there you have it. Gum is not food, but the flavors are. And that is the science behind your chewing obsession.

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A bad attitude is like a flat tire- if you don’t change it, you’ll never get anywhere

Studies show that everyone will have an average of 5 flat tires in their lifetime. In order to maintain the health and lifetime of your tires, check your bike tires weekly, and bring your car in for scheduled maintenance.

Having the ability to change your own tire is a useful skill that you will undoubtedly benefit from at some point(s) in your lifetime. For more information on the service and maintenance for your tires visit Tire Tips.

And for information on the service and maintenance of your bad attitude, take a look at the following list:

1. Be thankful for all the good fortune in your life.
2. Find comfort and support in good friends and family.
3. Exercise. Get those endorphins flowing.
4. Get some sun. The influx of vitamin D has shown to greatly influence one’s mood and overall outlook in positive ways.
5. Remind yourself daily of positive affirmations.

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it. – W.C. Fields

While there is something to be said for possessing a strong sense of sticktoitiveness, knowing when to change courses is just as valuable a skill.

As Einstein stated, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Many of the most successful people in their fields started out doing something entirely different than what ultimately lead to their success.

The following people didn’t find their stride until well after they turned 30:

1. Sylvester Stallone – Deli Counter Attendant
2. Andrea Bocelli – Lawyer
3. Martha Stewart – Stockbroker
4. Mao Tse-Tung – Elementary School Principal
5. Julia Child – Government Spy
6. Rodney Dangerfield – Aluminum Sliding Salesman
7. Harrison Ford – Carpenter

Had they been afraid of quitting what wasn’t working, they never would have found their path to prosperity. You may feel that winners never quit, and quitters never win, but perhaps it’s time to redefine your definition of “quitting”.

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Everybody loves a leader, but dislikes a boss

Being on top ain’t always easy, huh? There’s a fine like between being respected and being feared, between being personable and being a push over, between being firm and being a b*tch.

How do you walk that line perfectly every day? In my opinion, you don’t. Being the leader of a company does not require super human skills, it just requires confidence in yourself, faith in your team and the ability to make mistakes gracefully.

Perhaps you remember that kid (or you were that kid) on the playground that everybody disliked for being “bossy”? That kid probably had great ideas, but just shouted out orders and spoke down to his peers. That kid was never able to recruit more than a couple kids to join his cause.

Now think of the playground hero. The kid who could rally a bunch of different kids in different cliques in different grades  into playing a huge playground-wide game of capture the flag. The kid who could unite a huge group of his peers to petition their teachers for 10 extra minutes of recess. That kid was a leader. That kid got everybody else excited about his cause, and made them want to be apart of it.

Learn from that kid.

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Unless you’re made of bran or corn, don’t be a flake

Everyday we wake up we are asked to take on roles and responsibilities. Sometimes we have a choice in the matter, while other times we don’t. Oftentimes, we don’t want to let people down around us, so we say yes to whatever it is they ask of us. But do we follow through? Not always.

It is better to say no and let that person down in the moment, than say yes and let that person down in the future, once they’re counting on you.

For example- lets say you agree to go to dinner with an old friend after work one evening the following week. The day of, you’re exhausted, have piles of work sitting on your desk, and you no longer feel like going anywhere but home once you leave the office. So you call your friend and ask for a rain check. Your friend is polite and says no problem, but what if that’s not how they feel at all?

What if your friend passed up plans with someone else because he gave his word to you that he would meet you for dinner? By flaking out, you are telling the other person ‘you are not as important to me as I am to you.’ They may think twice before scheduling something with you again. Over time this leads to missed opportunities and broken friendships.

Treat others the way you want to be treated, and remember:

“…let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” –Matthew 5:37

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If you make a funny face, it will not freeze that way

Old wives tales have been around since, well, ever. Many of these “tales” have no basis in truth whatsoever, yet have endured in the common consciousness of society for so long that many people blindly accept them as fact.

The origins of many of these have been long lost to history, but most had the intention of putting an end to unwanted behavior in children with threats of illness or permanent disfigurement. You know, typical kid stuff. Some of the most common old wives tales include:

1. Don’t go outside with wet hair or you’ll catch a cold
2. If you swallow gum it will stay in your stomach for 7 years
3. Shaving makes the hair grow back thicker
4. Eating chocolate leads to acne
5. Eating ice cream before bed leads to nightmares
6. Don’t make silly faces, or your face will get stuck like that

But between you, me and the rest of the internet- I have to admit, I still believe the shaving one.

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Don’t wear flip flops in the snow

…Go barefoot! At least that’s what Wim Hof aka The Iceman would do. Hof is a Dutch marathoner, adventurer and all around daredevil known for his ability to withstand extreme cold.

Most notably, in 2009, at the age of 50, Hof completed a marathon (26.2 miles) in Finland above the Arctic Circle wearing nothing but shorts.

Yup, no shoes, no shirt, no problem.

The temperature was -4 degrees Fahrenheit. His time was 5 hours and 25 minutes.  And his legacy was secured in the record books.

Hof accomplishes surviving in temperatures that would be fatal to a normal human by controlling his own autonomic nervous system and immune system through meditation.

In addition to the aforementioned marathon, Hof also ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water, and holds 20 world records including one for the longest ice bath.

Still, Hof insists that he is no superman, and that everybody’s mind is capable of doing what his does.

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Don’t yell at your kids. Lean in real close and whisper, its much scarier

And if that still doesn’t work you can threaten to mail them somewhere. And you could have made good on that threat up until June 13, 1920.

When parcel post first became available to Americans in 1913, we loved everything about it. Sending and receiving packages through the mail took the country by storm. We shipped and received live chickens, tobacco, and other items affordably and reliably. However, in some cases, children fell into the category of other items.

While it was frowned upon, families who did not wish to pay the price of a train ticket could ship their tyke to their grandparents house, for example, for the cost of shipping a chicken- about 53 cents for a 50lb bird.

In one instance, in Indiana, a postal carrier picked up a box that read “Live Infant” and was addressed to the baby’s father, who was divorced from it’s mother and lived across the state. Postage? 17 cents. Expression on the father’s face when he opened the box? Priceless.

child-by-mail (1)Source

This practice continued throughout the early twentieth century until the United States Post Office declared it would no longer accept children in the mail.

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Eat Samoas, not Samoans

And while you’re at it, eat Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Trefoils too. Girl Scouts have been selling cookies since 1917. (Aside from a brief period during World War II when they sold calendars while flour, sugar and butter were being rationed.)

Samoas are the 2nd highest grossing Girl Scout Cookie, after Thin Mints.

In case you’re having a hard time picturing them, they’re the ones in the purple box made with caramel, toasted coconut and a drizzle of chocolate on top. You know, the ones with the hole in the middle that you would put your finger through when you were little and pretend to have a cookie ring. (Just me? S’cool.)

Or you can look at the bottom of this post to jog your memory. Either way.

Many of us have a hard time controlling ourselves around a box of Girl Scout cookies. Personally, I have many times fallen victim to that crazy phenomena during which that “one cookie” I was originally in the mood for somehow turns into “one sleeve” before I even realized what happened.

Cookies are perfectly fine and delicious in moderation, but moderation is key. If you’re in the mood for cookies, eat fruit as well. The sugar in the fruit will help satisfy that sweet craving and the water content will fill you up quicker than the cookies will. Plus you’ll better afterwards.

Now back to the tip. Samoans, on the other hand, are a Polynesian ethnic group of the Samoan Islands. Famous Samoans include Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Trying to take a bite out of one of these guys would probably result in immediate danger to your physical well being. Stick to Samoas.

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