Thursday, 24 July 2014

100 Ways to Increase Brain Power


  • 1. Meditate: the #1 brain exercise! Stress clouds your thinking, so relieve stress with meditation. It’s easy! Put on your headphones, press PLAY on your Omharmonics meditation music download, and let the technology put you in a meditative state.
Increase brain power with these 100 fun exercises and habits!
  • 2. Work on being ambidextrous. Brush your hair, write, use the mouse and eat/drink with the “wrong” hand.
  • 3. When something is broken, find creative repair solutions using common objects. Make do with what you have; make repairs with odd items and ingenuity.
  • Learn to convincingly argue every side of an argument.
  • Write with the wrong hand. Write backwards with both.
  • Read upside down (the text, not you).
  • Hydrate. Water enhances the brain’s electrochemical activity – dehydration slows it!
  • Change your perspective. Turn the pictures in your home upside down for a while.
  • Doodle and draw visual solutions to problems instead of using numbers or text.
  • Mentally estimate the passage of time.
  • Listen to classical music.
  • Power nap.
  • Stop procrastinating!
  • Exercise daily.
  • Eat exceptionally well. Give your brain energy and nutrients, not fillers and chemicals from junk/processed food.
  • Solve math problems without a calculator.
  • Remember phone numbers.
  • Mix up your routine.
  • Play chess – especially a prolonged email version.
  • Solve optical illusions.
  • Play brain games like crosswords or Sudoku.
  • Watch TED talks (www.ted.com)
  • Be curious about everything, like a child.
  • Think positively. What can go right?
  • Create “top 100 lists” of things to be grateful for, learn, places to visit, etc.

Keeping a journal stimulates the brain.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Write down ideas as soon as you have them and return to them often.
  • Simplify, declutter and organize your living and work space.
  • Take a class in something you’ve never explored.
  • Take several 10-minute brisk walk-breaks throughout the day.
  • Learn to spell backwards.
  • Change the furniture placement and art/accessories in your home.
  • Learn to play a musical instrument (and read music).
  • ‘Be’. Observe the world without judgment, classification, or even thought.
  • Share something you’ve just learned or don’t know well. The process of explaining something helps clarify it.
  • Problem-solve from a different perspective. How would different people approach this problem: the rich, poor, crazy, geniuses, achievers and slackers…?
  • Take up a new hobby.
  • Find connections between seemingly unrelated items, topics or people.
  • Creatively visualize your ideal life.
  • Take a slow day: do everything at half the speed and twice the awareness.
  • Learn memory techniques.
  • Surround yourself with intelligent, positive people.
  • Learn and use a new word every day.
  • Travel abroad.
  • Stop multitasking. Do one thing at a time, exceptionally well.
  • Be in Nature.
  • Collect quotes by great thinkers.
  • Learn to lucid dream.
  • Remember and record your dreams.
  • Say your problems out loud, as if you were explaining them to a stranger.
  • Play.
  • Use a reverse clock.
  • Learn yoga, tai chi or the martial arts.
  • Become hyper-aware of your environment. Identify and locate the sources of sounds; subtle changes in temperature; different smells, etc.
  • Get enough sleep (Can’t sleep because of stress? Meditate!)
  • Eat less.
  • Laugh!
  • Learn to manage emotions by focusing on the feeling instead of the thought that generated it.Brainstorming increases brain activity.
  • Describe an experience in as much detail as you can remember. Take 2-3 days to do this, each time probing deeper for more information.
  • Practice ‘theme observation’: pick a theme and try to spot it as many times as possible in one day.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Brainstorm.
  • Visit a museum.
  • Read at least one thought-provoking book a month.
  • Get to the root of your problems. What were you thinking, that caused you to do or say something that had an unpleasant consequence?
  • Memorize names.
  • Take an improvisation class.
  • Dance.
  • Seek out the random; select a random word, and explore it on the Internet.
  • Imagine absurd, ‘impossible’ and ridiculously crazy solutions to everyday problems.
  • Help someone learn your language.
  • Learn origami.
  • Take different routes to work, to the store, etc.
  • Learn to eat with chopsticks.
  • Learn to juggle.
  • Question everything. Ask, “why?” – especially if something doesn’t ring true to you.
  • Find your learning style and apply it to something you’re struggling with.
  • Try new (ethnic) foods with an open, eager attitude.
  • Become aware of your thoughts during meditation.
  • Give 110% – always deliver more than expected.
  • Summarize something you’ve just read.
  • Come up with one possible solution to one problem every day. Don’t worry if it’s ridiculous, unworkable or ‘impossible’ – write it down.
  • Place inspirational items in your workspace – quotes, pictures, objects, etc.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Sit up straight!
  • Use ‘down time’: listen to books on tape while you commute, play memory games as you mow the lawn, etc.
  • Be mindful. Notice thoughts that are subtly bothering you (the little nagging voice) and clear up that mental clutter. Do what you need to do and get it out of your head!
  • Make a to-do list so you don’t have to have one in your head.
  • Develop and follow your intuition.
  • Avoid foods that cause allergies: sugar, wheat, corn, soy, nuts, dairy. Eliminate these for a while and watch the mental fog clear up!
  • Learn to speed-read.Puzzles are only one of many ways to increase brain power.
  • Practice walking meditation. The rhythmic nature of walking lends itself to contemplation. Begin by focusing on the physical act and sensation of walking, and then allow your thoughts tofocus on one topic only.
  • Model what successful people do and say.
  • Create a new habit. It takes 30-45 days of consistent repetition for a thought or an action to become a habit.
  • ;; Set goals.
  • ; ; Eat breakfast!
  • ;; Use peak energy times for complex mental work. Follow your own rhythms whether you’re a morning ;; ;; person or night owl.
  • ;; Have sex. Yes, really!
  • ;; Use caffeine, in moderation.
  • ;;  Make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to mess up – mistakes are powerful teachers!
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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

9 Ways Your Marriage Will Change You


“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”
And, this is the only thing about marriage that should not change, because rest of the things would…
Yes, marriage transforms you in more ways than you can imagine. Just the fact that your life is not solely yours, but also belongs to another person now, brings a lot of changes in you and your life. So, here is how marriage will be changing you, so get ready to experience this journey with us!

#1. Time for the "WE" to Enter

It is as simple as saying, "I gets replaced with WE". You learn to look at the bigger picture instead of losing sleep over minor things. As another person enters your life, you learn to be more accommodating towards them and their needs. Right from your wedding preparations to the time you start your own family, the entire journey teaches you on how to place your partner's preferences with (or sometimes, over) yours!


#2. Boys Become Men

When you are married, all your decisions, personal or professional, will affect your better half too. Every action of yours influences your partner. From the way you drive, what you eat to how you live your life, how much you are earning or how much you are saving, everything matters. This is especially for the men. Well, you might have heard “boys will be boys”, but this is not so. As they enter the marriage door, men leave their boyish ways at the doorstep. And, this responsibility increases more when they move the family way.


#3. Bye Bye Carefree Days

This one is especially for the girls. Probably, in your parent’s house, you would have come home at any time and thereafter simply lied down on the couch without worrying about any household chore. Well, once you get married, you have to get up (whether your in-laws ask you or not) and take on those household responsibilities that your dearest moms used to do for you earlier!


#4. Diplomacy Is Not Always Bad

Whether it is with the people or with situations, you learn to be diplomatic and tactful with everything that life now sends your way. “Go to Hell” attitude will not work in a marriage, especially when you have so many new and fragile relations in front of you. And, this is one that will help you in other areas of your life as well. After all, being ‘tactful’ never harms anyone, right?



#5. Welcome to the World of Patience

Marriage is all about being patient so that you can get through the tough times together. Impatience can often deal a death blow to this strong yet delicate relationship. After you are married, you cannot throw tantrums all the time because they affect your partner. As you learn to be patient, you also become a good listener.


#6. Life Changes 180 Degree

Marriage changes the priorities that people set in their lives. For a marriage to last, it is important that your partner and your relationship becomes the most important priority in your life. Even your personal goals, dreams and wishes change after marriage, as now you have another person in your life to think about as well. Some people make a conscious decision and change their priorities. For others, their priorities change even without their knowledge.


#7. Kick "My Way or the Highway" out of the window

Yes, the "My Way or the Highway" attitude is next in the line to take a toss. Things are no longer just about "you" and you cannot expect everything to go "your" way always. You start listening to your better half. You have to take their opinions and feelings into consideration as well. It is true that in a marriage, it is cooperation that makes it last a lifetime. Ego in disguise of self-respect has no place in a marriage!

#8. Forgive, Forgive, and Forgive!

As Ruth Bell Graham said, “A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” People make mistakes. You and your better half might make mistakes too. The secret behind a happy marriage is to forgive and forget those silly little things, and get on with life. Marriage enlarges your vision.

#9. You Become Selfless

Lastly and most importantly, marriage removes the selfish quotient in you. Everything you have in your life is for the both of you, and later on for your kids. You become more giving and loving because your life is not centred just around you anymore. Now, you know how selfless love truly is!

Well, you are not alone in this journey, right? So, get ready to embrace this phase with your better half; and enjoy the beautiful changes marriage brings in you and your life!
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Thursday, 17 July 2014

65 Websites to Help You Save Money

Blogs
1. GetRichSlowly.org — Personal finance that makes cents.
2. IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com — Learn to automate your money and make more.
3. MoneySavingMom.com — Helping you be a better home economist.
4. TheSimpleDollar.com — Financial talk for the rest of us.
5. WiseBread.com — Living large on a small budget.


Budgeting and Personal Finance Tools
6. AnnualCreditReport.com — Get your free credit score.
7. BankRate.com — Compare mortgage rates, credit cards, and more.
8. Bullishness — Compare stock brokers.
9. Dinkytown.net — Financial calculators.
10. Mint.com — The best free way to manage your money.
11. Motley Fool — Compare brokers.
12. NerdWallet.com — Compare credit cards.
13. Undebt.it — Snowball debt management.
Food
14. 5DollarDinners.com — Dinner for under 5 bucks.
15. DollarFriendlyMeals.com — Cheap meals.
16. FoodOnTheTable.com — Plan out weekly meals.
17. Get Drunk Not Broke — Find the cheapest booze.
18. HillbillyHouswife.com — Frugal recipes and other tips.
19. MarketNews.usda.gov — Find the market value of fruits and vegetables.
20. SuperCook.com — Search for recipes based on ingredients.
Deals and Coupons
21. CamelCamelCamel.com — Track prices on multiple sites.
22. Deal News — Where every day is Black Friday.
23. FatWallet.com — A well organized site with deals on everything.
24. GetInvisibleHand.com — Invisible hands gets you the lowest prices on shopping and flights guaranteed.
25. Inbox Dollar — You have to signup to get deals on top brands.
26. Krazy Coupon Lady — I think this title explains it.
27. Red Flag Deals — Deals for Canadians
28. RetailMeNot.com — The best deals online.
29. SlickDeals.com — Deals on mostly electronics.
30. Southern Savers — Where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding.
31. Woot.com — A random deal each day.
Housing
32. PadMapper.com — Plots Craigslist, apartments.com, rent.com, and other sites onto one map for easy apartment searching.
33. Rentometer.com — Find the going rate for rentals in your area.
34. Zillow.com — Find houses and rentals.
Personal Finance Education
35. BetterMoneyHabits.com — Learn money habits from the creator of Khan Academy.
36. Investopedia.com — Learn how to invest.
37. MyMoney.gov — Your trusted source for financial information.
38. KhanAcademy.org — Banking and money lectures plus much, much more.
39. Wikinvest.com — A wiki on everything investing.
Purchases and Freebies
40. Amazon — The online store for everything.
41. ApplianceGuru.com — Save on home appliances.
42. Craigslist — Find cheap, used items around your area.
43. DealExtreme.com — Cool gadgets for cheap prices.
44. eBay.com — Online auction site.
45. FreeCycle.org — Reuse and keep stuff out of landfills.
46. FreePrintable.com — Print calendars, graph paper, games, invitations, and more.
47. F’ingHomepage.com (NSFW Language) — Top quality products everyday.
48. GovDeals.com — A liquidity services marketplace.
49. MobileSwap.org — Get someone to take your cellphone contract off your hands.
50. Monoprice.com — The best priced cables and cords.
51. Newegg.com — For cheap electronics.
52. PaperbackSwap.com — Swap books.
53. RockAuto.com — The best priced car parts.
54. ShopGoodwill.com — Goodwill’s auction site.
55. SwapTree.com — Trade items.
56. TextbookNova.com — Find free textbooks online.
57. ZenniOptical.com — Dirt cheap eyeglasses. 
Travel
58. AirfareWatchdog.com — Flight search aggregator.
59. CouchSurfing.org — Join the community, and find couches to crash on in cities across the world.
60. FuelMyRoute.com — Find the lowest gas prices on your travel route.
61. FreeCampsites.net — Find free campsites.
62. GasBuddy.com — Search local gas prices.
63. Kayak.com — Find the cheapest flights.
64. SkyScanner.net — Another flight search site.
65. TravelZoo.com — For the best travel packages.

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10 Habits to Help You Save Money

1. Only buy things if you can pay in cash. Use a credit card when you want, but only if you have the money to pay it off in that very moment. Do not fall down the credit card rabbit hole thinking you can pay off the debt later.
2. Transfer a portion of every paycheck into savings. Deposit ten to twenty percent from every paycheck to a savings account. Eventually, work your way up to a retirement fund and other investing avenues.
3. Pay bills immediately. Do not let bills linger to the point where you forget about them and accrue late fees (especially credit cards). Set up automatic bill pay online, so when you get your billing statement, the money is taken directly from your account.

4. Track your spending. Know where your money is going. Little transactions add up. Plan a month-to-month budget for all of your expenses and savings. Mint.com is a great tool for doing just that.
5. Ditch cable. There are plenty of cheap and free alternatives out there. Cable is unnecessary and expensive.
6. Wait a week before purchasing big priced items. Avoid the impulse buys. Waiting one week will give you the time to consider whether you really do need to spend money on your purchase.
7. Do not go grocery shopping when hungry. When you go to the grocery store hungry, not only do you buy more food than you need, but you buy unhealthy, expensive food. A full stomach will help you think clearly.
8. Commute via bicycle. Gas is only getting more expensive. Commuting via bicycle cuts down on gas costs and extends the life of your vehicle.
9. Cook more meals. Homemade meals cost a fraction of the price of restaurant meals. Buy healthy, and buy in bulk when you can. 
10. Drink more tap water. If you live in a developed country like the United States, chances are tap water is just as healthy (if not more so) than bottled water. It will save you money, it’s good for you, and you do not waste plastic by drinking it.

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Thursday, 10 July 2014

10 reasons why football is better than cricket



1. Football is an all-weather sport 

Come rain, hail or slush, the players are on the field and the game goes on. 
Cricketers will moan about the weather and difficult playing conditions – heat, humidity, dew, bad light, wet outfield, cover for the wicket, sawdust for footmarks… #$%@^& pansies!

2. Time factor

In football, it takes 90 minutes to decide a winner (ok, a few minutes more in some cases). In cricket, purists believe it takes 5 days of about 6 hours each (30 long-drawn hours) to choose between two teams. And often, even that is insufficient… Guess that’s why it’s called a test. A test of your patience.

3. Refs vs Umps

Football referees are dudes. They run more than players – averaging 12 km per match, including 120 sprints from 20 to 50 meters. They have to decide on fouls, penalties, yellow cards… all this while running and trying not to get between players or obstructing the field. Despite this, they get 99% decisions right. 

Cricket umpires are slobs. They just stand in one place for the whole time. Once in a match the ball might come his way and he’ll have to move. Still, he’ll make a big deal of it, as if he’s part of a kabuki troupe. As if one umpire wasn’t enough, they have two on the field! If one can’t decide, he’ll ask the other umpire. Then they’ll chat for a while. Then they’ll ask a ‘third’ umpire. They’ll go over the whole affair like aunties at a kitty party. And then they’ll get it wrong… 

4. Football vs Food ball

Cricketers think they’re on a bloody picnic. There’s drinks, tea, lunch, evening tea… on top of that they want sips of water, juice and Gatorade whether on the pitch or the boundary line. You want free F&B, go book a Rajdhani train ticket on IRCTC!

5. Football is for purists, Cricket is for capitalists

Football is two 45 min halves of pure unadulterated sport. In cricket, there are commercial breaks after every over, wicket, four, six, century, injury or interruption. They don’t even spare the live action with branded windows, pop-ups and supers. It’s like watching local cable TV. Everything from the jersey, cap, helmet, pads, bat and boundary line is for sale. Sometimes, even the players themselves… 

6. Cricket is a spectator sport 
Only 1 guy runs at any given point of time, while everybody else just watches him – either it’s the bowler, batsman or fielder. In football, everybody’s running after the ball. The only spectators are outside the field… 

7. Clich├ęs
Cricket commentary is the most predictable thing in the world. It’s like someone reading Wren & Martin. This is how the average match sounds. ‘Just get the feeling, something is about to happen. He’s a sweet timer of the ball. Flashed, and flashed hard. It went like a tracer bullet. Races away to the boundary. That’s what the doctor ordered. Odd ball keeping low. He’s rapped on the pads. Shout for a leg before. This could be trouble here. And he’s given him. Up goes the finger. Played with soft hands. Edged, and taken. Catches win matches. That’s half the battle won. It’s gone down to the wire. At the end of the day, cricket has won.” It sounds a lot worse in Hindi, especially the alliterations – Atapattu atpata gaye, Tendulkar tenduwe ki furti se ball ki ore lapke… 

8. Screw technology
From the time football was invented, there’s been very little change in the sport. The fact that cricket needs so much technological innovation (Hotspot, Hawkeye, Snickometer, Super Slow Mo, Rev Meter, DRS, On field Mic) means the sport was quite f****d up to begin with. In football– right or wrong, you decide on the spot and just get on with the game. In cricket there are endless replays for the smallest of decisions. It’s like watching an Ekta Kapoor Saas Bahu serial – ‘Tu out hai… out hai… out hai…’ 

9. Duckworth-Lewis
They’re in the same league as Thomson & Thompson or Laurel and Hardy. These jokers devised a complicated, absurd formula for rain-interrupted matches that forces cricketers to become math wizards. Most of them dropped out of studies. No wonder they get confused and need regular updates on scraps of paper. Now imagine, if you were to apply the formula to football… ‘Costa Rica needs ½ a goal in 2 minutes, if a player is not sent off the field, with no further interruptions.’ 

10. No Ravi Shastri! 
Or Siddhu paji, Harsha Bhogle, or any of the hosts, experts and bimbos on TV required to oomph up the sport – more proof that it’s not sexy enough.

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