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Have you ever wondered why authors are often depicted writing in busy coffee shops instead of in the quiet of their own home? Or why artists like to paint outdoors where the breeze and the sound of mother nature seemingly infiltrates their creative zone? Well, according to a paper published by the Journal of Consumer Research, the ideal work environment entails a little bit of background noise.
In the study, a team at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign lead by Ravi Mehta separated their volunteers into four groups and asked each to complete a Remote Associates Test, which often used to test creative thinking. Each group was asked to work in differing levels of volume: 50 decibels, 70 decibels, 85 decibels and complete silence. Researchers found that the participants that had been working in an environment with 70 decibels of background noise performed significantly better than their counterparts. The author of the study states that: “getting into a relatively noisy environment may trigger the brain to think abstractly, and thus generate creative ideas.”
To ensure you get the most out of your time spent working, here are five background noise resources you can use to boost your creativity and productivity!
Inspired by the idea that background noise can boost productivity, Justin Kaulzer created Coffitivity – an online site that is also available as app. If you find the ambience of a coffee shop or the bustle of a college library a comforting, familiar, productivity booster then turn on some of Coffitivity’s looping soundtracks.
2. Raining FM
If you want to keep your background noise as simple as possible then why not listen to the most calming noise available: rain. Whether you prefer the beats of light drizzle against a window pane, or a full thunder storm gets your creative juices flowing, you can choose your perfect, rainy weather with Raining.fm.
3. 99U Music
Catalogued using different themes, these playlists provide new music for those of you who are tired of your Spotify or iTunes playlists. Simply pick a genre that’s bound to get you going and get your work done in no time.
If you’re favourite background noise is traditional white noise, then you may want to try Ambient Mixer out. Not only can you listen to various loops of white noise, you can also combine them with other tracks, adjust volumes and even share your productivity boosting mixes with others.
Speaking of mixing your own sounds, our last background noise provider Noisli allows you to mix the sounds of the outdoors, coffee shops, the sea, storms and many more noisy locations to help you focus on your work!
Featured photo credit: gratisography via gratisography.com
The post 5 Wonderful Background Noise Resources That Will Boost Your Productivity appeared first on Lifehack.
Conor McGregor is the most 'villainous hero' in sports, greatest fight promoter next to Muhammad Ali
When your fines and tweets make it on a nationally syndicated sports show, you know you're doing something right.
Conor McGregor's massive $150,000 fine levied against him by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for his part in a water bottle battle with Nate Diaz and Co. -- and responding tweet -- was a topic on "Skip and Shannon: Undisputed" on FS1, where hosts Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless discuss the hot topics in sports.
And wouldn't you know it, both men had nothing but praise for the Irishman, who's bad boy persona and ability to sell a fight has not only earned him the label of greatest heroic villain in all of sports, but comparisons to the late Muhammad Ali.
"I love the tweet and I love Conor McGregor. He's turned into the most heroic villain or villainous hero that we have in all of sports. I love what he tweeted because it's absolutely true what he tweeted," said Bayless.
Indeed, Conor is second-to-none when it comes to being a villain, as his verbal fire has spared no one since he made his Octagon debut. And it's his unique way with words that draws the interest of even those who aren't the biggest fans of the sport.
"I'm not the biggest fan of UFC, but I watch when he's doing a press conference or the weigh-ins because I want to hear what he has to say. Nobody can sell a fight like he can. Only Ali could sell a fight better than Conor McGregor," said Sharpe, an NFL Hall of Famer who played 13 years in the league, all with the Denver Broncos.
While "Notorious" -- who will next face lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 on Nov. 12, 2016 in New York -- has been transcending all of his MMA expectations -- minus defending the featherweight title -- his reach has been going beyond the cage (prime example here).
Now, some of the top sports analysts believe he deserves to be in the same breath as "The Greatest" and leaves every other athlete in the dust when it comes to being a villain.
Anyone have an issue with those comments?
Ben & Jerry's
What’s better than regular old ice cream? Beer-flavored ice cream, most definitely. The folks at New Belgium and Ben & Jerry’s know this well — last year they teamed up to offer a Salted Caramel Brownie Ale Brown Ale as a pairing for Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale ice cream. And this year, “they’re at it again,” with the all new Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale.
The beer, which is described by New Belgium only as tasting “amazing,” is intended to be paired with Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream.
And of course the New Belgium/B&J’s alliance is for a good cause: $50,000 of the sales proceeds from the beer will go toward Protect Our Winters, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of climate change. New Belgium’s Director of Sustainability, Jenn Vervier, spoke of the company’s excitement to be teaming up with Ben & Jerry’s and POW for a second year in a row. “We look forward to talking about climate change and climate action,” she said in a statement. “With the upcoming election and a new administration, year two is even more important than the first round.”
Details as to the actual taste of the beer (other than “amazing,” “delicious,” and “unique”) are still a bit vague, but that’s because it’s not quite ready to launch yet — it’s expected to hit shelves sometime this fall.
That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good beer float while you wait for your cookie dough ale to finish shipping: Ben & Jerry’s already offers a guide to pairing New Belgium’s regular line of beers with its ice creams. Belgian-Style Dubbel Ale and Chunky Monkey, anyone?
Mobilepros1 via eBay offers the Manufacturer refurbished Motorola Moto 360 Smartwatch (Various Styles) for a low $79.99 plus FREE shipping.
To get one of these new, this still are costing anywhere from $150 - $200 depending on the style. This is a great price on this smartwatch if you have been waiting for something cheaper.
- Compatible with Android Devices 4.3 or Higher
- Responds to voice and gestures
- Timely updates at a glance; built-in activity tracker
- Ambient mode keeps always-on apps like maps, fitness, or to-do lists running in full screen
- Draw emojis directly on your Moto 360 screen with your finger and other cool features
With record-demolishing sales and an astounding isolated vocal track as proof, there’s little question that Adele is the reigning queen of pop. But part of her success can also be attributed to her cross-generational appeal, as she demonstrated with a web-exclusive clip from The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.
The English songstress appeared on the program to perform the 25 cut “Water Under the Bridge”, but stuck around to deliver a special rendition of her latest chart-smothering hit. Instead of just a normally stunning delivery, though, Adele was joined by Fallon and The Roots all playing instruments you’d find in a child’s classroom. Using banana-shaped shakers and a rainbow xylophone and kazoos aplenty, the legendary Roots crew created an amazing adaptation of the track. Fallon may have been tapping a wood block while Questlove shaking some party clappers, but somehow Adele’s voice still kept the song an emotive, powerful stunner. Check out the performance below.
While Kendrick gets all the accolades as someone directly speaking on the ills of his Californian hood, Vince Staples has been right behind him doing the same thing but from a much younger perspective. From his scene stealing verse on Earl Sweatshirt’s “Hive” to old school Ice Cube throwback “Blue Suede”, his stark and unembelished view of street life as a young theme is currently unparalleled in hip-hop. After a great EP last year, he’s set to drop his record Summertime, ’06, this year. While the clip below is pretty turned up(along with the prerequisite Future verse), lyrically it stays mired in reality, along with a surprisingly dark and political ending. Watch below.
Making new friends is really hard to do when you don’t know how. Who wants to do something just to wind up struggling and failing?
That’s why I’ve put together this list of 10 reasons you’ve had some trouble in this part of your life and what to do about it. Once you see where you’ve been stuck within any of these common holding patterns below, you can more easily change your approach so you can start building a fulfilling social life today.
1. You think making friends should “just happen.”
Once we graduate from school, there’s not a lot of structures in place to help us along in making new friends. We have to be grown-ups and make those opportunities and structures for ourselves.
Health and wellness coach Sarah Jenks suggests that you come up with a strategy that works for you on finding and making new friends, including showing up at places where you figure people with your interests are already hanging out. When you do that, you’re not leaving things up to chance, but taking steps to go after what you want. Aside from making more friends, just the practice of taking strategic action feels good in and of itself.
2. You haven’t realized yet that making friends is like dating.
Last night I was at a party that my friend and charisma coach Fel Spar hosted, and I ended up especially hitting it off with one of the women there.
When I was leaving for the night, Fel said to me, “Looks like you two really enjoyed each other. You should make a girl date!”
As soon as I got home, I texted my new friend to plan a brunch date next month. The process of making new friends is a lot like dating – you meet someone you like, and you schedule a time to see them again. Fel is brilliant and has lots more great info on making new friends quickly and easily here.
For whatever reason, scheduling new-friend-dates happens more rarely than it could. It’s normal to feel a little shy when initiating getting together again, but the important thing to remember is that when you feel a spark and genuinely enjoy each other, make a date!
3. You’re afraid that initiating conversations will come across as creepy.
Because of what I do for a living (teaching introverted men on how to attract women naturally), this is a fear that I hear often. The truth is, if there’s genuine mutual interest and it’s a gentle invite, it’s not creepy! In fact, my new friend and I were talking about this last night in the context of dating, and she said of men who have this fear, “If you think you’re creepy, that means you’re not! Because the truly creepy ones have no idea they’re being creepy.”
This is pretty funny, and there’s definitely some truth in there. Better than worrying about whether or not you’re being creepy, focus on noticing whether there’s a genuine mutual interest there, and whether the other person is ENJOYING you. If she is, then she’d probably like to see you again too, so it’s not creepy to help her have more of what she wants. This goes for dating AND friend contexts.
4. You forget your friends have other friends like them.
Another reference to last night’s fantastic get-together – My friend Fel brought together 10 of the brightest women she knew because she figured everyone should know each other. Because we’re all friends of hers, we had a lot in common. It was a big hit, and we’ve already made plans with each other to grab lunch or drinks and keep getting to know each other.
If you’re at a loss for where to find new friends, start with the people you love and respect the most. Organize a small get-together, or if your friend loves to do that kind of thing, offer to co-host. Then, even if you each just invite a couple more people, you’re making a great opportunity for new friendships all around.
Bonus points that you’re now a connector in your friends’ eyes (and in reality), so you’re an even more attractive person to get to know. Everyone loves a connector, and it’s really not hard to do. It all starts with a small get-together or two, bringing folks together.
6. You haven’t sat down and actually thought about what you want.
Until my mid-twenties, I would become friends with whoever was around, just because they were there. This habit took real effort to change, and my first big effort towards it was at a business development weekend I went to.
I’d gone to the same workshop the year before and made mediocre connections. Throwing business cards around like confetti doesn’t tend to get you anywhere substantial.
So this time, I said, “You know what? I’m going to look around this room and purposefully notice the people I like the most, who I feel most drawn towards.”
I had to first consider what I even wanted in a connection, and I landed on ambition, style, and grace. I connected with three women that weekend, one of which remained a dear friend a couple of years later. Boom!
5. You pressure yourself to like everyone.
If you’re a nice person, you like everyone, right? Certainly, you don’t NOT like people. This is what I believed most of my life, anyway.
When I realized I can respect everyone and show kindness without doing back flips over getting to spend time with them, I became much happier and more relaxed. It’s okay not to like everyone. You can’t possibly, so don’t try to force it. If you find you like someone, capitalize on that by setting up “dates” and getting to know them better. Soon, you’ll have a budding friendship.
Meanwhile, don’t stress when you’re not into someone. Still be kind and respectful, but you’re under no obligation to spend time and energy getting to know them if you don’t want to. It wouldn’t be fair to them anyway. After all, do YOU want anyone befriending you just because they think they should? Yuck, didn’t think so.
6. You don’t want the chaos & messiness that intimacy can bring.
Don’t think that just because you make friends with someone that it’s going to be dramatic. It’s only dramatic if either (or especially both) of the parties involved are dramatic as well. You can make sure your relationships are full of ease and collaborative by first being an awesome person yourself (often takes work, folks), and secondly, choosing your friends well.
Be the friend who naturally attracts the kind of friend you want. The same goes for dating, by the way. Be the man/woman who naturally attracts the kind of dates or partner you truly want.
7. You feel shameful about your lack of friends, which keeps you stuck.
When we see ourselves as “not social enough” or inherently undesirable, we don’t feel (or look) so hot. Just because you don’t have as many dear friends as you’d like now, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It simply means you’ve not identified exactly what you want in a friend and then gone about becoming a natural, intuitive match for that kind of person, and second, not sought out those folks and invited them on friend-dates.
8. You didn’t realize that making friends is 95% SKILL and 5% talent.
Does a little talent help? Good looks? Sure. Do you NEED the 5%? No, you don’t. Making yourself a more attractive potential friend is a skill. You can make yourself attractive to the kinds of people you’re drawn to by taking great care in your presentation, emotional health and happiness, ambition, and everything else.
Skills are learn-able and build-able, and most of life can be dramatically enhanced with skills alone, regardless of any talent that may or may not be there to offer its tiny 5%. We don’t often think of talent as so tiny, but it is compared to the monumental force of skill-building. It’s just that most of us don’t know how to skill-build very well, so we end up noticing and crediting things to talent much more than is warranted.
9. You’re a private person and don’t want 55 best friends.
Perfect! You don’t have to go nuts and spend every waking moment with folks just because you set up one friend-date. Remember that making friends is an inherently gradual process. You decide what kind of social life you want. It’s a creative process that is completely up to you, and with time and attention, you can make as many or as few friends as you want.
10. You’ve forgotten what you have to offer.
I bet you $100 that you’re awesome at something.
Maybe it’s something purely social like making people laugh. Maybe it’s intellectual or something more strategic, like with your career success. Maybe it’s a warmth and coziness, like baking or homemaking skills.
Whatever you’re awesome at can be a GREAT quality to bring to the table in a friendship.
Laughter? That one’s obvious. You put people in their happy-endorphin-place.
What about intelligence and success? You can provide reason and objectivity to problems your friends are trying to solve.
Warmth and coziness? When your friends come to your house, they feel happy, loved, and nourished.
Think about the skills and/or natural disposition you have and how you can start sharing it with new friends.
Then, get cracking at skill-building to fill any missing pieces in your friendship-making process and enjoy what happens.
The post 10 Reasons You Have Trouble Making New Friends (And What to do About It) appeared first on Lifehack.
Big Game James was thrilled about the Lakers latest win.
Worthy worked off some of his Thanksgiving calories as he took laps around the Time Warner Cable SportsNet studio. And yes, this juuuuust might go viral.
Ask anyone* what the greatest tragedy of the 21st century is, and they’ll tell you it’s that no one cares about sound quality anymore. But that might be an understatement, since the makers of the new Tidal app apparently believe that there are people out there who care about sound quality in music, and some of them would be willing to pay $20 a month for high-quality music streaming.
Tidal offers listeners an extensive library of more than 25 million tracks at 1,400 kbps, which is the industry standard for lossless audio. That means better quality music, and it might just be a revelation for people who have spent years abusing their eardrums with mp3s and Spotify.
If you’re one of the brave few who’s willing to pay a little more ($20 a month, to be specific) for music as it’s intended to be listened to, you can get more information about the Tidal app on the product’s website here.
* By “anyone,” we mean Prince.
Sony - Geek Squad Certified Refurbished VAIO Tap 11 11.6" 2-in-1 Touch-Screen Laptop - 4GB Memory - Black $399.99 (bestbuy.com)
- Refurbished Apple iPad 2 16GB WiFi + 3G for AT&T in Black for $249.99 (pictured, low by $109)
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- refurbished Apple iPad 2 16GB WiFi + 3G for Verizon in White for $259.99 (low by $69)
- refurbished Apple iPad 2 32GB WiFi in Black or White for $259.99 (low by $15)
- refurbished Apple iPad 2 64GB WiFi in Black or White for $299.99 (low by $422)
- refurbished Apple iPad 2 64GB WiFi + 3G for AT&T in Black for $329.99 (low by $220)
Google Price : $274 ~ $306.49 Shipped
1. Best Buy Price : $149.99 Shipped
“Morning Inspiration”, A Short Film By Vintage Frames Company Founder/ Filmmaker/ Maniac Corey Shapiro
Check out “Morning Inspiration”, a beautiful new short film by Vintage Frames founder/ filmmaker/ sometimes stylist/ father/ maniac Corey Shapiro. It’s all about how you should celebrating life, and learning from their mistakes. It’s highly recommended for everyone who has ever made a bad decision.
“Morning Inspiration” By Corey Shapiro
The post “Morning Inspiration”, A Short Film By Vintage Frames Company Founder/ Filmmaker/ Maniac Corey Shapiro appeared first on SLAMXHYPE.
Crazy like a fox, perhaps, but Walmart is offering the 5c for a huge discount down from $99 on Friday only. You’ll have to also sign up for a two-year contract with a phone carrier but that’s still a pretty attractive price for a phone that was just released three months ago.
It could be that the 5c just isn’t selling that well — maybe Apple customers like it shinier metal sibling the 5s more, who knows. But Walmart has been hacking at the price of the phone since it started selling it and this would appear to be the lowest it can go. Or can it go even lower? Doing the price limbo could be fun.
Other Apple dingles and dangles will also be discounted, adds the L.A. Times: The also newish 5s will be priced at $127 with a two-year contract, a discount from its usual $199; the 16 GB iPad mini will still cost you $299 but will come with a $50 gift card and then there will be $30 Apple iTunes cards fro $25.
The sale starts at 8 a.m. local time and will involve products that aren’t Apple as well, with prices in effect through Dec. 24 or until anything sells out.
Those who frequently upgrade their iPhones will be happy today -- AT&T and T-Mobile have just disclosed their installment pricing for the iPhone 5c and 5s. Subscribers to AT&T Next will pay nothing up front, with monthly payments ranging from $22 per month for a 16GB iPhone 5c to $37 for a 64GB iPhone 5s. As usual, Next members can leap to a new device every year. T-Mobile hasn't provided its full pricing, but says that customers can buy a 16GB iPhone 5c for zero down and $22 per month over two years; the 16GB iPhone 5s costs $99 down and $23 per month. You'll still have to wait until either September 13th (for the iPhone 5c) or the 20th (for the 5s) to purchase from either carrier, but at least you won't have to deal with the hassles of a contract.
If you're drinking a good bottle of wine, there shouldn't be any left over, but if you're drinking a lot or hosting a party, you may need a way to keep half-poured bottle fresh overnight or for a few days. You could re-cork it, but air is an open wine's worst enemy. Wired tested some alternatives that make the grade.