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05 Jun 13:00

11 Proven Ways To Get Kids To Eat More Vegetables

by Darya Rose

Photo by woodleywonderworks

Adults can be absurdly stubborn about eating their vegetables. But when it comes to picky eating, children take the cake.

I don’t have children myself, but many people have asked me for tips to get their kids eating healthier. So for the past few months I’ve been reading the scientific literature and talking to parents around the world to uncover the secrets of getting kids to eat their greens.

The good news is it is not impossible. The bad news is that it requires consistency and persistance from the parents, and it won’t be easy. But if you’re willing to stick to your guns, you should come out triumphant in the end.

11 Proven Ways To Get Kids To Eat More Vegetables

1. Set an example

By far the best predictor of a child’s eating behavior is the eating patterns of her parents. If vegetables and healthy foods are relegated to an afterthought in your household, it’s tough to expect your kids to take to them. Kids eat what they know, and they won’t ask for a special meal if they do not know it is an option.

2. Make food fun

Kids love to play make believe. They also love games. Broccoli can be intimidating to a kid hoping for macaroni and cheese. But if he is a dinosaur who needs to eat five miniature trees in order to outrun a tyrannosaurus rex, suddenly those florets are a lot more interesting. Relating healthy food to fun things the child already loves and turning it into a game is a great way to get a few bites of greens down the hatch.

3. Get them involved

Children are more invested in a meal if they help with its preparation. Taking your kids with you to the farmers market or grocery store and letting them pick one or two things to cook for dinner can make them far more excited to eat it later. Better yet, start a garden and teach them how to plant and harvest their own. Letting them clean carrots, snap beans, mix the dressing and set the table gives them a sense of pride and makes them more enthusiastic and cooperative at meal time.

4. Enforce the “one bite rule”

Research consistently shows that children who have initially rejected a food must be exposed to it at least 8-10 times for the food to be accepted. Many parents have had success with the “one bite rule,” requiring the child to try at least one solid mouthful of a rejected food whenever it is served. After enough exposures the food will be more familiar to the child and usually they begin to rate it more favorably.

5. Don’t force them to finish

One bite is different from finishing your plate. One of the biggest misconceptions among parents is that forcing their child to eat a food she doesn’t like will get her to change her behavior. However, fighting and punishments create a negative meal experience, and the child will learn to associate food with the bad feelings. Negative food experiences have the opposite of the desired effect and actually increase picky eating tendencies. Require one bite, but try not to start a fight.

6. Reward good behavior

On the other side of the coin, creating positive food experiences can decrease picky eating tendencies. Research has shown that rewarding a child for trying one bite of a rejected food with things like stickers makes it easier for them to try the food. They are also more likely to rate the food positively in the future.

7. Understand their values

Children don’t see the world as adults do, and as a result they have very different values. They could care less about health—most kids think they’re invincible—so telling them a food is healthy is unlikely to get you very far (and can often backfire). On the other hand, most children feel limited by their size and wish to be bigger and stronger. Explaining that broccoli “helps you grow” is therefore more effective than, “it’s healthy” or “because I said so.”

8. Offer diverse food colors

One thing you have working in your favor is that children like colorful foods. You can expose them to more colors by adding more vegetables to their plates. While adults tend to like flavors mingled together, children often prefer them separate. So you may have better luck making separate vegetable dishes instead of a big, mono-color casserole.

9. Arrange food in patterns on the plate

Another reason to cook different vegetables separately is that children love when their food is designed into patterns on their plate. Unlike adults, who prefer foods clumped near each other in the center of the plate, kids like their food separated into piles around the perimeter. If you shape it into a heart or smiley face, they’ll like it even more. This is another way to make food fun.

10. Use butter, garlic and bacon

There’s nothing wrong with adding additional flavors to vegetables to make them more appealing to children. For a picky child, the most important thing is that he gets comfortable and familiar with the rejected food. If that means serving it along with something you know he’ll enjoy, like cheese or bacon, that’s fine. I encourage you to use ingredients that are as close to real food (minimally processed without strange chemicals) as possible, but children can handle a few extra calories, especially if it helps them learn to enjoy spinach.

11. Keep at it

Some children will be more difficult than others, and will require more effort and patience. It’s important to realize, however, that the habits they develop at a young age will remain with them long into adulthood. For your sake and theirs, it is worth solving picky eating problems as soon as possible. Continue to set a good example, create fun, positive experiences around food, let them help in the kitchen, enforce the one bite rule and do anything else you can to keep exposing them, in a pleasant way, to the healthy foods they reject. Your persistence will pay off.

How do you get your kids to eat healthy?

Originally published October 17, 2012.

19 Jun 00:00

The Pace of Modern Life

'Unfortunately, the notion of marriage which prevails ... at the present time ... regards the institution as simply a convenient arrangement or formal contract ... This disregard of the sanctity of marriage and contempt for its restrictions is one of the most alarming tendencies of the present age.' --John Harvey Kellogg, Ladies' guide in health and disease (1883)
13 Jun 16:00

Watch Paul McCartney Take Over The Colbert Report

Legendary songwriter Paul McCartney joined Stephen Colbert for an hour-long Colbert Report.
02 Jun 15:00

Five Best Exercise Headphones

Five Best Exercise Headphones

The best headphones for sitting at your computer or in your home listening to music may not be the best headphones to put in your ears while you're jogging around town. Activity will make them fall out and noise isolation or closed ear models will make it hard to hear your surroundings, but you still want good audio quality for your money. We asked you for the best headphones for those workout sessions at the gym, and here are the five best, based on your nominations.

Earlier this week we asked you which headphones you thought were the best to wear when you're about to go for a run or hit the gym . Audio quality is just one factor in those situations—comfort, fit, price, flexibility, and durability are all also important. You offered up more nominations than we could highlight in one post, but here are the five models that stood above the rest.

Five Best Exercise Headphones


When you need a pair of headphones that fit well, work with just about any device you might have, and still sound great, but you don't want to spend a ton of money for something you're going to exercise in, the Yurbuds are a great option. Yurbuds feature their patented "TwistLock" technology, which the company ensures that your in-ear headphones will never fall out, even while you're running, working out, doing aerobics, lifting, whatever. They're also designed to allow in a little more ambient noise than other models, so you're still aware of your surroundings while you're biking or jogging, which is always a good thing. It also doesn't hurt that they're designed to both be comfortable (Yurbuds claims the design avoids "nerve-sensitive areas of the ear," so you don't get that burning feeling of having something stuck in your ears too long) and sweat and water resistant, so a strenuous workout doesn't mean you have to dry out your headphones too.

Many of you specifically mentioned the $30 Yurbuds Inspire models, and the $50 cloth-corded Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Duro (available for just over $40 at Amazon) as great, all-around options that won't break the bank, won't break your heart if they get lost at the gym, but also won't make your music sound terrible while you're exercising. In fact, those of you who nominated the Yurbuds almost universally praised their audio quality as well as their comfort and snug fit.

Five Best Exercise Headphones

Bose IE2 In-Ear Headphones

We're no strangers to the Bose IE2 in-ear headphones—you liked them enough to nominate them as one of the five best overall in-ear models not too long ago. They may be pricey, coming in at $90 direct (and $117 for the MIE2 model that includes audio controls and a headset). The Bose IE2 and MIE2 both sport Bose's StayHear swappable ear tips, which Bose claims will keep them from falling out of your ears even during strenuous activity. They include several sets so you can experiment and find the one best for you. The MIE2s are perfect for listening to music on your phone while you're out running or working out, but still give you the option to answer incoming calls when you need to.

Those of you who brought up the IE2s and MIE2s specifically praised Bose's build quality and the design of the headphones, and pointed out that it's good to be able to buy one great set of earphones and wear them both when you hit the gym and when you're on the train on the way to work, instead of having to swap out different ones for different uses. Plus, whatever you might think about Bose, they make decent audio products, solid enough that you probably won't be disappointed with them, and with care they'll last for a long time.

Five Best Exercise Headphones

Jaybird Freedom/BlueBuds X

Jaybird's Freedom and BlueBuds X earphones are both Bluetooth models that do away with wires and let you rock out wirelessly while you run, lift, or otherwise get your daily exercise in. The Freedoms, shown above, are $100 retail but will set you back closer to $77 at Amazon, and offer a flexible strap to keep them connected behind your neck, have clear, easily-pressed on-ear controls for volume and pairing, and allow you to answer calls with a quick tap while you're on the go. The microphone is even built into one of the earbuds so your caller can hear you clearly. They also include sport cushions and multiple ear tips so they stay in your ears and fit comfortably. The BlueBuds X on the other hand, are a different, more traditional earbud design that will run you $170 retail (and at Amazon) but Jaybird says are the pinnacle of wireless earbud technology. You still have a connecting strap, but the audio and call controls have moved to a smaller control pod along the cable. The BlueBuds X also have been designed to compensate (according to Jaybird) for the inevitable sound quality degradation you'll get passing audio over Bluetooth, and sport over-ear and in-ear fitting options so you can wear them the way you choose. The sport cushion and multi-sized ear tips are still there to keep your ears happy while you wear them.

Those of you who nominated the Jaybird models praised their battery life (8 hours between charges for the BlueBuds X and 6 hours for the Freedoms), their broad compatibility and easy setup, and the fact that they stay in your ears no matter what type of exercise you're doing. In fact, Jaybird has videos of people working out wearing their earphones to prove the point. The other thing that's important to note is that Jaybird prides itself on not just engineering earphones that are friendly for exercise—that are water and sweat resistant and comfortable to wear—but that also sound really good. They put a lot of attention into audio quality, and it shows—which it should, for the price point.

Five Best Exercise Headphones


If you just haven't been able to find a set of in-ear headphones that work for you, or that really do stay in place while you work out, Decibullz may be the answer. The company prides itself on their custom-molded headphones and ear tips that won't fall out, because they're designed to fit your ears and only your ears. You have the option to buy their headphones, which are the models we'll talk about, or to buy just the custom molded ear tips and attach whatever earbuds or IEMs you already have to them (assuming they'll fit). Decibullz's headphones will set you back $40 direct for a pair with the Decibullz custom-molded ear tips along with them. Keep in mind though that Decibullz's claim to fame is their ear tips, not their headphones, so while they'll work with almost any device you plug them into, the remote control pod on the cable is designed for the iPhone. The ear tips on the other hand, are really spectacular, and are only $13 direct on their own.

The ear tips are DIY, so you get them, heat them up in the microwave, and then attach them to your own earbuds—as long as they're the type that support replaceable rubber ear tips. Many of you pointed out that once you got a set of Decibullz tips for your own earphones, you never had a problem with them falling out again. Our friends at Gizmodo reviewed the headphones not too long ago , and-as you can tell by their headline—didn't care much for them. The tips however, they loved—and we have to agree with them there.

Five Best Exercise Headphones

Motorola S10-HD

The Motorola S10-HD Bluetooth wireless headphones put the Bluetooth radio, battery, and other electronics in a firm band that goes around the back of your neck while you wear them, and fits snugly to your head. The earphones themselves fit right into your ears, and feature on-ear controls for volume and music playback, not to mention buttons to answer and hang up calls and pair with your smartphone. They're sweat proof and water resistant, and have actually been on the market for a while, so you can score a pair for $68 at Amazon, much less than their original $90 list price. You'll get about 8 hours of continuous play time out of the S10-HDs before you have to recharge the battery, and despite their look, they're only about 1.5 ounces.

Those of you who nominated the S10-HDs pointed out their solid bang for the buck price, lack of wires or cables, and the fact that they make decent headphones as well as workout headphones, even taking Bluetooth into consideration. Plus, many of you pointed out that the way the band fits around the back of your head means the earphones don't slip out of your ears easily, and a quick wipe-down with a towel cleans them up nicely without having to dry out cables and such, and the audio quality is really solid without being so loud or over the top that you can't hear your surroundings.

Now that you've seen the top five, it's time to put them to an all-out vote to determine the community favorite:

Honorable mentions this week go out to Skullcandy's In-Ear models, which many of you called out for walking the line between affordability, audio quality, and solid design, but not so expensive or so great that wearing them while you exercised or ran around town jogging was a problem for you. Many of you didn't specify which Skullcandy model you preferred, but we imagine the Titans or the 50/50s were some of the models you had in mind.

We also have to give an honorable mention to the various Sony in-ear models that were nominated. No specific models got enough nominations to make the top five, but there were enough Sony nominations to warrant a mention. Specifically highlighted were the Sony Active Style (MDR-ASxxxx) series, in-ear models with a unique wrap-around band for each ear that makes sure they won't fall off while you exercise. Some of you praised Sony's other models with over-ear adapters so you didn't have to trust the headphones to stay in your ears while you worked out, and those of you who don't like in-ear headphones at all praised the Sony MDR-Q68LW for being a solid clip-on model that rests on-ear instead of in-ear.

Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week . Don't just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it's not because we hate it—it's because it didn't get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it's a bit of a popularity contest, but if you have a favorite, we want to hear about it. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at!

24 May 21:42

Stream Queens of The Stone Age's Live Unveiling of ...Like Clockwork

While the album features a stunning collection of guest performers like Dave Grohl (one of three drummers featured on the album), Trent Reznor and Elton John, Queens of the Stone Age delivered a straight-forward, no-frills take on their boisterous blend of rock 'n' roll.
21 May 12:00

Clipping Magic Removes Image Backgrounds in Seconds

Cropping an object out of an photo in an image editor can be a tricky task, but Clipping Magic is a new webapp that does it for you in seconds. All you have to do is paint the foreground object one color, the background object another, and the app does the work for you.

Just drag and drop a photo onto the site, and you'll get a green box you can use to paint the foreground image, or the area of the photo you want to select. Click the red box to paint the background—or the part of the photo you want removed. You work with a version of the photo on the left, and you can see a live preview of the changes on the right, so you can always backtrack, or zoom in for a finer touch if you want.

When you're finished, just download the finished product to get the object you wanted, now on a transparent background. You can also just share a link to the finished image, so you don't have to email a file. Clipping Magic is ideal for logos, screenshots, and other images where there's a sharp pixel edge to the item you're trying to highlight or pull out of an image. The developer points out that hair, blurry boundaries, and partially transparent things are difficult for the webapp to handle, but they're working on making it better. Clipping Magic is in alpha, and while it's free right now, but when it leaves alpha the developers note they may start charging for the service. Right now though, using it couldn't be easier.

Clipping Magic

17 May 19:00

Office Supplies, Ranked

Every day at Lifehacker, we share with you tips on how you can work or live better using stuff you probably have just lying in front of you. But like our compatriots at Gawker , we've decided to make a definitive list that tells you which of those things is the best.

First, a few rules to explain a few of the things that didn't make the list: Nothing that plugs in to something else. Nothing that's meant for human consumption. And finally, nothing that's supposed to be "fun:" bobbleheads, action figures, and their ilk have been excluded. Besides, you can have plenty of fun with this stuff here. Just ask around.

Roll film!

23. Pegboard

22. Cork boards

21. Thumb tacks

20. Label Makers

19. Highlighters

18. Calendars

17. Whiteboards

16. Dry erase markers

15. Scotch Tape (not to be confused with the superior, but not-really-office-supply Duct Tape )

14. Staples

13. Staplers

12. Hole punchers

11. Scissors

10. Packing tape

09. Paper clips

08. Index Cards

07. Pencils

06. Rubber Bands

05. Post-It Notes

04. Notebooks

03. Pens

02. Crossbows

01. Binder Clips

Photo by Roscoe Ellis.

17 May 12:00

Remember the "Sometimes, Always, Never" Rule When Wearing a Suit Coat

Joao Baltazar

Essa regra funciona no Brasil?

Many men's suit jackets have three buttons down the front. Leave them all unbuttoned and you look informal. Button them all and you look like a schoolboy in his first suit or a school uniform. So which should you button and which stay open? This rule is easy to remember: "Sometimes, Always, Never," from top to bottom.

Honestly, this is a rule I've known for a long time, but talking about it with others (and the folks at The Art of Manliness) revealed that it's perhaps not as common knowledge as I thought, and it really should be. They explain:

Starting with the top button and working your way down: it’s sometimes appropriate to have the top button buttoned along with the middle one (a stylistic decision — if the lapel is flat, it can look good to button it; if the lapel rolls over and hides the top button, only button the middle one), it’s always appropriate to have the middle button buttoned (the middle button pulls the jacket together at your natural waist and lets the bottom naturally flare out around your hips), and you should never button the last button (doing so messes up the intended tailoring and flare offered by the middle button).

I'd add that the bottom button runs the risk of drawing the jacket in too close or being too tight around the waist while you move around, and is especially unflattering if you have a bit of a belly under that jacket. It may seem like a silly rule, but there is rationale behind it, both from a fashion and a tailoring perspective. There are exceptions (some people like to button all three in very formal situations, like if you're a banker, lawyer, or going to a funeral) to the rule, of course. If it's all just too complicated for you, you could always just buy two button suits and get around the problem entirely.

The Sometimes, Always Never 3-Button Rule | The Art of Manliness

15 May 14:30

These DIY Energy Bars Offer an Easy, Healthy Way to Refuel

Energy bars make for great snacks and fuel for workouts, but the pricey commercial versions often contain ingredients you don't need. These homemade energy bars are a healthier version you can make in about half an hour.

We've mentioned DIY energy bars a couple of times before , but this version from America's Test Kitchen is the simplest one so far. It doesn't even require baking!

The great thing about this recipe is that there aren’t too many ingredients, and there’s minimal prep work involved—you don’t even have to toast the nuts or chop anything beforehand.

To make them, pulse the ingredients (pitted dates, sunflower seeds, raw almonds, chia seeds, dried cranberries, and coconut oil) in a food processor. Then press the mixture into a lined baking dish, leave it in the fridge for twenty minutes, and then just cut it up. The bars stay good for a week in the fridge or frozen for up to a month.

As one commenter on the recipe says, "You should stop what you're doing, and make these."

Homemade Energy Bars | America's Test Kitchen

13 May 16:00

Spot a Weak Argument by Looking for the Word "Surely"

When you're digging through the internet and reading essays, articles, or even having an argument with a person, it's often tough to immediately spot where the argument breaks down. Professor of Philosophy Daniel C Dennett suggests that one key word to look for as a sign of a weak argument for is "surely."

Spotting a weak argument is all about finding the tells in a way a person writes or speaks. In some cases, this is comes about in word choice, and "surely" is a good red flag:

When you’re reading or skimming argumentative essays, especially by philosophers, here is a quick trick that may save you much time and effort, especially in this age of simple searching by computer: look for “surely” in the document, and check each occurrence. Not always, not even most of the time, but often the word “surely” is as good as a blinking light locating a weak point in the argument.

Surely isn't always an indicator for a weak argument, but it's a good sign that you need to start paying attention. While Dennett makes the argument that this is useful in essays, it's just as much of a red flag in conversation as well. If nothing else it makes a good tip to add to your toolbox of ways to productively call people out on their BS.

03 May 19:00

What 7 Days Without Email Can Teach You About Your Inbox

For some of us, being able to completely ditch email would be a dream. The pileup of correspondence and notifications can become distressingly excessive. Former Lifehacker editor Kevin Purdy recently spent a week without email for ITworld—and it brought along its own kind of anxiety.

A lot of what makes email seem unbearably unmanageable is a lack of structure. As Purdy says, the things that make it terrible are actually the same things that make it great. Namely, the fact that anyone can reach you with any kind of news, and prioritizing it all can go a long way:

"If you know that most of the good email that comes through gets your attention, you can rest your mind when it comes to the other stuff. When you get to it, too, you can plow through it quickly, because you can trust that you will notice the difference between "Jim Rogers wants to connect on LinkedIn" and "You are invited to speak, expenses paid, at a conference in Lyon, France."

We've written at length about ways to help make email more productive, and many of the things that Purdy decides to implement upon returning to his Gmail inbox are all worth checking out:

It might seem like a little bit of a hassle at first, but once you put in the initial amount of work, you'll start dreading your inbox much less.

Be sure to hit the link and read the whole thing, it's great.

7 days without email: Taming the tyrant | ITworld

Photo by mattwi1s0n.

29 Apr 00:00

Is It Worth the Time?

Don't forget the time you spend finding the chart to look up what you save. And the time spent reading this reminder about the time spent. And the time trying to figure out if either of those actually make sense. Remember, every second counts toward your life total, including these right now.
21 Apr 17:00

Watch The Avett Brothers Perform "Pretty Girl From Annapolis" in a Bathroom

The folk band filmed an acoustic performance of the track from the 2003 album Carolina Jubilee with a brief interlude of Bob Marley's Is This Love?"
21 Apr 23:00

Wear Socks to Fall Asleep Easily

If you're having trouble getting to sleep, the problem might not be in your head. In fact, it might be in your feet.

Swiss researchers found that when we are on the cusp of falling asleep, our body redirects blood flow to our hands and feet. When these extremities are warm, their blood vessels can dilate and allow for greater blood flow, which of course aids in the redistribution of blood and helps you get to sleep. So if you're having trouble nodding off, the solution could be as simple as throwing on a warm pair of socks. If, like me, you have an aversion to wearing socks to sleep, a hot water bottle at the foot of the bed can serve just as well.

The Secret to Falling Asleep Faster | Real Simple

Photo by Africa Studio (Shutterstock).

17 Apr 15:28

O que estamos realmente discutindo quando falamos de maioridade penal

by Pedro Burgos

Há 20 anos, no Reino Unido, um crime bárbaro cometido por dois menores de idade contra uma criança gerou uma enorme discussão sobre o tratamento de jovens delinquentes. James Bulger, de dois anos, foi sequestrado em um shopping e depois morto a golpes de tijolo e barra de ferro. Seu corpo, jogado em uma linha de trem, só foi encontrado dois dias depois. Jon Venables e Robert Thompson, os responsáveis pela brutalidade, tinham apenas 10 anos à época e foram julgados como adultos. O governo pedia uma pena de 15 anos, os leitores do tablóide Sun assinaram uma petição para que fosse aplicada a prisão perpétua. Depois de julgados, eles ficaram confinados na prisão até 2001 – quando ganharam novas identidades e endereços. Depois de liberados e renascidos judicialmente, os dois vivem em uma aparentemente eterna condicional, podendo ser chamados de volta à cadeia a qualquer momento.

O crime voltou aos jornais nos últimos meses quando começaram a circular fotos na internet identificadas como sendo de Jon Venables. A Advocacia Geral do Reino Unido alertou os cidadãos que distribuir as imagens ou qualquer informação sobre a nova identidade era crime, pediu ajuda de Twitter, Facebook e Google para que bloqueassem as imagens e chegou a prender agentes prisionais que venderam ao tablóide Sun informações sobre os condenados. Para deixar a história ainda mais terrível, Venables voltou à prisão recentemente depois de terem sido encontradas fotos de pedofilia em um computador, e novamente aumentaram os clamores – puxados pela mãe da vítima – de que a sua verdadeira identidade fosse revelada.

Há uma farta literatura sobre o crime, e as discussões que elas geraram lá, tanto na mídia (como na BBC) quanto no parlamento (em uma comissão dedicada ao tema) merecem ser visitadas neste momento quando estamos discutindo, de novo, a redução da maioridade penal no Brasil, ou a inimputabilidade de quem tem menos de 18, como preferirem.

O “debate” sobre o assunto, como muitos que acontecem nas redes sociais, tenta simplificar um negócio um tanto quanto complexo, fazendo crer que há algum tipo de consenso entre especialistas. Muita gente contra sequer lê os “relatórios da Unicef” que repassa dizendo que a mudança da lei no Brasil seria um retrocesso: não há qualquer relação entre a maioridade penal e o nível de desenvolvimento humano de um país. Basta ver este gráfico:


França e Holanda são países bárbaros? Tampouco há uma tendência clara mundial de mudança na lei para proteger mais as crianças. Na Inglaterra, depois do caso James Bulger, por exemplo, revogou-se o princípio de doli incapax – a presunção de que crianças de 10 a 14 anos nem sempre têm consciência do mal que estão fazendo. Por outro lado, também não há, como a turma do Datena advoga, qualquer relação conclusiva entre a redução da maioridade penal e a diminuição dos delitos cometidos por adolescentes, especialmente os mais graves.

A proposta mais próxima de ser aprovada, a PEC 33/2012, do senador Aloysio Nunes (PSDB-SP), é bem menos agressiva (eu diria equilibrada) do que nos fazem crer aqueles que a repudiam, como a OAB e, bem, qualquer colegiado de psicólogos, educadores do Brasil. Ela na verdade não reduz a maioridade para 16 anos, mas “desconsidera a menoridade entre 16 e 18 anos em casos específicos”. Se a acusação for sobre um crime hediondo (ou múltipla reincidência em lesão corporal grave e roubo qualificado), após uma análise das condições psicológicas e precedentes do menor infrator, ele poderá, com autorização do Ministério Público, ser julgado como adulto. Na justificativa:

(…) a proposta é uma norma constitucional de eficácia limitada, na clássica definição do José Afonso da Silva, a depender, portanto, do advento de uma lei infraconstitucional (Complementar), algo como uma “Ação de Desconsideração da Menoridade”. Na construção desta lei, a sociedade brasileira, através do Congresso Nacional, no momento que considerar oportuno, definirá os casos excepcionais e extraordinários em que o menor infrator poderá ser considerado maior criminoso, sujeito não mais ao ECA (Estatudo da Criança e do Adolescente), mas ao Código Penal.

O texto anexo à proposta de emenda é bem interessante por dizer que “É fato que o Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente (Lei 8.069/90) ainda não foi integralmente implementado e, portanto, não se pode ainda avaliar concretamente seus resultados, de molde a apontarmos para o seu sucesso ou fracasso.” Na prática, o senador concede a principal crítica dos opositores da mudança: se o Estatuto fosse melhor aplicado, e se as unidades de reabilitação de adolescentes fossem de qualquer forma reformadoras, talvez não estivéssemos discutindo isso agora.

Uma coisa é certa, e raramente é mencionada pelos defensores da ideia: mudar a legislação provavelmente vai sair caro. A proposta de Nunes estabelece que os criminosos entre 16 e 18 anos não seriam presos junto de adultos:

é notória a falência de nosso sistema prisional e sua incapacidade de recuperação. Colocar estes menores infratores, mesmo que de comprovada periculosidade, em contato direto com criminosos mais velhos, seria simplesmente piorar o problema, como por exemplo, fornecendo novos soldados para as facções criminosas que dominam o sistema penitenciário de boa parte do país.

Tanto o reconhecimento de que o ECA não foi implementado quanto este asterisco na justificativa da lei deveria disparar o alarme para a necessidade de focar a discussão no sistema prisional. Os problemas são conhecidos: superpopulação, corrupção que permite a comunicação dos presos com facções criminosas, a falta de estrutura para trabalho, péssimas condições de saúde, réus primários que cometeram delitos menores e pessoas aguardando julgamento colocadas na mesma cela que homicidas. Tudo isso ajuda a gerar uma das maiores taxas de reincidência do mundo, de 70%.

Como espaços para reabilitação, as instituições de correção para menores de idade como a Fundação Casa são um fracasso. As prisões, idem. Como disse o colunista Marcelo Coelho, na Folha, hoje:

Chegamos ao núcleo da questão. No estado atual das prisões brasileiras, é tão bárbaro prender quem tem 16 anos quanto quem tem 18 ou mais. Todos sabemos disso. O país não tem moral para exigir respeito à lei quando não tem moral para dizer: isto é uma prisão, você perderá a liberdade e aprenderá um ofício; trate de se recuperar.

Antes de criar novas prisões temos que decidir o que queremos com elas. É simplesmente punir ou de alguma forma reabilitar? Todos os casos são passíveis de reabilitação? O quanto que o Estado deve proteger pessoas que cometeram crimes horríveis? O menor de idade que junto de outros quatro adultos arrastou o menino João Hélio pelas ruas do Rio em 2007 não ficou mais de 3 anos preso, e recebe proteção especial do Programa de Proteção a Crianças e Adolescentes Ameaçados de Morte – enquanto os adultos pegaram penas de 39 a 45 anos (que, como sabemos, viram uma fração disso depois). Como os assassinos de James Bulger, o garoto teve um tratamento especial, afastado, e ganhou uma nova identidade pelo Estado. Um jovem criminoso é mais caro do que um criminoso comum, não apenas porque são necessárias novas celas, mas porque há uma ideia maior de reabilitação e proteção.

Na Inglaterra, o clamor popular para julgar crianças de 10 anos como adultos em poucos anos se transformou em revolta ao se descobrir o quanto o Estado gastava tentando dar uma vida nova aos jovens criminosos. Segundo estudo do parlamento inglês, manter uma fração de adolescentes em 10 prisões especiais custa lá cerca de 740 milhões de Reais por ano aos cofres públicos. Depois de toda a experiência tratando crianças como adultos para fins penais, a ordem do governo agora é prender cada vez menos menores de idade e focar em penas alternativas. Eles pensam bem com o bolso lá. Se o Brasil fosse uma democracia perfeita, onde a voz do povo é a lei, a redução da maioridade penal deveria ser aprovada o mais rápido possível. Mas é importante que todo mundo reflita um pouco sobre quais problemas estamos resolvendo e quais estamos criando, e se o resultado vale as penas.

Foto da Fundação Casa: Marcos Santos/USP imagens.

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17 Apr 00:00


Before you say anything, no, I know not to leave my computer sitting out logged in to all my accounts. I have it set up so after a few minutes of inactivity it automatically switches to my brother's.
10 Apr 16:02

The 12 Best New TV Shows of 2013 (So Far)

Our dozen favorite new TV series of 2013 so far come from 10 different networks—including happy surprises from Netflix, The History Channel and BBC America.
11 Apr 15:23

The 20 Best Television Series Finales

As summer approaches, this year's primetime television season begins its gradual wind-down with several beloved shows closing up shop for good.
04 Apr 16:00

Asus Ai Charger Quickly Charges Your iPhone or iPad Over a Regular USB Port

Asus Ai Charger Quickly Charges Your iPhone or iPad Over a Regular USB PortWindows: Asus's Ai Charger is a free utility that finally lets you charge the iPad from your PC's USB port, which otherwise doesn't offer enough juice to charge the tablet. Ai Charger also promises to charge iPhones and iPods 50 percent faster using standard USB ports.

Blogger Matthew Hunt posted this chart comparing charging time for the iPhone 5 with Ai Charger versus USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and the wall charger. In this test, Ai Charger is about as fast as the wall charger!
Asus Ai Charger Quickly Charges Your iPhone or iPad Over a Regular USB Port

Ai Charger apparently works by sending up to 1.2A through the USB port, so charging your iPad via USB won't be quite as fast as through a wall charger. Still, this means you can travel with your laptop and iPad and leave behind the power brick if you want to.

Asus says the Ai Charger works with all motherboards and systems, but because it's hacking the power going through the USB port, this is a use-at-your-own-risk utility and your mileage may vary. After installing Ai Charger on my Dell laptop, my iPad went from "Not Charging" to charging up. Some folks over on XDA Developers are even reporting the utility works on some non-Apple devices.

Asus Ai Charger | via PCWorld

06 Feb 00:00


Joao Baltazar


And it says a lot about you that when your friends jump off a bridge en masse, your first thought is apparently 'my friends are all foolish and I won't be like them' and not 'are my friends ok?'.
29 Jan 14:00

The Most Sadistic Apps That Force You to Get Stuff Done

The Most Sadistic Apps That Force You to Get Stuff DoneSometimes willpower is hard to muster up without a little poking from exterior sources. Thankfully, if you prefer a little masochism or negative reinforcement from your apps, you have plenty of options for getting into shape, waking up, and breaking bad habits.

While we certainly prefer a more non-sadistic approach to getting things done, that doesn't work for everyone. Sometimes, the best way to get yourself into a good habit it is to do it publicly, with a little shame on top. If you prefer a slap on the wrist to a high-five, here are the apps that'll give it to you.

Alarm Clocks That Shame You Into Getting Out of Bed

Getting out of bed is incredibly hard for many of us, and when a loud alarm clock (and a good night's rest) don't do the trick, it's time to dig into more extreme measures. Here are a few of our favorites.


The Most Sadistic Apps That Force You to Get Stuff DoneBetterMe (free) is incredibly simple iPhone app, but it's based entirely in public humiliation. Can't get up in the morning? Every time you hit snooze, BetterMe post a message to your Facebook timeline telling your friends you were too weak to get out of bed. BetterMe doesn't even disguise itself inside a game structure—it's entire purpose is to shame you into getting up, and it does it amazingly well. If you're more of a Twitter-user, Okite (iPhone, free), might be more up your alley.

Wake N Shake

Wake N Shake ($1.99) bills itself quite literally as an "evil alarm clock" for a reason: it forces you awake by making you shake your phone to shut off the alarm. If that wasn't enough, a recent update also adds a competitive layer to challenge your friends to get up earlier, earn achievements, and includes a leaderboard. It might not sound that evil to have to shake your alarm clock in the morning, but once you try it you'll realize how annoying (and effective) it actually is.

Morning Routine

Morning Routing (free) for Android might be the most sadistic alarm clock we've seen. While Wake N Shake requires a little effort, Morning Routine doesn't turn off its alarm until you actually get out of bed and scan the barcode of items around your house. That means you have to get up, grab your phone, and walk to the kitchen (or wherever) to scan that carton of milk to turn off the alarm. It's almost as sadistic as when your parents would flip on the light, tear back the covers, and yell at you to get up for school. If scanning barcodes is too boring for you, Sleep If U Can forces you to take pictures.

Fitness Apps That Guilt (or Threaten) You Into Getting Into Shape

Getting into shape is hard, and motivating yourself to do it is tough. You have plenty of non-sadistic options out there to help you get into shape, but if you need an evil kick in the pants, here are your best bets.

Zombies, Run!

On the surface, Zombies, Run! (iPhone/Android/Windows Phone, $7.99) is just a fun game that turns a jogging routine into a game of survival. By itself, it's mildly sadistic, but it has a trick up its sleeve for the truly masochistic: interval mode. We've mentioned interval training before, but Zombies, Run! has a twist. Out of nowhere, the app will inform you of a zombie chase, and you have to run as fast as you can to get out alive. If you don't make it, it's game over, and you lose the supplies you've gathered. Combine this with a nighttime run in an empty park (if it's safe, of course) and you have a terrifying (but amazing) experience.

Gym Pact and Fitsby

Gym-Pact (iPhone/Android, free) and Fitsby (Android, free) might be the most sadistic apps on this list.

Gym-Pact is pretty straightforward: attach your bank account to Gym-Pact, and when you don't go to the gym (and check in), Gym-Pact takes money out of your account. The money it collects is then redistributed to other users who actually went to the gym.

Fitsby works in a similar way, but instead of giving the money to complete strangers, it gives the bulk of it to your friends who are also on the service. Yes, what we're saying is that both of these apps will take real money from your bank account and give it away when you don't go to the gym. No, that doesn't sound like fun, but it certainly is bigger motivator than a wasted gym membership. If that's all a little too extreme for you, GymShamer connects to your Foursquare account and sends out a tweet every time you skip the gym.

The Sadistic Apps that Force You to Change Behaviors (or Get Things Done)

Motivating yourself to get your to-do list done or change your behavior (for the better, hopefully) is never easy. For those amongst us who like a punch in the gut every morning, here are some of the apps that shame you into getting everything else in your life done.


CARROT (iPhone, 99¢) is pretty much the only sadistic to-do list out there. While it won't shame you publicly for not mowing the lawn, it will sound very disappointed in you. CARROT is a to-do app with the personality of a crazed computer. When you don't do the tasks you're supposed to, CARROT gets upset. When you fail to do anything, CARROT gets even more upset. It's a minimalist experience, but it's pretty much the only to-do list out there that's willing to call you out for being the slacker that you are.


The Most Sadistic Apps That Force You to Get Stuff DoneIf you want to really make your commitments public, and force yourself to actually complete them, Getupp is one way to do it. Make a commitment in the app (or webapp) of a place you need to be at a certain time. Check in there, or else Getupp shows your friends when you didn't make it. This can include anything from the gym to church to the dance club. While it's not openly shaming you, Getupp still broadcasts your failures to the world. It's probably enough to make most people actually show up.


The Most Sadistic Apps That Force You to Get Stuff DoneAherk doesn't have a mobile app, but it's easily one of the more sadistic ways to reach your goals. Aherk is designed to help you blackmail yourself. You provide Aherk with embarrassing pictures of yourself, and then a goal (say lose 10 pounds) you want to meet. If you don't meet it by the deadline, that embarrassing photo is released onto your social networks. Self-blackmail is a little tough, but once you set Aherk up, you can't back out, so you'd better accomplish those goals.

29 Jan 17:32

Hélio Schwartsman - A psicologia da tragédia

29/01/2013- 03h30

SÃO PAULO - O roteiro é conhecido. Após uma tragédia como a de Santa Maria, a vontade de agir é irrefreável. Nas próximas semanas, Estados e municípios atualizarão suas normas de segurança anti-incêndio e apertarão a fiscalização sobre todo tipo de estabelecimento.

Trata-se, é claro, de um efeito transitório. Com o tempo, o ímpeto vigilante arrefece e as coisas voltam mais ou menos ao que eram antes. E não adianta muito maldizer a leniência das autoridades brasileiras. Ainda que em diferentes graus, o fenômeno é universal e tem origem nos mecanismos pelos quais percebemos o perigo. A pergunta é se devemos aceitar essa abordagem intuitiva ou se seria preferível buscar uma visão mais racional, recorrendo à análise de risco e a especialistas antes de agir.

Há aqui duas visões respeitáveis e difíceis de conciliar. Paul Slovic, talvez a maior autoridade do mundo em psicologia do risco, é um ferrenho defensor do senso comum. Diz que especialistas padecem dos mesmos vieses das pessoas comuns. Só são mais eficientes ao justificar suas preferências. A própria noção de risco objetivo é uma ficção. Devemos aproveitar casos de comoção motivados por incêndios, enchentes etc. para melhorar o marco regulatório. O progresso vem entre episódios de pânico.

Outra sumidade na área, Cass Sunstein, tem um projeto mais iluminista. Ele acha que especialistas têm algo a ensinar e que apenas reagir às notícias de jornal pode causar mais mal do que bem. Um exemplo: o medo insensato do terrorismo pode fazer com que muitos troquem o mais seguro transporte aéreo por longas e perigosas viagens de carro, gerando mortes desnecessárias.

Eu pendo mais para Sunstein. O problema, no fundo, é a arquitetura de nossos cérebros. Quando lidamos com riscos que não fazem parte de nosso dia a dia, ou agimos como se eles não existissem ou como se fossem uma sentença de morte. O mais realista meio-termo desaparece.

Hélio Schwartsman

Hélio Schwartsman é bacharel em filosofia, publicou "Aquilae Titicans - O Segredo de Avicena - Uma Aventura no Afeganistão" em 2001. Escreve na versão impressa da Página A2 às terças, quartas, sextas, sábados e domingos e às quintas no site.

22 Jan 22:30

Don't Rinse Your Mouth Out After Brushing Your Teeth

Joao Baltazar


Don't Rinse Your Mouth Out After Brushing Your TeethIt may be common practice, but rinsing your mouth out after brushing your teeth isn't a good idea. Redditor giubaloo explains why:

I know this this is not common practice, but it is actually quite important! Fluoride, one of the active ingredients in toothpaste, doesn't spend much time in contact when your teeth when you are brushing. Thus, it is crucial to let it work after you have already brushed your teeth. According to dentist Dr. Phil Stemmer, from The Fresh Breath Centre in London, "Rinsing washes away the protective flouride coating left by the toothpaste, which would otherwise add hours of protection." If you are thirsty drink a glass of water before brushing your teeth!

If you do want to rinse your mouth out, however, you can pick up a fluoride rinse and just use that afterwards instead of water.

Don't Rinse After Brushing Your Teeth! | Reddit

Photo by Mark Cinotti (Shutterstock).

17 Jan 14:00

The "10 Rule" Helps Keep Your Spending In Check

The "10 Rule" Helps Keep Your Spending In CheckWhen you're trying to save money, it's often hard to figure out what expenses really matter to you. You might even spend more time rationalizing the expense than you would just buying it. To keep that from happening, financial blog Budgets are Sexy shares the "10 rule."

The "10 rule" is pretty straightforward, and its purpose is to help you make a solid decision about a purchase:

Anything you buy today, your future self is paying 10x as much for. So add a zero onto the price tag, and ask yourself if it's still worth it. If it is, buy it and enjoy it. If not, then forget it... According to the Ten Rule, if you buy a new car today for $20 grand, then your future self is paying $200 grand. That $800 computer is $8,000. The $50 dinner for two is $500. Karate lessons for $150/month are $1,500/month.

If that sounds a little absurd, you're right. But the point isn't necessarily to talk you out of every single purchase. The purpose of the 10 Rule is to teach you to really think about each purchase, and assess the value as it relates to you. It's an interesting approach, and if you find yourself buying a lot of useless stuff, it might be worth putting yourself in this mindset for a little while to train your brain. Head over to Budgets are Sexy for the full post.

The Mighty "10 Rule" | Budgets are Sexy

Photo by Images Money.

18 Jan 00:00

Log Scale

Knuth Paper-Stack Notation: Write down the number on pages. Stack them. If the stack is too tall to fit in the room, write down the number of pages it would take to write down the number. THAT number won't fit in the room? Repeat. When a stack fits, write the number of iterations on a card. Pin it to the stack.
16 Jan 22:00

Facebook Messenger Makes Free Calls to Any Facebook Friend on Your iPhone

Facebook Messenger Makes Free Calls to Any Facebook Friend on Your iPhoneiOS: Facebook's Messenger app used to be a mere extension of Facebook's messaging functionality, but as of today Facebook added a handy new feature for US users: free voice calling.

Now, when you open up Messenger and tap on a friend, you'll see a new button entitled "Free Call." With it, you can give them a ring and, if they have the Messenger app as well, you'll be able to talk to them over Wi-Fi or cellular data without using up any minutes. Of course, you could just use Skype, but this is just one more option for your friends that maybe don't have Skype accounts already.

Facebook Messenger is a free download for iOS, and if you already have the app, you don't need to upgrade to get the new feature.

Facebook Messenger | iTunes App Store via The Verge

16 Jan 00:00

Hand Sanitizer

Joao Baltazar


Hipster CDC Reports Flu Epidemic Peaked Years Ago
16 Jan 17:00

News and updates

Joao Baltazar

B word?


(Image source: Wikipedia)

We hope that you all had a great holiday season and entered 2013 as enthusiastic as we are now! As you may guess we are receiving tons of emails with feature requests, and to make those easier to track we have configured a special feedback page. Go ahead and check it out - you can submit new feature requests as well as vote for existing ones. Also this now gives us lots of visibility into what our users really want, so we can spend our time on what’s important first. Keep your voices coming, but please avoid creating duplicate issues (we hate deleting them).

During past months we have mostly been busy refactoring our database backend. This is not something that you can see, but it helped us cut some hardware costs and will ensure that we can scale as fast as our user base grows. We also implemented some minor features you’ve been asking about - reverse post sorting and new passwordless Pocket integration. (You will need to check your Settings menu for that).

Unteleported logo

You might have also noticed a new image that says Unteleported on our main page. Don’t get scared, as we have not got bought by an evil corporation just yet. We have been discussing various ways to cover our increasing hardware costs, and we liked the idea of being sponsored by cool companies we can relate to. Unteleported is the first of such companies - they are our good old friends, a team of software development professionals (hey, our only real software engineer works there!) who agreed to partially cover our bills. We are extremely grateful for what they do and would like to encourage you to check their new shiny website out. If you have a cool software project to develop, they are the right people!

We were receiving requests and suggestions about translating The Old Reader to various languages. Well, we have a winner! We thank our bright friend and an early Old Reader adopter Daria Nifontova for the Russian translation she made (now available in Settings menu). For anyone else wishing to contribute there is now a separate github repository, and we are happy to accept your pull requests.

And finally, we don’t want to be ahead of ourselves, but our next major update will probably include that B-word we all are waiting for. Cool, no?

21 Dec 01:00

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 20122012 was an interesting year for Apple's iPhone and iPad. We got a new operating system with iOS 6, and that came with a fair share of problems. Still, lots of new features, apps, and fixes came along. Here are the most popular iOS-related posts of the year.

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

Upgrade to iOS 6 Right Now

Although iOS 6 won't see an official release until September 19th, you can install the final version right now even if you're not a developer thanks to some anonymous public postings of the software update files. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

Everything You Need to Know About iOS 6

iOS 6 is out and ready for download. Here's everything you need to know, from how to update your device(s) to getting started with Apple's latest OS upgrade. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

The Best Jailbreak Apps for iOS 5

It took a good while before iOS 5 received its first jailbreak, but now that you've jailbroken your compatible iDevice you need to know all the great apps and hacks it can handle. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

Can I Transfer App Data and Game Saves from My iPhone to a New iPad?

Dear Lifehacker,
I'm thinking about grabbing a new iPad, but I want to transfer all my app data from my iPhone over to it so I can continue using some of the data from my apps and finish up some games. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

Lifehacker Pack for iPhone: Our List of the Best iPhone Apps

The iPhone's app selection is unparalleled, but it can be frustrating to sift through the thousands of options to find the best. For our third annual Lifehacker Pack for iPhone, we're highlighting the apps that help you stay productive, connected, informed and entertained. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

Lifehacker Pack for iPad: Our List of the Best iPad Apps

There are over 225,000 apps designed just for the iPad, which makes finding the most essential apps for the tablet a bit of a hunt. Let us save you some time with this collection of the best iPad apps to help you get things done, stay connected, enhance your lifestyle, and more. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

The Most Useful Apps You've Probably Forgotten

Technology moves fast. So fast, in fact, that great apps often get left in the dust if they don't come out of the gates full-featured and ready for primetime. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

Google Maps Is Now Available for iOS Devices, Offers Turn-by-Turn Driving Directions, Street View, and More

iOS: iPhone and iPad users, your wait is over: Google has unveiled an official Google Maps app for iOS, and it's available now in the iTunes App Store. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

How to Customize Your iPhone, Inside and Out

The iPhone is a beautiful device on its own, but with hundreds of millions of iPhones sold it's not particularly unique. Whether you employ a few simply tricks or more complicated alterations, it's easy to put your own custom stamp on your ordinary device. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

See the Actual Signal Strength on Your iPhone or Android

iPhone: Ever feel tricked by your phone's signal bars into thinking you have a better reception that you actually do? This simple hack will transform those bars to show the actual signal in decibels (dBm). More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

All the Awesome Things You Can Do with a Long Press on Your iPhone, iPad, or iPad touch

Long pressing-that is, tapping and holding down on a part of your screen-provides a lot of handy shortcuts on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

Zombies, Run! Turns Your Exercise Routine into a Game of Survival

iOS: Not motivated to start running? Would it help if you were trying to escape a pack of brain-hungry zombies? If the possibility of a gruesome death is enough to get your legs moving, Zombies, Run! is an app that will get you going. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

This Is How You Should Secure Your iPhone

You probably know that your iPhone features a simple passcode functionality that secures the device by requiring, by default, a 4-digit PIN to unlock your phone. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

How to Speed Up, Clean Up, and Revive Your iPhone

With the sun shining and bees buzzing in celebration of spring you've likely started decluttering your closets and basements. If you need a break from all that indoor work, it might be time to step away and do the same for your iPhone. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

Superior Replacements to the Boring Stock iPhone Apps

With every iteration of iOS, Apple tweaks their software a little, but for the most part, the default lineup of apps remains unchanged since launch. For a lot of us, these apps just aren't cutting it anymore. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

Make a Smarter Notification System for Your Phone or Tablet with Pushover

No offense, but your phone's notification system sucks. With a clever app called Pushover, you can create your own custom notification system that's a heck of a lot smarter, so your phone only bothers you with notifications you want, when you want them. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

The iPad's Split Keyboard Has a Few Hidden Buttons that Make Typing Easier

You've no doubt seen the split keyboard that iOS 5 brought to the iPad, but it turns out it has a few hidden buttons on the edges. Here's how they work. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

How to Get the Best Features of iOS 6 Right Now

iOS 6 isn't coming to your iPhones and iPads for another few months, but a lot of its best features are available through third-party apps and jailbreak hacks right now. More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

Hide Unwanted Apple iOS Apps Without Jailbreaking

iOS: Tired of built-in apps like Stocks and Weather taking up space on your home screen when you've got better third-party alternatives you're using instead? More »

Most Popular iPhone Apps and Posts of 2012

What's a Good Replacement for Apple's Unreliable New Maps App?

Dear Lifehacker,
I just upgraded to iOS 6 and I'm liking most of the new features. However, the new Maps app is terrible. Is there a good replacement that won't send me driving all over the place? More »

It has been an interesting year for iOS. The new operating system brought a bunch of great features, but it also caused one of the years biggest controversies with Apple Maps failures. Want more of the iOS greatest hits? Check out our most popular posts from 2011, 2010, and 2009.

20 Dec 20:41

11 X-mas Gifts That Can Change Your Life (Or Save Your Ass)

by Tim Ferriss

Smiling with the Hario hand grinder. Combine with the AeroPress below, and you can make world-class coffee on an airplane meal tray.

I dislike shopping, but I do love finding the perfect gift.

Finding that gift, though, gets harder with time. Those damn adults seem to already have everything. That includes me.

More salt and pepper shakers? Nah. Alternate versions of the shirts I got last year? No, thank you. In the eternal quest to eliminate clutter, I now give Santa a not-to-buy list instead of a wish list.

If you’re having trouble thinking up killer (in the good sense) gifts, here are 11 goods that deliver.

Prices are estimates, I advise two of them thanks to obsessions (#1 and #10), and all of them have either changed my life or saved my ass. OK, almost all. A few were thrown in purely for fun…

#1 – CLEAR Card – $49 for six months (35%+ off of normal $79)

I first used CLEAR card in 2007. It’s one of my secret weapons, and I never travel without it.

Hate the feeling of arriving at the airport and wondering if the security lines will take 5 minutes or 45 minutes…maybe longer? CLEAR allows you to skip security lines completely at enrolled airports (San Francisco, DFW, Denver, and more).

Now, I am never anxious going to airport. Uber takes 15 minutes from my door to check-in kiosk (eliminating parking), and I know CLEAR can get me through security in 5 minutes or less. Last time I timed myself during SFO rush hour, I was 25 minutes faster than the first-class line and more than an hour faster than the economy line… all with an economy ticket. Gift cards can be e-mailed or printed, and kids under 18 traveling with you go through the CLEAR lane for free.

#2 – Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Serrated Folding Knife with Speed Safe – $39

I have collected knives since taking pack trips through the Teton mountain range as a teenager.

This Kershaw knife with “open-assist” (basically a side-opening switchblade) is the most all-around convenient and useful knife I own. Fixed blade knives are awesome, and I own many, but the balance and utility of this Kershaw blade makes it my go-to default at home or on the road.

Be sure to get it with the serrated edge. Be sure not to leave it in your carry-on luggage. The TSA will make a frowny face otherwise.

#3 – Three Books, Three Eras

The Education of Cyrus (Cyropaedia) by Xenophon –
This was written a few years ago…in the 4th century BC. If you like Seneca or my other philosophical favorites, you’ll like this one. It was introduced to me by Wofford College president Ben Dunlap, one of the best teachers I’ve ever met in my life. For those interested, here’s his unreal Wikipedia entry. He embodies many of the lessons taught in The Education of Cyrus, as is clear in own his TED talk on lifelong learning and passion (the last 5 minutes are gold, if you need to skip around).

Levels of the Game by John McPhee –
John McPhee is probably my favorite non-fiction writer of all-time. He’s written about everything from oranges to hardwood canoes, and he transforms every subject into page-turning fascination. In Levels of the Game, published in 1979, McPhee writes his first book on tennis. I’m not a tennis player, but I loved this short, 149-page book. The critics got it right: “This may be the high point of American sports journalism.” (The New York Times) “McPhee has produced what is probably the best tennis book ever written.” (Life)

The 4-Hour Chef by Some Long Islander –
Writing The 4-Hour Chef changed how I look at learning, passion, and creativity forever. In 2007, if I’d had the contacts I do now, I would have written this book before The 4-Hour Workweek. Accelerated learning is the foundation for everything I enjoy, and it’s the force multiplier for everything in my previous two books.

Sidenote: If you’d like to explore the gear in the first 150 pages of the book, I’ve put it all here.

#4 – Amazon Prime + Roku + Escape to River Cottage – Around $152 ($79/year, $70, $1.99/episode)

I own an Apple TV, but I barely use it. Why?

Simple: An Amazon Prime membership gives me free 2-day shipping on almost everything, as well as 1,000s of free streaming movies and TV shows. To watch them on my TV, I just need the Roku box, which I also bought for my parents. It’s dead simple to use.

The most inspiring and life-affirming TV series I’ve watched using Prime/Roku combo is the British Channel 4′s Escape to River Cottage with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. If you’ve ever fantasized about escaping the city to live in the country and live off the land, you will love this series.

#5 – AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker – $32

For this beauty, more than 300 reviewer said something like this: “I have a drip coffee machine, a french press and a Krups espresso maker, and they are all officially retired thanks to the Aeropress.”

If you combine it with a hand grinder and a non-stabby pocket thermometer, you can make the best coffee of your life on a plane flight…on the meal tray of a middle seat. I’m not kidding. Baristas often travel with an AeroPress for this reason exactly, and it takes less time to clean than a butter knife. Winning.

Extra trivia: The AeroPress was invented by the same rogue Stanford mechanical engineer who created the Aerobie toy craze.

#6 – BioTrust Low-Carb Protein Powder – $49.95
(Non-affiliate link)

I am always asked about protein powders, often related to my “30 within 30″ recommendation of consuming 30 grams (g) of protein within 30 minutes of waking up. My dad, as one example, went from 5 pounds of average monthly fat loss to 17.85 pounds/month in the first month of adopting this habit.

But what to use?

For the last several months, I’ve used BioTrust low-carb protein powder, and I plan to continue doing so. It contains just 4g net carbs per serving, mixes easily with a spoon, and I find the combination of undenatured whey protein isolate, micellar casein, and other proteins easy to digest but filling enough to act as a (small) meal replacement. This is an unusual combo, and I regularly keep six or so jars at home, and I travel with two jars. During book launch, I used the “30 within 30″ rule to sustain immune function while sleeping 2-3 hours per night at hotels around the country.

Be forewarned: I love the product, but like many companies, BioTrust has frequent e-mail follow-up for their related nutritional products. I’m allergic to e-mail and in elimination mode, so I opted out of this.

#7 – WaterPik Ultra Water Flosser – $45

I’ll keep this one short.

I have hated flossing my entire life. Each year, I got a lecture from the dentist, and each year, I’d attempt flossing for 2-3 days and throw in the towel. No longer.

Using the WaterPik in combination with the free Lift app got me to floss consistently for the first time. Now, I look forward to it. Weird.

#8 – Jumpcut – Free

This free download saved my sanity. It is my small gift for you.

As a writer, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve copied something important to the clipboard, gotten distracted, then copied something else…losing hours of work! Damnation! At the very least, such mistakes meant frustration and feeling like a sad keyboard monkey.

Meet Jumpcut.

Jumpcut appears on your toolbar and saves around 40 items you’ve copied to your clipboard. You won’t realize how time-saving (even life-changing) this is until you start using it. There are positive side-effects, too. Know all those temporary text files you use for notetaking for later in the day or whenever? Forgettaboutit — Jumpcut to the rescue. Special thanks to Maneesh Sethi for introducing me to this tool.

#9 – Splurge at The Billionaire Shop -$1,000,000+

Finally, a way for you to shop for your Danish Zenvo ST1 (limited to 15 in the world) online!

Ah, the conveniences of the Internet. No more shlepping down to your local Lamborghini dealership or waiting for helicopter catalogs. You can max out your AMEX black card here with one click, and that perfect X-mas gift will depreciate in 30 minutes more than the value of my current house. Enjoy!

#10 – Quarterly – My 4-Hour Obsession – $100/Quarter

Readers have been asking me for a box of physical goodies for years. So, my Lords and Ladies, I have created one with the start-up Quarterly.

Every three months — 4 times a year — you’ll get a box full of my favorite things, my newest and favorite obsessions. Through my global travels, my guinea pig self-experiments, my extensive product testing, and adventures/misadventures, I’ll find the coolest gems to share with you and pick the best for the box.

Tim Ferriss not your thing? A little too Ferrissy for ya’? Well, then… get off my lawn! But seriously, there are other cool folks to choose from, including Veronica Belmont, Mark Frauenfelder, Tina Roth Eisenberg (swissmiss), Jason Kottke, and Megan Collins. For gifting, you have the option of sending the gift confirmation directly (and immediately) to the recipient, or sending it to yourself so you can print or forward it as you see fit.

And Most Important of All…

#11 – What You Already Have – Priceless

The holiday season shouldn’t be all about stuff. It should be about connecting with others and reconnecting with yourself. Don’t get me wrong: I like toys and encourage you to play. Just don’t get so lost in the X-Box that you skip a proper year-in-review introspection.

Looking back on the year, looking ahead to the next, ask yourself:

- What and who am I grateful for?
- What and who should I be more grateful for?

Remember that if you don’t appreciate what you have now, nothing you get (e.g. house, jet, business, spouse, whatever) will make you happier, much less fulfilled. There’s more to life than increasing its speed and size. Drive both without focus and your life will end up resembling the Exxon Valdez: unwieldy and hard to control.

In the new year, what will you remove from your life? What will you learn and teach? What will you simplify?

Just as I recommend these questions, I’m asking them myself.

Happy holidays, all!

Wishing you and yours the most joyous of holiday seasons,