Red Swiss Army Knife

Guest Expressed: Why a Knife is Essential for Post-Apocalyptic Survival

We all know that knives are a useful tool. Today’s guest, Soleil Ho, will prove that their usefulness extends all the way to our post-apocalyptic future.

Enter Soleil:

When society goes to pot and we’re all riding grunged-out motorcycles through a nuclear wasteland, I’m not going to be hoarding heavy artillery or a death ray: just my trusty survival knife. Trust me; I’ve watched The Walking Dead AND Demolition Man, so I definitely have lots of advanced post-apocalypse intel under my belt. After a lot of research, I’ve become convinced that knives will be my best bet because of their versatility and ease of use.

Even though many things may not be, there are some necessities that will remain certain. You’ll need food, hand tools, and the means to defend yourself and your loved ones against giant mutated rats. Luckily, a knife can help you in all three departments!

By “food,” I don’t just mean that you’ll need a dystopian steak knife. You’re going to need something that can open up cans, right? And I’m fairly sure that can openers are going to be the first things to go the second NASA spots an alien mothership heading our way. So what else can you use to unlock the goods? A knife! Opening an aluminum can with a knife is a great skill to have, so practice while there’s still time.

It may not need saying, but perhaps a reminder would be enough: knives are essential for hunting. How else are you going to get your squirrel fillets cleaned and processed? In addition to processing wild game and fish, knives are useful for setting light traps, prying wild vegetation out of the ground, making nets, and marking trails. Just think of your knife as nature’s credit card.

You’ll also be glad to have a knife for minute tasks like opening glass bottles, cleaning mud off your boots, shaving, and more. Plus, in a world without the Internet, you’ll probably want to take up whittling or something to pass the time. I’m pretty sure that’s what people used to do before Angry Birds.

Knives are really useful in all of these ways, and what really makes them ideal for a Walmart-less future is the fact that they don’t need much maintenance or extra parts as you use them, unlike a chainsaw or bazooka. You’ll be able to tackle the meanest C.H.U.D.s and tuna cans with your knife as long as you can keep it sharp.

That doesn’t mean that you’ll have a 100% chance of survival out in the nuclear wilderness, but it’ll be a big help. And when the going gets too tough, you can use your knife to carve out your last will and testament on a tree trunk. It was good knowing you!

Soleil Ho is a freelance writer and casual conspiracy theorist.

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Guest Expressed: “Basketball – Why Do It Like Everyone Else?”

We’ve seen crazy houses, crazy sofas and crazy bathrooms before. Today Meg Jones returns to point out that basketball has a few crazy tricks up its sleeve too. Enter Meg:

Basketball, like so many sports, is loads of fun to watch and even more fun to play.

Whether your style is street ball with the guys or a serious, by-the-book game with an organized team, shooting hoops takes on a whole new meaning when you have access to some wild and crazy basketball courts like these:

Floating Courts

Work up a thirst playing basketball? Try surrounding yourself with an ocean while you play. On this Disney cruise ship, basketball lovers can shoot hoops while taking in some sun and getting a good look at the waves and the wide-open sky.

Kids playing on a cruise ship.

License: Creative Commons (image source)

Another, even more extreme, floating court is the one that was specially constructed aboard the USS Bataan, an assault ship. In November of 2012, this court was used for a game between Georgetown and the University of Florida. Hopefully the players had time to find their sea legs before the game started!

Basketball on an aircraft carrier.

License: Creative Commons (image source)

Desert Court

The polar opposite of the floating court would have to be the desert court. Surrounded by sand and burning sunlight, this court is a basketball lover’s oasis. But you’ll want to pack extra water bottles when playing on this one!

The Matthew Knight Arena

College sports fans shouldn’t be too surprised that the University of Oregon would choose something flamboyant and out-of-the-ordinary for their new basketball arena, the Matthew Knight Arena. The new court, which was opened for use in January of 2011, features a floor design that has been facetiously accused of causing retina damage. The pattern pays homage to the Oregonian woods, featuring silhouettes of tree lines that extend around the entire perimeter of the court. No one can accuse this court of lacking character.

The Ducks court, with trees on the floor.

License: Creative Commons (image source)

Geometric Courts

For those who like to break the mold of the mundane, these courts should satisfy. Dubrovnik, Croatia is home to this strange basketball court, which looks more like a series of half courts situated at odd angles. Playing a full game here could get a little tricky.

Basketball court in small, mountainous city.

License: Creative Commons (image source)

And if that’s not unconventional enough for you, try this court in Munich on for size. The basketball court is regulation-sized, but that’s got to be the only thing “regulation” about it. It features a 3D terrain of rolling bumps and small valleys as well as lamp posts dotting the court. Modern art plus basketball? We think, yes; although, actually playing on this court could be potentially hazardous. Supposedly, it requires “creative engagement” for its use.

3D basketball court.

License: Creative Commons (image source)

Meg Jones writes for Robbin’s Sports, a company that provides basketball backboards for exciting play wherever you are.

Guest Expressed: “5 Stupid Criminals (glad I don’t have to defend these guys)”

I know, I know – yet another post about dumb criminals. But hey, whose fault is it that there are so many?

So here’s today’s guest, Jon Reiter, with more of them.

Enter Jon:

Considering the popularity of television shows like truTV’s World’s Dumbest Criminals, plenty of Americans have a secret obsession with learning more about idiots with criminal intentions who botch the case, leave major evidence behind, or incriminate themselves in a variety of ridiculous ways.

Here are five stupid criminals that any attorney would be embarrassed to defend in court:

1. Note to self: Sharpies do not make good disguises.

License: Creative Commons (Image Source)

Masks and bandanas seem to be the face-hiders of choice among most “successful” criminals, but the media is still laughing over two wannabe robbers from Tennessee who attempted to disguise themselves by drawing on their own faces with a black marker. Yeah, like that makes sense…

2. But it rang up $2!

License: Creative Commons (Image Source)

William Keltner from Texas created headlines as well as uncontrollable laughter when he intended to get a bargain on a television set at Wal-Mart. The retail giant’s loss-prevention team noticed that the savvy shopper removed the barcode from a $228 TV and replaced it with a barcode from a product costing just $1.17 before heading to a self-checkout lane. No wonder the register started flashing and warned him that associate assistance was necessary before the sale could be completed.

3. Hey, he’s gotta learn how to drive anyway!

When 43-year-old Tennessean Randy Lewis got so drunk and high that he decided not to drive—perhaps his only wise decision of the day—he handed the keys of his 1995 Ford Windstar van to his elementary-school-aged son. The van flipped onto its roof after the 10-year-old hit speeds of over 90 mph. Three other children were in the vehicle along with the driver and his “responsible” father. The entire crew was treated for injuries at a local hospital, but the best part of this incident would have to be the attire that Lewis was wearing in his mug shot—a wrinkled T-shirt suggesting that one should ‘Buy This Dad a Beer.’

4. Sorry, wrong number … wanna buy some drugs?

A 14-year-old Florida teen accidentally dialed a wrong number while making a call, something we’re all guilty of from time to time. Rather than apologize and hang up like any sane person would do, he asked the person who answered if he’d like to buy some drugs. Bad idea … turns out the call’s recipient was none other than a Gulfport Police detective, who was more than happy to make a purchase. When the duo arranged a time and place to meet, the teen and a companion who drove him to the site were both arrested.

5. Here’s one status update you probably shouldn’t make on Facebook.

When 26-year-old Cameroon-born Maxi Sopo falsely obtained over $200,000 in credit from banks, he maxed out the lines and headed down to Cancun. After committing bank fraud and escaping to paradise, he had the nerve to update his Facebook account with details of his new fun and frivolous life in paradise. The problem? One of his new Facebook friends was a former justice department official who quickly put two and two together and turned in the wannabe playboy.

There you have it—five of the dumbest criminals in recent history. While dirty deeds shouldn’t be laughing matters, it’s tough to keep a straight face when reading about folks like those mentioned above.

Jon Reiter is a marketing agent for http://swiftlaw.net, an expert Denver bankruptcy lawyer.

Guest Expressed: “8 Ways NOT to Drive a Sports Car”

Sports cars – can’t live without them, can’t drive them without making a fool of yourself.

Today Chris Turberville-Tully makes yet another appearance on the blog to share some driving tips, with illustrated “DO NOTs”.

Enter Chris:

When you want to learn how to drive a powerful car properly, you can take lessons from professional instructors at established driving schools. When you want to learn how NOT to drive a powerful car, there are guys with cellphone cameras and idiots in out-of-control cars.

Let’s visit the Hall of Shame.

Lesson #1: Allow for Proper Spacing

Most of us have dealt with bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic, creeping along inch by inch. It makes us yearn for an empty road where we can really air things out. In some abandoned parking lot somewhere, these two guys have all the room in the world to see what their cars can do, and they still end up trying to occupy the same space…at the same time.

Lesson #2: Driving a Cobra doesn’t make you a Cobra Driver

Here’s a guy in a very classic Cobra entering the road after several others have gone before him. Perhaps the other drivers made it look too easy. The poor fellow in the Cobra just can’t seem to be able to make a gentle left turn onto the open road.

Lesson #3: Shiny Road are Slick Roads

Many of us like shiny things, but a shiny road is not one of them. Mustangs may be the most legendary muscle car in American automotive history, but sometimes that power can work against you on slick surfaces.

Lesson #4: On Straightaways, Drive Straight

Experts can make even the most difficult tasks look easy. Idiots make easy tasks look impossible. This poor sap either has more power than he can handle, or, he has picked a very inopportune time and place to attempt a U-turn.

Lesson #5: Don’t Try To Video Your Exploits

Here we’re treated to the dashboard view of a couple of numbskulls trying to set a land-speed record out on a rural, two-lane road. Of course, the occasional bit of top soil blows onto the road. Let’s just say this is not good for traction. (Warning: In the midst of the crash, passenger language becomes a bit crude.)

Lesson #6: Don’t Park Your Performance Car Next to an Idiot

Actor Paul Walker learned this lesson when he parked his $130,000 Audi R8 next to a big Dodge pick-up truck. How ironic is it that Walker—known for his role in “Fast & Furious”—would end up with a crunched car? And, it was parked!

Lesson #7: Screeching Tires and Billowing Smoke are Real Attention Getters

This showoff probably thought that by burning out in a mostly deserted strip mall parking lot, he was safe. Wrong. Sometimes karma arrives in just the amount of time it takes a cop to flip on his siren.

Lesson #8: Vipers Can Bite Their Owners

First of all, the guy who made this video should have had both hands on his steering wheel. However, he was lucky enough to come through unscathed. The guy in the Dodge Viper that he was videoing wasn’t quite so lucky. One lesson for all drivers here is that traffic often backs up at off ramps.

Chris Turberville-Tully works with HR Owen, a luxury sports car dealership in England. HR Owen sells Maserati, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW and Audi cars.

Guest Expressed: “5 ways to end a bad date”

Have you ever had a bad date? Have you wished you could say something to get out of it easily? Today’s guest, Linda Forshaw, has a few recipes. Enter Linda:

First dates are scary at the best of times. If you’re unlucky enough to find yourself sitting opposite someone whose face you’d rather use as target practice than smooch, they’re infinitely worse. Forget climbing out of the bathroom window. Just throw one of these gems out there and let your bad date climb out of the window instead.

5. “I’m still in love with my ex, but I’m trying to move forward if only to take my mind off the urge to call him every hour. Can you hang on a minute while I see if they have texted me in the last five minutes”.

Um, yeah, no one really wants to be the rebound partner. Tell your date that they’re second best or gush about how handsome/gorgeous your ex was and watch as they squirm in their seat looking for an escape route. This works even better if you add – “the only reason I picked this restaurant is because I thought my ex might be here”.

4. “How do you fancy the Central Park Boathouse as a wedding venue?”

Weddings, like exes and how many children you might have in the future, are no-mans land for a first date, but that’s only if you actually want the date to continue. When you want rid sharpish, weddings venue, exes, and children are all fair game.

3. “Hold still, I’m just going to take your picture.”

This is an awesome way to make someone feel super uncomfortable. It works even better if you imply that you’re going to put their picture on your wall or by your bedside (so you can look at them for ever and ever and ever….). The mere suggestion that their picture is destined to be shared on that dating blog you own will also work a charm.

2. “You know what, I think I’ll ask my mom/dad/hulk of a brother to join us. They’re sitting in the car right outside.”

Yeah, unless you’re under the age of ten, bringing your mom to your date is going to send any sane person running for the hills. The only way this one won’t work out for you is if your date is actually insane. In which case, the bathroom window is probably your best option after all.

1. “So, I Googled you and saw that picture of you with that guy/girl. Who’s that then? Should I be worried?”  (Best said at the exact moment you pick up your knife).

Stalk much? Most people will Google a date before they meet up. It’s a sure fire way of finding out if someone has been convicted of some heinous sex crime in the past. If you want your date to continue, then it’s best to keep schtum. On the other hand, if you can’t wait for your date to end, go right ahead and fess up to being a cyber stalker.

Author Bio

Linda Forshaw hails from Liverpool in the UK where she splits her time being looking after her daughter and fending off bad dates. A contributor to Degree Jungle, she is a full time writer and blogger specializing in education, social media, entrepreneurship (and dating). Contact her on Twitter @seelindaplay

Guest Expressed: “4 Hilarious Remodeling Mistakes To Avoid”

Today we hear from Steve Airth, who shows us what happens if you don’t take your remodeling projects seriously enough. Enter Steve:

When it comes to remodeling jobs, some are certainly more difficult than others. Some projects, such as painting, are fairly simple to complete. Other projects can become quite complicated and require special knowledge and skills if they are going to be done properly.

No matter what kind of remodeling project you tackle, there is always the opportunity for something to go wrong, sometimes with hilarious results. Learn from the mistakes others have made so that you can avoid making those same mistakes yourself. Keep reading, and you’ll see what I mean.

4. Too Many Plugs
Too much of anything is not a good idea. Whoever remodeled this house definitely went overboard when it came to electrical wiring. There were electrical outlets and light switches everywhere, with up to eight on one wall. Several outlets and switches were placed right next to each other. Unless you own a lot of electronics, one or two outlets along any one wall should suffice. Installing any more than that is just creating unnecessary work and more opportunities for error.


3. Measure, Measure, and Then Measure Some More
When remodeling, before you change or install anything, make sure you carefully measure your space. Then measure again to make sure you know the exact amount of space you have to work with. Also measure your appliances, fixtures, furniture, boards, drywall or whatever you are going to put in your newly-remodeled area before trying to install it. If installing boards or drywall, measure before you do any cutting. If applicable, measure the space through which you are going to have to move items to make sure you are able to get all materials into the room in which you want them. If you don’t, you might end up like these people. In one clip, the bathroom door won’t close because the toilet is in the way. In the other the doorway is too small for the washer and dryer combo that is to fit through it. Even though there was space to put it inside the laundry area, getting it into that space to begin with required removing the door frame. Careful measurements can save hassle and frustration later.


2. Plumbing Mistakes
When it comes to plumbing, make sure all the fittings are tightened and glued together securely. Water will seep through any available hole or crack. If pipes and fittings aren’t properly tightened or put together, the water pressure could cause something to pop loose. This guy forgot to glue the pipes together, and he ended up with a small flood in his house as well as underneath it.


1. Electrical (and other) Failures
When it comes to electrical work, mistakes can be dangerous. Make sure you don’t do what some of these people did. There should be no breakers in an electrical box. Never put a water pipe near electrical work (hint: water and electricity don’t mix). A light bulb inside the shower right above the showerhead might not be such a great idea. Nails that are long enough to protrude through a fence really aren’t the safest. You should not be using your old crutches to prop up your awning. A sink inside a shower doesn’t seem like the most convenient set-up. And, you may want to think twice before you install your showerhead in the ceiling.

So, the next time you embark upon a remodeling project, keep these clips in mind and don’t make the same mistakes. Hopefully your project will be a success.

Steve Airth is the general manager of Triple R Construction, a contractor that specializes in home renovations and remodeling in Victoria, BC.

Guest Expressed: “4 Ridiculous Attempts At Making Kids Brush Their Teeth”

Today Chris Turberville-Tully makes another return to the blog to demonstrate why making kids brush their teeth isn’t always an easy task.

Enter Chris:

Ask any parent and you will hear that getting a child to brush his or her teeth can be almost as challenging as potty training, though hopefully not as messy.

From whacky flavored toothpastes, motorized toothbrushes, silly songs and purple dancing dinosaurs to bribery and begging, it seems parents and manufacturers alike have attempted creative, sometimes disgusting, ways to get kids to brush their pearly whites.

4. That Flavor, Really?
Most toothpastes have fairly appealing flavors. After all, mint is a naturally refreshing taste for most people. For those who do not care for the taste of mint, there have traditionally been a limited number of flavor alternatives. Limited is no longer a fitting adjective to describe the selection of toothpaste for both kids and adults. Check out these interesting flavors:

  • Bacon – yes, really.
  • Cantaloupe – hmmm…that just does not sound appealing. “Johnny, let’s use this orange paste that tastes like cantaloupe!”
  • Pickle – this flavor may be better suited for some pregnant women.
  • Cupcake – perhaps enticing kids with cupcakes in a tube will convince them to brush once, but after that, they will probably insist on the real deal.

License: Creative Commons (Image Source)

Some other flavors may not sound too awful, but one has to wonder about their kid appeal: cherry vanilla and orange mango sound like flavors for more mature taste buds. After all, how many three year olds care about vanilla or mangos?

3. The Bribes
Bribery seems to be a common ingredient in the try-to-get-a-kid-to-brush-his-teeth recipe. Bribing with food is one of the more common but rather counter-productive bribery attempts. Why promise candy in exchange for brushing teeth? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of brushing? It seems like dads are the kings of tooth-brushing bribery. In this video, a clever dad feels quite pleased with his success in getting his daughter to brush her teeth. His bribe? He will take her out for a treat or a meal. The bribe works, but one has to see that this will become a rather expensive and time-consuming habit.

2. Daddy’s Turn
Taking turns is another common practice which can take on various forms. One mother suggested lying on the bed and letting a child brush mommy’s teeth first. Then mommy can brush the child’s teeth. It may be good practice for kids taking care of their older parents, but it’s probably not very effective. In this video, a daddy encourages his daughter to let him have a turn brushing her teeth. The process is long, tedious and comes to a rather sudden and unfortunate end.

1. The Fool’s Act
Most parents have to admit to resorting to all sorts of crazy antics at some point in their toothbrush-training career. From singing silly songs to attempting crazy antics, each parent has her own bag of tricks for getting kids to brush. Many of these efforts, however, appear to provide more entertainment for the child than actual motivation. Others seem to take a giant leap over their children’s heads, such as the fascinating, but definitely over most kids’ heads, demonstration found here.

Chris Turberville-Tully works for Dental Implants Dentists in the UK, a dental directory for finding dental surgeons in your town. Search the site to find the perfect clinic for you: www.dentalimplantsdentists.org.uk