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Salt Stick Deodorant. It Works.

“Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Steareth-100, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, BHT”

How many of those ingredients have you heard of?  Those are the ingredients of the deodorant I used up to the day my mom plopped one of these bad boys on the counter – simultaneously throwing out my normal deodorant.

Well have you ever heard of salt? It’s the only ingredient in this amazing product. It doesn’t stop you from sweating, but you wont smell.

But does it work? Yes. I’ve worn this stuff to present at competitions, the Bahamas, dates, graduation (For which, mind you, I was in a black robe in late June.) Hell, I even wore it to prom! This stuff works.

Sure, you have to rub the stuff profusely around your armpits. But who cares? I’d rather an extra 10 seconds putting on deodorant than aluminum bio-accumulating within my system.

I’d honestly write more if I needed to, but this review is simple. Your deodorant is horrible for you. This one isn’t. Yes. It works. That’s it.

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Why Garbage Pickers Are More Beneficial To The Earth Than You.

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Whether you live in an urban or suburban area, we’ve all seen them rummaging. What are they looking for? Well, recyclables if course! Whether their true passion in life is to rid the world of unnecessarily thrown out recyclable cans or they’re simply strapped for cash, these people are contributing to society more than meets the eye.

Each can they pick up removes about 14 grams of aluminum from being burned and each bottle saves 52 grams of plastic from being burned. That may not sound like a whole lot, but you’ll never see one of these people carrying around a single bottle ready to deposit it. You’ll see them haul around hundreds of cans and bottles at a time.

So how many cans are they removing from the millions? Let’s do some hypotheticals! It’s been said that you can make $5 and hour on average. That’s around 75 bottles, depending on if you get .05 or .10 on a can or bottle. Let’s say you do this for an 8 hour work day. That’s about 600 bottles a day. How many are there in NYC? let’s assume a whole lot. If you really pay attention, you’ll see them around.

I write this on my train ride into the city and I just saw one as I looked out the window. I suppose I’m a bit more keen to seeing them as I write about them. Let’s say the number is 400, but I’m sure there’s more through the entire city. That’s 87,600,000 cans a year taken out of the garbage! Or, by New York’s standards, 3 whole days of throwing out bottles. Damn NYC. I’m trying to make it sound significant! Quit throwing them out!

One man, interviewed by Brokelyn, has had no issue finding a stable source of income through this practice. “It’s his only source of income and he’s been doing it for 15 years. One morning this week, Ronald, who lives in the nearby Gowanus projects, had six large yard-waste bags full of recycling in two carts. He wouldn’t say exactly how much he makes, but he did say it’s enough to survive on without welfare or Medicaid. Although his collecting income allows for a steak “every now and then,” he mostly eats ‘pork and beans and franks.'”

If you want to read more on this topic: http://brokelyn.com/how-much-can-you-make-collecting-cans-and-bottles

So unless these people are harming you or your property in any way, let them be. If they have chosen your garbage can, they’re doing more good for this earth than you are.

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I love my Chromebook, but let’s compare it to a laptop from 2003

So I was given a “broken” IBM laptop to play around with.

All that I had to do was install Windows 7 to it and plug in the cable for the trackpad. After that, it was game on with my Chromebook CR48. Let’s compare.

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CR48 Running Windows 7

IBM T41P Running Windows 7

Windows Rating: 2.2 Windows Rating: 3.1
Wifi Test: 9.22 mbps Wifi Test: 15.5 mbps
2 GB RAM 2 GB RAM
16GB SSD 50GB HD
Intel Atom Processor N455 1.66GHz Intel Pentium M 1.7 GHz
12 Inch Screen 14 Inch Screen
3.8 LBS 5.3 LBS
Bluetooth Bluetooth
Rated 8 hours – I can confirm that it’s somewhere around there. Rated 6 hours – If you don’t have a crapped out battery like mine. I get an hour.
Graphics Storage: ZIP. None. Caput. Graphics Storage: 128MB
Cost to me: Free Cost to me: Free

So who wins in this case?

The IBM will be a fine laptop once I get a replacement battery for a whopping $20 on ebay. As you can see, it has a better Windows rating, better Wifi speed, same RAM (And both max out at 2GB), larger hard drive, better processor surprisingly, bigger screen, a convenient light to see the keys in the dark, and a ton more graphics capability (Something not often found on laptops.

The downside to the IBM? It’s ugly. It’s got that typical “I’m stuck in the 90’s” – Businessman look. I’d say it’s heavier, but i’m not one to complain about weight. But you go on Cnet and they’ll close the door on the laptop simply for that reason – No matter the capability. And sure. It doesn’t have a webcam. That’s why I have a phone.

Now, for the Chromebook, you’re right. It’s not supposed to be on Windows anyway. But until I was given the IBM, I didn’t have a computer with the capability to print (Until I put Windows on the CR48.) It’s much lighter, and has 3G capabilities. Battery as of right now is FAR superior, it has a webcam and it’s an attractive looking laptop. On Chrome OS, the laptop was perfectly snappy and could do any online docs editing and video watching.

I don’t have any complaints about either laptop. Neither win. They were made for completely different reasons. The IBM was made for business folk and the Chromebook was for the average user. They both do exactly what they were made to do. I just wanted to make a point on how laptops haven’t changed much. I mean, look at how far the mobile phone industry has come.

From Nokia’s to flip phones to blackberries to iPhones and Androids. No way could I even make a comparison with a phone from 10 years ago to today. They’ve evolved too much. On the contrary, laptops may have webcams, i7 chips, touchscreens or what, but in general, they haven’t really changed all that much. It’s like what they do with the iPhone. They make it slightly better, add a newer version of the operating system and call it new. Same thing with a laptop.

FIRST Robotics Team 263 Finishes it’s 2013 Year With Frisbees. Lots of Them.

On an early January morning at Stony Brook University, FIRST, the organization behind the nationwide high school robotics craze, broadcast it’s new funky game to the world.This year, the game involves a heap of Frisbees and a challenge not yet attempted by any previous year: Lift the 120 pound robot you just spent 6 weeks building over 5 feet in the air on a funky pyramid. Since the unveiling, the team has spent their days prototyping for their next bot, coming up with some very creative solutions to this year’s challenge and then, together, meshing their ideas to form this year’s robot. Of the prototypes, a tape measure design which would lift the robot using a simple household tape measure and a powerful motor to create a freakish creation. Though the idea was eventually brought down, the concept worked, lifting most of the required weight.

The final product had no tape measures, but the insanity did not stop at tape measures, as the robot ended up having over 10 feet’s worth of threaded rods (sort of like a long screw that’s powered by a motor) spread about the robot. Why the rods? To power the bot up the tower with ease by attaching hooks to the rods. The only downfall? It is near impossible to bring down without the robot powered. The team made a consensus that getting the robot down the pyramid once it’s up is the officials problem. Their rule.

You can keep track of all the team’s progress by liking their Facebook page by searching Sachem Robotics. To get a taste of what the team is like, visit their site, first263.org and click on gallery.

After 4 years of being on the team, I can assure you that it’s an experience that I’ll never forget. It’s a lot of work, but the team literally becomes your second family. And no. You don’t need to know anything about robotics to join. I’ll have you know, I didn’t get the “Magic Smoke” award for nothing. 

Above, Robotics Nationals in St. Louis, Missouri in 2012. Team 263 was one of the lucky teams to be chosen to go last year, and if the team can unite like it did last year, they’re headed for nationals once more. The FRC Nationals involves an entire arena full of the nation’s best and the brightest, as well as some of the world’s brightest, with teams spanning the entire globe.

How to delete an undeletable file

Can’t delete a file? You may be in luck.

For months, I couldn’t delete this entire folder from my backup drive and it had me clawing my hair out. I tried those force-delete apps and all and none of them deleted a single file. Today, I figured out a way to delete these files with a bit of backdoor work. Basically, you have to trick the file to think that you are the owner. Here’s how:

How to delete an undeletable file

 

Click on the picture to see it better.

 

If you follow these steps, the file will be gone in no time! And don’t worry. It gets easier as you repeat the steps. Good luck!

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How I Take Ridiculously Close Macro Shots With an Android -DIY

To start, or rather, to prove that the photos I take with this phone are insanely closeup, take a gander of these photos before I show you how I took them.

Ready? You’re going to need an old camera and some hammers. No. I’m not kidding.

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However you obtain these small little lenses is beyond my jurisdiction. I’ll tell you this though; if you dont happen to have any of these little lenses lying around on your desk, find an old camera rip it to shreds! (Just a heads up, watch out for shock hazards! Old internal camera batteries hurt.)

 

Before I made this a permanent add on, I’d simply stick one of these lenses in between my fingers and go around with my newly created macro-droid. Only recently did I make this little copper contraption to clip onto my phone.

As always, there’s a retail version of this that’ll save you some headaches, but it was a fun experience for me and I’m willing to share the complex planning on how to make it. Here is how you make it:

  • Find a thick piece of copper wire.
  • Crudely bend it around a camera lens and then bend it around to fit your phone.
  • Put some tape on the end so you don’t scratch your screen.
  • The end.

Go crazy and enjoy.

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Who needs electricity!? This handheld crank radio powers my surround sound system!

Now, I’ve had this little radio for over a year now and pretty much right before hurricane Sandy hit my area, I had just broken its built in speaker. Do not ask me how, It’s just the way things go. If this idea had crossed my mind, say, before October 29th, maybe my experience through the storm would’ve been a tiny bit more enjoyable.

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To make this contraption, I started out finding which wires went to the speakers – easy enough. A smart person would then solder the wire to that connection, but of course, tape would suffice. After many attempts to get the speaker wires to stay even when pulled a bit, I closed up the casing and there you have it, a working crank radio that actually handle some real bass.

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I don’t know why I didnt try my entire speaker system at this point, probably a lack of faith for the little contraption, but eventually I realized it’s true power.

Running 11 full sized speakers, the radio can’t handle such a long time without needing a crank or two (You can obviously figure out why) but here are my results:

10 minutes of music = 50 cranks. How long does it take to crank it 50 times? Give me 20 seconds.  As a secondary attempt, I got 25 minutes of music after a minute of cranking. Cranking is such an odd verb.

Regardless, that’s pretty awesome considering it’s running completely off the grid. Now if I could just get it to run my phone….

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A Journey to Find the Perfect Tablet PC

UPDATE 2: The laptop below is actually my old(er) tablet. I found a newer HP TC4400 for only a tad bit more and sold that one.

Tablet PC’s round 3:

Well, my cherished 60 dollar laptop decided to cut out on me short, so it was time for me to upgrade. The new laptop, an HP-Compaq (because they still haven’t figured out what to name themselves) TC4400, was similarly acquired on eBay, but the price tag was a bit higher. It was only $78.89 for the laptop + $7.05 for the adapter + $3.50 for some stupid cover that wasn’t included and + $21.99 for a hard drive, since this is my first SATA laptop (I’ve finally stepped into the “future” and the only SATA hard drive I actually had was coincidentally broken.) I added another GB of ram with a stick that I had lying around, why I had it is beyond me, and I already had a stylus for it because I have two older tablets. All in all, it cost me $115, much lower than any computer on the market today, but I can already tell that it was well worth it! The computer comes with a fingerprint reader, which has been a nerdy dream of mine since I first heard of them, and a fancy dual core processor (although they’re up to quad core by now, I’m sure.) It was also my first laptop that actually ran Android 4.0 without a problem, something I hadn’t expected to work at all, to be honest! For once, I bought a laptop that actually has a mousepad and actually has decent battery life (around 3 hours), so it’s a great feat in my book. But chances are, I’ve bored you to death reading off all the specs of a laptop and how amazing I am for getting it. So, in lieu of your boredom, here are some pictures to make you more jealous:

Now, a lot of people always ask me how I get things for such a cheap price. I always say that I got it from ebay and immediately I get death stares that scream, “How could you” or “You fool!” Who’s the fool now?

UPDATE: The laptop below is actually my old tablet. I found a more unique HP TC1100 for the same price and sold that one. Tablet PC’s round 2:

The TC1100 is unlike any PC i’ve ever seen. It’s a slate with an attachable keyboard, not a laptop. I loaded mine with Windows 8, and it couldn’t be a better experience. (And I have less than 1GB of RAM.) If I didn’t know any better, I would say this laptop is from 2009. Its design is amazing, and for a PC from 2003, it’s thin! I wouldn’t DARE go back to the tablet I boasted about above! There’s literally no comparison to my new toy! Go buy one and shove it in an iPad lover’s face!

Laptop 1:

Recently, I set out on a quest to fulfill my childhood dream of owning a Tablet PC. I’m cool, I know.

Now, if you’re trying to find a tablet PC under $100, ebay is the first place to look. (I got mine for $60 on ebay and +$30 for the special stylus (NO, a DS stylus will NOT work – lesson learned) and an IDE hard drive.) Just for my own use, I bought 2 1GB RAM sticks for $15 each, but that’s not at all required.

It’s sad to see that a laptop once worth $2,450 USD is now worth barely a cracked iPod touch.

And you would think the battery would be crap by now, but I still get around 2 hours worth of use – that’s actually more than one of the newer laptops in my household!

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Why Are Hand Dryers So Much Better?

“What makes a hand dryer eco friendly? The power consumption of the dryer or watts used. Most eco friendly hand dryers tend to cut out the heating element therefore reducing the wattage. The American Dryer EXT model is only 540 watts of power and cost 18 cents per 1000 dries.”

-Taken from http://www.handdryersandmore.com/category/eco-friendly-hand-dryers.html

Now, that sounds fine and dandy, but I find it pretty difficult to comprehend the claim that an electric device is more eco friendly, especially from a site that sells them. I’m going to do quite a bit of researching, to prove or disprove the above, because unlike 95% of Americans, I actually sit there drying my hands, pondering whether or not this is the right way to go.

It’s no question that it costs less to run a hand dryer, which require about $14.58 per month to run, saving you more than $60 per month as a business  but the actual environmental friendless is nowhere to be found online, or so I thought.

I stumbled across an MIT study which conveniently answered all my questions in one foul swoop.

http://msl.mit.edu/publications/HandDryingLCA-ExecutiveSummary.pdf

“This study clearly concludes that the Dyson Airblade™ hand dryer has the lowest environmental impact compared with all other possible hand drying systems – collectively scoring the lowest across all possible measures. This examination includes not only GWP but also potential human health impacts, ecosystem quality, energy demand, water consumption, and land occupation, and including all life cycle stages, from cradle to grave.”

Yes, it focused on three specific hand dryers, but those three make up the greater part of our country’s offices, stores and restaurants but also took account for the general heated dryer.

Simply put, there is NO comparison to the energy consumption from the making of a paper towel roll that will have to be replaced in a matter of days to the energy consumption from creating and running a newer dryer. I never thought I’d say this, but: In terms of environmentally friendliness, land occupation, and pretty much every category tested, the dryer wins hands down. Take a look at the full study to see more of the comparisons.