“How to tie your shoelaces” by Terry Moore

I think we probably all have them; that pair of shoes that manage to annoy you every single day by Not Staying Tied.  We’ve all got that pair of shoes that have “weird” laces that, however tight you tie them, are just destined to separate from their knot within a couple of hours.

Well, it turns out we’ve been tying our laces wrong all our lives.

Instead of tying the knot being looping the lace from the front to the back, you should be looping the lace from the BACK, towards the front.  It is a little more tricky because you can’t see what you are doing so well at the threading-it-through stage because your fingers get in the way.  But with practise it becomes 2nd nature – trust me.

I have a pair of those awkward laces on my favourite pair of trainers that would come loose or undo completely within half a day, and after discovering Terry Moore’s TED Talk, I resolved to try his method.  With a bit of practise I was able to do it easily and those awkward laces have NEVER come loose again.  It’s only been a couple of months since I learnt this technique, but now it’s easy.  So easy in fact, that I had to really think to remember how I used to tie my laces.

This has to be one of my favourite “life hacks” to date.

Watch it, and realise what you’ve been doing wrong all your life.

And remember; the internet is serious f**king business.

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Arthur and DDP Yoga

Here is a guy called Arthur.  A disabled gulf war paratrooper veteran.  Too many jumps have damaged his knees and back and he needs two sticks to get around.

This is what happened when Arthur realised that this wasn’t what he wanted for the rest of his life.

Be inspired.

His story is proof that we cannot place limits on what we are capable of doing, because we often do not know our own potential until we really push it.  Arthur didn’t know what he would go on to accomplish, but this video speaks for itself. In less than a year, Arthur completely transformed his life. If only he had known what he was capable of, 15 years earlier.

Anything is possible.

Randy Pausch’s ‘The Last Lecture’

As is so often true with all the genuinely life-changing content that the internet has to offer nowadays, it often falls into your lap when you are least expecting it.  Never mind actually looking for it.

This is what happened to me when I first encounted Randy Pausch’s lecture “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams’.  I wasn’t looking for anything much, just cruising my way through my blog feeder when someone (I forget who unfortunately) linked to this video with a throwaway “it’s pretty cool, you should watch it” comment.  And as I had nothing much better to do, I watched it.

Let me tell you a little bit about Randy.  He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2006.  A married computer science professor with 3 little kids.  At Carnegie Mellon University where he worked, it was customary for retiring professors to give one final lecture.  A sort of “if you had one more chance to say what was really important, what would it be?” type lecture.  Randy chose to talk about achieving your dreams.  Throughout the lecture he enraptured the audience with all that he had achieved over the years, talking about his work and illness with good humour and a certain “let it be” attitude.

But sometimes, when you get the opportunity to hear incredible people talk incredibly well about anything, you can often hear things that are difficult to hear.  At the time, I was pretty sensitive, not enjoying life terribly much and generally in quite the funk.  Randy said some stuff that seemed to be aimed right at me.  It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but he was so right.  Hearing some of this stuff from an inspirational person gave me the first in a long series of kicks that helped me start the long climb back to a better path.

Basically, whatever you are doing (or not doing) or feeling (or not feeling) Right At This Minute.  I would heartily recommend you give this video exactly 1:16.27 of your time.  And if you don’t feel all the better for it at the end, then you have my pity.

Sadly, Randy died of cancer in July 2008, but I find myself thinking of him, and his life-affirming messages, often.  So really, he’s not gone at all.  RIP Randy.

And remember kids.  The internet is serious f**king business.

The Last Post – By Derek K Miller

It’s funny…  Or maybe it isn’t, but I don’t really remember learning to read.  One day I couldn’t (and didn’t know or care that I couldn’t) and the next day I could.  Reading was something that seemed to come quite easily.  Certainly, it was never something that I struggled with.  Mum says that because I was a September baby, and starting school nearly a year before some of my future peers, she took it upon herself to start teaching me to read during the year I turned 4.  She says I could already read some before I started formal schooling.  I don’t remember any of this, but have no reason to disbelieve her.

Anyway, because the written word has always come easily to me, I connect just as easily with it as a medium.  I think that goes some way to explaining my interest in, and enjoyment of, the blogosphere. 

Words move me.  They can make me laugh, cry, think and generally emote in ways that other media do not.  Recently I followed a link from www.manvsdebt.com (a fantastic website) that instructed me quite firmly to visit “The Last Post”, written by a man named Derek.  Derek’s words are coming from beyond the grave, having left his family to post his final work after his death from cancer.  He muses on his life and what his passing ultimately means to him.

I’ve been looking through this particular post on and off for a while now, thinking “I’ll copy/paste some direct”, but I couldn’t find what I wanted that didn’t involve posting the entire thing.  I can only recommend in the strongest possible terms that you follow this link http://www.penmachine.com/2011/05/the-last-post and read it for yourselves.  Go on, read it and admire Derek immensely and then go about your lives.

And remember, the internet is seriouz bizniz.

Hey?

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I’ve wanted to start a public blog for a while now…  I’ve had an on-off public blog on LiveJournal since 2004 where I’ve always (and still intend to) publish my personal goings on.  There were university dramas, some tales of woe, some alcohol-fuelled-badly-spelled-monstrosities and some things that were only funny to me.  While I love LiveJournal and will continue to support it for the foreseeable future, it lacks that easy public access that the likes of WordPress and Blogger do so well.  I’ve used Blogger in the past in a couple of half-hearted, topic-specific blog launches.  The longest of which lasted a whole 4 posts…  I wanted to officially leave them behind and start afresh on WordPress with condensedweb.

The idea behind condensedweb is to bring together all the stuff I love on the internet.  Don’t judge me, but I’m single, I live alone, I’ve got TIME to kill online.  A product of that is a whole arsenal of content I find clever, funny, thoughtprovoking and downright genius.  When I get excited about stuff I find online, I get excited HARD.

Before you say a word; Let me say this:

  • Yes.  I know there are a multitude of other sites that do this.  The Daily What is my personal favourite, tracking down no end of cool stuff.  It’s perfect for blog readers, but the endless linkage bugs me.  It pulls you in with clever tag lines and dot dot dots that do nothing but take you to buggy gee-whizz-man American websites that take 400 years to load.  Please be assured that if I have cool content I want to share, I’ll post it direct, with a link to the direct source, naturally.
  • You might not share my enthusiasm for some content.  That’s totally cool.  I probably won’t dig all your shit either.  Let’s respectfully agree to differ.
  • I love to interact with people.  Comment at me and I’ll do my best to comment back at you.  Just don’t be nasty.  That’s not fun, and I’ll just delete it.
  • I love fandom.  I’m not as heavily into it as I was in the mid-to-late noughties, but I can still be pulled into the fangirl thing from time to time.  Depending on my mood, content-specific stuff may dominate and I may, just may, over-use exclamation points too much.  Forgive me.

So…  (There’s that dot dot dot thing I was talking about), that’s the general idea for condensedweb.  Articles, video, music, blog posts, TED talks, websites, even off-line stuff is fair game.  Any of that stuff I think is cool and share-worthy will get a jolly little write-up here.

I hope to see you all soon.  And remember; The internet.  It’s serious f**king business.