A Few Weird Things I Learned Today

These are very random bits of knowledge, but I’m a very random person so they suit me well!

You could fit 1,360 olympic-size swimming pools into the world’s largest building.


It’s true. The largest building in the world, measured by floor space, is the New Century Global Center. It is located in Chengdu, China and it is 500 x 400 meters in size (length and width) and 100 meters tall. It has 1,700,000 square meters of floor space, making it much larger than my apartment.

The first-ever webcam was used to watch a pot of coffee.

Webcams are everywhere now, maybe too much. But the first webcam ever connected to the Internet was installed in 1991 by scientists at Cambridge University in England. This is even before the first Web browser was released!

The original Batmobile sold for 4.6 million dollars.


I’m talking about the original Batmobile here. The one from the 1960s television show that starred Adam West as Batman. It sold at auction in Arizona at the Barrett-Jackson classic car auction in 2013. What’s totally amazing about this story is that the car itself was originally purchased for just $1, back in 1955. It was a concept car called the Lincoln Futura, and a car customizer named George Barris bought it and spent $15,000 more on it to turn it into the Batmobile that the TV show fans remember.




Star Wars Skins in Minecraft

Hey. I recently updated my Minecraft Pocket Edition to just plain old Minecraft with the new Better Together update. I have been playing on my iPad and it’s really great. The game feels much more like the original desktop version now.

It was also my birthday this week and since I have been meaning to change my Minecraft skin for a while, I decided to treat myself to a birthday present. Some coins!

To celebrate I decided to buy some texture packs and some skin packs. Right now my favorite texture pack is PureBDCraft. I also purchased the Star Wars skin pack, which features a lot of different characters from the movies. At the moment, I am playing as Tatooine Luke. Darth Vader is next!

Here I am in my Luke outfit in a close-up.


I should change my lame noob wooden axe for a light saber!

Oh and the reason the textures look different is because of the PureBDCraft theme. Take a look at the video.

I can’t wait for some more of the high quality texture packs coming soon. Look at this sneak peek from the Minecraft developers.

Screenshot Advice

Shooting Screenshots on your own Mac or Windows computer is very simple. On Windows, whatever you have to do is press the Print Screen key and there is a whole screenshot of everything on your own screen. On the Mac, simply press Command Shift  and 3 get exactly the same. There are several more complicated instructions for shooting the keyboard shortcut of Command, although different kinds of Mac screenshots Shift 3 is actually whatever you need to get started.

However, imagine if you will need more? Looking to annotate your screenshots? Better organize them? Need make basic image edits before you share them or to join them? This is where app or a committed screenshot tool comes in really helpful. Here are some of the best ones that you can download and use.

Snipping Tool

Contained in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and also the Experience Pack for Windows XP Tablet Edition, Snipping Tool fits right into an ideal niche for a lot of users. For those who don’t need high-powered screen capture tools, the basic functionality of Snipping Tool enables you to get the whole screen, windows that are individual, or user-specified capture places. Snipping Tool also offers editing functions that are extremely basic, just like the capability to emphasize and write on your own screen captures. It lacks the innovative features included in other screen capture software, but it does a terrific job filling the gap between the frustrating Print Screen and Paste fashion screen capture in more complex applications and earlier versions of Windows. Snipping Tool is a sound alternative if you’ve already got it on your own system and your screen capture needs are minimal.

FastStone Capture

FastStone Capture lives up to the quick in its name; this program is exceptionally responsive and lightweight. Within the tiny user interface is a screen recording workhorse, although it can not have a substantial interface. FastStone Capture can capture areas, multiple windows, and multi-level menus. You can set it send them by electronic mail to automatically upload screenshots to an FTP server, or embed them right into Power Point presentation or a Word. Additionally, this flexible tool carries a basic but very effective screencasting tool that supports audio input. FastStone Capture could be set to automatically prompt your to get a caption with preset options, helping to make bulk-producing screenshots a snap. Another little but practical feature is the integrated color picker for simple color sampling.


Jing is the spartan infant brother of another screenshot tool, Snagit, each of which are products made by software company TechSmith. Jing fills a niche in the screen capture bunch, letting folks who want to talk about their screen captures to do so as fast as you are able to. As soon as you’ve set it up, going from recording to sharing the URL for your file that is hosted a screenshot or screencast has a matter of seconds. Jing has annotation tools that are basic, but the true draw is fast sharing.


Skitch the program is closely tied to Skitch.com, the screen capture hosting website. Your screen is captured by Skitch, annotates it, draws on it with swanky images, and is as simple as saving it to your desktop, when you’re ready, sharing it online. Should you don’t want to use Skitch.com to share your screenshots, you can just as easily use your own FTP, Flickr, or .Mac account. The interface of Skitch is particularly user friendly; almost all the editing functions are laid out in a ring around your screen capture, making it simple to obtain the tool you’re trying to find.


Snagit makes it possible to catch frames from video and shoot both still images. You are able to get your entire screen or areas of it, and thanks to your robust profile system, you are able to make profiles. Whether you just want to build following a menu is activated, a screen capture or you would like every screen capture to be automatically uploaded to your server, you are able to create a Snagit profile to meet your purpose. On top of the attribute set that is highly customizable, Snagit offers a built in editor for adding basic effects and annotating your screenshots. Finally, the app’s screenshot pda keeps your grabs in order with date, name, and tag-based hunting. Snagit also offers the ability to easily capture images from objects which can be bigger compared to screen.

Awesome Screenshot

Awesome Screenshot for Chrome and Firefox is a browser-based extension that can capture a selected section of a site, the portion visible in the browser window if not the entirety of the page in a single go. Awesome Screenshot contains a built in editor for adding pointers, shapes and annotations and for blurring images. In addition, it has options for customized keyboard shortcuts.


Like Wonderful Screenshot, the Fireshot utility for Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer enables users to take screen captures across the visible region of the browser window, a chosen area of a page, and even an extended screenshot of a whole Web page. Screenshots may be saved in a number of formats or uploaded to several social networking websites. With the internal editor of Fireshot it is possible to add text, shapes or arrows, or draw on the picture. Also, you are able to set your favored image editor that was external to mechanically open when you take screencaps.

Nimbus Screenshot

Another great browser-based alternative is Nimbus Screenshot, accessible as a Windows desktop program, and on Chrome, Firefox. Users can take a screenshot of a selected region, the entire browser window, or an entire webpage, and built in tools enable users to annotate and edit screenshots. The desktop version adds screencasting functions for recording video clips.



For an easily shareable, Web-based screen capture tool, check Puush out. It instantly screencaps active application your desktop or a variety, and after that shoves it on-line for your account, creating a fast shareable URL in your clipboard. It is fast and simple to use, but doesn’t come with any annotation attributes, which is a significant negative. But if all you need are images that you could certainly share in an online format, Puush is worth a try.

The Powers that Be

I have been reading the 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene. It’s filled with some fascinating observations. It is a lot like Machiavelli’s Prince, but a little more up-to-date and with practical advice for modern times.

Surrendering to a more powerful adversary will help you collect power down the line.

Maybe you have gone up against someone understanding that you’d never win? It’s not the path to power, while it’s common for individuals to fight for glory against all odds. When confronted with the adversary more powerful than you, so what do you need to do?

Give up.

This may seem an odd strategy, especially since humans instinctively fight their foes to safeguard themselves. But when a competition acts with aggression, he will expect one to respond in the exact same manner. In cases when you understand the competition has you beat, your best move is to do the reverse and surrender.


In case you give up, or at the least convince your opponent that you so, you’ll be able to ensure he won’t produce considerable damage. Not only this, but your adversary, thinking he’s won, may also let his guard down. When he does, you’ll possess a golden opportunity to regain your strength and plan your next move.

Take the case of Bertolt Brecht, a writer of radical, communist notions who immigrated to America to join other intellectuals exiled from Europe. Before the US Congress, which was investigating a supposed communist infiltration of Hollywood, his peers and Brecht were summoned after the Second World War.

While his fellow radicals challenged the power of Congress by shouting and being uncooperative and caused a disturbance, Brecht was calm and politely answered the questions.

And his obstinate pals?

They were blacklisted, struggling to release for decades!

So, do as Brecht did and make concede an instrument of self-empowerment. Build long term strength instead of earning major sacrifices for short lived bouts of glory.

If you want to be treated like a first-class, you’ve got to behave like one.

Are you up the ladder than someone else? If so, it’s critical to act the part – unless, obviously, you prefer to be seen as their equal.

He despised all of the symbols related to the throne, too as royal services. In fact, he didn’t even keep the company of royalty, mostly befriending bankers instead.

But the king’s behaviour didn’t do him any good – he was soon hated by both the wealthy and the poor. Wealthy people disapproved of the unlikely king, while the poor disliked a king who acted like the lower classes but didn’t look out for them. His banker friends turned on him when they found he could be insulted by them without the concern with being reprimanded.

Every one of this hatred built he was forced to abdicate the throne and until the people rose up against him.

In general, individuals are distrustful of higher ups who behave like their equals; doing so leads to thinking as they’ll assume your humble manners you’re dishonest individuals certainly are a sly trick to cloud your privileges.

Subsequently what’s a better strategy?

You should instead use the strategy of the crown to create people treat you. Simply put, if you think you ’re above others and behave in this manner, other individuals will start to consider you’re exceptional, also. They’ll assume there is good reason for you yourself to achieve that, when folks find you behaving superior.

For example, Christopher Columbus acted like royalty and, consequently, most people viewed him as such.

To gain power over others, seduction works better than coercion.

Imagine yourself for a moment as Chuko Liang, head strategist for the early Chinese state of Shu: King Menghuo from the south has just now declared on China War and stopping him and saving the country lies in your hands.

But before learning that which you ought to do, it’s crucial to understand what not to do.

To begin with, using force and coercive approaches is never wise, even when they’re the easiest alternative. Actually, should you exercise your power, you will be secretly resented by individuals because force breeds opposition. Liang didn’t attack with force and knew this, even though he probably might have defeated the invading army.

But if he had, Menghuo could have resented both China and Liang and the nation would have to continuously protect itself. Everyone bred and involved paranoia might have exhausted.

People tend to be commanded by their emotions, and you are able to make them do everything you want – of their own free will, by playing on their feelings.

You certainly can do this by threatening your adversary so that they anticipate pain, and after that abruptly treating them kindly. As an example, when China was assaulted by Menghuo, Liang seized his whole army and him. Menghuo anticipated the worst and was separated from his soldiers, but to his great surprise he was offered wine and delectable food instead.

He would simply let Menghuo go when the enemy king assured that if he was ever captured again, he’d bow to the Chinese king while his enemy’s soldiers were released by Liang.

And while Liang captured Menghuo several more times, he always let him go. Subsequently, on the seventh capture, Menghuo dropped to Liang’s feet, surrendering his kingdom and himself.

Despite the fact that Liang could have killed Menghuo when he was got by him, a proven fact the enemy king was aware of, he gave him plenty of chances and treated him well each time. As a result, Menghuo grew increasingly grateful and indebted to the Chinese king, until he eventually surrendered of his own volition.

Power and conquest has historically ruled the world. Of course, much has changed in the current era, but the significance of dominance and command has stayed. By learning in the failures and successes of power struggles that are historical, you also can become a force to be reckoned with.

Really Worried About Trump

Around a month ago, I posted about how I was feeling generally moody and depressed about Donald Trump officially winning the election for President of the United States. This was when he won the official electoral college election and not just the general election the month before.

Now I’m downright scared and worried.

He’s been President for just over one week and in these past 7 days he’s done more to scare me than any other President in the past. It’s not even about ideology, although I deeply disagree with him on most topics. It’s about temperament.

This deeply insecure man should not be President of the United States of America. He’s easily manipulated and downright dangerous in this role.

I’m worried about what’s in store for us as a nation and what we’ll look like after four years of this lunacy.


Moody About Trump

Forgive me, but I’m feeling a bit moody about Donald Trump officially being elected President of the United States today. Even though he won the general election in November, it’s today that the Electoral College will officially give him the office.

I’ve given up hope that there will be an Electoral College surprise. I’ve read too many interviews with the electors and the level of support he has among his pledged voters is simply too rabid.

And so today we descend even further into despair and the disintegration of our Democracy.