I was the shy girl at school. While everyone else was out partying and enjoying the freedom of their college years, I was in the library. When I wasn’t studying in the library, I was alone in my dorm room while my roommate went on dates, made friends and made the most out of her college years.

My trouble was simple.

I wasn’t reclusive or introverted, I was overwhelmed. While other kids could get away with partying all night and studying a few hours a day, I had more trouble. It’s not that I was dumb. Studying and research were easy. It was the essays and papers that gave me trouble.

I had trouble figuring out what went where and what my professors wanted. Knowing that I had trouble gave me anxiety. So I ended up spending most of my time in front of my computer, taking weeks to hack through work that other students seemed to finish relatively quickly. Read more…

The new job jitters can make us do some silly things, like spill coffee all over ourselves or accidentally step on the boss’s foot. No first day is going to be perfect, and accidents happen. But there are some things you should keep in mind never to do, ever.

Here are six things you should always avoid doing on the first day at a new job:

1 – Show Up Late… or On Time

Does it really need to be said that you should never show up late to your first day of work? Unfortunately, it does, because some people still do it.

But beyond that, you shouldn’t be arriving on time, either. I heard this saying once: “To be on time is to be late; to be early is to be on time.” On your first day of work, you shouldn’t show up any later than fifteen minutes early. Read more…

Energy efficiency is increasingly important these days. There are many ways you can upgrade your existing home but if you are about to build a new home, you have a lot more options. Making your new home energy efficient from the start will drastically reduce your energy bills and lower your home’s environmental footprint.

Design Features

One of the most effective ways to make your new home energy efficient is to use passive solar design to situate your house to take advantage of the sun’s ability to warm it. This means the house will face south and have lots of windows on the south side. Read more…

In this world of ours there is much suffering. People go hungry, the environment is under threat, terrible wars leave children orphaned.

If you were a person with great wealth and influence in a world like this, it’s understandable that you would be compelled to use what power you had to try and make the world better. Not just by making yourself a robot suit or dressing up as a bat to fight crime (although naturally you would do that too) but by investing your money where it can do real good, and raising awareness of important issues.

There are plenty of people in the world who have done just this. The thing is – we really can’t stand them. Read more…

We all know how important it is to grow plants, both indoors and outdoors – you get extra oxygen, they clean the air of bugs and reduce dust levels. You help out the local wildlife, look after the bees a bit, and have a great space to relax outdoors.

Who wouldn’t want something that looks great, helps you chill out, and means you don’t have to vaccum as much?

However, plants can be a bit of a chore to look after, which is why there are plenty of devices on the market to make it simpler and way more fun for us technogeeks.

Here are five awesome gadgets for geeky gardeners everywhere: Read more…

Plantar fasciitis and heel pain are one of the worst types of pain to have. The reason is that if your pain is bad enough, you can have a hard time getting around. Every time you put your foot down, it hurts.

The difference between heel pain and plantar fasciitis is that if your heel hurts worse in the morning than in the evening, you might have fasciitis. The reason it hurts worse in the morning is that the tissue relaxes overnight and when you get up in the morning, you are stretching it back out when you stand up. You not only have an inflammation, but now you are stretching the inflamed tissue and standing on it.

Natural remedies are an effective option to treat heel problems. The good thing about using natural remedies is that it is highly unlikely you will have side effects. Natural remedies do not stop the normal healing process of your body. In fact, they work with your body and help it to heal itself. If you use natural remedies, you are working with your body to heal it and are far more likely to have long term success. Read more…

Advertising isn’t an industry famed for its honesty. We’ve all pretty much grown to accept that. We know that most washing powders make your laundry pretty much the same shade of grey after a while, that no amount of foul-smelling spray will cause women to stampede towards you ripping their clothes off, and that shampooing your hair is, in a lot of ways, completely non-sensual.

None of this really bothers us anymore. We just accept it as the rules of the game. But the trouble is advertisers have taken this as permission to go even further. It’s time to draw a line in the sand. It’s time to say:

Buying your product isn’t literally revolutionary.

In 1962 protest singer Malvina Reynolds wrote “Little Boxes”. It was a delightful little song with a lovely nursery-rhymish tune that was also a political satire mocking the conformity of middle-class suburbs.

Then O2 took that song, and put it in this advert:

Not content with simply taking a dead protest singers work and using it to sell phone contracts however, they “rewrote the lyrics for the last part of the song, to refer to the positivity and possibilities that we can create through changing things”. Read more…

If someone close to you is approaching a milestone birthday, you want to make sure the occasion is marked with an unforgettable gift, but it can be tricky to find that perfect present.

Whether your daughter is approaching her sweet sixteenth or your dad is turning 50 this year, take heed of these suggestions for a present that never fails to impress.

Sweet Sixteen

This is a really important birthday in a person’s life as you begin to feel and be treated as more of an adult than ever before. Celebrate a 16th birthday with a present that prepares them for the adult world, such as a driving course. Read more…

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