How to Move Quickly Through Crowds

August 30th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Navigating through a large crowd is not as easy as it would seem. Wired’s how-to wiki presents several tactics for moving fluidly through crowds. Apparently the main trick is to look down, watching the feet of the people around you.

To get on autopilot, pedestrian-style, look down at the feet of the people around you. The head and torso are lagging indicators and often give you bad information with regards to the speed and direction people are traveling. All that information is in the feet.

  • Don’t look directly forward. Your gaze is generally perpendicular to your body, usually 90 degrees. Reduce that angle, making it tighter as your space becomes more crowded.
  • Be aware of how crowded your “personal zone” is — use a 6-foot radius as a rule of thumb. Less than six people isn’t too crowded, so move as you would normally, but watch people’s feet as they enter your zone.
  • If there are six people within your zone, that’s a crowd and you should be looking down at all times. Gaze at the floor about 6 feet ahead.
  • If there are 10 or more people in your zone, look almost straight down, between 1 and 2 feet ahead. At this density, you will be in full defensive mode, moving forward overall but tacking and spurting, slowing down and speeding up as you go.
  • Evade, don’t invade. Change direction often to slip behind people rather than rushing to cut them off.

Walk Through Crowds via Lifehacker

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Six Tricks for Conquering Fear

August 24th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Everyone has to deal with fear and uncertainty at times. This post contains six simple techniques to conquer fear and use it to your advantage.

Fear isn’t your enemy; it is through fear and hardship that we grow the most. When you think about it, if your life was free from any challenges, it would be fun for some time, but ultimately it would get pretty boring as you skated through each day without any challenges.

Fear is the spice in our life and using it to your advantage can make the difference between being miserable and being happy. But before you can do that, you should probably know about the following 6 ways to conquer fear and make it your ally.

6 Deceptively Simple Ways to Conquer Fear

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Protecting Travel Cash with the Multi-Stash Method

August 20th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Wise Bread’s article on travel and money includes a nice trick for protecting your cash when travelling. It boils down to stashing your money in several places,  so if your wallet is lost or stolen, you still have a small emergency fund.

Carrying all your cash in one place (usually a wallet) puts you at the biggest risk of losing the whole enchilada if somebody lifts (or if you lose) your wallet. In addition, when you whip out your wallet to pay for something and are sifting through large amounts of money, you will immediately become a formidable target for theft.

So carry your cash in a few different places. Put the day’s spending money in your wallet (this can also be an effective budgeting technique), and then stash some cash in a few other places which you don’t access in public; maybe a money belt, lock some in your luggage (an unlikely place like with your dirty clothes is good), and/or put a few emergency bills in your shoe (underneath the insole is great).

I tend to carry emergency cash in a special pocket underneath my clothing, so if I lose everything, I still have some cash to get me out of whatever bind I may have found myself in.

Travel and Money: How to Get and Carry Cash Safely and Securely via Lifehacker

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USB iPhone Spy Stick

August 19th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

This USB iPhone spy stick from Brick House Security is capable of viewing deleted files from any iPhone. The stick can recover contacts, photos, text messages, and even map histories. It might be a bit pricey at $199, though, considering there are ways to securely erase data on your iPhone.

The iPhone Spy Data Recovery Stick is the ultimate recovery tool for anyone who wants to capture deleted information from any iPhone (running iOS to 3.x). The iPhone Spy Data Recovery Stick makes it easy to recover deleted text messages, contacts, call and web history, as well as photos, voice memos and calendar appointments — giving you a unique look into exactly what the user has been searching for, who they’ve been talking to, and even the types of pictures they’ve taken. With features like saved map search history, web searches, and text messages, the iPhone Data Recovery Stick is the only tool you need to catch a cheating spouse, monitor your kids, or backup your own iPhone data.

iPhone Spy Stick via Gizmodo

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The Job of a Stuntman

August 16th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

As part of their “So You Want My Job” series, The Art of Manliness recently interviewed stuntman Greg Tracy, who has worked on films such as The Bourne Ultimatum and GI Joe. Tracy talks about how he became a stuntman and different aspects of his job.

It’s your typical summertime blockbuster film. The thieves sprint from the bank to an awaiting getaway car which takes off with the police in hot pursuit. It’s a high-speed game of cat and mouse as the cars zoom through the city streets, dramatically weaving, turning, and leaving explosions in their wake. The camera shows a close-up of the movie’s star at the wheel, but when they zoom out we all know it’s not really him at the controls: it’s a stuntman.

Studios typically don’t like to risk their investment in their actors’ million-dollar smiles, so when it’s time to leap from burning buildings, have a slug-fest, jump from a window, or soar over a bridge on a motorcycle, they bring in the trained professionals. Stuntmen star in some of the coolest, most exciting, and most dangerous parts of movies. Which has always made this profession certifiably badass.

Greg Tracy has been doing this manly job for almost two decades now. He’s been a stunt driver in over 400 commercials as well as big films like the Bourne Ultimatum, GI Joe, the Fast and the Furious 3, Spiderman 3, and the Dukes of Hazzard. In his “downtime” he races for Ducati and is the five time Pikes Peak Champion. You can see him in action, winning the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in this short film on YouTube, 156 Turns.

So You Want My Job: Stuntman

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Recognize the Real Signs of Drowning and Save a Life

August 12th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Despite how it’s often depicted in movies and on TV, drowning is not the violent struggle that most of us imagine. In fact, it’s really almost the opposite. Hit the link and read the full guide for tips on how to recognize the Instinctive Drowning Response.

We’ve all been conditioned to believe that a drowning person will flail about, scream out, and otherwise draw attention to themselves so they can be helped. On the surface that would seem to make sense, if we were stuck out in a lake or struggling in the deep end of a big pool we’d certainly make a scene to get some help. Except drowning doesn’t look like the dramatized version you see in movies. Drowning in real life is so undramatic that 10% of accidental drownings happen within 25 yards or less of people who could have helped. The following guide to recognizing Instinctive Drowning Response is excerpted from On Scene (Fall 2006), the journal of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Recognize the Real Signs of Drowning and Save a Life

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10 Second Paracord Handcuffs

August 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

This is a simple trick from Instructables user Jake22 for quickly making secure handcuffs from a length of paracord.

Back during my military service we used to use these for POW’s.  Zip tie handcuffs are much more common now.

As with all restraints – the object is to restrict the movement of a supervised detainee.

It works like a prusik knot in that it is a friction hitch, it really clamps down on the loops and even without the follow up square knot the friction makes it very difficult to loosen the loops.

10 Second Paracord Handcuffs via Lifehacker

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Survive a Robot Uprising, Build a Laser Tripwire, and More [Link Roundup]

August 10th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

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Telling Swiss Secrets: A Banker’s Betrayal

August 9th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

In this Global Post article, American whistle blower Bradley Birkenfeld exposes the secrets and scandals behind the legendary secrecy of Swiss banking.

It’s the inner sanctum of Swiss banking — the heavily-guarded nexus between numbered Swiss bank accounts and their owner’s good names — and it’s the rare American that is allowed entry.

Bradley Birkenfeld was one of the few Americans who held the keys to the kingdom. A Boston-born, high-flying, cross-border banker at Switzerland’s premier financial institution, UBS, he had access to the kind of secret account information that American law enforcement had only dreamed of through all the decades that terrorists, dictators, arms dealers, mafia dons and wealthy tax cheats had hidden behind the fortress of secrecy that Swiss banking promised.

Subterranean bomb-proof vaults and state-of-the-art security systems are the superficial trappings of Swiss banking and its culture of secrecy, but the cornerstone of protection for its clients is the numbered account system that offers all but foolproof privacy. Or so they thought.

Telling Swiss Secrets: A Banker’s Betrayal (Thanks for the tip, Robert!)

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Tied Up Woman Types With Toes for Help [Brilliance in the News]

August 7th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

39-year-old Amy Windom was tied to her bed after being robbed at gunpoint around midnight last Tuesday. The robber had taken various items from her home and stolen her car. Windom struggled to free herself for hours before, in a feat (no pun intended) of incredible dexterity, she used her toes to type a message to her boyfriend on her laptop.

“Around 4:15 or so, I realized that he had left my laptop at the foot of my bed,” Windom said.

“I flipped my legs over my head and turned off my alarm clock so my radio wouldn’t be blaring and block me from hearing anybody walking by that might be able to help me, and I was like, ‘wow, I guess I can do more than I thought with my feet,’” so I dragged my laptop over with my feet and I pried it open.”


She said she used one big toe as a mouse, and grasped the end of her power cord between the toes on her other foot, “because my big toe was too big to hit individual keys.”

She typed a message telling her boyfriend to call 911, and police arrived a few minutes later.

Police: Toe typist’s attack may be linked to similar crime via Gizmodo

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