White Noise Ringtones Help You Hear Your Phone

Lifehacker Lessons, #5

"Use a White Noise Ringtone to Find Your Lost Cellphone Faster"
(from 6/13/11)

It's easier for our ears to find the location of the source of white noise over bells or limited-frequency tones. Having your ringtone be white noise can not only help you find your cellphone is lost, but can also help you identify its location quicker in your house or bag.

From Lifehacker:

After the author experienced a fire drill in England that used white noise generators over exit doors, he learned:

...it is easier to locate the fire door in a smoke filled room if this white noise generator is squawking at you rather than ringing a bell.

Okay, several days later and this information is still rolling around my head (there's not much to impede it) when my cellphone rang. I couldn't quite locate it—you know how that is sometimes, you put it down somewhere and then forget where, it sounds like it's everywhere. Guess what, I thought about that fire alarm back in England. So, I got one of the interns at work to make me a ring tone which was just pulses of white noise. We put it on my phone then got someone to hide it. We called the number and were able to pinpoint the phone's location exactly.

So, the tip is: make a white noise ring tone for calls you don't want to miss (boss, mom or dad). Something like this works pretty well. Not only is the phone more easily locatable but the sound carries farther and is instantly recognizable as your phone. It's a little antisocial I guess but so am I.

Other Lifehacker Tips for finding your phone:


Soap Bubbles Repel Mosquitoes

Lifehacker Lessons, #4

"Repel Mosquitoes with a Bubble Machine"
(from 5/31/11)

Mosquitoes don't like soap, so bubbles are a perfect way to keep them away. This is a much more fun and interactive method of mosquito-prevention than Citronella or Deet.

From Lifehacker:
According to [the weblog] DIY Life, mosquitoes are repelled by soap solutions (hence their disdain for dryer sheets), and a bit of soap suds will do a good job of shooing them away... Some blogs recommend adding a bit of lemongrass oil to your bubble mixture for more powerful repelling.
For other anti-mosquito tips (and myths), check out DIY's list of prevention methods here.
(note #8: an iPhone app that emits a mosquito-repelling noise??)


Tips For Staying Awake

Lifehacker Lessons, #3

"How to Manipulate Your Body to Wake the Hell Up"
(from 5/20/11)

There are ways to wake yourself up naturally and cheaply, even when the caffeine doesn't seem to be kicking in during your long workday afternoons.

From Lifehacker:

Tip #1: Put less sugar & milk in your coffee. The bitterness can help jolt you awake.

Tip #2: Grab a few minutes of direct sunlight, outdoors. Light through windows isn't the same.

Tip #3: Gently tug at your hair to get the blood flowing to your head.

Tip #4: Splash cold water on your face. For best results, head outside to feel the breeze.

Tip #5: Place your alarm clock far away from your bed so you have to stand up to turn it off.

Tip #6: Take a laughter break with a YouTube video, funny blog, etc.

Tip #7: Eat a mint; the stronger the better!

Tip #8: Massage your hands, especially between your palms and wrists.

Tip #9: Talk to a stranger. Your body will tend to wake up to avoid awkwardness.

Tip #10: Play upbeat music that you love.

Tip #11: Stretch your limbs and back like you're about to exercise to get your blood flowing.

Tip #12: Shed some clothing layers (if appropriate!). It's easier to feel sleepy when we're warm.

Tip #13: Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, and flip your head upside-down to help with circulation (but come back up slowly!).

Tip #14: Suck on a lemon to shock your system!

Good luck!


Split An Apple With Your Bare Hands!

Lifehacker Lessons, #2

"How to Split an Apple Without a Knife"
(from 5/23/11)

The title says it all! You not only can do this to share an apple in a pinch, but also to impress your friends. :)

From Lifehacker:


New Experiences Help Time Pass More Slowly

I learn a lot of stuff from a great website called Lifehacker. It contains all sorts of ways to make your life easier and cheaper, from learning about what new gadget google has to turning cinder-blocks into planters. In my appreciation, I've decided to devote this week's Stuff I've Just Learned posts from recent Lifehacker entries.

"Why New Experiences Are Important, and How They Positively Affect Your Perception of Time"
(from 5/17/11)

Time may tick by at a consistent beat, but that's not how our brains perceive time. Instead, if something is unfamiliar and thus harder for our brain to process, time appears to slow down as our minds organize the new information. Conversely if something is familiar/easier to process, time appears to speed up.

From Lifehacker:
Neuroscientist David Eagleman, who has extensively studied the effects of our brain's perception of time, believes that this effect makes time fly by faster as we age. His profile in the New Yorker, written by Burkhard Bilger, explains further:

"This explains why we think that time speeds up when we grow older," Eagleman said-why childhood summers seem to go on forever, while old age slips by while we're dozing. The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down, and the more quickly time seems to pass. "Time is this rubbery thing...it stretches out when you really turn your brain resources on, and when you say, ‘Oh, I got this, everything is as expected,' it shrinks up."

...If we perceive time more slowly when we're processing the unfamiliar, than the frequent introduction of the unfamiliar could help our perception of time from rapidly shrinking.
Click here to read more about fascinating perception-of-time Eagleman's research.