CLOSE
Original image

Some of our early _floss posts

Original image

So I'm going to be on the radio tomorrow afternoon (5 pm Pacific time)—on a great show produced from the OC called Writers on Writing. And thanks to the wonderful World Wide Web, you'll be able to tune in via live stream, iffin' you'd like, or catch it later on an iTunes podcast. (On the KUCI website, click the stream link in the upper right-hand corner.)
And while most of the interview will be about my first novel, Behind Everyman, there will also be some talk of a novel I just finished called The Art of Love, as well as some talk about the _floss. So I thought it might be a good time to drop some trivia about the history of the _floss. For those who can tune in tomorrow, the first one to hear me drop a related _floss-factoid on the show and enter it in the comments below will receive an autographed copy of my book, and maybe even a _floss t-shirt (if Mangesh is feeling generous).

The early daze:

Mangesh posted the very first entry on this blog, way back on March 1st, 2006. It was about a rather sick cat-piano of sorts (what's with this site's infatuation with cats?!)

The first non-Mangesh post to the blog was by John Green on March 31st, 2006, and had something to do with Descartes looking like Inigo Montoya.

Technically, you might say March 31st was also the day the blog went live, since all the other early bloggers (including yours truly) also posted a couple times that day. One of my first was about the then-upcoming Pixar release, Cars.

Will's first post, a short one about very long things, including the world's longest animal, the Ribbon Worm, is also worth noting, as is this one from Mary on a cool application that let's you plug in your own text to Einstein's e=mc2 chalkboard.

Back then, the only comments we were getting were from ourselves, but a little over a year later and we now have over 2,500 posts and nearly 12,500 comments! So thanks to all you loyal readers out there and tune in tomorrow at 5pm Pacific Time (8 pm EDT) for more trivia.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
A Simple Way to Charge Your iPhone in 5 Minutes
Original image
iStock

Spotting the “low battery” notification on your phone is usually followed by a frantic search for an outlet and further stress over the fact that you may not have time for a full charge. On iPhones, plugging your device into the wall for five minutes might result in only a modest increase of about three percent or so. But this tip from Business Insider Tech may allow you to squeeze out a little more juice.

The trick? Before charging, put your phone in Airplane Mode so that you reduce the number of energy-sucking tasks (signal searching, fielding incoming communications) your device will try and perform.

Next, take the cover off if you have one (the phone might be generating extra heat as a result). Finally, try to use an iPad adapter, which has demonstrated a faster rate of charging than the adapter that comes with your iPhone.

Do that and you’ll likely double your battery boost, from about three to six percent. It may not sound like much, but that little bit of extra juice might keep you connected until you’re able to plug it in for a full charge.

[h/t Business Insider Tech]

Original image
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Trying to Save Money? Avoid Shopping on a Smartphone
Original image
iStock
Today, Americans do most of their shopping online—but as anyone who’s indulged in late-night retail therapy likely knows, this convenience often can come with an added cost. Trying to curb expenses, but don't want to swear off the convenience of ordering groceries in your PJs? New research shows that shopping on a desktop computer instead of a mobile phone may help you avoid making foolish purchases, according to Co. Design. Ying Zhu, a marketing professor at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, recently led a study to measure how touchscreen technology affects consumer behavior. Published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, her research found that people are more likely to make more frivolous, impulsive purchases if they’re shopping on their phones than if they’re facing a computer monitor. Zhu, along with study co-author Jeffrey Meyer of Bowling Green State University, ran a series of lab experiments on student participants to observe how different electronic devices affected shoppers’ thinking styles and intentions. Their aim was to see if subjects' purchasing goals changed when it came to buying frivolous things, like chocolate or massages, or more practical things, like food or office supplies. In one experiment, participants were randomly assigned to use a desktop or a touchscreen. Then, they were presented with an offer to purchase either a frivolous item (a $50 restaurant certificate for $30) or a useful one (a $50 grocery certificate for $30). These subjects used a three-point scale to gauge how likely they were to purchase the offer, and they also evaluated how practical or frivolous each item was. (Participants rated the restaurant certificate to be more indulgent than the grocery certificate.) Sure enough, the researchers found that participants had "significantly higher" purchase intentions for hedonic (i.e. pleasurable) products when buying on touchscreens than on desktops, according to the study. On the flip side, participants had significantly higher purchase intentions for utilitarian (i.e. practical) products while using desktops instead of touchscreens. "The playful and fun nature of the touchscreen enhances consumers' favor of hedonic products; while the logical and functional nature of a desktop endorses the consumers' preference for utilitarian products," Zhu explains in a press release. The study also found that participants using touchscreen technology scored significantly higher on "experiential thinking" than subjects using desktop computers, whereas those with desktop computers demonstrated higher scores for rational thinking. “When you’re in an experiential thinking mode, [you crave] excitement, a different experience,” Zhu explained to Co. Design. “When you’re on the desktop, with all the work emails, that interface puts you into a rational thinking style. While you’re in a rational thinking style, when you assess a product, you’ll look for something with functionality and specific uses.” Zhu’s advice for consumers looking to conserve cash? Stow away the smartphone when you’re itching to splurge on a guilty pleasure. [h/t Fast Company]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios