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Happy Birthday, Don Pardo!

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If you’re a fan of Saturday Night Live then you’re already familiar with the work of Don Pardo, whose iconic voice has been belting out the names of cast members since the show premiered in 1975. But to celebrate his 93rd birthday (today), here are a few things you might not know about him.

1. He’s a Company Man


Therefore, as recently as SNL’s 2009-2010 season, Pardo had a weekly habit of flying from his home in Tucson to New York each Friday, performing in the live show on Saturday and flying back home the next day. At the start of the current season, Pardo began to record his SNL voiceovers from his home.

2. He Was the Bearer of Bad News

On Friday, November 22, 1963, Pardo was the first person at NBC to announce the shooting of President Kennedy. Breaking into the John Forsythe sitcom Bachelor Father, Pardo made the following announcement:

3. He’s A Trailblazer

Long before Johnny Gilbert was introducing Alex Trebek or Rod Roddy was asking a new contestant to come on down, Pardo was the original announcer for both The Price Is Right and Jeopardy! (That was back when questions in the Jeopardy! round ranged from $10 – $50). Because of his notable contributions to those shows, as well as SNL and NBC News, Pardo marked another first in 2009 — he became the first announcer inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.

4. He Branches Out

While his career was mostly confined to announcing news and the names of TV stars, Pardo had one notable foray into the world of music — contributing his vocal stylings to the Frank Zappa song “I’m the Slime” during a December 1976 episode of SNL and on the album Zappa in New York.

5. He Makes Mistakes

Former Saturday Night Live cast member Jimmy Fallon once remarked that “nothing is like the moment when Don Pardo says your name.” That’s probably true, even if he doesn’t get your name right. That was the case on SNL’s first show on October 11, 1975, when Pardo mistakenly introduced the show’s fresh-faced cast as The Not for Ready Primetime Players, rather than The Not Ready for Primetime Players. But seeing as he’s been pretty solid in the 35-plus years since, we should probably let that one slide.

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A Simple Way to Charge Your iPhone in 5 Minutes
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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]

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Trying to Save Money? Avoid Shopping on a Smartphone
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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]

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