iq-tips
Article
Using Your Headphones as a Mic
So here's something you probably didn't know: If you're ever in a pinch for a microphone, to record something quickly when the quality doesn't really matter, you can always use a pair of headphones. Say WHAT? Yep, it's true! A microphone is the same as a speaker. The diaphragm of the driver of the headphones is moved by the molecules of air that make up a soundwave. This driver is attached to a coil of wire (voice coil) which rests between a magnet. As the coil moves through the magnetic field, a current... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips: Computer Timesaver Tips
Some of you may know some of these tips, but if you're like a lot of people out there, you may not know them all. Today, I present 4 tips that will help speed your life along while working at the computer. If you know some other PC timesaver tips, by all means, don't hesitate to drop them down in the comments and let us all in on them. 1. No need to type www That's right! When typing a URL into a Web browser, there's no need to waste time typing the www part. Don't... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips: How to Ripen Fruit
Don't you hate when you've got a hankering for a banana but all the ones in your fruit basket are green? Or you want to slice some avocado into your salad but they're hard as, well, unripened avocados? Here's a trick my mother taught me some years ago: Place the bananas or avocados in a brown paper bag with a ripe apple inside. The fruit will emit ethylene gas, a naturally occurring hormone, which speeds up the ripening process. (It also stimulates flowers to open and leaves... READ ON
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IQ-tips: 9 Steps to Fixing a Scratched CD (with"¦ a banana!)
If you're like me, your CDs get pretty scratched up. With or without a jewel box, with or without a plastic sleeve, invariably they develop nicks and cuts as my son will decide to scrape one around on the wood floor for fun, or I'll just mishandle it while in the car, or, or, or"¦ There are myriad ways in which these soon-to-be obsolete discs get ruined, causing us to curse and throw the things in the trash, or just catalog them back in a CD booklet hoping one day in the future some... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips: help save our fern!
In the past, I've dropped a lot of useful tips in this feature. Here are a few you might recall: How to save money at the pump How to wash a sponge How to make free directory-assistant calls How to remove a bumper sticker from your car But today I'm doing a twist on the IQ-tip and turning it around. You see, my wife and I bought a house back in April and there were 3 cute little tree ferns on the property. They looked as if they'd been there for decades. (The house was built in... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips: quick meals anyone? anyone?
Because we're still up to our ears in boxes in our new home, with half the kitchen still MIA (note to self: when moving next time, be a little more liberal when labeling boxes. "Downstairs sh*t" doesn't help much when trying to locate the remote controls or extension cords), my wife and I find ourselves making a lot of little, quick, easy... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips: Do My Stuff
You guys are either going to love this or roll your eyes, but when I heard about it, I couldn't NOT post about it. DoMyStuff.com is a relatively new site that enables you to outsource simple chores, errands, or projects. Need a closet organized? A website revamped, your lawn mowed, a pint of milk picked up? Join DoMyStuff and let people bid on the job. It's really that simple. Check out some of the posts expiring this morning. One of my favorites has a women trying to score some Oprah tix:... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips: GoLoco
From the woman who brought you Zipcar - Robin Chase - comes an amazing new idea called GoLoco. In a nutshell, it goes like this: you create a profile on their website (sorta like a dating profile only without the "I'm just as happy staying in as I am going out" rat-a-tat), and start hunting for folk you want to carpool to work with. GoLoco's motivation? Chase cites the facts that 20% of CO2 emissions in this country come from cars. That the site takes 10% of the ride fee... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips: eco-tips?
We always knew it would take green to get the green movement afoot. By that I mean, people see money in going green. The latest example? Hearst has a beta version of its Green Magazine online (your one-stop shop for all things good for the environment). One of the more interesting aspects, once it gets going, will be the eco-tip of the day. Though I'm still not convinced there actually exist  365 different things you can do each year to conserve energy or act more efficiently in the name of... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips: Putting the I'm in IM
By now everyone's heard about Bill Gates' charitable endeavors and the enormous sums of money he's giving away. But did you know that you can get involved, too, now? With Microsoft's new "I'm Making a Difference" program, you can now donate money to one of 9 different charities every time you use their new instant-messaging service. (Hence the IM in I'm. er, the I'm in IM?) National AIDS Fund, Sierra Club, StopGlobalWarming.org, and the U.S. Fund... READ ON
Article
Meebo
I've got to admit I'm not a big online chatter. This, despite that I once wrote a novel in which half the dialogue took place through IM windows. But I have enjoyed the occasional chat with family or friends, especially when I was living oversees and the cost of international calls were much higher. I remember at one cubicle job I had, the server blocked us from using any chat software aside from the intranet version, which was rather useless. Even AOL's online version "“... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips: tax returns (oy gevalt)
Yup, it's that time again"¦ perhaps the worst time of the year for everyone except accountants, right? But there's a least one bit of good news this year, courtesty of moneygirl's podcast. The IRS is refunding more than $10 billion for a federal excise tax on long-distance telephone service. The tax started all the way back in 1898 to help fund the Spanish-American War and has helped fund wars since then, yes, including the one we're in now, it seems. But it was... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips: bellyflop central
It's been a long time since I posted an IQ-tip"¦ not for lack of desire, mind you. Just didn't have any quality tips to pass along. But the dry spell is over, thanks to ehow.com. Check out these fancy directions for a double front flip off a 1 meter diving board! (And don't forget your mental_floss tee for step... READ ON
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IQ-tips: TurtleTips
Back in August, I posted an IQ-tip about GoodSearch.com. If you recall, that's the search engine that allows you to contribute to your favorite charity every time you conduct a search (and it costs you absolutely nothing!). Since then, I've been using GoodSearch pretty much exclusively and have been able to raise a good bit of money for some of the charities I support (you don't even want to know how many searches I do each day, especially for Tuesday Turnip). Well, here at the... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips timewarp trip: Music in the Evening
If you missed the previous installments, we're on an IQ-tips timewarp trip this week, dipping into Amy Vanderbilt's classic book from the 1950s, The Complete Book of Etiquette, looking at her chapter on Home Entertaining. Poor Amy never saw the iPod or Myspace coming when she wrote these tips on music listening. Check it out: Good music is often a stimulus to conversation if it is kept in the background. If everyone, or nearly everyone, is interested in music, classical or otherwise, the... READ ON
Article
IQ-tips timewarp trip: Conversation
If you missed the previous installments, we're on an IQ-tips timewarp trip this week, dipping into Amy Vanderbilt's classic book from the 1950s, The Complete Book of Etiquette, looking at her chapter on Home Entertaining. Yesterday we looked at her tips on Ice Breakers. So here's what she has to say on the art of conversation, assuming, of course, you've successfully broken the ice: The talk-talk kind of conversation does little but fill time better left unfilled. The... READ ON

One of the most interesting mysteries of Death Valley National Park is the sliding rocks at Racetrack Playa (a playa is a dry lake bed). These rocks can be found on the floor of the playa with long trails behind them. Somehow these rocks slide across the

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