10 Unusual Color Names You’ve Never Heard Of

Although you may know that the primary colors are red, blue and yellow and that they can’t be made from mixing any colors. But still there are few colors that you’ve never heard of or maybe even seen. Following we have collected few colors. Those, you’ve maybe seen few a times but most probably you don’t know their names even are as follows.

Source: 10 Unusual Color Names You’ve Never Heard Of | Mind Junker

How Tim Cook is changing Apple

Steve Jobs’ successor is making his mark and trying to keep the Apple magic going.
Apple CEO Tim CookFORTUNE — In February of this year, a group of investors visited Apple as part of a “bus tour” led by a research analyst for Citibank. The session started with a 45-minute presentation by Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer, and the 15 or so investors who attended the session were treated to Apple’s unique brand of hospitality: They met in a threadbare conference room in Apple’s Town Hall public conference center at the 4 Infinite Loop building in Cupertino, Calif., where the refreshments consisted of “three stale cookies and two Diet Cokes,” in the words of one participant.

All that, save the meager refreshments, is routine for big public companies in Silicon Valley, which use the check-ins as opportunities to communicate with large owners of their stock. What shocked the Apple (AAPL) investors that day was that CEO Tim Cook popped into the room about 20 minutes into Oppenheimer’s talk, quietly sat down in the back of the room, and did something unusual for a CEO of Apple: He listened. He didn’t check his e-mail once. He didn’t interrupt.

After the CFO finished, Cook, at that point chief executive of Apple for all of five months, stood to offer his remarks. He strode confidently to the front of the room and held court in the no-nonsense style that has become his trademark. “He was in complete control and knew exactly who he was and where he wanted to go,” says one of the investors. “He answered every question head-on and didn’t skirt any issue.” Cook even offered some color that went beyond expanding on Apple’s already disclosed performance data. Asked his opinion of Facebook, Cook called the neighboring upstart “the one company that is closest to being like Apple,” adding that he had huge respect for Facebook, with which Apple could work more closely. (More recently Cook doled out guarded praise for another competitor/partner, saying on a financial results conference call that Amazon is “a different kind of competitor” that has “different strengths” from Apple and that “will sell a lot” of Kindles, the gadget that is increasingly competitive to Apple’s iPad.)

Here’s what’s most remarkable about Cook’s appearance that day last winter: Steve Jobs wouldn’t have bothered. The legendary company co-founder, who stepped down as Apple’s CEO last Aug. 24, six weeks before his death, rarely deigned to meet with investors. That was one of Tim Cook’s tasks as chief operating officer. It’s a subtle but significant change — investors now have the CEO’s ear for the first time in years — and it’s one of many Cook has instituted at Apple as he approaches his one-year mark at the helm. Taken together — his rapport with Wall Street as well as government officials, his decision to grant a dividend to shareholders, the creation of a program to match employee gifts to charity — Tim Cook’s stewardship of Apple is beginning to come into focus.

A 14-year veteran of the company, Cook is maintaining, by words and actions, most of Apple’s unique corporate culture. But shifts of behavior and tone are absolutely apparent; some of them affect the core of Apple’s critical product-development process. In general, Apple has become slightly more open and considerably more corporate. In some cases Cook is taking action that Apple sorely needed and employees badly wanted. It’s almost as if he is working his way through a to-do list of long-overdue repairs the previous occupant (Jobs) refused to address for no reason other than obstinacy.

What’s clear is that Cook is behaving like his own man, putting his stamp on Apple — including some moves that will court controversy with the Apple faithful, watchful as they are for the slightest deviation from their perception of the Steve Jobs playbook. Cook consistently pays homage to the legacy of Jobs, but he doesn’t apologize for charting a new course. He seems, at the end of the day, to be honoring one of Jobs’ dying requests: that Apple’s management not ask “What would Steve do?” and instead do what’s best for Apple.
Tim Cook at a March event introducing the new iPad in San Francisco

Considering the widespread handwringing over how rudderless Apple would be without Jobs, it is remarkable how steadily the company has sailed along without him. Wall Street in particular has good reasons — billions of them, actually — to love the Cook regime. “The numbers speak for themselves,” says Katy Huberty, Morgan Stanley’s Apple analyst. The company’s market value, for example, is up some $140 billion since Cook took over. At a market cap of about $500 billion, Apple is more valuable than Exxon Mobil by $100 billion — despite Apple’s shares being down 15% from their peak. In the three quarters since Cook become CEO, Apple has reported $31 billion in profits and shipped 89 million iPhones and 38 million iPads, all exceeding Wall Street’s expectations and continuing, by and large, to delight an adoring customer base. “By any quantitative measure, so far his performance is phenomenal,” says Bill Shope, a Goldman Sachs research analyst.
Cook can’t take all the credit for those results. He took over a company with the momentum of a rocket ship in midflight. What’s more, Cook hasn’t yet unveiled a significantly new product, the key measure of sustained innovation that observers are intensely watching for. The only major product introductions so far: The iPhone 4S, which features the Siri voice-activated assistant, and an iPad with better screen resolution, both iterations of previous devices.

Yet behind the scenes there are indications of where Cook is leading Apple. Typically these changes play to the new CEO’s background and strengths. Cook is the master of operational efficiency, having joined Apple in 1998 to revamp its badly broken system of factories, warehouses, and suppliers. Notably, he strengthened Apple’s cooperation with its contract manufacturers in China.

So it was a personal blow to Cook when the New York Times ran a prominent article in January critical of the working conditions in China at Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that assembles most of Apple’s products. Though the criticism wasn’t new, the exposé painted a bleak portrait of the lives of workers in the factories. Cook’s response marked a distinct change in tone from Jobs, who had been dismissive of the severity of the problem. The new CEO not only visited Foxconn personally, he also allowed himself to be photographed doing so. Apple also joined the Fair Labor Association, an industry-financed third-party monitoring group that has the ability to visit factories and report its findings independently. (Apple says its membership in the group had been in the works for a year.)

Nevertheless, Cook’s Apple appears to be doubling down on its manufacturing in China. Late last year Apple disclosed for the first time the dollar value of its assets there: $2.6 billion. Given that Apple had just six retail stores in China at the time, the number spoke to the value of the material and equipment Apple has bought on behalf of its suppliers. Apple risks its own capital — with $110 billion in cash at last count, it has plenty to risk — as a way of financing massive upgrades in its manufacturing capabilities in Asia, even though its partners will operate the equipment.

Apple generally is mum on what the investments are for, but with disclosed projected capital expenditures of $7 billion in 2012, Apple is gearing up for big growth, analysts assume. “That’s got to be for volume,” says David Eiswert, a portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price, which owns 24 million shares of Apple. He notes that Apple suppliers like Pegatron and Jabil have been buying sophisticated machine tools and that Japanese drill-bit manufacturers say they are moving into consumer electronics. Eiswert says he assumes it is all on Apple’s behalf. “The Apple supply chain is doing things no one else can,” given its abundance of cash and manufacturing know-how, Eiswert notes. The moves, he and other observers say, have Cook’s fingerprints all over them.

Such operational efficiencies have been an underappreciated factor in Apple’s success for the past decade; all the attention has been on its beautiful designs and snazzy marketing overseen by Jobs. If anything, Apple under Tim Cook will embrace efficiency to an even greater degree, especially as the company grows bigger and more complex — to the dismay of those who think techies should rule the roost. “It looks like it has become a more conservative execution engine rather than a pushing-the-envelope engineering engine,” says Max Paley, a former engineering vice president who worked at Apple for 14 years until late 2011. “I’ve been told that any meeting of significance is now always populated by project management and global-supply management,” he says. “When I was there, engineering decided what we wanted, and it was the job of product management and supply management to go get it. It shows a shift in priority.”

Indeed, allowing anyone to interfere with the creative-genius engineers is anathema to the Steve Jobs ethos at Apple. Sniffs one engineer: “This leads to more sharing of resources, which leads inevitably to fighting, which leads to weaselly excuses.” They are normal corporate concerns, in other words, and very un-Apple-like.
It is treacherous to attempt to read too much into potentially isolated changes at Apple in the short time that Steve Jobs has been gone. Yet the scrutiny on the world’s most watched company is enormous. As an example, in another much discussed critique, the New York Times used Apple’s multinational tax-mitigation policy as a case study of the lengths to which U.S.-based corporations will go to lighten their tax burdens.
No action goes unnoticed when it comes to Apple, no matter how small. A former Apple employee recounts, for instance, a recent lunch with a current Apple engineer. At the end of the meal the ex-Apple worker, now at a Silicon Valley startup, assumed his buddy immediately needed to get back to work. “He said, ‘Eh, I have time for coffee if you like.’ ” The outsider’s conclusion: “I think people are breathing now.” It’s not necessarily a compliment.
Elsewhere there are signs of Apple becoming a more normal company. When Adrian Perica, a former Goldman Sachs  banker, joined Apple several years ago, he was the only executive whose sole remit was dealmaking. Steve Jobs basically ran M&A for Apple. Today Perica heads a department with three corporate-development professionals under him and a staff supporting them, so that Apple can work on three deals simultaneously. Indeed, the vibe, in the words of a former employee, is of an Apple that is becoming “far more traditional,” meaning more MBAs, more process, and more structure. (In point of fact, 2,153 Apple employees reference the term “MBA” in their LinkedIn profiles out of a nonretail workforce of nearly 28,000. More than half the employees who reference “MBA” have been at Apple less than two years.)

The ultimate “tell” of tectonic changes at Apple will be the quality of its products. Those looking for deficiencies have found them in Siri, a less-than-perfect product that Apple released with the rare beta label in late 2011, a signal that the service shouldn’t be viewed as fully baked. Siri’s response time has been slow, meaning the servers and software powering it are inadequate. “People are embarrassed by Siri,” says one former insider. “Steve would have lost his mind over Siri.”

Obviously, no one can say for sure how Steve Jobs would have reacted to anything that’s going on at Apple, and Cook seems increasingly comfortable leading the company where he thinks it should be going. Jobs was opposed to dividends and stock buybacks, for example. Yet Cook repeatedly prepared investors for a coming dividend by stating publicly that he had no “religious” opinion about them. Apple announced on March 19 that it would begin paying a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share and buy back $10 billion worth of stock.

In many ways, though, Cook’s unspoken message is that life goes on and that Apple is still Apple. In mid-April the company took over the Carmel Valley Ranch hotel complex for its first ultra-secretive “Top 100” meeting since Jobs died. The hush-hush conclave is a rare opportunity for top managers — not necessarily chosen by rank, but rather by the CEO’s assessment of who are the most valuable contributors at any given time — to learn what products and services are on tap for the next year and a half or so. Following tradition, Cook required his executives to travel the 80 miles from Cupertino to the resort on chartered buses so that their comings and goings could be controlled. He also asked several executives to make presentations to the group — just as Jobs had done.

A difference, according to multiple secondhand reports of the retreat, is that the spirit of the meeting was upbeat and even fun. Cook was said to be in a jovial, joke-cracking mood — a stark contrast to the grim and fearful tone Jobs engendered at the meetings. Participants left the Top 100 energized about Apple’s near-term outlook, presumably having seen Apple’s next iPhone and perhaps its long-awaited television product too. One veteran executive was “blown away” by what he had seen, says someone this executive spoke to afterward. Reports another person with access to top-level Apple executives: “People came away totally comfortable with where the company is headed.”
Cook also has assumed Jobs’ role of outward-facing schmoozer. An influential tech company CEO who met recently with Cook found him to be “down to earth, noncorporate, detail-oriented, and disarming,” the latter being a frequent refrain about Cook. “He’s casual, grounded, and easy to talk to,” says this executive. “I forgot he’s the CEO of Apple. And that was not my experience with Jobs.” Other signs of a CEO-level glasnost abound. Cook has indicated a willingness to resolve patent litigation with Samsung, an important Apple supplier as well as a competitor. He even made the rounds in Washington, D.C., in mid-May, telling congressional leaders that he intended to be personally accessible to them.
As operations chief, Cook flew so far under the radar that he was practically invisible outside the company. Apple, after all, was a company dominated by one personality, whose persona was tightly wound up with Apple’s public and private image. As CEO, Cook has begun to sprinkle his narrative into his comments. In a February appearance at an investor conference hosted by Goldman Sachs, for example, he mentioned that he had worked at a paper mill in Alabama and an aluminum plant in Virginia — new facts in Cook’s story.
Tim Cook, in yellow, visits a Foxconn facility in Henan Province, China, where iPhones are produced.
The personal tidbits serve to humanize Cook, who is intensely private, with few hobbies other than fitness and spectator sports. He vacations at the Canyon Ranch resort in Arizona, where guests who have seen him there say he keeps to himself, often dining alone, reading on his iPad. He said during the appearance at the Goldman Sachs conference that he couldn’t live without his Apple TV — raising the question of what he’s watching, given that a year earlier Cook told a shareholder at Apple’s annual meeting that if it wasn’t on CNBC or ESPN, he hadn’t seen it. (Historical trivia of note: The shareholder had asked Cook whether he had seen Mike Daisey’s now notorious one-man act The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs when it was playing in Berkeley. He had not.) Cook also has been showing his dry wit of late, telling investors before the dividend announcement that Apple wouldn’t “go have a toga party or do something outlandish” with its cash.
For all his new demonstrations of extroversion as CEO, Cook has kept the news media at arm’s length. He has granted few interviews, and Apple declined to make him available for this article. Indeed, Apple seems intent on doling out its new CEO in carefully scripted morsels. Writing in Time’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2012, Apple board member Al Gore praised Cook for leading Apple to new heights “while implementing major policy changes smoothly and brilliantly.” When queried by Fortune, neither Apple nor Gore would explain precisely what policy changes the former vice president of the United States was referring to.
Even as he tweaks the Apple operating manual, Cook goes to great pains to pledge allegiance to the corporate culture Steve Jobs created. Asked at the Goldman investor forum how his leadership might change Apple and what of its culture he intended to maintain, Cook ignored the first part of the question and focused only on the latter. “Steve grilled in all of us over many years that the company should revolve around great products and that we should stay extremely focused on few things rather than try to do so many that we did nothing well.” He called Apple a “magical place” where employees could do “their life’s best work.”
For their part, most Apple employees seem more than satisfied with Cook. He often sits down randomly with employees in the cafeteria at lunchtime, whereas Jobs typically dined with design chief Jonathan Ive. It is a small difference that speaks volumes about how employees can expect to interact with their CEO. At Apple, Jobs was simultaneously revered, loved, and feared. Cook clearly is a demanding boss, but he’s not scary. He’s well-respected, but not worshiped. As Apple enters a complex new phase of its corporate history, perhaps it doesn’t need a god as CEO but a mere mortal who understands how to get the job done.

This story is from the June 11, 2012 issue of Fortune.

World’s 50 most delicious foods

Some foods you eat to stay alive, others you eat because not to would be a crime. Here are those foods worth traveling the world to gorge on

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food,” George Bernard Shaw said. Judging by the number of amazing dishes out there, he was right.

But which are the tastiest? We’ve scoured the planet for what we think are 50 of the most delicious foods ever created.

Feast your eyes and control your drooling, as we reveal the world’s most delicious foods:

50. The only food that tastes better
when it’s inside out.
50. Buttered popcorn, United States
Corn — the workhorse of the industrial world — is best when its sweet variety is fried up with lashings of butter till it bursts and then snarfed in greasy fistfuls while watching “Commando” late at night.

49. Masala dosa, India
A crispy, rice-batter crepe encases a spicy mix of mashed potato, which is then dipped in coconut chutney, pickles, tomato-and-lentil-based sauces and other condiments. It’s a fantastic breakfast food that’ll keep you going till lunch, when you’ll probably come back for another.

48. Potato chips, United States
Potato chips were invented in New York when a chef tried to play a trick on a fussy diner. Now they’re one of the world’s most child-friendly foods. But think of them this way — if a single chip cost, say, US$5, it’d be a far greater (and more popular) delicacy than caviar, a prize worth fighting wars over.

47. So fresh you’ll think it’s flirting with you.
47. Seafood paella, SpainThe sea is lapping just by your feet, a warm breeze whips the tablecloth around your legs and a steamy pan of paella sits in front of you. Shrimp, lobster, mussels and cuttlefish combine with white rice and various herbs, oil and salt in this Valencian dish to send you immediately into holiday mode.

Though if you have it in Spain, you’re probably there already.

46. Som tam, Thailand
To prepare Thailand’s most famous salad, pound garlic and chilies with a mortar and pestle. Toss in tamarind juice, fish sauce, peanuts, dried shrimp, tomatoes, lime juice, sugar cane paste, string beans and a handful of grated green papaya.

Grab a side of sticky rice. Variations include those made with crab (som tam boo) and fermented fish sauce (som tam plah lah), but none matches the flavor and simple beauty of the original.

45. The cucumber’s an afterthought.
45. Chicken rice, SingaporeOften called the “national dish” of Singapore, this steamed or boiled chicken is served atop fragrant oily rice, with sliced cucumber as the token vegetable. Variants include roasted chicken or soy sauce chicken.

The dipping sauces — premium dark soy sauce, chili with garlic and pounded ginger — give it that little extra oomph to ensure whenever you’re not actually in Singapore eating chicken rice, you’re thinking of it.

44. Poutine, CanadaFrench fries smothered in cheese curds and brown gravy. Sounds kind of disgusting, looks even worse, but engulfs the mouth in a saucy, cheesy, fried-potato mix that’ll have you fighting over the last dollop.

Our Canadian friends insist it’s best enjoyed at 3 a.m. after “several” beers.

43. Two tacos are just never enough.
43. Tacos, MexicoA fresh, handmade tortilla stuffed with small chunks of grilled beef rubbed in oil and sea salt then covered with guacamole, salsa, onions, cilantro or anything else you want — perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is the reason no visitor leaves Mexico weighing less than when they arrived.

42. Buttered toast with Marmite, Britain
OK, anything buttered is probably going to taste great, but there’s something about this tangy, salty, sour, love-it-or-hate-it yeast extract that turns a piece of grilled bread into a reason to go on living. For extra yum factor, add a layer of marmalade.

41. Stinky tofu, Southeast AsiaNothing really prepares you for the stench of one of the strangest dishes on earth. Like durian, smelly tofu is one of Southeat Asia’s most iconic foods.

The odor of fermenting tofu is so overpowering many aren’t able to shake off the memory for months. So is the legendarily divine taste really worth the effort? Sure it is.

40. How can something taste this good?
It’s just nuts.
40. Marzipan, Germany
Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations, which use soy paste or almond essence. The real stuff, which uses nothing but ground almonds with sugar, is so good, you’ll eat a whole bar of it, feel sick, and still find yourself toying with the wrapper on bar number two.

39. Ketchup, United StatesIf Malcolm Gladwell says it’s a perfect food, then it’s a perfect food. Let’s face it, anything that can convince two-year-olds to eat their carrots rather than spitting them onto the floor is worthy of not just a “delicious” title, but a “miracle of persuasion” title, too.

38. A measly 500 calories is all this bad boy
will cost you
38. French toast, Hong Kong
Unlike its more restrained Sunday brunch counterpart, Hong Kong-style French toast is like a deep-fried hug. Two pieces of toast are slathered with peanut butter or kaya jam, soaked in egg batter, fried in butter and served with still more butter and lots of syrup. Best enjoyed before cholesterol checks.

37. Chicken parm, Australia
Melted Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and a peppery, garlicky tomato sauce drizzled over the top of a chicken fillet — Aussie pub-goers claim this ostensibly Italian dish as their own. Since they make it so well, there’s no point in arguing.

36. Pigs can’t fly, but they can grill beautifully.
36. Texas barbecue pork, United States
A saucy mash of chili, tomatoes, onions, pepper and various herbs gives each barbecue chef his or her own personalized zing to lay on top of perfectly prepped pig. Like the Texas sky, the options are endless.

35. Chili crab, Singapore
35. As hot, and as tasty, as it looks.
You can’t visit Singapore without trying its spicy, sloppy, meaty specialty. While there are dozens of ways to prepare crab (with black pepper, salted egg yolk, cheese-baked, et cetera) chili crab remains the local bestseller.

Spicy chili-tomato gravy tends to splatter, which is why you need to mop everything up with mini mantou buns.

34. Maple syrup, Canada
Ever tried eating a pancake without maple syrup? It’s like eating a slice of cardboard. Poorly prepared cardboard.

In fact, Canada’s gift to parents everywhere — throw some maple syrup on the kid’s broccoli and see what happens — makes just about anything worth trying. Pass the cardboard, please.

33. It’s not posh, it’s not refined,
but it is damn good eating.
33. Fish ‘n’ chips, Britain
Anything that’s been around since the 1860s can’t be doing much wrong. The staple of the Victorian British working class is a crunchy-outside, soft-inside dish of simple, un-adorned food fundamentals.

Sprinkled with salt, vinegar and dollops of tartar sauce, it is to nouveau cuisine what Meat Loaf is to Prince (or whatever he’s calling himself now).

32. Ankimo, Japan
So, who’s up for a chunk of monkfish liver with a little grated daikon on the side? Thought not — still, you’re missing out on one of sushi’s last great secrets, the prized ankimo.

The monkfish/anglerfish that unknowingly bestows its liver upon upscale sushi fans is threatened by commercial fishing nets damaging its sea-floor habitat, so it’s possible ankimo won’t be around for much longer.

If you do stumble across the creamy, yet oddly light delicacy anytime soon, consider a taste — you won’t regret it.

31. Only ham this great can make
fresh melon even better.
31. Parma ham, Italy
You see it folded around melon, wrapped around grissini, placed over pizza, heaped over salad.

There’s good reason for that: these salty, paper-thin slices of air-dried ham lift the taste of everything they accompany to a higher level, following the same theory as the Italian guy who thinks carrying around a copy of “Candide” makes up for the tiny Speedos.

30. Goi cuon (summer roll), Vietnam
This snack made from pork, shrimp, herbs, rice vermicelli and other ingredients wrapped in rice paper is served at room temperature. It’s “meat light,” with the flavors of refreshing herbs erupting in your mouth.

Dipped in a slightly sweet Vietnamese sauce laced with ground peanuts, it’s wholesome, easy and the very definition of “moreish.”

29. Handle with care, devour with gusto.
29. Ohmi-gyu beef steak, Japan
This premium Japanese Wagyu beef from famed Takara Ranch has been recognized by the Imperial Palace of Japan as one of the greatest beef stocks to be raised in the past 400 years.

Called the “Rolls-Royce” of beef, it’s best eaten sashimi style, anointed with a drizzle of kaffir lime and green tea sea salt. Marbled fat gives each mouthful texture as the beef melts away, leaving a subtle but distinctly classic beef flavor.

28. Spare us the just-add-water pots,
this is what real noodles should look like.
28. Pho, VietnamThis oft-mispronounced national dish (“fuh” is correct) is just broth, fresh rice noodles, a few herbs and usually chicken or beef. But it’s greater than the sum of its parts — fragrant, tasty and balanced, the polar opposite of the moto rider who brought you to the little café where you find the best stuff.

27. Montreal-style smoked meat, Canada
Day and night, lines form outside of Schwartz’s, Montreal’s best Hebrew delicatessen and Canada’s oldest. Here clerks slice up the best smoked meat in North America.

Following a 1928 recipe, the meat is cured for 10 days. Order your smoked beef sandwich medium-lean, heavy on the mustard, three pickles and with extra pommes frites, the way the Rolling Stones have supposedly enjoyed it.

26. If only every food could be
wrapped in a tortilla.
26. Fajitas, MexicoThis assembly kit of a dining experience is a thrill to DIY enthusiasts everywhere.

Step 1: Behold the meat sizzling on a fiery griddle. Step 2: Along with the meat, throw side servings of capsicum, onion, guacamole, sour cream and salsa into a warm, flour tortilla. Step 3: Promise all within hearing range that you’ll have “just one more.” Step 4: Repeat.

23. Thankfully you don’t have to catch these
prickly fellas yourself.
25. Butter garlic crab, India
This one claims no roots in Chinese, Continental or Indian cuisines. It comes from Butter Land, an imaginary place balanced on the premise that anything tastes great with melted butter.

This delicious, simple dish is made by drowning a large crab in a gallon of butter-garlic sauce, which seeps into every nook and cranny and coats every inch of flesh.

The sea gods of Butter Land are benevolent carnivores and this, their gift to the world, is their signature dish.

24. Champ, Ireland
Irish national dish champ goes down faster than the first pint of Guinness on a Friday night. Mashed potato with spring onions, butter, salt and pepper, champ is the perfect side with any meat or fish.

For the textbook plate of creamy goodness, we suggest the busiest pub in any Irish seaside town. Around noon somehow feels right.

23. So good, they give it in five levels
23. Lasagna, Italy
Second only to pizza in the list of famed Italian foods, there’s a reason this pasta-layered, tomato-sauce-infused, minced-meaty gift to kids and adults alike is so popular — it just works.

22. Brownie and vanilla ice cream, global
There are some who will not frequent an establishment if it does not have brownie and ice cream on the dessert menu. You may call them fools.

We do, too, but having done so we then happily leave the first restaurant after the main course to visit one we know has this perfect dessert on offer.

21. Best way to eat this? In bed,
at 3 p.m., in a gite in Brittany.
21. Croissant, France
Flaky pastry smothered in butter, a pile of raspberry jam smeared over the top and a soft, giving bite as you sink in your teeth; there’s nothing not to love about this fatty, sweet breakfast food that must be married to a cup of strong coffee.

20. Arepas, Venezuela
A corn-dough patty that provides a savory canvas onto which you can paint any number of delicious toppings: cheese, shredded chicken, crisped pork skin, perico, beef, tomato, avocado … it’s the most beautiful thing to come out of Venezuela since all those Miss Universe winners.

19. Nam tok moo, Thailand
Grilled pork combined with lemon juice, green onions, chili, mint sprigs, fish sauce and toasted rice. Legend has it the blood from the meat along with the dressing inspired some happy carnivore to name this brilliant dish “waterfall (nam tok moo) meat.”

18. Kebab, Iran
18. It’s as if sunny Sunday afternoons
were created just for shish sizzlers.
For keeping starvation at bay for the entire student population of the United Kingdom, the doner kebab should clearly be honored. But they are hardly the delicious prototype worthy of representing a region.

For that, summon the shish kebab. Pick your meat, shove a stick through it, grill. Then wonder why you don’t eat like this every day.

17. If you were on a million menus
you’d have big claws too.
17. Lobster, global
Forget all your fancy, contrived lobster dishes deployed by showoff chefs eager for Michelin endorsement. When you have something as naturally delicious as these little fellas, keep it simple. The best way to enjoy lobster is simply to boil it and serve with a side of melted butter and slice of lemon.

16. Egg tart, Hong KongLike many classic dishes, the Hong Kong egg tart marries two contrasting textures: crusty, flaky pastry and jiggly, trembling custard. It’s sweet, it’s delicious and it’s best eaten hot from the oven on the street while queuing up to get just one more.

15. Kalua pig, United States
Only commercially available in Hawaii, the kalua preparation turns a meal into an epic event, with a whole pig roasted in an underground sand pit for six or seven hours.

But it’s not just for show. Smashed banana tree trunks, sea salt and shredded (never sliced) meat means this smoky, aromatic piece of pig will linger long on your tongue and even longer in your memory.

14. Donuts, United States
14. Yeh, you’ll get fat, but you’ll
have a great time doing so.
These all-American fried wheels of dough need no introduction, but we will say one thing: the delicious guilt of snacking on these addictive calorie bombs makes them taste even better. If that’s possible.

13. Corn on the cob, global
God probably created corn just to have an excuse to invent melted butter. There’s something about biting down on a cob of corn — it’s a delicate enough operation to require concentration but primal enough to make you feel like the caveman you always wanted to be. Great food is caveman food.

12. Shepherd’s pie, Britain
12. Good food day and night,
shepherd’s delight?
Some might say England’s greatest inventions were the steam engine and the Jaguar E-Type. We like to think shepherd’s pie — minced lamb topped with mashed potato — comes somewhere in that list.

Tastes best at the end of a gloomy, rainy day with an open fire licking at the chimney breast and Ricky Gervais insulting people on the telly. Which is lucky, as that’s what most days are like in England.

11. Don’t judge an awesome food
by its dour appearance.
11. Rendang, Indonesia
Beef is slowly simmered with coconut milk and a mixture of lemongrass, galangal, garlic, turmeric, ginger and chilies, then left to stew for a few hours to create this dish of tender, flavorful bovine goodness.

Tasting it fresh out of the kitchen will send your stomach into overdrive, but many people think it gets even better when left overnight.

10. Chicken muamba, GabonA bastardized Western version of this delectable Gabonese dish swamps everything in peanut butter. Oh, the insanity. The proper recipe calls for chicken, hot chili, garlic, tomato, pepper, salt, okra and palm butter, an artery-clogging African butter that will force you into a second helping and a promise to start using your gym membership.

9. Who put that stinking fruit in there?
9. Ice cream, United States
You may have just gorged yourself to eruption point, but somehow there’s always room for a tooth-rotting, U.S.-style pile of ice cream with nuts, marshmallows and chocolate sauce.

Thank God for extra long spoons that allow you get at the real weight-gain stuff all mixed up and melted at the bottom of the glass.

8. Tom yum goong, Thailand
This Thai masterpiece teems with shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Usually loaded with coconut milk and cream, the hearty soup unifies a host of favorite Thai tastes: sour, salty, spicy and sweet. Best of all is the price: cheap.

7. Penang assam laksa, Malaysia
Poached, flaked mackerel, tamarind, chili, mint, lemongrass, onion, pineapple … one of Malaysia’s most popular dishes is an addictive spicy-sour fish broth with noodles (especially great when fused with ginger), that’ll have your nose running before the spoon even hits your lips.

6. The best come minced and in a bun.
6. Hamburger, Germany
When something tastes so good that people spend US$20 billion each year in a single restaurant chain devoted to it, you know it has to fit into this list. McDonald’s may not offer the best burgers, but that’s the point — it doesn’t have to.

The bread-meat-salad combination is so good that entire countries have ravaged their eco-systems just to produce more cows.

5. A real quacker of a food.
5. Peking duck, China
The maltose-syrup glaze coating the skin is the secret. Slow roasted in an oven, the crispy, syrup-coated skin is so good that authentic eateries will serve more skin than meat, and bring it with pancakes, onions and hoisin or sweet bean sauce.

Other than flying or floating, this is the only way you want your duck.

4. If this was a “most beautiful” foods list,
this would be no. 1.

4. Sushi, Japan
When Japan wants to build something right, it builds it really right. Brand giants such as Toyota, Nintendo, Sony, Nikon and Yamaha may have been created by people fueled by nothing more complicated than raw fish and rice, but it’s how the fish and rice is put together that makes this a global first-date favorite.

The Japanese don’t live practically forever for no reason — they want to keep eating this stuff.

3. Chocolate, Mexico
The Mayans drank it, Lasse Hallström made a film about it and the rest of us get over the guilt of eating too much of it by eating more of it. The story of the humble cacao bean is a bona fide out-of-the-jungle, into-civilization tale of culinary wonder.

Without this creamy, bitter-sweet confection, Valentine’s Day would be all cards and flowers, Easter would turn back into another dull religious event and those halcyon days of watching the dog throw up because you replaced the strawberry innards of the pink Quality Street with salt would be fanciful imaginings.

2. Neapolitan pizza, Italy
2. No place for pepperoni in this list.
Spare us the lumpy chain monstrosities and “everything-on-it” wheels of greed.

The best pizza was and still is the simple Neapolitan, an invention now protected by its own trade association that insists on sea salt, high-grade wheat flour, the use of only three types of fresh tomatoes, hand-rolled dough and the strict use of a wood-fired oven, among other quality stipulations.

With just a few ingredients — dough, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and basil (the marinara pizza does not even contain cheese) — the Neapolitans created a food that few make properly, but everyone enjoys thoroughly.

1. Massaman curry, Thailand

1. One more reason to fall in love with Thailand.

Emphatically the king of curries, and perhaps the king of all foods. Spicy, coconutty, sweet and savory, its combination of flavors has more personality than a Thai election.

Even the packet sauce you buy from the supermarket can make the most delinquent of cooks look like a Michelin potential. Thankfully, someone invented rice, with which diners can mop up the last drizzles of curry sauce.

“The Land of Smiles” isn’t just a marketing catch-line. It’s a result of being born in a land where the world’s most delicious food is sold on nearly every street corner.


Google Explains How Your Emails Travel to Their Destination

Google has launched Story of Send, a new website that explains how an email travels from your PC, tablet or smartphone to its destination.
The site is an interactive, animated story, showing not only the journey of your emails, but also explaining Google’s efforts to keep viruses and spam out of your inbox.
Google also shows how it saves energy and keeps its data centers up to high environmental standards.
“Our data centers are some of the most efficient in the world, using 50% less energy than typical data centers,” Google says on the site. “Whenever we can, we buy green power from wind farms near our data centers (…) This, along with efficiency and investing in other projects, helps us eliminate our impact on climate change,” Google claims.

Winners of Sony World Photography awards 2012 – in pictures

Sony World Photography awards 2012 has announced its overall competition winners and professional category winners. The images can be seen at Somerset House, London, from 27 April until 20 May 2012. View a selection of the winning images here:

 Open Photographer of the Year Tobias Bräuning, Germany. Split Second category: Dancing Queen

  L’Iris d’Or, Professional Winner Mitch Dobrowner, USA. Category Landscapes: Storms 

 Overall Youth Competition Winner Kolyaskin Sergey, Russia. Culture category: The Last Hero 

 Professional Category Winner Donald Weber, Canada. Current Affairs: Series title: Life in the Exclusion Zone (Japan) 

 Professional Category Winner Palmer + Pawel, United Kingdom. Sport : MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) 

 Professional Category Winner Rob Hornstra, Netherlands. Arts and Culture: Sochi Singers 

  Professional Category Winner Irina Werning, Argentina. Conceptual: Back to the Future

 Professional Category Winner, Kasia Bieska, Poland. Contemporary Issues: It’s Now or Never 

 Professional Category Winner Peter Franck, Germany. Fashion: Table stories 

Professional Category winner Jacek Kusz, Poland. Nature & Wildlife: Animals in the Wroclaw zoo 

 Professional Category Winner Luis Henry Agudelo Cano, Columbia. Travel: New York A City in Fragments 

Professional Category Winner Simon Norfolk, United Kingdom. People – Afghanistan: 10 Years on after the War

7 Ways the Internet Has Been Used for Good

It seems like every day you hear a new story about cyber-bullying, phishing or a new computer virus. But when good people get together on the web, it’s amazing what they can achieve.

1. Preventing Suicides

While you probably have heard stories about cyber-bullies pushing someone to commit suicide, there are also tons of stories about depressed people deciding not to kill themselves after talking to someone online whom they never even met. Unfortunately, we don’t hear about these cases nearly as often.

Despite all the trash talking in online gaming sessions, there is also a real sense of camaraderie and friendship. In one case, a teenager from Ontario called the police after one of his gaming buddies in Texas said he was thinking of ending it all. An officer came to the Ontario boy’s house and talked to the other teen over Xbox Live until he was able to earn the trust of the suicidal boy. Eventually, he convinced the teen in Texas to let him speak to his father, who reported that he had no idea his son was feeling that way and would do whatever it took to help his son get through this difficult time.

These sorts of incidents aren’t limited to gaming sessions though; one woman in Australia saved an English man’s life after seeing a post where the man said he would kill himself within the next 15 minutes. She spoke to him online for a while, gaining his trust until he gave his phone number to her. She then got one of her friends living in England to call the suicidal man and talk to him until the man felt comfortable sharing his location. When the police showed up at the depressed man’s house, he already had a phone cord wrapped around his neck, but had not yet tried to end it all. Police praised the actions of the Australian woman and her friend, pointing out that the young man probably wouldn’t have made it if the two hadn’t acted so quickly and diligently.

Even actress Demi Moore has been credited with saving someone’s life thanks to the net. When a woman Tweeted to Demi that she was going to kill herself, Moore tried to talk her into changing her mind. Meanwhile, the celebrity’s followers contacted the police in the area of the Twitterer and they were able to get to her home before she did anything drastic.

There are major online communities developed to help people in need. Reddit’s Suicide Watch has over 10,000 subscribers, many of whom offer valuable advice and help for those looking to end it all. And the “It Gets Better” project has helped thousands of students who have been bullied due to their sexual orientation.

2. Saving Lives

Internet users have also saved the lives of those who didn’t want to kill themselves, but couldn’t get themselves out of a dangerous situation. In January 2011, Robert Chambers, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, was gaming on his computer when his toaster caught on fire and smoke quickly started filling his home. Since he was unable to move quickly due to his condition, getting to the phone to call 911 was not an option, so instead he shared his address and asked others in a chat room to call for help for him. People from around the U.S. called his local fire department and it wasn’t long before Robert was saved.

In a similar story, Wales resident Peter Casaru, who suffers from spinal problems, found himself paralyzed one morning. With his cell phone battery dead, his only option was to ask for help online. After dragging himself across the room, and without being able to see the keyboard since he didn’t have his glasses, he was still able to post an update on Facebook asking for someone to call the medics. Almost immediately, his friends and family responded and just before Casaru passed out from pain, the ambulance arrived to take him to a hospital.

3. Helping Victims of Crime — While It Happens

Sometimes crime victims have found the net to be the best way to ask for help as well. In late 2011, a woman and her one-year-old were being held prisoner by her ex-husband. While she was unable to use the phone during the entire ordeal, she was able to post a plea for help on Facebook. A woman who had never met the abused mother saw the post and called the authorities, who found the victim and her child severely beaten, but alive, after four days of starvation and torture. Their tormentor was quickly arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, domestic violence, child abuse, forcible sodomy, animal cruelty and more.

Just this month, a South African carjacking victim who was locked in his trunk by the thieves was saved thanks to Twitter. While the police in the area are anything but reliable, the man knew he was at an advantage since he had his cell phone in the trunk with him. He texted his girlfriend, who then put the information out on Twitter, where it was picked up by a roadblock notification service with over 110,000 followers including a number of private security firms. Soon enough, the car was located and the man was saved before he suffered any serious physical abuse.

4. Helping Crime Victims After the Fact
Internet users have also come through to help crime victims recover after they have been victimized. For example, when a young girl had her 300-pound TARDIS replica stolen from her own front yard, Redditors donated enough money to get a new box built, complete with a chain and security camera to ensure it isn’t stolen again.

TARDIS fans aren’t the only ones feeling the love of the net. After the London riots last year, Aaron Biber, an 89-year-old barber, was sure he would have to shut down his shop since he couldn’t afford to replace everything that had been stolen or smashed in the ruckus. But his story touched the world and soon enough, a campaign to Keep Aaron Cutting spread across the net and raised $56,000 to help the barber get back on his feet. The donations were far more than Biber needed, so he, in turn, donated the rest to a local youth center.

Early this year, shocking photos were posted on Reddit showing an African man who had his face sliced open by a machete while trying to protect an orphanage from local thugs. The forum poster asked readers to chip in a total of $2,000 so the orphanage could afford a security wall. Within only 24 hours, the charity received 40 times that amount, $80,000. With all the extra cash, the orphanage was able to provide the children with bunk beds and start a fund to purchase the land where the facility is located so they will no longer have to rent the property.

Even when crimes haven’t been committed, Reddit has stepped in to help victims of cruelty that may not be illegal, but is certainly wrong. Perhaps one of the most heart-melting stories in this vein was that of Kathleen Edward. The seven-year-old and her family were viciously taunted by her next door neighbors after they discovered Kathleen had Huntington’s Disease. When the girl’s story was posted on Reddit, readers quickly started working to raise funds to give Kathleen a spending spree at a local toy store owned by a user of the site. Eventually, the girl received $19,000 worth of credit at the store, with any unused balance donated towards local children’s hospitals. As for her tormentors, 4chan went after them, posting all of their personal information on line and harassing the family until they formally apologized to Kathleen and her family.

5. Holding Animal Abusers Accountable
While 4chan might be known for their love of gruesome and sickening videos and photos, they certainly have a soft spot for innocent people and creatures being victimized. When someone posted a video on YouTube showing a boy beating up a house cat, members of 4chan tracked down the wrongdoer and reported him to the authorities, resulting in the cat, Dusty, quickly being removed from the home.

Similarly, the group was up in arms when a video came out showing a woman throwing a cat into a trash bin. The owners of the cat posted the video to the net to find out the woman’s identity. Soon enough, she was identified. People were so angry at her, she eventually went to the police, telling them she worried about her safety. Even so, she was eventually convicted under the Animal Welfare Act and had to pay $2200.

6. Catching Child Predators

While everyone may have a different opinion on Anonymous, pretty much everyone can agree that child porn is a bad thing. That’s why, although their other hacks were criticized, no one seemed to have a problem with the hacker group going after child pornography sites and their hosting services. At one point, the group even leaked stolen user info on over 1,100 pedophiles from one site and invited the FBI and Interpol to follow up on the info for leads.

Alt.Hackers.Malicious have also taken on child predators, even breaking into NAMBLA’s servers and disseminating membership information that led directly to the arrests and convictions of several criminals.

Of course, hackers aren’t the only ones fighting pedophiles around the globe. Perverted Justice is a group you are probably already familiar with, even if you’ve never heard the name. That’s because they’re the group responsible for all those Dateline pedophile stings. Unlike the hacker attacks on child pornography, members of Perverted Justice actually pose as children and talk to older men who are trying to solicit minors for sex. They then lure in the predator, helping law enforcement officers score an easy arrest while collecting ample evidence in the process.

7. Saving Weddings

Not all good deeds need to be so serious. Regular readers might recall the article I posted last month about the couple whose wedding was saved by Twitter donations after their wedding planner disappeared with their entire deposit. As it turns out, that’s not the only wedding that’s been saved by the internet. When one Redditor put up a post about how the owner of the mansion he had booked for his venue backed out of the deal only three weeks before the big day, other readers put out all kinds of suggestions. Eventually, he decided to host the wedding at a field at a nearby farm, as suggested by another Redditor, leaving the poster with enough savings to provide his guests with ample free booze, as well as two bouncy houses.
* * *
Of course, between online charities, Kickstarter, free education lessons, support groups and other great programs, the examples above are only a few of the many ways people online have shown themselves to be altruistic.

Read the full text here:

Black and white pictures capture the lives of Londoners in the 1800s

The Water Cart: ‘It costs me about twelve shillings a week for my living and the rest I must save, I have laid aside eight pounds this past twelve months’

Described by Adolphe Smith as an ‘old women reduced by vice and poverty to that degree of wretchedness which destroys even the energy to beg’

The Independent Bootblack: ‘The independent bootblack must always carry his box on his shoulders and only put it down when he has secured a customer’

Flying Dustmen: ‘They obtained their cognomen from their habit of flying from from one district to another. When in danger of collison with an inspector of nuisances, they adroitly change the scene of their labours’

Public Disinfectors: ‘They receive sixpence an hour for disinfecting houses and removing contaminated clothing and furniture, and these are such busy times that they often work twelve hours a day’

Strawberries, All Ripe! All Ripe! ‘Strawberries ain’t like marbles that stand chuckin’ about. They won¿t hardly bear to be looked at. When I’ve got to my last dozen baskets, they must be worked off for wot they will fetch’

Cheap Fish of St Giles: ‘Little Mic-Mac Gosling, as the boy with the pitcher is familiarly called, is seventeen years old, though he only reaches to the height of three feet ten inches’

Street Doctor: ‘Vendors of pills, potions and quack nostrums are not quite so numerous as they were in former days’

The Seller of Shellfish: ‘Me and my missus are here at this corner with the barrow in all weathers, ¿specially the missus, as I takes odd jobs beating carpets, cleaning windows, and working round the public houses with my goods’

Silent Highway: ‘The silent highway they navigate is no longer the main thoroughfare of London life and commerce, the smooth pavements of the streets have successfully competed with the placid current of the Thames’

The Street Locksmith: ‘There are several devoted to this business along the Whitechapel Rd, and each possesses a sufficient number of keys to open almost every lock in London’

Cast-Iron Billy: ‘Forty-three years on the road and more, and but for my rheumatics, I feel almost as hale and hearty as any man could wish’

William Hampton of the London Nomades, a group of travellers who were staying on vacant land in Battersea: ‘Why what do I want with education? Any chaps of my acquaintance that knows how to write and count proper ain’t much to be trusted into the bargain’

The Wall-Workers: A way of advertising cheaply by covering a wall in placards. ‘Business, sir! Don’t talk to us of business! It’s going clean away from us’

The London Boardmen: ‘If they walk on the pavement, the police indignantly throw them off into the gutter, where they become entangled in the wheels of carriages, and where cabs and omnibuses are ruthlessly driven against them’

A Convicts’ Home: ‘It is to be regretted that the accompanying photograph does not include one of the released prisoners, but the publication of their portraits might have interfered with their chances of getting employment’

Italian Street Musicans: ‘There is an element of romance about the swarthy Italian youth to which the English poor cannot aspire’

An Old Clothes Shop in St Giles: ‘As a rule, secondhand clothes shops are far from distinguished in their cleanliness, and are often the fruitful medium for the propagation of fever, smallpox &c’

Dealer in Fancy Ware: ‘It’s not so much the imitation jewels the women are after, it’s the class of jewels that make the imitation lady’

Survivors of Street Floods in Lambeth: ‘As for myself, I have never felt right since that awful night when, with my little girl, I sat above the water on my bed until the tide went down’

The Temperance Sweep: ‘To his newly acquired sobriety, monetary prosperity soon ensued and he is well known throughout the neighbourhood, where he advocates the cause of total abstinence’

Caney the Clown once delighted at the pantomime but ‘since his exertions to please at Stepney Fair caused the bursting of a varicose vein in his leg, the mending of chairs brings him constant employment’

Itinerant Photographer on Clapham Common: ‘Many have been tradesmen or owned studios in town but after misfortunes in business or reckless dissipations are reduced to their present more humble avocation’

Black and white pictures capture the lives of Londoners in the 1800s

Top 10 Essential DIY Skills That Aren’t as Hard as You Think

We feature a lot of do-it-yourself projects here at Lifehacker, but oftentimes they seem undoable because they require a skill you don’t have. Thankfully, there are quite a few DIY skills out there that are much easier to learn than you think. Here are our 10 favorites.

10. Coding

Instead of waiting around for someone to build the exact program you need, knowing how to code means you can make it yourself—so no matter what your computer needs, you can make it happen. To get started, check out our Night School lesson on learning to code. It’ll introduce you to the basics. While you won’t be writing the next Spotify within a few weeks, you could easily get started on making your own web site or putting together a Chrome extension. And, after tackling your first coding project and doing a bit more research, you can move onto something bigger.

9. Working with Electronics
A lot of the coolest DIY projects out there require working closely with electronics like an Arduino. If you’re trying to create a house of the future or just put together your own ambient lighting setup, you’ll need a basic knowledge of electronics and (probably) soldering. Luckily, there are simple how-to comic books for getting started with both, not to mention our own feature on making your own electronics with Arduino and someone else’s code. Not that you need someone else’s code since you read #10, right?

8. Sewing
Stereotypical gender roles aside, everyone should have a little sewing knowledge. Whether it’s just so you can sew a button back on or fix size issues in an otherwise perfect shirt, knowing how to thread a needle can come in handy pretty often. Best of all, it’s super easy to learn the basics—this illustrated guide is a good place to start.

7. Auto Maintenance

Car repairs are actually pretty easy to perform, and pretty hard to screw up. You’d be surprised by what you can pull off, and the kind of money you can save doing things for yourself. Check out our list of car repairs that anyone can do themselves, despite their abilities for more info. That way, when you see the check engine light, you’ll break out the tool chest rather than heading to your nearest dealership.

6. Home Repair
Everyone should be able to patch up a little bit of their house, whether it’s fixing a hole in the wall, filling a hole in the floor, or even just fixing a stripped screw hole. You should also know a few basic things about plumbing, like how to unclog a drain. None of these things are very difficult, but knowing how to do them saves you a call to a repair man (not to mention a bit of money) when something does go wrong. Photo by Sharon Pruitt.

5. Cooking
If you’re still eating cereal and ramen noodles 3 meals a day, it’s time to learn a few things about cooking. You don’t need to be Mario Batali to pull off something that tastes good. Check out our 10+ dishes and drinks everyone should know how to make at home, plus how to eat healthy when you hate cooking. And if you’re on a budget, don’t let that stop you—you can still enjoy great food without blowing a lot of money, too.

4. Photo Editing
So maybe you’ve got the basics of photography down, but you’ve always wanted to learn how to make those photos look even more awesome with software like Photoshop. We’ve taught you how to touch up photos with color correction, whiten teeth, remove blemishes, brighten an image, change a specific color, and more in our learn the basics of Photoshop Night School, so check that out to get a primer on everything you can do to edit a photo. If you don’t want to pay for Photoshop, though, it’s worth noting you can do all those things in the free, cross-platform GIMP as well. While you’re at it, check out our #photoshop tag to see all the Photoshop tips and tricks we’ve shared over the years.
3. Building a Computer from Scratch
If you’re still buying Dells, it’s time to take the leap into custom computer building. You’ll get a lot more out of your machine, being able to control what you put in and get the perfect machine for your needs—plus, if you’re lucky, even save a little money. Check out our night school on how to build a computer from the ground up to see how easy it really is, and if you’re having trouble picking out parts, we’ve created a few awesome builds that should help you start your search.

2. Jailbreaking/Rooting Your Phone
You’ve heard us talk about it constantly, whether we’re sharing the 10 best root-only Android apps or talking about how to remove manufacturer-installed junk like Carrier IQ. If you still haven’t rooted or jailbroken your phone out, it’s time to take the plunge, because it’s super easy. We have always up-to-date guides for both Android and the iPhone, plus a whole host of information on what to do after you’ve jailbroken or after you’ve rooted, too.

1. Emergency Preparedness

Top 10 Essential DIY Skills That Aren’t as Hard as You ThinkIt’s hard to argue that survival isn’t the most important thing on this list. If you don’t already have a 72 hour emergency kit and some basic survival skills, there’s no better time than now to learn. You never know when disaster might strike, and when it does, you may very well be left on your own, so knowing how to help yourself can make a big difference—even a strategically placed phone can be part of a good emergency plan. And, as always, none of this is actually very hard—it just requires a bit of forethought. So check out our top 10 emergency and survival tricks to stock up your knowledge now.

Got any easy, useful DIY skills we forgot to mention? Tell us about them in the comments.

Title photo by 3355m (Shutterstock).

Source: Top 10 Essential DIY Skills That Aren’t as Hard as You Think

Booze Legends: Debunking the Myths Every Drinker Believes

The world is rife with alcoholic lore. That’s lore regarding alcohol, not told by alcoholics. Well, there’s plenty of both. But what about all those rules we learned in college? Beer before liquor, never been sicker. More bubbles, more buzz. Different kinds of drinks get you different kinds of drunk. In vino, veritas. For all the legends, there is a shortage of scientific data to confirm or challenge the conventional wisdom… until now!

It’s Friday afternoon, you’ve made it through the long week, and it’s time for Happy Hour, Gizmodo’s weekly booze column. A cocktail shaker full of innovation, science, and alcohol. Have you heard the one about getting schnockered?

So here’s the deal. I planned to examine some of the more common booze myths and read all of the studies that had been done on those subjects, and then presto! Myth proven, or debunked. But guess what? There really haven’t been many controlled studies that addressed our questions. Why? Because controlled studies are expensive. Who would pay the tab—Jack Daniel’s? The best we could hope for would be a Kickstarter project funded by thousands of curious drinkers, and we couldn’t sit around and wait for that to happen. So we poured some drinks and picked up the phone.

Beer Before Liquor

The old saying goes, “Beer before liquor; you’ve never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.” This violates a rule I try to live by—never trust advice that rhymes—but it actually turns out that there is some evidence to support it. I spoke to Dr. Rueben Gonzales, a professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Texas, and he had some interesting things to say on the subject. The difference in alcohol concentration between beer (4 percent ABV) and hard liquor (40 percent ABV) is roughly ten-fold, give or take, depending on proof. Even in a mixed drink, you’re probably talking 10 to 20 percent ABV. So if you start out drinking beer at a certain rate, and then continue drinking a mixed drink at the same rate, it’s like driving slowly and then stepping on the gas. Your mouth may not know the difference in the alcohol concentration, but your body will. In contrast, if you start off drinking hard liquor, you’re likely to be drinking at a slower rate and feel drunk faster. Switching to beer and then drinking at the same rate will result in a decreased stream of alcohol by volume.

There actually is a controlled study that lends some more credence to this one, which Dr. Gonzales sent me. The study, called “Alcohol concentration and carbonation of drinks: The effect on blood alcohol levels,” was conducted in 2007 by the Universities of Manchester and Lancashire. The small, 21-subject test group reached some interesting conclusions. One finding was that diluted concentrations of alcohol will be absorbed faster than more potent blends. In other words, alcohol in a mixed drink enters the bloodstream faster than the equivalent amount of alcohol taken as a shot. From the study:

It is thought that in the absence of food in the stomach, small amounts of concentrated alcohol pass through the stomach at much the same rate as larger volumes of more dilute alcohol, allowing little time for gastric metabolism.

In other words, because it’s larger in mass and volume, the mixed drink spends more time in your digestive system, which is where it gets absorbed. Makes sense. So, if you’re filling your stomach up with beer and you’re then upping the alcohol concentration by adding hard liquor, you’re essentially making a mixed drink inside your stomach. It’ll sit there for longer, getting you more liquored up. On the other hand, if you start with hard liquor, the solution in your stomach begins with a higher concentration of alcohol, and it will pass through you more quickly. You’ll feel more drunk, and you’ll probably be less likely to drink as much beer afterwards. Just pace yourself, you maniac!

Carbonation Gets You Drunker

Some folks think that the bubbles found in sparkling beverages carry alcohol into your bloodstream faster. Bill Owens, of the American Distilling Institute, stands by that maxim. “You can drink a bottle of white wine with a friend and drive home a little while later (editors note: not recommended!), but champagne will knock you on your ass super quick,” he says. It turns out, he’s not the only authority that believes that.

According to according to the National Institute of Health site Medline Plus:

A carbonated (fizzy) alcoholic drink, such as champagne, will be absorbed faster than a non-carbonated drink.

Okay, but how? There are many theories and precious little consensus on the matter. Some believe that the CO2 gas carries the alcohol molecules into the blood stream more quickly, but that is almost certainly bunk. What’s more likely, according to the 2007 Manchester study, is that the gas causes some distention in your stomach (that’s why you feel bloated and burpy). That distention increases the rate of what the study calls “gastric emptying,” an effect that accelerates the alcohol’s movement from the stomach into the small intestine, where alcohol is consumed more rapidly. Thus, the booze enters the blood stream more quickly.

The study found that the testers sipping solution C, which is vodka plus carbonated water, illustrated by the red line, had a rapid, sharp spike in blood-alcohol content. Drinkers of solution B, a mix of vodka and flat water, show a less dramatic spike, as seen along the blue line on the graph (solution A was straight vodka). Because the results varied so wildly, the researchers were not willing to make any conclusions about the test as far as carbonation goes, but, hell, it looks like there may be something to it.

Different Drunks

You ever hear people say that “Gin makes me angry,” or “Rum makes me really mellow?” We all have. But is there any truth behind it? The experts I spoke to say no. “It’s the amount you drink. Period,” Bill Owens proclaimed. There are zero controlled studies published that test this, so from a pure science standpoint it is impossible to prove or debunk this. But I have some evidence of my own.

Sense memory is an incredibly powerful psychological phenomena, and it’s been well-proven that our senses of smell and taste are the most potent for evoking memories. I would therefore bet that the reason that whiskey makes me feel calm and relaxed is because I associate it with fishing with my dad. Gin doesn’t make me angry, it makes me want to party. This is probably because I first started drinking gin and tonics at dance parties in college, or maybe because because the notes of citrus remind me of playing soccer as a kid. In contrast, Southern Comfort makes me feel despondent, slow, and gross, probably because I had one of the worst nights of my life when I was 18 and I drank half a fifth of it.

There’s another possible culprit: congeners. Congeners are a byproduct of the fermentation and distillation process. These may include acetone, aldehydes, other forms of alcohol, and esters. They are, generally speaking, not good for you. But they are an essential part of the distillation process, because all spirits contain a small cut of these ingredients. The distillation run’s beginning and ending phases, known as the heads and tails, blend with the heart of the distillate to give the spirit its characteristic flavor. But different processes and ingredients result in different congeners. Different toxins affect people in different ways, and a distillate from, say, agave, affects physiology in a distinct way compared to fermented rye. We all have a unique response to different types of chemical stimulus.

Mixing Spirits

When I was in Scotland, many years ago, a barman told me that the original knock-out drug wasn’t a pill at all. You would pay an unscrupulous bartender to pour a little bit of vodka into your enemy’s whiskey every time he ordered one, and the combination of spirits resulted in a blackout experience in which the poor sap would divulge his secrets or be easier to rob. Dastardly! I relayed the tale to Dr. Gonzales, who said, “That doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t see how that could happen.” There was nothing else on the internet to support this story either. Damn. But we’ve all heard from one friend or another that mixing Booze A with Booze B will mess you up way worse than just drinking one or the other. And yet, I was unable to find any scientific evidence to suppor this at all.

So I decided to conduct my own study.

I kept track of my eating, sleeping, and exercise habits for a day, and then that night I drank 5 ounces of whiskey in five minutes. The next week I tried to match my eating, sleeping, and exercise, and then I drank a 5-ounce solution that was half whiskey and half vodka (it tasted much worse). On both occasions I took typing speed tests at regular intervals to check motor function, and did other more subjective tests, like walking around my apartment and just “seeing how I felt.”

It is, at best, imperfect science, but it’s better than any other study I could find. So, as far as I can tell, I am as of right now I am the world’s leading expert on this material.

Unfortunately, as you see from the results of the typing test, it didn’t prove anything, except that I’m a pretty good drunk-typist. However, after taking the final whiskey+vodka typing test, my drunk self offered this up:

I will now write the conclusion on this subject with my eyes closed and I refuse to edit it later.

Subjectively, unscientifically, I am almost certainly way drunking than I was last week with whiskey alone. When I stand up my motor skills are severely diminished. My typing skills are still pretty damn good all things considered, but that’s probably more a function of muscle memory than anything else. In retrospect I should have devised some sort of memory test. Anyway, while there is not yet any scientific, chemical evidence to support this, I am going to go ahead and sayit’s plausible (in Mythbuster parlaince) that mixing boozes gets you drunker than one straight booze alone. I can’t prove it, not et, but I feel like it’s proven, and for now, that’s good enough for me.

So… there’s that. I think it may be plausible for the reasons mentioned above in the different boozes/different drunks section. Different alcohols may have different psychological effects, and combining them (whether it’s due to sense memory or congeners interacting in an unpredictable way) may result in a more “confused” alcohol experience. That said, there is zero science to back that up, unless you count my personal experiment, which you probably shouldn’t.

In Vino Veritas

This may be the oldest booze-legend there is. Translated from Latin, it means, “In wine, truth” and it’s generally attributed to Pliny the Elder, who was born in 23 AD. It was believed that it was much harder to lie when drunk, essentially, and that the truth will come out.

Dr. Thomas Kimball, who is the associate managing director of Texas Tech’s Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery, told Forbes Magazine that alcohol certainly lowers people’s inhibitions, and that excessive drinking and/or drug use may increase the risk of violence and engaging in sexual activity that you otherwise wouldn’t.

Does that mean that we’re all violent sluts in our deepest heart of hearts? Dr. Kimball doesn’t think so.

I think it increases your risk to go against your own moral code. Is that your true self? No. I would say that’s your drunk self or high self.

Obviously, there’s very little science to back this one up, but I concur. I’ve seen wonderful people do horrible things when wasted. Does that mean that they’re actually horrible people and they just cover it with a wonderful exterior? No. Booze can make you do a lot of stupid things. Further, alcohol has been known to effect your entire brain, including the hippocampus, the part that’s heavily associated with memory (hence blackout episodes). One might posit that drinking causes you to just forget your true self. You can certainly become someone you want to forget.

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