Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The First Law of Social Networking

There’s an alarming trend racing around the Internet.

Actually, scrap that, this isn’t a trend. It’s been going on for a while and it needs to stop. It’s the fundamental flaw of social networks, human curiosity and gullibility, it is the Patient Zero of panic, hysteria and misinformation.

It is the breaching of the First Law of Social Networks.

Disclaimer: I’m not sure if there is an official set of laws regarding social networks, however, as far as Nate-Radio is concerned, this one needs more publicity.
The Law goes as follows:
Research before you Repost.

And it is a simple premise. It takes five minutes and it saves a lot of bad e-Chinese-whisper-like embarrassment. Here’s how you do it in five simple steps.
1.     Select the text of the article you are about to repost.
2.     Copy (Ctrl + C) the text.
3.     Open a new tab (Ctrl + T) and go to http://ww.google.com/
4.     Paste (Ctrl + V)
5.     Hit your Enter/Return button and browse the first page for the most legitimate looking site.

There are dozens of e-myth busting sites out there, snopes.com are reliable, it will take you literally ten seconds to find out if Ebola causes Zombies, Germans found definitive proof of the afterlife, You can lose fat by eating this one weird ingredient and every other outlandish idea that pops up in your feed. If you cannot find any subject hits for the main headline, try Googling the source of the article. Satire news-sites like The Onion and Viral Update make bank because people are unaware that every story they post is fake. A quick search of their website name will usually let you know if they’re legitimate news-sites or fakes.

Once you have confirmed your story is accurate (and only then) you are free to share, repost, retweet or do whatever it is your chosen network does to repost information. Up until then, don’t. Just don’t.

Please don’t.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Summer Satisfaction

A few summers back, I opened the door to my sister with a laundry basket loaded to the top with freshly picked lemons. Now that may sound pretty plain but make no mistake, these are not ordinary lemons but the most deliciously sweet lemons anyone could have the pleasure of tasting. So sweet, in fact, that if not for a slightly sour edge, you could almost mistake them for oranges.

They’re not oranges though, they’re lemons. Delicious, yellow, home grown lemons
We all know the saying “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, right? Well, why stop there? Why not say “If life gives you lemons, make the most amazingly refreshing summer drink ever?”. Because that is just what I did- it’s called Icy Lemintade.

And as summer is right around the corner and this is indeed refreshing, here’s how it works:

Icy Lemintade
You Will Need:
1 amazing lemon tree in season
1 garden mint plan, teeming with leaves
White/Caster sugar
Food processor/Blender

More Specifically You Will Need:
The fresh juice of two lemons
A handful of freshly harvested mint
1 tray of ice cubes
1/8 Cup of sugar (less or more depending on how sweet your tooth is)

How To Do It
1.     Mix lemon juice and sugar until sugar is fully dissolved.
2.     Throw lemon syrup, ice and mint into a food processor/blender
3.     Process/Blend to the consistency of a 7/11 slurpee
4.     Drink and enjoy! If feeling especially fancy progress to step 5
5.     Garnish with a lemon slice and extra mint leaves
6.     Drink and enjoy your fanciness.

And that’s all there is to it. You may need to experiment once or twice with sugar to find what works for you but I promise you that you wont find another drink with this much ‘refreshment potential’ without using some type of unstable radioactive isotope.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Money Well Spent

As a University student, I exist under the impression that my current lack of time and money is a necessary evil that will eventually benefit my life in a myriad of ways. Each semester, I complete four courses. Each course costs around $750. I will be doing this for a total of four years. Some easy math gets me to a grand total of $24,000. That's a lot of money, but well worth it when you consider the important and insightful things I am being taught by industry professionals.

For example, I recently spent thirty minutes creating this piece of artwork at the direction of a paid expert:


I think it's safe to say that he looks as confused as I feel...

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Every single thing you look at is a synergistic arrangement of smaller and smaller building blocks... 

Don't look too closely, you're living in a fractal. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Inverse Sleeping Law

The collective experience known as 'parenting' is a rewarding one, no doubt, however, recently I've been noticing something odd. It struck unexpectedly and, although I am relying purely on anecdotal evidence, I think I've figured out what's going on.

I've been tired lately.

Not your regular "my blood sugar is plummeting because I recently ingested a piece of chocolate that size of my fist" kind of tired, but the sort of 'weariness to the bone' you feel after a genuinely taxing experience. I've been walking between classes like a zombie, sitting in classes like a zombie, I literally almost fell asleep while riding my bike! However, that's normal, right? Anyone will tell you being a Dad means waving goodbye to quality sleep.

The weird thing is that quality sleep is exactly what I was getting.

You see, lately, baby has picked up a knack for occasionally sleeping through right through the night- and this past week did just that repeatedly. The weird thing is that these nights of completely uninterrupted sleep happened prior to the days when this crazy mind-numbing tiredness hit me. It's like my body had become perfectly calibrated to waking up once or twice a night, and when you take that away, it kills me.

I guess all I can hope for is that he keeps sleeping through long enough for my body to reprogram itself for regular-person-sleep...

...Which will never happen.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dolphin Up (App Review)

Back in the year 2008 when my life was free of responsibility, I used to stay up late playing a flash based game called Dolphin Olympics 2. Why 2, I’ll never know, I never could find the original Dolphin Olympics and its existence to this day remains one of the great mysteries of my life…

However, I digress… Dolphin Olympics 2 was a great little game with a simple concept: You controlled a dolphin and you had two minutes to get as many points as possible by performing tricks (flips, tail slides, rolls, etc) and combinations of tricks. After many pointless hours wasted, I discovered the best way to do this was to spend the first minute of the game building up as much speed as possible and then going high into the sky to string together combinations of tricks.

One of the coolest things about this game was jumping up into the sky to see how high you could get. The creators of the game had brilliantly put celestial bodies up in the sky and the faster you were going, the higher up you would go and the more planets, galaxies and restaurants you would see (yes, the restaurant at the end of the galaxy from a certain famous Hitchikers Guide is present in this game).

With such a cool feature, naturally the whole idea of ‘points’ becomes secondary to seeing how high you could get and what planets you could see, it was addictively awesome, I had a lot of fun and reinforced a working knowledge of the order of the planets (and plutonians, sorry Pluto) in our Solar System. Ignoring the concept of reality had never been such a blast.

Sadly, Dolphins cannot breathe in outer space.

However, eventually, responsibilites, obligations, and all those fun ‘adult’ things caught up with me and Dolphin Olympics 2 fell by the way side. Just another chapter in my browsing history.

Fast forward six years to the present day and would you believe my surprise when I saw my beloved Dolphin Olympics 2 rebranded as ‘Dolphin Up’ waiting patiently for my download in the iTunes App Store. It was like seeing an old friend at a restaurant. Of course it carried with it a rather hefty price tag ($2.99) but it was a price I was willing to pay for a slice of nostalgia. I downloaded it instantly. As a result, I present to you my official Nate-Radio App Review.

Dolphin Up: The Nate-Radio App Review

Game Play: 
Simple and intuitive. Pressing and holding the right side of the screen makes your Dolphin go clockwise, pressing and holding the left side makes your Dolphin go anti-clockwise. You no longer have to hold a 'forward' button like you did on the computer version so you can focus all your energy on pulling of ph4T tRiCkz. The background changes from day-time to sunset to nighttime depending on the time of day you're playing- which is a nice touch- and you can now select to play as either a dolphin or a killer whale. The dolphin is much cooler. Yeah, I said it Free Willy.

More or less the excited squeaks of a dolphin. I keep it turned off and listen to awesome songs.
4/5 (really depends on what you're listening to)

Well, I've completed every goal on the game, passed by the restaurant and currently have a high score in the top 100 overall in the world and I still want to keep playing. Also, I can quote my wife as saying "are you playing that stupid dolphin game again", which pretty much means I play it a lot.

Overall: 15/15
If you're after a simple and fun iOS game that makes up for its three dollar price tag by being ridiculously replayable than this game is entirely for you. However, it is quite addictive and in that regard makes Flappy Bird look like reading the Terms and Agreements of Microsoft Office. If you are prone to time-wastage and procrastination, this game may not be your friend.

But I love it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Procrastinators Guide to Getting Things Done

After taking a brief stroll down memory lane today, it occurred to me that I am fundamentally very similar to the person I was nearly four years ago. Of course I've gotten a lot better at juggling, changing nappies, referencing, doing chin ups, cooking healthy alternatives to awful food, inflating balloons, reverse parallel parking, making small talk and drawing the classic 'Batman' logo. Yet at the end of the day, I am still a procrastinator at heart.

That being said, over my multiple University degrees, I can proudly say I've never submitted an assignment past its due date. It may not be amazing, it may not even be good, but it's always in. Keeping that in mind, I feel at least slightly qualified to share some advice- or better yet, some strategies- that have helped me get to where I am today.

However, before I begin, I feel inclined to state a brief disclaimer that (regardless of this posts awesome title) this is not a comprehensive guide to fixing your poor study habits. It is simply- as previously stated- what worked for me. If you think it could work for you. That's fantastic. Try it out. Let me know how it goes! Best of luck to you! If not, at least you know what NOT to do. With that said, lets begin.

Nate's Assessment Completion Process can be broken down into four steps. The steps definitely go in order, don't try doing them out of order because it won't work and you may look foolish. The steps are as follows:

1. List
2. Make headings
3. Wait for Momentum
4. Finish with Friends

You can remember this with the handy acronym LMWF (pronounced: El-Um-Wiff) but you probably won't because that's an awful acronym. Anyway, lets break these steps down a little further.

1. List [exactly what you have to do]
You have an assessment, lets say for example an essay on Saving the Bees. It's due in a week so you have six and a half days before you have to start. Sound good? Well it's not! You should start today, but that's a lot of effort and you're very busy because new episodes of your favourite TV show have gone live. Also, all those funny memes on 9gag aren't going to browse themselves! So instead, glance over your task sheet, break down your task into doable tasks (such as do some research, set up a template, make a start- really basic stuff) then take a photo of your list and put it as your phone background. This first steps works well when you do it in advanced because it makes you feel guilty every 3.5 minutes (or every time you check your phone) and stops you from blissfully forgetting what you're supposed to be doing. That's done? Great! You've worked hard and can take a break for the rest of  the day.

2. Make headings [also known as: templating- or starting without starting]
There is five days to go and you feel awful about ignoring your list [see step 1] for 48hrs. However, you still don't feel like starting because if you did, you wouldn't be a true procrastinator and therefore would not be reading these words (or these words, or these words... etc). Instead, try a classic procrastinators tool and start without actually starting anything. This is simple. Open a word document and come up with the headings for your assignment. The key is to be simple, understandable and direct. In our Bee essay example, this could be as simple as six lines- 1. Introduce topic. 2. Provide some background. 3. Provide current facts. 4. Provide why bees need saving. 5. Give some practical advice on how this can be done. 6. Conclude. That is 30 words, literally less than a minute of typing that will make your task infinitely easier later on. Once that's done, you're done. You typed thirty words of original content today. Take a load off, you've done well.

3. Wait for [the moment] of Momentum.
This is the tricky step that is different for everyone. Some people may not get it until the final day, or hour, before the due date. Others may get it immediately after completing their headings. Either way, momentum is a mighty tool to have at your disposal- we all know that feeling of getting on a roll. Where you're in sync with your keyboard and the words just pour out. This is that momentum, how the more you type, the better it gets. Steps 1 & 2 are designed to make it as easy as possible for you to fall into the task undaunted and start picking up some momentum. However, to get started, you have to recognise that feeling of "I'm ready to sit down and do this". Once you get that, stop what you're doing and get going, because once you start down that snowy mountain, you're going to turn that snowball sized desire to get started into a [roughly] finished assessment.

Step 4: Finish with Friends [or classmates, if you don't particularly like them]
Once you've caught a momentum wave (and it may take two or three to finish your work) it's time to meet up with some people. If it's this late in the assessment period, then likely they have procrastinated their work too, which is fine, because now you can work in a group to not only see what you've all missed but also motivate each other to get those last sword jabs in to slay the beast. This step should always wait until last for a couple of reasons: A) If you try it early on with a group of procrastinators you will end up talking about everything BUT your assessment task, B) If you start out together your content will all follow the same vein and you won't be able to contribute as much at the end when you're looking for some outside the box additions and C) The task is much easier to finish this way. Trust me. It is. I promise.

And then, you're done. Proof read. Spell check. Formatting (remember, Times New Roman, 12pt font, double spaced) and KABLOOIE, you're done.

Until the next assessment, the one that's due next week... Or tomorrow...

/Cue suspense music.