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What Dorm Life is Really Life

October 25th, 2919

Moving from your parents’ home to a dorm in one of your campus’s residence halls is quite the transition. Along with the cramped quarters comes a new independence as you leave your hometown and start thriving on living on your own—well, sort of. After a while, you’ll probably start to really look forward to getting those care packages full of food and (hopefully) money from mom and dad. But living in the dorms is certainly a learning experience.

If you enjoyed having your own room back home, get used to the idea of sharing a space with a roommate. This roommate could be anything from cool and low-key to nerdy and antisocial to wild and crazy and you will have to learn to respect their property and get along reasonably well. And it’s not just your roommate that could take some getting used to—there’s also the whole idea of community living. In a residence hall, there are students constantly chatting in the halls and common areas. You might even be able to hear your neighbors though the walls. This might be cool if they’re spilling juicy gossip, but not so cool if they’re really immature and having a “loudest burp” contest.

Life in the dorms isn’t one big party either. There’s strict rules in place about no alcohol or drugs in the dorms and often there’s a set curfew when you have to stop being rowdy and quiet down at night for the benefit of the community. Resident assistants (RAs) are around to enforce dorm rules and report any funny business to campus police or residence life. RAs can be a really awesome people who help you figure out your new life on campus, or really annoying windbags on a constant power trip. Be prepared for either one.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get your own bathroom and shower in your dorm, but many residents must share a public bathroom on their floor, which can be awkward if you prefer privacy during your restroom and shower time. You might have trouble getting hot water every now and then during peak shower time. Some residence halls have a community kitchen attached to the common areas where you can do some cooking or use the microwave to heat up some Ramen. Common areas frequently have comfy couches, TVs, DVD players, ping-pong or pool tables and other fun amenities.

Many college students consider living in the dorms part of the full college experience. The dorms are where many meet their first friends, pull goofy pranks and start really feeling connected. While living in the dorms may take some adjustment, the experience is certainly worthwhile.

10 Essential Facts about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

June 27th, 2011

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating disease that affects millions of people around the world, but less than 20 percent of people know they have it. Those who suffer from CFS experience severe fatigue and pain that does not improve with rest. Although CFS is gaining more attention from physicians, health insurance companies, and the pharmaceutical industry, there still remains a great deal of mystery and misunderstanding about this complex disorder. Here are 10 essential facts about chronic fatigue syndrome:

  1. CFS is a real disease: Chronic fatigue syndrome is a real disease that affects an estimated one million Americans and millions of others worldwide. Contrary to popular belief, those who suffer from CFS aren't just tired; they also experience debilitating symptoms like muscle and joint pain, headaches, sleep complications, sore throat and memory problems. Many have doubted the legitimacy of CFS as a real disease because there is no definitive test for diagnosing a patient. Until a physical cause for CFS is found, it may continue to carry the stigma as a made up condition instead of the real illness that it is.
  2. The cause of CFS is unknown: CFS is one of the most mysterious chronic illnesses because the cause is still unknown. Even though researchers and doctors don't know the exact cause or causes of this complex disorder, they have proposed several possible factors. CFS has been linked to virus infections, as well as traumatic conditions, stress and toxins. Initially, CFS was thought to be caused exclusively by Epstein-Barr virus, but that is no longer the case. In addition to viruses and infectious agents, researchers also propose that CFS could also be caused by an immunologic dysfunction, physical or emotional stress or neurally mediated hypotension.
  3. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with CFS: CFS can occur in either sex, but women are diagnosed with the disorder at least four times as often as men. Even though more women are diagnosed with CFS, it's not necessarily more common in women. A possible explanation for this is that women may be more likely than men to see their doctor for their chronic symptoms and receive a diagnosis.
  4. There is no cure for CFS: Unfortunately, there is no cure for CFS as of right now; however, there are several remedies to effectively relieve your symptoms and help you feel more energized. Those suffering from CFS can find relief by making certain lifestyle changes, such as stopping the things that trigger tiredness and monitoring daily energy levels. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription medications to ease nagging symptoms. Alternative treatments like massage, yoga, acupuncture, stretching and chiropractic care have also been shown to improve the effects of CFS.
  5. Anyone can get CFS: CFS can happen to anyone regardless of your age, race, gender or socio-economic status. Although more women than men are diagnosed with CFS, both sexes are prone to developing CFS. Another misconception about CFS is that it only affects older adults, but the syndrome can actually happen to any age group, specifically people 15 to 20 years and people 33 to 45 years. However, it is rare for anyone under the age of 12 to develop CFS.
  6. The CFS prognosis varies greatly among patients: Much like the causes and treatments of CFS, little is understood about the prognosis of patients suffering from the disease. It is also unknown how many patients actually recover from CFS. Some patients completely recover and can return to work, and other activities within six months to a year. Others may take longer to overcome the disease and might struggle with symptoms periodically. In some cases, a patient's condition may grow progressively worse. CFS has a tendency to come and go in a cyclical course.
  7. CFS patients must manage their activity and exercise: Patients with CFS have to manage their activity and exercise levels so that they don't overexert themselves. Avoiding exercise altogether is not the answer because it can cause serious deconditioning and make symptoms worse. CFS patients are advised not to perform vigorous aerobic exercise because their bodies cannot tolerate the same exercise levels as other patients with chronic illnesses. For optimal results, CFS patients have to find a balance between activity and rest. By doing so, they can improve their sleep, mood and reduce pain.
  8. Patients must satisfy certain criterion to be diagnosed with CFS: After a physician has evaluated a patient's history of illness and eliminated other medical conditions, a CFS diagnosis can be determined by two sets of criteria. First, the patient must have severe chronic fatigue that has lasted for at least six months. Secondly, at least four of the following symptoms must be present: Multi-joint pain without swelling or redness, lymph node tenderness in neck or armpit, muscle aches, post-exertional malaise that lasts more than 24 hours, sore throat, impaired short-term memory or difficulty concentration or unrefreshing sleep.
  9. CFS is not contagious: It's important to note that although CFS may be caused by infectious agents, it is not known to be contagious. Research involving close human contacts does not show any evidence that CFS is spread person to person. Also, the features typical of contagious diseases do not match those of CFS. Most contagious diseases are affected by seasonal or regional occurrence, travel history, occupation, injection drug use, sexual behavior and exposure to animals.
  10. CFS sufferers may qualify for disability benefits: Those who are bedridden and severely impaired by their CFS may find financial relief through the Social Security Administration. In order to determine one's eligibility for disability benefits, the SSA will evaluate an individual's symptoms and the severity of their illness. The patient's medical history and records will be analyzed, along with their clinical and laboratory findings, mental status examinations and explanation of physical limitations, which are measured by standard physical or occupational therapy practices.

20 Best Android Apps for Your Job Search

February 28th, 2011

Even with Twitter, LinkedIn, e-mail, and numerous online job boards, you've got to get out in the field and pay house calls if you want to be competitive in your job search. That's why it's important to stock your Android with plenty of apps that will arm you with enough support to stay productive even when you're away from your computer. Here are 20 of the best to help you in your busy job search.

  1. Touch Calendar: Keep up with phone dates, deadlines, interviews and networking events with this easy-to-use calendar that displays all your appointments clearly, without forcing you to open new tabs or pages.
  2. PrinterShare Mobile Print: Print your resume on the fly if you have it uploaded onto your phone.
  3. CraigsApp: If you're looking for freelance jobs or positions in more creative industries, Craigslist is a competitive job site. Get new listings refreshed and sent to you every minute, 5, 10, 15 or 60 minutes.
  4. Evernote: Evernote is a handy task manager and reminder tool that's now available as an app for Android. Use it to jot down notes before or after an interview, store photos, record contact information, annotate notes, and more.
  5. Groupy: Manage your contacts by groups — like business contacts, industry, company contacts, and more.
  6. RepliGo Reader: View and annotate PDF documents — like your resume — as you think of new ideas, and then update it when you get home. Syncs with Gmail, Evernote and other apps.
  7. Job Interview Prep: Review flash cards with this app to master common interview questions. Offers up suggestions, too.
  8. RealTweets Job Networking: Twitter powers this app to help you network and find out about new job opportunities.
  9. Astrid: This popular app makes it super easy to add tasks and notes, and organize them according to your preferences. Reminders and alerts keep you on task.
  10. Compass: Use this app when you're running around different cities or neighborhoods on interviews, so that you don't get lost.
  11. ConnectIn: With this app, you can sync your LinkedIn contacts and status updates with your Android address book.
  12. Quick Contact: Use this app to quickly add contacts at chance meetings or networking events.
  13. Google Voice: This app syncs voicemail, transcripts and SMS so that you never miss an important message or call back.
  14. Job Interview Questions: Use this app to organize questions you want to ask during your interview.
  15. Resume Tips: This free app offers tips for making your resume error-free and eye-catching.
  16. Mobile Career Companion: Get constant inspiration from this app, which spews out career tips, motivational quotes and more.
  17. GOALS ToDo Full: Besides working as a to-do list, this app gives you space to organize goals by adding action items, "waiting for" notes and more.
  18. CB Jobs: CareerBuilder's app lets you apply for jobs from your Android, find jobs based on your location, and sync with your regular CareerBuilder account.
  19. Alarms: Use this app so that you won't sleep in on important interview days.
  20. Business Motivation Quotes: Get inspirational quotes about succeeding in business when you're feeling discouraged.

10 Common Scams Every Job Seeker Should Know

February 23rd, 2011

In a tough job market, it's easy to get desperate. But don't get so hard up that you forget to pay attention to what you're doing. If you're not careful, you could end up falling prey to one of these job search scams. Read on to learn about how these scams work, and how you can avoid them.

  1. Package forwarding: Jobs that advertise package handling or forwarding are often cons that can hurt in two ways. First, by taking your money, and then, possibly getting you into legal trouble. You'll receive packages typically containing stolen goods, send them out with your own money, and possibly receive a visit from the police about receiving stolen goods at your address.
  2. Identity theft: Jobs often get sensitive information from employees, and many ask for this information before you're even hired. But you should be careful about what you give out. Some scammers will check out your online resume to call as a prospective employer, then ask you for your Social Security number and other personal information that can be used to steal your identity. You should be careful to only share sensitive information once you're further along into the application process.
  3. Work at home scams: Although there are many legitimate ways to work at home, work at home opportunities are often scams. You may be asked to assemble crafts or stuff envelopes, but you'll have to buy a starter kit first, and end up not actually being able to sell anything. Others send you a list of companies looking for home workers, or potential clients that are outdated or wrong. Still others will have you duping others with the same ad that you fell for to get the "job."
  4. Email job offers: You probably won't remember applying for the job that's emailed to you, but they are very, very interested in hiring you. Of course, you'll need to send them your Social Security number and other personal information, which they'll use to steal your identity. Make sure that you're getting emails from a legitimate company that actually wants to hire you.
  5. Federal job scams: Information about job openings in the government or postal service is free and easily available, and applying for one is free, too. But scam artists often advertise to help job seekers find positions within the government, and they charge for this service. They may tell you that you have to pay for study materials that will help you pass the exam required to get the job. The truth is, there may not even be a job available in your area, and their materials may be worthless.
  6. Fake search sites: Bogus websites may look professional, but they're just trying to gather your personal information. In order to register as a job seeker and see job postings, you'll have to share sensitive information that will be used to steal your identity.
  7. Money processing: Money processing jobs are typically designed to turn you into a money mule. As a money mule, you'll transfer stolen money or merchandise. Of course, you won't be told that what you're moving is stolen. They're advertised as "payment processing," "local processing," or "money transfer agents," and they're all scams.
  8. Job search assistants and services: These scams offer help finding a job, especially in a tough market. They're not out to help you-they are just after your personal information.
  9. Legitimate employers that aren't: Scammers may post jobs on a website claiming to be a legitimate employer, using corporate identity theft. They're posting bogus jobs that aren't related to the employer, and they're using them to get you to share information they can use to steal your identity.
  10. Direct recruiters: "Direct recruiters" may call you up, offering to help you find a job. Don't give them your personal information-ask them for their name and business number, and then look online to find out if there are any scams affiliated with them.

10 Best SNL Skits about Office Life

February 15th, 2011

Not every career path inevitably leads workers to a traditional office setting, but that doesn't mean they're unfamiliar with many of the common tropes associated with it. So it comes as no surprise to anyone that iconic comedy institution Saturday Night Live has poked more than its fair share of skewers at some rather absurd elements of the corporate world. In no particular order, the following ten exist as some of the more humorous ones available on Hulu. Anyone who sees a favorite missing should take no offense, as there is only a set amount of videos with which to pull from.

And relax. There's no Rob Schneider here.

  1. "Celebrity Taxes: Mort Feingold": The musical interludes can get pretty irritating, but Andy Samberg's Mort Mort Feingold uses his mad accountancy skills on the most absurd and entitled of them all — famous folks. Seeing as how this is SNL and everything, expect some poking at different ethnic stereotypes.

  2. "Eternal Spark of Love: Office Romance": Hooking up with coworkers is never a good idea. Hooking up with coworkers who are just a wee bit too obsessed with their puppet collection is…well…just watch.

  3. "Potato Chip": A hopeful astronaut interviewing with NASA finds everything going predictably awry when he helps himself to a single potato chip sitting on the director's desk. For fans of visceral, gross-out humor, the ending will not disappoint.

  4. "Bill Brasky: Airport Bar": Salesmen who have to take their office on the road drunkenly converge in an airport bar to talk about the legend who walks among them. He sold one into slavery and impregnates his wife, accidentally marries a colleague, strangles a deer, and baptizes the blind son of another with scotch. But he's a helluva guy!

  5. "Scheduling Meeting": Office workers on all rungs of the corporate ladder can commiserate with this satirical take on making sure everyone's schedules line up. The excuses just keep piling up — and keep bringing the laughs. If nothing else, watch it just to see the amazing Alec Baldwin talk about his favorite glory hole without ever cracking a smile or letting loose a giggle.

  6. "Fart Face": Terrible nicknames that stick seem to be an unfortunate reality in many an office, and this meeting sees the "Fart Face" epithet taken to repetitive extremes. Things explode into childishness and chaos when the victim all of a sudden decides to fight back and show his tormenters exactly how it feels.

  7. "A-Holes: Pitch Meeting": Both office-themed and parodying Mad Men — complete with Jon Hamm and John Slattery! — this skit involves a couple of incredibly frustrating, self-centered boors crashing Sterling Cooper. Their challenge? Try to sell a hula-hoop with suspenders strapped to it.

  8. "Melissa": Not everyone is a celebrity hopping off to pitch meetings (thank God), but anyone forced to attend meetings at other offices still face the risk of running into space cadet secretaries. Not all of them are like this, of course. But if they were all normal, then SNL wouldn't have anything to parody.

  9. "Ordering Sushi Like a CEO": "A CEO type at a large business firm" gets fed up with the complete lack of pretense in those fond of edamame and California rolls. So he pays someone to write a book all about sushi bar etiquette and vocabulary. The actual Japanese people he encounters, of course, are less than amused by his presentation.

  10. "Nick Burns": Before The IT Crowd burst onto the scene as the quintessential comedy about dehumanizing tech support work and the impatience and snark it breeds in response, there was Jimmy Fallon's Nick Burns: Your Company's Computer Guy. He's flippant and surly to those he's paid to service, but anyone who's ever spent time in his line of work can easily understand why.

50 Best Self-help Blogs for the Unemployed

February 7th, 2011

Unemployment can feel like a helpless time in your life, but there's actually a lot you can do to help yourself and your career. In these blogs, you'll see how others deal with unemployment, find career advice, financial tips, and much more. Read on to find the most helpful blogs for those who are unemployed.

Unemployed Blogs

How are other people dealing with unemployment? Find out on these blogs.

  1. Awesome & Unemployed: On this blog, you'll find out how to be awesome and unemployed at the same time.
  2. Jobless and Less: Jobless and Less is a blog for the employmentally challenged.
  3. Days of Dejection: Roselle is looking for a position in marketing and communications.
  4. The 405 Club: Find unemployment support in this network and blog.
  5. Jobless in Jersey: Jobless in Jersey shares dispatches from the land of the unemployed.
  6. The Layoff List: The Layoff List shares posts about unemployment, as well as economic and political news.
  7. my quarter-life crisis: Tomika Anderson just quit her job, and is struggling with the job market.
  8. A Master of Nothing Employable: In this blog, you'll read about a recent graduate looking for a job that will pay.
  9. How to Battle Unemployment Depression: Stay out of depression while unemployed with the help of this blog.
  10. The Unemployment Cafe: Read the Unemployment Cafe to find news, opinion, and more on subjects related to unemployment.
  11. Ursula Unemployed: Ursula has graduated, but not into the world of employment.
  12. Unemployment Statistics: Unemployment Statistics has nuggets of knowledge, statistics, and advice about unemployment.
  13. Life Without a Job: Life Without a Job shares the trials and joys of not working.
  14. Survive Unemployment: You'll find advice for making it through unemployment on his blog.
  15. Help for the Unemployed: Find resources, advice, and more on this blog.

Career Blogs

Check out these blogs to kick your career back into gear.

  1. Evil HR Lady: Suzanne Lucas helps you understand HR from the other side.
  2. Lindsey Pollak: Lindsey shares career advice for Generation Y.
  3. Brazen Careerist: On Penelope Trunk's blog, you will read about advice at the intersection of work and life.
  4. Career Goddess: Susan Guarneri shares the power of career assessments.
  5. Career Copilot: The Career Copilot has career advice, including resumes, phone interviews, and more.
  6. CareerDiva: Eve Tahmincioglu writes about careers for moms and more.
  7. The Careers Blog: Guardian Careers has advice for writing your resume, completing applications, and recruiting.
  8. JibberJobber: Read this blog to learn about career management 2.0.
  9. Monster: Monster will help you find your calling.
  10. Careerealism: Careerealism reminds us that every job is temporary.

Job Search Blogs

Find advice for job searching and more on these blogs.

  1. EmploymentDigest: EmploymentDigest has career advice, job search, and personal branding tools.
  2. Secrets of the Job Hunt: Check out this blog to find job hunting secrets.
  3. RiseSmart: RiseSmart has great advice for job seekers.
  4. The Job Seeker Blog: The Job Seeker Blog is a place where your career matters.
  5. Applicant: Read Applicant for job search tips and advice.
  6. TheJobBored: TheJobBored blogs about getting things done, getting ahead, and getting through the day.
  7. QuintCareers: QuintCareers offers a helpful career and job hunting blog with news, trends, and scoops.
  8. Newton's Quick Job Search Blog: Newton's offers blogs, websites, and other resources for job searchers.
  9. Avid Careerist: Avid Careerist has effective job search tools and strategies.
  10. Job Hits: The Job Hits blog has the latest news and updates about recruitment and employment.
  11. Adventures of the Job Search Ninja: Todd Bavol offers tips for being a job search ninja.

Finance Blogs

Read these personal finance blogs for advice on your new financial situation.

  1. My Open Wallet: Read Madame X's blog about making, saving, and budgeting money.
  2. 20 Something Finance: 20 Something Finance will help you build a foundation for financial success.
  3. $5 Dinners: When money is tight, turn to this blog for frugal dinners.
  4. WiseBread: WiseBread offers advice for living large on a small budget.
  5. The Simple Dollar: Read The Simple Dollar to find financial talk for the rest of us.
  6. Common Sense With Money: Find free stuff, coupons, online deals, and more on this blog.
  7. Money Ning: Money Ning shares insights on saving, investing, using coupons, and more.
  8. Bargaineering: The Bargaineering blog offers financial anecdotes, advice, and commentary.
  9. MintLife: MintLife will help you know your money and live your life.
  10. The Consumerist: Be a good consumer by reading The Consumerist.
  11. Coupon Cravings: Coupon Cravings shares the best coupons, freebies, and shopping.
  12. Survival Insight: Survival Insight has financial solutions for any situation.
  13. I Will Teach You to be Rich: Find great ideas for earning more money, buying smarter, starting a business, and more on I Will Teach you to be Rich.
  14. Get Rich Slowly: Get Rich Slowly discusses personal finance that makes "cents."

The 25 Most Difficult Jobs in the World

February 6th, 2011

Not everyone loves their job. Some hate the hours, their commute, their coworkers, or simply the fact they have to leave their home. But given the choice between the jobs listed below and their own, we're betting that most people would choose the one they've got. In no particular order, we've highlighted 25 of the most dirty, difficult, and hazardous jobs that some people do every day.

  1. Coal Mining: One of the most dangerous careers in the world, coal mining is a dirty job. Underground mines are cold, noisy, dark, and damp, sometimes with water on the mine floor. Breathing in coal dust can lead to a lung disorder called "black lung," and on top of all that, accidents can occur, where miners are subject to explosions or getting trapped underground.
  2. US President: It's not hard to understand why the President of the United States has one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Aside from a constantly hectic schedule, the President is responsible for making wise decisions about war, peace, politics, and the fate of not just the United States, but often, other nations and even the world.
  3. Alaskan Crab Fishing: Alaskan crab fishers have the most dangerous job in the world. The commercial fishing industry is difficult in general, but Alaska crab fishers have a particularly deadly and dirty profession. Hauling nets and cages that weigh several hundred pounds is one thing. Doing it in freezing rain, while on icy decks in unsteady water is completely insane. But Alaskan crab fishers do it, and some live to tell the tale.
  4. Mercenaries: You can certainly make good money as a mercenary, and often, it's a great job for convicted felons, but this job is not an easy one. This is a position that is extremely hazardous, and typically takes you to some of the most dangerous places in the world, interacting and often fighting with some of the most dangerous people in the world. Typically, it requires lots of time away from home, uncomfortable conditions, and the constant threat of death.
  5. Freelancing: Freelancers don't have it easy. They deal with feast/famine inconsistencies, being distracted at home, not being able to call in sick, and on top of that, they still have to figure out how to balance work and social life.
  6. Calcutta Sewer Cleaner: Not every sewer worker has it this bad, but Calcutta sewer cleaners have it pretty raunchy. Not only are they required to clean human waste, they put their lives at risk doing so. With no safety gear and exposure to sewage waste without protective gear, these cleaners are exposed to gases and chemicals. And human waste.
  7. UN Negotiator: Want to know what it's like to never be able to make everyone happy? Be a UN Negotiator. These UN workers get involved in conflicts and wars that can't be resolved by other parties. Their job is to find compromises among all sides. That's right, they have to fix what previously could not be fixed.
  8. Logging: Logging is not as bad as it used to be, but that doesn't mean it's easy by any means. This is a dangerous and labor intensive job, with all of their time spent outdoors, even in bad weather and remote areas that require a very long commute. The work itself is strenuous, and hazards include falling branches, trees, slippery ground, moving machinery, snakes, and extreme cold.
  9. Prison Warden: If you think your work is stressful, just think for a moment about the life of a prison warden. This person is responsible for managing an entire prison, and works with convicted criminals day in and day out. It's a demanding job suitable only for those with nerves of steel.
  10. Mountain Rescue: Did you know that most mountain rescue workers perform their service on a volunteer basis? That's right, mountain rescuers brave the cold, altitude, and the danger of death for others, for free.
  11. Public School Teacher: Teachers are unsung heroes. Although unlike other difficult jobs we've listed, you are not likely to lose your life to your teaching job, you might lose your sanity. Disrespectful students, endless assignments, taking work home, and school politics are among the top complaints from teachers. But at the same time, teachers often report that it's the most rewarding job they've ever had.
  12. Ironworker: Ironworkers suffer an above-average nonfatal injury rate, and must use extensive safety equipment to prevent accidents. Most work outside year round, carrying heavy materials in extremely cold or extremely hot weather. And on top of that, this work is typically completed at a significant height, such as on different levels of skyscrapers.
  13. Portapotty Cleaner: Many people hesitate to even step foot in a portapotty, much less clean one up. These cleaners start out by vacuuming all of the waste out of the receptacle. We could end there, but then, they get to work on stray toilet paper and other items, and wash down soiled surfaces with a high pressure hose.
  14. Mortician: Death is a difficult subject to face, even on an occasional basis. But morticians look death in the face every day. They complete the grisly job of preparing the deceased for burial or cremation, which involves cleaning, embalming, grooming, and dressing them. Additionally, morticians work long, irregular hours, providing support to grieving families even into the evenings and weekends.
  15. Models: At first glance, one might think that models have it easy, living a life of glitz, glamour, and luxury, all while looking beautiful. But the reality is that most work long, odd hours under intense pressure, and get paid peanuts for doing so. Most models take on other jobs to make ends meet, typically as waitstaff.
  16. Ice Road Trucking: You may already be familiar with this job from the TV series Ice Road Truckers, in which truckers carry extra heavy loads of mining equipment over ice roads, which are otherwise known as lakes. These roads are seasonal, and due to the lack of transportation in northern Canada, typically the only way supplies get to the mining operations they serve. Ice road truckers are paid handsomely for their work, but they complete their job knowing that at any moment, ice roads can collapse, and drivers may experience life threatening weather conditions.
  17. Roadkill Remover: This job was featured as one of the pilots on Dirty Jobs, so you should know it's pretty heinous. It doesn't require a lot of explanation-the task is pretty obvious. Roadkill removers spend their days picking up and disposing of the battered remains of everything from family pets to unfortunate wildlife.
  18. Guard at Buckingham Palace: Imagine being a living tourist attraction, then imagine having to stand still for hours on end with no bathroom breaks, while being ridiculed and poked fun at, and you might have an idea of what it's like to be a guard at Buckingham Palace. But guards are proud to protect the Queen, even at the expense of a little pride.
  19. Animal Cruelty Investigator: Animal lovers are typically the best people for the job when it comes to investigating animal cruelty, but loving animals is what makes this job so difficult. As an investigator, it's your duty to get to the bottom of terrible animal situations, including abuse, death, animals that can't be saved, and brutal people.
  20. Crime Scene Cleaners: We all know that crime scenes are not pretty, but crime scene cleaners have an intimate knowledge of that fact. They clean up after meth labs, dead bodies, suicide scenes, and even hoarders' houses. In addition to proper handling of biohazardous materials, crime scene cleaners are exposed to difficult situations that require a strong stomach and well-checked emotions.
  21. Oil Drilling: Offshore oil rigs bring in the resources we need to fuel our modern lives, and those that work on these rigs face a difficult job. Workers stay on rigs for weeks or months at a time, with long hours in remote locations. On top of that, offshore rigs often have extreme weather and dangerous hazards.
  22. Hot-Zone Superintendent: Your job may be stressful, but chances are, your stress is nothing compared to those who work in labs that contain lethal airborne pathogens with no known cure. Superintendents perform maintenance work for these labs, and although the work is not dirty, it is certainly hazardous.
  23. Porn Theater Janitor: Porn theaters are, no doubt, pretty seedy places. Regular theater janitors might wonder if the substance they're scrubbing away at is gross or not, but porn theater janitors don't have to wonder.
  24. Child Protective Investigator: Like animal cruelty investigators, those in child protective services may be placed in situations where it's hard to face the reality of what you're seeing. In addition to being a part of difficult scenes involving children, investigators also have to deal with belligerent parents, red tape, and more.
  25. BP Media Officer: Who doesn't hate BP after the Gulf Coast oil spill? Although the leak was repaired months ago, this worker still has an extremely difficult PR repair job to do.

Tricks on How to Improve your Memory

February 4th, 2011

For some online students, reading a textbook from cover to cover is useless—the material just doesn't stick. If you happen to be this type, it could be that you are just not utilizing all of the proper retention tricks and techniques. To learn how to improve your studying and memorization skills continue reading.

Before any of the tricks are revealed, it's highly important that you understand that "cramming" for a test is not the way to go. Holding off reviewing vital studying materials until the day before the test will not only guarantee increased levels of stress and anxiety, but it will also be harder for you to retain information. So don't wait until the last minute to start studying. Tests are scheduled so far and in between because professors expect you to use all that extra time to study. So each day do your assignments and review your notes to prevent yourself from getting into an unfortunate predicament come test time. The following memorization techniques will boost your normal studying habits, but will not perform miracles if you wait to study until the night before.

With that said, the first (and probably the most recognized memorization technique) is using mnemonic devices. A mnemonic device is taking specific studying material and transforming it into a song, rhyme, or joke in order to help you remember. By far the most famous example is "In Fourteen-hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." What makes this technique really special is that you will be studying overtime—you in a sense "study" trying to formulate the material into a creative outlet and then memorizing the poem or song, for example, is studying as well. Another option, if being too creative seems challenging, is to associate the material with something personal or meaningful to you, like a memory for example. Researchers have proven that this substantially increases memorization and test scores.

Another way to increase retention is to use visual aids such as charts and graphs. If these types of aids are present in your textbook pay very close attention to them; if they are not, then make your own. Sometimes our minds are better at remembering images and colors than they are words. On a similar note, when reviewing notes or reading sections in a textbook, it's probably best to highlight important information using highlighters and multi-colored pens.

Lastly, and probably one of the easier techniques, is to grab a study buddy. In a traditional sense a study buddy quizzes you to check for comprehension of the material. But a more effective way will be to "re-teach" your study buddy the information in your own words. Explaining it to someone else (or hearing someone else explain it to you that is not your professor) will help you understand and keep that vital information stored in your brain.

Top 50 Finance Blogs for Families

February 3rd, 2011

It's hard enough managing finances for one, but throw in a spouse and some kids, and money matters can get pretty complicated. With the economy slumping and the job market slow, many families are looking for ways to make every dollar go further. One place to find advice and a little inspiration for your financial journey is through the writings of financial professionals and families just like you. Here are some great blogs that can help you get started on the path to financial security and a brighter future for the whole family.

Family-Friendly Finance

There blogs offer up tons of ideas and some powerful inspiration to help you get a handle on your family's money.

  1. The Family CEO: This blog is the perfect starting point for learning more about saving, conquering debt and getting your family finances in order.
  2. Get Rich Slowly: Becoming financially secure shouldn't be a race. This blog will teach you how to do it the slow, steady and smart way.
  3. Bargaineering: Check out this site for financial advice on just about everything, from student loans to checking accounts.
  4. The Simple Dollar: This blog breaks down sometimes complicated financial issues into something anyone can understand and put into practice.
  5. PFBlog: Follow along as this blogger shares their financial journey, saving up for retirement and securing their future.
  6. Savvy Saver: Get advice on living within your means, saving more and spending less on this blog.
  7. The Military Wallet: While this site focuses on financial advice for military families, anyone looking for some guidance in financial matters will find it useful.
  8. MintLife Blog: Even if you don't use Mint to mind your finances, you'll still find a great collection of helpful articles on the blog.
  9. Not Made of Money: Visit this blog for a number of savvy tips to help you live a debt-free life.
  10. Everything Finance: This blog will teach you the basics of finances, from finding the best credit cards to tracking what you're spending.
  11. FiveCentNickel: Find discussions of all kinds of financial matters here that can help your family get ahead financially.


Having trouble spending less? These blogs will help motivate you to create a budget and stick to it.

  1. 365 Days on a Budget: Pay a daily visit to this blog written by a finance professor for expert insights on living with a budget.
  2. You Need a Budget: Think you don't? This budgeting blog may show you otherwise.
  3. Wise Bread: Learn how to stretch every dollar and live within a set budget here.
  4. Family Budgets Blog: This blog is full of great insights to budgeting for families, with posts on everything from expanding your family to saving on gas.
  5. Jane4girls $800 Annual Budget: This blog will teach you that sometimes less really can be more when it comes to living well.
  6. Trees Full of Money: Learn why having more money in your wallet, though saving more and spending less– and sticking to a budget, can make for a better, happier life on this blog.

Debt Reduction

Whether it's debt from medical bills, school loans or on your home, many families face mountains of debt. Take a look at these blogs for advice on tackling and moving past that debt.

  1. We're In Debt: If you're in debt you can commiserate and learn from this blog all about battling debt.
  2. No Credit Needed: This blog will teach you how to live without making use of credit cards.
  3. Blogging Away Debt: This blogger shares the battle to pay off almost $40,000 worth of debt.
  4. Our Debt Blog: Follow along as this couple, hoping to start a family, try to pay off their existing credit card debt.
  5. Man vs. Debt: This dad shows that paying off debt can be done if you put your mind to it.
  6. Debt Free Adventure: Get tips on everything from taxes to investing and, of course, debt reduction, on this blog.
  7. Taking Charge: Take control of your use of credit and loans with some guidance from the bloggers on this site.

Frugal Living

Families looking to save money should give these frugal blogs a read.

  1. Being Find all the frugal advice and guidance you'll need on every aspect of frugality here.
  2. Mighty Bargain Hunter: Saving, spending and making money are the topics of discussion on this frugal blog.
  3. Deal Seeking Mom: Need to save more on purchases for your family? You'll find great leads that will help you do so here.
  4. $5 Dinners: Help your family eat well on a budget with recipes from this blog.
  5. Diary of a Frugal Family: This family will inspire you to live more frugally as well, as they attempt to cut back and still enjoy life.
  6. Keeping the Kingdom First: This religious mom shares how she manages to make it all work and keeps her finances in order on this site.

Just for Parents

If you've got kids, these blogs may be able to help you cut down on expenses and better manage your finances.

  1. Baby Cheapskate: This blog will direct you to the best deals on baby goods to be found.
  2. Frugal Dad: This dad shares ways that he saves money and lives the frugal life, even with kids, here.
  3. For the Mommas: Moms of all ages will appreciate this blog for its links to budget-friendly bargains on the web.
  4. The Motherload: You'll find posts on just about everything related to parenting here, from great recipes to stuff you can get for free.
  5. Working Parents and Finances: Check out this blog for tips on saving money and managing life while working and taking care of kids.
  6. Penny Pinching Parent: Here you'll find great posts to help you save big while enjoying life with your kids.
  7. The Centsible Life: Get advice on family, finances and budgeting from this stay at home mom.

Saving, Investing and Future Planning

When you have a family to think about, you can't just plan for today. These blogs will help you learn how to save, invest and prepare for a lifetime of financial security.

  1. FreeMoneyFinance: On this blog, you'll find all kinds of advice that will help you grow your net worth.
  2. Saving to Invest: Visit this site for tips on saving money and investing– even in today's unsure economy.
  3. Oblivious Investor: Don't know a thing about investing? This blog is perfect for you.
  4. Ken's Saving for College Blog: If you're planning to pay for college for your kids, learn more about how to do it right here.
  5. My First Home Blog: Looking to buy your first home? This blog will show you the ins and outs.
  6. From finding good deals to teaching your kids about the value of money, you'll find everything savings-related here.
  7. DINKS Finance: If you're a family that isn't planning on having kids, this blog is for you, full of advice for couples who are dual income with no kids.

Smart Shopping

Learn where and how to find the best bargains with the best quality from these blogs.

  1. Consumerist: Learn what products to avoid and which may be the best for consumers on this blog.
  2. Bargain Briana: This blog will direct you to some seriously cool bargains any parent will appreciate.
  3. Hey It's Free: Like free stuff? Who doesn't? This blog is full of leads to places that are offering all kinds of freebies.
  4. Coupons and Freebies Mom: This mom shares the deals she finds for discounted and free items here.
  5. Krazy Coupon Lady: You won't have to search for coupons again if you follow this blog for some great discounts.
  6. Northern Cheapskate: You don't have to live up north to take advantage of this amazing deals offered through this blog.

Washing Clothes for Beginners

February 2nd, 2011

The fact that you are enrolled in an online school is great—you are working towards expanding your knowledge. And while your program may teach you about quantum physics or biochemistry, it won't teach you how to wash your clothes. Yes, sometimes something as simple as doing a load of laundry can confuse even the smartest of the bunch. But in reality it's really a no-brainer. If you want to learn how to do laundry, continue reading below.

The first thing you want to do is make sure that you have the proper supplies. You'll need a laundry basket or hamper to carry your clothes in, some liquid or powderlaundry detergent, dryer sheets and a sack of quarters if you do not own your own washer and dryer. The next thing you want to do is separate your colors from your whites. Many don't see the big deal of mixing the two colors in one wash, but the darker colors can run and stain your whites. So unless you want to turn all your socks pink, separate the colors when you can. Then you want to choose a water temperature. Though water temperatures vary, as a general rule darker-colored clothes should be washed in cold water and whites in warm.

Next, select the washing-cycle you want. The heavy cycle is for clothes that you know are exceptionally dirty. Light is usually for your delicates. Place your clothes in the washer and pull the washing dial up towards you. Water should start pouring out. Once the machine is filled and the water has stopped running, pour the proper amount of laundry detergent and close the washing machine lid. The amount of soap will vary upon the size of your load, but as a general rule, the larger loads require you to fill the cap (for liquid soaps) or the measuring cup (for powder soaps) to the number two level lines. Be careful not to put too much soap however, you don't want it to overflow with soap suds.

After the load is finished, transfer your wet clothes into the dryer and place a fabric softener dryer sheet in it as well—it'll make your clothes a little softer and give them an additional scented smell. Make sure you clean the lint remover as well, it'll make your clothes dry faster. Next select a heat level. If you are drying heavy materials such as jeans, generally high heat is recommended. Press start and wait until all of your clothes are dry. Once they are dry, it's important to hang your clothes or fold them nicely right away so that your clothes don't get wrinkles.