Category Archives: psa

PSA: Don’t Spread Your Cold/Flu

I really love the TV show “Mythbusters”. The will tackle a commonly held belief from a scientific approach. Today we’re going to look at sneezing and the spread of your cold/flu.

First off, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that this year’s Flu outbreak is now an epidemic:

The common cold and the flu are typically spread by human contact. For many years, the CDC has said that one of the best things to do in order to combat the spread of the cold and the flu is to wash your hands.

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However, sometimes a sneeze sneaks up on us…so what then?

The Mythbusters covered the best way to sneeze. (sorry for the bootleg version of the show but it’s all I could find)

So stay safe, drink plenty of water, wash up, and sneeze/cough appropriately!

The 12-21-12 Mayan Hoax

You’ve probably heard that the world is going to end on Dec 21, 2012 (this Friday). Except that it won’t — at least not for the reasons of the Mayan calendar.

You see, the Maya are known for being very intelligent, incredibly accurate about predicting/maintaining time, and quite advanced in writing. Despite all this, they didn’t predict the end of the world.

NASA has gone on record with their reasons why this is all a hoax.

And would you believe that there are at least three myths commonly believed about the Maya?

Here’s how the Maya calendar works and why 12-21-12 became such an important day.

PSA: #captionTHIS

This post is cross-posted from my American Sign Language blog ‘ASL Journey’. However, I think this is important enough to raise awareness.

If you do not understand American Sign Language, please click on the ‘CC’ button on this YouTube video to understand.

One thing that I’ve been frustrated with is not just the lack of captioned videos out there, but the hurdles faced to add closed captions to uploaded YouTube Videos. For instance, YouTube’s Help Page for adding and editing captions can be found here. In it they say:

To add captions or subtitles to one of your videos, you’ll need to have transcript or caption files with the captions/subtitles in them. Please see this entry for detail.

If you visit their page to help create transcript files, you’ll soon realize that it’s not an exact science. In fact, the file that works best that you should create is what is called a Caption File. YouTube suggests you check out this help resource. Maybe one or two of these resources will prove to be more efficient in providing captions than the methods I’ve used in the past. No matter, the point here is that it’s kind of a pain to provide captions (though I’d argue the pain is worth the expanded potential audience).

But for heaven’s sake, please do not trust YouTube’s attempt to provide captions based on it’s audio recognition algorithm. If you need an example, watch any of Rhett & Link’s ‘Caption Fail’ video experiments! In these videos, they create a video and allow YouTube to create captions on the fly. They are always way off. So this dueo uploads a sketch, takes the YouTube ‘auto-captioned’ text as a script for Take 2, then do it all again. Here, I’ll show you…(and trust me, for this video example, turn your CC off)

Bottom Line: Auto-translation via audio input is very imperfect. Translation via text is fairly advanced, but to add a viable English-based caption file is currently cumbersome. I long for a day when uploading an ASL-based video is easily translated into written English easily.

Today is a good day…

Today is January 1. It’s a good day to…

  1. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and flashlights
  2. Change out/prepare your emergency kit
  3. Clear out all expired items (especially drugs and vitamins)
  4. Delete and unsubscribe to unwanted emails

Happy 2013!

PSA: BBQ is a Food

Since it’s almost summer, I felt the need to put this Public Service Announcement out again:

Barbaque (aka: BBQ, Bar-B-Q, Bar-B-Que) is a food (smoked pork butt), not a thing you do (if you’re cooking hot dogs, you’re grilling) despite what wikipedia says.

Here in Orlando, the best place for BBQ is Bubbalou’s Bodacious BBQ. You’ll know a good BBQ place in the south because they’ll use a happy or dancing pig in the logo.

Although I’m from South Carolina, I don’t like my sauce mustard-based. In each Southern State BBQ uses different sauces (unless you’re from Texas and you don’t eat the pig, you eat the cow)!

This video explains it better than I can.


YouTube – The BBQ Song

Make your own pulled pork the Alton Brown way:

Hulu – Pulled Pork from Alton Brown

Or join the Facebook Group Barbecue Is Something You Eat, Not Something You Do.

But please,if you use a grill you are grilling. If you’re eating smoked pork, now you may use the term barbaque.

Last Minute Christmas Gift

Kevin reminded me that I reminded him that a great last minute Christmas gift is an Amazon Gift Card.  The reason is because you can email or print and give the card to someone.  Of course it comes in all sizes and you can get just about anything at Amazon.

1) E-mail a personalized gift card for immediate delivery.
2) Print a personalized gift card on your own printer. (Remember to have your credit card handy when you’re ready to print).
3) Mail a personalized gift card (shipping is free, of course). Please allow 5-7 business days for delivery.
4) Order a Gift Card with your other purchases in your Amazon.com shopping cart.

You can also check out the Orangejack Mall for other great shops and online shopping resources.

Top 5 online tools to find a job

Many of my friends (including myself) are looking for jobs.  It’s a tough time out there and it’s never a bad idea to keep your resume updated anyway.

As for me, yes, we have an Internet consulting business and we’re always looking for new people to help with their Internet strategy.  However, I still look for stability in a full-time job.

Now take this for what it’s worth – I haven’t found a full-time job yet.  But I’m convinced these are the best tools to get there and it’s what I use.

1. Google Docs – Collaborate on your resume

I’ve had several people help me make edits to my resume and as you may know, it’s a pain to type up a document, email it, change it, send it back, etc.  Especially when a few are working on the document.  I’ve used Google Docs on mine and on others resumes because it’s a collaboration.  The thing to remember here is that you don’t worry much about formatting.  Just get the text down.

2. Emurse.com – Post your resume for download

I was very happy to find this free service a year or so ago. You get a web address with a clean version of your resume with some basic but effective formatting.  In fact it can be useful in helping you think in sections for your resume. What makes is a real winner is you can point people to the web address and they can download the most recent copy as a Word document and other optional formats.  I find it easy to type in an intro letter “my most recent resume can be downloaded from http://robwilliams.emurse.com

3. “Jobsearch” Folder on computer

Often when emailing or filling out online applications they ask you to upload your resume in .doc format.  The way I do it is make sure my resume on emurse.com is the most recent, then download it into a folder I keep called ‘jobsearch’.  Now I know I have the most recent ready to go.  I also keep a file in there with contact information for my references and a copy of a cover letter that I can adjust for each application.  When I take notes at my computer on an interview I file it in this folder.

4. LinkedIN – Network with others and enhance resume

Now that your resume is ready, open an account with LinkedIN and post it there.  You can enhance your profile with links, a photo, and short introduction.  Now you can connect with others you want to professionally network with.  You can also search for jobs posted there, ask and answer questions, and get people to post recommendations for you.  In the settings you can set up a better web address than what you get signing up.  For instance, mine is linkedin.com/in/orangejack.

5. Indeed.com – set up alerts for job searches

There are plenty of places to look for jobs online.  CareerBuilder and Monster are typically the most popular. However, I’ve found that indeed.com has been a bit better.  It searches for job listings across many (most?) job boards.  After you do a search, you can sign up to get daily email or RSS alerts for new jobs indeed finds.  They also have a nifty salary expectations search.

Now of course you’ll need to talk to people and network offline.  I’ve found most opportunities come along when you are out talking and meeting new people.  However, there’s no reason in this day and age to not be using at least these 5 tools.

Have you found any other online tools to be effective in a job hunt?

CR Associates: (877) 738-4814 / 8777384814

We got a call this morning from someone saying they are from CR Associates, phone number 877-738-4814.  They said a relative of ours put us down as a contact.  We didn’t know the person but said we’d check it out.

We also did some looking online about CR Associates.  Couldn’t find anything relevant.  So I searched for their phone number and found this listing for (877) 738-4814 / 8777384814.

Just what we expected.  A scam.  My wife called back and the person on the line was very rude, raised their voice, and didn’t want to tell us anything about them.

I called a little later and spoke to a guy asking what their company was about.  He wouldn’t answer my question and twisted my words, then hung up on me.  I called right back and he picked up.  He was mad, and told me I was ‘using the wrong bait to find what I’m looking for’.  Not even sure what that means, but it’s obvious they don’t want to have a conversation with me.  He hung up on me again.

So just so you know, if you get a phone call from CR Associates from the phone number 877-738-4814, just know it’s a scam.  Or at the very least, a company that doesn’t want to answer any questions about who they are or what they do.