Thursday, March 22, 2012

Never Tell a Women these 10 Things

10 Things to You Should Never, Ever Say to a Woman

There are few guarantees in life, but this much we can say with certainty: The sun rises in the east, death comes to us all and you will, at one time or another, suddenly find yourself in the midst of a blazing fight with your girlfriend without even realizing it.


Many of us have been there. One minute you’re having a conversation, maybe a minor argument, but that’s OK, it’s all under control. Then you say something -- a word or passing comment, something relatively harmless, or so you think -- and it sets her off. As soon as it leaves your lips, the air changes and there’s no easy way back.


There are some things men should never say to their women -- conversational land mines that appear insignificant on the face of it, but are anything but. The good news is that we know, for the most part, what they are. Many men have suffered before you. It would be wise to heed their counsel.


1. “Are you really going to eat all that?”


Your girlfriend is, by definition, as light as a feather and nimble as a dancer. To so much as whisper a hint of the notion that she might be, you know, otherwise, is to risk paying a price as heavy as you suspect her to be. In fact, avoid the topic of food altogether if you can. Eating is an emotional, often obsessive business for women, and occasionally an actual disorder. It’s tied up with their identity, their self-image, their fantasies… So the answer is, yes, she's really going to eat all that. All that dancing must have given her an appetite.


2. “B*tch”


The B word is like the N word: Unless you’ve been appropriately oppressed, you don’t get to use it. You might be able to pull off an ironic Snoop Dogg-style “beeeyatch,” so long as you’re smiling as you say it. But to say “b*tch” with any kind of intent is to pull the pin out of a grenade.


3. “My ex used to…”


Anything you say with the words “my ex” in it will be held against you in a court of law, as well it should. Of course it’s natural to compare your girlfriends, but keep it to yourself. There are inside thoughts and outside thoughts. This belongs firmly to the former category.


4. “You always do that.”


One sure way to escalate a minor tiff into a nuclear showdown is to use words like “never” and “always”. They’re too sweeping to be true, so you’ll not only upset her, you’ll give her the opportunity to prove you wrong and seize the higher ground. And it tends to drag every other argument you’ve had into your present one, which is like rehashing all the worst parts of your relationship all at once.


5. “You sound just like your mother.”


Don’t compare her to her mother. Or her sister, for that matter. You don’t know those people like she does, and you don’t know the full complexity of their relationships. And anyway, everyone wants an independent identity, separate and distinct from their family members.


6. “Yeah, she’s hot.”


Chances are she lured you in with an innocent question, like, “Do you think she’s cute?”, shrugging her shoulders like it wouldn't matter either way. But don’t be fooled. You must lie quickly and reflexively. Whether it’s a girl in a magazine, a Facebook friend, a waitress -- whoever -- the answer is always no. In fact, you win extra points for casually finding fault in her the closer you look. Watch your girlfriend light up as you say, “Is it me, or is her nose a bit weird?”


7. “What’s up with your hair?”


Her hair looks great and it suits her perfectly. She’s allowed to have a bad hair day, but you’re not allowed to notice. For girls, hair isn’t just hair.


8. “Relax.”


The thing about “relax” is it dramatically reduces the chances of her relaxing. The same goes for “chill” and “calm down.” Here’s an alternative: “I can see how you would feel that way.” It takes a Zen master to actually use it in the heat of combat, but it's there if you need it.





9. “Is this your time of the month?”


Even if it is, you’re not to mention it. Your role is to pretend that her menstrual cycle has no effect on her tendency to shriek and stamp and then burst into tears for no reason whatsoever. In this matter, you must occupy the high ground and show pity -- indulge her delusion that she is not in fact deranged by hormones and that she’s making a valid point. The moment will pass.


10. “I love you.”


I know what you’re thinking. This is supposed to be the magic pill, the cure-all, the instant fix. But the thing about the L word is that it sends women into a heightened sense of awareness. As soon as they hear it, they can tell whether you mean it or not. Misuse the force and it may destroy you. Or as the saying goes, if you play with fire, you might get slapped in the middle of a restaurant.



Content provided by our Content Partner: Men's Life Today

How to be a Bollywood Actor

How to Get into Bollywood     So you haven’t been born a Kapoor, Khan or Sippy, but you still want to get into Bollywood? If you're determined of being in the movie you're watching, don’t give up on your cinematic dreams. While there’s no guaranteed method for making it big in Bollywood, talent, persistence, connections, and a very thick skin usually pay off.


“Have patience and believe in yourself. If you are talented and true to your work, you will get that big break,” says actor Rajat Barmecha, who made his Bollywood debut with the 2010 sleeper hit Udaan. He joins a panel of outsiders-turned-Bollywood successes who share their advice about getting your name rolling in the credits - whether it’s as an actor, director, choreographer, dancer, or in any one of those critical behind-the-scenes jobs.


Ignore the naysayers. When 22-year-old Rajat Barmecha signed on for Udaan, he had only a few modelling assignments under his belt. He had no filmi background, no ‘godfather’ in the industry, no training, no manager, and his first audition for the role was not a success. While everybody agrees there’s no formula to get into Bollywood, you would think it would be hard to do without at least one of the above. But Barmecha did, and is now a successful and critically acclaimed actor.



Others have blazed their own trails as well. Vishal Bhardwaj composed music before he became a Bollywood director with Makdee; Kunal Kohli was a film critic pre-Mujhse Dosti Karoge, and Madhur Bhandarkar worked in a video library… and that’s just a small range of the jobs people did before becoming directors.


Learn from auditions and meet the right people. It’s easy learning even if you haven’t got your big breakthrough as an actor. “There is no shortcut to success, but do as many auditions as you can - they were my biggest learning process,” Barmecha says.


Barmecha also believes that acting or other film schools aren't necessarily the right way to get into the business, but it's much more important to network and make the right connections. Beyond that, his advice is to work hard, stay focused, not get jealous of others’ success, and to stay grounded.


Training is good… Film school is obviously not a requirement to becoming a director, but it’s the one recommendation director Prakash Jha makes. “Get some formal training,” he says, suggesting institutes such as Film and Television Institute of India or Whistling Woods. The training doesn’t have to be in directing. Any film-related field – editing, cinematography, critiquing – that gives you an introduction and some practical instruction will do.


But experience is better. Training on the job is what will actually teach you the nitty-gritty of being a director. To become the man calling the shots, the most valuable learning role is that of an assistant director. It’s the job that forms the basis of most of Bollywood’s current crop of successful directors - because it gave them hands-on experience in the craft.


Explore the options. Being an actor or director might be the big Bollywood aspiration, but a movie requires any number of crew members – editors, storywriters, lyricists, cinematographers, set designers, costume designers, sound recorder - jobs with a higher rate of success in breaching Bollywood’s barriers.


One of the most desirable jobs in Indian movies is, obviously, dance and choreography. To get a break as a dancer, choreographer Ganesh Hegde advises circulating a demo of your work. Put together a demo tape with different sequences that showcase the breadth of your talent. If you want to be a choreographer, first assist a good Bollywood choreographer. “It’s the only way to understand camera angles and stage sets,” says Hegde.


Perfect your craft and be open to everything. To get a break as a dancer, Hegde says you should send around a demo tape to bag an audition. Once you are picked to be part of a troupe, you will spend at least three months training learning that choreographer’s style. “Being a dancer is simple,” says Hegde. “Stay updated with all the different forms of dancing – right now it’s western – be the best at your job, stay disciplined about weight, look, grooming, and you’ll come to the front row.”


Perfecting your skills is crucial, because you have to be good at what you do. “Bollywood is a lot of hard work,” says set designer Sugandha Leekha, who bagged her first job in set design over a conversation with friends. “It’s not glamorous, it’s crazy. To be part of it you have to be really passionate about what you do. You can’t have set notions about what you will do and what is beneath you - you have to be open to anything and everything.”

Photo: Getty Images


Content provided by our content Partner: Men's Life Today

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Latest Tech Gadgets...Straight from the Movie Screen

By Joe Neumaier for our Content Partner: Style + Tech for Men

New Gadgets Straight From the Big Screen
True story: I once thought I could order a portable hovercraft from the back of a Marvel comic for $10.

This was in the mid-1970s, when I was 8, and such things seemed within the realm of possibility. I remember the issue (“Spider-Man Meets Daredevil”), the black-and-white ad (right under the equally respectable one for X-ray Specs) and the fact that the hovercraft looked about the size of a bathtub.

I also recall my mother’s exasperation when I pleaded with her to order it for me. “If they were really selling a hovercraft that could fly,” she said, “do you think you could get it from a comic book for $10?”

Since I haven’t seen many hovercrafts on the open highway, I guess mom was right … and I’ve even begun to suspect that the X-ray specs were a scam, too.

Comic books may not have carried me into my future fantasies, but movies and TV have more than followed through on their pop-culture promise. In fact, from wireless communicators to personal satellite tracking, the super-tech stuff we saw on the big and small screens are now largely a part of our everyday lives.

Here’s a run-down of just a few that have gone from outrageous to obvious, and from “No way!” to everyday.

Big Screen Gadget: 007’s Aston Martin Db5 Dashboard Map, Goldfinger (1964)

Any list of movie gizmos has to include the spy-daddy of them all. For simple “it-was-wild-then, we-got-it-now” nostalgia, the car-tracking system included in 007’s Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger is still the one that seems most on the money. The tracking device that Bond uses to follow the baddie around the Swiss Alps is shown as a dashboard map -- much like the one you used to get to your girlfriend’s parents’ house for the first time. You decide which is scarier.

Real Gadget:
GPS Systems



Today’s GPS systems offer text-or-speech guidance, 3-D mapping perspectives and multi-destination routing. These days, a digital dame with all the answers in your dashboard is pretty much a standard option. No word yet on when we’ll get our licenses to kill.

Available at TheGpsStore.com
Big Screen Gadget: The Autonomous Reconnaissance Intelligence Integration Analyst (ARIA), Eagle Eye (2008)


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tasked with world-wide surveillance in the eye-in-the-sky government thriller, this super-computer tracked Shia LaBeouf’s every move. Remember? Well, start watching your back.

Real Gadget: Phone Tracker Spy Gadget App



Now you can be tracked the same way by suspicious bosses, ex-girlfriends or the folks at NetFlix who want their copy of Showgirls back. Just enter any phone number and the app scans the globe to pinpoint that phone’s location, complete with graphics that zero in on the target on a mini map. Sadly, you won’t hear the ’60s hit “Secret Agent Man” as you use it -- music isn’t part of the package, despite the app being available on iTunes. But hey, for a 99-cent download, you can just hum it.

Available at Dealnay.com

Big Screen Gadget: Videophone, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)


Hey Captain Obvious! Forget about Star Trek laying down the matrix for cell phones -- we’re locking our pop-culture tractor beam on the stylish videophones that provided crucial plot points in 1982’s prescient Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.


Real Gadget:
Skype Online Services and iPhone’s FaceTime


Get Star Trek-worthy service with Skype (sadly without the Shatner shtick and shag carpeting) or the soon-to-materialize FaceTime video calling feature, which will be available for the fourth-generation of the iPhone. This could be an upgrade from the jumpy two-second delay that Skype can’t seem to shake. Catch up with us for a little face time when you join the 21st Century.

Available on Skype.com and Apple.com/iPhone

Big Screen Gadget: Wristwatch Videophone, Dick Tracy (1990)
In Warren Beatty’s comic-book flick Dick Tracy, the Depression-era private eye faced down Clayface, Flattop and a frighteningly eyebrow-less Madonna using an unthinkable assortment of crime-fighting gadgets. Among the most famous -- and least believable to 1930s comic-book fans -- was his wristwatch videophone.
Real Gadget: Touch-screen Cell Phone Wristwatch




Hold it right there, Johnny Luddite! The Touch-screen Cell Phone Wristwatch is now armed and dangerous! As Tracy would say, here’s the keen low-down: The whole shebang’s a jacked-up timepiece that lets you make calls and even watch movies on a 1.3-inch screen with 176 x 128 pixel resolution. It also features MP3 files and a built-in speakerphone, so you don’t have to hold your wrist up to your mouth. Higher-end models have a camera, a Flash interface and quad-band network capabilities. Prices fall anywhere between $75 for a basic model and $300 to $800 for a higher-end model.
LightInTheBox.com

Big Screen Gadget: Mini Rocket-launching Pen, Never Say Never Again (1983); Sodium Pentothal-fueled Ballpoint, Stormbreaker (2006)
Then:

Every big-screen secret agent from Bond to Bourne has made his mark in spy-flick history with some variation on the multipurpose pen. The pen has often been mightier than the sword -- and a lot easier to fit into your pocket.

Real Gadget: Spy Pen

The already-on-the-market Spy Pen -- priced at $100 -- offers up to three hours of video-recording time via a pinhole camera that’s located near the back of the pen. You can also store 32 hours of footage on 8 GB of memory. You can then download it all to your computer via a USB cable and instantly watch videos of your housekeeper stealing thirty winks thanks to the 1.3 megapixel camera with a 1280 x 960 resolution. And, yes, you can use it to write. Here’s a piece of advice before you decide that this device can solve all your problems: Crossword puzzles are still best done in pencil.

DynaSpy.com

Big Screen Gadget:
Manual Telephone-voice Changer, Hopscotch (1980)
In the Reagan-era comedy gem, Walter Matthau plays a retired-but-disgruntled CIA agent -- which is really the most dangerous kind -- who calls his ex-cohorts and nearly strangles himself trying to disguise his voice to sound like Eleanor Roosevelt’s. Today, such risks are completely unnecessary: We have sophisticated equipment to make us sound like dead presidents’ wives. Want to try it yourself?

Real Gadget: TVC-2 Voice Changer and Software

Powered by three AA batteries, it lets you alter your voice eight different ways at the press of a button. (Think of the possibilities: Man! Woman! Child! Eleanor Roosevelt!) Software is also available for your PC, which can throw in background noises if you prefer. If it wasn’t for that damn phone-tracking device we loved a few paragraphs ago, we’d be making Bart Simpson-style prank calls right now!

Recorder: $60 at DefenseProducts101.com
Free software at ScreamingBee.com

Joe Neumaier Joe Neumaier is the film critic and film editor at the New York Daily News. He’s written about movies and entertainment for The New York Times, Entertainment
Weekly, USA TODAY, the London Observer and Fortune.


The Must See TV/ Video Shows on the Internet

By Julie Taylor for our content partner: Style + Tech for men

Must-see TV … on the InternetFrom edgy reality shows such as “Married on MySpace” to next-generation comedies like “Fred and Smosh,” the Internet seems to be offering something for everyone … except, thankfully, the audience of “The View.” So if you’re not ready to sit through another Kardashian spinoff on the tube, log on and check out these gems on your desktop.
“Food Mob!” With Chef Niall Harbison


This weekly interactive cooking show is made for “Iron Chef” wannabes who are looking to conquer the kitchen. Viewers are encouraged to share photos of their own culinary creations on Flickr, which chef Niall Harbison displays to the online community on his iPad. He also gives regular shout-outs to his Twitter followers (@FoodMobTV) and Facebook fans. The show encourages its viewers to share their own cooking tips and suggestions. We learned it makes us hungry!

Although Harbison once served as the youngest head chef of a fine-dining restaurant in Ireland, you won’t pick up the high art of preparing a premium Lobster Thermador on “Food Mob!” However, you will learn how to whip up comfort foods like The Perfect Burger, Deep-Fried Mars Bars, Mac & Cheese and Shepherd’s Pie. The show also serves up “Food Mob Bites,” a daily series of one-to-five-minute cooking tips -- great for learning how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew, or how to dice onions without bawling like Charlie Sheen’s publicist.

“Dorm Life”



This mockumentary series, which follows the zany, fictional hijinks of students in a college dorm, is like an on-campus version of “The Office.” But don’t worry: As with most college shows or movies -- or real life for that matter -- tedious academics never seem to be on the scriptwriters’ syllabus. In addition to the main episodes -- which are five to 15 minutes long -- there are webcam clips and profiles offered by each character on the website's community lounge, where cast members interact with viewers. Just try getting that comfy with a Kardashian! A Webby Award winner and Hulu's most-watched Web show, the first two seasons of “Dorm Life” are available online and on DVD.

“Fast Lane Daily” and “FL Detours”



If you’re a car freak, it’s time to park yourself in front of your laptop. “Fast Lane Daily” races the latest auto industry news to car nuts. It offers test-drive videos, latest release updates, under-the-hood analysis and pricing information -- all in under five minutes. If you’re really driven by auto-programming, then check out FLD’s spinoff shows. “FL Detours” is a two-and-a-half minute weekly car review where on-camera hosts take viewers along for a spin to experience the driving dynamics of automakers’ latest models. 

The host of “Garage419,” Matt Farah, interviews key auto industry ļ¬gures, travels to top auto industry events and test-drives groovy rods. Finally, there’s “VOD Red,” which pushes cars to their absolute limits, sometimes wrecking them -- not unlike what your ex-girlfriend did to you!

“The Wing Girls: Dating Advice for Guys”



Sexy dating superheroes Jet and Star offer guys an insider’s perspective on the world of women. In funny episodes that run between five and 10 minutes, the ladies tell you what women want you to know -- but never seem to tell you about. You’ll get the inside scoop on episodes like “How to Kiss,” “How to Manage a Friends-With-Benefits Arrangement” and “How to Ditch a Dame.” The two tell-it-like-it-is hotties boast having “doctorates in men” and claim to clue you in on what makes you hot -- or not -- to the opposite sex. Sounds like a worthwhile academic program to us. 

“Scam School” With Brian Brushwood



If you fail out of the aforementioned chick school, you might consider transferring to this worthwhile online institution. Award-winning magician Brian Brushwood offers viewers a real education in the form of 15-minute episodes covering everything you need to know about bar tricks, street cons and scams. Archives include “Scam Hot Ladies at the Bar,” “The Brain Drain Telepathy Trick,” and “Dime in Bottle Scam.” Sounds like the same syllabus our Uncle in Attica followed.
“App Judgment”



With hundreds of apps to choose from on your iPhone, Android, iPad or whatever other device you use, a guy needs a cyber Sherpa to download all the options. The “App Judgment” team helps viewers separate the wheat from the chaff with mobile app reviews and previews. Episodes include “Flipboard: Personalized Social Magazine for the iPad,” “Comic Books on your iPhone or iPad” and “Getting Things Done on the iPad with Taska.” New five- to 10-minute episodes are posted Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“$99 Music Videos”



Like watching music videos? Well you ain’t gonna find many on MTV. They’re too busy documenting the destruction of civilization with shows like “The Jersey Shore” and “The Hills.” If you enjoy discovering new artists, then crank up your computer and catch “$99 Music Videos” -- an Internet series that debuts a new low-budget music video every week from independent bands and local filmmakers. Check out breakout artists Care Bears on Fire in an animated video performing “Barbie Eat a Sandwich,” the Wisconsin-based Laarks performing “All the Words You Can’t Say,” and “Strange Machines” by Redding Hunter of Peter and the Wolf. See, video stars aren’t dead -- they just went digital.

 Julie Taylor is a New York-based public relations professional that specializes in TV, entertainment, magazine publishing and general media. She has written about pop culture for RepMan Blog and her work has appeared in online literary magazines WordSmitten and Insolent Rudder.

Friday, June 03, 2011

How smart are your Car's tech gadgets?

By Tom Ripley for our content partner: Driving Today
Rear-view TV cameras, multi-zone heating and air conditioning, parking sensors, electronic stability control systems, theater-like audio -- today's vehicles are absolutely stuffed with technical wizardry.  The new features will allow cars to perform feats that were virtually unimagined a decade ago.  There is a downside, though.  The multiplicity of vehicle systems can't communicate and interact among themselves very well.  Instead, like kids at a grade school sock hop, they seem to stick to their own little groups and not worry about others much.
 
Not only is this inefficient; it is also ineffective. Even though today's cars have more computing and sensing power than ever before, they are not nearly as smart and, more to the point, as easy to operate as they could be.  

While auto manufacturers are already introducing intelligent application solutions to individual issues like sound or safety on a piecemeal basis, this incremental addition of features and functions is probably not the most effective approach, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.  Instead, looking at cars as robots might be a better way to build automobiles in the future.
Driving Today

"Automakers interested in developing smarter cars can learn a great deal from the US military's efforts to accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles," said Neena Buck, vice president of the emerging frontiers program at the research firm.
As with many mature, consumer-oriented products that have a long history of development, today's cars suffer from feature overload, often at the expense of the driver's understanding and reaction time, Strategy Analytics says. 

With more and more computing devices on board cars, product planning and marketing groups within car companies are providing the usual checklist approach of features and functions within each category of car in order to compete with their rivals.  But this ad hoc approach to features can result in cars laden with unused and/or unusable features. 

Some of the luxury vehicles from European manufacturers are so dense with features that it is doubtful most owners even try to use them all, much less use them on a day-to-day basis.  In fact, some automakers are finding that adding features actually injures their customer satisfaction scores.

Part of the problem is that a knowledge gap exists between vehicle manufacturers, who are accustomed to feature-by-feature comparisons and incremental additions to cars, and developers of autonomous vehicles who have had to re-think the design of a vehicle from the ground up. A new Strategy Analytics report discusses how automotive OEMs and suppliers can leverage work done in autonomous robotics systems to create smarter vehicles that can recognize their occupants, understand driver and passenger needs, continuously anticipate obstacles and problems, and inform or assist the driver to take appropriate action.

"More and more, competition within the automotive industry is going to be based on intellectual property and software built into vehicles, in addition to the physical design and visual appeal of the actual car," said Ian Riches, director, Automotive Electronics Service. "Vehicles with built in self-awareness, as well as ongoing situational awareness, are going to become increasingly commonplace, as high-end offerings in today's passenger cars migrate to all vehicles across the board."

Driving Today Contributing Editor Tom Ripley writes about automobiles and the human (not to mention robotic) condition.  He lives in Villeperce, France.

Voice Control Technology and Driving Safety -- How does it go hand in hand?

By Luigi Fraschini for our content partner: Driving Today
Voice control can reduce driving distractions and promote driving safety.

How do we know?

A new Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) study shows that drivers can minimize visual distractions by using voice-controlled vehicle systems like Ford SYNC instead of operating hand-held cell phones and tuning music systems manually. The study by VTTI was released in Detroit at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress during a panel discussion titled “Human Factors in Driving and Automotive Telematics.”

In the new Ford-commissioned study, 21 drivers, ages 19 to 51, who were familiar with SYNC drove a Mercury Mariner while initiating a call, selecting music tracks and having phone conversations using the hands-free, voice-controlled system. For the purpose of comparison, the participants also completed the same tasks manually using their own mobile phones and portable music players in the same vehicle. The study concluded that drivers were able to dial and complete other tasks more quickly and with less eyes-off-road time when using voice-activated SYNC system.
Driving Today
At the same time, drivers manually operating phones and digital music players steered more erratically and looked away from the roadway for longer periods of time.

“This study suggests that keeping drivers’ eyes on the road as much as possible is important for maintaining safe vehicle control, which is in line with recent naturalistic driving research,” said Shane McLaughlin, research scientist, Center for Automotive Safety Research, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

When study participants initiated a call, hand-held operation required more than two and a half times as many glances away from the road and more than four times longer in total eyes-off-road time than when drivers used the voice-activated system. For MP3 player song selection, hand-held operation required more than six times as many task-related glances than SYNC and took more than 10 times longer in total eyes-off-road time.

VTTI’s new study is consistent with the groundbreaking 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, completed in 2005 for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The study followed 109 drivers for one year and tracked more than 42,300 hours of driving data collected with over 2 million miles driven. It concluded that manually dialing a hand-held device while driving -- a task that requires looking away from the road -- was almost 2.8 times riskier than normal driving. The study also showed that talking and listening on a phone while driving has a similar risk to normal driving.

Google