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ZODIAC

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  1. Starvation mode—you may have heard of this phrase if you have ever tried to diet and stopped losing weight after some time. You hit a plateau and it stays there seemingly forever. Your coach or your gym trainer will say things like your metabolism has shut down, you are into starvation mode, you have a broken or damaged metabolism, and so on. But does 'starvation mode' actually exist? Does your metabolism ever get broken? Let's find out. The Minnesota Starvation Study Let us look at the most infamous (as per the ethical standards) study known as the 'Minnesota Starvation Experiment' and its findings. It was a study conducted by Dr. Ancel Keys and his colleagues in 1945. The study was conducted on 32 men where they were semi-starved at a mind-boggling 55% caloric deficit for a rash 24 weeks. To add a bit of context to the harshness of the deficit here, I usually put my clients on a 10 to 25% caloric deficit based on their goals and lifestyle. © YouTube In the study, the average maintenance calories of the group were around 3400 kcals and to induce a 55% deficit, their intake was dropped to 1500 kcals for five and a half months straight. At the end of the study, the researches found that NONE of the subjects entered the so-called 'starvation mode' and stopped losing weight. Instead, on an average, they dropped around 24.5% of their body weight and continued losing so in the caloric deficit. For example, a 100-kilo guy would weigh around 75 kilos by the end of this study. © YouTube Most of these men dropped to an average of 5% body fat during this experiment. As you can see in the image above, how some of the subjects ended up looking towards the end of the study. One thing that did happen in the study was that the metabolic rate of these individuals slowed down by 40% on average during the course. This does happen when you diet and something known as 'adaptive thermogenesis' kicks in as a defense mechanism. Of this 40% drop, 25% was associated with the drop in body weight alone. Meaning, the lesser body tissue you have, the lesser calories it will burn. The other 15% was due to adaptive thermogenesis. © YouTube Irrespective of the drop, the subjects got to 5% body fat and the 15% drop in metabolic rate was the highest drop at those lean levels. And yes, the thing to note here is that the 15% drop was not sufficient enough to stop them from losing body fat. The main takeaway from this study would be that there is nothing known as a metabolic shutdown or broken metabolism or starvation mode in reality and if you are struggling to lose weight, this definitely is not the reason for it. The answer to “does your metabolism shut down” in a single word would be a resounding NO. This study, though a very severe and a harsh one, does answer a lot of questions and without a doubt, no ethics board would sanction such a study in today's world. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
  2. Admit it, niceness is boring! Perhaps that's why all the badass protagonists have a dark side which almost put them in the category of villains. The only difference is, they 'almost' don't cross the line. That's what makes them an Anti-Hero. They have a charm which gets them out of everything even after doing bad things and the audience cheers for them, despite their raw actions. Following are such anti-heroes who've won our hearts: 1. Raylan Givens – 'Justified' “I've shot people I like more for less.” © Sony Pictures Television The man isn't afraid of killing. Even when there's absolutely no need for it! At times, it becomes hard to believe if he's a U.S. Marshal or a criminal. Yet his cowboy hat and the cheeky smile would make you root for him. 2. Jack Bauer – '24' "I have killed two people since midnight, I haven't slept in over 24 hours. So maybe, maybe you should be a little more afraid of me than you are right now." © 20th Century Fox Jack Bauer, the most lethal weapon of the U.S., is as bad as an anti-hero can be. The man is never afraid of getting his hands dirty when it comes to saving his country. 3. Dexter Morgan – 'Dexter' “You can't play on my feelings. I don't have any.” © CBS Television Distribution It's a delight to watch serial killers in a well-scripted TV show. It becomes even better when the serial killer himself is the law. Working in the Miami police department, Dexter Morgan finds time to hunt down the people who got away from the law. 4. Hank Moody – 'Californication' “A morning of awkwardness is far better than a night of loneliness” © Showtime Networks The guy knows how to drink, do drugs, get women, and write! He's a fu**** up guy who somehow lands in fu**** up situations. He has done things a normal husband or father wouldn't do and yet, he manages to get our sympathy in his situations. 5. Damon Salvatore – 'The Vampire Diaries' “I do believe in killing the messenger. You know why? Because it sends a message.” © Warner Bros. TV Distribution The hero who only believes in consequences and not the actions. He kills people for fun, tries to steal his brother's girlfriend, drinks whisky for breakfast and always gets in the way of trouble. Yet, he's the most adored character of the TV series. Such is his charm! 6. Don Draper – 'Mad Men' “What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylon.” © Lionsgate Television A narcissistic asshole who drinks like a fish, smokes like a chimney and cheats on his wife. Yet, you just can't hate the guy. 7. Walter White – 'Breaking Bad' “I am the one who knocks.” © Sony Pictures Television No matter what he does, this chemistry teacher somehow manages to gain sympathy. Be it for cooking meth or killing someone! 8. Tony Soprano – 'The Sopranos' "There's an old Italian saying: you **** up once, you lose two teeth.” © HBO Entertainment The Mafia. The Gangster. The Bad Man. The Killer. The Thief. Despite all this, you'll end up loving him and his actions once you start watching the series. 9. Gregory House – 'House' “Arrogance has to be earned.” © NBC Universal Television Distribution The wittiest character of all and the father of sarcasm! This doctor is rude, doesn't play well with others, is definitely not a team player, and is a drug addict. But he takes on cases which no one else can solve and isn't afraid of experimenting, even at the cost of his patient's life. In plain words, he's the most entertaining character of all! Now that you know being Mr. goody two-shoes is overrated, which poison are you going to pick?
  3. One of the most neglected factors when it comes to making progress in terms of fitness that people ignore is stress. Many a times, people who struggle with their fitness goals are going through some sort of stress in their life. Most people make the mistake of ignoring this factor but once you start managing stress better, other things start falling into place more easily. How Stress Works © Pixabay Trying to make progress in your fitness levels while being chronically stressed is like pushing your motorbike to the place that you want to ride it to. You might reach there but it would be a hell lot harder than if you would have ridden it. The reason behind it is that your body's sympathetic nervous system is stuck in "on" mode. It's like your body's smoke alarm is constantly going off which basically makes it's very hard for you to focus on anything and it depletes your will as well. The Peace Killing Hormone Is Friends With Stress Being stressed also makes your body produce a hormone called cortisol which has been linked to triggering cravings for comfort foods and eventually, food binges. Stress also depletes the energy you use to exert self-control. For example, if you are having a bad day at the office and someone offers you a piece of cake, you'll find it a lot harder to not eat it. Our impulse control takes a hit when we feel distressed, so we look for ways to feel better and that piece of cake looks like a very good alternative. How To Tackle Stress 1) The first and the foremost thing that you should do is that you should admit that you are stressed out. Only then you will look for a remedy to your problem. 2) Once, that is out of the picture, you should scale back a little. May be cut down on the number of sessions you work out every week and start dedicating your time towards an activity that you enjoy doing. This will help alleviate the stress of trying to do too much at once. 3) If you are trying to lose weight and the weight on the scale is stuck, remember, weight is just a number. Giving it too much importance can be stressful. There are many more factors to consider when it comes to tracking “fat loss” like taking your measurement, taking photos of yourself regularly, and looking at how your clothes fit you, etc. © Thinkstock 4) You should also look at adding activities which can relax you mentally and physically like yoga and meditation. These activities only take a few minutes of your time rather than hours and can go a long way de-stressing you. Taking care of yourself and it does not only include fitness and nutrition, take up a hobby or do an activity that you like doing, as doing things that you like reduces stress and keeps you active which in turn helps you live a happy life along with a healthy one. Nav Dhillon is an online coach with GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company that helps people with fitness goals right from losing weight to competing in bodybuilding shows. Nav is an avid bodybuilding enthusiast and heads the NABBA (National amateur bodybuilders association) as a General Secretary. This innate passion and position has helped him work with a lot of bodybuilders to help them take their physique at the next level. He also has a lovely pet called Buster whom he enjoys playing with in his free time. You can reach Nav on nav.dhillon@getsetgo.fitness to take your fitness and physique to the next level.
  4. Jurgen Klopp has reinvigorated the Liverpool squad since taking over the reins from Brendon Rodgers in 2015. He not only has the support of his players but also the fans because finally they have someone at the helm who knows how to maintain a balance between performance and growth. As soon as he took up the mantle at Anfield, Klopp has slowly and steadily build a team which is in no ways perfect but does the job efficiently and therefore he has earned the respect of the old guard at Liverpool. Take for example the shock defeat which was dished out to the men in red after leading 3-1 at halftime. © Reuters When asked about the amateur mistake made by Loris Karius in defending the post to concede the fourth goal against Bournemouth, this is what Klopp had to say: "If you make mistakes, you get criticised. That's life, absolutely no problem. If you have the quality you get stronger from it. I'm pretty sure Jamie Carragher was criticised during his career at some point. I respect and accept everything you say about us today. If you want to say we are blind, silly, not good enough, then do it. It doesn't influence what I think about my team. That's all,” Klopp said. He further implied that mistakes were the pathway to success and elaborated, "Of course we made mistakes today, what else should I say? We missed chances... so we don't have good strikers? We have good strikers. The last goal wasn't the luckiest situation for a keeper. Loris will wish he had made a decent save, I'd have wished for a decent save. But this says nothing about him as a goalkeeper. It has happened and we go on." © Reuters These comments by Klopp show what kind of a manager he actually is. He is hard on his players during training and he rides them to perform and give their best on the field but once the game is done, he goes back to the drawing board because no matter how much he would love to change the result of the game, the only thing under his control is the preparation for the next one. This is one of the reasons why Liverpool has looked so strong this season. They are always looking to improve are taking the season game by game. There won’t be too many surprises if they do go on to clinch the title because this is one team which has figured out how to move forward without being anchored to the results of the past.
  5. Everyone has a secret they would like to keep from their partners from time to time. It's not like they deliberately want to hide something to hurt the other person, it's just some innate fears of opening up completely to your partner, just so you don't get judged. The other day I met this woman and we were having a similar discussion and she told me she has 'secret sexy behaviours' she doesn't like to display in front of her boyfriend. It seriously sounded like a line from *** And The City but I knew what she was trying to say and I absolutely get that. © Twitter But more often than not, men are curious as always and they would always like to know what she keeps from them and never reveals. It's just to ease their burden to constantly try and understand and read women. So, I made it a little simpler. I asked 10 women about the one thing they have never confessed to their partner and this is what they had to say. I am As Shallow As They Come "My boyfriend doesn't know this but I am as shallow as they come. I have dumped guys in the past because of bad grammar, oily hair, bad skin or terrible breath. I am not kidding. No, I do look at their personality too but come on, you have to live with that face forever. Of course my boyfriend doesn't know this about me and thank god he's perfect, as of now" - Meera, 28 It's Okay To Fake It "Come on, like you don't know women fake orgasms? And it's absolutely okay to do so as well. It gives my man the power that he's pleased me in some way and he's super nice to me doing things for me all week long. So, I think it's absolutely worth faking. Don't get me wrong, he does give me real orgasms too at times but there are times when a girl has just gotta fake it"!- Tanya, 30 Sometimes I Chat With Other Boys "There are times I chat with other boys to distract myself when me and my guy have a bad fight. He says the meanest things to me at times and I find respite by randomly chatting other men up through a dating app. Yeah, I haven't deleted my Tinder profile yet and I don't intend to"! - Nancy, 23 I Am A Closeted Shopaholic "I shop more than he knows I do and I am not ashamed about it but he really doesn't have to know everything" - Kavya, 28 I Fantasise About Having *** With More Than 2 Men "I fantasise about having *** with more than two men but I can't tell my boyfriend that, he wouldn't take it well I think. I also fantasise about orgies and gangbangs but it's too much information to give out"! - Kanish (name changed), 33 I Smoke Pot "Yeah my boyfriend has a stick up his a** when it comes to 'drugs' but is pot really drugs? He wouldn't get it so I smoke pot behind his back without him finding out. What's the need"? - Sara, 32 I've Had *** With Other Women "My boyfriend doesn't know this but I have had flings with other women and quite enjoyed it. I know my boyfriend will be thrilled about the idea and would want us to experiment with another woman but I am afraid he'll keep asking me for that. So it's best he doesn't know". - Deepti, 27 I Masturbate A Lot "Me and my guy live together and anytime he's not around I masturbate because I love it." - Tarika ( Name changed), 30 I Don't Like His Mother "I really don't like his mother. She's intrusive, possessive and I think she's obsessed with him. I just can't get myself to say this to him". - Mallika, 29 I Check His Phone "I check his phone all the time and I have mastered the art of doing so, without him finding out! There's a thrill attached to it and I don't have a reason to really do it because he's honest but I still can't help myself"! - Divya, 26 I am sure there are things men don't tell women either but who's to judge if they're worse or better than these confessions you've just read above.
  6. The argument about which food or food groups are good and which are bad is going on for about ages. People who believe in the “good food vs. bad food” mindset include some very famous people and people with great bodies with huge followings and they preach this approach like a religion to their followers, as these people have a great deal of success following this approach. © YouTube Regardless of the way you achieve success with this approach, it is not and should not be considered a long haul solution as it most certainly creates an undesirable relationship with food. Developing eating disorders to achieve and maintain your fitness goals is the last thing that you should be looking at doing. Rather than attempting to evade the utilization of "bad foods", a superior outlook to have is moving toward nutrition with the objective of being inclusive rather than exclusive. This means we need to receive an approach of including "healthy" nutrient dense foods, as opposed to barring foods that won't not have these characteristics. Now, let's get this clear, there are no foods that are inherently unhealthy for you which means there is no food out that that you can eat once and do harm to your body regardless of the quantity. The reason that some foods are labelled “bad” is because of the lack or low availability of micronutrients and nutrients like protein and fiber etc. A better term to use should be “empty calories” rather than calling them bad. This term means that while these foods contribute to your calorie and macronutrient counts, they won't do much to satisfy your micronutrient requirements. While this description is relatively accurate, it doesn't mean these foods should be villainized and completely avoided. © IIFYM What you should keep in mind is that you do not necessarily have to remove these “empty calories” from your diet as they can only be detrimental when you eat the majority of your calories out of your diet from them. Just make sure that you have included the “healthy foods” on priority in your diet and your nourishment i.e your nutrient needs are taken care of. After that, feel free to have the “bad foods” (which really aren't bad at all) in moderation as this will improve your flexibility and therefore your consistency. Doing so will also keep the psychological stress of dieting at bay as you will feel more normal, have more flexibility, less restriction, and ultimately more long-term adherence and success. For example sugar, which isn't inherently bad for you or fattening as some people claim, it is a carbohydrate like any other and has the same caloric value of 4 kcals per gram, the reason why sugar is avoided because it is not very satiating, for example - take 30 gram rice and 30 gram sugar, which food do you think will fill you up better? Also, when you are eating in a caloric deficit to lose fat, the quantity of food you get to eat is less, eating sugar only makes it lesser, also it is devoid of micronutrients and there are better options like fruits and artificial sweeteners but if your calorie quota allows you to have sugar, you most certainly can. Remember, your body does not know what “good” or “bad” foods are. Food that you eat, whether it be sweets and namkeens or chicken and broccoli, is fuel for the body which is used as energy. So, if you are trying to lose weight, as long as the energy intake is lesser than energy expenditure you cannot gain weight as you do not have extra energy coming in to be stored as body fat. Also, when you have met your basic micronutrient needs, there is no benefit of eating extra micronutrients and once your body gets more than enough micronutrients, it doesn't continue to benefit from more. Conclusion Instead of worrying about which food is good or bad, you need to assess if your entire diet is good or bad. Believe it or not, a rigid “clean vs. dirty” diet can actually result in a poorer nutrient profile than an approach that includes a broader spectrum of foods. Claiming that you are doing it to get healthy but eating only a handful of foods everyday is just plain stupid. If you cut out almost every food or food group, you end up with an incredibly limited diet that is unlikely to satisfy your micronutrient needs. This leads to you being unable to digest “non-clean” foods without incredible discomfort due to the loss of the enzymes and gut bacteria that are essential for the digestion of a wide variety of foods. Nav Dhillon is an online coach with GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company that helps people with fitness goals right from losing weight to competing in bodybuilding shows. Nav is an avid bodybuilding enthusiast and heads the NABBA (National amateur bodybuilders association) as a General Secretary. This innate passion and position has helped him work with a lot of bodybuilders to help them take their physique at the next level. He also has a lovely pet called Buster whom he enjoys playing with in his free time. You can reach Nav on nav.dhillon@getsetgo.fitness to take your fitness and physique to the next level.
  7. A unibrow is perhaps the only thing that no one can pull off (apart from Frida Kahlo, maybe). Especially when it comes to men, our faces usually tend to be hairy anyway, thanks to the beard and moustache - which is dope btw, but a unibrow is where we should draw the line. Hey, don't @ us because we are not saying this, but women are. We were curious about what women think about this oft-ignored facet of men's grooming, and wanted to hear it from them. So we went ahead and asked 10 women about their opinion on men having unibrows. Read on: © Twitter 1. "Kajol couldn't pull it off, neither can you. Please get rid of it! It's just small patch of hair that can be easily removed. Chop chop! I mean, thread thread!" - Ankita, 27, Works in marketing 2. "Umm, nope. Unibrows are ugly. I'm all about body-positivism and 'embracing your true self' and everything that comes with it, but I can't help but be a little hypocritical when it comes to this bit. It just makes a good looking man look weird and creepy. So no, thanks." - Muriel, 25, Works in advertising 3. "We women have to go to the parlour at least twice a month to make sure our brows are on point at all times, even when we don't have a unibrow. Don't you think men should at least try? Not to woo women, just for themselves. That will help with the former too, because let's face it - unibrows are a turn-off." Nandita, 26, Works in HR © Twitter 4. "Does anyone like unibrows? I bet no one does. It's a very obvious question, really, I think. It's just like having a bald patch - everyone wants to hide it - unless you're Vin Diesel and can pull it off. Okay that wasn't the best analogy because he's completely bald. I'll just be blunt and say it - unibrows are an eyesore." Priyanka, 29, Entrepreneur 5. "I think it's absolutely fine to have unibrows because it's not a choice. Not doing anything about it, is what I'm not ok with. But if you just don't care, it's fine! Just like during my 20's I was a total tomboy, was going through a rebellious phase and absolutely didn't give two hoots about superficial things like my looks. But that was my choice. I chose that for myself and was happy with how I was - actually I didn't even care. If a man is that carefree and doesn't attach importance to that, it's absolutely his choice and I'm no one to comment on it. But aesthetically speaking, I think a unibrow doesn't suit anyone." - Divya, 31, Writer © Twitter 6. "Let's break it down - it's hair. It's a patch of hair. The thing is, it's just at the wrong place. You get your beard shaved, right? Even your hair cut? Why do you do that? Because there was hair at places you didn't approve of, essentially, right? So what's the big deal with this one here? You won't magically lose 5 points from your masc scale if you get that part threaded. Actually if that's the reason you're hesitating to get it done, I'm afraid you don't have enough points to start with, if you know what I mean. Don't hate me. It's true." - Rukhsaar, 27, Works in advertising 7. "I like my men hairy. There, I said it. I actually prefer men who don't get their chest or torso waxed, and I think it's hot. But unibrow is not something I can get on board with. It's hair, yes, but it doesn't really count as body hair - you know what I mean? It just sits on your forehead making you look shabby, and often creepy." - Sunita, 28, Software engineer © Twitter 8. "I like symmetry. I think symmetry is the underlying factor behind everything that is beautiful. A unibrow kills the symmetry on a man's face. The gap on his forehead acts as a divider, which makes the face look symmetrical, and hence attractive. If that divider is not there, everything kind of looks haywire, and even a very good-looking man can look untidy - all for a little bit of hair. I think men should always get rid of their unibrow." - Ipshita, 32, Copy Editor 9. "All anyone needs is a salon appointment or a pair of tweezers. Why do they exist, again?" - Juhi, 30, Analyst © Twitter 10. "I think if a man wants to sport a unibrow, that's okay. I don't, and won't find that attractive is a whole other story altogether. I mean, it just looks bad. Please go to a salon and tell your barber to get it fixed. The thread will probably sting a little, but it's totally worth it, trust me." - Shubhra, 24, Student Ouch. Those are some strong opinions. But they mean well and they do know what they are talking about, so homies, please get rid of your unibrow if you have one. "You will become unrecognisable" - we were told.
  8. We, at Invision Community, love nothing more after a relaxing day writing PHP code, making commits in git and fighting with jQuery to indulge in a little therapeutic "me time". Given that we've all chosen to work in a nerdy industry (nerds are cool now, we checked) it's no surprise that our down time is spent on nerdy pursuits. Here's how our team spent their allotted and begrudgingly given free time. Ryan (Developer who loves of loud noises) I'm an audio nerd. I go out of my way to hand pick each individual component whenever I'm building a an audio system. My computer, for example, currently has 4 satellite speakers (two Bose, two DCM models which are no longer in production - what is a shame, they are better than any I've ever had), and a sub-woofer (Bose). My living room system is my pride and joy - everything currently runs through a Sony 7.1 channel surround sound system, with a Polk Audio center channel, two Kenwood JL series tower speakers (before JL Audio was it's own thing - each contain a 1.5" tweeter, 5" Midrange, and 12" Subwoofer), two side-surround satellites that need replacing, and will soon have two rear-surround Bose satellites. Each system has specifically been fine-tuned and equalized to my specification. (Editor: I'd be happy with a HomePod) The same applies to my guitar amps - I've spent years fine-tuning my amps to perfection, and constantly adjust and tweak various settings to get different sounds. Still not loud enough, we checked Jennifer (Designer who loves board games) As everyone likely knows I do a lot of pretty nerdy things, from cosplaying to video games to play by post roleplaying (collaborative writing) to collecting nerdy-shirts and playing board games but I think one of my more nerdy things would be that I collect socks and intentionally mismatch them (aka I'm Bi-sockual). I collect socks of all shapes and sizes to have for any occasion including socks with capes, leg warmers and more. I have a pretty nerdy collection including a ton of super hero socks, some Power Puff girls and more. (Editor: Socks with capes. What a time to be alive) These are clean, we checked Daniel (Developer who loves amusing English words) It all started several years ago as a present.. I fall in love with this hobby and got some nice trees from my ex-wife. The collection grew and grew. That's my "poor mans" bonsai collection.. I once trashed a 1000€ plant, then I sold all other which were worth more then 500€ except one and now I just have these left, but it's enought to keep me busy... and to not cause any sadness if something happens to them...Now i really enjoy trying to create my own stuff instead of taking care of bought stuff. (Editor: Daniel is hands down the most interesting person I've ever met) These are legal, we checked. Brandon (Developer who loves movies) I haven't done one in a while, but I like to have movie marathons sometimes. For instance, I'll plan to sit down one day and do nothing but watch Star Wars movies (or Harry Potter, or LOTR or whatever) all day in order. You then have to make the ever important decision of putting the prequels first, or after the originals, but otherwise it tends to be a fun experience watching the continuity from one distinct movie to the next (or, alternatively, looking for broken continuity). When I do this, we tend to eat popcorn, milkshakes and candy for lunch and dinner. Most of my family cannot sit still that long and will just bounce in and out during the marathon. (Editor: I'm in, when do you want me to pop over?) Spongebob lives under the sea, we checked Marc S (Tech who loves things that crash) I guess other than coding, the nerdiest thing I do is watch Formula 1 racing. Whilst this doesn't seem that nerdy, I do go a little overboard with it (as my wife reminds me regularly). This should give you a bit of an idea. At present we are approaching pre season testing. For those not familiar with formula 1, this is a testing phase before the new season, for teams to test their new cars. This means that the new cars are just being shown to the world for the first time. I will watch for these to see them as soon as they come out, then will take a look at what new parts I can see on the car in comparison to last year. Today for example saw the first glimpse of Mercedes, and at 3pm Ferrari will show off their new car online. In addition to that, I've been looking at the stats from last year, along with the know changes this year in engines. I have my own analysis of who I think will be the winners and losers, through the changes from last season in drivers, engine suppliers, and even paddock staff. Testing starts on the cars on Monday in barcelona. Whilst this is not on TV, I will be keeping myself updated with the latest events on there. My daily routine whilst testing is on consists of. Testing live stream running throughout the day during testing Teds notebook in the evening - An show which analyses the days testing F1 show - Another show which analyses each days testing Autosport review - Article online with analysis Sky news site - Usually some good analysis on there BBC Sport - Again, some good analysis and different points of view Motorsport.com - Pretty good website for analysis And of course the formula 1 website itself. Boring to many (Editor: yep), but I guess everyone has to have a hobby. For me its formula 1 analysis. Would love to have a go in one, but to do so it hugely expensive! (Editor: given your history with crashing things, you'd never get insurance) John Woo directed this clip, we checked Andy (Developer who loves to follow instructions) Following a recent project we worked on for LEGO, I rediscovered a love for the brick with the Saturn V. Since then I’ve also started a nice little collection of cars including the incredibly geeky 2704 piece Porsche 911 GT3 RS with functional PDK gearbox and the VW campervan. My family bought me a few more sets for Christmas and I’m toying (no pun intended (Editor: Puns are my thing, it's the only job I have left)) with building a city with the larger modular sets. I’d say that was fairly geeky but I really enjoy the downtime of sitting down and building. I’m not terribly creative so following a set of instructions and seeing things come together appeals to me more than free building. Andy did build this, we checked Right, that's enough of that, everyone back to work! How do you spend your spare time? Let us know below!
  9. What is the one thing you'd like to do in life, but haven't got around to yet? This week, we get introspective and look at the things we'd love to do but haven't found the time to do yet. Brandon (Senior tech support and development) Travel more. I've traveled a little bit, but there are still many many places I'd like to visit. Something tells me I'll need to wait for some of the kids to get older and move out first however. Mark H (Tech support) Take a vacation in Hawaii, as that will complete a goal I set in my youth: Visit all 50 States of the US. Have vacationed, usually camping, in 49 of them so far. Marc S (Tech Support) I have a friend who I have spoken to in the US since I was about 13, through originally chatrooms, then ICQ, and these days Facebook. We have always said one day we will meet up, and thats something I certainly intend to do one day, but havent gotten around to it. Rhett (Cloud Support) A week in Phillip Island, Australia for the MotoGP Race. It's still on my todo list! Matt (Senior Developer) Write a book. Unlike my colleagues, I have no strong desire to travel. I've always wanted to write a book though. In my early teens I used to spend time in front of a mechanical typewriter (through choice, I'm not THAT old) and knocked out a few short stories. They were awful, obviously, but I do love the written word and have a few stories I'd like to get down. Andy (Senior tech support and development) Over the years I’ve started learning a few languages and know just enough French and Italian to be dangerous. I’ve never really focused on either though. I would definitely like to get around to becoming a proficient speaker in at least one other non native language. Mark W (Senior Developer) I'm going to go with everyone else and say more travel. Since I get to work from home I often get a niggling feeling that I could be doing this anywhere in the world rather than in my little office in Colchester. I've made some strides in that direction this year: I spent New Years Eve in Sydney, a somewhat interesting series of events led me to spend some time in Washington DC (but that's a story for another time), plus I visited Berlin and Krakow. 4 countries in one year isn't too bad I think, hopefully next year I can break it though! Jennifer (Designer) Visiting my Irish friend in the UK and attempting to go drink for drink with him to see what sort of shenanigans/trouble he gets me into. Daniel (Senior tech support and development) I want to sail around the world for at least one year (but preferable much longer) and visit as many countries as possible on this trip. I would really love to spent my whole retirement on a sailing ship cruising around the world till i get bankrupt! Stuart (Senior tech support and development) I think quite a few people may have a similar answer, but travelling more is something I would really love to do but haven't got to it yet. I've been to USA many times. There are many places on the list I'd like to go at some point like Peru (Machu Picchu), Austraila, Dubai, Indonesia, Bali... Endless list really. A more realistic answer would be to finish some of my project cars that have been sat in a barn for years. We'd love to hear what you would like to do, but don't have time for just yet. Let us know below!
  10. This week, the team have been discussing the one thing they can not live without. Some found this a hard question to answer. What is the one thing you cannot live without? A tricky question for some. Could you pick just one thing? Brandon (Senior tech support and development) My family is my saving grace and escape, and even though they're (collectively) the ones typically causing me the most work I wouldn't trade them for anything. Mark H (Tech support) I believe my choice would have to be "good coffee". I can deal with no phone, even deal with no credit card. But no coffee? The horror.... the horror. (2 points for naming the reference). Marc S (Tech Support) For me, no matter how much I like my computer, and look around for my phone before I do so much as make a coffee, it would have to be speakers. Not because I have a decent set of speakers, and don't even have to be my own speakers, but something that can play music. Whether I'm doing tickets, developing, cleaning, driving, sat in my office or sat in a bar, its the one thing I cant do without. Rhett (Cloud Support) The question really has two answers, On the tech side, it would be my iPhone, I can do anything from it you can think of really and my go to device for communication of all sorts. In life in general, that's an easy one, "My children, they are the center of my life, and really all that matters is I have them by my side!" Matt (Senior Developer) The one "thing" means I don't have to say family or kids! So I definitely think it has to be my MacBook Pro. I switched from a traditional desktop set-up earlier in the year and haven't looked back. I like being able to pick up my MacBook and carry on working while out and about. When I'm home, I plug it up to my two external monitors and it performs as well as any desktop. Jennifer (Designer) My iPhone. There is no worse thing than leaving my house without being able to check my chat programs or to be able to play Pokemon Go. Daniel (Senior tech support and development) The nerd in me can't live without alfredapp to automate all the things! ( check out their great forum https://www.alfredforum.com ) And the two hours a day of free time I get, I couldn't be without my son and bike. Stuart (Senior tech support and development) I pretty much couldn't be without my laptop, I use it for everything from Gaming, Films to Work. Is there one thing that you can't be without? Let us know below!
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