#AtoZChallenge: N is for Narcissistic Tendencies

life tech narcissistic

photo credit: Disco ball selfie via photopin (license)

Why selfies are literally killing us.

By Brittany Smith

Selfie sticks, Snap Chat, photo filters, Instagram, Pic Stitch collages, and the constant pressure to update our social media profiles is fueling the rise of the selfie, and with it a long list of mishaps, injuries and photos gone very, very wrong.

NJust last month a man in Washington State was taking a selfie with a gun and accidentally shot himself. A few weeks after that incident, a man in Hong Kong plunged to his death while attempting to take a photo from a popular overlook.

Although 2016 is still in the first quarter, it’s tough to tell if these are isolated incidents or a rising trend, but the folks over at Priceonomics have found that since 2014, 49 people have died while attempting to take selfies. (Coincidentally, but not really, 75 percent of them happened to be male.)

The majority of selfie fatalities come from falling from heights, followed closely by drowning and trains. Two people have also died from attempting to take a grenade selfie. That’s right, a hand grenade, folks.

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#AtoZChallenge: M is for Me Time (is it Possible, in this Tech-Heavy World?)

tech life me time
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Technology renders us hyper-busy by connecting us to everything, all the time. Can tech also give us peace?

 By Eli Pacheco

“I’m bored,” my 11-year-old said just this morning.

MBored? We grownups remember what that feels like. Don’t we? Let me put it this way: My Todoist app blows up my phone still, even though I deleted the app. How’s that possible? I have enough to juggle without my virtual to-do list barking up my tree every day.

Technology makes it possible to always be in pocket, and that’s its advantage.Technology makes it possible to always be in pocket, and that’s its disadvantage.

Hell, the organizational app Evernote’s proven track record speaks for itself. Yet, I struggle to organize the stuff I’ve saved to Evernote. User error.

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#AtoZChallenge: L is for Language Acquisition Apps

tech life language
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Learning a language? These apps can help you crush the bilingual game

By Brittany Smith

According to the BBC, there is an estimated 6,500+ spoken languages in the world today. The most widely spoken is Mandarin Chinese, with English and Spanish close behind.

LAlso, 75 percent of the world’s population doesn’t speak English, and a recent study by the Instituto Cervantes found that the U.S. is the world’s second largest Spanish speaking country. More people speak Spanish in the U.S. than Spain.

Which not only makes learning another language bad-ass for helping you pick up foreign significant others, it can also help boost brainpower and memory and give you better job prospects.

So why not get started today? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best apps to help you go from floundering to fluent in no time.

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#AtoZChallenge: K is for Kitchen Gadgets that will change your life

tech life kitchen
photo credit: Grin, it’s breakfast time via photopin (license)

Add a little spice to your cooking routine with some space-age technology.

By Eli Pacheco

Probably my favorite kitchen gadget made its debut in the Han Dynasty in China.

KThat was around 206 BC to 220 AD, or, as my kids would say, my junior year in college.

It’s a cast-iron skillet, and I swear to Emeril, everything tastes better when it comes out of it: Pancakes, refried beans, any chicken-and-noodle dish (heavy on the heavy cream, please.)

A cast-iron skillet is as low-tech as it gets, unless you’re into running a rotisserie stick through the mammal or fish of your choice and twisting it over an open flame.

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#AtoZChallenge: I is for Inspiration for Writing

photo credit: 160402-paper-crumpled-notebook-spiral.jpg via photopin (license)
photo credit: 160402-paper-crumpled-notebook-spiral.jpg via photopin (license)

There are lots of websites and apps out there for writers hungry for inspiration.

By Victor Moreau

I covered a couple of websites in a previous post I did on breaking through writer’s block. Today, I’d like to go over three more resources that I find helpful in my day-to-day life.


The goal with 750words is not to write hundreds and hundreds of words of solid gold content.

It’s all about freewriting with this site; getting everything inside your head onto a blank canvas. You can think of it in the same way a painter might start with a few abstract strokes until the vague form of something interesting takes shape.

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#AtoZChallenge: J is for Journaling, and How it Improves your Storytelling

photo credit: Studio Area HQ journal via photopin (license)

The best stories are the ones that come from the heart, from an author who knows himself or herself, and understands the feelings and messages he or she wants to convey.

By Vic Moreau

Maybe I’m weird but, when I was a kid and I was trying to write my stories, I did not see the connection between writing in my journal and working on my manuscript.

I did not see the benefit of documenting my inner thoughts in feelings and a format nobody would ever see (thank the gods) and how it was supposed to get me through a particularly difficult section of my own work.

I have since learned my lesson and it might surprise some of you to know that journaling really can help your storytelling.

The best stories are the ones that come from the heart, from an author who knows themselves and understands the feelings and messages they are trying to convey.

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: J is for Journaling, and How it Improves your Storytelling”

#AtoZChallenge: H is for Homeschool Tech

homeschool tech
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Homeschooling follows a different path than traditional education. Technology, though, can still play a crucial role.

When things aren’t quite right – we opt to go home.

HIt happens in sports, when teams have a rough road trip. Or in college, when it’s been a tough week of exams. At the end of an unreal workday, we can’t wait to get home and relax. It’s why we talk about home-field advantage and home cookin’.

Home schooling also allows students to learn in comfort. The comfort of their own home.

The U.S. Department of Education reports 1.77 million students learn at home. That’s 3.4% of school-age kids in America. A2Z Homes Cool, a clearinghouse online for all things home school, says it’s a tough number to ascertain, as not all states require home schooling families to report.

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