3 Ways How (Not) To Break Into Your Own Home

Palmersguide-just-call-a-locksmith

This is a guest post from LocksmithsInSydney.com. These guys have saved my skin numerous times. They also have a good sense of humour.

I’ve seen some funny things during my time as a locksmith. People get locked out. You forget your keys.

Accidents happen

Imagine the scene: It’s the middle of the night. You are taking the garbage out, and a gust of wind slams the front door shut.

You just locked yourself out.

So there you are stuck in your pyjamas, on your front door step. Damn.

After 5 minutes of frustration, you do the standard checking of windows to see if you left anything open. Nope, your security-conscious-self did a great job. It is at this moment that you realise you are definitely locked out.

Now, most people tend to get some help at this point. Go over to a neighbours house? Call someone to let you in?

There are defining moments in a guy’s life. At this moment, you could surrender to your circumstances and ask for help, or you could rise to the challenge and get in touch with your inner Jason Bourne.

Sadly, in these circumstances some people like to rise to the challenge and decided they would break into their own home.

Here are the three attempts I consistently see when I’m called to a lockout.

Attempt #1: Break Through The Door Window
I have a theory. The first question people must ask themselves when locked out is “If I were a robber how would I break into my own home?”.

The answer: Crack open a window and slip in.

Most people forget to lock their garage door. Bad for security, great if you need access to some tools.

Every secret agent has to have his gadgets right?

Their gadget of choice: a flat head screw driver.

How do I know? It’s pretty obvious when it is still jammed in the lock or window.

So here is the idea. They would insert the head of the screwdriver underneath the bottom of the window pane. Most think that they would be able to wiggle it and force the window upward. They would open the window and climb in.

Sounds simple, right?

Not so. Darkness and people’s obvious lack of hand-eye coordination results in a damaged window pane, and still no entry. I’ve even had people try to loosen the window by trying it from the sides.

Nope, just more damage. This is usually when people give up and call someone.

For those determined folks, it’s time for Plan B.

Attempt #2: Open The Door With A Plastic Card
You’ve seen this in movies, so it has to work right?

The idea behind this is to use a card to open the spring bolt on the lock.

Some people use an old piece of plastic lying around in the garage. Others usually use a plastic card from their wallet.

The plan is to wedge the card between the door and the frame. The spring bolt is often triangle shaped and found just above the handle of the door. The idea is to push the card in and bend it away from the door knob. When you feel the card slide the latch back, turn the handle and voila! you are in.

As it turns out, the result is most people are left jiggling the piece of plastic in the middle of the night trying to get their door to unlock. After 10 minutes, most people have had enough.

But for the true diehards, they go one step further.

Attempt #3: Climb Through The Roof
When I see the results of these attempts, a story of my childhood came to mind. When I was a teen I got locked out of the house and my parents weren’t home. We had a balcony on the second story that my parents often left unlocked. It was difficult to get to with a ladder because there was a thorny bush under the balcony.

However, I had the brilliant idea of using the ladder to get onto the roof. I would climb over the house and drop down onto the second story balcony below.

I grabbed the ladder, climbed up onto the roof and, as I was getting my footing, I could see my mum driving down the street. I knew my mum wouldn’t be impressed with my roof-top antics so I quickly ran over the roof and dropped onto the second story balcony below.

Thankfully they had left the back door unlocked. I could come up with a story to explain the ladder, no way could I explain locking myself out on the second story balcony.

Most people don’t have a second story balcony that they may have left unlocked, however, some have their own creative means of entry. Many people think that they can take off the tiles on their roof and let themselves in that way.

In short: You can’t. And in the dark, it is not a good idea.

The Final Solution
After these inner secret agents have had a battering, many people succumb and called up a professional.

Just image the scene. You rock up to the call out. The customer is there slightly flushed in the face (breaking in is hard work), the epitome of style in his fluffy slippers, flannelet pyjamas, and baby blue bedrobe asking you to let you in. The window is damaged, there is a card stuck in the door and a bunch of tiles are missing from the roof.

James Bond right there.

Most people can have a great sense of humour at this time, but save yourself the trouble and call a locksmith.

5 Teamwork Technologies To Make The Dream Work

5TeamworkTechnologies

Staying connected is the number one priority these days, but for business, it’s more than just keeping the social media intern on target with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook updates—it’s about connecting with the office as much as it is with the clients, and never before has that been easier.

With websites and programs that branch the distance between cubicles in the office to remote workers in different parts of the world, it’s never been better, faster, more cost effective to be on the same page, and these are the new ways to get there.

 

  • Asana

Created by the co-founder of Facebook, Dustin Moskovitch, and using tools and knowledge based on increasing the productivity of Facebook employees, Asana is the answer to tracking your team’s progress and work without having to install a security camera system. Offered for free and at a premium, the management system has a clean homepage that makes finding your to-do list and project updates simple and straightforward. Add team members to your projects and send inter-program emails—it’s all about making the work flow smooth and uncomplicated.

 

  • Trello

Trello, like Asana, is another project based management system that is based on the work practices from another Fortune 500 company: Toyota. With a simple interface that uses boards to track progress and allows you to drag projects from “Working” to “Completed” in seconds, it’s for people who enjoy the visual of Post-Its but hate having to keep track of them. You get a bird’s eye view of what you need to get done, and all the steps along the way to a finished product, and it’s accessible anywhere. Forget saving this one just for business, it’s just as efficient at sorting out your doctor’s appointments and grocery lists—getting organized was never so easy.

 

  • Discourse

While chat rooms may seem like a thing of 1990’s past, the way Discourse.org brings about the discourse is about as modern and top of the line as it can get. With a built-in program to keep out the trolls and internet bullies, this new-age internet discussion board is 100% free and works so well on your tablet and mobile phone that you won’t understand how you tapped into the forum of public opinion without Discourse before.

 

  • Plivo

Do you have a lot of calling traffic with work? Whether it be constant conference calling, networking, or getting to check in on what’s going on with your work around the world, Plivo is your answer to global carrier service providers. From tools like SIP trunking to Conference App Voice API, they work with people like Netflix to add SMS messaging to web and mobile apps for everything from political polling to help desks. Streamlining the process between business and client, Plivo gets the work done for cheaper, which is always a happy discovery.

 

  • Prezi

The Prezi is the 21st century answer to Powerpoint; with new twists and turns (literally), it’s the answer to your next big conference meeting video, and it’s going to make you look like a tech genius. By working with an interactive graphing map to draw paths to lead your presentation down, wowing your audience has never been easier. Attach pictures, video clips, sounds and text in cool configurations that zoom in and out of the screen with the same efficiency of the presentation programs you’re used to, but with a lot more modern flair. Bonus: you can access it from the internet anywhere, or download it for a permanent copy.

Whether you’re starting a new business or working on making the one you’re got run more like a well-oiled machine, these are the programs to go with. Not only are they freeing up time and energy, they’ll make you look savvy while you’re doing it too.

5 Exciting Presents to Get Your Valentine

Presents to get your valentine

What’s worse than getting a gift you don’t want? Giving someone that gift. There’s a reason why the majority of us aren’t in the audience during the Oscars—we’re bad actors.

This Valentine’s Day, avoid seeing your special someone force a smile and insist they’ll use that quesadilla maker by getting them one of these 5 gifts that they’ll actually like.

5. A Monthly Gift Subscription

To something they actually like, of course! You wouldn’t want to give a person who doesn’t drink a membership to a wine of the month club.

Real Simple posted a list of eight subscription boxes that your Valentine will actually enjoy this year, each labeled by the recipients personality. There’s one to satisfy the inner crafter, one for fashionistas, and even one for coffee lovers, among others.

4. Something from Etsy

If you’re special someone is a Potterhead, Whovian, Sherlockian, or anything in between, you can definitely find them a unique gift on Etsy.com. Independent designers use Etsy to sell handmade, vintage, and craft items, many of which are designed with the most popular characters and series in mind.

The site isn’t exclusive to fan-inspired pieces, though. You can just as easily use Etsy’s gift guide for ideas on everything from jewelry and artwork to home brew kits and personalized cutting boards.

3. Event Tickets

It doesn’t matter whether they’re for a local sporting event or tickets to a play, getting your Valentine tickets to a local event is a perfect experiential gift. As P&G Everyday writer Anna Newell Jones explains, experience gifts gives you the opportunity to bond with your partner in a way that ordinary gifts usually can’t.

“You likely do not remember many actual gifts you’ve received,” said Jones, “but you probably hold tight to the experiences you had, especially with your family and friends.”

2. Sexy Accessories

Spice up your usual routine the night of the 14th with a few extra surprises for your Valentine. Handcuffs and blindfolds, for example, are great ways to ease yourself into some kinkier play in the bedroom. If you or your special someone was a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey, go see the movie first (it opens Valentine’s Day) then use some of the film-inspired products when you get home. Several of the toys, including the FSOG Tease Feather Tickler and FSOG No Peeking Twin Blindfold Set, are getting good reviews, too, as they have at least four-star ratings on adam&eve.

1. The Classics

Maybe you think that flowers and chocolates are cliché, but I don’t know a single girl who would frown if she was handed a well-crafted bouquet. The classics carry that label for a reason—they’re a safe buy that you know will be appreciated.

The same holds true for your dinner plans. If one person cooks (or gets takeout for a nice meal at home), you can add a personal touch by picking up a nice bottle of wine, some candles, and slice of cake from a local bakery. It’ll help to make the night even more memorable.

Surprise your Valentine with any one of these presents this year and you won’t need the gift receipt. Just try and mirror their reaction when you open your own gift…

10 interesting things to make with a 3D Printer

09-20-2012form-1-on-desk00-1348689824I have always been on the side of skeptics when it comes to 3-D printing. I don’t know why but it could be something to do with the hype surrounding it, the hype that says 3-D printing is going to basically save the world!

I mean, what can you actually make with a 3-D printer? Anything useful?  Well, I thought I would dig into it a bit further and went hunting the internet, as I usually do and I have to say I was amazed at what I found!

A good 3-D printer will set you back around $450, which is not a great deal in the grand scheme of things, especially when you can make some pretty cool stuff.  I found the following 10 practical cool items on the internet that you could make using one of these printers. Ready?

An iPhone Case

IPhone’s are expensive things and a case is pretty much required if you want to protect your investment.  Store bought cases will cost you at least $30 but with a 3-D printer, you could have a new one every week!

Replacement Parts

Are you a fixer-upper type of person? Then you will love having a 3-D printer. Next time a plastic bit breaks off your washing machine you can just make a new one, instead of having to buy a whole new machine. Think how much money you can save just replacing a handle!

Accessories for the Smartphone

Smartphone accessories are pretty pricey these days but with a decent 3-D printer, you can make your own. You can print off things like stands, sound amplifiers and nifty little camera attachments.

TriK-Tripod-Adapter-3d-printed-1Camera stuff

Photography is not a cheap hobby and professional photographers spend a fortune on the right gear.  With a 3-D printer, you can save yourself a pocketful of cash by printing off lens cap holders and tripod mounts, little things that can make your life easier.

Accessories for a Bicycle

Cyclists like to spend time getting their bikes ready for the next big race and, with a 3-D printer, they can print off things like carrying handles, frame clips, even a brand new pedal if they want!

Scientific stuff

If you are a bit of a science buff, you can use your printer to knock up a tray to wash your slides on, make a new lens mount or even an anemometer! This is great idea for science students who are on a tight budget.

A Wallet or a Purse

I know it doesn’t sound nice, having a purse or a wallet made out of plastic but you might be surprised at the designs you can come up with. Be completely unique and make something no one else has got!

IMG_1124Clocks

Buy yourself a cheap clock movement and use your printer to knock up a smart looking little clock.

Containers

Everyone needs containers and buying them can work out pricey in the long run. No need, if you have a 3-D printer, just knock up a purpose built one whenever you need it.

Lego

Lego fans will be in their element here. You can print out any shape you can think of and use it in your Lego building.

These ideas will only work for the desktop printer, not for mass production. If that is what you are after you would need to look elsewhere. Will I buy buying one of these now? Oh yes and I intend to have a lot of fun with it too!

 

 

Creepy but Cool

Are you one of those who likes Goosebumps? Do you watch the olds ghost movies? You will love these then. On my travels through the web, I found quite a few interesting places that have long been abandoned, all of them equally as creepy as the next. Cool places to visit though!

russian-submarines-base-1Ukraine – Abandoned Submarine Base

This base lies on the northern shores of the Black Sea where it was abandoned after the Cold War.  It is now a museum.

Detroit – Ruins

Detroit is one of those cities that went from riches to rags over a long period of time and is full of beautiful haunting ruins. Buildings that were abandoned after the industrial revolution can be seen alongside brand new ones.

Berlin – Beelitz Military Hospital

Nothing says creepy more than an abandoned hospital, one where none other than Adolph Hitler himself was treated for a wound during the First World War.

New York City – City Hall Subway Station

Beneath the street in New York City sits a monument to transport. The city hall Subway Station, constructed more than 100 years ago, closed in 1945. It remains untouched to this day.

Ryugyong_hotel_01North Korea – Ryugyung Hotel, Pyongyang

This has to be one of the biggest disasters in the history of architecture. Construction began in 1987 and stopped in 1992 when money ran out. Construction did begin again in 2008 but whether this building can really be saved or not is a different matter.

Ukraine – Chernobyl Ground Zero

In the space of 16 years, the population of Pripyat expanded from nothing to around 50,000 before plummeting back to zero.  It was originally built to house workers and their families, for the Chernobyl Nuclear plant. Following the meltdown, the entire city was closed down and remains shut to this day

Cyprus – Abandoned Beach Resort

Varosha in Cyprus used to be a top destination for holidays. In 1974, it fell under the control of the Turkish and all building work stopped, leaving it an empty shell, a reminder of what used to be.

Russia – Abandoned Water Park

This was planned to be a huge indoors Water Park, full of rides and fun. Before it could be finished, the developer ran out of cash and it was never completed.

Indiana – Abandoned Cathedral

Like Detroit, Indiana also suffered from the end of the industrial revolution. While it is still an operational area, there are many empty places, including this beautiful cathedral.

RedsandsfortsBritain – Abandoned Sea Forts

These forts were constructed during the Second World War as a line of defense.  The Maunsell Sea Forts are still standing today, silently watching over the coastline they were once tasked to defend.

I hope you have enjoyed looking through these beautiful yet haunting abandoned places. The world is full of them, buildings that were once operational, buildings that never got finished and just fell into disrepair and places that were the innocent victims of disasters, like Chernobyl.

 

10 Crazy Sandwiches from Around the World

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It is amazing what you can find on a rainy afternoon, surfing the net.  Sandwiches are normally a safe option for a quick lunch but these concoctions are about to change the way we think about sandwiches forever:

ff0715081. The Luther Burger

Sweet and savory together are not normally an accepted mix for sandwiches but this one pushes the boundaries. It is a burger, with all the toppings, squeezed in between a glazed doughnut….

2. The Lasandwich

Lasagna is a dish best served hot with a loaf of garlic bread. This one is cold and squashed between two slices of doughy white bread.  Apparently, Tesco has followed this up with another one – the Strawberries and Cream sandwich. I will leave you to make up your own mind about that…

3. The McDonald Sandwich

This one is only for those that have deep pockets and am indulgent bank manager – or more money than sense!  Created by a chef called Scott McDonald, it is a combination of Wagyu beef, black truffle mayonnaise, fresh lobe foie gras, rocket, brie de meaux, English plum tomatoes and a red pepper and mustard confit. The price? Only £85.

KFC_Double_Down_'Sandwich'4. The Double Down

Love sandwiches? Hate bread? No problem Try the KFC Special. It is made from fried chicken fillets, between which you will find bacon, sauce and 2 cheeses. No bread in sight!

5. The Big Sandwich

Bread adds to the fat content of a sandwich in quite a big way, and this one just takes the biscuit.  It has burgers, sausages, pepperoni, bacon, cheese, chicken nuggets, crisps and, oh just so many ingredients to mention that all total around 50,000 calories!

6. The TastyKake Sandwich

TastyKakes in a sandwich?  These sweet peanut butter tasting sponge cakes covered in chocolate were surely never meant to be sandwiched into a cheeseburger.  Apparently, they were and were served as a dish at a restaurant in Philadelphia.

7. The Melo

Sandwiches should always be filled with a generous amount of filling but this one from a Deli in New York is bit too big. It is full of salami, pastrami and bacon and was named after Carmelo Anthony, a player for the Knicks.

8. The Candwich

The sandwich in a can is as bad as it sounds. It has a long shelf life, does not need to go in the refrigerator and contains an odd mélange of fillings, including pepperoni pizza and BBQ chicken.

insanewiches9. The Rubik’s Cubewich

This has to be the oddest sandwich on the list. It is built, as the name suggests, like a Rubik’s Cube and is made of cubes of cold meat and cheese. Quite difficult to eat, one would imagine…

10. The Fried Brain Sandwich

Yes, you read it right; this sandwich is made from sliced calf brain, fried in batter. It is apparently a meal that is commonly served in mid-western eateries and they are very welcome to it!

 

28 Facts you Always Wanted to Know

You know, it is amazing what you can find out when you spend the day surfing the net as I do.  Tons of information, most of it pretty useless but, hey, you never know when you might need to know one of these 28 cool facts:

  • Did you know that a pig cannot physically look up into the sky?
  • Know the name for a pregnant goldfish? It’s a Twit!

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  • Heinz produced Alphabetti Spaghetti for the German market from 1937 to 1945. Instead of letters, they made tiny swastikas
  • In Belgium it is law for every child at primary school to have harmonica lessons
  • Each human being will spend, on average, 2 weeks of their lifetime kissing and will have sex more than 3,000 times.
  • Did you know that over 50% of the world’s population have never received or made a telephone call?

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  • Horses and rats are not able to vomit
  • Ladies, are you aware that most lipsticks contain fish scales?
  • Next time your cat goes for a pee, shine a black light on it – it will glow!
  • We know that everyone has a different fingerprint but did you know that we all have a unique tongue print as well?

Tongue

  • Force your eyes to stay open and they will pop out. Obviously you need to really exert some force but it can happen
  • The toughest tongue twister in the history of the English language is said to be “Sixth sick Sheik’s Sixth Sheep’s Sick”. Go on, have a go!
  • When you try to stop a sneeze from happening you can actually rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck, leading to death. Sneeze too hard and you can fracture a rib!
  • Take a breeding pair of rats and in 18 months, they will produce more than 1 million descendants

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  • If you wear headphones for more than an hour at a time you run the risk of increasing ear bacteria by more than 700 times
  • The government claims it has no knowledge of aliens. Why, then, is it written in the Code of Federal Regulations that it is illegal for any US Citizen to have any contact with an extraterrestrial or their vehicles?
  • Do you watch Seinfeld? In every single episode, you will see a Superman somewhere in it.
  • Cigarette lighters were invented long before matches

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  • Around 35% of those who reply to or place personal dating ads are already married
  • Nobody knows why but a duck’s quack produces no echo
  • Around 23% of faults with photocopiers, across the whole world, are caused by people photocopying their own backsides
  • Yummy! Over the course of your life, you will eat around 70 different insects and 10 spiders – all while you are asleep
  • Did you know that Barbie has a full name? It’s Barbara Millicent Roberts
  • It is physically impossible for any human to lick their elbow
  • Crocodiles cannot stick their tongues out

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  • A shrimp has a heart – in its head!
  • When you sneeze, your heart stops beating for a millisecond which is where the saying “bless you” comes from
  • 200,000 ostriches were studied over 80 years and not one of them was reported to have ever stuck its head in the sand!

Weird but true, every single one of them! You are now well armed for the next pub quiz.

10 Enticing Places that You Cannot Visit

10 Very Cool Places that You Cannot Visit

There are some beautiful destinations to visit in the world and plenty to see when you get there. But, I wanted to know if there are any places in the world that you cannot visit. Guess what. There are. Here are 10  cool out of bounds places that I found on my vacation around the internet

France – Lascaux Caves

projet_eco_photo09These are a cave complex in Southwestern France, which are out of bounds because of their Paleolithic cave paintings.  More than 900 perfect examples have been preserved, some of which are around 17,300 years old. The caves were closed to the public in 1963 and, in 1979, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

Italy – A Small Haunted Island

Poveglia is a tiny island between Lido and Venice in Northern Italy. It was always used as a dumping ground for diseased people and those who had died. During the Bubonic Plague, it was used as a place of quarantine where bodies were regularly burned on huge pyres. It was used again in 1922 as a quarantine station and then converted to an asylum for the mentally ill in 1922.  It closed in 1968 and is reported to be haunted. Today, it remains closed to the public.

Italy – The Vatican Secret Archives

This is the place in the Vatican City where all the acts promoted by the Holy See are stored.  Also contained in there are state papers, papal accounts, and a whole lot of other documents accumulated over the years.  The secret archives were split from the Vatican Library in the 17th Century and remain closed to all but a few people to this day.

indexEthiopia – The Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion

This church, located in Ethiopia, is claimed to be home to the Original Ark of the Covenant, one of the most important objects in biblical history.  The only person allowed access is a monk who is specially chosen. No other person is allowed to enter or lay eyes on the object.

China – The Jiansu National Security Education museum

This museum houses top-secret documentation concerning Chinese Espionage, as well documents and gadgets that date back to 1927, the year the Communist Party Central Committee Espionage Department was founded. Think James Bond and you will have a good idea of the type of gadgets stored in the Museum.  Only Chinese nationals are allowed to enter the Museum but photography is strictly prohibited.

Hawaii – Exotic island called Niihau

The seventh largest inhabited island in Hawaii, Niihau contains no roads, no stores; it has no electricity or plumbing. It does however have a school run by solar power.  It is a private island and has been closed to the public in order to preserve the wildlife and the indigenous culture of the island.

offlimits08f_01Australia – Pine Gap

This is the only place in Australia that is prohibited and is a satellite tracking station in Central Australia.  It is a large complex that controls the spy satellites of America tracking China, Russia and the oil fields in the Middle East.

Israel – Negev Nuclear Research Center

This one is a nuclear facility in the Negev Desert. It was closed in 2012 and airspace over the top is closed to aircraft. It is heavily guarded against attack and from people attempting to gain entry.

Japan – Ise Grand Shrine

This is a Shinto Shrine that has been dedicated to the Goddess Amareasu-omikami. It is an important holy site and access is limited to priests and priestesses who are members of the Japanese Imperial family.  2 of the buildings in the shrine are rebuilt every 20 years, according to the original blueprint from 1000 years ago.

Met2Russia – Metro-2

Metro-s is an informal name for a secret underground metro system in Russia. It apparently runs alongside the public underground in Moscow and was built by the KGB.  Unfortunately, there is no evidence to back up whether this is real or just speculation but there are still those who claim to have helped build it.

 

 

19 Incredible things Pope Francis did in 2013

Pope-Francis-I-Angelus-and-Blessing-from-the-window-overlooking-St-Peter-s-Square

I’m not much of a fan of religion.

If it’s your thing, that’s great – I hope it serves you well – it’s just that it’s not my thing.

One of the things that really gets me about religion is the MASSIVE contradictions in the way that ‘good’ Christians are supposed to live their lives and the way that the leaders of the Christian religion live their lives.

The people I’m talking about are the priests, bishops, arch-bishops, and of course, the big daddy of them all, the Pope.

For all the people who feel the same, I’m sharing this article about Pope Francis.

This is the leader of the Christian religion and he’s a dude.

He’s doing great things, helping amazing people and loving life.

Check it out here: I Knew Pope Francis Was Good, But When I Found Out Everything He Did in 2013, I Was Blown Away