Procrastination: A Productive Activity

I know you’re only reading this because you’re putting off that paper you have to write. Or that test you need to study for. Or that project you need to start. But that’s okay because I’m here to put you back on track. Do you find yourself mindlessly wandering the Internet to escape the daunting burden of academia? Wander no more. Turn your procrastination into production! Instead of getting lost on the web, try looking for inspiration, something that will spark an idea to get you working again. Talk to your friends and try to explain your ideas.

I seem to find that this helps the most when trying to unstick your thoughts, putting things into words really focuses what you’re having trouble with. A new mind to look at the problem never hurts either. Most importantly, take a break. Get outside. Get away from the computer screen. A bit of fresh air will do you good, and maybe you’ll find new ideas with new surroundings. If you’re to click any link next, it should be this one to Lifehacker to learn more about how to be a productive procrastinator.

From Lifehacker: “Read Later” Apps Compared

Whether you’re a quick scanner or thorough drudger, we all save articles to read for later. We simply don’t have time right now. Hey, that’s okay. There’s an app for that. Actually, there are a few. Pocket, Instapaper, Readability – but how do you choose which one is best for you? If you’re looking for a free app, then Instapaper is out. However, if you want to export an article into an ePub format, Instapaper is the only one that can do that. And Pocket is the only one that can save an embedded video from an article to watch online. And if you’re looking for the app with the best layout, look no further than Readability. Compare and contrast the features, prices, and layouts of the top bookmarking apps in this Lifehacker article.

‘Tikker’ tells you how many days you have left to live

Do you have a hard time feeling motivated? Is it tough to get out of your bed in the morning? Maybe you should invest in the Tikker. It’s what sci-fi movies have been promising for years: knowing the exact day you’ll die, down to the last second. It’s an approximation of course, but it’s based on whatever health information you provide (so if you lie, you’re only cheating yourself). Although this sounds incredibly morbid, it’s supposed to be extremely motivating. By knowing how much time you have left, you should be able to live more freely and live each day how you want rather than wasting time on what you don’t. On Tikker’s Kickstarter page, the creators say, “If you know that time is ending, you make every second count.”

“It’s not how much time you have, it’s what you do with it.” As you can see, the creators have taken a more positive spin on this chilling concept. By using your time on this earth more productively and fulfilling your own dreams and aspirations, happiness will be well within your grasp. Tikker is exactly what you need to be as productive as you can be! If you need something to kick your butt in gear, there’s nothing more persuasive than a timer strapped to your wrist that’s counting down the seconds left in your life. Oh, and it also tells the time. Check out more about Tikker at The Verge.

The Quiet Zone: No Wi-Fi, no cells, no problems

Nowadays, it’s a rarity to come across a town that doesn’t have cellphone service or Wi-Fi at the nearest coffee shop. Green Bank, West Virginia is one of the last quiet zones. You can’t find a bar worth of cell service or a hint of Wi-Fi anywhere. It’s blissfully ping-free and it’s all thanks to this lovely structure.

Source: NPR, John W. Poole
Source: NPR, John W. Poole

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory houses the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, or basically the largest rotating telescope in the world. Protected by the West Virginia Radio Astronomy Zoning Act from 1956, the radio telescope reads really small energies that require a quiet area. Cellphones and Wi-Fi emit energies that could interfere with those readings.

Not only does this force you to abandon your smartphone, but the telescope also cannot work with radio signals. So if you were hoping to jam out to some tunes in the back woods of West Virginia disconnected from the world, you’re out of luck. All of the radio stations eerily disappear in Green Bank. However, there is one radio station that broadcasts at a low enough frequency to avoid being banned, Allegheny Mountain Radio. Luckily, they don’t stick to one music genre so you won’t have to worry about your ears bleeding. The resident’s frequent use of HAM radios might though.

Despite all of this, the observatory was forced to stop taking readings because of the government shutdown. The quietest place in North America is probably a little louder now. Listen to NPR’s full story here.