‘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.

Lorelei Blackburn Wins Kairos Teaching Award for Graduate Students

PhD student Lorelei Blackburn received the Kairos Teaching Award for Graduate Students earlier this year. Professor Ellen Cushman praises Blackburn’s attentiveness to her students and her effective teaching methods: “Lorelei is a masterful teacher: reflective, flexibly structured, and responsive to her students’ needs. Her assignment arcs not only represent well the shared learning outcomes of our programs, but seamlessly integrate to give students robust, project based learning experiences. Whether its first year writing or project management courses in the professional writing major, Blackburn delivers the goods and her students learn.” Ohio State University’s Distinguished Humanities Professor Cynthia Selfe nominated Blackburn for this award.

lorelei blackburn

Growing your personal brand as an introvert

Stereotypically speaking, writing is somewhat of a solitary activity. Unfortunately for the introverts attracted to the field, writing often needs to be paired up with marketing – a decidedly extroverted activity. Personal branding can be tough, especially if you find putting yourself out there exhausting. Luckily, there are some ways you can make it easier.

Social media is a fantastic tool for marketing, and it takes much of the pressure off. You have time to reflect and compose your message carefully, without an audience standing right there waiting on you.

Another tip: use subtle clues. Seemingly small details can make a big impact. Simply hanging up diplomas and certifications in your workspace can shift how others perceive you.

Finally, know your limits. Networking is important, but it’s okay to say no to events or dinners when it’s time to recharge.

So introverts, don’t be intimidated! Take advantage of the wonderful tools available, and check out these other introvert-focused branding tips at Lifehacker.