Things our Kids Should Know (Before College 2030)

My friend, Shane, posted an article about things your kids should know before they brave it alone in college. His list is quite good for general life skills and interpersonal relationships, however, Shane failed to assess how technology is going to change our kids’ college experience. As a new dad I think about this constantly; to the point of my wife saying, “I get it! Robots are going to take over everything! We heard you!”

Our college experience is going to look like the Old West compared to what our kids are going to interact with.  Did you go spittoon or horse shopping with your parents at Bed Bath and Beyond before heading to the dorms? No? Well they did. It’s up to parents to prepare their kids for the upcoming changes in technology while they are still allowed to raise them.

Here’s a supplemental list of what your kids should know before going to college in 2030:

Take off your Augmented Reality Glasses when you Meet New People

It may seem advantageous to see someone’s name floating over their head or be able to quickly browse a list of their worst fears, but just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t make it cool. Impress people by remembering their names with your brain.  Ask people questions and actually listen for the answer instead of checking your feeds while the vocal processor does the work. It may take a lot of mental gymnastics but after some practice you’ll be able to carry the conversation without the need to select from a list of popular questions or answers.

Have a conversation without recording it

Remember to sometimes have a conversation off the record. It’s nice to know your speaking skill level and vocabulary statistics and compare them with friends, but take the time to enjoy the freedom to say things that won’t be analyzed. You’ll be surprised at what you can come up with! Bring your friends to a place well away from Listening Stations like in an abandoned building or a in the sewer. Keep your AR Glasses close by in case of robot attack.

Avoid foods with Nanoparticles

It may seem fun to have all of your calories automatically tracked and your food and drinks categorized for optimal ingestion everyday, but be bold and eat an apple off of a wild tree or a fish from a pond that hasn’t been incorporated by Google Wildlife Tracker. The nanoparticles can stay in your body for years and may come back to haunt you.  And I understand that you’ll eventually try alcohol, but be different and drink Pabst Blue Ribbon (the only beer not yet laden with nanoparticles).

Exercise without your Tracking Bug

Certainly you’ll want to maintain your mandated daily exercise quota (in order to earn your food rations), but once and awhile, get out and have fun without the nagging need to constantly be filling your Energy Meter. Run up a hill, bike to class, or climb up the side of a building (just to feel alive again) – and don’t worry about tracking it! Just be sure to do to look out for Google Compliance Drones before braving such an adventure.

Learn how to Build Something with your Hands

Sure, 3D printing is an important part of our daily lives. What would we do without the ability to print our a picnic table or a set of ninja stars in a few minutes? Where would we go when a murderous robot demands parts in exchange for your life? There are things we need at the press of a button, but take some time to make something on your own from wood, metal, or paper (if legal in your area). Your friends will make fun of you but just remember you can always print out a life size replica of them and humiliate them by leaving it in the college commons, as long as your robot doesn’t tell on you.

Go out without your RFID

It’s impossible to get a fake ID anymore but when you’re of age, try going to a townie bar where they will check your ID manually. Sure it’s a hassle to carry physical identification around but they won’t check to see if you have enough surplus food rations so you might be able to have a good time. Some bars will still take cash (if you’re able to barter for some) so your transactions won’t go into your Google Wallet Permanent History. Also, professors won’t be able to see what you were up to last night unless you were drinking something other than PBR.

Your Personal Defense Drone is for Defense ONLY

It’s not for spying on your girlfriend / boyfriend! It’s not to be used to remotely view your lessons or to prove your suspicions that “Kendra is a whore” (that’s what Facebook is for now). It is only to be used to record your every movement in case the authorities need to corroborate your actions/location for an alibi.

Go Sans Robot

Robots are a great invention but you don’t always have to let them read your lessons to you or get your groceries. If you’re able to overpower your robot, reach inside of its brain and switch it off. This may end in your death but if you’re victorious can end with a few moments of peace so you can study or relax. Either way your Defense Drone will record the entire encounter and play it back for the robot so it will be more prepared next time.

Be able to Read a Compass

Always know the direction of Mountain View. Remember to Praise our Great Leader 3 times a day. Praise Google!

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Whiskey Stones

Whiskey StonesThis Christmas everyone in my family got Whiskey Stones. No, it’s not a contagious, alcohol induced, second cousin to kidney stones. Whiskey Stones are a good thing.

Whiskey stones are an elegant substitute for ice. Since the invention of soap, people have been avoiding mixing rocks and dirt with their foods. Whiskey Stones bring back a man’s primal urges to mix his libations with cold hard minerals and get the earth closer to his mouth.

A few frozen Whiskey Stones can be added to lowball drinks to keep them cold.  Since they are made out of rocks, they will not melt like their inferior competitor, ice. Whiskey Stones can also be microwaved for 30 seconds giving them lasting drink heating power for coffee or tea. The high heat capacity of soapstone gives both hot and cold modes a lasting effect, perfect for slower drinkers and children.

There are rules to using Whiskey Stones:

  1. You never touch Whiskey Stones
  2. You never touch Whiskey Stones!

Learned from experience, microwaved Whiskey Stones reach and sustain a temperature rivaling lava or the sun. Whiskey Stones should only be picked up with welder’s gloves or plutonium tongs after microwaving.  Also, if your frail human body contains over 75% water, do not touch frozen Whiskey Stones or risk making them a permanent member of your phalanges.  I would have 911 at the ready if you’re thinking about putting a frozen Whiskey Stone on your tongue.

Whiskey Stones work as advertised, with subtle effects.  They don’t make drinks as cold as ice, but the fact that they don’t melt means your liquor taste doesn’t change over time.  Wine can also be chilled with the stones.  Only an uncivilized neanderthal would put ice in his wine.  The soficitated gentleman chills his wine with a handful of rocks.

They also do a decent job keeping coffee and tea hot for a longer amount of time. I’m afraid to place frozen stones into a hot drink for fear they’ll shatter, but I’m guessing they would be a suitable, non-water substitute for cooling down your oatmeal or hot chocolate. The only drawback to Whiskey Stones is that you have to wash and dry them before putting them away, which is difficult to do with ice.  However, they win over ice in the fact that there is no practical way to use microwaved ice in a drink.

Whiskey Stones are also environmentally friendly since you don’t have to waste water (save it for the whales).  You’ll realize these savings in about 4000 years.

Available from Sparq or wait until the next time they appear on Woot!

Tips for Running a Half Marathon

For some, Spring means hanging out at the lake or watching baseball.  For others, Spring is Half Marathon Season!

After you’ve done a few long distance races, you think you’ve got it all figured out and can start educating and encouraging new runners.  Everyone’s always asking me, “Tell me everything you know about distance running in blog post form!”  So I just had to write it down.  These tips will save you time, money, and make your race a much more enjoyable adventure.

Tips for Running a Half Marathon

Buy a Quality Track Suit:
Having the right shoes and clothes can make or break your run.  Spend at least $1400 on shorts, underwear, socks, and a shirt.  Approximately every $100 you spend on running clothes equals ten minutes off of your time!  Look inside of the clothes for special Perks or Powerups.  Nike makes a sports bra with a button you can press to give you a quick speed boost.

Also, be sure to put those things under your kneecaps so your leg does not break apart.  I can’t tell you how many kneecaps I’ve seen skittering across the road after someone’s knees explode.

Carb-Load:
The night before the race, hunt down anything made from grains or sugar.  The best method for storing up this energy is through consuming as much beer as possible.  Think of each longneck as a cylinder in your car engine.  Tomorrow you’re legs will be pounding pavement away like a sewing machine. As the night goes on and it gets closer to race time you’ll know you’re belly’s ready.  That’s a feeling we runners call “the churning”.

Track Your Run:
Just as it’s important to check into a grocery store on Facebook Places or foursquare, you’ll want to be sure to track every single step you take running for the rest of your life.  When your half marathon begins, you’ll probably be back a little ways from the start gate.  DO NOT start your Nike+ or GPS until you reach the gate.

To ensure accuracy, STOP right before you get to the start gate and look at your tracker to make sure it is ready.  If you need a second, be polite and hold up a finger for those behind you.  They’ll know you need a second and politely wait until you have everything set up.  This is also a great time to set up your iPod playlists.

Touch as many People as Possible:
Comradery between long distance runners is as strong as soldiers who has endured the crucible of combat together.  Gently touch as many people as possible on the shoulder as you pass them.  For added points, lean in and whisper something in their ear.  “Keep going buddy!” “I hope you’re getting enough water!” or softly hiss “Meet you after the race for applesss.” These are good phrases to keep in mind but make some up on your own.  Keep track of how many people you’ve touched and let everyone know how many you touched. This is something everyone talks about!

Walk/Run With All of Your Friends:
Make it a girls weekend and walk with 3 of your friends. Have t-shirts made for each Sex and the City character. Walk 4 abreast down the track. This is a great time to talk about boys or exchange your favorite recipes. (Guys can talk about video games and war)  Just remember to consider all of your friends because one of the girls on the end is going to miss out on a lot of the conversation because she’s stuck next to the loud one and when she goes to spread the gossip to her other friends she’s going to screw it all up:

“So I guess Dorothy went to the costume party with Mark and she went as Dorothy and he went as some kind of x-men mutant and when they started doing it in the punch bowl his eyes started shooting lasers like the Cyclops but luckily Dorothy’s real ruby slippers were already off and on the table because it was getting hot so he just put the shoes over his eyes to stop the lasers so he didn’t kill anybody else but they had to leave and she got a DUI because Mark couldn’t see without shooting lasers out of his eyes. At least that’s what I heard when when we ran this half marathon thing last week.”

Be Cautious When Getting Water:
There will be numerous water stations scattered throughout your race.  You’ll want to stay plenty hydrated.  Don’t worry about pee because most of it comes out of your skin.

The proper way to grab a water is to scream and quickly dart across the track towards the water.  Sudden movements indicate thirst. Go for the first water person.  ONLY get water from the first person! As soon as you get your cup, STOP!  DO NOT spill any water on your expensive track suit!  Spread your legs, shoulder length apart, and lean forward and slowly drink your water or Gatorade.  This is a good time to check your kneecap holders to make sure they aren’t about to fly off. Give big smile and a thumbs-up to those around you if your kneecaps are OK!

If Of course you have your phone with you, so be sure to check in on Facebook Places at each water station.

When you’re done with the cup, throw it as far away as possible so a woodland creature or fish can make a house out of it.  Running is very rewarding in itself, but being able to help animals is great too.