YouTube upped its geek game in 2013, dedicating a whole week in August to the geek content we were sharing across all social networks. From superheroes to super Time Lords to the most super singing that space has ever seen, there was a lot to be enamored with this year on the ol' 'Tubez. According to the site, these are the top five videos of the year. Think you know which one was the most popular?
If you're seeking holiday decor that will lend a personal touch for years to come, turn to Etsy. Unlike the products offered at major retailers, we found everything from vintage ornaments to handmade stockings to liven up your space. Whether you're looking for an eclectic piece or a unique gift, there's something on Etsy for you!
Busy schedules often leave people little time to embark on an adventure outside of their typical days. Wise Bread has compiled 25 ways you can add some excitement to your daily routine.
Variety is more than just the spice of life; it expands our experience and makes our lives more fulfilling. Unfortunately, many of us are bound to tight, overwhelming schedules that leave little room for novelty or adventure. The good news is that making your life more interesting is easy if you are willing to make small departures from the norm. Here are 25 simple ways you can make your life more interesting — starting today.
1. Greet the Dawn
Even if you're not a morning person, plan to watch the sun rise. Prepare for this moment by picking out a view point and determining when the weather in your area will be clear enough to usher in a beautiful day. Brew some strong coffee and bring a friend along. As the sun rises, remind yourself of all the possibilities that a new day holds.
2. Take a Different Path
Give yourself some extra time to take the scenic route to work. Try side streets instead of the freeway. Make a conscious effort to change your routine travels once-in-a-while and discover new places and new people.
3. Plan a Mini Roadtrip
Explore new vistas right around the corner. Search the web for nearby points of interest or comb the countryside for vegetable stands and garage sales. You don't have to travel far or spend a lot of time (or money) to make the most of the miles you roam.
4. Move to the Beat of a Different Drummer
Tired of listening to the same old song? Applications like Spotify allow users to preview different artists and listen to entire albums for free. Spotify can also make suggestions for other music based on the genres you enjoy most. Who knows, your quest for variety might reveal a whole new musical interest!
5. Turn Off Your TV
Watching TV is a passive activity at best. Why not turn it off for a day and actively search out your news and entertainment elsewhere? Read a newspaper, enjoy a play at a community theater, or simply revel in some rare silence.
6. Make Something Interesting
7. Find a Poem
Awaken your inner Shakespeare by penning a sonnet from words you find in newspapers, owners' manuals, magazines, or even this blog post. For example, choose every third word from your found material and place them into a word bank. Next, choose words from your bank that fit into a Haiku format (5 syllables for the first line, 7 for the next, and 5 for the last).
8. Wander Down Memory Lane
Remember all those pictures you took at your last family reunion or vacation? What about that old diary tucked away in the shoebox? Find those memories and spend some time with them. As you wander down memory lane, reflect on what was interesting to you back then. Sparking a new interest can start by rekindling forgotten embers.
9. Visit With Children
Kids aren't afraid to color outside the lines or paint the sky orange instead of blue. Spending time in their company will open you up to the wild musings of your inner child. The young folks in your life will revel in the attention and sometimes, as the old saying goes, kids say the darnedest things!
10. Make Your Own Value Meal
If you had only $2.00 to make a meal, what would be on the menu? Scrounge around your pantry first and complement your culinary findings with a $2.00 purchase (or less) at your local grocery store or farmer's market.
- Look back at the best home decor Instagrams from 2013 — Home
- Watch Kellan Lutz's abs in the new Hercules pictures — Entertainment
- Bet you've never made Christmas cookies like these before! — Food
- Behold the scientific reasons guys are so attractive — Love & Sex
- Video: Work out on your business trip with this hotel-room ab routine — Fitness
- The 18 most pinned DIYs of 2013 — Smart Living
- How to deck out your teen's hangout spot — Moms
- Put a geeky twist on your ugly Christmas sweater — Tech
- Kate Middleton's hair is having the best year ever — Beauty
- 25 models with unbeatable street style — Fashion
- How Pope Francis surprised us all in the year 2013 — Celebrity & News
- Vintage fitness ads you won't believe existed — Fitness
If Time magazine had picked a different person of the year (say, Miley Cyrus or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad), today's talks about that person's legacy would look very different. But instead, the annual crowning went to Pope Francis, the first Latin American Catholic leader, who rose to the papacy in March of this year.
In just a short time, Pope Francis has been credited with changing the church's image from one that's out of touch to one that's humble and all about serving others. It's as if every week, he's making headlines for impacting the world in a positive way. Ahead, check out three pope-inspired lessons we can all learn from those headlines and incorporate into our daily lives.
Always Stand Up For Your Beliefs
The Catholic church doesn't typically speak out favorably about the role of gays and women in society — except for Pope Francis. In July, he made headlines when he said, "Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord? You can't marginalize these people." While that comment doesn't promise a sweeping change in terms of the Vatican's attitudes toward homosexuality, no previous pope ever made such remarks. It was certainly a defining moment for the church and a sign of where it's headed in terms of acceptance.
Let us not forget the November document in which Pope Francis outlined his plans for reshaping the Catholic Church; he called for "broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church." He got plenty of heat for it, sure, but that doesn't seem to be stopping him from speaking his mind on what he thinks is right, no matter how far it strays from tradition. In fact, it's what makes people love him even more.
It's Important to Remember Your Roots
Did you know? Pope Francis has a very modest background, having previously worked as a janitor sweeping floors. He also joined the Jesuit order of priests, known for their incredibly humble habits. And even in the grand Vatican, his lifestyle is not much different. Instead of the papal palace where other popes have lived, he makes his home in a spare hostel. Instead of a papal Mercedes, he uses an old Ford Focus. And you won't find him wearing those red leather shoes — nope, he prefers less-flashy black ones.
And in news that made everyone's hearts melt, reports recently came out that he was sneaking out at night to help Rome's poor. According to Huffington Post, "Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women." It's something he did as a priest and wanted to continue doing as pope, because why not?
No matter what your background, there's something to be said (and learned) from someone who doesn't just talk about his down-to-earth persona but actually acts upon it.
Treat Everyone With Respect
You may have heard about the time the pope blessed and kissed a man with severe facial deformities. Or the time he washed the feet of Muslim women. Or even sent money to an elderly woman who was mugged on her way to visit her husband in the hospital.
There's a reason his actions often go viral — they resonate with us whether we're part of the Catholic Church or not. They teach acceptance of and kindness toward others, even when you're one of the most powerful people on the planet.
Who says the news has to get you down? The past year was filled with heartwarming stories that will restore your faith in the world. San Francisco came together to cheer on Batkid, Boston celebrated a World Series win after the tragic marathon bombing, and the Supreme Court in Washington DC made dreams come true for many gay couples when it threw out the Defense of Marriage Act. Meanwhile, celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Kate Middleton set refreshing examples for women, and viral videos made us all smile. And Pope Francis, who was just named Time person of the year, struck an inclusive tone that gave many hope. Relive the good news from 2013 now.
Keeping gift ideas under wraps is hard enough as it is — then throw social media into the mix, and you've got a potential disaster. Thankfully, Pinterest, the inspiration destination, has secret boards that keep pins private and white elephant ideas away from prying eyes. The company is now allowing six secret boards (instead of three) and launching a new iPad app that's iOS 7-ready.
For now, users can only create up to three secret boards, and existing boards can't be privatized, but users can invite others to view and contribute to secret boards. We also tested whether a repin onto a secret board would show up in the original pin's social stats, and, no, secret repins do not appear anywhere except your secret board (phew). Take secret boards for a spin by going to your Boards page, scrolling down to the bottom (you'll see the secret boards dashboard in gray), and then start secretly pinning!
If you need some holiday pinspiration for secret boards aside from gift planning, think: a wish list between you and your main squeeze, upcoming holiday party outfits, or decoration ideas for the New Year's Eve bash you're hosting.
- 25 ways to make yourself smarter — today! — Wise Bread
- Why using big bills saves you money — Real Simple
- Financial planners share their secrets to holiday budgeting — LearnVest
- Last-minute holiday gifts that don't seem like they were — DailyWorth
- How to use the office holiday party to advance your career — Lifehacker
- The cost of being outdoorsy — The Billfold
- How to say "I do" to a financial future together — HuffPost Women
With so many new technology releases around the holidays, it can be daunting to determine what's awesome and what's just a lot of hype. Luckily, we've done the legwork for you and found all the very best geek-chic gadgets out there this holiday season — find out which items made our list right here on The Sync Up!