Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Common Password Mistakes and How to Create Stronger Passwords

September 20, 2011

A password is a secret word or string of characters that is used for authentication to prove identity or gain access to resources.  We encounter passwords in our daily lives, at the ATM, when logging onto our home or office computers, or logging into our table TV decoder when purchasing a pay-per-view event.  We use passwords several times per day when we are using our computers, such as retrieving e-mail from servers; accessing programs; databases; social networking websites; or even reading the morning newspaper online.  Computer passwords are our first, last, and best line of defense against damaging intrusions.  Companies rely on passwords to protect sensitive information from hackers.  The use of poorly designed passwords could leave us vulnerable to: identity theft, financial loss, invasion of privacy, exposure of proprietary company data, and sharing sensitive or embarrassing information.  Here are some common password mistakes that users make, including examples of bad passwords.

The password is easy to locate

Even though people can create passwords with little security, IT professionals can be equally guilty of failing to enforce the rules. Here are some common password mistakes made by users and network admins alike.

Monitors are the last place anyone should find your password.

Whether the password is long or short, complex or simple, a password that is written down on a Post-it note and stuck on your monitor, beneath your keyboard, or in your desk drawer (that has no lock) offers as much protection as a system that has no password in the first place.  Your best bet is to create a password that you can memorize easily or retrieve from your (password protected) mobile phone.

The password is too short and simple

“susan”

“12345”

“APPLES”

These passwords share two other things in common: they contain fewer than eight characters and they use a single character set, where the first password uses all lowercase letters, the second uses all numbers, and the third uses all uppercase letters.  Most password policies require that a password be at least eight characters long, with even more restrictive policies requiring the use of at least two or more character sets.

The password is too common

Even though people can create passwords with little security, IT professionals can be equally guilty of failing to enforce the rules. Here are some common password mistakes made by users and network admins alike.

If any of these look familiar to you, change your password RIGHT NOW

Many users create passwords out of common phrases, obvious patterns, or combinations of words.  Part of the repertoire that hackers employ includes English and foreign language dictionary attacks.  Ironically, correctly spelled passwords are the easiest to crack by dictionary attacks.  Simply transposing a letter or number to its visual equivalent (swapping an “O” for “0” (zero) in “passw0rd”) is not enough.

Using the same password for all your accounts

If a hacker succeeds in cracking your password for one account, be it your e-mail account or your Facebook account, chances are, they will attempt to use that same password for every other online account that they determine is yours.  It is in your best interest to create a unique password for each online account that you own.

The password contains personal information

Avoid creating passwords that contain your name, home address, phone number, birthday, driver’s license, Social Security number, passport number, or similar information.

The password is based on your kids’ or pets’ names, nicknames, the names of characters in books or movies, or celebrity names.

“Bobby”

“Jenny”

“Scruffy”

“MrFluffy”

“PrincessLeia”

“EdwardCullen”

“MattDamon”

If your Facebook profile can be viewed publicly, hackers can derive passwords based on the captions of your family photos or the books and movies that you “like”.

Reversing or capitalizing the last two types of bad passwords

Even though people can create passwords with little security, IT professionals can be equally guilty of failing to enforce the rules. Here are some common password mistakes made by users and network admins alike.

Some words spelled backwards are other valid words. "Stressed" and "desserts" are two of them.

Reversing your home phone number or your granddaughter’s middle name may be more complex for you to remember, but not for hackers to decipher.  After all, hackers can do a reverse dictionary attack (where they look up all the words in the dictionary spelled backwards) in an attempt to steal your password.

Network system administrators are not off the hook when it comes to creating password policies.  Often times, companies try to use password policies to keep those mistakes from hampering security.  However, these policies must be done correctly in order to have an effect.  Here are some common password policy mistakes IT departments make.

Overdoing a good thing

If a network admin requires users to create new and extremely complex passwords every 30 days, the users may start to ignore the rules and keep the hard-to-remember passwords written down.

Applying password policies unevenly

Companies may require strong passwords for users during initial login, but at other levels of security, password policies may be much weaker.  Hackers who toil at cracking the user’s tough login password would be pleased to discover that security throughout the rest of the system is much more lax.

Allowing password policies to become outdated

While making users update their passwords every 30 days may be difficult for some users, not updating password policies at all would allow a system to become just as susceptible to attacks by hackers, who can rely on old information to gain access.

In order for users to protect themselves from identity theft, financial loss, or loss of privacy, users should actively and regularly create strong passwords.  Here are some guidelines to creating a strong password.

Keys to password length: length and complexity

An ideal password is long and has letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers (e.g. spanning four character sets: lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters).  If possible, use a password that is at least 14 characters or more and spans all areas of your keyboard, using letters and symbols you use less frequently.

Create a strong password you can remember

Microsoft outlines a method to create a long, complex password:

Start with a sentence or two.

  • Complex passwords are safer and easier to remember.

Remove the spaces between the words in the sentence.

  • Complexpasswordsaresaferandeasiertoremember.

Turn words into symbols, numbers, or shorthand.

  • ComplexpasswordsRsafer&easier2remember.

Add length with numbers.  Put numbers that are meaningful to you after the sentence.

  • ComplexpasswordsRsafer&easier2remember2011.

Another site has additional suggestions for how to create a stronger password that is difficult to crack, yet easy to remember:

  • Choose two short, unrelated words (like your favorite exercise, animal, flower, or weather, for example) and join them with an arbitrary number and/or symbol.  Examples: “jump3$lily” or “dog+rain”.
  • Use first letters of a sequence.  For example: your nephews (named Jeremy, Roger, and Allen) and their ages: “8Je9Rog12Alle”.
  • Make a really long password from a sentence.  Examples: “IwentskydivinginApril87” or “0416istheBostonMarathon”.
  • Select a line or title of a song or poem, and use the first letter of each word.  For example: “Who ya gonna call?  Ghost Busters!” would produce “Wygc?GB!” or “You can’t always get what you want” yields “Ycagwyw.”  Even better, throw in a number or punctuation mark in the middle: “Ycag$wyw”.
  • Alternate between one consonant and one or two vowels, up to eight characters.  This creates nonsense words that are still usually pronounceable, and thus easily remembered.  Examples: “routboo,” “quadpop,” and so on.
  • Consider treating your password as multiple parts: a central core and a prefix and/or suffix when needed that is specific to the service the password protects.  For example: your core might be “gPw4” (that is, “generic Password for…”) and then if it’s a password for a newspaper website like the New York Times, you might choose to add “NYt” to the beginning or end of the password (“NYtgPw4”), while your password for eBay auctions might be “gPw4eBa” and your Yahoo! email password could be “gP4Y!e”.
  • Generate your own scheme very methodically.  Start with a word, and then delete a character or two, or perhaps just the vowels.  Throw in some numbers or punctuation.  Continue making the rules for yourself.  Choose something that would seem totally random to someone else but that makes sense to you.  Use your imagination!

Tester password with the password checker

Always run a password checker to evaluate your password’s strength automatically.  Your online accounts, computer files, and personal information are more secure when you use strong passwords to help protect them.

Protect your passwords from prying eyes

If these strong passwords are still too difficult to remember, go ahead and write it down, but keep the written password in a secure location.  Once you’ve created a strong password, continue with the suggestions below to keep it even safer:

  • Never share your password with anyone.  This includes family, friends, significant others, computer support people, and bosses.  If you need someone to read your email, many email programs (for example, Outlook) allow you use a “delegates” feature to enable certain persons do so without using your password.  Check with your email provider.
  • Never say “yes” when your browser asks you if you’d like to save your password.  Although it’s convenient, it’s not a good idea—especially when the computer you are using is shared.  Some computer viruses can even recover your passwords from your Internet browser and then e-mail them to random people or post them publicly on the Internet.  Stop this from happening in the future and to remove passwords that are already stored.
  • If you absolutely must write down a new password the first time or two you use it and until you can remember it easily, be sure you keep it in a very safe, hidden place—not a sticky note stuck to your computer or your desk!  Then, shred it—don’t just toss it in the trash—once you’re done.
  • Never send your password in email, even if the request looks official.  If you receive e-mail from someone claiming to be your systems administrator, requesting your password because they supposedly need access to your files, ignore it.  This is a popular phishing scam.  Remember, your computer support people will never ask you for your password for any reason.  If someone must ask you to change your password so that they can gain entry to your account, they do not have reason to be there!
  • Change your password often.  This is important, particularly for passwords that protect highly sensitive data.  And if you ever suspect your password has been compromised, change it immediately!

Google summarizes the above information in the following video:

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Francis Unson

Top Five Most Popular Veggie Burger Recipes

June 13, 2011

Being vegetarian does not mean you have to give up hamburgers; just the real meat part!  Finding a recipe that tastes good can be hard when cooking veggie burgers, so here is a list of the five most popular recipes:

Portabella Mushroom Burgers: Perfect for those who like veggie burgers or mushroom burgers, topped with an avocado sauce.  CookingwithTse demonstrates how to make the burger below:

Spicy Vegetarian Black Bean Burger: This is a spicy, flavorful burger that can be cooked on a grill or pan-fried.  Indie5Collective demonstrates how to make the burger below:

Potato Veggie Burgers: A burger made from potatoes?  Sounds crazy, but worth trying.  HealthyVegan shows us how:

Black Bean Burgers: An easy-to-make veggie burger that is great for an everyday meal.  Joelluks prepares the burger in his video below:

Vegetarian Black Bean Burgers with Cornmeal: This is also a vegan recipe, made with black beans and salsa for flavor.

Veggie burgers were once hard to come by and not easy to make. Thanks to the ingenuity of determined vegetarians, they now have a variety of burgers to call their own that rival their carnivore counterparts.

Going vegetarian can be tough, so knowing some great recipes with wonderful flavors is a great way to help you into the process.  These burgers are not only tasty, but they are also easy to make!  Cooking for vegetarian’s sounds like it could be a task, but it is very simple, nutritious, and delicious!

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Taylor P.

Skylab: The United States’ First Space Station

May 13, 2011

Skylab was the United States’ first space station.  Launched on May 14, 1973, NASA felt it needed to establish a separate space station from the International Space Station (ISS) for crew members to live in outer space.  Skylab orbited Earth 2,476 times during the 171 days and 13 hours of its occupation during the three manned Skylab missions.  Some of the solar experiments conducted on these missions included photographing eight solar flares and determining the existence of the Sun’s coronal holes.

NASA astronauts conducted three manned missions aboard Skylab, the United States' first space station. Before NASA had a chance to refurbish the space station, it came crashing to Earth in 1979.

Courtesy: NASA

Although Skylab was successful, it was abandoned after the end of the SL-4 mission in February 1974.  NASA had planned Space Shuttle missions to reuse Skylab.

  1. An early Shuttle flight would boost Skylab to a higher orbit, adding five years to Skylab’s operational lifespan.  While the shuttle might have pushed or towed the station into orbit, attaching a booster—the Teleoperated Retrieval System (TRS)—to the station was more likely, based on astronauts’ training for the task.  Martin Marietta won the contract for the $26 million TRS, which contained about three tons of propellant, and began work in April 1978.
  2. In two shuttle flights, Skylab would be refurbished.  In January 1982, the first mission would attach a docking adapter and conduct repairs.  In August 1983, a second crew would replace several system components.
  3. In March 1984, shuttle crews would attach a solar-powered Power Expansion Package, refurbish scientific equipment, and conduct 30- to 90-day missions using the Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) and the earth resources experiments.
  4. Over five years, Skylab would be expanded to accommodate six to eight astronauts, with a new large docking/interface module, additional logistics modules, Spacelab modules and pallets, and an orbital vehicle space dock using the shuttle’s external tank.

The first three phases would have required about $60 million in 1980s dollars, not including launch costs.  However, due to delays in preparing the Space Shuttles by about two years, NASA decided to abandon all plans for boosting the station, and allowed it to reenter Earth’s atmosphere.  As of today, NASA continues to look for alternatives to Skylab.

NASA produced a documentary about Skylab.  Here is the first part:

Here is the second part:

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Joie Montoya

Cinco de Mayo Recipes

May 5, 2011

Thinking of ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  Why not make a delicious meal for the family!  It’s always nice to gather together for a family lunch or dinner.  Although Cinco de Mayo may not seem like such a big holiday, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with a nice meal.  There are many different dishes to choose from, but the following are sure to be crowd-pleasers at your Cinco de Mayo gathering.

Do you want to get into the spirit of celebrating Cinco de Mayo but you want to make the meals from scratch? Follow these recipes for a Mexican appetizer, meal, side dish and, of course, dessert.Chickaritos (common Mexican appetizer)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 package (17-1/4 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed or pie pastry for double-crust 10-inch pie
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken, chilies, onions, cheese and seasonings.  Chill until serving.
  • Remove half of the pastry from refrigerator.  On a lightly floured surface, roll to a 12-in. x 9-in. rectangle.  Cut into nine small rectangles.  Place about 2 tablespoons of filling across the center of each rectangle.  Wet edges of pastry with water and roll pastry around filling.  Crimp ends with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling.
  • Place seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Refrigerate until ready to heat. Bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm with salsa and guacamole. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

I could not find a corresponding video for chickaritos, so a cooking video featuring the appetizer would be the first of its kind.

Chicken or Beef Enchiladas (a common Mexican meal)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12 flour or corn tortillas
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cooked beef or chicken
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa

Directions

  • In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Saute onion and garlic until onion is tender.  Blend in flour.  Stir in broth, milk, chilies, salt and cumin.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.   Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Set aside.
  • Grease a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.  Spoon a little sauce in the center of each tortilla; spread to edges.  Place about 2 tablespoons meat down the center of each tortilla.  Combine cheeses; sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons on top of meat.  Roll up tortillas and place in baking dish, seam-side down.  Pour remaining sauce over.  Sprinkle with green onions and remaining cheese.  Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serve with sour cream and salsa. Yield: 6 servings.

If you’d like to watch how enchiladas are made (the recipe is very similar), watch the following video, courtesy of Ray:

Cheesy Beans and Rice (Mexican Side Dish)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided

Directions

  • Cook rice according to package directions.  Transfer to a large bowl; add the beans.  In a nonstick skillet, saute onion in oil for 4-5 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes, chili powder and salt.  Bring to a boil; remove from the heat.
  • In a 2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray, layer a third of the rice mixture, cheese and tomato mixture.  Repeat layers.   Layer with remaining rice mixture and tomato mixture.
  • Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through.  Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.

A cook at Food City TV makes the exact same dish, as you can see in the following video:

Sopaipillas (Mexican dessert)

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Honey

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients; cut in shortening until crumbly.  Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until mixture holds together.
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.  Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Roll out to 1/4-in. thickness.  Cut with a 2-1/2-in. star cookie cutter or into 2-1/2-in. triangles.
  • In an electric skillet or deep fat fryer, heat oil to 375°.  Fry sopaipillas for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and puffed.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve immediately with honey. Yield: 1 dozen.

The following video, produced by MindPower009, shows a similar recipe for sopaipillas:

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican Civic holiday that commemorates the unlikely victory against the French.  Cinco de Mayo is mostly celebrated in the town of Puebla and in the United States.  It is not commonly celebrated all throughout Mexico, but in the United States the holiday has become a day to recognize Mexican heritage and pride. So take the time this Cinco de Mayo to enjoy the cultures of Mexico and have a delicious Mexican cuisine-inspired meal with the family!

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Joie Montoya

A Change in Google’s Management

April 15, 2011

Larry Page, one of the co-founders of Google, has made some major changes to management ranks at the Internet search giant.  The Los Angeles Times reports that Page promoted seven executives from the company to run various divisions within it.  That being said, the move was said to make an effort to “restore the sense of urgency and innovation that drove Google’s prior success.”

With co-founder Larry Page returning to his top position in Google, he has made some big changes to Google's management in an effort to restore a sense of urgency and innovation, driving forces of the company's early years.Andy Rubin, who is in charge of Android mobile phone software; Salar Kamangar, who runs YouTube and videos; Sundar Pichai, head of the Chrome Web Browser and operating system; and Vic Gundotra, who is in charge of Google’s social networking strategy, are all being promoted to Senior VP roles.  Existing Senior VPs, meanwhile, will take over various departments throughout the company.  All these changes are being made to bolster performance in parts of Google’s business that has seen little growth.

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Taylor P.

 

Japanese Culture: Japanese Festivals

March 18, 2011

Matsuri (祭) is the Japanese word for “festival” or “holiday”.  In Japan, it is often said that you will always find a festival going on somewhere.  Most Japanese festivals are derived from Chinese festivals.  However, some are so different from the Chinese festivals, you can hardly tell where they came from.  Festivals are usually sponsored by a local Shrine or Temple, though they can be held by other people, as well.  There are no specific days for festivals and holidays for all of Japan, as they vary throughout each region.  Japanese people do not celebrate the Chinese New Year, but instead celebrate the Western New Year, although Chinese residents in Japan still celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Japanese festivals take place throughout the year, ranging from shrine or temple-sponsored Buddhist festivals to more secular festivals that honor cherry blossoms or children.

Tōdai-ji Temple (東大寺) - Nara, Japan

The Sapporo Snow Festival (さっぽろ雪まつり) is a famous festival in Japan.  It is one of the largest festivals and is held in Sapporo (札幌市).  It occurs in the month of February for one week.  During this festival, around a dozen huge ice sculptures are made along with hundreds of other, smaller sculptures.  There are also some concerts held during this event.  Omizutori (or Shuni-e修二会) is a series of events held annually from March 1-14 at Tōdai-ji Temple (東大寺).   It is a Buddhist repentance ritual and has been held every year for over 1250 years.   It is one of the oldest Buddhist events in Japan.  Otaimatsu is the most famous and spectacular event that goes on during Omizutori.  There are many festivals and holidays that go on in Japan throughout the year.  Many involve traditional clothing, traditional food, fireworks, and floats.  These great festivals and holidays continue to be celebrated today.

Vlogger Ken Tanaka has made a great introductory video to what goes on at Matsuri on his YouTube channel.

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Taylor P.

Japan Relief Effort: How You Can Help the Earthquake & Tsunami Victims

March 14, 2011

Around the world on Friday, March 11, 2011, we watched in horror as a magnitude 8.9 earthquake, with an epicenter 231 miles (373 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo and 80 miles (130 km) east of Sendai, Honshu in the Pacific Ocean, generated a tsunami that devastated the mostly rural region of Northern Japan.  The immediate destruction of the earthquake and tsunami included destroyed or toppled houses and buildings, overturned train cars, and mud and debris pushed miles inland.  The livelihoods of millions of people were wiped out, the human toll incalculable.

The disaster has made even the most basic of necessities – food, clothing, and shelter – hard to come by.  The international community and nonprofit organizations have stepped in, mobilizing rescue workers and providing relief to the victims of the disaster.  You, too, can help the victims of the disaster by providing relief supplies or donating money.  The fastest way to help is to make a $10 donation by sending a text message from your mobile phone to an organization’s short code.  Ten organizations have established a text message short code so far.

You can help the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan by donating money with a simple text message.Simply text the specific word to the organization’s designated short code:

Adventist Development and Relief AgencyADRA Relief

  • Text SUPPORT to 85944

American Red CrossJapanese Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief

  • Text REDCROSS to 90999

Convoy of HopeDisaster Response

  • Text TSUNAMI or SUNAMI to 50555

GlobalGivingJapan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund

  • Text JAPAN to 50555

International Medical CorpsEmergency Response Fund

  • Text MED to 80888

Mercy CorpsHelp Survivors of Japan’s Earthquake

  • Text MERCY to 25383

Salvation ArmyJapan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Efforts

  • Text JAPAN to 80888

Save the Children FederationJapan Earthquake Tsunami Relief

  • Text JAPAN or TSUNAMI to 20222

World ReliefJapanese Tsunami Relief

  • Text WAVE to 50555

World VisionJapan Quake and Tsunami Relief

  • Text 4JAPAN or 4TSUNAMI to 20222

The $10 donation will show up on your next phone bill.  Every little bit helps.

Canadian vlogger, BusanKevin, lives in Kobe, Japan.  He has appealed to Canadians and Americans to help in any way they can.

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Francis M. Unson

Social Media Myths

March 26, 2010

Social media myths that make small business owners think twice about adopting it as part of their daily operations.

Has your small business taken the plunge and adopted social media for your operations?  If not, you’re not alone.  Small businesses have slowly adopted social media to some degree or another.  Only about 1% of small businesses in the United States and Canada use social media.

Why the slow transition?  Small business owners’ perspectives about social media differ from the typical consumer who merely uses social media casually.

Here are some sobering social media myths that make small business owners think twice about adopting it as part of their daily operations.

Social media is (almost) free

Photo-sharing websites such as Photobucket and Flickr; video-sharing websites such as YouTube and Revver; content aggregators such as Digg, Delicious, and Technorati; blogging websites such as WordPress and Blogger; and microblogging websites such as Twitter are free to use.

However, when business owners factor in the time, skill, expertise, and money involved developing a corporate marketing program that incorporates interactivity, allows user-generated content and, possibly, e-commerce, the price tag of at least $50,000 per quarter makes social media nearly impractical.

Anybody can (say they can) do it

Most people can upload pictures or videos, submit the URL of their website or blog to a website search engine submission site, write a blog, Tweet, or do any combination of these things.  However, experienced social media marketers would have the savvy to incorporate interactivity throughout all of this into an effective online marketing campaign.

Read about the rest of the social media myths.

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Francis M. Unson

Wii Sports Warm-Ups, Part 5: Boxing

March 23, 2010

The fifth and final blog in the Wii Sports Warm-Ups series involves Wii Boxing and the muscles involved in real-life boxing.  The physically demanding sport requires warming up and exercising a considerable array of muscle groups spanning almost the entire length of the person’s body, from the shoulder and neck muscles to the upper leg muscles.  Three-minute rounds of fighting, interrupted by 30 or 60-second rest breaks between rounds, demands aerobic and anaerobic conditioning so that boxers could last 12 or 15 rounds.  Body conditioning involves developing upper and lower body strength as well as good hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness.

The fifth and final blog in the Wii Sports Warm-Ups series involves Wii Boxing and the muscles involved in real-life boxing.Much of the wear and tear that takes place on the body during boxing occurs in the upper torso area, so boxers focus on strengthening the core muscles in order to absorb punches to the body.

Target muscle groups

Core muscles

Offensively, the act of punching and the subsequent impact requires conditioning the shoulder, neck, arm, and hand muscles.

Shoulder and neck muscles

Deltoids

Latissimus dorsi

Pectoralis Major

Sternocleidomastoid

Trapezius

Teres major and minor

Arm muscles

Biceps brachii and Triceps brachii

Hand muscles

  • Palmaris longus
  • Abductor pollicis brevis
  • Flexor pollicis brevis

The following video contains a series hand, finger, and forearm exercises for martial artists, and boxing, as a martial art, is no exception.  The exercises highlighted in the video strengthens the hand muscles listed above.

Why work out the legs in a sport that seems not to use them?  A good amount of the power in a boxer’s punch comes from their lower body.  Working out the upper leg muscles and hips helps boxers develop more explosive punches.

Upper leg muscles and hips

Quadriceps

Hamstrings

First-time players of Wii Boxing found themselves the most sore (and out-of-shape) out of all five sports available in Wii Sports.  Whether you’re a virtual Wii boxer or a real boxer, warming up the muscle groups outlined in this blog will help you reduce injuries, increase your endurance, and get the most out of the athleticism that virtual and real boxing needs.

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Francis M. Unson

How to Drive in Snowy and Icy Conditions

February 11, 2010

As I watch the news about the recent snowstorms that have struck the East Coast, I wondered how people could manage to drive on snow-covered or icy roads.

Follow these tips if you must drive in snowy or icy conditions.Obviously, if possible, just stay home and avoid driving in such conditions.  Make use of public transportation as well, provided that services have not been shut down.  If you must drive in snowy conditions, however, follow the tips in the owner’s manual of your car specific to your vehicle as well as the following:

Driving safely on icy roads

  1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop.  You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding.  If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  3. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  5. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  6. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  7. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first.  Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  8. Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks.  The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  9. Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions.  Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

Read more on weather.com.

By the way, the YouTube video, below, show what you should not do when driving on icy and snow-covered roads.

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Francis M. Unson

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