The history of Black Friday started much earlier than people think. The day after Thanksgiving was the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season since the late 19th century. President Lincoln designated the Thanksgiving holiday as the last Thursday in November.
The day after Thanksgiving wasn’t called Black Friday then. The name was associated with September 24, 1869. Two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk, created a boom-and-bust in gold prices. A stock market crash followed, as prices fell 20 percent. The disruption in gold prices sent commodity prices plummeting 50 percent. Corruption in Tammany Hall allowed Gould and Fisk to escape without punishment.
In 1905, Canadian department store Eaton’s began the first Thanksgiving Day parade by bringing Santa on a wagon through the streets of downtown Toronto. In 1913, eight live reindeer pulled Santa’s “sleigh.” By 1916, seven floats representing nursery rhyme characters joined Santa in the parade.
In 1924, the Eaton’s parade inspired Macy’s Department Store to launch its famous Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. Macy’s wanted to celebrate its success during the Roaring 20s. The parade boosted shopping for the following day. Retailers had a gentleman’s agreement to wait until then before advertising holiday sales.
In 1939, during the Great Depression, Thanksgiving happened to fall during the fifth week of November. Retailers warned they would go bankrupt because the holiday shopping season was too short. They petitioned President Franklin D. Roosevelt to move the Thanksgiving holiday up to the fourth Thursday.
Unfortunately, by this time it was late October. Most people had already made their plans. Some were so upset that they called the holiday “Franksgiving” instead. Only 32 states followed FDR’s move. Others celebrated two holidays, which forced some companies to give their employees an extra day off.
In 1941, Congress ended the confusion. It passed a law that made Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November no matter what.
In the 1950s, people began calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving, essentially giving themselves a four-day weekend. Since stores were open, as were most businesses, those playing hooky could also get a head start on their holiday shopping. That’s as long as the boss didn’t see them. Rather than try to determine whose pay should be cut, and who was legitimately sick, many businesses started adding that day as another paid holiday.
In 1966, the Black Friday name became famous in print. That’s when a story appeared in an ad in The American Philatelist, a stamp collectors’ magazine. The Philadelphia Police Department used the name to describe the traffic jams and crowding in the downtown stores.
In 2014, an internet meme created a myth about Black Friday and slaves. It falsely claimed slave traders gave discounts at auctions on the day after Thanksgiving.
Black Friday Sales History
Historically, shoppers did half their holiday shopping on Black Friday. The holiday season consists of November and December, according to the National Retail Federation.
In 2008, holiday sales fell 4.6 percent from the prior year. That’s the first time sales dropped since the NRF began tracking in 1992. Sales typically rose 3.4 percent each year.
In 2009, sales increased 0.3 percent. Shoppers spent $373 each on Black Friday. That’s more than half of the $673 each spent during the 2009 holiday season.
Holiday sales rebounded 5.2 percent in 2010, once the recession was safely over. Black Friday weekend sales were $45 billion.
In 2011, many stores opened on Thanksgiving evening for the first time. Those sales were included in Black Friday sales. They were $12.3 billion, up 2.3 percent from 2010. Overall holiday sales rose 4.6 percent.
In 2013, combined online and store sales for the entire Black Friday weekend were $57.4 million. It was lower than the $60 million spent in 2012. Many shoppers took advantage of online sales that began in early November. Others waited for bigger discounts later in the shopping season. The NRF stopped giving sales estimates for Black Friday in 2013. Instead, it reported on sales for the holiday season.
You know what’s worse than having a messed up tattoo on your skin, forever? Getting called out about it online.
Below, Bored Panda has put together a list of tattoos that were messed up really bad, and then called out online. Whether it was a missing letter or a spelling mistake – all of these tattoos were horribly failed and now the whole world knows about them… I smell regret here if you ask me. Keep on scrolling to check them out and don’t forget to vote for your favorites! (more here!)
We’ve all worked a job that we hated at one point or another, and the majority of us probably stayed in it a lot longer than we wanted to. Maybe you’ve been in a situation where you tried being upbeat about a job or maybe you even broke your back to please a boss or employer who never gave you the recognition you deserved.
So you start to fantasize about the ways you’d quit, or how you’d tell off everyone who screwed you over and made your life a living hell.Whether or not you acted upon that fantasy is a whole other story, but these are tales from Redditors who actually did walk out on a crumby job, and they’re oh so satisfying.
1. Christmastime massacre.
Years ago I worked in a restaurant and it was Christmastime. This place was supposed to function with four waitresses, a busboy, dishwasher, manager, and two cooks.
Only the manager and I showed up. He did the cooking, I took orders, served, bussed tables, washed dishes and so on.
During this I accidentally dropped two bread plates and they broke. Manager says to me “I’ll have to take those out of your pay.” I told him that was funny, thinking he was joking. He wasn’t.
I turned around and grabbed a stack of dinner plates, threw them on the floor and said “take those out of my pay too” and walked out to leave him with the whole mess.
2. All the work, none of the benefits.
Previous workplace gave me a promotion to “Sales Lead.” Buried in the fine text was a line that read something to the effect of “if there isn’t an actual manager around, you become the manager on duty.”
Didn’t think anything of it until they conveniently fired my direct manager a week later, didn’t replace her, and expected me to do all the work she used to without a promotion or pay raise.
3. Sales lead blues.
Became a Sales Lead at a pretty popular store for young adults and teens. Despite it being directly against company rules, I was then forced by the store manager to close every single night of the week so the she could get off early to be with her kid. Company policy said that no manager could close more than two nights in a row.
I did it for a month and a half and peaced the $#*! out the moment I got a job offer that offered 36-45 hours a week with a regular schedule and days off.
A friend got promoted to my Sales Lead position a month later — they did the same thing and didn’t let her go home to see her dying dad and the manager fired her for asking for time off despite closing every night for three months straight. She tried to file unemployment and the store manager reported that she quit so she couldn’t collect. That manager was a piece of $#*!.
4. Not loving it.
I used to work at McDonalds (I know). Opening usually involved me at the front counter with a headset on so I could do drive-through orders and handle making coffee / putting orders together / taking money at the front from the little old people that came in at the crack of dawn every morning. We would also have a manager who was there to be important and one person in the kitchen. We’re a small rural town so usually this is fine but we were on kind of a major highway so sometimes it would get busy out of nowhere.
Depending on the manager the amount of help we had would vary wildly. One morning we got super busy and I started cracking under the pressure. I’m a fantastic multi-tasker but my drive-through line was backing up since I was trying to juggle them and all the walk-in folks from my front registers and when it gets packed…well, it’s fun. I glance around trying to find my manager for help. I see him on one of our cameras — he’s outside smoking a cigarette around the side of the building. Mind you, this is like his third trip out to smoke this morning. I’m absolutely dying trying to get caught up. Customers are being passive aggressive saying they will come behind the counter and get their own coffee and stuff. I have people yelling at me in my headset from the drive through. I end up having to remove the headset just to try to get the frontline sorted. I start making progress with the front but I basically had to sacrifice the drive-through customers for two minutes.
Apparently the cars outside start yelling at my manager and interrupt his smoke break so he comes in, sees me with my headset off and goes berserk. He’s like “WHOS TAKING THE DRIVE-THRU ORDERS?” I’m in the middle of trying to get a fresh pot of coffee going so I sort of auto-respond “No one. Hang on.” as I continue to dash around behind our counter to grab a fruit & yogurt parfait for an order. He basically gets in my way and starts giving me $#*! . Loudly, talking to me like I’m a dog. I point to the camera and yell, loudly enough to disrupt the entire inside of the restaurant. “I’m these two registers, first window, second window, and I’m bagging. I’m like FOUR PEOPLE and you’re out behind the building not doing $#*! !”
His eyes go wide. I can tell he knows I’m holding on by my last thread. He’s sighs. And he’s like “You’re in a ton of trouble but we can talk about this later.” No. $#*! him. I’m done. I’m all riled up from random customers yelling at me. I toss him the headset. “You want to give me $#*! for not being able to run like four stations with no support? Run five. I’ll watch.” I remove my name badge.
He went to say something to me. I turn away, facing the one girl working in the kitchen who is watching this all play out. I remember telling her “I’m so sorry.” and then I dropped my name badge, toss my hat on the counter, grab a water cup, put on (and zip) my jacket so my uniform is covered up. I go to the drink fountain, fill my water cup, and then I go sit on the far side of the seating area and watch him go down in flames. He ends up ALSO taking off the headset and picking up the phone so he can spam call the whole workforce one by one trying to call for help. It’s like 5AM so no one is going to accept a call from their work number. About ten minutes into his struggle he ends up very loudly pleading with me to come back from behind the counter. I can’t even see him on the other side of the sea of people swarming the counter at this point.
I call back “I need a smoke first!” and I go outside.
I don’t smoke. I’ve never smoked. I drive home.
He ended up losing his job.
5. Retail is hell.
Worked at a mall retail store in college for a couple years. When I was just a lowly peasant the manager was great to work for. Once I became a key holder is when things changed. I learned very quickly why the other key holders didn’t last. The manager would make rash decisions that would then be blamed on everyone but her…
Last straw was when the evening shift didn’t change out some signage and I get in the next morning having no idea there was new signage to be put out. She came in and berated me about the signage not being updated. I walked in the back dropped my keys off told her I quit and went to walk out. She grabbed me and told me I need to give a written notice and fax it to corporate.
“To whom it may concern,
I MikeOxsbig terminate my employment effective immediately due to manager’s inability to properly treat staff.”
Faxed it and walked out. She read it after I had already sent it and chased me out berating me more claiming I would never get another retail job in this mall… blah blah blah… Three weeks later I started at another store in that mall and always made it a point to smile and wave at her when I saw her.
6. Stadium Arcadium.
I used to work as a some kind of “aid worker/rescuer” in events with large gathering of people (concerts, festivals, etc)
The boss/owner always put her head down for the clients, and allowed them to exploits us. One of the regular clients was the event manager of a popular stadium. They would ask us to be in the stadium 3 hours prior the event to clean (yup) and stay afterwards to clean (yup). The manager wasn’t paying more money for it, but the boss didn’t want to lose the client so we just have to do it.
So, there would be events with that took 16 hours to complete, with a menial pay, no food or beverage AND with the client expecting us to do more work for free (note: I’ve never did that, and always encouraged my partners to leave, it wasn’t our job to clean).
But the moment that made me say ” $#*! this $#*! “, was when the boss called me saying that the client emailed her with a complaint about me. I thought it would be about me and my team always leaving after the job was done and not staying for cleaning, but no: “they told me that they always see you chatting with your partner, and with a smile. They don’t want the attendance to see their workers distracted and/or laughing, they want to show that only professionals work with them. So they are asking that you turn down a notch your positive attitude and keep a poker face all the time”.
7. Fabrication shop.
I got hired in a custom fabrication shop as one of their two welders. Boss promises to have me learn a bit of everything (machining, water jet, design) but barely even had me do any welding, on top of being a massive $#*! to everyone. Talked $#*! about us to customers while we were working right next to him. Got hired at a different company thursday evening, other welder quit Friday morning, I quit friday at lunch. Felt real good leaving them up $#*! creek.
Job got a VIP contract to vaccinate a bunch of elite clients. they rushed, they brought on some extra nurses barely vetted them and began. Virtually no breaks, and piles of paperwork. They didn’t finish ordering and setting up the computers and there was only one computer to chart on like >100 patients a day. Not all the nurses got their clearance for the computer yet either.
Scariest part was I had to stop someone from reusing a needle that she didn’t realize she used on a previous patient. She told me she only primed it(pushed the air out) but i told her without alarming the patient that it was not “suitable.”
I told her to go away and cleaned up her area, vaccinated the patient and never went back. I was already sick of them only thinking about the bottom line.
– MySoftBlack $#*!
9. Fateful Friday.
I asked month in advance for time off during a Friday. I was approved. The fateful Friday came around and everybody I worked with (four of us) we’re also approved for time off (We all had the same event to attend). The manager calls me the night before and tells me that I need to come in. I told him I had already made the plans and that I was approved months ago with emails to show for it. He responded by telling me if I didn’t show I’d be fired. I just didn’t go. $#*! you Jason.
10. K-Mart Sporting Goods.
I got hired at K-mart to work in sporting goods. Was told to wear the traditional black pants and red polo.
Day 1 — “Sorry, we can’t train you for sporting goods today, we need you to help unload trucks.”
It’s summer in SC. It’s 100 degrees and 80 percent humidity. I’m wearing black pants and a thick polo. No change of clothes.
End of Day — “Sorry about today. We’ll start training you tomorrow. Come to work in uniform again.”
Day 2 — same thing
Day 3 — same thing
Day 4 — same thing
Day 5 — same thing
Day 6 — same thing
Day 7 — I came in on my day off to quit.
If I wasn’t dumb and 17 I probably would have just wised up and brought a change of clothes. I didn’t mind unloading the truck, although the sweat drenched clothes weren’t ideal. The real reason I quit was the obvious lack of planning and management.
11. IT Department.
I was the IT department for a small company. A few times I would go to the owners’ places and work on their computers there (setup VPNs back to the office, etc).
Didn’t take long for that to morph into “come over tonight, my teenage daughter has an essay due and the printer isn’t working” and “little Johnny got his computer loaded with viruses again. Come fix it”. I didn’t get paid extra for the house calls.
When I finally said ” $#*! it I quit” they wouldn’t accept my resignation (as though they had a choice) so I wrote a bridge burning letter detailing why I was leaving. House calls was the only point in the letter that they took issue with.
I actually just remembered the part that threw me over the top (house calls were annoying but this….)
This was almost 20 years ago. We ran a lot of promotions and collected a lot of information about retailers. (One of the company’s main assets is this thorough list of small independent retailers in our market segment. We had more and better data than Google at the time). We started a new arm of the company which was only peripherally related to this. In order to get the word out, they wanted to contact this list.
This all came to a head around the same time as the house calls. I did write the spam bot, but I did not document any of it before I left so hopefully they never figured out how to use it.
12. No bathroom breaks.
I quit after working for four hours at a sushi restaurant. I asked where the bathroom was and I was told “we don’t really get bathroom breaks.” I left right then and never came back. It was pretty sad the manager said he understood and wasn’t mad at all.
13. Corporate entitlement.
For the second year in a row the big meeting with the CEO went
“And we hit 150 percent of our targets this year. No pay raises for anyone.”
14. Student treachery.
I was hired for a college to run their office where students got hands on work in the field. When I discovered that they were ripping off students hours, I started providing students copies of their hours and telling them to keep a notebook with the copies for their records. See the students were on a contract that if they didn’t graduate by the date estimated for completion, students were required to pay $200 every additional week it took to complete among suspensions (which in turn went against contract graduation date). They also asked me to falsify report of students absences to suspend them even though I had documented proof the student was in class. I decided to leave that job but not before telling students to report them to the state board and providing statements for the lawyer who the students gathered to represent their case.
Ooooh boy strap in.
I used to work at IHOP as a server, our manager was wildly incompetent. She would leave with the manager card (which was the only way to correct an order, refund something etc.) she was spiteful and stupid, a deadly combination. So I was poor, and had a raggedy pair of the non-slip shoes you’re supposed to wear in food service. I also had a pair of doc marten work shoes that were slip/oil/electric proof. Same color and all. She made a big stink about me not wearing the correct shoes, I explained they were on their last leg, and that even though the docs were technically not regulation, that they fit the criteria. They even said it on the sole. So she threatens to fire me over these $#*! ing shoes and I cave and wear the $#*! ty shoes to work. Saturday night, packed to the gills. Not a seat in the house. Halfway into my nightmare understaffed shift, as I’m carrying an appetizer sampler and a tray of drinks to a table, the sole rips from the upper and I TRIP AND SPILL THE WHOLE $#*! ING SAMPLER ON THE TABLE. Ranch. Honey mustard. Marinara. 4 dr peppers. All over me and a couple. Face and all. I freak out and apologize, explain I’ll comp the food and and go to find the manager. Guess who went home? With that almighty card you need to void checks or discount them. I also had about 5 other tables suffering who saw all this happen. I call her, she’s at home. Lives 15 mins away. I told her not to bother, asked her how she could be so $#*! ing stupid to go home with the card for the 10000th time,screamed about the damn shoes etc. and told her to go $#*! herself. Took my tips out of the cash I had, told all my customers their meals were on the house, and stripped down to my underwear right there in the parking lot. Walked to my car and changed my clothes. Never looked back.
16. You don’t get it, Jorge.
HR dude calls on Friday at 6 p.m.: “Hey, I’m really sorry, the insurance company won’t cover you until you’re an employee for 60 days”
Me: “That’s… a shame. Since you promised that you’d cover me and children right away, that you’d arrange the 60 days going to not apply to me, and I told you that was a condition for me accepting this job. Also, my son’s surgery is literally on Monday, in two days.”
And he was shocked shocked that I quit the next week, just totally livid that I gave a week’s notice. “You know this means you’ll never work here again” yeah Jorge that’s the $#*!ing point
17. Five minutes late.
I was five minutes late and was chewed out because of this, but they were so keen to forget that I filled in for them the previous day because someone quit on the spot. I too quit on the spot.
18. Inconvenience store.
I wrote this before on another post but it fits here too.
I used to work nights as a cashier at a deli/convenient store. Pretty chill job. The manager who worked during the day quit so my boss asked me to switch and handle manager’s responsibilities. I said sure, with a pay raise. He assured me it would only be for a week. So I said fine I’ll do you the favor. So now, I would work 6am-4pm during the week and 6am-11:30pm during the weekends. The new times also involved A LOT more work. I would literally be running the entire store myself including orders, deliveries, inventory, a bunch of other things that I was not getting paid to do. Should also note that my boss didn’t even know how to work the register, let alone anything else that needed to be done.
Well that week turned into a month. I went back into his office (which was a supply closet with a computer in it) to discuss a pay raise and he asked to take me out to dinner to discuss it. I said no. Told him he had another week to find someone. Next week goes by and it’s a Friday. I go up to him and ask him for either a raise or some sort of bonus for all that I’ve done. He asks about dinner again and I say no. He then says no to the raise or bonus.
So I told him I quit. He can show up tomorrow & Sunday 6am-11:30pm because I won’t be there. I’m telling this to the man who doesn’t know how to open the register. I walk away and go back to the register.
He comes up to me 10 minutes later, opens his wallet, and pulls out a $100 bill and gives it to me as my “bonus.” I take it, put it in my purse and say “Thank you! I’m still quitting though.” The look on his face was amazing. An hour later, I pay myself for the week and left.
19. Working the stockroom.
I’ve worked in retail part-time since I was 16. In my first job they started introducing a “punishment” system for when team members didn’t make their target.
Thankfully it never happened to me, but one day a manager posted on our staff Facebook page a video of them throwing a bucket of water over an employee who didn’t make his target, purely for everyone else to laugh at. This didn’t happen with any of the other “punishments”.
He had worked there 10 years. He was a stockroom member so wouldn’t even be on the shop floor to make the targets set for him as all targets for every member were sales-based (even if you weren’t a sales member, because if it was busy there was a chance you would have to go on the shop floor and help).
He had taken off his shoes and placed them to the side so they didn’t get wet. He did this because he had to get 2 buses to and from work every day.
That was my official “ $#*! this” moment and quit after that.
20. Summer job.
When I was 14, I wanted a summer job with my best friend. We went to the fast food shop at the beachside. It was quite popular since it was the only fast food around. We get there on a Friday afternoon and we meet the owner. 50-something man with a big belly from probably the fast food he serves. Tells us we can get there the next morning and people would show us around.
We get there at 9 a.m. like he told us and there was no one. First employees arrive at 10.30 to open. They have no idea we were supposed to work. They tried to help us the most they could but they were cashier with no training for the food stuff. Both their “cooks” left that week and the owner was doing all the work.
We finish our first day without any trouble, slow day overall.
Sunday arrive and we are not prepared for the sheer number of customer. We still have about no idea how to cook the food and how the equipment worked. Owner arrive with a bunch of his friends. We were swamped with people but he shoved them around a bit and asked us to do “6 hot dogs, 6 fries and 6 diet cokes and fast”. We knew it was for him so we told people to wait and we finished their order.
Not 30 seconds after the owner comes back behind the counter and begin to tell us we are $#*! at our job and that the fries were not cooked enough and that we messed the condiments on the hot dogs.
Mind you, there were a lot of customers waiting for their food at that point and they were all looking at us getting yelled at by the owner.
I look to my friend, he looked at me and we both knew what to do. We took our aprons off and told him to $#*! off. We left him with all the orders right there and then, never went back there. They closed down about 2 years after.
21. University job.
I had worked at a university for 23 years. There were over 7,700 staff and I think I had met half of them by then. Working as a Senior Field IT Tech, was awesome for the first 20 years. They were very flexible and I had lots of side gigs. In the end the bean counters came in and made things more efficient by outsourcing many tasks. Usually they were the “fun things.” The last year was very repetitive and mundane. Lots of problems that we couldn’t fix because they were “someone else’s problem.” One day I came in and attempted to resolve seven different problems; and I was shut down on each because they each had their own team of people who’s responsibility it was. I said, “ $#*! this; what do you need me for….” went straight to HR to quit.
Belinda, the HR Manager, was not you typical cliched type. I’d fixed her PC before and knew her. She said, “Don’t quit today, take the weekend, wait until Monday, and see how you feel then.” I took her advice, temporarily retracting my signed resignation, and went home.
On Monday the largest round of redundancies were announced in the university’s long history, because of the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, the payouts were incredible. My accountant when he saw how much was being offered, suggested they had made a mistake, and called on my behalf to check if it was correct. (It was). Effectively two years salary (after tax).
I would have missed out if Belinda had accepted my resignation.
22. Direct depost.
I was working at a company for only a few months when things started to get bad. I had direct deposit set up and I was away on vacation when payday came around. My paycheck didn’t drop in my bank account. OK, interesting. I texted a co-worker and the boss said that the new assistant forget to “approve it.”
This happened for the next three pay periods. I had to go to my boss every payday to try and get her to cut my check. Some days she would leave early and tell us she totally “forgot.” That following Monday, she comes in and is showing off a new car she bought over the weekend. Right there I told her I will not be coming back into work and I would like my final pay. I didn’t say “$#*! this, I quit” but I sure as hell should have!!! No way was I even going to give her the decency of two weeks notice, either.
Who the hell buys a new car when you’re struggling to pay your employees????? Arggh still gets me mad! lol
23. Canceled trip.
Company promised a retreat in Banff because we hit our sales targets. Two weeks before the trip, they say it’s been cancelled, with no plans to pay us out for the pooled bonus that would have went towards that trip. On the weekend of the trip, a manager posts a photo of her and other managers in Banff. But oh no, it wasn’t work related! They said it was for a manager’s birthday (even though one of the managers that went absolutely hates the one who was allegedly celebrating the birthday). Quit shortly after.
BY Emily Petsko – Mental Floss
We’ve all been there. Your eyes glaze over, and you can’t get past the first paragraph on the page. Or perhaps you can’t will yourself to pick up a book in the first place. “Reader’s block” is a well-documented problem, and even avid readers occasionally suffer from it. The good news is that it’s not incurable, but it might require a little creativity and effort on your part. Read on to hear tips from longtime readers who have been through it—and managed to come out on the other side of a good book.
1. START EASY.
If your reading skills are a little rusty, it’s probably best not to start with War and Peace—or any of the classics, for that matter. Sometimes people fall into the trap of being overly ambitious and choosing one of the literary “greats” without stopping to question whether they actually want to read it. “This is the problem with readers: we aim too high,” Stuart Jeffries wrote in The Guardian. “Ultimately, reader’s block is caused by the great is-ought dilemma. You know you should, but you probably won’t.” Instead of setting yourself up for failure, start off with something short and easy to digest. Once you get back into the swing of things, you can graduate to more challenging books.
2. TRY A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES …
Compared to a 300-page novel, short stories won’t seem like such an insurmountable task. Ginni Chen, Barnes and Noble’s “Literary Lady,” suggests trying a collection of stories written by different authors. That way, you’ll have the chance to figure out which styles and subjects you enjoy most. In an advice column addressed to someone with reader’s block, Chen recommended the Best American Short Stories and the Best American Nonrequired Reading collection. And if you want to start really small, there’s an app called Serial Box that will send you 150-character stories as push notifications.
3. … OR A DIFFERENT GENRE.
Sometimes, it helps to change up your routine and read something outside of your comfort zone or usual go-to. It worked for Bustle writer Charlotte Ahlin, who wrote, “I once read about four Vonneguts in a row and then spent a week feeling crushing despair over the human condition. Your mind needs a varied diet of books to stay sharp.” In a blog for the Iredell County Public Library in Statesville, North Carolina, book lover Michele Coleman offered similar testimony. “For me during my last slump or block, I found browsing the non-fiction eased my mind,” she wrote. Do you enjoy mystery? She suggests switching it up and reading a humorous book. Is romance your thing? Give historical fiction a shot instead.
4. READ PAGE 69 BEFORE COMMITTING TO A BOOK.
This unusual tip comes from John Sutherland, an English professor and the author of How to Read a Novel. As Jeffries of The Guardian puts it, “Once you have read page 69, you will have an idea of whether the book is up your street. (Why he didn’t say page 56 is anybody’s guess.)” If that snippet doesn’t appeal to you, put it back on the shelf. Otherwise you might get stuck reading something that isn’t suited to your tastes, which can make your reader’s block even worse.
5. DON’T FEEL OBLIGATED TO FINISH A BOOK IF YOU’RE NOT ENJOYING IT.
Reading is supposed to be enjoyable—not a chore. If you find yourself filled with dread any time you pick up the book you’re currently reading, you may want to rethink your choice of material. If you feel guilty about abandoning a book, just use this quote from philosopher Francis Bacon as an excuse: “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.” Interestingly, Goodreads compiles a list of the most popular abandoned books based on its user data, so you’ll be in good company if Infinite Jest goes infinitely unfinished.
6. LISTEN TO AN AUDIOBOOK.
Many traditionalists are of the opinion that audiobooks don’t really count as “reading,” but some researchers would disagree. One 2016 study found no difference in reading comprehension between those who had listened to an audiobook and those who had used an e-reader. It may seem counterintuitive, but audiobooks can also help beat reader’s block, according to Jonathan Douglas, director of the UK’s National Literacy Trust. This is because they can help reignite your passion for learning and consuming stories at a time when you’re having difficulty reading. Try listening to the audiobook while you drive to work, clean your house, or work out. You’ll feel extra accomplished for having done two productive things at once, and it may provide the momentum you need to get back into reading.
7. DISCONNECT FROM TECHNOLOGY.
In an article for Arré, writer Karan Mujoo said he’s been an avid reader since childhood. Yet he still occasionally struggles with reader’s block, and finds himself abandoning book after book when they fail to capture his interest. In his case, the availability of quick entertainment via streaming platforms like Netflix is simply too difficult to resist. “Unlike books, which require imagination and effort on the part of the reader, these shows serve you everything on a platter,” he writes. “Why then, should we expend our energies in reading, imagining, and creating a world when it has already been done for us?” Faced with a similar predicament, writer Hugh McGuire explained that his inability to focus on books was due to a “digital dopamine addiction” that stemmed from his consumption of television and online articles. With a few adjustments, though, he was able to get back into a regular reading habit. He suggests removing smartphones and computers from your bedroom, refraining from watching TV after dinner, and reading a book each night before bed. “I am reading books now more than I have in years,” he writes.
8. REREAD AN OLD FAVORITE.
When all else fails, “Literary Lady” Chen recommends paying a visit to an old friend. Your favorite books are memorable for a reason, and sometimes rereading a beloved book for the third time is all it takes to lift the reader’s block curse. You may also want to investigate options that are similar to your favorite authors and books. Book Browse is a good resource for finding “read-alikes” that might suit your tastes, and Literature Map will give you a visual overview of authors you may enjoy.
You can get away with a sloppy handshake but with a carelessly built house? Not so much. Eventually, its qualities will deteriorate to the point when the only thing holding it together is pure luck. And you better call in the engineers before that runs out, too.
Alpha Structural, Inc. presents itself as the only company in Los Angeles County licensed to engineer and build any type of foundation or hillside repair. For its 25th birthday, the organization has decided to share some of the craziest structural inspections they’ve done over the years, making many internet users question the sanity of some contractors. “Besides having a stellar reputation, we’re called out to inspect and propose solutions to many structural issues,” a spokesperson of Alpha Structural, In. told Bored Panda. “Specializing in advanced hillside foundation repair methods we mainly are called to inspect when there are issues such as sloping floors, failed retaining walls, etc.”
“A very common issue we see is mid-century hillside homes that are sinking. They were often built with shallow footings that are prone to sink over time. Additionally, there is a lot of expansive soil in Los Angeles which, due to its high clay content, expands and contracts. This leads to corners or sides of a home that sink.”
Since the company has already inspected tens of thousands of properties, it’s hard to catch its engineers off guard. “I would say we’re more likely to be surprised by what’s under the home than the structure itself! Although, while we are not alarmist in any way, every once in a while we will come across a structure that we are surprised is still standing.”
According to Alpha Structural, Inc., everyone living in the area can take measures to make their building a safe place. “We always recommend earthquake retrofitting your home,” they added. “It’s no surprise seismic activity is prevalent in Los Angeles, so taking the time to retrofit your home is key. Also, most foundation problems are caused because of no drainage, or poor drainage around the home. The most cost-effective solution to preserve your foundation is to make sure your yard slopes away from the structure and that your gutters and downspouts are cleaned and route the water away.
However, it’s easy to get carried away. “People tend to overreact when it comes to their home. Things such as hairline cracks and minor sticking of doors can cause quite a panic in most homeowners. Plenty of information about our services can be found on our website!”
Continue scrolling to check out what these guys find on a daily basis and upvote your favorite entries!
Everything is code when there is no code. (Not in LA)
YES, this is a real skull & YES it was called in to the police and YES it was confirmed by a detective coroner. While doing a real estate inspection in the valley, one of our assessors came across the above skull. It was said to be found in Peru by the previous owners. Apparently, they brought it back in their luggage when returning from their vacation in Peru…. Read More
This was taken during one of our structural inspections in North Hollywood. It’s gonna take a little more than duct tape to fix this one.
Now, I forgot the term for these, but basically it’s a massive hole/well that was about a meter under the concrete footing. The owner had no idea this was here. Must have been there for decades.
And they were wondering why their floors were sagging.
A car jack perhaps?
During an inspection, one of our assessors found this beauty. A wall created entirely out of concrete filled washing machines.
And there goes the other half of your house
“I have sagging floors” And this is why.
This is something you don’t see every day: A colony of bees/hornets/wasps, have created a honeycombed nest on the carcass of a dead animal and it became the perfect online content. Nasty.
It may seem as if this is a photo was taken at an angle, but I assure you, it was perfectly straight. The floors are just sloping down a good 6 inches from the middle of the home.
This is a foundation made up of river rock, some sort of hardened mortar and the tears of the contractors who did it. Also, I see a rhino!
Nothing is worse than coming across a massive gas pipe while excavation. It wasn’t on the initial plans.
Though these jacks are pretty common…they should never be used as a permanent pier. Unless secured with duct tape of course.
This is a very interesting view from a basement window. It’s actually located in a shower and you can see the critters moving around in the dirt. Hope you like bugs!
This is one of the craziest structural fails I’ve ever seen. No re-bar, not bolted, settling 2 ft and it’s on sand…Just wow!
This is an abandoned home in East Los Angeles. I don’t want to get too technical on this, but not even the homeless would want to set up shop in there.
Yeah…that’s not legal.
A soft-story can be described as multi-level structure built with a first floor that is much less rigid (soft) than the floors above, such as in an apartment with tuck under parking. This is a cause for concern, for when an earthquake hits, the existing columns do not have the strength to protect against the sideways movement that can occur.
May not look like much, but a single toddler jumps and that set of stairs and deck come down.
This is actually the door leading to Narnia. It just so happens that it’s under a house in Pasadena, CA. Seriously though, they used this as a sort of “shear wall” for additional strength. Again, an obvious DIY job.
So from here we see there is a slope starting from the right and going 15 feet to left. After peeling back the carpet, we discovered a massive slab crack. To the right of the crack we see another crack that’s been patched. The left side of the house was completely sinking a total of 18 inches from the point of the crack. One of the worst slab conditions we’ve seen… Read More
Stay hydrated my friends…
This is a first
This is what happens when wood touches dirt over a long period of time. It soaks up water and rots.
It’s simple, the floor is actually a balloon. Prepare to fly.
Let’s just say it’s a little over-engineered.
Not in terrible condition but I really want to kick it in.
This patio above the garage had a little water intrusion…
I’ve managed and been managed in the past, and I can say without a doubt that a lot of what one group says about the other has some grounding in truth.
Whether you suspect that your boss doesn’t know what he’s doing, or that your employees are trying to do as little as possible so they can ‘get one’ over you, you’ve probably been right at some point or another.
These mangers have confirmed some of our suspicions by anonymously admitting to the weird things they do and that go through their minds while on the clock. A few of them are pretty normal, but the others are…you’ll see.
Sounds like he works on Wall Street
You can tell he doesn’t work in retail
Chances are they did something to deserve it
I guess management really doesn’t know what they’re doing
The joys of owning your own business
Better hope those employees keep turning those cogs for you
They’re called ‘lawsuits.’
Hopefully employees steal from the register here
The feeling is most likely mutual
So long as you’re turning a profit, I guess…
I guess third quarter predictions aren’t the only thing rising in this place
Just make sure you don’t delegate your way out of a job
Let me just grab my 10 foot pole here…
You’re the only one here that isn’t on edge, so this may be a legitimate strategy
Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock already kind of made that movie
by voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.
A great paradox, isn’t it? Those movie scenes from future films they always show before the actual film is shown are called “trailers.” But why?
The first ever movie trailer was screened at Rye Beach, a New York area amusement park in 1912. Lou Harris, a Paramount executive, was quoted in the L.A. Times on October 25, 1966, regarding this historic incident:
“One of the concessions hung up a white sheet and showed the serial Adventures of Kathlyn. At the end of the reel Kathlyn was thrown in the lion’s den. After this ‘trailed’ a piece of film asking ‘does she escape the lion’s pit? See next week’s thrilling chapter!’ Hence, the word ‘trailer,’ an advertisement for a coming picture.”
These earliest future glimpses were actually screened after the featured films and thus were dubbed “trailers.” Hollywood now calls these brief scenes “previews” or “previews of coming attractions.” “Trailer” is, however, still the preferred term in the industry.
The early days of movies were quite a bit different from what we accustomed to today. Movies were not one film i.e. Casablanca, Grease, The Avengers or The Wizard of Oz.
Early films were more like a vaudeville show. Several different, and very short, films, were shown over and over. A wide variety of films each lasting a few minutes, were shown on a continuous loop. Unlike today, where we all arrive before the start of the main film, patrons could enter the theater at any time and stay as long as they wanted.
In cinema’s early days, “chasers” were actually employed by theaters. These were literally men hired to “chase” the lazy stragglers who just wanted to hang around inside the theaters and watch these same movies again and again out of the theaters. Of course, this was not only a “fair is fair” matter, but a financial decision. Getting rid of the stragglers meant more empty seats for patrons at the next film showing.
An entry for the word “trailer” in the Oxford English Dictionary provides quotes showing the word used in the sense meaning “promotional clips” from as far back as 1928. The New York Times of June 2, 1917, described the U.S. campaign to sell war bonds:
A committee of the national association of motion picture industry yesterday began sending films known as trailers (advertising the bonds) to all of the 15,000 or more movie theaters in the U.S. are 70 feet in length and will be attached to longer films that will be shown at every performance.
Film scholar Lisa Kernan, in her 2004 book Coming Attractions: Reading American Movie Trailers says:
The National Screen Service, in 1919, began making crude 35mm film ads from transferred film stills (without the studios permission) and sold them to exhibitors to run following the films.
By the 1930’s, movie trailers had evolved into a semi-art form of its own. Taken beyond simple newsreels and actual brief movie clips, they now often included animation, narration, and musical scores. Sometimes the trailers would include a personal plug from one of the film’s stars or even someone who didn’t even appear in the film. Also by this time, someone had the brainstorm to still include the “trailers,” but put them on before the main film, not after.
Another major change has occurred in recent years. Instead of the for years usual of one or two trailers shown before the main film, in recent times, we have all grown accustomed to seeing as many as six, seven or eight trailers. (I hate them myself, I’d just rather just see the film, but most people I talk to seem to enjoy them and don’t mind.) This is a matter of the studios not only hyping their products, but giving us “our money’s worth” in time.
From the 1930’s on into 1960’s and beyond, cartoons and/or newsreels were shown before a film, then maybe one trailer or two. Popeye, Mickey Mouse, and best of all, those wonderful Warner Bros. cartoons would be shown before the main attraction.
Even better, actual shorts, like the Three Stooges, would often be shown before the feature. (The Three Stooges were so popular in the 1930’s and 40’s, Columbia Studios would often only be able to sell their features on the condition of including a new Stooges short with it.)
Gradually over the years, the cartoons, shorts and newsreels were gradually phased out and more and more trailers were added. We get the illusion that we are being “entertained” as by a cartoon, but all we are actually seeing is a two or three minutes of future film clips.
You see it every year. Hordes of undead shoppers obsessed with spending the least amount of money possible for Christmas line up in the middle of the night for the most unholy of retail days: Black Friday.
Whatever your thoughts are on rampant consumerism during the holidays, you can’t fault people for wanting to get some great deals on gifts for their family and friends.
But there’s one big problem with Black Friday: the “deals” advertised are either blatant lies, impossible to get, or so limited and based on such insane conditions, you’re not actually saving any money at all.
One of the most common scams retailers like to pull on Black Friday is label-switching. They’ll say items are heavily marked down, but often they replace tags and change the “original” price to something higher, then “mark it down” to the price they were selling it for all along or only a modest discount.
If there’s one thing that J.C. Penny’s attempt at eliminating sales for good taught us is that we’ve been conditioned to always look for bargains and deals while we’re shopping. No one wants to hear something’s one price and that’s it.
Another common Black Friday scheme is to mark up the prices of clothing a week or so beforehand to inflate the savings people are getting. Oftentimes, Black Friday sales are no different than a random clearance sale to clear out old stock.
Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Well, what about that huge flat screen TV I always see being sold for $200 on Black Friday?” Well, there’s two ways they go about putting a low, low price on expensive electronics.
First, notice the vague language Black Friday marketing uses to describe these “flat screen TVs.” Normally, a brand name isn’t mentioned at all. What you’re usually getting is what’s called a “derivative brand.”
The trick is to pull you into the store, even if you camp out, with the promise of some wild deals. The thing is, even if you get a poor-quality, made-in-Mordor electronic device for a super low price, it’s almost always of a super low quality and in extremely limited quantities. You ever try using a $50 tablet? They’re frustratingly impossible to use enjoyably.
Speaking of limited quantities, many of the products, even the name-brand one, are often floor models that have been used and abused for some time, and there’s only one or two available.
So you’ll have to fight off your fellow shoppers for a chance to maybe save a few hundred dollars on a device that probably wouldn’t even qualify for refurbished status.
As for those Black Friday fights, they’re the real deal.
It seems like, every year, people either die or get severely injured in Black Friday shopping frenzies. People brawl on store lines and get trampled on, all because they think they’re saving money on a Powerbank or Toshiba Satellite laptop. It’s ridiculous.
So what’s a bargain hunter to do? Well, first, stop shopping for stuff on Black Friday, and if you need to get presents anyway, you’re much better shopping for stuff online (even though those deals aren’t really deals either). Online retailers almost always have lower prices than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, because their operational costs are much lower.
As for actual deals on things you need to buy, you need to study the market. If you want a bigger and better TV, the week before the Super Bowl almost always has the best deals. Jewelry? Wait until right after Valentine’s Day, because they’ve got inventory that needs to go, go, go. New car? Best get that bad boy in April.
So please, have some self-respect and avoid Black Friday like the plague. It’s just a horrible marketing plot to sell you some garbage you never needed in the first place under the guise of “tremendous savings.”
by Bright Side
Have you ever had to use psychological tricks to get what you want? There are a lot of psychological tricks and neuro-linguistic programming tips and there are millions of books and articles written about them. Many of these tricks really help professionals manipulate people and avoid being tricked by others. But are there tips that non-professionals can use on a daily basis? Psychology is a science with certain laws one cannot ignore. Modern marketing specialists, entrepreneurs, and even swindlers realize that. Bright Side offers a few psychological tricks you can use in everyday life to make it much easier and more exciting for you to reach your goals.