Here’s Why You Should Reconsider Heating up Your Car in Cold Weather

For those of us in the United States, this year has been a particularly cold, wet winter. As I write this, there’s a major snowstorm blanketing the East Coast, and seasoned natives of these cold parts know that warming up your car is an important step for keeping your car running smoothly throughout the winter. A 2009 study showed that most Americans believe that, when temperatures drop to below freezing, you should let your car idle for at least 4 minutes before driving off.

Unfortunately, it turns out there are several reasons why starting your car up and letting it run isn’t the best idea. Read on to find out why you shouldn’t make it a habit.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

According to Stephen Ciatti (whose credentials include drag racing and a PhD in mechanical engineering), newer model cars don’t need to idle to “warm up,” and the practice can actually lead to a shorter lifespan for your engine.

Older car models relied on carburetors, and frigid weather did pose a threat to their performance because the cold temperatures made the gasoline less likely to evaporate. That could lead to carburetors failing to get the right mixture of air and fuel to the engine, which could cause cars to stall out.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Since the 1980s, however, most cars have been made with electronic fuel injection. That means your car is aware of the colder temperatures and can adjust automatically by introducing more gasoline to compensate. So if you let your newer engine idle, you’re subjecting your engine to more gasoline-rich fuel than necessary. That could lead to trouble, says Ciatti.

“Gasoline is an outstanding solvent and it can actually wash oil off the combustion chamber’s walls if you run it in the cold idle conditions for an extended period of time and can have a detrimental effect on the lubrication and life of things like piston rings and cylinder liners.”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Once your engine reaches a temperature of around 40 degrees, the car switches back to its usual fuel mixture, but “warming it up” doesn’t help it reach that point any faster. The fastest way to heat up your engine is to just drive.

Bundle up, though, because it will take your engine between 5 and 15 minutes to climb to a normal temperature from the time you hit the gas.

Spring is coming though, y’all. The groundhog says so.

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In 1982 Xerox management watched…

In 1982 Xerox management watched a film of people struggling to use their new copier and laughed that they must have been grabbed off a loading dock. The people struggling were Ron Kaplan, a computational linguist, and Allen Newell, a founding father of artificial intelligence.

In 1982 Xerox management watched…

In 1982 Xerox management watched a film of people struggling to use their new copier and laughed that they must have been grabbed off a loading dock. The people struggling were Ron Kaplan, a computational linguist, and Allen Newell, a founding father of artificial intelligence.

10+ Technological Advancements We Really Should’ve Made Already

Do you ever go have an idea for an invention that you just know would make millions, if only you knew how to actually invent/build it? I get like that all the time, and I also wonder how someone else hasn’t done it either. There are definitely a lot of everyday problems that really should have been solved by now.

I know we’ve come a long way, but maybe we should be farther ahead in some ways? These AskReddit users agree wholeheartedly.

1. Fix it!

“My biggest thing I want advanced is our monitors on ambulance. Doing a chest pain call you have ten wires for the ECG, a blood pressure cuff, spO2 monitor and maybe a capno. It’s a hell of a wire mess that gets caught and rips off the sensors and it’s super frustrating. Make them all Bluetooth! If my furnace filter can alert me that it’s at 75% capacity I’m sure we can fix this.”

2. Glare problems

“Some kind of film/treatment on windshields that completely eliminates sun glare. There have been so many times where I’ve been momentarily blinded and had to let Jesus take the wheel and just hope for the best for a few seconds.

Also whipped cream caps that don’t fall off if you even think in their direction. how is this still a problem??”

3. Not a bad idea

“Glow in the dark or light up lines on the road for when it is difficult to see in the rain at night.”

4. Just that easy

“It’s almost 2019 how the f*ck do TV remotes not have a built in page button. Can’t find the remote? Walk to the TV hit the page button the remote starts beeping. It’s just that easy guys.”

5. Gimme those numbers

“Why is there not a toll calculator implemented into online maps? It seems like it shouldn’t be hard for Google or whoever to get the toll data and just display it when you have tolls on your route.”

6. We need this

“Reverse microwaves so we can cool sodas and beers really fast.”

7. Primitive

“I can’t believe no one has figured out how to get rid of cavities without drilling out your teeth. It’s so primitive.”

8. I can’t hear you

“A cure for tinnitus.”

9. GPS

“I drive for a living. GPS tech, including Google Maps and Waze, is amazing and works beautifully the majority of the time. But why in the HELL does it not know which way I’m facing when I take off? In a big truck, it is a MASSIVE pain in the ass when I don’t know which way to turn when I take off because the GPS doesn’t know which way I’m facing. Making a wrong turn in a big truck costs a lot of time and trouble, and sometimes causes very unsafe situations.”

10. A lot of people would be very happy

“A cure for baldness. I can remember watching Captain Picard on ‘Star Trek The Next Generation’ back in the day and thinking “they haven’t cured baldness hundreds of years in the future yet?!?” “

11. Just an fyi

“Improving technology has actually probably been the cause of shorter battery life. These days smartphones are mini computers, and their processors are more powerful than any computer 10 years ago (probably even more recently than that, I’m just being conservative). A lot of that is due to the rapidly increasing amount of transistors we can fit in a given area.

More transistors running means more power consumption, so despite the fact that battery technology has actually improved over the years, it has kept up with the rate the power consumption has increased to allow us to do all the cool shit we can do with our phones now. The reason old phone batteries lasted longer is not because those batteries were better, but because those phones didn’t do sh*t.”

12. Need a cure

“A cure for migraines. Sometimes it seems more like voodoo rather than a scientific discipline. They can’t even tell us why my wife gets them. She just does, and these two medicines that normally treat totally different conditions, when taken together, seem to help for some reason.”

13. No more coughing

“A cure for allergies/the common cold.”

14. Calm down

“A f*cking machine that will fold your f*cking laundry.”

15. Unreliable

“Printers that actually f*cking work when you need them.”

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10+ People Who Fell for Dumb Scams

Sadly, scams are all too common in this world of ours. The online revolution has only made it easier to take advantage of someone, because it can be hard to tell when someone is for real and when they’re not. Needless to say, most of us have probably fallen for a scam at some point in our lives (even if we didn’t realize it at the time). Thankfully, these 15 people are ready to admit which ones totally fooled them so the rest of us can be warned.

#1. They fooled me

“I was part of a legitimate challenge in college that I knew was being sponsored by Target, and I knew that the final prize was a thousand dollars. Partway through the contest I got a text with a url and a message that I had won a thousand dollars from Target. I would have never fallen for it otherwise but the coincidence (or maybe they knew who was part of this challenge?) fooled me. I did manage to wise up when they asked for a deposit, but not before I gave them my contact info and was signed up to all sorts of call lists.”

#2. IRS

“Almost fell for the IRS scam. I didn’t know that scam existed and I was scared about the irs sending me cops.”

#3. No way of cancelling payments

“Immediately after watching the Kony2012 video, 18yo me signed up to donate $5 monthly. A day or two later I learned more about it and the organisation itself.

The website itself had no way of cancelling the payments, I had to get my bank to block them.”

#4. Obviously fake

“Not me but my friend literally yesterday. Fell for one of those “put x amount in, get y amount back” scams.

Got messaged by an extremely attractive girl with an obvious fake name, pic, everything. He was extremely convinced it was real until they started refusing to give it back..”

#5. Three hours to close

“Working at Taco Bell. Constant “we will give you a raise for closing and take you off of closing”. I was in high school and would work until 3 or 4 am on week nights a few times a week. Never got as raise. Couldn’t play baseball anymore. Scam part was the manager would clock everyone out 30 minutes after closing to hide the fact that that it was taking 3 hours to close instead of one.

Got into it with a manager one night and quit. District manager liked me and would talk with me giving me like a hour break. She when she came around. She called about me quitting. I kinda unloaded all the bullshit. I went to pickup my last and the manager I got into it was working. She said she didn’t have my check. I knew she did and started yelling at her during the lunch rush. DM put a ton of extra hours on my check and as OT. Check was twice what the manager made.”

#6. My sister’s name

“I was invited to do a free “makeover” at a makeup party thrown by one of my friends. Me being stupid didn’t realize it was a Mary Kay party.

I was asked to write down contacts so my friends can come to another party. Each contact got me entered into a contest for free makeup. Wrote down my sisters name. Won some nail polish. She became a consultant.”

#7. Rocks for weights

“I had just purchased a brand new TV and I loved it. Games looked great, TV looked great, just a nice TV.

I went to the mall with my best friend one day just because we were bored. We were 16 at the time.

As we’re leaving (we had no items) a brown pickup truck pulls up and the guys who were driving it asked if we were shopping or what. I tell them no, just came to look at some stuff. They then tell me they got this brand new Surround System in there truck they were going to return but the store wouldn’t take it.

At this point I should have seen the multiple red flags, but I was hypnotized by this surround sound system.

I don’t recognize the name, but it seemed legit enough IMO, so I offered a little less than what the asked for (they asked $250 I offered $200).

As I’m pulling my money out of my wallet the scammers see I have more than just $200 and start berating me to pay more. I should have backed out there, but I was spineless and obliged.

They gave me the sound system and left. I get home still a little excited even though I had a gut feeling so just lost $250. I open the sound system and lo and behold…

There’s actually speakers wow. I pull everything out, subwoofer, and speakers…then I realized there was not a single cable. Wtf? I open the speakers because now I’m upset. They aren’t speakers, but wooden cut outs, with rocks for weights.

Now I’m checking the packaging closer, it was the worst photoshop I’ve ever seen. Lost $250.

Haven’t fallen for a scam since then…one and one only.”

#8. All my birthday money

“Once bought a PS3 on the craigslist of the netherlands. Turned out the mailman was fake, the package was filled with 2 juiceboxes. And it cost me all my birthday money back then. Asshole never got caught, he still is active to this day.”

#9. I don’t think they’re coming back

“I was at a car boot sale and watched two guys in a back of a van promissing to sell iPods and iPads for a ridiculous low price, and you could see the apple boxes stacked up towards the back of the van. This started to attract some attention and a crowd soon formed around the back of the van. However before they started to sell the desirable apple products they began to flog some other obscure things into what I can only describe as a goody bag. They would be throwing a pen sets in the bag that would cost £20 in shops (so they claimed), and then some perfume that was £30 in shops (so they claimed).

This went on for a while, and all time they kept mentioning the iPods and iPads would be coming out next. Eventually they had created these “amazing goody bags” with various random things in and were claiming the contents would cost well over £100 in the shops, but they just want £30, and if you had a bag you will be first in line to buy a iPod or iPad. They stirred up such as frenzy that people were screeming to by one of these bags. As soon as they floged as many bags as they could, the van doors slam shut and they drove off quickly.

People just stood there staring at these goody bags they had just bought for £30 and they were just full of cheap knock off items you can get from the pound shop. Thats when I saw my then girlfriend walk over to me with a goody bag looking confused and wondering if they were going to come back to sell the iPads. “No darling I don’t think they’re coming back”.”

#10. I waited for years

“Someone once called my house when I was 10 years old saying he was from a research company conducting an experiment to see how long it takes a person to sneeze if they sniffed pepper. If I agree to the experiment, they would mail me 5 dollars. It took me three sniffs, and i waited for that damn 5 bucks for a couple years.”

#11. She broke up with me

“when I was 10-11 I online dated a girl on habbo hotel and after I gave her my furniture she motherfucking divorce/broke up with me”

#12. Don’t be ridiculous

“I actually got “sucked into” a pretty classic scam, but I was too honest for it to work.

Chick shows me a “Stradivarius” violin she supposedly got donated by a wealthy patron when she was playing in some Orchestra back east (Jersey maybe? Philly?) needs cash, wants me to buy it from her for a thousand or something…

I tell her, don’t be ridiculous, I’ll drive you over to the city and we’ll get it appraised and you’ll get more money…”

#13. “Helpful people”

“TLDR scammed by one of those “helpful people” in Italy. Ignore people at train stations unless you’re sure they’re officials

During my first year of university overseas in the UK, I took a trip to Italy with some friends. We had a great time and travelled between each city using trains. Got scammed at the Florence train station.

What you will notice at many Italian train stations is a bunch of official-looking people standing around the platforms. They wear hats and clothes that look like uniforms. When you enter their vicinity, they will ask to see your train tickets, and as a young, inexperienced and hapless traveller I do just that.

What they will immediately tell you is that you are late for your train, and grab your luggage and tell you to follow them, as they run towards your carriage. Once you’re in, they start placing your luggage on the rails for you….and then demand an obscene tip. We were in a group of five and the person demanded 10 euros for each of us- no matter how you cut it, that’s a very steep price to pay for some very simple help. With great disgust I forked over 10 euros, because I didn’t want her to pester my friends, and she eventually took it and ran.

It preys on your inexperience with the transport system and tries to make you panic, then proceeds to guilt trip you. Looking back it would’ve been really easy to just ignore her, I doubt anyone would come to her aid anyway.”

#14. I better Google this

“I almost got suckered into primerica.

I got halfway into the process then went hmm I better google this.

Most of the first page of results was how they are a scam/mlm.

I couldn’t run away faster.”

#15. My first set

“… I gave away my first set of rune armor to have it trimmed.”

Be smart out there!

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Brilliant Map of Indigenous Lands Shows Whose Property You’re Currently Occupying

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Columbus Day, along with the way we teach colonization of the Americas in general, have all come under scrutiny over the last few years, and not without reason — the true roles of indigenous peoples is almost entirely glossed over and watered down. One effort to amend that has been for some communities choosing to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on October 8th instead of Columbus Day.

But there’s much more we can all do to educate ourselves and our children about the people who populated North America before European settlers arrived.

Enter this pretty cool use of Google Maps, created by a company called Native-Land. It shows you which Indigenous tribes resided in what parts of the country over the centuries.

Photo Credit: Native-Land.ca

But the maps include more than the Americas.

Hold onto your hats, Aussies and New Zealanders.

Photo Credit: Native-Land.ca

Canadian developer Victor G Temprano started the company in 2015 during a time of a lot of local development projects, according to the company’s website:

While mapping out pipeline projects and learning more about them for the sake of public awareness, I started to ask myself whose territories all these projects were happening on. Once I started finding the geographic data and mapping, well, it just kind of exploded from there.

Photo Credit: Native-Land.ca

Controversial development projects like the Trans Mountain and Dakota Access pipelines not only helped him to be more culturally aware, it made him wonder where else modernization might be infringing on native lands.

He continues to explain on the site:

I feel that Western maps of Indigenous nations are very often inherently colonial, in that they delegate power according to imposed borders that don’t really exist in many nations throughout history. They were rarely created in good faith, and are often used in wrong ways.

Photo Credit: Native-Land.ca

The maps are not part of any academic project and feature input from users that causes them to change constantly, but Temprano did recently announce that he’s hired a research assistant to ensure all of the information is as accurate and complete as possible.

It’s a great site to visit with your kids around the holidays or anytime you want to discuss cultural appropriation and western civilization.

As one does.

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The Latest in the Fight Against School Shooters? Trained Dogs

Given the lack of action we’ve seen in the face of school shootings becoming an epidemic in our country, educators have been forced to get creative and come up with their own solutions to keep our children safe. There’s ALICE trainingRun Hide Fight, and even an extremely controversial idea of arming teachers. Amongst all these ideas, nothing seems to have really taken hold.

Maybe keeping trained attack dogs in schools – not exactly a new idea, but one that seems to be gaining traction – will be different.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Real Deal Dog Training in Norco, CA, and Active Shooter K9 in Chariton, IA, are two of the companies working to train dogs.

James Greco, the head trainer for Long Island K-9, told the New York Times that “the best trained dogs have an accuracy rate of 85 to 90 percent. This sniffing ability means K-9s could help detect the tens of thousands of guns that are brought to school by students across the country each year.”

To be clear, the idea is that having trained dogs in schools could help prevent a shooting before it starts because the dogs will (hopefully) be able sniff out guns and ammo on students. It is not so much that the dogs will be able to stop a shooter who is already on the loose (although, maybe it could happen that way).

If they are successful, these dogs could mean the difference between happily boring, repetitive days at school and the nightmare that too many American kids have already experienced first-hand in recent years. At the very least, taking this step, in addition to others, could help parents and educators feel as if they’re doing something useful to prevent the loss of their children.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

In this day, when so much is so scary and uncertain, simply feeling less impotent is worth a lot.

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Rock Star David Bowie Once Launched His Own Internet Service To Rival AOL

David Bowie was a legend in our time, the likes of whom we may never see again. His genius knew few bounds. He was well-loved as a star of stage and screen, but it turns out he was also a bit of a tech visionary!

Back in 1998, David Bowie, international rock star extraordinaire, made a pretty bold announcement – he was launching his own internet service! Called BowieNet, the platform aimed to unite music fans around the world with uncensored access to the internet, as well as plenty of exclusive content found on www.davidbowie.com.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Users would get a customizable home page, an email address (your.name@davidbowie.com), groups, chat capabilities, gaming and more.

Pretty much Facebook, except run by David Bowie, which makes it better.

It all started when two internet pioneers, Robert Goodale and Ron Roy, came to Bowie with an idea. How about an online fan club that would also be an internet service provider? Bowie was already using email and digital releases to reach his fan base, so he was psyched to give it a go.

The competition? America Online.

So, the laughter settled, Bowie went to work on his vision. Older folks will remember receiving CD-ROMs in the mail, finding them delivered with their pizzas or a few of them falling out of magazines offering free trials of AOL. But Bowie wanted to experiment with his CD-ROM. He created 3D-rendered environments, music and videos, along with the customized Internet Explorer browser. Some material couldn’t even be accessed except for online.

He also interacted with fans, posting as “Sailor” on message boards and hosting live chats.

Bowie had big plans for his brand of early social media. But when dial-up internet disintegrated, his 100,000 subscribers trickled away. BowieNet shut down in 2006. No one much noticed. The announcement wasn’t even made until 2012. Ironically, the post appeared on Bowie’s own Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Bowie made a career out of being revolutionary. His accomplishments with BowieNet foreshadowed everything internet users are offered now.  He couldn’t have known the power the internet would ultimately have in the music business. But he saw the potential and jumped in like he did with everything in his glitzy life.

Imagine if he launched BowieNet during the Ziggy Stardust days.

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The Trend on Amazon That’s Landing People in Jail

Can you imagine a life without Amazon? What started as a way to buy books online way back when has now evolved into a trillion dollar corporation that’s become a part of our lives in ways we never could have anticipated even a decade ago. Today, we use Amazon to shop, read, sell products, watch television and movies, and even as a personal assistant!

Photo Credit: Pixabay

It’s so big that it shouldn’t come entirely as a surprise that young people are finding ways to defraud the conglomerate.

Amazon’s return and replacement policies, which are generous by industry standards, are the root of the majority of the fraud taking place. And even though they’re not losing money fast enough for it to impact their stock prices or bottom line, the company recently decided to prosecute some of these fraudsters.

One of the cases they’ve brought is against 24-year-old Joseph Sides of Boca Raton, Florida. He was taken to trial on federal charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The arraignment listed a litany of complaints:

“Between March 2016 and June 2018, Sides created approximately 501 Amazon accounts using false names, multiple email addresses, and altered shipping addresses to place approximately 1227 orders.”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Simply by telling Amazon sellers that merchandise never came or arrived damaged, he acquired a stunning $229k in merchandise, replacements and refunds. However, since they caught him, he could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge brought against him.

Last year, Indiana couple Erin and Leah Finan pled guilty to similar charges, except that they had been able to defraud Amazon out of a whopping $1.2 million. They were sentenced to 71 and 68 months in prison, respectively.

These types of retail cons aren’t exactly new. In the days of brick-and-mortar shoplifting, thieves would steal an item from one location and then return it to another belonging to the same company. This is the same type of scam, according to Michael Benza, a criminal law professor at Case Western Reserve University. But, he tells Vice, the prosecutions probably aren’t about the money:

“To most people, $230,000 is a lot of money, but for Amazon, it probably doesn’t do anything to hurt its stock price. However, if a very large number of customers do this to Amazon, the company will see a lot of money going out the door. I imagine in this case, Amazon got involved to send a message to cybercriminals.”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Amazon assists in catching these types of offenders in order to save the data it mines from its transactions (yeah, they really do that), and it’s likely they will continue given that these types of online return schemes are on the rise. Red Soto, the director of security research for the cybersecurity firm Jask, told Vice just how quickly they’re popping up:

“Some involve sophisticated groups that purchase programming scripts on the dark web that allows them to automate the creation of fake profiles and follow certain items to purchase. It’s a lot easier to catch one person, but when you have 30 people placing orders at different times and sending items to different addresses and foreign countries, it is a lot harder to track down.”

However, if Amazon’s third quarter earnings report is any indication, the company is doing just fine. They expect some loss, fraud and abuse, and figure it into their bottom line. And, frankly, the retail side of the business is nowhere near as profitable as their web services.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

That said, these recent arrests and prosecutions prove that Amazon isn’t just going to let people get away with defrauding them left and right. So behave out there on the internet, friends. You may be sitting behind a screen, but companies like Amazon see right into your thieving little hearts.

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A Japanese company (Gatebox)…

A Japanese company (Gatebox) had created a “digital wife”… a device that created a holographic companion for lonely people. Now 35-year-old Akihiko Kondo has married his hologram companion. Since March, Kondo has been living with a moving, talking hologram of Miku that floats in a ShSh280,000 ( $2,800) desktop device. Gatebox, the company that produces […]