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I Can’t Solve A Rubik’s Cube

Rubiks Cubes, Balls, etc.When I was younger, I remember fiddling around with Rubik’s Cubes and was reminded of that when Jason Kottke blogged about speedcubing with the Fridrich Method. I could never solve the Rubik’s Cube and my friends who knew one of the algorithms, of which there are more than fifty, used to brag about how they could solve it in such and such a time.

Well, none of them came close to the world record holder. Yu Makajima can solve a Rubik’s cube in 8.72 seconds when he has two hands:

The dude can solve it in 14.56 seconds when he has to do it one-handed:

The most amazing part is that there’s no rushing, no sense of panic as time elapses, just calm and collected twisting of the edges.

(Photo: farnea)


Tweet Tweeeeet: I’m On Twitter

TwitterI don’t think I ever mentioned to you all that I started using Twitter from time to time. On most weekdays I would tweet a few news stories that caught my attention or funny things I saw, and most weekends I’ll be either complaining about or celebrating whatever is happening in the NFL. I’m going to be changing my approach to Twitter and hopefully you’ll join me.

In addition to interesting news and stories that I find, I’ll start running contests to give away books, maybe some gift cards, who knows. If you want to win any Twitter only giveaways, be sure to follow bargainr (me).

Since 140 characters forces me to be brief, I’ll also be using it to publish anything particular useful and simply too short for a blog post. Good deals and awesome freebies certainly fit the list, but also any particularly hot financial offers that might be extremely timely. Blog posts tend to be longer, I’ll be using Twitter for the shorter stuff.

I won’t be posting updates every time a post is published here unless I feel it’s an especially good or timely article. I get irritated when I follow someone and just get updates about their blog posts, since I’m usually subscribed. If you aren’t subscribed to this blog, I really think you should because this blog is freaking awesome… just ask the 7000 people already subscribed, they wouldn’t have if this blog weren’t so unbelievably useful and good. 🙂 Full subscription options and instructions here.

As always, if you want to reach me, the easiest and fastest way is to email me but I think we can have some fun with Twitter too. If you’ve been waiting to join, consider this an invitation. 🙂


The Luckiest Guy on The Price Is Right

After writing about the guy who lost $600,000 on Deal or No Deal and then the woman scammed out of $400,000 by the Nigerian demi-god of confidence men, I thought it was only fair to tell a happier tale. This one is of a 19 year old named Taylor who has the day of his life with Drew Carey and The Price Is Right.

If that stroke of luck isn’t good enough, read this story about Michael Paul Larson learning the patterns of the board in Press Your Luck, an 80s game show, and walking out with a bunch of cash and prizes. First, the story is absolutely true. Next, read the amazing story about how he won $110,237 in cash and prizes back in June 1984 (that’s $229,782.08 in today’s dollars and back in an era where the prizes were much much smaller).

See? It’s not all bad news and schadenfreude here. 🙂


Happy Thanksgiving!

Two of the Luckiest Thanksgiving Turkeys!

Today is our annual day of giving thanks and eating ridiculous amounts of food and we will be no different! I want to thank everyone who reads, comments, lurks, links to, is linked from, and interacts with my little website over the past year and hope that we can continue to do it for another year or two (or ten!). It’s because of you that I’m able to continue doing this and for that I thank you.

Please have a safe night, please stop on by for a little light hearted Your Take post for tomorrow, and then have a great weekend!

(Photo: hammer51012)


Best of August 2007

“Best Of” posts seem to be in vogue lately so I thought I’d reach into the archives and start pulling out some gems from when there were fewer people. In August 2007, I was able to pen fifty-two posts on a variety of topics that interested me at the time. The two most commented posts was one about ridiculous frugal ideas and how I liquidated my target retirement 2050 funds in the face of economic turmoil. That month was when people started talking about an economic slowdown and that spurred me to liquidate some of my assets, which turned out to be a good idea at the time but it’s really a bad practice in general. Getting lucky shouldn’t be a long term investment strategy.

Another frequently discussed post from that month was 10 Reasons Credit, Debt and You Should Be BFF. I think that credit cards often get a bad reputation because so many people are mired in debt, but they’re a powerful financial tool if you use it responsibly. Fire can burn and provide warmth if controlled.

August also saw some discussion of the value of paperless personal finance, which is really one of the steps to simplifying your personal finances.

Lastly, in a bit of irony, I wrote a Devil’s Advocate post on how you shouldn’t jump from job to job on practically the one year anniversary of switching jobs. (There was also a frequently commented post on discussing salaries with your friends)


Happy Labor Day!

Labor Day BBQ Grilling

Happy Labor Day! Did you know that the holiday originated in 1882 by the Central Labor Union of New York City? It didn’t become a federal holiday until 1894. It’s also the symbolic end of summer, which means all the beer taps change their seasonal Sam Adams brews from Summer Ale to Oktoberfest (though we went to Champps yesterday and they jumped the gun by a day). I am a fan of that Summer Ale (and all wheat beers really).

Enjoy the day off everyone!

(Photo: avlxyz)


Wordle’s Cool Subject Clouds

I was playing around with this new site Wordle and putting in the sites of some other personal finance blogs

Blueprint for Financial Prosperity Artistic Tag Cloud

They make the cloud based on your RSS feed so it takes whatever you’ve been writing about lately, not a entire site survey (with over 2,200 articles, that would take forever), so it looks like I’ve been writing a lot about emergency funds, investing in index funds, and stealing Obama’s thunder and the use of the word ‘can.’ Yes, I can.

But this is no fun if I just do my site right? I had to see what others would look like so I played with it some more and made clouds for The Simple Dollar (there it is to the right, probably my favorite of the bunch I made and that thumbnail doesn’t do it justice), The Digerati Life, Five Cent Nickel, Get Rich Slowly, Consumerism Commentary, CNN Money, and a few more.

If you want to see the fruits of my minor diversionary labor, check out my gallery on Wordle.


WIN: NBC’s 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics by Numbers

This week, in lieu of a Week in Numbers, I give you NBC’s 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics by Numbers.

My favorite numbers of the bunch?

  • $25,000 – The amount each Olympic athlete is given by the USOC for a gold medal.
  • 44 – The number countries with apparel deals with Nike at the Olympics, there are 204 countries participating in total.
  • 0 – How much Michael Phelps will pay to eat pizza at Pizza Hut for the next year (all because he broke Spitz’s single-Games gold medal count record, I had no idea he did that)
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