By Dave Greenbaum The next time you’re on vacation, you’ll probably set up an out of office reply. When you get back to work, you’ll face a mountain of emails to deal with. One company is allowing employees to delete messages when they go on vacation—which isn’t a bad idea.Read more…

Source: Life Hacker

  

By Dave Greenbaum When we’re dating, we’re often very detailed in our observations of our partner. We’re specific in our appreciation of the person’s appearance or deeds. As we get used to the relationship, we’ll forget that specific praise. You might take them for granted, so you might consider going back to those old ways.Read more…

Source: Life Hacker

  

By Ed Sum When the quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone is at the heart of the horror flick, As Above/So Below, the frights might have fared better if only it went deeper into exploring its hermetic roots. When the philosophy and teachings surrounding this legendary stone include alchemy and theurgy in the art of the transformation of the elements and perfection of the self, the opportunities missed by screenwriters John Erick and Drew Dowdle will only have those viewers in the know shaking their head. Audiences looking for a cheap scare might find a few thrills in a mostly disappointing film.
Too many stereotypical tropes from the haunted house genre are used with very little effect to spook Scarlett (Perdita Weeks), a young scholar turned archaeologist, and her team. 

Maybe the mysterious and noxious fumes emanating from the Parisian underground they are inhaling are causing them to hallucinate.That helps explain why no one can see what’s truly going on right after they meet a coven of ladies singing a strange hymn upon entry. Once they descend further down the Catacombs in search for the Stone made by Nicolas Flamel, nothing they see is truly what it seems. Although they have a map and three expert navigators to guide them, it’s Pap’s (François Civil) refusal to enter unmaped territory and George’s (Ben Feldman) denial of dealing with the ghosts of his past that ultimately get the plot going.
Scarlett believes that the secret passage she discovered is the only way to get at what she wants. The other way, the long way, may not necessary get there. This conflict is good to keep viewers invested in the story, but the tension that develops along the way is not dynamic enough. The supporting cast of characters fall flat in delivering the anxiety that should happen when they realize escape is impossible. There’s no true panic or claustrophobia being developed in a film that relies on shaky cam and point of view shots to get the feeling across.

In what they uncover, only Scarlett cares about solving the next puzzle and avoiding the next trap. When she tries to explain how the creation myths of the ancient Egyptian world tie into the making of the Philosopher’s Stone, the duplicity needs to be questioned. There is no clear distinction of which cosmology — from Hermopolis, Heliopolis, Memphis and Thebes — is being referenced. The explanation is very textbook, and some viewers may well go, “huh?”
As for why a corpse of a Templar Knight is left guarding this treasure, perhaps there was an obligation he had with Flamel that no one in the group cared to figure out. His open air crypt is more like a set dressing instead of an important plot device when the gang realizes the treasure they are seeking is very near. If his ghost appeared to say, “Choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you,” Indiana Jones style, some interesting associations about what the Flamel stone represents would have given this film substance. Instead, none of the individual pieces really make any important sense.

Had this movie spent time expanding upon how these ideas melded, then there would be a product worth talking about. The quest for the alchemical stone would have led to ramifications for the team. Sadly the plot falls into incoherency after it builds upon how the clues can be deciphered after finding the Rose Key (this film’s version of the Rosetta Stone). Had it been better constructed, this movie could have been the Da Vinci Code of the found footage horror genre. Archeology is interesting when there is someone enthusiastically explaining the discoveries as they happen, but Scarlett is clearly no Zahi Hawass. She has some charming on-screen personality, but there’s not enough for her to become the next scream queen.
This movie would have fared better as a direct to video release than a big screen product. At least the extras that get included on a disc product might explain just what the Dowdle brothers were thinking of when they made this film.

Source: Nerd Titan

  

By Dave Greenbaum Some of us are currently employed, but seeking new employment. In those situations, you need to be careful and avoid letting your employer know you’re looking. Putting an email address in your LinkedIn summary encourages more networking opportunities. Read more…

Source: Life Hacker

  

By Dave Greenbaum Beans are an inexpensive ingredient, but often need soaking and boiling. Throw them in the slow cooker in the morning and by the time you get home they’ll be ready to eat.Read more…

Source: Life Hacker

  

By Dave Greenbaum For those of us with kids, the needs of our careers and our families aren’t always in sync. This chart lists the top cities for working parents.Read more…

Source: Life Hacker

  

By Chris Higgins In 1991, Computer Chronicles looked at computers in schools. If your school had computers in the 90s (especially Macs, as they’re featured heavily in this episode), this will bring back powerful memories. Behold:
Around the 7-minute mark is a demo of the then-brand-new Kid Pix! And at 9:45, there’s vintage computerized audio recording and playback. Awesome.

Source: Mental Floss

  

By Alan Henry When you need to translate one language to another, either just to communicate or because you’re trying to read something, you have tons of options—they’re just not all that great at capturing what the original language really meant without sounding silly. This week we’re looking at five of the best, based on your nominations. Read more…

Source: Life Hacker

  

By Dave Greenbaum The mesh grille on speakers can be a dust magnet. Instead of cleaning them with a rag, try using a lint roller.Read more…

Source: Life Hacker

  

By Roma Panganiban Why stay in a run-of-the-mill hotel room when John Steinbeck’s cottage and Aldous Huxley’s cabin are just two of the literary locations available for bookish tourists to rent?
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A surprising number of people engage in an arguably pretty gross bathroom/shower habit.
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There are some surprises on the list of richest cities in each state.
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13 years ago, astronaut Frank Culbertson was the only living American not on Earth during the World Trade Center’s collapse. His unique view of the events was tragic, but deeply memorable.
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Another year, another set of newly broken Guinness World Records. The world’s largest yo-yo and the world’s largest collection of plastic food are a sight to see, but the man with the world’s longest tongue is a little harder to handle.
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All around the world, shopkeepers keep watch over stores as diverse as they are.
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It’s a video game concept that might make some uncomfortable, but the creators of “Tampon Run” (which is exactly what it sounds like) say that’s exactly the point.
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Over a century ago, The New York Times wanted a change from its well-known slogan, “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” and received an impressive number of alternative options from its readers.

Source: Mental Floss