“People always blame their circumstances for what they are.

I don’t believe in circumstances.

The people who get on in the world are the people who get up 

and look for the circumstances they want

and if they can’t find them,

make them.” 

– George Bernard Shaw

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Everything Needs a Dark Theme

Listen here. Dark mode isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s what stops you from burning your eyes out in the night at 2am.

All apps and websites need to have a dark theme that’s optional. Because not only does it make me appreciate and love you a little more, it means my eyelids don’t suddenly shut themselves closed in shock of all the white light that just violated my damn retina.

But more importantly, it means that you can design this dark theme however you want. People won’t attempt to fix and consequently violate the beautiful design you painstakingly slaved away on.

Example of people making a rather good fix and yet making bad effects on certain apps/websites:

A Chrome extension called TLV Night Mode.

It usually holds up well on its basic task of making the background black and turning the text into fancy colours so they’re legible, but everything else like web animations and text boxes just turn into an eyesore.

Here’s some evidence of how some beautifully crafted websites are being destroyed because we want dark mode.

Exhibit A: Evernote

I can’t deny that Evernote slipping the dark mode function into their Premium plan was sneaky and does tick me off, and I’ve had to experiment with a couple of themes when it came to this website.

Normal Evernote, nothing strange here.

Too bad that didn’t work out.

why.

Exhibit B: WordPress

I write quite late in the night, between 11pm – 2am. And in those times my eyes want to die and there’s only so much f.lux can do, so dark mode is my only solution.

…well, that or just write it at another time but there’s no fun in that.

where the disney channel flow tho

You turn dark mode and bam.

Text section is all white, which kinda defeats the purpose of why I need the dark mode here, and the darkness cuts off randomly in the middle. It’s a real pain, that’s for sure.

“Yeah but what does this prove?”

To the devs, I’m just trying to prove that adding your own dark theme option is way better as it doesn’t destroy your design and it’s easier on the eyes too.

I had no intentions towards dissing this extension, in fact it works really well if you get the colour theme right for you. The best one I’ve seen requires a “small donation” which gives me terrible flashbacks of horrible time-and-life-consuming mobile games with microtransactions of £1 so you can get more diamonds.

(yeah that was aimed at you – you know who you are.)

This extension does work really well, and helps fill in the gaps that most websites don’t bother to do. There are some worse versions out there, believe me. It’s certainly not the greatest thing, but it’ll do.

Anything to stop my eyes from being stabbed by bright lights and blue wavelengths of light that apparently steal whatever sleep I had in the first place.

LastPass – The Best Password Manager Ever

Specifically, LastPass is the best Password Manager ever, for everyone and everybody inhabiting this earth and have a password that needs to be remembered.

A year and a bit ago, I made a post on using 1Password and LastPass together for a better (and free) experience to having your precious deets on devices. I guess that post is now irrelevant considering that in November 2016, LastPass declared that you could access your passwords on all devices for free.

I’ve definitely joined late to this party, and realisation about this feature existing pretty much dazzled my mind yesterday whilst clearing things up. Upon realisation I also went nuts and deleted my 1Password account immediately.

I think it’s awesome. I’ve always had this thought that having such important details should be accessible to any device for free, it was only a logical albeit a risky financial move too. But they bit that damn bullet. Now I love LastPass even more, probably more than I should love a software. (it’s 2017 – I knew I’d succumb to this someday)

My main fear is that it’s too good to be true, you’re getting a whole lot more goodness that isn’t offered in most password managers and it makes me wonder what their main income is. What’s the catch?

LASTPASS PRICING: an absolute steal.

By the looks of their pricing scheme, it seems that what you get for Premium seems good for the digital frenzy worker so there’s a chance a lot of people choose that plan. There’s also a Team and Business plan which might be popular for companies, and this could explain why we’re getting free access on all devices. But it could be anything really.

Or that they’re just awesome. Probably this reason.

TL;DR

Here’s some things to keep in mind:

  • LastPass now enables access to your passwords on all devices for free
  • This as a result makes it awesome
  • This also makes my blog post irrelevant.
  • You’ll never see that blog again.
Mythbusters - Bullet Journaling Featured Image/Header

Mythbusters: The Art of Bullet Journaling

As nicely phrased by the creator of this system, Ryder Carroll:

The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.

It’s kind of like your second brain if you think about it. But there’s a lot of stigma around bullet journaling and I think it’s time to do some mythbusting.

1. it’s not a test of your artistic skills.

If you search up bullet journal on YouTube, all you’ll find are people doing monthly logs with the elegance and skill that I need but could never achieve because I am an impatient, uncreative and a rather lazy soul. I am in no way dissing these people, I just want it to be known that your BuJo doesn’t need to be like this.

Image result for bullet journal

How do they do that?

Back in the days, this was the primary thing that put me off of ever trying it. Watching videos of people drawing complicated  with stationery that probably costs more than me was quite intimidating, and slightly heartbreaking.

In short, Form > Function

 

2. you’re not being asked to paint the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling

Essentially, the system of bullet journaling is only a very small base for what you can truly create out of this. Use it wisely, and it becomes a staple in your daily routine where you can carpe the hell out of your diem.

People get scared of all the symbols and these “logs” but it’s pretty simple. Here’s a basic run through:

I recommend checking out the official website of Bullet Journal where they teach you the basics of starting your own Bullet Journal system and provide inspiration on making it work for you, the site was made by Carroll himself. But you don’t have to do it the way this guy does, he’s only setting the foundation for you.

Now that we’re done mythbusting, let me tell you my experiences on using my own Bullet Journal.

Continue reading →

The Stupid Reality of Terrorism - Header

The stupid reality of terrorism.

Hearing the recent news on terrorism has really been a shock to everyone, and I think I’ve rejected this whole concept because it’s genuinely just atrocious but this is all nothing more than culling. This is the brief.

  1. Terrorism is stupid
  2. Being “tougher” on terrorism is practically impossible
  3. Terrorism won’t stop.

I’ll go through these points clearly with structured paragraphs that will definitely not turn into a rant.

1. Terrorism is stupid

Indeed it is. Think about it, you’re slaughtering innocent lives of people you never knew, people who had families, lifelong plans and the same raw human emotions you once felt and experienced for yourself, and you destroyed that for what?

To push forward your stupidly misguided political agendas? Religion takes no part in slaughter, your mentality does. It’s worth nothing. Nothing.

Islam has nothing to do with this either, Islam doesn’t promote this. Islam doesn’t permit the butchering of unarmed harmless people. You’re just being a self-righteous monster killing people who did nothing to you. Thinking your life is superior or worth more than someone else’s is disgusting, no human should ever determine another’s death.

2. Being “tougher” on terrorism is practically impossible

Look Theresa, ISIS is causing quite the havoc. Cracking down on immigration and making international contact difficult is not gonna cut it. The only physical form of ISIS are the idiots in Syria right now, but in the Western world? It’s a movement.

Anyone can really “join” as there isn’t any formal structure behind it. Not that we know of. Literally anybody can run into the streets and preach whatever misguided ideologies you want, as long as they attract attention through means of violence. There can be groups of people either connected by family, work, friends, a community or just one rogue person.

Anyone can do it, and I believe the people who recruit are found worldwide but that too has no formal structure. It’s led to a stage where one single person could wreak havoc and if the act is not explained, we’ll just assume ISIS did it.

(Please do tell me if I’m wrong, I’ve just personally seen nothing that proves otherwise.)

So whilst people from abroad may be an issue, I believe we are slightly prejudiced here. There are internal issues within the country with those who suddenly change their ways, and we must prioritise looking more into that. And if you think about it, it’s stupid because they believe they have a message for “the greater good”, but they’re not really reminding us of that are they?

ISIS definitely exists. It’s just impossible to tackle because it’s not just a bunch of idiots in Syria, there are people everywhere being brainwashed.

3. Terrorism won’t stop.

It really won’t. Anyone can do it, they might do it because they think they’ll die a martyr and do it for “the greater good”.

“Some may do it because they think it’s the right thing.
Some just want to conquer the world with their opinion.
Some think they are the right ones and others who don’t agree must die.
Some just think that scaring the authorities must mean that it is for good reason.

Some are just gullible enough to fall into that trap because they want a calling in life.
A meaning in life.
Something they can say that matters to them and is worth dying for.
They want to grasp their destiny and feel worth,
and that’s when the lives of others become expendable.”

It’s a tragic and upsetting mentality. And it’s become so normalised that anyone can feel this way and it would never be noticed.

What do we do now?

The underlying issue is that this idea is hardwired into people’s brains. We need more than political figures making empty promises to end terrorism. We need more than just thoughts and prayers to those who are affected. Your thoughts and prayers aren’t going to save another person’s life.

At this point I’m incredibly depressed thinking about the why of terrorism. But know this: fear never works, it only fires up Trump, and it only wards people away. So try it. We’ll be 4 steps ahead of you.

 

 

(apologies for any atrocious grammar or repetitive of the word stupid, it’s late at night and I get really passionate for some reason in the night – Nishat)

Dear Pocket.

Dear Pocket,
I absolutely love your website/app/God-sent-article-saving miracle, and I appreciate that you have a really minimal design to accent the wonderful dark theme that I can enable. I can neatly organise the things I either want to read for later or the things I wish to preserve for later reference, like an article on photography or further understandings on how the brain functions, and it’s amazing.

FACT: This blog’s permanent dark theme was inspired by Pocket’s version (please don’t sue me).

There’s a reason Pocket is widely used, and it’s due to its versatility when it comes to syncing to other platforms, reading offline or simply the ease it has on our eyes. If there’s anything you could change to enhance the experience of reading, it’s this:

1. Highlight quotes for future reference

I love that you can share a selected excerpt from what you read, but if you went one step further and allowed us to highlight the part to save (copying to clipboard would also be nice), that would be a huge gamechanger.

So whenever you return to said article, you can focus on what you previously highlighted. You could also have a board which has all of your saved quotes, like the clippings feature in a Kindle. It’s just a convenience thing and honestly, I’d love it.

2. Redirect tab links to Pocket instead of the original page

Bear with me here, you know how there’s a Pocket’s trending stories on the new tab page on Chrome?

I realised there’s always one Trump-related article in this section. That says a lot about his presidency.

There’s some really good damn articles that I want to read straightaway so I click the title instead of the ‘Save’ button. It redirects me to the original article, where I get bombarded by newsletter and “WHITELIST US ON ADBLOCK OR PAY £1.99” popups left, right and centre.

It’s a pain, especially in the night when I’m accustomed to reading with the dark theme on but instead I get blasted with blue wavelengths that chip away on whatever sleep I had in the first place. This is once again a convenience thing on redirecting articles straight to Pocket over saving it, entering the Pocket website and reading that way.

It would be great to have that in the options page.

That’s it.

Yeah, that’s pretty much it. No. 1 is something I think is a personal necessity, No. 2 is just a pet peeve really. Other than those little things, you guys are doing a great job. People are seriously missing out if they don’t use it.

If these changes do happen, I’m going to make a freak out blog, and that is a promise.

 

Best Regards,
Nishat

My experience with homework – a student’s perspective

Homework seems more like a neverending battle of stress, anxiety and detention as you attempt to pull yourself together to get that stupid, tedious task out of the way. It’s actually affecting student’s health and ironically their grades.

“Don’t forget kids”

The intro should honestly be enough to convince schools to ban homework, period. But they have their reasons too. One of which is so they “don’t forget”. This is a valid point and practically the sole reason homework exists, however going through the strenuous ordeal of doing buttloads of it outweighs the benefits.

You load them with too much homework to a point where that stress, which leads to a shrink in a certain part of the brain, consumes the thoughts to an extent where memory loss is more likely than remembering the topic. You’re overwhelming them, dude.

Your homework makes us smart in the wrong ways

It also ignites a rage within the student to lash at you, either aggressively with verbal or physical attacks, or assertively by outsmarting you with authorities or some rather plausible excuses. To back up this point, it is proven that the stricter the teacher, the more deceptive a student becomes to avoid consequences. Here’s some facts.

I always used to struggle doing homework in time because I just couldn’t give a single damn about it. The only homework I cared about back then was my Sociology, English, Computing and Graphics. Everything else was done the lesson before it was due. Looking back on it I just feel like I was more bent on doing everything else and coming up with a good enough lie if I missed it.

It’s not that hard man

Come on teachers, if you want to give them homework, give them something that is fun or lets them be creative and incorporate our own skills. I may sound like a cliché, but you’re literally giving 12 year olds depression here, just bring it down a notch.

So you removed the headphone jack but still get sales…

It’s absolutely unbelievable. One controversial thing has just been completely glossed over because the iPhone 7 came out. Really?

Apple removed the classic headphone jack, claiming that they want more space to place stereo speakers. I only use speakers to show people videos and that’s very rarely, I generally tend to use a headphone. Now they are rendered useless.

“but neshat du dangle comz wif du fone” Don’t care, how am I meant to charge and use my headphones all through one port?

Now if I get this pointless ounce of glass, it’s probably going to break quicker than my temper. EVEN APPLE MADE AN “OFFICIAL STATEMENT” OF HOW FRAGILE IT IS. Jeez, and what do they exaggerate? The cameras.

One is a telephoto and the other is a wide-angle, which sounds like something I would be interested in if I wanted to do photography like a hipster. Why not just slap a lens on the iPhone 6? Why not just use the Galaxy S7 or the Huawei P9?

Everyone raged about the AirPods (don’t get me started on that one) and how stupid dropping the headphone jack would be. But as soon as the keynote released with their only selling point would be more cameras and a fingerprint-magnet colour, all the haters went quiet. Not this hater.

What is there that’s new? The iPhone 6S had 12MP. Just grab a wide-angle lens and boom, you get the same deal but cheaper. I don’t mean to offend people but no consumer, except tech junkies, will understand what the hell an f1.8 aperture is. They literally just say things and emphasise on it as if it’s a new innovation of today, but God Apple just shut up.

“I can’t wait to get my hands on the iPhone 8, heard there’s no screens!” – an idiot.

The never-ending battle of games

Though the game medium has existed for a mere 50 years, it’s really made its stand in history with incredible visuals, immersive gameplay and unconventional plots. For the pre-2000 years, that was revolutionary.

But when the first GTA game released, it sparked a lot of controversy due to it’s gory pixelated violence. Games were breaking a wall of moral beliefs; introducing you to “what-if” situations. You had complete control of your choices and that still causes concern about gaming today.

A lot of shocking scenes in games had you question our beliefs, like the “No Russian” chapter in COD. The fact that you had a choice to shoot someone and you did ignited a war between gamers and overprotective mums.

The audacity the developers had to place these graphic scenes caused a decrease in revenue and just fuelled more hatred and discussion whether there should be some rules to regulate these types of games.

The fact that 8 year olds play COD and scream their heads off somehow represents the whole gaming community. It gives a good enough reason for your average white mom to say no and spit hate towards this whole industry.

Yeah, kids shouldn’t be doing that. But it doesn’t mean that you aim for the whole damn art of games. There is a lot more to this art form, the beauty of the soundtracks and visuals define a game, not the players. Penn says it best when he shuts down a bunch of really badly-informed mothers blaming violence on video games.

There are some truly moving games, and despite the graphics and the immersive effect it has on us. People watching gamers think it’s rather immature and just plain stupid. Play something like The Last Of Us, the Uncharted series, Telltale’s Walking Dead series or Red Dead Redemption. Violent games, sure. Emotional games? Hell yeah.

Sometimes it doesn’t even take a good linear story-based game to affect someone, it’s also the little things, like the button mechanics. A game like Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (the other versions suck) has really convenient and not too simplified parkour and combat mechanics and it honestly makes the whole game a joy to play.

I mean, the goal in AC is to be stealthy but if you’re playing for the thrill, fighting 10 guards head on will satiate that thirst.

But there’s a lot more beyond the game than just killing, believe me. If you’re skeptical, play one of the games I mentioned above otherwise you can leave now.

Photography = Time + Money

Photography is a really expensive hobby that you have to invest tons of hours into. I feel that people underestimate that, and aren’t prepared to go through those hardships. But then again, I don’t blame them. There is work, school, family basically life smacking you in the face. It sucks, and I don’t think you could ever claim yourself to be a true photographer because there are no standards like that (in my opinion).

Even the simplest of things can spiral out of control, like getting a good camera bag.

sees a really nice bag, finds out it’s £140. oh well. nevermind.

What we can learn from Bruce Lee

“Be like water” is one of his many famous quotes, but Bruce Lee taught us a lot more than just that. I’m picking some bits out of this article because there are some parts that really reached out to me. I suggest you read the full post.

He was a very philosophical man, a person of integrity and peace. He believed that philosophy was a vital part of life, everyday and more. Lee kept a pocket notebook and took it everywhere with him to capture any ideas and reinforce the beliefs he established upon himself.

Willpower:

“Recognizing that the power of will is the supreme court over all other departments of my mind, I will exercise it daily, when I need the urge to action for any purpose; and I will form HABIT designed to bring the power of my will into action at least once daily.”

Emotion:

“Realizing that my emotions are both POSITIVE and negative I will form daily HABITS which will encourage the development of the POSITIVE EMOTIONS, and aid me in converting the negative emotions into some form of useful action.”

Reason:

“Recognizing that both my positive & negative emotions may be dangerous if they are not controlled and guided to desirable ends, I will submit all my desires, aims and purposes to my faculties of reason, and I will be guided by it in giving expression to these.”

Imagination:

“Recognizing the need for sound PLANS and IDEAS for the attainment of my desires, I will develop my imagination by calling upon it daily for help in the formation of my plans.”

Memory:

“Recognizing the value of an alert memory, I will encourage mine to become alert by taking care to impress it clearly with all thoughts I wish to recall, and by associating those thoughts with related subjects which I may call to mind frequently.”

Subconscious mind:

“Recognizing the influence of my subconscious mind over my power of will, I shall take care to submit to it a clear and definite picture of my CLEAR PURPOSE in life and all minor purposes leading to my major purpose, and I shall keep this picture CONSTANTLY BEFORE my subconscious mind by REPEATING IT DAILY.”

Conscience:

“Recognizing that my emotions often err in their over-enthusiasm, and my faculty of reason often is without the warmth of feeling that is necessary to enable me to combine justice with mercy in my judgments, I will encourage my conscience to guide me as to what is right & what is wrong, but I will never set aside the verdicts it renders, no matter what may be the cost of carrying them out.”

He was diligent, and believed he had all control over himself, his emotions and thoughts. His positivity defined his purpose in life and therefore made him spend every day efficiently.

He believed that keeping a pocket notebook is important. Writing things down on a physical notebook is proven to be more effective than typing it up. If you write down your affirmations, your goals in life and who you strive to be, you clear up your mind of stress, anxiety and confusion. You solidify your faith (whatever it is) and have the willpower over yourself.

For more inspirations from the one and only Bruce Lee, check out the article I mentioned. It’s worth a read.