Stephen Hawking’s most memorable quotes (RIP)

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”

“I have always tried to overcome the limitations of my condition and lead as full a life as possible. I have traveled the world, from the Antarctic to zero gravity. Perhaps one day I will go into space.”

“At school, I was never more than about halfway up the class. It was a very bright class. My classwork was very untidy, and my handwriting was the despair of my teachers. But my classmates gave me the nickname Einstein, so presumably they saw signs of something better. When I was twelve, one of my friends bet another friend a bag of sweets that I would never come to anything. I don’t know if this bet was ever settled, and if so, which way it was decided.”

“If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans. We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.”

“I have noticed that even people who claim everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”

“Next time someone complains that you have made a mistake, tell him that may be a good thing. Because without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”

“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”

“We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.”

On euthanasia: “The victim should have the right to end his life, if he wants. But I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”

Apple Cider Vinegar – What’s the deal?

There are lots of myths available online regarding Apple Cider Vinegar. The hype that surrounds how useful it can be in everyday life has been somewhat exaggerated! We decided to have a very quick look at three of these claims regarding Apple Cider Vinegar – Is it all BS?

Apple Cider Vinegar does have some pretty potent functions in our diet! Assuming our diet is already pretty good. In other words, Apple Cider Vinegar is not a magic solution, but it can help us when used correctly.

While some of the items noted in the list below are interesting, it should be noted there are lots of ways to stay healthy, and our own research has proved that Apple Cider Vinegar has advantages but it is a long way from the solution to a poor diet.

Do your own research to understand if Apple Cider Vinegar can help your diet.

So let’s take a look at what precisely the experts say it can do in our diet:

1. It can help you stay full for longer

A small study we found online reported a test subject of 12 people who consumed vinegar before eating a breakfast, which was made up of white bread, felt fuller longer than those who only ate bread! The study, however, noted that a few hours later both parties were equally hungry. The study if applied to those who ate a healthy breakfast may have more interesting results.

2. Help keep breath fresh

The antibacterial properties of vinegar can kill microorganisms responsible for bad breath. So if you run out of mouthwash, it’s always an alternative. However, experts warn it’s no better than other methods of keeping breath fresh, and there are other alternative solutions out there that can do a better job of keeping your mouth minty clean, rather than vinegar fresh!

3. Can help reduce bloating

Some research has shown that because Apple Cider Vinegar can aid digestion, as it speeds along the digestion process, thus limiting the amount of acid reflux a person may get. However, some research counters this belief, so our suggestion would be to test this theory yourself, before reaching for the antacids.

4. Reduces sugar crash

One of the reported benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar is the reduction of a sugar crash. Again, a good diet would negate this possibility, to begin with.

 

Star Trek: Discovery ventures into the Mirror Universe

Being a Star Trek show in 2018 is very tuff. Television is a very different beast than it was in the 60s or 90s. The happier days of exciting yet straightforward story-telling we saw in older series is just not enough. In the old days, you could apply your own CGI using the most powerful graphics system available  – the human mind. But these day’s, it’s not enough.

It’s more than just CGI, of course.

Star Trek has to attract a new audience but also has to be true to its roots as it tries to hold on to its old audience. Attracting a new audience is very tricky indeed and has potential to be a complete disaster.  Look at Star Trek Enterprise which struggled from the start in 2004 and lasted for only four seasons, and it’s most unpopular episode was arguably the last episode filmed.

But so far Star Trek Discovery has been trying pretty hard to keep audiences happy.

Image via TrekMovie.com

Discovery’s  latest episode entitled “Despite Yourself” is directed by number 1 aka Jonathan Frakes, a Star Trek: TNG actor who portrayed the second in command of the Enterprise D in Star Trek: The Next Generation (80s/90s). Frakes did a fantastic job with the direction of the episode.

The episode overall had some questionable moments of violence, which let’s face it is entirely unnecessary in Star Trek storytelling of peace and exploration. However in 2018 shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones has told us not to relax too much with established characters  – they don’t always survive!

“Despite Yourself” gives a wink back (wink forward if you are following the timelines correctly) to Star Trek The Original Series and Star Trek Deep Space Nine episodes. This kind of episode is known as a mirror universe episode. An accident has landed the ship in an alternative reality where their counterparts are generally much sexier, and the mild manner characters are more aggressive.

The idea of a mirror universe was first introduced in the original Star Trek episode “Mirror, Mirror”, which featured the brutal Terran Empire, run by humans and their Vulcan allies, in place of the United Federation of Planets

Worth a watch and if anything – It’s great to have Star Trek back on our screens. Star Trek Discovery currently airs on Netflix in Ireland.

 

Spectre and Meltdown – The low down.

All the major tech players including Google, Apple and Microsoft, have at this stage released updates for the security flaws that are present in computers, mobile devices and tablets.

The vulnerabilities (Spectre and Meltdown) were reported by IT security researchers at Google, Graz University and Cyberus Technology. The bug in the hardware allows programs to steal data which is currently processed on the system. Typically software programs are not permitted to read data that belong to other processes, but a malicious program can exploit Spectre and Meltdown to get hold of valuable information such as passwords stored in a browser such as Internet Explorer and Chrome, emails and personal photos.

Meltdown effects all Intel processors shipped since 2005 and possible but unconfirmed other chip manufacturers. Spectre is more wide-ranging impacting cloud servers, desktops, laptops and phones and is more difficult to exploit.

Microsft has release updates, but there are reports that the updates are not playing nicely with anti-virus software leading to BSOD crashes. It is recommended that you update your AV (Anti-Virus) software before applying the patch.

Google has issued updates to its Android devices and Apple claims that all iOS and MAC systems are vulnerable so it has released iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2 and tvOS 11.2 to defend against attacks.

Reports are also surfacing of an up to 30% hit on performance after applying the update, however, benchmarking website Tom’s hardware say preliminary tests are indicating there is very little performance regression in most systems worldwide.

Jon.ie recommends that you check your devices for updates and apply them if available immediately if you have not already done so.

Windows 10:

To check for updates now, select the Start button, and then go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, and select Check for updates. If Windows Update says your device is up to date, you have all the updates that are currently available.

MAC:

To check for Mac software updates, open the App Store app on your Mac. Click Updates in the App Store toolbar, then use the Update buttons to download and install any updates listed. Updates installed in the last 30 days appear below this list.

Andriod:

1. Open the Settings app.
2. Tap About device at the bottom of the menu.
3. Tap System updates.
4. Tap Check for update.
5. Tap Download if an update is available.
6. Tap Install after the update finishes downloading.

iOS devices:

1.Plug your device into power and connect to the Internet with Wi-Fi.
2.Tap Settings > General > Software Update.
3.Tap Download and Install. If a message asks to temporarily remove apps because iOS needs more space for the update, tap Continue or Cancel. Later, iOS will reinstall apps that it removed.
4.To update now, tap Install. Or you can tap Later and choose Install Tonight or Remind Me Later. If you tap Install Tonight, just plug your iOS device into power before you go to sleep. Your device will update automatically overnight.
5.If asked, enter your passcode.

What is Ransomware and what steps can you take so you don’t become a victim

Yes, Ransomware may sound scary, and that’s because it is!

Trend Micro define Ransomware as “A type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system’s screen or by locking the users’ files unless a ransom is paid.”

Ransomware can put users into a very tricky situation indeed. How much do you value your data? Do you value them enough to risk paying for access to get them back again? The keyword here being risk. Do you trust the cybercriminal to hand him over your hard earned cash to possibly give you access to a decryption key or decryption tool? Well, some individuals and even large organizations are indeed doing this.

These most recent examples that we have recently seen include WannaCry, Petya and CryptoLocker but there are many more examples.

The malware distribution chart here by Malwarebytes.com from Q1 2017 shows exactly how fast the growth is.

The ransomware attacks on companies have trebled since last year. It is reckoned an attack now occurs once every forty seconds. That is an incredible statistic. As for attacks on induvial consumers, this is also on the rise, but the cybercriminals are targeting more businesses with the ambition of getting their sights on a bigger score.

How much does it cost to get my files back?

The cost of getting your files back can run into the hundreds depending on the ransomware variant and the rates of exchange for digital currencies. The most common payment method is Bitcoin due to the perceived anonymity. You also have the option of employing the services of recovery firms. This could however not prove successful and end up costing far more than the actual ransom.

Again please note that paying the ransom does not guarantee that you’ll receive your software to decrypt your files. Furthermore, if a ransom is paid, it is possible that the attacker still has access to your machine and could again hold you to ransom.

If you have been a victim already, then we recommend first finding out which exact strain of malware has encrypted your files. After this run some online searches and see if any free decryption tools exist. We have some more helpful tips down below.

Ransomware the malware of choice. 

So how does Ransomware get into my system? These are the three common methods.

  • The malicious software can be downloaded unwittingly when you visit a website that has already been compromised by hackers.
  • Via Email. You could be sent an email that contains a Trojan download which in turn attempts to install the Ransomware. This email could be from somebody already on your contacts list. ALWAYS scan attachments no matter who the sender is.
  • Network sharing. Recent ransomware, for example, WannaCrypt exploits the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. It has worm-like capabilities which allow it to spread to other computers on the network.

 

Ransomware is one of the fastest growing online crimes and here are five steps that we recommended you implement to reduce your chances of infection.

  1. Backups. I’ll repeat it again backup your files people. All the files that you can’t afford to lose back them up. If possible to multiple locations. I use the following. Microsoft Onedrive. All my files, pictures and documents get synced automatically to the cloud. This includes my phone, tablet and laptop. I don’t stop there. I also use a Kingston USB HyperX Savage memory dongle. It’s small, easy to carry and has excellent transfer rates (It also looks great). You can find a link here.
  2. Be vigilant. Malware relies on human vulnerabilities. If you receive an email or a link from a friend or client that seems like it might be harmless double check. If you are in any way suspicious then don’t open it this includes social media sites.
  3. Software Updates. Yes, I know this is more common sense but really, think about it. When is the last time you went and checked if your windows updates were checked recently or your virus definitions for that matter? Have you been getting alerts and just hitting that remind be later icon! Now might be the time to stop and update your system’s software regularly or face the consequences. Keep an eye for our upcoming article on what we recommend antivirus solutions.
  4. Disconnect the infected system. The ransomware can spread as we have mentioned. It can travel from one PC to another be that in the home or office. Doing this will limit the spread of the infection until you have cleaned the infected workstation.
  5. Using a Limited account. By this I mean don’t always log in as the system administrator account. For doing daily tasks, you will not require administrative functions so don’t use the admin account. Doing this will limit the ability of malicious software to run under administrative credentials.

In summary, protecting against ransomware can be difficult. The criminals are always coming up with new ways to try and defeat anti-virus software. Use the steps we have recommended, be smart online and try not to become a victim!

If you’re looking for a fast, trendy and cool looking USB to store those important files we have tried and tested the Kingston Digital HyperX Savage. Click here to view on amazon.

 

CBD Oil 101

This is a guest post By Terry Healy

So, what exactly is CBD oil?

CBD has exploded onto the market over the past year or so. It is becoming increasingly popular. The positive reviews that a simple Google search shows up are astonishing. It is now being used by children and adults for a variety of reasons. In this very brief article we will cover the basics.

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short is made from Hemp, which is a variety of Cannabis Sativa plant species that is grown specifically for food use. More than 85 different cannabinoids have been discovered in cannabis, but CBD is one of the most beneficial. CBD does not have a psychoactive effect due to only trace amounts of TCH (tetrahydrocannabinol) that’s in medical marijuana. What CBD does have is a remarkable painkilling effect.

CBD is entirely legal and widely available in health food shops and can be purchased online and delivered directly to your door.

How Does CBD Work?

Experts claim that CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system. Receptors are small proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help your cells respond. This creates anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that help with pain management. This means that CBD oil may benefit people with chronic pain, such as chronic back pain.

  • CBD oil is natural, safe, and side-effect-free for most users.
  • For many users, the pain relief from CBD oil is so powerful that it is
    possible to get off of medication.
  • CBD oil is affordable.
  • CBD oil can help with a lot of different conditions.

Some benefits of Cannabidiol:

  • Treat pain from many sources: Back pain, neck pain, surgery or trauma. CBD oil may also reduce the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.
  • Restore balance to mood.
  • Treat Epilepsy.
  • Help with Anxiety.
  • Clear up acne.
  • Combat insomnia.

And many more…

From a personal point of view, we have spoken with several users of CBD who have noticed the considerable effect of the oil in treating anxiety and back pain.

Will CBD oil get me high?

No. CBD oil contains high amounts of CBD, but only trace amounts of THC. It is THC, not CBD, that produces a high. There simply isn’t enough THC in CBD oil to get you high.

What about dosage?

We have experience with two brands.

Cibdol swiss purity. This comes in 2.5% (mild), 4% (Normal) and 10% (High). Cibdol has excellent reviews and has been well researched and studied. It is produced in Swiss laboratories, purified, consistent and fully decarboxylated. We were recommended to start with the 4%, but please speak with whomever you are purchasing from for advice.

Cibdol in our local health food store was priced as follows:

  • 2.5% – 25Eur
  • 4% – 35Eur
  • 10% – 75Eur

Dosage: 3-4 drops, 3 times per day. Do not exceed the recommended daily dose.

Website: https://www.cibdol.com/

Celtic Winds Crops. An Irish brand. Available as 5% and comes in 10ml and 30ml sizes.

Start with a half full dropper, then 3/4 and then the entire dropper is what we were adviced. Again please ask your supplier for dosage information.

CBD Concentrate is produced from the seed of Irish Hemp grown by Celtic Wind Crops in the Cooley Mountains of Co. Louth. No Herbicides or Pesticides are used in the growing of the crop and the raw seed is cold pressed and concentrated using no additives or preservatives.

Pricing in our local store:

Multi-Complex Hemp CBD Oil Concentrate – 10ml – 30Eur

Dosage:: Take o.7ml (=1 squeeze of the dropper) once per day sublingually. Do not exceed the recommended daily dose.

Website: https://celticwindcrops.com/

Rare but possible side effects:

  • Mild stomach pain (very rare).
  • A sedative effect in high dosages.

The side effects experienced today are only witnessed in very high dosages.

Suggestion:

  1. Always consult your GP if you’re on existing medication before considering the use of CBD.
  2. Do not stop taking prescription medication and using CBD as a replacement without consulting a healthcare professional.
  3. Do plenty of research.
  4. Speak with the staff at your local health shop, they tend to be very knowable and can give good advice.

We would love to hear what you think of CBD Oil if you have tried it. Please use the contact page here to get in touch.

Guide to VPN’s

The VPN guide for beginners

So what is a VPN?

The goal of this article is to give you an understanding of what a VPN is. What does a VPN let you do? Should I be using a VPN? I’ll also be recommending a VPN service provider should you decide after reading this that you want one.
Firstly VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and they’re used to keep your connection to public or private networks encrypted and secure. So all that traffic that comes from your laptop, mobile or tablet to the VPN server is in a word scrambled. If somebody happened to capture any of your communication traffic, it would be of no use.

Who uses VPN’s and to do what?

  • Large enterprises and the SMB (Small Medium Business) use VPN technologies to allow their remote employees to connect back to the office when away on business or when working from home. Once the secure connection is established it’s effectively like that employee is sitting at his/her desk in the office. They can access the file, print and email server and be on the opposite side of the world. The key being it’s highly secure. This reason is why VPN’s first came into existence.
  • The security conscious internet user who values privacy. We see a lot in the media about government snooping and ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) keeping logs of their customer’s internet traffic. Well, VPN’s help with this. As we will explain shortly, you’ll be going undercover when you connect to the net.
  •  Bypassing Restrictions. Today this is a common reason for using the technology. If you wish to access a service or even a website that is blocked based on your geographical location, then you need a VPN to help you out.
  • Hackers. Hackers use VPN services to remain anonymous. It helps them to hide their location and evade getting caught when carrying out illegal activities.
  • When connecting through free public Wi-Fi zones such as internet cafes. If a malicious user is snooping on network traffic from a free Wi-Fi area, you’ll be kept secure through the use of encryption.

I’m sure there are lots and lots of more reasons, but for now, these are the main ones that spring to mind.

How does a VPN connection work?

When you connect to the internet, you are assigned an IP (Internet Protocol) address by your service provider. This address is unique, and it’s just for you (Aren’t you special). So maybe you can tell already by that sentence that identifying you if required would be relatively easy, right?
When you connect to a VPN server that you have chosen, you are forming what is called an encrypted tunnel. All your traffic passes through this tunnel before it hits the final distinction. Now my ISP cannot see my traffic (It’s encrypted), it cannot see the websites I visit because my chosen VPN provider is routing my traffic for me. I can appear as though I’m in an entirely different country altogether. Most VPN providers have options that allow you to select which county you wish to route your encrypted traffic through. An attractive choice if trying to access streaming serveries that would be otherwise unavailable. At this point, I’d like to mention that Jon.ie does not in any way condone the illegal use of VPN service providers.

Do I need a VPN provider?

Well, that all depends. Do you want privacy when surfing the net? Are you trying to access a resource that’s unavailable due to your geographical location? Do you use lots of public Wi-Fi spots? Do you want to avoid logs being kept of your traffic and sold to the highest bidder? If you have answered yes here then maybe yes, it’s time to get a VPN service. You will have plenty of choices.

Who we recommend for VPN services.

  • When choosing a VPN service provider keep an eye out for the following:Cost. Naturally, this will be a significant factor. Limited vs. unlimited usage. How much data allowance will you require? How many simultaneous connections can you have running together?
  • Software used to establish the connection. How easy is it to get up and running? Read the Reviews.
  • The number of servers at your disposal. Does the provider offer lots of server in multiple geographical locations?
  • Speed. A VPN service will slow your connection down to a degree. Again, do some research and see how the reviews stack up.
  • Customer Support. When it all goes wrong, do you have a support agent to contact to get to the bottom of the issue you’re having?
  • Operating System Compatibility. Is this software support by the OS (Operating System) that you use, e.g., Windows 10, Ubuntu MAC, etc.

Bearing all this in mind Jon.ie recommends the following VPN service provider:

Provider: Express VPN
Website: https://www.expressvpn.com/

Reasons:

  1. Compatibility. With apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Routers, and Linux. ExpressVPN works with any internet connection including wired, Wi-Fi, and cellular networks.
  2. Easy to setup. Sign up, install, and press connect. Straightforward for the least technologically savvy of us.
  3. No Logs. Express VPN never share your details with anyone.
  4. Unblock Websites. Easily unblock sites and services like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, YouTube and Gmail. With ExpressVPN you can keep on accessing the sites, you love.
  5.  Speed. With unlimited bandwidth, you can enjoy your favourite videos and video chat with your friends and family without waiting for videos to buffer.
  6. Censorship. When connected to ExpressVPN, your ISP only sees encrypted traffic passing to our VPN servers, but they cannot decipher the data or know the websites you have visited.
  7.  Customer Support. We’ve used it, and it’s excellent.
  8. Cost. Different plans to meet your requirements. See here: https://www.expressvpn.com/order
    ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

To Conclude

We hope that you have found this brief VPN guide informative. You should now know what a VPN is, what it does and who uses VPN’s. Should you decide to use one, we have our recommendation but don’t be afraid to try several until you find the one that meets all your requirements.

 

Five steps to secure your home wireless network

We here at Jon.ie love wireless communication technologies. The freedom that it allows us from our wireless audio systems to wireless internet access that extends around the home. However wireless internet connections come with some security vulnerabilities that you don’t see with wired connections. But don’t fear we’re here to help. We have some basic yet essential steps that you can implement to keep any potential attackers at bay.

1 – Change the default SSID.

What’s an SSID you might ask? Well, it stands for Service Set Identifier. When you plug in your router that is supplied to you by your ISP (Internet Service Provider), it will come with a default network name which is broadcasted to the outside world.
When you want to connect your laptop, phone, games consoles or tablet, etc. to the wireless network you click on your network name or SSID. Now, while this doesn’t just allow attackers onto your home network connection, it can give them valuable information, for example, the manufacturer of your router or who your service provider is. When picking your SSID don’t include any personal information that identifies you.
It is also good practice to change the SSID regularly. But it can be annoying. Each time you change your SSID, you must reconnect each device to the wireless network again.

2 – Change Default Credentials.

All routers will come with a default username and password. If you purchase a new router from your local IT store or if your ISP supplies it, it doesn’t matter it will have a default username and password. Let’s change that straight away. In fact, some manufacturers will force you to modify the default password before you can even log in to configure your router.
The default username’s and passwords are publically available on the internet. Different manufacturers will use different credentials, and the reason they’re publically available is that if you ever need to troubleshoot your hardware, it might need to be reset to the factory default settings.
Not changing these settings can be very dangerous and allow somebody who has physical access to your device to make whatever changes they wish. It could also allow them to remotely connect to your router if your encryption has been compromised but more on that next.

3 – Encryption Standards.

All routers will offer different encryption standards. You will want to pick a standard that provides the best level of security but also one that’s supported by all the devices that connected to your network router.
If you take away anything from this article, it’s, please use the best encryption standard that’s available to you. It’s crucial in locking down your home wireless network.
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is an old standard so don’t use it. What you want to be looking for is WPA2, or you may see WPA2-PSK. If you don’t see these options maybe it’s time for a router upgrade!
Remember to make this password a good one. It’s what you’ll be entering on all your devices to connect to the net. We recommend a mix of Upper, Lower, Numeric and special characters.

4 – Disable Remote Administration.

If you don’t plan on managing your router while you’re away from home turn off remote administration function when outside the LAN (Local Area Network) if it’s an option on your device.
If it’s enabled, you can enter the public IP address of your device and reach it from any location in the world via a web-based management interface. It’s a handy feature for the small business that requires troubleshooting done on the device, but for the average home user, it is not a requirement. If you see Remote Administration support in the settings, disable it. If it is something that you will require consider a VPN (Virtual Private Network) instead.

5 – Update your hardware firmware.

It’s good practice to check for firmware upgrades regularly. Every couple of weeks or so will be okay. Vulnerabilities are continually found and when they are just like with Operating Systems updates patches are released to close down the exploit. It’s worth nothing some routers will check for firmware upgrades automatically. You can check the manufacturer’s website for details on the lasted firmware releases for your particular model.

To Conclude.

I hope that you have found some of these basic steps of use. Nobody wants to share their internet connection with the neighbours (one would assume), and indeed, we don’t want anybody eavesdropping on our web connectivity. By implementing these steps outlined here, you will significantly decrease your chances of becoming a victim.

Happy and safe surfing!

 

Ways to Challenge yourself in 2018 – A List

Looking to challenge yourself in 2018? One way to do this is to set a monthly goal. Think of something you always said you would get around to, but always found an excuse not to do it. Then do said task for a full month. We asked around the office, hoping to come up with 50 such tasks, but came up with 26.

This author has already started with number 1 – give up alcohol (for a month). Check out our list below, and see what you think!

 

  1. Give up Alcholol for a month.
  2. Read every day for a month.
  3. Read at least 50 books (non-fiction) in 2018.
  4. Take a photo-a-day for a month and post to Instagram.
  5. Do some form of exercise every day for a month (walk to the shops does not count).
  6. Take a sabbatical from my day job and do something entirely different for a  month.
  7. Have a goal for each day and aim to complete that goal, whatever else I do.
  8. Cut out coffee for a month.
  9. No Netflix for a month.
  10. Eat at least one piece of fruit a day.
  11. Lean a bit of Spanish.
  12. Fasting. Do a fast to understand – so many things.
  13. Cut out Chocolate/Crisps/Sweet things for a month.
  14. Reduce coffee intake (yes! The second mention of coffee, but I drink too much.
  15. Be nice.
  16. Don’t dwell on what others say – feck em.
  17. Walk to work.
  18. Mindfulness
  19. Go outside comfort zone at least once a month.
  20. Pay me first. You should always pay yourself first before you pay your bills.
  21. Buy a new Kindle so that I can do ‘number 3’ in the dark.
  22. Develop new (good) habits.
  23. Delete Facebook. But, actually, for me, Facebook seems to have evolved to such a time-waste – silly news stories… etc…
  24. Don’t stress.
  25. Get up at least an hour before I need to.
  26. Eat more yoghurt with probiotics.

Weekend listening: Top 5 Ted talks we love.

Time to kill this weekend? We compiled some of our favorite Ted talks from over the years. Enjoy!

1. Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do.

Learn the force behind the things you do in your everyday life and how to change your habits.

Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/tony_robbins_asks_why_we_do_what_we_do

2. Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness

Having less stuff might actually make us happier.

Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness

3. Susan Cain: The power of introverts

Learn why introverts should be encouraged and celebrated.

Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts

4. Keith Barry: Brain magic

Learn how our brains can fool our bodies.

Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/keith_barry_does_brain_magic

5. Elon Musk: The Mind Behind Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity

Elon Musk discusses the innovative thought processes behind some of his greatest ventures: Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity. He also explores the future of sustainable energy — and the necessity of solar energy in the future.

Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/elon_musk_the_mind_behind_tesla_spacex_solarcity