How to Tell if a Mirror Is Two Way or Not

A two-way mirror is glass which, on one side, provides a reflection, but on the other side, functions as a window. It is used to observe people so that they are not aware that they are being watched, or who is watching them. Two-way mirrors (also known as one-way, transparent, and observation mirrors) are not uncommon in police stations or psychological institutions, but there are other, less obvious settings where people worry about being watched, such as dressing rooms and workplaces. If you are concerned about a particular mirror, here’s how to tell if there’s someone looking on the other side.


1. Observe how the mirror is installed. A normal mirror is hung against the wall, but an observation mirror is set into the wall. If the wall is behind the mirror, it’s probably a normal mirror.

2. Turn off the lights and hold a flashlight or even a small personal flashlight to the mirror. If it is a two-way mirror, the room on the other side will be illuminated.

3. Press your eyes against the mirror and cup them with your hands, creating a dark “tunnel” to block out the light. When you do so, the light in the observation room will be brighter than the light on your side of the mirror, and you should be able to see something beyond the glass.

4. Tap on the surface of the mirror with your knuckle. A normal mirror will produce a dull sound because it is placed in front of a wall. A two-way mirror, however, will produce an open, hollow, and reverberating sound, because there is an open space on the other side.


* The “fingernail” test most commonly associated with identifying two-way mirrors is not as reliable as any of the methods above. It can be performed by putting your fingernail against the mirror. If there is NO gap between your nail and the reflection, you are touching a first-surface mirror. These are quite expensive and would not be installed under ordinary circumstances. All observation mirrors are first surface mirrors, but not all first surface mirrors are observation mirrors.

* Some places, such as gas stations will use one way metal mirrors because glass mirrors can be destroyed by users.


* No test for a two-way mirror is foolproof. There only needs to be a very small opening in the wall for a hidden camera with a fisheye lens, and there won’t be any giveaway illumination on the other side, or any hollow sound, or anything to see with your cupped hands. Even if the mirror is a normal one, there are many other places to hide observation devices. Also keep in mind that most people have no desire to go through the risk, trouble and effort to spy. An exception to this would be the proprietors of retail establishments, who often use surveillance technology in order to hold down employee theft as well as shoplifting.


People are staring at computer screens more and more. This gives you dry eyes, but luckily, the problem is only short-term and can be avoided in the first place.


1. Blink. People blink at least half as much as normal when staring at the computer screen, because people usually squint and your eyes are not made for looking at monitors. It may be hard to remember to do this constantly, so every now and then you can close your eyes for a few seconds.

2. 10-10-10. Every 10 minutes, look at an object 10 feet away for to get them adjusted to long-distance too, so you are ready when you get off the computer.

3. Adjust the screen settings. You will find that if you make your screen a bit more dull, it is actually easier to read. The screen should be just as bright as your surroundings, and should not appear to be a glowing box nor pitch black object. You will find that you can actually get used to a brightness of 0. Contrast should usually be in the level of the 80s, but they are different for different screens. Contrast is the strength of the colors compared next to each other.

4. Back up the screen, but not so much that you have to strain to read the text. 16-24 inches is a good distance, depending on your eyesight and the size of the screen. Consider changing the settings to show larger text on every site accessed on your browser.

5. Use the computer less and make your time count. Learn to type faster so that you can type up an email faster and be able to get off faster. It is also very efficient to print up long pages that you would have to read on the computer. If you are really sensitive, consider getting a job that doesn’t require computer use on a daily basis.


* Ignore the myth about looking at computer screens making you nearsighted because of the pixels. Looking at computer screens is just like reading a book.

* Before and after long periods of time with computer use, wash your eyes or take a shower.

* Some of this information can also apply to other types of screens, such as that of TVs, handheld games and cell phones.

* Stay hydrated so you are sure to have enough tears to make.


* Too much time on the computer can also cause fatigue. Take breaks often.

* Artificial tear drops can hurt you in the long run by making you produce less tears.

* Your eyes can also become bloodshot from being dry.

How to Resign!

June 25, 2009

Goodbye, and good luck!It’s time for you to make a change, be it a new career path or simply a new challenge. The procedure for resigning is simple enough: give notice, preferably in advance. But if you don’t want to burn any bridges, thereby creating obstacles to future opportunities, you must be especially careful and considerate. Resigning is easy, but resigning gracefully is not. This article specifically covers several ways a person can make their resignation as smooth and as grudge-free as possible.

Keep it to yourself.
Once you’ve made the decision, don’t go blabbing it all over the company until you have notified your immediate supervisor. Give her or him time to absorb and process the information. If the company makes an attractive counter-offer, it will be awkward if you have already announced your plans to coworkers.
Plan to give notice. If you want to leave under the best possible terms, don’t leave your employer high and dry, scrambling to cover your position. Give at least two weeks notice, so that your boss can prepare to have others cover for you, or have time to groom a replacement.

A moment of your time?Ask your boss for an appointment to discuss an important matter. Poking your head in and asking for a moment of his or her time will do – just be respectful of the fact that your supervisor has a job to do, and may not be able to drop everything at the precise moment you are prepared to spring this news on him or her. If there is too much going on, you will only add to your his or her hassles, so if it’s at all possible, wait for a time when your boss will have a few moments to focus on your news.
Be prepared, direct, and polite. Rehearsing privately will help you be ready when your supervisor has you in to talk. Most managers are extremely busy and they will appreciate your direct approach, forgoing the temptation to “cushion the blow,” “find the right way to say this,” or otherwise beat around the bush. You might say something like:

“I’ve been considering my options here for some time, and I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve found here, but I must give my two weeks’ notice.”

“I need to let you know that I have been offered a new position at another company. I have really enjoyed working here, but I need to give you my two weeks’ notice as of today. Does it work for you if my last day is [whatever two weeks from then is]?”
Be prepared to discuss.
Chances are you’ve been working with this boss for some time, and whatever your reasons are for leaving, she or he may have some questions. Or your boss may value you much more than you realized, and make a counteroffer. Being polite and dignified about your resignation could make this possible. You will need to consider in advance whether you would stay for a pay raise, increased benefits, a promotion, or other incentives. This would be a prime negotiating opportunity, so be prepared for it, and know your own bottom line. If staying is an option, what would make you open to it? Check the warnings below, though, because counter-offers have some serious downsides.
Emphasize the positive.
Be honest, but polite. If the boss asks you if he or she had anything to do with your decision, and was a factor, it’s best to rely on tact and diplomacy to make an honest answer palatable. In other words, you won’t help yourself by saying, “Yes, you’re a lousy supervisor and I would have been way better,” (even if it’s true). You can be truthful without being cruel: “It was a factor, but not the entire reason. I felt our working styles and approaches just weren’t a great fit, and that we never meshed as well as I wished we had. Still, the overall experience here has been positive; it’s just that with this new opportunity, I feel excited to have new challenges.”
Have a copy of your letter of resignation in hand.
Make your letter brief, non-confrontational and professional. An example: “Dear Mr. Spacely: It has been my honor to work for Spacely Sprockets, Inc. This letter is to notify you that I will be leaving to accept a new position with another company as of [a date which is AT LEAST two weeks from the date of your conversation and letter]. Please accept my thanks for our association, and best regards to you and the entire company for the future. Sincerely, George Jetson.”
Shake hands, smile, and thank your boss.
Whether your departure is to relocate, to take a better job, or just to get away from this guy, show some class when you’re walking out the door. Shake hands, thank your soon-to-be-former supervisor (yay!) for “everything,” and leave. Go to your work station and stay there for at least 10 minutes. Now you can go blab it to everybody, but don’t rub it in your boss’s nose – be classy and simply confirm that you will be leaving.


Remember that there are very few who are so free as those who have nothing to lose – but it won’t serve you well in the future if you go shooting your mouth off just because you’re on your way out. It won’t kill you to make nice for two weeks, because you’re getting out of there, and that entire experience will be behind you.
The jerk you leave behind today may well end up being your boss again in the future. And remember, too, that sometimes those jerks are oblivious to the fact that they’re not well liked. If you are remembered as someone who was positive and generous in the past, you may well be greasing the wheels to a great future as this boss puts you (the friendly face he remembers from before) ahead of the strangers in the new position. This may facilitate transfers to other branch offices, better assignments, and more.
It may be wise to refuse any offers to stay with your current employer. Accepting a pay raise or other bonus after threatening to leave can cast you in a negative light with co-workers and the company as a whole. It can also make you seem indecisive and of questionable loyalty. Always keep a record of the offer in case you come back to the company in the future.
After informing your supervisor, be sure to personally tell other managers or key employees
with whom you have worked that you have resigned. Say it in a way that “thanks” the person for helping you develop your career. “I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I am resigning to take a position at another company. Before I leave I wanted to be sure to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed working with you.” These people may leave for other jobs in the future and you want them to have positive memories of you. Who knows when they can impact your next career move.
Allowing a boss you have disliked to needle you into insulting them will end badly. You don’t want to end up being escorted off the premises by security. Don’t give in to the temptation to say what you really think.
Some bosses don’t take kindly to you being “the decider.” Be sure you can truly afford to walk away from your job that day, because sometimes the supervisor takes it very personally that you are leaving, and will tell you there’s no need to give notice, and instruct you to leave immediately. You will be the best judge of this, so do your best to assess if your boss is one of these people – but be aware, sometimes, you just can’t predict what they’ll do. Re-read your employment contract – you must be aware of all of your and the company’s termination options. If there is no formal employment contract, familiarize yourself with the default provisions of your state/provincial law.
Be physically prepared to walk away that day: before resigning, save to disk or email to a private account anything you need and have the right to take such as contact information for clients, suppliers or other references; work samples; a list of projects you worked on, etc. [Keep in mind, much of the information and other items you had access to while employed are frequently proprietary and owned by the company. Make certain it is within the bounds of your contract and the law before you take this advice].
When considering a counter-offer honestly evaluate why you want to leave and protect yourself. While a raise might be nice, it might not solve other issues that require either a promotion (if your job advancement has stalled) or a transfer to another group (if you have personality conflicts with your boss). You can protect yourself from being vindictively fired later by demanding that, for at least two years, you stop being an “at will” employee and can only be fired “for cause.”
A counter-offer is sometimes made because they fear nobody else will be able to do your job. If that’s the case, and you take the counter-offer, they will possibly ask you to train others on what you do. You may end up training your replacement, and that next change might not be on your terms.
A counter-offer is an acknowledgement that you are being underpaid. If you require a nurturing work environment that recognizes people’s worth without threats of leaving, then you may not be a good long-term fit with your employer. However, if you are comfortable with negotiating pay raises, and it does not bother you that coworkers who are less skilled negotiators do not earn as much, then you might want to consider staying.
Be aware of any types of benefits you may be eligible for. If you are about to be laid off, you may have a severance package, or the option to collect unemployment benefits. These can be very handy if you have not secured a new job. Resigning from a position may disqualify you from receiving anything. It may be better in some cases to receive these benefits while looking for your next position.

How to Get Out of Debt

August 9, 2007

Getting out of debt and staying out of debt is not easy. Chances are, you’re reading this article because you’ve already amassed a fair amount of debt and are thinking it will be impossible to ever get out from under it all. Learn how to stop incurring new debt and change your life.


1. Stop increasing your debt. If you have any credit cards that are maxed out, cut them in half. If you have more than one remaining credit card, cut them up. When you finish, you should have no more than one credit card. Also cut up any ‘convenience’ cards, such as gas cards, department store cards, etc. You will use your one credit card ONLY to buy ‘must haves’ (see below) until you can get your spending fully under control.

2. Record your spending. The idea of writing down what you spend is a concept most people find annoying at best and useless at worst. However, this is actually your key to getting out of debt. You’re in debt because you spent money you didn’t have. If you’re like many people, your debt didn’t come from one single huge purchase, it was trickles of spending amassed over time. Avoiding more debt starts with knowing what you are spending your money on. Each day for one month (at least), write down every penny you spend, no matter how small.

3. Categorize your spending. Categorize your monthly expenses into logical groups of ‘Must have’, ‘Should have’, and ‘Like to have’. ‘Must have’ are things that will cause harm if you don’t buy them, such as food, rent, medicine, pet food, etc. ‘Should have’ are things that you need, but can do without for a little while, e.g., new clothes for work, gym membership, etc. ‘Like to have’ are things that you don’t need, but enhance your life, e.g., magazine subscriptions, newspaper, cable tv, weekly coffee with friends, IM on your phone, etc. By doing this, you’ll have a good idea of what you spend your money on and be able to figure out where you might need to cut back on spending. You don’t want to eliminate all of the ‘Should haves’ and ‘Like to haves’, but take a look at those first. One of your expenses will be paying off your debt. You will want to always pay more than the minimum required, otherwise it will take a really long time to eliminate your debt. For example, a single credit card with just a $1,000 balance and 19% interest will take about FIVE YEARS to pay off by making only the minimum payment of $26.

4. Make a budget based on your spending record. Write down the amount you spent in each category of spending last month as you budget for spending for the next month. Don’t sweat if you feel like the amount is too much. For now, just write it down. If you spent $250 on clothes last month, write it down. If you spent $200 on gas for your car last month, write it down.

5. Figure out your debt paydown fund amount. Looking at your new budget, you’re going to be able to see areas where you might be able to cut back. You might also see categories where you need to increase spending. In doing this step, no one is suggesting that you come up with budget amounts that are unlivable. Think about going on a diet–if you try to restrict your calories excessively, what’s the first thing you want to do? Krispy Kreme here you come, right? The key here is to be realistic. Are you paying money for a gym membership you never use, despite your best intentions? What about the $4 a day, every day, morning coffee you get before work, or your 5-cans-of-Diet-Coke-a-day habit? Chances are, your budget has some fat that can be trimmed. At the end of this exercise, you should have come up with a figure, a number of dollars that can be put toward debt paydown.Make a note of this figure. Day-to-day, if you don’t want to keep taking note of all your expenditures, just write down what you spend in the categories you are trying to cut back. This will give you a very clear idea of how well you are doing, and it may help you decide to hold back on a purchase, if you know you’re going to go over your budgeted amount.

6. Figure out how much you owe, to whom, and on what terms. Debt can often feel overwhelming because you really don’t have a clear idea of how much in debt you really are. Gather your bills, and make a simple list or spreadsheet of all the debts you have. Write down all the pertinent facts, including name of the creditor, your total balance, your minimum monthly payment, and your interest rate.

7. Start paying it off. Take the debt paydown figure of money you trimmed from your budget in step 4, and apply it to debt repayment. It’s a good idea to prioritize the debts to which you are going to apply this extra money. Do you have debts that are past due and the creditors are hanging out on your door step demanding your first-born? Do you have debts with exceedingly high interest rates? Consider these top priorities. Let’s say you determined in Step 4 that you could comfortably trim an extra $250 from your monthly budget to go toward paying debts, and that from your list of debts in Step 5, you owe $2,000 on a store credit card that has an interest rate of 19.5%, you owe $1,000 on a Visa with an interest rate of 11.5% and $25,000 in student loans with an interest rate of 5%. You would want to pay the minimum on your low interest rate debts, and apply the bulk of your $250 to the highest interest rate, in this case, your 19.5% store credit card, despite the fact that the actual cost of the student loan interest is highest.

8. Wash, rinse, repeat. Just kidding, but you get the idea. This process gets easier. Once you’ve figured out your spending and what debts you owe, keeping it up gets easier and easier. You’ll refine your budget over time, increase the amount of money you can pay yourself (see tip below) and the amount you can put toward debt. Continue to pay off each debt in your priority list.

9. Don’t give up. Chances are you didn’t get into debt in a day, and you won’t get out of debt in a day. Quick fixes don’t last, but learning how to manage your money can bring great peace into your life, and you can spend your mental energies on more fun things.


* Don’t consider debt consolidation or consumer credit counseling agencies your first stop. These should be a last resort! Although they may be tempting, if you’re going to get your act together, doing it on your own will help you learn the skills you need to fix your own problem and avoid getting in this situation again.

* If creditors are hounding you, and you have grown fearful of answering your phone or reading your mail, stop and take a deep breath. You are okay. You will be okay. Now, take another deep breath and call them. Better yet, write them. If the company ever decides to take you to court, you will have proof that you are trying to pay off your debts. Most creditors want to work with you and figure out a way to get things sorted out. When you take the initiative to call and explain yourself, you may find them willing to help and may find they offer you terms that can help you get the debt back under control.

* Contact your credit card companies. Ask each credit card company for help. They aren’t likely to forgive you your loan, but they may be willing to reduce your interest rate. If your interest rate is currently 12% or more, ask if they would be willing to cut their rate in half. Why would they consider doing this? Well, creditors do not want you to default on your loan and they want their principal back. Sure, a nice fat interest charge would be ideal too, but if they sense you are ready to default on your loan, you can expect that a lower rate will be offered instead.

* Consider a debt consolidation loan. You can pull all of your debt together into one account, preferably one featuring a fixed, low interest rate. You can use the proceeds from the loan to pay back your other creditors and then make monthly payments back to the loan consolidator.

* Home refinancing. Refinancing your loan may be just the debt reduction help you need as the funds saved by you each month with lower mortgage payments could be used to pay off other debt. Caution: you are placing your home “at risk” if you opt for this choice.

* Visit a credit counselor. There are credit counseling companies who help consumers by offering debt reduction plans to tackle debt. Essentially the way this works is that you will meet with an adviser and lay out a plan to repay your loans. The counselor will negotiate with lenders on your behalf for the lower rate which, in turn, will reduce your monthly payments as well as keep your credit rating intact. Credit counselors work for private companies as well as for government agencies or nonprofit firms. Be careful: a lot of what these people do you can do on your own. Read the fine print to make sure you understand any fees involved; make sure that your credit rating is not adversely affected too.

* Credit counseling is all about you and your financial situation. When it’s your dollars at stake make sure to ask the credit counseling organization about what type of customer service they provide. Credit counseling organizations should have someone available for you to talk to during all business hours of the day. Be leery of a credit counseling organization that requires you to leave a message in order to speak to customer service. This can be a sign that the credit counseling organization is shorthanded and having difficulty keeping up with their clients’ needs. Be sure to ask about counseling fees and the type of management and education programs they have in place.

* Pay yourself first. Many people in debt put their creditors first and themselves last. Create a budget category for a “contingency fund” to help create a cushion for yourself for spending. The wise owl articles you’ll read will say this cushion should have 3-6 months of expenses in it. Don’t get overwhelmed by this. Setting aside something, anything, for unexpected expenses (i.e. transmission replacement for your car) is a great start.

* Can you earn more? Most people can figure out a way to bring in more income relatively painlessly. Do you have a skill or a hobby from which you could earn some income? If so, this money could be put directly toward debt, and might build an entirely new stream of income potential for you over time.

* If you truly feel you need support, consider joining a local group of Debtors Anonymous. Debtors Anonymous is a 12-step program for people who have trouble with debt and spending and can be a source of great support and inspiration for you if money management is a habitual problem in your life. See the links below.

* You are allowed a free credit report from each of the three companies every 12 months through

* Use cash as much as possible. Paying with cash has a more significant psychological impact than plastic. It feels like you’re spending more money so you spend less.

* When paying down debt, pay minimum payments on everything but the bill with the smallest payoff. Once that is paid off, move to the next smaller bill. This is another psychological “trick”. It will keep you working your plan because you see progress.

* Remember: Minimum payments lead to the maximum amount of money paid over time. Paying more than the minimum applies more money to the balance, which decreases the amount of money you will end up paying overall. Note that some creditors frown on this practice.

* Realize that Credit Card companies are not your friend. They WANT you to remain in debt paying a minimum payment on their credit cards every month for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! (They list your credit card payments to them as one of their assets.) So you should pay off your debt to each of them and then after waiting a couple of months (without using their card again) seriously consider closing that account. It is much more to your advantage to use a debit card issued by your checking account’s bank. That way you can still use the convenience of “plastic” for purchases, but the money is deducted from your checking account and you avoid any more debt. And by closing your credit card account a couple of months after paying it off, you’ll keep a good listing on your credit report for it.


* Avoid the temptation of payday advance loans at all costs. There are other solutions. It’s a quick “fix” that will cause you to get into a snowballing problem of debt. Before you even think about taking out a payday loan, consider other resources: family and friends, home equity, and Debtors Anonymous.

* Chronic spending and debt can be a harmful habit, just like alcoholism or any other addiction. Spending can be an escape, or can be used to mask deeper issues. Consult a professional and/or Debtors Anonymous if you feel you might have a problem.

* Don’t Be Hasty…closing revolving credit card accounts may actually lower your credit score…it can shorten the length of your reported credit history and make you seem less credit-worthy. Carefully choose which cards to cancel. You can avoid this problem by keeping the older cards and get rid of newer ones. However, you will still want to take your different rates into account as you choose which cards to cancel.

* Be careful with those low-interest balance transfer credit cards. Their default rate will almost always get you into more debt.

If your LCD screen has a stuck or dead pixel (a point on the screen that is always lit or always dark), it is usually due to a transistor malfunction or uneven distribution of liquid in the liquid crystal display (TFT LCD). This can often be fixed.


Pressure Method

Turn off your computer’s monitor. Get yourself a damp washcloth, so that you don’t scratch your screen.
Take a household pen, pencil, screwdriver, or some other sort of instrument with a focused, but relatively dull, point. A very good tool would be a stylus.
Fold the washcloth to make sure you don’t accidentally puncture it and scratch the screen.
Apply pressure through the folded washcloth with the instrument to exactly where the stuck pixel is. Try not to put pressure anywhere else, as this may make more stuck pixels.
While applying pressure, turn on your computer and screen.
Remove pressure and the stuck pixel should be gone. This works as the liquid in the liquid crystal has not spread into each little pixel. This liquid is used with the backlight on your monitor, allowing different amounts of light through, which creates the different colors.

Tapping Method

Turn on the computer and LCD screen. Display a black image, which will show the stuck pixel very clearly against the background. (It is very important that you are showing a black image and not just a blank signal, as you need the backlighting of the LCD to be illuminating the back of the panel).
Find a pen with a rounded end. A Sharpie marker should be fine for this.
Use the rounded end of the pen to gently tap where the stuck pixel is – not too hard to start with, just enough to see a quick white glow under the point of contact. If you didn’t see a white glow, then you didn’t tap hard enough, so use just slightly more pressure this time.
Start tapping gently. Increase the pressure on the taps gradually for 5-10 taps until the pixel rights itself.
Display a white image (an empty text document is good for this) to verify that you haven’t accidentally caused more damage than you fixed.

Software Method

Try running pixel fixing software (see external links). Stuck pixels can often be re-energised by rapidly turning them on and off. If this fails, complete the following steps.


Many people report success with this technique but these instructions won’t work in every case. It may take a few attempts to make sure you are pressing exactly on the dead pixel. These instructions will fix “stuck” pixels, not “dead” ones. Dead pixels appear black while stuck pixels can be one constant color like red, blue or green.

An alternative, but similar technique involves gently massaging the stuck pixel with a warm damp (not wet) soft cloth.
Alternative technique to tapping: Using a rounded pencil eraser, push with moderate pressure into screen at stuck pixel.
If these instructions don’t work, you can hopefully get the monitor replaced through your manufacturer. If your monitor falls under the specifications of replacement, get in contact with the manufacturer to set up replacement plans.


Do not attempt to open the monitor as it will void the warranty and the manufacturer will not replace it. Make sure you don’t get any electrical equipment wet or it may break. Some people claim that touching the screen can cause more pixels to become stuck, although this has not been proven.

Any car accident is frightening, but an accident in which your vehicle is thrown into the water, with you trapped inside, is absolutely terrifying. Such accidents are particularly dangerous due to the risk of drowning, but the fact is that most deaths that occur from being trapped in a sinking vehicle are avoidable. Escape usually requires only a cool head, a little know-how and, sometimes, patience.


1. Remain calm. The preceding events will no doubt get your adrenaline pumping, but don’t panic. However you must move quickly and effectively to ensure your survival. Take a few breaths to calm yourself down, however don’t spend more then about 2 seconds doing this.

2. Get out quickly and unbuckle your seat belt and make sure you don’t get tangled up in it. Lots of victims of this sort of accident drown with the car doors open or windows down, still securely fastened to their seats. You can try to open the door although make sure to unlock it first—but don’t waste much time on this: if the water is up to the door, you probably won’t be able to open it. Instead try to roll down the window as quickly as possible, and escape from the opened window.

3. Try to open your window. The best way to get out if this is the case is to open the window. If this is not possible—electric windows, for example, may malfunction—try to break the window out and escape. However if you have manually operated windows you are in luck because they work even if some water is visible but this still represents a small amount of time. If you can only see about an inch of water outside the window it should still open pretty easily but after that it get progressively harder due to the pressure being exerted on it from the outside. If you have manually operated windows then obliviously breaking the windows is the only remaining option. The side windows and rear window are tempered, which means that they will break when struck hard enough with a pointed object. There are special tools called “window punches” (a spring-loaded center punch) and other tools designed for this purpose. The windshield, however, is actually two pieces of glass laminated together with a thin strip of plastic in-between. You will not be able to break through the windshield. Don’t bother trying. If you are not yet completely under water yet, break a window and crawl out. Don’t bother opening the door you don’t have time. However keep in mind if you are already under water that when you break the window, water will rapidly flow into the car, this is frightening, but try to remain calm. Without allowing water into the car to balance out the pressure acting on the car from the outside, it will be very difficult to open the door and escape.

4. Climb into the back seat. If you are unable to open your windows, climb into the back seat as quickly as possible. The car’s engine will cause the car to sink front-end first, creating an air pocket in the back of your vehicle. The trapped air will allow you more time to break a window or open a door once the air and water pressure in and around the car equalizes.

5. Keep your head above water. As the vehicle fills with water, you need to make sure you can still breathe. If the car lands upright you may simply be able to remain in your seat, but if the car lands on its top or side, you will have to maneuver within the car to keep your head in the air pocket.

6. Escape through a window or open the door as soon as you can. Water will initially flow into the car very quickly, so you may not be able to escape from an open window. Remember to make sure your door is unlocked. In your haste you may think you can’t open the door when all you need to do is unlock it.

7. Swim to the surface as quickly as possible. Push off the car and swim to the surface. If you don’t know which way to swim, look for light and swim toward it or follow any bubbles you see as they will be going up. Be aware of your surroundings as you swim and surface. You may have to deal with a strong current or obstacles such as rocks, concrete bridge supports, or even passing boats. Avoid injuring yourself on these things, and use them to your advantage if you are too injured or exhausted to make it to land once you surface.

8. Get medical attention as soon as possible. The adrenaline in your bloodstream after the escape may make you unable to immediately detect any other injuries you may have sustained in the accident.


* If all else fails, your last resort should be to sit in your car until it completely fills with water, there will then be equal pressure in the water you are in and the outside of your car. Open the door and swim to safety.

* Your clothing and heavy objects in your pockets can make you sink. Be mentally prepared to kick off your shoes and remove heavy outer clothing such as jackets if necessary. The less clothing you have on the easier swimming will be. Even your pants (especially denim) will weigh you down significantly.

* Assist children out of the vehicle before you exit. Children will panic and may need assistance. Because they are smaller, it should be easier to get them out of the car.

* Take control of the situation. If you’re traveling with other people, tell them what to do (i.e. unbuckle seat-belts, remain calm, etc.) in order to escape.

* Be prepared. A variety of emergency products are available that can help you break your car window. Some of these are combined with products you already carry in your car, such as flashlights and key rings. Small spring-loaded hammers or punches (“power punches”) may provide the easiest and most portable solution, but you could even carry your own hammer. Just make sure your tool is easily accessible at all times.

* If you don’t have a special tool to break the windows, use anything you can. Hammers, screwdrivers, and steering wheel locks are very good. You can also elbow the window, or try to kick it out, but you will have to give it all you’ve got.

* Side and rear windows are the best options for escape. Front windows (windshields) are made with safety glass, which will stick together when broken and which may thus be difficult to remove. Some more expensive cars also use safety glass for the sides.

* The easiest way to break a window is to strike it near a corner or edge.

* Fully recline your seat to make escape and maneuvering inside the vehicle easier. Don’t do this if someone is sitting behind you.

* While you almost certainly won’t be able to open a door that’s at all submerged in the water, it’s valuable to note that the end of the car that contains the engine will usually sink fastest, often leaving the car at an angle so that part of it (usually the back) is above water for a while. You may thus be able to open some doors, but not others, while the car is still floating.

* If you can easily do so, remove heavy shoes or bulky clothes while you are in the vehicle. Bulky clothing can get snagged on something, trapping you when would otherwise be able to escape, and heavy clothes or boots may fill with water and make it difficult to swim to the surface, especially if you’re not a strong swimmer.

* Be mindful of all exits from your vehicle to include passage through drop-down back seats and out the trunk using the emergency trunk release handle that is a feature of some newer cars.

* If you have electric doors and windows, if you can, fully lower the windows upon contact with the water before they short out. When the electrical system goes out you may not be able to lower them and the doors will only unlock manually.

* You may be able to open the car door once the car has filled with water because the pressure on the door has equalized. However, you should probably be out of the car long before it fills with water.

* If you have a sunroof, open it and escape through there before the water reaches the top of the car.

* Don’t bother turning your lights off- even turn them on if you are unlikely to be able to point out your vehicle or escape from it – the light’s electronics are usually waterproofed, and the lights themselves will help rescuers find your vehicle. Electric shock is very unlikely – and almost certainly not dangerous in these situations.


* Be careful when breaking the windows, as glass can fly around and you may cut yourself, especially if you need to use your elbow or feet.

* Don’t take anything heavy or unnecessary with you, and remember that everything is unnecessary in this situation. If your wallet and cell phone are already in your pockets, you can leave them in there, but don’t try to collect other belongings.

* Fluids from the engine that are lighter than water may seep into the car, and the fumes from these can pollute your air pocket. Get out of the vehicle as soon as you can.

* Don’t wait for help. Rescuers will most likely not be able to reach you in time, and even if they do, there’s usually not much they can do for you. You’re on your own.

Many sports in today’s action packed world require you to use a vast amount of air to be successful. While there is no way to increase the size of your lungs, there are many ways to increase the amount of air taken in by your lungs, and the efficiency with which they capture oxygen. Practice these exercises daily, and you are bound to see an increase in your lung capacity.


1. Breathe deeply. Be sure to do the following as you practice deep breathing in order to maximize your lung capacity:

o Exhale completely. Don’t let any air linger in your lungs. This allows more new, oxygen-rich air to come in. You can ensure the complete evacuation of your lungs by counting out loud. When you can no longer count out loud, you can expel no more air from you lungs.
o Expand your lower ribs and allow your diaphragm to descend by keeping your abdominal muscles relaxed. Your abdomen will expand as your diaphragm descends making more room around your lungs, allowing them to fill with air.
o Widen your hands, holding them further away from your body, to help open up your chest.
o Inhale for two counts, and exhale for three counts. Maintain this ratio consistently.

2. Create resistance.

o Breathe in normally, through your nose. Take deep breaths.
o Breathe out through your mouth with your lips still close together. Open them just slightly so a little bit of air can get out, and with resistance. Try and do this as often as possible — it makes the sacs in your lungs more used to having to hold air longer, stretching them out.

3. Exercise in water.

o Develop a normal stretching and weight lifting routine out of the water. Make sure that you compensate for the fact that weights will feel lighter when you have the water around you. Practice this routine for a few days until you are comfortable with everything.
o Take it to the water. Submerge yourself up to your neck, and do the exercises while in the water. This may not seem like it is doing anything to help you at all, but don’t worry. Due to the blood shifting into your chest cavity and the compression on your body, you will have to take shorter, quicker breaths when exercising in the water. Research shows that your air capacity will be cut by up to 75% during this time, and your body will try to compensate for that. If your exercise in the water lasts long enough, and you do it regularly, your respiratory system will become more efficient, increasing your lung capacity.

4. Get extra air.

o Take a piece of pipe with a diameter small enough to put into your mouth without hurting your jaw. It should, however, make you open your mouth wide- about as wide as an average yawn. Length-wise, the pipe should not be long at all. It should be maybe half an inch long- it’s not the length you’re looking for, but the width.
o Put the pipe in your mouth. (Do be sure it’s sanitary and clean)
o Breathe. Do so very carefully, though, because if you breathe too quickly, you will become lightheaded. Do this for a little while every day, and you will soon realize that you are able to take longer and longer breaths without becoming lightheaded. If you do this often enough, you should be able to take very deep, full breaths and be perfectly fine. This works because your body is becoming more adjusted to receiving more oxygen with every breath, because, obviously, you don’t breathe like you are yawning all the time.

5. Play a Wind Instrument.

o Learn how to play a wind or brass instrument such as a tuba, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, or flute. This activity will help you control breathing and expand your lung capacity to utilize all the alveoli.
o Play in a marching band or a Drum and Bugle Corps. This activity requires more and more lung capacity utilization for your movement and playing and is quite healthy.

6. Participate in rigorous cardiovascular activities such as aerobics, cycling, and running.


• Training at higher altitudes, if possible, can also help increase lung capacity. The air in high altitude areas has less oxygen in it, which will force your lungs to work harder and become more efficient. But be careful, though, as altitude sickness is a possibility as your body adjusts.
• Quit Smoking. You probably already know to stay away from any kind of smoking, but you should also stay away from smoke-filled environments, where you’re exposed to second-hand smoke.
• Playing any wind instrument with correct diaphragm breathing techniques can make a dramatic change in lung capacity. Singing is also a great way to achieve the same results.
• In a pool, position your chest as far underwater as possible and breathe through a tube. The further underwater you are, the more pressure is applied to your chest, making it hard to breathe. Make sure you can keep the tube above water or you will end up with lungs full of water. Note that at even a couple feet down it may be impossible to inhale.
• A 3/4″ PVC pipe coupler is the perfect tube for most people to hold between their teeth to practice breathing exercises and, if it isn’t right for a particular individual, they can use a 1/2″ or 1″ coupler. They are cheap and can be sterilized. They are a great aid to help singers open up!
• Instead of using a piece of PVC you can use two knuckles. Also, thinking about breathing from the bottom up–like a glass of water being filled–helps.


• Whenever you become lightheaded, breathe normally.

• Don’t exercise in water unless you know how to swim.

• Do not perform these exercises without consulting your doctor if you have any respiratory conditions.

• When breathing underwater (for example, when SCUBA diving), stabilize your depth and never hold your breath or ascend while inhaling. Air expands when ascending and the lungs can rupture if you are holding your breath.

• Don’t exercise, run, swim, etc. with a PVC tube in your mouth. You could choke!

Stay Safe….. Live Well…..

Survive a SHARK Attack

June 21, 2007

Its summer and everyone like to go to beach and swim, but with the great joy and entertainment in swimming there are some dangers associated and one and the most dangerous one is that of a Shark attack.

While you are far likelier to be killed by a stray dog, few animals evoke sheer terror in the way a shark does. Fortunately, sharks attack people only very rarely, and most species of shark are harmless to humans. Still, even medium-size sharks are more than capable of inflicting serious injuries or killing people. While it is best to learn how to prevent a shark attack you should also know what to do in case of an actual attack.


1. Remain calm. While you want to get out of water quickly if a shark attacks, you cannot outrun a shark in the water, and simply trying to sprint to safety may not be your best option. It’s important to keep your wits about you so you can continuously appraise the situation and figure out how to get to safety. Sharks are highly instinctual, like dogs in a way: They have “fear” sonar and if you feel fear even if not displaying it overtly, they sense it and that fear will stimulate their instinct to attack. It may take an instant black-belt, but your spiritual stance is very crucial.

2. Hit-And-Run.The most common type of shark attack, especially in shallow waters, is a “hit and run” attack. In this scenario, a shark will attack a person, but quickly withdraw without attempting another attack. If you’re lucky, this will be the case.

3. Keep your eye on the shark at all times. Sharks may retreat temporarily and then try to sneak up on you. Don’t let this happen. To be able to defend against the shark, you must know where it is, so make every effort to watch the animal, even as you’re trying to escape.

4. Get into a defensible position. If you can’t get out of the water right away, try to reduce the shark’s possible angles of attack. If you’re diving, back up against a reef, piling, or rock outcropping–any solid obstruction–so that you only have to defend attacks in front of you. If you’re diving near the shore, you may need to descend to find cover. In open water, get back-to-back with another swimmer or diver so that you can see, and defend against, an attack from any direction. Gradually surface together to get back to the boat.

5. Fight. Playing dead won’t deter an aggressive shark. Your best bet if attacked is to make the shark see you as a strong, credible threat. Usually, a hard blow to the shark’s gills, eyes, or–to a lesser extent–the tip of its nose will cause the shark to retreat. These are really the only vulnerable areas on a shark. If a shark continues to attack, or if it has you in its mouth, hit these areas repeatedly with hard jabs, and claw at the eyes and gills.

* If you have a spear gun or pole, use it! Aim for the head, specifically the eyes or the gills.

* If you don’t have a weapon, improvise. Use any inanimate object, such as a camera or a rock, or simply use your fists, elbows, knees, and feet to ward off the shark.

* If you have nothing around you, use your own body. Aim for the sharks eyes and gills. Use your fingers, elbows, knees, etc to poke at the eyes. Screaming under water will also work. The high pitched voice of a human will greatly effect the shark and cause it to move away.

6. Get out of the water. While there are a number of things you can do to ward off a shark attack, you’re not truly safe until you’re out of the water. Your goal should always be to get back to shore or back on the boat.

* If a boat is nearby, call out calmly, but loudly, for them to come to you. Stay as still as possible while waiting–as long as the shark is not actively attacking you–and get into the boat as quickly as possible once the boat reaches you.

* If you are near shore, swim quickly, but smoothly. Thrashing will attract the shark’s attention. Erratic movements may also give the appearance that you are wounded, and a wounded animal is more attractive prey to a shark. Use the smooth reverse breast stroke. This will reduce splashing.

7. Get medical attention. If you’ve been bitten, get treatment as soon as possible. Massive blood loss will occur, depending on where you’ve been bitten, so immediately take appropriate precautions, (including, if necessary, the use of a tourniquet), to stop the bleeding. Even if your wounds appear minor, it’s essential to get yourself checked out.


* If you’re fishing or have any sort of catch with you, drop it immediately and get away from it. The shark is likely to be more interested in your fish than in you, and you don’t want to get hurt for a few fish.

* Remember to breathe as you fight. You need adequate oxygen to effectively defend against an attack and to make a quick getaway and retreat to safety.

* Do not give up. As long as you keep fighting, there’s a good chance the shark will eventually give up and search for easier prey. Though giving up or playing dead is an option it is not a good one.

* Always carry a pole-spear or speargun with you especially if you’re diving in waters inhabited by sharks.

* The best way to survive a shark attack is to avoid one altogether.


* A shark’s mouth and teeth are very close to its nose, so it is recommended that you focus on other areas such as the gills or the eyes of the shark. These are effective and safe targets to hit. Only hit the animal’s snout with your bare hands as a last resort and always use the utmost of caution.

* Repress the urge to scream. Screaming will not deter the shark, and may provoke it further. However if the shark seems to have decided to make you his next meal already it may be prudent to scream anyway.

* Sharks are deadly creatures and are not to be trifled with. Never provoke a shark or intentionally put yourself in a position in which you are likely to be attacked.

* When diving, remain calm and remember to follow proper safety protocols. An attack can turn even more fatal if you panic and surface too quickly, then you put yourself at significantly increased risk. Surfacing to quickly, especially from deep depths may result in arterial gas embolism or severe decompression sickness, better known as, “the bends”.

Self Confidence is the first step in your success. You want to be confident and feel confident, but what if you’re starting with little or No confidence? How do you get from Point A to Point B? True self-confidence isn’t an overnight acquisition. It takes dedication to realize you are a good human being that is worthy of respect and love.


Recognize your insecurities. What does that scolding voice in the back of your mind say? What makes you ashamed of yourself? This could be anything from acne, to regrets, to emotional abuse (past or present) from a loved one or friends at school. Whatever is making you feel unworthy, ashamed, or inferior, identify it, give it a name.
Talk about it with friends and loved ones. Wear it on your sleeve. Each day chip away at it; wear it down. There’s no quick fix. Get to the root of the problem; focus on it and understand that you need to resolve each issue before you can move on.
Remember that nobody is perfect. Even the most confident people have insecurities. At some point in any of our lives, we may feel we lack something. That is reality. Learn that life is full of bumps down the road.
Identify your successes. Everyone is good at something, so discover the things at which you excel, then focus on your talents. Give yourself permission to take pride in them. Give yourself credit for your successes. Inferiority is a state of mind in which you’ve declared yourself a victim. Do not allow yourself to be victimized.
Be thankful for what you have. A lot of the times, at the root of insecurity and lack of confidence is a feeling of not having enough of something, whether it’s emotional validation, good luck, money, etc. By acknowledging and appreciating what you do have, you can combat the feeling of being incomplete and unsatisfied. Finding that inner peace will do wonders for your confidence.
Be Positive, even if you don’t feel positive. Avoid self-pity, or the pity and sympathy of others. Never allow others to make you feel inferior–they can only do so if you let them. If you continue to loathe and belittle yourself, others are going to do and believe likewise. Instead, speak positively about yourself, about your future, and about your progress. Do not be afraid to project your strengths and qualities to others. By doing so, you reinforce those ideas in your mind and encourage your growth in a positive direction.
Look in the mirror and smile. Studies surrounding what’s called the “facial feedback theory” suggest that the expressions on your face can actually encourage your brain to register certain emotions. So by looking in the mirror and smiling every day, you might feel happier with yourself and more confident in the long run.

I am gorgeous, huh?
Fake it. Along the same lines of smiling to make yourself feel happy, acting confident might actually make you believe it. Pretend you’re a completely confident version of you; go through the motions and see how you feel.
Express yourself, whether it’s through art, music, writing, etc. Find something you enjoy. Everyone is born with talents and strengths. You can develop and excel in yours. If it’s difficult to name two or three things you have some ability in or just plain love to do, think about things others do that you would like to do too and take some lessons or join an enthusiasts club. When you’re following your passion, not only will it have a therapeutic effect, but you’ll feel unique and accomplished, all of which can help build your self confidence. Plus, adding a variety of interests to your life will not only make you more confident, but it will increase your chances of meeting compatible friends!
Stick to your principles. It might be tough, but if you don’t have something you can believe in, you don’t have anything. No matter what’s happened in your life, you can always lay claim to the fact that from this day forward, you’ve followed your principles to the best of your ability.


Exercise and eat healthy. Exercise raises adrenaline and makes one feel happier and healthier.
It is certainly an easy and effective way to boost your self-confidence.

When you’re feeling superbly insecure, write down a list of things that are good about you. Then read the list back. You’d be surprised at what you can come up with.

Turn feelings of envy or jealousy into a desire to achieve. Stop wanting what others have just because they have it; seek things simply because you want them, whether anybody else has them or not.

Don’t be afraid to push yourself a bit – a little bit of pressure can actually show just how good you are!

Take a wilderness experience course such as those found at Outward Bound or NOLS. Learning how to survive in the wilderness will build your confidence in other areas of life too. You can also try taking a martial arts or fitness class/course (or both). This will help build confidence and strength.

Invest in some new clothing and donate some of your old clothing to send a message to yourself that you both look sharp and feel sharp.

Try to make yourself talk positively at all times. When you hear yourself saying you can’t do something, stop and say you can. Unless you try, you will never know whether you are able to or not.


Don’t get wrapped up in your mistakes and dwell on bad points; they can contrast your good points or even give you something to improve. There’s no feeling like being good at something you were really bad at.

Don’t confuse what you have with who you are. People degrade their self worth when comparing possessions.

Surround yourself with nurturing friends, not overly critical individuals who make you feel inadequate or insecure. This could do great harm and damage to your self confidence.

Do not try to become confident in the interest of finding a partner. You will regret creating a false personality as the relationship goes along.

Save a Wet Cell Phone

June 13, 2007

Ever dropped your Mobile phone in the sink, or even worse, the toilet? Did you ever leave it in your pocket and run it through the washer? or if you love rain like me and walked in to rain with your mobile phone in your front pocket. It usually means you have to replace your phone, but sometimes if you’re fast, you can save the phone.


1. Get it out of the water as soon as possible. The plastic covers on cell phones are fairly tight, but water can enter the phone over time. But this time may be quite short – 20 seconds or less. So grab your phone quickly!

2. Remove the battery. This is one of the most important steps. Don’t take time to think about it; electricity and water do not mix. Cutting power to your phone is a crucial first step in saving it. Many circuits inside the phone will survive immersion in water provided they are not attached to a power source when wet.

3. Remove your SIM card. Some or all of your valuable contacts (along with other data) could be stored on your SIM. To some people this could be more worth saving than the phone itself. SIM cards survive water damage well, but some of the following steps are unnecessary i.e. don’t heat it. Just pat it dry and leave it aside until you need to connect your phone to your cellular network. Note that many phones by specific providers, such as Verizon, do not use SIM cards.

4. Dry your phone. Obviously you need to remove as much of the water as soon as possible, so you can prevent it from getting into the phone. Use a towel or paper towel to remove as much of the water as possible. Soft Tissue Paper is also good.

5. Allow the phone to dry. You have to let your phone dry at least for 48 hours placed in vertical position. Since you do not want to ruin your phone or lose all of the numbers in your phone book, you need to allow the phone to dry. Also, ringtones and graphics stay with the phone – not the SIM. Don’t try putting the battery back on to see if it works as this would risk damaging the phone with a short circuit.

6. Wait. This is the hardest part – leaving your phone alone, with battery and SIM card out, while it dries slowly. Tricks like leaving your phone in a bowl of dry rice will help to expedite moisture evaporation. They might also have side effects like getting rice in your phone. Just put it someplace reasonably warm and dry, uncovered so water can evaporate, and wait.

7. Test your phone. After you have waited 3 days, make sure everything is clean and dry looking and re-attach the battery to the phone and see if it works. If your phone does not work, wait another few days. If it still won’t work, try taking your cell phone to an authorized dealer. Sometimes they can fix it.

Alternate Alcohol Soak Method (Not Recommended do it at your own Risk)

1. Dry your phone by soaking it in alcohol or distilled water. This method is controversial and considered risky by some, but the proponents believe in it strongly. Using alcohol is more effective than distilled water because not only does it displace the water and sediments, it also evaporates faster with less residue. It will not harm your mobile phone. Preferably, use denatured alcohol or a 95% alcohol solution. Denatured alcohol may be purchased at any hardware store and is used to clean electronics because it evaporates quickly and leaves no residue. You should check to see what the alcohol is denatured with. If it is anything other than methanol (some are denatured with very hazardous chemicals such as methyl ethelyne ketone [MEK]) you should not use it, as some denaturants can melt plastics. Most drugstores or larger retailers carry 91% rubbing alcohol. Regular rubbing alcohol is only 70% and is not recommended. Distilled water also displaces water and is a viable alternative because it is non-conductive. Prolonged exposure to other liquids will cause corrosion of the copper traces within the mobile phone, and will most likely cease its operation.


Another method for drying the phone is to set it on top of the vent of a cable box, monitor or TV for at least 24 hours (up to 3 days). The low heat emitted is enough to gently dry out the phone.

The longer your phone is wet the more likely it is to be damaged. To dry your phone more quickly than room temperature air can manage, immerse it in a can of dry, uncooked rice. The rice will absorb excess moisture, drying your phone from the inside out.

Don’t put the battery in for at least three days, or longer if your digital screen is foggy.

An alternate drying technique is to seal the phone (battery, SIM card, SD card all removed) in a plastic bag with a few of the silica packs that come packed with shoes, coats, electronics. Leave the phone in the bag for a day or 2, and the silica packs will absorb the moisture.

One other way to assist in the drying process is to put your cell phone in a disposable baby diaper. Works for babies and can work for the cell phone as well.

If your phone falls in the ocean or other salt water, rinse with fresh water before crystals can form after removing battery.

If your phone has been subjected to salt water crystallizing, gently tap the board and the chips with a plastic object (back of the small screw driver for example). The vibration of the taps will set some of the foreign objects free and they will fall out. Be careful and don’t smash the board or the chips. A sharp enough blow will break the chips. Tapping very gently multiple times in multiple locations, especially around the chips, is a preferred method.

Try opening your phone if you can. You’ll probably need a TORX screwdriver for that, but it’s worth it. This may void your warranty, but it is likely the water damage already has.

It is likely that the dunk in water will kill the battery. Fortunately you can buy another for 150-300 PKR or 20 – 40 US dollars. The phone itself usually survives.

Corrosion is a threat. You may want to consider soaking your phone in distilled water to wash away any minerals it picked up from the original water.


Don’t heat the battery or it could leak or explode. Lithium-ion batteries are sensitive. If you use an oven or hairdryer, make sure to remove the battery first.

If you use alcohol make sure to do so outside, and do not apply heat in any form, not even the gentle heat of a monitor. Do not hook up the battery till the alcohol smell dissipates.

Do not apply too much heat to your phone, as mentioned above. You don’t want to melt or burn your phone.

Most modern phones have more than one liquid damage indicator (stickers that change color when wet) on them, only one visible to you (and sales/technician agents), and chances are, if the sticker under the battery is triggered, then the odds are that the internal stickers you can’t access are tripped as well. This will still result in you paying a voided-warranty fee in the long run. Warranties don’t cover water damage, insurance does. And not all insurance companies or plans will honor water damaged phones.

Even if all these steps are followed, minerals dissolved in the water can precipitate on solder and component pins, causing corrosion or shorting. Components pins are packed so closely together in a modern cell phone that even a small encrustation can create a short, rendering the phone inoperable.

Be warned that manufacturers place stickers that will display “void” once peeled and some will change colors in the presence of a liquid (usually turns blue or red). This helps techs know that you have dropped it in the water, as most cell phone insurance coverage policies don’t cover water damage. Also note that these stickers have been known to change colors in extreme humidity as well.

Do not put the phone (or any electronic or metal-containing object) into the microwave. You will destroy electronic components and potentially the microwave.