insanity http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/290/all en-US Are you sane? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-sane <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-sane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mop-mop-mop.jpg" alt="Charwoman moping the floor of a bus" title="Mop Mop Mop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="297" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Back in the days before science and modern medicine made their contributions to the field of mental health, sanity was a pretty arbitrary thing.  Even in those dark days, though, it was useful to have a test for sanity, so you could determine if someone reached the minimum threshold of mental competence to be allowed to manage their own affairs.  Here&#39;s one test.  Would you pass?</p> <p>One test for sanity involved giving subjects a mop and bucket and then sending them into a room where the sink was plugged and the tap had been left running.  If they turned off the tap, they were sane.  If they just started in mopping as the sink continued to overflow, they would be judged &quot;not competent.&quot;</p> <p>I expect most of you will agree with me that modern mental health care is to be preferred over this sort of rough-and-ready division between sane and not.  And yet, I think there&#39;s a certain value to this test.  In your own life, are you careful to turn off the tap before you start mopping?</p> <p>I&#39;ve seen plenty of (metaphorical) mopping in the face of an overflowing sink, usually in one of three situations:</p> <h2>Ignorance</h2> <p>There are times when the source of the leak is hidden, so a wet floor is the only symptom.  For example, if the &quot;wet floor&quot; is a difficulty in paying your bills, I&#39;m sure that Wise Bread readers would immediately know that the &quot;open tap&quot; is an excess of spending over income.  But someone who has just begun to manage a household for the first time ever can perhaps be forgiven for failing to recognize this as quickly as a more experienced person would.</p> <h2>Denial </h2> <p>Sometimes the problem is not so much ignorance as it is denial.  You see somebody mopping away, but when you suggest that they turn off the tap, they assure you that tap is already off and go on mopping.</p> <h2>Lack of authority</h2> <p>This is a different situation from ignorance and denial.  it&#39;s quite common to see <strong>employees</strong> mopping away under an overflowing sink.  If you point out that the tap is open, they respond with a heartfelt &quot;Duh!&quot;  If you suggest that they might turn off the tap, they shrug and say, &quot;I&#39;m not allowed to do that.  My job is to mop.&quot;</p> <h2>Solutions</h2> <p>I list the sources of insanity in order of increasing level of difficulty to solve.</p> <p>Someone who is merely ignorant can be educated.  Depending on the exact circumstances, they may learn the lesson quickly enough on their own, once they realize that continuing to mop isn&#39;t going to solve the problem--although there&#39;ll always be some people who&#39;s first impulse will be to get a better mop.</p> <p>If the problem is denial, the solution has to be different.  Rather than education, they need something more akin to counseling.  Personally, I&#39;m inclined to refer them to a professional immediately, as I&#39;ve rarely had much success in helping someone who&#39;s in denial.</p> <p>I leave &quot;lack of authority&quot; for the last, because it&#39;s really a special case--there are two people who need help here.  </p> <p>There&#39;s a person in authority who&#39;s either ignorant of the problem or else in denial about it--and can be helped as above.  (In practice, they&#39;ll usually turn out to be aware of the problem, and will claim that the mopping is just a temporary stopgap until a plumber can be called.  Sometimes that&#39;s even the truth.)</p> <p>It&#39;s harder to help the person doing the mopping.  They usually have either a long story of futile efforts to convince management to turn off the tap, or else a short story of management so stupid that there&#39;s no point in making the effort.  Either way, they finish up by shrugging and saying that, as long as the manager wants to pay them to mop, they&#39;re willing to keep mopping.</p> <p>I&#39;ve spent my share of time mopping under an overflowing sink for no better reason than because someone was paying me to do it.  It&#39;s frustrating, humiliating, and eventually soul-destroying behavior.  Don&#39;t do it.  If efforts to educate management fail, find another job.  Insane behavior doesn&#39;t become sane, just because someone&#39;s willing to pay you to do it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-sane">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life">7 Ways a Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks insanity mopping sanity Fri, 18 Jul 2008 13:49:47 +0000 Philip Brewer 2248 at http://www.wisebread.com Black Friday...black in more ways than one http://www.wisebread.com/black-friday-black-in-more-ways-than-one-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/black-friday-black-in-more-ways-than-one-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/857597_girl_on_stairs_0.jpg" alt="sad" title="sad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Today, November 23rd, is Black Friday. A day that as a Wisebread writer and bargain hunter I love. There are deals everywhere, we all get a chance to save a bit of dough before the Holidays, we all smile a bit more. At least, that&#39;s what I thought. But as I trudged around today in the sales, with lines of people looking more stressed than a factory farmed chicken, I realized that this day has increasingly become more of a black day on the calendar.</p> <p>Black Friday got it&#39;s name from a financial term. It was a day many retailers went from being &quot;in the red&quot; to going back &quot;in the black.&quot; Great, money-savings opportunities popped up everywhere and over the years it has become a momentous day for shopping. When I first arrived in the US I was staggered by the kind of deals you could get on Black Friday. It was a consumer&#39;s dream. But that dream has slowly become a nightmare, as I witnessed today.</p> <p>It&#39;s difficult to know what to make of us as a race when you see fellow human beings trampling all over each other in a mall to get their hands on a half-price sweater or portable DVD player. With the deals being advertised earlier and earlier before the big day, the hype is magnified. And this year, the hype was bigger than ever. Black Friday ads were leaked up to a month before today, and the general public has been drooling like Pavlov&#39;s dog for a great bargain.</p> <p>I, for one, was one of those drooling dogs last year. And the year before. I got up at 6am with my wife and sweet baby girl and dragged them all over Colorado to save $20 on a pack of re-writable DVDs and $30 on a DVD player. Nice saving, but a what cost to me and my family time? I&#39;ve noticed this trend in other people, the mania growing like a virus. But today I did a quick search to see if there were any security camera images of the hysteria. Here&#39;s one of the more impactful... </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vVvEChXulSs&amp;rel=1" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vVvEChXulSs&amp;rel=1" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="355"></embed></object></p> <p>Saving a buck is great. But when you step back and look at the bigger picture, is it worth it, really? With the Internet most people can find very good deals, ones that rival or beat Black Friday deals, without having to step outside in the rowdy rabble. No need to punch and kick. No need to step on a fellow human to get that cashmere sweater for $80. I speak as someone who had what has only been described as a &quot;moment of clarity&quot; today. I&#39;m not saying don&#39;t enjoy the sales. I still love a deal, always will. But Black Friday, something I applauded as early as this morning in our Wisebread writers forum, has began to turn my stomach to reveal the true nature of us all, if we let money rule our heads instead of compassion and patience.</p> <p>I love a great deal. I&#39;ll never let one go. But I won&#39;t screw someone over just to save a few bucks on the latest &quot;must-have&quot; toy or gadget that eventually (sooner rather than later) becomes some $5 item in a garage sale.</p> <p>It&#39;s the day after Thanksgiving. A time we should still give thanks for what we have. Maybe we should remember that and spend a little more time with the ones we love, and a little less time with the retailers looking for a big, fat bottom line. </p> <p>Have a wonderful holiday folks. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/black-friday-black-in-more-ways-than-one-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investment-moves-that-prove-youre-finally-a-grown-up">5 Investment Moves That Prove You&#039;re Finally a Grown-Up</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-senior-discounts">Big List of Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-accept-200000-if-you-didnt-know-where-it-came-from">Would You Accept $200,000 If You Didn&#039;t Know Where It Came From?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/conspicuous-spending-fading-to-black">Conspicuous Spending: Fading to Black</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs bargains consumerism fear gluttony greed inhumanity insanity savings Sat, 24 Nov 2007 05:00:53 +0000 Paul Michael 1421 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 tips from the frugally insane. http://www.wisebread.com/25-tips-from-the-frugally-insane <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-tips-from-the-frugally-insane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_39465430_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="these crazy frugal moves will make you laugh" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know, saving money is a serious business. Sometimes, too serious. So now and then I like to inject a little fun into the proceedings. Back when I was a little younger, I would ocassionally glance at the magazines my mom would read. They were the usual &quot;mom&quot; magazines, like Good Housekeeping, Bella, that kind of thing. And there was always a spot dedicated to tips sent in from readers. You know the ones &mdash; &quot;A little club soda and salt will clean up any stain.&quot;</p> <p>Then I found a magazine called VIZ, a comic for grown-ups. And they did what I can only describe as the funniest parody of frugality I have ever read. As you are all fans of saving a few pennies, I thought I'd share these insane tips with you. Trust me when I say that the only use they serve is to give you an occasional chuckle. Enjoy.</p> <h2>1. Save a Fortune on Laundry Bills</h2> <p>Give your dirty shirts to a local charity shop. They'll wash and iron them and you can buy them back for 50 cents.</p> <h2>2. Create Instant Designer Stubble</h2> <p>Suck on a magnet and dip your chin into a bowl of iron filings.</p> <h2>3. Food on the Move</h2> <p>A hedgehog, trained to scuttle up and down the table from guest to guest, makes an unusual and cheap mobile appetizer dispenser at cocktail parties.</p> <h2>4. Foil Pick-Pockets</h2> <p>Place a freshly toasted Pop-Tart in each pocket. Would-be thieves will quickly rupture the fragile pastry and receive nasty finger burns from the steaming hot jam inside.</p> <h2>5. Snake-mobile</h2> <p>A length of plastic drainpipe with a roller skate at each end makes an ideal home-made &quot;car&quot; for snakes.</p> <h2>6. Clingy Contacts</h2> <p>Can&rsquo;t afford contact lenses? Simply cut out small circles of clingwrap and press them into your eyes.</p> <h2>7. The Bucket Trick</h2> <p>Stop bread from drying out by keeping it in a bucket of water.</p> <h2>8. Close Observations</h2> <p>Don't waste money buying expensive binoculars. Simply stand closer to the object you wish to view.</p> <h2>9. Jet Setter</h2> <p>Avoid jet lag by simply taking an earlier flight, thus arriving fully refreshed and on time.</p> <h2>10. Smart Siphon</h2> <p>Put a stop to car thieves by siphoning off all your gas whenever you park your car, and carrying it round with you in one or two plastic buckets.</p> <h2>11. Potato Puzzle</h2> <p>Why pay for expensive jigsaws? Just take a bag of frozen fries from the freezer and try piercing together potatoes.</p> <h2>12. Smell Gas?</h2> <p>Locate the suspected leak by striking an ordinary match in every room in the house until a loud explosion reveals the source of the escaping gas.</p> <h2>13. The Butter Trick</h2> <p>Always keep a stick of butter in your pocket so that if you get your head stuck in railings you'll be able to grease your ears and slide out.</p> <h2>14. Sunless Tan</h2> <p>Exterior wood stain is a cheap, long-lasting and attractive alternative to sun-bed treatments.</p> <h2>15. Office Workers</h2> <p>Avoid distractions from your important paperwork by making &quot;blinkers&quot; out of two post-it note stickers, one stuck to each temple.</p> <h2>16. Lights Out</h2> <p>Save electricity by turning off all the lights in your house and walking around wearing a miner's hat.</p> <h2>17. Fast Wipe</h2> <p>Avoid parking tickets by leaving your windscreen wipers turned to 'fast wipe' whenever you leave your car parked illegally.</p> <h2>18. Personal Address Book</h2> <p>Old telephone directories make ideal, free personal address books. Simply cross out the names and addresses of people you don't know.</p> <h2>19. Bye-Bye Bookmark</h2> <p>When reading a book try tearing out the pages as you read them. This saves the expense of buying a bookmark.</p> <h2>20. Give It a Push</h2> <p>Save on gas by pushing your car to your destination. Invariably passers-by will think you've broken down and help.</p> <h2>21. Who Needs Wheels?</h2> <p>Avoid being wheel-clamped by jacking up your car, removing the wheels, and locking them safely in the trunk until you return.</p> <h2>22. Duct Tape Bath</h2> <p>No time for a bath? Wrap yourself in duct tape and remove the dirt by simply peeling it off.</p> <h2>23. Beware of Bees</h2> <p>Hair gels are expensive. Jelly is a much cheaper alternative, but beware of bees in the summer.</p> <h2>24. Faux Hangove</h2> <p>Save on alochol by drinking cold tea instead of scotch. The following morning you can create the effects of a hangover by drinking a tablespoon of dish soap and banging your head repeatedly on the wall.</p> <h2>25. International Master Criminals</h2> <p>It is possible to make your fortune. Simply tell your guards to shoot James Bond in the head at the first opportunity. Under no circumstances give him a guided tour of your base, or leave him in the custody of attractive women in bikinis.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tips-from-the-frugally-insane">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-podcasts-for-travel-lovers">6 Podcasts for Travel Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-pursuing-fame-and-fortune">The High Cost of Pursuing Fame and Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance">Holiday Gifts: 6 Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment fun tips funnies humor insanity jokes laughs parody saving money. Wed, 21 Feb 2007 18:17:08 +0000 Paul Michael 290 at http://www.wisebread.com How to flush $299 down the toilet (and fish it out again) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-flush-299-down-the-toilet-and-fish-it-out-again <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-flush-299-down-the-toilet-and-fish-it-out-again" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000001270557_Large.jpg" alt="goldfish in bag" title="goldfish in bag" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In what can only be described as a fusion of insanity and <em>insanity</em>, Aqua One brings you The Fish 'n Flush!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/toilet-aquarium.jpg" alt="toilet aquarium" title="toilet aquarium" width="320" height="336" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; line-height: 22.1000003814697px;" /></p> <p>That's right. How many of you have sat on the crapper and wished that you could snap your spine in half, turn around, and look at some fish. That's right, I suspect the answer is NOBODY! (Put your hand down Gollum.)</p> <p>What's funnier than the official website (which makes soothing bubbly noises) is the short ABC article on this bowl of fun. Here are some choice quotes:</p> <blockquote><p>While it was designed as a fish tank, Reel says you can put other things in here, too. &quot;If you don't want fish, if you want to make it for scorpions, snakes, lizards...&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>When I'm doing my business I want to relax, not feel like a contestant on Fear Factor.</p> <blockquote><p>William thinks it would be a useful potty training tool. &quot;To me, this is one of those items you'd get for your younger kids to entertain them. Maybe in those special pre-years for potty training.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Right. Because it is psychologically healthy to make your kids associate <em>fun </em>with potty time. What's next? Breast feed them while wearing a clown mask?</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;If you have a stay at home cat, I think that would be wonderful,&quot; says Sandy. &quot;It would entertain him.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Okay, now we're talking some sense.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-chen">Will Chen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-flush-299-down-the-toilet-and-fish-it-out-again">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jar-of-nothing-the-perfect-present-for-the-picky-prick-in-your-life">Jar of Nothing: the perfect present for the picky prick in your life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/and-the-winners-are-drum-roll-please">And the winners are...(drum roll please)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-toilet-papers">The 5 Best Toilet Papers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fbi-considered-its-a-wonderful-life-communist-propaganda">FBI Considered &quot;It&#039;s A Wonderful Life&quot; Communist Propaganda</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-things-you-didnt-know-about-valentines-day">Weird Things You Didn&#039;t Know About Valentine&#039;s Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Commentary aquarium fish funny insanity toilet Sat, 30 Dec 2006 22:47:44 +0000 Will Chen 133 at http://www.wisebread.com