12 Things To Do When You're Extremely Busy

12 Things To Do When You're Extremely Busy

Other than your work, that is.

Well, hi there, folks! Gratuitous Giver of Advice here. I recently got a very intriguing question in my nonexistent inbox:

Help, I’m extremely busy! What should I do? —Trina Getlit

A very intriguing question indeed, and a pertinent one, too, seeing as finals are at last descending upon us. But never fear, your GGA is here with plenty of sensible, low-commitment activities for you to engage in during this ridiculously busy time.

1. Stare at a wall.

It might seem counterintuitive at first, but trust me, once you set your gaze on a panel of white plaster, there’s no going back. If you look long enough, you might even start to see things — suspicious markings, little patterns in the paint, your mother’s maiden name spelled backwards, the dwindling length of your day… Who knows?

2. Check Facebook.

Don’t worry, there’s a reason for it. Out of the goodness of your heart, you’re going to message all your friends who are currently online and order them to stop being bums and do their work. And you’d better stay on for at least an hour or so after that, because you know your friends are going to try and sneak around your surveilling eyes, and you have to be there to tell them off. Facebook addicts are so sad, really.

3. Have dinner.

You’ll get to interact with other people who are just as starved for nourishment and human interaction as you are. And besides, you’ve got to keep up your brain’s stamina somehow. (Suggested methods: consuming copious amounts of ice cream, engaging in riveting conversations about which exams are over and which are still looming, partaking in more ice cream, scooping some for your friends because they need to experience the wonder that is the banana coffee chocolate chip milkshake, and so on.)

4. Chastise yourself.

When you start to feel the common sense creep back up on you, telling you to get down to business, you can always just play along and give yourself a half-hearted lecture on the responsibilities of a young adult. Repeat after yourself: Inspecting my fingernails is not entertaining in the least. I would much rather be working on COS. If nothing else, you’ll get a laugh out of it.

5. Look out a window.

Somehow, all the mundane things of the world become hopelessly riveting when you observe them through a drafty windowpane. People become miracles, buildings become mysteries, and a pair of squirrels chasing each other up a dead tree in the middle of winter becomes a love story more tear-inducing than Titanic. It’s a good time.

6. Go through your photo gallery.

This always makes for a nice trip down memory lane — not to mention, it’ll give you some desperately needed self-confidence. For example, the lighting in that bathroom at Chipotle back in October made you look so chic and mysterious. And the one from two weeks ago, same location, different nose-ring? Even better.

7. Make a list.

It can be anything — a bucket list, movie list, grocery list, book list, kiss list, hit list… Heck, make a list list. Make anything, as long it’s not a to-do.

8. Look up your horoscope.

It’s a bit of a necessary step before starting your work, or anything, really. I mean, how are you supposed to be productive when the Sun is in your third house and a Libra is likely to come and stir up your bruised ego? (They could be here any second now… any second…)

9. Fall asleep.

There’s no better way to get the eyelids drooping than to have a monumental amount of things to get done. Take this time as a rare opportunity to catch up on some sleep debt.

10. Make faces in the mirror.

It’s amazing how distorted you can become just by scrunching up your nose, twisting your lips, and dramatically shifting your eyebrows. And after holding that for a while, you let everything go slack and suddenly you’re beautiful. The dynamics of the human face are truly inspiring.

11. Think about the future.

Specifically, a week from now, when the work hanging over you and the stress it begets will be naught but an infinitesimal blip in all the history of cosmic space. Or maybe that’s a century from now…? At any rate, the future looks like a great place to be.

12. Write an Odyssey article.

I mean, honestly, what else is there to do?

Cover Image Credit: Business Insider

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Why YouTube's New Regulations Discriminate Against Small Channels

No 1,000 subscribers? No money.

On January 16th, YouTube made changes to its Partner Program. These changes pertain to the threshold for monetization. Originally, content creators were eligible for monetization if they had 10,000 or more lifetime views, that is, 10,000 public views.

Now, creators will be required to have 4,000 hours of watch time from the past twelve months, as well as at least 1,000 subscribers. If a content creator does not meet these criteria, they will be unable to monetize their videos.

In a blog post, YouTube announced that this change in monetization regulations is being put in place in order to "prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube". YouTube also claims that they have arrived at the decision to create these new regulations after "conversations with creators". However, the online response by creators towards YouTube's new policies have been almost entirely negative, with many people saying that it would be better to simply punish the channels that are misusing the platform instead of punishing the platform as a whole.

YouTube themselves have stated in the previously mentioned blog post that these changes will effect a significant number of platform users, but have tried to write this off by explaining that 99% of the effected users are making less than $100 a year on YouTube. However, this really isn't a fair excuse.

Yes, $100 is not a lot of money, but think about it this way. This is money that these creators could be using to improve their videos and grow their channels. Now, however, they no longer will be earning the money to do so.

If YouTube wanted to gain more users and dedicated viewers, it is more likely that they would of implemented a different policy, perhaps one that makes stricter guidelines for content. By making it harder for small channels to monetize their views, YouTube appears to only care about their larger channels, often run by internet celebrities who partner with YouTube's streaming service, YouTube Red, to create or star in feature length films or television shows.

It is worth noting that the majority of the top comments on the YouTube blog post are "sub for sub", that is "subscription for subscription". Most of the people commenting this have also included additions such as "if everyone reading this did a sub for sub we could all get at least 1,000 subscribers".

It's clear that while the new guidelines are definitely a blow to smaller channels, many smaller creators are banding together and supporting each other. Many larger creators have spoke up online, offering smaller creators ways to make money while they build up their subscriber base, such as starting up a Patreon (a membership platform where people can give money to creators and receive small gifts or prizes in return).

If YouTube wants to continue to gain users, they shouldn't make changes to the platform that penalize smaller users. Yes, the bigger users bring in the money for YouTube, but in order to continue to grow as a platform, they need to appeal to new users, and encourage smaller channels to keep creating.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Is A Hidden Gem Of The 90s

The first film based on our favorite pizza-eating dudes is a lot deeper than you'd think.

Like many, I have been a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise since I was a young boy. I have fond memories of watching the original cartoon, playing the various video games, playing with the toys and reading the comic books. Also, like many, I have fond memories of the live-action films that were released in the early 1990s.

While looking back on the first three film I noticed that films two and three didn't exactly hold up well. While "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze" is fun, it's overall a shallow experience. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III" was a straight-up bad film with obnoxious writing and characters. However, that wasn't the case when I decided to watch the first film.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" was released in 1990 and was a really big hit that year. Looking back at the film, I was surprised to find a sizable amount of thematic depth in the film. I know that sounds surprising coming from a movie based on a cartoon that was used to sell toy, but if "The LEGO Movie" has taught me anything it's that even films based on products can have great characters and depth.

The film's theme is primarily that of fatherhood. Through the characters of Splinter (Kevin Clash) and Shredder (James Saito) we see examples of loving fatherhood and exploitative fatherhood. Splinter is portrayed as an old fashioned father who disciplines the turtles, but always shows them that he loves them and would risk his life for their well being.

By contrast, the Shredder is a surrogate father figure to many of the disenfranchised children and teens of New York City. The Shredder uses their adolescent love of games, smoking, and a sense of belonging to lure them into his criminal empire (The Foot) and uses them to commit various street crimes. He he gives these emotionally troubled youths a "family" and in return he receives loyalty from them.

In many ways this is how real world street gangs maintain a sense of loyalty among its members. Most gang members start as children from broken homes and families. These young people find their escape in the gang which becomes a surrogate family to them. In return they pledge loyalty to that "family" and do everything in their power to protect their "family" from those that would harm it, such as police or rival gangs.

We see both of these examples of fatherhood play out in the film. We see Splinter try to reason with one of the members of the Foot and tells him the story of his origin. This act of kindness and the desire to understand the boy results in the boy helping our heroes in the final fight. We also witness Splinter putting his own life at risk to protect his sons, both when he is being interrogated by Shredder and during the final battle.

Shredder, on the other hand, cares only for his criminal empire and his desire to wipe out his enemies. He may seem like a "cool dad" who brings you games and totally "gets" you, but he eventually reveals that he wasn't all that great and wasn't the type of father you needed. This is punctuated by the boy beginning to fear him when Shredder discovers that he's been talking to the imprisoned Splinter behind his back, and when Shredder's henchman takes out his frustration on one of the Foot ninjas and doesn't seem to care.

The films is good for many other reasons as well. The characters are likable and the costumes are great examples of practical effects work. The fight scenes are really well done and impressive, especially when you remember that actors in hot and bulky costumes had to perform them. The film also has a well-realized gritty aesthetic that reminds viewers of the original comic Ninja Turtles and give New York City this realistic, lived-in feel.

While the film's dialog isn't that great, and the pacing and cinematography are nothing to write home about; it is still a well made children's film that may go a bit deeper than you realize. If you are a fan of the franchise or you have children who are curious about the things their parents loved as kids, then I recommend you give it a watch. It's certainly better than most of the Ninja Turtles films you see nowadays (wow, do I feel old saying that)!

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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