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Fernando Torres

10 Things to Do in the Dark During Earth Hour

No Internet and no TV—participating in the Earth Hour (even if it’s just, well, an hour) can be boring unless you plan to sleep (alone or with someone) through it. But you don’t have to suffer in order to be eco-friendly. Here are 10 cool things you can do in the dark:

1. Go for Old School illumination. Finally, you’ll get to use those candles that you got as gifts. Set up candlelit cocktail parties or have an intimate dinner with your significant other. Just don’t light up all sorts of scented candles at the same time. Your house will smell like potpourri gone wrong.

2. Have a soundless dance fest. Stage a silent disco by having your friends come over with their mp3 players. Each of you can listen to your own music and wiggle around without being accused of noise pollution.

3. Camera, lights, action. Create funky artwork through “light painting.” Set your camera to long exposure and design effects by using candlelight or other light sources. For more camera tricks, watch the tutorial video below.
YouTube Preview Image

4. Dine in pitch-black darkness. Being sightless heightens your sense of taste and smell, promising a whole new eating experience. Keep things safe and wreck-free by using unbreakable utensils like cornstarch-made plates or by just eating off banana leaves with your bare hands.

5. Walk around the house nude. You know you’ve always wanted to do it and it’s the safest time of the year to do so. You can walk on the wild side without anyone else knowing.

6. Seek and you might find. You’re never too old to play hide and seek. What better time to do so when (hopefully) the entire city is your dark playground?

7. Spin the bottle, er, flashlight. Again, you’re never too old to play this game. Have fun fumbling and stumbling in the dark as you kiss your way through the Earth Hour.

8. It’s show time. Ditch the karaoke effects and prove you’ve got talent by singing acapella with your friends. You can also play singing games like the one where you think of lyrics that start with the last word that the person before you sang. Just be considerate of others’ eardrums and boot out those that can’t make it work.

9. Are you afraid of the dark? Share ghost stories with the flashlight on your face like you used to as a kid. For a spookier hour, go ghost hunting.

10. Pamper yourself. Have the ultimate home spa treatment: Wash, soak, scrub, exfoliate, moisturize and deep condition by the candlelight. You’ll glow by the end of the hour.

Source: spot

Let Us Celebrate Earth Hour on March 27, 2010

Tonight at exactly 8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., let us all turn off our non-essential lights and other electrical appliances and participate to the world wide event in raising awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

Music video courtesy of katkaterz on youtube, Earth Hour Pilipinas Team

7 Things Your Boss Should Never Say to You

1. "I pay your salary. You have to do what I say." Have you not heard? It's the 21st century. Threats and power plays just do not cut it anymore (and they were always a terrible way to manage). Yes, you pay people's salaries but that doesn't mean you're their lord and master. You are their leader, however. Leaders lead by inspiring, teaching, encouraging, and, yes, serving their employees. Good leaders never need to threaten. So keep your word, set a good example, praise in public, criticize in private, respect your employees' capabilities, give credit where credit is due, learn to delegate, and when you ask for feedback don't forget to respond to it. (Another sentence to be avoided: "Do what I say, not what I do.")

2. "I don't want to listen to your complaints." Hey, boss, you have this backwards. You do want to listen to employees' complaints. That's part of your job. You should be actively seeking feedback, even negative feedback. It may be annoying, even painful, but that's why you get the big bucks. Complaints point to where your processes and practices need improvement. And even if a problem absolutely can't be helped, allowing your employees to vent can go a long way toward restoring morale and building loyalty.

3. "I was here on Saturday afternoon. Where were you?" This kind of "subtle" pressure to work 24/7 is a good way to burn out your employees. You won't get that much more productivity out of them and you will destroy morale. You may choose to work seven days a week. That's your call. But your employees shouldn't have to. If you observe that they are working way more than their job descriptions call for, consider that maybe it's because you're overloading them. Look for ways to fix this problem.

4. "Isn't your performance review coming up soon?" Maybe you're trying to motivate an employee to do a better job. Maybe this is just a ham-handed way to remind underlings of who has the power. Who knows? Either way, a statement like this is not only tacky and passive-aggressive, it's ineffective. If you really want to motivate people, consider giving them a stake in the success of your enterprise. Show employees you value them. Let them know what they have to gain by doing a good job. The results may surprise you.

5. "We've always done it this way." Want to crush your employees' initiative? This is a good way. News flash: Your employees may actually have a pretty good idea of how to do their jobs. Maybe they know even more than you. Your job as boss is to encourage them to have the energy and motivation to be innovative. In fact, employees who come up with better ways to do things should be celebrated and rewarded. (Hint: Cash is nice.)

6. "We need to cut costs" (at the same time you are, say, redecorating your office). Nothing breeds resentment more than asking employees to tighten their belts while you, to their eyes, are living it up. Even if the office redecoration can be totally justified in business terms, or the budget for it was a gift from your uncle, it still looks hypocritical and is demoralizing. Being sensitive to other people's feelings is good karma. Leading by example is the best way to lead.

7. "You should work better." Managers need to communication expectations clearly, to give employees the tools they need to do a good job, to set reasonable deadlines, and to offer help if needed. When giving instructions, ask if they understand your instructions. Don't assume. You may not be the stellar communicator you think you are. If your employees are making mistakes, or not performing up to par, consider that maybe it's because you're giving them vague instructions like "you should work better."

The bottom line is that in the workplace respect, a little tact, and a good attitude go both ways.

What do you think? Anything to add?