Pumpkin Wins, Pumpkin Fails, Carving Templates and Other Neat Pumpkin Ideas

bird-and-skull pumpkin

My family has always loved carving pumpkins for Halloween. That’s one of mine in the photo. It was taken back in 2006 when all I had was a crappy 2 megapixel camera with poor light detection, hence the low quality. Here are two more from the same year – one from my then-girlfriend, now-wife, and the other from my brother.

cat pumpkin

trick-or-treat pumpkin

We always print out templates to create fun and intricate designs. There are tons of sites providing pumpkin templates if you search online.

Here are few really good ones:

It’s so rewarding to put a candle in the pumpkin and light it up to see an awesome design flickering in the total darkness of the night. Seeing all of your hard work come to life.

We’re not creative enough to free-hand, but even using templates can be challenging, as evidenced in this gallery of 20 pumpkin carving fails. I have to admit that I’ve had my own pumpkin fails in the past. I wish I had the photos to post online.

But if I do totally mess up a carving in the future, I found this great Buzzfeed post featuring a whole bunch (39 to be exact) of cool outside of the box pumpkin decorating ideas. No time to carve another pumpkin? No problem. Just put a bunch of stickers all over it!

I just learned about the fake pumpkins that craft stores sell and how you can carve right into them just like regular pumpkins. And the cool part is that we can reuse them every year. I love that idea!

Here’s the one my wife just finished.

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fake-pumpkin-carved-lit

She carved it using our rotary tool (Note: if you do this, wear a mask over your mouth). I put a book light in it and lit it up in the closet just to take a quick pic for this post, but it’ll be all cleaned up for Halloween. I haven’t carved mine yet.

We still plan on going to the pumpkin patch to get a couple of real pumpkins, just because it’s sort of tradition. I also want to make my own pumpkin seeds.

Blazing – Entertaining PSA Commercial About Drug Driving

Who knew that a public service ad could be entertaining? This PSA from New Zealand shows a group of kids hanging out and joking around about how their dads act while “blazing.” The commercial is pretty funny until the end when the kids realize that “drug driving” (I’ve never heard that term before) isn’t as funny as they had just made it out to be.

It’s an entertaining PSA with a strong message.

A Cell Phone That Will Never Become Outdated

Phonebloks wants to create a mobile phone that tackles two major problems that exist in the mobile industry right now – waste and obsoletism.

When mobile phones become outdated, or break, people buy new phones. These phones are either thrown away or recycled. But the problem with recycling electronics is that most of the materials can’t be used, so a lot of it still ends up in our landfills.

What Phonebloks wants to create is a phone that comes in separate pieces, for example the screen, camera, speaker, processor and hard drive. If one of these pieces break, you can buy a new block instead of tossing the whole phone into the garbage. If you want to upgrade one of the blocks as new technology comes out, you can do that too.

I wonder what the mobile service carriers would think about this. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint lock people into two-year contracts when customers buy a new phone (unless you want to pay full price up-front for a $600-$800 phone), so it would be interesting to see how this would impact their business model.

The Best Mobile Browsers For The iPhone

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Lifehacker just put together a quick review of iPhone web browsers and the benefits and downfalls of each of them. I’ve used a few different web browsers on the iPhone and my favorite right now is Chrome because I like the way the tabs work and how it syncs with my desktop browser. I love having access to my web history and all of my bookmarks. It also seems much faster than Safari.

Chrome and Safari both work great and they have all that I really need in a mobile browser but if there was one setting that I would like to see in Safari or Chrome on the iPhone, it would be to turn off the “feature” that forces the user to go to the web version of a website when one exists. I’ve had so many problems trying to view restaurant menus when being forced to the web version of a website.

The Lifehacker article also mentions the “360 Browser” app which provides Flash capabilities. I’ve never tried 360 Browser before but I use Skyfire which also lets you view Flash videos.

skyfire-iphone

I bought Skyfire when I became obsessed with Newgrounds.com. Skyfire is $3 while 360 Browser is only $1, so if it works the same, it’s probably better to just go with the cheaper one. I just wish there was a browser that could play Flash-based games. That would be awesome.

How to Spot Counterfeit Products

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I go to the Mile High Flea Market all the time during the summer months and anyone who’s familiar with it knows that it’s a one-stop shop for counterfeit products. I grew up in the Denver area and have been going to the flea market since I was a kid, so by now I’m very familiar with identifying fake products.

Remember when FUBU was a popular brand? A friend of mine accidentally bought a “PUBU” shirt at the flea market once. He was also duped into buying an “Adiaas” jacket. We all got a good laugh out of that, lol.

These counterfeiters are good at what they do. These fake logos aren’t noticeable at first because they print them in fonts that make it hard to tell what it really says.

The popular counterfeits I’ve noticed people selling at the flea market this summer are Apple product cables, phone cases and Beats By Dre headphones. There are lots of colognes and perfumes too.

Business Insider just published an interesting article on how to spot fake tech products. I really like the tip about looking for fake “UL” symbols on electronics.

From my own experience I’d say there are a a few very simple tips you can use to recognize phony products right away. First, who are you getting it from? If it seems shady, it probably is. You know those home speaker “installers” that drive around parking lots trying to offload systems that were “left over” from their last job? Yeah, don’t buy crappy speakers from those guys.

Second, look for misspellings or other odd language on the product or packaging.

And lastly, is the price so low that it’s too good to be true? That’s because it’s made so cheaply that it’s going to crumble in your hands as soon as you get it home.

You can probably avoid the majority of scams by just remembering those few things.

And now I can’t wait to walk around the flea market to try to spot counterfeit electronics with the fake “UL” symbol!

Send Your Crazy Stunt Ideas To Devin Supertramp And He Might Come To Your Town To Do Them

This is awesome. I’m afraid of heights and I won’t even ride the wimpiest roller coaster at a theme park but I feel like this is something I would actually do. Especially if all of my friends were doing it too 😉

This is part of some wild Mountain Dew adventure tour with Devin Supertramp. They’re traveling across the country in an RV doing crazy stunts that are sent in by fans. If you can think of something crazy for these guys to do near where you live, you have until August 28, 2013 to send in your submissions.

Tips To Handle Life’s Everyday Troubles…A Hundred Years Ago

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We all love learning new tricks to help make life easier. No matter where you look online, you’re sure to see a handy tip designed to make your life better. They’re all over images on Pinterest and people love sharing them on Facebook. I know first hand how much people love tips because the post I published on my own site, “17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier” is the most popular post ever on any of my websites.

And judging by this post with “10 Lifehacks From 100 years Ago,” people a century ago loved life tips just as much as we do. Too bad these tips weren’t as easily accessible back then like they are for us now. You had to smoke a pack of cigarettes just for one tip! Of course back then people thought smoking was healthy.

I’m not sure many of these tips are very applicable today, but they seem sound for the most part. The tip on lighting a match in the wind is awesome!

You Got Dubstep in My Zelda

skrillex-quest-falling-from-sky

If you’re a fan of RPG video games and dubstep, you’re going to like Skrillex Quest, a game inspired by the Legend of Zelda series. You play as the hero in a world that is being overrun by glitches which started after dust got on the game’s computer chip. It’s your job to save the day before the entire game is corrupted.

Music from the famous dubstep DJ, Skrillex also plays a big part of the game.

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There’s a timer that runs down during each stage and you have to try to collect everything you can before it runs out. There are scrolls, treasures and keys, all of which somehow effect parts of the storyline. My first run-through, which took only about 15 minutes, resulted in me not getting to see any of that bonus storyline material because I suck. I’m going to play again and again until I collect everything though. 😉

I enjoyed this game a ton. Keep an eye out for fun throwback glitches too. I saw Glass Joe from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out in one of them!

Photographer Literally Dragged Around the World By His Girlfriend

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Murad Osmann is a super-talented photographer, now famous for his photo project featuring pictures of his girlfriend dragging him across the world.

These photos are amazing. And what a wonderful idea!

The first photo was taken in the fall of 2011 while Murad and his journalist girlfriend, Nataly Zakharova, were vacationing in Spain. Nataly was tired of Murad taking so many pictures so she grabbed his hand and dragged him away. Obviously that didn’t stop him from taking pictures and that’s when this wonderful project started.

Check out all of Murad’s photos on his Instagram page.

Fly Up to 40 Feet Above Water With the Flyboard

This is why the rich kids are so popular – they can afford to buy things like the Flyboard. This thing looks awesome! They cost $6,495.00 each from Rocky Mountain Flyboard and require connection to a PWC or personal watercraft, like a Jet Ski.

If you live in Utah where the company is located, you can also rent one, also for a whole bunch of money. I looked around on the web and found other resellers and renters too, so if you live in another state, consider looking for dealers near you.

So I’ve got about 3 months before Summer to save up $6,500 and another $500 or so for a Jet Ski. Or maybe I can just find some rich people to be friends with. Neither are going to happen. I’ll just wait 10 years and hope to find one on Craigslist.