8 Lifehacks for Your Big Night Out!

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Having fun is easy, but making a great impression on new pals can be even easier with these delightfully simple lifehacks.

1. Cure Garlic Breath

Few of us can resist a delicious plate of pre-meal garlic bread, but there are consequences. The stinky breath that results doesn’t just keep vampires away; garlic can keep your date from getting closer, too. Don’t worry, though! There’s an easy trick for taming those pungent sulphides and curing garlic breath: just order some green tea after your meal. It works because the polyphenols in the beverage act like a team of little ninjas, attacking and deodorizing the offensive chemical bits. A mere cup will leave your breath mercifully stink-free!

2. Dry Nails Faster

Running late to your event, but still want to get your nails done? Here’s a simple lifehack for drying your nails in under three minutes. Once you’ve applied your nail polish, dip your hands into a bowl of icy cold water and hold them there for two to three minutes. The cold water will shock the polish into drying super fast.

3. Fix Your Collar

Unless you’ve got a Jeeves to press your shirts perfectly for you, dealing with wrinkled collars can be a real hassle. If the rest of your shirt looks crumple-free, skip the iron and borrow a hair-straightener. Just a few seconds of clamping the beauty tool to your collar’s edges can make the wrinkles disappear and have you on your way without all the hassle of an iron, an ironing board, or the painful reminder that you should have paid more attention in home ec.

4. Stop Unbuttered Popcorn Syndrome

Movie goers are pretty much in agreement on one thing: the butter dispensers at the multiplex aren’t great at distributing butter evenly on your popcorn. So, how do you solve the frustration of Unbuttered Popcorn Syndrome? With a straw. Simply jam a straw into the butter dispenser, and aim it at different angles to make sure every kernel gets its fair share.

5. Hit the High Notes

Part of the fun of karaoke is letting loose and singing badly. But if you’re eager to impress, here’s how to hit those out-of-range high notes. Before you sing, look around the room for something with a little heft-- a carafe full of water, a potted plant, the telephone book for ordering pizza-- and then lift it as you sing. The weight will make your body tense, which in turn will force your larynx to stretch a little, the key to landing those super high notes. Who knew channeling your inner Mariah could be so easy?

6. Be a Better Listener (by Using the Correct Ear)

While ears may look equal, and we may treat them equal, they’ve got different talents. If you’re trying to hear the words of a low-talker or a mumbly new acquaintance, lean in with the right. Research from UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine has shown that the right ear is better at deciphering quick patterns of speech. Meanwhile, if you’re trying to identify a song playing faintly in the background, lead with your left-- the more musical of the pair.

7. Cure Ice Cream Headaches

Ice cream headaches are the worst! Ask any lover of frosty treats what happens when you pack ice cream into your mouth too quickly, and he or she will bemoan the brain freeze condition. But how do you stop a late night attack from happening when you’re out trying to impress friends? It’s easy! Ice cream headaches occur when something icy cold hits the roof of your mouth causing the blood vessels up there to constrict rapidly. Instead of crumpling up your face and grabbing your head, you can stop the head freeze by simply warming up those vessels again. That means, you could take a sip of hot tea or coffee for some quick relief. But an even faster, more convenient hack is to jam your tongue against the roof of your mouth and hold it there until the pain has melted away.

8. Use a Soundcheck to Watch Your Wallet

Scientists have recently found that people in noisy clubs, restaurants and bars down more beverages than people in more low-key environments. If you’re worried about spending too much on a night out, avoid the thumping bass and move somewhere where you can hear the people around you without straining. Not only will your ears thank you; your wallet will too!

The best lifehacks are about making life simpler. That’s where Wells Fargo can help. With Wells Fargo Mobile® Banking, you can conveniently pay bills, send money, deposit checks, or just check your balance—almost anytime, anywhere. On your phone, online, or on the go, Wells Fargo makes it easy to get banking done. Learn more about these tools at getbankingdone.com.  Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.  Member FDIC.

This Course Will Teach You How to Play Guitar Like a Pro for $29

BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images
BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images

Be honest: You’ve watched a YouTube video or two in an attempt to learn how to play a song on the guitar. Whether it was through tabs or simply copying whatever you saw on the screen, the fun always ends when friends start throwing out requests for songs you have no idea how to play. So how about you actually learn how to play guitar for real this time?

It’s now possible to learn guitar from home with the Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle, which is currently on sale for $29. Grab that Gibson, Fender, or whatever you have handy, and learn to strum rhythms from scratch.

The strumming course will teach you how to count beats and rests to turn your hands and fingers into the perfect accompaniment for your own voice or other musicians. Then, you can take things a step further and learn advanced jamming and soloing to riff anytime, anywhere. This course will teach you to improvise across various chords and progressions so you can jump into any jam with something original. You’ll also have the chance to dive deep into the major guitar genres of bluegrass, blues, and jazz. Lessons in jam etiquette, genre history, and how to read music will separate you from a novice player.

This bundle also includes courses in ear training so you can properly identify any relative note, interval, or pitch. That way, you can play along with any song when it comes on, or even understand how to modify it into the key you’d prefer. And when the time comes to perform, be prepared with skilled hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, trills, vibrato, and fret-tapping. Not only will you learn the basic foundations of guitar, you’ll ultimately be able to develop your own style with the help of these lessons.

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle is discounted for a limited time. Act on this $29 offer now to work on those fingertip calluses and play like a pro.

 

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle - $29

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11 Fascinating Facts About Tamagotchi

Tamagotchi is the toy that launched a thousand digital pet competitors.
Tamagotchi is the toy that launched a thousand digital pet competitors.
Chesnot/Getty Images News

They blooped and beeped and ate, played, and pooped, and, for ‘90s kids, the egg-shaped Tamagotchi toys were magic. They taught the responsibility of tending to a “pet,” even though their shrill sounds were annoying to parents and teachers and school administrators. Nearly-real funerals were held for expired Tamagotchi, and they’ve even been immortalized in a museum (of sorts). Here are 11 things you should know about the keychain toy that was once stashed in every kid’s backpack.

1. The idea for the Tamagotchi came from a female office worker at Bandai.

Aki Maita was a 30-year-old “office lady” at the Japanese toy company Bandai when inspiration struck. She wanted to create a pet for kids—one that wouldn't bark or meow, make a mess in the house, or lead to large vet bills, according to Culture Trip. Maita took her idea to Akihiro Yokoi, a toy designer at another company, and the duo came up with a name and backstory for their toy: Tamagotchis were aliens, and their egg served as protection from the Earth’s atmosphere. They gave prototype Tamagotchis to high school girls in Shibuya, and tweaked and honed the design of the toy based on their feedback.

2. The name Tamagotchi is a blend of two Japanese words.

The name Tamagotchi is a mashup between the Japanese words tamago and tomodachi, or egg and friend, according to Culture Trip. (Other sources have the name meaning "cute little egg" or "loveable egg.")

3. Tamagotchis were released in Japan in 1996.

A picture of a tamagotchi toy.
Tamagotchis came from a faraway planet called "Planet Tamagotchi."
Museum Rotterdam, Wikimedia Commons//CC BY-SA 3.0

Bandai released the Tamagotchi in Japan in November 1996. The tiny plastic keychain egg was equipped with a monochrome LCD screen that contained a “digital pet,” which hatched from an egg and grew quickly from there—one day for a Tamagotchi was equivalent to one year for a human. Their owners used three buttons to feed, discipline, play with, give medicine to, and clean up after their digital pet. It would make its demands known at all hours of the day through bloops and bleeps, and owners would have to feed it or bathe it or entertain it.

Owners that successfully raised their Tamagotchi to adulthood would get one of seven characters, depending on how they'd raised it; owners that were less attentive faced a sadder scenario. “Leave one unattended for a few hours and you'll return to find that it has pooped on the floor or, worse, died,” Wired wrote. The digital pets would eventually die of old age at around the 28-day mark, and owners could start fresh with a new Tamagotchi.

4. Tamagotchis were an immediate hit.

The toys were a huge success—4 million units were reportedly sold in Japan during their first four months on shelves. By 1997, Tamagotchis had made their way to the United States. They sold for $17.99, or around $29 in today's dollars. One (adult) reviewer noted that while he was "drawn in by [the Tamagotchi's] cleverness," after several days with the toy, "the thrill faded quickly. I'm betting the Tamagotchi will be the Pet Rock of the 1990s—overwhelmingly popular for a few months, and then abandoned in the fickle rush to some even cuter toy."

The toy was, in fact, overwhelmingly popular: By June 1997, 10 million of the toys had been shipped around the world. And according to a 2017 NME article, a whopping 82 million Tamagotchi had been sold since their release into the market in 1997.

5. Aki Maita and Akihiro Yokoi won an award for inventing the Tamagotchi.

In 1997, the duo won an Ig Nobel Prize in economics, a satiric prize that’s nonetheless presented by Nobel laureates at Harvard, for "diverting millions of person-hours of work into the husbandry of virtual pets" by creating the Tamagotchi.

6. Tamagotchis weren't popular with teachers.

Some who grew up with Tamagotchi remember sneaking the toys into school in their book bags. The toys were eventually banned in some schools because they were too distracting and, in some cases, upsetting for students. In a 1997 Baltimore Sun article titled “The Tamagotchi Generation,” Andrew Ratner wrote that the principal at his son’s elementary school sent out a memo forbidding the toys “because some pupils got so despondent after their Tamagotchis died that they needed consoling, even care from the school nurse.”

7. One pet cemetery served as a burial ground for expired Tamagotchi.

Terry Squires set aside a small portion of his pet cemetery in southern England for dead Tamagotchi. He told CNN in 1998 that he had performed burials for Tamagotchi owners from Germany, Switzerland, France, the United States, and Canada, all of whom ostensibly shipped their dead by postal mail. CNN noted that "After the Tamagotchis are placed in their coffins, they are buried as mourners look on, their final resting places topped with flowers."

8. There were many copycat Tamagotchi.

The success of the Tamagotchi resulted in both spin-offs and copycat toys, leading PC Mag to dub the late ’90s “The Golden Age of Virtual Pets.” There was the Digimon, a Tamagotchi spin-off by Bandai that featured monsters and was marketed to boys. (There were also Tamagotchi video games.) And in 1997, Tiger Electronics launched Giga Pets, which featured real animals (and, later, dinosaurs and fictional pets from TV shows). According to PC Mag, Giga Pets were very popular in the United States but “never held the same mystique as the original Tamagotchi units.” Toymaker Playmates's Nano Pets were also a huge success, though PC Mag noted they were “some of the least satisfying to take care of."

9. Rare Tamagotchis can be worth a lot of money.

According to Business Insider, most vintage Tamagotchis won't fetch big bucks on the secondary market. (On eBay, most are priced at around $50.) The exception are rare editions like “Yasashii Blue” and “Tamagotchi Ocean,” which go for $300 to $450 on eBay. As Complex notes, "There were over 40 versions (lines) of Tamagotchi released, and each line featured a variety of colors and variations ... yours would have to be one of the rarest models to be worth the effort of resale."

10. A new generation of Tamagotchis were released in 2017 for the toy's 20th anniversary.

The 2017 re-release of the Tamagotchi in its packaging.
Bandai came to the aid of nostalgic '90s kids when it re-released a version of the original Tamagotchis for the toy's 20th anniversary.
Chesnot/Getty Images

In November 2017, Bandai released a 20th anniversary Tamagotchi that, according to a press release [PDF], was "a first-of-its-kind-anywhere exact replica of the original Tamagotchi handheld digital pet launched ... in 1996." However, as The Verge reported, the toys weren't an exact replica: "They're about half the size, the LCD display is square rather than rectangle, and those helpful icons on the top and bottom of the screen seem to be gone now." In 2019, new Tamagotchis were released; they were larger than the originals, featured full-color displays, and retailed for $60.

11. The original Tamagotchi’s sound has been immortalized in a virtual museum.

The Museum of Endangered Sounds is a website that seeks to immortalize the digital sounds that become extinct as we hurtle through the evolution of technology. “The crackle of a dial-up modem. The metallic clack of a 3.5-inch floppy slotting into a Macintosh disk drive. The squeal of the newborn Tamagotchi. They are vintage sounds that no oldies station is ever going to touch,” The Washington Post wrote in a 2012 profile of the museum. So, yes, the sound of that little Tamagotchi is forever preserved, should it someday, very sadly, cease to exist completely.