Monday, 13 July 2009

How to wrestle free from an alligator

I'm on my way to New Orleans for the Microsoft WPC. Microsoft always puts on a great show and I'm looking forward to this year's event. That said, this will be my first time in New Orleans (and in Louisiana in general) so I thought it prudent to do some preliminary research prior to my arrival. The following excerpt is taken from Piven & Borgenicht's Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook (only $20 CAD):

How to wrestle free from an alligator

  1. If you are on land, try to get on the alligator's back and put downward pressure on its neck. This will force its head and jaws down.

  2. Cover the alligator's eyes. This will usually make it more sedate.

  3. If you are attacked, go for the eyes and the nose. Use any weapon you have or your fists.

  4. If its jaws are closed on something you want to remove (for example, a limb), tap it or punch it on the snout. Alligators often open their mouths when tapped lightly. They may drop whatever it is they have taken hold of, and back off.

  5. If the alligator gets you in the jaws, you must prevent it from shaking you or rolling over - these instinctual actions cause severe tissue damage. Try to keep the mouth clamped shut so the alligator does not begin shaking.

  6. Seek medical attention immediately, even for a small cut or bruise, to treat infection. Alligators have a huge number of pathogens in their mouths.

And now I'm all prepared for my trip to New Orleans. Come and get me, alligators!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Combine your facebook and twitter updates

Having recently created a facebook account, I ran into the problem of too many social media networks. Think about it - there's twitter, facebook, trigga, linkedin, and a bunch of others that I don't subscribe to. I really don't want to have to update my status separately on all these different networks... luckily, you don't have to!

Here's how to combine your facebook and twitter updates (note: this will post your twitter updates to facebook, but not the other way around):

  1. Make sure you have an active twitter account and an active facebook account
  2. Log into your facebook account
  3. Search for "twitter" in the upper right-hand corner
  4. Click on the Applications tab and select the official Twitter application (probably the 1st result)
  5. Select "Go to application" and allow it access to your twitter profile (you will need to provide your twitter account's username and password)
Now, all tweets you post via twitter will appear as facebook status updates. Pretty nifty right? Keep in mind that if you retweet something, the "RT @twittername" will show up in your facebook profile... but that's not such a big deal, is it?

Now you're all set to go. If you'd like to tweet/update facebook on the go (e.g. from your BlackBerry) try using some mobile integration like TwitterMail.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Add 3rd column to Blogger template

Want to add 3 columns to your Blogger template? This post will show you how to update your Blogger layout a to WidgetSidebar - Main Post - WidgetSidebar format (based on Blogger's "Minima" template). Here's how:

Backup your current template
You can do this by logging into your Blogger account and selecting Layout > Edit HTML. Check the Expand Widget Templates box and then click the Download Full Template link. Save a copy to your desktop just in case this doesn't work :-) I also recommend writing down a list of all your sidebar widgets.

Download this template
Right click here, select Save Link As... and save the file to your desktop. This is the minibox template, courtesy of

Update your code
Open the saved .xml template file with a text editor like Wordpad and copy the entire body of code. Go back to your Blogger browser window and replace all current code with the copied portion from Wordpad. Preview before saving, and if all looks good Save Template (WARNING: you may lose all your Widget data by saving your template). You may have to do some minor adjustments to make everything fit (I had to adjust the widths of each sidebar wrapper). If you lost Widget data, go back to Layout and add your widgets again. You will notice that you now have 3 columns!

  © Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2008

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