Tag Archives: head

ALLight replaces your motorcycle headlight bulb with a self-leveling projector beam

This tiny aftermarket headlight globe replacement turns your motorcycle headlight into a self-leveling projector beam

The ALLight swaps out any H4, H7 or H11 headlight globe with a self-leveling, super-bright projector beam that stays flat in the corners. Motorcycle manufacturers should be embarrassed that the aftermarket beat them to this universal solution.

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Category: Motorcycles


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My dad taught me how to deal with bullies, because he was one

“Teddy, what’s three times five?” It’s asked in a voice I can’t ignore.


“And what’s four times five?” More demanding now.

“Twenty,” I say, dreading the next question, knowing exactly where he’s going with this. Knowing, too, that tears are about to spill.

They do.

“Okay crybaby, what’s four times six?”

I think the right answer is just four higher than the last one–or is it six higher?–but I can’t think, and instead I feel a yawn coming. The body’s same self-sabotaging illogic that’s got me crying as the worst imaginable moment. Yawning will really piss him off.

I lose out to the yawn.

“Bored stupid, are you? Or just plain dumb? You’ll never get through the fourth grade!” Dad’s voice is rising now. And here it is: “You stupid little shit.”

Bullying is a form of violence. It’s intended to dominate a victim into submission. When we’re under attack, our rational minds shut down, moving into their self-protective “fight-or-flight” modes. (We typically learn about this process in high school biology class, as I’d wind up discovering five years after passing the fourth grade, no thanks to my father.) When we can’t fight or run away, we freeze or surrender. These are normal human responses to being in danger.

My dad was a bully. And experiences like learning my multiplication tables taught me a lot about bullying. His attacks drove away any possibility of remembering what four times anything was. It gave him absolute power over me. It still pains me to write this, to recall the deep well of absolute despair into which he’d plunge me. The whole exercise wasn’t about learning; it was about him being “smarter” than I was, and proving it by emotional blunt force, shattering any hope of returning back into the world as a normal kid.

Bullies bully to be in control because they feel powerless themselves. They bully not to inform, not to help. Theirs is never constructive criticism; it’s destructive criticism. (Even so, I never missed my father’s point: I needed to learn my multiplication tables and hadn’t put the time in.) I came to realize, as well, that bullying is situational; bullies usually only bully under certain circumstances. Somewhere deep down (and among other motivations having nothing to do with me), my father was afraid I wouldn’t be successful. Unfortunately, he didn’t know how to help without demeaning and shaming me. If I resisted or didn’t respond, he could only escalate; for him, there was no gentler approach.

I wasn’t stupid, and I knew it even as he berated me. I was pretty sure I was smarter than most kids in my class. I also knew I was smarter than he was.

I wasn’t a crybaby, either. I knew I was just overwhelmed by my father’s ruthlessness. I’d seen my mother in tears from his cruelty, too.

Bullies follow patterns of their own design, inevitably turning their victims into skilled observers of human behavior. I compiled a mental encyclopedia of all the situations that might trigger my dad and did everything I could to avoid them. Looking back, it’s easy to see that I developed anti-bullying techniques unconsciously, purely out of survival. I couldn’t change my father and I couldn’t leave him. But I learned through trial and error how to reduce my vulnerability. These are a few of the rules I’d cobbled together by age 11 or 12:

  1. Keep your distance. I stayed away from my dad as much as possible, and I made plans to leave home as soon as possible.
  2. Flatter. When I had to spend time with my father, I praised his strengths to keep him from finding fault with me. The flattery, combined with sidestepping sensitive subjects, actually created a workable dynamic between us much of the time.
  3. Tell someone when you can. Once after getting caught running away from home, I asked the priest of our church for help. I knew that using an authority my father would respect could help keep him in check for a while.

My father’s bullying was out in the open, overt and aggressive. There was nothing subtle about it, and my resistance strategies were just as makeshift as you’d expect from a kid weathering that type of crossfire. But they kept me going. In the business world, I later found, bullying is usually (but not always) more masked, and more sophisticated.

Bullying to curry favor

At first I think it’s my fault, but after six months in my first professional position, I realize my new boss is sneaky, deceptive, and mean. He takes credit for others’ work and demeans his staff in public. He invents infractions to accuse his team members of when his superiors are around. He seems motivated to build his reputation as a hard-driving manager focused intently on continuous improvement–the favored leadership style of the moment. Any attempt to protest earns swift humiliation and blame. We staffers resort to total passivity to survive.

“People leave bosses, not jobs,” they say, and it’s true. I quit after nine months.

Bullying to seem smart

It’s years later. I’m running a design firm. No one on my staff is as poised or confident as Gretchen when interacting with clients. But her coworkers are starting to resist joining her on projects. I suspect something is wrong, but Gretchen is responsible for substantial billings. People who can manage clients are hard to find and harder to replace. So I bury my concerns.

Then two designers approach me to speak about her confidentially. “Ted, she gets us to contribute designs on her projects,” Terry starts. “She adds our best ideas to her solutions. Then she presents using our work to get the client to see the benefits of hers.

Sally agrees. “She has an imperialistic style with us. She’s superior and disdainful, and she ignores our comments. She even rolls her eyes when we try to speak up. Once she made me work all night after I’d critiqued her solution.”

I realize that I’ve avoided giving my star player the corrective feedback she needs. I’ve been too afraid of losing her. I make an appointment to speak with Gretchen the next day. When I offer some gentle pointers about working more collaboratively, she seems receptive, and I feel relieved. Duty done.

Months pass, and I turn my attention elsewhere. Then Kay, one of my creative directors, appears at my door.

“Ted, Gretchen has to go, or I’m out of here.”

“What happened?” I ask, fully anticipating the answer.

“I know you spent a bunch of time with Gretchen last fall, but nothing actually changed. She just got sneakier. She’ll never change.”

Gretchen doesn’t use profanity, name call, or raise her voice like my father did. But she uses her position of authority to demean, dismiss, and dominate exactly like he did. Sadly, she’s equally incapable of seeing that she could get better results by working with her team than by bullying them.

I let Gretchen go the next day.

Bullying to hide insecurity

Paul is an account director with a bad habit: He makes creative commitments to clients without consulting his team, earning him the nickname “PowerPoint Paul,” because he once went into a slide deck overnight to change a design to something he thought the client would like better.

I call him on it. He launches into a series of justifications that in his mind made it okay to circumvent his team. Is he bullying them? Not exactly, but Paul’s knack for deceitfully taking control and undermining his colleagues isn’t far off the mark–and I suspect that his own lack of confidence is the culprit. Meanwhile, his coworkers feel powerless, forced to submit to his way of doing things.

When I describe to him a series of similar incidents I’d been made aware of, Paul starts crying. Once he recovers we map out a better way for him to approach the creative team with client concerns. With a bit of coaching and help from his colleagues, he’s eventually able to change tack and gradually rebuilds trust with his team. And I’m able to retain a talented account manager.

In the years since learning my multiplication tables and moving on to tackle Gretchen- and Paul-size problems, I’ve revised my playbook for handling bullies:

  1. Remember it’s not about you. Bullies aren’t bullies out of nowhere. My dad was a war vet. We never talked about it, but he could very well have been suffering from post-traumatic stress. I later came to realize that his bullying, while painful for me, was really far more about him.
  2. Observe, and plan an escape. Whenever my father was bullying me, I was unable to do anything but shut down and take it. But I always knew what was going on. Recognize the behavior you’re experiencing for what it is–and know that the trauma will pass. Then strategically plan your escape from the tyranny, like Kay managed to do. Commit to not weathering abuse indefinitely.
  3. Find support. Bullies can leave you feeling ashamed or unworthy of others’ respect, and the tendency is to isolate yourself so others don’t see that. But seeking help and advice from trusted friends, peers, or a professional can help you find a path forward. Isolation will only drive you deeper into submission. If you decide to report the bully, choose an authority carefully–one who has the resources to assist you, confidentially if need be, and won’t make the situation worse (even unintentionally).

Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic that we’ll ever live in a bully-free world. But understanding bullies’ motivations, tactics, and patterns can help you contain and escape them.

For me, total escape from dad’s bullying didn’t come until I took my first professional position. I’d been slowly distancing myself from home, and him, for years–first with part-time jobs that paid for clothes and cars, and later with full-time summer employment that included room and board. But it was my first job as a design illustrator that allowed me to step away from him completely.

Best of all, my starting salary was more than he’d ever made. I calculated that one in my head without even trying.

Woman dies after swing accident at major U.S. design fair

Jacqueline Albertine, 57, was pronounced dead after falling from a showroom installation.

This week, as members of the design industry packed into Chicago’s Merchandise Mart for the 50th annual NeoCon trade show and convention—the largest national fair dedicated to commercial and contract design–one attendee suffered fatal head injuries after a fall on the show floor, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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British island fort up for sale, needs work before move in day

Stack Rock Fort will set you back £400,000 (roughly US$535,000)

Located off the coast of Milford Haven, south Wales, Stack Rock Fort has an interesting history. English statesman Thomas Cromwell originally proposed a fort on the site back in 1539, shortly before losing his head to Henry VIII. It was eventually built in 1852 and served in a chain of fortifications to protect against invasion from France under Napoleon III. Long disused, the dilapidated building is about to start a new chapter as it’s now on the market.

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Category: Architecture


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Lights, camera … cycling computer – this thing has all three

The RF-1 is a real multi-tasker

As technology advances, there are more and more electronic gadgets that take up space on a bike’s handlebars – and they all need to have their batteries charged at separate times. Refactor Fitness’ RF-1 is designed to simplify things, as it combines a GPS cycling computer, dual headlights and an HD camera in one device.

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Category: Bicycles


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Three steps for saying “no” without making it personal

“Sorry, I’d help you if I could, but I’m tied up doing this other thing for someone else.” It’s a common way to beg off new requests, but it may have the unintended consequence of slighting the asker. There’s no doubt you have legitimate reasons for not being available. But there’s still the risk that you’ll make your boss or coworker feel like a low priority when you pass the buck in the process of telling them “no” or “not right now.”

Here’s how to decline an impromptu request without making it personal, bruising egos, or hinting that someone or something just isn’t that important.

Step 1: Stop and listen

When someone asks, “Do you have a minute?” at work, don’t rush past or just keep your head down. Stop, look them directly in the eye, and focus on the conversation. The tendency is to say, “Sorry, I’m in the middle of something” or (staring at the computer screen), “Think it can wait?” But a true test of leadership–at every level of the workforce–is to make time for others even when it isn’t convenient.

So when someone has the courage to reach out to you and ask for a moment of your time, take it as an opportunity to influence and inspire. Give them the time of day–and your full attention.

Step 2: Don’t start with an excuse or play favorites

Whatever you do, resist the urge to let them know you’re working on a project for someone else, even if it happens to be true. Say a customer calls you with a request. Often the first thought that comes to mind is, “I’m super busy with another task, so I can’t get to yours for a while.” Keep that thought to yourself.

Same goes if your boss pops into your office and asks, “Do you have a minute? I’d like to discuss a new project with you.” You might feel overwhelmed with work at that moment, but you’re likely to create resentment if you reply, “Listen, I’m deep into this other project and really have to be out of here by 5:00 today.”

Playing favorites is no better than giving excuses. It’s totally understandable why you’d want to prioritize requests from senior leaders over those of your peers or more junior colleagues. But handling requests for your time based strictly on others’ ranks isn’t a smart idea, either. For example, a manager running from one meeting to another might reply to a subordinate who’s asked for a moment of her time with, “I’ve got a meeting with our VP” or, “Catch me later, I’m heading out to a customer meeting.” What she’s really saying is, “There are more important people than you.”

Team leaders need to show respect not only to the people above them but to those they manage. If a team member sticks his head into your office and asks, “Do you have a minute?” and you’re running to the CEO’s office, say, “Yes, give me an hour and I’ll be back in my office” or, “How about tomorrow morning?”

Step 3: Indicate that you’re supportive (or at least intrigued)

This isn’t the same thing as committing to help, right now or even ever. It’s just a matter of indicating that you’re open to offering support, including if you have to say “no” to this particular request in this particular instance. Your first response should be, “I’d be pleased to help you” or even just, “Tell me more.”

If you’re pressed for time, you might say, “This sounds exciting. Can we meet tomorrow to go over the details?” Show that you’re there to help but need a little more information to decide exactly how. You might realize after sitting down to discuss things later that you’re not the best person to handle the problem. In that case, just make a referral: “I know the perfect person to help with this.”

Then again, you may learn more about the request and decide that you do want to help. Should that happen, you need to be as good as your word–no matter whether it was a longstanding commitment or something you agreed to help with off the cuff. Even if another important task crops up, don’t renege on the promise you’ve already made or swap one commitment for another.

These three steps can help you decline unexpected requests for your time and attention without hurting feelings or communicating the wrong thing. But no matter how haywire things might get around the office every now and then, the key is to make everybody feel like No. 1 in your book, not No. 2–even if you can’t lend a hand this time.

Belmont Stakes live stream: How to watch Justify go for the Triple Crown without a TV

This year’s Belmont Stakes has turned into one of the most anticipated horse racing events in decades, as racehorse Justify tries to take the Triple Crown. If he pulls it off, he’ll become the 13th thoroughbred in history to do so and only the second since 1978 when American Pharoah took the title in 2015. The colt is currently undefeated, having taken the roses at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but he drew a tough post spot and will be forced to run right next to the rail, which could make his job even harder. In short, it has all the makings of a great horse movie. So, even if you aren’t typically a horse racing fan, you might want to tune in to see if history is made.

While New Yorkers can head out to the track, everyone else can don their fanciest hats and drink mint juleps on the couch by tuning into NBC when the race starts: Saturday, June 9, at 5 p.m. ET, with post time slated for 6:37 p.m. More details here.

If you’re a cord-cutter, the best bet is Justify. The best bet for watching the race is on NBC Sports Live here.

You may also be able to watch a live stream on NYRA.com or on the Belmont Stakes Facebook page or in pretty much any sports bar you go to that day. May the best horse win!

The head-first VTOL personal aircraft concept not for the faint of heart

Head-first into infinity and beyond ... that's the Dart Flyer promise

Yes, that’s a head poking out the end of this terrifying personal flight concept. Called the Dart Flyer, it can essentially be looked upon as a quadcopter with a winged pilot cocoon on top of it. Definitely not one for nervous flyers, it’s been submitted as a contender in the GoFly challenge, sponsored by Boeing.

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