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Author: Elliot Smith

How to Fix a Buzzing TV

Hear that? Everyone has been forced to endure a buzzing TV at some point in his or her life. Either at the cabin because you’re lucky any signal makes it that deep into the wilderness, or at home with a perfect home-theater setup that insists on mimicking honey bees no matter what you do to stop the annoying hum. In order to keep technical difficulties from ruining your upcoming Super Bowl party (and all your future TV-watching), we decided to equip readers with the know-how to diagnose and fix their TV when it sounds like an electric toothbrush. The...

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Old fashioned TV or internet TV? Why not both, says Dan Wieden.

Television is changing, everyone can see that. But does that mean that television many of us have come to know and love is going away? Absolutely not. This great interview with Dan Wieden of the popular advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy sums up nicely how the changes in how we’re all watching TV is actually good. To quote Dan about the change in entertainment: “Do you want a right hand or do you want a left hand? I want to use both my hands. It’s boring if this is only a...

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What Size Should Your TV Be?

Did you know that there’s an equation you can use to calculate the perfect size of TV for anywhere in your house? It’s true! And this graphic shows you how. Click to see a larger...

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Three ways to get a job watching TV.

What if the job you get paid for is what you end up doing at work surreptitiously anyway? Maybe you stream a couple TV shows at work while you wait for the office aide to get back with the figures for an upcoming meeting. Or maybe you watch some shows when you’re actually supposed to be drafting new design plans. Whatever the excuse, you’re watching TV when you shouldn’t be. But what if you didn’t have to get your fix for game day highlights by cheating the company that pays for your NBA League Pass? Or by opening multiple tabs of research and last night’s episode of Castle? Does this sound too good to be true? In most cases it probably is. The Internet is teeming with fraudulent ads claiming to know the “secret” of how to earn money by watching TV at home while getting paid $18 an hour to lose weight and grow your manhood. The reality of any job is that, unless you possess one of the skills companies like GoPro values – a reckless need for adrenaline and the cajones to pursue it – you’ll probably need to do some actual work in order to be compensated for your efforts. Lucky for you, we’ve uncovered the secret of how you can watch TV and get paid for it. Be forewarned, however, that a job watching...

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Does brain activity while watching TV make us more susceptible to ads?

It’s not that brain activity completely decreases when we watch cable TV, but rather, it shifts. Plenty of conspiracy theories and “save our children” websites will teach us that this shift in brain activity while watching television is habit-forming and a subtle method of mind control, but claims like this have yet to be substantiated by any study conducted since the Civil Rights era. On the other hand, we do know that right-brain activity – which tends to be more unstructured and creative – increases during TV watching, and that left-brain activity – which is more logical and reason‒focused – goes baseline. Additionally, the brainwaves present during activities like doodling disappear and more evolutionarily ancient ones take their place. The details of these trends are interesting, but more scholarly than we need for this article, so to summarize their findings you’ll need to remember that TV shifts activity to the right side of our brain and activates brainwaves in a subtle fight-or-flight response. Just so we have the full picture: related studies examining the adage that “TV rots your brain,” show that television can either benefit or interfere with learning and brain development based on the quality of the programing and whether it’s a part a diversified lifestyle or the sole means of recreation and entertainment in an individual’s life. Because this evidence is inconclusive, we won’t include it...

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