Some truly gross stories of bad gym behaviour, an uplifting visit to a tea farm that's been operating for over 600 years and how to get over the whole "X years experience required" in a job application in this week's Thinking Cap! Welcome to Lifehacker's Thinking Cap, a new series where we round up interesting, informative and thought-provoking podcasts, interviews, articles and other media that will teach you something new, inspire you and hopefully cap off your week nicely. Let's get started.
Matcha Green Tea Kit Kats, and a Tea Farm in Kyoto That's 600 Years Old
Emmymadeinjapan, hosted by Emmy herself, is one of my favourite YouTube channels, but she's been hosting a show for Tastemade called The Tale of Kitto Katto, where she tries out interesting Japanese Kit Kat flavours that people generally don't get in the US or Australia, and then goes to the places where those flavours originate.
Last week's episode was particularly beautiful, as it took her to Kyoto, where she tried out the ever-delicious Matcha Green Tea Kit Kat, and then went to explore a tea farm that's been growing tea for over 600 years, run by a sixth generation tea farmer, and sees how it's all made. She then learns to prepare a proper cup of green tea, goes to a beautiful cafe and restaurant and tries some more modern dishes that bring those old traditions forward. It's a beautiful reminder of how wonderful something as taken-for-granted as tea can really be, and the beauty in small, purposeful actions and activities that both remind us of where we came from, but also where we hope to go. Give it a watch. [via YouTube]
How to Overcome 'Years of Experience Required' When Applying for Jobs
This thread at StackExchange tackles a topic that's important to a lot of people: "How do I get around the whole 'x years experience' requirement when I'm applying for a job that I know I can do?" The answers vary from extremely helpful to "there's nothing you can do really", but some of them definitely stand out. From user bethlakshmi:
Could you have an in depth conversation about the strengths and gaps in your skill-set? How your own experiences and biases have helped and hindered your teams so far? How your projects have succeeded or failed or been less efficient on more than a "the textbook says it, therefore it must be true" level? Then the challenge is largely conveying that in the interview.
Keep in mind that the job rec was written based on at least one person's experience. Probably several. There are myriad strategies for how a job rec is written and each company can be different - but the 3-7 range is canonical enough that there's some group think out there on why this time in the field matters. If you are going to sell an alternate idea, realise that you may have to go above and beyond to show why you, particularly, are the outlier and that you are somehow more seasoned than the years you have would normally indicate.
Also realise that they are considering you in light of a pool. If someone with all your skills walked in for the same job the next hour after you left the room, but they had some experience you hadn't had yet -- then there's no reason to compromise.
On the other hand, one dress-down of the OP points out that the issue may not have been that they're conflating years of experience with skill, when those two things aren't the same at all. Jarrod Robinson notes that skill is one thing, but judgement is even more valuable, and it's only earned with time and experience:
You can be highly skilled but lack the experience to know when to apply that skill. This is what you are not understanding. Reading books and and "knowing" things is NOT the same things as doing things and knowing what works and what does not work in various given situations and how to apply these things.
Judgement comes not from success, but from failures. Most companies want to hire people that have had their failures paid for by previous companies, that is why they require
N+ years of experience, it implies they made all the basic, entry level mistakes already and someone else had to pay for them.
He goes on to note that talent and skill are useless without judgement -- and well, judgement comes with experience. The whole thread is worth a read, especially if you're looking for work, and wish you could edge into those gigs that ask for three to five years when you only have one or two under your belt. [via StackExchange]
WhyFi: Weirdest WiFi Network Names
This short video from the CBC is all about Wi-Fi network names, some of the stranger ones you may run into, what yours is and why you named it that. The folks in the video have names that run from the helpful to the hilarious, and each of them blushes a bit when asked to explain why they chose those names. [via YouTube, thanks to Brad Dworkin, who directed the video, for sending it over!]
Noncomplementary Behaviour, or Flipping the Script on People's Expectations
On this week's NPR Invisibilia podcast, Alix and Hannah discuss an important psychological concept -- that in general, we assume other people's behaviour will be complimentary to our own, so when we're happy, other people around us will experience that happiness, or that when we're angry, people we're interacting with are also angry and so on. But what happens when you meet someone's anger with joy, or someone's hostility with genuine warmth?
This episode explores three different situations where exactly that happens, and how difficult it is for us to adjust. [via NPR]
The Most Disgusting Things You've Ever Seen at the Gym
This Quora thread asks a question that could initially go horribly wrong (and in some cases, to be fair, actually does), but most of the answers turn out to be particularly poignant and interesting. It starts off with "what's the most disgusting thing you've ever seen at the gym", and gets amazing comments like this one, from Dimitar Dimov:
People do disgusting stuff at all kinds of places, including the gym. For me by far the most disgusting thing I've seen has been people mocking at beginners.
I don't need to give you specific examples as you can find tons of compilations on YouTube. Yes, some of them are funny (as long as you are not the guy on the video), but most are just sad.
As most of you know, it does take some courage to start working out. Instead of being encouraged, those guys are usually mocked at by other people who are hardly experts anyway.
There are many things that are forgivable, such as being improvident when you forget to wipe out the sweat from the bench, smelling bad because of being sweaty (at lest the person is working out hard) and even standing in front of a fellow bro who is lifting (so he can't see his gains in the mirror). However, there is no excuse for arrogance.
I love that. There are a few more like that too, and of course, there are a few more gross horror stories that may resonate with anyone who's spent time at the gym, from Tim Consolazio:
I've seen people spit on the floor. Literally, like finish a set, throw down the weights, and then actually spit right on the floor.
Then there's spitting in water fountains. I mean, WTF is WRONG with you if you SPIT into a public water fountain? You don't rinse out your mouth and spit, you don't fucking SPIT into the FOUNTAIN in ANY WAY.
One time I saw a guy really work up a fat helping of throat pudding and then clam it all right into the fountain. The overall process was really noisy and took at least 10 seconds to complete. It was DISGUSTING. I couldn't believe it. I confronted him, he just stared at the ground and walked away saying "I did nothing", I told the manager, he did nothing, so I switched gyms the next day.
Then there's the people that eat…IN THE POOL. Literally. They bring tupperware containers and actually STAND in the POOL and EAT with forks and spoons. One lady was eating kim chi with her hands…and then putting her hands underwater to rinse them. We were watching her do it.
Then there's the "peculiar in the bathroom" guys. I'm sure the women have them too.
You know the air dryers for hands? One guy actually puts one foot up on the wall as high as he can for maximum "crevice" exposure, and points the air jet right at his balls…completely naked. He wipes himself all under there with a towel. Yes…he is wiping his arse with a gym towel.
Mother of god.
And this gross creeper story by Tom Thomas:
Middle aged men walk into a mixed gym, climb on the treadmill, walk as slow as they could for as long as they could, only to stare at the girls who are working out there.
Yikes. Folks, if you find a gym like these -- and in most of these stories the managers did nothing to stop or prevent this behaviour -- then money be damned, it's time to find a new gym. [via Quora]
The Apple IIe vs the iMac: A Teardown Throwdown
I found this video more interesting because of the teardown of one of the first computers I ever used, the Apple IIe, than the teardown of the modern iMac -- but it's still fun to compare the two against one another considering how far technology has come in the years since the IIe. It's short and fun, and it will help you appreciate exactly how much more powerful the computers we use today really are -- and how much more demanding the tools we use on a daily basis are when it comes to computing power. [via Wired]
That's all for this week. If you have thought-provoking stories, interesting podcasts or eye-opening videos, share them in the comments below!
Title GIF by Nick Criscuolo.