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So there seems to be a bit of confusion on this topic but it is essentially quite simple (at least compared to irony versus coincidence, which is a highly subjective topic).

Sarcasm is a subcategory of irony. That’s the first thing you need to know and it makes a lot of sense when you understand this. The similarity comes from the root of the definition of irony – a subversion of expectations. Basically, anything said or done, or an event that occurs, which goes against expectations. Like if I set fire to a haystack and the wind blew the cinders on to my neighbour’s house, setting it on fire instead. I wasn’t expecting that to happen so it’s ironic. I could layer this irony with another level by adding some context – say that we were burning the haystack because it was a fire hazard to our houses. Irony can be verbal, situational or dramatic. The first two are self-explanatory. As for dramatic irony, that’s actual a technique often used by playwrights in which the audience knows a certain fact but the characters don’t. This can be applied to real life though is a stronger tool in literary texts.

Anyway, sarcasm is similar in that you are saying something that goes against expectations. There’s two key differences with sarcasm though; first of all, sarcasm can only be verbal (whereas irony can be situational or dramatic). Secondly, sarcasm is designed as an attack. Irony can be innocent but sarcasm is used with the intent to mock or hurt somebody. The degree to which you are doing this can vary. Friends can be sarcastic with each other because friendship can withstand a bit of good-natured barbing, but again, there is an intent to single out a person or persons and ridicule them when it comes to sarcasm.

As for the whole irony and coincidence debate, I remember the Oatmeal did a good post on it. The gist of it is anything coincidental can arguably be ironic because it is subjective on the observer’s expectations. Since irony is a subversion of expectations, anyone could argue that any coincidence is ironic to them. The only thing I would add to this is that people do use the word “ironic” too frivolously, and there are times where if you consider a coincidence ironic, it really just shows that you’re stupid.

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We’ve all heard of electrolytes, especially since sports drinks tend to market themselves as “scientific” and throw around “scientific” words to make themselves sound more impressive. In reality, electrolytes are substances that become ions in the blood stream and the balance of electrolytes in our system is essential for the function of cells and organs. They are used to conduct electricity and carry electrical impulses such as nerve impulses and muscle contractions. The kidneys work to keep electrolyte levels in your blood constant. You lose electrolytes through sweat, which is why sports drinks emphasise that they replace electrolytes. Let’s take a look at some of the electrolytes in your body before we take a look at some sports drinks and what they actually contain.

The major electrolytes in your body are:

–          Sodium (Na+)

–          Chloride (Cl-)

–          Potassium (K+)

–          Calcium (Ca2+)

–          Magnesium (Mg2+)

–          Phosphate (PO42-)

–          Bicarbonate (HCO3-)

–          Sulfate (SO42-)

Sodium:

Sodium is one of the major positive ion (cation) in fluid outside of cells. Many of you are probably familiar with sodium chloride, which is the scientific name for table salt. Sodium regulates the water levels in the body, which is why those trying to lose weight should avoid salt as much as possible as it causes water retention (excess salt is a big dietary problem; salt deficiency is very uncommon). The brain, nervous system and muscles require electrical signals to communicate, thus a good sodium level is critical for proper function.

An increase in sodium, known as hypernatremia, occurs when there is excess sodium in relation to water (which is why everyone recommends drinking more water). By contrast, a decrease in sodium level is known as hyponatremia. The normal blood sodium level is 135 – 145 mmol/L (millimoles / Litre).

Potassium:

This is another major cation found in cells. It helps regulate heartbeat and muscle function. Abnormal changes in potassium levels can impact on the nervous system and cause irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), which can be fatal.

An increase in potassium levels is known as hyperkalemia and a decrease is known as hypokalemia. Potassium is normally excreted by the kidneys, so diseases that affect the kidneys can cause either one of these. The normal blood potassium level is 3.5 – 5.0 mmol/L.

Chloride:

This is the major negatively charged ion (anion) found in the fluid outside of cells and in the blood. Sea water has almost the same concentration of chloride ions as human body fluids. An increase in chloride levels is known as hyperchloremia while a decrease is known as hypochloremia. The normal range for chloride is 98 – 108 mmol/L

Bicarbonate:

This ion acts as a buffer to maintain the pH level in blood and other bodily fluid. It acts to regulate acidity levels in the body and the normal range is 22 – 30 mmol/L.

 

Powerade and Conclusion:

I have a bottle of this with me right now, so let’s take a look at the ingredients. All sports drinks are roughly the same so I’ll just focus on Powerade since I have the bottle with me and since its nutritional table is more helpful than the Gatorade one. In terms of the electrolyte content, per serving there is 7.2mmol of sodium and 2.4mmol of potassium (where a serving size is 600mL). The ingredients list sodium chloride, which we all know is just salt, and to cover up the salty taste it lists sucrose, which is basically table sugar. Sucrose is a simple carbohydrate; I’ll leave it at that for now. The drink also contains high fructose corn syrup and sucrose syrup.

Essentially, the two drinks are meant to help maintain electrolyte and carbohydrate balance through salt and sugar. That’s also the problem. If you’ve heard anything about the state of the Western diet and its health problems, you’ll know that salt and sugar are the two worst things happening to people right now. This is compounded by the fact that to restore carbohydrates, these drinks use simple carbs.

Now if we keep in mind that this is sports drink, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Athletes are less likely to have an excess of sodium chloride in their diets (as opposed to the rest of the world) and a quick hit of carbs during exercise can help prevent catabolism and facilitate refuelling. The only concern I would have in this regard is that despite marketing itself as an electrolyte replenisher, sports drinks only contain two of the most common electrolytes because they’re just using common salt.

The problem is that the drink is available to anybody. It sits in the drink section as if it were just another drink. A lot of drinks have sugar in it already, but sports drink also have salt, making things worse. The contents include sucrose syrup (liquefied table sugar) which is high in empty calories. Powerade actually has less sugar in it than Gatorade, but let’s take a look at Gatorade (because I have the numbers from a study here). Gatorade contains 14g of sugar per 100g, which is equivalent to about 3.3 teaspoons of sugar. The entire bottle (which is one serving) will give you 8 teaspoons of sugar. Additionally, the high fructose corn syrup content has been shown to significantly and independently increase risk of hypertension in people with no previous history of the disease (American Society of Nephrology, 2009). Imagine a regular person adding all this to their diet because they perceive the sports drink as being healthier than the soft drink.

In fact, even if you are an athlete and regularly exercise, I still would not recommend sports drinks at any time other than when you are actually in the middle of exercising. This is the only time where a sugar and salt hit will not necessarily be bad for you, but the other ingredients still make the benefits of the drink questionable. All in all, I would still go for just water and maybe a quick, bite sized snack like fruit or nuts. Personally, I carry a bag of almonds around and just pop a few in my mouth while I’m at the gym. The protein and calorie content of almonds are amazing for building muscle.

 

With the advent of the computer, more and more writers are using word programs to write. The convenience and speed are incredibly helpful, but it’s come at the cost of knowledge about spelling, grammar and punctuation.

This time, I’d just like to draw attention to the three types of dashes.

Hyphen:

This is a form of punctuation used to separate compound words, such as water-powered or heat-seeking. This is the minus key on standard keyboards and is noticeably shorter in length. Originally, I believe hyphens were meant to be slightly diagonal as we can see above, but now they’ve been mixed up and confused so much that it’s become interchangeable with a dash. Hyphens are appropriate from most word breaks and compounding (including hyphenating telephone numbers).

En Dash:

In typography, “en” is a unit of length around the width of the letter “N”. The En Dash gets its name from this by being roughly that wide. It is used to describe a range of values or distance. For example, the range: people between ages 18 – 30 would use an En Dash. This blog doesn’t actually auto-correct the length of dashes so my dash up there is the same size as a hyphen, which is wrong. I could copy and paste one to be correct but I thought that it would be a good example of how this typographical standard remains ignorant to most. In terms of distances, the En Dash sort of replaces the word “to”, such as: the Sydney-Tokyo flight was delayed.

Em Dash:

Similar to the En Dash, this gets its name from it’s length being that of the letter “M”, which is roughly twice the length of an “N”. The Em Dash is used to denote parenthetical elements to a sentence, similar to using commas as a parenthetical marker. As the word parenthetical comes from parenthesis, some of you may already know what I mean by this. For those that don’t, I’ll have to use an example.

The building, still burning from the attack, began to crumble.

The two commas are used to describe some attribute of the subject that may not be directly a part of the sentence. Similarly, the Em Dash can be used for the same purpose, but is often used to denote abrupt parenthetical elements.

The building – a burning and crumbling mess of shattered stone and woodwork – was no longer the proud fortress it had once been.

Due to its abrupt nature, the Em Dash is also used in fiction to denote interruption in dialogue, such as: “Hey Bob, what was that sou-“. Again, wordpress doesn’t correct it to the proper length dash so just take note that even though I used a hyphen, it should be an Em Dash.

So just remember guys, not all dashes are the same! Make sure you’re using the right one, or at least understand the difference.

Teleportation is a thing of science fiction but is it impossible in our reality? Well, Chinese physicists managed to teleport photons over 97kms using quantum entanglement. The previous record, set in 2010, was only 16km so the physicists are hopeful that they will soon be able to make the technology feasible. Such technology would enable an ultra-secure communications system that is immune to eavesdropping.

The important thing to note here is that while perhaps a first step, this technology is far from teleporting any biological life anywhere. The physical object is not teleported, but rather, the information that describes it. If anybody read my article on Hawking’s Information Paradox, you would know a little about what I mean by information. The gist of it is that all matter has information (measured in bits) that describes every feature of that physical existence. Given such information, one could reconstruct an exact duplicate. An analogy that might help is if you had exact architectural plans, building materials, etc. for a building that just collapsed, you could reconstruct it the exact same way. This applies to all physical things, including humans and even subatomic particles.

Quantum entanglement is the mysterious link between certain particles in which they can share the same values (such as spin rate) even when separated over large (and theoretically infinite) distances. If two particles that have an entanglement link are far apart, say 97km, and one of those particles is takes on a certain property, the other particle will instantaneously do the same thing. The major difficulty of this is that the link itself is very fragile; it is very easy to break the entanglement. The Chinese scientists used a guide laser to make the entangled photons appear at two separate locations (97km apart) at the same time in a way that could be experimentally measured.

As mentioned above, this technology, at the moment, is mainly for communications. Nothing is faster than instant communication (imagine downloading anything literally instantly) and nothing can be safer because you’d have a hard time intercepting information that didn’t technically “travel” through any space.

Chocolate is one of those clichés we often see in movies as the go-to food for heartbroken women, but how much truth is behind this response? A lot more than one might think.

Chocolate is a psychoactive/psychotropic food containing more than 500 natural chemical compounds, many of which are categorised as mood and pleasure increasing. A psychoactive compound is one that crosses the blood-brain barrier and acts on the central nervous system where it affects brain function. There are a variety of chemical substances in chocolate. Essentially, the ingestion of chocolate replicates good feelings that can imitate those of happiness and even falling in love. Interestingly, over 52% of women in the UK stated that they preferred chocolate over sex.

Phenylethylamine:

This chemical is released by the brain when falling in love, and is probably the biggest contributor to chocolate making us feel good. It releases dopamine (the happy chemical) and endorphins into our pleasure centres and peaks during orgasm. It helps mediate feelings of attraction, excitement and euphoria.

Tryptophan:

This is an essential amino acid that enhances serotonin function which helps diminish anxiety.

Endorphin:

A lot of people should be familiar with this chemical – it makes you feel good and warm. Endorphins reduce sensitivity to pain and are the body’s endogenous opiates.

Anandamide:

This chemical is an endogenous cannabinoid found in the brain. This can have a small effect of promoting a feeling of well-being. The presence of N-oleolethanolamine and N-linoleoylethanolamine also inhibit the metabolism of anandamide, prolonging the feeling.

Theobromine and caffeine:

We all know the effects of caffeine – it stimulates the central nervous system, increases blood flow to the brain, and increases serotonin production. All that basically amounts to increased alertness. It’s worth noting that there is only a very small amount of caffeine in chocolate though – much less than what you’d get from other sources (coffee, etc.).

Theobromine is a chemical cousin to caffeine and is found in greater concentrations in darker chocolate. Theobromine has similar effects to caffeine, to a much smaller degree, but is also a cardiac stimulant. It has been shown to reduce coughing and is also thought to pay a role in regulating moods.

Aggregate effect:

Binge eating chocolate can be explained by the above effects. Psychologically, people attribute a cause and effect relationship between chocolate and feelings of anguish, in which chocolate appears to make the consumer feel better. This is not a placebo effect (as demonstrated by the chemicals above), and thus makes the subconscious association stronger – resulting in cravings when things are going bad. However, it’s common knowledge that binge eating chocolate will lead to obesity, causing self-esteem and image problems, as well as inhibited production of certain chemicals such as dopamine, and basically ending up in feeling worse for a lot longer, so let’s take a look at the health issues of chocolate.

Health:

Surprisingly, chocolate is good for your health. The distinction we have to make here is the type of chocolate you’re eating. Dark chocolate is good for you. It can lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation, preventing the formation of blood clots and arteriosclerosis. We also know from above that chocolate contains phenylethylamine, releasing endorphins and dopamine. It also helps control blood sugar by reducing insulin resistance and is full of antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals (potassium, copper, magnesium and iron).

Modern day chocolate dates back to the addition of triglyceride cocoa butter by Swiss confectioner Rodolphe Lindt in 1879. Since then, chocolate has been made sweeter and sweeter so that the concentration of cocoa is more and more diluted. It’s this chocolate that’s bad for you – the one that’s basically just sugar and cream. White chocolate, specifically, has no cocoa solids in it at all. Milk chocolate (obviously) has milk (or condensed milk) in it and a lower cocoa percentage.

Given the health benefits, I would advise adding darker chocolates to your diet in moderate amounts. Personally, around 60% cocoa and I can still enjoy the sweetness of chocolate. Any higher and it’s too bitter for me. I’ve stayed away from white chocolate for a long time now but I eat a lot of dark and milk chocolate, even during cutting when I’m trying to lose weight. I haven’t personally found any fat gain problems with eating a whole block after training, but obviously, chocolate is a calorie rich food so if you’re not active, you should eat less but not avoid it completely.

Etymology of cocoa:

While I’m on the topic, I’d like to point out that although I’ve used the word “cocoa”, it’s believed that this English word was a result of English traders misspelling the original word “cacao”, taken from the Olmec civilisation.

Been a while since I did a post on health so I’m here to drop knowledge bombs on the fat topic. My first post on health is too long and cluttered so I’m going to break things down to more bite-sized portions.

Let’s start with most important fact, something that a lot of people don’t know and have health issues because of: not all fat is bad. In fact, some fats are good for you. As in, actively help your health. Here’s something to think about. In the 1960s, fats and oils supplied Americans with 46% of their calories. At this time, about 13% of adults were obese and less than 1% had type 2 diabetes. Compare that with today where Americans only get about 33% of their calories from fats and oils, yet 34% of adults are obese and 11% have diabetes (stats sourced from Harvard).

So, what’s the deal here? Well, like I said, not all fat is bad. By reducing fat intake, people have also cut out good fats, and have replaced these with simple carbs (white bread, rice, etc.) which is a bad combination. Weight loss/gain is determined by the amount of calories. Other health issues depend on where these calories come from (fat, grains, etc.); for example, cholesterol levels can rise due to an increased intake of saturated fats, but you can still lose weight while eating saturated fats if you reduce your daily calorie intake. What’s that mean? Well, if you want to look good and be healthy, you need to watch what you eat and how much you eat. If you just want to look good for the short term (because if you’re unhealthy, you’re not going to look good for long), you can just eat less and not really watch what you’re eating (although some foods are far more calorie-dense than others).

How fat works:

So, let’s take a look at how fat works; fat is actually an important nutrient. Your body runs on three fuel sources, carbohydrates, protein and fat. I won’t go into detail here, that’s for another post, but basically fat provides 9 calories per gram whereas carbs and protein only provide 4. Fat is therefore a great source and store of energy. It also influences insulin sensitivity (will go into detail about this in another post) and can address inflammations. The body also uses cholesterol as the starting point to make estrogen, testosterone, vitamin D and other vital compounds.

However, fat and cholesterol don’t dissolve in water or blood, so the body packages fat and cholesterol into protein-covered particles called lipoproteins. These can dissolve into the blood stream. There are many types but the most important ones are low-density lipoproteins, high-density lipoproteins and triglycerides.

Low Density Lipoproteins (LDLs):

These carry cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. Cells latch on to the LDLs to extract fat and cholesterol from them. However, when there is too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, they begin to form deposits on the walls of arteries (called plaque), which narrows the arteries and limits blood flow. When plaque breaks apart, it can cause a heart attack or stroke. Because of this, LDL cholesterol is often referred to as bad cholesterol.

High Density Lipoproteins (HDLs):

These scavenge cholesterol from the bloodstream, from LDL, and from artery walls and ferry them back to the liver for disposal. Obviously, that’s good for you, which is why HDL cholesterol is often referred to as good cholesterol (as you can see, it actively improves your health).

Triglycerides:

These make up most of the fat that you eat and that travel through your bloodstream. They are the body’s main method for transporting fat to cells (good thing), but an excess can cause health issues.

Types of fat:

Ok, so now you know how fat works and that there are good and bad cholesterols (HDL and LDL respectively).

Unsaturated fat:

There’s two kinds of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These are called good fats because they can improve blood cholesterol, ease inflammation, stabilise heart rhythms and provide other health benefits. These kinds of fats are liquids at room temperature. Omega-3 is an important type of polyunsaturated fat because the body can’t make it. Most people don’t get enough of these healthy fats and the entire misled “low fat diet” only made things worse as people avoided bad and good fats, replacing them with simple carbs (which are bad). High fat diets with low carbs and healthy fats have been shown to result in weight loss and overall health improvements (such as reducing cardiovascular risks).  The American Heart Foundation recommends 8-10% of your daily calories coming from polyunsaturated fats, though around 15% can do more to lower heart disease risks. The message here is to eat more healthy fats (and obviously less unhealthy ones).

Saturated fat:

Including trans fat (the worst), these are the bad fats you should avoid. They cause excesses of LDLs and triglycerides (their negative effects can be seen above), which lead to a wide range of health issues.

Some sources of good fats:

Oils: Olive, canola , flaxseed

Nuts: Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, peanuts

Seeds: Flax, sesame, pumpkin, chia

And fish, corn, and soybeans.

 

Conclusion:

Although the Atkins diet and other studies have shown high fat diets do not necessarily lead to worse health conditions, that is a vast oversimplification of the issue. High fat diets are high in both saturated and unsaturated fats, the latter being good for you. When compared to a typical carb-rich American diet, it may be worth the increase in saturated fat to increase unsaturated fat intake. If you look at things more precisely though, it’s because high fat diets replace carbs as fuel, and because you’re getting more unsaturated fats (which you need). It’s not because the fat itself is good for you, it’s because people have really bad diets already, so the comparison is like picking the lesser evil.

As for why carbs are bad for you – well I’ll address that in another post but the crux of it is that carbs release glycogen into your system, and excess glycogen is stored as fat. High carb diets (especially simple carbs with a low glycemic index) tend to release too much glycogen at once, causing most of it to turn into fat. Carbs also digest the fastest out of the three fuel sources and cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike, then crash very rapidly leading to feelings of weakness, tiredness, hunger and increasing risks of heart disease and diabetes.

 

I’m adding a new category devoted specifically to logic because it’s something too many people lack these days. Logical thinking is something that will help you in all aspects of life and is a prerequisite to be taken seriously on any academic matters. Now I’ve mentioned logical fallacies before but those are things to avoid doing. This one is the opposite – a logical surety if you will.

Lex parsimoniae, otherwise known as Occam’s/Okham’s Razor is a logical principle coined by English logician (what a cool job), theologian and Franciscan friar Father William d’Ockham. It is often mistakenly interpreted as “the simplest explanation is the best explanation”, but in reality it asserts that competing hypotheses should be settled by selecting the one that makes the fewest assumptions, then adding complexity to that hypotheses in a way that I consider analogous to “building a tower from the ground up”. Obviously, this is axiomatic – it should make sense now that I’ve explained it to you. If you’re going to construct a logical argument, it makes more sense if your starting point is a fact – otherwise you’re basing your entire argument on assumptions that may not be true.

Incidentally, I was reminded of this logical principle when one of my Science and Religion lectures mentioned Ludwig Feuerbach’s philosophy on god to be incorrect because he addressed the issue of god from “humankind upwards instead of from god downwards”. Obviously, I completely disagreed with that point, mainly due to Occam’s razor. It does not make sense to address the issue of god from god downwards, because that makes the assumption of god a prerequisite for the existence of god, which is logically flawed.

As always, I try to keep this blog religion free so remember, I’m not trying to say god doesn’t exist here. I’m merely pointing out that in this specific example, it’s logically flawed to say you should start building your tower from the top down.

“What professions do all these senators and congressmen have? Law, law, law, law, business, law, law, law … Where are the scientists? Where are the engineers? Where’s the rest of … life?”

– Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

This is an essential for fantasy writers. You should always know what you’re writing about, and that includes all weaponry and armour.

Aketon

Noun

A padded defensive jacket often worn underneath metal armour (because wearing plates without anything underneath is stupid and painful), although it can also be a defensive garment by itself. Similar to a gambeson (it is quite unclear what the difference between a gambeson and aketon is, so treat them the same).

The internet is experiencing an ever-growing phenomenon of lonely people complaining about their inability to attract the opposite sex, a movement that is championed by the “forever alone” meme. The vast majority of these are males, so I’m here to clear up a few things that may be confusing guys.

1. “I want a girl to love me for who I am”. 

This is often used by guys who refuse to change parts of themselves, whether psychologically or physically. It’s also an excuse for making no effort. The entire concept of “loving you for who you are” is rubbish because no matter what you do, you are still you. Using this excuse to salve your conscience about being in poor physical shape and being a mental wreck is not going to make you attractive. The ability to change is also part of you – and if you are unwilling to improve yourself (by changing) you send a very poor message to the opposite sex.

A man that is willing to endure the physical hardship required to improve his physical image demonstrates that he is willing to make an effort to look presentable, has the knowledge and mental fortitude to suffer through training, and as an added bonus, appeals to the latent female instinct for being attracted to an alpha male, protector and provider. Maybe some of you are complaining how superficial and unfair this is. Get over it. Life is superficial and unfair, and if you just want to sit back and complain, life will leave you behind. You either play by the rules or lose the game. Maybe this will help guys understand – imagine if girls made no effort to look good. Old sweats, no makeup, no skin care products, blotchy faces, lumpy bodies and hair growing out the wazoo. Not very attractive any more, huh?

There’s also the psychological aspect, including habits and outlook in life. A man willing to change his bad habits is one that demonstrates a drive to constantly improve himself – something everyone finds attractive. A man working towards a good career demonstrates his ability to work hard to be a provider, and to prove to himself that he can be successful. What woman wants a guy who has no future? Who is unwilling to improve himself? So the next time you refuse to do something because you want a girl to “love you for who you are” think to yourself, what are you exactly? A stubborn little boy who refuses to grow.

2. “There was no chemistry”

This is actually one that girls use more, typically to tell a guy why they don’t like the guy. The guy, being a gullible, innocent little boy, believes her and thinks “there’s nothing I can do, there just wasn’t any chemistry”. Wrong. Chemistry is a lie (not the science behind it, just the way the word is used when dealing with attraction). I’m going to focus more on initial chemistry (so mainly, the first date). A girl’s idea of chemistry is perfection; they want to feel an unexplainable connection. But what is that connection exactly? Well, most girls don’t know but if you prod them enough, they might give physical examples. The guy looks at her the right way, talks to her the right way, says the right things, touches her at the right time and is confident, teasing and naughty to the right degree.

But wait! Those are all things the guy can do. You know what that means? You make your own chemistry. Chemistry can happen by chance, but why lose countless girls waiting for that chance to happen? Do those things and be that guy.

3. “Just be yourself”

This is another piece of advice that typically originates from girls. It’s almost useless. As mentioned above, you are always yourself. Even if you talk yourself up, you’re still you – you’re just showing the side of you that can sell yourself. If you overcompensate for your weaknesses, you’re just being the you that is protective of his own insecurities. No matter what, you’re always you. The point of this advice is to be confident – which is one (of many) attractive trait. Being confident is good but it’s not enough. This advice would be more accurate if it was reworded to “just be the best you can be”. Show the sides of you that are more attractive. Everybody is capable of being confident and fun to be with (usually dependent on your external environment and internal mood); just make it happen. Easier said than done, I know, but in the end you’re the only one who can change you.

4. “Be really nice/Be a jerk”

This one has many faces to it. Girls will tell you to be nice, but by now you should know that girls don’t give good advice regarding this topic. Some guys take it the opposite way and act like jerks. I definitely hear a lot of guys complaining that girls always go for jerks. Well guess what, at least being a jerk conveys self-worth and confidence. It’s better than what a lot of guys do – enslave themselves. There’s a difference between being nice and being subservient. I had a huge rant on this in my post “Why You’re to Blame for the Friendzone”. There are heaps of pictures of guys grovelling in an attempt to be nice – there are guys letting girls sit on them like chairs, holding all their stuff and doing their mundane tasks for them. That’s not being nice, that’s being a slave. Guess what? Slaves aren’t attractive, especially not to women. It demonstrates a huge weakness in your self-worth and confidence when you’ll lower yourself to such a pathetic level. By this stage, the girl has already lost all interest in you as a partner because you haven’t demonstrated any male characteristics worthy of being attractive (or if you have, you’ve undermined it by being a pathetic slave). How do you tread the line between being a jerk and being a slave? Well, a friend of mine put it this way: “don’t do anything for a girl that you wouldn’t do for a friend”. You are the most comfortable and natural when with your friends, and most of the time, that’s when you’re also the most attractive and balanced as a person. No special treatment (until you’re already in a relationship).

5. “I don’t care about looks or money – I just want a guy who is …”

Another thing girls say that is a lie. Now, this might offend some girls but I’m going to be brutally honest about it. Everybody cares about looks. Guys are just open enough to admit it (though males are becoming more feminine these days so there are guys who will claim otherwise). You’ve probably all heard that girls don’t know what they want. Well this actually applies to most people. Nobody knows what they want until it appears in front of them. And I can back this up with science.

“People will readily tell you what they value in a romantic partner,” said Eli Finkel, associate professor of psychology at Northwestern and co-author of the study. “But study after study shows that those preferences don’t predict whom daters are actually attracted to when they meet flesh-and-blood partners.”

There’s a whole article here entitled “You Say You Don’t Care About Dating a Hottie?” (article from my friend Nav; thanks!): http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-01-dont-dating-hottie.html

Looks will always be important because by definition, someone you find good looking will trigger chemical reactions in your body making you like that look (dopamine, epinephrine, serotonin, etc.), so looking at something good looking will naturally make you happier and lustier (lust being an important first step in the love cycle). There’s also the primal instinct of people to want the best genetic pool for their children, meaning height, symmetry and other physically attractive traits are premium goods in the attraction market.

As for money? Well, who doesn’t like nice things? Money may be more or less important to a woman (or man) depending on the individual (most women love it), but it will always play a part in the selection process. Think about it. Two identical guys, except one is broke and the other is a millionaire. Who do you pick? Exactly.

Money represents the ability to give women things that they want that can make them happy. It also tickles the fancy of that primal urge to find a provider as a husband. I’m not saying flaunt your wealth – that’s an arrogant dickmove – but you should have a foundation of confidence based on the successes you’ve achieved in your life, and monetary wealth is one of them. In fact, women can smell money from a mile away so really, you don’t have to flaunt your wealth. You’re probably better off trying to hide it. Just don’t give the impression you’re a bum.

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So, hopefully that clears up some of the confusion out there for guys. In the end, the crux of the matter is that you’re the only one that can make you more attractive, so moping around isn’t going to solve your problems. In fact, since negativity is an unattractive trait, by complaining instead of doing something about it, you’re actually making yourself more unattractive – thus adding to your problem. Even if you think you don’t show that side of yourself, this kind of negativity is undermining; it seeps into your personality and into everything you do.

Be attractive by making yourself attractive. Nobody is going to do it for you.

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