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    Yahoo Answers

    Hey Everyone,

    I’d go with a “sorry I haven’t posted in a while” apology, but just read a few posts down and you’ll see plenty.

    I wanted to tell you about a great website, called Yahoo! Answers. It is a place where you can ask and answer questions. There are categories for everything, from religion to history to poetry. You can find very many helpful answers and questions here. The people on Yahoo Answers have saved me countless times in situations where I need help right away, like when I had a huge report due and couldn’t get my printer to work. Turns out I needed to install some software on my computer that came with the printer.

    Anyways, I highly recommend you check it out. It is not only great fun, but an awesome knowledge database! You can search through past questions.

    You can also connect with other people, update a profile, create an avatar, have an email address, and much more! This is all possible through a Yahoo! account. Go to http://yahoo.com to sign up for one.

    The link is http://answers.yahoo.com


    Why giant corporations aren’t “evil”

    A lot of people lately think that giant corporations are evil and made up of terrible people who are greedy liars and that small businesses are good and honest and are far better. I’m here to tell you you’re completely wrong.

    I’m gonna tell you a made-up story, but it is similar to what probably happened. The setting is 20 years ago in a small town in arkansas. There are 4 department stores in town. One called Wal-Mart, the others department store #1, #2, and #3. They were all pretty good department stores, but the store called Wal-Mart had better customer service, sold better quality products, and so people shopped there a lot more than at department stores #1, #2, and #3. Over time, Wal-Mart accumulated so much money that they opened another store, and another, and another. Now, in 2009, they are a giant corporation with hundreds of stores. People who don’t know this story just assume that Wal-mart is evil and the smaller department stores are much better. Well, 20 years ago, Wal-Mart started off just like the other department stores, but was the best department store there was in the area back then. So then they expanded and got to be a big corporation. They didn’t start off huge, they started off just like the other department stores and because they had better customer service and sold better quality products, they are the huge mega-chain of department stores they are today.

    Understand yet? Corporations aren’t evil!

    My second story also takes place 20 years ago in 1989, but in Seattle. There is a store called Starbucks, and Coffee Store #1, #2, and #3. The 4 coffee stores were all very small and only had 1 store, but Starbucks made a better cup of coffee than the other coffee stores, and then made enough money to expand. The only reason they are a huge chain of coffee stores now is that they made a better cup of coffee 20 years ago. They started off the same as the other coffee stores, but they got to be the best by making the best coffee, its simple.

    So now hopefully you see that small businesses aren’t always the best. Also, larger corporations employ way more people, offer better deals on lots of products, which is always good in a bad economy like this. Also, they offer better healthcare than most small businesses can afford. Larger corporations also circulate more money through the economy, and also give back more taxes to the government, which comes right back to spend on you.

    Corporations are not evil!


    Economic Tip

    Here is an economic tip that will help everybody.

    I bet most of you have a small collection of change in quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies on your dresser, in your purse, or wherever. Most people just put all their change there and forget about it. My friend did the same thing. However, today, we found a ton of coins at his house and we decided to count it all. It was over $40.00. It took like an hour to count it, but in the end it was worth it. If you haven’t picked up the tip yet, it is find your spare change, and then go cash it an a coinstar or just annoy some cashier by paying in pennies and nickels. If you don’t know what a coinstar is, its something that you can find in most Rainbow Foods and other grocery stores. You throw your change in there and it gives you paper money. Here is the coinstar website.

    It will be boring and take a while, but it will be worth it in the end. In this economy, find $40.00 in change in your house cannot be a bad thing.

    Cinco De Mayo

    Well I’m pretty sure that’s how you spell it. Anyways Happy Cinco De Mayo everybody! I didn’t really know what Cinco De Mayo was or why it was important, so I found this-
    It sounds like a very important day. And not just for Mexico. For the US too. You see, if Napoleon III of france had been able to supply the US Confederate army for another year, the confederates might have beaten the Union in the civil war. And obviously it was good for Mexico as well.

    Anyways Happy Cinco De Mayo, I’m off to watch TV.


    Before I start to rant on about some random topic that comes into my head as I’m writing this post, I’m going to thank everyone who has visited this blog. EVER. 50,000 views is the biggest accomplishment you’ve helped me reach so far, but definitely not the last. I remember being happy about 1000 hits. That was 49,000 views ago! Thank you EVERYONE.

    I got my cellphone by the way, it’s pretty nice. It’s a Samsung Gravity.
    It slides out and has a keyboard, but can also text using the number keyboard like all you flip-phone users have to do. It also has a camera, which has come in handy today since I was in the Smoky Mountains (A National park inside the Appalachian Mountains. (The mountain range on the east coast, if you don’t know your US geography) Anyways I’m on Spring Break, which is why I’m all the way down here in North Carolina. The people down here are nice and have incredibly thick southern accents. Some people’s accents are even more southern than the movies. I like North Carolina so far, it’s a good place. I just ate at one of the best Italian restaurants in the United States, and its right next to my hotel. Tomorrow we’re going to Charleston, South Carolina. I heard that it’s a great city. I’m excited.

    See? I told you I’d start ranting on about stuff.

    Cell Phones, Model UN Negotiation Tactics, and Tennis

    Wow that’s a lot of topics to cover. I’ll go in order.

    If you have been reading stuff on my blog for a very long time, you might remember that roughly a year ago I made a post in anger because my parents didn’t want to buy me a cellphone, when a lot of my friends had one. https://amazingscott.wordpress.com/2008/05/14/cellphones/
    A week ago in Geography we started getting ready for Model UN. So, we learned some negotiation tactics. I tried to use the tactics to get a phone on Thursday. 5 days later, I’m getting one. They worked like magic. I know this will be useful to people everywhere, whether you’re trying to get a phone yourself, trying to get a raise, or trying to convince someone into doing something, so here they are.

  • Assume a reasonable stance. Make a reasonable offer/demand at the beginning
  • Demand more in the first offer. Say you’re selling a car. You want to sell it for at least $3500. So, all you have to do is try and sell it for $4000. Then, you can haggle and barter down until you get the $3500 you want. If you’re lucky and good at this, you might be able to get a little more than you wanted in the first place. If you tried to sell the car at the beginning for $3500, you might end up with $3000. Negotiate down to what you want.
  • False Demands. This one is complicated and I don’t fully understand it myself, so there won’t be an example. You can get something out of negotiating that you don’t need, and try and use it against someone.
  • Negotiate from Authority. For most people, this simply doesn’t work. The example makes it very easy to understand. Have you ever asked your parents if you could stay out until 10:00? Then they say 8:00. Then, you say 9:30. Then they say 7:30. If you can tell that they’re going to do this, and you can get something reasonable, play it like ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ and walk away.
  • Playing Opponents against each other. This is what really helped me get my phone. My mom wanted me to have a phone, and my dad didn’t. All I had to do is sit back and relax while they argue it out. It took a while to get my mom to actually talk to my dad about it, but in the end it worked like magic.
  • Controlled Anger. This is where you can do one of 2 things. You can get yourself in a ton of trouble, or you can get what you want. If one side knows the other is angry, then they sometimes will give in easier. Make sure you control your anger, if you let it get out of hand, then you’re in trouble.
  • Aggression. If you are being aggressive with words (Make sure you’re not swearing and making insults to your opponent) then you can get the group to constantly discuss what you want.
  • Knowing when to surrender. Its always good to know when to stop, to not push something anymore. Know when to take what you have and leave.
  • Horse Trading. This is bargaining, bartering, and trading. “I’ll give you this if you give me that” sort of talk.
  • So, if you use all those to your advantage you’ll be a much better negotiator.

    On to Model UN. Sometime in April, we’re going to a college in the Twin Cities, and there will be a bunch of pairs of us each representing a different country. We have to put aside our own personal views and just focus on our country’s views. Also we get to eat in a college cafeteria. One of the teachers at my school said that they have an ice cream machine where you can pull a lever and a bunch of ice cream comes out of a pipe thing, similar to what they would have at Dairy Queen. My teacher wants to lay down under it and have someone pull the lever. Maybe I should try that too…

    Also I have a St. Paul urban Tennis winter class thing today with 2 of my friends. It started a few weeks ago, and its really fun. Soon I’ll add some of the stuff I learn in there to my Tennis blog, http://tennisnation.wordpress.com



    Tomorrow, on February 25th, I’m turning 14. I got a $50 bill from my grandparents on my dad’s side (Thank you! 😀 ) And soon I’ll have enough to get the electric guitar I wanted. Also hopefully I’ll get a Lacrosse Stick so I can play around with that for a while and maybe join a youth lacrosse league sometime with my friend who also wants to try it.

    In other news, the Minnesota Vikings are planning to build a new stadium. The main goal of it is to boost Minnesota’s economy. It will create 8,000 jobs and bring in $32 million a year. The Minnesota Twins and the University of Minnesota Gophers are also building new stadiums in the few years to come, and those will probably have similar effects.

    Unfortunately I am sick today. Hopefully tomorrow will be much better than today.