Unlock a Lumia Phone without a Different SIM

Unlike other smartphones, Nokia has made unlocking the SIM card slot on their phones a little easier than other phone manufacturers. Unlocking a phone’s SIM card slot is important if you want to use your phone with another carrier when you travel or want to switch to a different network (for any number of reasons) without buying a new phone. Otherwise, if you haven’t unlocked your phone or didn’t buy it factory unlocked, you’ll have to buy another phone while traveling or you’ll be forced to get another phone when you switch networks. Making sure your current phone is SIM-unlocked will allow it to be usable on compatible networks.

If you have one of Microsoft’s Lumia smartphones, you can SIM-unlock your phone in three steps once you have the unlock code from your the carrier (which can be requested from them after a few months of service) or can be bought online from a third party for a fee.

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Post-College Chronicles: Business Cards

As a recent graduate that has been job-hunting for months now, here is some useful information about business cards that all job-seekers–especially recent graduates–might find useful.

The Usefulness of Business Cards

Whether you’re looking to start your own business or join a company, a business card is a must for the jobsearch because it makes it so much easier to network and share info. Business cards not only allow a jobseeker to give out their relevant info (contact methods and general job target), but they’re also more compact and easier to share and carry around than constantly a pack of paper resumes. More importantly, as a recent graduate, having business cards to give out can set-up some social dynamics that can be beneficial in both the short- and long-term.

Business CardsWhen you’re just starting out, people don’t expect you to have a card so this already will set many apart from other jobseekers, but they also initiate a quick exchange of contact information. Most of the people hiring and other established professionals always carry around business cards, so when you give them yours, it will usually trigger them reciprocating and giving their cards to you — which is a main benefit to you. In the short-term, you’ve given quickly given them your information, so if you made a good impression and they already know of something, the person might give you a call. In the long-term, you’ve given yourself the ability to contact someone who could be a good source of information or leads.

Free Business Cards

Business cards are pretty expensive when you’re just starting out so I recommend using a starter pack from any printing type of business or office supply company. A good option is Vistaprint which allows a first time customer to print 250 cards for free from select templates. Although, all of the cards are free, the user will still need to pay for shipping costs (which was about $4 and is still way cheaper than paying the average of $25 or more for a set).

So, stay focused on your job-hunt and other endeavors and add some free business cards to your set of tools in networking.

Best Unknown Songs of John Mayer

With John Mayer’s sixth studio album Paradise Valley coming out on August 20, it’s time to spotlight some of his best unknown songs. Contrary to the media’s portrayal of the singer-songwriter, Mayer’s best songs are generally not the ones getting constant radio play. Instead most Mayer fans, guitar aficionados, and concert-goers know that the musician’s gems are from his live performances and rarely played tracks. The following lists seven of Mayer’s best overlooked work.

7. Cover of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”

During the 2009 memorial honoring Michael Jackson’s passing, John Mayer’s cover of Jackson’s “Human Nature” was arguably one of the best moments of the special event. With his performance, Mayer was able to do two things simultaneously: continuously acknowledge the loss of Jackson while showcasing his own guitar playing prowess. Mayer subtly honored the singer’s memory and absence by not singing the song’s lyrics–letting the listener hear the classic track without Jackson’s signature vocals–and played to his greatest (and often overlooked) strength of being an expert guitarist. The way Mayer is able to make his electric guitar sing so smoothly, all on its own in place of Jackson’s voice is unbelievable, and is only topped off by his own unmatchable, climaxing guitar solo. The only downsides are the audience’s out-of-beat clapping that occurs at the beginning of the clip and the background singers that try to replace Jackson’s vocals mid-way through.

6. “Can’t Take that Plane”

An extra song meant to be released on Mayer’s Continuum album (and was available with its pre-order on iTunes) but was ultimately left out, “Can’t Take that Plane” is a rollicking, upbeat blues track. Although the song is in keeping with Mayer’s blues phase that would culminate in Continuum, it’s not surprising that it was withheld from the full release, since its overly upbeat and strong rhythm clashes against the more pensive tones contained in the album’s other songs.

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Tips for Incoming College Freshman & Transfer Students

Since it’s the middle of summer and it’s the time when many new college students are visiting campuses and taking tours, here are three practical tips, that will help in making daily life at a new college easier.

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A rolling cart that’s been semi-folded.

Grocery Shopping: To make grocery shopping easier and faster, consider buying your own folding rolling cart.  If–like most students–you don’t plan on buying and bringing your own car while attending college (especially if it’s in an urban area with an okay public transit system), getting your own rolling cart saves so much time because you won’t:

  • Be constantly juggling bags while walking back home. So many of my friends (and myself during the first week) would have a difficult trek back home, dropping our bags, fruits, and other things we bought. It’s an unpleasant experience that a rolling cart can alleviate.
  • Have to make repeated return trips to buy more stuff. In order to avoid the difficulty of juggling heavy grocery bags while walking, most people will just buy smaller amounts but make more trips to the store. But people will have to repeatedly walk back-and-forth to the store and stand in the check-out line, wasting a ton of time that can be used  for studying or having fun. But a regular-sized rolling cart takes care of this. And

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Song in “Arrested Development’s” Finale: Lucy Schwartz’s “Boomerang”

The dramatic ending of the fourth season of Arrested Development left viewers wanting more. More of the comedic and complicated relationships of fathers and sons. More of the selfish shenanigans of the characters and the ruinous aftermath. More of the Bluth family and–unexpectedly–more of the infectious, punchy song that punctuated the season’s ending: “Boomerang” by Lucy Schwartz, a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, CA.

As the season’s final episode, “Blockheads,” cut to its end credits, the sound of pounding drums burst out giving way to Schwartz’s sultry-pop vocals singing, “Waiting, waiting, / Heartbroken and frustrated / Hard to get around without your love.”


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Tools for Screenwriting

Beginning screenwriters often want to begin writing screenplays but don’t know where to start. They want to create professional looking scripts but don’t want to shell out large amounts of cash for Final Draft (the industry’s standard scriptwriting software) — nor should they. There are a few free screenwriting programs available for the budding screenwriter, but the major two are Celtx and Adobe Story Free.

Two Free Screenwriting Software

Capture_Celtx1.)  Celtx has risen to be the most popular free scriptwriting software out there. It has evolved from its simple beginnings as a stand alone desktop software for writing plays and screenplays to its current flashy form, which includes cloud storage and online collaborative tools. It has templates for stageplays, screenplays, audio plays, and comic books. For extra features, users will need to purchase the full version — but the free version works fine for most people.
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Book Review: “Beautiful & Pointless”

In Beautiful & Pointless: A Guide to Modern Poetry David Orr presents an accessible and funny account of of the current state of modern poetry. He begins the the book with his analysis of the complex predicament that poetry seems to hold in today’s society: an increasingly academic and prestigious realm that intimidates and alienates the majority of the population. It’s an obvious and rising viewpoint, but Orr adds his own apt and unique assessment that both makes poetry approachable and exciting for all: the author compares reading poetry to visiting a foreign country. It’s a very welcome explanation highlighting the fact that poetry does have its eccentricities, difficulties, and culture, but is still quite accessible and conquerable with enough time and concentration, which can yield pleasure and experiences comparable to immersing oneself in a foreign land.

by David Orr

With this easily readable stance and approach, Orr also decides to do away with any in-depth technical analysis of the various ways in which poems can be read in order to derive text-based meanings from them. His purposeful oversight isn’t too lamentable considering the countless volumes dedicated to such a task (but with denser and scholarly tones). Instead of an academic and dry analysis, the author provides explanations of the different types and forms of poems, along with snippets from some famous poems. The examples he uses are short and further reinforce his appreciation for poetry as whole. So, those looking for insider tips on how to better craft essays analyzing poetry will be slightly disappointed. Continue reading

Useful Websites to Learn Coding & Design

If you’re a liberal arts major you don’t have to minor in computer science or enroll in advance computer classes to learn some coding and expand your computer skills. It’s probably best — and more cost effective — to learn on your own and at your own pace using some free online sources. Here are some websites that are not only free, but are high in quality, as well!

  1. Codecademy: A good website to start developing some web building skills. It presents various Internet coding concepts with a set of exercises to help you learn HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other skills. What makes it better and stand out from just watching a YouTube video is its great and intuitive design. Not having to watch a video saves you time from having to watch video and try to understand varying qualities of audio. The layout of the website is also very easy to navigate, with menus for the lessons presented in an aesthetically simple graphics. Plus, most of the lessons are written in a straight-forward, easy to understand way and are presented in logical, digestible bits. Continue reading

Reflection: Nonfiction Writing

My ability to write in the nonfiction genre–whether it’s a creative flash piece, a commentary, or a fieldwork project–has improved greatly in the past few months. Studying how both famous authors (such as George Orwell and Tom Wolfe) and lesser known authors (such as Lillian Ross and Michael Winerip), use literary techniques to heighten their observations and research has allowed me to experiment and develop my own creative voice.

Using these literary techniques and writing nonfiction outside of an academic tone and purpose–especially during my senior year–has been both refreshing and useful. I’ve enjoyed writing for purposes that weren’t tied to proving a clever–but ultimately useless and distorted–thesis or being tethered to the tangential ideas or biases of a GSI in order to obtain a good grade. Instead, focusing on writing in a meaningful and effective manner–along with the readings, exercises, and assignments demonstrating this–has allowed me to further practice writing that has greater longevity and usefulness (for both creative and non-creative purposes): communicating in an accessible manner, eschewing jargon and obscurity, and using literary techniques to emphasize the truth of experiences or details.

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Reflection: Fieldwork and Investigative Writing

Fieldworking and investigative writing was a new experience for me. Although I had never written anything like this, I thought my previous experience in writing news articles for a student newspaper (mainly covering school or community events) would help with this form of writing. Specifically, I thought my previous experience in interviewing strangers for articles might make it slightly easier for me to walk up and question random people — but this wasn’t the case.

The end of a career panel on jobs in the field of Human Resources in the Blue & Gold Room of the CareerCenter.

The end of a career panel where attendees get to talk with the guest speakers, as well as each other.

It wasn’t just the common experience of finding people unwilling to talk on record (a regular bump in these forums that will hold public quotes and sources accountable for any statement). But what I hadn’t realized was that I was simply rusty. It had been more than two years since I had officially interviewed someone to be used as a source and most of my recent writing has been limited to academic essays, with audiences enclosed to the limited circle of professors, graduate student instructors (GSIs), and classmates. In addition the time-heavy requirements of my classes and assignments had made me overly used to solitude. So, when I wanted or tried to talk to new people for the purpose of having them as a source, I would become hesitant and fearful of the interaction — a reaction I thought I had conquered years ago. But it came back. As I approached potential sources, I stuttered and and my mind blanked. It was as if I had lost the interviewing skills I previously had.

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