Recent Articles

This section is sort of a catch all drawer. We'll have articles and tutorials that don't necessarily fall anywhere else but are just fun to know about. It could be academic, tech related, and even money saving tips.

@ Name with Facebook

posted Sep 15, 2009, 11:19 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Jan 20, 2010, 9:25 PM ]


We recently wrote an article on using Twitter and figuring out if it was right for you. Well, your decisions might change since a few days ago Facebook added a new feature. If you are familiar with the @ reply feature in Twitter, you'll be happy or angry to know that Facebook has enabled that ability as well. Now what does this mean. It means that if you type in lets say, I went to the movies with @ John and @ Mary, after typing in "@" Facebook will prompt you to pick the name of a friend. Now when you pick your friends name, they will be notified that they've been tagged in this status update. That's basically how Twitter works.






If you type "@" and a persons name, you'll be prompted "if you want" to add that person to your status update.

GO AHEAD AND TRY IT NOW!!!

Now the real question is, why use Twitter? Let us know what you think at ninjauniversity@gmail.com

College Kid uses a Samurai Sword for Self-Defense

posted Sep 15, 2009, 10:22 PM by Danny Eusebio


Do you know anybody with a samurai sword in their room? Well a college student from Johns Hopkins University used it for self-defense against a robber who broke into his place. I seriously wouldn't want to be the thief getting stabbed or getting severed in this type of situation. My only question is whether or not the victim (also the kid who killed the burglar) will get off scott free. I have a feeling there's going to be a whole slew of legal action going on. Anyway, follow the link to the original article from the Baltimore Sun.




[Baltimore Sun] Original Article

How to Get Your Old Nintendo Games to Work

posted Sep 14, 2009, 10:37 PM by Danny Eusebio


If you're old enough to remember the Ninja Turtles, then you're probably old enough to remember the Nintendo. You probably also remember how much of a pain it was to get your old Nintendo games to work after a few years. You probably tried blowing on it really hard, smashing the cartridge around a bit, and even using CuTips with rubbing alcohol to see if it would work. And I'm sure you all had some other awesome ways to get that game playing. Somehow, I don't remember if I tried this as a kid, but apparently if you wiggle the cartridge while its loaded into the system you could actually get the game to work. Now, this post was inspired by this Youtube video I stumbled upon and it explains it all. Enjoy.




Easily Become a World Record Holder

posted Sep 14, 2009, 11:10 AM by Danny Eusebio


Have you ever wanted to set a World Record but didn't want to deal with contacting Guinness and going through all that hoopla? Well, its even easier than before and now there's practically an unlimited category of areas you can set a record in. A new website called the Universal Record Database offers anyone the opportunity to set their own record in anything they want as well as topple records of other ones already established. So instead of having official judges stand in to witness these records, you, the audience, are the real judge of it. What are you waiting for visit the website and start setting your own World Records.



Visit them at: http://www.urdb.org/

I stumbled on the site after listening to my first BBLiveShow yesterday. Whether it was seeing someone eat the most skittles in a second or the most slaps on the face, I thought it would be awesome to share with the University Ninja audience. If you plan to set any records of yourself, please let us know at University Ninja, and we'd be happy to let everyone know.

Is Twitter for me? Find Out Now!

posted Sep 10, 2009, 9:31 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Sep 10, 2009, 9:32 PM ]


By now you must have heard about something called Twitter. Whether it was through Ashton Kutcher or Oprah Winfrey, you must have been graced by its presence. But what is Twitter and why does it matter to the everyday college student? Well that's what we're going to try and figure out together. Maybe Facebook is good enough or maybe you need to "tweet" every hour of your life to the world. But don't think so lightly of Twitter, it's literally exploded in the last six months as a new and powerful social networking tool. And there is legitimate reasons why people use it.



What is it?

Twitter is a simple microblogging tool that you can use to update your status wherever you are with your cellphone. A "tweet" in other words update status, is only up-to 140 characters. As a result, your updates have to be short, concise, and straight to the point.

Opponents of Twitter will probably tell you that 140 characters isn't enough. To be quite honest, sometimes it never is. However, its conciseness allows you to digest information very quickly.


The System

Twitter is structured similar to Facebook. Instead of adding friends, you gain Followers. Followers are people who like what you "Twit" and they decide to follow your feeds. Usually followers are people like your friends or colleagues, however, sometimes if you twitter good content (funny or useful), random folks will follow. 

You too can follow people. Why would you follow? Well, for the same reason they follow you. Either your friends that want to stay in touch or its somebody that post good information. Here's the perfect example:

September 9th was the Apple Keynote. A lot of people love to follow what new products are being released by Apple. Honestly if I could go to these events, I would. However, if you can't, then you have some options. Try to see if you can find a live video feed of the Keynote or follow someone on Twitter who is at the event. Usually these people are big media techs. They're usually journalist of Podcast and tech shows. So they'll update you in "real time" of what's being announced and mentioned during the event. So instead of waiting for the six o'clock news to hear about what Apple is selling, you'll have the front row seat "so to speak."

Another example is if you're following your friends, they might notice that theres a road block in one of the streets. Maybe there was an accident. Your friend could twitter the information out and then you'd see it. So when you go out that day, you'll most likely avoid that street. Or if an event is happening on campus, twittering out the information can be a fast and effective way of reaching people. 


Sometimes when news is flooding in, Twitter will sometimes hiccup and be unaccessible. It usually means something big is happening.



Verdict

I've tried out Twitter on a personal level and it has its ups and downs. Sometimes I find that 140 characters can be limiting and having to express yourself in less words can be troublesome at times. In addition, if you end up following people who tweet useless brash material, then just unfollow them. Another problem I experienced while using Twitter was the constant adds by fake users. It can be annoying when you get like 20 fake followers in one day trying to get you to view them on their webcam. The best solution is to lock your tweets.

In my opinion, Facebook is just as useful. There's more flexibility and integration of things, while Twitter is somewhat one dimensional. But don't leave Twitter out of your sight. I would recommend anyone to make an account and try literally try Twitter. You won't really know if its for you unless you use it in the first place.

There is definitely more things out there about Twitter. Like how you can get a lawsuit for your twits or even free movie tickets. Just be aware that people are following your tweets, especially big companies.

Turn Your Knowledge into High Paying Tutoring

posted Sep 10, 2009, 7:26 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Sep 10, 2009, 7:27 PM ]



College students usually tell me they can't find a job. "It's too hard they say, its too difficult", the cry. And then those students who do have jobs say, "It doesn't pay very much, I want more money." There is a solution to this, but it isn't simple. Become a tutor. Say Whaaat? That's right, become a tutor. Students are always looking for someone to tutor them and young individuals who know their stuff really well are valuable.  



Tutors are also paid fairly well.  They aren't your minimum wage workers.  Wages can vary from $10-$100 an hour depending on your expertise.  Now I've got your attention.

Becoming a tutor isn't all that easy either.  Some people are just more attuned to working with students while others hate the reality of working with students.  But you have to look at the big picture.  Do you want some extra cash?  Yeah, that's right.

If you've never been a tutor in your life before, then you've got a larger hill to climb.  However, if you have a very strong mastery of a subject, then your not doing bad either.  Let's tackle the no tutoring experience.

Some quick an easy steps to get into a tutoring mind set is to group study with your friends.  Take the lead, learn the information ahead of time, and show them how to solve problems.  If you can get access to a white board, then that's even better.

Some other quick methods are to just tutor your younger siblings or a friend.  Try to explain to them a complicated example in simpler terms.  Other useful ways to build skills is to put yourself in front of people all the time.  Take leadership roles or present more.

There are a lot of qualities that can determine whether you'll be a good tutor or not, but you have to build those qualities.  It takes some time, but it can be valuable at the end of the day.  Now if you've mastered a subject but don't know how to explain it, then your in luck.

Professors at Universities have the titles that they do because they are at the cusp of leading research in that field.  If you ask them a question, most professors will give you a confident answer.  However, if you asked Jo Shmo in your class, he probably will be clueless.

You get paid by your expertise.  The better you know a subject, then the more trust and confidence people will have of you.  If students know your a genius at a particular subject, they know they will get an answer from you if they ask.  If on the other hand your not, well, then you'll get scorn and mistrust from students.

If you're the mastery type, all you need to do is apply the same strategies I mentioned already.  Get more exposure to presenting complicated examples and breaking it into simpler ideas.  Try to think in the shoes of the other person.  Don't always assume they know as much as you do.

The last type I haven't mentioned is the no-mastery type.  If you have no mastery over a subject, it's pretty difficult to sell yourself as a tutor.  You'll probably get bad reviews at the end of the day.  Here's what you can do to compensate:

Get back into reading the subject.  If you haven't seen Chemistry in a while, then find your old book and start reading.  Go through the problems and learn it as sharply as you can.  It might be helpful for your major.

If you want to take a smarter approach, then study the material and learn it well as you are taking the course.  Because you might take a college Chemistry course and while you are taking that course you want to study the information deeply and learn it very well.  If your lacking enthusiasm or motivation, just understand there's some lucrative side to it.

So now you've got the tools, then what.  The next thing you do is advertise yourself.  You can post around campus for tutors.  You can apply for on campus tutoring jobs.  There are probably tutoring facilities near your area.  You can join and sign up for them.  Most tutors I know have gotten paid around 20-30 hour, which isn't all that bad.  The hours can be limited, but you can make a lot of money in a short amount of time.

As a final note, the better you get at your job, the more referrals you'll get.  If the students you tutor are acing their tests and exams than that can be used to qualify your rates.  Eventually you can start charging premium rates.  

There you go, becoming a tutor isn't all too difficult.  It just requires some motivation and planning.  People will pay for your expertise.  Now go out there and start making money.

Never Go Hungry Again: Find Free Food on Campus

posted Sep 10, 2009, 7:20 PM by Danny Eusebio


Usually its the aroma of something tasty that wafts the air or the clock striking twelve or maybe its just the fact that you haven't ate anything that is making your stomach rumble. You look down at your stomach :( hoping to feed it soon. So you look at your wallet hoping to find something to buy food with, but you remember that you have to pay rent really soon. So you sit down on a bench thinking of where you can find food. You look at the dumpster for a second almost believing its a buffet. You take a walk through some lecture hall and you notice food lying around. No one's watching it. You grab a bagel, a cookie, and some juice. You leave walking away feeling proud to have fed yourself for the next 6 hours. I know here at University Ninja we try to help those of you save money, but if you are in need of finding free food (and I hope to god you aren't in this situation), will show you how.




  1. Whenever you have speakers/guest lecturers on campus, there is a good chance that there's free food. Usually you can go to your school website to track down speakers, but if your school website is hardly updated, you'll never find this information. What you want to do is visit departmental heads like Biology, Math, English, and etc. Usually at these specific departments, they have speakers who are scheduled to come for the semester. What you want to do is locate this information by snooping around. Once you find this information, write down the dates and times.
  2. Clubs and organizations always serve food at their meetings (or they try to). If you are not fond of participating in organizations, then you might benefit from club hopping to find food. I mean, there are a lot of campus organizations, so finding food at their meetings wouldn't be difficult. You can usually use the class website to find information on the organizations and their meeting times. If you can't, then I'm sure there's some place on campus that has information on organizations.
  3. Parties are also another great place to get free food and drinks. You usually need to be somewhat connected to get invited. But hey, you love crashing parties anyway. So, look around and ask around (maybe you can stalk some parties on Facebook). Throw your face in at the door and just hope someone thinks they recognize you.

Conclusion

I really hope you aren't struggling this bad. If you are though, will have some other articles up to help you learn where to buy food for cheap. 

Take ALL Your Notes on (1) Page of Paper

posted Sep 10, 2009, 7:16 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Sep 10, 2009, 7:18 PM ]


How many of you spend dollars upon dollars buying cheap paper to take notes on? Probably all of you do. I'm guilty of it as well. How many of you use like 3-5 pages a lecture to take notes in your class? I'd probably raise my hand. Sometimes I use even more if I just write on one side with pen. What if there was a way, and don't get all excited now, that you could fit all your hand written notes on one page, per lecture? With a little bit of ingenuity and handwriting skills, you can definitely pull this trick off. And don't forget, your not doing this for yourself, you're doing it for mother nature and its trees. Imagine how many trees you'll save after you finish college. Probably 2-3 of them.




The idea for this tutorial came up when I was taking a 2.5 hour long engineering class. If I had it my way I would take notes with my laptop. However, writing down equations just isn't as fast on a computer than it would be by hand. So if your in a similar situation, I can show you how to turn your 6-8 pages of notes, into exactly one sheet of paper.

Pre-Requisite:
  1. A fine point pen
  2. Good handwriting skills
  3. (1) Sheet of white copy paper folded in half hot dog style.

The only way this strategy will work is if you have superb penmanship. Unfortunately, if you are sloppy and write large, then it will be difficult to squeeze in all your notes into one page.

How it works

Normally when we take notes on a line page of paper, we have separation based on grid lines that are predetermined. As a result, we follow and write in between the lines. We also have margins that are sort of left as areas to add notes later in (especially that top section), but it honestly doesn't serve any larger purpose. When you write out notes on one whole front page, you leave a good percentage of that sheet blank. I'm willing to say almost 30-40%. Now, if you reduce your writing size and split the page in half, you'll actually fill up more of the area. At the end, your using about 90-95% of the white space.


As you can see from the image, I've split the paper in half. I took notes starting from the left hand side, then going on to the right hand side. When you start to do this, you'll notice that you fill up more of the paper. Notice I've eliminated the margins on the sides and the top. I use that space to write notes. I know that the writing might be small for most, but it honestly isn't too bad. If you have bad handwriting then this route may not be the best for you.



Conclusion

So if you want to be that cool guy or gal that walks into class with one sheet of paper and one pen, and leave class using that one sheet, then this is for you. Trust me, this will keep your binder less cluttered with notes. Also, you'll keep yourself from losing your documents with less of it to carry. Now if your in a class where you can use your laptop, then obviously use your laptop. This tutorial is good for courses where you don't have that luxury.

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