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Entries from May 1, 2009 - May 31, 2009


Laundry hacks for the student -- Cheap and fast

Sunday at LMU: National Laundry Day. The following is a guest post courtesy of Justin Burklow ('10) of the University of the Incarnate Word who won our finals week 24-hour Guest Post Showdown. This post earned him a Matrix Pro smart phone and $100 at AT&T.

Massive piles of laundry haunt the average college student (or Mom on the weekends back home) and going starkers isn’t really an option. Having survived several years of college, months of traveling, and now dealing with an economic recession, I have devised several methods of keeping laundry costs down. You can use these tips on your escapades over the summer, to butter up the parental units by saving their money, or just to store in the noggin for next semester.

Wear Your Clothes More Than Once


The fungus-growing, dandruff-spreading classmate wearing the sweats that can be smelt five rows over is an expert at this. Do not turn into him... but you can learn from his methods. I’ve found I can wear a shirt at least twice before putting it in the laundry due to smells or stains. Pants (especially jeans) can last a week. Do not experiment with underwear or socks; it doesn’t work. By wearing your clothes more than once before washing, it cuts effort, electricity use, quarters, and clothing getting spin-cycle damage.

Rotate Outfits and Hang Up Your Clothes Between Uses


Raise your hand if you’ve noticed the person who wears the same shirt all the time. Don’t be that guy either. The point is two-fold. Use your hangers or buy a clothes tree to let your multi-use clothes air out for a couple days while sporting different styles. This prolongs their use keeps you looking snazzy, saving you washes and friends.

Hang Up Your Laundry to Dry


Not always an option for the inmates of dormville, but if you are lucky enough to live in a house or apartment, you can employ this method recommended by many home economists. Attaching your threads to a stout line after a dunking saves all the quarters or electricity used in drying. It also eliminates wear and tear from lint collectors and gives you a couple minutes of therapy hanging clothes up in the glorious sun.

Use ExOfficio Underwear


I should be getting some sort of kickback from the company for this... but I’m not. This underwear can be worn consecutively all semester with just a quick washing in the sink and hanging up to dry for 15 minutes each night. While this sounds worse than borrowing intimates from a Wookie, it’s hygienic, comfortable, and saves you from having to go commando.

Wear long and prosper!


Weight Tracking to Fight the Freshman 15

You’ve all heard the stories, whether you like it or not there’s agood chance you up and coming Freshman are going to fall victim to the “Freshman 15”. Eating well, exercising and whatever diet secret this month’s edition of Shape magazine unveils are all great forms of defense against a 18/F/California’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, most Freshman don’t realize they’ve put on a few extra pounds until Mom makes that slyPhoto credit to Flickr user Qinn remark at Thanksgiving. Here’s a simple way to keep an eye on your weight so that you can make the appropriate changes before your jeans begin to feel a little snug.

1. Buy a scale.

Dorms don’t typically come equipped with scales, however this simple piece of equipment will give you a huge advantage over your classmates in the fight against flab.

2. Track your weight.

This step can be as simple or elaborate as you like. For most, knowing your current weight is enough to keep the pounds off. By keeping track on a daily basis, you can adjust the variables in your lifestyle quickly and effortlessly to resist drastic weight fluctuation. Personally, I use a neat little iPhone app called Weightbot to record my weight each morning. Rotating the phone brings up some cool little graphs displaying your weight over time. Keep in mind that you should record your weight at the same time each day.

Tracking your weight on a daily basis is by no means the absolute solution to keeping the weight off at school. It’s simply a tool to keep you in control and give you the power to make changes before it's too late.

Freshman, I wish you the best of luck.


The best way to reheat pizza

Image courtesy makeyousayhmm via FlickrWe know you love that cold pizza for breakfast -- but what if you want to get a little classy? Let's make that pizza hot!

Putting pizza in the refrigerator will break down the chemicals inside the dough, which gives it that bummer, tough texture the next day. (I know what you're thinking: Do not attempt to leave pizza out at room temperature. That's gross.) You're only going to make it even more rubbery by putting it in the microwave or oven, which zaps the moisture inside.

As ridiculous as it sounds, the best way to reheat pizza is over the stove. Put a burner on very low heat and throw a slice on a griddle pan or even a plain old skillet. Think of it like a one-sided quesadilla. The bottom will get nice and crispy while the cheese melts to a perfect state of matter on top. Crank up the heat or cover the pan if you're willing to forfeit quality for speed.

If you live in a place without the luxury of a stove, you might be better off just leaving it cold.


Know Your Loans [via the LA Times]

I just came across this rather disturbing article on the LA Times. HackCollege mentioned the loan crisis last summer when an out-of-court settlement was made regarding big lenders and schools being in bed together.

This article shows how big lenders try to blur the lines between privately- and federally-backed loans. Read the article and try to not shit your pants.

Student loans turn into crushing debt for unwary borrowers [LA Times]


A New Contest from HackCollege, the NBA and HP

Sometimes we wish HP would just give us all the gear for us to keep.Hello everybody! So we're really excited to be working Hewlett Packard and the NBA in promoting HP's newest student-friendly laptop, the HP dv2.

To kick things off, HP and the NBA are running 2 contests.

The first contest is a doozy, the winner will get to travel with the Kevin Garnett as he plays a game at home in Boston and on the West coast. Oh, and some goodies from HP. You can sign up for that one by entering at a landing page that they've set up:

The second contest is exclusive only to the HackCollege loyal and other blog readers. You've got the possibility of winning either

  • A signed basketball by an active player of your choosing
  • OR a trip to the 2010 NBA All Star game with one of the HackCollege staff

To win this second one, you just have to spam your friends on Twitter. (That link will fill out a pre-made tweet with some default text.) To be entered, all you have to do is mention @HackCollege, @NBA and HP in a tweet. We'll randomly select a winner from our Twittarmy.

Thanks for entering and this is only part one of this promotion... stay tuned for more.


Obama's ASU Commencement Speech

Here's a little gem to get you motivated on this fine Saturday morning.

Obama's ASU Commencement Speech [Text]


Lifehacking with Air

via free.macgames.jpA lot has been said about the convergence of the desktop application and the internet browser.  With Java coding languages like PHP and the group of languages know as Ajax have allowed effortless action without loading another webpage.  Adobe has taken it one step further, by creating an environment for developers to make rich web applications that walk and talk like desktop ones. Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) has been out in stable form offering over a plethora of applications.  After sifting through these applications, I've found some that have the potential to hack the crap out of studenthood.

TweetDeck. This one is probably the most successful AIR application, at least in the Twitterverse. The free application with a ton of intergrations. One of them is, which allows you to create a 12 second video that you can tweet.  TweetDeck has also added a possible gamechanging feature for them, Facebook support. On the heels of this update comes Facebook's own Adobe Air application which isn't what one would expect. The ony features are the News Feed and the Status Bar. Don't clog up your computer, just get TweetDeck.

Focused. If you can't help but see TweetDeck hanging out behind you project, in your dock or on your task bar; you definitely need to get Focused. Focused turns your computer in to a simple text editor. One of the problems is that because it's a text editor you have to take what you wrote out and format it in another program. Also you have to print out whatever reference materials you're planning on using. All in all, it does do it's job of keeping you focused. 

Nomee. While this pretty piece of application is one of the Marketplace's Staff Picks, I can't advise you to download it. It's an awesome idea in theory but, it only works if everyone you know has it.  That would take so much more time than a computer application is worth. The way it works is you get a card.  That card has all of your social networking accounts on it. From there you can acquire other people's cards.  From that you can view and publish information from it. 

Multilingual Soft Keyboard.  So your school is making you take a language, eh? And your professor doesn't understand that this language isn't the cream of your crop. This application can't explain that but it can making writing essays, or anything in another language easier. MSK has a ton on languages that have all the different characters other languages use.

The picture in this post will take you to Adobe's site where you can download AIR. 

Do you use Adobe Air? Comment below or shoot me a reply on Twitter @mrbertolino.



The HackCollege 24-Hour Guest Post Showdown

We know it's finals week. Now, you have another last-minute assignment. You have 24 hours to write a 400 word guest post. If you do, a brand new Pantech Matrix Pro and $100 of AT&T service could be yours.

 Here's what's important to us (see the contest page for details):

  • Your post must be a lifehack for students (that we like).
  • You must be a student with a valid .edu email address.
  • You must submit the post by May 13th (tomorrow) at 5:30 p.m.

Want to get started? Head over to The HackCollege 24-Hour Guest Post Showdown for the rest.