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The corporate world is like high school all over again with strange cliques and reputation on the line. But here you are, the person who wore the same three tracksuits to school and read manga alone at lunch trying to pretend like you’re not totally freaked out and that your blazer isn’t a Halloween costume.

Take a deep breath. (Not too loud, anything sounding like a sob will alert those around you to weakness.) You’ll be just fine as long as you follow this guide.

Only talk about your blandest hobby

It should be a hobby you actually have so you can effortlessly talk about it, but it shouldn’t be interesting enough to make you stand out. Something sports-related is best, but woodworking, tutoring, knitting, or baking are all good non-political, approachable interests.

Women have the benefit of engaging in and talking about side-hustle parties like Scentsy, Pampered Chef, or Lulularu. Dudes need to fall back on stuff like golf or gruffly being fathers to children. How much anyone talks about drinking as a hobby depends on demographics and geography.

It doesn’t matter that this hobby isn’t your favorite thing. The point is you have something besides work to talk about that makes you seem like a human being to your co-workers. You’re not just the quiet person; you’re the quiet person who likes the Titans.

Use all the buzzwords

Synergy, impactful, high-level, etc. Feel free to use them incorrectly. No one will call you on it.

Speaking the corporate language will help you blend in and make it look like you belong there. These words depend on the company; “value-added” won’t fly the way “social experience” will at a marketing firm.

Part of this tip includes not using certain words like “dichotomy,” “conflate,” “onus,” or “disingenuous.” These words make you sound like the nerd that you are. Either find simpler words or simpler ideas.

A family-friendly cubicle

Image: Wikipedia

I’ve talked to you before about the importance of interior decoration and sending messages. Sure, you might have a Destiny poster you love, a sword you forged yourself, or a shrine to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but these things don’t belong in your cubicle. They say too much about you, and are too different from the status quo.

Decorate your space in a way to emphasize family, even if you’re on bad terms with them or don’t have one. Like the bland, but humanizing hobby, it will make you seem like a person, but without the risk of being different.

Socialize just enough

Attend social functions outside work when invited, but always leave early before everyone is sloshed. If necessary, lie that you have a dog to go let out. (Put a picture of your imaginary dog in your cubicle.)

People should get a general idea of who you are as a person, enough to like you, but not enough to ask you to pick them up from the airport or anything. You are establishing a certain amount of friendliness and (mis)placed trust, but not friendship.

Mixing friendship and work does not go well, because friendship requires vulnerability while corporate work requires you to be an asshole. Vulnerable assholes do not do well, dear reader.

Watch your back for the gleaming dagger of betrayal

Remember that Brutus was Caesar’s good friend, but that didn’t stop Brutus from stabbing the shit out him. Every interaction – casual greetings, lunchtime banter, happy hours, professional meetings – are Machiavellian machinations of gauging power, influence, and who needs to go. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. If necessary, be ready to strike even those seemingly loyal to you.

The backstabber is always there. It’s just a matter if you can see them. Good luck!

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Marijuana. Infused. Beer.

It was only a matter of time before weed found its way into America’s favorite drink. Enter: marijuana-infused beer.

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These days, you can find marijuana infused in everything from alcohol to BBQ sauce to bath bombs to candy bars. So, it was only a matter of time before weed found its way into America’s favorite drink: beer. Enter: marijuana-infused beer.

From Business Insider, a report that Lagunitas Brewing Company has released an IPA infused with marijuana. It’s called Supercritical, and it’s available for a limited release in California. In case you don’t know, Lagunitas Brewing Company is based in California and was purchased by Heineken in early 2017.

Sadly, though, it won’t get you high — the beer contains no THC.

For inside scoop, watch the full video. Then let us know in the comments what you think about marijuana-infused beer.

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Entertainment

Donald Trump as Seen by Google’s Deep Dream

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THIS CONTENT WAS REPUBLISHED FROM AN EARLIER DATE.

Last Summer, Google unleashed Deep Dream, their neural network that takes pictures and tries to identify patterns and overwrite them, on an unsuspecting public. When you put an image into Deep Dream, what you get when it “wakes up” is often nightmarish. Dogs, birds, insects, pagodas are inserted at random places in the image, giving it a surreal and sometimes beautiful–if terrifying–aspect.

So, since this election season is already off-the-charts surreal, I thought to myself, “What would it look like if we ran some candidates through Deep Dream?” Well, now I know.  I started with Donald Trump, who is already deeply weird and unsettling. The results are spectacular.

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An incomplete guide for groceries you can’t find

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Arial photo of grocery store

Every once in a while, you find a hapless, bewildered person wandering through the grocery store. Perhaps that person is you.

You’ve been sent out to pick up something unusual for a new recipe or some kind of produce you’ve never laid eyes on, much less judged through the knocking/squeezing/smelling process.

Fear not. This incomplete and arbitrary guide based on random anecdotes is here to help.

Lettuce vs. Cabbage

When I was a kid my father had to feed us when my mother was visiting family. One day we ended up having a raw cabbage salad. I don’t recommend it.

This is a cabbage. It has very tight, somewhat waxy, light green, leaves. Cabbages are dense and feel somewhat heavy for their size.

Image: Wikimedia

Iceberg lettuce looks similar to cabbage except it should not feel waxy and the leaves are more delicate and thin without pronounced veins. It is much less dense and feels light for it’s size.

Image: Wikimedia

When in doubt, just buy romaine lettuce. It has more vitamins than iceberg lettuce anyway. This is what romaine lettuce looks like.

Image: Wikimedia

All fresh leafy greens can be found in the produce section, normally refrigerated and occasionally spritzed.

Cucumber vs. Zucchini

If you’re not in the U.S., zucchini is also called a courgette because why not make things more difficult?

(Pedantic aside: Actually, zucchini’s etymological base is from Italian and courgette’s is from French.)

Zucchini is delicious grilled, fried, or sautéed in ribbons. Cucumber is usually eaten fresh or pickled. Both can be found in the produce section, and both make you feel vaguely uncomfortable at checkout if you also need to buy hand lotion.

Zucchini is somewhat angular and has a woody stem on one end.

This is a zucchini.

Image: Wikimedia

Cucumber is rounder with small bumps and is generally stemless in the store.

This is a cucumber.

 

Shallots

They’re like onions but much smaller, ovoid, and with a brownish red papery skin. You normally can find them in the produce section in the bins by potatoes and onions.

These are shallots.

Image: Wikimedia

These are pearl onions, which are bright white and have a stronger flavor than shallots. They are not interchangeable.

Image: Wikimedia

 

Scallion

I don’t know why a stranger asked me about scallions instead of a store employee, but I saw desperation in his eyes. Dude just wanted whatever the hell scallions were so he could leave.

While scallion refers to a family of onions, it’s generally fine to consider scallions and green onions synonymous. They’re a little thicker than a pencil and have a white base and green stalks.

These are scallions.

Image: Wikimedia

They are usually in the produce section near leafy greens.

 

Parsnips

Parsnips look like big carrots that are so terrified the color drained from them. They’re probably next to the whole carrots sold in your grocery store. Since parsnips are more of a niche item sometimes they’re displayed by the fancy organic produce.

These are parsnips, or as one man called them after an exhaustive search, “motherfuckers.”

 

Cream of Tartar

Moving out of the produce section, cream of tartar is not a cream, not related to tartar sauce, and does not derive from the tribal Tartars. It is a byproduct of wine making that is purified and used to stabilize egg whites for things like meringue.

A friend of mine went through the whole soup aisle several times looking for cream of tartar. This is the wrong place to look.

You’ll usually find cream of tartar in the spice section of the baking aisle.

This is cream of tartar.

Image: Amazon

 

Tahini Sauce

If you’re learning to cook non-Western food, you’re going to be exposed to new condiments like tahini sauce, fish sauce, black bean paste, and more. Frankly, your best bet is to go to a local ethnic grocery store that matches what you’re setting out to make. (Tahini sauce is Middle Eastern for the record.)

However, more grocery stores are starting to have a catch-all not-American aisle that is called “International,” “Asian/Mexican/British,” “World Foods,” etc.

Start in this aisle for those condiments, and if you can’t find them there, try the official condiment aisle. If neither aisle has tahini sauce, you probably need to search a different store.

This is tahini sauce.

Image: Amazon

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