Focus on…

Got the job or got fed up trying to get the job? Worked out how to read a week’s cases in 30 minutes or worked out how not to read any cases at all? Post spring break gym lost its lustre? VCO project just can’t get you motivated? Finals coming round, but you’ve already banked your quota for 2’s and are struggling to find the motivation to do any sort of extra work?

If any of these apply to you then this article is for you. We in the A&E department have unearthed some of the greatest time wasters, sorry crucial time fillers you’ll ever come across. So rather than hit send and receive every five seconds, try your hand at these activities. Just don’t blame us if you develop carpal tunnel, or start to suffer from lost hour syndrome…

5. Online games
Scientists would have us believe that the reason people engage in repetitive exercises is because the repetitive action ends up releasing ‘happy feeling’ chemicals called endorphins. Apparently the annoying sod who sits two places down from you in section and taps their foot or bounces their knee against that iron bar is not doing it because they’re looking to annoy the hell out of you (Yeah right – Ed). Though that might be an additional ‘benefit’. Even if the vibrations that pass along the entire row do mean everyone else ends up joining in with them, voluntarily or otherwise.

Well instead of saying nothing, and bottling it all up inside, point them towards these beauties. For bouncy knee, substitute furrowed brow, frustrated grimace, addict pink eye and claw hand. These games are some of the most frustrating but ultimately down right addictive games out there at the moment.

4. MAME / NEStron
You better believe it, retro is back. (Did it ever go away – Ed?) Emulations are in. Relive those classic Atari, spectrum, and Amstrad moments on the ever popular MAME emulator. Or even better step up to the plate for the Mario & Zelda Challenge on the NesTron. Playing old Nintendo games has never been easier or more satisfying. This time there are no parents to regulate how long you spend hunched over the controller, or other people with whom you have to share the fun. The question is – can you remember where the warp zones are?

3. Yetisports
Take one yeti, sprinkle in a large population of masochistic penguins (who seem to have more in common with lemmings than David Attenborough’s favourite flightless bird) and add a liberal dose of sadist tendencies. The end result? Some of the most amusing games yet to do the rounds on email.

There are now four flash variations on this classic, though the original is probably the most addictive and still the best. As one section mate said ‘there’s just something therapeutic about a very large club’. Thanks Anusha, I’m sure your boyfriend’s pleased to hear that. Yetisports offers clear insight into the life of the disillusioned adolescent yeti. The question is … can anyone beat the record of 600.7?

2. Section Meetings
Looking to waste valuable time? Watching paint dry just too exciting? Check out your local section meeting. There’s usually one or two occurring each week in the hallowed corridors of Aldrich and we hear that every couple of months one of these meetings actually produces a decision. In order not miss this seminal event, why not pop in on your neighbours. You never know Godot may show up this time. Uncover such wonders as the 28th draft of the voting process. Watch the collected sighs as the president looks to gain the 88% majority they need to decide whether $5 from the section budget should be spent on pepperoni or vegetarian pizza, marvel as the need to not destroy the learning environment eliminates all fun and creativity. A section meeting provides the ideal opportunity to experience wasted time.

Alternatively you could try and gatecrash a careers service meeting. The quality of the eye-candy should more then compensate for the riveting topic under discussion.

1. Instant Messenger
Apparently it’s not enough to spend countless hours locked in a room with section mates. Thanks to Microsoft and AOL, instant messenger means you can continue passing inane comments across the ether, twenty-four seven. A word of warning, once you give someone your IM details you’ll be forever linked to them. More intrusive than a cell phone, there is no where to hide when you’re online. Still given these risks, instant messenger has been responsible for the greatest decrease in productivity since the invention of the water cooler. Instant messenger is the undisputed king of time wasting.

April 12, 2004
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