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MEL Magazine, September 2019

In this month's issue, we're squeezing the last out of summer.

Mistook your monthly magazine for a pack of One Wipe Charlies and flushed it down the toilet? No worries, here’s the online version!

In this edition:

  1. What Snakes Have Taught Me About Squeezing the Most Out of Life
  2. How to Squeeze the Last Out of Summer
  3. How to Squeeze the Last Little Bit Out of Everything in Your Bathroom
  4. How to Put the Squeeze on Someone
  5. How to Hug Properly
  6. Fruit Juice is Total BS — Even When It’s Freshly Squeezed
  7. The Surprisingly Controversial History of the Squeezebox
  8. Oh FAQ: How Do I Squeeze a Zit?
  9. Get to Know Your Body: The Biceps

1 – What Snakes Have Taught Me About Squeezing the Most Out of Life

Sean McCarthy, owner of Australian educational company Snakehandler, offers up what he’s learned from a lifetime of handling boas, pythons and pretty much every other kind of snake.

Slither Your Way Into Autumn
“When it starts to get cooler outside, snakes find ways to insulate themselves,” says McCarthy. “In the bush they’ll get into hollow logs and rock crevices while other snakes find their way into the roofs of houses and things like that. Similar to what humans do when summer ends, it’s just about finding a comfortable place indoors.”

Getting Out of a Tight Spot
“It’s really hard to get out of the squeeze of a snake,” admits McCarthy. “If you’ve got a small python you can pretty much unwind it yourself, but with a big snake, they’ll usually wrap around your arms and once they do that, you can’t free yourself. Then, if they get around your neck, they can kill you in seconds. So if a big snake gets around you, you need a second person to come help.”

Snake Eyes
“The best thing to do is to make sure you don’t get yourself in a bad situation to begin with, which means paying attention,” warns McCarthy. “I’ve learned to be really observant with any animals I’ve dealt with so I can predict their behavior. Which I think is pretty good life advice — just being observant of your situation. Though I will say that predicting an animal’s behavior is much easier than predicting a human’s. You can never know totally what to expect with a human.”

2 – How to Squeeze the Last Out of Summer

Summer — official and otherwise — is quickly evaporating, so here’s how to keep the season going long after Labor Day.

Drawing a (Tan) Line in the Sand
There are ways to preserve your summer tan without going to a tanning salon. According to esthetician Angela Palmer, you’ll want to moisturize every day after your shower with a moisturizer containing dimethicone, as this will preserve your tanned skin and keep it from dying and flaking off as quickly as it normally would. She also recommends self-tanning lotions, which are widely available now and don’t carry the risks of the sun or tanning beds.

Sustaining that Summer Shape
Oftentimes, that summer bod begins to soften once you start spending more time indoors, but Anywhere Gym’s Sean Salazar says it doesn’t have to be that way. While you should try your best to keep that activity level up, Salazar says it would also help to increase your protein intake to about 35 percent of your diet — while keeping the carbs at 45  percent and fat at 20 percent — which is ambitious, but definitely doable if you monitor what you’re taking in.

Turning Your Summer Fling Into the Real Thing
If you’re interested in turning your summer sweetheart into your main squeeze, dating coach Harris “Dr. NerdLove” O’Malley says to, “make sure you stay in contact, because by continuing to flirt and talk, you’re keeping the connection alive and keeping possibilities open.” If it’s long distance, he says you’ll definitely have to make plans to meet each other. He also recommends being direct and telling them that, “I think we have something strong here, I’d like to see where it goes.”

Keeping Your Summer Chill in the Chilly Fall and Winter
Yoga instructor Kristina Sarr says that while some of us are good at sticking to our workout plan, very few of us are good at listening to what our bodies need. Now, that doesn’t mean trading in your workout for a slice of pizza, but it may mean mentally checking in to see what kind of activity your body desires today, which maybe means more slow movement and stretching.

Additionally, many find their morning commute to be the biggest threat to their peaceful mind, so Sarr recommends singing along to the radio in the morning to help clear your head, or even developing a few mantras to say to yourself every morning, like, “Today will be a good day” and “Keep negative thoughts out of my head.” 

3 – How to Squeeze the Last Little Bit Out of Everything in Your Bathroom

Dollar Shave Club’s Vice President of Product Development, John Milligan, offers up some insider tips on not wasting a single drop of those precious toiletries.

Deploying the Remaining Deodorant
There’s nothing worse than preparing for work and realizing your deodorant is out. Fortunately, Milligan says for stuff like Groundskeeper Bergamot & White Musk Deodorant or Groundskeeper Sea Spray & Amber Antiperspirant, you can remove the plastic platform the stick was on and manually apply with that. Additionally, you can dig the last bits out of there with your fingers and try to apply it that way. Let’s just hope that’s enough to get you through the day, stinky.

Last of the Lip Balm
For something like Big Cloud Wind Master Lip Balm, when the tube runs out, grab a cotton swab and use that leftover stuff in the cap, applying it directly to your lips.

Blending Those Bottled Bits
Milligan says that with bottled products like Wanderer Hydrating Body Cleanser or Wanderer 2-In-1 Shampoo & Conditioner, you’re going to want to stand it on its cap like you would when you’re low on ketchup, as this will send the product towards the spout. If that doesn’t give you enough, you can open the bottle, mix a little water in and pour it out from there, but the product won’t be of much use after that last rinse-out.

Totally Tubular Tube-Slicing
For stuff in a tube, like Boogie’s Bold Hair Gel or Wanderer Hydrating Daily Face Cleanser, you can stand it on its cap, but for thicker stuff like Superba Peppermint Kick Toothpaste or Boogie’s Smart Hair Paste, it probably won’t drain down the same way, so you’ll have to try to roll and squish the tube towards the spout. For anything in a tube, though, the last resort can be to cut open the flat end lengthwise and scoop out the last remaining product with your finger.

Wiped Out of Wipes
Wipes are a finite resource, so when you’re out of Groundskeeper One Wipe Charlies, you’re out. But Milligan says to prevent them from drying out while you have them, it’s best to flip the package after every use, so it’ll sit a day on its bottom and the next day upside down. This way the liquid in there will be evenly distributed and you can always wipe with consistent moisture — which is kind of what civilization is all about, isn’t it?

4 – How to Put the Squeeze on Someone

A guide to applying just the right amount of pressure to some of life’s most uncomfortable situations.

Get Your Buddy to Pay You Back
Chris Terschluse, head of marketing at Chime mobile bank, says requesting money electronically makes things easier. “It’s almost like the app is asking for money and not you,” he explains. If you directly ask, try to aim for a less stressful time of the month—well before rent is due, say. Ultimately, though, you may have to decide between your friendship and your money.

Get a Contractor to Finish the Job
“Lie,” says Jason, an HVAC contractor. “Tell them you have another project you want them to work on but you want to finish this first.” Donald, another HVAC contractor, says that if persistent calling fails, you may need to threaten a lawsuit.

Get Your Kid to Clean Their Room
“You can make clean up time fun by racing to see who can put away the most toys,” explains Ruka Curate of Tiny Treasure nanny agency. For bigger tasks—like cleaning an entire room—Curate says that for younger kids, you’ll have to do it with them because otherwise they’ll get overwhelmed. Overall though, if you want a tidy kid, you’ve got to be orderly, so pick up those socks strewn about the house, get that food out of your beard and finally address whatever’s growing in your fridge. Before long, your kid will follow your example.

5 – How to Hug Properly

For some tips on a much nicer way to put the squeeze on someone, try to follow these guidelines of hugging etiquette.

Mixed Company
In a group with men and women, base your hugging on familiarity, not gender. If you know someone well and a hug is natural, go for it, but if you’re unsure, etiquette teacher Candace Smith says, “I’d risk a proper handshake any time over a hug.” Also, if your inclination is to hug women but give men a handshake, this kind of distinction is really noticeable.

The Upgrade
You might find that over the course of an evening, an introductory handshake is upgraded to a hug when everyone departs, but this only happens when you’ve gotten to know each other a bit. If you’re unsure where you’re at, Smith says to follow the lead of other people, or to go for a handshake initially and let them upgrade it to a hug by giving you that open-arms signal.

The Art of the Bear Hug
Finally, if you know someone wants a big ‘ol bear hug, bear expert Jim Kowalczik, of the Orphaned Wildlife Center, says to just throw your arms around someone and give them a good squeeze. As for hugging actual bears, Kowalczik says that, “Really, you give a bear a hug however the bear wants to get a hug.” Which, when you think about it, holds pretty true for people, too.

6 – Fruit Juice is Total BS — Even When It’s Freshly Squeezed

Even the fanciest fruit juice is basically just a giant sugar bomb.

It’s time to accept that you have been living one big juiced-up lie. A single glass of juice can have as many as 20 to 30 grams of sugar, which is nearly the entire day’s recommended limit for a kid, and may even exceed it. For an adult, the FDA recommends 50 grams of sugar for a 2,000 calorie diet, which means a single glass of oh-so-healthy juice may put you more than halfway to the entire day’s recommendation.

But what about all those vitamins? Well, screw the vitamins. Yes, they’re in there, but there’s so much sugar that the bad definitely outweighs the good. A glass of apple juice has as much sugar as a soda does! Even the freshly squeezed stuff — which admittedly does a better job of preserving the nutrients — still doesn’t have nearly enough health benefits to outweigh the bad.

Instead of drinking fruits, you and your kids should be eating them instead. Not only will you swallow less sugar — unless you’re the type of person who eats a whole bag of fruit in one sitting, which is pretty much what goes into that juicer — but you’ll get a good amount of healthy fiber, too, none of which makes it into your juice glass.

We know what you’re thinking: “Has my whole life been a lie?” The answer is yes. Yes it has. 

7 – The Surprisingly Controversial History of the Squeezebox

Few instruments have generated as much hatred as the accordion, but why?

Okay, Accordion Aficionados of America, or National Accordion Players Union, or whatever organization is out there defending the dignity of the noble squeezebox: We’re not saying that we hate the accordion — we’re just offering some history as to why, on the whole, it’s a less-than-loved instrument.

According to the June 1989 edition of Finish Music Quarterly (yeah, we dug deep on this), the accordion’s infamy was partly due to the instrument being mass-produced and fairly inexpensive. This made it catch on with working-class people, ending up being played in low-class venues like taverns and brothels. As a result, music tastemakers — aka, fancy snobs — rejected the instrument as being low class, which held true both in Finland and America and, well, pretty much everywhere else, too. 

Players of other instruments also objected to the early accordion’s inability to change its key, as well as its volume, which easily overpowered other folk instruments like the fiddle and the kantele. Even today, accordions tend to be played loudly, making them difficult to accompany. Because of all this, the accordion has earned a variety of derisive nicknames, like “sin squeezer” and “devil’s lungs” (which, come on, just make you want to give them another chance, really). 

Remember, accordion owners, these are just the facts, so please don’t send us your angry letters. And definitely please don’t send us any recordings of your awful accordion music.

8 – Oh FAQ: How Do I Squeeze a Zit?

Of course you’re not supposed to, but you’re going to anyway, so we got esthetician Angela Palmer to give us the safest way to pop that pimple.

Step #1: Wait until it’s got a white head; prior to this is too early and even if you do pop it, it’ll end up being a super persistent zit from hell.

Step #2: Get a warm, damp cloth and hold that over the zit for about 20 minutes, to soften the skin and help bring the clog to the surface.

Step #3: With two fingers, go around the zit and pull away from the center without touching the zit itself — this helps to lift the clog.

Step #4: Grab two cotton swabs and apply gentle pressure to the zit from two sides in a massaging motion, without pinching it, as that can drive the clog back down.

Step #5: Once it starts to drain, you can use your fingers to apply gentle pressure to drain out the rest. 

Step #6: Afterwards, clean it up with witch hazel or soap and water, but not alcohol — leave the alcohol for your liver when you celebrate your zit-free face!

9 – Get to Know Your Body: The Biceps

Next time you’re asking someone to squeeze those guns, drop a little knowledge about what’s going on in there.

Two Heads are Better Than One
“Biceps brachii” is latin for “two-headed arm muscle.” This is because the two muscles in the arm meet at the elbow and extend upwards into two bundles, then attach in separate spots at the shoulder, resembling a neck with two heads.

Curling Iron
Curls are highly effective for upper arm growth because it almost exclusively works out the bicep. To do it right, face your palms outwards and keep your upper arm totally steady during your reps. That way, you’ll be totally focused on those monster guns, man.

Battle of the Bulge
Biceps are one of the body’s few “fusiform” muscles, which means they’re spindle-shaped, with a bulge in the middle and tapered ends. The widest part of the bulge is directly proportional to how strong the muscle is, which means the bigger the muscle, the more you can lift!

He’s Strong to the Finish ‘Cause He Eats His…
Despite what you learned from cartoon sailors, a can of spinach will not help you grow your biceps. As trainer Sean Salazar explains, “Spinach is healthy, but you need something high in protein to grow muscle mass.” If anything, that heroic sailor man should have been chowing down on cans of sardines or tuna.Or maybe he should’ve gone for some fresh fish, considering he spends so much time out at sea.

Remember, any time your MEL magazine is missing, lost, eaten by a bear, or simply off to seek its little papery fortune all by itself, you can find the digital edition right here on Original Content. Because we’re nice like that.