Did someone die in your house? Would you want to know that?  If it’s happened since you started reading this you should probably call an ambulance as it may not be too late. If you’re planning for someone to die in your house please say so in the comments and I’ll send some people over who would probably like to discuss that with you at headquarters.

Picture credit: angelsghosts.com

Picture credit: angelsghosts.com

As you can see from the picture, it’s very important to find out if there are ghosts in your house because it may disturb your pets. For the rest of us who take a ghoulish pleasure in creepy stuff or who may be in the market to buy a house there’s a website, diedinhouse.com, that exists solely to let you know if someone has ever actually died in any particular house. Unfortunately for my friends in other countries the kind folks at DiedInHouse only seem to care about the United States. If you do live outside the U.S. you can start your own site and grimly reap the profits!

The idea of the site is that if a death has occurred in a house it will negatively effect the value of the property, especially if it was a grisly death or a murder. Home shoppers are encouraged to negotiate for a lower price if there has been a death in the house. On the site it actually says, “a stigmatized home can be a bargain.” A bargain? are you kidding? If there are actual ghosts in the house I’d pay extra for that! It should be an advertised feature of the home: “This house has three bedrooms, two baths, a walkout patio and two lost souls.”

Picture credit: my.travelchannel.com

Picture credit: my.travelchannel.com

What is the deal with ghosts photo-bombing peoples pet pictures? Now if a house came with a ghost dog I’d would definitely buy it. What could be better than a pet that doesn’t need to be fed or taken out? No vet bills either! (You can read some real ghost dog stories here)

Picture credit: doctorbarkman.blogspot.com

Picture credit: doctorbarkman.blogspot.com

On the site there is a page with stories about people who bought houses after consulting DiedInHouse.com. Here’s a good one: Diedinhouse.com — The house in East Meadow, NY where serial killer Joel Rifkin murdered at least three of his female victims.The house was listed for $424,500 in May 2010 and sold eight months later for $322,000.The new owner said, “It’s a great house, and we got it for a great price,” Ask Your Agent for an Instant Diedinhouse.com Report! I kid you not. I copied and pasted that right from the website. Another oddity is that a serial killer had a house that was originally listed at $424,500! If I’ve got the kind of money needed to have a house that nice I think I’d pick a hobby other than murder.

Actually, this situation did come up for me about nine years ago when I was shopping for my current house. There had been a murder that had been on our local news and my wife and I looked at the house. I was kind of excited about the prospect of getting a great deal on a nice house but Mrs. Phil wasn’t hearing it at all. I hope this doesn’t creep anyone out, but truth be told, there was a death at this blog about ten years ago but I bought it anyway. I hope that doesn’t stop you from reading.

Hey, before I sign off, how do you like the new banner at the top of the page?

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor I’d love it if you hit the Facebook, Twitter or re-blog buttons below. Have a great Saturday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursdays! It Doesn’t Take a Rocket Scientist To Give a Great Speech, or Does It?

If you don’t want to read the whole interview, just watch the YouTube video of this kids speech. BEST. SPEECH. EVER.  After I saw it on the news I tracked him down for the interview. If college students like this are the future of our country I’m feeling pretty good.

With about 2 million views this past week, you just have to watch the video below before reading the rest of the interview.

Over the centuries there have been many impressive inspirational speeches and quotes by men and women who have shaped history.  “I have a dream today!” by Martin Luther King Jr.  “All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”~ Walt Disney. Last weeks Georgia Tech freshman convocation speech has people wondering if  “If you want to play theme music during your convocation speech like a bad ass, we’re at Georgia Tech! We can do that. I am doing that!” by Nick Selby destined to join that illustrious list? Only time will tell.

Hi Nick, and welcome to The Phil Factor. Typically when I feature an interview here it’s an author or other writing industry professional, but when I saw your video I knew I had to make an exception. I found your video both hilariously awesome and inspiring. For my readers, Nick is more than just a great public speaker. Nick is a sophomore Mechanical Engineering major at Georgia Tech. He co-leads the Mechanical Sub  team in Solar Jackets, which is Georgia Tech’s team that built and raced a solar-powered car in the Formula Sun Grand Prix. Nick is also a president’s scholar, representing the top 2% of enrolled students at the university. Needless to say, after the afterglow of The Best Speech Ever wears off Nick should be just fine.

TPF: Nick, how and why were you chosen to give the convocation speech?

Nick: I applied in May by submitting a written abstract online along with several other students. Mine and a few others were selected to also submit audition tapes of the full speech. I did so, and was chosen as the speaker.

 TPF: How did you come up with the idea to use the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Nick: Back in my hometown in Phoenix, I learned how to public speak with Desert Vista High School’s speech and debate team. One of my coaches there, Andy Stone, had performed a speech in college about sci-fi literature that used the idea of the finale theme music. When I saw that speech, I thought it was the most amazing thing ever, so I asked him for his permission to use the idea in my own conclusion. He very graciously agreed, and everyone loved it.

 TPF: Do you have a background in drama or theater?

Nick: I competed with my high school’s Speech and Debate team.

 TPF: How has your daily life on campus changed since your speech?

Nick: A few people have stopped me to ask for pictures or to compliment the speech. I’m really honored that people have enjoyed it this much.

 TPF: If you were offered your own sit-com would you drop out of college to pursue that?

Nick: Haha! No; engineering is my passion. I love speaking, and there are plenty of opportunities within this amazing field to utilize good public speaking skills.

TPF: Has there been any negative reactions or consequences related to your speech? (aside from dopes like me taking up your time with interviews)

Nick: There were a few news organizations who pursued the story that I had plagiarized the speech from my coach. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed—a simple phone call or checking of my Facebook could have cleared that up quickly. That being said, those accusations started because my coach is a really amazing man with a lot of friends who really care about him. How were they supposed to know that I had asked for his permission beforehand?

 TPF: If you could really do something outlandishly awesome with the technology you’re learning in pursuit of your degree, what would it be? The Iron Man suit or something else?

Nick: I understand that the science behind the Iron Man suit hasn’t quite caught up to the artistic vision, but science has a way of progressing society quicker than we might expect. Right now, I’m focusing on using the technology we’re learning to build a solar-powered race car with Solar Jackets and put a satellite in space with the PROX-1 research team.

 TPF: What is your ultimate, long term career goal?

Nick: I want my inventions to continue helping people long after I’m gone. While I don’t know what path I will end up in right now, my dream job is to work for a program like SpaceX or another company that pursues the impossible.

Nick, thank you again for visiting #ThePhilFactor. I appreciate you taking a few minutes for my questions during what must be one of the busiest weeks of your life. For my readers, as always, if you like what you read here please hit the Facebook, Twitter or other share buttons below. By the way, how do you like my new banner at the top of the page?


Wordless Wednesday!


I’m thinking of working this house into a story.

Have a great Wednesday! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesdays! The Top Ten Petty Things I Would Do With Time Travel

Picture credit: bbc.co.uk

Picture credit: bbc.co.uk

In honor of the new season of Dr. Who, which began last Saturday, I thought about time travel. Sure, Dr. Who flies about the universe saving entire civilizations, but what if someone petty and small like you and me decided to time travel? C’mon, you know that you’ve thought about what you would do. If not, here are some suggestions:

10. If I’m ordering a pizza that I want there in 30 minutes or less, I’d always get the less.

Picture credit: business.time.com

Picture credit: business.time.com

9. My 12th grade world history paper on Charles de Gaulle would have an actual first person interview. B+ my ass Mr. Hampton!

8. How about relationship do-overs? This is one we’ve all thought about. Avoid the bad ones, save the good ones you screwed up.

7. Gambling! Holy cow! Can you imagine how much money we could make if we just went back and gave our past selves future winners?

6. The stock market: This is proof that there really is no time travel yet. I’m sure Future Me would have told Past Me to invest in Apple about twenty years ago.

5. Ice Ice Baby: If a talentless hack like Vanilla Ice, aka Robbie Van Winkle, could make it big, imagine how great that song would be if I had done it.

Picture credit: newyorkpost.com

Picture credit: newyorkpost.com

4. On December 7th, 1980, although I was just a kid,  I would have hopped a bus to New York City, stayed overnight and then stopped John Lennon in the lobby of his apartment building for an autograph, the world’s first selfie, and a chat lasting an inordinate amount of time.

3. Have you ever walked out of a bad movie and said, “That’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back.” Not anymore. You can wipe The Love Guru from your viewing resume and get those two hours back.

2. Who hasn’t gone to work, looked out the window and said to yourself, “On a day this beautiful I should be at the beach?”

1. Like sleeping in? Time travel is the ultimate snooze button. Wake up, go back two hours, lather, rinse, repeat.

In the comments, what are some of the things you would do if you could time travel? If you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please consider hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog buttons below. If you don’t, I’ll go back in time and make sure that you do. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Can You Cut the Cord? – Guest Author: @ThePhilFactor

Phil Taylor:

Check out the guest post I wrote for Syd of EssWhyTech! Not one joke!

Originally posted on EssWhyTech:


Guest post written by Phil Taylor:

In the 1980’s cable television spread like a technological weed until everyone felt they had to have it. A few free, airborne terrestrial channels were no longer enough. With cable television came choices and with those choices came opportunistic businesses that promised to deliver us the best broadcast entertainment possible, at a price. When the cable companies had a monopoly on delivering us entertainment we had no choice but to pay their ransom. We now have choices, but the question is, are you bold enough to really do it? Are you ready to cut the cable and venture out into that wild wi-fi world?

View original 722 more words

Vermont: The Liechtenstein of North America?

Aaah….Vermont! The lush rolling hills of green, home of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and….and….Well, I guess there really isn’t anything else.

Picture credit:someecards

Oh, sorry, there is more in Vermont. There’s more cows and maple trees than there are people. The prideful Vermonter will of course remind you that there is skiing and snowboarding on all their wonderful mountains. Of course there’s skiing and snowboarding! It’s winter ten months out of the year. In the northern part of Vermont, which might as well be Canada, there’s still snow on the tops of mountains now! Actually, we did try to give away the northern part of Vermont to Canada once but the Canucks said, “Ugh, Vermont? Are you kidding me?” Well, they said it in a little Frenchy accent. (Memo to self: Write a Phil Factor about Canada’s weirdness)

Actually, the idea that the United States would give away Vermont isn’t that far fetched. Vermont was once it’s own independent country for 14 years. It’s the Liechtenstein of North America. That ought to be their state motto. Instead their state motto is “Freedom and Unity” because they’re never sure if they want to secede from the union or admit that they’re just the other half of New Hampshire.

Picture credit: popculturetees.com

Picture credit: popculturetees.com

And they’re not even the good half! Vermont is the only New England state that doesn’t have an inch of beachfront property on the Atlantic.

Vermont is an ironic state too. Maybe they meant to be funny when they did this, but the state has no law against public nudity. One small city does, but in the rest of the state you can go anywhere you want buck ass nekkid! It’s ironic that it’s always too cold there to be naked outside and ironically, there aren’t a whole lot of Vermonters you’d want to see naked due to the amount of dairy products and maple syrup that the state consumes. Maybe their state motto should be: Vermont: Diabetic Capitol of The World Since 1791!

I wasn’t kidding about the cows. They’re everywhere. There’s so many that Vermont uses their waste to create energy from the methane gas. Maybe their state motto should be: Vermont: Powered by Poop!


Oh yeah, see all that empty space behind Maria Von Trapp? That’s Vermont. At the end of the movie when the Von Trapps escaped the Nazis they fled to Vermont. I kid you not. The Von Trapp Family Lodge is still there. (That’s really the link. Somehow Maria was smart enough to purchase the domain name 60 years ago.) The Nazis, who used to be world champs at holding a grudge, were going to pursue the Von Trapps but when they heard they settled in Vermont they said, “Ugh, Vermont? Are you kidding me? That’s punishment enough.”

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor please share it with your favorite Vermonter by hitting the Facebook, Twitter or re-blog button below. Have a great weekend! ~Phil


Throwback Thursdays! If There’s a Problem, Yo I’ll Solve It with…Frozen Yogurt? The 11 Best Frozen Yogurt Shop Names

This post from last August was one of my most popular posts of the past year. Almost every day someone finds it through a Google search.

Yogurt Shop Design and Branding

Hilariously, every frozen yogurt shop name sounds either hip hop or sexual or both.  Without further adieu, here are the The Best 11 Frozen Yogurt Shop Names:

11. Mo Gelato- What else can I say? Mo money, mo gelato!

10. Froyo Life- I like frozen yogurt, but I’m not centering my life around it. This sounds like a cult.

9. Yogomonster- Didn’t Godzilla battle the Yogomonster in one of those old black and white movies where they do a terrible job of dubbing the English over the Japanese?

8. Spoon Me- I’d like to suggest a possible tag line: Yogurt so good you’ll want to cuddle after.

7. Yo Sweets- this is how I call my wife from the other room when I’m feelin’ all hip hop and whatnot.

6. Yo Mama!- Brilliant name but it probably results in a lot of fights. Wife: “Honey, why are you late? Where were you?”  Husband: “Yo Mama!”

5. 16 Handles- It would be awesome if Molly Ringwald owned one of these franchises. Actually, Anthony Michael Hall’s acting career is going so well he’s probably working at one of these.

4. Flavaboom- Just a cool name. I imagine the yogurt lackey throwing a handful of sprinkles on my yogurt and yelling, “Here it is! I’m bringin’ the Flavaboom!” Obviously he times the boom to coincide with the sprinkles hitting my yogurt.

3. Yolicious- This sounds like a great compliment. “Damn girl you are looking yolicious!”  This is in fact my pet name for my wife and I included it here so all our friends will now call her that.

2. Big Gay Ice Cream Shop- You’d think I picked this place for inclusion on the list because of the name. Nope, it’s because of a menu item. They have a sundae called “The Salty Pimp.” I’d go there just to order this.

1. Yolickity- This is either going to be my rap name or a hip-hop porn movie.

Lastly, I know that Robbie Van Winkle is all busy with his home rehab reality  show, but how does that guy not own a frozen yogurt shop called Vanilla Ice?

Vanilla Ice

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor, or like frozen yogurt feel free to share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog button below. Have a great Thursday! ~Phil