The Mysterious Tiny Pocket in Your Jeans

Every single pair of jeans in the world has this tiny pocket inside the front right pocket. It’s just a fact of fashion, like jogging bottoms don’t have flies or that socks have heels and toes. We all know that it’s there, and while we mostly just ignore its entire existence, we’ve all had that moment of confusion. Why is it there? What is it for? Why is it so small?

Most people have never used it, but some have tried to come up with uses. Some are attempted answers to the origin with various success, and some are simply trying to find any good use. There is a clear reason for it to be there, one revealed in the pockets name, but first let’s look at the guesses and ideas.

Some people call it a condom pocket, and there a numerous reasons that this cannot be the origin and it a terrible idea. For one thing, jeans were invented in the 1800s and while condoms as we know them were beginning to be invented, latex condoms weren’t invented until the 1920s and condom use wasn’t socially acceptable or well known until the 1980s. As well as the likelihood of the pocket being for condoms being practically zero, keeping a condom in a trouser pocket is going to damage it and make it unsafe to use. Just like in a wallet as you open and close it, a condom in your jeans pocket is being subjected to repeated friction as you move your legs, wearing the thin latex even thinner and making it far more likely to tear when used.

A lot of people call it a coin pocket, and say it’s for keeping small change. One problem with this is that coin purses have existed for much longer than trousers, let alone jeans, so it’s a bizarre reason to design a tiny pocket. The other problem is the size and placement of the pocket makes it really hard to get said money out. People who claim this as the truth don’t tend to use it, as it’s just impractical. It is, however, also known as a coin pocket, and it has developed a coin usage.

There is, in the USA, a tradition of challenge coins; coins issued by mostly military organisations to prove membership. The challenge is presented at a bar, when one person with a challenge coin gets it from their pocket and taps it on the bar. All others present must produce their own coins, if they have them, and tap them too. If one person doesn’t have a coin, they buy everyone else a drink, but if everyone has a coin the challenger buys everyone else a drink. The usefulness of this small pocket to hold challenge coins has been officially recognised, but this still isn’t its original name and function.

Of course, for people who don’t care what its purpose is, it can still be a useful pocket. While keeping condoms in there is a bad idea, there are plenty of other small things people like to have on hand that fit nicely in this tiny pocket. Some small pocket knives and flashlights are specifically designed for it, and it’s a good size to keep other tools and trinkets like bottle openers or a ring you’ve had to take off for a while. It’s also perfect for keeping your keys, maybe with the keychain or fob hanging out for easy access if you have the same problem as you would with money. Things like chapsticks also sit nicely and easy to access in them too.

But what is it actually called, and what is it actually for? It’s simply called a watch pocket. Before we had wristwatches and long before we carried the time around on our phones, people wore pocket watches and had loose watches to tell the time. Jeans were invented for cowboys and frontiersmen, and keep their watches safe and close to hand they were designed with a small pocket to keep their pocket watch in. Searching for “tiny jeans pockets” brings up countless articles that point this out, all referencing back to the Levi Strauss blog entry explaining the name. Doing an image search for the same even brings up pictures of pocket watches in watch pockets. It’s all so simple, and the fact we don’t use pocket watches in day to day life is probably also why it’s not a well known fact.

Cauliflower Popcorn Recipe

A popcorn-style snack tried and tested by yours truly; the photo is of my cauliflower popcorn. It might not taste exactly like popcorn, but it has a nice crunch and a moreish flavour.

Ingredients

  • One standard sized head of cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Half teaspoon salt or garlic salt

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking tray

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C or 400°F
  2. Cut the cauliflower into popcorn sized pieces – you won’t need the stem
  3. Mix the oil and salt together in the bowl
  4. Add the cauliflower to the bowl and make sure it’s all coated in oil
  5. Spread the cauliflower on a baking tray, all in one flat layer
  6. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, giving the tray a shake at 15 minutes to turn the pieces slightly
  7. Serve and enjoy

Working From Home: Routine

[Related – “Working From Home: Workspace“]

The difference between working from home becoming a distracted, lazy waste of time and becoming the most productive way you’ve ever worked is often routine. It’s easy to fall into a habit of procrastinating or flipping between unfinished tasks without getting any closer to finishing them. A routine can stop that before it even begins. In the same way you need a good physical workspace to get to work in, you need a good mental headspace for work.

The most basic aspect of a routine is times. Set aside a fixed amount of time every day for work, and don’t do anything unrelated to work in that time. If it’s as short as an hour, set a timer and give yourself a small reward afterwards; do it before lunch and have your lunch as a reward, or mid-afternoon and then play videogames when you’re finished.

If you’re working all day, for example starting at nine am and finishing at five pm, give yourself set breaks to stretch your legs and rest your mind. If you’re working at the computer, the recommended screen/break balance is an hour on the computer then 15 minute doing something else. It’s a good time balance for many things, as it’s not healthy to sit all day if you can avoid it. Remember to have meal breaks!

If you have trouble feeling focussed, a tighter or stricter routine might be helpful. Just as offices and work environments have dress codes, it can help to get dressed in a work-appropriate outfit before sitting down to work. It doesn’t have to be a full suit if you don’t want to, but rolling from bed to work in your pyjamas is not a motivating set up. Getting washed and dressed and putting on a polo shirt can be a big part of feeling motivated and ‘at work’.

The real secret to working at home successfully is finding your own balance – some articles will tell you that you must recreate a typical office environment as closely as physically possible, but the main appeal of working from home is the comfort and ease of working in your pyjamas on the sofa. Only you can find the balance between the two that works for you. Maybe you need to allocate tasks to a timetable and work to a strict list on the clock, but you can sit around in your onesie and eat snacks. Maybe you can come and go on work and don’t need reminders, but only if you wake up and put on a shirt and trousers. Maybe you need a little of each.

Once you’ve got some sort of routine down, working will become habit. You won’t have to focus on going along with your routine when you’re used to it, and you won’t have any trouble getting down to work and being productive when you’re in the habit of working and being motivated. Without the time taken up by a commute and with the fine balance you’ve worked out, you might even be far more productive and create far better finished products at home than you ever did before.

Working From Home: Workspace

[Related – “Working From Home: Routine“]

Setting up a good workspace is a vital part of working from home. For one thing, having a dedicated workspace that you avoid doing non-work activities in helps you feel like you’re at work and be focused when you want to get work done. It doesn’t have to be an entire room or a fancy set up. In fact, you can easily set up a great home workspace without spending a penny!

Choose a table space you can spare in a room that won’t be distracting. A desk in your bedroom or a table in your living room are good places, as is a corner of the kitchen/dining room table if you can spare it. Try to choose a table at a good height for working. You don’t want to be bent over, so make sure you can rest your arms on the table and have your back straight comfortably. There should also be plenty of room for your computer and/or other equipment, a drink in case you need one, and space around the table for you to move easily.

Most people find it easier to work sitting on a chair, but it can be good for your posture and productivity to work standing up. If you prefer this or just like the idea, you’ll need a higher desk and might have to buy or make one specially. On the other hand, you won’t have to worry about a chair!

An office chair is the best option, because they’re designed to be good chairs to sit in while you work, but if you don’t have one you don’t need one. As long as your chair means you’re sitting at the right height for the table and doesn’t make you slouch it’s a good enough chair. If possible, get a chair that you find comfortable to sit on with your feet under it somewhat, as this leg position makes sitting up straight easier.

Really, the table and chair, and that the room isn’t distracting is most of a good workspace. A distracting room is one where there are things that might distract you, obviously. If you need quiet, choose a quiet room, if you prefer to listen to music, choose a room you can play music in, and don’t pick the kitchen if you snack to put work off. Try to choose a place you’ll be alone in, or at least where the other people won’t affect you.

All that’s left is the actual table space. The typical advice of avoiding clutter applies, but it can be good to have things you often need.

The top of a computer screen should be level with your eyes, and everything you need such as a mouse should be within easy reach without moving your shoulders. A mouse is preferable to a mousepad if you have one, and all kinds of keyboard with various degrees of ergonomics exist if you want to splash out.

Art or craft tables should have a clear space in the middle big enough for a typical piece of work, and at least enough space for both your hands to comfortably rest. A nice little desk organiser, or even old mugs, should be within reach so you can easily find and use things.

With an appropriate table and (possibly) chair, and a neat space on it, you’re finished; that’s all you need for a working at home workspace. Get to work!

Ian Watkins Pleads Guilty

In December 2012, Ian Watkins, lead singer of the band Lostprophets, was charged with conspiracy to sexually assault a one-year old child, possession and distribution of child sexual abuse images, and possession of “extreme animal pornography”. At the time, he denied the charges.

He continued to deny the charges until November 2013, as the band went on hiatus and fans split between those either believing Watkins or supporting the other Lostprophets’ members, and those denouncing the band. However, when he went to court, he plead guilty to the attempted rape of a child, three counts of sexual assault on children, six counts of possessing or making images of child sexual abuse images, and one count of extreme pornographic images of an animal.

Lostprophets’ have now split up, and the other members have posted a message on the band’s official website, stating that they were “in a state of shock” and have been “learning about the details of the investigation along with you”. In October, all members of the band except Ian Watkins had signed a facebook post stating that they would “no longer make or perform music as Lostprophets”.

The two women who faced trial with him plead guilty to various child sexual abuse counts, and evidence from text messages showed that they had abused their own children and made the children available to Watkins for his abuse.

It has also been revealed that drugs were a major part of the abuse, with meth, cocaine and GHB found by the police, and plans between the three to “teach the babies to take drugs”.

Watkins had previously claimed that he was the victim of a malicious campaign, and that a ‘crazed fan’ had been stalking him and had access to his computer. In 2006 and 2008, he met up with separate Lostprophets fans, both aged 16 at the time, and filmed himself having sex with them.

Once all three had changed their pleas to guilty, the judge, Mr Justice Royce, called the Jury into the court to inform them, where he told them the guilty plea had spared them from having to “watch extremely graphic and distressing material.”

Sentencing will take place on 18th December 2013.