Oct 22, 2010

Stay Safe: Travel tips from Survival Training experts

With the recent travel alerts for potential terrorist attacks in Europe, we wanted to make sure you get to enjoy your trip but stay safe too. While we may have featured some of these safety tips from our Survival Training experts at Stiletto Spy School, it never hurts to have a refresher and pass on the advice to your friends and loved ones. Stay safe!

Before you Leave: 


— Create a file with a copy of everything you usually carry in your wallet or purse (e.g. driver’s license, credit cards, passport, etc.)  If your purse or wallet is stolen, you will know exactly what was lost.   

— Never carry your Social Security card. 

— Always keep a backup of contacts and other important information stored in your cell phone.  You may also want to keep this information in a safe password-protected file online.  This way, if you are traveling, you can access the information remotely and immediately. 

— As a secondary precaution, make a copy of your itinerary and your ID/Passport and leave it with a family member or close friend.


At the Airport: 


— Check in and get through security as quickly as possible.  The safest part of the airport is past TSA, not in the main lobby area.

—  Always request an aisle seat on the side of the plane that allows your strongest arm to be toward the aisle.  If something unforeseen happens on the plane, you will have the best advantage possible.


When you Land: 

— Use authorized cab services at the airport. 

— Never share a cab with strangers and never accept the first cab that is offered to you, particularly if you are traveling alone.  In fact, depending on the city, hour and whether you are traveling alone, you may find it best to let the second cab go as well and take the third cab.  Why?  It makes it less likely that your driver will have planned anything nefarious.


Cab Safety: 

— Before you get into the cab, try to notice something identifying about the cab (a number, cab company, color and make of the vehicle, etc.) 

— Once inside, engage the driver in conversation and ask his name. 

— Once you are on your way, pretend to (or actually) telephone someone local and speak loud enough for the driver to hear you.  Confirm that you are in a cab and on your way and that you should be there within ____ minutes.

— Tell them the cab description and the driver’s name and to keep an eye out for the car.  Repeat that you look forward to seeing them in a few minutes. 

— If the driver had any intention of doing something shady, this will put him on notice that you are likely not the best person to mess with.


At the Hotel:


— At check in, if you are traveling alone, make sure that they do not say your room number out loud as they hand you the room keys.  It is policy in many hotels to follow this rule, but if they do not, don’t be shy about asking for a supervisor and requesting a room change…

—Request for a room that is on the 4th floor or lower and near the emergency exits.

— Whenever in your room, always lock the door and engage the secondary chain or latch bolt.  Front desks are famous for inadvertently giving two different guests the same room.  You do not want to be surprised by an unexpected visitor.  These types of room mix-ups can also happen on purpose.  Either scenario can be avoided by securing the door with more than the automatic lock.

— Never leave valuables in your hotel room.  Valuables include jewelry, cell phones, laptops , cameras, etc..  Even the nicest hotels can have theft problems. A common scam is for a well dressed person to convince a maid that they locked themselves out and have the maid open the door – to your room.




— Try to keep as little in your purse as possible.  Do not keep your cash, ID or credit card in your purse. If your purse is stolen, you will not be able to access cash immediately.  If you don’t want to wear a money belt, here is a brilliant way to keep these items in your bra.  

—While you’re more familiar with ’911′, keep in mind that ’112′ is the European Union’s emergency number while other countries in Asia use ’999′ instead. Here’s a quick reference guide just in case.


EXCLUSIVE — Top 10 Things for Urban Survival:


Here are the Top 10 Things for Urban Survival you should have in your handbag/backpack that will help you deal with any emergency disaster situation. Remember to keep items small and portable and while you won’t be able to bring a small knife onboard a plane, you are still permitted to check it in with your luggage.

1. Small folding knife that can be carried concealed
2. Small, but intense flashlight (100+ lumens) with crenelated bezel
3. Para cord
4. $100 cash in twenty’s carried somewhere besides your wallet
5. Cell phone with small “jump start charger”
6. Lighter or other fire making device (e.g. firesteel)
7. Medication you require (3 days supply) plus benadryl, iodine tablets, and ibuprofen.
8. Space blanket
9. Credit card
10. Card with next of kin information/contact points.




These are just some of the tools and tips you can expect to learn on a mission with Stiletto Spy School. All of our expert instructors come from incredible backgrounds and are the top professionals in their fields such as Awareness Training, Breath Control, Hand to Hand Combat, Poker Skills, Precision Shooting, etc. Find out more at our website.

Oct 22, 2010

Dossier: Week of 9/27

Here’s a recap of all the interesting links and articles we’ve came across this week:

“Meaning is not what you start with but what you end up with.” -Peter Elbow

Ironically enough ‘being yourself’ can sometimes be easier said than done. Here’s how to stay true in a social setting

We asked, you answered— the top super spy skills you’ll love to pick up are the ability to pick locks”, being a master of disguise and a smooth operator at witty repartee. That sounds like the makings of a pretty badass agent to us!So for your viewing pleasure, A Beginner’s Guide to Lockpicking

I spy with my lil eye: the B.O.N.D bicycle with its own flame-thrower…

To prevent traffic from getting too close!

“Strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities.” -W. E. B. Du Bois

Are women really more risk averse? Interesting study on gender stereotypes and why you can’t afford to believe in them

Ladies, we’re sure you’ll appreciate this Macgyver-skills tip. How to stretch out those too-tight new shoes with ziplock bags, water and a freezer

The Emergency Bra — the bra that doubles up as a gas mask. Talk about multifunctional…

Meet Maya Gabeira, the Surfer Chick Who Rides 50-Foot-Tall Waves

When was the last time you got away from it all — but managed to find your real strength within?

The Science behind Charisma (and if you really wanna work on perfecting that skill, join us for Mission Natasha in Dec!)

U.S. Is Working to Ease Wiretaps on the Internet

How to leverage the dreaded ‘Fs— ‘Fear and Failure’

Wanna learn how to defend yourself in a knife fight? Or check out what Tyra Banks thinks of SSS? Head down to our Youtube channel to watch these videos and more…

Cocktail of the week(end): Always a classic, the smooth Dirty Martini….cheers!

“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.” -Lao Tzu

Oct 22, 2010

Dossier: Week of 9/20

Here’s a recap of all the interesting links and articles we’ve came across this week:

 ”Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.” – Ingrid Bergman

Food for thought: Top five regrets of the dying — so they won’t be one of yours…

How Not To Embarrass Yourself When Doing Your Elevator Pitch

“I’ll Take 2 MasterCards and a Visa, Please”— A look at stolen credit cards trade   

We always say “Never go against your gut”. Here’s how you can get through the toughest part — Trusting it enough to act   

Super Snipers, Mini-Bots & Secret Spy Tech in the Pentagon fight against makeshift bombs

A sneak peek of what training is like in a Stiletto Spy School/MI6 Academy mission

Find out the perils and pleasures of spying from The Secret History of MI6

Being ‘open-minded’ is a phrase we often throw around— but what are the benefits that we really get out of it?   

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” – Wayne Dyer   

For the unexpected high-speed villain chases that go from land-to-sea — The Strand Craft superyacht/car

Why Sisterhood Is Powerful (and why we love having spy sisters to watch our back)

The giant Swiss Knife — Might be the smartest thing for a hiking trip but not for going through airline security…   

Looking like it came straight out of Bond’s wardrobe, check out Dunhill’s carbon fiber Biometric Wallet

Useful for future missions? Head-mounted display projects directly onto the retina

Walking Meditation: The Perfect 10-Minute Willpower Boost — especially for a Friday…

Cocktail of the Week(end): the Tomato Martini – garnished with grape tomatoes, mozzarella balls and fresh basil 

“The secret of life…is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” – Paulo Coelho

Oct 22, 2010

Dossier: Week of 9/13

Here’s a recap of all the interesting links and articles we’ve came across this week:

Honor your calling. Everybody has one. Trust your heart and success will come to you— Oprah

Nice guys can finish first— according to Sir Richard Branson

What happens when a Lamborghini takes a design cue from an F22 jet? This beautiful concept — the Lamborghini Gallardo

Ultra-smartphones that react to moods and televisions that can tell it’s you who’s watching? Not so farfetched afterall

Can the courage needed to live a moral life be acquired in the boxing ring?

Meet the DTV Shredder: A Military All-Terrain Skateboard Like Transportation Vehicle

Without A Trace: Privacy consultant Frank M. Ahearn is the “Dear Abby” of disappearing

Recluse found to be UK war heroine after her death

“What makes some entrepreneurs successful is the same thing that makes others successful…”

“You can make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you blame others for those mistakes.” -John Wooden

Need an idea but feeling stuck? Here’s 20 suggestions to start generating ‘lightbulb’ moments

Civil Rights Photographer Unmasked as FBI Informer

If you’re a Western corp competing with firms from Russia or China, your rivals may be reading your e-mail…

Interesting piece on understanding the True Spirit of the Chinese Woman

Pentagon Attempting to Buy Entire Print Run of Spy Tell-All?

It may look like a can of crazy string but you can literally make clothes with this new invention — the Spray-On Fabric

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” -Proverb

You Are What You Eat— interesting article on what type of foods you eat and how it affects how you think and feel

Bad Economy Drives Down Weapons Sale

From Confusion to Clarity in 3 steps: how to access the inner wisdom within us

This is the last thing you would describe a Spy Sister to be but the Shrinking Violet champagne cocktail does look yummy!

End your week with a smile & 2000 high-fives:

“The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them.” -Unknown

Oct 22, 2010

Dossier: Week of 9/6

Here’s a recap of all the interesting links and articles we’ve came across this week:

“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” -Goethe

Being an entrepreneur is tough enough— here’s some tips on how to stay healthy and sane at a start-up

DHS Cybersecurity Watchdogs Miss Hundreds of Vulnerabilities on Their Own Network?

How to Film a 23-Mile free fall from the edge of space

They might be young but these college girls are already inspirational and breaking the mold! Meet Glamour’s Top 10.

“It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” – J. K. Rowling

Macguyver Hack: How to make a Snake Spy Cam for $20

“Hey, everyone else is jumping off the bridge. Why aren’t you?” A how-to on stepping back and making your own choices

“When Spy School meets Charm School”: We love this write up on SSS and all things sleuth and sexy!

Cool gadget for the day: Shoot the Starchase GPS transmitter at the moving car in front of yours and track it down

10 Ways to Be the Person You Wanted to Be as a Kid— no prizes for guessing who we wanted to be when we grew up!

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” -Maya Angelou

Never let the sun catch you sleeping: Why and How to be more productive by being an early riser

With hype building around the latest iteration with the cool Maggie Q, here’s a refresher course on La Femme Nikita

How to Catch a Terrorist: Read His Brainwaves — Really?

A beautiful video that explores the question “What is a moment?” to cap off the week

Oct 22, 2010

Dossier: Week of 8/30

Here’s a recap of all the interesting links and articles we’ve came across this week:

“Some people thrive on huge, dramatic change. Some people prefer the slow and steady route. Do what’s right for you.” -Julie Morgenstern

A thought-provoking TED talk— watch the animated and sharp Sheena Iyengar on the art of choosing

69-Year-Old Grandma Shoots Intruder With Her .38 Special

Hurt Couture: When high fashion meets Self-Defence, meet the belt buckle that doubles as a dagger

Is it a weapon? Is it a timer? No, it’s an innovative wine stopper called ‘a date with wine’

“Silence is a source of great strength.” — Lao Tzu

Duct Tape, Super Glue and Other Home Remedies: DIY fixes around the house

Designing Better Tools For Communication During Crisis

“F-22 Double Rainbow” picture that won second place in the Museum of Flight photo contest

‘Finding your passion’ doesn’t have to be intimidating as it sounds…The Minimalist’s Guide to Cultivating Passion

“Just get started, have a bias toward action, and don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis” — Ryan Allis, on important business lessons

How to Fire a Handgun (and for those interested in the real experience, join us for Precision Firearms on Oct 23rd!)

Survival Skills 101: How To Treat Someone For Shock

Pilates for soldiers? Army Revises Training to Deal With Unfit Recruits

SSS Takes on Tokyo? Any of our lovely Japanese-speaking fans would like to help us translate this please?

Know Common Secret Codes to Get a Head Start on Your Epic Escape

“To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have.” -Ken S. Keyes, Jr.

Ordering wine doesn’t have to be an intimidating affair. Check out Alan Richman’s tips on how to order in a restaurant

“Excuse me, my dress is ringing and I need to pick up this call…” The Little Black Dress that’s also Your Cell Phone

How to tell if your boss is lying? Check out this study from The Economist and sign up for our Deception Detection class

“Too Few Women In Tech? Stop Blaming The Men.” What are your thoughts?

“If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.” —Sun Tzu


Oct 22, 2010

Dossier: Week of 8/23

Here’s a recap of all the interesting links and articles we’ve came across this week:

“It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.” -Seneca

Virus-Built Wearable Batteries Could Power Military

Vegas, baby, Vegas! 2 more weeks to take advantage of our special savings offer

What is The Largest Cause of Your Insecurity? Here’s a hint— it often gets mixed up with one’s “destination”…

How Power has Transformed Women’s Tennis: And a beautiful and inspiring video gallery of these power players in action to accompany it!

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission”.— Gandhi

More women turning to firearms

Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything

Nifty gadget of the day: Switch Modular Pocket Knife (it even comes with a 1G USB drive!)

The new fingerprints? Wright State researchers developing skeletal scans to recognize terrorists

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” -Unknown

How to Summit Life’s Everyday Mountains

On motorcycles, more women taking the front seat

Military Computer Attack Confirmed — How the most significant breach of U.S. military computers took place 2 years ago

New iPhone Security Patent App: User Protection or 1984 iSpy?

A Surprise in the Ring— The story of amateur boxing champ Seniesa Estrada and her relationship with dad/coach Joe

Survivor Skills 101: Predicting the weather by looking at clouds

“Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others”— Taking care of you first

Opps! Accidentally hit ‘send’ on an email to the wrong person? Quick tip— GMail allows you to Un-”Send’

Unplugged in Utopia: An entrepreneur learns to let go of stress and regain control of her life

Speaking of unplugging, consider getting away from your gadgets this weekend as NYTimes explore how they deprive your brain of needed downtime

Drink for the week(end): The Scotland Yard

“The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” -W.M. Lewis

Oct 22, 2010

Dossier: Week of 8/16

Here’s a recap of all the interesting links and articles we’ve came across this week:

“Many failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up”— Thomas Edison

— As we go into the weekend, here’s some food for thought— are you measuring your worth in life by being “busy”?

— The CIA is opening a center to “confront the threat of weapons of mass destruction”.

Standing still while your hair’s on fire — SWAT Team Called Over Umbrella With Samurai Sword Handle :)

— Inspirational women through the ages: Women Airforce Service Pilots in WWII

— From The Art of Manliness, a survival guide on How to Escape a Riptide

—Why It’s So Important To Balance Urgency With Thoughtfulness

“Think like a man of action; act like a man of thought.” -Henri L. Bergson

Can Venting your Frustration Only Make Your Anger Worse?

— “No, Mr. Bond. I Expect You to Die!”— Villains who try to thwart 007

— I spy with my lil eye…. something that starts with A, and ends with “Wow!”

— Who knew maths can help you impress your friends with a cool card trick? (And no card counting shennigans either!)

— Are You Army Ranger Fit? 3 basic fitness tests to see if you can make the cut like our SSS instructors. 

 “I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.” -Virginia Woolf

— The forgotten art of How to be Alone

— Taiwan’s forgotten amateur spies

—Are you avoiding momentum in your life?

“Two Seals, Two Concepts of Intelligence”. The International Spy Museum’s Mark Stout discuss the designs behind CIA and KGB seals

— “Hope is not a strategy” and other 4 Characteristics Of A Rockstar Startup CEO

— “We can spend our whole lives escaping from the monsters of our minds.”— Pema Chödrön. What monsters are you running from?

— Why a Staycation might be what the doctor ordered

— Want something fun to enjoy the last few days of summer? How about your very own SSS custom mission with your friends!

—Want to share those summer snapshots online? Be aware—  Web Photos That Reveal Secrets (Like Where You Live)

— “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”— P.Chödrön. 7 Ways to Deal with Uncertainty

—A toothpaste-like gel that can heal wounds six times faster than normal

— Here’s an interesting way to spice up that cocktail: yummy Chai-infused Vermouth anyone?

“The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: ‘could have’, ‘might have’, and ‘should have’.” -Unknown

Oct 22, 2010

Dossier: Week of 8/8

Here’s a recap of all the interesting links and articles we’ve came across this week

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life & find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” –D.Ackerman

— This week just flew by! Here’s How to Find Enough Time to Do Everything You Want for days when there’s never enough!

— Boys, you might want to watch out when it comes to our ever-seductive Agent Gel and her secret ability.Just sayin…  

— From dodging bullets in Iraq to strolling through Wal-Mart, how Warrior Mind Training is helping the American soldier

— “They are taken aback when I introduce myself. They’re looking for the real president, and well, that’s me.” We think that will def change for Letitia Long— the new NGA Chief & First Woman To Lead a Major U.S. Intelligence Agency

— How can thinking like a designer help you in business? Harvard Biz Review examines the 4 phases to solve and innovate

— 10 ‘Liespotting’ Tips For Taking Back The Truth  

— Fear of failure? It’s a myth and doesn’t really exist

— I spy with my lil eye…Something fast, powerful, sleek and destined to raise a few eyebrows!

— A Laser Tripwire Security System that will tweet a pic of the intruder? The best part— you can build it yourself!

— Top 10 Tricks MacGyver Would Be Proud Of 

— You had a sneak peek with the pics, now watch Stiletto Spy School’s feature on the Tyra Banks show!

“Adversity is just change that we haven’t adapted ourselves to yet.” -Aimee Mullins

— The secret to success? Danielle Laporte sums it up perfectly

— Check out our newsletter for our thoughts on the NY Times piece But Will It Make You Happy?” on finding happiness   

—  Why aren’t more women represented at a C-Suite level? Great article that investigates the strengths of The Female Vision

— If you need some inspiration to why you should be at our Sept 25th NY mission & 7-10 Oct Vegas mission, voila!   

— Glasses Double Up As GPS Navigation System (…and all we need now is for someone to attach an X-Ray functionality!)

— Here’s an insightful piece for our Mi6 male agents— The Masks Men Wear: Dissecting the male psyche and their social masks

— Thinking of a makeover for your home? Let the styling of the Hitchcock espionage classic North By Northwest inspire you

— Not a morning person? We like Tinybuddha’s guide to How to Wake up Every Morning on Top of The World

— At SSS, we emphasize the need to observe and analyze before taking action. Have you ever regretted a moment

100-year-old whisky pulled from frozen crate gives new meaning to Scotch on the Rocks :)

“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

Oct 22, 2010

Dossier: Week of 8/2

Here’s a recap of all the interesting links and articles we’ve came across this week:

— Agents, join the SSS Alumni Group on Linkedin to catch up with your fellow grads & meet other amazing like-minded women!

— If Looks could Kill— Jewelry inspired by designer Jessica Meyer’s grandfather’s ammunition factory and a beautiful necklace that secretly houses a deadly weapon.

— “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth” — Pema Chödrön. 5 ways to Slay your Fear.

Meditation as Exercise: Trains your brain to focus better and absorb more

— “Sorry Blame it on Me” is Self-Sabotage

— Steal our girl crush Angelina Jolie’s look from Salt with this makeup tutorial

— So you want my job? An interview with Greg Tracy— stuntman extraordinaire who’s worked on hits like Bourne Ultimatum:

No Excuses Allowed: Tackling The #1 Reason Women Don’t Run For Office — The art of forgiveness

—Complicated Jenga puzzle? Nope, it’s a single-shot 45-caliber muzzle-loading pistol called the Intimidator

— Even to the most confident of us, criticism can get you down. Here’s a helpful look at how to handle criticism

“How Will You Measure Your Life?” Harvard Business School’s Clay Christensen addresses his graduating class

— Interesting fashion musings on Jane Seymour’s costumes in 007′s Live and Let Die. We’ll wear that blue kaftan any summer!

$200,000 for a bespoke rifle? Welcome to gunmaker Peter Hofer’s world

— Google and CIA join funds on predictive analysis project Recorded Future

— “If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it…” 7 valuable lessons for success from Dale Carnegie

— Why should you attend our next NY mission on Sept 25th? We’ll let Psychology Today and fashion blog Voulue answer that!

— 20 Strategies to Defeat the Urge to Do Useless Tasks

— With Alana’s trip to the Far East, we thought the recipe for Siam Sapphire — an exotic Lemongrass Martini was very apt ;)

“Decide you want it more than you are afraid of it”~Bill Cosby


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