3 Healthy Celebrity Gossip Alternatives

“Gossip is what no one claims to like, but everybody enjoys.”-Joseph Conrad

This has been quite the week on celebrity gossip: Kim and Kanye had a baby (as of yet unnamed), Amanda Bynes…probably did something outrageous, Will.i.am shockingly did not get accused of stealing any more songs, and Demi Lovato made some sort of ‘therapeutic’ new album.

While you were probably following along ravenously as Amanda Bynes continued to tweet utter nonsense and critics tried to speculate on baby names of the newest Kardashian-West…weren’t there more important things going on? Here are 3 things you should be paying attention to instead of the latest celebrity gossip machine:

  1. Hassan Rouhani won the Iran election, becoming a controversial new leader in the shadow of former leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who seeks to patch Iran’s relations with the global community.  Though some of dubious of whether this will bring peace to the region, for the moment it seems that there will be major positive changes in store (The Guardian).
  2. Brazilians are now protesting the FIFA World Cup, as they believe this high-cost event will suck money out of the country and locals will be barred from watching the events due to high ticket costs. Despite violent protests in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, local authorities report that they are confident they can maintain order in the streets (ABC News).
  3. A man from Oregon recently received letters written by his father during World War II. Initially won in an auction and gifted to Ms. Shawn Story as a birthday present, Story didn’t feel right keeping the letters and did research to find Army veteran Dilbert Steele’s (the author) family. She was able to track down his son, Gary Steele, 55, to Portland and gave the letters to him. Containing incredibly personal information, these letters brought closure to Gary Steele, and piece of mind to Story.

So the next time you feel tempted to dive into a fresh new post of PerezHilton.com or People Magazine, take a moment to type ‘world news’ into Google or Bing and read a few news articles that actually matter.

Happy Father’s Day

Also, don’t forget to check out my recent blog article for Likeable Local 🙂

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3 Reasons You Need To Stop Making Fun Of People’s Majors

With the Class of 2013 accepting their degrees and striding into today’s job-market, I’ve noticed a trend that is not only rude, but probably a waste of time: This trend is belittling what our peers chose to study in college. It’s important to remember that what you chose to study was a personal decision, and it should be respected as such, and just because one person may not end up with a job in the field of study they choose to pursue is no reason to mock them for it.

In a recent article by Buzzfeed, the validity of the private school education was openly mocked, displaying ‘uses’ for degrees that were not only degrading, but not in any way funny (My degree has not been used as a doorstop, window prop, or laptop coaster, I can assure you). What we need is to inspire students to pursue their dreams, most specifically the ones that inspired them to go to college in the first place. So without further ado, here are 3 compelling reasons you need to stop making fun of people’s majors:

  1. They might get hired before you do. In a 2009-2010 publication by Anthony P. Carnevale, Ban Cheah, and Jeff Strohl, it was estimated that recent graduates faced a 8.9% unemployment rate (mind you this was 2009-2010). However of these, the recent graduates of the Arts, Architecture, and Humanities faced the most difficult unemployment rates among their peers (9.4-13.9% unemployment rate). Similarly Yahoo took a closer look at the census materials used in the aforementioned article, and found that some of our favorite major fields of study to mock had the lowest unemployment rates: Agricultural Science ranked 3rd and Communications ranked 4th (surprise to no one, Health ranked 1st). Statistics aside, if someone you mocked gets hired and later you have to use them as a connection for a job, that could be rather awkward.
  2. There are more constructive things you could be doing. In the time it took you to look up an article mocking someone’s major study, you could have perused a Mashable job board, applied to a position on LinkedIn, searched for alumni/alumnae from your college to connect with, or even given your resume spa treatment. There are a plethora of places you can send off your resume (like a message in a bottle) but sometimes it can be tricky to get started. Before you send your friend pictures of your resume being used as…anything other than wall decoration…take a look into some great places to start, like this handy writeup from CareerBuilder.
  3. Your might not work a job in your major field either. When you begin your precarious job search (I say precarious because it can be scary), identifying your true passion and where you aspire to work can be just as difficult as when you were deciding on a major field of study (if not more so). While you may have had an undying love of architecture, or a passionate love of fine art…you may find yourself making a 180 degree departure from what you studying to pursue something similar or bearing no relation to what your read about in textbooks. You may find that your studio arts passion is enlivened by graphic design…or you may find yourself in love with the competitive nature of sales. You may even find that you want to go back and reinvent yourself and go headfirst into philanthropy or non-profit work. Whatever the case, spend your energy focusing on your career path, not nitpicking the lives of others.

Hope this helps, and good luck class of 2013!

Dear Class of 2013

By now you have probably received your fill of guidance from major influencers such as Richard Branson, Tom Keene, and Gary Shapiro (and so many countless others); told you must follow your dreams, forget your dreams, be very afraid, be confident, be passionate…be a lot of things to succeed in the environment in which you are about to embark.

It’s going to be a bumpy road.

I’m not Richard Branson, but I’ve seen a plethora of mixed messages being hurtled at the upcoming class of graduates: everything “You’re going to be great! Take risks” to “You’re totally screwed, be very very afraid” and I thought that perhaps it was the right time to throw in my two cents.

So here’s my loose change.

So class of 2013 (most notedly from Goucher College, my alma mater) what advice I have to give to you is cut through the clutter of mixed messages and focus on what you want to do and who you want to be. The best advice ever given me, was to seek a culture I wanted to be apart of above a listed job position; rather than scan through massive lists of uninspiring job listings, look for that one special listing that speaks to you from that one company you would kill to be a part of. You might not get it off the bat, but keep it in mind when applying to you second choice (kind of like you did in college). Similarly, when looking for advice and scanning other articles titled “Class of 2013” only read the articles from the influencers whose accomplishments speak to you most.

The only thing they don’t teach you in college.

College is great for a whole lot of things; you learn a plethora of information, introduce you to new life experiences, and for the most part college is what you make of it. But there is one essential element in life that college will not teach you, and neither your parents nor your friends can instill in you. Passion has to be a part of yourself you develop throughout your college experience and you must demonstrate to those around you. It doesn’t matter how perfectly white and well-laid out your resume is, or how perfectly put together you look in your interview; your passion for what you do needs to outshine your patent loafers.

To summarize:

  • Focus your search
  • Find your niche
  • Wear your passion on your sleeve
….And breathe!
Hope this helps!

Work / Life Balance and Music

Nicky Romero and Avicii recently (well a little less recently now) released their music video for ‘I Could Be The One’. If you haven’t seen it yet, see below:

In the video a woman who has become fed up with her job is at a critical ‘come to jesus’ moment and feels trapped by the judgements of the society around her. After dreaming of a life free of the stigma, redundancy, and dullness of her current life, she sets out to live the life she has always wanted.

I love this woman’s fierce attitude, but I will agree that kicking sand castles and giving people the bird isn’t really what we should all be aiming for!

Now I won’t try to say this paints a fully accurate portrayal of how to solve work/life balance issues, but it does give a very compelling argument why that balance should be struck. I’m not saying we should all quit our jobs and move to Barbados…but here are a few less caustic things this video may suggest we do:

  • Take some “me time”. It’s important to set aside time to think, to meditate, and to refresh. Just because you can throw yourself headfirst into your job with no breaks doesn’t mean you should. Some simple ways to do this? Go for a walk during your lunch break, plan out a fun date for yourself on the weekend, or maybe treat yourself to something special after a hard assignment!
  • Try new things. Maybe riding a horse down the beach isn’t your thing, but try something new! Take up a new sport, find a new hobby, or maybe even just do something that scares you. No matter what you do, challenge yourself to have a little more fun!
  • Just be ourselves. Part of what makes this video so compelling (besides the fact it is fun to watch) is how the woman is able to finally feel free by expressing her individuality and personality. Always express who you are, and remain genuine! If you are into beaches and horses and dancing the night away, embrace it and make time for yourself to enjoy those things.

The New NRA Ad: Your Thoughts?

Recently, the NRA aired a new TV spot, which was meant to promote arming teachers and remove gun-free zones from schools. Admittedly, I first read about this in Upworthy, and was a bit dumb-struck by what I saw. Here’s what I mean:

This controversial piece has caught heat from The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Chris Christie, and nearly other news source around the country. The ad, which tells the nation to ‘stand up and fight’ not only brings the Obama children into the gun debate, but also brings more children into the spotlight again by expressing a clear dissatisfaction with gun-free zones.

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Your Social Media New Year’s Resolutions

So I’ve heard a lot of interesting feedback from people about articles I’ve written concerning Twitter and Facebook, and people I’ve spoken to about social media. Before I get started, its important to note that I have been working with social media since college and that I view it as an essential tool for small businesses. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I know just enough to have formed a strong opinion about it. If you think social media is a waste of your time, you can stop reading and go listen to your Walkman.

Here is my list of social media resolutions you should aim to master in the new year:

  • Stop deleting emails from multiple vendors, and start unsubscribing. If you are getting assaulted by as many as 300 emails a day from ecommerce sites and causes you can’t recall caring about, DONT DELETE. Deleting doesn’t actually make the problematic emails go away, it only spurs a resend prompt to spam you with even MORE emails. 
  • Stop saying you’re too old for Twitter / It’s too hard. It isn’t too hard, and you are not too old. If you view tweeting as a part of your daily schedule like brushing your teeth and washing your face you can effectively manage your channel. Once you get the hang of it, start interacting with trending hashtags and start get access to information much faster than just flipping through a magazine.
  • Stop avoiding Facebook. One huge problem I’m seeing is people somehow thinking that ‘unplugging’ from Facebook will solve all of their problems, than getting upset when they miss special offers, forget birthdays, or ever miss out on great conversations or internet phenomenons. Stop tuning out! If you can’t stand getting updates from XYZ person or company, ‘unlike’ or ‘unfriend’ them! You can customize your experience to be fulfilling and satisfying to you if you want. Sick of seeing people’s political opinions? Install unpolitic.me and have all political banter replaced with pictures of babies, food, or whatever you like looking at.
  • Learn about trends. Seriously, if you are working at a company trying to seem ‘cool’ to us young folk, stop ignoring memes and viral content: we LOVE that stuff. By all means, have your employers do a funny ‘Gangnam Style’ or let your creative team think up a funny but engaging way to catch our attention. Just look at Old Spice: they went from total bore to total badass with just a few ‘Man your man could smell like’ ads.
  • Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. If you feel that a company goofed up, don’t reach for the phone first, try hitting them up on Facebook or Twitter. Companies can handle multiple disgruntled clients on social media than on the phone (a rep can only handle one of you at once). If a company isn’t savvy enough to follow best practice on social media, then try calling them.

Hope these help you in the new year! 

Sandy Hook Elementary: An Op-Ed

 

I should preface everything I am about to say, by stating that nothing that I am about to list below made me more upset than the shooting itself.  The fact that young children lost their lives in an act of such senseless violence, and in a state of terror upsets me to no end. The fact that their peers had to witness, overhear, and experience that same fear, and may be forever scarred and affected as a result upsets me as well. However, there were 4 things that truly struck me about the aftermath of this shooting that made me upset as well.

 

I apologize in advance. This will be long, bear with me.

 

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Women and Sharks

I’ve wanted to address this issue for a long, long time. No doubt anyone who watches the ABC show ‘Shark Tank‘ has become familiar with the usual suspects: Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John of FUBU, ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, and Lori Greinier of QVC. However, having gone through that listing, something seems a bit off…doesn’t the ‘tank’ only house 5 chairs?

Let’s count ’em…Mark, Daymond, Kevin, Barbara, Robert…where’s Lori? Image courtesy of The New York Times

For some reason, there have always been the same four men sitting in each of the chairs season after season (with the exception of Kevin Harrington in season 1, and Jeff Foxworthy in season 2). Despite the fact that both women are featured as part of the current season’s cast, the two women are never seen together on a single episode. Is this perhaps meant to be a reflection of the disparity of women on corporate boards? Though I have been all-to-ready to hop onto the couch and tune in to watch hopeful Americans see their dreams fulfilled or squashed, the gender inequality represented by the ‘lone woman shark’ had never struck me so much as it has in the current season. In this season of Shark Tank, Lori and Barbara are swapped in and out like accessory handbags while the panel of men is left unaltered: Mark is always beside Daymond, who is always beside Mr. Wonderful, who is beside Barbara/Lori, leaving Robert off in the far corner. This lineup indicates that the only apparent spot for women on Shark Tank is between Robert and Mr. Wonderful, or nowhere at all.

Panel-of-shark-tank

Image courtesy of TVEquals

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Sexy Little…Whoops, We Went There

So some of you may have noticed a certain controversy cropping up surrounding Victoria’s Secret. If you haven’t let me fill you in:

Oh my how…mildy/very racist….image courtesy of AMOG

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The Ladybits Threatdown

So recently women’s health have been the subject of a number of different news stories. Between Rep. Todd Akin’s bold ‘legitimate rape’ statements, the recent findings indicating that older women are not solely to blame for children born with autism, and a much talked-about ‘war on women’ in politics, I felt it only topical and appropriate for a topical ‘threatdown‘ a la Colbert Report.

Courtesy of The Colbert Report and the great people over at Wikiality.

‘Legitimate Rape’

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