Hot topics of 2011

So as 2011 comes to a close, I got to thinking about all the major events that happened this year.  With smart phones, social networking sites and the internet, it has become easier than ever to get news from point A to point B.  I’d say that I find out more big news thru Twitter or Facebook, than I do from television or (ancient) radio.  Bar arguments can be settled within seconds with smart phones and Wikipedia to prove everyone wrong (or right in my case…always).  Our generation has grown up with technology at its peak.  In 5th grade, we were playing the Oregon Trail video game in the computer lab.  In 8th grade, we were told that our book report could only have one “online” source in the bibliography (tragic).  Spelling errors in Word documents are a thing of the past.  In college, Facebook took over the world and has remained a huge part in the social networking movement.  Advertisers have coveted this new outlet to personalize their ads, reach their effective target market, and seek out niche groups.  Twitter has narrowed the gap between public figures and celebrities to the everyday social networker.  Stars are able to break news, respond to fans, and market themselves in a whole new way.  Just when you think they have thought of everything, they think of something else, and I LOVE IT.

I did a little time line here of what I would consider major events of 2011.  I put some pop culture stuff in here, and some historical events.  Fun for everyone!

Feb. 10 — Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” is uploaded to YouTube and now has over 15 million views to date.  There are several parodies circulating YouTube as well.

March 7 — After a public spat with creator of Two and a Half Men, lead actor Charlie Sheen got fired from the show.  Then went absolutely insane and everyone, myself included, loved it.

March 11 — A massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake strikes northern Japan, triggering an even more devastating tsunami. More than 10,000 people are killed or missing and the Fukushima nuclear reactors are damaged causing radiation leaks and long-term evacuations.  This picture is courtesy of National Geographic.

April 29 — An estimated 2 billion people watch the wedding of Price William and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London.  Also, Pippa’s caboose was revealed to the world in a hip hugging white dress.

May 1 — After a nine-and-a-half year manhunt, American commandos find and kill Osama Bin Laden in a compound north of Islamabad, Pakistan.

July 5 — Casey Anthony’s verdict comes back NOT guilty causing mutiny amongst case followers.

July 13 — Harry Potter releases it FINAL movie from the 8 part series, ending over a decade of hype.  The films generated $7,706,147,978 in box offices worldwide.  I went, and then felt empty inside when it was all over.

July 23 — Amy Winehouse is found dead in her apartment due to a drug overdose at age 27.

Aug. 5th — One of my best friends Christy gets married!

Aug. 20 — Kim Kardashian gets married and chronicles the entire experience on her reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians….then gets divorced 72 days later.  I hadn’t even had a chance to watch the wedding on my TiVo before it was announced that they were splitting.

Sept. 11 — Family members of 9/11’s approximately 3,000 victims finally see the official memorial — two reflecting pools set in the footprints of the original Twin Towers — in New York City on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Oct. 3 — American student Amanda Knox is released from an Italian prison after being acquitted of the murder and sexual assault of British student Meredith Kercher, ending her four-year legal battle to prove her innocence.

Oct. 5 — Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc., and its long-time CEO, dies at age 56 from pancreatic cancer.

Oct. 21 — President Barack Obama announces all remaining U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of 2011, ending a war that deeply divided the nation, left almost 4,500 American soldiers dead and cost more than 800 billion dollars.

Nov. 18 — Demi and Ashton split

Now I’m sure some will be disappointed with this list.  I know I missed a few events, but I have a job.  I can’t just be making a timeline of every event of this year.  That is what WIKI is for — go look it up, you bum.

I leave you pondering this; when the world ends next December, will there still be internet?  I hope so, otherwise things could get weird.

Today’s music comes from R.E.M.

Seems appropriate:

listening to It’s The End Of The World As We Know It … by R.E.M. #nowplaying http://tinysong.com/AtA5

Enjoy,

xoxo

shu

Flex Watches and Talented Friends

So I was thinking about all of my talented friends.  I think I have a friend who is really good at just about everything.  Some are photographers, some videographers, some craft geniuses, some great shoppers, a few rocket scientists, a fitness guru here or there.  Leaves me thinking, what is my true talent?  I’ve dabbled with crochet, pottery, and cake baking classes, but nothing really sticks as my ONE thing.  After little thought, I realized, that’s kind of what I like about myself.  Being able to be half decent at several things, instead of being an absolute pro at just one. 

Just a few quick shameless plugs to showcase my amazeballs friends:

Read is a Rhode Island born and bred photographer with an amazing eye for rural beauty.  Check out his blog and website below:

http://readmckendree.blogspot.com/

http://www.readmckendree.com/

Courtney is pretty great at pretty much anything she tries.  Her latest project has been sewing.  She is currently taking a much needed breather, but check back in case she posts some other glorious DIY projects:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LennyOnRhode

And, naturally, I’m obsessed with her blog:

http://mystrawisglass.wordpress.com/

And if you need fitness tips, one of my dearest friends Shannon has a FB site set up for her amazing fitness regime.  She also offers classes in CT:

http://www.facebook.com/Fitnesse

And for special occasions, cakes, cookies or cupcakes, My friend Amy does amazing work – here is her website for all things baked:

http://www.thepetitecupcake.webs.com/

Phew, the talent.  MAROON.

SOOOO Charities.  I’ve been meaning to blog about them, and just got inspired yesterday when I discovered a new organization that targets younger folks. I feel like everyone sort of has a tie to some charity based on their life experiences.  My dad, for instance, dedicates a vast majority of his time to the National Arthritis Foundation because his mom had the disease and he watched it debilitate the later portion of her adulthood.  Some people show loyalties to breast cancer, ALS, clean water projects, etc etc.   I do consider myself a charitable person, but haven’t been able to find just one charity that warrants my devotion.  There are SO many amazing organizations out there spreading relief both locally and internationally.

My feature charity today is FLEX!  http://flexwatches.com/

I’m sure you’ve seen some of the ads on MTV, but the organization is targeting the 18-24 year old range by selling these colorful watches.  Their gig is 10/10/10.  10 colors, 10 charities, 10 percent.

Each color watch represents a certain charity.  Below is a brief explanation of each color:

 

(Orange)

The mission of the St. Bernard Project is to create housing opportunities so that Hurricane Katrina survivors can return to their homes and communities.

(Yellow)

The country’s largest grass roots organization serving the Parkinson’s community. It is a 501 © (3) not-for-profit organization and receives no governmental or public funding. Each year APDA contributes more than $2.5 million for research and another $2 million for direct patient and caregiver support through the generous support of individual and corporate donations. 

Flexwatches | Be Perfect

(Green)

The Be Perfect Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by the Hargrave family to assist Spinal Cord Injury victims that do not have the financial means to cover the cost of recovery. Within its first 20 months the foundation has been able to keep SCI friends in recovery, purchase wheel chairs. 

(Blue)

Nika water brings a voice to the worlds poor who suffer without clean water and simple sanitation. 100% of all profits are donated to support clean water projects in impoverished countries. Nika Water strives to end the cycle of poverty and create awareness and knowledge to get people involved in bringing clean water to poverty-stricken countries. http://www.nikawater.org/

 

(Pink)

Worldwide, breast cancer comprises 22.9% of all cancers in women. In 2008, breast cancer caused 458,503 deaths worldwide (13.7% of cancer deaths in women). Breast cancer is more than 100 times more common in women than breast cancer in men although males tend to have poorer outcomes due to delays in diagnosis.

 

(Purple)

It is our hope that we can improve the lives of young adults with cancer by offering whitewater kayaking and other outdoor adventure sports. These experiences significantly increase self confidence. Self-confidence empowers people affected by cancer to regain control of their lives. First Descents is not just giving young adults with cancer their self confidence back, we’re also connecting a largely disconnected population.

 

(Grey)

Imerman Angels carefully matches and individually pairs a person touched by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel). Cancer caregivers (spouses, parents, children and other family and friends of fighters) also receive 1-on-1 connections with other caregivers and survivors. 

(White)

Life Rolls On Foundation is dedicated to assisting and inspiring young people affected by spinal cord injury and uses action sports as a platform to demonstrate infinite possibilities despite paralysis. Its signature program, They Will Surf Again, empowers paraplegics and quadriplegics to surf with the assistance of adaptive equipment and dedicated volunteers. In addition to providing unique quality of life programs. 

(Black)

Imagine being around 20 years old and suddenly waking up one morning and realizing you’ve lost your central vision in one eye. Then in a month or two losing central vision in the other eye. You’re now legally blind, and you’re told there’s no treatment and no cure for the rare genetic disorder that has taken your sight.

(Red)

Rojo Gomez is a small community in Mexico where Mariners Church as partnered with Lo Mejor Del Trigo church to help serve the physical and spiritual needs of the poor in Mexico. The statistics prove the need: 40% of the population in Mexico lives below the poverty line. The average income per family is $80 a week.

 

I think it’s very cool that MTV has teamed up with this company to try to get young people to get involved and start to find their cause early on.

I just ordered the white watch.  It was tough to pick a color because all the charities are so great, so I just went based off of color, and color alone!

My 10% will be going towards:

 

Life Rolls On

866-We Will Walk | 400 Corporate Pointe Suite 525, Culver City, CA 90230

www.liferollson.org

Life Rolls On Foundation is dedicated to assisting and inspiring young people affected by spinal cord injury and uses action sports as a platform to demonstrate infinite possibilities despite paralysis. Its signature program, They Will Surf Again, empowers paraplegics and quadriplegics to surf with the assistance of adaptive equipment and dedicated volunteers. In addition to providing unique quality of life programs, Life Rolls On fosters spinal cord injury awareness and offers outreach to individuals and their families at the onset of injury.

What have you done today to help someone else?  Boom, that’s deep.

Today’s music comes from my girl Dia Frampton.  She will be at The Note in WC on Feb 8th — tickets are $15 on ticketfly — get there!

#NowPlaying Dia Frampton – Don’t Kick The Chair on @Spotify Feat Kid Kudi
http://open.spotify.com/track/6YCAhzuOqzDk9fBHE06AyB

Enjoy,

xoxo

shu

Life on Other Planets

A co-worker passed along this article the other day, and it really got me thinking.
 
 
 The possibility of moving to another planet, once we’ve utilized all the resources on Earth, is BLOWING MY MIND.  Imagine if Kepler 22-B wasn’t 600 light years away.  Imagine they do a lottery and choose a million people to go populate another planet.  What would you be able to bring?  Would it be like Lost with “others” already living on the planet?  What if we get sucked into a black hole on the way there? Would Bentley be able to come?  To start fresh in a place with no electricity, no animals, no cars, no roads, no maps, no fruit snacks, no homes, no trees, and no stores.  As exciting as this all seems, it would take decades to get the planet up to speed with what we’re working with here on Earth.  I’ve seen the construction workers on 202.  There are ten of them that have been watching ONE guy do work for the past year and a half. 
 
Ever since we learned about the solar system in 5th grade, it really makes your world so small….and confusing.  To think that each little thing about the way the Earth functions is dependent on everything else functioning the way it should.  Did I just become an astronaut?  But in all seriousness, I think I’ll just ride it out here on Earth.  Kepler 22-b sounds great and all, but this isnt 1492, and I’m not Christopher Columbus.
 
With the holiday’s approaching, I did a little reading in my FAVE magazine — FOOD.
The Christmas issue is my absolute favorite, so I wanted to share some great websites that have cute, unique and fun gifts!  Get serious — you only have 12 days left, so you better finish up!
 
WestElm.com
Ikea.com
ModCloth.com
Vat19.com
ModernTribe.com
OliveandCocoa.com
RedEnvelope.com
FredFlare.com
 
Happy Shopping Everyone!
 
Today’s music comes from Bon Iver — because you peeps need to relax while you’re reading.  Sometimes it’s nice not to know the words to the music so you don’t get distracted singing and dancing at your desk (guilty).
 
#NowPlaying Bon Iver – Skinny Love on @Spotify
http://open.spotify.com/track/0zP8BJOamm7Q9aNMwCby55
 
#NowPlaying Bon Iver – Holocene on @Spotify
http://open.spotify.com/track/5bGd0OxvxZSATIf2eEkmTD
 
Enjoy!
 
xoxo
 
shu

Bentley Blog

So I realize I’ve taken a two month hiatus from blogging, and I blame it all on Bentley.  He is my 5 month old mutt.  He was rescued from the All 4 Paws Rescue in Chester Springs.  We don’t know much about his mix or where he came from, but I do know he is a handful.  In reality, how can you be mad at this face:

I’ve read every blog post, every training website, a few magazines, talked to trainers, and this dog defies all general rules of thumb.  I know he isn’t stupid because within a week, we had him sitting, staying, laying down and giving high fives.  But getting him to stop biting, chewing lamp cords, unplugging computers, stepping on our faces, keeping him off the coffee table, stopping him from attacking our feet as we walk, and getting him to heel have been a never-ending nightmare.

One thing I have noticed about owning a dog is that EVERYONE has an opinion.  The vets, the dog trainers, random strangers in the neighborhood.  Everyone thinks they know the right food to feed the dog, the right way to train them, the right leash to have.  And they all think it’d be best to express their opinion.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve reached out to several friends, neighbors and trainers to gather info and make decisions for my puppy.  But people seem to be very persistent with their choices and push it in your face as the “only option.” 

I started to think how weird it would be if this was common practice for children.  You go out to the grocery store and random strangers are putting Gerber baby food in your cart and nodding their head.  Or people give you the third degree when you pick out a push latch for your leash.

People also say “having a dog is like having a kid.” But, um, the last time there was a child in my house, they didn’t bite me.  And I didn’t lock it in a crate while I went to the grocery store.  So no, it’s really not like having a child.

But let’s get serious — I just did this blog so I could show a bunch of cute pictures of my dog — so here they are. BOOM.

That’s all!

Today’s music comes from the late and great Amy Winehouse.  Her CD Lioness: Hidden Treasures was released today with all her unreleased recordings.  Gotta love her.

For Spotify users:

#NowPlaying Amy Winehouse – Like Smoke on @Spotify
http://open.spotify.com/track/2r45rookK2awLkiOHOef1o

For Grooveshark users:

listening to Like Smoke by Amy winehouse/Nas #nowplaying http://tinysong.com/LEoi

xoxo shu