Monthly Archives: December 2014

Are you Getting Ready for next year?

Just one more day before the New Year starts so before you start putting away all the holiday fixtures around your house and putting up the New Year’s Banners and wearing the party hats, have you started to figure out some of the things you want to change and start doing more or less of next year?

Starting a new year is a very personal subjective feeling that is grounded first in emotion and then built up with reason. You first have to be aware of something before you can start doing something about it. Once you know what that something is you can then start doing something to “fix” it.

I will be writing more in the coming days about what all you need to know if you want the start of the new year to be great. But first I want to say that failure LOVES company, if it were a person, he’d be that neighbor from the movie Extract that you just can’t quite shake, even if you tell them how much you hate them, he still won’t understand what you mean and will think the best solution would be to get together and talk about it.

You need to know that half the things you will want to change and do have a high risk of failure so once you are ready for that you can slowly work on making sure that doesn’t happen, so starting small is a good way to begin the new year. For example, instead of saying, “I plan on climbing Mount Everest,” having never climbed a mountain before, is probably a bad goal to set, so start with, “I’m going to climb Mt. Bonnell,” and then see if you can accomplish that.

In the coming year you will need something to get your name out there more. People ask for them all the time and they are nice to have, if people, ever used them right, so if you enjoy carrying them around then make sure you have a stack of them, in a nice case, ready to hand out.

Right now Vistaprint has a deal where if you buy 500 cards, you pay ten dollars. There is also another deal for economy cards where if you buy 100 cards you pay 5 dollars. The nice thing about this site is that they provide all kinds of cards for you to select from. You can even upload your own logo (highly recommended) and put it on an existing template that they offer. In order to take advantage of the 500 cards you just have to enter promo code TV500. If you plan on getting that many cards just make sure that the design you pick up is good for all occasions.

Vista print also has cards for specific purposes as well, including, Networking Cards (starting at $16), Personal Business cards (starting at $8), and Parent Cards (starting at $8). Make sure to look around before you decide on what card you want printed. Vista Print provides a service on their website where you can browse the many templates they offer and then customize it with any design and information you want on the card. Just be sure to apply the promo code at the end or before.

Your card says a lot about you so make sure you design one that stands out. If you are having trouble coming up with business card ideas then click on this link for some ideas or this link for more cool ideas that other people have done.

The new year comes with all kinds of inspiration and there is plenty to be found in this amazing world so the next time you feel like your life is not going anywhere or you think that you have nothing to offer people, watch this video below to learn how a cat who is blind helps other cats and people learn to appreciate this wonderful world.

People need help in all kinds of ways and you never know where you will be inspired next. That inspiration might come in the form of a nature hike, but what about a hike with someone who can not see everything but can only experience it through smells, sensations, and touch. You begin to appreciate the gifts you do have and work to help one another. When one person is blind and the other is deaf then that pair can have a tremendous beneficial effect on each other, or as this movie showed us, a hilarious outcome.

I hope Honey Bee has inspired you a little to appreciate the gifts you have to share with those around you and that, no matter what handicap we have, or give ourselves, we still can help others. I will leave you with a quote from a famous person who was not only blind but handicapped in many ways but went on to achieve many things.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” Helen Keller

Merry Christmas! Enjoy The Goodies

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all those enjoying this wonderful day. Remember to share your joy with others and take in all that is around you. I found a couple of things to watch and read up on. Maybe your family finally got you what you’ve been needing this whole year or maybe you are making a change in your life that is needing more effort than usual, either way some of what I provide down below will help you in some way, I hope.

Many people love putting up Christmas Lights on their tree but not many go this far as Jon Wawra did when he set up his lights to dance to music. Every year he outdoes himself.

Maybe you missed the viral video of the Holderness family sitting about their PJs last year in their viral hit.

What Gifts are People Searching for
Google knows all the answers to what people are searching for during the holidays, a simple peek at google trends will tell you all about that but if you want to dive into different parts of the states then it might get a little harder to break it all down. Here is a chart that show you what all people have been looking for online in their areas.

Google Searches for the holidaysYou can click on the image to take you to the article to learn more about these results. This is a game a lot of people having been searching for as a gift.

Board Games for Business People
The holidays are a great time to celebrate time with friends, family, close loved ones, and others. The time is also great for playing board games. For anyone interested in getting into business, learning the skills necessary for running a business can be hard to pick up on if running a real one sounds too scary to try. These board games will help teach you how to negotiate, barter, make trades, grow a thick skin, and more. There is another board game that I have played that is great for learning as well, called Acquire which requires a number of skills in order to play. Here is a list of board games recommended by HBR in their article.

1. Morphology – A board game that requires large amounts of creativity in order to win by using objects to get your teammate to guess what it is you are trying to say.

2. Forbidden Island – This is a game that requires all players to work together to play against the board game and win. This was 2010 favorite game for Mensa players. The sister game is Forbidden Desert.

3. Extraodinaries – A game that requires you to come up with some unique ideas and designs within the confines of a studio for special circumstances. If creativity is something you struggle with then a game like this will help you over your problem.

4. Power Grid – This board games pits you against other players who are trying to create the best energy source for their customers. You have to decide if you want to invest in new energy sources or keeping building up the one you have. A great strategy game overall. There are many expansion packs for this game but if you want more of a challenge then Power Grid Deluxe is available.

Out of all these games I still prefer Axis and Allies: 1942 2nd Ed. because this game is all about pure strategy at a time in history when every move mattered. Thanks to Alan Turing and cracking the enigma code, with the help of women, during the war the war ended sooner than later. If you haven’t seen the movie The Imitation Game please make it a point to go watch it this holiday season, it comes out Christmas Day in theaters and it is an amazing movie to watch.

This board game will teach you geography, (war game) strategy, negotiating skills, and lots more. This game is probably a better teacher of WWII than most high school history classes. If board games are something you don’t have time for but you know you need to learn these skills than joining an improv class this coming year is a good way to start. It will teach you how to think on your feet, how to come up with situations and act according to the rules, and to always be prepared. I will be providing some information on this in class in Jan but also in the coming articles.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and all that I have provided for the year. If you are looking forward to more content then these are some of what I will be covering in the next year. As you know OPEC has flooded the market with oil causing prices, and many markets around the world, to crash. Prices for gas are expected to drop further in the coming year. The employment job market improved for some states and not so great for others, here you can visually see the difference measured by the size of the state relative to its employed labor force.

Merry Christmas to all and be safe and if you can offer a helping hand to someone in need, please do.

I thought I would end it by showing some Dogs opening presents presented by AFV and Christmas with Cats. Enjoy!

Do Your Part on Christmas Day, Go See The Interview!

Sony has reversed it’s decision to release the famous movie about the assassination attempt on North Korea dictator. Sony and many movie theaters have realized they gave in for the wrong reason. Many Americans are mad that they are being told what they can and cannot watch so Indie theater chains are getting the approval from Sony that they can show the movie in their theaters and guess what? They are selling out like hotcakes, which also sounds good right about now.

This is a great move in supporting our country’s freedom of speech with Seth Rogen proudly supporting the decision and James Franco sounding off on the move by Sony. The news has taken off now that North Korea is showing problems of its own when the country’s internet went out for 10 hours the other day, so it is hard to believe that they were behind the Sony hack, when their only connection to the internet is through China. But they are said to create some of the world’s best hackers, which again is hard to swallow, according to this story about how North Korea trains its hackers.

If you want to support Freedom of Speech, go see The Interview and make the hackers aware that our country’s foundational beliefs will not be challenged by outsiders who disagree. Sony’s move is a great one and should be applauded. Sony will also release the film through it’s own website (, Google Play, YouTube, and Netflix all before New Years Day. To learn more about this great move and where you can buy tickets, Check out the links below.

News Articles

Sony will allow theaters to show The Interview

Indie theaters to show The Interview Christmas Day

Obama hails move to screen North Korea Film

Every Movie Theater Showing The Interview on Christmas Day and After

Indie theaters to go forward with showing The Interview

Sony to Set to announce The Interview

Sony Plans Limited Release of The Interview

Seth Rogen and James Franco Break their Silence

Seth and James Rejoice after Sony Announces Release

The Interview get Video on Demand Release for Google Play and YouTube

Alamo Drafthouse Offering Screenings on Christmas Day

Netflix in Talks with Sony to Screen The Interview

Where to See The Interview

Watch the movie online at

Give Back During the Holiday Season

Holiday’s are great for many who have money, a secure job, and good health. But for the majority of the world it means a completely different season. This is a time when depression is at an all time high, when many people are working jobs that they know will end after the Christmas shopping is over, and for others, the debt waiting for them to hit when they open their credit card bills in January, a time when the credit card companies are very happy.

We know there are lots in need during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season and we know how to get involved but many times we overlook the ones who will never make it onto our radar because their stories are so obscure. Right now there are thousands of people begging on street corners hoping someone will give them some change so they can get something to eat, that is what most people are hoping they will do with the money. The stigma behind beggars is that they just want the money to spend on alcohol and cigarettes. The beggars who are in need of real help get overlooked because of the ones just needing a fix mess it up for everyone else.

In this one video below there was an experiment done to find out what a homeless guy would do if he was given a hundred dollars. You can see that it has over a million hits and many people have voiced their opinion about the matter; those on the side that it is right to give back and those on the other side that people, where they live, just use the money for bad things and then there are those who complain that filming the homeless guy was wrong. I will show you that even homeless people, later on, have something to offer and what you can do to help if you are unsure about giving money out on the corners. Watch the video before continuing.

The Time for Giving
I wrote recently about how layaway angels are going into stores and paying off people’s bills so that people have more money for the holidays’. Many families live paycheck to paycheck and that can be very hard in the long run so when someone comes along and pays off your bills it can often feel like your wishes were heard.

Giving does not have to always mean giving away money, it can come in the form of helping someone who needs it. The man with the golden voice was once a homeless man begging on the streets. He had a drug and drinking problem but someone saw the gift he had and posted it online and now he lives well-off having gone through rehab, landing many jobs, and now lives in a nice house working as a voice-over actor. This season he helped to raise awareness for homeless people by getting people to donate socks, something homeless people need, including gloves, or the popular hand warmers.

In the video that made him famous you can see how people would be surprised to find a man like him begging for money.

When you watch videos like that it makes you wonder just how many talented people there really are that the world ignores. Luckily for Ted Williams, who got discovered, then fell into addiction again, then went to rehab and finally came around realized that his addiction will always be there he just has to be careful about it. So when you watch a video of a man who is so educated that he can’t find a job and is homeless you begin to wonder why he didn’t get the same success as Ted Williams if he is so smart.

Again the comments in the video show many different view points about what is wrong with this situation. Success is not based off of education as the books “Don’t Go Back to School,” “Hacking Your Education,” and “The Education of Millionaires.” have proven. Success in this world is about how driven and determined you are to get what you want.

There is a great YouTube channel called, “GiveBackFilms,” you see film makers giving away all kinds of stuff to people to see what kind reaction they will have but also to learn what somebody would do if they were given something. These are social experiments in altruism. In the video below you see how homeless people reaction if they were given a hundred dollars.

These are the kinds of YouTube channels that are making a difference. They aim to show people how a little helping hand and generosity can go a long way and with the amount of followers they have you can see they are probably using the money they earn from their channel to create the content we see. I applaud their efforts in showing people what kindness looks like and how a little help can go a long way for some people.

There is another video that has circulated because their YouTube channel, SoFloPranks, is all about pranks as social experiments. In one video they offer a hundred dollars to the winner of an arm wrestling competition between two homeless people. The reaction in the end of the video was something the filmmakers were not expecting. Check it out.

So if you are concerned about giving money to people on the streets this season then you can do something to make sure that your donation is for a worthy cause by going to GoFundme, Trevolta, Kiva, FundAnything, GiveForward, PayawaythelayawayYouCaring, Rockethub, CrowdriseIndiegogoRally, Fundly, DonorChoose, AdoptaClassroom, Gradible. The last few are to help teachers raise money for classroom supplies and students to go to school. To learn more about this crowdfunding movement for education read this article.

Successful Homeless People
There are many stories of people who were once homeless ending up in places like Harvard. The Liz Murray story is probably the most popular one. If you have never seen the movie or read her book, it is an amazing story of what perseverance looks like in the face of adversity. In the video below Liz talks about what it was like to go from being in a bad place to ending up at a place like Harvard.

You can also watch Liz talk about the love of possibility in her TED talk on her YouTube channel.

If you would like to watch her famous movie you can view it below thanks to it being on youtube.

Liz Murrary is not the only person to come out of being homeless and into Harvard, a girl by the name of Dawn Loggins worked hard to get to where she is at. Infact she even took a job at her high school as a janitor to help support herself, while also a student there.

When you want something bad enough and have to work for it, you begin to appreciate things more.

There are many ways to help others right now during this time of year. A simple act of holding the door open, saying Merry Christmas, or showing a smile to another person can do wonders for others. A popular action is dropping off a gift basket at a children’s hospital, orphanage, or homeless shelter.

Other than that a little giving is good for the heart in many ways. Merry Christmas!

Kids that are Exceptional

It seems we only hear about kids doing amazing things in the news, and often times we wonder why the kids we do know are not as motivated as the kids doing amazing things. We wonder, why don’t those kids want to go out and go something great for their community? A lot of times the kid is not allowed the opportunity to explore what all is out there. A child always has to wait for the parent to say when they can go somewhere, when they can do something, and so the child becomes conditioned to always wait on the parent for things. It is not until the child starts to learn about events taking place around them that they start to beg their parents to take them places. This usually comes in the form of a school announcement about a festival or a commercial they saw.

In the following stories about these exceptional kids I will break down just how these kids came to be exceptional and why your parenting style has a huge impact on your child’s future. The research in the four major parenting styles has been around for a very long time with proven end results for each style. A parent who listens to their child and understands what they are trying to say will raise a child who understands that what they say is important versus a parent who always expects their child to do as their told and not talk back, regardless if they have something to say or not. These kinds of children grow up believing that what they have to say does not matter because they were always told to be quiet and do as their told. Which child to you think will grow up to be successful in life?

Your Parenting Style Determines Your Child’s Future*
This concept has been around as long as the research on behaviorism and conditioning have been around. (Side note: Please do not think that I am working off of only those two areas of development, I am using those two as a starting point since they were the first major areas of research in human behavior, which would later go on to be applied to child rearing practices) A parent who is active and very social will be a good role model for their child to learn that if you want to make more friends you need to go out and join programs. You can not make excuses, so by getting up early every saturday morning and attending events your child begins to pick up clues from how you start a conversation with a stranger.

If you want your child to wash their hands every time they get home they need to see you do the same. If you want your child to learn proper manners they need to see you do it all the time. Getting mad at them for not doing it doesn’t fix anything, it just creates tension. Children monitor everything a parent does so if you see habits your child has picked up and not sure where they got it from then you need to self-monitor to find out if you were teaching it to them without even knowing it.

The story of one of the kids below, Jacob, started when his mom was looking for an opportunity to show their kids how to help others. This meant that his parents made the valid effort of going out and finding a program that will show their kids how others are helping people in need. Your child first needs to see that there is a problem from how other people respond. Watching people working together to prepare meals for hungry and sick people is a great motivator for the child to see that there is a major problem and that it is real. Children are told all the time that there are starving kids in Africa and that they should always eat everything on their plate but they don’t understand or care because it doesn’t affect them personally. They don’t physically see the relationship.

Jacob, because of social cues in his environment, felt the need to help others so started his own program that would help raise money to feed people. He knew he was a great athlete and he knew how other people raised money by joining marathons and sport competitions, so he became a triathlete and raised money that way. Would any of that have happened, if his parent’s didn’t show him food banks? The answer is no. He would have stayed a regular kid and just gone about his business like so many other kids who always complain about being bored.

Want to get your kids involved in other people’s lives? Here are a few starting places
– Teach your kids basic sign language and have them join programs for deaf kids, this will not only encourage them to get better with their sign language but also improve their social skills in a different way.
– Help your child improve their reading by having them read to the blind, either at homeless shelters or hospitals. (Hospitals are always looking for volunteers for all kinds of programs.) Another way is to have your child read to a younger kid who is just learning as well, if you can not find anyone, many libraries have reading dogs that are trained to listen to someone read.
– As a family go and work at a soup kitchen for the homeless
– Teach your child to build (vegetable) gardens and compost piles for other people in need
– Teach your child about other kids who are in jail and have them write letters to them during the holidays and year round.
– Teach your child about how food works in the world and ask them to save a portion of their allowance to help pay for past due lunch accounts at school so other kids can eat, like Cayden did.

How active you are as a parent in the community will translate to how active your child becomes in the community.

Be the Person You Want Your Child to Be
This may sound like common sense but you will be surprised how many times I have seen horrible situations get worse. I have seen parents complain to their child about not getting good grades in school but the parent is never there to help, or can’t help because they don’t understand the homework. If you want to show how important school is then make them understand how important it is to study by setting time aside every time they get home from school and on the weekends.

Want your child to read more?
Then make sure to set aside quiet time in the house just for that at the same time every night

Want your child to make more friends?
Join organizations where other children will be there (remember they need to see you do it first before they do). Make sure your child has X number of sleep overs a month and in the summer. Many parent’s don’t realize how important sleepovers really are to developing proper social skills. Boys will bond over movies and video games, especially movies that are action packed and video games like Halo.

Want to teach your child about responsibility?
Get them to start babysitting at an early age for other kids after school or weekends (let the other parent know you, as the parent, will be there in the beginning so your child can understand what to do, plus making money is a great motivator for the child to learn)

Want your child to be active in sports?
Join a gym or sport events as a family and then slowly transition them to team sports in their age group. Go on hiking or camping trips as a family on the weekends.

When Your Dad is a Surfing Pro
Most people think that any child under 5 years old is too young to be doing anything big or dangerous in their life probably doesn’t know what it means to experience life to its fullest. “Baby Steve” Roberson has been surfing since he was 2 years old and now he can surf on waves five times his size with no fear at all. His older twin brothers, Justin and Eric, who are both 8, also enjoy surfing and can hang-ten with the best of them. So does it really matter that their dad is surfing champion Kaleo Roberson? It has everything to do with it infact.

They say that if you want to be the best at something you have to work on it every day until people start giving you awards or paying you for it. That is when you know you have made it. Kaleo, in an interview said, that he got his boys in the water as soon as he could and got them on a board right after that. He would hold the boys on his surf board while he surfed to show them what it felt like. You have to have amazing balance to do that. But then again there are dogs who love surfing too and make a difference in people’s lives so it shouldn’t be that hard to learn, right?

Surfing is hard in the beginning just like everything else when you first start out but when you have the right support, and this goes for anything, anyone can become great at something. Steve’s dad taught him what he knew so his son had all the support he needed, if he fell right off, his dad picked him up and put him right back on the board. He made sure that fear never got the best of his sons, plus it also helps to have a home near a beach that is known for having great surfing conditions. All these factors matter when it comes to success, but is not a requirement as history has shown over and over again individuals overcoming adversity to rise to the top. The other contributing factor is to not fault your child for when they get tired or don’t pick up on something right away. I have seen this plenty of times when a parent gets mad at a child for not listening the first time and they just give up. The important thing is to not let anger, in any form, interfere with learning.

Want your kid to become a surfing pro? Then make sure you take them everyday to the beach to practice. Want your kid to be the best at math but you suck at it? Get them a tutor who has the patience to show them how easy it can be? Want to teach your kids to learn how to appreciate film and TV shows? Take them to film festivals and talk with others about what they just watched with similar minded individuals. Want your kid to learn to appreciate the fine art of recycling? Show them how their actions help the planet.

In the video of the dog who loves to surf, it is important to understand how she was trained so you have an idea of how she became a superstar fundraiser for people with disabilities. Her trainer was there everyday all the time making sure that she learned what she needed to because the intention was to turn her into a service dog for someone with a disability. They worked all the time but when her trainer saw that she had an interest in birds it jeopardized her training and had to be stopped.

How many times have parents given up on their child because things got difficult? No one said parenting was easy and those that say that probably don’t spend the “quality” time they should be, and no this does not mean taking them to the movies and eating out, it means, making sure they sit down and study and do their homework on a regular basis, making sure that they understand what is expected of them without getting mad or frustrated. The movies and eating out is the easy part, the homework and chores is where the parenting style is put to the test.

Ricochet, the SURFive dog, found an interest in something else and her trainer encouraged that new found interest, when most other trainers would have given up on her, meaning the world would have lost a special service dog. Ricochet is now a service dog for crippled surfers and other handicapped individuals that want to surf. Her training taught her how to surf with people to protect them while surfing. How many countless hours did that take? The same countless hours it takes to make sure your son or daughter does well in school or on personal projects. Exceptional means hard work with encouragement right behind it.

Where Exception Meets Everyday Life
There is no secret formula to success, so i will give it to you right now, just don’t be disappointed by what I have to say. Success comes with hard work and countless hours, months or even years. If you want to write a book then you have to sit down and write, no one else is going to do it for you. Need to lose weight? Then get your butt up and moving and out that door. Want to raise an exceptional kid, then you have to start making changes in your own life first. Your child needs to see you make the first move before you start asking them to make big changes in their life.

Cayden saw this first hand about what it means to not be able to eat a school lunch when he witnessed a child’s school lunch being taken away from him because he didn’t have any money in his account. This happens everyday to kids in school and it is not the kid’s fault either because school’s base that whole system off of how much their parents’ make, so it falls on the parent to make sure there is enough money in the kid’s account but that is beside the point. Schools’ should not take away a child’s lunch, instead they should just apply it to the account and let the child eat. Study after study (again with more studies being done and ignored) show that a balanced meal helps a child do better in school, so if the school itself is a direct factor in a child’s performance and they take away a child’s lunch then they are contributing to the very thing they want to prevent?

In order to prevent this from happening Cayden created a program that raised money to help pay past due accounts so kids could eat lunch. Cayden has seen first hand how important it is to help others because of the social stigma of not being able to afford lunch at school which can have a serious impact on a child’s psyche. It also encourages kids to label that kid as poor or a social outcast. By getting more people involved Cayden is learning what it takes to make change happen and that it all starts with one person each and every time.

So…you want your child to do something great in life? Here are my suggestions, if I haven’t provided enough already.

– Don’t restrict them in what they are interested in doing. Do they like action movies? Sit down and watch them together and talk (afterwards, NOT during the movie) about what they liked, didn’t like, even if they are 8 years or 11 years old or 4 years old. Star Wars is a movie for little boys and that is who the audience is geared towards, just look at this little boy’s reaction when he found out at the end who Luke’s father was.
– Attend more events in your city. It’s important to get your kids out of the house as much as possible to show them all the things happening. When they see others doing stuff it encourages them to open up more. Is your kid shy? Joining a circus arts institute program can help them with that or even an improv class for kids, while at the same time learning a new skill and getting exercise.
– Want your child to play more? Make it a point to visit different playgrounds. There are places now where there are playgrounds for adults too, because hey, everyone is young at heart. If your child is handicapped many cities now have playgrounds for handicapped kids, be sure to look one up since it is now part of the American’s with Disabilities Act as a right to access for play areas. If I had money I would build lots of these all over.
– If your child is struggling in their level of math pair them up with a student in a grade below them to teach younger kids, who are also struggling, how to do math. The mentor relationship will teach the older child how to improve their teaching style but will also refresh them on math tips they might have forgotten. They will begin to improve in their own math level after teaching it to younger students.

The kids I profiled here are just a few out of the many amazing kids out there doing amazing things. There are lots of other kids who are teens that I have talked about before in my previous post that you can learn about. There was a 14 year who created his own nuclear reactor, so when given the right support kids will surprise you.

If you want to get your child something great this year here are a few gift ideas

– Coupon Book made up of special moments for your child to use (i.e. a night together with mom, a night together with dad, special day with mom or day, a don’t get angry at me coupon, my favorite breakfast, trip to the ice cream store) which they can use anytime they want.

– A Season pass (or gift card, membership card) to the Zoo, city museum, Hackerspace, work out gym, gymnasium, etc. (In light of the night at the museum movies, the museum of natural history in New York City offer sleepovers with scavenger hunts and flash light adventures.)

– Flying Lessons which might get them interested in getting their pilot’s license

– $100 dollars with the intention that they find a cause worth donating to

If you need more ideas about how to get your child active and helping others read the book “How to be an Everyday Philanthropist” it will give you lots of great ideas.

So remember, if you want your child involved in something great you need to make the first move. Making them join a worthy cause when they know you are at home just sitting there watching TV won’t encourage them to get involved with the program it will just encourage them to watch the clock so they can get back home.

Kids in Profile

6 Year Old Surfing Prodigy

Jacob, the Triathlete

Jacob appears on GMA

Cayden, a Philanthropist

Cayden helps pay for school lunches

To Learn about more exceptional Kids check out Citizen Kid

* – I do need to point out that there are certain kids who are born just naturally gifted and end up in families where the parent’s could care less how well their child did in school. These kids have the resilience, talent, and natural gifts to understand everything they are taught, not to mention, the natural discipline to manage their life on their own. Many times these children are prodigies in their own right. I knew many kids growing up who came from bad homes but were straight A students, this shows they had the ability to push through all the negative but it also goes to show that behaviorism is not a solid base since children in these types of homes learn not to follow what their parents teach them. A trait that has saved a lot of these kids’. If you want to learn about kids overcoming adversity then you can learn how these kids work in the fields all day but also make sure they attend school as well and how this one school in New Jersey is helping them.

This Company ensures your packages don’t get stolen

The holidays are a time when packages are being delivered all over the US right now and that means thieves are looking for better ways of stealing your packages that are left on the front door. It is no longer the case that you can expect people to respect your private property as this video below shows someone driving up and walking onto their front porch and taking their packages, even thought there is a cameras recording the whole thing.

It should be noted that in the about section of the video the person calling out that most of the thieves you see stealing packages from people’s front doors are black. The author of the video is calling out that black people should stop committing so many crimes all the time if they don’t want to be wrongfully accused all the time of committing crimes. This is the reason there are more black people in prison than all other races. She made sure to include the protest’s hashtag so people can see why more and more people who get charged for crimes are black people.

In majority of the videos I went through it was hard to find videos that did not include black people stealing, but I did. There was a lady who was caught stealing packages and because of social media, and her conscious, she decided to bring back the packages she stole, including the wreath on the door.

Woman Caught after posting Security Video on Social Media

The sad thing about this is that many of the delivery companies, themselves, do not care for the packages they deliver. How many times have you seen in the news a mailman or FEDEx employee tossing a very expensive package over a fence or just throwing it on the doorstep because they didn’t want to get out of the vehicle.

A Startup with a Solution to All This
The whole idea of any kind of company is to find a solution to a problem and that is exactly what this company is hoping to market itself as, a safe alternative to delivering packages. Remember, UPS and FedEx, and especially the US Postal Service do not ensure the safety of your package once it has been delivered. That is where San Francisco startup company Doorman comes in.

Here is how the service works – When you order from any online retailer, instead of using your home address for package drop off you use Doorman’s drop off address then Doorman contacts you through their app asking when you will be home to have it delivered. Just like Uber, the company uses contractors to drop off the packages 7 days a week until midnight. Right now the company only operates in San Francisco but it is showing promise at a time when people are worried their packages might get stolen. The service costs $4 dollars a package or $20 a month.

Other companies already offer a similar service, like Amazon with the local lockers. Instead of having your packages delivered at home you can have Amazon put it in a locker near you and you can just pick it up, sometimes within the same day or ordering, depending on how hard it is to get the item. Many other companies have attempted to do the same thing as Doorman but the challenge is finding enough people to deliver packages.

Now that Uber has set the standard on how to hire contractors it is getting easier for people to find a quick way to make money. To learn more about Doorman, check out the links below.

News Articles

Doorman App Eliminates Holiday Package Thefts

SF Startup Could Reduce the Risk of Package Theft this holiday season

Tired of missing delivers? This startup is a dream come true

Doorman Startup Allows You to Arrange for On-Demand Deivery

This app is similar in name but operates the same for Apt Dwellers

App Links



Social Media



Never Underestimate How Smart Animals Are

Half of the animal population has vanished since the 1970’s in part to people thinking that they have the right to hunt defenseless animals and also in part because of the war torn areas many of these animals live in, not to mention the illegal animal smuggling that exotic animals suffer from and poaching for ivory (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4). The biggest decline is from fish populations, and this is evident given the huge rise in sushi eating. Every animal on this planet is meant to be here and when humans’ come in and pass ridiculous laws, like the “Right to Hunt and Fish,” you begin to see how we are not taking our responsibility seriously in looking after these animals (More support Right to Hunt, than supporting equal rights it seems). If you want to read the full report on the decline of the animal population you can click here and download the report.

These stats very much treat animals as a sport and  game to play, with lawmakers’ response to this activity as, “the right way to control animal populations.” That argument is flawed in many ways since many hunting areas are turned into a business of making sure that there are enough animals to shoot to ensure they make a profit, because when it all comes down to it, that too is based on a business model. They make sure that animals are breeding large numbers, so this become forced captive breeding, so the idea that hunters are controlling the population is incorrect and wrong in every way if the breeders are responsible for the number of animals in the hunting areas. Hunting only becomes a necessary action with invasive foreign species, but also requiring stricter laws on bringing outside species into new areas.

Lawmakers in these states also feel that they need to pass these laws to keep anti-hunting and animal rights activists’ from passing laws that would keep them from killing animals. The challenge that many lawmakers have is that the tradition for some states dates back as far as the 1777 for Vermont, the reality though is that we don’t live in those times anymore and our way of life is very different now. It’s funny that people prefer organic stress-free environments when selecting certain animal products in the store but hunting is still ok.

Fact: A Northern white Rhino named, Angalifu, died recently at the San Diego Zoo leaving only 5 LEFT ON THE PLANET! 5! (source 1, source 2, source 3, source 4, source 5, source 6). [Update 11/23/2015: There are now only 3 left in the world after another one died, Nola, in a San Diego Zoo. The rest are in Kenya under 24 hour watch.] This is absolutely absurd and shameful. Just as I posted about how humans are guilty of putting more than 5 trillion tons of trash in the world’s ocean, animal’s are caught up in a shameful pride game of human’s hunting animals just for the sport and fun of it. Scientists’ and animal rights activists’ are trying to clone the White Rhino so they can bring them back. The Rhino’s that are left are mostly old so they do not have the youthful strength to keep procreating. We have the know-how and technology to increase their numbers, it is just a matter of how they plan to do it since no animal of this size has ever been tried before. Maybe they should use the scientists who are trying to build a real Jurassic park on helping the white rhino’s instead of a wishful dream. They hope to use stem cells to make the break through.

Animals have to look out for each other
It always amazes people when they see animals doing things that you would only expect from a human but the reality is that animals are very intelligent. Animals rely on clues from their environment to tell them things like, sources of food, direction, where they are at, and where to hide for protection. Elephants have always been known for being emotional animals with some wailing after a loved one has died. Elephants will gather together, just like humans do, to mourn the death of a friend or family member. They enjoy moving in large groups, playing together, and touching one another. Don’t all those require a sense of understanding about one’s sense in relation to others?

The same is said for all kinds of animals, so when you study animal behavior you begin to see how each animal plays its part here on earth. They, in some way, contribute to the way this planet lives and breaths. Many people are blind to see how important ants are to our world when all they see them as are little annoying creatures that bite you if you mess with them, you mean just the same as people do if a stranger came into their house? But without ants trees could not grow and gardens would not flourish because ants help prevent soil erosion and bring oxygen into the ground when they create tunnels which provides nutrients to the soil so it can breath.

When people witness an animal helping another animal it makes them all stop and appreciate the wonder that nature has provided on this planet. But it should also make us wake up and see that we need to respect and appreciate animals and not just kill them because they are just trying to defend themselves. So when I hear stories about how police had to kill lots of exotic animals just because they couldn’t put them anywhere it shows that even the police don’t respect the right’s of animals to live on this planet and when it all comes down to it, each time it happens, they will usually site money as a main reason why the animals couldn’t be moved to a safer location. Trust me you just call up any animal rights group and they will be happy to pay the bill to have those animals placed back into their natural habitat instead of killing them and putting their whole species at risk.

Just recently a couple of monkeys were playing above these train tracks in India when one of them got electrocuted on a wire. The monkey that was hurt fell to the ground. The monkey was not moving and you could see that his hair was standing on ends and was black from the smoke and shock. What made the news about this event was how one of his buddies ran down and started helping him. He picked him up and tried to breath into his mouth, bit him, put him in water to wake him up and kept moving him around to help him come back to life and guess what? After 20 minutes of his friend doing this, the monkey woke back up with a dazed look and behavior in him. So what does this tell you about animals? A lot and that nature has taught them a whole lot that we are still learning from.

Never underestimate how smart animals are because they will surprise you. When you see a cat, who is normally lazy around the house, chase off dogs that are bothering a child playing in front of the house, the cat knows to look out and protect. When a dog barks each time a bad babysitter comes over to warn the parents about what is happening, the animal knows to look out for the baby.

So if animals’ have emotional ties to one another and can understand how to save a friend’s life, then doesn’t that mean they are smarter than we take them for? Temple Grandin showed us that in her movie, and in her many years of research, so change is needed if we want to continue living among them. At this rate, animals will be a very small controlled population in the next 50 years hoping that, we, humans come to our senses, not pass laws that endanger their numbers, and that somehow we learn to respect their environments and not cut them down to build more apartments. Down below you can watch the whole thing happen as the monkey works to save his friend. In the mean time it looks like they have to look out for each if they want to survive. You will notice that majority of the people were just recording the whole thing happen with their phones.

Monkey Saves Best Friend

If you want to learn more about the impact humans’ are having on animals you can watch the movie, Earthlings below. FAIR WARNING: This movie is not for the light hearted and I only provide a link because I want to make sure you are aware of what it is you are about to see. You will need to sign in to verify your age. This movie shows just how mean humans can be towards animals and why kids need to be taught to respect and look after animals in all forms, not kill them. A bear that continues to rampage a neighborhood doesn’t need to be killed he just needs to be placed in an area that is fit for him and his social needs. Please take the time to watch this important documentary and spread the word that animals need our help to protect them. Documentaries like Blackfish also show that many animals are a business controlled by profits and bad management when instead they should be free to go where ever they want with their family.

Earthlings: A Documentary by Shaun Monson Narrated by: Joaquin Phoenix

To Learn more about this Heroic Monkey and the viral story it created online since yesterday please check out the links below and make sure to do your part in protecting animals here on this planet. It is very important to remember that animals look out for one another. In this one new story a monkey was caught playing too rough with a puppy and was put in a time out. This made the monkey very depressed and sad. Her friend helped console her by petting her on the head and sitting close to her while she got better. Animals are people and have feelings too.

Link to Article

Know that you can help animals in all kinds of way. Know that if you ever hear an animal suffering you can get involved or call 311 or 911. Some cities have their own Animal Police department so you can contact them directly when you witness a crime of animal cruelty or endangerment.

News Articles

Monkey Saves another electrocuted by power line

Monkey saves dying friend at train station in india

Monkey rescues electrocuted monkey

Side Note: To appease the readers who still view the importance of hunting as a way to control populations well that is what nature already had in plan. For animal groups that are over populated, like monkeys in many cities in India, Africa, and South America, it is very easy to see that something be done to stop or slow down their numbers. Obviously a natural predator would be the answer but how can you do that in an area largely populated with humans as well? Animals look for places with lots of food and cities tend to have lots of food so it is natural to see why overpopulation for certain groups happens when they are around people who tend to feed them all the time. As you can see from this bird stealing food, it is a problem that won’t go away until something is done to keep it from happening.

The simple solution would be to just hunt and eat the animals as many locals have started doing for pigeons, as shown on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern when he went to Boston. As a reader you probably caught me and said, but wait didn’t you just say not to hunt? Yes I did because hunting turns that animal into a sport and business which messes up its numbers, but an invasive species that is not supposed to be there that encroaches on a native species is different. In the solution found in Boston, people throw rocks at the birds and then cook the meat.

I point this out to the reader to show that I am aware of all sides on this issue. Bears that are under populated in certain regions should not be killed, regardless for obvious reasons but bears that are overpopulated in others tend to be a different issue and that issue lies with how much land are we going to allow animals if developers just keep building where ever they throw money around. This takes land away from animals that need their homes in order to survive. Just look at the Amazon rainforest, 3/4 of its trees are gone, a place where 70% of the world’s oxygen comes from so when all of it is gone, how do we plan to get fresh oxygen again? Don’t ask the lumberjacks they don’t get that what they’re doing is very harmful to the environment. A very sticky issue that needs a solution soon if we plan to live with animals in the future.

A Holiday Feast, Falling Oil Prices, Why Beauty is Subjective, and Farewell Colbert

In case you missed it last night Colbert had his last episode, many star-studded guests came on to bid him a farewell goodbye. It was very touching, for nine solid years he had one of the most influential shows on cable. He got (young) people to see the importance of voting, getting involved in your government at all levels, and being an active concerned citizen.

A Holiday Feast

Hopefully this does not remind you of what your family holiday feast looks like, a condescending figure sitting at the head of the table. All the animals you see in the video were rescue animals.

Are you having trouble understanding why Gas Prices are falling? Many people view the falling gas prices as a great opportuntity to save money while at the same time giving them more money to spend on the holiday season. The Colbert Report did a great piece explaining why oil prices are falling and what that means for other countries and industries around the world.

Learn what is happening to Oil Prices around the world
Why Saudis Decided Not to Prop up Oil Prices

U.S. Oil Producers Cut Rigs as Prices Drop

Thanks for the Laughs and Making Me Smarter Colbert, You will be Missed

The Last Episode of the Colbert Report

Learn how this woman got the media’s attention by sending in her photo to beauty editors all around the world asking them to make her look beautiful

Esther Honig
Esther is photoshopped in 25 different countries

Marie Ospina did the same thing recently and got the media’s attention as well. The idea was to find out how different countries view beauty and if they would do anything different with a photo she sent in. You will notice that some countries have a specific style of look they like and you will also see that some countries didn’t do anything to her pic except a few touches here and there.

What causes women to think like this? That answer is very easy to see when you watch the Dove Evolution video, which became a huge marketing success to show how the industry deals with beauty.

Two Boys, under Ten, raised a million dollars with self-published book

People write books for all kinds of reasons, from personal stories that the world needs to know to stories that came from a dream that tell of a distant world. Inspiration is want compels people to sit down and put into words something they experienced. Many people write their own books today in hopes that it might land them a steady income after awhile and many write books having never made a decent living off of it. In almost everything one puts their energy into there is a opportunity cost involved, sometimes that cost is high and sometimes it’s so low that it doesn’t matter.

In this situation though something special happened between two little boys that inspired one to do something great for his best friend.

A Special Connection
Dylan Siegel is a boy that most would love to have as a friend. At 8 years old he has accomplished what most mature authors can only dream of achieving, writing a book that earns them a million dollars. This is no easy feat by any means but his motivation is what helped him achieve this special attention because you see, his friend, Jonah Pournazarian, who is only a year older than Dylan has a rare liver condition that makes it impossible for his body to digest sugars, a condition known as Glycogen Storage Disease 1B.

This condition is very difficult to manage because it requires him to be on a very strict eating diet, which mainly consists of cornstarch, and schedule that includes 7 meals a day. If he misses just one meal it could mean he falls into a seizure and dies. Of the 7 meals he eats 2 different meals that provide him with the nutrition his body needs. Everything he eats has to be monitored and his blood levels have to be checked all the time. With the latest technology today monitoring blood levels is not hard, the hard part is making sure he has what he needs at the right time.

In an interview Dylan was asked about his friend and he said that his friendship gives him a special feeling inside that makes him happy to be his friend. It is his friendship with Jonah that has inspired him to sit down and write a book to help raise money to find a cure for his friend’s condition. How many young boy’s do you know that would take the time out to sit down and do something special for their friend? Not many but it happens.

Touching Lives
After Dylan got his parent’s to publish his book he made an effort to tell as many people as he could to buy his book. He set up a website to learn more about the story behind the book and to teach people about this condition his friend has. This has encouraged many people to get behind the cause and support his efforts. Dylan and Jonah has set up their table in many places to sell their book and once the news caught wind of what was happening, more and more people took notice.

The condition that Jonah has is extremely rare so it makes it difficult for pharmaceutical companies to invest any research money into finding a cure if the population of those with the disease is too low to support a profit. That is the nature of the medicine industry, there has to be enough people with the condition for there to be a solid effort in finding a cure. Dylan did his research and wanted to help make sure that labs working on finding a cure had the money to do so. He didn’t want to lose his best friend so he wrote that book to show that people care about others, especially when they are your best friend.

After getting the word out and the news picking up on the story, Dylan and Jonah now travel around doing book readings to audiences and book signings. They have created a facebook page to help spread the word about his cause and what else he plans to do with the book. In a recent clip on ABC news Dylan was happy to make the call to the doctor, Dr. David Weinstein,  who is helping to find a cure letting him know that he raised a million dollars for him. How many friends do you know who would go to the lengths that 6 year old Dylan has? Friendship is a powerful thing.

The Road Ahead
Dylan now plans to turn his Chocolate Bar book into a complete series to help raise more money including awareness for his friend. The book has garnered attention from all over the world with kids sending in video replies about how much they enjoyed Dylan’s book. The boys have appeared on many talk shows all around trying to spread the word.

The boys say that they will not stop, even though their goal was to reach a million, until they find a cure for Jonah, so that is when they will stop. The connection these two boys have made will be a life long connection. So far researches have been able to find a cure for the same disease in dogs now they need to bridge the connection in humans. Hopefully they will see the cure within the next few years.

The Business Side of Building a Brand
What these boys are doing is the same as what it takes to build a brand. They attend press events, they talk about their book, the story behind the book, and their mission goal. These are the most pressing matters when talking about your business and brand. People want to know who you are, how you got your idea, and where you plan to go with it. These are all the same concepts that any startup company, or writer, must go through to get their name out there.

Dylan got the business bug from playing Monopoly. His mom, Debra Siegel, says that when her son plays monopoly, watch out. He has learned that control of certain properties on the board puts you in control. The same is said for anything you do, when you cover all your bases and have gained enough ground then you can start controlling the flow of things. Dylan knew he was just a kid so he knew he was limited by what he could do. He knew that getting a book into people’s hands was a great way to spread his message so by sitting down and working on one he could show that he was serious by the effort he put into it.

When you look at the design and wording of his book you see that he drew every page himself, and wrote all the words himself. To an accomplished writer the book may look childish and poorly structured with no way of ever becoming a success, and that might be all the things they tell you in the publishing industry (correct grammar, plot line and structure, character development, etc). So why don’t these things apply to his book? Isn’t that why literary agents are so mean to new writers? They haven’t mastered these areas so why risk trying to become an author in the first place?

Dylan had the beauty of ignorance on his side. He was only 6 years old and didn’t understand how the world works as an adult so those things didn’t interfere with his train of thought, which was only about writing a book that him and his friend understood (chocolate bar stands for something awesome and cool) and that he could raise money with. What Dylan has that most adults do not have is access to social capital – school environments. Schools have lots of people in them and it is very easy for a kid to tell his teacher about what he is doing and then have the teacher put up an announcement in the school for everyone else to know about.

Adults do not have access to such resources after they graduate high school and college. They must rely on their social skills, what they know about business and marketing, and social media to spread the word. For many adults who have been trying that for years and have gotten no where with you understand the frustrations of what I am talking about. You also feel a little envy for why Dylan has reached his goal and you are still trying to get someone to buy your novel that you spent the last 5 years writing.

This is where Dylan’s success changes from so many others. I have met many kids in school who have used the power of social capital in their schools to help get their idea off the ground. It works faster when you are surrounded by a lot of people everyday instead of always having to hire someone to do one thing at a time. By using the power of social media, Dylan created a facebook page, a youtube channel, and a twitter account to help maximize the spread of his message. He had all his friends join all his pages and that helped spread the word even faster, so when you break down all that Dylan has, over the resources that an adult has, you can see how he was able to reach his goal of one million dollars and why he will be able to continue past it. Great Job Dylan and keep up the great work. Here’s hoping for the day when they announce a cure.

Enjoy This highlight of the two boys

News Articles

Boy’s ‘Chocolate Bar’ Book Nets $1M for Rare Liver Disorder Research

Boy raises nearly $1M with self-published book for friend with rare disease


Boy, 6, writes book, raises $92,000 for best pal’s rare disease

Social Media Accounts

Facebook Page

YouTube Channel

Twitter Account

Chocolate Bar Website

A Hobby for Rich People: Collecting Passports

Rich people have a unique way of looking at the world. They see it as one big playground to experience when money is not a problem. Why limit yourself to just one city to eat in when you can have breakfast in Capetown and dinner in New York? This kind of behavior is happening more and more everyday as more people are getting rich. Now that we have apps that you can use to get a private jet any time you need one it is easier for people to get around the world. They no longer have to wait, they can come and go as they please, and this is exactly what they are doing.

The issue of getting around though, especially those with deep pockets, means that they have to meet country requirements when visiting so many places. For many rich people the idea of citizenship has its perks (i.e., investments, real estate, new businesses, etc) but obtaining one comes with restrictions, cost. The high rollers are not dissuaded by the high ticket price these countries are putting on getting a passport, which many locals find damaging to their economy, because they are able to pay the million or more price tag that comes with getting one. In many cases it might take a couple of years for all the paperwork to go through and the background checks to be done thoroughly and so on, but that has not stopped many rich individuals to ask if there is a faster way. This very action has now led more countries to offer a “fast-track” for obtaining a passport, so instead of, say, 4 years, you can pay more and get it in 2 years. Not bad for an extra million or so but what’s that to someone who makes that back in a day or two, right?

Books like Plutocrats and Superclass show that the rich get richer because they have access to more resources. Those resources are found mostly in social connections. For example, Why go through the normal route of obtaining a passport, the same way everyone else does, when you can ask your friend, who works in a special department, to expedite your request for you, leaving everyone else out in the cold? These actions happen all the time and because they can afford to pay for these special requests they can move faster in life.

There are a lot of political issues surrounding rich people going around collecting passports which mainly have to do with the economic impact they have on their host country. If you think of it like this you can see the bigger picture; imagine that you live in this nice coastal town that is far away from the city and life there is very quiet and serene. Prices for home have been stable for a long time with very little development taking place in the last few years. Most of the people get around by bike or walking with a few cars here and there. Then all of a sudden a rich mogul moves in and builds a huge château on a seaside cliff over looking the bay. This sudden development changes the economic conditions of the community there, suddenly more people have jobs, the price of land goes up, and conditions improve just for a short period of time. But remember, where rich people are, more are soon to follow, and invest.

There is a lot to be said about rich people and their lifestyles. For one they help push development for the world, but they also make it harder for those without money to keep up. To learn more about this new trend that is happening you can read the article below and see why the world is changing faster than most would like it to. Afterwards try and read those two books mentioned, then you will learn why inequality will never be fixed.

News Article

Some of the Rich Collect Art, others collect passports