Numb to the Numbers

As you are reading this sentence right now, I can almost guarantee you that there is another tab open to Facebook or Gmail, or any other type of social media. And your phone? Probably somewhere in your immediate vicinity. Go ahead and check it. I’m sure there’s a new notification waiting for you since the last couple minutes you put it down.

Truth is, we’ve all been sucked into this massive social media fervor of our generation; it seems as if everyone we know is connected on some type of social platform: Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, you name it. We live life half in the moment, half in the cyber world. And in this easily accessible cyber-reality-haze, it’s hard not to get caught up in the whole midst of likes, shares, reposts, comments, etc.

But what’s so bad about caring about the number of likes a post gets, really?

Scientifically speaking, the brain produces more endorphin as the numbers increase. Put simply, the more likes we get, the happier we are. Sure, it’s a great thing that we end up happy, but the importance we assign these numbers is nothing but false. In this trap of social media, we falsely find importance in being liked and gain a sense of validation in these numbers, to the point where it becomes the basis of our self- esteem. It’s totally fine to want to be liked and to seek likes, but it’s not fine to let it become the basis of who you are and manipulate your sense of self-worth, because frankly, how do you know how much thought people put into liking (or not liking) your post? A simple number cannot validate who you are or the quality of the content you create.

Remember, social media can serve as the most warped mirror, providing you with numbers that mean nothing to your personal value. Go ahead and post the status. And do no more- don’t look back at the numbers, however high or low, and let them affect you. As the saying goes, be numb to the numbers.

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Why Donald Trump May Cost The Republicans The Election

Donald Trump. The  name is infamous. When you think of Trump you think of a stereotypical billionaire: arrogant, disrespectful, obnoxious. You would never associate anything that is good and holy with Trump. Trump is possibly the worst candidate in the entire election. He has not vocalized his plans of reform to the public and in short, he has no plan to “Make America Great Again”. In simple terms, Trump is just an old rich dude who wants to find a fun way to spend his money.  Moreover,  the disrespect he showed to Mexicans by calling them rapists and druggies and the comments he made about Senator John McCain were outrageous and completely uncalled for.  Any sensible human being would apologize for making these comments, however, Trump is no sensible human being. His arrogance has caused him to feel like he does nothing wrong. The fact that he would call Mexicans rapists and druggies shows that he does not care for ANY minority. Unless you are white, Trump will not care for you at all. Furthermore, his comments on John McCain were disgusting. Though I don’t  generally agree with McCain’s views as a senator, I have an extreme amount of respect for him solely because of the fact that he was a war hero who was tortured for 5 years in Vietnam. Trump had the audacity to insult McCain by saying that McCain is “a war hero because he was captured” and that he likes “people that weren’t captured”. This was an insult to all POWs  and (especially the Vietnam POWs) not just McCain because while these Vets were being tortured, Trump avoided the draft and was enjoying his life here in the safety of the US. Trump has made numerous outrageous comments, but these alone will not cost the Republicans the election. Say Trump gets the nomination, right then and there the Republicans are done, they will have no chance at winning. Those Republicans that opposed Trump in the primaries will not vote for him thus creating a path for the Democratic Candidate to take office. Now let’s say Trump doesn’t get the nomination. Then Trump has two options, either admit defeat, which is highly unlikely, or run as an Independent. Usually, those that run as Independents don’t make huge differences when election time arrives. However, let’s not forget when in 2000, Ralph Nader drew enough votes away from Al Gore that George Bush won the election. It is clear that Trump has large amounts of support and that if he goes independent, he will take all his supporters with him. Supporters, whom, if Trump does not run as an Independent would vote Republican. Thereby taking away votes from the Republican party and thus again, creating a path for the Democratic Candidate to take office. The only way the Republican party has a chance to win, is if Donald Trump does not run. However, in the slight chance that Trump does win, you can find me up north drinking fresh maple syrup while riding a moose.

Can’t Forget to Remember

Memories: probably the most cherished by people, but also the most forgotten. That trip to Disneyworld when you were five years old, that delicious ice cream sundae you ate at the mall one day, that big, fat Christmas present that you ripped open the day before Christmas, the giggles and wonders of all your youth – those moments are all stored somewhere in your head, but when it comes time to retrieving them, we often can’t. Time and, although many don’t like to admit it, old age often renders humans helpless when it comes to holding on to beloved memories. It’s just impossible to keep track of all of them. Or, is it?

It seems that technology will once again step in to save us, in the same way that it’s stepped in to save us from hand-washing every single plate in our sinks and scouring the encyclopedia for the answer to a question like, “What are the most popular attractions in Chicago?” (Siri can handle that for us now.) Not surprisingly, Google is taking the lead to develop a type of “memory-saver.” A person has to wear a headset, similar to Google Glass, that will record his/her surroundings during a particular moment at particular time. The camera embedded in the headset would be easily controllable and able to save these videos to the Google server.

Yes, that’s right – so if you find yourself reminiscing about that time you and your friends stood on top of the Eiffel Tower, looking down at the twinkling lights of Paris, you can get right up, go to your computer, and Google that memory. And, tada! There it is, unable to be forgotten, permanently recorded for your pleasure.

Or your displeasure. Although I believe that this technology, if brought into being, would be one of the most innovative and exciting ventures to explore, others may be inclined to disagree. How can something as personal as memories be turned into a technologic endeavor? Does everything have to lend itself to the high-tech world of today? Indeed, those are valid questions, but also questions that resonate throughout the history of technological advancements, albeit in different forms. After all, when cell phones were first sold in 1973, there were a group of people who thought they were highly intrusive. Some people may not instantly open up to the idea of a device that captures and stores memories, but it’s both an eminent possibility and an inevitable consequence of progress.

So far, Google merely has the patent to create this device. But, I have no doubt that such an ingenious invention will definitely be created and sold to the masses. When this will happen is the only question that remains.

The Chipotle Effect

Recently Chipotle has proven to be extremely successful in terms of its quarterly earnings and customer satisfaction. This restaurant is now found across the nation and Chipotle has become easily accessible and a favorite for the majority of people who choose to eat there. One of the advantages of eating at Chipotle also includes the fact that it is considered by many to be one of the most healthiest restaurants out there. A man by the name of Andrew Hawryluk felt so strongly about this that he decided to carry out his own experiment.
 
        Hawryluk is a 23 year old from Los Angeles and decided that he would eat Chipotle for 40 days straight. So he started to add photos of each meal he had to his website to prove to everyone that he was eating at the restaurant daily. Eventually at the 40 day mark, Hawryluk found himself to be disappointed since his experiment didn’t prove to be as exciting as he had anticipated earlier. He wanted to find out how long he could keep his experiment going so he continued to eat Chipotle everyday. As of now he has eaten at Chipotle for 154 days straight.
          Everytime he goes to Chipotle he orders white rice, guacamole, chicken, and lettuce topped with the Tabasco hot sauce offered at each restaurant. Till now he has spent a total of $1,567 on Chipotle. Hawryluk has saved all those 154 receipts to prove all of this. The most important part of this was that he even posted a picture of his physique before and after starting this experiment and it was evident that Chipotle did not adversely affect his body in any way and has not caused him to gain weight.
            Hawryluk insists that Chipotle is the best restaurant out there since it dominates all the essential qualities that a restaurant needs in order to survive and sustain itself. He now loves Chipotle so much that he refuses to go on a vacation anywhere that doesn’t have Chipotle nearby. Hawryluk has started planning his vacations based on the availability of Chipotle in the area. For example, he really wants to go to Berlin but he can’t because they don’t have a Chipotle.
             Hawryluk finds Chipotle to be the most delicious meal out there and he challenges others to find another place that meets the essential qualities of a restaurant as well as Chipotle does. His experiment does make quite a good argument that Chipotle is definitely one of the best restaurants out there.
What happens when you eat Chipotle for 153 days straight

“Congratulations, You’ve Won!”

In today’s day and age, having an email account has become ubiquitous among students and adults. It’s a tool that has revolutionized the way we socialize, making hand-written letters an obsolete form of communication. However, the vast and rapidly expanding reign of the internet has become the source of malicious activity- with email being a vulnerable target. I’m sure many of those who are reading this have an email account, and for those that do, you’ve probably come across spam. I’m not talking about the canned meat, but instead, emails that have suspicious subjects. Whether the questionable email revolves around unclaimed tax returns or a Nigerian prince, it’s safe to say that spam/junk mail is only beneficial to the sender, and unfortunately, has become a major part of email culture.

Why send spam? 
It’s all money. Email provides a platform for individuals to advertise their product at extremely low costs. Spammers often compile giant lists of emails and send their message, hoping that someone out of the millions who received the message will actually respond and hand over personal account information. It’s easy to avoid junk mail for the average Internet user. However, “Grandpa Joe” who recently bought a computer for the first time is the perfect candidate to fall victim to email spam. To learn more about spam, click here.
Example of Email Spam
However, not all is dire. Symantec recently published that currently, there are less spam emails than actual, valid emails. More specifically, it’s estimated that spam accounts for 49.7% of all emails. While that statistic is a rough estimate, and 49.7% isn’t exactly the best figure in the world, it does show that spam messages are becoming less of a problem. Email services such as Gmail and Outlook make an effort to filter out junk mail and hope to win the fight against spammers.
All in all, just remember that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Be informed and make sure that spam messages are never liberated from their prison- the “Junk Mail” folder on your email account. Hopefully, we can further decrease the prevalence of spam to below 49.7%.
Sources:

Serena Williams is Truly Unique

As Patrick Mouratoglou had stated, after Serena Williams had won her 21st grand slam in singles tennis, it is undoubtedly true that “Serena is unique”. Although Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, and various other female tennis professionals won numerous grand slams, Serena is simply a class above them. Currently ranked no. 1 in the world and holding the record of being the oldest female tennis player to win a grand slam, she aspires to hold the record of winning the most number of grand slams as well, embodying much hope for beating former German tennis player’s, Steffi Graf’s, record of  22 grand slams.

However, Serena has numerous goals in mind; not just of holding the record of winning the most championships. She is additionally seeking to have a calendar-year grand slam, which is when a player wins all four grand slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open) in a single year. With Williams having completed seventy-five percent of her goal, she evidently is thrilled about completing her calendar-year grand slam in her home country in the United States as she states, “It would be incredible. It would be really good to have this opportunity to go in New York, being American, with that incredible New York crowd. I don’t have words to say how I feel.”

A picture of Serena Williams after she won her 21st Grand Slam, in South West London.

In Serena Williams’ most recent grand slam tournament, which was the Wimbledon Championships, she seemed to have cruised through most of the rounds, and astonishingly as well as in the semifinals, beating Maria Sharapova with a score of 6-2 6-4, and afterwards, beating Spain’s Garbine Muguruza to win the championships. With multifarious, impressive records that Serena Williams holds, numerous experts, spectators, and commentators refer to her as the greatest female tennis player of all time, which is downright evident by her performance throughout her career as a professional.

What’s crazier than Insane? Ludicrous

Yes. Elon Musk does it again. He takes the one thing that people thought was already crazy, and one upped them.

Elon Musk, CEO and Chairman of Tesla Motors, has had a long-standing record of maybe hyping up the public expectations, and delivering a little later on their expectations, but his ability to pull feats like the surprise D models for the Model S, and adding self-driving driver assistance capabilities to the car keeps the public believing his word.

The Model S’s performance package model, P85+, was already blisteringly quick for a sedan, reaching 60 mph in a blistering 3.9 seconds. The unveiling of the newer P85D model that would replace the P85 now had two motors, all wheel drive, a total of 691 horsepower, and of course, decreased the 60 mph time to 3.1 seconds when put in “Insane Mode”. Now, this is all you know. You have heard it thousands of times and watched the Youtube videos of grandmothers being scared out of their minds and people watching as their phones get stuck to the seat as the car creates false gravity.

D

What we are flipping out about is the new option of Ludicrous mode. Upping the speed to 2.8 seconds now means that the Model S is faster than a Lamborghini, and actually has the same 0-50 time as a 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggra! AND, this car can haul 7 people! Having already been crowned as the quickest sedan in the world, this is completely something.

For those of us less concerned with the performance, Musk also added that they are adding a 70 and 90 kwh battery option. The 70 would be offered at 70k base price before discounts, and the 90 would offer 300+ miles of range. However, I think most of us fanboys and fangirls will be waiting for the Model III so we can convince ourselves we can afford it.

Suggestions? Feedback? Requests? Just tell us in the comments!

El Chapo’s Infamous Prison Break

News of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s escape has exploded across North America. The notorious drug lord is credited as one of the most dangerous men of our time. Leader of Sinaloa Cartel, Guzman is considered the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world” by the United States Department of Treasury in 2014. He has also been listed as one of the most powerful men in the world and one of the richest men in Mexico with a net worth of $1 billion in 2011. El Chapo’s influence is so wide spread that in 2013, the Chicago Crime Commission named him “Public Enemy Number One”, even though there was no evidence of El Chapo in Chicago. The last person to have created such an extensive criminal record and criminal notoriety was Al Capone from the 1930s. Hunted by law enforcement agencies across the world, such as the Mexican PGR, US DEA, Interpol, and various other agencies, El Chapo was arrested in 2014 for the second time. His first arrest was in 1993 and he was placed in a maximum-security prison. Even during his time in prison, Guzman’s drug empire continued to operate successfully. While in jail, his associates brought him suitcases full of cash to bribe prison workers and to allow El Chapo to maintain an opulent lifestyle. However, on January 19, 2001, with the aide of bribed guards, El Chapo made his escape. A  guard opened his electronically operated cell door and Guzman hid in a laundry cart, which a maintenance worker rolled out of the prison. Once outside, Guzman was transported in the trunk of a car to a gas station, from where Guzman made his escape on foot. This escape plan seems to have come right out of an action movie and it is even more surprising that El Chapo was able to execute it successfully. This just goes to show the extent of one man’s power and influence. El Chapo was on the run for several years but was caught again recently in 2014, but he didn’t stay there very long.

El-Chapo-Arrest-Could-Incite-Violence-e1393177487876

Last week on July 11th, 2015, El Chapo escaped once again from a maximum-security prison. His escape and more importantly, how he escaped shocked the world. Guzman escaped through a tunnel dug in his cell’s shower. What’s more surprising is that the hole was placed such that the camera could not see him climbing down into the tunnel. The next part of his escape route, the tunnel, was even more incredible. The tunnel lead from the prison facility to a house construction nearly a mile away. The entire tunnel was dug through with proper equipment, a ventilation system, and installed lighting. In addition, oxygen tanks were found in the tunnel along with a motorcycle to take El Chapo across the tunnel quickly. The extensiveness of the tunnel and the coordination needed to make it possible have led many to call this tunnel a “feat of engineering”. If anything, this demonstrates the vast resources at Guzman’s disposal. Now several federal entities have begun the manhunt for El Chapo. Here’s the coverage of El Chapo’s escape route, covered by CNN. Sources:

“Joaquín Guzmán.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 17 July 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joaqu%C3%ADn_Guzm%C3%A1n&gt;.
“Seven Are Charged in ‘El Chapo’ Escape – CNN.com.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 17 July 2015. <http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/17/americas/mexico-el-chapo-escape/&gt;.

Looking Back: President of Enterprise Organization

Just a friendly heads-up: if you were looking for a post based on current events, I would immediately veer away from this post as you will be gravely dissapointed. However, if you were not, please read ahead. My name is Viren Rupani, I am 18 years old and I am the Founder and President of Enterprise Organization. However, not so long ago, at the humble age of 16, I founded Enterprise Organization with the hope of, truthfully, having an extracurricular on my Common Application for colleges. Although, in retrospect, Enterprise has turned out to be an extremely integral part of who I am and has shaped me in countless ways. As a follow-up to this post, I will be writing other posts related to my experiences with Enterprise, as, truth be told, my time is extremely limited. I only have about 3 to 5 days left as President of Enterprise Organization, and I would like to make them count. So, as my farewell days begin, I would just like to express some of my inner thoughts. People who know about Enterprise tend to always be awestruck by how much I have been able to accomplish as an individual through EO. But, in reality, none of my efforts would have amounted to anything had it not been for the people who believed in me, and took a chance with Enterprise. Hence, I would like to give a big thank you to those who believed in me and Enterprise. And for those who did not: thanks anyways! You only added fuel to the fire. But all jokes aside, these days are going to be quite sentimental for me. So as I finish writing this post and begin to close my chapter with Enterprise, tears stream down my face and my heart fills with grief. All the memories of my past two years flash in front of my eyes and my grief is cushioned by happiness.  The sleepless nights, that jeopardized my sanity, all of a sudden seem romantic and surreal. So as I begin my last series of posts 35 days before I leave Enterprise and begin anew in California, I have only one thing to say:

Thank You.

Road to 2016 so far…

election-2016

From the news recently, many probably have began to hear about candidates from both parties, well maybe more from one side, announcing their bids for the presidency, to represent the US in the way they and their parties want to represent the US coming 2016. There are divergent opinions on the past two terms of President Obama, from his response of the 2008 recession or the implementation of so-called universal healthcare otherwise known “Obamacare” to his response to the rise of Middle-Eastern insurgents and impending issue of free trade and fast track with TPP and TTIP. Furthermore, as we hear of the fragile crisis in Greece, panic in Chinese stocks, and a rising Chinese military power, we are now in a different world than we were in before. A new world order awaits, and the US must learn to cooperate and deal with its new rival power China. Domestically, gun violence is still a grave issue and has proliferated to 26,046 incidents during this year so far! And so are religious freedom laws yet a liberalizing community. 2016 will be a momentous year for all of us, both in the US and in the world. Thus, the race is on for the 45th US President – a president that must step up to the challenge in such a watershed of American history.

Democrats

DEMS

Starting with the defending party, so far five candidates from the Democratic side have officially announced their bid for the presidency.

Hillary Clinton: As former Secretary of State, she is the front-runner of the Democrat nomination right now with almost 100% name recognition, no doubt about it. But she must still maintain her lead within her party and potentially among the US by securing the Hispanic, young, white working class women, and college-educated women voters. Ohio again will be key swing state, along with Virginia and Florida (FL especially if Jeb Bush wins the Republican nomination), but changing demographics have put several other states into play – Colorado, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. In addition, she must convey the message of a better America for future generations by addressing income inequality and connect with the middle-class. She must also espouse the views of a higher minimum wage, paid family/medical leave, early childhood education, and affordable child care, essentially improving America’s welfare status.

Bernie Sanders:  As an independent senator from Vermont, and a socialist as he calls himself, Bernie has certainly captured the progressive wing of the Democratic party. Though he will pose a significant force to Hillary and may force her to swing left on certain issues, however, to win the Democratic nomination, he still has a long way to go. He must expand his base from the predominantly white, college-educated voters to the Hispanic, female, and African-American voters. He must also be willing to let loose on some of his fiery populism, or “Democratic socialistic” feel of his campaign, in order to win over the moderate part of the party.

Lincoln Chafee: Former Rhode Island governor and senator and a Republican-turned-independent-turned Democrat, Lincoln already has a good shot with upscale white liberals, those who are passionate with environmental issues and restraining with America’s military involvement in the Middle East. While he will certainly help highlight Hillary’s hawkish tendencies (her vote to authorize Bush’s Iraqi war and that he was the only Republican to have voted against the vote), as said on his website with his “aversion to foreign entanglements,” with some financial problems to raise money for the campaign and the fact that he is up against a fundraising power house Hillary, he will, like Bernie Sanders, influence the nomination and Hillary as to pose resistance to the party, but his chance at the nomination and the White House is a long shot.

Martin O’Malley: Former governor of Maryland, right now among the other challengers to Hillary, he has the best chance against her. Assuming the nation wants a new face, a younger generation (with O’Malley, 52) and his strong grasp on working class whites, he hopes to gain steam with Iowa where the electorate is mainly working class whites and build from there.

Jim Webb: Former senator of Virginia, Jim Webb offers economic fairness and a non-interventionist attitude to the table. However, his past propensity with Confederate valor and uneasiness to address climate challenge, may otherwise impede his opportunities. Webb may find more probability as a third-party candidate or as a potential running mate.

Republicans

GOP

On the “red” side, we have a list that looks more like a “Republican party” than a list for the Republican nomination. Hyped up by their November midterm victory over the Democrats, a once questioned demise of the “traditional” Republican conservatism is back on the rise. They hope to garner the devout, the traditional, and the corporate interests, along with hopes of the Hispanic and the youth vote to take back the White House that they have lost for the past 8 years. (And, to complete their takeover of both the Legislative and Executive branches.) As a result of this long-list of candidates, 14 of them, to list them out one-by-one like how I did for the Democrats, would most certainly bore you out, and probably, discourage you from voting Republican in 2016. Hmm…or should I? Do you see my intentions? No, I do not want to discourage you the Republican vote. Moreover, I hope you actually go out to vote this year (improve America’s turnout rate from 36.6% last November, please!), and do vote for who you think would actually be fit for America. America is at a crossroads, America needs your vote.

So, for the Republican side, instead of a “line-item” explanation and biographical descriptions of each candidate, as well as maybe “vetoing” each candidate over the Democrats (see what I did there?), I will rank the top few I see probable….so an early good luck with your decision 🙂

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, and Donald Trump (just for the laughs)

Sadly, the possibility of history repeating itself, a Bush again, or a Bush-Clinton election is highly probable with Jeb Bush leading his GOP nomination “party”. However, the Republicans have certainly a strong competition that could otherwise capture the White House. Bush, Rubio, and Cruz certainly have a high chance in capturing the Hispanic vote, if they change the Republican immigration stance. Rand Paul, who, if does not win the nomination, would at least bring moderate issues to the question and gain traction with both moderate Republicans and Democrats. And Donald Trump, well, good luck on your campaign and getting sacked by corporations cutting ties with you. And maybe I should support your endeavors, to further my own political interests? Nah…well, that’s the Republican-side! Again, PLEASE LET YOUR VOTE BE SEEN, WHEN COME TWENTY-SIXTEEN! (other words, get out and vote!)

Source

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/elections/2016-presidential-candidates.html