Category Archives: Lifestyle

The World’s First Hoverboard

For many years now, people have been introduced to different versions and prototypes of a concept of a real hoverboard. A hoverboard has mostly remained an object limited to movies and fantasies but now the aerospace company, Arca, has already started taking orders for what it claims to be the world’s first real hoverboard.

This hoverboard is known as the ArcaBoard and has the ability to hover up to a foot over any surface including concrete and water. The device is powered by 36 electric ducted fans and has a maximum thrust of 200 kgf. The ArcaBoard can be controlled and manipulated through the use of your phone as well and is about 57 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 6 inches thick. To maneuver the board, the rider just has to lean forward to move forward and lean backward to slow down or back up. However, the top speed is limited to just 12.5 mph which doesn’t exactly make it the best option for commuting. The ArcaBoard is currently priced at $19,900.

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The CEO of Arca Space Corporation first got the idea for a hoverboard when he went to the Organ Mountains with his kids a few months ago. As he was taking pictures his son suggested the creation of a hoverboard to make travel over the rocky terrain easier. And just two months later, they tested the first ArcaBoard after putting the idea to work right away. The ArcaBoard is probably one of the most powerful vehicles created in recent times.

At first, the announcement that a new hoverboard had been created seemed doubtful especially after the 2014 hoax that Tony Hawk had released. But Arca started off as a corporation that worked on rockets for the Romanian government. They have also released drones and relocated to the U.S. recently. Considering their past work and experience it seems that this ArcaBoard is for real.

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Star Wars: A Box Office Force

In 2012, Walt Disney spent $4 billion to buy Lucasfilm. For most analysts and critics this seemed to be a relatively unwise decision
considering that there hasn’t been a Star Wars movie in nearly a decade now. People were surprised to see that there was interest
being shown in making a new Star Wars movie.
The new movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is expected to make nearly $2 billion in profit. The popularity of the franchise along
with the highly anticipated reboot makes $2 billion in projected profits seem pretty reasonable. “Star Wars”  sales will also be boosted by additions to theme parks and the sale of merchandise associated with the franchise.
Through Star Wars, Disney has a new channel of profit through new and unique characters. The business of Star Wars expands far beyond just the movie itself. It is unclear how Disney divides its revenue but it’s safe to say that this new movie will be a profitable venture for the company. Additionally, four more Star Wars films to build off this success have already been talked about.
In September, Disney had a Force Friday in which they released nearly 500 items and it is expected that Star Wars will be one of the biggest sales generators for Disney. A new Star Wars video game called “Star Wars Battlefront” released by Electronic Arts has already become popular especially since the holiday season is close by. It is expected that by the end of 2015, nearly 13 million units of the game will have been sold. Disneyland is also planning to open “Star Wars” themed lands which will definitely drive up the number of visitors. They have already started planning for these “Star Wars” areas.
However, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has an important task along with making a large amount of revenue. It needs to restore the excitement that old fans had for the franchise. The three prequel movies from 1999 to 2005 disappointed many fans and there were many who expected a better ending. This movie could be perfect for that task but it needs to meet the expectations of the audiences. All Star Wars fans will be seeing many newcomers in the cast which may provide a new perspective for the movie.

That’s What It Takes

The book Outliers by Malcolm is a real treasure. This book just takes your past knowledge of the world and just warps it, flips it upside-down, and cuts it in half. It’s amazing how many misconceptions we can have of the world. Yet we lived in it for thousands of years, I feel like we are understanding it less and less… However, just in case some people want to be informed, I’ve read the book, processed the information, and am now regurgitating it for your reading pleasure or for your intellectual curiosity.

Once again, success is not all about individual traits! We all wonder, ‘Is there such thing as innate talent?’ Of course there is! But it’s not about how ‘smart’ you are or how ‘talented’ you are! I know it’s hard to understand, but it’s true! Your environment and all the factors around you decide first. In Outliers, it is mentioned that birth dates are much more important to success than many would think. Now I’m going to debunk the myth of the ‘natural’, a person who breezes the top without working hard.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s chapter ‘The 10,000-hour rule’, he provides an example of a study. The study featured students at Berlin’s elite Academy of Music. There were three groups of violinists: the first were the stars, the second were the “okay” ones, and the third were the “not so good” ones. You might be thinking, ‘The first group must be the one with talent!’. Really? It turns out, by the age of twenty, the elite performers totaled ten thousand hours of practice. The “okay” students totaled eight thousand hours, and the “not so good” students totaled four thousand hours. In fact, there were no “naturals”, people who succeeded without working, nor were there “grinds”, people who work hard, but fall short. It seems that practice really does make perfect. A LOT of practice, that is. The results were then compared to that of pianists. The same pattern emerged. The number 10,000 kept popping up. What’s so special about this number? Why is it that true mastery always seems to be linked with this number?

You all know Mozart, right? Child prodigy, he wrote his own music at the age of six! Many use him as an example to argue against the idea of hard work- that talent reigns supreme. However, it turns out that the earliest pieces by Mozart were mostly written by his father, and his childhood works were not all that original. Mozart’s greatest, finest work came when he wrote pieces for ten years! After his ten thousand hours! In fact, it might be possible that Mozart actually developed late! What?

Two examples of the ten-thousand hour rule: The Beatles and Bill Gates. The Beatles are the unanimous choice for the greatest band in the history of music. They were simply spectacular (I listen to some of their songs today!). Starting from February 1964 to 1970, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr just TOOK OVER America! But do you want to know how long Lennon and McCartney had been playing together beforehand? Seven years! Even more, their past has some even more secrets. While the Beatles were still in Europe, and not that famous, they performed in Hamburg, Germany. They mostly played in strip clubs, so they got a lot of alcohol and sex, which is probably why they kept going there. The real kicker is this: They played eight hours a day, seven days a week. Holy smokes! That’s essentially performing twelve hundred times in a period of four years. They definitely hit ten-thousand hours by the time they came to America in 1964! 

Bill Gates used to be the President of Microsoft, and is currently the richest man in the world. Everybody knows that he was a good, if not great, programmer, but do they know how long he worked on his craft? Back in the 1960s, it was very difficult to find a computer that wasn’t larger than a full-sized room, but Gates did. In fact, when most people had to use these clunky, slow computers that required cards to execute commands, Bill Gates was about to do real-time programming at THIRTEEN! Over his school career, Gates just kept getting lucky, by getting opportunities to program ALL DAY LONG. He would sneak out of his house at night and just program away, and everybody around him probably wondered how he could have gotten so addicted. By the time he dropped out of Harvard and started Microsoft, he had been programming continuously for seven consecutive years. That’s MUCH more than ten-thousand hours! You know what they say, “You get out what you put in”. And Bill Gates got a lot! Therefore, it was his determination and grit and passion for computers which created his endless wealth.

Sometimes success is not what we always believe it to be.

On the Way to Equal Pay

Anyone who has even remotely been following the upcoming presidential election knows that Hillary Clinton is a major advocate of women’s rights. She believes, as do I, that women’s rights and basic human rights should not be discussed as separate topics, but rather as one. With each passing year, the fight for gender equality becomes a more passionate one.

Women have been making less than men for equal jobs for far too long now. In order to rectify the situation, Clinton has decided to raise the minimum wage. Raising the pay for the lowest paying jobs will help to close the wage gap. How? The lowest paid jobs are disproportionately held by women. If all of them start to earn more money, then there won’t be as great a difference between a man’s salary and a woman’s salary. This will be the first step of many on the road to equality of the sexes.

The Paycheck Fairness Act “is designed to help those who believe they are victims of gender-based wage discrimination by making wages more transparent, by requiring that employers prove that wage discrepancies are tied to legitimate business qualifications and not gender, and by prohibiting companies from taking retaliatory action against employees who raise concerns about gender-based wage discrimination” (US News). In other words, if this bill is passed, women will be able to fight discrimination at work. Taking this a step further would mean advocating pay transparency across the economy so females have the needed information to negotiate their wages fairly.

If women start to earn more money, they will be able to take care of their families, and perhaps more specifically, their children. However, with the number of responsibilities that a woman assumes, she needs the time to manage them efficiently – which she cannot do if she’s not getting paid for that time she takes off. Work policies need to be put into place which allow paid leave and flexible scheduling. This will allow women to fulfill their obligations at home without sacrificing pay.

A crucial step towards gender equality and stronger families is establishing equal pay for men and women. A major part of Hillary Clinton’s political platform is establishing an empowered female presence in the United States. Her policies seem to be very effective and may just contribute to the turning point in the fight for women’s rights.

Jock vs. Nerd

For the answer to the eternal question “Is it better to be a ‘jock’ or a ‘nerd’?”, consider the following:

When Michael Jordan played basketball he made over $300,000 a game. That equals $10,000 a minute, at an average of 30 minutes per game. With $40 million in endorsements, he made $178,100 a day, working or not. If he sleeps 7 hours a night, he makes $52,000 every night while visions of sugarplums dance in his head.

If he goes to see a movie, it’ll cost him $7.00, but he’ll make $18,550 while he’s there.

If he decides to have a 5-minute egg, he’ll make $618 while boiling it. He’ll make $3,710 while watching each episode of Friends. If he wanted to save up for a new Acura NSX ($90,000) it would take him a whole 12 hours.

If someone were to hand him his salary and endorsement money, they would have to do it at the rate of $2.00 every second.

He probably pays around $200 for a nice round of golf, but will make $33,390 while playing that round. Assuming he puts the federal maximum of 15% of his income into a tax-deferred account (401k), he will hit the federal cap of $9,500 at 8:30 am on January 1st of each year.

If you were given a penny for every 10 dollars he made, you’d be living comfortably at $65,000 a year.

He’ll make about $19.60 while watching the 100-meter dash in the Olympics.

He’ll make about $15,600 during the Boston Marathon.

While the common person is spending about $20 for a meal in his trendy Chicago restaurant, he’ll pull in about $5,600.

In his last year, he made more than twice as much as all U.S. past presidents did for all of their terms combined.

However, if Jordan saves 100% of his income for the next 250 years, he’ll still have less money than Bill Gates has today.

Game over.

Nerd wins.

The Butterfly Effect

When gazing upon the title we seem to jump to the conclusion that what I am writing about is a complex scientific theory that you probably will never come across. In fact it is the exact opposite, it is a simple metaphor used in everyday life. This prevalent term essentially means a small change in one state of a determined system that can result in larger differences in a later state, or in other words an obvious challenge to what is predicted. Now think about a place where you face challenges almost everyday that confront your predictions? Well considering the time and place today we see that it is 1 day until the start of school. Yes, school. There are some beliefs, attitudes,and realizations that can be altered to welcome the challenges that have been countering your predictions for the past years. The widely used poem ” Dream Big” ends off by saying  “The start of something new brings the hope of something great.” This exultant quote goes hand in hand with how to immerse yourself with the aforementioned ideals.

A belief that must be grounded within yourself to start of the year right, is really the belief in yourself, this way your life can be a whole lot broader. You must acknowledge and internalize the fact that everything around you was produced by people that are no smarter than you. Most importantly you should assimilate this belief in everyday life , so that you as a person can change it , can influence it ,can envision something greater. As Steve Jobs boldly said “You need to shake off this erroneous notion that life is just there, and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it. Change it, improve it. Make your mark upon it. And once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” In order to do so you have to look for the best in others, and also give the best you have by believing that you can.

An attitude that you can change is your perspective towards possessions or awards. For so many it is always about the prize that gives them satisfaction rather than the journey to achieve it. For so many it is the prize that gives purpose, not the renewed sense of purpose when learning. This normal attitude of desiring possessions can be refined to suit your reasoning behind it. For example, rather than being satisfied with the metallic award in your hand there can be a greater pleasure. The experience that lead to that achievement is the reason behind the award. The reason behind the experience however is truly greater; it is the joy in challenge, improvement upon each and every practice, and the satisfaction of learning. The ultimate truth is that your achievements are beautiful when knowing why you are doing so.

Lastly, the realization of your own meaning of success. You must realize that you have to forge your own path in the beginning.So really the only way u know how to do something new at the beginning is your own way.This means at the start you are going to be oblivious to your limitations , this may be seen as confidence among others. However, try not to be successful because of others, you must own your own meaning of success not have it determined by others.

If you learn to believe in yourself, change your desires for the purpose behind them , and realize that you’re the proud owner of the meaning behind your success, these small changes in your everyday life will result in greater differences. So  I encourage you to go make your future happen, because “the start of something new will bring the hope of something great.”

Happy Birthday Barack Obama!

This transforming Tuesday, we get to look at an aging president as well as what the future holds for the democratic party in the upcoming election. When looking back at how the 44th president looked at first compared to what the stress of everyday life has transformed him to the man he is today, we can see his age having more of an impact.However his birthday did not come with no celebrations this year. Last year, Obama marked his birthday with meetings and the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. But this year he started the celebrations early. “On Saturday he took his friends out golfing at Andrews Air Force and then went to Camp David in Maryland, where he’s also partied in previous years.” Also, we have to appreciate that in these past few years, there have been striking changes regarding White House advisory, Health Care Reform, gun policy, internet policies, as well as foreign policy in the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and recently Iran. Although these changes and events have been a part of his terms, one can never forget the June of 2015 when the SCOTUS decision on same sex marriage. Now we can see the reward in celebrating today from the beginning of the election of 2008 ; now seeming a distant memory to August 4th 2015 – 461 days until his term comes to an end. In terms of looking forward to the 2016 election, there is some controversy about the vice president – Joe Biden running for the election as a presidential nomination. However, we must accept the fact after numerous interviews, countless lectures, and a multitude of campaigns strategies that the democrats seem pretty ready for Hillary Clinton. This can seem to be proven almost as a fact because “Many members of the Obama administration have gone to work for Clinton, including some close to Biden.” As for the Republican party there is the top choice leading a fractured team of other candidates- Donald Trump. Slightly behind him are Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. Something to look forward to amid all these runners is the debate on August 6th Fox News debate which will only invite the top 10 candidates based on recent national polls. While watching this heated debate, we must appreciate and recognize the new storm of changes in events coming, and reminisce on the cyclone of events that have occurred in these past few years.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” -President Obama

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.

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.