Should Sea Creatures Be In Captivity? Speaking of Questionable Experiments…

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A dolphin bites a child at SeaWorld on Feb. 22. (Photo: PETA)

I didn’t mean to hurt her. It was feeding time, and I thought maybe I was given something new. Apparently not. I can hear my SeaWorld trainers talking around me, saying that it wasn’t my fault. But everyone around me seems pretty upset. Another dolphin told me that it has even made national news. What I can’t tell is if people are upset that I’m in captivity in the first place, or if they are upset that I accidentally bit a young girl.

I started listening to more conversations around me, and I realized that people are mostly bothered that I live in a marine park. They are using my mistake of biting the girl as leverage to get animals like me out of recreational parks. I can’t say I disagree. If I weren’t forced to live this unnatural lifestyle, this never would have happened. After all, it was an innocent mistake. I did not intentionally harm the child. I was relieved to discover that people already knew that. As badly as I feel that I upset the girl and her family, I must admit that I am thrilled to realize there are humans championing my rights to be free in the ocean.

Someone left a magazine near the feeding bucket. One of the articles was about my little biting incident. They called it Dolphin Bites Child’s Hand at SeaWorld. It said that the same incident happened another time within the last two years. That time wasn’t me. I hope people know that. If only I could apologize to the little girl.

Hopefully this story takes flight and I can return to the natural lifestyle I was taken from. 

Note: This was an experimental blog post as assigned for my J452 class. I am writing from the perspective of the dolphin that bit a young girl at SeaWorld, though that should be evident by now. 

White Wine and Champagne: Good For The Soul And Good For The Brain

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I think people have widely discussed the health benefits of red wine for a while now, but as a white wine and champagne lover, I decided to do some research on my favorite libation.

While I was hoping to find positive results, I was skeptical because I had never heard anything about health benefits of white wine and champagne before, but I’ve heard tons of health bonuses from red wine consumption. Well my friends, the verdict is out, and it is good news! White wine and champagne have many of the same positive health benefits as red wine.

Thanks to an article on HealthCentral, I was able to make some noteworthy discoveries. For example, white wine contains flavonoids, which can help prevent cancer. It also has the ability to help protect the heart against aging and can also provide preventative benefits to the organ. Additionally, I learned that it could be beneficial towards weight loss.

As for champagne, it is often one of the lowest calorie alcohol choices, so it too can contribute to weight loss. Champagne also possesses some of the same attributes as red and white wine, making it heart-healthy. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that champagne could also benefit your brain. According to this article, three glasses of champagne a week could help prevent brain disorders, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Obviously there are negative effects of white wine and champagne too, but if you’re looking for information about that, you’re absolutely in the wrong place.

For more information about the benefits of white wine and champagne, check out these articles:

ImageBest Health Reader’s Digest – The Health Benefits of White Wine

Alternative Medicine – The Case For White Wine

Forbes – How Bubbly Can Boost Brain Power

Wine Spectator – Health Watch: Champagne Boosts Brain Power

Adorably Original

Inspired by the Huffington Post article, This 4-Year-Old Makes Paper Dresses With Her Mom – And They Keep Getting More Amazing, I decided to blog about this adorably original story. If you don’t know what #FASHIONBYMAYHEM is all about, do yourself a favor and check it out here.  “Mayhem,” as her mother, Angie, calls her, is a fashion savvy four-year-old girl who makes extravagant paper dresses with her mom.

Mayhem got her nickname before she was even one year old. When first starting the blog, Angie was trying to decide on a nickname for her daughter for privacy reasons, when Mayhem slid a pink headband on “sweatband style” and burst into a fit of giggles. Moments later, the “Mayhem like me” Allstate commercial came on (Click to watch this commercial on Youtube). Inspired by the freakish coincidence of pink sweatbands, Mayhem became the most fitting name Angie could’ve anticipated.

One day, Angie suggested making a dress out of paper. Mayhem loved the idea and they’ve been crafting them ever since. Angie and Mayhem both contribute styling ideas; Angie says it’s about a 50/50 split. Pretty impressive! To make the dresses, they use construction paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, gift bags, foil, tulle – the list goes on!

So where do they get their inspiration? Life and all its beautiful adventures! Some examples include a trip to the aquarium, books they read, movies they watch, award shows, Project Runway, and anything else they are interested in. Too cute!

Enjoy these adorably original pictures from Angie and the Huffington Post article!

For more pictures, be sure to follow her on Instagram @2sisters_angie and visit Angie’s website!

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Litter is Trashy. Recycling is classy.

I don’t even know where to begin discussing our latest J452 Infographic assignment. I feel like I spent 2 whole weeks on this assignment… oh wait, I did. While using Piktochart was a much easier alternative than creating something from scratch with InDesign, it definitely had its own disadvantages.  Although, if it wasn’t such a struggle, I guess I wouldn’t be as proud and relieved to have finished it.

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Exporting was not exactly a smooth process, so please excuse the text overlap in the “economy” section. Piktochart had a mind of its own there.

That being said, I made this infographic to educate college-aged people or older who may not be aware of exactly how important recycling really is. I did some research to find the most visual statistics I could in order to adequately display how detrimental NOT recycling is.

A few of my favorite statistics from the piece are:

  • Every year, Americans throw away 250 million tons of trash. That’s enough to cover the entire state of Texas. Twice.
  • Recycling creates 4 jobs for every 1 job in waste management.
  • The US send 135 million cellphones to landfills every year.
  • Recycling a single aluminum can saves enough energy to play a full album on your iPod.
  • In America, only 30% of waste is recycled.

Terrible, right?!

While I did find this assignment challenging, it ended up being rewarding for me. I don’t have much design experience, and I was apprehensive to get started on it, but once I did I actually really liked it. I do recycle, and I know it is important to recycle, but some of these facts were so startling to me. I enjoyed learning and utilizing a more visual approach to such a prevalent issue.

I hope this infographic is as compelling for you as it is for me. Check out the bottom of my infographic to read about simple ways you can improve your recycling habits in every day life!

A Bittersweet Year For The Future Mrs. Jeter

Up until the age of eight, my dad had me trained to tell people that I was going to be a nun when I grew up because he never wanted to “deal with” another man in my life. Well, much to my dad’s dismay, I grew out of agreeing to that. Around age ten, I broke the news to him: I am going to marry Derek Jeter. He didn’t take it well at first, but thankfully he eventually came around. He even promised to take me to New York one day so I could see Derek Jeter play at Yankee Stadium before he retired.

Well guys, this is a bittersweet year for me. On one hand, I finally get to go see the ol’ ball and chain in action. On the other, the greatest player is leaving the greatest sport and I am heartbroken. I have always loved watching him play on TV because his raw talent makes him incredibly fun to watch. Thank God for built in digital video recorders. Am I right or am I right?!

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For those of you who didn’t get to watch his press conference last Wednesday, bleacher report did a good job wrapping up the key messages. Although, they forgot to mention how great he looked — but luckily I’ve included a screenshot of the picture that Mark Feinsand snapped at the press conference as proof. You’re all welcome. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I could’ve been that water bottle.  Anyway, according the article, Key Quotes, Takeaways from Derek Jeter’s Retirement Press Conference, the central messages were as follows:

  1. He is not retiring due to health and is ready to play 2014 season.
  2. Timing, execution of announcement was his decision.
  3. What is next for him? (Besides marrying me, obviously!)
  4. Switching gears: past to future and settling on his goals for 2014.

Also, Derek Jeter is notorious for more than baseball and mind-blowingly impressive genetics. According to PR Newser, he is also a Media Relations source we can learn from. One of its recent articles, Lessons in Media Relations From Derek Jeter, points out his communication strategy and how it makes him stand out by saying, “So Jeter likes to address the public on his own terms — and who doesn’t? The difference between him and most public figures is that he’s been able to stick to that principle.” I completely agree that he is an exemplary communicator. In my opinion, the things that differentiate a legendary athletic icon from just a very talented player are modesty and self-presentation — both of which, Jeter practically invented.

All in all, his time has come and he has declared that he’s finished being a professional baseball player.  For more on his post-Yankee direction, check out PR Newswire’s article about Derek Jeter’s official website he launched last May, here.

Coffee As We Know It

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As a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, I was immediately intrigued by the recent Seattle Times article Single-serve coffee revolution brews industry change. While I don’t own a single-serve coffee pod machine, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want one. I think we can all agree that they’re growing rapidly in popularity, but convenience doesn’t come cheap.

When I interned for H&L Partners this summer, I used the Nespresso machine almost daily. That thing is amazing and so easy. So why don’t I invest in one? They’re too expensive. Not the machine, but the pods. I guess both actually. And a recent New York Times article agrees with me, proving that the accumulation of enough pods to equal 1 pound costs $51 — versus my go-to one pound bag of Peet’s French Roast coffee for $14.50.

I don’t think people even realize how much they’re spending since it is spread out between so many individual uses. It will be interesting to see how the coffee pod expands in the next few years. In 2013, Americans spent $6 billion on traditional roasted coffee, and close to $2.5 billion on instant and ready-to-drink coffee. How will those numbers change over time? I think a lot of people anticipate those numbers to eventually switch with the increasing popularity of the individual coffee pod.

So what’s next? According to the Seattle Times article that first sparked my interest, the answer is tea, soup and soda K-cups. Campbell Soup Co., Green Mountain, and Coca-Cola are all selling or about to sell their products in K-cup form.

Looks like these expensive little coffee pods are not only here to stay, but also revamping how we eat and drink.

A Pinteresting New Perspective

After reading PR Daily’s article, 10 Pinterest pointers for your brand I thought, “Finally, some reinforcement that Pinterest is actually not a waste of my nonexistent free time! 

The article is about using Pinterest to leverage your personal brand. It provides ten tips about exactly how to make the most of Pinterest in positive ways. So I’m on that website like white on rice, but I usually only pin food recipes, pictures of my dream house, crafts, etc. I never really thought about using Pinterest as anything more than a personal, social corkboard for things I want to keep track of. 

Reading this article made me realize how advantageous it can be in a professional sense. I was inspired to make another board for professional things I want to keep track of. For example, I am trying to find the time to revamp my resume using InDesign, so I pinned several examples of great resumes done on InDesign. Not like it’s rocket science or anything, but I just had never even thought about using Pinterest this way. This article was kind of my light bulb moment — “Oh wow. Why am I not doing this?”

Plus, I already use Pinterest frequently, so it’s not like I will have to push through the learning curve (which usually takes me twice as long as everyone else). I was excited to think about it in a new capacity.

In my J452 class, we are finalizing our infographic assignments. I decided to make another board about exemplary infographics to stimulate some new ideas and a fresh perspective before I make all my finishing touches. Let me just say that was a great choice. I got so many new ideas in about five minutes. Implementing them will definitely take a while, but I was so happy I gave it a shot.

Pinterest is officially my hub of inspiration both personally and professionally.

 P.s. Here’s my latest Pinterest craft find: ReinBeer!

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Eugene is Frozen!

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The University of Oregon’s little city is frozen. Since the weather is such a popular topic around here, I decided to point out what a great job the UO communications office has done throughout the storm. With campus shutting down, trees falling, and half the city’s power out, the UO has effectively informed the community about what is going on and how to stay safe.

I have received beneficial, informative text messages and emails notifying me of closures, weather conditions and advisories about safety precautions. One of the alerts informed everyone that ice can increase the weight of branches by 30 times and half inch accumulations on power lines can add 500 pounds of extra weight. How crazy! I thought this was so helpful to know. In fact, I even went outside and moved my car since I was parked under a tree.

So far, they have issued nine UO alerts since the snowfall started on the 7th.  Also, there was a warning on the 5th in attempt to prepare the community.  The frequent updates have been proactive and reactive. The alerts website has an abundance of information about the current weather situation and how it is affecting the UO community. 

The communications office has covered all their bases. This one’s a PR do!

32-Year-Old PR Writing Tips That Are Still True

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When I read the article David Ogilvy’s 10 tips for clear, concise writing on PR Daily, I felt inspired. It is pretty impressive that he wrote these ten tips for his employees 32 years ago and every single one is still astoundingly true. I guess it just goes to show you how important they are for good PR writing.

I agreed with all of them (except the first one since I’ve never heard of that book, although I’m sure it’s great), but I had a few favorites — mostly because they served as reminders to the areas I personally need to improve on. Here are my two favorites and why:

  • “7. Never send a letter or memo the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning—and then edit it.” Lately, I have got in the habit of doing homework/projects in the evening. On numerous occasions, I find a mistake the next day. Working at the end of the day when my mind is tired is not as efficient as the morning, but I don’t have time to finish everything in the morning. I loved this tip because it reminded me that while I sometimes have to work in the evening, I should be editing the next day when my mind is clearer.
  • “4. Never use jargon words like ‘reconceptualize’, ‘demassification’, ‘attitudinally’, ‘judgmentally’. They are all hallmarks of pretense.” After reading this, I couldn’t help but chuckle thinking that I haven’t written something without using a thesaurus since… high school probably. I don’t think I regularly use any of the examples or comparable words, but I was reminded to use simple words over big words when I can, which I definitely need to work on.

Now for a few writing tips from me:

  1. Write somewhere quiet. Let your brain focus only on the task at hand.
  2. Think about your message from start to finish before you pick up a pen or start typing.
  3. If you’re feeling intimidated by a writing assignment, pour yourself a generous glass of wine and dive into it.
  4. Save your writing as you go. Hit “command S” after every paragraph. Discovering that the thing you spent three hours on last night didn’t save will ruin a good chunk of your day, guaranteed.
  5. If you can’t decide if a sentence sounds good or not, it doesn’t.
  6. When proofreading, read it out loud. Twice.
  7. When you finish writing something really great, go eat something really great.

So maybe they’re a bit less technical than David Ogilvy’s, but I like to follow them!

Multitaskers: Read it and Weep!

Multitasking could be my middle name. I do it every day. I constantly feel like I am mentally working on a minimum of 3 tasks at a time. My mentality is that it makes me more efficient — at least that’s what I tell myself since I am a natural multitasker. Stumbling across this infographic about the dangers of multitasking on Visual.ly was a much-needed wake up call for me.

The High Cost of Multitasking

Here are my favorite ones and why:

▪   The average person checks their phone 150 times a day: Ummm seriously? My first thought was, “Oh gosh that can’t be me!” That quickly evolved to, “But what if it is?!”  This statistic was beyond alarming to me. The only person who needs to be checking a cell phone 150 times a day is Barack Obama or maybe a phone salesman. This served as a little reminder to me: Put. The. Phone. Down.

▪   Multitaskers experience a 40% drop in productivity across the board: I feel like I am really productive most days. When I have a full day of work in front of me, I tackle it head on and come out of the day feeling great about all that I accomplished. But I’m fairly certain that I multitask every single day, so imagine how much more productive I could be (even on my busiest day) if I cut out multitasking?

▪   Take 50% longer to accomplish a single task: I don’t have time to be decreasing my productivity! Being in the present moment and mentally focusing on only the task at hand is something I really need to work on.

In case anyone is feeling like they need some more reassurance, I found another great piece on NPR. The article, Think You’re Multitasking? Think Again is all about how people are not good multitaskers, but we think we are.