The Legend of Gronk

By the time you’re reading this, every member of the Patriots is probably laying on a beach somewhere enjoying the fruits of the offseason. They’ve already won the Super Bowl and hosted a celebratory duck boat parade through the streets of Boston, appropriately riding off into the sunset, errr…snowstorm, with a big shiny ring.

But before we let the memories of SB LI slip into the back of our minds, let’s take a minute to recognize a  true moment of glory. No, I am not talking about Edelman’s catch, the game-winning TD, or Brady shaking hands with Goodell. I’m talking about Gronk being the absolute most Gronk during the parade, exclaiming that he “wasn’t planning on partying, but did it for the fans.”

Aside from the unbelievable notion that Gronk wouldn’t be partying at the parade, this is hilarious because he is so earnest in his reasoning. As Boston mag reports, it went like this:

“To tell you the truth, I wasn’t even planning on partying,” he says, explaining his moment of clarity to reporters today. “But the fans were asking for it, and I’m giving the fans what they wanted to get. So I partied for the fans. That’s how we do it. That’s how we roll.”

So Gronk gave us what we all not-so-secretly wanted: dancing shirtless, catching beers from fans and opening them with his teeth. A true man for the people.

BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 07: Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots drinks beer during the Super Bowl victory parade on February 7, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime in Super Bowl 51. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: CBS Local

 

Posted by Tracy

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Fast Food’s Most Recent Monstrosity: The Chizz

These days, fast food chains aren’t satisfied with their regular hyper-caloric menu items. Instead, their mashing up the most unhealthy items to create heart-stopping, fried, cheesy, fatty offerings, all for what I would argue is in the name a PR because I simply can’t imagine who would find these things appetizing. First there was Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger, then Taco Bell’s Fried Chicken Taco Shell, and now, KFC’s Chizza.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Source: FWx.com

In case the name wasn’t enough of a clue, the Chizza is essentially a Hawaiian pizza with pineapple, ham, sauce, mozzarella cheese and KFC’s “special cheese sauce” all atop a fried chicken breast instead of traditional crust.

Fortunately for us here in America, this creation is currently only available in Asia and hopefully – for the sake of our health – it will never make its way stateside.

 

Posted by Amanda

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Would You Buy a Used Car from a Vending Machine?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source Travel + Leisure

It’s apparently a thing, now. Carvana, an online used car marketplace, just opened their third multi-story vending machine in Austin, Texas, following openings in Nashville and Houston.

The “vending machines” are all-glass, five-story buildings that store up to 20 vehicles, loaded in advance of a customer’s pick-up. Buyers simply purchase their car online, drop a coin into the vending machine and watch their new car be automatically retrieved and lowered to a ground floor garage bay.

It seems like a great idea in theory – no more hassling with smarmy car salesman or venturing into neighborhoods unknown for a Craigslist test drive. But how do you know you’re not getting a lemon since you’re presumably seeing the car for the first time at pickup? Carvana puts vehicles through a 150-point inspection, allows a seven-day test drive with “no questions asked” returns, and a 100-day or 4,189-mile bumper to bumper warranty.

I still think there’s something to be said about the car buying experience and getting to test drive several options, but for buyers willing to give that up just to avoid talking to another human being, Carvana’s here to save the day!

 

Posted by Destiny

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Hero in the Clouds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source FoxNews.com

While everyone enjoys a nice example of love, paying it forward and good ‘ole compassion for other human beings, I think we can all agree that in light of recent events in our country, these stories have an even deeper, more profound impact now.

As I was scrolling through my social media news feeds the other day, a particular post with the tagline ‘Fighting human trafficking with eyes in the sky’ caught my attention.

The link directed me to the beyond moving and incredible tale of Sheila Frederick, a flight attendant with Alaska Airlines, whose keen intuition and swift actions on a flight years ago most likely saved the life of a young girl.

Upon noticing a disheveled, distressed teenager on a plane traveling from Seattle to San Francisco with an older, extremely defensive man, she became suspicious. She managed to convince the girl to go to the bathroom. There, on the mirror waiting for her, was a handwritten note from Sheila. The teenage victim wrote back on the note indicating that she needed help and rescuing. The pilot was alerted, and shortly thereafter, the authorities were as well. When the plane landed in San Francisco, the cops were waiting in the terminal to apprehend the bad guy.

Amazing. And a great reminder of “if you see something, say something.”

Raise your hand if you’re eagerly anticipating the inevitable, ripped-from-the-headlines Law & Order: SVU episode inspired by this tale…. Detective Olivia Benson and her #squadgoals would majorly slay this material.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Image source GoogleImages.com

 

Posted by Ilana

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The Bradys Are Just Like Us

Well, maybe not JUST like us. The man of the house does have five Super Bowl rings and is the greatest quarterback of all time. The woman of the house is a supermodel. They are millionaires. And gorgeous.

All that aside, this past week we got a pretty cool glimpse of the (New England) first family acting as mere mortals and — for a split second — we all felt a little bit better about ourselves.

I am not talking about Gisele’s dramatic reaction to her husband’s win. That was pretty amazing,  though.

I am talking about all of the boogers (the Brady children boogers, that is) that took the internet by storm.

Sweet Vivian Lake digging for gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Hollywood Life

She is really going to be bummed about that when she is older.

And even her brother gets boogies. But there is her dad, not the GOAT, not the Michael Jordan of Football, not Tom Brady, but just a regular ‘ole guy being a dad and wiping his son’s snot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Twitter

For a few moments last week we realized that,  in fact, the Bradys are humans and not just these ridiculously talented, good-looking, wealthy people. Just a few moments, though, because surely no one can relate to this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: UsMagazine.com

 

Posted by Meghan McCarrick

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Playing With Words Word Play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source Google.com

Many folks often tend to say that math is the universal language – well, for me, numbers are a foreign language. I guess that means that I’m bilingual? Score! I have to respectfully disagree with the masses here and say that language and lexicon are all the rage. I have always been fascinated by and enamored with all things related to the written and spoken word. When it comes to our spectacular vernacular, I love it all. PUNS are my soul food, PALINDROMES bring me an inexplicable amount of amusement and joy, PROSE gives me purpose. Idioms, alliterations, anagrams, homophones – gimme gimme more. It’s not exactly normal for a high school student to get excited over the analogies and verbal portions of the Standardized Aptitude Test, yet alas, guilty as charged.

So it should come as no surprise that I have an ongoing word association game with one of my brothers, Ben. He and I will let each other know whenever we think of or see a word that only exists in the presence of another word. And by that, I mean a word that only makes sense in a particular context and doesn’t typically stand alone, isolated.

Without further (ado), I present to you just a sample of ‘the list’ that Ben and I keep: scantily (clad), inclement (weather), breeched (baby), unsung (hero), bated (breath), whet (appetite), serrated (blade), raspy (voice), prodigal (son), mete (punishment), litmus (test), wreak (havoc), exact (revenge), moot (point), helter (skelter)  – you see where I’m going with this?

You’d be surprised how many of these word marriages you stumble upon in your everyday life. I invite you to take part in this little exercise. It keeps the mind fresh and sharp, and makes your wrack your….. (brain.)

So, with that being said, when I say ‘vim!’, you say (?????)!

 

Posted by Ilana

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Time to Get Lost, Buddy.

Let’s face it — your body is going through a demanding time. It’s got cold weather to contend with, an increased number of germs to fight off, piling work to catch up on and a ton of “comfort” food to still get rid of from the holidays. As a result, 99.9% of the people around you have been finding comfort in committing to workout schedules, taking on trendy diets and working late to get ahead. What concerns me is that no one seems to be committing to creating a personal space in which to reflect, relax and do absolutely nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about turning into a couch potato and binging on Netflix or reality TV, but rather actively pursuing calmness and serenity within oneself. Stay with me, I promise not to go all hippie dippie on you. The purpose of this post is to simply introduce you to mindful meditation, a practice introduced by Zen Buddist Thich Nhat Hanh, and how it can effectively promote both physical and mental health, which inevitably then translates into higher productivity and increased happiness.

According to a report from “Project: Time Off,” a travel-industry initiative that looks at how people use their vacation time, half of millennial employees think looking like a martyr at work by never taking time off will impress the boss. As a millennial myself, I’m very aware of my generation’s association with negative connotations such as entitlement, need for constant praise and inability to commit to a full-time job. But, these stereotypes wrongly place a large number of hard working individuals under one disappointing umbrella that sets them all up for failure. As a result, millennials have adopted a habit of “vacation shaming,” which entails shaming colleagues who actually do take vacation time. I’ve personally been fortunate enough to work at an agency that offers unlimited vacation time and is understanding of employees’ needs to take time off. Yet, I still face this attitude from friends who work at different companies every single time I take time off to visit my family in Jordan or take a short trip for personal benefit to something like a yoga retreat or a secluded cabin in the woods.

The reason behind my requests to take personal time off isn’t because I’m entitled or incapable of handling a full-time job. It’s because I’ve recently learned to understand and appreciate the importance of mindful meditation, also known as present-focused awareness. Every day, I thank my mom for making me read Thich Nhat Hahn’s book, Being Peace. In it, Hahn offers this short mantra that I repeat to myself every morning: “Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment.”

Every individual has a different preference as to where they can effectively practice mindful meditation and find their own peace. These places range from homes and offices to swing sets and sail boats. I discovered that I can best focus on my mind when I take myself away from my daily routine and go to an open-air space like a forest, mountain or beach with plenty to mentally engage in and minimal noise pollution to distract me. This allows me to get lost in thought, focus on being present and work on my personal wellbeing.

I didn’t mean to ramble on, but I’ll leave you with one last saying by my main man Thich Nhat Hanh:

If we are peaceful, if we are happy,

we can blossom like a flower,

and everyone in our family,

our entire society,

will benefit from our peace.

So if you’re not going to do this for yourself, do it for those 99.9% crazed individuals around you!

 

Posted by Zein

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A Valentine’s Day Gift for Your Love Bug!

Having trouble finding the perfect gift to show your significant other how much you L-O-V-E them this Valentine’s Day? Forget about the Hallmark cards and candy, here’s a creative idea that gives a whole new meaning to the pet name, Love Bug.  Yup, the Bronx Zoo is offering Valentine’s Day revelers the chance to name a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach after their beloved.

Photo: Flicker

What!? Ewe, gross! Aren’t New Yorkers typically doing the Mexican Hat Dance to try and kill these buggers when found scampering across their apartment floor? (I digress…)

Anyhow, if this is something that appeals to you, congratulations, the Name-A-Roach program will take 10 of your hard-earned dollars in return for a certificate with your roach’s name emailed to your person of choice. If you’re worried that this ingenious Valentine’s Day gift will somehow sell out, rest easy: there are “thousands” of roaches at the zoo so there certainly won’t be any shortage!

The Name-A-Roach program has been around since 2011, according to the AP, and is a nice way to raise money for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which works to protect wildlife and their habitats. If you really feel a need to go the extra mile and send the message home this Valentine’s Day then a $35 donation gets you a digital certificate and a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach plush stuffed animal (to have and to hold forever).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Bronx Zoo

Or a $50 donation will get you all that plus a box of chocolates!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Bronx Zoo

Whether the gesture is spicy or sweet this Valentine’s Day, be original and think outside the box!

 

Posted by Rebecca

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An App to Get Involved

 

No matter what side of the political aisle you identify with, we can all agree that this election and new administration is nontraditional. As a result, people are more passionate, more educated on the matters at hand, and are showing up in millions to make a statement. It’s said we’re a government for the people and that it works best when citizens get involved, but that hasn’t always been the easiest thing to do.

Tweeting our frustrations or approvals is a great outlet to share our personal beliefs but doesn’t have a ton of pull with your legislators. Picking up the phone and calling the office of your rep can be intimidating and, frankly, seems a bit antiquated in our digital age. Recently, I discovered an app that solves these problems by letting you get involved with the swipe of your finger. Enter: Countable, an app that summarizes what Congress is voting on week by week and provides Spark Notes versions of each bill, clearly explaining the pros and cons of each side. The app also identifies who your direct Senate and House representatives are and allows you to email, phone or even video chat with them to share your feedback on specific bills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever wonder how exactly your representatives are actually representing you? Countable does that for you, too, tracking exactly how each of your reps vote on every single bill that hits the floor. Pissed off about it? Send an email right from the app.

Participating in government has really never been easier and, in times like this, it’s imperative that you make your voice be heard. So whether you’re out there marching the streets of DC or voting Yea or Nay on the latest bills, get off your ass and get involved because WE are what make America great.

 

Posted by Tracy

 

 

 

 

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Natural Branding, Or What I Like to Call “Produce Tattoos”

Frankly, I rarely give a second thought to the small sticker that identifies my apples as Honeycrisp or Zucchinis as organic, but Spanish company Laserfood has been thinking a lot about those little guys and how to get rid of them.

The company has solved this problem with a process called “natural branding,” which uses light to target “specific cells on the skin of the food to form a desired pattern by making them retract. A contrast liquid is then sprayed to make the retracted cells change color and the pattern becomes much more obvious,” according to PC Mag. Through this process, the skin of the produce is changed, allowing retailers to identify produce and expiration dates, but not affect the quality, taste or texture of the fruit or vegetable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Source: PCMag.com

You might be wondering why anyone cares. The answer is that while those seemingly harmless stickers are quite tiny, they are comprised of plastic, paper and glue, which in many cases aren’t recyclable – and cost money! If you think about how many millions of stickers are stuck on fruits and veggies everywhere, the quantities really add up!

Supermarkets in Europe are already adopting this new labeling process and Swedish supermarket ICA has already calculated their environmental impact. In an interview with The Guardian, ICA business unit manager Peter Hagg said, “by using natural branding on all the organic avocados we would sell in one year, we will save 200 kilometers—135 miles—of plastic.” And that’s just one vegetable in one supermarket in one country! While I’ve never been a fan of tattoos personally, this is a kind I can get onboard with!

 

Posted by Amanda

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