The First Wire’s Paris “Meet & Greet” is THIS upcoming Sunday, April 1st! We are very excited to travel to France to mingle with some great celebrities for the great cause of benefiting Action Against Hunger in their fight to stop world starvation.
Accompanying us on the trip are 50 TFW readers who were lucky enough to be chosen to receive a free trip with accommodations and all-access passes to the event! We are pleased to announce that The First Wire’s guests will be receiving accommodations at Le Hotel Crillon — visit their website here! This luxury hotel brings about architecture and furniture from the 1700s while boosting a reputation for being one of the best hotels in the world. We would like to thanks The Five Star Alliance for helping The First Wire secure these reservations for our readers and celebrity guests!
The agenda for the Paris “Meet & Greet” is as follows:
5:00 - 6:00pm “Hungry Hour” - guests will be served cocktails while walking around to various stations where information on different nations’ famine problems are explained. Donations are taken on-site.
6:00 - 8:00pm “Dinner” - Renknowned French chef, Alain Sailhac, will be flying to Paris from New York City to prepare a delicious 6-course meal for our estimated 175 total guests.
8:00 - 10:00pm “Silent Auction” - All proceeds from this auction - which is selling off previously used artwork from the Lourve - will go towards Action Against Hunger’s mission to end world hunger. Celebrities, guests, and readers alike can participate in the auction. Our goal: $300,000.
10:00pm - 11:30pm “Network Time” - TFW Readers and paying guests will have the opportunity to mingle with our celebrities in a 90 minute networking event that is serviced by cocktails and French pastries from pastry expert Claire Clarke of The French Laundry.
All Paris “Meet & Greet” events are being held at the world famous Musee de Louvre in the heart of the city! We would like to thank the museum for being so kind as to allow us to use their International Room for this event.
There you have it! A full preview of what is to come with our Paris “Meet & Greet”! If you would like a refresher as to the 50 TFW readers who won a trip to our event or a list of celebrities attending along with information on how to donate to Action Against Hunger in the name of The First Wire, please visit the following links:
"A Better You": Starting (and Sticking) to New Habits
This week’s “A Better You” comes from Scott H. Young from LifeHack. Learn to Hack your Life by making better choices! This week, Scott gives us 15 tips on how to make exercise our habit… and how to stick to it!
Take it away Scott…
It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.
Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
Enjoyment Before Effort - After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
Create a Ritual - Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
Stress Relief - What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
Measure Fitness - Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
Isolate Your Weakness - If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
Start Small - Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.
Great tips there, guys, right?! We will certainly implement them in our own lives in order to get our bodies, minds, and attitudes on the right track in life. We hope you will do the same! If you have any questions for Scott about any of his tips, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “ABY Scott” with your name, city, and email address. We’ll have him get back to you within 72 hours!
You know those holidays that just creep up on you? Like: Mother’s Day or Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Those that are important, but just not important enough to be pre-printed into your handy-dandy calendar? Yes, we know those too! That’s why our poll question this week is:
What is the most obscure holiday?
A. Arbor Day
B. Presidents’ Day
C. Grandparents Day
D. International Men’s Day
E. National Secretaries’ Day
Submit your responses to email@example.com with your name and letter corresponding to your answer by 5:00pm PST this Friday in order for your vote to be included in our Monday morning results post! Let’s shine some light on those not-so-noticeable holidays!
Happy Monday, everyone! It is time once again to look at some poll results from last week. The previous Monday, we asked our readers:
What is the Song of the Moment?
A. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen —> 54%
B. Marry The Night by Lady Gaga —> 12%
C. I Like It Like That by Hot Chelle Rae —> 18%
D. Turn Me On by David Gueta —> 9%
E. I Set Fire to the Rain by Adele —> 8%
Looks like Justin Bieber’s female/Canadian counterpart is getting lots of attention these days thanks to the producing prowess of Scooter Braun and the wide-appeal of Bieber. And, let’s not forget: the song is catchy too!
Congrats! You’ve made it through another week where your values, beliefs, and dreams have been put to the test. Did you miss some stuff going on around you while you were busy? No worries! The First Wire has got you covered.
Here are your top 5 news stories from March 19th to March 23rd, 2012:
- Family: Mary (Wife), Jonah (Son), Ally (Daughter)
- Hobbies: Spending time with family, community events, travelling.
- Future Ambitions: Want to hire the next best thing for The First Wire by searching all across the country for the best and the brightest students. They will be the faces of my future - I know it.
- How He Got Involved with TFW: I met founder Mirza Germovic in a trip to Los Angeles. Both of us were actually double-booked for the same hotel room at the Four Seasons. As a result, we both waited in the lobby for 2 hours while they were checking people out of the hotel as fast as they could to get us both rooms with our individual preferences. In those two hours, a great connection was made. I was “hooked, line and sinker” for the idea of The First Wire after that conversation.
- How to Contact Me: Send me an email at George@thefirstwire.org and I will absolutely respond no matter how busy I am! I like to live and breath the message of The First Wire even beyond just my office - Everyone has a story to tell so why shouldn’t I listen all the time? Go ahead: shoot me an email!
Thanks for introducing yourself, George! You are one inspiring guy and we are very lucky to have you on board with us here in the New York offices! Keep your amazing personality, energy, and enthusiasm up - we love it!
The College Conservative Takes On... Conservative Pop Culture!
It’s true. I don’t care how much you hate Barack Obama, or how stunning Rick Santorum’s last campaign ad was, or how totally. freaking. awesome. Sarah Palin’s CPAC speech was. These things don’t automatically resonate outside of the echo chamber–especially with the 18-30 demographic. They don’t get it. It’s not that the message is flawed; it just needs the proper packaging.
Enter pop culture.
I love pop culture. I soak myself in it every day, because staying in touch with pop culture is one of many ways to take the pulse of a nation. Overstimulated, oversexed, and overly-corrupt though it may be, proper application of pop culture to conservatism can mean the difference between your message going viral, and falling flat on its face.
Enter Madison Rising.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dave Bray, lead singer of the breakout conservative rock band Madison Rising. I went into the interview planning on lobbing a few political softballs amidst a sea of “tell me about the band” chit chat, but that all went out the window when I discovered that these guys are the real deal.
Madison Rising was born in a recording studio in Hoboken, New Jersey, on the aptly-named Madison Street. Named for our fourth President, Madison Rising seeks to bring back what James Madison himself stood for — those beliefs he held as a founder and master craftsman of the Constitution. What started with an idea now stands as our next best chance to harness the power of pop culture in favor of conservatism.
Dave describes Madison Rising as a “patriotic rock band,” the idea of which I both loved and questioned until I heard him talk about what that means for conservatism. Dave’s background is what he describes as “not diehard conservative,” but he explained that for the past 5 years, he’s been tuned in to the movement as the only way of life that makes sense to him. One thing he is adamant about, though, is how important it is to use pop culture as a tool to help spread the conservative message.
At CPAC this year, Dave Bray and his bandmates were very nearly asked to leave the conference facilities due to their appearances. They looked like rockstars, and apparently, looking like a rockstar is the opposite of “conservative.” Hearing this story caused me to repeatedly /headdesk, because I can identify with him completely on this one. (I was once given a stern lecture on the offensiveness of the second piercing in my left ear. How wanton of me.) The conservative movement is so completely devoid of anything departing from pencil skirts and power ties that its security force very nearly bounced a group of culture warriors out of their own conference.
What Dave really wanted to talk about during the interview (and I was more than happy to let him do it) was the conservative movement’s desperate need for an injection of pop culture. He told me, “[pop culture] is going to end up being the stock that conservatism needs to invest in the most.” He went on to describe how redundancy plagues the conservative movement; even conference panelists are redundant and contribute to the echo chamber mentality. “We go [to conferences] to be aware and active and engaged, but we get the same story seven times a day in the same way.”
Enter music as a medium.
Above all, Madison Rising is the embodiment of artistic expression of common sense, which exists in direct opposition to the garbage contained in the “message” of mainstream pop culture. Their message is just as conservative as anything that’s ever come out of Sarah Palin’s mouth; it’s their sound that sets them apart. And their sound rocks.
I have to admit, I was skeptical about the whole “conservative rock band” thing when I first heard of Madison Rising. I had flashbacks of youth conferences I went to as a kid, where they’d trot out “Christian rock bands” that made everyone in the room who wasn’t an overzealous music minister feel extremely awkward. When I saw Madison Rising at CPAC, however, my whole perception changed. I saw men in leather, rocking out with a terrific sound, and having fun doing it. There was no pretense, there was no “trying too hard;” there was simply a man with a familiar message in extremely cool packaging.
Dave describes each song on Madison Rising’s debut album as a kind of “business card”; when writing the album, the band wanted to give a nod to each segment of the conservative dynamic. They gave Reaganites a song, soldiers, vets, and wounded warriors a song, and gun owners a song; they even took the time to bash the liberal media. For Dave, a Navy vet with a wife, kids, and an affinity for guns, all of those things culminate in a genuine message that represents core values in his own life. For their second album, Dave hopes to let his artistic side reign supreme. He’s planning an album that is even more artistic, more enjoyable, and–in his own words–more cool than the first. He wants fans and newcomers to like the music first; the message will come with time.
It’s time for the movement as a whole to wake up and stand behind men like Dave Bray, and the other members of Madison Rising. What these guys are doing–and what others like them have been trying to do for years–is updating the presentation of conservatism in a way that will catch the attention of people not normally attracted to what has been, for the most part, a very vanilla-sounding way of life. For Dave, Madison Rising isn’t just another gig–it’s a call to service. It’s his way of exposing the corruption inherent in the Obama administration and the progressive culture at large.
Still a skeptic? That’s okay. All I ask is that you keep an open mind. Check out the band’s website, and hear the message in their own words. Music not your style? That’s okay too, but don’t discount the message simply because you’re not turned on by the d*** dirty rock music.
Give it a chance, and if you agree with their message, give Madison Rising your support. What you’re hearing is not just a song; it’s a call to arms that must not be ignored.
Amy Miller :: Michigan State University College of Law :: East Lansing, Michigan :: @Amyvrwc
In celebration of NCIS’s recent pick-up by CBS for a 10th Season, The First Wire is releasing our interview with non other than the lead himself: Mark Harmon! This interview was filed by Richard Aldridge (TFW, Los Angeles) back in November 2011.
Mr. Harmon gives us insight into causes important to him, as well as some great insight into the current 9th season of NCIS. This interview is “can’t-miss”!
Paris "Meet & Greet" Charity of Choice & Celebrity Attendees!
Our Paris “Meet & Greet” is about 10 days away and The First Wire is proud to announce our “Charity of Choice”, which will receive 100% of the revenue garnished from the silent auction portion of our evening’s events. Past charities - e.g. The National AIDS Foundation & The HollyRod Foundation - received $250,000+ from the proceeds of our “Meet & Greet”. We hope the same can be true for this month’s charity of choice:
Action Against Hunger
Mission Statement: Action Against Hunger/AFC International is committed to doing anything to end world hunger.
For other ways to get involved, including hosting an event, fundraising, etc. - please visit “Action Against Hunger”s Take Action page HERE.
Even if you were not selected to join The First Wire in our Paris “Meet & Greet” you can help by just clicking one of the above links - one donation, event, or volunteer can mean the difference between life and death for the world’s hungriest.
On top of announcing our “Charity of Choice”, The First Wire is proud to present the names of the 7 celebrity “Meet & Greet” attendees:
Susan Sarandon - actress who believes that no one should go to bed hungry.
Jeff Bridges - actor committed to giving everyone a square meal and a shot at a quality life.
William Baldwin - a Baldwin brother not afraid to give to those who do not receive enough to live properly.
Carla Bruni - This French First Lady is continuing her work with the homeless and hungry in France by donating her time and resources to help
Iman - Model who has devoted herself to bring the face of the hungry to the front page.
Bono - Musician who displays just as much passion in his commitment to the hungry as he does in his music.
Steve Buscemi - Actor who is more concerned with the names of the hungry than his own.
This should be an event not to forget! If you have any questions about our celebrity attendees, charity of choice, etc. please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll respond within 72 hours! We are too excited to see how we can all benefit Action Against Hunger as a community!
We know, we know: There is nothing like the thought of having to exercise on vacation that can bring the mood of any fun time down. BUT, it can be really easy to do simple exercises while on vacation that will allow you to indulge without going exercise-less for the time that you are away.
I find that I need to keep my cardio up or I just don’t feel the same. I try and rise early when I can depending on transit days and either do some form of exercise before the rest of the town is awake. I will do one of three things: go for a 30 minute run, 45 minute walk, or do 45 minutes of self-guided yoga.
I especially feel a difference in my day if I start my morning with some form of movement. Getting the blood pumping around the body makes me feel more active from the get go.
A lot of people hate running, Elise being one of those people (which is strange considering she used to be a cross country champion!). I am passionate about running and it is amazing how clear my thinking becomes when I am running for 15 minutes or longer. This is when I do most of my planning for the future and goal setting. In the 30 minutes in the morning I can do more creative thinking, than all day staying at home doing nothing.
Often the first 15 minutes of running is the most difficult and once your body becomes adjusted to the speed and rhythm you will be more comfortable with running. So much so, your body might be begging you for more!
I usually just run for 15 minutes and turn around. The one thing I hate about this is I prefer to run circuit style rather than back and forth. There is a mental challenge knowing how far you have to get home. I like not knowing and then arriving back to my starting point without realising how far I have run. If you are running whilst overseas, please be aware of passing through certain neighbourhoods. Safety should be your biggest concern and knowing where you are going will keep you out of trouble.
I usually walk on the day I am feeling bit lazy, it still gets your body moving. It won’t burn as many calories or work your cardiovascular system as much, but it will get you out and about. The one thing I enjoy about getting up early and walking the streets of the town is that I get to observe the locals getting ready for the day. All the shop vendors sweeping the streets and people getting ready for work, children screaming around the streets and going to school. I will always be amazed at how early kids go to school in other countries! Just this morning I heard kids singing songs in school at 6.30am! So the main thing is that you are remaining active and also enjoy the best part of the day. To be fair, I don’t get up every morning and do this, but I like to do it at least twice a week, and run 3 times a week.
I think yoga is one of the best things that India has passed onto the west. I never feel better than when I complete a session of yoga. I originally started practicing Birkram yoga many years ago and have now formulated a number of different poses that change on a daily basis depending on how my body is feeling. I try and do some form of yoga at least 1-2 per week. There is nothing better than stretching out your entire body and getting a killer card workout at the same time. That is one thing that a lot of people don’t realise is that depending on what style of yoga you are practicing, it can be an extremely good cardio workout. Not only that the pay off on mental concentration is rewarding. You will think clearer and be more relaxed fort the duration of the day. I practice a mixture of Bikram, Hatha, Power yoga depending on my mood and what my body tells me.
All of the above exercises concentrate on either stretching and/or working your cardiovascular system. But what can you do if you want to tone up or do some strength training while travelling is some resistance training. I have purchased two different resistance bands which allows me to work on key core muscles. The bands are light and can fit in my bag and don’t take up too much room which is a plus.
Now I am not going to lie to you-I only sometimes train with my resistance bands. I do find them to be a chore sometimes and I would much prefer to do cardio. When I can be bothered I do do a number of different exercises that I feel that I get the most benefit from. I try and work the major upper muscle groups only and I know many gym junkies would say that I should also be working out my lower body for balance, but I feel that that gets a good work out from running.
Besides, you are travelling and if you care that much about your body you should settle down somewhere and join a gym! I simply exercise to feel good and keep my body in good shape but I am by no means fanatical about it. I have scoured the internet for excerises and I have come up with a routine that fits my needs.
These exercises will strengthen your core and protect your organs and spine from injury. There are literally thousands of excerises that trainers have come up with but I would do the basic exercises when wanting to do a different work out.
This would have to be my favourite excerise to do when stationary, it works so many muscles at once and I like that it also can work you cardiovascular system at the same time if you have minimal rest period between sets. I recently complete the 100 push up challenge, and it was no easy feat!
Sit ups & Plank holds
There are a variety of sit ups and crunches that will work your mid section. I like to use a combination of crunches additionally with a bicycle kick at the same time. I absolutely hate plank holds and if you are not aware of what they are, it is when you get into a push up position and you hold yourself for 30 seconds or longer. This will work your core stomach muscles.
A varied plank hold with an addition of lifting your leg to you hands and then back down to first position and the same with the other leg. I would much prefer to do this exercise than a simple plank hold. I like the movement of this exercise.
Please don’t think that I am some kind of super being that does all this exercising whilst travelling, because I am not! I do a variety of the above exercises whilst travelling and not all of them every week. I like variety of being active and do what I feel like on certain days. It is also good to involve actives in your lifestyle which will keep you active. Elise and I love to go trekking or any kind of adventure sports like canyoning, surfing or kite boarding. Anything that is fun and keeps you active is a good thing.
Thanks for the great advice, Anthony! Now, our readers can take it on their next vacation. And, who knows: maybe you’ll come back from vacation with a 6-pack? Ok, doubtful; but, you can at least return knowing you did what was best to make “A Better You”.
You know that song that you can’t get out of your head. That song that you don’t know every word to, but can belt every single one out when it comes on the radio (7 or 8 times a day). Well, we want to know what that song is!
Our Poll of the Week:
What is the “Song of the Moment”?
A. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
B. Marry The Night by Lady Gaga
C. I Like It Like That by Hot Chelle Rae
D. Turn Me On by David Guetaa
E. I Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
Send in your responses to email@example.com by 5:00pm PST this Friday in order to be included in our results next Monday morning!
We cannot wait to see what you have to say - hopefully we’ll start singing it in our offices when we know which one is the one “of the moment”.
(Image rights belong to Victoria’s Secret, shared with The First Wire.)
Welcome to your Monday! You know what that means: We’ve got some great poll results for you!
Last week, we asked our readers:
What is your favorite type of swimsuit to wear?
A. Solid color —> 15%
B. Patterned —> 16%
C. Stripped —> 24%
D. One-piece —> 28%
E. Swimsuit? I’m a nudist! —> 22%
You can view the results of the poll to the right of the available options for answer. This poll had 97,000 respondents. It seems that a large majority maybe are not quite ready to bare-it-all with a two-piece so are staying with the one-piece swimsuits! Are a lot of our readers nudists? Interesting answers, you guys!
- Hobbies: Travelling, Having Fun with Friends, Meeting New People, Listening
- Future Ambitions: Would like to work as a foreign correspondent for an international news service. Eventually hope to have my own talk show! You’d listen, right?!
- How He Got Involved with TFW: I had the initial idea for The First Wire during last summer when I was doing the most travelling back and forth from NYC, LA, Vancouver, and Des Moines, Iowa that I think I ever have! I met some amazing people - who, like me, loved to listen - and, The First Wire had its roots just from conversations at cocktail parties. We really are grass roots at the core.
- How to Contact Me: Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll respond! It may take me a while, but I always repsond no matter what! I love listening to all you to have say or answer any questions about me or The First Wire you may have.
We are so lucky to get to work with such a young and aspiring mind! We thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule, Mirza, to tell our readers a little bit about the man that started this whole thing that has impacted our lives in a great way.
The United States is the most powerful nation on earth. Can it use this power in a positive manner? Though the definition of positive will often differ (whether it is aiding Libyan rebels or putting troops in several African nations), it nearly always means military intervention.
Senator John McCain has proposed the United States become involved in the Syria’s conflicts, in the way of using air strikes to aid the Syrian rebels. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has advocated this as well. While he may have the best intentions, it is necessary to keep two major factors in mind— history and principles.
If men wish to heed its advice, history teaches and warns. The United States has fought many wars on foreign soil—from the Barbary Wars of the early 1800’s, to the two World Wars, to the Vietnam War. A distinction between two kinds of conflict must be made: wars fought in self-defense and wars fought in conquest. Of course, grey areas exist in between these two, i.e. the Cold War. One may argue that the Vietnam War was a result of American advisers sent to South Vietnam. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident (the event that resulted in the sending of combat troops to South Vietnam) would not have happened if the advisers were not present. One may also argue that our involvement in Vietnam was a matter of self-defense, referring to prevention of the spread of Communism. However, some say that Communists would not have attacked the United States, considering the heavy price of World War II and the weakness of their economy.
Recently, the United States has maintained an interventionist mentality. The Clinton Administration was rather fond of these foreign interventions, with the blessing of the United Nations– of course. During the 1990’s, the Clinton Administration sent troops to Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. None of these conflicts involved attacks against the United States, or even preemptive strikes to prevent attacks. Rather, they were all products of a Peace Corps mentality. In other words, using the military as more of a humanitarian effort than in defense of our nation.
The effects of this mentality are evident in the results. In all of the example countries listed, things were not suddenly better because we decided to intervene. Somalia is still in anarchy (with a large Al Qaeda prescience), Haiti (even before the earthquake) was not transformed into a tropical paradise, and the NATO forces in Bosnia remained until 2004.
Who are the Syrian rebels? Contrary to what one may want to think, they are not all freedom-loving, selfless revolutionaries. In fact, Al Qaeda has attached itself to this rebel movement in Syria. Just as in Libya, aiding the Syrian rebels equates to aiding our enemies.
These interventions raise questions of an ideological nature. Why should we use our military to intervene in the affairs of foreign countries who have not attacked us, nor are poised to do so? Apart from this issue, the United States government is not financially able to implement such policies. Using Libya as an example the costs associated with such an operation; approximately 900 million dollars is not affordable for us right now, period, especially at such a high risk of the lives of military personnel.
The motivations can be summed up simply as “The Syrian government is bad and their enemies should be supported.” Yes, no one can deny that the Syrian government is “bad,” but Al Qaeda is much worse. And is Al Qaeda not our enemy as well? If the same justification is to become a standard belief, then a great number of nations could be attacked. I do not defend the Syrian government for their repression of liberty, but taking action in favor of a side opens the door to further widespread military engagements that are unrelated to the defense of the United States.
The fog of war is always thick, though this does not mean that American lives and money must be spent to engage a corrupt nation’s situation that is much more complicated to fix than the U.S. sweeping in and saving the day.
Chicago, I’ve got two words for you: WE’RE COMING!!
That’s right, you heard us correctly! The First Wire is proud to announce that, starting in May, we will have offices located on the “Miracle Mile” in Chicago! We could not be more excited to extend our reach even more by expanding our staff to where The First Wire was conceptualized - “The Windy City”!
Coming soon, we will have job opportunities open up for those interested in working for The First Wire in our Chicago based offices. Stay tuned for that information.
For now, however: email the new office coordinators at email@example.com for all inquires about employment, location, etc. We will be happy to answer any of your questions!
We cannot wait to start this journey with you in the coming months, Chicago. I’m positive that your energry, culture, and vibe will have vastly beneficial impacts to this organization. And, now, it’s time to find out how.
The lottery for our Paris “Meet & Greet” is now complete! Yesterday, our computer algorithm chose 50 lucky TFW Recipients of an all-expense paid trip to our event in Paris on April 1st!*
Here are the 50 names of the TFW readers who have been selected to join us!
All particpants have been notified of their winning status by email this morning. All should respond to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00pm PST this Friday in order to secure their spot! Otherwise, The First Wire will open vacant spaces to non-winning participants of the lottery.
We are excited to take all of these readers to Paris come April 1st!* This is going to be an experience not soon to forget. We cannot wait to share it all with you - live from France!
**The First Wire, NYC Team**
*April 1st is the new date of the Paris “Meet & Greet”. March 31st did not work with the schedule of our celebrity participants. Please note this change.
The newest “A Better You” focuses on getting you into shape for swimsuit season! And, we promise you: the information we provide every Tuesday morning will be more than enough to get you slimmed down those extra 5 or 10 pounds so you can rock your swimsuit like we know you can.
This week, we tackle the question: How much exercise is really enough? Is there a minimum?
Dr. Russ from the Harris Teeter blog has an answer for us!
“There are plenty of good fitness guidelines out there - the majority of them recommend setting a goal of exercising for 30-60 minutes on most days of the week, with an emphasis on aerobic exercise such as swimming, running, dancing and walking.
Speaking of walking, a newly published study out of The Lancet suggests that as little as 15 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise can benefit your health - 15 minutes!
And brisk walking counts as moderate -intensity exercise.
People who engaged in a daily brisk walk could expect up to a 3-year increase in life expectancy compared with people who don’t exercise at all. That’s amazing! And, pretty easy to do.
Every additional 15 minutes of fitness activity per day further reduced the risk of illness and death.
Most of us struggle to make time to exercise every day - the drive to the gym takes time, then we exercise for up to an hour, then shower, then drive back - the minutes can add up. But what if you could access significant health benefits simply by walking briskly for 15-30 minutes each day?
Maybe you can walk with friends and family after dinner.
Maybe you can take a quick walk during lunch hour.
Maybe you can start your day with a brisk walk - around the neighborhood, in the gym, or even around your house.
T, the majority of experts recommend that you exercise most days of the week for up to an hour at a time, and that you mix some weight-bearing exercise (strength-training) in with your aerobic fitness activities.
But it’s worthwhile keeping in mind that even just 15 minutes a day of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, can put you in a much better place health-wise than if you were not active at all. More time spent in the pursuit of fitness is better, but 15 minutes of exercise is far better for you than no physical activity.
Even on the busiest of days, most of us can take 15 minutes out of our schedule to do something good for ourselves. So get those walking shoes on - and be well.
You heard the doctor: BE WELL! That is what we all want in the end, right? We wish you luck in following Dr. Russ’ advice.
Swimsuit season is coming… believe it or not! And, each year everyone is faced with the challenge of looking their best in the least amount of cloth possible. It’s hard, we know!
Your waistline aside, our “Poll of the Week” asks you to tell us:
What is your favorite type of swimsuit to wear?
A. Solid color
E. Swimsuit? I’m a nudist!
No matter your preferences, we want to know what you like more! Send in your answers (by email) to email@example.com with a simple “A”, “B”, “C”, etc. by 5:00pm PST this Friday! Then, check back on our site next Monday morning for the results.
The First Wire is now settled back to the States from an amazing week in Brazil! In the down time that we had, we thought we would explore Brazil and bit and bring some pictures to you! Our Founder/President - Mirza Germovic - snapped some great ones that he was nice enough to share with us.
Last week we showed fives pictures to you. Here is your favorite:
(Image rights belong to Mirza Germovic.)
The above photo received a resounding 64% of the vote from 93,000 respondents. We agree - doesn’t that beach look amazing?! It was indeed great while we were able to visit it!
If you would like to send your own vacation photos for us to see, simply email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post some up next week! You can also shoot us any comments/questions/etc. about our pictures from Brazil you may have.
"Market Equilibrium: Finding the Middle Ground" is almost at a close! After 5 days of intense lectures, private consultations, investment tutorials, and heaps of attempts to predict the future, it seems that the general consensus is that the economy is headed in the right direction in most places. This is not to say that some areas will not become even more marginalized as globalization and technological development take their course.
Lesson Learned: The economy is as unpredictable as the reactions of investors to any type of game-changing world news. We must all approach the economy with a grain of salt.
We certainly hope that you’ve enjoyed us bringing a little of Sao Paulo and Brazil as a whole to you through our coverage of our economic summit - we’ve definitely had a blast reporting it all!
Here are some more photos of our week in Brazil!
The lecture room where some group discussions took place during the week!
Francisco Costa, Marc Puig and Carolina Herrera attended Day 3 of the Summit!
Another one of Hotel Unique’s fine facilities where part of TFW’s economic summit took place.
Students of Sao Paulo’s School of Business sit in on a discussion with TFW economic analyst Sheila Frenner on Day 4.
The room where all of the coordination meetings took place during the week. Big thanks to the Regus Conference Centre!
Lastly, and probably most importantly: the food we enjoyed in Brazil was amazing!
At this time we must take time to thank all of the sponsors of Market Equilibrium for both their time and investment into a worthwhile week of pondering and collective thinking about all of our futures.
A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
- The Carlyle Group
- Regus, LLC
- Virgin Airlines
- Harvard University
- The World Bank Group
We had an unforgettable week down in Brazil and we hope you’ve enjoyed the journey along with us. As we always say: we could not be where we are without you, THE READER. Thank you!
TFW: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Jerry! One thing that a lot of people wonder is how exactly do you get a job as an executive producer? How did you get to where you are now?
JB: That is not an easy question to answer, because there are several paths that a person can take in this field of work. The most common one, I would say, is starting out working in what would be considered the “entry level” positions in Hollywood – this being a grip, stagehand, etc. After you’ve worked a couple of these jobs, you can apply to higher positions such as assistant producer or set designer or whatever you may be interested in. In order to really become an executive producer, you have to know people and know them well enough that they are willing to invest in your projects, ideas, and/or crazy ventures! Having said that, the other route to this position is simply having a lot of money and knowing the right people to get you the job. Either way, you’re still going to be judged on the quality of your work in the end; so, it helps to have at least some level of competency and genuine interest in the field.
TFW: How did you develop YOUR genuine interest in it?
JB: I had always been interested in the behind-the-camera workings of movies and TV shows ever since I was in high school. Being in plays was just not as appealing to me as being in the production aspect of the project. People always tell me I chose the less glamorous side of Hollywood – but, I’d definitely disagree with that. I’m positive that I’ve chosen the side that fits my skills the best. Trust me, you don’t want to see me try and act in front of the camera; it may not be a pretty sight.
TFW: You’ve worked on shows like The Amazing Race, and CSI. Do you have a favorite or most memorable show?
JB: I don’t have a favorite show just because I treat each production as its own separate world – this way I avoid the trap that most people fall into of comparing present work to previous work. And, of course, each show has its own memorable moments. I think Amazing Race has some particularly fascinating ones due to the personalities that have appeared on the show over the years. Every time I think I’m shocked at the way a contestant behaves on the show, I say to myself: “Really? After 10+ seasons you’re still shocked?” At least it keeps the production that much more exciting!
TFW: All of your projects had a starting point. Could you tell us a little bit about how you develop the ideas for your shows? Is this an instantaneous process or does it take time?
JB: I don’t want to give too much of the process away just because I feel like talking too much about doing something decreases its value. But, usually I start out with an idea that is inspired by something in my life – an event, person, etc. – and it evolves through discussions with others. It’s really something special when you see your idea formulated in a show; and, it’s especially cool for the person that inspired you to make that idea; the people in my life read me like an open book, so they can generally tell when something relates to a situation I’ve been in with them. Nonetheless, ideas are meant to change and I never take hard feelings to suggestions or improvements. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.
TFW: What advice would you give to those who may want to channel their creative energies in a similar fashion to you?
JB: A disclaimer to all: never try to repeat the creative process of anyone else. The reason people become successful is because of uniqueness and personalization. If you try and repeat something from another person, you lose that instantly! But, if you’re looking for inspiration to get started: I would recommend getting a “thinking book”. What I mean by that is to have a notebook or something to keep track of all your ideas – whether they are just a moment that made you think or a person that inspired you to reach heights you never thought imaginable. I’ve found that by keeping track of these things you find connections in things you never would have before.
TFW: How often are you inspired?
JB: You know, it’s funny how what inspires you changes as you go through life. Besides the obvious age and generational differences between you and pop culture, you begin to become more refined in your taste for inspiration. Very specific things now inspire me that would have never inspired me before. I much prefer this sensitivity to inspiration that I have now because I don’t see myself as searching for inspiration anymore; it just comes to me. I’ve begun to appreciate the finer things, as they say.
TFW: Give me three words that describe you.
JB: Diligent. Creative. Compassionate.
TFW: In terms of your future work or projects you currently have in pre-production, are you looking to break barriers or set new trends?
JB: With every single production that I put time and money into, I expect that I’ll achieve some sort of personal goal. This does not mean that I produce the next hit like Amazing Race and it lasts for more than 20 seasons, but it could mean something as little as maybe making more friendships with those that I work with. It’s a good rule in life as a whole that whatever new thing you undertake that you try to better yourself or your situation in some way. For me, you can never have enough friends. Having friends, family, and people around you is what it is all about. At least: for me.
TFW: If you could change one thing that you’ve ever done, what would that be?
JB: Easiest question to answer so far: nothing. I would change nothing. Life is not about thinking how you could have done things differently. It’s all about looking forward and looking up. Never allow yourself to look back because when you do, it’s difficult to change anything and you only stagnate possible growth. I’m all about betterment in my life.
TFW: To date, what is your legacy?
JB: My personal legacy is one that is based on happiness in my work. I think that if people see that I’m happy in my work, then I’ve done something productive in my life. And, if not, then at least I’m happy. And who needs anything besides that?
Russia Braces for Greater Demise with Re-election of Putin
By Sydney Phillips
Vladmir Putin has been re-elected as president of Russia in an “open and honest struggle,” according to his administration. Putin is now entering his third term as president, winning with 65% of the votes. He’s overcome the Communist Party, or has he? His past actions as Russia’s president indicate that he’s more of a Lenin than a Gorbachev.
Waves of protests have emerged in Russia in response to Vladimir Putin’s third term as president. Golos reports widespread voter fraud, where “busloads of voters were driven around to cast ballots multiple times.” Mikhail Kasyanov, Putin’s first prime minister states: “These elections are not free… That’s why we’ll have protests tomorrow. We will not recognize the president as legitimate.” Here is a map of the electoral violations with 940 reports of voter fraud already brought to their attention, instigated by Putin’s administration and supporters.
A notable aspect of Putin’s rule thus far is a dangerous amount of control over the lives of the Russian people. During his first presidency, he dove into dictating what the media releases. Also, he eliminated the direct election of regional leadership -all leadership for that matter. As mandated by the Russian Constitution, a successor needed to step in for Putin in 2008. Because Dmitry Medvedev was hand-selected by Putin and acted according to Putin’s agenda, it’s more accurate to say that the former KGB (Soviet secret police) officer’s reign has lasted twelve consecutive years thus far, because he had plenty of control as prime minister during Medvedev’s presidency. He throws critics in jail and kills journalists who speak out against him, accuses the West of inciting protests among his people, and “takes every opportunity to warn against too much freedom.”
Putin idolizes Stalin, and he advocated teaching a more “balanced” history of the USSR in Russia. One of the volumes of textbooks he has approved for schools praises Stalin as the “most successful Soviet leader ever.” These textbooks agree that Stalin’s methods were harsh, but brought about “economic progress.” Massacring millions of people should be considered utterly devastating and evil, regardless of circumstances. Describing Stalin’s reign as “harsh” is the understatement of the 20th century, right up there with those who attempt to deny the truth concerning the atrocities of the Holocaust.
Perhaps Putin’s worst idea economically is the creation of a “Union of Europe,” or a free trade region from the Atlantic to Pacific Ocean to “strengthen Russia’s potential and position toward ‘the New Asia.’” The implications of imposing “a new world order” are always autocratic, always dangerous, and always covered up by a seemingly good outcome, such as economic prosperity. However, Putin’s economic policies have strategically and consistently regulated the market in such a way that serves the State, not the people. The Union of Europe would unite former allies of the USSR in an attempt to restore it – a recurring theme in Putin’s policies and priorities.
The United States cannot continue to look the other way because Putin is not a part of the Communist Party in Russia. Putin has provided no clarity on their foreign policy, but supports Assad in Syria, which is definitely a good indicator of their opposition to the United States and Western way of life. Once again, the Obama Administration backs out of our commitment to implement an anti-Iranian missile defense system in Eastern Europe because Russia didn’t approve. Why didn’t Russia approve? Putin is supporting our enemies.
Putin’s promise to “stand up to the West” should not be taken lightly because he is repeating history; Putin’s strategies are strikingly similar to those previously found behind the Iron Curtain. Cheers to another term doomed to be marked by fascism.
The following guest blog post was filed by James Dawson (TFW Recipient for “Market Equilibirum”) on the first couple of days in Sao Paulo - prior to the beginning of the economic summit. It has not been edited for content.
Had planned on being up at the crack of dawn but when you don’t have a bus to catch it is easy to sleep in. For some reason we had one of those starts to the day when you feel you are wading through molasses and can’t seem to get moving. It was nearly 11 by the time we got out the door, which was about two hours later than we had hoped, oh well the best laid plans….
Dropped off our laundry up the road and was shocked that the guy gave us a price by piece of clothing and we ended up with a cost of 44 Reals ($26) for washing which wins the prize as our most expensive yet. Walked up to the Trianon Masp Metro station and joined the workday throng boarding the trains. Had to change trains at Praiso Station and then again at Se Station like we had lived here all our lives. The metro stations in South America are just so easy to use, they are cheap, quick and run about every 5 minutes. They can get VERY crowded but we have found if the train is too crowded, just wait till the next one and sometimes one carriage can be less crowded than the other. Our final stop was at Republica Station, which is in the centre of Sao Paulo town and the start of our walk around Centro. We spent the day wandering around the town following the suggested route given in the Lonely Planet, and it was a really interesting walk. Our impression of Sao Paulo has always been of very tall blocky high risers but the town does have some really unique old buildings and beautiful spaces. The other impression we have always had of Sao Paulo is of high crime and poverty and this we certainly evident. We only ever pulled out our camera when we needed to photograph something and this was always done discreetly and with the utmost of caution but twice we were warned by locals that we should put our camera away as it might attract “unwanted” attention. Around the town’s main Cathedral we saw large numbers of homeless and a large number seemed “distressed”. We also often felt we were being “cased” but thankfully my surly demeanour kept them at bay and we had no trouble, but I would guess if you didn’t keep your wits about you, things could have been different.
Regardless of this we really enjoyed the day wandering around just experiencing such a megalopolis, and it is truly an amazing city. We had to stop around 1pm because it started to pour with rain and we initially took shelter under an awning of a building but later moved to a café for a coffee and sandwich. We have discovered that the Cappuccino’s in Brazil have a heavy (if not entire) content of chocolate. We saw some amazing buildings including Sao Paulo’s highest (the 46 storey Edificio Italia), a replica of the Empire State Building (Benespa Building) as well as a very non-descript building that was pointed out by a local that was Sao Paulo’s first “Bauhaus” designed office block that was built in 1938. The Catedral da Se was amazing, but the interior of the Mosteiro Sao Bento church was far more atmospheric and the place seemed to have the most amazing feel about it. We wandered further on to find the NS do Rosario dos Homens Pretos, which is a small church that was built in 1906 by black Brazilians on a site where sacred African religious rites were held. We had sort of imagined this very sacred little church tucked into a corner of the a town park but what we discovered was a little church covered in graffiti and with “working girls” hanging all around it…very odd.
Up the road we came across Galeria do Rock a 5 storey shopping plaza filled with shops dedicated to Sao Paulo’s underground scene such as skaters, punks, metal heads and goths. It had heaps of tattoo shops but the majority was shops that seemed to have been ransacked from Sydney in the 1980’s. There was such a huge collection of great clothing and paraphernalia here that we just wished it was 1987 and in Sydney and we would have blown a dozen pay packets, but somehow now at my age walking around in a sleeveless T-shirt of the Ramones or the Damned just doesn’t seem right. There was also heaps of Vinyl records including a Syd Barret record, which if Ryan doesn’t already have, he would have loved to have…sorry mate I am not about to try and get it home. We both came so close to buying things but restrained ourselves and headed home.
Got the Metro back a different way and picked up our laundry on the way back to the hotel. All our clothes were lovely and clean, and ironed and my T-shirts even had cardboard in them to keep them flat. Such a waste when I just crammed them into my backpack for our move tomorrow.
In the afternoon we wandered across the road to one of the noisy bars that has partially kept us awake over the last few nights. It is run by a guy called Saddam that looks a bit like him and carries about 10 kilos of gold and silver chains around his neck and hands. This place (along with most around here), are big gay hang out points, and it is a great place to sit back with a beer and watch the world pass by. After a few beers we wandered up the road to a local “greasy spoon” for a hearty feed of rice, beans and meat, before heading home and packing. Tomorrow we are off to Rio and the carnival, and we both just can’t believe how fast this trip is going.
Both Lisa and I feel as if Sao Paulo is a one huge replica of Darlinghurst in the 1980’s albeit a lot seedier. The town sure has a hard edge to it and that is most evident as a visitor by the lack of smiles you receive but the people are still helpful and generous and there is a genuine heart to this town. Late in the day as we were leaving town we passed a guy who was passing out meals to the homeless women, and although we don’t know the story behind it, it appeared to be a genuine act of kindness by a local to the less fortunate. We definitely wouldn’t choose to live here but the place is okay. I would recommend a visit for sure.
I hope you will consider one. Have a great week wherever you may be!
James Dawson (The First Wire - NYC Team from Brazil)
After two days of discussions on the economy, the future of investment, and our overall perception of money, it is time to recap a little of “Market Equilibrium: Finding the Middle Ground” - in photos! We hope you enjoy the pictures we have taken to document our first ever economic summit; we have certainly had fun taking them and being a part of this experience so far!
Days 1 & 2:
"Market Equilibrium" participants gather to listen to our keynote speaker.
Our biggest event to date: the welcome ceremony.
It may have been rainy the first day of our trip in Sao Paulo, but the weather certainly did not rain on our parade.
The family of TFW’s Portuguese translator Matheus Alencar!
Samuel Gibbons leads one of the economic conference’s small break-out discussions.
The weather cooperates on the second, beautiful day of the conference!
We hope that you’ve enjoyed seeing and touring Sao Paulo through our eyes! Make sure to stay tuned to The First Wire for more photos throughout the week for an exclusive look at our “Market Equilibrium” conference.
Day 2 of our Brazil Summit - “Market Equilibrium” - is in full swing! And, we have already learned so much from all of our featured guest speakers in Sao Paulo. During Day 1, we heard from Harvard Economics Head Richard Caves who gave us some important advice on the true value of money.
Below, you will find some of Mr. Caves remarks on the issue of how we perceive money and our relationship with it.
The purpose of the abundance is so that we live happy, contented lives. Everyone has the right to it. That is how life is meant to be. It has often been suggested that every day, fourteen trillion dollars exchange hands and yet many of us suffer the lack, bowed down by life in fact. Basically, it all boils down to how we perceive money.
Money is a neutral energy. It has a value attributed by society that is a vehicle for us to exchange for materials needed to live. Spirituality that neglects money matters is ignorant spirituality. Mention spirituality that neglects money matters to people bent already from working all day without getting enough to pay for the basic necessities in life and chances are good for being scorned for hypocrisy.
On the other hand, people who have enough money have greater options to pursue better things to enrich the soul. It is the acquisition of it, whatever the cost like trampling other people down in the process and disregarding everything else is what makes it not spiritually edifying. Money and the meaning it brings are directly proportional to how well you are able to tap into the spiritual energy for creating wealth. This does not mean though that people who are very wealthy are spiritual, far from it. In the same manner, it also does not mean that people who have less money are always less happy. There are general principles, though, that improves the chances of tapping into the spiritual energy that prepares us to acquire wealth.
This is self-image. Whatever we want happens. All of us have the potential to have or not to have, to be or not to be. We could be a vegetarian, a football fan, a family man, a priest, a star or a eunuch. The choices are endless. No matter, it still boils down to how we perceive things and how we react to them. If we believe in our hearts that we could be a millionaire without the self-doubt, we can. Faith and belief that is certain and with conviction, without inner conflicts ultimately prepares all of us to achieve things that other people could only call luck. Believing in who you are and what you are capable of doing starts the ball of opportunity rolling to your direction. All that is left is your ability to recognize it and act on it. ”
- Richard Caves
Thanks for the inspiring and thought-provoking words, Richard! We appreciate the advice on how to approach money and using it - we take it to heart! To our readers: We hope it helps you make sense of how society views money and the mental state necessary to acquire wealth.
TFW President & Founder Mirza Germovic has been snapping pictures left and right of his stay at Hotel Unique in Sao Paulo so far! And, we want you to see them! That is why our Poll of the Week this week is:
Which of Mirza’s Brazil pictures is your favorite?
All image rights belong to Mirza Germovic. Respond with your top pick of these 5 photos by emailing TheFirstWire@aol.com with the subject line “Poll of the Week”! Email your answer by 5:00pm PST this Friday to be sure that your answer is included in our tabulations. Enjoy the views - we sure do!
We’ve got some great results for you from our Poll of the Week from last week! If you recall, we asked:
Who was your favorite Oscar winner?
(Top 3 results out of 84,000 respondents.)
1. Meryl Streep —> 46%
2. The Artist —> 34%
3. Octavia Spencer —> 20%
It was certainly a year of surprises at the Academy Awards - and we’re glad that our readers responded positively to them! If you would like to leave any comments concerning who thought deserved to win, who didn’t win but should have, or anything else: simply email TheFirstWire@aol.com!
We hope we’ve been able to catch you up on all the important things that have been going on! We know that you’re a busy person, so we hope that we provide a service when giving you this weekly summary - because it is important to stay informed!
- Family: Brett (Dad), Shannon (Mom), Jack (Brother)
- Hobbies: Beach, volleyball, travelling, exploring new places
- Future Ambitions: Would like to go to graduate school and study economics with the hopes of working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help third world countries secure necessary funding for projects vital to their infrastructure.
- How She Got Involved with TFW: I had contacted The First Wire asking if they were offering any internships for recent college grads for Spring 2012. They told me that they were not yet beginning an internship program until the summer. However, I told them of some of my accomplishments at Rutgers and other internships I had had and they scheduled me for an interview. The rest just, happened I guess you could say.
- How to Contact Me: Send me an email at TheFirstWire@aol.com with the subject line “ATTN: Allison Jenner.” I’m an email-holic so send me anything and I’ll respond with even just a hello!
Thanks for introducing yourself, Allison! We are so glad to have brought you on board our team - you have contributed invaluable things to all of our projects and the DC team!
Just what is “real” food? According to a UNC student group, FLO (Fair, Local, Organic) Food, real food is “ecologically sound, humane, fair, and community-based.” Carolina Dining Services disagrees, qualifying “real” food as any food produced within a 250-mile radius of the campus. Both of these definitions miss it. In the words of S. Truett Cathy, “Food is essential to life. Therefore, make it good.”
There are several things that go into my decisions about what I eat. However, politics doesn’t usually enter the equation. I don’t particularly care if some multi-national (read: evil) corporation had to burn down half the Amazonian Rain-forest to provide me with a tasty hamburger. I’m primarily concerned with taste and cost. Does it taste good, and can I afford it?
But why all this concern? After all, it’s not as if Mrs. Obama follows her own food advice. And it’s not as if the stuff that we’re supposed to eat is either cheap or tasty. At Carrboro’s own Weaver Street Market, the local organic commune, things such as lettuce cost approximately two to three times more than equivalent products at the local Food Lion.
What this issue really boils down to is a matter of control. It’s the same sort of motivation that drives the federal government to control every aspect of the healthcare industry. Because somewhere along the line, we, the American public, lost the ability to make our own decisions. We’re unable to weigh the potential costs of eating at McDonald’s everyday against the benefit of a relatively cheap meal. So, we need a bunch of nanny-state do-gooders to bombard us with endless propaganda so that we can make the “right” decisions.
They want to force us all into eating the “right” kind of food and the same kind of food. But this ignores one of the most critical aspects of food, namely that it is easily customizable and a reflection of each person’s individual tastes. Every culture, every family, every person has its own special way of cooking. Different foods use different spices or cooking and preparation methods. To deny this is to deny the fundamental nature of food. It is a necessary part of life, but one that is intended to be pleasurable. You have the freedom to choose how you want to satisfy your hunger according to your personal preferences.
People such as Mayor Bloomberg and Michelle Obama seek to deny you this freedom. They postulate all kinds of ideas for you. They mark off long lists of consumption goals (decrease salt intake by 25% over 5 years, etc.) that suggests something closer to the totalitarianism of the Great Leap Forward, during which millions of people starved to death. Mark Twain said,
“There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. And how strange it is. It is like paying your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry.”
If we are to politicize food, it should serve to remind us of the uniqueness and individuality of every person. We cannot all eat the same food, because we do not all like the same food. We should not fear food, for it is good and makes life richer.
Thanks for the great read, Marc! What an interesting way to look at Commitment 2012 coverage!
If you would like to comment on this article or ask Marc a question, email us at TheFirstWire@aol.com with the subject line “TCC Blog” and we’ll send it off to him for a response!
You may not recognize this man from this photo, but chances are you’ve seen his work on TV. From shows like Survivor, Amazing Race, and the CSI franchise, executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer has worked with almost every big name in Hollywood. Having done so, he has gained unparalleled respect for both his professional demeanor and personal charisma.
Catch The First Wire’s exclusive interview with Jerry Bruckheimer next Thursday, March 8th at 3:00pm EST! Come learn from Jerry about how it doesn’t matter whether you’re in front or behind the camera, as long as you’re invested and show dedication you’ll be recognized for all that you do. We know we did.
The 84th Annual Academy Awards this weekend brought laughter, tears, some surprises good and bad! It’s the Oscars - they never disappoint! If you didn’t get a chance to catch the biggest night in Hollywood: not to worry! The First Wire has you covered. In this post, you will find a comprehensive list of award winners, best-dressed, and then those unfortunate worst-dresseds!
Let’s start with the winners…
Best Picture: “The Artist”
Best Actress: Meryl Streep
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin
Best Director: Michael Hazanavicius for “The Artist”
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer (for “The Help”)
Let’s take a look at some of the best-dressed!
When there is a best-dressed, there has to be their unfortunate partner worst-dressed:
And to round out our Oscar 2012 recap for you, Ryan Seacrest gets a visit from “the dictator”:
What an Oscars they were! We want to thank The Academy for putting on a wonderful show and making this Oscars the BEST yet! (We’re sure even Ryan would agree..)
What makes a good budget? In all the budget bloopers and blunders I’ve seen, the same few problems keep rearing their ugly heads. To avoid them, here are the top ten most important features of a successful budget.
Categories that fit your personal situation and your spending habits, not somebody else’s.
Accurate income projections.
Enough categories to give you a meaningful picture of where your money goes and where you might be able to cut costs, but not so much detail that tracking is a chore that you’ll soon tire of.
Inclusion of expenses that don’t occur on a monthly basis, such as auto maintenance, homeowners insurance, personal property taxes, service contracts, etc.
Regular review of categories to determine if you need more or fewer, review of expenses, and brainstorming about ways to trim costs in each category.
Cash expenditure tracking and recording. Cash spending is the biggest leak in most budgets. Cash disappears quickly and if you don’t write down everything you spend it on, you’ll have a distorted look at your spending.
A line item for savings so you treat a contribution to your savings account just as you would a bill you owe.
Realistic written goals. Budgeting isn’t about tracking your costs, it’s about setting financial goals (saving for a downpayment on a house, buying a new car, getting out of debt, saving for retirement, putting your kids through college, traveling, etc.) and finding ways to meet them. Without goals, your budget is just a pair of handcuffs.
Identification of spending patterns you may not have been aware of when you weren’t tracking your spending.
Most importantly, internal motivation and a positive attitude!
Wow, those are some pretty basic characteristics of a good budget! Make sure you sit down and take a look at your own (or your family’s) budget and see if it aligns up with the above traits. If not, perhaps it’s time for change - one that will benefit you in the long run. It all starts with being honest with yourself!
You don’t have to be part of the “1%” to have a good budget! Start today!
If you would like more advice from TFW’s experts, please email us at TheFirstWire@aol.com with the subject line “A Better You: Budget” and we’ll have them contact you within 72 hours! We’re here to help you get your life back on track - that’s the only way to get “A Better You”!
What a wonderful awards ceremony yesterday for the 84th Academy Awards! Some wonderful artists got the appreciation of a lifetime when their name was read from an envelope that secured their win!
Now, the important question is:
Who was your favorite Oscar winner?
Email us your answers to TheFirstWire@aol.com by 5:00pm PST this Friday in order to be included in the results we post next Monday! We cannot wait to see who you say is the “Ultimate Oscar”! It is a special award that sometimes an actor never receives, but yet always works for.
The flowers smell wonderful, the sun is shining, the winter clothes are being packed away… all of these are sure-fire signs that Spring has “sprung”, as they say. That is why, last week, we asked our readers:
For you, when is the start of spring?
A. When there is no more snow. —> 27%
B. When the temperature is above 50 degrees consistently. —> 38%
C. When Spring Training for MLB starts. —> 14%
D. When I begin to clean my house thoroughly. —> 21%
Some really interesting, yet not surprising, results for our poll! The percentages above are out of 64,000 respondents to the poll and have been rounded to the nearest number for simplicity. We certainly hope that spring comes as early as possible - we cannot wait to see the flowers!
- Economics Analyst at The First Wire, PR Director for Videofone UK
- Family: Allison (Wife), Peter (Son), Rachel (Daughter)
- Hobbies: Winter sports, golf, writing, current events, traveling.
- Future Ambitions: Help African NGOs better their PR so that they can receive bigger donations and provide a better quality of care/guidance to those in need.
- How He Got Involved with TFW: I took a weekend trip to NYC to both look for a new apartment in the city and to attend a fundraiser for the National Endowment for the Arts. At the event, some networking was obviously involved. And, I had the pleasure of meeting Mirza Germovic at this event. We had some small talk and discussed what our respective plans for the future were. Mirza has a very entrepreneurial spirit, so we talked about his hopes to open a small journalism business. I said: ‘What does a journalism business do?” He explained and I was hooked. Our story only began there.
- How to Contact Me: Send me an email at TheFirstWire@aol.com with the subject line “ATTN: David B.” I often joke with my family that my Blackberry is my third child. But, really: it might be. Shoot me an email anytime!
Thanks for introducing yourself, David! Your experience and success is something that we value highly at The First Wire and we thank you for your work with us - we’re honored to have you on our team!
The First Wire attended the 2012 Couture Fashion Week shows in New York City this past weekend and we LOVED what we saw! This spring it is all about professional looking women and polished looking men. Classiness and style are back!
We snapped some great photos to share with our readers and are proud to share them in this post. Make sure to check them out and see if you may want to follow in the footsteps of the designers trying to define this year’s fashions.
Couture Fashion Week 2012 Photos
Some amazing fashions are coming this Spring and Summer and we cannot wait to see how everyone makes them their own! Remember: looking good is not about repeating what you see on the runway, but making it your own! So, go for it.
Make sure to stay tuned to The First Wire for all of your fashion news in the coming months as we explore the evolution of fashion in the 2000s and what it will look like in future years. Together, we’ll shape what looks good.