If You Love Food, If You Love Startups, If You Want to Save Mula…

There’s nothing better than finding that one app you can’t live without.

But your favorite app is different depending who you are. Runners love their exercise apps, and photographers can’t go anywhere without the photo editing apps.

There’s one type of person, though, who doesn’t have a favorite app. That person is the manager, chef, or owner of an independent restaurant. Although I don’t work in the industry, hearing the stories of what these individuals go through on a daily basis – just to order supplies – made me empathize with their plight.

Did you know that to order supplies one person at a restaurant has to run around the kitchen, scribble notes on paper, and spend hours on the phone? But they never really know how much they’re spending… until the invoice comes. Ugh! It’s an archaic process that should be banished in our technology-driven world.

That’s when I discovered a startup called Orderly. They agree with me – it’s about damn time for an upgrade in the restaurant purchasing process.

In a snapshot, Orderly is a technology app that lets independent restaurants monitor their food spend, track invoices, and order supplies – right from their tablets or phones!

Why is this a big deal? Restaurants can finally throw away the old-school clipboard to save time, save money, and get back to what they love – creating the wonderful dishes we all know and love.

Best part is, the app’s UI is so easy to navigate and use. Training? Nada. Setup? Piece of cake.
If you or someone you know is in the restaurant industry, definitely let them know about this awesome app. After all, we all have a favorite app we use on a daily basis. It’s time to spread the love!

Exclusive Interview with The Killer Plant Recording’s Creator

Check out my interview with owner and creator of The Killer Plant Recording Studio, Joshua Sausville located in Midtown, NYC.
Get more info on the Mario-Spin Off Indie Studio here: http://www.thekillerplantrecordingstudio.com/About-Us.html

Modern day friendships: Little to no effort required

If I read one more article describing the detrimental effects of social media on modern day friendships, I may just tweet about it.

There are a plethora of arguments that claim that our media-based world is redefining the concept of friendship, but in actuality, humans are becoming too self-absorbed to be able to sustain true friendships. We blame the advancement of technology instead of looking toward the heart of the issue: the users of technology.

There is no doubt that the social media landscape has changed the way we communicate. As of March 2013, Facebook reported having 1.11 billion users, Twitter, 200 million users and Instagram, 100 million users. Don’t blame the trend; blame the trendsetters.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are not to blame for the decreasing value of friendship. These social media websites are not forcing people to depersonalize their relationships. But human beings will always look for a scapegoat.

In the past, friendships were taken as seriously as romantic relationships. Aristotle explained it best when he wrote, “Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.”
Today, people have exchanged this concept for self-promotion and the appearance of having friends. We no longer perform the simplest expressions of friendship by giving another person our time, trust and thought. Instead, we prefer likes, favorites and retweets.

We mistakenly believe that our mere physical presence serves as a sufficient dedication of our time to another individual. A friend deserves uninterrupted time and attention, not the leftover scraps of energy that remain at the end of the day.

To give a part of oneself to another individual through verbal expression – to open up one’s soul, to trust another person – is now terrifyingly difficult. The number of people who can actually be trusted is diminishing because of the number of people we blindly welcome into our lives via staged profiles. Our egos seem to deduce that if we don’t get X number of likes, we aren’t attractive, intelligent or fill in the blank.

When a friendship requires more effort than we desire to put forth, it is thrown aside because we subconsciously know that there are 1.11 billion other people out there who are in search of another effortless Facebook friendship.

It is easier to be distant friends with 100 people than it is to be meaningful friends with one. With a multitude of friends, relationships become about what you can receive instead of what you can give.

If our friendship is devoid of sacrifice, then consider us strangers. If the question, “What can I do for this individual?” isn’t popping up inside our heads, then we are unaware of how friendship works.

I grew up under the label “popular,” but it was really a less sophisticated epithet for “people pleaser.” It appeared as if I had a lot of friends, but in reality, all I had was lists of acquaintances. People thought that they knew me because of a shared class, sport or town – common interests that initiate a friendship but should never determine one.
I felt it necessary to divide my time amongst these “friends” because I was afraid of being alone – as if not having a person by my side at all times meant that I was incapable of being loved, or that having a Friday night to myself meant that I was a loser.

Today, my solitary moments are my highest-valued moments. I can count my close friends on my hands, and I’m not afraid to admit that staying in on a Friday night would be the highlight of my hectic week.

I can be that way while actively posting from my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. If I am having a problem with a friendship, I don’t attribute it to an online medium, but rather, I accept that the problem is rooted in personal differences.

It is time to stop observing the communication problem and start administering a solution. Social media is here to stay, and maybe the solution is as simple as relearning how to be a friend. How ironic is it that the more complex the world becomes, the simpler the concepts we forget?

Hook-ups and heartbreak: The problem with our generation’s concept of relationships

“Boys only want one thing,” my father used to say to me. I thought that thing was friendship, but my father would always reply, “boys don’t want to be your friend.”

It’s the classic case of father knows best. My dad repeated those precautionary lines so frequently throughout my high school years that it became a mission of mine to prove him wrong. But once I got to college and began interacting with the opposite gender in a more romantic way, I realized yet again, daddy was right.

Well, partially right. Guys definitely want to be your friend, but not without benefits, and they rarely want a relationship title included. The same goes for girls.

Relationships seem to be a taboo topic in college today, as if they are a plague to be avoided. They are recommended only for those lost in love. Though, even with the negative connotation that the relationship possesses, it has not been entirely abandoned by the university scene; instead, it has been modernized in the form of hook-up buddies.

“Hook-up buddy” is a condescending term used by men and women alike to condone a lack of commitment. What would have once been referred to as using somebody is now a sought-after role. Individuals use each other simply to satisfy their carnal needs, and the whole act is justified based on the sole fact that it is mutual.

Regardless of what is decided prior to this pseudo-relationship, one person is bound to get more attached than the other, and someone will get hurt. Do we really need to question why so many marriages today end up in divorce?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that for every 1,000 people in the United States in 2011, the marriage rate was only 6.8 percent while the divorce rate was close behind at 3.6 percent. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that depression affects an astounding 9.5 percent of the current population. Could not divorce and depression be the side effects of a generation that took the once selfless concept of a relationship and turned it into a selfish delusion?

It doesn’t help that people are labeled as “wife material” or “husband material” –a slap in the face dressed up like a compliment. People use this to put the good girls and guys on a sort of layaway, as if they will be around in a few years when the opposite party is ready to settle down.

To each his own method of living, right? Who am I to judge the actions of another? But this style of relationships exceeds an optional lifestyle choice; it has become the standard operating procedure of dating. People with positive intentions, who are willing to give their hearts and trust to another individual, are the ones getting hurt. I see it everywhere – in my friends’ lives and in my own.

The dating pool is polluted, and it is impossible to wade through without getting covered in debris. One person may think that he or she is entering a relationship when the other participant sees it as much less. This happens all too often, because intentions are never vocalized.

Activities that prelude becoming involved in a true relationship, such as conversation, flirting and simply spending time alone together, are the same as those that prelude becoming involved as hook-up buddies. How is one to distinguish between a budding romance and a mere physical attraction?

Is the point of this article to insinuate that you need to find a serious relationship in college? Absolutely not. If it happens, let it. If it doesn’t happen, let it go. And if you have gusto in leading another individual on, you can at least inform them of your intent beforehand. It’s beyond common courtesy; it’s called being a decent person.

Global Frackdown Comes To Long Island

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200 events, 20 countries, one mission: to ban fracking. October 19th marked the second annual Global Frackdown, a day dedicated to rallying against the production of LNG, liquified natural gas. Over 100 Long Island citizens gathered on Long Beach boardwalk to take part in the global event.

The objective of the Frackdown was to educate local citizens about the effects of fracking and the projected construction of the Port Ambrose Offshore LNG Terminal.  Protesters pushed for signatures petitioning Governor Cuomo to terminate the proposal of a natural gas terminal that would be located 19 miles off shore.

Nassau County Legislator, Dave Denenberg commenced the rally with a speech on climate. As an environmental lawyer Denenberg believes there is firm evidence that global warming is in direct correlation with fracking.

“Fracking is a menace to our local environment and all of us, while the benefit is huge profit for only a select few,” said Dedenberg. “Fracking is not our answer.”

Dedenberg is currently in his seventh term representing the 19th district of Nassau County. He, and other local government members, have been working together to put a halt to this type of energy production and transition to “greener” technologies such as wind and solar power.

“I think Dave Denenberg got it exactly right,” said Adrienne Esposito the Executive Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment who also spoke at the rally. “He said we can no longer rely on foreign fossil fuels, and we have to rely more on renewable energies. And that is in fact what Long Islanders are asking for.”

Denenberg was not the only New York politician to speak at the Frackdown. Harvey Weisenberg, New York State Assemblyman for the past 25 years, expressed why he votes in opposition to fracking.

“We are not going to take a chance to diminish the health and safety of our people by having people making dollars on a practice that might be detrimental,” said Weisenberg.

Weisenberg said it would take a significant amount of evidence to make him change his mind on fracking when he it comes to his action on the Legislative floor.

The Global Frackdown event was hosted by Food & Water Watch, a non-governmental organization and consumer rights group based in Washington D.C. Volunteers and representatives from this watchdog group had a strong presence at the event and voiced their concerns for what they believe fracking does to the environment.

“Fracking is exactly what is causing the climate change,” said Bill Coddington a two year volunteer for Food & Water Watch. “That’s what causes storms that we experience.”

Other volunteers from Food & Water Watch recently went to Dimock, Pennsylvania, the core state for fracking, to gain research on the effects. A bus of forty anti-fracking activists spent nine hours in the town observing the condition of the environment.

“We toured farms that were no longer farms, people had no homes, or clean water.” said Neil Leiberman a Health and Physical Education Teacher in Brooklyn New York for the past 18 years. “We all observed a dead cow laying on it’s side. This was the result of fracking.”

No scientific reports have been made from this excursion, but many activists used their observations as talking points for anti-fracking conversations at the rally.

Eric Weltman, Senior Organizer for Food and Water Watch, who organized the protests believed the Global Frackdown was a success.

“It was a powerful expression of Long Islander’s opposition to fracking and to the proposed LNG facility,” said Weltman. “It sent a loud and clear message to Governor Cuomo to stand up to the oil and gas industry and protect New York’s health, communities, and environment.”

Whether or not action will be taken to ban fracking in New York as a result of the Global Frackdown protests  is unknown. Governor Cuomo is set to make his decision in regards to the construction of the Port Ambrose Offshore LNG Terminal before the 2014 election. Until then, anti-fracking activists will continue to voice their opposition in the upcoming months.