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!

Facebook’s New Initiative Looks to New Technologies to Provide Internet Connectivity

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While it may seem that everybody and their grandmother has Facebook today, it may surprise you to know that two thirds of the world’s population does not. Not from distaste for the website but due to the lack of Internet access for more than half the globe.

Creator of this social media network, Mark Zuckerberg, announced this week that he has put together a new team called the Connectivity Lab to research and test new technologies to get everyone connected to the world wide web. The Connectivity Lab will look towards using drones, satellites, and lasers to reach isolated areas.

This new team is in connection with the Connection movement put together by Facebook and other technology companies who launched Internet.org last year. This global partnership has made it their goal to make internet accessible to everyone. They see the lack of connectivity as one of the greatest challenges for our underprivileged generation because they do not have access to the tools and opportunities being connected to the internet allows.

Since the coalition, more than three million more people have been given access to the internet according to Zuckerberg. To reach more people Zuckerberg has brought on aerospace experts from Nasa and those who worked with building the Zephyr solar-powered drone.

The Connectivity Lab will look to use drones to bring internet to more suburban areas as they can remain in the air for months at a given time. For more rural areas where a drone can not reach out to large masses of people they are testing satellites to beam connections on the ground. Long distance connections are currently being tested using invisible infrared laser beams.

Whether or not the government and people of certain countries will accept the use of internet in the future remains unknown and of little concern to those at the Connectivity Lab. For now, their main goal is overcoming the technical challenges that make delivering internet to all areas of the globe difficult.

Image courtesy of marcopako.

19th District Legislator Elections: A Breakdown of the Issues

If you are a citizen of the 19th district of Nassau County chances are you know the platforms of executive candidates Edward Mangano and Tom Suozzi; but do you know the policies of your legislative candidates Steve Rhoads and Dave Denenberg?

“I would vote if I knew the person I was voting for was going to do something beneficial for me” said Nassau County resident of over a decade, Joan Brady. “I don’t know where either candidate stands on county issues.”

The legislative elections for the 19th district of Nassau County had three profile county problems: recovering from Hurricane Sandy, consolidating of police precincts in Nassau, and controlling the county budget. Before casting your ballot on November 5th, make sure to see where each candidate stands on the issues.

The Issue: Hurricane Sandy

The 19th district of Nassau County which encompasses Merrick, Seaford, Bellmore, North Bellmore, and Freeport were hit heavily last year during Hurricane Sandy. In Seaford, one in five houses are still damaged and many families throughout the entire district are still recovering from the damages.

Dave Denenberg Solution: The current incumbent held over thirty workshops to help Hurricane Sandy victims in addition to numerous county official meetings to discuss the reconstruction. He proposes a Hurricane Sandy bill which forces insurance companies to pay the storm victims within 30 days or give a “good faith reason” why they cannot supply the money. The filer of the claim can respond to that and the 30 days starts again. If still not paid, the filer can bring the insurance company to court with a Private Right of Action.

“Thirty to 60 days should be more than enough time” said Denenberg “Responses need to be quicker and bureaucracy cannot move this slowly.”

Steve Rhoads Solution: The challenger believes there should be more volunteer efforts to help those affected by the storm. Rhoads, a previous fire captain of the Wantagh Volunteer Fire Department, was out with the fire department during the hurricane. Resources such as money and food were coming in, but were not being delivered efficiently to those in need. In regards to the proposed Hurricane Sandy bill, Rhoads believes it only sounds good on paper. He says it will not work because the county does not have the ability to regulate what banks and insurance companies do. Instead he proposes the county work with federal and state officials who have the ability to process these claims faster.

“The bill only victimized Hurricane Sandy victims a second time because it gave them hope in an area where really there was no hope to be found.”

The Issue: Consolidation of Police Precincts in Nassau The original plan called for eight precincts of Nassau County to be consolidated into four to better utilise and organize the police staff. The closed precincts would then be converted into “community policing centers.” The plan is now being reconsidered on the South Shore after the Seventh Precinct building was flooded during Superstorm Sandy.

Dave Denenberg Solution: Denenberg has been a strong opposer of the consolidation of police precincts since the plan was initiated. The consolidation would increase costs as well as eliminate special patrols such as the bureau of special operations and the emergency task force. Wants to remove consolidation in 1st and 7th precincts.

“We pay a lot in taxes and we deserve good services. that starts with public safety.”

Steve Rhoads Solution: Stands with the administration for trying something new in regards to the police. He believes now that it has been partially implemented it is time to see if any readjustments or redirecting of the plan needs to happen. Pushes for both Republicans and Democrats to participate in the process of utilizing the police resources and staff they have in place.  Rhoads believes the main issue of public safety right now is the growing drug and gang problem within Nassau County.

“I hope to fight to be able to have the resources to be able to curb that drug and gang problem.”

Dave Denenberg Solution: Wants to remove any backdoor tax increases implemented by the county executive such as sewer taxes, passing of the county assessment refunds unto schools and fire districts. Says the county executive wants to sell the sewage plant for an 800 million dollar budget fix but Denenberg wants 700 million invested in the plants. This will to projects such as pollution control devices which will ultimately balance the budget.  Want to keep taxes down by developing the downtown area. Right now he is working with the mayor of Freeport to open a high tech center.

“Eleven out the 13 years that I’ve been on legislature, the county portion of your taxes have not gone up. The county portion of your property tax went from 25 percent in 2000 to less that 16 percent right now.”
Steve Rhoads Solution: Proposes a review of every level of government to see that taxpayer money is being used as little as possible. Also believes municipal contracts such as medical benefits and pensions need to be adjusted.  Rhoads claims that Nassau County makes more money off of sales tax revenue than it does property tax.

“We need to find ways to encourage business development and economic activity so that we can increase the sales tax revenue we receive not by raising taxes but by just having more activity.”

In Christy’s Shoes: A Memorial Fundraiser Filled With Heart and Sole

In Christy’s Shoes: A Memorial Fundraiser Filled With Heart and Sole

In Christy’s Shoes is an organization that puts a different meaning behind the phrase “take a walk in someone’s shoes.” The annual benefit was started in 2009 by Katrina Zidel in memory of her identical twin sister Christy Levy Peters.

Peters passed away at the age of 34 from astrocytoma, an inoperable terminal brain tumor. Christy left a positive memory on her husband and two children as well as all who had the privilege of knowing her.

Katrina had one of the closest relationships with Christy and wanted to honor the memory of her courageous and outgoing sister. Looking to Christy’s life she saw her love for shoes almost matched her love for helping others. Katrina sought to memorialize both, thus starting In Christy’s Shoes.

In Christy’s Shoes partnered up with Dress for Success Columbus, a non-profit organization that provided under privileged women seeking to get back into the workforce resources, clothing and shoes. Over the years, In Christy’s Shoes has become the biggest annual fundraiser for Dress for Success Columbus bringing in over about 500 people and $40,000 in 2012.

The event first started as a place for people to donate their clothing and shoes but has now progressed into a gala. The gala features food that is donated by restaurants, a shoe fashion show and a silent auction. Celebrities from around the country have donated autographed shoes to be auctioned such as Jessica Simpson, Kim Kardashian and Eva Longoria.

May 22nd of this year was the 4th annual In Christy’s Shoes event and was hosted at Charles Preparatory School. The event hosted around 650 guests and featured famous shoe designer Aruna Seth.

What started off as a small memorial fundraiser has now turned into a larger organization. The first fundraiser in 2009 featured 75 guests and this year’s event has multiplied its guests 8 times over.

Zidel began donating some of the proceeds from the event to Zusman Hospice at Wexner Heritage Village where her sister had passed away. She hopes the event will continue to grow and spread to other cities outside of Columbus so that she can start furthering her donations and even start funding scholarships. If you have any interest in attending or donating to Zidel’s event visit www.inchristysshoes.org.

One Step Towards Professional Journalism: Objectivity

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The sudden outburst in the usage of the term “professional journalism” makes me wonder if previous decades of journalists have been unprofessional in their field. A journalist’s job has had the same description since it’s creation in the early 1800’s: tell people what is happening throughout the world. The politics and money behind news stations have made it common for journalists to report news from their paper’s perspective. You want to keep your job, you report a certain way.

According to InTheseTimes.com, professional journalism has exploded recently. Partisan journalism is no longer the standard and in most cases it is disregarded as actual news. Objectivity in journalism allows the reader and viewer to postulate their own opinions based upon the facts given by the reporter.

While media is still driven by money and politics the expansion of technology has allowed many to speak against one perspective journalism. Journalists are no longer found as employees for big companies signing off their objectivity in their contracts. Journalists are everywhere and have the ease of tools such as their smartphones to record nonpartisan news.

Although journalism has always had the purpose of providing news to citizens the objectivity of it has been questionable over the years. Today’s journalists not only have to use more visuals over written word to adhere to their audience, they must report the news in an unbiased fashion. Today, you want to be a professional journalist, report objectively.

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Image courtesy of Lyn.

OneRepublic Helps Raise Awareness for Child Mortality with Hit Song

Never underestimate the power of music; Grammy Award-nominated band OneRepublic has proven that a simple song can have the power to save millions of children’s lives.

On March 31st, a special edition music video, created by the ad agency BBDO, of the band’s hit song “Feel Again” was released in an effort to raise awareness of newborn and child mortality.

“Feel Again” was initially part of the PSA campaign by Save the Children and the AD Council entitled “Every Beat Matters”. The song was created using the heartbeat of children who were suffering from deadly illness or poverty in villages of Guatemala and Malawi.

According to The World Health Organization, 6.9 million children died before the age of 5 in 2011. Children in sub-Saharian Africa are 16.5 times more likely to die before the age of five. The leading causes of deaths for children under the age of five are:

Pneumonia

18%

Preterm birth complications

14%

Diarrhoea

11%

Birth asphyxia

9%

Malaria

7%

Other Causes

41%

Child mortality is a serious issue affecting many outside the American borders and action is needed. Much of the deaths are caused either due to a lack of knowledge or medicine to treat diseases.

You help reduce these numbers by donating. A simple $50 donation can supply a respiration timer and antibiotics to diagnose and treat pneumonia, a bed net and treatment for malaria, and counseling for parents on preventing HIV/AIDS in a newborn child. Join OneRepublic, in their quest to save the children by donating today.

The SmartPhone App That Helps You Overcome Addiction

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What if I told you that the cure to some of the most detrimental addictions could be in the palm of your hand? Your SmartPhone, that was thought to just improve the quality of your life, now has the potential to save it thanks to the new application, DTOX.

Created by well-known interventionist, Rae Dylan, DTOX is designed to help individuals struggling with dependencies  such as smoking, drugs, binge eating, and much more. The application not only tracks your progress, but allows you to connect with others for support.

How exactly does it work? The key features to the program include: a day counter, daily alerts and e-mails, and a log of cravings to record mood changes over time. The app also has a social network option to help build a support community. There is a Facebook and Twitter option for sharing accomplishments and Fan Club members receive alerts on their friend’s progress.

DTOX lets the individual witness change. For the first year, DTOX takes a picture every 30 days to create a photojournalistic log. With this you will be able to see change month by month in your physical and emotional countenance.

DTOX also works as a personal motivator. Every day an inspiring email with a relevant quote or message is sent to help you throughout your struggles. A mobile alert is also sent reminding you of your progress. Still in need of more support? You can also connect with your friends to track each others progress. You can even build your own customized Support Community to follow along with others who are going through the same issues.

Look in the Health and Fitness section on your smartphone’s app store. The app is currently being sold for $3.99, which seems like a small price to pay for a life dependency-free.

“We are in this together” rings the DTOX motto. Addictions are hard to overcome, and DTOX is there to make that journey to change a bit easier. This application makes sure that whenever or wherever your cravings strike help is only a push of the thumb away. With the DTOX  app, now you really can’t live without your SmartPhone.

Hope is Here: Baby Cured of HIV for the First Time

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After decades of struggling to find a cure for the deadly disease HIV Aids, there has been a glimpse of hope. Researchers announced on Sunday that the first baby has been cured of the human immunodeficiency virus.

The infant is now two and a half years old and HIV negative. The child’s mother was unaware she had HIV until delivery so prenatal treatment that could have prevented the disease was not given.

Without these prenatal drugs, the baby was at a high risk of receiving the disease. Dr. Hannah Gay, the infant’s pediatrician, decided to treat the infant early on with three types of drugs.

After 15-18 months of treatment, the mother took her child off of the medicines. At 23 months the baby returned to the office revealing a negative viral load. The doctors ran multiple tests to make sure the results were accurate.

At 28 months the baby returned to the office revealing yet again another negative test result. The doctors were overjoyed to reveal that the child had been cured and showed no signs of the virus ever coming back.

Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga of The University of Massachusetts Medical School, confirmed the baby’s condition. When asked about the potential breakthrough in treating HIV Aids, Dr. Luzuriaga responded:

‘“Well, it’s one case. But often a single case can tell you a lot, mostly because it stimulates intense interest you develop hypotheses. And that’s where the real breakthrough and confirmation come in.”

This story has been a true miracle for the Mississippi mother and her child.  This cure provides hope for the millions of people around the world suffering from HIV Aids and shows that maybe their cure is just around the corner.

A Title Worth Celebrating: Marseilles-Provence Capitale Européene De La Culture

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Marseilles has been labeled many things: “the city of water”, “the oldest and second largest city in France”, “the city of the sun” etc. Finally, it receives a title with some oomph: “the Capital of Culture 2013.”

As if the French needed anymore bragging rights, their latest title is one highly sought after by every city in Europe. It requires a selection panel of thirteen elect people to determine the winner. It was first started in 1985 by Mélina Mercouri and Jack Long and 30 cities have been awarded the title every since.

To be selected, the city must create a yearlong artistic program involving all areas of art: dance, music, theatre, science, sport, cuisine, heritage…you name it! As a result, Marseilles and Provence will host over 400 events, 60 exhibitions, and numerous artistic displays throughout 2013. Interested in what events will take place? Take a look for yourself here!

This weekend, January 12th and 13th, commences the “opening weekend” of the festivities featuring a treasure hunt, fireworks, and a light parade. Click here to see a full description of this weekend’s itinerary.

The European way of ‘sharing the wealth’ limits France from receiving the award again for at least another 10 years. So enjoy it while you can Francophiles!

What does this event mean for the French citizen? Other than being surrounded by the flood of camera-carrying-tourists this year, on a positive not you get 365 days of exquisite culture within your own borders!
What does this event mean to me? I am currently staying in Gemenos, a short 15 kilometers distance from the city itself!
What does this event mean to you the reader, who I am sure is at a much further distance? Besides learning something new from a report of an eyewitness, I have removed any hesitation for booking that flight to France.
If you are in the business of travel, rest assured that your job is secure for at least another year. You’re welcome.