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!

Ben Bradford of WFAE Wins First Murrow Award

Check out my interview with Raleigh NPR broadcaster Ben Bradford who won his first award at the Edward Murrow Awards Ceremony for his piece entitled “Moral Mondays.” His segment told the story behind the North Carolina civil disobedience protests in response to issues within the government including: unfair treatment, discrimination, and adverse effects of government legislation. These protests launched a grassroots social justice movement that is currently spreading through Georgia and South Carolina.

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Andrew Vrees Recieves Murrow Award

RTDNA, The Radio Television Digital News Association presented the Edward R. Murrow Awards this past Monday, October 6th. Boston’s WCVB New Director Andrew Vrees was one of the recipients to receive the award for overall excellence for large market television. Vrees also won re-election as the 10th Regional Director for RTDNA. Check out my interview with him as we discuss his role in the award and the future.of RTDNA.

The cat killer strikes in Yonkers

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There is a new type of serial killer on the loose in Yonkers, New York. But this one is not after humans, they are after your cats. More than 30 dead cats were discovered decomposing inside plastic bags that were hanging from trees in an abandoned lot in Yonkers on Thursday.

The horrific display was discovered around 10am when workers arrived to clean up the lot. Ernie Lungaro, director of humane law enforcement at the SPCA of Westchester told the Associated Press that the animals had been there for a while. Some of the carcasses were severally decomposed.

“It’s hard to believe that someone didn’t notice something,” said SPCA’s executive director, Shannon Laukhuf. “The smell of decomposition is overwhelming.”

Local police are investigating the incident and trying to determine who killed the cats. Along with the cats, authorities found a baseball bat, two shovels, and a metal pipe near the scene.

According to the SPCA of Westchester  necropsies were performed on three feline victims and revealed the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head. It remains unclear as to whether the cats were feral or kidnapped pets.

“We’ve never really seen anything like this,” Laukhuf said.  “What’s so disturbing is the way the cats were hung in bags and arranged. This is obviously the work of someone very deranged.”

 Image courtesy of NYTimes.

It’s a bird…It’s a plane…no it’s a blood moon!

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Thousands gathered at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles between 2 and 4:30am Tuesday morning in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the rare “blood moon.” The moon took on a reddish hue and was visible in North and South America in different phases depending on location. Families in Los Angeles spread out blankets on the grass and came equipped with their binoculars and telescopes.

A blood moon is essentially a total lunar eclipse where a full moon turns into a coppery red as it passes into the Earth’s shadow. During this process the moon takes on a red hue because the moon’s bright glow dims and takes in the sunlight and sunsets of surrounding areas. The entire reddening process of the moon takes about an hour.

This astronomical event is so rare because the moon has to be full and have a large enough shadow for the total lunar eclipse to occur and be red. As more of the moon seeps through the shadows the red tint will fade and the normal silver color will appear.

Some North American cities were not as fortunate to see this sky delicacy due to showers the clouded the sky in locations such as Atlanta. Those with the greatest view of the moon were cities: Dallas, Denver, and Los Angeles.

Nasa eclipse expert Fred Espenak reports there was a 300-year period when there were no blood moons. Now there are more opportunities to take advantage of this spectacle. North America can plan to see the blood moon four more times between now and September of next year. In addition to the spotting on Tuesday it will also appear in the skies on October 8 2014, April 4th 2015, and September 8 2015. If you miss those three remaining blood moons you’ll have to wait until 2032 to see it.

 

Image Courtesy of CNN.

 

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.

Nassau County Politics: A Promising New Face in Local Politics

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From the classroom to the courtroom to a candidate for Nassau County’s 19th District Legislator; Steve Rhoads got his first taste of politics when he was thirteen years old. Hoping to gain five extra credit points on his social studies grade and impress his homeroom teacher he decided to volunteer for her husband, state assemblyman Fred Perolla.

After volunteering in seventh grade, Rhoads found a future in local politics. He worked under Perolla for four more sessions in the state assembly in Albany before returning to Long Island to become a local committee person. Today he is running for Nassau County Legislator of the 19th district which runs from Freeport to Seaford, using many of the same techniques he learned from Perolla’s campaign.

“I made the decision to run, to be perfectly honest, because I am tired of seeing all the gridlock,” said Rhoads.

“I am tired of seeing all the Democrats refuse to work with Republicans, Republicans refuse to work with Democrats. People who are part of the middle, who are the ones that are paying the taxes, really need their government to work for them.”

Dave Denenberg has had control over the 19th district of Nassau County for the past 14 years and has easily become a household name. Rhoads, the underdog in the election, has had the difficult task of not only introducing his policies but enforcing his credibility as a politician.

“He doesn’t have the experience,” said Claudia Borecky, the Public Relations Manager for Dave Denenberg.

“You need to work with government, and in government, to understand people’s needs, the community’s needs, your constituent’s needs.”

Rhoads may not have 14 years as a legislator to tote on his resume, but he is not unfamiliar with holding leadership roles in the community. Rhoads was the former Deputy Bureau Chief of the Nassau County Attorney’s Bureau of Tort and Civil Rights Litigation. He currently practices law for Grey and Grey L. L. P. and is responsible for the firm’s Long Island personal injury matters.

Rhoads was also captain of the Wantagh Volunteer Fire Department  for five years, where he has served since 1992.

20 year old James Holman, a fellow Volunteer Firefighter for Nassau County and four year employee for Grey and Grey L.L.P. describes working with Rhoads as an enjoyable and learning experience.

“I believe that Steve’s friendship with myself and the other clerks in the office has opened his eyes to the problems us young people will face in the future,” said Holman.

“Housing in Nassau County is extremely expensive and the prospect of buying a house in the future for young people looks quite dim.”

Lowering property taxes is just one of the policies Rhoads would like to implement if he receives Election this Tuesday night. His primary goal is to ease the burden on taxpayers by controlling county spending, reducing the size of government, and using industrial development agencies to bring business into Nassau County so that the economy can be expanded and jobs created.

“I think what gives me an advantage over Denenberg is I am trying to apply common sense solutions to a very real problem for homeowners,” said Rhoads.

“Which is that between taxes, in every level of government, between increased expenses, it is getting very hard for them to be able to stay here in Nassau County. What’s the point of having one of the nicest counties in the world to live in if nobody can afford to stay here.”

The 19th district of Nassau County covers the towns of North Bellmore, Bellmore, Merrick, and parts of Freeport. Joan Brady, 55, has been a resident of the area of Freeport that runs under the 19th district for over 10 years. Her biggest problem with her district is the high taxes.

“God Almighty, the taxes are just so high! The school taxes, the real estate taxes, it just doesn’t stop. When will it be easier for the middle class?” said Brady.

“14 years is just too long of a time, for Denenberg. I think it’s time to get some new blood in the political scene.”

Whether or not Rhoads wins the 19th District Nassau County Legislative Race or not, he will continue to serve Nassau County like he has for over the past twenty years.

“I have a career I am perfectly happy with, I didn’t intend to run this year, “said Rhoads. “But I am because I’m frustrated with what I see and I’m trying to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem,” concluded Rhoads.