The World’s Most Powerful Women In Tech 2016

By: Sarah, sarah@thepersonalincome.org

Back in the old days, women were treated as inferior than men. Many believed that women were powerless and unable to handle manly jobs. Men were thought to be more functional compared to women, and the reason is because men are supposedly tougher physically and emotionally.

However, in the past few decades, you would notice that here has been a big development for women when it comes to employment and leadership. Gender is no longer being used as a factor to determine if a person is equipped with the proper skills and knowledge to perform or lead. Looking at current events, you would see that in some countries, people are appointing female leaders and some big companies in the world are being managed by women, same goes in the science industry.

Technology is widely known to be a man’s world, but who would have thought that even the tech industry can also be led by powerful women? Although women are engaging themselves to different fields of work, they are still having second thoughts in entering the world of technology, mainly because of lack of confidence and being scared of failure.

Well, that should not be the case. If women are given the advantage, they can become more excellent leaders compared to men. Women are better communicators and are more passionate to their employees.

We have prepared a graphic containing a list of the most powerful women of the world in the tech field in 2016. May this serve as a motivation to every woman out there.

Here is the graphic.

Don’t Forget the Lube!

By: Elizabeth Morris, Head of Content, Carvaka Sex Toys

So lube is just for older people or those with some health issue, right? Well that’s what a lot of people think, but the below infographic, prepared by UK Sex Toy retailer, Carvaka, shows just how much of a misconception that actually is. Lube can make all sex, gay or straight, penetrative or oral, solo or with a partner far more enjoyable and exciting for people of all ages. While when some people think of lube, they automatically think of boring old Vaseline, nowadays lube comes in a massive array of flavours, can give new and exciting sensations and is made from a choice of ingredients. Why not try a tingly, silicone based lube to add some extra spice to your next sex sesh! Or maybe liven up your next oral session with a strawberry favoured edible lubricant – the choices are almost endless. Heading away on vacation? Why not pack away some exotic flavoured lube and surprise your partner while on holiday!

So if you thought lube wasn’t for you, check out this infographic – we bet you’ll change your mind!

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One short day in Amsterdam

AMS
May 16, 2016

Currently sitting in Amsterdam Airport Shiphol. My flight to Cairo is in a little under three hours. I had a wonderful day in Amsterdam and I’ve been meeting really nice people. I met an old couple at JFK who borrowed my cellphone, then watched my bags for me when I went to the bathroom and Jamba Juice. They didn’t really speak English well but they were still very sweet. We sat in the same row but opposite sides on the flight and waved to each other as if we had known each other for years. I got the window seat and sat next to a cool German girl who was visiting New York for work. She was a geologist of some sort, and also didn’t speak much English but we got along well regardless. Delta fed us so much on the flight which was great because I unfortunately didn’t sleep much. What better way to pass the time than to eat?

My uber driver on the way to JFK also didn’t speak much English but was very kind. He was originally from Pakistan but lived in Dubai and had friends in Dubai whom he told me would show me around if I decided to visit. He also showed me pictures of his family. He definitely foreshadowed the language barriers I continued to encounter throughout the trip.

When I got to Amsterdam, hardly anyone spoke English but eventually I found a transportation worker who told me where to go.

I did, however, meet a women from Chicago while waiting for our TSA check in Amsterdam. She had gone to Egypt in 2010 and was in Amsterdam to give a tour for her job. She told me all good things about her trip to Egypt and said Abu Simbel was her favorite place.

I didn’t really meet many people walking through the city, but I kind of expected that. It was kind of nice being alone and just doing my own thing on my own time, wandering freely and not feeling responsible for anyone else. The only times I ever felt just a little lonely was when I struggled to finish smoking the joints I bought or when I wanted a picture of myself in front of the I amsterdam landmark (Of course I forgot to pack my selfie stick).

I caught the train to Amsterdam Centraal and as soon as I stepped off the train I fell in love with this quaint little village with canals all over and well-dressed city-dwellers. I went into the first coffeeshop I found and bought five pre-rolled joints because I knew I had no time (or money) to waste experimenting, but I was fascinated by the dozens of strains and magic mushies sold indiscreetly.

I smoked one J while walking around and felt on top of the world. Literally, I felt like I was floating. I chatted with one of the salesmen at a souvenir shop for a bit. He straight away knew I was American which I thought was pretty funny. He was a cool guy and I wanted to go back there but couldn’t remember where it was. #TooHighGuy.

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I walked to the Rijksmuseum and explored a bit. Coat checking my backpack was a struggle because again, #2HG. I enjoyed the Still Life exhibits because I’m fascinated by the way the lighting and the shadows can bring a piece to life. I also chilled by the I amsterdam letters for quite a bit and just relaxed, taking in my surroundings, appreciating where I was at that exact moment in time. My heart was happy to be here. I felt like I belonged.

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Next I went to Sarah’s Pancakes and holy sh*t it was an orgasm in my mouth (Thank you Katie for the recommendation)! I had strawberry banana pancakes with whipped cream and a chocolate milk. I think I found some chairs and tables and smoked joint number two. Surprisingly I found that while walking and smoking, I got some funny looks. Maybe because it still wasn’t even noon and I was already high as a kite. Maybe I was just paranoid. I mean, it’s Amsterdam, right? But regardless, I decided to be a little classier about it.

Next I walked past the Anne Frank House, but the line was really long so I didn’t bother going in. I went to Abraxas coffeeshop and smoked another joint outside. I forget if it was Abraxas or another coffeeshop before it but they wouldn’t let me smoke inside unless I was going to buy something. And I still had to finish the rest of my joints before my flight so I just kept to myself outside.

Then I walked through the Red Light District which was interesting to say the least. I saw one too many tits and decided not to stay much longer. I went back to Amsterdam Centraal but realized I still had some time to wander before I needed to head back to the airport. I decided to go back to the first coffeeshop I started at and there was a guy sitting on a bench outside so I sat next to him. I asked him if I could smoke there and he handed me a lighter, which I took as a yes. (And another language barrier perhaps.) He was really chill but again, barely spoke English. I shared my last two joints with him because he seemed like a genuine, kind person. He gave off a nice vibe, and he had shared his rolling papers with some strangers in need. We didn’t really talk much because of the whole language barrier thing but we enjoyed each other’s company. I could tell he really appreciated the joints and I appreciated having someone to share them with. I had to leave to get to get back to the airport because my paranoid self was worried I’d get lost or something, but I made it back in fairly decent time. I only wish I had longer to roam around this lovely city.

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Everything was so precious and romantic. At one point a biker stopped to let me cross the street, he smiled and said “After you, Madam.” My heart melted. The city was very quiet otherwise, which came as a surprise to me. I felt very touristy with my camera around my neck and I got a little lost at times, but that was all part of the adventure. I stumbled upon some graffiti on a wall that read “Love Me” and I admired it for probably longer than necessary but what felt like the perfect amount of time. I got to see everything I needed to see. Next time I’m here, I want to try magic mushrooms and take a canal cruise tour. Those are my only two Amsterdam bucket list things I didn’t get to check off yet. I’d also like to visit and spend more time at the museums and shopping. I bought two beanies and four lighters. I finally heard from Mike that he and Jo are in Germany. I’ll be seeing them soon. Next destination — Cairo.

Mardi-Grass Festival

It’s almost that time of year again— Mardi Grass!

I’m not talking about the popular, well-known Mardi-Gras, or Fat Tuesday, celebration. This festival, taking place in a small village known as Nimbin, is dedicated to supporting the legalization of marijuana.

Nimbin is situated in the northern part of New South Wales, and has been described by writer Austin Pick, “as if a smoky avenue of Amsterdam has been placed in the middle of the mountains behind frontier-style building facades… Nimbin is a strange place indeed.”

Known for its cannabis counterculture, as people openly sell and consume marijuana in both smokeable and edible forms on the streets, Nimbin has held the Mardi-Grass reform rally since 1993.

Nimbin Museum

Drug laws are a global scam.

Marijuana is by no means legal in New South Wales, but Nimbin seems to be an exception. It’s like this mythical fairy land where everything is rainbows and smiles. Literally.

Nimbin and surrounding areas are known as the “Rainbow Region”, home to the Australian Aboriginal Bundjalung people. The Bundjalung tribes believe the spirits of wounded warriors are present within the mountains. These spirits are believed to protect the area.

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Our life was freedom.

Nimbin is a really awesome tourist attraction in Australia, especially for people who support this alternative lifestyle. The people in Nimbin are quirky and sweet, and the shops are really funky and unique.

While I am unfortunately not in Australia for this year’s festival, taking place April 30th and May 1, I was lucky enough to attend in 2014. And it was an interesting experience to say the least.

My friends and I bought “Golden Bud” passes, but I’m not going to lie, we spent most of our weekend hot boxing a tent. Other than that we were either eating or sleeping. I even fell asleep at a skate park in the middle of the day for at least an hour. People who say cannabis is dangerous have no idea what they are talking about.

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Get out of your own way

There were Hemp Olympix with Bong Tosses and Joint Rolling Competitions, which I totally would have won, had I not been too afraid to enter due to all the cops everywhere. (I might’ve been just a little paranoid).

We also attended a comedy show, where all the comedians were too high so none of their jokes were really that funny. But we laughed because it was so not-funny that it was funny. It might’ve just been an understood We’re all just too stoned for this so let’s just laugh about it kind of funny.

But best of all were the Ganja Fairies. Beautiful, green, shimmering fairies dancing and celebrating in honour of our dearest fairy bud-mother Mary Jane.

Appropriately, at 4:20pm on the final day of the protest, activists participate in the Global Marijuana March. Nimbin aims “to break the world record for the most joints ever lit at once in the same place at the same time.”

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Better to be without logic than without feeling

However, it isn’t just about a bunch of hippies getting together and lighting up. Mardi-Grass aims to educate consumers about the medical uses of marijuana and the history of the plant.

I was also lucky enough to see The Nimbin Museum and Rainbow Cafe before they burnt down in a fire a few months later. There has been word of them rebuilding these locations, but I haven’t heard of any progress. I strongly hope they are restored, as they really contributed to the unique culture of this small town.

In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you learn to let go?

One of my fondest memories in Australia took place as I was sitting outside the Rainbow Cafe with a few friends playing chess. An older gentleman came up to us and gave us caramel tart cookies. I know you should never take food from a stranger, but I knew I was in safe hands with my mates around. And let me tell you, there was nothing like this delicious treat. Something about that sweet sugary goodness had me smiling from ear to ear all day long…

To learn more about this reform rally or the facts on this “gateway drug”, check out the official Mardi Grass website.

Note: WanderLUST Mag does not condone participating in illegal activities.
However, when in Nimbin, do as the Nimbinjee spirit people would do.

(All photos taken at The Nimbin Museum prior to the 2014 fire.)

People take drugs to feel better, for pain relief — its hardly a criminal offense. JUDGE NOT LEST… Prohibition of natures best herbs has turned this village into a prison without walls. — WE ARE NOT CRIMINALS

Pubs and Hipsters: Ireland

By Brittany Tedesco

The first time I ever left America was my Freshman year at Arcadia University.  One of the reasons Arcadia is ranked the number one school for study abroad is due to its Spring Preview experience.  Freshmen and transfer students all have the chance to apply for this week long excursion that takes place during spring break for a very small yet all-inclusive fee, as long as they take a two-credit course during the spring semester based on the country they are traveling to.  I can still distinctly remember sitting in my dorm with my group of new best friends (who I now consider family) and discussing the places we wanted to see.  We were allowed to pick our top 3 choices and write a paragraph on why we wanted to go there, and in a few weeks we would find out where we were going.  We didn’t all pick the same choices, but a few of us picked Ireland as our top choice, and lucky for Alyssa, Matt, and I— we all got it!

I remember being so nervous about the flight because I hadn’t been on a plane since I was four years old, and I had only gone to Florida.  Now I was about to travel to another country for the first time, and when we got our seats, I was nowhere near my two best friends who both got to sit next to each other.  Luckily, I was next to a few of our Professors/Advisors and as soon as we were in the air and it was safe to take our seatbelt off, Alyssa found me to make sure I was doing alright, and I was! I left my nerves on the ground and was entirely full of excitement.

Day 1.

When we arrived in Dublin, the jet lag hit us hard.  The first thing we did was get lunch as a class with our advisors at Gallagher’s Boxty House, and we could barely keep our eyes open (just our mouths) through our meal.  I had some delicious seafood chowder and a veggie enchilada, and cheesecake for dessert.  But even more importantly, I had my first legal drink.  What better way to celebrate being in Ireland than with a Murphy’s Irish Stout.

After lunch, we stopped at the ATM to take out euros and went off to explore the city of Dublin! Alyssa and I got our first tattoos together.  This was becoming a great experience of firsts.  First time out of the country, first legal beer, and first tattoo! Ireland10And it was only the first day.

We spent the rest of the day exploring and shopping, and stopped at Messers McGuire Pub to watch the Ireland vs. Scotland rugby game.  For dinner we ate cheap American food (Papa Johns) for dinner so we could spend our money on more important things like beer, obviously.  Plus it was nice to see familiar places in an unfamiliar place.

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The next morning we had breakfast and our hostel, then Alyssa and I went to a cafe with our hostel roommates.  I ordered a caramel macchiato and it was not at all what I was expecting.  It was so small! All the portion sizes seemed smaller here.  The tables and stuff too. I guess it’s made for leprechauns or something. 

We went to Trinity College later that day with our class to learn and discuss the Irish history and stereotypes more.  We learned some of the lingo like “fags” for cigarettes and “slag” for someone who is a little “loose”. Slag was probably our most used word of the week. 

That night we went to Bachelor’s, a bar next to our hostel, where we got bracelets for half off our food. Ireland3For a total of €5, I got a toasted tomato and cheese sandwich with mashed potatoes for dinner.  This ended up becoming our signature spot.  We did some souvenir shopping that night and then headed back to Bachelor’s to spend our money on the more important things I mentioned earlier.  I got a Heineken, and then discovered my new favorite drink— Bulmer’s Irish Cider.  (Was disappointed to find out they don’t sell Bulmer’s in America, but then found out it’s the same as Magner’s so all is well again.)  The bar played a Bon Jovi song and Matt and I high-fived because we’re both from Jersey just like John Bon Jovi and I guess it was just exciting to hear him in another country and all be from the same place. We were also probably just a little tipsy…

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Later that night I went to a pharmacy to ask for a pack of fags, but the cashier just gave me an irritated look and said “You mean cigarettes? We don’t sell those here.”  I left a little embarrassed and didn’t bother asking for fags anywhere else.  We decided to find some of our friends at Doyle’s Pub, but we got lost even though it ended up being a block away from our hostel.  Alyssa, Matt, Brandon (who became one of our close friends during the trip), and I started singing the Beatles and we magically found Doyle’s.  I drank a Smithwicks and a shot of Malibu.  On our journey back to the hostel we met some Irish kid who played Hurling and we all got delicious ice cream. 

Ireland5Day 3.

Woke up and had breakfast at the hostel again. Our class then went on a guided walking tour of Dublin.  We got to learn a lot and see the sights.
We had lunch at Luigi Malones, where I had a BBQ Chicken Pizza and a Toblerone cheesecake. I don’t know why I was always ordering cheesecake to be honest but it was delicious. We continued on our tour, and one of my favorite parts was the Writer’s Museum. 

Ireland30When we finished our class tour and got some free time, Matt, Alyssa, Brandon and I all took the Dart (bus) to Howth, a port village outside of Dublin, where we got some beautiful photographs of the bay. We returned to Bachelor’s for dinner again, a toasted cheese sandwich and mashed potatoes again, and the waiter made fun of our usual, saying that must be an American thing.  I had a couple of Bulmer’s and then we headed to O’Sullivans where I had one too many “Baby G” (Baby Guinness) shots.
Coffee liqueur and Ireland7Bailey’s Irish cream is dangerously good.  The bartended joked that he would cut me off unless I could walk in a straight line, so I got my shit together and nailed it.  Another Baby G shot and a Bulmer’s please. 

Day 4. Ireland16

Another hostel breakfast before my favorite day of the whole trip.  We went on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour so we could get on and off this bus pretty much whenever and wherever we wanted.  We went to St. Stephen’s Green  (so pretty), St. Pat’s Cathedral, and the Guinness Factory.
We got a free pint at the end of it but I ended u giving mine to Matt because I discovered dark beer wasn’t really my thing.  We also went to some prison but I don’t remember the name of it.  I was too hungry at this point so I went to the cafe with one of my other classmates while the rest of our group explored the jail’s museum.  I had a quiche with a surprisingly really good side salad, some coleslaw and this delicious apple and celery thing.

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After our bus tour was over I treated my friend Brandon to the leprechaun museum for his birthday.ireland1  I also wanted someone to come with me and no one besides Brandon had even the slightest interest (their loss).  Brandon and I had done a little shopping beforehand and my camera died from taking pictures of all the Euro hipsters so I bought a disposable camera to take photos at the Leprechaun Museum which ended up being really fun.  We basically got the experience of being leprechauns and learned about the history of these mythological creatures.

That night, our class saw ‘Da’ at the Gate Theatre, and we ended our night at the pubs yet again.

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Today was a long day spent getting on and off a bus with our class.  First we stopped at Bayne Valley.  Then Battle of the Boyne.  Brandon got me a hot chocolate there because it was so cold.  We stopped for lunch at a little place in Trim before going to see Trim Castle which was absolutely stunning.  Then we visited Hill of Tara which was so fun and pretty, and then we headed back to Dublin for another night at our favorite pubs O’Sullivans and Doyle’s where I continued to quench my obsession of Baby G shots and Bulmer’s.  I also added some Bahama Mama’s to the mix tonight.

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Day 6.

Our last full day in Ireland was spent on a long bus ride to Belfast.  Our class had been based on the split between Northern Ireland from the rest of Ireland, so our trip wouldn’t have been complete without a trip to the capital of Northern Ireland.  It began with a lecture at Queens College, followed by a bus tour of Belfast with some fascinating political murals and graffiti.  When we returned to Dublin, we spent our last night shopping and buying more souvenirs, and ended at our two favorite pubs one last time.  After some Bulmer’s, Baby G shots, Woo Woos, Bahama Mamas and White Russians I had somehow run out of all my money— €400 well spent!

Day 7.

We left bright and early for our flight home.  I’ll never forget that post-travel depression when I arrived back home and thought to myself how the grass was literally greener in Ireland.  It was the experience of a lifetime.  I left with crazy memories, new experiences, lifelong friendships, and the ever-so-contagious travel bug.

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Why Kendrick is the next Kanye

by Katie Sorino

I do realize this is a huge statement. However- I am pretty good at noticing an artist when I see one. Kendrick Lamar, 27 year old who hails from Compton, California is just that. Kendrick wasn’t always the big name rapper you see today. He started to receive recognition back in 2010, and in 2011 he released Section.80 his first independent album exclusively through iTunes.  That album raised a lot of attention and became one of the top digital hip hop releases of the year. Although Kendrick wasn’t signed to a major label yet he had a large following on the internet and was already working with big name artists such as Dr.Dre, Drake, Eminem, and Lil Wayne.

Finally Kendrick signed with Aftermath and Interscope Records in 2012. That same year, in October, his major-label “good kid m.A.A.d city” was released. Two Top 40 hits stemmed from that album including “Swimming Pools (Drank) “and “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.” That album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, was later certified platinum, and earned him a total of seven Grammy nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. That itself is pretty impressive. But let’s jump to the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. Kendrick won Best Rap Performance and Best Rap song for his single “i.” In March of 2015 he released his third album “To Pimp a Butterfly” which has already received TONS of buzz for his lyrical content and the ideas behind the album.

“good kid m.A.A.d city” was about Kendrick’s life growing up in Compton. He never had it easy, definitely hung out with the wrong crowd, and was wrapped up in a girl named Sherane. He grew up in the projects, often times slept in cars, and did drugs. He could’ve ended up like any other male in Compton, in a gang, in jail, or worse…dead. He probably should have went to jail. But he found poetry, and in many ways that saved him. It was an outlet- a way for him to express himself so he did not resort to drugs or violence.  “good kid m.A.A.d city” is undoubtedly one of my favorite albums of all time, and without a doubt my favorite thematic album (followed by American Idiot by Green Day.) I like albums with a message or a purpose and “good kid m.A.A.d city” portrays one. But, Kendrick’s third album “To Pimp a Butterfly” portrays a totally different message.

There have been many different theories as to what the album is about and also controversy surrounding some of the tracks on the album itself. Supposedly the album is an “interview” between the members of Black Hippy (which include Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and Ab Soul) had with late hip hop icon- Tupac Shakur. He even “resurrects” Tupac in the last track on the album called “Mortal Man.” But Kendrick wanted him to play an even bigger role on his sophomore album.  In fact the album was rumored to be titled “To Pimp A Caterpillar- 2.P.A.C” He wound up changing it to butterfly to “show the brightness of life.”

One of the more controversial tracks on the album is called “The Blacker The Berry” and talks about the oppression Kendrick has faced as a young, black male. Featured below are some lyrics from the first verse, and as you can see, Kendrick does not hold back.

“”I’m African-American, I’m African. I’m black as the moon, heritage of a small village. Pardon my residence, came from the bottom of mankind. My hair is nappy, my dick is big, my nose is round and wide. You hate me don’t you? You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my culture. You’re fuckin evil and I want you to recognize I’ma proud monkey.

As an artist, you should not hold back. Your lyrics should mean something, and be different. So many rappers now talk about pussy, money, weed strippers…things that don’t even matter. I never got that. You have so much power to do good…and some rappers put out lyrics like “All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe” and “she my trap queen.” Not to discredit rappers like 2Chainz, or the song “Trap Queen”…because those songs are fun…if you are in the basement of a frat house pounding Natty’s. But if I want something with lyrical value- I’m going to listen to someone like Kendrick Lamar…or Kanye West.

Like Kendrick Lamar, I have always been a huge fan of Kanye. In fact, much of their lives are very similar. Kanye has had a HUGE career and he’s still climbing to the top. Both Kanye and Kendrick are innovators. I know what you’re thinking- Kanye is a huge asshole. He is. But he is smart.

Kanye is a producer, a fashion designer, a song writer, a performer, and an artist. In addition to all of his titles and being married to Kim Kardashian and being North West’s father, Kayne has still managed to win 21 Grammy’s, has sold more than 21 million albums, and has had over 66 million digital downloads of his songs. However Kanye West was not always popular. He attended art school for one semester in the late 90’s but eventually dropped out. He was not taken seriously by record executives who primarily saw him as a producer. It wasn’t until 2002 that he was signed to Roc-A-Fella records and in 2004 his album College Dropout was released. That album put Kanye on the map. I still listen to that album all the time. “Jesus Walks” and “Through the Wire” are still two of my favorite songs to date. Those two songs are entirely different in content but both incredibly meaningful if you take a close look at the lyrics.  “Jesus Walks” was the fourth single released from the “College Dropout” album and producers were worried that a song with such declaration to faith would not make it on the radio. But it did and was incredibly successful. With lyrics such as

“We at war with terrorism, racism, but most of all we at war with ourselves (Jesus Walks.) God show me the way because the Devil’s tryin’ to break me down”

And, “To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers even the strippers (Jesus walks for them) To the victims of welfare for we living in hell here hell yeah(Jesus walks for them)”

Kanye is trying to let everyone know that God loves them for who they are, regardless of the kind of life they live. That is not only a great message, but those kind of lyrics appeal to a larger demographic, including some who may not even listen to rap music.

Kendrick uses this same approach. He talks about controversial but also meaningful topics in his music and attaches it to a sick beat. He wants to appeal to a wide audience, just like Kanye has done over the last decade. Kendrick and Kayne both want to appeal to the young African-American male that is struggling to make ends meet and maybe selling drugs just so he can help his family eat at night. But, both artists also want to appeal to the rich white girl and her friends who are looking for something fun to listen to while they drive to the club on a Saturday night in a shiny SUV.

It will be interesting to watch Kendrick Lamar grow over the next few years just as I have watched Kanye grow. He is not the same artist he was when he released his first album. His sound and style has changed over the years. Kanye is now even working with legends such as Paul McCartney-in turn striking curiosity amongst older generations. Kendrick would be smart to do the same. He has grown slightly from “good kid m.A.A.d city” to “To Pimp A Butterfly” but I have a feeling he is going to grow even more musically and expand himself to other artistic outlets such as Kanye has. Maybe Kendrick’s next move will be immersing himself into the fashion world, or the art world. Or maybe he will stick to strictly creating and producing music. Whatever his next move is, it’s going to be big.

In my opinion, being featured on the cover of Rolling Stone is when you KNOW you have made it. It is the Vogue of the music world. Kanye was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone in 2006 after his second album, “Late Registration”, dropped. Kendrick Lamar was recently featured on the cover of Rolling Stone after his second album dropped. Another coincidence? I think not. Kendrick is about to explode, and no one is ready for the mark he is going to leave on the music industry. He is going to be the next Kayne West.

Another Day, Another Dildo: The Story of My First Internship

My internship search started off a bit shakey. I honestly had no idea where to even start looking.  I asked some professors and classmates for places they recommended, I e-mailed a few small businesses, and I even conducted some internship searches through Campus Philly, but I either had no real interest in the company or I unfortunately didn’t hear back from them.  World – 1 Brittany – 0.  It just wasn’t working out.  Until one day I got an email from Arcadia’s Media and Communication page, with links to blog posts that previous students had written about their own internship experiences.  I saw that two girls had written about a place called The Velvet Lily, so I checked it out. Immediately I knew I wanted this internship.

The Velvet Lily is a female-owned erotic boutique and novelty store in Philadelphia.  I emailed the owner Khara and set up an interview.  A few days later, I caught the train into Philly and made my way to 1204 Chestnut Street to meet with her.  The store has an alluring and sensual vibe from the moment you walk in with an assortment of products ranging from lingerie and candles, whips and handcuffs, condoms and lubes, vibrators and strap-ons, fleshlights and cockrings, anything you could imagine.  I was led to the back room to sit and wait on a luxurious black couch until Khara came to the back, pulled up a chair, and told me to make myself comfortable.  After we discussed the position, I met another girl who had previously interned and was now employed there and we all sat around the couch brainstorming ideas for the stores future videos. I got the internship and started later that week.  It was really fun and exciting to hear all their ideas and be able to share my input. I left the store and caught the train home feeling like the Carrie Bradshaw of Philly. 

My first day was just as interesting as I imagined it to be.  It started out slow with some video editing on a promotional video.  Then I got to search for youtube videos about fleshlights to post on social media.  The next task was where my skills were really put to the test- I had to plug in a bunch of vibrators to test if the batteries were working. The lovely little task paid off well when I got to pick whichever one I wanted. Of course I took the LELO Mia 2, a cute little pink one that looks like a lipstick and has a USB charger so it’s discrete and travel-friendly. But that wasn’t all…  I was handed a fleshlight and asked if I wanted it “for a friend maybe”, and boy did I have the perfect person to give it to.  That’s when I knew this job was perfect for me.

The next few shifts were pretty similar. I had to do some minor but crafty little tasks like tying ribbons around the Kama Sutra boxes we were selling to some fancy hotel, which I then had to deliver on my way home. But I also started writing product descriptions, and of course I was asked to write one for my new toy. I had to come up with a list of ideas for videos we could shoot for the store’s website/blog and then edit those videos. I got to search youtube and buzzfeed for more videos we could use to post on social media sites, specifically videos relevant to “cock rings” and “beginner vibrators”…never a dull moment. And my favorite part was definitely the customers.  Although I was usually in the back working on media related tasks, I often overheard some interesting things.  Like men trying out different whips or crazy old ladies, or sometimes old men, trying to return underwear. 

One weekend after a staff meeting, I decided to stick around for an event we were hosting called Fifty Shades of Play: an introduction to bondage. (Check out my blog about it here ). It was mostly an introduction to all the kinky things out there and different toys to use but also some valuable information about the media’s portrayal of sexuality and what is considered normal and how to become comfortable in talking to your partner about things you want and don’t want to do.  The woman who led the workshop is a licensed social worker and sexual health educator who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in human sexuality from Widener University.

Overall, it’s been a really fun experience.  I’ve learnt a lot more than I ever expected to know about sex toys, but I’ve also learnt a lot involving different aspects of media that I want to work with in the future.  It is also refreshing to work with so many empowered business women who are comfortable with sex and sexuality and make it their job to help others feel comfortable as well.

How To Get Screwed By The System

Holy hell friends, have I got a how-to for you. Angry Ian is driving, so buckle up as tight as you possibly can. All strapped in? Good, ‘cause we’re about to get violent up in here.

But first, some soothing backstory. I’m a college student. I’m a college student who’s about to graduate. I’m a college student who’s about to graduate with a B.F.A. (Bachelor’s of Fine Arts) in Acting. This is the part where established adults ask, “So what do you want to do with that?” When I say that I want to go into film acting (or really, if I say anything at all) they follow with, “Oh, okay. So what’s your backup?” Then I tell them that backups are for chumps, punch them in the face, and ride into the sunset on my hover board, flipping the bird to all and sundry.

Or at least, that’s what happens in my head.

So to begin with, I’m looking at little to no support for my prospective career path from most adults in this world. Totally fine, I can handle that shit. I know that I’ll be making damn near no money when I get out of school, even if I do wrangle a money job or two.

But then, this college thing; it costs money, y’know? Like, an ungodly amount of money. So much money that I can’t even conceive of how some people pay for college upfront. I’ve got a hefty amount of scholarships because I put just enough work in in high school, but I’ve still got (four year total here) tens of thousands in loans both to the government (hey, Big Brother!) and to private assholes like Sallie Mae.

Let’s add that all up then: I’m planning on going into a very competitive, low-paying field (that I have a passion and training for, mind you) when I graduate, after which I’ll need to pay for housing and basic needs (food, mostly) by acquiring one (or two) money jobs, while at the same time paying off my megatons worth of student loans and trying to maintain some semblance of happiness and sanity in my life. Have I mentioned that jobs are hella-difficult to come by when all you’ve done for six years is work as a lifeguard at various pools?

I’ve gotta tell you, friends; it’s kind of a bleak outlook. Living at home is out of the question, my parents are public school teachers, and I’ve got no rich aunts or grandparents, so I’m about as on my own as it gets. Even with a paying job, I’m in the hole ‘til the loans are paid off (and stop accruing a daily interest of almost two dollars), which is unlikely to be anytime prior to my death. AND I actually plan on having a family at some point in my life; how the fuck am I gonna support that?

Guys, gals—people have told us all our lives that to do what you want, to get a good job, you HAVE to go to college. Although that’s painfully untrue, I’ve had a great four years here; I’ve been in shows, I went to New Zealand, and I met my significant other of almost two years (whom I love the most) here.

Now, money against experience, was it worth it?ecard I honestly can’t tell you, because I don’t know how I’m gonna fend out there. On darker nights like this one I find myself cursing the system that tells us we can do anything and then severs all lifelines the moment we reach for them. I find myself despairing that I’ll be homeless and broke in a couple years, unable to support myself, much less anyone else. The shackles of loans weigh heavily, friends, and I haven’t even started paying them off yet.

Older generations speak of us as being greedy; they call Millennials self-centered and the “Me” generation. But I find that, if one simply asks us what we want, the responses are remarkably simple. “I want my own apartment.” “I want to pay off my loans.” “I want a job that I can enjoy.”

On nights like this I can get lost in the fears and the woes and the worries that plague our generation more than any other in our nation’s history. Collective student debt is in the trillions, and unemployment rates and depression among young adults are higher than they’ve ever been.

But there’s something that I tend to overlook on nights like this. I forget that it’s not just me, that we’re all having these struggles to stay afloat. We know who we are. And we have to know that we’re together. So when you find yourself getting angry about all the injustices that we face when we’re literally just trying to survive in corporate capitalist America, call up a friend or two, or twelve. Get angry together.

We’ve all seen the power of people tired of being screwed over who rally to a cause. The system is big and the system is scary, but we can be scary too. And here’s the thing: we’re the ones in the right.

Don’t let the nights like this eat you up, because then they win.

Start something. Who knows what you’ll do.

The Traveling Beanie

nz

This picture was taken of me while hiking in New Zealand.  You see that cute purple beanie on my head? This is a story about that beanie… The story of the traveling beanie.

I had been wanting a beanie for a long time but being the broke college student that I am, I never got around to actually buying one. I had tried some on but convinced myself they all looked terrible and I just wasn’t “a beanie person” because I didn’t want to spend money. One night at my favorite pub in Australia, I found this lone, purple beanie laying on a chair and I fell in love. A stranger had obviously lost it there but no one was coming back for it. I brought it home and washed it, and the beanie became mine. It was the first beanie I ever believed looked okay on me, and I wore it almost everywhere. Until one night, I lost it at a bar in New Zealand.

I don’t remember how I lost my beloved beanie. I got too drunk one night and blacked out. I don’t even remember getting back to my hostel. But I woke up in my bed the next morning with all my clothes still on, and only one thing missing— the precious purple beanie.

It’s crazy to think that someone else may have found that beanie just like I had, and is now wearing it around, maybe even in some other country. I guess that’s my karma. I have no idea where the beanie even came from, who the owner was or where they bought it. They could’ve been from another country as well. What if someday I find my beanie back in the states? That would be way too freaky…

I ended up buying two new beanies in New Zealand because I missed my old one so much. I lost one of them, but by now I have a collection of at least seven beanies, and I’ve lost quite a few. I don’t know why I have no luck with holding on to them. I guess they’re just as wanderlust as I am. Some say they were made in China and the others says made in Korea. I have no idea where my lost, purple beanie came from before it had an owner, but if I had to guess, it was probably also made in China or Korea or somewhere unfamiliar to me. Then shipped to a store, maybe or maybe not in Australia. It somehow ended up in Australia though, into my possession, then lost in New Zealand, and now who knows where it could be. Who knows where any of my lost beanies could be. These simple little beanies came all the way from Asia and could have potentially been to even more countries than I have.

This goes to show how interconnected everything can be. I can only hope that someone else has found that purple beanie (and the others…) and they have given it a new home, or new head rather, as well as a new adventure!

Originally written on Friday, October 11, 2013.
Edited and published Tuesday, January 27, 2014.