6/22 Random Book Quote!


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The argument that the literal story of Genesis can qualify as science collapses on three major grounds: the creationists’ need to invoke miracles in order to compress the events of the earth’s history into the biblical span of a few thousand years; their unwillingness to abandon claims clearly disproved, including the assertion that all fossils are products of Noah’s flood; and their reliance upon distortion, misquote, half-quote, and citation out of context to characterize the ideas of their opponents.

~ Stephen Jay Gould, “The Verdict on Creationism”

Performing Oliver’s Salmon Ladder From Arrow


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Lately there’s been so many great content releasing on Netflix this month that it’s hard to find the time to binge-watch them all.  I am currently in the middle of season five on Arrow and it’s been amazing so far.  Arrow is one of those better superhero series, unlike some of the other programs (I’m talking to you, Iron Fist!).  The plot is easy to follow, dialogue is great to read into, and the overall violence is kickass for being rated TV-14.  Watching the Arrow beat up the bad guys is awesome, but what’s even better is watching him do the salmon ladder.

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Oliver Queen, the main character that becomes the Green Arrow at night, exercises with the salmon ladder as part of his training.  This intense exercise involves him pushing himself up to the top with the bar.  Seeing this superhero push himself to do this each season is incredible to watch (let’s be honest, what America needs right now is a whole episode of Oliver Queen performing the salmon ladder shirtless!).

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As hard as the exercise looks, there is a way to complete it.  The exercise a multitude of body parts including your core, upper body, ribs, intercostals, back muscles, shoulders, triceps, and lats.  You’ll mostly have to work on your upper body strength and perform some core exercise to get into the right shape.

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To start the exercise, you’ll want to warm-up with some pull-ups first.  Doing some pull-ups will get you into the movement of lifting up into the next rung.  As you are pulling up, quickly push your body up higher and move the bar out and up the next level.  Continue with this movement until you reach the very top.

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If these directions sound easier than done, you should practice with some more pull-ups first.  Again, performing pull-ups will help you get used to the movement you use to do the salmon ladder.  Watching clips of Oliver Queen doing it a few times will help as well (watching someone is part of practicing too!).

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This something I really want to try out!  I have been going back to the gym lately and would really like to start attempting this challenge.  While I haven’t been able to perform the salmon ladder yet, I thought it was an awesome part of the Green Arrow’s training.  It’s definitely a cool exercise that will help me bulk up.

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Working out doesn’t have to be so monotonous.  Watching Oliver Queen perform the salmon ladder made me want to try out new exercise moves as well.  You should check out other unique exercise programs if you want to stay in better shape.

Until then, keep working hard on the salmon ladder and don’t give up until you reach the top!

Fidgety Fidget Spinners!


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Every year there’s always some simple concept that transforms into a huge fad within the blink of an eye.  Products such as movies, toys, food, TV series, games, clothing, and other commodities can become popular through an interesting idea.  Members of the communications industry can do as much as they can to spread awareness of the trend, but the ending results lie with the audiences.  Some trends stick with the country for a long time while other just wear off quickly.  These trends may come and go every so often, but they make big waves in the social media universe.  This year’s most trending toy is the fidget spinners.

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Fidget spinners, those twirling gadgets that you spin around for hours at a time, have been selling out like crazy in stores everywhere.  These gadgets have been around mostly to help kids with autism or attention disorders concentrate in school, but they exploded in early spring this year.  They weren’t made by a major corporate company and can easily be found at your nearest convenient store.  It’s a hot toy that revolves around such a simple unique selling point, which is to prevent fidgeting problems.

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After months of seeing these around the shelves, I caved in yesterday and brought myself one!  While wandering around Liberty Tree Mall with my friend, I browsed through the selection of fidget spinners on the vendor.  I decided to go with the bright orange glow-in-the-dark spinner to take home.  It was only minutes later that I really got the hang of the device.

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The gist of the toy is really simple: hold the top/bottom with your fingertips and spin the wheel as fast as you can.  Once you stop flicking, hold the bottom part with your fingertips as it spins by itself.  Try holding it with one of your fingertips once you use it a few times.  For even more advanced tricks, try balancing it on your nose or shoe while it’s spinning.

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Other than the fidget spinner, there’s also an alternative toy called the fidget cube.  The fidget cube comes with buttons, clickers, and even wheels to play around with.  Clicking around the fidget cube is really comforting for your hands when you start fidgeting.

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There’s something interesting going on when a toy like a fidget spinner becomes the most popular product for adults.  In this 21st century, our world is rapidly changing each day.  Adults are performing at a faster rate and they can’t stop moving.  There’s been a large demand for more productivity, leaving many people feeling very stressed out.  Could the rise of fidget spinners be caused by the large amount of stress we’re facing?

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Before fidget spinners became the hottest toy of 2017, adults calmed their fidgeting nerves through smoking cigarettes.  Although it’s a nasty habit, cigarette smoking was the common way to calm your nerves every now and then.  But since cigarettes have increased in price over the past few decades (Marlboros are over $10 a pack in MA!), adults have been trying to trade in one habit for another habit.  Then along came the fidget spinners and those fidgety adults can’t get enough of them.  In a strange sense, fidget spinners could be the trend that would replace the nasty habit of smoking cigarettes.

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As I mentioned before, trends come and go every year.  Remember when Pokémon GO was released last summer?  That game spread like WILDFIRE, becoming the hottest app on the Android/Apple market in less than a week (read more about Pokémon GO here).  Fidget Spinners are just as much of a trend as Pokémon GO was in 2016.

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Rather than crack jokes at the silly trends kids are following these days, we should be amazed by the surprising health benefits both of these trends provide.  Fidget Spinners are great for people dealing with fidgeting problems and Pokémon GO helps people who deal with social anxiety.  These trends, as silly as they sound, actually help people in ways that we couldn’t imagine.  Who knew that a new Pokémon game would help people gain better social skills?

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In the end, fidget spinners are one of many toys that combat fidgeting among people.  Things like the ball in the cup, yo-yos, and even Rubik’s Cube were popular just to play with.  The main unique selling point behind these trends was to give your hands something to do every so often.  Cigarettes may be expensive, but you can pick up a fidget spinner for less than $10.

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So the next time you start feeling fidgety, put down the cigarette and pick up a fidget spinner.

#MACannabisAdvertisingProposalsFAIL


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A major bill has been floating around MA since last week that showcases some interesting changes to the cannabis laws.  One surprising notice was that recreational cannabis products could be taxed as high as 28%, which is twice as high as the original format at 12%.  That number may be high, but there’s even some more shocking changes that must be discussed.

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Advertising could be SEVERLY limited under the proposed changes.  The new proposal would limit the use of radio, billboards, TV, print, and even internet (which could include social media!) for advertising cannabis companies.  These advertising tactics would be available ONLY if 71.6% of the audience is over 21.  None of the ads could be targeted to any under 21 nor can the users depicted in the ad as well.

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As a PR pro that delves into the creative advertising world, my first answer to these shocking advertising rules is ‘What…The FUCK.’

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71.6 of the audience over 21?  Where the hell in MA can the mad men lock down their targeted audiences for their ad campaign?  Boston?  Somerville?  Brighton/Allston?

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Seriously though guy…this is NOT good at all!  Aside from the tax issue (cannabis WILL be taxed since it’s such a useful commodity!), these ad proposals put a serious damper for the advertising business.  Creative directors, copywriters, art directors, media buyers, and all other creative geniuses won’t be able to launch their huge campaigns if they only cater to areas where 71.6 of the audience is over 21!  Cannabis companies WILL be shipping to Boston in the next few years and the severe lack of advertisements will only put the industry to a halt.

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To better explain this problem, let’s take Don Draper and his creative team from the Mad Men universe as our leading example (since Don is the sexy creative genius of the Mad Men world!).  Supposed Don’s team relocated to Boston and are working with clients within the cannabis industry.  Members of the cannabis companies meet with Don’s team to discuss the new ad campaigns they would be working on.

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Don’s team CAN work on drafting the ad campaign, but they won’t reach the large number of audiences they want to reach since the areas HAVE to be mostly over 21.  Their advertising strategies would only work in very few places in Massachusetts.  If Don’s team doesn’t reach the intended numbers after running the campaigns, then cannabis companies could take their business elsewhere (to a more 4/20-friendly state like California or Maine).  This would mean that most of the work coming from Don, Roger, Joan, Peggy, and Pete won’t be enough to keep themselves afloat.

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Advertising agencies would want to work with the ever-trending cannabis industry to deliver the best advertising campaigns, but they won’t be able to do that if they can’t reach the amount of audiences they need. It will be a complicated challenge for the Boston mad men if the advertising proposals pass.  Cannabis’s image is heavily plagued by the PR nightmare caused by the Reefer Madness scandal and revitalizing PR tactics are our only solution.  To put it in another way, advertising is going to need some serious help from public relations on flourishing cannabis’s reputation before any amazing image can be shown.  The mad men do have the image (the pot leaf!), but that universal image must be repaired before any advertising tactics are set.

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While I didn’t go to Salem State University for advertising, this issue is still important to me as a former PR student.  Cannabis is the hottest new commodity sweeping the nation since being legalized and audiences are looking to get their hands on it any way they can.  With legality issues standing in the way of communicative creativity, business will become sluggish for industries like advertising and marketing.  They are many aspiring individuals in PR, advertising, marketing, journalism, and other areas of communications that see a brighter future through cannabis.  As the writer of entertainment PR stories at MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I take so much joy in informing the audience about the current cannabis trends.  It’s been such an honor to write about an industry that was once so taboo where it was troublesome to even talk about it (let alone smoke it in the open!).

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Recreational cannabis use is one of the hottest social issues here in America.  There’s a brighter future out there for the cannabis industry and we need the most creative mad men out there to showcase that future to ALL audiences.