Tag Archives: Entertainment

How Hard Did Aging Hit You Challenge


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People do a lot of random things on Facebook.  They “wave” at random strangers they become friends with, poke their family and friends, and even share content all over their page (or better yet, OVERSHARE).  There’s no shortage of ways to make the most out of your social media experience.

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In some cases, users follow a particular theme that is trending around the site.  Events like the Ice Bucket Challenge or games such as Farmville became popular for quite a while.  Here in the beginning of 2019 lies a whole new challenge involving your own photos.  The latest challenge on Facebook is How Hard Did Aging Hit You?

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The challenge goes like this – you upload your very first profile picture and your most recent picture.  It’s creative way to compare how much you have changed over the years.  As the name goes, users find out how exactly hard aging has hit them.

Here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I’ve decided to showcase the challenge on this very blog.  It’s been 11 years since my picture was take.  Time to compare that with the most recent one today.

October 2008

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October 2008 – Here I am at 17 years old, kicking it in my bedroom.  I was a junior in Ipswich High School at the time, just one and a half years away from college.  Just being a regular teen, chilling in my bedroom in Ipswich.  Pretty sure I finished up my homework (or not!), so I played around on my laptop for a bit.

That grey trucker CKY hat was one of my favorites.  CKY was my favorite band and I collected all the albums through Itunes.  I still have their music locked within my portable hard drive.  YouTube really changed since 2008.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after high school, being that I was being the typical care-free teenager.  College was looming around everyone’s mind and the only main thing on mine was what was on VH1 or MTV.  There were many times where I was browsing through the Ed Hardy catalog rather than searching for colleges around Massachusetts.  Only thing I did know was that I loved being in the swarm of entertainment around me.

January 2019

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Fast-forward to January 2019 – 11 years later.  Completely done with both high school and college.  I have been busy working within the cannabis industry and keeping up with an entertainment PR blog five days a week.  While I haven’t been hanging with my friends I knew in high school, I have more friends in Boston these days.  Almost three years out of college and I reach even closer to my dream career.  It’s been quite a wild ride since high school and I have been enjoying every minute of it.

To think that I have gone from this rebellious teenager browsing through Ed Hardy apparel while listening to CKY to becoming a young professional in the cannabis industry is simply beyond shocking.  Time has an intriguing way of completely reshaping who you become.  Not only do you physically age over time, but both your mental and emotional state become altered as well.  Your whole identity itself gradually progresses each year.

What seems like another social media trend is actually a mind-blowing step into the past.  Eleven years later and lots has changed since that picture I took in high school.  I was in the midst of a ever-growing trend of a new industry that would soon blossom over time.

With that, the ‘How Hard Did Aging Hit You’ challenge was quite entertaining to complete.  I can certainly say I aged well since I was 17.

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A Bio-inspired Super-organism in Salem


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Every now and then, I’ll come across some interesting art work around the area.  The cities come with interactive artwork, both indoors and outside.  While there isn’t as much greenery in cities like Boston, the complimentary artwork still makes the location fun to wander around.  This is kind of interactive art works well in places with less foot traffic.

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In the bustling haunted streets of Salem, I came across a particularly interesting exhibit that was labeled Art in Progress.  MassArt students are building a bioinspired pavilion as part of the Wild Designs exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum.  This temporary structure offers an imaginative encounter with the idea of a “superorganism”, a community of living things behaving like a single living entity.

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The structure starts with a wooden walkway leading you up to the exhibit itself.  It features a small incline plane taking you up into the platform.

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As you enter the middle of the hexagon, you see four tall pieces stacked around each other.  Each individual piece differentiates in height, going from small to big and back to small again.  From the front, they look tall and thin with many openings.  But as you look from the side, you start to see the colors melding in together.  Each wooden structure blending into one another, becoming one whole piece.

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It symbolizes a super-organism at work, all wooden planks coming together to form one miraculous work of art.  Up close, each piece resembles an individual living organism at work.  From the side, the organism blend in together into one whole super-organism.

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Who knew a simple interactive work of art in Salem could carry so much symbolic meaning.  It’s the kind of art that makes you stop to think about your role in the city.  You are one of hundreds of millions of organisms in the city, completing your work within the community.  Whether you are an artist or an accountant, you have your unique role as an organism who your community.

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If you are ever visiting a city, its always great to check out intriguing artwork like this.  Cities like Salem or Boston always have works of art around the area (the Boston neighborhoods are a great place to go as well!).  All you have to do is roam around the less-populated areas of the city and you will discover something truly amazing.

Rooftop Recreational Cannabis Events


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We are just a few weeks away from summer, being that the rooftop bars are opening.  Rooftop bars provide patrons with drinks up on the roof of a restaurant.  Once the weather gets warmer, employees open up the rooftop or patio area for the season.  This marketing tactic rings in tasty beers, more audiences, heavier foot traffic, and even some entertainment along the way.  It’s the perfect way to get the crowd together to drink some tasty brews all while enjoying the beautiful weather outside.

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Image result for rooftop bars boston

Days are getting much longer, so it’s a perfect time to take advantage of the rooftop bars.  But besides the minor benefits, the obvious one is the fact that you can consume alcohol outside.  While you can’t consume in public around the city of Boston, you can enjoy your drink on the rooftop deck of a restaurant.  That’s the intriguing loophole that helps both restaurants and patrons alike.  Customers want to drink outside on a lovely summer day and businesses want to offer those drinks as well.

But alcohol isn’t the only product we can offer for entertainment on a rooftop; with recreational cannabis dispensaries opening this summer, it’s definitely HIGH time to add cannabis to the mix of rooftop events.

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Image result for rooftop bars boston

Rooftop cannabis bars would make for an incredible and entertaining idea.  It would be a great social event where cannabis enthusiasts come together to consume cannabis out on a rooftop or patio.  Audiences from around the Boston area could come together to network about all things cannabis.

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Image result for rooftop events Boston

Best part about this tactic?  Patrons are able to consume OUTSIDE…on a glorious summer day while the sun is still out.  Whether it’s a pipe or pre-rolled joint, cannabis enthusiasts will appreciate the benefit of consuming cannabis within a confined space.  Consuming in public is still illegal in MA, but these rooftop cannabis events would create a safe and designated area for consumption as well as provide some outdoor entertainment.

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You are practically getting the best of both worlds with this nifty idea.  Add some cornhole toss or other activity into the mix and you got yourself a successful event.  Even when the sun goes down later on at night, there’s still some time to roam around the city.

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Image result for Boston Rooftop

This would make for an amazing idea.  I certainly would love to see cannabis-related events on a rooftop or patio area.  The weather is getting much nicer, so I would definitely take advantage of these outdoor events when possible.  Rooftop bars with alcohol are one thing, but cannabis-themed rooftop events would be a whole other level of entertainment.

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If we want to do more for the cannabis industry, we should definitely consider holding events on a rooftop or patio area.  Being outside is one of many components of the place within the marketing mix.  Rather than establish events taking indoors, we can hold them outside on a nice day during the summer.

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Let’s start establishing cannabis events on the rooftop for a HIGHER entertaining experience for everyone.

High Times PR Nightmare #420


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Image result for Massachusetts 4/20 Cannabis

Another year, another 4/20 celebration has come and gone.  It was a great weekend to celebrate cannabis use here in the United States.  Recreational dispensaries are in full swing to open this summer here in Massachusetts, so there is a lot to be excited about this year.  Its only a matter of time before Massachusetts catches up with the other legal states.

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Even still, the legal states have been facing their share of problems over the years.  Legality issues have only been causing more roadblocks for the thriving cannabis industry here in the United States.  One incident sparked a PR nightmare involving a High Times event in San Bernardino.

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Image result for San Bernardino High Times Event 2018

By a vote of 6-0, San Bernardino City Council denied High Times’ application. The High Times Cannabis Cup was not allowed any sales of cannabis products during the three-day event.  Participants were able to consume cannabis at the event, but they weren’t able to purchase any of it from the vendors.  Per order of the California Board of Cannabis Control, local governments had to approve events two months in advance.  Only problem was that San Bernardino never had a system to issue such permits until earlier in April.  This last-minute move only angered many participants.

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Due to this sudden change, High Times offered the option to refund your ticket.  Tickets ranged from $60-$420 for those that wanted a refund.  It was definitely a smart PR move of High Times to satisfy those who were looking to purchase cannabis at the event.

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Ironically enough, legalization of recreational cannabis has only made it MORE difficult for High Times to hold the Cannabis Cup.  Cannabis is fully legal in California, but businesses have little to no system put in place to hold public events.  It’s a shocking PR nightmare that highlighted the amount of work cannabis businesses still have.

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This wasn’t the first PR nightmare High Times had to deal with when planning an event.  High Times ran into a problem last year in Las Vegas when they held the event on Native American land (more on that previous PR nightmare here).  Even in the face of legal cannabis, businesses like High Times are finding it hard to promote cannabis products at their events.  It doesn’t have to do with the fact that cannabis is illegal; rather, the problem lies in the fact that many businesses do not have set plans for how to carry out events like the Cannabis Cup.

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So the good news is this – recreational cannabis sales are legal in California.  Bad news is that there is still so much work to be done in allowing businesses to sell cannabis products in major events.  We have fought long and hard to allow cannabis to be sold recreationally, yet there are still many legality roadblocks we have to push through.

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California was able to make recreational cannabis shops legal and they can definitely work to allow cannabis products to be sold at The High Times Cannabis Cup.  All it takes is just a little more creativity and they can finally feature products in other events.

For now, we have a lot of work to get through in order to prevent companies like High Times from running into more political PR nightmares.

MakeSandcastlesNotWar – Two Years Later


Ladies and gentlemen… today is a VERY special day.  No, it is not about PI day nor will it be six days until Spring (but THAT’S exciting too!).  Today is… wait for it while you hold my beer…
THE TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF MAKESANDCASTLESNOTWAR!            `Image result for Surprise crowd gif

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I…just…WOW.  Two years.  It already has been TWO years full of PR nightmares, TV criss-crosses, business WINS, Netflix/TV binge-watching reviews, philosophical journeys and many other crazy shenanigans.  We’ve dived into some intriguing ideas as well as some of the most twisted PR stories that would affect audiences for years to come.  While some businesses crossed the line, others formulated a unique product or service to offer.

Just think that we have covered a span of these topics in just TWO YEARS.  My mind is still boggling even as I type this two-year anniversary post.  After being away on vacation for a few days this past weekend, it’s finally time to celebrate this special day.

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So last year we dived back into the first blog post topic about Jonathan Blow’s The Witness.  Ironically enough, it was a blizzard outside (like the one that is currently happening now!) and it was the perfect day to celebrate.  It was already a year since MakeSandcastlesNotWar was created, so we entered the time warp (*Swoosh*) to see how it all started.  This was a fantastic voyage of nostalgia about a dreamy puzzle adventure game.

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But for today’s anniversary, things are about to get weird…and I mean, REALLY WEIRD.  This will be a post like no other.  Today isn’t just an ordinary nostalgic post looking back in time.  We are in the midst of a…BLOGCEPTION.

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We’ve finally done it folks – a blogception has occurred on MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  There has been some strange topics popping up here and there, but this is where things will get really bizarre.

It’s about time I explain – a blogception is when a blog post is written up about a previous blog post relating to a post that was written before.  The blogception consists of only one post, BUT it becomes tethered to other similar posts from history.  There are two or more subjects happening at once, but yet they still become connected to construct a concrete story.  With all of these subjects floating around at once, your mind can’t fully grasp around the mere fact that it actually WORKS.

Hold on folks, because things are about to start…NOW.

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March 14th, 2017 – it was the day we were exploring a post about the first video game topic about The Witness.  There was so much to celebrate that day – more followers, increasing number of views, many widespread topics stemming from major categories, and even other surprises that were in stores.  I had to kick off the celebration by introducing the story of how this blog came to be.

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After studying PR in Salem State University, I was enthusiastic to continue my blog work.  I truly enjoyed the writing work I completed, so I took it upon myself to build this magnificent creation that would become MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  This sandcastle would become filled with various content – reviews, criss-crosses, PR nightmares, philosophical journeys, field trips.  Every new topic was a new adventure into another world.  Even when diving back into a familiar subject, there was always a new gem waiting to be discovered.

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And if you’re wondering…YES, there were still more topics to discuss from The Witness.  Months (even YEARS) after playing The Witness, I found so many aspects I enjoyed about it.  From the challenging gameplay to the philosophical wisdom from the audio logs, The Witness offered so much as a puzzle adventure video game.  It was these strings of posts that would lead up to the blogception that we have discovered today.

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Here we are folks – a year later after traveling back into time to discuss the first post the year before.  It’s truly a mesmerizing and glory idea to behold.  This blogception has truly given a sense of how far things have come.  What was once a small experiment on writing about some of my favorite things has blossomed into a fully-grown entertainment PR blog.  Two years later and I still gain the satisfaction of writing about more incredible ideas.

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What makes this even better is that the adventures still continue.  We still have SO much to discover in this thriving and chaotic world of entertainment PR.  There’s always another philosophical journey to write about or some TV criss-cross waiting to be found.  Who knows, there may be another flourishing business that starts sinking due to a PR nightmare.

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Times have truly changed since creating this blog post; what hasn’t changed is the initial ambition for discovering new and exciting ideas.  Whether we go forward or backward, we’re always connected one way or another.

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Writing this blog has truly been a blessing.  It has been a crazy journey since launching onto the WordPress platform.  Two years later and I still enjoy writing posts each day.

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Two years later…and the journey still continues.  What new adventures awaits us?  Who will we discover in the next TV criss-cross? Where will the next PR nightmare happen?

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For now, we can just remember this one thing… Make Sandcastles, Not War.