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Monthly Archives: November 2019

Lock Laces: Footloose and Fancy-Free

Forget about lacing and unlacing your shoes, turn them into comfy slip-ons! The Problem with Shoelaces Recently I noticed an article in BuzzFeed entitled 22 Products I Don’t Understand How You’ve Lived Your Whole Life Without. The very first item on the list caught my eye! At the time, I had never heard of no-tie shoelaces that could supposedly be used to convert any pair of shoes into slip-ons that would remain ridiculously comfortable forever! And, frankly, I didn’t buy into the headlines, but it intrigued me enough to look into them a bit further. Let me be candid here —I was never really good at tying my shoes, I know that’s pretty embarrassing, but I like to be extra comfortable and it’s always been too tight or too loose, never just right.  And too frequently, it seemed that my shoes would become untied at the most inopportune times. So, I figured I would look into these things, known as Lock Laces, particularly in light of the fact that they had over 10,000 great reviews on Amazon! You can use them on

Scammers, Spammers, Robocalls, Oh My!

Sick of telemarketers and phone scammers annoying you every day? Here’s how you can avoid them… Like most people you’ve probably received the phone call that sounds too good to be true or one that prompts urgent action regarding your credit card account. And then there are the ones you get up to answer and there’s no one on the other end. These are just a few of the examples that not only irritate you but are intended to really harm you such as sucking funds out of your bank account. All they need is one gullible person and their day is made, and unfortunately, there are way too many of those around. Sometimes these callers sound so official, often naming real companies like Microsoft or government agencies like the IRS. You may have received calls to renew that service or membership you never knew you had. Or how about winning that contest you never entered. And there’s nothing more unnerving than receiving a call that threatens a fine, lawsuit, or jailtime. Oh, and that call with no one on

23andMe: Discover Yourself!

Decoding the human genome is the most profound scientific endeavor of our lifetime. You’ve seen the television commercials which may have piqued your curiosity about getting your own genetic profile. Technology has simplified how every day people can find out about their own genes and chromosomes. Ever wanted to know more about your ancestry? Now you can learn your family bloodline going back generations. There are over 1,000 genetic tests available today and one of the most popular services is 23andMe. Through their online platform, you can choose their Ancestry Service or get the Health + Ancestry Service for the full experience. Instead of relying on historical records, 23andMe differentiates itself from other services by analyzing genetics-based ancestry reports and tools. They have over five million genotyped customers so far. Take a peek at their short video about the importance of genetics… Finding Your Ancestry Covering over 1,000 global ancestry regions, 23andMe provides you with an ancestral regional breakdown by percentages and can connect you with DNA relatives. You can learn about your ancestral origins going back 500 years or

Laura Galante: Cyber Crime Fighter

Expert in cyber intelligence and 4-H clubs she’s looking to build a future for rural Virginia. There are some undeniable threats to safety, such as an assailant with a gun, a natural disaster, or a burning building, but what about the threats that are more mysterious? Like those that lay in the dark webs of cyberspace. Just because the naked eye can’t see them doesn’t make these threats any less dangerous. In fact, because of this they are even more dangerous, according to Laura Galante, a world-renowned cybersecurity expert. She deals with these types of crises every day. From security breaches that hold entire governments hostage, viruses that seek to steal your personal information, or teams of cyber spies attempting to sway public opinion, these are obstacles that Galante conquers. She’s spoken to the United Nations about hackers and malware, and documented Chinese interference with American trade secrets. Her skillset has allowed her to regularly appear on CNN, BBC, and other networks and in publications on matters of cybersecurity and adapting to digital threats. Fighting cyber crime is a taxing

David Solie: Sixty Is The New Sixty

One of the new mantras of aging in the twenty-first century is the refrain “sixty is the new forty.” Maybe. Good health and an impressive array of lifestyle options certainly make many of today’s sixty year olds look different compared to their parent’s generation. But appearances can be misleading. In their rush to celebrate biological vibrancy, sixty year olds could miss a crucial piece of information about what occurs developmentally on the journey to seventy. Biology is not psychology, and failure to appreciate the difference could leave elders uninformed and ill prepared for their final mission. Sixty year olds represent an “in between generation,” meaning not quite middle age and not quite old. Developmentally, “in between” is an appropriate characterization of a transition period marked by “agenda crossover.” What do I mean? Middle age and old age have markedly different developmental agendas. The transition between these age groups is not sudden. It is a crossover process where one agenda ramps off while the other ramps on. From a psychological perspective, knowing where you are coming from is interesting; knowing where

Anastassia Elias: Heart for Art

A thing of beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Artists like Anastassia Elias make our world come to life. Their ingenuity, resourcefulness and clever outlook allow us to see beyond the norm. Elias pushes artistic boundaries by using often overlooked materials and turning them into masterful artistry. “I often take what others don’t see and turn it into something that everyone can connect to,” she says. Elias is a Paris-based digital artist, illustrator, and innovative do-it-yourself (DIY) designer, residing in Landerneau, a small town in the western part of France (Brittany) near Brest, who uses precise techniques to inspire free thinking and bring attention to important global issues. Her mediums include painting, paper collages, ink, photos, fiber, drawings, and recycled materials. Thanks to her unique outlook, her artwork has been featured in exhibits all over the world, including the National Museum of Singapore, the Portuguese Film Festival, and in Milan, Italy. She’s on a Roll We’ve all heard the phrase, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but Elias knows this all too well. As an artist, illustrator,

Jonna Mendez: Veil of Spies

Risking it all to turn the odds to America’s favor. If I told you the Soviet Union fell with the help of glued-on facial hair and commuter dummies would you believe me? Well, probably not. But if a former CIA master of disguise told you it was true, you would. Seemingly innocuous things like wigs and ink pens were essential parts of the CIA’s ingenious toolkit for protecting assets who gave us vital information, consequently protecting millions of American lives. Tools like this were invented out of necessity during the Cold War, and Jonna Mendez, former Master of Disguise at the CIA, was the Mother of Invention. All-American Girl Mendez was born in Campbellsville, Kentucky to a family whose roots in the county were six generations deep. The plucky blonde no doubt learned the ways of the hills as all Kentucky children do; how to make something from nothing and fashion what you need with what’s on hand. Skills like these would come in very handy in her career. She graduated high school in Wichita, Kansas, attended nearby Wichita State,

Jack Haldrup: Dr. Squatch

A simple idea raised the bar on the men’s grooming industry and how men approach their hygiene. Heeding Nature’s Call Sometimes the biggest success stories are spawned by the simplest of ideas. This was the case for Jack Haldrup, who came up with a business idea and scrawled it on a napkin while on an airplane flight. He was restless, wanting something more than what his current job could offer. By the time he stepped off the plane, he knew exactly what he wanted to pour his energy into – creating a line of high-quality natural soap for men. Going at it from scratch wasn’t easy but he was determined. He did his homework and learned to build a website, researched suppliers, and honed marketing skills – practical tools he needed to launch his product. Not knowing a thing about soap-making, he taught himself how and learned all about natural ingredients. “A major advantage I had was that I was creating a product I wanted to buy myself. I also didn’t really identify with any of the brandings that were

Bernadette Placky: Climate Central’s Weather Expert

She’s educating the public on extreme weather events and the impact of climate change. Weather the Storm There is no Planet B. Climate change is real and it is threatening the way most people live. Bernadette Woods Placky says there is no debating the science that weather is heating up and that the global population is feeling the effects. Woods Placky is the Chief Meteorologist and Program Director for the Climate Matters program on Climate Central, a nonprofit news organization focused on climate research. Discussing the effects of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, fossil fuels, and human consumption on our ecosystem are normal conversations for Woods Placky. She understands the dangers of extreme weather patterns, like sea level rise, drought, heat, and more. As an accomplished journalist, she has a knack for simplifying complex terms and spitting out the truth. She’s appeared on MSNBC, Public Radio, ABC, PBS, and other major networks linking our weather to climate change. “You can’t go outside if the weather is not cooperating. I learned this lesson when I was young, and it still applies to

Douglas Klutz: Top-Rated College Professor

In the field of criminal justice, there is one man making an indelible impression on his college students. Student ratings of their professors have become a valuable tool for those seeking to choose the best instructor for their chosen field of study. While some in higher education see ratings as inconsequential, others view it as an important source of student feedback. Receiving consistent glowing remarks would make any professor feel a sense of accomplishment. Case in point is that of a criminal justice professor… “One of the most caring professors I have encountered throughout my college career. He is incredibly helpful with career advice.” “You learn so much in his class about your rights and different cases. He is a really great mentor.” “CJ 220 was my second class with Klutz. He is an AMAZING professor. Always is willing to help with career advice.” “Excellent professor. Fun lectures and very caring and helpful.” “LEGEND.” These are just some of the hundreds of comments that students submitted about Professor Douglas Klutz of the University of Alabama on RateMyProfessor.com, the largest online