9 Things to Watch for in the 2016 Olympic Games

With the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympic games coming this Friday, let’s take a look at all the important topics to watch this summer!

1. Opening Ceremony.  The opening ceremony is a spectacle watched around the world and can set the tone for the rest of the games.  Will there be a blunder like the little girl lip-syncing the national anthem in the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, or a heart-touching moment like the late, great Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic Torch?

2016 Women's Gymnastics Olympic Team
2016 Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Team

2. US Women’s Gymnastics Team.  The US women’s gymnastics team is the favorite to get the overall gold this year.  However, what might be more interesting to watch is whether another American can grab the All-Around Gold for the fourth straight Olympics. Three-time world champion, Simone Biles, is the favorite to win the gold. But, she is competing against reigning Olympic champion Gabrielle Douglas, 2012 Olympics fourth runner-up Aly Raisman, and hot newcomer Laurie Hernandez.

3. Conditions in Rio.  Zika, water pollution, gang violence and security issues are plaguing Rio.  For nearly a year, Brazil has been in a state of emergency as they battle the Zika virus known to cause birth defects in babies.  Several athletes have declined to travel to Rio this year and Zika is expected to be behind those decisions.  Water pollution also threatens the sailing events this year and athletes have been told to spend as little time as possible in the water due to untreated human waste in the water.  The World Health Organization has suggested athletes to “cover cuts with waterproof plasters prior to exposure.”  In addition to health issues, there are threats of gang violence and the Olympic security firm was fired less than a week before the games.  There have also been issues with the athlete’s Olympic village where “uninhabitable” conditions have kept athletes in nearby hotels instead, and the Australian team was robbed during a fire evacuation after returning to the village.

4. Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.  Do these two all-time great athletes still have what it takes to bring home the gold for their countries?  With some out-of-the-pool issues and a suspension from Team USA, Phelps is said to be more focused than ever and ready to prove himself again.  Meanwhile, Usain Bolt, who is turning 30 on the day of the closing ceremonies, has seen his times get slower in the past years.  He is looking to win the 100m, 200m, and 4x400m relay for the third consecutive time.  No other person has ever done this twice.

5. Team Russia and Doping.  The Russian Olympic team has taken a huge due to doping.  The International Olympic Committee originally banned nearly 400 Russian athletes after the entire track and field, rowing, and weightlifting teams were all banned for doping.  The IOC announced it would not ban the entire team, but has still banned more than 110 Russian Olympians for this year’s Olympics, by far the largest of any Olympic games.  Will the remaining athletes be able to make a splash at the games?

6. US Basketball Teams.  While the Men’s team has a couple decent challengers in their pool, the US Women’s team has been absolutely dominate in the Olympics – winning 7 gold medals with an overall record of 58-3 in Olympic play.  They also enter the Rio games on a 41 game winning streak.  Despite several top athletes abstaining from this year’s games for the Men’s Team, they still figure to be the favorites led by Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins.

7. New Sports.  Rugby Sevens will make its first appearance in the 2016 games.  Rugby Sevens is made up of seven active players for each team, compared to the 15-player teams in traditional rugby.  Golf is also making a return after a 112-year hiatus.  Baseball and softball, karate, squash, and roller sports all vied for the open two spots.

8. Can Brazil Take Gold in Men’s Soccer?  Brazil has five World Cup championships, but has never won gold in the Olympics.  Can the home team finally overcome their Olympic challenges and bring their country gold?

9. Allyson Felix’s Fourth Olympic Games.  At the age of 30, Allyson Felix is looking to become the third woman in Olympic history to win the 200m and 400m races in the same Olympics.  She boasts six Olympic medals and four individual world championships.

While we wait for the opening ceremony on Friday, check out how things are going with Donald Trump or just watch some cute dogs rolling around.

Is Trump Done?

After countless gaffes, Donald Trump doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Here are 10  reasons why he’s alienating his voters:

  1. Is Trump Done?Prominent members of the Republican Party are saying that they don’t support Trump for President in the upcoming election. Instead they say they will support the Republican Party. If that’s true then who will they vote for?
  2. He contradicts himself at every corner. For example, in 2008 he stated that he was supporting Hillary Clinton and thought she would make an excellent President. Now he uses socially inappropriate language to say the exact opposite about Clinton.
  3. He has made derogatory comments about every protected class. If you affiliate with even one of these federal protected classes: race, color, religion or creed, national origin or ancestry, sex, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, genetic information, non-US citizenship–then Trump has made fun of you.
  4. As a woman, if you want the right to choose what you do with your body–a vote for Trump will ruin that. If you want to be judged by your mind and/or personality, and do not want to be objectified by your body–do not vote for Trump.
  5. He has zero restraint. Hillary Clinton threw shade at Trump during her acceptance speech with “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” Hours after this statement Trump still couldn’t help himself by going on a twitter rant about fallen soldier’s father, Khizr Khan.
  6. He lacks accurate information. How exactly is Trump going to fix all of our problems? Your guess is as good the next person because he hasn’t given any details on his plans except to just trust him that he has all the answers.
  7. His love for dictators. He has praised a variety of infamous world leaders such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.
  8. His business credibility is questionable. Trump has had four bankruptcies and the turmoil behind Trump University isn’t going away. Whether he passes the buck to someone else to blame for these or he’s not that good of a businessman as he says he is, the point is whether we-as US citizens-want to take that risk with our economy.
  9. Is the press REALLY at fault? He blames the press for blowing his comments out of proportion but his direct quotes are rarely taken out of context. He’s really saying all of these ludicrous quotes! It’s making news because everyone is in awe of how ridiculous his comments are.
  10. Google: ‘Angry fear mongering language,’ Trump is listed in some of the top links. Are you a citizen that is motivated by unity or by fear? Enough said.

Ultimate video on Trump contradictions:

For More Political Debate: RNC vs. DNC

 

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Taking your dog to the vet to have his or her teeth cleaned can be a real nightmare. Anesthesia can have negative complications and the whole process can be really expensive. But here’s how you can solve that problem — just brush your dog’s teeth yourself. Piece of cake, right?!

Some tips for getting your dog to come running for the toothbrush:

  • It takes time. Try small steps. First, just show your dog the toothbrush. Next time, just open your dog’s mouth. Then, brush a front tooth. And so on…until your dog is comfortable with the tooth brushing experience.
  • Positive reinforcement. It helps to reward your dog with treats or praise during each step. She sniffs the toothbrush, “good girl!” She lets you open her mouth – 2 treats!

Brushing your dog’s teeth may not keep plaque and tartar from building up entirely, but can significantly reduce the buildup between professional cleanings. And that can save you time, money, and risks to your pups health. Happy brushing!

Try that with a cat!  😉

5 Reasons Dog Videos are BETTER than Cat Videos!

Dog’s Having a Ton of Fun!

 

5 Reasons Dog Videos Are Better Than Cat Videos

We all know cat videos. Funny, fuzzy, kind of cute.  Sure they rule the internet.  But dog videos are so much better!  For proof just look at this video of Dogs Having a Grand Old Time!  But to clearly prove our case, let’s take a look at the exact reasons:

  1. Cats are jerks. Let’s face it, cats have their own agenda. And if you happen to get in the way of it, they do things like pee on your bed, or scratch up your furniture (sometimes they do that anyway.) Do you really want to watch cats being jerks, does that make you feel better?
  2. Dogs are loving and loyal. When you come home they are SOOOO happy to see you, and not just because you are feeding them. And do you see stories about how cats try to rescue their owners? No.
  3. Cats don’t care about you. People who think their cats love them are fooling themselves. Cats love getting fed, and petted, and left alone when they want to be left alone. What cats are really thinking?
  4. Dogs wear their hearts on their sleeves. You don’t have to guess what makes dogs happy; playing, attention, food.
  5. Dogs are cuter than cats. I know, it’s a controversial statement. But check out this video and you will see I am right!

    Now if you want to see something truly amazing, check out this video of a dog getting it’s teeth brushed!

Nothing But Dogs Having A Grand Old Time

IMG_9533You work with the same awesome team long enough and you start to realize it’s no coincidence that you all like a lot of the same things. Including this bizarre quirk that our dogs all share when they get really excited.

Presenting…nothing but dogs rolling around having a grand old time!
(See links below the video for more awesome dog videos)

https://youtu.be/2PehyZtDtfI

More dog videos? More dog videos!

How to brush your dog’s teeth

5 reasons why Dogs are better than Cats

Who is the Richest Person in the World?

The Richest Person in the World is Bill Gates.

bill-gates-funny-meme

There, that was easy–simple question, simple answer. But you probably have some follow-up questions so here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers:

How rich is Bill Gates?

His 2016 estimated net worth is $75 Billion.

Why an “estimated net worth” rather than a set, known dollar amount?

The average global investor maybe has a modest savings that can easily be found with a few clicks into their online banking or a quick accounting of cash in the shoebox buried in the backyard. Unlike them, the extremely wealthy have large portions of their wealth tied to portfolios and investments which fluctuate every day.

Bill Gates real-time wealth
Bill Gates real-time wealth

These portfolios are often private and can only be estimated based on public records of the companies they invest in. Forbes has a pretty good tool to help track and show these known public wealth sources and how they fluctuate on a real-time basis.

How did Bill Gates get so rich?

Well, this part may surprise you. Bill Gates was born in Seattle, Washington to wealthy and successful parents. He attended exclusive private schools with the intent of following in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer.

Eventually, he discovered a passion for computers and dropped out of Harvard to start a software company with some of his (now also extremely wealthy) school friends. His wealthy parents helped support Gates while he started We now know this company as Microsoft, a business with a $447 Billion market cap.

Gates is most famous for this clip of the Windows 95 launch:

Who else is in the Top 10?

  1. Amancio Ortega, Spain, $67 Billion*
  2. Warren Buffet, United States, $60.8 Billion*
  3. Carlos Slim Helu, Mexico, $50 Billion*
  4. Jeff Bezos, United States, $45.2 Billion*
  5. Mark Zuckerberg, United States, $44.6 Billion*
  6. Larry Ellison, United States, $43.6 Billion*
  7. Michael Bloomberg, United States, $40 Billion*
  8. Charles Koch, United States, $39.6 Billion*
  9. David Koch, United States, $39.6 Billion*

* 2016 estimated net worth

Who’s the most likely person to succeed Bill Gates as the richest person in the world?

Probably Ortega. Gates and Ortega have been battling it out for the top 2 spots for the last several years. At one point in 2015, Ortega was in the number 1 spot ahead of Gates since the portfolios fluctuate so frequently.

Others on the rise include Bezos and Zuckerberg due to the projected growth of their companies over the next 5-10 years.

What does Bill Gates do with $75 Billion?

After he splurged on a Seattle mansion and, presumably, a collection of fine sweaters, Gates and his wife Melinda started a charitable organization known, naturally, as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates has contributed at least $23 Billion to this organization. Fellow Top 10 Wealthiest People in the World member, Warren Buffett, also contributes $1-2 Billion per year to this organization as well.

What would you do with $75 Billion?

Thanks, that’s kind of you to ask! Wow, think of all the possibilities and good this would do for the world. I’d probably splurge and buy a professional sports team (just for the perks of good seats), buy the rights to remake the movie The Sting and then not do it (that movie is a classic), and then contribute most of the rest of the wealth to charity too.

How rich is Donald Trump in comparison?

Ranking at #324 on Forbes’ list of 2016 wealthiest people in the world, Donald Trump has an estimated net worth of $4.5 Billion. His wealth was primarily generated from television, real estate, and steaks sold at Sharper Image.

Why doesn’t Bill Gates run for President of the United States?

Well unfortunately, “being extremely wealthy” isn’t an automatic qualification for any job, let alone the most important job in the country.

How do I get $75 Billion?

As with everything in life, in order to achieve a lofty goal, you have to start somewhere. If your goal is to get $75 Billion, you should probably start with a job. So, here’s our 3-part series on getting a job:

Get a Job – 5 Interview Tips

You’ve done your homework and know what you want from your career. Maybe you’ve gone on a number of informational interviews to find just the right place for you. You’ve submitted your application for the perfect position and they called you back! You have an interview! Now what? Here are some things to think about when preparing for your upcoming interview:

  1. Read the job description
  • You read it when you applied, but reread the job description and think about what questions you could be asked, based on the description.
    • Go through it line by line and come up with 1-2 examples of when you did that thing successfully. It’s okay to use the same example/job multiple times if you did a lot in a particular position.
  • Given the job description, think about what you will be doing and describe it in your own words. Then, think of some examples of when you have done the same or similar activities.

  1. Practice example interview questions
  • Resources like Glassdoor.com have example interview questions that have been submitted from real candidates applying for positions at the company where you are interviewing.
  • With the specific job in mind, think of questions you could be asked and practice answering those questions. Sample questions could be:interview questions
    • Describe a situation when a project started to go off track. How did you recover?
    • Describe a situation when you had to work with a challenging person or group of people. What did you do to resolve the situation?
    • Describe the role as you understand it? What makes you a good fit for the role?
    • What are your salary requirements? (This is a good time to talk about things that are important to you other than just salary.)
    • Why do you want to leave your current organization and work here? Remember, keep it positive and find the silver lining – the new opportunities, growth potential, etc.
  1. Do you have any questions for us? Yes! Yes, you do!
  • Bring at least 3-4 insightful questions.
  • Good questions are those that show you’ve thought about the company, the job, or the problem they are facing, and asking them to confirm your observations or provide deeper insight into the situation.
    • For example, “Here’s where I see myself in the customer value chain [explain where it is], what other details can you share regarding the value added of this position?”
  1. Other things to think about:
  • The basics – This should be old news, but just in case…ontime
    • Get there no more than 5 minutes early. If you get there too early, you risk interrupting an interview in progress or perhaps interrupting the interviewer’s time preparing for your interview, and may start things off on the wrong foot.
    • Prepare ahead of time by looking up the address and doing finding the location on Google Streetview or doing a “drive by” to make sure you know where to go and feel comfortable getting there. If you do get there too early, ask for the restroom and spend a few minutes composing yourself – perhaps a 2 minute power pose. Hey, it works!
  1. During your interview, keep these things in mind:
  • SMILE! and BREATHE!
    • At the very least, smile the whole time. Don’t look like a clown, keep it natural, smiling will help you keep it positive and it’s a memorable thing to do.
    • And breathe. It’s a difficult thing to do in an interview, but bring a bottle of water, speak slowly, and breathe. It helps with your adrenaline and stress level during the interview.smile

 

  • Keep it positive.
    • Even if you haven’t done something before, like using a specific piece of software, find the positive in that. So, instead of “no, I’ve never used that software/system,” try, “I do know how to conduct research and find the answer in other people or resources, I’m not scared to ask for help, and I’m not intimidated by new technology/systems.”
  • Tell a story!
    • Instead of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, be sure to describe how your background in a particular position brought you where you are and why that makes you the best fit.

  • Ask for business cards or contact information.
  • Ask about timeline for next steps.
  • And follow up with a ‘thank you’ email within 24-48 hours.

Good luck on your next interview!

What’s an informational interview? Find out, here.

Top 10 Moments from the DNC

Missed what happened at the RNC? Get the scoop here.

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) officially kicked off activities on Monday, July 25th in Philadelphia. It has already proven to be filled with excitement, fanfare, and, of course, what would politics be without a lot of controversy. On Thursday, Hillary Clinton is expected to formally accept the Democratic Party’s nomination to be the first female candidate for President of the United States. But before that happens, there have already been many memorable moments. Here’s a count down of the Top 10 so far:

  1. The TPP
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 25: A delegate holds up signs that read "Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)" while another delegate holds a sign in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 25: A delegate holds up signs that read “Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)” while another delegate holds a sign in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

What is the TPP? Delegates all over the DNC floor are holding signs with a big, red slash through the letters T-P-P. But what is it? The Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP is a trade deal among 12 countries that would reduce tariffs and aims to increase trade among the parties involved. It has not been ratified, but it is on President Obama’s agenda to see that it is signed. Bernie Sanders was instrumental in making opposition to the TPP a campaign issue, which has now been accepted as part of Hillary Clinton’s platform.

 

 

  1. Tim Kaine

Who is Tim Kaine? Tim Kaine is Hillary Clinton’s choice for Vice President and running mate. He was formerly a mayor, Governor of Virginia, and is currently one of Virginia’s US Senators. In a time of scandal and email, he’s a safe choice, even describing himself in a recent interview as “boring.” He will speak on Wednesday night of the DNC.

  1. #Spicyboi

What is spicy boi? The “Spicy boi” meme has been flooding Hillary Clinton’s Instagram, so if you’re watching her posts during the DNC, you’ll see all variation of “spicy boi” flooding in. But what is it and how did it start? According to Slate.com, “@Googletrends tweeted that “What is Spicy Boi Hillary Clinton” was the top Hillary-related query for search engine on Monday.” What started out as “humorous” from 4chan, a home for the likes of hacker collective Anonymous, has quickly amplified into a spamming tactic for those who support Donald Trump and dislike Hillary Clinton.

  1. DNC email scandal
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin showing his masculine side.

Another email scandal?! Ugh. This time, it has been reported that there is evidence that two Russian spy agencies hacked into the DNC’s email, leaking these emails to WikiLeaks. In these emails, it is reported that DNC leadership clearly gave bias to Hillary Clinton, conspiring to ensure Hillary Clinton received the nomination for President, over Bernie Sanders. But why? It has been proposed that it is in Vladimir Putin’s best interests to see a Donald Trump presidency, so damaging the Clinton campaign would do them both some good. Who wouldn’t identify with this Russian stud though?

  1. Sarah Silverman

Who can forget this moment from Sarah Silverman? “Bernie or bust people…you’re being ridiculous.” Nuf said…

  1. Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton gave a touching speech about the history and evolution of his relationship with his wife, highlighting how they met, Hillary’s early days of activism, and the long struggle to get her to marry him. Very sweet.

  1. Donald Trump

In an odd move, even for @realDonaldTrump, he keeps tweeting about Elizabeth Warren, referring to her as “Pocahontas.” For help explaining why, let’s turn to vox.com, which notes, “Trump’s comments may be racist against Native Americans, but he’s using it here to sarcastically suggest that Warren really isn’t Native American [she claimed to have Cherokee ancestry]. (Which, oddly enough, proves that Trump can also be racist while trying to insult someone for being white.)”

  1. Hillary Clintonhillary

She hasn’t spoken yet, but I think it’s safe to assume she will accept the nomination to be the Democratic Party’s candidate for President of the United States. This is a historic moment for the country. What’s that sound? Oh, just the ceiling shattering…

  1. Bernie Sanders

In a magnanimous gesture to unify the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders gave a rousing speech on Monday, wholeheartedly endorsing Hillary Clinton. Yes, much of it was his standard stump speech, but in the end he threw his full support behind Hillary Clinton, garnering boos from the ‘Bernie or Bust’ contingent. And on Tuesday, during the roll call vote from delegates, when it reached Vermont, Bernie Sanders made the official motion to stop counting delegates and make Hillary Clinton the Party nominee. I’m gonna miss Larry David…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzbF0CszTt8

  1. Michelle Obama

In what may end up being the #1 moment of the entire DNC, First Lady, Michelle Obama, stole the show and gave a masterful, elegant speech on why Hillary Clinton should be the next President of the United States. Mrs. Obama’s speech centered on children and the opportunities that Hillary Clinton presents for all of America’s children and their futures. She also “position[ed] herself and Hillary Clinton as mainstream, while Donald Trump is far outside it,” says The Week. Time will tell what it did for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, but it was definitely moving and worth a watch!

 

Missed what happened at the RNC? Get the scoop here.

WWII Vet Gets High School Diploma 72 Years Later

Watch this WWII vet receive his high school diploma 72 years later here.

72 years later, WWII Vet receives high school diploma
72 years later, WWII Vet receives high school diploma

Don Meneau of Two Rivers, WI left high school 73 years ago to fight in WWII with only one year left to graduate. When he came back home he needed to provide for his family, so he never got the chance to graduate. Now he has been given the opportunity to live out a life long dream of getting his high school diploma.

This is near and dear to my heart as he is my father-in-law’s brother, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving. Don is a man who is full of life and always has a smile on his face. I never thought he needed a diploma to prove he was an intellectual man and can’t think of anyone more deserving!

Don Meneau, receiving high school diploma
Don Meneau, receiving high school diploma

How To Be Inspired! A Marketing Blog To Up Your Stratagy and Brand

Inspired by my current marketing class, I was looking around for and engaging marketing blogs. And boy did I find one!  Violeta Nedkova has a great blog about marketing tools, creative process and all sorts of other topics.

Her most recent blog “Oh hey! You’re a fun, creative person. But why is your brand so dull?” is about conveying personal brand through web sites, but it can apply to many aspects of brand as well. She focuses on “authenticity” and asks some probing questions about how the expectations of others influence the image (or brand) you put forth to the world. I really loved this part because there are some very inauthentic people, who are constantly talking about “authenticity.”  Nedkova really delves deeper to get your personal brand in focus, which links a company or person’s brand to the bigger strategy of finding a sustainable differentiation of the company.

I also was really inspired by her piece “How Giving Myself Permission to Suck for 30 Days Changed Me and My Creative Process.”  Although it does not directly relate to my marketing class, the discussion of risk taking is important to address in business strategy.  Giving yourself permission to do something that is not perfect can give you new insight into strategies that you may not have considered before!

If you are interested more in brand, see this great article “How to Sell Yourself in 5 Steps.”