Healthier Alternatives

Hey everyone, it’s the start of the new year and I figured it’s time to make better choices. I asked Santa last year for superpowers so I can change the world but since that’s a bust, I gotta make do with what I can change–start small, so to speak. So first things first. I gotta watch what I eat.

Deciding upon that I took the time to read up on healthier alternatives to the usual diet fare. So today, I’ll be doing my own version of Eat This and Not That.

1.) Eat Blueberries not Cereal Bars

Crazy, right? Here I was thinking that cereal bars had my back! Turns out blueberries have 80 calories per cup and 0 fat. That’s right Z-E-R-O. Blueberries also boost brain power and help fight any sort of inflammation. I was kinda shocked to find out that a typical cereal bar carries 130 calories and next to nothing when it comes to nutritional value. Blueberries can be quite tart so it can be a pretty good wake up in the mornings!

2.) Use Olive Oil not Butter

I have to be honest. This one I’m having a bit of trouble with because everything tastes better with butter! Popcorn, steak, and even hot dogs taste amazing with butter. BUT they are ridiculously high in cholesterol so bad for the arteries. Olive oil has monounsaturated fat so it lowers the risk of heart disease. One good thing about this is that when I tried it out I didn’t need to add that much oil for it to coat the pan. It can be a bit pricey but since you don’t really need to use that much, you’ll be saving your body and your wallet.

3.) Eat Figs not Cookies

Raise your hand if you’ve never seen heard of figs before. You can totally tell I really need the health upgrade, right? So a fig is a teardrop-shaped purple fruit. It’s contains potassium and is pretty high in fiber. Potassium, if you’re not familiar with it–is that lovely magical substance that lets our muscles move. The fig’s natural sugar makes it pretty sweet so it’s a pretty solid alternative to a cookie.

4.) Eat Dark Chocolate not White Chocolate

Story time. My best friend’s kid brother held an experiment using mice. He fed two different mice chocolate. One he gave only dark chocolate and the other only white chocolate. After about a month, the mouse which ate nothing but dark chocolate had a fuzzier and healthier looking coat. So what happened to the mouse that ate nothing but white chocolate? All its hair fell out and soon enough its teeth fell out too. So I don’t know about you that was enough to scare me off the stuff for good. But if you’re not willing to take my word for it, science has proven that dark chocolate helps fight high blood pressure and helps remove plaque from arteries. It also helps curb hunger! So if you want to really keep the pounds off, pop a bit of dark chocolate in your mouth and see it work its magic.

4.) Eat Broiled Salmon not Fish Sticks

Fish contains omega-3 fat which helps fight high blood pressure, heart attacks, and cancer. Fish sticks are processed and often additives and extenders are thrown into the mix. Also, there’s the preparation process. Most fish sticks available in the market will have you fry it. That’s adding oil to what was already unhealthy to begin with.

That’s what I found out so far. I’m continuing my research so I can really get the most out of this new leaf. If you guys know of any alternatives, shoot me a message and I’d love to learn from you!

 

2016, Why Do People Hate You?

It’s almost the end of 2016 and we can all pretty much agree that it was one crazy year. There are probably a lot of things that happened this year that most people would have rather not happened at all. Let’s look back at some of the utterly loathed things that happened this year.

Trump Won The U.S. Elections

This is probably the biggest topic that most people will groan about. Donald Trump has no experience in being a government official yet managed to become a candidate for the post of President. While Hilary Clinton herself wasn’t a better alternative, the manner in which Donald Trump behaves is utterly deplorable. He’s divisive, disrespectful, and outright malicious in certain cases. Yet, he got job and is starting next year.

Harambe Killed in Cincinnati Zoo

On May 28, 2016, a three-year-old boy climbed unto the fencing of a gorilla enclosure at the Cininnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and subsequently fell in. The young child was then grabbed and dragged by the enclosure’s 17-year-old male gorilla named Harambe. The zoo’s officials, fearing for the child’s life, made the decision to shoot the gorilla. The child was retrieved successfully and an international fall-out was sparked. So many voiced out their displeasure at how the situation was handled. The mother of the child was even subject to online harassment and bullying.

As gorillas remain to be one of the endangered species due to poaching, the death of Harambe understandably angered so many.

The Death of Pop Culture Icons

2016 took its fair share of much beloved artists. Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Prince, Carrie Fisher, Muhammad Ali, George Michael, Gene Wilder, Anton Yelchin, Christina Grimmie, Garry Marshall, and the list goes on.

All of the figures listed above have a massive following and are much celebrated in their particular fields. It is no wonder that all their fans and comrades shake an angry fist at this year for taking so many talented and well-loved people.

Bastille Day Attack

On July 14 of this year, a 19 tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. 86 souls were claimed in this brutal attack and injured more than 400 people. The attack ended after an exchange of gunfire in which the driver, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, was shot and killed.

ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) claimed the attack was theirs. A state of emergency was prolonged and an intensification of French airstrikes on ISIL in Syria and Iraq would commence. Regardless of the side, there has been colossal waste of human life.

Zika Virus Outbreak

Mid-2016 a widespread epidemic of Zika fever (which is caused by the Zika virus) was ongoing in the Americas, the Pacific, and Southeast Asia. Zika virus has been known to cause birth defects and neurological problems as seen in the cases in which expecting mother contracted the Zika fever. The infant of an infected mother would have a high chance of being born with microcephaly and severe brain anomalies.

To date, the Zika outbreak is still ongoing with some world governments advising their female citizens to not get pregnant at this time. It certainly is a terrifying time to be an expecting mother. Scientists all over the globe are scrambling to isolate the disease and come up with a cure. So far, there has been no word of a vaccine for the virus so it’s best to constantly use bug spray or mosquito repellents.

This is certainly some pretty grim stuff and this list isn’t even including so many other events. So I think it’s a safe bet to assume that people are eager for the clock to strike twelve on the 31st of December. We’re all waiting with bated breath on what else 2016 might have in store for us before the clock runs out.

Troy

Summary: Troy takes place during the year 1250 B.C. Menelaus, the King of Sparta, almost successfully makes peace with Troy when he realizes that his wife, Helen, has left with Paris, one of Troy’s princes. Menelaus is enraged and goes to his brother, Agamemnon, to unite and declare war against the Trojans. Agamemnon, seduced by the idea of more power, eagerly agrees. With the help of Achilles, the greatest warrior in the world, the Greeks sack the city of Troy in this exciting retelling of Homer’s The Iliad.

Thesis: Wolfgang Peterson employs many common film techniques, such as close ups, score, and distinct camera angles, to increase the intensity of the climax. He influences an inner turmoil within the audience, in which the audience can’t decide who is good and who is evil. As a result, the audience both roots for the Trojan soldiers and Achilles himself.

 

Close Up– shot of the head and shoulders; focuses on detail, expression and reaction

Wolfgang Peterson exemplifies his characters emotions by using the close-up. It truly adds depth to the scene and allows the audience to empathize with each character.

 

Perseus– terrified look on her face; knows that Paris is out for his own revenge of his brother’s death by Achilles’s sword; scared for Achilles’s life

Achilles– initial expression shows agonizing pain as the arrow pierces through the Achilles tendon; becomes angrier as 3 more arrows pierce his body; when he knows his death is inevitable, becomes calm and embraces his last breaths

Paris– feeling of satisfaction after crippling Achilles lower body; shoots 3 more arrows one by one; amazed that Achilles is still limping toward him; blinded by his own ambition, he keeps shooting, despite Perseus’s cries; audience knows that he is just thinking of his brother (previously had to watch as Achilles’s sword plunged into his brother’s heart)

Score– musical soundtrack; The 27 person music team, led by Jim Henrikson, did a great job with the music in the final scenes to unify the movie and create a prominent climax situation. If you notice, the music in this scene is the same music that presides during the beachfront takeover. The beginning of the song occurs then and the end of the song occurs when Achilles falls.

The music in the climax sets the audience up for a fulfilling ending. Throughout this scene, the music continues to build up, reaching a head as the arrow severs Achilles’s tendon. This represents the end of Achilles’s journey that was predicted by his mother, Paleus, in the beginning of the movie. Next, the music then softens as he spends his final moments with Perseus. The music then starts up again when Paris mentions a way out, symbolizing that there is still hope for survival of the Trojan royalty.

Camera Angles– Wolfgang Peterson uses distinct camera angles to symbolize changes in status during this scene. Mostly, the scene is shot straight ahead, level with the ground, which adds emphasis to the temporary camera angles that either increase or decrease.

High Angle– uses high angle to show increase in vulnerability/powerlessness; uses angle when Paris is about to shoot his first arrow at Achilles from a raised positions (Achilles is extremely vulnerable and unaware); also uses angle when Paris shoots his final arrow (Achilles is shot with a fourth arrow and his body can’t take anymore)

Low Angle– uses low angles to show increase in size/power/status; uses angle on Paris to show his greater power at that moment before he kills Achilles from long range; however, Paris’s expression shows that he is still in his place and still respects Achilles as an adversary

Critic Views

William Arnold (Seattle Post Intelligencer): “Troy is such an exhilarating piece of filmmaking that it pulls you in, sweeps you up, and works very much as its own thing.”

I agree with this quote because I believe that Troy is a model of excellence and speaks for itself. The climax is even more exciting if one watches the movie in its entirety, especially because Peterson plays with your mind. When Achilles’s mother reveals that Achilles will die, one is left with the “when?” question. Peterson takes advantage of this by showing certain camera angles and events throughout the movie where one thinks that Achilles is dead, which surprises the viewer time and time again.

Michael Wilmington (Chicago Tribune): “STUNNING. Raging excitement, visual grandeur, and dramatic intelligence.”

I agree with this quote as well because I believe Troy was very well shot and unified under a common score. The action scenes were well done and kept my adrenaline pumping. From start to finish, I remained on the edge of my seat. If you like action and Greek mythology, I strongly recommend Troy.

The 1960’s

1) Kennedy’s first year in office brought him considerable success in enacting new legislation. This legislation were known as the New Frontier. Congress passed as major housing bill, a law increasing minimum wage, and a bill granting federal aid to economically depressed areas of the United States. The most original legislation was the bill that created the Peace Corps. This was an agency that trained American volunteers to perform social and humanitarian service overseas. The programs goal was to promote world peace and friendships with developing nations. Kennedy found it increasingly difficult to enact his programs into law. The Medicare bill, a bill to make Medicare for the aged a national benefit was defeated. Although Kennedy faced Southern Democrats Congress managed to pass a civil rights bill, bill to cut taxes, and also won the approval of his bill to lower tariffs.

2) The Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 was Kennedy’s most serious confrontation with the Soviets. Fidel Castro, believing that the United Sates were planning another attack on Cuba, had asked for more Soviet military aid. The United States learned that the Soviets had put nuclear missiles in Cuba, and that these missiles could reach U.S. cities within minutes. Kennedy stated, “The greatest danger of all would be to do nothing.” In a frightening showdown between these two superpowers, the Soviets agreed to remove the missiles, and the U.S. promised not to invade Cuba.

3) Lyndon Johnson, vice-president at the time, rose to power when President Kennedy was assassinated. He addressed his goals and programs in the “Great Society”. He had used this expression from time to time, but he had not emphasized it until he gave his speech at the University of Michigan on May 22, 1964. He promised to solve pressing problems that existed in society. Almost immediately after, 14 separate task forces began thoroughly studying nearly all major aspects of United States society, each working without publicity it did its job. During June, the task forces were recruited. Each task force wad assigned a specific subject: cooperation among government agencies in dealing with financial questions; making the federal government more efficient and less costly; developing policies to prevent economic recessions; developing policies on economic issues related to other countries; and determining how best to help individuals maintain their income. LBJ next received recommendations and went over them. He then passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the Medical Care Act of 1965, the Model Cities Act of 1966, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

4) Between 1949 and 1961, more than 2.7 million people fled from East Germany. In 1961, the East German government decided to stop this flight to the West, which was depleting the country’s labor force, among other things. The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 by Khrushchev and was maintained by the German Democratic Republic. This wall was 4 meters high and 103 miles long, of which 28 miles lay between two sides of the city. Where a wall was not possible, buildings were bricked up. Although the GDR announced that the wall was needed to prevent military aggression and political interference from West Germany, the East German government built tank traps and ditches along the eastern side of the wall, suggesting that it was constructed to keep East German citizens in.

5) The U.S began its involvement in Vietnam in 1950. The United States got involved when France requested the U.S. for aid to help them fight the Viet Minh. One reason was that the U.S leaders needed French support in opposing the Soviets in Europe. Another reason was that the United States did not want Vietnam to become Communist.

6) The U.S. destroyer Maddox had been patrolling in the Gulf of Tonkin when North Vietnamese torpedo boats fired on it. Two days later, on August 4, the Maddox and another destroyer reported a second attack. However, no one could confirm this attack. Despite the doubts, Johnson asked Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This gave the president the power to use military force in Vietnam. In March 1965, Johnson began bombing North Vietnam. At about the same time, he sent the first combat ground groups to Vietnam. Their numbers grew from 75,000 to 184,000 by the end of 1965. This policy of escalation continued over the next few years. General William Westmoreland, the commander of the U.S. forces in South Vietnam, kept asking for more and more troops. By the end of 1968, there were more than 536,000 American military personnel in South Vietnam.

7) The Vietnam War ended on January 27, 1973 when the United States and South Vietnam signed a peace agreement with North Vietnam and the Viet Cong. The United States agreed to withdraw all its troops, and North Vietnam agreed to not invade South Vietnam. On March 29, the last U.S. troops left Vietnam. For the United States, the war was over.

8) The Vietnam War was so controversial because the U.S. did not contain communism in Vietnam and lost many lives. About 58,000 soldiers died, and more than 300,000 were wounded. Many suffered permanent, disabling injuries. Returning soldiers often had recurring nightmares, and other stress-related problems. To make things worse, they came home to a public that treated them coldly. The Vietnam War was a huge loss of American lives for no reason. It was a civil war not involving the United States that they should not have fought, considering that Vietnam became communist anyway.

9) That summer, the Democratic National Convention in Chicago reflected the country’s turmoil. Democrats chose Hubert Humphrey, Johnson’s vice-president, as their nominee. Outside the convention hall, TV cameras showed police clubbing antiwar demonstrators and bystanders. The chaos helped Republican candidate Richard Nixon to win the election. In his campaign, Nixon promised to “bring an honorable end to the Vietnam War.”

10)                                                   Tragedies

– Martin Luther King was assassinated in April of 1968

11) In July 1969, President Nixon announced his strategy of Vietnamization. It called for the gradual withdrawal of U.S. forces and turning the ground fighting over to the South Vietnamese. Nixon promised to withdraw 25,000 of the 543,000 U.S. ground groups in Vietnam by the end of the year.

Most Compelling Selling Message

The most compelling selling message – what sells.  The most compelling is not that you have something wonderful to sell, it is that I understand what you need.  The message that you understand is about the only person that matters – the buyer.  Find out what they want, find out what they need, find out who they are – it can take extra time but it can make all the difference, and it almost always makes the sale.  Don’t sell your service, sell your prospect.  Talk about him not about yourself.  You can use the method of FORM.  Talk about:

  • Family – You have family? Brothers? Sisters? A Son?  Oh wow, that’s great, how old?
  • Occupation – What do you do?  How do you like it?  Why?
  • Recreation – What do you do when you’re not working?  What do you do for fun?
  • Money – What do you do?  How’s the pay in (area)?  What if you switched jobs?

More and better marketing is not the answer to every business question.  To succeed you must get all your ducks in a row.  Take a tree service for example.  The bad tree service is the one that comes over late, destroys your property when they’re cutting down trees, leaves a mess when they’re done, and overcharges you on the way out.  Would anyone want to come back to them?  Of course not.  You need quality marketing and a solid service offering to match it.  You need a talented tree surgeon or “tree guy” who’s honest, can get the job done correctly and safely, and charges a reasonable fee for work performed.  Tom at www.albanyorganics.com is a perfect example of this.  After perfecting his craft for more than 20 years, you can be sure he knows what he’s doing and he markets himself and his service correctly.  Marketing is one big duck.  We hear so much about service quality but much of service quality is simply invisible to the client.  For marketing purposes, a service is only what prospects and clients perceive it to be.  Get better reality and improve your service quality.  Never forget that the prospect and client must perceive the quality.  Services are human and their successes depend on the relationships between people.  People are humans – frustrating, unpredictable, often irrational, temperamental  and occasionally half mad.  The more you can see the patterns and better understand people the more you will succeed.

 

Market Positioning

The fear of positioning.  A narrow focus creates opportunities.  To broaden your appeal, narrow your position.  Halo effects.  People in services fear positioning because standing for one thing will limit their appeal.  But it doesn’t work that way as people associate one positive thing with many other good things.  Say one positive thing and you will become associated with many.  No two services are the same.  History shows that everything can be made different and human beings are different.  Prospects perceive services as different.  Identify, communicate and create new ones which are essential to marketing.  If you can’t see the difference in your service, look harder.

 

Position yourself as the market leader.  You can focus your message and your effort which can influence your position, but your position is your place and your prospects put you there.  You can take your position and turn it to your benefit.  Leverage the position you have.  A statement of position is how you are perceived in the minds of prospects.  It is your position which states how you wish to be perceived and the core message you want to deliver of the perception of your service.  Establish your position statement by answering: who – who are you, what – what business are you in, for whom, what people do you service, what need – what are the special needs of the people you serve, against whom – with whom are you competing, what’s different – what makes you different from those competitors and what’s the benefit – what unique benefit does a client derive from your service.  Ask yourself these questions and have good clear answers.

 

How to narrow the gap between your position and your positioning statement.  The wider the gap between your position and statement, the harder you must push.  The anchoring principle warns you that most people get anchored to your initial positioning and will not accept the new position if it is too wide.  Jump from one lily pad to the next as customers won’t make the leap.  Keep your steps small.  Define your long-term goals and make sure they are goals and not positioning statements.  If you do not have a focus, you may not have a business.

 

Focus and the Clinton campaign.  Clinton’s campaign turned around when he mentioned the economy and repeatedly spoke to the public.  Despite his behavior and mistrust at one point, he turned his campaign around.  He focused and focus wins.

 

Avoid the deadly middle.  A high priced provider is assumed to provide the best service.  If you price in the middle, you are saying you are not the best, you are good but just average.  Beware of the deadly middle.  People can always find a cheaper way to get your service.  In many services, the product of the service has become a commodity, but talent and thought is worth a lot.  Value is not a position and is what every service promises and is fundamental to survival.  Value is a given.

 

If you need a name for your service start with your own.  Many fortune 500 companies pay big money for a name.  It provides a first impression and first impressions count.  In service marketing, nothing beats a brand.  A brand is a warranty and a promise that the service carrying that brand will live up to its name and perform.  The brand is the closest thing to a guarantee because many services are hard to warrant.  A service is a promise and building a brand builds your promise.  The most desireable services are those who keep their promises, the integrity of the company and its employees.  A service can fail if it doesn’t keep its promises.  Invest in and preach integrity – the heart of your brand.  Word of mouth spreads to potential prospects.  Make selling easier, faster and cheaper by building a brand and never underestimate the value of your brand or the difficulty in creating a new one.  A brand is money.

 

Communicating and selling.  Services are intangible and communications make services more tangible and give prospects something to evaluate.  We trust brands but are far less trusting about most services.  Make the service visible and the prospect comfortable.  Your greatest competitor is not your competition it is indifference.  Say one thing and have the strongest message.  Meet your market’s very first need, give it one good reason and after you say one thing repeat it again.  Build your case.  Saying you offer great service will never work.  You must document it and communicate it.

 

Being great versus being good.  Prospects do not buy how good you are at what you do, they buy how good you are at who you are.  Superiority is not a prerequisite.  Most of us don’t utilize someone who is the very best, we look for someone who is good.  Convey you are positively good.  People judge your service by what they see.  What do your visibles say about what the invisible thing you are trying to sell.  Watch what you show.  Make the invisible visible.  Potential buyers are hesitant to consider things they cannot see so they emphasize what they can see.  As a result, visual symbols of a service become important.  People will visualize their business with the person behind it.  Prospects look for a visual clue about a service.  Provide clues so people see who you are.

 

Service marketers must create visual surroundings that will enhance the client’s perspective of quality.  It sends a powerful clue about your service.  This influence goes to the very heart of your product and the relationship with your client.  Watch and perfect the visual clues you send.  One word can define your service or product.  Words can be the ultimate weapons and shape reality.  Sometimes it’s all in how you say it.  The vividness effect.  Prospects put great value in recent information in making their buying decisions and are also influenced by vivid information.   Find many ways to be vivid.  Make yourself vivid as you cannot bore someone into buying your product.  Advertising is publicity so advertise.  Focus on buying, not selling.  Good marketing must focus on the buying.  Make your service easy to buy.

Selling the Invisible: Risky Business

Selling the Invisible:  Risky Business

Risky business.  Many businesses minimize the risk of a bad experience.  Build quality into your service and take the risk out.  You have nothing to fear but your client’s fear itself.  The best thing you can do for a prospect is eliminate the fear.  Offer a trial period or a test project.  Business is in the details and people feel the need to justify the decisions to themselves and look for differences to base their opinions.  The more alike two services are the more important each difference becomes.  Prospects look for signals in seemingly trivial differences.  Accentuate the trivial.

The more you say the less people hear – positioning and focus, fanatical focus.  Successful marketing starts with positioning.  It says you must position yourself in your prospect’s mind.  Your position should be singular with one simple message.  Your position must set you apart from your competitors.  You must sacrifice, you can’t be all things to all people and you should focus on one thing – a fanatical focus on doing one thing well.  Stand for one distinctive thing and it will give you a competitive advantage.