Wednesday Watercooler

Oh man, it’s been quite a while since I’ve done a ‘Wednesday Watercooler’ piece but as they say – there’s no time like the present, and the present has some ridiculous things going down!  First things first though, since we always do an entertaining manifest destiny through these here interwebz I thought it would be a nice little change to turn things inwards and do some self exploration for a bit!

A few weeks ago, one of my good friends posted a survey on Facebook about discovering your ‘Philosophical Archetype‘ – after I breezed through the 40 or so questions, I got my answer and it’s so perfectly fitting. I scored as the ‘Absurd Hero’, a throwback to Albert Camus’ ‘Myth of Sisyphus‘ and the idea of Absurdism, which by the way I totally ascribe to: it’s the dichomatic idea that as humans we ascribe to searching for a greater meaning of life though we cannot find it.  The Absurd Hero, in turn, finds humor and happiness in the absurd situations that life throws at them.  Me in a nutshell? You best believe it!  Another fun one to get your eyes on is the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, commonly abbreviated by MBPT. I scored as an ENFP – Extrovert/iNtuitive/Feeling/PercievingI took it again to double check and yup – still as true as ever! Some of our personality traits include, but are definitely not limited to: outgoing, easily talked into doing silly things, spontaneous, pleasure seeking, irresponsible, physically affectionate,  likely to have or want a tattoo, adventurous, unprepared,  prone to losing things, seductive, easily distracted, open, revealing, comfortable in unfamiliar situations, attracted to strange things, unconventional, energetic, impulsive, empathetic, loving. Head on over and take your Myers Briggs / Jung Personality test hereand now, on to the good stuff!

Dory Just Keeps Swimming

In case you were hiding under a rock yesterday when Mashable broke the news before my own company did, Disney and Pixar are pairing up one mo’gain to bring you the long anticipated, highly awaited sequel to Finding Nemo – Finding Dory!

Scheduled to hit theaters in November of 2015, the movie will feature role reprisals by our friends in the tank, Merlin, Nemo and how could you think of having this sequel without the lovely Ellen DeGeneres!

Sea Lions Get Down, Too

Even though some humans have two left feet, almost all of us can inherently find the rhythm; birds, too, can bob their beaks to the beat – well now there’s a new species to add to this animal party. A study out of UC Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Laboratory with a sea lion has proven for the first time that a non-human mammal can keep the rhythmic beat of a tune.  After teaching Ronan to bounce to the beat with click training, the scientists introduced new jams into the mix to test their theory and voila – welcome to the get down, Ronan! Check her out jammin’ to the Backstreet Boys and Earth, Wind and Fire!  And the final verdict – we now have proof that vocal mimicry isn’t necessary in order for one to keep the beat; comparative psychology, eat your heart out.


The Cell Phone is Having a Mid Life Crisis

Next time you reach into your pocket to check Instagram, or see if your best friend had a good date last night – think about this one: the mobile phone is forty years old this week!  On 4/3/73 in Motrorola’s New York division, Martin Cooper completed the first cell phone call – and it’s all been downhill for humanity from there 😉  As of 2013, there are at least 6.5 billion cell phone users – and I have to give some kudos to UK’s The Guardian for my favorite fact: By the end of 2011, there were 78 mobile phone subscriptions per 100 people in the developing world. In the developed world there were 122 subscriptions per 100. Meaning every fifth person you meet has two phones and is probably a crystal meth dealer/having an affair.

Obama Gets Mindful

Don’t get me wrong, I love science, astronomy and the spectacle that is the universe – but it’s also good to know that I’m not the only one who wants to shift the focus from our surroundings to what’s going on inside those beautiful, big brains of ours.  Yesterday in an announcement at the White House, President Obama announced a brand spankin’ new scientific campaign set at understanding and analyzing the human brain.  With a $100 million proposed budget in hand, he’ll be reaching out to some of the top research institutes in the country, as well as private labs and non-profit efforts.  The goal of the study is to discover how interactions between neurons form the human psyche; the results would have a global benefit.


Feeding the Black Holes

Now that my brain has been satiated with news for the day, let’s look to the galaxy and beyond – there’s something absolutely nutty happening with black holes right now.  In one universe, Galaxy NGC 4845 – a black hole is currently devouring a planet. NBD. And finally, that little antimatter detector at the International Space Station is getting some interesting data: it’s tasted its first bit of dark matter; exciting!

Stop Motion Chalk Tetris 

I’m not a huge fan of stop motion, but even I have to admit that this is rad! H/T to The Colossal:

Wednesday Watercooler: The Music Edition

One month down, eleven more to go – it’s crazy how this year is already picking up so much momentum! I’ve been  exponentially adding to the multiple hats I wear weekly thanks to a writing gig with the DJ List which I’m absolutely enamored with and being named the Board Liaison for the organization I volunteer for.  It’s a little overwhelming but nothing I can’t handle – I say bring it on!

Shazam x Beatnet = A Match in EDM Heaven

I don’t know about y’all, but when I Shazam  a remix that I love and it doesn’t give me any information I feel a weird mix of awesomeness that my music taste is so progressive and a little annoyed that it can’t tell me what’s playing; well have no fear EDM lovers, because this morning Beatnet and Shazam announced a partnership that will give Shazam access to over 1.5 million songs in the Beatport registry.  This is a huge step forward for EDM fans everywhere, but DJs are already lamenting that people will be glued to their phones instead of enjoying the tasty beats.

The War on EDM

Though there’s usually some uproar in the media about EDM, this week we’ve seen some considerable backlash from the likes of the LA Weekly and the LA Times.  Both had articles, published the same day mind you, written to rile up the general public and incite backlash against the wonderful community that we’ve built.  Both articles are beyond one-sided, not to mention highly inflammatory.  The good news, is that (at least with the people I know) it’s caused us to take a hard look at ourselves and the lives we live; and we’ve come together, stronger than ever, to fight against this negative stereotype that society wants us to remain under.  Kaskade, a top notch DJ and producer, delivered an eloquently written reply to the times and one of my favorite music blogs, Stoney Roads, had some great input as well.  If this has you as annoyed as it has us, take a minute to sign this petition and spread the word, you know, this one: PLUR

Skrillex pairs up with Cirque du Soleil

Skrillex is a mastermind in his own right; once upon a time, he was simply known the bassist of From First To Last but fastforward to 2013 and he’s become a household name that’s synonymous with Dubstep and the culture that surrounds it.  This past year he lent a hand to the Disney team by contributing part of the score for the hit animated flick Wreck It Ralph and was rewarded with a small cameo in the film.  Now, word on the street is he’s pairing up with the famed Cirque du Soleil  for a resident show in Las Vegas; no word yet on it’s direction, but believe me when I say you should not miss it!

Wednesday Watercooler

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
― Rabindranath Tagore,

There aren’t a whole lot of things in the world that can’t be remedied by a silent but seductive sunset, above the rest of Los Angeles; I don’t know if it’s the awe inspiring colors, or the fact that your perspective has been drastically shifted – but the air up there tastes sweeter, the colors up there are more vibrant and I can feel the heartbeat of the city.

A Double Helix of Data

Storing data on a monstrous hard drive is one thing, but storing data on a double helix of your DNA is quite another!  German genomicists Nick Goldman and Ewan Birney of the European Bioinformatics Institude have been researching alternative methods of data storage that can house their collection of exponentially growing information.  Further proof that the best ideas come from a good buzz, the two have been feverishly collaborating on a system that translates data to binary fashion and then encodes it within the double helix structure of our DNA.  So far, they have managed to store copies of an audio snippet of Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech and a complete set of Shakespearean sonnets.

Disney Animated Short: Paperman

Never mind the fact it was one of the only movies I saw in theaters in 2012 – ‘Wreck It Ralph’ was hands down one of the best movies I saw last year.  The plot was unique, the characters were equally obnoxious and lovable and simply put: it was just so goddamn fun.  Now, the irony of this is my favorite part of the movie wasn’t even part of the movie – it was the short film that played before.  It just got released onto Youtube today and I am really excited to share it with you guys; by far my favorite short they’ve ever done!

 World Meets Girl from “Girl Meets World

I don’t know about you guys, but one of the major highlights from my childhood were the TGIF Lineups on ABC – you know: Family Matters, Step by Step, Hangin’ With Mr Cooper, Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  But my hands down, abs-fucking-lutely favorite show was Boy Meets World. Mostly, I felt a certain awkward kid camaraderie with Topanga – that awesomely awkward girl with the crazy hair, fun outfits and cute as a button personality….but I also had a pretty huge crush on Shawn, played by Rider Strong.  So believe you me, when I found out about the up and coming spinoff Girl Meets World I was beyond stoked!  The show is centered around the now child of Cory and Topanga and is going to be played by Roawn Blanchard of Disney Channel fame.

At Least For Today, Blackberry is Still Relevant

The Blackberry 10 Launch event in New York City this morning made it clear that Blackberry still intends on being one of the movers and shakers of the cell phone industry, even if they have to change their name.  That’s right folks, the team that was once known as Research IMotion (or RIM) has been simply rebranded as Blackberry; and for you stock savvy folks – note that their Nasdaq ticker is set to change on Monday from RIMM to BBRY.  Along with the name change, they also announced the Blackberry 10 OS and two brand spankin’ new phones – the  Z10, which boasts a stellar full touch screen on 4.2″ with 720p resolution , and the Q10 which has the signature Blackberry QWERTY keyboard and a 3.1″ screen.

If that news wasn’t hot enough, it seems like they hope they’re soon on fire – they’ve enlisted the help of tech-savvy songstress, entrepreaneur and philanthropist Alicia Keys.  Following in the footsteps of Intel who named artist their director of creative innovation in 2011, Blackberry has named Keys their Global Creative Director.

World’s Best Workout Trainer

Sometimes, I need a little motivation at the gym – but if I had this cat, I think I’d be set:

Tech Tuesday: Alpha Beta’s and the Wonderful World of Netflix

It’s been a while since I’ve done a ‘Tech Tuesday‘ segment – but that’s because there hasn’t been a whole new lot to report.  From my perspective, ever since the big Apple unveiling all has been more or less quiet in the world of beeps and bit logic – but, this week I definitely see some moving and shaking on my radar.

Alpha Beta‘s

When you breathe, sleep and eat tech, there’s nothing quite as exciting as getting to preview and help debug early renditions of applications and web clients.  Back when AOL Instant Messenger was still fairly relevant, they had a portion of the webpage for their chat client devoted to Beta testing – we would get the client first, sure – there’d be some bugs here and awkward application crashes over there, but overall it was pretty neat playing around with brand spankin’ new features.

When the Facebook timeline was introduced and everyone was bitching about converting their profile, I took the exact opposite approach.  Because I knew I’d be forced to use it anyways I decided to become an early adapter.  When Timeline was introduced, Facebook wanted any and all willing developers to get with it and start creating new applications and widgets for the Timeline – but for them to use the API, they first had to understand it.  This meant that developers were given a first pass at the timeline.  Am I a Facebook developer? Definitely not! But, that’s pretty inconsequential at this point: I told Facebook that I was and that I wanted to create a new application, but I was required to produce or release a public, or final, product.  The next time I opened up my user profile – babam, I was Timelined.

The Old:

toolbar fbook


The New:

fbook firefox

Currently, Firefox has a web browser sitting in Beta testing – just waiting on people like me, and maybe even you, to come by and give it a whirl before it’s rolled out to the general public. Why is it worth testing? Firefox just added Facebook messenger to their Beta test.  So now, instead of being forced to keep a Facebook tab open to facilitate chat – meaning you can roam the web as you please with your posse in tow and stop liking so many cat pictures.  To boot, I can finally do away with the Facebook Toolbar add-in that I’ve been so loyal to over the past year.

Disney and Netflix: Streaming Sweetly

Huge huge huge news for Disney lovers, Netflix addicts and anyone paying attention to streaming media!  This morning, the Walt Disney Studios and Netflix got together and kicked out a multiyear licensing agreement granting Netflix exclusive rights to Disney’s movie library which includes catalog titles, direct to video titles and New Releases.

Typically, this content is reserved for HBO, Showtime and Starz which make this a huge deal in the studio world; marking the first time a major Hollywood movie studio granted rights to a provider of streaming content over a premium TV network. Starting on Tuesday, members can start perusing the Disney catalog titles and by the time Spring of 2013 rolls around, Netflix users will be able to watch direct-to-video releases the same day they’re released in stores.  Unfortunately, some movies distributed by the Walt Disney Company are still under contract with Starz and those won’t be rolling out until 2016. This deal comes approximately two years after Netflix began streaming Disney and ABC Family TV shows within weeks of the air date.

To me, this has super interesting implications – first of all, the Disney online store is saying goodbye to the world; meaning that Netflix will be the one and only place to go if you want to stream Disney content.  Secondly, with a decreased presence on Network and Cable television, it should catapult amount of monthly streaming subscribers on Netflix – a path they’re willing to walk since they’re planning on phasing out their physical DVD services.

Secondly, since Disney has a hand in the ESPN cookie jar – would this pave the way for streaming live sports content?  You could even have MLB, NFL or NBA streaming packages that you can subscribe to through the ESPN website or strictly through Netflix – the possibilities are basically endless!

Travellin’ Tales: You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

Why is it that the first 24 hours of a trip seem to span a week, but by the end you’re wondering where the hell all that time went?  That’s the conundrum that I’m in right now – I flew into Fayetteville late Monday night, and here I am Thursday morning packing again to head back to California.  What a whirlwind adventure this has been….

I keep thinking back to my expectations of  coming to Arkansas – what I thought I would experience, the people assumed I would meet, what the culture here had to offer me; and I’m proud to report I’ve been blown away.  The people are beyond welcoming and my interactions here have been nothing but delightfully pleasant.  I spend most of my day surrounded by a mess of movie sleeves, price points and amarays and my job is to organize and make sense of it all. Fortunately for me, I have some kickass tunes and rad headphones to get me through the day. If a few years ago someone told my family I would be in charge of organization of this magnitude, I’m sure you would’ve gotten some hearty laughs and eye-rolls from them.  But here I am, growing up and growing into myself – and I’ve proven day in and day out that I can deliver, in a big way.

And it’s not just Disney people that I’ve gotten to know while I’m down here – there are Sales people I’ve made friends with from Lionsgate, Universal, Warner and Phase 4 media; I’ve gotten to sit in with my team and the Executive Director of 20th Century Fox while he explained what goes into forecasting day one sales for a movie.  What’s more, is that with each step he explained to my teammates I would turn the conversation around and engage him in the math and statistics of his explanation.  A lot of it is about the normalization data, relative means and distributions – I didn’t realize until I got here just how much I love numbers.  About half an hour after we left his office, he came back to the main room and in front of everyone said the following:  I spend most of my day turning the math and statistics into something a normal person could understand, thank you for coming back in here and smartening me back up.  Me? Smartening up an Exec Director?! Ah!

“I’m Gonna Wreck It!”

Work stuff aside, I’ve had a few moments here and there to enjoy and explore this adorably quaint town.  First of all, it reminds me so much of Corvallis, Oregon it’s unreal.  There are expansive properties, friendly people walking everywhere and brisk – but comfortable – weather.  The first full day I was here we went and ate at a local spot called Jimmy John’s, which is full of delish sandwiches. I got (predictably) the “Californian” and it was phenomenal.  Later that night my coworker and I stopped by a local movie theater and I finally saw ‘Wreck it Ralph‘ – if you haven’t seen it, do it now; if you didn’t like it – let me know and I’ll go ahead and delete you from my life.  Really though, I don’t understand how someone couldn’t like it! And the little Skrillex cameo at the beginning? Bonkers adorable; really though!  That night when I got back, I somehow had the energy to kick my ass at the hotel’s amazing gym; great idea to get my body on Central time!

Kobe Sushi

Wednesday was more of the same – sleeves, amarays, price points, oh my…; for lunch, the sales manager treated us to some gas station sushi.  I know it sounds sketchy, hell – when my Exec Directors back in Burbank told me about it I was hesitant to even try. I mean, sushi – in Arkansas?! Yes!  The place reminded me of a hole in the wall restaurant in Los Angeles, and was run by a very sweet family.  Apparently, if you go often enough they’ll give you a pair of chopsticks that you get to use whenever you return – absolutely genius.  Of course, when I posted the picture to Facebook one of the immediate responses I got was “GAS IS SO CHEAP THERE!”, yeah – Arkansas has that going on, too.

Last, but most certainly not least – after work was out last night, I got the opportunity to go to Crystal Bridges Museum and see some of the art and culture of the city.  First of all, holy hell – the architecture of the museum is out of this world.  So out of this world, in fact, that there’s a section of the museum currently devoted to their architect – Moshe Safdie.  He’s built other amazing structures like Habitat 67 in Montreal, which kickstarted his career, as well as the Skirball cultural center in Los Angeles, the Eleanor Roosevelt library at UCSD and the Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem. The other exhibit that I fell in love with was “See the Light” – I loved the color, contrast, illumination and shadow play.   Once I upload pictures I’ll be able to show you guys just how amazing the art was, but some other highlights of the museum were pieces by Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein and last but definitely not least – Mister Andy Warhol.

Doing it Right: Halloween, Disney Style!

A few years ago, I was on the hunt for a career change – and I consider myself uberlucky because the career change actually found me.  I was working as a Data Analyst for a great firm, but only at Part Time – Walt Disney Studios, at the time with a contracted position, asked me if I would like a spot on their Space Planning Team and I jumped at the chance to not only leave my current job but work with some of the best and brightest in the entertainment industry.

The holidays here are celebrated in style, but most of all – Halloween is the coveted centerpiece of all the grand holidays.  And, if there’s one thing we here at Disney know how to do – it’s play dressup! When I walked into work initially, I was a tad disappointed by the lack of holiday spirit – but as the day waned on, I noticed more and more fabulous group, individual and little kid costumes.  The happiest place on earth today was definitely our lot!

Halloween Decorations =)

Ariel, Miss Devil and Woody

I’ve got an Angel on my shoulder, but a Devil in my head…

Hands down, best costume was the Mad Hatter!

Our LOVELY Starbucks Crew! ❤

Cotton Candy for lunch – #JUDGEME

Causing trouble, per usual…

Wednesday Watercooler

Hello, hello and congratulations on making it through to the mid-week mark once again  There are a few incredibly significant things about today, October 3rd.  First of all, did you know that today is Mean Girls day?  If you’re anything like me, you didn’t – but hey, now you do.


Reason number two that today is super important is that today is….(drumroll please)… debate day! Yes, that’s right – today marks the first of three debates between the Obama and Romney camps.  Truth be told, most of my interest in politics came from watching talking heads and CSPAN with my mother when I was younger.  As I left for college, I had an idea of why voting was important but I didn’t exactly give a damn.  That all changed once good old Dubya was reelected to a second term; so I don’t fly off the handle – all I can offer about him is that at least he said some stupid stuff that made me giggle…and then it made me sad, because we elected him president. ANYways, and per usual, I digress.  Every election pushes this country in a different direction – with new obstacles and different trajectories; they exemplify both our national, cultural similarities and dive into our vast differences.  Democrat, Liberal, Republican or Independent – I know there’s one thing I think we can all agree on: we all support parties.

So gather your friends – you know, the ones with political views that don’t make you want to maim a small animal – around, grab some brews and get your debate drinking game on.  Like most things, politics is better when I’m drunk.


When’s the last time you went to a movie theater?  It hasn’t just been months since I’ve seen a feature film, it’s been almost a full year.  When even a matinee costs up to $10, it’s hard to convince myself that going to the movies is a stellar investment. First you have parking fees, then – I bet that butter  infused popcorn would be absolutely delicious with a warm pretzel and a large blue raspberry Icee; okay, good – so that’s about $25 a person and we haven’t even taken our seats yet.  Well, someone upstairs has obviously heard my grumbling because there’s not one, not two – but three movies coming out that I am so willing to shell out cash for.

My number one must-see movie for the fall is Cloud AtlasAs soon as I saw the trailer I kicked myself for passing over the book, written by David Mitchell.  Beyond being based off of a book I’ve been dying to read,  it stars my childhood role model, and top 5 girl crush, Halle Berry and the ever fab Tom Hanks; and to boot – it’s directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski, the ever dynamic duo behind the Matrix trilogy.

Then, there’s The Hobbit – I might’ve fallen asleep the first six times I watched Lord of the Rings, but the direction, production and acting were unreal. Over time, I eventually did see the movie the full way through, and the sequels – but I’m sure they would’ve affected me more if I had actually read the books.  I feel almost vindicated that they’re making a movie out of The Hobbit because it’s the only book by Tolkien that I actually finished.

And, last but certainly not least, the trailer for the highly anticipated Disney movie The Lone Ranger  was released this morning staring Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer, from The Social Network, as John Reid – the Lone Ranger.  Let’s get real for a second – Tonto is essentially Jack Sparrow meets the Wild, Wild West but no matter, I’m still super stoked for it’s release next summer.

Social Media:

See that political drinking game up there?  Well let me tell you a story about it – my friend posted it to her page, and I decided it was worthy of hitting that ‘share‘ button.  But then I was taken to my page and prompted to help “promote” the post.  What does that mean, you ask? Good goddamn question – and I wasn’t sure either so per usual, I turned to the interwebs.  According to Tech Crunch, a favorite news repository, the feature was just added to accounts in the US.  If the user is willing to shell out $7, the post can be blasted to a larger audience. Um. What?!  For special interest pages – like Brands, Bands and Big Shots – sure, it makes sense; but for us common folk, I can’t say I support the feature but it’ll definitely be interesting to see what people choose to promote.