Thursday, May 21, 2015

Northeast weather looks bad for Memorial Day weekend

It’s considered by many to be the unofficial start of Summer. Memorial Day is known for barbeques, picnics, and travel. The Northeast United States may have a difficult time doing their traditional Memorial Day weekend activities as the weather appears to be anything but accommodating.

Chilly air from Canada will effect everywhere from Pennsylvania up to Maine starting Friday when many people will be in the middle of their travels. Temperatures are expected to dip down into the 20s across much of the region.

According to Accuweather:

This potential for a freeze is occurring later than normal across the Northeast.

In a typical year, many areas outside of the White, Green and Adirondack Mountains experience their last freeze of the season by the middle of May.

The post Northeast weather looks bad for Memorial Day weekend appeared first on WeHeartWorld.



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Is TOMORROWLAND designed for hope or despair?

The bleakness of the future is something that has many people feeling like there’s really no hope. To some, the human race is rushing towards a dismal demise while other see positives in the way that technology is allowing us to expand our understanding and hopefully our sensibilities.

Where does Disney’s TOMORROWLAND fit into this? The movie is being released this weekend and points to a promise of the future, but does it do too much to make us believe we have no hope outside of a fantasy world? Is this further push back against a Biblical worldview? We’ll watch and let you decide.

Tomorrowland

The post Is TOMORROWLAND designed for hope or despair? appeared first on Uberly.



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Why Republicans (and Democrats) are Wrong About TPP

Today, the Senate advanced a measure that would give President Obama fast-track capabilities to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement with a dozen Asian nations. This is being positioned by Democrats as being harmful to the US job market by making it easier to shift commerce towards Asia. Their thoughts are correct. Their motives are not.

The pro-union party is fighting it because they believe it will steal jobs. This may be true, but the reality is that it is designed to improve the economy in general, allowing for more jobs to be created. Where they miss out is that it’s not the unions that need to be protected by TPP but the shift in economic power to Asia that is most worrisome. In the short term, it may actually create jobs. In the medium term, over the next decade or so, it will improve the economy. In the longer term, it will hurt as more clout is being positioned in manpower-rich Asia. This is why it’s a bad move for the Republicans and why the Democrats, while in opposition, are wrong about their reasoning.

Perhaps the most unfortunate part is that most of this is speculation on both sides. Nobody knows for sure what is being negotiated and giving up the ability to amend it in Congress is a huge mistake. On the surface, this seems like the type of initiative that lines up with conservative ideals. At its core, though, is a dangerous agreement shrouded in secrecy and layered with so many questions that one must wonder whether the Republicans supporting it are doing so out of principle or if they’re just passing a measure that takes the emphasis off them. They won’t be to blame if and when the TPP blows up in America’s face.

That’s the scariest part of all.

The post Why Republicans (and Democrats) are Wrong About TPP appeared first on Conservative Haven.



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The Importance of Serving Certified Organic… Content

In the world of food, organic is the growing trend that fuels a $63 billion industry and that is intended to make America and the rest of the world healthier by eliminating the old, bulk, inorganic methodology of growing food that has emerged in the last two decades. In the world of search engine optimization and social media marketing, organic content should be the growing trend that makes websites stronger by eliminating the old, bulk, inorganic methodology of building content that has become prevalent in marketing for a decade.

The good news is that we’ve seen incredible progress with delivering organic content, links, and social signals in a way that makes Google, Facebook, Bing, and other marketing venues happy. The bad news is that there are no certification systems that can look at a site and tell you if the content is organic or not. Everyone claims it. Very few are doing it, particularly in the automotive industry.

Thankfully, you can test your own site manually to determine if it’s organic or not. Here are some things to look for with the content that is being placed on your website.

  1. It’s Not Copied and Pasted: I know. You may be a culprit of this yourself. There was a trend of content syndication and bulk building that swept through the internet for a long time. The reason that it did was because it worked. Google removed this strategy from the land of validity when they introduced the Panda update in 2011. Since then, they’ve honed their skills of identifying copied content and they do a great job of filtering out the copiers.
  2. It’s Spun: Many vendors, particularly larger ones, use content spinning techniques to populate content on sites. The strategy is to take boilerplate content and plug in enough unique identifiers like company name and address to try to beat the system. It doesn’t work. The system is smarter than the spinners.
  3. It Sounds Like SEO Junk: Content should be built for individuals. That means no long lists of every city in the area that you want to target. That means to long lists of vehicles that you sell. That means that if you read it out loud on a phone call with some random person you knew in high school, that they wouldn’t cringe at what you were saying. It means writing for the people, not for the bots.
  4. A Social User would Happily Share it Because it’s Good: There are certain pages on your website that don’t need to be shared and probably couldn’t be realistically shared if you tried. Inventory, specials, contact pages, staff pages… these and other parts of your website do not need content that compels people to share it. The rest of your content, whether on your website blog or on landing pages designed for conversion, should bring enough value to the table that any person visiting the page can say, “That’s interesting. I want to share this page on social media!”

There’s a reason that true content marketing is so effective for both SEO and social media marketing. Every major player is pushing for quality over quantity, which means that Google, Facebook, and everyone else wants to see your best content effort, not your most automated. If you build it organically, you’ll be able to wow the marketing venues. If you stick with “GMO Content” you’ll be exactly where you are today – in the middle of the pack.



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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sometimes it’s the Little Wrongs that Stick

“I was a pretty cocky kid.”

It’s something that I get to hear a lot lately, especially when connecting with old friends from high school and college. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t be that guy, the one who looks back while on the second half of a standard life and calls himself stupid, but that’s exactly what I’ve started doing. I was a cocky, stupid kid.

There are several instances that I can recall that had an effect on the way that I grew and would eventually point me to dedicate my life to Christ. One of those events was very small, so small that the person I “wronged” likely doesn’t even remember the incident.

I was managing a steak house in Oklahoma City. I was the youngest of the managers of what was supposed to be a summer job and ended up supporting my young family for three years. I was cocky (and did I mention I was stupid as well?) and took pride in my ability to diffuse situations. It wasn’t a fancy steak house. In fact, it was a two-story, 550-seat monster that served hundreds of steaks every night.

One particular evening I was helping one of the servers by taking the order. It was a special day for the patriarch of the family and they were celebrating – what exactly I don’t recall or perhaps never knew. The special day man had one important request – no Texas toast. His wife (or daughter, couldn’t tell for sure) said that he was extremely allergic to anything that had bread and I assured her that no bread would touch his plate. I plugged in the order, put the special instructions in all caps (NO BREAD NO BREAD NO BREAD) and went on to see to the hundreds of other guests as well as the staff.

I was walking by the table, just checking in, when the food came. Time went into slow-motion mode as the plate was put down in front of him with a big, buttery piece of Texas toast right smack dab on his 14 oz. ribeye. The look on the wife/daughter’s face has always stuck with me. It was pure disappointment, shock, and even a little bit of fear all flashing before me in technicolor slow motion.

Instantly, I reached down and grabbed the plate, but the man grabbed my arm. His fury was clear. I told him that I would get him a new steak, but refused to let go. He wanted to keep that steak hostage to make certain that we didn’t just take it to the back, pull of the bread, and reserve the same steak. I assured him that we wouldn’t do that but he was firm. He didn’t believe me and that made me mad.

In the same situation today, I wouldn’t have tried to take the steak back. In fact, I would have left one more instruction on the ticket – “Page ME for delivery”. I would have made certain that the bread didn’t go on his plate. Instead, I allowed myself to get angry. I took it out on the staff that couldn’t read instructions. I took it out on the table that had a special occasion ruined. I didn’t even comp the meal because of my petty, stupid, cocky anger.

For all I know, they never thought about it again. For all I know, the man was emotionally unstable and hurt someone that night due to my mistakes. His grip was very strong, the type of grip that one can’t get by working out. It only comes from working through life with your hands.

It’s the fear in the wife/daughter’s eyes that I’ve never been able to shake for two decades. Mad – understandable. Disappointed – who wouldn’t be? Fear – that’s something that was distinct. She wasn’t looking at me. She was looking at him. She was waiting for his response. I don’t recall if I truly saw it out of the corner of my eye or if it has emerged through my imagination over the years, but I think she even looked up at me with a subtle, desperate shake of her head as I tried to pry the plate from his grip as if she was warning me that this many might kill me over the mistake.

We never know the effects of our actions. We don’t know what little thing we might do that causes someone to snap, something bad to happen, or something life-changing that could have been avoided by being a little less stupid, a little less cocky, and a lot more like a believer in Jesus Christ should act.

I never had the chance to apologize properly to the family. Maybe that’s why it stuck with me for all of these years. The slow motion look of mixed, terrible emotions – I pray that my little act of defiance didn’t cause pain to anyone.

The post Sometimes it’s the Little Wrongs that Stick appeared first on Judeo Christian Church.



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Google Now Showing Tweets

This has been a long time coming. We knew it was on the horizon and now it’s finally here. Tweets are now appearing in Google search result again after being missing for a few years. When it was announced in February, we went to work integrating Twitter back into the search spectrum of content marketing strategies. Now that it’s here, the initial testing has been pretty strong.

“When tapping on a tweet in Google search, you’ll be taken directly to Twitter where you can view the Tweet and discover additional content,” Jana Messerschmidt, vice president of global business development & platform at Twitter said in a blog post. “By deeply integrating Twitter’s real-time content into Google search, we hope you find it easier than ever to explore your interests across both Twitter and Google.”

This will give the real-time power of Twitter that Google craves. The news section has been the best way to get real-time information for a while, but even then it’s not truly real-time and requires major publications to be the source of the news. With Twitter, Google will be able to follow trends and highlight sites that aren’t on the mainstream popularity lists. With the rise of citizen journalism and specialty blogs, this will be especially useful when events unfold and regular people find their way to report them before the media.

From a marketing perspective, the jury is still out. We will have to see how standard searches react to Tweets that are pertinent, but again the initial testing has been very compelling. Will marketers start spamming Twitter at the same rate they did a couple of years ago or will the safeguards that Twitter has put into place supersede and eliminate “Tweeting for rankings” that used to fill Twitter when Google was first tied into their firehose. Time will tell.



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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Space junk risk could have us putting lasers on the International Space Station

With the risk of space collisions growing with every passing second and with every new satellite put into orbit, some scientists are suggesting that we should equip the International Space Station with defensive lasers that could blow space debris out of the sky. Literally.

Yes, freakin’ lasers.

“The EUSO telescope, which was originally designed to detect cosmic rays, could also be put to use for this useful project,” says Toshikazu Ebisuzaki at the Riken Computational Astrophysics Laboratory in Wako, Japan.

While it sounds like a good idea to protect the equipment in space, there’s a little hesitation and skepticism coming from some circles concerning the idea of weaponizing space. It’s likely bound to happen either way.

The post Space junk risk could have us putting lasers on the International Space Station appeared first on WeHeartWorld.



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Monday, May 18, 2015

Can I hitch a ride, Mom?

What does a four-day-old African spurred tortoise do when he needs to get around? Become a hat for his mom, of course!

Via Daily Mail.

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Another blogger folds to Monsanto

At some point, one has to wonder if there really is money changing hands when it comes to Monsanto and bloggers. It seems unlikely, of course, but the number of bloggers who are miraculously “seeing the light” about Monsanto and becoming rabid supporters is starting to get ridiculous.

Case-in-point: Manny Schewitz from Forward Progressives. This liberal blog has been on the right side of many issues, but they’ve turned into Monsanto apologists for whatever reason. In this case, it’s being blamed on science. According to their hundreds of hours of research, the site is now claiming that most of the negatives associated with GMO and Monsanto are trumped up in order to promote the $63 billion organic food industry.

Let’s say that it’s true. It’s not, but for the sake of argument, let’s go down that path. Currently, Monsanto has the footprint, logistics, political clout, infrastructure, and most importantly the cash to be able to feed millions, perhaps tens of millions of starving people and still remain profitable. They could continue to grow, innovate, and save a massive number of people at the same time.

Supporters would point to token initiatives that are minimal compared to the dollars they spend preventing GMO labels from going on our food. Supporters would point to the other companies in the industry that aren’t doing any better than Monsanto and offer that as an excuse for the company to squander the incredible power they wield. Supporters would point to countless studies about how Monsanto is saving the monarch butterflies, fixing the environment for bees to repopulate, and making food better and easier to produce.

Supporters do not want to hear that monarch butterflies are still dying, bee populations are still diminishing at an alarming rate, and the food improvements they’re making through their “enhancement” processes are not solving world hunger. This is a company, like so many out there, that profits off of starvation. They help just enough to say that they’re helping so they have positive spin for the things they do.

This isn’t a political issue between left and right. It’s not even a moral issue where companies should be compared based upon their good and bad works. It comes down to this: they are one of the most successful and powerful companies in the world and they’re utilizing their specialized resources to make the world a better place. Schewitz points at Exxon, Bain Capital, and Verizon as having worse traits than Monsanto. My counter to that: it’s not a race to see who’s more evil. Everyone is responsible for their neighbors. Those who can do more should do more.

If all of the negative sentiment about Monsanto turns out to be unearned, then they still exist as a company that could save millions but that chooses not to based upon the power and profits that they would have to give up. That alone is enough for me to continue to dislike them.

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I should buy stock in Plantronics.


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