Five Potential Cap Casualties For The Dallas Cowboys In 2017 – Blogging The Boys (blog)

Blogging The Boys (blog)

Five Potential Cap Casualties For The Dallas Cowboys In 2017
Blogging The Boys (blog)
Here are five players the Cowboys could potentially unload for a little bit of extra cash during this offseason. by One.Cool.Customer@OCC44 Feb 18, 2017, 12:01pm CST. tweet · share · pin · Rec. Our sister site Pride of Detroit, the SB Nation community

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I Want Your Job: Vashtie Kola, Designer And Director

When Vashtie Kola and I first met in 2011 at VIBE Magazine, she was the antithesis of asocial butterfly.

At the time, the influencerwas a burgeoning director and stylish creative whose connections and hard work had already made her the sweetheart of NYC’s downtown scene.

Twitter wasn’t quite the information machine it is today, so back then you hadto do your homework tounderstand why Vashtiewas a woman to watch.

Though her rsum now reads like a drop-down menu of achievements — DJ,designer andmodel— Vashtie is still the endearing, soft-spoken person I buzzed around while prepping for a fashion photoshoot.

“I’m beyond busy and becoming busier by the moment,” she says about her multiple jobs. “Naturally, [as] women, we take on more than we can handle.”

Today, as we settle into ourinterview, Vashtie still reminds me of who she was years ago. That girlwho prefered to be behind the scenes, rather than clamoring for the spotlight.

The difference, however, is the curly-haired girl sitting before me in a furry, pink crop top and black slacks now understands the power of being front and center.She’s learned how social media can act as a springboardfor success.

Vashtie created thetomboy-meets-high fashionbrand Violette,housed online and in Paris’ popular Colette boutique.She also became the first woman to designa Jordan-brand sneaker and can be spotted in nationwide campaigns for Puma and DKNY.Not to mention, she’sstarred in five Toshiba commercials.

Before Vashtie began carving out her space onsocial media, she was a Trinidadian tomboy running with the guys in upstate New York.

Though playing with the boys made her most comfortable,Vashtiewas shamelessly bullied in junior high school. Itturned her off to all-girl squads for some time.

However, it taught her an invaluable lesson.

“I feel like we all go through this phase of girl-hate,” she laughs, admitting she uses Facebook to show her former mean girls they didn’t break her spirit.“But dont let anyone rain on your parade. If you have dreams and goals that your peers cant identify with, its important not to allow them to shut you down. No one else is living your life for you, so you have to make sure everything youre doing is going to make you happy.”

These days, however, she surrounds herself with positive women.

“I need women in my life to teach me things,” Vashtie says.

Back in 1999, Vashtiefound herself miles away from her home in Albany, NY and smack dab in the center of the Big Apple. While in the city, she made it a point to create relationships and work for popular clothing brands likeSupreme.

Later, sheestablishedherself as a leading creative in style and art, helping design custom headphones withBeats By Dre and serving as the creative director of the fashion brand Billionaire Boys Club.

In other words, shewas a shining star well before the Internet caught on.

Now, her days arejam-packed with DJ gigs, flights and meetings with her two social media managers.A typical day for Vashtiemeans waking up at seven or eight and heading the gym for about 90 minutes. Because shebattles insomnia, hour-long workouts are not usually fun.

“But, within that hour, I’m answering emails, planning social media posts, corresponding on my social media,” she explains. “I hate wasting time so I like to do a lot of things at once.”

As her growing list of profitable talents continues to expand, so does her following.

For a woman who strives to keep it real, it’s odd to see her thrive using a tool like social media. Instagram, in particular, issaturated with copycats.

Her only personal rule is to remain creatively authentic and unique, something she isn’t used to seeing in this day and age.

“I grew up immersed in skate culture and hip-hop culture,” she says. “Things from those realms and that era was all about authenticity.”

Though Vashtiefeels social media is a necessity in order to share everything she designs, she emphasizes the world of filtered selfies and flawless flicks doesn’t tell the whole story of how hard she works to maintain her brand.

“You have to be dedicated to things you want because theres a lot of hard work behind it,” she says. “You might not make money for a long time, but as long as you love it, it will fulfill you.”

No matter whichtools you use to fuel your dreams, she urges women to stop putting themselves through a filter.

“We question the way welook or if we’re coming across as a bitch,” she says, advising it’s time to strip away the bullsh*t and be brutally honest.“Just be real with yourself. The story that you tell yourself [about who you are] is the story youre going to believe.”

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Why Michael Phelps is still great at an age when most swimmers have faded

The American is the only person to have won an individual swimming gold past the age of 31. Persistence, money and freakish talent have helped

Age 31 isnt over the hill in most endeavors. Baseball players routinely play into their 40s, Phillip Dutton just won an equestrian medal at age 52, and writers often peak in their 50s or 60s (we hope).

But what Michael Phelps has done in the pool is unusual. The list of individual medalists (excluding relays) in swimming whove passed their 30th birthday is a short one counts 15 (add relays, and the list expands to 23). Of that group, only Dara Torres was older than Phelps today when shewon multiple individual medals in one Olympics, taking three bronzes in 2000.

Individual gold medalists age 31 and up? None. Not until Phelps did it Tuesday night in the 200m butterfly. That was his 12th gold medal in an individual event, sending historians back to Greek antiquity for a comparable antecedent.

How is Phelps able to do what swimmers of the past have not?

Sheer persistence helps. Mark Spitz won two medals as a teen phenom in 1968 and seven golds in his standard-setting streak in 1972. Then he retired, apart from a short-lived comeback effort years later.

One reason Phelps has chosen a different career path is simple: the life of an Olympic star is no longer one of monastic poverty, thanks to a series of changes internationally and domestically through the 1970s. Were no longer talking about Jim Thorpe being stripped of his 1912 medals because he accepted a pittance for playing a totally different sport. Today, Thorpe would win cash just qualifying for the US team.

And swimmers such as Phelps get paid, with prize money at the World Aquatic Championships now up over $5m and a steady stream of sponsorship money available. Even swimmers who arent anywhere close to Phelps level can earn a healthy $3,000 monthly stipend.

Financial comfort is important because swimming is such a demanding sport. Not that most Olympic events are for weekend warriors, but swimming in particular requires a lot of pool time and the occasional dry workout. At 35 hours a week, its not the sort of thing you can do with a full-time job. And the money helps swimmers take in staggering amounts of food to refuel. No wonder the U.S. Olympic swim team is skewing older these days. Male swimmers average in 1988 was 20.9. In 2012, 25.8.

Yet those changes have also revved up the level of competition in the Games. The Olympics are no longer just for college students, the independently wealthy and state-funded machines. Phelps has stuck around, but so have Ryan Lochte, Laszlo Cseh and many other legitimate challengers.

And Phelps is still outdistancing not just the previous generations of Olympic athletes but his peers as well. This summer, 2012 Olympic champion and multiple world medalist Tyler Clary retired after failing to make the US team in multiple events. Hes just 27.

The ageless Dara Torres notwithstanding, women have had a more difficult time sticking around in the sport. Natalie Coughlin has 12 medals from the last three Olympics, but at age 33, she was unable to make the US team for Rio. Kate Ziegler was the Katie Ledecky of the mid-2000s, winning world titles and setting records in distance races in her teens, but she didnt make an Olympic final in 2012 and didnt make the team at age 28 this time around. Katie Hoff swept the individual medley world titles in 2005 and 2007, took a couple of individual medals in 2008 while still in her teens, then faded and eventually retired due to lingering issues with blood clots.

Other swimmers eventually break down. Lochte has dealt with injuries, including a freak run-in with a fan that wrecked his knee. Most of those injuries took place outside the pool, but even in calm, cool water, overuse injuries can pile up over time.

Phelps has likely performed over 10m arm strokes and 7m dolphin kicks in his career, wrote swimming expert Gary Mullen. This volume increases his risk of shoulder impingement and low back disc degeneration, two of the most common injuries in the sport.

Phelps has been able to stay healthy, and his physique certainly doesnt hurt. Even in a pool full of perfectly tapered torsos, Phelps has always stood out with his long arms and large feet.

The last element of the perfect storm that made Phelps the perfect swimmer is coaching. Phelps met Bob Bowman at age 11, and the coach has stuck with him through a successful yet often tempestuous relationship.

Phelps has slowed a little. He scratched from the 100m and 200m freestyle at the Olympic trials this summer, no longer willing or able to attempt the daunting eight-event program he swept in Beijing eight years ago. But his times in individual events are comparable to his times in the past 12 years, excluding the two-year techsuit era that led to faster times for everyone in 2008 and 2009. Compare the 200m butterfly, Phelps first individual gold medal of these Games. He won the 2011 world championship in that event in 1:53.34. His time in Rio? 1:53.36.

Phelps, Bowman and his entourage have a few other tactics that may also have come into play. Maybe the cupping therapy that leaves large hickeys all over his torso is improving his endurance in ways yet to be explained. Maybe Phelpss retirement after the 2012 Games made him come back rejuvenated and hungry.

But much of Phelps success is readily apparent. Hes a physically gifted swimmer who learned picture-perfect strokes, his body has not failed him in any major way, and his support system has helped him maintain those gifts longer than most.

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Make money from home – – The Nation Newspaper

Make money from home – The Nation Newspaper
If you have a knack for writing then blogging is a great way to make money online. However, it will take some time for you to develop a blog, bring traffic to your blog and then monetize your blog to make money. This is ideal for someone who thinks

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Friday Cat Blogging – 17 February 2017 – Mother Jones

Mother Jones

Friday Cat Blogging – 17 February 2017
Mother Jones
We have exciting news this week: Yale University has decided to rename one of its colleges after Hopper. It's a well-deserved honor for her contributions to this blog, and she will be replacing the odious John Calhoun, who spent the second half of his
Yale to change Calhoun College's name to honor Grace Murray HopperYale News

all 61 news articles »

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How cinephile Kim Jong-il kidnapped a director to improve local films

Recordings show insecure North Korean despot begging actor and director he had kidnapped from the South to help improve useless movie industry

Kim Jong-il was exasperated by his compatriots lack of drive and creativity, and bizarrely fulminated against excessive ideology and dogma in North Korean films, secret recordings aired in a new documentary reveal.

Kim, who ruled the hermit state from 1994-2011, feared his country was being held back by lack of contact with the outside world, which was making his people too self-satisfied for their own good, the documentary tapes show.

The Lovers and the Despot tells the story of how the tapes were smuggled out of the country by two South Koreans, director Shin Sang-ok and his wife, the actor Choi Eun-hee, who were kidnapped by Kim in 1978 in an attempt to bolster the film industry.

The film-mad dictator, who died in 2011, urged the couple to show the people of North Korea a good example through your creative films, admitting that his countrys efforts had been useless.

One of the many recordings of Kim Jong-il. Photograph: The Lovers and the Despot

When I watch our films […] they are all dogmatic. Why do our films always have the same ideological stories? Why are there so many crying scenes? Kim is heard asking in the tapes recorded by the couple, who had got hold of a tape recorder in captivity and wanted to show they were being held against their will.

Kim is also heard berating the upper echelons of society, saying they are stuck inside the fence [and that] they only see their own things and they are happy with it.

His appeal to Shin and Choi to inject some creativity into North Korean film-making is in stark contrast with state propaganda from the time, which paints North Korea as a glorious socialist utopia.

And at one point he is heard praising the capitalist work ethic of the enemy: Frankly speaking, the reason is that in the South, they work hard because they need to make money and feed themselves. Its the result of blood, sweat and tears. But here, people are simply happy and comfortable no one whips them onwards.

Documentary makers Ross Adam and Rob Cannan spent hours trawling through the tapes, which also reveal that the trios relationship was not as clear cut as that of a tyrannical captor and his submissive captives.From their very first meeting it is clear that is Kim setting the tone, said Adam, but at times it feels like theyre getting on as friends. They have shared ambitions and an obsession with cinema.

At time Kim is also heard to be almost deferential towards the director, not only because Shin was older but also because he admires him and was a great fan, Cannan adds.

A still from The Lovers and the Despot film. Photograph: Soda Pictures

The celebrity couple slowly earned the dictators trust and, managed to escape during a trip to Austria to promote North Korean films in 1986, taking their secret recordings with them.

Translating the hours of the micro-cassette tapes was no easy task, Cannan explained. The sound was muffled because Choi had hidden the recorder in her handbag, and Kims accent was difficult to decipher. He was hard to understand, very fast… he used a lot of older words, like an older version of Korean we went through several stages of translation.


Shin had already smuggled some of the tapes out of the country in 1985. Despite being closely chaperoned during all foreign trips during his captivity, Shin was able to pass the recordings to a former friend and film critic during a chance meeting in Budapest. He also conveyed the message that he was being held against his will.

The recordings found their way to David Straub, who was monitoring North Korean intelligence for the US State Department at the time. It was the first time anyone in the US government, as far as I know, had heard his [Kims] voice, besides a couple of words during a public address, he recalled.

The tapes were invaluable for intelligence, he added. They were a chance to asses how logical he was, an insight into his temperament. Kim Jong-il was sane and rational in his own way.

After their release Shin and Choi were debriefed by the South Korean intelligence services, but to this day many doubt their version of events. The couple insist they were forced to pledge allegiance both publicly and privately to communism during captivity, but for many in the South any pledge of allegiance to the North is unforgivable.

However, the tapes offer new insight into the kidnapping, and reveal how they were briefed by Kim on how to behave when they were sent to film festivals overseas. Before a trip to Moscow in 1985Kim is heard to say: Dont say you were forced to come here. Say you came willingly. You wanted to make films here because theres no freedom in the South.

Shin replies: Look, Im the one sticking with you. Im not going anywhere until Ive finished my masterpieces. But you know that!

At one point the conversation turns to international film festivals.

Kim asks: Why there isnt a single South Korean film at the Montreal film festival?Shin replies: They didnt get through to the shortlist I dont even want to watch them. They drive me crazy. They just copy Japanese films. Choi adds: Honey, you used to do the same thing.

Ultimately, the recordings reveal an insecure young leader, eager for artistic validation from Shin and deeply anxious about what the world thinks about North Korean films.

If we dont catch up in the next 10 years, then frankly speaking, our film industry will fall behind. We may become the last, he says.

The Lovers and the Despot is on general release

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New Facebook tools allow for easier dining recommendations, ticket sales and scheduling

Facebook’s new tool makes it easier to seek out recommendations from friends.
Image: getty images/Dylan rives

Facebook’s newest batch of tools is designed, in part, to help fill any weekend night voids on its users’ calendars whether it’s with a night on the town or a pizza delivery.

“It’s Friday night. You don’t have plans. I’ve got a babysitter ready to go. What do I do?” said Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Facebook’s VP of ads and business platforms, at a press event in San Francisco.

“It’s an unbelievably challenging process in 2016 to figure out what there is to go do, and then, among those things, decide which of those things you want to go do and then actually engage in the doing of said things.”

To that end, a slate of features launched Wednesday will let users more easily solicit friends’ restaurant recommendations, buy tickets to Facebook-hosted events and make appointments at local businesses.

These are the types of everyday challenges Facebook has put much of its advertising team’s energy toward recently in a bid to make the social network a more seamless presence in people’s lives outside their homes as well as within.

Sometimes that involves location-based promotions that draw shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores or ads that show up only when certain products are in stock at a given shop. Other times, it means alerts about friends at a concert nearby or mobile messages that greet customers when they enter a business’s premises.

But even as the company has mastered the art of reaching people on their smartphones where they spend an increasing portion of their internet time Bosworth says the platform previously lacked readymade forms with which friends can share information about favorite shops and eateries or lock down important dates.

Even with the addition of the new tools, he says, there remains a ways to go until the company will be satisfied it is taking full advantage.

“We still find ourselves with this very time-consuming process of navigating what and how to connect to our friends in the real world,” Bosworth said.

Users can now share select areas of maps on their News Feeds with a request for, say, sushi bar suggestions. Friends who comment will see the location coordinates indicated by their text pinned on the map as long as the business has a Facebook page. A running tab of all such queries will appear on the home page so that people can revisit them.

Facebook’s recommendations feature

Image: facebook

A new appointment card feature added to Facebook’s Messenger platform offers a more formalized process for penciling dates at a hair salon or auto-repair shop. In it, users exchange cards with sets of available dates and times until a session is agreed upon.

The tool marks the first significant expansion to the customer service suite within Messenger bots since the automated programs were made available earlier this year.

The new features involve a host of brand partners including event sales services like Ticketmaster, Eventbrite and Fandango as well as smaller start-ups like, Slice, HomeAdvisor, MyTime and others.

A host of brand partners

Image: facebook

A new, more robust activity stream lets people track their friends’ events-related activity details like where they go, who they bring and past suggestions. Facebook also recently rolled out a standalone app for events, though Bosworth says it has no plans to force it on users as it did with Messanger.

The updated ‘events’ platform

Image: facebook

Facebook still hasn’t decided on a way to make money from any of the tools, a concern Bosworth says the company tends to address after the programs are fully fledged.

Users may have already stumbled across one or two of the new services, many of which have been in a beta testing phase for months.

The new products come as Facebook’s chief rival in the space, Google, which makes up the other half of an effective duopoly over mobile ads, has also been tracing out ways its apps, search results and web placements can better interact with consumers on the go.

The search giant has launched bigger and more abundant mobile search ads, product research functions, “buy” buttons, travel booking within search and sponsored placement of brand logos within maps.

Most of these efforts have been premised on Google’s theory that shoppers act within spontaneous flashes of decisiveness in which the vast majority of mobile purchases are made.

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6 ways to keep your sanity when you're working two jobs – Defiance Crescent News (subscription)

6 ways to keep your sanity when you're working two jobs
Defiance Crescent News (subscription)
“When you find out you can make money doing something on your own time and terms, it's so exciting and you feel lucky. Often to the point … Taylor began blogging about money in 2010, when he was still in major debt from student loans. While building

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How UCWeb Is Proving That Blogging Is the New Black – The Quint

How UCWeb Is Proving That Blogging Is the New Black
The Quint
At one point or the other, we've all had blogs. They had stories of our travel escapades, our experiments with food, random musings and observations about life and sometimes, even rants. We loved showing it off to our friends. We carefully kept track

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3 Ways To Bounce Back Financially After Draining Your Savings To Travel

It’s embarrassing, but foreign currency doesn’t always feel “real” to me.

“3000 yen? I’m rich! Look how pretty the colors of these euros are!”

It feels like Monopoly money that’s burning a hole in my pocket. There’s also a certain adrenaline rush that comes with traveling. Something about soaking in completely new surroundings and a different culture makes going to a pricy restaurant and getting a dessert with a cocktail seem like a really good idea.

When you get back and take a peak into your bank account, however, reality sets in. You need to make money, and fast. Over the years, I’ve learned certain preventative measures and lots of planning are great for combating the urge to make it rain. But if you’re already in the hole, fix your financial woes with the tips below:

1. Cut back on expenses.

I really love lattes. They can make an OK morning turn into a good morning. It gives me Instagram likes and I get to see (and possibly flirt with) my favorite barista. The problem with a coffee habit is, it’s expensive.

An iced coffee alone at Starbucks costs just under $3 (without tip). If I spend $3 every day of the year, that adds up to $1,095. That’s more than a grand on iced coffees a year. I won’t do the math for lattes and Frappuccinos. (I don’t want to make you cry.)

Making little changes like temporarily kicking your coffee habit (or making your own because I’d never suggest you quit coffee), packing your lunch or having friends over for dinner and drinks instead of going out can make a big difference in your bank account. While you do have to make things yourself, cooking with a friend or partner can be fun. You have the opportunity for a Pinterest fail.

You also won’t have a server hovering over you and staring at the check because she wants to get another party your table. You can split a whole bottle of wine for the cost of a glass at a restaurant. Even if you aren’t trying to save, staying in for dinner can be a total win.

2. Turn your unwanted items into cash.

I have a lot of clothes. I also have a lot of clothes I don’t ever wear because they don’t fit, I feel too old for them or I just don’t like them. (Why did I think one-shoulder anything was a good idea?) When I was in college, we had to drag ourselves all the way to Plato’s Closet. Now, you don’t even need to leave your house to cleanse your closet and get paid.

Sites like ThredUp will send you a bag to ship off your clothes, making it easier than ever to trade them for a little bit of cash. You can also turn to Craigslist or have a garage sale to make money from unwanted items, but it requires a little more effort. I’d recommended teaming up with some friends if you go the garage sale route. People will stick around longer and buy more if there’s a wider variety of items to choose from.

Either way, tidying up and getting paid has more benefits than helping you pay off your credit card. Having an organized home can be a major stress reliever. Ever have something to do and can’t start until your entire room is clean? That was me every time I had a midterm to study for. The less you have, the easier your nest is to clean up.

I’m definitely on the Marie Kondo train. She’s a genius.

3. Pick up a side hustle.

I worked two jobs for almost two years. I wouldn’t have been able to afford my dream trip to Greece if I hadn’t. Working 65-hour weeks was exhausting, but having an actual savings account as a 20-something in San Francisco is the exception, not the rule (unless you work in tech). Find a gig online like styling for Stitch Fix like I did, or waitress on the weekends. I put everything I earned in a separate account to keep me motivated and to help me keep track of how much I was making.

Recovering from travel expenses is daunting, but totally doable. Once you get the hang of making cash on the side, not only will you get out of the hole, but you can start building a fund for your next adventure. If travel is a priority and dream of yours, it’s worth the hard work to make it happen.

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