On blogger typos…

For some reason, whenever I begin reading a blog post and I notice a typo, I for some reason, assume it was done on purpose.  For example, I saw a title called “Snippers: An American Story” thinking ok what a weird name.  I then realized it was actually about “snipers,” but still wondered if it was maybe done on purpose to get attention.

Maybe I hold bloggers to a higher standard or assume they do things on purpose out of symbolism or something, who knows.

New Reading Challenge?

Interesting book selection challenge. Definitely adds something a little more exciting to the challenge.

A sip of Starrshine

Stephanie over at Life In Limbo turned me on to PopSugar’s 2015 Reading Challenge. The idea is to expand your horizons with respects to the types of books you are reading. I know that I often fall into periods where I purposefully seek out similar book: my sci-fi phase, whenever I read a long series like The Boxcar Children, that time I checked out every book about dolphins that my library offered.

This challenge seems really different to me, and I know it would be really challenging for me to complete. Here are some that I found particularly interesting:

  • A book at the bottom of your to-read list
  • A book your mom loves
  • A book that takes place in your hometown
  • A book that came out the year you were born
  • A book with bad reviews
  • A book written by an author with your same initials

It’s a…

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10 Reasons why Americans should consider military service.

There are many benefits to joining the military.  Sure there are many sad stories of soldiers who don’t come home, or ones that have PTSD, and more.  These stories happen more often than we would like.  However, there are a huge variety of benefits.  I can’t say that everyone SHOULD go serve the US Military since everyone is in a different situation.  I do believe that it is something everyone should seriously at least consider.

Also just to be clear, I’ve never been in the military, but it has been something I’ve considered time and time again, and these are the major factors that have drawn me.

1) It will build character.  Better work ethic, more reliable, trustworthy.  All great traits that the military has been known to build into people.  Sure, not everyone comes back an ideal citizen, but it’s possible that they came back better than they would have been if they had just been doing other things.

2) Pay for college.  This is pretty common knowledge, but the military pays for you to educate yourself to become a better member of society.  This is good in so many ways.

3) Build strong friendships.  Anyone who’s been on a sports team can tell you that sweating and puking with a group of people is bonding.  The only sad part is that, in the military, you may have the chance of losing them.

4) America loves its’ soldiers/marines/seamenwomen/airmenwomen. Soldiers coming home, dogs missing their parent, kids missing their parent, wives missing their husbands, husbands missing their wives, parents missing their kids, brothers missing brothers, sisters missing sisters, etc… etc…  I think in terms of endearment, American businesses tend to put them on a pedestal.  While it’s not always deserved, it’s pretty common to automatically hold them in higher regard.

5) You do a lot of really cool stuff.  I’ve never shot a .50 cal sniper rifle before.  I’ve never thrown a grenade, learned to shoot a mortar, or practiced breaching, but these are things I think would be exciting to do.

6) There are a lot of opportunities in the military.  Whether you want to be a doctor, a financial analyst, marketing, infantrymanwoman, or anything you want, you can probably find it in the military.

7) It pays comparably well.  Looking into the actual salaries, compared to a majority of entry level salaries that I’ve seen, the military compensation is pretty good.  You probably won’t be a millionaire when you get out, but you’ll have plenty of skills, an almost automatically good reputation, and likely lots of money saved because you probably weren’t spending much of it.

8) You get to travel.  This is a pretty incredible opportunity as they have stations throughout the world.  I don’t know how they decide where to send you, since maybe you don’t get to pick, but exploring the world seems very exciting.

9) You want to stay in shape.  You can’t be lazy, and in the military.  I’m not saying every person in the military is a healthy, world class fitness and nutrition expert.  But they are forced to do more activity than the average person does.  Sometimes it’s good to have that extra push.

10) You just love the USA.  Why not work FOR the USA?  This countries pretty cool.  I’m not saying this is the only way to show your appreciation.  However, their is still a view that those who have served, really care about the country, even maybe a little more than the average citizen.

Bonus 11) The government makes great efforts to “promote” veterans.  Ever fill out job applications when it asks whether you were a veteran?  Or wonder about why Obama makes speeches about veterans?  Or why everyone loves those “veterans coming home” stories?  It’s because it matters.  The government has put a lot of investment into making you a “model citizen.”  This is something you should definitely take advantage of. And I’m not saying trick the system, or “take advantage” in the sense of manipulating a system to your own benefit.  But knowing that you have extra opportunities out there for yourself that are in your reach, that you should use as a stepping stone to be the best you can be.  After all you did work your butt off in service.

Why didn’t I just put “11 reasons why” in the title?  I came up with this after I almost finished writing, and 10 is a good number.

Advertising Campaigns Aren’t What They Used to Be

I just naturally assume that there are experts in every field, not only experts, but that there’s a basic minimum competency that goes with any given Job Title or business title.  For instance, everyone who has a job got that job from going through an application process, being selected from a pool of applicants, and then interviewed and someone made the decision that that person was the right person for the position.

Granted, a lot of work is outsourced nowadays, and everyone and their grandmother are running a business of their own.  But what I’m about to talk about applies to the advertising campaigns of the big players in Movies, TV, and video games.

I’ve been finding that with movies, it’s usually not until the 3rd official movie trailer that I get a sense of the story of the movie.  The first Official Trailer is a jumble of images without necessarily any clear indication of characters or story.  The 2nd Official Trailer does a slightly better job, but it’s usually still depending a lot on the action sequences if its an action movie or dramatic sequences if its a drama.  But as far as a clear understanding of the movie, that usually only happens in Official Trailer #3.

Official Trailer #3 usually only comes out AFTER the movie is in theaters.   So for most movies, it’s very difficult to see a trailer and make a decision as to whether it’s really worth seeing or not.

The same seems to be true of video game trailers.  I only saw the Story Trailer for the recent zombie action game “Dying Light” yesterday, and the game comes out this Tuesday.  The only reason I saw the Story Trailer was not from a review site or on Youtube, but on Steam, (sort of like the iTunes store for PC/Mac games.).  So For this particular game, I wonder where the gaming review sites have been for this game.  I know they’ve been covering it, but only the gameplay.  As far as the game having a story, no clue until yesterday.

Now, with this particular game, “Dying Light,” I may not buy it right away, but it definitely looks 1000% times more compelling now that I know the story and the characters within the game.  The story is much more than just killing zombies, it’s really like most zombie stories, from The Walking Dead TV series to recent zombie movies: other humans are usually more dangerous to the main characters than the zombies.

All I can think is, there are companies devoted to advertising and marketing.  And yet whatever philosophy or strategy most companies are using for their advertising, it is completely beyond me as a consumer.   Also, with websites who specialize in video gaming news, I have seen NOTHING about “Dying Light” and its story.   And I don’t know how recent the Story Trailer is, but for all the web surfing I do that relates to video games, I feel I should have seen the Story Trailer sooner than the weekend before the game it set to release.

But hey, advertising campaigns aren’t what I do.   But the two words “advertising campaign” seems to connote some strategy and ALOT of work involved.   A lot of times, it sure doesn’t seem that way.   (Oh yeah, because they mistakingly think, or maybe not so mistakingly, believe Americans only notice or care about a product if “exciting” things are happening on-screen, and character and story is secondary.  Maybe there is genius in this viewpoint.  Maybe I’m too used to Cable TV and ad campaigns for channels that are character centered.

10 ideas for lists of 10.

1) 10 Eras that would have been interesting to live in.  This list could be about a war period (Spartan, Mongolian, WWI, WWII, 90’s USA, Mao Zhe Dong era).  I’m not saying they would have been all “fun” and “exciting” but I think the time periods could have taught us a lot about just life in general.

2) 10 Businesses with startup costs under $5000.  There are probably lots of businesses that can be started for that low.  Examples include a cleaning business, video production, clothing.  Now this doesn’t include storefronts, and all that jazz.  I’m just thinking businesses where you can gather the basic products your’e gonna sell, and go to your neighbors and probably find a couple buyers.

3) 10 Reasons why everyone should at least consider military service.  I never joined the military, but I think I could definitely come up with many great benefits of joining the military.  It’s very difficult to say everyone SHOULD, since not everyone has the same beliefs.  However I think there are some good arguments for it, such as, it’s not the “face to face” battle it used to be, they actually provide a variety of useful career options for those who seek it.

4) 10 Reasons why everyone should just start a non-profit organization.  It doesn’t have to be a full time business.  I’m just thinking any sort of organization.  Of course you want to take the non-profit status eventually if it gets big, but there are so many causes out there that can use the aid of someone passionate.  Not only that but you can’t see this as a “will I make money opportunity.”  There are plenty of those out there.  This is when you know this is something you’ll care about.

5) 10 Reasons to use Bing.com  This might be a fun one to write about, but Bing has a lot of cool features.  I don’t think it has enough awareness, and it’s probably gonna give Google a run for it’s money.

6) 10 Things in our society that are changing, that we should not be too concerned about.  There’s a huge push for privacy, and people against the NSA.  Personally, I wouldn’t be too concerned about them.

7) 10 Changes in our society that we should be concerned about.  Things like less face to face interactions.  Groups of kids being on their phones while in person.  Virtual reality glasses and how it’ll probably separate us more.  Although I can see it being beneficial to some extent.

8) 10 Thoughts on virtual reality.  What sorts of businesses can be started?  How will this affect families?  How will this affect relationships?  Will it become too real for some people?  How will it benefit those that aren’t able to live “normal lives.”  Benefits, and negative consequences.

9) 10 Reasons you should stop clicking linkbait, clickbait, whatever you wanna call it.  Stop it.  Just stop it.  You’re not doing yourself justice.  Heck you’re even harming society, because people whose jobs depend on it put out more useless clickbait stuff because they know you’ll click it.  Then again, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Who am I to judge what information is or isn’t valuable…?

10) 10 Reasons you should stop and question everything you see on Google, Facebook, Cracked, and etc…  Let’s put it this way.  Do you believe everything our government says?  Okay.  Do you believe everything on the news? Okay.  If you said no to either of those questions, or even both, then why the heck would you trust an article posted by some random 20 year old, whose job is to get as many views as possible?  Think about that.

As an aside, I want to make it clear that Im not saying to assume everything is false, but to consider data given to you before taking it in.

I’m not saying 20 year olds can’t be credible, but so much of the stuff that’s out there like “recent polls suggest that 80% of Americans that eat potato chips also do worse on their SATs,” are nonsense, and sensationalized.  I just pulled those statistics off the top of my head.  I made them up.  See what I mean?  I’m pretty sure I could write a convincing article and make a cool fake chart to do that too, but that’s not beneficial to anyone.