Entertainment

The Fitbit Killer – Apple Watch’s Health Benefits

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“Is that your cell phone or your living room TV?”

This is a taunt my Android using friend Jill is more than familiar with as a courteously remind her about the ridiculous size of her Samsung Galaxy at every football tailgate. Last week however, I had to eat those words as Apple jumped on the bigger is better bandwagon with the iPhone 6. Despite the larger breadth of the phone, all is not lost for those of us who prefer our technology compact.

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The big news out of Cupertino last week was the reveal of the much anticipated Apple Watch. Rumors of this device have been swirling on the interwebs for some time, but on September 9th Tim Cook unveiled the first new Apple product since the passing of Steve Jobs. A live demonstration showed many of the device’s functions which include access to emails and texts, the ability to control Apple TV, GPS through the Maps function and even a cool feature that tells you what time of the day it is. It would seem that the only thing missing is a line of piano wire needed to disable rival KGB spies à la James Bond.

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While these features already make the Apple Watch worth its $350 price tag, the item that most interested my wife and I was the watch’s functionality as a health and fitness device. The party starts with the set of sensors on the back of the watch that monitors vital statistics such as your heart rate. From there, Apple Watch comes with two apps built in to measure your liveliness. In the Activity App, three different aspects of movement are tracked on various rings. The “Move” ring reports how many calories you’ve burned for the day and alerts you when you have achieved your daily goal. Of course this comes in handy for strolls on the treadmill with your sorority sister in the student gym, but if you’ve ever inquired how many calories you burn walking to your daily classes or back from Penny Pitcher Night, you’ll now have a picture of just how active you truly are. Second is the “Exercise” ring which captures your rapid movements and alerts you when you’ve reached the widely recommended time of 30 minutes of exercise per day. Lastly, there is the “Stand” ring (seemingly geared toward us nine to five desk jockeys) which motivates you to do just that; stand for at least one minute per hour in a 12 hour period.

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The Workout App allows you to select your favorite exercise and set calories and time goals for yourself. With just a swipe of the screen, the watch will give you up to date results on your current exercise campaign from the length of your run to the intensity of your yoga session. Once done, you can send your data to your iPhone’s Health App (Which we’ll have in tomorrow’s iPhone upgrade) as well as various third party fitness apps such as Lose It.

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From late night White Castle runs to pizza for every meal, college is a hotbed for poor heath choices. Many of us enter our undergraduate careers feeling invincible, only to discover after graduation that four years of keg parties, fast food runs and passing the gym without batting an eye has taken a toll on our once trim physiques. Though we’ll have to wait a few more months to get our hands on this device as it won’t be out until early 2015, it certainly seems that Apple is giving us a prime weapon to battle the Freshmen 15 with.

Getting to Know People on Campus

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It can seem daunting to land on a huge university campus, much bigger than your high school, and just be expected to make friends for life. Here are some tips to meet people and get to know people so college will seem a little less overwhelming:

  • Meet People On Your Floor- you can do this by going around with a box of cookies and knocking on people’s doors to introduce yourself, stopping into a room with an open door or just leaving your door open when your in your room to let people know that they are welcome to stop by!
  • Go To Social Events- especially at the beginning of the semester, there will be a ton of events, whether fairs on the mall or festivals on the quad, homecoming or sports games there is always something to go to- check them out and meet new people!
  • Find A Club You Are Interested In- if you are too intimidated to go to a huge social event, check out clubs that interest you- you’ll meet people who like the same things you do, and who can introduce you to yet more people.
  • Introduce Yourself To The Person Sitting Next To You- in each of your classes. Having friends in class is vital to getting notes when you “accidentally” miss class. This also gives you an automatic study-buddy for midterms and finals, and homework-helper to bounce problems off of.
  • Hang Out With Your Roommate- Who knows? Maybe he or she knows other random people on campus who you’ll sit with in the dining hall and become super close friends with…
  • Share Chocolate Cake In The Elevator- this only works if you have chocolate cake and your dorm has an elevator, but this worked for my mom and her best friend from college!

However you decide to go about it, making friends will make your college experience that much more fun and exciting! It may also be really helpful when it comes to your GPA if they are helping you out in classes also. So, don’t forget to make friends and be social while in college!

And The Band Plays On… (In Defense of Our Marching Warriors)

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Last year my school acquired the services of a local DJ to perform at the all of the home football games; a sacrilegious move in my eyes. No disrespect to all of the spin masters out there, but when it comes to college football, the marching band goes hand in hand with the barbecue grills at the tailgate and the cheerleaders on the sidelines. There’s just something about the triumphant  blares of the brass, the precision of the drum line, the impossible agility of the majorettes (Will she drop it? WILL SHE DROP IT??? She’s totally going to drop it. SHE DIDN’T DROP IT!!!) and the pageantry of the color guard that signifies tradition.

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I had a cup of coffee with my high school band, but in that year and a half, I can attest that being a functional part of a marching band is no simple task. While many people struggle to play an instrument sitting down, these mobile minstrels not only play, but do so while performing elaborate choreography. While the film American Pie portrays band camp as two weeks of adolescent sexual exploration, those who have actually gone through it would probably describe those 14 summer days as being closer to musical boot camp.

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The movie Drumline only scratches the surface of what marching bands mean to historically black colleges and universities. At many HBCUs, the marching band’s halftime routine is more anticipated than the game itself. To see the level of talent, showmanship and excitement these bands bring to the table, do yourself a favor and check out any of the footage from the Honda Battle of the Bands competition that’s on Youtube; it is truly stunning.

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 Also, it would be a crime to pen an article on college marching bands without mentioning the self proclaimed “Best Damn Band in the Land”at Ohio State University.  Through their choreography, this 192 member collective have formed moving cars (complete with a smokey exhaust pipe), bucking bulls, flying spaceships and even a moonwalking Michael Jackson during their halftime exhibitions. Once again, if you truly want to be amazed, look them up on Youtube.

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Last season, our rich friends invited us to their good seats on the 50 yard line, five rows up. Late in the third, the team called a time out and the band rose to their feet. With the sun majestically reflecting off the horn section, the trumpets launched into a familiar cadence. It was the opening bars of Kanye’s “All of the Lights”. The hair on my arms stood straight up; my body covered in goosebumps. I thought to myself, “This is going to be so awesome when the beat drops and the drumline comes in!”Well that beat never dropped as the DJ started up the “Humpty Dance”and played right over the band.

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In the name of two a day practices while wearing full uniforms in 90 degree summer heat, I beg of you, LET THE BAND PLAY!

 

5 Important Skills to Learn Before You Graduate

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There are some things you are definitely going to want to master before you finish college.  Finding a job after college is harder than ever and you want to be as prepared as possible.  You’ll likely start in an entry-level position and this list will prepare you for what lies ahead!

1. Photoshop

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The world is becoming increasingly digital.  Any company you end up working for has a website and one or more social media accounts.  Photoshop is a great skill to have in your arsenal because it will likely come in handy for a great number of future projects.  Photoshop can help you create/adjust logos, flyers, newsletters, etc.  This is an excellent skill to have on a resume because potential employers will see it as a great asset!

2. Microsoft Office

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This may seem obvious, but knowing all the ins and outs of Microsoft Office is essential.  Don’t just know how to use the basics of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, know how to use every feature of each program.  You’ll likely be using Microsoft Office a lot in whatever job you have and you’re going to want to know everything you can; it’ll make your professional life much easier!

3. How to Use a Copy Machine Extensively

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When you’re first starting out in your professional life, the Copier is going to be a big part of your routine.  The last thing you want is to be the person that breaks the copier or needs help using it; to avoid this, take the time to learn how to use all of the features of one of the copy machines on campus—it may not be the exact machine you will have at your future job but it is a great start.  Also look over the machine to know how to fix it when it jams and how to change the toner!

4. How to Write a Professional Email

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 This is extremely important.  In most jobs, you will be corresponding with many different people and you want to always make a good, professional impression.  Whether it is an email between you and a co-worker, you and your boss, or you and a client/affiliate of the company, you want to make sure you come across as intelligent, organized, and professional.  This is also an important skill when you are emailing with a potential employer about an interview!

5. Social Media

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Learn the ins and outs of several social media platforms.  Most companies several social media accounts, so having a lot of knowledge about Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, etc. is really important.  Having these skills is also great for your resume.  If you notice that your company has yet to make an account for a social media platform that is or is becoming very popular, suggest that they make one and maybe even offer to create and run it for them.  This shows initiative and can lead to more opportunities and responsibilities!

The 5 Best Books of 2014 (so far)

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The Fault in Our Stars written by John Green

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Arguably, one of the most buzzworthy books of the first half of 2014. Its popularity skyrocketed almost overnight, gripping its readers and tearing at their heart strings. It was originally intended for young adults, but college students and even older adults have relished in this tragic young love story. Therefore it’s not surprising that the book was both successful in print and at the box-office.

All the Light We Cannot See written by Anthony Doerr

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Almost as soon as its release in May, this book has been on many best sellers lists (and rightfully so). It carefully weaves historical fiction to the backdrop of war to create a hard to put down read. For those who cannot get enough of World War II history, this may certainly be the book you’re looking for.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century written by Thomas Piketty

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A bestselling book on economics and development? This certainly does not happen every day. Piketty brings fresh, easily understandable language for those who are unfamiliar with economics and blends it with interesting concepts and charts. This overtly large book (it’s close to 700 pages) have kept readers engaged and thus lifted itself to the top of the nonfiction best sellers list.

Gone Girl written by Gillian Flynn

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This mysterious thriller is sure to leave you at the edge of your seat with the many plot twists and suspenseful circumstances that can only be found in a book by Gillian Flynn. This book has been receiving lots of buzz lately. It has a movie in the works and has been on bestsellers lists since its release.

The Goldfinch written by Donna Tartt

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An extremely smart novel whose popularity has been unmatched in recent years. Donna Tartt successfully brings the reader into the time and place, allows them to feel emotions portrayed and brings all her characters to life. It’s no wonder that the Goldfinch has been given praise for all over the world.