Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, You’re Really A TV

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I have stayed at the best hotels in the world, and some of the worst. I think I have seen it all, At least I thought I did until I walked in to our guest room at the Mondrian Hotel, in West Hollywood, earlier today.

There was an object in the room that looked like a mirror but doubled as a TV, It is totally bizarre but I love it, Eliot thinks it’s stupid, He would rather have a larger flat screen TV.

The TV inside the mirror is a Sony 42-inch unit, It took us a while to figure out how the TV got inside the mirror. We discovered that it was the brainchild of Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, the interior designer responsible for the new look at the hotel. It was very clever to take an ordinary TV and turn it into an art piece.

I guess you have to be a lover of contemporary installations to appreciate it, At the very least, it shows great energy and positive thinking.

Whisknladle, La Jolla, CA

Frankly speaking, this blog post has nothing to do with technology. It has everything to do with food. Tonight, Eliot and I were treated to the most amazing dinner at Whisknladle, La Jolla, CA, courtesy of Fredrick Selby, Whitney’s boyfriend. He is a cook there and we were served all of the dishes he makes himself. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined anything so grand. Thank you Fredrick and Whitney for an extraordinary evening.

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Bluefin Crudo–Pickled Shallots, Cucumber, Pomegranate and Lemon Purée

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Charred Bone Marrow–Parsley, Capers, Lemon Zest & Toasted Pain de Mie

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Flatbread–Fontina Fonduta, Fennel Sausage, Charred Broccoli Leaves & Leeks

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Maine Diver Scallops–Pomegranate Gooseberry Relish, Roasted Purple Cauliflower & Cauliflower Puree.

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Pan Roasted Sweetbreads—Maple Glaze, Braised Lentils, Brussel Sprouts & Bacon Lardons

Sleep Tight

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I have senior friends who are always tired. They walk around yawning and have big dark circles under their eyes. They are a mystery to me. They sleep eight hours a night and they still look like they are ready to nod out.

I think they may be bored. They left fast-paced jobs, spent most of their life multi-tasking, and had rigorous and challenging schedules. Now that they are retired, they have lost all of their energy. I call it post-work blues. It may mean that when you are finally done with a career, or a project for that matter, your body and mind relaxes to a point that exhaustion sets in.

There is an app called Sleep Better, from Runtastic, that claims to help folks achieve a good night’s rest. It simply analyzes sleep. It tracks sleep duration, cycles and efficiency. All you have to do is put your smartphone next to your bed just before you fall asleep. It relies on your phone’s sensors to determine how much you toss and turn.

You can use the app for free or pay $1.99 for more features. One of the bonuses is that it can determine which moon phase gives you the best rest. Laugh all you want. It works.

Redefining What It Takes To Become Successful

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From Kendall Jenner’s huge fashion spread in the December issue of Vogue.

Here’s more proof that the criteria we grew up with, to have a successful career, has gone right out the window. I told you the other day, that your children, and grandchildren, have a completely new set of competitive standards that they have to deal with on a daily basis. More and more industries are taking the popularity of individuals on social media into consideration when it comes to hiring, or even promoting.

Many of you are going to think my example is absurd, but who would have thought a year or two ago that a major cosmetics company would pick a total neophyte to represent their company? Yet, just the other day, Estée Lauder picked 19-year old Kendall Jenner, daughter of Kris and Bruce Jenner, to be the new face of their company.

Kendall beat out girls who were just as pretty and even more experienced because she has 16 million followers on Instagram, 9.1 million on Twitter and 7.3 million likes on Facebook. The fact that she is the half-sister of Kim Kardashian, and already walked the runway for several major fashion designers, certainly helped her achieve these high-scoring numbers. But she had to know how to work the social media system. You maintain numbers like this by frequently posting and sharing information with equally popular friends.

Estée Lauder also knew that Kendall would be a perfect marketing partner. She often talks about her projects and assignments on her social media platforms. When she announced the Estée Lauder deal, on her Instagram account, she immediately garnered
more than a million “likes” and 50,000 comments. You can’t buy that kind of PR.
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EstéeLauder.com also benefitted. It received six times the number of unique visitors it usually gets on any given day. Ninety percent cent of the visitors were first-timers and 71 percent were on a mobile device.

While all this may seem too far-fetched for the average working person, it really isn’t. There are scores of people in all kind of industries that garner several million fans. These folks use their big personalities and social media skills to truly change the way people secure fame and fortune today. Take heed.

The Future Of Carry-Ons


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Dedicated to my long-time friend, Jennifer Zorek-Pressman, who introduced me to the Bluesmart carry-on suitcase that you can control with an app. You can lock and unlock it, weigh it, track its location, be notified if you are leaving it behind and find out more about your travel habits. You can also charge your phone six times over with a built-in battery.

Thank you Jennifer, this is a real find. It’s a little pricey at $235, but it really does a lot. The Bluesmart carry-on is currently raising money on Indiegogo for development. I will be one of the first to buy this luggage.

Click here if you want a shortcut to see the Indiegogo campaign.

Anonymous

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Admit it, every once in a while you want to make a phony phone call. I get the urge every time I see an injustice. I recently wanted to call my neighbor in New York and pretend to be a member of the police force.

“Is it true that you just walked your dog and didn’t pick up after him? We just got a call from someone who saw you on the street. You have exactly five minutes to clean up the mess you left, or you will be arrested.”

i would make that call but I don’t want my phone number traced. I loved when we had phone booths so we could make anonymous calls if we had to. Tonight a friend told me about something called the Burner App, a service that provides multiple disposable numbers. Re/code, a tech site, recently profiled the app as well.

Burner is an app that lets people get one or more temporary numbers. The app is free, but you pay for multiple burner phone numbers. It must be very popular because the app ranks big time in the Apple Store. Word has it that you’ll also be able send video and text messages through the Burner app as well.

Now that you know about this app, I bet you come up with many different reasons to try it. Life gets more interesting.

Trouble In Uber Land

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Image: Tech.com

I don’t know why this happened, but I have seen more companies implode due to situations that really have nothing to do with their business model. In the last few days, Uber has found itself in a situation that could literally close the company down.

I will try to detail what has happened but I have also included links to other stories that may tell the story better. See Business Insider.

Like many other companies, Uber has received its share of criticism as the service grew and became available in 45 countries and more than 200 cities worldwide. It is now valued at $18.2 billion.

Most companies grin and bear critiques from journalists, but apparently Uber wanted to fight back. At a recent industry event that included journalists, one of Uber’s senior executives admitted that the company was gathering information to discredit certain writers.

Uber has also been under fire by Sarah Lacy, of PandoDaily, for outrageous sexism woven deeply into the culture of the company. “We’ve seen it in the company’s PR team discrediting female passengers who accuse drivers of attacking them by whispering that they were ‘drunk’ or ‘dressed’ provocatively.”

Lacy and a host of other tech writers are calling for the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick who has been quoted calling his company “boober” because of all the tail he gets since running it.”

Behind The Scenes Of Rosewater


I want to demystify the 2014 movie Rosewater for many of my readers. Eliot and I saw the drama, written and directed by Jon Stewart, a few nights ago. Ever since then, several of us have been speculating how the entire project came about and why Stewart got involved.

I did all of my research on YouTube and Wikipedia. If you watch the videos from top down, you will learn that the movie is based on the memoir, Then They Came for Me by Mazari Bahari. In 2009, the author was imprisoned in Iran because he reportedly misspoke on Stewart’s The Daily Show. The skit Bahari participated in was a joke, but the Iranian authorities took it very seriously. Bahari was tortured and detained in Iran for 118 days.

The movie details Bahari’s horrendous journey and how and why he was eventually released. In my opinion, Stewart did an amazing job capturing the Iranian state-of-affairs.

It’s All About The “Likes”

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I’m in the thick of things when it comes to social media. I handle a lot of the content that gets posted for clients. Yet it took me by surprise when a music agent recently told me that young artists are just not taken seriously if they don’t have a big following on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. That means record companies, movie studios and casting agents are more concerned about how popular an individual is, than the talent he or she possesses.

Unlike when we were in the prime of our careers, most young adults are expected to have a fan club if they want to get ahead in life. It doesn’t matter what business they are in. Handlers and/or superiors want to know that, if needed, the talent or employee, can send out a tweet and engage personal support.

In our day, we were judged for our capabilities. We would focus on improving our skills. Today, people in the workforce have to worry about improving their talent as well as building a loyal following. I can’t even imagine the pressure for anyone in the job market who needs to prove he or she has the power and impact.

A recruiter friend also told me that those who have a sizable fan club on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, should immediately list it on top of their resumes. Where, once we would describe our “experience,” the show offs post their high ranking numbers. They are immediately perceived as industry personalities.

I know it’s difficult for people of our age to believe that this is the way business is done today. It may be sad, but it’s true.