Last night, I was watching documentaries on Netflix with my boyfriend Corey. One of them was called "Park Avenue: Money, Power, and the American Dream," which features clips of Ayn Rand speaking about her vision of Laissez Faire Capitalism. This brought me into research mode, wanting to find out a little more about the Ayn Rand Institute. I have loved Ayn Rand and "Atlas Shrugged" for years, but I never knew that ARI was a political powerhouse. On my quest, I came across an article George Saunders had written for the New Yorker called "I Was Ayn Rand's Lover."
I had known about Ayn Rand's affair with Nathaniel Branden from reading her many biographies, in particular "The Passion of Ayn Rand." It creeped me out quite a bit back then, but now to see that she prowled on more than one innocent young man left me with a sour taste. If you know Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism, you wouldn't be too surprised that Nathaniel Branden was a target on her radar. To hear Saunders recount his having essentially been "raped" by her was a little off-putting to say the least, but his developing jealousy over Ayn having set her eyes on a young Paul Ryan disturbed me. It wasn't his feelings of jealousy that disturbed me, rather her voracious appetite for bedding young men in late puberty is what was particularly disturbing.
So, we now know of three men in their late teens who were successfully pursued by Ayn Rand. There are probably plenty more, but my interest stops there. Seeing Paul Ryan run wild with Ayn's version of Laissez Faire Capitalism as it pertains to our present day economy was like being punched in the gut by Ayn Rand herself. All of her theories sound good as just that -- a theory, but when put into practice as Paul Ryan has done as a congressman, they are truly frightening. I don't know what plagues me more: the affairs with young boys, or being disillusioned by Paul Ryan's crazy plans for American prosperity.
To understand what I'm talking about, you'll have to do a little research. Most of it can be done by watching the "Park Avenue" documentary, reading "Atlas Shrugged," "The Passion of Ayn Rand" (also a film), and then reading George Saunder's New Yorker piece (which is very well-written, I might add). It amounts to a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, I'll bet, because that's what I'm feeling right now. It can all be summed up in one word: UGH!
Watch the entire "Park Avenue" documentary:
Barbara Branden (Nathaniel Branden's wife) on The Passion of Ayn Rand:
10. You Can Wipe Your Device After Too Many Failed Password Attempts
Want to protect your data on your phone? You need a password. People can crack passwords, however, so if you want to be extra safe you need to wipe the data from your phone after they fail to enter your password correctly too many times. 10 times, in fact. Jump into Settings -> General -> Passcode Lock to find and option called Erase Data all the way at the bottom. If you enable it, your phone will wipe itself out if someone tries to access it and fails 10 times.
9. Siri Can Handle Your Calls
In addition to her (or now his, if you prefer) new voice, Siri can manage your call log for you. Need to listen to a voicemail? Just ask. Want to call back whoever just rang and you missed? Siri can handle that, too. Just make the request and she (or he) will take care of the rest.
8. You Can Change Your AirDrop Visibility
AirDrop makes it super easy to share files with other iOS 7 users in your vicinity, but perhaps you don't want everyone knowing you're ready and willing. If you want to place restrictions on who can send you files, you can just bring up Control Center and click on the AirDrop section towards the bottom left. You can decide if everyone, no one, or only contacts can see you. That way you'll only get file requests from the people you want—even if that's nobody.
7. Night Mode for Maps Avoids Blinding You While Driving Expand
Sometimes you don't want a bright white screen in your face, like when you're driving somewhere at night. Apple's Maps app automatically adjusts based on the time and provides you with a darker interface so you don't blind yourself while driving. You get this feature whether you like it or not, so there's no need to figure out how to turn it on.
6. The Compass App Includes a Spirit Level
Got a few crooked picture frames? The built-in Compass app now has a secret second page with a spirit level. Just line it up against the wall until you get a balanced zero degrees and then you'll know you're hanging things straight.
5. Messages Provides Time Stamps
Ever need to know when a specific message arrived? You can now find out by checking its timestamp in the Messages app. Just swipe on over from the right side of any conversation and you'll see when each message came in.
4. iPhones Automatically Join Trusted Free Wi-Fi Hotspots
iOS 7 makes joining free, trusted Wi-Fi hotspots much easier because you don't have to do anything at all. If you come in contact with AT&T Wi-Fi, for example, your iPhone will connect automatically and save you the hassle.
3. Mail Can Mark All Messages as Read
Remember how you used to have to exploit an iOS bug to mark all your emails as read? Now you don't! You can just tap the "Mark All" text at the bottom of your mail list and tell iOS 7 what you want.
2. You Can Make Audio-Only FaceTime Calls
You don't have to make a call with just your face. If you want to reach another iOS or OS X user without burning up your cellular minutes, or you just look like crap and don't want anyone to see you, then you can ring them via FaceTime. Just initiate the call the same way you would with video but click the phone icon instead.
1. You Can Block Calls and Messages
For quite some time you couldn't block calls through iOS, allowing annoying people to bother you unless you could get your carrier to handle the task. Harassment sucks in any form, and we're very happy to see Apple taking measures to stop it. If you want to block someone from sending you a call or message, you just need to hop into Settings -> Phone and/or Settings -> Messages and find the Blocked section toward the bottom. Tap it and add any people you don't want. You can always remove them if you change your mind.
Note from the author: I do not yet have an iPhone that can support iOS7. I have an ancient 3GS that will be rendered unusable if I download the new operating system, so I have to wait until I buy a new iPhone...which may be today! If you know of one for sale for a good price, please let me know. I'll buy it from you.
This list of the 12 Worst Supermarkets in America is fairly accurate, based on the ones I know. Acme used to be very popular with the parents of the baby boomers, but since that's a dying generation, Acme is in a steady decline as a result. Its customer base is basically dying or can't afford expensive Acme prices on their limited budget. Pathmark has also seen its day.
I don't agree that WalMart is the second worst, though. They're just super busy and cheap, so they have to sell lots of products and be really busy to be profitable, and that might result in some inconvenience. I expect a crowded store that might be out of one or two things to come along with that, and I set out knowing that's going to happen. That's the business, and everyone will have to get used to it.
PooPourri is a brilliantly marketed room spray designed to help with a very common problem. People usually poop at least once a day if they're healthy, so PouPourri is really a commodity item. Everyone is embarrassed by the bathroom smells they emit and naturally want to cover them up. PooPourri has filled that need using natural essential oils to create a layer over the waterline in your toilet bowl, trapping nasty odors in the water so they can be flushed without leaving a lingering brown smell. PouPourri is a product anyone could make, but it's the marketing that makes this product brilliant. Blunt bathroom humor delivered by a proper British lass in a dress. Hilarious. Elvis Duran featured it on his Q102 Philadelphia Morning Show, and the video itself has received in excess of 3 million views in just over a month. It was posted on September 10th, and as of today it has 3,693,298 views, and over 4 million units have been sold since its inception. Impressive.
This amazing new Chipotle Mexican Grill ad on YouTube depicts a scarecrow as a farmer who gets a glimpse into the world of corporate farming, genetically engineered foods, and inhumane treatment of farm animals for the purpose of maximizing profits in restaurant chains across the globe.
The short film is accompanied by a track of Fiona Apple singing "Pure Imagination", a cover of a song from the Willy Wonka movie soundtrack. Stunning. Visit their website for more information.
Logogate: the new Gap
The Watergate of the corporate identity and branding sector, "Logogate." is a real controversy as of late. Yahoo! just unveiled a new logo which the public deemed boring, the new Gap logo spawned a huge controversy, and sales of Tropicana products fell 20% after they revealed a new logo and new packaging. Even the University of California's new logo incurred huge backlash. That being said, it seems brand loyalty is closely tied to the branding and identity of the corporations who sell the products we buy. A new logo means a new image for the brands we choose to buy, therefore changing who we are as consumers. Judging by the backlash, or acceptance as is the case for Chiquita and Hot Topic, we as consumers do judge books by their covers and products by their packaging. So much so that both Gap and Tropicana went back to their old look based on the resulting consumer feedback and sales decline. Food for thought: do you buy into Logogate? You can decide by clicking on each text link above to see the logos, the stories behind them, how consumers received them, and ultimately what happened to them.
Subscribe for Updates
My name is Nicholas Emeigh, but everyone calls me Nick, and I prefer it. I'm usually called Nicholas when I'm in trouble. I'm from the Philadelphia area, work in business, and fancy myself as a freelance graphic designer, writer, and artist. I have a passion for art in all its forms including music, but I restrict my singing to the shower and the car for the good of society. If you'd like to know more, just send me an e-mail. I really appreciate you stopping by.