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ISSUE 2

02 /16

THIS THING REALLY WORKS? The truth behind ‘As seen on tv’

DON’T DRINK THE WATER IN PERU Everything you never needed to know about the Global Water Crisis

#THROWBACK CULTURE Are we getting too old for this?


LETTER FROM THE

EDITOR To our loyal readers, new

We recognize that everyone

time subscribers and

is unique. And we definitely

even passer-buyers, this

believe in duality.

magazine was made with you in mind.

Not everyone is just messy, or just organized. Some

This issue focuses on all

people are both. You like

of life’s little questions,

to color in the lines, but

big or small. We don’t

somedays you just want to

necessarily provide you

throw paint on everything.

with any answers though, because that part is

So when you have those

entirely up to you.

days where you can’t quite make up your mind, we have

If you want answers or

your back. Because I know

sound logical advice, flip

sometimes I’m mature,

the magazine over. There

and embrace adulthood like

you will find content for

everyone else. But other

your professional mind,

days, I just say “to heck

but here, we like to think

with it!” I’ll be Mature

of ourselves as wonderers,

later.

wanderers, and a little immature. Warmly, But that’s not to say that you can’t be both.

Leah Frye


WHAT YOU’LL FIND

INSIDE

4

20

8

48

54 12 30

34

40

44


OUR COLUMN WRITERS JAMES PALLEN

SHLOMO BENARTZI

BETH NOVECK


LIFE PROOF LOOSING MY HOME THERE’S ALWAYS PLAN B BACKPACK EUROPE I HATE BUREAUCRACY CHANGE ADDICTS

MIKE ROWE KIRAN SETHI

CESAR KURIYAMA


Life Proof WITH SHLOMO BENARTZI

W

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hat’s that green thing that makes the world go round? Oh right, money. Money can be a real hassle but here are ways to save everyday so you can stop sending S.O.S. texts to dear old mom and dad.

Save $1 More Each Day
: On the first day of

Become A Personal Assistant: Get paid to help busy

your part-time job, save $1. Then every

professionals with crucial chores like walking their

day after that, save one more dollar. After

dogs. Put up flyers, offer to lend a hand to neighbors, or

two months, you’ll have saved up almost a

find personal assistant jobs at agentanything.com (you’ll

thousand bucks already! Give Yourself An

need a college e-mail address).

Allowance: If you have two jobs, set up a

Turn Your Car Into An Ad: Earn back your gas money by

direct deposit to your savings account for

using your car as a moving billboard! Myfreecar.com

one of your paychecks. That way, you never

sends you stick ons from sponsors—a small decal gets you

even see the money, which makes it easier

$50 a month, while ads that wrap the whole car equal up

to forget about and save until you really need

to $400! Sell Your Skills: Got a biz idea but aren’t ready to

it! Give Your Opinion: If you’re always telling

launch it on your own? Promote yourself at fiver com,

friends what’s hot (or not), speak up and get

where you can charge $5 to $500 for specialized talents,

paid! Join a focus group at findfocusgroups.

like designing jewelry or creating company Facebook

com. They’ll send you a new product, like

pages. The site e-mails you when someone wants your

a snack mix or nail polish, and ask you a

product. Ka-ching! Be A Tutor: Cash in your 4.0 with


Be A Tutor: Cash in your 4.0 with wyzant.com! Tutor kids

making an unnecessary purchase, wait thirty

in school subjects and test prep over e-mail or Skype,

days and then ask yourself if you still want that

and you’ll net $18 to $48 a session—the more hours you

item.

log, the more you’ll earn. Be Smart About Your ATM Card:

vQuite often, you’ll find that the urge to buy

you think you won’t spend money if you don’t have it

has passed and you’ll have saved yourself some

on you, but then you end up hitting the ATM again and

money by simply waiting. If you want, you can

again. That could zap more than $150 in fees from your

even keep a “thirty day list” where you write

bank accounts. Stick to once-a-week withdrawals at

down the item and the day you’ll reconsider it,

your regular bank instead. Save With Your Student ID:

but I prefer just to keep this one in my head,

that embarrassing photo card isn’t just good during

since I often just forget.

school hours—flash it at J.Crew, Charlotte Russe, and Urban Outfitters and you could knock 10 percent or more off your totally purchase. (Pssst: It can’t hurt to ask everywhere else!) Get Big Rewards. If you’re going to use credit, pick a card that rewards you, like BankAmericard or Chase Freedom. (Under 21? Cosign with Mom and Dad.) You can earn anywhere from 1 to 10 percent back—so ask your parents to put big important purchases like that new MacBook for school on your tab to rake in points. Take Surveys On Your Receipts. Customer-satisfaction surveys sound boring, but if you fill out a quick online survey for your fave store (the link is usually at the bottom of your receipt), you can snag real discounts.

Keep your hands clean. This one’s simple – just

Victoria’s Secret PINK offers $10 off $50 on select receipts

wash your hands thoroughly each time you use

and Express offers 15 percent off every time you fill one

the bathroom or handle raw foods. You’ll keep

out!

yourself from acquiring all kinds of viruses

Sell Your Old Clothes.t Turning last year’s looks into cash

and bacteria, saving you on medical bills and

quickly is easy if you know how to make them look great!

medicine costs and lost productivity. Clean your

Shoot your photos against a plain background so a buyer’s

car’s air filter. A clean air filter can improve gas

focus goes straight to the awesome item. Try Tradesy.com,

mileage by up to 7%. Saving you more than $100

Poshmark.com, and copious.com for more fashionable

for every 10,000 miles you drive in an average

e-selling alternatives! Simply calculating how much

vehicle. Brown bag your lunch. Instead of going

you spend each month on your debts will illustrate that

out to eat at work, take your own lunch. People

eliminating debt is the fastest way to free up money.

think that this means “nasty lunch,” but it

Master the 30 day rule. Whenever you’re considering

doesn’t.

photo courtesy thenextweb.com

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I’M CHOOSING TO BE

“ Today I had tea with my 5 year old neice, willingly, because I suggested it.” HANNA PALMER

“ I just asked the subway sandwich lady if she could cut the crust off my sandwich.” CHRIS FAIRBANKS

5


d you’ll net $18 to $48 a session. the more hours you log,

collect every card you can, and then check

the more you’ll earn. Be Smart About Your ATM Card: You

that account for extra coupons whenever

think you won’t spend money if you don’t have it on you,

you’re ready to shop. Master the 30 day rule.

But then you end up hitting the ATM again and again.

Whenever you’re considering making an

That could zap more than $150 in fees from your bank

unnecessary purchase, wait thirty days and

accounts. Stick to once-a-week withdrawals at your

then ask yourself if you still want that item.

regular bank instead.

Quite often, you’ll find that the urge to buy has passed and you’ll have saved yourself

Save With Your Student ID: That embarrassing photo card

some money by simply waiting. If you want,

isn’t just good during school hours—flash it at J.Crew,

you can even keep a “thirty day list” where

“ I had the opportunity to get a coffee and a doughnut at our Finals Relief Table today. I choose a juice

Charlotte Russe, and Urban Outfitters and you could knock 10 percent or more off your totally purchase. (Pssst: It can’t hurt to ask everywhere else!)

Get Big Rewards: If you’re going to use credit, pick a card

that rewards you, like BankAmericard or Chase Freedom.

KARINA FAISON

(Under 21? Cosign with Mom and Dad.) You can earn anywhere from 1 to 10 percent back—so ask your parents to put big important purchases like that new MacBook for school on your tab to rake in points. Take Surveys On Your Receipts: Customer-satisfaction surveys sound boring, but if you fill out a quick online survey for your fave store

reconsider it, but I prefer just to keep this

“ I still dip my fried shrimp and chicken fingers in ketchup like I’m eight.”

(the link is usually at the bottom of your receipt), you can snag real discounts. Victoria’s Secret PINK offers $10 off $50 on select receipts and Express offers 15 percent off every time you fill one out!

Sell Your Old Clothes: Turning last year’s looks into cash quickly is easy if you know how to make them look great! Shoot your photos against a plain background so a buyer’s focus goes straight to the awesome item. Try Tradesy.com, Poshmark.com, and copious.com for more fashionable e-selling alternatives! Use every free customer rewards program. Even if you rarely shop at that place, having a rewards card for that place will eventually net you some coupons and discounts.

one in my head – that way, I often just forget Keep your hands clean. This one’s simple – just wash your hands thoroughly each time you use the bathroom or handle raw

MELISSA foods. You’ll CHAMBLISS keep yourself from acquiring all kinds of viruses and bacteria, saving you on medical bills and medicine costs and lost productivity. Clean your car’s air filter. A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 7%,Brown bag your lunch. Instead of going out to eat at work, take your own lunch. People think that this means “nasty lunch,” but it doesn’t.

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Losing My Home WITH KIRAN SETHI

T

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here are always pros and cons when you begin living on your own. A steady stream of new expenses and lessons to discover the first few years which may be daunting but will prepare you for the rest of your life.

Though the learning part isn’t so fun,

those doctor’s appointments, they haven’t been made

acknowledging challenges is the first step

for you. Anticipate the fact that you will begin to dread

into adulthood. Sometimes you need to

the day of the month when your bank emails you a

realize that just because you get clean in

“friendly reminder” to pay your credit card bill. And

the shower doesn’t mean your shower is

a dishwasher will save you hours of time and energy.

clean. The shower is a dirty, disgusting place

Never buy groceries alone. They will go bad quicker than

unless you scrub it yourself.

you anticipate. A light bulb blew out? Not going to turn

When the items in your refrigerator get

on again until you call the super or install it yourself.

low, they don’t refill themselves. Someone

You’ll beg your parents to stay on their Verizon family

has to go out and buy them. If you leave

plan. If you don’t, watching the data rack up is torture.

your laundry in the dryer for too long,

And Internet? Internet is faulty, being on hold with

the wrinkles will remain there until you

Comcast/Time Warner/Verizon/AT&T will be the bane of

wash those clothes again. Oh, you have

your existence. What’s that rancid smell coming from the

the flu? Need to fix a toothache? Need a

kitchen? Oh, it’s the trash that’s been full to the brim

check up? You’re going to have to make

that you haven’t taken out for two weeks. Start to think


in terms of hours you work. That new sweater you want?

life crisis. When all your years are designed

Not worth eight hours at your desk. I guess you could

as a preparation for entering the real world,

say independent living is the best and worst thing to

the real world will disappoint, she said, “Not

happen to a person. But overall, the pros outweigh the

because your expectations have been dashed

cons right? Think of it like this…College is only four

or the world has been misrepresented, but

years of your life. Why not live somewhere new? Leave

because suddenly, there’s nothing to prepare

the nest and begin to see what it’s all about. Because one

for anymore. You’re done looking forward; now

of the best parts? Mom and Dad only visit on the holidays.

you have to look down.”

When you move out of your parents’ home, you don’t

As you begin building your future, remember

have to worry about any restrictions and can set your

that life’s best memories will not revolve

own rules as you see fit. This doesn’t mean not arguing

around the hours you spend at work. Knowing

ever, you may argue with your friends or even strangers.

yourself, surrounding yourself with loved

The thing here is that as a single person if you fall out

ones, learning from life experiences, and

with a friend, unless you share an apartment then you

giving back to others will be the moments that

don’t have to go home to hear more about it. Now is a time

ultimately fill your eulogy -- not your job title

for self-discovery. So many people are afraid of being

nor the size of your paycheck. Despite what

totally alone. But you’ve just shown them all up by being

professors, advisors and parents may say, the

an independent…in living that is, or maybe that’s your

grades you make throughout your four years in

political view too. We all remember that seminal “Sex

college do not determine the level of success

and the City” episode where Carrie explains the concept

you’re capable of achieving in the future. It

of secret single behavior -- those little things we do

will ultimately be your passion and work ethic.

when we’re all alone that we’d never do around someone

that drive you forward, your current college

photo courtesy thenextweb.com

else. When the door is closes, and shades drawn.

For me, it’s a running back-and-forth chatter with myself. Sometimes I find myself walking out into the hall toward the elevator, still talking. But now that you’re living on your own, you can let your freak flag fly! Well, maybe only at half-mast for those of you who have roommates. But you get the idea. Leaving your friends and family behind to embark on your post-grad path solo can make you feel incredibly alone, and you might find yourself questioning every decision you face. New Voices Magazine associate editor Simi Lichtman explains this reaction as a part of the infamous quarter

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“I still ask for lollipops when i go to my bank.” ALANNA WITMAN

“on the Disney college program my roommates and I all had Duffy bears so we set them up and they played Uno with us. ” KARA WALTERS

I’M CHOOSING TO BE

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“ I still ask my grandma to go business clothes shopping with me.” JACOB STARNES

“ I stole mints from my school cafeteria and one day a war broke out between my best friend and I, which lasted all of ten minutes.”

SAMANTHA TALLEY

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3


AS SEEN ON TV THE TRUTH BEHIND

BY ALICIA CICCONE

W

hile the campy, late-night infomercials may give a good laugh, “As Seen On TV” products are

hotter than ever. The cost-effective and consumer friendly products, ranging from super lint rollers to foot cream, have helped turn TeleBrands, into a billion dollar direct-marketing company. Check out the top 10 “As Seen On TV” products right now.

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1

Testers who used 2.5-pound dumbbells for half

2

an hour a day, 3 days a week, achieved slightly

oven did best on baking cookies, air-cooking

better toning results than those who used the

frozen fries, and dehydrating beef jerky. On

Shake Weight with its instructional DVD - which

average, it was 50 percent faster than an oven if

actually clocked in at nearly 9 minutes, not the

what we were cooking required preheating. But

promised 6. Many women found the convenience

our “waved” burgers lost more juice and released

of a shorter routine appealing, particularly those

less fat than broiled ones. And forget about using

who hadn’t done upper-body exercises in the past.

it to reheat. Unless you like luke warm meals,

The exercise physiologists we spoke to seriously

we recommend you prepare food fresh with the

doubted that the Shake Weight could increase

Nuwave. Lets just say leftovers just don’t take so

muscle activity by 300 percent over regular

great the second day already, and the Nuwave

weights, as claimed. The Bottom Line: Arm-workout

doesn’t exactly help that either. The Bottom Line:

newbies may see results, but veteran exercisers

Only worth it if you don’t have an oven. otherwise,

3

The Truth: We tested the Ninja for its ability to

4

replace a blender, food processor, mixer, and

up to an hour (after being placed in a “bootie bag”

juicer, and to make “creamy” ice cream. It crushed

and microwaved for one minute). Testers noted

ice well, ground coffee beans and chopped onions

that the footwear stayed toasty about 45 minutes.

evenly, and made a consistently smooth smoothie

The slippers offered warmth, but little foot relief;

and margarita. It blended frozen fruit, ice, and

testers reported too-tight fit and discomfort while

cream, making a soft frozen mixture, but not ice

standing and moving. Some noted seed leakage.

cream. Also under par: Our attempt at salsa resulted

(FYI: As the instructions state, overheating could

in barely chopped onions and pulverized tomatoes,

cause the booties’ cover to ignite, and the booties

and we found juicing fruit made fruit puree instead

should not be used by those with circulatory or

of juice.

foot issues or certain other health problems.) The

Bottom Line: The Ninja 1100 is a good stand-in for a

Bottom Line: Give these the slip. “Not enough of an

blender or mini-chopper.

advantage over regular slippers,” said one tester.

Shake Weight: $20 plus $10 S&H The Pitch: “Get strong, sexy, sculpted arms...in just six minutes a day!” The Truth:

Ninja 1100: $159.80 Free S&H The Pitch: “Create all of your favorite recipes with just one touch of a button!”

Nuwave Pro: $150 plus $30 S&H The Pitch: “Enjoy healthy and delicious food in just minutes.” The Truth: We

broiled, roasted, steamed, and more. This infrared

Hot Booties $15 + $15.90 S&H The Pitch: “Long-lasting, soothing heat to treat your feet!” The Truth: These slippers,

filled with natural linseed, claim to keep warm for


Above (left) Shake Weight

Bottom (left) Nuwave cooker

Above (right) Ninja Kitchen System 1100

Bottom (right) Hot Booties

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Above (left) Shake Weight Bottom (left) Lint Lizard

Above (right) Easy Feet Bottom (right) Fix it PRO repair pen


5

Edge of Glory: $11 + $7 S&H The Pitch: “The best knife sharpener money can buy!” The Truth: More like one

of the worst. The sharpener broke away from the

6

Lint Lizard: $11 + $7 S&H The Pitch: “Removes dryer lint in hardto-reach places!” The Truth: To keep your

dryer running efficiently and to help prevent

suction cup before we could even test it, making

a fire, it’s critical to get rid of lint from inside

its use potentially dangerous. Paring, chef’s,

the filter chamber and the exhaust vent. Lint

and utility knives honed on the tiny contraption

Lizard does exactly that: Its long plastic tube and

became only marginally sharper. An electric

attachments slip onto almost any vacuum cleaner

sharpener did the best job, though we even saw

hose, sucking out dust and getting into crevices

significant improvement with a standard manual

better than the vacuum can alone. Though corners

handheld sharpener. The product’s claim to turn

and tight spots proved a challenge, Lint Lizard left

a credit card into a razor-edged tomato slicer just

us impressed. (Remember to thoroughly rid the

didn’t cut it. The Bottom Line: Edge of Glory is

dryer and vent of lint several times a year and to

anything but sharp. It’s probably more of a hazard

clean the lint screen after every load.) The Bottom

than a help. Unless of course you want to get your

Line: The best infomercial product we’ve tested — it really works! This is one lizard we like to have.

7

Easy Feet: Two for $15 + $16 S&H The Pitch: “Cleans and massages feet from heel to toe. It’s like a pedicure every day.”

The Truth: We tested Easy Feet in the lab with

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Fix it Pro Repair Pen: $10 + S&H The Pitch: “Repairs car dings, scratches and nicks on contact.” The Truth: We used

the penlike applicator to put a clean sealant on

consumers. While feet could be washed without

car-finish scratches of varying depths. We found it

bending down (a main product claim), a user

was able to camouflage the most superficial marks

had to lean over to apply shower gel and again to

— but if the scratch removed the paint (not just the

remove the bulky product from the tub floor. It

top gloss), the sealant did little to hide it. And if

also slipped a lot when suction-cupped to bath

you aren’t careful to wife off excess before it dries,

surfaces both in the lab and in the testers’ homes.

you could be left with an even more obvious line,

Some testers thought the bristles felt nice, but

like clear nail polish, over the scratch. The Bottom

others complained that they’d banged their feet

Line: If you’re really bothered by light scratches,

on the plastic arch. A few worried that they might

it’s worth a try. As for a deeper ding or a

loose their balance when using it standing up. The

nick — this pen won’t “fix it.”

Bottom Line: Only 30 percent of testers said they’d

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9

Groutinator: $10 + $7 S&H The Pitch: “Stains vanish instantly!” The Truth: The Groutinator is an abrasive

block that claims to restore the look of grout and concrete stained by dirt, mildew or hard water. A few testers liked that they could skip chemicals or tools and clean even the thinnest grout lines. In the lab and in testers’ homes, Groutinator proved great at removing nail polish, good on coffee stains, and just OK on dirt, mildew, and rust; it didn’t do much for driveways or garage floors. It needed to be resharpened every several times to clean an entire shower, leaving a mess of blue dusk in its wake. The Bottom Line: The cleaning process isn’t as effortless as it my seem — it

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Bottom (left) Total Pillow

Total Pillow: $20 + $16 P&H The Pitch: “The amazing versatile

pillow that cradles you in comfort? The Truth: Review from consumers and Jordan Metzl, M.D., a sports medicine specialist at The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, were mixed. While some testers liked how “soft” and “compact” the pillow was, others commented that it was “too small” and “tricky to twist.” One pillow split down the seam, releasing microbeads, a potential choking hazard. Dr. Metzl rated the pillow average for next and lumbar support but below average for aligning the neck and spine. The Bottom Line: If conventional pillows have let you down, Total Pillow might be worth a try. But it’s not as dreamy as the infomercials claim.

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Above (left) Groutinator


So, why d o w e fe e l compe l l e d t o b u y “ As S e e n O n T V ’ ’ pro du c t s ? The marketing power of the products is strong

It is easy to spot the red “As Seen on TV” logo on

-- it’s hard to deny that. The “As Seen On TV’’

the shelves of many retail giants, including Bed,

product line is a multi-billion dollar business.

Bath & Beyond, Walgreens, Target and Walmart.

Infomercials are constantly on tv and now several

The man behind the iconic symbol is A.J. Khubani,

stores have aisles dedicated to the much-hyped

a self-made man born in New Jersey to Indian

products.

immigrants. And although his infomercial empire is fast approaching a billion-dollar value, he told

Flint Communications Direct Response Strategist,

“20/20,” his climb to the top wasn’t easy.

Eric Piela talked on The Valley Today about the science behind marketing these products. He says

Khubani, 51, said that inventions have always

there are a number of strategies that draw people

interested him. He recalled watching his father --

in.

whom he called a “tinkerer” -- in their workshop as he created electronic gadgets.

Piela says the excitement of the pitch man, the possibility of the product running out (operators

Inventing “is like any other talent -- you have got

are standing by) and the on-air demonstrations

to have a real desire and interest in something to

create the perfect marketing recipe. He says

do it,” Khubani said.

people often feel connected to the pitch men and obligated to buy after watching an infomercial.

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3


GLOBAL WATER CRISIS BY PAUL GILDING

M

ore than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. Nearly all deaths, 99 percent, occur

in the developing world. From the Rio Grande to Patagonia, climate change has begun to grip Latin America. Some of the damage, such as melting glaciers and rising sea level, can already be seen — but scientists warn there’s worse to come. The toll could be devastating for countries struggling to lift their populations out of poverty. Lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours. But the real question is can we really let a metropolis die from thirst?

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A Santa Rosita kindergarten appears like an oasis of color amid the grays and browns of Huaycan, a grim Lima n o t b e m o r e deceiving. The only shantytown sprawling water at Santa upwards into the dusty R o s i t a i s t h a t brought in buckets Andean foothills. by the parents of the 30 toddlers, ages 3 to Yet appearances 5, enrolled here. They could use it to drink, wash their

hands and flush the toilet in the outhouse behind their classroom, a glorified shack with wooden planks for walls and a corrugated metal roof. Some of the water is treated, brought by parents with running water at home. But some is not. No wonder then that many of the youngsters here are underweight, suffering from malnutrition caused by parasites in their digestive tracts preventing them from absorbing the nutrients they eat.

One also has tuberculosis, and another came down with Hepatitis A two weeks before my visit, says teacher Elisa Ribero Guia. Both conditions are related to unhygienic conditions. Every three months, the kids have to be tested for parasites and anemia. “SEDAPAL [Lima’s state-owned municipal water authority]

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How can it be that these kids are not given treated running water as a priority? The answer has much to do with the history of Huaycan, population 200,000, whose first residents, mainly migrants from the Andes, squatted the land here in the 1980s.

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Ever since, the Peruvian state, including SEDAPAL, has been scrambling to catch up and provide basic services to the community. But it also has to do with the arid conditions along Peru’s coast, one of the driest deserts

“ How are we supposed to afford that? Is it not enough that there are children here falling ill. Our hands are tied, we have to consider our options.”

in the world. Lima receives less than a third of an inch of rain per year. Water is a

natural watershed no that supplies the Rimac has been falling by 4.4 mm per year since 1970. On current trends it will run dry toward the end of the century. “It could be a

natural cycle,” hydrologist Waldo

Lavado, of Peru’s national weather service, told GlobalPost. “But climate change

scarce resource here and it is the poorest, such as

is, of course, one of the main hypotheses that we

the residents of Huaycan, who are at the back of

are looking at.” Yet Lima’s current water demand,

the queue as demand outstrips supply. Now, Lima

of 23.45 cubic meters per second, according to

is facing a perfect storm of rising consumption,

the municipal authorities, is expected to rise to

just as Andean precipitation and glacier melt,

47.43 cubic meters per second by 2040 thanks to

apparently impacted by climate change, begin to

economic and population growth. “Climate change

dwindle. With 9 million inhabitants — 1 million

is a very important aspect which we must take

of whom have no treated, running water — Lima

into account,” says SEDAPAL’s head of production,

is the second-most populous desert city in the

Yolanda Andia. “We don’t have the ‘nevados’

world, after Cairo. Yet while the Nile flows at 2,830

[snow-capped mountains] that we had before,

cubic meters per second, Peru’s heavily polluted

which helped maintain [water] supply during

Rimac river, which provides Lima with 80 percent

the dry season.” As a result, SEDAPAL is investing

of its water, averages around 30 cubic meters per

about $2 billion in new projects. These include a

second. Meanwhile, annual precipitation in the

giant new reservoir, Huascacocha, some 12,000

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feet up in the Andes that will increase Lima’s

residents squatted the land where they now live.

chances at restoring its entire watershed. Lima’s

Yet even that would require architectural plans

progressive mayor, Susana Villaran, has seen her

that Ribero Guia says cost roughly $600, an

attempts to name two of SEDAPAL’s five-member

astronomical sum for most residents of Huaycan.

board thwarted in congress by the right-wing

“How are we supposed to afford that?” she asks.

Fujimorista grouping. As a result, Gunter Merzhal,

“Is it not enough that there are children here

of the mayor’s environment department, insists

falling ill unnecessarily?” Meanwhile, newcomers

there is little Villaran can do to speed up water

from the Andes continue to arrive in Huaycan,

connections in places like Huaycan, saying:

occupying land higher and higher up the hill, and

“Our hands are tied.”

further and further away from the water system. As Lima’s water sources dwindle and with SEDAPAL

The result is that while wealthy Lima residents

already struggling to meet pent up demand, there

squander their treated tap water, those in

is little chance of them — or their children —

shantytowns without connections end up paying

having treated water on tap any time soon. Climate

up to 20 times more — as much as $10 per cubic

change is perhaps the most inherently global issue

meter — for untreated water delivered by a fleet of

because it affects everyone.

unregulated, private water trucks. And at the back of the queue is Santa Rosita, a supposedly state-run

Peru’s river crisis foreshadows comparable climate

kindergarten that’s part of Peru’s PRONOEI program

crises throughout the world. Water security

for youngsters in extreme poverty. Yet the reality

should be one of the most pressing items on the

is that almost everything in the kindergarten,

international agenda now. But because the issue

including the building itself, has been supplied or

is often merely perceived as a distant threat, it is

created by the parents. Teacher Ribero Guia earns

difficult to get the world as excited about melting

a monthly salary of just 332 soles ($125) — or, as she

glaciers and reservoirs as they would be, say, about

prefers to call it, “a tip.”

a bloody civil war. The country happens to be the first severely affected by climate change-related

25

President Ollanta Humala swept to power last year

water shortages, but other major cities could soon

vowing to end the Peruvian state’s abandonment

follow. In Peru, the Rimac River has a critical

of its poorest citizens. Yet in Huaycan, just 90

function.The river flows through villages and

minutes from downtown Lima, few are holding

small farms that line the lush Andean foothills,

their breath. Ribero Guia has attempted several

providing peasants and farmers with drinking and

times to get a water main connection for Santa

irrigation water. Then it feeds the many copper

Rosita. Without a land title, the local authorities

and silver mines that provide Peru with its main

require proof of occupancy — a bureaucratic fudge

exports and the hydroelectric plants that power

acknowledging the reality that thousands of Lima’s

the country. Sixteen thousand feet down and o


and Lima to supply the city’s nine million

elsewhere. Right now, Peru’s water management

residents with four-fifths of their water before

is still leagues behind Los Angeles’ and is very

spilling into the ocean. One would think that the

inefficient. 40 percent of the Rimac’s flow

Rimac does more than enough of its share. It’s not

dumps right into the ocean – that is

nearly enough.

water that could be used by millions of thirsty people in Lima. A

The issue is at the river’s source – glaciers. By

sprawling metropolis of nine

now, it’s common knowledge that they’re melting

million, Lima is the

fast. And Peru’s glaciers are melting fastest of all.

second most populous

Peru is home to seventy percent of the world’s

desert city in the

“tropical glaciers” – glaciers that sit at lower

world after

altitudes and hover constantly at melting point.

Cairo, and

Glaciologists predict that in the next 10 years, all

not

glaciers below five thousand feet of altitude will become puddles. Those soon-to-be-puddles are the Rimac’s source. In a few decades Peru’s tap will run dry. As of now, there’s no backup plan. Peru is a classic example of a country that is at high risk of climate disaster but doesn’t have the necessary economic capabilities or infrastructure to respond. According to the International Development Research Center, it’s the third most vulnerable country to climate change hazards, following only Honduras and Bangladesh. There isn’t much Peru can do about the melting glaciers, but it can revamp an inefficient water management system by introducing water rations, installing reservoirs and efficient distribution systems and recycling wastewater.

unlike Cairo, it is a city of divisive inequalities. On average, people in Lima consume far more water than in most other big South American cities. At the

These reforms will be difficult to realize due to Peru’s limited budget, less-than-adequate infrastructure and flawed governance, but Peru will have to lead the way in preparing for a

same time, almost a quarter of Lima’s population live in slums surrounding the city, and one million people don’t have treated running water.

water crisis that could easily become a reality

26


“I played dress up with my sister and had a better time with her unlike my last date.” LOLA HAMEL

“ yesterday my husband had to pick bazooka bubble gum out of my hair.” LIA DALPINI

I’M CHOOSING TO BE

27


“I played dress up with my sister and had a better time with her unlike my last date.” LOLA HAMEL

“ I’m on my school’s Quidditch team. we are currently undefeated!” EMILY GILMER

28


There’s Always

Plan B WITH MIKE ROWE

M

29

aybe you’ve always have been artistic or interested in body art. But maybe mom and dad wanted you to go to college to pursue business or something more “practical.” And now, maybe you’re tired of it.

Well it’s not too late, there’s always Plan

apprenticeship, you’ll need to show your shop of choice

B. If you feel like you can relate, perhaps

a solid portfolio of fifty to two hundred really good

becoming a tattoo artist is the right move for

drawings. Yes, as a tattoo artist you will be creating

you. Let’s face it, theres always plan B.

indelible artwork on your customers’ bodies and those

The trick to learning how to become a tattoo

clients want that permanent fixture to suit their

artist is that tattooists can’t usually attend a

individual tastes and look amazing. Often, clients

formal school for training since few formal

want to know what drawing skills their tattoo artists

schools exist. Since tattooing is an art that

have and request original work. Sometimes, clients

is traditionally handed down, tattooers

request a tattoo of a pre-created design but even those

learn their trade by becoming an apprentice

prefabricated pieces need to be successfully transferred

for an already established and experienced

in an attractive and flattering way. Your mentor

mentor. So, the first step to becoming a

will be considering your artistic skill as the most

tattoo artist is obtaining an apprenticeship.

important factor in deciding whether to take you on

Actually, let’s take a few steps back.

as an apprentice at their parlor. If your artwork looks

To prove that you deserve that awesome

bad, they will look bad. The best way to generate a great


portfolio of drawings, and develop and hone your skills as an artist, is by going to school and majoring in art. Art schooling will give you the opportunity to focus on the basic skills needed in order to learn how to become a tattoo artist. Some advantages to schooling are the art history classes that offer you a chance to study a variety of styles and artworks. Taking art classes will offer you a chance to see what it’s like to work within a set of guidelines as set by your teachers. Eventually, these experiences will be helpful when you start to work with clients on personalized and custom tattoos. If you complete your assignments with the goal of becoming a tattoo artist in mind, you will be able to use many of your assignments to build your tattooing portfolio and land a great apprenticeship.

On your apprenticeship, you will basically be making a trade. Your time and money, for the opportunity to learn how to become a tattoo artist from someone proficient in

the beginning are really what makes all the

Miami Ink Tattoo

the craft. You will probably play the part of shop ‘gofer,’

difference. No matter how long you apprentice

artist: Kat Von D

running errands and completing tasks your superiors are

or how long you tattoo, you never know it all.

too busy to deal with. You will need to perform about a

There is always more to learn, new techniques

hundred free tattoos during this time to prepare to take

to adopt, new ways to enhance what has

the test to become a certified tattoo artist. All your work

already been done. Never be satisfied with

as an apprentice will lead up to your test for becoming a

mediocrity, and never allow yourself to become

certified tattooist. It is only after you have successfully

egotistical. Make sure that you Always do your

passed this test and received your tattooing license

best, always keep learning, respect the trade

that you can begin charging for your services. Hourly

and your hard work will pay off. Tattoos aren’t

wages for beginners can start around fifty dollars and,

just for sailors and criminals anymore, people

with time, building a good reputation and portfolio, and

from all walks of life commission tattoo artists

continued learning of techniques and skills, the most

to create works of art for them to display on

prestigious tattoo artists can charge from three hundred

their skin. Clients may seek the services of a

to four-hundred dollars per hour for their masterful

good tattoo artist to help them commemorate

creations. Your success in this business is up to you

the loss of a loved one; to express a deeply

but the effort you put into developing your talents from

held belief or commitment to a person, group,

photo courtesy: tlc.com/miamiink

30


team, country or ideal; or solely for the purpose of using

perseverance is still necessary. He or she will always

their body to display artwork. Whatever the client’s goals

be learning about new advances and techniques and

and motivations, the artist is entrusted with creating

should always be striving to become better at the craft.

a piece that the client will be proud to display on their

There’s also an ongoing need to bring in new customers

body for the rest of their life. Because these designs are

while continuing to please tattoo collectors so they will

permanent in nature, the artist must work with the

become repeat clients.

client to ensure they are deeply satisfied with a proof of the design, prior to inserting the tattoo into the client’s

There are a ton of details surrounding professional

skin. If the artist is caring and skilled, the client is

tattooing, and a successful artist is one who keeps them

likely to be highly pleased with the tattoo. However if the

all in mind. The most obvious types of detail that come

artist is sloppy and under-skilled, the client may look

to mind are those in the artwork itself, but there’s much

upon their tattoo with regret for the rest of their life.

more to it than that. The artist needs to plan the design out in advance so that colors are applied in the right

Many people get into the career because they thinks it’s

order to avoid smudging and ruining the lighter colors.

glamorous, only to find out that it’s simply hard work.

His or her drawers need to contain tons of extra little

Highly refined artistic ability is crucial for success as

pieces and parts in case a band snaps or a washer wears

a tattoo artist. The apprenticeship period can be very

out on the tattoo machine in the middle of a session.

challenging financially, mentally and emotionally. Patience is required – to finish a piece can take hours of

There are recipes to follow for making inks, hygiene

stressful concentration. Creating a piece that a client is

procedures to protect customers, licensing and

very pleased with can be highly rewarding and result in a

certification to keep up with, and a whole lot more.

great sense of achievement. Dealing with an unsatisfied

From the early days of learning as much as possible

client can be extremely challenging. Dealing with

about tattooing to the later period in which the artist

customers who aren’t sure of what they want when they

has a steady stream of clients, there never ceases to be a

enter the studio can be very challenging, and may cause

million little details to keep in mind.

the artist to turn the customer away. Tattooing isn’t a job that is simply handed to you. As you can see, it’s

Detail-oriented people will have an advantage when it

something that really has to be earned. One of the traits

comes to succeeding in tattooing. Many of the activities

that separates those who make it from those who don’t is

of a tattoo artist do become habit, but early on, there is

the ability to be persistent. Whether a person is taking

a need for concentration and a willingness to learn the

art classes at the local community college, practicing

best procedures for just about every aspect of the work.

on fake skins before getting the go-ahead to tattoo on others, or seeking out an apprenticeship, there is a big need to stick with it. Even once a person is a well-established tattoo artist,

31


I’M CHOOSING TO BE

“on my vacation, my friends and I wore capes around the amusement park, pretending to save the world.” ASHLEY GUERRA

“ I still buy coloring books, and fill all the pages. And I’m talking hello kitty stuff. ” ANNA MEYER

32


“I asked my fiance when he last picked his nose. He said yesterday. That’s when I knew we’d make it.” JAYME CAMPBELL

“ I kiss my own boo-boos sometimes. Is that weird?” SHALYAH EVANS

33


Backpack WITH CESAR KURIYAMA

S

Europe

tudents always have this desire to travel, but often no money or resources to do so. However, one way to satisfy your wanderer soul and college kid budget is to consider a gap year.

A gap year is a year spent taking time off

comes to taking a gap year, so the possibilities are truly

between life stages. An increasingly popular

endless. Luckily, there are organizations that specialize

option, it provides time for traveling,

in helping those interested organize their adventures.

volunteering, learning a new language, or

For example, some companies assist with everything

experiencing any number of other activities

from finding a host family, to setting up the volunteer

for personal growth. Typically, students take

project, to taking care of meals and travel insurance.

a gap year after graduating from high school and before attending college.

The gap year isn’t always for everyone though. Even

While there are many compelling reasons

though it’s a year to travel somewhere new, it’s not

to take a gap year, one of the most common

necessarily a vacation. Taking a gap year is a big step and

is the opportunity to explore interests and

a big commitment. Anyone who has been on one will have

develop a purpose for your future. Students

quickly realized that it is nothing like a normal holiday,

especially can take a break from intense

when you just dip your toes into a place and jet back

coursework and focus on enriching life

home a week later. It becomes your life, and there is a lot

experiences. There are no rules when it

to take in and learn.

34


When planning your gap year, consider how taking this

the only question is: when?

time to learn more about yourself and the world can

There are plenty of projects and destinations to consider.

help you grow as a person and prepare to take on further

A popular tour sponsored by the official gap year site is

challenges. Going into the year with personal goals will

one to Thailand. But there are plenty of tours that are

help you stay focused and work toward success, both

even in states, or based on certain causes. For instance,

during your gap year and when you return. From an

check out this cause related gap year tour about

advocate of the gap year to any potential traveler, realize

protecting elephants in the Udzungwa Mountain:

that taking time off work or away from your studies can seem like a massive and uncertain step but in the grand

10,000 elephants were poached in the last year – and

perspective of things, a year is nothing. You’ll spend

5,000 in one national park. To prevent human/animal

about 55 years of your life working so a couple of months

conflict we will be building fences using natural

or years out won’t have a negative effect on your career

deterrents - chillies and beehives! Not only does this

so you’ve really got nothing to lose. If you’re nervous

keep the elephants away and on track, the honey from

about travelling, book a flexible RTW ticket so if you

the bees will also provide the community with a source of

really want to come home you can. I can guarantee that

income. This is a hugely rewarding project, working with

you won’t want to cut your trip short but it will give you

a remote Tanzanian community and project partners in

a safety net and the confidence to jump on a plane and

the stunning Udzungwa Mountains, a lush green area of

explore the world! I promise you won’t regret it.

Tanzania. The project will be based around assisting a local researcher to study elephants, analyze their food

While travel is life-changing, it’s also, at times,

migration paths and damage, as well as helping with the

challenging. Do you feel confident in making your own

deterrent fences. Your role: You’ll need enthusiasm,

decisions? Are you OK being alone? Are you financially

a positive attitude and lots of energy to work on this

able to support yourself and budget? Do you feel able to

project! By joining a Raleigh expedition you could be

adapt and cope with a variety of cultures completely

working on this project as part of a 10 week expedition, 7

different to your own?

week expedition or 5 week expedition! How does it work? An expedition is a diverse and challenging combination

35

If the answer to any of these is no, maybe now is not the

of projects. As a volunteer on a Raleigh expedition

right time for you - but it doesn’t mean it’s not on the

you have the opportunity to take part in community,

cards for the future. If the answer is yes, and the thought

environment and adventure projects. Our expeditions

of freedom and independence excites you, then you are

are challenging and conditions will be basic so don’t

certainly ready to embrace a grand adventure.

expect home comforts or luxuries! You’ll be living and

Whether this becomes a one-off trip or kick starts a

working in teams of around 12-14 and supported by at

lifelong passion for the nomadic lifestyle, a gap year will

least 2 volunteer managers. You could be living in a camp

change you, challenge your pre-conceptions, and open

in a national park, staying with a local family or in a

your eyes to a world outside of the one you know. Now,

community center. 5 week expeditions: On our unique 5


week gap year expedition you’ll combine either a 3 week

Students who have been accepted to a college, but want

community or environment project with an adventure

to take a gap year before attending, should defer their

challenge. This is an intense, adrenalin-fuelled 7 day

admittance, says Kristin White, director of Darien

experience of trekking, survival challenges and water-

Academic Advisors and author of The Complete Guide to

based activities.

the Gap Year. Students wishing to defer college should send a letter to their college’s director of admissions

One of the most fun parts of starting to plan a gap year is

and outline what they plan to do for their gap year. The

actually researching and plotting your trip. Gapyear.com

admissions committee will evaluate the letter and, in

is the world’s biggest gap year resource and what they

most cases, grant the deferral, she says. White advises

don’t know about trip planning just isn’t worth knowing.

students to send their deferral letters between April and

they understand that planning your gap year can actually

mid-June. At the very latest, students should send their

be quite overwhelming though, especially for first time

requests before their first fall tuition payments are due,

gappers, so make the most of your knowledge and passion

which is usually July 1 or August 1.

within the site and use it. vThe first step of planning your trip is to get a rough idea of when you want to go.

If a student has qualified for federal financial aid but

Then reassess it and plan when you actually think you’ll

has deferred college for a year, he or she will have

be able to afford to go, and for how long. No use spunking

to re-apply the following year by filling out the Free

a grand on a flight to Japan and hoping to stay for a year if

Application for Federal Student Aid. If their family’s

you only have £2k for the trip.

financial circumstances haven’t changed significantly, the student will likely receive aid again, says Bull of the Center for Interim Projects. Some scholarships offered by colleges can be held for the student until they attend the next year. “Scholarships vary by school, but if you’ve been offered it once, you have a good shot of being offered it again,” Bull says. Cheryl Brown, the director of undergraduate admissions at Binghamton University, reassures students and parents about scholarships from her school, saying, “If the student is accepted for any scholarship, depending on the parameters of the scholarship, we try to hold it for them when they return.” “Students who are going to college after a gap year are going into it more mature and better prepared than others,” says White, of Darien Academic Advisors. photo courtesy: gapyyear.com

36


D

D ON’T YOU EVER GET THE FEELING THAT ALL YOUR LIFE

37


IS GOING BY AND YOU’RE NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF IT? 38


I Hate

Bureaucracy [b-roke-you-see] WITH BETH NOVECK

C

an you remember your first real job and how much you were paid for doing it? Well, I can, almost as though it was yesterday. It was chopping cotton for 10 hours a day in a little community called Olyphant, Jackson County.

The going rate was $4 per day. I lasted four days. When

it is almost impossible to comprehend or calculate

I got paid and had those 16 brand new one dollar bills I

that figure, yet it is easy to read and easy to say. I just

thought I was rich, which sounds better than died and

wonder how many 10-hour days at $4 a day it would take

gone to Heaven. At the time, 1947, I was 9 years of age and

to reach that number? If you will allow me to use this

I can still remember how long those days were and how

personal example to place things in context, I want to

hot I got before quitting time.

talk with you about something that affects our lives each and every day, this being the power of the unseen

I share this simply to make a point. When you work hard

government. There is another word or term we use

for your money and get paid for doing a job, you know

frequently to describe the unseen government, and that

the value of that money. In between the time when I

word is bureaucracy. It’s been said that office holders

write these columns, I do a great deal of reading and

come and go, but the bureaucracy goes on forever. When

research, and when you see large numbers on paper that

you consider that there are almost three million federal

represents money, you don’t have the same perspective

employees who earn an average of $76,000 a year, you

as when you earn it by the sweat of your brow. When you

begin to get the picture.

think about our national debt being almost $17 trillion,

39


These people and their programs have to be paid from taxes, borrowed money from other governments or from fiat money that is generated by the printing press. I want to give you some numbers from a fantastic book I am reading for the third time titled, “A Time for Truth” by William E. Simon, secretary of the United States Treasury from 1974 to 1977.

If you think the numbers were staggering back then in terms of the costs of running the government, just think about what they are today. Now, believe it or not, it is not the cost of running the government that is doing the

One of the great misperceptions about rebels at work is

most harm but rather the massive costs of government

that we are trying to change everything. Not so. Most of

regulations that is doing us in. Of course, these costs

us focus on the things that get in the way of achieving

are always passed on to the consumer, which makes us

things that matter, and suggest better ways. We are not

uncompetitive in the world marketplace. In 1975, the

anarchists or people who want to reinvent every wheel.

interest on the federal debt was $38 billion. Interest on

We’re much too practical to change what’s working well.

the debt had nearly tripled in just one decade and had

We do, however, put a lot of effort against eliminating

become the third largest item in the federal budget after

bureaucratic rules and widely accepted business

transfer payments -- redistribution of wealth programs

practices that slow down progress without adding any

-- and defense. A good example of the cost of government

value. Bureaucracy creeps in slowly.

regulations can be seen in the construction of a nuclear power plant. Because of excessive regulations,

Consensus bloats processes. The “need to know” inflates

construction in the United States has been slowed to 11

what needs to be included in standard reports. Legal and

years as compared to four and a half years in Europe and

quality control “extra safeguards” minimize risk and

Japan.

maximize time to completion, often putting companies at competitive risk. Insecure or inexperienced people

Now, fast forward to 2011 when regulatory rules cover

add more layers instead of revising what exists. Some

169,000 pages and more than 10 new ones are added every

duplicitous types create bureaucracy to confuse and

day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. This year,

hide unscrupulous business practices. After a while few

Congress passed 81 new laws while government agencies

people inside the organization can see what’s dragging

issued 3,807 new regulations. The Competitive Enterprise

things down or maybe can’t even understand what the

Institute, a Washington think-tank made this statement:

regulation or rule means. Or, they don’t know how to

If there ever was an example of government without the

fix it. That’s where the value of rebels comes in. Unlike

consent of anyone -- this is it.

troublemakers who rail and rant about how screwed

40


up things are, we are often bureaucratic fixers. Create

into place because you want to scale the business to a

clarity from complexity. Love order, hate bureaucracy.

different level,” he says. “Bureaucracy is where nobody

As a lifelong rebel, one of my personal mantras has been,

understands why you do it.” Order is necessary for

“Create clarity from complexity.” With clarity you can

organizations and systems to function. But what we need

better see what matters, clear away the extraneous

is provisional order. In other words, the order works

bureaucracy and useless processes, and get to valued

for now but will be changed as circumstances evolve

outcomes faster. When I look back over my career as a

and change as they always do. One role of rebels is of

rebel at work this is the thing I do best: creating clarity.

simplicity analyst, diagnosing how the order — rules,

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure to spend a couple

processes, regulations, systems, cultural norms — needs

of hours talking about rebels with Lars Bjork, the CEO of

to change to serve the organization’s desired outcomes,

QlikTech. (FYI: Lars considers himself a rebel and is a CEO

and recommending new types of order that can help

who values rebels.) His mantra: “Love order,

rather than hinder desired outcomes.

hate bureaucracy.” “Order is where you put a process

41


These mindless expressions of bureaucratic rule didn’t

responsive and sensible. A key principle of federalism

stem from any mandate from Washington DC. These

is that state and local government would resist the

idiocies were self-generated at the local level. Ask

centralization of power in Washington, and defend

a businessperson or entrepreneur where the most

the principle of ruling with and by the consent of

significant regulatory hurdles come from today: most will

the governed. It is time to recognize that this kind of

say local or state government rather than Washington DC.

government no longer exists; the culture of bureaucracy

It’s bureaucratic turtles all the way down. Conservative

now permeates all levels of government in the U.S. Today

orthodoxy, going back through Tocqueville to the

local governments in the U.S. are just as careerist, self-

American Founding, championed local administration

seeking, and mindlessly bureaucratic as any remote

over centralized administration, on the sensible ground

bureau in Washington.

that the government units close to the people, usually run by citizens governing in a part-time capacity on city councils and county commissions, would be the most

reconsider it, but I prefer just to keep this one in my head – that way, I often just forget Keep your hands clean. This one’s simple – just wash your hands thoroughly each time you use the bathroom or handle raw foods. You’ll keep yourself from acquiring all kinds of viruses and bacteria, saving you on medical bills and medicine costs and lost productivity. Clean your car’s air filter. A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 7%,Brown bag your lunch. Instead of going out to eat at work, take your own lunch. People think that this means “nasty lunch,” but it doesn’t.

42


Change Addicts WITH JAMES PATTEN

P

almer Luckey, the 20-year-old inventor of Oculus Rift, an affordable virtual reality headset that’s taking over the world. Palmer Luckey’s no gibbering genius, no stereotypically geeky inventor or recluse.

While friends and fellow students filled their spare

jobs for people and working at a sailing centre, scrubbing

time with social activities, Palmer Luckey was in his

boats and cleaning the yards. He used that money at

parents’ garage, collecting and modifying head-mounted

auction acquiring rare head-mounted displays

displays. “This was my thing,” he says on the phone with

- expensive relics - at a fraction of their original price.

me. “This is what I did.” The seed was sown not all that

The road Palmer Luckey was on led directly to Oculus

many years ago by the pages of science fiction novels

Rift, although the then 18-year-old still had no idea

showcasing impossible technology, gadgets and gizmos.

nor expectation of the extraordinary success that await

The internet then provided the infinitesimal how-tos

him. “I wasn’t actually aiming all that big,” he confides.

he would need for his tinkering to progress. The path to

All he wanted to do was share his VR headset with what

Oculus Rift inadvertently began in 2009 when Luckey was

he describes as the “vanishingly small” enthusiast VR

only 16. “My goal actually wasn’t to make something,”

community of the time.

he explains. “It was actually just to buy something - I

43

assumed there must be something out there that was

“My plan was to do a Kickstarter for about 100 of these

really good that I could use for gaming.” He made money

things - basically, to get money to buy all of the

by buying, fixing and selling mobile phones, doing odd

components required on a slightly larger scale and then


send these out to people as kits so they could assemble them themselves using my instructions so they could have the same thing as I had. I figured it would be a really cool thing to have a couple of VR nerds toying around with.” His modest ambitions would be turned on their head, however, when one of those interested “VR nerds” turned out to be none other than legendary id Software programmer John Carmack.

“But he ended up seeing my head-mounted display work and asked me, ‘Hey, what you have looks interesting - is there any chance I could buy one?’ He’s John Carmack,” Luckey snorts, “I just gave him one instead - you can’t turn him down.”

What Carmack did next was announce Oculus Rift to the world by demoing Doom 3 BFG Edition on the prototype device at E3 2012. “That’s really when it started to get a lot of attention,” says Luckey, “and it went from being maybe 40 or 50 people who were interested in the Kickstarter to thousands of people who were very interested.” That’s when Palmer Luckey dropped out of college and decided to pursue his passion full time. In the space of four short years, Palmer Luckey has gone from being a regular Joe in his parents’ garage, tinkering with head-mounted displays, to being the head of a 30-person team and the face of virtual reality in gaming. Unsurprisingly he says it’s all been a bit of a blur. But what a reality he’s created; he’s brought science fiction to life in a gaming world that was looking all too understandable, all too sensible. In not reveling, this unassuming self-taught engineer, hacker, maker and electronics enthusiast has produced a thing that will capture more than just my imagination, and will do for many years to come.

44


I ask him if he’s a millionaire now and he laughs. “I

were on board, Iribe as CEO and Antonov as chief software

mean I’m a millionaire in hypothetical dollars...” he

architect. “They helped make it into something that

trails off. “No I don’t have a ton of money; I have equity

was much bigger than a few kits,” Luckey says. A proper

in the company. But we’re not planning on selling the

company had been born. Iribe and Antonov encouraged

company or doing anything to liquidate that - we’re

Luckey to take Oculus Rift on the road and show it to

trying to remain independent and build what we’re

some big names in the hope of endorsement. Luckey had

building.” In the space of four short years, Palmer

a relationship with Valve that stretched back to before

Luckey has gone from being a regular Joe in his parents’

that milestone E3 - “they were also planning on buying

garage, tinkering with head-mounted displays, to being

a few of my prototypes, just a few early ones” - so he

the head of a 30-person team and the face of virtual

started there.

reality in gaming. Unsurprisingly he says it’s all been a bit of a blur. “Most of the things I would point out as

That consumer version of Oculus Rift will be better than

being really exciting or standing out to me are things

the dev kits are now. There’s a broad plan to improve the

that wouldn’t sound very exciting or standing out to

hardware incrementally after it comes out, but whether

normal people.” I try him and he’s right: figuring out

that’s a yearly cycle depends on the pace of technology

aspheric optics is a highlight that doesn’t capture my

improvements and, of course, how well the consumer

journalistic imagination. There is a tragedy that sticks

Rift does. It doesn’t sound like there’s much of a plan

out like a sore thumb - the sudden death of Oculus VR

beyond that, and if there is, he’s not sharing it. The

co-founder Andrew Scott Reisse - but Palmer Luckey isn’t

only other thing in development at Oculus VR besides the

ready to talk to me about it. “There’s no Facebook-style

consumer Rift is a latency testing device.

story,” he adds. “No tales of parties and crazy stuff going on that was really a highlight. It was just kind of a slow plod towards making this thing a reality.”

He started the company, Oculus VR, at around the same time because he needed one to be able to run a Kickstarter campaign. It was still only him, and still his expectations of success were low. His original Kickstarter pitch, he tells me, was pinned on a different video “much inferior” to the one up there now, but the world would never see it because those ripples Carmack had created at E3 had stirred more than just curious journalists. Seasoned tech professionals Brendan Iribe and Mike Antonov, from Gaikai and Scaleform, were interested. One meeting led to another and soon they

45


“Playing with my kids, I decided to lick the playdoh out on the table. It’s not as bad as i remember.” ROB STONE

“ Woke up this morning to get dressed for class, put on a cute outfit, then decided I’m over it. I’m now wearing pjs.” ROB STONE

46


3


CAN WE REALLY LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST? 3 48


#YOLO

17% OF PEOPLE WHO SAY YOLO, DIE BEFORE THE AGE OF 35. TRUE STORY BRO.

49


BY AMY PURDY - As I was walking back to my

As college students, it becomes so easy to get

apartment on a cold and rainy night last December,

tunnel vision. We are stuck in a bubble where

I had no idea my life was about to change forever. I

we’re between just being kids and turning into

reached the parking lot and was confused to see my

adults. Instead of seeing the big picture, we get

Dad walk out of an SUV. When he reached me on the

caught seeing only what is right in front of us.

sidewalk, he wordlessly handed me my mother’s wedding ring with tears in his eyes. My mom, my

Of course, we should have fun, enjoy our college

best friend in the entire world, was hit by a car on

years and live in the moment. Go ahead and stay

the walk she took everyday.

out till 4:00 a.m. on a Tuesday, have that extra beer and take the time to enjoy the things you’ll only

Just like that, she was gone forever. When

get to experience within these four (or five) short

tragedies like this occur, the most common

years.

question asked always ends up being, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” It’s a question that

However, it’s also essential to remember we have

has been asked for hundreds of years, and it will

many years after college that are going to turn out

never stop being asked in the future. But after

to be just as important. In that sense, we need to

having a couple of months to reflect, I realized it’s

distinguish between the moments that will impact

a question no one should ever ask.

us forever and the ones that we’ll never remember.

Why do bad things happen to anyone? Whether you

Twenty years from now, you will remember the

wear a white hat like Olivia Pope or you’re as shady

friends who were there for you during the worst

as Cyrus, no one deserves to feel the pain of losing

moments of your life. That frat guy you met at

the person they love the most. Eventually, you

the bar who didn’t text you back the next day

have to face the reality that you will never know

won’t matter. You’ll remember the crazy nights of

why these things happen, and losing the most

partying, but staying in occasionally to ace that

important thing to you causes you to ask the most

final and subsequently landing your dream job will

important questions.

turn out to be even more important.

How do I really live my life to the fullest? This

As cliché as it sounds, we all really do take so

is what we should be asking when something

many parts of our lives for granted. As much as

happens that makes us realize life is fragile.

we’ve heard it, we need to remember to appreciate

We read quotes about living on Pinterest, watch

the little things. Whether it’s as simple as eating

inspirational movies and listen to motivational

that delicious burrito bowl from Chipotle or

songs, but we often forget to find meaning in our

something as critical as family, there is so much

own lives.

to be thankful for everyday.

50


Losing my mom is an obstacle I have to conquer

me talking. This is me telling

everyday of my life, and the only way I get through

you to shoot for the stars. I

it is by making the experience something I need

want you to believe nothing is

to live for. My mom knew how to live life to the

impossible and never to say you

fullest. She accomplished more in 49 years than

can’t because of your current

most people accomplish in a lifetime, and she did

financial circumstances. Get to

it all while remembering to have as much fun as

the point where you can say, “I

possible. I live for my mom everyday; I live to make

can, and I will.” I want you to

her proud. I live to be the woman she wanted me to

believe failure is not an option

become, and I live to carry on her legacy.

and that you can accomplish and do everything you’ve ever said

Find that thing that makes you want to live, find

you’ve wanted to do.

that person that makes you want to become a better version of yourself and most importantly

Be spontaneous and go on that

remember how lucky you are to be a part of this

trip you’ve always wanted to

amazing thing called life. Too many people

go on even if it takes years of

fail to dream. They fail to live life. They fail to

preparation. The more you sit and

accomplish things they dream about doing, and

wait and say you can’t, the more

they settle. They settle for the fact that they don’t

life passes you by and the more

currently have the money and they turn their

you wish you would have at least

answer into, “It’ll never happen.”

tried. Before you know it, it’ll be too late. Live your life while you

They stay in one spot and never experience life

can, and create a legacy! As for

and never see the world. And it’s so much to see.

me, I will get to that point where

They limit their dream as to being just that, a

at any given moment, I can order

dream. That’s the first step to failure, believing

my plane ticket to the next spot

you can’t! I don’t know about other people, but my

and have the time of my life.

biggest fear is failure. Because failure is my biggest

I’m planning my next trip now,

fear, I strive and give it my all to not fail. For me,

because “It’s better to look back

failure is not an option, and the words, “I can’t!”

on life and say: ‘I can’t believe I

are not in my vocabulary. I firmly believe in the

did that.’ Than to look back and

cliche that I can do whatever I put my mind to.

say: ‘I wish I did that’.”

You may be asking, what’s the point of me writing this? Why am I talking to you about my dreams and my fears? Thanks for asking! This is not just

51


IS LIFE GOOD?

YES

NO

YAY!

FIX IT.

52


3


#throw back culture

AREN’T WE GETTING

TOO OLD FOR ALL OF THIS?

BY ALLISON WARD

O

ften referred to by the abbreviated hashtag #tbt, Throwback Thursday is a playful exercise — one in which the notion of

“throwback” varies widely among participants. Some people post baby photos, while others might share pictures from a vacation of only a year ago. Others contribute pictures featuring dated fashions — say, hippie bell-bottoms from the ’70s or permed hair from the ’80s. And still others post historical shots, including many black-and-white depictions of eras gone by. This trend most notably started on Instagram, a social media site that allows people to share photos and videos, apply filters to them, and share them on other social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

54


#

Most pictures are accompanied by a bit of information — often humorous — that helps put them in context. The online site Digital Trends traces the first #tbt (or #throwbackthursday) Instagram picture to late 2011. Jesse Fox, a social-media professor at Ohio State University, credits the growing popularity of such postings in part to technological advances. “We can share things we couldn’t share before online,” Fox said. “Everyone has a scanner and can scan in their old childhood photos. It’s fun because it integrates the old with the new. You can share an older version of yourself that’s not on social media.”

Plus, she said, such photos nowadays are less likely to evoke discomfort from their subjects, who often use them to make light of their awkward years. “You can kind of ameliorate your wounds,” Fox said. “It’s an opportunity to poke fun at yourself, your friends.” Stacia Momany, 33, acknowledged that her favorite posts are the “embarrassing” ones from high school and college.

55


“People who don’t even use any other social media besides Facebook are doing it,” she said. Julie Lorenz began sharing Throwback Thursday photos on Facebook during the summer — and has since made it a weekly habit.

56


The 53-year-old Worthington resident might choose

sparks more conversation and interaction on his

a photo from a particular stage of her life — her

pages,” she said. The personal nature of the posts

childhood, her college days at Ashland University,

— the mayor recounts memories in the captions

her early years of motherhood — or follow a seasonal

accompanying the photos — give people a glimpse

theme. “At Halloween, I might post an old picture of

of the nonpolitical side of Coleman — which

the kids in their costumes,” said the mother of two

the public doesn’t often see, Harden said. For

college-age sons and a daughter in high school. The

central Ohio businesses and

postings allow her to reflect and to stay connected

organizations,

with friends or relatives who live in far-flung

Thursday provides a way to

places. Most of her #tbt updates, she said, draw

people liked the photo, and

many comments.

it got 20 comments — which

“I went to Florida twice with friends in college. It’s

connect with consumers.

fun to think back to that time.” The “good old days”

Each week, Ohio State

seem to be a common motivator for older Throwback

University posts vintage

Thursday participants, said Beverley Golden, author

photos

of Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie. “There’s

back

in

always a nostalgia for an earlier time,” said Golden,

Jim

Keim

who lives in Toronto. “Maybe it’s a simpler time, an

snapshots of antique cars.

easier time.” In recent months, Columbus Mayor

Grandview Dental Care,

Michael B. Coleman has joined the social-media

where Momany works in

users who are re-connecting to the past. Throwback

for a dental office is kind

Thursday became the perfect outlet for him to share

of rare,” Momany said.

some of the old photos given to him during the

About a year ago, Pfeifer —

holidays by his mother, said Tyneisha Harden, who

who manages social media

manages the mayor’s social media. “It’s a glimpse

for the Ohio Department

into his personal life, his past and how he got to

of Transportation — began

where he is,” Harden said.

posting historical photos

of

Throwback

the the

campus day

Ford

and

shares

on the department’s Twitter and

57

Coleman’s #tbt contributions include shots of

Facebook pages. Recently, the

him on his first trip to Washington; as a teenager

department has shared photos

lifting weights; and from his college days at the

of 1948 snowplows and highway

University of Cincinnati. His ’70s aviator glasses

crews at work in 1935. Although

and Afro-style hair, Harden said, have elicited

sifting through all the old photos

comments, as has his participation in general. “It

can be laborious, she said, the


task has a notable upside.

than any amount of history we can conjure up from

“It allows people to see the

even the oldest #TBT photos we post today. Perhaps

department as more — that

Throwback Thursday is a source of relief from the

there really are people behind

increasing responsibility and pressures we feel from

what

said.

homework to college admissions to finding a date

“They’re hardworking,

for the prom. But is high school really so difficult

and

to

that we have to escape once a week to the carefree

show that way back in

days of our early childhood? Are we yearning for the

time.” Every Thursday,

good old days of elementary school?

we

do,”

Pfeifer

we’re

able

my Instagram feed gets flooded with pictures

No doubt, nostalgia can raise overwhelming feelings

of my classmates when

of longing for the past, but it can also make us feel

they

younger,

good. It’s not like we peaked in middle school. We

endless

weren’t born teenagers; we grew up. We had happy

comments from friends

childhood experiences that we want to share with

along the lines of “omg

our friends. And it’s fun. We can laugh at ourselves

you

and joke with our friends. It brings us together.

were

leading

to

were

so

cute.”

So, it may be that Throwback Thursday is just This trend has spread from

another trend manufactured by the media to keep

Instagram to all of the most

us “engaged” on their sites, but we own it now as a

popular social media outlets,

part of our collective teen experience. And that will

and

make for some very dear memories down the road.

has

everyday

even

infiltrated

language

among

teenagers, as we now refer to

Every Thursday, my Instagram feed gets flooded with

anything in the past as “TBT.”

pictures of my classmates when they were younger,

It’s understandable why my

leading to endless comments from friends along

parents and their generation

the lines of “omg you were so cute.” This trend has

have jumped on the #TBT bandwagon; they

spread from Instagram to all of the most popular

have a long past of old and dear memories

social media outlets, and has even infiltrated

to look back on. They even have to actually

everyday language among teenagers, as we now

scan a physical snapshot into their computer

refer to anything in the past as “TBT.” Whether you

before they can upload their #TBT photos to

post a #tbt every week or only on occasion, we’ve all

Facebook. But why do my high school friends

seen them and have laughed at them and liked them

and I have such an appetite for nostalgia? We

– they’re a part of our social world. Which begs the

have more memories to be made ahead of us

questions, Is it getting old or are we.

58



Mature