This week I share a few clips from my high school's orchestra reunion spring concert.
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Here's seven ways you can be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community after pride month ends.
As July begins, the month we call 'Pride Month' is technically over. However, just because pride month is over doesn't mean we can't still show pride and support for our LGBT brothers and sisters. This article here will tell you seven ways to be a supportive ally to the LGBTQ+ all year round.
- Ask Questions
- Be Open Minded
- Be Inclusive
Whether I can get to the beach this weekend or I'm just at a friend's pool, I know I'll be picture ready. Fourth of July weekend following so close behind Pennsylvania lifting the state mask mandate has me anticipating many smiling faces, eager to capture the moment.
This holiday weekend I will be well prepared for any makeup disaster or touch up demand with my Blue Hydrangea MISS SWISS travel makeup case. It is the perfect case to store four of my most needed makeup products for a fun night out.
A long evening of laughing with friends and eating great food can often have your lipstick smudging and smearing. This year I plan on wearing my Drew matte lipstick by MISS SWISS. Drew is a classic, bold red that will match my festively colored outfit perfectly. No matter how many s'mores I eat, I know my lipstick will stay perfectly in place, both on my lips and in my makeup case.
Of course I have to create a dazzling eye look and MISS SWISS has the perfect product. Pauline liquid eye shadow is a gorgeous bronze color that truly does make your eyelids sparkle like fireworks. To complete my makeup look I will use my MISS SWISS pen eyeliner to create sharp cat eyes for a bold style.
Due to being an artificial blonde, my hair will not be going anywhere near water. However MISS SWISS eyeliner is waterproof for you mermaids out there.
Considering I will have one open holder left in my makeup case, my MISS SWISS Chloe lip gloss will tag along for my Fourth of July celebrations. There is a decent chance that I may want to switch to striking red glossed lips which will go perfectly over my matte lipstick and keep in theme with the red, white, and blue festivities.
When i die spread my ashes at the Bubba Gump at Citywalk
First and foremost, I am a foodie. In any city that I am in, the first thing I want to know is where the best places to eat and drink are, and I imagine a lot of you are the same. Los Angeles happens to be one of the greatest food cities in the United States, so it's only right that I present you guys with this list. These are the best places (that I have tried) in Los Angeles to eat or drink.
Bubba Gump (I am not sorry about this one)Drunk Vince Vaughn GIF by HBO Max Giphy
Listen, I understand that no one wants to go to city walk (i do but I’m not boring like some of y’all) I also understand that the food at Bubba Gump is just subpar, it’s the drinks and the atmosphere you’re coming here for! You’ve got a theme park next door for before or after your drinking, you’ve got shops and places to get sweets all along city walk, it’s an ideal spot.
What you’ll order: the gold and honey, always.
Location: 1000 Universal Studios Blvd Suite 114, Universal City, CA
The Fountain BarComedy Im Rich GIF by ABC Network Giphy
I understand that people in la that think they’re too good for it, avoid the grove like the plague, but those people are missing out on my favorite dining experience I’ve had so far in the city, The Fountain Bar. Is it expensive? A bit! But the view of the fountain and the bartenders who provide endless banter (should you choose to sit at the bar) make the price seem like a no-brainer. Plus, you never know who you’ll spot while you people watch. I saw Drake Bell one time.
What you’ll order: Anything off the special drinks menu, and the salmon carpaccio
Location: 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Scum and Villainy CantinaStar Wars Drinking GIF by Sky Giphy
I don’t think of myself as a huge Star Wars nerd, however, Scum and Villainy blew me away. The atmosphere is a wet dream for fans both casual and hardcore, and the drinks!!! The drinks are where this place shines, with a marvel/star wars inspired menu, you simply can’t go wrong! If you find yourself out wondering late on Hollywood Boulevard, this is the spot you want to be at!
What you’ll order: Blue Milk, yes, this is my Disney adult coming through
Location: 6377 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Golden GopherDelicate GIF by Taylor Swift Giphy
Listen, before anything else in my life, I am a swiftie. There was no way that I wasn’t going to recommend you all partake in my favorite bar-going experience, The Golden Gopher where Taylor Swift shot ‘Delicate,' is nestled in Downtown Los Angeles and is the perfect bar to bring your computer to and work while enjoying an Old Fashioned.
What you'll order: An Old Fashioned
Location: 417 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Marmalade CafeEpisode 5 Drinking GIF by The Bachelor Giphy
I know, you people avoid The Grove like the plague, but you shouldn't! Marmalade Cafe is one of two places at The Grove on this list for good reason, it's full of killer places to dine! The menu at Marmalade is vast and includes breakfast, seafood, and pasta, just to name a few of the offerings. The cocktail menu is killer as well!
What you'll order: Spicy Tuna Tartar, or potstickers!
Location: 6333 W 3rd St # E17, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Bob's Big BoySeason 5 Nbc GIF by This Is Us Giphy
I am a diner hoe through and through, but Bob's Big Boy sits at the top of the list. From the car shows that you may see Jay Leno frequent, to the constant crowd the diner attracts, It's an environment I have really come to love. Bob's Big Boy feels like an escape from the boujie side of Los Angeles.
What you'll order: Biscuits and Gravy, duh.
Location: 4211 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505
Nic’s on Beverlyaubrey plaza vegan GIF by LoveIndieFilms Giphy
Nic's on Beverly is a place I had seen every influencer flaunting being at on Instagram, so naturally, I had to go visit! Now, Nic's is easily one of my go-to spots in LA. The Restaurant itself keeps pretty odd hours, so always check the website before heading there! The place is so cute inside and has an entirely plant-based menu! Nowhere is better for a boozy brunch!
What you'll order: Avocado tacos, and wine!
Location: 8265 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Tacos 1986i think i'm incakeable of eating anymore worth it GIF by BuzzFeed Giphy
I trust Steven and Andrew from Worth it with my life, so naturally, if they recommend a place, I am going. Tacos 1986 comforted me on a lonely night at a hotel downtown and introduced me to some of the best quick-service Mexican food in the city. Best news, it's on Doordash so you can get these tacos from the comfort of your home.
Location: 7235 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
There is not a better place for breakfast in Los Angeles than Egg Tuck. I ordered Egg Tuck for the first time back in April, and now I don't know how I'll ever find a place that compares. This is one of those places that is so hyped up, but it perfectly matches the hype.
What you'll order: Egg Tots, Avocado Egg Sandwich
Location: 7131 Sunset Blvd B, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Mochinut LAYou Are Amazing Love It GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers Giphy
If you're looking for THE hidden gem in Downtown LA, look no further than Mochinut LA. This place is so cute and has easily the best mochi donuts I have found anywhere. The décor is very Instagram-worthy (yes, I'm cringe and like a good photo, leave me alone).
What you'll order: Any donut, Hot Cheetos Dog
Location: 728 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
I mean. come on! You can't do an LA food article without mentioning Canters. Canters is the definition of a staple, everyone who has spent any length of time in the city has been here at some point. The atmosphere, the staff, the menu, THE SMELL, all 10/10.
What you'll order: literally any food item, but you HAVE to try the dill pickle bloody mary, life-changing.
Location: 419 North Fairfax Avenue
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You might be surprised to learn that nearly half of women over the age of 50 struggle with uncomfortable symptoms due to vaginal dryness. This is an extremely common issue for those entering menopause, but it can also affect those of a younger age as well.
You might be surprised to learn that nearly half of women over the age of 50 struggle with uncomfortable symptoms due to vaginal dryness. This is an extremely common issue for those entering menopause, but it can also affect those of a younger age as well. Common issues like UTI’s, yeast infections and medications can cause vaginal dryness but one of the big culprits for both cause and prevention is diet. Supplementing your diet with nutrients and vitamins to encourage your body to produce the hormones it needs are one of the many home remedies for dryness. There are many factors that can cause dryness and the uncomfortable symptoms that come along with it, and diet is one of the big culprits on the list. Keep reading to learn about adopting nutrition habits that both alleviate and prevent dryness!
Fatty acids like Omega 3 are great for our bodies and support a number of different body functions. These acids are included in foods like fish, seaweed and sunflower seeds. They are known to maintain cardiovascular and circulatory health and can support increased blood flow to the vaginal area which can help to increase natural lubrication. Plus, introducing fatty acids into your diet can have all kinds of positive benefits such as maintaining a strong immune system and keeping your energy levels up. Some other foods you can explore that have high levels of omega 3 are:
- Raw pumpkin seeds
- Canola Oil
- Chia Seeds
Believe it or not, some soy products are high in compounds called isoflavones. Isoflavones are chemical compounds that show promise in their potential anti-inflammatory properties. More importantly, they are considered to be phytoestrogens, or estrogen derived from plants. Soy supplements are undergoing research to be considered as a treatment method for postmenopausal cancer, but at the basic level some women have had success supporting natural lubrication by taking natural soy supplements. Soy intake should remain low, but certain foods like soy sauce, tempeh and even chickpeas can help support vaginal health.
When dryness is caused by aged related drops in hormone levels, you may need to support your body to produce those hormones at a normal level again. Women’s multivitamins contain essential amino acids and vitamins such as A, B, D and E which can all support and maintain natural lubrication and uncomfortable symptoms due to dryness. Vitamin A can help support healthier skin, and can help maintain your body's mucous membranes. B can support immune function, which is extremely important for vaginal health. These vitamin blends will help support your body functions as a whole!
Pure and natural cranberry juice is a well known aid for anyone who has dealt with a urinary tract infection. Cranberry juice helps the body flush it’s system out, and if your dryness symptoms are caused by a suspected UTI loading up on this slightly bitter drink might be just what you need! Not to mention it’s also packed with vitamins like E and C. Vitamin E can help promote better vaginal health, and vitamin C is just good for you!
One of the best things you can add to your diet to improve vaginal health is probiotics. Foods like kombucha and yogurt contain microbes that are great for your gut and help support pH levels in the vagina. Your pH levels can be related to sexual health and function, and there are even specifically targeted probiotic supplements you can take for vaginal health. These foods can support your body to restore any natural bacteria that might be present in lower levels as you age.
Maybe this one is a little obvious, but make sure to drink plenty of water! If your body is dehydrated, your mucous membranes will also dry out and make things itchy, uncomfortable, painful and cause further irritation. The average person is recommended to drink roughly three liters of water a day. That’s almost a full gallon! Most of us likely aren’t drinking enough water in the first place, and it can help support tons of essential bodily functions including our sexual organs.
To summarize, there are a number of different dietary solutions you can explore to prevent and combat dryness. For one, try introducing more fatty acid rich foods such as fish, nuts and certain vegetable oils. Secondly, vitamins like A, B and E can help support natural lubrication and vaginal health in healthy doses. Women's multivitamin formulas are designed to give your body the vitamins it needs and might not be getting from other sources. Probiotics like yogurt are a well known source of microbes that support vaginal health. Lastly, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and cranberry juice if you are suffering from a UTI! These can help keep your body hydrated and support your body to flush out any unwanted bacteria.
We are walking a dangerous road with AI
“Alexa, I want the truth.”
The AI era is has arrived.
For those who don’t know who Alexa is, she is part of Amazon’s Echo, a hands-free speaker you control with your voice and is getting smarter every day. Some will tell you this marks the onset of an AI [artificial intelligence] led revolution. The demand for engineers and coders has reached an all time high as companies look for new ways to innovate in the realm of artificial intelligence.
In 1965, Gordan Moore introduced a hypothesis that would set the tempo for our modern digital revolution. From careful observation of a developing trend, Moore theorized that computational power would increase dramatically, while simultaneously experiencing a decrease in relative cost, at an exponential rate. In other words, Moore’s law claims that the overall processing power of computers would double every two years. His observation became the golden rule for the tech industry, and a starting point for innovation within the applied sciences. For fifty years, the industry followed his rule, however, the tables have turned in the past five years or so. Now we are starting to witness change in the landscape of the digital environment.
Technological giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, etc. are the forerunners of a cyber revolution marked by rapid technological growth. For instance, just last week, Google opened up about its Tenor Processing Unit (or TPU), the server chip they use in-house to perform AI computing workloads more efficiently advancing machine-learning capability by the power of three generations. This is roughly equivalent to fast forwarding technology roughly 7 years into the future or Moore’s law by three generations.
Further, we find ourselves in the age of self-driving cars. Issues during test runs of these vehicles have drawn attention to the need for self-correction mechanisms. In 2015, Google’s driverless car ran into a surprising safety predicament, humans. Human error on the road is tough to deal with when the car has been programmed to be a stickler for the rules. For instance, in 2009, the car was not able to make it through a four-way stop, as its sensors waited for other cars to stop completely before let it go through the intersection. However, cars typically failed to come to a complete stop, immobilizing the Google vehicle. Some have called the car ‘too safe’, a case accentuating the incompatibility between humans and machines.
Thus, these situations introduced an inherent need for self-correction mechanisms. Driverless cars need rely on feedback loops for self-correction, adapting to road conditions and learning the unique behavior of drivers around it. A video released by MIT earlier this year shows how self-correction technology is coming to life. An industrial robot picks up either spools of wire or cans of spray paint and drops the item into the corresponding bucket. The robot pauses temporarily, before accidently making the wrong distinction, merely to self-correct and drop the item in the appropriate container. An observer wearing an EEG cap, who just notices that something is off, triggers the corrections.
The EEG cap measures forty-eight different signals from the human brain, many of which are difficult to interpret and are very noisy. However, one signal, known as ‘error potential’, is relatively easy to detect and emits a strong reaction in the brain when the user notices that something is wrong. The incorporation of error potential is quite different than the usual paradigm used today, i.e. asking the human to program the machine in the machine’s own language. What we see here are programmers getting robots to adhere to human language rather than having humans conform to the robot’s language. A robot is doing some sort of basis task, under human supervision that is able to override the task without having to code for a correction or stop the machine through physical means.
An exciting period it may be but what is hidden behind all the technological buzz is a hefty white elephant that is publicly neglected. When machines are able to respond to us through a feedback loop of self-correction rather than us responding to them, we are giving up our control over them. This is what feeds the fears of artificial intelligence experts Elon Musk, Steven Hawking, and Bill Gates who have voiced concerns about artificial intelligence technology.
In 2015, the three experts signed an open letter on artificial intelligence calling on the research of the societal impacts of AI. While the society can reap great rewards from the exploitation of AI, it must be careful to avoid potential downfalls, such as creating something unmanageable. The letter titled Research Priorities for Robust and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence: an Open Letter details research priorities for AI and documents its inherent vulnerabilities.
By 2014, physicist Steven Hawking and magnate Elon Musk had publically voiced the opinion that supernormal artificial intelligence may provide innumerable benefits but could elicit the demise of the human race if exercised irresponsibly. Both Hawking and Musk have a seat on the scientific advisory board for the Future of Life Institute, an organization committed to mitigating existential threats facing humanity. The institute prepared a letter to the greater AI Reseach community where it circulated the scientific locality in early 2015 and was soon after released to the public.
The purpose of the letter was to identify the positive and negative impacts of AI research and development. The challenges that arise are separated into verification [“Did I build the system right?”], validation [“Did I build the right system?”], security, and control [“I built the wrong system, can I fix it?”]. The concerns implicated in the advancement of AI technology can also be classified in terms of short-term and long-term.
Short-term concerns are assigned to autonomous vehicles, including civilian drones and driverless cars. For instance, during an emergency, self-driving cars may have to decide between a small chance of a serious accident and a large risk of a small accident. Other concerns relate to lethal intelligent autonomous weapons, and extend to privacy concerns as AI becomes increasingly able to interpret large surveillance data. Another hot topic of discussion is how to best manage the economic impact of jobs displaced by AI.
Long-term concerns echo the word’s of Microsoft’s research director, Eric Horvitz and are may be referred to as the ‘control problem’. It addresses situations that deal with the possibility of the emergence of hazardous superintelligence and the occurrence of an ‘intelligence explosion’.
I know what you’re thinking; that this sounds like something out of a Star Wars movie. That it is something that is just hypotheticals and has as much chance of happening as aliens taking over or the earth crashing into the sun. Sure, it may just be hypotheticals, but let’s break it down a little further to get a better understanding of what all this Sci-Fi sounding nonsense really means.
It all boils down to what is known as the technological singularity. The technological singularity represents the hypothesis that the creation of artificial superintelligence suddenly set off runaway technological growth, resulting in inexplicable changes within human civilization. According to this hypothesis (and Wikipedia), an upgradable technological agent, such as a computer running software (based in artificial general intelligence) would enter a runaway reaction of self improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly. The outcome is an intelligence explosion and results in a powerful superintelligence that would surpass all human intelligence.
It’s primarily manifested in two ways. The first is superintelligence, which is defined as an hypothetical agent that has an intellect that far surpasses that of the brightest and most gifted human minds in practically every field from scientific creativity, general wisdom and social skills. The second is an intelligence explosion, which is a function of superintelligence. An intelligence explosion is the possible outcome of humanity building artificial general intelligence (AGI), which is capable of recursive self-improvement that leads to the rapid emergence of artificial superintelligence (ASI), the limits of which are unknown. Eventually, the recursion of self-correction cycles would spawn a mechanical intelligence that is better at developing its own internal functions. It, thus, can rewrite or self-modify itself by changing its own coding instructions.
This sort of self-recurring algorithms is grouped under the term ‘machine learning’, which we discussed earlier with Google’s TPU server chip. Since is represents a fast-forward in technology by three generations we can also classify machinery as rapid technological advancement. It is this technology that means the criteria for an intelligence explosion paving the way for inadvertent emanation of artificial superintelligence. We are walking a dangerous road with AI and it is important to understand the risks we are involving.
So, go ahead, if you happen to have an Amazon Echo, tell Alexa you want the truth and see what she has to say. Keep in mind, she’s smarter than she looks and she’s getting smarter everyday.
“Alexa, I want the truth.”
“You can’t handle the truth."
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign