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Archive for January, 2014

Winter Solace

Friday, January 31st, 2014


The beauty of newly fallen snow and the hush before the rush hour. ‘Time to reflect.

Shot on an iPhone by Jackie Danicki.

The Most Gluttonous Day of the Year

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Although you might not be joining the 4,000 partiers at the Bud Light Hotel, there are no shortage of events to ring in February with a highly caloric intake of beer, chips and dip, wings, pizza, and more beer. Winter can be a grueling season to get through, especially when the North Pole seems to have lost its way home, but thanks to awards season and the Super Bowl, the winter blues become a bit more bearable. The Super Bowl often takes the prize for the nation’s favorite, because drunken revelry with all-you-can-eat artichoke dip is an obvious choice over feeling guilty that you don’t look like Charlize Theron or Brad Pitt.

There are 100 million households that turn their TVs to the Super Bowl on the first Sunday of February. But about 10 million viewers admit that they only watch the Super Bowl to see the commercials. Watching the Super Bowl for commercials is nothing new, but this year viewers have the ability to watch the sought-after clips before the game. The Super Bowl has always been the advertising event of the year, and many of this year’s full-length commercials have already been uploaded to YouTube. But that’s not going to deter viewers. Beyond the advertising aficionados, there are many other Super Bowl fans tuning in for a lot more than football.

The USDA confirms that the Super Bowl is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving. The average game-watcher will eat 1,200 calories in snacks alone. Americans will eat 30 million pounds of snacks, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, and 4.3 million pounds of pretzels. The pizza delivery business increases six-fold, churning out a week’s worth of food for one day. Super Bowl parties spill over onto the web, with dozens of finger food recipes making a snack lover’s dreams come true.

For the die-hard fans and elite partiers alike, the Super Bowl has turned into Super Bowl party week, with a host of events leading up to the big game. Sports fans travel across the country for the game, this year right outside of the Big Apple at Meadowland Stadium. There are 500,000 travelers expected to arrive in New York for the game, and the city is preparing for the pre-party. For travelers, what happens on the field is just the climax of the excitement and pomp that lead up to the annual event.

Whether you’ll be cheering on your favorite team or munching in the other room, party hosts only request one thing: Just try not to act like any of these guests.


Light. Bright.

Friday, January 24th, 2014

PB 2

Clinging to a wire, powered by simple electricity, night light is born.

Shot on an iPhone by Paul Bell.

The Mouth of A Macho Man

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

In the final weeks leading to the Super Bowl, stakes are always high’but player confidence might even be higher.

After Sunday’s nail biting NFC title game where the Seattle Seahawks defeated last year’s Super Bowl contenders, the San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks didn’t just have a victory party on their hands, but a public relations frenzy as well. Richard Sherman, All-Pro cornerback for the Seahawks, was interviewed postgame and began by saying: ”I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get.’ He continued growling a slew of pompous comments that instantly blew up social media news feeds and traditional media alike.

Sore loser, classless, disrespectful to the game, and thug are a sampling of the public’s labels for Sherman. His burst of controversy, audacity, and honesty after a big win for Seattle prompted conversations and criticisms of race, sportsmanship, and personal values. Although there is fierce disapproval of Sherman’s comments ‘ including New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, who was the first big-time target of Sherman’s relentless trash talking ‘ it’s not just bitter resentment directed at Sherman.

Coaches, teammates, and fans from Seattle and across the nation are backing the player, admiring the raw and real football star. The 154th pick in the 2011 draft grew up in Compton, CA. His dad still works as a garbage man. Sherman has a photographic memory and graduated second in his high school class, receiving a scholarship to Stanford University where he studied communications.

Sherman’s says that Seattle inspires his madness, and his aim is ‘to get some eyes, to grow the market, to grow Seattle.’ That is, until those ‘eyes’ skim over the sport, the industry, even the team ‘ and focus just on the feisty cornerback. In fact, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made sure Sherman knew that his rant was overshadowing the Seahawks’ victory. Carroll is deeply devoted to his player and said, ‘The last thing he wanted to do was to take something away from our team, what we had accomplished.’

There is no denying that his anger was over-the-top, but Sherman’s background, passion, and newfound celebrity might be working for him. Sherman was the only football player to be cast by Nike in their latest commercial. Additionally, he was rumored to be a background voice in Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones’ latest advertisement released right before Sunday’s game. With the spotlight and microphone following Sherman over the next couple of weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, it’ll be interesting to see what happens next. (And if you’re not one for the raucous, Beats created the perfect headphones for you.)

Fire escape.

Friday, January 17th, 2014

PB 3

Critical to life if needed, place for birds, a cat or a beer in hand on a hot summer’s night.

Shot on an iPhone by Paul Bell.