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Archive for September, 2015

Volkswagen Scandal

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

The truth always comes to light eventually, so the best policy is transparency. A company that is currently learning the importance of honesty is Volkswagen as it faces a growing crisis involving dishonest claims about its diesel car emissions. When U.S. regulators claimed the German company had programmed some 500,000 vehicles to emit lower levels of harmful emissions in official tests than on the roads, millions of people from all around the world lost trust in the brand. Volkswagen has a long road ahead as it faces this global issue and the ramifications to the automotive industry as a whole.

Volkswagen confessed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency it was responsible for installing software in some of its diesel-engine vehicles that enabled them to trick regulators into believing the cars met the appropriate emission standards. This scandal has the potential to cause extreme damage to the automaker, facing a total of $18 billion in fines for its violation of emission standards on approximately 500,000 diesel cars. In the U.S., Volkswagen has apologized, ordered an external investigation and promised to set aside $7.3 billion to cover the recalls and other damage-control efforts.

Rebuilding customer trust after this damaging blow to its reputation will be difficult and take time. Volkswagen a formal apology, stating the company’s commitment to its customers, employees and the public as it works to fix the problem and be as transparent as possible throughout the process:

As Volkswagen moves forward and makes efforts to remedy the technical issues, authenticity and transparency will be vital. The world has been impacted by this scandal and winning back consumers’ trust will not be a simple task. Volkswagen’s reputation of reliability, efficiency and trustworthiness is at stake as this deceitful situation unfolds. How the automaker handles this crisis will change the way the company is viewed by the general public forever.


Ann Keeling says:

This is tragic any way that you look at it. Given that GM has been going through a very public issue with some its practices and the deaths of people at the wheel of its vehicles, we must wonder, what is next? Just how safe are we in our cars?

Circles, stripes and lines… oh my!

Friday, September 25th, 2015


It’s genius to see fluidity that’s artistically molded to look like sculpture.

Shot by Jon Keeling.

Relishing Fall

Thursday, September 24th, 2015


Pools are closing and the cool fall breeze is steadily drifting in. As we pull out our sweaters and scarves, we bid adieu to another summer passed. Although we’ll miss the hot starry evenings, there is something magical amidst the turning leaves. The holidays are steadily approaching and children are drumming up fun fall activities to partake in.

As adults, we enjoy the beauty this time of year encompasses, however… as intelligent-professional-responsible adults; we often dismiss or overlook opportunities to fully revel in fall’s glow. We’re missing the overall experience. Children, being the more insightful and intuitive beings, can teach us how to relish this time of year. Thus, here are three fall activities you should still partake in… even as an adult:

  1. Jump into a pile of leaves. You’ll likely be responsible for raking the leaves, right? So why not enjoy your hard work? There is a simple and immeasurable pleasure one gets when they jump into a freshly stacked pile of leaves. It’s both freeing and exhilarating. One day your bones will be too fragile to partake in this activity, so soar into that leaf made mattress while you still have the chance.
  1. Visit an apple farm and/or pumpkin patch. There was always something so brilliant and enchanting about visiting an apple farm or pumpkin patch as a child. You’ll find that holds true as an adult as well. There is an excitement and wonderment, you can’t help but get swept away in it. And there will undoubtedly be a plethora of delectable cider as well as apple and pumpkin flavored treats to enjoy.
  1. Carve a pumpkin. You don’t have to be Michelangelo or Picasso. Pumpkin carving is a fun and relaxed way to explore creativity. You’ll be proud of the final product and if not, at least you’ll enjoy a good laugh. You’ll find that taking a large knife to a pumpkin can be very therapeutic as well.

The older we get, the faster time slips away. And within our busy lives and vast responsibilities it’s easy to forget to appreciate the beauty surrounding us. To maintain a life well lived it’s vital that as adults, we remember to take time to laugh and savor the little ­– and sometimes-silly ­moments. So get out there and jump into a bed of leaves, drink a gallon of cedar and carve the Mona Lisa into the side of a rusty orange pumpkin!


Ann Keeling says:

Carpe diem!

Ad Blocking: Awesome Apple or Adverse Affect

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

There are a few things more annoying than intensively browsing a website via your mobile device when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, like a meteoroid, an ad pops up. How do I get out of it? How do I go back? – now I’ll never know if Beyoncé and Jay-Z are calling it quits! So. Frustrating. Right? Luckily Apple is here to save the day – yet again.

On Wednesday, September 16, Apple announced that their latest operating system update, iOS 9, would allow users to download apps to block mobile ads and trackers in Safari. Apple’s enablement of ad blocking gives customers the option to block content “for improved mobile browsing experience,” says an Apple spokeswoman.

Ad and pop-up blocking apps and devices have been around for years, primarily used on desktop computers. However, as mobile devices and tablets become more prevalent and ads get more annoying, the demand for uninterrupted browsing is growing. Users are eager for tools to combat aggressive and behavior tracking ads. According to Sean Blanchfield of PageFair, an Irish start-up that tracks ad blocking, user installation of ad blocking apps and devices has increased 48% in the past 12 months – a staggering percentage and potential goldmine for app developers.

Apple’s ad blocking benefit is indeed an exciting new comfort for users, however, could have a potentially adverse affect on advertisers and publishers. Brand marketers rely on ads – especially within the mobile media space – to promote their products and many websites depend upon paid advertisements and sponsors for funding. It’s a seamless cycle of buy and sell that could be largely hindered by ad blocking.

One ad-blocking app developer, Maro Armet, has had second thoughts after considering the harm his app could create for millions of individuals within the ad industry. “Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit,” wrote Armet in a blog post. After just thirty-six hours in the top Apple Store slot, Armet pulled his ad-blocking app, Peace. Armet then promised all Peace purchasers a refund.

In today’s fast paced and eager environment users expect and want information, news, video and more instantaneously, without interruption. However, it is important that we take a step back and look at the big picture. Although many ads are annoying and intrusive, there are also many less invasive ads that provide relevant information and offers that we actually may want to see.


Ann Keeling says:

Whether we like it or not, the digital landscape is like any other (print, TV, radio) where advertising is just part of the game. Since digital is immediate and we have much more control over it, we want to control the ads we see, too. We do have to realize however that ad-blocking is potentially putting people out of work. Rather than blocking all ads, using the same technology to only deliver relevant ads to each of us, would be the best of both worlds.

Wet & Wooly.

Friday, September 18th, 2015

CVG Flight


How does a plan really fly? Doesn’t it boggle the mind to think about?

Shot by Christy Akemon.