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Archive for October, 2015

Purple Reign.

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Processed with VSCOcam with lv03 preset

Is the sky blue? Sometimes, but the beauty is in the unexpected…

Shot by Cassandra Zetta Niehaus.

What is your ethos?

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Belcan, one of America’s largest engineering firms, is built on a solid foundation with a bright future. Belcan’s strength and success is attributed to their business philosophy as well as the personal convictions of Belcan founder, Ralph G. Anderson.

An education advocate and innovative thinker, Anderson was an engineer, farmer, and philanthropist. He was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky and served in the United States Air Force during World War II. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering. Post graduation, Anderson served as an engineer for various companies before founding Belcan in October 1958.

Anderson’s convictions took root during his childhood and were formally delineated in a 1995 document know as, 19 Points. Ralph’s convictions are honest, genuine, and timeless. They should not only be read, but thoroughly reflected upon.

Belcan’s 19 Points

  1. If you have a problem, it’s because of how you think. And the only way that you can ever fix a problem is to change your thinking.
  2. If you have a choice between being right or being kind, always choose kind. You always have a choice.
  3. Be part of the solution, not the problem. If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.
  4. There is no stress; it is the way you process it in your mind.
  5. Trust in your intuition.
  6. Negative thoughts tear you down; positive thoughts build you up.
  7. Your opinion of me is none of my business.
  8. When you judge a person, you define yourself; you want them to be like you.
  9. When you let others people’s opinion of you bother you, you let them control you. You have no control of other people’s opinion; you have control of your character.
  10. People don’t care how smart you are until they find out how much you care.
  11. “EGO” = Edging God Out
  12. You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you. If you fight them, they fight back; if you give love, you will receive love back.
  13. If you seek happiness for yourself, it will always elude you. If you seek happiness for others, you will always receive it.
  14. You can’t learn anything by talking.
  15. Be a leader – one who looks at the overall picture of the company, not just at part of the company.
  16. A leader doesn’t care who gets the credit.
  17. You control your thoughts, your thoughts control your emotions, therefore you control your emotions – don’t blow up.
  18. We live to be happy and to have fun. It’s all internal.
  19. This is my way — what is your way — “the” way does not exist.


Ann Keeling says:

Anderson’s 19 points deserve more than reflection – these convictions should be everyone’s convictions. Everyone, that is, who wants to be all that they can be and lead a complete, happy and successful life.

Baby and His iPad

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

From iPads to smart phones to tablets and TVs, these days it seems like everyone is glued to a screen. Technology has taken over the world and fashioned its way into nearly every U.S. household. Dad checks football scores from his smartphone, mom shops online, and baby plays Create & Learn on his iPad. Yes, even baby is in on the action with the support of The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Following a two-day forum headed by the AAP in May, top neuroscientists and pediatricians deemed iPads along with other screened devices okay for infants. “Media is just another environment,” states the AAP. “Children do the same things they have always done, only virtually. Like any environment, media can have positive and negative effects.”

In other words – no harm, no foul. Technology is undoubtedly an excellent educational tool, but are we knocking on negligence’s door by plopping our infants in front of digital devices?

According to Dr. Carolyn Jaynes, a learning designer for Leapfrog Enterprises, children under two have little to gain from digital devices. “Children under two years of age learn best from real-world experiences and interactions, and each minute spent in front of a screen-based device is a minute when your child is not exploring the world and using their senses, which is extremely important in their development process,” expresses Dr. Jaynes.

“Children under eight are spending more time than ever in front of screens,” states The New York Times, and it’s taking a toll on their abilities to interact socially. Research has linked prolonged hours with digital devices to social problems in school age children as well as general mental and physical health issues. According to a study conducted by UCLA, sixth-grade students who experienced a prolonged length of time without digital devices did substantially better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders who continued to spend endless hours in front of screens.

Lack of socialization skills is an epidemic not only among children, but adults, too. However, as parents, it’s our responsibility to actively guide our children in advanced learning and interactions. Although the AAP has given infants the go ahead on digital use, they have set provisions and recommend limiting digital use to two hours per day. Electronic devices are tools that make our lives better, but like most things, they are best in moderation.


Ann Keeling says:

Kindergartners using iPADS, great; babies using them – seriously? There’s such a sense of wonder in their eyes as they experience the touch of a sibling, the face of a dog, a new food group, etc. Infants benefit from human and animal interaction and the tactile aspect of the world. Do we really need to introduce them to technology at such a tender age?

Above it all.

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

The Brandery, Cincinnati

Seeing ideas as they come to life — something to behold.

Shot by Lesley M Rowe.

Pumpkin Obsession

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Autumn has brought beautiful changing leaves, cooler weather and pumpkin everything. Americans are obsessed with the big orange squash and not just for their carved jack-o’-lanterns. Pumpkin flavoring is creeping its way into hundreds of foods, drinks and other products. This overindulgence of pumpkin inspired products should not have retailers complaining as pumpkin products account for millions of dollars in sales each year.

According to Nielsen, pumpkin products accounted for $361 million in sales in the last year alone. That’s a 79% increase since 2011. Pumpkin pie filling still dominates the market with $135 million in sales each year, but other top pumpkin-flavored products include cream, coffee, alcoholic beverages, baking mixes, body lotions and sprays, candy and air fresheners. The list doesn’t end there. Unusual products added to the mix include pumpkin-flavored dog food, oral hygiene and gum, each product bringing in sales of $12.9 million, $1 million and $970,000.

Although the pumpkin obsession accounts for millions in sales each year, these numbers do not account for sales of fresh pumpkins. According to the National Retail Federation, sales of fresh pumpkins have been declining, with unit-sale losses in 2011, 2013 and 2014 accounting for 8.6 million fewer pumpkins sold. Consumers are overlooking fresh pumpkin as an option to satisfy their craving, instead opting for indulgent pumpkin spice treats, flavorings or fragrances.

Marketers have recognized this trend and utilize the seasonal return of the flavor to entice consumers. The anticipation for the flavor’s return and seasonal aspect provides marketers with the opportunity to appeal to consumers with these messages. Pumpkin spice lattes are no longer the only option to satisfy the pumpkin everything craving during the fall season. The variety of pumpkin products are increasing sales for retailers and satisfying America’s pumpkin obsession as the trend continues to grow and become an integral part of fall diets.


Ann Keeling says:

It’s seemingly logical that consumers would so embrace pumpkin everything – people love the change of seasons and pumpkin underscores that. Some of the retail manifestations of pumpkin are over the top, however – folks might just buy a fresh pumpkin to remind them of something that is real and organic.