The Skinny On Halloween Treats

Since my attempt at Sober October fell through around 5 pm on October 1st, I figured that resolving to blog more this month would suffice!

I created this infographic for Fit Nation Magazine around this time last year, featuring some of the best ways to burn off Halloween goodies. Now that I have a Nike Fuel Band (I’m only 249 Nike Fuel Points away from today’s goal! I wonder if Nike Fuel is eco-friendly…), I’m thinking of creating another chart similar to this one, but posting the amount of steps it would take to burn off said treats instead. Stay tuned, and get snacking!

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Are You a Savvy Tweeter?

A character count connoisseur? An algorithm aficionado? As it turns out, the big bad internet has got you beat. (Okay, at least it had me beat).

Yesterday afternoon The Upshot, the data-driven section of New York Times, put tweeters to the test. A new algorithm developed by three Cornell University computer scientists’ claims to outperform the average person in telling which of two similar tweets will be retweeted more. As I made my way through the quiz, I was pretty impressed with myself (though I tended to predict Diddy’s tweets better than President Obama’s so I’m not exactly sure what that says about my journalistic credibility), only to find that the algorithm beat me by 4 points.

This corresponding article by Sendhil Mullainathan, Professor of Economics at Harvard University, goes on to explain why social media-ites and the rest of the digi-sphere must remain calm. While this algorithm is tremendously impressive, it doesn’t mean that we should all go pulling out our resumes just yet, and here’s why.

Correlation does not equal causation

You  thought I was done making Psych 101 course references in my blog, didn’t you? #Nope.

“We care about predicting retweets mainly because we want to write better tweets. And we assume these two tasks are related. If Netflix can predict which movies I like, surely they can use the same analytics to create better TV shows. But it doesn’t work that way,” write Mullainathan.

Basically, you could change your tweets to mimic those being retweeted more, but it won’t promise any change in your followers’ behavior. If I’m a bartender and 5 dudes order Michelob Ultras consecutively, it still wouldn’t make sense for me to keep one on deck for the next dude (because hopefully, he would NEVER order a Michelob Ultra and then we would date).

Quality vs. Quantity

The algorithm found that longer tweets were more likely to be retweeted…but that’s only because the lengthier tweets contained more content. Your best bet is to stick with the “less is more principle” when it comes to character count, but to pack as much content into your tweet as possible

Novelty

Another fault (IN OUR STARS! LOL!) of the algorithm is its inability to predicting what’s interesting…which is good, because otherwise I (along with other content creators and trend forecasters) would be out of a job.

Take viral videos for example. How much did you laugh at that baby that falls down when somebody sneezes? How hard did you laugh the 5th time you saw it? The same goes for celebrity/entertainment news. It’s novel to see how Justin Bieber is effing his life up when one source breaks the story, but when your entire feed consists of different sources relaying the same information you read before lunch, you’re more likely to skip over it. Therefore, while the tweet predictor can pick up on something that is drawing attention, it’s more likely to exploit it than anything else.

So go forth, my fellow tweeters! Tell me about your annoying co-workers or how you’re going DTS this weekend and I will proceed to retweet you if and when I feel like it.

Namaste.

7 Things That You Should Never Say On A First Date

Yes, all of these things were said to me on various first dates. Yes, I went on a second date with one of these fine suitors. Yes, I’m still embarrassed about it.tumblr_m94elwO2vx1qfgzzvo1_500

“So, I was thinking, maybe we could go back to my house after this and drink with my roommates. You know, save a little money.” GOODBYE SIR.

“Nah, I didn’t go to college. I’M SMART THOUGH!”  Okay, well I wasn’t questioning your intelligence until after you said that last bit.

“I hope my friends didn’t smoke all of my weed while we were gone.”…………………OKAY.

“Oh, no I don’t drink beer. I’ll have a hard cider.” No.

“Um, I’ll just go get myself a drink.” (I actually dropped this line, after my date ordered a refill for himself from the waiter)

“I know this really great happy hour place called ‘The Pig ‘n Whistle.’ My boy is a bartender there.” Wow, that sounds like a really lovely establishment! I can’t wait to hang out wit u nd ur boiiz.

“Could you tell me what the score of the basketball game is so that I can stop trying to read it in the reflection over your shoulder?”Annnnnnnnnnd I’m out.

Move Over Psychology, Facebook Is Making Some Serious Personality Assessment Moves

Attention incoming college freshman: I suggest you pre-order your Psychology 101 books instead of trading upperclassmen for a hand-me-down edition with a case of Bud Light. Why? There’s a new personality theorist in town: Facebook.

Skinner, Eysenck, Maslow and Freud are going to have to make some extra room at their lunch table (we hope that Zuckerberg wears pink on Wednesdays) because according to a new app created by Five Labs, our everyday actions on Facebook showcase enough of our personalities to generate immediate assessments (how are you feeling about that ” haha BRB lightin this blunt, YOLO” status right about now?)

After reading this NY Times post last week,  I decided to give the personality tool a try, and I’m definitely not complaining about being compared to industry leaders like Bill Gates and Sheryl Sandberg along with my forever WCW Jennifer Lawrence (I can’t take all the credit on this one- I post about red wine and embarrassing moments a lot), but Facebook still doesn’t seem like the most…reliable judge of personality.

blog 1What do you think? Is your Facebook Personality on point?

 

How to Rock Jorts in Style

As someone who a) has experienced 8th grade and b) prefers a mix of classic, structured silhouettes and uber-feminine, dressy styles, jean shorts don’t typically play a large role in my fashion repertoire. However, as a die-hard Kelly Kapowski wannabe (she always rocked the best denim), I vow to add a couple pairs of jorts into my closet, styled as such (you know, if bank accounts weren’t a thing).

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Taylor Swift’s latest hairstyle and boytoy not included.

Cropped Polo/ High-Waisted Jorts/ Oxford Sneaks/ Handbag / Watch / Shades

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Scalloped denim edges?! Be still my girlish heart!

Peasant Blouse / Scalloped Jorts / Clutch / Bangle / Heels / Earrings / Lipstick

Composites produced on Polyvore.com 

Finding Clarity in the Unexpected

The butt-dial has been a first-world burden since the dawn of the touchscreen phone, but late last week I was introduced to the butt-stalk via Instagram. I woke up in the middle of the night with a sharp pain in my side and realized that I was sleeping on my cell phone (I know, I know, it’s horrible to sleep with your phone in your bed, but what if I came up with a witty tweet in my sleep? Was I supposed to GET UP and walk to my phone before transcribing my punchy thoughts? I think not).

When I went to open my home screen, I was surprised to find this quote pulled up on an Instagram account that I had never seen before. After retracing my cyber-steps, I realized that I had left my account open to the “Explore” page and had visited two different accounts unconsciously (it was clearly a tossing-and-turning kind of night).

The truth and beauty in this quote really startled me, and it got me thinking about my tendency to romanticize all past experiences, regardless of their nature. At first glance this sentiment certainly has romantic connotations, and it’s true — I do romanticize past relationships, adding dramatic flair to the blandest of memories (though as a writer I will say that my imagination propels me to fantasy land more than I’d like to admit). But this quote also applies to the most recent, non-romantic period in my life — the few months I spent working for a kick-ass publication in New York City, learning from some beyond-incredible people, and living out my dream.

In a sense I’m lucky, because unlike most of my romantic experiences, I won’t have to exaggerate and re-create my LHJ memories in order to look back on them fondly. I have no idea what the future has in store for me, but I do know that I’m fortunate to have such an awesome scene in my rearview. #LadiesForLifechrisopher poindexter quote