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Popping the Bubble: How to Escape the Social Media Echo Chamber

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This past election has left most millennials in a cloud of surprise.  I know that on my own Facebook news feed there was a very anti-Trump/pro-Bernie vibe.  In the months prior to the election, my outlets for social media were bombarded by very specific opinions against the reality TV billionaire.  All I heard were calls to "feel the Bern".  To me, and I think to most people my age, it appeared unanimous that Trump would lose.  However this was not the case.  So what happened?One issue with social media is that it's prone to creating echo chambers: places where our ideas are reaffirmed by the consensus of our networks.  Don't like one particular friend's libertarian view?  Easy.  Unfollow them.  This ability to unfollow, paired with algorithms that curate content towards to your taste depending on what you like/react to, creates the walls that seal us into comfort zones with like-minded people.  It traps us into a biased reality; a bubble that prevents us from ideas different than our own.  Here are three simple ways to combat the bubble, and allow for the diffusion of ideas.  No one's saying it's easy, but those who do are the guardians who keep the dialogue open during difficult times and with controversial ideas.Actively like and react to diverse new sources and pagesMuch of the power and control that users have over their social media is in curation.  Your feed is curated according to the content you interact with.  Simply being aware of this fact can make help make you more conscious about how and what appears in your feed.  If you're not seeing a lot of diversity in content, maybe try interacting with new stuff.Watch out for confirmation bias Does it always sound like you're right?  When you log onto your Facebook, does every status update and shared article resonate with your own beliefs?  It's easy to be drawn by the gravity of people who support your ideas, but to keep an honest perspective on the state of the world, you need to balance out what you expose yourself to.A wise person once said to me "you like that author's opinion?  Then try reading their opposer's book."Never UnfollowThe "unfollow" feature is meant to be used in times of dire offense.  It's understandable that a person be unfollowed because they are insulting or harassing.  The problem is that in some subjects like politics and religion,  people can resort to both of these behaviors.  Because people tend to hold political and religious beliefs close to their hearts, opposing views often respond with even more hostility.  Usually in these cases people unfollow not because of the idea itself but because of the primitive and often negative ways people try to convey them.What makes unfollowing such a bad option is that it closes the dialogue between big contrasting ideas.  If you unfollow a friend who disagrees with you, you're basically choosing not to hear their side.  Does doing this really make you the bigger person?  When we choose to stop the flow of information, we are also choosing to remain within the bubble.  Break free by practicing these three simple guidelines.  Humans aren't always the best at communicating, but at least keeping an open ear and an open heart leaves the door open to a more harmonious reality, one that actually reflects the ideas of the world, and the people who hold them.  

What's up!? I'm Katrina. I'm wandering, collecting, witnessing and learning. I'm drawn to all things found at the intersection of art and technology. If I could go back in time, I think I'd be best friends with Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla and Cleopatra. When I'm not obsessing about the human endeavor or the nature of time, I'm probably cooking or dancing.

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Moose Knuckles Stirling Parka Review

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The popular Canadian outerwear brand Moose Knuckles is continuing to expand its name across the nation and into America. Moose Knuckles is a relatively new brand founded in 2009 by Will Poho and Mark Peros. Most of its manufacturing is done in Winnipeg. The brand is dominating the winter fashion scene through bomber jackets and parkas. Moose Knuckles are created from quality materials and are sweatshop free. The company also uses Canadian-origin gray duck down and farmed fox fur from Finland in order to ensure the materials are able to combat Canada’s harsh winters. Here is the Moose Knuckles Stirling Parka review:

How It Looks

Model posing with Moose Knuckles Stirling Red Parka

"Wearing a Moose Knuckles Stirling is like driving a red Ferrari. You will be noticed."

The Stirling comes in at least 9 different shades of color. We reviewed the red model with black fur trim. Photos on the website convinced me the garment will provide a cinched waist, however I didn't feel restricted. The fur trim and goose down insulation allows you to be all bundled up and warm. Noticeably, the jacket has a Moose Knuckles signature metal detail on the upper arm of the garment. The signature catches the eyes in an instant, due to its unique look and new brand.

The pom-poms add a nice touch to the parka, adding a more feminine touch to the style. The double stitched durable canvas, luxurious fur, YKK zippers, and soft interior lining came together wonderfully upon putting it on for the first time. It was heavier than I thought, but the fitting was perfect. It was comfortable to wear and provided a more urban and versatile look. I took the Stirling out on a 9 degree day to see how it holds up. Wearing just a t-shirt inside, I never once felt the cold. Walking the streets of Philadelphia where every other person is wearing a Canada Goose or Montcler, I stood out like a sore thumb as people are trying to figure out what brand I'm wearing. A couple of girls even stopped and asked me what brand it is and where I purchased it. Wearing a Moose Knuckles Stirling is like driving a red Ferrari. You will be noticed.

Specialty

Moose Knuckles Logo on Red Stirling Parka

Moose Knuckles is ranked as the top parka brand for having the highest thermal insulation value. The Moose Knuckles parka came out with the result of a thermal insulation value of 2.11 clo. Thermal Insulation is the measure of resistance to dry heat transfer from a heated thermal manikin to a more cool environment. Thermal insulation is used to prevent excessive heat loss, which is the entire framework of an effective jacket. Moose Knuckles provide an amazing dependability on warmth and comfort due to their thermal insulation value. And wearing the Stirling for an entire day in single-digit weather, I can confidently say their research paid off.

Features

Stirling hood comparison

In addition to looking fabulous and keeping you warm the Stirling also comes equipped with features to appreciate. Most of which you'll have to see in person or experience first hand to appreciate.

Form fitting

This matters a lot to women and young girls. The Stirling looks great and even though it's fitting, it doesn't feel restricting.

Spacious hood

The fur lined hood is cavernous but fits comfortable thanks to adjustable straps on the back.

Quality fox trim fur

Moose Knuckles didn't cheap out on the fur. You will get plenty of high quality fur with the Stirling. Some parka offers low-grade synthetic fur purely for aesthetics. The fur on the Stirling is genuine, feels incredibly soft to the touch, and doesn't shed like many other brands.

Durable & Water resistant

The canvas material combined with double stitching are durable and made to last. It's also water resistant!

Quality zipper

The front zipper is heavy gauge YKK zippers and won't break on you anytime soon.

Plenty of pockets

Girls will understand the excitement of having pockets in just about anything. Four pockets on the outside and two on the inside of the jacket.

 

The Verdict

Many brands fail to understand what quality means in a jacket. Winters in Canada are harsh, it’s windy, cold, and downright undesirable. Comfort and style is a rare combination when you're trying to make a parka that can withstand Canada winters. The Moose Knuckles Stirling parka is able to give you the swag look and still keep you toasty warm. Despite having plenty to love, we managed to find a few flaws.

Pros

  • You look unquestionably rich
  • Fashionable
  • Attention to detail styling
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Warm. Sourced from Canadian-origin gray duck
  • Quality fox fur from Finland
  • Durable construction that will last
  • Value doesn't depreciate as much

Cons

  • Heavy when compared to similar parkas
  • Canvas material despite being durable, can feel rigid
  • Outside breast pockets are too small

If you're looking for something discreet and low-key, look elsewhere. Moose Knuckles never intended the Stirling to be subtle. Make no mistake, you will stand out. For those living in harsh, cold conditions, investing in a reliable winter outer garment is a must. We highly recommend the Moose Knuckles Stirling because it's incredibly well made, warm without the bulk, fashionable, and will likely be the last winter coat you'll ever buy.

At $950, it's certainly not cheap but you get more than what you pay for. Despite being the new kid on the block, Moose Knuckles' unique line of products rival Canada Goose and Montcler in terms of quality, value, and appeal. The next time you're out shopping for a winter coat, put Moose Knuckles near the top of your list.

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How to Handle Stress Like a Top CEO

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Sometimes as a business owner, leader, and/or CEO things can be overwhelming.  Ever wonder what the top CEO's do to deal with stress?  Below are some of the methods that top CEO's have used to cope with stress in their daily work life.

Luis Derechin, CEO of JackBe

"Business situations that add stress to my life are mostly circumstances that are out of my control and that I or my team can’t do anything to remedy. As an early-stage CEO, I try to be adaptable and to think that almost anything can be remedied. However, macroeconomic situations and giant shifts in purchasing patterns require far more innovative thought, so they create more stress. I relieve stress by exercising. I go for long runs in the morning, to meditate and to try to work out the issues. Last year I got fit enough to be able to run a couple of marathons."

Chris Twyman, CEO of Zapoint

"Planning in a fluid market is extremely difficult. At Zapoint we always have a plan B. For the last two quarters, we have had to have plans C and D too. We have to have that level of anticipation so we can react quickly, but it puts extreme pressure and stress on our team. Monthly reporting has become weekly, and weekly meetings now happen every other day. This enables us to manage resources in the most efficient way, but it does add gray hairs. Working out can offer temporary stress relief, but I usually find that quality time with my family works best."

Robert (Robin) Loudermilk Jr., CEO of Aaron’s, Inc.

"To be honest, I don’t have much stress. My father started this business. There are stresses to working in a family business–not necessarily conflict, but it’s hard. Dad is still active in the company at 82, and I’ve worked here for 25 years now. I’ve been CEO for six months. To get away, anytime I’m not working I’m outside somewhere. I have three kids. We go fishing or hunting, or I watch them play soccer. Family comes first. I encourage my managers to do the same."

Ryan Wuerch, CEO of Motricity

"As a CEO, I find stress to be inevitable whether the economy is up or down. Ideally the best way to manage stress in a down economy is to avoid it altogether by executing on your business objectives and maintaining your company’s success. Personally, I combat stress in many ways, including running 60 miles a week training for a marathon and spending time with my family. But let’s face it, to take the edge off of the day there’s nothing like sitting down with friends for a good bowl of chips, salsa, queso and guacamole."

 

Whether it's a simple jog every morning, relaxing with the family, or a canoeing trip every owner/CEO needs to take the time off to reflect and deflate every once in a while.

 

Sources: Link



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The Best Competitive Gaming Chairs of 2019

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Best gaming chair of 2019

Competitive gaming is still a relatively new phenomenon. And with it comes the development of all sorts of peripherals and gadgets to give players in the competitive space an edge. Gaming used to be much simpler back when I was in grade school. I used to bike over my friend's house after school. My friends and I would finish an episode of Dragon Ball Z, and then head into his basement where he'd  turn on his Nintendo 64 and we'd go four-player split screen death match in Golden Eye. And back then, we didn't need much other than a decent controller. We'd all sit on the floor backs hunched over waiting for scoliosis to kick in as we waste one another.

Those days are long gone, and nowadays competitive gaming has evolved greatly. And along with it, the need for better support equipment, mainly back support. In recently years, there's been a lot of new companies entering the e-sport market, especially the gaming-chair category. Gaming chairs have become an essential gaming equipment that professional players can't go without. If you watch either Fortnite or Apex streamers on Twitch, you'll notice just about everyone sits in a professional gaming chair. And there's a good reason for that. A player with better support equipment will outlast and outperform a player. And that's why nowadays, everyone is investing in a good gaming chair. But not all gaming chairs are created equal. Which chair should you invest in?

1) Secret Lab - Titan Series

Having only been founded in 2014 and launching their line of products in 2015, Secret Lab is a fairly new company. But being the new kid on the black doesn't mean their products aren't among the best in class. We review and test the Secret Lab Titan Series, and so far, it's one of the most comfortable, versatile, adjustable, and well balanced chair we've ever tested.

At $429, it's certainly not among the cheapest or affordable equipment. But there's a reason why we chose the Secret Lab as first on the list. The build quality, features, and premium materials they used for this chair is unrivaled, even by others on the list. Additionally, we like the clean look of Secretlab chairs. They opted for a more elegant and premium look. And looking at it, it really does look like an expensive chair. When we put it to the test, it performed as expected. Even after six hours of non-stop Apex domination, our reviewer felt the Secret Lab Titan Series provided exceptional support and comfort, especially in long sessions.

BUY IT HERE

2) Arozzi Verona Junior

More petite gamers often have a difficult time finding a chair that fits them just right. Often times they're stuck with a chair that's too large for them, and they have to sit leaning forward because the backrest is too far away. Prolong exposure to sitting in a chair made too large for you can result in discomfort and lack of focus. And that's where the Arozzi Verona Junior shines. As the name implies, the Arozzi Verona Junior is a chair that's made for gamers under 5'2. It's well structured and molds to a smaller frame, giving unequivocal comfort.

BUY IT HERE

3) DXRacer Tank

DXRacer is an old and respected company that pre-dates a lot of companies on this list. And with that, at least one of their chairs are expected to make the list. The DXRacer Tank's is unique in that it can support a gamer up to 450lbs and it's back support is large enough to accommodate a 6'7 giant. It's a sturdy chair that's made for a specific audience and also comes at a fairly steeper price tag of $600.

BUY IT HERE

4) AutoFull 

Autofull is a great value chair. It's not cheaply made, and it's price certainly doesn't reflect that. But it's also not overly expensive with quirks and features you'll never need. Autofull made a chair that's just perfect for the middle market. Someone who has a little bit of budget, wants to invest, and only invest in a chair that can deliver the essential comfort and features they need. And with that, Autofull absolutely delivers. Being at $200, it's price point is just right. And even at that price point, they still managed to squeeze in features you'll be surprise to find.

BUY IT HERE

5) Vertagear Racing Series SL4000

Vertagear is popular among Twitch streamers and many Youtubers. It's a highly adjustable and ergonomic gaming chair with all your essential features in addition to the memory foam being on the firm side. The back can actually be adjusted. You can lift it up or down to adjust accordingly to your height, a feature not found on many chairs. Veragear also lets you choose from a wide variety of colors to ensure the chair fits your setup/colorscheme.



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