Category Archives: Culture

Betty White hosts Saturday Night LiveBrace yourselves Charlotte…the world is coming to you this week in honor of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Election season is in full swing and the Republicans have already nominated their choices: former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan accepted the nominations just last week at the Republican National Convention. And it was definitely a rather interesting convention…perhaps one of the strangest thing that could have emerged from there was when renowned and celebrated actor and director Clint Eastwood took the stage to introduce the Republican nominee and addressed an empty chair with an imaginary figure befitting President Obama. That  itself wound up creating a brand new meme called #Eastwooding, and even got Obama involved in the whole thing. So now that the Republicans have had their say, this coming week is the Democrat’s turn and people must wonder what will take place–just how will the Democrats one-up the GOP?

Well, if social media has their way, the Democrats could potentially have a megastar walking into Charlotte and the Bank of America stadium where 70,000 will witness the president accept his party’s nomination. Just who could potentially overshadow the leader of the free world? Why, the Golden Girl herself: Betty White. A petition is already circulating on in order to garner enough signatures that the Democratic National Committee will see it and follow through on the request.

SXSW 2012 - Samsung TechSet Blogger LoungeHave you ever wondered what people were talking about when they were saying “Honeybadger don’t care” or “Double Rainbow!” or perhaps are at a loss when people as you if you saw the Internet blow up when Congressman Todd Akin made a controversial statement or what people are talking about when they refer to #NBCFail? Well one clear source for the latest trends happening on the Internet just happens to be the original web series “What’s Trending” hosted by television personality, actress, and blogger, Shira Lazar.

Each week, this one-hour program airs to share with the Internet community the latest and greatest things happening so you’re aware of the trends that technology is having on our lives. Sure, it might not affect you directly, but let’s face it, the world is moving at much faster pace with the increased usage of the Internet and one simply cannot reply on watching the regularly scheduled news at 10 or 11pm to find out what’s happening…so it falls to services like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other creative services to help fill that goal to share the wealth of knowledge in order to get you up-to-date on the happenings affecting your life. Would the world known so much about the internal conflicts of the Arab Spring had it not been for the Internet? What about results and news of the London 2012 Summer Olympics? Occupy Wall Street movements? A lot more have become aware of not only world events, but also cultural and societal news that have helped to shape the world as we know it.

Bravo TV's Silicon Valley reality showRecent tales have surfaced that tell me that the filming of the new startup reality show to hit the San Francisco Bay Area has wrapped up. That’s right, San Francisco…you won’t have to worry about video cameras invading the myriad of startup and tech parties that we have around the city. The show, tentatively named “Silicon Valley”, that some either have hated from the start or love it has captured all the footage that it needs to make it’s eight-plus episodes for the season and has moved on to post-production work in order to get the whole thing ready for the upcoming fall season where it’s expected to make its debut.

“Silicon Valley”, as you may recall, is a reality show produced by Bravo TV that follows along the adventures of several entrepreneurs and records their day-to-day activities so folks around the world, or at least those that have Bravo as a cable channel, can see what it’s like to be a struggling entrepreneur, ready to defy-the-odds, and witness the potential birth of something great. The inaugural season has cameras that follow along at least six of the cast mates, including The Next Web reporter and Newspepper founder, Hermione Way, her brother, serial entrepreneur Ben Way, Dwight Crow, David Murray, Marcus Lovingood, and Kim Taylor. What antics, surprises, drama, and potential success stories will turn up? I suppose that we’re going to have to just wait until the fall season to find out.

PandoMonthly - April 2012 - Sarah Lacy Interviews Peter ThielThere’s not a single rule in the world of business that says you have to be a certain age in order to start your own company or startup–and if there is one, then that needs to be ripped out of the rule book and abolished from the minds of human civilization. Those starting a business or have an idea that can drastically change the world are the backbone to the creation of our economy, not to mention our society. Take a look at the ages of folks like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and many other successes. All started at a young age. Some probably prospered more than others because of the support system that they had.

In order to help foster the innovations, aspirations, hopes and dreams of future entrepreneurs, Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, and well-known investor, decided he  wanted to give something back and help the young people find their way so he started a program called the Thiel Fellowship where he would select 20 of the most brillant minds he could find, all under the age of 20, and give them a generous seed round to help fund their ambitions for the next two years. When you get down to the deeper meaning, it’s actually a means to back Mr. Thiel’s belief that entrepreneurs can be quite successful if they skip their post-secondary education. But why would someone be so bold as to abandon continuing their education?  Well it could be for a variety of reason (too many for this post), but for Mr. Thiel, it’s because he says that the system is broken–the cost is not worth the benefit (you can read the industry’s reaction here). So rather than just complaining about the antiquated education system, he chose 20 high school students and gave them each $100,000 and started his Thiel Fellowship.

Carly Rae JepsenOne of the hottest songs this summer is not one you would typically think would be this big. It’s amazing that the song people can’t get out of their heads isn’t the ones that are played frequently and practically non-stop (I’m looking at you Gotye), but rather the ones that are remixed over, and over, and over again. This summer, that one re-dubbed song happened to be “Call Me Maybe“, sung by the pop sensation, Carly Rae Jepsen.

Soon after its release, the Internet was abuzz with dozens of remakes of the pop song and included college athletes, Sesame Street, regular individuals, President Obama, and many others. Just doing a search on YouTube will reveal over a couple thousand video remakes of the song. So it was only a matter of time before someone here in the tech community, and in Silicon Valley, no less.

Last night at the launch party for the new African charity, THRIVEgulu, the sensational startup band named feedbomb took the stage to perform a brand new song. In case you don’t know about feedbomb, it’s composed of past and present members of Facebook, including lead singer Randi Zuckerberg, Chris Pan, Andy Barton, Eric Zamore, Robert Johnson, Mike Vernal, Eric Giovanola, Sean Chaffin, and Chris Struhar, the group puts on one hell of a performance singing covers of the best songs of the past few years, and even some familiar oldies. So while at the THRIVEgulu event, their second song just happened to be a brand new one and one that was written by Owen Thomas, the West Coast editor at Business Insider, and it was called, “Fund Me Maybe“.

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