Scientist Comedian Finds an Algorithm to Bringing Laughter to the World by Vidushi Somani


I stood in front of hundreds of people, worrying that the microphone would slip out of my sweaty hands. Suddenly, my throat swelled up, and my chest became heavy. I took a moment to reflect on how I’d ended up on this stage. This was different from anything I had done before.

For years, I had entertained my parents with stories from school and accents I picked up. My parents would hang on every word, laughing hard. Then they would invite me to perform in front of their friends. Embarrassed at first, I became more comfortable the more my audience laughed. Soon, I was making up stories on the spot, coming up with new ways to embellish and exaggerate to get people howling with laughter. Almost every week, I’d find a new family to entertain.

But this was different.

Watching YouTube videos inspired me to expand my audience to more than just my parents and their friends. So, I made my own videos. What began as my random ramblings in front of a camcorder in the living room grew into fully-scripted, elaborate videos. I spent hours recording and editing my creations before finally posting them online. As the views and positive comments rolled in, I felt a thrill of accomplishment; every time someone complimented me on my videos, my self-confidence soared higher and higher.

But this was different.

Public speaking wasn’t new to me. I felt comfortable talking in front of people during school presentations or theater performances. I’d danced in front of thousands of people many times before. I usually jump at the chance to make new friends, eagerly engaging people of all kinds in conversation wherever I go.

But this was different.

With hundreds of people staring at me, my head filled with doubts. What if they didn’t laugh? What if they hated me? I couldn’t re-record or go to my room. I had to be spontaneous and lively right now. I took a deep breath, wiped my hands, and just began talking. As the laughter heightened, my body loosened, my voice became louder, and I got sillier. It didn’t matter if someone didn’t laugh or if a joke didn’t work. It happens. I can never be perfect. But if I make even one person laugh, I know I have succeeded.

Being a comedian is a lot like being a scientist. I design jokes–my experiments–and test them, changing words and punchlines–the variables–when they don’t work. As a comedian, I spend months coming up with ten minutes of material. As a scientist, I wonder if I can design an computer algorithm that produces jokes to stimulate laughter for a target audience. I want to work at the intersection of the brain and computers, developing artificial intelligence to bring laughter to the world.

A major in neuroscience or computer science would allow me to turn my ideas into true inventions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Vidushi Somani is a high school senior in Silicon Valley.  She has her own Youtube channel with 80k views – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_P9-DU9KF4bLqlemA4kdEQ

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Your Credit Impacts More Than You Think

Contributed article in our career series. Enjoy! – Scrappy Kimberly

When was the last time you checked your credit status? If it’s been more than six months to a year, you may want to make this a priority. Though it may not seem like a big deal at the moment, as companies begin to become increasingly dependent upon credit to determine eligibility for products and services, a poor credit history could mean the inability to get even some of the most basic things.

Don’t believe it? Here’s how a negative credit rating can impact your life. Continue reading

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3 Tips for Women Entering the Welding Field

Contributed article in our career series. Enjoy! – Scrappy Kimberly

Fields like welding can seem challenging for women. While it does have its fair share of challenges, times are changing and more and more women are considering a career in welding. You may have to navigate a bit differently if you want to prevent incidents and perform to the best of your abilities. With that in mind, here are three tips for women entering the welding field. Image Ref: Royalty Free Photo

Have the Right Protective Gear

Women have different frames than man. Not only are they often shorter and lighter, but their hands also tend to smaller. Continue reading

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4 Wardrobe Hacks for Female Entrepreneurs

When you work in a large corporation you’ll likely follow a dress code, so a few variations on classic outfits can keep you looking professional for years. But when you leave this world behind to go self-employed, a sudden fashion crisis often accompanies the many other challenges of working for yourself. So here are four wardrobe hacks for female entrepreneurs that will restore your sense of style. Continue reading

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When My Personal Finances Almost Ruined My Dream Job By Avery Taylor Phillips


I have always been a spendy person. I love to shop (who doesn’t?), and I love to pretend like I can afford that $800 couch I saw on Apartment Therapy. If you give me a credit card, it doesn’t take long for me to fill it up.

Well, when my side-hustle started to pick up steam, I thought I was well on my way to being a professional artist. Sales were increasing, profits were almost matching the income I was making at my day job, and it seemed like my ideal job working for myself was just over the horizon.

Unfortunately, my habits soon caught up with me. This is the story of how I found out (the hard way) that my personal finances ruined my dream job.

Continue reading

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A New Era of Corporate Social Responisibility

Today, socially responsible companies tend to attract more consumers as well as the best talent, according to a 2015 global corporate social responsibility (CSR) study by Cone communications, a public relations and marketing company headquartered in Boston, NY. The study revealed that consumers are increasingly demanding companies do more to address global social issues (including gender and other diversity inequities), as well as environmental issues. Specifically, 90% of the consumers who took part in the study said they have come to expect companies to participate actively in CSR activities while 84% said they actively seek out responsible products. See the infographic below for all of the details.

To learn more, check out the infographic above created by Norwich University’s Online MBA program.

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How Female Entrepreneurs Can up Their Game With Tech Skills By Avery Taylor Phillips


If you’re not learning, you’re already falling behind. Being an entrepreneur is no walk in the park, especially if you’re a woman. The need for more entrepreneurs in the U.S. is undisputed, and though the rewards and benefits of entrepreneurship are enough to put in the effort, you need an extra edge if you want to be successful.

That’s where the tech industry comes in. Technology is everywhere; there’s no escaping it. Instead of fighting it or just learning the bare minimum, why not embrace this field and go all out? This male-dominated industry is ripe for the influence and innovation only a woman’s perspective can bring.

Tech jobs cannot be filled fast enough and many companies bemoan not being able to find enough qualified workers. Through technology, your entrepreneurial options become endless. All you have to do is take advantage of them.

Beauty and the Tech

Believe it or not, women were the pioneers of the tech industry. At one time, they even outnumbered men in this field. In the past, many women gravitated towards majoring in math, giving them the knowledge and skills that were necessary for computer science.

Women such as Jean Jennings Bartik and Grace Hopper made great advancements in this field, though they weren’t given much credit. Perhaps the lack of known female role models in technology was what led to the eventual decline of women in computer science occupations.

Many tech firms now only sport a 30 percent female employment rate. It was around the late 1980s when female computer science majors dropped below 20 percent. Before that, 40 percent of computer science majors were women.

What caused this decline? During this time, personal computers were on the rise. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were all over the news, and people took notice. Soon, computers were associated solely with boys and men.

Male students became the top picks of schools with technology programs, and women were left to pursue other degrees. However, things are changing now that the gender gap is becoming a more recognized issue in public discourse.

Tech 101

So now you have an interest in tech, but what exactly do you focus on? There are so many fields in technology to explore, and although you can’t really go wrong with any of them, here are some tech skills entrepreneurs must have to succeed:

  • Coding: learning some coding basics can do wonders for your website. HTML and CSS dictate how your site looks and works. Java and Python are other options to look into as well.
  • Big Data: Being able to analyze large sets of data and derive patterns from that data is an incredibly useful skill to have. Big data analysis can help you narrow down a target audience and inform business decisions, not to mention getting a leg up on the competition.
  • Online Accounting: Every business needs to keep their finances in order, including yours. Find an accounting software that offer billing and receipt tracking features and anything else your specific business requires.
  • The Cloud: As technology advances, more and more signs are pointing towards data storage in the cloud. That being said, you’re gonna need to learn how to use Google Drive and Dropbox (both are great timesavers and lifesavers). It makes sharing and storing content much easier.
  • Graphic Design: The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” definitely does not apply to the website of a new business. How your website looks design-wise can be as important as the business itself. Bad website and logo design can be enough to deter many potential customers. So effective content marketing graphics with Photoshop and Illustrator is a must.
  • Mobile: More likely than not, there’s probably a cellphone on your person right now. That being said, you need to make sure your business is easily accessible on peoples’ phones. Once your website is optimized for mobile users, your business will be accessible to a much wider audience.
  • Email: Email is one of the most important tech skills you can have. It is one of the quickest and easiest ways of communication and can be made even more efficient by learning shortcuts and employing automated emails.
  • Social Media: Social media skills are also a necessity to have when trying to get the word out about your business. The benefits of sharing media (such as video) for your business are numerous. You can gather a multitude of useful information from social media free of charge. Plus, it’s a way to better connect with your customers as well.

Tech Savvy Education

As mentioned before, a career in tech entails a lifetime of learning. Fortunately, there are many routes one can take to gain a better understanding of computer science. There are plenty of free resources, such as tutorials, blogs, ebooks and workshops, that are available to gain a basic understanding of a particular subject.

To get a more in-depth education, it’s best to go to school and major in a degree such as computer science. Whichever path you decide to take, it’s best to set some goals for yourself. It’s important to reach the goals you set to not only boost your confidence, but also to grow personally.

The opportunities for entrepreneurial growth are at its peak, especially if you are a woman. A female perspective is much needed and desired in this industry. Instead of waiting and letting this opportunity pass you by, take the initiative and become the newest pioneer in tech.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Avery Taylor Phillips – Avery is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.  Check out her blog on https://www.equities.com/user/AveryTaylorPhillips

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Simple Tweaks That Will Boost Your Productivity When Working from Home

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Whether it is running your own home business or working remotely for a large corporation, working from home is almost always a great thing. I say almost because it can also be very challenging. There are more distractions to deal with when you’re working from home. Remaining productive can also be difficult with the temptations you have around you.

Royalty Free Photo

Worry not, because these challenges are easy to deal with. You can stay productive and enjoy the perks of working from home with these simple tweaks. Let’s have a look, shall we? Continue reading

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Time Management Quiz: Do You Have Time for This? Rate Yourself by Kathryn McKinnon

Time Management Quiz: Do You Have Time for This?
Rate yourself on your ability to accomplish the following:

I have time for creative or strategic thinking.
I stay focused on one thing at a time.
I have time to do what I enjoy most.
There is meaning and significance to my work and my life.

I feel connected to my company’s mission and purpose.
I am connected to my own life’s purpose.
I have opportunities for learning and growth.
I have time to do my best work.
I minimize interruptions and distractions.
I schedule time for my highest priorities.
I have systems in place to manage my time successfully.
I stay positive throughout the day.
I maintain a sense of energy throughout the day.
I understand what it takes to be successful at my job.
I balance my work and personal life.
I disengage from work.
I build healthy boundaries with my time.
I manage perfectionism and minimize procrastination.

If you don’t have the ability to accomplish the items from this Quiz, then what do you have time for and how do you spend your time?

Demand for our time is exceeding our capacity, draining us of the energy we need to bring our skills, talents and sense of purpose to our lives. Increased competitiveness, a leaner work force and a requirement to do more with less are adding to the pressures. The rise of digital technology is exposing us to an unprecedented flood of information and requests we feel compelled to respond to 24/7.

The truth is that we always have time for what’s most important to us. How do you  prioritize your day?

If you can’t accomplish as much as you want, especially when time and quality are of the essence, begin by tracking your time to notice how you’re prioritizing your work and tasks. You’ll start to notice patterns and unproductive habits, what distracts you, what interrupts you, the choices you’re making with your time and what gets you off track. Once you know this, you can begin to make better choices with your time. If you don’t track your time, you’ll never know what’s getting in the way of your productivity.

Or if you’re Stressed, Frustrated and Overwhelmed…

…You’re not sure how to get started, and you’re ready for executive coaching, I’d love to be the one you reach out to for help solving your time management issues and challenges.

Contact me at support@Kathryn-McKinnon.com for a complimentary Discovery Session to identify your biggest time management issue and uncover steps you can take to solve your issue.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kathryn McKinnon, a Harvard Business School and Fortune 500 Executive Coach, Time Management Expert, Bestselling Author of Triple Your Time Today on Amazon, Speaker, Seminar Leader and CEO of McKinnon & Company dedicated to helping executives, professionals and business owners reduce the chaos and stress, add order and structure to the day, boost energy and explode productivity to achieve the best results with your time. https://www.Kathryn-McKinnon.com

 

 

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7 Side Hustles for Busy People Who Want to Earn Extra Cash

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

To some people, this is referred to as “moonlighting”. Other people tend to call it their “hobby that pays”. It doesn’t matter what you happen to call your side hustle, it isn’t simply something that will allow you to bring in a bit more cash. Your side hustle can actually be a quite valuable addition to your current career. It can give you the connections and skills that otherwise, you would never acquire. Let’s take a quick peek at some of the side hustles you can do that can earn you that extra money you need.  Continue reading

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