Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Margaret and Nancy & Blogosphere Questions & Freedom of Expression

Well hello, world. Because I do not want to do my Anatomy & Physiology homework and much rather fart around on my computer, here is a picture of Margaret Thatcher and Nancy Reagan at 10 Downing Street.
Look at the cute little heartfeltish note Nancy wrote at the bottom! Ahhh I just love famous political women just hangin' out!

I have a question though for the blogosphere. Why is it that just teenage/young adult girls seem to write blogs? Yes, I know there are adult male bloggers out there, but our teen girl demographic seems to be the only one to really have taken advantage of the opportunities blogging presents. While I'm not an accomplished Internet stumblerer, I have never seen a blog written by a teenage boy that is on par with the high caliber of blogs written by girls.

This gives me pride. Teenage girls have utilized the opportunity in blogging to make their voices louder and their thoughts heard. In a roundabout and kind of sexist way, this to me proves that at least in post-adolescence, us teenage girls are flying past our male counterparts in the articulation and literacy departments. Go us for being able to communicate our ideas to international Internet audiences!

So I guess I just basically answered my own question. Or it's just that articulate teenage boy blogs do exist but because that's not my demographic I haven't found them. Agh who knows. Why did I decide to write a blog post today.

Why do you guys think teenage girls gravitate towards a medium like blogging?

Whoa wait I figured it out! Man it's true, you really get the best ideas in the shower!

Teenage girls gravitate towards a medium like blogging because the Internet is one of the only places where we're not cut off when we're talking. In real life, we're cut off by adults, boys, each other; on the Internet, we can articulately or un-articulately ramble without anybody stopping us.

Think about it; we're living in an amazing time in human history where people can say and publish whatever they want! The world has never experienced an amount of freedom of expression this high before! Somebody can have an idea, write it down or record it on a video, publish it on the Internet and BAM anybody around the free world can access it! Holy tomatoes that is amazing!

(Ok. It is kind of depressing that the select people who are lucky enough to be living in this era of mankind's history use this amazing gift of freedom of expression to post things on the Internet that are very un-articulate and un-helpful-towards-the-progress-of-man. But still. It is amazing.)

Back to teenage girls and blogging, the Internet is the only place where we can unconditionally, limitlessly talk about anything without anybody interrupting. Remember when the TV show My So-Called Life was really popular on the Internet? Well I, trying to participate in the trendiness, started watching the show, and even though I didn't finish it, there's one part I'll never forget. It's the part when the guy Angela likes kisses her while she's talking and she's all like, "Hey, I was talking, what are you doing?" That is the best thing ever. Really the best thing ever.

I just love that she said that so much. When I first saw that scene, I thought, "Angela sister what are you doing? You like him he likes you he kissed you go get him!" But no! Angela was talking! She has respect for her right to share her opinions even though the guy she likes doesn't!!!!

That scene really blew my mind.

The point is, I am going to take part in this amazing moment in human history and use this blog to say whatever I want. Because here, on this little HTML sliver in a sea of words and ideas and GIFs, I can say whatever I want without anybody cutting me off. Yeah! Freedom of expression!

What do you guys think? Are we living in an amazing or unamazing time in human history? Should everybody take advantage of the Internet to share their voice or is blogging narcissistic by definition?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

economics used to solve problems? yes please

All my life, I've always thought finance and business were these super boring things meant for super boring people only. The world of money and numbers wasn't meant for me; for I was a creative type,  and creative types can't muddy themselves with the cold-hearted world of finance.

But, because of National History Day, I learned about social entrepreneurship, which most people have probably heard of, but I didn't because I was lost in my whole writer-black-coffee-only-no-sugar fantasy. Social entrepreneurship is using business to create social change. It's not like nonprofits in the sense where you are actually trying to make a profit.

At first, the concept seemed weird to me. How can you make a difference in the world using business? But the more I learned about social entrepreneurship, the more it made sense.

The world seems to revolve around basically one thing: money. That thought was what repelled me from the business world in the first place. But the fact that the world revolves around money can actually be a good thing. It's possible to employ economics to make a difference. Words and ideas are great, but they're nothing without action, and action can be caused using money.

The reason why I researched social entrepreneurship is because my partner's and mine's NHD project is about a pioneering social entrepreneur, Martha Matilda Harper (our thesis isn't about her social entrepreneurship though). Without going into Martha's whole story, here is why she is important to social entrepreneurship: Martha created the business model of franchising, which is where one company, the franchise, sells the right to use its name and products to franchisees. The franchise makes it money by selling the right to use its name and by selling the products to the franchisees. The franchise model differs from a typical business expansion model in that not only does the franchise benefit, but the individual franchisees benefit, because they make money by selling the products the franchise sold them. Make sense?

Before she was an insanely successful haircare magnate, Martha was a dirt-poor indentured servant. She correctly believed that only by achieving economic independence she could free herself from servitude, without having to get married. Once it was time to expand her business, she invented the business model of franchising because she wanted other indentured servants to achieve economic independence and free themselves also (ironically, the word "franchise" comes from the French word, "to free from servitude"). She sold the rights to use her name and products only to other indentured servants. By providing servants means to make money, she freed them from an otherwise hopeless life stuck in domestic service.

In Martha's business, everybody was happy: everybody was making money and the company created social change. This is an example of how social entrepreneurship can be more effective than a nonprofit.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that most of the world's problems can be solved using commerce and economics. Disclaimer: I know nothing about economics. But what I do know is that money is a huge motivator for people. In Western Civ we learned about Adam Smith and how he said that money is a motivator for innovation. While I can think of a couple of examples of something else being a motivator for innovation (war, for one; but a lot of wars in history were caused by money), I agree with Smith. That's personally why I think a lot of communist countries founder. Isn't the fact that money is a motivator for innovation why China just decided that they're going to loosen the reigns on their economy to "unleash the creative energy of China," according to the NYTimes this morning?

If money is a motivator for people, and a reason why people start businesses in the first place, I think social entrepreneurship is a smarter approach to social change than nonprofits.
What do you guys think? Which is more effective, social entrepreneurship or nonprofits? Is money a good means to solve problems with?
Here is a super great TED video about Martha and franchising if you want to know more about her!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Precarious Balance of Facets of Life

While I'm completely drowning in the acid swamp of craziness that is my fairly easy life, my friends seem to be super-organized and on top of everything, from schoolwork to extracurriculars to conquering the world. I don't know how they do this. It's like they're super heroes or something, and I'm Super Slacker.

I just don't get how they do it. And if I can't figure out how my fellow sophomores in high school balance life, how the heck am I supposed to understand how Obama balances running the world with Michelle and Malia and Sasha and Bo? HOW DO PEOPLE DO IT?!

Because I'd rather make up fake diseases to diagnose my slacker-ness instead of working to eradicate it, I believe that I suffer from Super Slacker Syndrome, otherwise known as Alliterations' Disease.

Super Slacker Syndrome is a condition most people develop in between the ages of 0-120. The symptoms are hard to recognize at first: not doing your multiplication homework in third grade can quickly grow into promising yourself that you'll clean your fish's bowl the next day, and guess what? You'll never clean the bowl.

(Disclaimer: Despite the statement previously made, I do care for my beta, Ronald Reagan. Ron-Ron is a very happy fish, so please don't call DCF- Department of Children and Fish- on me.) (Okay. That was punny in the extreme. But not even good punny. I apologize).

The point is, Alliterations' Disease aside, how do people "do it all?" Is it even possible? A while ago I read that article by that Princeton professor-person that women actually can't balance motherhood and a career, so maybe I should just drop out of high school now.

Oh well. I'm done ranting. Maybe I should just study for my Latin quiz after all.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

dear viewers and hopefully future viewers, I AM SORRY

Look, I know I started this blog with like, the intention of posting on it, but I underestimated how busy I am! I know that sounds so cliche/wimpy/unbelievable coming from a high school sophomore, but I am stressed to the wazoo! To Kalamazoo! To the Bronx Zoo! I have so many projects/tests/quizzes/episodes of the West Wing to watch that blogging and expressing my feelings thus releasing myself of inner anxieties is toooo much for moi to handle right now. But! Alas! Therefore! (I couldn't decide what word to use so I used them all.) I SHALL RETURN TO CONQUER YOU, BLOG! In a couple of weeks I will start posting again and fulfill the blogging destiny I envision for myself. So don't worry yet, my future blogging empire! I will return!

In the meantime, here's some presidential monster zombies!
from here.

So I'll see you soon!

-- Jenna

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dear California, Meet Dunkin' Donuts

The big news here is that Dunkin' Donuts, the church of Connecticut, has decided to expand into Southern California. This day will live in infamy. But good infamy. Famy. Okay I just butchered that word.
This is the very first Dunkin' Donuts ever, in Quincy, Massachusetts. It was founded by Bill Rosenberg in 1950, five years before Ray Kroc founded the McDonald's Corporation and began to slowly but steadily take over the world.

Connecticut wouldn't be Connecticut without D&D. Here in the Insurance State, there's at least 3 D&Ds in any town. It's heaven. What's not to love about
and this
and my personal favorite, this.

I hope Californians love Dunkin' Donuts as much as I do, and don't reject it like they did in 2002 in Sacramento! Come on Cali, I thought you were the cool state!

To return back to my Purple Pants signature of ending a post with questions, here are some for discussion:
What do you think about the coffee culture of America vs. that of other countries? Do you want D&D to expand to California? Do you like D&D? Starbucks vs. Dunkin? What do you think about the prevalence of fast food franchises, good or bad?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hello Again, World!

Hey Internet community, I'm back! It's Jenna, from "The Girl in the Purple Pants," remember that blog? No? Because it was never interesting in the first place? Oh, well, either way here is my new blog, The Girl in the Plaid Skirt! Notice that lil changing of the title to reference the minute changes in my life?

I wanted to start blogging again because ever since my departure from the blogging world eightish months ago, my writing skills have gone down the drain. While writing for a blog never improved my academic writing (or anything really useful in high school), the few times I would write for myself the words wouldn't flow like a cool clear spring brook like I was used to. Instead, it would be like trying to get the ketchup out of those glass bottles at diners: impossible. So that's why I'm back on the Internet, trying to reclaim some of the skills I lost.

Also, I had a lot of fun blogging. Blogging made me realize how fun my life was, and it added that much need pazazz! I want that pazazz back! Sparkly sparkles!!
I know people on tumblr are always like, artist credit and stuff, so I found this gif here.

I want my life to be like this hamburger!! That's why I'm blogging again!!

So hopefully I keep up with this blog like I did with my old one. I'll try and make it really interesting I promise!! Have faith in me!!