So Cute That You Forget It Can Ruin Your Life

                                                                     
I’ve grown up in a world where my parents expect me to know how to fix every technological issue they may be having and where new or improved technology is being put out every single day. In most cases, these technological advances are way ahead of their time. In order for these advances to be successful, there needs to be trust—trust in the company, the brand, the investment, and yes, even the government.

                                                                             
Whether you’re a George Orwell fan or you have always been slightly apprehensive about technology, chances are you have heard the saying ‘Big Brother is watching’; meaning the government is watching your every move and I suggest that they are able to do this through technology.


Mike Beebe, CEO of Mayfield Robotics, has created a robot that acts as a companion and a home security device that is set to be released at the end of 2017. Beebe has given this robot not only a name (Kuri) but also a personality in which it is easy to love and trust. At first meet, Kuri will roam around your house memorizing the layout and design. The camera located in both eyes records videos and sends them to an application on your phone, allowing you to watch these videos when you are away. Kuri will learn to detect your face and tone to better allow her to understand your needs. She also will learn when things are out of place and will alert you of so.


Wow.

To some, Kuri may seem like a life saver or even an extra set of hands (though she doesn’t actually have arms). To others, like myself, Kuri just sounds like one big red flag. 

I am all for technological advances; however, with a simple software malfunction or a slip up in programming, we could have a disaster. Imagine how horrifying it would be to find out that the software has in fact been hacked and now someone on the other side of the world (or your neighbor) now has access to you house blue prints, knowns when you leave and come home for work, knows where you keep your valuables, how many kids you have, and has visual access to your most vulnerable moments.

                                                                    
Maybe I am just paranoid. After all, I don’t have my credit card numbers saved to Apple Pay or on Google for this specific reason. I would rather take the 60 seconds to re-enter my credit card information every time I make a purchase than risk my credit card information being stolen. Hacking is alive and well today. If Sony, number 10 largest information technology company, can get hacked, so can a fairly new Vegas based robotic company.

 

EburgSpeaks: Awareness For Some, Reality For Others

“Nothing is wrong with me” my mom would say; though, I knew she was suffering. I watched my mom battle undiagnosed multiple personality disorder and depression for years. I say undiagnosed because she never went to the doctor.. she was always fine.

Until one day she wasn’t.

On the evening of August 13, 2016, I lost my mother to a mental illness. To this day I have so many questions. Why didn’t she talk to me? Was she scared? What could I have done differently? The only answer I’ll ever get is that she was sick. My mother was in an unimaginable amount of pain; a pain that I never want anyone else to feel.

It all starts with campaigns such as EburgSpeaks.

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Two weeks ago there was an announcement made in my class. Hearing this announcement sent chills down my back. Though 450 million people suffer from a diagnosed mental illness, society still considers it to be a taboo to talk about. It should not be considered taboo to talk about. While some mental illnesses can be effectively treated, at relatively low cost, the starting point towards recovery is talking. For Mental Health Awareness Week a campaign was launched called ‘Eburg Speaks’ to change the way we talk about mental health. Every day throughout the week there was an event held on campus that would help raise awareness for mental health throughout the community.

An event that I attended was all about what made you feel good. Students were able to come up to a board and write what they did to take care of themselves. The board was full of words like; ‘laughter’, ‘smiling’ and ‘friendships’. That had me walk away with a genuinely good feeling.

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My mothers biggest demon was feeling alone. Though she was surrounded by family, friends, love, and support, my mother still felt alone. It was her depression that made her feel alone. I can’t help but think; what if my mom had been apart of a campaign like EburgSpeaks while in college? Would knowing that she wasn’t the only one feeling the way she did feel give her the encouragement to get the help she needed? If one person struggling with a mental illness saw this campaign going on around campus and it made them feel less “crazy”, it would all be worth it.

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There is a huge generation gap between me and my mother. She comes from a generation that doesn’t allow talking about one’s feelings; whereas, my generation is an open book. Millennials have been taught to embrace everyone’s differences and whether they be your highest attributes or your deepest demons. Let’s use it to our advantage and keep the conversation of mental health going.

Why Your Local Community Food Bank Need More Than Just Food

                                                                      
In a town where the average household income is nearly half of what the U.S. average household income is and the poverty level is pushing 40%, resources such as community food banks can be a huge help.

Now, what if you were told that the town I was just referencing was a town that you called home? 

As a town, Ellensburg has struggled for at least two years to meet the U.S. average household income by almost 50%. This number is alarming. But have no fear, FISH Community Food Bank is here to make sure that everyone in our community goes to sleep with a full and content stomach. 

FISH Community Food Bank has had many food drives over the years where they have received generous amounts of food from local residents. On almost a daily basis, FISH Community Food Bank receives food donations in addition to the food supplied by federal programs through the USDA. However, FISH Community Food Bank needs more than just food donations in order to stay open and running–they need money.

The money that is donated can go farther than what you would be able to at a grocery store. I say this because food banks order and buy in bulk; with the nonprofit discount they receive in this process, they are able to make a dollar spread. This cash donation is also used to buy the perishable items that you cannot donates such as milk, fruits, and vegetables. Without this money, it is nearly impossible for food banks to provide a healthy meal.

Let us not forget that FISH Community Food Bank, and all other food banks, are a business and run like one. Heating, gas, electrical all need to be paid for by the end of the month. 

So, can the food drives and donate money instead

Airbnb Providing a Safe Haven for Those Affected by Muslim Ban

In a time of true chaos and fear, there are companies in the United States that are desperately trying to show that we are not divided. Airbnb, a company where you can list and rent houses, condos, and apartments for a short period of time. CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, expressed his concern for the recent “Muslim ban” by “[providing] free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing” through Airbnb. 

                                              
The “Muslim ban” includes a 90 day period where refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries are banned from entering (and returning) to the United States. Families are now being separated, doctors are not allowed to come back home after a business trip, and most left with no place to go. That is what makes Airbnb so great. Brain Chesky is making an awful experience a little less awful.

                                           
It has been less than two weeks since Donald Trump took office… and it seems more unreal than ever. In the past twelve days, we have seen trump do surprising and not-so-surprising things. His first Twitter rant since being elected was directed towards the press and the supposed “false” claims that the crowd size at his inauguration was about half the size of former President Obama inauguration. This wasn’t so surprising.

In a promise to “make America great again”, may we remember why America was so great in the first place. People from all walks of life, coming together, to live united and free.

With all of the uncertainty of where this country is going, it is almost calming to know that there are big companies in the United States that believe in moving forward and taking a stand for what is right.

Chicago: The Real Star of Shameless

Shameless is a television series that I got hooked on and found myself binge watching last month. It follows the Gallagher’s, a close-knit family that lives and thrives in the Southside of Chicago, who give a new perspective to a different way of life. The Gallagher’s, live a life full of poverty, addicts, and violence which has them struggling for success on a daily basis. Though this show is very much non-fiction, I’ve heard many people that were not fans because they found it “too real”. Some nights, I would have to turn it off because it got uncomfortable. The type of uncomfortable you feel when you can’t imagine or don’t understand something. This uncomfort I was feeling steamed from they lifestyle of those living in what we call “the ghetto”.

                                              
The Southside of Chicago doesn’t offer much to those on the outside, but to those who grew up and live there, it is full of family and protection. This so called “ghetto” lifestyle works for them, and to some, it is all they know.

In the final seasons of Shameless, we see a couple that moves into the neighborhood and tries to buy all of the houses on the block that have cardboard boxes as front doors, plastic wrap as windows, and are all around falling apart—including the Gallagher’s house. This couple sees tremendous growth and opportunity for the Southside of Chicago. But the townies aren’t buying into it.

Outside of this television show and currently, the upper class in Chicago is trying to move into the Southside of Chicago in hopes to give this neighborhood a new light, transform from the ground up, and build a new confidence. Private schools are going up on every corner and visionaries are buying run down houses attempting to flip them—coming out on top. However, no one asked for this. While there isn’t anything wrong with private schools and a great education, for most of the natives on the Southside, the only education they can afford for their children is the free kind. Because of the increase in private education, public education is now not being funded and around 50 public elementary schools in the area have been shut down. Aside from schooling, if the houses in the neighborhood keep getting bought and turned into million dollar homes, the natives to the Southside will have nowhere to live and nowhere to go.

                                                                         
When you hear or read headlines about the Southside, it is always affiliated with violence and gangs, but there must be more to the area than just that. Those who are born and raised in the Southside will defend the Southside until the day they die. This speaks volumes. So, before we come in with our jack hammer and tool belt all high and mighty, let’s take the time to realize that though this is a different lifestyle, it is a lifestyle that works for them.