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Music means so much to a lot of people. The iTunes Festival is always nice!

Fortune

It’s about 11:00 pm and I’m standing among 3,000 fans shuffling out of the Roundhouse in London after a rousing Lenny Kravitz concert at Apple’s 8th annual iTunes Festival. In a spontaneous show of excitement and support for Kravitz, the exiting crowd began singing one of his more famous songs, “Fly Away.” This went on — down the stairs, out of the venue, onto the sidewalk — for a good 10 minutes.

As I stood outside, watching and listening to the fans, I was taken back to a conversation I had backstage with Oliver Schusser, Apple’s head of iTunes Europe, two hours before the show began.

“iTunes Festival is all about the fans in the audience, and the fans at home,” Schusser told me in an exclusive interview.

Is there any better feedback than to see people leaving a concert singing the songs they just saw the artist play? That’s…

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The Water Challenge

It time to step up to the challenge! Can you drink 2 to 3 Liters of water per day.  It sounds pretty easy, but let’s start tracking it and see what happens.  Here are the rules:

1. Take a selfie – Yes. Take a picture of your face so that you can see your skin before the challenge begins.  Save it somewhere that you will not lose it.

2. Track it – Determine how you will track if you reach your daily goal.  This is all on the honor system.  So, it only helps you by remaining honest.

3. The dates – September 1 to September 30th

4. Share – Take the time to share with us your successes and challenges during the month. If you found a favorite glass or time of day to drink water, share that with us.  When you start seeing some progress from drinking water, share that with us too.

5. Ending selfie – At the end of the month, put a before and after photo side by side.  Let’s see how well you did.

Enjoy!

TIME

Researchers at University College London were able to create an equation that could accurately predict the happiness of over 18,000 people, according to a new study.

First, the researchers had 26 participants complete decisionmaking tasks in which their choices either led to monetary gains or losses. The researchers used fMRI imaging to measure their brain activity, and asked them repeatedly, “How happy are you now?” Based on the data the researchers gathered from the first experiment, they created a model that linked self-reported happiness to recent rewards and expectations.

Here’s what the equation looks like:

Robb Rutledge, UCL

Then, in their study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers tested their model by having 18,420 people play a smartphone game called The Great Brain Experiment for points. They found that their equation was also accurate at predicting the gamers’ happiness.

The researchers were not…

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TIME

What is life all about?

What’s your five-year plan? Your ten-year plan?

If you’re anything like me, your answer is probably something along the lines of “I have no idea.”

And just being asked that question makes you feel inadequate. Like you’re always supposed to know what the future will hold.

In his powerful book, How Will You Measure Your Life?, Clayton Christensen reflects that so many of his students at Harvard Business School feel they should always be able to answer “What is life all about?”

They expect to have their whole lives mapped out — and if they don’t, something is wrong with them.

Via How Will You Measure Your Life?:

Starting as early as high school, they think that to be successful they need to have a concrete vision of exactly what it is they want to do with their lives. Underlying this belief…

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Atlanta, Georgia is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. There are a variety of activities that can be considered ‘family friendly.’ One of the things that I forget to do sometimes is to take advantage of all that goes on right here in Atlanta!

My family and I went to an Atlanta Braves baseball game a few evenings ago. None of us really care for the game of baseball, but we ended up having an AWESOME time!
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Yes, you have to contend with a lot of traffic and a lot of people, but all-in-all it creates great family memories that your family will never forget. For example, the wave went around the stadium at least 4 times strong. The kids had so much fun waiting for it to make its way around. The ballpark food was great. They had everything from Asian food to Mexican food.

Typically, as a person who lives in a particular city, you may not want to do the tourist type activities. Let me suggest that every so often you act like a tourist in your own city. The memories that you create with your family will last a lifetime.

This weekend in Atlanta:

1. The COMA Computer Museum of America is in Roswell, GA

2. The Children’s Museum of Atlanta will have to Zoo Truck on hand

3. The High Museum will offer free family tours on Saturday with admission

Enjoy the city you live in!

I think that Michael Jackson had it right when he regularly said, “It’s all for LOVE!”

When we hear about all of the negativity that goes on in the world today, it really does not phase us. Many can listen to the afternoon or evening news, and not reflect on the fact that what the anchors are speaking about is real. Someone’s life was tragically lost or altered in some way and we do not flinch. In the words of Kayne West, “There’s nothing on the news but the blues.” What does this say about us as human beings?

Often times I think about the number of homeless people I pass as I leave my nice office in downtown Atlanta. The line at the shelter is often times wrapped around the building. The building is extremely small, so I know that all of those individuals are not going to get in for the evening. The unfortunate part is how cold it has been lately in Atlanta. If the homeless are not able to get in to a shelter, they are forced to sleep outside under bridges and/or on park benches.  It is really a shame that this is so prevalent in a country as wealthy as the US.

“They got money for war, but can’t feed the poor.” -Tupac

Don’t get me wrong, some individuals bring their situations on themselves. But, with the number of individuals sitting in churches each and every Sunday in the US, something should be different. How can someone consider themselves to be a Christian and sit back and allow poverty and injustice to go on around them?

I’m just as guilty as anyone in this matter, but I am hoping to challenge the status quo. I’m hoping that people will be moved to action. I think that the first step is to start by looking within. Love yourself! Next, love your family! Finally, as stated in Mark 12:31, ‘Love thy neighbor.’

Valentines Day, as practiced in the US, is all about celebrating the LOVE you have for others around you. I love my husband more than words can say. We will continue to celebrate our love each and every day.  A celebration of love does not occur on just one day a year. Everyday should be the 14th!

Love great food that also looks good. This is a recipe that I will have to try!

With The Grains

January 2013

Though I have visually feasted my way through the food magazines strewn across my dining room table, all too often my meal choices remain unaffected by their inspiration. However, life is all too short to fill with the same old routines. One of my [loosely defined] goals for the new year is to eat better balanced, more varied meals (don’t let blogging fool you, I too fall victim to last minute scraping and convenience), so I started simply. I dogeared one recipe to try; I shopped appropriately, and voila…

Wild Rice Salad 01

A healthy bowl full of colors emerged!

Wild Rice Salad 02

I adapted this recipe ever so slightly from one of the Bon Appétit issues in said dining room collection. This rice salad is substantial enough to stand alone, or pair it with a dijon roasted salmon for a more mixed plate. In an effort to be resourceful (and maybe in some subconscious, knee-jerk…

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