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Who are “They?” Questioning Authority

Back in college, I had a professor that loved to use statistics to prove his point. I hated that. In today’s world of twisted politics and biased news reporting, who can really believe statistics? I know that statistical information obviously can have merit, but no longer does the phrase “Statistics don’t lie” have any merit. Stats don’t lie, but they can be presented in a way bends the truth.

That professor I mentioned was for a class discussing teaching methods for classroom education. We were focused on “the way kids learn” which is a very valid point. We all learn differently. I for one am a visual and auditory learner. I get much more out of a lecture or discussion versus reading the same material. Once I realized that I because of a better student because I was able to focus my attention on how I learned best. As a teacher knowing the different ways students learned and being sure my lessons were presented in a way that each student could get the information in their best learning method made a huge difference.

So why do I have a sour memory of this professor and his statistical quoting ways? Because he quoted them way too much and on things that I didn’t feel like stats really applied. “The statistics show” or, “they say” became two phrases that I loathe. I began spending most of the lecture marking down in my notes how many times he would say one of those phrases. If I remember right he averaged over 10 per lecture and a record over 20…in a 1-hour lecture!

I don’t always believe stats because when doing a research study there are often far too many variables to measure or control, so though you may arrive at your conclusion, it may be based on faulty suppositions. So when I hear stats on the results of a study, I always question the methods of the research before I believe the final outcome. I am not a conspiracy nut, but I am pretty distrusting of absolutes, especially when they appear in popular media.

Have you ever taken a political or news survey over the phone? If you have enjoyed this glorious event before, you must have noticed how questions are specifically crafted to generate the results they want. Even if you are opposed to the underlying opinion they are driving for, the questions will lead (read that trick) you into the stat they want. Let’s say you support the troops in Iraq but question our motives for being there. Valid position to have as an American. You do your best to answer survey questions to that effect. The news the next day will report “65% of Americans don’t believe Bush can run our country.” Whether that is true or not, the twisting of stats to meet an agenda really irks me.
Because of this attitude, “they say” is something that pricks that nerve in the back of my mind to this day. Unfortunately, my highly educated and wise wife used to use that phrase all the time when talking about child raising and psychology techniques. This was not because she was overly trusting or naive, it was just in her vocabulary when telling me about things she had read and enjoyed. Fortunately, because she knows it bothers me so much she has successfully replaced that phrase with better options that don’t cause the hair on the back of my neck to rapidly rise.

Still, I hear people quoting what they have heard, read or seen in the news or even second (or who knows how many) hands from friends as fact, it drives me batty. Think of it, with today’s easy publishing online (especially with blogs) anyone can proclaim themselves authority and someone is going to believe them. There are plenty of Cliff Claven’s out there that are enjoying their limelight spewing their little-known facts or opinions as fact which is being consumed by avid readers online.

Just because something includes stats doesn’t make it any more credible in my view. My favorite quote about stats I heard some time ago (credit my previous co-worker Aaron Jensen), “67% of all statistics are made up on the spot.” It took me a minute to get that one the first time I heard it. I love it though. It represents my attitude towards most quoted stats because we remember them so poorly anyway.

Stats have their place, and I believe that is in peer-reviewed literature based on validated studies contributing to science. Everything in popular media I just figure those stats of either been contrived by the questions to get results. A sad situation that I don’t see getting any better in my lifetime.

Where’s the Phone?

I love gadgets, no two ways about it. Gadgets don’t even have to make my life better to be worth having, but that is a bonus. I’m old enough (not that old, but enough) for my family growing up to actually owned and used a rotary phone in our home. In fact, I remember being on party plan where multiple households shared the same line. Remember those fun days? Who of you that experienced that time in technology can admit to having listened in on a conversation or two? I was pretty young, so I’ll admit it.

One current technology I enjoy is a wireless phone. I am not talking about a mobile phone, which is a good and bad technology of its own, but just the simple cordless variety in the home. We used to have a couple of them, but last year we purchased a single base with multiple handset varieties from Panasonic. The phones are wonderful. Clear signal, great sound quality (which is a big one for me) and great range.

Why is it with new technology comes new problems? I have mentioned before that I am an efficiency guy, aka kinda anal. My family cannot grasp the concept that putting each handset in a general area each time makes life just a little easier. Doesn’t this make sense? A “kitchen” handset should always end up on the same counter area after each use. A “bedroom” one on a particular nightstand or dresser. “Office” handset, yep, on the desk in the office. Does this happen…yeah, right.

Currently, all of the handsets reside in exactly the same room. This is because whenever my wonderful wife gets off the phone, it usually ends up staying wherever the conversation ended. This is typically the kitchen as it is the hub of our home. I can handle running across the entire house when a new call comes in, but I don’t have to like it! How about kids and putting the phone away…excuse me while I pick myself off the floor after a fit of laughing.
I guess having them all in one place is better than not having any idea where they are, which is also a fairly common problem. Ever run around the house looking for a handset and only hearing the base ring? That’s because the handsets currently reside behind couch cushions, on top of the fridge and out in the garage. Of course, the couch cushion variety lost its charge a day ago, so don’t expect to find it until the next major cleaning event.

I’ll admit, this is a pretty petty pet peeve, but we get a fair number of calls some evenings. I have young kids that go to bed early. It’s such a load of fun to run around trying to find a phone to cut off the ring as it wakes up my one year old! I bet I do my best time in the 40-yard dash when trying to locate a phone after 8 pm.

Ahh, the joys of new technology. Tether-free phones become a new tether in their own special way. I think cordless phones need a few new options to address this problem. Most phone systems like this have a “locator” option now, but how about embedding a secondary batter reserved for just this feature after the main battery is dead.

Perhaps a reminder option that can sense which user just finished a call and, if put down not near its designated area a little annoying message can be played, “Put me away!” Ok, that last one is just my sentiment, but it’d be funny to play as a prank sometime 🙂

Keeping The Lines of Communication Open

Mary, the “mom”

Well, school is back in full swing and summer is already a distant memory, despite the 90-degree weather. Gone is the whining “I’m bored”. Instead, we’re back to running in circles. And, at least for us, this year is worse than ever. Despite how busy my kids were last year, we were able to eat together almost every night. This year’s activity schedules don’t work out as well and as a result, there is no time most weeknights when everyone is home at the same time anywhere near what one would consider dinner time.

The result is the rest of us eat while our older daughter is a dance. She has something light before she goes and again when she gets home. I’m not worried about her nutrition, but I am concerned about losing that talking time. Granted it wasn’t always quality time. You know, we had our share of: “Your chair is too close to mine!” “Don’t touch me!” “Who finished all the potatoes?” But at least we were together and talking.

My second favorite place for catching up and talking with my kids in the car. God knows we spend enough time in it! Well, thankfully we’ve gotten some good carpools going, but the downside is that I can’t really talk to her then either.

I use to walk into her room when she was going to bed and say good night and just see if there was anything on her mind. But I recently made a new rule that I won’t step into her room unless there is a path cleared. (While there was a real danger of falling or stubbing your toe, worse was the effect it had on my blood pressure!)

At 13, I think it’s more important than ever to keep those lines of communication open, in case she decides to actually, you know, communicate. So, do I take my life in my hands and walk back into her room? Do I make a point of getting some alone time in the car? What do you think?

Rach, the “teen”

Having relatively recently been a thirteen-year-old girl, there is absolutely no reason that you shouldn’t try to talk with her as much as possible. Navigating her room, no matter how messy, is completely and entirely worth it.

My mom and I spend a lot of time talking in the car, sure, I want her to drive me to go shopping, but a lot of that want to go with her is because I want to be alone and just talk. No judgment of dad, no annoying brother, and no feeling of pressure that it’s “time to talk.” It’s nice to be in the car because there isn’t a need to talk about deep meaningful things – we can talk about anything.

So, “Mom”, talk to your older daughter, and your younger one too. And your son. Just make sure that each kid gets some alone time, even if one night they don’t want to talk when you come in, make sure you keep doing it, so they always know you’re there when they need you.

Brad, the “dad”

Oh, you actually talk to your fourteen-year-old? What an interesting idea. Not that I’d want to try it myself, you understand, but…interesting.

Seriously: the “meal together” strategy is wonderful, but it broke down for us right around the time the second kid entered teenhood and trying to enforce it made things worse rather than better. After all, we want the kids to be socially active, have extracurricular activities, work on group projects…and that made ’set’ mealtimes impossible for all the right reasons. And like “Mom,” when one parent or the other was driving the one kid to school all alone, that 20 minutes or so each way was an ideal opportunity for a little ‘tude-checking and information exchange. But now we’re deep into carpooling, and that particular private-time is gone as well.

So this summer, Mums and Duds decided that each of us would quietly but intentionally carve out some kind of ‘routine’ time to have casual conversational contact with the Elf. Waltzing into her sanctum sanctorum and demanding an audience? A non-starter. But she was interested in learning to draw, and her Mom, as a former art teacher, was more than happy to set up a little “art class” for her and some friends at our church. Now Mom gets some of that private drive-time back every Saturday morning, going to and from the class, plus a lunch most weeks, that she can use to catch up. Meanwhile, the Elf and I have discovered a – yes, I’ll admit it – unhealthy love of certain video games. So I invested in a subscription to GameFly, and we spend a couple of hours a week shooting at or running from things in a succession of RPGs. Strange how much conversation works its way in between salvos and big-bads – bits and pieces that let me know how she’s feeling, what she’s up to, what’s bothering her.

That would be my only advice: just because dinnertime or drivetime doesn’t work anymore, do not give up on finding a routine, casual time to stay in touch with your young teen. Find some time, anything, in common and nail some regularly scheduled schmooze into the calendar. Not only is it good for the kid(s) in question, it also forces you, as a parent, to make a regular commitment in the midst of a highly irregular time of life – for everyone.

“Where did the time go?”

Brad, the “dad”

I’m sorry, I’m running late this week. I … I …

Excuse me, what were we talking about?“Where did the time go?”

All I know is that last night my daughter graduated from high school, and I feel like somebody’s hit me in the head with a two-by-four.

What the heck just happened? There was a baby here just a minute ago. And I remember this cute little girl, couldn’t have been more than four, five years old, sitting in my lap. Then I looked away for just one minute, and suddenly there’s this beautiful, accomplished, confident Valkyrie walking down the aisle in her pretty green robe and mortarboard, picking up her high school diploma, making plans for a month-long road trip, going off to college – leaving. More than that, really – leaving me.

I know we’ve been planning this for months. It’s just that it happened so fast. All of it – the birth, the childhood, the school and Christmases and homework and birthdays and vacations, and crises and partnerships and arguments and now…

I guess I didn’t expect quite so much melancholy to be mixed up with the pride and excitement. I didn’t expect to feel like the guy who’s left standing on the dock while the party ship begins to slowly, slowly sail away without me. Of course, I’m proud of her. Of course, I understand she’s not disappearing, she’s just going to college. I know she’s still my kid, but not a kid and…

Like I said: two-by-four.

I wonder what happens next?

Mary, the “mom”

No fair – you’re going to make me cry! Seriously!

I get this same feeling at every major event (preschool graduation, the first day of kindergarten, middle school graduation, the first day of high school) and some not so major – and often quite boring – events (2nd-grade concert, Brownie bridging ceremony, 5th-grade band concert…). You get the picture.

Sometimes the feeling is positive, as in: “Wow, a few years ago I was worrying about packing a stroller, diapers and baby food for even the simplest outing. Now, they grab their iPods and we’re off. Yeah!” But mostly it’s of the nature of “where did the time go?”

“Where did the time go?”

I guess the trick is to remember how fast the time goes when I want to scream at them about the mess they made in the kitchen. Of course, I never do remember til afterward when I feel bad – not that I always feel bad, just sometimes.

What’s next you wondered. Well, for me it’s that high school graduation you just went through. For you, I’m guessing college graduation. Maybe even a walk down the aisle eventually. Talk about a two-by-four! I guess those hits are going to keep coming. But, for now, Congratulations!

Rach, the “teen”

You haven’t been left on the dock. The boat won’t leave without you.

I graduated last week, and it’s scary thinking about what happens next. I know my parents are feeling melancholy about me (their “baby”) being done with high school, but, they know I’m not really leaving them. Sure, I’ll be at college, but I’ll never really be gone.

So, what happens next? I have no idea. But you’d better bet that my parents are coming with me on my boat, wherever it leads me.

Technology and the Power of Disruption

Have you ever been told that things are the way that they are in your business because “that’s how we’ve always done it”? This is a way of thinking that proved successful in big business for many years. Well, it’s 2014, and while we may not be living life like The Jetsons, times have certainly changed. This way of thinking does not inspire creativity, and most importantly, prohibits innovation. Technology is advancing at a faster rate than ever before, and every minute that you’re pushing away new technologies, your competitors are gaining an edge on you. It’s time to be disruptive.

Let’s look at Big Data for example. There’s a large divide on companies who support big data analytics and those who don’t. For those who don’t, a common argument is that customers want a human-to-human interaction, and that’s something you cannot get simply with numbers and analytics. It’s the same “Moneyball” argument (for those of you who are baseball fans)

While that’s important, that will not be enough in the future. Kroger company embraced big data early and now the midwest grocery chain is the second-largest in the country (second to Wal-Mart). They were able to accomplish this by mining all customer purchase history with their Kroger Plus card and then creating personalized marketing sent to the customer on products that fit their “consumer profile.” But it doesn’t stop there. They can also use this data to determine which products they will put in a particular store. The products at Kroger in Terre Haute, Indiana may be completely different than a Kroger in Little Rock, Arkansas, and even different than a store in Cincinnati, Ohio. With the advancement of mobile technologies and smart Wi-Fi networks, retailers will even be able to gather location-based analytics that will allow them to determine which part of the store the most products are sold, where the most foot traffic is, and even what times lines are the longest. Retailers embracing these technologies and stepping away from the status quo are instantly gaining a substantial competitive advantage.

Technology and the Power of Disruption

Mobile technologies are also disrupting businesses more than ever before. Let’s take a look at the taxi industry. For decades, getting a taxi in any city required you to stand on the side of the street and “hail a cab” or just call a number to request a driver. Many taxi cars still require riders to pay cash, which is a huge disadvantage in today’s age. Now introduce Uber and Lyft. They went against the status quo and introduced mobile technology, and are now making a huge dent in the industry. By creating mobile applications that allow consumers to request a car, pay a fee, check driver location on a map, and rate drivers, these companies made it easier to use these services. They took advantage of mobile trends and made technology easy. They disrupted the industry by going against the status quo, became successful, all while the taxi industry as we knew it will continually see a decline in revenue because they did not embrace new technologies.

These are just a couple of examples of how going against the status quo has allowed businesses to be more successful. The point is that technology is going to play a huge part in business for many years to come. There will never be a replacement for human interaction, and there shouldn’t, but adding a layer of technology to help your business succeed is going to pay big dividends. Let’s get rid of the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality, especially if your business is flat-lining. Be disruptive, be innovative and be creative to help your business succeed at the next level.

Mining companies, investors steer through rising tide of water risks

More than 70% of the western U.S. has been hit by drought, while China has been suffering from a national shortage of water and energy resources, prompting plans to develop 172 major water projects by 2020, says Paul Simpson of the CDP research firm working for institutional investors.

A survey by CDP of the world’s largest listed companies finds an increasing number of corporate executives say water is or soon will become a restraint on their corporate growth. In the CDP Global Water Report 2014, more than two-thirds of the Global 500 companies reported substantive water risks, “therefore investing to conserve, manage or obtain water has become crucial for some sectors,” said Simpson.

Mining companies

For instance, BHP Billiton has invested nearly US$2 billion “in a desalination plant in Chile to ensure adequate water is available for its desert mining operation,”’ he noted.

“Competition for scarce water resources is leading to business disruption, brand damage and the loss of the license to operate. A lack of water, or insufficient water of the right quality, can cut or even halt production,” observed the survey. “This is of growing concern to institutional investors as evidenced by investors’ support for CDP’s water programs.”

573 financial institutions with assets of US$60 trillion were signatories to the CDP 2013 water questionnaire dated Feb. 1, 2014.

“CDP investor signatories are essentially seeking the answer to one question: what shareholder value is put at risk by poor management of water exposures?” said the report. “They are concerned about potential impacts to the bottom line, and about the threats that poorly understood and managed water impacts pose to the future performance of their investments.”

The organization’s CEO Water Mandate defines water stress as having three core components: water availability; water quality; and water accessibility. “Compared to water scarcity, water stress is a broader concept as it considers several physical aspects related to water resources, including scarcity, but also water quality, environmental flows and the accessibility of water.”

“The good news is that respondents are increasingly acknowledging the importance of water security as a corporate issue,” said CDP. “The responses to CDP’s water questionnaire this year show clear progress on some of the most important indicators of effective water risk monitoring and management.”

“Furthermore, analysis shows that companies exposed to water risk are prepared to invest—in technological improvements, monitoring, and staff training, among other things—to minimize those risks,” said CDP.

Mining companies

Among the technical solutions highlighted in water monitoring by the report is Vale, which “has invested US$8 million in monitoring systems to track changes in precipitation patterns, allowing it to take any preventative measures necessary.”

Nevertheless, CDP finds that while in some cases, “companies may be able to engineer solutions that secure their own water needs, this may do little to address the underlying risk drivers. There is little advantage to being a clean fish in a dirty pond.”

“Furthermore, those parts of the world that offer the greatest potential for economic growth in the years to come are also those that are at most risk from water stress,” the report advised.

The materials sector, including mining, provided a high rate of response to the CDP water survey as 73% companies responded. The majority of metals & mining companies answered the survey including Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, Amplats, Antofagasta, Barrick Gold, BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals, Freeport-McMoRan, Fresnillo, Glencore, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold Mining, Hitachi Metals, Impala Platinum, Newcrest Mining, Newmont Mining, Northam Platinum, PotashCorp, Rio Tinto, Sumitomo Metal Mining and Vale. Among the mining companies that did not respond to the survey were Cliffs Natural Resources, Grupo Mexico, Randgold Resources and Southern Copper.

Among the survey’s key findings within the materials sector: Almost half of the respondent experienced detrimental water impacts in the last report year, the second highest among all the sectors; and 80% of respondents have committed to both goals and water targets this year.

Mining companies

In the risk analysis portion of the materials sector survey, 64% of respondents report that water poses a substantial risk to their businesses. 14 respondents reported a total of 118 risks, 47% of which are expected to materialize within the next three years.

A wide range of risk drivers were reported with 54% of them physical, including increased water stress or scarcity. Thirty three percent of drivers fell under regulatory risk, such as increased difficulty in obtaining operations permits, and 7% were reputational.

“Respondents are pursuing a wide range of response strategies including engagement with suppliers (11%), engagement with policy makers (8%), compliance with local legal requirements (7%), and supplier diversification (6%),” said the survey.

“For example, Anglo American implements water efficiency and conservation measures and works with government to develop sector water efficiency targets aligned with principles of water conservation and demand management,” CDP cited.

The Best All-Inclusive for Couples

If you are planning your honeymoon, you will want to enjoy your time in peace and not have much to worry about. That is the point of all-inclusive resorts. Just about everything you could need or want is included in one package price at these resorts to make vacations easy to manage and enjoy. If you are looking to book a vacation, consider staying at one of the world’s finest all-inclusive resorts designed with couples in mind.

The Best All-Inclusive for Couples

Galley Bay Resort and Spa

Galley Bay is an adults-only four-star located on the shores of Antiqua. This premium upscale resort was modernized and fully renovated in 2008, and each suite features flat-panel television screens, iPod docks, wireless Internet access, a desk area and telephones with voicemail access. Guests have on-site access to a fully-equipped exercise studio, water sports that include kayaking, jet skiing and scuba diving, nightly entertainment, a number of spools and spas and several on-site restaurants and bars. One swimming pool features a swim-up bar so you can stay cool while you relax. Ask a concierge at the front desk to help you plan adventures into the rainforest, book tee times at local courses or just ask for advice about the best shopping destinations in the capital city of St. John, which is just a few minutes from the resort.

Galley Bay Resort and Spa
P.O. Box 305
St. John’s, Antigua
866-237-1644
galleybayresort.com

The Best All-Inclusive for Couples

Barbados Beach Club

Rooms and suites at Barbados beach Club are available in several layouts with several bed choices, and every suite features a panoramic view of the ocean and the surrounding area from a private balcony or patio. Dine on a diverse selection of gourmet fare at one of three gourmet restaurants on the property, and enjoy drinks at one of two two full-service bars known to serve colorful libations. Barbados Beach Club also caters to the sports-minded traveler by offering water sports, volleyball, tennis and a modern workout area. After playing and exercising, relax in a number of swimming pools and whirlpools throughout the property. A health spa is also available and its services can be booked for in-suite to ensure privacy and comfort.

Barbados Beach Club
Maxwell Coast Road
Christ Church, Barbados
246-428-9900
barbadosbeachclub.com

Ritz-Carlton Kapalua

The Ritz Carlton Kapalua is one of the most popular all-inclusive honeymoon destinations in the world for the wealthy and privileged. More than 450 rooms and suites await you here. Enjoy large flat-panel high-definition televisions with satellite program and DVD players, iPod docks, bathrooms that feature spa tubs and premium bath notions and a wireless Internet connection that be used from a large desk area. Property amenities include a modern fitness studio with a private yoga room, swimming pools with private cabanas, whirlpools and a spa and a salon that offers services that can be done in in-house or in your suite. Four restaurants serve gourmet fare on site, and several full bars serve long wine lists and a number of specialty tropical cocktails.

Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
1 Ritz-Carlton Drive
Kapalua, Hawaii 96761
808-669-6200
ritzcarlton.com

Online Streaming Radio Presents Opportunity for Brands

When internet radio exploded onto the scene around 2005, it completely transformed radio from both a consumer and marketer perspective. Paired with the hundreds of new internet-enabled devices, radio has become on-demand consumer experience.

RadioWith apps such as Pandora, Slacker, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio available at your finger tips, internet radio has become a popular way to access audio stream. Through the eyes of the advertiser, this phenomenon provides the opportunity to get what they really want: active consumers willing to engage in their brand.

Unlike traditional radio, many of these on-demand apps offer customized playlists, allowing the consumer to design the type of content they want. With registration data often including zip codes, this allows the advertiser to place relevant and compelling ads based on the consumers personalized music selection and their location. Internet radio can provide national reach or local market targeting and allows consumers to interact and engage with the advertisers website or Facebook page.

So what do these Internet stations offer and how do they differ in both a consumer and advertising perspective? Here is a brief summary of just a few of the popular stations being used today:

One of the main stations, and arguably the most well-known one is Pandora. According to a study released from Nielsen in June 2010, Pandora is one of the top three most downloaded apps from the Apple app store and consistently ranks in the top five most used apps in the BlackBerry and Android stores.

RadioLike Pandora, iHeartRadio allows users to listen to stations based on artist, song or album. The difference with iHeartRadio is its vast majority of song selections. iHeartRadio listeners can choose from a massive catalog of more than 11 million songs and 400,000 artists- more than 10 times the number of songs offered by Pandora.

Another popular consumer choice is Slacker Radio. What sets Slacker apart from its competitors is that it has professional DJ’s that customize the song selections and stations. This offers more personalized content than the other technology run sites.

Stitcher is the leader in internet radio for the “world beyond music.” This online site “stitches” together news, sports or talk shows from stations like Fox News, CNN and ABC.

TuneIn allows you to listen to live local and global radio from wherever you are. Whether you want to listen to sports, news, music or current events, TuneIn offers over 50,000 stations and 120,000 shows. It gives you the effect that you “right there with the people and places that are important to you.”

RadioSpotify allows branded apps and channels that allows an advertiser to provide an added value to their target audience. Louisiana Tourism recently used this to their advantage. When the campaign is no longer live…the channel lives on as a wonderful reminder. Spotify utilizes the king of social networks; Facebook. You can share your playlist with your friends. They have taken this one step further with the “life sound tracker.” Using the tracker, consumers can select friends on Facebook and Spotify will generate a playlist containing music from upcoming concerts in your area based on a mash-up of your friends’ music. Users can then have the option to generate a Facebook invite and send it to their friends.

Although Internet radio offers advertising opportunities across both online and mobile platforms, users can also pay a fee in order have an ad-free experience, which could be dismaying to a media partner.

But in an article written about Pandora, media and marketing specialist Kathryn Koegel, states:

“Typical radio stations play nine minutes of ads per hour according to a 2006 study and in a study of clutter on radio, it was reported to be as high as 20 minutes per hour on some stations*. A service like Pandora currently runs a maximum of three audio ads or less per hour and banner ads only appear on a device when a phone is not locked or dimmed thus only when the consumer is interacting with the device.”

Radio

The research shows that only 9% of Pandora subscribers pay to use the product. It is also shows extreme growth in the amount of users listening to Pandora on their mobile device versus the web. It allows optimization as we saw with a recent client. By paying attention to ongoing measurement, we saw that mobile’s click-thru rate was much higher than the web; therefore we switched impressions to only mobile.

As marketers, we can conclude that the majority of consumers do not mind advertising, especially if it is targeted to the listener. However, we must stay ahead of the curve in terms of unique and targeted advertising. With mobile technology rapidly advancing, the way consumers listen to radio will continue down this ever-changing path.

Top 20 Best Convenient Diabetic Snacks

When my son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes one of the hardest things for me was to come up with meals and snacks that would taste good, would give him proper nutrition and also would keep his blood glucose levels in check.

While he was at home I could monitor his food intake and make changes if he didn’t like something. During the school days however it was a different story. I had to make sure that the snacks and meals I pack in his lunchbox would be eaten.

Top 20 Best Convenient Diabetic Snacks

For diabetics it is not only about watching sugar and carbohydrate intake……. It is about carefully choosing foods and snacks mostly with fiber and protein while watching carbohydrates, calories, fat and sodium.

My son’s diabetic team was very helpful with designing his menu plan and suggesting snacks……it was up to me to make sure that my diabetic child is well being taken care of.

Few years ago I read an article in Diabetic Living about selecting smart snacks for diabetics when grocery shopping.

With the help of that article and their research my son and I made a list of top 20 diabetic snacks he liked.

I keep that list on my fridge for a quick reference and snack ideas.

I do prefer to make meals and snacks from scratch or serve them in their natural state, but sometimes you just don’t have the option or time. That’s when the convenience of prepackaged foods kicks in.

Top 20 Best Convenient Diabetic Snacks

Top 20 Convenient Diabetic Snacks:

  1. Honey Maid Cinnamon Rolls Thin Crisps (100 calories, 16g carbs, 3g fat, 115mg sodium)
  2. Sun-Maid Mediterranean Apricots (per 1/4 cup – 100 calories, 23g carbs, 0g fat, 15mg sodium, 3 g fiber)
  3. Triscuit Thin Crips Quattro Formaggio (15 crackers – 140 calories, 22g carbs, 4.5g fat,160g sodium, 3g fiber)
  4. Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop!94% Fat Free Butter (3.5cup – 120 calories, 25g carbs, 2g fat, 240g sodium, 4g fiber)
  5. Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Light (50 calories, 0g carbs, 3g fat, 6g protein, 160mg sodium)
  6. Planters Harvest California Almonds (25 nuts – 160calories, 6g carbs, 14g fat, 6 g protein, 95mg sodium, 3g fiber)
  7. Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Oats ‘N Honey Bars (2 bars – 180 calories, 29g carbs, 6g fat, 4g protein, 2g fiber, 160mg sodium)
  8. Plocky’s Original Three Grain Tortilla Chips (1 oz – 129 calories, 24g carbs, 4g fat, 2g protein, 2g fiber, 90mg sodium)
  9. Quaker Snack Mix – Baked Cheddar (3/4cup – 130 calories, 19g carbs, 4.5g fat, 2g protein, 1g fiber, 230mg sodium)
  10. Del Monte Fruit Naturals – No Sugar Added Peach Chunks (1/2cup – 40 calories, 12g carbs, 0g fat, 1g protein, 2 g fiber, 0g sodium)
  11. Simply Jif Creamy Peanut Butter (2Tbsp – 190 calories, 6g carbs, 16g fat, 8g protein, 2g fiber, 65mg sodium)
  12. Sun Chips Harvest Cheddar 100 Calorie Mini Bites (per pack – 100 calories, 12g carbs, 4.5g fat, 2g protein, 1g fiber, 110mg sodium)
  13. Dannon Activia Light Nonfat Yogurt (4oz – 70 calories, 13g carbs, 0g fat, 5g protein, 3g fiber, 75mg sodium)Top 20 Best Convenient Diabetic Snacks
  14. Genisoy Soy Crisps – Rich Cheddar Cheese (17 chips – 120 calories, 13g carbs, 4.5g fat, 7g protein, 2g fiber, 190mg sodium)
  15. Kashi TLC Original 7 Grain Crackers (15 crackers – 130calories, 22g carbs, 3g fat, 3g protein, 2g fiber, 160mg sodium)
  16. Planters Harvest Dark Chocolate Forest Blend Trail Mix (1/4cup – 170 calories, 18g carbs, 10g fat, 4g protein, 3g fiber, 45mg sodium)
  17. Dannon Activia Strawberry Dairy Drink (160 calories, 27g carbs, 3g fat, 6g protein, 1g fiber, 60mg sodium)
  18. Jell-O Sugar Free Chocolate Vanilla Swirls Pudding Snacks (60 calories, 12g carbs, 1.5g fat, 2g protein, 180mg sodium)
  19. Praeventia Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies (1 pouch – 150 calories, 21g carbs, 6g fat, 2g protein, 4g fiber, 95mg sodium)
  20. Kettle Baked Potato Chips – Hickory Honey BBQ ( 1 oz – 120 calories, 21g carbs, 3g fat, 3g protein, 2g fiber, 160mg sodium)

Important part to remember is that prepackaged and convenient snacks are to help in times when homemade is not an option and as a treat. Fresh and natural foods are always the best option.

Honeymoon Destinations in Europe

Europe is full of rich history and cultural delights. However, with nearly 50 nations and countless cities to choose from, determining which places would make ideal honeymoon destinations in Europe can be quite the task. Whether looking for love in the city or a private getaway, your options are limitless. However, for the ultimate romantic experience, these five European destinations have it all.

Honeymoon Destinations in EuropeParis, France

Paris is considered the most romantic place on earth to many, making it the perfect European honeymoon destination. Sip a hot coffee on the banks of the Seine, share a special moment on the romantic Avenue des Champs-Elysees and indulge in a traditional French meal. Paris can be a wonderful honeymoon choice any time of year due to its moderate climate. In the heat of the summer, temperatures rarely reach the 80-degree point. In the winter, freezing temperatures are rare.

Florence, Italy

Florence is steeped in culture and history. Few things are more romantic than watching the sun set on the ancient city in the heart of Tuscany. Enjoy some fine art in one of the many galleries or museums, catch a ride on the river or shop for unique Italian fashions. If traveling between April and October, the tourist high season in Florence, ensure that any tickets you need are reserved ahead of time, as many sightseeing activities are prone to selling out admission quickly.

South Wales, United Kingdom

For those couples seeking a U.K. getaway, consider South Wales. South Wales is a quiet area seldom seen by tourists, making it the perfect secluded honeymoon destination in Europe. Enjoy the emerald green hills, quaint old-world houses and jovial community feel. Make some time for romance on the coast at Cardiff and enjoy a few local treats like traditional tea.

Honeymoon Destinations in Europe

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria’s capital city, is full of breathtaking architecture and an unmatched musical history. Listen to the Vienna Philharmonic Symphony playing the classical music of city sons Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, dine in an upscale restaurant or opt for a smaller intimate cafe and share a moment of romance at the Belvedere palace.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is the northernmost capital city in the world. In Reykjavik, you can expect to find fresh seafood, geothermal steam rising from the earth and unique shopping experiences. Walk the entire city to enjoy the sights and take the time to breathe in some of the freshest air in the world. This beautiful green landscape is sure to astound any couple seeking honeymoon destinations in Europe.