Telling a personal story is not always easy. People may want and need to tell others about an experience that is important to them but may not know how to do this task. They may also not know how to get their story out to the right people. Part of telling their story will often, in many cases, mean recounting an experience that is painful to them and brings up memories that are not pleasant. In many cases, the willingness to tell such stories even if they are hard and painful, is an indication that someone is brave and willing to stand up for what is right even when doing so is very difficult.
One such person is North Korean human rights activist Yeonmi Park. Yeonmi Park has spent many hours telling her harrowing story of growing up in North Korea. Her story about being forced into the countryside to forage for basic food when there were no such items in North Korea because of a deliberate famine introduced by the nation’s leaders has attracted much attention from media outlets all over the world. She has spent much of her time in recent years talking to eager audiences as well as journalists about her native land. In doing so, she has helped shed light on one of the world’s most unknown societies. Many people vaguely understand that North Korea is badly governed. However, few have any idea what this means to ordinary North Koreans who are living here at the present time.
Many people do not know that the government of North Korea has deliberately engaged in tactics that are used to create famine that might have otherwise been avoided. Park has also helped to draw attention to the fact that North Korean children are indoctrinated in the ideology from Communism from a very early age. They are not allowed to attend schools that are not approved by the state and directed at every turn by the wishes of North Korea’s leaders. Park attended schools here that forced the message on youngvoicesadvocates of the superiority of Communism on her at every turn and did not allow for independent thought at any point. She has spent time talking her audiences through her experiences as a child and as a young adult who grew up in North Korea and was forced to live there during her formative years.
After escaping from North Korean with her mom to China, Park decided that she would find the courage to tell her story to others. She has since worked hard to help tell her story about what is really going on here to as many people as possible. In doing so, she hopes to help push for much needed change in North Korea and make this part of the world a better place. She and her fellow human rights activists understand that keeping up the pressure on North Korea’s leaders via stories like hers can be the ideal way to help change the way the country is run.
When Michael Jackson died in 2009, a whole new age of impersonators came on the forefront. The hundreds of impersonators that existed before he died, easily quadrupled afterwards. There are many who attempt to duplicate the King of Pop’s style, but very few can come close to achieving it. Jackson had a style and persona all his own. His dance moves, coupled with singing ability were nailed with military precision.
One of the most highly-praised Michael Jackson impersonators to come along in a long time is Sergio Cortes. He has devoted more than half his life to studying Jackson’s stage performance — and it has paid off handsomely. Cortes looks like Michael Jackson, sounds like Michael Jackson and has a stage presence that will make you believe the King of Pop has resurrected. Cortes has invested a great deal of time and money into his trade. He is now one of the highest-paid impersonators out there and for good reason.
Cortes has a fan base that follows his every move. He is constantly in demand for birthday parties, conventions, store openings and many other events. Onlookers are wowed at his near-perfect mimicking of Jackson. “It is really something to see,” says a fan who watched Cortes at a recent event. Cortes’ mother says he’s always been a performer. Even when he was a little boy. “He was always trying to entertain us. When Soul Train or American Bandstand came on, he was always on the floor.”
Fans say they appreciate all the energy and passion Cortes puts into his performances. “It’s a beautiful tribute to Michael’s legacy,” says a fan. Cortes says he is just happy to make the fans happy. “I go out there and give my all with every performance.” Cortes says he is glad people look at him as the “total package.” Although he is very popular in Brazil, he is quickly gaining a fan base all around the world. He really caught fire when he performed at an event in Brazil that was carried on YouTube and other channels. Sergio Cortes says he plans to perform until he physically can’t anymore.
John Textor graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in economics. This was a relatively inauspicious start to a profoundly productive and successful career. Textor founded Wyndcrest Holdings in 1997, an entertainment private equity firm, and served as its president for several years. His saw Wyndcrest Holdings to become one of the most successful private equity firms in the state. He could have remained very comfortably situated with him. However, he chose to move one. Although he did so after a relatively short time, his experience at the company would play a pivotal turning point in being his first foray into the entertainment and media business. In November 2002 he joined the leadership of BabyUniverse, Inc. as a chairman.
It was during this time that he founded Lydian Trust Company, a financial services company he led until 2004. In 2005, he joined BabyUniverse full time, serving as its CEO from April of that year until his departure in October 2007. All of this has been intermingled with short professional stints: Serving as director of Multicast Media Technologies, Inc. and chairman of the Board at Sims Snowboards. He has proven himself to be especially adept at media and entertainment management. Until recently, he headed Digital Domain Media Group.
He had joined the huge media company in May 2006, one year before leaving Baby Universe. During his time there he oversaw many big projects like assistance with Pirates of the Caribbean, Ender’s Game, the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, X-Men, and Gone Girl. In addition, he helped lead the company to develop virtual entertainment where they created virtual performances by Elvis, Madonna, and Tupac. Although Textor has departed Digital Domain, he has remained in the entertainment and media industry, founding and continuing to serve as CEO of holographic entertainment giant, Pulse Entertainment.
When he left Digital Domain, he brought several Digital Domain employees with them. He kept them after founding Pulse Entertainment. With their help, Textor has revolutionized holographic entertainment. In 2014 they astounded the world by creating a live holographic Michael Jackson performance for the Billboard Music Awards. In the months since, Pulse Entertainment has more fully developed its technology and will continue to do so. There is little doubt that Textor will continue to impact the face of the entertainment industry in hugely revolutionary ways.
But the entertainment industry is only the tip of the iceberg. You can count on Textor and Pulse Entertainment drastically changing medical science and education in amazing ways in the future.
When I find a fragrance I truly love, the manufacturer discontinues it. It’s like a “Murphy’s Law” thing. Some years ago, I found a lipstick that I was really fond of because the color was exactly right, it stayed on all day, there was a bit of metallic in it, and so forth. Naturally, the cosmetics company discontinued it. For the next few years I bought several tubes at a time of this “out of stock” shade on any weird sales site I could find. Quantities of five at a time we arriving in padded envelopes at my home, as if I were buying contraband.
Since I don’t wish to go through that again, I’ve decided to embrace change. That’s why I love the Lime Crime line of cosmetics on urbanoutfitters. From their most subtle, classic selection of colors to the outrageous candy store hues, there is something for every version of “me.” Working in a corporate environment, I use a soft hand when I apply my makeup for work each morning. The packaging and promotional material that accompanies Lime Crime products belie the fact that there are products appropriate for any social situation.
Aside from the fact that there are so many on-trend choices in this cosmetic line, I really appreciate the way they are manufactured. Lime Crime is a company that operates in such a way that shows respect for the environment and the people who manufacture the products. There are no animals stuffed in tiny cages undergoing product testing. I (along with nearly everyone) have become so globally conscious that I could not use a product if I knew there were a bunch of five-year-olds slaving away for ten cents a day in Bangladesh making these products.
Another reason I’ve got such an affinity for Lime Crime products is the background of its founder. She’s a former rock musician who has spent her life following her muse, rules of convention be damned. I can get behind that spirit. Just as I eschew products that use child labor, ignore fair-trade practices and exploit animals, I shy away from putting more money in the “fat cat” corporate magnates’ pockets. I typically patronize small businesses in my area, avoiding the big-box stores, and I am drawn to Lime Crime’s history of boot-strapping their way up the corporate food chain.
If you love changing fashion, respect our planet and stand behind risk-taking visionaries, you are probably a budding Lime Crime enthusiast. I know that if they discontinue a shade or product, it’s only because they’ve come up with something better.
Baritone Brian Mulligan is a popular performer in the opera world, but sees his Irish background as playing a significant role in his love of all forms of music. Whilst the baritone now calls San Francisco home, his family history takes in New York and the Irish county of Leitrim that his ancestors once called home. Mulligan explains the family ancestry in Ireland played a significant role in the formation of his love of music, but the part played in his education by a high school music teacher and vocal coach led to the successful operatic career he is now enjoying. His Irish ancestry led to a love of traditional music from the Emerald Isle and the opportunity to learn the fiddle from his grandfather, who saw to it that Mulligan played traditional music in local pubs.
Only as a high school student did the native of Endicott, New York begin to find a role for himself in a number of productions organized by a music teacher. Encouraged by his performances and critical acclaim, Mulligan began vocal training with Todd Geer of a local opera company in New York. Brian Mulligan only began performing in high school musicals at the age of 17 and followed this with vocal training with Geer, who encouraged him to explore the opportunities offered by the operatic training that Geer believed would suit the voice of his student.
After studying at Yale and The Juilliard School, Brian Mulligan has made a successful career for himself appearing in a range of productions, from the traditional to the modern. Perhaps his best known role to date is that of President Richard Nixon in John Adams Nixon in China, which has garnered as much critical acclaim for the overall portrayal of the former President by Mulligan as it has for his vocal performance. For his role as President Nixon, Brian Mulligan has taken on a new stage of his career that includes the chance to understand the characters he is playing and work seriously as an actor. Mulligan explains he has been working on his critically acclaimed portrayal as Nixon for a number of years and this form of character role is a major part of the future of opera around the world.
Image recognition is going to forever change the way people shop online and the startup company Slyce is playing a large role in the change. Slyce has just raised upwards of $11 million ($10.75 million to be exact) in funding to expands its reach across the web. Currently, the most popular image recognition on slyce program is Amazon Flow, a program designed to work exclusively on the Amazon website. Slyce is wants to do exactly what Flow does, but for scores upon scores of different retail sites on the web.
The way Slyce works is very simple. An app is downloaded to a mobile device. With the app, pictures taken with the device can then be used to search through the catalogs of compatible online retail sites. So, if a nice pair of shoes or a top-quality tennis racket or, really, anything else is photographed, the device performs the vital search to locate similar merchandise.
The novel new concept is dubbed “see-to-buy” and things are made a lot easier for consumers. Not everyone knows how to describe what it is they are looking for. Upon taking a photograph, no reason exists to describe anything anymore. Matching images to products streamlines the process and cuts down on a lot of time spent searching in vain.
People value their time. They also love technology. With the new image recognition program from Slyce, customers can enjoy technology, more free time, and, possibly, get more value from their shopping excursions. Thanks to enhanced search features, the ability to locate lower cost products.
The future plans for Slyce include the app standing alone as an independent device as well as one designed to be integrated into specific retail websites. Look for the app to eventually have a huge presence in social media platforms, as this would be a logical step. Social media remains a major venue for effective internet sales and marketing.
Slyce has also paid millions to purchase the online advertising-related app Pounce. Doing so shows Slyce is very interested in expanding its capabilities in the tech world. As long as the startup continues to make progress, the company is sure to continue to debut great and interesting new concepts.
In 1998, the United Nations made what is known as the declaration on human rights defenders. The declaration was meant to make sure that universal human rights and fundamental freedoms continued to be upheld in the society. Specifically, the declaration was supposed to ensure that the people who work in speaking out against the violations of human rights and were protected and didn’t suffer any consequences as a result of their activities. Many people imagine that human rights activists are individuals who just make a lot of noise about things that they have little or no information about. Well, here are a few of the things you should know about these activists.
The most recognized activists
Most of the times, it is the NGO’s that organize themselves and carry out advocacy where there have been violations on human rights. There are also NGO’s that are established for the sole purpose of defending victims of human right violations. Some of these NGOS include:
This organization has a membership of close to 2.2 million from all over the world. The organization was established to campaign for human rights for all. They have operations in over 150 countries. They conduct research on cases where complaints of human rights violations have surfaced and find the evidence. For instance, they have been active in trying to get justice for victims of political unrest in places like Israel and Palestine, Libya, and Syria among other places. They also deal with refugees and help prisoners of war in seeking asylum.
Human Rights Watch
This organization is more focused on governments that engage themselves in practices that violate the basic human rights. They also deal with individual victims of human rights violations and help them get justice following a violation of their rights. For instance, they have been very vocal about the refugee crisis that is going on in Europe as a result of the Syrian war. They hold the opinion that the policies that EU is coming up with are aimed at locking the refugees out of Europe and shipping them to places outside Europe.
Individuals involved in activism
There are people that refuse to be affiliated with a particular NGO and carry out their activism on their own. One shining example of such people is YeonMi Park. She is a 22-year-old North Korean whose family belonged to the ruling elite in North Korea before she escaped the country in 2007. She now lives in South Korea. She became prominent after her speech at the One Young World Summit in Dublin, Ireland in 2014.
Yeonmi Park’s story on yeonmi.net how she escaped from North Korea received more than 2 million views on YouTube. Parks turning point came at a very early age. She had to watch her Dad go to jail for allegedly engaged in illegal business. Her parent’s friends were also executed for watching a James Bond movie. This made her realize that her government was too authoritarian, hence her commitment to speak out against human rights violations.
CCMP is a well-respected company in the private equity circles. The company specializes in growth equity and buyouts with investments in Europe and North America and in four different industries. With a strong partnership of exceptional management teams, Stephen Murray CCMP Capital has leveraged the combined strengths by deepening its industrial expertise and expanding its operating resources. Since 2006, the company has been operating independently though the firm’s professionals continue to manage its mother company; JP Morgan Partners.
Stephen Murray CCMP Capital typically ranges from between $100 million to $500 million of equity in every transaction. The company it invests in must also be within the $250 million to $2 billion in size. The company helps companies get equitized leveraged capital structures, by providing estate diversification solutions to businesses that are owned by their initial founders and also by enabling corporate carve-outs and buyouts.
The company’s success is as a result of its significant transactions in four different sectors. It has invested in the sectors for a long period under different market conditions, therefore, having an inside out look and feel of how they operate. Having the knowledge about the specific way the four industries operate has established the firm as the preferred company of choice among the different portfolio managers available. CCMP operates in consumer/retail, energy, healthcare and industrial sectors.
As of March 2015, the firm lost its long-serving President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Murray. Before his demise, he has been with the firm since the last 1980’s when it was still known as JP Morgan Partners. During the time, it was one of the largest firms in the private equity arena and Stephen played a very integral role in it getting labelled as such.
He graduated in 1984 from Boston College with an economics degree and proceeded to earn a Business Administration masters from the Columbia Business School. He made his professional debut in 1984 by becoming a credit analyst and rose through the ranks in different firms until his latest position. He was well respected when matters related to making the right decisions were concerned.
He was serving in a variety of other companies’ boards that included Warner Chilcott, AMC Entertainment, Aramark, Pinnacle Foods, Cabela’s and others. He was philanthropic towards the Make A Wish Foundation, New York among many others. He was also made the board of Trustees Vice-Chairman for the Boston College. He was well respected for his unmatched deal making abilities and foresight into matters related to making sound financial decisions.
People often ask me what it is like to be a twin. For the most part, it is pretty awesome. According to my mother, twins do not even run in our family. But when the doctor told my parents that they were expected twins, they were excited. Nine months later, Shonda and Vonda were born. I am Shonda, older by four minutes.
My twin sister and I are what is known as mirror image twins. That categorization is one step further than being identical. Growing up, even our parents could be confused just by looking at us. Of course, Mom often did the “dress alike” with us when we were babies. In many of our elementary school pictures, we are sporting the same hair style and the same outfit. Picture days were fun at school, because we could even fool the teachers. Fortunately, we were growing up and dressing alike did not happen much anymore.
Even though we mirror each other in so many ways, our personalities could not be more different. Yes, we can often do the twin thing and finish each other’s sentence; however, I think it is just because we are so close. Vonda is sort of shy until people really get to know her. She is fairly quiet and likes to do artistic things like painting and writing. On the other hand, Dad always said that I am a big mouth like his side of the family. Even as a little child, I never knew a stranger. I was the one who talked Vonda into things because I am the brave one. It was often I who got into trouble, because my parents never would have believed that Vonda would have done some of the pranks we did.
Starting in junior high school, we really went the extra mile to form our unique style and interests. Vonda kept long hair and I did the page boy cut. She dressed more conservative clothes while I liked the Bohemian style. She was in college prep and I was in softball. We had a different group of friends and often did our own thing at home. Yet, we were always close and special sisters.
As adults, Vonda and I both have families and we are even closer. Maybe that is why we have our own yoga studio. I teach yoga and she does massage therapy. We still have extremely different senses of style. She absolutely shocked me recently when she came in wearing a shimmering fuchsia lipstick and cotton candy pink nails. She told me about Lime Crime, an online makeup company founded by Doe Deere. We got on their website and I was thrilled with the unusual and opulent colors that were available. We are now regular customers and our clients never know what colors we will be wearing next.
One thing I hate is unpredictable bills, and I seem to be getting a lot of them from my cell phone company. I had a set plan, but I see that the bill is different each month. In the last year and a half that I’ve been with the company, I’ve never seen the same bill amount come two months in a row. Each month I’ll get a different bill, and I was really sick and tired of it. I started inquiring with the company as to why I was paying a different amount each month, and each time I got a different answer. One time I was told that I went over my Internet data usage, so my bill had to go up.
Another time I called the company, and I was told that my bill went up for the month because of some new government fee that was added. I can never seem to get a single answer that explains why my bill fluctuates up to $20 or $30 each month, and it tends to go up instead of down. I really wanted to get an unlimited service, or at least the service that didn’t cost me so much money. I’m the only person using my cell phone service, and the service costs me around $100 or more per month. I’ve heard of people paying $50 a month or less for cell phone service, so why not me?
My cell phone plan was set to end very soon, and I was anxious to move on to another company. I started searching around for cell phone plans that could accommodate the price I wanted to pay, which is $50 or less per month. I checked into all the services that were in my area, and many of them did the same things. I would get to have unlimited Internet service, text messages, and I could make unlimited phone calls too. After checking with different companies, I came across FreedomPop, which had the lowest unlimited price of all.
FreedomPop has an amazing unlimited cell phone service plan which will give me everything I need, but the cost is only $20 a month. There is no other cell phone service provider out there with a cost so low, and I’ll be able to save at least $80 a month or more, compared to the cell phone company I’m using now. Although I wish I’d been able to find out about FreedomPop on fortune a long time ago, later is better than never, so I’m making the switch as soon as my current service is up. I would recommend anyone looking for a low-cost cell phone service to choose FreedomPop, especially since they have the lowest price and great service.