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Tattoos in the RVA Workplace

Posted on 23 May 2011 by admin

Face it Richmond. You’re surrounded. By art.

It flatters the walls of numerous galleries, ornaments our streets and buildings and also adorns the skin of many locals.

They don’t all work in downtown restaurants and bars either, although tattooed culinarians and mixologists might be seen more often. No, tattooed folk don’t all band together like a heathen zombie army.

Actually they’re everywhere, just not always visibly. They also teach children, save lives, prepare fancy pumpkin spice lattes, labor at state agencies, report the gritty city news, fashion your hair, hawk real estate, mark Richmond criminals and ink grants. Many have infiltrated well-known, Fortune 500 corporations.

Please follow the link to read the rest of this article and view a great slideshow on Richmonddotcom! Thanks!

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20/20 Visions of Alternative Transportation

Posted on 12 May 2011 by admin

The visions of 13 people—what you missed and how you can be involved in the city’s new transit plan.

Richmond Connects, a City of Richmond project, staged its kick-off event Tuesday night at the Byrd Theater. Participants were asked to present alternative visions of transportation in an alternative format: 20 slides, 20 seconds a slide.

This trendy and effective method known as “Pecha Kucha” is loved by the Japanese and seems to abate long-winded, awkward presentations.

The format itself was a breath of fresh air, as were many of the ideas presented.

Richmond Connects is the abbreviated moniker for The Richmond Strategic Multimodal Transportation Plan, a yearlong planning study to “update, revise and re-invent the transportation plan,” for Richmond.

The evening moved along like a well-oiled machine, hopefully one with a small carbon footprint, but whether or not the talks are just a bunch of hot-air remains to be seen.

The City of Richmond, with its recent creation of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail Commission, as well as proposed funding in the 2012 budget for a Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, appears committed to reducing the number of vehicles on the road. Money has been pledged to develop the plan, but more than that half a million will be needed to complete any infrastructure (Portland, Oregon spent an estimated 52 million).

At the very least, Tuesday nights’ presenters made it clear that the city ought to take transportation reform very seriously.


Some clambered on stage to speak their 6:40 (20×20) as concerned residents, bringing out-of-state experiences to the envisioning process.


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Best Practices for Using LinkedIn

Posted on 12 May 2011 by admin

Wow, I did this video four months ago and forgot to upload it. I definitely stand behind these tips, I can tell that my profile gets more views now.


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VCU Zine collection a rare collegiate treat

Posted on 04 May 2011 by admin

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The ABC’s of Social Media and Happy Hour

Posted on 16 February 2011 by admin

Numerous restaurants in Richmond are violating, some without knowing, some simply disregarding, what many see as an invasive prohibition on social media promotion.

Gone are the days of Speakeasies, Prohibition-era liquor establishments, where liquor discreetly flowed for those whose tongues were agile with the correct password for entry. Even though billions of dollars now steadily pour into the coffers of alcohol manufacturers, in Virginia restaurants dare not speak easy about happy hour pricing.

Not too long ago restaurants were completely prohibited from promoting happy hour outside of the storefront. In late 2009, the ABC board approved the posting of a 17″ by 22″ sign in the window of a restaurant. This action symbolized forward movement from an organization often thought of as conservative.

When but not What

The momentous change spawned signage in windows, announcing, yes the business has a happy hour–a fact probably already known by 10 of 10 adults. In an urban setting, the sign might make a difference, but in a suburban setting, most restaurants receive specific destination traffic.

What really matters to those seeking the heaviest drinks for recession-light wallets are the prices, the choices, and the times. Times are actually allowed on the posted sign, but no specific mention of available selections, or the special prices is permitted.

“What the customer is deprived of is the information about what kind of specials are being offered,” said Thomas Lisk, an attorney at Eckert Seamans who previously served as chairman of the Industry Advisory Panel to the Virginia ABC Board during its regulatory review process.

…Finish reading the article, find out what promotions are legal and illegal, and take the poll at Richmond.com

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Medicine helps snuff out smoking habit

Posted on 10 February 2011 by admin

Back when I was a fiscally struggling undergrad (my, how things don’t change), I took a series of lab-rat gigs at VCU. The money wasn’t great, but it paid out right away and I didn’t have to donate anything other than my time, patience and a little blood. The studies were only for tobacco research and required that I be a smoker. This is a preface to the bigger story, the current one of my becoming a non-smoker.

One of the gigs required that I stay overnight, go without coffee two days prior and no cigarettes were allowed 12 hours prior to check-in at MCV hospital.

Once settled in, I was given a series of hourly tests that involved my cognitive reflexes and memory retention. I found it rather interesting that they wanted to know how my brain worked without tobacco.

I interrogated the doctors and researchers about tobacco and the brain to learn just why nicotine is so addictive. Here’s what I’ve learned and why it is so hard for many of us to just quit cold turkey.

Simple science behind addiction

There is a perception out there that tobacco is merely a physical addiction. See, the tricky thing is that your brain is a tangible, physical part of you, but there are also many complex, mysterious things happening inside it that we can’t see. Science has made huge leaps in explaining some of it. Point being, they’re connected—mind and body. Withdrawal isn’t simply about nicotine decreasing in the bloodstream (physical), it is also about the way your neurotransmitters are firing messages (mind).

A smoker is going through nicotine withdrawal the minute they put out a cigarette. Let’s be science-like and call it pain conditioning. Pain conditioning (and pleasure conditioning) involves neurotransmitters that reinforce the neural pathways which develop with newly learned behaviors.

Think of a neurotransmitter as “an automobile wearing ruts in a gravel road.”

This applies to all types of behavior and learning—from avoiding touching a hot iron to associating an “A” on a test with a reward. I could go on with the examples but, basically, that “deep neural rut” in your neural pathway is what makes a reaction become automatic.

For smokers, the reactions are provoked by times, meals, activities and emotions.

To learn more about the science of addiction and the success rate of Chantix, please jump over to Richmond.com to finish reading!

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Wine Tasting

Posted on 19 January 2011 by admin

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Touring Virginia Wine Country

Posted on 19 January 2011 by admin

Touring the Monticello Wine Trail: Jefferson Vineyards from Alix Bryan on Vimeo.

Okay Richmond, quit whining about the cold weather. This frigid season might not be a barrel of laughs, but there are plenty of ways we can fight seasonal affective disorder and avoid hibernation. One of those sure fire ways just might be drinking, or rather, tasting. Vineyards located nearby on the Monticello Wine Trail offer the promise of an adventure blended with interesting history lessons, beautiful panoramas, and of course, award-winning wine.

Sure, Richmond boasts a list of events equal in length to our Canal Walk. But what about the open road? What about a low-cost, action-packed excursion that can easily deliver you home by the end of the day? With just enough time left over, well, to drink some of the wine you bought?

One more word of encouragement: local. Apply the popular “Buy Local” movement to your wine consumption. Here are some tips to help you become an oenophile, educated by some of the best vintners in America.

We have tourists visit the state just for our wine. We are considered the “Birthplace of American Wine,” thanks to Thomas Jefferson, yet it took about 200 years for our wineries to really figure out the tricky climate and produce quality wines. We are now the 5th largest producer of wine in the United States.

Virginia wine has been applauded at the international level, proven by the 20 awards received, out of 10,983 global wines entered, at the 2010 Decanter World Wine awards.

We have a native grape, the Norton, and even a crown jewel, the Viogner (vee-on-yay). The Viogner helped put Virginia on the map, thanks to the research and brave gambles of Dennis Horton, of Horton Vineyards. This is some of the priceless stuff you get to learn about at the tastings.

Read more about exploring Virginia Wine Country at Richmond.com

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Angel of Hope

Posted on 14 September 2010 by admin

This video was created as part of a school project where my team worked with a local nonprofit to develop a social media campaign. We wanted to show the real statistical truths of child abuse as well as the services/solutions that Greater Richmond SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) offers our community.

I did the video concept and script and also contributed to editing and song choice.

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Devil’s Triangle Shapes Up

Posted on 14 September 2010 by admin

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