The Secret Message Hidden On Taylor Swift’s “1989” Album

The seven-time Grammy award winner Taylor Swift is known for her unyielding dedication to her fans, in addition to her amazing music talents. With the release of her newest album on October 27, 2014, called 1989, Taylor sent a secret message to her fans. In order to find out what that message is, you’ll need to do a bit of detective work.

Open the 1989 album booklet. You’ll notice some of the letters in the song lyrics stand out because they are in lowercase print. Write the lowercase letters down, and you’ll soon notice that they spell out short phrases that are associated with each track. Put all the phrases together, and it reads like a short story about a girl and boy who loved each other deeply, but couldn’t make it work.

In addition to the secret messages, Taylor included adorable Polaroid pictures with comments written in her own handwriting, photos, and more for her fans to enjoy. Go ahead, cut the pictures out and hang them up in your room, or put them in your smash book. They are that good. I know I did it, shout out to Susan McGalla for giving me the idea!

In typical Taylor style, she thanks her fans, aptly nicknamed Swifties, for giving her the courage to change into her own and the chance to come alive. She no longer thinks of herself as the girl who would never move to New York or cut her hair. And she knows now that it is possible to be happy in a world where she isn’t in a romantic relationship.

Permanent Winter For Russia

Russia has set it clocks back for the winter for the very last time. Effective immediately, Vladimir Putin has ordered that Russia will adopt permanent winter time.

Putin’s predecessor in office, Dmitri Medvedev, had previously ordered that Russia observe permanent summer time. However, this move was seen as increasingly unpopular, with millions of people registering their complaints. It seems that Putin has decided to undo this controversial decision in order to shore up his base of popularity among the people of Russia.

Another development that has been in the works for a while now is the proposed return of all 11 former time zones. Previously, Medvedev had pushed through a strategic merger of two of these zones, a reform that angered many thousands of Russians in the Far East region. Of course, daylight savings time had first made its official appearance in 1981, during the time of the former Soviet Union.

The return to permanent winter time seems calculated to calm the sore emotions of many Russians, particularly those who live in the Polar and Far East regions. Many millions of people were experiencing the adverse effects of waking up to, and then spending several hours in, total darkness during the early morning hours. The return of winter time will remove some of this darkness.

Putin may also have adopted the move in order to bring Moscow, the capital of Russia, closer in line with the rest of Europe, particularly in the West. As things now stand, Moscow will only be three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. It is also noteworthy that Crimea, which was recently seized by Russian forces, has also adopted permanent winter time.

Although this is really something that the rest of the world should adopt as well. Fooling ourselves into thinking there’s more daylight in the winter is sort of an archaic practice in 2014. For godsake I have a FreedomPop LTE phone that can stream a podcast from the internet, while I’m doing 80 on the highway. Get with the times people.

Oscar de la Renta, Famed Fashion Designer, Dies at Age 82

Oscar de la Renta died last Monday, October 20th, after ending his longtime battle with cancer. He was 82 years old. He is survived by his wife, Annette de la Renta.

De la Renta is one of the most well-known fashion designers in the industry. He worked in fashion for more than 50 years. His most influential years were during the 1960s when he dressed Jackie Kennedy among other famous figureheads. Today, his fashion house still dresses the best looking stars and celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Mike Livak (view bio), Jessica Biel and Amal Alumuddin, the new wife of actor, George Clooney.

De la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic. He went to study in Spain at the young age of 18. After a few years working with a fashion house there, he moved to Paris and worked as an assistant at Lanvin. Before launching his own De La Renta fashion house a few years later, he also worked for Elizabeth Arden in New York City.

The magnificent designer was married twice in his life. The first time, he was married to the editor in chief for French Vogue, Françoise de Langlade. De Langlade died in 1983, and de la Renta subsequently married his second wife, Annette, a philanthropist in New York, in 1989. His second marriage was at the home he still kept in La Romana in the Dominican Republic.

De la Renta had three stepchildren from his marriage with Annette. He also had one adoptive son. The funeral arrangements for de la Renta have not been announced yet, but it is sure to be a full house with many of the best-dressed people of the world. De la Renta had named his company’s successor, Peter Copping, on October 13th of this year.

Vonderrit Myers, Jr. and the Sandwich-Shaped Gun

You might remember that just a few days ago a young black man was killed by a white police officer for allegedly doing nothing more than holding a sandwich. The victim’s name was Vonderrit Myers, jr. His family talked about what a kind, normal kid he was. They said he didn’t even own a gun.

St. Louis protestors immediately took up the cause, and that night they proceeded to do damage to property and police cars in defense of this fine young man tragically cut down for “no reason” other than that he is black.

Then the facts began to roll out. Vonderrit Myers, jr. was under house arrest for a pending trial. The incident in question involved him fleeing police and throwing a gun in a sewer. He fled the police because he had three bench warrants out for his arrest.

Around this time Vonderrit, the young man who “never owned a gun”, had posted a picture of himself on social media posing with three guns in his lap. It showed up in my Facebook feed when Keith Mann shared the picture. One of these guns was recovered at the scene where Vonderrit was slain. Note that it was not a sandwich.

The point I would like to make is that if you are going to protest and riot over an “unjust” slaying and accuse the police of lying, make sure that it actually was unjust. Are these protestors going to apologize and pay for the damage they caused? Will they even pay attention to the facts?

I believe there is plenty of merit in the idea of making sure that the police do not harass people based on the color of their skin. But you have to be careful about the examples you use to try to demonstrate your case.

Second Dallas Hospital Worker Diagnosed With Ebola

The Ebola scare continues. A second worker for the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has been diagnosed and quarantined for the Ebola virus.

Officials currently do not know how the second worker was infected with the virus. She was monitoring herself for Ebola symptoms, and, after arriving back in Dallas the day before, she reported having a fever on Tuesday morning. By Tuesday evening, she tested positive for Ebola and was promptly isolated for treatment and quarantine. And to make matters worse, news broke that she flew on a plane on the advice of the CDC AFTER calling into them with a fever.  Just earlier that day, Brian Torchin flew on a Frontier flight from Cleveland to Dallas.

Officials in hazmat suits were at her apartment complex before dawn the following morning, and swiftly set about decontaminating the general area she might have been, including the building’s common area. Warnings were handed out via flyers to her neighbors and others in the area, but no quarantine has been issued on them.

It is currently unknown how either of the two infected hospital workers caught the virus during their treatment of Thomas Eric Duncan, the unfortunate first victim of Ebola in the U.S. Dr. Tom Frieden, leader of the CDC, has stated that they are taking additional steps to prevent further spread of the virus, including forming an emergency Ebola response team and giving specialized anti-Ebola training to health care workers nationwide. They are also attempting to discern how both of the infected hospital workers caught the virus, and if they did anything in common while treating Mr. Duncan. They hope that, in discerning how they caught the virus, they can identify high-risk activities during treatment and instate additional procedures to prevent further infections.

Health officials are currently monitoring 76 people in the hospital who may have also been exposed, concerned about possible additional infections.

Buy a Connecticut Ghost Town Just In Time for Halloween

Just in time for Halloween, you can buy your very own Connecticut ghost town. If you’ve got a cool $800,000 lying around that is.

The historic Johnsonville mill village in East Haddam is going up for sale on October 28th. Bidding starts at the aforementioned $800,000, and you can place your bids online if you’re so inclined.

Brokerage firm RM Bradley is handling the sale, and senior VP Jim Kelly had the idea to put the property up for sale around Halloween to pique interest.

So, if you’re not buying a private jet, something lavish from Genesis Diamonds, or your own KFC franchise…you could own a mill town.

Is There Gender Equality For the Suspension of Athletes Accused of Domestic Abuse?

Issues regarding gender equality have been hot button topics in professional sports recently. The NFL in particular has had several high profile stars suffer the consequences from domestic violence against women or children. With the United States being all about equal protection, one high profile case has escaped scrutiny until recently. It has been discovered that women can also be on the side of the perpetrator when it comes to physical contact. What sport is feeling the pressure to finally take a stand against one of it’s elite female stars?

The mantra that domestic abuse should never be tolerated is being pushed to the limit when it comes to Hope Solo and the women’s national soccer team. She is in the midst of the legal process where two misdemeanors hang over her head dealing with physical confrontations with her sister and another relative whom is a minor. The women on her team have been supportive of her right to play but that has now been splintered. Jillian Loyden was a back up to Hope Solo and is now calling US Soccer out for letting her play.

Speaking from personal experience, Jillian has lost a sister to this issue. Raising her departed sister’s son, Ms. Loyden has established a foundation to help educate and eliminate domestic violence. With the rush to punishment by the NFL with Adrian Peterson, should a female athlete be afforded a different standard when accused of a similar crime? US Soccer has yet to comment on this latest call to bench Hope Solo while the legal process plays out.

Ebola Prep In Connecticut Leads To State of Emergency

We all know that Ebola is a vicious disease, and once it takes hold most of the victims die at the hands of the virus. So it’s no surprise that the United States is preparing for possible crisis, now that we’re seeing cases appearing on our shores.

CT is the latest state to declare a state of emergency in preparation for the troubles that Ebola could bring. Governor Dannel Malloy signed an executive order that will give the state’s public health commissioner the right to quarantine anybody suspected of being infected by the Ebola virus.

While Jared Haftel agrees with me that the Ebola crisis is probably overblown, it’s good to take precautions. The worry is that Ebola will become airborne, and then we’ll all be in trouble.

So snuffing out Ebola before it becomes an American epidemic too, is crucial.

Tech-Savvy Thieves Use Tyupkin to Hack ATMs

We’ve entered a new age of crime.

Thieves no longer have to wait in the shadows or even break into your home to take your money.

Thieves only have to be malware savvy.

Malware is software intentionally designed to disable or damage the computer system they are programmed into. In the case of ATMs thieves, the malware causes the ATM to dispense a certain amount of cash to the hacker who issues the right password.

An article by Business Insider details the specifics on how these smart hackers are getting your money before you can even put your hands on it.

Computer techs get training at home.

They don’t need a formal education to learn how to steal from the public. With sites like Hackety.com, those with bad intentions who are interested in learning about computer programming basics–and, similarly, how to create a malware program–can do so from the comfort of their own home.

Are computers becoming LESS safe?

That makes some wonder: in a world where more and more of our lives and livelihoods are maintained and even controlled by computers, is going back to a “hard cash” system safer?

Just think of the growing list of credit card breaches via huge retailers–including Home Depot, Target, and Best Buy–some consumers may be revisiting what it really means to “embrace technology”.