5 Reasons to Get your Backpacks Ready

5 Reasons to Get your Backpacks Ready

Two very good friends of mine have just got back from the adventure of a lifetime. They left New York 6 months ago, went to Europe, bought a motorcycle, and the adventure began. And it lasted all the way to Georgia and Armenia and back – Europe at their feet. And upon their return, I noticed something had unconsciously changed for them. You can tell just by looking at them; they’ve become more relaxed because they understood a little more about this world we are bound to live in.

I want to share some of their revelations with you. So here are 5 reasons to get your backpacks ready and start imagining further.

1. Life is not about you

Nothing actually is. It’s about relating, sharing, cherishing, exchanging, giving and receiving. It’s about our world being so unlimited, yet so precise. It’s about your being a small piece of the most complex mechanism and still make a difference. We all do. So it’s not about you, it’s about you as a part of a bigger whole that embraces and respects you.

2. Life is all about facing challenges

Fighting the unpredictable or better yet not doing your best for it never to occur. Face new experiences and treat them like lessons, not obstacles per se. I know this idea sounds as if it came directly from some kind of guru, but just think of it this way for a change, trust me on this one! Just like Audery Hepburn once stated, “(…) for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” Because you aren’t.

3. Life is a matter of contexts

Nothing is independent. Everything is connected. If you want a more specific understanding of this concept, try watching The Butterfly Effect. I’m talking about the movie. Anyway, discovering new ways of living totally opposed to your everyday life gives you the best perspective on what really matters for your life. Understanding different contexts brings relaxation. Less panic means clearness of mind. And clearness of mind means happiness.

They say that every time something you consider bad happens to you, sit back and think whether this will matter in a week, in 3 months, a year, 2 years… Apart from some rare cases, the answer to this dilemma is usually ridiculously negative.

4. Life is everything but stereotypes

When you travel, nothing you know or you think you know can be taken for granted. Thinking in stereotypes is one of the worst mistakes one can make. But still it is hard to stay away from them. They just seem to subconsciously creep inside our minds. So no preconceived ideas, please.

5. Lose yourself in order to find yourself

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There’s a whole bunch of things you don’t know about yourself. Not to mention your loved one. Wouldn’t you want to know if the person near you was who s/he claimed to be? The best method of finding out is to travel somewhere far together. No all-inclusive suits, no 3 meals-a-day resorts, but life with the dynamic it has to offer. Someone’s true character always comes forth in extreme situations. No pain, no gain.

Despite meeting lots of people with thousands of interests and attitudes towards life, you will eventually convince yourself of the fact that everyone everywhere basically wants the same thing. Human values are universal. We all want acceptance, love, security, and hope. In spite of so many religions, it all comes down to these attributes. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be the sweetest grandpa or grandma with epic stories to enchant your nephews with. They make you who you are. So get your backpacks ready and start moving. Love is the answer, baby! This is all you need to know.

 

The 6 Most Poignant Michelle Obama Photos of All Time

Being the FLOTUS comes with a lot of responsibility (and, obviously, some privilege, too). No one knows this better right now than Michelle Obama. Still, with her intelligence, grace, sense of style, and inspirational outlook on life, Ms. Obama has been handling the chore impeccably for the past several years. That’s why we’ve decided to celebrate her today, with a small collection of the most poignant Michelle Obama photos of all time. Enjoy the candid, the stylish, the funny, and the thought-provoking pics in the gallery below!

6. Michelle Obama in the green Marchesa dress

This is one of the First Lady’s best fashion moments, as well as one of the most poignant Michelle Obama photos of all time – if for no other reason, then just for how radiant both her and her husband look. The two were stepping out in style for the evening, in order to attend the Kennedy Center Honors in 2013. That night, Michelle wore an acclaimed, regal Marchesa dress which brought out her natural good looks.

5. Michelle and her lovely daughters

The 2013 Presidential Inauguration was an amazing photo opportunity for everyone present on the scene – and, first and foremost, for the country’s number one family. For our list, we settled on this lovely photo of the Obama ladies, looking almost royal in their beautiful coats, as they arrived for the event. In case you care about designers, labels, and such, you might want to know that Sasha is wearing a periwinkle Peatrice coat by Kate Spade New York, Malia is wearing a coat from J. Crew, while the First Lady is sporting Thom Browne, with J. Crew gloves.

4. Michelle Obama with Barrack, back when they were dating

Check out the POTUS’s Christmas sweater! Get a load of the look on his face! We’re not exactly sure when this pic was snapped up, but it’s candid and endearing – not to mention the fact that Michelle looks great. By all accounts, it was taken when the couple was still dating, so it must be somewhere in the very early nineties (something like 1990 to 1992).

3. Michelle Obama’s second visit at the Buckingham Palace

This one is among the most poignant Michelle Obama photos out there, because it also speaks volumes of her evolution in style. In 2009, during her first visit at the British Royal Palace, Michelle wore a simple black sweater and skirt, which attracted criticism for being too simple. The second time around, though, she donned a gorgeous J. Mendel jacket, which cost almost $7,000! (PS: Yes, the stylish First Lady pays for all her clothes herself.)

2. Michelle Obama, new White House dog Sunny & the little girl

This photo of Michelle Obama is actually more endearing for what happened after it was snapped. The story goes as follows: in early December, the FLOTUS has a traditional dinner, where she invites kids to decorate Christmas ornaments. This year, though, the new Obama dog Sunny got a bit overly excited upon meeting Ashtyn Gardner, this precious two year-old little girl from Mobile, Alabama. He jumped on her, the girl fell, and for a while there it looked like the situation would spiral out of control. At the end of the day, though, the girl got a hug from Michelle and it was all okay.

1. Michelle Obama & Stephanie Kyriazis revert the past

At the top of our list of poignant Michelle Obama photos stands this pic, snapped on May 16, 2014. In it, the FLOTUS stands with Stephanie Kyriazis, Chief of Interpretation and Education, at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, in Topeka, Kansas. The picture is actually a wonderful reminder of how far America has come, in terms of doing away with racial segregation and improving civil rights. Imagine that only five decades ago, Ms. Obama and the woman in front of her wouldn’t have been allowed to use the same bathroom!

5 Amazing Video-game Characters with Real Life Look-alikes

The video-game world has grown tremendously over the years. If a decade ago we could only dream of in-game environments that look like the real world, or characters that can develop in multiple ways, today it seems that everything is possible. Now, more than ever, the world of games is receiving more attention. For example, in the following days, the largest Dota 2 event, with a prize-pool of over 10 million dollars will unfold. A lot of money is being spent to create realistic characters, graphics, surroundings and stories. At present, the frameworks of graphic reality are incredibly expanded. Older games, with familiar faces still have their charm. Let’s take a look at 5 of the most popular video-game protagonists that have changed our lives, and find find them among our favorite actors and models.

1. The Illusive Man – Mass Effect 2

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Mass Effect 2 is one of the best games to have graced the gaming world. And its most mysterious character, the Illusive Man, tries to make humanity the main race in the Universe (what a noble cause). Just take a closer look at him, his piercing blue eyes, and silver hair and he will immediately remind you of someone. We are talking about the illustrious American actor, Martin Sheen. Mr. Sheen actually made the voice for the Illusive Man. Despite combining the best and worst characteristics of humanity, the Illusive Man remains one of the most charismatic characters in Mass Effect 2.

2. Starkiller – Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 

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Starkiller isn’t actually the character’s name, but a code name. His real name is Galen Marek, if you know what we mean. His brown eyes, hair, fair skin and haircut reminds us of Samuel Witwer, who also gave Starkiller his voice. Samuel is an extremely respected American actor and musician. He played in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and its sequel, as Galen Maren’s clone.

3. Lucy Stillman – Assasin’s Creed

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Have you heard of American actress Kristen Bell? Do you know what she looks like? You might not. If you are passionate about the world of games, you will probably recognize her as Lucy Stillman, of the Assassin’s Order, in Assassin’s Creed. Kristen has given her looks and voice to this game character in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

Some fans are finding it hard to believe that Lucy Stillman is actually dead, after being stabbed by Desmond’s Hidden Blade.

4. Sheva Alomar – Resident Evil 5

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Shevar Alomar of Resident Evil 5 is definitely one of the most memorable characters in the game. She has a unique appeal, and is always faitful to her partner, Chris Redfield. During the game, she helps him complete missions (and she’s not like all the other NPCs which only stand around while you are being killed – she is useful).

Although it has not been confirmed, fans believe that Karen Dyer is Sheva’s look-alike. Her real name is Eva LaDare, and she is infamous for her role in Idlewild. On the other hand, Karen is a voice and television actress. Other stars who are believed to have inspired Sheva are Naja Hill and Michelle Van der Water.

5. Zoey – Left 4 Dead

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If you have ever played Left 4 Dead you know about Zoey, one of the survivors in the game. Her looks were inspired from Sonja Kinski, a very popular model. At first, the game designers wanted to use Alesia Glidewell, but they decided on Sonja in the end. The model was born in Switzerland, and moved to California when she was 7. As far as the voice of Zoey is concerned, it belongs to Jen Taylor.

We hope you enjoyed our post about Video-game Characters with Real Life Look-alikes. If you are interested in checking out more look-alikes and prototypes for games, please let us know!

4 Famous Men With Eating Disorders

What you see is what you get. But what’s the cost for that? Image is all that seems to matter nowadays, and there’s no way one can escape from its manifestations: banners, magazines, web sites and blogs full of beautiful people with beautiful lives with beautiful clothes with beautiful minds. Eating disorders are the secret prize for selling fake images. Manifestations can vary from one person to another, but nevertheless there are 4 major directions for this kind of disorder: bulimia nervosa (BN), anorexia nervosa (AN), binge eating disorder (BED) and Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED). The latter is sort of a combination between the first three.

Men With Eating Disorders can find a complete list of people with eating disorders here, but this article wants to focus on men who struggled with eating disorders throughout their lives. John Goodman, Franz Kafka, Al Roker and Dennis Quaid are our headlines for now.

1. Franz Kafka

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The Czech writer Franz Kafka suffered from anorexia. As explained in the article called Franz Kafka’s anorexia nervosa Kafka was slim and underweight throughout his life and showed an ascetic attitude and abjuration of physical enjoyment and pleasure (fasting, vegetarianism, sexual abstinence, emphasis on physical fitness). Among his writings one can find: The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle. He is an important precursor of existentialism.

2. Dennis Quaid

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Actor Dennis Quaid says he battled against anorexia in the mid-1990s, around the time he shed 40 lbs. for the role of Doc Holliday in the film Wyatt Earp. In the period the film portrays, Holliday was dying of tuberculosis, and Quaid had to loose the weight in order to capture his character. “My arms were so skinny that I couldn’t pull myself out of a pool,” Quaid admits, describing what he suffered from as “manorexia.” “I wasn’t bulimic, but I could understand what people go through with that.” Commonly for eating disorder patients, he also used to have an entirely different image of himself: “I’d look in the mirror and still see a 180-lb. guy, even though I was 138 pounds,” Quaid confessed.

3. John Goodman

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This widely adored American actor apparently had his own battle to run against eating disorders.

Four years ago he admitted he had a drinking problem, and the fact that he had lost a lot of weight has been less talked about. But this weight goes on an off and it appears to be a never-ending story. He has been sober since 2007 and by August 2010, Goodman had lost 100 pounds. He has stated that exercising and keeping a journal of food he consumed are what helped him keep the weight off

4. Al Roker

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Al Roker, NBC’s most famous weather presenter even wrote a book about his problem: Eating Disorders/ Self Help. Roker underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2002 and lost more than 100 pounds. He shared some less-known side effects of the surgery, which apparently include what both Roker and Snyderman described simply as “pooping your pants.”

In other words, men are also affected by appearance, image, social pressure and un-human standards. It’s hard to say what causes this disorder and it is even harder to imagine that famous people like them have self confidence issues, problems related to acceptance and an absurd strive towards perfection.

7 Cool Board Games No Summer Day is too Hot for!

Coolest Board Games

When we think of summer, we just want to go away. But what if that place was full of your old best friends? They say adults don’t play anymore. Well, they just need a better reason to play, that’s all. And long summer days are the perfect excuse to leave your mature expression behind, start living, and start laughing. No summer day is too hot for the coolest board games on the planet. Here is a list of suggestions that is guaranteed to turn good friends into best friends

1. Time’s Up!

No Summer Day is too Hot for the Coolest Board Games

Rumor has it that this is the funniest game you’ll ever play, especially the Deluxe edition. It is delightful to watch couples scream at each other while trying to act out the stupidest clues in order to get the other one to guess a childhood celebrity they probably never heard of. Players take turns attempting to get their partners to guess famous titles of songs, movies, art, etc. During the first round, almost everything works. But after that, it’s all about finesse, baby!

2. Cranium

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A bit of everything for everyone should be the motto of this incredible board game. Cranium has got a bit of it all: charades, drawing, acting, modelling clay and general knowledge. This dynamic nature helps even the shiest players let their hair down. Great team game!

3. Loaded Questions

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There are 4 question types to embrace: Hypotheticals, Anything Goes, No-Brainers, and Personals. This is a game of great debate and bubbly conversations. There are also Reversal spaces, where the roller is supposed to write an answer down, and the other players must guess what s/he wrote. If there’s bonding you’re looking for, Loaded Questions is the best medicine.

4. Curses

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One player must basically acquire a list of curses, which stand as rules. He has to accomplish feats while following these rules. They get more rigorous as the game unfolds. But the game is highly influenced by your mates.

5. Apples to Apples

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This is a game of absurd yet funny comparisons, where the roller’s goal is to choose the Red Apple card his hand that best describes the word selected on the Green Apple card. See the adjective and decide which one of your “noun” cards matches according to your criteria, whatever they are..

6. Size Matters

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According to publisher TDC Games, this game is definitely challenging for anyone’s imagination. Released in 2006, it challenges adults to come up with the “longest, fattest, sickest, and generally biggest things in life.” It emphasizes our obsession with size. Everything can be and has to be quantified somehow. Maybe Size Matters will raise some questions post factum.

7. Cards Against Humanity

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Well this one here is like the morbid version of Apples to Apples. No logic matched answers and no guarantee for decency. In a nutshell, the player holding a black card asks a question, and the other players must provide their funniest answer. This game is full of mismatches made in heaven!

We all need some time to rediscover our friends. Why not give them a call? A truly funny board game is the best pretext for breaking any potential distance. Because when people start playing anything, the stake will instantly turn them into what they really are: a bunch of people who are young at heart.