FLIRTCasting: The Mobile Entertainment Edition

by in Best of the Web, Big Ideas, FLIRTcasting, Get Mobile, Random Inspiration, What We're Thinking About 

Mobility is a movement that is not going anywhere any time soon and with our current focus on entertainment (because of the Olympics, obviously) we realized that the easiest way to seek entertainment is in fact, on our smartphones. So, we put together a list of the newest entertainment apps developed and in development that we are currently excited about. Recommended use: outside of the office.

Travel By Drone – A collection of drone-generated masterpieces grant intrigued viewers the opportunity to search and explore the world by video. Get an aerial perspective of popular views and destinations from Boulder Beach, Australia to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. Truly embark on the world’s most mystifying views all from your smartphone.

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii.

Anchor FM – Do you find yourself talking about hydrangeas, Pilates, car restoration, or Yoda for hours on end? If you said yes to any of the above, chances are your friends are getting pretty annoyed hearing about your obsession – BUT – it’s possible the podcast community is interested! Anchor is an iOS app for recording, sharing, and listening to short audio clips or mini podcasts. Not only can users start conversations, but also contribute to them.  So go ahead, your global audience about Yoda’s endeavors, you can educate.

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Buttered Popcorn and Surround Sound – You know better than anyone else what you like, but what if there was an app to measure your movie interests? Before anyone gets any ideas, I have to stop you – There is an app and it’s called Taste! Taste is a movie recommendation engine that suggests films based on how your personalized calculations relate to the ratings of other movie-goers curiously “similar” to you. Expect the app to be released later this year, until then please continue to aimlessly guess which movie to see.

Time to Upgrade from Microsoft Paint– Tayasui’s Memopad is the quickest, freshest digital notepad equipped with 9 tools for doodling, drawing, painting, sketching, and more! Doodlers can create masterpieces and then easily share on any social network. Interested? The app is compatible with any iOS-equipped device, so get ready to become the next digital van Gogh!
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That Can Only Mean One thing – Yes, it’s time for a [fun] one! Apparently Drake has his own search engine…and yes, it is exactly what you’d expect it to be. “Let me Drake that for you” allows users to search anything and reveal how it relates to Drake. If anyone has heard of anything more absurd, please let us know!
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We hope you found your daily dose of entertainment, check back next time for another edition of FLIRTcasting!

The Olympics in the Digital Age

by in Big Ideas, News, What We're Seeing, What We're Thinking About 

The first contemporary international Olympic Games took place 120 years ago. The competitors were amateurs, the fields were rugged, and the rules were impressionable. Though technology, athletes, and resources have evolved, the mission is still the same: Every four years the world comes together for 16 days to support professional athletes and their endeavors to collect medals for their home country. However, in this day and age wouldn’t you think it’s time the Olympics enters the digital world?

Even though we can get news and results from various sources, watching it live is still the most exciting and rewarding way to engage with the games and your country. In the United States, NBC is the only commercial network that has the licensed right to stream the Olympics, but only selected events were broadcasted. People who were interested in the other events needed to go online to NBC’s website or use the app to watch them, but a cable subscription is required. For those who don’t have a cable subscription, it is nearly impossible to watch live streamings.

This year’s games in Rio, NBC averaged 27.9 million viewers for the first nine nights. Though it may seem significant, it’s actually a 15.5% overall drop and a 30% drop among viewers age 18-34. Why is this happening?

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Graph from: Emily Steele and Bill Marsh. “Why Watch TV Online?” The New York Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2016

Well, most people don’t watch “live” TV, at least not in the conventional sense. According to a study done by The New York Times on media consumption, viewers ages 18 to 34 commonly report they use streaming sites to catch up on missed scheduled episodes. This is due to the fact that we are often out and about during peak TV-viewing hours; therefore, miss out on traditional “live” broadcasting.

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Graph from: Emily Steele and Bill Marsh. “How People without Cable Get Their TV Programming*.” The New York Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2016

Don’t confuse this notion with the idea that we don’t want live TV—we definitely do, but we want the opportunity and freedom to watch television without a TV. Cable is still the dominant mode of TV delivery for all age groups, but for young adults ages 18 to 34, nearly a fifth of them don’t subscribe to cable services and are content with connecting their TV to the internet or using antennas for broadcast.

With so many viewing opportunities available, who could blame us for shifting our streaming interests?

When you watch Simone Biles in women’s vault, it makes you want to (and believe you can do) a handspring, double aerial off of your couch. Then explain to your cat why you didn’t land it…and then remind yourself that you don’t owe your cat any explanations. People want to bring live television with them wherever they go, whenever they go. For us it’s about mobility, and socializing with others while Snapchatting, Tweeting, status-updating, and Instagramming about the games.

In essence, we don’t want to spend time and money on a television subscription, when we can rarely allot time to remaining stationary, watching TV. People are stealthy and undetected—quickly abandoning the TV landscape and dismissing what was once known as “Prime Time.” We look to YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, Amazon Prime, really anywhere online for live streaming capabilities.

The Olympic Games unite all people and build bridges between all cultures. To spread this idea, people should have easy access to live streamings of the games. Perhaps someday you will find NBC’s monopoly on the Olympics released, and media like YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, and Amazon Prime capable of live streaming.

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(And well, because this doesn’t get old, here’s our favorite Olympic shot of Michael Phelps)

Works Cited:

Flint, Joe, and Suzanne Vranica. “NBC’s Ratings for Rio Olympics Fall Behind London.” The Wall Street Journal (n.d.): n. pag. 14 Aug. 2016. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.

Lynch, Jason. “How Millennials Consume TV Depends on Which Stage of Life They’re In Nielsen Report Examines the Demo’s Viewing Habits.” Adweek (n.d.): n. page. 24 Mar.     2016. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.

Steele, Emily, and Bill Marsh. “Millennials and Cutting the Cord.” The New York Times. N.p., 3 Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.

FLIRTcasting: Summer Heat and Brand New Gadgets Edition

by in Big Ideas, FLIRTcasting, Random Inspiration, What We're Thinking About 

How is it already August? Welcome to a month of sticky humidity, beach vacations, farmer’s markets, and…national s’mores day! Everyone mark your calendars, August 10th, for this very important celebration. This week we’re not only inspired by s’mores (duh) but we are also excited about progressive technology, so we’ve compiled some of this year’s latest and greatest gadgets to come:

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No More Ink Cartridges! – The Renegade 3D-Printing Pen works by recycling plastic bottles, containers, and bags.  It is the first of its kind, an eco-friendly 3D printer that liquefies plastic, producing a molten gel that cools down forming a solid frame.

Cool Pics. No Really, Cool Pix! – Nikon recently announced the novel Coolpix W100 digital camera, the perfect gadget for families with young children or just clumsy people in general! Brightly colored, this camera is dust-proof, waterproof, shockproof, cold-resistant, and it even has wireless sharing capabilities! So when you manage to get marshmallow stuck to the camera, it won’t be an issue.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s an Amazon Drone – Amazon Prime Air will employ small, unmanned aerial vehicles (AKA Drones)
to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less. You’re probably thinking, where are we going to keep these drones? In Amazon’s Patent Docking Stations, of course! Said stations may be found anywhere from cell towers to your neighborhood’s streetlights…comforting, right?

Nintendo’s Mini Powerhouse – Who here’s a gamer? Let’s be real, everyone has a little bit of “gamer” in them. The Retro-Bit Generations takes over 100 classic NES games from the arcades of our childhoods and packs ‘em into one mini system. The Retro-Bit connects to the TV and comes with two old-school controllers. It’s time to restore that old gaming rivalry you once had with your older brother.

Ah, finally. The best for last!

I’ll Race Ya – Why use your legs when you can easily ride your luggage throughout the airport? The Modobag is a carry-on suitcase with an internal 150-watt electric motor and battery that reaches 8mph. Think it’s too good to be true? Well, its battery also doubles as a USB charger for smart phones, tablets, and laptops. What more could you want from a suitcase?
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Wasn’t that fun? Remember, at the core of any technological idea is creativity, so it’s okay to think a little differently. Check back next time for another edition of FLIRTcasting!

Chicago: Where Parks transform into Gyms and Yoga Studios

by in Around Chicago, Big Ideas, Interns, What We're Thinking About 

Summer in Chicago is always so exciting. There are an endless amount of events full of music and of course food to enjoy, but we can’t forget that Chicago also has a wide range of outdoor fitness activities to help stay in shape for the warmer months. Check out the list below, find the event that fits you best and get your body moving in this nice warm weather!

Millennium Park Summer Workouts

(via cityofchicago.org)

  1. Millennium Park Summer Workouts

What’s better than being on the soft grass of the iconic Jay Pritzker Pavilion, looking at the spectacular skyline and working out with a crowd full of fitness enthusiasts? This summer workout series is free to the public and goes all summer. Check out Tai Chi, Pilates and Zumba® classes on Saturday and Yoga classes on Wednesday and Saturday.

  1. Chicago SummerDance

Would you rather salsa in the park than spend your evening running? Then this event might be perfect for you! The Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park turns into an urban dance space, where there will be 43 different live bands allowing for an evening full of dancing. Don’t worry about practicing first, there will be dance lessons held beforehand.

The 606

(via the606.org)

  1. The 606

Do you prefer to have more of a relaxing workout? The 606 will be a great route for you to walk, run or bike with family and friends. The 606 or the Bloomingdale Line was an abandoned rail line that is now a multi-use recreational trail and park. It is connected to six neighborhood parks at ground level and complete with a wheel-friendly event plaza, an observatory, art installations, educational programming, and other amenities.

  1. Kayak Chicago

The Chicago River is a landmark of Chicago. If you live here, it is something you walk past daily, but did you know that you can kayak on it? Kayak Chicago provides kayak rentals and different level kayaking classes. So gather friends and family and explore Chicago in another view!

  1. Outdoor Volleyball Courts

Whether you enjoy playing volleyball on the sand or court, Chicago has you covered. There are many volleyball courts for public uses in Chicago. But since it is summer after all, the feeling of having your feet on warm sand and hearing the sound of water while you are playing volleyball really can’t be beat. The city has over 150 sand courts available during the summer months. Click here to see a list of the outdoor volleyball courts!

Volleyball Courts

(via chicagoparkdistrict.com)

 

 

 

National Ice Cream Day – #FLIRTsundae

by in Big Ideas, FLIRT Goings On, Random Inspiration 

National Ice Cream Day is Sunday, July 17th! FLIRT decided this is a holiday we definitely couldn’t miss so we came up with the idea of making our own #FLIRTsundae, complete with FLIRTY oranges and more!  This sundae is simple to make and tastes amazing, so get your ingredients together and create our #FLIRTsundae with us:

Ingredients:IMG_3119

  • 2 Large Oranges
  • 48 FL OZ (1.42 L) of French Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 6.5 OZ Original Reddi Wip Cream
  • Blue Sprinkles

Step 1: Slice and Divide

  • Using a kitchen knife, slice the orange in half
  • Place ½ off to the side for later

Step 2: Gut the Orange!IMG_3126

  • Continue to cut along the inside of the orange to leave behind just the peel
  • Use a spoon to scoop out any remaining citrus

Step 3: Get Ready to Scoop!

  • Scoop 1 to 2 spoonful’s of ice cream into the remaining orange peel

Step 4: The Final Touches

  • Shake up the whip cream and layer it on top of the ice cream
  • Finally, sprinkle on the sugar!

Step 5: Bring on the Embellishments!IMG_3143
Remember that remaining half of orange? Well, let’s put it to good use in one of two ways!

  1. Cut 1 to 2 slices and drive a popsicle stick through the center to anchor it into the orange peel
  2. Use the entire half as an umbrella for your sundae – Anchor it to the orange peel the same way you would in choice 1

Voila! There you have it – the perfect #FLIRTsundae! If you happen to make your own sundae  make sure to share with us by using the hashtag, #FLIRTsundae

Thanks to our talented interns, Kam and Paige for concocting this delicious treat!

 

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