Miramax, Weinstein, Hollywood and Sexual Harassment The number one way to gut-check your company's culture.

The flood of women coming forward in recent weeks to tell their stories of “Me Too” has shed a light on the fact that it’s not only Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, and Hollywood but our country at large that has created a culture of mindlessness when it comes to sexual harassment.

These revelations are raising awareness across the business sector as companies try to make sure they and their employees do not fall prey to a mindless culture.

Brenda’s story.

Brenda was a newly minted VP on her first business trip with Miramax. She had turned in early after dinner as to make a good impression on her boss and fellow employees leaving them in the bar downstairs.

When she woke up to a knock on her hotel room door, the voice on the other side was a familiar one, so she opened it.  

Before she knew what was happening, her boss pushed the door open and threw her on the bed. He pinned her down but was drunk and she managed to wriggle away, locking herself in the adjoining room.

Weeks later her boss had not spoken a word to her about that night. No conversations, no “I’m sorry,” it was business as usual.

When she mustered up the courage to confide in her boss’ boss, he apologized for the unfortunate incident, but he let her know that if she went public, he would deny their conversation ever happened.

I asked Brenda if the fear of it happening again stayed with her while she was at Miramax. She said, “Oh yeah, it wasn’t if, in my mind, it was when. I learned that’s how it was there.”

In business, we talk about culture. It’s a buzzword. How do you create a good, a healthy, a positive, a winning–the adjectives abound followed by the 4, 5 or 6 steps you need to create that culture.

But the culture of your business doesn’t live in your mission statement or in your HR manuals, it’s a living breathing thing. It lives in the decisions you make and in the way you handle people, especially those who have less power.

A culture is a set of set of norms, values, and behaviors of a group. One definition says it’s the way we do things around here. However, if those ideals are left to collect dust in the pages of your mission statement, your mission will get lost.

The biggest reason the culture of a business will fail is mindlessness. When a group or a company of people go mindless, they begin to accept things they would not normally accept under the banner of this is the way it’s done around here, regardless of what it says in the manuals.

In a mindless culture, all manner of bad, unsafe and repugnant behavior can become part of a company’s tacit traditions, including sexual harassment. These behaviors infect and redefine a group’s stated core values.

Mindlessness can become systemic, as employees old and new become acceptant of the prevailing culture that is practiced, not preached.

Brenda experienced the real values held at Miramax. At minimum, her bosses were supporting a culture of mindlessness with respect to women and they expected Brenda to drink the Kool-aid.

The systemic mindlessness of Hollywood is being exposed as scores of actresses are coming forward with remarkably similar stories of sexual abuse.

Many of these women, like Rachel Mcadams, were sent to hotel meetings with predators by their own agents, some of whom were also women, aware of the danger but gave no warning.

In order to weed out systemic mindlessness and any accepted norms that go against their core values, companies need to gut-check their culture.

Introducing mindfulness, the practice of being present and attuning to the people around us can help employers better monitor the direction their company’s culture has taken.

Employees trained in mindfulness are not as susceptible to the priming of a culture, especially if it is wrought with questionable values. Mindfulness practitioners are proving to be more compassionate toward others and are prone to make moral choices.

One surprising study showed that mindful people are less likely to fall prey to the “bystander-effect” and are more likely to speak up when confronted with the suffering of others or injustice.

Some of the old guard in Hollywood has admitted to knowing about the sexual misconduct of Weinstein and others but did nothing. The “bystander-effect” was a key reason so many in Hollywood stayed quiet for so long.

Creating a space that is safe and supportive for employees to speak openly and honestly about their experiences goes a long way toward maintaining a company’s integrity.

While sensitivity training is important, it falls short of creating a culture that is aware, compassionate and attuned to others.

We have an opportunity in this moment to become mindful of how power is wielded and lorded over others. It’s time for a gut-check, not only of our business culture but the culture of our country at large.

5 Things The World's Most Exceptional Thinkers Have in Common

Originals drive creativity, innovation and ultimately change the world. History’s best minds have a lot of things in common. Every great achievement you have heard about or probably used came from exceptional thinking. From Einstein to Jobs, and Musk, here are five things the world’s greatest minds have in common.

1. Exceptional thinkers start their day on purpose

Success can only be achieved by design. Without a plan, you can’t make progress. In as much as original and exceptional thinkers embrace the opportunity to defy convention, they maintain schedules that make it easy for them to get things done.

They do their best work on purpose. Their deliberate actions make the biggest difference in how they achieve their goals, visions, and purpose in life. They value improvement, hence the need to keep schedules that allow them to live in the reality of making progress. Exceptional innovators are constantly fixing and iterating. 

2. Great thinkers look for patterns and connect ideas

The ability to make meaning from unrelated ideas and information is unique. Most innovators are great at it. It’s called Apophenia, the tendency to attribute meaning to perceived connections or patterns between seemingly unrelated things. 

Original thinkers and creative people intentionally look for patterns within their industries and other unrelated industries to be able to spot relationships that others cannot.

After dropping out of school, Steve Jobs wandered into a calligraphy course. It seemed irrelevant at the time, but the design skills he learned were later useful when he built the first Mac Computer. You never know what will be useful ahead of time.

Steve once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

The best minds in the world are great bridging the gap between unrelated concepts and ideas.

3. They value learning 

Curiosity is a big driver of creativity and novelty. Creativity happens when you make the effort to learn or try something new every day. Original thinkers know and understand the importance of connecting ideas, even the most remote ones to create something truly unique. They learn new skills that complement what they do. 

At the age of 14, Leonardo da Vinci began a lengthy apprenticeship with Andrea del Verrocchio, a well-known artist in Florence. He was exposed to a vast range of technical skills including, metalworking, leather arts, carpentry, drawing, painting, and sculpting. He learned a wide breadth of skills. 

If you’re a writer, you could take up photography. Start enhancing your career with the skills that complement it. The connection between ideas doesn’t happen unless you explore it a little.

4. They are insanely curious

Nothing beats a curious mind! Great minds make room for different mental models. They don’t disregard other ideas. They look for meaning in every pursuit. The most innovative and exceptional thinkers in the world are also the most inquisitive among us.The best way to connect dots is to be intellectually curious about the world around you.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, a great American novelist once said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” 

Einstein made a profound statement about questioning and staying curious. He once said:

“Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason. Aren’t you in awe when you contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure behind reality? And this is the miracle of the human mind — to use its constructions, concepts, and formulas as tools to explain what man sees, feels and touches. Try to comprehend a little more each day. Have holy curiosity.”

Maintain to curious mind to explore and discover amazing ideas, innovations, and products that could spark new concepts for your next big idea. To improve your sense of curiosity, all you have to do is to embrace new ideas and try new things to stimulate your mind and senses.

5. Exceptional minds take productive breaks

According to research, your brain gradually stops registering a sight, sound or feeling if that stimulus remains constant for too long. You lose your focus and your performance on the task declines.

Great thinkers make time on their calendars to think, wander and refresh the brain. You can’t benefit from focused attention for too long. Sustaining attention on a task for an extended period of time can deplete your ability to think and create.

 Successful innovators and original thinkers know the importance of stepping away from projects briefly to re-conceptualize the problem with new perspectives.

Take intentional breaks by going for long walks, meditating, exercise or indulge in daydreaming. It pays to connect with your subconscious.

Snapchat Is Launching A New Discovery Tool: Context Cards

I don’t know I’ve reached Snap’s global headquarters until I am standing in front of them, leaning on the handle of my rolling suitcase and puzzling over a map app. A baby-faced security guard in braces approaches me. “I’m here to see Evan Spiegel,” I tell him.

Earlier, when I’d asked for a tour of Snap’s offices, the company spokesperson said it would be hard. This doesn’t make sense until I am on campus, which is marked by a door mid-block with a small wooden sign that says in nearly invisible script: Snap Inc. It’s designed to be missed. The building’s last tenant was the actor Matthew McConaughey and, fun fact, McConaughey’s former bedroom is now a conference room called Cuttlefish. The campus is really just a half-dozen unmarked buildings up the street from the Venice Beach Boardwalk, each about the size of McConaughey’s former abode, with white shades pulled down over the windows.

Yet it’s extraordinary that I’m here at all, considering how the company has interacted with the public—which is not very much. Since Snap launched six years ago, founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy have preferred to keep a very low profile. “I really am trying to do a better job communicating,” Spiegel told an audience at the Vanity Fair conference last week. “You know, we run a survey across our company and…overwhelmingly this year it was like, we want to hear more from you and I’m like…really? All right.”

As CEO, Spiegel has given few on-the-record interviews to the press, and even within the company, he has preferred to work with small, product-focused groups. In contrast to the large tech companies to which Snap is often compared, which create press events out of product launches and use conferences and interviews to allow their founders to become the company’s public face, Spiegel has preferred to let Snap’s products speak for themselves. For a long time, that strategy worked, allowing Spiegel to parlay the service into a global messaging app with 173 million daily active users who publish three billion photo and video “Snaps” every single day.

But that was before Snap went public. In the seven months since, the stock has lost nearly 40 percent of its value as investors question its strategy and its growth prospects. One of the most significant demands of a public company is that its leaders communicate—constantly—about their plans for the future and the progress they are making. The challenge Spiegel now faces is that he must help a much broader variety of people—investors, analysts, reporters, potential hires, and its current employees—to understand Snap’s vision, and persuade them of its capabilities without losing the company’s long-term focus on innovation.

Spiegel knows it means he has to change. “I think evolving really quickly is part of the job here,” he tells me. We sit in a lofted conference room in a building across the street, and he is dressed in black jeans and a t-shirt with white sneakers, one leg crossed over the other, smiling. “In the beginning, the most valuable thing for me to be doing was work on the product, and now one of the most valuable things for me to be doing is communicate. I’ve had to really shift my perspective for what I consider valuable.”

That perspective shift is why I have come. Today, Snapchat is launching Context Cards, which allow users to swipe up on some Snaps to find out more information and connect to other services such as Lyft or OpenTable. Snap has always based its product on the idea that images are their own context—that in the mobile era, they’re evolving into their own form of communication. By adding words and information, Spiegel is elevating them further, inviting Snap’s users to act on what they see by searching and discovering directly through images.

It’s not yet clear that Spiegel will have what it takes to build Snapchat into the type of company that competes with the likes of Google and Facebook. It’s not clear that he’ll be able to expand beyond his core user base—young people, particularly those under 25, who spend an average 40 minutes every day on Snap, according to the company. (That’s more than Instagram, which recently announced that its users in the same age range spend 32 minutes daily on the service.)

But what is clear is that Spiegel knows something about how to build products for this fundamental communication shift. From the moment he turned down Facebook’s $ 3 billion acquisition offer, the behemoth social network has been copying it. Stories has become embraced as a format for sharing mobile visual information just as Facebook’s News Feed became the dominant format for the last decade of social services. So when Spiegel, who had the foresight to grok this change, offers to talk, it makes sense to listen.

Spiegel’s vision for Snap begins with the assumption that most pictures aren’t precious. Rather, images are evolving into a new language, and as the tools to capture and manipulate them become more ubiquitous, we are able to express ourselves more frequently and fully. That’s why the app he launched opens to the camera, and that’s why he calls Snap a “camera” company. Like phone calls, Snaps aren’t intended to be stored so much as they’re meant to be absorbed, decoded, and released.

With Context Cards, Spiegel is attempting to rethink the way we discover new information. Currently, he explains, people find stuff on the internet by typing queries into search boxes and following hyperlinks to the content. Consider a YouTube video. “You upload the video, and you tag it with a bunch of text,” says Spiegel. “If you want to go find that video again, you type in the text and it surfaces the video.” In other words, the text directs you to video.

On mobile devices, Spiegel believes that the order is inverting. Users will instead begin with images and video that will direct them to text—and more images and video. He pulls out his Samsung J5. (He regularly switches up his phone, but, he says, “I’m kinda stuck on this phone for now.”) Spiegel opens Snapchat and taps on a story featuring a restaurant with the miniscule “more” icon at the bottom. He swipes up to reveal a card that looks a lot like the screens that pop up on Google Maps when you search for, say, a drugstore. It offers contact information, hours of operation, and directions to the venue, as well as reviews, maps, tips, and more information about whatever is in the Snap. Want a ride to that beach bonfire where your friends are roasting marshmallows right now? Care for a reservation at that fried chicken joint you stumbled across on Snap Map? Snap has struck partnerships with a host of services including Lyft and Uber, Tripadvisor, OpenTable, and Foursquare to offer services and information.

Context Cards in action.

Courtesy of Snap

Many of the locations will also have Stories integrated into the cards. These Stories will feature Snaps that users send to the public “Our Story” option, curated through machine learning and human selection in the same way they’re curated for Snap Map. In some cases, Snaps will disappear after 24 hours, but in other cases they may remain longer. In time, partners may also choose to provide images. It’s clear that Context Cards will appeal to advertisers looking for new ways to win attention from Snap’s users. And, of course, they may appeal to investors looking for new business opportunities within the service. Snap will wait to see how users embrace this new approach to discovery before the company attempts to make money off of it.

That is, assuming Snapchatters embrace Context Cards at all. There are good reasons to assume they will. Like Twitter or Facebook or any social service, Snap’s design can be confusing to people coming to it for the first time. For one, it relies on a network effect, which means it’s a lot more interesting when you discover that your friends are already there and using it. Also, there are no directions for a new user; you figure it out by messing around on it. But just as Twitter’s users eventually figured out the hashtag and the significance of adding a period before the “@” sign in a Tweet, Snap’s users have grown up inside of it and grown accustomed to its design. They visit it, on average, 20 times each day. They aren’t blindsided when they open up to a camera. They’re used to swiping up in order to discover new things because they’ve been swiping up on the Discover page to see more content, and swiping up on channels like Vulture or the New York Times to read longer articles. It’s not inconceivable that they’ll also swipe up on the Context Cards, though Snap will wait to review their interactions before developing it further.

Courtesy of Snap

What’s more, these cards are a recognition of how people are already using images in social. Social has ushered in the age of the digital influencer, in which we make decisions about everything from where to eat to what dining room table to buy by scrolling daily through our feeds. We are living in the age of the Instagram restaurant. People are seduced by a personal story, and want the information to make it happen for themselves. In that way, the cards are a less of an innovation than a recognition of the power already embodied in Spiegel’s product.

Spiegel takes pride in choosing to embrace ideas that run counter to those taken up by his Bay Area-based competitors. Among them is the need for speed in releasing new products. “One of the things that happens when you’re an innovator is there’s actually no benefit to being really, really fast,” he says. “You’re the one creating the new stuff, so there’s no one who’s racing you. It’s actually very important that you are slow and deliberate.” He says that when people join Snap from the Valley, they often want to ship products right away. “It’s like, why?” he says. “That just doesn’t make sense.”

Growth, too, is not something Snap has valued above all else. Instead, driven in part by the fact that Snap rents its computing infrastructure from Google and Amazon and seeks to control its costs, Spiegel prioritizes attracting economically valuable users. In its most recent quarterly earnings, the company reported it had grown its user base by just 21 percent over the past year. But most of those users came from the lucrative North American market where Snapchat was also able to increase the amount of revenue it made per user.


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Spiegel believes Snap’s value is wrapped up in its ability to advance transformative new ideas. In the S-1 document that the company filed to go public, Spiegel wrote, “Our strategy is to invest in product innovation and take risks to improve our camera platform.”

But it’s not yet clear that innovation is a strong enough strategy for Snapchat to beat out competitors over the long run. Both Facebook and Google have made a practice of copying Snap’s most significant developments. After Instagram launched a mimic of its Stories feature in August 2016, the service saw engagement escalate considerably, and Facebook has now rolled out a Stories clone in Messenger, WhatsApp and its flagship app. Meanwhile, Google is reported to be working on its own version of the multimedia format, codenamed “Stamp.”

And more, it’s not yet clear whether Context Cards qualify as an innovation, or if Spiegel is simply adopting the best aspects of other visual services. There are many social services that invite users to click on images to discover more information, from Instagram and Google Maps to Pinterest and Houzz.

If Spiegel’s approach does take off among Snap’s users, he runs the risk he always runs—which is that Snap has the vision to create new products in line with how a new generation wants to create on their phones, but it ends up being copied and spread by a company with a more user-friendly open façade and a broader user base.

Spiegel, at least, is certain his approach will work. He’s betting the company’s future on the fact that Snap will be capable of reinventing itself and its service over and over again to become the dominant tool for communication on the visual web. “We have an opportunity to really change things,” he tells me, when I ask specifically about Snapchat’s current culture. “If you look at the past five or six years, in every category—whether it’s communication or media—we have absolutely transformed the technology landscape.” He ticks through the impact he believes Snap has had on technology to date, including the shift in how we use cameras to communicate and the rise of new formats like Stories. “There is no better place to be than Snap right now,” he says.

We shake hands and I stumble out to the sidewalk where, apart from the jovial security guard, there’s little trace of the $ 17 billion tech company just a few feet away. This, too, will change. Many of the company’s engineers have already moved to a much larger office a lot farther from the beach in neighboring Santa Monica in a building where Matthew McConaughey would likely never choose to live. Some time next year, Spiegel will join them in the new headquarters. The sign on the door—Snap Inc—will likely remain small.


6 Reasons Small Businesses Should Consider CRM Software

Ryan Sweeney is a content strategist at WorkWise, the provider of OnContact customer relationship management (CRM) software. We asked Ryan why small business owners should consider implementing a CRM software solution. Here’s what he shared:

Running a small business means facing an ongoing series of ever-evolving challenges. We’re fortunate that entrepreneurs have more tools at their disposal than ever before to meet such challenges efficiently and effectively. One particularly powerful tool is CRM software, which adds value by improving sales, marketing and customer service efforts.

Why Small Business CRM Rocks

When small business owners ask if the time is right to implement a CRM solution in their company, here’s what I share with them.

Flexibility of the Cloud: CRM software was once a hefty investment within reach of only large enterprises with deep pockets. That’s no longer the case. Today, small businesses can leverage the great perks CRM offers through a cloud or “hosted” software deployment. This slick solution eliminates the necessity of having an extensive, in-house IT department. Small business owners with cloud deployment also won’t have to worry about software maintenance issues including backup, updates and other expenses commonly associated with an on-premise deployment. And in some cases, CRM solutions are even available on a month-to-month basis without a long-term commitment.

Helps Getand KeepYou Organized: Staying organized while trying to grow your business is a never-ending effort. You might even be relying on a low-tech system, such as Excel spreadsheets, to carry your business forward. If I just described your methodology, it’s time to reconsider. Excel spreadsheets don’t offer the foolproof safety and flexibility that CRM software inherently provides. You can’t take them with you everywhere on a mobile device or tablet, and keeping data updated and de-duplicated is a feat in and of itself. CRM software does all of that for you and more. And you get mobility, which is pretty awesome, too.

CRMs Offer Features Galore: Conduct some research and you’ll likely identify a CRM software vendor with the ideal solution for your business. There’s a strong likelihood that it will come with all the features your business could ever want because modern CRM solutions are packed with diverse and incredibly useful productivity tools. Some specific features to look for include a centralized database, email designer tools, email integrations, accounting and finance functionality and integrations, call center software, and workflow automation. And that’s just the tip of the productivity iceberg.

CRM Tools You Can Leverage

Now that I’ve exposed the benefits of CRM software, let’s take a closer look at some specific tools you can leverage to stay in control of your growing business.

Sales Automation: This is what you think of when you think CRM software: It provides small businesses with the visibility they need to visualize their pipeline, create influential forecasts for future sales and grow their business for the long term. It can also track business leads and new prospects that arrive through your company’s website, create new tasks for you (and your sales team, if applicable) and remind you when it’s time to connect with existing customers and prospects.

Email Marketing Functionality: If it’s available, it’s often wise to invest in a CRM solution that’s fully integrated with a marketing automation tool. This gives you email marketing functionality, which can be a formidable resource for small businesses. With email marketing at your disposal, you benefit from features like an email designer that enables you to build quality, unique email designs to dazzle prospects and customers. In addition, you’ll have the capability to segment email automation efforts based on target audiences, locations or other parameters which you set. Utilizing this feature saves time and amps up your cool factor.

Landing Page Integration: You might not expect such an advanced feature from a traditional CRM tool, but the best ones now include landing page integration. Here’s how it works: As prospects land on your website, you can track their actions and see which pages they linger on the longest. If they submit a form through your website, you’ll capture all of their relevant customer information, which is then automatically stored in your CRM database. This data will be accessible to your entire team, from sales to marketing. Your lead generation efforts just got way more refined, benefitting your business’ bottom line.


How to Restructure Your Bussiness Based Around Customer Experience

Most online brands we know and love have been around for long, have likely lived through their fair share of growing pains when it comes to providing a streamlined customer experience (CX) that keeps people coming back.

Many online businesses make the detrimental mistake of reducing CX to a supplementary factor in their brand image. In reality, it should be a cornerstone of the values they represent – take Zappos for example. To nearly everyone familiar with the digital landscape, a superior CX is practically synonymous with their reputation.

For the companies still trying to find the right formula that works for them, here are three ways to make sure your brand delivers outstanding CX.

1. Optimize Customer Journeys

Fine-tuning your customer journey is an ongoing process that requires constant attention. This involves knowing exactly how people go from being unaware of what you offer, to becoming loyal customers. Your analytics reveal ‘what’ your customers are doing, and ‘which’ of your digital channels are working to bring in new customers.

However, this data will only reveal so much. When it comes to enhancing the customer journey, the most effective advice actually comes straight from the source – the voice of the customer.

For this purpose, Medallia, a global CX management software company, released The Digital Voice of Customer Toolkit. This top-to-bottom resource focuses on the best ways for measuring and improving the customer experience across websites, mobile web, and mobile applications. A digital VoC program allows you to systematically engage with your customers, and gain comprehensive insights in real-time, on users’ interactions with your digital touchpoints.

From here, you will be able to identify the most effective methods to engage with the audience and gain meaningful feedback, which can take your business to the next level. Ultimately, a VoC program pinpoints the deeper meaning of the ‘why’ and uses feedback straight from the source. This feedback compliments the data that you collect from your analytics provider to improve customer satisfaction and experience.

2. Emphasize Persona

Your brand persona is how people see you and what impression you leave them with, after an interaction.

The harsh truth of conducting business digitally is that your competition is no longer confined to a specific geographic location. Brands are now faced with competition across their entire industry. That being said, brand loyalty these days is commonly built and developed based on the persona you project.

These unique characteristics should be present throughout your whole strategy – from your marketing messages to the actual products. Even more, it needs to speak to the existing and prospective customers in a manner they can easily relate to.

A great place to start with is archetypes. If your brand was a human being:

· What do they sound like?

· What do they look like?

· What is their general outlook on life?

· What is the most important thing to them?

· How do they interact with others?

For these answers, social media and web monitoring tools come in very handy. Tools like Brandwatch allow you to track relevant keywords, brand names, industries, and more to give you a better idea of who your ideal customers are, and how to speak their language.

3. Always A/B Test

The digital world is one that is constantly changing. This is due to the rapid advancement of the internet, e-commerce technology, and user mindsets. As a result, you cannot expect a formula for a good CX to work forever. As time goes on, you will need to refine the smaller details of how people use your digital channels.

This process involves personalizing website engagement at all stages, from knowing customer preferences all the way to the checkout. The more you experiment and gauge results, you’ll quickly learn that even the tiniest tweaks can make a world of difference. Perhaps the most frequently-tested aspects in strategies to increase website conversion rate are tweaking copy and calls to action (CTA) buttons. Doing something as simple as altering the color, text, or placement can boost your conversions.

Tools like Optimizely allow you to set up different versions of your website and landing pages to run customized tests that determine which approaches work well, and which ones can be scrapped. The program is equipped with heat maps, behavioral targeting, usability testing, and more to ensure your CX is constantly evolving alongside user preferences.

By consistently A/B testing variations across your website, you can increase online sales by up to 20%!


ComplianceMate Returns to National Restaurant Association Show in 2017…

CM Systems, LLC known for its industry-leading ComplianceMate temperature-tracking and food safety technology, will return to the 2017 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show from May 20-23, 2017…

(PRWeb May 20, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/05/prweb14355746.htm

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Even If Dana Rohrabacher Was a Russian Asset, Would He Know?

Even If Dana Rohrabacher Was a Russian Asset, Would He Know?

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is totally onto the Russian spies trying to recruit him. But knowing he’s a target doesn’t necessarily protect him from their influence. The post Even If Dana Rohrabacher Was a Russian Asset, Would He Know? appeared first on WIRED.


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‘Glee’-Cap: Michael Jackson Invades McKinley High

King of Pop’s takeover leads to some head-scratching song choices.
By Jim Cantiello

<P>”Glee” paid tribute to Michael Jackson during Tuesday night’s episode and, shockingly, kept the story moving along in the midst of several MJ-inspired musical numbers. Kurt, Rachel and Quinn all received great news about college, Rachel finally accepted Finn’s proposal and evil Sebastian’s plot to harm Kurt with a doctored slushee backfired when Blaine took the hit for his boyfriend. </P><P> </P><P></p><div class=”player-placeholder right” title=”‘Glee’-Cap: Michael Jackson Takes Over McKinley High” id=”vid:730282.id:1671179″ width=”240″ height=”211″></div><p> </P><P> </P><P>Yet the forced “all Michael, all the time” song selection led to some head-scratching scenes including Kurt, Rachel and Finn serenading an injured Blaine with Jackson’s love song to a rat, “Ben,” and two different music-video re-enactments only appealed to Jackson superfans. The rest of us can enjoy my latest “Glee-cap”! Hit play on the embedded video and sing along with these lyrics. </P><P> </P><P>”Glee,” “Glee” ‘s really hit the skids<br> </P><P>MJ would have loved all the singing kids </P><P> </P><P>Time for a tribute<br> </P><P>Veiled as a dispute<br> </P><P>They all imitate<br> </P><P>Michael’s vocal takes </P><P> </P><P>Wish they didn’t try<br> </P><P>To simply ape his sigh<br> </P><P>I guess “Glee” got paid<br> </P><P>In tickets to <a href=”http://newsroom.mtv.com/2011/12/07/jackson-family-and-crew-talk-about-new-cirque-du-soleil-show-michael-jackson-immortal/”>Cirque du Soleil</a> </P><P> </P><P>It’s bad! It’s bad! Come on! </P><P> </P><P>Oh, pointless themed episodes<br> </P><P>Make me push fast-forward on my TiVo </P><P> </P><P>Artie’s “Scream” remake<br> </P><P>Complete with head shakes<br> </P><P>Tired of getting dissed<br> </P><P>Mike Chang’s now his sis? </P><P> </P><P>Warblers fight for songs<br> </P><P>No prob doing wrong<br> </P><P>They’re all blindly cruel<br> </P><P>Since Blaine left their school </P><P> </P><P>Quinn sang goodbye to every ex<br> </P><P>Have a seat, this’ll take awhile<br> </P><P>(She’s had lots of sex)<br> </P><P>Quinn got into Yale<br> </P><P>And I’m all, “How?” <br> </P><P>Then got distracted by Damian’s hyper eyebrows </P><P> </P><P>They’re bad! They’re bad! Relax them! <br> </P><P>If you don’t, I will come wax them! </P><P> </P><P>Slutpig tried to slushee Kurt<br> </P><P>But Blaine got in the way<br> </P><P>Left him needing surgery<br> </P><P>How dare you hurt my gay! <br> </P><P>Despite Blaine’s cute eye patch<br> </P><P>Kurt is hungry for revenge<br> </P><P>But that’s a different better show on ABC, my friend </P><P> </P><P>”Glee,” drop the shtick, you’re better than this<br> </P><P>Forcing Jackson songs is just as bad as this forced kiss<br> </P><P>Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean it has worth<br> </P><P>Unless you’re trying to give me nightmares<br> </P><P>In that case, it worked </P><P> </P><P>No more bells and whistles, please<br> </P><P>Clever songs are all you need<br> </P><P>I get it, Ryan Murphy, Blaine had to bleed<br> </P><P>So <a href=”/news/articles/1676997/darren-crisis-how-to-succeed-in-business.jhtml”>Darren could star in “How to Succeed”</a> </P><P> </P><P>But making Kurt and Finchel sing “Ben” to Blaine<br> </P><P>Is the very definition of insane<br> </P><P>I hope next week they get it right<br> </P><P>With no stupid guests hogging “Glee” ‘s spotlight </P><P> </P><P>[<i>Cue clip of next week’s episode starring Ricky Martin</i>] </P><P> </P><P>Whoops! </P><P> </P><P><i>What did you think of this week’s “Glee”? Let us know in the comments!</i></p>

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