2014 Travel Trends
It happens every winter… First, your coworkers get it, then, slowly but surely, the travel bug is upon you. Whether you’re the backpacking/adventure type or the relax-on-the-beach-with-a-good-book type, the thrill of travel tends to consume people this time of year. According to Travel Leaders Group, over half of travelers plan to spend more on vacation this year than they did in 2013, while just six percent admitted to pulling back on travel expenses. Here are the top travel trends of 2014, according to TLG’s annual survey:
- Hottest travel trend: the river cruise, allowing tourists to visit multiple locations across Europe and opening up travel to more exotic places, like Southeast Asia.
- Top domestic destination: Las Vegas, Nevada, followed closely by Orlando, Florida, and Maui, Hawaii.
- Top international destination: Caribbean cruises, followed by Cancun, Mexico, Mediterranean cruises and the European river cruise.
- The Pacific’s “up-and-coming” destination: New Zealand, thanks to high-profile films like The Hobbit, which captures its beautiful landscape on the big screen.
- Europe’s “up-and-coming” destination: Croatia, followed by Iceland and Turkey.
- Central/South America’s “up-and-coming” destination: Brazil, which will host the 2014 World Cup, though it still lags behind Peru overall, thanks in part to Machu Picchu.
For more information, visit travelleadersgroup.com.
An Olympic Opportunity
The Olympic Winter Games showcase the finest athletes from around the world—offering the opportunity to be inspired by great talent. And for 18 students from Bradley University’s Communications Department, the event represents the opportunity of a lifetime. They were selected out of roughly 40 candidates who applied to represent NBC at the Olympic Games through an on-campus interview process last March. A dozen of them will spend three to five weeks in Stamford, Connecticut, aiding with behind-the-scenes production, while the other six will head all the way to Sochi, Russia, to perform a variety of tasks on the front lines.
Senior Jonathan Teich is among the students traveling to Sochi. He describes his role as a “runner,” meaning he will handle whatever responsibilities are thrown at him. “I am most excited to be a part of the Olympics in a different way,” he says. “I am so used to being a fan, but now I am a worker. I am interested to see what that will feel like.”
Junior Dominique Moore will be cutting and editing video clips for prime time from Stamford. In preparation for their trip, the interns are learning as much about the Games and NBC’s involvement as possible. “I am excited to be a part of something as global and incredible as the Olympics and NBC,” says Moore. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I am looking forward to enjoying and working hard for every minute of it.”
This is the second time Bradley has secured internships for students to work on the Olympics. “Once again, our students have demonstrated that they are among the best in the nation,” says Dr. Paul Gullifor, department chair. “We are grateful for our partnership with NBC that provides students an extraordinary opportunity to gain practical experience at a premiere worldwide sporting event.”
5 in 5: Predicting the Future
It’s time for IBM’s annual “5 in 5” predictions about five new technologies that offer the most potential to change daily life over the next five years. Thanks to the convergence of innovative learning technologies, cloud computing capabilities and big-data analytics, IBM is looking toward a new age of intelligent machines with the power to adapt to, learn from and engage with its human users. Here is a closer look at Big Blue’s predictions:
Individualized learning. The classroom of the future will involve machines that adapt to an individual’s optimum learning styles. Learning technologies will make calculations specific to each student and coordinate their needs with teachers’ lesson plans for more individualized instruction.
Shopping better in person. Technology will begin to revert to a more local (and satisfying) experience for shoppers and businesses alike. As local merchants incorporate technologies allowing for the individualization of online retail searches, customers will be able to find what they want in stores near them—and still receive same-day delivery.
DNA testing, every day. While DNA testing for treatment decisions remains uncommon, cloud computing and cognitive technologies could soon make it more affordable, efficient and frequent. Innovations in DNA testing will likely develop to include cancer, stroke and heart disease on a patient-by-patient basis.
Digital guardian watches your back. New technologies will soon replace passwords and other security measures, protecting users more effectively than current methods. Based on trends in the user’s history and personal information, digital guardians will look for suspicious activity and help prevent identity theft.
The city will help you live in it. Cognitive systems will provide users information about the cities in which they live on a continuous basis. By simply using the mobile devices they already have, citizens will be able to learn about local happenings in real time and better determine where they need to be… and when.
10 Rude Behaviors in the Workplace
We’ve all got them. You know… the coworker who never seems to mind her own business and has no understanding of social cues? And if you can’t pinpoint that person in your office, it might be you! According to Techrepublic.com, here are 10 things not to do… so you can avoid being “that guy” (or gal).
- Gossiping. Not only does it make you look bad, it can also affect your coworkers. It’s best to keep your mind (and your mouth) on your own work to avoid offending those you work with.
- Being a slob. Respect those around you and keep your workspace tidy. It’s a great way to make a positive impression without saying a word.
- Announcing your victories. Everyone loves solving problems or finishing a daunting project. But don’t get up and do a happy dance every time you complete a task.
- Being a snob. Work is stressful enough without worrying about being part of the “cool” club. This isn’t high school. Be the bigger person and keep the peace with all of your coworkers.
- Aggressive typing. You may not think aggressive typing is that annoying… but it was annoying enough for someone to have created a “quiet” keyboard.
- Being a glory-stealer. It is never okay to steal a coworkers idea and claim it’s yours. Period.
- Abusing trust. They’re privileges, not rights. If you abuse them, they can easily be taken away.
- Smelling like an ashtray. Personal hygiene is huge. Respect those around you and try not to smell strongly of anything—perfume/cologne included.
- Being a smartphone junkie. It’s hard to look professional with your face buried in your iPhone. Keep your phone in your pocket during important meetings and conversations.
- Being late. Not only are you wasting your time, you’re wasting everyone else’s time, too. Don’t be that person.
Make Yourself Quotable
Everyone loves a great quote that can summarize pages of paragraphs in just a line or two, says Daniel L. Wick, author of the new book, An Epidemic of Epigrams: or An Avalanche of Aphorisms. There is no shortage of websites devoted to some of history’s best quotes; unfortunately, they’re usually coupled with spammy advertising links that distract from the message. It’s great that more folks are exposed to nuggets of wisdom from Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and George Carlin, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide your own original perspective. Wick offers some tips for crafting your own memorable quotes:
- Don’t be afraid to stand out. Have you ever reposted a great quote shared by a friend? You may be circulating a meme—an idea that spreads from one individual to the next. But if you have your own thought, why not share it? Many people believe that since they’re not Shakespeare, they have no business spreading their original pithy observations, but you may be surprised by the response.
- Repurpose conventional quotes. Put your own twist on that nugget of truth. It works—people instantly recognize the quote, but have to pause to process its new meaning. A few examples I use include: “Beauty is only sin deep” and “You shouldn’t judge a cover by its book.”
- Ask yourself, “Does it feel right?” After crafting a line or two, you may feel you’ve come up with something pretty interesting—but in what way? It’s one thing to succinctly pose a clever question that is deceptively profound; it’s another to confuse people with a poorly stated idea. Like any good writer, put yourself in the reader’s seat. After verifying the meaning and grammatical flow, read with a fresh point of view and ascertain whether or not it resonates with that something extra.
“Of course, great ideas and great quotes don’t often reveal themselves on command; they often spring forth on their own terms,” Wick says. “My advice: be open when a good idea presents itself.”
The Best Valentine’s Gift
Cupid’s holiday is not the only occasion we mark on February 14th. It’s also National Organ Donor Day, a day to increase the awareness of the lives that can be saved by donating organs and tissues. In the U.S. alone, more than 100,000 people are waiting for an organ donation—and each day, 18 of them die while waiting. Nonprofit healthcare organizations around the country will be encouraging donor registration by hosting blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue donation sign-ups. People of all ages can become organ donors, and registration is free. To learn more, visit organdonor.gov.
A Renter’s Nightmare
More than half of U.S. renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies—a staggering number, especially considering the number of renters continues to increase each year. Meanwhile, affordability problems have climbed steadily for the past decade. Infographics supplied by the Center show that even as median gross rents increased by six percent, the median renter income decreased 13 percent from 2000 to 2012, undermining the national goal of ensuring decent and affordable housing for all.
Lighten the Digital Load
With the enormous capacity of hard drives today, it’s easy to forget to delete old or obsolete files. But while computers are capable of storing enormous amounts of data, they operate more slowly as that data begins to pile up. Clean Out Your Computer Day, which falls on the second Monday of February, is a yearly reminder to organize your files, run virus scans, back up essential data, take advantage of external hard drive space, and even physically wipe off your monitors and keyboards. So this February 10th, take a few moments… and you can substantially improve the performance of your computers and mobile devices. iBi