Chicken Taco Platter

taco-platter-lateishea-cooper

Sometimes I like to make me a good taco. Today my taco was made with ground chicken. It is not my go-to filler meat for this dish but the island appears to be sold out of ground turkey and ground beef! No I am not joking!

My Chicken Taco Platter was really an inverted taco. I added my cooked ground chicken after I topped it with some taco sauce (straight out of the can). Nested a bed of lettuce. Added diced tomatoes on top of the lettuce shreds. Sprinkled some cheddar cheese on top (I know it is not real cheese. But what’s real these days?). Then I added about a cup of white rice for the filler.  Finally, I laid the taco shell onto the platter to complete the plate.

 

 

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Free Language Learning App For All

duolingo

I can’t begin to express how much I enjoy using Duolingo – a free language learning app. I stumbled across it accidentally when I was looking for productive apps to add to my device. It did not convince me that it would actually be effective so I did not download it right away. About two weeks later a friend of mine mentioned it when we were talking about learning new languages. I was informed about how useful this app really was. The only complaint my friend had was that it gave lots of notifications. After thinking about the notifications received he eventually realized it was something he had selected within the app to encourage that level of intense learning.

duolingo-top-2016-app

Although I did not download a language learning app previously, I had computer applications that I used. My computer learning programs include Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur. Rosetta Stone was great with the vocabulary building. Pimsleur literally had me thinking in another language after 3 months of consistent use. That was a huge deal for me since I have never really done that before with any other language other than English.

duolingo-vs-rosetta2

How Effective is Duolingo?

“On average, it takes 34 hours of Duolingo to learn the equivalent of one semester of college. Since a semester of college generally takes a lot more than 34 hours of work, this suggests that Duolingo is more effective than a college course.” – Read the entire Duolingo effectiveness report here.

How does it compare to Rosetta Stone?

The Duolingo effectiveness study “was done by an external research team that previously evaluated the effectiveness of other methods such as Rosetta Stone. It is of note that it took 55 hours of study with Rosetta Stone to reach the equivalent of one semester of college. So not only is Duolingo free-er than Rosetta Stone, the study suggests it’s also better.” – Duolingo

Can children use Duolingo?

Having the option to use an app to learn a second and eventually third language is truly remarkable. Not long after I added this language learning app to my routine other relatives started to do the same. My mother in particular started using it on her cellphone and my 6 year old cousin is on the app every day on her tablet. I got my cousin into the app by using it myself. It is colorful and fun in appearance. It is user-friendly and kid friendly. She watched me use it a few times then asked if she could give it a try. I helped her to install it onto her tablet. She is the kind of child who grew up with yourbabycanread and has been ahead of her age group ever since. It only takes her 15 minutes to complete her homework. What made me get her involved in it was the fact that she was always too idle. Busy watching hours and hours of YouTube videos and the like. It made me sick. She needed more things to do. More productive activities. I am happy she enjoys Duolingo enough to do that for at least an hour daily instead of watching pointless videos on YouTube.

How is it free?

Honestly, when I first got it I thought there might be a catch to this free app. Then I found out that it is truly a free app. The company received generous donations for being what it is – useful. Users see occasional sponsored ads that also offset some of their expenses. Another thing they are doing is focusing more on becoming a language certification center. On LinkedIn, Duolingo is also collaborating to display the score on user’s resumeto allow the score to be easily incorporated into a user’s résumé page. Last year Duolingo For Schools was launched allowing teachers to track their students with a dashboard.

duolingo-spanish

Feeling more relaxed about the What’s In It For Them factor. I now find myself using Duolingo language learning app at least 20 minutes per day. When I am in my car I tend to play other tapes to practice while I commute. There is not much of a commute here in paradise but it’s still fun to do when I drive to work or to the beach. Trips are not much more than 15 minutes, but when I look at how many 15 minute trips I get within a week, it is still a better idea than skiping sessions altogether.

Knowledge is power. I encourage you to start using this free language learning app today!

 

How can I get it?

Get the app: Duolingo – iTunesAndroid 

Languages available on Duolingo for English Speakers includes:

Latin American Spanish

French

German

Italian

Brazilian Portuguese

Dutch

Swedish

Russian

Irish

Turkish

Danish

Norwegian

Bokmål

Polish

Esperanto

Ukrainian

Welsh

Hebrew

Vietnamese

Hungarian

Greek

English

Work Away From Work

Hurricane Matthew hit us hard. Lots have been lost. I found myself bouncing between cyber cafes to continue where I left off with my work efforts. Strangely enough, it really reminded me of what it was like to work remotely. I spent 5 years working various contracts for companies across the grid – virtually that is. It was always an adventure.

Sure was something. Some days I found myself on contracts working as early as 3am my time (EST) to meet with clients at 9am their time (by choice of course!). At one point I worked 2 hours behind as I assisted a Canadian company. My very first online contract was with a gentleman in Germany. The nature of both jobs were similar. I assisted with writing and getting the public to view their companies in a positive light.

Some of my online tasks included: answering telephone calls, handling emails, writing articles, chatting with customers online, and mediating customer complaints. Sales, Social Media, Shipping, Order Processing, Writing, and Customer Service were my chosen virtual fields.

There was a major difference between working a contract online and working a full-time job in the real world. No real protection existed to ensure employee benefits and some jobs even had me haggle for a paid lunch break! I thought a paid lunch break was a given. Oh no, not in the virtual world!

All in all, it is what you make it. Mostly I worked for the knowledge I knew I would gain from clashing cultures. I gleaned tons of current SEO knowledge while working with a man in the UK. I had some really sweet clients who were loaded with work opportunities and completely able to handle a full-time contract. I worked with a gentleman in Australia for almost 3 years! That’s pretty long for a virtual contract. Seeing that workers from all educational and geographical backgrounds are also at the client’s disposal. Being an average worker in the virtual world does not always cut the mustard.

Not sure if anything changed since I started in 2010 but lack of labor laws reaching out to you from the other end of your mouse leaves you vulnerable to lose your job/contract at the drop of a hat! That was more than enough encouragement for persons like myself to work hard and keep current with the latest trends in my area.

Once you do your part you should have nothing to worry about. Treat others the right way and you are halfway there. “Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned.” – Nishan Panwar

Work away from work does not have to wait for horrendous events such as a hurricane. I think employees should be able to work away from work at least 2 days out of the week as a part of their work environment. Things are changing and businesses tend to lag behind the process of change. Employees know what they need to do. Even if they didn’t know what they need to do. They at least have tasks to complete. Either they can complete those task or not. If they are serious employees it should not take much for them to get the job done.

Organizing and motivating yourself to work in your own time and location is a personal challenge. It takes real commitment to work in a virtual environment. Your results will tell the truth about your productivity.

I am not so sure how many businesses are taking advantage of a virtual labor force in other countries but here in the Bahamas it is virtually nonexistent. It is like a science fiction. I have noticed less than 1 percent of the Bahamas population actively involved in virtual work spaces in prominent virtual work websites .

Recently, I was able to speak to a Toastmasters group about the opportunity to make money online. I made money online full-time and part time. I hired and I worked for others. It is a challenging environment. I would understand if most employers decide not to join the virtual employment world.

When I think about what is happening to physical companies everywhere – The Bahamas included. I think about the opportunities to work away from work. Such opportunities exist. Not only are they more profitable for companies but they are also great at producing happier employees. People can work from home. I did, millions of others did it and so can you!

Teish the Marketing Technologist

Explaining my then offbeat corporate skills to others was a complicated and time consuming process until now. I happened to come across one job title that sums up all of my Marketing and Technology expertise without having to claim more than one hat! Totally cool right? Marketing Technologist is the title I will hold on to from now on at least in terms of explaining what I do for companies.

Feel free to skip to the bottom for  handpicked links to great articles about this topic.

It is amazing how the rest of the world finally caught up with the needs and changes of technology as it relates to marketing. During the economic downturn I have purposefully studied the possibilities of advertising on Facebook and other digital media. At one point I was even coding my own Facebook pages in their special Facebook language. When I first started Facebook marketing research and for businesses it was not even a discussion (2008). In fact Facebook Pages began rolling out for businesses in May 2009. – Wiki

Advanced computing was always my primary skill. My secondary skill had always been some form of marketing, collaborating and analyzing.

I have always loved using my brain. Others have borrowed it from time to time for Marketing and Technological help. Good thing they’ve all returned it in one piece!

What goes on in my head when you say promote closely resembles the following image…

Marketing Technologist handle: Marketing automation, CRM, analytics, social media, data management platforms, demand-side ad platforms, search optimization, e-commerce, web sites, landing pages, mobile landing pages, content marketing workflow, gamification — the list goes on.

Even though I am super excited about this title discovery. I did notice that there are one or two skills that I do not quite have. Sure beats having to go to college for something I intensively studied during its emerging stage!

Nothing is worse than being advanced in marketing technology on a small island where most terms were virtually unheard of. I literally had to work for clients virtually! Some of my favorite contracts were with clients from New York, Alberta, and Australia. Fortunately I was able to assist lots of other persons virtually along the way. That maintained my sanity. Because I really was too far ahead for where I was. As of late island residents are finally understanding what I was explaining from 2009. Even then I knew things were going over their heads. Facebook was seen as a stupid teen site. What made matters worse was I was actually a teen myself at the time I promoted it as a potential advertising arena.

In reading more about this title I found an interesting summary of what a Marketing Technologist is to a company by Economist Group: “Great CMTOs (Chief Marketing Technologists) are so rare and valuable that the industry refers to them as unicorns—part creative, part marketer, part ad-woman, solid technologist, with visionary leadership and influence skills. Being great in any one of those disciplines is challenging enough, leave alone finding them all in a single individual.”

Are you interested in finding a Marketing Technologist or learning more about what one can do for you and your team? Take a look at some of the links I have below and enjoy the digital revolution!

Marketing Week

Link 1: http://www.economistgroup.com/marketingunbound/collaborators/sapientnitro-big-rethink-cmto/

Linke 2: https://marketproinc.com/hiring-advice-2/2015/06/chief-marketing-technologist-executive-search-due

Link 3: http://chiefmartec.com/2010/04/rise-of-the-marketing-technologist/

 

 

What a week!

This week has not ended just yet but I have to share what happened! All of the pieces are finally coming together. I was able to join the leading communication organization formally known as Toastmasters. It is not my first time trying to get involved in this group as I have been involved during my high school years and my first year at college.

I went to lots of meetings in 2008 and in 2013. Somewhere along the way I hit a roadblock and did not return to Toastmasters again until last month.This time I was determined to not satisfy myself with being an observer. I felt a burning desire to become a Toastmaster. I want to become that competent speaker. I want to be that interesting person to chat with in a room!

Still basking in the wisdom imparted to me through the Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude book by Napoleon Hill. I felt compelled to do what I’ve always wanted to do back then right now.

Long story short this week I got inducted as an official member of a local Toastmasters club. I was asked if I would want to do my 1st speech during the same night as my induction. I concurred. All I kept thinking to myself was Napoleon Hill’s words from Success through PMA: “do it now.”

When I look in the mirror I see someone 10 pounds lighter than last month – all because of those three words:”do it now.” Oh and I started Insanity this week also! It is not a hype. Insanity Beach body building DVD is the real deal.

I feel great! What a week! Oh and my speech…you can see it below. The best is yet to come. Today I encourage you to do what you’ve always wanted to do today. Even if it means only doing a tiny bit that will start your entire masterpiece.

As for my speech, I got so nervous when I saw my name listed as the very first speaker I completely forgot to beg someone to record it for me on my cellphone. Fortunately a good fellow Toastmaster who obviously knew I’d like to look back at my 1st speech and ask: “What was I thinking? Or look at how I started!” I don’t know but I do know that some kind of remark will be made once I get much more experience in this area.

 

 

Tea Time – Greener Days Ahead

 

Lemon Grass Tea - Fever Grass Tea

I made my day greener with sips and sips of sugar-free Lemon Grass Tea. Lemongrass herb (Cymbopogon citratus), also known as Fever Grass is loaded with antioxidants that are known to fight against certain cancers.

Medicinal Uses

Drugs.com lists numerous medicinal uses for lemongrass but emphasizes more research is warranted to determine whether the herb is beneficial for any of them. However, some of the noted studies indicate potential antifungal and anti-cancer action, including skin cancer when lemongrass is applied topically. Other studies, such as one published in 1989 in “Lipids,” point to the potential cholesterol-lowering activity of lemongrass oil. (Livestrong)

Benefits of Lemongrass Oil. Lemongrass oil has analgesic (pain relieving/pain killer like aspirin), antimicrobial, antiseptic (kills germs), carminative, astringent, antipyretic, fungicidal, bactericidal, and antidepressant properties, making it one of the most versatile and health-promoting essential oils.

 

How to cook with Lemongrass

Effect of Lemongrass on the Brain

Learn more about a similar herb – Sage

 

Stop Talking Dirty

STOP TALKING dirty - article cover - teish.jpg

Would you eat a sandwich right after touching the handle of a public toilet without washing your hands? Of course not! Dr. Jeffery Cain, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians said “People are just as likely to get sick from their phones as from handles of the bathroom.” This is important to learn from and protect ourselves from especially during this flu season.  Unfortunately for me I learned the hard way.

Hopefully there’s still time for you to be safe! I’ll be the first to admit that I have not always taken the extra precaution of sanitizing my mobile device. I mysteriously woke up with the flu last week and it forced me to back track. I thought I did everything right from sanitizing my hands more often than not, to more extreme measures like wearing winter gloves! It was about 57 degrees Fahrenheit at the time but that’s cold enough for me – don’t judge me I’m from the Tropics…I eventually realized the only thing I’ve constantly touched was my cell phone. Later on I accepted it as the overlooked reason for me waking up sick.

As your Tropical Techie I feel entirely responsible for giving you pertinent information as it relates to touch screen mobile devices and your health. In the business community it will always be important to remember to keep proper personal hygiene.

Shook someone’s hand lately? Of course you did. Then you went ahead and sanitized your hands also! Hand washing is extremely important. By now you should realize that sanitizing your devices is just as important as sanitizing your hands. The super advice below was found on TheHealthSite. Don’t learn the hard way. Fight phone bacteria today!

How dirty is your Talk?

If you have used your phone in the bathroom before? You are not the only one who has done it! Studies show that 1 in 6 cell phones have fecal matter on them! Your phone has 18 times more harmful bacteria than a public restroom. 92% of phones house bacteria on them.  All these germs are likely to lead to infections. According to Dr Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology, ‘Germs like E.coli as well as influenza and MRSA are usually found on cell phones, they cause rashes and skin infections.’ E.coli can also cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting while influenza virus can cause flu and attack your respiratory system. Perspiring while talking on the phone closes skin pores which can lead to acne problems and blackheads. Since the screen is usually warm, bacteria thrives and transfers not just to our fingers, but also the face including the eyes, nose, ears and lips. All these double our chances of getting infected. So the next time you have a bout of flu, don’t just blame the weather, it could be due to your phone too.”

How your phone gets dirty

We usually use our phones not just to talk but also to take pictures, surf the net, chat, etc. All these involve touching the screen. Every time we do so, we transfer more germs on to it. Here are a few factors that make our phone dirty.

 

Using it after meals: Do you wash your hands after meals? If you don’t, you not only transfer bacteria but also other things such as oil, food particles on the screen and other parts.

 

Using it in/after using restrooms: Using your phone after going to the restroom or worse, in the restroom is an open invitation to millions of germs. Especially if you use a public toilet, you are likely to pass on germs from other people who’ve touched that surface before you.

 

Using it in public transport: If you often commute via public transport, you perhaps have more germs on your phone. This is because you touch surfaces such as the pole, seat handles, etc. which a thousand others have touched, most likely without washing their hands. These then pass on to your screen when you touch it.

 

Your sweat: When you talk on your phone for a long time, you tend to sweat and deposit the germs on your phone’s screen.

 

While playing with pets: Love playing with your pets? I’m sure you wash your hands after touching them before you sit down for a meal but do you wash them before you touch your phone too? Probably not. This means you now have germs from an animal or bird too on your phone.

 

When other people use it: Your phone may be your prized possession but it is quite rare that no else except you touches it. You may often pass it on to others to take pictures, make a call, show something, etc. They too pass on germs from their hands on your phone’s screen. According to a research, 82% of hands have bacteria on them.

 

When you keep it on other surfaces: You are likely to keep your phone on surfaces such as the table, desk, bag, pocket, drawer, etc. These often have germs, dust particles, etc. which get transferred on your phone.

 

Can you really keep your phone clean?

Your phone harbors thousands of germs but is it really possible to clean it? Here a few methods but they too have their shortcomings.


Tissue paper:
 Wiping your phone with a tissue, even a wet one may clean it on the surface but not entirely get rid of all the germs.

 

Alcohol wipes: These wipes may help keep germs away but are not safe for your phone as using them too much can damage the coating on the screen.

 

UV light cleaner: These can disinfect your phone’s screen to quite an extent but are not economically viable for most people and aren’t that easily available too.

 

Cleaning kit: These specially-designed kits have different tools to clean various parts of your phone but considering the amount of germs your phone harbors, it may be difficult to clean it all the time.

 

Soap & water: Several people resort to cleaning phones with soapy liquids or disinfectants. These may keep it clean temporarily, but can also damage your phone in the process.

 

Phone covers: While you may protect your phone from external damage and water, phone covers do not act as barriers from germs. This is because when you use your phone, the screen cover is off. You may be able to lessen the number of germs using flip covers that do not have to be lifted while making a call.

 

Screen guard: These essentially protect your phone’s screen from scratches, sweat and water seeping in to an extent but the dirt and dust will still settle on it if not on your screen directly.

Perhaps the best way to get rid of germs from your phone is with water. You can practically do it anywhere and quite frequently. It is also economical and does not take much time. But unless your phone is waterproof, it is not feasible to do so. Probably, your best bet  is to use a phone that can be washed with water. Sony has launched a new wash-friendly phone called Sony Xperia M4 Aqua that can be washed under a tap of running water to keep it clean and germ-free.” “(TheHealthSite)

 

Source: http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/how-dirty-is-your-phone/

– Teish

Techie