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New Social Media Rules, April Gardens, Tell Me More

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New Social Media Rules, April Gardens, Tell Me More

Heather Brittany-cynthia Brian

with Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® Radio brought to the airwaves under the auspices ofBe the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity, LIVE, since 1998.
Technology is changing the way we communicate. Social media is now the go to place for sharing just about everything. As it evolves, what are the rules of etiquette? Do you give shout outs, tags, use hashtags, or geolocations? In T42-Heather Brittany and Cynthia Brian will venture into the social media fray to find answers.

April is the month of re-birth. California is experiencing a drought not seen since the mid 1800’s while the East coast is bombarded with snow storms. What can you do in your April garden to prepare for the upcoming summer? Cynthia Brian shares her nature expertise.

red anthurium, prayer plant

“Tell me more” may be the three most important words in the English language. Whether you are in a business negotiation or a romantic relationship, these words enlighten and enliven your horizon. Cynthia Brian engages in active listening to help us communicate more effectively.
Listen at VoiceAmerica
Listen at StarStyle Radio with photos and descriptions
Catch up with all broadcasts on ITunes

Mark your calendars for the BTSYA BOOK BASH BLOW OUT on Sat. April 25th from 11-4pm at 5 A Rent a Space in Moraga.
Meet authors and get autographed copies.

Buy books by Cynthia Brian HERE
Check out the online fundraiser for BTSYA

heather cynthia on air
The award winning positive talk radio program, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasts on the Voice America Empowerment Channel LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5pm Pt/7-8pm ET. Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany are the Mother/Daughter dynamic duo who have been co-hosting this program live weekly since 1998 bringing upbeat, life enhancing conversation to the world. With Cynthia’s expertise in interviewing the trailblazers, authors, and experts and Heather’s healthy living segments, these Goddess Gals are your personal growth coaches helping you to jumpstart your life while igniting your flame of greatness.
Brought to the airwaves under the auspices of the literacy and positive media charity, Be the Star You Are!®, each program will pump your energy to help you live, love, laugh, learn, and lead.

Tune in the Power Hour every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT/70-8pm ET. and join our empowerment party.
For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more click HERE.
Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
Lend us Your Ears!!!
Make a donation today to Be the Star You Are!® charity

Cynthia Brian talks about the empowering outreach programs offered by Be the Star You Are!® charity.

Be the Star You Are!® charity. Every Season is for Giving Make a donation today.

Social Workers Can Be Media Savvy

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Social Workers Can Be Media Savvy


This is the 3rd in a series of reflections on my experience at the 2014 National Association of Social Workers conference in Washington, DC, in July 2014.

Social workers have been collaborating with, and lamenting about, the media for as long as I have been in the profession, and probably long before. In the late 1980s, then NASW president Suzanne Dworak-Peck (who I ran into in the exhibit hall at this conference), began an initiative called NCN–the NASW Communications Network. Through NCN, those of us interested in how social workers are portrayed in the media worked to contact and collaborate with TV and film writers and producers to portray social work and social workers accurately. And we contacted them when the portrayal was inaccurate, to let them know and to educate them.

The site SocialWorkersSpeak is sponsored by the NCN. The site monitors various forms of media for accurate portrayal of social workers, interviews social work experts, and reports on social work in the news.

A new generation of social workers is receiving training on becoming “media savvy.” At the 2014 NASW conference, I attended a session titled, “Promoting Media Savvy Social Work Practice.” In this 1.5 hour symposium, Katherine Briar-Lawson, Alyssa Lotmore, and Kathryn Zox shared “teaching tools for media savvy radio production” and explored “how social work utilizes media and radio to advance the profession.”

The presenters described a “Media Savvy Social Work” course at University of Albany/SUNY. Zox is a professional radio host–“your Social Worker with a Microphone™.” You can hear her on the Kathryn Zox Show on VoiceAmerica. The University of Albany/SUNY School of Social Welfare also hosts the radio talk show, The Social Workers, on Thursdays from 9-10 a.m. Lotmore is a co-host of the show. Briar-Lawson is dean of the school.

In the course, social work students learn how to interview on the radio by using BlogTalkRadio.com as a practice platform. Through this practice, the students get experience both in interviewing and in being interviewed live on air. (The practice interviews are kept on a private setting, so they are not aired publicly.) They play back the practice sessions and critique themselves and their classmates.

The presenters and attendees discussed some interesting points about interviewing and being interviewed on live radio for social workers. One was that of “once it’s out there, you can’t take it back.” As social workers being interviewed or interviewing others on live radio or other media, we need to be mindful of what we say. Another issue was that of confidentiality. As social workers, we interview people about their personal lives every day, and that information is kept confidential within the context of a social worker/client relationship. But if we become radio hosts and use our same interviewing skills, the conversation is very public. So, we need to ask ourselves how far we will go in interviewing a person about his or her mental illness or other personal issues within the context of such a public platform.

The session was thought provoking and educational. As social workers, we have several roles with and within the media. Social workers can serve as experts to whom “the media” look for input on social issues. Social workers can educate “the media” on what we do and who we are. And social workers can also BE “the media.” Regardless of which roles we decide to take on, we can have a “big picture” influence and we CAN become media savvy.

Staying Connected While Traveling Abroad By Caiseen Kelley

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Staying Connected While Traveling Abroad By Caiseen Kelley

caiseen kelley

When my mom came to America for her graduate degree, she lacked the resources and funds to talk to her family often. She often laments about her experiences with the long distance and how hard it was for her to communicate with her loved ones back in her homeland. Luckily for students going abroad today, the story is a lot different. 

There is a plethora of apps and websites that help people stay connected with home. Skype is a popular software application that allows you to get free face-to-face time with people anywhere in the world. In addition, Skype has paid options for international calling, which are often a lot cheaper than telephone services. Another alternative would is Google Hangout. Google Hangout allows video chat in a group setting. You can invite all members of your family to “hangout” on a Google page where you can all see one another. 

A common problem with traveling abroad is feeling disconnected with your friends or family. Often it is the little moments that make us feel lonely, wishing that we could share our adventures. Now using apps like Snapchat you can document these special times. If you use Apple TV or Chromecast you can even share the shows you are watching with your loved ones thus creating a “movie date” esque setting. When you have a certain someone in your life that has been left behind, the apps Couple or Avocado may be perfect. Couple and Avocado allow you to send sketches, messages, pictures, stickers, and thumbprints to someone else in a password protected arena. For the more forgetful individual, the app Romantimatic is your ticket to being responsible. It allows you to send yourself reminders to text your friends and relations to keep connected.

Thankfully for our generation, this new technology helps us enjoy a more relaxing summer of traveling or studying abroad without losing contact with family and friends. With these applications, travelers can focus more on the culture while being immersed in exciting foreign experiences without feeling homesick because “home” is just a click or chat away.  

An Orinda 10th grader, Caiseen Kelley is the Be the Star You Are!® radio coordinator and Techie Talk reporter for Express Yourself! as well as a competitive swimmer, coach, and piano player.  Read more at The Lamorinda Weekly.

As the editor and teen coach for Teen Scene for the newspaper, Cynthia Brian has had the opportunity to work with talented teens with attitude and opinions. She shares selected published works. To read numerous articles shepherded by Cynthia, visit www.BTSYA.com. Cynthia Brian also produces Express Yourself!™ on Voice America Kids Network heard Tuesdays NOON PT at  or for photos, descriptions, links, and more.

Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle® Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are!® charity. For information on being a guest emailinfo@BetheStarYouAre.org. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences.

Thanks for supporting teens!

The Twenty First Century Diary By Youngjoo Ahn

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The Twenty First Century Diary By Youngjoo Ahn

youngjoo ahnThe 21st century is the Age of Technology with the rapid developments in communication. With programs like Skype, Google Hangouts, VSee, and Facetime, long distance face-to-face conversation is possible for anyone in the world connected via the internet. One of the byproducts of this “Age” is blogging.

Blogging is almost like a virtual diary that can be shared with everyone. Some blogs focus on one specific subject and have a niche following. There are many blogs dedicated to fashion, food, book reviews, traveling, dating, teens, and everything imaginable.
The most alluring aspect to blogging is sharing. How fantastic it is to know that a stranger in the Netherlands is reading your blog and struggling with your very same issues! A blog allows people from all over the globe to connect and learn about one another. Many people also use blogs as an outlet for opinions, rants, and random thoughts.
“Blogging is really fun. It consumes my life in a good way. I’m always thinking of new things to try from blogs I read and what I’m going to say in my blog.  I’m constantly looking for different subjects to blog about,” Miramonte senior Dashia Kwok said. “Blogging has helped me form opinions about topics that I probably wouldn’t have considered otherwise.”
Gaining followers and readers is not as easy as it seems. Overnight popularity is almost impossible and should not be expected. A blog, like any other hobby, takes time, patience, and care. The best way to gain readers is through excellent writing. It’s important to actually sit down and write something special, carefully editing for grammar and spelling. With so many blogs in the blogosphere, quality matters. Pictures and social media are additional power tools to enhance your blog.
The rewards of blogging are limitless. Blogging can be an online journal or a private twenty first century diary. I enjoy looking back on old posts and remembering what I was feeling at that time. It’s also gratifying to learn that others are intrigued with my thoughts.
For me, the most impressive reward with blogging is that I own a small slice of the Internet community. Blogging can boost your business and your career, but for me, and many of my Lamorinda friends, the best part is that my posts are personal keepsakes that we’ll treasure forever.
Youngjoo Ahn is a junior at Miramonte High School. In her free time she hosts Express Yourself teen radio, volunteers teaching Korean, and blogs.  Read the actual article here.

Listen to the program at the Voice America Network also Listen at Starstyle® Be the Star You Are!® Radio

 Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle® Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are!® charity. For information on being a guest email info@BetheStarYouAre.org. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences, visit the website and Click here to Donate.    Thanks for supporting teens!

As the editor and teen coach for Teen Scene for the newspaper, Cynthia Brian has had the opportunity to work with talented teens with attitude and opinions. She shares selected published works. Read numerous articles shepherded by Cynthia. Cynthia Brian also produces Express Yourself!™ on Voiceamerica Kids Network heard Tuesdays NOON PT and click here for photos, descriptions, links, and more.

More information about the show click here.

The Technolithic Era by American Sociobiologist, Rebecca D. Costa

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The Technolithic Era by American Sociobiologist, Rebecca D. Costa


The future isn’t what it used to be.

Armed with powerful “Big Data” systems, go-­anywhere mobile apps, and more knowledge than at any time in human history, we can now evacuate entire cities before storms come aground, anticipate the collapse of a foreign country’s economy, foresee the outcome of sugar and fat-­ ladened diets, and predict when the batteries in my flashlight need to be replaced. We know that sociopaths get their start torturing small animals, that we are born with genetic propensities for Alzheimer’s and breast cancer, and we can foretell the long-­term consequences of burning fossil fuels, overfishing the oceans, and burying nuclear waste. Everywhere we turn, there is evidence of humankind’s growing ability to anticipate.

And with that, our ability to preempt.

For it is this ability -­ the ability to look ahead and avoid negative outcomes -­ which offers humankind our greatest hope for continuation. From an evolutionary perspective, there can be no greater advantage than accurate anticipation -­ no more powerful asset.

That said, years from now, when scientists and historians look back at you and I, how will they describe this period of opportunity and consternation?

According to Harvard Naturalist, E.O. Wilson, they will observe a convergence of “Paleolithic emotions, Medieval institutions and God-­like technology” – a frightful time when technology surpassed our slow-­changing emotions, brains and institutions. Evolution lagged behind the pace of human progress, producing Bonobo monkeys armed with nuclear weapons and pharmaceuticals.

One day our descendents will refer to this epoch as the “Technolithic Era.” A period when the rate of change began accelerating at an unmanageable, unsustainable pace -­ a time when technology began its intrusion into every aspect of life, joining continents, races, and religions with the sudden force of a tectonic shift -­ a time when unresourceful, slow adapters were cheerfully manipulated and pillaged.

Recently, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, warned that every 48 hours we generate as much data as we created from the dawn of humankind to 2003. And as the velocity, volume, variety and complexity of information continues its onslaught, predatory conditions amplify. Only those with the wealth to acquire experts, and gain access to the data needed to foretell and shape future events, will prevail. Today, a profitable corporation like General Electric Company has the ability to hire hundreds of skilled tax attorneys to legally avoid paying taxes. Whereas the person on the street, who is relegated to self-­filing, pays the highest bracket they fall under. The underlying culprit is complexity. As the U.S. tax code eclipses a whopping 75,000 pages, more regulations are on the way. And with more regulations, inequity rises and compliance more daunting.

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Complexity is an invisible, heartless adversary. One which makes facts unattainable, indiscernible and inactionable – except to a few.

Today, there is growing evidence that complexity has started its assault: 8-­10 percent of Americans indicate that they prefer the Affordable Healthcare Act over “Obamacare” and 60 percent believe that climate change will have no effect on their lives; it has become impossible to distinguish foreign rebel factions from future potential allies or a shopkeeper by day from a bomb-­maker by night; we grapple with complex issues such as warrantless surveillance in the name of national security, caring for an aging population, an education system which can no longer keep pace. Everyday we, along with our leaders, grow more gridlocked, more incompetent.

Millions of years of human evolution has brought us to the brink.

After all, if a Neanderthal were alive today, they would have little ability to navigate our fast-­paced world. Similarly, if we were transported a million years into the future, the practice of cutting off breasts and testicles to cure disease, or burning dinosaur remains to heat our homes would appear no less primitive. At any point in time man is a work in progress. And today, thanks to lightening speed technologies we are on the verge of becoming the first “predictive organism.” Never before has the relationship between the actions we take in the present been so clearly united to future outcomes.

Yet, trapped by Paleolithic emotions we continue to allow debt to climb, depression to reach pandemic proportions, and deny the coming drought. We squander the greatest evolutionary asset which has ever been bestowed on a life form -­ the gift to look ahead and to circumvent known tragedies. Instead, we choose the impulses we share with lower animals.

Future generations will characterize the period in which we live as a time when the tools to manifest future outcomes arrived on the scene, while prehistoric instincts prevented us from benefitting from our newfound advantage. They will look upon us with pity for having squandered foresight in favor of the ninth inning save. They will wonder, with bewilderment, why we made heroes out of those who -­ when given the opportunity -­ failed to preempt. And the 2 percent difference in genetic difference we share with our nearest relative, the Bonobo monkey, will perhaps offer the biggest clue to our quandary.

To listen LIVE tune in Every Tuesday at 6 AM and 6PM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Business Channel for the Costa Report.  Listen to this weeks episode about the “debt ceiling and health care issues” and for other episode selections Click Here on Demand.

The Costa Report is a post-partisan talk show for thinking people – citizens who don’t care whether a solution comes from the left, right, or center, so long as it works. Each week The Costa Report goes where the other networks won’t. Rebecca Costa delivers what other “big-name” talk show hosts don’t. She invites the world’s top newsmakers and thought-leaders to discuss the challenges we now face for one full hour each week. No sound bites. No talking points. Each show is completely un-scripted and un-edited. From government debt, healthcare and terrorism, to election, education and energy reform, no topic is off-limits. The Costa Report airs on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel every Tuesday at 6 AM and 6 PM Pacific Time.

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