Frank Lloyd Wright – Architect Spotlight

His command of steel, wood and concrete made him a legend of architecture. His restrained minimalism made his work unmistakable compared to his peers. Each of his 1,100 designs is as unique as a fingerprint, and a clear reflection of its creator, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Richland Center, Wisconsin

Born in 1867 to William Carey Wright and Anna Lloyd Jones in the sleepy farming community of Richland Center, Wisconsin, Frank Lloyd Wright entered a world in transition. During the throes of western expansion, and two short years after the conclusion of the Civil War, Wright was born decades before Chicago-architect Louis Sullivan would create the modern skyscraper.

His parents, both teachers, homeschooled young Frank until he was 11. But beyond that, Wright had trouble completing any institutionalized higher education. While Frank attended high school in Madison, there is no evidence that he graduated. He was later accepted into the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a special student, but left the following year.

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An Argument for Giving a Damn about Space

We may have just found a new home! The recent discovery of seven Earth-like planets orbiting a nearby star is the latest in a series of space-based revelations that’s grabbed the social consciousness.

And this makes me ecstatic!

From an early age, I’ve looked to the heavens and wondered what might be out there. In the fourth grade, I attended Space Camp. I was a member of the Junior Astronauts in grade school. I built and launched model rockets and calculated the cosmic math to determine my true astrological sign.

I also suffered a great deal of bullying as a result of my interests during that time.

True, this latest series of pop culture “wins” now puts my passion in the good graces of the masses; but it’s been a long road getting here. Luckily, as we march towards the future, I recognize I’m not alone in my love of that song softly calling to us from above.

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Do You Recall? – Three tricks to Improving Your Concentration and Memory

Studies show the human attention span is eight seconds, a full second shorter than the common goldfish. So let’s jump right in on three tricks to help your concentration and memory!

Restrict Internet/Smartphone Use Before, During and After Studying

We live in an age of instant information. A steady bombardment of opinion, news and notifications is the new normal, and our decreased attention span is just the beginning.

Simply searching the Internet for a specific answer is damaging your memory!

“Past research has repeatedly demonstrated that actively recalling information is a very efficient way to create a permanent memory,” says Dr. Maria Wimber, a Lecturer at the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham. “In contrast, passively repeating information (e.g. by repeatedly looking it up on the internet) does not create a solid, lasting memory trace in the same way.”

A recent Kaspersky Lab study names this phenomenon “Digital Amnesia.”
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Five Years In, The College Scorecard’s Scorecard

In 2013’s State of the Union address then-President Barack Obama announced a new .gov website that aimed to help prospective students find “the most bang for [their] educational buck.” By answering a short list of questions, users can discover the financial burden and earning potential of any campus or online college from sea to shining sea. Now five years and four updates later, the College Scorecard gets its own grades.

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The Dark Side of Unlicensed Sober Living Homes

A group is forming at a neighbor’s beautifully modern home in Hollywood. I enter cautiously because even though I’ve lived two doors down from this person for the past two years, we’ve never met.

As more neighbors arrive and fill the living room to capacity, it dawns on me: This neighborhood watch meeting is not your normal get together.

You see, a few blocks away an unlicensed sober living facility just opened.

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Lords of the White City: Burnham and Root

The tale of Burnham and Root begins with an ornery bovine.

On the cold, dry night of October 8, 1871, Mrs. O’Leary’s lit lantern rested on her barn’s hay-covered floor on the outskirts of Chicago. The lantern’s dim light provided a warm glow as she milked her cow. An errant kick from the cantankerous beast toppled the lantern and sparked a Great Fire that ravaged Chicago, as the story goes.

Image © Bettmann/CORBIS

Image © Bettmann/CORBIS

At least that’s the lore.

In reality, Catherine O’Leary was already in bed when that fire sparked in her barn.
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Top 13 Halloween Songs

Lock the doors, close the blinds, and prepare for the scare of your life. We are counting down the top 13 Halloween songs that are sure to make your night of fright a little more fun!

Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo

Oingo Boingo’s front man Danny Elfman knows a thing or two about spooky music. The longtime Tim Burton collaborator penned some of the most iconic Halloween-season movie scores, including Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. Elfman’s band, Oingo Boingo, released Dead Man’s Party in 1985 which is the same year Elfman was invited to write the score for Burton’s classic Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, the first in a still-growing list of collaborations.

Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers

Released in 1962, The Crypt-Kickers weren’t the first to corner the spooky pop music market, but few songs remain as revered. Just listening to this song feels like you are weaving your way through a haunted sock hop.

The song, which took a great deal of luck to even get produced, rocketed to the top of the charts and remained at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks just before Halloween in 1962.
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Secret Stairs Walk 42 – Murphy Ranch

We found and scaled the largest, most dangerous staircase in Los Angeles tucked away on forgotten paths in the forest of Topanga State Park. Knowing full well we could have easily died, we dared to enjoy what few will ever get to see.

It’s days like this that feel therapeutic. Engaging every fiber of your being. The whole of your attention consumed by this moment. Nothing better.

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