Friday, December 31, 2010

Notice Anything?

We've got a new banner!  
With all the talk of starting fresh in the New Year, we had to do a little something to keep you interested, and keep us on our toes!  Thanks so much for supporting us in 2010.


See you in the New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Fix


Looking to start your own fashion line?  Check out The Fashion Brain Academy and seminars by Jane!
------

Ready To Launch Your Line?

We have 2 seminars for New Designers coming up in Chicago...

Saturday, January 22nd
9 am - 11 am:  Before You Launch Your Line - presented by Jane Hamill
11 am - 12 pm:  Local Fabric Sourcing - presented by Jay "Mr. Zipper" Arbetman

We'll tell you WHAT you need to know, HOW to do it, and WHERE to get it.

Get practical advice on how to make the leap from creative idea to sales.  When it comes to business, you don't need to re-invent the wheel. 
Want to save time, money, effort, and unnecessary pain? 
Looking for shortcuts, tips, best-practices, and strategies?

Want to learn from someone who's been there before?
To get the details and to register, go here:

And that's not all... (it never is...) 

Bring a friend for free - if you act fast!

Register by tomorrow, December 31 and you can bring a friend absolutely free. Nope, its not a type-o.  

Why would I do this, you ask?  Three reasons:  
1) I want every designer who's interested to be able to come - even if they're low on scratch right now, 
2) It's fun and I can, 
3) To reward you for booking early (I love it when you take decisive action) and it helps me plan the event (you know, my whole time management obsession.)

If you sign up with a friend by 12/31, the whole 3 hours will cost you $55.  Would you invest that to get your business rolling?

Maybe you'd rather spend it on, hmmmmm...  An absolutely-not-designer pair of shoes?  A few too many bottles of wine?  10 or 12 trips to Starbucks?  Or something else you'll have for a while and then forget.

OR... you could spend it on a morning of training that will not only benefit you right now, but could just possibly help you for the rest of your career.  I'm serious.

That link again..
http://janehamill.com/seminars.html

Join us!  It will be a blast.
I'll bring the strong coffee and donuts

Jane

P.S.  Like all of my programs and products, if you aren't totally thrilled with the Seminars you can get your money back - no hassles, no problem.  My personal guarantee.

Jane Hamill
info@fashionbrainacademy.com
Fashion Brain Academy
                             
Fashion Brain Academy - Business Consulting For Fashion Designers
Launching a line?  Wondering where you can get wholesale fabrics?  Our report gives you 24 of Jane's favorite fabric sources - including their contact information.  We also tell you where NOT to go.  Sign up at www.fashionbrainacademy.com  and receive a FREE copy of our special report, "How to Find Fabrics in Small Quantities and NOT Get Ripped Off in the Process."
 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops



Top 10 World Events of 2010
M and I put our brains together to think of the top stories from this past year. It was tough to narrow it down to 10, but we think these are the most impactful happenings of the year- good, not so good, and entertaining. Special thanks to B.A.F.F.L.E.D. supporter, Courtney for the countdown idea. Let us know what you think!


10. The Haiti earthquake and the world's efforts to help.
Early this year, the Caribbean nation was struck by a terrible earthquake. Many celebrities put together fundraisers and benefits to assist citizens, but there is still much to be done. Check out Fashion Delivers and Hope for Haiti Now to continue helping the cause.


Michael Vick
9. Michael Vick makes a successful comeback to the NFL.
I don't think anyone condones what Michael Vick did a number of years ago (and I won't remind you here), but it is good to see him back doing his job and doing it well. He and the Philadelphia Eagles have been having a great season, and have been led by Vick's incredible leadership and offensive performances. If they can keep it up, they might just make it to the Super Bowl, and even the president agrees!




8. Arizona gets tough on immigrants (well, some of the alleged ones anyway)
SB 1070 polarizes the nation: Arizona — and Gov. Jan Brewer — exploded onto the national stage with the signing of SB 1070, the controversial legislation that makes it a crime to be an immigrant in the state without proof of citizenship. We’ve now become a model for other states to emulate as they struggle with the costs of illegal immigration, even as we were demonized and boycotted, and the federal government challenged the law in court — an ongoing battle. Anecdotal evidence of Hispanics fleeing Arizona and the denouncement of SB 1070 by law enforcement and religious leaders have fallen on deaf ears. Meanwhile the key architect of the law, Mesa’s Russell Pearce, was rewarded with the role of state Senate president, and the stage is set for more proposals to combat illegal immigration, such as his assault on the view that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects children of illegal immigrants from deportation.
Original source: East Valley Tribune

This controversial legislation raised a national debate about what immigrants we treat differently and how we will deal with the issue in the future. On a related note, the non-passage of the DREAM Act coupled with the rising Latino majority looks to be a hot button issue in 2011 and beyond.



7. North Korea launches artillery toward South Korean territory
As many people may not be aware, the two Koreas are still technically at war, and the actions of North Korea in late November illustrated that pretty clearly. The question remains: was North Korea's aggression a mistake? A way to get attention? Planned from the get go? North Korea, despite what they may say, is a very poor country and can ill afford to make any more enemies. Who knows what the future will bring between the two Koreas, but it will be interesting to see the upcoming regime change and how that will affect future diplomatic relations.


6. The Fashion Law Institute debuted at Fordham Law School in NYC.
The Fashion Law Institute is the first of its kind, and the long awaited incarnation of many fashionista esquires. The Institute will give designers and design students the services they'll need to be legally sound in the fashion industry. Fashion law students will be trained to provide counseling and assistance on topics ranging from trademarking to brand licensing, located right in the midst of Manhattan's Garment District. I'm so happy about this one!



5. LeBron James "took his talents to South Beach".
The newest member of the Miami Heat spent 7 years making the fans of Cleveland "witnesses" to his basketball greatness. This summer, all things changed when James left the Cavaliers to play alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Miami has been playing pretty well lately, but they have some very talented teams ahead in the new year. Can't wait to see what June brings...



4. Copyright for fashion designs advances further than ever before with Senate Bill 3728.
After so many attempts over the last 5 years to get copyright protection for fashion designs, efforts have made the most progress this time around. Strong efforts have been made to create specific, yet creativity-driven legislation, in order to protect young designers without restricting economic opportunity. We are still awaiting the final outcome on this one and will keep you posted!




3. Wikileaks
Julain Assange, Editor in Chief of Wikileaks
Good for democracy or bad for security? Everyone else has written, talked about or condemned the actions of Wikileaks and its frontman Julian Assange. Some think the site is heroic, some think it is compromising the positions of diplomats, and some think its is a cancer that will lead to no more big secrets within large institutions. What do you think? With the claim that the next big batch of leaks will lay bare the sins of a major U.S. bank, we can all agree that Wikileaks is definitely something to keep our eyes on.



There was a lot of contention over this supreme court decision, as it basically gives corporations a lot of the same rights as individuals when it comes to political contributions. So far we have witnessed a lot of anonymous donors to elections in the previous cycle. Who knows what the ripple effects will be now that corporate money equals free speech?



1. Facebook replaced Yahoo as the 3rd largest internet site.
Not only has Facebook grown to all age and social groups, but the site continues to give users easy ways to connect, share and speak their minds. Creator Mark Zuckerberg was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year, and continues to orchestrate a major fixture in our world. It's likely just a matter of time before Facebook moves up from #3.






Did we miss anything?


Saturday, December 25, 2010


Merry Christmas 





from B.A.F.F.L.E.D.

All the best to you and your family.  Enjoy the Holiday!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Fix


Christmas Fashion...??

Lately, we have been seeing a resurgence of "ugly sweaters".  After a recent girl chat with close friends, I became acquainted with the idea of "Ugly Sweater Parties" during the holidays.  I inquired if it were a charity event (which is still a good idea!) but found it was simply a way to get creative and have fun!

While we are all for having fun and promoting social connection here at B.A.F.F.L.E.D., the ugly sweater thing brings a bit of a bother when it gets serious.  Are you really going to wear this?!?  The L.A. Times and Wall Street Journal have reported on the rising popularity of "ugly sweaters" during the Christmas season as an actual fashion trend.  Thrift stores have even reported being sold out of the garments faster than usual.  The question here, I suppose is "who determines ugly?".

Are you going to don an "ugly sweater" this weekend?  


This one is a selection from buyuglysweaters.com



Happy Holidays from B.A.F.F.L.E.D. and happy shopping for your party outfits ;)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Law







Superhero Law!
No way the secret service would let Spider-Man get that close to the president, even if he does know how to correctly fist bump


I may or may not be a fancy big city lawyer like V, but I have had my days in court (Which I won...kind of; maybe that will be in a future post) and am very interested in how the law applies to a wide matter of things, both real and imagined.

Another thing I have an interest in is comic books (you might be able to tell by my avatar, it's M. of Marvel Comics fame). I am mostly a Marvel and Image fan, but I find all manner of comic lore and mythology fascinating because the really good writers can blend the fantastic with the mundane into complex and fully realized characters and universes, although I often wonder how these people get away with a lot of the crap they do without being sued, incarcerated or (!) capital punishment if at all possible.




Well, it seems I may have a lot of my questions answered on a fairly new, but very interesting blog called Law and the Multiverse. The site is run by two lawyers that also happen to be really into comics and discusses such things as: "What could possibly stop an immortal person from owning all the land in the country?" and "Are mutants covered under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)?"

Sure, its a bit geeky, but the site has become quite popular, even being posted in the New York Times. Hopefully they tackle the question of the legality of Superman being a humorless d#@k in an upcoming post (FYI, I really hate Superman).


He probably deserves everything that is coming to him.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 10 Ways to Make Your Holiday Green

Here are some tips you may have seen before, but are still great ideas for the holiday:

During the holiday season, waste disposal increases 25% in the United States, causing an extra 5 billion pounds of waste in the landfills according to the Medical University of South Carolina. Plus, travelers will be logging tons of miles and creating tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are tips to help you plan ahead to reduce your waste and green your gift giving this year:

1. Don't Buy Wrapping Paper
Reuse old wrapping paper or put your gifts in reusable bags or boxes. Be creative about giving old materials new life -scraps of fabric, magazines, or calendars make great patchwork bags or collage wrapping paper.


2. Send Tree-free Holiday Cards
Search the National Green Pages for cards made from kenaf, hemp, and other tree-free resources. Or, send e-cards and avoid the wait at the post office for stamps.

3. Hold a Zero Waste Holiday Party
Host a zero-waste party. Minimize the garbage by asking people to bring their own cups, plates and utensils if you don't have enough of your own. Use fabric tablecloths and napkins. Then be sure to recycle any post-party cans and bottles and compost food scraps.

4. Consider the Lifecycle of Electronic Gifts
Some of the most popular gift items for children and teens are electronics like computers, video games, and music devices. But the manufacturing and disposal of these items creates significant human health and environmental hazards. To learn more about the environmental impact of computers and electronic devices, check out the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. The Recycled Video Games Network is a great resource to dispose of old equipment or buy recycled games and systems for less, reducing the amount of new materials made.

5. Give Gifts from the Heart
Instead of spending money on commercial goods, give the gift of your time and talent to loved ones this year. Offer to make dinner, walk the dog, help with gardening or home repairs, or invite friends over for Fair Trade coffee and tea.

6. Give the Gift of a Better World
Make a donation in honor of a loved one. Choose a cause that addresses an issue that you and your friends and family members care about and support. Green America offers gift memberships at special rates during the holiday. Green America gift memberships are a great way to support our work for a green future while introducing more people to the ideas of just and sustainable purchasing and investing. Give gift memberships »

7. Green Your Holiday Travel
If you are one of the many people planning to log a lot of travel miles this holiday season, don't forget to look into green options for getting around. Better World Travelers Club can help you offset the carbon emissions from your travel through their Travel Cool program. Plus, Green America has partnered with Native Energy to help you offset your energy impact, including travel impact, fund the production of more wind energy, and generate support Green America's Green Energy program.

8. Buy Green Gifts
If you choose to give presents over the holidays, shop with green businesses listed in the National Green Pages. This year, a number of green businesses are offering special discounts to make green gift giving even easier. Check out our Green Gift Catalog.

9. Avoid Toys Made with PVC plastic
70% of PVC is used in construction, but it is also found in everyday plastics, including some children’s toys. Vinyl chloride, the chemical used to make PVC, is a known human carcinogen. Also, additives, such as lead and cadmium, are sometimes added to PVC to keep it from breaking down; these additives can be particularly dangerous in children’s toys. PVC is also the least recycled plastic. Find safe toys in the National Green Pages™ »

10. Recycle Packaging From Gifts
To reduce environmental impacts, it is important to recycle all cardboard packaging and peanuts or other Styrofoam packing that comes with gifts or purchases as these items will not de-compost in a landfill but can be used over and over again for packaging and shipping. The National Green Pages contains several listings for easy drop-off centers for both types of waste.

A few other things you can do are not to buy an actual or plastic tree (if that is your thing), but try to think of other ways to decorate without promoting the cutting and temporary use of trees or plastic. Also, since it is a bit colder and buying all those gifts can take a chunk out of your wallet, weatherizing your home and taking small steps (such as lowering your thermostat by 3 degrees or an optimal 68 degrees and lowering the temp by 8 degrees when asleep or away at work) will save you a lot!

 
Having a green holiday does not take a lot of work, and will not put a damper on the spirit of celebration; in fact, knowing that you’re keeping our planet cleaner should brighten your mood even more!

Enjoy, and have a happy green holiday!

Monday, December 20, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Gives

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. is a major supporter of Bottomless Closet, a non-profit organization working to help underprivileged women look their best when getting back into the workforce.  We are excited to help this cause whenever we can, and ask your support in helping, too!

Please check out this letter from the Executive Director, and offer any assistance you can; time, money, or just spreading the word!

-----

Happy Holidays!

Who ever said that money can't bring you happiness.....
has never been poor!

Bottomless Closet continues to help women living in poverty after 19 years in Chicago.
Thousands and thousands of Chicago residents in the most under served neighborhoods of this city have benefited from our services.

We have been here for a long time thanks to 5 local women who were
inspired to create an organization that elevated women and gave them
their only opportunity to look like everyone who was well-off.

Bottomless Closet was the first to see this need; indeed, the first
workforce agency of its kind in the United States. We are very proud
of that. The idea was born here in Chicago and has been fostered by Chicago women.

All of us who have kept,  and will keep, Bottomless Closet alive,
need to know that the company is financially secure so that we
can continue to give women hope. I was lucky enough to speak
 to Laurel Baer, one of the founders, two weeks ago. She is still
passionate about this organization but she knows how hard
it is to raise the funds to cover the overheads.


We need your help to raise enough money to both continue and
expand our services.
Our goal is to raise 50,000 dollars. Can you help us meet our goal?
Small donations, large donations, we are grateful for every penny.

We would also be grateful if you could pass this letter on to friends
 who might also support us. Think! if 2,500 people gave us
20 dollars we would have made our goal! Or if 1,000 people
gave us $50 we would be able to push forward and help
more people in more ways.

Can you become a member of our Bottomless Fan Club and
pass this message on to friends and family and people
that are concerned about the plight of women and can
afford to help us?

The Bottomless Fan who raises the most dollars
 and involves most people will be rewarded with a
very special gift of little to no value! The satisfaction will
come from being a very special person actively
involved in helping the least fortunate
in our community.

Are you up for the challenge? All of us here at
Bottomless Closet hope so.


All the best to you, your family and your friends during the holidays.

Jude XXXXXOOOOO

CLICK TO DONATE

Or, send a check made out to Bottomless Closet and write your fan club name (e.g. " Bottomless Fans South Side" on the memo section of the check)



Bottomless Closet
435 N. LaSalle, Lower Level 1
Chicago, IL 60654

Friday, December 17, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Legal Battles

We saw a number of interesting things happen in the legal field this week.  Here's a quick review of some big stories:

Federal Health Care Legislation Struck Down in Virginia
  • Virginia Federal Judge Henry E. Hudson found the national health care law unconsitutional, in part.  He found the portion requiring citizens to purchase health insurance under the law's new programs by 2014 outside constitutional boundaries.  Hmmm are we not mandated to purchase other forms of insurance?  This is also the judge who ruled in Michael Vick's dog fighting case.  Thoughts?
  • At this point, President Obama is not worried.  The SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the U.S.) has the final say on the constitutionality of federal law, and the Department of Justice is already reviewing the case. 
Rapper Takes 2 Years Behind Bars
  • Rapper Ja Rule will be reporting to prison during the early part of 2011.  After getting hit with weapon charges, the entertainer took a plea deal for 2 years in prison.  This is sure to make for an interesting album when he gets out.
Don't Hide Ya Wallet!
  • YouTube phenom Antoine Dodson is really having a great 2010.  Although his sister narrowly escaped a traumatic experience, Antoine's video interview remix has hit #1 on YouTube.  He's getting all kinds of royalties for the video, a reality show in the works, an iPhone app, and other endorsements to build his brand.  Homeboy!  Homeboy!
Costco Still Out of the Gray Market
  • The SCOTUS ruled Swiss luxury watchmaker Omega can prevent "gray market" versions of its products from being sold at Costco.  Gray Market refers to retailers buying brands from unauthorized dealers located overseas and reselling them at lower prices in the U.S.  The issue in this case was the First Sale Doctrine, which says once a copyright owner consents to the sale of particular copies of their work, they may not then exercise the distribution right with respect to those copies.  Remember this as a caution to those of you with precious copyrighted materials. Once you sell, your rights are gone. 
  • The Ninth Circuit Court found the first sale doctrine to not apply to foreign-made products, saying Omega's distribution rights remained on products made and sold overseas, and later imported to the U.S.  This equalizes protection for domestic and foreign producers.  On appeal, the SCOTUS ruling was 4-4, as Justice Kagan did not participate.  Because of the tie, the Court released only an unsigned per curiam opinion, leaving no binding Supreme Court precedent to guide courts on the matter.   Omega, S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 541 F.3d 982 (9th Cir. 2008).  More on this once it returns to lower courts.
Microsoft Co-founder's Lawsuit Dismissed 
  • Paul Allen recently filed a patent infringement suit against Apple, Ebay, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Youtube, Netflix, Office Depot and Staples - as well as the company formerly known as AOL.  The billionaire tech founder claims these counterparts had allegedly infringed a number of patents he owned.
  • A Washington state District Court dismissed the suit this week.  The judge said Allen failed to list specific products or services infringed upon.  Now why wouldn't his pricey attorneys help him plead in detail?  Lucky for him, he can file and amended complaint.  Read more here.
 Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Green

As energy costs tend to go up during the colder months, B.A.F.F.L.E.D. would like to provide some quick and easy tips for businesses to save money (not only in the winter, but year round as well!)
Some Energy Tips for Small Businesses*:
Office Equipment
  • Turn off all office equipment and lights every night and weekend. If you can't turn off the whole computer, turn off the monitor and the printer.
  • When purchasing computers, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers, consider ENERGY STAR models that "power down" after a user-specified period of inactivity.
Lighting
  • Install motion detectors to control lighting in frequently unoccupied areas, such as restrooms.
  • Retrofit incandescent or fluorescent exit signs with long-lasting, low-energy LED exit signs.
  • Clean dusty diffusers and lamps every 6-12 months for improved lumen output
HVAC
  • Set thermostats at 78 degrees for cooling in the summer and 68 degrees for heating in the winter.
  • Install electronic time clocks or setback-programmable thermostats to maximize efficiency.
  • Install locking covers on your thermostats to prevent employees from tampering with temperature settings.
  • Install ceiling and wall insulation.
  • Insulate water heaters and supply pipes.
  • During winter heating, to help move warm air that is trapped on the ceiling, blades should turn 'forward' in a clockwise motion. This movement will push up the air and pull the warm trapped air down the sides of the room improving heat distribution.
*Most Tips From the District of Columbia Department of the Environment Website.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Sports


Ethics in Sports Always Finds Compromise

"I'd like to thank my beautiful mother and my father," said the Auburn quarterback. "My parents do a lot of things behind the scenes that go unnoticed."

We bet they do, Cam.  It's been the topic on almost every sports program lately, but no worries, you are not alone.   Cam Newton, the latest Heisman winner who's taken Auburn's football program by storm has been dealing with allegations his father solicited money from Mississippi State recruiters.  Oddly, his father did not attend the Heisman ceremony on Saturday.  

During the weeks leading up to the Heisman voting and ceremony, many speculated there would be no point in awarding it to Newton, because after further investigation or revelations, he, like New Orleans Saints star Reggie Bush, may have to surrender his prize.  Bush's prize was taken from him earlier this year, after improprieties  during his time at USC were revealed.   
 

Cam Newton has been taking the college football world by storm with everything from a 217-yard rushing performance, to allegations of academic misconduct while at Florida.  While amazing us on the field, Cam maintains and told ESPN's Chris Fowler he did nothing wrong. This may be a new part of life for him, but he is nowhere near the first. 

Other college athletes have faced similar situations in the past: Michigan's Fab 5 (including NBA stars Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, and Juwan Howard) were accused of taking money from boosters, Charles Barkley has admitted to taking money, and former NFL agent Josh Luchs has admitted to paying 30 college players over his 20-year career.

Granted college athletes bring in millions to their programs, and create strong alumni followings.  But, are they not supposed to be students first, hence the "student-athlete" title?  Professionals are paid, and in accordance with NCAA rules, students/amateurs are not.  Athletes at the college level are to be gaining an invaluable education to aid them in the often difficult careers ahead of them, and preparing for what will happen when they are no longer the hottest stars in their sports.  

Should different lines be drawn here?  Is there any solution to this reoccurring problem??

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops


Top 10 Christmas Gifts

It's Christmas time, so let's double the pleasure.  We're getting down to the wire on Christmas shopping.  For those who don't want to be part of the December 24th craziness, in stores filled with people and hardly any merchandise, take this list below and get out there fast!

1. Quality time with your loved ones
~This one cannot be quantified in dollars, but believe us- it's invaluable.  Tomorrow is promised to no one, so take time to share with the ones you love.


2. iPod or iPad
~Where would we be without our gadgets?!  Not only do they offer apps and music, but you can download podcasts, movies, store pictures, and more!  Once you get one (if you aren't already an Apple minion) you'll never be the same!  Both are travel friendly, too.

~This book has tips, steps, and secrets for everything a woman needs to know to get through all things big and small in life.  A must-have!

4. Michael Jackson's new album, Michael and the video game
~We're all missing the King of Pop and these 2 selections give us more music and calories to burn after the holidays- especially on Wii!  Also available for PlayStation, Nintendo DS, and XBOX.

~We know this one has been out for a couple months now, and true gamers already have it, but if you don't, grab it!  No one should miss out on having Jordan on their team!


6. A Custom Handbag by 1154 Lill Studio
~This Chicago boutique gives you the chance to create your own bag when you purchase the kit, and they'll send it out to you for free!  Nothing like having a one-of-a-kind on your arm. 
 


7. Treats by Teresa
~Of course we are all looking to get fit and trim in the new year, but you can still enjoy yourself with custom goodies from this online bakery fave!

8.  Digital Camera
~From Nikon to Sony CyberShot, a digital camera is a necessity these days.  The best way to save and share memories is through these amazing devices.  Get or give one for Christmas and never forget a special moment!

9. CleanWave UV-C Sanitizing Wand
~This nifty household tool gets rid of viruses and bacteria on virtually any surface in your home.  With so many germs out there, the Wand will be great in helping prevent illness.  


10.  A Charitable Donation
~No, this one is not tangible, but in the season of giving, we should all think about others before thinking of ourselves.  Find a cause you like and support it!  You don't have to give money- many organizations appreciate your time as well.  Need some suggestions?  Check out B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Resources for some of our favorite causes.



Did we miss anything??


Happy Shopping!

Monday, December 13, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Green Business

City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection Monthly Business Education Workshops

If you were not aware, the City of Chicago offers workshops every Wednesday and Friday at the Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection’s (BACP) offices, located at 121 N. LaSalle St., City Hall Room 805. BACP offers workshops on a number of subjects, including: Real Estate Transactions, a series in which current and prospective business owners can have a Q&A with City Inspectors and financing among other things. To get more information check out the BACP education workshop page: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bacp/supp_info/business_educationworkshops.html.

Look out for updates on the BACP page, where you can also view past workshops at the bottom of the page.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Don't forget to get B.A.F.F.L.E.D. all the time on Twitter.  

 
Follow us @BAFFLEDblog, and don't miss a thing!

Friday, December 10, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Fix

Is Fashion for Everyone?

Yes, this is a pretty loaded question.  Granted, no one should ever exit their home looking as if they don't own a mirror.  But, the fashion savvy trait of your everyday fashionista is definitely not something everyone has naturally.  It seems these day, so many people are looking for a piece of the fashion pie.  Celebrities are starting their own lines all the time.  Your everyday creative person is looking to start a line, heck, we've even thought about it here at B.A.F.F.L.E.D.!


It seems as though fashion is making a major stake in the entertainment world, music, and philanthropy.  We all want a piece, and depending on your trade, you can tie fashion to it somehow.  

Earlier this week, we heard singer Jessica Simpson's fashion line was approaching the $1 billion net worth mark.  Russell Simmons and Kimora made mega money with Phat Farm and Baby Phat, and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas is the master of a shoe line on the rise.   Sean Combs (well, Puff Daddy to us) has even included fashion greats like Andre Leon Talley and Anna Wintour on his upcoming album. Fashion is crossing into the legal realm, too, with legislation pending in the U.S. Senate to offer copyright protection to fashion designs.  Of course the paring of fashion and law is a plus for us here at B.A.F.F.L.E.D.


Share some of your fashion stories with us.  Let us know where you see fashion popping up where it may not have before.  

What do you think contributes to the rising popularity?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Technology

The Face of Social Media Today

Speaking about social media "today" is somewhat of a play on words, seeing as the phenomenon is so new.  Social media has taken on a major stake in our world, and is like nothing we've seen in history.  Today, we share everything from photos, to videos and immediate feelings on various social networks, some of them simultaneously.  We can now be closer to anyone we want, while being thousands of physical miles away.

Social media has grown faster than most anything we can think of.  Technological development is changing at a rapid rate, and the ease of getting the networks to be compatible with one another is quite a feat in itself.  Social media has even provided us with games to get to know each other better and find out the truth on what people think of us (Facebook Q&A and #s).  

Social networking is now a given in the business world, with nearly every entity of serious contention in the market having a web presence; it's a must.  In some aspects it is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, and the creation of new job and career fields is emerging fast.

A reigning question, is whether or not social media is at any point going too far.  In recent news, we've heard about Facebook changing the layout of profile pictures, and redecorating pages to offer personal information in different ways.  Further, there was much of a fuss made about profile pictures being changed to cartoon characters for the sake of pedophilia (a falsehood, by the way). 

It was Apple's dream to have a computer in every home, but there is fear now this has gone too far, especially with the popularity of social media.  Are we using this form of communication in place of human contact, quality family time, and face time not done via satellite?  Surely the tool is helpful to shorten the pain of distance, but is it also creating distance?

So what do you think about social media today, and tomorrow?  Has it gone too far?  Will it go too far?  What are the best advantages?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 5 Ways to Improve Education in America


America is thought to be one of the most educated nations in the world, but we still have many challenges, especially on the grammar school and high school levels.  Higher education and professional fields are always advancing, but what can we do to prevent this generation of youngsters from being the first to be less educated than their parents? Yes, this is a fact.


Here's what B.A.F.F.L.E.D. suggests.  Let us know what you think!

1. Make education spending the last to be cut -  This is a tough one because things are not as easy as they appear when it comes to writing and passing legislation, but it's worth stressing to your legislators.  Education is the foundation of our society, and cutting funds to something so fundamental to everything we do now and will be affected by later, is critical.  We must all fight to keep as much money in our schools as possible to ensure up-to-date books, sharp teachers, and helpful resources, to keep America competing on the global stage. 

2. Have "teachers teach teachers", and regularly learn from one another - This method is used in some school systems, and should be widely spread.  Having teachers watch one another teach, especially beyond their initial training periods, continues to sharpen their skills as they work to sharpen the minds of students.  Teachers should continue getting training, as the world of education is advancing like the rest of our fast-paced society.  No one should ever stop learning.

3. Increase phonics and foreign language lessons as well as civic education - More than enough people completely butcher the English language and its uses.  Granted, the language is pretty tough and has some picky rules, but there are some parts of the language we should never lose sight of.  Sure, the popular acronyms of texting can hamper our memory of proper English, but with stronger lessons in school, we can do better.  Additionally, we must work to get students to master English, but become well-versed in a foreign language as well.  Youngsters in most other developed countries know their native language and learn English at an early age.  America should be no different, especially with the melting pot of citizens we have, and the global economy we live in today.  Civic education is an important lesson schools have started to lose.  Knowing how local, state, and federal government work is very important, especially as we raise future voters.  Students need to understand the branches of government and the structures governing their locale. 

4. Keep (or bring back) music in schools - Music in schools is a must.  Though many schools are suffering from reduced budgets, the importance of music education is unmatched.  Music is a great tool to not only teach students about working together, but it stimulates the mind, and gives them a talent they can take with them everywhere.  Visit The NAMM Foundation and VH1's Save the Music Foundation to help keep music playing in your school. 

5. Keep athletics in schools - Music is usually cut before sports, but some schools have seen some of their athletic programs cut, too.  Sports in school is not only important in keeping students active- fighting childhood obesity, but it also furthers learning outside the classroom.  Children learn about teamwork, pride, hustle, and discipline.   They also gain skills in time management, as they work to balance schoolwork and sports commitments.  

We can never deny the importance of education in our society.  Let's all work to do our part in making sure our future is bright.

Share your thoughts!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Sports

Professional Sports & the Economy

Recently, ESPN reported the decline in ticket prices for NBA games. Discussions of a possible player lockout have been looming as well, with many speculating the summer as the time of action. The lockout would be the result of the soon-to-expire collective bargaining agreement (CBA) not being renewed.  Collective bargaining is the negotiating between and employer, here the NBA, and a group of employees (players), regarding the terms and conditions of employment.  Employees are often represented by a union or association protecting there interests.  The bargaining results in a collective agreement.  The issue here is player salary caps and revenue shares from ticket sales and TV ratings.  Negotiations for the league's new CBA have persisted for over a year, and even NBA Commissioner, David Stern agrees, little progress is being made. 

NBA Players' Association Executive Director, Billy Hunter reports no breakthroughs have been made in recent meetings, which doesn't prove well for further negotiations.  Players are being encouraged to save their money in the event a lockout does in fact become the final action.  If a lockout occurs, no one plays, and no one gets paid.


The NFL is greatly affected by the economy as well, as their Player's Union Executive Director, DeMaruice Smith sees an end-of-the-season lockout as "nearly certain".  The football league is also dealing with collective bargaining issues, and their current agreement ends in March.  The issue in the NFL is largely the share players are getting of team revenues. 

So what are the economic implications?  Clearly a lockout would again halt playing and payroll, but lockouts in both leagues would be economically costly.  The NFL lockout alone could cost the economy nearly $5 billion in lost wages, taxes and regular revenues.  Let's also think about the business which thrive on professional sports, like apparel shops and sports bars.  

Obviously we would miss our beloved sports, but what do you think about the situation from a business standpoint?  What do you think each league should do?  Each side?  


Thursday, December 2, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Economics

LINCOLN PARK/LAKEVIEW TOWN HALL MEETING DECEMBER 14TH @ DEPAUL
Cook County Board Commissioner Bridget Gainer has created a “Citizens’ Guide to the Cook County Budget”, a presentation that puts the $3.5 billion dollar budget in easy to understand terms for taxpayers. The presentation will be exhibited during a town hall meeting on December 14, 2010 at 2250 North Sheffield, Room 120-B (Depaul Student Center) from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm.
The Local Economic & Employment Development Council is acting as one of the sponsors, along with the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, Wrightwood Neighbors, 43rd Ward United Organization, and SNA. If you would like to preview the presentation, please go to http://bridgetgainer.com/pdf/citizens-guide-to-the-budget.pdf .
Town Hall Meeting Details:
When: December 14, 2010, from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm.
Where: 2250 North Sheffield, Room 120-B (DePaul Student Center)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Cares

Today is World AIDS Day


World AIDS Day is one of the most recognized health awareness days across the globe.  The commemoration began in 1988 by the International AIDS Society at the international AIDS Conference.  


AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is the final stage of HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.  It is a great breakdown of the immune system, putting the body at risk for opportunistic infections, arising because of a weakened immune system. 


The World AIDS Campaign regularly takes on the initiative to spread awareness about the disease and increase research as much as possible.  Informed by those most affected by HIV, the World AIDS Campaign’s goal is to ensure that governments and policy makers meet the HIV targets they set, the commitments they made, and mobilize the necessary resources for a world where people do not die of AIDS and opportunistic infections.






For more information on World AIDS Day, click here.  

Also check out: 
AIDS.org
Center for Disease Control
AIDS.gov


Let's fight against AIDS today, and everyday!
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