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9 Stylish Homes with Modern Interior Design In Berlin


Here are 9 homes that have all the modern elements

1. Minimalist Loft in Charlottenburg

This modern loft is located in Berlin-Charlottenburg. The walls are a clean white, with floor to ceiling windows. The living space is nice and open, providing plenty of natural light.
Color accents are given to the mostly white interior to add some life to the area. This is shown by the purple lining of the dining room chairs, and other accents throughout the home. The home is cozy and warm, yet at the same time stylish and modern. It is a great example of elegant minimalism.

2.Loft in Mitte

This is yet another example of stunning minimalistic design. It is decked out in tall white walls, with black curtains to add a bit of drama. The floor to ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light. The set-in couch makes for a cozy place to sit and relax, while adding a modern design element.
The kitchen in this home is of a stunning, simplistic design. The cabinet, refrigerator, and other appliances are all while, with a black countertop and backsplash to bring the drama in from the living room. The same light wood flooring is throughout the entire home, bringing all the spaces together.

3. Family Home

This simplistic Berlin home is made for a family. It goes to show that more is not necessarily better, and a simple home can be great for a family. The smaller couch with bean bag seating, along with a rolling coffee table is functional and minimalist at the same time.
The kitchen is made for function. The exposed brick wall adds character to the home, while keeping the floors, cabinets, and countertops white. As an added extra bonus to this design, chalkboard paint was added to the bar seating area, so that this simplistic design is also kid friendly.

4. Stylish Brick

Not all modern homes need to use clean lines. This Berlin apartment is stunningly simplistic, but with loads of character. With beautiful concrete arches, and brick flooring, it feels like home in this apartment. The ceiling in the living space brings in color and a pattern that is just stunning.
The dining area in the kitchen uses reclaimed wood for flooring, with white cabinets and brick walls painted white. With touches of the industrial look with the lighting, and the softness of a country style table, this home has everything of modern interior design, while also being abundant in character.

5. Classic Yet Modern

This home combines classic with modern. In a building with classic styling, the interior design of this Berlin home takes modern to a new level. With an open balcony decked out in stunning outdoor hardwood flooring, the openness that the enormous sliding door gives to the apartment is breath taking.
The inside of the loft is white, with light gray accessories to keep that clean look. The medium gray wood flooring provides that industrial look, while the white and gray furniture softens. There is so much light in this vaulted ceiling home, there seems no need to ever buy a lamp.

6. Beautiful Berlin Penthouse

This penthouse in the heart of Berlin is anyone’s interior design dream. Instead of going with stiff white, this beige home offers a level of comfort and class. The living area is surrounded by wall to wall windows letting in the light of the day.
The bathroom brings that beige in, with a hint of gray in the marbling and accessories. The soaking tub is a great accessory that fills in the space in this large bathroom; while the shower is tiles with elegant art to bring the modern look in.

7. Elegant Berlin Apartment

This simple, elegant apartment in Berlin offers exquisite function and stunning taste. The modern style wood flooring is paired with the modern white cabinets and countertops in the kitchen. This kitchen also opens to a balcony with floor to ceiling windows.
As a small apartment, every design not only looks beautiful, but it is extremely functional and well laid out. From the bedroom closets and desk, to the slick designed bathroom.

8. Tiny House, Big on Style

Another modern trend idea is extreme minimalism; in other words, a tiny house. These homes, like the one here in Berlin, offer a life of less, while being functional.
With great storage and elegant accessories, there is no need to trade function for beauty. With homes like this one, it is possible to have it all.

9. Functional Family Friendly Design

This single family home located in Berlin offers a modern, functional interior design. The narrow living area is beautiful with black and white coloring. The floors ceiling and drapery are white, with a wonderful black brick wall and black storage. The best feature is the wood burning fireplace.
The kitchen has a modern industrial look, where everything is squared. To soften this look, the backsplash has a circular pattern. This offers function and style.
The above examples have one thing in common – less is more. Get more such modern interior design ideas and live both in style and clutter free!

Elena is a passionate blogger and content executive at Renergy Malta. She likes to travel the world and on her free time volunteers at the kids box, a charity for less fortunate children.

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How close is the EuroLeague basketball to the NBA?

On October 3, during the NBA preseason, EuroLeague club Real Madrid hosted Oklahoma City Thunder and won in a very exciting game 142-137 after overtime. During the Thunder’s visit to Europe Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid, talked to NBA commissioner Adam Silver and presented him a plan for Madrid to be included in Eastern Conference as NBA’s 31st team.

This is not the first time that the subject of Europe teams competing in NBA was discussed and certainly not the last. EuroLeague is constantly changing its structure and format in order to complement NBA. But the main question always was, and still is – can Europe teams be competitive in NBA, and if not, how big is the difference in quality between NBA and EuroLeague basketball?

Head to head

Let’s first take a look in the history of games played between Euro League and NBA teams. Since the Euro League started in 2000-2001 season there were 65 games, 41 in USA and Canada, and 24 in Europe. An important thing to mention is that they were all played under NBA rules, with 3 NBA referees when the game was played in USA and Canada, and 2 NBA and 1 Euro League referee when played in Europe. The outcome – NBA teams won on 52 occasions and Euro League teams won 13 times.

Now let’s put this score in perspective. Obviously, NBA teams were dominant overall, but there are some facts in favor of both sides that need to be considered. First, those were all friendly games played during NBA preseason. Europe teams, on the other hand, had already started their national competitions, so they were in full competitive rhythm.

In terms of rotation, both group of teams played with full squad in most of the cases. Although NBA coaches limited their stars minutes in some degree, they still usually played at least 25-30 minutes. 8 out from 13 wins for Euro League teams came in the last 6 years, while NBA teams won 20 games in the same period. It’s obvious that Europe teams have improved with time, so if we follow this trend we can expect more and more wins from them.

Talent base

With a population of 314 million, USA has base of players larger than any European country by far margin. But Europe as a whole has a population of 743 million, so in that regard Euro League can easily match USA with sources of basketball talent. Basketball is founded in USA and there is no doubt that they have the best school of basketball in the World, but the fact is that Europe’s school of basketball is at a very high level.

You can just look at the list of NBA players who started their career in Europe in the last 20 years, and you will have an elite group of players who had Hall of Fame NBA careers. Europe basketball has quality and basketball knowledge to produce world class talents and if EuroLeague continues to expand financially and commercially, it can become able to keep top talents in Europe and compete with NBA teams.

San Antonio Spurs are among the first NBA teams that started exploiting a huge basketball talent base in Europe and rest of the World. They began drafting top talents outside of USA and leaved them in Europe a couple of years to develop their game. When they estimate that the player is improved they bring him to organization as a developed player ready to compete in NBA. Manu Ginobili is a prime example of this practice.

Since then, this strategy is replicated throughout the NBA, so Euro League and other European competitions became some sort of development league for NBA, knowing that NBA teams have enough financial power and quality to take those players when needed.

Also, due to financial improvements that EuroLeague made since its foundation, a lot of American players are joining European clubs. EuroLeague has greater quality that NBA’s development league and it is financially stronger, so American players have a great opportunity to, playing in EuroLeague, develop their game and attract interest from NBA clubs, knowing that they closely scout talents in Europe.
The EuroLeague has a capacity to create and develop quality players, but the league cannot keep them for a long time due to the financial power of NBA. Therefore the next big challenge for the league is to gain financial power in order to keep their top talents in the league, improving its overall quality.

League structure

When the first season of EuroLeague started on October 16, 2000, it gathered 24 teams are divided in 4 groups of 6, with first 4 teams from each group advanced in elimination round in best of 5 series, and at the end best 4 played single elimination games in EuroLeague final four. The concept of final four has not changed ever since first season, but other than that, the league was constantly changing its structure. It went from 24 to 32 teams, second stage of the league also changed with top 16 teams competing in 2 new formed groups with top 8 competing in best of 5 series etc.
Also, the teams were qualifying for competition in the league through their national championships. Therefore the composition of teams in the league changed each year, depending on results in national championships.

In recent years EuroLeague owners came with idea of modeling the league by NBA. The concept of licensing tams emerged, meaning that EuroLeague grants certain clubs exclusive licenses for the competition, allowing them to play in EuroLeague every year regardless of their placement in their national competitions. The conditions for getting the license were defined as combination of financial ability, minimum seats number in home arena, distance to airports and availability of hotels for guest teams etc.

So the league became more exclusive, with the same group of teams competing each year. 2016-2017 season is another breakthrough in that regard. As of this season, EuroLeague has 16 teams competing in one regular season group (division) with a double round-robin. After regular season is finished, the first 8 teams start best-of-five playoff series, after which Final Four is played.

It is clear that this season’s league structure, aside of Final Four concept, replicates NBA’s conference competition, with 11 out of 16 teams carrying license to participate each year and other 5 qualifying through their national competitions. The final idea is to make closed exclusive league with 16 steady participants competing each year, making the league “European NBA division”.

Changing rules

Aside from competition structure changes to emulate NBA, EuroLeague also found very helpful that FIBA started changing rules of the game towards the NBA standards. In the last few years there were some significant steps made in that direction. 3-point line has moved from 6.25 meters up to 6.75 meters, coming close to NBA’s 7.24 meter margin. Also, FIBA changed trapezoidal-shaped lane design to rectangular, identical in both shape and size with NBA’s, with restricted area arc also introduced. Shot clock also went from 30 to 24 seconds.

The plan for Euroleague is to gradually continue harmonizing the rules between the leagues, and the next big step in that direction could be introducing defensive 3-second violation rule in EuroLeague basketball, which will make a huge difference in the way both offence and defense is played. This rule is the one that makes maybe the biggest gap between the NBA and European basketball.
With unlimited time for defensive players to spend in the lane, European teams are allowed to shrink the defense and play with strong help side, making it harder for teams to strongly rely on individual talents and athleticism of their star players. This rule makes probably the biggest gap between NBA’s individualism and Europe’s team oriented offence.

Finances

This is an obvious one. If EuroLeague wants to compete with NBA it must offer its players contracts comparable to NBA’s. And let’s take a quick look at where both leagues stand today in that regard. In the 2015-2016 EuroLeague season CSKA Moscow had the biggest club budget in the league which was around 37 million euros or about 40 million dollars; and it was the biggest budged in the league by a far margin.

For example, budget of Red Star Belgrade, who played CSKA in quarterfinals last season, has the budget of 5 million dollars. At the same time, salary cap in NBA was 70 million dollars. Important thing to mention with these figures is that NBA salary cap relates to amount of money that teams spend only for player’s salaries, while when speaking of EuroLeague team’s budget, the salaries are just one part of the equation. For example, only 1.5 million out of Red Star Belgrade’s 5 million budget is intended to player salaries, so the gap between the two leagues is clearly enormous.

Furthermore, If you look at top 50 player salaries in EuroLeague for 2015-2016 season, Rudy Fernandez leads the list with 2.8 million dollars salary, which is a “little” bit lower than Kobe Bryant’s 25 million salary from last season. It is pretty clear that EuroLeague is no match to NBA in this category, and as long as it stands like that, Europe’s best players will always lean towards the NBA. The question here is has the EuroLeague potential to come close to NBA’s financial standards.

Fan base and world-wide popularity

NBA is a global media giant. It has an enormous fan base all around the globe that is constantly getting larger in numbers. At the end of 2014-2015 season, the number of fans increased by 40% from one season before, making 811 million likes and followers on social networks overall. During that same season 30 NBA teams gathered total revenue of 5.18 billion dollars which is 200% increase from 2001-2002 season. The league is huge money making machinery and with expansion of online content and its world-wide availability the future is bright for NBA.

EuroLeague is still no match for NBA in terms of revenue and popularity, but there are some encouraging facts for them in this area. Since its foundation, the league is recording constant growth in both world-wide popularity and generated revenue, with some staggering improvements in these areas over the years. In 2014-2015 season EuroLeague had 22000 hours of broadcasting time, a 6110 % improvement from 2000-2001 season. In the same time period the league made 1090% improvement in accumulated audience number. It went from 15 to 73 broadcasters during that time, with 1116% increase of territorial coverage, from 18 to 201 countries word-wide. The total revenue of the league increased during this time by 360%. This is without any doubt impressive improvement, and if this trend of growth continues, as expected, EuroLeague could be competitive with NBA in this regard in the coming years.

Looking in the future

European basketball has a rich history, with several great schools of basketball producing top class talents (like Spain, France, and ex-Yugoslavian and ex-Soviet countries). But usually, when they develop, these talents end up in the NBA league. For now, that is the fact. EuroLeague teams cannot compete with NBA financially and the best players are still going across the Atlantic to play the best basketball. But there is a strong statement and desire from EuroLeague leaders to improve and become competitive with NBA, or even be part of NBA. Changing the league structure to emulate NBA, changing rules, growing world-wide popularity and financial strength of EuroLeague are clear signs of improvement. If this trend continues as expected, not that long in the future the time will come when EuroLeague could become competitive with, or even in some way integrated into NBA. In any case, the good thing for us as basketball fans is that the game is expanding globally, so there are very exciting times for basketball ahead of us. So enjoy it.

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Book Review” German Men Sit Down To Pee & Other Insights Into German Culture” – By Niklas Frank and James Cave

I had the pleasure of being sent a book by the name of German Men Sit Down To Pee & Other Insights Into German Culture” sent to me by the author. I have a couple of humorous books about German culture, and I will definitely add this to my collection. The book was to the point, and very well explained. I actually gained some insight into some of the behaviors I witnessed in Germany.
The Author describes the books as:

German men sit down to pee… is a tongue-in-cheek guidebook to German culture that highlights the ‘rules’ Germans consciously and unconsciously follow, and tries to make a little sense of it all along the way. Why, for example, mowing your lawn on a Sunday will mean getting an earful from your neighbour, but lie naked in the middle of a public park and nobody will bat an eyelid.

Before you dismiss this as another book of tired stereotypes, he does use a disclaimer. We all know that not ALL Germans behave like this, but every country seems to have their own distinct culture, and the Germans are no different. They explain why German men sit down when they pee, German breakfast, and Doener kebabs. All subjects I knew about, but in the style of writing the authors made me chuckle. I had no idea about all the drink mixes. Beer and Cola? Yuck!

For the price, the book is a steal, and a nice little coffee table addition to your collection. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Buy the Book Here
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Sicily Holiday. Poggiodiana Castle and The Scala dei Turchi

I recently took an amazing vacation to Sicily. I stayed in the Agrigento area in a little town called Ribera. It is in the south of Sicily and is home to just about 20,000 people. You can really feel the intimacy of the small town here, people started recognizing me on my second day there! By the end, the barista knew how I liked me coffee, and also my evening cocktail (cappuccino in the morning, Amaro del Capo at night). I used the website Wishsicily to find villas in Sicily, and was able to get a lovely one with a balcony in the central piazza. It was an enchanting week, and I recommend it to anyone who loves great food, southern Italian culture, small-town environments, stunning landscapes, turquoise waters and gorgeous beaches. What’s not to love?

Ribera is about 223 meters above sea level, but it is close to a lot of gorgeous beaches. For example, there are some white sand beaches at Sciacca, Seccagrade, Toree Salsa and the resort of Eraclea Minoa. Eraclea Minoa is quite stunning, it is set on a hill above massive cliffs made entirely of natural chalk. It is the remains of the ancient city of Eraclea Minoa, which was a Greek settlement. You can also check out the Greek Theatre ruins before heading down to the long sandy beach below.

Seccagrande by Jose Luiz CC BY 2.0

Speaking of chalk beaches, don’t miss Scala dei Turchi. It is about 30 minutes south of Araclea Minoa and 15 minutes north of Agrigento. It is a huge chalk cliff in the shape of stairs climbing out of the turquoise sea below. You can cover yourself with the chalky substance, which is an amazing exfoliant for your skin. As it dries you will turn as white as the cliffs themselves. Then just jump in the water below and rinse it off. As you walk out, you will feel totally rejuvenated. Sprawl out on the sandy beach in the Sicilian sun with a good book… and I promise you, nothing is better.

Scala dei turchi, Sicily, Italy

For a bit of culture, I went to the Church of Our Lady in Ribera. It was built back in the 17th century and is simply stunning. The town hall is also lovely, it was built in the 18th century and still used today. Just a short drive from the center is the Castello di Poggio Diana, an enchantingly beautiful castle built in the 14th century. All that is left are the old walls, which are kind of falling down, and two amazing towers. You can get up close and personal, like many ruins in Sicily. It was constructed by the Normans, but very well preserved over time. It was a very strategic location, about 200 meters above sea level.

The views from the castle of Poggio Diana are amazing. I visited it with a friend of mine, Sicilian, that I had met in Ribera. He took some of the best pictures of me ever. I think it was due to the stunning location, the lovely orange light of the “golden hour” which is what cinematographers call the hour before the sun goes down. You can sea the Mediterranean Sea in the background, and I look simply joyful. Well, I was. It was the best vacation of my life.

Castello_di_Poggiodiana by Markos90 CC BY 2.0

How To/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

Fall in Berlin- 5 Things to do

Fall was always a great time in Berlin for me. Being from California, I did not get to all types of weather. It was usually very warm, or slightly less warm, with the occasional bout of much needed rain. Living in a part of the world that experienced the full spectrum of weather, brought a new sense of wonder for me. The leaves were changing, the temperatures were dropping, and less and less people were out in the parks. Although there may seem like there is less to do, it is Berlin, and there is always something to get into while exploring the city.

1. A class of champagne at the KaDeWe

– Many of my expat friends resided in the former East of Berlin. When I would mention going to the KaDeWe, there would be a puzzled look on their faces, what is that? I love this place. I am not into the shopping aspect of it, as much as the people watching. Grab a glass of Moet from the bar, and enjoy watching the scores of families, shop for chocolate, cheese, and foreign food that can be found on the top floor of the mall. It can be a bit expensive for the average expat, but it is a nice little treat every now and then, especially on a Friday afternoon.

kadewe

2. The The Sony Center
movies

– The Sony Center offers the latest movies for people to check out in English and in German. I just liked the relax atmosphere, and the beer offered. The archetiture of The Sony Centeris beautiful. I always love to snap a photo while I am there.

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3. See some live shows

– Places such as the A-trane, and the Edelweiss(Tuesday’s Jam Session) are mainstays for me. It is always warm inside, and there is great jazz being played by Berlin local talent and sometimes guest stars from abroad. The Edelweissis casual, and in Kreuzberg, while the A-traneis for the mostly grown and sexy crowd in Charlottenburg.

das edelweiss

4. Laufen (Walk)

– It is true that the Germans love to walk, go out and get a glimpse of the changing leaves and some exercise as well. I love to walk over to the canal with some wine in my bag and a little blanket. In my neighborhood of Kreuzberg, there were always plenty of people out and about, and there are definitely some characters you can run into.

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5. Try a new bar

– Berlin is always filled with new bars. Some of my favorites are the soon to be closing Normal bar, and Fahimi’s which are both in Kreuzberg. fahimi bar
is a little on the expensive side, but has a great selection of music. The Normal bar
is kind of a regulars bar, but do not be intimidated upon entry, these folks that go there are awesome.

normalbar

*Bonus: Typically during this time, I am saving my ass off so I can attempt a vacation when it starts to really get cold. No shame in saving and staying indoors until you reach your goals.

Fall is a gorgeous time in Berlin, and I hope you are enjoying the cool weather, and the last bits of outdoor nightlife in Berlin. What do you do in the Fall while in Berlin?

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Breaking the Cocoon of Being Single 

Give and be Given the Best of Life.

Even though sometimes you feel lonely and frustrated, people around you think that everything’s fine with you. The problem is that they don’t realize you need a partner to share your life with. It’s high time you stopped hesitating, start breaking the cocoon of being single and feel as a complete human being.

A Person without a Partner is not a Complete Person

Human beings are conceived to live within a society and such society is sub-divided in micro-societies called families. In order to have a family you need a partner and, in some cases, the family does not have to be integrated by children as well, only your partner and you are more than enough. However, Breaking the Cocoon of being lone is not something easy, especially if you have been along for such a long time that now you have forgotten the enchantment of sharing and compromising. Don’t worry, we have all the tips for you to remember and put into practice everything you need to walk hand in hand in life.

Breaking the Cocoon of Being Single – There is More than Just Myself Out There

When you have been single for more time than recommended, you acquire certain habits that make it difficult to connect with someone again. Sometimes, people refuse to lose the comfort they have developed in the coziness of feeling the only human beings on earth, but that can be potentially harmful for mental wellbeing, so if you want to have a partner with who you can feel complete, you will need to discard such habits and begin to realize that there is a person on the other side that feels and needs things as you do. Some tips for you to start practicing are:

    Observe: pay attention to other people’s preferences, likes, dislikes, attitudes and so on, will help you understand and perceive the world around you with the people in it. This will make you look and sound as a more sensitive person.

    Listen: this skill is in high demand and is not that easy as it sounds. You have to listen to the other, react to what the persons says and wait for the answer to be finished until you continue talking. A good listener is definitely a good partner.

    Show Empathy: worrying for the people that form part of your environment is a vital part when you want to begin a new life with someone else beside you. Understanding and being able to put in the other person’s feet will make you an eligible partner.

    Compromise: this is an unavoidable advantage when you begin a life in which you have to concede to receive. Stop thinking that you are the center of the universe and try to make the people you love happy. There is no fullness without sacrificing part of your freedom and devote time and dedication to the other person.

All these tips will train you to lead the best kind of life when the right person reaches your life, since you are going to be accustomed to ask and wait for an answer and also to care about your mate and also to make decisions together, not only basing them on your personal likes.

Author byline: I’m the Co-Founder and Webmaster of several dating sites including Chicks For Dating. I started in the dating area in 2005, writing articles and press releases as freelancer and helping in the envisioning and development of international dating websites (most of them from Latin-America  and Europe), believing that technology can help soul-mates to find real love and long-term relationships. I enjoy my free time reading technology articles, walking and hearing music dreaming in new dating projects.
Follow in Twitter: @chicksfordating.com

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What’s with this black American dating crisis? -By Joy Outlaw

As an author whose work overlaps the Women’s Fiction category, I’m aware that the Interracial Romance genre has been a quite popular one for some time now, and interest is growing. If Barnes & Noble hadn’t changed its Fiction display so that you can no longer see Women’s Fiction, Afro American Fiction, Romance, etc., grouped separately, you’d more easily notice all those virile young black American women swirling with white/Latino men on many of those covers. (Not so many depictions of black women with, say, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, or African men—‘sup with that?) The idea has become quite public. And while I wouldn’t say that it’s mainstream, advertisers are all over the black girl white guy pair now in commercials and print ads.

What bothers me is all the statistics and negative labels that complement this steady flow of images, and the scarcity mentality that insists that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a black woman to find a suitable mate. I’m one of those weird mind-over-matter types who believes in the idea that what you think and expect are what you get. And I’m not convinced that Black Women are in dire straits or that we should allow a barrage of that kind of information to make us believe that. Why the heck would I, of all people, want to buy into that?
I recently checked out that movie Frustrated: Black American Men in Brazil (I know I was late to discover it, but it was insightful nonetheless.) It told the stories of dissatisfied black American men traveling to Brazil to escape “drama” with black American women and find love and/or sex. I immediately caught on to the sense of scarcity, doom and gloom conveyed by the elements of the film, even down to the relentless, pathetic piano music.
In a resulting blog post, I responded with this:


“Maybe with one more push we’ll just evaporate into thin air. We’re already so much more likely to be uneducated, uncultured, unemployed, poor, obese, sick, diseased and without good healthcare, imprisoned, financially illiterate, just generally illiterate, divorced or never married to begin with, the product of single parenthood, parenting single, or likely to become single parents eventually, on drugs, raised by somebody on drugs, robbed by somebody on drugs, shot by somebody selling drugs… Whatever the atrocity or misfortune, we are most likely to suffer it.
“We get a steady diet of statistics that prove our inferiority. And it’s not some grandstanding Klansman or Fox News anchor giving them to us. It’s CNN. It’s NPR. It’s W-something-something-something, your local news station. It’s our community leaders and folks who are on the front lines daily trying to help others get ahead. It’s our own brown-faced beauties, in whom we take so much pride, shoveling the Pitiful Black Folk statistics down our throats every day.”

 
And it’s all such B.S. As noted in that Clutch Mag Online article entitled “Is Europe the Single Black Woman’s Promised Land”

“For the past few years, the media has seemed to be on a campaign to convince African-American women we are the unhealthiest, least educated, most undesirable, and least likely to get married women on the planet. And while the numbers don’t bear this out (we are kicking ass in college, and by 35, 75 percent of sistas are married), the media keeps harping on our supposed crisis… To be clear, marriage rates are down for everyone.”


Need I also mention the recently populararticle
debunking the myth of the absentee black father? Says the writer,
“In fact, in its coverage of the study, the Los Angeles Times noted that the results ‘defy stereotypes about black fatherhood’ because the CDC found that black dads are more involved with their kids on a daily basis than dads from other racial groups.”

I’m a thirty-four-year-old, college-educated, black woman married to a brilliant and hard-working, black man. Other men that I dated in the past included, black Americans, West Africans, Caribbeans, and one white guy. I studied abroad in Tanzania during college, and while I did not date a Tanzanian man, there was plenty of romantic interest to go around among us all.
I’ve played the dating game. I’ve had bad experiences, from dishonesty to cheating to physical assault. But I’ve also had many experiences that I can only describe as blissful. An Individual’s dating life can contain myriad experiences. And Kimberly truly hit the nail on the head when she said in a February 2013 post: “Sometimes the reason you are single is your issue, not the men.” The same is sometimes true when you continually have problems with a partner.
I’ve come to learn that love has to be approached from a mindset of abundance and with a certain degree of detachment from our highly tailored (and sometimes petty) expectations, not from a scarcity mentality and a fear of being left without. I had to ask myself why I was choosing to believe that I was at the bottom of some proverbial dating barrel, as some vehemently claim black women are. I had to leave generalizations behind—the belief that “Italian men loooove them some black women” or that “all West Africans are hung”, for example.
My conclusion: If a lasting, loving relationship is what anyone wants, it will serve them well to be open to it wherever they might find it. Travel? Hell yeah—it’s one of the most enriching experiences you’ll ever have. But, be leery of any advice that paints with a broad brush, even if it comes with a sobering statistic or a promise of love-at-first-sight.

Joy Outlaw is an author and blogger at www.joyoutlaw.com
. Her debut novel, Pretty Little Mess: A Jane Luck Adventure can be found here.

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How To/ Uncategorized

Protect Your Data While on the Road

Planning a trip these days involves all of the ordinary things: booking reservations, checking into your flight via smartphone, and packing your favorite devices for your upcoming journey. These tools have become critical for not only a business traveler, but also the mere tourist as well. With so many devices at our disposal to make our lives easier, what can we do to protect them from prying eyes?

data_security

Unfortunately, most people think they are going to be safe with just a password and an antivirus program. These solutions are simply not enough in the ever-increasing world of data thieves and spies. The sad truth is that not only are you at risk from these hackers, but also various governments as well. As we all know from the Edward Snowden revelations, nobody is safe, even when it involves their country. So, what steps can you take to protect yourself from these potential snoopers? Let’s take a look.

“Lock the front door.”

Long gone are the days where a simple password can keep someone from accessing your laptop or smartphone. Even still, having a solid password is still the best way to protect your data and to give the thief the necessary challenge when it comes to accessing your data. Make sure you are using a password that is unique and full of special characters (numbers, symbols etc.), giving that extra layer of protection. An additional step you can take is to create passwords for individual folders (containing your most valuable files), which you can read more about here
.

Secure your Wi-Fi Connection

Let’s face it, we are all living in an age where Wi-Fi access is seemingly more important than a bathroom or any other basic need. When traveling, most people don’t have roaming data plans, so spotting an open Wi-Fi network can seem like a savior in certain situations. What you may not be thinking about right away is who the actual owner of the wireless network is. Whether it’s at a hotel in hotel in New York
or Chicago O’Hare International Airport
, fake hotspots created by hackers are becoming more and more common in heavy traffic areas. Make sure you always ask for the network’s exact name as well as making sure that there is some password or encryption (WEP or WPA security) on the network before connecting. Another thing that some people may forget is to disable file sharing on a network before connecting, as this makes also makes it harder for people to access your files.

Invest in a VPN service

Even with securing your data with passwords, firewalls, and a safe network connection, it is still possible for someone to hack your data. An extra step that you may consider taking is utilizing a VPN to encrypt your internet connection. A VPN would be most effective for a business traveler or someone who is traveling with lots of sensitive data on their device. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) operate like a “virtual wormhole”, establishing a tunnel connection between your device and a server. The data that you send and receive is all encrypted by this tunnel, protecting your data from any unwanted exposure. Most VPN services will cost between 5-10 dollars a month, but there are numerous trials and coupons available. To learn more about VPN’s and see a list of providers, check out bestvpn.com
.

laptop

So there you have it, three ways to protect your data while on the road. Whether you are a savvy business traveler or a post-college backpacker, data security is increasingly important in the digital age. Common pickpockets have evolved into even more dangerous hackers, capable of massive problems. While it’s important to remember that physically securing your devices are also critical for data protection, taking the above steps is the best solution to ensuring your data is secure.

Bio

Thomas Ujj is an expat/traveler and IT enthusiast with a passion for security and privacy. When he isn’t planning his next trip, he likes to take the time to practice his Italian cooking as well as religiously watching Italian football team AS Roma. Unfortunately, cooking and watching football games doesn’t always equal paychecks, so he writes for smartdns.com
 as well.

featured/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

Tourist Trip: London

Getting to London from Berlin is quite simple and cheap. If you are looking for short weekend, London is close and relatively inexpensive to get there. Once your there, the prices can be high, depending on where you stay.

There are a few transportation options, but I personally prefer to take a flight. You can find cheap flights through RyanAir or GermanWings. I normally check the website, Fluege.de
for cheaper flights, since they obviously specifically cater to the German market. Flights from the Schoenefeld airport are typically cheaper than those flying out of Tegel. They also offer direct flights.

My travel companion was my boyfriend. This is our third trip together, and I was excited. We started at the W, but due to some unintended consequences, we were moved to their sister hotel, Le Meridien. That place was a bit of a mess. We were in the Picadilly area, which was located near landmarks such as the Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. To say the place was expensive, was an understatement. I wish the quality of the food coincided with the prices that we paid for it. We were close to landmarks, so we managed to walk around and see what we can while enjoying the rare gorgeous weather we were having in London.

Walking around alone. I don't do too many full body selfies anymore.

Walking around alone. I don’t do too many full body selfies anymore.

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The boyfriend has to jet off for some business meetings, so I decided to meet an old friend of mine who just happened to be in London. We met each other which in summer school at University. He was on his own world tour, and graced me with his presence. We went off to Brixton for the day, and caught up on our respective lives. To my surprise, Brixton was a short train ride away. I have been to London a few times, but it was nice to be so centrally located to things I actually wanted to see this time around.

Brixton!!

Brixton!!

Ty and I. Remember this dude, he is  hilarious

Ty and I. Remember this dude, he is hilarious

Smoking at the park across the street.

Smoking at the park across the street.

I broke down and had meat. There were not so many good veggie options available.

I broke down and had meat. There were not so many good veggie options available.

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One of the pieces we saw while walking around

One of the pieces we saw while walking around

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The last few days was back with the boyfriend. We switched hotels to the Hyatts- Andaz that was located in the financial district. We had some breakfast and made a plan to see the British Museum. I heard they had a huge Egypt collection that I just had to see before we left. We also walked over to see big ben, or at least the clock in front of the bell that is actually big ben (thanks Max for that heads up). I donned my red coat again, which I feel makes me look like Carmen Sandiego (totally my outfit for this years Halloween). We managed to find some meatless food for me, and ended our time at London’s oldest Indian Restaurant- Veeraswamy. I had a good time overall, but dang, central London is expensive for a girl on a Berlin budget like me.

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The clock in front of big ben

The clock in front of big ben

Me trying to eat an American breakfast

Me trying to eat an American breakfast

The Gherkin as the Londoners call it.

The Gherkin as the Londoners call it.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Hmm Pancakes

Hmm Pancakes

Lion Goddess - Sekhmet

Lion Goddess – Sekhmet

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Me eating lunch

Me eating lunch

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Where in the world is Kimmy Sandiego

Where in the world is Kimmy Sandiego

This is the actual Carmen San Diego

This is the actual Carmen San Diego

featured/ Uncategorized

Tshirt, Tacos, Tunes

T­shirts Tacos Tunes returns, continuing it’s mission to up­cycle and customise your wardrobe. Reinvent previously purchased articles of clothing at Berlin’s one and only pop­up printing event! At T­shirts Tacos Tunes your doodles, paintings, photos, and found images can be printed onto t­shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, or denim jackets. For further up­cycling options,browse our look book to select limited edition images from local and international artists, or collaborate with guest artist Rosario Salerno to create a custom image during the event. The authentic flavors, spices, and seasonings of Peruvian cuisine will be presented by Chicha Cevicheria and Pisco Bar. In addition to savoury vegetarian options, Chicha will serve Ceviche (raw seafood marinated with lime, herbs, and spices) and custom cocktails. Chrijs (Chrijstøphe Måuberqué) will provide the perfect ambient soundtrack for a creative, chill summer’s day. T­shirts

Tacos Tunes will take place on Saturday, June 13th from 13:00 hr to 19:00 hr at
UNIKAT, located on Wesser str. 53.

T­shirts Tacos Tunes volume II is presented by Heroic Accents in collaboration with
UNIKAT.

Poster for Event-

Poster for Event-