Friday, March 30, 2012

World Destruction

This week's edition of Retro Friday features the band Time Zone, and the song "World Destruction."

I guess since I am reading the book "The Hunger Games" ... this song seemed appropriate this week!

The band Time Zone was an electro band in the 1980's headed by Afrika Bambaataa. Bambaataa worked with different musicians for each Time Zone project.

The first Time Zone single was the 1983 electro song "The Wildstyle" which featured music from a German project called Wunderwerke. Bambaataa was introduced to their music by Rusty Egan of Visage. The song became popular amongst breakdancers in the 80's.

In 1984, the Time Zone released their most well-known single, "World Destruction". A collaboration between Bambaataa, ex-Sex Pistol/Public Image Ltd. leader John Lydon, and producer/bassist Bill Laswell. Although this single did predate Run-DMC and Aerosmith's "Walk This Way", it is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the first rap-rock record. This, however, is inaccurate as Run-DMC had incorporated hard rock guitar into songs, most notably "Rock Box", well before "World Destruction".

The "World Destruction" single was arranged by Laswell after Lydon and Bambaataa had acknowledged respect for each others work:

Afrika Bambaataa said, "I was talking to Bill Laswell saying I need somebody who's really crazy, man, and he thought of John Lydon. I knew he was perfect because I'd seen this movie that he'd made (Copkiller), I knew about all the Sex Pistols and Public Image stuff, so we got together and we did a smashing crazy version, and a version where he cussed the Queen something terrible, which was never released."

John Lydon explained, "We went in, put a drum beat down on the machine and did the whole thing in about four-and-a-half hours. It was very, very quick." Bernie Worrell, Nicky Skopelitis, and Aïyb Dieng also played on the single, which was released by Celluloid Records in December of 1984. The track reached the #44 spot in the UK Singles Chart in February 1985.

"World Destruction" was also featured in the first episode of the fourth season of The Sopranos, "For All Debts Public and Private". The song played at the beginning of the episode as Tony gets his newspaper and again during the closing credits.

The interesting thing about this particular video for "World Destruction" is they have a Ronald Regan clip at the beginning ... the perfect iconic figure of the 80's.

And here it is, for your listening pleasure, "World Destruction" ... KABOOM!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sweet Sixteen

The Notre Dame Women's Basketball team are one step closer to achieving their goal of becoming National Champions this year, as they head to Raleigh, North Carolina on Sunday to face the Bonaventure Bonnies in the Sweet Sixteen round.

This is the third consecutive season and fourth time in five years that No. 4 Notre Dame will be playing on the second weekend of the NCAA Championship, as the top-seeded Fighting Irish prepare to take on fifth-seeded St. Bonaventure at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday in the semifinals of the NCAA Raleigh Regional.

Notre Dame (32-3) advanced to the Sweet 16 after a 73-62 victory over Cal on Tuesday night at Purcell Pavilion. The Fighting Irish broke away from the Bears by opening the second half on a 23-6 run and Cal never got closer than nine points during the remainder of the game.

Senior guard Natalie Novosel scored a game-high 28 points (including an NCAA tournament record 18-of-20 from the foul line), and junior guard Skylar Diggins added 21 points for Notre Dame.

This year's Notre Dame Women's Basketball squad has earned its second BIG EAST title, and first outright championship (first in any league since the 1995 Midwestern Collegiate Conference/Horizon League crown).

The Lady Irish appear in the top 15 of 10 different NCAA statistical categories, including seven top-10 appearances (as of Thursday). The Fighting Irish rank second in scoring offense (79.2 ppg.), while placing third in scoring margin (+27.1 ppg.) and steals (13.1 spg.), fourth in field goal percentage (.471) and assists (18.0 apg.), fifth in turnover margin (+6.74), eighth in scoring defense (52.1 ppg.), 11th in assist/turnover ratio (1.12), 12th in rebounding margin (+9.0 rpg.) and 14th in free throw percentage (.764).

The Notre Dame Women are 12-2 against Top 25 opponents this season (8-2 away from home), including five victories in seven outings against teams in the top 10. The 12 wins over ranked opponents is a school record for an entire season (2000-01), let alone in the regular season (previous was seven in 2003-04 and 2004-05).

The Lady Irish are just the second school ever to defeat both Connecticut and Tennessee in consecutive seasons, matching the feat first pulled off by North Carolina in 2005-06 and 2006-07.

Notre Dame is the first school to win three consecutive series games against Connecticut since North Carolina (2004-07) and Tennessee (2005-07), and the first BIG EAST program to do so since Miami (1992-93).

Nine of the 12 Lady Irish victories against Top 25 opponents this season have been by double digits, including four by at least 25 points -- notably a 30-point win at No. 13/14 Rutgers on Jan. 31 (Notre Dame's largest margin of victory ever on the road at a ranked opponent) and a 28-point win over No. 7/9 Tennessee on Jan. 23 (the largest margin of victory ever and fewest points ever allowed by Notre Dame against a top-10 team).

Impressively, the Notre Dame Women's Basketball team has posted back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time in school history while reaching that mark for the fourth time in school history (31-7 in 1996-97; 34-2 in 2000-01; 31-8 in 2010-11). The Fighting Irish also notched their 30th win prior to the NCAA Championship for the first time ever.

Of the 32 Fighting Irish wins this season, 21 have come by 20+ points, and a school record-tying 12 by at least 30 points. In 26 victories this year, Notre Dame has held its opponent to 60 points or fewer, with a school-record 18 when the opponent had 50 points or fewer (and a school-record six of 40 or fewer).

Notre Dame is currently ranked No. 4 in the latest Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls, marking the 19th consecutive week the Fighting Irish appeared in the top five of both major national polls. That's the longest uninterrupted streak of consensus top-five poll appearances in school history, topping the previous standard set during the final 18 weeks of the 2000-01 season (Notre Dame was sixth in the preseason AP poll that year).

More on this Sunday's game ... The Notre Dame-St. Bonaventure match up on Sunday will be their first ever meeting.

Bonaventure will be the sixth first-time opponents on this year's Notre Dame schedule. The Fighting Irish opened the season with win over new foes Akron (81-61), Indiana State (99-34) and Hartford (98-43) in the first three rounds of the Preseason WNIT, before ousting Longwood (92-26) on Dec. 28 and winning at Mercer (128-42) on Dec. 30.

The Bonnies are the 193rd different opponent in the 35-year history of Notre Dame women's basketball.

The Lady Irish are 51-7 (.879) against first-time opponents since joining the BIG EAST Conference in 1995-96, including a 31-3 (.912) mark vs. new teams since the start of the 2000-01 season.

In the past 11 years, the Lady Irish are 10-3 (.769) when playing a first-time opponent away from home, with a 6-0 record at neutral sites (3-0 in the NCAA Championship, most recently taking a 62-59 win over California in the first round of the 2007 tournament at Pittsburgh, Pa.).

Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw and St. Bonaventure head coach Jim Crowley are two of the four finalists for the 2012 Naismith Coach of the Year award. It's the fifth time McGraw has been a finalist for the honor, while Crowley is a first-time finalist.

The Notre Dame Women are 52-5 (.912) all-time against New York-based teams, including a 25-5 (.833) record away from home and wins in 10 of their last 11 games overall (only loss a 76-71 setback at St. John's on Feb. 16, 2010).

The Fighting Irish are facing their third New York school this season, having already earned victories on the road at St. John's (71-56 on Jan. 28) and Syracuse (74-55 on Feb. 7).

Coincidentally, St. John's and Syracuse account for all five New York wins over Notre Dame (three for the Red Storm, two for the Orange -- four road, one neutral site).

Here are some Lady Irish Big Dance notables ...Each of Notre Dame's 19 NCAA tournament appearances have come during the tenure of 25th-year head coach Muffet McGraw.

Counting this year's win over Liberty, the Fighting Irish now have won their NCAA tournament opener in 15 of the past 17 seasons, dating back to the start of their membership in the BIG EAST Conference (1995-96 to present).

The Notre Dame Women are one of seven schools in the country to have advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 10 times in the past 16 years (1997-2012).

The Lady Irish are one of 11 schools to make three trips to the NCAA Women's Final Four and come away with at least one national championship, going to the semifinals in 1997, the title game in 2011, and winning it all in 2001. Of the others in this elite club, seven were selected for this year's tournament -- Notre Dame, Connecticut, Maryland, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee and Texas (all but Purdue and Texas have advanced to the Sweet 16).

Including this year's two victories, Notre Dame is 10-2 (.833) all-time in NCAA tournament play at Purcell Pavilion. Between first-round losses to Minnesota in 1994 and 2009, the Fighting Irish won six consecutive NCAA tourney games at home, and they have reached the Sweet 16 five times from Purcell Pavilion (2000, 2001, 2004, 2010, 2012).

The Lady Irish's success in the NCAA Championship can be directly traced to its performance at the defensive end of the floor. In its 19 NCAA tournament trips (50 games), the Fighting Irish are 19-2 (.905) when holding their opponent to 60 points or fewer, adding to that mark with a 74-43 victory over Liberty in their first-round game on March 18 at Purcell Pavilion.

And a few final tidbits about the Lady Irish and their traditions ... or superstitions if you will have it!

The Notre Dame women's basketball program has developed some traditions that should be quite evident during this weekend's NCAA Raleigh Regional games at PNC Arena:

Green nails -- each of the Lady Irish players and female coaches wear green nail polish throughout the NCAA Championship. This tradition started during the 1997 tourney, when the Fighting Irish added the green polish to their fingers prior to their second-round St. Patrick's Day game at Texas, which Notre Dame won 86-83. The Fighting Irish ended up going to their first NCAA Final Four that season and the green nail polish was here to stay. As a show of solidarity, the male members of the travel party usually paint their left pinky green, and some (including associate head coach Jonathan Tsipis) have even gone so far as to shave their heads for the tournament.

Green uniforms -- though not limited exclusively to NCAA tournament play, Notre Dame's distinctive kelly green road uniforms have become a staple of the postseason in keeping with the St. Patrick's Day holiday, which often falls during the early rounds of the tournament (and came this year on the day before Notre Dame took the floor for its first-round game against Liberty). The Fighting Irish most recently wore the alternate green road threads in the NCAA Championship for last year's national championship game against Texas A&M (a 76-70 loss) -- Notre Dame is 8-8 (.500) all-time in the NCAA tournament when featuring the "wearing o' the green." The Fighting Irish also have broken out their alternate home whites with green trim for early-round games the past five seasons, posting a 7-1 (.875) record in those uniforms (2008 - a 75-62 win over SMU in West Lafayette, Ind.; 2009 - a 79-71 home loss to Minnesota; 2010 - an 86-58 home win over Cleveland State and 84-66 home win over Vermont; 2011 - a 67-54 win at Utah and 77-64 win over Temple in Salt Lake City; 2012 - a 74-43 win at home over Liberty and 73-62 home win over California), the first time they have been worn in NCAA tournament play.

Irish jig -- this unique pre-game ritual has become one of the widely-recognized traditions of Notre Dame women's basketball. Just prior to the introduction of the starting lineups, the Fighting Irish players will circle up in the lane with a basketball at their feet. As the Notre Dame pep band plays, the team will perform the Irish Jig (a popular step with Notre Dame fans, especially the student body) with the ball bouncing around in the midst of their dance. This tradition is believed to have started during the 1999-2000 season, but picked up steam during Notre Dame's 2000-01 national championship run and has been part of the Fighting Irish pre-game ritual ever since.

And finally, The Lime Green Shirts -- The ever-present lime green t-shirts you might see many Notre Dame fans wearing around Raleigh this week are given out annually to Fighting Irish women's basketball season ticket holders, a group affectionately known as the "Spirit Patrol". Created by coordinator of basketball operations Stephanie Menio, the shirts are based on one of head coach Muffet McGraw's favorite colors, which she sported on the sidelines during the 2001 national championship game win over Purdue.

A Few Statistical Notes ...
Notre Dame ranks among the top 15 in the nation in four NCAA defensive statistical categories -- steals (third at 13.1 spg.), turnover margin (fifth at +6.74), scoring defense (eighth at 52.1 ppg.) and rebound margin (12th at +9.0 rpg.).

The Fighting Irish have held 26 opponents to 60 points or fewer, with a school-record 18 failing to score more than 50 points against Notre Dame -- last year's Fighting Irish squad had 14 games in which it allowed 50 points or fewer.

Notre Dame has been in the taking mood this year, forcing its opponents into at least 20 turnovers in 21 games thus far, with Fighting Irish foes averaging 22.8 giveaways per game, and Notre Dame chalking up a +6.74 turnover margin that is fifth-best in the nation (as of Thursday).

The Lady Irish come into Sunday's game ranked third in the nation in steals with 13.1 thefts per game. The Fighting Irish also have recorded double-digit steals in 26 games this season, including three contests with 20-plus steals.

In the past two years (74 games), the Fighting Irish have had eight 23-steal games, with five outings of at least 25 thefts, and they have earned the last two BIG EAST steals crowns with 11.8 spg. (2010-11) and 11.4 spg. (2011-12) during regular-season league play.

The Lady Irish have 10 different players with double-digit steals this season (including three with at least 70 thefts for the second consecutive year), led by junior guard Skylar Diggins, who is averaging a BIG EAST-best 2.6 steals per game, and fifth-year senior guard/tri-captain Brittany Mallory, who is tied for seventh at 2.1 spg.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Fighting Irish are fourth in the nation (second in the BIG EAST) at 18.0 assists per game, including a season-high 33 assists against Pittsburgh on Jan. 17 (one of 14 games with 20-or-more assists this year, including seven with 25 assists).

Individually, junior guard Skylar Diggins is 16th in the nation in assists (BIG EAST-best 5.7 apg.) and 15th in the country with a 2.12 assist/turnover ratio (also tops in the conference).

What's more, Notre Dame has assisted on 62.8 percent of its field goals this season (630 of 1,003), compared to last year when the Fighting Irish registered assists on 60.9 percent of their baskets (669 of 1,099), with 16 games of at least 20 assists.

The Notre Dame Women's Basketball team has benefited from an experienced lineup this season, using the same starting five (guards Skylar Diggins, Brittany Mallory, Kayla McBride and Natalie Novosel, and forward Devereaux Peters) for all but three games this year (Dec. 30 at Mercer, when senior guard and Atlanta-area native Fraderica Miller earned the nod in her homecoming game; Jan. 7 vs. No. 2 Connecticut; Feb. 25 vs. USF, when Miller again started for Senior Day).

Collectively, the current Notre Dame lineup has started 369 games in their careers (Diggins-103, Novosel-78, Peters-77, Mallory-75, McBride-36). That total also impressively includes 37 NCAA Championship starts between the group (Diggins-11, Mallory-8, Novosel-8, Peters-8, McBride-2).

The Lady Irish have also made steady improvement on the glass during the 2011-2012 season. In their last 29 games, the Fighting Irish are averaging 41.6 rebounds a night, with an average +10.9 rpg. margin. Furthermore, Notre Dame has grabbed at least 40 rebounds 21 times in the past 29 games after not reaching that mark once in its opening six contests.

The Lady Irish's improvements on the glass have never been more apparent than in the first two rounds of this year's NCAA Championship, when the Fighting Irish faced two of the nation's top three teams (in terms of rebounding margin). Liberty came into its first-round matchup with Notre Dame owning a national-best +16.4 rpg. margin, but the Fighting Irish posted a 38-29 edge on the boards. Two days later, Cal had the country's No. 3 rebounding margin figure (+13.1 rpg.), but the Fighting Irish again won the battle on the glass by a 40-35 count. In both cases, it was just the second time all season the Lady Flames and Golden Bears had not finished on the positive side of the rebounding ledger.

According to Thursday's NCAA statistics report, Notre Dame ranks 12th in the country in rebounding margin (+9.0 rpg.) this year.

Peeking ahead to the next game ... NCAA Regional Final
Should Notre Dame defeat St. Bonaventure in Sunday's NCAA Raleigh Regional semifinals, the Fighting Irish would advance to the Raleigh Regional final at 9 p.m. (ET) Tuesday against either second-seeded Maryland or third-seeded Texas A&M at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. -- ESPN will televise the game live to a national cable audience.

Notre Dame is 1-4 all-time against Maryland, last facing the Terrapins on Nov. 16, 2007 (a 75-59 UM victory in the Preseason WNIT semifinals at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md.).

The Fighting Irish are 0-2 all-time against Texas A&M, including a 76-70 loss to the Aggies in last year's NCAA national championship game (April 5, 2011, at Conseco (now Bankers Life) Fieldhouse in Indianapolis).

Good luck ladies ... and GO IRISH!!!!!!!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Birdhouse In Your Soul

This week's edition of Retro Friday features the band They Might Be Giants, and the song "Birdhouse in Your Soul."

They Might Be Giants may very well be one of my all time favorite Retro Bands from the 80's and 90's. They are such a happy-go-lucky, feel good band. You just can't help but smile when you hear one of their songs!

They Might Be Giants is an American alternative rock band formed in 1982 by John Flansburgh and John Linnell. During the band's early years Flansburgh and Linnell were frequently accompanied by a drum machine. In the early 1990s, They Might Be Giants became a full band. Currently, the members of They Might Be Giants include Flansburgh, Linnell, Marty Beller, Dan Miller, and Danny Weinkauf. They are best known for an unconventional and experimental style of alternative music. Over their career, the group has found success on the modern rock charts.

Flansburgh and Linnell released their self-titled debut album in 1986, which became a college radio hit. The video for "Don't Let's Start", filmed in the New York State Pavilion built for the 1964 New York World's Fair in Queens, became a hit on MTV, earning them an even broader following. In 1988, they released their second album, Lincoln, named after the duo's hometown. It featured the song "Ana Ng" which reached #11 on the US Modern Rock chart.

In 1989, They Might Be Giants signed with Elektra Records, and released their third album Flood in 1990. Flood earned them a gold album, largely thanks to the success of "Birdhouse in Your Soul" which reached number three on the US Modern Rock chart, as well as "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)".

While the band then went on to release countless albums, and achieve much success with their music, "Birdhouse in Your Soul" is one of my all time favorite They Might Be Giants songs.

"Birdhouse in Your Soul" was released in March 1990 as a single from the album Flood. It reached #3 on the United States Modern Rock Tracks chart and #6 on the UK Singles Chart and remains their highest-charting single in both countries. The song returned to the UK Singles Chart again in 2010, after its use in a television advert for Clarks Shoes, peaking at #70. The song is sung from the perspective of a nightlight.

The song "Birdhouse in Your Soul" tells the story, in They Might Be Giants very own abstract style, of a nightlight with the appearance of a blue canary, from the point of view of the nightlight itself. The summation of its opening statements ("I'm your only friend; I'm not your only friend, but I'm a little glowing friend, but really I'm not actually your friend; but I am") reveals that while it is not really a friend in the traditional sense of the word, its job as a nocturnal protector of its owner (the listener) makes it their only friend while they sleep. It tells the listener to make a birdhouse (being a safe place for something small and vulnerable) for the light it creates in their mind and soul.

The nightlight then goes on to proclaim its identity ("my name is 'blue canary;' one note, spelled 'L-I-T-E'"), and that it will always serve its intended purpose to the listener and their room. It references a picture in the room of a lighthouse ("There's a picture opposite me of my primitive ancestry, which stood on rocky shores and kept the beaches shipwreck-free"), and explains that while it respects the lighthouse's job, it would never be able to perform that job and references Greek mythology ("Though I respect that a lot, I'd be fired if that were my job, after killing Jason off and countless screaming Argonauts"). It is plain and simple, just a "guardian angel" for its friend and owner.

As the song fades, the line "while you're at it, leave the night-lite on inside the birdhouse in your soul" echoes the chorus, reinforcing it's point and telling the listener to keep all the good things that provide light in their soul protected.

I absolutely adore this song. It really speaks to me, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! And here it is, for your listening pleasure, "Birdhouse in Your Soul."


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Notre Dame Startup Weekend

Startup weekends. You have seen them pop up all over the country. And seeing that I come from a family that brought to life their very own "startup" company, it is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. Then throw in the fact that this particular startup weekend is being held in the brand new "Innovation Park" at my alma mater, I thought I'd take a moment to share the good news with you!

Startup Weekend is coming to Notre Dame the weekend of April 13-15, 2012. What is a "Startup Weekend" you ask? Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups!

Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on events where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages and experience levels can find out if their startup ideas are viable. Not only do entrepreneurs attend these startup weekends, but also people who do not necessarily have an idea themselves, but have the skills that could help a budding entrepreneur achieve their goals. Typically, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.

The weekend begins with open mic pitches on Friday, where attendees are encouraged to bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Then, over the course of Saturday and Sunday, the teams design and develop business plans while constantly streamlining their startup vision. On Sunday evening teams demonstrate their prototypes, listen to judges’ feedback and in most cities, prizes are awarded.

Startup Weekends are specifically designed for entrepreneurs interested in receiving feedback on an idea, looking for a co-founder, or who want to learn a new skill. Any and all are welcome to attend and test the entrepreneurial waters. Startup Weekends are risk-free environments where everyone is expected to roll up their sleeves and dive into the exhilarating world of startups.

Notre Dame's upcoming "Startup Weekend" will feature the following entrepreneurs & community leaders as speakers throughout the weekend: David Murphy, former President and CEO of Better World Books, and Chris Stevens, Vice President Corporate Relations, Keurig Inc. The judge’s panel is made up of Tim Braun, Elevate Ventures, and Dave Brenner, Innovation Park President and CEO. Mentors include Jeffrey Bernel, Director Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Joe Queenan, Treasurer of FISH, a social venture incubator, Wendy Angst, former CEO of CapMed, and Karen Deak, Master of Science in Patent Law Program, Director.

If you feel that this is something you are interested in ... either as a participant, or as a business mentor ... please visit their web site to register or get more information!

Here are a couple of videos two, that may help you wrap you brain around the concept of Startup Weekend!

Entrepreneurs Meet Here... at Startup Weekend! by Switch Video

Startup Weekend: Marc Nager, CEO & Co-Director

I'd also like to share a little bit about "Innovation Park Notre Dame" which is where this wonderful event is being held. Innovation Park Notre Dame was established to advance the University's research mission: to CONNECT aspiring innovators with Notre Dame faculty, students and resources; to COLLABORATE with industry experts; and support entrepreneurs to COMMERCIALIZE their venture.

Innovation Park's 12-acre campus is located across the street from the University of Notre Dame. The Park's state-of-the-art facility boasts 55,000 square feet of collaborative space that promotes creativity. Engage your ideas at Innovation Park.

Innovation Park's campus includes the following:
(Facility descriptions from

The Greenhouse
A business hothouse, only cooler — Picture eating a pizza while picking the great business minds of today. It's the space and technology you need to connect and collaborate with business advisors and market experts.

Private offices
Custom-built private offices — For more established companies who require private space for their employees and business activities, look no further than Innovation Park at Notre Dame.

Conference rooms
Well-equipped meeting spaces — Based on availability, the Park's meeting rooms are available for public rental or business meetings and events.
The ON Center, powered by Konica Minolta

The ON Center, powered by Konica Minolta
A business resource — Discover Konica Minolta's award-winning product lines and digital presses. The flexibility of options including quick print, centralized reproduction, commercial print equipment, and in-house expertise ensure you receive high quality yet cost-effective printing suited to your project need. Other services include document management strategies, high volume color critical products, and end-to-end services including design, production and delivery.

Laboratory space
Secure wet and dry laboratory space — We can customize specialized space for clients who need it, including the use of water, direct ventilation and specialized pipe utilities. Private offices can be built in tandem with laboratory space if required.

Shared analytical laboratory
847-square-foot wet lab — Innovation Park provides a comprehensive suite of state-of-the-art instrumentation enabling a unique opportunity to prepare, store and analyze sensitive research samples... all in one exceptional space that is virtually unmatched in the region. In addition to the Park's equipment, IPND can offer facilitated access to a full range of mass spectrometry testing and analysis on the campus of the University of Notre Dame - with the expertise to assist with data interpretation, and Title 21 CFR part 11 compliant systems.

Fisher Coachworks Café
Don't forget the caffeine — If you're looking for a more casual spot to engage with colleagues and market experts, this is the place. The café's 47-inch LCD screen provides visitors with updates on the day's business news, weather and key Park happenings. A surface table for playing checkers or music, and bar stools, bistro tables and other comfortable furnishings make this an ideal place for unwinding.

Third floor balcony
The outdoors with benefits — You and your laptop are invited to work outside and experience some of the best views of the Notre Dame campus. And it's no secret - the balcony can be rented for tailgating parties. Complete with an outdoor grille, tables, chairs and festive lights, the patio adjoins to an interior space of movable furniture and a large drop-down screen for full game day coverage. A spacious catering kitchen allows you to store items and refrigerate. Impress, entertain and enjoy.

Eddy Street Commons
Time for a break? — Innovation Park is within walking distance to Eddy Street Commons — complete with shops, restaurants and a pub. Take your meeting off site and share a meal, have a drink, and think commercialization.

As you can see, Innovation Park is the perfect facility to house such an event as Startup Weekend. Where better to inspire and develop future entrepreneurs, than a place which is already a hot bed of entrepreneurial activity.

If you have any further questions, either leave a comment here on my blog, or you can contact them directly through their website!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tidy Boxes

How do you find closure when there is none?

If you read my blog, you pretty much already know that I am a glass half full kinda girl. But every so often, I do encounter somewhat of a hiccup. And yesterday, I was having such a day. My question to my Twitter followers was ... "How do you find closure when there is none?"

I know that life is not always a bunch of tidy little boxes, that you can open when you need them, and close when you are done with them, and neatly return them to the shelf. Some time boxes remain partially open, and we can't figure out how to close them and return them to their shelf, even though we so desperately want to.

These sorts of situations can be thrust upon us by many reasons ... an untimely death, a break-up, a disagreement, a loss of a job ... the list is endless.

The answers that I received from my Twitter "Tweeps" were very insightful, and though I still have no neat and tidy way to reach the closure that I need, I still find great comfort in knowing that I am not alone on this journey.

Here are some of their helpful words of wisdom.

... I don't now the answer to that one. Working on this one: What do you do when you find it but don't want to accept it?

... Acceptance of situation regardless of whether justification exists. and it is not always fun.

... The truth will find you in the shade of the sun.

... There is no closure. Ever. There is acceptance to an extent.

... You make it (closure) happen.

... You make it happen yourself? In my experience closure doesn't happen naturally, more a frame of mind and decision to let go.

I may have not achieved the closure that I am looking for, but I do know that I am well on my journey, and I know that I will eventually get there. Even if it is not easy. Even if I don't want it. I know it is out there for me to take.

I hope you are having fun on your journey, because that's what it's all about, isn't it?

Be sure to stop and smell the flowers on this first day of spring, and enjoy whatever the journey brings your way!


Friday, March 16, 2012


This week's edition of Retro Friday features the band Yaz, and the song "Situation."

The band Yazoo (known as Yaz in the United States) is a British synthpop duo from Basildon, Essex. Formed in late 1981 by former Depeche Mode songwriter Vince Clarke on synthesizer, and Alison Moyet on vocals, Yazoo was signed to Mute Records in the United Kingdom and as "Yaz" to Sire Records in the United States.

Yazoo's debut single "Only You," followed by the hit "Situation", was released on 15 March 1982 and rose to number two in the UK charts. Yazoo released two successful studio albums, Upstairs at Eric's in 1982 and You and Me Both in 1983. Shortly after their second album, Moyet and Clarke decided to break up. Moyet pursued a solo career while Clarke went on to form Erasure, another synth pop duo. Yazoo reunited in 2008 with a tour in Europe and the United States, accompanied by the release of a four-disc box set.

The band's songs have appeared in a number of films and television shows. In 1988, "In My Room", "Ode to Boy", and "Only You" were used in the film The Chocolate War (the adaption of the book of the same title). "Only You" was used in the film Napoleon Dynamite, the BBC television series The Office, and the film Can't Hardly Wait; a cover version of "Only You" by Joshua Radin was used in 2007 in a J. C. Penney commercial; "Don't Go" appeared in the BBC series I'm Alan Partridge and was used in the film Tango and Cash. The song "Situation" was used in the 1990 TV movie Exile and was also used in a Nintendo commercial highlighting the classic edition of the Game Boy Advance SP and the classic NES games ported to it. In 2007, "Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)" was used in The Sarah Silverman Program episode "Not Without My Daughter".

Their music has a definite 80's, "synth pop" flare to it, and you can absolutely see how their sound morphed into Erasure. Yaz had several excellent songs, but the one I have chosen to highlight today is "Situation."

"Situation" was released as a single in the U.S., and the song peaked at number 73 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. However, it became Yazoo's first song to top the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in the late summer of 1982, and it remained in the top spot on this chart for four weeks, and even crossed over to the R&B chart, peaking at #31 there. The song features a memorable synthesizer hook by Vince Clarke (similar to the work he had done with his previous band, Depeche Mode) combined with the vocals by Alison Moyet (including her signature laughter at the beginning of the track, which has since been sampled in countless other songs including the international dance hit "Macarena").

And now for your listening pleasure ... "Situation"


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Big East Madness

The last week has been such I whirlwind, I'm still trying to catch my breath and process what just happened. Not only did I win brand new, 2012 Volvo S60, but I got an amazing trip to New York City for sight seeing and the Big East Tournament, AND got to accept my Volvo keys on center court at Madison Square Garden. Truly a dream come true!

Now that I've been home for a couple of days, I thought I'd share a few photos with you from my trip!

Here I am, being interviewed by the video crew on Friday afternoon before the Notre Dame vs. Louisville game.

Us on the American Eagle billboard in Times Square.

From the top of the Empire State Building on Saturday morning.

My new Volvo S60 on display at Madison Square Garden!

The Volvo/Big East video guys fixing my sound box!

Down on center court at Madison Square Garden with the CEO of Volvo

On the big screen at Madison Square Garden!!

It still totally feels like a dream ... like it didn't happen. But I guess as they say, I'm living the dream!

And here are a few pics from our adventures on Sunday!

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Details at Grand Central Station

Columbus Circle

Central Park

And as soon as I get more info on the car, I'll be sure to share with you all!

I'd also love to give a big THANK YOU to last year's winner Steve Springer, and his Father, Charles! They contacted me this past weekend to say Congratulations, and gave me a shout out on their blog! THANKS!

Check it out ... U of L Card Game


Friday, March 9, 2012

No Sleep Til Brooklyn

This week's edition of Retro Friday ... in honor of my trip to Madison Square Garden this weekend for the Big East Tournament Championship game ... features the song "No Sleep Til Brooklyn," by the Beastie Boys.

I know that I did the Beastie Boys last week, but I figured this song was the perfect combination of 80's retro, and I'M GOING TO NEW YORK CITY THIS WEEKEND.

"No Sleep till Brooklyn" is a song by Beastie Boys, and was the sixth single on their debut studio album Licensed to Ill. The name of the song is a play on Motörhead's "No Sleep 'til Hammersmith" album.

The guitar riffs and solo are played by Slayer guitarist Kerry King. The song blends in the song "T.N.T." by AC/DC (though tuned in a different way). The video, directed by Ric Menello, is a parody of glam metal.

The song is still performed live, although with lyrics altered to reflect their more mature attitude towards women. "M.C.A.'s in the back because he's skeezin' with a whore," is changed to "M.C.A.'s in the back at the Mahjong hall", and also from "Autographed pictures and classy hoes" to "Autographed pictures to nobody knows."

And without further ado, here is "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" for your listening pleasure!

Cheers! & GO IRISH

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

And The Winner Is!

It has been 24-hours since the "Biggest Fan of the Big East" contest winner was announced, and I am still in shock. I knew that when I made the Final Four on Monday, that I at least had a 25% chance of winning this ... but did I really think I was going to win this? I don't know. All I do know, is that I was definitely talking myself out of the fact that I may actually win this thing, so that I wouldn't be totally crushed when Miggy took the prize!

So when the e-mail came yesterday, I was in my car driving home, and didn't even SEE it! I got a text from one of my fellow contestants which read "YOU WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and I seriously thought they were yanking my chain!

I quickly went and checked my e-mail ... and oh my gosh, there it was ... and the Volvo goes to Lisa from Notre Dame.

Wow. I literally cried. That was the best e-mail that I have received in a very long time!

So this is where it all started ...

And it's going to end here ... with me at the Big East Tournament Championship game, receiving the keys to my new Volvo on Center Court. Wow.

I simply cannot thank Volvo Cars US and the Big East Conference enough, for inviting me to take part in this wonderful journey, and for choosing me as the "Biggest Fan of the Big East." This is something that I will truly, never forget!

Okay ... stay tuned for the next blog post, documenting my trip to THE GARDEN for the Big East Tournament Championship game. I am so excited, I can hardly stand it!

Thank you again, to all of my loyal readers/followers for helping make my dream come true. I could not have done it without each and every one of you!

And here's to me hoping that my Irish are IN the Championship game!!

Cheers! & GO IRISH!!

Monday, March 5, 2012


I could not possibly be any happier than I am right now. Well, that is not totally true, but I am pretty darn happy right now. I found out today that I made the Final Four, in the "Biggest Fan of the Big East" contest, and I am just giddy with excitement. Not only did I do my absolute best to represent my school (my Alma Mater) and my team, but I was the only girl to make the Final Four, and I am pretty proud of that!

So as I bask in the glow of this victory, I would like to once again say a few thank yous! A BIG THANK YOU goes out to Volvo and the Big East Conference for inviting me to participate in this competition. It truly has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have made some great friends in my fellow contestants, met some fantastic people promoting this along the way, and got to see a game at my Alma Mater that is my new all-time BEST in-person Notre Dame game, and I can't thank them enough!

I'd also like to thank all of my social media followers on Facebook and Twitter, as well as my friends and family, for putting up with me spamming their lives with #VolvoBigEastFan hash tags over, and over, and OVER again. Thank you to you all for putting up with my Big East/Notre Dame obsession, and cheering me along the whole way!

And thank you to all of the wonderful folks at the University of Notre Dame for being 100% supportive of me, and always having my back when I needed them. They were absolutely amazing. I simply cannot thank you enough.

So I'm going to bask in my Final Four glow tonight, and win or lose tomorrow, this has been an experience I will NEVER forget!

I'm chilling tonight ... in my own little "Paradise." Cheers to you and yours!


When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach so
She ran away in her sleep
and dreamed of Paradise

Every time she closed her eyes

When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach
and the bullets catch in her teeth
Life goes on, it gets so heavy

The wheel breaks the butterfly
Every tear a waterfall
In the night the stormy night she'll close her eyes

In the night the stormy night away she'd fly

And so lying underneath those stormy skies
She'd say, "oh, ohohohoh I know the sun must set to rise"


Friday, March 2, 2012

Fight For Your Right

This week's edition of Retro Friday features a fun Friday song by the Beastie Boys, "Fight For Your Right."

I love the Beastie Boys. They are a big part of some great memories in my life, and now I've even exposed my teenage kids to the Beastie Boys, and they love them as well!

The Beastie Boys are an American hip hop trio from Brooklyn, New York. The group consists of Mike D (Michael Diamond) on vocals and drums, MCA (Adam Yauch) on vocals and bass, and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz) on vocals and guitar.

The Beastie Boys began as hardcore punk band in 1979, first appearing on the compilation cassette New York Thrash, before they released their first EP, Polly Wog Stew, in 1982. After achieving a fair amount of local success with the 1983 release of their experimental hip hop 12" Cooky Puss, they made the transition to hip hop in 1984. This transition was then followed by a string of successful 12" singles, and then in 1986 they released their debut album Licensed to Ill, which was welcomed with international critical acclaim and commercial success. As of 2010, they have sold 22 million albums in the United States and 40 million albums worldwide.

(Dude ... and check out the Claddagh Ring in this pic!!)

They are one of the longest lived hip hop acts worldwide and continue to enjoy success in 2011, nearly 25 years after the release of their debut album. The group has been selected as part of the 2012 induction class into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after being eligible since 2007. In 2009, the group released a digitally remastered deluxe edition of several of their albums including: Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty. Their eighth studio album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, was released on May 3, 2011, and has also received positive reviews.

One of my favorite Beastie Boys songs, although there are many, is Fight For Your Right. Can you think of a better party anthem than this?

"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)" was released as the fourth single off their debut album Licensed to Ill, in 1986. It is one of their best-known songs, and it reached #7 on the Billboard 100, and was later named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The Beastie Boys also included this ever popular track on their hits album, The Sounds of Science in 1999, and Solid Gold Hits in 2005.

Ironically, the song was written by band friend Tom "Tommy Triphammer" Cushman (who appears in the video), and it was intended to be a parody of party and attitude songs, such as "Smokin' in the Boys Room" and "I Wanna Rock". However, the intended irony was lost on most listeners. Mike D commented that, "The only thing that upsets me is that we might have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different. There were tons of guys singing along to 'Fight for Your Right' who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them."

The music video is definitely a memorable piece of the 1980's as well! Many elements of the music video for "Fight for Your Right" appear to be influenced from George A. Romero's zombie horror movie "Dawn of the Dead." In the movie "Dawn of the Dead," a biker gang infiltrates a shopping mall and attacks the zombies with (amongst other things) pies-in-the-face. At one point a biker even smashes a television set with a sledge-hammer, just like MCA in this video. There are also numerous cameos in this video, including an unknown at the time Tabitha Soren, Def Jam label mate LL Cool J, members of the punk band Murphy's Law, as well as the Beastie Boys' producer, Rick Rubin, who was shown wearing a Slayer shirt, who were also signed to Def Jam at the time.

Okay, and here it is for your listening pleasure ... "Fight For Your Right!"

Hey ... while I've got you here ... this is the final push for my campaign to be the "Biggest Fan of the Big East." Voting ends on March 5th. Please swing by my "Biggest Fan of the Big East" profile and vote, and vote often!! Thank you!!

Oh, and you can catch my debut on TNNDN radio last night on YouTube, too!

Cheers & GO IRISH!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Five Questions: Providence

My final edition of Five Questions features Notre Dame's final Big East Conference opponent, Providence . My fellow "Biggest Fan of the Big East opponent, David Pean, Providence alum and writer at Friarblog, has agreed to stop by and answer my Five Questions. Thanks David!

What team are you most looking forward to playing in Big East play?

Every year Friar fans circle the UConn game on the 'ol calendar. It doesn't matter how bad PC seems to be doing at the time, they always come to play against their biggest rivals (even if UConn doens't see Providence this way). Heck, even Keno was able to beat the Huskies a couple of years ago!

What is the biggest improvement Providence has made this year from last year?
Aside from getting rid of a coach who ran the program directly into the ground? Ed Cooley has had a thin roster to deal with this year thanks to Keno Avis (because there's no D!), but he's really gotten a lot out of his team. There's been a lot of close losses and pain in this rebuilding year, but the team often shows tremendous fight when it looked like a blowout game looming. Cooley has brought the team better shot selection, team togetherness, and hope in Friartown by just simply getting the team to play hard every night.

Who is your favorite player on the team?

Ryan Gomes has always been my favorite Friar of all time, and it looks like Ed Cooley has a 2.0 version of him in freshman LaDontae "Buckets" Henton. He plays like a veteran already, and is not afraid to take a big shot. We knew he would be a great rebounder off the bat, but his offense has been a pleasant surprise.

What quiet player will become a standout player before the year is over?

Well the year is practically over, can I still say Bryce "Ice" Cotton? He's a quiet kid, and eats three pointers for breakfast.

What is the best part about playing in the Big East?

The best part of the BIG EAST is the competition night in and night out. To be the best, you gotta beat the best. While I can't say the Friars have been the best while I've been following them, there's always the chance right? I also love going to the BIG EAST Tournament every year. Catching some games, shooting the shiznit with all types of fans at the bars around the Garden, it's always a good time despite the crappiness of my team every March.

[bonus] What is your prediction for the score of the Notre Dame - Providence game?

I can't remember the last time the Friars were able to beat Notre Dame, let alone in South Bend. Cooley has PC playing a different brand of basketball, but the ND shooters could have a big game from long range and have a comfortable 10-15 point win.

Thanks again to David for stopping by and answering my five questions. Please stop by his blog, Friarblog, and show him some Big East Conference love!

This is it, final push. Voting ends on March 5th. Please swing by my "Biggest Fan of the Big East" profile and vote, and vote often!! Thank you!!

Oh ... and you can catch my debut on TNNDN radio on YouTube, too!

Cheers & GO IRISH!