Looking Up



What Happens When a Low-Wage McDonald’s Employee Calls the Company Helpline

There are a few videos and articles making their way around the web about the poverty wages that fast food chains pay their workers. In particular, the behemoth chain, McDonald’s has come under fire for seemingly deliberately refusing to pay its employees a living wage despite billion of dollars in annual profits.

In this video, a McDonald’s employee calls her company’s helpline for assistance and advice due to her dim financial situation brought about by low wages. The operator’s answer to the employee and mother of two is (like) a slap in the face: shocking, yet when the sting soaks in, the victim realizes just how low the perpetrator will go to assert whatever perceived superiority they have over you.

In Drugs and War: A Harrowing Look at Real-Life Dystopia in Rio

The other night, I watched an episode of Nightline so harrowing, I was shaken and stirred long after broadcast ended.

(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

In the valley, Rio de Janiero, Brazil is famous for beautiful beaches, booties, and people, but perched among its hills are favelas that run rampant with crime, gangs, questionable police forces, and drugs.  ABC’s Nightline hosted a special called War for Paradise: Inside Rio’s Violent Drug Gangs.  The show displayed the tensions between police forces, drug dealers, and gangs, but the more shock-inducing moments came when the cameras entered crack houses and captured addicts -some skeletal in body frame- smoking the drug in foil-covered plastic cups.  Eerily, the cups reminded me of the apple juice containers served in grade school and hospital cafeterias.  In relation, some addicts resembled incurable patients, weakened like terminally sick children, as they inhaled crack smoke from a hole in the top of their cups.  Whilst getting high, the sought-after drug-induced euphoria seemed to escape them.  All the while, they were oblivious to the cameras capturing their every downward-spiraling move.

On the streets of a favela, a fourteen-year-old boy asked host, Dan Harris, for money to buy crack.  Harris refused a handout to the teen who later shared that he began using crack at age of ten.

There are several moments in the broadcast that just blew my mind: women shot down by the police and left to die, cocaine packaged, color-coded, and sold out of boxes like sale items at a bargain shop, and an interview with a drug kingpin who has a sly sense of humor.

War for Paradise is highly informative. captivating, revealing, and consequentially appalling in what the cameras capture about conflict and drugs in Rio.  Thus, I can easily state that this Nightline special is one of the best pieces of investigative journalism ever produced.

What Does $1,500 In Rent Get You Around The Country?

Thought Catalog

I’m a real estate junkie and as I miserably dish out over $1,500/month for rent in Manhattan (WITH roommates), I can’t help but jealously check out the other places in the country to see the kind of life I could possibly have if I lived there. Yes, I know, I probably wouldn’t make enough money to afford $1,500/month rent if I didn’t live in NYC, and I know that different neighborhoods offer different conveniences and amenities that can’t always be compared in rental price (aka $1,500 on the Upper East Side will get you a whole lot more than in SoHo), but here are the basic differences in what you’ll get across the country.

The search criteria:

  • As close to $1,500/month as possible (the only 2 cities where this posed difficult –as I’m sure is to be expected– were New York and San Francisco.)
  • Comparably nice neighborhoods within the actual…

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18 Life Lessons Learned From Traveling The World

Pack a pillow and a blanket. See the world. You will never regret it. –The Namesake (film).

Thought Catalog

I never thought I would still be nomadic. My original round-the-world trip was only supposed to last one year before I went back home, found a “real” job, settled down, and by now, be married, have a house, 2.5 children, and complain about my retirement fund to my friends.

Yet life took a decidedly different turn and here I am, seven years later, writing this from an overnight train to Copenhagen with the same desire to explore the world and no sign of stopping soon.

After so many years on the road, there are a few life lessons I’ve learned from travel that I never would have learned otherwise and I wanted to share with you today.

1. It’s not that hard.

Every day, people get up, go out the door to travel the world, and survive and thrive. Kids as young as 18 make their way around the world…

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