How to Cinco de Drinko in 2 Ways

How To Get Things Done in 10 Ways

Cinco de Mayo! Another weird holiday come and gone. Being half Mexican, I feel like that is my DAY! An entire holiday that we celebrate with Mexican food and alcohol? Um duh. Yeah that’s my kind of holiday.


In high school my friends and I used to make a day of it and we would all cook a mexican dish and then potluck and then our one full hispanic friend would bring the enchiladas. So amazing.

Now that I’m older, I definitely always celebrate with at least a margarita. Last year was the ultimate Cinco de Mayo, being on a Tuesday…Taco Tuesday. It was perfect! This year, Thursday is still okay. Celebrating on a Friday Eve. I love it. I met up with my girls for drinks and funny thing is…we made these plans a few days ahead of time and decided to meet up specifically for margaritas on Thursday…

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STB extends comment period for proposed Great Lakes line, proposes rate case rulemaking

The Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) has extended the public comment deadline on a draft environmental study for Great Lakes Basin Transportation Inc.’s proposed freight-rail line from June 15 to July 15.

In April, the OEA issued a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement and initiate the scoping process for the proposed 278-mile line, which would run through Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. The office later extended the public comment period from May 16 to June 15. However, no additional extensions will be granted, STB officials said in a decision issued June 10.

Great Lakes Basin plans to construct the line around the Chicago area — from LaPorte, Ind., through Illinois to Milton, Wis. — to speed up freight transportation moves and provide additional capacity for growing rail traffic, according to the company’s website. The line would alleviate shipping congestion by creating a bypass for traffic not destined for or originating in the Chicago area, Great Lakes Basin officials believe.

Meanwhile, the STB also has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) that outlines measures aimed at expediting the board’s handling of rate cases.

The Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 instructed the STB to initiate a proceeding to assess ways to expedite litigation for parties, including procedures in rate cases, such as stand-alone rate cases. The board plans to explore several ideas.

Through the ANPR, the STB is seeking comments from stakeholders until Aug. 1. Replies are due Aug. 29.

“The Reauthorization Act prompts us to work creatively with our stakeholders to explore ways to fast-track these important, but highly-complex matters,” said STB Chairman Daniel Elliott III in a press release.

Amtrak, SEPTA and other partners introduce Philadelphia station development plan

Yesterday, Amtrak, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Brandywine Realty Trust and Drexel University unveiled the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan, a long-term vision for growth and development in the area surrounding the station.

The partners also announced the initiation of several follow-on projects to improve the immediate station area and catalyze future development throughout the district.

The result of a collaborative two-year joint effort, the plan calls for 40 acres of open space and 18 million square feet of new development, including a new mixed-use neighborhood anchoring the district atop 88 acres of rail yards along the western bank of the Schuylkill River.
A rendering depicts the proposed changes included in the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan. Source: Amtrak

With a proposed $2 billion investment in roads, utilities, parks, bridges and transit service extensions, the plan has the potential to unlock $4.5 billion in private real estate investment, in addition to $3.5 billion for Drexel’s Schuylkill Yards project that’s being developed by Brandywine Realty Trust, officials from the five partners said in a joint press release. In the coming months, SEPTA expects to begin preliminary work to support consideration of a preferred option for restoring the underground connection between 30th Street Station and the Market-Frankford Line.

“The 30th Street Station District Plan is a transformative approach,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel. “This location is well served by the Market-Frankford Line, five trolley lines, six bus routes and all Regional Rail lines, and the plan is another example of how transportation can drive economic development.”

Amtrak plans to pursue funding to advance the station plaza concept outlined in the plan. The plaza involves the development of new public spaces on all four sides of the facility to create a more welcoming and seamless experience for all station users. Later this year, Amtrak also plans to solicit partners to develop certain property adjacent to the station, as well as analyze and suggest station improvements, including retail offerings.

“Philadelphia’s iconic 30th Street Station is poised to anchor what could be a transformative new neighborhood built around transportation and the Schuylkill River waterfront,” said Amtrak Chairman Tony Coscia. “The Amtrak team is committed to continuing the important and productive collaboration reflected in the creation of this single, integrated District Plan, and will work hard to help realize the great opportunities it envisions.”

Layla: Untold Story

Pattern$ oF R@nD0mNEsS

Disclaimer: All characters and events depicted below are purely fictional. Any resemblance to real person, living or dead is purely coincidental. Anyway, don’t forget to check out Layla (Click here) before you proceed. I dedicate this to all the ladies out there.

8 years, 3 months, 25 days ago (don’t remember the hour, minutes or seconds) –

I had a tough time to find the nail polish matching with my Azure blue jeans. I wanted to look at my best. Feel confident and sexy. I was wondering if I should just put the lipstick or the whole set of makeup. Oh it was a very confusing day. I took (just) 3 hours to get ready. I was worried about the people I was about to meet. Would they like me? Generally, people are just jealous of me. It was my first day at college. (for the record, it takes 2…

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More Things Steve Jobs Can Teach Us About Delivering a Powerful Presentation

You don’t have to reinvent the computer to become great at giving speeches.

Who wouldn’t want to give a presentation as great as the ones Steve Jobs delivered?

He didn’t just announce a new Apple product; he found ways to get the audience as excited as possible while masterfully making that Apple product the next “must have” item. Don’t believe me? Check out his 2007 iPhone launch speech. Replace Jobs with a popular music act and the audience would be just as amped.

Thankfully, you don’t have to invent the next hot tech gadget or wear a black turtleneck to present as well as he did. There are some key takeaways from his speeches that anyone in business can sprinkle into their own communications.

Whether you’re pitching to a VC, trying to sell to a customer, or just getting your team amped up on a Monday morning, incorporate these elements and see how far they’ll take you:

Have a “Tweet-friendly headline”

Carmine Gallo, the author of 7 Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, dubbed this term for Jobs’ one sentence summaries of the product he was presenting. Some of them include “Mac Book Air: the world’s thinnest notebook”, and “iPod: One thousand songs in your pocket.”

His intro sentences were so great because they clearly outlined what the product did while creating intrigue. Rather than rambling on, he used them to perfectly convey his message as compactly as possible.

Whether you’re just writing a Tweet or presenting a new product, you can do something similar–try to cut the fat as much as possible (while still conveying your main point) to keep your audience glued.

Show your passion

You might be incredibly passionate about your business or new product, but nobody else knows that.

Take a page from Jobs, who not only acted excited, but sprinkled in words like “cool” or “amazing”, and once said “it looks pretty doggone gorgeous” with a huge smile after revealing a new iPhone.

Most speakers make the mistake of solely focusing on the topic ahead, and leaving their personality out of it. Like Jobs, you eventually want to exude passion from every pore instead. For some baby steps, you can include a few reasons you’re so excited about something when presenting it. You shouldn’t be afraid to be confident and say why you think your great product is so “amazing” or “awesome.”

Ditch the PowerPoint

Jobs famously said “people who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.”

Microsoft rivalry aside, he had a great point. I know I roll my eyes thinking about the hours-long slideshows I had to deal with on Wall Street while fighting off falling asleep. That’s why instead of relying on PowerPoint, Jobs kept the audience’s eyeballs on him to keep them awake.

It might take some work, but by remembering your talking points (instead of looking at a screen every five seconds), you can rely less on PowerPoint and more on yourself. If you absolutely have a burning desire to use PowerPoint, consider using those “Tweet-friendly headlines” instead of a wall of text.

Numbers are your new friend

Just like this article’s headline, Jobs used number outlines to draw the audience in.

Rather than leaving the audience guessing, he said things like “Today we are introducing three revolutionary products. The first, a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second, is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device.”

This tip is simple, but powerful. Start using it today.

Tailor to the audience

“Your audience is in the room for a particular reason. It’s critical to understand why they’re listening to you so you can tune your presentation in a manner that makes them more receptive listeners,” said Jim Confalone, co-founder of ProPoint Graphics when he analyzed Jobs’ speeches.

Whether you’re networking or presenting, it’s important to realize that it should never be a one-sided conversation. When you gear your conversation towards others’ interests, you’ll find an attentive audience like Jobs.

Practice, practice, practice

“Jobs unveils Apple’s latest products as if he were a particularly hip and plugged-in friend showing off inventions in your living room. Truth is, the sense of informality comes only after grueling hours of practice,” said a Business Week article.

When was the last time you spent hours rehearsing a speech or practicing a presentation? Jobs wasn’t born being a great communicator, he worked hard at it. If you put in the elbow grease, you can be just as great as him.

Don’t worry about mistakes

Nobody’s perfect; even Jobs wasn’t when he presented.

Carmine Gallo points out that Jobs wanted to show photos from a website during a presentation once, but the screen went black instead. He laughed it off and said “Well, I guess Flickr isn’t serving up the photos today.”

This applies to everything in life, but is especially useful during presentations: take mistakes in strides. While you should learn from them, you shouldn’t let them hold you back.

Elle Kaplan

CEO, Lexion Capital Management