Categories
Sports Strength

Why Chyna’s Inclusion in ‘WWE 2K20’ Matters

It’s not exactly controversial to say that although Chyna may not have been the easiest person to work with, WWE mistreated the late pro wrestler. From the very first moment she was seen on TV, she was the subject of transphobic derision, overt misogyny and fan abuse—and that was just on-camera.

Behind the scenes, she faced even more maltreatment from her coworkers as she fought privately with mental illness and addiction. When the machinations of a Shakespearean romance with stable-mate Triple H (Paul Levesque) didn’t work out, the company kicked her to the curb and offered no support as her struggles spiraled. She spread rumors of both WWE CEO Vince McMahon and Levesque later in life, accusing them of sexual misconduct, physical abuse and pedophilia in some of her more addled moments. When she died of an accidental drug overdose in April 2016, her passing received a two-minute collection of social media tributes on air—and that was it.

Nonetheless, Chyna’s time in WWE was filled with deeply feminist victories and record-breaking triumphs unparalleled by any woman or man in pro wrestling. As WWE rescues its women’s division from the denigrated position that they relegated it to for years, Chyna’s legacy has been notably downplayed. Some guessed it was because her post-wrestling career in the adult entertainment industry had made her name an NSFW search term, thus going against their more recent family-friendly ethos. Others thought her broken relationship with WWE higher-ups had permanently damned her to the footnotes of their brand’s history. 

Due to a perfect storm of fan outcry, feminist voices from within the company, changing cultural standards, new branding opportunities and maybe even a renewed sense of morality around her life’s work, in the past year or so WWE has begun including Chyna’s accomplishments in more of their company propaganda: her matches began appearing in “best of” lists and her image was used to promote the women’s division. This culminated in the induction of Chyna into the WWE Hall of Fame—not as a solo performer but as a member of the D-Generation X faction. (There were hints from Triple H that a solo induction seemed inevitable.)

Now, Chyna has been announced as a downloadable playable character in their ongoing series of mediocre video games. The announcement, along with a brief nostalgic trailer of Chyna’s ostentatious, bazooka-shooting entrance, has been met with enthusiasm from audiences who deeply miss their beloved icon.

Not that many of the other women in the game look much better, but there’s something undeniably uncanny about the facial expression-less visage of her digital avatar. Certainly, her musculature has been toned down to make her appear more traditionally feminine, her eyebrows are plucked thin and her in-game ring gear is taken from some of her less BDSM-inflected looks. What’s equally unsettling is hearing contemporary announcer Corey Graves wisecracking about Chyna’s prowess in the present tense, as if she were still with us today. The short teaser almost feels like a communication from another reality, in which things worked out much better for Joanie.

Chyna is far from the only late wrestler to have made her way into WWE video games. Legends like Andre the Giant, Bam Bam Bigelow, Big Boss Man, British Bulldog, Dusty Rhodes, Eddie Guerrero, Jim Neidhart, Lex Luger, Rick Rude, Roddy Piper, Ultimate Warrior and Vader all made appearances in WWE 2K19. Because wrestling as an art form combines elements of reality and fiction, it tends to turn its deceased warriors into semi-mythical beings whose legends extend far beyond their corporeal existence. But few of these wrestlers endured such a tumultuous relationship with WWE and wrestling that Chyna had, and perhaps none were almost purposefully deemphasized from WWE’s history in the same way as her. The extent to which the brutality of wrestling itself is responsible for many of these icons’ deaths makes the whole endeavor even more questionable.

So, how should WWE (or any company making video games based on real people) be dealing with digital reincarnations of people who died tragic deaths? Is exploiting the memory of a character they so thoroughly injured in poor taste, or is this an honor for the superstar who wanted nothing more than to repair her reputation before she died? Surely her estate must have approved her inclusion in the game: “She wanted to do everything in her power to get back into the good graces of the WWF,” Rob Potylo, Chyna’s former roommate who has been at the forefront of a growing social media movement calling for the revitalization of her esteem in the industry, told me previously in an interview with Nylon. “She realized how much her legacy meant… She cared so much about it. She wanted to atone.”

There’s a delicate balance between respecting the dead and wanting to celebrate a person’s career, and WWE sometimes draws hard lines. Kotaku writer Stephen Tolito took a deep dive in 2017 on the phenomenology of playing as fan-created versions Chris Benoit, and the way WWE censored his image in their video games. Benoit, a beloved pro wrestler who murdered his family before taking his own life, has been summarily purged from most WWE history in retellings of their history, although many of his matches are still available to watch on their network. Despite or because of fan speculation around the cause of his bloody demise and its connectedness to his wrestling career (steroids, CTE, untreated emotional problems—how could anyone ever really know in the end?), WWE has been quite swift in removing any and all versions of Benoit from the game and banning players who attempt to replicate the fallen athlete.

“Video games have the potential to make us empathize with the characters we control,” Tolito wrote. “We don’t become them, but we become closer to them. I got a chance to play a video game as Chris Benoit this week, and my feelings about that are no longer ambiguous. Chris Benoit is not someone I want to be closer to … If the game helped me better understand Chris Benoit’s final, vicious days, I’d be more interested. But to play him as a wrestler? Count me out.”

Chyna’s story is obviously different from Benoit’s, but Tolito is right to say that playing as a character increases your empathy toward them, and Chyna might have fared much better had audiences and insiders alike been able to understand the difficult position she occupied in life. It’s hard to feel totally positive about WWE’s flattening of its own complicated relationship to Laurer, but if her inclusion in the game helps people to come to grips with how she might have suffered and reminded them of her accomplishments—which even by today’s standards seem totally unbelievable—then it’s probably a net good.

Related: Chyna Is Finally Getting the Recognition She Deserves

Related: WWE NXT Debuted on TV and Here’s What Happened

Categories
Entrepreneurs Grind

Meet the Man Who Writes Poetry for Strangers in the Park

Last week I strolled through Washington Square Park in New York City with my friend Samra. We had just shared a Thai meal nearby and couldn’t forgo the wonderful weather as we headed back to the train. The usual street performers, frisbee throwers and skateboarders marked their territory with their crafts. A woman shouting “sign up to vote” was drained out by a violinist playing in the middle of the square. With all that was going on, my eyes fixated on a large cardboard sign. “ASK ME FOR A POEM” it read, in thick black Sharpie. Samra and I headed over.

Peter Chinman, better known as The Park Poet, asked me for a topic. “Love,” I told him. Immediately realizing that word could mean anything, I vented to him about a short yet fulfilling relationship I once had with another poet. Behind his thick-rimmed glasses, I could see he was paying attention to my tale, finding rhyming words to put my story into prose. Within a few minutes, the 29-year-old writer handed me a sheet of paper with a shockingly well-written poem about a lost love. I sent him $20 on Venmo because he works on donations. 

Chinman has been working as The Park Poet since April 2017. Writing anywhere between 20 to 60 poems a day, mostly on the topics of the beautiful absurdity of having a body, the limits of language and death in its richness, he’s been making a living and growing a following from his full-time freelance gig. We caught up with Chinman to learn more about crafting poems for strangers. 

Sarah Jacobs/ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/?hl=en
Sarah Jacobs/ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/

ONE37pm: When did you first get into poetry? 

Chinman: I was around 19 years old and loved books—but had no exposure to poetry, beyond the sort of things they make you memorize in high school, “Two Roads Diverging,” and “Shall I Compare Thee,” etc. I do remember loving “The Raven,” but definitely poetry seemed like a dead, archaic medium.

But then in college, friends and professors and lovers started turning me on to the good shit. Someone lent me a book of Jack Gilbert’s poems, The Great Fires, and that hit me hard. I stole a copy of Rilke’s Duino Elegies from a Barnes & Noble and read that until it fell apart. It felt like my world was splitting open. These poets were expressing things that I didn’t know were possible to express. I wanted to do what they were doing.

What were you doing before you became The Park Poet?

Chinman: I graduated college in 2012 and moved to Austin, Texas, with the band I’d been in since high school. We rented out a house, and I committed myself to getting good at guitar. I fell in love, worked a shitty serving job at a sports bar, and the band moved back to Boston. The woman I loved started medical school in San Antonio. Our drummer and bassist decided to leave the band, which, at the time, felt like such a huge betrayal. Only Francis and I were left, so moved to a little beach house in Scituate, Massachusetts, where we knew no one.

That’s where we really started to get into a good groove. There were no distractions. We each worked just a few days a week online and were cranking out music with our free time. We got to a point where we were starting and finishing a song every two weeks. I was waking up at dawn, doing yoga and journaling for an hour or two every morning. It was lonely and severe but so good creatively. I think isolation is one of the hardest but most important gifts to give yourself as a young artist.

We spent two years there. I would run away to San Antonio in the winter to be with the woman I loved. And then it all fell apart. I got dumped and was so broken up I couldn’t make music. Then we found out we had to leave the beach house. I had some friends from college who were moving into a brownstone in Brooklyn and suggested I join them, and so I did. I self-published a book of poems—At the Marsh House—from all the journaling I’d been doing. I was still just working a dumb, online customer service job and had no idea what I was going to do with myself, until I got the idea to try writing poems in public. 

Sarah Jacobs/ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/?hl=en

What was the scariest thing about leaving your job and starting your own business?

Chinman: It feels very exposed sometimes. If it rains for a week, I can’t work for a week. I have to make sure I save up to get through the slow months in the winter.

Who are your two favorite poets and why?

Chinman: I love Anne Carson—she wields language in a way that is both so severe and so tender. Walt Whitman is a big spiritual daddy for me. His ecstatic, manic moments drop open the trapped door inside me and suddenly I am the universe in its unfurling.

What is a normal day like for you?

Chinman: I usually wake up and have a slow morning reading and writing. If the weather’s decent, I’ll get to the park sometime in the afternoon and stay usually until after it gets dark. During the summer, I’ll stay out until 11 or 12 sometimes, just writing. I usually write around 20 to 60 poems, depending on how busy the day is.

Sarah Jacobs/ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/?hl=en
Sarah Jacobs/ONE37pm
https://www.instagram.com/sarahjake/?hl=en

Tell me about the most interesting interaction you’ve had while writing poetry for someone.

Chinman: I’ve had so many beautiful interactions. One time this guy who seemed to be carrying around all his world possessions came up to me for a poem and in exchange gave me the pet fish he’d been carrying around in an open glass bowl. “I’ll just lose him anyway. I lose everything,” he told me. Another time I wrote wedding vows and officiated a wedding for a couple who had just met. The woman was supposed to fly out the next day but ended up skipping her flight and staying in New York and moving in with the guy. 

What’s next for The Park Poet?

Chinman: Mostly I just want to keep writing the best poems I can. Business-wise, I have a Patreon, where people pay $5 a month to get a poem every morning. I’m trying to grow that more. I’m thinking about getting into tattooing poems on people. I’m also thinking about getting into embroidering poems on clothes. Park Poems, Year Three, will be coming out next spring. I think I’d like to leave New York City at some point and live someplace more embedded in natural geography. I want to be able to go hiking and have a garden. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business? 

Chinman: People can tell when you’re trying to trick them, so don’t. Don’t sacrifice your humanity for the sake of your brand. Ideas are worthless if you don’t act on them.

How do you take your coffee? 

Chinman: Hot and black. 

Categories
Culture Music

Music of the Month: 15 Standout Songs from September for Fall Playlists

September has a lot to live up to every year because August always brings us tons of new music. We’re happy to announce that the last month of summer 2019 did not disappoint. With album releases from hot artists like DaBaby, Charli XCX and Labrinth, as well as new solo tracks from rising stars like Sabrina Claudio and MOSSS, there are plenty of songs to add to your fall and year-end playlists. And as we do every 30 days, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites for your listening pleasure.

1. ‘Trampoline’ by SHAED with Zayn

“Trampoline” was first released as the second track on SHAED 2018 EP, Melt. Since then, the song quickly rose in popularity, landing a feature in Apple’s MacBook Air commercial and topping both the Alternative Songs and Rock Airplay charts. The certified gold track has undergone several remixes, most recently this new one featuring Zayn Malik. In this version of “Trampoline,” Chelsea Lee, the lead vocalist of SHAED, and Zayn harmonize effortlessly, creating a beautiful duet that will remind you why this song became an instant classic.  

2.. ‘Panini Remix’ by Lil Nas X ft. DaBaby

“Panini’ was already a poppin’ song when it was first released in June on Lil Nas X’s EP, 7. Now with a nine-verse feature from DaBaby, the track is a whole new level of banger status. Lil Nas X claims this is only the first out of 25 “Panini” remixes he plans to release. DaBaby, on the other hand, has spent the summer recording features. The Charlotte, North Carolina, rapper has popped up on songs with Lizzo, Chance the Rapper, Megan Thee Stallion and Dreamville.

3. ‘Big Girls’ by Masego

In this body-positivity ode, future soul singer Masego reimagines Black bodies and jazz ensembles. Released with an neon-hued Afrofuturist video, this bass-heavy track blends electric R&B, reggae beats and modern hip-hop. With lyrics like “Bust down, cake up. Ladies, get your weight up” and featured vocals from Ivana of sister duo VanJess, “Big Girls” is a winning, soulful, jazzy body-confident anthem. 

4. ‘Memories’ by Maroon 5

Just in time for fall, when music is known to be less poppy and vibrant than summer tunes, Maroon 5 releases “Memories.” The three-minute track features a melancholy and reflective chorus: “Here’s to the ones that we got. Cheers to the ‘Wish you were here, but you’re not.’” Lead singer Adam Levine laid out the song’s purpose on Twitter, stating that it’s “for anyone who has ever experienced loss.” As satisfying as it is relatable, “Memories” will push you deep into your feels. 

5. ‘Sugar Honey Iced Tea SHIT’ by Princess Nokia

Princess Nokia is back with another unapologetic banger. The New York City singer and rapper showcases her confidence through boasting lyrics like “I got the juice, I got the Hi-C/No you can’t unlike me. You got some time on your hands/’Cause all the time you be hating.” Embroidered with finger snaps, trumpets and gospel choir notes, this is the perfect self-assured anthem to end the summer. 

6. ‘Something’s Got to Give’ by Labrinth

Labrinth is having a huge 2019, and he’s continuing to bless us with irreplaceable works of art. “Something’s Got to Give” is a sneak peek of the British singer and songwriter’s highly anticipated second studio album, rumored to drop later this year. This brass-heavy, pulsing pop tune glows with introspective qualities. 

7. ‘Emotions’ by Cashmere Cat

An electronic sound that will transport you to an EDM dance party, “Emotions” is Cashmere Cat’s first release since 2018’s “Miss You” with Major Lazer and Tory Lanez. The song is about feeling nothing when you see an ex-love with someone new—the perfect sign that you’ve moved on. This trippy, feel-good delight is the Norwegian musician and producer’s first release with his virtual collaborator Princess Catgirl.   

8. ‘Bound to Happen’ by MOSSS

“Bound to Happen” is the third single released by singer-songwriter MOSSS. In this dreamy love ballad, the Los Angeles-via-Brooklyn-based musician reflects on a short-lived affair. MOSSS is known for his poetic lyrics and mastering a fusion of indie, funk and R&B. Superb production assisted by guitar pedals make for a very strong addition to your fall soundtrack.

9. ‘Stay Over’ by Tove Lo

In “Stay Over,” Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Lo reflects on a causal relationship that becomes more serious than expected. Tove’s love interest just got out of a long-term relationship and has been seeing Tove to deal with the breakup. With lyrics like “Know we’ve been bendin’ the rules lately, but why don’t you stay over? Fall hard, I know it’s fast. You just left her, that’s the past” and a soft poppy beat, this ballad is an ode to an unexpected, new experience. 

10. ‘Lune de Fiel’ by M83

The French electronic music project, most known for the 2011 hit “Midnight City” is back with a film-accompanied album. “Lune de Fiel” is the eighth track on DSVII, M83’s eighth studio album. The song is a lush instrumentation filled with potent synths, a complex bass line and intricate percussion, making ideal for reflection and daydreaming.

11. ‘Afterlife’ by Hailee Steinfeld

In “Afterlife,” singer and actress Hailee Steinfeld contemplates if love lives on after death. The moody and haunting track will be featured on Dickinson, a new show about Emily Dickinson, set to premiere on Apple TV+ in November. Full of soft harmonies and poignant lyrics, “Afterlife” has themes reflective of Dickinson’s aspirations. “There’s a line in the song that says ‘immortality is bliss’ and it reminded me a lot of Emily Dickinson’s poems,” Steinfield said in an interview with Apple Music’s Beats 1. “She lived during a time where women were forbidden from voicing their opinions, so the majority of her work wasn’t published until after she died. The inability to express herself fully in life, but to be so revered beyond her death … her writing continues to be remembered and relevant to this day, making her immortal.”

12. ‘VIBEZ’ by DaBaby

DaBaby dropped his anticipated album, Kirk, in late September. The album, dedicated to his father, marks the Charlotte rapper’s second project of 2019. Arguably one of the best tracks on the album, fans got a sneak peek of “VIBEZ” when DaBaby posted a video of him flexing his money and chains while reciting the lyrics. The bop made its way onto Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist and should already be on yours too. 

13. ‘Truth Is’ by Sabrina Claudio

Written with songwriting powerhouse Julia Michaels, “Truth Is” is the title track of Sabrina Claudio’s upcoming album. The Puerto Rican/Cuban singer develops a narrative around unvoiced emotions and vulnerability, stunningly creating melodies that seep into your brain. This ballad is ready to be your fall soundtrack and push you to be honest with your feelings. 

14. ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’ by Caroline Polachek

Formerly a member of Chairlift, Caroline Polachek just released her fourth solo song. In preparation for her first solo album, scheduled to debut in October, “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” is a song about being sprung on someone’s attractiveness. This poppy and harmonically rich tune showcases Polachek’s distinct range, making it a heartfelt listen. 

15. ‘Click’ by Charli XCX

“Click” is the fifth song from Charli XCX’s 2019 album Charli, featuring Kim Petras and Tommy Cash. This synth-charged upbeat pop song showcases Charli’s popular style of dynamic electric-pop music and exceptional wordplay. Rich in confident lyrics and uptempo melodies, “Click” is complex and gets better with each listen.

Read Next: 37 Best Songs of 2019 (So Far)

Read Next: The Best TikTok Challenges That Went Viral in 2019

Read Next: 15 Perfect Rap Lyrics for Your Next Instagram Caption

Categories
Style What To Buy

5 Cool Hoodies Below $50 (And 5 Splurge-Worthy Options) for Fall

Fall is here, and clothing is about to get fun again. More layers, richer textures and, of course, hoodie season is upon us. Over the past decade, the sportswear staple has gone from refrigerated high school gymnasiums to high-fashion runway presentations. Now an elevated basic that’s no different than a topcoat or well-tailored shirting, the hoodie has become a transitional piece that every man needs in abundance. 

Thankfully, there are plenty to choose from. Nearly every brand is making cool hoodies this season from Louis Vuitton to traditional sportswear suitors like Nike. You can expect pricing to range from “I spend this per day on coffee” to “I just blew my rent on a hoodie.” All the same, there’s something for everyone from price to color and style. Here are 10 of our current favorites to keep in mind for fall.

1. Splurge: Gallery Dept French Logo Hoodie
Gallery Dept.

Budding Los Angeles-based streetwear label Gallery Dept is currently the darling of arthouse style. Worn by everyone from Virgil Abloh to Kanye West, the brand focuses on repurposing garments that inspire them and turning them into contemporary interpretations ripe for modern consumption. This weathered, paint-splattered hoodie is a creator’s dream.

Buy Now, $395
https://gallerydept.com/products/gallery-dept-logo-hoodie-2
1. Steal: Carhartt Heavyweight Hoodie
Carhartt

It’s hard to go wrong with a good workwear hoodie from Carhartt. Produced in heavy-weight cotton fabric, this is the perfect everyday hoodie for when it starts to actually feel like fall. Wear it to a workout or as insulation with a light layer over it. This do-it-all hoodie won’t hurt your pockets—it costs just $50.

Buy Now, $50
https://www.carhartt.com/products/carhartt-men/Paxton-Heavyweight-Hooded-Sweatshirt-100615
2. Splurge: John Elliott Double Dye Raglan Hoodie
John Elliott

John Elliott has had an unparalleled influence on hoodies and sweats transitioning into menswear mainstays. His side-zip Villain hoodie and tailored Escobar sweats took streetwear by storm five years ago. That influence remains this season with another trending theme—tie-dye. Elliott does it exceptionally well here with this dark French Terry hoodie, which features a noir base and a navy bleach-dyed treatment.

Buy Now, $398
https://www.johnelliott.com/products/double-dye-raglan-hoodie-indigo-x-black?variant=
2. Steal: Noah Core Logo Hoodie
Union Los Angeles

Perhaps the most culturally visible hoodie over the past 18 months has been this one from Noah. You’ll be hard-pressed to find this ubiquitous piece these days (especially if you don’t intend to pay over retail price), but should you come across one, it’s an inexpensive statement that affirms your streetwear sensibility. The branding is nearly perfect—as you might expect from a founder who started Noah after leaving his post at Supreme.

Buy Now, $138
https://store.unionlosangeles.com/products/core-logo-ss19-hoodie-2?variant=27708757901389
3. Splurge: Dior x Raymond Pettibon Embroidered Hoodie
Dior

Like past hallmark renderings from Balenciaga, Helmet Lang and Saint Laurent, Kim Jones’ latest Dior hoodie is a flashy statement piece that is cut flawlessly and dripping in opulence. This hoodie is most effective in the company of monotone colors, so pair it with black jeans and matching sneakers and/or boots.

Buy Now, $1,100
https://www.dior.com/en_us/products/couture-943J600E0531_C980-cotton-sweatshirt-dior-and-raymond-pettibon-embroidery
3. Steal: Everlane French Terry Hoodie
Everlane

When it comes to hoodies for fall, fabric plays a critical role in how you can layer them, as well as just how cozy they’ll ultimately be. French Terry ranks high on the cozy meter and looks extra splashy in white. This style from Everlane is perfect under a topcoat or even a trench. Dress it down with sweats and a good pair of corduroy bottoms.

Buy Now, $68
https://www.everlane.com/products/mens-uniform-french-terry-hoodie-white?collection=mens-sweatshirts
4. Splurge: Aimé Leon Dore Sand Washed Hoodie
Aimé Leon Dore

Teddy Santis and his widely adored label Aimé Leon Dore continues to masterfully straddle the line between street and menswear. This sand-washed hoodie leans closer into the former with its vintage, washed-out aesthetic. Its unfinished hems provide a rugged touch to the 17-ounce French Terry hood.

Buy Now, $230
https://www.aimeleondore.com/collections/tops/products/sand-washed-logo-hoodie-grey?variant=29172194672737
4. Steal: Champion Life Hoodie
Champion

A proper athletic hoodie is one to have in the arsenal no matter how many high-dollar styles you may also own. They’re much baggier and often better to position underneath a larger top layer. You can also beat them up without feeling the guilt of spilling coffee on a $300 sweatshirt.

Buy Now, $45
https://www.champion.com/shop/champion/champion-life-mens-hoodie-gf6845?categoryId=21218
5. Splurge: Nike ACG Hoodie
Nike

If you’re going with a sportswear hoodie, Nike’s ACG label does it better than most. The Beaverton brand’s All Conditions Gear line makes elevated staples at a less-than-elevated price. This one is done in a premium French Terry fleece material certain to stop the harsh fall wind dead in its tracks.

Buy Now, $100
https://www.nike.com/t/acg-pullover-hoodie-DKj4kR/BQ3453-010
5. Steal: Zara Basic Hoodie
Zara

When your hoodie doesn’t break the $50 threshold, it provides an ideal opportunity to go big on color. This mustard style from Zara will add a pop to your wardrobe without robbing you of your hard-earned cash.

Buy Now, $40
https://www.zara.com/us/en/basic-hoodie-sweatshirt-p04087300.html?v1=17909445&v2=1367857
Categories
Grind Productivity

6 Tips on Writing the Perfect Cover Letter

There are three parts to applying for a job: fill out the application, attach a resume and write a cover letter. Filling out the application is usually the easiest part, as you’re answering questions about yourself and providing personal information. Your resume might undergo a few changes depending on how relevant your previous experience is to the job you’re applying for. The most exhausting part of applying for a job is typically cover letter writing. 

A cover letter is a document used to provide additional information about your skills and work experience. It’s your chance to tell a future employer or recruiter how you stand out from other candidates and explain your expertise in greater detail. Employers use this information to screen applicants and determine who to interview. So in other words, writing a bomb cover letter is key to getting noticed by an employer and being invited to the next round. If writing isn’t your strong suit, we’ve compiled tips and practices that can help anyone craft an attractive cover letter.

1. Don’t Reuse Cover Letters

I know, the idea of rewriting a new cover letter with every application could keep you from applying for a job altogether. It seems so much easier and quicker to change the name of the company and the job role and hit send. Even if you’re applying for multiple jobs in the same industry, recruiters can tell when a cover letter reads as reused. It’s worth the extra 15 minutes to customize the letter for that specific role. Think of it this way: It’s super obvious when you get a mass email because the verbiage reads as general. In the way you notice that email was sent to other people and only your name was swapped out, recruiters also know you’ve done the same with your cover letter.

2. Follow a Template

A strong cover letter has great flow. Using a template or outline is a simple way to structure the body of your letter, especially for those who are not compelling writers. Free templates and outlines are available online, but it’s wise not to get into the habit of using the exact wording because it’s likely that recruiters have seen them before. Instead, use them as your base and customize it appropriately.

3. Always Address Your Letter

Imagine receiving an email that doesn’t address your name before the intro. Reads kind of weird, huh? With most cover letters, you have no idea who you’re writing to. If a specific name isn’t in the job application or email address, use “Dear Hiring Team” as an opener.

@daphneemarie via Twenty20

4. Write a Creative Lead

Imagine how many other applicants begin their letter with “This letter is in response to the XYZ position at XYZ.” To set yourself apart, you need to draw the reader in. Talk about your connection to the company or why you want to work for them. You want the recruiter to remember your lead after reading through several other applications. For example, someone applying for a role at BuzzFeed might start with: “I first discovered BuzzFeed when my college roommate forced me to take a ‘How Well Do You Know Your Roommate’ quiz with them. Since then, I’ve religiously used the site for entertainment, news and even cooking recipes.

5. Explain What You Can Do for Them

A lot of people mistakenly think that cover letters are a chance to talk only about why they want a particular job. While highlighting your reason for being interested in a company is important, a recruiter mostly wants to know how hiring you will benefit the team. Maybe you have a skill that is rare for the role, or you were responsible for building something at your previous job. Figure out how you’re the perfect fit and expand on it. Employers want to know what advantage hiring you will do for the company.

6. Proof Before Sending

Lastly, and we can’t stress this enough, proofread your letter TWICE before sending. We all make typos, and while it’s understandable, it comes across as lazy. You could be the perfect person for the job, but a minor typo will have a recruiter on to the next cover letter. A flawless cover letter showcases the time put into constructing it—something the reader will be fond of.

Categories
Leaders Style

The Top Celeb Fits of the Week

Big style means big moves, and the world is one giant celeb display of it. Welcome to our weekly review of famous faces who are crushing the sartorial game. Find all the fire fits here every week. You’re welcome.

This past Sunday’s Emmy Awards delivered some of the freshest fashions from dapper guys, kicking off fall in the most stylish of ways. Hollywood spoiled us with elevated fits this week between press appearances and other functions, foreshadowing what is no doubt going to be a very swaggy season. Guys are stepping it up when they’re stepping out, and we’re here for it—below is this week’s top ten.

David Oyelowo
Michael Tullberg/FilmMagic
West Hollywood, September 21

David demos how to master monochrome dressing. There’s nothing figuratively blue about this getup. Not. One. Iota.

Sam Rockwell
Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage
Los Angeles, September 21

The 70s called and said, “Go forth, Sam, you rock it well.” (See what I did there?)

Terrence Howard
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Hollywood, September 24

Now, this is what you wear when getting your star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Wait… is that pink we’re spotting? Praise be.

Peter Dinklage
Steve Granitz/WireImage
Los Angeles, September 22

Peter is making a convincing case for the not-so-basic black 3-piece suit. We see those satin details, and we see the raised bar.

Aldis Hodge
Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Fashion 4 Development
New York City, September 24

Ain’t no drip for no one else when Aldis Hodge is in the building. 

Aaron Paul
LISA O’CONNOR/AFP/Getty Images
Beverly Hills, September 20

Paisley prints pair superbly with beat-up rocker boots, as confirmed by Aaron Paul. Always let that bling peep through, too.

Tyga
Marc Piasecki/GC Images
Paris, September 26

Tyga got the mint chip memo, which is evidently proving to be a bomb transition shade for autumn. Paired with some crisp post-Labor Day whites, no less.

Kal Penn
Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
New York City, September 25

Should we just start a Strong Men Wear Pink column at this point?

Mahershala Ali
Steve Granitz/WireImage
Los Angeles, September 22

That time Mahershala shut down the red carpet in his money bags green tux.

Sacha Baron Cohen
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Los Angeles, September 22

Points for double-breasted slickness, bonus points for the unexpected pop and extra points for the extra sock pop!

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Categories
Sports Strength

These Are the 5 Fastest-Growing Major Sports Franchises

Sports franchise values are rising, and there’s seemingly no end in sight. Even though attendance numbers waver more than ever, that has less of an effect on franchise valuations than it did in the past—this is how big the TV rights packaging deals have become. 

So who’s benefitting the most?

Before I get into the list of the fastest-growing teams in all of sports, let me elaborate on my rationale. I’m picking major sports teams that might considerably rank in the top 100 in the world; this isn’t to discount rapidly growing leagues like the IPL, whose viewership numbers are huge, or new leagues like Premier Lacrosse League (whose year-over-year growth will be massive, considering it did not exist last year). I’m hoping to capture growth that involves tens if not hundreds of millions, so I’d consider this list a pretty “macro” look at things. 

Also, I’m using team valuations from Forbes’ popular team valuations resource. While Forbes has its own methodology, its assessments (which takes into account direct team revenues and debts) are pretty accurate—the Kansas City Royals recently sold for around $1 billion, and Forbes had them worth $1.025 billion

Alright, let’s do this.

Chelsea FC (+25%)

Chelsea has an advantage that no other team on this list has—the Premier League transfer window. From sales alone, they tacked on $438 million on player sales alone, owing to a robust collection of outgoing talent. Their broadcast revenue is over $1 billion, according to Forbes, and a deep run in this year’s Champions League tournament will bring in even more.

Dallas Mavericks (+18%)

Dallas’ reworked FSN Southwest deal pays them twice as much as their old one. This is good for valuations. 

Boston Red Sox (+14%)

In their ascent to the top of the most valuable franchise charts in the early 2000s, the Yankees had a secret weapon—the ownership of their own Regional Sports Network, meaning that they owned the distribution of the team’s broadcasting rights. (The Yankees sold YES! for massive profit, only to buy it back with a super-team of corporate investors.) The Red Sox own 80 percent of NESN, their cable channel, which is a similar situation. 

Boston Celtics (+12%)

Somewhat relatedly, the Boston Celtics rose 12 percent, thanks to the growing fortunes of the NBA as well as a resurgence in fan engagement, whether it was going to games in person or watching them on TV.

Golden State Warriors (+12%)

Golden State feels like the unlikeliest riser on this list—they’ve been the best NBA product in a generation, situated in one of America’s most valuable markets. But the new Chase Center—and it’s $2 billion worth of contracted income thanks to sponsorships and suites—is a game-changer.

Related: 30 Most Entrepreneurial Athletes

Related: Champions League is Way Bigger Than the Super Bowl

Categories
Culture Music

10 Bands from NYC’s Music Scene to Stream or See Live

New York City is a well-known hub for breeding some of the greatest musicians and bands of our time—The Ramones, The Beastie Boys, Blondie and The Strokes to rattle off a few. NYC has produced arguably some of music’s top talent. From small gigs at venues like Mercury Lounge to sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden, every band that forms in NYC walks the same path in the beginning by playing late nights and rehearsing anywhere that won’t end in a noise complaint. In a city that never sleeps, a new band is always on the rise, so we picked ten of our favorites. 

1. Late Night Episode

Formed in the East Village neighborhood, Late Night Episode is an alt-rock band that successfully blends alt-rock instrumentals with youthful pop lyrics for a sound comparable to Kings of Leon. The foursome—lead singer Daniel Lonner, guitarist Eric Sherman, drummer Brett Daniel and bassist Giovanni Stockton-Rossini—is worth putting on your radar. In addition to producing their own music, they also have executive produced Topaz Jones’ notable soul-funk record, Arcade. With praise from music outlets like Billboard, Crave, Nylon and Pigeons and Planes, LNE will no doubt go a long way. 

2. Bird Language and Sebastian Adé

NYC production duo Bird Language and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sebastian Adé come together to create a moody, soulful sound on “Parachute.” While this group is just now tapping into their creative journey together, several more collabs are coming soon. The combination of carefully crafted songs and superb genre-blending production are the perfect ingredients for a very strong album in the future.

3. Joywave

Growing up in Rochester, New York, Joywave is an indie-rock band known for creating the stimulating “Like a Kennedy” music video, debuting their albums in Marvel comic books and captivating audiences with live performances. The group was first formed in 2010 but recently entered a new level of success by currently touring with popular British band Bastille. Joywave—made up of Daniel Armbruster (vocals), Paul Brenner (drums), Joseph Morinelli (guitar) and Benjamin Bailey (keyboards/guitar)—is on their way to becoming big-time. 

4. The Shacks

Singer/bassist Shannon Wise and guitarist/producer Max Shrager make up the alternative indie duo The Shacks. Their sound is a combination of early-age rock and classic soul layered with dreamy delicate vocals. The band first received much-deserved accolades with the release of their debut album, Haze. With an iPhone commercial feature under their belt, we’re confident The Shacks will only go up from here. With a unique and saturated sound that masters the art of modernism and retroism, this is a duo you’ll want on your playlist. 

5. The Britanys

Coming together in Brooklyn, The Britanys perfectly resemble a Bushwick rock band. Formed by Steele Kratt (drums), Jake Williams (guitar), Burke Williams (bass) and Lucas Long (vocals) in 2016, the foursome frequents venues like Rough Trade, Baby’s All Right and Bowery Ballroom. Aside from success with their mixtape 1-833-IDK-HTBA [I Don’t Know How to Be Alone], the band has performed at SXSW, toured the U.K. and played at the Velvet Underground Experience. The group’s sound is both punchy and refreshing, and their stage performance is nothing less than stellar. A combination of memorable guitar melodies with nostalgiac lyrics sets The Britanys apart.

6. Native Sun

Originating from Florida, Colombia, Mexico and California, Native Sun was formed by vocalist Danny Gomez and lead guitarist Jake Pflum before drummer Alexis Castro and bassist Mo Martinez completed the lineup. Now living and recording in Brooklyn, Native Sun faces no challenge in ingraining their roots in their production. Blending culturally saturated lyrics with guitar solos, the band displays what it’s like to create music in a tense political environment. With songs about starting a revolution and tearing down the government, the rock band taps into topics that many other bands have dared not to explore. 

7. Laundry Day

Composed of five high school seniors, Laundry Day is an alternative pop band based in New York City. The young group—including Sawyer Nunes, Etai Abramovich, Jude Lipkin, Henry Weingartner and Henry Pearl—has performed all over the U.K. and North America, a huge triumph for a band that’s been on the rise since the release of their first album, Trumpet Boy. Inspired by Brockhampton and Tyler the Creator, the quintet’s music is chilled out yet soulful, often featuring a jazz instrument like a trumpet or saxophone. Their lyrics are relatable for listeners their age and nostalgic for their older fan base. For a music group formed accidentally (a group of friends all making their own music who decided to collab), we’re glad they figured things out in unison. 

8. Modern Diet

This Brooklyn-based indie rock band was formed by Jake Cheriff (vocals/guitar) and Dan Hemerlein (bass) during their freshman year at New York University. Cheriff would create songs in his bedroom and the two would then transform them into recordable content to fit the band’s ensemble. Since then, Bernardo Ochoa on guitar, Emily Sgouros on synth and Leah Scarpati on drums joined the group, forming Modern Diet. If you ask a band member how they would categorize their sound, there’s a great chance that “indie rock soul food” will be the response. Their songs are richly textured with indie rock, R&B and psych-pop influences and vibrant harmonies, resulting in a fan base of different genres. 

9. Daisy the Great

Fronted by Kelley Nicole Dugan and Mina Walker, Daisy the Great is Brooklyn-based indie rock band that finds power in resonating with fans. Their sound ranges from playful to powerful with soft folk-pop undertones and banging rock melodies. With lyrics that dive into both heartbreaking and funny topics, a fan base connected to their vulnerable material is steadily growing all over North America. 

10. Uni

Glam rock band Uni was formed in NYC by frontman Nico Fuzz, guitarist David Strange, vocalist Jack James and bassist Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Their music is The Beatles meets Parliament-Funkadelic. Crazy, right? The foursome’s sound is both psychedelic and futuristic—music from Mars, if you will. Politically charged lyrics and trippy, neon-infused visuals continue to set the group apart from anyone else on your playlist. 

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Categories
Entrepreneurs Grind

Meet the Family Leading the Charge in Contemporary CBD Technology

Family-run businesses are no joke. It’s not like you can just up and quit your family when things start getting tense. We spoke with Phiton and Mimi Nguyen, the brother-sister duo leading the way in CBD innovation. We discussed their background and what led them into the CBD industry, how they find running a family business and, of course, learned more about their advances within the CBD industry as a result of their development of the QWIN device. The QWIN has been gaining increased traction for its ability to help with sleeping, pain relief and improving anxiety symptoms among many other things.

To avoid any dangers from the recent vaping controversies across the United States, we encourage you to do your research and buy directly from authorized and verified CBD retailers. According to QWIN’s website, “Scientific research is now exploring the medicinal effects of cannabinoids in our bodies and is confirming its mental and physical health benefits. Through technology and design, we are excited to use our state-of-the-art nebulizer to deliver these cannabinoids and naturally restore balance to the mind and body.”

ONE37pm: Phiton, can you tell us a bit about how you and your family got started in the CBD industry? 

Nguyen: Our family’s journey to CBD started years ago with a larger health awakening. Both my sister Mimi and our mother battled with cancer, and their experiences brought health to the forefront of consciousness. We became aware of our habits and what we consume in ways we hadn’t been before and began to actively seek alternatives to the commonly accepted yet noxious prescription aids that mask rather than heal pain. It became a family effort, which brought us closer together than ever, and was an important lesson in the role that emotional support plays in mental well-being, and that mental well-being play in physical health. 

At the time, the cannabis industry was medicalizing around us in California and new resources were rapidly becoming available. We began experimenting with products and found the effects of cannabidiol in particular to be profound. My frustrations with the limited options of consuming CBD led me to experiment with new methods of delivery that didn’t rely on the old mechanism of combustion, which is widely used yet damaging to CBD compounds and therefore diminishes the health benefits reaped. Mimi began researching the ingredients in our favorite products, which led her to experiment with higher quality CBD formulations. In addition to ourselves, we found willing volunteers in our friends, who tested our products through an experimentation process that would ultimately lead to the development of QWIN. 

Interest in our experiments generated organically through word of mouth, and demand for us to create a product was too strong for us to not try. What we hadn’t realized was that our initial frustrations with products on the market were broadly felt and created major gaps in the industry. By the time we began considering CBD from a business standpoint and not just a personal one, it had already become a full-time job for us.

How much of a role does your family play in running the business?

Nguyen: QWIN has been an unusually collaborative venture for us. My mother, a first-generation immigrant from Vietnam, has a career in the music industry that extends well beyond her time as a parent. You can see the unique manifestation of her business instincts in my sister’s and my pursuits, which largely led us down different paths until recently. My projects focused on innovating the technical aspects of products with more user-centric design, simplifying their functionality while creating a classier user experience. My sister Mimi went into the film business while pursuing innovations in wellness as a passion project.

Our paths converged with QWIN, which engaged our individual passions in a common purpose. Throughout our personal experimentation with CBD, we noticed a theme of narrow branding: the products were geared towards young, masculine users and were unwelcoming on an entry-level basis. Mimi was the one to suggest I design a more universal device. Her largest contribution was, and continues to be, feminizing QWIN around these industry hurdles and centering the brand on wellness regimens that appeal to all ages, spanning all purposes. Our mother acts as a business adviser, lending her critique and wisdom to the brand. 

Being family, our roles are often intertwined and hard to disentangle—but necessarily so. We each represent the qualities that different consumers look for in a CBD product, and I believe that is reflected in the user’s experience of QWIN. QWIN started as the unintended byproduct of a collaborative family effort and has strengthened with that structure into a collaborative business effort.

What is it like working with your family? 

Nguyen: Chaos! But deeply rewarding in ways that other professional relationships are not. Like other families, we have a hard-wired pecking order that doesn’t easily translate into a working relationship. I think QWIN has been successful as a family business because we didn’t attempt to translate our preexisting dynamics as a family into a professional dynamic. Rather, the challenge was in avoiding the pitfalls of reverting to old family habits and relations, and instead finding a way to integrate individual working styles cultivated throughout our separate careers in business into a new professional system.

It has not been a clean, linear trajectory to success. Working together was a process of compartmentalizing the normal functions of a family from the operations of business over the course of several years, but that endeavor has elevated our levels of trust in each other and fostered a sense of camaraderie that I imagine most families and most businesses wouldn’t otherwise get to experience.

The QWIN is clearly a technical and well-thought-out product. Can you break down how it actually works? 

Nguyen: It’s actually not as complicated as most people would think. I like to explain it with the analogy of making a pot of tea: You have a heating element, fire, which is powered by the stove. The tea kettle acts as a container to heat your water in, and as the temperature rises, the pot emits evaporated water, which is the steam that whistles and signals the water is heated. 

With QWIN, instead of fire, your heating element is a little ceramic coil implanted within each CBD capsule. The device holding your capsule is a battery that acts as the stove, powering your heat. The capsule is like your tea kettle, holding CBD oil, which will become vapor once heated. When you take a puff on QWIN, it’s like turning the stove on: The heating mechanism activates, transforming the CBD into a vapor that you inhale to the lungs. We chose an electronic inhaler system as the method of consuming CBD because of its efficiency: It delivers cannabidiol directly to the bloodstream, making the set-in period instantaneous, and increases the spectrum of compounds your body actually absorbs from a product. Much of the benefits of CBD are lost when it is consumed through the digestive tract, which can’t adequately break down compounds in order to absorb them.

Was it difficult to develop? What challenges did you face? 

Nguyen: The development process was very challenging and took nearly two years to complete. The primary difficulty was engineering a system that delivers compounds to a body that can’t easily break them down, while also keeping the cost low for users. Most companies in the industry don’t undertake these challenges all at once and instead specialize in one aspect of the business: building the hardware, formulating the oil, selling the end product. The car industry, for example, has manufacturers that make cars and oil companies that produce the gasoline they will run on. In this analogy, QWIN is reconceptualizing both the way traditional engines work and the fuel they work with. So to get the performance quality we were aiming for, we had to custom make approximately 95 percent of the conventional components in a vaporizer and restructure the chemical composition of CBD oil.

Some of the aspects we wanted to innovate simply didn’t exist yet—such as powerful but compact batteries, which were either too big in size or too little in capacity for our specifications. We also made our own chipset for the device, because available ones on the market didn’t meet the level of reliability or allow for the customization we wanted users to have. 

As for the challenge of reformulating CBD to maximize its bioavailability for the human body, we developed a whole new process called MicroFusion to reduce the size of CBD particles and fuse full-spectrum oil with flavoring. We prototyped version after version of these proprietary parts, testing them together, and tweaking the functionality and formula until it was fine-tuned to our standards.

QWIN

What makes QWIN different from other CBD vaporizers on the market? 

Nguyen:

1. The performance of QWIN is one of a kind in the CBD market due to the module’s ability to fully optimize CBD for the flavor and vapor performance. This results in effects that you can feel immediately.

2. Our formula tastes amazing and is extremely smooth.

3. Through our design and recycling program, we actively try to reduce our environmental footprint. We see a lot of products that are one-time use disposable items that are extremely wasteful for both the environment and the user. Our battery is rechargeable, the packaging is minimal, we don’t include micro-USB cables because every household has them—this helps us keep costs down to the consumer. Through our recycling program, users can redeem a free capsule by sending us back their old ones for us to recycle.

What do you think the future holds for the CBD industry? 

Nguyen: We think CBD is going to continue to normalize and eventually become part of everyday life for people, similar to the way we use daily multivitamins. We already see the mainstream acceptance CBD has gained with managing the problems associated with modern society—lack of sleep, dependency on pharmaceutical drugs, post-traumatic stress, inflammation, general anxiety—all these real issues that people break the bank just trying to gain some relief from.

Unfortunately, as the industry grows rapidly, it will also crowd the market and become increasingly disorienting for regular consumers to navigate. The available CBD products are not yet subject to the kind of standards and regulatory scrutiny that guide other, more established markets. There is no guarantee that each brand will self-regulate and hold their products to the higher standard consumers would like them to, or that they’ll make clear and transparent distinctions on the user’s behalf. There is a difference, for example, between CBD oil and hemp oil. There are also various spectrums of CBD compounds contained in any given product, which result in very different effects on the body.

We’d like to think that most companies aim to inform their consumers, but the reality is that some will capitalize on these gray areas and exploit their users’ lack of knowledge. For that reason, we invite industry regulation sooner rather than later and view the future of a CBD market, which includes oversight as better for both companies in their product development and for consumers in their journey toward a more honest, healthful existence.

Check this out for more information on QWIN.

Categories
Sneakers Style

Nike News: Jun Takahashi’s Undercover Collab Celebrates Running

Takahashi’s upcoming Fall 2019 Nike Gyakusou collection releases on September 26 at nike.com.

The running world is no longer ignored by high fashion, and Undercover’s Jun Takahashi is bringing an unorthodox approach to the once-forgotten category. If you aren’t familiar with Takahashi and his brand, listen up.

Within the last decade, Takahashi has been dubbed as one of the most important fashion leaders. His Japanese-based brand—first inspired by punk, leather patches and ripped tees—has continually reimagined what running is and what it should be in the future. Called Gyakusou, the Nike collaboration capsules, molded by the hands and brain of Takahashi, have delivered a mixture of special details and quality performance technology.

Nike Inc
https://news.nike.com/news/fall-2019-gyakusou-peg-trail-and-apparel

The upcoming collection, releasing on September 26, features the Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail in two new colorways, per Takahashi’s influence. The apparel and shoes are designed for the Gyakusou International Running Association (GIRA) as they strive to build community through the sport. From a zipped hooded jacket to training tops, the apparel offers a multitude of pieces to complement any runner’s performance and style.

Nike
https://www.nike.com/t/gyakusou-zoom-pegasus-36-trail-shoe-ZfStKj/CD0383-600
Nike x Gyakusou Zoom Pegasus 36 in Red
Nike
https://www.nike.com/t/gyakusou-zoom-pegasus-36-trail-shoe-Pg2M9M/CD0383-700
Nike x Gyakusou Zoom Pegasus 36 in Yellow

The Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 36 Trail is one of Nike’s newest silhouettes. The shoe’s traction pad can withstand any terrain. As a member of the Pegasus family, the sneaker comes from a long history of prioritizing comfort and performance. The Pegasus 36 Trail features a water-repellent coating on the mesh upper so that the shoe can weather all conditions. 

Across the collection, Takahashi features a rose with thorns to illustrate the beauty and struggle found through running. Any runner can relate, not just the GIRA. Takahashi has always been poetic in his designs, and this upcoming collection is yet another well-written chapter.

Nike Inc