Save the Date: Brooklyn Tech’s 95th Anniversary

Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation will celebrate the “Titans of Tech” Award and the 95th Anniversary of Brooklyn Tech High School on November 28th in New York City.  As a proud graduate of “Tech” and member of the Alumni Foundation’s Dinner Committee, I urge your support of this outstanding school by attending the reception, placing an advertisement in the Event Journal or contributing any amount you can to the school.

Brooklyn Tech is the country’s premier STEM School (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The school’s alumni include inventors, top scientists, CEOs, high-ranking diplomats, scholars in academia, literary figures, Olympians, National Medal recipients and Nobel Laureates.

Tech is committed to preparing students for tomorrow’s cutting edge professions and careers.  The cost to maintain Tech’s level of educational excellence is enormous and involves building and equipping modern science and technology labs for 5,800+ students.  As the rate of change in technology accelerates, so does the cost of delivering such excellence.  New York City provides substantial support, but it is not enough. One of the Alumni Foundation’s goals is to close this monetary gap by relying on contributions raised from this annual dinner.

As a graduate of Brooklyn Tech, I cannot begin to describe the impact the school has had on my education, career trajectory and personal growth. Brooklyn Tech afforded me an outstanding education and laid a solid foundation for me for years to come. I attribute a good part of my success to Brooklyn Tech.  Supporting Brooklyn Tech is a commitment I have made in order to give back and provide an opportunity for others to benefit as well.

I am reaching out to you to help me fulfill this commitment and support this school in all it does to provide opportunities for other young people.

All the “Titans of Tech” Committee members are proud graduates of the school and happen to be connected through the worlds of architecture, human resources, health care, law, actuarial science and finance.   We are united in the mission to preserve Tech’s excellence–  it will surely be a positive factor in educating tomorrow’s leaders.

Please support. Many thanks.

Penelope Kokkinides ‘87
Brooklyn Tech Alumni Board Member
Journal Co-Chair

Staying Safe Post-Hurricane

For the last several weeks, we’ve all watched destruction unfold as hurricane after hurricane has ravaged Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and other locations in the Atlantic and Caribbean.

Harvey arrived on August 25, pummeling the Texas coast with high winds and over 50 inches of rain and displacing tens of thousands of residents. Quickly after came Irma, flying through the Caribbean and Puerto Rico on September 6 before hitting Florida, where it left 15 million people without power. News outlets are full of advice on how to stay safe during a hurricane, but what about after the storm has passed? Here are some tips on how to stay safe once the hurricane has passed.

  1. Beware of debris. One of the first things we want to do after a huge storm is get out and assess the damage. But after such high winds and extensive rain, streets are often strewn with hazards. Make sure to be extremely careful outside and extra wary of downed power lines, fallen trees, broken glass, and treacherous chunks of buildings and commercial signs.
  2. Do NOT drive through standing water. This means in parking lots, roads and bridges. It may be hard to believe, but a car can get carried away in as little as a foot of water! Additionally, deep water can stall your engine and leave you stranded.
  3. NEVER use a generator inside your home, even with the doors and windows open. Carbon monoxide is one of the biggest killers after a storm!
  4. Watch out for wild animals. Snakes, rodents, insects, wasps—these animals might be seeking higher ground after the storm and they can be dangerous.
  5. Don’t drink your water. Flooding can bring waterborne bacterial infections. Treat all water as if it’s infected until you can get an inspection.

Stay safe out there! Turn on your radio so that you can listen for emergency bulletins and updates with the latest storm information.

How to Kick that Summer Cold

 There are few things more frustrating than being bed-bound due to the fatigue, hacking and throbbing that accompany a cold, when all you want is to be out enjoying the summer sun. To make matters worse, it’s proven that summer colds tend to last longer than the ones you catch in the winter, and they have a higher chance of recurring.

Although there isn’t a certifiable cure for the common cold, these tried-and-true tips should have you feeling better in no time:

Up Your Vitamin C

Vitamin C isn’t proven to actually prevent colds, but it has been shown to boost your immunity and potentially shorten the longevity of your cold. If you’re not big into taking supplements, try incorporating these foods into your diet that are loaded with vitamin C.

Get Plenty of Rest

We all know that summer is the time of endless outdoor activities with friends whether it’s a backyard get-together, a meet-up at the trendiest rooftop bar for happy hour or even a walk in your local park. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing, but in the long run, you’re better off skipping out on plans with friends to get better. Overexerting yourself is only going to ultimately prolong your sniffly condition. Try to get as much rest as possible to bolster your immune system.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

All of the sneezing and blowing your nose that comes as a result of a cold can lead to dehydration, so it’s important to counteract that by continually drinking water. Besides the obvious need of fueling your body with water to keep hydrated, consistently downing fluids will help to keep your throat and nasal passages open and lubricated. Hot liquids especially, like tea or broth, relieve nasal congestion and can soothe inflamed tissue that lines your passages.

As always, consult your doctor if your symptoms or conditions worsen or continue to persist longer than two weeks. Feel free to leave a comment in the section below to let me know if you have any remedies for treating a summer cold.

Flying the Skies Like a Pro

I spend a lot of time in the air. And whether you’re an occasional traveler or a true frequent flier, we all know that airplanes and airports can sometimes be hectic and stress-inducing. In order to avoid airline angst, try out these tips next time you take to the skies.

Pre-Flight

  • There has been a lot of debate over when the best time to book a flight is, but according to the experts, it seems like Sunday is the best day to book your flight, especially if you’re booking more than three weeks in advance. When it comes to booking flights, it’s really about how much risk you’re willing to have when waiting for flights to drop in price. I suggest using sites like TripAdvisor or Expedia to compare different airlines for your given travel days and needs. Also, if your travel dates are flexible, I recommend looking at specific airlines’ low fare calendars, like Southwest’s, so you can see an overview of the cheapest days to fly.
  • When it comes to packing there are a few standard rules I tend to stand by. First, if at all possible try to pack in a carry-on bags; you’ll thank yourself in the long run when you’re not waiting for 30 minutes at your final destination for bags that may or may not arrive. Additionally, for said carry-on, opt for a duffel bag or some other soft material bag because it will be easier to store in the overhead bin and less likely to be taken away from you if they have to check bags at the gate.
  • If you’re a frequent flier, a TSA PreCheck membership quickly pays for itself in terms of time saved bypassing security lines. If you don’t fly as frequently, I would make sure to get to the airport about two hours before a domestic flight to ensure enough time to check a bag if you need to, get through security and find your gate. This is especially important if you’re flying during a busy time.

In-Flight

  • Now that you’ve made it past security and finally boarded your plane, it’s time to get settled in for your flight.
  • Air travel is known for is varied microclimates, from the sweat-inducing line in the jet bridge waiting to board your plane to the ice box cabins of your aircraft. It’s important to layer your outfit to be prepared for any temperature thrown your way. Maintain in-flight comfort by wearing breathable fabrics and comfortable shoes that meet both your comfort and functional needs. Just because you’re dressing comfortable doesn’t mean you have to throw all style out the door. (In fact, it’s important to look sharp because it seems like being a well-dressed flier could land you an upgrade!)

 

Let me know your travel tips and tricks in the comment section below. Happy flying!

Health Fads vs. Health Facts

Every day, the Internet provides some new trend or article about how to be a healthier you. Take a shot of this vinegar or eat this “superfood” eighteen times a day. A recent American Heart Association report, however, debunked the unsupported theory that coconut oil is a health conscience food choice. So, how do we know which health tips are legit? Here are a few recommendations on how to see through the fake (health) news:

1.       Check the Source

Always be sure to check the source of whatever article you’re reading. If the information is coming from a registered dietitian or a doctor, it’s more likely to be valid than if the article is just a columnist with no background in health.

2.       Recognize the Dietary Restrictions

Any diet that’s telling you to completely cut out any one part of your diet—sugars, carbs, etc.—is a no-go. Depriving our bodies of any one food group will ultimately lead to a binge. You’re better off eating smaller portions of well-rounded meals to keep you full, healthy and content. 

3.       Be Wary of the “Quick Fix”

If any product or diet promises “immediate results” or a quick cure, it’s probably not going to work. The only way to achieve your health goals is to eat a well-rounded, balanced diet and pair that with daily activity. It’s a process of transformation, but it’s a lifestyle development that will pay off in the long run. 

Regardless of the validity behind any new health craze, you should always consult with your doctor before making any significant dietary change. For more information, check out the FDA’s rundown of how to spot health fraud. And feel free to leave a comment in the section below to let me know about any of the fads you’ve tried — what worked, what didn’t, and what to be on the lookout for!

Healthy, Yummy, Summertime Foods

With summer (somehow) already in full swing, this time of year is not only a peak for high temperatures, but also the height of the season for some of the most delicious foods! Known as the season of fresh fruits and vegetables, summer does not disappoint in its offerings of delicious, healthy snacks. In addition to being delicious, many of the foods in summer’s bounty are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – plus, many naturally help you stay hydrated!

Some of my favorite healthy summer foods include:

1.      Berries — strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries (you get the picture)

2.      Avocado

3.      Watermelon

4.      Tomatoes

5.      Cucumber

6.      Zucchini

Click here for a full list of foods in season this summer.

The best way to find the freshest food near you is to head to your closest farmers’ market. There, you can often talk with the people who grow the foods you’re eating and get the inside scoop on what’s best when. An added bonus is buying this farm-fresh food also supports the local economy. Talk about a win-win!

Celebration: Red, White and Blue

Before we know it, flags will be waving, fireworks bursting and John Philip Sousa tunes blaring. While some people relish in family holiday traditions, there are celebrations happening across the country for the patriotic enthusiast who’s looking for a larger July 4 celebration. Below are a list of the top places to enjoy all things red, white and blue this Independence Day.

Washington, D.C.

It doesn’t get more patriotic than spending Independence Day in our nation’s capital. Not only is D.C. a mecca for all things American history, but there is a pretty fantastic firework show to boot. Take a seat on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial or a grassy spot on the National Mall to see the show.

New York City

You’re sure to never be bored in the City that Never Sleeps. Whether you take a day trip around the harbor to visit Lady Liberty and Ellis Island or spend the day perusing the newest exhibits at The Met, you have to make sure to catch the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show. Recognized as the nation’s largest celebration of Independence Day, this 25-minute spectacle of pyrotechnics is a must see – even at the Big Apple’s high standards.

Boston

As one of our country’s oldest cities, Boston is keen on its Fourth of July celebrations. The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is accompanied not only by the renowned Boston Pops orchestra but also real cannon fire. You can have a great view of all of the festivities from anywhere along the 3-mile stretch of the esplanade along the Charles River.

Philadelphia

Where better to enjoy some good ole fashioned patriotism than in America’s birthplace? Philadelphia is home to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall (where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed), so you won’t be without a surplus of American pride and joy. Join in on the Philly fun by attending their eight-day festival that culminates with one of the largest free outdoor concerts in the country and a grand fireworks show that lights up the sky over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  

Wherever you decide to spend your holiday weekend, make sure to celebrate the Fourth in a safe, patriotic way!

Beat the Heat with Summer Style

I can be daunting to look at the forecast only to see high temps creeping towards triple digits. In order to tackle the summer heat and keep your cool, just follow these few simple tips.

Sunglasses, SPF and Hats – Oh My!

It’s pretty obvious as to how an itchy, uncomfortable sunburn can ruin an outfit. Protect your skin, and sanity for that matter, with continual application of a sunscreen (SPF 50 research says). To keep your outfit stylish and your face safe, you can always opt for a floppy hat. Also, if the eyes are the window to the soul, think of your sunglasses as black-out curtains, protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.

Keep it Cotton (or other natural fibers)

Wearing breathable fabrics like cotton or linen is a sure-fire way to keep your internal body temperature in check. These breathable fabrics are key in making sure that you can enjoy the outdoors without compromising your comfort.

Opt for Lighter Colors

We all know that wearing all-black is a slimming option, but in terms of keeping cool, it’s best to leave the darker hues for winter. Go with lighter colors because they reflect the heat instead of absorb it. Besides, who wants to be drab when white or a bright color can lighten your mood and the feeling of stifling heat?

The Looser, the Better

Flowy clothes don’t cling to your body, allowing air to circulate to your skin. While the common misconception may be that to stay cool you need to shed as many clothes as possible, you’ll feel more comfortable and be more protected from the heat and sun in non-clingy skirts, tops, dresses and pants. 

How to Keep Pets Feeling Fresh

The first “official” day of summer might not be here yet, but most of us are already feeling the heat. With weather this nice, it’s impossible to stay inside. But before you pack up to take on the great outdoors with a furry friend, check out these tips on how to keep your pet happy and safe this summer season.

  1. Don’t leave your pet in an unattended vehicle.
    This is a biggie. Cars retain more heat than an open area, even in the shade. No matter if you roll down your windows, it’s easy for dogs to overheat and become dehydrated quickly. If this hasn’t already hit it home, some states have laws in place making it illegal to leave animals in a confined vehicle.
  2. Keep your pet hydrated.
    Just like you and me, pets get thirsty. In fact, they get dehydrated even quicker because they don’t have the pores to sweat, so they can’t control their body temperature. Make sure to always have fresh, clean water on hand for your pet whether you’re out taking a walk or just playing in the yard.
  3. Be smart about your outdoor time.
    To avoid dehydration, it’s best to limit when and how much you do when it’s hot outside. Opt to be outside with your pet early in the morning or in the evening so your pet still gets the exercise he needs with a smaller risk of overheating. If you can’t avoid the hottest times of the day, at least do your best to avoid hot surfaces like asphalt that could overheat your pup’s paws.

The best way to keep your pet safe is to just be aware. Don’t let the heat spoil your summer; follow these simple tips to keep your pet healthy, happy and hydrated!

How to Avoid Bug Bites

Summer time is almost here, and that means lots of time outside. Whether you are going on a camping or hiking trip, or just planting a garden in your backyard, protection against bug bites can prevent you from irritated and itchy spots on your skin.

Bug spray, such as Repel Lemon Eucalyptus or Sawyer Picaridin (safe for children), should be applied before any outdoor activity to prevent bites.

Wearing long sleeves and pants can help prevent bites. Avoid wearing bright colors that attract bugs. Don’t wear sandals.

Don’t wear perfume or scented hair or body products.

Stay away from still-standing water and remove bodies of water around your home to prevent mosquitoes laying eggs.

Use screens on open doors and windows. Use air conditioning during hot, summer days.

Taking these steps will help you spend lots of time outside this summer without pesky bugs attacking you!