Selfies: If You Want To Be Taken Seriously…

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on September 6, 2014 in Absolute Hot! |

How do women manage to get along in the business world when many companies disregard qualifications and experience? How do they manage to fit in with the corporate identity, make themselves appear more serious, more suitable for that higher management position? It all has to do with appearance because, as we know, many judge a woman not by her abilities, but by her physical assets, not by her prowess, but by her ability to attract and distract whenever necessary.

Viktoria Michaelis: Women with Glasses

Photo Source: unknown, via imgsrc

We are fast approaching a time when the only way a woman can get along in business, as far as higher management is concerned, is when there is a quota enforced to ensure that women come into the more demanding positions in a company. When the government says that a certain number of women must be present in the boardroom, and company policy dictates that a certain amount of sexism has to be enforced, has to be accepted, in order for this to be achieved.

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Photography: Showing Size

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on September 5, 2014 in Internet |

One of the things that I love about the Internet – as, I am sure, is much the same for all of us – is the wealth of information, of images that can be found. We can literally travel the entire world from our living room – although really traveling is far better – wander through the finest landscapes, experience war zones without personal risk, see what might normally never be available to us in real life. There is always someone who has been there, who has made a record of their visit, and who shares it with us, the eagerly awaiting public.

One of my many, many wishes is to get to see Venice for myself. At the moment, though, I have to content myself with travel reports and photographs from those lucky few who have been there, and what better place to do so than through the Internet with its constant updates and thousands of different reports from a personal perspective. And so I was enthralled when I found this photograph, shared on Google Plus, which shows something we are unlikely to see in any other place. The sheer size of a tourist ship about to travel along the Grand Canal. It is possible to see not only the beauty of the whole, but also to understand why the residents are so against such ships being allowed to traverse their waterways. The damage it must cause is unimaginable.

Venice, Shipping, Tourism, Ships, Italy

Photo Source: unknown, via Google Plus

And, as usual, I try to find out, when no attribution is given, who shot the photograph and a little on their background. Sad to say, as we share so many things one with another on the multitude of social networks available, information on the photographer, the time, sometimes even the place, disappear. researching this image I found it on Google Plus – my source – on Pinterest and vk (the Russian Facebook). But who took the shot? I find nothing which tells me who the photographer is – although I must admit my Russian is a little rusty – so I am unable to find more of his or her work. Which is a great shame, as I would love to explore their view, their experiences, more.

Even so, for your edification, Venice with ship. Perhaps, one day, I will be able to take my own shot and find it again, many years later, across the entire Internet without anyone knowing that it was me who was there.

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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Incest, The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on September 4, 2014 in News & Opinion |

There are many cases presented against marriage between two people of the same gender, many based on tradition, most on the Bible, some on personal feelings that it is just wrong. Few, if any, have any real base in law and, as a result, courts throughout the United States have overturned State bans on same-sex marriage one after another. In most States the ideal of equality under the law, of equal rights for all, seems to have won through.

Viktoria Michaelis: Gay, Lesbian, Same-Sex, Marriage, Incest

Photo Credit: Mike LichtCreative Commons

The hardest argument against same-sex marriage, however, seems to be one which many will find very hard to understand: same-sex marriage will lead to incest. Not just incest, but marriage between close relatives – although, it could be argued, in some States this is already allowed to a certain extent. Now the District Court in New Orleans, Louisiana, presided over by judge Martin Feldman, has upheld the ban on same-sex marriage in the State, and allows the State to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages from other States, despite their legality.

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Re-Thinking, Re-Designing, Planning Anew

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on September 3, 2014 in Publishing |

Nothing in the Internet stays still, like politics it is always changing, there is nothing that cannot be made better, nothing which is too young to be updated. As each change to one software package or another comes out, there appears a wealth of new themes, add-ons, plug-ins, extensions. If you don’t keep up you’re lost: someone else will be there with a better offer, a better appearance, a more attractive site.

Viktoria Michaelis: Web Design

Photo Credit: Robert S. DonovanCreative Commons

Personally, as far a business goes, I prefer simplicity. I enjoy sites where what you are looking for is easy to find, where you aren’t blasted with adverts, pop-ups, pop-unders, moving things and visuals that you need to close before you can find what you’re looking for. That was my idea with the publishing business, and that is my idea with the shop site to sell my published works. I want those who visit the site to be able to concentrate on what they are looking for, to be able to find what they need without a thousand clicks here and there and a lot of frustration. And I also want almost everything to be roughly in one place.

So I’ve been spending some time in front of the computer – yet again – designing, deciding, changing. With the next set of books to be published there will also be a new shop layout. Clean, simple, easy to navigate. Not that the one I have at the moment isn’t all that, but there is room for improvement. Added to which I want, as I say, everything pretty much in one place for my ease of use.

I hope to have at least one new title out at the end of this month – a Masonic theme again – and then a short story next month. With them I will present the newly designed shop. Things will remain much the same here, though, no worries about that, but I simply don’t like sitting still and leaving what can be improved as it is.

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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Rape Culture: Protection, Guilt And Controversy

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on September 2, 2014 in News & Opinion |

Who is to blame when a woman is raped, the attacker or the victim? There seem to be various thoughts on this, varying from loading blame on society through men in general right down to the woman herself. Our society, we are told, breeds such crimes. If women didn’t dress in such a provocative manner – regardless of whether they are school children or grown adults – there would be no rape, there would be no sexual assaults. The fact that women in all cultures are subjected to rape – including Muslim societies where very strict dress codes are enforced – belies this claim.

Viktoria Michaelis: Rape, Rape Culture, Protecting Women
Since schools insist on educating young women to dress so that they do not tempt younger men towards illicit thoughts, and accept that ‘boys will be boys’ and need no such education, four (male) students at the North Carolina State University have come up with a method of protection for women: date-rape reacting nail polish. A woman wearing this protective nail polish merely needs to dip her finger in a suspect drink to see whether it has been tampered with or not. When yes, the color changes. This further means of protection, amongst many which women sadly need today, has come in for some scorn.

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All Dressed Up And Somewhere To Go

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on September 1, 2014 in Absolute Hot! |

Once again the celebrity news sites are full of it, something to really get your teeth into: the leaking or attempted sale of intimate, erotic, nude and compromising selfies by prominent female stars of stage and screen. Someone is offering photographs for anyone who cares to pay in Bitcoins, or through PayPal according to some, which, apparently, have been garnered from the iCloud. Which brings all the tech sites into play – even Fox & Friends managed a reasonably acceptable report – with details of how it is possible, who is behind the whole thing, where you can get your own copies and how to stop hackers from getting their grubby hands on your most private recorded moments.

Viktoria Michaelis: Fashion Selfies, Women

Photo Source: unknown, via Tumblr

To be honest, anyone who takes a selfie which might be considered compromising – whether rising starlet, accomplished celebrity or simply Aunt Betty from down the road – and then uploads it anywhere is asking for trouble. And here we should differentiate between those who share, and those who simply store for the memories. Sharing a photograph to all and sundry is completely different to having your special images stored somewhere completely out of your control, just the same as sending the most revealing photographs to that special friend is considerably more dangerous – as far as trust goes – than keeping the results of a few moments fun safe and sound on your smart phone.

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Women Programmers in Their Underwear And….

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 31, 2014 in Immoral Conversations |

Women are fighting back! Well, admit it, there is nothing unusual about such a statement, women have been fighting back against one form of inequality or another, against sexism, against being allocated and forced into a role with precious little by way of recognition or thanks for centuries. Now, it would appear, the latest method of fighting back is to be photographed in your underwear, to show that women are just as good as men in the tech industry. Which seems to be surprising, at least to me, since underwear, lingerie, that sexy black number, has always been a female thing and there are few men who would consider themselves to have a lead in the ratings for sexy underwear photographs.

Not that the clothing on display is overwhelmingly sexy, more utility. We don’t get to see a range of naughty lingerie on paper-thin models, but normal underwear on ordinary women who happen to have made it in the Tech industry. Happen being a word for those who have worked hard, overcome many obstacles, and proven that they are capable of doing a job many consider reserved for male geeks.

Viktoria Michaelis: Tech Sticker
I wonder, though, whether those taking and approving these photographs took a moment to peruse more than the shapely form of these executives. Clearly they were distracted from completing their jobs by the sight of so much naked flesh, by the sheer extravagance of beauty on display. This would hardly be the first time that someone has been distracted by a semi-nude image which, perhaps is the point of the whole. And, as my crop from one of the photographs shows, that distraction has led to a small embarrassment, an overlooked faux pas, you could say.

Some people like to show themselves off in their underwear, some through a computer logo – which would fit far better in the highly competitive tech world – and others through individuality. I’m not sure, though, that having such a sticker on a laptop would necessarily be the sort of message a company might want to send out, especially one involved in sales. Perhaps it will disappear after a while. If so, well, you saw it here first…

Love & Kisses, Viki.


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What Your Fashion Statement Says About You

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 30, 2014 in Immoral Conversations |

We all make some sort of statement about ourselves when we go out, through our clothing, our make-up, our general attitude and appearance. It’s something we cannot stop, cannot avoid, simply because people read our character according to what they see, what they imagine we are showing of ourselves.

There are, though, some statements which tell anyone in the know considerably more about a person than simply our style of dress. One is this wearing of the trousers almost around your knees, as a male, or having a certain color handkerchief in the left or the right hand pocket of your pants. If you know what it means, can interpret it, then you’re on to a good thing!

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Is ALS A Fraud?

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 29, 2014 in Immoral Conversations |

If you haven’t caught it on the news, on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google or anywhere else and don’t know what the Ice bucket challenge is, then I will be very surprised. Depending on who happens to be pouring water – or bundles of cash – over their heads, the promotion to raise cash and donations for the ALS Foundation has hit the news big time. If you’re not sure what it is Wikipedia has a very good article on the disease.

In an article published in Political Ears, it is shown that of all the money raised through the Ice Bucket Challenge, a mere 27% finds its way towards research. This is the main point of the article but, if you look at my illustration – to save you time reading the large print article – you’ll see that there is considerably more to it than that. A further 32% goes towards public education on ALS, and 19% for patient and community services. That’s a total of 79% used for further education, care and research, which is what the money is intended for.

Whilst the salaries listed towards the middle of the article seem to be high, considering what managers receive these days, these salaries still only account for 7% of the donations and are well within acceptable margins.

Aside from the sheer audacity of the article – trying to rile people up over something which has been doctored to show false figures – I found it more than amusing how the website places its adverts, which hardly seem to suggest a serious article or editorial policy. Techniques to gain any woman through seduction are more spam than anything else and rightfully earn their place in the trash can.

A serious website? Possibly, and possibly a serious article, if only the facts had been properly highlighted rather than the author attempting to create a scandal where none exists.

Love & Kisses, Viki

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Getting To Grips With New Words

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 28, 2014 in Immoral Conversations |

Has the Internet brought a whole new form of language with it? Is it possible that the evolution of our mother tongue, whichever one it may be, is being pushed on through the manner in which younger people express themselves online, through status updates, through the need to abbreviate what they have to say on Twitter?

In recent months several of the leading dictionary companies have announced new words which they are accepting for publication in their works, which they believe have become part of our daily language, and many of them seem to stem from the Internet, from people trying to find new ways to express themselves. Although, reading through hundreds of updates, Tweets and sundry web sites, many are perhaps not really suitable for your everyday dictionary.

Sites such as the Urban Dictionary are well ahead of the printed versions, and tend to be more in touch with some of the language being used, and defining it in a clear and often unmistakable – adult – manner.

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