Intellectual Property

Being from a family in which photos are everything, (and I mean everything), the question of intellectual property has always been one of importance. Whether my family has used pictures to document trips, events or just art, there is no doubting that sharing out photos has always been a “no-brainer.” Whether we post our pictures to facebook, personal websites or photo sharing sites, we always put our work out to the public. This brings on an important question, that of intellectual property. Just because our work is on the web, does that give anyone the right to use and tamper with it? 

This question came up in an extremely publicized case involving the President of the United States. As you can read in this article, Shepard Fairey was an artist who used another persons work to create the now famous red and blue “hope” image of President Obama. Is this fair? Can a person change another persons work to create something new? And Profit from it? 

I don’t think this should be allowed. Each artists work is personal, and therefore, people should not have the right to tamper with someones work. I believe this issue goes further than photography and art though. With the use of the internet being so frequent, it is so easy to access and change the work of others. More laws regarding intellectual property need to be implemented in order to protect any work that is put on the internet. 

What do you think? Should there be more laws regarding intellectual property? Is it fair for people to change the work of others? 

Disadvantages to studying abroad?

There is a blog entitled “Maria Abroad: Experience the adventure of living abroad.” After reading the name of the blog, you would believe that it would have positive experiences and words of encouragement for people both traveling and living abroad. Therefore, I was surprised when I came across a post entitled “Disadvantages of studying abroad.

I understand that on most topics in life, it is good to look at the pros and cons of any situation. However, this article lists all of the reasons studying abroad is bad and scary, and only has a sentence of encouragement towards the end.

Studying and living abroad is an amazing experience that broadens someones expectations of cultures, people and life. Although the experience is definitely not for everyone, the overwhelming negative tone of this article could certainly push people away from this experience. If the author of this blog wanted to point out the trials and tribulations that someone would feel while abroad, I believe that she should have at least shown a list of positive qualities as well.

Virtual Community

Virtual communities are an important part of the internet. You are able to find topics you are interested in and share opinions and work with others who share similar interests. Here are two that were interesting to me!

Model Mayhem
Model Mayhem is an online community for anyone in the fashion industry. From designers, to photographers to makeup artists, are able to post pictures of their work as well as get commentary and work with other people in the community. It is really helpful for new people in the industry!

-Foto Log
Foto Log is one of the oldest sites for photo sharing, and allows you to share your photos through diaries or blogs. You are able to get commentary on your photos from others in the community!

Helping others see the world!

Traveling is one of my greatest passions in life, and one that I feel very privileged to be able to do. Not everyone is able to see the world and experience the amazing cultures that the world has to offer. Therefore, there are two organizations that have different yet connected goals. One organization helps children travel that otherwise would not get a change, while another allows people to travel and help the local people in the places that they go.

One of the most well known organizations is the Make a Wish Foundation. This foundation grants wishes to ill children and changes their lives. Many wishes include small things like going to a baseball game or meeting a famous person, but others include traveling the world. It is amazing to go to the foundations website and read the stories of children who were able to go to their dream destinations thanks to make-a-wish. Children have traveled all over the world, to places like Paris, Australia and even Disney World.

Another company is Projects Abroad. This organization helps people go to a different country and help others in different countries. You have options to build houses, serve food or simply volunteer. Putting the time and effort into helping others far away from you is an amazing and rewarding experience that everyone who likes to travel should have.

Although these two programs have different ways of helping others, they both allow “ordinary” people to make a difference. Anyone who gets to travel is so fortunate and it is only right that we help others as well.


As I pointed out in my earlier post, traveling is one of my greatest passions. I love seeing the world and experiencing different cultures. But knowing what to do and where to go in different places is always a daunting task. Because of this, I have taken to reading many different blogs about traveling, as well as simple day-to-day activities such as cooking, crafts and decorating. One blog that combines all of these into one is Goop.  This is Gweneth Paltrow’s blog and has everything from travel advice, to recipes to shopping tips.

This weekend, on my trip to London, me and my roommates took one of “GP’s” (as she calls herself on the blog) recommendations on where to get sushi, and we were not disappointed! We were very thankful for her tips because the items we ordered from her blog were most certainly our favorite!

Spending hours on Goop is easy with its many different categories and great advice! I would definitely recommend checking it out!

Learning your way around the world

Studying abroad in Florence is one of the most amazing experiences. However, being new to Florence there are many things we have questions about. We don’t know where to eat, where to shop and what to see. More than that, as I travel around the world to places where I don’t speak the language I tend to feel even more lost. To help me along I have been using the site This website helps you with everything while traveling anywhere such as hotels, restaurants, museums and more. Also, it gives you user recommendations and critiques about virtually everything!

Under the restaurant “Gusta Pizza” in Florence, it tells you the price range, type of food, what type of people it is good for, when it is open and more! One user critique was “BEST PIZZA IN ITALY! I have been to Pisa, Rome, Bolzano, and Florence Italy and this is pizza at its best! The house wine was great, although I would have prefered drinking out of a glass than a plastic cup. The price is fantastic and the service was very fast and friendly.”

This website is an amazing resource to learn about local places and find anything in any place around the world!