meme history

Meme Culture: A Short History

We encounter memes while scrolling through Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, etc. They are everywhere. We read them, we look at them, we share them, we tell people about them, and we laugh at them. So, when and why were memes developed and, why are they all of a sudden so popular?

Meme: An idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.                                
-Websters Dictionary

According to this definition, a meme carries cultural values, ideas, and symbols that are transmitted through pictures, speech, and gestures. In fact, there is a whole anthropological study about memes. The word actually derives from the Greek word minime, which means “to imitate.”

In this Web 2.0 era, memes have developed into a subset, known as internet memes. Internet memes are very similar to the original  concept of memes, but they are transmitted digitally; concepts, catchphrases and different media are spread on social media sites such as Tumblr and Facebook. The purpose of memes, mostly, are to poke fun at a certain idea. Of the millions of memes that circulate the internet each day, there are some extremely popular ones that most people recognize.

For example, the baby who is holding his fist in a manner that suggests accomplishment. This meme has been used with several different headings, each suggesting a ridiculous accomplishment.

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Another popular,  widely known meme is the one of the Dos Equis Man, “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” making a hilarious change to his widely recognized catchphrase.

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I could go on and on about other funny memes that circulate the web, but what is truly impressive about memes is how fast they spread and how easily they are created. There is definitely a meme culture  centered around internet memes. Oftentimes, memes develop from Internet subcultures and current topics. The joke in a meme can come from purposeful, chosen misspellings, parodies on society, or the correlation between image and text. Internet memes come in the form of images, hashtags, videos, and hyperlinks.

There are millions of sites that dedicate themselves soley to internet memes; there are also groups on Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook, and other social media sites that exclusively post memes. People like the social media page, and then share the memes. What makes memes so popular is the interaction between the people sharing and liking them on social media sites. But, as a meme is continually shared online, its origin is lost a little more each time.

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ridingboots

Top Ten Tuesdays: Riding Boots

It’s that time of year again, ladies! Whether you love the chilly Autumn air or not, we have to face the facts: fall is upon us. Fall brings tons of great things: soup, comfy sweaters, and pumpkin-flavored everything. But even beyond our top three, there’s another frivolous favorite on our list: riding boots.

Riding boots are the ultimate shoe style for fall; they can dress an outfit up or down, and if you treat them right they can last multiple seasons. So for our debut of Top Ten Tuesdays, what better way to kick things off than to feature some of our favorite riding boots for fall?

From super affordable to special splurges, we’ve compiled fall riding boots for every taste and price tag.

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(from top left to bottom right)
1. Poppy Elastic Over Knee Boots // 2. Madden Girl Elsiee // 3. Pink & Pepper Rapper Boots // 4. Rocket Dog Cowell Boots // 5. Wanted Derby Boots // 6. LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Maren Boots // 7. Steve Madden Exclusive Boots – Fllash // 8. Bandolino – Cranne // 9. Bandolino – Clamroo // 10. Nine West – Batley

Officially speaking, there’s still one week of summer left. However, for many of us, the chilly temperatures have already arrived and it’s time to gear up for fall. Between our mix of picks that vary from simple to statement pieces, hopefully our selection of riding boots will set you off on the right foot.

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Former Disney Star Ashley Tisdale Tied The Knot!

Last week former Disney Channel star Ashley Tisdale got married to musician Christopher French. Although it was a private ceremony, Ashley was proud to share her happiness with the world through Instagram.

Ashley looked gorgeous in her wedding gown as she posed alongside her new husband. On Instagram, she claimed it was the “best day of [her] life” and in the wedding photos you can truly see how happy she looked on her big day.

A lot of the couple’s friends were at the wedding,  including Ashley’s longtime bestie from High School Musical, Vanessa Hudgens, who was a bridesmaid. Talk about true friendship; these two have known each other for the better part of a decade!

Unfortunately for all of us who wanted to see how nicely he cleans up, former co-star and friend Zac Efron was unable to make it to Ashley’s wedding. However, he sent the happy couple his congratulations through a short note on Twitter.

It’s a bit too nostalgic seeing someone we grew up watching on TV get married (Suite Life of Zack And Cody, anyone?), but it’s awesome at the same time. Ya know, kind of like seeing your fictitious big sister all grown up. (Or is that just us?)

All in all, Ashley and Christopher’s wedding looked like a fairytale, and Ashley fit the bill for a perfect princess. We wish the best for the newlyweds as they start their future as husband and wife. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. French!

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Fun Finds On YouTube: Under The Radar Artists

I love discovering new bands, artists, and styles of music. It’s so much fun finding out about a band by exploring YouTube with friends and family. I don’t know about you, but I can spend hours just clicking from one video to the next, and usually I discover some awesome music.

Here are some of the little treasures I have found this past summer and highly recommend!

1. Little Dragon


Little Dragon is a Swedish electronic music band that caught my attention when it randomly popped up on one of my friend’s playlists. Little Dragon manages to balance complexity of sound and rhythm with a degree of catchiness that makes the songs last in your mind for the rest of the day. Yukimi Nagano (vocals, percussion), Erik Bodin (drums), Fredrik Källgren Wallin (bass), and Håkan Wirenstrand (keyboards) formed in 1996 as a high school band and released their first record ten years later in 2006. Yukimi’s voice is flawless and balances out the electronic sounds.

2. RJD2


I discovered RJD2 at the Governors Ball Music Festival this year and fell in love. You simply cannot stand still when listening to this music – it inspires you to move. You may already know RJD2 but aren’t aware of it – just like me. For all the Mad Men fans out there, he wrote their opening song: A Beautiful Mind. Many other songs will sound familiar from advertisements, movies, or other media. RJD2 began his career making mainly hip-hop albums and producing for rappers. On his own albums, he does all the instrumentals and vocals. He owns his own label now and is becoming bigger than ever. 

3. Milky Chance

This German alternative pop folk rock (A strange combination, but they’re really great!) duo became quite popular last winter in Germany. When I first discovered them, I was in a bar in Germany and realized the way the two incorporate reggae as well as electronic music was something I never had heard before. I added it to my Spotify account as soon as I got home that night and I listened to them all winter long . I returned to New York only to realize that Milky Chance had disappeared from my Spotify playlist, because they have not reached the good ‘ole USA yet. Thank goodness for YouTube, where their videos are accessible. Give ‘em a listen; Milky Chance will have you moving, dancing, and singing in the shower.

4. Brick & Mortar

Lastly, we have something a little different. Brick+Mortar is a indie rock duo that consists of Brandon Asraf (bass guitar, vocals) and John Tacon (drums, electronic samples, vocals). The duo began to gain recognition mainly in the Arsbury Park music scene and they performed along the shore, which helped them gain a large fanbase. Brick & Mortar has existed since 2010, and they currently have two albums out. I cannot wait to see how they further develop their image and grow. Brandon’s unique voice and the band’s incorporation of electronic samples caught my attention; I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

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Back to School Style Bargains

September is now upon on us, which means it’s time to get some of that back-to-school shopping done!

The get-ready-for-school commercials, flyers, and notifications on television and social media are becoming a regularity once again. Many of us aren’t really looking forward to another school year filled with homework, demanding professors, and nights spent at the library. Back-to-school shopping can easily lift our spirits and get us motivated for not only a positive, but stylish start to the school year. All the money that we’ve been working our butts off earning over the summer is hard to part with during this time, as much as we can love shopping.

Luckily, “bargain” is one word that The Miss Information is very familiar with.

We know you want to get the best bang for your buck, for the sake of your closet and the cash you’ve been saving this summer. It’s become a mission to find the best deals possible for back-to-school styles, allowing you to not only buy more items, but quality ones at that.

Walking through the halls in your own style, rocking what you love, and purchasing it yourself can make you feel like you’re on Cloud Nine. It helps build your confidence for the school year ahead by setting out on your first day in style.

From bags and stationary to shoes and apparel — we’ve searched online for the hottest bargains for this upcoming school year. Not only will you be satisfied with your savings, but you’ll be looking hot as hell once the first day of school comes around.

1. Target 
Check your mail to see if you’ve received the latest back-to-school flyer! Target shared their best deals and even create a must-get list for students, which includes a huge packet of coupons. Target is a store you definitely want to hit on your shopping agenda — the earlier the better.

2. Wal-Mart
We all know Wal-Mart is known for having some of the cheapest deals out there. However, it sometimes is overlooked for that mere fact. Wal-Mart definitely had some cute supplies and items for dorms, like folders, planners, storage units, etc. Be sure to check it out!

3. T.J. Maxx & Marshalls 
Both are incredible for finding expensive brands at  discounted prices that you can’t find anywhere else. The best part is that what you find you usually don’t see anyone else wearing, and everything is super cute!

4. Cotton On
Cotton On is an affordable store that has become popular for many people looking to spend less and buy more. They always have deals on all of their products, from accessories to apparel. Recently they have begun to expand, and now include home items and stationary.

5. DSW 
If you want cute shoes at great prices, DSW has definitely got you covered. They have tons of shoe brands — more than you can imagine at discounted prices. Fun fact — you can get them at an even more discounted price by signing up for free to their DSW Rewards program. The more you spend, the more deals you’ll get. And trust us, it’s totally worth it.

6. Five Below
If you have one in your area you know all about this store! They’re not mainly a place to buy apparel, but they do have some adorable and neat items you can’t find anywhere else, like notebooks, pillows, and storage units.

7. H&M
You can find some high quality staple items for your closet at H&M at great prices. The best part is that they’re known for giving discounts if you show you them their school identification card. Try it out and see if they swing one your way! Every little bit counts.

8. Haute Look 
Don’t know what Haute Look is? Pop open a new tab, search, and sign up. Haute Look is an online website created to bring you the best deals every day on top brands. They’re having some popular back-to-school blowouts now that you’re going to want to checkout ASAP.

9. Forever 21
You can always find products at affordable prices in Forever 21. Recently, their product quality has gotten much better, which means that you can still find an adorable outfit for a great price.

10. Apple Store
Now if you’re looking to invest in an Apple product, now is the time to do so. They provide incredible deals for back-to-school students that you can only find during this time. Go on by and take a look!

Happy shopping, gals.

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Mermaid Magic: Mythical Fashion And Beauty

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If e.l.f. Cosmetics‘ and Disney’s recent collaboration on a Little Mermaid beauty collection is any indication, it looks like mermaids are the new unicorns. While the Internet once loved the single-horned mythical beasts, perhaps it  will be ladies with fins crowding every Tumblr dash and adorning printed dresses at every fast fashion outlet.

With their perfectly beachy, wavy hair, glamorous shining tails, and love of DIY beach-comber jewelry, mermaids have a totally enviable style. Both luxurious and wild, they speak to a femme fatale appeal.

While Google trends suggests that ‘mermaids’ reaches peak popularity last May, Sofia Coppola is set to direct a live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid that should attract widespread recognition of and interest in these mythical creatures.

While we’re waiting for peak mermaid to hit pop culture, check out these adorable fashion and beauty pieces inspired by the sirens of the sea:

1. Ethereal mermaid-tail print leggings for fantastic fins.   

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Get these on eBay for $8.45.

2. If mermaids have taught us anything, it’s that clam shells look great on top. 

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This H&M short shell top is adorable, and is a prominent part of the crop-top revival.

3. ELF’s Ariel inspired collection included a sparkling  sea-foam brush set, full false lashes suiting any Disney princess, a shadow book, and bronzer. Snap some up pieces and relive your childhood mermaid dreams. 

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$5-10 at drugstore.com

4. Smell like a mermaid, not a fish, with A Beautiful Life Mermaid’s Kiss fragrance. 

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 A Beautiful Life fragrance, $52

Mermaids might be ocean creatures, but you can be sure that they don’t smell like a flounder. This indie perfume boasts notes of salt air, pineapple, lime, and bay rum that will bring the ocean to where ever you happen to be.

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Why We Should Stop Judging Others

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t hear at least one judgmental comment. We all make tiny judgements: you, your friends, your family, random strangers; essentially everybody. Unfortunately, it’s a common human behavior, and one that should be changed.

Lately, I’ve realized that people spend so much time criticizing others that they don’t realize what is really going on in front of their eyes. You don’t know what’s happening in that person’s life,  and you don’t know what they may or may not be going through.

This is why next time you have the urge to judge someone, just take a step back and put yourself in that person’s shoes. Think to yourself: what if that person’s hair is messy because they just got fired and it’s been a tough month for them? Or what if that person is acting aggressively because they are coping with personal struggles? It is so much easier to judge someone than it is actually put yourself in his or her position, or even accept that that’s just the way that person is.

Anytime I hear someone make a judgmental comment, I like to play devil’s advocate and ask him or her why they would say something so critical and cruel. Most of the time, I catch the person off-guard. Unfortunately, it’s deemed unusual that I speak up about it; apparently many people expect me to join in and also criticize the person. This is one of the reasons why you should in fact stand up and voice your frustration with passing judgement on others.

At the end of the day, we are wasting time and unnecessarily hurting others by making mean comments. Take a step back and really think how you would feel if someone said that about yourself.

Once you start to apply this to your life and become less judgmental, you will see how much better you’ll feel about yourself and as well as others. Even if it takes time to get into the habit of not judging others, once you master it, you’ll be happy you did. Maintaining an open mind and accepting heart can make a difference in our lives as well as the lives around us.

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Pump up Your Protein Shake!

You just worked long and hard at the gym and are in need of a recovery snack. Oreos and peanut butter are tempting, but you don’t want all of your hard work go to waste. Celery and carrot sticks seem unappealing, but you know you need to choose a healthy option.

How about an option that’s both healthy and delicious?

Protein shakes are a great way to get the vitamins and nutrients you need post-workout in order to help you build muscle and keep your body happy and healthy. There’s no reason to sacrifice taste or health with these dessert-inspired protein shakes. You’ll be pumped to get through your workout and get back home so that you can treat yourself with one of these yummy creations!

1. Cinnamon Roll Shake

Blend:

• ½ cup almond milk
• ½ cup water
• 1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
• 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
• 1 Tsp Butter Extract
• ¼ Tsp Cinnamon
• 1 cup ice

2. Coffee Shake

Blend:

• 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
• 1 cup ice
• 1 frozen banana
• ½ cup chilled coffee
• 1 cup almond milk

3. Vanilla Coffee Shake

• ½ cup almond milk
• ½ cup chilled coffee
• 1 frozen banana
• 1 scoop vanilla protein
• 1 tbsp chia seeds
• 1 cup ice

4. Banana Cream and Oreo Shake

• 1 banana
• 1 “100 Calorie” Oreo Pack
• 1 cup ice
• 1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
• Sugar-Free banana cream pudding mix

5. Strawberry Cheesecake Shake

Blend:

• 1/3 cup strawberry fat free greek yogurt
• ½ cup frozen strawberries
• 1/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
• 1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
• ½ cup almond milk
• 2 Tsp fat free sour cream
• 1 cup ice

6. Pina Colada Shake

Blend:

• 1 cup fat free cottage cheese
• 1 cup crushed pineapple or 1 cup pineapple juice
• ½ frozen banana
• ½ cup almond, skim, or coconut milk
• 1 tbsp shredded coconut
• ½ school Vanilla Protein Powder
• 1 cup ice

7. Almond Joy

Blend:

• ½ cup coconut greek yogurt
• 1 scoop chocolate protein
• ¼ cup almond milk
• 1 to 2 tbsp sliced almonds
• 1 cup ice

8. Pumpkin Pie Protein

Blend:

• ½ frozen banana
• 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
• 1/3 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
• ¾ cup vanilla almond milk
• 1 scoop Vanilla protein powder
• 1 cup ice

working out

How To Motivate Yourself To Workout (And Love It)

At night, you set your alarm an hour early, giving yourself enough time to get in a good workout. You fall asleep excited, knowing that your day is always best when it begins with exercise. As always, you promise yourself that this time, you’ll actually wake up when you need to.

But when your alarm starts beeping the next morning, you hit snooze. Again. And again. And again, until you barely have enough time to get dressed, let alone go for a run. You promise yourself that tomorrow, it’ll be different.

How can you break this cycle? It’s difficult, but it’s possible. Though it definitely comes down to willpower, there are a few ways to motivate yourself on a cold, groggy morning (or in the afternoon, or the evening, for that matter).

First, find something you love doing. Maybe you’re a runner at heart, or maybe you think running was an invention of the devil. No matter what, you aren’t going to get off your couch to do something you hate. Instead, find an exercise that you’ll actually enjoy.

Chances are, a friend of yours also loves the same exercise you do — and don’t be afraid to ask around. Most people struggle to stay motivated to work out and would be more than happy to enlist a buddy to keep them on track. Grab a good friend (or even someone you’d like to get to know more) and drag her to your Zumba class. It’ll be even more fun when you two can laugh about how awkward you were together.

While dropping a ton of cash on a new wardrobe you won’t use isn’t a good idea, using clothes as a reward can help you. Want to start running? Invest in a quality pair of running shoes. You’ll be more comfortable — meaning you’re more likely to keep at it — and you’ll be excited to try out your new purchase. Just make sure you’ll actually get your money’s worth if you’re stocking up on new items.

Make all your preparations beforehand. You do not want to spend 15 minutes getting ready for your morning jog — every minute counts when you’re fighting against your warm, cozy bed. Instead, sleep in your workout gear and set out a snack the night before. Do whatever you need so you can get up and out the door without thinking about it too much. If you’re planning on fitting in a workout in the afternoon or evening, make sure you’ve got everything on hand and ready to go.

Finally, pick a peppy playlist (or whatever suits your mood). For some, Top 40 tunes will get them hopping; for others, more relaxing music can set a peaceful mood for a thoughtful workout. Find what works best for you.

Of course, none of this will work if you don’t have the right mindset. Instead of viewing your workout as a punishment, see it as an investment in a healthier future. Don’t be afraid to start, even if you’re a newbie to exercise.

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wigo

Who Is Going Out? WiGo Helps College Students Answer The Big Question

There are a lot of questions that you’ll hear on campus on a daily basis?

“Did you do your homework?”
“Can you help me study?”
“Are you going to class?”
“Wanna head to the dining hall?”
“What time’s dinner?”
And on more nights than not…
“Who is going out?”

Ben Kaplan realized the prevalence and frequency of this question during his freshman year at Holy Cross, and he became determined to create “an efficient way for college students to make social plans.” While group texts and Facebook statuses can get the job done when it comes to making plans, it can look a bit like you’re begging for a social life sometimes — even if that’s not the case. Ben says, “If you’re the one doing [this] every Friday, it kind of makes you look desperate or out of the loop.” But a social app that students from your campus all engage on to see where the masses — or just the people you care about — are heading that evening? Yeah, that could do the trick.

Ben, who was a Division 1 hockey player before dropping out to fully commit to his brainchild,  got straight to work planning out sketches and functionalities. The app he created is called WiGo (pronounced “we go”) and stands for “Who is going out?” After realizing that his fellow college students saw a need for this app, Ben spent the summer between his freshman and sophomore year having a developer to build a rudimentary version of WiGo.

In January 2014, Ben was ready to put WiGo in front of actual college students. He launched WiGo at Holy Cross and the numbers said it all. On any given night, up to 90% of users were active on WiGo.

Co-founder and CTO, Giuliano Giacaglia pictured with Co-founder and CEO, Ben Kaplan

Co-founder and CTO, Giuliano Giacaglia pictured with Co-founder and CEO, Ben Kaplan

When Ben met Paul English, co-founder of Kayak.com and current CEO and co-founder of Blade (a startup factory located in Boston), the wheels started turning better than ever. WiGo is one of the tech companies in Blade’s startup factory, and Ben says that “Paul and his team have a very committed staff to help build our company.” It is through this resource and guidance that Ben was connected to Giuliano Giacaglia, the co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of WiGo. Together Ben, Giuliano, Paul, WiGo’s 5 full-time employees, and Blade’s staff of startup enthusiasts work together to continually improve the sharp app that is available on both iPhones and Android devices. And they must be doing something right: WiGo is now being used on 700 campuses by over 15,000 college students.

So let’s talk features. WiGo is available on every campus across the country, but campuses remain “locked” until at least 100 students from that school download the app. (Because c’mon? Who wants to use a social app when only 5 people are on it?) If you download the app and your school is not at 100 users yet, WiGo will let you know how many students are needed to “unlock” the school, and it will prompt you with the option to spread the word about WiGo on your social media accounts. “The more the merrier” really applies to this unique app.

Once your school is unlocked, the fun really begins. On any night you’re planning to go out, you can simply indicate your intentions in the WiGo app. From there, you can tap your friends (or that cute classmate from your Econ class) to let them know that you want to see them out. They’ll receive a push notification giving them the heads up, and from there they can return the favor if they’d like.

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You can see the different hot spots and events that people are going to, and you can even chat with your buddies on WiGo. Looking to be bold and hit up the aforementioned cute kid from Econ? WiGo can help with that. And whether you end up meeting up with him at the bar or he “forgets” to answer that drunk message you sent him, you can (potentially) relax knowing that WiGo resets every morning at 5am. Your messages disappear and you are marked as “not going out,” giving you a clean slate for new memories (or, uh, lack thereof?) each day.

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When I chatted with Ben about WiGo, he clued me in on some of the key privacy features of the app. He said, “I felt very strongly that we had to protect the privacy of our users,” and that is apparent with the various layers of features designed in WiGo. You can create a private (or public) account, block users, report users, and you need a .edu email address for your campus and a Facebook account that has at least 100 friends and has been active for at least 1 year. (Yep, that means no fake and/or troll accounts like you may have encountered on apps like Tinder.)

WiGo allows you to create an account with 3-5 photos from your Facebook profile pictures, and then you’re good to go. You can tap, message, and embrace a fun way to answer the question: “who is going out?”

Eliminating misinformation and promoting miss information.