Thursday, January 31, 2013

14 Actors Acting

I posted about this a while back on the old blog, but I just had to share this one more time! After talking about Howl yesterday, I had to see more of the brilliant Franco! Here are fourteen fabulous actors acting. The best part? No audible dialogue. Only music. Enjoy!

P.S. I've always wanted to gather all my friends and have us each do a small short like this that is totally representative of our personalities. Again, without talking, which would be a huge feat. Wouldn't that be fun for a dreary winter day that you're stuck inside?

Remember That Stem Cell Debate?

Remember a few years back when the biggest debate was over stem cell research? Although we don't hear about it as much anymore, some advances in the field are yielding exciting possibilities, and with those possibilities, some concerns. 

"The Berlin Man" received a blood stem cell transplant (which is pretty much a bone marrow transplant) a few years ago to treat his Leukemia. Surprisingly, after the treatment, his HIV seemed to have disappeared. Although remnant traces linger, he is symptom free and has been off is medication for over five years now! So is this possibly a cure?

Stem cell research is finding all sorts of new discoveries. For example, embryonic stem cells (the big debate) offer a plethora of information and opportunity, while somatic or adult stem cells (like the blood stem cells) don't have the flexibility or potential of the embryonic. So what did scientists do? They've found a way to essentially create stem cells in labs that resemble embryonic stem cells, without actually harvesting any!

Pretty crazy stuff. It seems as though this advancement means no more debate. But wait, there's more...

Read more of my article here, on The International!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Have you seen the film Howl? Starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg, the film (2010) is an adaptation of Ginsberg's iconic poem, "Howl" that mixes the literary and biographical. We see Ginsberg in the past as he writes "Howl" on his typewriter and performs it; we see him experience life and love (or the lack there of); we're in the courtroom for the trials determining its literary merit, and we sit in his house as he intimately explains his poem.

While it is primarily a film with people, gorgeous animation runs throughout the movie when sections of "Howl" are being performed as a pseudo-narrative. It's a lovely film, and I'd highly recommend it.
Aaron Tveit as Peter Orlovsky and James Franco as Allen Ginsberg

P.S. Funny Tumblr on Allen Ginsberg

Images via 1 //

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blogger's Lament: Mediocrity in the Media

Notice: this is longer than the usual post and may be arduous.

For the love of social media, could we please get rid of these half-baked ideas that have permeated the blogosphere? With the advent of Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Blogger, Pinterest and oodles of different social media platforms, originality is few and far between. 

Although Pinterest was intended to serve as a virtual inspiration board (and it still does for many people), it has evolved into a free-for-all recycling system. Instead of finding unique material for blogs by doing the homework and scouring the internet, magazines, and lookbooks, dozens of images, typography, and crafts are salvaged from the wasteland of pointless “pins”. Granted, there are some true beauties on Pinterest. The artistic gems pinned by legitimate creatives are thought-provoking, beautiful, and truly unique. But once it has been repinned one million times over, reblogged by the hundreds, it’s no longer something unique. We aren’t amazed by it’s strange beauty. We don’t appreciate the effort the first blogger spent curating material. And why?

Because we’ve seen this before.

Tumblr encourages the same issue. Perhaps not originally, but as of now, yes. Read a post, favorite it, reblog it onto your page. Suddenly, your blog is filled with material from other places, other people, other blogs. Therefore, is it really your blog? None of the content is yours! You just like it. 

Here’s the pickle. 

We need these engines of social media circulating our ideas just to stay in the game. Without Pinterest and Tumblr, others would  have to actually come up with their own stuff. Without these sites, bloggers would have a profoundly more difficult task of getting “out there”. The recycling process is actually beneficial to the originator in several ways.

Primarily, social media is essentially free branding. It is thrifty self promotion at it’s finest. No need to pay a publicist, print out flyers (do we even use paper anymore?), call your friends and pray for word of mouth to spread like wildfire. With mass communication through email, Twitter, and Facebook, outreach is free and easy. Just what we like. 

To add to the love, sharing has never been more accessible. Whether on your desktop, laptop, or smart phone, social media is everywhere meaning our content has the potential to be everywhere. In the end, isn’t that the goal? Spread the love, share your thoughts, and get it all back tenfold in the form of killer blog stats. 

By having content repinned, reblogged, and passed around like a communal cup, the creators get more hits. Their blog gets more pageviews with every share; their following increases exponentially; they sell more; their platform becomes bigger and bigger. 

That platform, however, is becoming weaker and weaker. The mediocrity of social media is huge and growing. Yes, it is a phenomenal tool for communicating with an enormous population; it’s quality, on the other hand, is underwhelming. 

Would a world without Twitter really care about the frequency at which you drink bubble tea and chai latt├ęs, or go to the farmer’s market? Get rid of Pinterest and does anyone still have a fascination with melted crayon art? Let’s get real; that’s not art. It’s a rainy day child’s project. Yet, hundreds of adults become engrossed with these ideas that are mediocre at best.

Now Instagram has allowed the Average Joe to become a photographer. I’ve fallen victim to it, too. Taking pictures of food, a sign post, buildings. A fantastic app for sharing moments with friends is now a place where people document every dull part of their lives, including twelve pictures of their cat every day. 

That instant gratification of posting something live is contagious. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, even emails, have allowed potentially everyone in the world to be present in our lives. All my followers can see the ice cream I’m eating while I’m eating it. Instagram even has instant in it’s name. It’s that obvious. We want it now.

This desire for live updates and instant gratifaction is the driving force behind the mediocre ideas and circulation of someone else’s work. Everything must be done so incredibly fast, we can’t fathom taking the time to come up with quality work. Instead, ideas are whipped up in ten minutes and are complete with the easy tap, tap, tap. Press “post”, click “publish”, tap “share” and it’s ready for the world to see.

The world might be able to view it, but it might not be ready for the world. Just because it’s published or shared doesn’t mean it’s any good. In fact, because it’s so easy to post any and all half baked ideas, it’s difficult to find a good one! The lack of quality control is rampant in our virtual world, leading to a sense of entitlement for all involved.

Nothing really has to go through an editor or publisher because anyone can post on the internet. Therefore, whatever inane thought just passed through your skull is apparently fully-formed. It’s a legitimate argument, an insightful comment. Right?


Just because you can share everything doesn’t mean you should. No matter how many things you repin and reblog, you’ll never have the success that a tried and true blogger has. The blogs that are legitimte, successful, and interesting post fresh ideas, new concepts. They present us with novelties and get us to rethink what we once thought. We are informed and enlightened by them. They add to the conversation. 

Ultimately, isn’t that what social media is all about? A conversation on a national, even global scale. That should be emphasized and encouraged. Enjoy the fantastically curated work by great bloggers, photographers, designers and writers. That’s why Pinterest and Tumblr exist. Communicate with a vast population over Twitter and Facebook. But let’s actually contribute intellectually and artistically, not just add noise with mediocre ideas half heartedly. 

Get in there and say something new.

Photo via Instagram 

Monday, January 28, 2013

{Weekend Update}...College n' Stuff

Back to the ol' grind...After my first week back at school, I was feeling totally exhausted. But thanks to a wonderfully relaxing, somewhat decadent weekend, I'm feeling pretty rejuvenated. I lounged around my apartment with soft blankets and good stories. Abby made pizzas and my roommates and I had a Grey's Anatomy marathon weekend.

Remember when "seriously" was the biggest catchphrase in the country? I miss that.

P.S. I met Garrison Keillor! A pretty rad dude. I hope you had a weekend filled with homemade delights, beautiful words, and lovely people.

Photos via Instagram

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meeting the Future

How crazy?!?! A teenage Bill Clinton shaking the hand of JFK. Future president and president collide. Talk about fateful serendipity! Wouldn't you like to meet the person who currently holds your future job? 

Speaking of which, I met writer and radio host extraordinaire last night! Check it out!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Radio Voice, Red Shoes, and Poetry

I'm quite excited today, because after a long day of classes I get to see one of the most iconic radio voices of America, or at least the Midwest. Garrison Keillor, beloved host of The Prairie Home Companion, will be at Coffman Memorial Union on campus tonight! At the bookstore, he will be hosting tonight's poetry reading for the winners of the James Wright Prize for Poetry. While we aren't the most avid MPR listeners, Abby and I are anxious to see a radio legend. Plus, he is known for wearing red sneakers to every event, in any outfit. Pretty chic. 

Perhaps I could get his autograph? Or a cell phone picture - they are supposedly the autograph of the 21st Century. 

Photo via flickr

Monday, January 21, 2013

{Weekend Update}...Vacation Farewell

So I'm back in Minnesota. It feels like ages since I've been in the city, and while everything is obviously the same, the streets look so different. Perhaps it's the half-melted snow littering the sidewalks...

For my final weekend home on break, I did lots of family stuff. Very specific, I know. My mom and I hauled ourselves out of bed at 5:30 am (yawn!) to drive to my grandma's house in Marshfield, WI. It was so lovely to see her, and the early morning was well worth it. Following out little ritual, mom and I stopped to grab huge coffees for our drive there-so delicious!

Even though dad was a little under the weather - poor guy - we had much fun chilling at home. It's been so long since our family actually went to the movies, and since it was so freezing, we stayed in and watched To Rome With Love, by Woody Allen. It was fantastic, and now I'm on a Woody-kick. I might watch this tonight with Abby.

How was your weekend? I hope you stayed warm and smiled!

Photo via my Instagram @sarahcarlsonetc

Friday, January 18, 2013

Qatar, Sunny Side Up...

There's been a lot of hoopla over the years about climate change and environmentalism. I think because we live in a country that is highly journalized, and much of America's new seems to be global news, we forget that other countries are having the same discussions. (Before I started my internship, I often forgot what real global news meant.) It's easy to believe that the U.S, Europe, and China are the only ones making big changes, but that's simply not true.

Qatar, an OPEC nation, is investing in solar energy, with the goal of producing 20 percent of their energy from renewable resources within this decade. That's pretty fascinating! They were the highest greenhouse gas emitter per capita, so this promise is both honorable and refreshing. 

Read my entire article, here, on The International!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

House Hunters

Abby, my roommate McKenna, and I are currently in the process of looking for rental houses. Although we live in busy Minneapolis this year, and love it, we're all ready to move to the quiet, more residential St. Paul. We long for a back yard and free parking!

It's crazy how difficult it can be, though. The St. Paul market, like the neighborhoods, are relaxed. Leases start at random times throughout the year and it's kind of a free for all. We're keeping our fingers crossed in the hopes that an adorable, affordable house turns up!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Penny Pinchers

Are you frugal? It's such an unattractive adjective, but it's pretty important! I pride myself on being thrifty. Almost everything I buy is on sale, purchased with coupons or rewards. I'm not saying I only buy the ugly junk in clearance sections; you have to be willing to hunt, or at least be patient. And it's worth it!

Most clothing usually goes on sale, depending on popularity, goes on sale within a month. It's still in style, seeing as trends are generally seasonal. So don't worry! You're not giving up your fashion for frugality. It just takes some patience.

If you have a smart phone, get the apps for different stores. While it may seem as though these apps would be tempting, they also help you earn points like the Starbucks app, check out weekly deals at Target, or general coupons.

It feels really good to save some money, and in the end, it's pretty easy!

So I want to know...are you thrifty? Do you pinch your pennies? How do you stay on budget? Confession, I always have a hard time sticking to my budget at the grocery store and Gap...

Photo of my (empty) purses via Instagram.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Drones: We're IN the Future

Hello, everyone! So I've started a crazy awesome internship at The International. I've been writing some really fun articles, and I wanted to share. Here's my first published report. It's so insane saying that! 

Writing about drones was beyond interesting. Did you know, civilians can have drones as long as they're teeny tiny. Drones are also being used to track ocean life and endangered animals in Africa. Yes, they're being used for military and surveillance purposes, but some totally cool areas are developing for these unmanned aircrafts. Hello, future. 

Walk On

Surprise, surprise... one of my New Year's resolutions this year is to get back into really great shape. Okay, let's be honest. I really just want to be a little healthier. As a college student, it's really easy to feel like you don't have time to work out, you don't have money to buy the more expensive, healthy food, etc. But I walk all over campus. So I'm going to start tracking how much I move through out the day. I'm also going to see how I can tailor my days to work with exercise. So I downloaded this pedometer app, because it was free. My mom used to wear a pedometer, and my bike had a fancy one. They're amazing, don't you think? We walk all over creation, so we should feel proud at the end of the day that we actually did that much! I have yet to try the app, but I'd love your suggestions on what you do to stay active!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Do You Read Your Horoscope?

I read my horoscope religiously. Every day, before I leave the house, I must see what my day ahead entails. I'm not the least bit superstitious; I don't knock on wood (except when I'm just being silly), I don't throw salt over my shoulder, or avoid ladders. Yet horoscopes are mysteriously intriguing. Somehow, it's always right!

While I know horoscopes are written to encapsulate any person, there's something very magical about them. My zodiac is Cancer the crab. And let me tell you, it's pretty spot on. I feel all innocent, trusting, a little bit like my child self when I read my horoscope...

P.S...Abby, my mom, and I all are Cancers. No wonder we're so alike!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Time Stands Still

When you're with old friends, does it sometimes feel like time hasn't passed?

I met up with some high school friends today for lunch and it was fabulous. How great is it to come home and see people who knew you during those awkward years? They know your back story, your quirks, your ups and downs, your passions, and nothing ever has to be explained, so you just talk and laugh. Abby and I only get to meet up with Erin and Nicole a couple times each year because we all go to different schools in different cities, with our lives taking us every which way. But when we do reconnect, it's perfect.

What feels like forty five minutes turns out to be two hours when you realize your soup is cold and your salad is room temperature limp. But it doesn't matter because some of the greatest girls, who will always care about what's going on in your life are gathered around a table in the loud cafe giggling like little girls. Old friends, no matter how much time has passed, are constants joys, don't you agree?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

{The Adventures}...Follow The Greats

You may have noticed that while I live a somewhat static, if not predictable, life in Midwestern United States, I love traveling. I've not been everywhere, that is true, but nothing is more exhilarating than the anticipation of something new. The new adventures of unknown places, worlds away. When you travel, you're a different person. So why not follow in the steps of different people?

Check out this awesome website,, that let's you plan your adventures to be the same paths of amazing nomads, explorers, and free spirits like Ferdinand Magellan, Jack Kerouac, and Amelia Earhart! Who will you follow?

Monday, January 7, 2013

{Weekend Update}...Anticipation

This weekend, I definitely experienced a case of anticipation. I only have two more weeks of break left (I know, I shouldn't even complain about that) and have a lot to do. I recently started an internship at The International, and while it's really exciting, it's somewhat terrifying! The news never stops, so it feels like you have to constantly anticipate a story. Semester is starting soon, so with the purchase of new books, I anticipate class syllabi and schedules! My good friend's wedding is only 3 and a half months away with a bridal shower in one month. . . needless to say, we're anticipating lots of lavender, champagne, and invitation addressing.

And yes, anticipation often feels a lot like stress, it's important to remember that our bodies have a difficult time differentiating excitement and fear, anxious anticipation and good things to come. So while it may feel like I'm only looking forward at one million miles per hour, it's a good thing. There are exciting things ahead!

Friday, January 4, 2013

I Know That Face...

Have you seen Les Miserables yet? You'll notice that Marius, the attractive, ambitious revolutionary, looks mighty familiar. And throughout the film, you can't shake the feeling that you've seen that lovely smile and sprinkling of freckles before! Here's where you may have seen him before:

My Week With Marilyn, in which he performs opposite Emma Watson.
The Other Boleyn Girl, as William Stafford
The Yellow Handkerchief: you'll see Kristin Stewart in this, too.
Burberry-this darling brit was a model for Burberry in 2008 and 2012.

Photo via

Do You Take Every Job?

Here's what I've wondered for a long time: what jobs do or don't you take? In high school, everyone kind of works the same job, whether it be fast food joints or retail chains at the local mall; but when you're in college, or just out, do you still take jobs like that?

For example, does a poli-sci major work at Target throughout college (having a discount can be so incredibly God-sent for college kids), or do you hold out for a job more within your field? I'm an English major and I just got my first writing gig, but I still work at Old Navy. My sister, Abby, works at Gap even though she's studying Interior Design.

In the end, money is money, right? But will future employers within your chosen field care that you can fold clothes perfectly, or scan item amazingly fast? I'd love your thoughts on this. What do you do? Yes to everything, or wait for the perfect job?

Photo via 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Resolution: Smile More

It sounds a bit silly, doesn't it? But this year I'm making a conscious effort to smile more! I'm a very happy, bubbly person; I'm usually the one making the jokes, but if I'm not thinking about it, I tend to look very grumpy. When I'm concentrating on what someone may be saying, regardless of it's emotion, I appear either angry or simply uninterested. Oops! That is just not the case! Those darn face muscles need to stop relaxing! So this year, I'll be taking more pictures, to have smiley momentos for in the future. I'll smile when talking to people - all the time. Now, I'm not going to walk around campus with a big ol' grin, but I'll at least try to look less unemotional. :)

Abby helped us start out the year with lots of smiles! She made her own photo booth! Check it out!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Not Without You

A big warm thank you on this chilly day of the new year. Without your readership and loyalty, the switch over to a new blog would have been impossible! Thank you for sticking around while so many things changed! We had lots of fun over at Clyde and Nora, but I feel that there are so many exciting new things to be explored at Sarah Carlson Etc. This blog is here because your comments, your readership helped in the transition of the blog and me really becoming something true and special. You helped it bloom. Happy New Year, and thanks!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Greetings, 2013

Hello, everyone and happy New Year! Are you excited for 2013? Although it feels trite, a new year always gets me excited for new beginnings, opportunities, and adventures. After a long hiatus (much needed, wouldn't you agree?) I am excited to get started on a great year of reading, writing, laughing, and more. Let me tell y'all, cool new things are going to be happening, so buckle up!

Thank, Abby for the wonderful photo shoot!
Photo via @classickitsch Instagram