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Taryn Ziegler

Taryn Ziegler is a graduate from the University of Washington Bothell with a degree in Culture, Literature, and the Arts. She currently works as an independent content writer and literature reviewer, and she adores being able to create valuable content with the English language for a living.

Taylor Swift and Ryan Adams

Dividing and Conquering the Musical Landscape through 1989 Cover

Frankly, it seems a little strange to me that an artist as widely known and revered as singer-song writer musician Ryan Adams would ever determine to take on an artist as widely known and revered as singer-song writer musician Taylor Swift. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of either. However, after giving each version of the 1989 album a whirl, the genius behind both Swift’s and Adams’ work becomes clear. There is a great deal of critique swirling around online discussions of both currently, but regardless: both Adams and Swift have performed a brilliant move of incidental or intentional teamwork in bolstering both of their own names with the same album performed twice.

Swift’s original 1989 is drenched in pop culture, bright beats, and Swift’s signature devastating emotional landscapes with a more mature twist of the expected anti-boyfriend country twang. The album has been widely acknowledged as an excellent piece of artistic and musical work, launching Swift into a different direction musically and feeding her successful following of fans. Adams’ take features his own rasping and melodramatic style, simplifying some of the more complicated musical backdrops and bringing Swift’s already-acclaimed work into a new genre dominated by voices like his own. But the question still remains regarding the appropriation of 1989– why him, and why her?


We’ll try to keep our noses out of fanatical speculation about Adams’ decision-making with 1989 regarding his announced divorce from Mandy Moore after six years of marriage earlier this year in January (although this tasty tidbit could potentially inform much about why one man would take on one woman’s well-known style of singing about heartbreaking relationships). Adams is best known for his acclaimed solo career and as a former member of Whiskeytown, an alternative country band with which he recorded three studio albums. Adams is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, painter, and producer, receiving these titles by having not only produced but having been a part of a plethora of released albums as well as publishing his own written work.

Recently his work has included the self-titled album Ryan Adams in 2014 and his project the PAX AM Single Series, in which he releases new singles every month. August of this year saw his announcement of his plans to rework Swift’s album 1989, and the promised cover was released on the 21st of this month. As a relatively insignificant side-note, Adams suffers from Ménière’s disease, which is a disorder of the inner ear which can affect hearing and balance with side-effects including vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss.


Taylor Swift is a fellow American singer-songwriter who has been operating a single vocalist career since she was 14. The release of her self-titled debut album in 2006 rocketed her to country music star status, and since then she has fearlessly (pun intended) been producing work that has adults and tweenagers entranced alike. She, too, began her career as a country starlet, but has slowly seen pop washing like an irresistible tide over her twang, until, as with her 1989 album, it is difficult to believe she ever began her work as a country star.

So what gives? The only seeming correlation between the two is a tendency towards melodrama and deep emotional funks, often due to relationship crises, as well as their previous country-style leanings. Whether you love Swift’s version of 1989 or Adams’ cover, or neither, the fact remains that the album has been given a resurrection as far as fame and popularity goes. Hundreds, if not thousands, of fans are rushing to YouTube and Spotify right now to get a taste of Adams’ scratchier and darker version of Swift’s original pop melodies, and then rushing back to re-visit Swift’s first take. It’s a brilliant marketing gesture for both, and Swift’s positive re-postings of fan Tweets for Ryan Adams’ work only solidifies their mutual pleasure with the current state of things.

No Stove, No Problem: Microwaves to the Rescue for 5 College Student Meals

College kids, these microwave meals will make your life awesome

No, this won’t be an article about what the best microwaveable box dinners will be for your after-class and after-work hungry belly. Let’s face it- those box meals are no good, and the portion sizes are almost always all wrong. Oftentimes college students don’t see that there are other choices, despite knowing about the hardships of relying on box dinners. Many students are also located in dorm rooms with maybe one stove, or no stove, for dozens of starving fellow schoolmates.  

However, there is almost always a microwave nearby, and even if there isn’t one, a microwave can be picked up from the nearest department store for almost no hassling expense at all. Once you’ve got your microwave secured, take a gander at a few of these tasty recipe ideas covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals to keep your body properly fueled for the intellectual and physical demands of college life.

Strawberry Breakfast Bowl

It’s as good as the name suggests. The strawberry breakfast bowl is a delectable fruit-and-grain snack that can be consumed as easily for breakfast fare as for lunchtime appetizers. This breakfast bowl can be prepared in just a few minutes and cooked for a minute and thirty seconds, making it a hearty and efficient treat. To make the strawberry bowl, you will need ingredients like bran, flour, buckwheat groats, flaxseed, applesauce, and strawberries, among other materials. Making the bowl is as easy as tossing all of the necessary ingredients together, greasing the appropriate dish, and microwaving all of it.

Poached Eggs

Eggs are a nutritious and easy food to prepare and ingest. Poached eggs can be quickly prepared in a microwave-safe bowl with hardly any additional ingredients. Hot water mixed with salt and cider vinegar should be added to the bowl first, with the egg being broken into the bowl last. After preparing the bowl it should be microwaved from for two to three minutes, depending on how hot the water was. Eat the egg as quickly as you made them to warm up your growling belly and get you started for the day.


Another egg recipe, the frittata can serve either as a breakfast or a lunch meal. Ingredients include olive oil and vegetables like onions, red peppers, and broccoli. Only two eggs are needed to make one serving of this tasty feast. You’ll need to microwave the butter and veggies first before adding the eggs, and once you have all of it together you can cover and cook the bowl for one minute. Let the frittata set, and then enjoy at your leisure.

Mac and Cheese

Yes, it is possible to make a tastier dish of macaroni and cheese than using a box from the main brand. This recipe contains a few more steps than some of the other more easy instructions, but you’ll find that the added effort is completely worth it. For this dish you will need ingredients like elbow macaroni, milk, a variety of cheeses, cream cheese, and Dijon mustard.

Salmon Fillets

If you don’t like the flavor of salmon yet, you should get started on acquiring the taste now. Salmon has a plethora of health benefits for your body and is quick and simple to cook in the microwave. You’ll only need a total of about seven minutes to prepare this meal, and the ingredients, among which salmon, spices, lemon slices, and mayonnaise take the stage, are easily procurable from any nearby grocery store.

Be the envy of your dorm or house with your snazzy set of microwave recipes. Even if you do have a stove handy, you might choose to use microwave techniques instead, given how much time they generally shave off of cooking requirements and how simple they often are.

Crash Landing: Two College Freshmen Found Dead after Plane Accident near Colgate University

The cause of the crash is still unknown

A tragedy by all standards, two young students were killed in a plane crash that occurred near a New York liberal arts university on Sunday afternoon, the 20th of September. Piloting the small aircraft was Cathryn “Carey” Deputy, an 18-year-old freshman at the Colgate University who had earned her pilot’s license in October of 2013. Her passenger was fellow 18-year-old Ryan Adams. The two were natives of Ridgefield, Connecticut, and both had their lives extinguished by the crash after they took off in a single-engine Cessna from the Hamilton Municipal Airport.

Both students were appreciated by staff and fellow scholars alike, and their sudden and unexpected deaths have taken the campus by a mournful surprise. Counselors have been made available for students, faculty, and staff who have negatively been affected by the news, and some campus events have been postponed or canceled due to the tragedy. A community vigil is expected to be held this evening at 7:30 pm, uniting the community in its shared grief over the loss of these two young lives.

Cause and Effect

The cause of the crash still has questions raised and no answers found. The plane itself has only ever been involved in one accident, recorded by the FAA, which happened in 1980 when it veered into a snowbank because the pilot lost control. Single-engine aircraft have been, and remain, the preeminent platform for airframe design. Single-engine plans are the logical choice for the sportsman aviator, as Cathryn Deputy could have been considered. This type of aircraft represented an economical and practical mode of personal transportation, and Cessna has had planes such as these flying since the 1940s.

It is possible that the crash was caused by a malfunction of the plane itself, but given the mystery still surrounding the cause of the crash it is also possible that, as was the case in 1980, the accident was initiated through pilot error. Regardless, Carey Deputy and Ryan Adams lost their lives, leaving a legacy behind them that serves to remind students both at Colgate University and worldwide to be careful in their activities and wisely conservative in their adventures.

America’s Skateboarding Entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek Ties the Knot

He married Bryiana Noelle Flores

Rob Dyrdek married his fiancée Bryiana Noelle Flores on Saturday the 19th of September after being engaged since April to his sweetheart. Dyrdek had proposed to Flores at the Aladdin Show at the Disneyland resort, gallantly riding out onto the Aladdin stage on a live elephant, much like the original animated Aladdin himself. These sorts of clownish, yet heartwarmingly charming antics are classically Dyrdek’s style, and it is no surprise that when the question was popped the answer was a resounding “Yes!”

Little is currently known about the wedding itself, having been a relatively private affair with only a few stunning pictures by their photographer Charlie Couch being released for the consumption of Internet viewers. Dyrdek and Flores both have further been keeping fans tantalizingly updated with pictures from their exotic honeymoon in a tropical paradise, using Twitter and Instagram to alert the general public to their frolicking. Much like the wedding, however, the intimate details of the honeymoon have been kept quietly under lock and key.

Here Comes the Groom

Robert Stanley Dyrdek, now a 41-year-old celebrity of immense affluence and success, began his career as a skateboarder at the tender age of 11. Dyrdek had already acquired a sponsorship at the age of 12 from the company that also sponsored professional skateboarder Neil Blender, who had given Dyrdek his first skateboard. Dyrdek and Blender decided to quit their board sponsor and instead create Alien Workshop, which continues to be Dyrdek’s sponsor today and which he now exclusively owns. Dyrdek gave up his senior year in high school at age 16 to move to Southern California to pursue his professional skate career.

Dyrdek would go on to become the star of “Rob and Big” for two years, which was a reality television show hosted by MTV. Later, “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory” and “Ridiculousness” would follow, launching him into an even more prolific celebrity status and winning him fans worldwide. Dyrdek now holds the titles of actor, entrepreneur, and producer alongside his other labels, making him a shockingly well-known and successful name in not only the skateboarding industry but also the entertainment industry.

Here Comes the Bride

Bryiana Noelle is a 24-year-old model and clothing designer who first achieved national notice through becoming the Playboy “Playmate of the Month” for September in 2013, and who was given a centerfold in the magazine which was photographed by Josh Ryan. Noelle is a former beauty pageant queen from Los Banos, California, and had been discovered in a restaurant by Playboy after moving to the city of Los Angeles.

The romance between Dyrdek and Noelle was reported to have blossomed shortly after her successful achievement of ascending Playboy’s ranks of stars. The relationship between the two has often been called “over-the-top” and irresistibly adorable since their dating began, which is completely in line with Dyrdek’s typical attitude towards life in general.

Looking to the Future

Given the ambiguity surrounding their wedding and honeymoon, it is highly possible that the newly married Dyrdeks will keep a relatively low profile to shield their happy married life while keeping hungry fans gently at bay with notices on Twitter and Instagram. Regardless of how they handle their publicity, the world wishes the newly united couple a pleasant and enduring marriage.

Nina Tassler: Shaking off the Title CBS Entertainment Chief after 11 Years

Tassler announced she was stepping down as entertainment chief

There are plenty of conspiratorial theories revolving around Nina Tassler’s recent decision to step down from her position as being the spearhead of CBS Entertainment. Tassler was named the CBS Entertainment President  in 2004, and only recently in February of 2014 was she additionally promoted to becoming the chairman. The contract for this position was slated to run until 2017, but much to the surprise of CBS fans and executives alike, Tassler has chosen to end her primary role in the contract early, although remaining as an advisor for the final years of her contract.

Back-Stage Access

So what gives? Most executives with as much status, talent, and honor as Nina Tassler would be horrified at the thought of stepping away from their given title and removing themselves as leaders of their chosen corporation. Tassler has been named time and time again by her colleagues as capable, important, and above all, successful. For 12 of the 13 years that CBS claimed the prestige of being the most-watched network Tassler helped in its success, joining CBS as a development executive in 1997. Her history with CBS is extensive and positive, working with shows such as The Big Bang Theory and The Good Wife, and later launching shows such as The Talk, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She has only ever described her work with CBS as being a pleasurable and rewarding experience, including in her current discussions now of why she’s left.

Why has she left? Tassler has done what many executives probably won’t ever do but really should: she has directly impacted the direction her life is taking and has made a difficult decision to pursue her dreams, not her wallet, her prestige, or her title. Tassler is quoted as having said, “It is time for my next chapter, and I’m thrilled that I can pursue my other creative interests while still being part of the company.” She has also mentioned in previous interviews that she desired to spend more time with her teenage daughter as well as her aging mother, something that is not possible while successfully running a colossal enterprise such as CBS Entertainment.

Tassler has already been working on a collection of essays by female leaders with Cynthia Littleton scheduled to come out next year, as well as a play and a feature script. By no means is Tassler done with the world of entertainment; rather, she has merely altered her course and embraced a new form of challenges and struggles, prioritizing her dreams over the expectations of others.

The Future

CBS Entertainment hasn’t lost Tassler entirely. She intends to remain on as an advisor until 2017, and is thrilled to still be a part of the company while simultaneously having the freedom to pursue her familial and creative interests.  She is currently transitioning Glen Geller into her current role, and will be guiding him through her responsibilities until December. She will be thoroughly missed by the CBS staff, but CBS will proceed onwards, as strong as ever, led by the capable crew and company dynamics which first initiated Tassler and now is having to move on without her.

Much can be learned from Tassler’s courageous announcement. While her stepping down may have caused consternation and disappointment among many, ultimately it is a decision that represents a powerful woman recognizing what truly makes her happy and running so hard after what makes her happy that she forsakes what most other people would have tried to keep. Kudos to Tassler and her tremendous bravery in facing the onslaught of criticism that is sure to come due to her radical decision.

New York Fashion Week: A Technologically Shifting Landscape

NYFW must evolve with technology in order to stay relevant

Immediately it might be wondered what technology could possibly have to do with the New York Fashion Week, a prestigious event embracing artistic design in the world of garments since 1943. Technology is a hot topic in modern culture, seeping into every nook and cranny of article lore and respectable literature  — and yet, what bearing could it have here? Technology has radically changed the face of accessibility, publicity, and education as a whole, extending itself even into the riotous and colorful world that is the fashion industry. The answer to our question lies in the simple fact that today, not only do the vast majority of American citizens know about the New York Fashion Week, but that the majority of global citizens know about it. Even more dramatically, the public access to the Fashion Week has become something astoundingly open, something, perhaps, the founders of the NYFW never believed possible.

Looking Back

American fashion was a forgotten byproduct of the trends in Paris prior to World War II. Because of the inaccessibility of Paris during the war, fashion journalists were forced to twiddle their thumbs at home rather than glean the juiciest fashion bits that France had to offer. Eleanor Lambert saw in this situation a sparkling opportunity for fashion culture in America and successfully made use of it, uniting together American designers in New York in 1943 to present a showcase of their work called “Press Week.” Just over 50 years later in 1994 designers would be melded together into one stupendous event hosted in New York for a week: thus, the New York Fashion Week was conceived. Initially the shows did not attract much general publicity or celebrity attention. This, however, has been rapidly changing over the years. By 2010 the tents that originally hosted the NYFW were so overfilled with guests and designers that a new location had to be chosen. Now, in 2015, the NYFW is at its most glamorous, opulent, and expansive.

Looking Forward

The increase in popularity that the NYFW has shown is neither an accident nor a fluke. Undoubtedly, the skillful mastery of the art of fashion shown by American designers has a great deal to do with the expansion of its famous name. However, something else has been steadily increasing along with the popularity of the fashion week: the popularity of social media and media as a whole. The impact of social media across the board of human affairs can’t be overstated. Suddenly, people have incredible amounts of access to incredible amounts of… everything. And not just some people —  all people. Reality shows like Project Runway have made such a dramatic impact that they have been scheduled into the NYFW itself as a valuable and celebrity-worthy event.

Fashion has also rewritten itself into an entirely new industry, represented by television series such as the aforementioned Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. Fashion has become entertainment. These shows only exist through the advancement of technology and the flourishing of modern media, and they do breathtaking amounts of publicity and advertising for the fashion industry as a whole, in particular with events like the New York Fashion Week. This show, once a relatively underground affair for those in the know, has become accessible for everyone with an interest and an inclination. The website for the New York Fashion Week itself is a prime example of the drastically shifting landscape that shows, like the NYFW, find themselves having to adjust and evolve into in order to stay edgy and modern.

Visit the NYFW website’s listing of the week’s schedule to see this radical change in accessibility for yourself. The Master Schedule outlines each day’s events with times and names, and encourages more eager parties to contact designers themselves for final confirmations on locations. There is even a link with a similar calendar listing which events have ticket availabilities for the public. This is all immediately accessible online, and dozens more platforms offer live interviews, videos, articles, and everything you can imagine having to do with the New York Fashion Week. And this is only the beginning. Technology will only move forward from here, bringing with it an immense opening up of accessibility, publicity, and education for events around the world such as the New York Fashion Show.