Use This Scientific Technique To Get More Bang For Your Buck At Chipotle

This story was originally published on Because seriously, who doesn’t love Chipotle? The original piece has been adapted below.

By Dylan Grosz

Intern at

It’s basically a universal truth that the only thing better than Chipotle is…more Chipotle. I’m no religious scholar, but I’m pretty sure heaven is just one big Chipotle restaurant where the guac and chips are ALWAYS free and hell is just some Taco Bell. So when one of my co-workers at Apartment List brought up the question of how to hack Chipotle to get the most burrito for your buck, I was intrigued. If ever there was a noble intern task, this was obviously it.

Through a lot of burrito research and even more company write-offs and office burrito donations, I’ve discovered these 6 tips that can increase the size of your burrito by 86% without spending any more money.

You’re welcome, world. Please send the Nobel Prize to my mom’s house.

The Experiment

So I took my geeky love of data and my black hole of a belly to Chipotle for several days and ordered 5 burritos each day (35 burritos total), then returned to the Apartment List office to meticulously separate out and weigh the ingredients. Finally, I combined all the best methods to confirm the total burrito size increase. Additional methodology footnotes are below, but for now – on to the meat of the experiment (pun intended).

Tip 1: Get a burrito bowl  with a tortilla on the side


At its onset, Chipotle introduced the innovative burrito bowl that combined its authentic Mexican cuisine with the ease of knife-and-fork dining. Burrito legend has it that the bowl’s lack of tortilla constraints influences servers to give burrito bowl customers huge portions in general.

In my experiments, I found that this method alone gets 15% more ingredients across the board, without changing anything else about the order. Still craving that full burrito experience? No problem – you can easily ask for a tortilla on the side. Which leads to our next tip…

Tip 2: Double wrapping (asking for two tortillas)


This method of calling in tortilla reinforcements was initially introduced by Chipotle to save burritos that busted open their first tortilla, but Chipotle sometimes lets you ask for a double wrap for free, which adds another 4.25 ounce tortilla to your burrito (ask for the tortillas at the end, when the staff just wants you to go away).

Congratulations, your burrito just became 25% bigger. Ordering tortillas on the side and wrapping it yourself may be a daunting task for some, but if you value the time it takes you to wrap the burrito at $0 per hour (hey, burritos are worth your time), then you should add this method to your burrito maximization arsenal.

Tip 3: Order both kinds of rice


The next time your server asks if you want white or brown rice, request both types – you’ll get almost 93% more rice, at no extra cost. This carbo-loading method increases the overall weight of the burrito by 23%. As an ancient American proverb puts it: more burrito, more food, more happiness.

Tip 4: Order both types of beans


Just like rice, there are two different types of beans we can choose from: black and pinto. If you really want to maximize burrito weight, asking for both kinds gets you 92% more beans (another note: we aren’t responsible for the gas you’ll be having afterwards). With this method, you get a 16% burrito weight increase.

Tip 5: Half/half meats


In theory, asking for half chicken, half steak should yield one full serving, but our tests showed that you actually get 54% more meat – basically 3/4 scoop of each. This increase in meat grows the burrito’s weight by around 9%.

You must note, however, that you’ll be charged for the more expensive of the meats, but we’ve put the many finance and accounting degrees here at Apartment List to good use and determined that it’s still financially worth it.

Tip 6: Ask for fajita veggies and corn salsa


Hidden away and rarely mentioned by servers, the fajita vegetable mix and corn salsa are free to add, and taste good to boot.

These underappreciated ingredients will cure any feeling you might have that your burrito might be lacking in terms of a balanced Food Pyramid. Grilled veggies and corn not only add more color and flavor to your burrito, but they also add around 2.55 ounces, increasing the weight by about 15% (vs. the standard burrito).

Not only do you have more burrito, but you can also tell your friends and family that your burrito is totally 100% healthy.

Add it all together and you get….


There you have it. By using each of the six tricks I suggest, you may end up with a little less cheese and salsa (that comes at the end, when your bowl will already be pretty full), but you get a lot more rice, beans, and meat. My final burrito weighed 86% more than the control. Sounds like it’s time to go to Chipotle!

Find out more about Dylan’s study here.

Photo Credits:

Millennials Will Have To Figure Out Role Of Social Media In Life Or It Will Destroy Us All

Today we live in a world where we interact with each other through a great deal of different forms of technology including social media, blogs, photos, music, apps, and so on.

It’s gotten to a point where people can’t hold a conversation without the sudden urge to glance down on their devices.

Instead of living inside the social media vortex, you should try to be the best possible version of yourself without the approval of the “online world”

Now don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing moments, ideas, or interests amongst one another through new resources of technology.

Assuming this is done because it’s the easiest way to stay connected.

According to the Pew Research Center, 74% of Internet connected adults use social networking sites.

And 90% of “global millennial”- young people from around the globe aged 18 to 29 use social networking sites.

I am no different than any of the 3.010 billion active Internet users we have today. Whether I use it to touch base with relatives in Europe or parading my outfit from last Thursday, I use it.

“Instagram star” Essena O’Neill, 18, recently broke her silence on the social media overload “issue” and how it it’s affected her life.

According to The Guardian, O’Neill had over half a million followers on instagram, and was making money by promoting marketing products. She was promoting herself in a way to get validation. She deleted over 2,000 pictures and edited the captions to reveal the corruption behind social media, and how it took over her life.

WATCH: Essena O’Neill rages against social media. Video from The Guardian.

Which she also discussed on her website where she wants to start a movement on people not using social media as a reliance.

“We have forgotten what it feels like to connect, support each other and have integral conversations,” O’Neill wrote on her site. “All I’m saying is that the ‘instagram life’ is not real. There is so much more to the human race than gossip, rumours, and publicly twisting someone’s personal life.”

In other respects, many would argue that social media isn’t all that terrible. It’s been helpful in spreading messages and advertising businesses, news, and current events. It’s beneficial in many ways, like staying connected globally, finding job opportunities, reuniting with old flames, keeping up with politics, and being able to express yourself.

Our generation is brimming with creativity and new ideas. Shouldn’t there be a way for those ideas to get out and make rapid change?

Socializing outside a networked environment is so incredibly important. Social media has a tendency of blinding us from reality. There is a lot more to life then being so wrapped up in a world based on likes and followers. Why idealize people who are completely self-absorbed with strippers, fancy cars, and money?

I’d argue that you should idealize your history professors, favorite poets, and artists. Not only are online users portraying themselves to be something they are not for self-validation.

“Get away from behind the screen and go for a damn walk down a bridge you’ve never walked on before. Chat with the neighbor you’ve been living next too for the past two years who you’ve never uttered more than a few words to.”

Social media is everywhere you go. Restaurants like Chilis, Red Robin, and Olive Garden have installed tablets in their establishments.

At these places, your sever is pretty much a screen.

What’s going to happen in the near future to people working in the restaurant industry? We are already de-humanizing these businesses.

Chevrolet recently made a big announcement that made a splash in the car: “Chevrolet is the first and only car company to bring built-in 4G LTE WI-FI to cars, trucks and crossovers.”

I guess yes, it’s cool and useful to have while being in a long car ride, trying to kill time. But road trips are meant to be fun and spontaneous. The Internet and your social media accounts will always be there.

Why sit on your phone for hours during a car ride, when your family, significant other, or best friends are sitting two feet away? Be annoying, loud, and sing the songs we all hate.

Life is too beautiful and short to spend your time being focused by what you see on a tiny computerized screen. It isn’t reality, it is not living.

Instead of worrying about how many likes you get on a photo, worry about which dressing you should use on your salad or how you look when cuddling with your dog; instead talk to your friends about your dreams and fears.

Get away from behind the screen and go for a damn walk down a bridge you’ve never walked on before. Chat with the neighbor you’ve been living next too for the past two years who you’ve never uttered more than a few words to.

At the end of the day none of this is going to matter in the long run. With that being said, I have a new social network for you to explore. It’s called life.

Cover Photo Credit: Jim Pennucci/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Millennial Guide To Surviving The Holiday Hunger Games Also Known As Family Question Time

With Thanksgiving being celebrated around the United States today and the holiday season now coming into focus, every millennial knows exactly what to expect during family gatherings, and lets just say that it’s not presents.

The bombardment of questions is heading your way, but fear not! Here’s our guide to surviving the most anxiety ridden holiday questions.

Stop looking at me like that. Photo Credit: Malcolm Slaney/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“Stop looking at me like that. You all have problems too!” Photo Credit: Malcolm Slaney/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Q) How’s school?

This go to question delivered by those relatives that you see once a year and who have probably forgotten your name. In short they don’t care about your answer. Best solution? A short answer that segues you into moving away. Try, “Oh it’s great! Have you tried the pie?” or “It’s awesome, give me a second, nature’s calling!”

Q) What are your plans after graduation?

This relative at least cared enough to remember that you’re graduating. Be cautious though, graduation is right around the corner and Christmas isn’t the only time presents are warranted! Try something like, “I’m excited to be done, what’s the best address to send a graduation card to?”

Stop asking me these questions. You don't really care about these questions. Photo Credit: Beth Scupham/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“Stop asking me these questions. You don’t really care about these questions.” Photo Credit: Beth Scupham/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Q) Are you still single?

Everyone knows there’s no good response to this question, so have fun with this answer. Anything from “My dog ate my boyfriend,” to “My waffle maker only makes 1 waffle at a time….so” is a perfect way to dissent from an awkward holiday moment!

Q) You’ve gained/lost a lot of weight!

Just for the record, this isn’t a question and the cheekiness of the statement may prompt a sarcastic response. But remember it’s the holidays, so take the higher ground and why not give yourself a compliment too? Say something akin to, “ Thanks! I really love the way I fill out this outfit,” or “I know! My hard work has really been paid off!”

We are so sick of our kids that we are going to cling to every word that you say. Literally every single word. Photo Credit: Lady May Pamintuan/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“We are so sick of our kids that we are going to cling to every word that you say. Literally every single word.” Photo Credit: Lady May Pamintuan/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Q) When are you getting a promotion?

This is one of those questions that may come off as rude unintentionally. This relative probably just really wants to get to know you, so take your time to answer this question fully. You may even discover what’s actually holding you back from that promotion you deserve!

Happy Holidays millennials and may the holiday questions forever be in your favor!


Cover Photo Credit: martinak15/ Flickr (CC By 2.)

A Youth Mind: How These Texas Teens Want To Change The African Narrative

Campbell Erickson is a connector of young people.

Campbell Erickson is resourceful.

Campbell Erickson embodies entrepreneurialism.

Campbell Erickson is 16 years old.

Last summer, Erickson sent out a call to action to fellow Austin, TX teenagers who follow him on his Instagram account. The call was for people who wanted to make an impact and to change a particular narrative around the nascent nation of South Sudan.

But this isn’t just about Erickson. In response to his call, six Austin based teenagers, attending different high schools and varying in age have come together to start a project they call “A Youth Mind.”

“‘A Youth Mind’ comes from the idea that literally the minds of youth, I feel personally, aren’t recognized as much as they should be this day and age, especially when it comes to documentation and recognition of places, people and culture,” Erickson said. “The mind of a kid who is growing up is so open and so creative.”

But that’s just the name. It was the end goal of changing the conversation around different parts of the world that attracted the others to the project.

“Ignorance, to me, is my greatest fear. If you have resources and have things available to you, you have to choose to be ignorant. If you can choose to understand people and choose just to know things, why would you choose not too? Team member, Sophia Alami-Nassif, 17, said.

“People think you’re doing this cute little project. It made me want to work harder to make people understand. To almost prove to people we are not that little kid project.”

The goal of A Youth Mind is to combat ignorance through education. Through an Indiegogo campaign that raised $1,700, the A Youth Mind team is set to purchase disposable cameras that they will send through their NGO Austin-based partner, Lone Star-Africa Works, to South Sudan.

Once the cameras make it to the young people in South Sudan communities, they will use the cameras to shoot raw footage of their homes, their schools, their families and their friends.

Then they will send the photos back to Austin to the A Youth Mind team. The goal will be to distribute the photos as print books made through a platform called Weeva that will be sold to buy more cameras. The photos will also be distributed to various traditional and social media channels for maximum exposure.

After South Sudan, the team’s hope is to expand to other countries.


“We want to increase awareness using the raw image of a country like South Sudan instead of the Western media taking the photo.” Erickson said. “The final goal is to create an exchange between communities because we want young people all over the world to grow up with this awareness of other young people, this awareness of other cultures, of other places.”

As young people trying to combat ignorance in other young people, the A Youth Mind team is receiving a different kind of education outside of traditional schooling.

This project is not a school project. It is not a charity. It is a global humanitarian partnership started by young people who are passionate and want to remain engaged with the world.

“I actually believe in this. We are receiving validation from the feedback we are getting, and I don’t necessarily feel like you always get that in school,” Alami-Nassif said. “I feel like you are just expected to show up and do a task. The thing about this project is that it focuses on humanity, and I think school is really lacking that.”

The experience in entrepreneurial leadership and global awareness that the team is gaining cannot be quantified in a grade.

Nor can the ‘real world’ aspect be quantified, which was apparent when the team found themselves representing A Youth Mind at a booth at SXSW Eco in October in Austin, TX.

“It was humbling. It was a step into reality,” Ori Green, 16, said. “It wasn’t necessarily condescending, but you could see how being a kid and trying to start something like this, you get those natural ‘arts and crafts’ kind of feels to it. People think you’re doing this cute little project. It made me want to work harder to make people understand. To almost prove to people we are not that little kid project.”


Some SXSW Eco conference-goers did understand. Using a whiteboard, dry erase markers and a goal to spark conversation, the A Youth Mind team engaged conference participants by asking them to write the first word that came to mind when they think of Africa.

“We were going for stereotypes and things you think of when don’t really think of Africa. But we got so many amazing ideas and people’s thoughts,” Joshua Tsang, 16, said.

SXSW Eco was a pivotal reality check for the team.

“Afterward, I had to take a step back and think, ‘Woah, this is kind of actually going somewhere big.’ It was the first real deep breath of actuality for this,” Green said.

While the future looks bright for A Youth Mind, the project is not without its challenges. But with true entrepreneurial resourcefulness and dogged determination, the A Youth Mind team is accepting challenges in stride.

“One challenge is how do we get cameras through customs in South Sudan? We have a solution and this is working with churches over there to help get the cameras through.” Erickson said.

Flexibility, determination and a collaborative team will get the first round of photos back from South Sudan in the early part of 2016.

The goal is for the first book to be published by the summer of 2016.

“Our plan is to execute this first project and see what went good and what went bad and how we can make it better,” Green said. “How can we do it cheaper, more efficiently. Then after we do that we have a world of options. Literally.”

Photo Credits: Submitted.

Up And Coming Country Star Mitchell Tenpenny Is Proving Nashville’s Relevancy

In the music industry, Nashville has once again become a fresh hot-bed for rising talent, which makes new music more difficult to stand out. Artists are having to find new and creative ways to promote and brand themselves in the ever changing city.

Born and raised in Nashville, country singer Mitchell Tenpenny is working on becoming a success in this booming industry.

“I think I stand out by trying to have a different sound and approach to how I present my music,” Tenpenny said. “I want every song to feel authentic and real.”

Tenpenny started playing music when he was in the 7th grade. He went to a friend’s house to play a round of golf but found several instruments to play instead. The next day, he picked up a guitar.

Growing up in Nashville influenced Tenpenny to strive for excellence – to make himself stand out.


Country singer Mitchell Tenpenny. Photo Credit: Mitchell Tenpenny/ Facebook

“The music scene has changed a lot. I’ve seen what’s worked and what hasn’t. Everyone is trying new ways and techniques to make a living in this industry with streaming,” Tenpenny said. “It didn’t exist when I grew up watching songwriters have hits.”

He has seen some of his favorite songwriters and artists break through from the beginning and he said that it is one of his favorite feelings.

“I’m not trying to write music for a lunch time,” Tenpenny said. “I’m trying to write music for a life-time.”

One of his favorite aspects of the experiences the city has to offer is how it is ever changing. The moments all lead to other adventures like hearing his songs, or ones he’s written on the radio or being performed by someone, and getting to write with such talented musicians. Nothing can top those moments for him he said.

His best advice to anyone trying to “make it” in Nashville is to “be there.” Be a part of the city and the culture that is there. It is one of the “tried and true” ways to gain acceptance.

Paying your dues is also just as important. With long hours, hard work, and heartbreak, Tenpenny said a big break will come. You just have to earn it.

“I’m not trying to write music for a lunch time,” Tenpenny said. “I’m trying to write music for a life-time.”

Here’s The 10 Best Cities In America for Millennial Foodies

Being a foodie in 2015 can be an expensive hobby for anyone. As exciting as shrimp and lobster risotto sounds, your bank account may quickly remind you to calm down.

Thanks to Wallethub’s list of the most expensive/cheapest cities to be a foodie and Forbes’ best cities for millennials, we have created the top 10 cities to be a millennial foodie in America.

Check to see if your town made the list below:

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1. Austin, Texas

Austin is a great place for anyone who is young, ambitious, and adventurous. With a great economy, the city bustles with students and young adults who are just starting out in life. While the hipsters of this town love to indulge in the Tex-Mex meals that began in that region, it’s an ever growing city that provides dining experiences for all tastes alike.

Percent of Population Age 25-34: 21.2%
Food Affordability: 1/150
Diversity, Accessibility & Quality Rank: 29/150

2. San Francisco, California

San Francisco’s eclectic and unique style, make it a great spot to try different cuisines. SanFran is known for their great wines and new flavors, but tends to be a little pricey for the average diner.

Percent of Population Age 25-34: 21.5%
Food Affordability: 101/150
Diversity, Accessibility & Quality Rank: 1/150

 3.Houston, Texas

Houston’s greatest accomplishment thus far is the Queen Bey herself, but even she may be overshadowed by the influx of foodies finding making their way to this buzzing hive. Although in the past, Houston has been know for it’s business nature, it’s becoming a place where millennials are starting to appear which may be accredited to the affordability of the city. Foodies who flock here will be indulging on many different Southern American traditions like brunch and barbeque.

Percent of Population Age 25-34: 15%
Food Affordability: 2/150
Diversity, Accessibility & Quality Rank: 97/150

4. Denver, Colorado

Denver is another city who boasts a high level of millennials. It’s a place that’s appealing to many socioeconomic, cultural and political backgrounds, making it an easy choice for budding millennial minds. And there’s more to try there, other than just their pot brownies! Denver is known for their many different breweries, each with their own twist on beer, who also have wonderful dining experiences

Percent of Population Age 25-34: 21.2%
Food Affordability: 5/150
Diversity, Accessibility & Quality Rank: 22/150

5. Seattle, Washington

Many millennial start as tourists of this city before calling it home! The famous fish market isn’t all that Seattle has to offer. Seattle is known for its various fresh markets, their coffee and all their gourmet foods in between.

Percent of Population Age 25-34: 24.1%
Food Affordability: 44/150
Diversity, Accessibility & Quality Rank: 6/150

6.Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Thanks to Pittsburgh’s transition from industrial to technological, it is slowly starting to become a hub for millennials. With tech companies like Google taking interest, city needs to stay trendy and up to date in everything that it does- including it’s cuisine. Here there will be a little taste of everything from farm to table to chemistry filled mixology. There’s something for everyone in this town.

Percent of Population Age 25-34: 18.1%
Food Affordability: 38/150
Diversity, Accessibility & Quality Rank: 16/150

7. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis is the sport of Midwestern millennials. While the city isn’t the premiere sport for adventure, many find it attractive for just the opposite reason. Its calm and quiet community is enticing to many millennials and the food matches the atmosphere! Here you’ll find many different takes on traditional American cuisine. Lots of farm to table and earthy tones.

Percent of Population Age 25-34: 21.3%
Food Affordability: 37/150
Diversity, Accessibility & Quality Rank: 41/150

8.Chicago, Illinois

Chi-Town’s diverse population mixed with their ever popular culture creates an atmosphere that attracts people of all ages. Although it may be slightly pricier to live, which is why many live just on the outskirts in suburbia, it’s culture draws people in everyday. Not only is Chicago known for it’s famous deep dish pies, but it’s becoming a force with other dishes like steaks and their bar scene is unparalleled.

Percent of Population Age 25-34: 19.1%
Food Affordability: 56/150
Diversity, Accessibility & Quality Rank: 71/150

9.New York, New York

The Big Apple is a dream come true for any millennial or foodie, the terms aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s a great city to try any and everything because it’s so culturally diverse.

Percent of Population Age 25-34: 17.3%
Food Affordability: 84/150
Diversity, Accessibility & Quality Rank: 26/150

10. Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C. is the prime location for any millennial. The diverse cultures and backgrounds of people create a whirlwind of amazing experiences that aren’t offered anywhere else in the country. There’s not a food option you can’t try in this city, whether you want an elegant seafood dining experience on the Potomac River, a delicious food truck in Southeast or maybe you want to check out one of POTUS’s favorite burger joints, there’s something for everyone. It’s one drawback, is that it is an expensive town. With more than 50% of their population holding a bachelor’s degree, it definitely costs a pretty penny to live here, but many young adults find their way here as either interns in the city or just a few miles outside the city in suburban neighborhoods.

Percent of Population Age 25-34: 21.5%
Food Affordability: 53/150
Diversity, Accessibility & Quality Rank: 28/150

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- [email protected] 

Cover Photo Credit: Jenn Deering Davis/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Could Abi Ann Be The Next Breakout Country Music Star?

Across America, a new song about female empowerment is starting to gain traction in the most peculiar of places- on Radio Disney.

“Slide over, I’m driving, I ain’t just another cliché riding,” Abi Ann’s song “Truck Candy” commands.

A catchy tune poking fun at some of the more ridiculous tropes in country music, “Truck Candy” is enjoying a run on the kids centric radio network and on iTunes Radio where it is featured.

Rise News recently spoke to the 18-year-old rising star via phone from her apartment in Nashville, TN about her upbringing, her music and what she hopes to accomplish in the changing country landscape.

“I think that history repeats itself,” Ann said when asked about changes in the genre. “I see country music becoming more open to seeing more unique changes. A good twenty years ago that may not have happened.”

Abi Ann was born in Texas but raised in Los Angeles.

“I was an extremely ADD kid, my parents threw me into a whole lot of different activities. Music was the only thing that really stuck,” Ann said. “I grew up with very strong country roots.”

She attended Campbell Hall School where she said that she was encouraged to try to strike it big.

“I grew up in LA and my friends called me Hannah Montana growing up,” Ann said. “I went to a very understanding school and they were very helpful with everything.”

One of her first big breaks came when she was able to join Kelly Clarkson on tour, performing before the superstar in 36 cities in the US and Canada. She said that she learned a great deal from the experience.

“It was my first major tour. Kelly really runs a very loose camp and there is like no tension on the tour. It was just really eye-opening and I learned about my craft,” Ann said of Clarkson. “She really plays with her sound. I have so much more respect for her because of how versatile she is.”


Abi Ann, an 18 year old rising star in the country music world.

After graduating from high school, Ann enrolled in Belmont University in Nashville where she is studying entrepreneurship, not exactly a major for those who wish to skirt through school.

She has a strong business sense, learning from her small business owning father the importance of being self-reliant.

“I’ve always been very much a believer in a separation of church and state in my life. I really like school and music,” Ann said. “I’m going to school for business because I want to be self-sufficient. I’ve just always had a knack for business. And I’ve always loved academics as much as music.”

The Clarkson tour wrapped up on September 20, which cut into the start of the fall semester. As a result, Ann is taking classes online but she hopes to take on campus classes in the future.

In terms of her sound, Ann said that she is very willing to mix different influences into her music from current pop and country music to some older legends that helped define the genre.

“My main influences were Johnny Cash and Shania Twain. That’s a weird combination for sure,” Ann said. “Shania, I look up to as a very strong woman figure.”

And that brings us back to her hit “Truck Candy”, a song that could easily be seen as a modern-day feminist ballad.

“It’s not that intense,” Ann said. But I’m very supportive of female empowerment.”

Saying that she views music as a form of therapy, Ann indicated that the song was more a direct response to the default masculinity that exists in much of country today.

“I wrote it with Walker Hayes. This was before Maddie and Tae and we were concerned about the gender imbalance in country music,” Ann said. “I definitely think it is an acquired taste. Country is not something that everybody loves.”

Ann made it clear that she deeply loves country music and sees it as one of the most vibrant music scenes going today.

Having only turned 18 a few months ago, Ann is still very young.

“I’ve had instances where I couldn’t go and do the typical teenage thing but I keep a pretty tight circle,” Ann said of some of the challenging aspects of fame. “But I have the best friends. My roommate is with me now and she’s smiling [listening to the interview].”

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- [email protected] 

Photo Credits: Submitted

This App Will Let You Swipe Right To Match With Donald Trump

By Klaudia Balogh

Swipe left for no, swipe right for yes, but this time not because you want to match with the blue-eyed girl or the handsome guy on your screen.

With the Voter app, you can use the Tinder model to find the 2016 candidate of your dreams.

Swipe one way or the other whether you agree or disagree with a political view, such as subsidizing student loans, labeling GMO foods, increasing funding for renewable energy or requiring background checks to buy a gun.

According to a Census data from 2012, only 45 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted during the election, compared to 72 percent of Americans 65 and older.

Voting begins at the basic awareness level. The more the public knows about the parties and candidates, the more likely they are to make a decision as to which one they support.

Pew Research Center conducted a study during the summer of this year about the political interest and awareness of Millennials and found that only 26 percent names politics and government as one of the top three topics they are interested in, making them the group that’s the least interested in the subject.

Social media apps are out to change that. They are designed to capture Millenials’ attention quickly and educate them in a way that’s most convenient to them — through their smart phone.

Voter is a matchmaker for politics, or you can call it the Tinder of politics. The app brings up different questions about political views and based on whether you agree or disagree with them, by swiping left or right, it will show you a percentage how closely your views align with each party and candidate.

Founders Hunter Scarborough and Suneil Nyamathi say they created Voter to make political data more available and deliver it faster to the 18 to 29-year-old generation who is best approachable through their phone.

“According to Pew, 57 percent of 18 to 29 year olds get political news from social networking apps and nowhere else,” Scarborough said in an interview with GovFresh “The stage is primed to engage Millennials and younger generations on their turf.”

To make sure the data the app uses is accurate, Voter partners and gathers resources from organizations including, the Sunlight Foundation, Google’s Civic API, OpenSecrets, and Project Votesmart.

“To ensure the highest level of accuracy, we hold politicians accountable to their actions, analyzing candidates’ voting records, public agenda, personal views, speeches and more,” the 25 year old Scarborough said to GovFresh.

Another company that takes politics to social media platforms is Brigade with Facebook’s co-founder Sean Parker being behind the wheel of its development.

The Brigade team wanted to start small with discussion tools that will engage users to talk about their political views, what they agree or disagree with, make survey questions, create groups that follow similar issues and keep up a conversation on hot topics and debates.

Through Brigade users can take a stand on their civic identity. CEO Matt Mahan told The Guardian, it “really comes down to ‘What you believe and care about?’ and ‘What have you done about those things?’”

Starting social media sites and apps that will trigger the political interest of Millennials has been a challenge.

Both Voter and Brigade aim to increase mass civic participation and bring politics to a level where users can not only see the different parties and ballots in a simple setup, but can also share their views on related subjects.

Citing a Gallup poll Scarborough said that 82 percent of Americans do not trust the news and other media when it comes to politics. And with that lack of trust in traditional sources of information, perhaps these new tools will democratize the way voters pick their candidates moving forward.

“When we were thinking about how to engage people in politics, most people say they don’t care about politics. They hate politicians,” Parker told TechCrunch. “Congressional approval ratings are at a historic low. Trust in government is at a historic low. From one point of view, the system is about as broken as it can be, but when we interview users, we find that everyone has an issue they care about or something that they want to change the world.”

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Cover Photo Credit: Voter App/ Facebook

Here’s The 10 Best Nickelodeon Shows From The 1990s

By  Danielle del Pico

With the return of classic 90’s Nicktoons presumably coming to Nickelodeon later this year, we thought it would be smart to take a look back at some of the best shows from that era in our lives.

So here’s our top 10 best Nickelodeon 90’s shows. Tell us in the comments if you agree or not:

10. Ren and Stimpy

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

With its crude humor, animation style, off the wall situations and chaotic relationships, Ren and Stimpy was the most controversial show on Nickelodeon for its time. It was that cartoon show that you watched while your parents looked on behind you in absolute disgust. Mission accomplished. This was one of the original three Nickelodeon shows and changed the playing field for cartoons to follow since its release in 1991. Unlike many of the shows on this list, it didn’t provide any moral ground for the characters. It was just good fun. Isn’t that what we need sometimes?

9. AAAHH!!! Real Monsters

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: Nickelodeon

This show is high up on the list simply for the animation style, a style that is just quintessential nineties. That “dirty animation” has influenced cartoons for future decades to follow. This show taught that the monsters you’re afraid of are actually not so different from us. It was set around monsters in training, adolescents in a monster school trying to figure out their place in the underground and pass class. The show features characters Oblina, Ickis and Krumm set against the backdrop of New York City.

8. Rocko’s Modern Life

Photo Credit: carol-wyatt/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: carol-wyatt/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

This makes the list because of its nuanced adult humor. A second watching of this and you may pick up some things you missed when it first debuted in 1993. Today, there are instances of censorship of the beloved Wallaby. Most of the characters are rather eccentric and play into Rocko’s displacement as an Australian in his new home, O-Town. The show played into the mundane ins and outs of daily life and showed the humor and excitement that can happen in those “in betweens”.

7. Rocket Power
Probably not the most popular show on this list, but definitely worth a mention simply for the female character of Regina alone. She totally deconstructs feminine stereotypes and is an equal amongst her male counterparts. This show revolved around four diverse friends residing in a California town that love to participate in extreme sports and getting themselves into different oftentimes sticky situations. It originally aired in 1999 and ran for four seasons.

6. Clarissa Explains it All

Photo Credit: Michael Coté/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Michael Coté/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Melissa Joan Hart was the 90’s sitcom princess, also starring in the title role of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, part of the TGIF lineup. This show aired from 1991-1994, and was also presented in a narrative style, much like Doug. This time, Clarissa helped explained all the tough, typical dilemmas teens have to face set against the backdrop of a video game narration style. It was supremely edgy for its time. Sort of the ‘Sex and the City’ for teenagers. Without the sex.

5. Kenan and Kel Commons Commons

Who loves Orange Soda? Kel love Orange Soda! Now comedian Kenan Thompson continues to entertain audiences on Saturday Night Live. This creation of Kim Bass (Sister, Sister) was wildly popular with teenagers, even spawning a cult classic movie. The show followed the dynamic duo and the different shenanigans they would get themselves into. Special nod to the awesome theme song by Coolio ‘Aw, here it goes!’

4. The Wild Thornberrys
Who doesn’t want to travel all around the world with their family as they film their own nature show? Eliza Thornberry is the original Cady Heron from Mean Girls, except she can talk to animals and doesn’t have to deal with Regina George, just her moody sister Debbie (who doesn’t remember the episode where Debbie tried to make her own shampoo? Talk about being organic before it was a thing!) Eliza Thornberry, (voiced by actress Lacey Chabert, who played Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls…these cannot just be coincidences) may not conventionally be your typical heroine but in the same vein, she is the best heroine. Here is a girl who stands up for what’s right and moreover, will do anything for her friends. Fun fact: their little brother Donnie (found in the wild and raised as their own) is voiced by Flea, bassist for Red Hot Chili Peppers. Tim Curry voices the father, Nigel Thornberry. Can Nickelodeon get any cooler?

3. Doug

Photo Credit: Viacom

Photo Credit: Viacom

When Doug first debuted on the air in 1991, it wasn’t just kids that were talking about it, teenagers quickly identified with Doug’s confidence issues and finding his place in his new hometown of Bluffington. This show featured a wide cast of characters, and took on a narrative style of storytelling. Think ‘The Outsiders’ meets ‘The Wonder Years’. Much like other shows on this list, Doug never talked down to its audience and connected well with the struggles that adolescents face every day.Jim Jenkins, the creator of Doug, based the cartoon on his story growing up. This show focused on much of Doug’s experiences with bully Roger Klotz, his love for Patty Mayonnaise and his friendship with Skeeter Valentine.

2. Hey Arnold!

Photo Credit: Carolina Alves/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Carolina Alves/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Like many Nickelodeon shows, the characters of P.S. 118 and other residents of Hillwood never talked down to a young audience. The subject matters could range from social class to parent/child relationships. Running for five seasons, many episodes of Hey Arnold! centered on the hierarchy of public school and the microcosm of adolescent experiences. Many episodes focused on finding the good in people, doing the right thing and using caution with harsh judgments. Arnold oftentimes found himself in a position of leadership and never faltered with his good character. He always tried to be a friend to everyone, earnestly, This example is somewhat lost in mainstream cartoon shows, relying mostly on sarcastic comebacks to illustrate what “cool” is. Arnold’s individuality amidst all the other students of P.S. 118 showed you never have to conform, it’s okay to be who you are. Lastly, Helga is hilarious and made unibrows a safe conversation topic.

1. Rugrats

Photo Credit: PROBonita de Boer/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Yes, they have their own Hollywood star. Photo Credit: PROBonita de Boer/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Who doesn’t remember running from the next room when the theme song started? Not only did it run for nine seasons (with a reboot in serious whispers) and spawned two spin off TV shows, All Grown Up! And Rugrats Pre-School Daze and three movies, The Rugrats Movie, Rugrats in Paris and Rugrats Gone Wild (featuring the Wild Thornberrys), Rugrats also spawned various merchandising, like video games, confectionary items, and even a live stage show. Rugrats is an empire. This TV show takes the number one spot because these cartoon babies were far more entertaining than most adult TV shows on at the time, let’s be honest. Rugrats instilled in audiences an understanding that parents and children will not see things in the same perspective, but at the end of the day they still love you, albeit in their own wacky way. It also emphasized friendship, loyalty and caring for one another set against the imaginative world of a child. Who didn’t want a friendship like Tommy and Chuckie? This show is also number one for its eccentric cast of memorable characters such as the devious Angelica, sweet Grandpa and the rebellious twins Phil and Lil. This style of animation is now considered iconic, and is often emulated but never duplicated.

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Cover Photo Credit: Carolina Alves/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Student at University of Miami Wore a Tiara Every Day For 8 Years

You may know her as “Tiara Girl” on campus. Annie Rudd, a senior at the University of Miami, has worn a tiara on her head every day for the past 8 years.

August 25, 2007, was the first day she ever wore a tiara at her 13th birthday, and the last day she left the house without it.

“The tiara was just too good of a look to let go,” Rudd said. “I don’t even realize its been 8 years of my life. It sort of just became my thing, and it worked.”

Before even realizing it, wearing a tiara became a daily routine.

Now 21-years-old, Rudd will graduate soon from UM with a major in psychology and a minor in art. She hopes to purse a master’s degree in family and marriage counseling.


Annie Rudd


Annie Rudd

In 2012 , Rudd was featured on lifetime’s reality show “Prom Queen,” crowned prom queen at Miami Beach Senior High School. At University of Miami, Rudd has become a sort of local celebrity to students at the campus.

“At UM, I’m known as Tiara Girl,” Rudd said. “We have this Facebook page called UMiami Secrets and they would post about me a lot. There was one that said, ‘OMG I just saw tiara girl for the first time. Now I know how Hogwarts felt when they first saw Harry Potter.’”


Annie Rudd

She never leaves the house without her tiara, she may forget but it never takes more than a few steps out of the door to remember.

“It’s basically second nature.” Rudd said. “I don’t even realize its on when I go out, but people will give me ugly looks sometimes. Some people don’t get the tiara and assume the worst, but once they meet me they understand I’m not stuck up.”

For Rudd, the tiara exemplifies that she enjoys everything life has to offer and lives with no regrets. Her story is a reminder that it’s okay to be who you are without living in fear of what others think of you.


Annie Rudd

“The tiara is a great conversation starter,” Rudd said. “Meeting and making friends is super important at our age. It’s all about the connections we have later on in life.”

Rudd said that although she enjoys the tiara as a fundamental part of her life, some people don’t take her seriously as a result.

“People definitely think it’s a little immature, but I don’t care. I only have one life,” Rudd said.

The tiara isn’t coming off anytime soon.

“I definitely can’t see myself not wearing it, it’s just a part of my identity now,” Rudd said. “It’s all a learning experience. I like it and that’s all that matters. There’s nothing to regret about it.”

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