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I’m a writer who does some designing too.

I’m all about discovering how new technology and design impacts our lives. With each new Kickstarter project or OS update, we’re innovating at an insanely rapid rate and I think it’s important that we all step back for some perspective once in a while so that we don’t get jaded by all of the buttons, cords and touch screens. Because if we get too jaded, humans could be overrun by robots before you know it. So I guess you could say, I’m saving us all from the robo-pocalypse by way of perspective.

I'm a Freelance Editor for Brit.Co where I write mostly about Technology and Design. I also cover the ins and outs of food and events in Los Angeles for Apartments.com.

I always make time to regularly contribute to hitRECord, and I seldom make time to write on my film blog, reviewing classic movies I should have seen by now but haven't: Better Late Than Never.

In 2012, I moved to Los Angeles by way of Texas and Georgia and I accidentally fell in love with it.



katelanalivia[at]gmail.com



Scroll on to the right to check out some of my work and get a feel for things. You can also catch me elsewhere on the world wide web:

Brit+Co.
SoulPancake
Medium
HitRECord
Apartments.com
Freelancers Union
GOOD Community
The Branch
Electric Literature
GOOD Ideas for Cities
Drawl Magazine
Arlington, Texas Magazine
Well FED
District Quarterly
District

Brit + Co. is a creative community of makers who love color, technology, food, fashion and all things DIY. As a Freelance Editor, I focus on technology and design, curating lists and spotlighting the best of the best in what's innovative online and off.


How Your Instagram Photos Can Make You Money



So you’ve gotten pretty good at the art of mobile photography. You’re killing it with natural lighting, and you probably use at least two editing apps before you even get to Instagram. As the hearts flood in within minutes of every post, you rightly start to think, “I’m hot stuff.” But we have a question for you: When’s the last time all those likes earned you some cold hard cash?

With each new smartphone update, the quality of mobile photography improves megapixel by megapixel, and if you’ve seen any of our Instagram roundups, you know this is resulting in some really professional-looking pics. Photo pro Chad Newell saw the stellar pics people were posting on Instagram, and he wanted to offer a way for people to make some serious moola from the pictures they were already taking. Snapwire was born. Read on to get to the part about making money.

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3D Printing + Cork = Bespoke Glasses



If you’re a glasses-wearer (of the optical or sun variety), you know that no matter how stylish, high-quality or trendy your frames are, sometimes they start to droop down your nose leaving you peering down through them like an old lady. And sometimes they just don’t fit quite right.

The solution is in customizable (i.e. “bespoke”) frames that are personalized to the dimensions of your face. Swiss industrial designer Adrian Goegl has made a brilliant discovery in revolutionizing the world of bespoke eyewear with his project Oak & Dust. His secret weapons are 3-D printing and cork. Yes, cork. Find out how he does it.

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15 Must-Follow Street Photographers on Instagram



Street photography has been around long before the days of Instagram feeds, but now it’s more accessible than ever. From the fashionable streets of Paris to the inspiring architecture of Barcelona, you can satisfy your love for big city life from wherever you are through your phone. Get the full list of 15 photographers who are taking their skills (and us!) to the streets.

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London Is Turning Phone Booths into
Something Way More Useful



Think about the last time you saw a phone booth, or any public phone for that matter. It’s probably been a long, Long, LONG time (2006 if our memory serves us right). With smartphones in our pockets, finding a phone booth is like stumbling across an ancient relic. But in London, phone booths have a bit more prestige and tradition. The red phone booth has become an icon of the city, right up there with Big Ben and double-decker buses, but no matter how cute and iconic, they’re not immune to extinction-by-smartphone. Click to get the whole scoop on the Solarbox.
Medium is a reading/writing platform where people can read and write about things they're passionate about. I'm passionate about technology and culture.

Unraveling the Enigma of the Texas Homecoming Mum



I never had a Homecoming mum, or even a Homecoming date. At my school, Homecoming was all about the football game and the halftime crowning. Worrying about dates for normal things like dances and prom was hard enough without finding a date to a football game. It wasn’t a meme then, but if i could go back in time, I think my ideal sentiment could be easily summarized by the phrase, “I can’t.”

I was in the vast minority when it came to protesting the mum. Actually, it wasn’t a protest or even some desire to be different. It was simply a severe lack of interest. But for most people, the mum is a sense of pride and nostalgia like a prom dress. Most girls I knew had each year’s mum hanging in a row in their rooms. But for some reason, unlike my desire to wear paper-thin Hollister tees and Soffe shorts and, this was one high school landmark that I never felt I needed. Keep reading to get to the bottom of the mum.

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It’s time to outgrow the generation gap



I’ve read so, so many lists and opinion pieces full of statistics, assumptions, and generalizations explaining why the people of my generation are the way we are. Why myself and my friends live in limbo between feeling like we deserve so much and still feeling like children, and most of all: why we won’t shut up about it.

Yes, many of us received at least one participation trophy in our lifetime. Many of us were told we can do anything. A lot of us got degrees we can’t use in a meager work force and paying off those degrees is proving to be, well, near impossible. But another Top 20 List of observations getting to the bottom of why we spend so much time on our smartphones and how to handle us seems to be beating a dead meme. Read more about young folks who are changing the game.

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No more spoon-fed technology:
A eulogy to skeuomorphism



If you’re unfamiliar, skeuomorphism can be defined as nostalgia by design. Faux wood paneling on the side of a station wagon. Cute but immovable wooden shutters. The sound of the shutter click your phone makes when you take a picture. What once was a necessity of function in generations past, becomes an embellishment solely for the purpose of touchy-feely familiarity—a baby step in our understanding of what’s new. But Apple’s event tomorrow could be a big step (one that Google and Microsoft have already taken) in moving technology’s functionality into a world of its own, independent of its tangible counterparts.

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This upgrade is long overdue, and at this stage, a moot point of controversy. It symbolizes not just an evolution of design and user experience, but also an evolution of perspective. When we no longer tie our technology to the expectations of its tangible counterparts or older generations, then the possibilities are unbound. We can see past the limitations of the physical world and envision the potential of the digital one. Read the whole piece

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Tweet by tweet, we're making history




In the past five years or so, tech innovators and laggards alike have been able to go to Twitter for the latest news before seeing it anywhere else. Taking into account excusable, and not-so-excusable fallacies, we take the bad with good, choose who to listen to and piece together our own story as it develops. Our views, likes, shares and retweets gauge the impact of major historical events, and the impact of the May 20 tornado in Moore, Okla. was massive.
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Through the lens of social media, major events that were once considered regional turn national, global, even. Online petitions have taken the place of door-to-door efforts. Lawn signs and bumper stickers are being replaced by a temporary change of profile pic. And actually, I don’t think these conceptual skeumorphs are less effective given the amount of time we spend online. They’re well-intentioned and if nothing else, gain attention for things people care about. But we all care about so many things, it’s difficult deciding where to dole out one’s thought, much less, real empathy. How are we supposed to really feel it all? Read the whole piece
As part of the SoulPancake Brainlab, I gave feedback on the site and wrote prompts to get the community involved in answering Life's Big Questions. These are some of the questions I've asked.


One-Word Year in Review

As people weighed in with one-word summaries of 2012, I saw many similarities and patterns. So I looked beyond my SoulPancake writing role and created an infographic based off of users' responses. Infographics usually represent solid, black and white statistics, so playing with words, concepts and emotions seemed like it could be an adventure...and it was!



Click here for a larger, zoomable version.


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When Will You Be Your Future Self?

image source

The person I aspired to be was a mirage. Not a figment of my imagination. Not an idol I aspired to mimic, but a mirage. I could see her, always in the distance with details I could never quite make out. This person who I wanted to be was waiting at a benchmark on the timeline on my life. I thought that when I was ready and worthy, I would approach her, my future self, able to see all the details up close. Able to pass her the baton and say, "Take it from here."

This imagery had always sulked in me beneath the skin, a cumulonimbus cloud hovering just above the heart--it's only recently surfaced itself. And as silly as it may seem, at 23, I'm just now realizing that I've been living beneath the shadow of my mirage. I thought that becoming her would be something I'd approach quite literally by passing on the very thing I've existed to build. But she doesn't exist without me. I am her.

Who are you? When are you going to turn into who you want to be and how are you going to do it? People shared ideas and aspirations.
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The Past: Revisited



@thisistheilliad "I long for New York City on the daily. That has never left me."

My friend posted this on Twitter and it struck a resounding chord with me. I miss Savannah, Georgia all the time in a way that makes me feel like maybe I never experienced it enough. Like maybe there's more to see and I'm missing it.

It's a place of grungy alleyways, vocal cats, historic statues in parks, bars always within walking distance and people always on porches. It's a place kept alive with stories and nostalgia. My boyfriend says that nostalgia is a longing for a feeling that you can never have again, which I think is true. But you can't miss something until you leave it.

The energy of Savannah, though often Southern-slow and contained, is the very thing that makes it, for me, a place worth missing. It's something worth holding onto.

What memories does it feel good to have? Is nostalgia bittersweet or just bitter? People shared memories.

Tweet and photos of Savannah by Adeshola Adigun, @thisistheilliad


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Where Do You Congregate?



image source

Whether you're religious or not, you have to admit, that religions have a knack for bringing people together. In a temple, mosque, or church, like-minded folks gather and share their faith. But it doesn't have to be a house of worship. It could be the pool, a coffee house, a park, a mountain, a bowling alley...

Is there a place where you spend time with like-minded folks that's uplifting and makes you feel part of something larger than yourself?

Go there. Take a photo. Share the space with us.

Upload a photo of the coolest place where you congregate.People shared photos.
The Outlet is a blog hosted by Electric Literature covering literary events and happenings across the country. I covered some of the events happening in Los Angeles.


Irvine Welsh on Politics, Poop and Skagboys


LOS ANGELES–While Obama and Romney had their first night of face-to-face opposition in Denver behind their respected podiums, Scottish writer Irvine Welsh also stood behind a podium, but at Book Soup in Los Angeles. As he walked into the bookstore he announced (to whom I don’t know), “Romney’s kickin’ Obama’s ass.” Turns out, his observations were widely agreed upon.

Before we start on Welsh’s new novel Skagboys, I’m going to say something that would probably lead to my exile in many cliques of trendy people. At the time of this reading, I’d never read Trainspotting or seen the film. There was no reason for this, like someone who accidentally lived their entire lives without eating macaroni and cheese. You can be sure it was not intentional neglect but rather a horrible mistake that I have since remedied.

Things you may not know about Irvine Welsh:

—He’s ok with you answering a phone call during his reading as long if it’s from your coke dealer.
—His wanderlust is motivated by the guarantee that any place can become stale and he doesn’t want to think of himself in one place.
—He lives in Chicago and feels like it’s like New York City without the jerks.
—The film adaptation of his 2008 novel Filth is anticipated to come out in 2013. He’s had more involvement with its making than any previous adaptations of his books.Go on. Keep reading at Electric Literature.

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In an Old Police Station With and Unplugged Microphone: McSweeny's Quarterly Concern #41


LOS ANGELES–Going to the release of the 41st McSweeny’s Quarterly Concern on Wednesday night is the closest I’ve ever come to being arrested. The event was held in Venice at the SPARC building, which is a decommissioned police station. Our host in this repurposed precinct was 826LA, a non-profit organization helping kids improve their writing skills with tutoring, field trips and workshops. (You might have read about it here.) Some people feel like being in school is like being in jail, but with bad-ass storytelling going on it didn’t feel like school or jail. In the classroom setting from behind a long wooden table, with a mic that wasn’t plugged in and wasn’t needed, we heard samplings of fiction and non-fiction from four writers throughout the night. It gets better. Finish reading at Electric Literature.
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At Vroman's You'll Learn: You Don't Know Gypsy


LOS ANGELES–Tuesday night at Vroman’s in Pasadena, CA, Oksana Marafioti had her audience entranced with stories told not just from the pages of her book. American Gypsy: A Memoir is your typical coming-of-age tale, mixed with a coming-to-America tale, told by a woman who’s half-Russian/Romani and half-Greek/Armenian, whose family may or may not be burdened with a curse from her great grandmother, due to Marafioti’s out-of-wedlock birth. You know that story, right?

Her dad moved the family from Russia to Hollywood in 1990, right before the fall of the Soviet Union, in hopes of escaping her great grandmother’s curse and getting the chance to perform with B.B King. Her mother had left her husband to follow the two loves in her life: Marafioti’s father, and her passion for performing. That's just the beginning. Read on at Electric Literature.