Why Vacations Are Good for Employees—And Employers (Slate)

Cell phone circle slashAmericans leave 658 million vacation days on the table each year. Project: Time Off, an organization aimed at helping employees use their vacation time, believes both employers and their employees benefit when employees take time off. According to the organization, time away from work inspires greater creativity and happiness, therefore sparking more productivity and less burnout.

Emphasizing vacation also helps employers in recruitment. Breaking from technology also encourages employees to be more present with their families. The organization suggests beginning with small steps, such as incorporating moments of “white space,” a type of mindfulness, into the day. Read more.

The Digital War: How Social Media Empowers ISIS (The Atlantic)

Social media256The #AllEyesOnISIS Twitter campaign of 2014, announcing the invasion of northern Iraq, sparked ISIS’ viral marketing campaign via social media. According to The Atlantic, the Islamic State owes its existence to the rise of the Internet—relying on staged photos, filters, and applications to coordinate operations, gain followers, and spread panic.

Transmissions such as telegraphs and radios were vital in earlier international wars, yet ISIS is perhaps “the first terrorist group to hold both physical and digital territory.” Learn how communication tools have historically solved and shaped conflict.

The Cold Open: How ‘Breaking Bad’ Changed the Television Landscape

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The acclaimed AMC crime drama, Breaking Bad, has influenced all genres of television through its cold opens, or scenes airing before the credits. Typically, cold opens either set up the episode—reminding viewers of characters and situations—or introduce the case of the week.

Instead, Breaking Bad expands the series by exploring new areas of its world, involving various plot elements that are tangential to the storyline. These “disconnected short films” have surfaced in a variety of subsequent shows, including NBC’s new lighthearted comedy, This is Us. Read more.

‘Take Las Vegas Seriously’: Vegas Hosts the Final 2016 Presidential Debate

debate560The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spent $4 million to host the third and final 2016 presidential debate October 19. The city and host university — the University of Nevada Las Vegas — are both hoping for a PR boost that will encourage the nation to take them more seriously.

Las Vegas is one of the most urbanized cities in the US, yet it struggles with its image. The Visitors Authority hopes the debate will prove the city is a legitimate place to do business and bring greater brand awareness to the university. It is the first presidential debate to be hosted in Nevada, and it is predicated to generate more than $50 million in publicity value. Read more.