StrongCast 35 | The Impact of Technology on Humanity ft Shawn Kernes, John Long

Shawn Kernes CEO and Co-founder of LARKR On Demand Mental Health Care, ( and John Long Co-founder and Head of Technology at Qwake Technologies (, C THRU Performance Test join us to talk about advances in technology and the prices we've had to pay for them.  A very recent development that has been cause of alarm for many is the report of Chinese twin babies that have had their genes edited in utero to be more resistant to HIV.  What are the ramifications for our future?  Did they cross the line?

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Herman Cornejo, Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theatre

By: Karl Nelson, NYC Correspondent/Social Media Exec.

Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance. ― Oprah Winfrey

The art of dance can, at times, be more powerful than words. In fact, dance has the aptitude to take an audience for a ride that includes an array of emotions.

It’s the elegance, patience, commitment, and passion embodied by a dancer that electrifies the experience for an audience.

Herman Cornejo, a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, knows what it’s like to leave an audience with a favorable lasting impression. He’s traveled the world throughout his illustrious dance career and has performed in front of many diverse audiences.

Cornejo is revered as “the most technically accomplished male ballet dancer in the United States.” That’s a title that he has undeniably earned.

In a recent rare interview, the Argentina-born ballet dancer and I discussed his dance career and much more as we sat outside of the beautiful Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. | KMN

Vai Anitta!


Vai Anitta is taking the world by storm and was trending #3 in the US and #1 in Brazil and other parts of the world. 

The Netflix Original documents the work, strategy, laughter and drama behind Anitta’s success, from her beginnings in Brazil to her international fame. In a time where women are center stage globally, Anitta’s breakout story from being raised in the outskirts of Rio’s favelas to honing her talents into international stardom is fascinating, energizing and inspiring for young people, especially other women who can see the power of shining their light. 

With all that is going on in the world today, a strong female success story is not only highly respected but celebrated. And that notion was not just on the screen with Vai Anitta but behind the scenes too by having a female Show Runner at the helm, adding to the success of a series that is already making an impact. The Netflix original is produced by Shots Studios and 9x Emmy Award winner Alicia Zubikowski.

The L.A.-based production and management company was founded by brothers John and Sam Shahidi. The company’s talent roster includes social stars Lele Pons, Rudy Mancuso, Anwar Jibawi, and Hannah Stocking and Swedish DJ Alesso. 

“Having the chance to work with John, Sam and entire Shots family was amazing,” Alicia said. “Shots Studios is one of the hottest groups in music and entertainment right now so having their first unscripted series match what they’ve done in all other areas was important.” 

Shots Studios has achieved major success dominating all viral and social platforms with creative content entertaining hundreds of millions while building a music brand breaking records every step, most recently recognized by Billboard being named to Latin Power Players list. 

Shots Studios assembled a group of award winning cinematographers and editors to bring their vision to life. Producing acclaimed sport documentaries over the years, including Showtime’s All Access featuring Floyd Mayweather, EPIX’s NHL Road to Winter Classic, HBO’s 24/7 and Hard Knocks  among others; the team felt they could take a similar formula and apply it to a new subject in music and entertainment.  “It’s all about relationships and utilizing what we know to get people to open up and be able to tell the best story and one that sticks,” Alicia said. 

When John and Sam first asked Alicia to be apart of the project, there were some discussions about the language barrier and culture differences but she felt telling the story of Anitta would be like no other, so finding a balance to appeal to many parts of the globe would be key. The energy and determination of Anitta is rare and the minute Alicia met her, she felt challenged to match her drive. “Her spirit is contagious and you see this woman who is adored by an entire country (Brazil) with the world craving more of her music, and behind that fame, fortune and glory is truly a young lady with fortitude and unseen talent. Working hours upon hours, barely sleeping, constantly brewing ideas on what’s next and how to remain at the top all while running an empire; ‘basically taking no crap from anyone- she wants what she wants’, I mean how could you not be inspired to be on her level?” 

The reviews of Vai Anitta have been overwhelmingly positive which has been music to the ears for this team. Alicia says the keys to the show’s success was having a strong production team (In US and Brazil), a willing subject and the patience for the story to be told in a way where the world could see not just the success of Anitta but peel back the many layers of who she is and understand her journey. 

While being highly entertained, seeing the power of a female with dreams and determination be able to achieve them is what Alicia hopes people take away from the series. But more than that, she hopes viewers understand we all struggle no matter how big or small, how rich or poor, how alone or popular we may feel...we are all human and finding strength to never give up is what matters most. 

Alicia started her film career working at NFL Films where she credits her experience and success to working under the tutelage of the late Steve Sabol. “Steve set the bar high and was the master of creating entertaining docu-style shows that turned real-life scenarios into stories we can’t get enough of and remember forever,” Alicia said. “I always wanted to be around him, soaking up his knowledge, creativity and style...he was the best and I wish he was here today for me to thank him, by showing him I did what he said I could do when so many others doubted me starting in this business as a 21 year old female with nothing but a dream.”

Both Sides of the Coin

By: Karl Nelson, NYC Correspondent/Social Media Exec.

I spoke with New York resident Estefani Aguiluz ahead of a special Town Hall, “Both Sides of the Coin,” which airs on WJLA 24/7 tonight from 7-8pm and will be moderated by Broadcast Heavyweight Armstrong Williams.

Town Hall Overview:

Men and women in their twenties and thirties from different backgrounds (inner-city, suburbs, ethnicity, etc.) discuss their upbringings; the similarities and the differences, along with lessons learned to create the people they've become today.  

Aguiluz is just like many other people in America and around the world today. Her upbringing is exactly why she is who she is today as a young woman living in New York City.

She credits her hardworking, working-class parents for why she is passionate about people, especially minorities — the group of individuals that she relates to the most considering the fact that her parents migrated to this country decades ago.

During tonight’s live broadcast, you will hear from a group of guests who have also been shaped by their upbringings and experiences — people from both sides of the coin. | KMN

The Seven Deadly Sins: Vices and Virtues

By: Karl Nelson, NYC Correspondent/Social Media Exec.

The Seven Deadly Sins are lust, pride, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, and envy.

In today’s society, it’s not abnormal to hear the average person question the rationale of sin.

In this country, moral striving appears to be at an all-time low. That being said, I was extremely encouraged by a conversation I had with Brooklyn-based Teaching Pastor Rasool Berry. Pastor Berry talked about the Seven Deadly Sins, but he did so in a way that will hopefully educate viewers on the vices (behavior with low morals) and virtues (behavior with high morals) that exist today and have always existed.

Pastor Berry views each of the Seven Deadly Sins (or vices) as categories for a slew of other sins. However, he feels that if a person is going to place a focus on the vice, then they must also give heed to the virtue of that particular vice. Checkout our interview. The way in which Pastor Berry breaks down this topic is beyond impressive. | KMN