Monday, December 28, 2009

TSA



Yes they did. Take out every item in my bag and splay it across the metal detector table for every single passenger coming through to see. Yes, my underwear are colorful. Yes, my sock had a hole in it. Yes, I had the bag packed tighter than 6" sock drawer, but that's my prerogative not TSA's. Especially when their swabbing revealed.. decorative soaps!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Elly!

Today is a wonderful friend's birthday! Happy Happy Birthday Dear Elly!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Happy happy Christmas from the great city of Cincinnati!


It snowed the first day we were here, but now most of it has melted and we are just looking for some more! White Christmas surprise us!

Astronomy Posters

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Fantastic astronomy posters from Simon Page a UK graphic designers.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

HIP HOP

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After Miseducation, even I - a person who doesn't follow hip hop that closely - was wondering, where did Lauryn Hill go?

Here she is after about a four year hiatus on MTV Unplugged (2001). You can see she's had a lot on the mind. Glad she found space to put it into words, into song.



This song by Lauryn Hill just blows me away. Forget that she is able to remember all of that. It's that she's unloading a lifetime of sorrow and confusion, frustration and questions in one run-on sentence that just stop you in time to take it all in.


Mystery of Inequity LYRICS

It's the mystery of Inequity/Said it's the misery of Inequity/Said it's the history of Inequity/When it all/All falls down/Telling you all/It all falls down/Children/Eat your bread/Little children/Eat your bread/Cuz it all/All falls down/Telling you all/It all falls down

[First and only verse]
Yo!/Ya'll can't handle the truth in a courtroom of lies/Perjures the jurors/Witness despised/Crooked lawyers/False Indictments publicized/Its entertainment...the arraignments/The subpoenas/High profile gladiators in bloodthirsty arenas/Enter the Dragon/Black-robe crooked-balance/Souls bought and sold and paroled for thirty talents/Court reporter catch the surface on the paper/File it in the system not acknowledged by the Maker/Swearing by the bible blatantly blasphemous/Publicly perpetrating that "In God We Trust"/Cross-examined by a master manipulator/The faster intimidator/Receiving the judge's favor/Deceiving sabers doing injury to they neighbors/For status, gratis, apparatus and legal waivers/See the bailiff/Representing security/Holding the word of God soliciting perjury/The prosecution/Political prostitution/The more money you pay.. the further away solution/Legal actors/Babylon's benefactors/Masquerading as the agency for the /Hypocritical giants/Morally non-compliant/Orally armed to do bodily harm/Polluted, recruited and suited judicial charm/And the defense isn't making any sense/Faking the confidence of escaping the consequence/That a defendant is depending on the system/Totally void of judgment purposely made to twist em'/Emotional victim blackmailed by the henchmen/Framed by intentions/Inventions whereby they lynch men/Enter the false witness slandering the accused/Planting the seed openly showing he's being used/To discredit, edit, headed for the alleged/Smearing the individual fearing the unsuspected/Expert witness (the paid authority)/Made a priority to deceive the majority/Of disinterested peers/Dodging duty for years/Hating the process waiting to be returning to their careers/Do we expect the system made for the elect/To possibly judge correct?/Properly serve and protect?/Materially corrupt/Spiritually amuck/Oblivious to the cause/Prosperously bankrupt/Blind leading the blind/Guilty never defined/Filthy as swine/A generation purin it's own mind/Legal extortion/Blown out of proportion/In vein deceit/The truth is obsolete/Only two positions:/Victimizer or Victim/Both end up in destruction trusting this crooked system/Mafia with diplomas keeping us in a coma trying to own a piece of the "American Corona"/The Revolving Door/Insanity every floor/Skyscraping, paper chasing/What are we working for?/Empty traditions/Reaching social positions/Teaching ambition to support the family superstition?/When the Son of Podition is Commander in Chief/The standard is Thief/Brethren can we candidly speak?/Woe to the men/Trusted in the chariots dem'/Leaning on horses/They run their intellectual sources/Counterfeit wisdom creating the illusion of freedom/Confusion consumes them/Every word they speak it turns them out really white/Internally they absent of light trapped in the night and bonded to the Cain of the night/Under the curse/Evil men waxing more worse/Faxing the first/Angelic being cast to the earth/It's time for rebirth/Burnin up the branch and the root/The empty pursuits of every tree bearing the wrong fruit/Turning me ill/Let him who stole, no longer steal/Oh it's real/Surrender for Jehovah is real/How long will you sleep/Troubled by the thoughts that YOU keep/The idols YOU heap/Causing the destruction you reap/Judgment has come/ Find it and return to the One/Abandon the flesh/Self-interest: Broadway to death/Pride and the Greed/Hide and subdividing the seed/The knowledge of Good and Evil is what caused us to lie/Caused us to die/Let your emotions be crucified/Renounce all your thoughts/Repent and let your mind be re-taught/You'll find what you sought...was based on the deception you bought/A perception of naught/Where the majority remains caught/Loving a lie/Not realizing in Adam, all die


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HIP HOP part 2

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Representing the West Coast



THUG IMMORTAL


Tupac's history goes back for generations. To see him burn out over a rivalry is like watching a young and senseless Malcolm X die in a bar fight. What for?

But he was not the only character in the West Coast. Suge Knight, his lawyer, and a mysterious businessman operating from prison, with the foot soldiers: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac, tapped into the hip hop music industry like never before. With more controversy than a movie script, Death Row Records was born.



Does anyone else think their logo sucks? I know they had some designers up there, it's LA..





This film, Welcome to Death Row came out back in 2001. The inside look at Death Row and particularly its Godfather-esque CEO, Suge Knight is fascinating.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

HIP HOP part 1

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Representing the East Coast







A great documentary called Notorious came out this year based on the life of Christopher Wallace AKA rapper Biggie Smalls. It opens with Little Biggie, nerdy in glasses writing rhythms on his Brooklyn apartment stoop and traces his life from small time drug dealer to the biggest hip hop star on the East coast. His story is marked by good friends who made the ultimate sacrifice for him and his career, exploits with women and notions of fatherhood, big mistakes, drugs, jail time, fame and fatal rivalries; larger than life in all ways. Biggie was at his peak both personally and professionally, straightening out his relationships and becoming a man - as his mother said - when his life was taken in 1997. You really wonder, what he might be up to now.

Through this film, we also see the rise of Bad Boy Records, the major driving force of hip hop on the East Coast during the mid to late 90s, founded by Puff Daddy. I must admit that as just a casual listener to hip hop, I had no idea how instrumental Puff Daddy was in this era of music. Here I was thinking this guy was just a mediocre rapper who made his fame off of persona and proximity alone. I stand corrected, P. Diddy was an accomplished producer and businessman. You learn something every day.

A side note - after P.Diddy's 10th inspirational line in the film, about the time you start thinking this man is a prophet, take a minute. I'll save you the trouble and tell you outright that he produced the film. That just might be the reason he can do no wrong.

The film also blatantly assures that the riff with West coast rapper, Tupac was solely a misunderstanding on Tupac's part, and that Biggie (and the crew at Bad Boy) never disliked or sought to challenge to the west coast rappers in any way. According to this film, the industry had plenty of room for two world of hip hop, a country apart, to coexist. We can see that P.Diddy is true to his word, because at the infamous awards ceremony where Suge Knight of Death Row Records in Los Angeles publicly challenges the east coast, P.Diddy was quick to try to rescue the situation. I have to give that to him. He tried to stop the fighting before it started. But things got out of control. Why? What kept it going? Could it have been Tupac's fiery personality that just wouldn't let it go? I'm sure this film, coming from Bad Boy Records, has its bias and perhaps views history with rose-tinted glasses, but it's their history after all so it is definitely worth the view if you are interested.



Jamal Woolard does a really excellent job playing Biggie Smalls. Hey, where are all those award shows?

Everything Is Alright

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Everything Is Alright

By Four Tet

Oldie but goodie. What's it matter anyway..

Friday, December 4, 2009

Some Hip Hop Education

I've been watching some really interesting documentaries with my Mr. so I thought it would be good to put them up here.




Hip Hop history is fascinating. It's a drama of struggle. The stakes being life or death. Success wasn’t a wish come true; it was the only anecdote to a brutal life on the streets. But making it big wasn’t the final solution. As Biggie said, More money. More Problems. The dynamic between hip hop stars rising from the streets as unpredictable as popcorn and record company egos spliced with street sensibility, is as precarious as fame itself. And at the top, a battle raged internally between integrity and corruption, success and failure, and nationally between rising artists from New York to Los Angeles; their rivalry fueled with the lethal mix of guns, money, drugs and fame. But through it all the ventilation of music, of beats and rhythms put a voice to their personal struggles and to the ultimate struggle of African Americans in this country.

Everyone knows about Biggie and Tupac and the altercation that ended tragically in the early nineties. There's a lot to the story surrounding them, before and after.





Biggie and Tupac

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Improv Everywhere

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from Improv Everywhere: Where is Rob?:


Improv Everywhere is sort of like a comedy troupe. They perform improvisational skits in the humdrum of everyday life unbeknownst to the crowd of people around them. The results are so funny and look like so much fun to do.

In this skit, a group of 6 people went to a Knicks game. Rob went off for snacks but couldn't find his way back. His friends saw him across the way and tried to get his attention. Pretty soon the whole section of the game was yelling for him, as he wandered aimlessly. The video is great!