He’s real and that’s rare.

November 10, 2007

Alex put me on Lupe Fiasco a couple of months ago, but it just didn’t click initially. But now I am addicted. I just heard the wrong song first. I first heard his break out hit “Kick Flip” and thought it was okay, but nothing to write home about (or blog about). But now I’ve listened to all his previous work and it is solid.

I am huge fan of urban-suburban meshes that blend street and skate culture. I think the result is intensely cool fashions that utilize bright colors, functionality, comfort and freshness. It also tends to result in fun music. I think music should be essentially a reflection of life. So I want to listen to love songs when in love, loud rock when I’m angry, and expect to have upbeat songs to listen to when I am happy. So when happy (and if you are doing life right that is the majority of the time) I usually get stuck listening to poppy top 40 songs or oldies, as opposed to my preferred rap music.

That is where some of the current and up and coming rappers are really stepping up. Jason Fox, Gym Class Heroes, Kayne West, Pharell and my currently love Lupe Fiasco are pumping out catchy non gangster rap. I don’t have to feel bad about being a middle class white kid who listens to rap. I am not some sort of wigger, I like the music, I’m not out wearing gangster clothes, talking in slang, and rocking gang symbols or tims. I am listening while driving, studying, or dancing. Not to say these guys are rapping about some heavy things, but in those instances it is not related to glorifying violence or drugs. If those topics are in the song it is about how guns, drugs, violence, crime, and poverty are holding the black community down.

So I highly recommend checking out some of his work, these are the links to a few of my favorites:

Dumb it Down

He Say, She Say

Kick Push

I Gotcha

Daydreamin


Macs + Porn + Trojan = ??

November 3, 2007


You’re not very computer savy. You like porn. You dislike viruses. You must own a Mac. Not so much anymore.

Don’t get me wrong I like Apple, but every now and then everyone needs to be knocked off their high horse. If you thought “I’ll get a Mac and that will keep me safe from viruses/malware”, you have pretty much always been right. But now it’s being reported there is a new Trojan that effects Mac computers. I think this is only the beginning. Everyone likes challenges and that certainly includes hackers and virus writers.

SAN FRANCISCO — Hackers have launched a rare and troubling attack on Apple Inc.’s computers.

Apple on Thursday confirmed reports of pornography Web sites where hidden software, once downloaded, could take control of an Apple computer. Apple did not immediately respond to claims that it is the first instance of a Trojan horse attack on Apple’s Macintosh platform.

“We’ve been made aware that a small number of Web sites attempt to trick Mac OS X users to install malicious software on their Macs,” said Apple spokeswoman Lynn Fox. “Apple has a great track record for keeping Mac OS X users secure, and as always, we encourage people to install software only from trusted sources.”

The timing of the Trojan horse suggests there are more to come, say some computer and Internet security professionals. As Apple’s popularity rises, “the bad guys are taking Macs seriously now,” wrote Bojan Zdrnja, of the Internet Storm Center, which is led by the Escal Institute of Advanced Technologies.

After confirming the claims reported by computer-security firm Intego, Symantec engineer Joji Hamada wrote on Symantec’s Web site of suspicions that a wave of attacks and viruses are due. “If we see a rise in Mac malware, then we will have to assume that there are profits to be made in malware for Macs as well,” he wrote. “Stay tuned.”

Article


Shake that money-maker

October 28, 2007

facebook.jpg The New York Times has an interesting article on the business side of facebook. While I am compulsively checking people’s statuses, noting who is and isn’t dating who, oogling hot drunk chicks photos, and deeply contemplating where I should add that new badass app, people are making money. Lots of it.

The originally small scale networking site for Harvard students is expected to reach 60 million member by the end of this year. But you ask how could a free site be worth any money? While there are small features that cost money the more serious cash flow is advertising and corporate sponsorship. While the founder wants to keep it independent and is as such unlikely to sell it completely Microsoft recently bought a share in it. Microsoft shelled out something like 240 million dollars for less than 2 % share. Yeah Facebook is worth approximately 15 billion dollars.

The article goes into the future possibilities for the company, the inevitable google comparisons, and how they think facebook can benefit and be hurt by the microsoft purchase.

Check out the Article.


MOVIES, MOVIES, MOVIES!!

October 27, 2007

I worked last night at the theater. My favorite thing about working Fridays is that I get to watch all the trailers on the new movies. So I’m going to give you a heads up on some awesome looking movies coming out.

The Diving Bell and the Butteryfly

Why it looks good?

It looks touching, moving, endearing, depressing, and uplifting. But what struck me was the intense visual aspect. I think it will be one of those movies you remember specific freeze frames from, with amazing colors and emotional cinematography.

Be Kind, Rewind

Why it looks good?

**This trailer is being difficult, not sure why, but if it is not up, check it out on imdb.com**

First, let me say I hate Jack Black but want to see this, which means it must look hella good. I think Mos Def is an awesome versatile actor. It looks cute/funny and it just made me smile.

Reservation Road

Why it looks good?

I don’t really need to explain, it is an intense thriller.

Juno

Why it looks good?

Its an offbeat dark family comedy, the best kind. Good actors, great soundtrack, and fresh story line with solid one liner.

Wristcutters

Why it looks good?

I’m not sure it does. I have seen two different trailers, one I thought yes I def. want to see that and one where it looked so stupid I could barely stand watching the two minute trailer. I think it is going to be very hit or miss.

Sweeny todd

Why it looks good?

If I have to explain this to you, you probably shouldn’t be here.

There are some coming out shortly that good as well. Lion for Lambs, American Ganster, Martian Child, No Country for Old Men, Beowulf, and Love in the time of Cholera all look good. P2 looks like my worst fears realized.


Wildfires continue in California

October 22, 2007

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There are massive wildfires raging across much of southern California.  I was at a family party yesterday and we literally spend two hours watching the fire spread on CNN.  It was crazy.  Cross California off my list of places to live.  I hope they get it under control today, and that the residents are able to successfully evacuate.

RAMONA, California (CNN) — Residents of about 10,000 homes northeast of San Diego were ordered Monday to flee an out-of-control wildfire, “Witch”, one of several burning across Southern California.
The Witch fire was one of several major wildfires to ignite Sunday around Los Angeles and San Diego, fueled by hot, dry conditions and pushed by fierce Santa Ana winds. Thousands of homes were threatened.  Large fires bore down on Malibu, Santa Clarita and two rural communities east of San Diego on Monday morning as thousands of firefighters battled the blazes.

The Witch fire was moving much faster than expected, and there was “a very high potential” it would enter San Diego early Monday, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said.

Sanders urged San Diegans in the fire’s potential path to “collect important belongings so they can evacuate immediately.” He said reverse 911 calls would be made by San Diego police to inform residents who should leave their homes.

A larger fire, fueled by wind gusts up to 80 mph, has spread more than 12,500 acres around Santa Clarita about 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

At least 400 firefighters were deployed to battle the fire, which officials estimate has destroyed 17 buildings and threatens 3,800 Santa Clarita Valley homes. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for several communities.


“Excuse me is your boob beeping?”

October 20, 2007


Bras soon won’t just be fighting the sag. A British researcher is working on a prototype bra that could detect early stages of breast cancer. The “smart bra” uses microwave antennae to pick up on temperature changes that happen when there’s an increase in blood flow to a developing tumor. The same types of passive microwaves are used to pinpoint submarine and distant star locations.

An audible or visual alarm would be built into the bra alerting wearers that they should head to the doctor. This seems like it would be a bit stressful. Especially if it happened during a business meeting or an interview! “Sorry, gotta run. I may have cancer.”

Some docs aren’t too psyched on the whole idea either, citing that many benign growths and nonmalignant inflammatory changes can also increase blood flow. But hey, any research helping women find and fight breast cancer is worth looking into in my breast opinion!

Source

I think it is at least a step in the right direction. The right direction is prevention and early detection. I bet Japan has a working prototype in 6 months. And in 9 months there will be a recall of bras manufactured with cancer causing lead from China.


Guess Who’s Gay?

October 20, 2007

harry_070710_img1.jpg

Which Harry Potter character has a queer little past? (No it is not Harry, much to the dismay of millions of old pervs, and to the relief of millions of young girls). It is Dumbledore! For those of you who haven’t read the books, or could keep awake during the movies, he is the really old guy who runs the school. Dumbledore is portrayed currently in the movies by Michael Gambon (he was previously portrayed by Richard Harris who died).

I have personally always believe Ian McKellen would be a better match for the role. And now that we know Dumbledore is a butt pirate (no offense, to the gays or to pirates), it makes even more sense. I looked it up and apparently tons of people agree he would have made a great Dumbledore.

In case you were wondering how I know Dumbledore is a homo, the author JK Rowling announced it the other day.  You can read the article below to check out, how it “came out”.

Here is the article


How Nobel of You, Mr. Gore

October 12, 2007

al_gore_nobel_1011.jpg 

Al Gore, the former Vice President, and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have won the Nobel Peace Prize.

In a statement, Gore said he was “deeply honored,” adding that “the climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity.”

The former vice president said he would donate his half of the $1.5 million prize to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a U.S. organization he founded that aims to persuade people to cut emissions and reduce global warming.

Most of us remember Gore as the stiff counter part to the charming Bill Clinton.  He ran against George Bush and won the popular vote, but lost the electoral college.  Many people think the election was stolen from him (because of some voter issues in Florida).  I think many of the votes he got were people voting for him just to vote along their party lines and/or because he was associated with Bill Clinton.  He didn’t really stand out for anything himself.  He had  a note worthy lack of passion about anything. 

After the election he decided to dedicate himself to a cause he championed his whole career, global warming.  All of a sudden he appeared alive, passionate, and like a true leader.  It begs the question where was this Al Gore during the 2000 election?  Maybe there would be no war, no dead soliders, no giant deficit, and no debate over whether innocent children deserve health care.  Maybe scientiests could do live saving research and unlock the potential of stem cells.  Maybe the world would be a better place.  The one thing we know would be different, our president would actually care about global warming.

As to him running for president.  I don’t think he will or that he should.  At this point that would make him a liar.  I also think running against Hillary Clinton would create a chasm in the party.  Can you say Vice President??? (Just an idea)


America’s Favorite (and Least Favorite) Cities

October 10, 2007

mural.jpg

Travel and Leisure conducted a poll of travelers and residents of the things they like and dislike about 25 major urban destinations.  The results are interesting, check them out: Results.  Philly did well in some very predictable categories, such as, cheap eats, historical sites, good pizza, museums, antiques and farmer’s markets.  Philly did awful in things like style, vacation spot for adventures, cleanliness, and safety.  Why isn’t there a category for murals?  Here are a few categories.

Museum and galleries (I think the list would be different if Pittsburgh was one of the cities evaluated)

1. Washington

2. New York

3. Chicago, Illinois

Home design (I don’t really know what houses look like in charleston, but they must be pretty nice)

1. Chicago

2. Charleston, South Carolina

3. San Francisco, California

Intelligent (I was surprised Chicago, which thinks so highly of itself was notably absent in the top 3)

1. Seattle

2. Minneapolis/St. Paul

3. Boston

Farmers’ markets (Philly’s Italian market alone should have made it number 1 )

1. Seattle

2. Portland, Oregon

3. Philadelphia


Noble Causes, Nobel Prizes

October 7, 2007

The Ig Nobel Prizes are a mock of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in October for achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think.” Organized by the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR Magazine) and presented by a group that includes genuine Nobel Laureates at a ceremony at Harvard University. I just wanted to share some of the best winners with you. My favorite of course is the US Air Force’s brilliant plan to make a gay bomb. The Air Force is indeed funded by our tax money.

2007 Ig Nobel Winners

Medicine – Brain Witcombe, of Gloucestershire Royal NHS Foundation Trust, UK, and Dan Meyer for their probing work on the health consequences of swallowing a sword.

Physics – A US-Chile team who ironed out the problem of how sheets become wrinkled.

Chemistry – Mayu Yamamoto, from Japan, for developing a method to extract vanilla fragrance and flavoring from cow dung.

Linguistics – A University of Barcelona team for showing that rats are unable to tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and somebody speaking Dutch backwards.

Peace – The US Air Force Wright Laboratory for instigating research and development on a chemical weapon that would provoke widespread homosexual behavior among enemy troops.

Nutrition – Brian Wansink of Cornell University for investigating the limits of human appetite by feeding volunteers a self-refilling, “bottomless” bowl of soup.

Economics – Kuo Cheng Hsieh of Taiwan for patenting a device that can catch bank robbers by dropping a net over them.

Aviation – A National University of Quilmes, Argentina, team for discovering that impotency drugs can help hamsters to recover from jet lag.