Sunday, December 28, 2008


6 Unusual High-Paying Careers
by Gabby Hyman

American job titles and responsibilities are constantly morphing to suit the economic and cultural transitions of our madcap age. Euphemisms are often the way recruiters dress up old job titles to narrow the field to specialists. A "hash slinger" is now termed a "culinary resource professional." Kidding aside, today's workers are often forced by marketplace realities to undergo at least one rapid job change over their adult lives. Many enroll at online colleges and trade schools to garner fresh skills that fit their experience and previous training.
Some of these hot new careers you may have never heard of are "green-collar" jobs. These jobs are on the rise as the business world responds to dramatic increases in energy costs and environmental regulation. And while disposable income seems threatened by a roller-coaster economy, other new careers are springing up to suit those who have cash to spend.

Here are six hot career fields you may not have heard of:

Eco Tourism Director

Traditional hospitality careers are increasingly marching to the ecotourism drumbeat. According to the International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is growing at three times the rate of traditional vacationing, increasing annually up to 30 percent. If you're just preparing for the field, seek an associate's degree in hospitality, travel, or tourism. If you're already aboard, why not train to manage a hotel, bed and breakfast, spa, or resort with a graduate degree in business or hospitality? The majority of lodging managers are self-employed professionals. Top earners in 2007 averaged $83,240 for the year.

Professional Hacker

Ever hear of a certified ethical hacker? That's the professional IT certification for a computer scientist that works as a security specialist, forensic investigator, or network defense architect for corporations, the government, and law enforcement agencies to help prevent hacking or to track down perpetrators. To get into the field, you'll need more than the hacking skills you tweaked together in your garage. Begin by earning a bachelor's degree in computer science or information technology. You can get additional online college training in network security. The top 50 percent of computer scientists earned between $97,970 and $123,900 in 2007.

Pet Psychologist

Don't be so shocked. Even Sparky sometimes needs help to keep from gnawing through the neighbor's bed of prized roses. Once the local vet has ruled out physical ailments that can contribute to rude pet behavior, people who love their animals may need to call in a trained, certified behaviorist or pet psychologist. As with human patients, pets can be analyzed and taught to act contrary to destructive impulses. There are even certified applied animal behaviorists. To get into the field, you'll need a master's or doctorate degree in psychology, preferably with additional work in zoology and animal behavior. Salaries vary greatly by locale, but can be upwards of $90,000 a year.

Conservation Consultant

There are companies who are greatly concerned with increasing energy efficiency. And there are those with a conscience, striving to reduce their carbon footprint. When Yahoo! decided to go carbon-neutral by 2007, they hired a director of energy strategy and climate change. Combine your thirst for conservation with an engineering degree to prepare for this thriving field. The U.S. Labor Department predicts a hefty 25 percent increase in environmental engineers during the 2006-2016 decade. In 2007, the top 50 percent earned between $70,000 and $106,000.

Fashion Consultant/Personal Shopper

Among those who care about their appearance, many are born with amazing taste; some have to work for it. Fashion designers and consultants help those who can afford personal attention to transform their image. You can be the one to consult on hair, makeup, and fashion--and then be the one to take your clients shopping. Get career training through an associate's or bachelor's degree program in fashion design. Top earners in the fashion design trades in 2007 took home $121,640 on average.

Mobile Experience Architect

The cool streaming videos and eye-popping CD covers that get delivered to the screens of millions of cell phones and PDAs each hour are designed to make you spend money. Information architects create the structure and mind-manipulating patterns (site maps) of each mobile delivery. You'll need to learn about marketing, strategy, and user testing through a degree program in computer science, Web design, or business. There's even an IT certification for professional mobile architects. Salaries range into six figures.

As our world rapidly evolves, it's no surprise that the work landscape is evolving as well. You can prepare for and keep up with the changes by updating your training and credentials.

Thursday, December 25, 2008




NEW YORK – Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died, a family spokesman said. She was 81.
Andrew Freedman said Kitt, who was recently treated at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, died Thursday in Connecticut of colon cancer.
PhotobucketKitt, a self-proclaimed "sex kitten" famous for her catlike purr, was one of America's most versatile performers, winning two Emmys and nabbing a third nomination. She also was nominated for several Tonys and two Grammys.
Her career spanned six decades, from her start as a dancer with the famed Katherine Dunham troupe to cabarets and acting and singing on stage, in movies and on television. She persevered through an unhappy childhood as a mixed-race daughter of the South and made headlines in the 1960s for denouncing the Vietnam War during a visit to the White House.
Through the years, Kitt remained a picture of vitality and attracted fans less than half her age even as she neared 80.
When her book "Rejuvenate," a guide to staying physically fit, was published in 2001, Kitt was featured on the cover in a long, curve-hugging black dress with a figure that some 20-year-old women would envy. Kitt also wrote three autobiographies.
Once dubbed the "most exciting woman in the world" by Orson Welles, she spent much of her life single, though brief romances with the rich and famous peppered her younger years.
After becoming a hit singing "Monotonous" in the Broadway revue "New Faces of 1952," Kitt appeared in "Mrs. Patterson" in 1954-55. (Some references say she earned a Tony nomination for "Mrs. Patterson," but only winners were publicly announced at that time.) She also made appearances in "Shinbone Alley" and "The Owl and the Pussycat."
Her first album, "RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt," came out in 1954, featuring such songs as "I Want to Be Evil," "C'est Si Bon" and the saucy gold digger's theme song "Santa Baby," which is revived on radio each Christmas.
The next year, the record company released the follow-up album "That Bad Eartha," which featured "Let's Do It," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy."
In 1996, she was nominated for a Grammy in the category of traditional pop vocal performance for her album "Back in Business." She also had been nominated in the children's recording category for the 1969 record "Folk Tales of the Tribes of Africa."
Kitt also acted in movies, playing the lead female role opposite Nat King Cole in "St. Louis Blues" in 1958 and more recently appearing in "Boomerang" and "Harriet the Spy" in the 1990s.
On television, she was the sexy Catwoman on the popular "Batman" series in 1967-68, replacing Julie Newmar who originated the role. A guest appearance on an episode of "I Spy" brought Kitt an Emmy nomination in 1966.
"Generally the whole entertainment business now is bland," she said in a 1996 Associated Press interview. "It depends so much on gadgetry and flash now. You don't have to have talent to be in the business today.
"I think we had to have something to offer, if you wanted to be recognized as worth paying for."
Kitt was plainspoken about causes she believed in. Her anti-war comments at the White House came as she attended a White House luncheon hosted by Lady Bird Johnson.
"You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed," she told the group of about 50 women. "They rebel in the street. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam."
For four years afterward, Kitt performed almost exclusively overseas. She was investigated by the FBI and CIA, which allegedly found her to be foul-mouthed and promiscuous.
"The thing that hurts, that became anger, was when I realized that if you tell the truth — in a country that says you're entitled to tell the truth — you get your face slapped and you get put out of work," Kitt told Essence magazine two decades later.
In 1978, Kitt returned to Broadway in the musical "Timbuktu!" — which brought her a Tony nomination — and was invited back to the White House by President Jimmy Carter.
In 2000, Kitt earned another Tony nod for "The Wild Party." She played the fairy godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" in 2002.
As recently as October 2003, she was on Broadway after replacing Chita Rivera in a revival of "Nine."
She also gained new fans as the voice of Yzma in the 2000 Disney animated feature "The Emperor's New Groove.'"
In an online discussion at in March 2005, shortly after Jamie Foxx and Morgan Freeman won Oscars, she expressed satisfaction that black performers "have more of a chance now than we did then to play larger parts."
But she also said: "I don't carry myself as a black person but as a woman that belongs to everybody. After all, it's the general public that made (me) — not any one particular group. So I don't think of myself as belonging to any particular group and never have."
Kitt was born in North, S.C., and her road to fame was the stuff of storybooks. In her autobiography, she wrote that her mother was black and Cherokee while her father was white, and she was left to live with relatives after her mother's new husband objected to taking in a mixed-race girl.
An aunt eventually brought her to live in New York, where she attended the High School of Performing Arts, later dropping out to take various odd jobs.
By chance, she dropped by an audition for the dance group run by Dunham, a pioneering African-American dancer. In 1946, Kitt was one of the Sans-Souci Singers in Dunham's Broadway production "Bal Negre."
Kitt's travels with the Dunham troupe landed her a gig in a Paris nightclub in the early 1950s. Kitt was spotted by Welles, who cast her in his Paris stage production of "Faust."
That led to a role in "New Faces of 1952," which featured such other stars-to-be as Carol Lawrence, Paul Lynde and, as a writer, Mel Brooks.
While traveling the world as a dancer and singer in the 1950s, Kitt learned to perform in nearly a dozen languages and, over time, added songs in French, Spanish and even Turkish to her repertoire.
"Usku Dara," a song Kitt said was taught to her by the wife of a Turkish admiral, was one of her first hits, though Kitt says her record company feared it too remote for American audiences to appreciate.
Song titles such as "I Want to be Evil" and "Just an Old Fashioned Girl" seem to reflect the paradoxes in Kitt's private life.
Over the years, Kitt had liaisons with wealthy men, including Revlon founder Charles Revson, who showered her with lavish gifts.
In 1960, she married Bill McDonald but divorced him after the birth of their daughter, Kitt.
While on stage, she was daringly sexy and always flirtatious. Offstage, however, Kitt described herself as shy and almost reclusive, remnants of feeling unwanted and unloved as a child. She referred to herself as "that little urchin cotton-picker from the South, Eartha Mae."
For years, Kitt was unsure of her birthplace or birth date. In 1997, a group of students at historically black Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., located her birth certificate, which verified her birth date as Jan. 17, 1927. Kitt had previously celebrated on Jan. 26.
The research into her background also showed Kitt was the daughter of a white man, a poor cotton farmer.
"I'm an orphan. But the public has adopted me and that has been my only family," she told the Post online. "The biggest family in the world is my fans."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


LOS ANGELES – A celebrity disc jockey who survived a fiery Learjet crash in South Carolina has sued several companies and the estates of the plane's pilots.
Adam Goldstein, known as DJ AM, filed his complaint for negligence and breach of contract Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Goldstein and punk rocker Travis Barker, who has also sued the companies, were the sole survivors of the Sept. 19 crash.
Barker sued on behalf of the family of his bodyguard, Charles Still, and the widow of Barker's assistant, Chris Baker, filed her own lawsuit earlier this month.
Goldstein and Barker were seriously burned escaping the plane. The pair plan to perform together again for the first time since the crash at an event in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve. They perform under the name TRVSDJAM.
Goldstein's lawsuit seeks a jury trial, but doesn't specify how much money he hopes to receive for loss of earnings, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.
He is also suing the estates of the plane's pilots, Sarah Lemmon, and James Bland. A phone number for Lemmon's mother couldn't be located, and Bland's wife declined to comment Wednesday.
The lawsuit claims the plane's owners and operators acted in a careless and negligent manner and that Goldstein has been seriously harmed — physically and financially — by the crash.
Federal investigators have not yet determined the cause of the crash.
Aviation authorities have said cockpit recordings indicated the jet's crew thought a tire had blown during takeoff. National Transportation Safety Board officials have said pieces of tire were recovered about 2,800 feet from where the plane started its takeoff down the 8,600-foot runway in Columbia, S.C.
The lawsuit names Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which in response to Barker's lawsuit said that it was too soon to speculate on what role tires may have played in the crash. Also named were Bombardier Inc., which manufactures Learjet planes and doesn't comment on pending lawsuits.
Clay Lacy Aviation, Global Exec Aviation and Inter Travel and Services Inc. are also named as defendants. A Clay Lacy representative said in response to Barker's suit that the company didn't operate the plane that crashed, but merely brokered the flight.
A receptionist for Global Exec Aviation said no one would be available to comment because of the Christmas holiday, and a phone number for Inter Travel and Services couldn't be located Wednesday morning.

Monday, December 22, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Tuesday, December 23, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
Reevaluate your motives. Social events will be rewarding.
You need to get out and challenge yourself.

TAURUS (Apr. 21- May 21)
Do yourself a favor and leave your plastic at home. Work at
home if at all possible. Don't push your luck with authority
figures. It might be best to work on your own; if possible,
do your job out of your home today.

GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Get domestic chores out of the way early. You may want to
take a look at your direction in life. You will get along
well in social situations.

CANCER (June 22-July 22)
You need activity. Make sure that new mates live up to your
high standards. You need to keep the peace and you will have
to bend in order to do so.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Your lover will be extremely sensitive and now will not be a
good time to make changes that they won't like. Don't expect
support from your mate. Opportunities for romance will
flourish through travel.

VIRGO(Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
This will be a good day for research and for sitting down
with some good, informative reading material. You must be
careful not to ignore the needs of the youngsters in your
family. Look into ways to better yourself through improving
your dietary habits and daily routines.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Competitive games will be your forte. A romantic dinner,
followed by a quiet evening with the one who is enticing you,
should be most satisfying. Do not let others exhaust you

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22)
You can come into money; however, perhaps not under the best
circumstances. Secret affairs could cause upset. Minor health
problems may lower your vitality.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
You can make excellent career moves if you are open to the
opportunities that exist. Heed the advice given by family or
old reliable friends. Don't bang your head against a wall.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
If you go shopping, only take what you can afford to part
with. Opportunities to expand your circle of friends will
result in possible new romantic encounters. Things may not
be as harmonious as you would like with colleagues or employers

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Get involved in volunteer work that will bring you
satisfaction, not an empty wallet. Self-deception about
relationships is a problem. Your competitive nature will
enable you to win any contest you enter.

PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Tempers will mount if you're too pushy at work or at home.
You can expect to face opposition on the home front. Make
plans to mix business with pleasure. Dinner with clients or
business associates should be successful.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


1. "Am I better-looking/smarter/etc. than your ex?"
Would you want him to ask you that? If he answers yes to your q, you'll wonder if he's lying. If he says no, well, can your really handle that kind of truth? He's with you now, not her, so just don't even go there.

2. "Do you love me?"
Has he used the L word already? Well, there's your answer. If he hasn't--and you absolutely have to know where he stands--you might start by telling him how you feel about him, rather than putting him on the spot with a needy question.

3. "Can you lend me some money?"
A few bucks is fine, but asking for anything substantial (like a down payment on your car, a month's rent, etc) is unfair. You don't sleep with your bank teller, so don't borrow cash from your boyfriend.

4. "Are you cheating on me?"
If he's innocent, he'll resent the question. If he's guilty, chances are that he'll lie...and even when you have info to backup your suspicions, you better soft-pedal your accusation. If you're wrong, your relationship may never recover.







Friday, December 19, 2008


ROGERS, Ark. – An Arkansas woman has given birth to her 18th child. Michelle Duggar delivered the baby girl by Caesarean section Thursday at Mercy Medical Center in Rogers. The baby, named Jordyn-Grace Makiya Duggar, weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces and was 20 inches long.
"The ultimate Christmas gift from God," said Jim Bob Duggar, the father of the 18 children. "She's just absolutely beautiful, like her mom and her sisters."
The Duggars now have 10 sons and eight daughters.
Jim Bob Duggar said Michelle started having contractions Wednesday night. She needed the C-section, her third, because the baby was lying sideways. Jim Bob said both baby and mother were doing well Thursday night.
"We both would love to have more," he said.
The cable network TLC broadcasts a weekly show about the Duggars, called "17 Kids and Counting." Chris Finnegan of TLC — which handles public relations for the Duggar family — said the show's name would be updated to account for the latest addition to the family. He said TLC also will air a show Monday on the baby's delivery.
Jim Bob Duggar is 43, a year older than his wife. Their oldest child, Joshua, is 20.
The other Duggar children, in between Joshua and Jordyn-Grace, are Jana, 18; John-David, 18; Jill, 17; Jessa, 16; Jinger, 14; Joseph, 13; Josiah, 12; Joy-Anna, 11; Jeremiah, 9; Jedidiah, 9; Jason, 8; James, 7; Justin, 6; Jackson, 4; Johannah, 3; and Jennifer, 1.
"Our whole family is excited about Jordyn's addition to our family," Jim Bob Duggar said. "She's just perfect in every way."
(This version CORRECTS the name of the Duggars' TLC show to '17 Kids and Counting,' not 'Seventeen and Counting.'))

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shanghai Lady Drives Off With Tow Truck


Monday, December 15, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Monday, December 15, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Monday, December 15, 2008
ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
Do the necessary chores and then do things that please you.
Tempers will mount if you are too pushy at work. Mingle with
those who have similar interests, and you should be able to
start something.

TAURUS (Apr. 21- May 21)
You can discuss your findings behind closed doors with your
boss. Be an observer before getting involved. Your mate is
going to want and need some attention.

GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
This day was meant for love. Make creative changes to your
residence. Try making some changes to your appearance and
your attitude that will reinforce just that. Avoid any over

CANCER (June 22-July 22)
You will reap the rewards for your kind actions.
Misunderstandings could cause confusion and upset. Don't
let your health suffer because of worry. Talk to someone
you trust.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Draw up contracts regarding your personal situation. You
are best to avoid confrontations. You must be careful not
to ignore the needs of the youngsters in your family.

VIRGO(Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
You may win favors if you present your ideas and include
your family. Outbursts of passion may cause arguments with
your mate. Don't be too eager to give a piece of your mind
or even your opinion today.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
You may be offered opportunities that will result in a higher
earning potential. Be discreet about your personal life or
whereabouts. Be mysterious. Think twice before you pursue
an unrealistic endeavor.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22)
Your creative talent may well be recognized by others today
Passion is about the best way for you to relieve tension.
You will be able to borrow money in order to invest.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Don't give in too quickly. You can expect changes in your
living arrangements. You may be out of sorts if you have
been extravagant or have let children or friends take
advantage of you financially.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Female members of your family may be difficult to deal
with. You could lose a good friend because of it.
Organizations may cost you more than you can afford.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
You'll find love and you'll get into tiptop shape at the
same time. Trips will be exciting. The personal problems
you may be having are interfering with your productivity.

PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Opportunities for advancement at work are apparent. A
long, quiet walk alone may help you sort out your
thoughts. Social activities will be satisfying.


Verizon is a standout cell-phone carrier for most people, based on our exclusive best cell phone service survey of readers in 23 cities. The company received high marks from survey respondents in overall satisfaction and customer service, and service is available in most of the country.

Overall, cell-phone service has become significantly better, judging by the annual survey conducted in September by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. Contract terms for cell-phone service are less onerous, and there were fewer problems with call quality in this year's survey. The best carriers even came through after a hurricane hit one of our survey cities.

Sixty percent of readers were completely or very satisfied with their service. That appears to be a substantial improvement over 2007, even though we made some changes to our survey this year, including expanding the number of cities we rate and the coverage areas within them.

The improvement means cellular satisfaction is now closer to the average among all services we rate; it had previously been among the worst.

What's behind this surge in satisfaction? There were fewer problems with connectivity, the ability to widely receive service that's free of static and dropped calls. Overall, 42 percent of readers reported that they had no major complaints about service, up from 29 percent in our previous survey. In particular, they were less likely to cite as a top complaint the automatic extension of their cell-phone contract as a result of changing their service.

Carriers have curbed such practices because of increasing competition and the threat of consumer-rights legislation in Congress. Added pressure came from more than 100 class-action and other lawsuits coast to coast, including one by the Minnesota attorney general, and several key court rulings favorable to consumers.

In apparent response to the legal and regulatory action, all the carriers have stopped automatically extending contracts when consumers make changes to their service plan. And now all but Alltel reduce early-termination fees of $175 to $200 as the contract term progresses.

One of the biggest concerns identified by our survey was the high cost of cell service, the top complaint for 14 percent of respondents. Since we surveyed readers in September, before the onset of the economic crisis, that might not reflect today's heightened concern for reining in costs.

Our analysis of the carriers' pricing uncovered a cost-cutter you might not be aware of: pay-by-the-minute, or prepaid, service. It's offered by all major carriers as well as providers such as Virgin and TracFone. Some prepaid plans could save you a lot, especially if you use your phone infrequently or want unlimited voice calling. (See How to buy a prepaid phone.)

Our Ratings (available to subscribers) show that Verizon ranks among the top carriers in every city we surveyed, along with Alltel where it was rated. (Verizon was awaiting approval to acquire Alltel as we went to press.) T-Mobile was statistically on par with the top carriers in almost two-thirds of the cities where we were able to rate it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Tuesday, December 9, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
Help children complete projects they're having difficulty
with. Don't cause a scene, but when you get home let your
partner know how you feel and why. Anger could lead to

TAURUS (Apr. 21- May 21)
You won't get the reaction you want from your mate today.
You can get your point across and make valuable connections.
Involvement in financial schemes will be followed by losses.

GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Do not sign contracts or get involved in any uncertain
financial deals. Those you care about may oppose your ideas.
Don't blame everything on your mate.

CANCER (June 22-July 22)
Things may not be as harmonious as you would like with
colleagues or employers today. You'll look guilty if you
don't lay your cards on the table. You can make financial
gains if you are prepared to take a risk.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Social events may lead to a romantic interlude. This is a
great day for a family outing or just a drive. Be supportive
in order to avoid confrontations

VIRGO(Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
Don't be too quick to judge others. You can make amends
by taking them somewhere special. Seminars will provide you
with knowledge and amusement.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Partnerships will be successful. Avoid friction with your
mate. Try to do things with children that will enable you to
bond closer to them.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22)
Entertainment should include sports events or physical
activities. Your emotions are soaring and if you don't get
your way, look out world. Enjoy some socializing today.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
You will reach the most people if you speak out at an
organizational function. You have the stamina and
determination to succeed. Sign up for courses or join fitness

CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Anger could lead to problems. Your lack of attention may have
been a factor. Try to curb your habits, or you could find
yourself in an awkward financial position.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
You could overreact to emotional situations regarding your
relationship. You will enjoy events that lean toward theater,
art, or music today. Residential moves should be considered

PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Opportunities for new romantic encounters will unfold
through the social events you attend. Try not to let your
emotions interfere with the completion of your work. Debates
will stifle passion and result in estrangement.

Sunday, December 7, 2008



YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Monday, December 8, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Monday, December 8, 2008
ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
You must avoid gossip and focus on what you have to do. Take
advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. You
can expect to face opposition on the home front.

TAURUS (Apr. 21- May 21)
Difficulties with children will surface if you try to break
a promise you made. Try not to be too emotional with those
around you. You may find that your mate is well aware of the

GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Don't rely on others to do your work. When the work is
done, they may serve you for a change. Develop some of your
good ideas.

CANCER (June 22-July 22)
Use your own ideas to further your interests. There might be
one who is quite willing to take the credit for your work.
Double-check before you go out.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
The battle continues. Don't let your health suffer because
of worry. Talk to someone you trust. Your mind will be on
matters that deal with secret affairs.

VIRGO(Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
Be careful not to get roped into uncertain joint financial
deals. Be discreet and don't reveal any personal information.
Be careful what you say

LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Don't fall for damaging rumors, and refuse to get involved
in gossip. Your philanthropic contributions will bring you
praise. Problems with your partner could be reaching a high
level of concern.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22)
If you want to make your mark, try to get involved in projects
that will bring you some glory. You must not let others talk
you into doing things that will probably limit you financially
at a later date. Although upsetting, changes in your domestic
situation will be favorable.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Don't let your emotions get out of hand. If you can't trust
someone, question the connection. Social activity should be
on your agenda today.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
The knowledge you have will enhance your reputation. You need
to look into some private matters before you can proceed with
your plans. Do not trust others with important information.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Try to be patient and understanding. Jealousy may be a
contributing factor to your emotional ups and downs. Be
careful that you don't spend too much time with a person
belonging to someone else.

PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
You must steer clear of overindulgent individuals. Avoid
purchasing expensive items. Avoid lovers who already have
a relationship, even if it is a bad one.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Thursday, December 4, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Thursday, December 4, 2008

ARIES (Mar. 21-April 20)
You can make adjustments in your domestic scene today.
Someone important may be watching you from afar. You must
refrain from overspending on entertainment.

TAURUS (Apr. 21-May 21)
Keep your feelings to yourself if you want to avoid
embarrassment. You may find your self a bit frazzled if you
allow someone to goad you into an unsavory debate. Don't
expect anything for nothing and you won't be disappointed.

GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Insurance pay outs, tax rebates, or just plain luck. Don't
let your emotions take over. You can clear up important
legalities and sign contracts today.

CANCER (June 22-July 22)
This is not the best day to visit relatives who get on your
nerves. Make the necessary changes that will enable you to
advance financially. Look into projects that you feel would
contribute something to your appearance.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
You will be able to make changes regarding your living
arrangements. Opportunities to meet new lovers will evolve
through your interaction with groups or fundraising functions.
Don't spend too much on products that promise amazing
cosmetic results.

VIRGO(Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
Only offer to do the things you have time for. Luxury items
will cost you more than you can truly afford. Try to include
friends and relatives in your activities. Good friends will
give you honest answers.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
You may want to put your creative thinking cap on. Be careful
when dealing with investments. You could be disillusioned if
you let relative in on your emotional thoughts.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22)
Keep your feet on the ground, if you can. Don't shy away
from potential mates they want to introduce you to. Use some
diplomacy to get your point across delicately.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
You could be cornered, so be prepared to tell the truth. Get
into some activities that will help you in making new friends.
Sign up for seminars that will expand your business awareness

CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Try to bend but by no means should you give in completely.
Don't allow your lover to take advantage of your good nature.
Your diplomatic nature will help you in straightening out
unsavory situations.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
You need to look into some private matters before you can
proceed with your plans. Problems with appliances or
electrical gadgets will drive you crazy. You may find that
purchases or entertainment could be expensive.

PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Don't be too quick to let friends and relatives know what
you're up to. Your home environment may be hectic, which
could result in emotional upset if you aren't well organized.
You are exceptional at presenting your ideas.

Monday, December 1, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Tuesday, December 2, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Tuesday, December 2, 2008

ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20
Don't be angry, but be on your guard. Don't count on your
friends to be loyal when it comes to doing things. Problems
with ear, nose, or the throat are likely.

TAURUS (Apr. 21- may 21)
You must make them stand on their own two feet regardless of
how much you want to make things better for them. Take a
close look at any contracts you've signed in order to be sure
exactly where you stand. Your diplomatic approach and rather
outgoing nature will enhance your reputation and bring you
the support you need.

GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
You should be trying to clear up legal contracts that have
been pending. You need to get out and have some fun to reduce
tension. Expect your workload to be heavy.

CANCER (June 22-July 22)
Don't push your mate if you want to keep this union going.
Your questions will help you ferret out secret information.
Plan to visit friends or relatives.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
You need to sit back and enjoy. Problems with peers is
apparent. Your mate may be distressed if you refuse to make
a commitment.

VIRGO(Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
You need to be around friends and family. It's doubtful
anyone will try to stand in your way or cut you off at the
pass today. This is a great day to get out and enjoy an
entertaining evening with friends or lovers.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Your boss may not be in the best of moods today. Moneymaking
ventures may just turn your life around. Anger may cause you
grief; control your temper and try to sit back and calm down.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22)
You are best to work behind the scenes on projects that
require detail or precision. Hide your cards and learn to
say no. Try to deal with the problems of those less fortunate;
however, don't allow them to make unreasonable demands.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Don't overspend on items for your home. You will be popular
with acquaintances; however, loved ones could feel left out
and insecure. New emotional connections can be made through
business contacts.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Try not to allow others to burden you with additional
responsibilities. Emotional relationships will be plentiful
if you attend group activities. Your ability to communicate
with ease will win the hearts of those you are in touch with

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Hobbies will be good for your emotional well being. You have
made an accurate assessment of the situation and have come up
with ideas that will save money. Set your goals and stick to
your guns.

PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
A long, quiet walk alone may help you sort out your thoughts.
Travel and family gatherings should be in order. Do not
confront situations unless you are sure you have a good
understanding of the dilemma.

Friday, November 28, 2008


The Funk Box / Nov Lineup


CHICAGO – The nation's retailers are set to usher in the holiday shopping season Friday with pre-dawn openings, deep discounts and a downright dismal economic outlook that threatens to keep shoppers' credit cards securely in their wallets.
Stores are extending their hours — some opening at midnight — and preparing for a surge of shoppers searching for discounts that promise to be even deeper than a year ago. But the question remains whether anyone will be spending much money as a recession nears, credit markets remain frozen, layoffs loom and consumer spending shrinks.
"We think the numbers are going to be pretty bad across the board," Morningstar analyst Brady Lemos said.
That's not stopping sales associates at Target Corp. from handing out maps showing just where to find hot items, such as the 26-inch flat-screen HDTV by Westinghouse that's available for $299.
At Wal-Mart Stores Inc., a Magnavox Blu-ray player is on sale for $128.
Meanwhile, at some Best Buy Co. Inc. sites, coffee and doughnuts will be available for customers waiting for doors to open at 5 a.m.





Saturday, November 22, 2008


Love Is love Showcase Nov 24


KATHMANDU (AFP) – A young man believed by followers to be a reincarnation of Buddha has returned to Nepal's jungles to meditate alone, police said Saturday, as scholars cast doubt on his supporters' claims.Ram Bahadur Bomjam (right), a young man who is believed by followers to be a reincarnation of Buddha
Known as the "Buddha Boy," Ram Bahadur Bomjam, 18, became famous in 2005 after supporters said he could meditate motionless for months without water, food or sleep.
"Bomjam went back into the jungle late Friday and all the devotees have left," police officer Gobinda Kushwaha told AFP from Neejgad, a town in Bara District, 60 kilometres (37.5 miles) south of Kathmandu.
The "Buddha Boy" reappeared earlier this month after supporters said in March 2007 that he was going to meditate for three years in an underground bunker, although he was spotted on two occasions.
For the last 10 days, he has been blessing thousands of devotees who came daily to the site in dense jungle close to Neejgad.
The president of the Nepal Buddhist Council said claims by his supporters that he was a reincarnation of Siddartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, were not credible.
"We do not believe he is Buddha. He does not have Buddha's qualities," said Mahiswor Raj Bajracharya, president of the Nepal Buddhist Council, a centre for Buddhist study and research in Kathmandu.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


They say the "devil is in the details," but the other night, my friend and I were scanning the bar and noticing minor things about women. After reflecting on our observations, I put together four small things that guys notice that they don't often point out to women. Here they are:


I study a girl's hands pretty intensely. Beautiful hands can portray daintiness and strength at the same time. I notice manicures, and complexion. I imagine what it's like to hold them. I'm not much of a hand holder, but pretty hands will turn me into a hand holder. I even watch how a girl grips things. There are definitely different objects and shapes that look amazing in a girl's hands, such as a wine glass. A wine glass has delicate curves that play off a woman's hands. When I notice fingers that are appealing tome, I imagine how those fingertips would feel.


I've mentioned hair before, so I wouldn't say it's a "little thing". But hair can do simple actions that can evoke powerful emotions. One day I ran into my friend on the way to work-the friend that wore high heels to the soccer game. One thing's for sure: this girl really knows how to take care of and do her hair. We were just talking and walking when a gust of wind blew right down the street and ran through her hair. The indescribable motion that took place in her hair was beautiful. I even noticed that a random guy we passed turned his head and looked. I didn't realize until the day was over, but seeing that gust of wind go through my friend's hair put me in a good mood the rest of the day. So, while hair is a big deal, little random moments can create big, great things.

Attitude Towards Others

When I go out to dinner with a girl, I keep a close eye on how she treats a waiter or hostess. Does she say "thanks," and generally act polite and respectful? Sometimes I feel as if I'm overly cordial to people: I wish them a nice day and always make sure to say "thanks." But, what makes a woman has to do with more than just how she treats me. A person with a beautiful personality treats everyone nicely and respectfully. It's fun to be out with a girl and watch her make people smile from afar. It makes me feel proud and lucky that I'm with her. It's already an amazing thing when I meet a girl that can brighten my days. But if this girl brightens everyone's days, then I'm even luckier.

What Does She Notice?

It's fun meeting different people because they always bring a new perspective. When I break down music I love for people, they ask how I even care about every last little sound and note that I analyze and point out to them. What little things does a woman notice or point out? If we go to a Broadway show, for example,does she notice something in the background set? Does she notice the couple in front of us that are very much in love? Does she notice that the usher hates us because we are whispering and showed up just as the lights were going down? Sure, we share big thoughts and ideas with one another, but sometimes you can learn a lot about a person just by the details they notice in life and moments. It is a fun adventure going out with someone who can laugh at and notice little things, and who always brings new insights to different situations.

Once I realized that I was noticing little things, I came to the conclusion that little simple moments are just part of overall beauty. Beauty can be defined in a collection of moments, or memories more often than it can be defined by someone's appearance.

Seeing a girl across the room, holding a wine glass with pretty hands and making people smile, or a moment in the morning where the windr uns through a girl's hair, or a girl I'm noticing someone walking by in a Members Only jacket, are simple moments that should never be taken for granted.

What is a little thing (appearance, moment or personality)that you notice in a guy that is a simple, beautiful thing?

Posted by Rich

Wednesday, October 22, 2008




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Monday, October 20, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ARIES (Mar. 21 - April 20)
Your confidence is growing and advancement is apparent.
You could have a change of heart if an old flame waltzes
back into your life. Take your time before making personal

TAURUS (Apr. 21 - May 21)
Don't overspend on luxury items. You won't have much time
for your mate today. Unpleasant situations concerning
family members will be unnerving.

GEMINI (May 22 - June 21)
Risky financial ventures will result in unrecoverable
losses. Children's needs could be more costly than you
anticipated. You will be in an overly generous mood today.

CANCER (June 22-July 22)
You can handle situations that require contact with
institutions or large corporations. Expect your workload
to be heavy. You can make changes to your home that will
be pleasing to all concerned.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
You will find that uncertain individuals will want to draw
you into joint ventures. Your partner's a little jumpy.
Your dedication and fortitude when dealing with
humanitarian groups will enhance your reputation.

VIRGO (Aug. 23 - Sept. 23)
You will need a little competition today. Get involved in
activities that will stretch your stamina. Throw yourself
into your work. Joining organizations will provide you
with stimulating romantic contacts.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 - Oct. 23)
Problems with skin, bones, or teeth may mess up your
schedule. Dinner, theater, or a comedy club may be just
the place. Your changing philosophies may lead you into
new circles and open doors that will give you a unique
outlook on life.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22)
Don't let your friends talk you into taking time off.
New friendships will develop through group events. Your
tendency to overreact could get you into trouble.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 - Dec. 21)
You can make changes to your domestic scene that will
benefit all who reside there. Don't believe everything
you hear. You need adventure and excitement in your life.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22. - Jan. 20)
However, you may not attract the kind of interest you had
in mind. Much can be accomplished if you compromise. You
might get behind if you spend too much time debating
senseless issues.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 - Feb. 19)
Your concern with older family members and those less
fortunate than yourself will only add to your attractive-
ness. Try not to be too emotional with those around you.
Use your genuine warmth and compassion to win hearts.

PISCES (Feb. 20 - Mar. 20)
You will get along well with your colleagues today. You
can make favorable changes in your home environment. Be
prepared to counteract the damage that adversaries are
about to create.



Sunday, October 19, 2008


YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Monday, October 20, 2008
ARIES (Mar. 21-April 20)
It will be all around you. A long discussion is in order
if you wish to clear the air. Take a look at your legal

TAURUS (Apr. 21-May 21)
Discord could be unnerving. Try not to be too lavish with
your lover. You will need to spend extra time sorting through
your work.

GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
This could be a difficult day to deal with coworkers. Your
boss may be pushy. This is a great day for a trip.

CANCER (June 22-July 22)
You should feel a little more stable about your position;
however, don't be surprised if a job offer comes your way.
Your emotions may be hard to control if your mate is forcing
you to undergo drastic alterations in your relationship. You
may have major blowups with someone you love if you don't
back down.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Your mate is going to want and need some attention. Your best
efforts will come through making changes in your home. Sudden
romantic encounters are quite likely, but discretion will be
a must.

VIRGO(Aug. 23-Sept. 23)
Someone around you may not be trustworthy. You need activity.
You may have a problem dealing with elders.

LIBRA (Sept. 24-Oct. 23)
You're best to channel your energy into work. You will have
to control the way you feel. Make alternate plans just in
case you need to make a career shift.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22)
Your unique approach to life will interest others. Take
care of chores that have been hanging over your head. Be
sure to cover all the necessary groundwork before signing
binding contracts.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)
Your sensitivity toward those you love will capture their
hearts. Concentrate on yourself or your work. Try not to
discuss important matters with colleagues.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
You're ready to take action and take over. Someone close
to you may need help. Your lover will be extremely sensitive
and now will not be a good time to make changes that they
won't like.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21-Feb. 19)
Romantic opportunities are evident. Residential moves will
also be advantageous for all concerned. You will have the
discipline and fortitude to accomplish what you want today.

PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Your efforts will be rewarded handsomely. Be creative in
your pursuits. Your personal secrets may be revealed if you
let coworkers in on your family dilemmas.











Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sesame Street Ernie [New] Gangsta-Rap


Worst 'Healthy' Drinks - And What You Should Drink Instead

84% of users found this article helpful.

Post a Comment View All 868 Comments Staying hydrated can be great for your body. Drink enough of the right liquids and your mood will improve, your focus will sharpen, your heart will beat stronger, and you’ll be less likely to suffer from headaches and fatigue. All that, plus if you pick the right potions, you’ll receive beneficial nutrients, antioxidants and protein as a chaser.

Bottoms up, right? Not so fast. Some bottles are better than others, as you’re about to learn. Too many Americans are problem drinkers — and I’m not talking about bourbon for breakfast. As a nation, we love high-sugar, high-calorie drinks like sodas and smoothies; a whopping 21 percent of American’s calorie intake comes from drinks, and that’s an increase of 150 calories since 1977. The big-bottom line: Half of that caloric payload comes from sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, fruit punch, and other sweet drinks.

The sad part is: Nobody actually needs any of those calories. Water — by the glass and in the foods you eat — should be plenty to top your tank. But if you find it kind of bland, we hear you. That’s why we’re slapping warning labels on the big-calorie guzzlers, and pointing you toward the thirst-quenchers that won’t make you fat.


Iced Coffee

Drink This
Dunkin’ Donuts Caramel Crème Iced Latte (16 oz)
260 calories
9 g fat
40 g sugars

Not That
Starbucks 2% Iced Dulce de Leche Latte (16 oz)
420 calories
16 g fat
52 g sugars

In the hierarchy of espresso drinks, lattes sit squarely at the bottom. That's because they're more milk than java, and are susceptible to huge pumps of sugar syrup from eager-to-please baristas. A macchiato gives the same caffeine kick for a tiny fraction of the caloric cost by swapping out the excess steamed milk for a crown of frothed milk. It's a simple but meaningful switch for caffeine junkies looking for a healthier fix. For other easy foods swaps for effortless weight loss — without ever having to diet again — try these fabulous fifteen.

Protein Shakes

Drink This
Slim Fast High Protein Extra Creamy Strawberry (11.5 oz can)
190 calories
5g fat
13 g sugars

Not That!
Boost Plus High Protein Strawberry (8 oz bottle)
240 calories
6 g fat
16 g sugars

Besides having fewer calories and sugar than the smaller Boost shake, the Slim Fast drink also has more protein and five extra grams of fiber, which means it will work harder at keeping your belly full in the hours after you sip it.

Yogurt Smoothie

Drink This
Dannon Light & Fit Strawberry Banana Smoothie
70 calories
12 g sugars

Not That!
Stonyfield Farm Organic Wild Berry Smoothie
150 calories
25 g sugars

The Stonyfield smoothie is smaller but more than doubles up on the calories and sugar in the Dannon Light. Don't be fooled by the "organic" name — this yogurt smoothie is thick with added sugars, which spikes your blood sugar and tells your body to start storing fat — not the best way to start your day.

The Dannon Light shake jumpstarts your morning metabolism with a nice protein kick, but spares you the sickly Stonyfield sweetness. Watch out wherever, whenever for added sugars by avoiding this great list of the most sugar-packed foods in America!

Functional Beverage

Drink This
Dasani Plus Orange Tangerine Vitamin Enhanced Water (20-oz bottle)
0 calories
0 g sugars

Not That!
Snapple Agave Melon Antioxidant Water (20-oz bottle)
140 calories
33 g sugars

If you were fooled by the words “agave” and “antioxidant,” don’t be embarrassed — for a product that’s supposedly water, it’s totally shocking how many calories and grams of sugar are packed into this fraudulent “health” beverage. But that doesn’t mean you should run the other way when you see an enhanced water; in fact, adding a little flavor (such as the orange tangerine in the Dasani water) can make staying hydrated easier and more pleasant — without adding calories or sugar.

Bottled Beverage

Drink This
Sobe Lean Blackberry Currant (20-oz bottle)
15 calories
2 g sugars

Not That!
Sobe Lizard Lava (20-oz bottle)
310 calories
77 g sugars

To glance at these two mysterious containers, you might think they contained exactly the same liquid — they’re both pink, they both come in a chunky glass bottle, they’ve both got some kind of creature on the label — but once you take a closer look at the nutrition facts, an entirely different story becomes clear. The Lizard Lava bottle contains about half a meal’s worth of calories and as much sugar as 11 popsicles.

That doesn’t exactly spell refreshment, does it? Instead try the other pink bottle, with Sobe’s Lean Blackberry Currant. With only 15 calories and 2 grams of sugar in a bottle, it just goes to show you that you can’t judge a drink by its bottle. In fact, make sure you’re always on the lookout for things like these sneaky "health" foods that aren’t! You’ll be shocked.

Energy Drink

Drink This
Monster Lo-Ball Java Monster Coffee + Energy (16-oz can)
100 calories
8 g sugars

Not That!
Rockstar Original (16-oz can)
280 calories
62 g sugars

I’ll put it all out on the table here: I’m not a big fan of energy drinks. It’s much healthier to boost energy by exercising, eating healthy foods, and getting enough sleep. But let’s face it — sometimes you’re desperate for a pick-me-up, and it’s easy to reach for one of those shiny cans of liquid fuel.

However, if you guzzle down a can of Rockstar Original, I’m pretty sure you’re just going to end up with a jittery buzz instead of the boost you’re seeking — with 62 grams of sugars, you’re looking at a major sugar crash not too far down the road. Better to stick with a low-sugar, low-calorie option like Java Monster Coffee + Energy.

Juice Imposter

Drink This
Fuze Slenderize Strawberry Melon (18.5-oz bottle)
23 calories
4.5 g sugars

Not That!
Arizona Kiwi Strawberry (23.5-oz can)
360 calories
84 g sugars

Unfortunately, most of the drinks that come in flashy containers and purport themselves to be juice quite simply aren’t. That goes for both our “Drink This” and our “Not That” option here — even the healthier Fuze drink is only about 5 percent juice. That said, it’s also a low-carb, low-sugar drink that provides nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins, so it’s not all bad — unlike Arizona’s “juice.” Bottom line: These days, if you want juice, you probably need to squeeze it yourself.

Kids' Juice

Drink This
Minute Maid Kids Multi-Vitamin Orange Juice
120 calories
24 g sugars

Not That!
Welch's Grape Juice
170 calories
40 g sugars

Kids love grape juice for one reason: It's loaded with sugar. That also means it's loaded with calories. Grape just ain’t so great. On the other extreme, Minute Maid’s enhanced orange juice is mother nature's multi-vitamin, providing your kids with monster doses of calcium and vitamin D for bone growth and protection, plus a host of powerful antioxidants. To make the best choices for your kids when eating out, check out this great comprehensive listing of the Best and Worst Restaurants for Kids!

Kids’ Drink

Drink This
Capri Sun Tropical Fruit Roarin’ Waters (6.8-oz pouch)
35 calories
9 g sugars

Not That!
Sunny D with Calcium (8-oz serving)
140 calories
31 g sugars

If you believe the commercials, stocking your fridge with Sunny D will make you the coolest mom (or dad) in the neighborhood, and your kids will be smiling and thanking you, and you’ll be wearing a cashmere sweater, and your whole house will be bathed in soft, buttery sunlight. Right. Well, believe it or not, if you’re interested in giving your kids a fun drink that’s actually reasonably healthy, hand them one of those silver Capri Sun pouches — OK, so they’re not exactly a health drink, but they’re better than Sunny D — cashmere or no cashmere.

For other belt-busting beverages, don’t miss these other drinkable disasters. And for other incredible tips to keep the weight off for good, take this eye-opening quiz to learn how much you can eat for just 100 calories.

Have other smart swaps? Please share them with the rest of us here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Tuesday, October 14, 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Tuesday, October 14, 2008
ARIES (Mar. 21-April 20)
Family responsibilities are escalating. You may have some
difficulties with someone you live with. Your charm will
attract members of the opposite sex.

TAURUS (Apr. 21-May 21)
Try to mix business with pleasure while traveling. You have
a lot to offer. You must take care not to overexert yourself
if involved in sports.

GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Think of joining a health club that will benefit your physical
appearance. Don't confide in anyone for the time being.
Opportunities will unfold; however, you must be willing to
pay the price.

CANCER (June 22-July 22)
You will be best suited to doing things around the house or
inviting friends over for a visit. Relationships have not
been the best for you lately and it's left you somewhat gun
shy. Opportunities will come through behind the scenes

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Don't overspend on entertainment, on children, or make poor
investments. You will be emotional about money matters. You
are best to put in some overtime rather than get involved in
family gatherings.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 23)
Opportunities will develop through those you encounter while
attending organizational events. Problems with fire, gas, or
oil may cause disruptions and annoyances. Lend an ear to
children; it can make a difference.

LIBRA (Sept. 24-Oct. 23)
Your dramatic nature may be too much to handle. There could
be opposition or temper tantrums on the home front.
Financial investments that deal with joint money can be
extremely prosperous.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22)
A long, quiet walk alone may help you sort out your
thoughts. You need to keep everyone on your domestic scene
too busy to complain. Older family members may take advantage
of you by making you feel guilty.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)
Relatives will be cordial. Investments will cost more than
you anticipated. Double check your work and be sure that your
boss is in a good mood before you do your presentation.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Get involved in a competitive sport that will bring the
challenges you thrive on. You might be overly emotional
concerning situations at work. If they're really interested,
they'll wait.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21-Feb. 19)
Your ability to take hold of a situation will surely bring
you popularity and leadership. You should not get involved
in joint ventures. Disappointments regarding partners will
be subject to the way you react to their personal comments.

PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
You can work in conjunction with those in the know in order
to get to the bottom of any pending issue. Strong willpower
will come to your rescue. You may be tom between two
possibilities. This has left you in a confused and uncertain


Burt & Ernie doing Ante Up (M.O.P)!!!!!!


Thursday, October 9, 2008


The 31-year-old reggaeton star is taking a turn as moderator of a debate Thursday among candidates for governor of Puerto Rico in an effort to lure young voters to the polls on Nov. 4.

The artist, whose real name is Ramon Ayala, will be one of three moderators at the debate under the slogan "Vota o quedate calla'o" — "Vote or keep your mouth shut." A local journalist and a television personality will join him

Best known for his song "Gasolina," Daddy Yankee has already made a plunge into national politics by endorsing Sen. John McCain for president "a fighter for the Hispanic community."

But he has said he is not biased toward any of the four island candidates.

"I am going to be an instrument to deliver the people's questions," he told the newspaper Primera Hora.

His selection by sponsors including the local Univision network has gotten mixed reviews.

A group of young people burned Daddy Yankee albums Thursday outside the convention center hosting the debate. One, Jose Perez, said the artist is being used as "bait" in a system that otherwise neglects young people.

Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila is facing three challengers in the debate. Some of the questions were submitted through social-networking Web sites including Facebook and MySpace.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Horoscope for Monday Oct. 6 2008

YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE - Tuesday, October 7, 2008

ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20
You will enjoy the interaction with youngsters and take great
pride in the projects you've completed. You may become
rundown if you take on too much. You can make changes to your
domestic scene that will benefit all who reside there.

TAURUS (Apr. 21- may 21)
Use discretion in your dealings and refrain from making verbal
promises of any kind. Losses could occur if you haven't been
careful when dealing with joint financial ventures. Don't
let others try to create unwarranted guilt if you can't meet
their demands.

GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Favors will be offered readily. Show what a dedicated person
you can be. Don't expect the whole family to be overjoyed.

CANCER (June 22-July 22)
You can bet that you'll draw attention to yourself.
Residential moves will also be advantageous for all concerned.
You will be emotional about your personal life.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Secret activity is evident. You can enjoy social events and
meet new potential mates; however, avoid being lavish. Be
careful not to get involved in other people's personal

VIRGO(Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
For now just do the best you can. You need to enjoy the
company of those who enjoy the same pastimes. You can make
progress if you deal with the right individuals.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Short trips will prove to be more fruitful than you imagined.
Don't do something silly just to get back at your mate.
Don't start any arguments unless you're prepared to accept
irrevocable results.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22)
Avoid disputes with family; their complaints can't change
anything anyway. Your loved ones could set you off. You will
have no trouble getting things to fall into place.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
You may find acquaintances being deceptive. Take a look at
your legal position. Too much talk might lead to hassles.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
You should put a little extra effort in at work. You will
have a problem sorting out your true feelings when it comes
to your relationship. Don't believe everything you hear.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Don't be shy to promote your own interests. Do not force
your opinions on others the connections will be short lived.
Keep the promises you've made or you can expect to be in
the doghouse.

PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
You must not let fellow workers take advantage of your fine
talents. Don't neglect these problems; deal with them once
and for all, then move on to more pleasurable tasks. Love
could develop with someone of a different cultural

Friday, October 3, 2008

Smirnoff Experience Oct 7 2008 9pm - 1am


Please join us to celebrate the
Smirnoff Experience

Play host to an all-star lineup featuring:
Dizzee Rascal
Spank Rock
Devlin & Darko

and our very special guest
Grand Master Flash

October 7th, 2008
9pm - 1am

130 Bowery
Between Broome and Grand

Click Here To RSVP

Saturday, September 27, 2008







Get richer by renting instead of buying!!!!

i forgot where i found this but check it out....

I have something un-American to confess: I rent an apartment, despite having enough money to buy a house. I plan to keep renting for as long as I can. I'm not just holding out for better prices. Renting will make me richer.
I normally write about stocks for, but the boss asked me to explain to readers my reason for renting. Here goes: Businesses are great investments while houses are poor ones, so I'd rather rent the latter and own the former.
Stocks vs. Houses: Returns
Shares of businesses return 7% a year over long time periods. I'm subtracting for inflation, gradual price increases for everything from a can of beer to an ear exam. (After-inflation or "real" returns are the only ones that matter. The point of increasing wealth is to increase buying power, not numbers on an account statement.) Shares have been remarkably consistent over the past two centuries in their 7% real returns. In Jeremy Siegel's book, "Stocks for the Long Term," he finds that real returns averaged 7.0% over nearly seven decades ending 1870, then 6.6% through 1925 and then 6.9% through 2004.
The average real return for houses over long time periods might surprise you. It's zero.
More from Shares return 7% a year after inflation because that's how fast companies tend to increase their profits. Houses have their own version of profits: rents. Tenant-occupied houses generate actual rents while owner-occupied houses generate ones that are implied but no less real: the rents their owners don't have to pay each year. House prices and rents have been closely linked throughout history, with both increasing at the rate of inflation, or about 3% a year since 1900. A house, after all, is an ordinary good. It can't think up ways to drive profits like a company's managers can. Absent artificial boosts to demand, house prices will increase at the rate of inflation over long time periods for a real return of zero.
Robert Shiller, a Yale economist and author of "Irrational Exuberance," which predicted the stock price collapse in 2000, has recently turned his eye to house prices. Between 1890 and 2004 he finds that real house returns would've been zero if not for two brief periods: one immediately following World War II and another since about 2000. (More on them in a moment.) Even if we include these periods houses returned just 0.4% a year, he says.
The average pundit, planner, lender or broker making the case for ownership doesn't look at returns since 1890. Sometimes they reduce the matter to maxims about "building equity" and "paying yourself" instead of "throwing money down the drain." If they do look at returns they focus on recent ones. Those tell a different story.
Between World War II and 2000 house prices beat inflation by about two percentage points a year. (Stocks during that time beat inflation by their usual seven percentage points a year.) Since 2000 houses have outpaced inflation by six percentage points a year. (Stocks have merely matched inflation.)
Stocks vs. Houses: Valuations
But while stock returns have come from increased earnings, house returns have come from ballooning valuations, not increased rents. The ratio of share prices to company earnings (the price/earnings ratio) has remained relatively steady. It's about 16 today, close to both its 1940 value of 17 and to its 130-year average of about 15. Not so, the ratio of house prices to rents. In 1940 the median single-family house price was $2,938, according to the U.S. Census, while the median rent was $27 a month, including utilities. That means the ratio of prices to annual rents was 9. By 2000 the ratio had swelled to 17. In 2005 it hit 20. We can adjust for the size of dwellings, but it doesn't make much difference. The ratio of single-family house prices to three-bedroom apartments is 19. In's home town of Manhattan, where more detailed data is available, the ratio of condo prices per square foot to apartment rents per square foot is 22.
Two main events have caused house valuations to inflate since World War II. First, the government subsidized housing by relaxing borrowing standards. Prior to the creation of the Federal Housing Authority in 1934 house buyers who borrowed typically put up 40% of the purchase price in cash for a five- to 15-year loan. By insuring mortgages, the FHA permitted terms of up to 20 years and down payments of just 20%. It later expanded the repayment periods to 30 years and reduced down payments to 5%. Today down payments for FHA loans are as low as 3%. Aggressive lenders offer loans with no down payments or even negative ones so that house buyers can borrow the full purchase price plus closing costs. Some require little documentation of income, assets or ability to pay.
That means more Americans can win loans for homes, and they can win them for far more expensive (larger) homes than their incomes previously allowed. Two-thirds of American households own homes today, up from 44% in 1940, even though the percentage of Americans living alone has tripled during that time. The ratio of house values to incomes has risen 260% in just under four decades.
A second event helped boost house demand in recent years. Share prices plunged in 2000. The Federal Reserve, fearing that the decline in stock wealth would cause consumers to stop spending, reduced the federal-funds rate, the core interest rate that determines the cost of everything from credit cards to mortgages, to 1% by the summer of 2003 from 6.5% at the start of 2001. Since most of the cost of financing a house over 30 years is interest, monthly house payments shrank and demand for houses soared. In some markets a string of big yearly increases in house prices led to panic buying.
Stocks vs. Houses: Conclusion
For house returns over the next 20 years to match those over the past 20, the government and private lenders would have to "up the ante" by relaxing borrowing standards further. Given the recent attention paid to swelling foreclosures, that seems unlikely. I suspect real returns will turn negative over most of the next two decades, but that house prices won't necessarily dip. Since 1963 they've done so in only two years, vs. 18 for stocks. That's because homeowners mostly just stick it out rather than sell during soft markets. But if house prices remain flat, they produce negative real returns due to the creep of inflation. According to calculations made by The Economist in the summer of 2005, house prices would have to stay flat for 12 years with annual inflation at 2.5% for the ratio of prices to rents to fall from its 2005 perch to merely its 1975 to 2000 average.
So to sum up why I rent: Shares right now cost 16 times earnings and over long time periods return 7% a year after inflation. Houses right now cost 19 times their "earnings" and over long time periods return zero after inflation. And they look likely to return less than that for a while.
On the following page I've tried to anticipate and address questions and objections.

"You can't live in your stocks" or "Renters throw money down the drain."
Rent is the cost of owning shares with money you would otherwise spend on a house. Houses have ownership costs, too: taxes, insurance and maintenance. Rent costs about 5% of house prices each year if we apply the price/rent ratio of 19. House incidentals often cost around 2%. If you have $300,000 and a choice between spending it on a house or shares, you'll pay $6,000 a year in incidentals if you buy the house or about $15,000 a year ($1,250 a month) in rent if you buy the shares. But the shares will return $21,000 a year after inflation while the house will return zero. (My numbers work out even better than these. I pay a smidgen less than $1,250 a month for rent, while house prices in my neighborhood are far higher than $300,000.)
Note that houses and shares have transaction costs, too. Home buyers pay around 1% in closing costs when they buy and 6% in broker commissions when they sell. Share buyers pay $10 trading commissions, which are negligible for buy-and-hold investors.
"House buyers get tax breaks."
So do share buyers, but both are a bad deal. The interest on loans for houses (mortgages) and shares (margin balances) is tax-deductible. But the rates are almost always too high. A big house loan presently costs 6.1% interest while a big stock loan costs about 9%. For the returns, we can forget about inflation because it helps debtors while hurting investors, making it a wash for those who borrow to invest. Still, nominal returns of 3% for houses and 10% for stocks aren't high enough to justify those rates. The tax breaks aren't really breaks at all. Moreover, a majority of homeowners don't claim them. Their incomes are low enough to make the standard deduction a better deal.
"What about the pride of home ownership?"
It's not for me. I define ownership as no longer having to pay for something and being able to do as I please with it. I own my coffee maker. House owners must pay taxes each year even when their mortgage payments are done. In certain markets they can't even make changes to the houses they've paid for without seeking the approval of others. Personally, I feel the pride of ownership for shares of businesses, and I'm proud to occupy a nice place while leaving the burden of poor returns and maintenance to someone else.
"You seem to knock government housing subsidies, but they've helped many Americans afford homes."
My inner socialist agrees. My other inner socialist worries that the government has effectively raised prices to the point where the middle class can't afford houses, or buries itself in debt to own them. My inner capitalist is too busy watching shares to care about house prices. My inner conspiracy theorist notes that while politicians tout the social benefits of homeownership none mentions its tax benefits to the government. I pay no taxes on the overall value of my stock portfolio, just on my cashed-in gains and collected dividends. But Americans pay taxes on the full $11 trillion worth of housing they own plus the $10 trillion worth of it they're still paying off.
"Houses are bigger than apartments."
True, and both can be rented. A third of renters live in single-family houses. I prefer an apartment for now. I like not having to fill it with stuff. I like using a fifth of the energy of the average American. I like being 20 minutes from work and (this is unique to New Yorkers) not having owned a car in 10 years. I like not stressing over whether to get the marble countertops or the imported tiles or the 52-inch flat screen. I'm not especially frugal; I spend a teacher's salary each year on restaurants and travel. But I guess I'm too busy or lazy right now to bother with a big house and its innards.
"Are you saying I should sell my big house and rent an apartment instead?"
No, unless you have more space than you need and moving wouldn't be disruptive to your family, and you want to cash in on recent housing gains, make more money over the next couple of decades, use less energy while simplifying your life, and you don't mind seeming odd to friends. In which case, yes. But really, I'm not trying to win anyone over. Strong demand for houses keeps my rent cheap.
"Renting is for poor people."
True. But it's for rich people, too. The average renter makes about $34,000 a year, but while the percentage of renters declines after incomes exceed $20,000 and rents exceed $600 a month, it jumps again once incomes top $150,000 and rents top $1,200 a month. In other words, poor people rent modest apartments for lack of choice. Middle-income people buy houses. High-income people, presumably with a dose of financial savvy, often rent nice apartments instead of buying.
"You say houses return zero. But I've made a fortune on my house in recent years."
I'm referring to inflation-adjusted returns over long time periods, absent external boosts to demand. You're referring to gross returns over a short time period that combined lax borrowing standards and ultra-low interest rates. Over the next 20 years I believe houses will return zero or slightly less after inflation and that stocks will return 7%.
"So you're never going to buy a house? What about raising a family?"
I might buy one eventually, but the longer I can put it off the more I'll get out of the shares I'll have to sell to afford it. I'm 34 now with a fiancée and a fish. I'm going to try to rent for at least 10 more years. If I have kids I'll probably move into a big apartment or a house once they reach running-around age. I'll rent, most likely.

Thursday, September 18, 2008



Some of your favorite expressions consist of:
"Anda la mierda"
"Anda el diablo"
"El diache"
"Que Vaina"
"Ta' To"
"Y Es Facil"
"Que lo Que?"
"A Po Ta Bien"
"Que Tripeo"
"Tu si Jode"
"Ta Cool"
"Ta Jevi"
"La creta"
"Tu ta pasa"
"Cojelo suave"
"Que Bufeo"

If you live, or got family livin in Washington Heights (better said Guaachinton Heights)

If people tell you to stop screaming when you're really talking

If you grew up afraid of something called "El Cuco"

If you clap your hands while laughing

If your able to dance without any music

If you learned how to dance merengue and bachata before you could walk

If you point things out with your nose and mouth

If you've ever gotten beat with any of the following:
rubber slippers, extension cord, hanger (plastic or metal), big rice spoon.

If you waste ALL your money in the summer time buying "frio-frio" RED FLAVOR

If you've ever gone outside in rolos and chancletas

If your parents go to a little room in the back of your local bodega
"pa juga lo numero" of DR

If you consider platanos one of the major food groups

If you can smell chuletas cookin in your house from down the block

If while in your country, you hear people on the block yellin "se fue la luz!"

If your house in DR has an oil lamp in every room

If you grew up listening to Fernandito Villalona, Sergio Vargas, and Los
Hermanos Rosario

If your dad or uncle claim to be dead broke, yet rock a cell phone and
is laced wit mad gold around his neck and wrists

If you Drop Liquor on the floor and say "eso e pa lo muerto!"

If you drink Presidente, Brugal, or Mama Juana like WATER

If you've ever gotten whipped by a diablo cojuelo or lechon

If you got 3 elephants in your living room

If your sofas are covered in plastic

If you all the juices you have in your house are the type that come in
powder, and you just mix with water, like Tang

If you eat Mangu on a daily basis

If you ate rice, beans and some type of meat for dinner yesterday,
today and
probably will tomorrow

If you say words like .....
Razor is GILE
Nailpolish is CUTé
Feminine Pads are KOTE
Vapo Rub is Vivaporu
T-Shirts are POLOCHE
Watchman is GUACHIMAN
Garbage is EL Gabish
Cereal is CONFLE (Yea you all know you do it!)

If you believe Vivaporu is the cure for EVERYTHING

If you in a 4-passenger car, u got 7 people in it, and someone yellin

If you've ever been in a carro publico ;)

If you use an old t-shirt, towel, or anything as a mop, and use your
feet to

If you've ever let some one throw AGUA FLORIDA on you for good luck

If your house on the island has broken pieces of glass to keep away robbers

If you refer to every cat as MISHU

If your childhood games were called: EL ESCONDIDO, POLLITO PLEIBI,
APARA Y BATEA, EL GALLO, or that game with a stick and a wheel

IF your parents dressed you up for Halloween as a VAQUERO, CAMPESINA,

If your refridgerator has about 85 magnets on it

If all your pots and pans are inside the oven

If your local bodega does lay-a-away/credit plans (fiao)

If a frosted beer to you is VESTIDA DE NOVIA or UNA FRIA

If since you were little BALAGUER has been dying

If you parents ever gave you ACEITE DE BACALAO when you were sick

If you've ever gone to QUISQUEYA PAR

If either ya father or one of ya uncles has more kids than fingers on
his left hand, all with different women

PASS this on to show your DOMINICAN PRIDE

Saturday, September 13, 2008


My homie 'Jus Cool' emailed me this and hit many points. Check it out!!!!

25 Things That Killed (and are Still Killing) Urban Music

1. The End of the "Event" Album: There was a time when albums encompassed an era that included a look, a feel, and a style that informed an artist's videos and live performances for as long as they (or the label) could squeeze revenue from a project by releasing singles. The "event" album can chiefly be credited to Jacksons Michael and Janet, who have entire timelines built around the idea of a "Thriller Era" or a "Rhythm Nation Era". Nowadays, instead of treating albums as what they are (a collection of songs with one unifying theme) artists are more likely to seek out the most ubiquitous Hip Hop beatmakers of the moment and record over a hundred songs from which to "pick" singles. Also, when you have artists that are too scared to release music with a healthy 3-5 year gap in between, the lines to between albums begin to blur, and the eras become indistinguishable, rendering them null.

2. Big Name Hip Hop Producers: With respect due to the beatmakers that introduce a track with the name of their production imprint, ad-lib all over it, and insert themselves as guest rappers 50% of the time, they overshadow the actual vocalist of a song. We certainly don't begrudge any of them the right to employment, but when an artist has to do an inventory of who produced her project to qualifiy it instead of telling us what the album is about, we have to take exception. Reality check: If you're trying to goad me into a purchasing your album because you have a Pharrell beat on it and I'm a Pharrell fan, then that's the only song I'm buying. Your album has to have legs of its own.

3. Deaths of The Notorious B.I.G. & 2Pac: You can probably draw a direct line from the deaths of Biggie and 'Pac to the current state of Hip Hop. The two of them cultivated a style that even a decade later is re- and misappropriated to the nth. Perhaps if they were still alive, they'd have pushed the genre forward. Or maybe they'd be wack and irrelevant. Hey, at least they died while they were still good.

4. "Neo-Soul": We understand the emergence of the "neo-soul" genre as a response to the growing commercialization of modern R&B. But even the artists lumped into this category began to the see that the term was as much a marketing ploy as the very things they eschewed. The language used to describe these artists ranged from "organic" to "avant garde" and any press materials would claim that he/she looks up to Stevie, Marvin and Donnie. And don't stand too close to the stage lest you get burned by the candles and frankencense! Before long, the audience would be fooled and we would either grow to love or loathe this music, defending the art of its purveyors and loudly wondering why they couldn't move as many units as their mainstream counterparts. Simply put, "neo-soul" has become a term used by people to describe music they respect but would never buy.

5. Reality TV: Aside from the manufactured Pop idols that are struggling to stay signed within their prize contracts, we have to question the motives of Sean Combs, Robin Antin and Missy Elliott, who have all aped the reality television format to generate acts for their own stable of artists. To be sure, reality TV has replaced proper Artist Development as a means for these entrepreneurs to cash in, stroke their egos and embarrass people who, 9 times out of 10, deserve it. Speaking of which, what's O'so Krispie doing?

6. Lazy A&R Departments: Did you know that A&R people are also responsible for Artist Development? Probably not, since these days a newly-signed artist is more likely to be stripped of their identity and given one that falls in step with what's popular or, even worse, none at all. Take Cheri Dennis for example. While her album has a respectable amount of solid R&B tracks, we still don't know who Cheri Dennis is, what sets her apart from everyone else or even what she sounds like. But, she has earned the distinction of being signed to her label for nearly a decade with no album to speak of. Did the A&R department utilize that time by playing Spades? Probably.

7. Scarface and The Untouchables: Okay, rapper, we get it, Scarface and The Untouchables are the greatest movies ever made; your life in celluloid, even. But, if you look close enough, you'll come to learn that you are neither Pacino or De Niro and should stop emulating them by using audio clips from the films in your interludes and the script in your lyrics. Too many of you are still doing this after all these years. Also, tell members of your crew to stop calling themselves "Ness" and "Nitti". Just, please, cut it out. Thank you.

8. Thugs: Not only do we have "Studio Thugs" that use de Palma films to inform their image (see above) but there's the "Corporate Thug" (robs an artist of his publishing and signs him to a hellified contract he could never fulfill) and the questionable "R&B Thug", which happened somewhere between R. Kelly and Jodeci and continues to this day. Along the way, labels got the bright idea that the way to a woman's heart was by selling drugs and beating up people. Sexy! This trend has also given rise to something else we'll never understand: "R&B Beef", in which two singers talk trash about each other to the media. Unfortunately, this doesn't result in a "sing-off" but pretty much makes everyone involved look kind of retarded.

9. Crime: Between violating probation, not paying child support, being pulled over and caught with an ounce of weed or cocaine, assaulting nail technicians, shooting people, tossing concertgoers off the stage, committing perjury, tax evasion, and urinating on minors, we have to wonder if being a good artist means being a bad citizen.

10. Ringtones: "Real Music Ringtones" were created as a way to distinguish your ringing cellular from someone else's while also bringing you closer to your favorite artist. Unfortunately, the labels realized this was the only way to generate revenue and started making music for the sole purpose of selling ringtones. Now, we have stripped-down keyboard beats and grunts and "yaahhs" instead of lyrics. Is that my cellphone ringing or yours? We'll never know, because we both downloaded Soulja Boy.

11. Lack of Music Programs in Schools: Programs like Garage Band have not only made producers lazy, but undercut the importance of immersing young would-be musicians in music history as well as basic composition. Unless a popular musician was trained in the church, they probably lucked into a contract without knowing how to write, play an instrument, or worse, sing a note.

12. BET (and by extension its corporate owner) is on a mission to not only destroy urban music, but poison the perception of Black people in the process. If we were to use this network as a guide (and people unfortunately do), we would believe that "drug dealer > rapper > pimp" is a logical career path, alcoholic beverages can be used as bodysplash, women of exotic or indeterminate race are the standard of beauty, darker-skinned women are only valuable if they have a big ass and a tiny waist, a person's worth can only be determined by what they drive and what they wear, you ain't sh*t if you're over 30, and a week's worth of debauchery and decadence can be undone with a Sunday marathon of religious programming. It's funny because it's true.

13. The Radio: Used to be, you would turn on the radio and hear a variety of artists with a variety of sounds. But due to the "Clear Channeling" of Urban Radio, you'll hear a T-Pain song followed by 15 minutes of commercials, followed by a song featuring T-Pain, some shucking and jiving by unbearable radio personalities for five minutes, then something that resembles a T-Pain song, but isn't because just about everyone sounds like T-Pain now. And it's probably a commercial.

14. Spineless Club DJs: If you're going out to a club, you might as well sit in the house and blast the radio instead of paying the inflated cover charge. Once upon a time, DJs were tastemakers, but now so many of them are afraid they'll clear the floor by spinning something new that they just play album versions of songs people are tired of but are too drunk to notice. Then, they add insult to injury by showing off their "skills" with poorly-timed scratches, blends that don't line up and screaming over the music. And consider yourself lucky if you happen upon a DJ with ACTUAL! VINYL! RECORDS!

15. Mainstream Hip Hop Publications: Back in the 90's, holding one of these rags in your hands was like holding a monthly Bible to all things Hip Hop and R&B. Now, they've all been relegated to chasing blogs and reiterating things we already knew weeks ahead instead of properly utilizing the print medium to do something unique. Changes in personnel and ownership aside, they were already marching towards irrelevance. Even the covers suck now, but you probably won't get the damn thing delivered on time in order to find out.

16. Bloggers: Guilty as charged! Trifle few of us are qualified to be writing about music with any authority, especially since most of the people behind blogs haven't been alive long enough to have a healthy perspective on the subject. Although it can be argued that record companies rely on blogs for buzz, most of the music championed by popular websites is the same music that would've gotten attention anyway. Also, we have to point out that the commenting system has turned discussions about music into an unholy war of "haters" versus "stans", where everyone is an expert on what they hate or love, but have no concept of anything else including real life. Oh, and providing your readers with the URL to full album leaks doesn't "help" the artist.

17. Youtube & Myspace: On the Internet, everyone is a star (thank you, thank you). But while sites like Myspace and Youtube can provide mainstream and indie musicians with a means of cultivating and connecting with an audience, it becomes a chore to sort through the muck of people with a webcam and a login classifying themselves as "artists". And damn you all to Hell for having the crap you made in Grandma's basement on auto-play.

18. Singing Rappers, Acting Rappers & Rapping Athletes: We'll keep this short. Every now and then you'll happen upon someone that has been able to organically transition from one career to another. Will and Latifah come to mind. To everyone else (coughCurtiscough), stay in your lane. Again, we don't begrudge anyone the chance to make some extra ends; it just shouldn't be at the expense of the audience.

19. The End of Real Singing Groups: Once upon a time, you not only had singing groups that weren't put together by a reality show, but wherein each member contributed a distinct voice or purpose to the group. Sometimes they had members that barely sang a note, but who actually produced or wrote the song. Point is, throwing a bunch of strangers in a house with one phone and giving them makeovers doesn't create synergy. Also, name a recent singing group that wasn't created for a television show or for the purpose of launching someone's solo career. Exactly.

20. "Kanyitis" is a temporary, yet frequent, illness that afflicts singers and rappers alike, wherein an artist waits until the precise moment they are in front of a camera, microphone or reporter to say something shocking and stupid, which will then be quoted by bloggers and searched on Youtube ad nauseum. Then the artist has to explain what they "really" meant, but by that time everyone already thinks they're nuts and doesn't care about a retraction.

21. Death of Aaliyah: Not that Aaliyah took an entire genre of music with her to the grave, but it can be argued that her passing made way for a wave of young, pretty dancers with okay voices and no personality. Only difference between them and Aaliyah is, Aaliyah had personality along with talent, ideas and a willingness to experiment. Also, she wasn't so full of herself.

22. Money: Even worse than artists releasing garbage because they know it sells is the audience's obsession with how much an artist makes. Unfortunately, we've given lack of artistry a pass because someone's "making that paper", which totally undermines the hard work of true creative talents that are constantly writing, recording, and performing. When I buy an album I don't want to hear an entrepreneur, which brings us to--

23. Products & Brands: Whether rappers and singers are inserting the names of designer alcoholic beverages into their lyrics or cable companies are inserting rappers and singers in their ad campaigns, things come to a point where we need to start realizing how owned these artists are. There's a thin line between businessperson and corporate slave. We'd also like to reiterate a fact that has been pointed out time and time again over the past 10 years: If you can't pronounce it, why should we care that you're wearing it, driving it, or drinking it?

24. People That Aren't in Any Way Associated with Music: Opportunities in the industry are built on connections and there's almost never been a time when someone didn't rise to stardom on someone else's coattails. But now, things have gotten way out of hand. Why be an actual artist when you can be someone that danced in videos, screwed a bunch of rappers and got a book deal? Or, you can be a butler or Executive In Charge of Umbrella-Carrying? Or, worse, be the "Fifth Mic" guy on stage and reliable instigator? Who needs a recording studio?

25. Teenagers: Young people have always had the power to determine trends in all genres of music, which is why corporations defer to them. However, today's teenagers seem to be slightly more insipid than they were in previous generations and definitely have a shorter attention span. Whether it's the teens themselves driving the garbage labels are releasing, or the labels that are leading teens down a path of ignorance, is totally up for debate. It's the chicken/egg question in its purest form.

Jus Cool
A change is coming.....

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About Me

We're both broke but yet we have a nice collection of kicks, we get into all the parties and find the way to support our drinking habits.... lol! We're both young but we love everything about the 80's.