Friday, December 22, 2006

Alphabet soup

A friend of mine sent a email with some pretty clever letter arrangements. I thought it was pretty interesting and worth sharing. Enjoy!

When you rearrange the letters: BEST IN PRAYER

When you rearrange the letters: MOON STARER

When you rearrange the letters: A ROPE ENDS IT

When you rearrange the letters: DIRTY ROOM

When you rearrange the letters: THEY SEE

When you rearrange the letters: HE BUGS GORE

When you rearrange the letters: HERE COME DOTS

When you rearrange the letters: CASH LOST IN ME

When you rearrange the letters: IS NO AMITY (which means friendship, peace, harmony, etc…)

When you rearrange the letters: LIES - LET'S RECOUNT!

When you rearrange the letters: ALAS! NO MORE Z 'S

When you rearrange the letters: I'M A DOT IN PLACE

When you rearrange the letters: TWELVE PLUS ONE (both equal 13. How cool!)

When you rearrange the letters: WOMAN HITLER

Whoever came up with this list must be the King (or queen) at Scrabble or just has too much time on their hands...


I just found this website that converts words and phrases into anagrams. I was deeply disturbed to find out that ANDRE = A NERD...


Thursday, December 21, 2006

The season for sharing?

I think it is.

However, when I think about the idea of “sharing”, I believe that it goes further than just giving out presents. I think it has less to do with giving out Xbox 360s and Ipods, and more to do with providing for those who are in need.

After I finished my finals (I can just smell a 4.0 now!), a few classmates and I decided to do some volunteer work for a couple of days at a local food bank. We’ve been doing varying things throughout the year; so this time was really no different. The tasks we did were pretty menial; mainly sorting out donations and making care packages. Though the work was pretty basic, I think that we all shared a sense of satisfaction that came with giving of ourselves; even if only a little bit. But I still couldn’t help but think that I didn’t really do that much.

Not too long ago, I read an article about the top ten charity donors in the world. On that list were philanthropists like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Gordon Moore. These folks – at no surprise – were all billionaires and were more than capable of giving what they did. In fact, people of this stature are not only in a position to give a lot of what they have, but to give most of what they have.

Under each person’s bio, there were a series of questions they were given. When asked why they don’t give most of their fortune away to charity (most billionaires can afford to give away 99% of their fortune and still live insanely comfortable), most of their responses were interestingly similar. They all indicated that they don’t give away everything so they can use what they have left to create more money and continuing giving over the long term.

This raises an interesting question; one that I’ve subconsciously thought about for a long time: How can we give to those who are in need if we don’t have much to give in the first place? How can we reasonably expect to give of ourselves if we’re swimming up to our necks in debt, we’re morally bankrupt, or bombarded with our own issues? Are we really in a position where we can make a difference in someone else’s life?

I think there’s a lot we can learn about taking care of ourselves before we can reasonably expect to bless others. Ephesians reminds us to “…labor, working with [our] hands the things which are good, so that [we] may have something to give to him who needs.” (4:28). In that respect, I think that taking cues from ministers who preach about prosperity and financial blessings can be good for us. For the record, I’m not talking about those cats who are all about money, money, money; and who pimp the Bible for their own personal exploits (those are the people that I think Timothy 6:10 clearly warns us about). Instead, I’m talking about people like Jabez; who specifically asked God to give him stuff (and a WHOLE LOT of it) for the sake of doing God’s will for others.

I guess what I’m wondering is: given our call to help ‘the least of these, shouldn’t we make an effort to pursue the material blessings that are out there? Perhaps the bigger question is: can we promote God’s true gift to the world (Jesus, the Perfect Lamb) without promoting physical and material gifts?

Your thoughts?


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

In the news

For today, I thought I'd share a few assorted things from the news; some old, some not so old:

Oh Rosie:
Actress, comedian and daytime talk show Rosie O'Donnell is being blasted in the media for making racial slurs toward Chinese people. See it for yourself here. It's interesting that a person who represents a couple of discriminated groups (overweight people and lesbians) would make such a comment. Sometimes, it's just better to shut up.

Some people are comparing her comments to Michael Richards. But I think a couple of things have to be considered. (1) Michael Richards ranted about a time when blacks were lynched and oppressed. Rosie, in her defense, wasn't trying to be deliberately offensive. And (2) Richard's comments involved violence that he would've done to his 'victims'. I think that's what annoys me most about his comments. The 'nigger' reference didn't bother me as much as the references to hanging people and sticking forks up rectums. Interestingly, nobody seems to focus on that part.

Praisin' God while lockin' and loadin':

This story is too funny to pass up. Apparently, there is a new video game on the market that promotes Christianity and killing. In the game Left Behind (based on the famous Apocalyptic fiction series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins), fanatical Christians are dispatched into the world to convert as many people as possible. Those who they can't convert (Catholics, gays, Muslims, etc.) are to be killed.

I don't think I have to say any more.

Activist arrested:
According to this article, peace activist Cindy Sheehan has been arrested and is scheduled to be tried for trespassing. She, along with other members of their progressive anti-war group were detained for attempting to take a petition against the war to the United Nations Building which I guess is private property.

Don't get me wrong. Radicalism is usually welcomed the most if its done without violation (then again, that's debatable). But anybody with the nerve to arrest a grieving mother should be ashamed of themselves. Even if some grievers are OK with the war (incidentally, many people who have lost loved ones in Iraq still support Bush and his nonsense), opponents of the war should have an opportunity to protest without penalty.

This story bothers me on so many levels.

Chavez re-elected; dismisses U.S.
Venezuela has spoken. In an interesting turn of events, President Hugo Chavez has been re-elected. One of the first things on his agenda was to completely extinguish any possibility of talks with the United States. Calling the U.S. government "decadent", he dismissed it until they are ready to openly dialogue as equals.

I guess the next step for the U.S. is to launch a pre-emptive attack on Venezuela.

Another Canadian school bans, then supports pro-life student club
Although I've gone on the record stating that I'm against the agenda for pro-lifers, even I was disturbed to hear this story. As recently as last week, Carleton University in Ottawa banned the mobility of a student organization promoting pro-life. It was the second college in Canada to make such a move. Recently, however, it has finally dropped its ban and has now allowed tht group to meet.

Though not entirely related, the Hippie Conservative wrote a great piece about the hypocrisy of "free speech". Since this story involves Canadians; and I'm not too familiar with Canadian rules, I can't comment too much. All I know is that you can't allow a platform to one group and not the other...even if you disagree with them.

Another gay evangelical resigns
According to sources, another closeted homosexual minister has been discovered. I'm not the type to down somebody at a low point in their life; and I'm certainly not the type to gay-bash. But this story is really funny. I guess that I'm amused because of the sheer hypocrisy of it all. The ones who protest and make the most noise are apparently the ones with the most hidden in their closets.

William Jefferson re-elected
Filed under "WTF?", Representative William Jefferson, the crook involved in a series of bribes and corrupt activites that have been investigated by the FBI was re-elected to his ninth term. When I look at black Dems like him and Cynthia McKinney, I can't get mad at them. They're both nothing but products of the voters who put them there.

Sigh. Chalk up another one for ignorantly following Democrats; despite their record.

Out with a bang
After 'resigning' from his duties as Secretary of Defense, Donald Rums-failed (I mean, Rumsfeld) was giving a momumental ceremony to recognize his efforts. Only in America can a person complete f*** up a war, waste billions of dollars, and expend thousands of lives and still get a 19 gun salute.

Veep's daughter pregnant
After all the hoopla about gay marriage/adoption during the 2004 Presidential election, Vice President Cheney's daughter Mary is pregnant. OK. Everybody laugh with me now.

Presidential wacko not so loved after all
At first glance, you'd think I was talking about Bush. But not this time. Much to my suprise, many Iranians have voiced their displeasure with President Ahmadinejad in the partial elections held on Monday. As it appears, many Iranians prefer a moderate and less agressive government than the one under which they currently live. Is it possible that Armageddon will be put on hold?

HIV medics to be executed
This story really disturbs me. A Libyan court has found five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor guilty of infecting over 400 African children with HIV. While the people of Libya see this as justice for the victims, Bulgaria is seeing it as an injustice against the defendants and has cited the poor conditions of the hospitals in the area.

Truthfully, I don't know who to believe. I do think that AIDS is a man-made disease, but I'm not so sure that people in the medical field would deliberately infect others. But then again, there was also Tuskegee.

Fight night at the Garden
Suspensions and fines were passed out like Christmas gifts after another NBA brawl broke out during the closing moments of the game between the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks. I don't know about you, but I'm sick of people catering to overpaid thugs who can't seem to recognize the responsibility that comes with being in their position. You've got families who paid good money to be at these games, and children who look up to these jerks. In response, they decide to act like n***gas.
Yeah, I said it.

Duke or Earl?
I just read that the alleged victim in the Duke University rape case is pregnant and is expecting in February. Though paternity tests indicate that none of the Duke players is the father, this story is still getting uglier by the moment. I don't know what to believe anymore.

Chinese Money Torture?
Despite the Federal Reserve ruling out the possibility, some anxiety is brewing with the rumors that China may get rid of its U.S. reserves. Being the alarmist that I am, I'm inclined to think that this story; albeit a suspected rumor; represents a larger problem we're facing. Even though I don't think China would dump their shares in the U.S. economy (since it's so closely tied to ours), I can see why they'd want to pull out. When the Feds stopped publishing M3 data, it's just become too hard to tell how much money is being printed and how much value the dollar has lost. Either way, this situation tells me that we've put too much of our debt in the hands of competing markets. Personally, I blame Bush and his war in Iraq.

Well I think that about does it for the news. It's the holidays for goodness sake (albeit, pagan. But that's another story for another day). Until next time, have a great week!


Sunday, December 17, 2006 with the new

Recently, I came up with a list of 50 things I hope not to see in 2007. Rather than just leaving the world with big holes from not having that stuff, I've come up with a list of things that I hope to see (or see more of) instead. Again, these are in no particular order:

1. Landon
My new nephew has been a much need breath of fresh air for my family. At five months, he’s already doing some pretty impressive things. I can’t wait to see which Ivy League school I’ll have to visit for his commencement.

Opposite of and, this is a site where you can really CAN network and exchange thoughtful conversation. At least the part that I know about…

3. The abolition of the two-party system

If you’re like me and you’re sick of being represented by asses (Democrats) and pachyderms (Republicans), I think the emergence of a third, fourth, and possibly fifth party would be most welcome. For that matter, why don’t we just eliminate parties altogether? That would make for an interesting political environment.

4. Corinne Bailey Rae
Ever since I met her (figuratively speaking) in May, 2006, I’ve been in love. I just hope that her humbly beginnings keep her newfound fame in perspective.

5. Beyonce
Minus pretty dismal acting skills, she has the potential to be one of my favorite artists. If she can get rid of the ass-shaking part of gimmick and rely solely on her singing ability, she’ll go a long way in my book.

6. Academic success
I’m not rich. I’m not heavily desired/sought after by the girls. Hell, I can barely keep friends. One of the only bright spots I have right now is the sense of accomplishment that comes with achieving goals. Academic success is one of them. Andre Louis, Ph.D. Nice ring, dontcha think?

7. Keith Olbermann
Sure he’s clearly a liberal. Sure he’s as biased toward the GOP as Fox News is toward John Kerry. But you can’t argue with the fact that he’s one of the wittiest and most articulate editorial journalists around. Watch out “Bill-O”.

8. Barack Obama
I don’t think he should be bracing up for a presidential run so soon, but I’m completely enamored by his politics. It’s people like him who give me a restored faith in the political machine.

9. Dave Matthews Band
Now that Dave Matthews has got the ‘going solo’ thing out of his system, I’m hoping that he and his band can reclaim their title of the best band ever.

10. Spiderman 3
Lots of people are starting to grow tired of superhero movies. Not me. Sweet Lord, not me. In fact, if they don’t release this movie soon, I might have to vicariously live out the Spiderman experience. It wouldn’t be a pretty sight seeing me squeeze into a Spiderman costume and swing from buildings.

11. The Hippie Conservative
I often tease him about having an oxymoronic name. But, truth be told, it’s refreshing to see someone who doesn’t subscribe to every single tenant of one particular group.

12. Jon Stewart
Whenever you have a witty and satirical news show that is more reliable and relied on than ‘real’ news, you’re doing big things.

Whether you want to find your favorite commercial from the 80’s or if you're trying to resolve a bet about how the Curious George theme song went, you can find virtually any clips and videos on this site. Google landed themselves a goldmine when they got onboard.

14. House, M.D.
For a while, Nip Tuck was the cutting edge show that I couldn’t get enough of. But once the Carver storyline made the show as sharp as a plastic spatula, House has become my new favorite show. I hope that its success lasts. Finding new favorite shows can be exhausting.

15. Mel Gibson

I know what you’re thinking: Why would I support this guy? Whatever you have to say about him being a jerk is absolutely correct. But – like him or not – he has an amazing ability as a writer/director. Between Braveheart, the Passion, and Apocalypto, he does as good a job as anybody in making us uncomfortable.

16. Warren Buffet
When I found out that he committed to donating 85% of his entire fortune to fighting AIDS, he became my new best friend.

17. Jim Gaffigan

Besides Sinbad, is there a funnier comedian around who doesn’t have to cuss and call the audience the n-word?

18. Bill Maher

ABC really dropped the ball when they cancelled “Politically Incorrect”. Since then, his show “Real Time” is the highest rated show on HBO. Whoever thought that bad mouthing the President could be so lucrative? Apparently not ABC.

19. Jeopardy
By yelling incorrect answers out loud, this is the worst way to prove your intelligence (but incredibly fun, nonetheless). What is “Playing Jeopardy”?

20. Music downloading sites
Before you sick the RIAA on me, I’m not talking about free file-sharing sites where you can pirate music. I’m referring to legitimate sites where you can purchase individual songs and .mp3s; versus an entire album. You can finally get the songs you want; rightfully pay for them, and get spoiled, whiny artists and their team of $1000/hr. lawyers off of your back.

21. Don Cheadle and George Clooney

While most of the entertainment world is focusing their attention on which celebs are in conflict with each other, who wore what at what event, or how many kids Madonna is stealing, it’s encouraging to see people use their status to address serious yet ignored issues like the crisis in Darfur.

22. Less complacency
One thing that 2006 has taught me is that complacency impedes change and progress. From mindless church practices to how people treat me, accepting things “as they are” doesn’t do me any good. Sometimes intolerance can be a good thing; especially when tolerance negatively affects change.

23. Political investigations
Had it not been for deep undercover exploration, the UN’s corruption would have gone unchecked, Jack Abramhoff, Tom Delay, and William Jefferson would still be accepting bribes and Mark Foley would still be sending “naughty” emails to young male pages.

24. The Practice on DVD
With the exception of maybe the last season, I’d eat my own children to get The Practice on DVD. Oh, wait. I don’t have children. Well then; I’d eat yours.

25. Paid student athletes
While we’re paying $45-60 per game to see these kids play every week; which allows the schools to generate millions, the students are getting just enough to pay for school and a week’s supply of Ramen noodles. Something is wrong with that picture.

26. Stephen Colbert
Not only is he hilarious on his show, but he’s one of the only people who can stand right in the President’s face, insult him, and have him not even know he’s being insulted. But since it was President Bush, I take that back.

27. John Legend
Similar to Beyonce, he’s a young black artist who actually has skill. A rare commodity in today’s industry.

28. Turbo Tax
No more waiting in long lines and paying big bucks at H&R Block. For a small fee you can own the tax preparing software that is likely to put CPAs out of the business (or lower their rates) pretty soon.

29. Hybrid Technology
Finally! Toyota and Honda and broken into the hybrid market. Their 60-mile-to-the-gallon babies are making a mockery out of the big three U.S. automakers. Fuel-efficient vehicles that don’t have to be powered by foot. Fred Flintstone must be fuming right now.

30. Joanne Rosario
After having a so-so first album, this Gospel talent blessed me infinitely with her second album. The future looks bright for her.

31. The Green-Eyed Girl on Planet Earth
Whoever came up with the idea that “opposites attract” must’ve had us in mind. Greeny’s optimism and my “pessimism” are a perfect mismatch.

32. Alicia Keys

Another R&B sensation who has brought a unique and refreshing sound to the music industry. Not to mention, she’s got a Juilliard education. I’m not a fine arts guy, but even I know that’s impressive.

33. Funnier Super Bowl commercials

They say that; proportionately speaking; commercials aired during the Super Bowl are the most expensive thing on television. For once, I’d like for the ads that interrupt my game-day experience to have a little more than Jessica Simpson selling pizza.

34. Michigan’s Proposal 2 Overturned
The so-called Michigan Civil Rights Initiative snuck its way onto the November ballot and relied on deception and false advertisement to gain support from Michigan voters. Hopefully, people will realize the error of their ways and overturn the voting outcome.

35. Jay Bakker

The son of Pastor Jim Bakker (an evangelical, turned crook, turned evangelical again). Challenging the traditional upbringing of his parents, this young, new-aged minister is just what we need for religious folks who have lost their minds these days.

36. State of the Black Union
As a young intellect (at least I’m aspiring to be), watching a collection of positive, intelligent blacks with immersed and prophetic agendas is a refreshing balance to people on BET talking about cars and jewelry.

37. The elimination of the Electoral College
Unless we can rationally explain to our grandchildren how a guy could receive more votes in an election and still lose, I think it’s time for the U.S. to catch up with everyone else and lose this silly voting system.

38. National Public Radio
Once NPR starts addressing minority-related issues with more frequency and lose their sponsorship from “private” organizations, they’ll dominate every radio market except for the gun-totin’ religion-promotin’ card-carrying members of the GOP.

39. Jazz radio stations
Some people argue that urban communities aren’t sophisticated enough to enjoy jazz music. But at the Flint Jazz festival; not a single person was shot, arrested, or involved in a brawl. Compare that to the notorious nightclubs in the area and the so-called music they play. I rest my case.

40. A June Jordan anthology
Being one of the most righteous black intellectuals of our time, I hope that her works will be available in an entire collection one day.

41. You Can’t Do That On Television
The hit Canadian comedy show – turned Nickelodeon classic – gave us everything we needed a children. I admit: it was pretty edgy for its time. But I think that we adults can now appreciate how funny this show really was. Not like some of the other shows; that are so w_tered down. Ha! You thought I was going to “water”. *Cue the liquid*

42. Relocation
If everything goes according to plan, I should be finished with graduate school in 2007. From there, I’d like to move. I just don’t feel like there’s anything left for me in Michigan (except for Michigan football perhaps)

43. Spirit Airlines
Initially I wasn’t a huge fan of theirs. But any airline that can get me to DC and back for under $60 easily becomes a friend of mine.

44. Accurate movie trailers
If movie trailers were a true indicator of movie quality, perhaps I would not have been as angry with The Village. Better movie trailers mean a happier Andre; which means no complaining.

45. Retro TV

Looking for episodes of Fat Albert? The Facts of Life? Voltron? Double Dare? Jem? Mr. Wizard? Transformers? A television station that airs 24 hours of 80’s and 90’s shows will help me relive the childhood that I was forced to abandon for the sake of adulthood. As much as I love Spongebob, I’d gladly give him up for Alvin & the Chipmunks.

46. Yo Momma
This show probably wins the award for ‘best guilty pleasure’. Except for a cheesy, borderline homosexual host, this show is a winner. I get a kick out of it every time it’s on.

47. NBA on TNT
This award winning show is the only thing that makes professional basketball even remotely interesting these days. Well that…and the brawls.

48. Jill Scott
Her organic sound, poetic flow, and tight beats give my ears something to take rock to outside of the sterile and vacuous world of today’s hip-hop.

49. Scheduled naps at work
I don’t know about you, but nothing says “productivity” more than allowing time at work to sleep. Maybe if there was a designated 'nap time', I’d stop dozing off in staff meetings.

50. Safer automobiles

For an additional $110 per unit, vehicles produced in this country can be manufactured considerably safer. Isn’t human life more valuable than that?

There you have it. More wishful thinking...


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Out with the old...

Well, the new year is almost upon us. 2006 has had its share of ups and downs; joys and disappointments. But a few things really stuck out this year; particularly the things that just annoyed the Hades out of me. So without further ado, here are the top 50 things I hope NOT to see again in 2007 (in no particular order):

1. Ann Coulter
If she wasn’t so much of heartless Jezebel, I’d listen to some of her points more often. But since she’s a political witch, I wouldn’t be mad if somebody sent her to Salem.

2. “Rev.” Fred Phelps
The author of the ridiculous claim that “God Hates Fags” is clearly covering up for the fact that he’s gay.

3. Mo’Nique
Unless you like loud mouthed, sassy, intellectually offensive, poster children for celebrating obesity, somebody should pull her microphone out and turn the cameras away from her.

4. Prussian Blue
I continue to be amazed that a racist, teeny bopper group can make it mainstream. Between their racist tone and their…uh…tone deaf tone, I think I’ll hang myself if they’re still around. One more dead black guy. Score one for the racists.

I’d have a better chance at exchanging thoughtful conversation if I talked to my plant. Besides, if finally went down the tubes, maybe the secretary in our office would finally get some work done.

6. BET
You already know why I hate BET and most of the “artists” it promotes. Do I really have to go into detail?

7. American Idol
Honestly, this show isn’t really all that bad. OK, yes it is. But at least I get entertained during the horrible auditions. But seriously: getting singing suggestions from these judges is like getting tutored in English by George W. Bush.

8. The Bowl Championship Series (BCS)
For you college football fans out there, I think you’ll agree with that it’s high time to get rid of the BCS and adopt a playoff system. If a loss of income is feared by the colleges, the schools should receive rankings/seeds and get paid accordingly. I’m still trippin’ that the BCS chose measly Florida over Michigan. Riiiight.

9. Destiny’s Child
Can we please strip them of their celebrity status before they make up more silly words that get put in the Dictionary?

10. Fox News
Dick Cheney shoots someone and all they can do is spin the story to blast Liberals, gays, Muslims, and anyone else who ‘tears down traditional family values’.

11. “Director’s cut” and “Limited Edition” DVDs.
It’s bad enough that the shows/movies that I actually love haven’t made it do DVD yet (or, if they have, they’re expensive as hades). But when they come out with the “Final, super duper, can’t-miss-the-bonuses, golden deluxe, ultimate version” of the DVD's you do have, the copy you own just doesn’t seem that impressive.

12. Dakota Fanning
I don’t know why America decided to adopt her; but can we please stop putting her in every movie? If I'm not mistaken, didn't she manage to make an appearance in Casablanca as Humphrey Bogart’s lost daughter?

13. The NBA Dress Code
From Ben Wallce’s headband controversy to the no-collarless-shirt rule, I’m sick of this silly dress code. How hypocritical is it for the NBA to shun the very urban culture that is making them a fortune? If I wanted to pay money to see professionals wearing suits, I’d visit Wall Street. Of course, after the Pistons/Pacers brawl, what better way is there to improve the NBA’s image that with a dress code, right?!

14. Celebrity Marriages
For people who are interested in protecting the “sanctity of marriage”, how about we start with lame-brained celebs who get married to advance their careers, get hitched in Vegas, refuse to lose their individual identity to become man and wife, and then break up two months later.

15. IPOD carrying accessories
IPOD socks. IPOD gloves. IPOD sleeve holders. I’m sorry; but when your IPOD is more snuggled than the guy sleeping in the New York alley, we should reexamine some things.

16. Flavor of Love
If you need to follow the adventures of an old, feeble man with a host of young and ditzy eye candy, read Playboy.

17. Cedric the Entertainer
Can I return him to the store? He's defective merchandise.

18. Desperate Housewives
After Sex in the City finally got Herpes and died, I thought we were free from shows about sexually promiscuous women. Boy was I wrong. Women, please do me a favor: stop equating “empowerment” to acting like (fill in the blank).

18. Paris Hilton
Sadly, since some people actually like ‘her’ book and ‘her’ CD, she probably won’t go away any time soon. I guess this is what happens when you can pay somebody to write a book and produce a CD while slapping your name on it. I remember a time when a person was celebrity based on their own talent and worth; not based on something their daddy could buy for them.

19. Hannity & Colmes
Sean Hannity is a overpowering, pompous, right-wing jerk and Alan Colmes is a weak, left-winged pushover. Since it’s named “Hannity & Colmes, it’s pretty appropriate that Colmes seems to get owned every week.

20. The Black-eyed peas
When they first broke into the industry, I enjoyed their free-spirited approach. Now it just annoys me. These guys have sold out more than the Playstation 3. By the way; Fergie, I wouldn’t go around bragging about having humps. Maybe you wanna get that checked out. It could be cancerous.

21. M. Knight Shamalyan
Opposite of a fine wine, this director and his movies seem to get worse with age.

22. America’s Next Top Model
As if it’s not bad enough that this show perpetuates America’s warped definition of pencil-thin “beauty”; the idiotic judges (who use every ridiculous hyperbole in the book to describe the models) makes me want to throw my TV out the window.

23. Cell phone contracts
I had to learn – the hard way – these ball and chain, expensive-as-Hades contracts can be deadly. They get even worse when you add somebody else to your plan. Lesson learned; in the Cingular Zone.

24. E! Entertainment
The only thing worse than the shallow, empty, and vacuous world of the celebrity is devoting a TV station to the legion of followers, reporters, and commentators who do nothing but talk about the shallow, empty and vacuous world of the celebrity.

25. 50 Cent
While I give him kudos for calling Oprah out, I’m laughing at his attempts to maintain his thuggish street cred. I can’t think of a better way to destroy your ‘gangsta’ legacy than by coming out with your own vitamin water.

26. Scientology
As if the other man-made religious weren’t bad enough, L. Ron Hubbard had to be born. Poor Katie and Suri; cursed to be headed by a man whose life has been defined by jumping up and down on talk show host’s furniture and throwing away incredibly lucrative career to join a cult who believes in galactic emperors and spaceships. But I suppose it’s not as ridiculous as any other religion.

27. Ashlee Simpson
I really love the song “Pieces of Me”. Now, if I only knew who I should give the credit to (maybe it’s the same person who did Paris Hilton’s album).

28. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Maybe I’m just being heartless, but this show is starting to get ridiculous. Building a million dollar dream home for a family (who, by the way, didn’t have a net value of a tenth of that amount) seems to be a lousy waste of resources. If your home was whisked away in a hurricane, I’m sure you wouldn’t get bent out of shape if your new home didn’t have an indoor pool in the guest room.

29. Kanye West
At one point I thought that he was going to be the righteous artist that hip hop needed. But after his second album and the pseudo-intellectual messages he’s making, now I think he needs to get his jaws wired shut again.

30. Bill O’Reilly
To this guy “fair and balanced” means that it’s fair for him to ambush people and to balance out their rationale with his overpowering yelling.

31. Hurricane season
Contrary to my predictions for 2006, hurricane season wasn’t that bad this year. I pray that this continues for ’07.

32. Nancy Grace
Nothing about her is graceful; except maybe her exit from televison.

33. Survivor
Out of all the reality shows I despise, this one ranks as one of the most hated. After being on the air for over a decade, in a controlled environment where – oddly – no one has suffered from so much from a paper cut, I wonder if the winner is really a “survivor”. I think the next season should take place live from Baghdad.

34. World Series of Poker
Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I always thought that the sports channels were supposed to air…well…sports. Since when does a card game that you play while sitting on your butt, eating Cheetos, and smoking cigars count as an athletic competition? Calling it “The World Series of…” doesn’t make is a sport.

35. George Dubya Bush
You know, I take that back. I’ve enjoyed Bush’s tenure in the White House. It’s been one of the best laughs I’ve gotten since Fat Albert.

36. Nicole Ritchie:
I’m sorry. But if your clothing weighs more than you, it’s time to pack it up. She’s once. Twice. Three times less of a lady.

37. Missing white women
Unless you’re JonBenet Ramsey, Natalee Holloway, or Lacy Peterson, don’t count on getting coverage in the media if you go missing. The only solution for you women who plan on going missing in 2007 is to dye your hair blond before you get kidnapped.

38. Oprah Winfrey
Once she finally decides to buy another multi-million dollar something and bleach her skin, I think that the handful of blacks who haven’t already divorced her will so do pretty soon. Maybe at that point, she’ll just phase herself out and retire.

39. Anti-smoking ads
Did you know that these ads are sponsored by tobacco companies in an effort to avoid civil liability? I’ve got a better way for them to do it: STOP MAKING CIGARETTES!

40. Anna Nicole Smith
Whenever the courts are faced with an inheritance lawsuit between an uptight, Conservative snobby son and a gold-digging wife; and I side with the Conservative, something is wrong.

41. Brittney Spears and Kevin Federline
Aside from Paris Hilton, can the media zero in on bigger, less talented hacks than these nuts?

42. Dancing with the stars
This show deals with two things that I really despise: dancing and ‘stars’. Put them together and I’m throwing my TV out the window again.

43. Violent cartoons
It annoys me that cartoons can’t rely on their sheer wit and humor nowadays. Instead, they have to resort to violence to get a cheap laugh. Not the “anvil falls on my head and I’m back in the next scene still trying to get the Road Runner” type of violence. I’m talking about the let’s kill people, cut their heads off and blow them up for humor type of violence.

44. Erectile dysfunction medication
If you’re having a hard time getting aroused, do what most other low self-esteemed men do to compensate: buy a Corvette. While pharmaceutical companies are trying to fix stuff, how about the fix cancer and AIDS? You may not be able to lay as many women down by the fire, but at least you'll still be alive.

45. Carlos Mencia
Who ever thought that the “Mind of Mencia” could be so…well…mindless?

46. Support ribbons
From AIDS, to the soliders, to Iraq, I’m getting annoyed by these silly ribbons. However, I’ve got the best ribbon ever on my office door which reads “Support the troops (or whatever is trendy)”

47. The Simpsons
OK. This show was fun after the first hundred years. But since it has LONG since jumped the shark, I think that a burial at sea would be pretty appropriate.

48. OJ Simpson and the Brown/Goldman families
Which one is worst: A killer who is trying to get rich from his deeds or victims’ families who are trying to get rich from his deeds? This is one is anybody’s guess.

49. Lifetime
Airing movies about abused wives, missing children, and anorexic teens is enough to make any woman lose her mind.

50. Tyra Banks
Whoever established the stereotype that supermodels weren’t all that sharp apparently got it right for once.

**Notables include**
Everybody in the Bush administration, the Olsen Twins, Lindsay Lohan, country music television, Puffy, Saturday Night Live, Dr. Phil, Wheel of Fortune, Cynthia McKinney, HDTV, Republicans, snow, UPN, poverty, rappers, the National Hockey League, Chris Matthews, crazy ex-girlfriends and their crazy mothers, Kim Jong Il, any Peter Jackson movies that aren't Lord of the Rings, Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson, and junk mail.

I know. I know. This is all wishful thinking. But a guy can have hope, right?!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

On my way

Rejoice and be glad!

I successfully defended my thesis proposal and it was approved! Now comes the hard part: applying for grants.

Nevertheless, life is peachy again...


Friday, December 08, 2006

Brain teaser

Yesterday my friend sent me a great brain teaser. She's pretty notorious for picking my brain with stuff.

Anyway, I had fun with this puzzle. So much so, that I decided to post it; but not before I figured it out myself. Now that I have, I'm sharing it with the rest of you. Enjoy!

OK. The puzzle involves the following characters: A police officer (with the blue suit and handcuffs), a criminal (with the striped uniform), a father, a mother, two sons and two daughters. Included in the puzzle is a 2-man raft. The object of the game is to successfully move all of the characters from one side of the river to the other using the raft.

Oh, if it was that simple. Here are some rules:
  • Only two people can be on the raft at a time

  • Only the police officer, the father, and the mother know how to steer the raft

  • The father can't be alone with the daughters; without the mother being there (imagine if parents were the same way with Michael Jackson, but I digress...)

  • The mother can't be alone with the sons; without the father being there.

  • The criminal can't be with anybody without the police officer.

To access the puzzle, click here. To start, click on the circle in the lower right corner. Don't freak out over the Japanese language. I suspect that it's just the instructions. To place characters on and off of the raft, click on them. To move the raft back and forth, click on the poles by the river.

If you'd like the solution, feel free to drop me an email. If nobody comes up with a solution, I'll post the one I came up with.

Have fun!


Monday, December 04, 2006

Why I'm starting to dislike Black churches...

Enough said.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

A slap in the face

Anybody who knows me is already well aware of my disdain for rappers nowadays. I'm not against them in the same way that most overly religious zealots are; but I stand as an antithesis of the agenda that they set nonetheless. Their actions are irresponsible, ruthless, and laced with ignorance; all things that go against the progress that blacks need to strive for in these days.

My friend Agent J just sent me this disturbing mini-video of famed hip hop mogul Jay Z getting physical with a young lady; apparently in response to her taking an unauthorized photo of him. I don't know the full story behind what went down (I haven't been able to find much on the 'net about it. Goes to show how $$$ can make things go away). So I'm not in a position to do a lot of heavy commentary on this. The news that I have heard is pretty conflicting. One source said that everyone was playing around and it was all light-hearted. Another source indicated that Jay Z was seriously angry and was actually assaulting her (if this is true, I think he should be arrested and sued; along with all those brothas sitting around watching it). But I can't tell for sure what went down. Again, my knowledge about this situation is limited to the brief clip that you see. But based on what I see here; coupled with the lack of respect toward woman for which rappers are notorious, this reaffirms the self-destructing nature of this new-aged hip hop culture.

On the one hand, I'm not entirely casting blame on the entertainers themselves. Women choose to parade around like objects and prostitute themselves to get stuff (i.e. Flavor of Love, BET, etc.). Likewise, consumers eat this stuff up; evidenced by the high ratings and profit margins that are off the scale. But entertainers also bear the burden for providing the outlet for people to get exploited. I wonder how they'd respond if it was their mother, sister, daughter, girlfriend, or wife getting pimped, exploited and -- as in this video -- smacked up? What if this was old Mrs. Jay Z? What if this was Beyonce (his girlfriend)?

It's scary to see this type of stuff promoted; largely because its audience (made up primarily of young people) are not educated and conscious enough to discern this from reality. For many young people in our society, this becomes their reality. For them, success becomes a product of how many cars you own, how much jewelry you own, how much money you have, and how many women you can get to serve you. The end result is that incidents like the one portrayed in this clip become the norm; not the exception.

Welcome to the frightening world of ignorance.