Monday, December 6, 2010

Google E-Book Store

Google is launching an E-Book store that will allow you to read books on any mobile device that has an internet connection. So instead of worrying about memory and moving books from your phone to your iPad to your laptop, you can simply store your favorites in a cloud. You decide when and where you make it rain.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Got Ayds?

"Lose Weight Without Drugs"

If you're worried about gaining too much weight during the holiday season, try a diet of bad taste.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Have you seen this Santa Claus?

If you see him, call the FBI - or don't, like most everyone else who is keeping their mouth shut about the whereabouts of John Robert Boone aka "King of Pot" aka "Godfather of Grass" and notorious member of the "Cornbread Mafia." Locals consider his offenses closer to that of a modern day moonshiner, rather than a criminal.

Don't forget to buy a Run, Johnny, Run t-shirt or other Boone related items for your special lady this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

BlackFriday & CyberMonday

Hey e-readerless friends. Amazon is selling their remaining Kindle 2s for super cheap. Do you scoop them up Friday or wait to see what other readers, tabs and pads go on sale on Cyber Monday? Or are you poor like me and just living vicariously through other classmates?

Monday, November 22, 2010

(Wo)man Up

It wasn't long ago that Sarah Palin was plucked from Alaska as part of McCain's desperate attempt to win the presidential election of 2008. Before the campaign was over, Palin was already biting the hand the feeds her. It is well documented that she is uninformed and has little executive experience. She's not good with policy, law, the constitution and all that bookish stuff. But she can work a room. She has a nice smile and a nice wardrobe.

Since 2008 she's quit her position as Alaskan governor to strut it, full time. She's published a book, starred on a TV show and made a bundle traveling the country as a guest speaker in an effort to raise momentum for a 2012 presidential campaign. Her gaffes and divisive politics are entertaining at their lightest and scary as hell at the heaviest, considering a sizable demographic buys what she's selling. What I've noticed is that nobody within the Republican party has the cojones to stand up to her. Not McCain, Bush I or II, or other Republican leaders. Republican 1-man think tank, Karl Rove, has dared question her but each time he's forced to shrink his opinion by Fox News and their viewers. So who is man enough to stand up to Palin? Who has the gravitas? During the 2010 election campaigns female republican candidates were spreading the mantra, "Man Up!" Finally, that someone is...Barbara Bush?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Infected Fantasy

I play fantasy sports. Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey...I've even played golf and NASCAR. No matter the sport, injuries occur. In basketball, players often have ankle or knees problems; it's bound to happen when you're seven foot tall and throwing your body around.  This season I drafted David Lee, starting forward for the Golden State Warriors. This month he had two surgeries. Why? Because an opponent's tooth broke off in his elbow during a game, causing multiple infections. I don't really have anything profound to say about this but Really? Why me? Why my team? I know, I didn't lose a tooth or get one stuck in my elbow but David Lee needs to be more considerate to fantasy ball players when he's swinging his elbows in the face of his opponents while fighting for rebounds. Thanks, thanks a lot.

Kid Stuff

Beautiful Losers is part celebration of imagination and part history of east and west coast graffiti, skateboarding, artist subculture of the past thirty years. The artists reflect upon growing pains as they transitioned from juvenile artists to struggling and starving adult artists naively establishing their presence in the art world. This is an inspiring film for any adult who is still compelled to create. For anyone who believes that creativity and imagination are limited to childhood. Not perfect but definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


If you have a design fetish you may want to watch with cotton balls in your mouth to stop the drooling.

Adobe has teamed up with WIRED magazine to showcase the future of online publishing. Notice that the idea here is to make online content so great that people will pay for it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Make a Wish

So once upon a time I was pre-med and on my way to helping folks. But you can't help certain things. I fell back in love with fiction. And the challenge of short fiction. The mountain. And the snow covered top of that mountain was Amy Hempel. No, that's not a white hair joke. The same way a future magician sees David Copperfield and wants to be a part of that world, I read Hempel and wanted inside that mystery. Simple sentences, simple stories, and simple language and at the end of any story I found myself baffled. Confused as to why nothing much hit me so hard. It wasn't fair. And I like a challenge. So yeah, Hempel is one of the reasons I'm here, writing. Her stories are part of that mountain in front of me. So what do I do? I forget my hard cover at home and have to buy a paperback copy for $15.50. I only had $6.90 in my checking account as of this morning. And I babbled like an idiot when it was my turn for an autograph like I knew I would. Still, satisfied.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Treasure Down Under

I'm not sure but apparently an entire film genre from Australia never made my radar until I recently saw the documentary, "Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation."

The film features interviews from filmmakers, actors, and critics from the actual ozploitation films, talking over what might be an hour's worth of sex, drugs, profanity, explosions, carnage, stunts and outrageous effects; non-stop action. How the doc only got an R rating I don't know. It practically serves as a 90 minute trailer for the films represented. And it worked. After watching it I was super excited to track down the videos on Netflix. I quickly learned that most of these are either not available on DVD, not on Netflix or out of print. Check out the trailers of films featured in the documentary. Fun.

The doc also features Quentin Tarantino, the creators of the SAW movie franchise and others that share their love for ozzie films, going as far as "borrowing" from the originals. The most recognizable film to come out of this genre has to be Mad Max, 1979, featuring a young, unknown, racist actor by the name of Mel Gibson. A young Nicole Kidman also starred in BMX Bandits, 1983.

These films are strictly entertainment so if that's what you're in the mood for, these drive-in quality action flicks are the answer.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Don't do as Daddy does

This past week, Keith Olbermann was suspended without pay for making 3 campaign contributions of $2,400 each. Olbermann generally makes his living as a counterpoint to Fox "News." I'm fine with persons reporting news waving their rights in their contract to not contribute to political campaigns. If they sign, I assume they agree with the contract. My main problem with this development is not that pundits aren't allowed to express themselves politically or that Olbermann was punished for violating his contract. I'm peeved by the hypocrisy of it.

Don't practice what you preach.

During this political season, GE, part owners of MSNBC, have contributed over 2 million dollars in campaign contributions with over 1.3 million going to Democrats. Rupert Murdock, owner of Fox News, contributed over 1 million to Republicans. This isn't new, in 2008 over 1 million dollars were donated by employees at ABC, CBS and NBC.

There needs to be continuity between employer and employee policy. If an employer makes a contribution then every employee represents that contribution. However, if an employee makes the contribution it doesn't necessarily reflect the views of the employer. So if anything I could see employees being allowed to making contributions but not their employer. Either way, news organizations and their employees making contributions seems at odds with moral objectivity.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When I Grow Up

Kudos to author Cory Doctorow for figuring out how to make money without using his former publishing house. He operates online and publishes based on demand, and even credits his fans with footnotes. Check out NPR article here.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I recently watched the documentary titled Collapse, directed by Chris Smith (American Movie). The film is largely set around an interview with former LAPD officer and investigative journalist Michael Rupport. Over the course of 80 minutes Rupport leads us back to the future, examining the known information dating back to the 1970s which has helped him predict most of the biggest swings in policy and economics in the past 30 years. Most recently, Rupport was harassed in 2005 for lecturing on an upcoming housing crises and his uncovering of the Pat Tillman killed by friendly fire cover-up. Topic by topic, Rupport matter-of-factly predicts a future in a world of limited resources and a growing population and archaic economic policy (capitalism) that leaves us little option but to face the bull by the horns. He says we have 50 years if we're lucky. This film is definitely worth checking out, as these topics touch every living thing, including our planet.


I've got some footage from this summer's Hon Fest in Hampden, along with interviews with linguists and artists about the "Bawlmer" accent and Baltimore culture. This footage only serves as bits and pieces of a story I'm attempting to tell. Future interviews with additional experts and social icons are lined up. I'm hoping they begin to fill in the gaps., works in progress.


Well, I've got footage of the confessional tone for an upcoming vignettes piece about rejection. Thus far, I've only got half a dozen interviews so interweaving them isn't as seamless as I hope it'll be after about 20 interviews. Right now it jumps back to the same people too often, not really allowing me to stretch out any themes of rejection. As is, I've got examples that are leading me down the roads of first loves (middle school!), media-age rejection, and father/daughter issues. Future material which dictate which of these will prove the strongest through-line.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I confess, my latest guilty pleasure is South African hip-hop group Die Antwoord ("The Answer")

The group portrays themselves as straight from the ghetto, often doing interviews inside of single wide trailers and bombed out slums. Their music features hits such as "Rich Bitch" and "Jou Ma Se Poes in 'n Fishpaste Jar" (your mother's vagina in a fishpaste jar). The music is part nerd, part underdog, and part ghetto pride. But their gutter image has been under fire lately as listeners learn about their past alter egos that are less than tough. For those that don't mind KISS in makeup or most rappers pretending to be hard for the sake of selling records, you can get over the individual behind closed doors and enjoy the entertaining persona on stage. I agree with this article, "I’m sure for some reason everyone would have liked it better if they were actually borderline mentally-retarded Poor Children from Ghettos covered in Generic Cheetoes Dust and Meth Crumbs or whatever, but none of these new revelations makes what they are doing any less great."

DA rap in English and Afrikaan, making the music both accessible yet culturally unique to South Africa. The group tried borrowing from American hip-hop for years before they decided to draw instead from locale flavors. They come forward, all fists and teeth, rapping about South African ghettos, relying colloquial terms like "zef" (hip, fresh, S. African style). Though front man Ninja looks like a poor man's Vanilla Ice but his lyrics are catchier and he's got better flow, even if his material is often juvenile, referring to video games and fantasy worlds. The groups first single, "Enter the Ninja," lays the ground work for what to expect:

I'm a ninja, yo
My life is like a video game
I maintain when I'm in the zone
One player, one life, I'm on the mic, limited time, yo Ninja go!

If you listen to this song twice, the falsetto chorus sang by Yo-Landi Visser will stick in your head for days, for better or for worse.

Aii Aii Ai
I am your butterfly
I need your protection
I need my samurai
Aii Aii Ai
I need your protection
Need your protection

DA has recently hit the US via festivals such as Virgin Mobile. They'll be in DC on 10/27 at the 930 Club. If you're curious, here's a good introduction to the group:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grown Up Choices

Sports are often dangerous. Especially if you're driving 200 mph, running full speed and tackling someone headfirst or even running the Baltimore Marathon this past weekend. This Saturday, a player from the Rutgers football team left the game paralyzed from the neck down. This sort of injury happens in football. And in worse cases, deaths occur. In fact, from 2000 to 2005, 28 football players died from direct injuries and another 68 died indirectly from causes such as dehydration. In the past ten years there has been an awareness movement by the NFL's players union that is attempting to bring light and gain benefits for players whose bodies endured the heavy toll of such a physical sport. Brain damage is at the forefront of the safety issues. I mention this because I'm a fan of Mixed Martial Arts, a sport that is still fighting to be legalized in some states such as New York due to safety issues. The perception is that the sport is brutal. The sport was rough around the edges during it's inaugural years but since then it has been regulated by the same state athletic commissions that regulate every other sport. Misnomers about killing opponents as a method for victory are believed as widely as people believed that death panels were a part of recent health reform. Public ignorance, whether it is over sports, politics, or human rights is a pet peeve of mine. You too?

Get the facts straight. Johns Hopkins and other neutral entities have found that MMA has a safety record that is consistent or better than most contact sports that are part of american culture. The truth is it is a regulated sport with less damage to the head than boxing or football and so on. It's true, there have been 2 deaths in MMA. That's 2 in the history of the sport, unlike the 96 that occurred in football during a five year span. In order to utilize grappling, fighters do wear smaller gloves than boxers. That leads to more broken hands than boxing. But I'd rather have a few screws in my hand than a few loose in my head.

So while the New York Times and others ignorantly bash what they aren't familiar with, the public's support of the sport is growing. It is strange that wrestling, boxing, karate, jujitsu, and grappling are acceptable - unless you do them all at once. Then it's bad. You can punch someone in the face. You can wrestle them to the ground. But don't dare punch someone and then wrestle them to the ground. That's uncivilized.

Ultimately, this is a generational thing. Given time, the public will be educated. Once educated, a person can choose whether or not to like something like anything else. Not, say for example, hate the Muslim faith because of the few that gave it a bad name. I personally am not in a hurry to ride a BMX bike, get tackled by Ray Lewis or get punched in the face by Mike Tyson. But for those that choose to, go for it. The hypocritical nature of accepting boxing or rugby but not MMA makes about as much sense as accepting alcohol and cigarettes but not marijuana. In the long run, quarterbacks might limp around in their later years and smokers might find themselves on the wrong end of cancer. I say as long as we accept war, loud music, sky diving, rock climbing, horse riding, white water rafting, cave diving, bull riding, motorcycling, surfing, downhill skiing or getting punched in a square ring, we might as well allow getting punched while in an octagon. I would rather live in a world with dodge ball and happy hour than in a bubble.

Giant Personalities

It's October. That means I've started to pay attention to baseball because the playoffs are underway. In the American league I'm rooting for the Texas Rangers.
Because they're not the Yankees.

In the National league I'm hoping the San Francisco Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies. Why? Two of their pitching aces have personalities. They're straight up characters. Tim Lincecum, who has won that past two Cy Young awards, led the National League in Strikeouts again this season. The Giants' relief pitcher, Brian Wilson, led the Majors in Saves. When not dominating from the pitcher's mound, Lincecum is getting busted for possession of marijuana and Wilson is perceived as crazy. And neither of these guys has done much to market themselves as squeaky clean or sane. And I like that. I'm also a fan b/c Wilson's beard looks no more real than a fake beard on SNL. Watching him pitch is hilarious. I keep waiting for that beard to fall off.

Way back when, I was a pitcher. An eccentric one at that. Pitching is as much a mind game as it is athleticism. Getting into people's heads before they step up to the plate is invaluable. Then again, maybe I like these guys because baseball is, let's face it, kind of boring. And these guys are the closest thing we've got to Bad News Bears underdogs or Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn from the movie Major League.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Blue

I rent a row house in the eclectic Stations North neighborhood in Baltimore. The neighborhood homeowners voted to erect a blue light on my corner to eliminate nearby transvestite prostitution.

Dear Homeowners, you're pissing on a hornet's nest. You conceded the territory as soon as you put up that light. Sure, up the street and down the way there were prostitutes but not on this corner. So yeah, sometimes at 4AM someone walked and yelled down the street in dramatic fashion. But you put up a light, everyone knows that corner is for sale and now you got manifest destiny. Every pusher, thug and junkie knows there’s action nearby. Good citizens passing through ain’t stopping here, ain’t buying here, ain’t renting here. All you’ve done is lower your property's value. You have to think like a criminal. You’re thinking like a man who has something to lose. 

I’m not saying I’m a thief or drug addict, but I’m not saint. And I know that there’s a difference in a man that does and doesn’t consider breaking the law every day. You wake up, breaking the law doesn’t even cross your mind. Sure, maybe you run a yellow light but when you’re at the grocery store you’re not considering stealing, starting an argument, raising any attention to yourself. You just want everyone to smile back at you so you can return home safely. Someone that has it bad, right and wrong is relevant. A means to an ends is nothing to sweat. They see a fence, they jump it. They see a window, they break it. And so what if they do. They’ve been beat up and broken down and made to feel worthless. Society tells the criminal, “Fuck you." Why should they care about war or the economy? Or you? They don’t care about yesterday or tomorrow. They care about now. And putting up a blue light is tapping them on the shoulder and giving them the finger. Now you’ve challenged them. You made a game of it. Given them a platform to say “Fuck you” back.

It used to be the prostitutes rarely showed their faces around here. Now they stand on the corner opposite the blue light for fun. Fuck you. Don’t forget the thrill of the heist. There is a reason you misbehaved when you were young. It’s fun. The risk of getting caught only makes it more exciting. Those are the times you remember. This blue light is making crime more exciting. The longer they go without getting caught the more bold they get. You only feed their egos with that light. Now my friends witness sex in cars parked under that light on a regular basis. And drug dealers are making themselves known at all hours of the day.

If blue lights were kryptonite, they wouldn't still need one three blocks away next to the police department three years later. A predator’s only predator is himself. You don’t stand a chance. Better not to provoke him. That’s pre-emptive shit, like in the middle east. Don’t try and scare them unless you’re prepared to go all the way, and beat them at their game. You don’t strike me as that kind of gangster. Your playing a different game with different rules. This isn’t a courthouse. You don’t bring a firm handshake to a gun fight.

Anything Less Would Be Uncivilized

I fight HIV in Africa from a desk in Baltimore. A major thorn in the prevention of HIV is rape. Mass rape in the Congo, Nigerian Militants raping pregnant women, and over one million annual virgin and infant rapes in South Africa are enough to disgust even those with little social conscience. This sort of cultural behavior is viewed as unique to the third world where human rights, social values and education are antiquated at best, barbaric at worst. There is no way we would allow such horrors here in the U.S. No way we'd abandon women, children and turn our cheeks when the most hanus crimes are evident in our own backyard. Aside from a television in every home, maybe we're not as first world as we believe we are.

Recently, a wave of gross disappointment has hit Baltimore that probes the question, just who can we trust? According to several reports, we cannot trust MTA OfficersSecurity Guards, or Baltimore City Police. A friend of mine involved in one of these cases says this is the tip of the iceberg. Other reports suggest hospital staff also neglect to test and treat women reporting rape. All of this on top of Baltimore City Police having to defend themselves in response to a recent report claiming that Baltimore has the nations highest rate of unfounded rape cases.

This suggests that the U.S. and African countries both perpetuate the problem thanks to shared deep-rooted denial and corroboration with perpetrators. But this sort of news rarely makes the front page so I hope major media follows these cases to the end. It's pretty rare that you hear about rape in Africa. It's a downer; acknowledging and discussing the rape epidemic in Africa might call too much attention to our own insecurities. Regardless of what comes of these local rape cases, I'm sure the results will only make the back page. Our only other option would be to confront the problem. Maybe after after elections... until then, women and children live at their own risk.

Call For Entries

Give us your desperate, your jilted, your lonely masturbating masses … your scorned and repulsive rejects yearning for acceptance!
EMP Collective is hitting the nation’s capital with a heaping dose of heartache, alienation, and good ol’ fashioned cardiac stompings this February 2011 with (…and you’re just not good enough).
EMP unites artists from across the country, blurring the divides between film, theatre, music, dance, and the visual arts. (…and you’re just not good enough) is a collaborative, multimedia art show where artists are invited to tear apart our deep-seated need for acceptance and uncover what it means to have your guts ripped out of your torso, thrown on the ground, and left for feral cats to gnaw on.
Previously devised works, developing works, and new proposals for this show are being accepted through November 15, 2010.
EMP Collective is passionate about artist collaboration, transforming local spaces, and bringing new, diverse art to new and diverse audiences. We’ve previously collaborated with writers, poets, musicians, actors, dancers, clowns, filmmakers, photographers, installation artists, and painters to create provocative, entertaining, and social art events and want to do so with YOU.
Want to get in on the action on another level? EMP is also looking to collaborate with local directors, designers, and production geeks.
And remember — EMP LOVES YOU.
Kiss and tell,
EMP Collective

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I'd like to learn more flash so I could potentially make the blog a visual experience up front like the site for the White Stripes
White Stripes

Objects on the page are also animated when hovered over. Looking forward to Adobe growing pains.


I see navigation as part of the design, part of the graphics. Expanding on more examples of preferred navigation styles I'd like to use a tab or image/tab type setup similar to. &

Criterion also has a blog-like page for News but I prefer the Explore page. It could easily be adapted to Written, Visual, and Film. The NPR page is busier so I don't anticipating needing that much variance until my growth warrants it.


No idea.

I'm not too interested in posting/publishing new work via my blog. Video entries, written rants, or any sort of promotional material for upcoming performances seems more likely. Might consider prior written/visual/film projects as an interactive resume.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Week 1 Assignment, part 5 - los terribles

While searching for good blogs all I could find was crud. While searching for terrible blogs all I could find was decent or boring. I'm not sure if these blogs are terrible but I'm including them in this post b/c they're difficult to read. And they hurt my face.
Deborah Horton - RED!
Patrick Dorazio - Visual Overload

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Week 1 Assignment, part 4 - I'd like to do something like...

I'd like a clean design that utilizes images. Something in between You, The Living and Harp & Altar - the navigation links on both sites are friendly to use and every page is smooth.
Old man drags a dog, slowly - You, The Living

Not that clutter/collage can't be appealing...
Exile on Main St. - Rolling Stones

Week 1 Assignment, part 3 - Hypertext Narrative

The Brain of Katherine Mansfield offers a sarcastic approach to bad narrative decisions. Any time you are lame and end up closing the book, you receive a tongue lashing, "Fool! Miserable worm! Prepare to pay the price of your despicable need for security. You enter the house to find the bloody bodies of your parents on the floor. Also your puppy, Shane. Even now an escaped axe murderer lies in wait for you behind the bathroom door. The adventure on which you refused to embark is already over." Moral of the story: party-poopers and scaredy-cats need not apply.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week 1 Assignment, part 2 - Excellent Online Lit Journal

Harp & Altar is a smooth ride. It's light, clean, and simple. You can hop around quickly with little change in structure and layout. Super friendly.

Like Harp & Altar, Glitter Pony and Conduit use simple designs but they spice up their pages with color. Conduit tries a little too hard with their animated pop-out window but it remains easy to surf.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Week 1 Assignment, part 1 - Self Promotion Blog(s) I Approve of...

How a Poem Happens uses a simple layout that fills the page edges with a blurred photo, adding some color without distracting from the blog. There are "non-threatening" links in the right side bar but the page is free from clutter, ads, and spam. As of today, I've found myself using a similar template. And I can't be wrong, right?
Kim or Lisa also uses a simple layout with side wall paper and a clean vertical bar running up/down the links bar.

They also barrow quality photos from which doesn't hurt. Overall, both of these templates are clean and the authors have avoided vandalizing them thus far.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Is this thing on?

This is the part where everyone listens to the roadie say "check, check" into the mic.