Pull up a seat and have a steaming cup with me as we discuss issues central to the west-indian community, the african-american community and the LGBT community.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Are you Kidding Me?

(AP) She is Barbie's oldest friend, happily married and visibly pregnant with her second child — and some parents think she's a little too real for their children.

The pregnant version of Midge, which pops out a curled-up baby when her belly is opened — has been pulled from Wal-Mart shelves across the country following complaints from customers, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

"It was just that customers had a concern about having a pregnant doll," Wal-Mart Stores spokeswoman Cynthia Illick said.

She said the entire "Happy Family" set, which included pregnant Midge, husband Alan and 3-year-old son Ryan, was pulled from shelves of the world's largest retailer earlier this month.

"What we try to do is listen to what our customers want," Illick said. "In this case, we decided to remove the product from the shelves. I think it was a unique situation."

Messages left for representatives of the toy's maker, Mattel Inc., were not returned Tuesday.

Midge was introduced in 1963, a freckle-faced redhead and the first of a slew of friends and family members for Barbie, the blue-eyed blonde who first appeared four years earlier and has been one of the world's top-selling dolls ever since.

In Barbie-land, Midge married boy-doll Alan in 1991, and the happy couple already has a 3-year-old son, Ryan.

The pregnant Midge, who wears a tiny white wedding ring, has a detachable magnetic stomach that allows easy "delivery" of the baby.

An article on Mattel's Barbie.com Web site says the "Happy Family" dolls are designed to satisfy the desire for nurturing play by girls age 5 to 8, and can be "a wonderful prop for parents to use with their children to role-play family situations — especially in families anticipating the arrival of a new sibling."

Manager Bill Boehmer of the KB Toys store in Northeast Philadelphia's Roosevelt Mall said the doll was selling well, and he had heard no negative responses from customers.

"I've had people laugh, but I haven't had anyone say this was ridiculous or 'What are we trying to tell these kids?' or anything like that," Boehmer said.

But at KB Toys in the Gallery mall in downtown Philadelphia reaction from last-minute Christmas shoppers was negative.

"It's a bad idea. It promotes teenage pregnancy. What would an 8-year-old or 12-year-old get out of that doll baby?" asked Sabrina Fagan, 29, of Philadelphia.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fave Fives - April Edition.

It's that time of the month again. No... not that time of the month - it's time for my "fave five" where I bring you five of my most favorite things of the month - think a very low budget Oprah's favorite things.

5) Daily Candy -

My number five this month is a website called Daily Candy. It's a free daily e-mail from the front lines of fashion, food, and fun. Sign up to get the scoop on hot new restaurants, designers, secret nooks, and charming diversions in your city and beyond.
I've been receiving these tiny morsels of coolness in my email every day for years now. It's completely free and they provide you with the scoop on only the newest, coolest, fashion, gadgets, websites and everything else. You can sign up to get the events and specific happenings for your own city or you can sign up for the nationwide events and websites. I love it. How else would I have known about 'GoCakeGo', a website that allows you to order a birthday party in a box- complete with a delicious cake and colorful party favors. Or, the OhmyBod umm... personal stimulator? Think, an ipod that really satisfies (wink).
4) Gone Baby Gone -
I just saw this movie (compliments of blockbuster online) last weekend. I had 'slept on it', so to speak, when it came out in theaters last year and only added it to my blockbuster queue recently for the heck of it. I thought, "It's a film written and directed by the guy who starred in 'Gigli' -- one of the worst movies of all time-- and it stars his baby brother. How good could it be?" I didn't expect to like it, I didn't want to like it. But, the movie , as well as little brother Casey completely blew me away. Gone Baby Gone is a crime drama based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. The story begins with the disappearance of a toddler who's mother is a drug addict and a typical strung out junkie with all the trimmings. The child's aunt hires a private detective (Affleck) to assist the police in trying to find her. The twists, turns and surprises begin from there and don't stop until the credits roll. By the end you find yourself asking the questions, 'what would I have done' and, 'is the right thing always the right thing?'. It definitely got me thinking, a goal many movies aspire to but few actually accomplish. Gone Baby Gone was nominated for an Oscar and also stars Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Amy Ryan and Michelle Monaghan. If you've been sleeping on it like I have, rent it today! Also see :The Assasination of Jesse James also starring Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt. I predict we're going to be talking about Casey for a long time into the future. He's extremely talented.
3) Cost-Co -Don't laugh! Where I come from, a 24 hour store that sells EVERYTHING like Wal-mart is unheard of. Similarly, a whole-sale mega-store like Cost-co or Sam's club? Nope. So you cant blame me for being a little excited that I can now say I'm literally a 'card-carrying member'. It was a proud day to pose for my picture and then add my new Cost-Co membership card to my wallet. [Note: that's not my actual wallet in the picture above. My wallet has many more unnecessary receipts,credit cards I haven't used in ages, random business cards for businesses/people that I have no intention of doing business with and other meaningless crap]
Anyway, I'm loving Cost-co: the quality, the selection, the convenience of having almost everything you could ever need and want in one place and most of all the prices! Also, their eatery is a great place to get a really delicious, really cheap lunch or dinner. Yum!
2)The Cheesecake Factory's 'Blackout Cake' -
Okay, I knew The Cheesecake Factory had amazing cheesecake - my favorite is the Banana Cream; to quote the fabulous B. Scott, "Take me higher Lord!" - but I had no idea how equally amazing their other desserts were. I found out recently when my girlfriend surprised me by bringing me home a slice of their wonderful Blackout Cake. Here's what their online menu says about it. "Our Deepest, Richest, Most Fudgy Chocolate Cake Filled with Chocolate Chips and Finished with Almonds." Yeahhhhhhh that's about right, but I would've added, Fudge combined with moist cake feels like silk when they first enter your mouth, that rich, bold chocolate flavor explodes on your tongue and then you crunch on those tasty almonds and instantly you know what the food in heaven must taste like. :) To quote B. Scott once more, "...Splendiferous..absolutely di-vine".

1)Spirit and E=MC2

She's the first British solo act to have a debut album top the charts in the US. Ever since she won Pop Idol, critics have been comparing her to every great female singer of our time. But I've never been one to listen to all the hype. We all know critics can be licking your boots one minute and kicking you with their boots the next. So it wasn't until I watched Leona Lewis for myself, during her live performance on Oprah, that I was I forced to agree with them. I found myself in awe of her performance, her humility but obviously the real appeal are her pipes. The girl has a voice even more beautiful that she is.

Mariah Carey knows all too well that one of the trappings of fame is a fickle media . Not too long ago they were deeming her certifiable - now, understandably, she's the subject of their unworthy praise. She's a 'rare bird' in the industry, someone who can scrape their way up from the bottom once is amazing enough - much less twice! She's proven her undeniable talent and her clear intelligence once again and no one's calling her crazy now.

Despite the comparison between the two, Mariah Carey, the seasoned vet with the most number one singles of any American artist, and the talented new girl on the block who's already making an impressive notch for herself in a worldwide arena, their current albums are both unique and amazing to hear. I've been playing them both non-stop because they remind me of a time when music was ....well, good. Remember when you could tell the artist and their team really put time, love and dedication into their project? When every song took you on a journey to a new place and a new emotion instead of 75% of the album being dedicated to songs about picking someone up in a bar? When an album consisted of 17 tracks (without interludes) that were well worth the money? Well, if you're nostalgic for the good ole days like I was, pick up both these albums and see why they both get the coveted number one spot on my faves list.

Wonders Never Cease!

NEW YORK - Three detectives were acquitted of all charges Friday in the 50-shot killing of an unarmed groom-to-be on his wedding day, a case that put the New York Police Department at the center of another dispute involving allegations of excessive firepower.

Justice Arthur Cooperman delivered the verdict in a Queens courtroom packed with spectators, including victim Sean Bell's fiancee and parents, as at least 200 people gathered outside the building.

As word of the verdict spread, many outside the courthouse began crying and yelled "No!" Some briefly jostled with police officers.
Bell, a 23-year-old black man, was killed in a hail of gunfire outside a strip club in Queens on Nov. 25, 2006 — his wedding day — as he was leaving his bachelor party with two friends.

The officers, complaining that pretrial publicity had unfairly painted them as cold-blooded killers, opted to have the judge decide the case rather than a jury.

Officers Michael Oliver, 36, and Gescard Isnora, 29, stood trial for manslaughter while Officer Marc Cooper, 40, was charged only with reckless endangerment. Two other shooters weren't charged. Oliver squeezed off 31 shots; Isnora fired 11 rounds; and Cooper shot four times.

A conviction on manslaughter could have brought up to 25 years in prison; the penalty for reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, is a year behind bars.

Painful memories of other NYPD cases
The case brought back painful memories of other NYPD shootings, such as the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo — an African immigrant who was gunned down in a hail of 41 bullets by police officers who mistook his wallet for a gun. The acquittal of the officers in that case created a storm of protest, with hundreds arrested after taking to the streets in demonstration.

The mood surrounding this case has been muted by comparison, although Bell's fiancee, parents and their supporters, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, have held rallies demanding that the officers — two of whom are black — be held accountable.

The defendants, who were investigating reports of prostitution at the Kalua Cabaret, say they became alarmed when they heard Bell and his friends trade insults around the 4 a.m. closing time with another patron who appeared to be armed. In grand jury testimony, Isnora claimed that he overheard one of Bell's companions, Joseph Guzman, say, "Yo, go get my gun."

Isnora responded by trailing Bell, Guzman and Trent Benefield to Bell's car. He insisted that he ordered the men to halt and that he and other officers began shooting only after Bell bumped him with his car and slammed into an unmarked police van while trying to flee.

Guzman and Benefield both played down the dispute outside the club. They also testified that they were unaware police were watching them and that the gunfire erupted without warning.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Gay Marriage is Wrong!

1) Homosexuality is not natural. Real people always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay in the same way that hanging around tall people will encourage you to be tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all -- women are still property, blacks still aren’t supposed to marry whites.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if homosexual marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Brittany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed! 

6) Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Homosexual couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in North America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Our Dying World...

Whenever, I think of the state of our world - the war, the famine, the poverty, the hopelessness, the crime, the pollution, the hate and all the injustice - I think of a few lines from the song, One Song by Tevin Campbell. He sings:
There's just one sun, that warms our day. The same moon and stars, light our way. This little ball, whirling in space; it's our only home, our only place.
I believe if we all thought of the world that way, as a little ball floating in a vast universe;all we have - then maybe we'd learn to love and value each other more and we'd learn to love and value our planet more as well.
Just imagine what tomorrow would bring, if we all sing, 'one song'. Happy Earth Day.

Everyday Should Be Earth Day - Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

There are many simple ways to reduce the footprint you leave on the planet. Learn how to reduce your footprint in each consumption category–carbon, food, housing, and goods and services—but don’t stop there. Amplify your impact by encouraging others to follow your lead. Engage your friends and community with local and global movements for social change, or start your own movement! 


  • Use cleaner transport
  • Walk, bike, or take public transit whenever possible.
  • Avoid allowing your car to idle. If you’ll be waiting for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine (except in traffic). And don’t take the drive-through—park the car and walk inside instead.
  • Have your vehicle serviced regularly to keep the emission control systems operating at peak efficiency. Check your car's air filter monthly, and keep the tires adequately inflated to maximize gas mileage.
  • Avoid short airplane trips—take a bus or train instead.
  • Add energy-saving features to your home
  • Install compact fluorescent bulbs in all your home light fixtures—but remember, compact fluorescents contain mercury, so look for low-mercury models and be sure to dispose of old bulbs safely through your local hazardous waste program.
  • Weatherproof your home. Make sure your walls and ceilings are insulated, and consider double-pane windows. Eliminate drafts with caulking, weather strips, and storm windows and doors.
  • Insulate your water heater. Even better, switch to a tankless water heater, so your water will be heated only as you use it.
  • Choose energy efficient appliances.
  • Adopt energy-saving habits
  • Keep thermostat relatively low in winter and ease up on the air conditioning in summer. Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended to keep the A/C operating at peak efficiency.
  • Unplug your electronics when not in use. To make it easier, use a power strip. Even when turned off, items like your television, computer, and cellphone charger still sip power.
  • Dry your clothes outside whenever possible.
  • Make minimal use of power equipment when landscaping.
  • Defrost your refrigerator and freezer regularly.
  • Choose green electricity. Many utilities give you the option to purchase electricity generated by wind and solar power for a small rate surcharge.
  • Purchase carbon offsets to make up for the energy use you can’t eliminate.
  • Eat more local, organic, in-season foods.
  • Plant a garden—it doesn’t get more local than that.
  • Shop at your local farmer’s market or natural foods store. Look for local, in-season foods that haven’t traveled long distances to reach you.
  • Choose foods with less packaging to reduce waste.
  • Eat lower on the food chain—going meatless for just one meal a week can make a difference. Globally, it has been estimated that 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions are associated with meat consumption.
  • Choose sustainable building materials, furnishings, and cleaning products.
  • Explore green design features for your building, like passive solar heating, a rainwater catchment or grey water recycling system, and recycled materials.
  • Choose efficient appliances, including low flow shower heads, faucets, and toilets.
  • Choose furnishings that are second-hand, recycled, or sustainably produced.
  • Plant drought tolerant plants in your garden and yard.
  • Use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products.
  • Adopt water-saving habits
  • Take shorter, less frequent showers—this not only saves water, but the energy necessary to heat it.
  • Don’t use the garbage disposal. Compost instead.
  • Run the dishwasher and the laundry machine only when full.
  • Wash cars rarely, or better yet, take them to a carwash. Commercial carwashes use less water per wash than home washers, and they are also required to drain used water into the sewage system, rather than storm drains, which protects aquatic life.
  • Avoid hosing down or power-washing your deck, walkways, or driveway.
  • Regularly look for and fix leaks.
  • Buy less! Replace items only when you really need to.
  • Recycle all your paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic. Don’t forget electronics!
  • Compost food waste for the garden. Garbage that is not contaminated with degradable (biological) waste can be more easily recycled and sorted, and doesn't produce methane gases (a significant greenhouse gas contributor) when stored in a landfill.
  • Buy recycled products, particularly those labeled "post-consumer waste."
Take the Quiz and find out how big your carbon footprint is.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Oh those clever,clever Japanese!

We all know how creative the Japanese are and now we can all further benefit by their ingenuity without leaving the country. The Japan Trend Shop is a website that allows the average person to order these 'anything-but-average' cool, new gadgets and inventions. There are hundreds of amazing items to choose from ranging in price from about $20 to about $5,000!  I just had to share some of my faves! 

Who wouldn't want this item right before a big date? Before going in for that goodnight kiss, it may be in your best interest to excuse yourself and check that breath with the Etiquette Checker.

Etiquette Checker - bad breath and alcohol test.

Wondering if your breath is as bad as you think it is? Don’t realize how bad it is because you’ve had a bit too much too drink?Now you can check BOTH the quality of your breath and how alcohol level with the Etiquette Checker from TopMan. Simply breath into the tester and get your results! Your breath is ranked good to bad from 1-6, and alcohol level in 0.5 increments.

Kiss your ordinary Piggy Bank goodbye! 

This is toooo cute. It's called the FaceBank for obvious reasons. Feed it a coin and watch it actually chew and swallow it, complete with sound and a moving mouth and eyes. I may just have to order one for my unborn niece so that as soon as she's born she'll be able to start saving her pennies. It comes in a variety of colors and uses three AAA batteries. 

Get ready to start your morning off with a bang! We've all wanted to throw the alarm clock against the wall at 6 am (some of us have actually given in to the urge).  It's a habit that could really ruin a clock...not to mention a wall. Not with the hand grenade alarm clock though. 
 It's designed to be thrown. In fact, throwing it is the only way to turn it off! Very Cool.

There are many,many more interesting gadgets on the site. Check it out. 

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ape Sex

My girlfriend is an interesting creature. She gets her news both from CNN and PerezHilton. Her favorite TV shows consist of both smart, medical shows as well as Hannah Montana. Her favorite reading material? - Harry Potter and TIME magazine! Eccentric. But I love her anyway. 

I've become a TIME lover now myself because of her but I usually don't get around to reading the articles until after she's done with them. So she's able to point me in the right direction of the most interesting and eyebrow-raising articles. The other day she turned me on to an article she said I just had to read in the latest issue. It was about Bonobo Apes .They're really fascinating creatures that make their homes in the wild of the Congo. 

What makes them so interesting is not just their incredibly peaceful nature - which is far more peaceful than any other species of Apes. Apes are known for beating their females, killing their infants and other forms of torture. What's really interesting about the Bonobos is not only are they incredibly peaceful, it's the way in which they resolve their conflicts. They have sex! Wild, passionate, sensual sex like only apes can (I assume)

I'm talking ....straight sex :

Gay/Lesbian Sex: (These are two Females) 
"Solo" Sex:
and even Bisexual and Group Sex:

Don't they look like they're plotting some exciting events for this young lady? If i were her I'd run as far away from these horny, little apes as possible.lol. Look at the one on top of her-he's just claimed that chick as his ''human biatch'' 

The article claims the Bonobos are most like humans in their looks and behavior. Check this chick out... 
Ape yoga maybe? :)

The truth is we could learn a lot from them. What would happen if we... not necessarily had sex with every person we were having a bit of an issue with - but what about at least showing that person a little bit of affection, some warmth, some understanding and yeah, some love. I bet we wouldn't be fighting so many meaningless wars right now. The world would definitely be a much better place. 

Further Reading: 
Short YouTube clip of them "getting it on"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hiatus Interrupted?

I'm back. Or so it seems. I call this entry 'hiatus interrupted' because I'm not sure if If I'm really back for good or if this is just a brief ''peek-a-boo, I see you!''. 

Where have I been? Well, I wish I could say I was off traipsing through Europe or that I was at home in the Bahamas enjoying the feeling of cool, pink sand squishing between my toes. Unfortunately, I can blame my sudden absence on a tropical excursion as much as Bush can blame his incompetence as a president on ... Mickey Mouse. The truth is, I've been preoccupied with life  - the highs, the lows  and the vast and undeniable middle. Lately, I've been more or less stuck between the lower portion of the middle and the higher portion of the low. Not a good place to be. Follow my analogy:
If 'high' is a toe-curling, skin tingling, hair straightening orgasm; and 'low' is a brutal series of violent kicks to the groin by a big, hairy trucker wearing steel-toed boots, then the 'middle' is like being constantly poked in the ribs by your tireless five year old cousin....over and over...and over...and over...and over...and over - it's annoyance, irritation and frustration comparable to Chinese Water Torture. Yes, the middle definitely has the ability to render a person certifiably insane. 

Money (more specificially the lack of it) grad school, immigration woes, student loans... et cetera.  Those issues sit on the very tip of the incredibly large iceberg of my worries -- just the tip! Of course I realize I shouldn't complain and that there are people all over the globe who'd literally kill for my issues. I try to remind myself of that fact and count my blessings as much as possible. Talk about easier said than done!

But, I'll live. Of that I'm certain. One thing I do know, thanks to my faith in God and the support of my incredible girlfriend, (neither of whom I deserve but thank goodness they love me anyway), 'trouble doesn't last always'. As cliche as that sounds, well, it's a morsel of hope worth holding on to - furthermore, it's usually true. 

A song that always lifts me up in times like these because of it's really inspirational lyrics and soothing melodies...'Bridge over Troubled Water' 

And with that, I'll adjourn; feeling better already.

Until Tomorrow..

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Day to Reflect on.

I know we've probably all seen the speeches a thousand times. Some of us know them by heart. But, today on the 40th anniversary of Dr.Martin Luther King's death, let's take a few mins, pull up a speech (any one) off of YouTube, watch it and take some time to reflect on who the man was, what he stood for and what he would say/think today. Rest in Peace Dr.King.

'How To' of the Day:The "Pinocchio Effect"

The Pinocchio effect, named after the fictional puppet-turned-boy of the same name, is a tactile illusion, an illusion that uses your sense of touch to "trick" your brain. Such illusions are remarkable because they challenge what we think we know about our perception of the world. Want to expand your nose and your mind? Try it out.


  • Arrange two chairs, one right behind the other. The chairs should both be facing the same direction.

  • Sit in the rear chair and have a friend sit in the chair in front of you.

  • Blindfold yourself or keep your eyes shut throughout the exercise.

  • Have your friend guide one of your hands to his or her nose. It will probably be easier to use your dominant hand for this part.

  • Bring your other hand up to your own nose.

  • Tap and stroke your friend's nose. Hopefully you're good friends, as this can seem a bit weird. Randomly alternate between tapping your friend's nose and lightly stroking it, as though you're trying to communicate with Morse Code. The more random your movements, the more likely you'll feel the Pinocchio effect. Be gentle.

  • Tap and stroke your own nose with identical movements. As you're tapping and stroking your friend's nose, use your other hand to reproduce the taps and strokes on your own nose. Try to synchronize the movements of your hands as closely as possible.

  • Continue for 30 seconds to a minute. After a while, you may start to feel as though your nose is three feet long (hence the name Pinocchio effect) or that your nose is somehow no longer connected to your body. Try it a couple times if it doesn't work the first time, and make sure the movements of your two hands are as identical as possible. If it still doesn't work, don't worry: about 50% of people can feel the Pinocchio effect, and you may be one of the other 50%.


  • Another variation is to tap your friend's nose as above but to have another friend tap yours (instead of you tapping your own nose).

  • This can be a fun way for teachers to illustrate the complexities of the mind to children.