Obama- Inspired Hope Goes Only so Far in Kenya


via LA Times

Reporting from Kobama, Kenya — He’s from the same family that produced President-elect Barack Obama. He shares many of the same hopes and dreams. He’s even got the same name.

This Barack Obama, 26, a cousin who was named after the president-elect’s Kenyan father, was elated when someone with African roots rose to the world’s most powerful job.

“I felt I could do anything,” said the lanky student, whose buddies now call him “the President” after his famous U.S. relative. “I felt anything is possible.”

There is no question the U.S. president-elect’s victory has encouraged countless Africans to reach for new heights. But as the euphoria over his election begins to fade here, young Africans are beginning to see his inspirational story as bittersweet. Continue reading

Facebook’s War on Nipples

via Time

The breast-feeding wars have long followed a familiar pattern. A woman gets thrown off a plane for nursing her toddler; she sues Delta. Barbara Walters says sitting next to a breast-feeding woman made her “uncomfortable”; ABC’s headquarters get surrounded by 200 women staging a “nurse-in.” Maggie Gyllenhaal is photographed nursing her daughter in public; tabloids rush to either praise her as a role model or tell her to throw a blanket over her shoulder.

The sides have been distinct: breast-feeding advocates insist that women should be able to nurse anytime, anyplace, while opponents use words like discretion and discomfort. But the latest battle apparently has nothing to do with the best way to nourish a baby or the boundaries between private and public. It’s about the nipples, stupid. breastfeeding

Facebook has drawn a line in the sand by removing any photos it deems obscene, including those containing a fully exposed breast, which the site defines as “showing the nipple or areola.” In other words, plunging necklines or string bikinis are fine — just no nips. The purging of bare-boob pics began last summer and has swept up, alongside any girls gone wild, a growing number of proud — and very ticked-off — breast feeders. (Read about giving birth at home.)

On Dec. 27, some 11,000 protesters held a virtual nurse-in by uploading breast-feeding photos onto their Facebook profiles, and 20 or so women showed up at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., to breast-feed there. By Dec. 30, more than 85,000 members had joined a Facebook group called “Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!” Continue reading

Users Baffled as Zune MP3 Players Freeze Up

via CNN

(CNN) — Baffled consumers are griping about a mysterious glitch that appeared to cause thousands of Zune music players to simultaneously stop working late Tuesday and early Wednesday.zune_gi

Internet message boards have been flooded with complaints about Zune’s 30GB models freezing, prompting Y2K-like speculation about end-of-year hardware or software problems.

Other users report their Zunes reboot but freeze when the startup status bar reaches 100 percent. A post on Zune.net titled “Help-frozen zune!!!!” had attracted more than 19,000 comments by Wednesday afternoon.

Some Zune users have dubbed the crisis “Y2K9” or “Z2K9,” a reference to New Year’s Eve and concerns over potential widespread computer failures on January 1, 2000 — fears that proved unfounded.

Zune users were still trying to discover the cause of the problem Wednesday afternoon. Continue reading

Is Recession Behind Spike in Bank Robberies?

via CNN

NEW YORK (CNN) — A rash of bank robberies in New York has the city’s police commissioner worried that criminals have turned banks into “virtual cash machines” and some wondering whether tough economic times are fueling the trend.art_robbery_nypd

On Monday alone, robbers targeted five banks in the Big Apple, some striking in broad daylight and near famous landmarks.

Police called the incidents unrelated, but they’re just the latest examples of the growing tally of hold-ups.

Bank robberies in New York have risen 54 percent compared with last year, with criminals committing more than 430 in the past 12 months, according to the New York police department. Continue reading

Top 20 Artists of 2008 by Combined Sales

What I think is most shocking about this list is that Michael Jackson still managed to sell 1.4 million albums. For all the flack he gets in the media and much of it well deserved, he still is a viable brand and is still making a bunch of people money. Who woulda thunk?


Close but no cigar for Lil Wayne, he came in a close second for combined record sales in 2008.

via Hitsdailydouble Top 20 Artists of 2008 by Combined Sales of All Releases (in Millions of Units):

1. AC/DC 3.4 2.

Lil Wayne 3.3

3. Taylor Swift 3.2

4. Coldplay 2.5

5. Metallica 2.3

Continue reading

Viacom Could Pull MTV Off Time Warner Cable

I was actually watching television while blogging and saw this news scroll across the bottom of the screen. Viacom is always in some type of dispute, and trying to wring every penny possible from the consumer.picture-491

LOS ANGELES – Media giant Viacom Inc. is threatening to pull MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon and 16 other channels from Time Warner Cable Inc. if a new carriage fee deal is not agreed upon by midnight Wednesday.

If realized, the move could shut off popular shows like “The Colbert Report” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” to 13 million subscribers, said spokesman Alex Dudley, a vice president at Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second-largest cable operator.

Continue reading

Text Rip-Off? Pricey Messages ‘Cost Virtually Nothing’ to Carriers

All I can say is WOW!!!

Fox News: In 2008, 2.5 trillion messages were sent from cell phones worldwide, up 32 percent from the year before, according to the Gartner Group and reported by The New York Times. But what also went up in the last three years was the price — doubling from 10 to 20 cents per message while the industry consolidated from six major carriers to four.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

[pics]DJ AM’s Nike Air Yeezys

DJ AM's Nike Air Yeezys
Nike Air Yeezy

DJ AM's Nike Air Yeezys
DJ AM showing up to the courts wearing the Nike Air Yeezy

DJ AM's Nike Air Yeezys
DJ AM’s Nike Air Yeezys

DJ AM's Nike Air Yeezys
Mike Epps and DJ AM playing for kicks – literally.

DJ AM's Nike Air Yeezys
DJ AM kissing his Nike Air Yeezys “Good Bye”

DJ AM's Nike Air Yeezys
Mike Epps feeling his new pair of Nike Air Yeezys

DJ AM's Nike Air Yeezys

via Nice Kicks

Yesterday we posted the full length version of a new video promoting the Nike Zoom Kobe IV coming to NikeiD. Besides the latest signature shoe for Kobe Bryant were a handful of great kicks, but none quite as attention getting DJ AM’s Nike Air Yeezys. We couldn’t help but take a few screen grabs from the high res video to show all of you multiple angles of the Yeezys.

One thing that caught our eye is that down the back of the heel tab is “Y-E-E-Z-Y”. Will this be on the pairs that hit retail in March or just for VIP’s like DJ AM? I guess we will have to wait and see. For the mean time, check out more angles DJ AM’s Air Yeezys after the break.

Obama Remains Mum on Middle East Flare Up

via Mail Online

Barack Obama remained silent over the violence in Gaza as Israel today threatened to continue its attacks for weeks.

Instead, the President-elect is continuing his 12-day Christmas holiday in Hawaii and was seen enjoying a round of golf.

He joined a group of friends at a private club near his £6million rented, beach-front holiday home yesterday.


Shh: Mr Obama, who is staying silent on the Israeli attacks, asks the crowd to be quiet as he finishes his putt

Meanwhile, 9,000 miles away in the Middle East, Israel today rejected any truce with Hamas and said it was ready for ‘long weeks of action’ in the Gaza Strip.


 Observers said that at least ten people were killed and another 40 injured as up to 16 bombs were dropped by Israeli warplanes during early morning attacks.

The targets included the offices of Hamas prime minister Ismael Haniyeh, police stations and Gaza’s treasury and foreign ministry buildings.

Palestinian officials say more than 385 people have been killed since Saturday. Four Israelis have died in rocket fire.

Sites linked to Hamas’ military wing Izzadin Kazzam were also hit, including the home of the Gaza division commander.

The death toll so far in Gaza is estimated at 320, with five Israeli fatalities, and hundreds of injuries.


Grief: Palestinian mourners carry the body of four-year-old Haya Hamdan in Gaza Continue reading

VYBZ KARTEL Celebrates His Win @ Sting With A New Mavado Diss “LAST MAN STANDING”

Hours after the clash between Vybz Kartel and Mavado at Sting 2008, Kartel has recorded a song boldly declaring that Mavado ran from the war.
Entitled Don’t Run (Last Man Standing) the song was recorded Saturday morning and was produced by Portmore Empire affiliated producer Not Nice. In the song Kartel dubs Mavado the ‘runner’ stating that the artiste ran before completing the clash.
When THE STAR contacted Kartel yesterday he said, “They can’t say they won war when, one, he deejayed one song twice, two, he called me barber when he turned instant idiot; three, he abruptly left the stage with the band, which is his band. I tested him on him own band and he failed so I built that song to remind him clashing is about the last man standing. Not the first boy running.”

source: smartenup

Will Smith wants to do more ‘Bad Boys’ movies with Martin Lawrence

I must say I was a fan of both movies and would pay the outrageous $12.50 to see another installment. Martin the ball is in your court!


via Filthy Rag

Will Smith wants to make more Bad Boys movies.

Smith – who is married to actress Jada Pinkett Smith – says if his co-star Martin Lawrence is up for the challenge he would love to carry on the successful franchise.

Will says, “I would do up to Bad Boys 6 if I could. I have so much fun working with Martin Lawrence. I love Miami.

“It’s like that little boy fantasy is fast cars and girls and I got the gun and the bad guy’s always lose. It’s like I would make Bad Boys forever if I could.”

Showbiz Spy reported yesterday that Will is currently in talks for Hancock and I Am Legend

50 Cent Shaves $ 4Million Off Conneticut Mansion

Source : Mediatakeout

The housing bubble has definitely hit a ton of people across the board. Even the mighty 50 Cent has to rethink the price for his mansion which is probably more of a headache then anything else right now. He has wanted to get rid of this property for years. But if he manages to get at least 6-8 million for it he has made a very nice profit.


via Courant

The slowing real estate market has caught up with 50 Cent.

After almost two years on the market, the rapper has lowered the price of his Farmington mega-mansion from $18.5 million to $14.5 million, a 21 percent price cut.

“It’s the market,” acknowledged listing agent Deborah Orr of Keller Williams Realty. “With a unique property, everyone acknowledges it’s difficult to pinpoint the perfect market price. We feel we need to stimulate some activity, and that was the intent of the price cut.”

Even with the price reduction, the home is still the most expensive home listing in the region.

The home, on Poplar Hill Road, was purchased by 50 Cent in 2003 for $4.1 million.picture-372

The 17-acre property, which in the past has been home to real estate swindler BenjaminSisti and boxing champion Mike Tyson, has many sumptuous features, including a helipad, a 40-person hot tub, a movie theater, two billiard rooms and a disco. It has 18 bedrooms and 37 bathrooms.

Polo Ralph Lauren fits 88-Keys just fine

This whole week I’ve been encountering Polo related news and anyone who knows my story knows that is very much rooted in all things Ralph Lauren, so hence the post!

via LA Times

Reporting from New York — He wears many hats — rapper, singer, producer for artists such as Mos Def and Macy Gray — but 88-Keys, whose teasingly genre-bending debut “The Death of Adam” was released this month, insists that all his hats bear one label: Polo by Ralph Lauren.88_keys

The Harlem resident, whose album was executive-produced by best friend Kanye West, has been collecting the best of Lauren’s Americana style since 1993 and refuses to sport any other label — ever. Born Charles Njapa, 88-Keys talks to The Times about being a “LOhead,” shopping with West, and why Ralph Lauren is the only designer worth getting obsessive-compulsive about.

Let’s start with the obvious: What are you wearing?

Today I’m wearing Polo from a fall collection of ’06 called Indian Pointe, which is inspired by a trip to the Adirondacks. The entire collection, which I own 61 pieces of, is a mixture of Native American print and American western. As you can see, we’ve got the Indian Pointe saddle rodeo belt here; these are called the Clarence shoes, even down to the socks, Indian Pointe blanket socks. I’m wearing the Indian Pointe Murphy jeans — not to be confused with the Indian Pointe Murphy Vintage Jeans, which are more distressed — and the Indian Pointe sweat shirt and hat. This is all from the same collection, down to — actually, I had an Indian Pointe T-shirt on, but my daughter spit up on it this morning — the flannel underneath. Oh, and the Polo glasses, boxers and wallet. When I say head to toe, it’s head to toe. Continue reading

DMX Pleads Guilty To Multiple Charges In Arizona

via MTV News


DMX‘s legal woes in Arizona finally came to a close Tuesday morning (December 30), as the rapper entered into an agreement that will allow a number of charges to be dropped against him.

In return, the former Ruff Ryders star (known legally as Earl Simmons) formally pleaded guilty to four lesser counts on cases of animal cruelty, drug possession and theft. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in Maricopa County Superior Court on January 30.

Continue reading

Satellites Unearthing Ancient Egyptian Ruins

via CNN

(CNN) — Archaeologists believe they have unearthed only a small fraction of Egypt’s ancient ruins, but they’re making new discoveries with help from high-tech allies — satellites that peer into the past from the distance of space.art_temple_dg

“Everyone’s becoming more aware of this technology and what it can do,” said Sarah Parcak, an archaeologist who heads the Laboratory for Global Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “There is so much to learn.”

Images from space have been around for decades. Yet only in the past decade or so has the resolution of images from commercial satellites sharpened enough to be of much use to archaeologists. Today, scientists can use them to locate ruins — some no bigger than a small living room — in some of the most remote and forbidding places on the planet.

In this field, Parcak is a pioneer. Her work in Egypt has yielded hundreds of finds in regions of the Middle Egypt and the eastern Nile River Delta.

Parcak conducted surveys and expeditions in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt in 2003 and 2004 that confirmed 132 sites that were initially suggested by satellite images. Eighty-three of those sites had never been visited or recorded.

In the past two years, she has found hundreds more, she said, leading her to amend an earlier conclusion that Egyptologists have found only the tip of the iceberg.art_columns

“My estimate of 1/100th of 1 percent of all sites found is on the high side,” Parcak said.

These discoveries are of no small significance to the Egyptian government, which has devoted itself anew to protecting archaeological sites from plunder and encroachment.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities has restricted excavation in the most sensitive areas along the Nile — from the Great Pyramids at Giza on the outskirts of Cairo to the carvings of Ramses II in the remote south. Continue reading

Jena 6 Youth Involved in Shooting & Boosting


via CNN

(CNN) — A teenager whose arrest in a racially charged assault case drew thousands of protesters to his rural Louisiana hometown was in a hospital Tuesday after a shooting that his lawyer said was accidental.

Mychal Bell — who also was arrested last week after allegedly stealing clothes worth $370 from a department store — was cleaning a gun when it accidentally discharged, shooting him in the shoulder, his attorney, Carol Powell-Lexing, told CNN.

He had surgery Monday night in Monroe, Louisiana, and has not yet been able to talk, she said.

Monroe police Sgt. Cassandra Wooten said the wound was not life-threatening.

Bell was arrested at the Pecanland Mall in Monroe on Christmas Eve and charged with shoplifting, simple battery and resisting arrest, Monroe Police Lt. Jeff Davis said Tuesday. Continue reading

Choke No Joke Readies Roc-a-Fella Documentary

I’ve actually seen a screening of this and people are gonna be floored when they see how huge Dame’s ego was especially since he’s transformed into a kindler, gentler type of guy.

via NY Post

JAY-Z and Damon Dash‘s dirty laundry from their Roc-A-Fella Records breakup is about to go public. jigga2

Former BET producer and Roc employee Choke No Joke is releasing a documentary next year – titled “I Am Choke, No Joke” – about the infamous crumbling of the hip-hop empire founded by former fast friends Jay and Dash. In a SOHH.com interview, Joke says: ” ‘Dame’ was a camera freak. He loved people to tape him, ’cause he started thinking he was a star . . . Ever since the ‘Big Pimpin’ ‘ video, he started gettin’ a little light and it started to get to his head.”

Joke claims that Dash’s signing of Ol’ Dirty Bastard and his proposal of Cam’ron as a vice president of the label (which Jay-Z rejected) were among the disputes that drove a wedge between the two. “Jay wasn’t feeling none of that [bleep],” Joke said. Continue reading

Recession Halts Plans for Jay-Z Hotel, Many Other Projects

via NY Times

Nearly $5 billion in development projects in New York City have been delayed or canceled because of the economic crisis, an extraordinary body blow to an industry that last year provided 130,000 unionized jobs, according to numbers tracked by a local trade group.jay1

The setbacks for development — perhaps the single greatest economic force in the city over the last two decades — are likely to mean, in the words of one researcher, that the landscape of New York will be virtually unchanged for two years.

“There’s no way to finance a project,” said the researcher, Stephen R. Blank of the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit group.

Charles Blaichman is not about to argue with that assessment. Looking south from the eighth floor of a half-finished office tower on 14th Street on a recent day, Mr. Blaichman pointed to buildings he had developed in the meatpacking district. But when he turned north to the blocks along the High Line, once among the most sought-after areas for development, he surveyed a landscape of frustration: the planned sites of three luxury hotels, all stalled by recession.

Several indicators show that developers nationwide have also been affected by the tighter lending markets. The growth rate for construction and land development loans shrunk drastically this year — to 0.08 percent through September, compared with 11.3 percent for all of 2007 and 25.7 percent in 2006, according to data tracked by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

And developers who have loans are missing payments. The percentage of loans in default nationwide jumped to 7.3 percent through September 2008, compared with 1 percent in 2007, according to data tracked by Reis Inc., a New York-based real estate research company. Continue reading

[Op-Ed] Today I End My Support of Israel


via Daily Kos

Like davidminzer, I’m Jewish and descendant of holocaust survivors. Moreover, I’ve been a Zionist all of my life. I went to a Zionist school, I was active in Zionist youth groups. I’ve always been a fervent supporter of Israel as a refuge for Jews around the world who seek a place to exercise their traditions and embrace their identity in peace.

I sang the Israeli anthem in the train rails of Aushwitz-Birkenau and I pledged to fight every day of my life to make sure the savage crimes that had taken place there would never happen again. Every year I pledged: Never Again. Remember and Never forget.

Well, I haven’t forgotten. And so to honor that pledge, to honor the memory of my family members who died in those death camps and because “there comes a time when silence is betrayal”, today I finally and publicly end my support for the state of Israel.   Continue reading

Fashion Powerhouse’s Chanel and LVMH Forced to Make Cuts


via Times Online

Chanel, one of the grandest French fashion names, is to lay off 200 Paris staff in an unmistakable sign that even the world’s top luxury brands are feeling the pinch in the global recession.

Until recently, France’s marques de grand luxe were claiming immunity from the slump. Demand for the high end was holding up, driven by the luxury appetites of the nouveaux riches of Russia, China and other emerging powers, they said.

The denial has faded over the past month as Russians and Asians have been noticeably absent over Christmas from the boutiques in the Paris golden triangle off the Champs Élysées and their equivalents in London and New York. Business in Japan has slumped.

A week ago Chanel, privately owned and secretive about its affairs, called off a glitzy art show as it was about to arrive in London from New York. Over the weekend trade unions reported that the fashion house was to lay off all of its 200 Paris staff who are on fixed-term or temporary contracts. Continue reading