Thursday, October 31, 2013

This Video Demonstrates The BEAUTY of Photoshop [Video]

Celebrity photoshop example from Complex.com

The above pic of Kimmy K. is just an example of the 100% perfect pictures us common folk witness and think "WOW!"  And although we know there's always some sort of "touch up" done to keep that chasm between us and these extraordinarily beautiful folks of Hollywood, (with their perfectly placed features and hot bodies), going strong... being privy to before-and-afters or videos such as the one below always puts things into perspective.  And that perspective is: You, too, can look like that with the right software and know-how.

The video below demonstrates just how awesome Photoshop is with all its trickery!





SOURCE

"V.S.O.P." K. Michelle ft. Rick Ross [Audio]


Rick Ross adds a verse to K. Michelle's "V.S.O.P.":

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Review: 'The Circle' by Dave Eggers [Spoiler]

Sometime in September I was scrolling through the iBooks store and came across a book for pre-order.  It's summary piqued my interest.  And the book was Dave Eggers' 'The Circle'.

The iBooks summary intrigued me.  I do not recall the exact wording, but after reading it I thought it would most likely be a a pretty good literary piece of suspense that I could delve into and enjoy for a couple of weeks, so I pre-ordered the book and waited a few weeks for its release.

On release day I was really excited to begin on the book.  This feeling soon faded.  The story's build up was super slow and (dare I say) never really came. I see where the author was going with this book.  The concept is a good one, but the execution fails for me.  I painfully trudged through this book awaiting the grand reward of an "Aha!" moment…Of a dramatic rise and fall.. And I never got it.

There are a few good moments in the book.  These moments caused me to believe that UMPH was coming, but nope… Just didn't deliver!

The main character, Mae Holland,  gets a job at "The Circle" which is like: Facebook x Twitter x Google x Apple x Samsung.  This company is an all-encompassing social media and tech company involving itself with only the best of the best.  The working environment is great and everyone would love to actually be a part of it.

For Mae, this is the ideal position with the ideal company.   She literally gives her LIFE to this company; as do all of its employees.  At The Circle, daily "work" entails continuous activity on (personal) internal AND external social media sites, as well as your actual work for the company.  Each person has like 5-6 (or more) different screens on their desk at any given time to handle all the many daily tasks; mostly not directly work-related.  It seems extremely strenuous.

And just as Mae is getting into the groove of life at The Circle, she is asked to go "transparent" by wearing a camera to document her daily life.  By this point many politicians have worn such a camera and the company was working to phase this into a common concept among the general public; this transparency, which they believed would keep folks honest and reduce crimes and such.  And before long, cameras were placed in her parents' home (in which she did not reside) as well.   The Circle's dream was to basically have a world laden with public surveillance.  Like Big Brother times a trillion!!!  Imagine if anyone could go buy a tiny camera, described as being about the size of a lollipop, for under $60 each!  Anyone can place one anywhere!  (I imagine pure personal CHAOS for people worldwide!)

Oddly, everyone at the company and millions of American citizens thought these little cameras were a great idea.  And the ideas didn't stop there.  There were also drones readily available at low price points to normal, everyday citizens.  The entire idea is way out there and unbelievable that the masses were with it (in the book).

Well, she drives her ex-boyfriend to suicide with her demonstration of just how powerful the internet and The Circle's minions are.  Her parents severe ties with her and her best bud, Annie falls ill from the company's pressure.  PLUS she finds out that she (Mae) had been sleeping with founder of The Circle all along.

WOW!

That last paragraph reads "exciting" but the book is honestly sooooo not exciting.  Somehow it all doesn't come together for the big BOOM as one would think it would.

However, I can say that there are things to take away from this book, such as:

  • Just how powerful social media and networks are over some.  When actions and beliefs are exaggerated for the sake of entertainment, many can laugh and say, "Glad I'm not like that.." or "..that's insane!" but many folks aren't too off the mark of insanity when it comes to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest…  I think we all know a few folks that are simply obsessed.  Any given minute within a day, this person is posting a picture, giving his/her thoughts, commenting on someone else's pictures and/or thoughts.. It's really life-consuming for some, sadly.  This book touches on that.  The absurdity of it.
  • How dangerous the masses can be when led by an idiotic thought.  And how so many conform.  Seemingly, just because the majority have conformed, many others will follow.  The world is filled to the brim with the weak-minded.  Again, this point is extremely exaggerated with this book, but that doesn't make the gist of the point any less valid.
  • Sometimes what begins as a great, harmless idea picks up momentum and becomes uncontrollably bad. The young founder of The Circle began something that he believed in and was (debatably) beneficial for the human race.  And he's powerless to rein the company back in from his partners' control and thoughts of a totally transparent world that lacks any sort of privacy and everyone is watched at all times.
  • And then we have, Mae: A sweet, only child born to older parents that only wishes to make her mark in the world and to have a true sense of self-worth.  She succumbs to The Circle and loses her true identity, I believe.  


So, there are some good points in the book.  They just never culminate into something explosive for me, as a reader.

And you know..After reading this book I realize that maybe my age bracket is not the audience this book is meant for.  I think back to if I were in elementary or middle school, 7th grade at the latest, I think I'd appreciate this book.  I recommend it for a good Tween book to check out.


NSFW: Guy In A Pink Tutu Pole Dances on NYC Train To Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop"


...Just another gem from Ratchet Mess:


Monday, October 28, 2013

"Bed Peace" Jhené Aiko ft. Childish Gambino [Video]



A Mother Injures Son's Genitals & Treats It With Super Glue [Video]



Jennifer Marie Vargas, the mother of a 6 year old boy, was recently arrested for ripping her child's scrotum.  Allegedly following the incident, she attempted to repair the tear with alcohol and superglue.

Local news coverage:




Who grabs a little child's balls?!! Especially their OWN little child, for any reason... And then to pull until there is an open wound?! And then to put alcohol and super glue on it?!  This lady is obviously insane.  Regardless of the amount of time she does, she doesn't deserve to ever be around kids again.  It's just crazy how folks traumatize their own though.  Heartbreaking story.



SOURCE

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Shopping While Black: Young, Black Male Arrested After PURCHASING A Belt From Barneys In NYC


Yes, you read the title right: A Young, Black Male Arrested After PURCHASING A Belt From Barney's In NYC!!!

According to New York Post, Trayon Christian, a college student recently visited Barneys in New York City and purchased a $350 Salvatore Ferragamo belt.  The cashier that handled his transaction called the cops on him because he/she did not believe that this young man actually has the means to make such a purchase.  Plain clothes officers confronted Christian, arrested him and took him to the local precinct where he was held until they called the institution he banks with and it was confirmed that he is indeed the true owner of the bank account associated with the bank card he possessed.

Trayon Christian, 19, a NYC College of Technology freshman from Corona, went to the Madison Avenue fashion mecca in April to buy the Salvatore Ferragamo belt after saving up his paychecks from a part-time job at the college. 
But as soon as he exited the luxury department store, undercover officers grabbed Christian and asked “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt,” according to the suit, filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. 
A Barneys clerk, who had asked Christian for identification when he bought the belt, called police claiming the purchase was a fraud, the suit says.
Plainclothes detectives hauled Christian off Fifth Avenue and into the local precinct.
 
There, Christian produced his identification, his debit card from Chase and the receipt with his name on it, the suit states. 
“In spite of producing such documentation, Christian was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.” 
Cops eventually called Chase, which verified that the card belonged to Christian, and they let him go. 
Police sources said Christian has no arrest record. 
Christian told The Post he returned the belt out of disgust over his treatment by the world-famous clothing store. 
“I didn’t want to have anything to do with it,” he said, adding that he was first inspired to buy the accessory by Harlem rapper Juelz Santana who wears the Italian designer’s duds. 
Christian said he’ll never shop at Barneys again. 
He is suing both Barneys and the NYPD for unspecified damages. 
Barneys did not immediately comment.

Damn!!  Where the fuck does it end?!

As time evolves so does the racial profiling.  It used to be that blacks were followed and watched closely all over stores because it was a general assumption that they could not afford the goods in the store or that we are born thieves with no sense of morality or home training.

But this here??.. It's INSANE!! ABSURD!!!  To insinuate and then go as far as to call the cops on this young man because "It's no way this black kid can afford a belt that it'd take me months on months on fuckin' months to save up for with my hourly pay!" Is this shit real?!  And then the cops..  Christian produces a legit form of identification and a bank card with a matching name on both.  Still, he is arrested and carted off to the precinct like a common criminal.  This entire ordeal is embarrassing and discouraging!

I hope that Barneys and the NYPD is hit in the pockets sooooooo hard!  A lesson needs to be taught here.  And that clerk's name can be released any moment now.  A twitter handle or something!  He/she needs to have it brought to their front door! (Figuratively, of course.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On Power 105's Breakfast Club: TLC & Keke Palmer [Video]



Last week, prior to last night's premiere of 'CrazySezyCool: The TLC Story', T-Boz and Chili visited The Breakfast Club to speak about the movie and their upcoming music projects:


This morning, Keke Palmer, who portrayed Chili in the TLC biopic, visited the crew to speak about the movie as well as being a beautiful brownskin girl, her love life and all of her upcoming movie and music projects:

 

Vh1's 'CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story' Is Good!

TLC's biopic, 'CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story', premiered on Vh1 last night and I like it!  I hate to admit that when talk of the movie began several months ago, I didn't give it much thought and had planned back then that I wouldn't be watching.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVED me some TLC as a young girl.  In elementary me and one of my best buds even had dreams of creating a girl group.  TLC was our entire inspiration.  So, I'm not sure why I had no desire to see their movie.  But whatever the reason.. I am so glad that I actually did.  It's really decent.

This movie reveals the shadiness in a tough business like the music industry, girls fighting and overcoming odds and becoming one of the biggest (female) acts in the entertainment biz as well as them also dealing with tough romantic relationships and even tough relationship dynamics within the group.  The group and individual lives of  T-Boz, Left Eye and Chili definitely made for an engaging story.

If you did not catch it, click the link to watch the full-length movie on your iPhone or iPad:
TLC BIOPIC

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Extinguisher" MellowHigh [Audio]


MellowHigh is comprised of Odd Future's Hodgy Beats, Left Brain and Domo Genesis.  "Extinguisher" will appear on their collaborative album due to drop October 31st.





SOURCE

"All That Matters" Justin Bieber [Audio]



"Old School Love" Lupe Fiasco ft. Ed Sheeran [Audio]

Azealia Banks Adds To Britney Spears' "Work Bitch" [Audio]




Azealia Banks adds to my current FAVORITE SONG, Britney Spears' "Work Bitch".

I'm not a Banks fan, but I like her on this track.  Although, the transition to the original song just doesn't sit well with me.




..Can't you just imagine an official remix with Azealia?? (Pure dope-ness)




SOURCE

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Pretty For A Big Girl?" Sweatshirts From Flaws of Couture (FOC)


Tumblin' through Tumblr I came across pictures of this basic sweatshirt with a really good message: "Pretty For A Big Girl?"...

I have heard these words stated to/about females that I personally know and it is just as offensive as being told, "To be darkskin, you're cute." (or any other dumb variation of a tacky compliment)

I think this shirt is bomb!

Check out FOC's online store HERE (although the sweatshirts are not shown on the site for sale currently :/  but there are plenty of infinity scarves with big button details available.)

All-New $100 Bill Went Into Circulation Yesterday




After a setback from the original 2011 release date for the arrival of the $100 bill with an all-new design, the bill finally see the light of day with a release into circulation yesterday (on Tuesday October 8, 2013).

From Huffington Post:

The new design also frees Ben Franklin from the oval border that contained him before, and features a rather large image of the quill used to sign the Declaration of Independence coming out of Ben Franklin's shoulder. 
The new design flourishes, which are intended to prevent counterfeiting, don't come cheap. CBS News is reporting that each bill costs around 4 cents more to produce than the old $100 notes, meaning that taxpayers will shell out an extra $100 million this year to print these babies. 
The new bill took more than a decade to develop and was originally supposed to be rolled out in 2011, but a couple of printing problems caused its delay, The New York Times notes. 

New Music: "Meant To Be" TLC [Audio]



T-Boz and Chili has been in the studio and are rumored to be working on a full-length album of all new material.

Written by Ne-Yo, "Meant To Be" has been included on TLC's Greatest Hits album, 20, that will be released on October 15th.





SOURCE

Monday, October 7, 2013

Effected By The Government Shutdown??.. Want More of a Reason to be Mad??.. What Congress Has Earned Over the Past Week

..And counting..

If you're like me, you've been thrown into this ill-timed vacay (from work) for about a week now.  And while the term "Government Shutdown" has been plastered all over headlines and social media postings since before the actual shutdown even began, there are those that haven't been SHUTDOWN:  CONGRESS.

Over at Huffington Post, I came across a tracker of the cumulative pay for all Congress members since the official Shutdown has began.  And let me tell you... hearing and/or thinking: "..but Congress continues to get paid.."  doesn't even hold a candle against the huge, shining flood light this tracker serves as.  Especially, with the looming issues of the government hitting the debt ceiling soon.
Congress Still Gets Paid, created by Nick MiaritisSteve Nowicki and Alex Goldstein, they're tracking just how much money senators and representatives have earned collectively since the beginning of the shutdown:




This earns infinite shakes of my head.




Friday, October 4, 2013

"Time Travel" Dead Prez ft. Busta Rhymes, Black Thought, Bun B & Tr!x" [Audio]

"Consumerism" Lauryn Hill [Audio]



Fresh out from serving time on tax evasion, Ms. Lauryn Hill releases "Consumerism".  On this track the ex-Fugee reminds that not only can she SANG! she can also handle the rap flow.  And handle it WELL!





...And the message is relevant.

The world is so ready for a Lauryn return. *sends a prayer to the art of music Gods**

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"Episode" E-40 ft. Chris Brown & T.I. [Audio]



Road Rage in NYC: A Motorcycle Mob & The Driver of a Rover [Video]--UPDATE!!



I saw clips of the below video all over the morning news shows this morning.  And it's CRAZY!!  Reportedly, this mob on bikes targeted the black Range Rover because the driver clipped one of the cyclists.  That happened prior to the camera rolling.

Once the camera did begin to roll, in less than 7 minutes we see the cyclists attempting to block the SUV in.  We see the SUV running over a bike.  We see a full-on chase on the highway and through city streets.  Then we see it all come to an end when traffic prevents the SUV from fleeing further.  A few of those on bikes approach the car, bust out windows and reportedly drags the driver of the car out and beats him down.

The actual fight is not shown on this video.  But it has been reported that the driver of the vehicle was a husband and father and that with him on this day were his wife and small child.  That is a shame!!  And I wonder: Could it all have been prevented?  I'm sure it could have.  On both parts, this should not have gone this far!  I know that poor kid has been traumatized!  But in all fairness, a biker suffered a broken leg as well.  Who wins in this case?  The impatient/careless driver?? The biker(s) that feel over-privileged on the roads when en masse??.. Who wins??

..NO ONE!




And meanwhile, not a cop was to be seen..

UPDATE:

Since writing this post, it has been revealed that a member of the bikers is currently in a coma and paralyzed.

And one biker has spoken on the events of the day, stating that the driver of the SUV was driving erratically and the gang decided to attempt to stop him?? -- That sounds a little off to me.  When I am in traffic with someone swerving or speeding or hopping in and out of lanes all crazy, my solution is to put as much distance between myself and that other driver as possible.  It's not my duty to corner the driver or try to get their attention in any way.  I'm simply outta there or I allow them to get outta there. As long as they are away from me, I'm good.

So, this story of the biker(s) trying to be Good Samaritans and stop this driver or warn him about his driving sounds really odd.  It really sounds like they (or possibly just one biker in particular) simply wanted to mess with this driver.  Maybe had too much time on their hands.  Wanted to mess someone's day up just because they could.  Maybe that is the case..Maybe it is not.  (I was not there.  And as Judge Judy often says "You can't say what was going on in someone else's mind.")

However, we all know what the real is due to the ill-fated chain of events that took place on a beautiful day in NYC:  (1) A man is paralyzed and in a deep sleep, (2) Men are looking at charges for beating the SUV's driver, (3) A CHILD WITNESSED THIS ALL--including his own father run over other human beings intentionally with his truck.

In a perfect world, everyone would actually THINK before reacting instead of the other way around.  Once you react and it's a bad outcome, you cannot reverse the outcome, nor can you prevent what's to come next in response to your bad action.  All you can do is think back on where things went wrong and how you wish it all didn't happen.  And at that point it's much too late.

Again, on both sides, it seems as if poor decisions were made all around.  Sad.

A Young Lady Uses Her Dance Skills & Kanye's "Gone" To Quit Her Job [Video]






Seriously... How I wouldn't love to quit something (any bad position: relationship..job..) in this fashion: Quirky but to the point.