Monday, September 26, 2011

Music Monday 110 :: Sexy Sax Man Careless Whisper Prank

Music Monday 110 :: Sexy Sax Man Careless Whisper Prank

Let's start the week out w/a good laugh. This is a bit absurd (I mean does he really have to be bare-chested and in pleather pants?) but that alone makes me smile and laugh. I can't remember how this got on my radar but I remember laughing then like I did when I saw it today.

Unfortunately, now I can't get the song "Careless Whisper" out of my head.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Music Monday 109 :: Discovering New Music

Music Monday 109 :: Discovering New Music

As I was thinking of a music related blog post for this week, I decided that I wanted to focus on some new music. Problem is, I don't recall hearing any new music lately. Well, I did hear the latest from Cee-lo "Cry Baby". But I've written about Cee-lo several times already and so I want to go in another direction.

So I started to think of places where I go to discover new music and not hip hop. I get a lot of hip hop already and I know precisely where to find new hip hop music.

Here are just to share a few of my resources for discovering new music:

thesixtyone is killer when it comes to discovering cool, new music. There's such a variety there and the layout of the website is attractive and fun.

NPR's Fall Preview 2011
National Public Radio (NPR) is always a good bet for finding new music. But this Fall Preview should offer up some good listening options. I only listened to a few; I thought they were okay, but nothing that really got me to say Oh-emm-gee!

Here are a few things I saw while doing a quick search on the topic. I haven't had a chance to follow up on these though (and when will I have the time):
So there you go, let's all discover some new tunes. Oh, but one more thing, how do you go about discovering new music?

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lazy Journalism from the UK's Guardian Newspaper

Lazy Journalism from the UK's Guardian Newspaper

FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm an American, a former journalist, a current journalism professor teaching at The American University in Cairo (AUC).

One of the first articles I read this morning about the #AUCstrike was from The Guardian:
"Egyptian student protest hit elite Cairo university."

I quickly sent a tweet on Twitter that the article is/was poorly written and, in my opinion, is/was biased.

The article was written by Jack Shenker and has been retweeted all day. In his defense, Shenker sent me a few direct messages and tweets on Twitter addressing my issues with the article. NOTE: I'm working on a Storify about this.

However, someone took things a step further and conducted a bit more research than Shenker or his editors bothered to do. This is not my research, but I support the research below. Note to the Guardian: it's pretty simple: As a journalist and editor, you should do the basics: do some research, ask some questions and report the facts.

Report errors or inaccuracies:
Guardian UK...what a disgrace...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Subject: Where are the standards? - "Egyptian student protests hit elite Cairo university"

Poor journalism
1.  Enrollment at the American University in Cairo (AUC) is 5984.  Faculty number 383.  Staff numbers are around 700.  If the entire AUC community was on campus at the same time the number would be around 7000.  This is impossible... 
In Jack Shenker's article, he states that, "within a few hours thousands of students and staff at the American University in Cairo had joined the demonstration, bringing Egypt's most elite educational institution to a standstill." 
Pure rubbish.  It might have been in the hundreds.  To state that 1/4 to 1/3 of the entire university was involved in these protests is sensational, delusional and shows that Shenker was not present.
2.  The debate over the tuition increase of 9%:
USA - "Private College Tuition Increases 4.6 Percent for 2011-12; Institutional Student Aid Up 7 Percent"
USA - "The 12-month change in the all items index edged up to 3.8 percent after holding at 3.6 percent for three months." 
USA - Tuition increases outstripped inflation 4.6% to 3.8%.  In short, in real money terms education became more expensive. 
UK - "Proposed tuition in the UK to jump 300% for 2011-2012" 
UK - "UK CPI inflation rate rises to 4.5% in August" 
UK - Proposed tuition increases to outpace inflation 300% to 4.5%.  In short, in real money terms education becomes more expensive (much more...)
Egypt - The American University in Cairo raises tuition 9% 
Egypt - "Egyptian Inflation Slowed to 8.5% in August as Food-Price Increases Eased" 
Egypt - The tuition rate at the AUC almost matches the current inflation rate of 8.5%.  When the decision was made to raise the tuition to 9% in May 2011 the inflation rate stood at 11.5% 
3. Regarding the snipers (an extremely sensitive and potentially volatile topic).  You could have gone to the AUC website and did a search for "sniper" you would have found this article. 
WEB EXCLUSIVE: AUC President says use of Tahrir campus to fire on protesters 'illegal and unauthorized' 
4.  What school of journalism encourages the construction of statements such as, "On Tuesday, it emerged that striking university cleaners have been threatened with dismissal if they do not return to work within 10 days." 
Who is your source for this information? 
Abysmal reporting.  An absolute disgrace.  It's a difficult time in Egypt and poorly researched journalism absent of context does not help matters.

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

VIDEO: The Food in Barcelona and Madrid

VIDEO: The Food in Barcelona and Madrid

My three week ala carte trip to Barcelona and Spain this summer was quite the learning experience. It was my first solo trip that was planned without a package or a tour company.

Planning for this type of trip is key. In the end, it all worked out and I had a nice time.

Over the next few weeks I'll be recapping my trip. I'll highlight:
  • the hotels
  • some of the restaurants
  • the activities and sites
But for now ... how about some pics of the food in Barcelona and Madrid? Delish.

VIDEO: The Food in Barcelona and Madrid

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Monday, September 05, 2011

Music Monday 108 :: Kanye West "Monster"

Music Monday 108 :: Kanye West "Monster"

I must admit that over time I've sort of lost interest in Kanye West. I used to thrive on his music. "Jesus Walks" was epic. And although his "George Bush doesn't care Black people" moment was priceless, his personality has been, mostly, a turnoff. I do, however, manage to keep one eye on him and his music has and does extend the possibilities for what is hip hop. (NOTE: I have, but haven't listened to "Watch the Throne.")

When I first heard "Monster" I may have cringed. I think it was the excessive use of profanity (see the lyrics to "Monster"). But somehow I ended up listening to it more than once and I now find it to be an exceptional track. It's not all Kanye either. Bon Iver. Rick Ross. Jay-Z. Nicki Minaj. I'm particularly surprised that I really love Nicki Minaj's part. Her lyrics aren't so empty as I'd expected. Oh, and I love how Kanye switches up the beat near the end of the track.

I usually listen to "Monster" at least once a day ... great motivation for the gym and working out.

Now, the video is another story ... I won't even embed it. I know that it's creative and what not, but ... well, if you want to check it out, then do that.

Kanye West - Monster [Official Video HD] - YouTube

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