One of my friends at the Audiology Department at the University of Florida sent me a video that they made. The message? Protect your hearing! Yeah, that song sounds awesome right now, pumped so high from your iPod that others can hear it…with their iPods on – BUT, will it be worth it when you can’t hear anything in 20 years?
The next time you hear a politician use the word “billion” in a casual manner, think about how much money that really is…
A billion seconds ago, it was 1977.
A billion minutes ago, Jesus was alive.
A billion hours ago, our ancestors were living in the Stone Age
A billion days ago, no one walked on the earth on two legs.
A billion dollars ago was only 6 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.
My alma mater, Valdosta State University, recently decided to start publishing its own academic journal. Because I was active in presenting my research at the university’s annual symposium on undergraduate research, I got an invitation to apply. So I sent in a copy of my favorite undergraduate paper with all of the paper work.
A couple of months later, I got an email from the editor, informing me that my article had been accepted for publication! So, then we began the negotiating process – I had to change some things (including the title), while I insisted that some parts had to stay.
That was several months ago. But I was just informed that the journal is finally finished and has been launched online. I’m really excited about it – 1) because I’m glad that VSU is expanding and now publishing its own journal, in which the research of its students can be showcased. 2) the OMNINO isn’t just a history journal – it’s for the entire university, so it’s interdisciplinary. That means that this premier issue has articles from history (four of ’em actually!), english/literature, economics, and political science. I think that’s awesome. Be sure to check out the “Contributer’s Notes” section at the very end to get a short bio of all the authors.
Once you’re brought to the site, you should be able to click on “click to read” and the reader will open up the document full screen, like a magazine. And then you can just either click on the arrows on either side, or use your left and right arrow buttons to flip the pages. My article, “The Submerged Tenth” is on page 143… just click here (but you really should take the time to look at it from the very beginning too, and read the editor’s notes).
I hope you enjoy my first published article!
Following is an article from the March ’11 edition of Delta’s Sky Magazine. Written by Richard Anderson, the Chief Executive Officer for Delta Air Lines, it talks about Delta’s relationship with the Capital of the South and its headquarter city, Atlanta. I liked it, so I thought I’d share with you all.
FROM ATLANTA TO THE WORLD FOR 70 YEARS: Building a Global Airline and a Global City
Delta Air Lines’ founder C. E. Woolman reached an agreement with Atlanta Mayor William Hartsfield 70 years ago that changed our airline and the City of Atlanta forever. In exchange for an affordable, long-term lease, Mr. Woolman agreed to move the center of Delta operations from Monroe, Louisiana, to Atlanta. Delta – then with just 53 employees running 113 seats on eight flights a day – relocated its headquarters to Altanta in 1941. It was a pivotal moment not just for Delta, but for the promise of U.S. air travel.
The move planted the seed for Atlanta’s rise as the busiest passenger hub and Delta’s eventual transformation into a leading global airline. Since 1941, metro Atlanta has grown from 800,000 residents to about 6 million today, while at the same time Delta has grown from eight Atlanta fights to more than 1,000 departures headed to approximately 220 points across the globe.
Along the way, Delta and Atlanta together have recorded a lot of firsts: In the 1950s, Delta pioneered a concept in Atlanta that became known as the “hub and spoke,” which ultimately led to the development of the world’s largest airline hub in our hometown. In the 1970s, Delta launched the first nonstop transAtlantic flights between Atlanta and London, propelling Atlanta’s vision of becoming a global capital. And in the 1990s, Delta and Atlanta partnered to win the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, leading us into an era in which we have increased nonstop international service from Atlanta by nearly 500 percent.
But even with all the changes, our alues and many of our partners remain the same. The Coca-Cola Company, in fact, is Delta’s longest-standing corporate partner, with onboard Coke service dating to the 1940s. Last month, we saluted this history by christening a Boeing 777-200LR as the “Spirit of Atlanta” with a bottle of our hometown drink. The christening harkened back to December 1940, when Douglas Aircraft Company christened one of Delta’s early DC-3s as the “City of Atlanta” – also with a bottle of Coke.
The last 70 years prove that, together, the people of Delta, metro Atlanta, the State of Georgia, our customers and our business and charitable partners are a powerful combination. Our partnership with Atlanta has created something that can’t be replicated – a city that 12 Fortune 500 companies call home and a company, Delta, that has remained Georgia’s largest private employer for a generation.
If your travels take you through Atlanta today, we hope you’ll join us in lifting your glass to our hometown. We look forward to another 70 years and more in Atlanta. And we look forward to continuing to bring you a strong global network and premium product that will keep our customers worldwide flying Delta for years to come.
Like, boi ur not gonna believe this – ur gonna be like, OMG! WTF??!! Or maybe just like LOLing, or cud be even ROFLing or LMAOing. Who knows.
But seriously, u def gotta stop…
…writing like that.
Really people? Are we THAT rushed that we can’t take the time to spell out “you”? I know some service providers limit text message length, but Facebook doesn’t. The last time I tried to write emails, Hotmail and G-Mail both let me spell out words fully.
And is all of that punctuation really necessary? When did exclamation points replace periods? Or why are we all screaming all the time now?!?! And when did we get so curious and inquisitive all of a sudden????????
We have different punctuation marks for a reason. Periods are for your normal, everyday sentence. I walked to the car. Period. When in doubt use a period. Exclamation points, on the other hand, are for when you need to actually exclaim something. Example: “Shit! There’s a monkey on the roof!” You don’t need one for “I saw your mom at the store!” Unless your mom is, say the First Lady. Then a ! might be acceptable.
And ?‘s…just one is fine. In fact one ! is fine, too. Normally, you will never need more than one exclamation point, unless that monkey on the roof has a gun.
Now, I will admit that I do find some smileys cute…But only the ones that you don’t have to squint, stand on one leg, and smoke some pot to actually see the smiley face. There’s the normal smile – :) And then the big smile – :D ANd you can even give them a nose :-) Actually, that’s about all you need. You DEFINITELY don’t need more than one smiley in any text, email or Facebook wall post. It’s as simple as that. For those people who do this thing: : ) ))) What the hell is that? A really fat guy with four chins? Why would I want that smiley on my wall?
If you’re going to write like that, PLEASE have the common sense to know when you shouldn’t write like that. Last semester I got an email from a student that started off like this: “Dear Jakey :) !” Needless to say, I stopped reading. You should know how to use proper English when writing to a teacher, boss, or coworker. Or to another human being.
And for God’s sake – if you insist on using “u” instead of “you,” at least use the correct adaptations of the abbreviation. But then again, if you’re using “u,” you probably don’t know the difference between your and you’re anyway. Your = possessive; ex: your phone. You’re = you are; ex: you’re ridiculous. So, at least try to use ur and ure “correctly.”
And while we’re talking about words that are apparently too confusing for their correct use. There/Their/They’re. There is like “over there. Or, there is a monkey on the roof!” Their is possessive; their monkey is on our roof. They’re is a contraction for “they are.”
Not too difficult to manage.
But, like omg, if thats just to tuff bc ur just way two buzy over their, then keep on keepin on.
Anyways, I’ll brb.
Some things just defy understanding. I get that. Mankind can only unlock so much knowledge. As a result, some interworkings of the universe will simply remain mysteries.
One of the greatest enigmas of all time: Why cords, wires, and hoses will turn into a tangled nightmare no matter how carefully you store them. Take this morning for example: I spent a few minutes yesterday coiling up the garden hose very nicely to keep it from knotting up. This morning, I go out to water some plants. I pull from the end, and it nicely unloops for about a food and then the entire damn thing comes lurching forward in one gigantic mess.
And don’t even think about trying to keep an extension cord neat. Even if you wrap it up on a nail, in the time that it requires you to take the cord off and set it on the ground to string it out, both ends will have snaked and loopty-looped 13 times all through the bitch so that you’re left holding nothing but a huge knot.
And forget about orderly headphone cords! Ho-ly shit, they are the worst! At night I’ll wrap them up nicely and put them in my desk drawer. Next morning: grab the earphone, and up comes up one huge cluster f@*k! Sometime in the middle of the night, my earphones, phone charger, and camera connector decided to have a drunken orgy and I’ve got to spend 5 minutes and ALL of my patience untangling it all again!
The whole thing makes me want to do very un-gentlemanlike things.
Maybe one day some theoretical physicist, or bored historian, or even a sidetracked biologist will stumble upon an explanation for this rage-inducing phenomenon. Then after that, they can team up and find out how all of those single socks disappear from the dryer.
“Kids and their darned, loud rock music!” That’s what my parents’ generation heard as they were jamming out on their walkmans and boom boxes. Now, the same folks who grew up going to big hair bands’ concerts are remarking about “Kids these days and their filthy rap music!” And who knows what kind of music my generation will be complaining about once we have kids.
The complaints against both rock and rap are pretty much the same: the music itself is loud and obtrusive and the lyrics are simply destroying every last shred of traditional values that humanity ever had, effectively stealing the innocence of our children.
I have to admit, for the longest time, I never really paid attention to any lyrics. Ever. I grew up listening to country music. As I got older, I remember going through an “oldies” stage: Little Richard, the Beach Boys, Elvis, Tina Turner. Then I remember in high school loving alternative rock, and of course I liked to get in car, turn up the bass, and listen to rap music really loud (maybe because that was the music we weren’t “supposed to be listening to”). And of course, there’s always the ever-present pop, which I do enjoy for what it is: mindless entertainment that can now be churned out by anyone with a computer.
However, I never really paid attention to what was being said; I simply enjoyed the beats and the music. And then one day I caught myself listening to the lyrics. And because I love to write, and I love how language can be used – tamed, mastered, or set free – I suddenly realized that song lyrics could be pretty awesome. Because it wasn’t just about finding some rhyming words for a beat, but it was about dancing with the words (pardon the pun) in order to get a message across.
I guess song lyrics are the only type of poetry that I enjoy (sorry, Frost). Maybe it’s because songs can fit so many moods, and hey, let’s not forget that the lyrics come with (hopefully) good music! I can listen to my favorite band any time of the day, and I do love classical and foreign music when I’m reading or studying (so that I’m not distracted by the lyrics). Pop can be fun, but it does have its (limited) time and place. And as Sir Elton John tells us, sad songs have their place too, because “it’s times like these when all need to heed the radio, because from the lips of some old singer, people share the troubles we already know.”
But lately, I have become completely fascinated with rap and hip-hop lyrics. I was only half-way kidding recently when I told someone that I wanted to drop German history and start doing the history of rap, its culture, music and lyrics.
Now, before I go any further, let me go ahead and say: I have not really researched this topic. Everything that follows is simply my opinion, which stems from my interest in rap. The conclusions are mine, and I’m probably wrong about a lot of things. If you know where I’m wrong, let me know. Or, what’s probably more likely, I’m just a little white kid who has completely missed the mark on most everything. Either way, these are my ponderings after all…
I wasn’t around when rap got started, but I’ve listened to some of the more popular remnants of the original stuff. And it seems like, back then, it was more about actually crafting the English language, using slang and local words and putting it to a beat to tell a story. And that message could be about most anything I guess. Today it seems like rap – or at least what I call “pop rap,” the famous stuff that everybody, including ironically rednecks – is more about listing how many cars you have and talking about how much money you have. Either way, I still enjoy rap lyrics…well, at least “pop rap” lyrics. Ludacris may not be mastering the language the same way Walt Whitman did, but I still consider it a form of poetry. And I’m (superficially?) fascinated with the vocabulary – how it’s tweaked (or twerked) and used.
Instead of just blabbing on and on, I want to provide a few examples that just might show (especially to any older readers, whose ears just can’t take all the ‘loud thumping!’) how interesting it can be. My personal favorite is the whole phenomenon around “making it rain.” Let’s go:
In 2006, the rapper Fat Joe put out a track (featuring Lil Wayne) called “Make it Rain.” The main part of the chorus goes, “Gotta handful’a stacks; better grab an umbrella; I make it rain…” The whole thing boils down to the fact that he has SO much money, he can throw stacks of bills into the air and let it rain down. The single was a hit, rising pretty high on the charts, and the phrase “makin’ it rain” caught on. And actually, the precipitation theme is still pretty prevalent today.
One thing I like about rap artists is that they often collaborate with each other (featuring each other in their songs) and they quote lines from other songs in their own. For example, in 2002 Lil Jon released the single “Get Low.” The song, which is about partying hard “from the window to the wall, til the sweat drops down my”….uh, testicles, became wildly famous (breaking into the top ten on the charts). Nearly a decade later, the phrase is still being used by other rap artists, like Ludacris (from Enrique Iglesias’s “Tonight”): “From the window, to the wall, gotta give you my all; winter or the summertime, when I get you on those springs, I’m gonna make you fall!”
Like I said, ‘making it rain’ hasn’t gone without use from subsequent rappers, singers, and kids across the nation. In 2007, Rihanna released one of her most successful singles, “Umbrella.” The rain metaphor can’t be lost – she doesn’t need a man to make it rain; the multi-millionaire star can handle that on her own. In fact, in her song, she offers protection and support to her man: “Now that it’s raining more than ever, know that we’ll still have each other, you can stand under my umbrella.” A lot of Rihanna’s songs seem to be about her being able to hold her own in the world. In essence, the empowerment of women.
Another song that really plays up the rain metaphor is “No Hands” by Waka Flocka Flame (2011). There are about three or four rappers featured in the song, so I don’t know who is saying what exactly, but the lyrics show that the message is all about showing off how much money they have: “DJ, this is my favorite song, so Imma make it thunda’storm.” And then, singing to a girl, “Those n*ggas tippin’ good, but girl I can make it flood cause I walk around with pockets that are bigger than my bus… ‘Rain Rain go away,’ that’s what all my haters say…My pockets stuck on overload, my rain never evaporates.” In that one, I just love how they even incorporated the ‘rain rain go away’ nursery rhyme into the song. I don’t necessarily endorse the message of blowing all your money on cars, jewelry, alcohol and strippers…and then bragging about it, but hey, they way they brag is interesting.
It seems to be that message, though – alcohol, partying, casual sex, lavish lifestyle – that’s the reason that rap is often condemned. And to me personally, it seemed that a lot of the people that were condemning rap music, were ones that grew up listening to rock n’ roll. So what is it that makes rock n’ roll – sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, remember – cool, but rap condemnable?
In 2007, Dem Shop Boyz addressed Rap’s heathen predecessor in their single “Party Like a Rockstar.” The song starts off with a (mocking?) “T-t-toally Duuude!” and then asks, “Now, who started this?” The song goes on to exemplify the partying life of a star and constantly alludes to many of Rock’s greats: “Do it like Ozzy!” “New pair of kicks so you can walk this way like Aerosmith.” However, not only do the Shop Boyz refer to famous rockers and their lavish lifestyles, they claim to one up the rockers. “Heavy metal” is referred to as only being in the rappers’ pockets ($$$). And: “Yeah, we da ShopBoyz, nobody coulda did it better; we on fire, da black Red Hot Chili Peppers…We rock hard.” And then, “I’m obscene, plus I’m ghetto, I’ll have your QUEEN in stilettos.”
The rappers seem to think they take the new “Rockstar” mantle quite well, making everyone party hard: “I got that gangsta, hood star, pop star, screamin “Totally dude!”… “I ride in fast cars, and plus my chick’s hott…black shades around my face lookin rockstarish.” And ultimately, fame and fortune are placed on the altar: “I’m gonna be the Grinch, Shrek, all I like is green. I am Bruce Bling-steen…MicK Jagger with my swagga!” And then they wrap it all up with: “Da Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame need another couple names: Shop Boyz, Lil Wayne, and Chamilitary Man…”
And of course, there is my favorite song, Lil Troy’s “I Wanna Be a Baller.” Ballin’ is another tweak of vocabulary that I think is awesome. It stems from playing basketball (b-ballin’), and especially being good and performing showy tricks while doing so. But now, ballin’ means living the good life. According to Urbandictionary.com (which is an awesome website to look up any slang word or saying that you may not know), “ballin’” is “to live a rich, upper-class life after growing up a poor, or ghetto, lower class life. Or, to perform illegal or shady actions to make and/or keep money.” So, ballin’ is a way to move up out of poverty and out of the ghetto. Lil Troy says, “I wanna be a baller, a shot caller.” And in his 2009 single “I Look Good,” Chalie Boy lets everyone know that “Ballin’ is a drug that I don’t mind abusing!”
I find it a little confusing that the same people that condemn such greed often have no problem with CEOs, or their heirs, having several multi-million dollar homes, jets, fleets of cars, etc. Is the difference that the fat cat CEOs don’t rap about the thirst for money, instead they just yearn for it just as greedily, but calmly in a suit and tie? I don’t know.
And it’s not that rap music is the only type promoting questionable values either. Plenty of country songs, for example, are about jealous spouses killing the other (Garth Brooks’s 1992 “Papa Loved Mama”), or driving while drinking (Jason Aldean’s 2011 “Dirt Road Anthem”).
And not all rap songs are about violence, drugs, and money, believe it or not. Take a look at “Live Your Life” (by T.I., 2008, featuring Rihanna – however don’t take a look at T.I. who was arrested on weapons charges). The song starts out with a special shout out to all the soldier fighting in Iraq. He’s addressing all of the new generation of rap stars: “Stop looking at what you ain’t got and start bein’ thankful for what you do got.” He then hands out some chastisement for those who forgot their roots: “I brought back to the hood, all you ever did was take away.” He continues:
I got love for the game, but, hey, I’m not in love with all of it; Could do without the fame, and rappers nowadays are comedy; the hootin’ and the hollerin,’ back and forth with the arguin: where you from, who you know, what you makin, what kinda car you in. Seems as though you lost sight of what’s important when you depositin the checks into yo bank account and you up out of poverty. Your values is a disarray, prioritizin horribly, unhappy with the riches, cause you’re piss poor morally. Ignorin all prior advice and forewarnin, and we’re mighty full of ourselves all of a sudden, aren’t we?
In the 2006 remix of “Walk It Out” by Unk, André 3000 (who, like dem Franchize Boyz, Shop Boyz, the Ying Yang Twins, Lil Jon, Ludacris, T.I. and many others, is from Atlanta) raps, “Your white T, well to me, look like a nightgown. Make yo mama proud, take that thing two sizes down. Then you’ll look like the man you are, or what you could be…I couldn’t give a damn bout your car.”
Anyways, I’m done. As you’ve surely noticed, I could go on and on about many different topics. But I don’t want you to fall asleep at the keyboard. I just wanted to share my interest in rap lyrics. Many people dismiss it all as simply “talking,” but, I do think that it takes talent to be able to rap. Of course, there is the kind that is simply done with computerized voice changers where the verses and choruses just repeat themselves over and over. But that’s the same with any genre. And it really is difficult to decide what is “good” and “bad” music since it’s all in the ear of the beholder.
I watched a rerun of a 60 Minutes episode last night on our nation’s economic state. I found the last segment, “Should We Make Cents?” really interesting. The interview was with the head of the US Mint, and the main question was, Should we keep making the penny?
Here’s a boiled down list of pros and cons for the beloved copper (really made from zinc) penny:
Against the Penny:
1) Each year the U.S. Mint creates 8 billion new pennies (12 pennies/second), totaling $80 million in legal US tender. But, the problem is, since it costs nearly two cents to make a penny, the actual cost to the US government for creating $80 million worth of pennies is $134 million. (Just for a side note, it costs nearly a dime to create a nickel!)
2) The one cent coin is “out of date” and because of it’s low worth, it has essentially no buying power. Additionally, not enough people actually use them; they simply go in a jar or piggy bank at the end of the day, perhaps to be rolled and cashed in on some later date.
For the Penny:
1) It showcases Abraham Lincoln, one of the most beloved US presidents. The penny is simply part of American culture: “A penny for your thoughts;” “A penny pincher,” etc. In other words, we simply have an emotional attachment to the little copper coin. Rebuttal to this point is as follows: just like the rotary phone and carbon paper, the penny is now simply out of date and no longer economical.
2) It’s argued that, if the penny is done away with, producers will round prices up to nearest nickel, therefore putting a strain on buyers – especially those people to whom the penny is actually important, that is the people of the lowest economic class who actually utilize the penny for their everyday spending. However, the counter-argument to this claim is: the calculation process to the final price is too complex to simply say prices would be rounded up to the nearest nickel. For example, retailers could actually round down on the sicker price ($1.95 instead of $1.99); plus, the existence of sales tax makes the final price too random to worry about which way (up OR down) the sticker price would be rounded; additionally, the fact that people often buy more than one item at a time randomizes the direction of rounding.
3) Charities make millions of dollars per year simply by having boxes in stores that ask people to donate as little as a penny (hoping that the customers’s loose change will go in the charity’s box instead of the coin jar at home). So, if the penny is discontinued, charities will lose a substantial amount of money. Rebuttal? Charities will simply ask for the new lowest denomination of coin: the nickel.
Here is the 60 Minutes segment if you want to watch it yourself.
So, what I’m wondering: what are YOUR thoughts on the issue? Is the penny a big enough part of our culture to keep it even if it’s costing the US government roughly $54 million annually in losses during this horrible economic climate? Would you miss it?
I just thought I might take up one post with a few words about the website itself and how I’ll run it. First of all, the newest post will always show up on top when you go to the site (acuriouswanderer.wordpress.com). Older ones will be pushed further down, and eventually onto other pages. It’s not much of a problem now, since the site is still new, but if later on you’re looking for an older post, it may be easier to use the right side of the homepage. There you’ll find two ways to browse through posts: by month, and by category.
Next, I have a “Pages” section, which appears on the top right of the homepage. There you will find some different information. Currently I have three separate pages: About Me, Favorite Quotes, and then Useful Links. The last one is probably my favorite – that’s where I’ll keep a lot of fun or interesting websites. Right now I have links to some different news websites, some of which are foreign, but written in English (it’s always good to get as many different perspectives on a story as possible – and that doesn’t mean just CNN and Fox – check out what they’re saying across the oceans!) I also have a section for other blogs that I like, and if you’re reading this one, you might like them, too. As I come across more, I’ll add them. And I also have a random “Food for Thought” section, filled with odds and ends. My favorite, because it’s one of the most fascinating sites on the web – even thought it’s pretty simple – is the World Clock. It’s so much more than a clock! Check it out; it’s awesome!
And, a few words on the posts themselves. You can read the posts directly from the homepage. However if you want to leave a comment, either click on the title (bolded in beige at the beginning) and scroll down to the end, or simply click “Leave a Comment.” If you’re commenting as a guest, you have to put your email address in – but don’t worry, I do not get that address. It’s simply WordPress’s way of making sure that you’re not a spamming computer. Also, you are not obliged to give your real name if you don’t wish to.
And, at any given time that you want to go back to the homepage, simply click the picture at the top, and you’re be brought back.
Lastly – the Internet is an awesome place for writers. Your work can be read instantly around the globe; your audience is almost boundless. However, it is also easy for anyone even slightly versed in computer use to Copy & Paste anything. As someone who will eventually make a living from what I write, I sometimes fear placing my words onto the Net where they can be taken and passed off as someone else’s. So, in an attempt to combat that I will place a license on a few certain posts. This license will not actually stop anyone from copy&pasting, however when you see the “CC” emblem at the bottom of the post, please respect my wish to keep that text authored under my name.
But let me clarify: I do not mind anyone sharing my website with anyone – in fact, please do share if you’re interested. And if you like a particular post, I have no problem with anyone, or everyone, sharing it. But if the CC license emblem is present, please don’t try to use it and pass it off as your own. I do appreciate it!
Now that business is taken care of, I think I’m going to go and find something to eat for supper (yes, I’m from the South, so that means I say “supper.” “Dinner” is saved for Sunday at noon!)