Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

No Child Left Uncultured.

From Culture Grrl

Who would have thought that art would make it into July 23rds Democratic Presidential debate?

It made a cameo appearance during the discussion of education, when Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico actually said the "A"-word.

Let's go to the transcript:

RICHARDSON: I would have a major federal program of art in the schools...
... music, dancing, sculpture, and the arts.

Instead of "No Child Left Behind," which most of the candidates seemed to repudiate, it could be: "No Child Left Uncultured."

Arts education also received strong verbal, if not financial, support yesterday from New York Mayor (and possible presidential aspirant) Michael Bloomberg..

Jennifer Medina reports in today's NY Times:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced yesterday that the city's Department of Education will require all schools to maintain arts programs, and that principals will be rated in their annual reviews on how well they run those programs.

The announcement came just months after the department infuriated arts groups by eliminating a multimillion-dollar program to finance arts education.

Art is also on the mind of France's new president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who is considering whether more of his countrymen might attend French museums if admission were free, according to Alan Riding in yesterday's NY Times. But one of France's most prominent cultural figures seems to be more of Richardson's mind.

Riding reports:

"One learns to read at school, one doesn't learn to see," Pierre Rosenberg, the former president-director of the Louvre, wrote recently in the Paris daily Libération. "For decades art historians have been united in demanding that the history of art be required teaching in high schools."

This, Rosenberg feels, is the key to attracting more of the French to their country's tourist-thronged museums.

In any event, it's refreshing that nationally prominent politicians are giving the arts even a few minutes of serious thought.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Youssou N Dour

Youssou N'Dour (born October 1, 1959 in Dakar) is a Senegalese singer and percussionist. He helped develop popular music in Senegal, known in the Wolof language as mbalax, a blend of the country's traditional griot percussion and praise-singing with the Afro-Cuban arrangements and flavors which made the return trip from the Caribbean to West Africa in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s and have flourished in West Africa ever since.
for more click here

Friday, July 20, 2007

Samuel Eto'o

Eto'o seeks racism walk-off
Cameroon and Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o says players should walk off the pitch if they face racist abuse.

Eto'o almost walked off the pitch last year at Real Zaragoza, who were merely fined US$11,000 for their fans abuse.

Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'oThe 26-year-old is furious with lack of action on racism.

"Promises have been made for change - for sanctions to be enforced - but the first move needs to be made by those who are being subjected to the abuse," he said.

"Part of me hopes that one day someone will manage to walk off the pitch in protest."

With the new season in Europe fast approaching, Eto'o believes the general public also have a role to play in clamping down on the problem.

Samuel Eto'o
(Racism) is just ignorance, that is all it is
Samuel Eto'o

Eto'o said: "If we experience this in football it means our society is rotten and that means we're in a dangerous situation.

"That's what we need to be fighting against. I think that football is a small thing, but society - just imagine!

"I am treated first and foremost as a footballer, as Samuel Eto'o, but away from the cameras a black man is suffering from racism and nobody cares.

"That's the problem."

Taking to www.feelfootball.com, Eto'o also criticised some members of the media for disregarding his comments on the racist attacks he has suffered.

He added: "I think the media tried to shoot me down (in the past) as if I was making too much of it, but the whole time I was just expressing how I was feeling.

"I think that education is the problem, and the media have a full role to play in this.

"It is just ignorance, that is all it is."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Trevor Phillips

On 8 September 2006, Trevor was announced as chair of the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), which will take over the work of Britain's three existing equality commissions in October 2007.

Trevor was appointed chair of the CRE on 1 March 2003 by the then home secretary David Blunkett.

Born in London in 1953, Trevor attended secondary school in Georgetown, Guyana, and then studied chemistry at Imperial College London. Between 1978 and 1980, he was president of The National Union of Students. He then went into broadcasting, becoming Head of Current Affairs at LWT in 1992. From 1987 to 2000, he was alternately the editor or the presenter of The London Programme. Trevor received awards from the Royal Television Society in 1988, 1993 and 1998.

He was elected as a member of the Greater London Authority in May 2000, and became chair of the Assembly later that month.

Trevor is a director of Pepper Productions, founded in 1995, and was the executive producer on Windrush (which won the Royal Television Society Documentary Series of the Year award in 1998), Britain's Slave Trade, Second Chance and When Black Became Beautiful. He is a vice president of the Royal Television Society.

At present, he is chair of the Young Adults Working Group of the Financial Services Authority, and a board member of the Almeida Theatre in Islington, Aldeburgh Productions and The Bernie Grant Centre in Tottenham. He is a patron of The Sickle Cell Society. Between 1993 and 1998 Trevor was chair of the Runnymede Trust.

In addition to many newspaper articles and comment pieces, Trevor has co-written Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multiracial Britain (with Mike Phillips), published in 1998, and Britain's Slave Trade (with S.I. Martin) published the following year.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dion Floyd's Urban Sprawl

This is a comic series I can't wait to buy

Created by Dion Floyd,
Kevin L. Patrick and Maurice Robertson.

The year is 2250. It is 140 years after the Net Wars of 2110 took its toll on the world's economy especially the American region. Soon afterwards 'Neo America' formed an alliance with Japan and together they created the first international city called 'Sanctuary'. Sanctuary was to be a Utopian city government that all cities worldwide would use as the template for their restructuring. An new law enforcement agency, Munipol, was put in place to serve and protect this next generation of civilization.

The Sewer or Outer Sanctuary, lies directly in the wasteland on the outskirts of Sanctuary. It's riddled with the poverty, organized crime, and all things that have no place what is to be the city of the future. Caught in the turmoil created in forging a New World Order are: a seductive African ninja and two determined Munipol Officers determined to find her first.

Urban Sprawl Conceptual Artwork by Pat Presley.
Urban Sprawl Character Designs by Mshindo Kuumba I.

Click here for More info


Monday, July 16, 2007

Filmore a cartoon that never got its due

FIL_BADGEFLASH.jpg (22706 bytes)

Walt Disney Television Animation Series Captured Essence of Great 1970s Cop Shows

Schoolyard justice had a hip, new defender in Safety Patrol Officer Cornelius Fillmore, the title character of "Disney's Fillmore!"

"Disney's Fillmore!" captures the essence of the great 1970s cop shows in the guise of a smart, quick-witted seventh-grader out to stop crime in its school-age tracks. Baseball card counterfeiters and cheat sheet cartels had best beware - Fillmore is on the case, patrolling X Middle School with adept partner Ingrid Third.

"Disney's Fillmore!" is designated as children's educational and informational programming.

Scott M. Gimple is the creator and executive producer of "Disney's Fillmore!" His recent work can be seen within the writing of the award-winning "Disney's Pepper Ann" animated series and several popular "Disney's One Saturday Morning" interstitial segments. Prior to joining Walt Disney Television Animation, Gimple was an editor and writer at Matt Groening's comic book/publishing company, Bongo Comics Group, where he wrote "The Simpsons' Guide to Springfield" and served as contributing editor on "The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family" and editor on "The Simpsons Forever: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ... Continued."

"Fillmore is a former juvenile delinquent who has turned his life around," Gimple explains, "and he's making up for his shady past by helping others."

"The Simpsons" veteran Christian Roman is director on "Disney's Fillmore!" After earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Boston University, Roman interned at Olive Jar Animation before landing on "The Simpsons." From 1994-1999, Roman advanced through the ranks from character layout to storyboarding to storyboard supervisor on "The Simpsons." Roman also served as writer-director on two seasons of "The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat."

FIL_SKATEBOARD.jpg (18356 bytes)
Schoolyard justice has a hip, new defender in Safety Patrol Officer Cornelius Fillmore (voice talent of 14-year-old Orlando Brown)

As the title character, 14-year-old Orlando Brown ("Proud Family," "Max Keeble's Big Move") ' leads the cast of "Fillmore!" Delving deep into the psyche of Fillmore, Brown brings a cool, controlled sensibility to the former delinquent-turned-good guy.

"Fillmore is like a miniature version of Shaft with no fear," Brown says. "Cartoons are filled with superheroes with superpowers, but Fillmore gives kids someone they can relate to. He's a kid with good morals and a strong sense of right and wrong. Most kids get that concept, and I think he'll provide a good role model in that way."

Voiceover veteran Tara Strong ("Rugrats," "The Powerpuff Girls") fills the role of Fillmore's extremely capable partner in crime-stopping, Ingrid Third.

"Ingrid is very cool, very dark and really hip," Strong says of her animated alter ego. "She's sort of like Winona Ryder's character in Beetlejuice meets the hall monitor."

The core voice cast rounds out with Horatio Sanz ("Saturday Night Live") as Junior Commissioner Vallejo, head of X Middle School's Safety Patrol; Wendie Malick ("Just Shoot Me") as Principal Folsom; Jeff Probst ("Survivor") as Vice Principal Raycliff; Lauren Tom ("Grace Under Fire") as safety patrol officer Karen Tehama; Kyle Sullivan ("Malcolm in the Middle") as officer Danny O'Farrell; and Danny Tamberelli ("The Adventures of Pete & Pete") as officer Joseph Anza.

Like Scully and Mulder, the Fillmore-Third duo sets forth to solve school-based mysteries. The series has several focuses, most notably today's kids' need to make a difference, and the kids-view intensity each situation posed during those heated middle school years.

"These are good kids, wanting to change and help their world be a better place," Gimple says. "The way I think of it, this show is not about middle school - this show is middle school. When you're that age, you're living more passionately, more emotionally. Things are a bigger deal - you don't shrug stuff off.

"When a comic book was stolen, it was like a car was stolen. A break-up in seventh grade could be as earth-shaking as a divorce. News that somebody had challenged somebody else to a fight ran around the school with the anticipation of a (Mike) Tyson fight. So this show isn't about kids making big deals about little things - it's about how intense things really felt when we were in Middle School. I think kids will truly relate to it from that perspective."

Growing up in a household filled with American pop culture - and countless hours sitting in front of the small screen - helped shape Gimple's passion for cartoons and cop shows. From "Starsky and Hutch" and "Adam 12" to "21 Jump Street" and "Miami Vice," the cop show influence is evident within Gimple's psyche. The ultimate result is "Disney's Fillmore!"

"Cop shows are a great genre," Gimple explains. "You have a 'hotshot cop with an attitude' that is willing to break the rules to bring down the bad guy, and the incredibly gruff, heavy-set, no-nonsense chief that the mayor is always coming down on. With the same drama and no nonsense attitude, we've brought these characters and situations into a middle school environment. So in this case, it's a topnotch safety patrol officer, his superior and the principal. It's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it never talks down to kids."

FIL_RUNNING_HALL.jpg (25168 bytes)
Safety Patrollers Cornelius Fillmore and Ingrid Third on the run to stop crime in its school-age tracks,

Most safety patrol officers are often stereotypically depicted as uptight, rule-rigid nerds, but Fillmore and Ingrid bring to mind characters like Shaft and the "Lethal Weapon" series' Riggs and Murtaugh. The safety patrol at X Middle School is not typical, either - rather than monitoring the hallways and helping at crosswalks, these patrollers are busting up stolen scooter chop shops and unmasking the saboteur behind a massive model train wreck. Fillmore and Ingrid's cases lean toward the odd and twisty.

"One of the fun parts of the series is making the crimes themselves kid society friendly," Gimple admits. "Cop shows can be pretty over-the-top. But that's exactly what it felt like back in seventh grade. These middle school kids are desperate to be popular, desperate to pass that test, desperate to get the new video game system. They're not bad kids, they just haven't learned the right way to go about it."

On the other hand, Fillmore has learned from his past - the hard way. Now he's making up for his mistakes.

"Fillmore's motto is basically, 'I do what I do because I was going in the wrong direction and somebody turned it around for me. Now I turn people around. If they don't want to, I stop them in their tracks,'" Gimple says. "He's not a goodie-two-shoes. He's tough. But in the end, he's all about doing the right thing, helping out his fellow student in need."

Gimple is pleased that Fillmore adds to the growing diversity in animated television.

"The cop shows I watched growing up were incredibly diverse — it's an essential part of the genre," Gimple says. "We won't shy away from his culture, because that shows the whole person. I'm very proud to present a strong, positive black character. Fillmore has a strong point of view, a distinct sense of right and wrong, and a great sense of humor."

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Safety Patrollers Cornelius Fillmore and Ingrid Third take a hot dog break from stopping crime at X Middle School in the hip, new series “Disney’s Fillmore!” premiering Saturday, September 14 on the ABC Television Network.

Gimple found the FCC requirements for social/educational content and life lessons meshed well with his law-enforcement theme.

"A cop show is a perfect fit for the FCC requirements because every episode needs somebody doing something bad - you need a crime to be committed," Gimple says. "In general, we see people learn from their mistakes and deal with the consequences. It's more 'Miami Vice' than 'Doug'."

And, of course, humor permeates the series in an unconventional manner.

"I think the show has a pretty unique sense of humor," Gimple says. "It comes out in the bizarre chases and the odd characters Fillmore and Ingrid come across, and the situations they land in. We know kids are extremely smart, and we don't tell them when and where to laugh. It's a different sensibility."

Showing a perfect cop show lineage, Gary Dourdan ("CSI") and Holly Robinson Peete ("21 Jump Street") portray Fillmore's parents. Other well known performers lending their voices to the series including Frankie Muniz ("Malcolm in the Middle"), Kyle Sullivan ("Malcolm in the Middle"), Caroline Rhea ("Caroline Rhea Show" and "Sabrina"), Steven Weber (Broadway's "The Producers" and "Wings"), John Rhys-Davies ("Lord of the Rings"), Mary Hart ("Entertainment Tonight"), Holland Taylor ("Spy Kids 2," and "The Practice"), Kurtwood Smith ("That '70s Show"), Patrick Bristow ("Ellen" and "Austin Powers"), Adam Wylie (Broadway's "Into the Woods") and Raven Simone ("That's So Raven" and "The Cosby Show").

Produced by Walt Disney Television Animation, "Disney's Fillmore!" premieres September 14, 2002 as part of ABC Kids" on the ABC Television Network. Scott M. Gimple is the series' creator and executive producer; Christian Roman is director. Walt Disney Television Animation is an industry leader in the creation of network, cable, and syndicated television series and specials, video premieres and theatrical releases.


For more information visit the offiicial website

--Posted September 13, 2002
Source: Walt Disney TV Animation Release

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Only Racist believe Racism is Dead

During the past two years a saga has been unfolding in the small town of Jena, La., that harkens back to an era that the United States would like to think has long gone by. An era marked, in this small community, by violent and grotesque hate crimes and inequality, a time when Black Louisianans were taught to stay in their place or pay the consequences. Sadly it seems that time has passed by unnoticed in this rural southern town, which still clings to the “old” southern way of life. Blacks and Whites do not socialize, and racism is regarded casually as a natural part of life.

The story that proceeds is one that seems out of place in an era when we have a Black democratic contender for the Oval Office. It is a sobering reminder that old ways run deep, and hate and fear do not fade away easily, especially in the Deep South. Unfair trials, intimidation and notions of White Supremacy still deeply affect people of color living in this sleepy Louisiana town, which has recently been rocked by international news coverage.
Click here for article

Jena White Tree

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Invisible Children

A touching documentary about the lives of the children in South Africa

Monday, July 09, 2007

Seriously, A Black President?

Although 92 percent of the NEWSWEEK Poll’s respondents claim they would vote for a black candidate (up from 83 percent in 1991), only 59 percent believe the country is actually ready for an African-American president (an improvement over 37 percent in a 2000 CBS News poll). Similarly, 86 percent of voters say they would vote for a female commander in chief, but only 58 percent believe the country is ready for one (up from 40 percent in a 1996 CBS poll). Two thirds (66 percent) of voters said there was at least some chance they’d vote for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama (35 percent said there was a “good” chance, up from 20 percent last May).
Click here for full article

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Black man in the White House?

Black Man in the White House is the title not of some fashionable new Washington parlour game devoted to the notion, once unthinkable, of an African-American occupying the Oval Office, but of a book published in 1963 by E Frederic Morrow, the first black man to serve as a presidential aide.
Morrow (at back) was treated with suspicion at the White House
Up until his appointment in the mid-50s, black White House employees appeared either with pristine white towels draped over their arms or cleaning mops in their hands.
Morrow, a successful PR man, had arrived ostensibly to help shape policy, not that his boss, President Dwight D Eisenhower, much valued his counsel.
The former general wanted to attract black support in key northern battleground states - after all, the Republicans were the party of Abraham Lincoln - and Morrow was recruited for mainly ornamental purposes.
Morrow's delight at achieving this striking "racial first" was matched only by the distaste of his new workmates. click here for article

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

ADHD & Creativity

For struggling parents, ADHD—which affects roughly 3 to 7 percent of Americans—may not seem like the key to anything other than frustration. But two new books, "Delivered From Distraction" by Dr. Edward Hallowell and Dr. John Ratey and "The Gift of ADHD" by Lara Honos-Webb, advance the controversial notion that distractibility, poor impulse control and emotional sensitivity have flip sides that are actually strengths—namely creativity, energy and intuition. "A huge proportion of criminals have ADHD," says Hallowell. "So do a lot of successful artists and CEOs. It's how you manage it that determines whether it becomes a gift or a curse."

Chief among the potential assets is creativity. A mind that flits easily from one thought to the next may not be good at mastering the material for a biology test, but the authors contend that a nonlinear mind can excel at combining ideas in new ways. "While the A students are learning the details of photosynthesis, the ADHD kids are staring out the window and wondering if it still works on a cloudy day," says Honos-Webb, a psychologist at Santa Clara University. This sort of thinking can translate in adulthood into the ideas that drive new businesses, launch innovative ad campaigns and crack scientific problems. Take David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue Airways, who calls ADHD one of his greatest assets. He pioneered several discount airlines and invented the e-ticket. "We make great entrepreneurs," says Grossman, "because we think out of the box. We can't help it." And instead of dithering over a decision, they're willing to take risks. As he puts it, "Impulsivity isn't always bad."

Critics charge that the whole approach risks romanticizing a serious disorder. "People with ADHD are more likely to be in serious accidents, more likely to be fired for misconduct, more likely to commit suicide," says Russell Barkley of the Medical University of South Carolina, who's studied the problem for 30 years. But Hallowell and Ratey insist that the difficulties can be overcome with a broad treatment program (including medications such as Ritalin) that helps patients learn to capitalize on strengths and compensate for weaknesses. They should know. Not only did they help Grossman turn his life around, they both have ADHD themselves—and both ended up as Harvard psychiatrists. click here for article

Monday, July 02, 2007

Increase your Brain Activity with 15 Ideas

These are 15 fun ideas that will increase your brain activity. It has been proven that the more exercise you give your brain the more it will grow and operate to new super levels. Are you striving to be more intelligent, more creative? Here’s a great platform on how you can achieve your goals.

“If you nurture your mind, body and spirit, your time will expand. You will gain a new perspective that will allow you to accomplish much more.”

- Brian Koslow

It’s simple, your brain is at the center of everything you do, all you feel and think, and every nuance of how you relate to people. It’s both the supercomputer that runs your complex life and the tender organ that houses your soul. So it is very important to focus on keeping your brain in shape.

By regularly engaging in the right activities, you can increase your memory, improve your problem-solving skills and boost your creativity. Here are some extra tips on how to keep your brain in top nick.

1. Just stop.

“Take 20-30 minutes out of your day to think about nothing. But don’t sleep – you’ve got to meditate. Sit still, reduce sensory input, and try to focus your mind on something like a calm scene or a color (to begin with thinking about something rather than trying to think of ‘nothing’ is easier). A study at the University of Kentucky revealed that subjects who took a late-afternoon test after meditating for 30 minutes had better scores than those who napped for the same time.”

2. Hit the streets.

“Lace up your running shoes and get moving. A study from the University of Illinois, US, revealed that aerobic exercise actually increases brain volume. They put two groups through different regimens - one did aerobic training three times weekly for one hour; the other group did just stretching and toning exercise. The aerobics group had increased their brain volume and white matter, which forms the connections between neurons.”

3. Mix it up.

“Exercise has long been hailed as an aid to brain-power longevity. But to ensure you’re not leaving the gas on in your eighties, vary your workout routines now. Try changing things up on a regular basis and you’ll stimulate your brain more because you’re not using the same pathway over and over again.” click here for article