Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

President Barack Obama running for reelection in 2012, oh my!


So apparently earlier this morning President Barack Obama announced that he would be formally running for reelection. I think that Obama running for a second term in and of itself is not really a surprise to anyone, since the past 5 presidents have all done the same thing and are usually reelected.


What I find interesting about this is his timing. Obama has basically relaid the ground rules for presidential campaigning, by starting his campaign for president so far ahead of any of his challengers. (Note: to date, no other challengers have actually filed their federal election commission paperwork and the closest we have are educated guesses of who some of Obama's challengers may be)

Why is this so interesting to me? Well, for starters he has formally started his campaign almost a full year before anyone else! This is significant because now he can begin formally collecting campaign funds starting now as well, and he is going to need them!

Since Obama has come into office, many people have criticized his tactics in federal office. Many on the left feel he hasn't lived up to his campaign rhetoric, while at the same time folks on the right feel that he is dropping the ball and enacting socialist legislation and laws that could only be leading to a communist state. (Oh no, socialism and communism are bad aren't they? Godless heathens?!)

The truth really adds up to this, in the United States we elect representatives that are supposed to be like minded individuals that have similar morality, wants, needs, and desires, that we do so that they are able to vote and represent us appropriately in the federal government. The problem with this idea however, is that you can't please everyone all the time!


That having been said, with a 8.8 percent unemployment rating (over 3 million unemployed for you lay people out there), the drama related to Obamacare, the looming government shutdown (spooky), and everyone's issues with formal US involvement in now 3 military theatres with the addition of the United Nations mission in Libya to the "War on Terror" in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama has a slight uphill battle in front of him.

My prediction for 2012? Prepare to see Obama in the Whitehouse for another 4 years, (maybe with a change of vice president), other than that, I predict status quo from Washington, until people start realizing that their representation is supposed to work for them and as such, said representation should also be concerned about loosing their positions representing the nation in the event that they are doing a poor job (which the majority of Senators and Congressmen are at this point in time).

Southwest Airlines, Epic Fail....

Ok, so normally I wouldn't really care much about the drama with the airlines (or railroads) in this country because they are always crying poverty looking for state and federal bailout moneys, while spending on payrolls like a drunken sailor on hookers. That having been said, I believe that Southwest should be getting some sort of award for being the cheapest of the tightwads for having one of their airplanes fall apart recently.


Friday, on a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Sacramento, California a 4-6 foot section of flight 812's fuselage ripped open, causing a rapid depressurization of the aircraft and forcing flight 812 to land at a military base in Yuma, Arizona.


Now for many folks this would be enough, but today, more of Southwest Airlines' Boeing 737-300s have been grounded and found to be experiencing a similar issue with structural integrity. Certainly, Boeing's craftsmanship should be in question in this situation, however, I believe that more than anything Southwest needs to take the lion's share of the blame for having planes in the sky that are flying with standardized integrity tests (D-check).

It is truly scary to me that mechanics or other flight crews would be so busy with a standardized checklist to go over, that when inspecting an aircraft, they wouldn't consider examining all stress points, including the skin of the aircraft which does typically expand and contract throughout the course of a flight due to air pressure changes within the cabin of the aircraft and in this situation is where the weakness that lead to this accident and subsequent groundings occurred.

I guess bottom line is, we all end up getting what we pay for.. Cheap flights=cheap planes=cheap pay=standardized testing that leads to people who aren't even interested in thinking outside the box, let alone how seriously they are likely taking the tests that they are administering?!



*Images used with special thanks to AP and epicfail.com

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Louis Vuitton Whores



Ok, now before you say that I Rick Rolled you, hear what I have to say....

The group Anonymous (think like wikileaks, only more serious) has declared war on Louis Vuitton after the clothing company’s victory in court against an artist who painted a portrayal of a starving African child clutching a handbag. I personally feel that their stance is correct for supporting the artist and I am frankly appalled that a judge or any court would side with the prosecution on this one. Screw Louis Vuitton, if you guys can't handle someone using an image of your product in a tasteful form of artistic expression, then you guys deserve anything that happens to your company as a result of winning such a ridiculous law suit if the majority are un happy with the decision....

The company argued that the portrayal was “offensive” to their brand, punishing the artist for simply expressing herself.

Anonymous proposes that participants engage in non-violent methods of protest against the company by buying replica LV handbags and cheap old ones to give them away to homeless people. They also encourage the the removal and/or defacement of LV advertisements, the handing out of flyers outside their stores, and other forms of artistic protest.

Kittens and Glitter Louis Vuitton, kittens and glitter!!

(NSFW below)




Monday, March 7, 2011

Mardi Gras, Carnival, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday... What does it all mean and a few things to do


So with Mardi Gras (literally Fat Tuesday in French or Shrove Tuesday in English tradition) only a day away and the Mardi Gras season hours from starting, I decided it would be a great idea to write a little bit about the season and the events, where it all comes from and what the meaning of the whole thing is.

In a word, Mardi Gras or Carnival can both be summed up as... Oh I don't know, mind-blowing for those that like to really party hard? In all seriousness though, Mardi Gras and Carnival are really the last chance at decadence, debauchery, and disorderly conduct prior to the observance of fasting for lent in the catholic faith, that runs from on or after Epiphany and ends on the day before Ash Wednesday in most places.

So what does this all mean? Well, in a nut shell, it means that Mardi Gras is the last chance for people to cut loose partying and to eat and drink like gluttons before lent.

What's this?


If you happen to be from Louisiana, then the previous image is nothing new to you, however, for those reading this from the rest of the world, you are looking at a crawfish boil, which I can honestly say is a probably one of the best examples of cajun cuisine and a pretty good example of something that you would see devoured by lots of hungry Mardi Gras goers as well! Crawfish are incredibly delicious and are great with a few cold ones and your entire family to share and enjoy! Seriously, don't knock em till you have tried them... Putting aside the food for a moment, Louisiana is often the first place that comes to mind for most Americans at least when someone mentions Mardi Gras, however, Mardi Gras is celebrated in places all over the world quite differently.


This picture was taken at Carnival in Brazil! In Brazil, Mardi Gras is referred to as Carnival and the entire country parties like they mean it! A quick search of the web will turn up many racy and wild photos from the South American Mardi Gras, some of which I was on the fence about posting here because they were beautiful images, but the were NSFW. That having been said, use your imagination and think about what an entire country of people celebrating before a fasting period would be like... Now add alcohol, great food, and some of the hottest scantily clad women in the world and you are only scratching the surface of what Carnival is even like in Brazil. There are many other places across the planet where they celebrate Mardi Gras, such as Canada, Germany, Belgium and more, even Senegal!

In closing, consider this before you go down to Bourbon Street in the French Quarter to raise hell, throwing beads at women who show their breasts and drinking hurricanes, while dancing to "When the Saints Coming Marching In" for the 3000 time in a day; this celebration is in preparation for the remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ: MAKE IT COUNT!, especially if you are Christian or Catholic.

If you need some other things to do while you are celebrating in Louisiana, here are some great options to check out:

Audubon Zoo:

Bogue Chitto Tubing:

Haunted History Tours:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Those Darlins, Great rockabilly/indie/surf/hick rock

Short post...

These gals are so rad, they definitely deserve praise and props!

Those Darlins "Wild One" from Tugboat Productions on Vimeo.


Apparently, they have a new album that just dropped as well. Check them out!
Those Darlins, Click Here

John Galliano, WTF Mate?

Let me start off saying a few things, before I dive into the story, etc.....

Firstly, the image commemorating John Galliano's time with Dior was shot by Simon Proctor and is being used from the blog of Jed Root, which is an agency in NYC that didn't hire me for whatever reason, after I met the owner Jed Root, who strangely reminds me of John Galliano somehow...
The part I find particularly interesting about this image and the fact that it is still up on the Jed Root blog (and likely Simon Proctor's personal site) is that, neither Jed Root or the photographer have an issue owning up to or displaying the fact that they are supportive of John Galliano and his anti-judaic attitude by still advertising and exhibiting a story including him digitally.

Secondly, but pardon the expression John, there are some things that are just not kosher and I think you successfully discovered that one.... I provide the link to his anti-jewish rant below for those who haven't seen it yet.

Just an FYI, the following is offensive:



So apparently John Galliano has a problem with jewish folks and loves Adolf Hitler.

Um,right....

Well, while he is entitled to his own beliefs and I would never criticize for that, this was one of those situations where another stupid, arrogant, ignorant, fashion victim has decided he is high and mighty enough to unleash his racial bias and low class attitude in a public venue. Thank you John for showing the world that you are a bigot. While I am happy that he outed himself as a Jew hating piece of La Merde publicly and internationally, at the same time I am sad because not only do racist attitudes pervade the fashion industry, but they also are pervasive in society as a whole, it is just rarer that there is a moment where the curtain is pulled back and people are able to clearly see people for who or what they are.

My beliefs are similar to that of the Inglorious Basterds in a manner of speaking.

After time, Mr. Galliano will be able to wash his hands of his indiscretion and will eventually work again (think Michael Vick, Kate Moss, David Duke, Strom Thurmond, etc.) All of these folks did something very against the grain and were eventually allowed back into the limelight (or never left in some cases) and they have managed to carry on like very little really ever happened. I don't believe that this should be ok at all. Particularly in Mr. Galliano's case. I realize that he will loose some money in the immediate future due to him becoming a social pariah because of his outward expression of hate, but after the smoke clears, he will be back to it like it never happened and what he said and did will be forgotten. This shouldn't be the case.

Galliano should have to wear his racism and bigotry on the outside from now on and see how he fares!

Blade Runner Prequel talks! Where is Ridley Scott?


Ok, so late last night I caught wind of there being talks about the creation of a new movie in the Blade Runner universe. I also learned that so far, Ridley Scott is not involved?! How can you even talk about making a Blade Runner without Scott at the helm?

Apparently, Alcon Entertainment the same folks who brought us such unforgettable films as The Blindside and The Book of Eli, have purchased the rights to make a film based on the original characters and setting as the original Blade Runner and are currently toying with multiple ideas for the sequel/prequel, including a web series or full length film.
I find the part about a possible web series interesting, because I believe a few years ago Ridley Scott and his son were rumored to be working with RSA Films on that same concept. They were rumored to be producing 10-15 minute shorts that would be available online, that would be based in the Blade Runner universe; to my knowledge nothing has come to fruition to date in that regard.

However, this new news which is making a splash across most of the major new outlets this morning has some weight to it, but indications are that the folks at Alcon are remaining extremely tight lipped about what they are up to. “We have some ideas that we’re not in a position to discuss yet,” Andrew Kosove, Alcon’s co-CEO was quoted by EW as saying, but he goes on in his interview to discuss the relevance of the original 1982 Scott film to our current times and how revisiting the film and its theme about what it means to be human are so appropriate to the current state of the world (at least in the developed countries). Let's see what happens!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hudson Valley Wildlife Photography



This is one of my buddy's sites, definitely worth a look if you have any curiosities about the flora and fauna of the hudson valley area or if you just appreciate wildlife! Derrick is particularly fond of the birds of the hudson valley, so definitely check it out!!!

Local Exploration by Eidam Photography

The Social Network, Apache Servers and My Thoughts

I watched The Social Network lastnight and the first thing I really have to say about this movie is that I don't believe that there has ever been a movie that has been more over hyped than The Social Network has been. If you haven't seen or heard of this film yet (I have no idea how you couldn't have) here is the trailer:

Now that all of that is out of the way, I will say what I have to say and take whatever criticisms come along with that. I was totally unimpressed.

Jesse Eisenberg's performance as Mark Zuckerberg was way too convincing, to the point of causing anxiety within the first two minutes of watching the film. I realize that this is part of the story and whatever, and maybe Mark Zuckerberg is as big of a douche as he was portrayed in the movie, but they seriously could have toned down the OCD behaviour and the multiple times that Eisenberg mentions Apache servers for street cred and instead focused on the idea process more, rather than the people who implemented them or hated the innovators who ultimately create Facebook.

While I think that the internet and social networking sites are all a critical component of where the future of integrative technology is heading, I think that at the end of the day, the intentions of the film maker in telling this tale are either lost in translation or were truly only for profit. This film sucks pretty bad for so many reasons, I can't believe that on imdb or rotten tomatoes that they are honestly giving it such incredible ratings.

I think there is a valuable life lesson to be learned from the whole Social Network film experience, I guess it goes to show that you can make a completely garbage movie about something interesting and people will not only see it, but also it will win at the Oscars!

In closing, I leave you with some other films and filmmakers that lost out to more of the mass produced crap like The Social Network. Click Here

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

About.me, Yet another Social Media site?

So I just set up an account at About.me per one of my buddies.

Gratuitous link: http://about.me/shawnmadams

I think so far, that the layout is stellar, but I am not exactly sure what it is supposed to be for. If it is supposed to be like a photo resume/business card/something else, then I think it works pretty well in that regard; but honestly, I am not sure exactly how useful About.me really is. It's not facebook and it's not myspace. Check it out and tell me what you think!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Brett Dennen - Sydney (I'll come running) - Can't get this tune out of my head

This is a pretty catchy pop tune.  I think that a collaboration with Matisyahu or another Reggae person would be super appropriate for this one!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dead Island Trailer, I don't get the hype.....


More Dead Island Videos

What do you think?

Designers vs Programmers

I just read this a few moments ago and realized this is one of my personal issues.

"Your marketing department:

Developers tend to look at marketing people with an evil eye. They get a bad rap for asking for things that are hard to implement or that don’t seem logical. They’re looking at your product like a normal person would. Their motivation is to position, promote, and sell that product to other normal people."
 I'm curious as to what other folks think.  Is this like the Engineer and Architect argument?  I actually think that there may be some validity to this in kind of a left brain vs right brain type thing.
Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Robert Johnson Guitar Workshop with Scott Ainslie Thursday, April 14th, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

$35 for the workshop

Celebrating the centennial of Blues legend Robert Johnson’s birth (1911-1938), Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation is sponsoring a guitar workshop by Johnson authority and Blues musician Scott Ainslie, author of Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads and video teacher on the instructional DVD, Robert Johnson/Signature Licks.

Son House said that Robert Johnson must have sold his soul to the Devil to learn to play guitar the way he ...did. You may have a better way.
On Thursday April 14th, between 7:00pm and 9:00pm, guitarists will have an alternative to staying up late at the cross roads: Johnson authority and Blues musician Scott Ainslie will present a master class on the evolution of Johnson’s guitar style and a hands-on workshop for guitarists on his guitar style and techniques.

Ainslie says, “We’ll look at Johnson’s guitar parts in various keys, in standard tuning, and in open tuning, including his basic slide technique. Participants should bring a slide that fits securely on their little finger and a small audio recorder, if desired.”

Cost for the workshop is $35. Register for the workshop by sending an email to info@acousticblues.com