Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Robot Schizophrenia: Because Sometimes Reality's Hard To Understand


Check out the latest happenings for when technology, psychology, and culture all end up in a clusterfuck of weird at Robot Schizophrenia, a new blog I've started. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

Robot Schizophrenia Ad by user6686168

A Blog For Your Morning

Check out Gooood Morning @ goooodmorning.blogspot.com to kickstart your day with daily news, morning stretches, breakfast recipes, and random stuff you could do in the morning.

-------
Edward likes watching people flail about and calling it dancing. You can flail about and find him on Facebook here.

Broad Concepts: Addressing Women's Roles in Media

Check out my new blog www.broad-concepts.blogspot.com where I'll be taking on the media from a woman's perspective.
_______________________________
Hey. I'm Rebecca.  I'm into film, cooking and body modification.
You talkin' to me? @reba_

New blog!

Here's my cool new blog Worthy to Say...
It's about my average college experience and how I can help get you through yours.


_____


Katherine Bosler probably hates the way you
drive but can help you improve in more ways than one.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Smallapalooza Goes Big



_____


Katherine Bosler probably hates the way you
drive but can help you improve in more ways than one.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Smallapalooza In Two Days!

Sunday, 7:00 pm in the Pub at Austin College is when you're going to get your dick rocked off by Xtian and Travisty of the Green Goblyn Project and the technoshock ass-shaking tunes of David Gonier. We've already mentioned Travisty's substantial punk as fuck credentials in a past article, formerly playing in the Independents and performing in Joey Ramone in his last show. David's music is what would happen if Crystal Castles and Major Lazer had a child, abandoned it in a dumpster to raise itself into a heartless sound system bent on making you dance. While You Exist will also be providing free food at the event, so come hungry and party till you puke. Ya'll better be there or you'll regret it for the rest of your life.


Co-sponsors for this orgy of awesome include Three Guys, A Girl, And A Blog, Text-Appeal, Mungo Estate, and Our Modern Gush. Check em' out, it's good for the soul.

--------

Daniel Mikelonis is constantly being turned down by Thailand plastic surgeons in his quest to become a canine, he enjoys beating around the bush and a good beating. Look at compromising pictures of him on Facebook here.

THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL SPEECH YOU WILL EVER HEAR


------

Edward Kim likes watching people flail about and calling it dancing. You can flail about and find him on Facebook here.

The Hangover 2: It's Going to be Nasty



______________________________

Hey.  I'm Rebecca Jones.  I'm into film, cooking and body modification.
You talkin' to me? @reba_

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An Unusual Adventure


_____

Katherine Bosler probably hates the way you
drive but can help you improve in more ways than one.

See Spot Get Suffrage: Animal Rights, Language, and Why We're So Damn Nice To Things With Fur



Similarities between three year old children and a border collie: they're cute, annoying at restaurants, and can have a vocabulary of around 1,000 words. At least, that's what researchers found with Chaser, a six year old canine who knows a helluva lot more language than “sit” and “stay.” The study found he even knows some basic grammar, putting him head and shoulders over most people, let alone dogs.

Teaching a mutt to understand language may seem a little strange, but it isn't the weirdest shit science has pulled on our four-legged companions. That was when Karl Krall had nothing better to do than test to see if his pup was telepathic. Guess what? It wasn't.


This experiment also has some pretty serious implications. Language and animal rights have had quite a time recently, with gorillas being able to talk with sign language being a big draw for Spain to give them basic human rights in 2008. Maybe if Fido starts barking in Morse Code he can get the same respect.

Your pet getting some basic rights because of the study's results isn't as out there of an idea as you would think. Cambridge bioethics professor and zoophilia advocate David Singer makes a valid point that there's mentally disabled folks with equal or lower intelligence than animals, and they're not required to be on the end of a leash in public. Instead, the creature's ability to feel suffering should be the basis of how they're treated, with the goal of minimizing it as much as possible.

When it gets down to it though, we're not trying to reduce animal suffering but just feel we've got some goddamn control over our lives. Guess when the whole anti-animal cruelty campaign started? The Industrial Revolution. While parents were sending their children to work in textile mills for pennies on the hour, they were also making it illegal to be cruel to cows in 1822. Moving into an industrialized society they didn't fully understand made people feel powerless. If they couldn't take charge of their lives and improve conditions, at least they could do something for those poor stupid animals.


As society gets more complex, we get nicer to animals with groups like the Animal Liberation Front arguing that we shouldn't have pets or domesticated creatures at all. Hey, who can blame them? It's a lot easier to help a dumb little critter than to help yourself. Until we get out of that mindset, we're just animals too.

--------

Daniel Mikelonis can often be found arguing with himself on street corners. If you want to give him some contact other than with the voices in his head, you can find him on Facebook here.

Judiciary Pranksters Zing Elisa Baker for Bigamy

The news this week in the murder case of 10-year-old Zahra Baker is... bland.  Zahra's stepmother Elisa Baker, who has not been formally named as a suspect, was indicted for bigamy this Tuesday, January 18.  This charge comes in addition to her previous indictment in October for obstruction of justice.

Okay, we get it.  You really think the lady was involved in this unfortunate case.  And she may well have been, but didn't Government 101 teach us that old truism "innocent until proven guilty?"

No, the charges aren't groundless.  Elisa Baker was, in fact, still married to her former husband for over a year after entering holy matrimony with new catch Adam Baker.  The issue here is not the basis of the charge, but its timing.


To me it seems, perhaps, a bit too convenient that these charges would surface now, just months after the tragic death of Baker's stepdaughter.  We've seen it all before: controversial or high-profile cases being deferred to smaller charges just  to 'put the guy away' (see Julian Assange and the "rape" allegations he now faces).

The moral of this smear story seems to conflict with the old ideas of guilt and innocence in a court of law: if enough people believe you deserve it (i.e. more than just attorneys, even the media/public), you will be blamed and punished.

Cases like this should open our eyes to the not-so-objective point of view of the American justice system.  When a technically harmless crime is used as an excuse to keep an assumed 'criminal' in a bad light or even behind bars, the real joke becomes the laws themselves.
_________________________

Hey.  I'm Rebecca Jones.  I'm into film, cooking and body modification.
You talkin' to me? @reba_

Sign Of Courtesy: Rapper Dice Raw After Car Accident

Hip-hop artist Dice Raw, a frequent The Roots collaborator and friend, is recovering from injuries due to a car accident last Wednesday (January 5). According to the Philadelphia native, Dice was turning on to Philadelphia North and a young woman ran a red light and totaled his new Jaguar XK convertible. Although the artist has been recuperating for almost a week, he says that “I’ve been thinking about all the handicap people who are less fortunate theneverybody that walks around and does whatever they want whenever they want. I’m definitely going to be figuring out how to get more involved and give my time to handicap organizations to raise awareness.”

Artists, such as Dice Raw often portray the common “street image” because of their tough childhoods, growing up in rough neighborhoods and getting heavily involved with drugs at a young age. However, there are actual warmhearted people under all the tattoos, violence, and sex and drug lyrics. Dice Raw sends out the message that there are others less fortunate than you. Most individuals have two working arms, legs, ears and eyes and a fully functional brain and there are some that don’t have that ability. This statement reveals an artist with true soul.
_____

Katherine Bosler probably hates the way you
drive but can help you improve in more ways than one.


Email us @ kbosler10@austincollege.edu

Nintendo 3DS Makes People Dizzy


While everyone enjoyed themselves at Nintendo's big 3DS showcase in Tokyo a few weeks ago, a number of people felt dizzy and nauseous after 10 minutes of 3D effects on the new Nintendo 3DS.

I love playing video games to chillax and de-stress myself from school and work, but to hear about a console that strains your eye-sockets...I'm a bit hesitant to buy the 3DS. With all the 3D craze going around the nation with movies and T.V.'s and all, its exciting to finally discover a portable console that delivers glasses-free 3D gameplay. But the idea of feeling "seasick" after playing a video game isn't my idea of relaxation.

Recently, 3D movies sprouted in movie theatres for every possible title out there: Step-Up 3D, Despicable Me, Tangled, Avatar. And now 3D televisions are introducing themselves into our homes and businesses, making the 3D technology a standard for entertainment today. However with all this 3D invading our game consoles, movies, and T.V.'s, it definitely becomes health risk, especially for children. I wouldn't want kids having seizures from watching T.V. (like in Japan) or wearing 5-inch thick glasses. If movie-theatres warn young children not to watch 3D movies and full grown adults feel nauseous after 10 minutes of 3D gameplay, why expose 3D technology at all?

------

Edward Kim likes watching people flail about and calling it dancing. You can flail about and find him on Facebook here.

I Said Hey


A contemporary take on a 90's classic.
______________________________________

Hey.  I'm Rebecca Jones.  I'm into film, cooking and body modification.
You talkin' to me? (http://twitter.com/reba_)

Better than Citizen Kane

'
------

Daniel Mikelonis can be reached at dmikelonis@austincollege.edu. When he isn't struggling to become a dog, he enjoys reading and making his life harder than it should be.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I GONE CRAZY

I Believe...

Cop Kills John T. Williams

After reading the article on the recent shooting of Native American woodcarver John T. Williams, I think that cop needs to be put in jail himself. Why? Because he is an idiotic guy with a gun who wasn't even in danger and KILLED a person. First off, the officer did NOT identify him self as a cop. A cop MUST follow protocols. Plus, it wasn't even like the guy was doing any thing wrong. According to a witness, he had just been "walking downtown." Honestly, if I was walking down town, I'd have a knife too. And that "pre-attack stance"? Come on!? His knife wasn't open! This guy was shot 10 seconds after the cop lights started to flash, definitely not a sufficient amount of time to clearly know why the guy had a knife. The cop told him to raise his hands and he did. Sure, this guy was in real danger. Good job law enforcement let's just go around killing people with knifes. This is why people don't like cops.

Really Quite Atrocious

Ah, Park City, Utah.  Home of ski resorts, Ted Bundy and this year's Slamdance Film Festival.  This Saturday, January 22, the city will welcome independent filmmakers from all over the globe to show off their exploits, including Spanish director Fernando Barreda Luna.  His "found footage" film, aptly named Atrocious, is being called this year's Paranormal Activity.  Hold it right there.  Remind me why this is a compliment?  Sure the film made loads of money from mindless horror consumers, but think about the market!  There's a great chance if this film succeeds that it will be picked up (and remade) by American film companies.  Really?  No thanks, I don't think I'd like another Blair Witch Project rip-off shoved down my throat.


Nintendo 3DS...Whoop Dee Doo


The Nintendo 3DS is hitting the market on March 27th with a hefty price of $250. What's the big hype about again? Oh yeah...glasses-free 3D capability. Other than that, the new 3DS looks pretty much the same as the previous DSi with the usual dual-screen, d-pad, and DS slot. I have to admit though, the glasses-free 3D handheld system is revolutionary, but that's what we said about the iPad and iPod, until other companies released similar products that were just as efficient for a LOWER price. $250 for a regular DSi with 3D capabilities and neat little analog stick is asking for quite a lot. It'll probably be wiser to wait and see what Sony has in store for us.

Burnt Out On Burning Yourself


Lighting yourself on fire is set to join picketing, petitions, and political rallies as the most cliche' ways to protest against anything. Apparently Abdou Abdel-Monaam Habadah's Tunisian blaze of glory caught on as a hot idea, with six others lighting up in copycat burnings. Sorry everyone, but that trick's been old hat since the sixties. It's not so radical anymore, with taxes and apathy being past reasons for activists to take up smoking. At this point, ignition has lost its spark. Rather than actually being a signal for change, it's become a sign of surrender. If you want to end your life with the equivalent of "shit happens," it's the dissident suicide of choice.
------
Daniel Mikelonis can be reached at dmikelonis@austincollege.edu. When he isn't struggling to become a dog, he enjoys reading and making his life harder than it should be.

Run the Tape: Today's Vid Picks



Have you got something better to do?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Phil Edwards: Living for Films

Film critique is an art.  For some, like Phil Edwards, it's also a job.  Edwards edits, operates and writes for LiveforFilms.com, a UK film blog that covers everything from The African Queen to Antichrist.  

Phil's line of work fascinates me as an aspiring journalist passionate about film.  From our interview, I was surprised to find that he actually had no prior journalistic experience before starting his website, which is now among the most prominent film blogs in the United Kingdom.  

I recently got in touch with Phil to ask him a few questions about his success.

     Q:   Where did you attend school and has film and/or journalism always been important to you/your passion?
    A:   I went to Wirral Grammar School then went to the University of Sunderland to study Environmental Studies. I always loved films, but just watched them and talked about them. 

     Q:   What is your prior journalistic experience? How is it valuable to you?
     A:   Before starting Live for Films (LFF) I have never had any journalistic experience. I had been to a few book readings and things like that and asked questions, but purely for my own interest. I had never written anything for other sites or newspapers before starting LFF.

      Q:   What got you into blogging? What inspired you to start your own website?
      A:   A couple of years ago I had been sending emails to friends about various bits and pieces of film news, but they were getting fed up with the amount I was sending. One of them suggested I should put it all on a blog for them to check out when they could. I started it up purely for my friends to read, but other people picked up on it and the readership has steadily grown. I cannot believe how people from all around the world like what I am doing. I always decided to just post things that interest me and quite a few people seem to like the same things I do.
 
I never would have thought it would lead to me asking Johnny Depp a question at the Public Enemies press conference, being sent films in the post to review, getting invited to press screenings in London (being based in Liverpool I am lucky enough to know a couple of people down in London who can get to the screenings for me), and going along to special presentations of films - my wife and I ended up in a freezing cold multi-storey car park to watch Spike Jonze's I'm Here while he drank vodka cocktails. All wonderful stuff.
 
It has also led to me meeting a wide range of people who now contribute to the site - whether they review films, send in news or just chat about films online. They are all wonderful people with different opinions about film and they make LFF richer for it.

      Q:   Your website reviews a wide variety of films, what do you think makes a great movie? Why?
      A:   A good question and a tough one to answer. Every film out there is great to someone whether it is the person who made it or the viewer who changes channels one night part way through it and finds it the most amazing film they have ever seen. Even the best films have their haters.
 
 I think that as long as there is some passion involved in the creation of the film - whether in the writing or the actual filming - then the film will have some greatness.
 
 I love a huge range of films and I think that shows in the reviews people send in.

     Q:   Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer/critic?
     A:   Be passionate about your subject. Keep writing. Be nice to people and have fun.

     Q:   How is the site doing in terms of views and/or success? (What do you base success on?)
     A:   The site gets, on average 12000 views a day and that is going up a bit more all the time. It is more than I ever imagined and I feel it is incredibly successful (I know it is still a small amount of views compared to the larger sites). Wikio.co.uk have LFF down as the second most influential movie blog in the UK.

Check out Phil Edwards on his website Live for Films.

Selling Us to Us: Peter Anderson on Advertising, America and our Actions

Selling Us to Us: Peter Anderson on Advertising, America and our Actions by penispump

Minister of Modification: The Flesh and Blood Spirituality of David Hahn

You're probably wrong about the Church of Body Modification. They're not a bunch of human pincushions getting together, showing off their latest sweet tats and raving about the newest Lamb of God album. They're not suspending their bodies from hooks in their flesh for shock value. Instead, the Church of Body Modification is exactly that: a church, a religion, and nothing they do is without reason.

Nobody knows this better than David Hahn, board member of the Church of Body Modification. He grew up in a military family, graduated from University of California in Santa Barbara... oh, and participated in a four-and-a-half hour flesh removal ceremony on his right calf and “numerous ritual cuttings and scarifications” by his count. Aside from being a Minister in the Church since 2008, he's also a Wiccan High Priest in the Majestic Tradition, collects board games, and does a little beach combing now and then. Here's this modern day mystic dropping knowledge on misconceptions, intentions, and why “decorating your temple” isn't all about the pain when it comes to body modification.

1. Why do humans have an innate desire to change their bodies into
something other than they are naturally? Is it from trying to assert a
sense of power and control over ourselves, pure aesthetic value, or
something else?

Naturally, the answer to this question varies from individual to
individual. As with most issues related to body modification, there
are no pat answers...no simple conclusions. We are dealing with
myriad personal, emotional, spiritual, and aesthetic details relating
to each person and their choices. However, I believe that each of the
possibilities you assert are true alone and in combination. Some
people are modified as part of a ritualistic reclaiming of their own
bodies to heal some hurt from their past, such as self-image issues or
abuse. Others may be trying to mark themselves as apart form the
"norm" in society. Some people that are modified pierce, tattoo,
brand, cut, etc. themselves as "art for art's sake." They are trying
to enhance their beauty and image to the rest of the world. There are
still others for whom body modification is a way to get closer to
their "higher power," whatever or whomever that may be. Through the
process of modification, they offer up the sensations and intent (
blood, sweat, and tears, as some say) as a way of prayer, as a rite of
passage, or as a simple offering. As I mentioned, for each person,
they may change their bodies for any or ALL of these reasons, but it
is impossible to simply assume a reason for any one practitioner of
body modification. The reasons are as varied as the modifications
themselves.

2. Do you believe there's a point where body modification stops being
about self-expression and starts as a symptom of mental illness? For
instance, some people with apotemnophilia cut off their own limbs
because that's how they see themselves as a person, lacking an arm or
leg. Is that going too far?

You are speaking about two entirely different things, and this is a
common misconception in society at large. Many people believe that
practitioners of body modification like the pain or some such
claptrap. I think I can safely say that MOST of us do NOT like the
pain. We go through what we go through as a means to bring about a
desired end, not for the pain itself. That said, I have made clear to
many people that we accept the pain as part of what we must go through
to achieve our goals in terms of modification...we know that we will
endure a certain amount of discomfort, and we may even use that pain
ritually to evoke a change in our lives, to mark a transition.
However, I believe that very few body modification practitioners and
aficionados are "in it for the pain" or suffer from some mental
illness that sparks them to do such things. Society reacts to nearly
anything that is alien to them, especially something that can be as
dramatic as this, as surely a sign of something wrong. The truth that
they fail so often to understand is that these people are doing
something right for them, something healthy and healing, and not
something that hints at some dark defect at their core. Even if
someone were to want to modify their bodies so dramatically as to want
a digit or limb removed, that is not necessarily a sign of mental
illness. That person simply has reasons for doing so (artistic,
spiritual, etc.) that is completely foreign to society at large, and
what people do not understand they fear. What they fear, they often
brand as abnormal and abhorrent. This is simple-minded thinking. By
these standards, extreme body building or radical cosmetic surgery
could be seen as just as strange and symptomatic of mental illness.
However, the members of this Church and the body modification
community at large tend to cast these activities in the same light as
ours and so see them as just as valid as our own practices.



3. You're very into the spiritual aspects of body modification. What
is it about changing something that is very directly relating to your
body that makes people connect with greater forces than themselves?

We believe that the body, mind, and spirit are facets of what makes
the whole individual. You can't have one without the others. By
acting with pure intent to modify your body as part of a ritual, you
bring yourself into contact with forces greater than yourself, if that
is what you truly believe, and we DO. Some of us mark ourselves with
religious symbols that indicate our relationship with our deities.
Some of us go through body modification knowing full well that we may
bleed and suffer pain, but also wanting to release that energy into
the universe as an offering, as a prayer, or as a symbolic release of
some issue or pain in order to move forward and live better lives.
Many world religions make body modification or intense body ritual a
part of their spirituality. Theological tomes are FULL of such
instances. However, since we live in a "modern" society, such
practices are seen as primitive and of lesser value religiously, for
some strange reason. Cast in the light of world religion as a whole,
however, our practices are far from abnormal. In fact, many
practitioners incorporate body modification practices of other modern
or "primitive" cultures. This is so true, that the term "modern
primitive" was coined some time ago to describe what we do with our
bodies and spirits through modification.

4. Where do you see body modification going in the future? Tattoos and
piercings are becoming much more common and accepted in society.
What's going to be the new frontiers for changing ourselves?

I do not believe there are any frontiers to meet. This is not a
contest. This is personal and religious. Transgression is not the
goal. I've heard it said "my body is a temple and I am merely
decorating my temple." I believe this to be true. Are there
procedures that coming more to the forefront as "the latest and
greatest?" Sure. Currently, one of the fastest growing modification
procedures in terms of popularity is the "microdermal" or "dermal
anchor," a piercing created by implanting a "foot" or "anchor" for a
piece of jewelry that protrudes through the surface of the skin and
serves as a base for a bead or jewel. That's the simple, layman's
description. Also growing in popularity is scarification, including
branding, flesh removal, and cutting, in order to create a permanent
design on the skin as opposed to tattooing. No ink is usually
involved, although it can be. UV inks are becoming more common place
in tattooing. There is also the incorporation of electronics, such as
RFID chips or magnets, as part of other modifications or as artistic
projects all on their own. Truly, there are no boundaries, but again
I say there should be no boundaries, not because some things should
not be done, but because we should not be in a race to see who can do
the most outrageous thing to themselves. I am more interested in the
INTENT of what people do than they drama or intricacy involved.

5. When do you believe the most pressing issue affecting body
modification is today? Any culture or political situations that have
immediate significance?

There is a lot of political pressure regarding standards and practices
in the body modification field. Should shops be regulated by the
state-mandated laws and guidelines? If so, who develops those
standards and does the body modification community get input into
these rules? Another issue is First Amendment applications to body
modification. Lately there has been a lot of attention drawn to those
who are modified and their rights as they apply to school and/or the
work place. This issue has some fairly deep lines drawn in the sand,
and I predict there will be much more litigation and discussion before
the rights of those who are modified are clearly defined.

David Hahn can be reached at davidhahn@uscobm.com.

Images from here and here.

Just the Facts: Jen Ross on Teen Driving

Jen Ross with students

Teens in the Driver’s Seat is a really neat peer-to-peer organization where teens talk to other teens about the cold hard truth of the dangers that accompany driving and how they can prevent accidents from occurring around them. More than 6,000 teens die per year in car crashes, which is the equivalent of one airplane full of teens crashing per week. This program is not designed to scare you into never driving again but instead to spread awareness and promotesafety while driving so you won’t become a statistic.

Jen Ross “went to college to do something in the medicine and health field,” but found her inspiration to work with teens when she realized that what she did as a teen was foolish, like speeding and not wearing her seatbelt. She wanted to spread safety awareness especially since she has become a mother and talking with other mothers who have experienced a loss due to a driving accident. She said, “I’d hate to receive that phone call and know that I could have done something to keep my kids safe.” Jen also states that the most important message is for all teens to know is “to take personal responsibility, the responsibility for you and others in the car with you, even if you are a passenger.”

Jen has the dual title of Research Associate and TDS Regional Representati
ve at Texas Transportation Institute. Her job is to go out and get teens interested in traffic safety. She talks “directly with students about the issues with driving” and when she’s not at schools, she’s “reading the latest traffic and research reports.” She finds out if the sources are credible and forwards the information to let others know.

“Going and spending time with the groups of students” is Jen’s favorite thing about working at Texas Transportation Institute. She states that every group of kids is unique because they come up with different ideas and solutions and have a different outlook on life. Also, the groups of kids attend different schools therefore they see the different issues with driving specifically at their school. She believes that “adults don’t give teens enough credit,” because when they care about an issue they can change the world to make it better.

A story that has recently had a significant impact on Jen’s life was that her aunt lost both of her parents on Christmas due to another driver. Her aunt was the driver and both of her parents were her passengers. Having to bury both parents over the holidays is a devastating tragedy for any family. After this experience, Jen states that, “traffic safety is for everyone, not just teenagers.” She also mentions that if people were to pick personal responsibility many lives would be saved. Savor every moment you have with the people you love, because in a split second they could be gone.

Jen Ross also states "Besides the standard high school program, TDS is working on spreading the messages at a younger target audience (junior high). You may think, why is this important, or why should junior high aged kids worry about Teens in the Driver Seat and traffic safety, when they don't even drive yet? Well, the answer is simple - reinforcement. By talking to children at a younger age about the importance of traffic safety, as both a passenger and as a future driver - we hope that kids grow up making smarter decisions while in a motor vehicle, because they know the dangers and the risks before they start driving. The junior high program that we have launched is called, TDS Junior High - Learn to Survive, Before You Can Drive."

"Colonialism without an Alibi": Peter Anderson on Apartheid, Africa and Education

"Colonialism Without an Alibi" by penispump

Friday, January 14, 2011

One On One With A B-Boy: Sammy Kim



He's not that tall standing at 5'7, but pretty lean and toned from the looks of it. His muscular arms were what stood out the most when I shook his large, rough hands. But then again...it was even more of a peculiar sight to see some scarring on both of his elbows as well as his hands. Nonetheless, that's the physique of most b-boys: toned, short, and scarred.

This particular b-boy is named Sammy Kim. Although an amateur and not the best of the best, his work still interested me in aspects of experience in battling and breakin' in front of a crowd of people. From California where b-boying is heavily immersed in the pop culture (Step-Up, ABDC, LXD), Sammy was an interesting fellow who shared his interests and life as a b-boy.




Q: How did you start b-boying?

A: I began b-boying when I was a freshman in high school. It was something that everybody started doing...you know...the cool kids. I didn't start breakin' just because the cool kids did it...but because I wanted to. The way b-boys twirled around in the air like that, defying gravity. That was pretty sweet when I first saw such a thing. You know that b-boying is fundamentally a dance with a circular pattern? It was a lot harder than it seemed, and using that "circular motion principle" didn't help that much. Anyways, I started b-boying freshman year of high school because I saw the cool kids breakin'. (laughs)

Q: Did you ever get hurt or break a bone when breakin'? Do you know anybody who has?

A: Well yeah. You're supposed to get hurt when you're breakin'. B-boying is physically throbbing and painful when you're first learning windmills or toprocks. It takes a lot of effort to pull off those moves and it's not that fun to get bruises all over your body. When I first started breakin' the footwork (six step) wasn't that bad because you don't slam your body on the ground. Now when I was learning windmills and moves that had you twist, turn, and fall on your back, that's where it started hurting. I got bruises mainly on my shoulders, hips, and back. But all that hurting is necessary because it gradually conditions you for more advanced moves that strain your body even more. Sometimes, I get cuts and stuff like that but only when the wood floors got some board sticking out. But I've only gotten bruises and cuts so far. I try not to get too fancy with b-boying (laughs). Personally, I don't know anyone who has broken a bone. I'm sure some people have broken a bone or two due to calcium deficiency and shit, but yeah...I don't know anyone who has. The worst injury I've heard is when you're doing headspins, you have a slight chance of ruining your spinal column near your neck. All that pressure building up as you spin gets too much for that one strand of support you call your spine. But hey...the chances are slim to none so most b-boys still headspin. But they still be as safe as possible by wearing beanies or a helmets to cushion their head.

breakdance pose asian

Q: I know that you currently aren't part of crew yet. Do you plan on joining one or making one? If so, what are you plans on making the crew?

A: Probably...crews are basically formed to battle and create that family-like sense among you and your b-boy friends. Most battles need a crew so I wouldn't, unless you want to battle, make a crew. For me, I'm not that serious into b-boying yet but I hope that soon enough I will make or join a crew to starting battling. Plus, I don't really have enough people to make a crew. You need at least five people in my opinion to form a crew and I only have three including myself, Andrew, and Jay. When you're forming a crew you want to diversify your strengths and have good chemistry with one another. It's just like basketball. You need the point guard, center, etc. In b-boying you need the power moves, footwork, all-around, speed, and strength. On top of that, you need one unifying style. At least, that's what I would look for.


Q: Is b-boy fashion important out on the floor? What are some of the best and worst outfits you've seen?

A: Clothes are considered pretty important, believe it or not. It's actually quite sad if you think about it. But...you know what they say. You gotta' look good to play good. (laughs) Some people get pretty decked out, matching their shoes, jackets, and shirts. In my opinion, wearing a nice outfit boosts a person's confidence in battle and it actually makes your moves look better. Honestly, people really do base their judgement on what makes you look good, besides the moves. The coolest outfit I've seen...that's hard. I'm not much into checkin' out what other guys wear but as long as there's some coordination in the colors of their clothes, it looks good to me. The worst I've seen actually did match with colors and patterns and all. But it was this 80's outfit that looked ridiculous. It had the triangular patterns like in the old space video games..."Space Invaders" or something like that. The clothes were black with green and purple triangular patterns...did I mention that it was a training suit? The guy was pretty good at dancing but the whole outfit just made him look like a fool.

Q: Do you plan on b-boying in the future as you get older? Possibly a career?

A: I plan on b-boying until I get married or so, but seriously I'm not that much into b-boying. Not enough to make it into my career, that is. I'm studying film so that's where I want to be headed, not dancing. I'll still enjoy dancing as I get older and when I'm married, I'm not giving up entirely either. I'll want to learn how to pop (the robot dance style) because that's not as hard on the joints as breakin'. B-boying's for young people and I intend not to get arthritis at a young age.

5 Biggest Badasses in the World of Tarantino

Nobody does badass quite like Tarantino.  Gangsters, assassins, flight attendants-- everybody gets a shot in this bloody world of cinema.

QT has made a name for himself with his skillfully crafted dialogue and mastery of the plot twist.  But these attributes pale in comparison to the director's true genius: character development.  His ability to pronounce each role as separate and compelling in their own way is impressive, considering his usually sizable ensemble casts.

And you know his style: push the conflict and don't hold the blood.  That's why I've compiled this last of his five most badass characters based on their ruthless roles.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Five Reasons Why Jared Loughner Wouldn't Have Shot Anyone If He Were a Dog

See? Dogs Love Politicians.

He Wouldn't Have Been Such a Dumb Stoner

Recently, Jared Lee Loughner's ex-girlfriend stated he used marijuana and mushrooms. Most people usually only experience the satisfaction of preparing a banquet from microwaving a bag of popcorn or discover “time is really just bullshit, maaaaan” while blazed or tripping balls. However, going on a shooting spree probably seems like a better idea while hallucinating than sober.

Wanna get wasted as a dog? Too bad, because the only way you're getting your buzz on is licking a reptile. Apparently some Australian dogs get addicted to the rush bufo toxin gives them, which is secreted by the cane toad.

He Would Have Had a Much Better Educational Experience

51 pages. That's a respectable number of pages for a novella, a one act play, an instruction manual. When your school's racked up 51 pages in your disciplinary file for causing disturbances re-writing basic math principles during class, yelling lyrics to metal songs in the library, and throwing a bitch-fit for getting a “B” in Pilates class. Eventually getting suspended and withdrawing from Pima community college probably didn't do wonders for Loughner's mindset.

Triple Crown Dog Academy would've been a much better choice. Aside from being the largest dog training facility in the world, they've even got an obedience program about managing destructive impulses. Don't think that was on the course selection at his old school.

He Wouldn't Have Liked Such Terrible Music

Some of Lee's favorite bands: As I Lay Dying, It Dies Today, Bullet For My Valentine. All these bands share one thing in common in that they make me feel like someone is shitting in my ear. Not saying that there's any correlation whatsoever between what Loughner listened to and his actions, just that they're all universally awful.

Meanwhile dogs can't even understand music! Lacking sensitive hearing to detect changes in pitch, The Black Dahlia murder sounds like noise both to animals and most people. Ask me, and canines are all the better for it.


He Wouldn't Have Been So Confused About Language


Attending a question and answer session Gifford hosted, Loughner had only one inquiry: “What is government if words have no meaning?” The senator declined to respond, probably because saying “is there an answer if the question has no meaning” would be impolite. It's a great example though of the shooter's obsession with words and their function.

Mutts have the advantage on Loughner here. German scientists shown that dogs can understand human language to a relatively high degree. Not only that, but they don't mind being told what to do! Sounds like Lee could've used some more work on understanding commands.

He Wouldn't Have Been Able To Buy A Gun

Type of gun used by Loughner in the Tucson massacre: Glock. What people are buying immediately after the shooting: More fucking Glocks. Apparently people really do want to see a product in action before purchasing, since there's been a massive spike in gun sales lately.

Dogs barely ever shoot anyone, and even when they do it's kind of cute. Hell, they even aim for funny parts of your body, like this pet in New Zealand who shot his owner in the butt. If there's anyway to make someone getting shot adorable, it's like that.


Image from here.


Countdown of Best Car Chases in Movie History

5. The Dark Knight-
Considering the Batmobile is Batman’s most famous asset, and certainly more notable than his teen sidekick Robin, we wonder why there aren’t more of these classic car chases in the world of great cinema. The determined hero and the evil villain’s pieces of comedy relief make this car chase even greater. Crashes and explosions, flames, and the intensity between the two rivals are all there. What more do you need?


4. The Matrix Reloaded-
Bringing out the computer-generated effects, can usually ruin a good chase scene and look quite fake, but slow-mo and teleporting twins, makes this one of the ultimate car chases in movie history. It’s hard to go wrong with hardcore machine guns and in-car kung fu. It’s definitely a movie totally worth watching again and again.

3. Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift-
It’s hard to pick which driving stunt is the most extreme in the Fast and Furious film franchise, but the big race where Hans dies is completely action packed. An entertaining scene with pretty cool drifts and fantastic cinematography for car racing makes this one of the best car chases in film today.


2. French Connections-
An action packed 1971 film with a car chase that will blow your mind. With a few real car accidents and a high-speed chase between a car and a train taken place in Brooklyn. This chase is a heart-racing scene that keeps you on your toes wanting so much more!


Terminator 2 is the ultimate sequel. It includes macho action that bleeds coolness and an intense three person chase including the relentless Arnold Schwarzenegger cyborg chasing another, even more compelling and powerful Terminator, Patrick, as well as 12 year old John Conner who holds the fate of the world in his hands. An xr100 dirt bike, a massive explosion, and a Winchester 1887 are part of some of the greatest animation I have witnessed in cinema history. Truly a perfectly done scene.

Top 5 International B-Boys

B-Boy Hong-10 (S. Korea)




Who Is He: Hong-10, a former member of the Korean crew Expressions, is currently a member of Drifterz Crew and now considered one of the best b-boys in the world. Known for his extremely complex, flawless, innovative style, he's won 1st place all over the world in competitions such as France Hip Hop Planet, UK B-Boy Championships, and International Battle of the Year in Germany. The Korean b-boy dances with intricate precision and control, blowing away many of his opponents with a variety of power moves and some of his own moves that he invented. This guy is one hell of a strategist when it comes down to battling; he wants to know and study his opponents, and make sure he's flexible enough to respond to their attacks. Hong-10 strives to make dance his career while knowing those aims will be difficult and challenging for him and his family. Much of his support and strength come from his family; although they are constantly concerned for his health and future, they cheer him on through many of his competitions.

Signature Moves: Bridge 90's, Chair Flares, Chair Threads, Drop Chair Freezes, HONG-10 Freeze

Interesting Fact: Hong-10 is also into photography, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and reading.

A Few Words From Hong-10: "It's great to win battles and gain respect but it's a two way street and you have to give respect to earn respect!"



B-Boy Cloud (U.S.)




Who Is He: Cloud, reppin' Skill Methodz crew, already gained success as a professional dancer; but the roots and foundation to that success were all thanks to...b-boying. Since age 11, the natural was inspired by both of his brothers (Deft One and A-Ron) to pursue this imaginative form of art. Deeply influenced by all sorts of dance and people such as Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Charlie Chaplin, and even Bruce Lee, Cloud's breaking surrounds a highly stylistic background and incorporates some of the most original moves ever created. Although he's only won one title in 1998 for 1st place at Blaze Battle, Cloud achieved huge success in his dance career through movies (Step-Up 3D), commercials, and tours all around the world with Madonna.

Signature Moves: Cloud special

Interesting Fact: He got the name CLOUD when a friend said that he resembled the Final Fantasy 7 video game character, "Cloud."

A Few Words From Cloud: "I'm into whatever feels good and comes out naturally - however my body reacts to whatever music is playing."



B-Boy Lilou (France)




Who Is He: Lilou, a member of Pockemon Crew, is currently the champion of Red Bull BC One and an extremely talented dancer who still remains very popular worldwide today. They French b-boy has been dancing since the age of twelve, and has won a series of competitions (Red Bull BC One in New York, Battle of the Year in France, Freestyle Session in Korea). His unique style definitely articulates a combination of "flexible moves," old-school footwork, and a variety of power moves. During battles Lilou's got a captivating stage presence, attacking the opponent with taunts and jokes and being quite popular with the crowd as "the funny guy." Many of his influences stem off from Michael Jackson, Zinedine Zidane, Mohammed Ali, and Jamiroquai. Lilou admires them not only for being legendary in their lifetime, but also because of their work ethic and passion for the area of expertise.

Signature Moves: Variation of the air-chair

Interesting Fact: Since the age of sixteen, Lilou has had a black belt in Kung-Fu. The Kung-Fu principles and mentality helps him when he's breaking.

A Few Words From Lilou: "We are all different, unique, so dont' be a stereotype. If you dance with the capacity of your body and work hard, you can become perfect in you own way!"



B-Boy Neguin (Brazil)




Who Is He: Neguin, part of the Tsunami Allstars crew, competed and won in many competitions such as Ultimate B-Boy Championship in Las Vegas, El Barrio B-Boy Battle in New York, and Fera B-Boy Championship in Brazil. He captivates the judges and audience with a confident, aggressive style of breaking that involves life-threatening jumps and aerials, quick nimble movement, unpredictability, articulate combinations of ground and power moves, and a fusion of high energy in all of his moves while maintaining an acute sense of rhythm. The bold, spirited fighter likes to make eye-contact with his opponent and establish the fact that he's going to own the competition. Neguin hardly holds back and paces himself to use his unique style at every opportune moment in the battle. He's a well-rounded b-boy who dedicates himself to his artwork and continues to respect other dancers and encourage positive energy through his presence and work.

Signature moves: Death-defying jumps, fast movement in footwork infusing unpredictability and extreme articulation in ground and power moves

Interesting Fact: Neguin initially danced freestyle and social dances. He just started b-boying in 2003. Wow.

A Few Words From Neguin: "Always be ready and always be yourself."



B-Boy Taisuke (Japan)




Who Is He: Taisuke, representing All Area crew, has won 1st place in competitions such as Dance @live! in Tokyo, International Battle of the Year in Germany, and UK B-Boy Champs Sendai Elimination. Although only 20 years old, this b-boy has a ton of experience and tricks up his sleeve, combining an array of foundation moves from footwork to power moves. He graduated from International Dance College in Takadanobaba and focuses on a dance career that will improve his skills in b-boying in the near future. The fact that he accelerated in learning a variety of complex moves at such an age explains his natural talent for breaking. Also a teacher at a local studio, Taisuke remains a formidable opponent when he particularly executes power moves in perfect coordination with a freeze to top it off. At such a young age, Taisuke's got the experience and ability to break it down.

Signature Moves: An array of foundation moves, toprocks, and a fusion of footwork and power moves

Interesting Fact: Taisuke is the cousin of B-boy Toshiki. Not only were they born on the same day but grew up together in the same town and got into breaking because their sisters were B-Girls and members of the same crew.

A Few Words From Taisuke: "Represent Worldwide!"

Paws for This Podcast

Paws for Thought Episode 1 by Digital Self




Paws for Thought Episode 2 by Digital Self