Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Song of the Week

"Am I Black Enough For You?" - Billy Paul
I only went with this one because his classic "Me and Mrs. Jones" (SOTW, 1/26/11) already earned this honor. This song was actually the next single released after his first smash hit and, its departure in sound and significance may have prevent Paul's career from really taking off.
Either way, Billy and Paul mourn the loss of Billy Paul, even though his real name was Paul Williams.

Monday, April 25, 2016

What Do You Give Me For? Ted Cruz and The Lady from Maury

What do you give me for Ted Cruz and Searcy Hayes, a guest on the Maury Povich Show?

The internet went nuts after an episode featuring Hayes aired, questioning which of man was the father of her baby, because some think she bears a striking resemblance to Presidential candidate, Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

And if you need to see more of Hayes before making your decision, good news, she's apparently going to make a sex tape.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Nazi vs. Jew Beer Pong

The town of Princeton, NJ is an uproar after a it was revealed that students at the local high school have a long standing tradition of playing a beer pong variant called Jews vs. Nazis.

The cups are set up on one side in a swastika shape, and a Jewish star on the other.
The Jew team can "Anne Frank" a cup, to hide it or take it away.
The Nazis can "Auschwitz" their opponents and force them to skip a round.

It's not clear if there is any true anti-Semitism here, Jewish students may even have been part of it.

But they are certainly guilty of not understanding the seriousness of World War II and the Holocaust.
Though they should be commended for their creativity, and at least a cursory understanding of history.

Doves Are Crying

Prince died Wednesday at the age of 57 under circumstances that are still unclear. We knew he was on a flight that had to be diverted because of a medical emergency. And we knew he spent a time in the hospital, reportedly for the flu, but we still don't know exactly what killed him.

Prince was an enigmatic figure, whether gender-bending or turning himself into a symbol, or litigiously enforcing his copyrights (which is why no youtube clips will accompany this post).

But there's little debate that he was a musical genius who could not only sing, but play several instruments as well, demonstrated here (in a youtube video I can show you) as he plays along with legendary guitarists for a version of "My Guitar Gently Weeps."

He was a big sports fan and always stayed true to his hometown teams, unlike other front-celebs, and he was often seen on TV and Vikings games.

He also always stayed true to his music, a true artist, always adapting to the times, going from 70s funk to 80s pop to 90s R&B and soul.

My favorite Prince songs are "I Wanna Be Your Lover" (SOTW, 3/28/12), "Call My Name", "Adore" & "7."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prayers For Pearl

Syracuse legend Dwayne "Pearl" Washington died Tuesday after a battle with brain cancer. Pearl was 52.

You saw this year's team wearing shirts bearing his name during their surprising run to the Final Four, as part of the fundraising effort to pay for his medical care.

He played for Syracuse from 1983-1986 and was the first real star the school had. His battles with Patrick Ewing and Georgetown were part of what helped build the Big East into the best conference in the country.

It was Pearl who helped blaze the trail of top recruits like Rony Seikaly, Sherman Douglas, Derrick Coleman and Billy Owens to make their way to cold, snowy Syracuse to play for a curmudgeonly coach.

He never reached his potential in the NBA, playing only three years of the Nets and Heat.

It was with the Nets that Pearl played alongside Duane Washington and due to their similar names, they were often confused.
People thought Pearl had a drug problem, but that was Duane.
In fact, ran a picture of Duane with the article announcing Pearl's death.

Even though he never had the pro career he wanted he was always remembered fondly at Syracuse, and became a fixture around the program.

I saw him once at the bookstore, Dick Vitale was doing a book-signing there ahead of broadcasting a Big Monday game, and Pearl walked in. Vitale stopped his canned speech about young people and began to talk about Pearl as a player and as a person. I skipped class that day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Song of the Week

"Trumpets" - Jason Derulo

"Is it weird that your ass remind me of a Kanye West song?"
Kind of a silly song, but I like the sentiment expressed here.
I also like the music, the melody, a good one to listen to as an instrumental.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Song of the Week

"Written All Over Your Face" - Rude Boys
This songs features vocals from the late, late great Gerald Levert who was something of a musical mentor to the members of the group.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Get Out of My Dreams

Last night I got home late and didn't eat a proper dinner. I had Fritos and some spicy dip.
That night I dreamed I was at an amusement park and I got separated from my family so I walked around with TON and Lowercase E. And Lowercase E was complaining about the humidity.

The Wall Street Journal explains why this happens:

Everybody dreams, though many recall their dormant fantasies better than others. Some report that their subconscious stirrings appear to be more vivid after a spicy meal. Science is a long way from understanding all the nuances of the resting brain, but one expert, Emmanuel Mignot, director of the Stanford University Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, explains how a pad thai dinner might seem to bring on nightmares.

Dreams have two functions, Dr. Mignot says. One is to relax the most primitive part of the brain. “When you are in REM sleep,” he says, “you cool down and are essentially paralyzed, and the lower part of your brain is almost switched off.” While that’s happening, the second purpose of dreaming kicks in: the cortex, which controls higher-order executive function, switches into overdrive. “Dreaming fires your brain in random ways, forcing it to create unexpected connections that you wouldn’t logically make while you are awake,” he says. This is part of what makes humans smarter and more creative than other species.

If you’re a sound sleeper, you likely won’t recall your dreams, anyway. “Most people who remember their dreams have relatively poor sleep,” says Dr. Mignot. “They wake up frequently, so they have fragmented dream states, which allows them to remember more about the dream.”

No food has been shown to increase the vividness of dreams, the psychiatrist and behavioral scientist explains. During the night, people go in and out of the dream state numerous times. Various studies have shown that by eating certain proteins, like turkey, you will have more dreams. And some amino acids can increase the amount of REM sleep, when intense dreaming typically takes place.

While there is a lot of literature showing that eating big meals makes people sleepy, there are no studies that Dr. Mignot knows of that prove that spicy foods in particular induce nightmares or outlandish dreams. However, he notes, chicken tikka or too much sriracha could possibly be a culprit for some people. “Spicy foods increase your body temperature, so they may make you sleep less well—and as a consequence, your dreams may be more conscious,” he says. That doesn’t mean that you’ll dream more vividly or have more nightmares, he adds, but remembering them clearly may feel like the same experience.

Many types of foods—not just spicy ones—might have an impact on dreams because the gut and the digestive process are so complex, the sleep expert says. “Amino acids in food, for example, can be metabolized in the body into active brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine,” the professor of sleep medicine says. “They can enhance anxiety or pleasure, and that might affect your dreams.” But your grandma’s piquant meatballs have never actually been proven to give anyone nightmares (indigestion notwithstanding).

For people who often jolt awake from disturbing dreams, Dr. Mignot recommends keeping a food journal to see if there are any particular foods that might be triggering nightmares or shorter sleep cycles. He has his narcoleptic patients sometimes keep diaries to try and determine if specific foods make their dreams more ghoulish. “But I’ve found that the size of the meal is more important,” he says. And can any food create happy dreams? The doctor has doubts: “Unfortunately there is no food that I know of that can make you have funnier, more vivid dreams.”

This definitely makes sense because I am a very deep sleeper and I very seldom remember my dreams at all. Maybe the spicy food and heartburn wake me up, or keep me from getting into a deep sleep, and therefore I'm just more like to remember a weird dream after eating spicy food.