Oct 192011
 
 October 19, 2011  Posted by  Tagged with: , ,

Bob Dylan's "Opium"

Recently, I’ve read numerous reports of artists who have offended their fans and contemporaries with arguably the most heinous crime an artist can commit. Usher, Bob Dylan, and Beyoncé have all been called plagiarists.

Leon Busy's "Woman Smoking Opium"

The New York Times reports that critics have noted that some of Bob Dylan’s paintings in New York’s Gagosian Gallery seem to bear striking resemblances to others’ photographs. Take a look at his work, “Opium” above and Leon Busy’s “Woman Smoking Opium.”

Usher is contesting claims that his 2004 hit “Burn” gained a bit too much of its influence from songwriter Eric Lee Straughter’s “The Reasons Why.” My apparently musically underdeveloped ears could not sense significant similarities between the two songs, but Usher may have to testify before a jury to defend his originality.

Similarities between Beyoncé’s choreography in her new video for “Countdown” and choreography by Belgian Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker are more obvious. See a side-by-side comparison after the jump. Continue reading »

Apr 152011
 
 April 15, 2011  Posted by  Tagged with: ,

Photo via Pink Sherbet Photography

Could you go a day without using your cell phone? How about your laptop? TV? If you’re like most young adults today, you may answer these questions with a nervous laugh, say “Of course! I’m not dependent on it, I’m just, you know, fond of it…” while you reach protectively for your 4G technological gizmo. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

A recent study found that college students who were asked to give up media for 24 hours experienced physical symptoms of withdrawal. The experiment, titled “Unplugged” tracked the lives over 1,000 young adults for a single day without any access to media. Participants reported feeling fidgety, anxious, insecure, and isolated, among other physical and psychological symptoms. It’s like experiencing withdrawal from hard drugs, only the drug of choice is, um, your Droid.

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Mar 212011
 
 March 21, 2011  Posted by  Tagged with: ,

With the Ides of March just behind us, I feel that it is fitting to issue a warning, for safekeeping: beware of trolls…on the internet.

Yes, I too thought that trolls were mythical creatures who only belonged under bridges in my childhood story, The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  Nevertheless, I have quickly learned that they are real, and they are everywhere!

What does an internet troll look like?  What will they do to you?

Check out the following video and find out:

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Mar 032011
 
 March 3, 2011  Posted by  Tagged with: ,

What’s in a name? Well, when the name happens to be “Nazi,” some might say a heck of  a lot! For some reason unbeknownst to those of us who don’t make a living on talk radio, it seems to be en vogue to refer to your political opponents as Nazis.

Those who are semi-competent students of history will know, however, that Nazis (the German word for the National Socialist Party headed by Hitler) and current United States political parties look almost nothing alike. In fact, some argue (such as this group of rabbis) that using the term Nazi in political debate is an insult to the millions of Jews, and others, who actually suffered under the Nazis’ genocidal rule.

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Mar 022011
 
 March 2, 2011  Posted by  Tagged with: ,

In Jamaica, there has recently been a lot of hype over the dance craze known as “daggering.” The dance mainly consists of rapid dry-humping to dance hall music, likening itself to its English translation of “cabin stabbing” (could they be a little more graphic?).

Before reading any further, take a look at the following Youtube video.

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Feb 162011
 
 February 16, 2011  Posted by  Tagged with: ,

Disclaimer: This may be a bit of a buzz-kill for your post-Valentine’s Day glow.

 

Would you go swimming in the middle of winter?  In an indoor pool?  Heated by a crematorium?

According to a February 8th Reuters article, the Redditch Borough Council in central England recently approved the use of waste heat from a crematorium incinerator to warm its local swimming pool.  Although this “energy efficient practice” is the first of its kind in Great Britain, it is not a European novelty.  Sweden has long used this green form of energy!

Local protesters are calling this proposal “gruesome,” “insulting,” and “sick.”  Although I was also jarred by this plan, I quickly realized that my revulsion stemmed from a deeper source than the goose bumps I got from the word “crematorium.”

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