Monthly Archives: May 2011

Zombie Nation and the Unnatural Selection

Charles and his Darwinism 

I was doing a little research yesterday, brought about due to my restless brain waves and reminiscing about my college days studying Anthropology.  I recalled Social Darwinism– Charles Darwin’s ideas on evolution, natural selection, and the survival of the fittest– and how at that time I thought many of his theories to be racist.  Well Yesterday, I couldn’t remember why I felt this way, so I decided to have a look.  Much to my surprise, I was taken aback with how many of his ideas I actually now agree with, including his views on the institution of religion, as well as how different species survive and adapt.  However, I can’t say that Darwin and I are soul brother and sister.  His life of privilege is what I believe prevented his notions from being fully translated across human lines: social, ethnic/racial, or economic situations, as they were all relevant to his lifestyle and his understanding of the world, which were arguably limited.  And I also don’t believe that Eugenics is the means of determining who is fit and who is doomed (as I know many of his ideologies were used to promote and support racist (among many other) theories about the “chosen ones”, and how to “clean up” the gene pool)).  BUT I have to say that he was obviously on to something that is proving to have detrimental implications on societies today.

This book is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology.

My question is this:  In today’s evolving world, who are the true [human] survivors?  As I sit around watching “smart people TV” (Discovery, History, and Green Planet channels, oh, and sometimes CNN) as Dimitri Snowden likes to call it, I’m piecing together my own hypothesis, one that I’ve always believed in the depths of me, but could never truly express or even understand like I do today.  This hypothesis is that the most marginalized communities of the world–the ones where very little technology is available, the natural world is a playground, and the knowledge of the earth takes center stage– are the ones most equipped to survive.  This hypothesis has not yet been tested, but I’m not completely sure it even needs to.

It both excites and startles me when I think about getting back to the basics.  What does this even mean for a person like me, who, although has never lived a lavish life, comes from very humble beginnings, and isn’t even exactly sure what the next chapter holds, is still determined to embrace a necessary, modest, and rewarding existence, honoring and caring for the earth before it’s too late.  Sounds crazy right?  Well not if you look at the all the zombies lurking in your backyard.

I wonder if Darwin knew that one day, natural selection would no longer be, natural?

Today, aside from the celebrity lifestyle options of designer drugs and botox, there are even more frightening concoctions on the market aimed at making humans not feel a thing.  And we might need it for what Mother Nature has in store for us in the coming days.

I’m talking about prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies for everything!  From headache and depression, to birth control and bleaching cream.  The end result is a doped up population of look-alikes and feel-alikes, dangerous video game playing, gun carrying, cough syrup drinking, war praising, rape imposing, skin bleaching, tan craving, pill-popping, eyes wide shut, can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality synthetic human that is probably you or your next door neighbor.

Feel something?  There’s a Drug for that!

Nowadays our children are born with disorder, and with disorders that are thought to be genetic, but were never even considered during Darwin’s day.  I don’t know about you, but this thought, as bleak and dismal as it sounds, is the very society that we are living in.  Walking, talking ZOMBIES!  I often times find it extremely difficult to have meaningful conversations with even my closest counterparts because the awareness of what is happening to us as a species isn’t recognized.  I don’t mean to be a pessimist, especially considering that I do believe there is hope, but I’m not sure if this hope resides in our current leadership (and I’m speaking beyond President Obama, and the United States of America).  I think it will take the very people who fall victim to this confusion and illusion, to take a healthy dose of reality, perhaps having everything  they’ve worked for (including their houses, neighborhoods, and schools) crumble before them.  It may even take abandonment, loneliness, and the very things we call disorder(s) to destroy us, before we learn our lesson.

There is no hope for survival if we can no longer feel the pain.  If we are numb to life, we will surely burn in the fire.   It burns me up when I think about how genetically modified we are as humans.  How synthetic our existence has become.  As a child you don’t think about these kinds of things, you just do what you are told, believe what you hear, and take each day as it comes, until one day, you are programmed.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Those that are “marginalized”, humans that still have the knowledge of the earth, and live in ways that we in the “developed” world consider primitive, savage, or uncivilized hold a secret weapon that may be as natural as it gets.  But this weapon isn’t attained by colonization, and it  isn’t attained by participant observation (as Anthropologists would do).  It’s a simple as making a decision to minimize your synthetic intake.  That’s a start.  Recognizing that depression isn’t something to be medicated, it’s something to work through.  It’s related to a deeper issue, one that can be conquered by living.  Synthetically releasing hormones that are supposed to occur naturally means we need to alter our situations, not dope up on drugs.  Life is not supposed to be all roses.  Things happen, people get sick, people die.  And unfortunately, we experience things that may break us down.  That’s the gift of being human.  What purpose does it serve to live a long life if you haven’t felt anything along the journey?

This will work for YOU!

Now, I’m not naïve or jaded to believe that phenomena such as the cancer epidemic, global warming, and extinction of species are issues that we shouldn’t combat, or that education is indoctrination and all kids should be removed from school.  I just think we need a new approach, and while many people are in no mood to change, it shouldn’t discourage others not to.

A few ways to get started:

1.) Know the issues– what is happening around you, in your world, and in someone else’s.  You can’t turn on Fox and expect to know everything.  Get the other people’s facts too, and make your own informed decision. Be curious and discover for yourself!

2.) A mind and body to do– If you hear it, and you think it’s terrible, do something.  We often times flip on the news and say: “awww…” or “glad it’s not me”.  But the reality is it could be you, and what a lonely reality if no one comes to your aid.

3.) Create your desired lifestyle-  It’s one thing to say, “I wish I could look or feel like that”, and something completely different to start living.  You don’t have to be rich to be healthy, be in shape, or help others.  Want to live an organic lifestyle?  Start with just buying organic eggs!  Want a new dog?  Adopt one!  There are solutions to every problem.  I didn’t know how to get my mom to fully understand that what we put on our bodies isn’t always safe, so I bought her a small care package: sulfate-free shampoo, natural crystalline deodorant (bye bye anti-perspirant!) and paraben-free lotion.  And it’s all starting to sink in!

4.) Love yourself and others–  As cliché as it may sound, it’s probably the most important thing you can do for the planet.  Love inspires peace, peace inspires harmony.  If there is harmony, then Zombies can’t exist!  We have to be one with the universe if we expect to reap the benefits.  We have to know that death is a natural part of life, and that we can’t erase age or outlive ourselves.  This understanding will help us to live in the now.  Love will give us back the life we’ve taken for granted…

5.) Prepare- somethings are out of our control, while others can be prevented.  Have a plan, even if you never have to use it.  It can be as simple as a fire escape route, or as elaborate as escaping an alien attack.  I’m just kidding! But whatever your fear or anxiety is centered on, having a plan to survive it can definitely help.  Especially if you live in an area prone to disaster.  Your plan can simply be related to preparing for a great future.  Simply put, having a plan of action often leads to significant gains.  I think it has something to do with expecting of yourself:-)

and lastly

6.) Only bite off what you can chew-  Excess of anything can lead to undesirable results.  Too much alcohol= abuse and liver sorosis.  Too much cursing= limited vocabulary.  And Too much fishing= decline of sealife (which alters the ecosystem significantly and has horrible affects for humans too!).  You get my point.

Perhaps I’m an ideologist, some might even call me paranoid.  But one thing is for certain, I refuse to be a Zombie and risk my chances of surviving my so called LIFE!


Should kids get $100,000 to drop out of college?

Billionaire Peter Thiel is paying 24 overachievers to leave school and focus on entrepreneurial pursuits. Will this create the next Mark Zuckerberg… or just waste talent?
POSTED ON MAY 26, 2011, AT 11:50 AM
Mark Zuckerberg, pictured in 2004, dropped out of Harvard after creating Facebook, and billionaire Peter Thiel wants to make sure more Zuckerbergs aren't lost to college.

Mark Zuckerberg, pictured in 2004, dropped out of Harvard after creating Facebook, and billionaire Peter Thiel wants to make sure more Zuckerbergs aren’t lost to college. Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis SEE ALL 18 PHOTOS

Best Opinion:  Atlantic, Discover, Economist…

On Wednesday, Peter Thiel, the libertarian billionaire who founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, announced the first class of his “Thiel Fellows.” The 24 overachievers, all under the age of 20 and in possession of ridiculously impressive resumes (MIT at 14, Stanford Ph.D at 19), will receive $100,000 each to drop out of college for two years and pursue “innovative scientific and technical projects, learn entrepreneurship, and begin to build the technology companies of tomorrow.” Given the great expense of a college education — and the fact that tech stars like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates are all dropouts — does it make sense to encourage exceptional young people to forget the ivory tower and head to Silicon Valley?

No, there are a lot of benefits to a college degree: “College dropout success stories are still a rarity,” says Sean Ludwig at VentureBeat. Sure, a college education comes at a great cost, but it also comes with great benefits. It helps students become more well-rounded, and gets them the credentials many employers require. Plus, school is “an incredible networking hub that connects and rewards people long after the debts are paid off.”
“Peter Thiel pays kids $100K to drop out of college”

And college is worth it financially, too: According to a recent Georgetown University study on the value of college, “Thiel’s assumptions are way off base,” says Adam Clark Estes in The AtlanticThe study showed that earning potential for college grads varies greatly, depending on what they major in, but ultimately a college education “is an investment that, on average, pays off big dividends across the board.”
“Peter Thiel bets $2.4 million against the value of a college degree”

But for a tiny minority, dropping out makes sense: The criticisms of Thiel’s program are “just plain stupid,” says Razib Khan at Discover. There are a few very exceptional people — those who will change civilization — who have nothing substantive to gain from college. Even if these Thiel fellows don’t change the world, Thiel should still be applauded for sending the message “that there is social and cultural value in being an oddball who doesn’t aspire to be a prominent and licensed professional, let alone a banker at Goldman Sachs.”
“Let a thousand Thiel fellows bloom!”

Besides, they can always go back to school: Thiel’s “initiative may be less controversial than the headlines suggest,” says M.B. in The Economist. “With luck, some of the 24 under 20 will follow in the footsteps of other notable stop-outs such as Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg.” But if they don’t, they can always return to school and get a college degree.
“$100,000 drop-outs”

View this article on Theweek.com


He’s gonna look like a baby!

The loverboy and I crack up when this commercial comes on!

It’s what we think when we buy this stuff!


Tool of Antiquity: The Jilbere Shower Comb

If you have curly hair, if you have thick or course hair, if you have hair that needs to be detangled often, then I hope you own a Jilbere de Paris Shower comb!

Check out the dipped teeth!

It is seriously a tool– it makes detangling your curly hair a cinch!  Your hair doesn’t snag, get caught, or ripped from the roots!  The dipped, wide teeth protect your strands, waves, and coils and makes it easy to spread conditioner evenly, and the curved handle makes it easy to store on your shower head!  If you don’t own one, then you are doing your lovely locs a disservice!!!!

Not to mention, it will only set you back about $2-$3!

I own about 3 of them: one for my shower, one for the road, and one just in case one of my unaware friends gets a case of sticky fingers!


A different kind of awareness

This past week I took a trip to see both my brother and sorority graduate; one from high school, the other from law school.  Because I waited last minute, my form of transportation was by bus.  But if you know me, you know I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason.

While en route to DC, a met a wonderful woman who had many connections and was very experienced in life.  We talked about many subjects as if we had been acquaintances for ages.  She was a little older than my mother, so I naturally looked up to her, but she took a particular interest in me and my life of work (educator, anthropologist), and promised to connect me with some of her friends in my industry doing impressive work.  We talked about everything, from her short haircut, to the failing education system.  We started chatting about natural beauty/body and the importance of awareness in today’s sickening society.  I began ramble about ingredients, and how we as women in particular should stay away from harsh ingredients including parabens and the key ingredient found in anti-perspirant– aluminum.  What she said to me after this rant was disheartening, and I felt completely ignorant for the next five minutes as I listened to her:

“I am battling breast cancer.”

I was shocked, saddened, impressed, amazed, and confused all at the same time.  Here was the beautiful middle-aged woman with so much personality, a confidence that intrigues, and a bad ass haircut that only a woman who knows herself could rock.  How could she have breast cancer? I shortly found out that she had been diagnosed, healed, and later made aware that her cancer had come back, and now spread to her lungs.  I felt for her.  Until that moment, cancer hadn’t affected anyone that I knew personally, and even though I had just met this woman (we had been friends by this point for about 3 hours), I felt like it hit close to home.

She said two things to me that stood out, and are the reasons I am writing this blog.  I’ll admit I was suspicious and doubtful at first, but I’m starting to believe that she may be correct…

1.) If breast cancer affected more men, we would already have a cure and

2.) Cancer could be caused by anything, so just live…

The latter comment she made was in response to my purports about ingredients, so naturally I was doubtful and honestly, still believe that we should eliminate unnatural chemicals and activities from our lives that can knowingly harm us.  But she was completely accurate in that carcinogens could be everywhere and that sometimes we can’t avoid them– and I’m probably being exposed as I’m typing this blog…

As for the cure for breast and other types of cancer, I am saddened by this comment, but find it to be eye opening.  Men (as well as women) are capable of inventing, creating, discovering, building, and destroying all types of things that affect them.  But women endure the consequences.  Perhaps it’s in our biology; we’re delicate creatures that should be revered and cared for, but maybe because we’ve fought so hard to be equal, our bodies are now trying to show us otherwise.  This is not to say that women who get breast cancer or any other illness are in someway feminist warriors who’ve reaped what they’ve sown, but that our modern-day society has overlooked sex and “gender” (socially created roles) in the most significant and simple way possible:  that we are not created equal for a purpose.

There are many mistakes that we as humans have made all throughout history.  Most of them are related to defying nature.  Sure, we have qualities that set us a part from other earthlings including our free will and ingenuity, and we are the designers of countless great and even inexplicable works of art and architecture.  But unfortunately, we’ve also outdone ourselves in many ways, and hurt the planet along the way.  The combination of our imagination, self-determination, and ignorance have created both unimaginable accomplishments and fatal consequences.   It’s time we start taking responsibility and action and thinking simply.

I am so grateful to have met such an insightful and strong being this past weekend.  Who knew that I would be touched in this way?  We exchanged contact info, and have spoken via e-mail.  Because of who she is, I know she will not leave this earth before she has served her purpose, which may be a long time from now.  I’m just thankful for the wisdom of the Universe, and for my place and consciousness within it.


How Quality Gym Facilities Help You Stick To Your Routine

Original post by HEAD HEALTH NUTTER 

For some people, a gym membership is the best way for them to start and maintain a regular fitness routine. And as we all know, healthy living is ALL about routine! Today’s guest blogger, James Harper, explains why it’s important to look for quality when joining a gym.

Now I’m not referring to a gym that is kitted out with every luxury facility under the sun – as nice as a swimming pool and sauna might be, they aren’t necessary in order to achieve results, and they won’t help us stick to our routine.

What I’m talking about is the quality of the facilities within the gym – that means clean, functional and reliable equipment, pleasant changing rooms that offer everything you need such as lockers and changing cubicles as well as helpful staff who make it part of their job to boost the gyms environment as much as possible.

It isn’t uncommon for gyms, fitness centres or health clubs (or whatever glossy name you choose to attach to them) to let standards slide; allowing equipment to get increasingly dirty and slowly fall into disrepair. Even bad management can drastically affect the chances that you will stick to your routine and achieve results.

For example, often gyms become oversubscribed and have a vast amount of members all descend on the equipment at the same time (usually between the times of 5 and 7). However, proper management techniques can ensure the system in place is fair and that everyone is able to get use of the machines that they wish to. Yet the sad thing is that many gyms don’t have the knowledge or skills (or simply don’t care enough) to ensure that this happens, meaning that people fail to stick to their routine simply because when they arrive at the gym, it is near impossible for them to use the relevant equipment.

Additionally, the changing rooms can play a huge part in our ability to stick to our exercise routines. Attending the gym takes up time, therefore we need changing facilities that will allow us to finish our workouts, quickly shower and get on our way the next stage of our day.

If there are not sufficient changing cubicles or shower cubicles, we may have to wait in order to freshen up after a workout. Alternatively should the shower or changing cubicles be dirty or ill-maintained, we may even not wish to use them for their given purpose, thereby reducing the user-friendliness of our gyms and reducing the chances that we will keep returning.

A gym should also supply a sufficient number of lockers for use by their members. And once again, the lockers needs to be well maintained and of a high quality, in order to reduce the chance of thefts occurring. While security may see insignificant to our fitness success, it is in fact vital. If there are an insufficient number of lockers, or lockers that appear insecure, then we may need to place our belongings at another location within the gym – causing not only an inconvenience but also added concern that they may become lost, stolen or damaged.

However, the quality of the facilities in essence, falls into insignificance if the members of staff simply don’t care. While some people are experienced gym users and can succeed fine without any outside help, the majority of us are not, and will need assistance in order to ensure we are using the equipment safely and correctly, and that we are doing the right things to get the results that we’re after.

Yet many gyms fail to see the importance of this, and choose to hire young, inexperienced, unqualified and generally negligent staff to look after the gym and its members. Without proper guidance, it is very difficult to achieve the results you’re after. If staff members of a gym facility are unable to give this guidance, it is almost a given that most members will cease to make use of their membership after a relatively short time.

About the Author

This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Prospec, expert manufacturers and suppliers of gym cubicles and gym lockers. James writes on many subjects including health and fitness.

Do you belong to a specific gym facility? Does it offer quality equipment, storage and service?


Infographic: School Cafeteria Food vs. Prison Food

GOOD, Infographic, School lunch, Prison lunch, Column Five Media, transparency, Spending
Hopefully you haven’t gotten the chance to taste jailhouse cuisine, but if you’re a product of the American school system, you probably have childhood memories of standing in line for grey mashed potatoes, half-thawed mystery meat, and slimy canned peaches. How do the trays measure up?

A collaboration between GOOD and Column Five Media


Moqueca and Farofa: Bringing the taste of Brazil home

Moqueca and Farofa: Bringing the taste of Brazil home.


This may offend some but I can’t hold my tongue any longer…

Original post by fancyayancey in Mane Glory

Over the past few months as I’ve found myself immersed in my natural-hair care research I’ve come across ENDLESS videos, tutorials, tips and advice on new ways to manipulate natural hair to obtain a certain, defined look.  While at first I loved it, these days I don’t know how I feel about it anymore…well yes I do.  I don’t like it (I’m not taking a stance on whether it’s right or wrong).  I’ve talked with a few close friends about it, but haven’t spoken publicly on it because I didn’t want to hear the backlash.  Today however, after reviewing Curly Nikki someone did a post on this very topic which has now given me the courage to speak out on it.

I don’t like when natural-haired sisters consistently manipulate their hair to make it look like something that it’s not.

When I made the decision to stop wearing relaxers, I understood and accepted that the alternative would be to wear my hair in it’s natural state as it grows out of my head.  My rationale for this expectation was my group of friends that had already began the transition.  Those women never braided, twisted and rolled their hair in the hopes of acheiveing a different look the next day.  Nor did they spend hours at night carefully detangling, drying and trying various different styling options.  Their mentality was that they were accepting their hair for what it is and were going to fearlessly rock it.  I subscribed to that mentality.  Throughout my transition until now I’ve consistently rocked wash n go’s with the occassional roller set (once) or bantu knot out (once).

It wasn’t until last fall when people began asking me what I was using in my hair to get it to curl like that when the reality of the natural-hair community hit me.  Many naturals are obsessed with obtaining a look that is opposed to their truth.  I can’t tell you how many times I’d have to tell women that I did nothing to manipulate my hair texture and watch their eyes get disapointed.  “You mean that’s not a straw set?” or “You didn’t braid or twist your hair the night before?”

My mentality is why would I do that?  If my hair doesn’t already do that naturally, then what is the point?  For so many wanting these more defined looks and who are going through great lengths to get it, why not go down the street and put in a texturizer or something.  That texturizer would give you the look you spend hours attempting to manipulate anyways.  At this point, what makes many naturals any different than women with relaxed hair?  At least the relaxed chick had enough sense to make it easier on herself by cutting down on daily styling time.

I understand that people may say it’s so easy for me to talk because my hair has well-defined curls with zero manipulation from me.  Truth be told, I understood that about my hair which has helped push me to stay this way.  However, if curl definition is what I consistently wanted and my hair didn’t do that, I would be out here getting a texturizer or something.  Why fight my hair daily to acheive a look that it’s not trying to do?  Just like all those years I appreciated and wanted bone-straight hair.  Why on earth would I have been natural?  I eagerly applied my super-strength relaxers every two-months and watched my HEALTHY hair grow straight down my back.

People tought the unhealthiness of relaxers and how damaging they are but truth be told my hair was healthy with relaxers.  Many women I know with them take very good care of their hair and have healthier hair than many of these naturals do.  Healthy hair is healthy hair regardless of the presence of chemicals.

At the end of the day, it’s JUST hair.  Lol yes, quote me on that.  So what if you’re not “natural?”  If you want big curly hair, go get the perming system.  If you want straight hair all the time, go cop that relaxer.  And if you just want your hair to do it’s own “thing,” release it and see what happens…

So overall, the point of this is to say that I’m not into all of the extensive styling techniques to force your hair to look a way that it naturally does not do.  If you want your hair to look a way it naturally does not, there is probably a chemical out there for that.

No offense to anyone.  End rant.

P.S. I understand the idea of trying something new and rocking those twist outs/braid outs, etc on occassion.  My personal pet peeve is the woman who will never let her hair just be…she insists on rocking everything but her own.  And remember, I’m not saying if it’s right or wrong, I’m just saying I don’t like it.  I just enjoy seeing the different types of curls, textures and looks Black women acheive…when everywhere I turn the naturals have manipulated looks I get annoyed lol.

What are your thoughts?

Read comments here <—



ion360: bringing strategies full circle

ion360 is a team of expert designers, technologists and strategists. We are smart, curious and tireless — filled with high energy and intensely involved with our colleagues, families and friends <– we are the bomb! The ion360 team gets a blast out of looking under every rock and in every crevice to uncover surprising insights that at first seem to have nothing to do with the inquiries we receive and the projects we’re given. But that’s what gets our cranial juices flowing…and leads to unexpected ideas and creative solutions that go far beyond what our clients ever thought was possible.

At ion360 we bring the same curiosity and inquisitiveness to your project that we bring to everything we do. Specifically, we solve your business challenge with intelligence, creativity and strategic thinking to buff up your image, increase your revenues, delight your customers and grow your market share. We consider both the realities of the market and the defining elements of your operating environments in order to deliver compelling outcomes using clever strategy and smart technology platforms. This is our unique total company approach to building successful brands.

Learn about our 360strategy.    GENIUS!


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