Waverly dance
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Watch Satellite TV Controls for Children

Watching satellite TV is an enjoyable experience for the whole family. But there are dangers also. Our children could be exposed to unsuitable media such as nudity, violence and coarse language. Companies came up with parent controls, otherwise known as the V-chip to block off programs when children watch satellite TV based on specific criteria. The V-chip was birthed since the telecommunications act of 1996 was passed arising from a rise in the violent, nudity and coarse language content of TV channels in homes.

How does the V-chip work?

It behaves like a child lock and is activated by parents with PIN numbers or passwords. Once activated, the satellite system would interrupt all transmission of harmful and unwanted satellite TV channels. TVs today are generally equipped with the V-chip. Parents can have a peace of mind knowing that they can now select the appropriate TV programs for their children to watch satellite TV. However, it is not entirely full-proof as kids nowadays are quite tech-savvy. Young ones may figure out your PIN or password and use them to watch satellite TV channels of their desire.

The Children's Television Act only deals with television programming and advertising effects on children, but fails to address the other major concern of parents – the content. Much depends on how the parents control this at home. They would need to enforce strict house rules in order to restrict their children from starting or sneaking to watch satellite TV channels which are not suitable for their viewing. With the escalating amount of violence, nudity, wrong thinking and fantasies in TV content, the young minds are easily corrupted. This would adversely affect their development from adolescence to adulthood.

The invention of the V-chip certainly makes it easier and more manageable for parents to control the content. It effectively stops your kids so that they do not watch satellite TV that is inappropriate for their age. What is so good about using a V-chip is the ease of setting up the restrictions on programs that you do not want your children to watch on the satellite TV.

Find out at my blog how to access more educational programs and interesting cartoons to engage your children so that they can learn from their viewing experience when they watch satellite TV at home.

This article may be freely reprinted or distributed in its entirety in any ezine, newsletter, blog or website. The author's name, bio and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction.

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Friday, March 30, 2007
Grey's Anatomy Downloads

So you are looking for Grey's Anatomy Downloads? Aren't we all... I've been told that you can download just about anything you want these days. And I have a little secret for you, IT'S TRUE!

It's simply amazing that you can find Grey's Anatomy Episode Downloads available on the web right now, just waiting to be downloaded to your computer. Many Greys Anatomy Sites use the bittorrent technology to make this possible. Grey's Anatomy is just one of the many TV shows that can be downloaded this way.

Grey's Anatomy is now in its third season and began with the very first Greys Anatomy Episode entitled, A Hard Day's Night. This episode began a phenomenon that is unbelievable. Recently in Season 3 of Greys Anatomy, they George proposed to Callie and Burke proposed to Christina. This could quite possibly be the most popular Grey's Anatomy Episode ever.

Grey's Anatomy has also been known to have great fan following almost like an addiction. Their are many, many Grey's Anatomy fansites that can also be found on the internet.

There is just a little you need to know when it comes to downloading Grey's Anatomy episodes. First, you will need to know what format you are looking for. Many of the Greys Anatomy Episode downloads come in either Real Media(RM), XvidAvi, or MP4 format. To use any of these formats you will need the correct software installed on your computer before they will play. This can either be Real Media, Xvid Codec or QuickTime.

The second thing you will need to know before downloading Grey's Anatomy Episodes is that you will need bit torrent client. There are many available and can be found by doing a simply search for it on your favorite search engine.

Now that you have your bit torrent client and your codecs installed you need to know where you can find the full Grey's Anatomy Episode downloads.

Seriously...Grey's Anatomy located at http://www.SeriouslyGreysAnatomy.com is my choice. They provide every Greys Anatomy Episode including the latest episode and other various Greys Anatomy videos up for download. The site is very easy to navigate and has many other great Greys Anatomy features including, Greys Quotes, DVDs, and an episode guide from the show.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007
"Kamp Katrina" – A Review

"Kamp Katrina," a moving documentary about a small group of Hurricane Katrina survivors in New Orleans, had its East Coast premiere at the Florida Film Festival recently. Ms. Pearl, a native American and lifetime New Orleans resident, offers her backyard garden as a temporary tent city for 14 residents who lost their homes because of the hurricane and subsequent flooding. For up to six months, Ms. Pearl and her construction-worker husband generously provide space, hot and cold running water, and comfort to the displaced survivors, many of whom have problems with substance abuse and mental illness.

As Ms. Pearl and her husband work to rebuild homes, they simultaneously try to rebuild the lives of the strange assortment of people camping in their backyard. They offer counsel and a room in the house to the pregnant woman (and her husband) who guzzle alcohol, smoke cigarettes, take crack cocaine, and fight with each other. They provide a safe place for the delusional man who claims to have an invisible girlfriend. Others, however, are forced to leave because of violence and theft.

A flamboyant dresser (and previous addict herself), Ms. Pearl has a colorful wardrobe and personality. When she's not marching in the Mardi Gras parade or the Day of the Dead celebration, she's either working with her husband at his remodeling jobs or scouring the ravaged city looking for food and supplies for her backyard tenants. They come to her for guidance, advice, food, and medical care. In this sensitive documentary, Ms. Pearl, a small 56-year-old woman, towers over the other people in terms of inner strength. While struggling with her own monetary problems and the emotional strain of being surrounded by death and destruction, she becomes everyone else's shoulder to cry on.

First-time director Ashley Sabin and "Mardi Gras: Made in China" director David Redmon, have created a gripping documentary about the fringe society that has nowhere else to turn for help. Quirky upbeat music, flashes of colorful costumes, and occasional bursts of humor elevate this tragedy to a mesmerizing study of humanity under the worst conditions.

Copyright 2007 Leslie Halpern

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Portrait Painting

What is portrait painting? This can be explained as follows: This kind of painting typically depicts a person's face, from there, the word "portrait" originates. Furthermore, there are many portraits, old and new ones, on which you can see the portraitee's whole body. A portrait is painted with the intention to show all characteristics and features. The painter tries to emphasize these details in a portrait. Upon the portraitee's request, little blemishes and other visible details can be omitted once in a while. They are simply kept "secret" as painters would call it.

Already in ancient times (four thousand years BC) high standing personalities had themselves preserved for posterity. Portrait painting originated in ancient Egypt, as many pictures in the pyramids of deceased show, but only in Greece this genre came to perfection.
However, portrait painting was pushed into the background for a long time (until Renaissance) in favor of sculpture.

The main period of portrait painting only began with the Italian painting of high Renaissance, e. g. by artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raffael and Tizian.

In the following centuries, portrait painting blossomed totally. For example, in the 17th century, Peter Paul Rubens was a contract painter in great demand. The ones who could afford it had themselves preserved for posterity by this painter of Baroque, who was already those days well known.

Today, only a few people can afford an original painting made by an artist's hand. And an original Rubens painting is even more utopia.

With the introduction of photography in the 19th and 20th centuries and the modern communication methods portrait painting changed fundamentally. Since then, also "normal" people, who are striving for a little bit of preservation, and who want to have themselves or their beloved ones painted on a canvas, can have it done at affordable prices.

In today's contract painting, especially portraits of children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents are very popular. In addition to that, depictions of beloved domestic animals, fancy cars or favorite landscapes are widely asked for.

Nowadays, the ones who can afford it, order a portrait painting as an individual birthday present.

Good painters paint these portraits in such a precise way that their similarity with the originals is astonishing and almost have the effect of photos.

Even changes are possible according to individual demands Upon request, small blemishes can be omitted, as we have already mentioned above.

What characterizes a good portrait painter? A portrait painter must be able to paint a person with all his important features. He must be able to depict exactly what is really visible. You cannot simply go and change a portraitee's features, because then the result would no longer be a portrait. In the moment of portrayal, the person who has himself portrayed offers the painter a special depiction of himself with his own details and features. Good painters are able to reach exactly this what has been described above. This characterizes them.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007
The Body As A Canvas: Body Art

The human body is the tool through which somebody experiences life and his surroundings as well as interacts and communicates with others. To some people, however, the body is another piece of canvas through which they could express themselves, their beliefs and their traditions.

Drawing a Picture, Telling a Message

Just as paintings hanging on walls make a room more beautiful, body art can enhance a person's good physical attributes. Some ladies have a sunflower tattooed on their backs so that they can wear backless dresses that will reveal their flawless skin adorned by the tattooed flower. In this sense, body art is worn the way diamond necklaces are – it is meant to adorn and enhance the wearer's beauty. However, there are other much more complex reasons for the proliferation and practice of body art. These reasons can be cultural, political, or spiritual.

Body art is extremely common in jails. Tattooing and branding are some of the most common rites of passage for inmates who wish to be part of certain groups. Body art can also be used to declare personal beliefs and political stand. In this case, body art can be compared to graffiti on the wall; it declares what the person wearing the art believes. People in ethnic groups also used tattooing extensively as a form of ornamentation. In some cases, tattoos were used to mark how many people a warrior has killed in battle.

Body Art Types

Widely known types of body art are body painting, tattoos, shaping, scarification, branding and body piercing. Body painting is usually done by painting on the body, usually covering the whole body completely with water-soluble makeup or paints. Body painting is very similar to painting on canvas, however, it can be more difficult to accomplish as the body has contours that makes painting pictures and scenes on the body more complicated.

Tattoos, probably known by all, are permanent decorations on the body applied through the use of an electrically ran needle. Body tattoos usually cover a relatively small portion of the body. Favorite places for body tattoos are the chest, the upper arms, and the back of the shoulders. Body tattoos are relatively permanent, too, as the picture or the letters are etched onto the skin.

Body piercing is accomplished through the use of materials such as beads and precious stones and metals. Ear piercing is probably the most practiced by women and some men for accessorizing. Today, piercing is performed on almost all parts of the body such as the nose, the lips, the tongue, the eyebrows, the bellybutton, the nipples, and others. Shaping, on the other hand, is done to permanently shape the body according to a person's preference. Methods of this type of body art are foot binding – common among Chinese women.

Scarifications are more unconventional methods of body art. There are religious groups that deliberately scar their body (usually with pointed objects like knives) using a prescribed pattern. Somewhat similar to scarification, branding is another type of body art that involves a whole lot of pain. This was originally done to farm animals (cows and horses) and originally used for identification purposes. This is accomplished through placing an extremely hot piece of metal with a certain design on the body until it burns the skin and leaves a mark that may last forever.

Whatever form of body art is practiced, it is certain to elicit varying reactions. Body art can be beautiful, captivating, or disturbing depending on the beholder's point of view and set of values.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007
Performing Magic In Front Of An Audience

It is all about how you present yourself to the audience: your timing, your sense of humor and your ability to distract are very important. Get on stage and perform the worst that can happen is that people will laugh and your trick doesn't work out the way you feel it should have. If people laugh just remind yourself that this is part of your performance and continue with the trick. Call yourself a professional and people will assume that you do this full time and have no other source of income. If you are, or consider yourself to be, a magician, are you an amateur, professional or semi-professional.

When performing your magic in front of people or an audience it is possible to misdirect well enough to create the proper illusion, the trick might not work the way you want but the people watching will not know. You can control the audience with a wide range of techniques.

If you change your routine for each performance you may find that you loose the angles you need to perform the illusion, so you have to be very careful about viewing angles. You can mystify the audience by doing magic and leave them mesmerized. The result to the audience is having the belief that some amazing thing just happened. Make sure when you complete the trick that the audience cannot examine anything after the trick has been shown, and so there's the problem and worry of having to hide your tricks as soon as you finish each one.

When performing street magic it is usually street magic when you do it for a small group of people, in a bar or in your home or office. Buying close-up tricks or magic tricks for the street for your own personal use is one thing, but if you are buying them to perform on the street and become a profession street magician you will need to practice your craft. Some of the great magicians like David Blaine, stunned audiences with his exceptional skill of street magic. Doing street magic is sometimes known as naked magic, doing street magic doesn't have props or stage hands it the basics of magic with maximum effect. The magician will use everyday objects to mystify the people on the street and keep them guessing on how he did it.

If you are doing tricks with cards practice in front of a mirror as fast or as slow as you can, trying to get a feel of how you move the cards in order to perfect the illusion. Many card magicians will perform some typical card tricks, and you can use the same cards to create the illusion that you have mental powers and use the cards to predict certain situations.

A variety of coin vanishing tricks are prevalent the world over. Some of the most popular coin tricks are the vanishing coin, eggcup and the broken pencil trick.

Everyone is familiar with the famous words of a magician, when children hear Hocus-pocus, abracadabra they become amazed and mystified with the man or women in the black tuxedo.

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Friday, March 23, 2007
South by Southwest Festival in Austin

Recently, the South by Southwest music, film, and interactive festival wrapped up after another successful year in Austin. Because it falls during spring break week, it has become my tradition to take a break from my teaching job to work for the festival at one of the music venues. It is always an interesting and enjoyable change of pace for me, and my students get a real kick out of imagining their teacher working at a club and reveling along with the music lovers and club hoppers.This year was no different.

The SXSW music festival draws over 1400 bands and more than 5000 music industry professionals to Austin, and that number doesn't even take into account those thousands attending the film and interactive festivals which run concurrently under the SXSW banner, and Austin welcomes them all with open arms. After all, the festival pumps a hefty $30 million into the local economy, and every year, the crowds grow. At least at this time of year, Austin rightfully deserves, and proves its status as "The Live Music Capital of the World."

Austin boasts more live music venues per capita than any other city in the U.S., and clubs of all sizes, including a church, play host to bands from all over the world during the four-night music festival. The party officially kicks off on Wednesday night with Austin's own version of the Grammys, The Austin Music Awards. Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, was a big winner, and Pete Townshend formerly of The Who, took the stage with fellow Brit, Ian McLagan, now a beloved Austin performer.

At my club on 6th Street, we showcased bands from New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Amsterdam, and celebrated St. Patrick's Day with "Irish Music Night" on Saturday. Without exception, the members of the bands and their entourages were excited about playing Austin and having the opportunity to be "discovered" by a producer or promoter, or picked up by a record label. One band member excitedly informed me that after their show, they were approached to collaborate on a major motion picture soundtrack! At least during SXSW, Austin is the city where dreams really can come true.

Up and down the 6th Street entertainment district and beyond, record executives checked their schedules and hurried from club to club, munching chopped barbeque sandwiches and checking out the artists, who ranged from acoustic singer/songwriters to outrageously-dressed and spikey-coiffed punks and heavy metal screamers clad in their inevitable black garb.

Early one night, a nicely dressed middle-aged couple approached me to ask if they could buy a ticket for the show. "You must have a son or daughter performing," I smiled, because they were definitely not your typical club hopper. Naturally, their son was playing, and the proud parents had followed him to Austin for the show and a mini-vacation all the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That day had been beautiful, with the temperature hovering near 80, and we chatted for a while about their visit, and what they had seen and done while in Austin. The couple was exuberant in their praise and promised that next year they would be back for a longer vacation and would definitely be bringing friends.

Later that evening, a woman from the UK dropped in to thank me for recommending Maria's Taco Express, one of my favorite haunts, and invited me to an after-hours private party in a hotel penthouse nearby. I thanked her, but had to decline, because this golden carriage that is SXSW has to turn back into a pumpkin by Monday morning, and I had some lesson plans to write.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Cheap Mp3 Players - Two Best Buys For Less Than $100

As you are possibly aware from my previous articles, I have a shortlist of my top six favorite cheap mp3 players on my BuyCheapMp3Players site.

A couple of my top six are lower end of the price range machines from brand name manufacturers (Apple iPod and Sony).

Most people will be pretty familiar with these two companies and the quality of the products that they produce. Also, most of mp3 players that they have produced have been covered in some depth elsewhere, on review sites, in press reports and the like.

I therefore see little point in recovering well trodden ground by describing these machines in any detail.

What I would like to do instead is go into a little more detail with a short comparative review of a couple of cheap mp3 players from lesser known manufacturers.

Both of these machines, in my opinion, beautifully encapsulate the reasoning behind my impartial recommendation to buy a cheap mp3 player, rather than perhaps wasting our money on an expensive brand name machine.

The simple fact is that there are many cheap mp3 players that offer great quality at exceptional prices, and why pay more than you need to?

In other words, the two players that I have highlighted below simply provide tremendous value for money, and who amongst us doesn't want that?

iRiver iFP-700 (780T model - 128MB - @$60)

The first point to note about this player is the great sound quality, and my previous articles have all attempted to highlight how important this is. The bass response, in particular, is simply outstanding, making this a very good choice for those who will use their mp3 player mainly to listen to rock music, hip hop and the like.

The 128MB available to you translates into something like four hours of music, well within the lifespan capacity of the battery, which can easily last twenty hours plus in normal use.

It will play MP3, WMA & OGG music files, and can record from any sound source, not just through your PC. It also features an FM radio, is pretty resistant to the skips and jumps that are often a feature of Flash based players, and weighs in at just 3 grams!

So, there are a heck of a lot of good things that you can say about the 780T, making it an outstanding buy in its class and price range for me.

I do, of course, have a couple of small gripes!

First, the radio reception is often not particularly good. Obviously this is only relevant if you are interested in listening to radio, but, it is something to be aware of.

Second, I found the earphones a little difficult to use, and pretty uncomfortable into the bargain. Not that the 780T is unique in this, and, of course, earphones can be bought separately, but I didn't really like the standard phones that come with the 780T.

That being said, it is still a very, very good example of what you get if you buy a cheap mp3 player, and for the price, it is exceptional value for money.

SanDisk Sansa e100 (e140 - 1GB - $80)

This one comes with 1GB memory, so it obviously has the ability to load up considerably more music than the 780T above.

Again, this is five star mp3 player, great quality from a lesser known name, that can play mp3 or WMA files, weighs in at 0.4ozs and has a battery life of 15 hours continuous playback.

Also like the 780T, this one offers terrific sound quality, with its "TruBass" feature again adding considerably to the response at the lower end of the tonal scale.

The controls are extremely ergonomically laid out and are simple to use, and the backlit LCD screen, allied to the detailed album and/or song information shown on it, make this a very easy player to actually operate.

It has the added advantage that there is no requirement for special software to load songs on to it - simple Windows "drag and drop" is all that is required - and for pure functionality, the Sansa e140 is pretty hard to beat.

Again like the 780T, downsides are very few.

There does seem to be a noticeable (and slightly irritating) gap between tracks playing on the e140, but this seems to be a feature (or fault) that I have found with some other Flash based players a well, so maybe it is an inherent fault of the technology, rather than the manufacturers.

I also, once again, found the earphones uncomfortable, but (given the frequency that this appears to be the case) maybe I should blame that on the shape of my own ears, rather than on the phones!

In conclusion, the iRiver 780t and the SanDisk Sansa e140 represent all that is good about the idea of buying a cheap mp3 player!

Both retail for well under $100 in the high street or local mall, but, before buying, don't forget to check the special eBay deals from my signature at the bottom of this page for extra cheap prices!

Both offer great sound quality, excellent functionality, light weight and good looks.

So, your choice is pretty simple.

Do you want to pay the extra $30 or so necessary to move up from four hours of music with the iRiver 780T to the fifteen hours or so (before a battery change becomes necessary) with the Sansa e140? Otherwise, there is so little to choose between them….

As they say, you pays your money, you takes your choice!

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Monday, March 19, 2007
The Playstation Ideal

The old infomercials of the 1950s raved about how product X could slice, dice, chop, juice, and if need be, pick up your dry cleaning and bathe your dog too. Back then, baby boomers reveled in the victory of war, and wanted to live the life of affordable luxury, which was roughly translated into convenience. The more that could be done with less was the standard of modern living.

Today, we demand our technologies to simply be capable of so much more. A cell phone can't merely take calls; it requires a web browser, video player, GPS tracking and a music player. And if said cell phone doesn't have a digital camera, it might as well be used as a doorstop. The electronics we use today are either convenient or obsolete. And unlike the puritan 1950s, it isn't luxury that dictates the efficiency of our devices, it's time, or lack thereof.

Now, somewhere between the 1950s and today, home video game systems boomed in popularity and accessibility. And for a good 15 years, your video game system was good for playing video games and nothing else. Insert game, turn on, play game, shut off: a fairly simple concept.

Then the Sony Playstation came.

The genesis of the Playstation was that it was supposed to accept new Sony designed video games and Nintendo classic cartridges. In other terms, it would be able to play both kinds of games. The Sony/Nintendo marriage eventually fell apart, but Sony did keep something from the divorce proceedings: an idea.

That idea was to create a single unit that could perform a variety of functions. In the case of the Playstation, Sony realized that the popularity of the music CD was at an all time high (this was 1994), that video games on CD would yield higher quality games, and that DVD movies were just around the corner. One unit that could play all three formats would enhance the gaming experience not for convenience or for time, but for convergence.

If video game players never had to abandon their Playstation in order to listen to their favorite CD or watch a movie, then Sony has that gamer's complete attention, and that the gamer is completely reliant on the Playstation for all his basic entertainment needs: watching, playing and listening. The Playstation, when launched, instantly transformed the idea of the entertainment centre. Instead of a multitude of wires, cables and connections, one tiny console could do it all. It could slice, dice, chop, puree and more.

That big bang set off this era of everything in one. The internet, once thought to only be accessed by phone line, is now available on a Blackberry that can also play music, create presentations, keep track of important dates and maybe even handle a phone call or two. Video game systems are now conduits for downloading movies and cell phones are libraries of information. Everything does everything and is capable of doing everything else too. And where did all this modern technological unity begin?

That's right, with the Sony Playstation.

There once was a time where cell phones received and made calls only. When televisions only projected programs. When video games provided gaming entertainment and nothing else. Where there wasn't one appliance that could whip, flip and nip. An era where there was just one tool for one job. Those days are long gone.

We have become so accustomed to having all this technology at our fingertips that we forget the dark ages where things weren't as automatic and as accessible as they are today. In terms of technology, the dark era ended when the Sony Playstation was born.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007
Bob Baldwin "All In A Days Work" Smooth Jazz Music CD Review

All In A Days Work is the latest release from Smooth Jazz Star Bob Baldwin, and is another winner by this talented musician.

The CD launches with an outstanding track, A New York Minute, that I suspect will be heard on radio stations everywhere, and deservedly so. It's a really nice track.

All In A Days Work has a pleasantly varied, mix of 13 tracks that are very well written songs by this clearly gifted artist. Most of the songs display a lot of the kind emotion that makes for a really great listen.

The nice thing about a CD like this is when the talent is this rich even if Smooth Jazz isn't your favorite genre you still can't help but appreciate the greatness of the artist.

This is a first rate CD, delivering a little something for everyone. I give it two thumbs up. It's quite simply great listening. A must buy for the Smooth Jazz fan.

While the entire CD is really very good some of my favorites are track 1, A New York Minute, track 6, Can You Feel It?, track 11, The Very Last Night In Rio.

My SmoothLee Bonus Pick, and the one that got Sore [...as in "Stuck On REpeat"] is track 5, Quirky. What a nice track!

All In A Days Work Release Notes:

Bob Baldwin originally released All In A Days Work on Sep 27, 2005 on the 215 Entertainment record label.

CD Track List Follows:

1. A New York Minute

2. All In A Day's Work

3. Day-O

4. Third Time's The Charm

5. Quirky

6. Can You Feel It?

7. Steamy

8. Sunrise

9. Quality Time

10. Steamy (Interlude)

11. The Very Last Night In Rio

12. Don't Get It Twisted

13. Can You Feel It? (Interlude)

Personnel: Bob Baldwin (vocals, strings, piano, keyboards, bass instrument, percussion, drum programming); Tonni Smith, Zoiea (vocals); Phil Hamilton (guitars); Ragan Whiteside (flute); Dave Mann (saxophone); Barry Danielian (trumpet); Ron Jenkins (bass instrument); Dennis Johnson (drums, drum programming); Buddy Williams (drums); Armando Marcal, Cafe De Silva (percussion).

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Thursday, March 15, 2007
Download 24

If you are looking to download 24 and other prime time shows like Lost, Prison Break etc., you can be pretty sure that you will find full episodes available for download somewhere!

The problem is that finding a site to download 24 is not easy because not all download sites are created equal! Which download site should you join to download 24? There are so many from which to chose, ranging from free sites, to pay per downloads, to paid membership. It could be quite confusing and especially costly if you join the wrong one. Many of the so-called "free" sites are filled with spyware, adware, and viruses. Your "free" download could end up costing you hundreds to thousands of dollar in computer repairs and replacements.

Then there are the fly-by-night membership sites, cheap imitators and scammers, is what I like to call them. Many claim to be the best and promise so much yet when I go to download 24, I was met with nothing but disappointment. Some sites provide a very limited collection from which to choose. Others are so user un-friendly you do not even know where to begin, tech support is non existent. Many take forever to download 24. Worse yet, some paid membership sites are no better than the "free" ones and are loaded with dangerous malwares.

Fortunately for you I have already experienced almost all of the pitfalls and shortcomings of these download sites so that you will not have to. I have researched and tried a wide range of Movie-TV download sites. Quite frankly, I have never been too impressed with 99% of them. What I look for in my quest to download 24 is:

1. Choice of Movie/TV shows available.

2. Choice of Games and Music MP3.

3. Image & sound quality.

4. Download speed.

5. Ease of use.

6. Tech support.

7. Value for my money, and software included

At Candid-reviews.com you will get information on a membership site that not only meet but also exceeds your expectations. They even include software to help keep your computer running smoothly and free from spyware, adware, viruses, and hackers. That is why unlike other "review" sites, I do not just randomly give you a list of "recommended" sites to join. I only support a product that I use. I can recommend it because I have downloaded 24 successfully.

The membership site I recommend does NOT contain spyware, adware, or viruses. They are so confident in their products that they offer a full money back guarantee. There is no hidden pay per download fee. Their prices range anywhere from $1.37 per month to $34.99 for a Lifetime Membership. Personally, I opt for the Lifetime membership. It is the best value for your money. Heck, buying a DVD box set will set you back more than that.

There are millions of movies and TV shows from which to choose. You can download 24, Lost, Bones, Prison break and many others with ease. And they are all in DVD quality. Not only that, there are thousands of games and music files as well.

Download 24


Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Dj Yella - One Of Those Giants Who Changed The Face Of The Rap Game

Speaking of NWA, most people have Dr Dre, Ice Cube and Compton legend Eazy E in mind. Less spoken about, but nevertheless a capital element of the world's most dangerous group, DJ Yella gave NWA its spicy reggae-rap flavor.

Né Antoine Carraby, DJ Yella was born on December the 11th, 1967 in Compton, California. Man of many hats, DJ Yella has worked as a DJ, a producer and as a film director. Largely influenced by funk music, DJ Yella became a drummer.

DJ Yella started Djing at LA clubs. When the notorious Dr Dre crossed his road, both men became friends and formed the World Class Wreckin' Cru in the early 80 s.

The World Class Wreckin Cru was composed of 3 original members, DJ Yella, Dr Dre and producer Cli-N-Tell.

The founding of the NWA group dropped an explosive bomb on to the world. A revolutionary rap group of young black men with an attitude and sense of pride was born.

DJ Yella played an important role in co-producing Eazy E s Eazy Duz It album and the three NWA album. Success followed and the album sold million copies.

Using the nickname Tha Kidd, DJ Yella also did some pornographic films.

As most readers would probably know a beef opposing Dr Dre and Ice Cube to Eazy E in which all three members went at each other with hard disses lead to the total split of the group in 1991.

DJ Yella, though, refused to get involved in any beef with his fellow Eazy E and remained loyal to him.

"The reason behind the breakup was simple: Egos started getting in the way. NWA started making too much money, so everyone wanted more money. Eazy made more money 'cause he owned the label NWA was on (Ruthless Records) and had other groups under him making money. But everyone didn't see it that way."

(DJ Yella)

DJ Yella wonders how such a huge friendship that existed between the NWA members suddenly turned into bitterness and anger:

"Dre and I was like brothers. We was tight, real tight," Yella said. "Them first few years we was all like family. Even when Cube left, the rest of us was like family ... When he left, we all talked about him, even Dre. That's when all those albums came out. Then Dre left and did an album with Cube.
"I remember when Dre told me he was leaving NWA and invited me to leave with him. I told him I'd get back with him. To this day I haven't gotten back with him to tell him no or yes. Eazy hadn't cheated me out of anything; I can't get mad at Eric just 'cause Dre's mad at him. I just stayed neutral. I was still with Eazy, but I never was in the videos where he dissed Dre either."

(DJ Yella)

DJ Yella went on producing many artists belonging to the Ruthless Records label. When Eazy E died, in 1995, DJ Yella gathered Eazy E s different songs and collaborations in order to release Eric Wright's last album.

In 1996, Antoine Carraby released his first solo album entitled One Mo Nigga Ta Go.

DJ Yella vanished from the scene for several years and then decided to give his career another turn: he came back as a porn movie producers.
However, the music kept playing an important role in his life and he associated again with his former accomplice in crime MC Ren to work on a song called Bangin.

Surprisingly, DJ Yella would not participate to the NWA reunion in 2000, nor was he featured in the well known Hello song. However, DJ Yella collaborated with his former fellows Dr Dre and Mc Ren on a mixtape under the nickname Tha Kidd 5000.

DJ Yella currently owns his own adult movie company, DJ Yella Entertainment.

I always liked DJ Yella's raspy voice and particular style. DJ Yella certainly enhanced and spiced up the rap game with his presence.

The introduction of a reggae sound into the NWA added to the musical richness of the tracks.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007
Go Diego Go Is The Best

Go Diego Go is a wonderful animated series that is created for pre-school children. The first episode of Go Diego Go was aired on September 6, 2005 on Nick Jr. This show went on for a year and then stopped until new episodes were being called in by CBS. Go Diego Go is about a boy who loves animals. He is eight years old and the voice over of this character is Jake Toranzo, which in the newer series is taken over by Jake T. Austin. Diego is a very kind hearted boy who helps the animals that are in danger. Diego has a companion named Baby Jaguar who comes along with Diego but gets into trouble most of the time.

Diego has a cousin named Dora, an 11-year-old sister Alicia who is a computer expert. Diego hears the cry of help of the animals in his animal rescue center in a rainforest. Among other characters include the camera that is named Click, which is voice by Rosie Perez and tracks down the animal that is calling for help. Diego wears a bag that is known as the Rescue Pack that can transform into different objects according to the need of the time and two spider monkeys that are known as Bobo Brothers. Go Diego Go just sends out a message that we need to help people who are in trouble and it is something very courageous to do.

The animals that are saved by Diego always come for his help when they find him in trouble and the character that comes for help the most is Linda, who is a Llama. Go Diego Go is an hour long episode that has won the hearts of millions of kids. Go Diego Go is now available as party decorations and is really admired by a lot of kids. Just a last word, Go Diego Go is also a wonderful platform for the children to learn Spanish as well along with moral education.

Saturday, March 10, 2007
The Fender Telecaster Guitar Story

Popularly known as Tele, this variety of electric guitar is known worldwide for its efficient design and ground breaking sound, which has made it a very popular choice among musicians. The sale of Fender Telecaster can be traced back to the era of 1950 when the single and dual pickup Esquire models were being commercially produced. This is what makes Fender Telecaster one of the world's highest ranking solid body electric guitar.

The first form of Fender Telecaster was known as the Esquire and there were about fifty guitars that were produced originally. In about 1950, Esquire, which was a one-pickup model was replaced with a two-pickup model and was named Broadcaster. There was a legal threat from a company known as Gretsch, which was already producing guitars and drums and said that Broadcaster was violating its trademark Broadkaster, which was the trademark of its drums. Therefore, Fender changed the name from Broadcaster to Telecaster.

The design of Fender Telecaster was very simple and it was made in such a way that servicing the guitar or repairing the broken ones was made very easy. The guitars were produced on a large scale in an assembly line and were not made as an individual piece. The bodies of the guitars were band-sawed and the necks of the guitars were bolt-on because of making the repair and service really easy. There was a removable control plate, which could be removed easily and the electronics could be accessed with great ease. This feature gave it a hook and gained attention of a lot of musicians because in the standard make of guitars one had to take the strings off and then remove the pickguard to get to electronics.

The classic form of Fender Telecaster was a very simple framework, which had a neck and fingerboard including a single piece of maple, which was bolted to an ash or alder body with both sides flat, the front and back. The hardware included the two single coil pickups, which were controlled by a three-way selector switch with volume and tone controls. Earlier, the pickguard was made of bakelite, which was later made with plastic and was fixed on the body with five screws at first but later on with eight screws. The bridge had three saddles, which were adjustable with the strings doubled up on each. This became a thrilling addition in the world if guitars and soon different companies followed its lead.

The modern Telecaster is a lot different from the standard. They have 22 frets rather than 21 and at the headstock is present the truss rod adjustment rather than the body end. It has a six saddle bridge that allows the adjustment for length and height for individual string. It has a plain flat plate and the bridge cover has been discontinued for most models. The wiring of the modern Fender Telecaster is also different from the classic one, which is a 3-way toggle switch, which selects neck pickup in the first position, neck and bridge pickups together in the second position and in the third position is the bridge pickup. The volume control for all pickups is in the first knob and the second knob controls the tone for all pickups. The Fender Telecaster is made up of a solid body, which allows it to give a clean and crisp sound quality, which resulted in other leading companies to follow the trend.

With this magnificent equipment a lot of new genres have evolved such as country, electric blues, rock and roll and it is because of its solid construction that lets the guitar to be played as a lead instrument with a long sustain as an awesome effect. One of the musicians that have made Telecaster their signature include Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, Danny Gatton, Roy Buchanan, Albert Collins who played the blues with the Telecaster, Muddy Waters as well as a long list of musicians who when played the guitar just touched the hearts of millions.

Thursday, March 08, 2007
Learn to Play Guitar Online

More and more people are wanting to learn to play the guitar, and for good reason The guitar is one of the most popular instruments of all time and is used for all kinds of music. The method you decide to use to learn to play guitar is up to you.

Learning how to play guitar is like learning how to speak a language. While playing is not something you pick up overnight, it's not impossible to play a guitar; in fact, learning to play guitar is really not that hard. Possibly the best and most efficient way to learn to play guitar is to sign up for lessons. Many people, however, find lessons expensive, not easily scheduled, or intimidating.

It seems that over the last few years, the number of people who are turning to the internet for a way to learn to play guitar is rapidly increasing. There are online courses, and some learn to play guitar through the use of books, CDs or DVDs purchased online. Even though many feel that learning to play guitar is an impossible task, learning to play guitar is certainly an invitation to a very personal adventure. The method you decide to use to learn to play guitar is up to you. The one drawback to teaching yourself to play guitar is receiving constructive criticism on how you play.

To learn to play guitar is difficult and easy at the same time. Successfully learning how to play guitar is within the grasp of most people, yet many beginners give up too quickly. The main reason I think most people play guitar is so people can entertain there friends, family and maybe even your fans. Perhaps one of the biggest attractions to learning to play guitar is the desire to show off with an amazing solo in the middle of a song.

Learning to play guitar is a process, and there is no finish line. The first thing you need to know about learning how to play guitar is how to use a guitar physically. The next critical step to learning how to play guitar is to learn how to read music. There are great tutorials available for purchase online that teach the basics of reading music. Once you've begun your journey you'll discover a rewarding journey into different types of music you've probably never listened to before. Visiting sites that offer free guitar sheet music is a great way to stay motivated during your musical journey.

More than just the mechanics, the pride of accomplishment that you will experience when you teach yourself to play guitar is priceless. Learning to play guitar is a challenge; but playing the guitar is for most guitar players a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. At the end of the day, learning how to play guitar is one of the most creative ways to explore your musical talent.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Movies – Generating New Film Concepts from Existing Movies - 2

The Departed (2006)

Giant (1956)

Traffic (2000)

Manhattan (1979)

Departed-meets-Giant: A police informer moves out to Texas under federal witness protection program and sets up a ranch in the middle of nowhere, right next to the Mexican border. Soon, another rancher sets up business right next door. The newcomer is another implant from the East – but he is a notorious contract killer in disguise looking for the informer. They do not know each other's true identities… yet. Soon they meet and start to visit each other's ranch house and one of them falls in love with the other's wife. Something she does sparks off a chain of events all the way down the wire, leading to the bloody final scene where no justice is served and all go to their graves with their secrets.

Manhattan-meets-Traffic: A neurotic and starving NYC writer starts to act as a drug courier to meet ends meet. His life changes when one day he delivers drugs to a Christmas party attended by New York's richest politician and his young and beautiful daughter. Although he makes a lot of money supplying drugs to the girl soon his remorse and guilt for slowly killing the girl that he loves is just too much to bear. He tries to enroll her in a rehab program. She justifies the expenses to her dad as an art degree program in London. But when her dad is suddenly arrested for running the largest drug ring in history, both our hero and his teenage lover realize that the dad is actually the one who is supplying the drugs to both of them. Now our hero must decide between owning up to his love and fighting it out to the end to save her or moving out to his brother's home in Wyoming to run his winter sports resort. The girl also has a choice to make – will she stick with the our hero and begin a new life or side with her father to the very end?


Monday, March 05, 2007
Jennifer Hudson Is A True American Idol

When one door closes, another opens

Never has that been truer than in the case of Jennifer Hudson, 2007 Oscar winner of best supporting actress for DREAM GIRLS And I, for one, am delighted for her.

When Simon slammed the door on her aspirations to become American Idol 2005, by telling her and millions of viewers that she was "out of her league", he may just have done her the biggest favour of her career. Maybe she was out of her league as far as American Idol goes, but only because she was obviously in the wrong league!

Having said that, I don't believe for one moment that Jennifer was "out of her league" on American Idol, but I am also highly suspicious of what goes on behind the scenes of that show. After 6 seasons of this show, it's blatantly obvious how the comments by Simon sway the voting and I'd go so far as to suggest the judges know who they want to win and who they don't, early in the piece. So their comments, especially when it comes down to the wire, are designed to make sure their choices make it to the finish line. In Jennifer's case, it wasn't so much she was out of her league, but the judges, especially Simon, needed to be sure that Carrie Underwood did win. I think that was that year. Correct me if I'm wrong.

But to the point: what thrills me about Jennifer Hudson's amazing year, (ie. her other awards for Dream Girls prior to the Oscar win) is that she should now serve as a true idol for all those who try out for American Idol and don't make it. Week after week we see the tears and get the feeling that for some of the more talented ones, their careers are over because they're finished on the show.

But Jennifer has proved that if a person really has the talent, and more important to success, the confidence, belief in herself, the drive and determination, she can make it and perhaps in an even bigger way. No one is going to forget that Jennifer Hudson took home an Oscar for her first role; no-one is going to forget that the famous Beyonce didn't score a nomination for any of the awards.

Jennifer Hudson may not have been the 2005 American Idol, but she most certainly is the new "Dream Girl". She never gave up; she auditioned and won out over 700+ competitors for this role and has come up an even bigger winner than she or anyone might have thought when Simon sent her packing. That's the stuff real stars are made of.

Those wanting so badly to be the next big star or the next American Idol should take their cue from Jennifer and not Britney Spears. Jennifer's success didn't come easily. Nor was it manufactured. She earned her success with her attitude, talent and perseverance. The adage is true: "It's your attitude, not your aptitude that determines your altitude".

Saturday, March 03, 2007
Online DVD Rental: What Movie Viewers Want

Consumers have a number of options when it comes to viewing movies at home. Two of the most popular are renting movies at the local video store and renting movies via an online service. An informal survey was recently conducted on a home electronics/entertainment site regarding the movie viewing habits of website visitors. The results pointed to some of the misconceptions that still exist about online rental of DVDs by consumers that have not yet tried the service.

Participants in the survey were asked a number of questions, including how often they watch movies at home, whether or not they rent movies online, and if not, why. Nearly 28% of those responding indicated that they rent movies online. Of the remainder, the most frequently cited reason for not using an online movie rental service was concern which centered around the perception that online movie rental would be more expensive than the local video store. When looking at a couple of scenarios it becomes evident which method tends to be more affordable.

For individuals who indicated that they watch only 1 to 3 movies per month the savings from renting online are small. Renting 2 movies per month at the local video store would average around $7.40 whereas renting from Netflix for example, if they chose the plan that has a limit of 2 movies per month, would run $5.99. After getting a video at the local store the user would have overnight or perhaps one week to return the movie but an online rental would allow them to keep the movie for an unlimited period of time.

For those individuals who responded that they view 1-3 movies per week, the savings would be more significant. For instance, renting 8 movies per month would run around $29.55 at the local store and as low as $14.99 online if they chose the "2 out at a time" plan or $17.99 for the "3 out at a time" plan. As viewing increases so does the likelihood of experiencing greater savings.

For those who responded that they view 4 movies per week (averaged out to 16 per month) the average cost at the local store would be $59.04 while online rental would be $23.99 allowing the user "4 out at a time". Renting through a service like Netflix generally does not limit how many movies a person views but rather, how many movies they can have out at any given time. Therefore rentals are more or less unlimited with many of the plans.

The second most frequently cited reason for not utilizing online movie rental services was that the individual rented movies on the spur of the moment and did not plan ahead. Certainly renting movies online and receiving them through the mail would not allow someone to decide at 6:00 p.m. that they want to see The Queen and receive it so that they can be viewing the movie by 8:00 p.m. However, the delay for receiving movies selected through the mail is only 1 business day which would seem sufficient in most instances.

The future of DVD rental may be changing however as Netflix announced in early 2007 that customers would now have the option of watching movies instantly via a streaming service that is now available for some movies. The service should be quicker than most download services as streaming allows viewing of the movie as it is streamed rather than waiting until download is complete. Although a full transition from the current mail delivery system to a download type of service will take time, it is clear that immediacy will only continue to improve. It would seem that other online movie rental services would follow suit in coming years in order to compete.

Consumers who have not been initiated into the online movie rental world also may be unaware of other benefits/features of such services.

* Greater selection- A typical video store has 10,000 to 15,000 titles available whereas the Netflix online movie rental service has over 65,000. This would seem to eliminate the problem of consumers arriving at the store only to find that there is nothing there that they really want to see.

* There are no fees related to the delivery and return of DVD's; and there is no traveling to and from the store as movies are delivered to their door or to their home via streaming.

* Movie selection is assisted by user reviews through online programs like Netflix.

* Trials of online movie rental services are generally risk free as there are free trials available and no cancellation fees.

* There are never any late fees nor restrictions on how long a movie can be kept.

Misconceptions about online movie rental services appear to limit the participation of a significant number of consumers. Online movie rental probably offers the services that most consumers want, even if they don't know it yet.

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