Don’t Speak — Sing! Gwen Stefani Tapped for Judge’s Chair on ‘The Voice’


Oh snap! My 15 year old self is GEEKED out! 😆😆

Originally posted on Deepak verma:

Gwen Stefani is about to hollaback at her favorite contestants on NBC’s The Voice.
The No Doubt frontwoman has signed on to be a judge on the singing competition while Christina Aguilera goes on maternity leave, according to TMZ, which first reported the deal. Season 7 starts taping in June.
April 19, 2014 at 09:02AM

By Deepak verma

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Heat Hit Practice Ahead Of First Playoff Game

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Originally posted on CBS Miami:

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Heat hit the practice floor Friday ahead of Sunday’s playoff game against the Charlotte Bobcats—a team which the Heat has beat 16 times in a row.

“They’re not coming in here just to roll over,” said Chris Bosh. “They’re coming here to win a series. They’re coming here to beat us. And we know that they have confidence in their game.”

Since LeBron James came to Miami three years ago, the Heat have reached the NBA Finals every season, and have won the last two titles.

They weren’t the best team in this year’s regular season, but it seemed much of the year was a ramp-up for the playoffs.

“I don’t need any motivation. I don’t extra motivation, I’m motivated enough,” said LeBron. “This is the best part of the season; it’s the best time of the year, I’m happy to be here once again.”


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JACQUE REID: Suicide Of Blogger Karyn Washington And Mental Health Issues

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As a fellow blogger, I found this story disheartening but its message is deeply important for all of us. Check on your loved ones this weekend.

Originally posted on Black America Web:

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Jacque Reid chats with Terrie Williams, mental health advocate, author and longtime publicist  to discuss the mental issues and suicide of popular Blogger Karyn Washington.

“She was someone who had purpose, she was a freedom fighter…the reality is that many of us think of not being on the planet anymore. Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Williams said.

Read the rest of the interview below:

TOM JOYNER:  Okay, let’s put some purpose in this party on a Friday and go Inside Her Story with Jacque Reid.

JACQUE REID:  Good morning, Tom, Sybil and Jay.  You know, the segment that I’m doing today is really urgent.  The death by suicide of 22 year old Morgan State student Karen Washington has many black women concerned about each other in our state of mental health.  Karen was a founder of the very successful For Brown Girls organization, which…

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An Unofficial Guide for #ThrowbackThursday Etiquette

Originally posted on Deepak verma:

Weekly Internet trends have taken over, and your baby pics are cool as ever because of it.
Hashtags provide a number of useful ways to track topics and trends on social media, including the ability to fuel our obsession with nostalgia. Throwback Thursday, better known as #TBT, is a weekly reminiscen
April 17, 2014 at 04:16PM

By Deepak verma

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Happy #JackieRobinsonDay! Could Othello Have Been His Relative?

Rude am I in my speech, And little blest with the soft phrase of peace . . .

The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice,

by William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene iii, Lines 81-83

In a lot of ways, Jackie Robinson and Othello could have been ancestral relatives. Both were “representing” a minority group in a community where their decisions and actions were constantly judged unfairly. But luckily for us (and history), Jackie Robinson learned the lesson that Othello could not – how to withstand the blatant racist discrimination (and intimidation) with courage, grace and restraint.

“Introduction to Poetry” by Poet Laureate Billy Collins


I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they wanto do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.


Jennifer Lopez, ‘Orange Is the New Black’s’ Laverne Cox Celebrated at GLAAD Media Awards

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This is so fitting given this week here in Miami Beach for Gay Pride Week!

Originally posted on Variety:

Jennifer Lopez toplined a night for equality at the 25th anni GLAAD Media Awards Saturday at the Beverly Hilton, as the multi-hyphenate accepted the org’s Vanguard Award.

“If I do anything that makes one child out there feel empowered, then I’ve done my job,” Lopez said during her acceptance speech. “Being in the media, being in the public eye is a bitch sometimes,” Lopez added, “But I decided to listen to my heart that day.” Lopez exec produces the LGBT-themed ABC Family show “The Fosters,” which won the GLAAD award for best drama series.

Rita Moreno presented the award to Lopez saying, “It’s ironic that Jennifer Lopez had been so successful as a judge on ‘American Idol’ because she doesn’t judge.”

Making her first comments after coming out, Ellen Page presented “Orange Is the New Black’s” transgender actress Laverne Cox with the Stephen F. Kolzak kudo. Cox’s mother also surprised her on stage.


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Nas Brings Out Jay Z During Coachella 2014 Performance (VIDEO)

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Oh yeah . . .

Originally posted on

(AllHipHop News) Nas and Jay Z will forever be linked together in Hip Hop history thanks to the legendary rap battle that saw two of the culture’s greatest artists facing off. Thankfully, the two titans settled their issues years ago so that the music world can be blessed with iconic moments like the one that happened at the Coachella Festival this year.

[ALSO READ: Footage Of OutKast’s Full Coachella Set Hits The Net (VIDEO)]

God’s Son and HOV were on stage together once again. During Nas’ set he brought out his former rival for a performance of “Dead Presidents.” Jay then went into his track “Where I’m From” off the In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 album.

Besides the historic union of the two New York rap kings, Nas also ran through cuts from his classic debut album Illmatic. He later brought out another Hip Hop legend when Diddy hit the stage…

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Back In Sandle – Adventures in Substituting Teaching


So today marked my first day back into the educational arena in South Florida. While I will not disclose the identity of this school, I will tell you that the First Lady has come to the school very recently.

It’s been so long I almost forgot how early school starts (and was naturally late my first day . . . excellent). Also, this is the week before the FCAT (Florida’s standardized exam for all levels of education except college) is going to be administered so it is really the calm before the tempest of testing.

So the first period started at 7:20AM! Yep, that early! But luckily, I was greeted by a wonderful group of 11th graders in the AP/Capstone Research Project class. They were courteous, helpful and very respectful.

In their classroom, there was WiFi (hooray for this blogger) and students were allowed to use their laptops, tablets, and cellphones for their assignments which was so refreshing to see. They were able to work independently with little direction from me which was nice to see. It made me feel oddly very comfortable. I felt more like I was an educator at a college seminar than a glorified babysitter (but I had to do some minor wrangling when voice levels got too high but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle).

Here is a sample response to this week’s #WCW from one of those students in Period 2:

This Week’s #WCW – Jennifer Lopez April 9, 2014

For years, Jennifer Lopez has been the queen of international pop. Born in Puerto Rico, Lopez’s voluptous body and sexual physique show exactly why she is the woman to beat in pop music. Not only is she a phenomenal singer, winning multiple Grammys, Lopez contributes to the filming business as well. Lopez has played various roles, including one in Monster In Law as a female protagonist whose mother-in-law is a total jerk. JLo is now a global icon and performs at headline shows.

Not bad at all . . .

For Period 3, I had to “cover” a Regular English class for another group of 11th graders. That classroom was very different in some ways but also very similar in others. Outdated Literature textbooks and novels were everywhere. The WiFi was unavailable and there was no real assignment available for the students. So I improvised . . . and luckily, these students went with it all.

Here is another written response from a student in that period:

I think Jennifer Lopez is such an inspiration to everyone. She still is the same girl from the block in the Bronx.  From her lucscious curves to her well- talked-about butt, Jennifer Lopez is the full package. Listening to her new song, “I Luv Ya Papi” from her new upcoming album, she still knows how to rock. She is still an empire today.

Good job!

I definitely learned a lot from them and maybe they learned a little more from me too. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Remember Baby Got Back? Well now it’s getting a classical makeover…

#TBT Party Classic


This Week’s #TBT – Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Classic “Baby Got Back”! And YES, I can recite every word to the song.

Originally posted on Metro:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - AUGUST 2: Sir Mix-A-Lot backstage at KMEL Summer Jam 1992 at Shoreline Amphitheatre on August 2, 1992 in Mountain View California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Sir Mix-A-Lot (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

When Sir Mix-a-Lot penned Baby Got Back in the 1990s, it’s likely he didn’t expect it to be getting a classical makeover more than twenty years later. But it’s 1992 hit Baby Got Back (So, fellas! Yeah! Fellas! Yeah!) that has inspired the Seattle Symphony orchestra for their next composition. Two musical worlds will collide as Sir Mix-a-Lot himself joins the Seattle Symphony orchestra on stage this summer as they perform the new work by composer Gabriel Prokofiev – a London-based composer, DJ and grandson of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.   Now let’s relive Baby Got Back again, just because:   Explaining where his inspiration came from, Prokofiev tells The Quietus: ‘All the most famous people had been done. But when I got the list, the one person who hadn’t been done who I thought was really interesting was Sir Mix-A-Lot. ‘He’s a Nineties…

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This Week’s #WCW – Jennifer Lopez

More Than Just Sexy - JLo is an EMPIRE!

More Than Just Sexy – JLo is an EMPIRE!

From her days as a Fly Girl in FOX’s “In Living Color,” this lady “from the block” has definitely made good. Jennifer Lopez is a “business, man” (in the words of the incomparable Jay Z).

If you have not heard her music on the Pop, Dance, and Latin charts, seen her movies in the theaters, seen her developed TV shows that she produces for ABC Family and Univision, bought her clothes and perfume at Kohl’s or any department store, you are living under a rock (and you need to reevaluate your existence).

Decadence, Indifference, and Sacrifice – Baz Luhrmann’s Masterpiece “The Great Gatsby” Descends thanks to R+J (Part One)


To write this review with the journalistic integrity I would expect from any writer in The Miami Herald, Miami New Times, and Entertainment Weekly, I can’t just jump right into describing the latest Baz Luhrmann production. That approach is almost too “elementary” (Sherlock Holmes would agree with me, I think).

I have a very unique perspective that will hopefully propel my scribblings into a larger stratosphere – I was a teenager when I saw “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet” after reading the play for the FIRST TIME at MAST Academy in Key Biscayne, FL that same year.

You’re probably wondering “What does THAT have to with ‘Gatsby’?

Let me explain . . .

Because my awesome DNA, I inherited my mother’s intelligence and developed my love of reading in the Gifted Program during elementary/middle school. My mother was my educational advocate and found my county’s most prestigious magnet PUBLIC school for high school in 1994 (and ever since, in my humble opinion) – Maritime Atmospheric & Science Technology (MAST) Academy.

There my English teacher, Mrs. Fairchild, challenged her ninth graders with our first play from the Bard that tapped into our collective frustration of parental obligations, platonic loyalties, exposure to community violence, and obsession with the dating world as hormone factories of emotion.


I remember getting to “act out” preselected scenes in class. As luck would have it, I had to perform the famous balcony scene with a male classmate who DEFINITELY did not like in the same way Juliet liked her Romeo.  But because it was a grade, I became the award-winning actress to get my A.

By Spring, I remember seeing teasers on TV of this new film by a director with a weird and foreign-sounding name. I didn’t even had enough time to scribble it down to even look it up online (yes, kiddies, I had the Internet when I was 15).

As  school was coming to an end, I finally saw the entire trailer and (more importantly) the “players” of the play adaptation – Teenaged Leonardo DiCaprio (even his name sounds like he’s from Verona) and “My So-Called Life” Claire Danes!

Holy S@$&!!!

So naturally, I bought my ticket that summer (and its TWO soundtracks after seeing the movie).

What I saw in that movie theater transformed  who I was and how I would watch films for the rest of my life.

Baz Luhrmann validated my weirdness as a Broadway/theater geek (before Ryan Murphy knew to create Fox’s GLEE), my literary aptitude of classic literature and my embarrassing love of pop/alternative music – all in one two-hour plus movie.

It wasn’t until a few years  later that I could cultivate a language that could fully articulate this admiration. THANKS, Honors English III!

TO BE CONTINUED …PART II coming momentarily

Laurean D. Robinson, MA

Today’s Group Assignment for English II – What is LOVE?


From my experience, poetry in general can be a little intimidating to non-English majors/self-described non-writers. It ranges from having archaic and overly developed vocabulary that requires a dictionary to understand every line to deeply metaphoric description and symbolism that “makes no sense” without doing a mini-history lesson.

So what do you do? You address one of its most popular topics of the ages – LOVE! It has toppled empires, caused wars, heightened family feuds, severed relationships and marriages, enraged gods, empowered  lonely starlets and their fans to want more from life, and changed the social class of fair maidens everywhere.

  • Why would people go through so much destruction, pain, and frustration in their pursuit of LOVE?
  •  What is the reward? What do people get in return?
  •  Is there an age requirement for being in love? Are adults the ONLY people who can REALLY fall in love? Why?
  • What other emotions do you experience when you are in love?

We are going to explore that today with today’s group assignment.

Take a look below at the collage I created on this post.  Notice the pictures, listen to the music lyrics playing and read the quotations. Then, in a group of three, you will brainstorm on the definition of love in your journal/separate sheet of paper.  EVERYONE needs to have his/her own completed assignment (10 ideas at least) to get full credit for classwork today.

You have 20 minutes to complete this assignment.  Let’s treat this like a Writing Challenge to all my blog followers. 


Feel free to respond in your comments. :)


Death Toll in South Korea Ferry Sinking Climbs to 32

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Originally posted on TIME:

(MOKPO, South Korea) — South Korean coast guard officials say they’ve found three more bodies from the sinking of a ferry, raising the death toll to 32.

Coast guard spokesman Kim Jae-in says the latest bodies were recovered Saturday, three days after the ferry sank.

The updated death toll follows the arrest Saturday of the captain of the ferry on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. More than 300 are missing or dead.

Officials say strong currents and rain have made it difficult to get inside the ferry, where most of the passengers are believed to have been trapped.

Prosecutors say the ferry’s captain, 68-year-old Lee Joon-seok, was arrested along with the third mate, a 25-year-old woman identified only by her surname, Park, and 55-year-old helmsman Cho Joon-ki.

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Gourmet Fashionable Easter Eggs – 30 Chocolate Delicacies

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Yummy! Happy Easter indeed!

Originally posted on A Stairway To Fashion:

It’s a tradition, the most known pastry chefs, masters of sweets, each year, compete with imagination and a playful sense to create the most delicious and appealing Easter Eggs. Chocolate that melt in the mouth and design that delight the sight. Here is a selection of some of the most beautiful Easter eggs. Enjoy and Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!!!

Roberto Cavalli – Chocolate Easter Egg

Giorgio Armani – Chocolate Easter Egg

Les Marquis de Ladurée – L’Œuf Impérial Price- from €175

Cacao-Lab Milano – Chocolate Easter Egg

Les Fées Pâtissières – Œuf Eddie et la chocolaterie Price- €90

Majani – Chocolate Easter Egg

A la mère de Famille – La tête d’Œuf Price- €36

Fauchon – Œuf Paon Price- €795

Ladurée – Chocolate Easter Egg

Alain Ducasse – Œuf de Pâques Noir Price- from €18 Gâteaux Thoumieux – Les Œufs de Pâques aux couvre-chefs Price- from…

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The Invention of the ‘Pizza Cake’ Signals a New Dawn for Mankind

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I’m kinda really loving this pizza cake – #foodporn!

Originally posted on Metro:

pizza cake Boston Pizza

It’s like a cake and a pizza made love and their glorious offspring is the most beautiful thing ever born (Picture: Boston Pizza)

Skies darken, the universe begins to dissolve. A giant sign emerges in the sky. DING! This is it – Level 2.

The game has changed ladies and gentlemen, the human race has reached a whole new stage of evolution… with the invention of the ‘pizza cake’.

A North American pizza chain has asked its customers to vote for their favourite from a catalogue of wacky pizza innovations.

pneumatic pizza cutter

A mechanical pizza cutter. Because traditional pizza cutters are so taxing to use (Picture: Boston Pizza)

The long list of entries includes a pizza-shaped shirt pocket, a pneumatic pizza cutter and of course the aforementioned seven-layered phenomenon of bread, tomato and melted cheese.

But as much as we’d all love to see this fantastical pizza of wonder take shape, there do seem…

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Chastity Bites

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This looks like a wonderfully campy movie!

Originally posted on My DVD Reviews :

In the early 1600?s Countess Elizabeth Bathory slaughtered more than 600 young women , believing if she bathed in the blood of virgins that she would stay young and beautiful forever. Still alive today, she s found a perfect hunting ground for her botox as an abstinence educator in a high…

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