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. :)


The complete guide to getting the Twitter handle you want

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Originally posted on Quartz:

Registering or buying an internet domain is a pretty well established process. But getting the Twitter username that you want for yourself or your business can be much harder, and in some critical ways, difficult to navigate.

That’s because Twitter distributes usernames—they’re the text after the @ sign, and are also known as handles—to the first person who requests them, and then prohibits their resale. Now, eight years after the service’s launch, it has become extremely difficult to secure short handles without resorting to the inclusion of middle initials, dashes, numbers, or abbreviations. (Tales of hacking and attempted blackmail are unfortunate testaments to the rarity and perceived value of short handles.)

If the handle you want is taken, there are ways to negotiate with its owner to transfer it to you. Twitter will help in the case of impersonation or trademark violations. And, despite Twitter’s prohibition, there is an unsanctioned secondary market.

Here’s everything you need…

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Coachella Chronicles

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Originally posted on KateSpanish:

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It’s been one hell of a week trying to recover from Coachella’s sandstorms, unforgettable musical sights and sounds, and carefree vibes.  I miss everything from the daily fashion shows to the daily fresh coconuts.   A weekend isn’t long enough to fully appreciate and experience all that Coachella has to offer: activities, food trucks, art installations, rides, photo ops, people watching– all going on while a wide range of amazing musical artists play live at the same time.  The struggles in prioritizing people, food, and sights to see, and choosing when to leave one set for another got hard at times.  But I’m thankful for the times I wandered off on my own.  Some of my favorite moments were spent alone running through crowds in between sets and stage-tent-hopping to chase after surprise guests.  Among so many great memories are also those that I missed, like Elie Goulding, a ferris wheel ride, and…

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Future Explains Why He Decided To Settle Down With Ciara [EXCLUSIVE AUDIO]

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Originally posted on Black America Web:

Future and Ciara  are one of the most talked about couples in hip-hop right now. They have a baby on the way and plan to walk down the aisle shortly after. Future joins “ The Russ Parr Morning Show ” and explains why he decided to settle down with Ciara. In addition, hear him discuss how he played a part in creating her engagement ring, and find out if he’s involved in the wedding planning.

Future also talks about his forthcoming album Honest. Listen to the audio player to him discuss working with Kanye West, and how he continues to reinvent himself in an industry where people start to sound the same.

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Keep Up With The Russ Parr Morning Show … LIKE Him On Facebook!

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Americans Are Surprisingly Optimistic About the Future of Technology

Originally posted on Deepak verma:

Even in an age of security leaks and government surveillance, amazingly, Americans still feel pretty good about the role that technology will play in their lives, according to a new study. However, when you ask them about the specific advances—like bioengineering, wearable tech, drones, and robots—
April 17, 2014 at 11:46PM

By Deepak verma

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‘I’ve Seen Easter Outfits That Make Me Wonder If They Owned A Mirror’ – Bishop T.D. Jakes

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All Easter Sunday-goers, take some notes from Bishop T.D. Jakes!

Originally posted on Black America Web:

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04/17/14  - Bishop T.D. Jakes stops by to talk about his new movie, Heaven is for Real. The mega-preacher has come under a little bit of fire for not portraying Jesus as a black man in his film.

“I don’t think it’s so much what Jesus looks like, but what Jesus did,” Jakes says.

Also, the crew gets him to chat about the most interesting Easter outfit he’s ever seen!

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Vegas Odds: Miami Heat Favored To Win Third NBA Title

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Was there really a doubt about that?? #HeatNation #GoHeat

Originally posted on CBS Miami:

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The odds are looking good that the Miami Heat will bring home a third NBA Championship.

The folks in Vegas have been crunching the numbers and believe the Heat will take home another Larry O’Brien Championship trophy.

The two-time defending champions are the favorites to win the title at 2-to-1 overall, according to online gambling site Bovada.

The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are next.

Here’s a look at the entire list of odds provided by Bovada:

Odds to win 2014 NBA Championship

Miami Heat 2/1
San Antonio Spurs 3/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 4/1
Indiana Pacers 6/1
Los Angeles Clippers 9/1
Houston Rockets 20/1
Brooklyn Nets 25/1
Golden State Warriors 28/1
Chicago Bulls 40/1
Portland Trailblazers 40/1
Dallas Mavericks 66/1
Memphis Grizzlies 66/1
Toronto Raptors 66/1
Washington Wizards 150/1
Atlanta Hawks 250/1
Charlotte Bobcats 250/1

Odds to win 2014 NBA Eastern Conference
Miami Heat 2/3

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