Happiness, captured in a moment

moments that made ppl happy100 photos of moments that made the photographers happy, culled from lots and lots of entries … for the International Day of Happiness 2014 aka World Happy Day.

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Are Grammys trying to set value for black musicians?

HuffPost reviewer Kim Lute hated Beyonce’s grammy performance of “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” so much I had to see for myself what the hullabaloo was all about. She writes:

…Beyoncé (as well as her much talked about cast of put-upon black men) fumble(d) and falter(ed) her way through Mahalia Jackson’s classic, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”

@KimLute‘s criticism of Beyoncé’s performance is a bit extreme, but it’s completely clear that Beyoncé is no gospel singer. She lacks both range and the vocal ability to extend a note. In light of recent observations about racism permeating the Grammys, Lute’s next comment seems spot-on:

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Como cambiaremos el mundo

Vamos a cambiar el mundo rapidamente con lentos pasos… :)

(We’re going to change the world quickly, with slow steps…)

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Only people outside of New Jersey could like Christie

Christie’s Dream Is Dying. Time to Come Home, Governor ~ Moran in Star Ledger 08 Feb 2015*My friend Dee Dameron frames Christie’s betrayal of New Jersey residents so well:

What have you done for New Jerseyans lately? Absolutely nothing. There are 15,000 Hurricane Sandy families who remain without a home, 624 bridges that need to be repaired, property taxes are the highest in the nation, unemployment is still on the rise, education for children has been put to sleep, Bridgegate is still pending. These are just a few issues and concerns. there are countless. Yes, its time for you to come home and do your job which you were elected to do and put the people first…not your fantasy to become president.

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Swayze dancing with his wife Niemi is a treat to watch

Patrick Swayze in Ghost
Swayze & WhoopiPatrick Swayze has a special place in my heart for helping me mourn the passing of my firstborn’s father through his performance in Ghost. I had not thought of Swayze as a dancer, although now I’ve learned that he was the lead in both Dirty Dancing and Broadway’s Grease.

Swayze’s biography.com video tells that early in his life, Swayze almost lost his leg to a tooth staph infection that dispersed throughout his body and lodged in his knee – which almost needed to be amputed.

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In Chile music saves children from poverty & the sanity of two young women

Georgina misses her viola
Life was not easy for Melody and Georgina. In their small towns and Georgina’s crowded, one room house there was little room for laughter, serenity, dreams. But music changed that for these young women. Melody says, “Necesitaba una palabra para decir que extrañaba algo que nunca había tenido.” (“I needed a word to express that I missed something that I had never known.”)

Filmmaker Marialy Rivas tells their story of escape from the drudgery of poverty through a 15 minute documentary. Be advised — you might want some tissues before it’s over!

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Couples can buy Newark land for $1000 on V-Day 2015

Valentine's HouseI guess this isn’t as good a deal as Chicago selling off land at $1 a lot but Newark’s Valentine’s Day land sale still seems pretty darn good to me. According to the city’s website, Couples only can purchase a Newark land lot for $1000 from the city if they can afford to build a dwelling on it and are willing to live there for 5 years.

Take a look at the terms and tell me what you think …

A special land sale that Economic and Housing Development has organized for St. Valentine’s Day – Saturday, 14 February 2015, 9:00AM – 12:00PM at Newark City Hall (920 Broad Street). In the spirit of St. Valentine’s Day, we are doing a sale of city lots exclusively to COUPLES. Transforming non-tax producing city owned lots to occupied, tax producing properties with new homes built on them. We will be selling 100 lots at $1,000 a lot. This sale is NOT for developers or investors. The sale is exclusively for couples who are looking to live in Newark.

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Disturbing inequity of the School-to-Prison-Pipeline (short video)

Unhappy facts about the school to prison pipeline, which Brave New Films describes as “..another way the United States incarcerates more people than any other country on earth.*”

  1. Zero tolerance policy doesn’t apply to everyone equally.
  2. Blacks and Latinos are 29% of public school students but “are 70% of in-school arrests or referrals to law enforcement.”
  3. 32% of youth in special detention are special needs students.
  4. * From NAACP Criminal Justice Fact Sheet: Combining the number of people in prison and jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 1 in every 31 adults, or 3.2% of the (USA) population is under some form of correctional control.
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Fact Checking: PunditFact

PunditFact logopolitifact.com/punditfact/

PunditFact (powered by Politifact) is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and the Poynter Institute, dedicated to checking the accuracy of claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers, political analysts, the hosts and guests of talk shows, and other members of the media.

We define a pundit as someone who offers analysis or opinions on the news, particularly politics and public policy. One can engage in punditry by writing, blogging or appearing on radio or TV. A pundit is not an elected official, not a declared candidate nor anyone in an official capacity with a political party, campaign or government.

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Chef & educator Twitty creates Afro-Jewish fusion

Michael Twitty, torah scholar
Michael Twitty (@koshersoul) is a fascinating man I would love to share a Pesach (Passover) seder with. We could trade stories – Michael, of what being a Black Jew celebrity chef is all about … while I would tell about running my mother’s Chinese takeaway restaurant and Asian grocery store in downtown Tel Aviv. From her hospital bed, Mom said if I kept alive the business she loved so much, she felt she could win the battle to regain her health. Whatever I did or didn’t do, those who loved that vivacious wonder enjoyed Mom’s company for almost another decade after that. Mom was Israeli and my Dad is Chinese.

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2 Dutch ladies in their 70s take their first flight – delightful!

An & Ria on planeI put off watching this video … because … 10 minutes! But I’m glad I made time for it, this is such a treasure. An & Ria’s 1st flight – at age 70! How they prepare for the big event is delightful and how much they enjoy the voyage from the Netherlands to Barcelona in a private jet … Well, it has to be seen to be enjoyed.

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Spoken word artist stops show with ‘The Average Black Girl’

Ernestine JohnsonErnestine Johnson is glorious in her spoken word performance of ‘The Average Black Girl’ on the Arsenio Hall Show.

Ernestine recounts when boyfriend’s mother told her she was acceptable because she’s not ‘The Average Black Girl’ … and she’s told she’s not ‘The Average Black Girl’ because “When I speak, I pronounce every syllable.” But Ms. Johnson interprets this label in a very different way.

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Giving up our fantasy addiction is how we will make life good

This 8 minute film shows us the value of being alive at a time when communication is possible on a scale never before experienced. Yet, while the world is being destroyed and monetized we pay more attention to our screens than everything else around us.

But, we are not in a movie where everything is decided in advance. In real life, WE write the script. Let’s give up our addiction to fantasies that are being fed us and script our own … beautiful future … together. All power to the people!

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Black History Month in Film @ Nyack Village Theatre

Nyack Village Theatre celebrates Black History Month in Film. The theatre is located upstairs at 94 Main Street in the historic Woolworth Way, built in 1905 and today presenting film, music, theatre, dance and poetry in an intimate 49 seat space in the heart of Nyack.

Black History Month in Film

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6th – 8:00pm
“Hidden Colors” – The Untold History of People of Aboriginal, Moor and African Descent

“Cabin in The Sky” – starring Ethel Waters, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Lena Horne, Louie Armstrong, Rex Ingram, Duke Ellington & The Hall Johnson Choir

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NJ’s Amistad Act calls for accurate history lessons in schools. Time to fund it.

NJ Amistad Curriculum
The Amistad Act became law in New Jersey half a generation ago, which I learned today is long enough ago for young equal education activists to have never heard of it. “What’s that?” a young friend asked on Facebook when I suggested that we pressure state government to fund the Amistad Commission’s mandate to bring historically accurate curricula and books that teach the true roles African Americans and other ethnic minorities have played in the evolution of society both at home and abroad, to all K-12 classrooms. This knowledge is not currently being taught to our children but in New Jersey it ought to be, because state law calls for it.

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