I won’t act like I am oppressed or like I live a tough life. I don’t act like I live the “hip hop lifestyle”, but contrary to what anyone says this doesn’t imply any lack of interest on my part. Hip hop is different than any other style of music. My mother pointed out an interesting observation that I never really considered until she vocalized this. She commented on how “her kind of music” had good background music that consistently changed throughout the course of the song. Her songs generally have a slow progression that builds and declines, it’s broken up usually by very identifiable refrain music, and then comes to some type of obvious conclusion at the end of the song. This is all and good except that while this may be true about the music behind the song it is balanced out with the quite simplistic and usually less than stellar quality of lyrics.
Getting back to my response to her, So what makes Hip Hop so different? Hip Hop is about the lyrics, it’s about the words, it’s about what the person is trying to tell you. It’s not about some meaningless jingle in the background, or some refrain music that any moron could identify, it’s about telling a story. Regardless of one’s opinions about hip hop artists and the plethora of drug references, violence and derogatory slang used in reference for ethnicities and genders, one must admit, honestly, that these are some of the most thought provoking, and in some cases intelligently written lyrics of any genre of music. The variety of issues that Hip Hop artists manage to address is sometimes staggering. These range from songs written strictly to be ridiculous such as Eminemâ€™s â€œAss Like Thatâ€ all the way to songs like 2 Pacâ€™s inspiring â€œPicture me Rollinâ€. Issues such as social inequality, gender rights, racial stigmas, the struggle to survive, and the challenges of growing up in a difficult environment scream across this genre of music. I think a number of self proclaimed intelligent people are sadly ignorant when they hear a Hip Hop song and instantly write it off as uneducated and garbage just because it happens to have slang or words we are unaccustomed to hearing in a typical social setting. Hip Hop, along with several other genres of music take this important burden upon there backs to spread through society the things we donâ€™t want to talk about otherwise. Weâ€™ve all heard several civil rights activists say something similar to â€œMake yourself heard! Make noise!â€, I would have to in turn say, â€œMake music! Make Hip Hop!â€.
Getting back to my point, why I like Hip Hop. I like Hip Hop because it speaks to me. Even if I havenâ€™t lived the life they are talking about and even though I havenâ€™t lived life being oppressed and treated unfairly I can still imagine what it would feel like thanks to the powerful and expressive words of this form of music. I havenâ€™t lived the life that they speak of, but I can feel there pain and there happiness through there lyrics.
Typetester: Compare fonts for the screen
Probably pretty useless to most of you, but very useful for comparing fonts that you are considering using in a web design, it’s very helpful to see them side by side to determine how clear they are.
Searching for Standards
I did a small comparative analysis of markup practices at several major search engines. It’s interesting to note that only one engine is using valid markup and CSS layouts, and that would be MSN. Close behind is AOL, whose validation problems are mostly related to ampersands not being escaped, and HotBot, who have a few easily corrected errors.
A very interesting comparison of the code used on a wide variety of common web search sites. Surprisingly MSN Search is by far the best and actually is the only site to validate as valid XHTML.
Top 10 New AJAX Applications
Some very cool stuff. The AJAX IM is what I posted about last week, the Kiko calendar is quite nice if anyone needs a web accessible calendar. Check them out and drop me a line if you think I should look at one of them again because you found it to be especially useful.
Pretty random and useless, but you can explore some of the moon and see the locations of landings on the moon.
Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina
It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Experts who have studied the US navy’s cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying ‘toxic dart’ guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet’s smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.
Dolphins have been trained in attack-and-kill missions since the Cold War. The US Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels. Their coastal compound was breached during the storm, sweeping them out to sea. But those who have studied the controversial use of dolphins in the US defence programme claim it is vital they are caught quickly.
Leo Sheridan, 72, a respected accident investigator who has worked for government and industry, said he had received intelligence from sources close to the US government’s marine fisheries service confirming dolphins had escaped.
‘My concern is that they have learnt to shoot at divers in wetsuits who have simulated terrorists in exercises. If divers or windsurfers are mistaken for a spy or suicide bomber and if equipped with special harnesses carrying toxic darts, they could fire,’ he said. ‘The darts are designed to put the target to sleep so they can be interrogated later, but what happens if the victim is not found for hours?’
This is by far the funniest thing I have read all day. And you were afraid of the sharks…
Apparently Microsoft is going around asking all the sites to take down this picture. So lets see if I can get my first “letter”….Personally I think the new start button looks horrible.
Local AJAX IM
Firefox Nightly Tester Tools
If anyone is planning on trying the newly released Firefox v1.5 Beta1 preview they will need this. The beta1 apparently breaks most extensions and with this wonderfully useful tool you can force them to work regardless of any compatability problems.