11. This promotional video for my friend Uchenna’s compilation of Nigerian funk:
BRAND NEW WAYO: Funk, Fast Times and Nigerian Boogie Badness 1979-1983!
YouTube Preview Image

For preview tracks and lots more info click here. Buy it at Amazon, Dusty Groove, Sounds of the Universe, Turntable Lab, Juno, Tower, Best Buy, Light in the Attic, Rush Hour, or any other online store of your choice…

12. This extremely creepy video of a Predator drone attack simulation:
Inside a Drone Predator Strike:

I discovered this video while researching for an exhibit of Predator Drones. It’s a video made by Raytheon Corporation, a major US military contractor, to promote its Common Ground Control System (CGCS). The CGCS is hardware/software package that enables drone operators to conduct surveillance and execute strikes anywhere in the world, from the security of a military base in the US. Here is an excerpt from the company’s website:

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are improving how the United States and allies defend our way of life by conducting multiple reconnaissance and surveillance missions, delivering intelligence to those who need it when they need it for directing soldiers to their targets, enemy monitoring, situation assessment and border surveillance. Issues that impact UAS operations include procedural errors, ground station design, limited field of view and human factors. These problems have led to multi-million dollar UAS crashes and failed missions.

An open, common ground control station is the right solution and Raytheon is helping to shape the common approach to unmanned aerial vehicle management. The Raytheon Common Ground Control System (CGCS) is unique as the only ground control system where the United States government has full administration purpose rights to the common core UAS C2 software and interfaces. The government has the source code to the UAS framework, owns the open, documented interfaces and makes them readily available for vendors to adapt and compete to provide the latest innovative ideas and applications. CGCS is a revolutionary, next-generation control system designed to address UAS operations issues by enhancing the performance and effectiveness of the operator.

13. This excellent interview with Prodigy of Mobb Deep:
Prodigy, Rapper and Member of Mobb Deep: Interview on The Sound of Young America

Throughout the mid ’90s Prodigy was one of my favorite rappers and ‘The Infamous’, the album he made with his partner Havoc, is one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time, imo. At the time it dropped, New York hip hop was going through a rowdy, over the top phase, which involved a lot of wild, threatening hand gestures, horror movie references, and even a brief flirtation with slam dancing. Prodigy was the antithesis of all of that. His style was (and more or less remains) ice cold. His lyrics expressed a nihilism that was much scarier than anything California’s gangsta or NY’s horrorcore cartoons could come up with. Anyway, I also wondered about the life that produced Prodigy and this interview from the excellent Sound of Young America podcast provided more than I could have asked for. Click the link above for the transcript…

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14. This sign o the times press release from the City of Forth Worth, (Don’t Mess With) Texas announcing the removal of the world Public from their public library:

They explain it:

The word “public” has been removed from the name of the Fort Worth Library. Why? Simply put, to keep up with the times. In today’s day and age, the word “public” implies a place that, at one time, might have been viewed as institutional and restrictive… By removing one word with a potentially negative connotation, the Library aims to appear more welcoming and accessible to all.

This is the extent of the anti-government madness that has taken over enormous parts of the United States. So no more public libraries in Ft Worth, but, as my friend James pointed out, the press release goes on to use the word public seven times to describe their programs.

15. This essay on education as the next Great American Bubble:
Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education
By William Deresiewicz

Choice Quote:

What we have in academia, in other words, is a microcosm of the American economy as a whole: a self-enriching aristocracy, a swelling and increasingly immiserated proletariat, and a shrinking middle class. The same devil’s bargain stabilizes the system: the middle, or at least the upper middle, the tenured professoriate, is allowed to retain its prerogatives—its comfortable compensation packages, its workplace autonomy and its job security—in return for acquiescing to the exploitation of the bottom by the top, and indirectly, the betrayal of the future of the entire enterprise.

16. This worth a thousands words image of DSK lecherously lunging toward the First Lady:
G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh
Source: The IMF Flickr

17. The death of Gil Scott Heron:
Gil Scott-Heron – Beginnings (The First Minute of a New Day)
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Gil Scott-Heron, R.I.P.
By Greg Tate

Choice Quote:

‘We all kept saying “Why don’t he just ‘kick it quit it/ kick it quit it,’” but Gil, more cunning, wounded and defensive than any junkie born, kept pushing back harder, daring any of us to try and rationally answer his challenge to the collective’s impotencies and inadequacies: “You keep saying kick it, quit it/ God, but did you ever try?/ To turn your sick soul inside out/ So that the world, so that the the world /can watch you die?”‘

18. This jam I got from my friend Pete:
The Weeknd – What You Need Chopped And Screwed By Mike G

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19. This reassuring study from a scientifically suspect but highly entertaining website:
Why Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol

“The following graph shows the association between childhood intelligence (grouped into five “cognitive classes”: “very dull” – IQ < 75; "dull" - 75 < IQ < 90; "normal" - 90 < IQ < 110; "bright" - 110 < IQ < 125; "very bright" - IQ > 125) and the latent factor for the frequency of alcohol consumption. The latter variable is constructed from a large number of indicators for the frequency of alcohol consumption throughout adult life and standardized to have a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.0. The data come from the National Child Development Study (NCDS) in the United Kingdom.”


20. A very nice mix that my friend Josh hipped me to:
The Perfect Lullaby Mix by NGUZUNGUZU

To be continued…

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