Grandmaster Flash Responds To Grandmas Tagging Him On Facebook

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Originally posted on The Urban Daily:

Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's Hip Hop Initiative - February 28, 2006

Apparently, Hip-Hop legend Grandmaster Flash is getting spammed on Facebook, and it’s by grandparents. BuzzFeed first reported on the strange phenomenon a few days ago:

When you type a Facebook status, suggestions are made to auto-tag other users. When you start typing “grandma”, it often suggests tagging the seminal hip-hop artist Grandmaster Flash. As a result, visiting the Posts to Page section on his Facebook page reveals a large number of grandparents posting on it. The Grampa and Grandmaster Flash Tumblr has been collecting them.

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Luckily, the-56-year-old rapper has a good sense of humor about it. He wrote on his Facebook page Thursday, “It’s true I get a lot of posts from Grandmas. Hilarious now I know why — Respect Grandma and Grandpa. P.S. This is Hip Hop!”

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Ray Rice and the Prestige of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a very serious offense. We hear stories of tragedy and triumph and the will to survive from both men and women who have been victims of domestic violence. The recent news of a professional athlete abusing his spouse is nothing new. What makes this different is the fact that the leadership in professional sports are finally starting to speak up against their players. The release of a horrific video depicting a black professional athlete knocking his fiancé out cold only adds to the concern of black athletes and the prestige of domestic violence.

Twenty years ago, America witnessed O. J. Simpson, one of its athletic heroes become the primary person of interest in a double homicide. Simpson went from being a beloved athlete and actor to the spark that ignited debates about black athlete’s prestige. This prestige was not only one of wealth accumulated but of a disconnect from the common vestiges of the regular black man. This prestige is one of alienation from the consequences the average black man endures resulting from decisions made out of anger or frustration. This prestige drew a big line of distinction between those who were the investments of billionaires and those black men who were the discarded and dejected of society. The prestige allowed professional football athletes to all but get away with murder. We saw it with, Adam “Pac Man” Jones, Ray Carruth, and even the legendary Jim Brown. These men succeeded in the game on the field, but failed in the game of life.

We have made professional athletes into role models for our young black children. Parents put their hopes in dreams of a talented player making it to the big leagues. Some parents only lightly address some of the aggressions their boys manifest while playing sports. While it is true that this aggression is good on the football field, the basketball court, the baseball field, or the wrestling mat, it is not good for interaction with others outside of those arenas. Young black men develop this aggression early and when not properly assessed and treated, it carries over into the relationships with females. This often ends in acts of domestic violence that destroys the lives of all involved.

Not even a century ago, it was the intent of professional sports promoters and team owners did all they could to keep black men off their teams. We had leagues of our own where we were able to manage and control our players with dignity. Players carried the pride of all Blacks on their shoulders. They were afraid to do anything that would bring shame to not only them but also the entire black race. They mastered the art of concealment and discretion better than some politicians did. Black team leaders and owners understood the value of the player’s integrity, skill, and talent. There is a great disconnect today. Today’s black players are nothing more than expensive investments beginning as young as Pops Warner and AAU leagues.

As long as this exploitation continues, we will likely see black athletes excel on the playing field while exploiting the privilege they have as celebrities and investments. To counter this, we must be vigilant in helping young black find means to address their aggression. Just as we educate them about the perils of street and thug life, we must do so with them regarding the value of the female life. We must educate them of how the smallest incident of aggression against a female can do enough damage and follow them throughout their lives. While we do not want parents to dissuade their children from pursuing professional sports careers, but in the process, help them understand the pitfalls of achieving that goal. Our black male children are seeing what they have been told are role models fall into the pit of diminished life because of their acts of violence and aggression. We must be vigilant if we want to see the patterns of privileged domestic violence stop so that we can create a new pattern of privileged love and honor from our black men.

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Ebola Cases Spiking in West Africa As Death Toll Nears 2,300

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Originally posted on TIME:

Cases of Ebola in West Africa are continuing to rise exponentially, with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone together experiencing a 49% increase in cases in just the last three weeks.

New data released Tuesday by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that there are now a total of 4,269 cases in the three countries, including 2,288 deaths. Liberia alone has experienced a 68% increase in cases in the last three weeks. Localized clusters of Ebola have also been emerging in Nigeria and Senegal, where authorities have reported a combined total of 24 cases and eight deaths.

On Monday, the WHO released data on the troubling number of cases in Liberia, citing concerns that families riding in taxis or motorbikes to hospitals are spreading disease that way. Fourteen of Liberia’s 15 counties now have confirmed cases of the disease, and so far 152 health care workers have been infected, with 79…

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New Dinosaur Species Unearthed in Tanzania

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Originally posted on TIME:

Paleontologists have unearthed a new species of dinosaur in Tanzania, a long-necked, plant-eating giant that crops up in varied forms on every continent, but rarely ever has been found in the continent of Africa.

The fossils of the newly minted Rukwatitan bisepultus were spotted in in the Rukwa Rift Basin of southwestern Tanzania, embedded into a cliff wall. Paleontologists from the University of Ohio excavated the fossils over several months, unearthing vertebrae, ribs, limbs and pelvic bones.

A silhouette of Rukwatitan showing the recovered skeleton and general shape of the titanosaurian. Eric Gorscak

The fossils clearly belonged to a creature within the family tree of sauropods, the long-necked giants that frequently turn up in the soil of South America, but CT scans revealed a distinct species that had developed unique traits from its cousins across the pond. The bones offer new evidence that the flora and fauna of the…

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Genius Dog Learns to Walk Upright After Breaking Her Front Legs

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Originally posted on TIME:

This pooch broke both of her front legs after she jumped from a 6-foot-high deck. Making that jump probably wasn’t the smartest choice, but she did manage to resolve the predicament pretty quickly and resourcefully. She learned how to walk on her hind legs and get herself in and out of doorways, her human Jason Sanders explains on YouTube.

The other bonus here is that with her transparent cone of shame and her big green leg braces, she looks like some kind of awesome Star Trek character. We’re all about it.

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Rick Warren: Chick-fil-A Founder Truett Cathy Truly Lived His Faith

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Originally posted on TIME:

Monday morning, at around 1:20 am, our world lost a Great Man to eternity.

Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, was a giant of a man in so many ways: a godly man, a wise husband and father, a business genius, a creative innovator, a humble servant of Jesus Christ with rock-ribbed integrity, a generous philanthropist, and one who loved greatly, cared deeply for the poor, especially disadvantaged kids, and used his life and work to benefit others.

Most people, of course, have heard of Chick-fil-A, but few got to see the Cathy family up close, and marvel at this family dynasty of Christian faith. Truett and Jeanette’s legacy will live on through the great godly character and values they instilled in their children Trudy, Bubba (Don) and Dan. It’s been my privilege and honor to be a family friend of these dear people, their wonderful spouses, kids, and grandkids.

Truett…

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More Pilots in Crashes Are on Drugs, Report Says

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Originally posted on TIME:

More pilots involved in airplane crashes are testing positive for drugs, according to an analysis of toxicology reports going back 20 years by the National Transportation Safety Board.

According to the draft report released Tuesday, in 1990 just 9.6% of pilots involved in crashes tested positive for one drug, compared to 39% in 2012. Drug mixing—which can be an especially dangerous and unpredictable way to consume drugs—has been on the rise as well.

The study crunched the numbers on toxicology reports from nearly 6,700 pilots who were killed in airplane crashes between 1990 and 2012. The study looked at the use of both legal and illegal drugs and found increases in the use of all drugs.

Alcohol was not considered in the study.

The most commonly used drug that can cause impairment was diphenhydramine, a sedative antihistamine used in cold medicine and other related applications. Few pilots tested positive for…

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