Friday, April 13, 2012

Trayvon Martin, theGrio and “new guards” of black media

We are definitely making media impact. Let's keep beating the drum...

African American news site has helped drive NBC’s coverage of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. Since its first piece on March 8, theGrio has published more than 250 stories on Martin and many of its videos have landed on shows like the Today Show and NBC Nightly News.
TheGrio’s success reflects the rise of a new generation of African American news as well as a new symbiosis between niche and mainstream media outlets.
In practice, this means that theGrio is not just borrowing content from NBC but also seeing its own material taken up across the network and its affiliates.
“We call it the trickle-up effect,” said theGrio’s executive editor, David Wilson, who helped launch the site in 2009.
In addition to the recent Martin coverage, the video-heavy site has also gained attention for its coverage of the Haiti earthquake and for viral clips like, “Michael Vick wants a new dog.”
Wilson says the site is profitable and that it received 2.5 million unique views last month. This number couldn’t be immediately confirmed but comScore reported last year that theGrio had experienced 300 percent year-over-year growth from 2010 to 2011.
The “New Guards”
TheGrio is joining other prominent new black media outlets like the Washington Post’s The Root and Huffington Post’s Black Voices.
The emergence of these outlets shows that African American media is sharing a similar experience as news media overall — one in which “digital natives” are best poised to succeed.
“The new guards in black media are being made online,” says Wilson.
He added that older African American media titles like Jet and Ebony were slow to embrace digital platforms, and at first treated them as a way to preserve existing subscription models. Newcomers have since been taking their place.
“There’s been a changing of the guard in black media.”  source

International tourists, FOX addicts and why facts can not trump beliefs

Tourist Don't Get It

The J-O-B of a good friend places him in contact with international tourists on a daily; and he often finds himself in engaging political conversations.

As an intelligent and articulate black man, he is invariably asked by befuddled European travelers about the state of American politics. In particular, they want to know why so many white, middle-class Americans continue to vote against their own economic interest. Million dollar question.

Candidly, he explains that after a steady diet of Rush Limbaugh, FOX News, and GOP propaganda so-called middle America has been brainwashed to reject a middle-class agenda/platform -- they call it anti-free market socialism. That's right, these Foxoholics fervently embrace economic policies that hurt their wallet and help the one percent super-rich further loot our country in the name of capitalism.

Fox Addicts

Speaking about Foxaholics, I recently ran into a Fox junkie in a restaurant. Apparently, she and her husband had just been smoking some killer Fox rocks because they had that no one's home, glaced, wild-eyed look and they were incoherently yapping on some President Obama is the anti-Christ nonsense. Usually I just shake my head and keep it moving. This day, against my better judgement, I decided -- coyly -- to have some fun. The banter as follows:

Junkie: Obama with his spending is destroying our country. He is the worst president that we've had. He is driving up our national debt and bankrupting our country...blah blah blah...

Me: Don't you think after being handed two wars costing trillions -- which by the way Bush kept off the books which lead to a fuzzy math accounting of his true debt -- and a free falling economy, government had to spend money in order to re-boot the economy, as most economist agree. And can you explain, why do I never hear the right complain about Dick Cheney's -- remember him, he said Reagan proved the deficits don't matter -- Haliburton company being granted no bid contracts during the Iraq war and subsequently caught over billing the USA taxpayers by billions and billions of dollars?

Blank stare and silence for about 45 seconds

Junkie: His failed socialist policies are strangling our country and leading us down a path to destruction.

Me: Didn't his successful policy save the American car industry from ruins and thereby save millions of  American jobs. In the waning moments of Bush's term, our economy was losing 800,000 jobs per month. Obama policies has the economy creating jobs again. And is it your desire to vote back in the same people and policies that created the mess Obama and the Democrats have been trying to fix with no help from the GOP. You and I both know the GOP is praying for this fragile recovery to fail so they can get the Mittens (Romney) back on the purse strings.

Chirping of the crickets and the ending of the conversation. They abruptly exit the bar area -- no rebuttal -- perhaps to hit some more FOX crack rocks.

Never Let Facts Get In The Way Of Beliefs

A recent poll revealed, 52% of Republicans in one southern state believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. First, nothing wrong with being Muslim. The problem is that despite Obama openly worshiping his Christian faith, the majority of southern Christians have ignored facts and formed erroneous beliefs based on bogus and often bizarre Birther like conspiracy theories.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

From the NBA to Urban Farmer: Will Allen

Urban farmer is on the radar. Many city dwellers are discovering the many advantages in converting urban blight into urban green acres.

The advantages include urban renewal, a healthier food supply system, urban economic and job opportunities and there are numerous ecological benefits as well.

Not to mention, bringing this food growing technology to countries lacking an adequate food supply.

Aquaponics 101

One new cutting edge method of urban farming is Aquaponics: Growing plants and fish in a closed, recirculating system.

Former NBA player, Will Allen has served as an early ambassador for this transformative method of farming. An urban farmer since 1993, Allen via Growing Power, Inc in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has lead The Good Food Revolution.

The Will Allen Story

Will Allen was a high school state champion at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD in basketball, playing the forward position. Allen played collegiately for the Miami Hurricanes at the University of Miami, where he was on basketball scholarship. He was the first African-American to play basketball for the University of Miami.
After college Allen was selected by the Baltimore Bullets in the 4th round (60th pick overall) of the 1971 NBA Draft. He never played in the NBA, but appeared in seven games with The Floridians of the ABA during the 1971–72 season. He also played professionally in Belgium.
Allen retired from basketball in 1977, when he was 28. Upon retirement, Allen moved toMilwaukee, his wife Cynthia's hometown.

Will Allen’s parents were sharecroppers in South Carolina until they bought the small vegetable farm in Rockville, Maryland, where Allen grew up.

Finishing a career in marketing, Allen left a job at Procter & Gamble in 1993 and purchasedGrowing Power, a derelict plant nursery that was in foreclosure, located on the north side ofMilwaukee. Around this time, Allen also purchased a 100-acre farm in Oak Creek, previously owned by his wife's parents.
Allen currently serves as director of Growing Power, a now mature urban farming project inMilwaukee, with a 40-acre acre farm west of Milwaukee in the town of Merton and an off-shoot project in Chicago run by Allen's daughter, Erika.
In 2005, Allen was awarded a Ford Foundation leadership grant on behalf of his urban farming work In 2008, he was awarded the MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" for his work onurban farming and sustainable food production. In 2009, the Kellogg Foundation gave Allen a grant to create jobs in urban agriculture.[7][12]
Will Allen appears in the documentary filmFresh. The film refers to Allen as "one of the most influential leaders of the food security and urban farming movement. source

To learn more visit Growing Power.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Aquaponics: Chicago style

CHICAGO — They call this place the Back of the Yards, a neighborhood in the middle of the city once filled with acres and acres of stockyards.
In their heyday, those stockyards gave Chicago a reputation as the world's meat-packing capital – but also as an environmental and health horror brought to life in the stark images of Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle."
A few remnants of that industry remain here today. But the stockyards are long gone, replaced by an industrial park and a mindset that, from now on, Chicago will try to move past those images.
Now, you will find a jungle of a very different kind here.
It's on the third floor of an old meat-packing plant, a humid hothouse, of sorts, filled with rows of greens and sprouts, even exotic white strawberries. Nearby, in large blue barrels, lurk tilapia, fish native to tropical regions.
It's all part of the fledgling world of urban "aquaponics," vertical farms set up in old warehouses, where plants and fish are raised symbiotically. The idea is that water containing fish excrement is used to feed and fertilize the plants, which then filter that water before it goes, through a series of pipes, back to the fish.
"I never really saw myself going into farming – but this was an opportunity to try something different," says Mario Spatafora, a 24-year-old, spectacle-wearing accountant by training who is vice president of finances at this new Back of the Yards company, known as 312 Aquaponics. The company hopes it will soon be selling fish and vegetable greens to restaurants and at farmer's markets in the Chicago area.
It started when one of Spatafora's childhood friends, now one of four young partners in the business, set up a successful aquaponics system in his apartment when they were in college – and a business idea sprouted. read more

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Kevin Love: LA beckons you to come back home by Greg Gee with Bharv

Kevin Love please come home to the Los Angeles Lakers. Bring you outstanding talents to L.A. -- we need ya...Ok, your from Oregon but you played your college ball at UCLA.

Kevin Love is a beast:

Love's incredible March Madness stat line looks just like, well, no one else's stats have been this overwhelmingly dominant.  The 6'10 forward's ability to score, rebound and play defense has been dominating for the Minnesota Timberwolves 15 games in March:  averaging 31 points and 14 rebounds, a single game stat line that has been achieved a combined 22 times this season by all other NBA players --Love has done it 9 times.

Love's stock has been consistently rising since he entered the league 4 years ago. Like many emerging young superstars playing in a small market -- it begs the question -- how can a small market like Minnesota keep a rising superstar like Love? History tells us they cannot and will not be able to keep him.


In this day and age of self-promotion, players are thinking about their brand, image and marketability off the court as well as on it. A small market team might give them a big check, but these players want to be playas on a big stage.

LeBron left Cleveland for the glamour of " South Beach," not Miami, if you remember correctly. That's because South Beach is the hot spot; Miami is just the name of the city. Carmelo Anthony was in Denver, now he's in Broadway, New York City. Same player, same -- well almost same numbers -- on a team no better than the ones he played on in Denver, but now on a much bigger stage. source

And there may be others seeking the brighter lights of a big market team:

Kevin Durant(Thunder), Russell Westbrook(Thunder), LaMarcus Aldridge(Trailblazers), and Rudy Gay(Grizzlies) are other rising  (super)stars who are unquestionably among the league's best players and playing in small markets. 
That's good for the league and for those teams, but not always good for those individual players. (Bleacher Report 3/28/2012)

So, as a true LA Laker homer, am I selfish for wanting to lure Kevin Love back home to the much brighter lights of LA?

Mike Wallace, CBS Pioneer of ‘60 Minutes,’ Dies at 93

As reported by today's New York Times:

Mike Wallace, the CBS reporter who became one of the nation’s best-known broadcast journalists as an interrogator of the famous and infamous on “60 Minutes,” died on Saturday. He was 93.
On its Web site, CBS said Mr. Wallace died at a care facility in New Canaan, Conn., where he had lived in recent years. Mr. Wallace, who was outfitted with a pacemaker more than 20 years ago, had a long history of cardiac care and underwent triple bypass heart surgery in January 2008. source
Mr. Wallace (with Louis Lomax), famous for his intense interviewing style, introduced Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam to the broad American audience in 1959, in a segment titled, The Hate That Hate Produced. 

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