Classic Movie Musical Number Pick Me Ups

Found myself in a classic movie mood recently. More specifically, in the mood to watch two of my favorite classic movie musical numbers.

The first is “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” featuring Dorothy Dandridge and the Nicholas Brothers from the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade.

The second is the infamous dance break in Stormy Weather (1943) featuring the Nicholas Brothers, considered by many to be the best dance break ever. It’s the crescendo that ends Cab Calloway’s “Jumpin’ Jive.”

Each time I watch these numbers, I’m a bit happier than before I pressed play. They both exude joy to me.

Media, Sports

Who Gets To Be the Star of Their Own Story in Sports Media?

The secret’s not in the mayonnaise by the way.

That quote makes no sense without watching Toronto Star writer Morgan P. Campbell’s TED talk titled “Race, Sports and Telling True Stories.”

In his speech, Morgan does a great job breaking down who gets to be the star of their story versus who routinely gets relegated to a prop within a narrative. It’s a good listen.


3 of My Favorite Movie Scenes Ever

Since we’re in the midst of awards season, I decided to reminisce about 3 of my favorite movie scenes ever.

The first is the Juke Joint scene in The Color Purple. The older man on the cane, along the musicians, knowing what’s up before it even happens cracks me up. It’s also a strange kind of funny to watch someone call Oprah out her name, even within the context of her playing a character in a movie, knowing the mogul she would later become. In addition, Celie (Whoopi Goldberg’s character) sitting peacefully while chaos reigns around her works so well in the scene.

Continue reading “3 of My Favorite Movie Scenes Ever”

Media, Music

A Few Faves From 2016

Below are a few things I enjoyed entertainment-wise this year.



This FX series mainly following a Princeton-dropout turned wannabe music manager to his cousin was tonally perfect. It showed a part of the city many don’t get to see, unless its in a stereotypical way without any nuance. The series does a good job showing the day-to-day goings-on for its main characters in a real and not shined up way. (P.S. Listen to the Atlanta recap episodes from the podcast Where’s My 40 Acres? if you really want to get into what made the episodes of this series so special.)

The Get Down
I liked a lot of series on Netflix this year but I’m going to spotlight The Get Down, a series on the rise of rap in the Bronx during the late 1970s. The 6 episodes making up part 1 of the first season is all that’s out now (it’s supposed to come back soon to conclude its first season). It starts a little slow, particularly the initial episode, but the last few episodes are must watch.


Mad Love
It’s hard to hit or exceed expectations when your next project has been anticipated for years. Somehow JoJo made it work. Mad Love is my favorite album that came out this year hands down. The whole thing is great, but the 3 song stretch from “Like This”, continuing with “Edibles,” and ending with “High Heels” is simply 🔥.

Sleeping With the One I Love
However, when it comes to singles, Fantasia served us classic soul realness with this song from her latest album. Using a sample of James Browns’s “It’s a Man’s World,” it gives old-school vibes without sounding dated.

Continue reading “A Few Faves From 2016”

Media, Sports

The “No Fun League” Is Trying to Live Up to Its Rep

Recently, Mashable obtained a memo the National Football League (NFL) office sent to its teams announcing restrictions on social media coverage of games.

In the memo, the NFL stated teams that use  “unapproved video during games” would be fined $25,000 for a first offense, $50,000 for a second, and any infraction thereafter will draw a fine of up to $100,000 as well as “loss of rights to post League-Controlled Content (including game footage).”

Why is the league doing this? The theory floating out there is that the NFL wants to drive attention to official NFL accounts, instead of social media accounts operated by the teams.

Note to the NFL: People are fans of players and teams, not leagues.

This reminds me of when the league cut down on touchdown celebrations. All of the new rules prompted many fans to lament that NFL was starting to stand for “No Fun League” instead of “National Football League.”

But that’s not all. The coming restrictions allegedly won’t just cover game footage. According to a Mashable source, during a conference call it was explained that the league crackdown applies to “anything that moves,” including GIFs from previous games of players celebrating and even pop culture GIFs, such as anything remotely relevant like a quote from a TV show or movie. The restrictions would reportedly be relaxed during the week.


But it’s not just the NFL. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and United States Olympic Committee (USOC) were very heavy-handed during the Rio Games in having GIFs removed from social media sites. Continue reading “The “No Fun League” Is Trying to Live Up to Its Rep”

Media, Random

Everyone with a Brand Needs an App, But Who’s Going to Develop Them?

Something I thought about recently: there’s an app for everything now, from entertainment to medical, and it’s not just large companies or tech firms that are expected to have mobile apps.

As Scott Shane, professor at research university Case Western Reserve, says:

“Having a web presence alone is no longer sufficient, as online activity continues to shift to mobile. Simply put, smartphone apps have become too important a marketing tool for small business owners to do without.”

Millions of people (myself included) manage their a great deal of life from their phones. An estimated 90% of phone time is in use of an app. Apps allow small businesses — or anyone with a brand, really — to engage with customers and potential customers on a daily basis. It helps that biz or brand owner develop a relationship and lie in wait for the moment a person needs that business’ particular product or service, no matter when that need arises.

App development has become more accessible in the last couple years — much like website design did — meaning it will become easier for the masses to design their own. This means a market opportunity for those willing to teach app development, or create a system that makes step-by-step app creation a possibility. Think of how successful a WordPress-like system for apps would be?

However, the odds are good that most small businesses and those with their own brands to tend to will turn to existing businesses that offer tech services. Not to mention freelancers who can use their graphic and tech knowledge to help others. Often small biz owners have too much on their plate to add another thing to the to-do list. Plus, some just won’t want to deal with the hassle.

One last thing I thought about on this topic. The spread of app usage also means that soon we might be venturing into a time of personal apps. What would your app include?

Gymnastics, Media, Olympics

Gymnastics and the Narrative of Criticism

It took me a while to get my thoughts together on this particular topic. It’s one with a ton of levels, and one you can only scratch the surface of in a blog post.

In thinking about the criticism Gabby Douglas has been forced to endure this past week, I noticed something about “new media” coverage of women U.S. Olympic gymnasts. Since 2004, at least 1 member of every team has been unfairly criticized in the press for no good reason.

2004: Courtney Kupets got criticized for “putting her personal interests above the team” when she couldn’t compete her beam routine in team finals due to an injury that flared up, and competed in individual finals later that week. The outlet neglected to highlight the fact she competed on floor in the rotation following beam.

2008: Alicia Sacramone got blamed for being the main cause for not winning the team gold – a medal the U.S. likely wasn’t going to win without massive help from China. She recently did an interview saying people found her college email to continue harassing her months afterward.

2012: A number of outlets tried calling Jordyn Wieber’s Olympics a “failure” because she missed the all-around final, despite placing 4th in qualifications and being 2-per-countried out. Plus, there were the critiques of Gabby’s appearance.

(It should be noted, you could go further back. The 2000 team didn’t get much love in the press, and it’s well documented the struggle members of the 1992 team have endured to see their bronze as an accomplishment and not a “failure” as they were led to believe. Even for all the success of the 1996 team, I remember some unkind words after the all-around final sent towards the 3 gymnasts who competed.)

And for Rio, like clockwork, the trolls have been out for gymnasts from virtually every country. Expected, but disheartening and no less disappointing.

But for Gabby, the stones cast come from so many directions that it makes her case special.
Continue reading “Gymnastics and the Narrative of Criticism”