If you want a different kind of new year, be a new you

Happy New Me 2018 graphic
Image from a Foztee sweatshirt

Sam Soto and I loved Corey Teague’s 2018 New Year message so much we translated it to Spanish. Corey is keeping it real – and we can all benefit by following suit.

Now we have reached the part of the show where everyone begins talking about who they plan to “cut off” and how they plan to be “new” and how everything will just be different. Look out, here comes a reality check: unless you don’t wake up tomorrow, it’ll be Monday. That’s it, Monday. And then, there will be Tuesday, Wednesday, so on and so forth. Nothing out of the ordinary will happen UNLESS you do something unordinary to provoke an unordinary event to occur. Remember, NOTHING FROM NOTHING LEAVES NOTHING. You must be willing to do something in order to get something. That’s how life works. This attitude that life owes you something must die within you before you can begin mentally preparing yourself to receive something. What have you done lately for someone other than yourself? If you have to take longer than 30 seconds to answer then you’re living in a vacuum. It’s time to step out and live in 2018. If not, this new year will begin and end just like every other year. read more

National Brotherhood Week (parody sung by Tom Lehrer)

Tom Lehrer via YouTube
Tom Lehrer via YouTube

Tom Lehrer performs his parody about National Brotherhood Week – that difficult week in February when Americans, “…are supposed to stop whatever we’re doing … burning, killing, whatever and love everybody else … and it’s really quite a strain.”

Some of Tom’s lyrics:

Oh the Protestants hate the Catholics and the Catholics hate the Protestants, and the Hindus hate the Moslems and everybody hates the Jews!

But During National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week, step up and shake the hand of someone you can’t stand. You can tolerate him if you try … It’s only for a week so have no fear. Be grateful that it doesn’t last all year!

10 year old girl sings a sweet, pure and strong “Hallelujah” that might make you cry

Killard House School choir
Source: Killard House School via YouTube

Ireland has music deep in its soul. Phenomenal 10 year old Kayleigh Rogers leads her special classmates of The Killard House School in singing such a sweet, pure and strong Christmas rendition of Hallelujah that it brought me right to tears. It will do the same for you, if you’re lucky. God bless.

The BBC comments about Kayleigh’s stellar performance:

Kayleigh is one of 200 students aged three to 16 at Killard House School in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland … (she) often sings at the local Christmas concert at First Presbyterian Church, Newtownards, but this year she lost her voice and had to pull out of last Sunday’s service. Instead her headteacher played the video above, which had been filmed just weeks before at the school, and it left many of the congregation in tears.

The video, filmed by Billy McAuley, was uploaded to Facebook and YouTube, and reported in the local press. It has since been viewed and shared hundreds of thousands of times, and the school has taken calls from people in Australia, America and Japan who have all seen the video.

Kayleigh started at Killard House School in year four and has autism and ADHD, which results in learning delays with literacy and numeracy.

Music teacher Lloyd Scates spotted her talent early on and encouraged her to sing solos during school shows, to help develop her voice and her confidence. read more

Commissary Kitchen, a prison cookbook by a Mobb Deep rapper

mobb deep, prison chef
Source: Teddy Wolff/Infamous Books

A new cookbook is on the market about which its prison chef author Prodigy Johnson of the rap group Mobb Deep writes, “This book won’t make you a better cook, but it might make you a better person.”

Knowing what to eat and how to make it is evidently such an important part of prison life that there’s an entire cottage industry of cookbooks written on the subject. Inmate survival guides often have a section on food and how to use the commissary to augment prison diets. Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook, which will be published this month, is written by Prodigy and journalist Kathy Iandoli.

In the book, Prodigy describes how his lifelong battle with sickle cell made him hyper-conscious of what he ate while incarcerated.

“I couldn’t afford to get sick in prison,” he writes. “My sickle cell is no joke, so I couldn’t eat poorly or not exercise. And everything in jail is designed to do the exact opposite.” This is just a hint of what sets Commissary Kitchen apart from other books in the genre — it’s about Prodigy’s experience of prison as much, if not more than, about the food itself… read more

What if industrialized food has made us fat and we’ll be slender if we eat wholesome foods?

Cake v. salad
Source: HealthCastle.com

Paul Tappenden believe that food choices – not gluttony or a predisposition to being fat – are why so many Americans are overweight these days. And he offers some pretty good ideas on simple changes we can build into our eating habits that will significantly change our fat quotient.

OBESITY

Why are there so many over weight people in America? I have many well intentioned friends who are 30 to 40 pounds over-weight. For the most part they don’t want to be that way, and in many cases they put themselves on diets to no avail. They are not vast over eaters, yet the pounds keep creeping on

What saddens me most is that they don’t need to be that way. You see, it isn’t about calories or gluttony, it is about food choices. The disturbing fact is that the majority of industrialized foods are filled with toxins that disrupt our endocrine systems causing weight gain, chronic disease, infertility and cancer.

Even so called lite and diet foods contain these toxins, ensuring that no matter how fastidiously one diets, the results will be temporary at best.

If you think this situation will improve any time soon think again. There are entire industries built on the fact that you will be sick and obese.

So long as you eat pre-made, packaged foods, you are adding to your health and weight problems. In order to give these “foods” long shelf life and to make them palatable, companies add chemical preservatives, flavor enhancers, artificial colors and flavorings, conditioners and, to make up for the lack of nutrients, synthetic vitamins (most of which are useless at best),

The ingredients in these cheap foods are sub-standard and often toxic in their own right.

FATS

For simplicity sake I’m dividing fats into good fats and bad fats. Canola oil, corn oil, soy oil, cottonseed oil and the vast majority of oils used in industrial food preparation are bad for you, and when they are hydrogenated, as in the case with butter substitutes, Crisco etc they are even worse

The fats you should eat are butter, egg yolks (yes folks, they are both good for you and your heart), olive oil, coconut oil, avocado and even lard. Of course, these should be obtained from good organic sources, to avoid any added toxins.

SUGARS

There are even good and bad sugars. High Fructose corn syrup and refined white sugar are among the worst. Organic, unfiltered honey and coconut palm sugar are both low glycemic and filled with nutrients.

Most sugar substitutes are as bad for you as the sugars. In fact it has been demonstrated that Aspartame causes you to gain weight, so what good is it?

STARCH

Starch turns into sugar in your system. Sugar feed diabetes and cancer, So limit the amount of starch you consume. Even whole grains can be problematic.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS

The other big concern is the presence of GMO’s (mostly concealed from the consumer by law). The industry claims are that GMO’s are safe. However, even if they were (which overwhelming evidence disproves), they come heavily dosed with highly toxic pesticides, that also disrupt hormones and may cause cancer.

MEAT

Limit the amount of meat you eat. Rather than eat a pound of industrial beef, eat half a pound of organic, grass fed beef. It will give you all the goodness without, growth hormones, antibiotics and GMOs (all of which make you fat). Meats also acidify the body, making it a good breeding ground for cancer cells.

The bottom line is to eat organic, fresh whole foods. If you are over weight, you will begin to see those pounds drop away and your health improve.

Hat tip to José German-Gomez for directing my attention to Paul’s post.

In Irvington & Jersey City police, fire & community join the Running Man Challenge!

Irvington Fire Fighters dancing
Source: Irvington Running Man Challenge video

Irvington’s video kicks off with a stunning vocal performance by Mayor Vaughn’s secretary and features crowd scenes of city employees rocking the beat and even breakdancing and performing acrobatic stunts.

In Jersey City’s video a police official orders officers to, “Get in there and dance. Have fun!” Even the K-9 unit obeys, dancing at the Hudson River’s edge with New York City for a backdrop. Scenes filmed around the city show its breadth of ethnic and arts diversity.

NJ.com explains how the filming and videos have served as a community-police icebreaker:

During the filming, residents stopped to record the scene with their phones and applaud the officers. On YouTube, 52,000 people have viewed the video, which shows officers looking for the running man. But while on assignment, they start dancing.

“This was an opportunity for the community to see a different side of police, to see that they have fun, even embarrass themselves with dancing, and really enjoying the people they work with,” said Jennifer Morrill, the (Jersey City) press secretary. read more