Thursday, April 26, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007 - Sunday, April 22, 2007
Location: Across the City
Join Cultural Tourism DC for more than 60 free walking tours (and a few bike and boat tours) in 18 neighborhoods across Washington, DC. Select from the schedule below!
Too much information? Check the overview schedule. Not enough? Email info@CulturalTourismDC.org or call 202-661-7581.
What you need to know:
- All tours are free.
- Reservations are not required, with the exception of the bike tours and a few others. Just show up!
- Consider taking Metrobus, Metrorail, or the Circulator. Most tours are readily available via public transportation.
- Tours are held rain or shine.
- Visit the City Guide at washingtonpost.com to check special features and post a review.
- Need more info or tips to plan your day? Click here!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The tickets are a bit pricey, I hear, but I can say that it is worth seeing in your life time. I don't think I'll ever go again, but WOW.
This too is from Motyer's commentary on Amos, but I wanted to give it its own posting. I think it's a powerful description on why Christians should be active conservationists!
For more on Christian conservation see works by Loren Wilkenson, a Regent College faculty member. He has written many scholarly and popular articles developing a Christian environmental ethic and exploring the human relationship to the natural world in its environmental, aesthetic, scientific and religious dimensions.
I wanted to post a couple of quotations from the last two weeks of study; there were just so many interesting thoughts spurred on by these passages:
We should each think to ourselves every day, "'...I have a vocation from God to obey, a word from God to speak, a work from God to do.' This is what holds the man of God firm in the time of trial and opposition: he is where he is by appointment." (p. 173)
"The product of a deep sense of authority and of a deep respect for the Word of God is at its best and purest the quiet word of reason and respect, never the word of ill-manners or abuse, never the word of vociferous controversy. The wrath of man cannot accomplish the righteous purposes of God." (p. 173)
"Like all the feasts of Israel [the Feast of Booths] was given historical orientation so that it also recalled to the people the fact that they had been gathered in themselves from among the nations to be the people of God." (p. 177) (I thought this was interesting when thinking about the Lord's Supper, in terms of it being a memorial--that the feasts and sacrifices of the whole history of redemption had that role).
"How lightly expressions like 'God-forsaken' are used! They are part of terminology of casual blasphemy in cultures where religious formalism prevails or where the mass of the population is in a post-religious phase." (p. 178)
"It is entirely allowable to treat verses 8 and 9 [of chapter 8] as metaphorical of a society which has suffered the loss of stability and regularity, that is to say, where absolutes are no longer recognized and rules are there to break, where, maybe, human personality is showing more and more signs of breakdown and unreliability. This is abundantly true: the further man gets from his moorings in God the further he gets from all moorings." (p. 179)
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
If the images do not show up on your browser, click here.
This is why "This Is Why I'm Hot" is hot: Because it's hot. There are of course other reasons the breakout single from Mims, a Washington Heights rapper who intends to carry New York hip-hop on his back and restore us to glory, is hot. It ascended to number one on Billboard's Hot 100, for example, and topped iTunes' singles chart as well. But consider these other, purer, more intangible reasons why it's hot, best explained by Mims himself over the course of the song. Where appropriate, we will back him up with visual aids.
The most amazing line in "This Is Why I'm Hot"�and, even at this early a juncture, quite possibly the most amazing line of any song to see release in 2007�is "I'm hot 'cause I'm fly/You ain't 'cause you not." Brutal and unassailable in its simplicity. Consider the reasoning, first, of just "I'm hot 'cause I'm fly":
Mims is hot because he's fly. But it raises the question: Does being hot guarantee one's being fly? "You ain't 'cause you not" would seem to clear that up:
It would appear that fly and hot are interchangable. If you are one, you are both; if you aren't at least one, you are neither.If you find completely overlapping Venn diagrams visually unhelpful, consider this tautology:
If that's a bit pretentious, then maybe a blunt flowchart works best:
The other remarkable, oft-quoted line in "This Is Why I'm Hot" is "I could sell a mil' sayin' nothin' on a track." Critics gibe that "This Is Why I'm Hot" proves precisely that; others muse on what Mims would sell if he deigned to actually say something on a track. Would he sell less than a mil'? Exactly a mil', as when he said nothing? Or a great deal more than a mil'? The song does not elaborate. In any event, note that he can do those things, not will, which suggests he might not. As these claims and predictions are speculative, there are more possible outcomes; it seems reasonable to assert that Mims can't sell more than a mil' sayin' nothin'. Though we would love to see him try.
Sonically, the most entertaining part of "This Is Why I'm Hot" is the first verse, in which Mims underscores his hotness by touting his skill at adapting to regional styles, as the slow, minimal, eerie beat morphs beneath him, sampling both "Nuthin' But a G Thang" and "Jesus Walks." In the Dirty Dirty (South) he makes the ladies bounce. He slows it down in the Midwest per their preference. He does it the Cali way in L.A., and in Chi, in addition to adeptly moving the crowds from side to side, everyone loves his fashion sense. (If you enjoy nothing else about "This Is Why I'm Hot," acknowledge the rakish, immensely appealing way Mims says the word attire.) Our quarrel lies with "If you need it hyphy/I take it to the Bay," an homage to the Oakland�San Francisco Bay Area's relentlessly knuckleheaded and sorta wonderful hyphy movement, with its proclivities for going dumb, making thizz faces, ghost-riding the whip, etc. (Yahdidabooboo.) But unlike Mims's other geographical shout-outs, that's all he says here�"I take it to the Bay/'Frisco to Sac-town/They do it e'y'day." First of all, no one calls it "Frisco" except rhyme-starved rappers, and the only worthwhile MCs living anywhere near Sacramento are in prison. But even worse, there's no style adjustment here�he just takes it to the Bay. This is wholly insufficient for hotness�several entities that take it to the Bay do not qualify:
The song's other two verses are a relative letdown�Mims can get chopped birds by the flock, he's got money in the bag, he coordinates his outfits, he compels you to Google the word guap, people tend to like how he records, he's into big spendin', bah. He does intimate that we will find him "with different women" that we personally have "never had," which is awfully gentlemanly of him, really. Since we're feeling charitable we'll assume all of Mims's women are hot; with regard to our own conquests, it's best to be honest with ourselves.
Though a fantastic song, "This Is Why I'm Hot" verily reeks of Skee-Lo. It's so distinctive and goofy that no follow-up could possibly do it justice. But even if Mims is not built for endurance, he has given us an invaluable gift nonetheless�reclaiming and re-energizing the word hot after years of abuse. Plumbing one's memory (with a bit of Internet aid) reveals how even reputable musicians have overused the "I'm hot like _____" construction. Behold:
Yes. Mere mortals are hot like other people or things; having ascended to a higher plane, Mims is hot like Mims. It doesn't get hotter than that.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
Leesburg and the area:
- The outlets! The Crate and Barrel outlet carries napkins from $.95
- Earth and Fire Gallery: Virginia's own gallery for fine craft. They carry potters from all over the country, as well as fine wood working.
- Old Lucketts Store Antiques: This is one of my mom and my favorite shops. They always have great things and great prices. Yesterday, I found a 1920s wood wardrobe for $28, as well as some other good things.
And while you are heading west, turn north!
In Frederick, MD there are many antique shops and interesting things to look at (like the toothless wild haired ladies sitting on their porches). Be sure to check out:
- Primitive World. This store carries all sorts of Tibetan and Chinese antiques. It's quite an amazing shop, and the prices are very good. These things would sell for thousands in New York.
- My other favorite place to go scrounging around is the Cannon Hill Place at the old Granary (111 S. Carroll Street).
In Hagerstown, MD there is a dreary corrugated tin warehouse...
- and inside you will find an array of ribbon! I bought 50 yd rolls of ribbon for anywhere between $1-$5! It's called Offray-Lion Ribbons. They also have a site, but it's very odd and hard to navigate. I was suspiscious of the worthiness of such a drive. But you will not find ribbon at such low prices and in such quantity anywhere else!
- And you might as well stop at Wonder Book and Video, while you are up there. Wonder Book is one of the area's largest used book dealers.
Anyhow, here is an album that is great for kids, their developing aesthetics, and for their parents! Johnny Cash wrote and recorded these years ago, but the producers wouldn't release it until last year because it didn't really fit with Cash's image.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
Cloth is great for breathability, the lack of chemicals, and most of all that you can reuse the outer shell and save the earth from landfills burgeoning with plastic disposables. The problem I faced when looking at cloth diapers was that, at least for me, they are not practical. G and I are out all the time here and there. I like to travel light. I do not like the thought of toting stinking wet diapers with me all day. I don't mind the idea of cleaning them up, it's just that most days I am not just home with her all day. So they don't seem to be that great for this generation of moms. However disposables are expensive and really do not biodegrade quickly. So can't they make an outer shell of gortex like material that have disposable liners? The liners would not need any plastic coating and could easily biodegrade.
Then I found G-diapers! They are just as I described--and better. The liners are actually flushable. You don't even need a diaper pail any more. They fit great and really seem to be as absorbant as regular disposables. And the flushable part is GREAT.
The only problem is that they are more expensive than both cloth diapers and disposables. When will environmentalists realize that in order to change the world, you have to make it financially feasible for people? I am willing to pay some extra for organic food, etc. But when the costs are significantly higher for the green alternative ($20 more a box of disposable liners than for a box of disposable diapers), the market is already predisposed against it.
Make GREEN affordable!
ps. If you are interested in gdiapers, Wegmans sells them for $4 or $5 less than the official site for both the starter kit and the extra liners. I also have read that Whole Foods offers a discount of 10% if you buy a case.