Watch: “The Expanse”


I love “The Expanse” on SyFy. It’s a movie quality production, featuring researched science fx within an action-thriller plotted into a tight serial with plenty of suspense and a rich multi-world backdrop. There are strong performances from a cast that is diverse in gender and race. Among many strong performances, DOMINIQUE TIPPER stands out as a real no nonsense gangsta space engineer…

14. Naomi Nagata from the Expanse: I’m so happy that this character exists; she is everything! I just finished the first season of the show and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m probably Naomi’s number one fan. She’s a Belter (born and raised amongst the asteroids of our solar system), has multiple degrees, and is a spaceship engineer. In other words, she’s the brains of the show, using her skills to get her comrades out of sticky situations. She also has an authoritative quality to her; what she says goes. Naomi is highly logical, and is the voice of reason in a group comprised of an idealistic captain, a self-doubting pilot, and a trigger-happy sociopath. I can’t wait to see more of this Mohawk rocking, spacefaring maven as she continues to kick ass intellectually.

source: The Demise of the Damsel in Distress: The Badass Women of Science Fiction – Black Girl Nerds

Watch it!

unapologetic blackness: Beyoncé rocks militant


On twitter I wrote…

Beyoncé’s halftime cameo? takeover? was full of pro-black imagery:

Her costume paid homage to Michael Jackson at the Super Bowl. The backup dancers dressed in Black Panther inspired costumes miles away from the birthplace of the Marxist civil rights era political organization. Beyonce and the her squad least subliminal formation was an “X” right at the 50 yard line. The lyrics of song of choice “Formation” has her stating her heritage as a Negro and Creole, two distinctly American heritages linked inextricably to the black diaspora. She declares her love for her man’s nose and his “Jackson 5 nostrils”.

the reference image for aforementioned nostrils (source Wikimedia, Jackson 5 1974)

And it begins and ends with references to Katrina’s destruction of New Orleans.

This is Beyoncé publicly claiming blackness (No Dolezal). But Beyonce’s salute to the young black people was when she hit the “Milly Rock”.

The “Milly Rock” is a song and a two step that is the immediate cousin of last year’s “Shmoney Dance” by Flatbush, Brooklyn rappers Bobby Shmurda and Rowdy Rebel from the video for the single “Hot N*gga”. Beyonce and Jay Z cosigned the Shmoney Dance during their “On the Run” concert.

2 Milly is a rapper from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. 2 Milly is a ___ of “Too Militant”, but the militant is in the lyrics. “Milly Rock on Any Block”. This is genius.


I originally missed this, due to being out at a bar in Scottsdale watching the game while enjoying adult beverages while watching the game. but black twitter was on point and young black twitter is still talking about it.

it’s code talking to the young black people.


Undervalued in Hollywood


[Piedomont Media Research’s Josh] Lynn: I would say that from all the movies that we’ve looked at, the one actor that comes to mind is Denzel Washington. Every movie that we’ve run with his name in it has increased the score of that film as a concept by anywhere from 30 percent to 40 percent. Didn’t matter what it was.

Source: Podcast: The Guy Who Predicts Whether A Movie Will Bomb, Months Before It’s Made

heard on Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor All Time Period Podcast

Militarized Center City doesn’t spur business

The military took Rittenhouse Square First

The military took Rittenhouse Square First (Courtesy J. Val)

One big misconception about the Papal Visit and World Families Week was that it would be like Made in America festival or Live 8, a bunch of celebrants descending upon a city with disposable income to see their favorite artist or to be part of a pop culture spectacle. That’s not this. This was people with kids, grand parents and friends who believe the Pope is their heavenly ordained religious leader.

That means Churches organized a lot of this. One thing that Churches do is host modestly and that means people get fed and sent off with some water and/or food if the parishioners can help it and make sure there are places for people to rest if they need it. Catholic parishes staged and hosted volunteers and visitors. To start their days they would walk towards the papal militarized zone (PMZ) (the “box” constantly surrounded by metal fences, National Guardsmen, TSA, Secret Service, Police and other law enforcement agents for 4 days). They streamed past pop-up street vendors with bootleg Pope memorabilia and water bottles. The hottest items were official items from Sunday’s mass and official passes to get into the PMZ.

Restaurateurs like Stephen Starr were extremely upset with the negative revenue impact of the weekend, but the family of five coming to see Pope Francis probably didn’t put his upscale eateries on their list of things to do. People weren’t streaming out of the house drunk to head to the parkway, they are heading out of churches, guest houses and friends extra bedrooms and given some water and snacks to take with them and a time for dinner or late evening meal.

Most of us non-catholic foodies, fantasy football owners, drinkers, revelers and par-tiers stayed on our sides of the PMZ which meant rooftop parties, watching the game at local bars, catching up on fall cleaning, or even you know. Rittenhouse Square was dead by Wednesday.

Once Aramark got involved and began monopolizing supply for the event there was even less opportunity for the fine restaurants occupied by federal, state and local law enforcement. The best move was just to take the loss this weekend and close their doors and take it up with their city council representative or congress person.

Watch: “Little White Lie”


I can’t begin to explain this documentary. It’s easiest to just watch the trailer.

Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical upper-middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity — despite the open questions from those around her about how a white girl could have such dark skin. She believes her family’s explanation that her looks were inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather. But when her parents abruptly split, her gut starts to tell her something different.

via Little White Lie – ITVS

You can watch it using the PBS App (on iPad, iPhone or Apple TV) or you can buy it on iTunes.

Philly Jesus story by @FarFarrAway on’s “Most Important Journalism” List


Included in the 2014: The Most Important Philly Journalism list over at are links to important articles about political corruption from state wide fracking conspiracies down to violations of property rights, the use of lethal police force, a star athlete’s corrupted finances, tweeter FanSince09 using social media to quickly track down criminally brutish gay-bashing suburbanites and of course Philly Mag re-breaking the Bill Cosby story + social media. Seriously go read them.

But in the end, you gotta rep your crew:

Stephanie Farr on Philly Jesus. It seems like Philly Jesus was everywhere this year — BBC, Reuters, Instagram, jail — but it was the Daily News’ Farr who introduced him to the wider public. Why do I rate this story so highly? Personal pique. I saw Philly Jesus wandering Center City early in the summer and thought: “I wonder what his story is?” Farr had the same question, and like a good journalist, went to answer it — and got an interesting piece out of it. Not every important story results in a lawsuit or a reputation ruined: Sometimes we just get to learn a little more about the community around us. Kudos to Farr for remembering that.

via 2014: The Most Important Philly Journalism | News | Philadelphia Magazine

My only qualm is the blurb says “like a good journalist”.

I know Farr’s a great journalist. Good for Philly.

iTunes is Eating my Purchases


On my iPhone:

On Saturday night I updated to 8.0.1 before going to a friends apartment to visit. Imagine my surprise when songs I purchased, ranked highly and were in playlists on that iPhone were deleted from the iPhone. Songs I was literally listening to hours before and expected to have with me disappeared from my phone.These songs are all songs I purchased through iTunes.

On my Windows 7 laptop:
For a long time iTunes progress bar crawled across a dialog box as it “updated my iTunes Library”. What updating means is that songs that were in my library are no longer there. These songs are all songs I purchased through iTunes.

I didn’t tell my library to do this. I am not using iTunes Match so I have not checked a preference that I want my music stored in iCloud. I use the star rating system to organize my music but when songs have to be re-downloaded, my ratings have to be redone.

This is a problem for a variety of reasons…

  1. iTunes (you must Match) is turning these disappearing purchases into rentals: I’m not enrolled in iTunes match. But it’s treating me like I am. When the songs disappear from my library, then what happens is that if Apple loses rights to a song, I won’t be able to re-download it. What if an album i loved, i paid for was stripped off my device and then pulled from the iTunes store? Then I lose it because they took it out of my library.
  2. I’ve invested hours of time into my iTunes Library: I pay for iTunes. It’s a free download, but I buy content that can only be downloaded through iTunes. I buy iTunes connected devices because I’ve accepted iTunes as my media manager for my home and my personal use.
  3. These are my devices: Apple is using iTunes to modify my devices without my permission. Again, this means they believe that my phone is a rental item as long as I use iTunes. And they also believe that since I installed iTunes on my PC, that my PC and my network drive are also within their rights to unilaterally modify.
  4. Re-downloading files has a material and temporal cost: if i want to listen to a song that is stripped from my iPhone without my knowledge, iTunes would re-download the item. This impacts my data plan limits. In addition, it wastes my time. I already downloaded a song. I already synced devices. I should never have to download it again unless I purposefully delete it from a device or my library.

The solution I want:*

I want to find some sort of alternative app/application ecosystem I can use to decouple my mp3’s from iTunes store/iTunes match/iCloud scheme. From iTunes support threads, I think a lot of iTunes users may benefit from a non Apple music App. The Apple “music” app is designed to support the iTunes Store. I need a music app that is mainly about me being able to play music and doesn’t care where I get the audio files from. A great example is the Overcast App for Podcasting: it has better features than the perfectly fine Apple Podcasts app. I don’t need to sync it with my desktop. I need to find something similar for music. I need to be able to rate music, make playlists and sync it with a library on my phone. It needs to be local file based, not cloud or streaming based. Data charges make cloud based or stream based music services problematic for me. I would pay for this app and pay for this application.

*And no Spotify, Google Music are not viable solutions. Neither is anything from Amazon. They are all fine, but they have stores as well.

Ride or Die


Hassan Hajjaj: ‘Kesh Angels – Exhibitions – Taymour Grahne:

New York, New York (January 8, 2014) – Taymour Grahne Gallery is proud to present Kesh Angels, a solo exhibition of work by the Moroccan-born, UK-based artist, Hassan Hajjaj. Marking the artist’s first exhibition in New York, ‘Kesh Angels presents a unique take on the vibrant street culture of Morocco and pays tribute to the biker culture of the young women of Marrakesh in a series of photographs, limited edition objects, an installation, and a video.


HASSAN HAJJAJ: 'KESH ANGELS at Taymour Grahne gallery from 28 January - 7 March 2014

HASSAN HAJJAJ: ‘KESH ANGELS at Taymour Grahne gallery from 28 January – 7 March 2014