Saturday, December 27, 2008


James Travis Cooper and Mark Herrera with the assistance of Paul Fierro and Vince Alvarado have created a great new drinking game. Pterodactylgories.

Number of players: 2-10 (more can play if need be)
Materials: Beer (lots of it) or liquor

Rules to Pterodactylgories

A modification on the classic drinking game “Categories.”
One person starts a category. They name something that falls under said category and the person to their left names a different thing under the same category. This continues clockwise until someone is unable to come up with something that falls under the played category under a reasonable amount of time (time limit may be set by participants but generally within ten seconds or near it). When one participant cannot name something within that category, they drink (amount of time to drink may be set as a standard rule at start of game by participants). The round continues until everyone is eliminated except for one person. Every time someone is eliminated, everyone that participated in that round that has already been eliminated must drink with them. If one gets last place, they will drink the most. Last place also has to start a new category in the next round. Game continues until drunk. Then continues some more until it can’t continue anymore.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All-Time

I have compiled what I believe to be the top one hundred hip-hop slash rap songs of all time. This is not a personal favorite list. This is a list of what I critically and objectively feel is the best. There may be songs on here that some may not have heard of, if you haven’t heard a particular song, look it up. Because I guarantee you it’s a great one. Songs on this list are considered for their lyricism, beat, and influence to the hip-hop game. If you’re a strict underground fan, rest assure that I love Aesop Rock, Aceylone, Spoken Word, Stage Francis, among others. I included Immortal Technique and Atmosphere to try to keep the list as honest and well rounded as can be. Many hours were put into listening to all these songs, in addition to countless others. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to comment on your thoughts about the list.
And heeeere we go........

1. Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
2. Public Enemy - Fight the Power
3. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – The Message
4. Dr. Dre – Nuthin’ But a G Thang
5. Common – I Used to Love H.E.R.
6. Eric B and Rakim – Paid in Full
7. Sugarhill Gang - Rappers Delight
8. Afrika Baambataa - Planet Rock
9. Run DMC/Aerosmith – Walk This Way
10. Snoop Dogg – Gin and Juice
11. NWA – Straight Outta Compton
12. Jay-Z/Eminem - Renegade
13. Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.
14. Salt n Peppa – Push It
15. Kurtis Blow – The Breaks
16. A Tribe Called Quest – Bonita Applebum
17. Nas – One Mic
18. Eminem - Stan
19. Jay-Z – Hard Knock Life
20. Doug E Fresh/Slick Rick - La Di Da Di
21. A Tribe Called Quest – Check the Rhime
22. Nas – The World is Yours
23. Bone Thugs n Harmony – Crossroads
24. Herbie Hancock – Rockit
25. Eric B and Rakim – I Know You Got Soul
26. NWA - F*** the Police
27. Slick Rick – Children’s Story
28. Tupac – Changes
29. CL Smooth and Pete Rock – T.R.O.Y.
30. De La Soul – Me, Myself and I
31. Public Enemy – Bring the Noise
32. Tupac – Keep Ya Head Up
33. Eminem - Lose Yourself
34. Outkast – Rosa Parks
35. Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock – It Takes Two
36. Ice Cube – It Was a Good Day
37. Warren G – Regulate
38. Pharcyde – Passing Me By
39. Notorious BIG – One More Chance
40. Naughy by Nature – OPP
41. Fugees – Killing Me Softly
42. Outkast – Bombs Over Baghdad
43. Immortal Technique – Dance With the Devil
44. Geto Boys – Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me
45. Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise
46. LL Cool J – I Need Love
47. The Roots – The Seed (2.0)
48. Run DMC – Its Like That
49. Eminem – The Way I Am
50. Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance
51. A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario
52. Ice T – Colors
53. Nas – New York State of Mind
54. LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out
55. Kool Moe Dee – How Do Ya Like Me Now
56. Tone-Loc – Wild Thing
57. Mos Def – Ms Fat Booty
58. Biz Markie – Just a Friend
59. Black Star – Definition
60. Boogie Down Productions – My Philosophy
61. Mary J. Blidge/Method Man – You’re All I Need to Get By
62. Spoonie Gee and The Treacherous Three – Love Rap
63. Top Billin’ – Audio Two
64. Beastie Boys - Fight For Your Right (To Party)
65. House of Pain – Jump Around
66. Cypress Hill – Insane in the Membrane
67. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince – Parents Just Don’t Understand
68. Ultramagnetic MCs – Ego Trippin’
69. Roxanne Shante’ – Roxanne’s Revenge
70. Black Sheep – The Choice is Yours
71. Notorious B.I.G. – Big Poppa
72. A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It?
73. Young MC – Bust a Move
74. Mos Def and Talib Kweli f/ Common - Respiration
75. Child Rebel Soldier – Us Placers
76. Wu-Tang Clan– Mystery of Chessboxin’
77. Doug E fresh – The Show
78. MC Lyte – Cha Cha Cha
79. Big Daddy Kane – I Get the Job Done
80. Arrested Development – Tennessee
81. Digable Planets – Rebirth of Slick
82. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Shimmy Shimmy Ya
83. Jay-Z – 99 Problems
84. Lupe Fiasco – Kick Push
85. Atmosphere - Scapegoat
86. Chubb Rock – Treat ‘em Right
87. Whodini – Freaks Come Out at Night
88. Jungle Brothers – What You Waiting For
89. A Tribe Called Quest – Award Tour
90. Jay-Z – Never Change
91. Notorious BIG – Suicidal Thoughts
92. Talib Kweli – Get By
93. Boogie Down Productions – The Bridge is Over
94. KRS-One – Step Into a World
95. Busta Rhymes – Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check
96. Public Enemy – Welcome to Terrordome
97. Heavy D and the Boyz – Not That We Found Love
98. UTFO – Roxanne Roxanne
99. 50 cent - Wanksta
100. Grandmaster Melle Mel - White Lines

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Batman 3 Villains

I haven’t updated my blog since March. I got busy with school and everything. I normally blog about politics and things like that but I want to change it up a bit and talk about Batman. The Dark knight film directed by Christopher Nolan was epic. As a Batman fan since I was a little kid, I gave it an emphatic two thumbs up. It was a lot of Batman to take in at once, but I digested it and it was amazing. I know the movie was a few months ago and the DVD and bluray released recently. And I also know that the third installment isn’t for another couple years, but I want to talk about who I think will be the villains in part three and who will play them. Of course its all speculation since, regardless what the forums say, NOTHING has been released.

The most popular rumors include The Riddler and Catwoman. Followed by the Penguin. I think a fallow up to Dark Knight will require some epic characters and events. Joker is obviously the most marketable. He probably would have done some ridiculous stuff in part three should Heath Ledger have lived
(RIP). In order for part three to even be seen as an equal, the actors who play the villains have to transform into the character like Heath did and deliver a mind blowing performance.

Who will be in?

No one knows for sure. I would like to see The Riddler as the lead villain. Before there’s any backlash, allow me to explain. He would have to be a much darker more sinister Riddler than Jim Carrey portrayed. If for any reason Jim Carrey was called on to reprise his role as Riddler, he would have to play it more like his acting in the Number 23. I actually think Jim Carrey has the acting chops to deliver Riddler that is dark, brilliant, cunning, and one that fits Chris Nolan’s Batman world. He’s not my first choice but it’d be pretty sweet to see him really expand and give that type of performance. The rumor mill is almost a consensus that Johnny Depp will play the Riddler. Of course Depp would be amazing as the Riddler. But is he too obvious of a choice? Director Nolan doesn’t go for the obvious. If he went for the obvious, he wouldn’t have casted Ledger as Joker or Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two Face. Johnny Depp is one of my top three favorite actors so I personally would love to see him in the next Batfilm. Johnny Depp might be the one person that can make Riddler into an Oscar grabbing role and actually be said in the same breath as Heath’s Joker. Another actor that would make the Riddler legit would be Guy Pierce. He was in Memento, which was also directed by Nolan, and he fits perfectly in Nolan’s cast. Above all, the Riddler would have to be a very different character than what was in the Bruckheimer flick. He’d have to be darker, less goofy, more menacing, a darker intelligence (think Ra’s al Ghul from the Batman Begins mixed with Hannibal Lecter). He’d have to lose the orange hair and green jumpsuit. I think this Riddler has the chance to be epic. Just to throw a curveball, how’s this for some gigantic acting: Daniel Day Lewis as Riddler? Probably won’t happen but just imagine the possibilities if it did.

Bruce Wayne needs a new love interest. Selena Kyle should be that love interest. For those who don’t know her by that name, you might know her as Catwoman. One thing is for sure…. It will NOT be Halle Berry. There’s a debate as to how Catwoman should be portrayed. Frank Miller always has her as a Black Prostitute that is well versed in Karate. Most other’s have her as a white thief. Sometimes blonde (Michelle Pfeiffer and Batman the animated series), usually brunette (Graphic Novels) with martial arts skills. Maybe a mix of the two. If Nolan decides on a black actress, I’d vote for Rosario Dawson. She worked in Frank Miller’s Sin City as a prostitute so she can act the part, but since the base of the two roles are similar, that alone might disqualify her. If he decides to take a new approach with Catwoman, I think Kate Beckinsale would do a good job. Like Dawson, she put on the black tights for a previous film role (Underworld). The rumor mill has Angelina Jolie. She’s a tremendous actress. She would probably be able to pull off the role remarkably. She can be the vicious cat and the sultry Selena Kyle. The thing about Jolie is that as Catwoman she is divisive. Some love the idea. Some hate it. That’s how it’ll be with all characters but she seems to be the most divisive. (Think Hillary Clinton). At the time of writing this blog, my personal front runner is Anne Hathaway. Has a great look. Has name recognition but not to the level of Jolie so she would push herself to make the role hers and has the acting chops to surpass Jolie’s potential in this role. Another person that shouldn’t be overlooked is Rachel Weisz. Nearly the same attributes as Hathaway, but might have the better look for the part. As I write this, a new idea for Catwoman actress popped into my head. This is one I haven’t heard anything of on the forums. Her name….Rachel Bilson. (Summer from The OC). Google her, look at her, and think about it. I kind of like it.

I’m not sure how I feel about the Penguin in the film yet. Rumors have Philip Seymour Hoffman. I don’t like him for the part. Penguin would have to be a straight gangster. Mob style like the later comics have him. Not the gimmick that looks like a Penguin with trick umbrellas. (A la Danny DeVito). My vote for Penguin would be Paul Giamatti (awesome in HBO’s John Adams) or James Gandolfini (Sopranos. Come on. It would be epic). He would play the Mob boss role. I could also see Gandolfini play Rupert Thorne (another Gotham City mob boss).

Talia al Ghul
Talia al Ghul- should Catwoman not be in the movie, Talia certainly will in that case. Bruce needs a love interest. Daughter of Ra’s al Ghul of Batman Begins. Allows continuity. I can see it, but won’t hold my breath. I would prefer Talia to Catwoman. Maybe both will be in it and make Bruce have to choose who he will be with, complicating things, and then Batman has to fight both at one point, but true to her relationship with the Batman, Catwoman helps him defeat Talia. See. It works. Someone get Nolan on the line. Off the top of my head I’m thinking Mila Kunis. Or ooooh Catherine Zeta Jones. I like it.

There are plenty of actors and actresses that will be added and removed from speculation as time progresses and we get closer and closer to the filming of Batman 3. For the record, if I were to title it I would title the movie “Gotham.” The forums have the new Batman movie as "Shadow of the Bat." Overall take this as just my opinions. Comment if you agree or disagree, or anything you want to add such as characters of actors. Just remember to trust Chris Nolan and all will be well.

Monday, March 24, 2008

This Young Girl

I once knew this young girl who was quite different from anyone else I had met before. She was extremely intelligent, had a sharp wit, had piercing determination, and had more potential than anyone could imagine. Think of the people you know that have the capacity to do anything they want: she was one of those people and then some. At twenty-two going on twenty-three, she hadn’t finished school yet. She worked a full time job and was the chief financial provider for her household that included her mother, who worked at a fast food restaurant on an Army base and her younger fifteen year old sister. This young girl had taken on the role of the primary provider at the age of sixteen. She had a father that left the family when she was still young. She has an older brother who is currently married and lives a few hundred miles away. Neither of those two men have been much help to this struggling family. I always wondered why she had not finished school yet. As her and I got closer and closer, I saw the reason. She has often had to work two jobs to keep her family afloat. She had to leave school. She could no longer afford to go to university and simultaneously put food on the table. Sadly there were times where she had to choose between food and paying the rent for their two bedroom apartment that they were able to get through government assistance that is located in one of the worst parts of town.

With tear filled eyes that broke my heart, she would tell me countless times that she is torn that she can’t go to school, but that she will do what she has to do simply so her younger sister can have a fighter’s chance at life. This young girl I knew chose to put her future on hold to be able to provide for her sister’s future.

I come from a middle class family. I went to a middle class high school. I grew up with middle class people. I didn’t understand the lower class until I grew to know this young girl. I saw with my own eyes the everyday struggle that they had to go through. I saw the tears that the lack of money caused.

Many people have asked me why I have an interest in politics, and why I want to enter public life. The answer I give them is something simple. I tell them that I believe we have made progress in this country, but there are places that I see where we can improve. I tell them that I believe in this country and along with that belief; there is more work to be done in order to keep this the greatest country on earth. That is an honest answer to the questions they pose. But the true deep core of my rationalization to enter public life is because of this young girl that I knew. Since I’ve known this young girl, I have proactively spoken to countless people in lower income situations and have come to realize that in this country, there are thousands of people that find themselves in the same situation that this young girl continues to find herself in. They have all the intangibles to succeed. They just lack the tangible: money. I have chosen to enter public life because of this young girl. No one should ever have to choose between food and their future. I will continue to work to ensure that one day we will get to the point where this decision never has to be made again.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Demise of the Democratic Party

We may soon be seeing the demise of what we currently know as the Democratic Party. Picture this scenario: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue their race all the way up until the National Convention. Obama ends with more pledged delegates, more state victories and have the popular vote. Yet imagine somehow Hillary Clinton still gets the nomination. That decision will split the party in ways that may be irreparable. Not only will the party be split, voters across the country who tend to vote Democrat and share Democratic ideals will be so utterly turned off by this course of events that it will prevent them from showing up on General Election Day. Or even worse, they may seek to penalize the party by voting for the Republican candidate. Clinton will lose to John McCain and we will have four more years of pain and suffering. This would cause the demise of the Democratic Party.

There is hope; however. The party is split on the decision of selecting Hillary Clinton so Barack Obama runs as an independent. He has garnered so much support that many of the big whigs in the Democratic Party will continue to endorse him. He would continue an internet fundraising campaign that would be unmatched. He would be able to gather enough money to run as an Independent. He will have such a following that he would be able to spear head the start of a new, true and powerful third party. Tom Daschle, Bill Bradley, John Kerry and yes possibly even Ted Kennedy along with Obama could be the leaders of this new third party. A party with Democratic ideals on social and economic issues, but that can remind voters why this country is as great as it is. A party that will cut out the games of politics in politics. A party that will not be based on who you know or how much money you have, but rather on what you believe and your judgment. A party for the future that has arrived. As Obama says, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

Monday, March 10, 2008

One Question

Clinton or Obama?

For those who happen to be Hillary Clinton supporters, I have one question to ask you: Would a Republican Senator ever support a Democratic Senator in order to denounce a fellow Republican?

The answer to that question is an emphatic NO!

For the last seven years and counting, we have had to endure Bushonomics, Bush Politics, a Bush and Cheney for Oil war, Bush lies, the Bush racial and economic divide, and the list goes on and on. Senator and Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain has already said he agrees with Bush’s policies and will continue his economic plan. Essentially he will be carrying out Bush’s third term.

Would a Republican Senator ever support a Democratic Senator in order to denounce a fellow Republican?
We already answered this question as an emphatic NO. So let’s reverse the question:
Would a Democratic Senator ever support a Republican Senator in order to denounce a fellow Democrat?
The answer to this question is apparently YES!

We had our answer on March 5th, 2008 when Democratic presidential nominee hopeful, Hillary Clinton, said the following:

CLINTON: I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.

CLINTON: I think it's imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander in chief threshold and I believe that I've done that. Certainly Senator McCain has done that. And, and you'll have to ask Senator Obama with respect to his candidacy.

Since Obama first came onto the political scene in 1997, and widely in 2004, he has always represented change in the way this country does politics. Being desperate enough to back a Republican Senator who will be the Republican Nominee, who happens to want to continue Bush politics is reason enough not to vote Hilary Clinton in.

Martin Luther King Jr. called on us to judge people by the content of their character. With foolish runners of old-time politics, and cut-throat candidates like Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party doesn't need enemies.

Clinton or Obama?- You decide.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

National Debt

As of 08 Mar 2008 at 07:28:24 PM GMT, the United States National Debt is 9,398,233,506,059.57. This is money that we owe. The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $1.70 billion per day since September 29, 2006!

But wait, we're supposed to be the wealthiest nation in the world. In that case, who do we owe all this money to?

Here is a pie chart showing the makeup, or ownership, of the National Debt as of December 1998.

I have come to realize that i pretty much live my life by graphs and charts. If we look at this pie chart, notice that the majority of our debt is owed to the Federal reserve and government accounts (40.6 %). Second, we owe to 22.7% of our debt falls into the Foreign and International category.

As of November 2007, Japan ($580 billion), China ($390 ) and the United Kingdom ($320 billion) are the biggest foreign holders of our debt. This is money that we owe them.

We have not always owed so much money. The National Debt on January 1st 1791 was just $75 million dollars. Today, it rises by that amount every hour or so.

The following graph shows how the National Debt has grown year by year since 1940 in actual dollar amounts, uncorrected for inflation:
Notice that the debt was steadied somewhat in the mid to late nineties. This is primarily due to the surge of the dot-coms at that time.
How can we lower this national debt?
It may seem hopeless We may never get out of this debt. Some radical movements and changes are our only hope. The two greatest generators of debt are war and a privately owned central bank. The first thing that we must do is end this war we are conducting in Iraq. We went in at a time that when we shouldn't have. We had no business in the war in the first place. Many opposers to this view will say that regardless if we should have been there or not, Iraq is not prepared to govern themselves. We can no longer babysit a civil war. Think of it in this sense: lets say PersonX has children, and PersonY has children. PersonY is having some problems so PersonX volunteers to take care of PersonY's children. Since PersonX is taking care of PersonY's children, PersonX is neglecting his own children. What does that say about PersonX's parenting skills if he is neglecting his own to take care of other people. It may sound somewhat selfish, but at a certain point we have to take a look in the mirror and really prioritize and find what is most important: our children or someone else's children. Helping others with their children is great, but not at the expense of our own.
So the first thing we have to do is get out of this war that we have involved ourselves in. The second thing that we have to do is take a look deep look at the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is the central banking system for the United States. It is often referred to as The Fed. Contrary to the Federal Reserves name, there really isn't much federal about it. The Fed is a quasi-public banking system. The Fed is part government (since it deals with the countries currency and has the ability to print currency) and is part private (since it is a group of privately owned banks that print money and loans it to the government. ). There are a few problems with the Fed, however. First, since the Fed is privately owned, this causes a further separation from the rich and the poor. the Fed works for the top ten percent of the population and leaves the remaining ninety percent to scratch, claw, and struggle for every penny. Secondly, the Federal Reserve is the leading cause of our national debt. It contributes 40.6%. This is because the Federal reserve has the ability to print money and to loan it to the government. Since this money is being printed with nothing backing the money, this is what causes this atrocious debt. Back before the Federal Reserve was created, money was backed by gold or silver. Meaning when money was printed, there was an actual reserve that could back that printed money should the market crash or should the country go into recession. That was a great plan. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order called Order 11110 which gave him the power as President and government to create money for the people of the United States, this way they would NOT fall into deeper debt with the Federal Reserve and actually begin to come out of that debt. Kennedy was a President of the people. He saw the divide the Fed was causing, and the mishandlement of money that the Fed was doing. Unfortunately he was assassinated and was not able to accomplish that goal. That executive order is still in effect, but no president has enforced it. In order to begin to decrease and remove our national debt, we must close the Federal Reserve and move its responsibilities over to the National Treasury (an actual federal department).
Stop the war, close he Federal Reserve and watch the national debt disappear.