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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mariah Turns "Mean Girl" In "Obsessed" Video

by Billy Johnson, Jr. in Hip-Hop Media Training

I just watched Mariah's video for "Obsessed," the first single from her new album, "Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel," due out on August 25.
Good job Mariah. This video is clever and funny. It is your best video yet.
I especially like when your
Eminem-like character gets hit by a bus. Bam. I didn't know you could be so mean. I am impressed.
Mariah's husband Nick Cannon said the song is not about Eminem. "I don't think that she would take her time," Cannon told MTV. "My wife doesn't beef. She's Mariah Carey. She's not beefin', she's a vegetarian."
Nick Cannon is a good husband. He totally loves, supports and defends his wife until the end.
But come on. No believes that explanation. If we just look at the video alone, it is a bit easier to pretend that it is not about Eminem who took jabs at Mariah and Nick on the song "Bagpipes From Baghdad."
Nick said the video was inspired by the movie "Mean Girls" which is apparently where Mariah borrowed the line, "Why are you so obsessed with me?"
In the video, Mariah isn't feuding with a rapper. She is being followed by a male stalker, a character she portrays in the Brett Ratner directed clip. The creepy goateed stalker pops up as a doorman at her hotel, an assistant on a photo shoot, and follows her as she walks down the street. She also plays a character wearing an Eminem-styled fleece hoodie and lives in a Mariah shrine with walls lined with her photos.
While an Eminem slant in the video is arguable, there is no debate that the controversial Slim Shady MC is the subject of Mariah's lyrics.
A week prior to the release of Eminem's "Relapse" album, the "Bagpipes From Baghdad" song leaked. Eminem rapped, "Mariah, whatever happened to us, why did we ever have to break up?" Then his sarcasm ensued with derogatory references to Mariah and Nick.
A month later, Mariah released "Obsessed" and there was no argument that the song was a response to the rapper she briefly dated years ago. The song attacks a "delusional" detractor who claims to be "sexin'" her. She blames his drug use for his lies. "Tellin' the world how much you miss me, but we never were so why you trippin'," Mariah sings.
On "Bagpipes" Eminem claimed to have been intimate with Mariah. It is part of the reason why Nick went on a psychopathic rampage after the song's release. And everyone knows about Eminem's drug problems. His album is called "Relapse." Who else could Mariah be talking about?
I understand why Mariah would imply that the song and video are not about Eminem. It would look bad if Mariah more obviously engaged in a public feud with Em. As her lyric goes, "[he is] a mom and pop and [she is] a corporation."
I actually appreciate her more subtle digs at the rapper who disses everyone.
You win Mariah.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Nail-biting (onychophagia) is a common stress-relieving habit. You may bite your nails in times of stress or excitement, or in times of boredom or inactivity. It can also be a learned behavior from family members. Nail-biting is the most common of the typical "nervous habits," which include thumb-sucking, nose-picking, hair-twisting or -pulling, tooth-grinding, and picking at skin.
You may bite your nails without realizing you are doing it. You might be involved in another activity, such as reading, watching television, or talking on the phone, and bite your nails without thinking about it.
Nail-biting includes biting the cuticle and soft tissue surrounding the nail as well as biting the nail itself.

Who bites their nails?
People of all ages bite their nails.
  • About half of all children between the ages of 10 and 18 bite their nails at one time or another. Nail-biting occurs most often as teens are going through puberty changes.
  • Some young adults, ages 18 to 22 years, bite their nails.
  • Only a small number of other adults bite their nails. Most people stop biting their nails on their own by age 30.
  • Boys bite their nails more often than girls after age 10.
Nail-biting may occur with other body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRB) such as hair-pulling or skin-picking.

What treatments are available for nail-biting?
Several treatment measures may help you stop biting your nails. Some focus on behavior changes and some focus on physical barriers to nail-biting.
  • Keep your nails trimmed and filed. Taking care of your nails can help reduce your nail-biting habit and encourage you to keep your nails attractive.
  • Have a manicure regularly or use nail polish. Men can use a clear polish. Wearing artificial nails may stop you from biting your nails and protect them as they grow out.
    Try stress-management techniques if you bite your nails because you are anxious or stressed.
  • Paint a bitter-tasting polish, such as CONTROL-IT or Thum, on your nails. The awful taste will remind you to stop every time you start to bite your nails.
  • Try substituting another activity, such as drawing or writing or squeezing a stress ball or Silly Putty, when you find yourself biting your nails. If you keep a record of nail-biting, you will become more aware of the times when you bite your nails and be able to stop the habit.
  • Wear gloves, adhesive bandages, or colored stickers whenever possible to remind you not to bite your nails.
  • Snap a rubber band on the inside of your wrist when you start to bite your nails so you have a negative physical response to nail-biting.
Children may bite their nails more often when they are having problems at school or with friends. Talk with your child or his or her teacher about any new stress at school. Children are more likely to stop biting their nails when they understand what may trigger it. It is also important for your child to help choose a treatment method so he or she can use the treatment successfully.
What problems can develop from nail-biting?
Nail-biting can cause your fingertips to be red and sore and your cuticles to bleed. Nail-biting also increases your risk for infections around your nailbeds and in your mouth.
Long-term nail-biting can also interfere with normal nail growth and cause deformed nails.

Rarely, nail-biting may be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD symptoms are usually treated with medicines.

Tips For Better Sleep

Like millions of other Americans, I often have trouble with insomnia — either I can't fall asleep, or I awake prematurely and am unable to get back to sleep. The following sleep tips, compiled from various sources, may prove helpful to some of my fellow insomniacs.

  • Only use your bed for sleeping or having sex, not for reading, doing paperwork, watching TV, snacking, or making phone calls.
  • If you've been lying in bed but are beginning to fear you're not going to drop off, try some of these techniques: Count sheep or count backwards from 100 (one of my favorites) to stop yourself from thinking about the problems of yesterday or tomorrow; breathe deeply for awhile; or visualize some peaceful place.
  • If you can't get to sleep after lying in bed for 30 minutes or more, get up for awhile. What to do? Try reading something incredibly boring.
  • Develop a bedtime routine.
  • Keep regular bedtime hours.
  • Before bedtime, avoid tobacco and caffeinated beverages (not just coffee, but other drinks like tea, cola, and Dr. Pepper).
  • Avoid alcohol right before bedtime — a nightcap might get your mind fuzzy enough to put you to sleep, but such sleep may be interrupted by periods of awakening. By contrast, the stress-lowering effect of a drink with dinner may help to promote sleep later.
  • Avoid naps (or falling asleep in front of boring TV programs, as I do).
  • Try to get up at the same time every day rather than sleeping in on weekends.
  • Exercise every day, but not shortly before bedtime since exercise gets the adrenaline going.
  • If you use an illuminated clock for a wakeup alarm, place it where you can't keep looking at it to check the time.
  • Buy a firm mattress and keep your bedroom well ventilated (a cool temperature works best for me).
  • And you might also try some of these: a warm bath, warm milk, light bedtime snack, massage, or quiet music (which turns itself off automatically).
  • Use earplugs for extreme quiet.
  • If you have a painful joint or a headache, take a pain pill before bedtime (but be sure it doesn't contain caffeine).
  • Avoid stimulating reading or television shows late at night.

If the insomnia stubbornly persists, check with your doctor to make sure some underlying health problem (such as depression, anxiety, hyperthyroidism, heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) isn't keeping you awake. If all is well, you might ask for one of the several types of prescription sleeping pills that can be useful in the short term.

By Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D.


What Is a Denture?

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. Complete dentures are either "conventional" or "immediate." A conventional denture is placed in the mouth about a month after all the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing, whereas an immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed. The drawback behind an immediate denture is that it may require more adjustments after the healing has taken place.

Who needs a denture?
Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their teeth. A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles. It will greatly enhance the facial appearance and smile.

What happens when you get a denture?
A dentist can make a full conventional denture when all teeth have been lost or all extraction sites have healed (up to eight weeks or longer.) The denture process takes about one month and five appointments: the initial diagnosis is made; an impression and a wax bite are made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position; a "try-in" is placed to assure proper color, shape and fit; and the patient's final denture is placed, following any minor adjustments. New denture wearers need time to get accustomed to their new "teeth" because even the best fitting dentures will feel awkward at first. While most patients can begin to speak normally within a few hours, many patients report discomfort with eating for several days to a few weeks. To get accustomed to chewing with a new denture, start with soft, easy-to-chew foods. In addition, denture wearers often notice a slight change in facial appearance, increased salivary flow, or minor speech difficulty.

How do you care for a denture?
A denture is fragile, so it is important to handle it with care. Remove and brush the denture daily, preferably with a brush designed specifically for cleaning dentures, using either a denture cleanser or toothpastes. Never use harsh, abrasive cleansers, including abrasives toothpastes, because they may scratch the surface of the denture. Don't sterilize your denture with boiling water because it will cause it to become warped. If you wear a partial denture be sure to remove it before brushing your natural teeth. When not in use, soak it in a cleanser solution or in water. Get in the habit of keeping the denture in the same safe and handy place to reduce the likelihood of misplacement.

Should a denture be worn at night?
While you may be advised to wear your denture almost constantly during the first two weeks- even while you sleep-under normal circumstances it is considered best to remove it at night. Research has shown that removing the denture for at least eight hours during either the day or night allows the gum tissue to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. This promotes better long-term health of the gums.

Continue seeing your dentist regularly
It is important to continue having regular dental checkups so that a dentist can examine oral tissues for signs of disease or cancer. As of aging, your mouth will continue to change as the bone under your denture shrinks or recedes. To maintain a proper fit over time, it may be necessary to adjust your denture or possibly remake your denture. Never attempt to adjust a denture yourself and do not use denture adhesives for a prolonged period because it can contribute to bone loss. When in doubt, consult your dentist.

Are there any alternatives to dentures?
Dentures are no longer the only way to restore a mouth that has little or no non-restorable teeth. Strategically placed support, or implants, can now be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost tends to be greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the "feel" of real teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative of choice to dentures, but not everyone is a candidate for implants. Call your dentist for advice.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sears Tower unveils 103rd floor glass balconies

CHICAGO – Visitors to the Sears Tower's new glass balconies all seem to agree: The first step is the hardest.
The balconies are suspended 1,353 feet in the air and jut out four feet from the building's 103rd floor Skydeck. Their transparent walls, floor and ceiling leave visitors with the impression they're floating over the city.
"It's like walking on ice," said Margaret Kemp, of Bishop, Calif., who said her heart was still pounding even after stepping away from the balcony. "That first step you take — 'am I going down?'"

Kemp was among the visitors who got a sneak preview of the balconies Wednesday. "The Ledge," as the balconies have been nicknamed, open to the public Thursday. Visitors are treated to unobstructed views of Chicago from the building's west side and a heart-stopping vista of the street and Chicago River below — for those brave enough to look straight down.
John Huston, one of the property owners of the Sears Tower, even admitted to getting "a little queasy" the first time he ventured out. But 30 or 40 trips later, he's got the hang of it.
"The Sears Tower has always been about superlatives — tallest, largest, most iconic," he said. "Today is also about superlatives. Today, we present you with 'the Ledge,' the world's most awesome view, the world's most precipitous view, the view with the most wow in the world."
The balconies can hold five tons, and the glass is an inch-and-a-half thick, officials said. Sears Tower officials have said the inspiration for the balconies came from the hundreds of forehead prints visitors left behind on Skydeck windows every week. Now, staff will have a new glass surface to clean: floors.
"It's very scary, but at the same time it's very cool," said Chanti Lawrence of Atlanta, adding that she's made her first step toward overcoming her fear of heights.
Adam Kane, 10, of Alton, Ill., rushed to the ledge with his friends and siblings, and they each eagerly pressed their faces to the glass bottom.
"Look at all those tiny things that are usually huge," Adam said.
The balconies are just one of the big changes coming to the Sears Tower. The building's name will change to Willis Tower later this summer. Last week, officials announced a 5-year, $350 million green renovation complete with wind turbines, roof gardens and solar panels.
With the ledge, visitors like Kemp said the nation's tallest building has succeeded in creating something they've never seen before.
"I had to live 70 years for a thrill like this," she said.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bio's Serena Williams

An Athlete, an Icon
Serena Williams embodies style, power, beauty and courage. Like numerous A-list celebrities, Serena is recognized by the mere mention of her first name. Only 27, Serena has overcome insurmountable odds to win 8 career Grand Slams, and become one the game's greatest all-time players. Her remarkable tennis skills have skyrocketed her to fame, but only her unique charm and drive could explain her successful endeavors outside of tennis in film, television, fashion and philanthropy. Serena has high hopes for the 2008 season after her dominating performance in the most recent Australian Open. Her tennis ability combined with her off -court activity makes her one of the most recognizable names and faces in the world - an icon.
Serena was born September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan, to Richard Williams and Oracene Price. While still an infant, the family moved to Compton, California where she began playing tennis at the age of four. At nine, Serena and her family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida. Since that time, she has become one of the most dominant figures in tennis.

Introducing Serena’s New Pomegranate Lip Balmer
Serena is excited to announce her partnership with
MISSION Skincare™. As a co-founder, Serena has worked with MISSION to develop her own signature pomegranate-flavored Lip Balmer with UVA/UVB SPF 15 protection and moisturizers that protect her lips from the harsh conditions in which she trains and competes. Serena’s lip balmer is loaded with powerful vitamins and antioxidants and is clinically proven to lock in moisture for up to 8 hours. All MISSION Skincare products, including the Serena Williams’ Pomegranate Lip Balmer, are made in the US and are Animal Cruelty Free. Learn more about Serena’s Pomegranate Lip Balmer and all MISSION Skincare products at

On the top of the game
Serena has won a title in all four Grand Slam tournaments. She has won 28 singles championships, 11 doubles championships, and was a Gold-Medalist at the 2000 Olympics. In 2002, Serena won the Italian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open. On the heals of those 2002 accomplishments, Serena was named Associated Press “Female Athlete of the Year,” “Best Sportswoman in the World,” by EFE News Agency of Spain, one of BBC's “Sports Personalities of the Year,” and nominated for the Sports Illustrated's “Sportsman of the Year” Award. In 2003, she won the Australian Open, (singles & doubles), NASDAQ Open, French Indoors and Wimbledon. She also won two ESPY Awards: “Female Athlete of the Year,” and “Female Tennis Player of the Year.” Her 2005 Australian Open victory finals match earned ESPN2 their highest highest-rated and most-watched tennis telecast ever. After injuries forced her to compete in only 4 tournaments in 2006, Serena came back triumphantly winning the 2007 Australian Open and the Sony Ericsson Open, proving that she is still on top of the tennis world.

In style
Off the court, fashion and acting are Serena's passions. She was selected as one of People Magazine's “25 Most Intriguing People” (October 21, 2002) and one of the top 10 celebrities in Biography's top 100 biographies of 2003. Serena was honored as one of Essence magazine's “50 Most Inspiring African- Americans.” Her latest TV credit is her reality show with sister titled “Venus and Serena For Real.” The show which had cameras follow Serena and Venus on and off the tennis courts debuted July 20th on ABC Family to high ratings and good reviews. Serena's other acting credits include an appearance on the hit NBC Drama “ER”, the ABC sitcom, “My Wife and Kids”; a role as an ex-gangster on Showtime's “Street Time”; and a leading role on an episode of Lifetime's “The Division.” Serena has also lent her voice talents to “The Simpsons” and Disney's “Higgleytown Heroes.” She was also featured among 10 individuals named “Fashion Trendsetters” by Vogue Magazine on a VH1/Vogue Television Special. Serena has used her fashion savvy and has founded and created her own clothing label, Aneres, which has been featured in In Style Magazine.

Community dedication
Serena is deeply committed to philanthropic causes. She visits schools and hospitals, and conducts tennis clinics for at-risk youth. Through her work with The Owl Foundation, she is able to help fund programs that address learning problems for individuals who experience academic failure. Its mission is to ensure that every child is treated individually and is provided with the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. Some of the other organizations that Serena supports, include: the S.E. Tennis and Learning Center, in Washington, D.C.; the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund; Race for the Homeless, Stop the Violence, the Special Olympics, and the Arthur Ashe Foundation.
Serena splits her time between Palm Beach, Florida and Westwood, California with her Jack Russell terrier, Jackie.