After the successful release of his hit single “Slangin Knowledge” in February of this year, acclaimed Baltimore rapper Sullee J has once again linked up with fellow musician Don Streat to release a brand new track in the past week. Their latest collaboration, “Who Am I” also features the talents of Vietnam & Alyson Blaire. The music video was produced by Profitt Productions Films. It features the rappers in a tough and gritty urban scene of dereliction, interspersed with footage of children labouring in a Congolese mine and news footage of the recent riots in the US and disturbances in Italy. The song talks about the harsh realities of life and of those who went to make it big, only to get dragged deep under in a world of crime, drugs and destitution. Each of the artists comes forward to tell a story in powerful words to make you think about life’s struggles and blessings, while getting you to be awake and conscious, while Alyson Blaire provided the backing chorus, asking the inevitable question that every individual facing the struggle asks…. who am I?
Sullee J (a.k.a Sullee Justice) has announced that he and Don Streat are also commencing work on a new project called The Reprogram, and have been actively recruiting other musicians from the Baltimore hip-hop/rap scene to produce music with a greater purpose. Who Am I is one of the first fruits of the new project’s labour, and has given a platform for upcoming artists like Vietnam and Alyson Blaire to show the world about themselves in their respective verses while displaying several realities across the globe that cover famine, police brutality, corruption and more. The Reprogram is now opening more opportunities for local artists to become involved with Sullee J and Don Streat and bring out meaningful messages in their bars.
As the presidential campaign in the United States heats up with only a month left to go before elections on the 8th November 2016, a well-loved voice from the other side of the Pond has made a few choice words about the controversial Republican candidate Donald Trump, the UK’s ITV News service reported yesterday.
Actor and voiceover artist Brian Blessed, famed for his distinctive booming vocals, rounded on the billionaire during a video interview with the ITV channel, in which he described Trump as a ‘total, complete utter moron’ in what ITV News described as an ‘extraordinary outburst’.
Blessed has long been a feature of British television screens, renowned as much for his imposing chestnut brown beard as for his voice. He was born in Mexborough, Yorkshire in 1936 and first appeared in the programme Z-Cars in 1962 and has made a living appearing both behind the screen and on stage, as well as doing voiceovers and bit roles for television adverts.
In the interview, the actor told ITV how he could not understand how a nation that has produced so many brilliant minds now has a large part of its electorate backing a man whom he felt was ‘gormless’ and ‘tasteless’. Blessed also personally addressed Donald Trump in the interview, picking on his blonde toupee-like hairstyle by saying that the candidate should ‘get a haircut and scram’. Blessed also said “America’s full of such brilliant people – brilliant professors, brilliant scientists but you have an appalling, gormless, tasteless, individual like Trump, who really [fart sound] is that, isn’t he?”
“An appalling creature.”
“What they hell are they doing with him? He’s a total, complete utter moron.”
Blessed made the comments shortly after he collected an OBE (Order of the British Empire) royal honour for services to the arts and charity in a Birthday Honours ceremony presided over by Queen Elizabeth II at her residence Windsor Castle. He is a patron of the Hopefield Animal Sanctuary and of PHASE (Practical Help Achieving Self Empowerment) which is a network of NGOs and charities working to improve the lives of people in remote parts of Nepal.
Currently in the US presidential race, both Trump and Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton are neck-and-neck, and hotel magnate Trump has repeatedly found himself in hot water over a series of disparaging and racial comments, including selling off welfare services, proposing a wall separating his country and Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants and banning all Muslims from settling in America. The US elections are been keenly followed in the UK with most people aware of the main issues and contenders and hours of news time on British television dedicated to the election coverage.
New York city is famous for its big breakfasts and tiny apartments. It is also a haven for pet-lovers and one cat has certainly taken local, and now international media by storm.
His name is Samson. A Maine Coon cat (normally a hefty, but not giant-sized breed), the chubby tabby has a length of 4 feet (1.22 metres) and weighs 28 lbs (12.7 kg) compared with the average housecat’s 5-10 lbs (2.3-4.5 kg). He in fact is larger and weighs more than most toddlers and practically carpets his owner, when Samson lies on him. And the crazy thing is, Samson may not have yet finished growing.
Though he should really be named Goliath, Samson, aged four, is in fact highly friendly and playful and spends his days lounging around and batting his paw at mini-drones with owner and ‘daddy’ Jonathan Zurbel, in the district of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, where he attracts a lot of attention when he is taken outside in his distinctive green buggy. Samson has even being reimagined as a body positivity icon, and despite many people assuming that the cat is in a bad way due to his size, Zurbel’s local vet has given him a rating of good health.
Two children ride along on a beige-coloured horse, the same colour as the sands on the pathway. Three more kids, excited and full of activity run after the steed towards what appears to be a cow farm. A photo captures their exuberance. This photo, and many others, forms part of an online gallery by web magazine Mashable. More famed for their millennial-angled technology journalism, Mashable instead travelled back in time to a simpler age, showcasing a series of photos taken on various Native American reservations and nearby towns in 1972.
In 1972, the United States federal government, which was looking into the conditions of the (currently) 1.4 million people living on lands set aside for the First Nations, employed the services of photographer Terry Eiler to visit the south-west of the country and give an outsiders view into the lives of some of the most disadvantaged of Americans, many of whom had their lands seized by white settlers during the ‘Wild West‘ days of the 19th century and were herded onto the reservations, often poor-quality and non-arable land allocated by the federal government and administered by the nations themselves under the auspices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Nowadays many Native American communities struggle with lack of employment and amenities, as well as social ills such as extreme poverty, alcoholism and drug abuse.
Back in 1972, as the Native American rights movement was in its earliest days, Eiler visited three reservations belonging to the Navajo, Hopi and Havasupai reservations. The Navajo nation‘s reservation was the largest, about the same size as the US state of West Virginia. The photographer also visited the village of Supai, nestled in the Grand Canyon of Colorado, said to be the most remote human habitation in the southern ’48 states’ region and accessible only by an eight-mile hike through rocky terrain or via helicopter.
Eiler’s photo project provides an snapshot into a part of America few outside the First Nations have even seen, let alone understood. He shows a world that was becoming modernised and similar to mainstream America but at the same time, was still clinging tenaciously to their traditions, forged over millennia. His subjects are natural and act as themselves, a stark contrast to the wooden and forced appearances of Native Americans made to pose in the sepia photographs from the ‘pioneer days’.
His photos cover a wide range of subjects, from a sheep paddock in the desert sands of the Navajo reservation in Arizona, a retinue of cute lambs staring back at the camera, their white wool contrasting strongly with the ochre ground underneath their hooves, to a Navajo woman in a bright red blouse standing for a quick snap near the Arizonan town of Shiprock.
Others show Native American families and men out and about, gardening, horse riding and being at home. While clearly getting on with life, it is obvious that the living conditions were at times very different from most American communities, but also shows the industriousness of the Navajo and other peoples, whether cramming into a truck to get to work, training as teachers, or selling bead necklaces to tourists visiting the reservations. Local scenery, especially the Havasu Falls of Arizona, also makes a frequent appearance in Eiler’s collection.
The Eiler collection is now part of the U.S. National Archives. You can view all the pictures by clicking HERE.
Flight BA295 was en route to Chicago, U.S.A. and was two hours into the flight when a malfunction developed with the landing wheels, causing the pilot to take evasive measures and return the plane back to Heathrow, it was reported. The pilot was able to land the stricken plane without any problem after two of the five sets of landing gear broke down, having notified everyone on board.
As a safety precaution to prevent the plane from tipping over due to the instability caused by the damaged wheels, passengers were asked to exit from the rear first. Several of them commented that the experience left them feeling scared but relieved that the pilot, who is currently unnamed in reports, acted calmly in dealing with the emergency.
The UK’s ITV News further reported that Heathrow was forced to temporarily close down the affected runway. Passengers experienced delays as only one runway was still in use. The airport apologised on Twitter for the inconvenience to travellers and advised holiday-makers to check with their airline before leaving for the airport.
British Airways has not yet released a statement regarding the BA295 incident.
The launch will be scheduled at precisely 10:42 AM Pacific Standard Time (7:42 PM London time) from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, located 9.2 miles north-west of the small town of Lompoc. The launch will give SpaceX, one of a fleet of new privately owned space travel concerns, a chance to test out the capabilities of its Falcon 9 rocket. Engineers will attempt to land the Falcon on a floating ‘drone ship’ somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, it was reported.
So far, the Falcon programme has been a successful one for the firm, who made a previous test launch in December 2015 and landed their rocket on a launchpad at Cape Canaveral in Florida state, the iconic homeland of space exploration veterans NASA. That test launch was lauded by the space travel community as a step towards greater diversity in space travel as well as a stage in the development of reusable rockets.
The previous Friday, SpaceX carried out a ‘static fire test’ on the recovered engines from the rocket launched in December. The company’s chief executive officer, Elon Musk, reported on Twitter that the data from the static test ‘looked good’, with the only minor problem being that one of the rocket’s outer engines had ‘thrust fluctuations’, beleived to be because it has swallowed surrounding debris from the rocket or outside it during the launch.
In today’s launch, the Falcon 9 will attempt to land on a drone ship floating on the ocean. This will be SpaceX’s third attempt at this notoriously difficult experiment, with the previous two tries frustrated by the instability of the rocket, the size of the pad and the movement of the ocean causing the ship to move about at its location. Succeeding today will mean SpaceX’s rockets will be considered safer and easier to use, potentially opening up more business for the firm from space tourists and other exploration partners.
The first attempt, made in January 2015, also failed because the booster ran out of hydraulic fluid required to direct its descent. The second attempt, made in April 2015, was closer but ultimately failed when a control valve stopped responding to commands seconds before touchdown, according to TechCrunch.
SpaceX vice president of mission assurance Hans Koenigsmann, at a press conference held this past Friday, justified the reason for this latest experiment and his company ‘switching things up’. He said that he company was unable to receive environmental clearance to land the rocket at Vandenburg so opted to try again with the floating drone ship. He also said that the choice to use the ship was not a reflection of the Falcon 9’s capabilities and that a landing on dry soil was no problem at all. Sadly, unlike previous launches, SpaceX will not be able to provide streamed footage of today’s event due to the difficulties in using a good internet connection far out at sea.
Sunday will mark the last launch of the company’s Falcon 9 v1.1 generation of boosters. SpaceX now has an upgraded version of the rocket with increased thrust capabilities which was used in the successful December flight from Florida.
On board the Falcon 9 will be the $180 million Jason-3 satellite, developed by space agencies NOAA and NASA. The satellite will eventually be launched by SpaceX to enable observations of our planet’s sea levels and detect any changes possibly attributable to global warming.
SpaceX was founded in 2002 with an ambition of revoultionising space travel and producing rockets that will one day enable people to dwell on other worlds. It designs, manufactures and launches rockets, of which the Falcon model has been its most well known version. The company, which has 3,000 employees enjoys a close partnership with the U.S. national space agency NASA.
Guerilla artistBanksy, famed for his powerful street art laced with socio-political commentary, has resurfaced again, this time at the notorious refugee camp, dubbed ‘The Jungle’ in Calais, France, online magazine The Wrap and the New York Timesreported yesterday.
As the debate on the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis reverberates across Europe and much of the world, the Bristol artist, famed as much for his guarded anonymity as for his works of many of which have sold for several thousand pounds, left behind an artwork on a wall in the Jungle, depicting the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, whose father was said to have emigrated from Homs in Syria to the United States shortly after World War II.
The technology visionary is shown in his characteristic black turtle neck top and denim carrying a sack over one shoulder and holding a vintage Apple monitor in the other hand. The look in his face mirrors the same of many Syrian and other refugees, who often face dangerous trips across open seas and walking thousands of kilometres to reach safety in Europe.
Job’s birth father, a Syrian named Abdul Fattah Jandali, met Job’s mother one summer in his native hometown and later emigrated to the US.
“We’re often led to believe migration is a drain on the country’s resources, but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant,”Banksy said in a statement. “Apple is the world’s most profitable company, it pays over $7 billion a year in taxes — and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”
Nowadays, the debate about allowing Syrian refugees to settle in the United States has became increasingly negative, in comparison to places such as Germany and Canada, where refugees have been largely welcomed with open arms, including one planeload of refugees who were greeted by the Canadian prime minister himself. In the recent light of the tragic San Bernardino killings, where a foreign-born health service worker and his wife gunned down fourteen of their colleagues last week, and comments about banning Muslims from American territory made by presidential candidate Donald Trump, a recent poll among American state governors said that thirty-one were not open to allowing refugees to move to their states, according to The Wrap.
Banksy’s artworks, nearly always done in public areas using traditional stencils and paints have commented on everything from rampant consumerism, the credit crunch, politics, the war on terror to social media, celebrity culture and the British monarchy.
The ‘brutal’ and ‘savage’ brawl led to the arrest of a 15-year-old pupil as well as the discovery of a set of brass knuckles by the school’s policing team after the fight took place, putting the school on lockdown.
The video footage shows the fight being broken up by a school police officer at Harding University High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. The officer is seen struggling with the student before placing him in handcuffs. Students scream and curse as arms go flying. The officer is seen grappling with and restraining the pupil who is later seen lying on the floor, as another student off-camera shouts “Get off of him”, as a large crowd assembled. Local news station TWC News reported that brass knuckles were later found among the pupil’s possessions in the clearup after the fight, suggesting perhaps that the disorder was preplanned.
Stunned by the incident, and amid increasing violence involving weaponry in schools all over the developed world, parents of pupils at Harding University High had expressed their concerns over safety. One parent told WSOCTV news station that she wanted to see security at the school ‘beefed-up’.
“It’s difficult, because it seems like the same problem keeps happening over and over again,” said the parent.
The student has been charged with assault on a police officer, simple assault, resisting arrest, and weapons charges. For reasons of age, his name and other particulars had not been reported.
The school’s principal (headteacher) Eric Ward issued a statement regarding the fight. In it he said “Several students became engaged in a physical altercation during transition to third period.”
“The altercation was a serious one and one of our school resource officers and several staff members intervened to break up the situation and restore order.
“I take this incident and any issues involving student and staff safety at our school very seriously.
Astronomers and other scientists observing distant stars using the Kepler telescope have found themselves in a bit of a conundrum after spotting the presence of mysterious objects of immense size orbiting a distant star over 1,500 light years from Earth, Al-Jazeera have reported. Some observers have rumoured the objects to be signs of a super-intelligent and ancient alien civilisation, while others have said that it could be little more than orbiting space debris such as comets or captured asteroid fragments.
Jason Wright, a university researcher allied with Pennsylvania State University in the United States, discovered the anomaly while searching for planets that are similar to Earth and may be capable of sustaining life. He believes the dimming of KIC 8462852 may not be due to the more usual presence of orbiting planets, but may be in fact be ‘alien megastructures’, constructed by an extraterrestrial civilisation for purposes unknown. Wright plans to publish his findings and theory of these alleged ‘megastructures’ in a scientific paper due this year. Wright will claim that the star is being orbitted by a ‘swarm’ of these megastructures, which may for the purposes of gathering solar energy from the old and dim star. Due to the star’s distance from Earth, the dimming of its light by the ‘megastructures’ has only be observable here after that light left KIC 8462852 more than 1,500 years ago, which means the objects were orbiting the star during the 6th century CE.
The original data from Kepler, which was built by NASA to detect exoplanets, planets beyond our Solar System, was analysed by Wright’s fellow researcher Tabetha Boyajian, a scientist and postgraduate at Yale University. Boyajian examined KIC 8462852 in careful detail before sharing her findings with Wright.
“We’d never seen anything like this star,” Boyajian told The Atlantic magazine. “It was really weird. We thought it might be a bad data … but everything checked out.”
Boyajian has also written an academic paper exploring the strange phenomenon of KIC 8462852 recently. Unlike Wright’s alien hypothesis, Boyajian’s paper attempted to propose natural explanations for the objects, which were found by analysing the dip in light from the star as the objects passed in front of it. Apart from possible misreadings of the data or defects with Kepler, Boyajian also accounts for possible floating debris from an asteroid or other astral body collision, or the transit of another star across Kepler’s viewing plane as it observed KIC 8462852 which brought with it several comets which passed in front of KIC. However, despite the more scientific plausibility of these explanations in most astronomy circles, Boyajian herself casts doubt on these explanations, as no other instances of these possible scenarios were reported from the other 150,000 stars Kepler is keeping track of.
“When [Boyajian] showed me the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it looked,” Wright told The Atlantic. “Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”
Other researchers have been wary of Wright’s findings, arguing that the debris is something much more out of the ordinary. Nevertheless, the findings have created a buzz in scientific circles, with the search for tangible evidence of alien life being one of the hottest topics for space watchers such as NASA these days.
“Whether there are aliens constructing huge megastructures to meet their power needs at KIC 8462852, or — overwhelmingly more likely — it’s a more natural scenario, this is a pretty weird and interesting star. And it’s definitely worth investigating further,” Phil Plait, an astronomer, wrote in Slate.
With his latest visual “Common Chick,” rapper Sullee J, reflects that being beautiful isn’t about fitting in; it’s about being yourself. Filmed in NYC, the video was directed by Profittproductions.com. The Bluntedbeatz produced track is off his new project,Victory, out now! The new project also includes the track “Tell Me How You Want It” featuring Tupac.