Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is about to make some major announcements that will change Facebook as we know it. The social network has been keeping busy in the lead-up to f8, its annual developer conference. In the past few weeks, the company has revamped Friend Lists, added a …
Author Archives: SavvyEmpire
It was quite the challenge to create this custom DIY Skylander Giants Party. First off, none of the major Party stores or websites are carrying any Skylander theme items. Second Skylander GIANTS is brand spankin new, so even most handmade items available on sites like Etsy aren’t up to date. Of course like any frugal parent my key concept for this party was keeping it under budget, and getting this done nicely with a small time frame. I will take you step by step for a behind the scenes idea of this hectic, yet rewarding party route.
Choosing a Location
My son’s birthday is in early January. We always risk the chance of rain at this time of year. It has been 50/50 with all his previous birthday parties. Generally it’s still pretty nippy in Los Angeles, and I do not own a house. For a few weeks, we researched all types of recreational rooms, fire houses, banquet halls, meeting rooms, restaurant banquet rooms, play houses, Chuck E Cheese, movie theaters, zoo, roller rinks and many other places that would have been great for a party under 15 people. We would have a minimum of 20 kids (mainly from his Kinder class), 50 people minimum and this was low because another classmate was having her party on the same date.
We took the chance this year and decided to throw the party at a local park (or “lake” as they like to call it). We have thrown a party for him here last year, so we choose a location that most people would recall, and that could carry our amount of guests. I had to wait 10 days prior to the event to send out invites and create flyers to confirm weather on a 10-day forecast.
Jumper, Tables & Chairs
There were no Skylander Giants themed jumpers. Oh how I wish I could have made one of those giant banners that stick on the jumper with velcro. Last year we went with the jumper with a slide and the minimum estimate we got for that alone was $150 – $200. We needed at least 5 tables & 40 chairs and that alone could be $4o – $70. If you want a regular jumper with chairs and tables, you are looking at a range of $150- $200. Some places will put packages together to shave off a few bucks.
We had to get quotes from several places and we got a great deal for a regular jumper, 5 tables and 40 chairs for $140 flat with free delivery and installation for park (some places charge extra for this). We went with a tropical looking jumper to go along with the nature & wild Skylands.
In L.A you can get a pinata on any corner, some look like my tia made it – some are all fancy but cost about $40. If you want a regular/ decent one- it can be about $20 bucks. In downtown L.A (The Pinata District) you can get a legit looking pinata for as low as $13!
We had many options but decided not to do a pinata at the park we would be throwing the party. If we had got a Pinata we would have went with the ones in Downtown LA and got a number pinata.
For my son’s 5th birthday last year, we had over 70 people in attendance. We had a BBQ with hot dogs, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms to top it, pizza, potato salad and lots of junk. We had lots of leftovers and it was exausting to BBQ throughout the party. This year we needed something that was most cost effective and more healthy. It was hard to make things that everyone likes, and for the people that still eat meat alhtough I don’t.
This year, we knew it would be too much work to BBQ. We cooked the hot dogs (regular and veggie), vegetables, pesto pasta and potato salad before the party and put them all in food warmers. We got Pizza and hot dogs from Costco along with all our beverages.
[click here to order print outs]
Goodie Bags [Click here for photo DIY]
Born February 26th, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas, Johnny Cash caught the attention of a label after serving in U.S. Air Force. He soon found success in country music, though he also experimented with gospel and rockabilly. Cash even branched out into acting, and appeared on TV and in films. And despite substance abuse issues, he found love with June Carter. He continued to act and make music throughout his old age and even collaborated with contemporary artists, helping to raise his popularity before his death. In this WatchMojo.com video, we take a look at the life and career of Johnny Cash.
US States Pass Legislation to Censor Free Speech on the Internet!! Freedom of speech no longer valid ya’ll. Please don’t take our freedoms away 😦
In this newly altered bill HR 2471, federal and local law enforcement agencies including Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Maritime Commission, the Federal Postal Regulatory Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be empowered to obtain any US citizens:
• Private email
• Google Docs
• Facebook posts
• Twitter posts
Electronic devices are getting smaller, thinner and more flexible — taking them into areas other electronics can’t go. One place is the mind. Electrical engineer Todd Coleman at the University of California at San Diego, for example, is using super-thin flexible electronic “tattoos” to read brain wave activity in a non-invasive way and use that data to control machines.
Coleman’s devices, which about the width of a human hair, stick to a person’s forehead and detect electrical signals from the brain. In previous studies, his team found that study participants could remotely fly airplanes around a room using their mind. These people were not wearing the thin tattoo-like stickers but wearing electrode caps that pick up brain wave activity. But if such control can come from the cap, it could be possible to shrink it down to the stick-on tattoo level, which Coleman says his team is working on.
The small, flexible devices could also be put on the throat and behave as subvocal microphones through which people could communicate silently and wirelessly and perhaps improve speech recognition in smartphones.
“We’ve demonstrated our sensors can pick up the electrical signals of muscle movements in the throat so that people can communicate just with thought,” Coleman told Txchnologist.
Credit: Todd Coleman, University of California at San Diego
Practice makes perfect. Practice also makes for horrid takes & BLEH moments.Maybe I should send this to potential employers. Enjoy.
Now, there are times when you must give your attention to multiple tasks. Be aware that you are not multi-tasking, you are attention-switching, and take this into account when you switch your attention to another task. At the very least, you will need to take time to “catch up” on the task before you perform some new action related to it.
My boss just shed some light on this. Great epiphany.
“Virtuous people often revenge themselves for the constraints to which they submit by the boredom which they inspire.”
“I’ve got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.”
“”I am bored” generally means “I am boring”.”
“You’ll find boredom where there is the absence of a good idea”
“Boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.”
“Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful or to discover something that is true.”
“There’s no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there’s no excuse for boredom, ever.
”“Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need”
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
“Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.”
“Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity.”
“In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.”
“Procrastination avoids boredom; one never has the feeling that there is nothing important to do”
“The life of the creative man is lead, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.”
“I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.”
Life is too deep for words.
so don’t try to describe it –
just live it
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say “I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER.
All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.
Life is like a cobweb, not an organization chart
I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.
The most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Then figure out how to sell it for $5.00 a glass.
“There is properly no history; only biography.”
Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim
Definition: The name of whatever Sheen’s on.
Usage: “I am on a drug, it’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”
Definition: The end goal of Charlie Sheen’s life philosophy.
Usage: “The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning,” “Just winning every second,” “Winning, anyone?” “Duh, winning!”
Pronunciation: Quoth Sheen, “It rhymes with winning.”
Definition: Winning on the ultimate level.
Usage: I’m not bi-polar, “I’m bi-winning. I win here and I win there.”
Riding the mercury surfboard
Definition: Skillfully working one’s way into the headlines.
Usage: “It’s been a tsunami of media and I’ve been riding it on a mercury surfboard.” (See also: “winning.”)
Definition: Winning on the ultimate level.
Usage: I’m not bi-polar, “I’m bi-winning. I win here and I win there.”
Clearly the best but also saying:
“What’s not to love?” he said on ABC. “Especially when you see how I party. It was epic. The run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, Richards just look like droopy-eyed armless children.”
Wearing a golden sombrero
Definition: Getting divorced four times in a row (kind of the opposite of a hat trick).
Usage: “I tried marriage. I’m 0 for 3 with the marriage thing. So, being a ballplayer — I believe in numbers. I’m not going 0 for 4. I’m not wearing a golden sombrero.”
Definition: What runs through Sheen’s veins, making him all-powerful.
Usage: “AA was written for normal people. People that don’t have tiger blood and Adonis DNA,” “[I survived drug addiction] because I’m me. I’m different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man.”
Sober Valley Lodge
Definition: The Beverly Hills home where Sheen claims he’s healed himself “with the power of my mind.”
Usage: “We couldn’t really call it rehab because we didn’t have a license to operate one, so it was a crisis management center that we labeled the Sober Valley Lodge. … Its primary client achieved radical success.”
Definition: Sheen’s nickname for himself, based on his preferred position between his two blonde 24-year-old girlfriends, a.k.a. “the goddesses.”
Usage: “It’s a wedge. Boom. You form a wedge to make room for the guy carrying the ball.”
Definition: An exclamation used to signify the end of a mind-blowing statement.
Usage: “You have the right to kill me, but you do not have the right to judge me. Boom. That’s the whole movie. That’s life.” “[My ex-wife Denise Richards] shows up looking the way she does. … Wow! Everybody’s winning. Boom!” “White gold? Boom!” (Synonyms: Bang.)
Definition: An exclamation used to signify the end of a conversation.
Usage: “That’s how I roll. And if it’s too gnarly for people, then buh-bye,” “Oh wait, can’t process it. Losers. Winning. Buh-bye.”
Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible — the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family
Whoever said it first spoke with insight and wisdom: you don’t own children, you only borrow them
Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you
Do not ask that your kids live up to your expectations. Let your kids be who they are, and your expectations will be in breathless pursuit.
Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.
The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering
Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn’t have anything to do with it.
There comes a time when a woman needs to stop thinking about her looks and focus her energies on raising her children. This time comes at the moment of conception. A child needs a role model, not a supermodel
Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them
There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it
His half-sung vocals, alternately surly and vulnerable, weave in and out of the mix along with distorted guitars, sweeping strings, twinkling harpsichords, ghostly samples, and who knows what else. No other major-label rapper in 2010 is pushing boundaries in quite the same way.
On the surface Kid Cudi‘s Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager is an ambitious 17-track drug-fueled diary detailing dark times and the forces behind them. Beneath the surface however, Rager is a cautionary tale which captures Cudi’s shift away from one stage of his life to the next. As he explained to Spin‘s Sean Fennessey recently, “It’s a chapter of my life I’m closing.” He continued by describing the album as being “for those whom cocaine does not work.” Following a year which included a high-profile arrest and a trail of drug use which seemingly followed Cudi everywhere he went, the MC now claims a clean(er) lifestyle, relating his new perspective during the cover story for Complex magazine’s fall issue. “Yup. No more blow. People do drugs to camouflage emotions and run away from their problems. Now I’m going to deal with certain things as they come, prioritize shit—man up, so to speak.” So where does that leave Cudi now, and how does all of this personal growth translate through his new album? In short: a clear mind is apparently of little detriment to the 26 year old superstar.
The dark themes that run throughout Rager can be largely summed up by a lyrical blast in the second of the album’s five acts. With “Mojo So Dope” Cudi lays out the blueprint for the hour-long journey, “Damn, you must understand, when I speak about a song this is really how I am/Yeah, this is how I really think, you could see what I see, yes I really think/Yes I really drink, I really do rage.” And as referenced in the vocalist’s statement which lumped drug use and emotional instability together, there are indeed many issues which need to be uncovered here, and Rager simply appears to be the first step in Cudi’s emotional rehabilitation.
Enhanced by Cee Lo‘s stunning chorus, the album opens with “Scott Mescudi vs. the World,” a track which sets the stage for conflict immediately with the opening bar, “What up?/How’s everyone doing?/You’re now in a world I’m ruining.” The track’s thumping beat sets a musical tone which is felt throughout, but it’s the young MC’s confusion and struggles which push the album to its full potential. The hollow beat in “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young” only goes to reflect the emptiness portrayed through the lyrics, Cudi speaking of his late father’s habits being passed down to him. Sampling St. Vincent‘s ominous “The Strangers,” “Maniac” finds Cudi appropriately joined by underground MC Cage/ whose 2009 release wholly focused on “exorcising demons.” Late in the album “All Along” again points out the insecurity which has hidden at the core of Cudi’s life, “All along, I guess I’m meant to be alone, out there on my own.” Self-admittedly however, Cudi’s emotions took a back seat to the drug use in his real life, and the same can be said for much of the stories in Rager.
Early on in the album Mary J. Blige steps in with “Don’t Play This Song,” working behind Cudi as he rumbles over a low-key beat, “HBO, that Vitamin Water: that’s money to blow.” And as history has proven time and time again, an excessive amount of expendable income mixed with mental instability and a taste for candy rarely ends well. “Marijuana” find a repeating chorus take precedent over any real substance, “Pretty green bud, all in my blood” (the song closes at four minutes and twenty seconds with Cudi cheekily adding, “aaaaaaand 4:20”). Blige returns for “These Worries” as Cudi parallels his substance intake and subsequent abuse with his teetering sanity, “It’s a full-time job not to lose my faith”; adding an aural coke snort and morning-after inventory (“So much whiskey all in my liver”) for good measure.
The main focus of the album is Cudi’s alluded-to twist in perspective though, and the greater part of Rager reflects that shift. Coasting through the album’s infectious production—supplied by any number of talents ranging from Bruno Mars‘ Smeezingtons crew to Jim Jonsin to Cudi, himself—is a series of key tracks which help direct the artist toward his conclusion found in album-closer “Trapped in My Mind.” “REVOFEV” finds Cudi checking himself, “Wake up, things might get rough/No need to stress, keeps you down too much,” while “We Aite (Wake Up Your Mind)” thematically follows Cudi as he opens his eyes to the world, and “GHOST!” finds Cudi dumbfounded in his density, “Got to get it through my thick head that I was so close to being dead.” Most interesting is the epiphany found in “Ashin’ Kusher” however, where the vocalist takes a step back from the static and blasts those who have judged him for his past indiscretions, “If you know me man, I don’t really worry ’bout a nigga tryin’ to judge: Who are you, Judy?”
While those approaching Rager with any expectations are likely to be surprised, most are likely to be satisfied with the results. That being said, there are some tracks that stand out for their inconsistencies. “The Mood” is out of place, lyrically, as it follows a story of sexing it up with a French female, and its beat isn’t strong enough to demand that it make the final cut amongst the album’s already-lengthy track list. Just as those who went into Man on the Moon I with only “Day ‘n’ Nite” in mind to prepare them, those who are only familiar with “Erase Me” are in for a shock. The song is enjoyable, and Kanye West‘s cameo stands as one of the highlights of the record, but the song isn’t musically representative of Rager and is merely a palette cleanser that Cudi himself has brushed off for having been created on a whim.
As the story comes to a close with “Trapped in My Mind,” Cudi seems to have answered the question of whether or not he has made it out of the past year with a shred of sanity. Concluding that being trapped in his mind is no longer a curse, Cudi digresses by simply embracing his new found comfort, “Hey it’s not that bad at all.” Therein lies Cudi’s mission statement as he goes forward with his next projects: to hold true to himself his feelings, and continue to learn how to approach them in a healthy fashion rather than suppressing them as he’s done in the past. While he’s known for proudly wearing an ego so self-assured that it might only be on par with his good friend Kanye, what Kid Cudi has created with his sophomore album shows exponential growth, as an artist and as a person, from the tight-pants MC who made it big a few years back. Now all that remains is to go forward and keep progressing; as GLC rhymes in “The End,” “My brother told me a long time ago, don’t focus where you bein’ G, focus where you tryin’ to go.”
What is gelatin/gelatine?
If you’ve ever eaten in a cafeteria, chances are good that your dessert options included Jell-O. There are hundreds of different desserts that use Jell-O to create everything from your basic institutional-style gelatin square to ornate designs that incorporate varied Jell-O flavors, fruit, and whipped toppings. Jell-O consists of four basic ingredients:
3. sugar or artificial sweetener and artificial flavors
4. food coloring
The gelatin in Jell-O is what lets you transform it into all sorts of different shapes. What exactly is gelatin? Gelatin is just a processed version of a structural protein called collagen that is found in many animals, including humans. Collagen actually makes up almost a third of all the protein in the human body. It is a big, fibrous molecule that makes skin, bones, and tendons both strong and somewhat elastic. As you get older, your body makes less collagen, and individual collagen fibers become crosslinked with each other. You might experience this as stiff joints (from less flexible tendons) or wrinkles (from loss of skin elasticity).
Gelatin (US spelling) or gelatine (British spelling) (used to make Jell-o and other desserts) is made from the boiled bones, skins and tendons of animals. An alternative substance is called Agar-Agar, which is derived from seaweed. Another is made from the root of the Kuzu. Agar-Agar is sold in noodle-like strands, in powdered form, or in long blocks, and is usually white-ish in color.
It was popularized in the Victorian era with spectacular and complex “jelly moulds”. Gelatin was sold in sheets and had to be purified, which was very time-consuming. It also made gelatin desserts the province of the relatively well-to-do. In 1845, industrialist Peter Cooper (who built the first American steam-powered locomotive, the Tom Thumb), obtained a patent (US Patent 4084) for powdered gelatin.
Where can you find gelatin?
Gelatin is a common ingredient in foods because it is so versatile. It can be used as a gelling agent (as in Jell-O), as a thickener, an emulsifier, and a stabilizer. You’ll find it in a variety of foods, from yogurt to chewing gum. Here is a list of some other foods that commonly contain gelatin:
* gummy bears
* sour cream
* cream cheese
* cake icing and frosting
* soups, sauces and gravies
* canned ham and chicken
* corned beef
What is kosher gelatine?
Some Kosher gelatins are made with agar-agar, most are not. Some things that are vegan that are replacing gelatin are: guar gum and carrageenan. Only some ‘emulsifiers’ are vegan. Gelatin is used in photography. Although the technology exists to replace photographic film, its price is currently prohibitive and there is insufficient demand. Hopefully, with the growth of vegetarianism and veganism, this situation will soon change.
Kosher gelatin can be made with fish bones, and/or beef skins. Contrary to assumptions, it is also considered kosher to use it with dairy products. Kosher law is very complex and the bones and hides used in gelatin production are considered pareve. The general meaning of pareve refers to foods that are neither milk nor meat, and many people assume this means that the product is vegetarian. However, OU pareve certified ingredients can have animal products, such as fish, eggs, and gelatin, in them….since the gelatin product is from hides or bones – not real flesh – and has undergone such significant changes, it is no longer considered ‘fleishig’ (meat) but ‘pareve’, and can be eaten with dairy products.”
Is there vegan gelatine?
“Gelatine” is a substance made of animal bones and other parts of the animal’s body. So if there’s a product with “gelatine”, it can’t be vegan. But there exists a big variety of substances which are vegan an which have the same properties as gelatine: Cellulose (Amid), Agar-Agar, Biobin, Guar, Xanthan, Carob fruit and others. (Unfortunately I do not know the exact english names, but maybe this will help you already.) So if you read on the ingredient list that gelatine is used, then you can be sure that this product is NOT vegan. But if one or more of the other mentioned subsances appear on the list, you can be sure that you can eat them even as vegan.
Hain makes a Jello product with non-animal gelling substance (no meat, bone, skin, hoof, or any other part/derivative) that is superior to Jello. Also, some ‘snack pack’ gel snacks are NOT made with gelatin, and available in larger grocery stores (even in texas!), just read the label.The gelatin you eat in Jell-O comes from the collagen in cow or pig bones, hooves, and connective tissues. To make gelatin, manufacturers grind up these various parts and pre-treat them with either a strong acid or a strong base to break down cellular structures and release proteins like collagen. After pre-treatment, the resulting mixture is boiled. During this process, the large collagen protein ends up being partially broken down, and the resulting product is called gelatin. The gelatin is easily extracted because it forms a layer on the surface of the boiling mixture.
Veggie safe gelatin alternative:
Agar, arrowroot, corn starch, guar gum, xanthan gum