Kazaam: Everything is the same

kazaam-frnt.jpgGood movies come to resolution after a heightened climax.

With the stage of Super Tuesday coming to a close and no clear Democratic winner coming out on top, the presidential primary season has all the high drama of Shaquille O’Neal’s Oscar worthy portrayal of a “rappin’ genie with an attitude” in the 1996 classic Kazaam.

Though Hillary Clinton is winning in the delegates column, no one is putting Clinton over Barack Obama with any sense of assuredness.

John McCain came out on top for the GOP, but, let’s face it, his competition was Martin Sheen’s stunt double from ‘The West Wing‘ and Chuck Norris’ running mate.

Your new source for political definitions

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If you don’t know what ‘Super Tuesday’ is or question what that acronym ‘GOTV’ stands for, don’t worry, your prayers are answered.
UrbanDictionary.com, one of the most trusted sources on the internet – used by University of Penn grad students and Inquirer reporters – has taken on the political.Its two most recently added definitions are the two phrases previously mentioned, meaning that you can finally go to the same place to find out what ‘Billary’ means as you can for definitions like “Air Conditioner Booty.”

Worst Super Tuesday Youtube videos

If a momentous day approaches, in today’s world that always means there are plenty of hilarious nonsense that people with lots of time on their hands post on Youtube. This can only mean one responsible, mature thing can be done. Display, vote and choose the worst video posted!!

Here are my three favorites, in a scale of ‘good-God-I-want-those-precious-moments-of-my-life-back.”

“CitizenTube” entered a Youtube contest and knew the best way to get anyone interested in politics is techno music. Thank you, “CitizenTube,” thank you.

I want to make fun of “LILVOKA” but this video has already been viewed more than 80,000 times! Are 80,000 bloggers posting him in their own blogs for its own sheer innocent ridiculousness!? Who is “LILVOKA” talking to!?

You couldn’t have a contest like this without a Ron Paul Revolutionary. This cat’s beard is good, the art is great but seriously, doesn’t this video look like something before you drink the Kool Aid?

The Temple News Web site launches

Thanks in large part to our online editor Sean Blanda, The Temple News, the college newspaper for which I work that services the Temple University community, has finally launched its independently designed Web site, based off WordPress.

I am happy to say I was active in the switch over and working with Sean on its design elements.

Check it out or read Seany’s blog on the real details of how the switch, from College Publisher which hosts most college papers in the country, went down.

Gary Foster: a weighty new challenge

Interview and article prepared for the Philadelphia Business Journal, as filed last week, without edits, to run in last Friday’s edition.Gary Foster is moonlighting.The director of Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education has assumed the presidency of the Obesity Society, an interdisciplinary group based in Maryland that is considered to hold preeminence in the field ofgary-foster.jpg obesity. The commitments are demanding.“It’s a challeneg and opportunity. The presidential activities take considerable time and effort,” said Foster, 48, who grew up in Levittown.The benefit for Temple is the increased visibility Foster is giving CORE, which opened in March 2006 on Temple’s health sciences campus.“The work is not all unreated, so there’s lots of synergies,” said Foster, who was courted from his position as clinical director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Weight and Eating Disorders to start Temple’s program. He traded 25 years at Penn for the chance to chair the largest school-based obesity prevention trial in the country, based in more than 10,000 square feet of dedicated research and clinical space.In 1981, he took a research assistant position at the University of Pennsylvania. There he worked under the legendary obesity physician Dr. Albert J. Stunkard, among other “luminaries,” including Kelly D. Brownell, who is now the director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University.“It was pretty clear for me,” he said. From then on, a man who never had a weight problem himself was determined to find a reason why so many others do.He went back to school. He got a masters in psychology from Penn and his PhD in clinical psychology from Temple. And his interest continues.“We don’t know as much about obesity as the lay public thinks we do,” he said. “We eat too much and don’t exercise enough… it’s more complex than that.”He has been a part of the group for nearly 20 years. Now, as president, he thinks it’s time to decide for what the group wants to be known.“Obesity is the most prevelant, serious public health issue of our time,” he said. “We at the Obesity Society need to be poisted to address that…”

Cadence Cycling Foundation: giving North Philadelphia kids the bicycle dream

As submitted last week, unedited, to the Philadelphia Business Journal for today’s edition.

For Jack Simes, it’s all about the smiles.

The executive director of the Cadence Cycling Foundation, housed at the Cadence Cycling & Multisport Center in Manayunk, is helping to introduce youth from Philadelphia’s underserved neighborhoods to the cycling world.

“There was a huge amount of enthusiasm,” said Simes, of the program’s first 30 young participants. “Cycling is a huge world sport, so it can take these kids around the world if they want it to.”

With a $10,000 retail donation from Fuji, a bicycle retailer with headquarters in Northeast Philadelphia, the foundation started its indoor training session with 22 modified single speed bicycles. Inside the Cadence Cycling Center, the bikes are on stationary trainers and linked through a computer system that allows riders to race each other, without moving. In April, the young riders, mostly between the ages of 11 and 16, will hit the streets with their instructors leading the way.

The kids have plenty of support, from Jay Snider, co-founder of the Cadence Cycling Centers in Philadelphia and New York, who is an avid rider to Simes, who was on all three U.S. Olympic cycling teams in the 1960s and won a world championship in 1968.

“We’re introducting competitive cycling to kids who might not get a chance to ride,” Simes said.

See other examples of my reporting here.

University does something illegal to puppy

Canine solicitation has been criminalized.

The signature item at Temple University’s fourth annual Owl Club auction, held on Saturday, was a cute golden retriever puppy, in addition to Wing Bowl passes, Philadelphia Eagles tickets, and golf packages with Temple football Head Coach Al Golden.

Turns out, though, that only a licensed kennel can sell a dog, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

So while proceeds from the auction benefit Temple athletics, including the reported $700 that women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley paid for the dog, Temple might run into more trouble, as they face a citation for the infraction.

Nicole Williams: a rare model

Interview and article prepared for the Philadelphia Business Journal, as filed last week, without edits, to run in last Friday’s edition. American law firms have not always had black female attorneys. Some don’t have any today.Nichole L. Williams, an associate in the Haddonfield, N.J. office of Archer & Greiner, is one of particular note and promise.

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Last month, Williams, of Blue Bell, was selected for membership in the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, a prestigious professional organization for women of color.

“The organization has an incredble reputation,” said Williams, 29. “I wanted to be a part of that.”

The Coalition formed in 1971 in New York City and has rapidly expanded beyond its now symbolic name. Today, the group numbers some 7,000 members in 24 states and Washington, D.C.

With her membership in the organization’s Pennsylvania chapter came a leadership role, as Williams took on co-chair responsibilities of the public relations committee. She is charged with promoting the group’s signature event, the Madame C.J. Walker Awards luncheon and economic development seminar to be held on March 1. Little more than two weeks later, in her capacity as board member of UrbanPromise, a nonprofit that offers activities for youth in Camden, N.J., she is hosting a fundraising bowling event with Andre Iguodala from the Philadelphia 76ers at Lucky Strike Lanes at 13th and Chestnut Streets on March 18.

Oh, and she is a lawyer, too, one with a goal in mind.

“In this role as a black female attorney, I take it as my reponsibility to speak for those who don’t have a voice themselves,” she said. “To serve as a role model.”

She concentrates her practice in corporate law and joined her firm’s sports and entertainment practice group in August. There, too, she is representing underrepresented groups, as the only female and the only associate member. She doesn’t seem worried. Williams will continue her drive to service and find strength in an organization full of successful people who had plenty of reasons not to be.

“As a young, black, female attorney, I wanted to surround myself with women who were doing incredible things” Williams said. “I’ve done it.”

Men's college basketball video

For The Temple News, the college newspaper for which I work, I filmed yesterday’s men’s basketball game between Temple University and crosstown Big 5 rival St. Joseph’s.  A friend and colleague, Sean Blanda, edited it. The quality is less than stellar because of some technicalities – this was our paper’s first foray into adding video to our Web site – but check it out. Temple lost on a buzzer beater.