Author Archives: SouthernCharm

Does Facebook = Autotune? Maybe…

facebook death 300x221 Does Facebook = Autotune?  Maybe...

 

Thinking that Facebook is forever is like thinking that AOL was the be-all-end-all of the Internet.  Eventually, everyone will use something else.” – Entrepreneur Max Salzberg (via Cnn.com)

Myspace… Friendster… College Club… Blackplanet…

These are just a few of used-to-be-popular social networking sites that have gone by the waste side.  If history tells us anything, it’s that Death has a Google account.  It looks like Facebook is next on his list.

But why do social media sites become less popular over time?  Are they “played out?”  Are they any less innovative? Do they fail to change with the times?  Twitter allowed us the ability to microblog and send updates in 140 characters or less.  Facebook then introduced the “Status Update.”  When you actually look at both sites, Facebook actually has way more features.

The real question is perhaps this: Is it simply that we eventually become bored with what social media sites have to offer?

Looking at this question, it would appear that in today’s society we are slowly, but subtly being conditioned to upgrade.  A new iPhone comes out every 1-2 years.  Windows XP is the equivalent of Windows 95.  Pentium III processors, ten years ago, could get you by just fine.  Today, they could barely let you use Photoshop, watch a movie, and pay a bill online.  Do you still go to Yahoo to search for something?  How long do you think it will be before Xbox 2 or PS4 are on the shelves?

Perhaps that’s what is going on with Facebook.  Despite privacy concerns, Facebook has as many features and users as ever.  But maybe we don’t care about new features.  Maybe my Gmail suits me just fine, and I don’t care for Facebook email.  Maybe I’m tired of being tagged in photos for Jordans, Jordan heels, and fake red-bottoms.  Maybe relationship statuses only matter to 19 year olds and not 29 year olds.  Maybe I can control all of these things, but I’m just tired of the service that allows me to control all of these things.  Maybe, just maybe, I want something new presented in a newer format… even if that something new is something that I already have.

And all of that could mean, just maybe, that I have conformed… Jumping through hoops not to be part of the status quo, so that I can be part of the newest-latest.

Maybe, just maybe, we should choose what works best for us, and stick with that.

Awkward Office Moments

Dwight Schrute 793550 239x300 Awkward Office Moments

Ahh, the awkward office moment… It’s the point of habitual line steppage, if only for a moment, between colleagues, superiors, and/or subordinates.  It’s the point where you’re walking on eggshells, only to realize that you’re barefoot and eggshells can cut up your feet.  Laughs quickly morph into embarrassing silence.  Eye contact is avoided.  Emails go unreplied to.  Today, we break down a few awkward office moments:

Multiple Greetings

There’s always that one co-worker who you really don’t talk to, but happen to politely speak to on the regular. They could work in your office, or they could work in your building.  You get up to use the restroom, pass by this colleague, smile, say, “Hi,” and keep it moving.  Upon leaving the restroom, it’s like they were timing you… waiting for the exact moment you walk out, only to cross paths with you again.  What’s the protocol?  Do you speak again?  Do you say, “Hi,” again as if it never happened?  Do you pretend to check your phone in order to avoid the awkward eye contact that will inevitably ensue?  Do you stare them down to see who will crack first?  Awkward!

Just Got the Internet

There is always someone in the office whose only experience with computers, or anything electronic, occurs between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M.  This is the person who still sends those emails about how Microsoft will pay you for every person you forward said email to.  It is also the same person who will “Reply All” to the same types of emails.  The internet hoax is red flavor, and they drink the koolaid.  They love the koolaid.  They bathe in it.  It’s refreshing.  Will God still bless me if I don’t forward your message to 100 other people?  Are pictures of 400lbs fat ladies, wearing spandex in Wal-Mart really work safe?  You never provided your bank info, but has that Microsoft money hit your account yet?

Computer Illiterates

Similar to those above, these folks are the ones who will be the first to go when Skynet becomes self-aware.  They’re frustrated because Microsoft Word won’t open, and decide to call you to help them.  Despite the fact that you have a whopping Bachelor’s degree in History, they deem you the computer guru of the office since you have experience sending emails with attachments.  Situations like these go something like this:

Idiot:  Sorry to bother you, but this computer is acting up!

You:  What’s the problem?

Idiot:  I’m trying to open Microsoft Word, but it won’t open. Ahh, this is so frustrating!

You:  Let’s see….. There you go!  Opened right up!

Idiot:  What did you do?

You:  I think you have to double-click the icon.

Idiot:  Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

*Facepalm

This Conversation Is Over

You’re in the break room.  Your co-worker walks in.  You engage in small talk.  This person decides they want to have an in-depth conversation, simultaneously, about world hunger, Extreme Couponing, their vacation to Liberty Land, and how their kid did the cutest thing last night.  You spend the next 10 minutes, smiling, nodding, and looking engaged.  All the while, you’re plotting your exit.  Do you make up an excuse to go to leave?  Do you just walk off while they’re in mid-sentence?  Wait for another co-worker to walk in and bail you out?  Awkward!

What about you?  What are some other awkward office situations you have experienced?  Leave a comment, and chime in.

Microsoft to Buy Skype

skype logo large 650x287 300x132 Microsoft to Buy Skype

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/05/10/yes-microsoft-is-buying-skype/?hpt=T2

Microsoft is about to buy Skype for $8.5 billion.  What changes could we see?

– Skype incorporated into the Kinect, Xbox 360, and future gaming consoles

– Windows phones will have the potential advantage in mobile video chat

– MS products such as Office & Lync will have better options for video chatting and conferencing

Cool Things: Pandora Adds Comedy

Pandora RadioLarge 300x300 Cool Things: Pandora Adds Comedy

http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/web/05/04/pandora.comedy.mashable/index.html

“Pandora has expanded from music to jokes with the addition of 10,000 comedy clips from more than 700 comedians to its Internet radio service.”

If you have the Pandora app on your smartphone, then I recommend Chris Rock, Louis CK, Jim Gaffigan, Donald Glover, and of course Kevin Hart.

Bin Laden’s Death Should Be Celebrated…

Americans Celebrate BinLaden Death 300x169 Bin Ladens Death Should Be Celebrated...

Osama Bin Laden is dead.

When news spread Sunday night about Bin Laden’s death, video started circulating which showed Americans celebrating his death.  In D.C., Americans gathered in front of the White House.  In New York, Americans took to the streets in jubilee.  Survivors and families of 9/11 victims cried.  Chants were shouted in patriotic unison.  The national anthem was sung.  But more than pride, there was an overwhelming sense of relief. 

This is the reason why Bin Laden’s death should be celebrated.  It’s a relief.  There are those who feel uneasy about the excessive celebrating.  There are those who may feel the celebrating was hypocritical for those who consider themselves Christian or religious in any way.  The fact of the matter is that Bin Laden declared war on the United States of America.  He declared war on western civilization.  He declared war on any sympathizers of America, including other coutries that were predominantly Muslim.  He took credit for the U.S. Embassy bombings of 1998.  He took credit for the 9/11 attacks.  He killed thousands of people, including many Muslims.  He was a murderer. 

The death of Bin Laden is bigger than Bin Laden himself.  The death of Bin Laden is not the death of terrorism itself.  The death of Bin Laden in itself is the death of an ideal.  It is the death of a symbol.  In a sense, it was closure.  And the act of celebrating is a projected demonstration of the sense of closure that Americans have been seeking for ten years.

Sometimes, when you read a book, you may re-read it many times over.  Sometimes you get stuck on a particular chapter.  You may find yourself losing sleep, eyes heavy, from searching for meaning.  Sometimes you just want to finish the chapter so that you can rest… knowing that you’ll pick the book back up the next day to start a new chapter and search for new meanings.   

We know this isn’t the end of the book, but it is the end of a chapter.  We can rest… for now.

20 Something Things About Being 20 Something

20 Something cover FINAL 300x300 20 Something Things About Being 20 Something

1.  You pay for a degree graduate and earn your degree.  As soon as you get your degree though, you find out that you need more experience.

2.  Anyone 18 or younger all of sudden looks like a baby.  If you’re over 25, anyone under 25 looks like a baby.

3.  You make it through 4-5 years of undegrad, complete with all-night/morning study & cram sessions, without becoming a coffee or caffeine addict.  After 3-6 months of staying out til 3:00 A.M., coffee & caffeine are like cocaine… and you’re Charlie Sheen.

4.  Your goal is to be a millionaire, or at least a thousandaire, by age 30.  Yet, you don’t own one business.  Upon realizing this, you experience what is known as the quarter-life crisis.

5. In the club a social setting, your checklist went something like this:  booty, breasts, face.  Now it’s booty, breasts, face, ring finger.

6. Your parents start to make sense in a lot ways.

7. Your parents stop making sense in a lot of ways.

8. If it wasn’t relevant beforehand, local, national, and/or world news is now relevant to you.

9. Virgins exist in an alternate reality where machines have taken over the world, harvesting human body heat for power, and suduing their minds through a simulated reality called The Matrix.  Also, in this alternate reality, all black women with four-year philosophy degrees have successful, degree’d-up husbands with Insanity/P90X bodies, Paul Pierce has the sharpest shape up in America, all jobs start out at $100K, and Kobe Bryant is only known as a dish on the menu of a Japanese Steakhouse.

10.  If you do listen to the radio, then it’s mostly talk radio and morning shows.

11.  You realize it’s not the end of the world if you don’t go out on the weekend.

12. You learn the true value of sleep.

13.  Somebody you know gets married every week.

14. You realize you’re not invincible

15. Cheap liquor takes a much worse toll on your body.

16. Fighting becomes a last resort.

17.  Post-grad Greek life means nothing unless you’re lame.

18.  You think about how you would whoop other peoples kids you see them acting crazy in public.

19.  Rocking the homeless-Professor look from Goodwill is a better look than wearing Fubu, Phat Farm, Coogi, Ecko, or any kind of urban wear.

20.  At 18-19 yrs old, your requirements for dating someone included whether they had their own car or not.  At 20-something, your requirements include a 401k and benefits.

21.  Reading has become a form of entertainment.

22.  You’re old enough to be considered an adult, but young enough to not be considered, “old.”  This is awkward, and is the main reason for bad decisions made, “because I was young and just having fun.”  See:  Lindsey Lohan.

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Michael Eric Dyson 241x300 What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Apparently, Barack Obama hasn’t done enough for black people.

Black leader intellectual, Michael Eric Dyson, in a talk in Iowa last week, made a comment about President Obama’s lack of dialogue on race:

“What difference does it make to have a black president? Maybe not a damn thing. Maybe it’s worse than a white president, ’cause he won’t even talk about race.”

Dyson continued, “I love him, but I will not be silenced.  I’m not asking you to speak up (for black communities) ’cause you’re a black man. I’m asking you to speak up ’cause you’re the president.”

*First of all, if you’re somewhat familiar with Michael Eric Dyson, and have ever heard him speak (whether in person or on tv/radio), then you probably know this “talk” was full of all the Dictionary.com Words of the Day from January 1, 2011 through February 17, 2011.   If you’re also familiar with Dyson, then you know that black leaders intellectuals like him believe that anything black, or race related, is their bailiwick.  But that is neither here nor there….  I receive the daily Word of the Day from Dictionary.com, and I just wanted to use, “bailiwick,” in a sentence.

Back to Dyson, he’s earned his title as an intellectual.  He’s a tenured professor at Georgetown.  Last time I checked, that was a pretty decent school.  Being that Dyson is an intellectual, he should know that politics is a way harsher game than the lecture circuit which he frequents.  A few points:

-President Obama, in some circles, is viewed as a Nazi Socialist who wants to ruin America.  His every political move is challenged and questioned.  Some people don’t even believe he is an American citizen.  Despite undeniable proof of his citizenship, these same people still believe his mama paid the State of Hawaii to cover it up.   He has professed his Christian faith numerous times, yet people still believe he is a Muslim (like there is something wrong with him being a Muslim).  Even during the 2008 campaign, a simple sign of support, affection, and “I got your back,” with his wife was lauded as a “terrorist fist bump.”  White Whitmore fear is at an all-time high.  Yet, you want him to stand up and speak more about how black folks can’t catch a break race when white people overwhelmingly voted him in?  That would be political suicide.

– If Dyson would recall, one of Obama’s shining moments came in 2008, in the wake of the Reverend Wright issues.  Obama gave one of the most impressive, moving, and insightful speeches on race in recent memory.  If you go back and read that speech, Obama not only started a dialogue on race, but he sparked a dialogue on the idea of a post-racial America.

– Just the mere fact that Obama is the first black president has done more for black people since King and the Civil Rights Movement.  When teachers and adults tell black kids that they can be anything in the world, including president, then they are no longer selling a dream.  It actually happened.  And if it actually happened, then it can happen again.  Black kids now have more to aspire to than rapping, singing, playing sports, or acting.

– Barack Obama is the president of the United States of America, not just black people.  With that said…

How about we focus on getting him re-elected?  Follow me on this…

Everyone knows that President Obama is seeking re-election for a second term.  The Rethuglicans know that they have no viable candidate who can beat Obama right now.  During his first term, Obama has had to govern from the center.  In other words, he’s had to walk on eggshells and concede on issues he really believes in for the greater good.

Now imagine a black president in his second term, with no possibility of being re-elected.  If Obama is re-elected in 2012, then I’m predicting 2016 will be when he goes on his When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong tour.  He’ll be unfiltered.  He’ll be on his way out of office.  He will have the platform to say and do all the things he has always wanted to say since 2009.  Us black people might even get reparations checks out of the whole thing!  Who knows?  I just think that by 2015-2016, we could get this version of the president.

So my plea to Michael Eric Dyson is simple:  DON’T MESS THIS UP!

What do you think?  Should Obama talk more about race?  Is Obama doing enough for race relations?

Settling the Crackhead Issue

tumblr lafarzu3oE1qa2iui Settling the Crackhead Issue

Crack is wack… unless you have self control.

Charlie Sheen, in a recent radio interview, has been quoted as saying that people should stay away from crack cocaine, “unless they can manage it socially.”

Of course! It all makes sense now:

Whitney Houston
Bobby Brown
Tyrone Biggums
Former D.C. Mayor Marion Berry
Robert Downey, Jr.
Courtney Love

And countless others… They weren’t addicts!  They didn’t have a problem!  They were all just socially inept!

This doesn’t settle the issue though. There is still unfinished business left on the table. Yes, here at The Cool Table, we will answer the age old question: Does doing crack one time make you a crackhead?

After reading what Charlie Sheen had to say, my answer is this: If you are able to try crack one time, and only one time, then you are obviously more than capable of managing it socially. So, it doesn’t make you a “crackhead.” It just makes you “crackish.”

But that rule is limited to only trying it once though. That’s the rule. Trying it twice, even 1.5 times = crackhead. One time = crackish.

What say you? What would you say is the crackhead threshold? 🙂

Cool Things: PSP2

psp21 620x465 300x225 Cool Things: PSP2

For the gaming heads, Sony has just unveiled the PSP2.  It’s being touted as being, “as powerful as the PS3.”  Some cool things about it:

-Supports wi-fi and 3G… which is a first for a portable gaming system.

-No more UMD’s (mini-discs).  The storage will be new mini flash memory cards.

-It has a touchscreen.

-It comes with front and rear cameras.

It’s reportedly set to be released later this year, which we all know means Christmas time.  With Sony rumored to be coming out with a Playstation phone, I wonder how long the PSP2 will last.  I don’t see a need for portable gaming systems anymore now that mobile gaming on smartphones is undoubtedly the future of portable gaming.