George Twopointoh can do it all, seriously. [new music + videos!]

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“For almost two years on tour bus bunks, backstage at venues, off

days, show days, at parties in Chicago, at Airports in Copenhagen, in

hotel rooms in Croatia and on stages around the world, I grew. And as

I grew, I kept record of my growth on the back of boarding passes, in

moleskins, in tweets and blogs, with Instagrams and text messages, and

emails. I’d never fancied myself a music producer, but I knew how I

wanted my stories to sound. So I soundtracked them. When it was done,

I knew it and I knew I wanted to share it. “

– George Twopointoh

You know what I love about the above quote? It’s truly inspiring to those of us who never “fancied” ourselves as   either, but have a strong desire to test it out.  George is a perfect example of what’s possible when you just try.  If you’re lucky, when you try, you just might found out you’re a genius too.

 

See:

“Check the Quote”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1qOBASH4wU&feature=youtu.be

Your eyes and ears will thank you (trust me)

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Finally – a look inside Wondaland! The W.A.S. teamed up with Sonos and the good folks at Fader to create Wondaland West – the recreation of what we all experience at Wondaland, just this time, on the west coast.  Down to the cotton candy machine, the hundreds of clocks and mirrors on the wall, and grass under your feet – Wondaland emerged in LA-LA land.  It was so fun seeing laid back LA-ers get ‘turnt up.’

Take a peak after the jump and enjoy.  🙂

BTW – new music from Roman GianArthur coming out tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I know, it’s been a while…

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Well.

I can’t promise I’m back.

But I can say that I’ve missed you.

‘Since you’ve been goneeee…’ (Hey Kelly Clarkson) I may or may not have done the following:

a) Traveled to eight states in one week

b) Partied at the White House (as if?!)

c) Took my man friend (the title boy friend is so high school) for a private plan flying lesson

d) Got a texturizer. I know, just shut up.  (BTW – the spell check is trying to correct texturizer into “pasteurizer” and that’s HILARIOUS)

e) All of the above (because there’s always an “all of the above option to confuse you)

I thought about doing a 30 before 30 post but I realized after looking at a few other 30/30 posts around the web, that I’ve long since accomplished a lot of what I wanted to do before 30.  I’ve got a job I love, a man-friend I absolutely adore, a family that gave Cliff Huxtable his blue print, some super awesome calves, a genuinely optimistic outlook on life (even in the midst of a pretty crazy ending to 2012), and I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank my older brother Trey,  and Janelle for their determination and ridiculous talent that continues to allow me extraordinary proximity to the First Family.

My 30 before 30 is pretty simple because it is way less than 30. This year I’ll finally get the “for real” flat stomach I want, (no sucking in or ANYTHING… *cheers*), and I’ll move into a new fly New York apartment.  As for the career stuff – God’s been whispering some sweet nothings into my ear so I’m expecting something fancy that only HE can do.  Go ahead and show out, I told him. I’m so ready it.

Glad to be back yall. If only for a post.

Word Up, Haaaaaay.

New Music from Wondaland!!! #DeepCotton

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This song is so funky it’s ridiculous.

A note from Deep Cotton:

Dear Sirs, your Deluxe Smile (Order# 9900) has finally arrived.

Just like you ordered. We at King Industries are very sorry it took us thirty years to fill your order.

We do realize that you placed your order in 1980 after hearing the Talking Heads’ remarkable album Remain in Light. We also realize that you contacted us again in 1987 after hearing Prince’s Sign “O” the Times, and then once again after hearing Nirvana’s Nevermind in 1991. And yes, we are quite aware that you again contacted our New York office in 2000 to curse our souls and berate us for not fulfilling your initial order after hearing Outkast’s classic Stankonia.

But your order required us to find songs written in an entire new musical genre, to discover a new sound— an adventurous band that wrote songs that were an amalgamation of the disparate things you loved— punk and funk, soul and rock, hip hop and everything in between. And to put it simply, with the rise and then demise of corporate radio and video culture, as well as the corresponding decline in artistic integrity, it has been quite difficult to find anything remotely original that doesn’t sound like it was manufactured by a gang of sexy mannequins, produced merely to score a deodorant commercial, to rape a pre-existing musical legacy or to kill society’s belief that the future exists.

But lo and behold—Dear Sirs!—we at King Industries are happy to announce that we have finally found the listening experience you have been craving and imagining for the last 25 years of your life. A liberating musical world called “haunted funk n’ roll” created by a duo named Deep Cotton. Deep Cotton consists of two musical renegades— Nate Wonder and Chuck Lightning—that seem bent on proving that there is only one rule: break the rules. Their suite Runaway Radio is like listening to thunder rumble on a summer day for the very first time. Upon hearing this music, you know that a storm is coming. A powerful tempest that will wash away the barriers in the few record stores left, a tsnami that will wash away the artifice of music marketing slogans and constrictive categories, as well as the soulless pop world of shock for shock’s sake.

Dear noble customer,

listen for yourself! As soon as the guitars come thrashing out out of the Deep Cotton anthem “Runaway Radio” your hands curl into fists, your feet begin stomping and you rush forward to grab the last two hundred items you’ve bought to burn them! You kick your monitor and press delete on every song you’ve stolen and every song you’ve bought until your computer screams and crashes and just can’t it take anymore! Yes suddenly you realize that you have been lost in a wilderness of very bad music for a very long time, and you are finally finding your way home again. And that’s not to mention the funknasty vampire love song “Fork n Knife”! A song that hits you like a stake in the heart….

Dear Sirs, let me put it plainly: Chuck Lightning’s voice is an upturned finger to
all the nonsense most call art in America, and in its jagged tones you can hear Richard Hell, George Clinton, and David Byrne having a long deep conversation about the end of the world. In contrast, Nate Wonder’s soulful voice and avant-pop sensibilities find their inspiration in pop radio, in sunshine, in Henry Mancini, in Rachimanoff, in Motown— as well as the dark boom of hip hop and the unheralded innovation of soul rebels such as Shuggie Otis, Arthur Lee, and Cody Chesnutt.

Dear Sirs, for thirty years you have been waiting so I won’t take the liberty to bore you with the sordid details of the group’s origin, the meaning of the group’s intriguing name, or countless other things that don’t matter—The only thing you rightfully care about now is the music.

So please without further ado, press play, enjoy your Deluxe Smile (order #9900) and at long last, welcome to the wondrous world of Deep Cotton….

William James Williamson II
Director of Customer Service
King Industries

Released by: The Wondaland Arts Society
Release date: Oct 1, 2012

 

New episode of “Side a Fries!!”

On this episode of Side a Fries,  Jovian and George go back into the side a fries vault and share some hot fries from the White House and a VERY special guest! They’re also joined (via phone) by musical director for Bruno Mars, Phredley Brown and more! They’ve got Kevin Olusola from Penatonix, Gary Clark Jr and of course they’re still dishing out your top fries and more! Check it out and share!

Introducing Roman Gianarthur (Watch out ladies…)

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Did I mention he’s my little brother?

Check out what Giant Step had to say when their ears caught wind of his new single!

Earlier today, miss Janelle Monae unveiled a new tune from a fellow Wondaland artistRoman GianArthur. And man, is the guy a talent. The above is his new track that mashes together D’Angelo’s “Send It On” with Radiohead’s “High & Dry.” Freakin’ sexy. What the hell.

Dude sounds like a blend between Van HuntBilal, and some fresh ‘n new radio R&B youngin’. Can’t compete with that. Oh, we mention that ol’ boy over here also produced the track? No biggie.

Full Giant Step Article

How to recognize your calling.

How do you recognize a calling?

Look for one or more of these clues….

1. You feel an unusually vivid pain or frustration around the status quo of a particular issue or topic. You strongly feel or clearly see what’s lacking.

2. You see a powerful vision–vague or clear–about what could be. That vision keeps filling your mind or tugging at your heart.

3. You feel inspired or even compelled to act. You have a mysterious, felt sense of “This work is mine to do.” You feel as if you’ve received an assignment, rather than that you chose the particular task or cause.

4. You find that actually doing the calling is a magical, strengthening process. While your inner critic might show up now and then, and while it’s hard work, you receive energy and a sense of meaning, and rightness, from doing it. You feel a kind of flow while working on it.

And… (these are the most important – and most surprising qualities of a calling)

5. You feel huge resistance. A part of you wants to run the other direction. You feel like the task is huge, and you just couldn’t possibly be up to it. It feels like this upends your plans, and doesn’t quite fit with what is convenient in your life. Keep this in mind: in the archetypal hero’s journey, step 1 is “hearing the call”. Step 2? “Resisting the call.” It’s normal. It’s part of the process. The key is eventually surrendering that resistance and stepping into the calling.

6. You don’t – yet—have everything you need to have to complete it. It’s not just irrational fear talking. It’s the truth. You don’t have everything you need. There is work to do, resources you will need to gather, and things you will need to make happen. That is a part of the beautiful stretch of the calling.

7. You aren’t – yet – the person you need to be to complete the calling. It’s true. It’s not just your inner critic. You aren’t quite up to the task. You don’t have all the qualities and strength you’ll need. And you’ll get them by doing the calling. Callings always grow us in some meaningful way. You will have to evolve, develop new capacities, and show up to life in new ways.

Now that you know about qualities 5, 6, & 7, what looks different in your life? What might you do differently, when it comes to that which you feel called to do

Thanks for sharing this with us Tara! See original post here.

What is #Obamacare and what exactly will it change?

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A simple explanation thanks to a friendly commenter over at Reddit. 

Bob: Hi, insurance company. I’d like to buy some health insurance.

Insurance company: No. You had cancer when you were 3 years old, and the cancer could come back. We’re not selling health insurance to you.

Bob: It’s not my fault I got cancer when I was three! Besides, that was years ago!

Insurance company: If we sell insurance to you, we’ll probably lose money, and we’re not doing it.

Bob: But I need insurance more than anyone! My cancer might come back!

Insurance company: We don’t care. We’re not selling you insurance.

Obama: Hey, that’s totally not fair. Bob is right, he does need insurance! Sell Bob some insurance.

Insurance company: If we have to, I guess.

Mary: This is cool. Obama said the insurance company has to sell insurance to anyone who needs it.

Sam: Hey, I have an idea. I’m going to stop paying for health insurance. If I get sick, I can always go buy some insurance then. The insurance company won’t be able to say no, because Obama’s told them they have to sell it to anyone who needs it!

Dave: that’s a great idea! I’m not paying for health insurance either, at least not until I get sick.

Insurance company: Hey! If everyone stops paying for insurance, we’ll go bankrupt!

Obama: Oh come on Sam and Dave, that’s not fair either.

Dave: I don’t care. It saves me money.

Obama: Oh for god’s sake. Sam, Dave, you have to keep paying for health insurance, and not wait until you’re sick. You too, Mary and Bob.

Mary: But I’m broke! I can’t buy insurance! I just don’t have any money.

Obama: Mary, show me your piggy bank. Oh, wow, you really are broke. Ok, tell you what. You still have to buy insurance, but I’ll help you pay 95% of the cost.

Mary: thank you.

Obama: I need an aspirin.

Insurance company: We’re not paying for that aspirin.

 

****

Another, more in-depth explanation….

Okay, explained like you’re a five year-old (well, okay, maybe a bit older), without too much oversimplification, and (hopefully) without sounding too biased:

What people call “Obamacare” is actually the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, people were calling it “Obamacare” before everyone even hammered out what it would be. It’s a term mostly used by people who don’t like the PPACA, and it’s become popularized in part because PPACA is a really long and awkward name, even when you turn it into an acronym like that.

Anyway, the PPACA made a bunch of new rules regarding health care, with the purpose of making health care more affordable for everyone. Opponents of the PPACA, on the other hand, feel that the rules it makes take away too many freedoms and force people (both individuals and businesses) to do things they shouldn’t have to.

So what does it do? Well, here is everything, in the order of when it goes into effect (because some of it happens later than other parts of it):

Already in effect:

  • It allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs (making for more competition in the market to drive down prices)
  • It increases the rebates on drugs people get through Medicare (so drugs cost less)
  • It establishes a non-profit group, that the government doesn’t directly control, PCORI, to study different kinds of treatments to see what works better and is the best use of money. ( Citation: Page 665, sec. 1181 )
  • It makes chain restaurants like McDonalds display how many calories are in all of their foods, so people can have an easier time making choices to eat healthy. ( Citation: Page 499, sec. 4205 )
  • It makes a “high-risk pool” for people with pre-existing conditions. Basically, this is a way to slowly ease into getting rid of “pre-existing conditions” altogether. For now, people who already have health issues that would be considered “pre-existing conditions” can still get insurance, but at different rates than people without them. ( Citation: Page 30, sec. 1101, Page 45, sec. 2704, and Page 46, sec. 2702 )
  • It forbids insurance companies from discriminating based on a disability, or because they were the victim of domestic abuse in the past (yes, insurers really did deny coverage for that) ( Citation: Page 47, sec. 2705 )
  • It renews some old policies, and calls for the appointment of various positions.
  • It creates a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths. ( Citation: Page 923, sec. 5000B )
  • It says that health insurance companies can no longer tell customers that they won’t get any more coverage because they have hit a “lifetime limit”. Basically, if someone has paid for health insurance, that company can’t tell that person that he’s used that insurance too much throughout his life so they won’t cover him any more. They can’t do this for lifetime spending, and they’re limited in how much they can do this for yearly spending. ( Citation: Page 14, sec. 2711 )
  • Kids can continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26. ( Citation: Page 15, sec. 2714 )
  • No more “pre-existing conditions” for kids under the age of 19.
  • Insurers have less ability to change the amount customers have to pay for their plans.
  • People in a “Medicare Gap” get a rebate to make up for the extra money they would otherwise have to spend.
  • Insurers can’t just drop customers once they get sick. ( Citation: Page 14, sec. 2712 )
  • Insurers have to tell customers what they’re spending money on. (Instead of just “administrative fee”, they have to be more specific).
  • Insurers need to have an appeals process for when they turn down a claim, so customers have some manner of recourse other than a lawsuit when they’re turned down.
  • Anti-fraud funding is increased and new ways to stop fraud are created. ( Citation: Page 699, sec. 6402 )
  • Medicare extends to smaller hospitals.
  • Medicare patients with chronic illnesses must be monitored more thoroughly.
  • Reduces the costs for some companies that handle benefits for the elderly.
  • A new website is made to give people insurance and health information. (I think this is it: http://www.healthcare.gov/ ).
  • A credit program is made that will make it easier for business to invest in new ways to treat illness.
  • A limit is placed on just how much of a percentage of the money an insurer makes can be profit, to make sure they’re not price-gouging customers.
  • A limit is placed on what type of insurance accounts can be used to pay for over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. Basically, your insurer isn’t paying for the Aspirin you bought for that hangover.
  • Employers need to list the benefits they provided to employees on their tax forms.

8/1/2012

  • Any health plans sold after this date must provide preventative care (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) without requiring any sort of co-pay or charge.

1/1/2013

  • If you make over $200,000 a year, your taxes go up a tiny bit (0.9%). Edit: To address those who take issue with the word “tiny”, a change of 0.9% is relatively tiny. Any look at how taxes have fluctuated over the years will reveal that a change of less than one percent is miniscule, especially when we’re talking about people in the top 5% of earners. ( Citation: Page 818, sec. 9015 )

1/1/2014

This is when a lot of the really big changes happen.

  • No more “pre-existing conditions”. At all. People will be charged the same regardless of their medical history.
  • If you can afford insurance but do not get it, you will be charged a fee. This is the “mandate” that people are talking about. Basically, it’s a trade-off for the “pre-existing conditions” bit, saying that since insurers now have to cover you regardless of what you have, you can’t just wait to buy insurance until you get sick. Otherwise no one would buy insurance until they needed it. You can opt not to get insurance, but you’ll have to pay the fee instead, unless of course you’re not buying insurance because you just can’t afford it.
  • Insurers now can’t do annual spending caps. Their customers can get as much health care in a given year as they need. ( Citation: Page 14, sec. 2711 )
  • Make it so more poor people can get Medicaid by making the low-income cut-off higher.
  • Small businesses get some tax credits for two years. ( Citation: Page 138, sec. 1421 )
  • Businesses with over 50 employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees, or pay a penalty.
  • Limits how high of an annual deductible insurers can charge customers.
  • Cut some Medicare spending
  • Place a $2500 limit on tax-free spending on FSAs (accounts for medical spending). Basically, people using these accounts now have to pay taxes on any money over $2500 they put into them. ( Citation: Page 801, sec. 9005 )
  • Establish health insurance exchanges and rebates for the lower and middle-class, basically making it so they have an easier time getting affordable medical coverage.
  • Congress and Congressional staff will only be offered the same insurance offered to people in the insurance exchanges, rather than Federal Insurance. Basically, we won’t be footing their health care bills any more than any other American citizen. ( Citation: Page 81, sec. 1312 )
  • A new tax on pharmaceutical companies.
  • A new tax on the purchase of medical devices.
  • A new tax on insurance companies based on their market share. Basically, the more of the market they control, the more they’ll get taxed.
  • The amount you can deduct from your taxes for medical expenses increases.

1/1/2015

  • Doctors’ pay will be determined by the quality of their care, not how many people they treat. Edit: a_real_MD addresses questions regarding this one in far more detail and with far more expertise than I can offer in this post. If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation of this one (as many of you are), I highly recommend you give his post a read.

1/1/2017

  • If any state can come up with their own plan, one which gives citizens the same level of care at the same price as the PPACA, they can ask the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for permission to do their plan instead of the PPACA. So if they can get the same results without, say, the mandate, they can be allowed to do so. Vermont, for example, has expressed a desire to just go straight to single-payer (in simple terms, everyone is covered, and medical expenses are paid by taxpayers). ( Citation: Page 98, sec. 1332 )

2018

  • All health care plans must now cover preventative care (not just the new ones).
  • A new tax on “Cadillac” health care plans (more expensive plans for rich people who want fancier coverage).

2020

  • The elimination of the “Medicare gap”

Aaaaand that’s it right there.

The biggest thing opponents of the bill have against it is the mandate. They claim that it forces people to buy insurance, and forcing people to buy something is unconstitutional. Personally, I take the opposite view, as it’s not telling people to buy a specific thing, just to have a specific type of thing, just like a part of the money we pay in taxes pays for the police and firemen who protect us, this would have us paying to ensure doctors can treat us for illness and injury.

– Quoted from reddit.  Read more here!

Related articles: http://nbcpolitics.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/28/12457822-supreme-court-upholds-health-care-law?lite