Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Celebrities Bringin' Sexy Back...to the Environment

eco-crusader Justin Timberlake

The list of celebrities who support sustainability, alternative energy, and green construction is lengthy. Moreover, the list is also long for those who champion issues like deforestation, climate change, population growth, and the seemingly rapid extinction of many species of animals and plants. The impressive list of eco-friendly celebrities includes Cate Blachett, Robert Redford, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Harrison Ford.

Justin Timberlake is the most recent celebrity to make huge waves in this arena. He has taken the term eco-cred to new and commanding heights with his golf course in Memphis, Tennessee. It opened on July 25 to great fanfare and public interest. Why? Because Timberlake invested $16 million of his own money to make it the "greenest" golfing course in the United States.

That's hot! Yeah, like, smokin hot!

His sprawling 303 acre course, called Mirimichi Lakes, is the first in the U.S. to receive the Audubon International's Classic Sanctuary certification. According to Timberlake, when his pioneering course is complete sometime this Summer, it will be a Platinum LEED certified green course, making it the first in the United States.

Yes, I'm an an avid golfer and a huge Timberlake fan. But as an environmental activist, I see this as great news on top of freakin' fantastic news. For a long time, being eco-friendly wasn't exactly the sexiest thing on the planet. But as long as we have folks like Timberlake using the equity of his celebrity to move green issues and concerns forward, then there's hope humanity will vigorously embrace the benefits of being green, and seize the moment to protect our planet.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

10 Awesome Chefs on Twitter (You Need to Follow)

As a young boy, my family exposed me to dishes from around the world: Chelow Kebab, Pisca Andina, Chicken Satay, Hoender Pastei, and Scone-Topped Beef Casserole. In fact, the Ethiopian Restaurant at the corner of 18th and Columbia Road in D.C. was my absolute favorite as a kid. Though nowhere near being a chef myself, I appreciate the care and time put into a great meal, and I am always curious of the cultural significance and history behind the meal in question.

I grew up with the notion that great cuisine is not simply an art, but also, a language. The spices, all of the ingredients, and the aroma speak to you, and sing to you, and romance your taste buds. In fact, the recipes of renowned New York City Chef and author Marcus Samuelsson do this quite well.

Three of my friends on Twitter – ybeitollahi, 1happyjourney, and YllwCkeNoFrstng – are some of the top food enthusiasts I know (and the inspiration for this post). I look forward to their tweets about trying delicious foods. And, I look forward to reading the tweets of the 10 chefs below. It’s not just their individual recipes, but also, their unique culinary perspective in general. Each chef can be correctly described as a culinary force of nature. Check out their pages, cook their recipes, and share their flavor with your friends. And please post other chefs on Twitter in the comment section below.

B. Smith /@BSmithstyle

This former supermodel is not only a popular TV host and author of two massive bestselling cookbooks, B. Smith's Entertaining and Cooking for Friends and B. Smith: Rituals & Celebrations, but also has three thriving, award-winning restaurants in Washington DC and New York State. Her Black Bean Chorizo Soup is truly delectable.

Bridget Davis /@Bridget_CooKs

Davis is one of Australia's premier chefs and a serious flavor profiler. Her sterling culinary reputation extends far beyond the boundaries her continent. I just recently tried her truly smokin' recipe for Bang Bang Chicken! It's hot! http://www.theinternetchef.biz/

Guillaume Alinat /@chefgui

Alinat is a popular chef, blogger, and food writer. But the highlight of his website, for me, is his Itinerant Cookbook Project, which involves 10 cookbooks "traveling from hand to hand, kitchen to kitchen, city to city, continent to continent, with all 'traveling' being recorded and documented." Very original idea! http://www.chefgui.com/

Jaden /@steamykitchen

Jaden is a popular food writer for the Tampa Tribune and a daytime television chef on Tampa Bay's CBS affiliate. I tried her Japanese Noodles with Shimeji Mushroom recipe and I highly recommend it! Check out her blog at

Aaron McCargo Jr. /@ChefMcCargo

As a Food Network Chef, and host of the highly rated Big Daddy's House, McCargo's rise has been well-documented. His Fried Catfish Filets and Grilled Corn & Chipotle Pepper Salad are tasty! He shares his recipes, insights, and experiences on his popular blog: http://www.aaronmccargo.blogspot.com/.

Debbie Frangipane /@dolcedebbie

As Executive Chef and Culinary Director for Savory Adventures, Debbie and her husband Barry frequently host luxury getaways to Italy’s most exclusive destinations. Her Lemon Baked Chicken & Three Potato Salad recipes are keepers! www.savoryadventures.com.

Peter Bowen /@5MinuteGourmet

Bowen creates gourmet dishes in five minutes. Yes, 5 minutes. He is committed to helping folks create great gourmet meals in just minutes! In fact, a lady friend made his Asian Chicken Stir Fry meal for our dinner date months ago. Great taste! Check out all of his recipes: http://www.youtube.com/user/5MGourmet

Kathy Barrioz Glenn /@ChefKathy

Glenn is a personal chef, consultant, tea aficionado, and she has a great, thorough list of people and groups her services appeal to. I love her Greek Styled Baked Chicken. It's a winner! http://www.specialthymes.com/

David Lawrence /@ChefDaveLA

Lawrence is a private chef, a food blogger, and self-styled kitchen rock star. He is the bestselling author of Boy Eats World, a book of 150 recipes. His Filet Mignon with Blackberry Cabernet Sauce is delicious: http://chefdavidlawrence.com/

Bethenny Frankel /@Bethenny

Frankel is a Natural Food Chef and graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts. A bestselling author of Naturally Thin, she has some pretty cool recipes I've tried recently: her delicious Mexican Turkey Burger, and her Asian Glazed Sea Bass. Top notch! http://www.bethenny.com/

Thursday, July 16, 2009

4 Reasons Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Could Be President or Vice-President in 2016

I've said for sometime that a woman will be president or vice-president in 2016. Yes. Trust me. I believe it wholeheartedly. A woman whose name is in the mix is U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. I know, I know, you're saying, "I’ve never heard of her. She doesn't have the name recognition of Sarah Palin or the major public policy buzz of Kathleen Sebelius. And she's not a Governor or U.S. Senator." All of this true. But Schultz is riding a wave that will only get bigger. And picking her has its advantages.

Here are 4 reasons she could be on the Democrats' 2016 National Ticket:

Democratic Unifier – Throughout the 2007 and 2008 Primary Season, Schultz was resolute in her support for Hillary Clinton. Whether on TV, radio, or in the blogosphere, Schultz was an unflappable supporter. But when Barack Obama won the Democratic Nomination, Schultz quickly endorsed him and campaigned vigorously. None of this has been lost on any of the Democratic Party constituencies. Her tireless efforts to unify the Obama and Clinton camps won her kudos from the party faithful, and instantly made her a power player in national politics.

Florida, Florida, Florida – Schultz represents Florida in the U.S. Congress, and coincidentally, Florida is a swing state and a bellwether state, as both major political parties covet its huge batch of electoral votes. It has heavily Democratic Miami, heavily Republican Jacksonville, as well as the sparsely populated panhandle which is also reliably Republican. But Schultz is the type of Floridian who could tap into and solidify the robust population growth among the I-4 corridor that connects Daytona Beach, Orlando, and Tampa. This would keep the state Democratic.

Her Jewish Heritage – For years, it was a forgone conclusion that a Jewish American would never make it to The White House. But with the more tolerant views of 80 million politically involved millennials (who helped elect President Obama), Schultz’ Jewish heritage won’t be a liability. It would be interesting to see how she approaches the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict which continues to impact our Middle East Foreign Policy. Moreover, her presence would ensure a record turnout among American Jews – a turnout that could be higher than even Joseph Lieberman was able to deliver as the V.P. Candidate for Al Gore in 2000.

The Years 2016 & 2020 – What’s the significance of 2016? Because it's the 100th anniversary of Jeannette Rankin being the first woman elected to the Congress. Her election was all the more remarkable because women couldn't vote at that time, and were clearly relegated to second class citizenship. All of this means 2016 will be sturdy a bridge to 2020, which is the 100th anniversary of the woman’s right to vote in America. See how things could shape up? It promises to be a very reflective, euphoric, and celebratory period, and Schultz (with her considerable political gifts) could take full advantage of the great national mood 2016 & 2020 will engender.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Upcoming Movie Thriller "District 9"

The eagerly anticipated thriller District 9 promises to not only be a creative triumph, but also an engrossing, thought-provoking vision about the clash of civilizations. The movie represents another genre-bending film for super-producer Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame. Though it has an extraterrestrial element, the film’s subject matter couldn’t be more earthly: xenophobia, social unrest, citizenship, minority rights, and yes, state secrets.

It won’t be lost on the viewer that District 9 was filmed entirely in South Africa, a country with its own tortured past regarding the brutal Apartheid System. But it becomes abundantly clear that the movie speaks to pressing issues that tax the emotions and spirits of every region of our planet.

Peep the movie's powerful and haunting trailer:

DISTRICT 9 Official Trailer - Watch more Funny Videos

Thursday, July 9, 2009

10 Dynamic Duos on Twitter (You Need to Follow)

All over Twitter Nation, men and women are blazing trails of greatness. They're creating an economically constructive future; moving humanity to aggressively embrace sustainable living; connecting with the world's people in extraordinary ways; evolving great solutions to our most pressing problems, etc. Some do it by themselves. Others do it in big groups. While others make their mark in twos. And the 10 dynamic duos below qualify in this regard.

Michael & Bianca Alexander /@ConsciousTV
Michael & Bianca are the hosts of Conscious Living TV. Going into its 5th season, the show highlights the best in health, spirituality, and sustainability. The combination of their incredible, multi-faceted backgrounds produces a top-notch, tour-de-force show that's not to be missed: www.consciouslivingtv.com/

Audrey Scott & Daniel Noll /@umarket
Audrey & Daniel have been all over the world, and have chronicled it in their award-winning travelouge www.uncorneredmarket.com/. Their global exploration (going on 3 years) has yielded great human stories, travel photography and street food reportage. In fact, their pictures of Asian mountain ranges (which can be seen here) is nothing short of breathtaking.

Karen Catchpole & Eric Mohl /@TransAmericas
Karen & Eric are world travelers too. Their awesome Trans-America Journey has gone more than 4 Years, over 200,000 miles, through North, Central & South America. Their travels have produced awe-inspiring pictures, and amazing insights. It's hard not being impressed with their cool travelouge: www.trans-americas.com/

Ed & Deb Shapiro /@edanddebshapiro
Best-selling authors of 15 books, Ed & Deb Shapiro have weekly blogposts on the Huffingtonpost Living Section. They are creators and authors of the Chillout Alerts, which are great inspirational text messages. They're most recent book, Your Body Speaks Your Mind, is a truly fantastic read: www.edanddebshapiro.com/

Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks /@GayHendricks
Bestselling authors Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks also have popular blogposts that appear on the Huffingtonpost Living Section. Their eloquent, well-written post on the positive qualities and benefits of Barack and Michelle Obama's relationship is indeed a literary masterpiece. They run the world-renowned Hendricks Institute in Ojai, CA, where they teach seminars on conscious relationships and bodymind vibrance: www.hendricks.com/

Beth Banning & Neill Gibson /@NewAgeSelfHelp
Beth & Neill's website, www.newageselfhelp.com/, promotes a "New Age" of people helping themselves, and achieving tremendous growth and spiritual development in the process. I like their approach.

Joy & Alan Selch /@joynalan
Joy & Alan recruit entrepreneurs looking to make money with a hugely successful, automated, turn-key, sales and marketing system: www.joyousprosperityvision.com/

Mike & Kate Hagen /@mikekatehagen
Mike & Kate veteran marketers, trainers, success coaches, and motivators who are self-made millionaires and do full time Network Marketing: www.mikehagenonline.com/

Matt & Bethany Hall /@AskTheHalls
Matt & Bethany have a great site www.askthehalls.com/. Their site empowers entrepreneurs, and business-minded people, with information about how to use social networking sites, as well as practical things anyone should do to be successful.

Miles & Melanie /@SOCSuccess
Miles & Melanie are apart of a firm called Send out Cards. This really caught my eye because 60 seconds is all it takes to send a printed greeting card with a message. Super cool concept, and very industrious couple. http://www.getrichsomeday.com/

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Got "Slumdog" Withdrawal?!

You know what I mean: you enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire s-o-o-o much that you're hoping something else like it will appear on the horizon, something that could produce the same movie magic and evoke the same sense satisfaction. Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but ever since I saw Slumdog Millionaire last year, no movie has even measured up.

And look, I've see a lot of movies this year. The independent, moderate budget flicks - The Soloist, My Sister's Keeper, The Proposal, & Away We Go - are my favorites so far. Yes, the fanboy in me really got a thrill from Terminator Salvation, Pelham 123, Public Enemies, Star Trek, X-Men Origins, and Transformers. And the big kid in me really enjoyed Monsters vs. Aliens, Up, and the Ice Age and Night at The Museum sequels. I must admit, it’s been a banner year.

But nothing, I mean nothing, has even come close to the power of Slumdog Millionaire. It was the most rewarding movie experience that I've had in a long time. I walked out of the theatre with boundless energy, and the Herculean belief that I could move The Himalayas if they were an obstacle. The movie packs an unforgettable emotional punch, and it's a visually dazzling feast from beginning to end. It's what movie making is all about: stylistic greatness and unmistakable originality. Remember The Color Purple and the spider coming out of the hole as Celie looks through Mister's belongings? Classic! Remember Aunt May talking to Peter Parker in Spider Man 2 about how people believe in folks who do the right thing? Classic! Remember the extended sequence of colonial-era music and violent clashes toward the end of Last of the Mohicans? Classic!

I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Eventually, I'll get over my longing for "another Slumdog-esque movie". More great movies and masterpieces will emerge, and my Slumdog withdrawal symptoms will be gone. Well, here's hoping we get many more great, original, and extraordinary films in the years to come. But right now, in this very minute, as of this second, Slumdog still rules!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

One of the World's Best Music Artists Who Is Not On Twitter (But Should Be)

My friends know that I have some seriously diverse musical tastes. I love country, soft rock, smooth jazz and hip hop. I grew up on Disco, classic R&B, and 80's rock. No one sound defines who I am. And this is why I absolutely love the sound, artistry, and musicianship of superstar James Morrison. His indefinable style is like no other in popular music today. He can lay down a track with the soulfulness of Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding. He can channel the easy listening sounds of Hall & Oats, Kenny Loggins, and Christopher Cross. Yes, this man rocks the house!

But surprisingly, he doesn't have a Twitter account. What's up with that? He has a page on Myspace, but not Twitter? Hopefully he'll get one soon. His lyrics are rich, and they're layered with great emotion and power. If you search MTVmusic.com or VH1.com, they only have three of his videos. So I decided to put on 7 of his videos for readers of this blog. When he comes from his home country of England to tour America again, snatch up those tickets. He rocks. And if you know him personally, tell him that I said for him to get a Twitter page so I can follow him.

Below are 7 of his videos, with songs I know you're going to enjoy:






BROKEN STRINGS (Featuring Nelly Furtado)