Hip-Hop Music and Dance Style

The hip-hop culture is about twenty years old. Yes, it is more like a culture. Hip Hop is just not music it is far more than just music, lyrics and videos. There are many people, who even today think that hip-hop is just something about a Rap producers and artist.

The Hip-hop dance basically originated in New York by some young African-American and Hispanic men during the period of late 1960s, it was originated as part of the hip-hop culture of graffiti art, rap and scratch music. The hip-hop dance always keeps changing but it is essentially embraced by two different styles one is of break dance and another is body popping. The break dance you can say is a form of athletic solo in which the dancer or the performer enters in to the dance arena in a sideways motion and then breaks or dives to the floor, then spins around on his shoulders, head or buttocks and ends up with a freeze position. Body popping whereas involves a series of very fast, sharp actions those travel all through the body much in a way as robotic-looking alternations of moves and then freeze. The hip-hop dance and hip-hop music became internationally popular since late 1970s and now, it is often incorporated into theatre dance.

The main aspect of hip hop music and dancing that makes the style would be the passion for dancing as well as expressing your emotions. It is always good to have some kind of skills like technique only thing is the way you can develop the movements is just by believing in yourself and also feeling those emotions and at the same time have fun and feel the beats as well.

Hip hop is considered as a musical genre which is developed as part of the hip hop culture, and it is defined by some key stylistic components like rapping, scratching DJing, sampling, beat boxing etc. Rapping which is also referred to as MCing or even emceeing it is basically a vocal style where in the artist speaks or sings lyrically, in rhyme and in verse, usually to synthesized beat or an instrumental beats. Beats are always of about 4/4 time signature, and looping different portions of various other songs, usually done by a DJ, can form them or the producer samples it from portions of some songs. Today’s modern beats mostly incorporate drum machines, synthesizers as well as live bands. Rappers write, improvise or memorize their lyrics and perform to a beat.

The State of the Martial Arts Industry – Mixed Martial Arts Goes Big Time

Many pundits say that the Lessner-Couture fight marked the beginning of a new era of Mixed Martial Arts. I happen to agree. MMA journalist, Joe Rizzo of the internet talk show “The Rear Naked Choke” expressed this sentiment in a recent pod cast and I couldn’t agree more. I’ll go one step further and PREDICT the next evolution of the sport of MMA and the Martial Arts industry.

Mixed martial arts will go the way of boxing and take its place among at the top of the of American combat sports. It’s faster and it has an edge that meets the demands of our grow-up-to-soon, over-exposed youth. The sport of mixed martial arts will continue to grow, regulated and controlled to meet the safety standards of each state. I would NOT be surprised to see MMA become an Olympic sport in the next 16 years.

MMA will take the path of all professional sports. If we look at the boxing model, fighters come out of small local gyms, fight in small venues as they work their way up the food chain. They get picked up by promoters and handled by managers and trainers.

For MMA it will be even harder to break in. The Cinderella, rags to riches story of a kid learning MMA at his local boys club is highly unlikely to happen. The future of MMA will come from Amateur and Collegiate wrestling. It has already happened. The vast majority of champions have a wrestling back ground. Good striking skills only take a few years to develop and submissions even less than that (you can build up a decent submission DEFENSE in about a year.)

Wrestling in the US has a tremendous infrastructure and talent pool to choose from. On the elite college level, wrestlers already have the work ethic, the attitude, body awareness and of course superior grappling and scrambling skills. As the payday for MMA increases, it becomes a viable option for elite college wrestlers to pursue. The only other options were go to the Olympics or go to work.

I only hope the athletes get their due, which is going to happen since most of them are college graduates, they have more OPTIONS than a starving kid form the street. The path of the MMA fighter will be wrestle and maybe do some Judo or BJJ as a youth. When he’s out of college or high school, he should learn to strike: boxing and muay thai. He will lead a Spartan lifestyle and seek out higher levels of competition in order to improve. This doesn’t happen at the local studio, it can’t.

What will continue to happen is college wrestlers will be recruited MORE by MMA promoters. I even for see an MMA draft. Athletes will be recruited and placed in in training camps. They will be developed, just like any other pro athlete.

The day of the small local MMA club is gone. The idea of having MMA at the local martial arts school will be the same as teaching cardio kick boxing or aerobics (it’s almost there now- most guys just don’t know it yet.) There will always be the exception, but on the whole, there in no way that someone who starts training at their local club will be able to compete with a collegiate elite wrestler; NO WAY, NO HOW. MMA will be the business it inspires to be: Major sports entertainment.

So where does that leave the state of martial arts? Martial arts will always have it’s niche, cult following. It’s the nature of the beast, but that ONLY attracts a small percentage of people who are looking for that lifestyle. The vast majority of adult practitioners look to martial arts for self defense training. Adult martial arts will be another tool to help them live their lives better. Programs must focus on fitness and self defense to survive. In the next 5 years, if you’re not in the self defense and fitness business and you continue to offer ONLY martial arts programs, you’re going to be stuck and forgotten.

The mixed martial arts and grappling era on the local level will be soon over. Unless you are teaching wrestling, judo or BJJ you will not be able to compete. Offering MMA in the near future will be like offering professional football or basketball classes.

While most people enjoy watching football, they aren’t about to go play professionally. But they still have an interest in related activities. As MMA grows, they will have an interest but no desire to jump in the ring- even if they tried, there won’t be much opportunity. But there is always a need for self defense skills. Today’s student just wants the facts, the skills and go about there lives. If you’re teaching in a traditional style dojo, you better incorporate self defense training into your program or you can say good bye to your adult program.

Adults are interested in martial arts will want to do only two things: Learn self defense and get in shape. Will you be there for the turn?

Entertainment, In Its Real Term

Entertainment actually is an action or a movement that consists of any activities which grant a recreation, or diversion in the daily routine. It allows people to engross themselves in their spare time. Entertainment is usually passive, such as viewing opera, film or a theatrical show. It has given society a place where they can take a break from there stress full life. Entertainment has given society a getaway from veracity, which at instant proves quite demanding, hectic, difficult and challenging.

Arts & Entertainment industry does not hold the logical and the significant discussions they just emphasize the news and the amusing, enjoyable and pleasurable fact facts related to numerous stuff. Entertainment in its real term is an industry that endows with amusement and gives people a relief from the daily anxiety, it has dominated certainty.

The relaxation, recreation and leisure that entertainment provides are essential for the largely dispersed people leading a very busy life. There well being, there happiness and enthusiasm all depends on this 13 letter word. Tranquility, harmony and calmness can be achieved through relaxation and this relaxation is achieved by entertainment. It serves many purposes. “Entertain me” is a visualized way of saying, “edify me something in an inspiring fashion.”

Now everything in the world has its own pros and cons. Entertainment is also a part and partial activity of society living in the world. So it has its own merits and demerits. Some amusement might be hurtful to society because it may be degrading the values of society, and lacking enlightening fortification. If entertainment is causing distraction really it is sure to ruin the society. The reason behind this is just like books, essays, poetry, biographies and every literary style one can name, entertainment get done with same dream which we have been trying to fulfill since year long. Entertainment, definite, as live music, television, video games, movies, and theater, has caused the failure of society in many respects such as augmented violence, increased sex and amplified vulgarity. Violence, especially immature violence, has considerably increased over the past few decades and if not 100% I believe that majority of this is a outcome of aggression, hostility and violence in television video games movies, and music.

Recession Proof Your Arts & Crafts Business

We all know that the Arts and Crafts Business is not the easiest business to be successful in, even in the best of economic times. This business is fraught with ups and downs that are beyond your control.

Trends that are hot for months or years suddenly die out, and new and unexpected hot niches develop overnight. There are some things that you can do to help you Arts & Crafts business be successful over the next few years.

The good news is that money is not going to disappear. There will still be people buying gifts and decorating homes and going on holidays. All of these people will be trying to get the best value for every dollar that they spend in any circumstance.

Sell The Service Aspect If you are selling arts and crafts your market may change a bit. People will be looking for quality, and exact fit to their needs. So in these recession economic times service becomes extremely important. If you are a producer of arts or crafts can you do custom work. Can you make a painting of the same theme but scaled to fit the customers exact measurements? Can you install that custom piece of furniture that you built. Are there colors or finishes you can offer that your competitors can’t duplicate?

Service becomes very important and people will be willing to pay a little more for a product if there is tons of high quality service to back it up. To be successful in recessionary times you will have to work harder, but your business will benefit in the long run from this.

Have Multiple Price Points Depending on your art or craft, price point may become an issue. Take painting as an example. You may have been selling large canvasses (4 feet by 6 feet as an example) and start to see a slow down in this niche part of this market. Try making a few canvasses in the 3 feet by 4 feet and 2 feet by 3 feet size. Keep some of the larger canvasses to attract your buyers. You will find many will opt for the smaller canvasses if they have financial considerations.

Try to develop several price points, so that you are broadening the appeal to your customers. There will occasionally be sales of the high ticket items. You will find most of your sales come from the mid price products so make sure you have lots of the mid range on hand.

An old tip but still works, is to take your top end and make that your mid-range price point. Suddenly you have up scaled your business and your customers will still tend to buy what you normally produce. This is a bit tricky as you don’t want to invest heavily in your new top end products. It can make you top heavy and set you up for a financial crash.

Give Classes If you are skilled in your medium or if you are a store owner and have a good relationship with your artisans, set up classes in the process. Many people can justify the expense of a course in “Learn How To Make______” (fill in the blank with your idea) before they can justify the purchase. With courses there is opportunity to sell supplies, tools, books, and secondary level courses. Done well this can be very lucrative. People develop an interest in the arts and crafts, and in their minds they are getting good value for their money. They are having fun, socializing, making something that gives them pleasure, and being entertained all at the same time.

One fee and they receive so much benefit. It just happens that you receive some financial benefit as well.

Use The Internet The most powerful marketing tool of the modern age is the Internet. If sales of your particular arts & crafts endeavor have slipped in your area, it doesn’t mean that they have dropped in another geographic region. You need a website and should promote your business to the whole world. This broadens your potential customer base to massive proportions. It is not as hard to build a website as you might think.

If you are a potter you can promote your pottery to galleries all over the world as well as have “walk in traffic” to your own website. Consider using video of the forming process to interest customers in the hands on aspect of your art or craft.

Recessionary times need not cripple your business. Always keep you customer in mind and go that extra step to make them feel valued. You may have to work a bit harder for the next little while but that doesn’t mean you can’t survive it.

Picking a Model For Your Martial Arts Business

The Producer Model

The producer’s job is to find talent, and basically promote that talent. In the producer model the owner acts as the program director and trains instructors as the talent. The producer’s job as the program director is to sell the talent he has trained to benefit as many people in his community as possible with his martial arts business.

The Talent Model

The other way to set up your school is for you, the owner, to be the talent. You may want to be the instructor because you are the person who is obviously the most passionate about sharing your knowledge. But as the talent you then need to find someone who can take on the producer role or program director role in your martial arts business. This person will help you market and help you sell your talent to your community.

For a quick lesson look at the entertainment business and model your martial arts business after it. The producer and the talent work hand in hand together just like good program directors and instructors do.

Being by yourself…

After a certain point it is very hard to grow your school by yourself. Imagine if the great pop star didn’t have a team behind her? There will come a time when trying to promote your skills all alone becomes very difficult. That’s when you’ll have to pick a model for your martial arts school.

You must decide which role you want to take on – Instructor or program director. If you want to be the instructor your key role is to align yourself with someone who has good communication skills. They’ll be dealing with people one on one and in group settings. Your program director must also believe in your mission.

If you choose to take on the opposite role you’ll act as the producer and find talent to proliferate your art. You must then train your talent and set them up for success by giving them class plans and standards to follow. Then, you must keep them happy with adequate compensation.

You can certainly use your skills to rotate between jobs until you decide which way you want to go. Just never forget that’s it’s really hard to build a martial arts business all by yourself. Which ever role you choose find talented people to take on responsibility who believe in the martial arts and the mission of your business.

Music Entertainment in Victoria BC

As you would expect of a tourist destination and cultural hub, Victoria boasts a vibrant music scene. Whether you like classical, jazz, blues, rock&roll or electronic, you’ll find your style of musical entertainment. Annual festivals, as well as numerous concerts and performances take place in the city each year, featuring international touring musical acts and local artists.

Live Victoria is a great site for show listings and more. The focus here is on rock&roll but you can find info about electronic shows here too. The forum on this website is helpful for musicians to find instruments and equipment, and to connect with each other. So if you want to start or join a band…

Rave Victoria will help you learn all you need to know about rave entertainment in Victoria, including safety advice and forums for ravers to hook up with each other and of course, party listings;

The Victoria Conservatory of Music is the recognized core institution for all forms of classical music in Greater Victoria. This non-profit association was formed in 1964 and has since worked to support the teaching, learning and performance of music at all levels and to foster a thriving community of music lovers.

· Their vision: To be a centre of excellence for music through education, performance and music therapy.

· Their Mission: To enrich lives through music as a regional centre of excellence, open and accessible to all who desire a meaningful connection with music.

The Victoria Jazz Society is a local organization working to enrich the Jazz and Blues community. The Society produces two major music festivals each year; the Vancouver Island Blues Bash and the TD Victoria International Jazzfest, as well as a jam-packed concert series featuring artists from all over.

The Victoria Symphony is one of the largest performing arts organizations on Vancouver Island. Now in its 70th year of operation, the Symphony will produce more than 50 performances between September and May. Each year during the BC Day long weekend the Victoria Symphony presents the very popular Symphony Splash at Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

The Early Music Society of the Islands (EMSI), founded in 1985, is a non-profit volunteer run society which produces concerts by internationally reknowned soloists and ensembles, as well as accomplished local musicians. The focus of the EMSI is to feature original instruments, historical performance practices and accurate scores.

New in 2011, the Victoria International Buskers Festival entertained folks with all sorts of free street performances, some of which were musical. This fun event is already scheduled to return in July of 2012, you should check it out next summer.

5 Easy Steps To Become A Millionaire: What Most People Don’t Realize

Over the past years I have researched into this matter and I realized that there is an easy approach in becoming a Millionaire which most people don’t notice or seem to be ignoring. I have put this approach into 5easy Steps. If you follow these steps and take them into action, I guarantee you will be a Millionaire in no time.

1. Desire: To become a Millionaire, first you will have to have the desire for it; this will be an edge to make you strive very hard to achieve what you want.

2. Focus: You will have to be focus on what you want and don’t let anything interrupt it no matter what.

3. Search: It is very important to search for opportunities but in this case the best opportunity to search for is to learn from other Millionaires. Being a Millionaire takes a lot more but the best, fast and easier way to become a Millionaire is actually Learning from the Millionaires themselves. There are so many Millionaires out there who are willing to teach anyone who is interested to follow their footsteps. They provide Ideas on Entrepreneurship, Step by step training, solutions, Businesses etc. in so many fields like Art & Entertainment, Betting, Business/ Investing, Computer/ Internet, Cooking, food &wine, E- Business & E- Marketing, Employments & Jobs, Fiction, Games, Green Products, Health & Fitness, Higher Education, Home & Garden, Languages, Mobile, parenting & Family, Self-help, Software & services, Sports, Travel etc. All you need to do is to search for the right one that suite your interest. You will have to be very careful when searching on these because there are a lot of scams out there who are ready to scam you.

4.Invest: To become a Millionaire, one most important thing you should know is dedication. You will have to be dedicated in what you do. You usually do this by investing your Money and time in what you do in order to achieve your purpose. Most of these Millionaires and Entrepreneurs will ask you to purchase some form of Guide, become a member or for training. They sell these things for a small fee and is nothing compared to what you will be acquiring to become a Millionaire, These fees they charge you are to make you committed and dedicated to what you want and to achieve it since you paid for it. You should also be dedicated to invest your time to learn everything they teach you to become one of them.

5.Action: After having the great desire to becoming a Millionaire, Focused on what you want, searched for exactly what you are focused on, Invested your money and Time on what you want, Now you will have to take a serious action to what you want by doing exactly what the Millionaires have thought you in order to become one of them and to be your own Entrepreneur if you want.

These are the 5easy steps to becoming a Millionaire, I hope this have been helpful to you, the most important thing you have to do is to search for the right sources for information.Keep this in mind, to become a Millionaire all you need to do is to BELIEVE and take ACTION.

Hollywood – Martial Arts – And The World Of Hip Hop

Now brewing beer for almost 250 years and served in some 150 countries, Guinness Stout was founded as a family-owned brewery in Dublin, Ireland by Arthur Guinness. Not only is Guinness a top beverage in its own country, but even down in Jamaica the dreads swear by it, serve it up, and sip it down; ice cold, or at room temperature. Lots of big business has come out of ‘Sir Arthur’s’ product, which is known the world over, and spreading…

Truthfully, many affiliations between big business and the music industry have netted fruitful endeavors for all parties involved. And now, a university-level homework assignment: see if you can use a keen eye to find a few more examples of relationships between big business, government, or social organizations with the Rap community. Chances are, there’s probably some right around you; you may not have even been aware of them before. Hint: Take a good look at those motion pictures hitting the big screen. Here’s an interesting scenario for you to sink your teeth into…action!

Celebrity Will Smith laughed his way straight to the bank when many Rap fans wrote “DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince” off as lame. But before ‘the show’ was over, Smith got the starring role on TV sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” which debuted in 1990. The show had a long successful run, and continues running in syndication. Will Smith ‘the rapper’ performed the theme song, while Will Smith ‘the actor’ made sure his Rap music homey Jazzy Jeff was also cast in some shows; but Mr. Smith did not stop there. He went on to star in movies which earned him as much as $10 million a pop. There is no need to mention his list of credits; just go to Blockbuster Video or the Internet and type in the ‘search.’

Finding a need to outdo ‘himself,’ Smith’s fee went from $10 million to 20 big ones, then from 20 large to $25 million per, before he dived into the big ‘M’ and ‘super-sized’ his life by marrying Jada Pinkett. She paved her own way as an impressive actress on shows like “A Different World,” “The Cosby Show,” and in blockbuster films such as “Ali,” “Jason’s Lyric,” “Menace To Society,” “Woo,” “Set It Off,” the “Matrix” spinoffs, “The Nutty Professor,” “Scream 2,” “Collateral,” and who knows what else by now. I heard a rumor that the pair might have to buy a continent to use as a tax shelter. Wow – that’s big enough to get on the Oprah list! Combined, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith account for about two dozen top films of the 20th and now, 21st centuries. And these films usually came with hot music soundtracks, too. This is another example of the deepening relationship between Hollywood and the Rap/Hip-Hop world. For the purpose of fun, let’s call their happy union “Holly-hood.” Watch out–more fun’s on the way!

But hold up and wait a minute: before we dig in any further, let’s pull over at a local Asian restaurant for some grub–we’ll need it for our next stop. My fingers tingle from all this typing action on the laptop, sitting here in the ‘time out’ corner of the classroom. Where’s my Dragon voice recognition program when I need it? At home parked on the desktop computer – what a bummer!

Please note that things have changed with regards to technology, folks. Not only does my voice recognition program type as I talk into a microphone, it’ll read it back to me, too. When my editorial consultant Ms. Melilli (also known as the infamous ‘XoxoJean’) sends e-mails to a friend with a text recognition program, it recognizes her name by saying “Socks-a-Jean.” I’m just happy she likes my smoked turkeys. According to information obtained from my old friend B.Brown of Bar-Red Entertainment, my confidential Author Code Name is: ‘Turkey Smoker of the Stars.’ His mother Ms. Lydia works for the Atlanta Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. Both she and Miss Jean can keep getting the big birds too, as long as their taste buds approve of the transaction.

Data: A new development has just occurred. I heard a growl; my tummy’s empty from tapping into extra neurological cells to use a special, limited resource: my natural ‘superior intellect.’ I guess I owe my nephew Dez a fortune for this term–his invoice may be the death of me yet!

So what’s your taste buds say? Anyone that knows me will tell you I get a little grumpy when I’m hungry. Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Thai, Vietnamese; whatever you want–it’ll be on me. Plus, we’re about to run into a whole bunch of people, and some of them may be hungry too. I’m not feeling like sharing plates today though, hence I’m buying with my per diem money. So go ahead and keep your ‘cream’ (dolla-dolla bills) in your pockets.

According to our itinerary, one colorful group that is listed as being capable of running circles around the proverbial ‘viper’s pit’ has the letters “WTC” engraved in the minds of its constituents. This could mean trouble, ’cause the paperwork says they’re some kinda ‘clan.’ But as long as there’s no “K” up in the mix, I’m good. I wonder if they look alike; you know what some people can say without meeting someone first. Maybe we can all blend in and “just get along” if we’re eating some food representing the region. We’ll be having hot, buttered popcorn for desert, though. (You may see where I’m going with this in a minute – I’ll remind you.) Both Asia and the Far East are known for their delectable dishes and many forms of cultural stimuli. On our next stop, you’ll see that cultures from the Pacific Rim have plenty of interesting offerings with regards to the consumable entertainment they produce, too.

Similar to us westerners, Asian food and entertainment go well together, just like popcorn and movies. One American network calls it “Dinner And A Movie.” Lots of popular flicks include what are known as ‘action movies.’ Many film buffs enjoy action movies about world destruction, extra-terrestrial invasions, espionage, crooked government officials, dirty cops, gun-slinging cliques, posses, gangsters and the mafia; in short, these subjects and characters make up good thematic content for stories about extinction-level events and the underworld. Film buffs take to action films that come loaded with explosions, chase scenes, aerial shots, fight sequences, hand-to-hand-combat, and cutting-edge weapons. I know I do. Speaking of cutting-edge weapons, New York’s Wu Tang Clan uses one as a logo. What appears to be a rounded, sharply bladed, boomerang/disk is actually the “W” in Wu Tang. From looking at the weapon however, I don’t think I’d be likely to wake up some morning with a notion of getting cut by one of those things. Ever.

There are those ‘action movie heads’ who would agree that some pretty exciting films feature martial arts. Back in the 70s, we called them “Kung Fu movies.” After Carl Carlton busted out with the hit song “Kung Fu Fighting,” I built myself a pair of chuck sticks. But after a few displaced pops to the back of the head, I retired them. Alas, my dreams of becoming a ‘Samurai Ninja Martial Arts Fighter’ were shattered; but that was better than having a self-inflicted busted cranium. I went on to other things; mainly, watching martial arts movies. By the way, that minute’s ’bout up. If you know the deal, you can keep on reading. If you don’t know, you might want to ask somebody, get a map, or keep on reading, too. Whatever’s clever!

It’s no secret that cultures like the Chinese have been known for their long-standing empires. They also developed a highly disciplined way to defend their ‘valuable assets’ that were stored in huge, heavily protected fortresses. Martial arts gave fighters an opportunity to go mano-a-mano in sometimes brutal displays of precision and brute strength. This Spanish term is also known as hand-to-hand, head-to-head, one-on-one, and single combat.

Historic teachings show that great forces were often referred to as being god-like. Some were also referenced through vicious man-killing beasts such as lions, tigers and bears. Oh my–did you know that ancient Chinese dynasties developed many institutions or schools of thought and defense? Some were based on a mystical creature known as the dragon. One group that acknowledged “the way of the dragon” broke ground by doing it all. Setting up a great and powerful Hip-Hop dynasty along the way, they’ve been long known for their tight embrace on the discipline of building rock-solid empires. Pioneering Hip-Hop supergroup Wu Tang Clan has built upon their image of being an invincible clan of talented MCs and producers. Chief knob-twister RZA orchestrated the rise of an original, three-man group; an entire planetary movement followed.

Originally synergized through a nucleus composed of RZA, GZA and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, the Wu Tang Clan produced sound recordings with themes based on Hong Kong’s martial arts and Samurai movies. Along with references to the Five Percent Nation, strategic moves, chess and other thematic subject matter, the influence of ancient Chinese dynasties flowed through The Clan like a river.

Soon after the original members crunk up the machine, more warriors jumped on board. The Wu Tang Clan ended up with 9 MCS, to qualify for labeling as a Hip-Hop supergroup, just on G.P. (general principle). As a producer, RZA later got a bigger break by acting in, but more importantly, composing music for the soundtrack of Forrest Whitacker’s “Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai” and “Kill Bill, Volume 1.” (I wonder if he can hook me up with Lucy Liu and her friend from the Crazy 88’s.) These movies have some great on-location scenes, and the fighting sequences are just what the doctor ordered. To kick off 2007, Spike TV offered up some new programming content. On New Year’s Eve, they unveiled “Afro Samurai,” featuring Samuel L. Jackson as a ‘superior fighting intellect.’ The great and powerful RZA popped up once again, doing the music. This concoction totally made sense to me, by this point. If you haven’t seen these visual elixirs yet, what are you waiting for, a prescription?

Originating in the Far East, martial arts flicks somehow found a home in the world of American Rap music. It’s no doubt that Bruce Lee is the #1 martial artist to affect the 70s film world. Americans like Chuck “Walker, Texas Ranger” Norris, John Saxon, and Karate-chop brother Jim “Black Belt Jones” Kelly became martial arts film stars; even basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got a piece of the action in Bruce Lee’s personal project, “Game Of Death.” When Lee got offered crazy money to star in the first Hollywood-backed martial arts film (“Enter The Dragon”), he did what any red-blooded entrepreneur would have done: he put the brakes on his project and began production on the new movie.

It became the biggest budget film in this genre’s history, and featured a young Jackie Chan as a stuntman. Bruce Lee’s untimely death, however, closed out an important chapter of martial art’s epic rise to fame, but Rap artists like the Wu Tang Clan used samples from “Enter The Dragon” on their debut album, opening up a whole new episode. Both of Bruce Lee’s final martial arts films went on to spread the word about this growing faction of the movie and music (more simply put: entertainment) industries. Rap artists listened and responded; they would ‘holla back’ in their own unique, urban way.

On TV, David Carradine starred in the long-running, “Kung Fu.” From Belgium, Jean Claude Van Damme made his mark in ‘the arts,’ too. While Jackie Chan headed into a ‘funny-bone’ crushing direction with comedian Chris Tucker in “Rush Hour,” Jet Li got serious with Aaliyah and DMX in “Romeo Must Die” (2000). Li also teamed up again with DMX in “Cradle to the Grave” (2003). A multi-dimensional Jet Li film called “The One” blended sci-fi with martial arts. This would not be the only flick with such a combustible mixture. There’s a long-awaited 2007 film featuring Jet Li and Jackie Chan now being completed. All of these urban-based action movies featured lots of martial arts moves; more were on the way.

5 Worst Exercise Gimmicks On Tv Today

Fitness is straightforward. It’s even pretty simple. You take the 3 components of rest, nutrition, and exercise; mix it all up and you achieve your fitness goals. But one thing it is not- it is not easy. For most of us, there is no losing 50lbs in 3 months or gaining 40lbs of lean muscle in 4 months.

But how would you look 25lbs lighter with harder muscles showing in a year from now? How would you look if you added 20lbs of lean muscle mass to your frame a year from now? Both would look pretty good. It’s about working hard and consistently toward a goal of lifelong fitness.

But some companies want you to think they have come up with a shortcut. And they market these shortcuts to people with implicit promises of great results with minimum effort, and it’s so easy. Shame on them.

In my Clark Kent, day job, I work at a retail store. I see a lot of “as seen on TV” exercise equipment come in. Although my job is to generate profits for the store, if we never sold a one of these, I would not lose any sleep.

So, here are the worst 5 I have seen this year.

1. Shake Weight – Are you kidding me? So, I’m standing there with this plastic, dumbbell shaped thing in my hand and my associate is telling me to shake it. So, I do and my response, “what next?” Well, that was it. For close to 30 bucks, this has to be the worst exercise equipment I have seen in a long time. Better idea, get a pair of dumbbells for 10 or 20 bucks and do 3 sets of 15 reps for curls, extensions, raises, or whatever, but leave that shake alone. Just pathetic (is that too harsh?).

2. Ab Circle – Wow, you pop 200 bucks down to swivel back and forth. Or you could spend a few bucks to get a pair of dumbbells. Stand tall while holding the dumbbells straight over your head and do side bends. Or you could spend 200 bucks to swivel back and forth. And, how long do you swivel for – 5 minutes or 60 minutes – for it to work? Just terrible.

3. Leg Magic – Can it be so easy, you just stand there and move your legs out and in on rollers for a measly 100 bucks. You can sculpt your legs and core muscles, and blah, blah, blah. Wow, just stand there, watching TV and move your legs out and in and back. Or you could get a decent set of snickers and mp3 player for less. Then you could go on brisk 1 mile walk every other day while listening to your favorite tunes, and be a lot better off.

4. Ab Lounge – $110 to do crunches and abdominal work in an easy, effective way that’s, again, easy on your lower back, easy on your abs, easy on oblique’s, easy on your intelligence. Wow. As far as I know, you build muscle by stressing and making them work. You bust a sweat. But not here, just sit back and crunch away in ease. For 100 plus bucks, wow, who comes up with this stuff?

5. Ab Rocket – Just sit back and lean back. Help me.

There you have it five of the worst gimmicks I have seen.

I think what bothers me the most is that they prey on people’s misconceptions and feed into someone’s hopes. And somewhere in their make believe user’s manual, it probably mentions eating a balance diet and importance of consistency and all that, just try and sound legit. All the while, somewhere in there, they hope people never catch on that it’s all a gimmick, an expensive one at that.

Bottom-line, you need nothing, not even a decent pair of sneakers, to get a great workout that will leave you heaving for breathe. But throw in a decent pair of sneakers and a brisk walk every other day; you’ve got yourself a good fitness routine.

Most important, fitness is fundamentally a whole body endeavor. You don’t just tone arms, or lose a little off the side, or get rid of some cellulite, as these folks would suggest. It’s your whole body.

All these late night infomercials on the newest, state of art fitness equipment guaranteed to turn you into a buff hard body are only good for its entertainment value, if that.

10 Ways To Use Podcasts

Podcasting has only been popular in the public eye for a little over two years, but the technology has only recently shifted from early adopters to the rest of us. People are finding a lot of ways to use these recordings, many of which should get you thinking about how you (or your company) can begin using podcasts right away for profit and promotion. This article examines some of the different methods employed by political, educational and corporate entities experimenting with the medium today:

NEWS and MEDIA: Podcasting is a way for news organizations to distribute audio or video that compliments their existing text news for a minimum additional cost. For example, Wikinews began to podcast its News Briefs in 2005. Companies are also using podcasts as a way to distribute their multimedia news to journalists and consumers. Companies can now leverage this same medium in much the same way that news organizations do, by publicizing your product or service on your company website as an additional download. Newspapers use podcasts to brodcast audio content from print interviews and drive traffic to their websites. The San Franciso Chronicle is believed to be the first major daily newspaper to start podcasting using an external website in Feb 2005. Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post was the first to use its own website and the first in Asia, having launched on April 19, 2005.

EDUCATION: Schools are now using podcasts as an educational tool. Some school districts are experimenting with podcast lessons to help teach foreign languages via audio revision and homework. In 2005, a communication studies course at the University of Western Australia used student-created podcasts as the main assessment criteria. Professors are also using podcasts as part of their academic work. The Society of Critical Care Medicine has a podcast used to update clinicians with summaries of important articles, as well as interviews.

POLITICS: Both political parties and their candidates in the United States are experimenting with podcasts as a way to inform people about their perspectives on important topics. Podcasts are available for download from their websites and provide a way for candidates to deliver, in their own words, their opinions as well as to go in to more detail in describing the motivations behind some of their positions.

RELIGION: Religion. Godcasting, the word some use to describe podcasts dealing with religion, has lately been used by many religious groups as another way of spreading their message. Many churches produce podcasts of talks and sermons, which are then uploaded to their church or temple’s website and available for download.

ART: Unofficial audio tours of museums are availabe for download from art enthusiasts and museum afficionados. Official cultural or historic audio tours of cities are also a new way that some cities are using to try and lure visitors. You can find these on the official web pages of cities as well as via most search engines.

ENTERTAINMENT: Producers, writers and directors for popular TV shows have embraced podcasting as a way to create more content that will hopefully help drive viewership to their programs. For exmaple, Battlestar Galactica writer and executive producer Ronald Moore creates commentary podcasts for each new episode of Battlestar Galactica. Other television shows have since followed suit, like Family Guy (FOX).

SPORTS. In 2005, unofficial podcasts for major sports teams launched, providing fans both in and outside of the teams’ direct broadcast areas with on-demand commentary. Pioneers include Cubscast, the podcasters for the Chicago Cubs baseball team. The Cubscast founders also formed the first city-specific sports podcast network, hosting one podcast for each major Chicago sports team.

BUSINESS: Podcasts are an effective tool for organizing conference and meeting alerts, since podcasts can be packaged to alert attendees to agendas, hosted roundtables and daily feedback. They are also an effective tool CEOs can use to communicate with their employees or to share news about the company on the local intranet.

LIRBRARIES: Public libraries can podcast local publications free of Copyright, offering spoken word alternatives to the visually impaired. Not only are more people able to access these podcasts, but the educational value for enabling new technologies offers a whole new multimedia library that will be even easier to maintain.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: The Chicago Police Department has a free video podcast of its half-hour weekly news magazine called “CrimeWatch,” which airs on local TV. It documents community policing (CAPS) success stories.

I hope these examples of popular ways people are employing podcasts have sparked some thoughts about how you, too, can use the medium to help your employees, share your passions or otherwise communicate. Please share your thoughts on how to use podcasts at: http://www.findpodcasts.net/blog.

Good luck!