Surprising Hidden Characters In Sports Games

Source: Computer and Video Games – By Chris Scullion

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Today saw the bombshell announcement that Bruce Lee will be in EA Sports UFC as a playable character.

While it was a pretty stunning revelation, it’s by no means the first time a sports game has featured an unusual unlockable celebrity character.

Over the years we’ve seen many a sports title surprise us at the last minute by throwing someone unexpected into the mix, be it Michael Jackson as a boxer or the President of the United States playing basketball.

To celebrate the news that we’ll soon be able to take to the octagon as the greatest mixed martial artist who ever lived, we’ve decided to put together a list of the other unconventional unlockable characters we’ve seen in sports games over the years.

If you reckon we’ve missed any good ones out, let us know in the comments. And no, Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! doesn’t count.

Michael Jackson in Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 Midway’s boxing sequel also featured basketball star Shaquille O’Neal and both Bill and Hillary Clinton as hidden fighters, but by far the most interesting was the King Of Pop, who actually performed the motion capture for his in-game persona.

Michael Jackson Poses for Ready to Rumble Round 2 for PS2 in 200

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Barack Obama in NBA Jam Here’s a fun fact – it’s perfectly fine to use the likeness of a politician in entertainment if it’s parody or satire. That’s how EA managed to add Democrat and Republican teams to NBA Jam, each starring a number of famous faces including the President himself.

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FC Sonic in Virtua Striker 3 Ver 2002 The GameCube port of Virtua Striker 3 features an unlockable team consisting of Sonic characters. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Eggman are in there, with dinky Chao characters making up the rest of the team. Don’t send them up for headers.

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Donkey Kong in Punch-Out!! The Wii remake of Nintendo’s arcade classic featured a special final fight if you managed to defeat every opponent twice. Donkey Kong is the strongest fighter in the game, but with a calm head you’ll be able to make a monkey out of him. Sorry.

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Read more: http://www.computerandvideogames.com/457696/the-best-secret-characters-in-sports-games/?cid=OTC-RSS&attr=CVG-General-RSS

Michael Jackson Remembered: MJ Covers

Source: Salon – By Noah Berlatsky

From soul royalty to pop divas and indie rockers, everyone loves the King of Pop. These versions are among the best.

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The Beatles were a hugely influential band in large part because of their songwriting, which is why everybody and their uncle twice removed performs versions of Lennon-McCartney, and even George Harrison songs.

Michael Jackson’s fame was more tied to his own particular performance, image and dancing — all of which were so intimidatingly accomplished that they rather discouraged imitation. As a result, even though he’s probably as, or more, important to contemporary pop than the Fab Four, his music is nowhere near as covered. Still, you don’t get that famous without prompting tributes. Here are some of the best and/or entertaining and/or bizarre of them.

Cleopatra, “I Want You Back”

This 1969 number by the Motown hit factory was the Jackson 5′s first major hit, and it is much beloved and covered.  I like the way KT Tunstall reimagines the song as percussive acoustic indie folk pop, but her earnest vocals are maybe a little hard to take. So I’ve opted for girl group Cleopatra’s hip hop girl group version. The young MJ is inimitable, but Cleo Higgins does about as well as anyone could in channeling his particular brand of dynamite when she sends those “ooo —oooh!”s up toward the stratosphere.

Gloria Gaynor, “Never Can Say Goodbye”

This massively successful early Jackson 5 hit from 1971 became an almost-as-massively-successful disco crossover smash when Gaynor recorded it three years later. The video above has some truly stupendous sparkly seventies Vegas-by-way-of-Planet-Cleavage attire, though the song is cut off, alas. You can hear the full version here.

Marvin Gaye, “I Wanna Be Where You Are”

One of Jackson’s early solo hits, the song was penned by Arthur Ross (Diana’s brother) and Leon Ware. Gaye covered it on the Ware-produced 1976 album “I Want You,” and it’s one of the few cover versions that legitimately seems to surpass the original. The sophisticated, layered backing and Gaye’s slippery vocals have a sensual adult suggestiveness that Jackson wasn’t quite up to at that point in his career, if ever. No matter; he had other strengths.

Mobb Deep, “Apostle’s Warning”

As you’d imagine, hip hop loves Michael Jackson.  XXL has an amazing list of 55 Jackson samples, which you can fall into for the rest of the weekend if you’re so inclined. This track by Mobb Deep lifts Jackson’s cover of the Stylistics’ 1972 hit, turning the original’s ambivalent que sera sera world-weariness into a distorted, bleakly ominous groove.

Juan Luis Guerra, “Dame”

The insinuatingly irresisitible shimmy of  “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough“ is translated into the frantically irresistible shimmy of merengue. It works surprisingly well, from the imitation (in Spanish) of MJ’s breathy intro to the unexpected fleet-fingered classic rock guitar solo.

De La Soul, “Breakadawn”

De La takes MJ’s pop and blows it up. The intro of the mellow “I Can’t Help It” turns into a smooth soul bubble on loop.  “I am the man-ner of the family cuz the pants fit” is a nod to those funky forefathers and perhaps a promise to be weird enough not to follow Jackson or Stevie Wonder (who wrote the song) up the charts.

Quincy Jones, Brandy, Heavy D & the Boyz, “Rock With You”

Jackson’s collaborator Quincy Jones redid this track from “Off the Wall” in 1995. It’s a nice synopsis of MJ’s influence, with Brandy’s smooth vocals showing ’90s R&B’s debt to the master and Heavy D rapping over a beat that seems to have been devised in anticipation that someone like Heavy D would do just that.

Rihanna, “Please Don’t Stop the Music”

Of all the divas of the early 2000s, Rihanna was not necessarily the one I would have picked for superstardom. Still, you’ve got to admire the canniness; if you want a hit, you can’t do better than rejiggering “You Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” Rihanna’s StarGate-produced version rubs off some of those jagged, tightly wound James Brown edges, and her vocals have none of Jackson’s mercurial dexterity — but even a somewhat bowdlerized MJ is still going to tear up the radio.

Civil Wars, “Billie Jean”

“Billie Jean” has more of a story than most Michael Jackson songs. Perhaps for that reason, it’s snuck its way into the alt country cannon. Robbie Fulks’s version has his trademark smugness, which is not ideal in this context. The Civil Wars’ effort is just about perfect though, the slow pace turning the rhythmic drive into empty space, Jackson’s unpredictable moans replaced with dual vocals that slide back and forth and up into world-weary harmonies.

Ten Masked Men, “Thriller”

For anyone who thought Babymetal invented the death metal/pop hybrid, Ten Masked Men’s been doing it since 1996. The music is just a little too tuneful to quite pass as authentic death metal, but the lyrics couldn’t be much more perfect.

Wax Audio, “Panama Beat,” Michael Jackson vs. Van Halen

Why someone like Girl Talk takes the world by storm when there are artists like this guy around is a bit of a mystery. Wax Audio specializes in classic rock mashups, and his videos are as much works of art as his audio (check out the glorious alternating spins at 1:33). “Beat It” was itself a genre-busting exercise, with Eddie Van Halen’s guitar powering the track. Wax Audio just extends the conceit by putting an actual Van Halen song under Jackson’s vocals. Watching MJ thrust to “Panama” gives a whole new meaning to the term “cock rock.”

Makoto, “Human Nature”

This song has been sampled more than any other song written by Toto, but I thought I’d go instead with this drum and base remix by Makoto.  Jackson’s vocals turn into a plaintive cry and the pretty tune flails poignantly beneath the amphetamine electronica.

Abbos, “Smooth Criminal”

The most famous cover of this is probably the one by Alien Ant Farm. Many love it, but it mostly reminds me just how tedious the unsubtle mugging of pop punk can be. I much prefer Abbos’ strangled-duck-honking version on traditional Uzbek instruments, which revels in the original’s jerky sinuousness rather than flattening it out.

MC Lyte with XScape, “Keep On Keepin’ On”

“Liberian Girl” is not my favorite Michael Jackson song, but the sample sure sounds amazing here in Jermaine Dupri’s production. MC Lyte’s tough, shoulder-shrugging flow rolls seamlessly into those heavenly Xscape harmonies. Plus, even Jackson himself would have to envy that bad-a** suit.

The Weeknd, “Dirty Diana”

Jackson’s version of “Dirty Diana” comes across as almost self-parodically overstrained; MJ reimagining himself as rock dinosaur complete with bloated classic-rock guitar and self-aggrandizing sneers/daydreams about groupies. The Weeknd’s sparse electro-slogging beat turns the song from arena rock to indie rock; the swagger becomes a kind of lament, both for Diana and the singer.

Kawehi, “The Way You Make Me Feel”

One-woman band Kawehi sits on her bed and harmonizes with herself to a joyful version of “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Plus, adorable (albeit unimpressed) doggies.

Tame Impala, “Stranger in Moscow”

The odd, slow, dreamy “Stranger in Moscow” from “HIStory,” is a relatively little-known Michael Jackson track. All the more credit to Tame Impala for hearing the sun-dappled psychedelia inside the melancholy smooth jazz.

 

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/04/05/michael_jackson_remembered_the_very_best_mj_covers/

Scientists Genetically Engineer Fruit Flies To Moonwalk

Source: Science Mag

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Walking backward may seem a simple task, but researchers don’t know how the mind controls this behavior. A study published online today in Science provides the first glimpse of the brain circuit responsible—at least in fruit flies. Geneticists created 3500 strains of the insects, each with a temperature-controlled switch that turned random networks of neurons on when the flies entered an incubator. One mutant batch of fruit flies started strolling in reverse when exposed to warmth (video, right panel), which the team dubbed “moonwalkers,” in honor of Michael Jackson’s famous dance.

The team of Barry Dickson, former scientific director of the IMP, identified brain cells that control backward walking in fruit flies. Using a thermogenetic screen, the scientists were able to isolate “moonwalker flies” that were locked in reverse gear. They traced these changes back to the activity of specific neurons called MDN and MAN. The results are published in Science.  Salil S. Bidaye, Christian Machacek, Yang Wu and Barry Dickson. Neuronal Control of Drosophila Walking Direction. Science, April 3, 2014.

The team of Barry Dickson, former scientific director of the IMP, identified brain cells that control backward walking in fruit flies. Using a thermogenetic screen, the scientists were able to isolate “moonwalker flies” that were locked in reverse gear. They traced these changes back to the activity of specific neurons called MDN and MAN. The results are published in Science.
Salil S. Bidaye, Christian Machacek, Yang Wu and Barry Dickson. Neuronal Control of Drosophila Walking Direction. Science, April 3, 2014.

 

Two neurons were responsible for the behavior. One lived in the brain and extended its connections to the end of the ventral nerve cord—the fly’s version of a spine, which runs along its belly. The other neuron had the opposite orientation—it started at the bottom of the nerve cord and sent its messaging cables—or axons—into the brain. The neuron in the brain acted like a reverse gear in a car; when turned on, it triggered reverse walking. The researchers say this neuron is possibly a command center that responds to environmental cues, such as, “Hey! I see a wall in front of me.” The second neuron functioned as the brakes for forward motion, but it couldn’t compel the fly to moonwalk. It may serve as a fail-safe that reflexively prevents moving ahead, such as when the fly accidentally steps onto a very cold floor. Using the two neurons as a starting point, the team will trace their links to sensory neurons for touch, sight, and smell, which feed into and control the moonwalking network. No word yet on the neurons responsible for the Macarena.

Learn How To Moonwalk (Infographic)

Source: Design Taxi – By John Long / MJWN

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The ‘Moonwalk’ has got to be the most iconic dance move of the ‘King of Pop’, Michael Jackson. It may seem simple, but it’s actually quite hard to pull off. Luckily for us, we can now learn this awesome move, thanks to this animated infographic by Jacob O’Neal.

Titled ‘How To Moonwalk’, the infographic breaks up the move into simple steps, and teaches how to slide our feet and when to distribute our body weight.

Click here to view enlarged version:

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Read more at: Design Taxi

Michael Jackson: Singer, Songwriter, American Inventor

Source: Smithsonian – By Jimmy Stamp

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Here’s the scene: Michael Jackson, dressed in white suit and hat like a gangster guardian angel walks into a bar full of thugs, gamblers, and flappers, the music stops and everyone stares at him; he reaches for a gun – no, it’s just a quarter, which he flips all the way across room where it slides perfectly into a jukebox coin slot. The song starts with a synthesized crash: As he came into the window / it was the sound of a crescendo….You’ve been hit by a Smooth Criminal. Dancing, fighting, dramatic pauses, a weird slow-motion interlude, and more dancing and fighting follow. Then it happens, at about the 7:10 mark (see video below), Michael gives a knowing smile, tilts his hat, and leans. He leans an amazing, impossible lean. It seems so simple but it’s just. so. cool.

When a 7-year old me saw it for the first time on screen, it was surely the coolest thing I had ever seen (which until that point was a teenage werewolf playing air guitar and surfing on top of a van). Smooth Criminal might still be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s cooler than Miles Davis giving birth to cool in an igloo cool. It’s cool, man. There’s no other word for it.

Oh wait, there might be actually – how about “inventive”?

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US Patent 5255452 A: "Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion"

In the “Smooth Criminal’ video, the centerpiece of the film Moonwalker (1988), the impossible lean was accomplished with wires, but to recreate the effect during live performances, Jackson worked with two designers to develop a “method and means for creating [an] anti-gravity illusion.” This signature move (among many others) was made possible by a patent for a shoe allowing the “wearer to lean forwardly beyond his center of gravity.” Though it looks like a regular loafer when worn with long pants, the shoe is actually strapped around the ankle to secure it to the dancer’s foot – but the real secret is in the heel, which conceals a slot that can lock into a small post raised on stage. Dancers click their heels into place at just the right time and–-boom–-you’ve been hit by a smooth criminal. It’s a brief moment, but its one of the most iconic images of Michael Jackson’s career and American pop culture.

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US Patent 5255452 A: "Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion"

Michael Jackson’s patent, and more importantly, his signature is on display as part of a new exhibition at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures,” invites visitors to examine the signatures on historic documents and imagine the moment they were signed, moments that have shaped America’s history and defined its culture. No one has a signature that is exactly the same every time its written, but a signature’s variability is part of what reveals it to be authentic; each signature is a unique product of the time and place it was written. Other notable signatories on display as part of the exhibition include founding fathers such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, whose documents tell the story of a young nation in rebellion against King George III. But they are in good company with the King of Pop, whose signed patent reveals that his inventiveness extended beyond creating sweet dance moves.

 
Read more: Smithsonian

Famous Celebrity Afros

Source: Huffington Post (Black Voices) – By Jessica Dickerson

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The afro is a legendary hair style, the pinnacle of natural black hair that has graced the craniums of entertainers, athletes, historical and political figures alike.

Girth, texture, and color may vary in the world of afro’s, but our love for the people that rock them is unwavering. In no particular order, here is a list of afro-liscious icons of today and yesterday.

Jackson 5

The beloved boy band was well-known for their ‘dos bobbing up and down during their dance moves.

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Pam Grier

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Jimi Hendrix

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 Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

“My last haircut was on June 2, 1989.” -Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

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Angela Davis

Davis’ afro is so widely known in pop culture that her particular style has it’s own sub category within the hair style; the ‘Angela Davis Afro’.

Davis is usually too busy talking about something important to comment on her hair. Other people do that for her.

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Diana Ross

The Motown diva’s style has such widespread inspirational power, you can find Diana Ross hair how-to videos on YouTube.

Diana Ross Portrait Session

Julius “Dr. J” Erving

Like his legendary skills on the court, Erving’s hair remains in the minds and hearts of his adoring fans. LeBron James rocked an afro in honor of “Dr. J”, who he says is one of his all-time favorite players.

New York Nets v Boston Celtics

See more celebrities here: Huffington Post

Throwback Article 11/15/2006: Michael Jackson Named Most Successful Entertainer Of All Time

Source: City News

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The King of Pop has broken eight world records, including being named the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time by the organization. Jackson stopped by the Guinness World Records headquarters in London Wednesday to pick up his certificates ahead of an appearance at the World Music Awards.

Jackson holds records for the Youngest Vocalist to top the U.S. Singles Chart (he was 11 fronting The Jackson Five); First Vocalist To Enter The U.S. Single Chart at No. 1 (You Are Not Alone); First Entertainer to Sell More Than 100 Million Albums outside the US; Most weeks at the top of the US album charts (non-soundtrack) (37 weeks for Thriller); Most successful music video (Thriller sold over 1 million units); First entertainer to earn more than $100 million in a year; and the Highest paid entertainer of all time ($125 million in 1989 Forbes list).

After spending time in seclusion after his acquittal on child molestation charges, the moonwalker is inching his way back into the spotlight.

Earlier this year he travelled to Tokyo to accept MTV Japan’s Legend Award and he’s currently in England for his first performance in the UK in nine years. He’s set to receive the Diamond Award at the World Music Awards Wednesday night where he’s also expected to sing some of the hits off his Thriller album. 

Singer Michael Jackson receives the Diamond Award and a certificate for his 8 Guinness World Records on stage during the 2006 World Music Awards at Earls Court on November 15, 2006 in London.

Singer Michael Jackson receives the Diamond Award and a certificate for his 8 Guinness World Records on stage during the 2006 World Music Awards at Earls Court on November 15, 2006 in London.

Read more: http://www.citynews.ca/2006/11/15/michael-jackson-named-most-successful-entertainer-of-all-time/

Sur Les Pas de Michael Jackson – MJ Travel Guide For Fans

Source: Sur les pas de Michael Jackson

 Thanks to Ingrid Van Hees for sending and translating!

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We are proud to announce this world premiere ! The book “Sur les pas de Michael Jackson” is the first tour guide dedicated to Michael.

It is a motley collection of sites spread over several countries , such as USA , UK, France , Japan , Australia , Germany , Switzerland , The Netherlands , Belgium , Italy , Spain , Africa , Eastern Europe and South America. Among these proposed locations, you can go where he went and where he performed. Make sure to stop by the tribute statues or featured images of Michael. And do not forget about the shops. You may find them worth a visit.

This guide provides its readers with practical information about each of these places and their link with the King of Pop, as well as historical and architectural facts about the proposed locations. “Sur les pas de Michael Jackson” is a guide who can easily get you through your journey and because of the very practical A5 format, it is light and easy to handle during your trip. If you’re not travelling, it can be read as any geographical biography. The book is in French, but the English version will be available by the end of 2014. This guide was written by Antoine Cadinot, a Frenchman and fan of Michael and Christophe Charlot, Belgian and also a fan and co-founder of MJBackstage in 1999. This book is the result of over two years of preparation and research.

“Sur les pas de Michael Jackson” can currently only be ordered on the website www.lespasdemichael.com

Michael Jackson’s Influence on the Next Generation

Source: Essence

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Can You Feel It?

“It’s hard to pick a favorite MJ song. But I would say that ‘Billie Jean’ is one of my favorites. Lyrically how do you make a topic so deep sound so infectious? Only him. That song wows me every time I hear it. He is the force of nature to show us what innovation and fearlessness looks like!” —Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys Performs Opening Night Of Her UK Tour At The N.I.A

Butterflies

“Michael Jackson’s precision and professionalism were second to none. I’ve directly encountered him, and he gave 100 percent in anything he was involved in. To apply in life the joy he got out of pleasing others is something I will always have to thank him for.” —Marsha Ambrosius

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Speechless

“While I think ‘Human Nature,’ is the greatest song ever recorded, it’s hard for me to summarize a lifetime of inspiration. MJ has been the single biggest influence on my music. The poise and drive he had at 50 years old was out of this world.”—Lloyd

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Working Day and Night

“MJ’s work ethic has inspired me the most. Even though he was hands down the best — his music, dancing, singing, songwriting — he was always striving to be better, striving to be the best, and pushing to take it to the next level.”—Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas

BET Awards 2008 - Arrivals

Time Explosion

“Michael Jackson’s music transcends time. It continues to inspire people of all ages. The fact that my child who is four knows Michael and his work shows the true impact of his life. The greatest lesson he taught was the one of balance. Fame comes with a cost. The industry that builds you up can be the very thing to tear you down.” —Raheem Devaughn

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Human Nature

“MJ treated everyone kind, and just loved people. He would hug and kiss the babies, sign autographs, or just stood there and waved just so you could take a picture. That is what made his celebrity fresh.”—Michelle Williams

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Invincible

“I learned from Michael that the sky is the limit, and to always think big — never shortchange yourself.” —Lyfe Jennings

2009 Soul Train Awards - Arrivals

Dreams Come True

“I would not be the artist, performer, and philanthropist I am today without the influence of Michael. I have great admiration and respect for him and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to meet and perform with such a great entertainer, who in so many ways, transcended the culture…His legacy is unparalleled.” —Usher Raymond

Keep A Child Alive?s 6th Annual Black Ball - Red Carpet

Thriller

“It’s hard to pick my favorite MJ video because, but ‘Thriller’ obviously should go down in history as the best video of all time! I remember it being the first video premiering on prime time tv, and me begging my mom to watch — amazing!” —Kandi Burruss

With A Child’s Heart

“Michael’s music was one of the first things that made me want to become an artist. When I was on the school bus at seven or eight years old I would sing Michael songs to get attention. It was one of the first times I knew that I wanted to be an artist.”—Robin Thicke

Personal Touch

“Michael is one of a kind, a true gift from God. His video ‘Thriller’ took it to another level. One of the first music videos that actually looked like a movie. You have to respect how creative and out of the box he was willing to go.”- Sammie

P.Y.T

“Micheal Jackson has been an influence so much to why I love the stage. I remember particularly a performance of his song, ‘Dirty Diana.’ I was in the nosebleeds section, but I felt so much a part of his whole show. That has never happened since, never happened before that, and don’t think it will ever happen again.” —Keri Hilson

Superstar

“I grew up listening to him and watching him, and he’s the definition of what it is to be a pop star. Everyone who has come after him has not lived up to that yet.” —John Legend

Read more influences here: http://photos.essence.com/galleries/michael-jacksons-influence-next-generation/

Black History Month: Black Culture Influencing Fashion ~ Spotlight MJ

Source: Essence

Michael Jackson

By: sashanaa

By: sashanaa

The King of Pop’s distinct style is one that has been admired for decades. His unique crystal encrusted details, marching band-style jackets, and 80’s bold shoulder padding are just a few fan favorites that have been emulated.

Michael Jackson Performing on Victory Tour

Star Bright

Jackson’s style choices were as exceptional as his talent — bold and one-of-a kind. His affinity for metal hardware made him shine in more ways than one stage.

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Regal Runway

The legend’s passing gave way to a resurgence of Jackson-inspired style on the runways. Design houses including D&G, Balmain and Haider Ackerman, to name a few, brought the icon’s exaggerated shoulder, metal detailing, and marching band style to the forefront of fashion. 

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Balmain Spring 2012 runway

Click here to see more celebrity style influences: http://photos.essence.com/galleries/black-history-month-black-culture-influencing-fashion?slide=115090#115108_115090

Hrithik Roshan: Michael Jackson Inspired His Moves

Source: Gulf News – Michael Gomes

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Dubai: The last few months have not been good for Hrithik Roshan. He suffered a serious head injury and also separated from wife Suzanne. But now the Bollywood hunk is back in action. As he resumes shooting for Siddharth Anand’s Bang Bang, the actor talks about how he came to be such a great dancer, his upcoming movie, fashion line and tireless fitness regime. Excerpts from an interview:

How do you rate yourself as a dancer? How did it begin? Any plans for dance shows?

I have had a passion for dance for as long as I can remember. But I can’t deny that I’ve not been inspired. Watching Michael Jackson dance effortlessly fueled that passion in me. But I don’t consider myself a great dancer which is the reason I practice a lot to achieve what you guys see on screen. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into it. I would love to get involved with dance stage shows, and hopefully that will happen soon.

You had a health check-up in the US recently? Is everything OK? Did it affect your new movies?

I have completed all my health check-ups and, by the grace of God, I am perfectly fine now. My film schedules are going as per plans and I’m currently shooting for Bang Bang opposite Katrina Kaif. Next I will be busy with Karan Johar’s movie Shuddhi in which I’m teaming up with Kareena Kapoor.

Tell us a bit about Bang Bang?

Bang Bang is India’s take on the Hollywood film Knight and Day starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. The movie is set to be a rollercoaster of action and romance. It has great song and dance routines. I’m sure the audience will enjoy it.

What prompted you to launch your own fashion brand?

I always envisioned HRx [HR in the actor’s initials and x is extreme] to be a platform that could inspire people to bring out their best. My team took my philosophy and turned it into a brand. My range includes comfortable casuals, leisure sportswear and sports footwear for men.

What’s your fitness mantra? Any diet you follow? Any favorite foods?

I work out every day and ensure I exercise at least five to six times a week without fail. I eat sensibly and healthily. This doesn’t mean that I don’t indulge occasionally. But on the whole, I stick to a balanced diet comprising all food groups. To remain fit, you have to be mentally strong too, not just physically, and that for me, is the key. The workouts are a major release for me, it’s my way of relaxation. As far as food is concerned, I love Bengali fish curry.

Any thoughts about venturing into production or directing?

I actually began my career behind the camera, assisting my father [Rakesh], so venturing into producing and direction has always been on my mind. In fact,in Krrish 3, I was very much a part of the creative and production process.

http://gulfnews.com/about-gulf-news/al-nisr-portfolio/xpress/life-style/hrithik-roshan-how-michael-jackson-inspired-my-moves-

MJ, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga And Other College Courses Inspired By Musicians

Source: College Leaf

This week, a story about a Rutgers University march that focused on Beyoncé and American gender and passionate politics bubbled behind into a spotlight, as stories on a Internet infrequently do.

Unfortunately for those who hoped to jumpstart a vital in Beyoncé (good fitness with that!), a category was indeed offering dual years ago — even yet it would many positively be value revisiting now that she’s released BEYONCÉ, an epic feminist manuscript that only happens to have a few domestic assault jokes thrown around for good measure.

Beyoncé is one of several cocktail enlightenment total to enthuse vicious study. Here are a few of a other pop-oriented classes that have been offering in a United States:

“Michael Jackson: The Business of Music”
This MBA march during Clark Atlanta University focuses on Michael Jackson’s business practices, including “how he negotiated and his tours, record deals, and merchandising [and] how he revolutionized authorised practices associated to party copyrights, trademarks, licenses.”

“Bruce Springsteen’s Theology”
This seminar at Rutgers offers “a theologically oriented approach” to Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics, examining his interpretations of Biblical themes.

“Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z”
Sociology highbrow Michael Eric Dyson, who taught courses on Tupac Shakur and Marvin Gaye during a University of Pennsylvania, offering this march during Georgetown University in 2011.

“English 2169: Jay-Z and Kanye West”
This University of Missouri march takes a tighten demeanour during a careers of Kanye West and Jay Z in propinquity to a idea of a American Dream. 

“Lady Gaga and a Sociology of a Fame”
Sociology highbrow Matthew Deflem speedy students to consider about “how Lady Gaga has turn this thing, this event, on a amicable level, and on a tellurian scale” during a University of South Carolina in 2009.

“GaGa for Gaga: Sex, Gender, and Identity”
A identical march during a University of Virginia that explored a singer’s pulling of amicable bounds in 2010.

“The Phenomenology of Performance: David Bowie”
University of Southern Maine highbrow Shelton Waldrep has been training this seminar, a vicious demeanour during Bowie’s informative stress and his blurring of a lines between high art and pop, for 10 years.

“The Textual Appeal of Tupac Shakur”

Graduate tyro Georgia Roberts led this University of Washington analogous story of ideas march in 2003. 

“Madonna a Phenomenon”
This happened during a University of Amsterdam in 1997:

“Spirituality Politics of U2”
Saint Mary’s University offering this course, that takes a closer demeanour during a devout and domestic messages in U2′s music, for a Jan 2012 term.

The Beatles
There are so many college courses on a Beatles a New York Times wrote an article about it.

http://collegeleaf.com/politicizing-beyonce-and-other-college-courses-inspired-by-musicians/

 

 

Doves And Michael Jackson’s Heal The World Help Students Learn About Martin Luther King’s Kindness (Video)

Source: Newsday – By Brittany Wait

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As three doves were released into the sky, 6-year-old Lauren Reilly, a developmentally disabled student at Premm Learning Center in Oakdale, waved, shooting kisses up to the sky.

“She always has a smile on her face and is kind,” said Reilly’s aid, Maureen Voos. “She’s like this every day. She was most excited to see the birds. She easily shows kindness.”

Reilly was among 110 Eastern Suffolk BOCES students who honored the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. at a ceremony at the school on Friday that included the rendition of a Michael Jackson classic.

Students at the learning center — which serves Long Islanders ages 5-21 with moderate to severe developmental disabilities — learned about the importance of kindness, community and friendship through exploring their own acts of kindness.

Principal Carolynn Hansen wanted students to take away an understanding of all that King, an activist and leader in the civil rights movement who was assassinated in 1968, did to strengthen his country.

“One of the things Martin Luther King Jr. was trying to say is that we all need to listen to each other and work together towards a common cause,” Hansen said. “That’s what they learned.”

Students were given a white paper cut-out of a dove to write an act of kindness on. They then sang along to Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World,” while holding the doves, to later be displayed throughout the center’s halls. After the sing-along, the students shared their acts of kindness out loud, expressing why it’s important to them.

Known for her warm smile, Mariah Corbitt, a 17-year-old from Hauppauge, sat in her wheelchair holding up her paper dove to show other students and teachers passing by.

“Her act of kindness is to make someone smile,” said her special education teacher, Helene Davis, who has known her for 10 years. “It’s not hard for her because that’s what she does every day. She likes school and making her friends smile. She’s a happy girl.”

Davis said students were exposed to movies and books on the former civil rights leader.

“To celebrate his birthday,” she said, “we’ve been teaching students about what a great man he was, spreading the message that all should be treated equally and fair.”

Click here for video: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/long-island-now-1.1732330/doves-michael-jackson-song-help-students-learn-about-mlk-s-kindness-1.6826293

Director Of MJ’s “Earth Song” / Photography Passion

Source: Artfix Daily – MJ-Upbeat

Photo by Nick Brandt - Editing by MJ-Upbeat

Photo by Nick Brandt – Editing by MJ-Upbeat

Nick Brandt’s transcendent images of African wildlife create a strikingly intimate connection with the animals he photographs. Brandt, once a high profile maker of music videos, fell in love with Africa in 1996 while directing the music video for Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song,” and adopted an unconventional black-and-white fine art approach to wildlife photography that uses a medium-format camera and a portrait or wide-angle rather than a telephoto lens. The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo., opens the exhibition “Elegy: The African Photography of Nick Brandt, 2001 – 2008” on January 18, presenting a selection of these animal portraits that capture Brandt’s individualized view of the animals within the context of their environment.

“I never planned to be a photographer, but I had always wanted to somehow capture my passion for animals visually, and it was only when I visited East Africa that I realized that there was a way to achieve this – through photography, and in a way very personal to me,” explains Brandt in an interview with Professional Photography magazine.

Brandt goes on to say that he hopes his photographs will help raise awareness about the pressure humankind is putting on wildlife. “I want my images to achieve two things in this regard,” says Brandt, “to be an elegy to a world that is tragically vanishing, to make people see what beauty is disappearing. Also, to try and show that animals are sentient creatures equally as worthy of life as humans.”

“Elegy: The African Photography of Nick Brandt, 2001 – 2008,” will be on display in the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s King Gallery, January 18 – April 20, 2014. A “sneak peek” talk by the museum’s Petersen Curator of Art and Research Adam Harris at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, January 17, will offer an early introduction to the exhibition.

A member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and the Museums West consortium and accredited by the American Association of Museums, the museum, officially designated the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States by an act of Congress in 2008, provides an exciting calendar of exhibitions from its permanent collection and changing exhibitions from around the globe. A complete schedule of exhibitions and events is available online at www.wildlifeart.org. The museum is also active on Facebook and on Twitter at @WildlifeArtJH.

http://www.artfixdaily.com/artwire/release/5873-nick-brandt-%E2%80%9Celegy%E2%80%9D-show-opens-at-national-museum-of-wildlife-art

10 Most Famous Monkeys Of All Time

Source: Global Grind – By Dimas Sanfiorenzo 

Jim Smeal

Back in mid December, Bronx rapper French Montana introduced the world to the latest member of Coke Boys: Julius Ceasor.

Julius Ceasor doesn’t rap. Julius Ceasor is a monkey (which would explain his absence on Coke Boys 4).

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen French and Julius’ relationship sprout into something special. He feeds him, changes his diaper, lets him fly on his private jet and when’s he gone, French becomes noticeably depressed.

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French even talked to Complex about Julius Ceasor. He really likes this monkey, even going so far as to say that he’s like his “son” and that “he sleeps in the bed.”

In the interview, French also mentions Bubbles, Michael Jackson’s famous primate pal.

Bubbles is the most famous monkey of all time. Julius is now also on that exclusive list. But who else makes it? See some of the most notable monkeys of all time.

Julius Ceasor: French Montana says that Julius is like a “son.”

Julius Ceasor: French Montana says that Julius is like a “son.”

The IKEA Monkey: About a year ago, a monkey was seen roaming around an IKEA in Toronto, Canada. He became a sensation because he was wearing a magical shearling coat.

The IKEA Monkey: About a year ago, a monkey was seen roaming around an IKEA in Toronto, Canada. He became a sensation because he was wearing a magical shearling coat.

Mally: Justin Bieber’s relationship with his monkey Mally didn’t last long. The singer left the monkey in Germany after officials seized him.

Justin Bieber’s relationship with his monkey Mally didn’t last long. The singer left the monkey in Germany after officials seized him.

Crystal the Monkey: Crystal is a full blown movie star; she has appeared in over a dozen movies, from “Dr. Dolittle” to “The Hangover Part II.

 Crystal is a full blown movie star; she has appeared in over a dozen movies, from “Dr. Dolittle” to “The Hangover Part II.

Suzy: In 2009, the Kardashian family took heat when they adopted a Chimpanzee, which they named Suzy.

In 2009, the Kardashian family took heat when they adopted a Chimpanzee, which they named Suzy.

Sonny: For years, NBA star Mike Miller hung around with a pet monkey named Sonny. When asked why he liked to chill with a monkey, Miller said, “because they’re smarter than most people I hang around with.”

 For years, NBA star Mike Miller hung around with a pet monkey named Sonny. When asked why he liked to chill with a monkey, Miller said, “because they’re smarter than most people I hang around with.”

Sonny: For years, NBA star Mike Miller hung around with a pet monkey named Sonny. When asked why he liked to chill with a monkey, Miller said, “because they’re smarter than most people I hang around with.”

 Koko the Gorilla IS smarter than most people: He understands about 2,000 words of spoken English.

Scatter: Michael Jackson wasn’t the first pop star with a monkey. Back in the day, Elvis Presley had a monkey named Scatter.

Michael Jackson wasn’t the first pop star with a monkey. Back in the day, Elvis Presley had a monkey named Scatter.

http://globalgrind.com/2014/01/10/most-famous-monkeys-of-all-time-photos/

The Spiritual Lessons Of Michael Jackson’s Life

Source: The Examiner – By Adele Ryan McDowell (Published July 14, 2009)

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It felt like the world stopped. People were stunned, saddened, and a few, even, angry at why the King of Pop garnered such attention given the rumors and mysteries swirling around his personal life. Yet, Michael Jackson was a shining star in the firmament of the Zeitgeist. He defined and redefined pop culture for over four decades. He stretched us with his resonant music, bigger-than-life videos, iconic moon walks, and unique style. Before his death, Michael Jackson had sold over 750 million records. He was a stand-out, and some might, even, say a stand-alone entertainer. 

Michael Jackson’s unexpected death at the age of 50 was like a raging fire through the Internet. His death catapulted the broadcast world into a frenzy; there were hours of television programming devoted to his iconoclastic life. Magazines raced to the newsstands with his visage on the cover; radios played his music non-stop. Everyone wanted to know and remember all they could about Michael’s life and legacy.

For many, Michael’s death felt personal. Like a stone throne into a lake, the reverberations of grief expanded in ever-widening circles across the globe. Spontaneous gatherings of fans bonded together in their shock and sadness. People waited in hushed reverence, for hours, in the summer heat, to sign a huge poster board in Los Angeles or to enter the Apollo Theater in New York City. All over the world, people wore sequined gloves, sang his music, created signs, moon-walked, left flowers, burned candles, tattooed their bodies, wrote on their skin, and decorated their clothing, all in memory of Michael Jackson.

It is reported that over 1 billion people across the globe watched his memorial service. Clearly, this was more than a media blitz; this is people feeling deeply about the influence of Michael Jackson and his music.

Michael Jackson, a man-child, who was, alternatively, wildly creative, humanitarian, eccentric, savvy in business, fragile, extravagant, mysterious, inventive (he held a patent for his anti-gravity dance move), talented, generous, visionary, pained, press-pummeled, barrier-busting, outspoken (think Ryan White’s death and Jackson’s call for HIV/AIDS research), secretive, record-shattering, award-winning, subject of rumors, changeable, androgynous, crotch-grabbing, make-up-wearing, driven, philanthropic, public and private person. He straddled the spectrums of race and sexuality. He was a man of many faces. In other words, he was an enigma – at least on the personality level.

On a soul level, Michael Jackson might be seen a bit differently. The soul level speaks to the bigger picture. Things are not always as they seem. There is more beyond the 3D world. Those on a spiritual path believe that we are all here taking part in Earth School. We are here to learn lessons that expand our consciousness; open our hearts wider and wider; develop our capacities for compassion; and teach us that each and every one of us is connected. Essentially, we are one. And, ultimately, we are all here to develop the sine qua non of spiritual practice: unconditional love and acceptance for all. Every life, good, bad, or curious, leaves a legacy. Michael Jackson is no exception. Some of his legacy includes what I call spiritual lessons, and they are evidenced by his music, videos, long-range humanitarian work and philanthropy: 

The Lesson of Oneness:

We are all one; we are all connected. Your hunger is my hunger. So, Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie wrote the rallying anthem, “We are the World,” which garnered awareness and raised millions for the poor and hungry in both the U.S. and Africa.

The Lesson of Responsibility:

Michael Jackson did not turn away from those in need; he felt a sense of responsibility for his homeless, sick, hungry, and disenfranchised world brethren.

Think, again, of the evocative song, “We are the World.” The lyrics say it all: in order to save ourselves, we need to help each other. Jackson understood this and acted accordingly; he shared his considerable wealth across the globe. He was, even, awarded a Guinness World Record for his long-standing support of 39 charities.

Further, from 1985-1990, he gave $500,000/per year to the United Negro College Fund. He also donated all profits from the single, “Man in the Mirror” to charity. His $5 million share from the Victory tour was also given to charities. Hospitals and orphanages regularly benefited from his largesse.

The Lesson of Sameness:

Think of the video from “Black and White” where the images morphed  and shifted across racial and gender lines. The message here: we are all the same. It does not matter if we are black, white, male, or female; we are all souls in human outerwear.

The Lesson of Courage and Vision:

Michael Jackson thought big. He had large visions; he did not rely on the tried and true, or what had been previously done. He morphed the music video into an art form. He created dance steps and choreography that influences dancers today.

For all of the discussion about who he was or wasn’t, Michael Jackson was not afraid to be himself, his full, out-in-the-world, out-of-the-box self. That is a huge lesson to all of us. Give up fear, think above and beyond, and do not be afraid to let your light shine in its fullness.

Whatever you believe, it is clear that Michael Jackson left the world a more soulful place.

And if you are listening, Michael, may you find the healing and wholeness you so desperately need on the other side, and may you rest in sweet peace. We will be dancing and singing to your music for a good long time.

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Michael Jackson’s Influence In Scholastics

Source: Gather.com (Published May 21, 2010)

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Theres no limits to the influence Michael Jackson had on our world.

Now two librarians at Texas Tech University have released a report detailing Michael Jackson’s broad influence in the scholarly community. For a special issue of The Journal of Pan African Studies, Associate Librarians Susan Hidalgo and Rob Weiner combed through scholarly papers and peer-reviewed articles in over 100 databases in creating “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’: MJ in the Scholarly Literature: A Selected Bibliographic Guide”

The guide shows Jackson popping up in psychology, medical, chemistry, mass communications and even engineering journals.

“To say that researchers can find tons of material on Michael Jackson would be an understatement. Our original goal was to provide scholars with a guide to printed books, articles, websites and other online sources that researchers could use as legitimate content. We wanted to avoid sensationalist works like National Enquirer type publications, such literature would defeat the purpose of honest investigation. “.

In one instance, researchers used Jackson to critique the medias handling of criminal cases.  Also a 911 call made by Jackson prompted an article in Fire Engineering journal (*See below). A British Medical Journal piece written after Jackson’s death last year discussed ethical issues that arise when a patient is more powerful than the attending physician.

One article about the privacy of jury members uses Jackson’s 2005 trial to discuss the subject. And one chemistry professor argued that reframing popular songs such as Billie Jean could help students understand difficult chemistry concepts.

Jackson’s film work is anaylized and referenced in culture as well the “Fake Trial of Michael Jackson” an article refering to the E News re-enactment of the 2005 molestation trial. Rasing the question of cemeras in high profile trials, noting that if cameras were allowed in the courtroom, media spectulation would give way to factual information. Also visited was the slanderous “bash-Umentary” that Martin Bashir filmed on Michael Jackson, all which was countered in Jacksons fiming of the Bashir film.

“I was surprised by a lot of what I read. I just thought I knew Michael Jackson,” said Hidalgo, also head of access services for the Texas Tech University Library in Lubbock.

The librarians focused on peer-reviewed or scholarly works with unique Jackson content that might shed light on the way people view larger-than-life celebrities.

And this is just a start, for the authors admit that they merely scratched the surface of scholarly content related to Jackson.

Indeed it is, perhaps they should foucs more on the study of Jackson, his music, his life, his works, his philosophy, his philanthropy, and not just chronicle the information as they seem to have done.

http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978249005

 *Access to the Fire Engineering article requires registration. I am not sure the link to it will work without it, so I posted the full article below to read. The British Medical Journal requires paid subscription with a 14 day trial, which I don’t want to do. ~ Cutie Pie ♥

Lessons from the Michael Jackson Call 

Fire Engineering – BY STEPHEN J. RUDA

The phone call came to headquarters from a division commander who had been notified by one of his rescue ambulances and fire engines that a popular celebrity needed help.

Here in Los Angeles and within the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), it is policy that the incident commander notify our Operational Control Division when there is an incident of serious injury involving a well-known celebrity or elected official. Then we notify the chain of command and inform the various political officials who have a need to know.

Over the years, that policy has been very effective in respecting the privacy of our patients and rendering to them the care they deserve in their moments of great need. From traffic accidents on Sunset Boulevard to drug overdoses in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles firefighters and paramedics have seen a lot and have responded with professionalism and great service.

THE INCIDENT

On June 25, 2009, at 12:21 p.m., 911 operators transferred a request for emergency care to a Los Angeles firefighter dispatcher. The LAFD answers more than 2,900 emergency calls in a 24-hour window, 1,300 of which generate an emergency response.

The call to the 100 block of Carolwood Avenue in the plush and exclusive area of Bel Air was not an unusual response for the firefighters and paramedics assigned to Fire Station 71. Their fire station is nestled in a very busy intersection along Sunset Boulevard, just blocks from the Playboy Mansion to the south and the Westwood campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to the west. The homes of the rich and the famous spread upward into the brush-covered hillside to their northern boundary.

When a call for emergency care sounded in quarters, Engine 71, with a crew of an engineer, a firefighter paramedic, an EMT firefighter, and a supervising captain, along with an advanced life support rescue ambulance with two firefighter/paramedics, responded within 60 seconds. Little did they know at the time that they were responding to the address of one of the most popular entertainers in the world.

The dispatcher quietly took the call as the person from the Jackson home made the 911 call on a cell phone. It was routed through Beverly Hills and then unto the 911 systems for the LAFD. The caller never identified the person needing help, relating only that the patient was on the bed where a treating doctor was conducting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The dispatcher quickly ordered that the patient be placed on the floor so that a firm surface would provide the foundation for effective CPR. The caller acknowledged the instructions and then told the dispatcher that the doctor was the highest medical authority on-scene and paramedics were responding and would be with them shortly. That prearrival care lasted 43 seconds. The companies from Fire Station 71 responded in three minutes and 17 seconds.

Once the fire captain noticed the patient was a celebrity, Michael Jackson, he notified an EMS captain, who also responded. A total of four paramedics were in that first response. Immediate care was initiated. Contact was made with the Base Station, and medical procedures were begun. This response was on-scene at 1225 hours. Michael Jackson was en route to UCLA at 1307 hours and arrived at 1313 hours. At this time, care was transferred from the LAFD paramedics to the UCLA Hospital emergency staff. If it had not been that a celebrity such as Michael Jackson was the patient, the call would have been one to which paramedics across the United States respond multiple times a day.

THE AFTERMATH

What started as a routine call quickly gave way to a day filled with speculation and grief around the world. Two captains staff the LAFD Office of Public Information. We also have a firefighter in the dispatch center to handle media relations and press inquiries. The phone began to ring off the hook; media outlets scurried to verify that a medical call came to the LAFD and wanted to know what took place in Michael Jackson’s mansion.

As the commander of the Community Service Unit, I, along with my team, fielded countless phone calls from all over the world as the breaking news hit the television stations. All reporters called with the same questions: “Can you verify that your units responded to Michael Jackson’s house and that CPR was in progress?” “Can you verify that Michael Jackson has died?”

Certainly as health care providers, all of us in the American fire service must obey the confidentiality and medical HIPPA laws that require us not to disclose the names of our patients and the type of care we render. It is a very serious obligation. We, as public information officers (PIOs), were doing our best to explain the LAFD response while being very careful not to cross the lines of privacy. We do this out of respect for the law and for the confidentiality of the patient and his family.

We quickly gathered and discussed just what we were able to say. Our collective comments were that the LAFD responded on a 911 call requesting emergency medical care. We responded with a category assignment that was in accordance with our dispatch policy for this type of medical call. When we arrived on-scene, we began our care of our patient and followed all standard medical protocols with the assistance of a medical base station. Once we provided the care, we transported within four minutes to the treating hospital and transferred the care of our patient to the UCLA. For the most part, our responsibility was complete. The work of UCLA Hospital and its staff had just begun. After trying to revive Michael Jackson for some time, a member of the Jackson family declared that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, had died.

The family’s declaration of his death allowed the LAFD, when asked, to disclose that indeed Michael Jackson was our patient. However, the care given to him was still confidential, and members of the Public Information Office did not reveal any further information concerning what had transpired while LAFD personnel treated Michael Jackson at the Bel-Air Hills estate.

The fire service is considered the most trustworthy organization in America. All of us work hard to protect that image. Words like “service,” “integrity,” and “professionalism” surround us and are probably within our tenets of leadership. Here in Los Angeles, all of our emergency apparatus proudly display our motto: “Serving with Courage, Pride, and Integrity.” We believe in it and profess it. This is important, as a potential breach of that motto surfaced in the form of a photo of Michael Jackson in the back of an LAFD rescue ambulance while under the care of our paramedics.

When our emergency apparatus arrived on-scene, no one was in the streets surrounding the Jackson estate. When Michael Jackson was transported, the whirl of media and paparazzi descended on Carolwood Avenue, just off Sunset Boulevard. People surrounded the rescue ambulance, taking pictures and trying to catch a glimpse of the patient in the back of the ambulance.

Our paramedics were in the back rendering care when camera lenses shot through the windows. One photographer, unfortunately, captured Michael on the gurney (stretcher) as the ambulance negotiated the streets. Rumors were that the photo was taken by a member of the LAFD. This was not true, and the PIOs quickly verified that this picture was not taken by any first responders. As I said earlier, the business at hand was a commitment to service and genuine care for Michael Jackson, which was given to our patient in an all-out effort to save his life. The photo was taken by a photographer who sold it to the media for an unbelievable amount of money.

It is extremely important that your agency monitor press reports and photos in the media so that your firefighters and paramedics are accurately depicted. If they are not shown in the most positive light or if there are errors, you must correct them. We need to seek retractions and let the truth be reported. We work hard for our reputation, and we must do everything in our power to protect it and promote the good and noble acts of the members of our profession.

Film Project For “They Cage the Animals at Night” To Help Foster Children

Source: Cypher Lounge Radio / They Cage The Animals At Night Film

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Cypher Lounge Radio hosts Dasha The Divine Divah and Hassahn Phenomenon welcome the people behind the film “The Cage the Animals at Night,” Rex Mize – Executive Producer, Minh Nguyen – Director, and Joseph Kibler – Producer/Creative Activist. This is a film the spoke to the heart of the greatest entertainer of all time, Michael Jackson and it is our honor to bring some light to the situation.

About

Federal legislation provides guidance to States by identifying a minimum set of acts or behaviors that define child abuse and neglect. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g), as amended by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum:

      • “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation”; or
      • “An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”

This definition of child abuse and neglect refers specifically to parents and other caregivers. A “child” under this definition generally means a person who is younger than age 18 or who is not an emancipated minor.

So what happens when abuse and neglect follow a child’s transition into foster homes and placement shelter facilities, their intended “safe places?” Studies have confirmed that foster families have a frequency of more than three-fold reported cases of maltreatment compared to non-foster families. There is an epidemic going on right here in America and abroad, right under our noses. The personal account of foster care abuse offered by the late author, Jennings Michael Burch in his book, They Cage the Animals at Night captures an unforgettable experience into the foster care system.

Burch, in his book, manages to vividly convey not only the ordinary traumas of childhood, but the extraordinary challenges he had to overcome to survive, according to Tom Deignan, author of the article, Sidewalks. Before passing away, Michael Jackson stated that he related to Burch’s story. He says, “Michael told me often he felt like he grew up as an orphan, like a foster kid, because he never was in one home.” “To him every hotel was like a different foster home. He said he used to sit in the window and see kids playing outside and cry because he couldn’t be part of that.”

To bring about awareness; to bring about protections; and to stop the abuse of our children, promoting a future of broken adults who struggle to contend with each day because of a past of painful maltreatment, abandonment and inattention by others, the King of Pop sought to co-direct and fund a movie on this wonderful story of the forgotten and to wake us up to this tragic reality.

While he is gone, but yet not forgotten, it is our duty, the everyday people, the people who see or who have felt the repercussions of this dreaded experience, to put together the little we have, to bring this platform to the forefront and to stop the mistreatment of children everywhere. The resolution must start with awareness.

Together, hand in hand, let’s save the children.

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Thriller Turns 31: 6 Ways Michael Jackson’s Best-selling Album Changed The Face of Music

Source: Bidness

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When it comes to achievement, no one can quite match up to Thriller’s magnitude of success. This album has sold 40 million copies in its initial chart run, and as it celebrates 31 years, we present you with a list of how it revolutionized music.

1) The best-selling album of all time

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Within a year of its release, Thriller  became (and still remains) the best-selling album of all time, estimated to have sold between 51 to 65 million copies worldwide with 7 out of its 9 tracks reaching the top 10 on the Billboard 100. The album also won a record-breaking 8 Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for Beat It.

2) The Thriller mini-movie changed music videos forever

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Directed by John Landis, this legendary 14 minute music video influenced a generation of directors and turned music promos into an industry by revolutionizing music video production. It helped create a market for VHS rentals and sales as fans did not want to wait around for television stations to play it. A making-of video was also made, whose rights were bought by MTV and Showtime. It attracted more than 100,000 advance orders when the documentary was released on VHS.

In 2009, Thriller became the first music video to be inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

3) Conquered racial divides

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During the 80s, MTV was a big deal among teenagers in America, and would hardly play any clips by black artists. Jackson and other black artists struggled to get airtime. However, Thriller’s  success sealed MTV’s reputation as a new cultural force by dissolving racial barriers in the station’s treatment of music. It broke industry sales records which in turn paved the way for other African-American artists, including Prince and Marvin Gaye.

4) A variety of genres – something for everybody

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Thriller  expanded the approachfrom Jackson’s previous album Off The Wall by adding tracks that contained a wide range of genres including pop, R&B, adult contemporary, and rock. The album consisted of the soft and gentle sound of Human Nature, the tough Beat It, along with the sweet schmaltz of the Paul McCartney duet, The Girl Is Mine, making it appealing to almost every kind of audience.

This is probably why it came as no surprise that the album spent the most weeks (37) atop the Billboard 200 of any album by a single artist.

5) The Moonwalk

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In an article about Michael Jackson, it would be a crime to neglect his dance moves. After the success of Thriller, he gave his iconic Billie Jean performance at the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever where he executed The Moonwalk, soon to become his signature move, to the world for the very first time.

6) Influence on popular culture

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Thriller’s  influence on popular culture has truly been extraordinary. It has tributes the world over in the form of hybrid street dances and even a synchronized prison dance to the Thriller video which was performed by 1500 inmates in the Philippines.

Its impact on fashion has also been profound with a Michael Jackson Juun J Spring/Summer 2011 Collection being launched which included sparkly gloves, red leather jackets, and red and black high-top sneakers like the ones he wore in the Thriller music video.

The dance has appeared in many movies including 13 Going On 30 and was the inspiration behind Backstreet’s Everybody video released in 1997.

http://www.bidnessetc.com/entertainment/thriller-turns-31-6-ways-michael-jackson/

Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Short Film Turns 30

Source: The Inquisir 

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There’s a moment in everyone’s music education where one is able to recall the first time they experienced Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller.” For most, the single is synonymous with the short video Jackson created. For the first time, Jackson took what was seen as a bonus vanity for a song, and expanded it to show that different meanings, thematic elements, and short stories could be produced from a song and transferred into the medium of film. Jackson would follow this formula for other prestigious videos like “Bad”, and “Smooth Criminal”, but “Thriller” stood the test of time. It also rocketed Michael Jackson to a new level of fame as a superstar.

At the time it was the most expensive video of its kind, costing a half a million dollars. The funding for the budget happened when MTV and Showtime paid a whopping $250,000 each for a 25-minute The Making of Thriller film. The director of the video, the legendary Jonathan Landis, turned that dream into a documentary called The Making of Thriller.

For fans “Thriller” was the first time a video really stood on its own, and now it stands the test of time. The video world premiered “Thriller” 30 years ago on December 2, 1983. Although I wasn’t personally around for its premiere, years later its significance still held weight in my impressionable eyes. Michael Jackson’s legendary video, complete with monster make up, and zombie-like dance moves seemed like the most frightening and coolest things I had ever experienced.

The year was 1993 when I discovered Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and by then Madonna was reigning supreme with her scantily clad videos, and Aerosmith and Tupac were both making their own iconic visuals. Still, Jackson’s “Thriller” still held a special kind of magic for me. Even though I was ten years late on the phenomenon, it was still relevant and brought a new perspective to how I personally viewed music videos. It was just as exciting as it’s been described by people of that time.

The video has impacted pop culture in a large way. From being featured in films throughout the decade to being the centerpiece of massive tributes, “Thriller” has found a way to transcend its time. With the impact of YouTube, multiple people have gotten together to recreate the excitement of “Thriller.” In particular a group of 1500 inmates in the Philippines had gathered to pay homage to the dance. The video was created in 2007 and now has over 53 million views.

A year before that an event which was titled “Thrill Toronto” staged a “Thriller” dance, featuring 62 dancers. At the time it made the Guinness Book of World Records. Eventually it turned into a global charity called “Thrill the World” which has shown zombie dance mobs in 17 countries. These countries participated in the 25th Anniversary for the “Thriller” video.

Possibly the most interesting thing about “Thriller” is what came before the film starts. Touching on Jackson’s Jehovah Witness upbringing, Jackson insisted that a title card opened the music video with: (“Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult”).

Here’s a look at “Thriller” in its entirety.

http://www.inquisitr.com/1050548/michael-jacksons-thriller-turns-30/#vJvmCrgv6ED77FMM.99

Rock Hall Anniversary: Michael Jackson’s Thriller Short Film

Source: Examiner – By Ryan Davis

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In 1983, Michael Jackson helped revolutionized the music video, thanks to number one singles “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”. By year’s end, he would take it even further.

In December, Jackson would release the video for the song “Thriller”. It stood at thirteen minutes long, and was directed by John Landis. Along with Jackson himself, the video also starred former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray as his girlfriend. It would began with Jackson and Ray in a 1950s setting running out or gas, and walking in the woods, where at the presence of a full moon, Jackson becomes a werecat, and Ray runs away. The scene later cuts into a movie theater, and after leaving it Jackson goes into singing verses of “Thriller” to Ray while walking through a foggy street, where they later encounter zombies (which Michael himself becomes). And of course, this would be followed by the famous dance number (which would be reenacted on numerous occasions), and Michael (back in human form) singing the chorus.

Jackson’s “Thriller” video would also be noted for the disclaimer in the beginning of the film, made due to the fact he was at the time a Jehovah’s Witness, and the video was criticized for belief in the occult, which Jackson denies. It would also featured an hour-long documentary of the video’s making, which included interviews from Landis and Ray, video clips of the Jacksons’ “Can You Feel It”, as well as audio clips of songs “Off the Wall” and “Workin’ Day and Night”.

Overall, “Thriller” would be rotated heavily on MTV, and became the top-selling home-video release, with sales of over nine million copies. It would go on to be hailed as the greatest video of all time, and would go on to be selected for the National Film Registry and the Library of Congress. Equally iconic is the red jacket worn by Jackson, becoming one of the hottest fashion statements in the mid-1980s, but going on to become one of the greatest rock memorabilia in history.

http://www.examiner.com/article/rock-hall-anniversary-michael-jackson-s-thriller-video?cid=rss

Thriller Short Film: Three Decades Later, It Still Stands Tall Above All Others

Source: The Star – By Bryan Wawzenek

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Night of the living dead: Michael Jackson’s Thriller reigns as one of the scariest videos of all time.

On Dec 2, 1983, MTV premiered Michael Jackson’s new music video, Thriller. It was an event – MTV’s first world premiere. And it lived up to the hype. Nearly 30 years later, when people consider the best music videos, Thriller often comes out on top.

That success is remarkable given the disposable nature of music videos. Essentially, these clips are just ads for new music. Around the time of MTV’s launch in 1981, little effort or money were put into these short clips. For every band (such as Talking Heads) that approached videos like experimental art films, there were thousands of acts that stood around in a studio or on a stage and pretended to play their new single in front of a few cameras. The vast majority of videos were shot in a day, if not a few hours.

This was the way things were done long before MTV, dating back to the mid-1960s and the “promotional films” made on the cheap, featuring a new single and aired on TV variety programs. Even The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, the 1964 feature film with sequences that came to be understood as the genesis of the music video, was made on a shoestring budget.

Now, back to the 1980s – an era in which many artists struggled to get comfortable with presenting themselves on MTV. Jackson was not someone who had a problem with this. Having come up as the adorable lead singer of the Jackson 5, he seemed to be born with an innate charisma as a performer, as a dancer, as a star.

His early videos displayed this, even if they forced the one-gloved pop singer to exist in a seizure-inducing world of disco lights (Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough). By 1983, Jackson began to function a little less like a music star and more like a movie actor. The clips for Billie Jean, Beat It and Say Say Say (featuring former Beatle Paul McCartney) told stories to the audience, enhancing the music with visuals borrowed from film noir, West Side Story and vaudeville. Between the quality of the music and videos, Jackson became the first significant African-American presence on MTV.

And then came the video for Thriller. It was bigger, bolder, longer, more expensive and more interesting than any music video conceived at that time (and, some would say, since). Thriller was the third video released from its namesake album. To help boost the sales of an already blockbuster LP, Jackson wanted to break new ground.

To make this happen, he contacted movie director John Landis, because Jackson had loved Landis’s 1981 horror film An American Werewolf In London. At the time, big-shot film directors considered music video shoots a significant step down, but Landis was intrigued by Jackson’s enthusiasm and concept. The director and the musician collaborated on a script that extended a mere music video into a 13-minute horror flick. Extensive zombie makeup and “werecat” effects were developed by Rick Baker (who also worked on American Werewolf). Dozens of dancers were cast. Actress Ola Ray was hired to play Michael’s love interest – and victim. The whole thing ended up taking multiple days to shoot, costing about US$500,000 (some say even more). Regardless, it was the most expensive music video made in that era.

As it turned out, Jackson, Landis and everyone involved gambled and won. The video was a monster success for MTV, which aired Thriller as often as possible. Most people who were alive in the early 1980s have distinct memories of the video – a significant fact considering that MTV used to air videos one after another in those days. I was a toddler at the time, and my memory is seeing zombie Michael on a wall of big-screen TVs at an appliance store. I freaked out when I saw one of the dancing zombies rising from a grave. As such, I would stop my Mom from listening to the song Thriller when she played the LP at home. For many years, Side One ended with The Girl is Mine.

I was traumatised, but the rest of the music world was enthralled. Music videos became big business, with record labels throwing money at bands, directors and special effects, hoping that enough cash would result in “the next Thriller.” They tried. And some really interesting videos were created – from videos that brought a cinematic sweep to the small screen (Guns N’ Roses’ November Rain) to clips that featured some of the earliest uses of computer animation (Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing). In the 1990s, music videos became a stepping stone for film directors to get to Hollywood. Some of today’s most creative and successful film directors (David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Michael Bay) got their start at the helm of a five-minute music video. Francis Lawrence, the director of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, once made videos for Britney Spears, Aerosmith and Jennifer Lopez.

While everyone else was trying to out-do Thriller, so was Jackson. He continued to work with A-list directors (Martin Scorsese on Bad, John Singleton on Remember The Time and Landis again on Black Or White). The budgets got bigger, the concepts grew more elaborate, the co-stars became actual celebrities (including Eddie Murphy and Marlon Brando). Yet, even MJ couldn’t top Thriller. Not even with 1995’s Scream, directed by the great Mark Romanek, featuring Janet Jackson and boasting the largest budget in music video history: US$7mil.

When it came to videos, Jackson never quite escaped the long shadow of Thriller. How could he? Long after MTV stopped showing videos and started getting “real,” we’re still fascinated by Thriller. Convicted criminals choreograph their own Thriller videos. Towns host Thriller festivals. A Thriller Broadway musical is in the works. Years from now, after a million more viral videos have gone the way of Gangnam Style, we’ll still be talking about Thriller.

http://www.thestar.com.my/Lifestyle/Viewpoints/Music-Lessons.aspx?

The Statues Of Cultural Icons In Rio

Source: The Rio Times – By Michela DellaMonica

The statue of Michael Jackson in Morro Santa Marta in Botafogo, photo courtesy of Alexandre Macieira/RioTur

The statue of Michael Jackson in Morro Santa Marta in Botafogo, photo courtesy of Alexandre Macieira/RioTur

Every city marks its history with monuments and statues, and Rio is no different. Throughout the Cidade Maravilhos there are icons honoring historical figures such as of nobleman and battle officers, however the majority of statues are of artists and musicians who helped shape the city’s culture.

Typical bronze statues of great writers, poets, composers and idealists are found throughout all of the neighborhoods from park benches to city sidewalks.

Perhaps one of the most recognizable bronze statue in Rio de Janeiro to visit is of Michael Jackson in Morro Santa Marta (or Dona Marta) in Botafogo.

The statue of the “King of Pop” was created by cartoonist Ique, who has also designed other statues around the city, and is in the same location where the music video for “They Don’t Really Care About Us” was filmed in 1996.

The statue was inaugurated a year after Jackson’s death in 2010 and also has a nearby mosaic by Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto.

In Leme the statue of famous samba composer Ary de Resende Barroso is found outside a bar and is of him sitting at a table connected to it with two seats to snap some photos. Also along the beach in Copacabana another famous composer Carlos Drummond de Andrade sits on a bench with a quote that says, “No mar estava escrita uma cidade.”

Near Posto 6 in Copacabana is another bronze statue carrying a violin case of Dorival Caymmi, an influential singer, violinist and actor from Salvador, Bahia.

At the entrance of the Vila Isabel neighborhood and samba school is the statue of Noel Rosa, an influential samba composer and poet whose birthplace was in this region of Zona Norte (North Zone). The statue entitled “Poeta da Vila” is of the composer sitting at a table being waited on by a server.

Another significant statue in Vila Isabel is of Braguinha, or Carlos Alberto Ferreira Braga, which pays homage to the legendary composer.

Amidst the tall historical monuments in Centro is the statue of Pixinguinha, a legendary figure for popular music in Brazil playing the saxophone located along Travessa do Ouvidor.

Statue of Pixinguinha located in Centro, photo courtesy of Pedro Kirilos/RioTur.

Statue of Pixinguinha located in Centro, photo courtesy of Pedro Kirilos/RioTur.

Atop the Pão de Açúca (Sugarloaf) are two statues of Augusto Ferreira Ramos and Cristóvão Leite de Castro, both engineers who built the cables to visit the famous gondola landmark.

A wealth of journalists is commemorated around the city as well. A recent bronze statue was installed in 2010 for TV Globo’s Abelardo Barbosa de Medeiros, or “o Chacrinha,” located in Jardim Botânico on Rua General Garzon. The monument shows the presenter wearing a bow tie and a large top hat holding a microphone in one hand and a piece of cod in another hand.

Journalist and author Otto Lara Resende is also found in Jardim Botânico standing at a desk holding a magazine with an inviting smile on his face. A life size statue of prestigious columnist for O Globo, Zózimo Barroso do Amaral, can be found in Leblon of him standing at a podium.

Still, Aline Takano, of Free Walking Tours says Centro is her favorite area to see statues and explains, “during the Free Walker Tours we go to Praça XV and Cinelândia so we can see some statues important for Brazilians’ history. The General Osório and Marechal Floriano Peixoto are some of them.”

http://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/rio-travel/the-statues-of-cultural-icons-in-rio

Budding Singer’s Dream To Record Heal The World for Philippines Typhoon Appeal

Source: EDP 24 – By Sophie Wyllie

Performer Alice Tiffany wants to record a song for the Philippines Typoon Appeal. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Performer Alice Tiffany wants to record a song for the Philippines Typoon Appeal. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Alice Tiffany, 21, from Alby Hill, Aldborough, near Cromer, wants to record a version of Michael Jackson’s Heal the World after being shocked by images of the natural disaster.

She is appealing for help from other artists within Norfolk and further afield as well as somewhere for her to record the song and perhaps make a video.

Miss Tiffany said: “It [the Philippines disaster] is really upsetting and horrible. Every penny helps. It is coming up to Christmas and there are people without any food.

“I have been watching it on the news everyday and want to make a difference. It is heart-breaking.”

The former Aylsham High School, Sheringham High School and Norwich City College student has already donated £50 to appeal.

She added: “I think the typhoon was so big there will be a lot of people who want to help and give something back. You have got to start somewhere.”

She described Heal the World – part of the hit 1991 album Dangerous – as a perfect song to raise awareness and cash.

Miss Tiffany sang the song at the Auden Theatre in Holt last month for a the GIFT variety show which raises money for good causes.

She first started performing at the Cromer Pier Seaside Special summer shows aged seven, which she did for five years.

Currently she has singing lessons at Sylvia Young Theatre School in London but she has also had acting and dancing lessons at the performing arts centre since she was aged 11.

Miss Tiffany, who runs a beauty salon from her home, also performed at the Caister Haven holiday park as a funstar entertainer two years ago.

Anyone interested in getting involved should email tiffany.265@btinternet.com

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/video_budding_singer_s_dream_to_record_song_for_philippines