Category Archives: current event

The Harlem Shake

I can’t get over a new dance meme. I can’t help but laugh every time I watch one.

What’s the Harlem Shake? This sucker has exploded on You-Tube within days!

Well, it took a lot of research into both music and dance to figure out where it all came from.

The original Harlem Shake was in 1981. It was inspired by a dance in Ethiopia:

The dance requires a lot of shoulder movement (and dancing as if you were a mummy):

Despite its recent surge in popularity, the Harlem Shake, characterized by lots o’ shoulder movement and shaking the upper torso around, is not a new dance craze. The dance was in fact invented over 30 years ago in 1981 by an alcoholic nicknamed “Al B.” The Shake was originally called the Albee after its inventor.

(I wish I could find a copy of the ’81 Albee but so far no luck, but I did find this…)

Later, in 2001 a group named ‘G Dep’ released a video that featured the Albee/Harlem Shake.

In the current era, the Harlem Shake has taken on it’s own meme status after:

1. Baauer (a DJ from New York), created a Trap Remix of the original song.

2. DizastaMusic made a crazy/silly video to the remix:

But the meme took another turn. It stayed with Baauer’s remix, but for only 30 seconds. The new format is this:

  • One person dancing in one spot, often in a helmet
  • Said dancer is in a room of other people involved in a perceived mundane life
  • When the bass drops and the lyrics announce “Do the Harlem Shake”, everything changes…
  • Everyone in the room has now changed costume and doing individually different wacky movements
  • Often there are more people involved in the transition portion
  • The song hits a moment that sounds like a growl and the video often goes into slo-motion then ends

Within days there have been many, many video remixes of the formula. Ready for a tour?

Perhaps the first video to follow the new format was this one:

A Norwegian Army version:

A Club version:

An office version:

Another office version:


A fire-fighter version:

A puppy version:

An underwater version:

A cartoon version:

A Star Wars version:

A finger/puppet version:

A Charlie Brown version:

And the Arrested Development version that your’s truly made:

However, there’s been some resistance:

Colin Powell on Immigration

You know what? Colin Powell has it correct.

We are a nation of immigrants. That’s why we need sound immigration policy. It’s ridiculous to not have a sound immigration policy to welcome those who want to come here and be part of this great nation; or we can send back home with an education to help their people rise up out of poverty.

~ Colin Powel
(from TEDtalksDirector presentation: ‘Colin Powell: Kids need structure’; 2012; http://youtu.be/NhYnouvrG_8)

Gen. Powell has a great perspective on all of this. To help put the above quote in perspective and context, I’ve embedded below the full presentation (although it’s about the education of children, this segment about immigration is pretty brilliant). Fast-forward to 14:21 and watch for 3 minutes then comment and tell me what you think about his perspective.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Starbucks

caffinated sunrise

Several years ago I opened up a blog on Tumblr that aggregated several Starbucks-related websites into one place. However, it died.

So today I’ve resurrected the idea on a new platform: Soup.io!

If you are a current or former Barista for the ‘Bux, or if you are just a fan of the ‘Bux, I invite you to check out this site:

SBUX SOUP: Adding individual SBUX websites into one delicious SBUX Soup!

Currently the main resources that power this site include:

Perhaps the list will grow — if you know of other great resources please let me know.

In the meantime, lean back and enjoy sipping from the new SBUX SOUP!

The 12-21-12 Mayan Hoax

You’ve probably heard that the world is going to end on Dec 21, 2012 (this Friday). Except that it won’t — at least not for the reasons of the Mayan calendar.

You see, the Maya are known for being very intelligent, incredibly accurate about predicting/maintaining time, and quite advanced in writing. Despite all this, they didn’t predict the end of the world.

NASA has gone on record with their reasons why this is all a hoax.

And would you believe that there are at least three myths commonly believed about the Maya?

Here’s how the Maya calendar works and why 12-21-12 became such an important day.

My New Favorite Shark Story

Near Myrtle Beach, SC (more specifically, Rice Circle, Cherry Grove, SC) a 5-ft, 200-lb Bull Shark decided to have a little snack on a 2-ft, 7-lb Red Drum (bass) fish. Of course that’s not really news at all. However, when that Red Drum is on the line of a fisherman (er, uh, fisherwoman) when the shark makes his move and the camera is rolling, well now we have a story!

Sarah Brame was fishing off a ‘marsh-front’ house dock while her fiance William Moore of Franklinton, NC had the camera. She hooked the fish and he aimed the camera to witness the reel-in. Then out of nowhere…(caution: some language justifiably NSFW)

Local news station WPDE caught up with the couple….

“Let’s go swimming” was a phrase not uttered for weeks.

There are typically only three kinds of sharks that will attack humans: Great White, Tiger, and Bull. Bull Sharks are the only ones that don’t care if the water is salty, brackish, or fresh. However, pretty much all sharks attack fish!

And the freaky thing? The more I look at the map, the more I’m realizing that last summer we stayed at a beach house less than a mile from this incident!

Sigh. A mile short and a year early. The story of my life. 🙁

Starbucks ‘Secret’ Menu is False

It’s taken me a while to address this, but I must. After working at Starbucks for almost 2 years now, I have to tell you there there is no secret menu at Starbucks. Maybe you’ve seen this “secret menu”:

Bogus bogus bogus! Here’s your official Starbucks menu. The only potentially universally recognized drinks not on the menu are the “Red Eye” (brewed coffee with a shot of espresso), the “Black Eye” (brewed coffee with two shots of espresso), and possibly the “Dirty Chai” (a chai latte with a shot of espresso added). I say ‘possibly’ for the Dirty Chai because some people only want one shot of espresso and some want two (sometimes referred to as the “Double Dirty Chai” but not always), but it’s not universal.

To be honest, most of the time if you want ‘extra’ anything, we usually try to quantify just how much extra you want. The most common exception is ‘extra caramel’ sauce where we typically coat the cup with caramel sauce.

Any Starbucks Barista worth their salt will tell you ‘(your size drink) gets x-amount of whatever…how many would you like?’ You can customize your drink any way you want, and we encourage it, but just realize that the best way to customize it is to tell your Barista how many shots or pumps of syrup you desire (BTW, in Starbuckian, a shot refers to espresso, a pump refers to syrup). Starbucks Melody tries her hand at debunking the secret menu and she’s correct.

All this to say if you order something with some name you’ve heard and it’s not on the menu, do not be surprised if your intelligent Barista asks you questions to narrow down the specific recipe for your particular drink.

Dr. Shaq

Dr. Shaq earns his degree

If you weren’t already impressed by Shaquille O’Neal’s girth (7’1″, 325), or his NBA Championships (4), or him being an NBA All-Star (15 times), perhaps you’ll be impressed that Shaq now has a Doctorate Degree (not honorary, but earned!) from Barry University in Florida.

You see, Shaq was such a talent when playing basketball in college, he left early to go into the NBA. But he didn’t stop learning.

After leaving school early in 1992 to enter the NBA Draft, O’Neal went back to Louisiana State University eight years later and earned his bachelor’s degree in general studies, fulfilling a promise to his mother. In 2005, he earned a master’s of business administration through the University of Phoenix’s online degree program.

After leading the [Miami] Heat to the NBA title in 2006, O’Neal decided it was time to go back to school again and…decided to enroll at Barry in Miami Shores. He spent the past 4?1/2 years — including his final two seasons in the NBA — quietly working toward his doctoral degree in organizational learning and leadership with a specialization in human resource development. He studied before and after games, and between his work on television as an analyst, often staying up to the wee hours of the morning to get work done.

The big man didn’t just get by either. O’Neal achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.813 while completing 54 credit hours comprised of 16 courses and six credit hours of self-directed research. He did most of his course work via satellite, video conferencing and Blackboard.com. The title of his doctoral capstone project was “The Duality of Humor and Seriousness in Leadership Styles.”

Shaq is now, in my opinion, a great role-model. My respect for Dr. O’Neal is so much higher now.