What Some Stars sound Like without Auto-Tune

One of the biggest frauds perpetrated on the listening public is Auto-tune and Voice-Over used in live concerts to make the artist sound a good as the studio. This video presents the actual sound track from the microphone during a Britney Spears performance. Judge the girls chops for yourself…

Now, no one has ever accused Britney of having a voice…Rapidly declining good looks and nice gams… But not pipes.

The ugly truth is virtually no one can maintain the breath control and pitch required to sing like Ella Fitzgerald while doing an aerobics routine. Meaning all of these high energy dance performances passing for concerts are conducted using voice over. Meaning if you are paying $200 to see some of these performers – that is exactly all you are getting. What you see on the stage is an attractive woman dancing in her underwear. What you hear was recorded in a studio -perhaps years ago – perhaps, but not necessarily by the artist who is dancing (Milli Vanilli ring a bell, anyone?).

Which leaves the question… Et Tu Beyonce?

Van Jones Destroys Tea Party Ted Cruz

Oh My!

This is a whuppin’.

Free “Blade”. Wesley Snipes Leaves Prison

Actor Wesley Snipes can now begin the process of putting his acting career back together… A “Blade” sequel?

Repeat after me, Wesley…”1040…1040…1040″.

Actor Wesley Snipes released from prison

 Actor Wesley Snipes has been released from a federal prison where he was serving a three-year sentence after being convicted on tax charges in February 2010.The release to a supervised residential location in New York occurred Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Prisons told CNN.

Snipes, 50, who starred in the “Blade” action movies and “White Men Can’t Jump,” had been serving time at a federal prison in Pennsylvania. A jury convicted him of willfully failing to file tax returns for 1999, 2000 and 2001. Snipes was acquitted of felony tax fraud and conspiracy charges.

In June 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of his sentence, which he had argued was too harsh for a misdemeanor conviction.

Orange Jumpsuit… Minister

Hmmm… Seems like the Right Reverend also swings a mean left shoe…

This one eventually is headed for a train wreck.

Police arrest Georgia megachurch pastor after disturbance at home

Creflo Dollar’s Mug Shot

Police arrest Georgia megachurch pastor after disturbance at home

Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar was arrested in suburban Atlanta for an alleged assault on his 15-year-old daughter, police said Friday.

Deputies in Georgia’s Fayette County responded to a call about a domestic disturbance about 1 a.m. Friday. Dollar’s daughter said she argued with her father over attending a party, said Investigator Brent Rowan of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.

The daughter says the argument got physical.

She told the deputies that her father charged her, put his hands around her throat and began to choke her, according to a police report. She said he then slammed her to the ground, punched her and beat her with his shoe.

Dollar’s daughter was able to get away and dial 911, Rowan said. Continue reading

Bootleg Wine?

Couldn’t pass on this tune from Sticks McGhee reading this article -

Now – there was a Bootlegger in the BT family – made some of the finest White Lightning I ever tasted. He long ago retired. Used to like to keep a Mason Jar in the freezer

You can make wine out of almost any fruit – and even a number of flowers. I remember a neighbor who made Dandelion Wine for personal consumption, which was pretty good. Lavender is another exotic choice among the flower wines.

Guess this old guy just needed to make ends meet in these hard times…

James Edward Skinner, Elderly Virginia Bootlegger, Arrested With 600 Gallons Of Fruit Wine. Again

An elderly Virginia bootlegger has been arrested, again, for illegally making and selling fruit wine at his home.

Six-hundred gallons of the wine — made of bananas, strawberries and tomatoes, among other fruits — were stored in the 83-year-old’s garage and shed.

James Edward Skinner was arrested in Newport News last week after agents “received complaints pertaining to the illegal manufacture and sale of wine in the home,” according to a press statement released by Virginia’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Skinner’s grandson, Darrin Skinner, was also arrested. (The grandson’s age is given as 44 in the press statement; it’s given as 41 in WVEC-TV’s account of the arrest.)

The wine came “in various flavors,” per the statement, and was sold for $7 or $8 per half-gallon — that’s somewhere between $8,600 and $9,600 worth of wine seized by authorities.

“People seem to think its ‘better’ because it’s homemade,” according to Special Agent in Charge Bob Brooks, who communicated his observations to The Huffington Post by email via Virginia ABC spokesperson Maureen Haney:

There is also a certain novelty involved, as there is with moonshine. Illegal wine is not as common as the illegal corn whisky (moonshine) because it’s a more time consuming process. Wine has to be fermented after it is distilled, then strained and fermented again. There was tons of sediment in the wine they seized from the Skinner home on Friday and there is not a lot of quality control.Brooks noted that “Skinner told officers that he had learned how to make the wine from his father and was still using the same recipe. He makes the wine from all types of fruit including strawberries, bananas, apples, tomatoes, and pretty much anything that is available to him at the time.”

Mostly “older retired people” are engaged in this sort of bootlegging, Brooks said through Haney. “Because they are retired, they have the time, and it’s extra income they don’t have to claim on their taxes.” Continue reading

River Monsters Failure to Catch

As an avid fisherman – I started watching the River Monsters series becoming rapidly bored with the false sense of drama  over the large fish supposedly attacking humans swimming, and the lack of focus on the fish themselves and their ecosystems.

Never to disappoint, it seems the show has discovered Bull Sharks. A species of shark which inhabits most of the world’s oceans, and is capable of living in fresh or salt water. Bull sharks are the most dangerous to humans of the shark species, accounting for the vast majority of bites – simply because the region they inhabit tends to be around the shallows in inlets where food is washed out by the receding tide. Areas where people tend to swim and surf. I have caught 4 footers, and even an 8 footer going after game species such as Grouper and Rockfish as by-catch. But I have yet to hear of a Bull Shark attacking anyone in fresh water. Hooking one is no big deal – you know you have one on the line when it hits like a freight train, and then instantly starts to roll to spit out the hook.

A full grown Bull shark

Was reading  book about the history of the development of the Washington, DC area – and was somewhat surprised to see that in the 1800’s a 12 foot Bull shark was caught off the pier in Georgetown. Of course the Potomac River was about 3 times the size it is now then. But it is not unusual to see salt water species, such as crabs just a few miles below the city even today.

If the show ever gets around to actually providing information about the fish species, showing the fish, and talking about the habitat that enables the fish to reach huge size – then I might tune in again. But I, for one am really tired of the rather lame attempts to make things dramatic. In the series premier, they catch a truly glorious fish – a 350 lb Grouper, and virtually ignore it. Geez…

‘River Monsters’ Premiere: The Search For A Bull Shark; Exciting Or Too Slow? (VIDEO)

Jeremy Wade and “River Monsters” (Sun., 9 p.m. ET on Animal Planet) returned for a fourth season, with Wade on the hunt for a bigger and better monster. He came up slightly short with a juvenile freshwater bull shark, though it was still six feet in length. Ironically, while looking for the bull shark, Wade found a seven foot long, 350 pound grouper.

A grouper might not traditionally be thought of as dangerous or a monster, per se, but when dealing with that size, it certainly seems pretty monstrous. The TCPalmsays the show is a “fun reminder that we have some special creatures sharing our environment with us.”

The New York Daily News, on the other hand, was a little disappointed with this premiere. They feel that the series needs to talk less about the monsters sharing the world with us, and spend more time showing them.

A little Jackie Wilson. Got nothing to do with fishing, Monsters, the River, current TV shows, or Jeremy Wade’s failure to catch fish…

But is infinitely more entertaining.

Best Educated Janitors…

Fresh on news that there are 21 million Americans out of work – there is the question of the undremployed–

Why Did 17 Million Students Go to College?

Two sets of information were presented to me in the last 24 hours that have dramatically reinforced my feeling that diminishing returns have set in to investments in higher education, with increasing evidence suggesting that we are in one respect “overinvesting” in the field. First, following up on information provided by former student Douglas Himes at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), my sidekick Chris Matgouranis showed me the table reproduced below (And for more see this).

Over 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees (over 8,000 of them have doctoral or professional degrees), along with over 80,000 bartenders, and over 18,000parking lot attendants. All told, some 17,000,000 Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that the BLS says require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.

Now I’ve said for a while that one the the great myths of the new depression is the existence of high tech jobs needing high education. At this point there are millions of college educated out of work or substantially underemployed. You cannot fix the roots of the current economic malaise by by generating more job seekers – no matter how well educated or qualified. The brutal fact is, very little of our current economy is actually dependent on new technology. Think of it this way – the leading cell phone platform is dependent on thinking and aa technology concept first developed in Xerox Labs in the 70’s. Very little of the development today of “new technology” is actually “development’ = it is actually execution against old technology. So if you trin them – what would this new legion of scientists and engineers do?

And there is the crux of the problem.

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