Dr. Karaoke

Michael Jackson's Beat It
(After the rather long intro, the singing kicks in at about 0:48 in the timecode. It's worth the wait.)

We enjoy showcasing undiscovered or lesser known talent here.
We're huge fans of Fiomily, the young sisters, Emily and Fiona, who do such amazing covers of new and classic rock.


And we think Sinval Fonseca's smooth one-man-band Bossa Nova is refreshing and fantastic.

Then came Dr. Karaoke.
Dr. K Chaudhry is something else again.
We don't know exactly what to make of him and we're hoping that maybe you do.

Dr. K, like Fiomily and Sinval, loves to crank up the webcam and belt out a song. At least that's what we think he's doing.

If this is a joke, he's carried it a pretty long way.
Dr. K. has dozens of Karaoke covers online, and that's just the stuff in English.

There must be hundreds of clips out there of Dr. K singing along with songs which we assume are in his native Hindi.

And that's not even getting into his online astrology predictions.

If nothing else, he is unique, no?

The Eagles' Hotel California

The Beatles' Yesterday

Abba's Dancing Queen

The Art of Magic: How to Make Democracy Disappear


The Pledge:
The Government says Big Business is strong...

The Turn:
...then forces consumers to bailout Big Business

The Prestige:
Big Business is allowed to use Bailout Bucks to buy the Government

Prest-O Change-O!

Dark Apocalypzia: Devastation in Darfur


Blood and Treasure
The US has spent $1 trillion -- and sacrificed thousands of American lives -- in the nearly decade-long military operations within, and reconstruction and rehabilitation of, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now our attention is seized by the earthquake devastation in Haiti, and its aftershocks.

But, another war-torn, Hell-on-Earth corner of the world for many has been forgotten.

Africa at the Crossroads: Darfur, Sudan: Years of Conflict

What is the population of Sudan?
Sudan has a population of 36 million. It is the largest country in Africa.

Where is Darfur, Sudan?
The Sudan is south of Eqypt and west of Yemen and Somalia. Darfur is situated along the eastern border of Chad.

map of darfur

When did the Darfur Conflict begin and why?
The war began in February 2003 when the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebelled against the Sudanese government, alleging brutal oppression of Africans in favor of Arabs.

The Sudanese government denies that it supports, or is supported by, the infamous Janjaweed -- arrmed gunmen allegedly responsible for the wholesale death of innocents over the last 7 years.

How many people have been killed since 2003?
The actual number of people killed is unknown. Estimates vary widely. According to the UN Refugee Agency, since 2003, from 200,000 to 400,000 people have been killed -- victims of massacre or disease.

How many people have been displaced in the past seven years?
Two million people have been forced from their homes, including 250,000 Sudanese refugees who have fled across the border.

What's happening in Darfur now?
The New York Times reports that as of January 2010, there is a fragile peace in Darfur, made more tenuous by the horrific historical backdrop of a half century of bloody conflict in the region.

Though the violence has been diminished, civilians still live in fear of attack.

What is the Gross Domestic Product of Sudan?
Sudan's GDP is $58 billion, roughly equal to the net worth of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

bill gates

Dream Machine: The Macintosh PowerBook 180

powerbook 180

I'm in the market for a new Mac
The iBook G4 I have now runs on the ancient PowerPC chip. It was one of the last Macs off the assembly line that still runs System 9.

When I bought it a few years ago that was an important consideration. Now, not so much.
ibook g4
But somehow the iBook and I never really bonded. The stark-white plastic body always seemed a little too fragile, a little too delicate.

The keyboard seems to float on a tiny, mushy waterbed.

And without an Intel chip, it doesn't have what it takes to run Apple's latest ferocious-cat operating systems.

snow leopard

And then there's that spinning beach ball of death... That menacing-maelstrom-churning-marble of doom.

spinning beach ball

You Mac users out there know what I'm talking about.

I've looked at the new sleek, fashion-forward MacBooks at the Apple store, all shiny, cool and snuggly enclosed in their aluminum unibodies.

Their keyboards glow in the dark and their touchpads and mouse clickers are all integrated into one smooth glassy surface.

They're all like works of modern art, but still they seem to lack something.

That's when I realize I'm comparing every new MacBook and new MacBook Pro to what was for me the gold standard among laptops...

My Mac PowerBook 180

powerbook  macbook

The Powerbook 180 was a grey-on-grey, greyscale only, heavy-as-lead Sherman Tank of a laptop.

I bet you could fire a .22 at the shell and just watch the bullets bounce off.

The keyboard was as steady and as stable as a 1975 IBM Selectric Typewriter.

I ran my business off of it for years and it never let me down. Of all the Macs I've owned, the PB 180 was truly the best-in-class.

Of course, with only 4MB of RAM and a 33 MHz 68030 microchip, it wasn't exactly teeming with horsepower, but after all these years it still powers up.

That's more than I can say for my other now-defunct laptop-paperweights stacked up in the garage.

I'm not the only one with good feelings about the Powerbook 180.

Many who either still have their old one or who purchased a used one from eBay sing its praises on YouTube.

Good Times: The Art of Ernie Barnes

sugar shack

Millions were exposed to the art of Ernie Barnes through the 1970's TV show, Good Times
Mr. Barnes' art was backdrop for the show's closing credits. It was also used to represent the paintings of wisecracking JJ (Dyn-O-Mite!) Evans, the series' budding artist.

Ernie Barnes, who retired from professional football to pursue his love of art, described his particular creative style of distortion and exaggeration as neo-mannerism.

The closed eyes of the people in his paintings symbolize our blindness to true magic of humanity.

Whatever one might call it, his work is alive with movement, expression and nuance meaning.


My Miss America
my miss america


Ernie Barnes 1938 - 2009
ernie barnes

The Legend of Lucky Losers

Jeff Zucker - President and CEO of NBC Universal



Under Zucker's command, NBC plummeted from being ranked first among the top three networks to fourth among the top four. Yeah, that's right.

The Los Angeles Times calls Zucker's bungled attempt to placate NBC affiliates with his late-night shifting of Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien "one of the biggest debacles in television history."


Zucker will continue to lead the NBC/Universal joint venture currently in the works between General Electric and Comcast

Jay Leno - The once and future host of NBC's Tonight Show



Jay Leno, pointman of one of the most conspicuous failed experiments the history of modern media, hosted fully one-third of the 2009 NBC primetime schedule with tired jokes, bland sketches and a distinct lack of show prep.

Leno, at least as of this writing, looks poised to wrestle the helm of the Tonight Show back from Conan O'Brien, in order to resume his position as King of Late Night.

Ben Bernanke - Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve

Ben Bernanke was head of the Fed as the global economy suffered the worst financial meltdown in nearly a century.

He's the genius who came up with the Bernanke Doctrine, recommending that the way to stave of deflation is to print more money and pay zero interest on it.

Says Bernanke:

The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. Under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and, hence, positive inflation.

Along with former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Bernanke was the target of fraud allegations in 2009 issued by the New York State's Attorney regarding improprieties in the acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America.

Bernanke was not only reappointed to the position for another term but was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year.

Lovie Smith - Head Coach of the once redoubtable Chicago Bears.

Smith has registered losing seasons for half of the six years of his coaching career in Chicago.

He has an overall winning record of just barely over .500

His key strategy/tactic on the field is to "make plays." Yeah, that pretty much his entire game plan.

After leading the Chicago Bears to an ugly 7-9 losing season for 2009 and with many Bears fans demanding that he be sacked, Smith was the last man standing after the entire coaching staff was fired.