Monday, March 30, 2015

The Top 10 Board Games Everyone Should Own

The magic of board games is that they draw us closer to each other. There's also a purpose and objective, which is to win the game, but whatever competitive nature, these games inspire, it's a given that the exercise is all in fun. A real family fun night can be yours if you're able to lure your family members away from the boob tube, smart-phone, tablet, Kindle or PC.

It is a good idea to pick at least one night out of the month, choose a weekend night, and spend it sitting around your table with your family and play a few of these games. You'll not only get some bonding time with each other, but you'll also make lasting memories of some family togetherness.

These games below are family favorites
  1. Chutes and Ladders aka Snakes and Ladders
  2. Monopoly
  3. Life
  4. Scrabble
  5. Connect Four
  6. Sorry
  7. Jenga
  8. Uno
  9. Yahtzee
  10. Trouble

The games above are fun for a whole family. Other common board games are Checkers and Chess, Battleship, and even Othello, although these are probably not the best choices for family fun as these games are two-player games.

Going a little further back, maybe you remember these games from Milton Bradley
  1. Happy Days
  2. Flip Your Wig The Beatles

There is a long recent stretch of USA good ol' Americana that is found in, the board games played over the last few decades. The popularity of board games seemed to rise in the 1930's with Monopoly and the success of that game inspired the many others that followed. It is a genre unto itself and one that is not dependent on battery power.

For sure, if you're game enough, family fun awaits you all. The games above are all best sellers even to this day, but what's your favorite? Maybe there is one that's not listed here, feel free to post your ideas in the comments below.

FYI - But, did you know that the Monopoly game we all love and hate was actually stolen? Yep, as it turns out, the game was originally created by Elizabeth Magie and patented in 1904. Her original creation was called “The Landlord's Game.” That game and the more well known Monopoly are nearly identical, to put matters to rest her patent was eventually bought out for a sum of $500. Bum deal there, I think!

Indian SC Rules Section 66A Unconstitutional

The Indian Supreme Court has struck down the notorious Section 66A of the Information Technology Act. The law provision that has been quite often misused by police against innocent citizens exercising free speech on social media has been overturned!

Section 66A, an amendment added to Indian IT Law in 2008, enabled police to blatantly abuse and misuse their authority. The very vague Section 66A left a people of free speech feeling like their rights were more than compromised, and that there was no legal protection for themselves. The real danger and threat of this terrible amendment was that it was so vague and that it was left up to interpretation. This cannot be a justified law, because those left to interpret this will change over in time and that would lead to inconsistencies in the amendment's interpretation.

The new ruling should relieve an atmosphere of fear and gives citizens more confidence that they have a Supreme Court that will protect their basic rights as citizens.

The verdict which is seen as a breath of fresh air, signifies that the ruling court has more confidence in clarifying the law and can be more tolerable of dissent, allowing free speech to follow without fear of reprisal. It gives confidence back to its people and will enable internet users to to freely express themselves without fear.

The now infamous Section 66A amendment previously imposed a maximum punishment of three years in prison with additional fines for posting or sending information that is "grossly offensive" or has "menacing character" and for sending e-mails causing "annoyance or "inconvenience" to another. Point of fact is, none of these expressions were defined in the law, and this allowed it to be abused and misused by the police.

The Indian Supreme Court has made a loud and clear statement reminding legislators of their limits in making and enforcing laws that could violate the individual fundamental rights of all its citizens.
There are limits to be aware of, although everyone can now enjoy cyber freedom and post, write, discuss anything they like, if these actions lead to what has been labeled 'incitement to an offense' – then criminal law can be applied.

The best thing to take from this, is that the free flow of thoughts and ideas can come forth. The era of stifling oppressiveness is over! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Net Neutrality Under Attack

With complete disregard to the recent FCC ruling and the wishes of the American citizens, the lobbying group USTelecom filed their appeal to block the Federal Communications Commission's decision to reclassify broadband internet as a Title II utility. USTelecom represents AT&T, Verizon, and other broadband internet providers.

USTelecom, filed their suit in the Washington, D.C. Federal Appellate Court on Monday. The FCC says that challenges can be filed up to 60 days after its net neutrality rules are published in the Federal Register, which is expected to be made public in the next few days.

We do not believe the Federal Communications Commission’s move to utility-style regulation invoking Title II authority is legally sustainable.”

Therefore, we are filing a petition to protect our procedural rights in challenging the recently adopted open Internet order.” - USTelecom President Walter McCormick

Consumer advocacy groups all agree, and say that the Title II classification is the right way to classify broadband internet.

Greed is a cancer. It knows not limits nor contentment, it will reach out and up, from any and every legal or imagined loophole to keep taking, feeding off an unsuspecting public to no end. If USTelecom and their like, gets their way, it will only lead to price wars with the big players who will in turn pass their costs of operation to the consumer, and drive already unreasonable prices even higher for all.

This battle will rage for some time to come, and I imagine that it will not get settled once and for all until it reaches the Supreme Court. Below is a clip of the FCC's recent ruling declaring that broadband internet is a public utility.

The big question might be, are we safe now? Yes, these companies cannot disregard the law, they can only try to change it. For the time being, internet as you know it will remain the same.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Raving Mad Cheney Blasts Obama - 'Worst President of my Lifetime'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney blasted President Obama in a recent Playboy interview. Playboy magazine, let's face it, this isn't the ideal medium to make any significant commentary if your important in politics today. That however, did not occur to the worst Vice-President we've ever seen in our lifetime!

In an interview where he prattled on about little nothings, he also took the opportunity to blast President Obama. Saying in part, “I look at Barack Obama and I see the worst President of my lifetime, without question.”
Further, adding “I used to have significant criticism of Jimmy Carter, but compared to Barack Obama and the damage he is doing to the nation, it's a tragedy, a real tragedy, and we are going to pay a hell of a price just trying to dig out from under his presidency."
The way Obama is functioning now, he’s crippling the capacity of future presidents to deal with future crises.”

In his delusional mad ravings he also claims that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder 'play the race card' whenever they suggest that their critics may be partially driven by race.

Cheney is the sort of lunatic Republican that can occasionally generate some news coverage, usually in embarrassing outbursts. He is a very bitter and disgruntled old man who has a dangerously distorted perspective on reality.

He really ought to be grateful to President Obama and Eric Holder and should never say anything about them at all. They could have pursued charges against he and former President Bush for war crimes, but they chose to look ahead and let dead dogs lie.

I find it curious, and somewhat humorous that we often hear sensational outbursts and wild claims from former vice president Dick Cheney, while we almost never hear from other former vice-presidents.

Cheney in another interview

FYI – George W. Bush's final approval rating in January 2009 in a CBS News/NY times poll was 22% and Dick Cheney's was 13%.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Madonna's Rebel Heart Debuts at #2 on Billboard

Madonna's New Album Rebel Heart debuts at #2 on Billboard for the week of March 28th, 2015.

This is a great debut, considering that nearly all of the songs were leaked online months ago.

This live footage is the performance where Madonna had a fall down the steps. In the performance, she showed powerful professionalism by continuing the song, without a restart...nearly uninterrupted.

Madonna talks about her fall during this interview.

Madonna recently announced concert dates for her upcoming 35-city tour in support of the album Rebel Heart. Kicking off in Miami on August 29th, the iconic pop star will bring her Rebel Heart tour across North America, Europe and the UK on through December.

Tour Promoter Live Nation said in a press release, each ticket purchased online will include a digital download of Rebel Heart's Super Deluxe version, which includes four previously unreleased studio tracks.

Concert Tour Dates:
Some of these shows are already sold-out, you'll have to check her Official Website for the latest on concert dates, tickets and availability. There will be more shows and more dates added as the Tour launch approaches, with more dates in Asia and Australia expected to be announced in the near future.

Rebel Heart North American Tour Dates:

August 29 - Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
September 2 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
September 5 - San Juan, PR @ Coliseo de Puerto Rico
September 9 - Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
September 12 - Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
September 16 - New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
September 19 - Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
September 24 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
September 26 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
September 28 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
October 1 - Detroit, MI @ Joe Louis Arena
October 3 - Atlantic City, NJ @ Boardwalk Hall
October 5 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
October 8 - St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
October 11 - Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
October 14 - Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
October 17 - Portland, OR @ MODA Center
October 19 - San Jose, CA @ SAP Center at San Jose
October 22 - Glendale, AZ @ Gila River Arena
October 24 - Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
October 27 - Los Angeles, CA @ Forum

Rebel Heart European & UK Tour Dates:

November 4 - Koln, Germany @ Lanxess Arena
November 7 - Prague, CZ @ O2 Arena
November 10 - Berlin, Germany @ Mercedes-Benz Arena (02 World)
November 14 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Tele 2 Arena
November 17 - Herning, Denmark @ Jyske Bank Boxen
November 21 - Turin, Italy @ Pala Alpitour
November 24 - Barcelona, Spain @ Palau Sant Jordi
November 28 - Antwerp, Belgium @ Sportpaleis
December 1 - London, UK @ O2 Arena
December 5 - Amsterdam, Holland @ Ziggo Dome
December 9 - Paris, France @ Bercy
December 14 - Manchester, UK @ Manchester Arena
December 16 - Birmingham, UK @ Barclaycard Arena
December 20 - Glasgow, Scotland @ The SSE Hydro

It was recently announced that Madonna has added additional dates to her sold out performances in Germany, Italy and Montreal on the upcoming Rebel Heart Tour.

Sept 10 - Montreal, Quebec - Bell Centre (On sale March 21 @Noon Local Time)
Nov 05 - Koln, Germany - Lanxess Arena (On sale March 23 @ 9am Local Time) 
Nov 11 - Berlin, Germany - Mercedes-Benz Arena (On sale March 23 @ 9am Local Time) 
Nov 22 - Turin, Italy - Pala Alpitour (On sale March 24 @ 10am Local Time)

Madonna is Instagram crazy and you're sure to find much more up to date info by staying tuned in there!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Madonna's Rebel Heart - Reviewed - 5-Stars

The Queen of Pop sits atop her throne never to be ever outdone by anyone.
Her Rebel Heart from the final cut to it's amazing start is all 5-Star in your face Madonna in all her grace!

Britney, Katy and Stefani are more than two steps behind they're lost with befuddled bewilderment behind a trail of dust in jaw dropping awe savoring the latest Madonna magic to enthrall us all.

Anyone who claims that her music is lacking in intellectual depth, is just a hater in disguise. Pop music is and never has been an area of intellectual depth. It is, and always will, belong to the throngs of the young, up and coming. So, just deal with it!

Madonna endures because of her voice. Her voice has that relatable childlike quality at times, and those youthful high pitch tones of material girl Madonna that accentuate and make her songs easily identifiable and uniquely her own. It's from these highs to her more mature sultry lows, that on this new album, her full vocal range, that can be every girl or maybe even the girl next door, is beautifully displayed.

In promoting this new album, she talked openly about its development, and how the two themes seem to emerge in the process. One that reflects Madonna's defiant, rebellious side, and the other, a more confessional mood that gives us the hopeful and romantic side of Madonna.

Many of the songs begin simply, and build slowly into Electro-Dance Pop, these songs lure you in with simplicity and it's this production approach really brings out her best. This is her best album in many years and her particular attention to detail gets noticed here. Her vocal range and performances are perfect and the teams of many collaborators, musicians and producers manage to make a great album that has a real cohesive continuity.

1. Living for Love - 3:38
2. Devil Pray - 4:05
3. Ghosttown - 4:08
4. Unapologetic Bitch - 3:50
5. Illuminati - 3:43
6. Bitch I'm Madonna - 3:47
7. Hold Tight - 3:37
8. Joan of Arc - 4:01
9. Iconic - 4:33
10. HeartBreak City - 3:33
11. Body Shop - 3:39
12. Holy Water - 4:09
13. Inside Out - 4:23
14. Wash All Over Me - 4:00

Madonna wanted to make a double album, with each side representing the two main themes explored on the album, and this leads to the only thing about this that I do not like. What I really do not like with this, is the way this album is issued.

The album itself with the above 14 tracks listed, does not even include the album title track. The title track comes with the Deluxe and Super Deluxe issues along with some other tracks.

This marketing strategy is overly complicated, and in that, it also becomes somewhat distracting. Other artists are also caught in this nowadays, scheming-greedy record company, shenanigans. In many instances, these other expanded versions don't do the artist' any favors at all. Many times the extra versions consist of remixes, along with some clunkers and oddities, that would be better forgotten.

The Album Rebel Heart is great, and I rate it a full 5-Stars! The Deluxe version and the Super Deluxe versions, I think include some good tracks, but not all and I would rate these versions 4-Stars. In an all things considered scenario, with this album there are only two tracks that I don't like and they are “S.E.X” and “Queen.” Overall there are 25 songs if you get the Super Deluxe, and with that in mind it's a little-bit of over-doing it and that's why I rate it slightly lower.

I recommend getting the standard version, and pass on the other versions.

The Stand-out Tracks are “Hold Tight” - “Iconic” and “Inside Out”

For sure, it's the best new album that has come out this year!

So, do yourself a favor and get it now, and if you need another reason, other than it is the best new album of the year thus far, you go out and get it, because I said so!

Don't waste time reading on and on about it, hurry up already, and do it now!

For the latest news and updates, visit her Official Website at