Archive for December, 2006

Speech By Jim Valvano

Jim Valvano won an ESPY in 1993, he proceeded to give this speech while facing cancer. He eventually died from cancer but this speech was one of the most courageous, eloquent and noble speeches I have ever heard.

R.I.P. James Brown 1933-2006

James Brown died early Monday at Atlanta’s Emory Crawford Long Hospital of congestive heart failure, his agent said. He was 73.

Brown was in Atlanta for a dental appointment when he fell ill and was admitted to the hospital over the weekend for treatment of “severe pneumonia,” said his agent, Frank Copsidas.

James Brown (born May 3, 1933, Barnwell, South Carolina — some sources list his year of birth as 1928 and his birthplace as Pulaski, Tennessee) is one of the most important figures in twentieth-century music and a prime influence in the evolution of gospel and rhythm and blues into soul and funk. As a singer, dancer and bandleader, he has influenced popular musicians since the 1960s. He has been cited as an influence by musicians in many genres, including rock, soul, jazz, R&B, and hip-hop. Among other things, his quick ascent to icon status in the musical community can be attributed to his rejection of industry stereotypes. Also, Soul Brother Number One was a symbol of self-motivation and achievement in spite of racism for Black Americans.

James Brown’s musical innovations, developed in tandem with the many skilled musicians who passed through his bands (the Flames, the James Brown Band, the JB’s), used the basic building blocks of earlier African-American music; his career is a case study in change and self-determination. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, his irresistible sound spawned countless imitators. By the mid- ’70s, several of his key band members (Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley, and Maceo Parker), had left his employ and joined forces with George Clinton, whose so-called P-Funk groups (Funkadelic, Parliament, Parlet, the Brides of Funkenstein) were a looser, wilder and more self-consciously counterculture version of Brown’s bands. With the advent of hip hop in the late ’70s, James Brown’s grooves became the foundation for rap music and breakdancing, as DJs such as Grandmaster Flash looped and extended the drum breaks from earlier JB favorites like ‘Give It Up Or Turn It A Loose.’ In the late 1980s, James Brown’s music experienced a renaissance with the rise of sampling by Hip Hop producers. Snippets of his 800-some songs were recycled into hundreds of rap songs and continue to appear in electronic music to this day.

James Brown

James Brown

25 Rules To Grow Rich By

25 Rules To Grow Rich By

From CNN Money Dec 21, 2006

1. For return on investment, the best home renovation is to upgrade an old bathroom. Kitchens come in second.
2. It’s worth refinancing your mortgage when you can cut your interest rate by at least one point.
3. Spend no more than 2 1/2 times your income on a home. For a down payment, it’s best to come up with at least 20%.
4. Your total housing payments should not exceed 28% of your gross income. Total debt payments should come in under 36%.
5. Never hire a roofer, driveway paver or chimney sweep who is going door to door.
6. All else being equal, the best place to invest is a 401(k). Once you’ve earned the full company match, max out a Roth IRA. Still have money to invest? Put more in your 401(k) or a traditional IRA.
7. To figure out what percentage of your money should be in stocks, subtract your age from 120.
8. Invest no more than 10% of your portfolio in your company stock – or any single company’s stock, for that matter.
9. The most you should pay in annual fees for a mutual fund is 1% for a large-company stock fund, 1.3% for any other type of stock fund and 0.6% for a U.S. bond fund.
10. Aim to build a retirement nest egg that is 25 times the annual investment income you need.
11. If you don’t understand how an investment works, don’t buy it.
12. If you’re not saving 10% of your salary, you aren’t saving enough.
13. Keep three months’ worth of living expenses in a bank savings account or a high-yield money-market fund for emergencies. If you have kids or rely on one income, make it six months’.
14. Aim to accumulate enough money to pay for a third of your kids’ college costs. You can borrow the rest or use some of your income to help out when your child is in college.
15. You need enough life insurance to replace at least five years of your salary – as much as 10 years if you have several young children or significant debts.
16. When you buy insurance, choose the highest deductible you can afford. It’s the easiest way to lower your premium.
17. The best credit card is a no-fee rewards card that you pay in full every month. But if you carry a balance, high-interest rates will wipe out the benefits.
18. The best way to improve your credit score is to pay bills on time and to borrow no more than 30% of your available credit.
19. Anyone who calls or e-mails you asking for your Social Security number or information about your bank or credit card account is a scam artist.
20. The best way to save money on a car is to buy a late-model used car and drive it until it’s junk. A car loses 30% of its value in the first year.
21. Lease a new car or truck only if you plan to replace it within two or three years.
22. Resist the urge to buy the latest computer or other gadget as soon as it comes out. Wait three months and the price will be lower.
23. Buy airline tickets early because the cheapest fares are snapped up first. Most seats go on sale 11 months in advance.
24. Don’t redeem frequent flier miles unless you can get more than a dollar’s worth of air fare or other stuff for every 100 miles you spend.
25. When you shop for electronics, don’t pay for an extended warranty. One exception: It’s a laptop and the warranty is from the manufacturer.