Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Popular Way for Moms to Catch a Break

Are you a SAHM who feels your job is harder than that of a working mom?

What about the opposite  are you a working mom who's convinced that your job is the harder of the two?

If you said yes to either of the above, it turns out most of your peers agree with you! As with most things, the grass seems always to be greener on the other side.

These are among the findings of a quirky survey of American moms that was conducted by Ivory Soap (Proctor & Gamble). We say quirky because the findings are all over the map; as Barbara Greenberg reports in The Huffington Post, Ivory also found that many moms take longer than needed in the bathroom, just to catch a break.

Seems like we're all working pretty darn hard!

Read the whole story (Huffington Post)

Judges Step In When Parents Choose Strange Baby Names

Can you say Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116?

A Swedish judge ruled that a couple there definitely couldn't afflict their new baby with this long-winded moniker. And New Zealand laws ban names which could cause offense to a "reasonable" person, such as Sex Fruit, or for twins, Fish and Chips. Then there's the Japanese parent who was barred from calling his son Devil, and the German couple who were not allowed to name their child Woodstock.

It seems that many countries around the world have strict rules governing the naming of children.

Read more about them at Yahoo!

What is the most unusual name you've ever heard of? 

LEGO's Friends Line for Girls Raises Controversy

Accidentally stepping on a stranded piece of LEGO while barefoot  and then clutching your foot in pain while you hop around in the dark  is almost a rite of passage of parents whose kids reach a certain age. Still, most of us manage to love this versatile building toy anyway, for the endless creativity it encourages in our kids.

That is until recently. The LEGO company is losing parental love over its new gender-stereotyped line for girls, "LEGO Friends." As Jezebel describes it, "Unlike Lego's best-selling city line, which features realistic buildings, the [Friends] town is built with new pastel bricks and the main attractions include a beauty salon, a horse academy, a veterinary clinic, and a caf�. ... Each girl has a different personality: 'the smart girl,' 'the animal lover,' 'the beautician, and 'the singer.'"

Would you pick these Legos for your daughter?

Related Reading
Click here to read the full story on Jezebel
Click here to read Business Week's recent feature on the new LEGO line

Girl Swept Away in Tsunami Found Alive 7 Years Later

During a devastating Indonesian tsunami in 2004, an 8-year-old girl named Wati was swept away from her mother's arms while she was trying to take her three children to a safe place. The family thought Wati was lost forever, but they've been miraculously reunited seven years later.
Now fifteen, Wati says she traveled to her hometown by bus to search for her relatives even though she could only remember the name of her grandfather. She eventually found her grandfather's house  and he immediately called her parents and reunited the family.

Read the full story (CNN)

Saturday, December 24, 2011


So yeah this italo track from 1984 is probably one of the most lyrically confusing songs of all time. The vocalist implores you to "get down" all while scorning the concept of cheating and engaging in threesomes. Seems to be a bit counter intuitive to the whole 80's disco vibe in general, but that aside Get Down is a hot track.

Mirage - Get Down

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Happiest Time of the Year?

Tips for Surviving Less Than Perfect Holidays
For all the promise of joy, peace and harmony that comes with the holiday season, the reality for millions of people is that the season is anything but a celebration. For many, it�s a reminder of lost loved ones, personal disappointments and dreams left unfulfilled.But for life coach Teri Johnson, whose personal journey through an imperfect life now inspires others to reach for the lives they�ve always wanted, the negative �nevers� of the disappointing hand life may have dealt you is where the healing starts. By confronting a never-ending and unproductive cycle of negativity, the elusive joy of the holiday season can be found not just now but every day of the year, says Johnson, author of the newly released book, Overcoming the Nevers (www.overcomingthenevers.com).�You never thought you�d get divorced, but you did. You never dreamed you would find yourself in an abusive relationship, but you are. You never thought you would need to lose 200 pounds, but you do. And you never thought you�d be 45 years old without a job, losing your home and drowning in debt, but you are,� says Johnson.�We start to believe lies about ourselves, such as �I�m not good enough� or �I�m undeserving.�  We escape our pain and these toxic feelings into unhealthy behaviors and addictions.  There is freedom from the struggle; there is hope in discovering the truth; there is a way to fall in love with who we are to experience a joy-filled season, and more importantly a joy-filled life.�Johnson�s tools for overcoming the �nevers� that drag many down during the holiday season are:
� Acceptance: Do you have the strength to make the changes necessary to turn a situation around through an attitude of acceptance? Or will you remain powerless, remain in the state of non-acceptance and let everything around you dictate how you feel? The journey starts with accepting that you can�t change others, but you do have power over your own life.
� Surrender: What we surrender ourselves to ultimately becomes our god, what we turn to or upon which we rely.  The question then is: What are we surrendered to? Is it something firm, solid and long-lasting or something that hurts us in the end?
� Joyfulness: Hold tight to your unique gifts and talents to enrich your own life and impact the lives of those around you. Build on what you�re good at, what makes you special and what makes you feel good about yourself.
� Discovery: Confronting the truth about who we are deep inside helps us overcome our painful past and discover the basis for those �nevers.�
� Faith: Until we accept love for ourselves from God, from others and towards others, the healing will not begin. Embracing love is an ongoing process that starts with learning to like yourself and with a willingness to accept your imperfections.
Johnson advises that the process of confronting internal struggles and the �nevers� of life isn�t easy, but no treatment program, no diet and no New Year�s resolution can be successful without breaking down the essence of individual struggles and making the necessary adjustments to attain the life you deserve.�If the life you are living is full of unacceptable and disappointing things and you don�t want to spend another year like this, the only thing holding you back right now is your own confusion, self-doubt and anger,� she says. �You don�t have to keep doing what you�re doing or feeling what you�re feeling, but you do need to come to terms with yourself and surrender yourself to faith that there is a better way.�
About Teri Johnson
Teri Johnson is a writer, speaker and personal growth expert who is the founder and President of Keeping it Personal. Having struggled with alcohol addiction and destructive habits herself, the Minnesota native turned her own experiences in overcoming obstacles to personal fulfillment into a client-focused service that has transformed the lives of many.  Now a devoted wife and mother of two sons, she now devotes her life to helping others find their path to success and happiness while shedding destructive thoughts and behaviors.

Surviving Holiday Gatherings

Tough Love Author Shares Tips
For those of us from families built on Debbie Downer DNA, there�s only one direction a mood can go during holiday get-togethers and that�s down.

Sure, the running negative commentary, bubble-bursting barbs and rampant self-pity were funny coming from comedian Rachel Dratch on �Saturday Night Live�s� Debbie Downer sketches. But few of us can foresee our own Negative Nancys giving us a good belly laugh.

Whether you�re the smiley face among frowners, or a bit of a Depressing Dan yourself, there are tricks you can use to keep the table talk from getting lethal, says Paula Renaye, a professional life coach and author of The Hardline Self Help Handbook, (

�You can take control simply by thinking about what you choose to say � or not say,� Renaye says. �If you hear yourself criticizing, judging or complaining, you�re part of the problem. Happy, self-respecting people don�t find it necessary to dump on others to make themselves feel good.
�If someone else is the problem, simply don�t give them the ammunition they need,� she says. Instead try these tactics:
� Do not say anything negative. Period. And no one-downing! One-downing is the opposite of one-upping. It�s the art of coming up with something worse when someone else talks about their problem. No matter what negative thing anyone says, or how much you agree with it or don't, resist the urge to respond with a negative. Instead �.

� Dodge, distract and detour. Turn things around with a question -- a positive one. If you need to, make a �happy list� of questions before you go, so you�ll have some at the ready. And remember, there's no law that says you have to answer a question just because someone asked it. With negative people, it�s best if you �

� Do not talk about yourself. The only reason negative people care about what you�re up to is because they want something to ridicule, brag or gossip about to make themselves look or feel good. Don�t go there. Whether you just filed bankruptcy or won a Nobel Prize, keep it to yourself. No good can come of it. None. And why do you need to chatter like a chipmunk about yourself anyway? Might want to think on that one, too. Better to find some praise for someone else than to expect someone to praise you.

� Do not share your woes. Even if you�re in a tough place and could really use a shoulder to cry on, don�t start laying your woes on a Negative Nell. Even in a weak moment, when you�ve had a terrible day, talking about it with a negative person is a bad idea. You might get a microsecond of sympathy, but that�s only so they can launch into telling you how much worse they have it. So, no talking about yourself unless you want to be the talk of the party, the family and the town.

� Do your homework and become like Teflon. Think of the times people said things that made you feel bad or made you feel the need to defend or explain yourself. If you want to avoid going down that trail again, start hacking away at the jungle of your own emotions. Get over needing anyone's approval or blessing. If you are still waiting for negative relatives to validate you, you�re in for a long wait. Don't set yourself up to be miserable. Get over it and go prepared.
About Paula Renaye
Former eggshell-walker, emotionally-bankrupt wreck and utter failure at keeping her world from falling apart, Paula Renaye uses her journey out of despair into joy as a breadcrumb trail for others.  She has been a consultant for 18 years, holds a degree in financial planning with a background in journalism and psychology, and is a member of the International Association of Coaches.  Paula is the multi-award-winning author of The Hardline Self Help Handbook.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Just as Patrick Adams late 70's disco sound became defined by his Arp 2600 noodlings, pretty much every funk track Leroy Burgess cut in the boogie era had a Prophet 5 solo on it. Sequential Circuits factory patch # 32 to be exact for all you synth nerds out there. And if he really wanted to switch it up maybe he would go for patch # 17 instead. So in effect thanks to Leroy and company the Prophet 5 became the quintessential funk synth machine of the early 80's.

This is the Fantastic Aleems high water mark and it most certainly delivers. I must say I was a little bit surprised when I realized today that after nearly 5 years of doing Beat Electric none of us had ever posted this track until now. Either we have failed you all or it's a sign that we are far from done mining this territory.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Breakin' In Space

Could Radar Records do no wrong? Key-Matic's Breakin' In Space was by far the labels biggest 'hit', and the record holds a place in the pantheon of early electro master pieces. It has all the right ingredients, tastefully done vocoder (I'm by no means a vocoder collector/fan/nerd), non lame old school raps about space, dubbed out synths and cosmic overtones.

There are even a few young, future celebrities on this cut. The saxophone was done by Najee, who went on to rival Kenny G for a while as smooth jazz radio sax top dog, and we also have some scratches from Wizard K-Jee, a.k.a Keith Shocklee, future Bomb Squad member and the discoverer of Chuck D.

Here are all the cuts from the record.

Key-Matic � Breakin' In Space (Vocal)

Key-Matic � Breakin' In Space (Instrumental)
Key-Matic � Breakin' In Space (Lunar Beats i)
Key-Matic � Breakin' In Space (Lunar Beats ii)

Basic Credit Card Safety Tips

Ultimately keeping you credit card safe is you responsibility. Indeed, in a worst case scenario, if it can be proven you may have been negligent in keeping your credit card safe, you may find yourself liable for the cost of all transactions made fraudulent on your account should you lose the card. To help you avoid this, here are 5 basic credit card safety tips:

Never have more cards than you need

While it is always advisable that you have more than 1 credit card, in case it gets lost, you should never have more credit cards than you actually need to use. The principal reason why this is the case is because it becomes harder to keep a track of which cards you have and where you have kept them with the more cards you have.

Always keep a photocopy of your cards

How many times have you been asked what you card number is only to find yourself looking for your card to get the number? Now, what happens if you have a card stolen and no credit card statement to-hand? You have a problem! For this reason, it is always best practice to take photocopies of you credit cards to so that always know where to find the number should anything unfortunate happen to your card.

Always keep your receipts separate

Among the most important of the basic credit card safety tips you�ll receive is never to keep your credit cards and credit card purchase receipts in the same place � because likely as not if you have lost your card, or if it is stolen, then you�ll have lost or stolen the receipts as well. Now there is no way for you to vouch which transactions were yours and which where not � or, there is no way to tell which was the last genuine transaction you made.

Moreover, never keep a record of your PIN with your card, this is only asking for trouble!

Never give your account number to someone you don�t know

If you are ever asked to give your credit card details to someone you don�t know, or who as initiated a discussion with you (rather than the other way round) over the phone or via email, you should always refuse. Worst come to the worst, phone the card issuer and ask them if it is okay for you to divulge the information or phone the enquirer back. If the enquirer seems reluctant to accept this, you have to ask yourself why!

Never leave your account details open to public viewing

It may sound rather basic to say you should never let �Joe public� see your credit card account details, but ask yourself this question: �How often have you received a publication subscription form in postcard format?� Now, suppose you complete this with your credit card details filled in. Suddenly half the world has access your credit card number, expiry date and signature!

Although the above may sound like 5 basic credit card safety tips you already know, you would be surprised to see how many people fail to follow one or all of them!

credit, cards, apply, application, deal, refused, accepted, offer, rates, interest, cash

Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Save Money On Family Health Insurance

Health insurance coverage is something your family should not do without. Although prescription drugs and medical bills can put a serious strain on a family�s finances, going with a health plan that offers the lowest monthly premiums could cost you more money in the end. Armed with a bit of know-how, there are ways you can save money when buying health insurance and still get quality coverage.

1. Shop Around
Since a family�s health insurance needs can differ, it pays to comparison shop. The cost varies widely among different insurance companies even for the same type of coverage and amount. Often, small or little-known companies offer the best rates. This doesn�t mean the coverage isn�t good. A company can have strong financial ratings and an excellent reputation for customer service, just not a large advertising budget.

2. Look Into Group Coverage
Group coverage can be a way to save money on health insurance costs. The coverage isn't necessarily better than that of an individual policy, but for most people, employer-sponsored group coverage is the best deal. You may have to pay a share of the insurance premiums for family coverage, but on average, group coverage saves you 10 to 25 percent on the cost of a policy. When evaluating the terms of a policy, make sure that the policy will provide adequate coverage for you and your family.

3. Choose Wisely
Avoid skimping on health insurance coverage. Find out if a policy limits lifetime benefits. Begin by determining what benefits you and your family are likely to use. Health insurance includes coverage for hospital stays and many policies cover doctor visits. Coverage for vision, dental care, prescription drugs, psychiatric care, and physical therapy and other rehabilitative services are generally optional benefits for which you pay more. Some policies exclude these services entirely; others limit the number of visits or maximum amount of coverage each year. If your employer offers more than one group plan, choose a plan that provides the best coverage for the treatment of your family�s health conditions. Review your policy annually as premium costs and network providers can change from year to year.

4. Increase the Deductible
Some health insurance plans offer the option of increasing the deductible. This can save you hundreds of dollars on the cost of monthly premiums. Taking out a high-deductible plan may be a practical choice if your family is basically healthy and you have few doctor visits each year. Before choosing this option, make certain that your finances are adequate to cover the deductible.

5. Enroll In a Managed Care Plan
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) are managed care plans, which offer the most comprehensive coverage at the lowest out-of-pocket costs. A disadvantage of these types of plans as compared to private health insurance is that you have less freedom of choice. Managed care plans require you to use a specific network of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. Check to confirm that a health care provider is a participating provider in your insurance plan�s network before scheduling an appointment. Verify that the plan will cover the services you need.

Plans are available that offer you more choice, however, you pay more in the form of premiums, deductibles, co-insurance and/or co-payments. Except for your co-payments, HMO plans cover services you receive from an in-network provider 100 percent. The premium rate you pay for a PPO plan is more than that for an HMO, but it still costs less than a traditional fee-for-service health plan. A PPO plan allows you to choose any health care provider, although selecting an out-of-network provider will increase your out-of-pocket costs.

Marcia Jones enjoys spending time with her family, saves money in every way she can, and writes for creditreport.org.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Have a Happy, Healthy Holiday

This year, you and more than 60,000 people raised your voices in support of a healthy future for our nation's children. Because of you, we're making a difference - and if more of us join together, things can only get better.

Will you help us spread the word?

Tell your family and friends to join the movement to reverse childhood obesity.

Together, we can build a healthy, happy future for kids everywhere.

Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Media only:          Marty Emery (202) 633-5518
Media website:     http://newsdesk.si.edu

National Postal Museum Opens �Systems at Work� Exhibit

A letter is dropped into a mailbox. How does it go from there to its destination? The answer to that and other questions unfolds in �Systems at Work,� a new permanent exhibit opening today at the Smithsonian�s National Postal Museum.

The exhibit recreates the paths of letters, magazines, parcels and other pieces of mail as they have traveled from sender to recipient over the past 200 years. In 1808, a stagecoach carries newspapers and the latest news to people hundreds of miles away. Two hundred years later, the integration of ZIP codes, barcodes, intelligent mail, automated sorting machines and advanced technologies enable the U.S. Postal Service to process and deliver mail to 150 million homes and businesses across the country.

            At the exhibit�s core is a 270-degree high-resolution film experience that puts visitors into the middle of the mammoth world of a mail-processing center, surrounded by examples of automated machinery that moves mail through the system at astonishing speeds. 

Interactive moments are spread through the galleries challenging visitors to process mail at various points in history. Tossing packages into mail pouches as mail clerks did in 1917, keying letters on a computerized version of a multiple position letter-sorting machine operated in 1968 and engaging handheld intelligent mail devices to scan barcodes are activities that will inform, educate, enlighten and challenge exhibit visitors. Visitors receive a postcard to gather cancellation marks from various eras to take away from the exhibit.

�The most commonly asked question by our visitors concerns how mail gets from somewhere else in the country to their home,� said Allen Kane, director of the museum. �This exhibit answers that question and shows the impressive technology that enables the Postal Service to deliver almost half of the world�s mail.�

�At a time when Americans are debating the very nature of their postal system, this exhibit reminds us of what it does, and why it has been a central part of American life,� said Nancy Pope, curator of the exhibit.

      The exhibit is made possible by Motorola Solutions Foundation, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Siemens.

A special Web version of the exhibit has been created for people who are not able to visit the museum in person, and for those who want to share, relive and deepen the experience gained during their onsite visit. The address for the online version is www.npm.si.edu/systemsatwork.
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation�s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum website at www.postalmuseum.si.edu.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Breastfeeding Basics: Answers to Five Common Questions

By Lisa Pecos

Most new mothers who choose to breastfeed discover almostimmediately that little instruction is required. The act of nursing isinstinctive for both mother and baby, and even without outside help the processusually goes relatively smoothly. But even when things go relatively smoothly,it is common for problems to arise. If you are encountering breastfeedingproblems or are worried about issues you may face in the future, here are some ofthe most common questions that might arise.

Is breast milk enough?
Many mothers worry that their breast milk will not be enoughto satisfy all of a baby�s nutritional needs. Set this worry aside. A mother�sability to produce copious, vitamin-rich milk is backed by millions of years ofevolution, and the body has an almost incredible ability to produce good milk,even if it means the mother has to miss out on some nutrients herself. Try notto let this happen, though. While breastfeeding, make sure to eat a variety ofhealthy foods, and be sure to eat a few hundred extra calories per day.

What if my baby will not nurse?
There are any number of reasons why a baby might refuse totake the breast. If your baby is otherwise healthy, reluctance to feed may indicatesleepiness, fullness, or too much gas in the belly. Initially, try to havefaith in your baby, and trust that he or she will take the breast when it istime. But if the problem persists and the baby goes several hours withouteating, get in touch with your doctor or a lactation consultant.

What if I do not produce enough milk?
For a healthy mother who is breastfeeding, milk supply isbased on demand. The more your child eats from the breast, the more milk youwill produce. Once you get through the initial week or two of breastfeeding,you may even find that your body produces milk on a set schedule, making attimes of day when the baby tends to be most hungry. Try not to worry. Manymothers are initially worried that they will not produce enough milk. Moreoften than not, within a week or two they are producing more milk than they canuse (in which case pumping becomes necessary).

How do I prevent spitting up?
First, accept that your baby is going to spit up sometimes.All babies do it. Some do it more than others, and this does not necessarilyindicate any failing on the part of the parents. However, spitting up can beminimized by (1) making sure the baby does not eat too much, and (2) burpingduring and after the feeding process. For the first point, try to read yourbaby�s signals. When she pulls away or slows down drastically, she might bedone. As for burping, try to do it once halfway through the feeding and once atthe end. You will become quite good at it after a few weeks.

What if my baby falls asleep while feeding?
Newborns are especially wont to fall asleep during feeding,but some older babies continue to do it for months. Think of it as a good sign.It shows that your baby is so soothed by your milk and your presence that herelaxes to the point of sleep. However, it is important to make sure that hegets enough. When he falls asleep, gently pat him, tickle his feet, talk tohim, sing to him, or break the mouth suction. Do whatever it takes to keep himsucking until he has had his fill.

Lisa Pecos is a wife and well accomplished writer on naturalremedies and natural approaches to family health. She�s written numerous articles for NaturalHealth Journals.com, Parenting Journals.com and Baby Care Journals.com.

Communicating With Your Baby in the First Six Months

By Jamell Andrews

During the first six months of a child�s life, parents gothrough virtually every conceivable emotion, from elation, to frustration, tohope, to terror. But there is one that stands above all the rest: The pureelation you feel when you begin to truly communicate with their little one.During the very early weeks of the baby�s life, parents are busy taking care ofall the baby�s needs, but it is not until a little later that the back-and-forth,loving communication becomes tangible. And when this happens, it is one of thehighlights of any parent�s life.

For first-time parents, it can be difficult to know exactlywhat to expect from a child during the first six months. Every child is different.Plus, new parents who have limited experience with infants often imagine thatback-and-forth communication begins immediately after birth. Many are surprisedto discover that a newborn cannot make eye contact and barely responds tostimuli. This phase is short-lived, however, and the magic of parent-childcommunication comes soon.

The first three months
Of course, newborn babies do communicate, as new parentsquickly learn. Newborns cry for several reasons, including hunger, sleepiness,hot, cold, stomachache, and discomfort. And while the crying tends to be rathersubdued right after birth, it tends to pick up after a couple of days-usuallyright around the time baby comes from the hospital. From this point, the baby�scommunication is steady crescendo of crying that usually peaks after two orthree months. For many parents this is the period of greatest frustration andlost sleep. But it passes.

The second month is when the magic really begins. That iswhen you can expect to see your child smile for the first time, and if you arelucky she may even begin to smile in response to you. Around the same time, thebaby will begin to make non-crying vocalizations. By the third month thesevocalizations will become recognizable speechlike sounds (lots of �boos,��goos,� �ha�s�), and soon she will begin to make these sounds in response toyour speech. Meanwhile, she will no longer have trouble making eye contact withyou.

During this time, the best thing to do is follow your baby�slead. Whenever the baby is in the mood to smile and baby talk, go along withher. Get close, make eye contact (she will see you best if you place your face1-2 feet from hers), and talk to her. You can say real words to her, sing hersongs, or even imitate her vocalizations. The key is to make it a communicativeactivity. When she is in the mood, she will love it.

The second three months
If you thought those first smiles and early baby talk wereexciting, wait until you experience what happens next. Around the fourth month,you can expect your baby�s first laugh. Younger babies often make laugh-likesounds, but these sounds are generally not in response to anything inparticular. In these later months, however, your baby will begin to laugh atthings you do. And when he is in the mood to be entertained, it is your job tobe the entertainer. Let go of your inhibitions and figure out what makes himhappy. You may sometimes feel you are making a fool of yourself, but it isworth it.

The other exciting development in these months is that yourchild will begin to understand speech a little better. He will not be able tounderstand sentences or make words himself, but he will definitely learn hisname along with a few basic words. Meanwhile, his own vocalizations will beginto sound more like real speech. Do not expect real words, though. That willtake another year or so.

You can help by continuing your conversations with yourbaby. Again, these can involve real words, baby talk, or even songs. Supplementthe speech learning with books. He may not be very engaged with them, but hewill enjoy your voice, and the activity will get him used to hearing a varietyof words. Outside your reading, though, it is best to keep speech simple. Speakwith simple words and sentences, and be sure to enunciate everything clearly.This will help your baby get a grasp on speech a little more quickly.

Jamell Andrews is an accomplished writer who believes in thepower of homeopathicmedicine. She is a regular contributor to BabyCare Journals.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rysque' Records

Like many record collectors it has always been a dream of mine to press something on wax. I have always wanted to contribute to the world of the black crack by putting something in print for anyone to enjoy rather than just repping older hard to find records.
A couple years ago I became good friends with a local collector Tim who during an extended car ride to a record lead told me about his activity playing in several bands growing up in Oakland in the 1980s. After some pestering on my part Tim reluctantly dug up boxes of cassette recordings from this era. I think he was content leaving them as skeletons in the closet but I managed to convince him people still enjoy drum machine soul. Tim got on craigslist and tracked down the same model Tascam Porta-one four track machine we needed to play back the tapes.

Tim played regularly with a band known as Davinity during this time and recorded hours of material from bedroom demos to proper studio tracks. Recording quality is dodgy at times but fortunately they insisted on using only hi bias tapes and generally hit them with a good level. After sharing some of our finds with Sean from Sweater Funk and Andrew at PPU we decided to take the plunge and let some of this see the light of day 20+ years after it was recorded.

So far we have two 45s available featuring our favorite tracks from the Davinity cassette archives. A huge thank you goes to Andrew from PPU who was the inspiration for this project and provided a great deal of help in the process. Peoples Potential is also distributing the records worldwide.

We are very excited to start releasing music for y'all, look for more in the future including a debut from Beat Electric Records in 2012.

download lo-rez samples here
RYSQUE 001 Pierre - Cherri Snow b/w Veronica - So In Love
RYSQUE 003 Tim Tucker - C'Kret b/w Davinity - Fishnets

records available for purchase from EARCAVE (Washington DC), Rush Hour (Europe), and many other fine vendors. or you can email me directly at rysquerecs AT gmail.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tips To Help Reduce Your Debt

As debt continues to increase in many households across America, more families each year are finding themselves looking for ways to reduce their overall household debt. For some, this may be easier said than done. Debt reduction requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Especially when you are used to spending money left and right.

Those that are serious and committed to reducing their debt will eventually reap the rewards of being debt free. Reading my simple seven tips will give you many ideas, about how you can reduce your debt.

Cut back
When you start to cut back on spending, you will find corners that you can cut through out the month, to help you pay off your debts. Simple things such as, being aware of all of the electricity you use, and turning off lights that are not needed as you leave a room, will help reduce your light bill, therefore, you save a little more money to reduce your debt with. Once you become aware of your spending habits, and start cutting back, you will start to notice more ways to cut back each month.

Budget your income. List all of your monthly bills and their due dates. Apply them to your budget, as well as other household needs, for example, groceries, gas etc. Allow yourself only so much money per month to spend on extras. Sticking to your budget will show self control, and determination for reducing your debt.

Limit the use of your Credit cards
If you can not pay cash for it, then do not buy it. If you have to charge something, make sure that you can pay the balance in full when your next credit card bill comes in. Never charge on your credit card to only pay the minimum monthly amount. You will never get that maxed out credit card paid off that way. The importance of paying your credit card balance in full, can not be stressed enough.

Get rid of your credit cards
If you are determined to reduce your debt, cutting up your credit cards will help. If you do not have them, you can not use them. If this is too big of a step for you, at least get rid of the unnecessary ones. Keeping only one or two, low interest rate cards for emergencies only, is a good idea. Remember if you can not pay cash for something, then you probably do not need it.

Pay off your debts
If you have already acquired some debt you need to pay off, now is the time to get started. Decide which debt is your smallest and start with that one. Pay on it as your budget will allow. Once you have gotten your smallest debt paid off, you will have a feeling of satisfaction and know that you can pay off your debts. Then move to the next smallest debt, when you are paying them off one by one, it is easier to do, with out feeling over whelmed. Before you know it, all of your debts will be paid and you will feel great about knowing you paid them off.

Debt consolidation
Debt consolidation is another option to look at for reducing your debt. Debt consolidation companies, will call your creditors for you, and make payment arrangements for your debts. Many companies will get you one low monthly payment to pay each month, until all of your debt is paid off.

Financial counseling
Make an appointment with a financial counselor to help you reduce your debt. Some people find, having someone else point out the errors in their spending habits to help tremendously. Financial counselors can also show you how to better manage your money, and stick to a budget.

Friday, December 9, 2011

How to Raise a Musical Child

By Jamell Andrews

When it comes to educating children, a lot of focus is placed on practicalskills like reading and math, which are undoubtedly important. But we shouldraise our children to be well-rounded individuals, and this involves teachingthem forms of creative self-expression. While different kids have differenttalents-some are good at drawing, some can dance well, and some are mosttalented in non-artistic areas-music should be integral to every child's life.And even if your child does not develop into a musical prodigy, it is a goodidea to have cultivate familiarity with the art form.

In addition to enriching a child's life, familiarity with music and learning toplay an instrument help develop crucial areas of a child's brain. In fact,studies have shown that musical proficiency helps children in math, language,learning, and creativity. In general, a child who can play a musical instrumenthas an intellectual edge on one who cannot.

Starting early

You may have heard that playing music for babies, even as early as whenthey are in the womb, can help boost intelligence. In fact, the studies behindthis are mixed and nothing conclusive is known, but there is no denying thathaving plenty of music in the household prepares a child to learn music whenshe is old enough.

During the early months of your child's life, play music whenever your babyis wide awake. And in fact, she may even sleep well if you play some soft musicin the background during sleep times. Play every kind of music that you have inthe house. All will help your child develop familiarity with the diversemelodies, harmonies, and tones that go into music.

Meanwhile, even if you are not particularly musical yourself, it is a goodidea to hum and sing to your child often. She will enjoy it, and it will makeyour household a little more fun and musical.

Introducing instruments

A good way to prepare your child for a musical life is to have musical toysin the house. But you do not have to bring into the household any of thosenoisy, flashy musical toys that you see at the toy store. Even to the mosttolerant parent, some of these noisy toys can be quite annoying. In any case, achild who is interested in music will enjoy even the most tasteful musical toy.Small glockenspiels and keyboards, for example, are great for a start.

While musical toys are fun for children who are still young enough to becalled babies, there is nothing wrong with introducing real instruments asearly as it seems feasible. Many of the great musicians started playing realinstruments at the age of three or four and practiced regularly even at soyoung an age. Of course, you do not need to make your child play or practice ifhe or she does not like to, but do keep in mind the importance of practice. Ifyour child seems musically inclined, you may have to give a little extraencouragement to make sure he or she gets truly develops.

And as soon as your child is old enough to play a real instrument, you mightwant to invest in some lessons. Be careful with this, however, because if yourchild does not truly enjoy playing, lessons can quickly become a chore. Also,it is important to have a good teacher who makes practice fun.

If you do all this and your child does not seem to develop into a talentedmusician, do not let this bother you. Remember that a large portion of musicaltalent is inborn, and some kids simply are not born with it. You can still havea musical household-and who knows? If you continue to make music a central partof your family's life, your child may develop into a late-blooming musicaltalent.

About Jamell: Jamell Andrews authors many insightfularticles on parents and children. She is a firm believer in the many usesof natural remedies for colic.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hypnotize with the Dance

We haven't put up any straight up hardcore disco in a long time so here you go. It is impossible to put these joints on and not want to invite all the foos in the neighborhood over for a dance party; unless you live where I live, then again, OK it's a bad idea altogether. Just convince BT to throw a matinee party at his house in LA and go hang out in his heated pool.

This Mandrill Jam reminds me or a mix between Tempest Trio's Do You Like The Way That It Feels and a song by Imagination. Sorry for the parts where it is clipping near the end, I am trying to dial in my new rig.

This early Tee Scott remix shows his knack for turning a straight forward disco hit into a dance floor classic with long drawn-out breaks with empty quiet backgrounds contrasting the disco anthem choruses.

Mandrill - Dance Of Love
First Choice - Love Thang (Tee Scott Remix)

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Beatelectic is starting to look a little dated, we gave it a revamp a couple of years back, but the fact is it's a blogspot page, and in this day and age thats the equivalent of having your website up on geocities, with animated gifs of grim reaper skulls puking fire and popup ad's for cheap hotel rooms. All the new blogs I go to with the decent new electronic music on look like they were made by a team of trendy engineers with degrees in graphic design, then I come back to beatelectric and we look like shit. In reality I suppose to have had a blog this long hosted by google with direct mp3 links to unlicensed music is somewhat of a miracle, most got taken down due to copyright infringement complaints long ago, but I think its really a testament to the unpopularity of the under the radar dusty commercial failures that we post. And with that in mind, I'm about to post some private press Hi Nrg...

My apartment is on the corner of Castro and Market St in San Francisco, which has been the heart of the gay community here for decades, and as such when I go digging around my local thrift stores and yard sales I come up with endless San Francisco scene high energy and uptempo, euro disco. Not my genres of choice or expertise, but each to their own. A block either side of where I live were the homes of Megatone records, Moby Dick records, Hot Tracks records, some other labels and plenty of record stores specializing in dance music popular in the gay clubs at the time. Now and again, when searching around the 'hood something locally made that's a little outside of the norm shows up.

Sonny Padilla Jr.'s self released 1985 single is marked as coming out on Uno Records, the address of which is a few doors down the street from me, an old apartment complex, and probably the address of Sonny's living room office. It turns out that this record is actually well known and quite sort after on the digging circuit, fetching a couple of hundred bucks in mint condition, due to it's heavy utilization of the vocoder on the A side's It's Your Body, and as a rarity it makes it on to a lot of vocoder nerd's wants list. I actually prefer the instrumental of the B side, 'Talk To Me!', which doesn't appear to be on the internet anywhere.

In the sleeve notes Sonny states that the record was made at The Automatt, a well known studio which is now a parking lot on Fulsom St, the photo in this post was taken from the main room's mixing console. Sonny lived in San Francisco and worked in the music industry throughout his life before passing away in 2007, an obituary to him can be found here:


Sonny Padilla Jr. - It's Your Body!
Sonny Padilla Jr. - It's Your Body! (Instrumental)
Sonny Padilla Jr. - Talk To Me!
Sonny Padilla Jr. - Talk To Me! (Instrumental)