The Epically Awesome Blog Award

The Pearls Before Swine Blog is proud to accept its 9th Blog Award as nominated by the beautiful Lisa Tetting of Rebirth of Lisa but you knew that already. Thanks hun for always thinking of me. Now, the rules:

The Award Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site
  2. Put the award logo on your blog
  3. Share ten awesome facts about yourself
  4. Nominate ten blogs

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I hate to be so rebellious (Sike, I love it lol hee hee), but seriously I do have to run errands shortly so I do not have time to nominate the awesome blogs I have in mind. You all know I don’t like half doing anything if I can help it so I will see to it some other time (when I have more time). I will however share ten awesome facts about myself:

 

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  •  February will mark nine years together with my love bug.
  • I have a twin sister which has been an awesome journey growing up
  • Book #2 in my Stella Series has received 5 Star Reviews on every review written so far….total awesomeness
  • I will be traveling to New Mexico for the first time ever the end of this month and I will be in Atlanta for the first time this February to debut Book #3 in the Stella Series
  • I successfully completed all of Blogging U’s Writing Assignments which I do not take lightly since they were such a great boost to my creative juices
  • I love German Shepherds and want to move to the country on acres of land so I can get one…awwwesome
  • I beat my husband in a game of Moral Kombat Komplete Edition last night and will talk about it until we play again
  • My hair is the longest its ever been…EVER. I think my Locs are totally awesome
  • I will be publishing a book review on this blog soon of another awesome Indie Author
  • I’m running out of awesome ideas
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Black History Fun Fact Friday – Jazz

Welcome back to another episode of Black History Fun Fact Friday.

So, I wanted to present  music in general for you this morning. But the African American contribution to music is too far reaching to cover ever genre in one post. Black people have had influence on almost every kind of music there is, for example: Born in the South, the blues is an African American-derived music form that highlighted the pain of lost love and injustice and gave expression to the victory of outlasting a broken heart and facing down adversity. The blues evolved from hymns, and work songs.

Blues is the foundation of jazz as well as the prime source of rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and country music.

JAZZ

Duke Ellington: Master Composer

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“One of the most significant figures in music history, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was born on April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. He began studying the piano at the age of seven. He started playing jazz as a teenager, and moved to New York City to become a bandleader. As a pianist, composer, and bandleader, Ellington was one of the creators of the big band sound, which fueled the “swing” era. He continued leading and composing for his jazz orchestra until his death in 1974. “Ellington plays the piano, but his real instrument is his band. Each member of his band is to him a distinctive tone color and set of emotions, which he mixes with others equally distinctive to produce a third thing, which I like to call the ‘Ellington Effect.'”

—Billy Strayhorn, composer and arranger

1900s
New Orleans: The Melting Pot of Sound

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“New Orleans had a great tradition of celebration. Opera, military marching bands, folk music, the blues, ragtime, echoes of traditional African drumming, and all of the dance styles that went with this music could be heard and seen throughout the city. When all of these kinds of music blended into one, jazz was born.” —Wynton Marsalis

1901
Louis Armstrong is born: The Jazz Original

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“Through his clear, warm sound, unbelievable sense of swing, perfect grasp of harmony, and supremely intelligent and melodic improvisations, he taught us all to play jazz.” —Wynton Marsalis
Louis Armstrong was one of the most influential artists in the history of music. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 4, 1901, he began playing the cornet at the age of 13. Armstrong perfected the improvised jazz solo as we know it. Before Armstrong, Dixieland was the style of jazz that everyone was playing. This was a style that featured collective improvisation where everyone soloed at once. Armstrong developed the idea of musicians playing during breaks that expanded into musicians playing individual solos. This became the norm. Affectionately known as “Pops” and “Satchmo,” Louis was loved and admired throughout the world. He died in New York City on July 6, 1971.  – Louis Armstrong House Museum

Dizzy Gillespie: A Jazz Visionary

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“The first time you hear Dizzy Gillespie play the trumpet, you may think that the tape was recorded at the wrong speed. He played so high, so fast, so correctly.” —Wynton Marsalis
Trumpeter, bandleader, and composer John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was born on October 21, 1917, in Cheraw, South Carolina. He got his first music lesson from his father and took off from there. He moved to New York City in 1937 and met musicians such as Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker. Together they experimented with jazz and came up with the bebop sound. Dizzy also helped to introduce Latin American rhythms to modern jazz through his collaborations with artists such as Machito and Chano Pozo. His bold trumpet playing, unique style of improvisation, and inspired teachings had a major influence, not only on other trumpet players, but on all jazz musicians in the years to come. He died in Englewood, New Jersey, on January 6, 1993.

– Dizzy Gillespie Biography

1940s
Bebop: The Summit of Sound
“If you really understand the meaning of bebop, you understand the meaning of freedom.” —Thelonious Monk, pianist and composer
In the early 1940s, jazz musicians were looking for new directions to explore. A new style of jazz was born, called bebop, had fast tempos, intricate melodies, and complex harmonies. Bebop was considered jazz for intellectuals. No longer were there huge big bands, but smaller groups that did not play for dancing audiences but for listening audiences.

1950s
Latin and Afro-Cuban Jazz: Beyond the Borders

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“Afro-Cuban jazz celebrates a collective musical history. Through its percussive beat, it unites ragtime, blues, swing, and the various grooves of Cuban music. It proclaims our shared musical heritage.” —Wynton Marsalis

The combination of African, Spanish, and native cultures in Latin America created a unique body of music and dance. Jazz musicians from Jelly Roll Morton to Duke Ellington to Dizzy Gillespie combined their music with this Latin sound to create a powerful blend. In the 1940s and 50s, when musicians from Cuba began to play with jazz musicians in New York, the circle was complete. Gillespie and Chano Pozo, a Cuban musician, created a new form of Latin jazz called CuBop.

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And that’s it for today’s segment of Black History Fun Facts. February is over and done but the fun never stops. To mark our 10th Fun Fact Week, I am introducing a new Fun Fact Badge. I will be using it to represent Black History Fun Facts for now on:

blackhistorymonthBe sure to check out last weeks Episode below, in case you missed it:

Week #9: Inventors

Black History Fun Fact Friday: Inventions

Welcome back to another episode of Black History Fun Fact Friday. I know I know, the sun will be setting soon but, better late than never right? 🙂 Tonight we’ll be looking at: 12 Black Inventors You May Not Know. I was surprised to find that many of them either died recently (2000-) or are still alive. Enjoy:

1. Lewis Latimer (1848 – 1928)

Lewis Latimer (1848 – 1928)
Lewis Latimer (1848 – 1928)

What He Invented: The Carbon Filament For The Light Bulb.
Why It’s Important: Latimer is one of the greatest inventors of all time. Latimer helped make the light bulb a common feature in households. In 1881, he received a patent for inventing a method of producing carbon filaments, which made the bulbs longer-lasting, more efficient and cheaper.
In 1876, he worked with Alexander Graham Bell to draft the drawings required for the patent of Bell’s telephone.

2. Patricia Bath (1942-Present)

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Patricia Bath

What She Invented: The Cataract Laserphaco Probe.
Why It’s Important: Her device used an innovative method of removing cataract lenses with a laser, which was more accurate than the drill-like instruments that were in common use at the time. The New York ophthalmologist’s invention, patented in 1988, helped save the eyesight of millions and even restored sight to people who had been blind for more than 30 years.

3. Otis Boykin (1920 -1982)

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Otis Boykin

What He Invented: The Artificial Heart Pacemaker Control Unit.
Why It’s Important: Although there were variations to the pacemaker before Boykin’s invention, the modern-day pacemaker would not exist without his work. Boykin,  also sought and received a patent for a wire precision resistor on June 16, 1959. This resistor would later be used in radios and televisions.

4. Marie Van Brittan Brown (1922-1999)

Marie Van Brittan Brown
Marie Van Brittan Brown

What She Invented: Closed-Circuit Television Security

Why Its Important: Marie Van Brittan Brown received a patent in 1969, making her the first person to develop a patent for closed- circuit television security. Brown’s system was designed with four peepholes and a motorized camera that could slide up and down to look at each one. Her invention became the framework for the modern closed-circuit television system that is widely used for surveillance, crime prevention and traffic monitoring.

5. Granville T. Woods (1856-1910)

Granville T. Woods
Granville T. Woods

What He Invented: The Multiplex Telegraph.
Why It’s Important: The Multiplex Telegraph was a device that sent messages between train stations and moving trains. His work assured a safer and better public transportation system for the cities of the United States.

6. Mildred Kenner (1924-2004)

Mary Kenner
Mary Kenner

What She invented: The Sanitary Belt

Why Its Important: Mildred Kenner joined her sister Mary Davidson in patenting many practical inventions. Neither of the sisters had any technical education, but that didn’t stop them from inventing the Sanitary Belt in 1956. Three years later, Kenner invented the mosture-resistant pocket for the belt. While disabled from multiple sclerosis, Kenner went on to invent The Walker and the toilet-tissue holder.

7. Gerald A. Lawson (1940 -2011)

Gerald A. Lawson
Gerald A. Lawson

What He Invented: The Modern Home-Video Gaming Console.
Why It’s Important: Anyone who owns a Playstation, Wii or Xbox should know Lawson’s name. He created the first home video-game system that used interchangeable cartridges, offering gamers a chance to play a variety of games and giving video-game makers a way to earn profits by selling individual games, a business model that exists today.

8. Sarah Goode (1855-1905)

Sarah Goode's Invention
Sarah Goode’s Invention

What She invented: The Folding Cabinet Bed

Why Its Important: Sarah Goode was an entrepreneur and inventor, who was the first African-American woman to receive a U.S. patent. Goode invented a folding cabinet bed which provided people who lived in small spaces to utilize their space efficiently. When the bed was folded up, it looked like a desk. The desk was fully functional, with spaces for storage. She received a patent for it on July 14, 1885.

9. Charles Richard Drew (1904-1950)

Charles R. Drew
Charles R. Drew

What He Invented: The Blood Bank.
Why It’s Important: His research in the field of blood transfusions led to the development of improved techniques for blood storage. He applied his expert knowledge to the development of large-scale blood banks early in World War II. His invention allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces.
He directed the blood plasma programs of the United States and Great Britain in World War II, but resigned after a ruling that the blood of African-Americans would be segregated.

10. Marc Hannah ( 1956-Present)

Marc Hannah
Marc Hannah

What He Invented: 3-D Graphics Technology Used in Films.
Why It’s Important: Anyone awed by the special effects in the films Jurassic Park, Terminator 2 and The Abyss should thank Chicago-native Marc Hannah. The computer scientist is one of the founders, in 1982, of the software firm Silicon Graphics (now SGI), where the special-effects genius developed 3-D graphics technology that would be used in many Hollywood movies.

11. Frederick M. Jones (1892-1961)

Frederick Jones
Frederick Jones

What He Invented: Mobile Refrigeration
Why It’s Important: His invention allowed the transportation of perishable foods such as produce and meats, which changed eating habits across the country. Thermo King, the company he co-founded, became a leading manufacturer of refrigerated transportation. Jones also developed an air-conditioning unit for military field hospitals and a refrigerator for military field kitchens. Jones was awarded over 60 patents during his lifetime.

12. Alice Parker (1865- death date unknown)

Alice Parker's Invention
Alice Parker’s Invention

What She Invented: Central Heating

Why Its Important: In 1919, Alice Parker of Morristown, New Jersey, invented a new and improved gas heating furnace that provided central heating.

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Thanks for stopping by Black History Fun Facts. Below is last week’s episode in case you missed it:

Week #8: Timbuktu

Emotional Response

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Everyone is made up of emotions. I have them. You have them. We all have them. We are human, and as such we feel. In a sense we are always reacting based on our emotions. Whether we research information or gather enough facts to deem us intelligent, for the most part majority of us will still respond emotionally. If we’re angry we will project an action accordingly. If we are sad our environment will be soaked up with gloom. If we are excited our blog post may just burst forth in a joyous frenzy and perhaps we’ll make a mistake or two. Our excitement may move us too fast or in another direction. Whatever the case may be, chances are your next move will be less based on the facts and more so based on emotion. The problem with this is that reacting emotionally can do away with logic. It takes the simple and makes it far more complicated. It blurs the vision and steers into the direction of flesh and bone and feel and touch rather than common sense. Open doors become blocked by people shouting and pointing fingers. They curse and stomp and accuse and it ignites a fire under you. You curse and stomp and accuse them back, pointing your fingers in their faces because after all, mama ain’t raise no fool, no fear, no punks grew up in her house. Yet all the while the door is open, hanging tirelessly upon its hinges for you to walk through it. Suddenly there is no door, there is no opportunity, just you and emotion yelling and screaming at a mere image of your very self. The next time you feel yourself responding emotionally to a situation stop and count the facts. Try to understand that reason is first invisible until we are ready to accept it for what it is. I guarantee that you will eventually see the door.

Commonly Asked Questions about Twins

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Yea, you guessed it, I’m a twin. The following questions have followed me around my whole life, and on behalf of twins everywhere, I present the following commonly, sometimes annoyingly, asked questions:

“Yall twins?”

We are obviously twins. But I must say I’m guilty of this myself. Though being a twin, when I see other twins I ask the same questions other people ask me. Hmmm, wonder if that breaks some kind of twin rule.

“Who the oldest?”

Is this a trick question? But since you asked, I came out first.

“By how many minutes?”

Five whole minutes and I’m the big sister, yay me

“Yall fraternal or identical?”

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This is a good question actually. A lot of people get confused between the two. Identical twins look well, identical, but this doesn’t determine whether or not they’re identical. A general stereotype about identical twins is that they are clones. They act alike, look alike, and are expected to be “identical.” However, the term identical twins actually describe how we form in the womb, not what we look like. Also known as monozygotic, identical twins are twins who developed from one egg that splits and forms two embryos. Fraternal, or dizygotic, twins develop from two eggs, each fertilized by separate sperm cells. (This is why fraternal twins sometimes look nothing alike) Dizygotic twins share about 50% of their genetic traits, the same as any other siblings born at different times. With that said, my sister and I are identical twins.

“Who’s the mean one?”

You know, being a twin doesn’t mean that we share personalities. In some ways we do, but we’re not half of one thing and another half of another thing. There’s not one who’s wholly mean and another who’s wholly nice. We both still have our own individual character traits.

“If I hit you, will she feel it?”

I don’t know, if I hit you, will you feel it?

Some interesting facts about identical twins:

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• The causes of monozygotic twinning are generally unknown and unidentified. No one really knows why an egg splits; according to the “professionals” it’s a malfunction of the normal development process. I beg to differ, there is nothing abnormal about us. We’re awesome. 🙂

• There’s no hereditary trait that influences a predisposition to having identical twins. Contrary to popular belief identical twins do not run in families, although there are families with a high incidence of identical twins.

• Identical twins represent about a third of all twins. fraternal twins are twice as common as identical.

• Birth rate statistics for identical twinning have remained stable over the years, despite the overall increase in twins and multiples since the late 1980’s. The odds of having identical twins are about 3 in 1,000, whereas the birthrate for all twins is about 32.2 in 1,000.

• Identical twinning is not generally influenced by fertility-enhancing treatments like drugs or in vitro, although identical twins have been produced in pregnancies that were the result of such treatments.

• Birth rates for identical twins are consistent across populations; it is the same regardless of race, geography or mate

 

“What’s the most fun thing about being a twin?”

People are fascinated by us.