Jay-Z's Lyrics Analyzed as Subject of College Course

by Sophie Schillaci via The Hollywood Reporter


Jay-Z may not have attended college, but his lyrics have provided the subject matter for a course in his name at Georgetown University.

Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z is offered this semester at the Washington, D.C. campus, led by professor, author, radio host and television personality Michael Eric Dyson. The pop culture course delves into the social commentary behind Hov’s lyrics, touching on racial and gender identity, sexuality, capitalism and economic inequality. The rapper’s memoir, Decoded, serves as required text.

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Alan Watts on Relativity

Alan Watts was instrumental in introducing Eastern philosophy to a Western audience in the 1960s until his death in 1973. Watts was a self-proclaimed "Spiritual entertainer with nothing to sell". Although he did publish over 20 books on Eastern philosophy, including his classic, "The Way of Zen". 

The modern scientific findings of relativity theory is where the ancient teachings of Buddha, Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, meet modern science. For over 2000 years the sages of the Far East have taught that all experiences were merely a function of mind. Time, mass (solidity) and space (distance), are the projections of the mind and not known to a world outside consciousness.

This was also the experience of the quantum physicists when they began to engage with the subatomic world. They found a quantum world where there were no distinctions and just the act of observing changed the very nature of what was being studied. 

As Dr Watts explains in this video, all that ever exists is electromagnetic phenomena. As portrayed in the popular 1999 movie "The Matrix", it is our mind that processes quantum energy received by our sensory awareness and then projects these experiences outside ourselves as our physical interactions.

However, if material objects are pulsating energy in vast emptiness, why does it seem we are living in a highly material world? Mass (or solidity) is actually a measure of the energy contained within a substance and the more energy it contains the greater the mass.

Watts often explained mass with the analogy of an electric fan. Although the fan blades have space in between, they are moving so fast that the individual blades behave as a solid disc. 

The same is true of seemingly solid objects that are in fact mostly emptiness. Material objects contain so much energy that nothing is able to pass through them, giving the mass the appearance of a solid. 

Nevertheless physicists are unable to explain why we see water as transparent and other substances as opaque. It seems that we have evolved to see energy we can pass through, such as air and water, as transparent and everything else opaque. The only exception to this is manufactured glass: nevertheless this does not occur in Nature to the same clarity.

Most of us naturally assume time and space (distance) are fixed and unchangeable. Nonetheless Einstein proved this to be a fallacy and also relative to the individual. The great theoretical physicist combine space and time into a fourth dimension he called the space-time continuum. He then went on to prove gravity was actually caused by the warping of space and time. 

Nevertheless Einstein was able to bring relativity back down to earth when he said, "When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity." 

We all have had the very subtle experience of this when we look at the time and are surprised at how quickly it has past. It is in this moment we have had a meditative experience - a reality beyond self, time and place. 

Yet how does understanding relativity help us at all? The benefit comes from understanding the world we perceive around us is ultimately a function of our own mind. Material reality is not something that comes from the outside in; it arises from within oneself and is projected out. 

Therefore if we make a conscious effort to foster positivity and contentment from within, this will become our projected experience of the world around us.

via Yinyangnature: http://bit.ly/EtGA8

Say Hello Spotify Apps

by Brian Heater via endgadget.com (http://engt.co/szOBXj)

Today's Spotify "what's next" event in New York City is all about the apps. The Swedish music streaming service's CEO Daniel Ek took the stage today to officially unveiled its new app finder, a platform aimed at bringing users music related info like info like lyrics, events and magazine record reviews. Announced partners include Rolling StoneThe Guardian, Last.fm, BillboardPitchfork and more. The company considers the platform the next step in a social strategy that the company began with Facebook integration, a move that brought a vast number of new users to the service.

According to Ek, Spotify is using the platform to add features of its own, as well, including new Facebook-style social stream that lets you see what friends are doing on the service in real-time. The platform will be open to everyone, according to the company, but Spotify will get final approval of all apps before they make their way onto the service. A number of apps, including Rolling Stone and Last.fm will be made available in beta today.

Evolution Of Critical Thinking

Richard Dawkins On The Evolution Of Critical Thinking (Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia; October 23, 2006).

Richard Dawkins is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science author. He was formerly Professor for Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He was voted Britain's leading public intellectual by readers of Prospect magazine and was named one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People" for 2007.

The All-New 2012 Porsche 911

The first real seven-speed transmission and several other nice features...

by Jon Alain Guzik

Since its début in 1963, the 911 has inspired lust and desire in the hearts of gearheads the world over. Since then, the 911 has kept its basic Teutonic DNA intact -- rear-engine, nimble and small, a sports car meant to be flogged to the limits, yet ready for everyday driving. From the classic air-cooled era models -- 1963 to 1998 -- to the liquid-cooled versions from 1998 onward, the Porsche 911 has gotten better and better as the years progressed.

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