when hip hop was less braggadocio and more sociopolitical commentary…


I was barely out of diapers when hip hop artists like Wu Tang Clan and Arrested Development were out, so I have no expertise on the subject whatsoever. Doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate these songs as prime examples of their art form. They don’t make songs like them these days. Or if they do, people don’t find them interesting anymore, which is a much, much sadder fact.

I have six songs on here, and these are the only ones on my list because I have a limited knowledge of old school hip hop (though I wish I knew more, so if you know songs that deserve a spot up there with the hip hop classics or legends, then just comment below, and I’ll add it on here, just so I can have a good list for this particular post – I’d be grateful too :) ). At the very least, most people would probably know Eminem and Macklemore/Ryan Lewis – not old school, but these artists have songs that push back against the stereotype of hip hop being all about money, women, drugs, and parties, a stereotype that has grown in strength during the last decade. Continue reading

Treasures of A Heritage Trail


If Hong Kong advertised this more in their huge, beautiful airport, I’d be all over this trail. I’ve been in Hong Kong thrice now, and HAD NO IDEA THIS EXISTED. I feel like I seriously missed out on something fascinating.

Originally posted on What an Amazing World!:

Sheung Cheung Wai, A Walled Village in Ping Shan

Sheung Cheung Wai, A Walled Village in Ping Shan

The MTR train moved at a steady pace leaving the ever-bustling Tsim Sha Tsui district in Kowloon. On the ground above the train station dozens of skyscrapers scrambled for space in this constantly developing part of Hong Kong, just across the harbor where one of the world’s financial centers pulsated relentlessly. We were moving away from hordes of tourists and shoppers, coming to Kowloon in steady influx, as well as from local businesses which helped make Hong Kong a thriving place for fortune-making.

From the window of the train the view of dense tall buildings were soon replaced by rows of residential houses as we moved further away from the city. Moments later from the northwest corner of the territory where we were heading, tall skyscrapers loomed from the horizon. One might have the thought that the train was returning back…

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the filipino christmas

If there is one thing about Filipinos that amazes me, it’s how feverishly we celebrate Christmas, so much so that a third of the year is spent on preparing and praying for it to come.  It’s everyone’s favorite reason to be with family, attend more masses, eat more food, drink more wine, and make mall owners extremely happy.

By September, establishments play Christmas songs and sell Christmas lights. By October, early gift buyers hunt for Christmas sales. By November, the Christmas tree is ready to be displayed to all visitors of the home. By December, priests go on overtime, holding masses to full churches and chapels, from before sunrise to after sunset Continue reading

錦市場 The Kitchen of Kyoto


Nishiki Market, I regret not visiting you when we were in Kyoto. My family and I promise to come back for you. :) :) :)

Originally posted on japangie:

After class today I took a trip south on the train to Gion-Shijo with no real destination in mind – it was sunny so I figured I should make use of the daylight while it lasted. Upon arrival in Gion-Shijo I realised I’d forgotten my Shuin book, and I was reluctant to go to a temple without getting a stamp – it seems I have become a collector. Instead I turned West, towards Shijo, a busy shopping district, and hunted down Nishiki Market.

If you read any guidebook on Kyoto, there will be some mention of Nishiki Market (錦市場). This market is just north of Shijo street and sells any Japanese food you can think of. As soon as I stepped into the very narrow street I was cocooned in smells of cooking and spices – there are plenty of stalls selling food to eat straight away, not just groceries…

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faith by alan lightman

Faith, in its broadest sense, is about far more than belief in the existence of God or the disregard of scientific evidence. Faith is the willingness to give ourselves over, at times, to things we do not fully understand. Faith is the belief in things larger than ourselves. Faith is the ability to honor stillness at some moments and at others to ride the passion and exuberance that is the artistic impulse, the flight of the imagination, the full engagement with this strange and shimmering world.

Alan Lightman, The Accidental Universe

GD x TAEYANG – Good Boy

As a warning, if you’re sensitive to flashing, neon lights, do not watch this video. It’s horrific for dry eyes and photosensitive epileptics. I’m not kidding.

Also, if you’re allergic to this generation’s music, which means you were most likely born before 1990, then I also advise you to proceed with caution. Your ears might bleed. I’m kidding. It’s not that bad.

Continue reading

the illusion of power and weakness

From A Civil Campaign by author Lois McMaster Bujold


Food for thought. Although it got me thinking: if weakness is also an illusion, then is strength also an illusion? Or does this refer to a weakness specifically born out of powerlessness? I’m not taking this quote as a life-changing epiphany nor is it an absolute, but it sure bears some thinking about.

Just my two cents in, Continue reading

how to: beautiful holland house candles

There are artists, and there are artists with experience. This video shows a seriously cool artist carving a beautiful candle in less than 15 minutes. Watch it while I pick my jaw up from the ground.

Apparently, they have a website: http://hollandhousecandles.com/, and this isn’t the only design they have.  Check it out :)