Dádìsì Speaks

Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Tattoo Removal Rises As Employers Hesitate To Hire Inked Applicants

In Artistic Expression, Business, Consider This, Culture on 30/05/2012 at 10:19

Wrapping an ornate dragon tattoo around your forearm may have seemed like a good idea at one time, but visible body art can often be hindrance to success, especially in the workplace.

According to a report from Philly.com, those sporting visible tattoos are struggling to get hired in the face of stricter corporate dress codes.

In short, clean-cut candidates with a traditional corporate appearance are more appealing to employers than those with visible body artwork.

survey conducted by Careerbuilder.com showed similar results, according to MSNBC. After taking the pulse of HR managers, the job search site found that piercings, cited by 37 percent of hiring managers, are the top physical attribute that can limit an candidate’s career potential. Bad breath came in next, at 34 percent, with visible tattoos trailing not too far behind at 31 percent.

Nevertheless, tattoos seem to have gone mainstream, with one quarter of Americans between the ages of 18 and 50 having some body art. Thus, where the ubiquity of tattoos meets with the distate of potential employers, the lucrative business of tattoo removal has found a home. And despite the procedure costing thousands of dollars, business is booming. (cont … HuffPost)

The solution, LASER TATTOO REMOVAL. The following video demonstrates how the process works.

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Plantations, Prisons and Profits

In Consider This, Culture, Prison Industrial Complex on 29/05/2012 at 10:35

Debtors Prisoners and their overseer

Louisiana is the world’s prison capital. The state imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of its U.S. counterparts. First among Americans means first in the world. Louisiana’s incarceration rate is nearly triple Iran’s, seven times China’s and 10 times Germany’s.”

That paragraph opens a devastating eight-part series published this month by The Times-Picayune of New Orleans about how the state’s largely private prison system profits from high incarceration rates and tough sentencing, and how many with the power to curtail the system actually have a financial incentive to perpetuate it.

The picture that emerges is one of convicts as chattel and a legal system essentially based on human commodification.

First, some facts from the series:

• One in 86 Louisiana adults is in the prison system, which is nearly double the national average.

• More than 50 percent of Louisiana’s inmates are in local prisons, which is more than any other state. The next highest state is Kentucky at 33 percent. The national average is 5 percent.

• Louisiana leads the nation in the percentage of its prisoners serving life without parole.

• Louisiana spends less on local inmates than any other state.

• Nearly two-thirds of Louisiana’s prisoners are nonviolent offenders. The national average is less than half.

In the early 1990s, the state was under a federal court order to reduce overcrowding, but instead of releasing prisoners or loosening sentencing guidelines, the state incentivized the building of private prisons. But, in what the newspaper called “a uniquely Louisiana twist,” most of the prison entrepreneurs were actually rural sheriffs. They saw a way to make a profit and did.

It also was a chance to employ local people, especially failed farmers forced into bankruptcy court by a severe drop in the crop prices.

But in order for the local prisons to remain profitable, the beds, which one prison operator in the series distastefully refers to as “honey holes,” must remain full. That means that on almost a daily basis, local prison officials are on the phones bartering for prisoners with overcrowded jails in the big cities.  (cont … New York Times)

MAVA Capital Connection ’12 Conference – Day Two

In Business, Tech and Social Media on 28/05/2012 at 16:44

Panel Discussion on Investing in a Volatile World-How to See Opportunity and Value Risk

(WASHINGTON) May 24th, Omni Shoreham Hotel – It’s day two, the energy is still very high and it’s time to get down to business.  The general session is starting.  It’s a panel discussion dealing with the topic of “Investing in a Volatile World – How to See Opportunity and Value Risk”.

The panel is moderated by Dan Primack, Senior Editor of Fortune Magazine.  The panel itself comprises of Peter Barris, Managing Director of NEA, Cameron Lester, General Partner Azure Capital Partners and Tony Palcheck, Managing Director of Motorola Solutions Venture.

The panel discussed the current venture market, the quality of tech startups available to invest in and the recent facebook IPO.  Crowdfunding and its value was also discussed.  But at the end of the discussion it was clear that three things were important to the venture and investment community when it came to technology startups.  Cloud, Big Data and Mobile.

It was stated that any startup with a good idea, great executive and a good product in either of these spaces had a real shot at being funded.  And that’s the point of it all.  Every year MAVA sponsors this conference to bring the best and the brightest together in the Mid-Atlantic region to have such discussions. (cont … Examiner.com)

23 years of Black Love: African boy + West Indian girl = Oluwatosin 6

In About Me, My Family on 28/05/2012 at 12:09

Mr. and Mrs. Oluwatosin at our eldest daughter Yejide’s college graduation

WOW!!!  Today marks our 23rd wedding anniversary.  That’s a very long time by today’s marital standards and I’m very happy to be able to say that I’ve been with this very special woman for all this time.  Since meeting each other we’ve been building family, doing our collective part for the health and well being of the Black community and watching our children grow and flourish in an environment of love.

And it’s that love, mutual respect and genuine like for one another that has kept us together.  We often reflect with one another at how special our family and what we have is to others.  People will often remark to us individually and as a couple how much they love our children and our family.

Our latest family photo at my daughter Yejide’s graduation from Howard University
(left-right: Amoye, Ifetayo, Yejide, Nioyonu, Ayinde and yours truly)

Those sentiments are not lost on us and they bring a certain joy to us knowing that our marriage inspires others.  Certainly there are distractions and forces that would attempt to come between what we have built but what marriages don’t have those issues.  Fortunately, the spirit of our ancestors, our real friends and our families will not ever allow that to happen.  In marriage there is a higher calling that transcends personal wants, desires and immaturity.

I see this more now than I ever have before. Which is why I’m writing this blog and sharing it with you.  Together we are strong and certainly apart we would never have what we have today.  Our most prised possession, our family.  To me family is what matters most and having a loving, caring, patient and meaningful marriage just brings it all together.

To that end I want to simply say Happy Anniversary to my lovely wife.  Thank you for putting up with me for all these years and may we have another 23 so that we can see our grandchildren and possibly great-grandchildren have what we have as well.  Here’s to Black Love.

MAVA Capital Connection ’12 Conference – TechBUZZ: Where VC’s and Tech Meet

In Business, Tech and Social Media on 27/05/2012 at 22:16

(WASHINGTON) May 23rd, Omni Shoreham Hotel – It’s late morning and the energy is high.  The smell of coffee, danishes and the sounds of people talking outside the main entrance to the conference hall where the opening keynote speaker, Dan Yates CEO and Founder of Opower is about to kick things off.

At this point attendees to the conference, entrepreneurs and investors alike rush to complete their registration, get their name tags and pick up their conference packets as to not miss the beginning of this very important conference sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) along with a number of corporate sponsors.

Today marks the conference’s 25th anniversary of the Capital Connection Conference. The Mid-Atlantic regions premier conference for venture capitalists, investors and tech entrepreneurs.  It’s day one and this part of the conference is refered to as TechBUZZ.

The focus of the day is to provide a forum for 28 finalists out of 200 original entreprenueurial startups to pitch their companies.

Each company has four minutes on the stage to share their vision, ideas and innovative products to a crowd of hungry venture capitalists (VC) and investors anxiously awaiting to hear and view each pitch.

As always VC’s are looking for the next Google, Pinterest or Instagram. As each presentation is done, one after another, the audience is asked to download an app to their smartphones called Disruptathon.  This app, which supports both Android and iOS. allows each audience member to vote in real-time on the presentations.

Once the votes were tallied, the top three were choosen and awared a stage to move on to the second round of presentations to be held on day two of the conference.  The three finalists were Augaroo, Cont3nt.com and Speek. (cont … Examiner.com)

Celebrating freedom and the African continent on Africa Day

In Culture, Politics, the World, Thinking Africa on 26/05/2012 at 17:26

After the World War II, the process of decolonization of the African continent gathered momentum as Africans increasingly agitated for more political rights and independence. While in other parts of the continent colonial powers reluctantly and grudgingly relinquished power, in other parts African people launched protracted struggles against the recalcitrant colonial regimes. Thus, between 1945 and 1965 a significant number of African countries gained independence from European colonial powers. Ghana became the first African country south of the Sahara to gain independence on 6 March 1957. Its independence served an inspiration to other African countries struggling against colonial rule and as a result Ghana occupied a central role in the struggle against colonial rule.

Just over a year after its independence Ghana under the leadership Kwame Nkrumah convened the first Conference of Independent African States on 15 April 1958. Amongst those countries that attended were Ghana, Ethiopia, Sudan, Liberia, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia amongst others. There were also representatives of the National Liberation Front of Algeria andthe Union of Cameroonian Peoples. It is worth noting that there were only eight African countries were independent at this time. The conference was an unequivocal assertion of Africa’s rejection of colonial and imperialist domination of the continent. It became the first Pan African conference to be held on the continent bringing together various African countries. Furthermore, the conference became a collective platform from which African countries sought to cooperate in the struggle against colonialism.

To further encourage and forge a common goal of fighting against colonial rule, the conference called for the observance of African Freedom Day once a year, to mark “the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the People of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.” Consequently, 15 April was enacted as called it African Freedom Day (or Africa Liberation Day), and this marked the beginning of what would later be known as Africa Day.

Subsequent to the April conference another conference, the All Africa People’s Conference (AAPC) was held on 8-13 December 1958 in Accra Ghana. The AAPC was attended by both independent and non independent countries, representatives of liberation movements.

Africa is the new developing and growth market.  Pay very close attention.

Miles Dewey Davis: Still inspires us with his musical talent and vision

In Artistic Expression, Culture, Jazz, Music on 26/05/2012 at 13:42

Today is marks Miles Dewey Davis’ 86th birthday.  There’s so much to say about this man, his life and the mark he left on the music world with his special brand of Jazz and musical composition.

Many have come after him, imitating him but none could ever quite been able to replicate him.  His music was his own.  His vision of Jazz was truly unique and the inspiration he left was phenomenal.

His music and ability to speak sweeping melodies with his trumpet sends chills up ones spine.  His music comprises of what is referred to as the classics or standards.  He is missed but alas we still remain ever inspired.

Here are a few of his best for your enjoyment.  Happy Birthday Brother Miles.

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When justice just ain’t right: The Pandora’s Box of being falsely accused of rape

In Culture, Prison Industrial Complex on 26/05/2012 at 12:13

There’s nothing like using Facebook to say “I’m sorry for sending you to prison after falsely accusing you of kidnap and rape.”

That’s what happened to Brian Banks, after his accuser friended him on Facebook hoping that he could “let bygones be bygones” on a false rape and kidnapping conviction back in 2002.

After reading this story, I was infuriated.  I was angry for Mr. Banks, who was in tears in the courtroom, reflecting on only God-knows-what happened to him after being sent to prison at a young age.

He was a football star on his way to play college sports at the highest level when the non-incident took place. Wanetta Gibson (the accuser) ruined Brian’s life, and the system aided and abetted her in a quest to destroy this young man’s future.

Every perpetrator of this crime against justice deserves to be punished, starting with Banks’ accuser.  There is word that Wanetta is going to be asked to repay the $1.5 million she was paid by the school district for what she claimed to have happened to her, but her repayment should go far beyond money:

She should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and deserves a prison sentence no less severe than the time that was going to be given to Mr. Banks when the state chose to believe that he was a rapist.

The second party to pay for what happened to Mr. Banks should be the attorney, judge, and prosecutors who coerced him into taking a plea deal.  Mr. Banks was told that if he continued to hold on to his “illusion” of innocence and actually fight for his right to a fair trial, he could face up to 41 years.

This kind of threat is similar to what was done during the Salem Witch Trials and the Spanish Inquisition, where anyone who proclaimed their innocence was tortured until they admitted guilt.

This kind of coercive and unjust bargaining should be disallowed in the justice system altogether.

Finally, Mr. Banks deserves to be financially compensated.

No amount of money can make up for what he lost, but about $10 million dollars should help ease the pain at least a little bit.  There was no physical evidence whatsoever that Banks committed this rape, so there was no justification for any judge or prosecutor to consider sending him to prison. In that regard, those involved in the decision to destroy this young man’s life should be sent to the very same prison that they were willing to send an innocent human being. (cont … News One)

Artistic expression and photography used to advocate justice and fight stereotyes

In Artistic Expression, Culture, Photography on 26/05/2012 at 11:46

James C. Lewis has taken photographs in the past that make a statement but none  quite like his new collection. The motivation behind Lewis’ Naked Black Justice isn’t hard to find if you are aware of the recent injustices against African-Americans, most notably the killing of Trayvon Martin.  Feeling powerless about injustice isn’t new to the black community but doing something to make people pay attention to these actions and that something not involving an outlandish news story is. No doubt, Lewis wanted to voice his feelings about the stereotypes blacks face in American daily but wanted to do so with his voice, his camera.

This photography campaign was designed to bring attention to the issues of racism, prejudice and overall ignorance that has been impressed upon Black Americans. This is no longer just a statement…it has become a MOVEMENT to get others to understand that the world would be such a better place if we could just ERASE THE HATE!! Nudity was implemented to demonstrate the RAW REALITY of these issues…so if it causes you to become uncomfortable while viewing this…GOOD…maybe it will challenge you and others to take a stand against these injustices.

Lewis has encouraged people to participate and list his Facebook page as the point of contact. He plans to later showcase the photographs in galleries across the nation but has yet to set a date. The photographs are striking, beautiful and make you want to look at them. Does looking at them really change the viewer’s mind about the subjects or the image that the everyday American has toward a black person? As beautiful and engaging as this campaign is, its power to make people think about how they view an entire culture may have fallen on already convinced ears. The people most likely to agree with Lewis or view the images in a gallery have already ask themselves the hard questions. My hope is his shock and awe approach does more to open people’s minds and their ears than it does to open their mouths and close their  minds. (cont … Black Love Project)

10 mental traits of truly innovative leaders

In Business, Science, Tech and Social Media on 26/05/2012 at 11:19

Ever since I was young I’ve always loved thinking of ways to fix things, build products and make money.

And, over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with so many creative and innovative people.

I’m talking about people like Whitepages’ Alex Algard, Cheezburger’s Ben Huh and BuddyTV’s Andy Liu. These guys are absolute masters at drawing profitableconclusions from problems and ideas from totally unrelated fields. The businesses that these new ideas trigger speak for themselves.

So I thought I would put down on paper what it is that makes these guys innovative thinkers and leaders, and tips that you can use to help you reach their kind of success, too. Here are 10:

Recognizing patterns

Truly innovative people have an ability to see connections across data and ideas, and then turn those patterns they see into even better ideas.

This mental trait starts early with you recognizing patterns in things like language, faces and handwriting, but through experience you see connections between ideas and concepts in the world. They call this lateral thinking.

A good innovate leader will blend information from different sources to come up with solutions and products. If you want to get really good at this, you have to do this:

  • Look at lots of sources of data and ideas and seek out the associations.
  • Encourage those around you to do the same.
  • Question conventional thinking and constantly get into the habit of developing different theories on how you can do something better.

Predicting

Most people stare straight ahead and look for the obvious. That can leave you open to missed opportunities, allowing competition to jump on them instead…or take advantage of weaknesses that you have.

Great innovative leaders instead develop what is called peripheral vision. This is the ability to look not just ahead, but up and down the vertical you are working in and across into very different verticals.

Here are some tips to help you do that:

  • Try to find information that could change the way you do business or the way your industry does business.
  • Look past all of your current boundaries.
  • Create networks of people who are also looking out at the peripheral to help you scan for opportunities. These reciprocal relationships work best with people not in your industry. (cont … Geek Wire)