All posts by EurPublisher

smart phone in hands with target ad

Shoppers Stumped by Always Changing Prices Online

smart phone in hands with target ad

*(Via Sacramento Bee) – Online shopping has become as volatile as stock market trading. Wild, minute-by-minute price swings on everything from clothes to TVs have made it difficult for holiday shoppers to “buy low.”

A growing number of retailers are using software that changes online prices based on demand, competition, inventory and other factors. The main goal is to undercut rivals when necessary, and raise prices when demand is high and there’s no competitive pressure.

But the new online tools can change the price on a single item — say, a sweater — dozens of times throughout the day. And that can leave shoppers confused about when they can get the best deal.

Take Aishia Senior, who recently watched the price on a coat she wanted rise and fall several times between $110 and $139 in a span of six hours on Amazon.com. She was so frustrated by the price fluctuations that she ended up not buying the coat on the site at all.

“It’s definitely annoying,” said Senior, who lives in New Haven, Connecticut. “What exactly is making it go up and down?”

Read more of this AP report at SacBee.

ray and janay rice

Ray Rice: New Video Shows Couple in Various Emotional Stages After Elevator Punch (Watch)

ray and janay rice

*It turns out there’s even MORE surveillance video of Janay Palmer Rice and Ray Rice

ABC News has obtained a copy of the security-camera video that shows what happened after violent elevator knock-out by Ray Rice of then girlfriend, Janay Palmer. In the new video, they are shown with their hands cuffed behind their backs in a holding area.

The nearly 45 minutes of never-before-seen footage shows a clearly distraught Janay Palmer, Rice’s then-fiancee and now wife, unwilling to talk to him after the NFL star had punched her inside an elevator on Feb. 15 at the now-closed Revel casino.

Palmer is seen physically pushing Rice away from her when he approached her immediately after the incident. Palmer was then protected by hotel security guards as Rice attempted to move closer.

The video then shows Palmer going through something of an emotional evolution in the middle of the night. Almost immediately after the assault, she appears angry. Soon after, Palmer begins to cry. And by the time she and Rice are both escorted into an elevator — handcuffed — she appears to kiss and nuzzle the one-time NFL star.

Both Rice and Palmer were arrested that night and charged with one count of assault each. The charge against Palmer was later dropped for “insufficient evidence,” while the charge against Rice was upgraded to aggravated assault.

You can read/learn MORE at ABC News.

Watch the video:

i can't breathe

Shameless Woman (Catherine Crump) Files Trademark Application for ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Phrase

i can't breathe

*(Via theGrio) – Eric Garner’s last words have become the slogan of a new movement. “I can’t breathe” is now everywhere. It’s a hashtag for people’s frustrations over the sense that Black lives are being hunted. It’s on T-shirts, to show solidarity with nationwide protests and to make a statement.

Activists, celebrities, and everyday people are chanting “I can’t breathe” because every time another Black person is killed by a cop without consequence, we feel like WE CANNOT BREATHE. It’s a continuous punch to our collective chests.

“I can’t breathe” now belongs to the people. This is why it’s completely ridiculous that a woman named Catherine Crump has filed a trademark application for the phrase. The Smoking Gun reported that the woman from Waukegan, IL submitted the application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on December 13. She wants to use the phrase for T-shirts and hoodies. She said she’s been using it in commerce since August 18, a month after Eric Garner uttered those words.

According to The Smoking Gun:

“In an interview, Crump said that she had “nothing to do with the Garner family,” and had not spoken to them about her trademark bid. While claiming that her purpose for marketing “I can’t breathe” garments was not to make money, she declined to disclose what other reason there was for her trademark filing (which cost $325).“

I know all’s fair in love and capitalism but this level of greed is so disgusting and appalling. How dare she try to claim ownership of any sort of a dying man’s words? On a scale of 1 to kick an orphan, this is on level “steal from the homeless.”

This article continues at theGrio.

ronald fenty & rihanna

Report: Rihanna’s Drunken Father Ronald Fenty Thrown Out of Her Diamond Ball

Rihanna's Drunken Father Ronald Fenty Thrown Out of Her Diamond Ball

Rihanna & her father, Ronald Fenty

*Things aren’t going so well for Rihanna‘s father, Ronald Fenty … and their relationship.

Fenty was thrown out of the singer’s recent charity ball after showing up to the event drunk.

Rihanna’s father revealed his daughter paid for him to enroll in a Malibu rehab center last year in a bid to help him kick his longtime drinking problem for good, but he suffered a relapse on the day of her Diamond Ball charity gala in Beverly Hills last week.

Fenty was given the boot by security at the start of the event and did not even get to see his daughter on her big night. Photographs on the red carpet show him drunkenly posing with members of his family but he is not present once Rihanna joins the group.

Here’s the sad scene he painted for the Daily Mail about the night:

“I had Johnny Walker Black (whiskey). I had two doubles man and tripped over a chair. I had been on the (red) carpet for the pictures, I meet a couple of famous people I knew, go and talked with them, and then somebody left a chair and I stepped back and fell over, I saw my ex (Monica, Rihanna’s mother) look up, and within a few minutes after the picture was taken, security came up and said, ‘We’re taking you home’. I said ‘But I haven’t seen my daughter yet’ and they said ‘Don’t matter man… Please do not make a scene it will reflect on your daughter’…

“I’m sad how it ended of course, I should have never taken that first drink or any drink for that matter… I guess she would be angry with me. I think she is, I’m not sure, we haven’t spoken just yet… That day of the event I was really down… I got really down and depressed and that was basically why I started drinking that day.”

Fenty also explained how Rihanna paid for him to enter rehab a little over a year ago in November, 2013 after he had a brush with the law, and he now feels like he let her down.

“It was a good thing and I was off the alcohol for a long time. She came to visit and we talked… She was happy to see me, said she was very proud of me at the time… I don’t see myself as an alcoholic, I don’t realise when I get that drunk. Call me a drunk or alcoholic in denial, whatever you want to call me but I have realized I could drink or not drink. I only start (started) drinking, once I come back here in December… I feel bad because I let her down because she spend (sic) all that money putting me in rehab, (and) then find me (sic) drunk somewhere. It is not good. What can I say but I’m sorry. It’s me who f**ed up.”

So, so sad. All we can do is shake our head.

 

(Rihanna’s Drunken Father Ronald Fenty Thrown Out of Her Diamond Ball)
stuntmen - black stuntmen & women

Black Stuntmen’s Association Frustrated with Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret of ‘Painting Down’

stuntmen - black stuntmen & women

Claxssic photo of black stuntmen & stuntwomen

*Members of the Black Stuntmen’s Association (BSA) are angry and appalled that Hollywood’s Warner Bros. is still practicing “painting down.”  Despite the decades-long, rocky history between Warner Bros. and the Black Stuntmen’s Association, this did not deter the studio recently from casting a white stuntwoman to play the double for a black guest actress on its Fox’s hit show, “Gotham.”

However, after a reporter from Deadline Hollywood confronted Warner Bros., they quickly scrapped the plan to “paint down” a white stuntwoman.

“The Black Stuntmen’s Association has always had capable and talented “Stunt Doubles” ready and able to do any and all stunts that are required for the job at hand.  And yet, our accomplishments are overlooked at every turn,” says Willie Harris, stunt pioneer and president of The Black Stuntmen’s Association. “I am angry and appalled to hear that in the 21st Century, Warner Bros. is still practicing the act of ‘painting down’ and has raised its ugly head again.”

“It’s really insulting that they would do that in the 21st century. Painting down is a very derogatory term and they know it and we know it, and it’s kind of embarrassing and insulting to start over again with the same issues 40 years later. The policies shouldn’t change from what is right to wrong,” says Alex Brown, a stunt pioneer and co-founder and secretary of the BSA.  “The paint down thing is the worst thing there is to do — period. We have to be vigilant about the facts, the situation and be aware that they are still doing it. When you think it’s all gone and moving on, it’s not.”

According to David Robb, “They took the white stuntwoman and put her through hair and makeup and they applied the black makeup on her, so that she could pass as the black guest star.”

Robb has covered issues in the film and television industry for more than 20 years.  Although, the white stuntwoman never made it on camera, the hair and makeup was done.

“It was insulting and demeaning for the black cast members on the show to see someone painted up like that, and it also made the white crew very uncomfortable. They were not happy about it either.”

The act of “painting down” white stunt actors so they can pass for black is still prevalent today, even though Blackface was supposedly discontinued back in the 1930s and SAG-AFTRA calls the practice “unacceptable” and “improper.”

Decades ago, The BSA broke color barriers in the ‘stunt profession’, won 32 EEOC lawsuits, opening the door for Black actors and other minorities, and white females that were often denied access to the stunt world. In the 1970s, The Black Stuntmen’s Association encountered blatant disrespect and fought vigorously behind the scenes to ensure that Blacks and other minorities had the opportunity to serve as stunt doubles and jump off roofs, and crash cars.

“It’s offensive. It really shouldn’t happen,” says Jadie David, a retired Black stuntwoman and former Screen Actors Guild business rep.

Jadie David

Jadie David

In a recent interview with EUR, David reminisced about her 30-plus years as a stuntwoman and sheds light on the good and the bad.  “I have a little different experience than other people.  I was fortunate.  I came in the business when the Black Exploitation films were coming out. I was 5’9″ and I matched most of the African American actresses,” says David.  She was recruited and landed on the scene back in the 1970s, where  she gained work doing stunts for stars like Pam Grier, Denise Nicholas and others in blaxploitation films like “Coffy,” “Foxy Brown” and “The Soul of Nigger Charlie.” David also served as a stunt-double for Denise Nicholas in horseback, swimming and diving scenes on ABC’s “Room 222.”

Although the industry is male-dominated, she says she did not personally lose any work to painted-down doubles; however, she regularly saw others encounter that problem.

“Even though it came easy for me, I didn’t lose sight because I saw how it was hard for others to get in,” she explains.  David’s first job was a double for Actor Denise Nicholas for the movie, “The Soul of Nigger Charlie” which also starred Fred Williamson. “I didn’t struggle to get in the business I kind of fell in it because of my size, my height and some of the skills I have.”

In 1965, Bill Cosby became the first Black lead character in a dramatic TV series, “I Spy,” and stunt performer Calvin Brown became Cosby’s double.  Both broke the color barrier with “I Spy.”  Brown would go on to serve as Cosby’s stuntman for many years.  Brown is said to be the first African American stuntman recognized in Hollywood, and he was one of the co-founders of the BSA.  He also did Black stunt work for other TV series such as “Mission Impossible,” “The Wild Wild West,” and movies, “The Split,” “I Spy Returns,” “Blank Check “ and others. Brown was the stunt double for actors Jim Brown and Greg Morris, and had a few small character roles.  In an upcoming documentary, “Painted Down,” Cosby speaks on his experience with “painting down”.

Davis added, “I was lucky enough to fall into a situation in the entertainment industry where I was needed.  They needed a person with my size, height and skill set. They needed me.”  However, it was a different story for most African American stuntmen and women.  In fact, things were difficult.  David says, “Marvin Walters, an African American stuntman contacted the U.S. Justice Department and a movement began in Hollywood to help ensure fair employment opportunities for women and people of color in front of and behind the camera.   Lawsuits were filed and won by Marvin and The Coalition of Black Stuntmen and Women, and damages were paid to all stunt performers of color.  Finally, it seemed as if the status quo of selective hiring had seen its day.”

History of the Black Stuntmen’s Association

Founded in 1967 by Eddie Smith, Willie Harris, Alex Brown, Calvin Brown, Henry Kingi and others, The Black Stuntmen’s Association was started because the movie and television industry consistently denied black stuntmen and women the opportunity to perform in Hollywood.  Smith went to the NAACP and got the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) involved.  According to the BSA, they filed and fought 32 Studio Lawsuits and won all 32 of the cases of discrimination in the workplace. “The BSA was the first to stand up to the Movie studios against racism back in the late 60s and 70s fighting for all minorities,” says Harris.  Despite the name of the organization, the organization represented stuntwomen pioneers, Evelyn Cuffee and Jadie David.

stuntmen - alex brown & willie harris

Alex Brown & Willie Harris

“The Black Stuntmen’s Association broke the color barrier in the “stunt profession; opening the door not only for the black actors, but for all minorities, including white females, that wanted to get into the stunt world. There were no black cameramen, no black makeup artists, no black script writers; no blacks behind the camera at all, but the BSA changed all that with our fight for equal justice in the Motion Picture and Television industry,” says Willie Harris.  “And, by fighting for our rights to work in the entertainment field, we changed the minds of the big movie mogul, for the good of all.”

Harris added, ” Once this door opened, actors like, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Will Smith, Forest Whitaker, Tyler Perry, and many, many more were able to walk on to the sound stage, and become the mega stars they are today, with the help of the “Black Stuntmen’s Association doubling the stunts for all these great actors.”

“And, we were able to open these doors of opportunity with the collaboration of people like, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Lou Gossett, Jr.,  Ivan Dixon, Dorothy Dandridge, Ruby Dee, Tamara Dobson, Lola Falana, Rosalind Cash and Diana Sands, to name a few,” says Harris.

David says instead of screaming and yelling about the “paint down,” go to the Screen Actors Guild and request they correct the language of the contract. David worked for SAG and she learned the language.

“It needs to be negotiated with stronger language, so it won’t be practiced or allowed,” says David.  “The Screen Actors Guild needs to step up to the plate and establish language.”

She added, “We can really have this stopped. They need to negotiate in the television and theatrical contracts that you cannot do ‘paint down.’”  Their hands are tied because they have no language to reinforce it as it pertains to paint down.”

BSA’s Future

BSA is struggling to keep the organization going and would like to see the younger African American stuntmen and stuntwomen join their organization.  Harris and the remaining members are mostly elderly now, some in their seventies and still fighting for the BSA, but they are ready to pass the torch.

“I need to pass the torch off to the younger guys but it isn’t beneficial to the Black stunt guys because they are part of the white organizations,” says Harris.

“Younger Black stuntmen tend to not make a lot of noise. They are not part of the organization and were not part of it back in the day. “The younger actors like Denzel, Spike Lee, Will Smith and others today have never supported us. I wonder where they stand on this.  If they start speaking out on this it wouldn’t happen at all,” says Brown.

“We’re on a movement again to try to curve this situation again. Jobs are already scarce for Black stunt people, especially Black women,” says Brown.

The BSA is currently filming a documentary of the story of the black stuntmen’s fight and struggle for Equal Rights in the movie and television industry, with the help of renowned Oscar-nominated Actor Elliot Gould, and the Academy Award-winner Actor, Louis Gossett, Jr.

Phyllis Linda Ellis, a BSA member and writer, is writing the documentary. A book deal is also in the works and will be written by Michael Lyle of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“Painted Down,” a new documentary by film producer Nonie Robinson, the daughter of icon black stuntman Ernie Robinson recalls Bill Cosby and others recount of Black Stuntman’s early Hollywood struggles. Directed by Marques Miles, the documentary is scheduled to be released in 2015.

For additional information, visit www.blackstuntmensassociation.com.

 

Angela P. Moore-Thorpe is a freelance writer for local and national magazines. She is also a Public Relations Consultant at APM Public Relations (www.apmpublicrelations.com).

kelvin wooten

Kelvin Wooten: Grammy Nominated Producer Shares His Story with You

kelvin wooten

Kelvin Wooten

*You’ve heard of Kelvin Wooten – or perhaps more accurately, you’ve heard Kelvin Wooten. The young, dynamic multi- instrumentalist has played, written, arranged or produced for some of the biggest names in music: Earth, Wind & Fire, Mary J. Blige, Al Green, The Bee Gees, Anthony Hamilton, Nappy Roots, Jill Scott, Macy Gray, the Isley Brothers, Tony Toni Tone and TLC to name a few.

Born in Georgia and raised in Alabama, Kelvin has spent much of the past few years in recording studios on the West Coast, often working with Raphael Saadiq and Anthony Hamilton on their productions. When not in the studio or on the road as a Music Director playing keyboards, guitar or bass, Kelvin works out of his studio in Huntsville, Alabama.

Grammy Award-winner Anthony Hamilton refers to Wooten as his “musical soul mate.” The two have collaborated on Hamilton’s last 3 albums, with Wooten producing the single “Cool”, and 3 songs on the recent Back To Love album. Wooten’s contribution to the album led to a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album. Kelvin co-wrote and produced “Freedom”, a duet by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton. “Freedom” is in Quentin Tarantino’s film Django Unchained and on the soundtrack. In 2011, Kelvin’s production on the Jill Scott & Anthony Hamilton duet “So In Love” made history. The single remained #1 on the Urban Adult Contemporary chart for 18 weeks straight.

But the story of how Kelvin became one of the hottest young producers, songwriters, arrangers and musicians inpop, R&B, hip-hop actually begins before his life became a rush of tours, studio gigs and hanging with some of music’s most talented stars. It started, Kelvin recalls, while he was attending Alabama A&M University on a tuba scholarship.

It was his sophomore year in 1995, and Kelvin was hanging out at Eddie “Spanky” Alford’s house, doing what many musicians call “shedding” – or what Momma calls practicing.

“Raphael called when we were over there practicing,” Kelvin says, remembering it like it was yesterday. And when Saadiq heard Kelvin in the background doing his thing on guitar, he had Alford put Kelvin on the phone and offered him a job on the spot. “He was like, ‘Do you want to come out?, Do you want to come out next week?”

One phone call moved him from the Alabama A&M University marching band to ten years of steady work as a musical player, producer, arranger and composer, doing everything from playing organ on a Macy Gray song to keyboards for the Nappy Roots and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Artists know that no matter where he works from, Kelvin can deliver.

“They know I’m a one-stop shop kind of guy,” he says. “They know I can do it all.” In addition to bass, guitar and keyboards, Kelvin has held down the back beat behind a drum kit and even slipped in some tuba when he’s had a chance. (Check out “Still Ray” from Saadiq’s “Instant Vintage” CD.)

And that’s what makes Kelvin different from today’s typical cut-and-paste producers who know what to do with a computer but not with real music. “A lot of people can compose and make music from their bedrooms,” Kelvin says. But how many know how to map out a project, inspire a great performance from an artist, and lay down all the instrumental tracks? Very few can do what Kelvin can when he gets in a studio.

Still, Kelvin knows that his prowess as a multi-instrumentalist is only part of what makes him an in-demand producer and writer. He draws much inspiration from Quincy Jones and his chart-toppers like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” or Jones’ own “Back on the Block.”

“I don’t think Quincy played anything on those records,” Kelvin says. “But the productions are just mapped out so well. “Producing is like being a coach and all the players are the musicians.”

 

 

source:
Chelsea Freeman
Elvie G PR / Arivle Media Group
www.elviegpr.com