Obamascades: My escapades with Obama Part 1/2

Obamascades: An escapade you go on with none other than President Obama.

And it’s true – I’ve gone on 3-4 of them kind of. Let me explain.

Almost Obama encounter #1

Two years ago my Mom and I were visiting Washington D.C – home of Obamarama! On that trip I told my Mom that I was going to run into Obama and he was going to give me a piggyback ride. My Mom rolled her eyes and to be honest, I don’t even know myself where I come up with these ideas but I was convinced.

My Mom and I spent the day at the International Spy Museum (very cool! You should check it out). My Mom and I split off in the museum because she’s going to read every single plaque in that place and watch every single movie, I call museums a baby sitting service for Moms…anyways. You know how museums work – they are usually set up so there’s one way in and one way out. Work your way from the top to the bottom. And I was at the bottom. Went to the gift shop, saw a book on ninjas (very cool) and the museum made the announcement that they were closing. BUT WAIT? Where was the Mothership?

Knowing my Mom, I figured she got stuck at the KGB section, just knowing her – that’s what I figured, and so I started going back into the museum. As I went up the stairs, little Mom was coming down the stairs and I said to her,

“Where have you been? I almost lost you! Were you at the KGB section? The museum is closing!”

Next to us was an older gentleman laughing to himself as he watched a daughter scold a mother like a mother would scold a daughter. But you know what? I was right – she was at the KGB section. She felt tired. Sat an on ottoman and fell asleep. Which furthers my point that museums are baby sitting services.

So we get outta there and the roads are completely shut in all directions for miles and miles. There are MIB on every street corner – earpieces in. Crowds are starting the gather – what what. I can feel it, it’s Obamatime. These mens won’t tell you what’s going on but I’m smarter than the average bear – My Obamadar is SWITCHED ON!

I feel you sister Photo credit: Business Insider

I feel you sister Photo credit: Business Insider

A group of protesters walks by too – a clear indicator in the right direction and suddenly we have it, a motorcade – it goes on forever. Motorcycles, SUVS, fancy other black cars, vroom vroom and I stood there and I watched it. And the motorcade turned left. And once it was gone – MIB let the secret out – it WAS OBAMA, he was on his way to the sporting arena to catch a game. So there was have it folks, not only is Obama just like us, he wants to watch games but also – I almost saw him and to say he almost gave me a piggy back ride is a stretch but I think if he did see me, he would probably be compelled to give me one.

Volunteer of the Year Nominee

It is with much honor and excitement that I share with you my recent nomination for Volunteer of the Year Award with Youth Challenge International.

I was selected after a call for nominations went out to YCI’s country field offices, partners and headquarter staff. Each was encouraged to nominate standout volunteers who had a significant impact on programming Please see their super nice write-up here.


This article confirms that I AMMM a power toooooolllll at building relationships! WHAT! Like, WHAT!!


Source: The New York Times

They’re, Like, Way Ahead of the Linguistic Currrrve

Paul Hoppe
Published: February 27, 2012

Whether it be uptalk (pronouncing statements as if they were questions? Like this?), creating slang words like “bitchin’ ” and “ridic,” or the incessant use of “like” as a conversation filler, vocal trends associated with young women are often seen as markers of immaturity or even stupidity.


But linguists — many of whom once promoted theories consistent with that attitude — now say such thinking is outmoded. Girls and women in their teens and 20s deserve credit for pioneering vocal trends and popular slang, they say, adding that young women use these embellishments in much more sophisticated ways than people tend to realize.

“A lot of these really flamboyant things you hear are cute, and girls are supposed to be cute,” said Penny Eckert, a professor of linguistics at Stanford University. “But they’re not just using them because they’re girls. They’re using them to achieve some kind of interactional and stylistic end.”

The latest linguistic curiosity to emerge from the petri dish of girl culture gained a burst of public recognition in December, when researchers from Long Island University published a paper about it in The Journal of Voice. Working with what they acknowledged was a very small sample — recorded speech from 34 women ages 18 to 25 — the professors said they had found evidence of a new trend among female college students: a guttural fluttering of the vocal cords they called “vocal fry.”

A classic example of vocal fry, best described as a raspy or croaking sound injected (usually) at the end of a sentence, can be heard when Mae West says, “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me,” or, more recently on television, when Maya Rudolph mimics Maya Angelou on “Saturday Night Live.”

Not surprisingly, gadflies in cyberspace were quick to pounce on the study — or, more specifically, on the girls and women who are frying their words. “Are they trying to sound like Kesha or Britney Spears?” teased The Huffington Post, naming two pop stars who employ vocal fry while singing, although the study made no mention of them. “Very interesteeeaaaaaaaaang,” said Gawker.com, mocking the lazy, drawn-out affect.

Do not scoff, says Nassima Abdelli-Beruh, a speech scientist at Long Island University and an author of the study. “They use this as a tool to convey something,” she said. “You quickly realize that for them, it is as a cue.”

Other linguists not involved in the research also cautioned against forming negative judgments.

“If women do something like uptalk or vocal fry, it’s immediately interpreted as insecure, emotional or even stupid,” said Carmen Fought, a professor of linguistics at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. “The truth is this: Young women take linguistic features and use them as power tools for building relationships.”

The idea that young women serve as incubators of vocal trends for the culture at large has longstanding roots in linguistics. As Paris is to fashion, the thinking goes, so are young women to linguistic innovation.

“It’s generally pretty well known that if you identify a sound change in progress, then young people will be leading old people,” said Mark Liberman, a linguist at the University of Pennsylvania, “and women tend to be maybe half a generation ahead of males on average.”

Less clear is why. Some linguists suggest that women are more sensitive to social interactions and hence more likely to adopt subtle vocal cues. Others say women use language to assert their power in a culture that, at least in days gone by, asked them to be sedate and decorous. Another theory is that young women are simply given more leeway by society to speak flamboyantly.

But the idea that vocal fads initiated by young women eventually make their way into the general vernacular is well established. Witness, for example, the spread of uptalk, or “high-rising terminal.”

Starting in America with the Valley Girls of the 1980s (after immigrating from Australia, evidently), uptalk became common among young women across the country by the 1990s.

In the past 20 years, uptalk has traveled “up the age range and across the gender boundary,” said David Crystal, a longtime professor of linguistics who teaches at Bangor University in Wales. “I’ve heard grandfathers and grandmothers use it,” he said. “I occasionally use it myself.”

Even an American president has been known to uptalk. “George W. Bush used to do it from time to time,” said Dr. Liberman, “and nobody ever said, ‘Oh, that G.W.B. is so insecure, just like a young girl.’ ”

The same can be said for the word “like,” when used in a grammatically superfluous way or to add cadence to a sentence. (Because, like, people tend to talk this way when impersonating, like, teenage girls?) But in 2011, Dr. Liberman conducted an analysis of nearly 12,000 phone conversations recorded in 2003, and found that while young people tended to use “like” more often than older people, men used it more frequently than women.

And, actually? The use of “like” in a sentence, “apparently without meaning or syntactic function, but possibly as emphasis,” has made its way into the Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition — this newspaper’s reference Bible — where the example given is: “It’s, like, hot.” Anyone who has seen a television show featuring the Kardashian sisters will be more than familiar with this usage.

“Like” and uptalk often go hand in hand. Several studies have shown that uptalk can be used for any number of purposes, even to dominate a listener. In 1991, Cynthia McLemore, a linguist at the University of Pennsylvania, found that senior members of a Texas sorority used uptalk to make junior members feel obligated to carry out new tasks. (“We have a rush event this Thursday? And everyone needs to be there?”)

Dr. Eckert of Stanford recalled a study by one of her students, a woman who worked at a Jamba Juice and tracked instances of uptalking customers. She found that by far the most common uptalkers were fathers of young women. For them, it was “a way of showing themselves to be friendly and not asserting power in the situation,” she said.

Vocal fry, also known as creaky voice, has a long history with English speakers. Dr. Crystal, the British linguist, cited it as far back as 1964 as a way for British men to denote their superior social standing. In the United States, it has seemingly been gaining popularity among women since at least 2003, when Dr. Fought, the Pitzer College linguist, detected it among the female speakers of a Chicano dialect in California.

A 2005 study by Barry Pennock-Speck, a linguist at the University of Valencia in Spain, noted that actresses like Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon used creaky voice when portraying contemporary American characters (Ms. Paltrow used it in the movie “Shallow Hal,” Ms. Witherspoon in “Legally Blonde”), but not British ones in period films (Ms. Paltrow in “Shakespeare in Love,” Ms. Witherspoon in “The Importance of Being Earnest”).

So what does the use of vocal fry denote? Like uptalk, women use it for a variety of purposes. Ikuko Patricia Yuasa, a lecturer in linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, called it a natural result of women’s lowering their voices to sound more authoritative.

It can also be used to communicate disinterest, something teenage girls are notoriously fond of doing.

“It’s a mode of vibration that happens when the vocal cords are relatively lax, when sublevel pressure is low,” said Dr. Liberman. “So maybe some people use it when they’re relaxed and even bored, not especially aroused or invested in what they’re saying.”

But “language changes very fast,” said Dr. Eckert of Stanford, and most people — particularly adults — who try to divine the meaning of new forms used by young women are “almost sure to get it wrong.”

“What may sound excessively ‘girly’ to me may sound smart, authoritative and strong to my students,” she said.

Youth Challenge International

And I’m off!

As of October 30, 2011 I have left Toronto, Ontario, Canada for Guyana!

I’m taking 5 weeks to volunteer, innovate, and change today’s youth in Guyana by raising awareness on HIV/Aids awareness, as such, blog posts will be sparse – but they’re a gonna happen!!

Thanks for reading! And thanks for your support!



Fat Baby

Source: Dailymail


Teehee – I think he’s cute!


Boy, you are one big baby! Lu Hao, the three-year-old who weighs a staggering 132lbs – and he’s still growing

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 11:38 AM on 23rd March 2011

At 132lbs, Lu Hao is already five times the size of a normal child his age.

The three-year-old toddler from China eats a staggering THREE bowls of rice when he sits down for a family meal.

When Lu Hao was born he weighed just 2.6kg (5.7 lbs), however, from the time he was three months old he began to gain weight rapidly.

Obese: Lu Hao has managed to put on 10kg (22 lbs) in the past yearObese: Lu Hao has managed to put on 10kg (22 lbs) in the past year

Keep on reading, click here!

S for Shuffle

Don’t feel like reading? Listen here!



Do you ever do stupid stuff on the internet? I do stupid stuff all the time. I’m like “Whoa, where did the last 5 hours go? or like “How is it 3am? What have I been doing?”

I’ll tell YOU what I’ve been doing. I’ve been doing a number things – YouTube-ing stupid stuff –  Reading the Best of Craigslist – online window shopping – creeping on Facebook – looking for apps to download onto my iPhone – attempting to watch Breaking Bad – I mean all these things are very time consuming.

Keep on reading, click here!

Medium interviews Angela!

Medium, Canada’s Style & Beauty Community gives A for Angela an early one-month birthday present by making Angela their blogger of the week! Read below for the interview.


Source: Medium Mag





Blogger of the Week- A for Angela

By EditorJune 29, 2011Posted in: Editors’ Pick, News, Slideshow

Angela first caught my attention with her passion for fashion and enthusiasm for life. Her positive energy bubbled over in our conversation and I was delighted to discover she had a blog. New to the scene, but destined for greatness, I was intrigued by the concept – A for Angela – a limitless source for…well, everything. Using the letters of the alphabet, Angela humorously covers topics such as M for movies, J for Jukebox, T for Travel and everything in between! From the latest beauty trends to videos about to go viral, this blog is a one stop shop for all things Angela.



How and when did your blog start?
My blog launched on June 1, 2011 – it might seem like a baby but I’ve been blogging on Facebook for the last 4 years! It all started when I graduated from the University of Toronto and moved back home with my parents – Can you say nightmare? (Jokes! I love you Mom & Dad!) But I definitely needed a creative outlet and blogging was it!

Keep on reading, click here!