StaceyAnn Chin

Monday, March 30, 2009

New favorite poet:

Laws of Attraction:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yes, i'm an avid "The secret" fan, and I believe in the laws of attraction. In fact i've attracted much thus far. I promise to make a list of all that i've received thus far, but for now, I wanted to list the things I want to attract.

*Now that I am officially in my History M.A. program, I want to be accepted to Emory University for the PhD program in African History. It is number 9 in the country.
*Upon being accepted, I want to be offered The Emory Graduate Diversity Fellowship, to last my entire time of study.
*When I begin my PhD studies I want to live in a modern, spacious, two bedroom apartment with dishwasher and washer and dryer in a multi-unit apartment building complete with security and free wireless hi-speed internet. This apartment will be $800 or less per month and include water, a dedicated parking space and have a lot of sunlight.
*I want to receive my Master's in History with a 4.0 cumulative GPA.
*I want to complete my Master's program in History in August 2010.
*I want to begin the PhD program in African History in the Fall of 2010.
*I want to obtain and fully own a black Mazda3 hatchback before I move to Atlanta.
*I want to live in Atlanta, Georgia when I begin working on my PhD.
*I want Femi to attend an African-centered school in Atlanta and for him to begin that schooling at 4 years old.
*I want my locs to be bra strap length without stretching by August 2010.

I am currently on track to graduate with my M.A. in August 2010. My husband, however, will not be finished with his program until Spring 2011. We have decided that we will not prolong my time here, but that I will go ahead and move to Atlanta with our Sun. I want a two bedroom so we can be comfortable though a large one bedroom will be fine for Sun and I. However, we are seeking for hubby to be placed into a dietetics internship at Emory University Hospital once he completes this degree. This internship will take up all of his time and is unpaid. So if I already have a two bedroom, it will be fine to keep once he arrives. While we are living separately, we want him to have a position as a resident adviser in the dorms or as a dorm parent at the local private high school. In fact, we are seeking for him to get one of those positions for this upcoming fall. For the most part, we live off of my grad money now which is absolute minimal. He works part-time once a week which is less than part time but also does a few personal training sessions. We get by fine. When he begins at the hospital, we will completely rely what I bring in, but I think that is fine. We completely own our cars and anything we receive in the future will be the same way. I know living simply for a few years will pay of manifold in the future.

Righteous Black Hair!!

For the umpteenth time this decade, I have decided to loc my hair. I am dedicated this time. Upon receiving my Bachelor's and beginning graduate school, I said I would to show my dedication to education and my goals, a toast to my grown-up life sort a speak. I started in January, stopped and started again. But it's official for real this time. I am going to attack this via two strand twist. In addition, we'll be loc'ing Sun's hair. It's finally thick enough. Anyway, here's an attempt from earlier this year: I was having fun with my webcam, as you can see.
Yesterday, I decided I was moving forward. This is a before pic:
and this is an after. After being a day after I twisted and steamed via my regular shower and slept on:

For more hair, visit my fotki:
Or you can visit my FAVORITE hair site:

Just a thought...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"We are star stuff harvesting starlight." - Carl Sagan

Just a thought...

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

I just heard my husband laugh at the television in the other room. It was the strangest thing because I suddenly realized how real it was and how forced everything else is...

Smile: best video concept EVER

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Karmapa Lama emerging a Tibet's new voice

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Talk about Running away from responsibility!

Talk about Running away from responsibility

Associated Press Writer

AP Photo
AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia

SIDBHARI, India (AP) -- Like his 16 previous incarnations, this Karmapa Lama has spent his life immersed in the Tibetan Buddhist arts of meditation, study and prayer. Unlike them, he likes to relax playing war games on his PlayStation.

This blend of ancient spiritual authority and modern-day tastes is fueling expectations that the 23-year-old monk, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the No. 3 lama in Tibetan Buddhism, will emerge as the public voice for the next generation of Tibetans in their struggle for freedom from China.

The Tibetans desperately need somebody. Their relations with the Chinese have, over the past year, gone from bad to terrible amid outbreaks of violence and deadlocked talks.

And with the Dalai Lama now 73 and increasingly frail, Tibetans must face that he will eventually die - leaving them without an icon to plead their case before the world and keep them united.

It's a role that the Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu sect, one of the four streams of Tibetan Buddhism, is now willing to take.

"If given the opportunity, I will do my best," he said this week in a rare interview with a small group of Western journalists.

But to do so, he will have to surmount bitter sectarian disputes and geopolitical rivalries between China and India, Asia's two superpowers.

He will also have to come to terms with his own contradictions - the holy man spreading the wisdom of Buddha and the restless young man who zones out to hip-hop on his iPod.

Born in 1985 to a nomadic family in the vast Tibetan plateau, he was enthroned as the 17th Karmapa at the age of seven after mystical signs identified him as the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa, who died in exile in India in 1981.

Other monks of the sect championed another boy as the true reincarnation, but Dorje's status was recognized by the Dalai Lama and also by Beijing, which hoped he might emerge as a more malleable authority they could use to weaken the Dalai Lama.

But Chinese hopes were dashed when he escaped Tibet at age 14, saying he could not get the religious education he needed.

After jumping from the window of his monastery room, he made a treacherous eight-day journey by jeep, foot and horseback past Chinese border posts, across a 17,650-foot (5,380 meter) -high Himalayan pass into Nepal and finally by helicopter to India, the Dalai Lama's home in exile.

He was the most important Tibetan figure to defect since the Dalai Lama fled with the previous Karmapa and thousands of Tibetans after an abortive anti-Chinese uprising in 1959.

While Beijing claims Tibet has been part of Chinese territory for centuries, Tibet was a deeply isolated theocracy - ruled by a series of lamas who reincarnated after death into a new leader - until 1951, when Chinese troops invaded Lhasa.

Tibetans in exile say their unique culture and religion is on the verge of extinction under Chinese rule, while Beijing has long said it brought modernity to a region where monks and wealthy landowners had long ruled over huge tracts of land worked by slaves and serfs.

The Karmapa's daring escape made him a hero to the exiles, particularly the younger generation which has grown weary of the Dalai Lama's insistence on dialogue and compromise with China. He is also still revered inside Tibet.

But Beijing, not surprisingly, was unhappy with his escape.

"His reincarnation was recognized by the central government. But he left without saying 'goodbye' and has failed to live up to the expectations religious circles had for him," said Zhou Yuan, a historian at the government-backed Chinese Center for Tibetan Studies in Beijing.

While much has been made of the fact he had China's blessing, Dorje downplays it, saying he has no current contacts with Beijing.

"Now I'm in India. I am a free man. I have no reason to connect myself to China," he said.

Yet he is not entirely free.

India, which gives sanctuary to the Tibetan exiles, was fearful of further antagonizing China, its giant neighbor to the north, at a time when relations were improving after decades of animosity following a 1962 border war where China routed Indian forces.

At first, the Karmapa was restricted to the top floor of a monastery in Sidbhari, a small village near the Dalai Lama's headquarters in Dharmsala.

While India gradually loosened the restrictions, he is still barred from traveling to the Rumtek Monastery, his order's seat in exile, located near the Chinese border.

Discussing his confinement, he displayed his growing diplomatic skills - praising India for hosting the Tibetan exiles.

However, he also showed a rare candor, expressing his "very personal" frustrations.

"Sometimes I feel like a prisoner," he said. "Under house arrest."

To deal with his frustrations he likes to play war games on his PlayStation, he says, twiddling his thumbs as if on a game console.

Like the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dalai Lama, he opposes violence. But the games, he says, help to get rid of "bad energy."

His emergence has taken on an added importance for the Tibetans in recent years as 73-year-old Dalai Lama's hectic globe-trotting has been interrupted by a series of minor health issues, including two bouts of exhaustion.

Once the Dalai Lama is gone, the process of choosing a young boy as his reincarnation means decades may pass before the new Dalai Lama is ready to assume the leadership.

That would leave the Karmapa as the most senior Tibetan Buddhist leader in exile. The religion's second-highest figure, the still-teenaged Panchen Lama, is inside Tibet, presumed under Chinese control.

The Karmapa's sect is Tibet's oldest and was the most politically powerful until it was supplanted by the Dalai Lama's Gelugpa school, known as the "yellow hats" 350 years ago.

Rivalry between his sect and the Gelugpa would prevent him replacing the Dalai Lama as Tibet's supreme leader, but he could act as a spiritual guide and rallying point during the transition.

If the Karmapa does emerge as a central force among the exiles, it could signal a change in the direction of the struggle - though it is unclear whether he might push for full independence, as some younger Tibetans would like, or be more conciliatory with China, as some speculate.

"His Holiness The Dalai Lama has been very successful in laying the foundation for the Tibetan struggle in exile," was all the young lama would say. "It is for the next generation to build on this and take it forward."


Scholar Claims Dead Sea Scrolls 'Authors' Never Existed

Monday, March 16, 2009

By Tim McGirk / Jerusalem Monday, Mar. 16, 2009


Biblical scholars have long argued that the Dead Sea Scrolls were the work of an ascetic and celibate Jewish community known as the Essenes, which flourished in the 1st century A.D. in the scorching desert canyons near the Dead Sea. Now a prominent Israeli scholar, Rachel Elior, disputes that the Essenes ever existed at all — a claim that has shaken the bedrock of biblical scholarship.

Elior, who teaches Jewish mysticism at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, claims that the Essenes were a fabrication by the 1st century A.D. Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus and that his faulty reporting was passed on as fact throughout the centuries. As Elior explains, the Essenes make no mention of themselves in the 900 scrolls found by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947 in the caves of Qumran, near the Dead Sea. "Sixty years of research have been wasted trying to find the Essenes in the scrolls," Elior tells TIME. "But they didn't exist. This is legend on a legend." (See pictures of 60 years of Israel.)

Elior contends that Josephus, a former Jewish priest who wrote his history while being held captive in Rome, "wanted to explain to the Romans that the Jews weren't all losers and traitors, that there were many exceptional Jews of religious devotion and heroism. You might say it was the first rebuttal to anti-Semitic literature." She adds, "He was probably inspired by the Spartans. For the Romans, the Spartans were the highest ideal of human behavior, and Josephus wanted to portray Jews who were like the Spartans in their ideals and high virtue." (See pictures of disputed artifiacts.)

Early descriptions of the Essenes by Greek and Roman historians has them numbering in the thousands, living communally ("The first kibbutz," jokes Elior) and forsaking sex — which goes against the Judaic exhortation to "go forth and multiply." Says Elior: "It doesn't make sense that you have thousands of people living against the Jewish law and there's no mention of them in any of the Jewish texts and sources of that period." (Read "Is This Jesus's Tomb?")

So who were the real authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls? Elior theorizes that the Essenes were really the renegade sons of Zadok, a priestly caste banished from the Temple of Jerusalem by intriguing Greek rulers in 2nd century B.C. When they left, they took the source of their wisdom — their scrolls — with them. "In Qumran, the remnants of a huge library were found," Elior says, with some of the early Hebrew texts dating back to the 2nd century B.C. Until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the earliest known version of the Old Testament dated back to the 9th century A.D. "The scrolls attest to a biblical priestly heritage," says Elior, who speculates that the scrolls were hidden in Qumran for safekeeping. (See pictures of Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land.)

Elior's theory has landed like a bombshell in the cloistered world of biblical scholarship. James Charlesworth, director of the Dead Sea Scrolls project at Princeton Theological Seminary and an expert on Josephus, says it is not unusual that the word Essenes does not appear in the scrolls. "It's a foreign label," he tells TIME. "When they refer to themselves, it's as 'men of holiness' or 'sons of light.' " Charlesworth contends that at least eight scholars in antiquity refer to the Essenes. One proof of Essene authorship of the Dead Sea Scrolls, he says, is the large number of inkpots found by archaeologists at Qumran.

But Elior claims says these ancient historians, namely Philo and Pliny the Elder, either borrowed from each other or retailed second-hand stories as fact. "Pliny the Elder describes the Essenes as 'choosing the company of date palms' beside the Dead Sea. We know Pliny was a great reader, but he probably never visited Israel," she says.

Elior is braced for more criticism of her theory. "Usually my opponents have only read Josephus and the other classical references to the Essenes," she says. "They should read the Dead Sea Scrolls — all 39 volumes. The proof is there."

Study Chic

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Like exercising, I find music helpful when studying. If I am reading, I need something mellow.
If writing, I need a steady beat to keep me on pace. Much like when running. It helps to
keep it on repeat so I don't get into the lyrics.
For this session, Mos Def- "Broooklyn We Go Hard"
I also have to go somewhere where I cannot connect to the internet. I do not trust myself to simply turn of the
wireless. Too easy to turn back on. And, My back has to be turned away from people
What can I say? I'm a scatter brain and my attention scatters easily.
Like typing this update in notepad to copy and paste for later. smh. -Ria

studying hard

Janelle Monae

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Added to list, I WILL see this lady in concert this summer.

Janelle Monae - "Violet Stars" (live @ The Mondrian/Grammy Week) from tunji balogun on Vimeo.

Alice Smith is the best singer you’ve never heard of.

Alice Smith is the best singer you’ve never heard of.

By Black Power Staff

by Toure


The best singer you’ve never heard of is Alice Smith, a tall, black soul singer from Brooklyn with a four-octave range in a voice than can go from sultry smooth to operatic power. You won’t find her videos on MTV or BET, but you will find her singing in little places like the Blue Note in Manhattan, the Tin Angel in Philly, or the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC (check her website for when she’ll be near you-she has five new dates in January). Her 2006 debut album, For Lovers, Dreamers, and Me, was named after a line that Kermit the Frog sung in his sentimental classic, “The Rainbow Connection”-a reference that tells you how much of a romantic Alice is. She’ll have a new album out this spring (it’s not yet named, but she says it won’t be inspired by the Muppets this time).

There’s a bit of a Norah Jones/Lisa Loeb vibe to Smith-you get the sense that she’s a music nerd who spends time honing her talent and her songs rather than learning dance moves and picking outfits. Indeed, Smith does not dance or drape on designers Beyonce would love, even though Smith, like Ms. Knowles-Carter, has some striking curves in her hourglass figure. I’ve met Smith a few times-she lives in Brooklyn not far from me with her boyfriend, musician Citizen Cope, so I emailed her directly. No need to go through people-I’m not sure she has them.

“I came to singing organically,” she told me of her start. In college she says she started singing backup “randomly.” Then five years ago lightning struck. “I realized that I didn’t want to do anything else. Plus, I realized I was good, and, most importantly, I actually loved to sing on stage.” Now she’s doing more than 100 shows a year. I think it’s interesting that she remembers the moment she realized she was good. “I started to like my voice, the sound of it. So then I started to listen to it as something separate. To me it sounded good that way as well.”

Smith does soul as it should be done: as a next-door neighbor to the blues, with all the necessary melancholy and honest emotion. Her debut sounded like something I might find when fingering through my parents’ music collection so it’s no surprise that she listens mostly to old music and her list of favorite singers includes Eartha Kitt, Judy Garland, Dinah Washington, and the incomparable Nina Simone. (Shouldn’t all singers be required to study Nina?)

Smith says, “I like to focus on making the music sound simple and true, and very lush and full. I think music should take you to somewhere else where you have the space to contemplate or exercise your imagination. All the while you should be feeling real good, like when you have a delicious and decadent meal, macaroni and cheese or foie gras. So that’s what I want to for my music, too.”

reprint from


Friday, March 13, 2009

I hate being ignored. Even if it is with good cause or is not personal. I hate it.

In other news, today I met with a professor and a classmate to discuss a paper we have due on Monday. It proved to be quite fruitful I think. The class is on Bantu Diasporas. Bantu refers specifically to several groups of people across Central Africa who speak languages which have linguistically been linked to one anther. It's about 600 language groups and the overwhelming majority use the term "Bantu" to mean "the people" so that's what it gets called. Anyhow, the paper is on the mode and method of research used thus far to delve into this subject realm. As far as history is concerned, it's a fairly new area of interest. I think I will more so focus on the specific terminology used in research thus far in regards to the people being studied. The overt detachment researchers in the 60's and 70's displayed when speaking of the people is disgustingly horrific. Yet, today we must use their racism laced writings to base our new notions off of. This makes little sense to me. I will propose for a new method and mode of interpreting history from this area beginning with a thorough study of how the people view their own history. This includes the laymen as well as their academics. I'll let you know how it all turns out.

This same professor is also my adviser for my master's studies. Exciting. I am thinking I would like to do my thesis on Capoeira and it's Angola origins or on the thorough assimilation of African slaves into Mexican society, so much so that no realizes they were ever really there. Interesante, no?

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