Feel Good Mondays: Legendary Artist Stevie Wonder Announces, “I will no longer perform in Florida, or any state where Stand Your Ground exists.”

Hanauer_Mark_091_Stevie_Wonder_91In light of the Trayvon Martin verdict, artist Stevie Wonder, known for refusing to perform in states where social and civil injustice has occurred, made an announcement while performing in Quebec City, in Ontario, Canada that he will no longer perform in Florida, or any where else he finds out has the Stand Your Ground law on its books.


From a fan’s Youtube page:

While performing in Quebec City on July 14th 2013, Stevie Wonder reacts to the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial that followed the shooting of Trayvon Martin. He declares he will not perform in Florida as long as the Stand-your-ground law isn’t revoked there, or anywhere else in the world with such a law. This is a personal video.

Feel Good Mondays: Pharoahe Monch Releases “Stand Your Ground” Early in Support of Trayvon Martin

W.A.R. Media releases Pharoahe Monch’s “Stand Your Ground” originally intended track for upcoming PTSD album.

July 15th 2013 – Compelled by the Not Guilty verdict in the murder of Trayvon Martin, Pharoahe Monch has unexpectedly released “Stand Your Ground”. Produced by frequent collaborator Lee Stone, Pharoahe once again demonstrates his ability to utilize hip hop as a platform for political engagement. Monch flips the script on the use of “Stand Your Ground” the highly controversial law used to protect George Zimmerman, giving the power back to the people collectively and defensively against an unjust government system.

“Stand Your Ground” employs tempos and lyricism designed to unify the listener into responsive action. No stranger to rebel music, Pharoahe Monch’s song “Clap,”,from the W.A.R. album, shocked audiences with a video directed by Terence Nance. The clip ends with a police officer suicide pressured by the community following the officer killing a child while on duty.

Pharoahe decided to release the song in its rough version immediately after learning of the verdict. “Stand Your Ground,” originally slated to appear on Pharoahe Monch’s fall release of PTSD, provides an additional opportunity to peek inside the mental journey Monch has alluded to in P.ost T.raumatic S.tress D.isorder

Pharoahe Monch has released “Stand Your Ground” in support of the Martin family by asking people to donate to the ongoing work in repealing the Stand Your Ground laws thru the Trayvon Martin Foundation. http://www.trayvonmartinfoundation.org

In related news, Pharoahe Monch will head to Europe at month’s end as he continues touring a preview of selected songs off PTSD.
Upcoming dates are:

July 29/30th Stockholm Sweden http://www.facebook.com/lydmarlive

July 31st London, England (Jazz Café)

http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F004ACD72750897?CAMEFROM= CFC_UK_MAMA_JAZZCAFE_PHAROAHE&brand=jazz_cafe

Aug 3rd Copenhagen, Denmark (Vanguard Festival)


Gluten Free Fridays 7/12: Gluten in Beauty & Skincare Products

When people talk about gluten we often consider it only within the context of food. However, there is growing concern over the effects of gluten found in skin care products for individuals with gluten intolerance and celiacs.

Recent studies have found little evidence that gluten containing beauty products are harmful because the gluten proteins are too big to absorbed in the skin. The other potential threat is when gluten is ingested- so, lipsticks, and eye makeup are cautioned.

Personally, I’m not sure I agree with the current research. From my own experience, I have found that my skin reacts greatly to topical exposure of gluten containing lotions, soaps, and make-up. And I musen’t be the only one. Walking through the market on my weekly trips to Whole Foods, I’ve noticed an influx of skin and beauty care products produced specifically for gluten-free consumers.

I found out from the Mayo Clinic’s “Expert Answers” to avoid using gluten-containing dental products, such as certain mouthwashes and toothpastes as these will trigger the allergy immediately.

So how can one tell whether a product contains gluten (without a blaring label?).

Gluten Free Skin & Beauty producer, Naturally, Dah’ling has provided an extensive list of ingredients to watch for….

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 1.33.57 PM

See the entire list of ingredients here!

Gluten Free Friday 7/12: Glutino’s Wafer Cookies, YUM!

Once again, raiding my local market for sweets (notice a trend here) and found these little wafers: Chocolate/Chocolate, Chocolate/Vanilla, and Lemon. Naturally I scooped up all three and kept on shopping. On the train ride home, my assistant and I were famished. Resourceful me I reached into my shopping bag and pulled out the chocolate/chocolate wafers…

“Are you sure this is Gluten Free….?”

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 3.57.07 PMChocolate/Chocolate Wafers

We were hooked from the first bite! I’ve become accustomed to accepting that most gluten free products can only come close to replicating the flavors of tastes I expect. That is, if I were to “Pepsi Challenge” gluten and non gluten products, I would know which was which, right away!

To my delight, these gluten free wafers were identical in taste to the original.

Rating: 10/10

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 3.58.40 PM


The vanilla wafers delivered just as the chocolate had! Delicious, crunchy, creamy, and unrecognizably gluten free!

Rating: 10/10

Lemon Wafers

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 3.59.00 PM

The lemon wafers were light and delicious. My assistant liked these the most. But for me there was a slight hint of difference in this one. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it but there was something a little different in the taste on the lemon. Citrus flavors are traditionally hard to pull off without it tasting metallic in some way. Thats what really made the difference for me here.

Rating: 9/10

I am, so far, happy with the Glutino brand and am looking forward to trying more of their product line. Visit there website here for other products and delicious looking recipes. 

HumpDay News 7/10: Death Sentence Sought for Parents’ Accused of Murdering Pimp

In late June, a news article popped up thatI felt strongly related to the Sara Kruzan issue- punishment in murdering a pimp. In Kruzen’s case she was convicted of murdering her abusive pimp, sentenced to life in prison (which was recently reduced to time served).

This past June husband and wife: Barry Gilton, 38, and Lupe Mercado, 37, were arrested and sent to trial for allegedly murdering their daughter’s pimp. The couple have plead not-guilty but if convicted will face the death penalty. The murder was not the first time the couple has confronted the victim, Calvin Sneed, who months earlier enacted a failed drive by shooting to rid their daughter from Sneed’s control.

Defense attorney Eric Safire said the couple tried to get their daughter away from Sneed, but had no success. They made missing persons and abuse reports, but it didn’t bring their daughter home.

The family declares their actions as a justifiable “vigilante murder” and feel unfairly targeted since their legal attempts had gone unanswered.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the issue.

HumpDay News 7/10: Men Taking Their Wives Last Name?

There has been a recent trend in Hollywood with celebrity men taking on the last name of their wives. Actually, the trend isn’t all that new, we’ve seen instances of reverse surname adoption since the ’60’s but the topic has seemed to re-emerge in the aftermath of Jay-Z adopting his wife, Beyonce’s, last name hypened unto his own (Knowles-Carter). The symbolic act of a woman dropping her maiden name to align under her husbands “banner” is iconic stratification with power, wealth, and dominance. Is this why its so shocking to see a hip hop mogul of Jay-Z’a caliber to acknowledge his wife, symbolically, as an equal partner in power and prestige.

I nod my head to Mr. Knowles-Carter for being so progressive.

I’m interested to hear from my male followers about this trend. Do you think you would ever take your wife’s last name? and why?

Here’s a short list of other celebs who share their wife’s maiden name:

John Lennon




Jay Mohr


Jack White


Autism Awareness Tuesdays 7/9: Elevated Gluten Antibodies Found in Children with Autism

Fascinating new researching coming from Columbia University Medical Center suggests a link between gluten and autism. 2627893

Although the mechanisms that cause autism are poorly understood, there is mounting evidence that the immune system plays a role in a subset of patients. In addition, autistic children commonly have gastrointestinal symptoms. In recent years, diets that exclude gluten have become increasingly popular in the autism community. The effectiveness of such diets, however, has not been confirmed in controlled and blinded studies.

It is difficult to ignore the rise in autism with the timely influx of GMO, gluten intolerances, red dye allergies, and other assaults to our dietary lifestyle. Indeed it may be too much of a leap to suggest that diet is the altogether cause of autism, however,  it is within reason to acknowledge an influential correlation. It will be interesting to see how this research unfolds.


Autism Awareness Tuesdays 7/9: Teaching Children Acceptance

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 4.24.11 PMAlthough I tend to focus on issues for and about individuals with autism, I wanted to switch gears and offer something for my readers with children who do not have autism. In raising children we’re constantly reinforcing the practice of acceptance and celebrating differences among peers; we tend to focus on gender, sexuality, and racial diversity- to name a few. But as the rate of persons with autism climbs, we should also make a point to celebrate individuals with learning differences. I found this fantastic book at the book store recently that teaches children what autism is, how children with autism learn and behave differently, and how to behave in a manner that is welcoming to a child with autism. Whats great about this book is that it demystifies the these differences and provides fun activities for all levels to engage in, collectively.

Learn more about the Autism Acceptance Book at Amazon.com, today!

The Reviews are in!

“I was delighted to have Ellen participate in our Meet the Author event, as part of the United Nations’ first ever World Autism Awareness Day. UN staff, diplomats and visitors were in attendance to hear Ellen’s heartfelt remarks about teaching kids to be kind and accepting of their peers with autism. I sincerely hope her book gets spread around the world; it carries a universal message full of hope and compassion.” — Juan Carlos Brandt, Chief, Advocacy and Special Events, United Nation

“This book is a powerful tool for ensuring that our schools and classrooms are a positive place for children with special needs. It helps implement tenets of the Individuals with Disability Education Act and allows children to have fun while softening the stigma of autism.” — Rod Paige, former United States Secretary of Education

“The quality of life of children with autism can be enhanced when the people in their lives better understand them. This book does a tremendous job of helping children form an idea of what it is like to be autistic and how their patience and understanding can help those who are. I hope it is shared far and wide.” — Suzanne Wright, Co-founder, Autism Speaks

Feel Good Monday 7/8: The Mini Band- Ain’t No Other Way

The Mini Band is a collection of 5 members all between the ages of 9 and 11 hailing from the UK.  When you close your eyes and listen, vocally you can tell their a kid band; instrumentally, however, these little guys (and girl) sound like the Stones. Okay so maybe thats an overshot but quite frankly, they have a very mature sound. Take a listen for yourself and discover why they’re Metallica’s favorite kid band.

Listen to more from The Mini Band here

Gluten Free Friday 7/5: Gluten Free Oreo(esque) Cookies

Okay so technically they’re not Oreos but I had to draw you in somehow. Perusing my local Whole Foods market, I came across a gluten free answer to Oreos.

KinniToos Chocolate Sandwich Creams!

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 3.43.01 PM

The packaging says it all for me: “Gluten Free never tasted so good.”

My partner and I smashed these in zero point five. He’s lucky I’m a sharing kind of girl.

Next time, I’ll have to crumble these up and sprinkle them on some vanilla ice cream for so good ole cookies n cream action.

Rating: 10/10