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Recent Articles

This weekend, it’s jazz-related concerts galore!

Brooklyn-based ensemble Red Baraat makes its debut at Orchestra Hall on Friday, April 25 at 8 pm. Critics have described their performance as “a shot of pure adrenalin.” Established in 2008, Red Baraat is an eight-piece band from Brooklyn, New York. The brainchild of Sunny Jain, the group has been celebrated worldwide for its live performances of original sound — a blending of North Indian bhangra rhythms, New Orleans brass band, jazz, go-go, brass funk, and hip hop. Sunny Jain is known as a rising star in the jazz world. Continue Reading →

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What are electronic cigarettes and why should I care about them?

 

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, but the creators of a breakthrough device are hoping to change that by encouraging smokers to use an alternative method. Commonly referred to as “e-cigarettes,” these battery-powered devices come in a variety of shapes and models, including those that resemble standard tobacco cigarettes and those that mimic cigars and tobacco pipes. E-cigarettes work by giving smokers a nicotine hit without actually exposing them to tobacco smoke. This is made possible due to a special chamber (atomizer) with a heating element and a liquid. The actual nicotine is in the liquid, along with propylene glycol and flavorings. The atomizer chamber aerosolizes this liquid, turning it into a vapor that can be inhaled, while also creating a vapor cloud that realistically resembles cigarette smoke.  These vapors are essentially odorless unless the liquid is heavily flavored. Manufacturers claim that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to the conventional use of tobacco in cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Continue Reading →

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Crocodile tears for Kenyans just that — crocodile tears

The mall bombing/attack in Kenya is not just frightening and alarming because of its apparent senselessness. It’s also alarming because it will give an opening to U.S. and European anti-Muslim — and to some extent anti-African — propaganda, which will in turn cause folks to turn a blind eye to U.S. and European meddling in African affairs. Don’t, if tempted to, write off the attack on the Nairobi, Kenya mall by Al Shabaab as just another fanatical instance of terrorism. While it is an insane and almost hapless effort to get revenge or make a political point, the attack on the mall was motivated by past events. Kenya did in fact invade Somalia in 2011 and kicked Al Shabaab out of southern Somalia with the help of the U.S. and France. Continue Reading →

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