Diversity in Gaming? It is About Time

Law School Trivia App

Not enough diversity in comics? In gaming? Women not represented in either? Versus Fighting Game, Round 1 has all of the above!!! Open World Comics decided it was time to stop waiting for a handout!

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The creator, Radi Lewis, began this game over 2 years ago and reached out to his circle of  independent comic book publishers of color to add their characters to the game. It didn’t take much convincing because each recognized the importance of this project and what it can mean to an unrepresented community.

DIVERSITY:  THE ART OF THINKING INDEPENDENTLY TOGETHER                                  – MALCOLM FORBES

Versus combines the use of programs like Unity, Blender, Maya and Autodesk to create a sophisticated fighting game.  The creator credits these programs in making game development accessible for independent publishers.  Working as a one-man operation…

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Colombia to Dominican Republic

To say that we learned some valuable lessons on this trip is an understatement.

  1. Traveling to Santo Domingo requires a return ticket.

We arrived at the MDE airport in Medellin 3 hours before our boarding time.   After a long wait on the line to print our tickets, the Avianca clerk indicated that we needed proof of intent to leave the Dominican Republic; basically, a ticket out of the country within 30 days.  Based on prior research and the Facebook group, Blacks Living Abroad, I remembered that customers can purchase tickets online and cancel within 24 hours. I used priceline.com to purchase the tickets because that website is one of the few that allows customers to purchase 8 tickets at a time.  We showed the clerk the confirmation on our phone and he printed the tickets.

  1. You may be eligible for a “tax refund” when you leave Colombia based on the amount of time you stayed in the country.

It took 30 minutes, after the clerk printed our tickets, to complete the process. We almost left due to our American impatience but the clerk was persistent and assured us we would not miss our flight.  He requested our name, passport numbers, address, phone number and email address. After we provided the requested information, he sent us over to the cashier and she handed us 700 Mill Pesos; about $240.00. That was a welcome surprise.

  1. You must go through customs/immigration in Bogota if you are traveling internationally.

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I don’t know why this was a surprise for me. I assumed since we didn’t go through customs in Medellin, that we didn’t need to go through at all. That was an ignorant and seriously rookie mistake. Obviously, this point is required if you are leaving the country and since the first leg of our trip was within Colombia, well, Duh!! The line moved quickly and the process was simple. After they stamped our passport, we went through a security checkpoint very much like America except they were not alarmed by the names Mustafa or Shabazz. No cavity searches for the non-Muslims with the Muslim names in our group.  First time for everything!

  1. Bogota airport is a cluster-fuck.

There was no place to sit inside the terminal.  It was packed. Even the floors were taken. When we landed there, we had to take a bus to the terminal from the plane.  Upon leaving, we had to take a bus from the terminal to the plane. That was annoying mainly because the bus went back 4 times to pick up people that were late or stuck on the immigration line.

 

  1. Avianca airplanes are dope. Free wine, tasty food and free movies.

 

The best part is the attire of the flight attendants and of course the huge leg room in coach seating. I was very happy about that.

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  1. Apparently, you cannot exchange Colombian Pesos for Dominican Pesos.

After we landed in Santo Domingo, we immediately exchanged currency. We wanted to exchange our new-found tax dollar riches and our leftover monies for Dominican Pesos but quickly learned that COP does not exchange to DOP. I have no idea why.  In addition, the currency rate of 47.00 for every $1.00 is not the same at the hotels, in the cabs or in the stores.  That rate fluctuates between 46.23 and 49.00 DOP for every $1.00 USD. Again, not sure why. Maybe a gringo tax.  (BY THE WAY THE EXCHANGE PLACE AT THE SANTO DOMINGO AIRPORT RIPPED US OFF. DON’T DO IT)

  1. Can or must pay for a tourist card for each passenger.

This I knew before we left but what I didn’t know is that the fee must be paid in USD.  We landed in Dominican Republic so I’m not sure why they don’t accept DOP.

  1. Taxis cost more than the plane ticket.

This issue is serious. I don’t like Dominican Republic for this reason alone. To drive 15 minutes from the airport, it cost 40.00 USD per car (8 of us=2 cars).  We paid 80.00 to travel 15 minutes within Santo Domingo. The next day, we had to get to Samana/El Limon area. That is a 2 ½ hour drive. That cost us $225.00. Correction, it actually cost $170.00 USD but the “arranger” charged us an extra $55.00. We didn’t find that out until we signed the receipt for 170.00.  (that reminds me. I need to leave a negative review for Tropicana Apart-Hotel on Expedia.com)

  1. You get what you pay for.

We did not want to make the 2 ½ hour trek to Samana the night we arrived, so we booked a cheap hotel with excellent ratings. That was a bad idea. The hotel stated WIFI but the owner insisted that the WIFI didn’t work. The TV didn’t work. The bed in my mother’s room had blood stains on the sheets so she moved to our room.  He charged us 10.00 USD for an air conditioner but it didn’t work. All we had was a powerful ceiling fan. We asked the lady at the front desk to order pizza for us and she assumed we didn’t understand any Spanish so she proceeded to add a box of pepperoni pizza to our order.  When she gave us the total price, I knew for sure that my instincts were correct. I’m assuming her plan was to place our order, add her pizza, and then when the delivery man came, she would take her pizza box and send our pizza up to our room. Unfortunately for her, we don’t eat swine so we knew all the many ways to say pork in Spanish. We cancelled the order and her crooked ass had to order her own pizza.

  1. Finally, #10! Black people in Samana/El Limon are beautiful and seem to live an uninterrupted life. I love it here!!

 

 

So far behind…

My last blog post was 4 months ago. So much has happened since then and I feel confused. Do I write a post summarizing all the important milestones of the last 4 months or do I write different post outlining the steps we have taken and the obstacles we have overcome to get to this point?  I wonder who my audience is and the purpose of this blog. I pondered that for awhile in deciding how I would “catch up” on this blog I have ignored. Am I writing to educate, entertain or is this an ego blog; purely for my own self gratification? For purposes of full disclosure, yes, this blog is to stroke my own ego and keep a record of this adventure for the future. I can only HOPE to educate and entertain along the way. So I concluded that I will jump into my wayback machine and make blog post as if I’m sitting in my home in the United States, 4 months ago, prepping for this big day.. And in Mexico,  2 months ago, on the beach enjoying a Margarita…And that long journey from Phoenix to LAX to Miami and then Colombia.  Stay tuned

Changing the Face of Diversity in Tech: Our CBC Tech 2020 African American Inclusion Plan

This is very cool!

Taskrabbit Blog

Diversity — of thought, of ethnicity, of gender, of sexual orientation — any way you define it, it’s an essential piece of shaping ideas that can impact the world in meaningful ways. In the world of technology, it’s common knowledge that we don’t have enough of it. Underrepresentation of minorities and women has run rampant within the tech industry for decades, and though companies have continued to discuss the issue, creating new roles to address disappointing hiring statistics, the problem still persists. At TaskRabbit, the importance of diversity and inclusion has been a part of our DNA since day one, with a workforce that’s 58% female, 11% African American, 5% Latino, 11% Asian, and 11% LGBTQ. Even so, we know there is so much more to do.

We always have to ask ourselves what doing more truly looks like. How can we address these issues in a way that…

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No Travel for You if you Owe money to this agency…

On February 11, 2017, while we were sleeping, our right to travel freely was revoked by the new administration. A new law took effect that allows the Internal Revenue Service to prevent American citizens from traveling abroad if they have a tax liability of $50,000 or more.

“26 USC 7345: Revocation or denial of passport in case of certain tax delinquencies

(a) In general

If the Secretary receives certification by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue that an individual has a seriously delinquent tax debt, the Secretary shall transmit such certification to the Secretary of State for action with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport pursuant to section 32101 of the FAST Act.

(b) Seriously delinquent tax debt

(1) In general

For purposes of this section, the term “seriously delinquent tax debt” means an unpaid, legally enforceable Federal tax liability of an individual-

(A) which has been assessed,

(B) which is greater than $50,000, and

(C) with respect to which-

(i) a notice of lien has been filed pursuant to section 6323 and the administrative rights under section 6320 with respect to such filing have been exhausted or have lapsed, or

(ii) a levy is made pursuant to section 6331.”

A, B and C must occur before the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service may send a certification to the Secretary to revoke or limit your passport. Some exceptions apply, such as:

  1. You are paying pursuant to an agreement to which you are a party under section 6159 or 7122 of the code, or
  2. You requested a due process hearing or one is pending. Basically you requested a hearing arguing that you either don’t owe the debt, you don’t owe that amount, or you were never given proper notice, or
  3. You filed a joint return because you are/were married and you request that you, as a spouse/ex-spouse, be given relief for numerous reasons under section 6015 (b) and (c) of the code.

This new tax law affects U.S. citizens living within the states and abroad. Make sure your tax liability is satisfied or you have a written repayment agreement and that you file your taxes each year. Right now the amount is $50K but that is subject to change. So protect yourself and your family. Stay diligent with your taxes for you and your businesses. If you have not filed your taxes for prior years, now is the time to do so. I’m sure the next revocation law will pertain to student loan debt, so watch out for that as well.

[Click here for full text of the law]

 

Travel Deal

Costa Rica is famous for its fabulous beaches and green pastures.  It is a very calm and relaxing country. Plenty of horseback tours, mountain biking, boogie boarding, snorkeling, diving, kayaking or scenic driving.

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Groupon is having a one of a kind deal on a trip to Costa Rica from one of these cities:

Fort Lauderdale
Orlando
Chicago
Dallas
New York City
Houston
Washington, DC
Buffalo
Atlantic City
Philadelphia
Los Angeles
San Francisco

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The details of this Groupon deal is below:

  • Daily breakfast at all hotels
  • Guided Rainforest hike in Arenal; surcharge applies for the week of Easter
  • Economy automatic car rental for duration of trip

Hotel (7 nights)

All of the above from $729.00 and is based on Double Occupancy.

Click the link below for this amazing deal

Groupon

Information is from Groupon website. The writer of this blog does not receive a commission on this deal.

Social Media: The ultimate esteem booster

Before social media, I had a problem with every part of my body. Day to day, I loved and hated different parts of my body depending on the lighting in my bathroom, mirror angle or what I was wearing. But now that I post pictures daily, now that I show my body with no filter, now I love and appreciate every part of my body. At first I didn’t understand why that was. Am I that vain or so self conscious that my love for self is gauged by how others take to me, how they view me? I didn’t think I was “that girl”.

Then it hit me: So what if I am “that girl”. So what if I enjoy the likes and the comments I get on my pictures, on my post and status. So what if I like attention from random people who wouldn’t recognize me on the street but took a second out of their day to like my photo. OR the family and friends that I handpicked to view all my post and pictures because I know they won’t say anything negative. What’s wrong with that? If you don’t step into the world of social media, and you have a problem with your body image, you are only going to hear the voices in your head. You will only hear the self defeating, passive-aggressive commentary you are so used to hearing throughout your life. If you don’t come from a place of constant love, attention, reassurance and comfort then yeah, its okay to make a world that you control, where “everyone knows your name”.

And it will be difficult, at first, to look pass the perfect body images that are displayed on social media but you and your friends and family don’t look like that. You are all beautiful though but I suggest you don’t add Beyonce, Jlo and Nikki Minaj to your twitter, gram and facebook feed. Just add your beautiful friends and family. That is the 1 area of your life, where you can control the images and the negativity that you are subjected to. The 1 area where you can delete and MUTE people who you just don’t want to hear from.

You got that judgey sister with the selective amnesia on her own shit: DELETE

You got that passive-aggressive parent: DELETE

You got that friend that post every single police killing and it brings you down: DELETE

You got that guy friend that post pictures of big booty girls all day: DELETE

You need to control your own narrative in this world that you make up for yourself. Keep your social media limited to people who love you and enjoy what you enjoy. If you post a pic on instagram, use hashtags to draw people in that like what you like. If you have a facebook page, keep that page limited to people that share your viewpoint, that love you and support you. If you have a twitter account, keep it light. Share positive things that can be retweeted and liked. If you have this wonderful  Wordpress blog, then write. Write your thoughts and feelings daily. Use the categories and tags to gain support for your blog. Make it public for all to see or private; private just for you.

AND if you feel that your legs are not slim enough, your ass is not big enough, your hair is not curly enough, your skin is not clear enough or your stomach is not flat enough, share those thoughts and then, Share your photos!! Someone will like it!

Share it with me! I will love it!

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Kill Time and Have Fun

Ninja Mole Smash is a fun, interactive game for kids and adults of all ages. The objective is to smash the ninja moles determined to take eat your crops with your hammer. The best mode is Hostage. In Hostage mode, you must hit the Ninja and avoid hitting the hostages […]

via Best Game on Google Play — Law School Trivia App