10 Uncommon Star Names You Won’t Forget

in Editorial , by http://garlan.org/
photo credit: sebastien.barre via photopin cc

photo credit: sebastien.barre via photopin cc

Celebrities are known to stand out amongst the crowd for various reason, one being their names. Numerous celebrities have names, whether they are real or purely for the spotlight, that are memorable and that are hard to forget. Once you see them, it is hard to keep them out of your head or to forget them at all.

  • Gucci

Gucci Mane is a popular rapper who has been able to make quite the name for himself in the industry. While Radric Davis is his full birth name, he chooses to go on stage as Gucci Mane instead and has continued to use this for years.

  • Prince

Prince’s name is Prince. On top of this already unique name, he has changed his name to a sign once before. His name, and that change to a sign, has made him more well known than his music, which is hugely popular, of course.

  • Kesha

Kesha, which she spells as Ke$ha for the stage, has a unique birth name, as well. She has recently become quite popular because of that name as well as her music, and it is difficult to find someone who has not at least heard the name before.

  • TI

TI, the rapper who has had a lot of success in recent years, is known mostly by his stage name. While his real name is Clifford, he has been using this for his music for quite some time. Since using the name TI, the rapper has become quite well known.

  • Beyonce

Just the last two on this list, Beyonce was born as Beyonce. She is famous because of all that she has done and her music, of course, but her name allows her to stand out, which has led to her becoming a household name.

  • Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa is everywhere recently. Most likely, you have heard his name in at least one song in very recent years. Part of the reason you remember that so well is because his name sticks with you. His real name may be Cameron, but it is Wiz Khalifa that we all know and love.

  • Madonna

Madonna continues the trend of unique birth names. It is hard to go anywhere without meeting someone who has not heard of her, mostly because her name is not something that you see or hear every day.

  • Eminem

Marshall Mathers is a name that you may have heard of once or twice, but he is better known as his stage name Eminem. He is very well known on film and in music, and partly because of the name.

  • Pink

Pink, whose birth name is Alecia, is known by her stage name and how she has embraced it. This is what has made her rise in popularity and become the musician that so many people adore.

  • Tyga

Tyga is not a name that you forget easily, either. Just like any other, it is memorable and it is part of why his music sticks with you. Whether you know him by his birth name, Michael, or his stage name, Tyga, he has likely stood out to you because of how unique that name is.


Haitian Exports – Two Major Celebrities With Haitian Ancestry

in News , by http://garlan.org/
Photo Credit: jb2.0 via photopin cc

Photo Credit: jb2.0 via photopin cc

Odds are that if you’re a music or movie fan, you’re probably aware that there are a number of major celebrities that have Haitian ancestries including Denzel Washington and Usher; both world renown personalities. Denzel Washington has obviously done well making movies and Usher has had great success in this country from his singing and writing skills, to being a part of TV’s popular singing competition show the Voice.

Denzel Washington

As a noteworthy American actor, Denzel Washington has appeared in numerous blockbuster movies, earning him a net worth of an estimated $140 million. Denzel, the actor, director, producer and screenwriter, was born in Mount Vernon, New York, where he lived with his father, who was a Pentecostal minister, and his mother, who both owned and work at a beauty salon.

Denzel earned a full scholarship to the renowned American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California after attending Fordham University and receiving his B.A. He eventually turned down his scholarship, deciding instead to pursue a professional acting career in New York. As it is the case for most would be actors or actresses going for their dream of stardom, it was a slow and challenging process.

Denzel worked his way up, working on small films and a variety of television roles including popular medical drama St. Elsewhere in 1982 (his first real role), until the season finale in 1988.. Some of the actor’s most popular, money making movies include Virtuosity, Courage Under Fire, Fallen, The Siege, Training Day, Out of Time, Man on Fire and American Gangster. Denzel’s income has landed him a #5 position on the richest African American men in the entertainment industry list; an honorable and much deserved acknowledgement.


When you think of Usher, his chic styles and dance moves, polished vocals and broad vocal range probably come to mind; that and his romantic ballads that make women swoon. Born October 14, 1978 in Chattanooga, TN, Usher Terry Raymond IV started singing at only 6 years old in his church choir.

After moving with his brother and mother to Atlanta, he performed on the hit show at the time, Star Search, and secured a recording contract with LaFace Records shortly after. His first, self titled album was released in 1994, when he was only 15 years of age.

Usher eventually joined a local R&B quintet called the NuBeginnings, and rose to fame during the late 1990s with the release of My Way, his second album, which produced his first Billboard Hot 100, #1 hit, “Nice & Slow”. Since then the album has been certified platinum 6 times by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His next album, 8701, produced the Billboard Hot 100 #1 hits U Got It Bad) and “U Remind Me” and since then the album has been certified platinum 4 times.

The RIAA has also ranked Usher as one of American music history’s best selling artists. User is estimated to have a net worth of $140 million.

Countless Haitian’s first came to the United States at the turn of the century in search of economic opportunity and in doing so made the country a better place.


Getting Lost In The World

in Travel , by http://garlan.org/

From hiking up to the Lost City of the Incas, to dancing the Hula in Hawaii, to mingling with jet setters in Dubai, there are lots of incredible ways to get lost in the world. Why not think out of the box as you plan your next vacation; no more run of the mill holidays for you. From swimming in the southern waters of Mosquito Bay to chartering a sail boat in Greece, we lay out a few other ‘less than common’ ways to spend your vacation time this year.

Lost City of the Incas

There’s a reason Peru’s Machu Picchu is one of the most visited sites in the world. Dating back to the mid 1400s, it’s a historical wonder that will have a huge impact on you once you see it; amazed at the incredible talents of the ancient architects that built it.

Positioned on a high plateau surrounded by mind blowing views, deep in the Amazon jungle, you really get a feel for Peru, its people and its rich history. You can take a train to Machu Picchu from Cusco, or if you’re up for a multi-day hike through the deep Andean gullies you’ll thoroughly enjoy the views along the way. If you’re a history buff or adventure enthusiast, you should plan a trip to Peru which is also home to the legendary Galapagos and its amazing wildlife.


What could be more exciting than going on a Greek holiday, especially if it’s spent on the wonderfully diverse island of Crete. The island is a varied combination of soaring mountains, sandy beaches, vast plains graced with palm tree forests, and vibrant contemporary cities sharing the breathtaking coastline with world renowned ancient ruins.

Somehow Crete has managed to combine modern niceties with the architectural styles of their ancestors; a unique combination of the Ottomans, Venetians and Minoans. Besides touring the historical landmarks, visitors come to Crete for the beaches, the charming villages that dot the coastline, the delicious cuisine and fun festivals that usually involve a traditional music, dance and outdoor barbecues.


Gorgeous beaches, awesome weather, intriguing culture and history; Maui, Hawaii has it all. While on the island you can explore the world’s largest dormant volcano (Haleakala), snorkel along with 5 different kinds of sea turtles, dance the hula and so much more! You can travel East Maui’s breathtaking coastline, enjoy the tastiest cuisine you’ve ever had, or go up country to explore the ancient tribal battlegrounds in visually stunning Iao Valley State Park.


Located between Asia and Europe; Dubai is a multi-dimensional destination blending together modern feats of incredible splendor with a rich and colorful history. Jet setters and everyday people alike who are looking for a one of a kind vacation experience are drawn to this flourishing metropolis, brimming with spectacular natural beauty and featuring over the top luxury with a multitude of amenities and activities that don’t exist anywhere else in the world.

You’ll be awed by Dubai’s ingenuity as you set your eyes on the Burj Khalifa, the planet’s tallest building or experience the Dubai Mall’s indoor ski resort, the first and biggest in the world. Add in incredible resort hotels like the iconic Water Discus Hotel and cosmopolitan nightlife and you have the ideal vacation destination if you’re looking for pure luxury and over the top fun.


Exotic Vacation: USA vs. Europe

in News, Travel , by http://garlan.org/

Let’s face it, it would be difficult to choose between a European or USA vacation because both have so much to offer, from one end of their regions to another.

Sure, if the hotel or transportation costs are factors, you’ll want to consider your budget, but if you’re yearning for a particular experience, take the time to plan it out and save first if you have to.

Whether you’re considering a United states vacation, visiting Miami’s iconic Key West or South Beach or New York’s Statue of Liberty, you won’t be disappointed. On the other hand, vacationing in Europe, just about anywhere in Europe, you can visit ancient historic sites that make the USA’s history look infantile.

First We’ll Look at European Travel Pros and Cons

Some say that American’s are drawn to Europe because most of our ancestors originated there. Most say their unwavering obsession with Europe comes down to the idea of romance it conjures up, sipping wine and enjoying delicious cheese along a charming Parisian alley in a cute cafe, strolling through the Louvre; you get the picture.

In spite of rising airfare’s and high exchange rates were still drawn to Europe and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. History lovers are big fans of Europe as well – after all – Europe is home roman ruins, why wouldn’t they want to go? Art lovers can see works of art by world famous artists. True, it’s usually more expensive to travel Europe than to vacation in the United States, but with a little research and planning, you can vacation in Europe on a budget.

USA Travel Pros and Cons

The United States is a large and very diverse nation where visitors have access to countless miles of beaches, countless unique National Parks, trendy urban cities and massive metropolitan centers.

There’s San Francisco, California and the Golden Gate Bridge, Miami, Florida and the popular Ft. Lauderdale swap shop and endless miles of pristine beaches, Seattle and the Space Needle and Ho Rainforest. Let’s not forget New Orleans and the Mardi Gras, Los Angeles and Latino music; the list goes on and on.

Vacationing in the United States does have its drawbacks, including the length of time it takes to travel one from one city to another, driving or flying. Another factor is the weather which ranges from hot and arid to hot and humid, to snow and ice.

Similar to Europe, travel and accommodations can be expensive, but with planning, staying outside of the bigger cities and looking for airfare – accommodation promotions, you can easily travel on a budget.

Both the USA and Europe have a lot to offer, even if you’re traveling with children, although the United State seems to have the highest percentage of amusement parks in just about every state. That being said you’d be surprised at how many amusement parks Europe is home to today, including Walk Disney Studio Park in France, Legoland in the UK and Gardaland Resort in Italy.

In Europe some of the most family friendly destinations are Scotland’s St. Andrews, the Dolomites in Italy and the German Bavarian Alps. Kid friendly USA destinations include just about anywhere in California and Orlando, Florida.


Is It A Good Idea To Add Mixed Breeds To The Westminster Dog Show?

in Animals, Editorial , by http://garlan.org/

In Westminster‘s nearly 140-year history, they have never had any events with mixed breed dogs as purebred pedigree was the threshold all dogs had to pass. Well, as it turns out, old dog shows can learn new tricks. Starting in 2014, the Westminster leaders have decided to allow mixed-breeds in the sporting events.

For years, there has always been contention between pedigreed and mixed-breed animals. One route to maintaining pedigree is inbreeding dogs. This is seen as a way to fix certain traits in a breed. While inbreeding can occur naturally, the obvious problems come from having a limited genetic pool resulting in widespread disorders including loss of vigor, fertility problems, and increased health issues.

In purebred dogs, there are certain disorders that are common to purebred dogs. For example, large dog breeds like the Rhodesian ridgebacks tend to have neurological problems from dermoid sinus while Cavalier King Charles spaniels tend to suffer from a painful brain condition called syringomyelia. The health problems of purebred dogs will continue because eventually the gene pool will continue to shrink even if breeders try to avoid inbreeding.

Cross-breeding is seen as a sensible way out the dwindling gene pool because you strengthen the breed and toss out the purity parameter, which is could be seen as an abomination since pedigree is a valuable commodity. While it may result in less genetic disease, you never know just what kind of personality traits the dog will have, how big the dog will be or even what other diseases they may be prone to.

Cross-bred puppies also have higher delivery risks and may need to have a C-section. Then there’s the “designer dog” trend where breeds are genetically mated to produce dogs that don’t shed or have less dander while others are creating dogs that are popular for the moment and are sold for thousands of dollars.

At the end of the day, it’s a complicated issue that Westminster is deciding to finally acknowledge. There are a significant number of mixed breed dogs that have natural unique abilities that weren’t specifically bred into them by design; they were just born that way. Since Westminster is about celebrating all dogs, then adding mixed-breeds to the lineup should be seen as a natural extension of that purpose, even though it took over a century.


Does Buddy the Dog Deserve To Live?

in Animals, News , by http://garlan.org/


In San Antonio, many residents of San Antonio are fighting to save the life of Buddy, a six-year-old golden retriever mix attacked a nine-year-old girl in November 2014. Homer Mojica, Buddy’s owner, stated that the dog was leashed and out for his daily walk when the child screamed in his face prompting the attack.

Despite the attack, Buddy has become a symbol for activists and animal lovers who charge that Animal Control Services (ACS) was less about protecting animals and more about putting them down quickly to improve statistics. On the other side of the argument is the fact that this dog attacked a child and caused sustained injuries that did require stitches. So, what should happen to Buddy?

Vague Laws

Under current Texas law, any dog whether small or giant dog breeds that causes serious injury which requires hospitalization, regardless of whether the animal is leashed and provoked as many witnesses claimed Buddy was, can be euthanized. That means that even if someone kicks a dog and the dog attacks in an effort to defend itself, it can be put down.

As this is vague, there is a lot of room for interpretation and debate. In the case of Buddy, the initial judge ordered Buddy to be put down without any medical testimony on the victim’s behalf verifying the seriousness of the injuries.

Some activists claim that the child’s injuries were more likely consistent with a scratch not a bite and that the parents should teach their child how to properly approach animals. Other called on city officials to fulfill the promises they made about implementing a “no kill” policy at animal shelters. Needless to say, this issue is hotly contested on both sides and as of January 18, 2014, Buddy was released to vet clinic but not back to his owner.

Should Buddy Live?

On the face of the law, it looks like Buddy should be euthanized once it’s been proved that he caused serious injury. However, the fact that the parents did not provide any medical testimony calls the severity of the injuries in question and should have prompted the judge to either ask for that kind of evidence or to impose some other penalty as due process was not really fully followed.

As it stands, this case may force the state of Texas to take another look at the animal rights laws and challenge the lack of specificity for dogs like Buddy who may be protecting their owners. If the law isn’t tightened up, there will be more cases like Buddy’s clogging up the courts.