Important Events

Akon Plans to Light Africa

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Akon is best known for his music career and success. With songs like ” I Wanna Love You” and ” Lonely”, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to this artist. Akon has founded an initiative appropriately entitled, “Akon Lighting Africa”. The singer aims to provide electricity to 600 million – yes, MILLION – people through the founding of his Solar Academy.

The academy will be located in the city of Bamako, Mali, and it will provide education and practice to engineers and technicians to help enable and advance the use of solar energy throughout the nation. Africa is known for it’s heat, and the continent has 320 days of sunlight – so harnessing it’s abundance as a natural resource is genius.
Due to his heritage, this project is close to Akon’s heart.  The singer was born in the U.S., but he spent much of his childhood in Senegal with his family. The singer has always been philanthropic with his money and fame, and has said:

“Two things that define success in life: The way you manage when you have nothing and the way you behave when you have everything.”

The co-founders of “Akon Lighting Africa” are Samba Baithily and Thione Niang.  According to the initiative’s website:

CEO of ADS Global Corporation S.A, Samba Bathily, is an important actor in the Malian economy and has played an important role over the past 20 years in developing a strong private sector in Africa. His Holding Group owns seven subsidiaries (SOLEKTRA INT, AFRITEK, PROXICOM, YIRIWA…), which have a presence in 8 African countries.  Samba is one the leaders driving growth in Western Africa today. (source)

And Thione Niang has an amazingly touching and relevant story to this cause:

“Thione Niang is a public servant, speaker and consultant. Born into a family of 28 children in Senegal, Thione arrived in the US in 2000, speaking no English and with $20 in his pocket.  He worked as a waiter and sent money home to his family every month while saving up to obtain a college diploma.” (source)

It seems Akon knew what he was doing when he chose his co-founders. Here’s to his new initiative and what is sure to create a great advancement for the impoverished country.

Akon Plans to Light Africa photos courtesy of Akon Lighting Africa

Tatiana in Wonderland: James Beard House

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An evening of fine dining took place at the James Beard House this month with Le Malt’s Spring plates on the menu. Selected by members of the James Beard Foundation, the New Jersey spirit and wine lounge was chosen to hold an exclusive “Malt Luxury” dinner with their Executive Chef Duke Estime leading the kitchen.
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I arrived at the Beard House a little before seven and met with the ladies from Diaz Schloss Communications. I always have a great time at Diaz Schloss events and love catching up with their team. The weather for the night said there was a slight chance of showers, but we were rain free and enjoyed the warmer weather. We started the dinner by sipping on drinks made with Mezcal Joven and Glenfiddich in the garden with the other guests. I preferred the Glenfiddich drink over the Mezcal since I’m not too crazy about the smoky taste of Mezcal. I loved that inside each drink was an ice cube made with a hibiscus petal frozen inside, it looked so pretty. Since Le Malt is known for their spirits, it was only necessary to have each course paired with the perfect drink.
Haitian Djon Djon Risotto with Wild Mushrooms
Dinner started with a Chilean Sea Bass Broth made with spinach, basil, and cilantro. The warm broth had a slight spice that brought out the flavors of the delicate fish. It paired nicely with the glass of Castello Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio 2013, a great way to cleanse our palettes from the light course. Following the broth, we were served a Haitian Djon Djon Risotto with Wild Mushrooms. The impeccable (and my favorite) plate of the evening reminded me of comfort food: warm and soft; you want to eat it slowly and enjoy every last bite. The vegetarian plate was paired with a glass of Tinazzi Amarone della Valpolicella 2010.
We then moved on to the main courses: Berkshire Pork Belly with Tubers and Denver Venison Chops with Yellow Beans and Polenta. For extra flavor, the fatty pork belly was braised in bourbon which complimented the light sweetness of the plate and was served with Michter’s US-1 Small Batch Bourbon Whisky. The scotch-infused venison was a bit gamey for my taste, but I did enjoy the soft polenta and beans. It was served with a glass of Balvenie DoubleWood 17-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
Molten Chocolate Cake
We barely had room for dessert, but how could we resist when they brought out a Molten Chocolate Cake topped with Iranian pistachio ice cream; a type of ice cream I have never had before. The presentation of the fine dessert tasted as good as it looked: rich and sweet. The cake was served with a glass of Hennessy VSOP Privilege Cognac NV. The Le Malt Team hosted a lovely dinner, and it was a great experience and honor to dine at the James beard House.
Be sure to check out Le Malt while you are in the Garden State; not only for dinner, but for catching up with friends over a few drinks!
Le Malt
1021 St. Georges Avenue
Colonia, NJ 07067
#EBMphotography 732.470.0033 www.EBMstudios.com
Read more Events on ClicheMag.com
Tatiana in Wonderland: James Beard House, photos courtesy of Tatiana Stec and James Beard House

Let’s Celebrate Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is a time to remind ourselves of the meaning of sacrifice and to put personal struggles and difficulties in perspective. Our brave troops sacrifice their lives everyday in the line of battle defending our country, and deserve plenty of respect. Across the nation, citizens were marking Memorial Day with somber ceremonies, flag planting at cemeteries, parades and even barbecues, which is an American past time that will never go out of style.
President Barack Obama, made a surprise visit to Afghanistan for Memorial Day. Obama arrived at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan to speak with troops and visit soldiers being treated at a base hospital. Obama directed all government agencies in the United States to fly their flags at half-staff on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.
At least 2,181 members of the U.S. military have died during the nearly 13-year Afghan war and thousands more have been wounded. (Huffington Post)
It is devastating to know the harsh realities of the brutal war that has been taking place for so long in Afghanistan. This statistic alone proves how selfless men and women who enlist in the armed services are, and it makes me very grateful to them. Whether you were at the beach today, firing up the grill with your family, or taking advantage of that great Memorial Day sale, I hope you all took a moment to reflect on the true meaning of this influential holiday.
Let’s celebrate Memorial Day by supporting our amazing troops, and being thankful for the safety and security they provide to us.
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(All Images courtesy of Getty Images)

Michael Jackson – The Immortal World Tour

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Billie Jean, photo by Cirque du Soleil
For sellout crowds worldwide, Michael Jackson – The Immortal World Tour is a non-stop, electrifying extravaganza of Michael Jackson’s music and choreography together with Cirque du Soleil creativity bringing to life the artistic spirit of the King of Pop. Michael’s global messages of love, peace and unity are underscored by unforgettable performances like Thriller, Beat It and Mega Mix – Can You Feel It/Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough/Billie Jean/Black or White.
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For more information, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/michaeljackson. If you’re visiting Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE is a must-see show, different than the touring show, celebrates the legacy of the one and only, Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson Tribute by Terry Check
Hard to believe it’s been five years since Michael’s death. In London, like all fans worldwide, fans gathered to wish him a farewell, and today, continue to celebrate his life by enjoying his music and most recent album, Xscape released last week.
Photography by Cirque du Soleil and Terry Check

Celebrities Celebrate Mother’s Day

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On this day May 11, people all over the world take time out to celebrate their mothers, and show their appreciation for the special human beings who gave them life. Whether you write your mom a card, buy her flowers, or a fancy gift, it is always great to show how much you care on this day. This year various celebrities celebrated their mommy’s by taking to social networks such as Instagram and Twitter, and publicized  their Mother’s Day affection. Below are some of the adorable Mother’s Day tweets and instagram posts from some very well known celebs.
Madonna tweeted: “One Lucky Mother! #livingforlove” and shared this candid picture of her and her son David.
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Miley Cyrus posted an adorable pic of her and her mother on Instagram with a caption that read: “Happy Mother’s Day mama @tishcyrus”
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Ashley Tisdale shares a photo with her and her mother at the beach: “Happy Mothers Day to the most supportive and loving mom, I am so thankful for you. You do so much for our family and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Love you mommy”

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Justin Timberlake tweeted: “#HappyMothersDay to Janet Lynn… You’re the greatest leader and I’m so proud to be your son. I love you so much, Momma!! J”


Gwen Stefani tweeted: “happy mother’s day to all the mamas #igotitfrommymama gx”


Justin Beiber tweeted: “I love her with all my heart. Happy Mother’s Day ?@pattiemallette?! Love you”

These celebrities and many more all shared with the world today how much they love their mama’s. I think it’s amazing to see celebrities celebrate Mother’s Day because it humbles them in a way, and shows the fans that they are in fact just regular people. Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful and beautiful mother’s out there who have raised children, or are expecting some in the future. You are all appreciated.
(All images courtesy of US Magazine)
(Featured image courtesy of gettyimages)

The Best Of The 2014 Met Gala Red Carpet

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So yesterday night was the Met Gala, the single most important fashion event of the year. Red carpet regulars include Beyoncé, Sarah Jessica Parker, Marc Jacobs and Chrissy Teigen just to name a few. This extravagant event kicks off the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s yearly Costume Institute exhibit, and the stars all always ready to wow the paparazzi with some stunning couture looks. This year the theme of the night is a tribute to Charles James, America’s First Couturier, meaning bright colors and lots of over the top gowns. There were a lot of celebrity couple sightings on this year’s red carpet, as well as a lot of beautifully fabulous singles. I have put together a list of celebrities who I felt shined brighter than the rest and look absolutely amazing. Here is The Best of the 2014 Met Gala Red Carpet.
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To kick off the fabulous couples, we have Beyonce wearing Givenchy Haute Couture alongside her dapper husband Jay-Z.

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Next is the soon to be newlywed couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. The fashionable pair are both dressed in Lanvin.

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Next up is sultry singer John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigan, who are both adorned in sleek Ralph Lauren.

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Now we’re focusing on some chic celeb divas and who better to start with than the playful songstress Ms. Janelle Monae.

She is regally dressed in Tadashi Shoji.

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Next up is the beautiful Victoria’s Secret angel, Adriana Lima, who dominated the red carpet in Givenchy Couture.

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Here is the lovely Zoe Kravitz who wasn’t afraid to show a little skin in her daring Top Shop dress.

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Glee star Lea Michelle definitely stood out in her gold Altuzarra ensemble, looking radiant as ever.

Talk about some ultimate celebrity eye candy! These and many other fashionable stars all looked top notch last night. Just looking at some of these beautiful gowns makes me swoon, and I can only imagine the price tag on some of these designer ensembles. But price means nothing to celebrities during this iconic event. It is all about showing out and looking your best while doing it. I hope you all enjoyed my red carpet best dressed list. I can’t wait to see what looks hit the red carpet next year.

(All Images courtesy of HarpersBazaar.com)

Happy Fetch-iversary “Mean Girls”

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The 2004 hit teen comedy “Mean Girls” turned 10 today! The iconic teen movie which took on social cliques, still stands as one of the most successful, and oft-quoted, high school movies of all time. I mean who can forget catch phrases like “grool” and “that’s so fetch” ?
Lindsay Lohan who was then a Disney star with a clean, wholesome image played the main character, Cady Heron, a 16-year-old girl who has to adjust to the wild terrain of public high school after living in Africa with her scientist parents for most of her life.
Rachel McAdams who was unknown at the time, played Regina George, the teen leader of the popular group, The Plastics, and the social ruler of the school.
Amanda Seyfried, made her feature film debut in “Mean Girls.” She has since gone on to become one of Hollywood’s hottest stars, starring in movies such as Dear John, Mamma Mia!, and Les Miserables. 
“Mean Girls” is based on Rosalined Wiseman’s 2002 self-help book “Queen Bees and Wannabees”. Saturday Night Live’s Tina Fey, wrote the screenplay and co-starred as one of North Shore High School’s teachers, Ms. Norbury. Other “SNL” stars like Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer and Tim Meadows also made up the cast. (CBS)
Happy Fetch-iversary “Mean Girls” ! You will go down in history as one of my favorite movies of all time with all your hilarious, quotable glory. To 10 years of making people laugh, and to plenty more to come.

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(Image courtesy of Facebook)

(Featured Image courtesy of CBS)

Earth Day 2014

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Today April 22, 2014, more  than a billion people around the world will celebrate Earth Day. It is the 44th anniversary of the annual day of action, and it has become a global environmental event. Earth Day originally began in 1970, when 20 million people across the United States rallied for increased protection of the environment. Back then some of the major issues included  dirty air, toxic water, pollution, and a hole in the ozone layer. Today’s issues are a lot more modern, but just as scary.
Modern environmental threats such as global climate change, are what Gina McCarthy (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator) calls “one of the most significant, if not the most significant, public health issue of our time.” (National Geographic) This year’s Earth Day theme is “green cities”,  because for the first time in history more than half of the people on earth live in urban cities. Emphasis is being put on different parts of city infrastructure and how they can be transformed to be more sustainable and eco-friendly.
According to McCarthy, the impact of that first Earth Day has been profound, and since then  the nation’s air and water have become dramatically cleaner, and lead has disappeared from gasoline; while the economy has more than doubled in size. It is very important for us as consumers to be aware of how we effect the earth, and to take more time to inquire about efforts to prevent any further destruction. To celebrate Earth Day 2014, we should stop and admire nature, thank green plants for the oxygen they provide, and just be kinder to Mother Earth in general. It is our planet, and our responsibility to take care of it.
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(Images courtesy of National Geographic)
(Featured Image courtesy of forever-yoga.com)

NEW EPISODE OF THE SOUL MAN

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DON’T MISS A NEW EPISODE OF “THE SOUL MAN”
WITH GUEST STAR
AL JARREAU 
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16 AT 10:30 PM ET/PT

“Oh My Goddy” 

Boyce feels the pressure when he’s nominated for a big award and thinks back about how he lost his GRAMMY to Al Jarreau. While, Lolli makes a sexy gesture to get Boyce’s attention.
Photos Courtesy of TV Land at: www.tvlandpress.com
Check out a video sneak peek HERE
Twitter: #TheSoulMan
@TheSoulManTV @CedEntertainer @NiecyNash @WesleyJonathan @AlJarreau
Instagram: TheSoulManTV
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/thesoulmantv
 

Be The First To See Tonight’s Blood Moon

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As I was surfing the internet today, I couldn’t help but notice the term “Blood Moon” popping up almost everywhere. After doing some research, I discovered that later on tonight there will be a lunar eclipse occurring. A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon, and Earth align so that  Earth’s shadow falls across the moon’s surface. Tonight’s  lunar eclipse is a total eclipse, which means Earth’s shadow will cover the moon completely. The moon is said to take on a reddish hue anywhere from a bright copper to the brownish red of dried blood, which would explain the term “Blood Moon”.
The eclipse will be visible from just about the entire continental United States, and the show will start at 10:20 p.m., when the first faint shadow will start to fall on the moon. By 12:07 a.m., the entirety of the lunar surface will be in Earth’s shadow. It will be glowing red, because even though our planet is blocking out direct light from the sun, the light of all the sunsets and sunrises on  Earth still make it to the lunar surface. (LA Times)
Not to sound like a complete nerd or anything but the whole concept of a lunar eclipse has me so excited! Grab a seat next to your window or take a stroll outside and be the first to see tonight’s Blood Moon.
(Featured Image courtesy of LA Times)

Roseland Ballroom Goes Out With A Gaga

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The lights of NYC’s historic Roseland Ballroom will permanently fade to black after Lady Gaga’s performance tonight. She concludes her seven-day residency, and the Roseland Ballroom goes out with a Gaga. Roseland can squeeze only 3,500 people under its historic roof, so Gaga collaborated with Verizon Wireless to live stream the final show tonight on GetMoreGaga.com at 9 p.m. ET.
The legendary venue located at 239 West 52nd St. was around for nearly 58 years, and originally opened its doors to rowdier rock and pop musicians, such as Madonna, Bob Dylan, Beyonce, Metallica, Radiohead, and many more. The reason for Roseland’s closing is said to be its  low-occupancy limit which appears to have financially taken its toll amid competition from larger and newer venues around the city.
Gaga puts Roseland to bed with her risque outfits, her occasional profanity-laced dialogue, and most importantly an outstanding performance. Lady Gaga shouted to her crowd of “Little Monsters” “We’ve grown up together haven’t we?, “But you’re still wasted and you’re still having fun.” (Mashable.com) She closes the show with songs from The FameBorn This Way, and Artpop. 
We say good-bye to Roseland Ballroom but will never forget the iconic musical memories made on its stage.
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(All Images courtesy of Mashable.com)

Google Maps April Fools Prank

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So today is April 1st 2014, in the western world better known as April Fool’s Day! A day when all the pranksters come out to play, and pull jokes on their friends and family members. This year, Google decided to get in on the action a little early.  The company’s maps division announced in a video published yesterday, that it is currently seeking a Pokémon Master to join the team. To do this Google has developed a Pokémon Challenge that is what it calls “the most rigorous test known to man.” Within the latest version of the Google Maps app, Google has added hidden Pokémon, and to be deemed the Pokémon Master you have to catch them all.
To play, you must you have the most recent version of the Google Maps App. Open it and click the search bar, where you’ll see a Pokéball and a button that says “Press start.”
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From then on you will see Pokémon scattered all over your map, as well as Pokémon-style houses like the one seen in the picture below.
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Catching the Pokémon is very easy, all you have to do is simply click on them when you find them, but finding them is the real task since they are hidden all over the globe. The deadline to find all 150 Pokémon is April 2nd, 2014 at 2:00 PM, and according to the video released by Google, the  people who find all of the Pokémon in time will be invited to the Googleplex to participate in the final round of hiring. The winner supposedly will start his or her job as Pokémon Master on Sept. 1, 2014.
Sadly, this is almost certainly a Google Maps April Fools prank because the disclaimer in the Google Maps video says the role of Pokémon master is not yet available” and recommends you go to Google’s jobs page. Good job Google! This will most definitely go down in history as one of the most carefully devised April Fool’s pranks like ever. Although the Pokémon Master job is fake, everyone is still free to try and catch them all!
Photos Courtesy of (Huffington Post)
Featured Image Courtesy of (Youtube.com)