Lil Wayne to release jail diaries.

After having served eight months in Rikers Island for charges of gun possession, Lil Wayne has since released countless songs and his ninth studio album, Tha Carter IV.

Despite not getting particularly good reviews (even I – a self-professed ex Weezy stan didn’t rate it particularly well – read my review of it here) the album reached number one and was certified double platinum as well as nominated for four Grammy awards at next month’s ceremony, including best rap album and best rap song for Look At Me Now.

My main grievances with the album were that it didn’t provide any insight into the undoubtedly life-changing experiences Weezy must have gone through while behind bars. I was hoping to see progression, emotional insight, and what he had learned during his months of incarceration, including his reaction to the millions of fan mails he received through his ‘Weezy Thanx You’ project – in which he urged fans to send him mail which he replied to through updates on a website.

It seems my wishes have been answered, however, with Weezy recently announcing that he would be releasing a book consisting of diaries he wrote whilst incarcerated.

The book – which is called Gone Till November – is set for release on the 28th of November 2012 and will feature his thoughts on family, children and the people he has met in his lifetime, said Grand Central Publishing.

“[Lil Wayne] kept detailed journals of his inner and outer life while he was on Rikers Island, and they certainly tell a story. They are revealing,” said Ben Greenberg, executive editor at the publishing company.

November seems so far away.

Hide your Ken dolls, barbie Kardashians are coming.

Oh.No.

If you for one second entertained the idea that the Kardashian’s were a short lived phenomenon… you were wrong. You’d think someone who was famous purely for being good looking and rich [and for having a sex tape] would fizzle out of the public interest relatively quickly… but unfortunately our world likes this sorta thing.

The Kardashians are, in fact, soon to be immortalised, with E! online recently reporting that Khloe, Kourtney and of course, Kim will be transformed into Barbies. A source confirmed that the Barbs are in the works and will go on sale later this year at all locations where Barbies are sold.

Guess the Kim Kardashian boycott didn’t work out too well then.

The dolls will be called ‘Dash Dolls’ as they will be wearing outfits from the sisters boutique’s collection. The sisters will join the ranks of other celebs like Cher, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Heidi Klum, and Barbara Streisand to have their own Barbie-branded dolls.

Hide your Kens.

The Happiness Project.

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished” – Benjamin Franklin.

As those who know me will know, I’m a big believer in change. ‘Everything is temporary,’ I say it all.the.time. I even have a tattoo on my foot to remind me, in case I should ever forget. Life is all about progressing.

I also love reading. So there isn’t much I love more than a book that makes me eager to amend and make changes to my life.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is one such book.

“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy” is one of the first quotes in the novel. And it’s true. Especially as through being happier we also make those around us happier too. We are more charitable, more forgiving, more patient, more willing to try new things. In short, everything is better when we are happy.

Gretchen Rubin was a happy woman to begin with, but she came to the conclusion one day that she could be happier… and why not?

After researching age-old theories of what makes us happy, she came up with a list of resolutions, and of things which brought her happiness. Dedicating each month of the year to improving and focusing on each of these aspects she takes the reader along on her journey, inspiring you all the while to begin your own happiness project.

Most of her resolutions are relatively common-sense, like spend more time doing what makes you happy, never let yourself be too hungry or too sleepy, exercise a little bit every day.

Most importantly, perhaps, ‘Act the way you wish to feel.” This is particularly important as “we are all a bit addicted to our own melancholy.”

This I believe adamantly. But by making a conscious effort to smile instead of scream, spend more time with our friends and family, and just be yourself, the amount of time you spend happy will undoubtedly increase.

She came to the conclusion that – among other things – all of the above do work, that money can buy happiness – if spent in the right way and on the right things, – that growth and progression is pivotal to happiness – even if you ‘fail’ at first.

Since finishing ‘The Happiness Project’ I have been working on starting one of my own. Like Gretchen, I don’t want to wait for disaster to strike to begin rebuilding my life. Recently taking the time to ‘be myself,’ ‘try something new’ and spend money on something that will contribute to my happiness I floated in a salt water vaccuum – an experience that was undoubtedly one of the most rewarding I’ve had.

I’ve also started keeping a ‘Happiness Diary’ which consists of writing down a few bullet points at the end of each day of the happiest moments in the last 24 hours. Useful both in taking the time to appreciate what I have – afterall, ‘Happy people are thankful people’ – as well as finding out what truly makes me happy – so that I, of course, can do more of it.

And with the new year approaching, its a perfect time to make resolutions!

As Epicarus wrote: “We must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed towards attaining it.”

& maybe you should just float, and free your mind. [My experience floating in a salt water vacuum]

“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy” said Robert Louis Stevenson.

Its true. We scroll through our endless to-do lists with no thought of which (if any) of the items give us satisfaction, or make us smile. Of course life is not only about doing what makes us happy, but some part of it must be, surely.

Avidly reading ‘The Happiness Project’ (there will be an entry on it very soon) a lot of different things have been entering my mind.

One of the things the writer, Gretchen Rubin discovered through her happiness project is that if you are happy, it makes people around you happy too, and vice versa. Another thing she discovered is that money can buy happiness, if spent correctly.

Happiness comes differently to different people, and arises as a result of different things. That goes without saying. For me, happiness is often linked to having some quiet, alone time. Something I explored in The Importance of Being Quiet.

Floatopia.

With the above facets in mind, I was undeniably very excited, and intrigued when my brother told me about something called ‘Floatopia.’

Essentially… Floatopia consists of lying naked in a vessel full of salt water, and floating.

Its based on the idea that it has a number of benefits such as:
– Relieving stress
– Releasing Endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller and happy pill.
– Improving the condition of the skin and hair.
– Detoxing the system.
– Increasing creativity and imagination.
– Increasing circulation and energy levels.
– Balancing the left and right brain.
– Improving concentration.
– Assisting in the treatment of addictions, phobias and depression.
– Regulating sleeping patterns – one float simulates 4 hours of sleep.
– Relief from old injuries (especially back aches etc.)

My experience.

I arrived at the centre yesterday with no idea what to expect, but so excited, having had my brother raving to me about it for weeks.

Stripping down, inserting ear plugs (to prevent salt water from seeping into my ears) and settling myself into the vessel, my first thoughts were of apprehension. Unreasonable worries such as ‘What if I drown?’ and ‘What if I can’t get out?’

And as the minutes ticked by I was first greeted with an influx of the minor problems which bother me on a daily basis, along with my to-do list rattling and prattling its way around my mind.

And then nothing.

For an hour I floated in a vacuum, free from the outside world. And when I emerged… nothing mattered.

Its a difficult sensation to describe… that of being completely wiped clean. I didn’t fully believe my brother either when he gushed to me about. But thats exactly how it is.

One of my best friends called me with a problem minutes after I stepped out of the door, into the bustling street and back into ‘real life.’ I wish I could have told her how it so didn’t matter. Life is really good. It doesn’t matter, its all in your mind. Of course some problems are more serious than others but: “You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.”

I spent hours walking around with a clean slate. One that I will certainly take much more care in re-writing on.

Jews & Atheists must be killed/converted in time for Christmas in new video game.

Video games are often violent… but this takes it to another level.

The game, entitled Left Behind: Eternal Forces see’s players encompass the role of a member of a Christian gang killing as many Jews, Atheists and other “unsavoury” types as possible in order to get to the next level. If they won’t convert, you kill them, although this does lower the players ‘spirit level.’

The company even offered a free demonstration model to churches. “We see it as a beacon of light that could shine in the dark world of video games,” said Jerome Mikulich, “director of outreach ministries” for the company.

How very, very worrying.

Starbucks to create 5,000 jobs with drive-through coffee in the UK.

Coffee giant Starbucks has recently announced plans to expand its drive-through business in the UK. Not only will this create 5,000 jobs, it will also save lazy, coffee-hungry (and therefore tired) people from getting out of their cars.

The 30 year old company has nearly 9,000 stores and over 8,000 licensed outlets in more than 50 countries. It is now aiming to expand its drive-through branches in the UK from 9 to 200.

The announcement, which comes two weeks after official figures revealed youth unemployment had exceeded one million, was welcomed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said it was a “great boost to the British economy”. This is particularly pivotal as the majority of Starbucks Barista’s are under 24 years of age.

Now all we need is a Starbucks delivery service for those who are too lazy to even get into their cars.

The Story Of Success.

Books were my first friends.

Break times consisted of a quiet corner of the library, and whatever book I had burrowed my nose in. After school consisted of excuses… I couldn’t exactly come out with ‘I’d rather be alone with my book, thank you.’

I love reading.

There are some books that really get you. They speak into your soul as if they were written for you. “Gladwell has the ability to make his readers feel like they are geniuses, rather than that he is.” That is perhaps half true.

After reading this book you’ll feel that Malcolm Gladwell is a genius, but also that you have the potential to be, too.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about yet you’d better type http://www.amazon.co.uk into that little box up there and order Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.

With an usual gift for making the complicated seem simple, and obvious, Malcolm Gladwell takes his readers on a journey on what makes us special. Exploring factors that may seem like coincidences (until you begin frantically turning the pages of his book,) he looks into successful people such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mozart, and the random down the road who has made it big… and highlights all the similarities, and pivotal differences in their cases.

Without giving away all the intricacies and examples Gladwell gives, his main arguments are that success comes from a combination of intelligence, luck, cultural context and hard work. Now you may think you already knew that… but after reading the book, you’ll enter a whole new realm of understanding.

“It is not the brightest who succeed… Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”

Seize the book.