Please Vote for me for the Rockstar Energy, Sullen Art collective and Inked Magazine #‎13thArtist design A can contest! Voting ends July 25th and they announce the winner July 31st, You can Vote once per day per email so please vote everyday until then! I really appreciate it!! Thank you all that have voted and those of you who continue to vote daily! It means the world to me! follow the link below to Vote or Visit




Vote for me for the Rockstar Energy 13th Artist Design A Can contest


I am entered in the Rockstar Energy, Sullen Art Collective and Inked Magazine 13th Artist Design A can contest. If you could please Vote for both of my designs, you can vote once A day per email so please do so I really appreciate the love and support. I consider myself more of an aspiring artist then I do an artist. I have A deep love and passion for Art in all of it’s many forms. This is the first time I have ever entered in anything like this. I actually made this design using my Samsung Galaxy S3. Winning this contest will be an opportunity of A lifetime for me. I consider myself the underdog in the contest cause all the other artist have extensive backgrounds with their Art to where im just A simple Aspiring Artist and Tattoo Artist. I hope I can get your Votes I highly appreciate them.!/sullenfamily/photos/pb.42303941828.-2207520000.1400700688./10152018418866829/?type=1&source=42

Caffeine and Your Children

Most parents wouldn’t dream of giving their kids a mug of coffee, but might routinely serve soft drinks containing caffeine. Foods and drinks with caffeine are everywhere, but it’s wise to keep caffeine consumption to a minimum, especially in younger kids.

The United States hasn’t developed guidelines for caffeine intake and kids, but Canadian guidelines recommend that preschoolers get no more than 45 milligrams of caffeine a day. That’s equivalent to the average amount of caffeine found in a 12-ounce (355-milliliter) can of soda or four 1.5-ounce (43-gram) milk chocolate bars.

How Caffeine Affects Kids

A stimulant that affects kids and adults similarly, caffeine is a drug that’s naturally produced in the leaves and seeds of many plants. Caffeine is also made artificially and added to certain foods. Caffeine is defined as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system. At lower levels, it can make people feel more alert and energetic.

In both kids and adults, too much caffeine can cause:

:jitteriness and nervousness
:upset stomach
:difficulty concentrating
:difficulty sleeping
:increased heart rate
:increased blood pressure

Especially in young kids, it doesn’t take a lot of caffeine to produce these effects.

Other reasons to limit kids’ caffeine consumption include:

:Kids who consume one or more 12-ounce (355-milliliter) sweetened soft drink per day are 60% more likely to be obese.

:Not only do caffeinated beverages contain empty calories (calories that don’t provide any nutrients), but kids who fill up on them don’t get the vitamins and minerals they need from healthy sources, putting them at risk for nutritional deficiencies. In particular, kids who drink too much soda (which usually starts between the third and eighth grades) may miss getting the calcium they need from milk to build strong bones andteeth.

:Drinking too many sweetened caffeinated drinks could lead to dental cavities (or caries) from the high sugar content and the erosion of tooth enamel from acidity. Not convinced that sodas can wreak that much havoc on kids’ teeth? Consider this: One 12-ounce (355-milliliter) nondiet, carbonated soft drink contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar (49 milliliters) and 150 calories

:Caffeine is a diuretic that causes the body to eliminate water (through urinating), which may contribute todehydration. Whether the amount of caffeine in beverages is enough to actually cause dehydration is not clear, however. It may depend on whether the person drinking the beverage is used to caffeine and how much caffeine was consumed that day. To be on the safe side, it’s wise to avoid excessive caffeine consumption in hot weather, when kids need to replace water lost through perspiration.

:Abruptly stopping caffeine may cause withdrawal symptoms (headaches, muscle aches, temporary depression, and irritability), especially for those who are used to consuming a lot.

:Caffeine can aggravate heart problems or nervous disorders, and some kids may not be aware that they’re at risk.

One thing that caffeine doesn’t do is stunt growth. Although scientists once worried that caffeine could hinder growth, this isn’t supported by research

Foods and Beverages With Caffeine

Although kids get most of their caffeine from sodas, it’s also found in coffee, tea, chocolate, coffee ice cream or frozen yogurt, as well as pain relievers and other over-the-counter medicines. Some parents may give their kids iced tea in place of soda, thinking that it’s a better alternative. But iced tea can contain as much sugar and caffeine as soda.

Item   Amount of Item
Amount of Caffeine

Jolt soft drink12 ounces71.2 mg

Mountain Dew12 ounces55.0 mg

Coca-Cola12 ounces34.0 mg

Diet Coke12 ounces45.0 mg

Pepsi12 ounces38.0 mg

7-Up12 ounces0 mg

brewed coffee (drip method)5 ounces115 mg

*iced tea12 ounces70 mg

*dark chocolate1 ounce20 mg

*milk chocolate1 ounce6 mg

*cocoa beverage5 ounces4 mg

*chocolate milk beverage8 ounces5 mg

*cold relief medication1 tablet30 mg*

*denotes average amount of caffeine

Sources: U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Soft Drink Association

What’s Caffeine Sensitivity?

Caffeine sensitivity refers to the amount of caffeine that will produce an effect in someone, which varies from person to person. On average, the smaller the person, the less caffeine necessary to produce side effects. However, caffeine sensitivity is most affected by daily caffeine intake.

People who regularly drink beverages containing caffeine soon develop a reduced sensitivity to caffeine. This means they require higher doses of caffeine to achieve the same effects as someone who doesn’t drink caffeinated drinks often. So, the more caffeine kids take in, the more caffeine they’ll need to feel the same effects

In addition to being more susceptible to the effects of caffeine based on size, younger kids are more sensitive because they haven’t been exposed to it as much as older kids or adults.

Caffeine moves through the body within a few hours and is then passed through the urine. It’s not stored in the body, but kids may feel its effects for up to 6 hours if they’re sensitive to it.

Cutting Caffeine

Can you keep kids caffeine-free? Absolutely! The best way to cut caffeine (and added sugar) is to eliminate soda. Instead, offer water, milk, flavored seltzer, and 100% fruit juice. For added convenience, serve water in squeeze bottles that kids can carry around. You can still serve the occasional soda or tea — just make it noncaffeinated. And watch for hidden caffeine by checking the ingredient list on foods and beverages.

If your teen has taken up coffee drinking, one cup a day can easily turn into several (as most adults know), especially if your teen drinks it to stay awake during late-night study sessions.

The best way to reduce coffee caffeine intake is to cut back slowly. Otherwise, kids (and adults) could get headaches and feel achy, depressed, or just downright lousy.

Try substituting noncaffeinated drinks for caffeinated sodas and coffee (water, caffeine-free sodas, and caffeine-free teas). Keep track of how many caffeinated drinks your child has each day, and substitute one drink per week with a caffeine-free alternative until he or she has gotten below the 100-milligram mark.

Someone cutting back on caffeine may feel tired. The best bet is to hit the sack, not the sodas: It’s just a body’s way of saying that more rest is necessary. Don’t worry — energy levels will return to normal in a few days.

Feel free to let kids indulge in a sliver of chocolate cake at birthday parties or a cup of tasty hot cocoa on a cold day — these choices don’t pack enough caffeine punch to be harmful. As with everything, moderation is the key to keeping your kids’ caffeine consumption under control.

5 Reasons Unions Are Bad For America

At one time in this country, there were few workplace safety laws, few restraints on employers, and incredibly exploitive working conditions that ranged from slavery, to share cropping, to putting children in dangerous working conditions. Unions, to their everlasting credit, helped play an important role in leveling the playing field for workers.

However, as the laws changed, there was less and less need for unions. Because of that, union membership shrank. In response, the unions became more explicitly involved in politics. Over time, they managed to co-opt the Democratic Party, pull their strings, and rewrite our labor laws in their favor.

As Lord Acton noted, “Power tends to corrupt,” and that has certainly been true for the unions. Unions have become selfish, extremely greedy, and even thuggish in their never-ending quest to take in as much as they can for themselves, at the expense of everyone else who crosses their path.

That’s why today, unions have changed from organizations that “look out for the little guy” into the largest, most rapacious special interest group in the entire country. Where unions go, disaster usually follows. Just to name a few examples:

1) Unions are severely damaging whole industries: How is it that GM and Chrysler got into such lousy shape that they had to be bailed out? There’s a simple answer: The unions. The massive pensions the car companies paid out raised their costs so much that they were limited to building more expensive cars to try to get their money back. They couldn’t even do a great job of building those cars because utterly ridiculous union rules prevented them from using their labor efficiently. America created the automobile industry, but American unions are strangling it to death. Unions also wrecked the steel and textile industries and have helped drive manufacturing jobs overseas. They’re crippling the airline industry and, of course, we can’t forget that….

2) Unions are ruining public education: Every few years, it’s the same old story. The teachers’ unions claim that public education in this country is dramatically underfunded and if they just had more money, they could turn it around. Taxpayer money then pours into our schools like a waterfall and….there’s no improvement. A few years later, when people have forgotten the last spending spree on education, the process is repeated.
However, the real problem with our education system in this country is the teachers’ unions. They do everything possible to prevent schools not only from firing lousy teachers, but also from rewarding talented teachers. Merit pay? The unions hate it. Private schools? Even though everyone knows they deliver a better education than our public schools, unions fight to keep as many kids as possible locked in failing public schools. In Wisconsin, we’ve had whole schools shutting down so that lazy teachers can waste their time protesting on the taxpayers’ dime. Want to improve education in this country? Then you’ve got to take on the teachers’ unions.

3) Unions are costing you billions of tax dollars: Let’s put it plain and simple: Government workers shouldn’t be allowed to unionize. Period.


Because you elect representatives to look out for your interests.

It’s obviously in your interest to pay as little as possible to government workers, to keep their benefits as low as possible, and to hire as few of them as possible to do the job. However, because the Democratic Party and the unions are in bed with each other, this entire process has been turned on its ear. Instead of looking out for your interests, Democrats try to hire as many government workers as possible, pay them as much as possible, and give them benefits that are as generous as possible, all so that union workers will do more to get them re-elected.

In other words, the Democratic Party and the unions are engaged in an open conspiracy to defraud the American taxpayer. There’s no way that the American people should allow that to continue.

4) Unions are fundamentally anti-democratic : How in the world did we get to the point where people can be forced to join a union just to get a job at certain places? Then, after they’re dragooned into the union, they have no choice other than to pay dues that are used for political activities which the unwilling dues-paying member may oppose.

Add to that the fact that the Democrats and the government unions collaborate to subvert democracy at the expense of the taxpayer and it’s not a pretty picture. Worse yet, unions have gotten so voracious that they even want to do away with the secret ballot, via card check, so they can openly bully people into joining unions. The way unions behave in this country is undemocratic, un-American, and it should trouble anyone who cares about freedom and individual rights.

5) Government unions are bankrupting cities and states:Government unions have bled billions from taxpayers nationally, but the damage they’re doing on the local level is even worse. We have cities and states all across the country that are so behind on their bills that there have been genuine discussions about bankruptcy. There are a lot of irresponsible financial policies that have helped contribute to that sorry state-of-affairs, but unquestionably, the biggest backbreakers can be directly traced back to the unions.

As the Washington Times has noted, union pensions are crushing budgets all across the country.

Yet it comes as little surprise that the same profligacy that pervades the corridors of federal power infects this country’s 87,000 state, county and municipal governments and school districts. By 2013, the amount of retirement money promised to employees of these public entities will exceed cash on hand by more than a trillion dollars.

So, what happens when these pensions can’t be paid? They will come to the taxpayers with their hands out. When they stroll forward with their beggar’s bowl in hand, the American people should keep their wallets in their pockets. That may not seem fair, but the public sector union members have gotten a great deal at everyone else’s expense for a long time and if somebody has to take a haircut, and they do, it should be the union members instead of the taxpayers they’ve been bilking for so long.

Is there room for aging rappers in hip-hop culture?

It’s common to hear today’s rap fans dismiss 
middle-aged artists as “washed up” old heads with nothing more to offer. While I agree that there are some rappers (young and old) who are better off bagging grocery than trying to “make it rain” in the club, this argument is a knock on the bevy of able veterans who’ve helped keep hip-hop relevant.


There’s only room if they can still produce. Its as simple as that. You don’t have to be making music currently to maintain the fact that you are a legend. We don’t need to hear their newer stuff to appreciate the music they made that actually matters. If they retire, its not like what they did goes away. That history is still there and will never leave. And no, music artists of any genre don’t get better with age. In most cases, the best stuff is the first album. Nas’ best: Illmatic. Jay-Z’s best: Reasonable Doubt. Dr. Dre’s best: The Chronic. Sometimes, they get a little better, but at a certain point, they peak and everything else pales a little bit in comparison. Jay-Z, Nas, and Eminem can still play, but I think I’ll check out Curren$y before I check out Ice Cube’s new album.

—Guest Jonathan

Legends are Always Legends

I personally believe that to this day aging rappers still produce the most lyrically inclined music. Modern day rappers want to talk about who they killed and who they had sex with, when old school wants to discuss life and what it means. Why would I want to listen to Lil Wayne make up a word just to make a rhyme when I could put on some Sir Lucious Left Foot and hear Big Boi spit fire. Or why would I listen to the Game dis everyone alive when I could listen to Jay-Z flow like water while ignoring his childish comments. No I believe the exact opposite, I say we stop letting lame mainstream rappers emerge on to the scene until they can prove they know what real rap is
—Guest Horace

Imagine If soulja boy was vintage

If it were not for the greats when you had to actually have talent I don’t know what we’d do now. I can out rap most of these clowns nowadays.—Guest bostic

Definitely Fine Wine

Rakim said it best “Timeless, cause age don’t count in the booth, when your flow stays submerged in the fountain of youth” That being said, I certainly don’t mind “aging” rappers making music. If you can still flow and have a passion for it, then you can go ahead and do whatever you please. Besides, with all these new and young rappers coming in to Hip Hop today we need the elder statesmen to stay and make music. To teach the young ones a lesson and to help to keep the music alive.— Guest bigpoppa1115

aging rappers

i too cherish older rappers its like looking at ancient Egypt and seeing the mighty pharaohs who built this genre and as long as they can create something worthwhile it really dosent matter i mean think about it there are old gospel and rand b singers still gardnering attention why should hiphop be restricted to kids who know so little of its roots and true meaning not just rump shaking and club hopping but expressing oneself artically i myself am a 16 year old rapper heavily influenced by 90’s rap and without it we’d just be another fatherless child struggling to find our way.
—Guest avarice

Fine Wine or Fast Food?

Any rapper who has at least put out a classic album should never put down the mic. The whole thing about a “washed-up” rapper at age 35-40 is bogus anyway; a rapper can be 25 years old and become washed-up because he’s not “bringing that heat” from his first album, so age doesn’t matter. The last thing I care for is age, because musicians in any genre are supposed get better with time, not worse. Of course they’re not gonna sound like their 25-year-old selves, but that doesn’t make any album any worse. And no one is gonna get me to say that hip hop is dead, but it is, it’s because of the lack of respect for the older rappers. Hip hop wouldn’t be what is if it wasn’t for the older generation. Not to mention that this is a culture, not a sport. Joints and bones wear out, but if a rapper is that good, he can keep going until he becomes a mute or goes deaf. There are more important issues with hip hop than age anyway, like a lack of positivity and the female dilemma.—Guest Mark Sylvia

Better with age

Well as with wine, rappers get better with age. If you listen to most middle aged rappers today and compare them to how thay sounded 10 yrs ago, you’ll find that they make alot of sense now. A good example is Cube. In his most recent album he actually he got lots of advice for the younger generation, which is how it should be. Just like in African Societies, the elderly share their life experiences so that the youth cannot make the same mistakes they did; the case should be similarion hihop.—Guest Lumumba

Where are the instant classics?

All the young rappers are standing in the shadow of the older ones, that’s my opinion. If they made half a reasonable doubt or half an illmatic they would be stepping out of the shadow. I think the older rappers are the reason why the whole rapscene still makes sense. I think they will know their time has passed when there’s an instant classic from a younger rapper, but the truth is that no young rapper seems to be capable to produce that kind of albums anymore. No?—Guest Bob

They built this house!

Is there room? It’s a tragedy that this question even has to be asked! The names mentioned in your article along with their predecessors are the reason that this genre has exploded to what it is today. I was just thinking the other day when Michael Jordan was introduced into the basketball hall of fame, that the greats always seem to go by too fast. I know I’d never get tired of seeing M.J. hit the last minute buzzer beater to win the game or his awesome air time. There are so many awesome talents in sports that are rushed into retirement for the next up and coming rookie of the year. We should be so thankful that it doesn’t require the ultimate body to be the hip-hop equivalent of Michael Jordan. With hip-hop, we don’t have to set age restrictions. As long as the gift is there and they results are the same, age definitely should not matter. We should embrace the fact that it doesn’t! Don’t rush those who can still perform into retirement! Cherish them!—Guest Stacy Pearson

Older Rappers Lead the Way

I have a friend who exists on the other side of the hip hop spectrum. I like older rappers and the younger rappers that emulate them, and she likes the rappers that rap about sex and the club who should take a lot of pointers from their elders on how to rap. I respect both equally for what they’re able to accomplish off of their talents, but the same respect should be paid to all rappers equally and if not, more to the ones that put rap on the map.—Guest David

Lou Reed Dead At 71, Rolling Stone Reports


Legendary musician Lou Reed has died, Rolling Stone reported on Sunday.

He was 71

Reed is best known for his work as guitarist, singer and songwriter for the Velvet Underground, and his solo career. Reed had a profound impact on American culture, introducing avant garde rock and pop art to mainstream music. His work with Andy Warhol is noted as one of the most important collaborations in contemporary culture.

His cause of death was not immediately revealed.

Though the Velvet Underground saw limited commercial success in the 60s, their popularity grew tremendously in the subsequent decades. Rolling Stone named their eponymous album the 13th greatest of all time.

In 1996, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Born in Brooklyn in 1942, Reed spent most of his childhood on Long Island. Reed identified as bisexual and received electroshock therapy as a teenager.

He married artist Laurie Anderson in 2008.

Earlier this year, he received a life-saving liver transplant after experiencing chronic liver failure. Reed was open about his addiction to drugs and alcohol in his music. In one of his most well-known songs, “Heroin,” he wrote: “Heroin, be the death of me/Heroin, it’s my wife and it’s my life.”