I collaborated with Mikayla McCray-Ross to make something I hope you guys enjoy! Thank you.


Lego’s official Women of NASA set goes on sale November 1st 2017




  Lego has done an amazing job maintaining their relevance since before my childhood. With their diverse partnerships and consistently expanding universe of opportunity they have discovered a way to remain in the hearts and minds of many children for years to come. Some of their partnerships include

  • Marvel
  • WWE
  • Disney
  • DC Comics
  • Star Wars
  • Angry Birds
  • Ghostbusters
  • Minecraft

These partnerships among others have helped cement Lego as one of the most powerful, popular and influential toy companies in the world.

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            A large part of what helps Lego stay at the top of the food chain is their willingness to adapt and diversify. Social media is a huge portion of that. With their social media diversification they have given their fans and consumers a voice and they take their thoughts and suggestions into consideration before launching a new product. They call it the Lego Ideas Fan-Sourced Creation Platform. Maia Weinstock made a suggestion on this platform that ultimately managed to get 10,000 votes enough to gain the attention of Lego’s creative team. Lego then moved forward  to create the 4 piece  Women of NASA package that includes Nancy Grace Roman, Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride and Mae Jamison. (Katherine Johnson was excluded due to a lack of approval).

Personally I believe that Lego has consistently done amazing with cultural sensitivity and inclusion. Not only do they listen to their consumers but they clearly value their input and then make those with valuable or popular input creative partners and use their ideas to continue to bring children happiness worldwide. If something is to happen with their products that is taken negatively they tend to act quickly and effectively. I’m confident I’ll be purchasing LEGO products when its time for me to shop for my future family. Hopefully they can keep in their hearts and off the floor. 


Lego Ends Lego Dimensions Development


Contact information:   Remi Sklar




October 25th 2017

Lego Ends Lego Dimensions Development


Lego Dimensions, an open world game that brings toys to life from multiple different film franchises will no longer receive any further developmental support.


  • Lego Dimensions players will no longer be able to purchase and experience new content.
  • Lego Dimensions will still keep old content available for their players.  

Warner Brother interactive studios has chosen not to move forward with the production of new content for its open world adventure game Lego Dimensions. However, Warner Brothers Studios and TT games have promised that they will still continue sell and support existing expansion packs. An official statement reads

The game itself has been receiving constant support since its release two years ago when it was originally released for Play Station 3, PS4, XBOX 360 and XBOX ONE at the height of the animated Lego phenomenon.  The game offers players the opportunity to create an open world experience with some of their favorite characters from popular cartoons and blockbuster films. 


Gaming fans play “Lego Dimensions” on day two of E3 2017, the three day Electronic Entertainment Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California on JUne 14, 2017. E3 is one of the biggest events in the gaming industry calendar. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)



Lego is a a company that creates and manufacturers plastic construction pieces that can be used to create anything from buildings to robots. Warner Brothers Interactive is a branch of Warner Brothers Studios that create video game counterparts to their property titles.


Top Ten Hip Hop Albums Released in The 90’s

High top fades, Karl Kani and the Fresh Prince. One thing comes to mind when you hear any of these phrases, the 90’s. Unbridled black artistic expression was in full effect for a decade. Black America was still on its rebound from the devastating crack cocaine epidemic and the war on drugs. Some African Americans needed an outlet to escape their surreal realities others needed a voice to bring our struggles to light.  Artists like Ice Cube, Mos Def,  Tupac Shakur,  A Tribe Called Quest and Lauryn Hill released unapologetically black music that perfectly encapsulated a century from the perspective of black Americans in their bodies of work respectively.  Revisit all of these timeless classic with Apple Music. New users get the first 3 months free!

#10 Mos Def- Black On Both Sides (1999)

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With tracks like Ms. Fat Booty & UMI Says Mos def firmly staked his name in hip hop with his sophomore effort Black on Both Sides.  Dont get “Got”, Stream it now.

#9 Jay-Z Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life (1998)


Some hip hop heads consider Reasonable Doubt (1996) Jay-Z’s definitive album. However, most hip hop fans know that two years later Jay-Z the Hit-maker was born with his 5x platinum album Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life. (Still his highest selling album) If you agree Can I Get a…Stream?

#8 Nas- Illmatic (1994)

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Hailing from Crown Heights, Brooklyn Nas’ eyes saw more as a child than most of us would see in a lifetime and that is apparent with his freshmen entry Illmatic. Reclaim your rights to the world and stream it now.

#7 A Tribe Called Quest- The Anthology (1999)


With tracks like Can I Kick it?, Award Tour & Scenario The Anthology  serves as the perfect time capsule for the 90’s. Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi & Ali combine to make one of the most respected hip hop collectives in music history. Check the Rhime and stream now.


# 6 Ice Cube- AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (1990)

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We all saw Straight Outta Compton However, that movie did little to no justice to Ice Cube’s phoenix like rise after his untimely departure from the legendary N.W.A. AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted is more than a debut album, its as much a raw documentary of California inner city neighborhood life as it is a political critique spread across 16 powerful tracks. Check out What They Hittin’ Foe and stream it now.

#5 Tupac Shakur- All Eyez on Me (1996)

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All Eyez on Me is 2pac’s 4th and final album to be released during his lifetime. Fresh out of jail 2pac released one of his most critically successful and well received bodies of work only 7 months before his untimely demise. Stream it now

#4 The Notorious BIG- Ready to Die (1994)

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Ready to Die is easily The Notorious B.I.G.’s most captivating body of work. What Biggie was able to do with his rhyme pattern and cadences while telling his enchanting stories  was simply innovate and ahead of his. Stream now and give this album One More Chance to change your mind on the greatest rapper to ever do it.

#3 Big L- Lifestylez of Da Poor & Dangerous (1995)

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The number 3 spot goes to Big L who will forever be known as an uncrowned king of New York hip hop. Lifestylez of Da Poor & Dangerous gives listeners a unique insight to the life of quite possibly the best rapper to come of of Harlem, New York. Stream now and be careful not to get Street Struck.

#2 Dr Dre- The Chronic (1992)

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The number 2 spot goes to Dr. Dre’s The Chronic album. This solo debut album simultaneously launched Dr Dre’s own career and that of Snoop Dogg. His ear for melodies and samples makes him one of the best producers to ever do it in the world of music, not just hip hop which makes The Chronic one of the best debut albums and one of the best Hip Hop albums. Stream this timeless album now.

#1 Lauryn Hill- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)

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The number 1 spot goes to another Debut album, Ms. Lauryn Hill’s the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. With her unique writing style paired with the combination of her entrancing vocal abilities and head spinning rhyme patterns Lauryn Hill created the prefect album with The Miseducation. Stream it now.

We may have not figured out how to create the flux capacitor just yet,  however here at apple we can aid your nostalgia with apple music. New members now get 3 months free and at $10.00 a month you can have unlimited access to all of your favorite artists of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

-List sponsored by Apple Music.


Art is Necessary in School Systems

The question of if the arts belong in the public school system  has been circulating for as long as I can remember. I looked to address that as I sat down with Ronald Lee Newman at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts to gather both his experience with he arts as well as his opinion on the issue. As both a student of the arts and a board member at Ellington he’s the perfect candidate to answer my questions.

Ward One Wherefore Art Thou?

Washington DC is being remodeled at an alarming rate. And although some see this as a great thing most won’t be around long enough to reap the benefits because of the rapidly increasing rates of rent and general living. I sat own with Lisa Wilkins who is a resident of the first ward to gather both her experience of living in the first ward as well as her thoughts on the gentrification at hand.

The Red Lounge


The Red Lounge is one of ward one’s most popular hookah bars as it attracts the majority of the ward’s nightlife due to its relative location to liquor dispensaries and bars. Located at 14th Street in Washington D.C., the Red Lounge has been in operation for 14 years and has seen a significant rise in the popularity of hookah within the last three years according to the lounge’s owner Amad Oubah.


“Because of the rising popularity of hookah my business has grown tremendously, especially since we are one of the only Hookah Bars that provide quality hookah,” Oubah said.


Also known as water pipe, shisha and narghile, smoking hookah includes the action of inhaling flavored tobacco through a long flexible tube that draws the smoke out of a bowl often decorative in design.


Kenny Young, a familiar patron of the Red Lounge said, “It’s a pretty cool spot for music and local artists on the weekends”.


Brendan Allen is a frequent patron of the bar and has described it as, “a chill hotspot with some of the best customer service in the area”  


Like most of the hookah bars in the area,The Red Lounge sees the majority of its business on the weekend between Friday and Saturday. Oubah describes the crowd as “largely young African Americans who come for the music”.   

Upon arrival to the Red Lounge on a typical friday evening the overwhelming presence of youth, alcohol, music, smoke, and the color red immediately consumes your peripheral and central vision.


However, the Red Lounge wasn’t always a local hip-hop hangout spot. It was originally established as the International Grill by Amad Oubah and his wife in 2001. Like most of the other ward one resturants like Dukems, The Apple Lounge, Madjet Restaurant and Bar and Selam Restaurant, the Red Lounge is Ethiopian owned.  

“We weren’t just looking for the American Dream, but we added to the community around us as well, before the grill was the lounge. We barely had enough for the rent, but we still gave back to the community by making food for the local homeless shelters and even feeding those who would come to our shop looking to rob us,” Oubah said.

Oubah recalled a story when he and his wife fed a desperate man in need and went on to befriend him only to discover years later that upon his first arrival he intended to rob the store for money to help his sick daughter.


“We treated him so kindly that he changed his mind and would ward off any other person intending to rob the store,” he said.


Eventually the Oubahs worked their way up to the second level of the building eventually owning the entire complex and it also was then that they rearranged the menu and became a lounge, as they are known today.


“Even though we changed the name, people still know us as the International Grill because of what we mean to this community, we still hear people calling us mom and pop because the generations that we helped as kids have grown into respectable adults and I’d like to believe that was because of what me and my wife did,” he said.


While the International Grill has been replaced by a hookah bar, the values they’ve instilled in the community remain the same. Multiple individuals stopped by just to say hello during the two and a half hour interview process alone. With every passing individual the Oubahs knew their name and could recall an interesting story to go along with them.

Black lives Matter Matters

BlackLivesMatter is an international activist movement established in 2013 as a Twitter hashtag that campaigns against violence toward black Americans.


It was created as a direct response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, 32, a white neighborhood watchman who was charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin who was only 17 at the time of his death. However, in the past three years since the murder of Martin, there have been numerous racially charged murders that have added a passionate spark to this movement.


In light of these murders the Black Lives Matter movement has gathered momentum. Because of the technological advances of the 21st century most of these acts are captured on video, which has finally brought racism to the homes of those who have chosen to turn a blind eye to it.  

However, Black Lives Matter has grown from a plight for courtroom justice to a political battle cry which has been the hot subject surrounding presidential hopeful campaigns as well as political debates.

Most recently Hillary Clinton bore witness to the movement up close when she gave a speech at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. She was interrupted by BLM protesters who insisted that she only briefly covers the subject to exploit the black population for the vote. “Unfortunately, rhetoric DOES NOT save us, nor does it give confidence to black voters that we can trust Hillary to prioritize the necessity of ensuring our safety,” according to one of the protestors.


Although the black community would appear to be mostly united on this particular front, the white community does not appear to be.


The hashtag ‘All Lives Matter’ was created as a direct response to the black lives matter campaign.


David Bedrick, an author for The Huffington Post says it’s being called “more empowering as well as diversity affirming”.


Its popular opinion of black Americans that the ‘All Lives Matter’ movement disregards the importance of the BLM movement and instead attempts to hide the willful ignorance of America’s racist history.


White American resident of the first ward Jacob Jaehne, 18 says, “I see the “All Lives Matter” campaign and although I agree with the statement that all lives matter, I think people get caught up. Honestly, I think it’s downright ironic. BLM is a symbol that people do not recognize all lives matter. In my opinion, people misunderstand the context. Of course all lives matter, and it is because of that that we need to address why black people feel they do not matter as well as methods for which we can change that.”


However, there are some white Americans who are more reserved when they are approached regarding the subject BLM. Jess Marciello, 17 also a resident of the first ward stated “As far as I know I agree with their views but I’m not very educated on their objectives” almost as if she’s completely bias.


Her view is not uncommon. BLM is recognized as a radical protest on social media platforms such as Twitter. The use of the hashtag (Black Lives Matter) is usually followed by attacks from multiple, aggressive, close minded individuals who refuse to see the larger picture of the movement. Most of which are white males. Their arguments stand on the fact that black-on-black crime remains an issue within the black community and that black Americans should deal with that before they attack white Americans for not valuing their life.


All white Americans do not share those beliefs. When asked about the BLM movement Jaehne said, “everyone deserves a voice, no matter what they identify. I agree with the cause and feel that the best and perhaps only way to indicate that something is wrong is to raise awareness. BLM in my opinion sends an appropriate message that the issue of race is still that – an issue, and needs to be addressed and further dealt with.”


Which perfectly captures the message that BLM is attempting to reveal in the protests speeches and hashtags.


The Not SO Chocolate City

Gentrification is defined as the buying and renovating of houses and stores in urban neighborhoods, which results in increased property values and displacing lower-income families and small businesses.


It is becoming an increasingly prevalent factor in the Washington D.C. area as hundreds of predominately African-American families are being forced from their homes at the result of skyrocketing property rates and rent to make way for a massive redevelopment plan.

Neighborhoods known for being predominately black within the District such as Barry Farm, Lincoln Heights, Northwest One, Park Morton and U Street have been targeted for reconstruction.


“The new homes will be razed and new “mixed-income” units as well as commercial spaces will be built in their stead,” according to a report from mixpressnews.


Within the first ward the presence of white faces have increased within the last five years. Statistically speaking the white and black populations have both been consistently increasing since 1970, however, in the last five years the white population has been increasing while the black population has been on the decline.


Ward one is known for housing some of the districts most historically black neighborhoods such as U Street and Adams Morgan. However, as of late the presence of African-Americans has been on the decline because of the rising cost of living within the areas mentioned. The areavibes site gave the U Street area an F rating because the rates to rent are 15% higher than the rest of the Washington D.C. area.


“A massive redevelopment was immanent as that is the way of the world, however it’s a shame to see that families have to suffer,” said Kevin Bryant when asked to comment on gentrification.


Bryant Resides on T Street with his wife in “one of the last black owned town homes in the neighborhood” according to Bryant.


“I’m under constant pressure from the DCHA (DC Housing Authority) to sell my home and move into one of the affordable housing projects in the ghetto. They’re desperately trying to send me the way of Levant, who was one of the other last black residents in the neighborhood.”    


A year later on November 30th the DC Housing Authority was accused of furthering gentrification after one of the wards oldest residents, Levant Graham, 84, was suddenly removed from her home after four decades just a year prior.


Graham who is the mother of 12 said that the home she was removed from “would have been her first”. After four decades she was suddenly removed and relocated to an affordable housing property by the DCHA. The new location is one that she “doesn’t trust” and because of that she’s constantly inside.
“Most of the black population has been moved down to Shaw where the more urban neighborhoods are,” said Lisa Wilkins who is also a ward one resident when asked about the gentrification taking place in her neighborhood. When asked what the project future of her neighborhood was demographically speaking Wilkins replied “whoever can afford it”.

Cant Spell Chipotle Without E. Coli

On October 24th, Chipotle Mexican Grill closed 43 of its locations due to an E. coli outbreak in Washington and Oregon State, which infected 35 patrons of the popular fast food chain.  Although the cause of the outbreak is still unknown. Chipotle reopened those locations.

Chipotle has become one of America’s newest fastest growing restaurant chains in recent years. According to QSR magazine, sales jumped 25.5 percent from 2003 to 2013, making it the decade’s fastest growing chain.

However, due to the recent E Coli outbreak red-hot sales have been “growing cold” because of the looming fear of contracting the deadly bacterial disease.    

“The effects of these recent events on the western coast of the U.S. has sent a ripple effect to that has made its way to the east coast,” said Casim King, 22 about the recent outbreak. King is an employee of a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant located on 14th Street in the first ward of Washington D.C.

Sara Cooper, 21, who is one of the store managers said, “since the outbreak, business has taken around a 10% dive because even though that happened somewhere else people don’t want to gamble with their health over a meal.”

“You can’t spell Chipotle without E. coli,” said The Center of Consumer Freedom who are critics of the restaurant chain, because of the higher calorie counts of their meals.

“Chipotle has been on top of the fast food industry for the last five years and this outbreak threatens that position,” said Cooper. “The restaurant went from constantly packed to almost always empty”. That’s saying plenty considering how popular Chipotle is in the district.

According to Bloomberg Business, “one location seeing particularly strong growth is Washington D.C., according to analysts at JPMorgan. In 2005, JPMorgan estimates that Chipotle had around 10 locations per million D.C. residents, and by 2014 had grown to just over 30 locations.”

Because D.C. is a popular location for the company, a lack or drop in business activity here could potentially signify a recessionary period for the company. A blemish on the otherwise spotless face of the consumer favorite.

An article posted recently on Bloomberg Business confirms exactly that, claiming that its biggest strength, the promise of fresh food, has now turned into its greatest weakness or liability. As a result of the E. Coli outbreak both sales and stock prices have fallen to an all time low.

With the victim toll rising to 52 people in 9 different states one has the right to be suspicious of the once favorite restaurant.