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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lawn care dude is a wizard on Photoshop

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 10:18 AM

MOW MONEY: Grant Wallace turns to pop culture and Photoshop to promote his lawn care biz. - COURTESY GRANT WALLACE
  • courtesy grant wallace
  • MOW MONEY: Grant Wallace turns to pop culture and Photoshop to promote his lawn care biz.
With a business email address like theworldsbestmower@gmail.com, it can really go one of two ways. Either you're dealing with a pretentious teen passively hustling to purchase a new iPad or sharp shooter with a solid sense of humor. Grant Wallace may be a bit of a mix. Around the time he launched Grant's Lawn Care, he got cracking on a promo plan, namely through a series of wild flyers uh, involving swords, among other themes. It's a refreshing way to approach something as dreary (or allergy-activating) as keeping a nice lawn. CL chatted with Wallace via email about drumming in BABY BABY, yard work as a means to stay physically fit, and how business exploded since his "GoT"-themed flyer went semi-viral on r/Atlanta.

Why "GoT"?
Love the show. Love puns. "Game of Thrones," winter is coming. Nah. "Game of Thorns," summer is coming.

That's a pretty ballsy, specific email address. How long have you been in the landscaping biz? What other types of self-promotion have you used in the past?
I’ve been in the landscaping biz for about three weeks, haha. I’ve been playing in the band BABY BABY for seven years. Our singer reminded me of one time like five years ago we made a Facebook event page about our album coming out and decided to invite EVERY friend on Facebook. it wasn’t even an actual event. Luckily I don’t do that anymore. now I just invite all my friends to like some silly lawn care Facebook page.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pizza Squirrel is the hero Atlanta needs

Posted By on Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 11:29 AM


Pizza Squirrel, on Edgewood (the pizza district of Atlanta). I spotted him last night outside of Chrome Yellow. If you are a Reply All listener, what do you think...Zardulu at work in the South???

Posted by Maggie Blair Boyd on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New York's famous Pizza Rat of Fall 2015 inspired at least one (sexy?) Halloween costume, in addition to the rest of Internet. How could a rodent so small have an agenda so ambitious he takes on the arduous task of carrying a pizza larger than his body for, like, a long while? The question may remain unanswered but now Atlanta's woodland creature population has a Southeast rep to continue Pizza Rat's legacy: meet Pizza Squirrel.

According to Eater, the majestic furball with a hankering for dairy goodness was spotted yesterday on Edgewood Avenue within easy to-go dining distance of such choice pizza establishments as Edgewood Pizza, Ammazza, or O4W Pizza.

Between this and Young Thug's equestrian antics Monday, it's been a good week for Atlanta Internet. I, personally, plan to regard Pizza Squirrel as a fuzzy beacon of inspiration. He has a plan and the courage to follow through. Keep doing you, Pizza Squirrel. We believe in you. 

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Peach app still kinda fuzzy

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 10:41 AM

click image COURTESY PEACH
  • courtesy Peach

Peach is here. ”Posting on it is a lot like texting, but with a twist,” claims the new social media platform's welcome email. It’s like Weird Twitter meets the unfiltered nature of Snapchat with a dash of Yelp thrown in — you and friends can post doodles, share GIFs, give anything a 1- to 5-star rating, share a song you’re listening to, create your own looping videos, and more.

It makes sense that meshing aspects of several popular social media apps together would make Peach a slam-dunk success, but since the app launched early this month (to sizable buzz), many tech experts and outlets declare the app to be a mere flavor of the week — as of writing this, Peach slipped from peaking at No. 85 on the U.S. iPhone downloads chart to dipping from the top 200 completely. Sure, the fonts, colors and design are pleasing, but the app's navigation is clunky at best and confusing as hell at worst. The "home" screen features friend updates, friend requests, the link to your own updates and like three other options that seem borderline pointless. You can do things like “boop” or “wave” at someone, which harkens back to memories of Facebook poking, a feature exclusively used by huge creeps, from my personal experience. The other main page shows post by "friends of friends," similar to Instagram's "Discover" tab, which seems like a misuse of the app’s toggle option. Because of overwhelming roster of posting options, it seems users — including myself — don't quite know what to make of Peach, and why we actually need it. Maybe teens are loving it and at a tender 28 years I'm just out of the demo. (I only recently discovered Kik, a messaging app the ~teens~ have apparently been using for years that’s still going strong.)

Only time will tell if this new app has staying power, but so far, the outlook isn’t so peachy.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

'Negrotown? What, like Atlanta?'

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2015 at 5:47 PM

Key & Peele escape to "Negrotown" in latest sketch aimed at police brutality. - SCREENSHOT/COMEDY CENTRAL
  • screenshot/Comedy Central
  • Key & Peele escape to "Negrotown" in latest sketch aimed at police brutality.

"It's like a utopia for black people," Keegan-Michael Key's character says after his introduction to the fantastical "Negrotown" in the latest gone-viral "Key & Peele" sketch. The stars and creators of the Comedy Central series, which starts its next season in July, are known for skewering race relations in America. Key recently appeared at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, where he reprised his recurring role as Luther, the anger translator who keeps President Obama from turning into the stereotypical angry black man. But their latest sketch couldn't be more timely. Coming on the heels of Freddie Gray's mysterious death in the custody of Baltimore police and the violence that erupted in its wake, the comedy duo imagines segregation as the panacea for black America's long-suffered injustice.

And what kind of magical reality does Negrotown offer? Well, "you can wear your hoodie and not get shot" for starters. And "that loan application can't get turned down, [’cause] you're always approved in Negrotown." Plus, no more worrying about "white folks touching your hair, or stealing your culture, claiming it's theirs."

Key's character initially confuses the fictional Negrotown with Atlanta in a side reference to the reigning black mecca so subtle it's easy to miss.  

Of course, the irony is Negrotown ain't as far-fetched as Key & Peele's absurdist vision. It's Harlem, N.Y., America's black cultural mecca, throughout the mid-twentieth century. It's Tulsa, Oklahoma's Greenwood, before white rioters destroyed the neighborhood known as Black Wall Street in 1921. It's Atlanta's own Auburn Avenue, once known as the richest Negro street in the world, prior to civil rights advances that led to desegregation and a drainage of the community's economic strength.

Reignited by Baltimore's fiery riots and the national fervor over police brutality is the long-smoldering debate within the black community between the chosen path of integration versus segregation. With it comes a romanticization of the period in American history when Jim Crow forced black communities throughout the South to be largely self-sustaining. 

All of which harkens to something Martin Luther King Jr. once said. It's one of those rare quotes conservative commentators on Fox, who love to take Dr. King's dream out of context in times like these, never make reference to. According to actor and activist Harry Belafonte, Dr. King revealed in a personal conversation that he feared the biggest accomplishments of the Civil Rights movement may have been for naught.

"'I’m afraid that we’re integrating into a burning house,’” King said.

Take it away, Key & Peele:




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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Startup Atlanta attempts to find its footing after initial struggles

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 1:25 PM

Startup Atlanta Executive Director Adam Harrell
  • Courtesy Adam Harrell
  • Startup Atlanta Executive Director Adam Harrell
A city-backed nonprofit once tasked with boosting entrepreneurs has decided to take a new approach to promoting Atlanta’s startup scene.

Founded in 2013 as a funding mechanism for tech startups, Startup Atlanta re-launched last month with a focus on networking and tech-friendly policy-making. According to Adam Harrell, Startup Atlanta’s new executive director, the nonprofit “wasn’t executing in a way that drives impactful results.”

Two of the city’s top startup leaders — Atlanta Tech Village and Michael Tavani, co-founder of Scoutmob and Switchyards Downtown Club — tell Creative Loafing they never used Startup Atlanta’s services in the past. With the city's startup scene continuing to boom, they say the nonprofit could find a stronger role to play, but it would have to be more than what companies are already figuring out on their own.

Tavani says Startup Atlanta was “very ineffective” and worked on such dubious efforts as a startup map that “no one cares about.” Tavani says he knows Harrell, whom he describes as “solid,” and believes a more focused Startup Atlanta might work in some capacity.

“I’m confident they can have an impact,” Tavani says. “[But] they’ll never become the hub for startups in Atlanta. That was too lofty a goal.”

Harrell says Startup Atlanta has played a role in some successes such as the Atlanta City Council’s recent approval of tax and licensing breaks for certain types of startups. Tavani and Atlanta Tech Village Community Manager Karen Houghton say that proposal doesn’t mean much to company bottom lines, but represents an important symbolic welcome-mat to the startup industry.

“The dollar amount is not ground-breaking.” Houghton says. “It’s very encouraging to see.”

However, Harrell agrees that Startup Atlanta needs a leaner strategy that complements other startups' efforts. The main hurdles for local startups include finding business mentors and capital. Harrell says all of those ultimately involve networking and education. That's why Startup Atlanta is now hosting those kinds of events.

“The most important factor for success…is access to societal networks,” Harrell says.

At an upcoming event in May, Startup Atlanta will connect traditional corporations with startups — both as customers and as potential business mentors. Harrell sees this kind of networking as outreach to communities that might not have otherwise occurred. For another effort, Startup Atlanta is joining Councilman Kwanza Hall’s “Year of Boulevard” program to hold a business-pitch class and competition for kids.

Startup Atlanta will also continue its policy advocacy and launch a “Made in ATL” award program to highlight success stories. Perhaps those efforts will build upon the city’s startup progress. Houghton says Atlanta Tech Village, which houses more than 230 startups in its Buckhead building, has been completely full for over a year and has a wait list. Among the hit startups to “graduate” from its facility is BitPay, a Bitcoin payment service that opened its own headquarters just across the street.

“We’re legitimately now a top 10 city in terms of venture capital,” says Harrell, who notes that Atlanta's has grown by 32 percent in that kind of investment to more than $500 million in the last year. According to Harrell, investors have increasingly encouraged startups to remain in Atlanta, rather move to the typical Silicon Valley headquarters, which in turn helps to build a local startup scene.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Creflo Dollar believes he can flyyyy, while flock foots $65M bill

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 3:25 PM

click image G650 DREAMS: Creflo Dollar makes the $65 million dollar ask. - WORLD CHANGERS CHURCH INTERNATIONAL/SCREENSHOT
  • World Changers Church International/screenshot
  • G650 DREAMS: Creflo Dollar makes the $65 million dollar ask.

The anointing is strong up in here.

Creflo Dollar, the jet-setting televangelist with the funny name, is making an appeal to the parishioners of his College Park-based World Changers Church International. He wants them to replace his private jet with a brand-new jet at the cost of $65 million. Deemed the "Project G650 Campaign," the Christian-based crowdfunding project of sorts is asking for 200,000 to donate $300 each in order to meet the purchase price of a Gulfstream G650 — aka "the holy grail of private jets," according to Bloomberg.

"For over 20 years, you've been a part of getting Creflo Dollar Ministries to distant lands to share the truth of the gospel," the narrator of a five-minute video on the ministry's website explains before Pastor Dollar presents his traveling dilemma. The video has all the right elements: drama, international intrigue, starving kids in Africa, and the climactic appeal. During a recent trip over the Pacific Ocean, Dollar explains, the right engine of the his current plane went out. The 30-year-old plane was safely landed by the pilot. But after logging more than four million miles since the ministry purchased it in 1999, and another near-accident that required Dollar's wife and daughters to be evacuated on the runway, it's time to re-up. 

GHOSTRIDE THE WHIP: The Gulfstream G650 is called "the holy grail of private jets" by Bloomberg. - GULFSTREAM.COM
  • GULFSTREAM.COM
  • GHOSTRIDE THE WHIP: The Gulfstream G650 is called "the holy grail of private jets" by Bloomberg.

The Gulfstream G650, a 2014 model, is a pretty luxurious upgrade. And Dollar, a longtime proponent of the prosperity gospel, is garnering plenty of criticism for the request. With a name like CreFLO DOLLAR, he's always been an easy target. He certainly skirts dangerously close to the preacher-pimp archetype, especially in the evangelical church where it can be hard to distinguish praying from preying. In a post on TheRoot.com, Kirsten West Savali points out the huge gap between Pastor Dollar's estimated net worth of $27 million and the $29,640 average annual income in College Park, Ga., where World Changers is based. An average household would have to multiply it's annual income more than 200 times to catch up to Pastor Dollar Bill, she points out. Talk about some serious income inequality. Back in the day, Jesus spread his word on the back of an ass and got murked a week later. If earning his wings requires Creflo to endure a little crucifixion on the blogs, so be it. 

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Atlanta's adulterers ranked by neighborhood; Buckhead wins, er, loses?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 12:23 PM

click image CREEP: Ashley Madison's registered trademark — "Life is short. Have an affair." — is marriage advice for 97,900 Atlantans. - COURTESY OF ASHLEYMADISON.COM
  • Courtesy of AshleyMadison.com
  • CREEP: Ashley Madison's registered trademark — "Life is short. Have an affair." — is marriage advice for 97,900 Atlantans.
Let's start with the disclaimer. Yes, this is yet another "study" conducting by an online service using its own customer data in an attempt to promote its pay-for-play services. So its findings, while fact-based, are limited, and its conclusions are grounded less in credibility than corporate PR. But so what. This is still kinda juicy.

Ashley Madison, the online dating website for — peep this — married people who want to cheat, has released a list of Atlanta's Least Faithful Neighborhoods compiled by zip code to geographically break down the metro area's most habitual line-steppers.

It pretty much proves what we already knew. Buckhead is full of horny little adulterers with expendable bank accounts. Then come the shockers — Ormewood Park, early retirementville for aging hipsters, runs a close second, with the city of Decatur, that unspoiled bastion of urban-suburban perfection, close behind it. 

Here's the breakdown by local municipality of the 97,900 adultery-seeking Atlantans signed up on the site:
1. Buckhead 10.4%
2. Ormewood Park 9.3%
3. Decatur 8.7%
4. Sandy Springs 8.1%
5. Snellville 7.9%
6. Midtown 7.4%
7. Downtown 7%
8. Candler Park 6.8%
9. Cascade Heights 6.3%
10. Oakdale 5.8%
Other salacious ATL-based data:
° Adulterers in Cascade Heights have the most affair partners on average
° Downtown has the most men looking for mistresses
° Midtown has the most members aged 35 and younger 
I don't know what's worse: That a site like this exists or that I've never heard of it. Ashley Madison is like the most damning case of western excess, individual freedom and no-holds-barred capitalism ever created. Boasting 32 million members in 46 countries, it's practically a godsend. And further proof that the institution of marriage is totally screwed. A quick Google search shows the site has skirted plenty of controversy in recent years, especially as its expanded its illicit empire into foreign territory. In particular, the governments of Singapore and South Korea banned AshleyMadison.com. Marital infidelity is criminal in South Korea, but that didn't stop more than 135,000 members from signing up before the country began unsuccessfully attempting to block it last year, according to Time. Other Asian countries, such as Japan have been more inviting. More than half a million joined the site there within eight months.

According to Forbes, the site's co-founder and CEO Noel Biderman, so-called "king of infidelity," earns more than $5 million a year hooking up extramarital affairs over the web. His main competition includes free apps like Tinder. But Ashley Madison's clientele tends to be older, wealthier, and more discreet. “Forty- to 50-year-old married men are not going to log into an account on Facebook,” Biderman tells Forbes.

Of course, married writer dudes are just chomping at the bit to go "undercover" and write exposés about the site, like this self-proclaimed relationship expert for YourTango.com who seems to have had a blast "polling" — his word, not mine — more than 250 female clients of Ashley Madison to find out "why women cheat." Told his wife that with a straight face, too. Pretty sure Gay Talese, author of the scandalous 1980 tome on the sexual revolution Thy Neighbor's Wife, carried that cross so the next generation of married male scribes wouldn't have to pretend to. But new technology is a bitch, ain't it. And Atlanta's just brimming over with discreet motherfuckers.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Google Fiber is coming to Atlanta. And Decatur, Hapeville, Brookhaven, College Park, and...

Posted By on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 1:16 PM

Hey, welcome to Atlanta! Now please stop driving in our park!
  • Google
  • Hey, welcome to Atlanta! Now please stop driving in our park!
One million angels sang to the heavens today at the news that Google Fiber, the super-fast Internet service provided by the tech company that's winning people's hearts as it slowly takes over the world, is coming to Atlanta — as well as Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs, and Smyrna.

Here's the city's announcement. We'll update as more information becomes available.

Mayor Kasim Reed announced today that Google Fiber is coming to Atlanta. Google Fiber is ultra-high speed broadband internet access that will be available to residential customers in the City of Atlanta and nine metropolitan Atlanta area cities.

“Google Fiber is the infrastructure for the next generation of innovation in Atlanta,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “High-speed internet access is essential to participate in the 21st century economy. In addition to supporting our thriving tech and startup communities, Google Fiber will bring greater economic opportunities to every quadrant of the City, so that the next great business idea is just as likely to come from Southwest Atlanta as it is from any other neighborhood.”

Today’s average American broadband speed is 11.5 Megabits per second. In contrast, Google Fiber will bring Atlanta residents access to “gigabit” internet connections up to 1,000 Megabits per second.

“We are here because of the hard work, passion and commitment of the city and its leaders,” said Kevin Lo, director of business operations for Google Fiber. “The next chapter of the Internet will be written at gigabit speeds. These new networks will lay the foundation for a wave of innovation and economic growth. Atlanta is the perfect city to show us what’s possible, and we can’t wait to see what Atlanta will do with Fiber.”

The City of Atlanta will work closely with Google on the next steps to build a brand new fiber-optic network capable of delivering gigabit speeds throughout the city. The next stage of work includes designing and planning a new fiber-optic network down to a very detailed level. This process will take several months. After it is complete, Google Fiber and the City of Atlanta will begin constructing the network.

As part of today’s announcement, Google Fiber will also come to nine metropolitan-Atlanta area cities: Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs, and Smyrna.
For more information, visit the Google Fiber press site: https://sites.google.com/site/gfiberresources/.

But as Urvaksh Karkaria of the Atlanta Business Chronicle notes, there's no telling when the service will actually become available. Or exactly how much it will cost once the network is built and ready to serve customers.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

AJC readers are really, really excited about the AJC.com redesign

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Heres what the new AJC.com looks like...
  • Here's what the new AJC.com looks like...
After several peeks and teases, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week finally launched its new website. So far, the feedback the paper has received about the AJC.com redesign has been, how do we say it, less than enthusiastic.

Some readers say they feel lost, confused, and even outraged over the AJC.com redesign. That's never happened to our readers, that's for sure. Here's a sample of the ever-so-helpful feedback they've given on Twitter so far:

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Atlanta's glorious history blogs help us cherish the past, enrich our mind organs in the present

Posted By on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Atlanta is a relatively young city. Yet much of its past has been lost to "progress" over the years. Gone are the Kimball House, the Peachtree Arcade, and so many other landmarks. Despite the fact that Atlanta is a transient city, residents are fascinated by its history. Luckily there are history buffs who know how to conduct research and slam their fingers against keyboards (Praise Stumptown and ATL Urbanist!). We present, in no certain order, a list of local blogs focusing on Atlanta's past. Did we make a glaring oversight? You bet we did! Let us know in the comments.

Screen_shot_2014-08-05_at_10.21.27_PM.png
  • Atlanta Historic Block Party

Have you wondered about the past lives of some city blocks in Downtown? Meet Atlanta Historic Block Party. The new blog picks a specific city block - thus far they've selected City Hall and the Westin Peachtree Plaza - and documents the parcel's past, including demolished buildings and events. The entries are penned by Geoff, who recently received a master's degree in historic preservation.

Screen_shot_2014-08-05_at_10.23.00_PM.png
  • History Atlanta

Do you like well-researched, well-written articles about Atlanta's historic places, people, and the occasional mystery or murder? Be sure to regularly check History Atlanta. Who's behind it? Why, a Midtown resident named Conor and his dog Sherman.

When the Atlanta History Center joined Tumblr way back when, we originally anticipated the worst. Or the Buckhead museum just losing interest in the medium. We were wrong. The AHC has embraced Tumblr and Twitter and become a case study in how to smartly use social media. We even gave 'em an award! Head here if you want a wide variety of historic photos, reenactments of the Battle of Atlanta or the 1917 fire that engulfed the Old Fourth Ward, and timely posts.

Screen_shot_2014-08-06_at_12.59.25_AM.png
  • Return to Atlanta

All hail Zeus Henderson! His Return to Atlanta matches old photos from his teenage years hanging out in the city compared to today.

Screen_shot_2014-08-06_at_12.28.28_AM.png
  • Georgia State University Library

God bless the Georgia State University library and its staff. The library's Digital Collections is filled with incredible photos and relics from Atlanta's past. (Sweet Lordy!) And its blog regularly posts interesting, thorough pieces about everything from additions to its collections - hello, Research Atlanta reports! - to a map essay tracking the development of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium and demise of Summerhill. Things are understandably a little slow over the summer, but the entire blog - especially the Digital Collections tag - is worth bookmarking.

Screen_shot_2014-08-05_at_10.31.11_PM.png
  • Atlanta Time Machine

And last but definitely not least, the king of all Atlanta history blogs, the Atlanta Time Machine. Greg Germani's longtime labor of love has helped many newcomers - and longtime Atlantans - gain a better understanding of the city through before and after photos. Get better, Greg.

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