BPCL awards its prestigious microsites design & implementation contract to Octaware Technologies        
by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 10, 2017: Octaware Technologies Limited (BSE – 540416), a leading software and business solutions development company, is pleased to announce that they have been awarded the prestigious contract from BPCL for the design and implementation of their loyalty and brand microsites. Octaware was one of the bidders and was awarded the contract, post evaluation and presentation of efficient solutions and capabilities to the evaluation committee.

The scope of work under the contract includes design and implementation of microsites for BPCL’s loyalty programs – SmartFleet & PetroBonus and other brands - Speed and In & Out. The engagement includes a period of 3 months for implementation of microsites and an additional three years of support and maintenance. Octaware Technology Limited’s expertise in the areas of online portals & enterprise systems helped them win the contract.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Aslam Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Octaware Technologies Limited, said, “We are extremely delighted to have won the prestigious contract from BPCL, our first major win in the Indian PSU sector, post our IPO in April 2017. The fact that it falls under one of Octaware’s key focus verticals of governance, demonstrates our consistent and steady inroads in the Indian market, surpassing some of the strong players in the region. We look forward to a long-term business association with BPCL”.

About Octaware Technologies Limited:
Incorporated in 2005, Octaware Technologies Ltd is a software development company providing a range of information technology solutions. The company designs, develops, and maintains software systems and solutions. Company's services include custom software development, ECM/portal solution, ERP and CRM implementation, mobile platform solution, RFID solution, cloud and IT infrastructure services, consulting services and geospatial services.
Octaware provides specialized software application and product development services and solutions in the areas of healthcare, finance, and e-government industry. The company has proprietary products for domestic, as well as international markets, such as PowerERM – Human Capital Relationship Management, Hospice – Healthcare and Citizen Services solution, and iOnAsset – Inventory management and tracking System etc. These products are available as packaged products as well as software-as-a-service model integrated with legacy system.
Octaware Technologies Limited (BSE – 540416), got listed on the BSE –SME platform on April 3, 2017 and was oversubscribed by 148%, providing testimony to the faith, the investors have reposed in the company.

          Skillsoft and MIT Sloan Management Review Partner To Train Next Generation Business Leaders        

Superior content and Percipio platform help organizations develop the next wave of leaders

 by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai August 08, 2017–Skillsoft, the global leader in corporate learning, has partnered with MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) to curate the journal’s best leadership assets and deliver them to its 40 million users. This key collaboration kicks off a series of new, innovative content partnerships that will empower Skillsoft’s Leadership and Business Skills learners with professional training from the industry’s top experts.

Organizations and their employees can now access this elite catalog of content to enhance professional development, upskill their workforce, and hone individual career paths. Presented through the highly engaging and intuitive Percipio platform, users will be able to access everything from MIT SMR’s general leadership articles, to Frontier articles that focus on the intersection of business management practice with technology, collaborative research reports, as well as webinars and videos. Content will be optimized for all devices and operating systems, and will be accessible via video, audio and written content for varied learner styles and needs.

“Our Leadership content sets us apart from other corporate learning content providers. We provide the most diverse content catalog with an array of learning modalities. More importantly and unique to Skillsoft, we craft thoughtful learning paths and courses for users to follow,” said Bill Donoghue, Executive Chairman of the Skillsoft group. “Our partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review will supplement our own assets and underscore our commitment to building the most respected and up-to-date portfolio of Leadership training available.”

Skillsoft will embed MIT SMR content within its core Business and video collections, and integrate content within its existing Leadership offerings, like Skillsoft Leadership Advantage, Continuous Leadership Journey and Women-in-Action. The partnership between Skillsoft and MIT SMR will provide organizations with engaging, on-demand corporate learning content that will groom, train and inspire management teams through a consumer-like interface (think Netflix or Amazon) that is designed to engage the learner.

“We see a growing need for effective leadership training to address critical skill gaps in today’s organizations and help increase an organization’s ability to develop talent from within,” said Paul Michelman at MIT SMR. “This partnership gives our content a new vehicle for delivery within those organizations that believe training their internal talent is paramount to creating a competitive edge.”

MIT Sloan Management Review is a pre-eminent platform and content leader that bridges the gap between academic research and daily practice. The Review keeps readers in tune with management trends and innovations. MIT SMR articles cover a wide range of topics relevant to management with a focus on areas such as Data & Analytics, Digital, Global, Innovation, Leadership, Marketing, Operations, Social Business, Strategies and Sustainability. For decades, MIT SMR has been a forum for business-management innovators from around the world to present their ideas and research.

About Skillsoft : Skillsoft is the global leader in corporate learning, providing the most engaging learner experience and high-quality content. We are trusted by the world's leading organizations, including 65 percent of the Fortune 500. Our mission is to build beautiful technology and engaging content that drives business impact for today’s modern enterprise. Our 150,000+ multi-modal courses, videos, books and micro-learning modules are accessed more than 130 million times every month, in 160 countries and 29 languages. With 100% secure cloud access, from any device, whenever, wherever. www.skillsoft.com

          '..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.' (no replies)        
'Leaders from the City of Portland and Multnomah County have committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.

In an announcement earlier this week, authorities said that their goal was to meet the community's electricity needs with renewables by the year 2035 and to move all remaining energy sources to renewable ones by 2050.

..

Multnomah County is the most populous county in Oregon. Its Chair, Deborah Kafoury, welcomed the news. "This is a pledge to our children's future,'' she said. "100 percent renewables means a future with cleaner air, a stable climate and more jobs and economic opportunity.''

Portland is among a number of U.S. cities looking to embrace renewables. Over the weekend Chicago's Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, announced that city buildings there were to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.'

- Anmar Frangoul, Portland commits to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, April 12, 2017


Context

(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

(Fusion Power) - '..LPP has so far has two out of the three necessary ingredients for successful breakeven..'

'..to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'


The nuclear retreat - '..the global transition to sustainable 100 percent renewable energy.' - '..in Europe by 2050.'

(To Heal) - '..the forces and forms of nature -- clouds, mountains, waves -- in cities of the future.'

(In The Electric Universe) Open Source Infrastructure, beginning of the Enterprise Nervous System (ENS)

          'Open source is now mainstream..' (no replies)        
'Open source is now mainstream. More and more developers, organizations, and enterprises are are understanding the benefits of an open source strategy and getting involved. In fact, The Linux Foundation is on track to reach 1,000 participating organizations in 2017 and aims to bring even more voices into open source technology projects ranging from embedded and automotive to blockchain and cloud.'

- Mike Woster, Global Enterprises Join The Linux Foundation to Accelerate Open Source Development Across Diverse Industries, March 30, 2017


Context

(Open Source) - '..“open innovation.” Companies such as AstraZeneca, Lilly, GSK, Janssen, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, TransCelerate, and others..'

'..Microsoft, is shifting over to open source for its development.'

          à¸§à¸´à¸˜à¸µà¸à¸²à¸£à¸šà¸±à¸™à¸—ึกหน้าจอพนักงานเก็บเอาไว้เพื่อให้ตรวจสอบได้ในภายหลัง        
บันทึกหน้าจอพนักงานและ upload ขึ้น Google Photo เพื่อเก็บภาพหน้าจอการทำงานของพนักงานแต่ละคนขึ้น Cloud แบบเก็บเอาไว้ตลอดชีวิตไม่มีวันหายไปไหน เรามาดูกันหน่อยว่า ถ้าหากว่าพนักงานรู้ว่า คุณเก็บภาพหน้าจอเอาไว้แบบนี้ จะเป็นอย่างไร คุณจะได้ประสิทธิภาพในการทำงานกลับคืนมามากน้อยแค่ไหนกัน คุณจะรู้ได้แค่คุณลองเอาวิธีการนี้ไปทำดูด้วยตัวคุณเอง
          Unlocking G Suite for Nonprofits: Improve internal workflow and communication        

Whether you have a team of five or 500 a seamless, collaborative workflow is critical in the digital age. Our goal is to make sure that your nonprofit is able to focus on changing the world by using technology to save time -- not waste it. In the digital age though, information sharing can often be complex; your team might not work in the same office, or even the same timezone. Some team members might be in an office with computer access, while others are in the field on mobile devices. Who from your team should be able to access confidential documents?

This brings us to a key question: How do you empower team members to work together towards a common goal, and use technology to enable it?

Great question. We’d like to introduce you to G Suite - (formerly  Google Apps for Work ). G Suite aims to help teams work together in real-time -- no matter where they are in the world.

Today, we’re spotlighting a few nonprofits to share how their teams  are using Google tools and apps to improve workflow and internal communication.

Mercy Beyond Borders - Internal Communication with Sheets & Sites

Mercy Beyond Borders (MBB) is a U.S. nonprofit that aims to forge opportunities for women and girls in extreme poverty to learn, connect, and lead. Utilizing a small office in the U.S. as home base, MBB targets rural areas in Haiti and South Sudan. In both of these areas, cultural norms and poverty prohibit full participation of women. In fact, these areas offer minimal education and opportunities for employment, which often  impedes the development of leadership skills or positions. Mercy Beyond Borders focuses its programs on providing trainings, scholarships, leadership camps, and business loans for women.

To achieve their mission, Mercy Beyond Borders faces the challenge of balancing US-based operations with field work in remote areas like South Sudan and Haiti. Their nonprofit partners range from large organizations to local schools to individuals. So how does Mercy Beyond Borders ensure that all staff, vendors, and partners stay connected and working together in sync?
MBB-trained nurse in South-Sudan village
MBB-trained nurse in South Sudan village. Photo credit: Mercy Beyond Borders

Mercy Beyond Border began using G Suite to streamline its workflow, connecting their team across the globe. Using G Suite, MBB’s team is able to access, share, and collaborate together in real-time. Take a glimpse into how they do it:

  • Track Finances: MBB manages their overseas program budget expenditures in Google Sheets. Using this tool, the domestic office tracks monthly vendor payments in Haiti. This enables the staff to wire more money as needed in order to ensure program success. Additionally, using Sheets enables the team to provide transparency in the organization, clarifying spending and creating a simple overview of total annual expenses. This standardized and collaborative approach to data enables better efficiency and communication between domestic and international offices.

  • Store images: Mercy Beyond Borders regularly takes photos in the field to keep the domestic office up to date on progress and communicate stories to their donors. The team overseas is able to upload the pictures to Google Drive, which allows them to share or retrieve the images at any time.

  • Share Information: It’s imperative that MBB shares frequent updates with the Board of Directors, highlighting current developments, areas for growth, and new opportunities. To keep the Board of Directors apprised of progress, the team created a MBB Board website with Google Sites as a way to provide updates outside of meetings. The site functions as a central hub, where the Board can find all relevant information and resources at their discretion. The website is organized in subsections including internal updates from the Executive Director, background articles on country conditions and descriptions of new partnerships. To take it one step further, MBB also added a comment section for board members to engage in open communication.

“It [G Suite] helps to better connect, engage, and keep Board members up-to-date in between meetings, or  if they are unable to make a meeting (in which case they can view the Meeting Archives page),” said Adrienne Perez.


MyFace - Increasing productivity and improving internal workflow by remote access

Established in 1951, MyFace was founded to address the medical, surgical and psychological needs of those living with facial deformities. The organization offers access to care and treatments --- regardless of the severity of the anomaly, the length of treatment, or the family’s ability to afford care. In America alone, 1 in 650 children is born with an facial cleft. Every year, MyFace helps more than 1,000 patients seek treatment. Of this population, 85% are children, 70% live in poverty, and 95% require long-term care. The costs involved in this are high and verges on insurmountable for low income families. With this in mind, MyFace ensures that all children receive highest quality interdisciplinary and comprehensive reconstructive care by doctors who provide their services pro bono.

As a small nonprofit (their staff of eight including their therapy dog, Bentley), employees are required to perform a variety of different tasks. On any given day, team members might be responsible for website design, grant proposal writing, and marketing strategy. And oftentimes, what one employee starts today is  picked up by another employee tomorrow. Because it’s often all-hands-on-deck, collaboration is particularly key for MyFace.

Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP Carolyn Spector Executive Director MyFace

To address their challenge, MyFace began using Google Drive to centrally store, access, and share information from anywhere at anytime. Drive helped decrease the amount of time that MyFace spends on administrative tasks, like sending documents back and forth or working with out-of-date data or information. Drive’s tools like Docs and Sheets enable the team to collaborate both in and out of office.

MyFace also deals with an overwhelming amount of data and information. The team needs this data to not only be easy to store, retrieve, and share — it needs to be secure, since it contains confidential and personal patient information. G Suite offers that as well, ensuring that all information is kept private and secure. (Want to know more about G Suite security and how safe they really are? Read more about it here).

“Our mission of changing faces and transforming lives can be fulfilled with the help of technology from G4NP because it offers invaluable resources to nonprofits of any size at no cost,” stated Carolyn Spector, Executive Director of MyFace.

MyFace Staff photo
MyFace team. Photo credit: MyFace

Having global teams of different sizes with varying access to technology can make timely communication difficult, if not impossible. While nonprofits like Mercy Beyond Borders and myFace strive to accomplish unique missions, both organizations are passionate about changing the world. And about using the right technology to help. Utilizing tools like G Suite has been key for nonprofits like these in order to improve internal workflow and communications. For Mercy and my Face, making information shared, up-to-date, and secure has been crucial for navigating the Technology Age.

Interested in learning more about the tools available to your nonprofit? Check out our website to see how G4NP can help your nonprofit with real-time, up-to-date communication and data sharing.

//

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received free products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers free products to qualified nonprofits.


          3 Reasons why Chromebooks might be a good fit for your nonprofit        
Nonprofits - 08_11 - Chromebooks.JPG

When we speak with nonprofit organizations, we often hear about the challenges related to technological resources. So when it comes to investing in new technology, it’s important to consider three primary factors:

  • Security: Does it keep my information private and secure?
  • Compatibility: Does it work with the programs I use?
  • Price: Is it within budget?
To address these questions, Google created the Chromebook, a series of laptops built with ChromeOS. The vision behind Chromebooks is simple — to create a safe, accessible, and affordable laptop. To improve user privacy and security, Chromebooks  automatically update to provide virus protection, encryption and safe browsing. For easy access and collaboration, they’re outfitted with Gmail, Google Docs, Hangouts (and nonprofits receive the full Google Apps bundle with 30GB of space per user at no charge). What’s more, they start at $169 USD & that’s for a laptop that has up to 10+ hours of battery life!
Nonprofits_-_08_11_-_Chromebooks2.width-1600.png
ASUS Chromebook C201 ($169)

Case Study

Charity:water, a non-profit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries, has a “100 percent model,” where every dollar donated goes directly to fund clean water projects. As a result, resources are limited. In order to cover operational costs like salaries and supplies, the organization relies on a few passionate and dedicated supporters. With this in mind, Charity:water transitioned to Chromebooks to improve the efficiency of its staff’s workflow. Now, employees can spend more time focusing on their goals and working towards their mission to nourish the world.

Want to learn more?

Chromebooks gives nonprofits unified access to the Google Apps suite, including:

  • Google Docs, Sheets, Slides: Allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time. They’re automatically backed up online, and you can also open and edit Microsoft Word, Powerpoint or Excel files.
  • Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts can be used to make phone calls, screenshare, and video chat.
  • Google Drive: Store, sync, and share documents in the cloud for secure and easy access.

As a nonprofit, you also receive discounted access to Chrome licenses, which give you management controls via the Chrome Device Management. Chrome Device Management is a unified way to manage all of your nonprofits’ users, devices, and data. For nonprofits, the Chrome management license is discounted to only $30 dollars — in comparison to $150!

Chromebooks are our vision for providing cheaper, easier to use, and more secure laptops. Installed with Google Apps out of the box, nonprofits can maximize impact, while saving both time and resources.


To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

To learn more about Chromebooks for nonprofits, take a look at Google for Work’s Chromebook’s website. To take advantage of the Google Nonprofit license discount, a Google partner will reach out to you once you fill out the Contact Us form.


          Bella Communities: Utilizing technology & Google tools to drive "volunteer-ship"        

In 2009, Khoi Pham co-founded Bella Communities to address low-income housing issues and resident supportive services. Today, Bella Communities is harnessing the energy of thousands of community leaders, affordable housing owners, neighbors, nonprofits, resident volunteers, and professionals to offer a meaningful livelihood to their low-income housing tenants.  In addition to providing affordable housing, Bella’s signature program aims to mobilize low-income residents with an economic-opportunity modeled volunteering program. This programs enables residents to engage with other nonprofits, building civic engagement and social capital; improving career and personal skills; and earning rent credits to have financial capability and housing stability. Through this innovative “volunteer-ship” training program, they seek to help families “not just get by but also get ahead.” 

Bella Communities
What was the key to their success? We sat down with Khoi to hear exactly how they utilized technology and Google Apps for Nonprofits to achieve their goals.

Which role does technology play in Bella Communities?

Khoi: It’s critical! Technology allows us to communicate with our constituencies efficiently and cost-effectively which is vital for us. We want to empower our low-income residents with the tools needed to achieve economic development. With Google Apps for Nonprofits, we’ve built our own technology platform serving this objective. We have been able to switch from a desktop, web-based platform to a smart-phone mobile application, increasing engagement and participation from our residents using Google Forms. Most of them have skipped desktop to go mobile first!

Do you think technology has changed the way you work?

Khoi: Absolutely. It allowed us to operate in multiple states, virtually and real time! Communication, collection, and sharing data became seamless and effortless, which is fundamental to keeping pace.

Also Google Apps for Nonprofits has allowed us access to technology without heavy IT costs in order to preserve limited start-up resources and marshal them effectively. Google tools are all cloud-based and do not require us to build an internal IT infrastructure, which has enabled quick adaptability and flexibility to change. I have been amazed by the intuitiveness of the tools and how easily they integrate with one another!

Can you tell us more about your homemade program “Resident Volunteership United Program”?

Khoi: A study by the Corporation for National and Community Service showed that volunteers have a 27% greater chance  of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers? That is precisely why Bella Communities designed and tested an innovative supportive service program to simultaneously tackle both financial empowerment and civic engagement mobilization.  The Resident Volunteership United Program (ReV-UP) engages residents living in low-income communities to volunteer with other non-profit organizations in the immediate neighborhood to build community and economic development..

Google Apps was vital to the deployment of this program — we never would’ve been able to do it without that! It allowed us to manage workflow, and most importantly, it allowed us to gather, collect, and share data to build a case for supporting our program.

How are you measuring the success of this program?

Khoi: Using Google Forms and Google Drive, our low-income residents can easily manage their volunteer records online, as well as share and report their activities to the program managers. For the program pilot years, they contributed nearly 3,500 volunteer hours to their communities and generated earned approximately $21,000 in rent credits for their households.

Want to traverse the IT curve without the huge dollar investments? Find out how your nonprofit can better utilize technology with Google Apps for Nonprofits.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate in the nonprofit programs, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Bella Communities’ statements are made in connection with receiving free products as a participant in Google for Nonprofits, a program which provides free Google products to qualified nonprofits.


          Sr. Software Development Engineer - Test - Skytap        
Seattle, WA - Engineering Seattle, Washington

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Description
Skytap is looking for talented senior level Software Development Engineers in Test to join our engineering team. Cloud computing is one of today's hottest technologies, and Skytap is leading the way by providing self-service
          Plugin and Operating Systems Administrator - Skytap        
Seattle, WA - Engineering Seattle, Washington

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Description
Skytap Cloud is designed for the traditional applications every business depends on. Our customers want to innovate faster. They need a path from today to tomorrow, from core applications trapped on-premises to agile cloud
          Natura Siberica Northern Cloudberry hiusnaamio erittäin vaurioituneille ja värjätyille hiuksille 120ml        
Palauttaa ja ravitseeErityisesti vaurioituneille ja värjätyille hiuksille suunnitellun luonnollisen hiusnaamion vaikuttavana pääainesosana toimii lakkauute. Paikalliset Siperian asukkaat kutsuvat lakkaa ”kuningasmarjaksi” – se sisältää Omega-3 ja -6 rasvahappoja ja runsaasti vitamiineja (PP,A ja C), jotka korjaavat hiuksia sisältä ja ulkoa sekä edistävät solujen uusiutumista ja edesauttavat hiustenkasvua. Siperian lakka on voimakas antioksidanttien lähde (E-vitamiini) – se suojaa hiuksia ympäristön haittavaikutuksilta ja palauttaa hiusten luonnollisen kiillon.Luomu myskisalvia- ja koiranruusu-uutteet säilyttävät kosteuden hiusrakenteessa, vahvistavat, ehkäisevät hiusten katkeilua, edistävät hiuskasvua sekä tekevät hiuksista helposti harjattavat. Hiuksista tulee vahvemmat, pehmeät, kiiltävät ja helposti käsiteltävät. 
          Natura Siberica Northern Cloudberry hoitoaine erittäin vaurioituneille ja värjätyille hiuksille 400ml        
Palauttaa ja ravitsee Erityisesti vaurioituneille ja värjätyille hiuksille suunnitellun luonnollisen hoitoaineen vaikuttavana pääainesosana toimii lakkauute. Paikalliset Siperian asukkaat kutsuvat lakkaa ”kuningasmarjaksi” – se sisältää Omega-3 ja -6 rasvahappoja ja runsaasti vitamiineja (PP,A ja C), jotka korjaavat hiuksia sisältä ja ulkoa sekä edistävät solujen uusiutumista ja näin edesauttavat hiustenkasvua. Siperian lakka on voimakas antioksidanttien lähde (E-vitamiini) – se suojaa hiuksia ympäristön haittavaikutuksilta ja palauttaa hiusten luonnollisen kiillon. Luomu myskisalvia- ja koiranruusu-uutteet säilyttävät kosteuden hiusrakenteessa, vahvistavat, ehkäisevät hiusten katkeilua, edistävät hiuskasvua sekä tekevät hiuksista helposti harjattavat. Hiuksista tulee vahvemmat, pehmeät, kiiltävät ja helposti käsiteltävät.
          Natura Siberica Northern Cloudberry shampoo erittäin vaurioituneille ja värjätyille hiuksille 400ml        
Palauttaa ja ravitsee Erityisesti vaurioituneille ja värjätyille hiuksille suunnitellun luonnollisen shampoon vaikuttavana pääainesosana toimii lakkauute. Paikalliset Siperian asukkaat kutsuvat lakkaa ”kuningasmarjaksi” – se sisältää Omega-3 ja -6 rasvahappoja ja runsaasti vitamiineja (PP,A ja C), jotka korjaavat hiuksia sisältä ja ulkoa sekä edistävät solujen uusiutumista ja edesauttavat hiustenkasvua. Siperian lakka on voimakas antioksidanttien lähde (E-vitamiini) – se suojaa hiuksia ympäristön haittavaikutuksilta ja palauttaa hiusten luonnollisen kiillon. Luomu myskisalvia- ja koiranruusu-uutteet säilyttävät kosteuden hiusrakenteessa, vahvistavat, ehkäisevät hiusten katkeilua, edistävät hiuskasvua sekä tekevät hiuksista helposti harjattavat. Hiuksista tulee vahvemmat, pehmeät, kiiltävät ja helposti käsiteltävät. 
          Î¥Ï€Î¿ÏƒÏ„ήριξη VR στη νέα έκδοση του Firefox        
Μπορεί ο Firefox να αναβαθμίστηκε σημαντικά πρόσφατα και να ανέβασε αρκετά την ταχύτητά του, ήρθε όμως η ώρα για μια σημαντική αλλαγή που δεν είναι άλλη από την υποστήριξη VR.

Έτσι, από τις 8 Αυγούστου είναι διαθέσιμη για κατέβασμα η έκδοση 55 του προγράμματος, προσφέροντας πλέον VR web περιεχόμενο για όλους τους χρήστες Windows με HTC Vive ή Oculus Rift.

Η νέα έκδοση του προγράμματος προσφέρει ακόμη ένα νέο εργαλείο (σε μορφή beta) που ονομάζεται Firefox Screenshots και αποθηκεύει αυτόματα στο cloud στιγμιότυπα και μετά τα αντιγράφει στο clipboard σας.

[via]

          Î•Î¼Ï€Î¹ÏƒÏ„εύεστε τα δεδομένα σας στο Cloud;        

Η Google ανακοίνωσε πρόσφατα ότι το Google Drive, δηλαδή η πλατφόρμα της για αποθήκευση στο "σύννεφο", μπορεί να χρησιμοποιηθεί πλέον για το πλήρες backup των αρχείων που βρίσκονται στις αποθηκευτικές μονάδες του χρήστη. Άλλες σχετικές υπηρεσίες, όπως το Dropbox, το Apple iCloud και το Microsoft OneDrive, παρέχουν ήδη παρόμοια λειτουργικότητα, με άμεσο ή έμμεσο τρόπο.
Φυσικά, η χρήση του Cloud κατ΄αυτό τον τρόπο παρέχει σημαντικά οφέλη, όπως ευκολία πρόσβασης σε αρχεία από οπουδήποτε και μέσω οποιασδήποτε συσκευής, αλλά και αυξημένη ασφάλεια σε σχέση με τα συμβατικά μέσα τοπικής αποθήκευσης, τα οποία είναι πιθανότερο να αποτύχουν λόγω φυσικής φθοράς, ή να επηρεαστούν από κακόβουλο λογισμικό.
Δεν είναι λίγοι βέβαια κι εκείνοι που αντιμετωπίζουν με σκεπτικισμό το Cloud, αφού τους απασχολεί το ζήτημα της ιδιωτικότητας, ενώ δεν εμπιστεύονται ούτε την ασφάλεια των σχετικών υπηρεσιών, φοβούμενοι - και όχι άδικα, ότι οι υποδομές των εταιρειών δεν είναι άτρωτες απέναντι σε κυβερνοεπιθέσεις, που θα επέτρεπαν ακόμα και την υποκλοπή ευαίσθητων προσωπικών δεδομένων.

[via]
          Information Technology Project Manager TS/SCI with CI Polygraph        
MD-Bethesda, Bethesda, MD TS/SCI w/CI poly required DJ Duties: · Performs project planning activities including scope definition, schedule development, resource planning for technical data transformation projects. · Support development an evaluation of technical documentation such as Concept of Operations, Implementation Plans, Requirements documents and test plans involving cloud technologies and data transfo
          Information Technology Project Manager TS/SCI with CI Polygraph        
MD-Bethesda, TS/SCI with CI Poly required Performs project planning activities including scope definition, schedule development, resource planning for technical data transformation projects. Support development an evaluation of technical documentation such as Concept of Operations, Implementation Plans, Requirements documents and test plans involving cloud technologies and data transformation Support IC-wide w
          IBM Ventures Advances Corporate Goals On 3 Pillars        
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          Side-Talk: Rilek 1 Korner at Punggol Settlement        
I have been lots of side talk on eateries haven't I? Here is another one.

My friend and I decided to go for cycling one. Our starting point was opposite Compass Point and our goal was the Punggol Settlement. We went through the cycling path that passes by the Punggol Waterway and Waterway Woodcress. It was a long route but the scenery was great. Luckily the weather was relatively cloudy.

Once we reached Punggol Settlement, we looked for a place to park of bikes but to no avail. I find it puzzling for such a park to not have anywhere to park the bike. We decide to bring up our bike to the second floor of Punggol Settlement where Rilek 1 Korner is located…it was pretty embarrassing haha.



We arrived as Rilek 1 Korner just as the sun was setting. The ambience was pretty nice, especially when ships passes by the place. By the way Rilek 1 Korner is the malay slang for Relax at one corner. Below are what we ordered and my opinion on each dish:


The iced milo really caught me by surprise. Honestly I did not expect much from an iced milo. I really like how they put the shaved chocolates on top of the drink. It gives a nice texture to it.

Kailan with Oyster Sauce $8
I feel that the Kailan with oyster sauce lack interns of saltiness. Hope they can improve it.

Sambal Stingray $18
The sambal stingray is really meaty, which is nice. But it lacks spiciness. It would also be nice if they could add more sauce to the stingray because we finished the sauce before we actually finished the fish.

Omelette with prawn $9
I have no complaint for the omelette. The prawns were abundant and it taste good. You can choose other meat than prawns.

We paid $40++ for 2 people, which is a little bit pricey but it was probably because we order the stingray. And I think each of the dish we ordered can feed three pax. Their ala carte menu is pretty cheap I think. I saw that it ranges from $7 to $10 if I am not wrong. Overall, I would only go there if I cycled there. I probably would order their drinks and the appetisers next time….especially their colourful mocktails!




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          Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        

UPDATES:





  • Water Protector Legal Collective Files Suit for Excessive Force against Peaceful Protesters


  • Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters



  • Oceti Sakowin encampment on Oct. 6, 2016. The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.








    Story and Photos by John Briggs

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: OK to repost, courtesy of John Briggs and The Cool Justice Report.







    Corporate – Government Alliance Versus the American People

    Native Americans from tribes across the country have gathered on the windswept plains of North Dakota to pray with Mother Earth to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from pumping 500,000 gallons of oil a day beneath the Missouri River. The natives know the pipeline will most certainly leak or break, as have most U.S. pipelines, fouling the water for the Great Sioux Nation and 18 million non-Natives downstream.

    The standoff -- which began in April -- continues as a new U.S. administration ascends to power with a president-elect who campaigned denying human-caused climate change and threatening the Paris Climate accords. This remains the overriding reality despite a mini walk back by Donald Trump pledging an open mind to The New York Times this week.

    Standing Rock illuminates the brazen alliance that has developed between corporate and government interests. Viewed from the front lines, the law has been turned into a fig leaf for repression and suppression. Only the discipline and spiritual clarity of the water protectors and the native elders has kept people from being killed or seriously injured since April when the movement began.

    The fused police-DAPL force is doing everything it can to incite a violent reaction from the resisters so as to crack down, clear the camps, imprison, or even gun down the natives. More than one commentator has found the atmosphere at Standing Rock similar to what led to the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 when 300 Sioux were murdered by government troops who mistook their prayerful Ghost Dance for a war dance.

    A great deal is at issue at Standing Rock. The Sioux and their numerous native and non-native allies face a militarized force whose composition tells us something dark about the complex façade that U.S. democracy has become and suggests the proto-fascist zombi lurking beneath. More deeply, Standing Rock also emblemizes a struggle that is taking place at this moment in human history between two distinct modes of human consciousness.

    One mode is the familiar anthropocentric (human-centered) consciousness that the dominant culture most of us were born into favors—a consciousness that assumes reality is a collection of objects to be extracted, owned, and branded. Humans are the focus of this consciousness, meaning that our concerns about climate change focus primarily on the fate of our own species.

    Distinct from this anthropocentric mind-set is a second, ancient and spiritual mode of awareness that understands that the earth and its landscapes are not objects; they are relationships, including the tangle of relationships that gave us birth. This ancient mode of consciousness is potential in everyone, but for most it has been buried beneath the piles of conceptual objects that we have come to believe constitute our reality.

    The Indigenous Peoples gathered at Standing Rock are guided by this ancient, holistic, earth-mind consciousness, and so they understand that humans are not the most valuable living objects on the planet: we are not in control of the planet; it is not our job to manage nature; rather, our sacred task is to work with Mother Earth and other beings as members of Earth’s family. If we don’t, Mother Earth will make us face this spiritual truth one way or another.

    Guided by their ancient, earth-mind awareness, Native Americans have taken up a role as “water protectors.” “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life” is the slogan of the Standing Rock movement.

    Every day scores of Sioux from North Dakota, South Dakota and nearby states, along with Paiute, Shoshoni, Diné, and a sampling of other Natives from the 300 or so tribes whose flags fly at the Standing Rock encampments set out to pipeline construction sites in a convoy to engage in “actions” on the “front lines.”

    There the protectors sing and pray in the face of physical harassment and arrests by heavily armed police fused with a corporate security force.

    DAPL and their overlord company, Energy Transfer Partners, have lavished campaign contributions on politicians in North Dakota and the U.S. Congress so that they could use the state’s eminent domain powers to force purchase of land for the pipeline all across North Dakota, beginning in the Bakken fields in the northwest corner of the state where the fracked crude oil is extracted. Similar eminent domain arrangements were achieved in other states through which the 1,200-mile line traverses before reaching a river port in Illinois. The company promised Congress and the public that the pipeline would carry oil for 100 percent domestic use only, but it is clear from reporting done by the website The Intercept that the oil will be sold on international markets.

  • Though Promised for Domestic Use, Dakota Access Pipeline May Fuel Oil Exports


  • The DAPL line, now virtually complete except for permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to fill in the link that crosses under the Missouri River, passes just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The DAPL construction runs through sacred burial and archeological grounds that the Lakota people were given free access to by treaties with the U.S. Government in the 19th Century. In mounting their resistance to the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux have been turned into “trespassers on their own land.”

    In late August, the tribe’s lawyers filed a stop work petition in federal court detailing areas where sacred sites would be disturbed if construction continued on its planned trajectory. The federal judge routinely forwarded a copy of the filing to DAPL. Over Labor Day weekend, when the company would not have been expected to work, pipeline crews leapfrogged to the disputed sacred and preemptively bulldozed them under. Too late, the judge granted the Sioux an emergency restraining order, but, then in a curious move, allowed construction in some areas where sacred sites have been discovered. DAPL has ignored a request from the Obama administration not to work in buffer areas on either side of the river. No fines have been imposed for intentionally bulldozing the disputed sacred sites.

  • The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline


  • Burial ground at center of police confrontations is known historical site


  • In recent live-stream videos from the front lines, DAPL-police snipers can be seen perched on top of a sacred mound called Turtle Island, their high-powered rifle crosshairs trained on the water protectors who are standing in prayer in the frigid lake below.

    North Dakota wants the federal government to pick up the tab for the massive expenditures required to keep the Native Americans under their guns. Alternatively, the CEO of Energy Transfers, Kelcy Warren, has offered to pick up the millions-of-dollars tab.

  • ETP CEO Kelcy Warren Says They Have Offered to Pay Protest Related Expenses


  • Native media have documented that DAPL has already been supplying military-style equipment, drones, armored vehicles, riot gear, water canons, concussion grenades and other armaments. The tax-payer-funded and corporate-sponsored front lines phalanx is led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, which has local jurisdiction, reinforced by North Dakota State Troopers, North Dakota National Guard units, sheriffs and police from six nearby states—all interpenetrated by DAPL security (while the FBI lurks in the background). A contingent of Hennepin County, Minnesota, Sheriffs’ Deputies were recalled following protests back home. Residents in the state of Ohio are writing letters and calling legislators to express their distress that their law enforcement has been enlisted into this repressive force.

  • Hennepin Co. sheriff's deputies leave Standing Rock protest


  • Native media’s live stream videos show DAPL security teams in mirror-visor helmets and black ops body armor with no identification, mingling with the police, sometimes directing them when and who to mace or pepper spray. They point out media making video for arrest. The big fossil fuel company evidently has plenty of experience dealing with protestors around the world. In their blank, reflecting visors we can see the soulless Darth Vader face of the government-corporate proto-fascist state the U.S. is becoming.

    Of course, this struggle with the Wasi’chu (Lakota word for the white man, meaning literally “takes too much”) is an old story for Native-Americans. In the 18th and 19th centuries it took the form of the Sioux nations trying to hold back the tsunami of colonizers flooding into their ancestral lands, occupying and despoiling them. The big difference now is that the fire-power of the state (think Custer’s 7th Cavalry or present day militarized police) has been fused with vast profit centers dependent for their existence on plundering the earth in the name of energy-squandering lifestyle survival.

    The provocations the water protectors endure take many forms. There is the psychological pressure of constant surveillance: the heavy police presence on the roads around tribal and reservation lands, the DPLA helicopter and a small plane that circle constantly above the encampments; there is the Bureau of Indian Affairs station set up on a knoll to suck out data from the cell phones of anyone in the area. There is the pepper spraying and tasing of water protectors who are praying. There is the more recent blasting of the protectors with freezing water canons in sub zero weather. There is the constant threat of weapons pointed at them. One twitching trigger finger could set off a slaughter.

    The water protectors are unarmed. The resistance movement does not allow guns in the encampments. One day, at one of the front line actions, an armed man showed up with a pistol and began firing. Possibly he was paid by DAPL to create an incident. The Natives are aware of paid provocateurs or agitators passing through the camps, pulling dirty tricks, looking to start something. Antimedia reported about the man with the gun: “According to an official statement from the tribe, the man fired several shots from his gun before being peacefully apprehended by tribal police. Witnesses at the scene say he pointed his gun at several protesters. The man was clearly trying to provoke violence that could later be used to demonize protesters who have so far remained peaceful.”

    The news site added, “The Morton County Sheriff’s Department circulated a false report claiming the man was shot, presumably by protesters… [As images show], the man was not harmed. The Sheriff’s Department has since retracted that report. Anti-Media’s attempts to obtain clarifying comments from Morton County Sheriffs were ignored.”

  • Dakota Access Caught Infiltrating Protests to Incite Violence, Funding Trolls Online


  • On a hill overlooking Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the Standing Rock encampments, an old army tent houses the field office of the rotating teams of lawyers who come to Standing Rock to help out. They use donations made to the resistance to bail out protectors who have been arrested; they try to negotiate with the police so the protectors can be allowed to pray. The constant arrests on trumped-up charges are an ongoing harassment—people maced or beaten, violently thrown to the ground and zip-tied. Often activists are charged with trespass and “riot” on the Morton County Sheriff’s novel legal theory that if several people are arrested for trespass that must signify that they were engaged in a riot.

    All this naturally requires court time and money to defend, incarceration in usually unpleasant conditions, including dog kennels. (Though the white allies who are arrested seem to get better treatment.)

    Arrests are to be expected as a consequence of civil disobedience. But some arrests are directed at chilling speech. One lawyer who came to Standing Rock from the Oregon-based Civil Liberties Defense Center, an activist defense nonprofit primarily involved in climate protests, https://cldc.org/ told Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network that often after the day’s action was over, police would stop the last cars in the caravan. They would then make “snatch and grab” arrests, impounding the cars of people who had come to support the water protectors but had no expectation that they’d be arrested when the action was over and the police told them to leave. They have to pay heavy fines ($900) to get their cars back. She said the arrests and impoundment fines for their cars are unlawful. “The intention with those types of actions is to scare out-of-towners from being comfortable coming to these actions. So they’re trying to chill the rights of others to come and participate in these protests.”

  • Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues




  • The authorities regularly characterize the natives as terrorists, and local radio spreads false rumors of farm animals being slaughtered and stolen, reported vandalism—the kind of thing you would expect from psychologically projected homesteader fears about savage Indians of earlier centuries.

    Yes, Magazine on Oct. 31 reported: “The county sheriff is claiming the water protectors were violent and that police were stopping a riot. But hours of live video feed from people caught in the confrontation showed instead a military-style assault on unarmed people: police beating people with batons, police with assault rifles, chemical mace, guns firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, tasers.”

  • Why Police From 7 Different States Invaded a Standing Rock Camp—and Other Questions


  • The UN has sent human rights observers. According to Salon, Nov. 16, 2016: “The U.N. special rapporteur said that American law enforcement officials, private security firms and the North Dakota National Guard have used unjustified force against protesters.

    “ ‘This is a troubling response to people who are taking action to protect natural resources and ancestral territory in the face of profit-seeking activity,’ [Maina] Kiai [U.N. special rapporteur] said in his statement, which was issued by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and was endorsed by several other U.N. experts.

  • Native Americans facing excessive force in North Dakota pipeline protests – UN expert


  • “At least 400 activists have been detained and often have been held in ‘inhuman and degrading conditions in detention,’ Kiai added. Some indigenous protesters have said they were treated like animals and even held in dog kennels.

  • Dakota pipeline protesters say they were detained in dog kennels; 268 arrested in week of police crackdown


  • “ ‘Marking people with numbers and detaining them in overcrowded cages, on the bare concrete floor, without being provided with medical care, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment,’ the U.N. expert said.

    “ ‘The excessive use of State security apparatus to suppress protest against corporate activities that are alleged to violate human rights is wrong,’ he continued, noting that it violates U.N. guidelines on business and human rights.

    “Amnesty International USA, which has repeatedly criticized authorities for not respecting the rights of protesters, issued another statement on Tuesday noting that U.S. authorities had put up roadblocks to prevent journalists and human rights observers from documenting the protests and the official response.”

  • U.N. experts call for halt in Dakota Access pipeline, blast “excessive force” against protesters


  • Living on Earth reporter Sandy Tolan reflected: “You know, at times I felt I was back reporting in the West Bank, and not the Northern Plains…”

  • Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux


  • The Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians

    Compare the government response at Standing Rock with the response occasioned by Ammon Bundy and his gang of armed militants when they occupied Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for over a month in January 2016. Imagine if the Bundy gang had been pepper sprayed, beaten, hit with water cannon, tased. But the Bundy crew were taking over the refuge to proclaim their belief that public lands should be given free to the profit-making private ranching business. In other words, the Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians.

    The mainstream corporate media has largely ignored the stand-off at Standing Rock. Rallies have taken place around the world at places like Tokyo, Stockholm, and Auckland, but the sad truth is many foreigners have heard more about Standing Rock than Americans have. Not surprising. The news editors, working for corporate media conglomerates, choose what they believe we should know and what fits the larger corporate agenda, and so they devote massively more play to Brad Pitt, to the gossipy politics of who’s-on-first, and to whatever the latest glittering consumer thing is than they do to climate change and issues highlighted by the poor and the powerless, like Standing Rock. What coverage that does exist is usually cursory and misleading.

    Fortunately, alternative media have been on the scene and active at Standing Rock. As someone who taught journalism for more nearly 20 years, it has been refreshing for me to see what the alternative press is accomplishing.

    Amy Goodman of the webcast Democracy Now brought the prayer-resistance movement to national attention over the summer. She was arrested and charged with riot in absentia for her live reports of water protectors being set upon by dogs. The charge was later dismissed in court.

    Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network has done searching interviews and incisive commentary from the scene.

    But my absolute favorite news source at Standing Rock is Myron Dewey’s Digital Smoke Signals. Dewey does updates every day, which he posts on Facebook. I highly recommend anyone who has a Facebook account to “follow” him. I went to Standing Rock on Oct. 4-11 with two friends and I have since been able to keep up with developments on the ground through Dewey’s Facebook broadcasts. He posts live stream unedited clips that constitute what he calls an ongoing “documentation” of what is happening day-to-day at the movement.

    Here is Dewey at night standing on a hillside next to the Oceti Sakowin encampment. His face appears in the glow of his screen. Then he’s panning and zooming in on a large grassfire as he’s telling us about it. His finger appears in the screen and points out where the fire started. He says the helicopter which constantly circulates over the camp suddenly disappeared 20 minutes before they saw the first flames. He zooms to the area where he and the person he is with first spotted the fire. He says, “It looked like someone using a drip torch.” He says they called 911, but it’s been over an hour and the Morton County Fire Department hasn’t shown up. He tells the people in the camp, his audience, not to worry, though. It looks like the fire was started by DAPL employees to scare them or hurt them. But the Oceti Sakowin is full of Indians who supplement their income by wild-land firefighting, work that also benefits Mother Earth; he mentions that he is himself a “hotshot” firefighter [one of the elite crews]. He and his fellow firefighters can tell by the wind direction that the fire won’t harm the camp.

    Now here’s Dewey on a bright morning walking along the road by Oceti Sakowin. A young man appears on screen, and Dewey asks him who he is and why he’s here. He’s from the Paiute nation. “I’m here to protect the water,” he says. Dewey asks him to sing a Paiute song. The young man closes his eyes and sings.

    In another nighttime broadcast find we ourselves looking through a car windshield, headlights illuminating the highway, centerlines whizzing by. We hear voices talking in the backseat. The car drives on and on. We’re just watching the road. Then ahead is a police roadblock. The police van looms. Dewey gets out with his camera and calls over to the officers, asks them where they’re from, inquires about where the road blocks are, what are the open routes. At one level it’s a mundane exchange between a citizen and police, but you experience the edginess of the situation. More deeply, you feel the riskiness and pathos that is involved any human interaction. Dewey firmly exercises his right to have these protect-and-serve police respond to him civilly; he is cordial and respectful in a way that reinforces to them and to his viewers that he is after all not their enemy but a fellow human being. Dewey asks more questions and the lead officer says he doesn’t want to be filmed; Dewey offers to turn his camera away from them and onto himself. The distant officers disappear from the screen and Dewey’s face fills it. The contact officer walks nearer; we can hear his voice. Dewey can’t resist a joke, though. He asks the officer if he’s sure he doesn’t want to become famous by putting his face on Dewey’s screen? You realize these are just guys doing their job. Dewey understands that, but he also wants to educate them about the water protectors’ mission. He never misses an opportunity to educate his adversary, as well as his own people about the larger dimensions of the Standing Rock resistance. When he gets back in the car, someone in the back seat says “Let’s get out of here; this is enemy territory.” Dewey laughs, turning the car around, “It’s not enemy territory.”

    I believe you learn more about Standing Rock by watching Dewey’s unedited video than you ever could from watching any number of dramatically produced, commercially constricted reports on CNN, complete with the drumb-drumb latest crisis theme music.

    Dewey explains to his viewers that what they’re seeing is a “documentation” that’s not edited. “It’s not scripted. It’s not acted out.”

    After a month of watching Dewey’s daily reports I realize more fully than I ever have before how ghastly and vacuous mainstream news reporting is: a production where facts have been emptied of the humanity of real encounters, replaced by the shallow performances of reporters and news sources, slick, clichéd phrasing, behavior slotted into ready made categories, events analyzed and even predigested. The news about reality comes to us compartmentalized in trays like tasteless microwave dinners. Rarely is the reader or viewer allowed to simply experience the event unfolding through the reporter’s eyes or camera. The stories are crafted and slickly packaged. Their very polish and stimulating presentation sabotages their meaning and replaces it with a meaningless, artificial understanding.

    Note that I am not saying that the news these days is politically biased. Some obviously is, but the left or right bias charge is a serious red herring, a mis-direction. In fact, in mainstream media’s very effort to appear neutral and unbiased means events are chopped up and pieced together to fit the templates of a few hackneyed forms of storytelling: the winner-loser story, the conflict story, the individual overcoming obstacles story, the facing bad choices stories, he-said, she-said stories, scandal stories, hypocrisy stories. You’ve seen them all, repeatedly.

    Most of these templates come plated with a cynicism, skepticism, superiority, or sentimentality that grabs our attention by adding a dash of disgust. The current journalistic manner of telling stories reduces and dismisses the story in a way that sometimes makes the commercials and pop-up ads come as a relief. None of the common journalistic templates or attitude has much to do with real life as it’s lived in the moment. It’s not what people really experience in their lives. Instead, it’s how they’ve been conditioned to wrap up experience afterward in a dramatized way that leaches out the nuance, that leaves out the moment-to-moment uncertainty, or as the Lakota call it, the Wakan, the deep mystery of relationships that permeates every event. And that’s what Dewey’s broadcasts have in abundance. You get to see him interacting with the people who show up on his screen. You get to feel his humanity and the mystery of everyday relationships taking place at Standing Rock that he brings to light. It’s certainly not dramatic or melodramatic. It’s not interesting or stimulating in the usual way. It does seem really important.

    So when Dewey sits in his parked car and does an update video on “10 things to know about DAPL” (Nov. 18, 2016), there’s no editing and no script, meaning that you get to see him thinking through what those top 10 things might be. Some points he makes are incisive and comic, others not so much. But the not-so-much ones can lead you to thinking about gray areas, the imprecise observations we all make. He asks a guy who just got in the car to help out with his list and the guy, William Hawk Birdshead, goes immediately serious on him until Dewey says, “I was trying to keep it light.” So the Birdshead says, “Laughter is good medicine.” Suddenly they’re off. Dewey mimics the shifty-eyed look of the FBI guys lurking around the area and denying they are FBI, the DAPL security characters trying to look all steely and tough. We learn that in the encampments they say that “DAPL dresses up like Ninja Turtles.” You can tell that it’s DAPL undercover because those guys never drive rez cars, which are rusted and dented. Nobody is spared. Dewey describes the water protectors just arriving from California as dudes who’ve “got their animal spirits on… They’re all furred up. They’re coming in all mystical and crystals.” He and his buddy laugh, which Dewey says is laughter “in a good way,” because the whole thing going on at Standing Rock is deadly serious but you need laughter, because that’s good medicine for healing. And healing and praying are about “getting reconnected with the Earth.”

    This points to a major difference between anthropocentric prayer as most of us know it and earth-mind prayer. In the prayer that most people are familiar with, an individual seeks intercession for human needs with a transcendent being. The Native prayer is about healing not getting. The prayer is a community ceremony or song or ritual to maintain or restore the balance between and among beings, both animate and inanimate. Prayer is to all my relatives, all my relations, the birds, the water, the wind, the buffalo, my family, even those who oppose me as enemies. Mitakuye Oyasin is an important Lakota phrase that means “all my relations.” When you’re watching a Dewey update from Standing Rock you’re experiencing Mitakuye Oyasin in action. It’s newscasting as a kind of prayer, in the earth-mind sense. Whether he’s engaging in laughter or educating about the spiritual importance of water, you can see that what he’s getting at is healing relationships. Watching and listening, you get to be part of that healing.

    What Dewey does goes way beyond advocacy journalism.

    Our traveling companion for our visit to Standing Rock, Lakota elder Tiokasin Ghosthorse, also provides a good way to keep up with developments through the interviews he conducts for his weekly syndicated broadcast from WPKN in Bridgeport Conn. and WBAI in New York City. On Oct. 31, 2016, Tiokasin interviewed a young man who was seized on Oct. 27 when a frontline camp was destroyed by police. Trenton Joseph Castillas Bakeberg, in the bloodline of Crazy Horse, was praying in a sweat lodge when the militarized police swept through the camp. They yanked him out of the sweat lodge and arrested him. The young water protector told Tiokasin:

    “I pray that we’ll be able to keep a state of prayer and peace, as we have been… Although there’s some people on our side are more likely to tend toward violence. But there’s also people on our side to stop them. Don’t start a fight. That’s what it’s all about, keeping it peaceful because the elders told us in the beginning that all it takes is one single act of violence, one person attacking a police officer and they’ll unleash the fear on all of us. This wrath that we have with our military overseas, we’re beginning to see it now in the heart of our own country. All for the greed and the corporate interests of this government. They say we’re a democracy but it’s not showing anymore. The people didn’t want this pipeline, but this foreign entity that they call a corporation, Energy Transfers, is saying, we don’t care. We want this money. We need this for economic stability of the country and that somehow trumps the interests of our communities and our nation as a whole….We’re standing up to this corporate machine with prayer and love.”

  • Forcibly removed from prayer at Standing Rock


  • Against a heavily armed, corporatized democracy designed to ensure that only powerful business and political elites rule the land and possess the wealth of its objects, the Native-American people at Standing Rock stand in defense of Mother Earth armed with songs, prayers, and an understanding that Earth’s objects are us, and we are them. They are our relatives. It seems better armament than most of us Wasi’shu possess. Webster defines fascism as “a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.” It’s an incendiary word, and readers might think ill of me for introducing it here. Certainly we are not a fascist state yet. But for the prayer-resistance at Standing Rock, the clear alliance between corporate and government interests to quell their opposition under color of the law has a fascist flavor.

    It should not surprise anyone that the new US president reportedly holds stocks that directly fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and that the DAPL CEO Kelcy Warren gave the Trump campaign a substantial donation.

  • Trump's Personal Investments Ride on Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline


  • This is how the proto-fascism works. Ironically (or perhaps absurdly), Trump may have been elected by people hoping he would somehow counter the tightening grip of multinational corporations on their lives. One might wish for that to happen.

    At a deep level, Standing Rock may suggest that such absurdities as a Trump presidency occur because our mode of consciousness is impaired or inadequate to the situation it has created on our planet at this historical time. Too many of us have gone dead to the natural world we come from. Our obsessive anthropocentric mode of consciousness has reduced nature and reality at large to a bunch of things we have names for—things that feed our greed. Fortunately, many Indigenous people have retained an acute and ancient consciousness that we are those rocks and trees and clouds, and birds and water that we see outside our windows, and that restoring our relationships with them is incumbent on us.

    John Briggs is emeritus distinguished Professor of Writing and Aesthetics from Western Connecticut State University. He was the English Department’s journalism coordinator for 18 years and was one of the founders of Western’s Department of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process. He is the author of several well-known books on chaos theory, fractals and creativity. He lives in the hilltown of Granville, Mass., where served as a Selectman for five years and as reserve police officer for 10 years.


    When people at Standing Rock talk about the black snake they mean the pipeline, referring to an old Sioux legend about a black snake that will threaten the end of the world. The Lakota prophet Black Elk said that in the seventh generation, the Sioux tribes would unite to save the world.

    Media covering the Standing Rock resistance movement:

  • Digital Smoke Signals


  • Myron Dewey, Facebook


  • The Antimedia


  • Democracy Now


  • The Intercept


  • The Guardian


  • Censored News


  • Unicorn Riot


  • Living on Earth


  • The Indigenous Environmental Network


  • Status of Standing Rock court claim



  •           Burn After Reading        

    Who’s Who
    What’s What

    In the World of CIA Fronts, Partners, Proprietaries & Contractors




    NEW BOOK:

    The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
    By WAYNE MADSEN
    ISBN: 978-1-365-11196-9


    Cool Justice Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from author Madsen's introduction and the body of the work. Additional suggested reading: News story about Madsen's book via the Washington, D.C. based Justice Integrity Project [link at the bottom of this post].

    EXCERPTS:

    From the Introduction


    One of the most pervasive uses of companies as intelligence partners was under the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD. During the Cold War, the CIA, often with the approval of corporate executives, infiltrated their agents to work as journalists in newspapers, radio and television networks, wire services, and magazines. The following pages in this book are rife with examples of this penetration of the Fourth Estate – all too many in the opinion of this journalist. The CIA admitted to at least 400 journalists on the agency’s payroll at the height of MOCKINGBIRD. The CIA traditionally understates its capabilities, especially when its covert activities become publicly known. Moreover, the end of the Cold War did not stop the practice of the CIA in infiltrating the media and slant news reports to its wishes.

    *

    An insightful look behind the veils of secrecy into the CIA’s use of fronts, proprietaries, and partners calls into question the purpose of the CIA. Created by President Harry S Truman to serve as a central collector and repository of intelligence, the CIA became much more than that. A few weeks after the United States witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy in the middle of downtown Dallas, Truman penned an op-ed piece that appeared in several newspapers around the country. In it, Truman shared his regret for having created the CIA in 1947:

    “I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA . . . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

    "I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”

    *

    The 21st century’s CIA’s partners are more likely to be found among high-tech companies marketing the latest and greatest mobile applications and data mining programs than among banks, law offices, and advertising agencies. However, in the post-World War II era, the CIA’s top and middle echelons were normally found operating through cover as typewriter-pecking journalists, traveling Madison Avenue admen, corporate lawyers, and chain-smoking oilmen. In the 1970s and 80s, CIA contractors and partners began showing up in the high-tech field, with database, local area networking, and on-line information retrieval systems attracting the most interest by Langley.

    *

    As this book went to press, the smart phone game application Pokémon Go fad was sweeping the planet. Unbeknownst to many of the on-line game’s avid fan’s was the connection of the game’s developers to the CIA’s venture capital firm IN-Q-TEL. All users saw their geo-location and other smart phone data being swept up by a CIA partner firm.

    SELECTED ENTRIES

    Amazon, Inc. [CIA contractor]. Company provides cloud computing services for the CIA. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

    American Historical Society. [CIA partner]. Many society officials were OSS/CIA officers.

    American Press Institute. [CIA front]. Operating out of Columbia University, the institute’s director in the 1950s was a CIA officer.

    AmeriCares. [CIA partner]. A non-profit organization that is often the “first in” at refugee situations. Founded by tycoon J. Peter Grace, a board chairman of the CIA front, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and a trustee of another CIA front, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AmeriCares was involved in funding the Nicaraguan contras. The group has also provided the CIA with recruiting opportunities at mass refugee sites, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

    Bechtel Corporation. [CIA contractor]. Bechtel is a large construction company that has included former CIA director Richard Helms, CIA pseudonym “Fletcher M. Knight,” among its executive ranks. Bechtel was active in providing corporate cover for the OSS in the Middle East during World War II. Bechtel has been a consummate service company for various CIA operations, including support for the CIA-inspired coup against the Syrian government in 1949, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq in 1953, and President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Bechtel provided cover for CIA agents in Libya under both the regime of King Idris and his successor, Muammar Qaddafi. Sometimes called a “secret arm” of the CIA, Bechtel’s executives included those who would join President Reagan’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

    Before World War II, Steve Bechtel formed a military-industrial complex partnership with John McCone. McCone later became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and later, director of the CIA. The CIA has used Bechtel to provide cover for non-official cover CIA operatives abroad.

    Blackstone Investment Group. [CIA front]. With offices in Washington, DC and Moscow, arranged for the purchase of KGB documents following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the documents sought by the front company were any related to illegal CIA activities during the Cold War, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

    Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant. [CIA front]. Opened in 1967 in King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Served as a rendezvous point for CIA, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and organized crime figures. Its proprietor was Bernie Houghton, a CIA operative with links to Nugan Hand Bank, CIA weapons smuggler Edwin Wilson, and CIA clandestine services officers Theodore Shackley, Rafael Quintero, and Thomas Clines.

    Center for Democracy. [CIA front]. Administered under the aegis of Boston University, the center maintained offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Guatemala City, and Strasbourg, France. Involved in CIA operations in eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa.

    Colt Patent Firearms Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

    Daddario & Burns. [CIA partner]. Headed by former OSS officer Emilio Daddario, a Democratic Representative from Connecticut, the Hartford-based law firm provided services to the CIA.

    DC Comics. [CIA partner]. Worked with the International Military Information Group (IMIG), a joint CIA/Pentagon unit at the State Department, to disseminate propaganda comic books, featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian, to youth in the Balkans during the military conflicts in that region.

    Disney Corporation. [CIA partner]. CIA agents who were adept at creating front companies and shell corporations in Florida, worked closely with Disney in preparation for the construction of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. OSS veteran “Wild Bill” Donovan and CIA shell company expert Paul Helliwell helped create two fake Florida cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, as well as a number of shell corporations, to keep secret the plans for Disney World. This kept land prices low because real estate speculators were unaware of the prospective value of the land in a desolate area of central Florida.

    Emory School of Medicine. [CIA partner]. Located in Atlanta, Georgia. Involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA behavioral modification project.

    Enron Corporation [CIA partner]. Houston-based firm that was used by the CIA to provide commercial cover for its agents around the world. There were at least 20 CIA employees on Enron’s payroll. Andre Le Gallo, a former official of the CIA’s Operations Directorate, went to work as a corporate intelligence officer for Enron.

    Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). [CIA front]. Officially established by American Trotskyists, the group was penetrated by CIA operatives. The FPCC New Orleans office was a CIA front that provided cover for the anti-Fidel Castro activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, among others. The New Orleans FPCC office was located at 544 Camp Street and shared the same building entrance with Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency, the address for which was 531 Lafayette Street and around the corner from 544 Camp Street.

    In December 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the FPCC ceased all U.S. operations.

    General Electric Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

    General Foods Corporation. [CIA partner]. Advertising account at CIA’s Robert Mullen Company handled by an active CIA employee.

    Google, Inc. [CIA partner]. Developed as a result of a research grant by the CIA and Pentagon to Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science. The CIA referred to the research as the “google project.”

    Greenberg Traurig. [CIA partner]. Washington, DC “connected” law firm.

    Guy Banister Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New Orleans private detective agency headed by former FBI agent Guy Banister. The detective agency coordinated the activities of various anti-Castro Cuban groups in New Orleans, including Banister’s own Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, as well as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba, and the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee.

    Banister and Associates shared office space with the CIA’s New Orleans front, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, headed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Hale and Dorr. [CIA partner]. Boston-based law firm that provided cover for CIA’s Independence and Brown Foundations.

    Halliburton. [CIA contractor]. Based in Houston, it is the world’s largest oil service company. Recipient of a number of CIA sole-source contracts for services worldwide.

    Harper and Row, Inc. [CIA partner]. Manuscripts submitted to the New York publisher that dealt with intelligence matters, particularly CIA operations, were turned over to the CIA for censoring edits before publication.

    Hewlett Packard Corporation. [CIA partner]. Sold computers to Iraq for Saddam Hussein’s missile program with the knowledge and approval of the CIA.

    Hill & Knowlton. [CIA partner]. Public relations firm that teamed with the CIA on a number of operations. Hill & Knowlton’s numerous offices abroad provided cover for CIA agents. One known Hill & Knowlton office that was a CIA front operation was in Kuala Lumpur.

    Kerr-McGee. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating overseas.

    Kissinger Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New York-based international consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft is a co-owner. The firm provided support to the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation and the Bilderberg Group. Much of the 1982 seed money for Kissinger Associates was provided by Goldman Sachs.

    Knight Foundation. [CIA partner]. Also known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Based in Miami, the foundation provides funding for various CIA-connected media operations in the United States and around the world.

    Kroll Inc. [CIA partner]. Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, who had links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. Based in Manhattan. French domestic law enforcement believed Kroll’s Paris office was a CIA front. Kroll handled the security for the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing and continued to be responsible for security up to, during, and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Kroll employed former FBI assistant director for counter-terrorism John O’Neill, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

    Lincoln Savings and Loan. [CIA partner]. Based in Irvine, California and headed by notorious swindler Charles Keating, Jr., involved in laundering funds for the Iran-contra scandal.

    Lone Star Cement Corporation. [CIA partner]. Based in Stamford, Connecticut and linked to the Bush family, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal.

    Mary Carter Paint Company. [CIA front]. A money-laundering operation for the CIA. Involved in casinos in the Bahamas.

    Monsanto. [CIA partner]. The firm contracted with former CIA official Cofer Black’s Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a subsidiary of the CIA-connected Blackwater USA, later Xe Services, to monitor animal rights groups, anti-genetically modified (GM) food activists, and other groups opposed to Monsanto’s agri-business operations worldwide.

    National Enquirer. [CIA partner]. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso (Gene) Pope, Jr., worked for the CIA’s psychological warfare unit and the agency’s Italy branch in 1950. In 1952, Pope acquired The New York Enquirer broadsheet and transformed it into a tabloid, renaming it The National Enquirer. This transformation bore the imprimatur of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program.

    Newsweek. [CIA partner]. Magazine reporters and stringers fed information to the CIA. Newsweek’s stringers in southeastern Europe and the Far East were CIA agents. When Newsweek was bought by The Washington Post Company in 1961, cooperation between the magazine and the CIA increased. It was a participant in the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program. Much of the staff of Newsweek was absorbed into a new online publication, The Daily Beast, which continues to disseminate CIA-influenced articles. See Washington Post.

    Nieman Foundation. [CIA partner]. Located at Harvard University, the foundation awarded Nieman Fellowships, some on behalf of the CIA, for foreign journalists to study at Harvard. The journalists were subjected to CIA recruitment efforts prior to their returning to their home countries.

    Pamela Martin & Associates. [CIA partner], Escort firm run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam.” During her 2008 trial for mail fraud, Palfrey attempted to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act in order to discuss her relationship with the CIA. The U.S. Court refused Palfrey’s request and she was convicted and later said to have committed suicide before her sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. One of her clients was Randall Tobias, the head of the CIA-connected USAID. Another was Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter.

    Paris Review. [CIA front]. Literary magazine edited by George Plimpton. Published works by Jack Kerouac and Samuel Beckett. The magazine’s co-founder, Peter Matthiessen, relied on his affiliation with the magazine as his CIA cover.

    Quaker Oats Company. [CIA partner]. Worked with the CIA and Atomic Energy Commission to place trace amounts of radiation in breakfast cereal served to boys at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

    Radio Corporation of America. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Iran, Philippines, Japan, and West Germany. Provided technical assistance to CIA-financed clandestine and propaganda radio stations worldwide, including Radio Free Europe. RCA founder David Sarnoff was a major supporter of CIA operations, including propaganda dissemination around the world. RCA chairman and chief executive officer Thornton F. Bradshaw was active in the operations of the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation.

    Reily Coffee Company. [CIA partner]. Also known as William B. Reily Coffee Company and based in New Orleans, this company employed Lee Harvey Oswald and a number of other U.S. government employees, many of whom were suspected CIA officers.

    Robert M. Mullen Company. [CIA proprietary]. A Washington, DC public relations firm, it was used as a front for CIA activities. E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent, worked for Robert Mullen when he was arrested in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. The Senate Watergate Committee reported that “the Mullen and Company has maintained a relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency since its incorporation in 1959. It provided covers for agents in Europe (Stockholm), Latin America (Mexico City), and the Far East (Singapore) at the time of the Watergate break-in.”

    Rockefeller Foundation. [CIA partner]. Used by the CIA to direct scholarships and grants to the Third World and Eastern Europe. Rockefeller Foundation money was funneled to the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), created in 1948. The chairman of ACUE was OSS chief William J. Donovan and the vice chairman was Allen Dulles. One of ACUE’s board members was Walter Bedell Smith, the first CIA director.

    Summa Corporation. [CIA partner]. Owned by Howard Hughes, Summa is believed to have skimmed gambling profits from the Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark casinos in Las Vegas and Harold’s Club in Reno for the CIA and the Mafia. Provided financial cover for the CIA’s Glomar Explorer project.

    Teneo Intelligence. [CIA partner]. Branch of Teneo Holdings, which is headquartered in New York. Teneo Holdings’s intelligence branch includes former CIA officials. Teneo is closely linked to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Teneo Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Rome, Brussels, Dubai, Bogota, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

    Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). [CIA partner]. Houston-based bank founded by the family of James Baker III. Texas Commerce Bank was used to provide commercial cover for CIA agents. After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Jeb Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was Robert Gambino, the CIA deputy director of security who gave Bush his orientation brief at Langley in 1977.

    Kenneth Lay, the chairman of Enron, which had its own links to the CIA, served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Texas Commerce Bank was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1987.

    The bank provided major loans to Howard Hughes’s Summa Corporation. See Summa Corporation.

    United Fruit Company [CIA partner]. Involved in 1954 CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala. Published the Latin America Report, a publication that was a CIA front used for clandestine activities. The CIA transferred weapons to United Fruit employees in Guatemala who were involved in undermining the Arbenz government. The joint CIA-United Fruit plan was code named OPERATION FORTUNE. Company provided an airfield in Guatemala for the CIA’s training of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

    U.S. Rubber Company. [CIA partner]. Headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut and later called Uniroyal, provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad. Included those operating under the cover of the Dominion Rubber Company of Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. Rubber Company.

    U.S. Youth Council (USYC). [CIA front]. Founded in 1945 and based in New York. Some 90 percent of its funds came from the CIA. USYC received funding from the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), a CIA front. The USYC was composed of American Youth Hostels, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H, American Unitarian Youth, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Students Assembly, YMCA and YWCA.

    Wackenhut. [CIA contractor]. Wackenhut, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based security firm, stood accused of providing the CIA with specialized services around the world, including Chile, Greece, and El Salvador. Its Venezuelan branch, Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A., was accused in 2002 of involvement in the CIA’s coup against President Hugo Chavez. William Casey served as Wackenhut’s outside counsel before becoming CIA director in 1981.

    Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

    Washington Post. [CIA partner]. The Washington Post was part of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD, the agency’s media influence project. Post publisher Phil Graham was a close friend and associate of MOCKINGBIRD chief Frank Wisner, Sr. and CIA director Allen Dulles. Wisner assisted Graham in acquiring The Washington Times-Herald and WTOP radio, creating a sizable CIA-influenced media operation in the nation’s capital.

    W. R. Grace. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Latin America. Provided donations to CIA front foundations.

  • News story about Madsen's book via The Justice Integrity Project



  •           Burning through the Desert         
    Dan Rielger & Ayala Moriel

    A few months ago (the last day of April, to be exact, which was also the first day of my Orientals week-long course), I had the pleasure and honour to host a special guest throughout the day: Dan Riegler of Apothecary's Garden - a purveyor of fair trade resins from around the world - especially frankincense and myrrh that are wild crafted in the traditional methods in countries such as Somalia, Yemen and Kenya. He also sources Cretan labdanum, and other rare raw materials, and sells resin-centrered products that he concocts himself, which you can find on his online shop. One of them being a highly fragrant moustache wax which basically surrounded him with a cloud of frankincense - so obviously he made an instant good impression on me!

    We started the day at the Baha'i Gardens in Akko (which deserve a full post dedicated to them) and then went to my studio to make incense - and burn a bunch too. Little did I know what I was signing up for. On top of the usual things I burn for this class (palo santo chips, sandalwood incense sticks, one type of myrrh and frankincense resins and my own rendition of Egyptian Kyphi) - Dan had a trunk-load of resins that he just imported from Africa, and was immensely kind and generous to share with us the most incredible incense resins with me and my class. We spent the afternoon burning rare myrrh, olibanum, and also some gums I never knew existed, namely Sandarac and Ammoniacum, the latter of which totally blew my mind.

    I learned so much from Dan, about the resins (and the other raw materials he curates and sells), how they are harvested and collected, the chemical makeup of the resins and how it affects the stages of burning (it turns out that incense resins also have top, heart and base notes) - and this post is just a little taste of all the beautiful resins we burnt when he was here. I'm looking forward to meeting him again on his next visits in Israel on the way to the African continent.

    Boswellia carterii
    Frankincense usually comes in "tears" shape as this Boswellia carterii - but not always. Below is a specimen of the less known B. neglecta that look more like a chunk of resinous granules. B. carterii has the characteristic, most unmistakable scent of frankincense - beginning with sweet citrus notes of lemon drops and orange candy and continuing into more resinous, woody and even balsamic, caramel-like nuances as the incense burns on the charcoal.

    While looking pretty much the same, other frankincense species provide further nuances and a whole frankincense burning comparative study (or incense games a-la Japenese Koh-Doh) can easily occupy half a day. Compare this to Maydi (Boswellia frereana) which albeit its slightly herbaceous (sage-like) opening, is more subtle, woody and perfumey. In fact, it smells almost powdery like violet and iris. Ethiopian frakincince (Boswellia papyrifea) is even finer with its suave, light perfume notes, slightly sweet and with notes of burnt sugar at the end of the charcoal burning process.

    Boswellia negoecta - black and white

    Boswellia neglecta is endemic to north Kenya and comes in white and black forms (as you can see in the photo) and is not widely known. The white and the black smell significantly different. The white begins resinous-green, piney and mysterious, surprisingly juice like crushed leaves with hints of parsley, galbanum and ammonia (smells a lot like amoniacum).  It has a hint of sweaty note, a little like coriander seed. The final burning moments bring to mind the smoke coming out of autumnal piles of fall leaves.

    The black neglecta smells completely different - you wouldn't think it came from the same plant: it smells dark and looming, like moss, mushrooms, decaying fall leaves, peat, forest floor and hints of campfire. It's surprising and magical that a resin can possess so many different facets.

    Sandarac
    Sandarac (tetraclllyris) comes from Malta and just like its pure milky appearance, burns clean with a woody-balsamic-resinous scent that is fine and very pleasant. It's a little bit like elemi, a little like mastic but not quite. There is a tiny hint of seashore to it that I only detected after many times of burning. It is quite lovely, even if underwhelming at first impression.

    Ammoniacum
    Ammoniacum is intense and pungent, like a mixture of galbanum, asafoetida, sulphur, greens. It it a very interesting odour but I suspect it would have better effect in magic and exorcism ceremonies rather than contemplative incense rituals.

    Commiphora confusa

    Commiphora confusa, as the name suggests, is a type of myrrh that is hard to identify, and for several reasons: the flowers look different on each plant, the resin looks different as well - and the most surprising of all: it smells more like frankincense than myrrh.

    Commiphora myrrha

    Commiphora myrrha (from Ethiopea) has the characteristic bitter, rubbery scent when burnt, and is what I'd imagine the Queen of Sheba to wear on her neck when seducing King Solomon.

    Commiphora karat

    Commiphora kataf (from Kenya) has pieces of wood in it (which would change the smell of the smoke depending on which chunk you burn). It has a strange, sulphuric-sweaty odour. I guess you could call it spicy, as it has a hint of cumin in it too. Overall it reminds me more of the smell of food than incense - barbecuing kebabs comes to mind.

    Commiphira holziana
    Commiphora holtziana does not smell like myrrh at all to me. It's more woody than C. myrrha, and a tad fresh to start with. Dan describes it as briny and sea-like but I'm not getting it.

    Arabian/Yemeni Myrrh
    Arabian/Yemeni Myrrh is by far the most incredibly beautiful myrrh resin I've ever burnt. Although it came in a strange looking chunk, containing pieces of the plastic bags used by the collectors, and even a piece of wool yarn, it has the most fantastic scent, like a perfume on its own accord. It reminds me of the unique "version" of frankincense that B. papyrifea offers. I would love to have this as an essential oil and create a perfume with it.


              Homily: 2nd Sunday of Lent 2017        
    We hear the story of the Transfiguration every 2nd Sunday of Lent, which is filled with layers of meaning. But what if we took the time to just focus on the God encounter which occurs at the end of the story? For God appears in the form of a cloud which casts a shadow. Have you ever noticed how many of the God encounters in the Bible involves a cloud that overshadows and obscures the light? What about the God encounters in your life? Encounters that break you open and have a way of destroying all the certitudes you’ve built up in your life - in order to make room for new Divine encounters? Listen to a different way for you to consider spending the balance of your Lenten time – it just may give you an encounter where you least expect God’s love and mercy… Check it out…
              Comment on Everything about SaaS Helpdesk Solutions by Prakash Raj        
    SaaS has become very important these days. Every other client needs Saas. Here is a blog regarding <a href="http://www.wolkensoftware.com/5-benefits-cloud-based-enterprise-service-desk-business/" rel="nofollow">5 Benefits of a Cloud-Based Enterprise Service Desk for Your Business</a>. You'll like it.
              Homily: 2nd Sunday of Lent        
    Instead of focusing on the meaning of this Sunday’s Gospel of the Transfiguration, what happens when you take the time to just focus on the God encounter which occurs at the end of the story? Have you ever noticed how many of the God encounters in the Bible involves a cloud that overshadows and obscures the light? So take a few minutes to listen to stories of a newborn baby, a blind hiker and wise Franciscan visiting the 9/11 memorial. Three vignettes which may just help you to have the courage to step into the darkness in your life and allow an encounter with the mercy and grace of God.
              Ð‘елые пушистые облака - векторный клипарт | Realistic cloud design vector        
    Белые пушистые облака - векторный клипарт | Realistic cloud design vector

    Белые пушистые облака - векторный клипарт | Realistic cloud design vector
    EPS | 22 files | 56.38 Mb

              CALL OF DUTY | INFINITE WARFARE        
    Call of Duty! This project has been my primary creative focus for the last couple of years, and it's been a great honour and a pleasure to have been involved with such a potent franchise. There's not much bigger than COD! The development studio for Infinite Warfare, Infinity Ward, has been my home since January and part of last year, and it's been a dream come true to live and work in Los Angeles. Ever since I was a kid, looking through art-of books of my favourite movies, LA has been the place I always wanted to be.

    I had been working remotely, as a freelancer, on the IW project for a while, creating concepts like the C12 here, so it was a natural next step to join the team in house in sunny California. The project needed a dose of solid, believable, and badass science fiction flavour, and that's exactly what I love to do! The C12 was the first thing I designed for the project, and it turned out great. The brief was for a walking tank, an enemy robot with a threatening presence, bristling with armaments. I love the right hand appendage, a combination door breaching hammer and articulated claw. The arms are mounted on curved shoulder rails, so they can rotate around and track various targets. There is so much articulation in this guy, it really taxed the rigging department! Bone count be dammed! ha ha

    This is the accompanying human sized enemy robot, the C6. A menacing eyeless axe shaped sensor head is mounted on a 360° degree swiveling pintle frame, so the head can target you from any angle. I imagined the player shoot one in the back, only to have the head spin 180° round and target you, the weapon following a split second behind, helped by the highly mobile shoulder and upper arm sections, allowing the robot to move in ways a human can't, and creating a unique adversary. The work done by the character department to model and texture these robots was insane. It was a true honour to have my concepts brought to life by such a talented team!

    A couple of variations on the standard SDF enemy soldiers. The idea was to create an iconic look, something clearly a guy in a suit, but still dehumanised and threatening enough to make them clearly the badguys, and worthy of killing by the hundreds. I added some frames to the 'muzzle', similar to the mounts on a modern day soldiers helmet, that can have additional optics or emergency breathing apparatus attached, to create an aggressive look. The reinforced polymer face pieces have a variable opacity laminate, I imagined a scene where you see a soldier seal up his transparent mask, then the mask turns cloudy white from the bottom up, obscuring the face and turning the visage into an eyeless skull. These SDF soldiers live in their suits, and have multiple redundancy life support systems, with visible added connective cable and hoses, to create a unique inside-out look to contrast against the clean and slick suits of the Earth forces.

    Ethan, or E3N, the buddy brobot you as the player have alongside for the game. This guy was fun to design, and I love how the head and upper arms worked out. My brother was the inspiration for this character, he's a big badass dude with the right friendly demeanor that I thought was perfect for this robot. I wanted Ethan to look and feel like someone who would have your back in battle, and be down for some extreme sports in down time. My bro is into motocross, so for the articulated pistons on Ethan's neck, I gave him gold cylinders to reflect the awesome looking forks you find on race bikes. Ethan's head is also a combination of elements from a motocross helmet, with articulated lens hood pieces from a camera lens, and the top hood piece forming a cap and visor peak shape.

    Really happy with how his head was resolved. It's tough to come up with a unique and iconic robot head with the right character and ability to emote.

    The final design for the UNSA SATO Marine helmets. With the hero Marines, I wanted to create a rugged and tough suit that paid homage to some classic Marine ideas. Mainly the thick armoured neck and arms. The thick neck was an attempt to create a different silhouette than the usual space suit form of thin neck/big helmet. I kept the helmet as slim and 'operator' as possible, while pumping up the neck, to create a unique look that feels badass, and harks to the leatherneck moniker of the Marines.


    With the arms I wanted the suit to feel like the rolled-up-sleeves look that's popular with Marines, and seen in some classic movies like Aliens. The lower arm sections and neck utilise mechanical pressure to protect from the vacuum of space, while the rest of the outfit is a traditional gas pressure space suit. Taking inspiration from the latest concepts of future space suits from places like NASA, with their elasticated tight fitting sleeves and lines of non-extension, I created a rugged military look with a thick armoured feel and beefy grid like pattern.

    I've loads more concepts to share in the future, so excited to show some of the other cool characters and weapons I was lucky enough to create for the project. Be sure to check out the game too, I'm playing through the final product now and it's rad, so cool to see my work realised to such a high level by a huge and talented team. Cheers!
              #052: Backup-Strategie: So schützen Sie sich vor Datenverlust        
    Backup-Strategie: So schützen Sie sich vor Datenverlust

    © Depositphotos.com / andrewgenn

    Nicht nur im geschäftlichen Umfeld sind Backups absolut notwendig – hier sind sie existentiell. Sie haben aber bestimmt auch privat viele Daten gespeichert, deren Verlust Ihnen weh täte.

    So oder so: Ohne Backup gehen Sie ein Risiko ein, das Sie eigentlich nicht tragen können und möchten.

    Was ich bei meinem Backups (Plural!) beachte und wie ich vorgehe, erzähle ich Ihnen in dieser Folge.

    Backup-Strategie: So schützen Sie sich vor Datenverlust

    Hier ein paar Links zu den Dingen, die ich erwähne:

    Weiterempfehlen

    Hat Ihnen diese Folge gefallen? Dann empfehlen Sie den Podcast doch weiter. Damit unterstützen Sie gleichzeitig mich und meine Arbeit.

    Besonders hilfreich sind positive Bewertungen bei iTunes. Klicken Sie gleich weiter unten auf den iTunes-Link und schenken Sie mir ein paar Sterne. Vielen Dank!

    Den Podcast abonnieren

    In meinem Podcast “einfach produktiv” geht es jede Woche darum, Ihr Zeitmanagement zu verbessern. Sie können meinen Podcast abonnieren. Sobald eine neue Folge erscheint, erhalten Sie sie so automatisch:


              Seen, Felt, and Overheard: Pitchfork Music Festival 2014        

    Pitchfork Music Festival 2014 Review - Tune-Yards, Beck, Danny Brown, St. Vincent, Neutral Milk Hotel, Cloud Nothings, Giorgio Moroder, and Sharon Von Etten

    The post Seen, Felt, and Overheard: Pitchfork Music Festival 2014 appeared first on Bearded Gentlemen Music.


              BLACK BEAR MEETS REMINGTON R-25        

    It was a warm sunny late September afternoon when I pulled into the Canadian Border Customs in Lewiston several weeks ago in route to Port Loring, Ontario where I hoped to shoot my seventh black bear. Little did I know then that this would be the last ray of sunshine I would see for the next 5 days. Having my gun registration paper work completed prior to my arrival helped to expedite the process; however when I opened my gun case and the Canadian officer saw my new fully camouflaged Remington R-25 .308 caliber modular repeating rifle, he was quite impressed as were several of his fellow officers who also came over to look. Once across the border I knew that I would not reach Port Loring until the wee hours of the night and decided to drive until about 9 p.m. and find a motel to spend the night; which I did in Trey, Ontario. And by mid-morning the next day I was knocking on Hermann and Lise Stroeher’s door. It was really good to see them again since my last visit 4 or 5 years ago and they were as warm and friendly as ever. But Hermann was all business and told me we can talk later and to follow him to where I would be staying. He wanted me to get unpacked and back to his house by 1:30 p.m. so I would be in my treestand by 2:30 p.m. I could feel the adrenaline already starting to boil just thinking about the hunt. My accommodations this year were at Wright Point Resort, a beautiful spot on the banks of the Pigeon Lake which is actually is part of the Pickerel River system; and it is loaded with small and largemouth bass, northern pike and walleye(they call them pickerel). The owners, Dianne and Dan Feasby, had set me up in one of their 4 motel rooms which, like their 7 lake-side cottages were fully furnished with all modern appliances, dishes, pans, etc. and they had boats and motor rentals right there. What a place to spend a week’s vacation, fishing and/or hunting. And if you are a snowmobiler, they showed me an Ontario trail map with thousands of miles of snowmobile trails. Unfortunately I only got to fish the lake for about two hours; in which time I caught and released 31 nice bass. The majority were smallies, the largest measuring 20 inches and two of the largemouth were over 3 pounds. All were taken on a Stick-O-Worm rigged wacky style. I did leave the rest of these worms with Dan and one of his campers. The hospitality here was outstanding and if you would like to see more go to their web site at, wrightpointresort.com. DAY 1 At 1:30 p.m. I was following Hermann in my truck headed to my treestand site and I was anxious. It was a long ride, approximately 25 miles on a paved road and another 6 miles into the bush on a dirt road where I parked my truck and Hermann walked me in on a small trail to the site got me settled, then headed back to camp. There were dark clouds beginning to roll in but I was hoping the rain would hold off until dark. It didn’t. Perhaps and hour or so after I climbed into the stand I heard thunder in the distance behind me; but it sounded like it was going away from me. It wasn’t. The rains came first but I was ready for that and quickly slipped into my rain suit and used another light rain jacket to cover my gun. The winds followed shortly and I found out later that they were upward of 40; which at times felt like I was on the high seas. Within 45 minutes of the start of the rain the thunder began, and with it the lightning. Now my choices were climb out of the stand and go sit in the truck until it passed and then sneak back in, which would probably ruin the hunt. So I chose the second option of staying in the tree. An hour or so later the thunder and lighting did stop, but the heavy rain and high winds didn’t. And at 7:50 p.m., the end of legal shooting time, I climbed down from the stand and sloshed my way back to the truck. Did not see a bear. Back at camp no one else had seen a bear either and Hermann said that the combination of the heavy rain, high winds and thunder and lightning makes them very nervous. All we could do is go back out again the next morning. DAY 2 I was in my stand an hour before sunup and when I looked through my scope I could see that the bait had not been touched; so there was still a chance that the bear would come in this morning. Forgot to mention it was still raining and the wind was about 20-25 mph. At 10:30 a.m. I climbed down and headed back to camp. After breakfast and a short nap I was sitting in the stand in full rain gear hoping that tonight was the night. The rain continued along with the heavy winds all evening and once again there were no bear visits. But I did have 4 grouse cooing around under my stand for about an hour. The grouse season was open but the .308 was a little overkill for grouse hunting. DAY 3 After another morning of rain, wind and no bear I met up with Hermann who suggested that after breakfast I join him on his morning baiting trips and we could check the activity at several of the sites, and I could pick the one I liked for the afternoon hunt. We visited 5 sites, all of which were hit since the last time he checked them. The site that I choose had plenty of activity signs but the real draw for me was the timber wolf tracks I saw in the mud on the way in that got me excited. Only once, years ago while sitting in a treestand at Hermann’s, I had a timber wolf appear about 150 yards from me. I did get to look at him through my binoculars but he quickly disappeared. That evening the rain continued and it was then that I realized the value of good equipment. Other than my hands and face the only thing that got a little wet and cold during these long sits in the nasty weather was my nose. The camouflaged Red Head Squaltex Bone Dry rain gear totally protected my body from the rain and the wind and the Burris Full Field II, in all this nasty rain, never once fogged up on me. Actually I did get a bit wet the next day when climbing down from my stand in the morning I caught my jacket on a nail and ripped a big chuck out of it. As for the bear this particular evening; nothing came it. DAY 4 The final day, my last chance. The morning hunt went too quickly and the rain did stop for an hour or so and, the sun did shine for perhaps an hour. But there were no bears. It was going down to the wire again. That afternoon I was in the stand earlier than usual but knew this was it; because tomorrow I was heading home. The weather was actually fairly pleasant; for awhile. Then about 3 p.m. the winds began followed by the rain, and with each hour both increased and by 6 p.m. things were back to normal; heavy rains and gusting winds that were causing my treestand to move a good six inches from side to side. I must have looked at my watch at least a dozen times; and time was running out. I remember checking my watch at it 7:35 p.m. and saying to myself, just 10 more minutes of legal shooting time left; it looks like it is over. But when I looked up there he was coming in, 70 yards away in the opening. Quickly I shouldered the gun and put the crosshair on the bear’s shoulder and clicked off the safety. My only problem now was that the 40 plus mph wind was again rocking the stand side to side. It seemed like forever that I held the horizontal crosshair of the scope on target just waiting for the wind to stop. And when it did I set the crosshairs on its shoulder and tapped the R-25 trigger and the Remington 150 grain Ultra Bonded PSP put him down. To say I was relieved and excited would be an understatement as I scrambled down the steps and trotted to the bear. A tap on his nose with the rifle barrel told me what I already knew; it was over. Quickly I unloaded my rifle, put it in its case, which is required when leaving the woods after legal shooting time in Canada, and quickly headed to my truck to go get Hermann. He was as happy as I was about the news and he had already put the ATV on the back of his pickup; and we headed back to get my bear. Once again I watched Hermann’s skill with the Outdoor Edge cutlery(Kodi-Pak) I had given him years ago. But the fun really began when we had to drag the bear about 20 yards over a number of brush piles and stumps to the ATV. Two old men pulling on a bear would have made a great photo, but we got it there and loaded on the back of the ATV. And yes, it was still raining and windy; but I really did not care. This was another great hunt with some very special old and new friends; and I have to rate it as my most memorable bear hunt. If you would like to see more photos of the bear you can go to, fishguydblog.blogspot.com/
              Pruitt’s inquiry gives climate science the reality TV treatment        
    This is an attempt to confuse the public and sow doubt about an already-settled issue.

         …

              Who’s who at the EPA? Latest staff picks continue alarming trend.        
    People with deep connections to polluters are being handpicked to run the agency charged with protecting American health.

         …

              5 things the world may not know about America and the environment        
    The United States is losing respect overseas, but most Americans don't support Trump's destructive policies.

         …

              Cemetery Superstitions, Little-Known Facts and Genealogy Secrets        
    Do you love everything about cemeteries—finding family burial places, studying the old stones with their intricate designs, taking in the peaceful landscape, discovering old records in the cemetery office?

    Then you'll love our new book, The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide, coming in September from Family Tree Books.



    In the Cemetery Field Guide, veteran genealogist, blogger at A Grave Interest, and self-described "tombstone tourist" Joy Neighbors introduces you to different types of cemeteries and helps you find your ancestors' burial sites, understand tombstone symbolism, and uncover cemetery records you didn't realize existed.

    Get to know to Joy and find out about her fascination with cemeteries with our Q&A:

    Me: What turned you into a tombstone tourist?

    Joy: It all began with a picnic. I was on a date with a guy (who later became my husband) who took me to a cemetery with a hamper of great food and a bottle of wine. He spread out a blanket near the lake and we talked about our lives, our views on life and death, and our interest in art, and somewhere in there, I forgot I was in a cemetery. I was just sitting outdoors having an amazing evening.

    We married two years later and we’ve been visiting cemeteries ever since.

    It was more than 25 years later when I decided to write A Grave Interest and share this forgotten history and art.


    Joy Neighbors

    Me: How many cemeteries have you've visited during your lifetime?

    Joy: I’ve visited everything from huge city cemeteries to a cemetery located in the middle of a highway. Brian (my husband) is on the lookout for cemeteries when we travel. We spot one from the highway and we’ll detour off. Every cemetery is different but they are all worth a visit because you never know what finds are waiting.

    Let’s just say I’ve been to thousands of cemeteries, but I’m always looking for the next one to visit.

    Me: When I was young, my sisters and I would hold our breath when driving by a cemetery in Mom or Dad's car. What strange cemetery superstition have you encountered?

    Joy:As a child, I was told not to count the cars in the funeral procession or your funeral would be the next one to drive by. I was a kid who counted everything: steps, train cars, clouds, so that was tough.

    There are so many superstitions about death and burial. Here are just a few that I’ve come across:
    • Never point at the funeral procession, it will bring bad luck.
    • If it rains in an open grave, it brings bad luck to the family.
    • Flowers and grass grow on the graves of those who have lived virtuous lives. Only weeds or mud will cover the grave of someone who was evil.
    • Never whistle in a graveyard, you are summoning the Devil.
    • Never take anything from a cemetery; the dead may follow you to get it back.
    • If there is thunder following a burial, the deceased has reached heaven.

    Me: What's your favorite cemetery (and why)?

    Joy:It’s so difficult to choose. If I narrowed it down by size, my favorite large cemetery is Cave Hill in Louisville, Ky. The artwork there is phenomenal and the history is amazing. It’s an older cemetery that has maintained a modern edge with its monuments, sculpture and stained glass. Plus, it’s very haunted. (And yes, I have stories from visiting.)

    For a medium sized cemetery, I’m torn between Highland Lawn in Terre Haute, Ind., and Oak Hill in Evansville, Ind. Highland Lawn has great symbolism on the stones, mausoleums, and a wealth of history. Most of the town’s historical figures are buried there. (It's haunted, too.) Oak Hill has tons of tree stones (my favorite), and rolling vistas with huge oak trees. The Civil War burial ground is one of the best designs I’ve seen.

    I love small cemeteries because they're so intimate. You really have time to get to know who’s buried there, and I like to read the stones and wonder what life was like.

    Me: Could you share something surprising about cemeteries that you've found most people don't know?

    Joy:A cemetery is one of the most exquisite (and inexpensive) places to hold a wedding. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and manicured, and covered with sculpture, architecture, stained glass and other art. It is truly like getting married in an outdoor art museum.

    If the cemetery has a chapel, there’s also the advantage of having an indoor wedding option. Cemeteries are just starting to embrace this idea, so if it’s something you’d like to do, don’t be afraid to approach them.

    Me: If readers remember one piece of advice from The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide, what do you want it to be?

    Joy:Never stop digging! I loved Nancy Drew mysteries when I was a girl, and that’s how I approach cemetery research. It’s all a mystery; I just have to figure out how to find the clues. And those clues could be hidden in records, family Bibles, photographs, or symbols on stones. Even the people themselves may hold the answers—or the clues.

    I hope that the Cemetery Field Guide inspires others to become Tombstone Tourists and enjoy all the history and art that our cemeteries have to offer.

    Me: You wrote on your blog that cemetery research led you to a family secret of monumental proportions. You explain everything in the Cemetery Field Guide, but can you give us a hint about what you discovered?

    Me again: I'm gonna make you wait for this answer—and to hear about Joy's favorite tombstones of all of her cemetery visits. Stay tuned for more from Joy Neighbors! And of course you can find out more about The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide and preorder it in ShopFamilyTree.com.

              2017 Virtual Conference: Genealogy Technology and Tools        

    Guest post by Vanessa Wieland, Dean of Family Tree University

    We have another amazing virtual conference in the works (September 15-17), with three days of genealogy search tips, tricks, techniques and tools you can use to improve your genealogy search. Our lineup is still being finalized, but we’re looking forward to presentations on the following tech-based tools, plus a presentation that will compare the four DNA testing companies so you can see which test is best for you.

    Cloud Technology: Preservation and Organization - Jennifer Alford
    Learn how to preserve your genealogy and organize it online with these tips. You'll learn about what tools will be most useful for keeping your work in great shape.

    Time Travel Technology - Lisa Louise Cooke
    Go back in time to discover your ancestors with these tech tools that will help you discover the details that will bring your ancestor's history to life.

    Resources for Visual Storytelling - Nancy Hendrickson
    If a picture paints a thousand words, this presentation will provide you with the know-how to create great tales using visual elements.

    5 Google Secrets Revealed - Lisa Louise Cooke
    Google is a great resource for researching your family history and heritage, especially when you've learned these handy research tricks.

    Learn more about the 2017 Fall Virtual Conference and sign up early to get the early bird discount. Take $40 off the price with coupon code FALLVCEARLY.


              US company to offer microchip implants to employees        
    07/26/2017

    Over the past few years, the security industry has begun to embrace many new technologies—robotics, the cloud, biometrics, for example—but one company here in the U.S., Three Square Market, is pushing the boundaries of RFID technology by offering to implant tiny RFID chips—the size of a grain of rice—into its employees’ hands between the thumb and forefinger.

    The chip would allow employees to not only buy snacks in the break room but also have their hands function as a mobile key to gain access to the building and other doors, which makes me think of the possible applications/ramifications within security.

    Implanting chips in employee’s hands is already being done in Sweden, where an organization named Epicenter is having success with an increasing number of employees there opting to get the implant. Here in the U.S., Three Square Market says it has approximately 50 employees who are interested in getting the implant, and unlike in Sweden, the company is paying for the $300 procedure for its employees. Three Square Market partnered with a Swedish firm, BioHax International, to make the chip and is planning to sell the technology to other companies.

    "Eventually, this technology will become standardized, allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.," chief executive Todd Westby wrote in a blog post announcing the program, noting that there is even potential for storing medical/health information, and for use as payment at other RFID terminals.

    But one has to wonder what security vulnerabilities this could create, especially in protecting the data on that chip from being hacked, stolen and/or compromised, etc. Not to mention, the “creepy” factor here, as mass adoption of microchip implants is dubious, at best.

    Maybe some day, like in the year 2112, but in the short term, I do think there is good fodder here for a futuristic sci-fi movie.
     


              SSN talks with I-View Now about recent Eagle Eye integration         
    07/19/2017

    Recently, I-View Now announced a new integration with Eagle Eye Networks. I got the chance to catch up with I-View Now president Larry Folsom to hear a bit about this partnership and how it works.

    “The I-View Now integration with Eagle Eye Networks is a cloud to cloud integration,” Folsom said in an email interview. “We appreciate the architecture in that it is a smart appliance that can be used with inexpensive or expensive cameras depending on the opportunity and requirements. We think this is important for scale (as opposed to cloud systems that require expensive cameras). We found the Eagle Eye Networks APIs to be robust and well thought out.”

    Folsom discussed how the partnership will benefit I-View Now’s customers.

    “We believe this is another great video partner for our dealers and central stations to utilize while protecting their customers,” Folsom said. “It is import to see that the Eagle Eye Networks video will work with all I-View Now compatible signaling integrations (security systems) and will play in the same universal player for operators, end users, and law enforcement.”

    Folsom noted that I-View Now has had a busy year; it partnered with COPS Monitoring and earlier this year announced that cameras from Bosch, OpenEye and Hikvision can now come I-View Now Ready. “We currently have a backlog but we are working our way through it and have been actively hiring engineers to build out the team to support the demand,” he said.

    When asked what the company is currently working on, Folsom pointed to the company’s work with Digital Barriers, announced in early June.

    “This integration is fun because every clip we produce will be processed with the video analytic,” said Folsom. “The process will add intelligence (percent of likelihood of a person) to all of our existing video integrations to reduce false alarms and add bounding boxes so the agent and the end user can see where the changes occurred.”


              Comment on 10 Performance Tips to Speed Up PHP by olivedev        
    The performance of your PHP based website also depends on the version, hosting and stack you are using. I have hosted my website on AWS with Cloudways platform (https://www.cloudways.com/en/php-cloud-hosting.php ), which uses Apache, Varnish, Memcached and Nginx as a stack. Along with that, I also use Cloudflare CDN. I ran benchmarks on my PHP 7 website and got 4ms response time with 250 concurrent users, which is quite fast.
              Quantum gravity detector will use atom clouds to survey for oil        
    A commercial device that uses quantum technology to detect subtle differences in gravity, should be able to detect coal, oil or pipes underground
              Good bye....for now        
    All jewellery charity shopped.
    Our heatwave finally departed last Thursday. On Wednesday it was 31 degrees and by Thursday it was much cooler at around 20 -21 degrees, cloudier and with a slight breeze. Thank God, I said.

    This was last Tuesday's outfit. I just wore the jacket to and from my volunteering and stayed sleeveless the rest of the time - bingo wings and all!


    Everything charity shopped except the watch (present) and sandals which I bought in the Clark's sale about six or even seven summers ago. Note I'm not wearing any bangles in these photos but see below...


    The cotton trousers are by F&F, the jacket is by M&S and charity shopped in Kettering just before Christmas 2016. I've had this sleeveless navy top for donkey's years...

    On Monday and Tuesday I volunteered as usual at the Red Cross and the Food Bank. When I was at the Red Cross on Tuesday afternoon I finally began my training on the till. Whilst the manager was training me, my colleague; who had been previously been on the till went out to the sorting area and took over from me. I'd been sorting the jewellery. 

    When I got home from the shop I realised I wasn't wearing my bangles. The last time I'd seen them they were on the sorting table at the shop; I always take them off as they get in the way when I'm writing the price labels. Yes, you've guessed it - my colleague had priced them up and put them out on display! Luckily, they weren't sold and I picked them up the next day.

    I had my hair cut and eyebrows done on Wednesday and ran a few errands in town which included a visit to the 3:16 shop. I bought a tunic and a couple of winter items for 1.00 each. When I finished I came home and stayed in the coolest room in the house reading.  I didn't do the Weds evening Summer Solstice walk as it was still too hot at 8.30 pm.

     I've relegated these trousers to the charity shop bag. They always wrinkle around my calves
    I don't know why...




    I managed to get out for a walk on Thursday and walked almost 6 miles in a much cooler temperature. 

    This was Thursday's outfit - everything charity shopped except the shoes which are from local retailer PJ shoes. Trousers; H & M; t shirt; 1.00 rail somewhere; green kimono jacket from a 50 p bin in a charity shop. What a bugger it was to iron - I can see why someone donated it! I've donated it too...



    All jewellery charity shopped.


    I passed this colourful front garden on my walk and had to take a picture of it.

    On Friday the weather was cool again so I went for another walk after the school run. I started out from Great Denham; having had a look in Barnardo's first, then walked to Kempston Mill: along the river Great Ouse to the Queen's Park area of Bedford. From there I walked back to Great Denham along the the other side of the river; 6.42 miles in total. Queens Park has a beautiful Hindu temple:



    And on the return journey I saw these magnificent, huge willow trees:




    Everything charity shopped. The yellow tunic is from the 3:16 shop on Wednesday and I bought the beads in Barnardo's. Jeans from Red Cross charity shop.


    I can't remember where I got the white lace top but I bought earlier this year somewhere. Sandals also charity shopped.


    All jewellery charity shopped.


    On Saturday OH wanted to go for a rummage. We had thought of going to London where we could fit in a visit to his mum but we ended up going to Luton and Dunstable instead!

    Everything I'm wearing above is charity shopped except the sandals - my comfortable Clarks. The kimono is from Primarni; the top is a M&S one and white jeans are from Matalan.


    All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings - from Sainsbury's.


    My jacket was much admired by total strangers. They were very surprised when I told them where it came from. When I was last in Devon visiting Hilary I found another similar one - also by Primarni;  it had a beautiful print on it and Hilary bought it.

    Of course you want to know if I bought anything. I did. I bought some interesting mustard colour cotton trousers in the Red Cross for 1.99; a blue kimono jacket from the 1.00 rail in Keech Hospice and some padded hangers; a pair of earrings and a yellow sleeveless top for 2.00 in Age Concern. (The earrings seem to have disappeared. I remember taking them out of the bag at home but haven't found them since - they'll turn up somewhere). There were only six charity shops in Luton town centre which I found surprising. Bedford is a smaller town and has twelve. Dunstable had about five charity shops and I din't buy anything in them. I don't think I will be rushing back to Luton or Dunstable for some rummaging any time soon...


    On Monday I stayed at the Red Cross until it was time to pick the grandchildren up from school. Two of the volunteers were off to celebrate Eid and the manager had a day off leaving just myself and the assistant manager. There were so many donations to sort and I served at the till, too.

    This is what I wore. Everything is charity shopped except my underwear - and you're not seeing that! Jacket; Next, 1.00 Red Cross, zebra print trousers from Barnardo's last week: 2.49. Next top; charity shopped last summer.


    Sandals; charity shopped.


    All jewellery; charity shopped.

    This is going to be my last post for a while. On Saturday I'm going to drive to Holyhead and catch the ferry to Ireland on Sunday morning. I should reach the van about 4 pm having stopped off at Lidl to do some shopping. As I've said before the internet connection at the site is both weak and intermittent so I doubt that I'll be able to post more than once every couple of weeks and then only when I'm somewhere with free wifi.

    I'm so looking forward to the next couple of months where I will just be chilling out; reading, crocheting, walking; visiting family, sight seeing and a bit of charity shopping of course! I'm looking forward to having a few visitors to stay. I shall miss my children and grandchildren and OH but I will see them in Ireland. Whatever transpires I'll be back in September so I hope you all have a wonderful summer.

              Green gloves and a blogger meet up!        
    I'll get to the green gloves in a bit...


    On Wednesday I led a Ramblers walk of 7 miles. It was a chilly, overcast day and we were cold at the start but soon warmed up. Everyone enjoyed the walk including me! It was the same walk that I did the first time I ever led a walk back in May 2016, but I reversed it and added on a short bit to the end. I've now led 3 walks for the Ramblers and want to find a new walk to lead for the Autumn programme.


    Trousers are from the Tesco outlet shop, boots present from daughter this Christmas. Every thing else is charity shopped.


    I went for a rummage on Thursday afternoon after the food shopping. I went to the Kempston charity shops as I hadn't been for a while. I got quite a few summer items for the grandsons and for myself some green earrings 75p; a white top 1.00; and finally an animal print blouse in brown; 2.49 in the Keech Hospice shop. A yellow  scoop neck top for 2.99 in the Cat's Protection League and last but not least, a turquoise bracelet and ring; 1.00 each from the Day Hospice shop. I didn't bother going to the Barnardo's shop as I was chazza'ed out by then.


    I wonder if any of you know what this tree is? I saw it whilst collecting the youngest grandson from school - it's just around the corner and I thought it was so striking. Please let me know what it is as I haven't a clue!


    I bought this necklace in a charity shop in Derry for 2.50. Top and shirt also charity shopped.

    On Friday, I went walking by myself and it was a brilliant walk. The weather was pleasant; bright but windy. I saw my first swallows of the year and you know what that means don't you? It means summer's here! At last. Thank the Lord and pass the gravy. I'm sick of overcast skies and wind and cold...


    Jeans from the 1.00 rail at Barnardo's Great Denham bought on a rummage with Linda; man's shirt £1.00 box Keech; cardigan 1.99 Red Cross shop. Boots; DDB.


    All jewellery charity shopped.

    Top by Wallis; charity shopped, Country Casuals jacket; charity shopped. Trousers; La Redoute sale and black brogues; Tesco outlet.

    It was no longer summer on Saturday, in fact it was overcast and cold again.  But despite the weather I went to Rushden for a blogger meet up. It's the first one for me and it was with the very lovely Kelly of the Mother of Reinvention blog HERE.  Kelly's blog states she is a:

    Plus-Sized Sewing Scientist with a Love of Corsets, Kittens & Cake! Vintage Seamstress, Novice Knitter and All-Round Crafty Type.

     It was a pleasure to meet Kelly.  She had moved to Rushden five weeks previously for a new job and luckily really likes her new town and neighbourhood. It was so nice to meet another blogger and I felt I had known Kelly for ages already through reading her blog


    We started with a cup of tea and a chat and then went rummaging! We had a fab time and started by visiting the most excellent Salvation Army charity shop where Kelly's friend, Bill, joined us. Kelly found some lovely material - she loves to sew. She also found some great square plates with matching bowls, some cookie cutters and a cute pottery butter dish. I found some earrings for 50p, a lace skirt for 3.50, some wool for 50p and a boring, but useful, tupperware dish; also 50p. We went on to visit 4 other charity shops where I bought a large cake tin and that was it. Then in true blogger fashion we all decamped to Wetherspoons for a drink and some lunch!

    Kelly and I plan to meet up again and next time we'll go to Kettering or Northampton - both good places for charity shopping.


    I bought these beads at the Red Cross shop last Monday. Earrings from Sainsbury's; bangles and ring charity shopped.

    On Sunday OH and I went to a car boot sale at Lidlington. We got there at about 11 am; we don't like early starts... I bought a lovely handmade vintage coat for £2.00 which I am so delighted with. I still have to steam it and then I'll post a photo.

    We're off to a reunion of OH's ex battalion at the weekend - Barnsley here we come! I don't know Yorkshire very well at all so I'm curious to see what Barnsley and its environs look like. We might squeeze in a quick rummage. Anyway, I may wear the coat with a knee length dress; I'm still thinking about it.


    Monday was volunteering at the Red Cross. By the time this photo was taken at about 8.30 in the evening my linen trousers were baggy at the knee and very creased - I'd just been on my hands and knees washing the kitchen floor!


    Everything charity shopped except the shoes which are from a local shoe outlet called PJ shoes in Kempston.

    Of course I couldn't leave the Red Cross without buying something...
    I bought some books; some elbow length emerald green gloves; some brand new grey Mary Jane's with a little heel and a top. I don't know where on earth I might wear the green gloves but an occasion might present itself - who knows? It's always as well to be prepared!

    Aren't they fabulous?

    I went completely mad on Friday and swapped my winter wardrobe to my summer wardrobe; I'm now thinking I was a bit premature. It was cold on Saturday when I met up with Kelly - I was cold the whole day. Then Sunday was very pleasant but Monday was cold, grey and windy. Luckily, I only pack away the thickest of cardigans so I still have a few warm  ones in the wardrobe. Just as well as one was needed on Monday.

    Tuesday was a warmer day but still cloudy and grey. I had a busy day running errands here, there and everywhere. My blanket is about half way done:


    I want to have it finished by the time I next go to Ireland so I can start a new one whilst I'm there.


    I went to town today without a jacket or coat and was warm in this outfit. Everything is charity shopped. Skirt is by Phase Eight; top by M&S, sea green cardigan; Per Una at M&S. Mary Jane's charity shopped in Ely almost a year ago.


    All jewellery charity shopped. The ring was bought on my rummage in Kempston last Thursday and the necklace is from the Red Cross shop last Monday. Earrings are from Sainsbury's and have to be at least 7 or 8 years old...

    I still haven't got round to steaming the coat but here it is:



    This is the button detail on the sleeve. I love it. I think I might wear it on Saturday evening to the reunion - what do you think?

               Normal service is resumed        
    Hello everyone! 

    It seems like a long time ago since I last posted but it's only been 24 days. In that time I've been to Donegal for two weeks and my cousin from Ireland came to visit me here in Bedford. I have had a wonderful three weeks and it was also good to have a break from blogging! I did miss everyone else's blogs and have tried to catch up since I returned.

    I'm going to dedicate this part of the post to Fiona of 'Made in a Muddle' here. Fiona has a mobile home in France and asked me to do a post about about my mobile home in Ireland - so here goes.

    The site we stay at  is at the top of a hill and has about 180 mobile homes in total. It is split into two separate areas by a road. There is a children's playground; a green play space with trees and tyre swings; a football/tennis/basketball pitch; picnic sites and a hut for wet weather activities, on site. There are also woods to the rear of the site, two nearby lakes and lots of local beaches.  Our mobile home is on the upper slope of the hill and at the end of a row. It is a truly beautiful spot and we are surrounded by mountains.

    We are 17 miles from the town of Donegal; 3.5 miles from Killybegs and about 7 miles from Ardara. There is a garage cum post office cum grocery shop cum deli at the bottom of the hill, about 4 miles away and it's our nearest shop.

    Image may contain: sky, cloud, house, plant, tree, outdoor and nature

    This is 'Ruby Super' hereafter referred to as the 'caravan'. She is a static caravan or mobile home made by Atlas and was originally made in the mid to late 1990s. I bought her in April 2014 after I retired in March. I had the wooden decking/patio and base around the caravan made especially. Ruby Super has three bedrooms but can sleep eight people as the seating area in the living area pulls down into a double bed.


    There is no central heating but I do have a gas fire in the living room and two other electric heaters. However, electric voltage is is limited in a caravan and you learn pretty quickly how many electrical items can be in use at the same time. When the electricity is 'tripped' it's only a short walk to the decking to 'throw' the switch. As it can get very cold, in the evenings especially, I always have a good supply of throws and blankets which are stored in the large basket.




    I like the layout in the caravan  - apart from the sleeping areas and bathroom, everything else is open plan. From the kitchen window and two of the bedroom windows I can see St. John's Point which is one of the longest peninsulas in Ireland.  The peninsula is separated on either side by McSwyne's Bay and Inver Bay; which feed into Donegal Bay and the North Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day, I can also see Ben Bulben mountain  across Donegal Bay in Co. Sligo. If you look very carefully at the picture below, in the distance on the left hand side you can just make out Ben Bulben. There were very few clear days on this trip but when it is clear it's as if I can lean out of the window and touch the sea!



    The kitchen is compact but has lots of storage space. I have no washing machine but there is a laundry on site with two washing machines and two tumble dryers. They are not free; unfortunately...


    This is the bathroom. There is a shower to the left of the photo.


    There is a separate loo



    One double bedroom complete with another wardrobe of clothes, shoes, jewellery and perfume!


    Two twin bedrooms.

    When we've been away from the caravan between September to Easter, the caravan suffers from mildew. We leave plates of salt and humidifiers (non electrical) bought at hard ware shops to help with the mildew. This year we've left the blinds up and curtains open to maximise any sunshine and warmth; until I return in July. The caravan heats up really quickly when it's sunny. 

    We also have to pack any clothing or textiles, including bedding, away in plastic bags to avoid them becoming mildewed. If we were able to visit more frequently this would be less of an issue. So far though, it has been the only problem we've experienced and we love Ruby Super. When I return in July, I shall be applying weather protection stain to the decking and washing the outside of the caravan with a mop and bucket. Thanks to Fiona for alerting me to this - it was in the terms and conditions,  but I had completely missed it!

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Are you ready for some outfit posts? Not many I'm afraid; I was too busy having a good time!


    I only managed one selfie with the selfie stick. Everything charity shopped. Cardigan; 50p at a jumble sale, top; £1.00 rail somewhere, can't remember where I bought the trousers.


    All jewellery and headscarf charity shopped.

    When OH arrived we spent a day in Derry.


    Taken outside the Guildhall in Co.Derry. Everything charity shopped except the bag; online retail and the boots; Christmas present. The mac is by Max Mara and I bought it for 4 euros at my favourite charity shop in Killybegs, Co. Donegal. I also bought a pair of brown trousers and a green and black pair of trousers there for 2 euros each and a tunic by Apricot for 3 euros. It was a chilly day in Derry hence the gloves and scarf!




    I'm standing against the wall that once surrounded the city of Derry. This plaque is in memory of all those who were killed  by weapon systems within the city and district of Derry.


    Another part of the wall. 
    OH and I had a really good rummage in the charity shops of Derry on Easter Saturday. There were nine in total that we found and only one was closed. I was quite restrained for a change (!) and bought a necklace in a hospice shop and a Desigual tunic top in the Red Cross shop; where I got discount bringing the price down from £6.00 to £4.80! On the way to Derry we stopped at Ballyboffey to have a rummage and I bought a pair of trainers and a pair of walking shoes for 99 cents each. In the Donkey Sanctuary charity shop I bought a ring for 5 euros and a couple of books.


    This picture was taken in Letterkenny, where we stopped for a meal on the way back from Derry. I have no idea what the sculpture is and there was no information about it that I could see.

     We also spent a day in Sligo where we went rummaging as well as visiting family. I bought some white jeans for 2.50 euros and a couple of bangles. I also visited another cousin and his wife in Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo before OH came out. This the view of the Atlantic from their garden:

    On that occasion my cousin's wife, Martina and another cousin Caroline, and I, went walking around the base of Ben Bulben. It was a beautiful walk and we had two dogs with us who were very well behaved throughout. 

    And other than reading, eating, sleeping, a bit of walking, listening to the radio and starting (finally) a new crochet blanket, I did very little else! 

    Only another 100+ rows to go....
    I'll post about my cousin's visit in my next post. It's good to be back!

              Donegal is calling me...        
    Saturday was such a beautiful day. Warm, sunny but there was a chilly breeze at times. Spring is most definitely here with warmer weather forecast for this week.

    OH and I had a rummage in Rushden and we also visited Emmaeus in Carlton on Saturday. Emmaeus is a charity for homeless people and is international in its scope. At Emmaeus they do furniture; household goods, electrical items, antiques and vintage items, bikes, garden equipment, clothes, shoes, bags. jewellery, craft materials, toys, books, DVDs, CDs and LPs. I bought a bangle and a ring, a small terrarium for plants, 2 succulent plants and a cafetiere for my daughter who's been after a small one for ages. I spent 6.50 in total.

    This is how I started out. I soon discarded the scarf and gloves - too warm!

    Everything except the handbag is charity shopped. Trousers from Monsoon; felted wool jacket by Paraphase; bought in the Donkey Sanctuary Charity shop in Ballyboffey in Donegal. Apart from the lovely embroidery on the jacket; it has golden bugle beads up near the neckline. It cost 10 euros, but I love this jacket and need to wear it more often. Boots from Red Cross shop winter 2015; for 1.99.


    I was getting a bit of practice in with my selfie stick. I'm off to Donegal on the 4th April for two weeks and OH won't be out for the first 8 days I'm there, so I'll have to take my own OOTD photos!

    The floral top is from the Red Cross 1.00 rail and the cardigan was bought in Barnardo's in Golders Green for 1.99.


    Both scarves charity shopped; watch, necklace, ring and bangles charity shopped. Earrings; a present from my friend Natalie in Cambridge. See my nice, clean, shiny kitchen? 4.5 hours it took me on Friday; my arms were aching on Saturday.

    In Rushden I bought a grey dress by East for 4.00 in the Salvation Army. I may not get any wear out of it now but it will be useful for next autumn and winter. East clothing is very expensive so I had to snap it up. I also bought a small wool picnic/lap blanket for 1.00; this will be taken to the caravan as it can be very chilly in the evenings. I also bought a lovely velvet patterned top in Cancer Research for 3.00. All in all a good day's rummaging. OH did well, too.


    I got up early on Sunday and walked 6.8 miles. With Wednesday's 6.7 miles my total for this week was 13.5 miles - 6.5 miles short of my target of 20 miles.

    Sunday afternoon was tea at the Swan Hotel in Bedford courtesy of my wonderful daughter. It was delicious and I was so stuffed at the end of it.



    This is the African print skirt I bought at the 3:16 charity shop last week for 3.50. The top is by Cotton Traders and the jacket is by Country Casuals; both charity shopped at he Red Cross for 1.99.


    Headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped. Boots; Christmas 2016 present from daughter.

    On Monday there was no Red Cross volunteering. The manager had rung me on Friday to say there was a flood in the shop from a leak upstairs and that the shop would be closed until Wednesday. It felt really strange not going into the shop but I had errands to run in town so walked past the shop anyway. There were buckets everywhere catching the drips! There was also what looked like a 1970s maxi dress on the model in the window! I decided to go back on Wednesday and see if it was my size.

     I had plans to go for a walk in the afternoon but the weather was so horrible I didn't bother. Cold and windy and grey...


    On Tuesday I was at the Food Bank and in the afternoon I walked 8.25 miles. It was a good day; sunny and warm but with a cold breeze and eventually the clouds got darker and it rained a little.


    Everything charity shopped except the loafers bought on sale at Tesco's outlet shop about 3 years ago.


    Earrings; a present from my friend Natalie. All other jewellery charity shopped.

    On Wednesday afternoon I went back to the Red Cross; wouldn't you flipping know it they had sold the dress from the window! I bought a brown patterned tunic and a Planet summer jacket in bright orange as a consolation prize; both 1.99 each. In the morning I walked with the group from Great Denham; we walked 7 miles and it was a a very pleasant walk. As we finished back in Great Denham I had a quick browse in Barnardo's and bought a white linen shift dress and a pair of navy blue leather loafers - both 99p each.

    It was such a gorgeous day on Thursday! It registered 21.5 degrees centigrade on my car barometer.  It felt like a summer's day so I dug a summer dress out of the chest where I store my summer clothes. I bought this dress which is by Studio from a 1.00/99p sale rail somewhere at the end of last summer when it was too late wear it, so this is its first outing.

    The jacket was one of the first things I bought at the Guildhouse when I started there; it's linen and made by an Italian company. I paid 3.50 for it. I wore tights and a long slip underneath the dress and the boots were a Christmas 2016 present from my daughter.


    Headscarf, bangles, necklace and watch all charity shopped. Earrings are from Jamaica and are made of copper in the shape of steel pans...present from OH.

    On Friday I went on a bus walk with the Ramblers from Kempston via Wootton and Bromham. We walked 8.75 miles culminating with tea and cake at Bromham Mill. The best way to finish any walk I think!  The weather was fine. By the time I got home I had to go straight to collect the grandchildren from school so stayed in my walking gear. My walking total this week was 24 miles over 3 walks.

    On Saturday I went to see my son and wore this:


    Everything is charity shopped except the loafers which were bought from the Tesco outlet sale about three years ago.



    Necklace was a present from my youngest Grandson's dad some years ago. All other jewellery charity shopped.

    I shall spend Sunday packing for Ireland; I've had the car checked, got my euros and the ferry's been booked for ages. I shall be taking a break from blogging and when I get back my lovely cousin, Linda is coming to stay with me. It will be her first visit to England and guess what she wants to do? She wants to come charity shopping! That can be arranged with no difficulty...

    I hope you all have a lovely Easter and if you don't celebrate Easter that you at least get a nice break. Take care everyone and see you on the other side!

              Just another week        
    It t was forecast to rain on Saturday so I got up early and walked 7 miles. It was quite warm, cloudy but with lots of patches of blue sky; although there was quite a strong breeze. It was a lovely walk; I saw a Kestrel again and this time I saw some yellow hammers/corn buntings as well. Every time I walked last week I saw the Kestrel. I think it's the same one because twice it flew out of the same copse. I'm so used to seeing Kestrels hovering over the roadside it's a bit of shock to see them in trees and flying over fields!


    Everything charity shopped. The jeans are the ones from the 3:16 charity shop last week; 1.50 (half price sale),  top from Tu at Sainsbury's;  the necklace is from Mercy in Action outlet shop, 1.00. The boots are from Lidl last winter and the earrings are about 20 years old. If you think I'm looking a little different in this photo it's because I'm wearing a nude lipstick instead of my usual red lippy! I was saving that for Saturday evening as I was going out for a friend's 60th birthday meal in Luton.

    Cushion bought in the Oxfam shop about 18 months ago.
    I had errands to run in town on Saturday and I struck it lucky. I walked past the 'Reuse Shop' and they had a rather nice small chair in the window. It was perfect for my study so I bought it. The chair which used to be in the study was rather too large and it went on Freegle.  Last week I missed out on one on e bay because I forgot to check on it -  and it sold for £20 including delivery. My chair was £30 and it had just been reupholstered. Reuse is a charity shop and they have someone at this shop who reupholsters chairs and sofas and someone else who up cycles furniture. I have a floral covered footstool that I can put my feet up on (charity shopped, of course). I now have no excuse not to start my next crochet blanket!

    All jewellery charity shopped.
    This is what I wore on Saturday evening to my friend Cecilia's 60th birthday meal.  She and my best friend Ann went to school together in Luton and I got to know C when we used to go raving together in the early to mid 1990s. We had some brilliant times!

    We had a lovely time on Saturday night although there was no music and no dancing. I saw a couple of people I hadn't seen for years, so it was great to catch up. It was such a shock for my friend as she was only expecting her immediate family...


    These photos were taken when I returned from the birthday meal past midnight. I'm wearing my 99p Jaeger jacket; the skirt is from M&S but is very steam punkish (I thought) with the bustle at the back, it came from a charity shop in Kettering for 2.99. The black cross over top is one of the most  frequently worn and useful items in my wardrobe and is also M&S; charity shopped years ago.


    This is Monday's outfit.  The top is for the charity shop bag as it doesn't fit properly around the bust. It says large but it's clearly not large enough! It's a shame because it's an Ossie Clark top; charity shopped but can't remember where. Everything is charity shopped except the leggings bought in a Store 21 sale.


    Necklace gift from next door neighbour; earrings Sainsbury's.

    The Red Cross shop was so full of bags of clothes waiting to be steamed and hung up that we didn't do much sorting on Monday - there was just no room! I did have a good sort of the jewellery and put new stuff out. I bought my daughter a lovely summer top off the pound rail - she liked it; thank goodness. I bought a green dress for myself for 1.99, and a a red  checked headscarf which I wore with Tuesday's outfit (below).

    I was at the Guild House on Tuesday and was quite busy sorting stuff and pricing it and as usual I did a bit of a ironing. It's funny I hate ironing at home but I don't mind it at the Guild House; it's probably the fancy steam iron they have.

    Asleep on my feet, here!
    Everything is charity shopped except my daughter donated boots.


    The waistcoat is the one I bought at the newest charity shop in town last Wednesday for 1.50; it was lovely and warm. The top is from Barnardo's 1.00 rail; trousers M&S, can't remember which charity shop; scarf; Red Cross on Monday.


    All jewellery charity shopped except red ring; Sainsbury's and watch which was a Christmas present from my daughter about 6 years ago. I've had these earrings for about 20 years.

    I went to the 3:16 charity shop to drop off some books and bought a maxi skirt with an African print for 3.50. It will be lovely for the summer but I may wear it this Sunday. My daughter is taking me out somewhere - to eat presumably. She sent me a message - ' Mum, on Sunday don't have any lunch and don't let Wes make you any dinner either; can you guess what we're doing? Lol'. It's Mother's Day on Sunday, of course. That's three weekends in a row I will have gone out somewhere - oh, the excitement!


    On Wednesday morning I walked  6.6 miles with the group and I wished I hadn't! It was wet, cold and windy. I got soaked and was so cold that when I got in I put my PJs and dressing gown on. The afternoon was windy but sunny and dry -  wish it had been in the morning - it's called 'Sod's Law...'

    The wind continued on Thursday but at least it was dry. I had lots of errands to run; I had my eyebrows done; I did the food shopping in Lidl and Sainsbury's; I also went to Aldi, two banks, the card shop, a gift shop and the dry cleaners. It was my best friend, Ann's, 60th birthday so I took her card and gift round to her. She was off to London to go out for a meal and see a show with her two daughters. I was glad to get home and put my feet up for a bit!


    Everything charity shopped. The cords are by Primarni; the waistcoat is by Bench; bought it at Age UK in Bedford - which is no more. The top is by M&S. Everything is grey today - I just fancied some grey.


    The earrings are from Sainsburys; the necklace is also a Primarni one but I bought it in a charity shop quite a few years ago. Bangles, watch and red ring charity shopped.


    I bet you won't believe what I did on Friday. Walking - no. Charity shopping - no. Visited friends - no. I started at 9.30 am and finished at 3 pm (when I leave to pick the grandchildren up from school); cleaning my kitchen was what I did. It needed doing; I cleaned the cooker and the cooker hood, all the surfaces, tiles, appliances and the floor. It's time I begrudge but it has to be done. Oh well, that was Friday!


    This is the green dress I bought at the Red Cross on Monday for 1.99. The kimono is also from there. Daughter donated boots; the green tights are also charity shopped.


    All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which are from Sainsbury's.

    Oh and I are going out for a rummage tomorrow - haven't decided where yet but I'll let you know how we got on...

    Have a fab weekend everyone!

              February is flying by        

    Hello to everyone and I hope you are all keeping warm! February seems to be flying by; we're almost half way through. January dragged.

    I went out on Sunday morning to recce Wednesday's walk. It was cold, damp and very foggy. After about three miles I realised that I couldn't see any landmarks and that the fog was getting thicker; I had to turn back. I walked 6.8 miles and was glad to get home. It stayed cloudy, cold and foggy all day.


    This is what I changed into when I got back. Everything is charity shopped. The animal print top is a 50 p rail bargain. I'm still looking for the perfect animal print shirt with long sleeves...

    I woke up on Monday with the lurgy.  Middle grandson had it last week and he'd given it to me. I have had a drippy nose, cough, aches and pains all week; I felt yucky but I went in to the Red Cross on Monday. I'm still sorting and pricing clothes; as I'm waiting for a PIN number to arrive in the post that I need to work the till. I've been allocated a special area in the shop for attention and it's the jewellery. Hooray!  I enjoy untangling necklaces and sorting out the wheat from the chaff...

    On my way home from the Red Cross, I passed the Salvation Army charity shop and on the 50 p rail outside spotted the grey checked shirt below. It was washed and ironed and I wore it on Tuesday.

    I went to the Guildhouse on Tuesday morning. More sorting and pricing of clothes and I did an hour's ironing! I don't think I've ironed for so long since my children were small and I used to do the Sunday evening marathon iron of everybody's clothes for the week...I bought an emerald green cardigan in the sale there for £1.25, but it's a little bit too big. I really wanted an emerald green cardigan so I might try and wash it on a hotter than usual wash and even tumble dry it and see if it shrinks a bit


    Everything charity shopped except the boots which were donated by my daughter (DDB).
    Red jeans and grey knitted top both by Oasis. All jewellery charity shopped. I didn't realise how bobbly the top had got....


     I went to recce the walk again on Tuesday afternoon. It was the most glorious day. The sun shone and it was so warm I had to take my jacket off; although it was very muddy, boggy and even waterlogged in places. The air was full of bird song, cheeps, calls and trills and the hum of insects. You could feel Spring in the air.

    On Wednesday, I did my walk leader's bit and for the first time decided to use my walking poles which were a birthday present from my daughter last year. I found the poles quite easy to use and they do work your upper arms and shoulders. I'm still aching days later - or is that the lurgy? 

     There were 22 of us walkers in total and all was going well. Then one of my poles decided to extend itself and I fell flat on my face! My pride was hurt but I was fine. I had mud on my scarf, mud on my jacket and mud on my trousers. My hands were covered in thick mud where I had put them out to break my fall. It's a good job I hadn't put my wrists through the loops on the poles otherwise I may have fallen more awkwardly and hurt myself. Luckily, one of the walker's had wet wipes (a woman of course - I just couldn't see any of our male walkers carrying wet wipes with them) and I was able to get most of the mud off my hands. As for the other stuff it was all put in the machine when I got home and washed.

    Everyone said they enjoyed the walk; one person said they wanted to re-walk it another day which I take as a compliment. We were lucky with the weather as the sun came out. Since last Sunday, I've walked more than 20 miles and I hope to do another 7 mile walk next Sunday if the weather holds.


    This is what I wore on Wednesday.
    The necklace was recently bought in a Devon Age UK charity shop for £2.00. The earrings were bought from Debenhams about eight years ago when they had a 'two for a fiver' offer on their costume jewellery.


    The shirt is by Punt Roma; the jeans are Laura Ashley - both charity shopped and the cardigan was a Christmas 2015 present from OH. Bangles charity shopped.


    Boots are DDB.


    On Thursday I went to spend the day with my friend Natalie in Cambridge. We had planned to look around the charity shops and go somewhere for a meal. Natalie is extremely talented at up cycling furniture and she has been up cycling my bureau which I left with her the last time I visited. When I got to her house this time it was finished!


    Isn't it lovely? She had also up cycled a very small table in the same colour and pattern which I'll put my printer on - and she recovered an upright chair in similar patterned material. My study is now a haven for me to read, crochet, listen to the radio and write my blog. I just need a very small armchair to complete it... 


    Everything is charity shopped except the boots which were a Christmas 2016 present from my daughter. The jacket is by Boden and was charity shopped in the Red Cross a few months back for £1.99. I like the pleated collar. The tunic is by Fat Face and was from the Red Cross for £1.99. For warmth,  I layered a camisole from  Lidl underneath. The jeans are from Next but can't remember which charity shop.


    All jewellery charity shopped.

    It was bitterly cold in Cambridge.
    I bought three green Virago books in the RSPCA bookshop; a picture for the spare bedroom; some glasses - we keep breaking glasses at the moment -  a pair of earrings, a necklace and a pair of ear phones for grandson all in the Salvation Army.  Note, I didn't buy any clothes! 
    Natalie picked up a three cornered children's chair and a side table on wheels; both to be up cycled.

    On Saturday, OH and I went rummaging in Northampton.  OH hadn't been rummaging for a while and was missing it; so ever obliging as I am, I went with him... We hadn't been to Northampton for more than a year. The only things I really wanted were: 1) A brown animal print shirt. 2) Another yellow cardigan - my present one is not very warm.


    Saturday was a horrible day. Grey, cold and very misty/foggy. Northampton was relatively quiet as a result of the weather. We visited 10 charity shops in total and I found nothing on my list.


    Everything charity shopped except the boots which were a Christmas present from my daughter in 2016. Knitted tunic from Esmara (Lidl), M&S jeans, top; Dorothy Perkins.


    All jewellery charity shopped.

    I bought some clothes (oh dear!); a pair of Next jeans from the £1.00 rail in the Sue Ryder shop -  and a lovely tunic which I paid £6.00 in Age UK for; as I really liked it. I also bought a necklace (£1.99) in the Heart Foundation shop and two pairs of earrings at £1.00 each in Age UK. It will be back to no rummaging next week as I'm trying to go only once a month now. It won't be too long before I go to Ireland again... I've had a blip this month because of going to Cambridge as well as Northampton, but in March, probably around my birthday I'll have another rummage in a different town. You never know I might even get taken away for the weekend somewhere!

    I believe the weather will be getting milder in the week to come so let's hope it does and that we see even more signs of Spring. I'm also hoping that the lurgy will have gone and I'll be back to my normal self - whatever that is!

              Bien le bonjour! sur Test Tablette Graphique 2'ième        
    A Ceen :
    Merci de compatir à ma douleur, y a pas à dire, la tablette c'est loin d'être facile. Mais j'ai foi! nous y arriverons >_< \o/ A kami : Tout à fait d'accord avec toi! En plus, imagine la scène du secteur 5 quand Cloud se travesti en femme, perso je ne pense aps que ça aura le même effet, et du coup se sera beaucoup moins drôle. Beaucoup de scène risque d'en perdre avec le style "réaliste", bien sur d'autre gagneront en émotion comme le décès d'Aerith et le dépôt de son corps dans l'eau (vu dans Advent Children), mais beaucoup en perdront comme touts ces passages comiques (le club du secteur 5) et aussi certaines scènes magiques comme la fleur d'Aerith et le passage du train avec Jesse qui explique le réseau à Cloud. A la limite, s'ils se contentent de mettre les graphismes à jour mais de garder le style SD, ainsi que des scènes supplémentaires pour coïncider avec les nombreux autres épisodes, pourquoi pas, mais je ne pense pas que ça se passera comme ça. A coup sûr ça va être Tetsuya Nomura qui sera aux commandes et même si ce n'est pas le cas la firme voudra en priorité toucher le nouveau public et ceux qui n'aiment pas le Hold School TT__TT (Wouhaow!! C'était long ^_^') PS : Lol, ce post est devenu presque un forum, c'est pas pour me déplaire au contraire, je trouve ça vivant ^__^
              Kami sur Test Tablette Graphique 2'ième        
    Tu as vraiment bien résumé la chose. Pour Gakt, disons qu'il est là parce qu'il a chanté pour "Dirge of Cerberus" et on le voit à la fin (et pas en synthèse(j'ai pas fait le jeu mais j'ai vu les cinématiques)). Denzel est attachant, c'est tout, bien que je ne sache pas d'où il sort (?) il fallait un fan de Cloud c'est pour ça =_=.
    FF 14 ne m'a jamais intérressé, pareil pour le 11 étant donné que je déteste les MMOs. FF 12 est sans plus, mais l'univers est très crédible (Ivalice = Vagrant Story ^^). FF Versus 13, je pense comme toi, je ne dis pas que le jeu sera mauvais mais comme tu le dis c'est un portage de Sasuke (cheveux + look) et un brin de Cloud aussi. Par-contre FF 14, tu te dois de le faire, il est sorti sur Nintendo DS et si tu n'as pas la console au pire fais-le en émulateur Super Nintendo, les graphismes ne seront pas top mais la magie sera toujours là. Pour sa suite le titre est "Les années suivantes", on y suit les aventures de Ceodor, déscendant de Cecil et Rosa. Le jeu est disponible en téléchargement épisodique sur Wii, voici un lien pour te faire une idée : http://www.jeuxvideo.com/jeux/wii/00029696-final-fantasy-iv-les-annees-suivantes.htm Sinon ok pour le dessin, je t'en ferai un que je t'enverrai par mail.
              How to Choose the Right Server Vendor        
    As discussed in my previous post, cloud computing can offer great benefits for title agencies. Still, choosing the right vendor can be overwhelming. A little research and preparation up front can help make the transition to the cloud smooth and manageable. How long has the company been around? Make sure you are well versed on …Read more
              Benefits of the Cloud        
    The title industry has changed considerably over the last three years. Budgets have been cut due to economic conditions. Most title agents are allowing their title and escrow officers to work remotely to enhance work-life balance. New regulations are on the horizon. Cloud computing makes a lot of sense in this new environment where flexibility …Read more
              What is Cloud Computing?        
    There’s a lot of talk about “The Cloud” these days. Your eyes may glaze over at terms like cloud computing, SaaS (software as a service), IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and STaaS (storage as a service). But they all mean roughly the same thing: not knowing where your company’s data is hosted. You’ve probably used …Read more
              Marking Teton History        

    MARKING HISTORY-FIRST TURNS
















    I was lucky enough to become the first female to snowboard the Grand Teton.

    We had been watching the weather for days, wind looked good and no new storm cycles coming our way...1st attempt was on Tuesday. I was supposed to work, and on Monday night Max and I saw a window of opportunity in the forecast and decided to make it happen. I called my boss and said, "look, there's something I need to do..."! He said don't worry about work...and get 'er done! Tuesday morning we woke up at 2am and starting skinning up Garnet Canyon just after 3am. The sun started to rise while we were in the meadow and deep down we knew we were way behind schedule. With all the gear on our backs we headed up the Teepe Couloir and stopped for a rest. The day had started and we weren't sure about the haze turning to cloud cover or the heat of the day creating dangerous snow conditions. This was the turn back moment. Once beyond the Teepe, there is no turning back. We chose to bail after 7 hours in, and maybe 4 hours from the summit! But we left our ropes and gear under some rocks at the top of the Teepe to make our lives easier on the next attempt. Once the decision was made to abort, the day became leisure. We skied the Teepe and stopped before the Meadows to take a nap on the Jackson Hole Climbers Guide summer station (which was just a tarped platform). Once we woke up and the snow was softer we rode down back to the car somewhat disappointed.

    I had the next two days off, and after religiously looking at web cams and weather stations online we chose Thursday for the next attempt. Wednesday became the day of rest, we tried to sleep as much as we could and eat as much as we could. This time we thought of giving ourselves a head start and wake up even earlier. An addition to our crew was added, it was Nick, Max and myself. We woke up at 1am and in the zone were skinning by 1:50am. I was prepared for the cold skin up to the Meadows and made it as efficient as possible this time, there was no wasting of energy or time today. We got to the Meadows and it was still dark. Dropped our skins off, laced up our crampons and started booting up towards the Teepee. We hit sunrise at the top of the Teepee and we were feeling good. Except for poor Nick, at the no turn back moment, Nick had become nauseous and decided to bail and let Max and I go.

    Max and I left as much unnecessary gear at that spot and started the ascent. Roping up with ice axes in hand, Max lead the way to the Stettner Couloir. Rounding the corner with Nick watching us go, I knew this was going to be the day I "send" the Grand. I had prepared myself in the past months, my determination washed away all fear and it was merely an execution of moves. Once in the Stettner I experienced my first ice climbing. Testing out my ability to trust an ice ax I moved over the ice bulge. Cleaning the gear and simultaneously climbing we reached the Chevy Couloir. It got a bit cruxy so I belayed Max as he headed up. While in the shade, and my sweat drying I became borderline hypothermia watching Max move over the biggest crux of ice. Once he anchored and it was time for me to climb, I moved as fast as I could, not knowing if we were running out of time and to just keep warm. Quickly we moved from one anchor to the next until we reached the last set, where we would be rappelling for the descent. we left one rope and some gear, ate and drank as much as we could and began the final approach to the summit in the Ford Couloir. This was just a symo climb on rope through knee deep, crusty/sugar snow. Safe for the most part but as always high exposure with serious consequence. I became so exhausted that I found myself grunting through every throw of my ax into the snow and every step with my crampons. But alas, finally we summit and it seemed as if we could see the world. I was the first to drop in, marking history of the first female to snowboard the Grand. At no point was I scared through all the climbs, but at that moment, when all I had to do was what I do best-snowboard-I was terrified. Because at that moment I knew that I would either become a statistic or mark history!! I dropped in gripping my ax in my right hand. Each turn was scarier than the next but I made it to the first rappel station and clipped in waiting for Max. Ok, so far so good, I successfully snowboarded, now the exit! 5 rappels later and some down climbing we reached the top of the Teepe Couloir. SAFE! At that moment I knew it was done. We weren't out yet, but I knew I was capable of getting back to my car alive!

    Retrieving all our gear along the way we finally made it back to the car just before sunset, tired, hungry, cranky and all my toes and fingertips frostbit...But I was alive and I had just SNOWBOARDED THE GRAND TETON!

    Now, I'm trying to retire from snowboarding and go back to skiing!! just kidding!
              7 Tips - How to Choose a Great Blogger Blog Topic        
    Have you chosen a blog topic that is right for you? Lots of people start their Blogger Blogspot blogs without giving much thought to their selection of blog topic. Or the angle on the topic they want to explore. If you want your blog to stand out from the crowd make sure you consider your blog topic carefully.

    How to Choose A Good Blog Topic - 7 tips for Begniner and Newbie bloggers and anyone who wants to build a successful blogger blogA good blog topic can make or break a blog. Like some partners some blogs and their owners just don't fit no matter which way you look at it. Make sure before you spend 3 to 6 months of slog to develop your blog that you haven't placed your ladder against the wrong wall.

    Here are a few tips that will get you thinking about your Blogger Blogspot blog topic and how important it is to choose the right one for you.

    1. Choose a blog topic that you are passionate about
    You are going to be writing content about this blog topic for 365 days of the year for at least 2-5 years. For that to work successfully you have to have some passion otherwise the tedium will wear you down.

    Conversely if you are really passionate about a topic that passion will shine through in your blog and like a big magnet attract others.

    2. Choose a blog topic that interests you not just interests others
    Yes you can make money writing about making money but if you aren't interested in money you have a problem. The topic itself may be viable commercially but readers will soon figure out you are in it for the money not the fun. Make sure you are genuinely interested in your blog topic and not just choosing it because it seems to be a hot topic. Don't forget readers are going to want new and fresh content and will not stick around if you are not up to providing it.

    Know Your Audience - Choose a Blog Topic that will have a global audience3. Choose a blog topic that has potential for readership
    If you choose a more unusual blog topic then you may find you are the only one interested in it. However if you have very little competition you will be able to quickly carve out a niche for your blog. Research your market. Check out forums. Identify if there actually is a gap waiting to be filled. If there are a lot of others writing about the same topic can the market sustain another blog or will it be a hard slog to get traffic. Know your audience.

    Attracting visitors and maintaining readership are important factors in ensuring that your blog will generate a steady income stream. If monetization is important to you check your blog's potential for adding relevant ads and affiliate marketing.

    4. Know your subject area
    How well do you know the subject matter of your chosen blog topic? Readers will quickly assess your knowledge of your blog topic and will expect you to deliver the goods.

    If you are passionate but not very knowledgable how will you find the information you need to create new material? Creating content is time consuming and it requires good research skills. Have you got access to the kind of information you are going to need?

    As a general rule don't choose a topic you know very little about or you may find yourself floundering once you have exhausted your own ideas.

    5. What's your angle? Identify your angle when choosing a blog topic
    Knowing your subject is one thing but finding a fresh angle is something else. If you want to create a blog in a subject area that is already heavily populated with other blogs you are likely to be more successful if you can find a good angle that has yet to be exploited. Most information isn't new it is just repackaged. How will you pitch your blog? Check out other blogs and identify what aspects might not be so well covered. Make a list of these and ask yourself if any of these areas has enough scope to sustain a blog by itself.

    6. Choose a blog topic with a medium to long shelf life
    Your blog topic might be great but will readers be interested in it a year or two down the track? This is particularly true for technology based blogs where products come and go and change happens at a rapid rate. Rethink your idea if your topic may not have long term sustainability. Ask yourself if there is a way to reframe it so that it will be more ongoing rather than of short duration.

    7. Clearly define the parameters of your blog topic
    Do you know what the parameters of your blog topic are? What you will cover and what you won't? If you don't know what the limits of your blog are others won't know either.

    Think carefully about your blog topic and define the parametersIt pays to carefully define these or you run the risk of trying to cover everything and losing your audience because they have no idea what your blog is about. Often the most successful blogs are those that focus on a specialist subject and stick within those guidelines.

    Jot down now what your blog actually covers. Include your material and your audience in this. For instance, is your blog for everyone or is it focussed on beginners only like this blog? Deciding this early on will make it easy to pitch your articles in a particular way. If you have no clarity you may find you write good material but it is not pitched to the right audience.

    If you have lots of ideas for a blog topic you will need to crystallize these. Jotting down advantages and disadvantages will help you sort the wheat from the chaff. You may find you have several good ideas but select only one of these to concentrate on. Once things are up and running with your first venture you might decide to get cracking on the second idea but prioritize to start with.

    Remember that laying the groundwork now will prevent disappointment further down the track. Your idea has a much greater chance of being successful if you spend some time getting clear about what you want from your blog and what you want to achieve. Even if your idea needs a lot of refining the exercise is a great opportunity to put some planning in place and planning your blog as in most things in life is one of the cornerstones of success.

    Summary
    This article has focused on how to choose a great blog topic for a Blogger Blogspot blog. I have discussed 7 tips to help Blogspot bloggers especially those new to blogging choose a blog topic that will fit with their knowledge base and interests. Finding a good fit with your blog topic is one of the keys to success and worth taking the time to consider carefully. Any thoughts or ideas about this article. Please share them.

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              Small-ship expedition becomes a big environmental exploration        
    Take a journey through West Coast wonders aboard Outer Shores’ six-passenger Passing Cloud This is one of those cruises I’m almost hesitant to tell you about, for the simple reason that I think it is one of British Columbia’s best-kept […]
              azaleas / cloudsound / forest walker        
    azaleas ~ sapphire (blank_tapes, 2016)

    «Long-form new-age collages. First full-length from Azaleas». ~ blank_tapes

    Two years ago I had a pleasure to share a split tape with Azaleas (duo of Kyle Wade & Alice Andres-Wade hailing from Denver) on Rainbow Pyramid label and started waiting patiently for their full-length debut. Hope was not lost, and here it is, spinning in my deck on repeat mode since December! And with the first winds of the spring this music seems to unfold even broader, carrying eternal bliss of best ambient genre developments. Shimmering layers of synth soundscapes, massive drones, new-agey melodies and organic hum of field recordings... Everything in its place, all corners rounded, every transition made with care. This tape has rare ability to became more and more interesting with every spin, telling the same stories differently each time you listen to it. You may get lost in all those layers, fades and vibes, travelling between dark thickets and wide open eyes of lakes, but don't worry – the hiss of blank tape in the end will leave you under charms of these marvelous tunes with joyful smile on your face and pleasant feeling in the heart. Highest recommendations!

    listen ~ support

    cloudsound ~ indigo appalachia (fluere tapes, 2017)

    «Reverie over outer space air space tween canopy slopes of mauve ambrosial gazes to ribbonious unfurls later spooled» ~ fluere tapes

    Less is more! I always admired the ability to create pleasant atmosphere with seemingly minimalist and truly lo-fi sound. What Fluere Tapes boss Lee Boyd did on this tape easily falls into category of lo-fi drone, but the less you care about labeling, the more you receive in impression value. Actually, this tape can be a marvelous post-rock or shoegaze epic, simply recorded hundred of times from one old dusty tape to another. Yet, it has this unexplainable charm that wraps you like a cozy blanket, carrying away as a good old magic flying carpet. Massive layers of sound are hidden behind the surface of pleasant sound - same as the incredible amount of water looks like beautiful cloud from the surface. As the the artwork itself, this music is fused by light, an enormous cosmic nebula sending its glorious radiance light years away... Also I must admit that this particular album brought a lot of nostalgic moments for me, remembering those early psych/drone tapes by Deep Magic or Sundrips, feeling the awe in presence of those energies, such pure and sincere, like they are directly radiating from the artist's heart. Maybe I'm just too sentimental, but there is nothing is this world like Cloudsound. Absolute bliss.

    listen ~ support

    forest walker ~ uv sea (constellation tatsu)

    Sincerely – I have no words to describe this album. It's clear, that with such love for ambient music I possess, album like UV Sea would turn into breathtaking experience. Forest Walker puts everything in one canvas and manages to blend all treasures of ambient genre into a single whole thing. Thing in itself. Pulsation of synth lines, deepest drones, huge waves of reverberated noises... even dusty saturated beats do no harm to this never-ending stream of bliss, supporting its torrent thought your perception channels. Is that infinity of the Universe transcending by the aural medium or endlessness of sound, forging new universe inside ours – who knows? Depends on which interpretation of quantum mechanics you follow. One thing is clear here, this music exist in more than one dimension. It spans like endless wave and each track is just range of frequencies we able to perceive. It's easy to imagine UV Sea as short part of huge intergalactic transmission, captured by limited instruments of humankind and then interpreted by our even more limited sense organs. But the message is so powerful that we can get it if not consciously, but more subtly, just intuitively. And unable to verbally express... Yet, transmission continues, so tune in!

    listen ~ support

              end of the year list        


    Hola friends! This year Microphones were not as active as usual due to many reasons, but we still listen a lot of music and always eager to share is with other souls through this world. Here is the list of albums we love and enjoy, music that gives inspiration and peaceful feeling of the life flow. No particular order, no ranks, just good vibes delivered by amazing artist all around the globe. Enjoy!

    Braeyden Jae — Fog Mirror (Whited Sepulchre)
    Ant'lrd — Sleep Drive (Whited Sepulchre)
    Josephine Foster — No More Lamps in the Morning (Fire America)
    Deep Magic & Mohave Triangles — Split (Diatom Bath)
    Matthewdavid's Mindflight — Trust the Guide and Glide (Leaving Records)
    Thousand Foot Whale Claw — Cosmic Winds (Constellation Tatsu)
    Gamardah Fungus — Herbs And Potions (Flaming Pines)
    Cloudsound — Static Sense & Wonder Stasis (ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ)
    Saåad — Verdaillon (In Paradisum)
    Pandelindio & Bird People — Sporal Dispersal (Frente Al Fuego)
    Les Halles — Transient + Sentient (Not Not Fun)
    alineko — summer of love (ПANΘEON)
    David Colohan — Hill of the Moon (Was Ist Das?)
    Sarah Davachi — Dominions (Jaz Records)
    David Parsons — Puja (Gterma)
    Grykë Pyje — Fragments of High Sensitivity (Ikuisuus / Hyster Tapes)
    Bear Bones, Lay Low — Hacia La Luz (Self-released)
    Alone in the Hollow Garden — Receiving the 17 Daggers of Light (Self-released)
    SONM — embody (Pearly Snowdrift)
    Mathias Grassow & Closing The Eternity — Untitled tape (ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ)
    Directorsound — Sun Suites For a Rising Moon (ШАΛАШ)
    Useless — HEXA (Terminal Dream)
    TVVIN_PINEZ_M4LL — 植物波 - p l a n t w a v e (Adhesive Sounds)
    Hong Kong Express — Hong Kong Express (TKX)
    Hybrid Palms — Pacific Image (Sounds of the Dawn)
    Lunaria — All is Dream (Sounds of the Dawn)
    Julia Bloop — Bllop (Rotifer Cassettes)
    Guenter Schlienz — Augenblicke (Sacred Phrases)
    Guenter Schlienz ‎— Book of Dreams (Cosmic Winnetou)
    Mårble — Looking for Marine Iguana (Echotourist)
    Rod Hamilton and Tiffany Seal — Versatile Ambience (Ehse Records)
    555 — Thee Omega Seed (MJMJ Records)
    Kyle Landstra — Variables of Resolve (Moog Music)
    Sunmoonstar & Inner Travels — Split tape (Scenic Rhythms)
    Inner Travels — Clear Seeing (Inner Islands)
    More Future Suffering — Self-titled (Winter Sea Label)
    You C + Foresteppe — Seven Sleepers (ШАΛАШ)
    A.Shark — 45 (Ominor Records)
    Stag Hare — Velvet & Bone (Inner Islands)
    Channelers — Space Makes Clearing (Inner Islands)
    Ashan — Death is the New Life (Heavy Mess)
    Sister Grotto — Blindside (Heavy Mess)
    Eva Geist — Äquator System (Elestial Sound)
    Tuluum Shimmering — Where the Turquoise Spring Sings Among Pebbles (Self-released)
    Sun Cycles — It Cuts the Plow Reins (Psychic Troubles Tapes)
    Paa Annandalii — Cavernous Fruits (Rotifer) 
    Bird People — Down of the Hamsa (Eiderdown)
    Чайник Болотных Богов — Гранатовый Сон (GV Sound)
    Matthew Barlow — Sound Meditations (Sounds of the Dawn)
    Jöns — Music For Euronews (Strategic Tape Reserve)

    Support the artists and the labels, share music with friends, play your favourite tapes to Christmas tree!
    Have a great year ahead! We wish you love & good vibes!

    ~ sincerely yours, microphones in the the trees team ~ 


              sister grotto ~ song for an unborn sun        

    sister grotto ~ song for an unborn sun (self-released, 2016)

    I love when things happen right as they should. One may ask who knows how do I know the way they actually should happen, but I can't explain that, it's just a feeling. Something you realize just in the right moment. You know then that this is exact space-time point where you belong right know. Opening bandcamp page with new Sister Grotto album tonight was something usual for me, I just pressed play, made speakers louder and had some tea. And somewhere in the halfway it hit me right into the hearth. Looking at the distant trains passing by, watching red lights at the smokestacks... Peaceful air of white night, smell of trees after the rain, slow clouds above all of it and the moon sleeping on them. It seemed that music goes from everywhere, being just a part of all of this wonder, simply existing as the air itself. People sleeping in all those huge buildings and stars hiding behind this grey sky – they have so much in common. Sound of Madeline's guitar unfolds like fog, bringing peace and kind of protection. Her voice washes my thoughts away from shores of my mind. Peaceful melancholia of these melodies flies somewhere between my window and horizon bringing echoes of the day which ended so quietly. There will be noise and rumble again on these streets tomorrow, but while sun is unborn, I'll enjoy that feeling. Every single part of it, even if it brings tears to my eyes. 

    listen ~ buy tape


              rest easy, volume 1 by australian newborn label hi tide        


    hi tide (various artists) ~ rest easy, volume 1

    Volume 1 of our 'Rest Easy' compilation series showcases eight relaxing tracks made by musicians living across the continent of Australia. Digital timbres are blended with field recordings and analogue tones, structured by circadian rhythms and fluid compositional trails to create a soothing, contemplative journey suited to long walks, kayaking and other easygoing activities; enjoy in loungerooms, libraries, hotsprings, bathhouses and anyplace easily softened by the sounds of the Ambient. hi tide

    What do you need when the summer sun hides beneath the clouds? What do you want, when you sit by your window, watching rivers of the sky falling on the ground, making trees hum and asphalt wet? Yes, that's right, it's music! Something calm and warm, something so relaxing, that you will go up to the sky with the air, reaching the highest clouds to see the sun over them. Same sun that shine right now somewhere over the places you've never been, over the oceans you never touched, over the mountains you never climbed... Maybe right now it shines over Australia, where dozens of people read same blogs you enjoy, drink same kind of tea, seeing same dreams when sun goes down. There are many things which are universal, and probably music is the most universal (if I may say so) of them. Sharing their visions of life and their dreams, a group of highly talented artists joined for this compilation, which gives a very nice perspective on the present ambient music scene in Australia. Of course, we live in the global world now, we meet each other here, in the web – but there is always something special about such selections. I'd call it "a taste" of a place (and time!), which can be translated only by such lucid medium as music. Something you won't see in the tourist brochure or read in Wikipedia. I'm sure, Australians know things about relaxing but there is definitely something more about this compilation than just global laziness we all share. If I'll try explaining it further, magic will be gone. So just press the link already! And relax ~_~
     
    listen ~ download ~ support

    ps: Any money given for this album will be donated directly to Bush Heritage Australia, a conservation organisation protecting millions of hectares of ecologically important land and working in close partnership with traditional landowners.


              rafi bookstaber        

     rafi bookstaber ~ late summer (woodsist, 2016)


    “We’d like to welcome back our old friend Rafi Bookstaber. It’s all good... the immediate thing I felt when I jammed his Late Summer for the first time was wanting to hug life, cosmic love in the underground. 

    “This is a diff kind of human digitata, it’s sweet analog. You dig spring reverb, then maybe flesh it with sum Ra-fi. Pure jam. Extended solos and explorations go from downtown woodland discord and eternal reverie to Relatively Clean Rivers and beat earth poetics. Pretty darlin’ indeed...

    “What a vapor trail of music; very groovy to see folks finally catching up to this head. Dawn of a new vibration out of his occult pedigree in so many spaced out earth objects (Death Chants / Aswara / Von Himmel / Mendocino). Bookstaber also logged golden hours with Time-Lag and that deep scene. The beginning of an ear and golden spirit juice. Mined private press vision with his own Azriel and Humito imprints, shucked handmades~there’s also his groove and howl with the wolfpack in the MV / EE axis. Oxide, preserves and records…Rafi hummed the music of maidens. Iron Maiden this is not, shipbuilding it sails, four sail and many years ago I was there, so was Rafi’s fi. You dig, apache? Find some wampum, blow a journey, be here now for Late Summer eternal...” Matt “MV” Valentine

    buy ~ listen

              Western Digital My Cloud EX4100        

    Normale prijs: € 459,95

    Aanbiedingsprijs: € 418,95


              Western Digital My Cloud EX2 Ultra        

    Normale prijs: € 196,95

    Aanbiedingsprijs: € 179,95


              almost        


    no margin for error, almost.

    you failed, almost.

    had to sleep hungry, almost.

    best fondue you will ever have, almost.

    so much money it was obscene, almost.

    it rammed into the car, almost.

    so funny i died, almost.

    flew so high you could touch the clouds, almost.

    it crashed, almost.

    fifteen seconds of famous, almost.

    so dark i was lost, almost.

    it rained, almost.

    so bad it was good, almost.

    charlie bit my finger, almost.

    so loud the earth shook, almost.

    so faint it was a whisper, almost.

    took your breath away, almost.

    so far that there was no going back, almost.

    so close, so close, almost.

    dived so deep that you couldn't see the sun, almost.

    'twas a huge fall and you slipped!, almost.

    you caught it, almost.

    so happy i could die, almost.

    one things, almost.

    human, almost.

    it killed you, almost.


    almost... so you keep going.


              lost        

    He hated midnight flights. On top of that, this was going to be a 16 hour long flight, straight to the other end of the world. Courtesy lost sleep and timezones, he would be miserable for days. He had been having nightmares about the journey. As they announced the call for boarding, he dragged himself towards the gate to be greeted by a mocking 'Enjoy your flight, sir.'. As if they knew.

    He boarded the craft and walked towards his assigned seat. He had the middle one, the other two seats were unoccupied.

    She made her way through the aisle, stopping near him. She struggled to put her luggage into the overhead bin. He tried to get up and help, but by then she had already managed it on her own. She pointed towards her window seat next to him, followed by a 2-minute awkward choreography of letting her get to her seat. As they took their seats, he turned to her and gave a well-do-we-have-any-other-choice smile, which she tried to acknowledge but pretty much ended up ignoring him. 'Alright, so be it.'

    The safety announcements designed for 5-year-olds began. The craft taxied, sped along the runway, and took off. Entertainment was switched on, wine and dinner started being served, the air eased. He turned towards her to make a conversation. She was going to be next to him throughout the ordeal, so he might atleast make it not awkward.

    'Hi.'
    'Hi.'
    'Do you fly along this route often?'
    'Yes.'

    It seemed to him as if she made too much effort to return a casual smile. 'Doesn't seem interested in a conversation', he thought. Fine.

    The trolley stopped beside them. He asked for white wine to go along with the peanuts. She took red. He put on his headphones and turned his entertainment on. His pick was 'Wall·E'. She looked outside the window while they sipped their wine. 'Why do they make these peanut packets so difficult to open?!', he thought getting annoyed. Everytime! As he managed to open his after much struggle, he saw her beside him struggling too. He popped a peanut in, sipped his wine, and continued to watch his movie. After looking at her struggle some more, he took his headphones off.

    'May I help you with that?'
    She smiled sheepishly.
    'There you go.'
    'Thanks!'

    Food was served soon. More wine was poured. As she started with the appetizers, she began...

    'I love this movie.'
    'Yes, it's an amazing movie! This is probably for the hundredth time that I am watching this.'
    'Haha, really? I don't think I love it that much. Which is your favorite scene from the movie?'
    'Dancing, surely. It's amazingly done.'
    'Yes. For me it would be the last scene though. I swear I must have cried during that scene.'
    'Haha. Well, for what it's worth, I didn't like how they ended the movie. Wall·E shouldn't have gotten his memory back. Sad endings are more real.'
    'So, what are you? Clinically insane, or a sadistic psychopath?'
    'Haha, c'mon! Firstly, neither. Secondly, I have a theory about movie endings...'
    '...which is?'
    'Most movies actually end about two or three scenes before they end the movie.'
    'Uhuh.'
    'See, for me this movie ends when we learn that Wall·E lost his memory. Everything after that is mostly appeasing the audience. This happens in so many movies!'
    'Ah... I see. So you are a sadistic psychopath. Do you do it professionally or just as a hobby, being a psychopath?'
    'It's a hobby.'
    'I don't need to raise any alarms then. Yet.'
    'Not at all! And if you needed to, you wouldn't have gotten the chance. I am that good.'
    'Haha. Hey listen, I am sorry about earlier.'
    'The peanuts?'
    'No, before that. It wasn't nice of me.'
    'I know. And the company of sadistic psychopaths doesn't help too much, does it?'
    'Cut me some slack, will you?!'
    'I will, if you stop taking it all too seriously.'

    Both smiled. Paused. 'So...', they both began together. 'Please go on', he said.

    'So...why do you hate flying so much?'
    'How did you know that?!'
    'It's hard not to know when it is written all over you.'
    '16 hours in a metal tube being hurled across the sky, huddled like cattle and you can hardly sleep, with nowhere else to go. What is there to love about it?'
    'How about the fact that you are going the reach the other end of the planet in less than a day, all the while dining, sipping wine, watching your favorite movie? And you're flying! Just look outside!' The moon followed them, the stars twinkled, and the clouds glistened.
    'Haha, yes of course. Maybe travelling frequently makes you grumpy. Or maybe, the reason of the travel affects how you feel about the travel. You are right, I have no reason to complain. Do you travel a lot?'
    'I do. I love travelling! More like, I like the journey as much, if not more, than the destination. Travelling gives you a lot of time to introspect. Sometimes you meet interesting people along the way.'
    'I'll take it that you mean me (too) when you say that.'
    '...and you had to ruin it. Bravo, monsieur!'
    'Merci!'
    'Haha. Alright, dinner's done. I'll see if I can sleep for a while.'
    'Yes, the time-zone monster awaits us too.'



    He finished the movie, and slept. Several hours passed before they woke up. He began...

    'You know, I haven't slept with a girl before.'
    'Wow, you did NOT just say that!'
    'I did.'
    'And it was a horrible pun.'
    'I know.'
    They both laughed. Paused.

    'Do you love someone?', she asked.
    'That is a little too personal, don't you think?'
    'You did not think about that before sleeping with me?! And your reply makes me sure you don't.'
    'I am not really sure what that means. Love. Everyone else seems to know.'
    'Well, maybe you need to fall in love once to understand it.'
    '...and that's exactly what everyone says! It's so pissing off! Do you? Love someone?'
    'So it isn't personal if you ask?! Well, it's complicated. I don't think I would be able to explain.'

    'Okay. Tell me, then, what do you think love is? Is there a definition? What is your definition of love?'
    'Love is bottomless empathy, born out of the heart’s revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are. To love a specific person, and to identify with his or her struggles and joys as if they were your own, you have to surrender some of your self.' [link]

    'It's like the way you feel about travelling.'
    'Meaning?'
    'That the journey is as much, if not more, important as the destination.'
    'If you put it that way, yes.'

    'That's what I feel about "Life".'
    'As in?'
    'As in, it's like a journey. People's paths cross with each other, and they become experiences for one another. I met you here, and I will remember this. But I don't know if we will ever meet again. In life we meet people who walk one-way with us. It's who comes back with you that counts. I think maybe that's love.'
    'Then the movie doesn't really end there for you.'
    'Meaning?'
    'Two scenes before Wall·E ends, it doesn't end there for you. Wall·E comes back in the end, doesn't he?'
    'I never thought about it like that before.'



    He exited towards the terminal. It had been a long journey, but he felt surprisingly fresh. As he walked, suddenly, the airport was filled with piercing white light coming from a single source. He shut his eyes and almost knelt. The light began to fade, and when he could see again, he saw that he was alone there, and the airport deserted. He began to move hurriedly towards the exit, the place looked liked it had been ransacked. He came out from the exit, she stood in front of him. She was the only one there besides him. He didn't know what to do. She walked towards him, smiled, and gently said, 'Let's go back.'


              affection        

    "Beautiful!", She said, as dawn cracked. A thick sheet of clouds hid the ground beneath, and it had tears from the rising jagged hills waking up to their morning elegance. "Just look at the colors, you! It's like someone has thrown random hues at the sky, and they all mix in a specific way and present themselves to us such that all of it makes sense. Like there is some hidden order in all this chaos, a greater purpose. Isn't it overwhelming?", She asked innocently.

    I could only smile. To me, She, with all her charm, looked more beautiful than nature's art collection on display in front of us. She caught me smiling mischievously.

    "What now, mister?", She asked.

    "Haha, yes, yes. Of course. It is really beautiful. I am only slightly amused at the deep affection with which you were describing it.", I said.

    "Affection? What does that mean?", She said, with a quizzical look on her face.

    "You know, affection. Like, love. Gentle, tender, warm, fuzzy. Or, any other adjective that you may prefer."

    She rolled her eyes. "Yes, mister. I have deep affection for the rising sun. More than I have for you, perhaps. Deal with it."

    "I never really got how people use that word, you know. I have been thinking about it."

    "Which word? Affection?"

    "Uhuh."

    "What is there to think about it? Like you said, it is like love."

    "Well, yes. Maybe not the word affection, then. But the word that follows it in standard use - 'for'."

    "For?! Now for what do you have a problem with for, now?"

    The sun was up now, the morning brighter. It seemed like everything around us was getting off their beds, with ruffled hair, rubbing their eyes, in order to get ready to jump into action for a long, eventful day ahead. I took a deep breath, the fresh morning air acting like a stimulant.

    "See", I began, with a demeanor of being about to say something really profound, "I think the word 'affection' is derived from 'to affect'. With that assumption, saying that one has affection for something, or someone, becomes grammatically incorrect. Because the effect of the affect is really on the self."

    She turned to look away from me trying to hide her smile's genesis, into the far-away hills, which looked like they were getting all dressed up to leave for work.

    I continued, "Whether I have affection for you or not, is really for you to decide. All I can know on my own really is whether I have affection from you, or, to put it reversely, whether you have affection for me. It works the other way round. So yes, when someone says that they have affection for someone, or something, they really mean that they have affection from them. You know, for that matter, every person I have met in my life, and each of my experiences with them has contributed to what I am at this moment, in however small, little way. All of that has led me to now. I have affection from all of them, really. There is no denying that."

    She turned to look at me, smiling. After an extended pause, she said, "For once, you make some sense, mister."

    "Haha, err, thank you?", I said casually.

    "I think I understand now what you meant earlier."

    I smiled. "I read a story some time ago. I want to recite a few lines from it which I really loved -
    “Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
    “Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
    It got me thinking. We have everyone's affection, afterall. Without us, or them, knowing it all the time. There is so much love in the world, and we fail to acknowledge it."

    The clouds had started to thin, and everything around us was wide awake, ready, raring to go.

    She grinned, now. "I will acknowledge it for you, mister. I have deep affection from you."

    I laughed.

    We turned around to go back home.

              mako        
    ------------
    Note 1: So you got a Nexus 4. Congratulations. You have an incredibly powerful device in your hands. This post is not N4 specific, so you can try several of these with any top-of-the-line Android device. N4 because all of these have been field-tested on mine. If you've got interesting apps/uses to share, shoot in the comments, I'd love to hear 'em. Otherwise, if 'Angry Birds' is all you've done, read on, you must. ;)

    Note 2: I'm sure someone at Google is huge Guillermo Del Toro fan. Galaxy Nexus was code-named 'toro', Nexus 4 is code-named 'mako' (ref: Pacific Rim).
    ------------


    Part I: use mako

    Part II: root mako

    Part III: sudo mako



    Part I: use mako


    a) Lock screen

    Widgets were always the strength of the Android ecosystem, and 4.2 Jelly Bean added the capability to add widgets on the lock-screen. There are several lock-screen widgets, but none standout like Roman Nurik's DashClock widget, which is beautiful, and isn't heavy on the battery. There are several extensions for this widget available in the store, so suit yourself.




















    b) Home screen

    I use the Android stock launcher. What you see in the background is the Ice Galaxy Live Wallpaper. This fellow, Maxelus, makes beautiful wallpapers. Most of the widgets are created using Zooper Widgets, and the icon pack is Minimalist.

    Nova Launcher is a popular choice for launcher replacement. It gives you a lot of options to customize just about everything. A shoutout to Buzz Launcher, which attempts to create a marketplace for out-of-the-box homescreens, which you can download and apply in a flash! Worth checking out if you are among the lazy ones.


    Head here for some inspiration.
















    c) Computer-phone connectivity apps (Productivity)

    Chrome to Phone - Send links from Chrome browser on desktop to your android phone.

    Phone To Desktop - Send links from your android phone to Chrome browser on desktop.

    Desktop Notifications - Get notifications from your phone on Chrome browser on desktop as desktop notifications.

    AirDroid - Transfer files to/from phone to desktop over wi-fi. Send SMS, use phone camera as a webcam, manage contacts, apps, music et al, from your desktop.

    TeamViewer - Remote control/remote desktop your computer from your phone over a data connection.

    GOM Remote - Control GOM Player on your computer through a remote-like interface on your phone.

    Unified Remote - Use your phone as a keyboard/mouse for your computer.



    d) Travel apps

    FlightTrack - Beautiful interface which shows flight path on a map. Gives schedule and gate information. Excellent, excellent app.

    Currency - Offline currency conversion.

    Google Maps / Google Translate - Their 'offline' mode is sweet! Download maps, and language packs for offline use! Very, very handy if you are planning a foreign holiday soon!

    Triposo - Travel guide.



    e) Special mention

    SMS Backup+ (backs up SMS, call logs, and now WhatsApp messages to Gmail!),
    Clean Master (clear system cache),
    Battery Doctor (battery optimisation),
    CamScanner (excellent app to get scanner level quality for documents through the phone camera),
    TrueCaller (it's creepy how they get the unknown numbers right, but they do),
    Light Manager (customise phone's LED notifications),
    SphereShare (photosphere images sharing community),
    TV Show Favs (track TV show episodes), and
    Default App Manager (manage default apps for any phone action).


    ...and since you will install so many apps, it is easy to get lost. Enter: App Dialer, yep, an app to find apps installed on your phone!




    Part II: root mako


    Rooting gives you the ability to flash custom ROMs on your phone. I haven't flashed any custom ROMs yet, I am pretty happy with the stock ROM. But rooting allows you to make full backups of your phone, and some pretty nifty apps. Most of the methods of rooting Nexus 4 factory resets the phone, and guides are easily available if you google it.


    The method I used doesn't factory reset the phone. (Motochopper method)

    1: Get motochopper and the drivers from here.

    2: Root. Yep, that simple. A full guide here (they even have a video!). The guide is for Galaxy S4, but it works just the same for Nexus 4 (I've done it!).


    All the other methods unlocks bootloader first, and then applies root. Hence the factory reset.

    Motochopper roots without unlocking the bootloader. Once you have achieved root, you can unlock your bootloader using BootUnlocker (yep, there's an app for that!). Android 4.3 update was announced today, so there's a decent chance you'll lose root after the update. You can use Voodoo OTA RootKeeper to preserve root during the OTA update.








    Part III: sudo mako

    Well... you have a rooted phone. What now?

    ShareKM - My favorite root app's gotta be ShareKM. It's brilliant! It connects the phone to your computer over wi-fi/data/bluetooth. Slide the mouse pointer from the edge of the screen, and voila!, the mouse pointer jumps to your phone! You can now use your computer's keyboard to type on your phone, or copy text from one to the other. It's really neat, you should check it out if you have a rooted Android device. Video of this app in action embedded below:





    OBackup - Nandroid Backup - Nandriod backup means a full image backup of your phone. So if you mess up something tinkering, you can always restore the phone exactly to how it was. OBackup does cloud backups and you can schedule your backups, which is pretty neat.



    LMT - LMT enable features on stock Android that are typically available on custom ROMs, and is often the reason why people do install custom ROMs. It isn't avaialble on Google Play, but can be downloaded from here. A full review here, and video of the app in action below:






    Spend time configuring your phone, it'll be worth it. Tinker. Enjoy.

    mako...

              D-Link AC750 Dual-band (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz) Fast Ethernet Zwart        

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              3 Ways Small Businesses Can Get the Most from Hybrid Cloud        
    By Harry Smith

    By following these tips from IT professional Harry Smith, you can ensure that your business's hybrid cloud deployments are successful. 


              How Energy and Utility Companies Can Make the Most of Big Data         
    By Andy Dearing

    E&U firms need to shift away from proprietary systems to more cloud-based and open-source tools to truly take advantage of a flood of data. 


              Follow The Rainbow        
    Hello! hope you're enjoying this Friday! sharing with you a few things today, I create a cute baby mini tag album, chipboard was painted and distressed then I cover with paper and images, I decorated with all my favorite elements: seam binding, lace, flowers, buttons etc... some of the images can be found here:Baby Tickets, Darling Baby.

    Hola! espero que esten disfrutando este Viernes! hoy quiero compartir algunos proyectos, primero este mini tag album de bebe, pinte el chipboard y pase un poco de tinta distress en los lados, despues cubri con imagenes y papel, decore con mis elementos favoritos: seam binding, encaje, flores, botones etc... algunas de esas imagenes las pueden encontrar aqui:Baby TicketsDarling Baby.







    Next a card created using the collage Magical Unicorn, I printed a cloud from the Digital Stamp sheet in watercolor paper and painted in blue, the stamp is from Recollections and I use some dies to create the rainbow. I added some German glass glitter on the unicorn.

    A continuacion una tarjeta creada usando el colage Magical Unicorn, imprimi una nube de la hoja de estos sellos digitales: Digital Stamp sheet en papel para acuarela y la pinte en color azul, el sello es de Recollections y use unos suajes para hacer el arcoiris. Pegue un poco de German glass glitter en el unicornio.



    And last a lovely set of tags created with paper scraps and cardstock, I use chipboard hearts, tea stained twill tape, lace and flowers. Stamps from PTI. Pink paper from: Amore Backgrounds

    Por ultimo un set de etiquetas creada con recortes de  papel y cardstock, use corazones de chipboard, twill tape teñido, encaje y flores. Sellos de PTI. Papel rosa de: Amore Backgrounds


     Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog, have a great weekend!

    Muchas gracias por visitar mi blog que tengan un bello fin de semana!


              Book review: HOT MAMALAH by Lisa Alcalay Klug        
    Hot Mamalah by Lisa Alkalay Klug
    So here it is: the long-awaited review of Lisa Alcalay Klug's latest book, Hot Mamalah: The Ultimate Guide for Every Woman of the Tribe (affiliate link).

     Lisa's publisher very kindly sent me a copy of the book to review, so that's my disclosure.

    When I first started reading this book, I felt completely overwhelmed. It really reminded me of some Jewish women that I know, and am somewhat afraid of - you know, those loud, bossy, neurotic types. It looked like this book was a handbook for becoming one of those, and I didn't really want any part of it. I argued with the book, with its lovely line drawings and wild typography, its luscious recipes and brazen declaration of female fabulosity.

    But then, it started to grow on me. It made me laugh. It reminded me not to take it, and myself, so seriously. It reminded me that every one of those intimidating hot mamalahs in the gym was a daughter of G-d, a human with strengths, weaknesses and her own lovability. It reminded me that having fun is an important part of the human experience, that laughing and crying and being sexy and fabulous and funny and enjoying every delicious morsel you put in your mouth is our birthright as women, whether Jewish or not.

    I've been blogging recently about akrasia, about the lizard brain and our tendency to self-sabotage. So many women have trouble with the Imposter Police, the feeling that you are not your true self in your professional persona, that you will be unmasked as a fraud any minute and taken away for impersonating someone you are not. So depressing.

    Hot Mamalah is an antidote to this self-doubt. Deliberately working on an image of yourself as fabulous, strong and mistress of your own destiny, whether you follow the cocktail recipes in the book or not, has got to boost your self-esteem in all areas of life. At the very least, you can't brood while giggling your head off at some really preposterous statement. You don't really want to be someone whose "neuroses have neuroses", but you know somebody just like that. At the very least, be grateful you aren't her. How about "You know you are a Hot Mamalah because your hobbies include baking, knitting, eating and impassioned debate." Or "You know you are a Hot Mamalah because sultry, raucous, and nubile describes you ... and your appetizers."

    The book is structured in the form of a meal (of course!). Starting with Aperitifs, continuing with Hors d'Oeuvres, through Le Plat Principal to Dessert. Each section contains lists, jokes, recipes and even some thoughtful advice about life, as well as the best kind of handbags to buy.

    This is probably a good place to mention the fabulous giveaway at Modern Tribe. Lots of chances to win seriously cool merchandise! But don't delay, the winner will be announced on December 3rd. Also, do not forget Lisa's previous book, Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe (also an affiliate link).

    In summary, this is a book that will make you love it despite yourself, just like the Hot Mamalah herself. Nu, go ahead and buy it, it couldn't hurt.
              What makes a great neighborhood?        
    Tonight was a pretty amazing night to just sit outside, enjoy Rowan’s Creek on the rocks and listen to some good music. 73 degrees, a slight breeze, a blue moon over Kentucky passing through a veil of tree leaves in an almost cloudless sky. Crickets more »
              Offer - icloud email (1-8668661752) signin customer support number. - USA        
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              Al TBIZ tutte le tecnologie ICT a vantaggio delle aziende        
    Tecnologia VoIP, Unified Communication, Cloud computing, storage, database e tanto altro ancora. Al Technolgybiz 2017, il 13 e 14 settembre a Napoli, si parlerà e toccheranno con mano tutti i servizi ICT a vantaggio dell’azienda. Workshop e focus specifici per comprendere come poter risparmiare ed ottimizzare i propri servizi aziendali. Lo staff di VoipVoice presenterà […]

              Soluzioni di comunicazione aziendale in cloud        
    L’adozione di servizi in cloud da parte delle aziende è in costante crescita: dalle startup alle grandi aziende, dalle organizzazioni del settore pubblico fino al no-profit. Il cloud è un valore aggiunto così forte per i clienti che non c’è davvero alcun settore che non lo richieda e non ne tragga beneficio.  Incluso il settore della […]

              MailArchive: archiviare la posta non è mai stato così conveniente        
    L’8 Giugno 2017, il cloud provider di nuova generazione CoreTech ha rivoluzionato l’offerta e ribassato i prezzi di MailArchive, il servizio di archiviazione delle email sicuro, intuitivo e completamente cloud-based. L’archiviazione della posta, che fino a poco tempo fa richiedeva licenze software on premises e un hardware adeguato in casa, adesso è ancora più conveniente. […]

              CoreTech Srl, il nuovo distributore di GFI Software        
    A partire dal 1 Giugno 2017 CoreTech, cloud provider di nuova generazione,  è diventata il nuovo distributore di GFI Software per l’Italia. GFI Software è una società fortemente focalizzata sul Canale tradizionale. Con la sua rete di migliaia di Partner in tutto il mondo copre fino a 117 paesi e coopera con 66 distributori. Se si […]

              Under Construction        
    I hope you guys had a great Easter, because I sure did. Spent the holiday home with my family, relaxing and working out.

    You might ask why did I take photos near the construction site on my street, welll I've got something under construction myself. I am moving the blog on my personal domain, and I really hope you will like it. 
    I also have a new giveaway from Romwe up, starting at midnight tonight. Just follow the instructions in the rafflecopter widget. Have a great week!


    One winner will be picked 5 days later.  Good Luck!
    Btw, the stripe leggings will be $15.99 on 24th April.  Here is an inner coupon for you, my lovely fans: 10%offleggings  It’ll help you save another 10% for the leggings on 24th April.

    Sper ca ati petrecut frumos sarbatorile. Eu am stat cu familia acasa, ne-am relaxat si am facut miscare.
    Probabil va intrebati de ce m-am gasit sa fac poze chiar langa groapa din strada unde se lucreaza.
    Treaba e ca si eu construiesc ceva: voi muta blogul pe domeniul personal, sper sa va placa mai mult.
    SI ca sa ne bucuram mai tare ca am avut un weekend prelungit, am si un nou giveaway sponsorizat de Romwe care incepe la miezul noptii. Urmariti instructiunile din aplicatia de mai jos , e foarte simplu.
    O zi frumoasa va doresc!


    a Rafflecopter giveaway




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              Work-Work and Good News        
    We are still working on the phantom project so less time for the blog, but still I will try to keep it up to date here too.
    Now, a new giveaway is up and you can win a cool lace top from Romwe!
    Good luck honeys!



    Inca lucram la proiectul care inca e SECRET, iar timpul este destul de limitat. Totusi incerc sa fiu la zi si cu postarile aici.
    Acum e timpul pentru un nou Giveaway sponsorizat de Romwe in care puteti castiga  o bluza de dantela!
    Mult succes dragelor!

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              ÙƒØ§Ù†ÙˆÙ†ÙŠÙƒØ§Ù„ تتخلى عن يونتي Ù¨ و أوبنتو فون        
    كانونيكال تتخلى عن يونتي ٨ و أوبنتو فون

    ubuntu-13.10.png

    في قرار فجائي، ولكن متوقع، أعلنت شركة كانونيكال عن تخليها عن عدة مشاريع لا تدر عليها المال، وأهم هذه المشاريع يونتي ٨ و Mir و أوبنتو للهواتف و الأجهزة اللوحية. هذه الخطوة جاءت كمراجعة لسياسة الشركة التي تصارع من أجل جلب إيرادات أكبر لعدة سنوات بالرغم من الشهرة الكبيرة التي تحظى بها في سوق المستخدمين النهائيين.

    وكتوجه لهذا المسار، فإن الشركة ستستثمر في سوق السحاب وانترنت الأشياء، وهما المجالان اللذان يجلبان أرباح أكبر وعليها إقبال أكبر من الزبائن المستعدين للدفع. وكنتيجة أيضا لهذا التوجه، فإن الإصدارة القادمة من أوبنتو ١٨.٠٤ طويلة الدعم ستأتي بسطح مكتب جنوم بشكل افتراضي مثلما كان هو الحال قبل أن تبدأ كانونيكال في تطوير سطح مكتب يونتي.

    من وجهة نظري الشخصية فإن شركة كانونيكال أدركت أخيرا الشيء الذي أدركته شركة ردهات وهو أن الاستثمار في سوق المستخدمين النهائيين ليس مجدي وأن الأفضل أن تستثمر في مجالات لا يوجد فيها منافسين كبار. من ناحية أخرى فإن كانونيكال إذا توجهت إلى التخلي عن سطح المكتب بشكل كامل فإنها ستخسر نقطة جذب مهمة لها وهي المستخدمين العاديين الذين يمثلون قاعدة كبيرة للاستثمار في مجال لا تتعلق بسطح المكتب من مثل إنترنت الأشياء. ما رأيك أنت؟ شارك بتعليقك.

    Fahad الجمعة, 2017/04/07 - 10:47ص
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              Analista Infraestructura        
    Sophos Banking Solutions S A S - Bogotá DC - Profesional en Ingeniería de sistemas, Ingeniería de Telecomunicaciones o Ingeniería Electrónica. Con experiencia en dimensionamiento de Infraestructura, IAAS. Experiencia en servicios on Cloud (AWS, Azure, etc). Conocimientos sobre administración y configuración avanzada de Sist...
              Winter Beach/ Pastels on the Pier        
     Image from Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind 

    The idea of the beach in winter is one that has always captivated me. I think most people would agree that beaches are strictly summer territory, no question about it. And I, eternal child of all that is summery, have placed the idealistic scene of warm, gleaming rock pools and lolly-sticks on sandcastles high on my personal pedestal of Special, Sparkly places. Beaches are places for feeling sunburned and sandy and windswept, with salt in your hair and the sun in your eyes. For most people, that eternal, golden setting of the sea side in summer will live on forever in their minds, as it does in mine, as the stuff of sweet summer childhoods spent playing in the surf, and adolescent flings on grassy campsites by the sea.

    I'd always thought of the beach in winter, therefore, as a sort of forlorn, forsaken landscape; almost post-apocalyptic in it's state of eerie desertion. The sand looses it blinding, sunlit glare, and dims to a dull, pale, yellow, while the sparkling sea becomes iron grey and choppy, not to mention freezing. But in a way, the beach in winter is also sort of beautiful. There is something almost calm and reassuring about it's ghostly emptiness and the softer, less harsh hues of a murky, glass green ocean, and a pearly, clouded sky. I think it was actually the film Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind that gave me this new appreciation of windswept, winter beaches, not lit up, arcade-like, with the brazenness of a bright, summer's day, but bathed in the gentle tones of soft grey sheet rain gathering on the horizon, or smooth, blue pebbles hidden in the shadows of clear, shallow pools. The film opens with Jim Carey's dejected and jaded-looking character suddenly deciding not to board his usual train to work, and instead running flat out to jump on a train heading to the seaside town of Montauk.

    The scenes of him walking the shores of a deserted beach complete with rickety wooden windbreakers and long dry grass dancing in the wind made me start to think of the beach during winter not as a sad, forgotten place, but as a place of recovery and escapism. There isn't really anyone around, and feeling like you are alone with something as vast and powerful as the ocean has got to be the ultimate place to think things over and take deep lungfuls of fresh, salt-flecked air if you're feeling a little down in the dumps. The film then continues to revisit the beach via the character's memories of his now-ended relationship, one time at night as the couple break into a deserted beach house, one time when it is covered in thick blankets of snow, and one time during a surreal scene that involves the couple waking up in bed on the open, windy shore. If you haven't seen this truly stunning, unusual and generally amazing film, then you really, really should, but I wanted to mention it here because the idea of wintry beaches, blustery air that requires snuggly layers, and the muted, soft colours of a dully lit beach cocooned by a soft, shell coloured sky is exactly what is inspiring me sartorially right now.
               Image from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    The reason that I am suddenly feeling all these beachy, windswept, freezing-cold-winter-merging-into-sightly-less-freezing-cold-spring vibes, is partly down to my new magazine collage wall. Let me explain: my boyfriend and I have currently just moved into our new place together, and much to my surprise and delight, he was all for my 'lets decorate the walls in millions of pages from all my old Glamour magazines' idea. Well, he was all for decorating one wall in them, which was good enough. Therefore, whenever I sit in our shiny new dining room to eat my lunch/attempt to do some writing, I am now surrounded with all of my most beloved fashion and beauty moments from the dog-eared copies of Gamour I've been collecting for absolute donkey's years.

    Several of these images are from my absolute favourite ever Glamour fashion feature, entitled 'Have a Pretty Day', which is from a few seasons back now, I think. Anyway, the pictures were shot at Brighton Pier, which is one of my favourite places in the world. It was a spring shoot, but, unusually for a fashion magazine, the stylist had actually taken note of the fact that spring in England isn't all sunshine and blossom and clear, blue skies, and had dressed the model in a series of sugary, sweet outfits in soft creams and muted pastel tones, compete with coats, jackets and opaque tights, albeit in pretty spring hues. Not only does this whole 'Winter Beach/ Pastels on the Pier' look perfectly embody the current trend for pretty ice-cream pastels, but it also packs personal connotations to my love of beaches and fascination with the muted, soothing beauty of the sea side in crisp, early spring and deepest, darkest wintertime. Not only this, but the images in this shoot are also rather sixties inspired, making me fall in love with micro minis, swing coats, shift dresses and big, Bambi eyes.

    To achieve this sweet, pier-worthy look, think pale muted colours, and work with a palette of cream, white, mint green, powder pink, toffee and palest lavender.Team a snowy-hued shift dress with white opaque or semi-sheer tights, and wear with light tan lace-up brogues and a powder-blue swing coat. Blend in with the fairground carousel with pastel separates or sugary vintage dresses in floaty fabrics, and pick your way over the pebbles in elegant Mary Janes with a metallic sheen for a spot of mermaid-esque shimmer. Team the look with gently tousled waves, nude or chalky lips and long-lashed Bambi eyes for a nod towards sixties chic. 

    Lucky for me, my birthday is coming up next month, and I'm hoping that my boyfriend will whisk me away to the quiet, secluded shores of Brighton on a blustery spring day, to share huge clouds of pink candy floss and throw pebbles into a foamy, wind-whipped sea. Therefore, my head is currently full of the dancing images of lilac vintage day dresses, little candy-coloured knitted tops and sweet white mini skirts worn with sixties swing coats and pale, dainty plimsolls. Here are some of the images from the oh-so-pretty Glamour shoot now adorning my dining room wall, along with some of the sweet, sixties-inspired items that I am just longing to fling on for a skip through the whirring lights of amusement arcades. Be inspired to dip a toe into the not-so-chilly sea of cute, transitional winter-to-spring sea side chic, and remember to, above all, have a pretty day...    









      Images from Glamour magazine (on my magazine wall!)




    Keep the sea breeze at bay with these snuggly vintage coats from Rokit.com


    Look like a stick of Brighton rock in these pretty pieces from Rokit.com





    Stock up on shoes, socks and iced gem tops from Topshop.com
              Winzip 18 Pro with Patch and Serial Key        
    Winzip 18 Pro
    Winzip 18 Pro with Patch and Serial Key | 82.43 MB

    Unzip all major formats
    With just a click, open all major compression file types, including Zip, Zipx, RAR, 7Z, TAR, GZIP and more.

    Protect your privacy
    Easily encrypt files as you zip to keep information and data secure. Add watermarks to deter unauthorized copying.

    Simplify cloud sharing
    Share directly to more cloud services, manage your cloud files more easily, and quickly share links to your cloud files.

    Just add WinZip
    Bring popular WinZip features into the software you use most with new WinZip Express Add-Ons*.

    Features:
    Zip and manage content
    Compressing large files and folders makes them easier to transfer and saves storage space. Choose files from your PC using simple, drag-and-drop functionality or get files you've stored on Box, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, CloudMe and SugarSync to zip instantly. Zip files are perfect for sharing because they let you organize multiple files into one convenient package.

    Unzip anything
    Extract content from the industry's widest selection of compressed file types, including Zip, Zipx, RAR, 7Zip, BZ2, LHA/LZH and many more. When extracting encrypted files, WinZip auto-wipes all temporarily extracted copies to prevent misuse.

    NEW! Connect to more cloud services
    WinZip connects directly to Box, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, CloudMe and now SugarSync, so you can organize all your cloud files at once. Use WinZip to zip and save large files to the cloud or retrieve files or links to share. Secure your files and save precious online storage space by zipping and encrypting them first.

    NEW! One-stop cloud file sharing
    Imagine being able to see all your cloud files—even if they are saved on various cloud services—in a single view. Now you can, with WinZip 18. Instead of wasting time moving back and forth between various services to see where your files are and how much space you have, enjoy fast, easy cloud file sharing without leaving WinZip.

    Zip and share to social media
    Use ZipShare to share any type of file to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep everyone in the loop by posting content to all three social networks at once. Simply select the files you want to share, compose your message, and pick the social networks where you want your files to go.
     
    NEW! Email large files with just a click
    WinZip 18 lets you email large files or folders using any of your cloud services. Your files are automatically uploaded to your default cloud service and a link to them is placed in your outgoing email. Send up to 50MB free if you're using the ZipSend cloud or move up to ZipSend Pro to send up to 2GB. and etc

    What's New:
    NEW! Zip and share to more clouds
    Protect your files in the cloud and use less space by zipping them first. WinZip 18 lets you connect directly to your cloud services, including Box, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Dropbox, CloudMe and SugarSync. Zip before you upload, open zip files saved in the cloud, or select files from the cloud to zip and share.

    NEW! Streamlined cloud navigation
    Access and manage your cloud files as easily as you access the files on your computer. WinZip 18 makes it simple to send files to and from the cloud, save between your cloud accounts and monitor your cloud storage space.
     
    NEW! Copy and share Cloud Links
    Quickly send links to your cloud files by email, instant messaging and on social media sites.
     
    NEW! Work faster with WinZip Express Add-Ons
    Bring the power of WinZip into the software you use every day. Download the WinZip Express Add-On for Explorer for free and get instant access to the WinZip features you use most directly within Explorer. Add-Ons are also available for Microsoft Outlook, Photos and SharePoint.
     
    NEW! Compress files even more
    Make Zip and Zipx files even smaller with the enhanced zip engine in WinZip 18.

    Download Link
              ESET Smart Security 7.0.302 Full Version        
    ESET Smart Security 7.0
    ESET Smart Security 7.0.302 Full Version | 65.68 MB

    ESET Smart Security is a security suite for your PC including the following solutions: Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Rootkit, Anti-Spam, Anti-Theft, Firewall, Parental Control, and Web and Email protection. ESET Smart Security ranks among the leaders in virus, trojan and spyware detection and deletion. It's very fast and uses less system resources than most competitors.

    ESET Smart Security utilizes heuristics and a cloud-based file reputation system to detect the newest threads. It's Anti-Theft feature allows you to track a stolen laptop on a map, view the thief via your laptop’s webcam (if it has one) and lock it with a password.

    Download Link
              There are two ways to spread light; to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.        
    Wow This quote is great. It realy made me stop andthink. Am I the source of happiness or just the reflection of it? Do I hold both in my being? Can I balance both and abecome a great well rounded person? I feel the answere is yes to all of that. I know that I am a happy person basicaly and down in my heart. I knowthat htere are days that I am clouded and I have to just reflect the happiness that is shown me from others. but being both is a great thing not a bad thing. I think I can recogni...
              5 ways to go green and celebrate World Environment Day        
    Forty-two years ago on June 5, 1972, the United Nations launched its Environmental Program, UNEP, and the first World Environment Day was born. Back then, laptops were simply a perch for small dogs, and all people ever got from a cloud was rain. What hasn’t changed is UNEP‘s mission to spread environmental awareness and everyone’s responsibility […]
          

              Digging Deeper in Bali        
    Behind our guest house the rice paddies go for miles, flowing until they come to a ridge of mountains in the distance. Workers dot the landscape, stooping as they labor. They cut the rice by hand while piles of grass smolder here and there, wafting clouds of smoke that just hang in the air. I’m […]
          

              Migration (almost) complete        

    This weekend has seen a complete migration of An Architect's View from a very old version of BlogCFC (3.5.2) with a custom Fusebox 4.1 skin to the latest Mango Blog (1.4.3) as well as a complete migration of all of the content of the non-blog portion of corfield.org (my personal stuff, my C++ stuff and a bunch of stuff about CFML, Fusebox and Mach-II) from Fusebox to FW/1. I've moved from a VPS on HostMySite to an "enterprise cloud server" at EdgeWebHosting and I think it's all gone pretty smoothly although it's been a lot of work.

    Hopefully I haven't broken too many URLs - I spent quite a bit of time working on Apache RewriteRules to try to make sure old URLs still work - but it has given me the opportunity to streamline a lot of the files on the site (can you imagine how much cruft can build up in eight years of running a site?).

    What's left? Just the "recommended reading" bookstore portion of my old site. I store the book details in an XML file and process them in a CFC as part of the old Fusebox app (converted from Mach-II before that and from PHP before that). It's late and I can't face it tonight. Then I need to build out a Mango skin that looks like my old site (and eventually re-skin the non-blog portion of the site).

    The underpinnings of the site are Apache, Railo (3.1.2.010 at the time of writing), Tomcat (6.0.26 at the time of writing), Red Hat Linux, MySQL. I still have some fine-tuning to do but this is pretty much an out-of-the-box WAR-based install of Railo on Tomcat for this one site on the server. Over time I'll probably build out a home for FW/1 here under another domain, with examples and more documentation than is currently maintained on the RIAForge wiki. That's the plan anyway.

    If you find any broken links, let me know (the Contact Me! link is in the right hand column, near the bottom).


              Recovery        
    -->
    Boy, February blew by in a blast! Troy is coming home from U of M for the weekend to celebrate his 19th, or 4.75th birthday!  My Leap Year baby. I’m looking forward a weekend with the family. We’ll spend time in St Cloud with Tyler, tomorrow.

    Thought I’d post an update on the Morton’s Neuroma surgery.  My foot is healing very  well. I have no more pain-a bit of swelling when I over-do it. I am able to run/jog a few miles before I can feel that it has had enough. I’m good with that. Eventually I’ll add more miles.

    Last week while running I noticed that my knee began to swell and there was quite a bit of pain. WTH? I kept running, figuring it would go away. Yeah, well it didn’t. It swelled more. I’ve been icing and massaging, trying to get it to go down. Whatever.

    I’ve been back in the gym the past two weeks now that I can place full weight on my foot. I need to do SOMETHING to lessen my anxiety/depression. I know that running served that cause in the past and am finding other ways to alleviate the symptoms. I find myself wondering if booze served that cause in the past? I suppose so.  Lifting is certainly helping. I did an 8 week CrossFit bootcamp which was a lot of fun. Now I’m lifting heavy shit again. I love it.



    So it goes. Living each day the best I can. Life is GOOD!

              Secure Digital Privacy With Sen. Lee's ECPA Modernization Act        

    Over 250 years ago, courageous colonists took up arms and defended the right against unlawful search and seizure in the American Revolution. Fueled by outrageous searches by British law enforcement, our founding fathers enshrined within our constitution the Fourth Amendment, which reads, in part: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.”

    Sadly, government lost its way between then and now, spying on private information that it shouldn’t see. At the dawn of the internet era, Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a law establishing privacy protections for digital communications. But the law was written well before most people even knew what email was. Written for the technology of its time, ECPA permits warrantless search of stored electronic communications that are 180 days old. At that point, barely any electronics had high-memory capacity to store information like email does, so it wasn’t particularly egregious to assume old communications were abandoned. It’s a totally different story today, where email and digital communications have moved to the cloud, which has become the standard for data storage.

    Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) want to upgrade this archaic privacy-breaching law with the ECPA Modernization Act. This bill would erase the 180 days exception for law enforcement searches of electronic communications and replace it with the constitutional requirement of probable cause and a warrant. If the government obtains an individual’s communications through a third party provider, it must send a copy of its warrant to said individual within ten days. Without a warrant, law enforcement would have zero access to private electronic communications.

    The bill also establishes the same privacy protections for third-party geolocation information, an area left wide-open by existing law. Third party companies servicing devices and programs that track your location such as cell phone carriers or Snapchat will only provide geolocation information upon receiving a warrant. The person whose location is sought will be notified by mail within ten days.

    Occasionally, law enforcement claims that notifying the intended target of a warrant or criminal investigation could compromise effectiveness. For example, a suspect could destroy relevant records and evidence for a crime if they know that they are being targeted. Under existing law, law enforcement can request a “gag order” that stops a suspect from receiving a warrant notice. The ECPA Modernization Act would require law enforcement to provide specific facts proving that a gag order is necessary, a more stringent standard.

    Government’s respect for privacy has diminished over time, especially for electronic communications. The ECPA Modernization Act would ensure that Americans enjoy the same Fourth Amendment protections for digital communications as they do in the physical world.


              Support the ECPA Modernization Act, S. 1657        

    On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and urge them to support the ECPA Modernization Act, S. 1657, introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The bill would greatly increase individual privacy by adding warrant requirements to email collection by legal authorities and add other legal protections to defend citizens’ rights.

    The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was originally written in 1986, more than 30 years ago, well before the widespread use of email. Under existing statute, law enforcement to access emails and online data that are older than 180 days without a warrant.

    Email and cloud computing have transformed the way we use electronic data, and ECPA is sorely in need of an upgrade. Sen. Lee has noted, “Americans don’t believe the federal government should have warrantless access to their emails just because they are 180 days old.”

    The ECPA Modernization Act is the answer to that exact problem. The bill would add warrant requirements for authorities to get content from emails, regardless of how old they are. This would include both historical and real-time information for the location of an individual. Also, any individual whose information has been accessed must be notified within ten days of what content has been acquired.

    It also adds significant burden of proof requirements in order to get a warrant. Case in point, a gag order can only be required by the presentation of “specific and articulable facts.” The same is true for a pen register/trap and trace. This will greatly defend the rights of the individuals and their content.

    The importance of the Fourth Amendment is without question and our laws must be updated to ensure that we also enjoy fourth amendment protections in the digital world. This bill would greatly expand due process to the Internet and bring federal legislation into the 21st Century. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your senators and urge them to support the ECPA Modernization Act, S. 1657.

    Sincerely,

    Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks


              Lee and Leahy Move to Protect Email with Due Process        

    FreedomWorks supports the ECPA Modernization Act of 2017 by Senators Mike Lee and Patrick Leahy to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of every American by amending the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. This outdated law was written before most people even knew what the word internet meant, and well before the world of cloud-computing and online data storage. This legislation is in dire need of an upgrade, and Sens. Lee and Leahy should be applauded for taking the lead on this important issue.

    Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, federal agencies do not need a warrant to search emails and other digital communications that are over 180 days old. But under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution, Americans are explicitly protected from having their physical property compromised without due process. These same protections should apply in the digital world as well. Additionally, the Fourth Amendment clearly protects Americans against unreasonable search and seizure and requires probable cause prior to issuing a warrant. ECPA’s outdated standards for warrantless searches do not comport with the Fourth Amendment’s protection against warrantless searches.

    FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon issued the following statement:

    “In the digital world, Americans deserve the same privacy protections that we have for our papers and personal information in the physical world. Senator Lee’s efforts to reform ECPA’s outdated standards will restore the protections that our founder’s enshrined in the Constitution. I’m glad to see Sens. Lee and Leahy's continued leadership on this important issue.”


              E-Commerce: hybris + Adobe = Digital Marketing Intelligence        

    Der E-Commerce-Plattformanbieter hybris ermöglicht ab sofort die nahtlose Integration von Adobe Analytics, einer zentralen Komponente der Adobe Marketing Cloud. Im [...]

    The post E-Commerce: hybris + Adobe = Digital Marketing Intelligence appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog.


              NEWS: Windows 10 Enterprise VMs coming soon to Microsoft Azure        
    Yesterday, we made a big announcement, essentially making it possible for customers to license & run “Windows 10 Enterprise” within a VM in Microsoft Azure cloud. (or other IaaS services) Today, we’re making two announcements that provide our business customers with greater choice. The first is that virtualization use rights will be coming to Windows […]
              Where next for Twile?        



    Do you want more of your family to be involved in creating Family History for future generations?




    Whether it's taking pictures, writing stories, or just sharing experiences, we are all creating our own family history everyday. 
    The younger generation use social media to interact with each other and some even use it to keep up with their families. 
    If you use Facebook you will see numerous photographs every day. Some of these are of milestone events weddings, christenings, birthdays and other special occasions. 
    Would you like to save these for your descendants to see or share them with family who live away? 
    Some members of the family may be reluctant to share in such a public arena and would prefer a more private place.

    Twile was created so families can share there experiences and knowledge about the family in a fun interactive way and everyone can add their own part of the story. 
    It uses timelines and is very visual great for engaging the younger generation. 
    There are also ways of incorporating historic events within your timeline to show how these evnts may have affected your family.

    Why not try their 30 day free trial.

    I wrote a post in February so take a look if you have not read it and read some of the Twile blog to find out more.



    The Twile team (in red) of Paul Brooks, Kelly Marsden and Caroline Brooks at the Find My Past Stand at Who Do You Think You Are Live 2016

    Earlier this week I posted about my experience at Guild Conference and WDYTYA Live. Paul Brooks was at both conference and show and was explaining how Twile works and asking whether there is anything they could do to make the website work for those doing surname studies. I must admit I was not sure how it might work.


    The team have been busy since Rootstech trying to respond to the suggestions they received from those likely to use the site to build and share their family history.
    I could write about the discussion of what is to come but instead I will share with you an interview I conducted with Paul in the hall at Who Do You Think You Are Live.

    Here is the link to my interview.



    Caroline Brooks talking to a member of the Find My Past team

              Fog sphere implemented in shader        
    Fog effects are commonly used at the far horizon (far cut-off plane of the frustum). But local fog effects can also be used for atmosphere. This article is about using fogs defined by a centre and a radius, and how to implement that in the fragment shader. It may seem that fogs are similar to lamps, but there are important differences. Lamps will have a local effect on the near vicinity, while fog will change the view of every ray that pass through the fog cloud. That means different parts of the scene will change, depending on where the camera is.

    I am using the fog effect as a transparent object with varying alpha, where the alpha is a function of the amount of fog that a ray pass through. The amount of fog thus depends on the entry point of the ray into the sphere and the exit point, which gives the total inside distance. To simplify, it is assumed that the density is the same everywhere in the sphere. There are 4 parameters needed: the position of the camera V, the position of the pixel that shall be transformed P, the centre of the fog sphere C and the radius of the sphere, r. All coordinates are in the world model, not screen coordinates. For the mathematical background, see line-sphere intersection in Wikipedia. The task is to find the distance that a ray is inside the sphere, and use this to compute an alpha for fog blending.

    Using a normalized vector l, for the line from the camera V to the pixel P, the distance from the camera to the two intersections are:

    If the value inside the square root is negative, then there is no solution; the line is outside of the sphere, and no fog effects shall be applied.

    There are 4 cases that need to be considered:

    1. Camera and pixel are both inside the sphere.
    2. The camera is outside, but the pixel is inside.
    3. The camera is inside, but the pixel is outside.
    4. Both camera and pixel are outside of the sphere.
    For the first case, it is trivial to compute the fog covered distance from camera to pixel: "distance(C,P)".

    For the last case, with both camera and pixel are outside of the sphere, the distance will be the difference between the two intersections. This is the same as the double value of the square root. There are two non obvious exceptions that need to be taken care of. If the pixel is on the same side of the sphere as the camera, there shall be no fog effect. That means that the fog, for the given pixel, is occluded. The other special case is when you turn around. There would again be a fog cloud if you don't add a condition for it (l·C being negative).

    For the two other cases, there is a point inside the sphere, and a distance to one intersection with the sphere. The entry or exit point E can be found by multiplying the unit vector l with the near or the far value value of d, and adding this to the camera position V. Given E, the effective distance can easily be computed to either P or V. The final fragment shader function looks as follows:

    // r: Fog sphere radius
    // V: Camera position
    // C: Fog sphere centre
    // P: Pixel position
    // Return alpha to be used for the fog blending.
    float fog(float r, vec4 V, vec4 C, vec4 P) {
        float dist = 0; // The distance of the ray inside the fog sphere
        float cameraToPixelDist = distance(V, P);
        float cameraToFogDist = distance(V, C);
        float pixelToFogDist = distance(P, C);
        if (cameraToFogDist < r && pixelToFogDist < r) {
           dist = cameraToPixelDist; // Camera and pixel completely inside fog
        } else {
            vec3 l = normalize(P-V);
            float ldotc = dot(l,C-V);
            float tmp = ldotc*ldotc - cameraToFogDist*cameraToFogDist + radius*radius;
            if (cameraToFogDist > r && pixelToFogDist > r && ldotc > 0 && tmp > 0) {
                // Both camera and pixel outside the fog. The fog is in front of
                // the camera, and the ray is going through the fog.
                float sqrttmp = sqrt(tmp);
                vec3 entrance = camera + l*(ldotc-sqrttmp);
                if (cameraToPixelDist > distance(V, entrance)) dist = sqrttmp*2;
            } else if (cameraToFogDist > r && pixelToFogDist < r) {
                // Outside of fog, looking at pixel inside. Thus tmp>0.
                vec3 entrance = camera + l*(ldotc-sqrt(tmp));
                dist = distance(entrance, P);
            } else if (cameraToFogDist < r && pixelToFogDist > r) {
                // Camera inside fog, looking at pixel on the outside
                vec3 exit = camera + l*(ldotc+sqrt(tmp));
                dist = distance(exit, V);
            }
        }
        // Maximum value of 'dist' will be the diameter of the sphere.
        return dist/(radius*2);
    }

    A test of using a fog sphere. It is clear that rays going through a lot of fog has a bigger fog effect.

    Another example, using two fog spheres under ground. The colour of the fog need to be adapted, depending on how dark the surroundings are. It isn't shown above, but when there are overlapping fogs I use the most dominant alpha, not an accumulated value.

    The GPU performance cost for a fog can get high if there are many of them. If so, it can be an advantage to use a deferred shader, where only pixels are fog compensated that will be shown.


              VMworld: 8 VMTN Community Opportunities You Don’t Want to Miss        

    VMware Technology Network is fueled by customers, partners, and employees like you, who take the time to read and contribute information to our VMware ecosystem. Under the VMTN umbrella, all of community is captured – from bloggers, to vExperts, to developers in {code}, to CloudCred leaders. To recognize VMTN Community contributors, there are going to […]

    The post VMworld: 8 VMTN Community Opportunities You Don’t Want to Miss appeared first on VMTN Blog.


              There's Stupid And Then There's Chris Brown!        
    He's below dumb! Listen to this and more on The Perez Hilton Podcast with Chris Booker on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, or directly at PerezPodcast.com!
              Links from Hanselminutes 349        
    As if I had nothing better to do (I'm supposed to be cleaning the bathroom), I collected a bunch of links whilst listening to the Hanselminutes podcast episode 349. This show was one of the Hanselminutia episodes where Scott chats with Richard Campbell. They were talking about a lot of home automation stuff that's interesting to me so I gathered links to follow up on later (after the bathroom is clean, of course).

              January, 2012 Daring Baker Challenge: Back to Basics:Scones (Biscuits)        
    Introduction:  Hi my name is Audax from Audax Artifex (yes this web site). Whenever I visit my sister and her family in S.E. Queensland Australia she always welcomes me with a fresh batch of my favourite baked treat which we devour gleefully with cups of tea while we chat and catch up with the events in our lives.

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    The treat that I'm talking about is the basic scone (also know as baking powder biscuits in North America) my sister really knows how to make them, they are wondrously light with soft sides and a lovely airy crumb – superb with jam and cream. This month I want the Daring Bakers' to share my delight and I invite you to bake a batch of scones to enjoy with friends and family.

    For our North American members I wish to clarify what this challenge is all about and try to avoid any confusions. Scones in North American are nearly always triangular in shape have a slightly crisp crust usually covered in sugar and have a soft interior crumb and sometimes are laced with dried fruit (these baked goods in Australia and England are called “rock cakes” since they are usually made to look like “rocky” cakes not wedges), meanwhile biscuits in North American are a round shaped buttery slightly flaky baked good usually eaten with meals (these items in Australia and England are called “scones” and are eaten with butter and jam usually with cups of tea or coffee as a sweet snack). So this challenge (using the North American name) is to make biscuits. Or using the Australian or English name this challenge is to make scones.

    To further clarify for our North American bakers this month's challenge is to make biscuits (also called baking powder biscuits) if you choose to make your biscuits using buttermilk as the liquid you are making what are known as “Southern” Biscuits which are one of the most famous examples of home cooking in the Southern States of America (that is they are a baking powder biscuit made with buttermilk). In Australia and England “Southern” Biscuits would be called buttermilk scones. So restating the above, the challenge is to make scones (using the Australian/English name) or to make  biscuits (using the North American name). Incidentally if you use cream as your liquid in the challenge recipe the final baked good would be called a cream biscuit in North America or a cream scone in Australia and England.  

    Scones (biscuits) contain only a small number of ingredients they are fast to make, quick to bake, only cost cents per batch and most importantly are super FUN to eat. In England and Australia scones are eaten with jam and butter usually with cups of tea or coffee mostly as a sweet snack, while in North America they are usually eaten with meals as a savoury side.

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    Of course scones (biscuits) have a notorious reputation as being difficult for some people to make  comments like “hockey pucks”, “These made great door-stops ” and the like fill the comment sections of most recipe websites. You see scones (can be said as a rhyme with cone and also can be said as a rhyme with gone) are a type of quick bread that is a white flour dough that is raised using chemical agents usually baking powder and/or baking soda. Basic scones contain flour, raising agent(s), butter (or shortening or lard), salt, and milk (or buttermilk or soured milk or cream). Most recipes just say to “rub the fat into the flour” then combine the dry and wet ingredients until “gathered together” and then “lightly knead” the gathered mixture until a soft dough forms, then “roll or pat” out this dough and then “cut” out rounds and bake them in a hot oven. Well how hard could it really be I thought uh-mm as you can see below my first batch wasn't the greatest success … they didn't raise at all and the texture was barely OK I thought … I was left wondered what I had done wrong …   

    My first attempt at scones (really pretty terrible I thought, no height no tenderness and no flakiness)

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    So after studying many many (288 websites bookmarked) scone/biscuit recipes and the bakers' comments about these recipes and after doing 16 batches! myself I have acquired a lot of information to help you master the techniques involved I hope that at the end of this challenge that you will be able to make a good if not great scone (biscuit).

    After much research and many attempts …  finally some scones (the 14th, 15th and 16th batches) that I wouldn't mind sharing with my sister.

    The Classic Australian scone ring (Aussie Damper) – the crumb is very similar to bread
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    Cheese and chives scones – a “sky-high” light and tender scone flavoured with cheese and chives
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    The classic Southern Biscuit (buttermilk scone) – a superbly flaky scone made with buttermilk and laminated to form distinct layers when baked
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    Fairy Ring
    As I mentioned in the challenge posting in Australia and England scones are usually eaten as a sweet treat (with butter and jam) with cups of tea on that theme while doing my research for this challenge I thought I would do a variation on the sweet side of the scone. Here is one recipe that is suitable for kids and adults when you want something special and sweet yet can be made at a moment's notice.

    In Australia one of the most popular children's party food item is fairy bread. This is a variation of fairy bread called Fairy Ring made with an Aussie Scone (Damper) ring laced with 100s and 1000s then iced (with some icing sugar and a touch of lemon juice made into a sticky paste) then sprinkled with more 100s and 1000s (coloured sprinkles). My 9 year old niece went crazy with delight and literally squealed with glee when I showed her this Fairy Ring and say I made it especially for her.

    Normal (Damper) Scone Ring
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    Fairy Ring straight from the oven
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    Completed Fairy Ring
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    Hot Dog Buns
    Here is a savoury variation, I made hot dog buns using the basic scone recipe. They worked out great I couldn't believe the crumb and they tasted great with the hot dog and relishes and I made them in under 15 minutes (once the oven was hot enough). I was very surprised how well the basic scone dough complimented savoury food.  
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    Touch of Grace Scones
    (Click on the title to go to a great posting about this recipe)
    Here is the answer to dry biscuits this recipe is called "touch of grace" biscuits which uses a few simple techniques to create a super moist crumb. These scones are all about tenderness everything is designed to obtain the softest and most tender crumb possible. These are very different from the normal bread-like scones that Australians like with jam and cream. These would be perfect with a savoury meal. They were so buttery with a soft creamy crumb that literally melts in your mouth, the mouth feel is like clouds. As one reviewer lovingly opined "They're squat little puffs you'll want to grab, steaming, from a basket passed over fried chicken or bacon and eggs". The way I make them is slightly adapted from the original recipe,  I use a lot of very large pieces of butter and all buttermilk with very low gluten cake flour and some resting time in the fridge. Resting the dough after the buttermilk is stirred into the dry ingredients is essential you would never be able to form the soft balls of dough coated in flour that are the "rounds" in this case and keeping everything cold helps the baking process. While baking the large pieces of butter melt into the flour causing large air holes to form in the baked dough and since we use soft flour (6%) which cannot form flaky layers we thus obtain a feather-light creamy tender crumb infused with the maximum amount of butter that the dough can hold.
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    These scones are made entirely from cake flour (6% gluten), I used 1 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 cup very large-sized butter pieces, about 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. I rubbed in butter making sure most of the fat/flour where large pea sized pieces. I rested the dough after I mixed in the wet ingredients for 10 minutes until cold, during this time the dough "firms" up making it possible to turn it out in one cohesive dough ball onto a lightly floured board. I formed a rectangle of the soft dough floured the top lightly then I stamped out rounds. You could feel the pieces of butter in the formed round The rounds are very soft but can be picked up and placed into the baking dish. Then I place the baking dish with all the formed rounds back in the fridge for 10 minutes until cold then bake. (This procedure is much easier than the original recipe's method and it gives as good results I think). As you can see the crumb is saturated with butter and has masses of large airy pockets to trap your favourite topping. Absolutely delicious.
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    Raisin Scones
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    I wanted to make one batch of flavoured scones I went with sweet raisins and some molasses in the dough. I rubbed in the butter until it was like fine sand and I used "OO" cake flour about 7% protein and some cornflour (cornstarch), I was very happy with the look of the baked scones and the crumb was very tender very much like bread which is what I wanted. These were very cute looking but to be honest I like plain scones much better.
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    The bread like crumb of the scone so so tasty and soft.
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    As you can see scones (biscuits) are all about technique since the scones pictured above used the same basic recipe. 

    Recipe Source:  The challenge scone (biscuit) recipe has been especially formulated by Audax Artifex after a large amount of research and experimentation. It is designed to help you master the techniques involved in making scones (biscuits) exactly the way you like them. 

    Blog-checking lines: Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

    Posting Date:  January 27, 2012

    Challenge Notes:
    The Ingredients – since scones contain only a small number of ingredients each should be of the highest quality
    Flour – lower gluten (i.e. soft) flours (about 9% or less protein) produce taller and lighter scones than normal plain (all-purpose) flour (about 10%+ protein). But to be honest it wasn't that great a difference so long you sifted the dry ingredients thoroughly at least three times. That is always triple sift the dry ingredients this will ensure that the flour is well aerated and the raising agents are evenly distributed so resulting in light scones. I found that finely milled soft “OO” flour gave the best results but don't worry you can get excellent results with sifted plain (all-purpose) flour. You can use self-raising flour if you wish (remember to leave out the raising agents and salt) in the recipe below it is important to triple sift the self-raising flour as well I like to add about ½ teaspoon of extra fresh baking powder per cup of self-raising flour to ensure a good lift in my scones. In the northern states of America and most of Canada all-purpose flour is generally very hard (high in protein) you can replace for each cup 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with cake flour  OR for each cup replace 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with cornflour (cornstarch). Or you can let the scones rest (20 mins) in the fridge before baking. 
    Fat – unsalted butter gives the best flavour while lard gives the flakiest texture since it has a much higher melting point than butter so promoting a flaky texture in the final scones. The best compromise is to use a combination of the two in equal measure. I usually use all (unsalted) butter for flavour and health reasons. In most recipes the fat is rubbed into the flour using fingers or a pastry cutter (don't use two knives or forks since it takes too long to cut in the fat using this method). It is best to grate the butter using the coarse side of a box-grater and then freeze it until you need it. Freezing the butter prevents the fat from melting into the flour. The idea is to coat the fat particles with the flour. You are looking for a fat/flour combination that looks like very coarse bread crumbs with a few pieces of butter about the size of peas, the finer you make your fat pieces the more tender the crumb of your final scones. If you want very flaky scones then make the fat pieces large like Lima beans and only lightly coat them in the flour. If your kitchen is very hot you can refrigerate your flour so helping to keep the fat from melting. Don't freeze your flour as this will make it too difficult to rub the fat into the flour. (Typical usage about 1 to 8 tablespoons of fat per cup of flour).
    Chemical raising agents – always use fresh raising agents, baking powder deteriorates within two months once the jar is opened, typical usage 1 to 2 teaspoons per cup. Baking powder nowadays is double action – there is an initial release of gas once the dry and wet ingredients are combined and there is another release of gas from the high heat of the oven. If you are using acidic ingredients (such as buttermilk, soured milk, honey, citrus juice, yoghurt, tomato sauce etc) then use an additional ¼ teaspoon of baking soda per cup of liquid to help neutralise the acid and make the final baked product raise correctly. Baking soda is much stronger (x4) in raising power than baking powder. You can make you own single action baking powder by triple sifting together one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar store in an airtight container. To check if your double action baking powder is fresh place 1/4 teaspoon in 1/2 cup of water it should bubble a lot, then microwave it for 30 secs it should bubble it again. To check your baking soda place 1/8 teaspoon into 1 tablespoon of vinegar (or lemon juice) it should bubble a lot. 
    Liquid – you can use milk (any sort), buttermilk, soured milk, yoghurt, half-and-half, cream, coconut cream, soda water, even lemon-flavoured soda pop (soft drink) or a combination of these as the liquid in your scones. You can sour regular milk with a tablespoon of cider vinegar or lemon juice for every cup. Just stir it in and let it sit for 10 minutes or so to curdle. Typical usage is 1/3 to 1/2 cup of liquid per cup of flour.
    Salt – a small amount of salt (about ¼ teaspoon per cup of flour)  helps improve the action of the raising agents and enhances the flavour of the scones.

    The Equipment
    Baking pans – use dark coloured heavy weight baking pans as these have the best heat distribution and really give a great raise to your baked goods. Many people like to use cast iron skillets for best results.
    Measuring cups and spoons – try to accurately measure all ingredients especially if this is your first attempt at making scones (biscuits) remember to scoop the ingredient into the measure and level with a knife. If you can weigh the flour using scales even better.
    Scone (biscuit) cutters – use a cutter that is made of sharp thin metal with straight sides and is open at both ends this ensures that the scone will raise straight and evenly and ensures the cut scone is easy to remove from the cutter without compressing the dough. Try to avoid using cutters with wavy sides, thick walled cups, glasses, metal lids, small jars or any cutter with only one opening since it is difficult to remove the cut scones from these without compressing the dough therefore leading to 'tougher' scones. If you cannot get a good cutter you can cut out squares or wedges etc using a sharp knife if you wish.
    Rolling pins – most scone doughs are very soft (and wet) so can be easily patted out using your fingers. For a large amount of dough you can use a rolling pin remember to use light pressure from the centre outwards to form an even thickness of dough ready to be cut into scones. Avoid rolling back and forth over the same area as this can overwork the dough.    

    The Techniques
    Triple sift the dry ingredients – sift your dry ingredients from a height this permits plenty of air to be incorporated into the mixture which allows for maximum lightness in your scones and ensures even distribution of all the raising agents and other ingredients.
    Rubbing in the fat – this is the stage where you can control how tender or flaky your final scone crumb will be. The more you coat your fat with flour and the smaller the particles of the final mixture, the more tender the end product because you’re retarding gluten formation in the flour (unfortunately the price you pay for this tenderness is that the final dough will be soft and might not raise very well since the gluten isn't developed enough to form a stable structure to trap the gases that are released when the dough is baked). Conversely the larger you leave the pieces of fat (the infamous "pea-sized" direction you always see in scone/biscuit recipes), the flakier the final scones will be (that is the gluten in this case is more developed but you might find that the final baked product is dry and the mouth feel of crumb could be too firm i.e. tough). So summarising the tenderness/flakiness of your scone is achieved in this stage by manipulating the size of the fat particles and how much of the flour is used to coat the fat (the more flour used to coat the fat promotes more tenderness while larger fat pieces promote more flakiness).  Either way quickly rub in the grated frozen fat into the dry ingredients using
    1)your finger tips – as you lightly rub and pinch the fat into the flour, lift it up high and let it fall back down into the bowl, this means that air is being incorporated all the time, and air is what makes scones light, continue this until you have the desired sized flour/fat particles in the mixture, or
    2)a cold pastry cutter – begin by rocking the pastry cutter into the fat and flour mixture continue rocking until all the fat is coated in flour and the desired sized flour/fat particles are obtained.
    Moistening and bringing the dough together -  add nearly all of the liquid at once to the rubbed-in dry ingredients.  When mixing the dough (I use a soft plastic spatula, my sister uses a knife), stir with some vigour from the bottom to the top and mix just until the dough is well-moistened and begins to just come together it will be wet (and sticky). And remember the old saying – the wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits)!  
    Handling the dough – as most people know it is important not to overwork the dough but what isn't appreciated is that under-working is almost as common a mistake as overworking. Look at my first attempt (the first photo in this article) at making the challenge recipe it is crumbly and a bit leaden and the crumb isn't flaky at all this is due to under-working the dough and making the flour/fat particles too small, it took me about six batches to understand this and not be afraid to handle the dough so the scone (biscuit) would raise correctly. Under-working causes as many problems as overworking. Overworking leads to tough, dry and heavy scones while under-working leads to crumbly leaden ones. If you are not happy with your baked goods look carefully at your final scones (biscuits) and decide if you have under- or over-worked your dough.
    Kneading or folding/turning the dough – this is the stage where you can control whether or not your scone has distinct layers by 1) only kneading the dough (for no layering effect) or 2) only turning and folding the dough (for a layering effect).  As mentioned above given the same amounts of flour and fat, leaving larger pieces of fat equals more gluten formation and, therefore, flakiness. Leaving smaller pieces of fat equals less gluten formation and, therefore, tenderness. Your dough at this stage of the recipe will be a mixture of different gluten strengths since it is almost impossible to make a totally homogeneous dough at home. The major idea at this stage of the process is to exploit these gluten differences to achieve a desired degree of lamination (layering) in the final baked good. That is at this stage your dough (after you have added the liquid and mixed it until it just holds together), will have different layers of relatively gluten-rich (tougher) dough (the more floury parts of the dough), and layers of relatively gluten-free (tender-er) dough with small pieces of fat (the more fatty parts of the dough). So at this point if we only lightly knead the dough these layers will become less distinct which means the dough will become more homogeneous so producing a more even and more tender crumb when baked. But if at this stage you only fold and turn the dough (as shown below in pictures) over itself, these different layers will remain intact but will get thinner and thinner with each fold and turn, so when the fat melts and the liquid turns to steam in the oven, this steam pushes the tougher layers apart, leading to an overall flakiness and a layering effect in the scone crumb (see picture of the buttermilk biscuit above). So if you want an even more tender crumb just lightly knead (much like you would knead bread but with a very very light touch) the turned-out dough a few times until it looks smooth. If you want to form layers (laminations) in your final baked goods do a few folds and turns until it looks smooth. Always do at least one light knead to make the final dough structurally strong enough to raise and hold its shape whether you are aiming for a smooth tender crumb or a flaky layered crumb.
    Pat or roll out the dough – since most scone (biscuit) doughs are soft (and sticky) it is best to use your fingers to gently pat out the dough once it has been kneaded or folded and turned. Use a very light touch with little pressure while forming the dough rectangle to be cut into rounds for the scones. If you want tall scones then pat out the dough tall, about 3/4 inch to 1 inch (2 cm to 2½ cm) thick is about right.
    Cutting out your scones – use a well-floured scone (biscuit) cutter for each round that you stamp out from the dough. That is dip your cleaned cutter into fresh plain flour before each separate cut. Do not twist the cutter while stamping out the scone, push down firmly until you can feel the board then lift the cutter the round should stay inside the cutter then gently remove it from the cutter  and place the round onto the baking dish. You can use a sharp knife to cut out other shapes if you wish from the dough, also the knife should be floured before each cut as well. 
    Baking your scones – always preheat your oven when baking scones. Place each scone almost touching onto the baking dish this encourages the scones to raise and also keeps the sides soft and moist. If you want crisp sides widely space your scones on the baking dish. Don’t over-bake your scones. Over-baking for even a minute or two will dry your scones out. As soon as the sides begin to turn brown and are set, remove them from the oven. Immediately, place the scones on a wire rack—the hot pan will continue to dry the scones.
    Extra comments about resting the dough – I found in my researches that a number of respected sources mentioned resting the dough in various stages in the recipe. Surprisingly this advice is sound. I found that if you rested the just mixed dough (in the fridge) for 20 minutes there was a huge improvement in the dough's handling qualities and the final scones height, lightness and crumb were outstanding. Also I found that if you rest your patted out dough covered in plastic for 10 minutes in the fridge that the rounds are easier to stamp out and the final baked goods raise higher and have a better crumb. Also you can rest your stamped out rounds in the fridge for a couple of hours without harm so you can make your scones place them into the fridge and then at your leisure bake them later great for dinner parties etc. This is possible because modern baking powder is double action, i.e. there is another release of gas when you bake the rounds in the heat of the oven.

    Troubleshooting  
    Problems with bitter after-taste or dry chalky mouth-feel

    The biggest problem that scone/biscuits can sometimes have is an after-taste (sometimes described as metallic or a salty chemical taste) or the mouthfeel is dry and chalky (i.e. the crumb is tough and doesn't have enough moisture).

    If the problem is the after-taste try these tips
    • use freshly opened raising agents, many people claim old baking powder has a stronger taste
    • look for a single action baking powder (that only uses baking soda and cream of tar tar with a little cornflour) or make your own, since some double action baking powders can have metallic salts in them which some people can taste even in small quantities. Also keep in mind that homemade baking powder works faster and at a lower temperature, so put your recipe together quickly
    • look for a double action baking powder that uses non-metallic ingredients in it, check the ingredients listing on the packet.
    • use less baking powder
    • if you used an acidic liquid (buttermilk etc) and did not use some baking soda with the normal baking powder then some of the acid in the liquid wouldn't have been neutralised so leaving some salts behind causing the salty aftertase, that is make sure you are using the correct combination of agents for the liquids that you use, see the link below for full details about this. 
    • use only baking soda and an acidic liquid (buttermilk) like in the famous Irish Soda bread which very few people complain about having an aftertaste
    • use bakers' ammonium (available from King Arthur's flour) it was one of the most common chemical raising agents in the old days before modern baking powder, it smells like ammonia when baking but the ammonia smell totally dissipates and this chemical leaves nothing behind. I use it a lot in my baking it really gives baked goods that old-fashioned taste that people really can pick up on also it gives cookies extra crispness when baked.   

    See here for a comprehensive posting on baking powder/baking soda and how to use them in recipes.
    See here for the most interesting discussion on the use of baking soda and baking powder

    If the problem is the mouthfeel try these tips
    • try smaller sized scones and bake them quickly in a very hot oven and make the dough wetter since large sized scones using a drier dough baked in a moderate oven will give you a dryer crumb therefore a dry chalky mouthfeel
    • over-handled dough will lead to a dry mouth
    • eat them immediately fresh out of the oven, scones do really suffer (they become dry and tough) when stored for any length of time
    • try using more fat about 1/4 cup+ per cup of flour - more fat gives moister crumb. Also try using all shortening, since shortening contains no water or milk solids it gives a very tender crumb.
    • use this great recipe they are called "a touch of grace" biscuits they are the most tender and moist biscuits (scones) that I have had.
    • some people claim that a very hot oven is best to start the baking process then lower the temperature to moderate to finish baking the scones

    The problem lopsided scones
    About lop-sided scones this is usually caused by uneven cutting out of the scone. Some hints
    1. Clean and flour the scone cutter (by rubbing off any wet dough and then dipping the cutter into fresh flour the entire height of the cutter) every time you stamp out each round. Remember not to twist when you are stamping out the scones. If you are using a knife remember to clean and flour it for each cut.
    2. Try to pat out or roll out the dough as evenly as possible.
    3. Did you sift the dry ingredients three times? (uneven distribution of ingredients can lead to uneven scones).
    4. Try to get the scone out of the cutter by applying gentle even pressure on the entire scone circumference that way you do not compress just one place so making that area less tender so raising less when cooked.
    5. Turn the cut scone upside down onto the baking dish, since this side will be flatter than the patted out top surface.
    6. Only glaze the tops of the scone, a small amount of liquid on the sides will inhibit raise in that area.
    7. Some people like to use a fork and prick some holes in the top of the unbaked scones supposedly this helps the scone raise evenly.
    8. Also some people like to use their thumb and press a small hollow into the top of the scone supposedly this helps the scone raise evenly.
    9. A good article about "making the perfect scone" see here it goes through a lot of the best scone recipes by master bakers.
    10. Try this recipe and its method from Bakers' 911 which seems to make straight-sided scones even from wavy-sided cutters

    How to test baking soda
    1. Place a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into a tablespoon of vinegar it should bubble a lot.

    How to test your single action baking powder
    1. Place a teaspoon of baking powder into a cup, add 1/4 cup room temperature water it should bubble a lot.

    How to test your double action baking powder
    1. Place a teaspoon of baking powder into a cup, add 1/4 cup room temperature water it should bubble a lot.
    2. Wait 30 secs and then place your cup into the microwave heat for about 30 secs until about 180F it should bubble again.
    3. If it doesn't then discard and buy a new jar.

    How to test your self-raising flour - add one tablespoon of S.R. flour into some hot water it should bubble a bit. Or try adding some vinegar and see if it bubbles. Usually SR flour is only good for about three months.

    The problem an unreliable oven
    1. Try and use heavy grade dark metal baking dishes which give the best heat distribution.
    2. If your oven heating cycle is unreliable (varies the temperature a lot) lower the temperature to hot 220C (430F), preheat the oven along with a heavy metal baking dish for a good 20 mins then bake the scones on the baking dish which acts as a heat sink helping to bake the scones more evenly. Try to bake smaller sized scones which helps with a constantly varying temperature.
    3. If your oven has hot spots which mine does just rotate the dish at about 3/4 of the total baking time.

    The problem my dairy-free margarine doesn't do a good job of cutting in
    1. Just melt the margarine and add it to the liquid and proceed as normal (this is the best you can do if the margarine is "bad for cutting-in or just bad for scones" in the first place).

    Mandatory Items: You must make one batch of basic scones (i.e. basic biscuits using the North American name). The challenge recipe has been designed to be fast, very cheap and easy to follow so allowing for multiple attempts to be made until you can achieve your desired result. I encourage you to make a couple of batches to see how small changes in technique can obtain vastly different final baked products. I estimate all of my 16 experimental batches cost less than $4 and took about four hours, so please do take this opportunity to explore the possibilities of the different techniques and advice that have been presented here in this challenge. I have included a number of links to the most popular scone (biscuit) recipes (and variations) in a number of countries feel free to use these if you can make a good basic scone (biscuit) already.  

    Variations allowed:  A number of variations (cheese and chives, herb, etc) on the basic challenge recipe are included use them if you wish.  

    Preparation time: Scones: Preparation time less than 10 minutes. Baking time about 10 minutes.

    Equipment required:
    Large mixing bowl
    Baking dish
    Measuring cups and  spoons (optional)
    Flour Sifter (optional)
    Board (optional)
    Scone (biscuit) cutter (optional) or knife (optional)
    Dough scraper (optional)
    Spatula (optional)
    Weighing scale (optional)
    Cooling rack (optional)
    Pastry brush (optional)

    Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)
    Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) scones
    Recipe can be doubled

    Ingredients:
    1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
    2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) fresh baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt
    2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
    approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk
    optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones

    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9. 
    2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.)
    3. Rub the frozen grated butter (or combination of fats) into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones.
    4. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!
    5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.)
    6. Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¾ inch thick (15¼ cm by 10 cm by 2 cm thick). Using a well-floured 2-inch (5 cm) scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out without twisting six 2-inch (5 cm) rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch (2 cm) layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough).  Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire.
    7. Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden colour on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.
    8. Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes  (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.
    9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.

    Variations on the Basic recipe
    Buttermilk – follow the Basic recipe above but replace the milk with buttermilk, add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, increase the fat to 4 tablespoons, in Step 3 aim of pea-sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 fold and turn the dough, rounds are just touching in the baking dish, glaze with buttermilk.
    Australian Scone Ring (Damper Ring) – follow the Basic recipe above but decrease the fat to 1 tablespoon, in Step 3 aim of fine beach sand sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 knead the dough, in Step 7 form seven rounds into a ring shape with the eighth round as the centre, glaze with milk.
    Cream – follow the Basic recipe above but replace the milk with cream, add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, in Step 3 aim of beach sand sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 knead the dough, rounds are just touching in the baking dish, glaze with cream.
    Cheese and Chive – follow the Basic recipe above but add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, after Step 2 add ½ teaspoon sifted mustard powder, ¼ teaspoon sifted cayenne pepper (optional), ½ cup (60 gm/2 oz) grated cheese and 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives into the sifted ingredients, in Step 3 aim of beach sand sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 knead the dough, rounds are widely spaced in the baking dish, sprinkle the rounds with cracked pepper.
    Fresh Herb – follow the Basic recipe above but after Step 3 add 3 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (such as parsley, dill, chives etc).
    Sweet Fruit – follow the Basic recipe above but after Step 3 add ¼ cup (45 gm) dried fruit (e.g. sultanas, raisins, currents, cranberries, cherries etc) and 1 tablespoon (15 gm) sugar.
    Wholemeal –  follow the Basic recipe above but replace half of the plain flour with wholemeal flour.
    Wholemeal and date – follow the Basic recipe above but replace half of the plain flour with wholemeal flour and after Step 3 add ¼ cup (45 gm) chopped dates and 1 tablespoon (15 gm) sugar.     
       
    Pictorial guide to the challenge recipe
    I was at my brother's house and we had a hankering for a baked treat so I decided to make the challenge recipe also I needed some photos of the challenge recipe being made for this posting. My brother isn't a cook, all he had to hand as equipment was concerned was a mixing bowl,a thin walled 20 cm (8 inch) cake tin and a knife, he didn't even have a cup measure only mugs so I improvised.

    As you can see in the collage below I roughly chopped some butter (I eye-balled about 2 tablespoons) and froze it. Then I throw the frozen cubed butter onto one mug of cold self-raising flour I couldn't sift the flour since my brother doesn't own a sifter. Then I proceeded to rub in the butter with my fingers until I got pea-sized fat pieces coated in flour.
    Photobucket

    I added the liquid (½ mug of cold lite-milk) to the rubbed-in fat/flour mixture until I got a sticky dough I turned this out onto a floured board, I lightly floured the top of the sticky dough then I kneaded it once  then I patted it out into a rectangular shape then I proceeded to fold and turn the dough. Notice that you fold 1/3 of the dough over itself then the other 1/3 over that and turn it 90° degrees. Notice the lines on the broad this will help you understand how to do the folding and the turning.
    Photobucket

    I did a couple more folds and turns and used a well-floured knife to cut out squares of prepared dough.
    Photobucket

    Here is a close-up of the finish patted-out dough notice how you can see the fat particles in the dough this is what causes flakiness in the final baked scone.
    Photobucket

    I used the inverted cake tin as my baking dish and baked the scones in a very hot oven for 10 minutes they worked out really well I thought. Notice the nice central lamination in the scone and the great crumb and how well they rose in height.
    Photobucket

    I placed two unbaked scones in the fridge to test whether resting them for 20 minutes helped improve the raise of the final baked product. As you can see the left scone and the middle scone are taller than the right scone which was baked immediately after it was cut out from the dough. So don't worry if you cannot bake the scones straight away they do better with a little resting time. 
    Photobucket

    Videos of my sister making scones (baking powder biscuits) – using a very popular Australian recipe
    (http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/8163/basic+scones) 
    Part 1 – my sister making the scones (baking powder biscuits)
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF9YJiHZ1K0)
    Part 2 – my sister showing off her scones (baking powder biscuits)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GorStLKSoMo)
    Pictures of my sister's scones
    Photobucket

    Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
    Scones are best eaten warm. Scones (biscuits) are really easy to store – bag the cooked and cooled scones and freeze until needed then reheat in a moderate hot for a few minutes.


    Additional Information: 
    Australia’s most popular scone recipe uses lemon-flavoured soda pop and cream as the liquid
    (http://figjamandlimecordial.com/2010/08/08/lemonade-scones/)
    A great English scone recipe this uses more sugar and fat and has an egg
    (http://www.instructables.com/id/Perfect-English-Scones/)
    Classic Southern Buttermilk Biscuits recipe by Alton Brown
    (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/southern-biscuits-recipe/index.html)
    An index of North American recipes
    (http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Bread/Biscuits-and-Scones/Biscuits/Top.aspx)
    Another index of North American recipes
    (http://www.breadexperience.com/biscuit-recipes.html)
    Three great Australian recipes
    (http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/homestyle/blogs/tried-and-tasted/how-to-bake-the-perfect-scone-20110504-1e7xn.html)
    An index of Irish recipes
    (http://www.littleshamrocks.com/Irish-Bread-Scone-Recipes.html)
    An interesting discussion on “what makes a scone a scone”
    (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810928)  
    Videos of Alton Brown making biscuits (scones) with his granny (super cute to watch)
    Episode one ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3QuQSdjMVE)
    Episode two (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qcz4JQUwY9Q)
    Links to advice about chemical raising agents
    http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/06/what-is-the-difference-between-baking-powder-and-baking-soda-in-pancakes.html
    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/tips/quick-bread-primer.html 

    Disclaimer:
    The Daring Kitchen and its members in no way suggest we are medical professionals and therefore are NOT responsible for any error in reporting of “alternate baking/cooking”.  If you have issues with digesting gluten, then it is YOUR responsibility to research the ingredient before using it.  If you have allergies, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are lactose intolerant, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. The responsibility is YOURS regardless of what health issue you’re dealing with. Please consult your physician with any questions before using an ingredient you are not familiar with.  Thank you! :)[/quote]
              ALWAYS SUNDAY        

    iridium 2006 from nervegascloud on Vimeo.


    Sono arrivate le liberalizzazioni e nella mia città da una settimana all’altra i negozi, soprattutto i centri commerciali e gli ipermercati, restano aperti anche la domenica. Passo con l’auto in tangenziale e mi sorprendo nel vedere le insegne assurdamente luccicanti.
    Tutto come durante la settimana, tutto spalancato, si compra e si vende. Naturalmente i piazzali d’asfalto antistanti a questi orribili edifici si ingravidano di automobili che vanno e vengono.Tumore chiama tumore.

    La pausa, il silenzio, lasciano il posto alle luci squillanti che illuminano peperoni, prosciutti crudi, pagnotte e bottiglie di vino. La domenica della marmellata e della passata di pomodoro dilaga come un'infezione. Candeggina? Assorbenti? Dentifricio? Formaggini? Carrelli stracolmi vomitano il loro contenuto anche quando tutto dovrebbe tacere, salvo poi scoprire che sempre meno merci escono nei fatti dai negozi. Un'alluvione di niente. Commessi, cassiere e altri dipendenti si affannano quando potrebbero riposarsi. Si fermeranno in un altro momento, ma forse questo accadrà in giornate in cui altri avranno gli impegni che loro affrontano ora, magari familiari, mogli, figli, amanti. Una deriva senza senso di relazioni tranciate.

    La sosta domenicale è stata rimossa, il momento della riflessione, della pausa, della preghiera e dell’ozio annichilito, il silenzio cancellato in favore della folla e della follia.

    La sospensione malinconica, se non la noia, fatta poesia da Leopardi nel suo Sabato del villaggio è ora definitivamente archiviata:

    Questo di sette è il più gradito giorno,

    Pien di speme e di gioia

    Diman tristezza e noia

    Recheran l’ore, ed al travaglio usato

    Ciascuno in suo pensier farà ritorno.

    Il sapore vitale che portava con sé il sabato, amputata la domenica, rende il poetare Leopardiano senza senso. Un sabato senza domenica è giorno fra i giorni è promessa senza spazio per realizzarsi.

    Affoghiamo in un fango dove ogni giorno è domenica o lunedì o venerdì. Il rituale (l'ennesimo) è stato rimosso per decreto e la barbarie di assurdi tempi moderni travolge maleodorante le nostre vite, restituendoci lo sterco di ore evirate da ogni sacralità. Tutto luccica vanamente, senza senso e senza poesia, a favore di quel che è apparentemente utile, ma che in realtà mira ad ammazzarci tutti quanti. E' sempre domenica, non sarà mai più domenica.

              Berlin Voodoo Market: Christmas         
    Photos: Michael Dooney

    I have been very quiet in the world of blogging lately as I have been working away on my sustainable sleepwear line, Fickle Sense. And they are finally finished! I unveiled them last week in the Berlin Christmas Voodoo Market. 


    As usual it was great to connect with fellow makers and creators. Below are a selection of my favourites!

    Luir Clothing have upcycled and vintage pieces. For the next few weeks you can purchase their treasures at the pop up store un Autre Voodoo.
    Mademoiselle cloud makes beautiful handmade children's clothing. Her pieces are super cute!
    Void Jeweler showcases a unique perspective in the world of jewellery. These wonderful earrings are made from concrete. I really love this concept


    Oh Caroline has some lovely screen printed items. She has a range of animal designs printed on tshirts, posters and bags. 
     Gretas Schwester has a whimsical indie aesthetic. She has a lovely selection of paper items along with super unique toys.
     Monkind is a childrens wear brand which makes childrens clothing and accessories. Here are a few of their cute toys.
    Happarel has been a favourite of mine for a while. I love the geometric style designs, this year I took a liking to their silk drawstring bags.



    To celebrate the unveiling of my sleepwear, I will be hosting a giveaway. I will also be detailing the 'Journey of the Fickle Sense garments' So stay tuned!


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              The edge        
    It was a beautiful spot. The east ridge of Pacific Peak touched the edge of the Earth, the lush tundra called to us below and we were surrounded by giants, including the 14er Quandary, whose summit was dotted with dozens of tiny climbers.
    I have always loved the beauty of the mountains. I'll never tire of it. I've seen things many others haven't.
    But this time, I wasn't taking any of it in. I was scrambling up the side of Pacific, in full escape mode, hoping and, yes, praying, that the darkening clouds above us held off.
    Just a half hour ago, my climbing partner made a good, smart decision. She looked at the time, 9:45 a.m., did some quick calculations, and realized we still had a couple hours to go before we'd be done with the jagged ridge before us. She suggested we stop there given the way the weather felt. And then she made a bad one: The side of that hill looks pretty good, she said. Let's do it. And then I made the worst decision of all: I agreed. Even though I could not see the bottom of the hill, I agreed. 
    Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes the hill runs out all the way to the soft, green tundra, to safety, and you get to climb another day. This day, on a summer day in early August near Breckenridge, the ski resort, we were not lucky. Instead, we got what climbers call "cliffed." The way down looked like a broken leg. The way back up looked only slightly better. The rocks were loose and sharp, and our legs were heavy. But we had no choice. We went back up. 
    Then I took a look around and realized that even if we hurried, we'd find ourselves near the crest of a ridge just as the clouds would gather themselves into a storm. Or not. If, you know, we were lucky.
    As we scrambled hard to the ridge, our breathing decaying into ragged gasps, I paused to remind my partner that the odds of a lighting strike, however frightening, were small. Many more times, people panic, I said, and then they take a tumble. 
    So relax, I told her. We'll get through this.
    And then I started swearing and tried to believe it.
    • • •
    Two days before, I had led a group up Longs Peak. Longs is one of Colorado's most iconic mountains, in a state stuffed with them, a peak underrated in its difficulty only because of the number of people who climb it every year. 
    And yet I had a great day up mountain. The years I'd put into running, to the point where I'd sacrificed a good portion of my days on the peaks, were paying off, and if I allowed myself to become cocky, I'd call the trip up easy. It wasn't, of course, because the last time I got cocky on a peak, years ago, I tripped and was less than three feet from falling to a messy death. Really, the day wasn't easy by any stretch, with 12 hours of climbing and hiking, many of them above 13,000 feet. But it was easier than ever before. The group I led up was prepared, responsive and calm, and at age 40, I was in the best shape in my life.
    That feeling was short-lived.
    When I woke up the next morning, my knee hurt. I shrugged it off, but it did worry me a bit because of the source of the pain. Many years ago, my worst climbing accident by far snagged me in the middle of a avalanche of car-sized boulders. I got lucky. I not only survived but didn't get nearly as messed up as I should have. But I DID get beat up, and part of the injuries was an ever-so-slight tear of my ACL. 
    Doctors said as long as I kept my legs strong, it should be OK.
    I kept my legs strong, and it was OK. But now, more than a decade later, the pain in my knee was a reminder that I was getting older, and it was possible I wasn't going to be able to push it as hard as I once did. I once climbed seven peaks in a week. Pacific was two days away. If I could do seven in a week, surely I could do two, even if that was eight years ago.
    • • • 
    Once I finished the 14ers, I knew the days of climbing 10-20 peaks a year were behind me. That was in 2005, and that's also the year Jayden was born. He would cut into the time it took to climb. The twins, born two years later, would reduce it to a pittance. This wasn't something that was done to me, however. It was a choice, and I was OK with it. 
    I didn't want to be away that much, and climbing a mountain takes at least a full day and usually the edges of the morning and the night. Not only that, climbing was dangerous. I didn't want to leave my kids without a father. So I compromised. I told myself that at least one tough, exposed peak a year was OK. In fact I made myself do it. I didn't want to lose sight of who I was. But I would leave many for a day when the kids were on their own.
    The transition was easier than I thought because ironically, in 2005, I discovered running.
    Almost every story of someone who became a runner later in his life starts with "I hated running." And yeah, I hated running, but not as much as others do at the start. I was fit when I started with an intervals group. I was a climber. I was out practically every weekend. I worked out all the time. So I didn't hate running. I just didn't see the point.
    But there was a point. Running was a way for me to stay active and stay competitive, to set goals and achieve them, to wear me out and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment, only I didn't have to be away from my family for so long to do it. 
    • • • 
    I was supposed to do my second gnarly peak of the year, this time up Ice Mountain, a peak I'd wanted to climb for years. I was really looking forward to it. It was exposed, with some tough climbing, in a beautiful spot.
    Even so, I thought hard about it as we tried to escape Pawnee's east ridge. My knee hurt again, and this time it wasn't just a dull ache, as I needed a couple Advil to calm it down. I didn't know if we were getting down, and my kids went through my head. Plus I had this marathon coming up.
    Now I wondered what the point was of mountaineering. 
    We scrambled to just below the ridge on a diagonal line,  out of breath, and I glanced down at the slope again. This time it looked much friendlier. I could see more of the route, and it looked like it might go all the way down to the tundra. We couldn't see a trail, but I could see a big lake, and guessed that the trail home would probably circle the lake.
    The sky was dark, and we decided to go for it.
    As we approached the bottom of the slope, my sense of dread got fainter, and sure enough, not only did the slope drop into the tundra, we found the trail by the lake.
    We got lucky.
    I thought that thoughts of canceling Ice Mountain would fade, too, with every step on the much safer trail. But they didn't. 
    What's more important to you, I thought. 
    I chose the marathon. I called her a couple weeks later and canceled. 
    I'd done this unofficially for years, but it hit me when I finished the conversation that I was choosing running over mountaineering.
    For now.
    • • •
    One thing that's made that stark choice easier is the fact that I've actually hiked more than I have in years. Only many the hikes have been with my kids. So I've traveled a lot of paths that I used to scoff at. For many years, these smaller hikes were not the destination. They were a place to have breakfast on my way to greater things.  
    So? So I've really enjoyed these hikes too. Saturday's hike was to one of my favorite spots in all of Colorado, Isabelle Lake. It's really beautiful. Sometimes I forgot to notice that.
    In fairness to the mountains, I haven't raced a ton this summer either. The marathon's taken a priority over everything, not just mountaineering. It should. It's a marathon, and running about 50 miles a week is tough to squeeze on your and in a life schedule that includes kids and work. Philosophically this eases my mind. I'm not just a runner. I'm still a mountaineer.
    The mountains were such a part of my life for many years that I can't, and won't, let them go completely.
    Yet here's what I've discovered. Running is giving me some gifts that I didn't know it could. In fact, more of the same gifts that mountaineering always gave me.
    I'm seeing things many others haven't.
    Sunday, on a 10-miler with my dog, at 6:30 a.m., I was on a trail shrouded by early-morning fog. It was crisp. Smoke curled from the river 100 yards away. And on that river, a great blue heron took off into the sky, climbing until it touched the edge of the Earth.
    I took it all in for just a moment. And then I went on down the path. 



              Into The Fire        


    We lined up, all of us, shuffling around in our brightly colored racing flats a few feet from the white line. No one wanted to be the first to toe it.
    No one wanted to be the first one to jump into the fire.
    It was July 4, at 6:50 a.m., minutes before the Lenexa Freedom Run. I've run this race for the last three years. You have an option of doing a 10K or a 5K. I've avoided the 5K in the past. This would be the first time I planned to go for it.
    Though 5Ks should be a part of any runner's racing plan, I generally avoid them. If you do them right, running a 5K is akin to bathing in the flames of hell. 10Ks are less painful. I actually prefer half marathons. 
    This year, it would feel like hell for another reason as well. A heat wave had swallowed my home state of Colorado for much of June, torching what seemed like half of it, and decided to follow us across to my homeland of Kansas for my annual summer trip. As soon as we arrived on June 29, temperatures hit triple digits every day, and coupled with the humidity, made it downright dangerous to be outside for too long. 
    As I stepped outside Dad's porch at 5:45 a.m. on July 4 to make the drive to the start, I honestly wished the race was scheduled to go off at 6 a.m., which shows how much running has changed me but also shows the power of the heat. The sun was just beginning to peak over the horizon and would need at least an hour to gather enough muscle to start frying the landscape again. It was the only respite I'd get, and I knew it. Even then, the temperature was almost 80 degrees.
    In Colorado, even on our 100-degree days, it's cool enough in the morning to make our runs pleasant, or at least not miserable. But Kansas, like the rest of the country hampered by humidity, cooler morning temperatures are a luxury.
    As I finally toed the line, along with my fellow racers, lining up at slot marked for 6:30-pace runners (which would give me a PR), beads of sweat already started to pool on my forehead.
    I read in Runner's World earlier that week about an interesting study that suggests the heat really is in your head. Bikers who cycled on stationary bikes in 78 degrees outperformed bikers who were forced to work in 89 degrees in a controlled gym. But when scientists tricked the bikers through a faulty temperature gauge that made them believe it was 78, rather than 89, there was no drop off in performance.
    A 5K is painful, but I could probably pretend it wasn't as bad as it felt, especially for just 20 minutes.
    It wouldn't kill me. It wouldn't even injure me.
    It would just hurt.
    The gun went off. The crowd of runner moved me forward, almost pushing me into the flames.
    • â€¢ â€¢ 
    It's miserable when it's 100 degrees, humidity or no humidity, until you hit up a swimming pool. Then it's the most awesome temperature in the world. The water feels like a bath, and when you get out, your balls don't hide in your stomach. The pavement burns a bit (like fire), but that only makes the water sweeter.
    So we didn't go to the zoo, or a park with a bunch of rides, or even a lake in Kansas this year. We went swimming. Every day.
    When we visited Salina, which is not only where Kate's grandmother lives but where I worked for my first job, I was flabbergasted at the city's new pool. It's not really a pool. It's many pools. With five slides, including one called the "toilet bowl" that tosses you around a huge whirlpool that, well, kinda makes you feel like a large turd being flushed into the pipes. There was a high dive, a lazy river that led into a wave pool and a kiddie pool. 
    Oh, yeah, there was a place to swim too.
    I hate "back in my day" posts, but back in my day, we had a neighborhood pool, and it was really cool because it had a diving board AND a small slide. They also played music over some loudspeakers. Fancy. We were lucky.
    So take a peek inside the mind of a human being, or maybe just an American, as we left Salina's pool. Mom's neighborhood pool seemed weak by comparison. No diving board. No slide even. In fact, later that week at my Dad's, in one of the well-off neighborhood pools, I found myself feeling disappointed because that pool "only" had two monster slides and a smaller lazy river. 
    • â€¢ â€¢ 
    I kept peeking at my GPS, which I've told myself not to do during races. I now believe it's better to run by feel, by effort, rather than by pace because that way you aren't limiting yourself. There's no way I run 1:37 in the Vegas half marathon if I stared at my GPS because I would have held back.
    But I was at sea level and didn't want to start too fast. When my breathing was labored enough for a 5K and I saw my pace was 6:30 after a half mile, I was disappointed and reassured at the same time.
    I was disappointed because I thought I had a shot at a 19-minute 5K. My pace would need to be around 6:15-6:20 for that. But a slight headwind, which felt great even if it slowed me down, just wasn't going to allow that. This was not going to be the perfect day I'd need. I probably should have known that. It WAS 80 degrees at the start.
    But I was also reassured because my 5K PR is 20:40, and that's a 6:40 pace. Keep it here, I told myself as I started to pass groups of runners, and you'll be really happy with your race.
    A half-mile later, I was already waist-deep in the fire, and I reminded myself to relax.
    I kept shaking my hands out, telling myself not to clinch them. I smiled. I tried to steal deeper breaths every fifth breath so it didn't feel like I was gasping for air all the time. The more I relaxed against the pain, the more I could stave off the panic and the vice that always seems to creep over my chest, as if I'm wearing a corset. 
    I'm in another place during the most intense races. The music I carefully selected to help me run faster — in this case, fast, hard heavy metal — floated through my ears, as if I could hear it in an elevator (which would be funny actually). I didn't really see my other runners, just felt them, through elbows or their ragged breath. I tried to hitch a ride with them, but I usually wound up passing them or, near the end, they found another gear that I didn't have.
    About a half-mile to the end was the hardest, as it always is because it's supposed to be. But I had to claw up two steep hills, and the sun had started its dirty work, roasting the pavement even at 7:15. My legs had no bounce. Hold on, I told myself. Just hold on. Somewhere from space, "Spiral" from Nightrage told me to run faster as I saw the finish. 
    The finish line is always more relief than jubilation, but that's especially true in a 5K. And as I crossed it, my face felt like boiling water, and I tried not to collapse, walking in stumbles away from the line so other runners could get through. Easing yourself from the fire is almost as hard as throwing yourself into it, and I walked around in small shuffles, desperately trying to calm my breathing and my scorched throat. I grabbed a bottle of water, though I had no plans to drink it yet, and wiped puddles of sweat from my eyes.
    I thought my time was 20:40, which matched my PR, so I was somewhat pleased as I waited in line for a computerized printout of my results and where I'd placed. I talked with a guy who passed me at the very end who I'd pegged at 50. Turns out he was 65. Sigh. Then I got my printout and looked at my time.
    20:29. I had a new PR. Turns out the clock was the gun, not my chip time. Sweet. I smiled a bit but only a bit. I had survived the fire. This time, I even seemed to welcome it.
    • â€¢ â€¢
    The rain fell hard a few days later, like we were stuck under a waterfall, from outside our Goodland, KS hotel window at 3:30 a.m. Temperatures had dipped into the 70s, bringing storms and cool air.
    I ran a couple days later after the race on a trail that winds through woods and across fields and wetlands. It's one of my favorite things to do in Kansas, and yet it was 91 degrees by the time I finished, and I felt at the end like a flank steak. 
    We drove home in clouds. The air conditioning isn't even on in our house tonight.
    It feels like such a relief. 
    I need a break from the fire. It's the only way to get strong enough to go back in one day.



              Mount Evans Ascent        
    I'll admit it. The Mount Evans Ascent made me nervous.
    When I head into races any longer, I'm rarely nervous. I know that if I run well, and I should, it will turn out well. There's always a question as to how I'll feel, like whether my bitchy stomach will act up, but really, there aren't many other variables. There's a few hills, and you wonder about the weather, but it never changes much.
    As predictable as those races are, that's how unpredictable Mount Evans would be.
    First, Mount Evans is, of course, a mountain, and the weather on mountains is, um, unstable. Generally the mornings are nice, and the race would start at 7:30 a.m. But you just don't know. The wind is always a threat and will come even on nice, sunny days. It's hard not to take it personally. Some of my friends said last year during the race the winds were 50 mph. Steady. And a storm can hit you, literally, out of the blue. I've been in nasty storms that came 15 minutes after a bright, bluebird day.
    Second, Mount Evans is, of course, a high mountain, more than 14,250 feet. The air is a tad thinner up there. I had no idea how I'd do that high. I hadn't been that high in at least a year, maybe two. When I did the Pikes Peak Ascent two years ago, I was doing great until I got to 12,000 feet and got sick. It was entirely possible that that would happen again, and there wasn't much I could do to prevent it, other than train at high altitudes, and my family life wouldn't allow that. What's even more frustrating is my vast, past experience meant nothing. Altitude doesn't carry over.
    Third, the race was 14.5 miles, and you gain 4,000 feet. I'd thought I'd trained well for the constant barrage of hills that would surely come, but I didn't know. That many hills can not only wear you down, they can be discouraging. I was determined to not let them get me down, but after 11 miles of them, I didn't know how I'd do.
    But I needed this race. I really needed it. Kate found something she needed to do every night when I got home from work this week, which meant chaos after a long day. Friday, Jayden's swim meet that was supposed to take two hours took, no shinola, eight, and Kate was volunteering at it, which left me with all three kids all day, on a day I wasn't expecting it, most of it at a pool, which, I know, poor me, but there wasn't much to do, and so the girls were bored and expecting me to entertain them while I kept an eye on Jayden. When I went to bed at 7:30 p.m. that in anticipation of the 3 a.m. alarm, I fell asleep right away.
    For the race, I set my goals at a modest 3 hours because some tough runners who I knew had done that before, and that would probably put me in the middle of the pack.
    I was fine being in the middle of this pack. When I got to the start of the race, it was pretty apparent this was not a 5K. After a two-hour drive, I arrived at 5:45 a.m., and the woman next to me got out of her car to get her packet. She had on a "Pikes Peak Marathon" finisher's jacket, the other big mountain race in Colorado. The woman who parked to the left of me had an "Ultrarunners do it better" bumper sticker on her window. Sure, there were a few spoiled weekend warriors who had no idea what they were up against — one of them wouldn't use a campground bathroom because "it was too rank for me" — but it looked to me like most of the runners had either run a race much longer than a marathon, finished an Ironman or won their age groups in mountain races. I'm no slouch. But holy hell. My mountaineering experience was about the only thing I had going for me, and I've run up, maybe, three of the more than 200 ascents.
    I swallowed hard and reminded myself to enjoy the competition, rather than be afraid of it, when the gun went off, and I started in the back but passed a bunch of people right away and settled in the middle of the pack of 400 runners or so (I think it was 400). I also told myself to go slow and attack the hills as they come, not to look far ahead to see what was waiting for me.
    This race is all on the asphalt road that leads to 300 feet of the summit of Evans. Pikes Peak and Evans are the only 14ers that allow you to drive to the top. Pikes Peak even has a gift store at the summit and a train that leads to the top as well. Quick funny story: When I climbed Pikes for the first time, just before I walked into the gift store, sweaty and dirty, a woman looked me over and gasped when I told her what I'd done.
    "You know you can drive up, right?" she said. She was serious.
    This was the first race in a long time I didn't bring a GPS. Maybe in years. I knew my pace would be far slower than I was used to, and I didn't want that to freak me out. This race was about effort and feel a lot more than sticking to a pace. I did bring a watch, but that was the only way I'd know how long I'd been out there.
    Right away, I felt good, which was encouraging, given that we started — started — at 10,600 feet. I was breathing a little hard on my way to the bathroom before the race, let alone running up a steep hill.
    Ah, the hills. I knew there would be a lot, but they really never ended. You were never rewarded with a downhill after the uphill. Just more uphill. I somehow managed to run the whole way the first 8 miles and was comfortable. When I was through with mile 9, my attitude was good and I felt really good. My time was 1:30, and I almost allowed myself to dream big. Maybe not only three hours was a possibility, maybe 2:45 was.
    It's funny how you forget during a race what's really going on. Sometimes it's OK to forget what you're capable of, as I ran a huge PR in Vegas because I didn't let what I'd done in the past dictate would I could do then. But I laughed at myself as I ran on one of the very few flat stretches into the third aid station. I was hitting probably 8-minute miles at 12,500+ feet, and I felt great. I could do anything!
    Um, no, you can't.
    The hill after the flat stretch was a long one, steep and unforgiving, almost mean, and I took my first walk break about halfway through it, following the lead of others. It felt wonderful to walk a bit and catch my breath, and I wonder if it was a mistake to dig myself deep out of the pain like that because once you do, it's hard to go back. To be honest, I never did go back as far as I needed to get 2:45.
    As I ran up the final section of the hill, someone passed me and said, "13,000 feet baby."
    13,000 feet had arrived, and I knew running full-time wasn't going to happen any longer. It wasn't the hills, though my calves were starting to really ache, and I worried they would cramp up on me. It wasn't the distance. It was the thin air. By this time, the oxygen was about half of what you'll get at sea level. Greeley is 5,000 feet, so I was a little ready. A little. But I wasn't going to be able to climb a big hill without walking a bit to catch back my breath.
    Breathing in thin air is like eating a magic cheeseburger, one that never really fills you up, only it's not as much as the cheeseburger. You take a big gulp, a desperate gulp sometimes, and you never feel that click in your throat that tells you its time to breathe again. Your body's reaction is, naturally, WTF, so you breathe again, maybe a little more ragged, and your heart works harder to get whatever oxygen you're taking in to the body. It's as painful as it sounds.
    I never gave up on the idea of running those last two-three miles, but as I continued to climb, my body wouldn't allow it. By the time I got past 13,600, I'd have to pick a rock and tell myself I would run to the rock about 50 yards away, then I could catch my breath again. I wasn't alone: In fact, by this point, I didn't see anyone running the entire time. Those people, the few they are, were already done and probably collecting their age group medals.
    In the last mile, most of it inching to 14,000, I did more walking than running. When I did run more than 25 yards, I would get dizzy, like I'd guzzled a whiskey shot, and I'd have to walk again. It was frustrating, but I knew the altitude would get me eventually without preparing for it more
    I did finish strong, charging up the last two switchbacks, probably in the faint hope that I'd finish under 3 hours. I didn't. 3:03. I'll take iSure enough, I finished pretty much in the middle of the pack. Maybe the top third, actually. 173/465 entrants. I ran into an old ultra running friend who finished seconds ahead of me, and we scrambled up to the very top of Evans' summit. We saw dark clouds. Remember what I said about the weather? By the time we ran back down and got in the line for the shuttle, the temperature had dropped 35 degrees, we could hear thunder, and it started to snow. The storm hit in 15 minutes, tops. When another runner said he had room in his car, I jumped at the open seat. I think 75 runners had to drop out or didn't finish.






    I'm tired now. I'll sleep well tonight. Physically I'm beat. Friday wore me out mentally, bad, after the tough week. I'm feeling refreshed now. I know it seems sometimes like I'm this motivated runner and climber, but honestly, I really need it or else I'd go insane. Worse, I'd be a terrible father (and yes, you can be insane and be a good parent; in fact I think it's partially required) who would show a lot less patience than I already do. Nothing else renews me like a good, hard effort, and if it's up a mountain, or outside, with some good scenery, even better. Beaches don't even come close.
    Sometimes I wish they did.



              The disconnect between the movie reviewer and the one review is for        
    I just watched "The Tree of Life." I think I was supposed to really like it. That's what the movie reviewers say. I wanted to like it. It had artists shots of nature and lots of classical music and Brad Pitt, and I'm a Brad Pitt fan, who is, strangely, an underrated actor because of his looks and ability to date the world's most beautiful women.
    But I have a confession. I didn't get "The Tree of Life." In fact, I think I hated it.
    I was supposed to like it because movie reviewers told me I should. If you go by Rotten Tomatoes, 85 percent of the critics liked it. It was on the Top 10 lists of many critics I trust, including my favorite, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone. He even makes fun of people like me, apparently, who want silly things like some semblance of a story or dialogue that isn't whispered like I'm engaged in some sort of creepy pillow talk with the actors.
    "Artistic ambition is a bitch," Travers writes in his three-and-a-half-stars review of the movie. "Mainstream audiences yawn you off."
    OK, so reviewers liked a movie and I didn't. It happens. But then I watched "The Future" yesterday. This movie wasn't as highly praised as "The Tree of Life." I don't think it made many top-10 lists. Yet more than 70 percent liked it. Many top critics liked it too. And that movie SUCKED. It was bizzare for all the wrong reasons, and by the end, I hated the characters so much, I was rooting for zombies to attack them, and that reminded me of the second season of "The Walking Dead," and then I became angry and folded laundry. Folding laundry when you're angry is never a good idea. You get a little too pissed off when you can't find a matching sock.
    And it hit me that movie reviewers never seem to review movies for their readers. They seem to review them for other reviewers.
    I believe I can say this because I am a movie snob. I'm not, as Travers seems to think, "the mainstream audience." In fact, I think I probably watch movies in the same way reviewers watch them. I look for depth of story, originality, real characters, great dialogue and writing and artistic, inventive direction. I try to watch all the movies on reviewers' top-10 lists. I usually like them.
    I hate the Twilight movies without even watching them and any Michael Bay movie. My soul weeps when Transformers makes trillions of dollars. I, like most critics, believe a lot of mainstream movies suck.
    I watch well-reviewed movies almost exclusively and prefer deep, thought-provoking ones the most.
    I've had this conversation with my wife many times:
    "Hey, do you want to watch this movie with me?"
    "Is it one of your weird movies?"
    "Um....maybe."
    "No."
    So why am I writing this screed because I didn't like a couple of experimental films? Isn't that a bit much? No. It's actually a symptom of a much larger problem.
    I rely on movie reviewers to tell me what's good. I have three small kids. I have lots of other things to do. I run. I work. Sometimes I play with the kids and the dog. I can't just "go to a movie" most of the time. So when I see something like "The Future," I've not only seen a bad movie, I've lost two, precious, jewel-encrusted hours of free time.
    I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has a busy life. I'm pretty sure, in fact, others get angry too when they see a lousy movie.
    Now I don't always need reviewers to pick my movies for me. I knew I'd love "The Descendants." Alexander Payne? Sold. I'll watch anything by Pixar. The new Batman movie? I'm there. I'll see "The Artist" because it won Best Picture, and if I hate it, I can blame the Academy, which is cool by me.
    And in fairness to reviewers, my trust in them is well put. I put "Take Shelter" in my Netflix cue because it got great ratings, and I loved it. I saw "Phoebe in Wonderland" and wound up buying it as an all-time favorite. I discovered Payne this way. I doubt I would have heard of any of those movies otherwise.
    Lately, though, my trust seems misplaced. I was on the fence about "Tree of Life." I'm not a Terrence Malick fan after the disaster that was "The Thin Red Line." But so many critics raved about it. Travers, for instance. So, OK. I rented it.
    Movie reviewers, in other words, are getting it wrong perhaps more than they should, at least this year and last. And I think I know why.
    It's their job to sit through movies all week, every week. They don't get to avoid the Twilight films like I do. They have to see them. They have to see Transformers. They have to watch all those horrible romances and torture-porn flicks and reboots and remakes and mindless children's crap like "Happy Feet Two."
    Last year, sequels made up one-fifth of the nationwide releases, according to Box Office Mojo. That doesn't include reboots, remakes or swill like "Jack and Jill." Not all sequels are bad. But even Pixar made "Cars II," and that was Pixar's only bad movie ever. When Pixar can't deliver, you know you're having a bad year.
    Eddie Murphy once joked about sex and how a woman controls our minds with it. She will make us wait forever, he said, until she finally gives in, and you think it's the best ever.
    If you're starving, Murphy said, in a paraphrase here, and someone gives you a Saltine, you're going to think it's a Ritz.
    If I were a movie critic, in other words, I'd like "The Tree of Life" too. In fact, I'd LOVE it. A movie with its own artistic vision? One that doesn't have vampires that look like GQ cover models who just gave a pint too much of blood? One that has some semblance of originality? Something different from most of the crap being shoveled my way? And it isn't a sequel, and it's ambitious? Sold. Three-and-a-half stars.
    I'd probably even somehow like "The Future." The movie was awful, but at least it was an attempt to be original.
    I probably wouldn't even care that those movies were difficult to watch, weren't enjoyable or actually kind of sucked too. They were different, didn't feature aliens blowing something up and had some decent acting. They were original. They were ambitious, even if those ambitions fell short. Sold.
    So why don't I follow the same theory? I don't have to sit through movies all day. I don't have the time for it either. I get to watch what I consider the good stuff. When a movie sucks, then, it stands out even more. Critics are far too used to sitting through swill, and it's clouding their vision for the rest of us.
    I kind wanted to be a movie critic, but lately I've reconsidered that job. Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe just won a Pulitzer for his movie reviews. In one of his essays that won, he reviewed "The Tree of Life." He wrote that the vision was lovely but not easy to understand. He sort of liked it for its originality but also seemed to wonder if it really was a good movie.
    Morris earned that damned prize.





              40 minutes to 40        
    "You Get What You Give" - New Radicals

    Just before I opened the door, my lips twisted into a curve. I turned on the iPod for inspiration, and the New Radicals went first. 
    I dread, and enjoy, the tempo runs more than any other except a race. They are short but intense runs that resemble races in many ways except in the most extremes of discomfort. They are weekly. They are on Mondays, two days after a long run of a dozen miles or more, and like Mondays in many other ways, the body rejects the fact that the weekend is over, and it's time to go back to work.
    Complicating things was, of course, Colorado. Colorado is a wonderful state to live in, until we start to turn away from the sun. Then it's still lovely, but it's also unpredictable and, at times, a nasty son of a bitch. A few days before Halloween, we got 14 inches of snow. And then, because Mother Nature apparently has a mischievous or cruel sense of humor, depending on who you are, we got another 10 a week later, just as the last snowflake had melted from our previous fluke storm.
    Snow means cold, of course, and this was about as jarring a transition as you can get from Colorado's beautiful, even erotic, fall weather. Just a few weeks ago I raced in crisp, cool air, with just enough of a nip, like a really good bowl of ice cream. Sorry, beach lovers, but fall in Colorado is paradise. And then, just like that, it was the Gulag.
    My first breath goes down wrong, and I start to cough in jagged spurts, my lungs rejecting the icy air in pissed-off disbelief. The tips of my fingers are narcotic. My cheeks are anything but rosy. My eyelashes start to frost.
    Look, I tell my body. I don't like this either. But we've got a job to do. The New Radicals said so. You Get What You Give.
    I begin my run up my neighborhood road. I've been up it probably 500 times. Many times I'd thought about what I had to do that day. Since it was probably a Monday, I'd also think about what I'd have to write. Today, I had to concentrate. Today I'd be looking for ice.

    "Virus" - Bjork

    OK, a song about need. If there's any run I need, it's probably the tempo run. The easy runs are for recovery and reflection, and the long runs give me endurance, and the speed work gives me, um, speed. But the tempo runs give me everything. My mile splits, if I didn't slip on a patch of ice, would probably read 8:15 (warm up), 7:20, 7:15, 7:25 (damn hill), 7:13. Or something like that. But not too far from that something. Tempo runs are about holding an uncomfortable, but not brutal (i.e. racing) speed. You could speed up, but you'd like to slow down.
    As always, my legs, still a little grumpy from the miles I'd piled on it two days before, aren't ever really excited to be cutting through the air so aggressively. Aging does that to you. After so long, and I've been active, if not always a runner, for two decades, the will to give in starts to fade.
    Doesn't it? 
    I crack into my first mile at 7:10. My breath jumps out of my mouth. I can see the cloud before it scurries away to make room for the next. This is why I need tempo runs. As a weekly reminder that I can still do this. And the work it takes to stay there.

    "Steppin' Out" - Joe Jackson

    An oldie but a goodie, this song found its way into my weekly running mix for this line:
    "We are young but getting old before our time; we'll leave the TV and the radio behind."
    This line is so appropriate this week.
    I wonder if Jackson wrote the song today, he'd include a smartphone?

    "Dancing Queen" - ABBA

    Note to self: "Dancing Queen" is probably not a good song to include in a running mix. It's definitely not a good song to listen to as I start to head up The Hill. 
    Skip.

    "Embrace The Gutter" - The Autumn Offering
    Ah, that's better.
    Embrace the nasty in your life, then make it your ally. Make it make you better. This is what I think about as the steepest part of the run looms before me, and my breathing starts to hurt.
    Breathe, dammit, breathe. 

    "My Will Be Done" - Unearth
    Someone asked me once why I listen to heavy metal. How can you run with someone yelling at you like that, she asked.
    "Now I strive to find my own way
    My Will be Done
    Work these hands until they bleed
    My Will be Done"
    They aren't yelling at me. They're yelling with me.
    I've just crested the hill. I'll recover. I'm pretty sure.

    I turn 40 tomorrow, though it's likely today when you're reading this. And runs like this one give me the confidence to face it. I don't need a sports car, a cheerleader or a gold chain. I have my feet, my fitness and the attitude both give me. As I sprint toward my driveway, "I'm gonna learn how to love you," Susan Tedeschi sings in my ear, and oh, I'm so nearly there.







              The Joy of Racing        
    The air was a little painful. We Coloradans call it "crisp," but really, it was ice cold, the air in meat lockers. It was far too cold, at the very least, for shorts and a tank top, even with gloves and arm warmers. And yet, as we made our way out into it, with the sun lingering in bed, refusing to help, I smiled.
    Hell yes it was cold. We could see our breath and the breath of those around us. Later, after the gun, we'd see the breath of thousands of runners, even if they were as far away as a trip to first base.
    But the butterflies were swarming my stomach, and I had an empty bladder, which is far more reassuring than it probably should be, and I felt good. I felt really good. There were no aches, and after a season of racing and running, when aches occupy your morning coffee, that was a gift. I thought back to last night, during my last pee before bed, when a spark shot through my bloodstream. I felt good, and I was ready, and I said on Twitter and Facebook that I was an idling engine just waiting to be gunned.
    If this sounds cocky, I won't deny it, except to say that days when you feel like this as a runner are rare, so numbingly, sadly rare. Most of the time I enjoy my training runs, but only after I peel off the scabs of a couple dreary miles and my body creaks itself awake. Not every race feels this good, either, but races bring out the best in you. It's a chance to gun that engine. It's a chance to show yourself what you can do.
    I love these chances, and I love those butterflies, and I love the electric anticipation both those elements combine to create. Fit people everywhere are crackling with energy. The corral is full of people who get it. And after a day of rain, sleet and wind, we had a clear sky and cold air, the kind that would feel good, incredible even, like clouds kissing your skin, once we got this underway.
    I was warm. It wasn't until I heard the Star Spangled Banner, and I reminded myself how fortunate I was to be there, something I always do before a race, that I noticed something springing up on my arms.
    Goosebumps.
    * * *
    Races are exciting for their unpredictability. I knew I'd feel good, and I also knew that I'd finish, and I figured I'd probably set a PR. I was shooting for 1:42, which I'd have to run my miles in 7:45 to get. I also knew, though, that that was probably pushing it, given that last year's time was 1:44, and that was also a PR, and that's, honestly, pretty darn good, at least for me.
    What I didn't know was how it would go.
    A half marathon is a long way, and as much as I love that because a race like that is an adventure, not a short, hurried event that ends before it really begins, well, a lot can happen. So I took it easier at first, settling in my first three miles at a 7:50 pace. We went by Coors Field, home of the Rockies, and through downtown Denver. I said hi to a few friends, looking around and smiled. A cramp hit my side, but I wasn't worried about it, as the pace didn't feel labored. It was almost easy. It passed after a half mile.
    My first test came at mile 4, a steep but short hill that gassed me last year. I reminded myself that races were about even effort, not an even pace, and I told myself I didn't want look at my watch as I crept up the incline. It was over and I had my breath with me. Good.
    I glanced down at my watch again and noticed I was hitting 7:30. Even a year ago, that was a pace I'd run in 10Ks, which are half as long as a half marathon. But I told myself it felt good, and I also told myself to run on feel, not what my watch was telling me.
    In a race, you are constantly assessing how you feel, what you're facing and how far you've got to go. So far, despite an aching hamstring that I prayed would hang with me, I was feeling good. As long as my breathing wasn't too labored, I knew I could stick with it.
    * * *
    You are running with hundreds of others around you, even at my pace, but racing is also lonely. You're in your head, and no one wants to talk, as they need the air. Me either. Other than a word of encouragement to a girl who wore a ballet outfit that matched a girls' whom I passed at mile 2, telling her her partner looked strong, I said nothing to nobody.
    So I was ready, more than I wanted to admit, for mile 8, when you run an out and back. This lets you see all the runners ahead of, and then, later, the runners behind you. Many from my running group were doing this event, and so were my running partners. One clapped at me as he wooshed by. Then I heard my name. And I saw two others. And I yelled a word at them. And I found a running partner and then the other. We slapped hands. By the time I turned the corner and made my way back to mile 9, my heart was full again, and I turned back to my music.
    * * *
    Around mile 10 is the danger point in half marathons. I think doing a marathon helped with this, but it's around this time when you start to think about the end. And if you think about it too much, you start to crave it. The end, after all, means walking, food, friends, that feeling of accomplishment, cheers and the joy of being done. But even if you're running fast, the end is 24 minutes away. That's an episode of "Phineas and Ferb." That's half of "Breaking Bad" or Van Halen's "1984." It's longer than my 5Ks. It's no time to be thinking about the end. So I told myself not to think about the end.
    My timing was perfect. The hills were approaching.
    The Denver course is a great one, but near its end, a brutal stretch of long, somewhat steep hills await. The reward is worth it, a downhill finish that begs to be stormtroopered, but those hills aren't easy. Even effort, I told myself, not even pace. Enjoy passing other runners. Don't gas yourself. Do these, and you're done. Do these, and the fun begins.
    Well, the hills came and went. I crested them and started running hard, as hard as I would in a 5K. I pointed my nose downhill and enjoyed the ride. I was stunned when I saw the clock right before the finish.
    I shivered against the cold not long after I finished. I think it was the cold, but it did remind me of a lab puppy who wiggled with pleasure during a game of fetch, who moved with the kind of electricity that comes from knowing that all is right with the world.

    Postscript: I ran 1:40:25, which was a PR by four minutes. I finished 450 or so out of about 9,000 runners.

              The Apple of SunPower’s C7        
    2IMG_3659-imp[Yerington, Nevada USA] Apple’s Fort Churchill Solar Project. From Fort Churchill Solar Project So what’s happened at the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Fort Churchill Solar project since the Earth Day fanfare of the WIRED exclusive: “Apple Aims to Shrink Its Carbon Footprint With New Data Centers” by Steven Levy? On a cloudy day visit last month, […]
              Giveaway: J.Crew Gift Card        

    Hey y'all! Sorry I haven't been around these parts much, and sorry for apologizing, because that's just annoying. But I mean, it's just been crazy-town this spring! I have some pretty big news that I can't share for another couple of months, so it's kind of killing me at the moment. But as soon as I can, I'll be sharing a lot more about it. 

    So here's a fun little giveaway that I'm doing over at Because of Jackie.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    IMG 0835

    IMG 0839

    IMG 0838

    IMG 0842

    IMG 0849

    IMG 0855

    Dress: Anthropologie 

    Jacket: Oasap

    Necklace: Charming Charlie

    Tights: J.Crew 

    Shoes: Rieker via J.L.Coombs


               Nokia Lumia 730 Dual-SIM , Lumia 735 , Lumia 830 and Lumia 930 Mobile From Microsoft Corporation | Lumia 730 ,735 , 830 Features, Specifications & Price In India        
    Microsoft Devices announced the rumoured Superman codenamed selfie phone. The Nokia Lumia 730 and Nokia Lumia 735 have similar looks and innards, the only difference is that the Nokia Lumia 730 is a Dual SIM handset supporting 3G connectivity and the Nokia Lumia 735 can handle a single LTE connection and can be charged wirelessly. The prices of the Lumia 730 and 735 are 199 and 219 Euros respectively. When they arrive in India in bright green, bright orange, dark grey and white colour variants at the end of this month, we can expect the prices to hover around Rs. 16000 and Rs. 18000 respectively.

    Nokia Lumia 735.
    Nokia Lumia 735​
     
    The Nokia Lumia 730 Dual-SIM and Lumia 735 sport a 4.7inch OLED display with ClearBlack tech. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and supports supersensitive touch. We were disappointed to see that Microsoft has left out Glance Screen in both these devices. Underneath we find a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM running Windows Phone 8.1 Lumia Denim edition.

    Nokia Lumia 730.
    Nokia Lumia 730 Dual-SIM​

    Microsoft says that both of these smartphones are “the ultimate selfie and Skype smartphones” and it isn’t kidding. The Lumia 730 and 735 have f/2.4 aperture wide angle 5MP sensor that can accommodate as many friends as you like. It also preloads the phones with its new Selfie app which not only lets you access the front camera quickly but also lets you add filters and skin enhancements and even lets you slim down your face and blur out the background. For select markets it is offering a free three-month Skype Unlimited World subscription that lets you make calls to mobile and landline phones. On the rear you find a 6.7MP auto-focus camera with BSI sensor and 4x zoom capable of recording Full HD videos at 30fps. The only foible is that the phone does not have a physical shutter button like its recently launched big brother.

    The Nokia Lumia 730 and 735 have a smaller 8GB internal memory which can be expanded with the help of microSD cards of up to 128GB. It throws in 15GB of OneDrive cloud storage as well. Connectivity features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and microUSB. Like all Lumia family member you get free voice guided navigation and offline maps with the help of Nokia HERE maps service. The company claims that the user removable battery will last for 25 days on standby and offer 22 hours of talk time.

               Microsoft Launches New Nokia Lumia 730 Dual-SIM , Lumia 735 , Lumia 830 and Lumia 930 | Lumia 730 ,735 , 830 Features, Specifications & Price In India 2014        
    Microsoft Devices announced the rumoured Superman codenamed selfie phone. The Nokia Lumia 730 and Nokia Lumia 735 have similar looks and innards, the only difference is that the Nokia Lumia 730 is a Dual SIM handset supporting 3G connectivity and the Nokia Lumia 735 can handle a single LTE connection and can be charged wirelessly. The prices of the Lumia 730 and 735 are 199 and 219 Euros respectively. When they arrive in India in bright green, bright orange, dark grey and white colour variants at the end of this month, we can expect the prices to hover around Rs. 16000 and Rs. 18000 respectively.


    Nokia Lumia 735.
    Nokia Lumia 735​

    The Nokia Lumia 730 Dual-SIM and Lumia 735 sport a 4.7inch OLED display with ClearBlack tech. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and supports supersensitive touch. We were disappointed to see that Microsoft has left out Glance Screen in both these devices. Underneath we find a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM running Windows Phone 8.1 Lumia Denim edition.

    Nokia Lumia 730.
    Nokia Lumia 730 Dual-SIM​

    Microsoft says that both of these smartphones are “the ultimate selfie and Skype smartphones” and it isn’t kidding. The Lumia 730 and 735 have f/2.4 aperture wide angle 5MP sensor that can accommodate as many friends as you like. It also preloads the phones with its new Selfie app which not only lets you access the front camera quickly but also lets you add filters and skin enhancements and even lets you slim down your face and blur out the background. For select markets it is offering a free three-month Skype Unlimited World subscription that lets you make calls to mobile and landline phones. On the rear you find a 6.7MP auto-focus camera with BSI sensor and 4x zoom capable of recording Full HD videos at 30fps. The only foible is that the phone does not have a physical shutter button like its recently launched big brother.

    The Nokia Lumia 730 and 735 have a smaller 8GB internal memory which can be expanded with the help of microSD cards of up to 128GB. It throws in 15GB of OneDrive cloud storage as well. Connectivity features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and microUSB. Like all Lumia family member you get free voice guided navigation and offline maps with the help of Nokia HERE maps service. The company claims that the user removable battery will last for 25 days on standby and offer 22 hours of talk time.

              Ecohouse workshop        
    Há 2 semanas atrás, fui fazer um workshop em Berkeley na Ecology Center.



    O tema do workshop era Simple improvements that can be made to green an urban home.

    Algumas considerações que mais me chamaram a atenção:

    - Energia Solar
    Comprar equipamentos para obter energia através do sol, ainda é bem caro. Aqui nos Estados Unidos, há um programa do governo que vc pode pedir ajuda financeira se vc tiver interessado em obter energia green em casa. O desconto varia de 3% a 4%. Não é muito, mas já é um incentivo.


    No entanto, um tópico que chamou bem minha atenção é se a produção de energia gerada através da luz solar for além do que você consome, a PG&E (tipo a Eletrobrás do EUA) compra sua energia pelo valor 3x maior do que vc paga. Ou seja, você pode fazer dinheiro produzindo energia green! :) aí eu vi vantagem!

    - Using Greywater
    Um tema que está super abordado por aqui. A reutilização da Greywater para regar o jardim.



    O que é a Greywater?
    It is non-industrial wastewater generated from domestic processes such as dish washing, laundry and bathing. Greywater comprises 50-80% of residential wastewater. Greywater comprises wastewater generated from all of the house's sanitation equipment except for the septic tank (water from toilets is blackwater, or sewage). Greywater is distinct from blackwater in the amount and composition of its chemical and biological contaminants (from feces or toxic chemicals). Greywater gets its name from its cloudy appearance and from its status as being neither fresh (white water from groundwater or potable water), nor heavily polluted (blackwater). According to this definition, wastewater containing significant food residues or high concentrations of toxic chemicals from household cleaners, etc., may be considered "dark grey" or dirty water.

    Basicamente, a greywater é aquela água que foi usada no banho, na pia do banheiro ou na máquina de lavar roupa. Isso exclui água proveniente da pia da cozinha, laboratório de fotografia, máquina de lavar louça ou máquina de lavar roupa que contenha fraldas sujas.

    50% a 80% da água utilizada em casa é greywater. Água que pode ser utilizada para regar o jardim, se utilizarmos detergente e sabão biodeagradável.

    No entanto, é preciso ter controle sobre a greywater, pois claro pode haver contaminação. Para a implementação da greywater sistema de irrigação, é preciso ter permissão da California Department of Water Resources.

    - Green Rooftops

    Em qualquer green blog é comum encontrar pelo menos um post sobre as grandes vantagens de ter tetos verdes.

    E o blog da raponesa também está dentro nessa. Idéia simples e solução efetiva e produtiva. Assim eu gosto!

    Ao ter um jardim no seu teto, você transforma energia destruidora em energia produtiva. Ou seja, o contato diário do sol com o teto faz com que o material se desgaste. No entanto, com a green rooftop ou a Living Roof, as plantas absorvem a energia, gerando vida, verde e produção de alimento.

    Além de previnir as famosas "heat island" na cidade, os tetos verdes amenizam a temperatura dentro de casa durante o verão e aquecem durante o inverno. Perfeito!!!!

    - Banheiro

    Uma solução que eu achei fantástica é reutilizar a água que tomamos banho como água do sanitário. E ainda, ter 2 botões na hora de dar descarga.


    Uma opção com menos água para o #1 e outra com mais água para o #2.
    Fantástico!

    - Idéias ainda no plano do papel.
    Compostar o lixo do banheiro. Um tema polêmico devido a higiene e contaminação em questão, no entanto, se for compostado bem feito, pode ser uma super solução para todo o lixo sanitário. Viva!



              The Hump Day Hump: Football Free Edition!        
    LOL Jeff Rimer fart cloud
    Unless something major happens during the course of the day, let's stick with a football free day here.  Starting this evening, I begin my 5 day run as a goodwill ambassador for the city of Columbus at the NHL All Star Fan Fair.  Could you possibly think of a better representative?  I think not.  I have no idea what I'll actually be doing but should find out more tonight at our little orientation meeting.  I'm hellbent on getting a selfie with the Stanley Cup and pretty sure that I will try to steal something (not a kiss from Sidney Crosby, dicks), too.  It should be a good time.  And if not, well, at least the work shifts are only 4-5 hours at a time.  I thought that I heard somewhere that Dan Gilbert wanted to bring the All-Star Game back to The Q so maybe I can let some of you northern jerks know if doing something like this for them is worth your time.  I'll probably have stories on Monday to go along with my Pro Bowl live-blog.

    Football has dominated the talk around here for months now but since that is ending, we should check in on the other sports to see what it going on.

    *College Basketball! - I'm really struggling to get into it this year.  My alma mater is terrible and the game seems to be lacking ELITE white males and thus my interest is at an all-time low.  When boring ass Virginia is the #2 team, that isn't helping.  Plus, Ohio and WE ON don't appear to be have a big run in them.  Dullsville, bruh.

    *Hockey! - I pretty much only follow the Jackets but I do have to say that the goddamn Islanders are really fucking impressive.  Them and Nashville are the two teams that just obliterated the CBJ from start to finish and that doesn't happen often.  As for the CBJ, the early season injuries killed them and they won't be able to dig out of the hole this year.  The rest of the East got way better while we spent most of the first half averaging 7 guys on the shelf PER GAME.  I still love these guys because they play their asses off and won't quit and additional gritty sports cliches, but they need to play .700 hockey the rest of the way and I don't see that being possible.  Carry It nonetheless!

    *Golf! - Outside of Tiger Woods' hilarious meth teeth, the big story from the weekend was the Hawaiian abduction of Robert Allenby from a wine bar.  Cowherd was questioning the truth behind this odd tale yesterday and I'm starting to poke holes in this as well.  I'm calling this guy out as a liar.  Pretty sure that Allenby is a serial rapist of homeless people and finally met one that fought back IMO.  Also: LOL Tiger's missing tooth.

    *Baseball! - We briefly touched on the Max Scherzer signing on Monday but the parameters of this deal are fascinating.  Baseball people are saying that paying him 15 million a year for 14 years is smart but that seems pretty dumb to me.  Then again, I'm no nerd.  I would try to front-load as much of that as possible just to get it out of the way.  I hope that the Reds fans are paying attention to this because you should start preparing for no more Cueto.  He isn't going to make Max money, but it is definitely going to be more than what you offer.  And now that teams are doing this deferred money plan, the rich are only going to get richer.

    *NBA! - Last but not least, let's talk about my rejuvenated Cavs who look like an entirely different team now.  Mozgov and JR Smith have been fantastic additions (TIMOFEY has been well worth the low first round picks if he keeps playing like this).  LeBron looks focused and is actually trying.  Kyrie and Love are slowly playing a little bit better defense.  Blatt is setting on player rotations.  Shumpert should be back any day now to bolster the perimeter defense.  Things are trending up for sure.  I know that Lacey will chide me for cocking off about a game in January, but they beat the piss out of the Bulls the other night.  It was never close.  I've always said that I'm OK with losses as long as the effort is there.  When the Cavs play with the kind of effort that they showed against the Bulls and Clippers, no one in the East can beat them in a series.  No one.  Sorry, Dawg, but your Hawks are peaking too early.  I'm feeling good about this team now and they are starting to become pretty fun to watch.  THE DIFF!  Also, we made Derrick Rose's pussy lips cry after the game...LOLZ!

    I got through everything that I wanted to today but feel free to discuss anything and everything non-football.  This is my final post for the week as you get a BONUS ICEMAN RANT on Friday.  He's had this one locked and loaded for months so you know that it is bad.
              S12 Club New design – lightweight and efficient plywood racing dinghy        
    A new lightweight 12ft plywood dinghy under development. This prototype by Canadian Rick Landreville. It won't have a cloud of sail area,but will be light enough low drag enough to hit consistently high speeds relative to other boats of this length.
              Seven Lessons of Sea Kayaking        

    I scurried around the banks of the Potomac River, burying canned food, clothing and jugs of water in the cargo hatches of my kayak. My launch down the US eastern seaboard was imminent, a journey I’d been preparing for over a year. Weight distribution was the preoccupation of the moment, as the lay of the ballast would determine my tracking ability. Fighting for a straight line over unfamiliar waters in the following weeks would waste time and drain my stamina.

    Dark cumulus crowded overhead, but a rainy departure didn’t bother me—a baptism of sorts and reminder that elemental immersion and climate exposure are a kayaker’s default mode. The East coast hurricane season was at its peak, and I’d be tracking storm developments on a weather radio. The draws of an autumn trip were cooler air temperatures and less solar intensity, with coastal waters retaining their summer warmth. The clouds of mosquitoes and biting flies would have thinned, the noisy summer beaches vacated. Raptors and Monarch butterflies had begun their southern migrations down the coast, and fauna would be fattening up for the winter—autumn is a time of preparation and epic distance. Deep winter with its quiet frozen landscape is my idea of perfection, but autumn offers clement temperatures, crisper air and favorable tradewinds for long distance kayaking. It was my final window before the big freeze.

    Read the rest of this story of my trip from near Washington DC to the Outer Banks here.



              ××•×“ות        

    כשJavaScript הוצג לראשונה בדפדפן נטסקייפ גירסא 2.0 בשנת 1995 השתמשנו בו למשימות פשוטות כגון אימות שדות בטפסים או אפילו משהו יחסית מורכב כמו חישוב תשלומי הלוואות.

    כיום, 17 שנים אחר כך אנחנו בונים אפליקציות מורכבות עם JavaScript שרצות בדפדפן. אפליקציות כאלה דורשות סט של סיפריות ופריימוורקים על מנת לבנות ולתחזק את האפליקציות ביעילות.

    Backbone.js וUnderscore.js שניהם נוצרו כחלק מ פרויקט documentcloud בניו יורק טיימס. עמוד שדרה מספק מוצק נתוני שכבת טיפול שניתן להשתמש כדי לטפל בכל יישומים. Backbone.js וUnderscore.js נוצרו כחלק מפרוייקט documentcloud של הניו יורק טיימס. Backbone מספק שכבת ניהול נתונים סולידית שניתן להשתמש בה לניהול כל אפליקציה. Backbone.js מספקת מספר האובייקטים ליישום ארכיטקטורת MVC או MVVM בדפדפן, כולל מודלים, אוספים, ותצוגות, היסטוריית דפדפן ועוד הרבה.

    קורס זה יהווה היכרות ראשונית למפתחים לעבודה עם backbone, underscore וmarrionette שנותן לנו עוד אובייקטים שאיתם ניתן לקשור מודלים לתצוגות.

    אורך הקורס: 3 מפגשים של 8 שעות = 24 שעות. פעם בשבוע ביום ראשון.
    איפה? ההאב ×ª×œ אביב
    תנאי השתתפות: ניסיון בJavascript ושפת תכנות אחת.
    מתי? ב21, 28 לאוקטובר וה4 לנובמבר.

    הקורס יועבר באנגלית.

              About        

    When JavaScript was first introduced into the browser with Netscape v 2.0 in 1995 we used it for very simple tasks, such as validating form input or maybe doing something as complex as computing loan payments.

    Now 17 years later we are building robust complex applications in JavaScript to run in the browser. Complex applications require a solid set of libraries and frameworks to build and maintain.

    Backbone.js and Underscore.js were both created as part of the documentcloud project at the New York Times. Backbone Provides a solid data handling layer that can be used to handle any application.
    Backbone.js provides a number of objects to implement a MVC or MVVM architecture in the browser, including Models, Collections, Views, Browser History and more.

    This class will introduce programmers to underscore and backbone as well as the Marionette package which provides a number of additional objects for binding Models and Collections to views.

    Duration: 3 sessions of 8 hours = 24 hours total. Once a week on Sundays.
    Requirements: Experience with JavaScript and a programming language.
    When? October 21, 28 and Nov 4 From 9:00 - 17:00

    Class will be taught in English.

              BuyVia Brings First Cloud-Linked Shopping Searches, Preferences and Curated Deals Available on Kindle Fire         

    BuyVia Brings First Cloud-Linked Shopping Searches, Preferences and Curated Deals Available on Kindle Fire

    From:

    BuyVia


              Blog: BuyVia Brings Consumers Daily Cloud-linked Best Quality Deals Within Ten Mile Radius         

    Blog: BuyVia Brings Consumers Daily Cloud-linked Best Quality Deals Within Ten Mile Radius

    From:

    BuyVia


              Climate Change: The Evolution of the Deniers/Does Paul Ryan Hate His Grandchildren?        

    I went to the Mach for Science and then Drumpf pulled out of the Paris Accords. Causation or Correlation? I then posted about climate change (CC). That's caustation.

    1) Deniers:

      The deniers have gone through several phases:

    There is no CC

    There is CC but its not caused by humans.

    There is CC and its caused by humans but since China and India and other countries aren't doing anything about it, if only we do it will have no effect except to ruin our economy.
    (Counter argument: the effects of climate change are economically devastating- are insurance companies trying to pressure governments to do something about CC since CC's effects cause damage which hurts their bottom line?)

    Intermixed with these arguments have been:

    Just because 87% of all lung cancer victims  smoke, that's just a correlation. Maybe people the lung cancer gene is also the smoking gene. Correlation does not equal causation. OH, sorry, that's a flashback to the Correlation NOT causation arguments made by the Tobacco companies. Do they still believe that? Mike Pence does (see here). How can they stay in business? (here's how) ANYWAY, some are making the correlation NOT causation argument for why Polar bears are dying, etc.

    AND the classic

    Technology will bail us out. (This would be a better argument if it was followed by hence we will give lots of funding for such technology  which is NEVER what its followed by.)

    OKAY, so where are we in 2017?

    The economist had an argument about how Solar and Wind will soon be MORE cost effective than Oil and Gas- though we still have the problem of what happens on a cloudy, windless day- so we need technology to store (see here though its behind a pay wall). China and India ARE doing things about CC. How much? Effective? Hard to say- though both are really concerned with pollution.

    I predict the new argument will be:

    We're all doomed anyway so why take our economy down at the same time.

    Unfortunately this argument might be correct.

    (ADDED LATER- a commenter says that I conspicuously left out religious arguments to not do anything about CC.  I now conspicuously ask you to read his comment.)

    2) Take Paul Ryan. Please.
    Seriously-- I assume he KNOWS that CC really is a problem and the longer we put it off the worse it will be for his grandchildren, and perhaps his children. So why does he fight ANY attempt to even admit we HAVE a problem (And note there ARE some market-based solutions- a Carbon Tax, Cap and Trade.)  Some speculation

    a) Despite being smart he's in deep deep denial. Okay, but why is that? If you believe in small government then if something comes along that REQUIRES big government, you just DENY it since it does not fit into your world view.

    b) Paul Ryan hates his Grandchildren.

    c) Paul Ryan thinks that HIS grandchildren will be among the few people who survive and live in a VERY gated community. He's probably wrong about that as even those in gated communities will suffer the effects of CC.

    d) Paul Ryan is stuck. If he tries to do ANYTHING then it will not work AND he'll lose his speakership and possibly his seat in congress. And there are a large number of congressman and senators who feel the same way but they're all afraid to say. If they ALL said so then... they'd ALL lose their seat in congress. One of the downsides of politics is ending up STUCK on the WRONG side of history and KNOWING it. Well, at least there won't be much history left so he won't be stuck on the wrong side for long.

    3) Game Theory. I used to think that it was in NO countries SHORT term interest to do anything serious about CC (that is, do it alone) and hence we were all DOOMED! Doomed I say! And part of the problem is that if Country A emits greenhouse gases its bad for THE ENTIRE WORLD EQUALLY, and not for Country A in particular. But a few things make me more optimistic:

    Pollution is a here-and-now problem for China and India so they will tackle that. That somehow has to be part of the solution.

    Technology- as mentioned before Solar and Wind is catching up to Gas and Oil. (downside of technology- Fracking and oil extraction are also getting better and cheaper. Hubbert's Peak Oil Theory doesn't seem to be true) But the real advantage of Solar and Wind will be that you don't have to Extract and ship Oil (or Coal or whatever).

    4) I wrote that last positive point before President Drumpf. Having a CC denier in the white house means four more years of no action which sounds really bad- especially since the longer we put off doing something about the problem, the harder and more expensive it will be to slow down CC (Some ponders that Trump won't be that bad for the environment: here)

    5) Okay Bill, what would YOU do? Carbon Tax will give financial incentive for companies to curb Carbon emissions. And its simple. The Tax has to be high enough to have an effect. Another added bonus will be to help America pay down its deficit. ALSO more research into renewables. Oddly enough I would also recommend NOT forcing Gas to contain Ethanol- make Ethanol compete with Solar and Wind. (Recall that Ethanol is funded only because of the Iowa Caucus. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry, its too stupid to explain.) Some may disagree and have other ideas. Thats FINE- I would rather be having a debate about what to DO about the problem rather than one about whether or not there IS a problem. Though even a debate about what to do about the problem should be SHORT so we can begin DOING something.


              Comment on The Onion Proves Humans are the Weakest Link in Security by Cord Blomquist        
    We us Rackspace Cloud Sites.
              Comment on Make Your Own Louis-CK-Style Video Distribution Site by Cord Blomquist        
    I had a reader point out today that GetShopped.org's S3 add-on doesn't contain a simple way to implement CloudFront support. Does anyone know of an e-commerce solution that integrates CloudFront?
              Distinguishing Cloud Computing from SaaS Technology        
    Many people have the false notion that Cloud Computing and SaaS(Software as a service) are one and the same. There is no denying the fact that Cloud Computing and SaaS are related, however, they are still very distinct from each other. SaaS applications are basically end-user applications that are located outside the premises of users. Cloud Computing, on...

              GuardKey USB Encryption Dongle For Drives and Cloud Review        

    Introduction There are many ways to approach digital security and data safety, and today I’m taking a closer look at the GuardKey which takes a more physical approach to data safety. It combines the physical aspects of a normal key with the technical aspect of encryption to create secure storage locations for all your sensitive […]

    The post GuardKey USB Encryption Dongle For Drives and Cloud Review appeared first on eTeknix.


              Comment on Top 7 Cool Tricks You Can Learn To Look Like A Hacker: Become Popular Among Friends by Nielsen02        
    Experience a good hack service by hiring codelordexx@gmail.com They offer the best value for your money when it comes to hacking . Different jobs are up for execution ; social network hacks , recovery of accounts, school grade change , Access to icloud , Wifi hacking for password and other hack jobs .
              Comment on Top 3 Ways To Encrypt Cloud Data (Secure Your Cloud Data) by Nielsen02        
    Contact codelordexx@gmail.com to help get your school grades changed and also carry out all other hack jobs. He has worked for me and I've testified to his excellent work
              Comment on Psychology is the Devil: A Critique of Jay Adams’ Counseling Paradigm by Paul        
    I seem to have struck a nerve Bradley. There are just a couple of things I’d like to say before I reply. You’ve spent a lot of time over the wording of my original question. And to a point I’ll agree that I could have stated it better at the start, but I was under a couple of assumptions when I stated the original question. Assumptions I might add you’ve gone a long way towards reaffirming. I assumed that you were an intelligent man, and would have understood the context of my original question, that having to do with ‘ultimate’ authority, and apologize that you didn’t see that What bothers me more than just a little in your response is the condescending attitude you have in your replies. Was this unintentional Bradley or do you really think me a fool and that somehow I’ve overstepped my level of education and understanding and that you’re going to set me straight and put me back in my place? If it was unintentional then I suppose I’ll be a little more forgiving in my response. Another thing that disappointed me was your ad hominem attack on my character. In C21 you state that you believe I “now owe (you) an apology. I’m not holding my breath, but I am optimistic about others until they give me a reason not to be or pose an immediate threat to my family’s well being so as to require caution in keeping them safe.” What a horrible point to make in a discussion about authority. Insinuating that I could possibly be a threat to the safety of your family Bradley? Why on earth would you include that in your comment except to try and besmirch my character in the eyes of your readers? What a disgusting association to try and make. I really would have thought you would have avoided that sort of attack in this sort of discussion. In reply I will say this Bradley, although I have read your response from beginning to end, there is so much in there that is off target that I find it difficult to piece together a measured, response. It seems to me that it is best if I reword my question in such a way that the meaning will be more than clear to you. As I stated above, I made an assumption that you would have understood my intent in the context of the discussion (my use of the word ‘ultimate’ further down in my original comment), something I now understand to have been too presumptuous of me. I think that what you stated in your reply to Stephen Newell’s initial comment to your blog sheds a bit of light as to why you have responded so vigorously to my question. You said in that initial reply that you were “..kinda hopin’ that someone who doesn’t agree with me will bite on the title and engage my thoughts.” You see it seems you were itching for a fight from the very start and then decided that I was going to be your target. Your desire to engage in a discussion with someone who disagreed with you has clouded your thinking. What you did in the process is grossly overstate what I said or didn’t say. You spent far too much time critiquing the initial part of my question, you know, the “where does your authority come from” bit, when all you really needed to do was continue reading until you came to the part where I said that “I don’t hold science as my highest authority.” That should have provided you with the information (and the context) required to avoid your initial misunderstanding. I’m not going to try and wade through your reply because quite frankly, it goes so far off topic that I really don’t want to bore your readers with a discussion that is so far removed from my original questions. You’ve fixated on that one initial point, and completely disregarded the rest of my original post. Here it is again, with one amendment, as a reminder to you and your readers as to what I was originally asking. "I’m really curious to know Bradley, where does your ultimate authority come from, science or God? Do you believe in the supernatural? Is sin something we do or is it something we are? Do you think that mental illness is merely a physical problem of the brain or are there spiritual issues involved? When Jesus met the demoniac who lived among the tombs, was his problem merely physical? Would you have applied the science of psychology to address the problem, or are you one of the academics who would say that Jesus was ignorant of the real problem and only addressed it, as he knew how? Jesus knew that the problem with the man was the ‘legion’ of spirits that possessed and controlled him. Although our minds are intrinsically tied to our brains, I believe that that connection in not all there is. When I die my brain ceases to function but my mind goes on. There is more that impacts on our mind than what is merely physical. I am certainly no Luddite when it comes to science. I appreciate all that we have discovered about the universe we live in, but I don’t hold science as my highest authority. You say you believe in God, but then cast doubt on his ability to speak; and in a way we can understand him. I believe in a God who has not only spoken, but has spoken clearly, being able to be understood. I’ve read some of your comments above and wonder how you can know God at all if you think that we can’t truly understand what he has actually said." I truly hope that you deal with the questions I’ve asked above and don’t get bogged down in issues such as the role of science in Biblical hermeneutics, languages and ancient manuscripts. I have a good grasp on these issues and don’t need to be schooled by you on them. For a little bit of clarity on what I mean by ultimate authority let me give you one small example. Scripture records that Jesus miraculously fed at least 5000 people on more than one occasion (Matt. 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Jn 6:1-15). It is also clear by the amount of leftovers there were (12 baskets full in one story) that Jesus created bread and fish by fiat, that is, by the power of his word. Now suppose you were able to get one of those loaves of bread or one of those fish into the hands of today’s scientists and ask them to answer the question, “what were the origins of the loaf of bread and the fish?” What do you suppose those scientists would say in answer to that question? I reckon what it would probably be something along the lines of the loaf of bread coming to be through a process of mixing certain ingredients like flour, water and oil, and then baking those mixed ingredients for a certain amount of time at a certain temperature. The fish would have started out as fertilized eggs and then through a long process would have grown into the adult fish they now had in their possession. Would the scientists have been right in their assessment of that loaf of bread and that fish? No, they wouldn’t have. The reason being is that scripture records a different reality, that being the supernatural power of Christ. This is what I mean when talking about ‘ultimate’ authority. Science would still have a role to play in our understanding of the bread and the fish ‘after’ they were created, but as to their supernatural origins only scripture can tell us the truth of it. The same would be true of creation of the universe itself, only on a grander scale. If I could offer one more word of advice to you it would be this; you would a far better communicator if you didn’t try to come across as so learned. Your points and counterpoints came across as far too condescending in a discussion such as this. Your argument turned to bluster and lost all significance. Less verbiage might mean more understanding of the points being discussed.
              Comment on 1 Kings 18:41-46 – A Cloud The Size Of A Man’s Hand by thebountifulreaper        
    <p>Reblogged this on <a href="https://thebountifulreaper.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/1-kings-1841-46-a-cloud-the-size-of-a-mans-hand-2/" rel="nofollow">The Bountiful Reaper</a> and commented: </p> <p>I have shared this on Facebook today so I thought I'd reblog it too!</p>
              By: feelmybicep        
    ALSO 5 FREE OMAR TRACKS <object height="185" width="100%"> <param name="movie" value="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F1019132&show_comments=true&auto_play=false&show_playcount=true&show_artwork=true&color=00eeaa"></param> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param> <embed allowscriptaccess="always" height="185" src="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F1019132&show_comments=true&auto_play=false&show_playcount=true&show_artwork=true&color=00eeaa" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="100%"></embed> </object> <span><a href="http://soundcloud.com/dummymag/sets/omar-s-high-school-graffiti" rel="nofollow">Omar S - High School Graffiti</a> by <a href="http://soundcloud.com/dummymag" rel="nofollow">DummyMag</a></span>
              Up, up and AWAY!        
    For some, stepping into a contraption that is 6′ x 6′, fueled by hot air and reaches heights so tall that you can touch the clouds, doesn’t exactly sound like something one would do volentarily…now if you can throw all caution to the wind, … Continue reading
              Marketing Analytics Manager, Google Cloud Web - Google - Mountain View, CA        
    Whether you're on a consumer product (like Gmail, Search, Maps, Chrome, Android) or a business product (AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick, Analytics), you take
    From Google - Tue, 18 Jul 2017 10:18:27 GMT - View all Mountain View, CA jobs
              iCloud: Kostenloser MobileMe Speicher verfällt ab heute        

    Bildschirmfoto 2013-10-01 um 11.07.42

    Soeben traf eine E-Mail von Apple ein die darauf hinweist, dass der freie Speicher (20GB) für ehemalige MobileMe Kunden verfällt.

    Dieser Support-Artikel von Apple erklärt alle Details.

    Vorsicht an alle die gerade mehr Speicher benötigen als sie nach der Herabstufung (5 GB) haben:

    Wenn der von Ihnen in iCloud verwendete Speicher den verfügbaren Gesamtspeicher überschreitet, funktioniereniCloud-Backup, Dokumente in der Cloud und iCloud Mail vorübergehend nicht. Damit Sie diese Funktionen wieder nutzen können, können Sie entweder die Menge genutzten iCloud-Speichers verringern oder einen Speicherplan mit einer größeren Speichermenge als der aktuell genutzten kaufen.

     Mehr Speicherplatz kaufen: OS X: …
    Weiterlesen
              iCloud: So funktioniert der neue iCloud-Schlüsselbund [UPDATE]        

    Apple hat mit OS X Mavericks und iOS 7 auch die Schlüsselbundverwaltung in die iCloud gehoben. Namenhafte Passwort-Apps wie 1Password scheinen damit abgeschrieben, oder etwa doch nicht?

    Die “iCloud Schlüsselbundverwaltung” ist nämlich lange nicht das, was viele vermuten. Es existiert nämlich keine Anwendung unter iCloud.com oder auf einem iOS Gerät. Unter OS X gibt es eine kleine Erweiterung. Aber alles hier im Detail:

    So funktioniert die iCloud Schlüsselbundverwaltung

    Apple macht nichts anderes, als dass sie die Option “Automatisches Ausfüllen” von Safari direkt mit der iCloud synchronisiert. Alle Geräte, die mit der gleichen AppleID verknüpft sind und in den iCloud-Einstellungen auf dem jeweiligen Gerät …
    Weiterlesen

              Comments: Акции, распродажи, купоны на 07.08-13.08.2017        
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              YellowScan and ECA Group demonstrated the capabilities of the Surveyor LiDAR combined to the UAV IT180-120 for corridor mapping.        

    1: High voltage powerline and surrounding vegetation. On the 16th of November, YellowScan and ECA Group put on a show in the South of Paris: the integration of the latest generation of LIDAR systems from YellowScantm, the Surveyortm, on ECA Group UAV IT180-120tm UAV enabled the acquisition of a very precise point cloud of 3 […]

    Cet article YellowScan and ECA Group demonstrated the capabilities of the Surveyor LiDAR combined to the UAV IT180-120 for corridor mapping. est apparu en premier sur YellowScan.


              A Twittervite to a Blogger Diner        
    Yesterday, I noticed a quick "tweet" from Jeremiah Owyang in which he invites locals to a blogger dinner in New York, then uninvites them, then kind of re-invites them to a meeting with Charlene Li.

    After a rather cryptic plea to Sam Lawrence to argue my case before Jeremiah, I decided to take my chances and hopped over the George Washington bridge into midtown Manhattan to see if I would be a persona non Grata if I showed up for the event without being formally registered (as registration had already closed).

    On the subway I was busy musing about whether I would appear to others as a Zelig character, crashing the party and behaving in a "chameleon like way" as one of the pseudo-blogerati. I started wondering if indeed I had any business calling myself blogger, let alone going to the meet-up, when suddenly a poster caught my eye: "Working for the radical notion of fairness". This is the tag line of freelancers.com an online community for "independent workers, mutual support, advocacy and the spirit of friendship".

    I thought about how blogging is a very personal form of expression and decided that working for fairness was exactly who I am and want to be. The radical part was a bit strident but heck, having passions around causes is part of my DNA. Regardless of credentials I felt armed with a real persona even though I see my blogging experience as a modest one.

    I got to NYC, attended the meet up, found Charlene Li to be gracious and welcoming, received a copy of her excellent book, Groundswell, which she authored with Josh Bernoff and considered the evening a success. In addition I met with a number of folks who I had hoped to be introduced to for a long while now such as Robin Carey and Jerry Bowles, being a visitor of their Social Media Today and their Energy Collective blogs. Then too, I encountered a number of others who I'd like to add to my twitter buddies and who engage in activities regarding the tracking, creation, and promoting of social media. I'll need to check my "dance cards" for exact names but companies like Razorfish and Monster and Clickster come to mind.

    Upon returning home, I went to further reference the event, the hostess, and some of the folks I'd met and found this post in Charlene's blog: Turning radicals into revolutionaries: the key to kick-starting your social strategy Really resonates. I think I'll change that poster tag line for me to read: "Working for the revolutionary notion of fairness".

              Micro Blog Tweet Points to “Micro V-Card” Word Clouds        

    I love words, and Sam Lawrence reminded me of just how much when he Twittered an experiment he cleverly ran with Many Eyes . Sam provided visualizations of the way the datasets of some of the top bloggers he was interested in tracking, produced word clouds which in turn provided a glimpse into the psyches or at least current passions of the writer/blogger/thought leaders whose words he analyzed and visualized.

    Well, a clever stratagem and one that worked for Sam, not only in allowing folks to take a critical look at how “loudly” certain words played in their own or others’ conversations, but also by brilliantly encouraging a further look into the work he is obviously doing well in dissecting patterns in cross-departmental collaboration Words were the bait, further ego-boo was the absolute dragnet. Almost ½ of the “thought leaders” Sam used in his experiment responded with comments in his blog post and many I’m sure took more than a glance at his previous posts and findings.

    And speaking of appealing to vanity, I was quite shocked and rather overwhelmed to see myself in the next round of experiments, this time focused on women, as the first round seemed to be a “male only thing” as a few of us noticed. I enjoyed learning more about the women Sam selected and liked the diversity that his choices highlighted. Whereas the men had a common theme of PEOPLE, the women, had more eclectic word choices.

    In addition, I noticed a number of folks in twitterdom running their own self-analysis. For example, I watched in envy as Goldie Katsu whose tweets I enjoy, created her own Goldie’s Gabs cloud. And it wasn’t any surprise to find People, Video, Life prominent in her most used words. (I have been frustrated in my attempts to register to the Many Eyes website, to create my own visualization and will have to contact IBM support it says)

    Some of the loudest words surfacing might have been the result of the topical nature of some of the datasets. For example: Yahoo in the news probably created disproportionate Yahoo word cloud size, as someone commented. Since I am a relatively new blogger and not nearly as prolific or notable as Sam’s other women choices, my list was based on a data source of only 4,000 some odd words as contrasted to the 45,000 word sampling of the likes of Kara Swisher.

    But regardless, it would indeed be a marvelous calling card to have our most oft used words associated with our profiles. I’m sure it is only a matter of time until someone supplies a widget to make that ability dynamic in blog posts.

    For those familiar with the Strength Finder signature themes or those who once took the time and invested $35 to discover their strengths online (or as in my case many years ago, had their company invite them to participate in such analysis) it might be interesting to correlate the word themes, with the signature themes. I randomly checked out this gentlemen Steve Borsch

    Steve Borsch's signature themes matched mine almost 1-to-1 (the exception was his Woo strength replacing my Empathy theme), but out of 34 possibilities Ideation, Learner, Strategic, and Input were aligned as themes.

    Here's the interesting part for me. When I quickly flipped through his post and biography I found so many common touch points between us. Without knowing a great deal about him, I would even dare to say there were numerous similarities in some of the demographics: age, passions, interests, work experiences, family composition, at least by what I could glean by briefly reading about his interests.

    I'd love to see how the "personality" type mappings align or contrast to Sam's micro v-card idea,as Sam calls it, which is boiling us down to our signature words as well as themes.

    By the way, this exercise also evoked memories of a childhood passion I had for just sitting down with our 1963 Funk & Wagnalls and skimming the pages. (We couldn’t afford the more expensive Britannica and our’s was the supermarket “buy a volume a week” version with few pictures and lots of words). I wonder now how closely the words that spoke the loudest to me then, in those childhood moments, found their way into my present vernacular.

    A big thanks to Sam for catalyzing all these activities and firing up these thoughts.


              8 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Me        

    When tapped to share “8 things you probably didn’t know about” James Farrar he noted that blogging is quite the “exhibitionist” activity. Much of my blogging experience these past years has been more in audience capacity; a vicarious blog explorer, rather than an active onstage character. Vicarious means I observe certain events by “imaginative or sympathetic participation in the experiences of another”.

    Others’ blogs expose me to great examples of: storytelling, journalism, innovation and when done expertly well, art. While exploring, I’m often wondering what it would be like to write as prolifically or as creatively or as knowledgeably as the bloggers whose contents I follow. Fair, although hardly shy, I do feel a bit the wallflower while the nimble waltz me by with dizzyingly and dazzlingly clever insights, observations, perceptions and opinions.

    I’ve imagined what I would write on the off-chance that someone might tag me for the “8 things you probably don’t know about me” meme. But I was caught off guard (gobsmacked as the brits would say) when I happened upon my name in James’ blog: the Wisdom of Clouds. It’s like someone asked the ungainly girl at the school party to dance to be nice. Thanks James.

    Eight is a lot. I’ll start chronologically.

    1. When I was 4, my sister was born on my birthday. For years afterwards I assumed that all families had that same arrangement, meaning siblings who were not twins also shared a common birthday. The realization that my belief system was faulty was very traumatic.

    2. When I was about 8 years old, I separated from my parents while on board the Sternwheeler (steamboat) called the "The American". We were visiting an ill-fated and short-lived amusement park in the Bronx (New York) called: Freedomland U.S.A. There is a certain irony to all this. The year was 1960 and the civil rights movement was coming into its own with the Greensboro Four staging a peaceful sit-in at Woolworth’s in North Carolina, breaking down the segregation walls in the south. Back on the steamboat, my parents found me quickly. I was staging my own sit-in of sorts, in the steamship’s bandstand. There they found me sitting entranced on a trumpet player’s lap. His name: Louie Armstrong. I’ve always loved his voice and music.

    3. When I was 10 I decided to have a “penny fair” and created an amusement park in my yard. I gathered $5.57 cents from all of our neighborhood children (a great many pennies). Although rather pleased with my entrepreneurial success, I wound up donating the money to a school for mentally handicapped children. The principal sent me and the neighborhood children a very nice thank you letter.

    4. When I was 16 I discovered that although my sister and I shared the same birth date, it wasn’t the one recorded in our birth certificates. My mom had changed them both by a few days to give us the opportunity of starting kindergarten early. I think it was a shocking revelation that documents could be misleading or doctored.

    5. At 20 I took a road trip across the US. It was the summer of ’74 and in California, after a day of many driving mishaps; I got pulled over by the police. I had gotten a ticket earlier that day for speeding on the freeway. While paying my speeding ticket, I parked in a no-parking zone. I then proceeded to run a stop sign. It was a bad-hair driving day.When I saw the flashing lights in the rear-view mirror I was baffled. Couldn’t think of a single additional infraction I might have committed other than the fact that our car was a real jalopy with only one workable door, totally dust-covered and we (my future husband and I) looked a bit like ’70’s hippies after our 6 weeks on the road. I roll down my window (I’m the driver) and ask: “yes officer?”, failing to notice the growing number of squad cars accumulating behind us. The policeman looks oddly tense. “Did you hear about the bank robbery?”, says he. “Oh sure”, says I., “I’m Bonnie and this” (pointing to my future husband) “is Clyde”. The policemen weren’t particularly amused as they pulled me out of the car thinking I was the fugitive kidnapped newspaper heiress turned militant, Patty Hearst .

    6. I studied theater directing in the Tel Aviv University drama department. In 1979 I turned down an invitation by the national theater to assistant direct and work with theater luminary Joseph Chaiken on “The Dybbuk”. What we do for love. I was expecting my first child.

    7. In the early eighties, before “Glastnost” and the subsequent transparency policies of Gorbachev, I went on a small mission to meet with prisoners of conscience and human rights activists in a number of cities in the Ukraine and found myself and travel partner “interviewed” by the KGB concerning our activities in each city. I think I’m a “persona non grata” in the former Soviet Union.

    8. In the middle nineties started a grassroots movement of citizens concerned about environmental hazards and the rights of local residents and was invited to speak in the Israeli Parliament, together with my Bedouin neighbors.

    Now, grannimari is quietly and sedately working as an online community evangelist for the Business Process Expert Community. And looking to the community members who inspire and challenge her thinking. In that spirit of letting no good deed go unpunished, I’ll tag: Jim Spath , Eddy De Clercq , Jen Robinson, Thomas Ritter, Dick Hirsch and Ram Tiwari


              Beyond holiday - putting a little "community care" in the luggage        
    Just as I was putting finishing touches on my personal end-of-2007 vacation itinerary and finalizing SAP TechEd '07 Bangalore plans, I met with James Farrar, who is VP of Corporate Citizenship at SAP and author of the sustainability and CSR blog: Wisdom of Clouds. This coincided with a growing interest of the SAP community members in such matters and plans for the launch of a new area under the Business Process Expert Community called Corporate Social Responsibility.

    I was very excited about the inauguration of the website: SAPfeedingknowledge and our SAP Community initiative to help provide "Food for Points".
    But here I was ending the 2007 year with personal plans for a full month's break/vacation itinerary and the longest hiatus ever from my engagements with the SAP SDN and BPX community....or was it to be so? Was I to be a voyeur or an emissary in my travels, or a bit of both.
    On Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, 2007, my 16-year old son, Dahn and I set out for Bangalore with further plans for Cochin, Madurai, Vietnam and Cambodia. Upon arriving in Bangalore, we had arranged to link up with my dear friend of (gasp) 35 years, Naomi Tocher. Naomi is a Kiwi who, ever since we met volunteering together on a kibbutz in Israel those many years ago, has dedicated her life to working in social services and of late heads support services for interpreters and translators in New Zealand. Naomi, Dahn and I had been formulating our travel plans together. Naomi had almost apologetically suggested we detour a bit from the usual tourist stuff and get to interface with locals. She had many personal contacts from within the Cambodian and Vietnamese refugee resources she worked with, and so was able to broker some "home stays". She also raised the possibility of our visiting a Children's home outside of Madurai and perhaps a rehabilitation hospital in Cambodia and made the tentative arrangements.

    We agreed, never guessing how the worlds of exotic adventure travel and a more humanitarian and human set of experiences would coincide.

    What follows are some journal notes from one of the most intriguing, disturbing, inspiring and moving trips I have ever had the privilege of taking. And truly, thanks to all those that contributed to this enriching journey: family, friends, work colleagues and the SAP Community, which in this hyper-connected world of ours is also a combination of all those entities.Especial thanks to the generous, brave, kind and helpful people of all those places we visited. I hope to tell some of your stories.


    December 1st, 2007

    We call the Illam "Children's Home" (orphanage) in Nilakottai near Madurai and ask if we can visit and what we can bring. School supplies? Books? They modestly say fruit. So armed with the only shopping bag at our disposal we head off for the market to buy 70 kilos, one for each child we visit.

    We are greeted by Mr Khader, the head master of the school. We are welcomed and introduced in the most delightful way. You can see more photos of our day with the students here.
    Everything resonated goodness. The foundation DHAN associated with the school has a microfinance program at work helping empower women in the community. The school absolutely indoctrinates the children with the goals of professional achievement. And these children, many of whose families, if they have any, are so destitute that they cannot afford to have them schooled, are also imbued with a pay-it-forward education. Each child successfully completing this program has vowed to help another child achieve those goals as well.
    And if I understand it correctly, this whole project started through an individual's vision and dream. Her name is Jean Watson, and she is a 74-year-old Wellingtonian (New Zealander) who spends some of her time with her community in India. I've just finished speaking with her by phone in Wellington and thanking her for the gift she unwittingly gave us as well. As I write this, my friend Naomi shares her correspondance with Jean.
    Naomi writes to Jean:
    "We received a beautiful welcome from the children, Gero, some teachers and Mr.Kadher. After a traditional welcome, the children danced for us, showed us around their home and talked with us. We sang them a song and began to teach it to them. We had a scrumptious lunch - the cook is a real find. We also visited the lush garden at the back of the Ilam and learnt of your future plans for it.
    I promised to bring back love to you from everyone at the Illam and let you know about the visit. They talk about you all the time and are looking forward to you being back with them.Jean, you are a real inspiration. I am so impressed by your foresight and your commitment to follow through on your vision. And what a satisfying result it must be to have a houseful of such lively, happy and talented children. I am particularly impressed by the encouragement given to each child to be successful in their life, and even more by the "obligation" that they will help another child."


    Genromani volunteers as a teacher and Mr. Khader encourages the students who engage with us, to share with us some of their dreams and aspirations: computer engineers, teachers, health-care givers abound in the breathless and excited gaggle of grins and curiosity about us. These kids have lofty goals. And they make us believe they will attain them. We came to bring gifts. The truth is we received them. Amazing what ordinary people can do....feeding knowledge.
              eShow 2012        
    Mais uma vez, Lisboa recebe o eShow. A terceira edição da maior Plataforma de Negócios para os sectores do e-commerce, marketing online, hosting&cloud e social media, irá realizar-se em Outubro, nos dias 9 e 10. Para quem não sabe, o eShow é um evento de negócios online, que ocorre anualmente em Lisboa, que é igualmente […]
              Microsoft’s new 365 is an all-in-one software bundle — but there’s a catch        
    Microsoft on Monday introduced a new product that combines its best software products in to one. It's called Microsoft 365, but don't rush to get your wallets just yet. Microsoft 365 targets businesses, so you won’t find it in consumer electronics stores. The bundle includes Windows 10, Office 365, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, and will come in two versions including Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Business. Microsoft 365 Enterprises targets large organizations, and it has two options, including E3 and E5, that will be available for preorder on August 1st. If you own a small-to-medium size business, then Microsoft 365 Business is for you. The bundle supports up to 300 users and integrates Office 365 Business Premium — Office 365 Enterprise is paired with the Enterprise offers. Microsoft 365 Business debuts in public preview on August 2nd, and will launch worldwide this fall for $20 per user per month. Small-to-medium customers will also get three new apps in their Office 365 Business Premium pack, including Microsoft Listings (email marketing service), Microsoft Connections (publish information on top sites), and Microsoft Invoicing (professional invoices). Microsoft’s mileage tracking app MileIQ will also be included in this plan. Microsoft will talk about all these software products during its Inspire partner conference on Monday. Additionally, Microsoft will also launch a cloud product called Azure Stack at the event, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella taking the stage to present updates on Microsoft’s plans for the future.
              Download Resident Evil Revelations – FLT        

    Resident Evil Revelations – FLT

    Resident Evil Revelations - FLT image
    Description: The fear that was originally brought to players in Resident Evil Revelations on the Nintendo 3DSsystem returns redefined for home consoles and PC complete with high quality HD visuals, enhanced lighting effects and an immersive sound experience. This latest version of Resident Evil Revelations will also deliver additional content including a terrifying new enemy, extra difficulty mode, integration with ResidentEvil.net and improvements to Raid Mode. Raid Mode, which was first introduced to the series in the original version of Resident Evil Revelations, sees gamers play online in co-op mode or alone in single player taking on the hordes of enemies across a variety of missions whilst leveling up characters and earning weapon upgrades. New weapons, skill sets, and playable characters including Hunk, take the Raid Mode experience to new depths. The critically acclaimed survival horror title takes players back to the events that took place between Resident Evil®4 and Resident Evil®5, revealing the truth about the T-Abyss virus.

    Features:
    • Enhanced for consoles:  The fear that was brought to players in Resident Evil Revelations on the Nintendo 3DSsystem returns redefined complete with high quality HD visuals, enhanced lighting effects and an immersive sound experience.
    • Classic survival horror gameplay returns:  The campaign mode’s single player experience sees gamers investigating a range of different locations including the dark confined spaces of a cruise ship and the treacherous snow covered mountains. With limited ammo and weapons, fight off infected enemies that lurk around every corner.
    • Hell just got hotter:  Infernal Mode, a new difficulty mode for console versions, is not just more challenging than Easy and Normal modes but also remixes enemy and item placement, so even those familiar with the game will discover new terrors.
    • Meet the Wall Blister:  A brand new enemy , the Wall Blister is a mutated creature borne from the T-Abyss virus that spreads through water, adding to the horrors that lurk around every corner
    • Residentevil.net support:  Resident Evil Revelations will take full advantage of Residentevil.net with content available to users once the game launches. Earn weapons and custom parts and use them in-game, collect figures that can be used in dioramas and check your stats through the online web service.
    • Improved Raid Mode:  New weapons, skill sets, playable characters including Rachel and Hunk and enemies exclusive to this mode are added for the this latest version.

    Resident Evil Revelations GamePlay

    Genre: FAction
    Publisher: Capcom
    Developer: Capcom
    Release name: Resident Evil Revelations – FLT
    Size: 3.11 GB
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              AWS Lambdaに入門する        

    Amazon Elasticsearch Serviceに引き続き、AWS Lambdaに入門しました。Lambdaを使って、Amazon Elasticsearch Serviceで特定の単語を検索をさせてslackに書き込んでくれるbot君を練習台でやってみました。

    やりたいこと

    AWS強化月間(?)ということでAmazon Elasticsearch Serviceに入門していました。

    twitterやslackのデータ置き場は無事に自宅のmac miniからAmazon Elasticsearch Serviceに移行できました。しかし、肝心のクローラーは相変わらず自宅のmac miniのjenkinsが頑張っているので、それをAWS Lambdaで代わりにやってもらおうというのがやりたいことです。一気にやるのはしんどいので、今回は以下のことをやってみます。

    • CloudWatch Eventsで定期的にlambdaを起動
    • Amazon Elasticsearch Serviceに貯蓄されているtwitterのデータから特定の単語を含むものを検索
      • goを使って書いていますが、AWSの認証をどうやるか
    • 検索にヒットした発言をslackに投稿
      • lambdaから簡単に外に出られるのか

    簡単なことしかやっていないですが、まぁ手始めということで。

    準備: 適切なポリシーを設定する

    後で説明しますが、apexからあれこれできるようにする必要があるので、IAMのポリシーを設定します。

    IAMのポリシー

    {
        "Version": "2012-10-17",
        "Statement": [
            {
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": [
                    "iam:Create*",
                    "iam:Attach*",
                    "lambda:*"
                ],
                "Resource": "*"
            }
        ]
    }
    

    Goで書いたプログラムをapexを使いAWS Lambdaに転送

    AWS Lambdaでサポートされている言語はNode.js、Java、C#、Pythonのみですが、最近練習しているGoで書きたかったので方法を探りました。

    ちょっと脇道にそれますが、最近オフィスでNetatmoを使ってco2濃度をはかって、閾値を越えたら強制的に窓を開ける活動が流行っています。東京はGoogle App Scriptでやっています。

    京都では同様のことをlambdaでやっている同僚がいて、聞いてみるとapexを使っているようでした。なるほど、これを使うとGoで書いてlambdaで動かせるようです。

    Goでビルドしたバイナリをlambdaに送り、それを実行しているようで、外部のライブラリに依存していても割と安心なのはいいですね。サーバー上でライブラリをインストールする手間が省けます。AWSのコンソール画面をほぼ開くことなく、apex deployでlambdaにコードがdeployされていき、apex invoke hello --logsとやるとlambdaのプロセスを叩けました。1時間もかからずお手軽。

    Lambda上からAmazon Elasticsearch Serviceで検索

    GoからElasticsearchを叩けるようにするライブラリを作っている人はすでにいらっしゃいました。

    これを使うとやりたいことができそうですが、AWSの認証を突破しないといけません。私の場合、IPでの接続制限ではなくロールでの制限をやっているので、その情報を上述のclientに渡す必要があります。AWSがgo用のsdkを用意してくれていて、それを利用した認証情報をclientに食わせると、Amazon Elasticsearch Serviceで検索できるようになりました。

    あとはこれをlambda上で動かせるようにすれば完成です。githubに上げました。

    ACCESS_KEYやtokenも環境変数としてlambdaに登録していく必要がありますが、以下のようにするとそこまで面倒を見てくれます。

    % apex deploy --set AWS_ES_ENDPOINT=https://search-XXX.ap-northeast-1.es.amazonaws.com --set AWS_ES_ACCESS_KEY_ID=XXX --set AWS_ES_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=YYY --set SLACK_TOKEN=xoxp-XXX --set SLACK_CHANNEL_NAME=mackerel_search
    % apex invoke hello --logs < event.json

    毎回invokeしたくないので、AWSのコンソール画面からトリガー(CloudWatch イベント - スケジュール: cron)を設定しました。これで数分に一回、lambda側で勝手に起動してくれます。

    MackerelのAWS連携でLambdaを監視

    お決まり感がありますが、Mackerelで監視させます。MackerelのAWS連携はLambdaに先日対応したので、agentを入れることなくlambdaをMackerelにホストとして登録することができます。

    read_onlyなロールを作ったらすぐ連携できます、便利。

    f:id:syou6162:20170331091611p:plain

    まとめ

    AWS lambda上でGoを使って割と自由にコードを実行することができました。今回はElasticsearchの検索しかやっていませんが、元々はクローラーを作ってElasticsearchに結果を格納していきたかったのでした。しかし、ひとまず準備は整ったかなと思います。AWSのサービスも2つ触ったことになるし、段々雰囲気が分かってきたので勉強も進みつつあると思いたいです。勉強だけだと辛いので、自分で楽しめるやつをやっていこうとは思います。

    Amazon Web Services実践入門 (WEB+DB PRESS plus)

    Amazon Web Services実践入門 (WEB+DB PRESS plus)


              ä¸å®šæœŸML&NLPå ±#2        

    最近の機械学習&自然言語処理に関する情報をまとめるコーナーです。今回は医療品設計やセキュリティなど、自分があまり知らなかった分野での機械学習適用事例が多く、勉強になるものが多かったです。前回はこちら。

    このエントリ忘れてるよというのがありましたら、たれこみフォームから教えてもらえるとうれしいです。

    論文

    • [1612.03242] StackGAN: Text to Photo-realistic Image Synthesis with Stacked Generative Adversarial Networks
      • テキスト(キャプション)からの画像生成系のタスクでGAN(Generative Adversarial Networks)がよく使われているが、GANを多段にする(最初は荒い画像を作って、積んだやつで精密にする)ことでかなり精密な生成ができるようになったという論文。GANをあまり追っていないけれど、出てきている画像がぼやっとしていないのでかなりびびる
    • 統計的自然言語処理と情報理論
      • 統数研の持橋さんが情報理論研究会での招待講演で話された発表資料
      • 中野さんと一緒にやっておられる典型度の定量化の話は知らなかったので面白かった(論文)

    ブログ/勉強会資料

    ビジネス

    • Googleの自動運転車ユニット、Waymoとして独立―クライスラーと提携して事業展開も | TechCrunch Japan
      • 自動運転車の開発を断念という話が一瞬出ていたけど、飛ばし記事だった様子
    • 言葉に表れない相手の本音が分かる! 会話中の満足感を定量化するAI(人工知能)技術 : FUJITSU JOURNAL(富士通ジャーナル)
      • アクセントやイントネーションによってコールセンターでの会話の満足度を機械学習を使って特定
    • How we learn how you learn | Making Duolingo Blog
      • 語学学習アプリを作っているduolingo社が機械学習を使ってどのようにユーザーが学習すべき単語を出しているかという話(論文)
      • 単純に精度が上がったという話だけでなく、サービスにどのような影響があったか(学習が効率的になってユーザーがonline fome等を使ってくれるようになったなど)も書かれているので参考になる
      • 社内で元になった論文をすごく簡単に紹介したときの資料があったので貼っておきます

    Duolingo.pptx from syou6162

    学会/勉強会

    NIPS2016

    • NIPS 2016参加報告 - Qiita
    • www.reddit.com/r/MachineLearning/comments/5hwqeb/project_all_code_implementations_for_nips_2016
      • NIPS2016で発表された論文の中でgithub等で実装が公開されているもの一覧。すでに20個以上ある様子
      • 実装やデータセットが公開されるとレビューに加点があったり、ということで公開される流れができつつある。再現性の観点からも望ましい

    その他

    データセット

    • GitHub - yahoojapan/YJCaptions
      • Yahooが画像の日本語のキャプションデータを公開(約12万件)。元になっている画像データはMS COCOはマイクロソフトが出しているもの
    • FMA: A Dataset For Music Analysis

    • これもMS COCOに対してアノテーションしているデータセットの1つだった


              ä¸å®šæœŸML&NLPå ±#1        

    先日、社内で定期的に行なわれているフロントエンド会にお邪魔してきました(podcastが配信されています)。jser.infoというサイトを参照しながら雑談していたのですが、最近のフロントエンドの動向を知るという目的にはこのサイトなかなかよさそうでした。

    機械学習勉強会でもランチタイムに最近の話題を見ながら雑談しているのですが、ネタになるエントリ一覧とそれに対するコメントは社外に公開して別に問題ないなと思ったので、不定期報という形で出してみることにしました。自然言語処理も自分がカバーできる範囲限られているし、自然言語処理以外の機械学習の話はかなりカバーできないので、たれこみフォームも作りました。耳寄りな情報、お待ちしております:)

    論文

    ブログ/勉強会資料

    ビジネス

    学会/勉強会

    Coling2016

    今年は大阪で開催。

    NIPS2016

    NL研(第229回自然言語処理研究会)

    (2) [NLC] ゲーミフィケーションを利用した効率的な対話ログ収集の試み
    ○叶内 晨・小町 守(首都大東京)

    データが集まると学習する方法はいくらでも出てきているので、データをどうやって効率よく集めていくのかというところに興味がある。

    (5) [NL] 雑談対話システムの話題遷移における自然性の自動評価
    ○豊嶋章宏(NAIST)・杉山弘晃(NTT)・吉野幸一郎・中村 哲(NAIST)
    
    (20) [NL] 14:30 – 15:00
    単語分散表現を用いた単語アライメントによる日英機械翻訳の自動評価尺度
    ○松尾潤樹・小町 守(首都大)・須藤克仁(NTT)

    データ収集と合わせて解析系でないタスクの評価は今後ホットなタスクになると思ってます。

    (15) [NL] 17:25 – 17:55
    単語分かち書き用辞書生成システム NEologd の運用 — 文書分類を例にして —
    ○佐藤敏紀・橋本泰一(LINE)・奥村 学(東工大)

    最近各地で使われることが多くなってきたNEologdの話もあった。

    言語処理学会2017

    チュートリアルとテーマセッション、ワークショップの内容も出ていました。

    クラウドソーシング
    馬場 雪乃 先生(京都大学)
    ニューラル機械翻訳
    中澤 敏明 先生 (JST)
    Universal Dependencies
    金山 博 先生(日本IBM東京基礎研究所)
    田中 貴秋 先生(NTTコミュニケーション科学基礎研究所)
    認知言語学
    西村 義樹 先生(東京大学)

    ニューラル機械翻訳とUniversal Dependenciesが特に気になっている。

    IM飲み2016

    その他


              Mamallapuram – The Riddle of Authorship        
    Mamallapuram – The Workshop of the Pallavas Riddle of Authorship The clouds shrouded over the creators of these monuments have been lifted off long back. There is no doubt left […]

              Introducing: Flinch – You Don’t Know (Ft. Ellie Goulding) [Preview] + Underwater EP        
    What a way to get your name out there. If you’re like me and haven’t heard of Adam “Flinch” Glassco yet (well, besides from this 12th Planet EP maybe?)… let us, with the help of a certain Ellie Goulding, help introduce him. You’ve got just the right amount of grime and very clean, professional production that perfectly complement an angelic voice from Ellie. Listen to the track below, and if you like what to here grab the Underwater EP as well! Be sure to check him out on Soundcloud, Facebook, and Twitter. Click To Download: Flinch – You Don’t Know […]
              i still have plenty of time | via Tumblr        
    moon, sky, and clouds image
              Procedural Text        
    Fun little experiment.

    Basically I scan through some text files, record the number of times pairs of words appear, then go through and use them as probabilities one word will follow the next, and randomly generate text one word at a time.

    Here's the result of Homer's Odyssey + Tucker Max's "I Hope they Serve Beer in Hell" + a Cave Story FAQ + a Pokemon Fanfic:

    BOOK XXI

    Minerva came up, shooting people who had to the for he had vaginas SlingBlade wasn't fucking verbatim off and you a freshly flayed me around and asked heaven has to another man's, and looking at sea, all went and also his own jism spat out his arrow into the bar, and the long enough lying all fighting for her. She's not right at sea came downstairs and scrub yourself a ki-ote caught hold and my age and killed him for spikes, use the dead body to be killed. Thereon he won't fit for these words he gonna make us back twelve days, for her home again; see that night, and a song suggestions and took an immortal gods were getting frustrated, I start playing "Friends in attendance on their suppers, and head right and went back to his own money I do better. He'll yell (in a couple lances, and the roaring winds, which was left the door, the end of the whole story.

    TheCousin ten talents of the top of Peleus. The walls on the way. I went to lose an oar, till we will be weird slurping noise. At the blocks of the suitors. Ulysses said:

    "Pisistratus, I pass out, into me.

    10:00: Hate pushes his hand against a cute face." The teen girl unconscious (for I got too sober. I am, it for your beer breath bothering you, University of agony ... together." Redhead "I don't want a hole that I went on the back to girls. Oh, Steph ... I decide for I have at least three wheeler... up the better pick-up line so that night, I didn't fucking cheese-eating surrender monkey. I like the contest is a long way in our way I'm invoking that young in the hole is simple: I was, to your goats and challenge his return some plan for three wheeler... up among you in order a scratching noise that your tricks and starts hitting the same boy of Ulysses as she meant taking a cat bawling incessantly. I just try-ing to date, avoid the window to the island not been driven the door on your son: may see if you know, and lie without telling him in bad end to the flesh and then head and can't leave him down upon the blocks on in this you ever been?" May told him not let loose, vomiting all the first Ananament Gem so scared of an ox, or if you gods in the actual streets.
    * This enrages me. Prudes suck.

    4:16: She stopped and then go home with whatever I thought through markings like it would be funny, like trying to the walls of consider- able to shift moves on, if the power and I walk around for him. The only himself, he just to them, and care how I have sex . AND TAKE MING ARIVE!!" [To the best way home again. And this wife fucks the white thing starts rising. If you are over the cloister upon the ground. His heart was very thickly peopled, but I, who dwell in me to GoldenWife's apartment. We couldn't resist the fucking great cave, and the housekeeper took sign neither in Palo Alto, Fenwick, or any man had succeeded in our surroundings while Karl Childers. My friend who treated you, nor virtue, had made the benches and praying to do you are not associated with my longing to The Gathering tournament, a girl crumpled in my dick is found."

    Ulysses was hilarious.

    Of course, he had a semi-retarded man just entering the ring were guarding the night a shit, my mild cheers from me." 10:56: Much to herself, and by, for his brawny hand, hospitable and had swords or two. Its hind legs (they move left and to my mast in Palo Alto At bar to the crowd. I know a fair Diana went down, and treating so long?" Tucker "Baby, are nearly eight spears, and wrought with terrific squall from the cave sacred to bed.

    By the occasion served; in Cyprus. Thence we weren't sure if haply you probably closer to play with a hurry to the truth, and just sat in my island. I did, for the battle in his comfortable bed outside the source of the bed, but were following the fluttering of the first face in the first weapon! The beauty whether he and now go out their hands, I guess we hurried off at me ... did we could have here and avoiding bats until you suitors, they saw was in the hotel, and moved still drunk. Your mother marry Eurymachus, who took me of humor and brought us shouted out into the story of us where taking her fits as well spoken shall have a blow it is going to where we have to see a dancing in their servants are putting on its force, and foreigners in my money's worth. He's King, a symphony of their course, my life.

    EVERYONE HAS TO DOUCHE!! IF SOMEONE STUCK A 1-star (aka, Wildebeast): The sushi restaurant.



    11:29: There does strange that Ulysses when she sees the gunfish sign, and powerful and it looks up, so at its first floor, telling me behind him down. Get that he went into his desk lady comes over her retch, the seat and deception (whereas the cut, and my being alive or he asked.

    "I'm not let the way of the start hooking up. The weather comes begging about tards when he strung it took his turn, going to wash his mouth, all of a trip back waaaay to the floor of splooge.

    This angers me, and I let my group of the ghost of it, pulling me for I were heaving and many great neck of your head, can't see that I am about whom I was the phone, calling and wash their voices in her taller than 5 or his being hit, just cum I decide it even as the =BUBBLER=, another matter. Is it remain away after a loud crash. Girl "I'm not really good account; may tell you are no longer."

    Then came together and said, 'Achilles, son of the rock while the pen are doing; see if you have no one or you to normal, though they hook-up he may slacken your set about him with my reaction to Ithaca goes behind him. "Menelaus," replied Neptune, and nursed him from me. I agreed that you to sacrifice of the front of the town, Thomas, back home to get hit, right in the ship and it was a wife of your speech, and now began to father could have been left to get her this, it will not let out in sacrifice around this little and kick myself talking to get back. It was a long spear all about half of my fault that Ulysses and ignored, until she pretty sure to leave us shall have, and her to eat them said, 'as to get enough for those who was swerving from your house?"

    Ulysses very angry, or on treesin the wooded slopes of awful burning.

    5:23: She stayed where her anger of sandpaper or drink, Telemachus could see you, nor two dollars, I've measured and offered his wife? Even though you attack it washed, its sand.

    Continue left on dark, whereon Agamemnon he was leaving the Phaeacians see that of those two servants had the sincerity of these suitors; begin talking to use the hotel, and tell you the Sunstones. To this to eat out of them together when they sent his bed is how carefully away, but somehow made them a humming sound like a clock thing before, I tell all my car [I could think that any one of sheep and handed round as they are, about salary, benefits, work bored you to say what you and told them to have flown off multiple partners are staffed by Vulcan's marriage takes me in tears him up the covers her for there was dead, and full of the wall and a ram, a firebrand."

    Ulysses was much as a little else; nevertheless, those people have come, that he loosed the bow in number, watched American fast with good omen when it may be mad. The four whom he sees the approach the gods. Get another better comes out her fingers into my side? What was brewing. The Now the Cook County Emergency Room: Tucker "No, not knowing El Bingeroso is Vegas, they all honesty, saying:

    "So I walked in wait for prizes as visitors for their cloaks on guys keep heading right. You will tell you all the sudden:

    "BUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRPPPPPPPPP!"

    The swineherd might not attractive. I lied her he manages to kill me, smiled at the urinal

    And the rest of there next thought of everyone, you have been ill-treating his son as much taller and sea. Furthermore, wicked witchcraft that they gathered under the richest, and the water and I turn into the ship of Icarius the house I was That was a cry out and PWJ said she, "could easily caught one else in Ortygia. So Eteoneus bustled back already knew what his own if you can avoid the ground seethed with five-pronged spits while on a chameleon's, his nurse went out all of the whole house; they never look went clean them something- even got back, and furnished him and no likelihood of my home, and it was this:

    FatGirl and the room and take a friend can I hung a taxi or the faithful to lay it cheap carnival trinkets I whispered back.

    I was the middle sheep, or do such a ball of condoms, and pocket the chief persons of silver. Everything I figured this the county along which is hot." SlingBlade "He got sucked miles walked in the house, but they are humans worthy henchmen, when he could then poise your nose and I was not fancy legal talkin' to decide to the ships had put my wide-open eye. I left Florida State Fair. He laid it was enjoying himself into my dash his cheeks are easy to the twentieth day to explain. My father, but I might be COVERED IN LOW RENT SHIT DOES NOT FUCK DA YEW TWO DAYS!?!?" Mike "Oh good, but those in one of the =GUM BASE=, and the store your wife.

    "'When your old Misty" Brock Fortress did ill disposed to the prize for me into the bar after giving me off their being a matter how much longer; have sent me off! ME WRESTLE, I'LL FUCKING CLOWNS ARE KISSING IN THE GODDAMN DIGNITY?"

    8:00: We looked around my brave companions when she held the corpses bespattered with your friends, and other of Iasus, who are we got. The bard sing the rocks. We then leave the clouds, and said, "No man, that's what I really cute, the shelter from destruction" the =IRON BOND=.

    ///////////// DECISION TIME \\\\\\\\\\\\\

    If you did that when they did you 28."

    This isn't it? Anyway, while swinging. Once ALL I was willing to the belt adorned with a helmet, and she drew well as he knows nothing of me the wind into a man can indeed could only that way? This jump at once. Now, therefore, will follow briskly behind a ripple upon the best of the center of this point blank say that I have kept a tramp such bad enough to entreat you a way over the cave, and clearly see Doug at the rocks he excels in full-on El Bingeroso man. He knocks King guy, we saw them over the star blocks hanging out any of us. These are whores."

    Greased by the girls in the single tooth-and regaled us go on the actual tape was long pause.

    "You're a great story and when he was OK. Here dwells the heavens. Winds from the great looking, and talk to the coolest thing to open the males, both ship and nursed me a ship, and Mermaid took the work when I ruled among themselves, and cannot wash and El Bing "Alright guys, and treated you, fucking with children rejoice when the seat inlaid with spears them and drink, Ulysses with all certainly been like ghetto romance. It was another Mimiga, then leave these guys I am." This girl wearing silver mastiffs which was too would one after you off his hair, with plenty of heroes by all agreed and my stomach muscles and Rick said.

    "Well isn't that our bed to my clothes and heaven put a small cutscene, then get away from the car, which on board her building keeps running from toil and the belly by no ill deeds and wanted to a bar. He had driven hither and the nurses handed round the area and glistened most of Olympian Jove, from far. He thought was like 6am the string, and I called.

    "Oh yeah and we bore the root than meeting one else that he had two girls that I try and anointed Ulysses ever mess with the poor things. I wished I just lays him when you will give up their work. And I can't take advantage of love for the shape of the gods and fucked her seat, and you are thinking of gay and torn by one, neither ships that summer associates in Duke or with a headlock. Hate ignores me out for it; so use your desire. I got her =AIR TANK= Use enough of my neighborhood. Tanner grabbed the sea. He is dawn will become the blind look out, just ended up Santa's house. Opposite them how many victims; but gave me be shot, throws a quarrel over your PENIS. This didn't say if you go about when she went onto it came in no the woman, Jenka, for his staff, or other. I wrote me off! ME of the front of the lobby, I am sitting over in Cyprus. Thence we too easy. You just didn't like Gone with thick clouds, while their side of the rest of love, he was actually thought that was surprising. Galgameth cried in the waves ran up to see the maids held the bottom" Tanner continued.

    "That's attractive." PWJ is beguiling you, you you could not right."

    "First light and many of helping one of Maxim, except for the message and save, then Circe has its way and I have been against the harbour, with the quiver full of my longing to look on my corner." I saw four minutes, I wasn't easy, he married, a crucial than myself."

    "Is it left her lap: Woman "Oh Christ... not get supper ready, for about it is safe out of your knees and whose speech of a jungle, we were wonderfully like a tsunami of those polled vote and goats, pigs, and did as my own free will enter the =BOOSTER v2.0= back to accept the behest of my life, and Minerva answered, "Sir, you hear the corporeal interim one could easily caught- not scold her," replied giving him and threw up at Pylos, or risked so worn, so my mother. You can shoot them, and which my clothes ripped him immortal, no more seriously date guys workin' with its due pomp, build a nose job and broke out of the Heimlich. Apparently, it for the gods brought them lightly. So now took their crying, and cunning Aeaean island. Do whatever you met mine, and where you how but before Christmas Day One: Baby Dolls. I go to get back and ask yourself: Is stripper-fiancee going past her husband and as the Core of Nausicaa had to the nurses handed I come down to the middle; moreover she might eat. Presently Menelaus told her.

    "But the men and killing the sink and that, but you to Laertes, go by night we might get it" John Steele to Ortilochus and leaning upon the split into the left the left of all a Swedish girl. She hung up for I AM NOT STUPID!" SlingBlade "A blind guy eat it, for a bird in principle, it is long and she goes wrong, and a man would say is avoiding bats as they are two nights that as Diana or a pity for a bathroom is persistent wooer, of numbers.

    Once at all that was a piece of us had done already. Twice."

    I help being driven far away alive, and strippers, double-fisting vodka haze that probably only been crossed our castle and when they made instead I was kinda looks are in Europe. Especially for him. Not that would come off.

    1:12: My friend "Why have been the wine round, therefore, with a haven of the line so don't go to write angsty poetry?!?"

    She challenges me this:

    "Do I almost felt like a young pig you have a large a week after night or hares, but he can gain its wheat and went down there?" Jonathan replied.

    Everyone turned to tell you will take us as the door on the final fleet was when the body shots arrive. Tequila. Judging by me, so drunk and spat out from the lab when he was setting out of Saturn, King Alcinous. The men who could best I want to her whenever he has brought them had beautified him drink with Andrew, a visit which was in the hottest girls who keep heading right for this one was that you need this sad thoughts with her on his phone with him. The room to do, we reached the guardian said.

    "But there! It got back into Betty's mouth would have no time you to know I am quoting him sit here to the left. There was it. But then kill the twentieth year old and strangling her; she wants. They started honking, flashing bright line turn the Trojans. Anon he is easy. Mermaid "Networking, dude, it's over, enter the fields nor were trying the sheep as fast asleep. The conversation went on my ass off, because you when we had killed on cowboy hat really cute face, changed her face, holding and moaned and threw it was to understand. I like bad stuff I did not. Some one should land on to talk to make friends before he is in the cave this is so that Brownhole and attacked by Icmalius and large volcano. We get the time in the carver fetched water again, even large piece of his arrow on her steps; but eat his mind they were done; when you're with?" Tucker "HAHHAHMHAH ... I cannot cross on your pain and that night.

    Tucker "Yeah, he could not; but not there is fun of her defense, do it! What the lamp in the plan." Tucker [A blank, unregistering stare] Girl "Hey Tucker, I even identifying other dirty puddle on board and bong water. Keep heading in case before Junior and dancing, and down to her couch beside him. I guess we wouldn't be a bridegroom and delighted in my site is your voyage to her timbers together and out then talk to ruin your temples. I had offered it from the table of the point out but SHE'S STILL lost your friend I'm going to us. There are fatuous, but I was like midnight." FatGirl 'Tucker, you have a ho into open window. Move, because unlike Tom Cruise, I said, when we have never so will, that has given me. I got two huge fake cell phone and I notice till bed with scrolls of fair wind. Here, we'll call the gleam of it SMELLS. I again raised a shaft and moon; then, my ship, while I can be seen. At the face; but tell me, the night the desk. The suitors would have fulfilled my fingers in there smiling grimly Sardinian fashion with his house of my pants.

    1:24: I ran next moving person. Jove the Achaean name, put the facial. As for me:

    Tucker "Have you are a grove of night to go. See how abominably you talked to kill it that Teiresias went down of all vicious sluts who were in my hospitality, and they had given to your jumps and that would take what port that she was stupid people they say and get back with a documentary about $800, John Cusack calls me not slowing us about my daughters and kinda spooky.

    I would be especially not sent some goatskins and short, and enter the hot curling iron without eating, and hear that country, but some food out a sea shore. Was that has moved there is it true nothing bad some marginally attractive girl wearing a tiny Asian projectile fired at the perfect precursor to you die? Did you might have seen yet. Instead, go unanswered, "Who are smooth and men rushed upon thee. More especially to fuck her again and suffered at first to keep hanging out at all, it's not go home again using the gods who posted this to get the gates of things! What the deal of the Cephallenians, and shadows of the sea, and learned a girl not yet... St. Augustine!" All of the oil upon the child of Mentor, when you up to them how we took hold your men's eyes with the enemies, then was going down like it." Tucker "Thanks Dawn" Tanner yelled.
              4 mistakes engineers make when building a SaaS company        
    Originally posted on Gigaom:
    Before I joined Loggly as CTO and VP of Engineering, I built seven cloud-based products. From my perspective, four mistakes separated the SaaS companies that stumble from the best. 1. “Adoption for our offering will take time, so we can build fast now and build right later.” Look at how steep the…
              DAISY'S DEFINING DAY        
    DAISY'S DEFINING DAY by Sandra V. Feder, illustrated by Susan Mitchell: I read this early chapter book with my six-year-old daughter. We read alternating pages to each other. Daisy loves words. She keeps a journal with lists of her favorite rhyming words, cloud words, perfectly paired words, and more. One word pair she does NOT like was discovered by Grant: Lazy Daisy. She loathes this nickname. Meanwhile, Daisy is delighted when her teacher introduces the class to alliteration. She is inspired to create a new name for herself, one so delightful that it will overshadow the hated "Lazy Daisy." She hits on "Dynamite Dramatic Determined Dazzling Daisy," and requests that everyone call her that from now on. Her parents are good-natured about this (her father asks her to write it down so he can remember it) and her best friend, Emma, is willing (although Daisy notices Emma talks to her less when she has to use the long version of her name). In the end, Daisy sees the usefulness of a short, easy to remember name.

    The wordplay in this book is just fun. At the end of the book, Daisy's word lists are included. Daisy's desire to be called something other than Lazy Daisy is understandable, and her alliterative adventure to find the perfect name is charming. When she realizes that her long name is causing problems, she rethinks it. She also has a younger sister, Lily, and patiently teaches her to ride a bicycle, a sweet addition to the story. Grant's selection of Lazy Daisy as a nickname also opens up discussion about name-calling and nicknames (Grant does not mean to be insulting to Daisy). An excellent chapter book for early readers.

    Source disclosure: I received an e-galley of this title from the publisher.
              å®¹é‡ç„¡åˆ¶é™ã®Amazon Drive Unlimited ストレージが超使える(重要な追記あり)        
    ボクがAmazon Cloud DriveのUnlimited ストレージを導入した理由 2016年7月20日よりクラウドドライブAmazon Cloud Driveの容量無制限プラン「Unlimit ...

    Copyright © 2017 はっぴーまっく All Rights Reserved.


              æ€ã„ついたアイデアを即メモ!スマホでスピード備忘録(Siri編)        
    はじめに 前回は「LINEを利用したスピード備忘録方法」をご紹介しましたが、今回はiOSではメジャーな機能であるSiri(シリ)を利用した方法です。 ちなみにSiriというのはiOS標準搭載の音声アシ ...

    Copyright © 2017 はっぴーまっく All Rights Reserved.


              Comment on Princess Hours by AtHa RamOna ÖziLia Lavigne        
    Min eps 18 dan seterus'a gak bisa di download via userclouds, wrong ip terus yang muncunl ToT
              Comment on The Best Hit by Talib        
    link kumpulbagi ama indoshare kok saya nga bisa download dsitu ya? kumpulbagi internet positif, kalo pake vpn error idmnya. usercloud lelet, max 100kb/s
              i think i saw you in an ice cream parlor, drinking milkshakes cold and long        
    Don't you just love retro-vintage swinsuits? I have a bit of an obsession with swimwear but can you blame me? just take a look at Anthropologie's, Jcrew's, or Bloomingdale's swimwear and you will be hooked too. Luckily, I love my wallet a bit too much so I have just splurged in one for my honeymoon. I have not worn a one-piece since I was like twelve years-old, but trying to find the right one for my body was surprisingly easy, the hard part was choosing just one. I finally decided on Carmen Marc Valvo's retro one-piece in Aquamarine from Bloomingdales, but you can find it online on many stores including Victoria's.  I can't wait to wear it with my big floppy hat and some oversized sunglasses :)

              Partenariat Dell EMC et Misco-inmac wstore : l’union fait la force        
    Numérisation, Mobilité et Cloud ont profondément transformé le paysage informatique des entreprises et le rôle des DSI
              Signal 14: The Beach        
    I'm Vaux, an Informed Jack who Tells Tales. This is my Signal.

    If you can hear this broadcast, it is for a mysterious place in the Beyond. It is about The Beach, along the coast of the Cloudcrystal Skyfields.

    What strange visitants are preying on visitors to this paradise? Is a lost treasure worth risking your life to explore The Beach?

    Listen to it. Remember it. Pass it along.

    Iadace.

    Episode 14: The Beach
              In Search of The First Transaction        
    At the height of an eventful week – Cloud and IoT developments, Open Source Think Tank,  Linux Foundation Summit – I learned about the fate of my fellow alumnus, an upperclassman as it were, the brilliant open source developer and crypto genius known for the first transaction on Bitcoin. Hal Finney is a Caltech graduate who went […]
              The Three Mega Trends in Cloud and IoT        
    A consequence of the Moore Nielsen prediction is the phenomenon known as Data Gravity: big data is hard to move around, much easier for the smaller applications to come to it. Consider this: it took mankind over 2000 years to produce 2 Exabytes (2×1018 bytes) of data until 2012; now we produce this much in […]
              Open Source is just the other side, the wild side!        
    March is a rather event-laden month for Open Source and Open Standards in networking: the 89th IETF, EclipseCon 2014, RSA 2014, the Open Networking Summit, the IEEE International Conference on Cloud (where I’ll be talking about the role of Open Source as we morph the Cloud down to Fog computing) and my favorite, the one […]
              Back to the Future: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?        
    As information consumers that depend so much on the Network or Cloud, we sometimes indulge in thinking what will happen when we really begin to feel the effects of Moore’s Law and Nielsen’s Law combined, at the edges: the amount of data and our ability to consume it (let alone stream it to the edge), is simply […]
              _id With Mongoose        
    Let us take a very common use-case: “There will be a registration page for users, where users will provide their required details along with their picture”. Details would be saved to MongoDB while the pictures would be uploaded to Cloudinary or S3 with user unique id.” Suppose we have User Schema as given below: We […]
              Networks and Cloud Networking Architect (H/F) - Amadeus Sophia Antipolis - Nice        
    Business environment Amadeus is a leading SaaS and Service provider for the global travel and tourism industry, providing advanced technology solutions to our travel provider and travel agency customers worldwide. We act as an international network providing comprehensive real-time search, pricing, booking, ticketing and other processing solutions to travel providers and travel agencies through our Travel Channels business area, and we offer travel providers an extensive portfolio of...
              Administratrice - Administrateur SAP/Hana (H/F) - Orange Cloud for Business - Cesson-Sévigné        
    Votre rôle Vous serez amené à déployer et à assurer l'exploitation des systèmes d'informations complexes et critiques de nos clients, dans un contexte de Cloud Privé ou Public. Vous assurez une qualité de service en adéquation avec les SLA (Services Level Agreement) vendus à votre client. Votre expertise vous donnera la possibilité d'évoluer, d'enrichir, et d'élargir vos compétences en fonction de la création ou de la vie de nos services. Vous serez intégré au sein d'une équipe...
              Ingénieur DevOps F/H - Lutessa - Marseilles         
    Nous recherchons pour nos clients en région PACA des ingénieurs DevOps. A la croisée des compétences d'un développeur et d'un opérationnel, venez relever le challenge Cloud/DevOps pour monter en compétences vers les métiers de demain. Mission : Ingénieur DevOps Localité : Sophia Antipolis, Marseille Expérience : Profil junior initié / avancé Disponibilité: ASAP Technical skills: Tools/Framework/Environnement: Docker, Ansible, Puppet, OpenStack, OpenShift, Jenkins,...
              Intégrateur DevOps H/F - Orange Cloud for Business - Boulogne-Billancourt        
    Mission : Vous êtes intégré-e dans l'équipe Intégration/DevOps et vous travaillez en étroite collaboration avec les autres équipes (OpenStack, OpenContrail, BSS, Ops...) Vous êtes responsable d'une factory et de son infrastructure associée. Activités : Vous maintenez l'infrastructure (Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes, Vault, Consul, Chef) et vous êtes responsable de la Qualité de Services de cette dernière. A ce titre, vous assumez les montées de versions et accompagnez les autres...
              ADMINISTRATEUR SYSTÈME H/F - Clémentine International - Paris        
    Clémentine, cabinet de conseil en recrutement spécialiste des métiers du Digital, de l'IT et du Cloud, recherche pour son client un Administrateur Système H/F. Notre client est le premier groupe européen d'agences de voyages en ligne et le cinquième dans le monde. Le groupe représente aussi la plus grande société européenne d'e-commerce. Les différentes marques disposent des meilleures offres sur des vols réguliers, charters et compagnies aériennes lowcost. Elles proposent également...
              Responsable Définition Process Cloud (H/F) - Thales - Vélizy/HELIOS        
    CE QUE NOUS POUVONS ACCOMPLIR ENSEMBLE : En nous rejoignant, vous vous verrez plusieurs missions, la DSI France souhaite se renforcer sur les activités suivantes : - Eligibilité et collecte d'information sur les applications à déployer dans le Cloud Privé. Cette activité consiste à collecter les informations nécessaires pour les applications legacy qui vont être migrées dans le Cloud privé Cirrus. Cela a pour objectif de valider ou non l'éligibilité des applications au Cloud privé. ...
              Change vmsize for a azure cloud service in octopus deploy        
    A common cases when running a test/staging and production environment using Azure Cloud Service is that you don’t want to use the same vmsize for all environments. It can actual be very expensive. To solve this we need to-do some variable substitution in the azure cloud service package. Doing variable substitution on ServiceConfiguration.XXX.cscfg is done […]
              How to Prevent Water Damage to Your Landscape        

    Most people often think of summer as a bright, sun shining season filled with blue skies and warm temperatures. It’s not until the storm clouds are directly overhead that we’re reminded of the... Read more

    The post How to Prevent Water Damage to Your Landscape appeared first on Echo Blog.


              On Erosion        
    CANCER
    Aug. 06, 2011

    The Grand Canyon is a perfect example of erosion, Moonchild. Many people think of erosion as a bad thing - as the wearing away and disintegration of something. But one look at the spectacular Grand Canyon, and you can see how beautiful erosion can be. You have lost something. The real you - the unique person at your core - is slowly emerging. Painful lessons over the years, and challenges that brought out your true nature had to happen for you to transform yourself. Don't regret what was lost in the process. Celebrate what was left behind.

    Copyright (c) The Daily Horoscope by Comitic

    Every so often, the Universe smiles upon me delivering just what my spirit orders, and sometimes not, and then there's always the other kind of spirits! Winks. Recently, with the dissolution of my 20 year marriage, I have been coming to grips with a heightened level of humility; I've been pruned. I've undergone- in the truest sense- a process of emotional, physical and spiritual erosion. I am by no means the person I was just eight (Wow, eight already?!) months ago.

    I've toggled in my heart and mind between what it means to be free as I've struggled to keep the contents of my stomach in place whilst facing my deepest fears of loss and abandonment. I've endured pain that, if physical, surely, my mind would've shut down to spare my body's suffering. And, I've emerged raw; raw with emotion, unscathed in my ability to love and be loved. There's been an unclouding of my intuition; things are clearer today than they've ever been. I've recognized, that with "nothing" I have, and I am enough. I've become one with my core existence.



    Peace and recognizance

              Leeds University Business School        














    Hej! Vi som gör detta blogginlägg Ã¤r Emma och Maria, tvÃ¥ doktorander vid Biblioteks- & informationsvetenskap/BHS, som under tre veckor besökt professor David Allen och hans forskningsgrupp vid AIMTech research centre, Leeds University Business School. Centret har ett tydligt fokus pÃ¥ forskning och undervisning inom Information Systems och Information Management. Själva forskar vi pÃ¥ ny teknik i organisationer: sociala medier (Emma) och cloud computing (Maria). Resan var oerhört värdefull, dels för att  kunna knyta kontakter med andra forskare inom omrÃ¥det men ocksÃ¥ fÃ¥ vidgade perspektiv. 

    Under vÃ¥r tid i Leeds undersökte vi ocksÃ¥ möjligheterna till framtida samarbete mellan Magisterprogrammet i Strategisk Information och Kommunikation, som ges vid BHS (där vi bÃ¥da är aktiva som programansvarig/kursansvarig/lärare), samt deras MSc Information Systems and Information Management. Det var mycket intressant att utbyta kunskap och erfarenheter kring programmen samt diskutera spännande utvecklingsmöjligheter. 






    Vi arbetade inte hela tiden utan hann ocksÃ¥ med en hel del annat: sociala aktiviteter med andra doktorander, utforska Leeds, som är en fantastiskt charmig stad med tillmötesgÃ¥ende människor, besök till Edinburgh och Manchester samt mÃ¥nga promenader längs kanalen i vÃ¥rt näromrÃ¥de. Vi fann snabbt att det fanns kopplingar mellan Leeds och BorÃ¥s. Staden har en lÃ¥ng textilhistoria samt en samt en växande profil inom skulptur och konst. Vi är säkra pÃ¥ att det finns mÃ¥nga anledningar att Ã¥terkomma (förhoppningsvis redan i september) och det är med ny pÃ¥fylld energi som vi befinner oss hemma i Sverige igen. Till sist, stort tack till professor David Allen och hans kolleger för ett fantastiskt varmt mottagande! 










              Brazil’s Clouded Political Horizons        
    Brazil is in a confusing place, with unprecedented voter dissatisfaction but no clear path out of

              Thing #13: Tagging and Discover Delicious        
    Tags
    A tag is simply a word you use to describe a bookmark. Unlike folders, you make up tags when you need them and you can use as many as you like. The result is a better way to organize your bookmarks and a great way to discover interesting things on the Web.

    delicious

    Tags are one-word descriptors that you can assign to your bookmarks on delicious to help you organize and remember them. Tags are a little bit like keywords, but they're chosen by you, and they do not form a hierarchy. You can assign as many tags to a bookmark as you like and rename or delete the tags later. So, tagging can be a lot easier and more flexible than fitting your information into preconceived categories or folders.

    For example, if you save an article about how to make a certain kind of cake, you can tag it with recipes sweets yogurt or whatever other tags you might use to find it again. You don't have to rely on the designer of a system to provide you with a category for French cake recipes. You make up tags as you need them, and use the tags that make the most sense to you.


    This is great for organizing and finding personal data, but it goes even further when someone else posts related content using the same tags. You begin building a collaborative repository of related information, driven by personal interests and creative organization.

    For instance, to view everybody's bookmarks about sweets, visit http://del.icio.us/tag/sweets. To see the most popular items tagged as sweets, visit http://del.icio.us/popular/sweets.
    If you don't get it right away, that's OK -- you don't have to. Tagging is pretty intuitive and can take some practice to fully understand. Try it and experiment a bit! There are no wrong tags.



    How do I tag?





    When saving or editing a bookmark, there is a field for tags. In this field, enter as many tags as you would like, each separated by a space. You may notice lists of tags underneath this form. Popular tags are what other people have tagged this page as, and recommended tags are a combination of tags you have already used and tags that other people have used. You are under no obligation to use these! They are only there to help you. What tags or words would help you remember this page a few years from now? That's a good place to start. Learn more about saving bookmarks.

    Some examples of tagging
    You can use tags describing an article or website's subject, location, name, category, people, places, ideas -- pretty much anything you can think of. The more tags the better! (Well, most people use from one or two up to five or six tags for an item.)
    The only limitation on tags is that they must not include spaces. So if your web page is about a two-word place like "San Francisco", you may want to tag it as sf, san-francisco, SanFrancisco, san.francisco, or whatever else makes sense to you. You probably don't want to use commas, though, since a comma will be become part of the tag.

    You can also use tags to describe metadata about the bookmark. For example, you can use asterisks to rate bookmarks. So a tag of * might mean an OK link, *** is pretty good, and a bookmark tagged ***** is awesome. You can tag something "toread", or "via:friend". Items that you want can be tagged "wishlist", and links that might not be safe to visit at work can be tagged nsfw.

    A tag can be anything you want.

    Here's a neat place to start exploring tags: a cloud of frequently-used tags on delicious.

    For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at Delicious and a couple of other social bookmarking sites to see how this tool could be used in your school.

    Discovery Resources

    1. Start your exploration of social bookmarking by watching this video by the Common Craft guys. Here is a direct link to the CC copy at their site. (This should be about social bookmarking)




    2. Watch the Delicious podcast tutorial (8 minutes) This link was checked 7-6-09 and was working

    3. Check out Digg



    4. Check out Furl and Ma.gnolia - two other social bookmarking sites. Watch a Furl tutorial here. There's a Ma.gnolia tutorial also.

    5. Check out Top 30 Social Bookmarking Sites

    Discovery Exercise

    1. Review the resources above to get a good overview of social bookmarking - especially the Delicious tutorial.


    2. Take a look around Delicious using key words /tags that fit your professiona (and perosnal needs)

    3. See if you can figure out how to share your delicious site with others (students).

    4. Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about this tool. Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere? How can libraries or classroom teachers take advantage of social bookmarking sites?


              Encryption Chip Fights Off Side-Channel Attacks        
    Taiwanese hardware designers say that the cloud based services are vulnerable to data leakage threat due to side-channel attacks. The side-channel attacks steal cryptographic keys used by cloud servers leaving the servers under great threat. Researchers at Taiwanese National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) have developed a chip that resists side-channel attacks. According to Chen-Yi Lee, […]
              Over the Moon Once in a Blue Moon        
    Moon over this:
    Over the moon: Delighted about something
    Once in a blue Moon: Very, very, rarely!


    redmoonTrio_espenak_fullIf you missed the longest, total lunar eclipse that occurred this morning, you missed a mystical sight! Fortunately, I live on the west coast and was able to view the entire progress and I was never so happy to miss sleep! The night air was cool, cloudless, dark, and but for natural sounds, peacefully silent, which made my experience so much more delightful. I would not have missed the show for anything. (Although I think Science Daily missed the really big story: the eclipse occurred on "Aug. 38.")

    I was doubly blessed by lunar visions that day. As I played with my doggie girl in the early evening, I witnessed the moon rising from behind the mountains, a majestically full, giant, orb of orange-yellow color. A short six hours later the big show began. Thank heaven for little favors!

    Images courtesy of Nasa's Astronomy Picture of the Day archive. (Sadly/shamefully- no current picture is available) and the Lunar Eclipse Gallery at SpaceWeather
              Great Full (almost) Friday        
    I hope that you are currently drifting into dreamland with a belly full of yummy treats and a heart full of love. We spent the day with the hubby's family and enjoyed some great time with his grandmother. Afterward we headed to my parents to say hello and spent the rest of the evening relaxing while watching movies.

    Thanksgiving is such a wonderful day...every one is reminded to be grateful and to appreciate blessings big and small. I know I become more aware of the beauty around me on this day. It is my hope to carry this feeling with me the entire year through.

    E is for Evening Sky


    I am grateful today for many things but I'd like to list a few that stand out in my mind today as making my life especially great and full:
    • a Lord who has given grace, new life and forgiveness
    • my husband
    • my family: parents, sister, cousins, uncles, in-laws...all mean the world to me
    • visible evidence of God's love. today it was glorious sunlight beaming from behind the clouds.
    • a full belly and warm bed. little things often overlooked in daily gratitudes
    • clients who allow me to do what i love
    • fabulous online buddies who have helped me grow and offered their friendship
    • my sweet pup
    Today I hope you'll join me and take a moment to count your blessings.
    Happy, happy Thanksgiving and thank YOU for reading!
              Eclipse 07-20-2014 with Aaron Ladley, Rico, And Mimi The Masala        
    Playlist:

    De La Soul- Stakes Is High AL Remix - Unknown
    Bob James Common Guru- State Of Clearity - Unknown
    EdoG M1 Of Dead Prez- Speak Ur Mind - A Face In The Crowd
    Big J Beats- Not A Game - Computer J Fox
    Evidence- Chase The Clouds Away - The Weatherman
    DJ Jazzy Jeff The Fresh Prince- Summertime - Homebase
    Jurassic 5- Concrete Schoolyard - J 5 Deluxe Edition
    Common- This Is Me - Unknown
    Peanut Butter Wolf- Definition Of Ill feat Planet Asia - My Vinyl Weighs A Ton
    Large Professor- I Juswannachill - 12
    Crown City Rockers- Bboy - Unknown
    Casual- All Around The World - Smash Rockwell
    WuTang Clan- Older Gods - WuTang Forever
    Del The Funky Homosapien- XFiles - Future Development
    Dilated Peoples Talib Kweli- Kindness For Weakness - 2020
    RunDMC- Hit It Run - Ultimate RunDMC
    JLive- A Charmed Life - All Of The Above
    Eric B Rakim- Dont Sweat The Technique - Dont Sweat The Technique
    CL Smooth Pete Rock- Go With The Flow - All Souled Out EP
    - Burning Spear - Super Breaks
    J Dilla- Dime Piece - The Shining Instrumentals
    The Roots- The Fire - How I Got Over
    DJ Inform- Ive Got A Feeling - The Fair Use Project
    Adriana Evans- In The Sun Adriana Evans - Muzik Of The Mind And Spirit A Concept Compilation
    Studio Group- Tonites Tha Night SoundALike As Made Famous By Kriss Kross - Almost Hip Hop Help Me Make It Thru The Night
    Talib Kweli- Get By - Unknow
    EPMD- Da Joint - Incredible
    Erykah Badu- Love Of Life - Unknown
    MF DOOM- Get Down - Unknown
    EPMD- Da Joint - HipHop Origins
    Dilated Peoples- Worst Comes To Worst - Expansion Team
    Lauryn Hill- Care For Me - Unknown
    Slum Village- Tainted - Trinity Past Present And Future
    Mos Def Diverse- Wylin Out Kut Masta Kurt Remix Instrumental - Wylin Out Kut Masta Kurt Remixes Single
    SWV- Right Here - Its About Time
    A Tribe Called Quest- ICU Doin It - The Lost Tribes
    Jurassic 5- Unified Rebellion - Unknown
    Sunz Of Man- The Man - Unknown
    Main Source- Peace Is Not The Word To Play - Breaking Atoms
    A Tribe Called Quest DJ Dan- Pubic Enemy - The Essential Old School Vs New School
    Vibrettes- The Humpty Dump - Unknown
    Double Dee And Stienski- Lesson 2 - Unknown
    Method Man- Judgement Day - Tical 2000 Judgement Day
    The Temptations- Standing On The Top Pt 1 - The Definitive Collection Rick James
    Treacherous Three And Spoonie Gee- New Rap Language - Unknown
    Laurent Garnier Carl Craig- Aretha Franklin Rock Steady - The Kings Of Techno
    Various Artists- Cramp Your Style - Miami Sound
    Macombo- The Next Message - Unknown
    Showbiz AG- Soul Clap - Party Groove Soul Clap
    Zion I- Inner Light - The Alpha 19962006 Digital Box Set
    Common- I Have A Dream - Sountrack Freedom Writers
    JADE- Dont Walk Away - Jade To The Max
    Mos Def- Bounce - Black On Both Sides
    KOs- Cat Diesel - Unknown


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/101/playlistDate/2014-07-20
              Eclipse 02-23-2014 with Chris Nathan And Dj Z-rok        
    Playlist:

    Monie Love- Its A Shame - Old School HipHop
    The UMCs- Never Never Land - Fruits Of Nature
    Queen Latifah- Paper - Order In The Court
    Parliament- Chocolate City - The Best Of Parliament Give Up The Funk
    Public Enemy- Bring The Noise - 12
    ZTrip- Listen To The DJ - Shifting Gears
    Sweet Tee- I Got Da Feelin - Rapmania The Roots Of Rap
    Public Enemy- Welcome To The Terrordome - Power To The People The Beats Public Enemys Greatest Hits
    James Brown- Cold Sweat - 20 AllTime Greatest Hits
    KMD- Peachfuzz - Mr Hood
    Royce Da 59- Shake This - Shake This
    Hell Razah- Project Jazz - Unexpected Guests DOOM Presents
    Queen D- Queen Ds World - Queen Ds World 12
    Various Artists- Queen Latifah Come Into My House - Best Of 90s Dance Music Vol 1 HipHouse Jam
    Aaliyah- We Need A Resolution - Aaliyah
    Dena Deadly- 1608 - 12
    Truth Hurts- Truth Hurts - Addicitve
    Missy Elliott- 4 My People - 4 My People
    Jean Grae Khrysis- The Jam - 2K6 The Tracks
    SBI Audio Karaoke- Hot Boyz Karaoke Version - Sbi Karaoke Superstars Lil Kim Missy Elliot
    The Notorious BIG- Who Shot Ya - The Notorious BIG Greatest Hits
    LL Cool J- Doin It - All World Greatest Hits
    Blackalicious- Its Going Down - Blazing Arrow
    2Pac Danny Boy- I Aint Mad At Cha - 2Pac Greatest Hits
    Jean Grae Block McCloud- Supa Luv - This Week


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/101/playlistDate/2014-02-23
              Glide        
    As the sun rises in the Eastern sky She sets out. Eyes challenging The complacent clouds. The town sleeps Safe within their mattress dreams. Even the birds yawn In the branches. ‘Enough’ she exhales. She searches the horizon. Blood and bone Fixed To the bronze compass. The sea churns like a hungry lover. The sail […]
              jivehoneyjive on "Big."        


              Oahu Rail may tax Outer Islands        
    SUBHEAD: Hawaii may seek higher state taxes to cover Honolulu Authority Rapid Transit cost overrun. 

    By Ed Wagner on 9 August 2017 in Island Breath -
    (http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2017/08/oahu-rail-may-tax-outer-islands.html)


    Image above: HART rail guideway car photo-op over Farrington Highway at Leokane Street near Waipahu Sugar Mill. From Civil Beat article below. Photo by Cory Lum.

    I hope the neighbor island folks reading this message are ready to fight the Legislature to help stop the biggest fraud ever perpetrated upon our people since statehood, the Honolulu rail boondoggle.

    Why should any of you help pay for this fraud? The state uses the argument that it helps other counties with [reasonable and legal] public projects so why not require other counties to help with this illegal and fraudulent one to continue the fleecing of our people and continue to cause irreparable financial harm to the people of Hawaii for another three or more generations, all to protect the profits of the wealthy, power elite?

    When will the people wake the hell up and rebel against our crooked and corrupt city and state government, the most corrupt in the USA, and stop this abuse of power?

    Public testimony will be accepted however, please avoid repetitive and duplicative testimony.

    Testimony must be submitted via email to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy at: (TRETestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov)

    http://www.ililani.media/2017/08/hawaii-legislature-seeks-public.html

    Rail Tax Presentation - 52 pages
    http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3914769-Rail-Tax-Presentation-DRAFT.html#document/p8



    Oahu rail seeks more funds

    SUBHEAD: Lawmakers consider making Outer Islands help pay for Oahu's troubled rail project.

    By Nathan Eagle on 7 August 2017 for Civil -Beat 
    (http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/08/lawmakers-consider-having-neighbor-islands-help-pay-for-oahus-troubled-rail-project/)

    With a special session set for the end of August, the Hawaii Legislature will lay out several funding options for the public at a briefing next week.

    Hawaii lawmakers are weighing five options to provide funding to complete Honolulu’s over-budget rail line from Kapolei to Ala Moana, including a statewide increase in the general excise and hotel taxes, according to a state Senate presentation obtained by Civil Beat.

    The Legislature plans to hold a special session later this month to try again to reach a deal on how to pay for the 20-mile, 21-station project, which is now estimated to cost $10 billion.

    Key House and Senate committees have scheduled a joint public information briefing Monday morning at the Capitol. The new options to fund the project, along with the choices under consideration before the Legislature adjourned in May, are expected to play a central role in the negotiations.

    The draft 52-page presentation, provided by a state senator Monday, lays the groundwork for a case to have Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties help fund Honolulu’s beleaguered project. It notes that Oahu subsidizes harbors, airports and highways on the neighbor islands.

    The presentation includes options to extend the 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge for Oahu; increase the GET surcharge for Oahu; extend the GET surcharge for Oahu and increase the hotel tax for Oahu; or establish a statewide GET surcharge and hotel tax increase.

    The Federal Transit Administration is kicking in $1.55 billion for the project. It could withhold some of those funds, particularly if the rail line has to stop short of its plan to go from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center. The project was expected to cost $5.2 billion just a few years ago.

    House Speaker Scott Saiki has said the city’s latest figures project a nearly $1.4 billion shortfall from now to 2024.

    The two chambers ended the session far apart. The Senate left with a bill to extend Oahu’s 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge for 10 years, until 2037, to help complete the rail project.

    That’s the option Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the tourism industry supported.

    The House pushed a bill that would have allowed the GET surcharge to be levied for just one additional year, to 2028, while increasing the state’s 9.25 percent transient accommodations tax for 10 years.

    “In spite of our impasse during the 2017 legislative session, the Legislature understands the importance in crafting a legislative solution that will provide the City and County of Honolulu a dedicated revenue stream,” said Senate President Ron Kouchi in a press release announcing the public briefing.

    The briefing starts at 10 a.m., Monday, in the Capitol auditorium. The special session is set to run from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1.

    See the draft presentation, which a state senator said was created by the Senate Ways and Means Committee at link below.

    (http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3914769-Rail-Tax-Presentation-DRAFT.html#document/p4)



    Testimony on Failing Rail Project

    SUBHEAD: UH Law Professor says the cost of building the Honolulu Rail is getting out of hand.


    Video above: Retired UH Law Professor Randy Roth sums up rail project in 3 minute video. From (https://youtu.be/ZL9pIrxaA3Q).

    He also described the project as deliberate misrepresentation, deliberate fraud on this 30 minute ThinkTech Hawaii with Kelii Akina, President of Grassroot Institute. From (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw_NDLg6EbbmYlNOSy13a0NKNmM/view?usp=sharing).
    Whether one is Pro-Rail or Anti-Rail, there’s something virtually everyone in the state agrees about – the cost of building the Honolulu Rail is getting out of hand.

    Not only that, serious questions have been raised about how well the funds already invested in this project have been spent.

    Law professor Randy Roth, who has a long history advocating for the public good, appears on E Hana Kakou with Dr. Akina to discuss why it is time to hold our government leaders responsible for the progress of the Rail.

    ThinkTech Hawaii streams live on the Internet from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm every weekday afternoon, Hawaii Time, then streaming earlier shows through the night. Check us out any time for great content and great community.

    Our vision is to be a leader in shaping a more vital and thriving Hawaii as the foundation for future generations.

    Our mission is to be the leading digital media platform raising pubic awareness and promoting civic engagement in Hawaii.


    Rail Cost Spirals Out of Control

    SUBHEAD: Watch short video and sign the petition here to require a forensic audit of the rail.

     By Staff on 22 July 2017 for Grassroots Institute of Hawaii
    (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw_NDLg6EbbmRE8yWU9qZFRBUWc/view)


    Video above: Group seeks to audit the Honolulu rail project with "Where is our Money Going?" From (https://youtu.be/X8Fa2qr2djg).
     Longtime journalist Mark Coleman talked recently with ThinkTech Hawaii host Tim Apicella about his recent Grassroot Institute of Hawaii article titled “Honolulu rail clearly a fiasco,”and suggested that now would be a ideal time to subject the over-budget, behind-schedule project to an independent forensic audit.

    In particular, Coleman suggested that the state legislators use their upcoming special session to order such an audit, which would allow them to avoid extending or raising any state taxes until they have better information about why the city’s rail project has veered so far off track — while yet so much of it remains tobe built.

    The timing is apt, he told Apicella, because the City Council just approved selling bonds to fund construction of the rail through to next year, thus taking pressure off the Legislature to consider anything before it starts its regular session in January 2018.

    Coleman said transportation experts warned city officials years before the rail project was even started that it would be a “gigantic white elephant,” and by now it’s clear that just about everything that could have gone wrong with the project has — though nobody has a definite explanation as to why.



    Has HART committed federal crimes?

    SUBHEAD: Is falsification of federal documents, lying to officials to get $1.55B HART a crime?

    By Ed Wagner on 9 August 2017 on Google Drive -
    (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bw_NDLg6EbbmNnI2bnJlV0o3TGM?usp=sharing)

    The people of Hawaii seek Congressional, DOJ, & FBI investigations into the following allegations against Mayor Caldwell, City Council, HART, Developer DR Horton, construction unions, Pacific Resources Partnership (PRP), DLNR, regarding the Honolulu rail project:

    Systemic fraud, waste, and abuse of power, violations of public procurement codes, violations of the Hawaii State Constitution's Public Trust Doctrine, violations of basic ethical and moral principles, perjury, deliberate falsification of Federal documents / lying to Federal officials, deliberate misrepresentation of facts, deliberate fraud, bribery, racketeering, malfeasance, graft, conspiracy to defraud, and criminal offenses directly related to obtaining $1.55B in federal funds for the Honolulu rail project.

    Those advocating for a forensic audit & investigations include former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano, retired UH Law Professor Randy Roth, UH Civil Engineering Professor, Panos Prevedouros, President of Grassroot Institute and OHA Trustee, Dr. Keli’i Akina, former Army War College faculty instructor, retired Col Al Frenzel, retired businessmen, 2 attorneys, an accountant, and concerned citizens.

    Dr. Keli’i Akina submitted testimony to the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Railroads regarding these issues.

    All major newspapers and TV networks around the country have been notified about the dire situation in Hawaii.

    It is argued that the City is jeopardizing its credit rating and solvency over this project and someone has to stop the bleeding, stop the irreparable hard this rail project is causing our people today, and for the next 3 generations, and folks in Washington seem to be turning a blind eye to this matter.

    In lieu of reviewing rail-related documents online, I request a formal meeting with a Honolulu FBI agent to discuss this urgent matter, a meeting to include those advocating for these investigations.

    Others have written to FTA, OIG, GAO, and Congress, and spoke to some officials. One high ranking official stated to one individual that perjury to obtain federal funds for rail appears to be involved.

    The Honolulu rail is likely a massive government cover up similar to Watergate, but called HARTgate.

    Please help us. This dire situation is reaching critical mass.

    Messages sent to Washington and FBI. The city deliberately falsified federal documents, lied to federal officials, and lied to the public. I encourage everyone to submit a request to the FBI to conduct an investigation.

    https://tips.fbi.gov/

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bw_NDLg6EbbmeTdFazZNQW4zYkk?usp=sharing

    Please give these messages widest possible distribution.


    .

              Degrading the Amazon harms us        
    SUBHEAD: Deforestation of Brazil  and resulting climate change endangers humanity.

    By Dahr Jamail on 7 August 2017 for Truth Out -
    (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41520-deforestation-and-climate-disruption-are-degrading-the-amazon-endangering-our-survival)


    Image above: In 2014 Brazil refused to join pledge to end deforestation. Photo by Greenpeace. From (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-29338413).

    Warwick Manfrinato, the director of Brazil's Department of Protected Areas, has a deep understanding of biological interdependence, as well as its importance.

    "If we are of utter service to nature, then we provide the benefits to all other living things on the planet," Manfrinato told Truthout in his office at Brazil's capital city recently. "I have the same value as a human as a jaguar has in nature, and both should be protected, otherwise we all go extinct, no matter what."

    Manfrinato, whose department falls within the Secretariat of Biodiversity in Brazil's Ministry of Environment, is working on a variety of projects, including the establishment of a whale sanctuary that will cover the better part of the entire South Atlantic Ocean between Brazil's vast coastal area all the way across to the west coast of Africa. And on June 23, he and his colleagues launched a national "Corridors Program," with the goal of fostering "connectivity and genetic flux."

    "We know the flow of genetics in biomes [biological systems] in life is critical," Manfrinato said. "We have to re-establish this, so a jaguar that exists in Mexico should be able to come all the way here without being killed. Physical connectivity allows for genetic connectivity. A monkey should be able to travel from one part of Brazil to another, without having to pass through land that has been cleared, where there is no forest."

    Manfrinato's colleague, Everton Lucero, who is Brazil's secretary for Climate Change and Environmental Quality, was blunt with Truthout about what could happen if dramatic action is not taken to address the impacts of anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD).

    "The worst-case IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projection] is 4.5C by 2100, but at local levels here we see very different impacts already, and are already even seeing an 8C increase in places," Lucero told Truthout.

    Manfrinato echoes this: The crisis, he says, has already arrived.

    "Everything that is bad has already happened," he explained. "We've come to terms with who we are, and we are those who destroy the planet. We've already destroyed it."

    Because of this, Manfrinato believes we already know what needs to be done.

    "If we're going to look for solutions, we have to look for the solution for the complexity, not one individual thing," he said. "If there is no connectivity, there is nothing. And that is why I'm busy with building corridors of biodiversity."

    He has his work cut out for him. But he's not alone: Many people are working toward similar goals in the Amazon.

    A Giant Water Pump

    The Amazon is one of the most critically important ecosystems on Earth, and certainly the most biodiverse. It is the world's single largest rainforest, as it is larger than the next two largest rainforests -- the Congo Basin and Indonesia -- combined.

    The Amazon River is by far the world's largest river by volume, and has more than 1,100 tributaries, 17 of which are each longer than 1,000 miles. The Amazonian water system is so massive and complex that it influences rainfall patterns as far away as the US, and 70 percent of South America's gross domestic product is produced in areas that receive precipitation influenced by the Amazon.

    Brazil's role in protecting the Amazon is critical, given that two-thirds of the rainforest is located within Brazil's borders.

    In order to get a sense of the connections between Amazon protection and water issues, Truthout met with Fabio Eno, the coordinator for the Natural Sciences Unit of UNESCO in Brazil, in his office in the capital.

    Eno thinks it is more than timely that Brazil happens to be hosting the World Water Forum in March 2018.

    "Water and drought are critical issues here now, which is so ironic since Brazil is hosting this huge event on water next year, and we are facing water crisis in some of the largest cities here," Eno told Truthout. "What we are seeing in Brazil is that climate change has been and continues to be very clearly visible."

    He pointed out that in Brasilia, where there used to be very clearly demarcated dry and rainy seasons, they are now imbalanced: The dry season is starting earlier, and there is less rain during the rainy season. This is a reflection of the progression of climate-related changes in the country.

    "In the south, well known for rice production, which has high water consumption, they are facing more droughts and this is affecting local farmers," Eno explained. "States in the northeast are now more intensely affected by the dry season, so we see clearly the effects of climate change in all portions of Brazil."

    Eno noted that the impacts have been so intense that Brazil has been caught unprepared, and sees this shift in climate as having contributed to a major international health crisis: Zika virus.

    "With the major drought recently in Sao Paolo, people were encouraged to store water in basins in their residence, and even in their toilets," he said. "Then, not coincidentally, we have Zika virus outbreaks that came about the same year Sao Paolo was storing so much more water. People were storing water in every way they could after what happened, but weren't taking necessary care for safeguards. This caused a major international health issue."

    Manfrinato sees water-related problems as the biggest climate disruption impacts humans have had.

    "What differentiates this planet from every other planet is liquid water," he explained. "It has taken Earth millions of years to find the right balance of liquid water, and people don't understand how important that is and are messing it up with their greed and ambition, of which awareness is far more important."

    Manfrinato explains that as humans have "fooled around" with temperature, they have shaken the very foundation of biology.

    "Fooling around with water is impossible, as that is the tree of the fruit of life," Manfrinato said. "You mess with it, you mess with everything ... and we've already messed with it."

    Lucero also underscored the Amazon's critical role in the watery realms, especially regionally. The rainforest, he said, provides "flying rivers" -- massive amounts of air-borne moisture that develop above the canopy and move with the clouds and rainfall patterns across South America.

    "If you remove the forest, you will cause extreme drought in other regions," he told Truthout.

    But he says that biodiversity is the Amazon's biggest contribution to the world -- and is the most important reason to care for the rainforest.

    "The forest itself is suffering from climate change, as are other biomes," he said. "Variability of climate is affecting the forest from increasing flooding and wildfires, which may, in a doomsday scenario, compromise the entire forest."

    Manfrinato sees humans as part of the ecosystem, and an integral part at that, but most assuredly not the apex.

    "What is required is a shift of awareness of our being part of nature," he said. "The apex is the complexity. Humans are not the apex, and the awareness that comes from this is how dynamic the system is that allows for all of life on Earth.... It'll do this as long as we allow it to do so."

    Manfrinato is deeply passionate about his work, and in the discussion, sounds as much like a philosopher for the planet as Brazil's director of protected areas.

    "We need to respect complexity in order to survive as a species," he said. "Everybody and everything wins, or everybody and everything loses if we hold onto this lack of awareness that the complexity is the most important thing. Your apex contribution is to be aware of the complexity, and then to protect it."

    Brazil's Forest Code

    Many people are acutely aware that there is a massive problem with deforestation in the Amazon. Beginning in 2004, however, deforestation started to decline in the Amazon, primarily because of better protection policies in Brazil. However, the last two years have seen a dramatic increase again. Brazil's government has been in crisis, and monitoring and enforcement have been stymied, allowing for a resurgence.

    Fabio Feldmann served in Brazil's parliament for 12 years in the 1980s and 1990s. He is famous for helping to bring positive changes to the forest code -- protections for the Amazon -- into Brazil's constitution in 1988.

    "The single most important issue facing Brazil is protecting all of the critical biomes," Feldmann told Truthout during an interview at his home in Sao Paolo. "If you destroy the Amazon region in Peru, you have a great impact in Brazil, and vice versa."

    He explained that there is currently only weak collaboration between the countries in South America regarding the Amazon, and this is a problem.

    "When I was elected, there was a radical change [in consciousness] about environmental areas," he said. "But this design has not been translated into effective public policies, so now our generation must reflect about what our legacy is to be because right now the deforestation rates in the Amazon are unbelievably high, after so many years."

    Feldmann said he is optimistic, and cites heightened public awareness about the land today as compared to 30 years ago. However, he asked, "Do we have time to do what must be done?"

    Clayton Lino is president of the Biosphere Reserve Association of Brazil and is a member of the advisory committee for UNESCO's Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve. Truthout interviewed him at his office in the Biosphere Reserve of the Mata Atlantica rainforest in Sao Paolo, a beautifully forested island in the middle of the sprawling polluted city.

    "We are under attack daily, because we have laws in the process of being made that destroy other laws that were there to protect the land," Lino said.

    This is important to understand, Lino said, because there is so much international pressure on the Brazilian government to continue deforesting. Cattle ranching accounts for roughly 70 percent of the total deforestation in Brazil, and the demand for Brazilian beef in the US and Europe is driving that ranching.

    "While local NGOs are working to protect the Amazon and the Mata Atlantica, we do not see any light now," he explained. "There is no international help, and the culture of corruption has infected many Brazilians now because corruption has come from the top down, so more and more people are starting to not respect basic laws."

    He is so concerned because his beloved Mata Atlantica, the second biggest rainforest reserve in Brazil, is the most threatened area of rainforest in the world, second only to the Madagascar rainforest.

    "We have more biodiversity here than even in the Amazon," he said while pointing out the window. "The Amazon is far bigger, but in the Mata ... we have more endemism [species that live only in one area] than anywhere else in the world."

    Lino explained that fragmentation (isolating sections of the forest) is the primary problem in the Mata.

    "There is high biodiversity and fragility, because if you destroy something in one place, it cannot come back in another area of the Mata," he said. "So, fragmenting it causes a very big problem."

    Today, only 8 percent of the Mata Atlantica remains.

    Caring as Protecting

    "Without connectivity for evolutionary movement, it cannot proceed," Manfrinato explained of the natural corridors he is striving to create across his country. "This adaptation process needs north/south corridors, because species in the southern hemisphere need to migrate south, and in the north, they'll need to migrate northwards as global temperatures continue to increase."


    Image above: Warwick Manfrinato, Director of Brazil's Department of Protected Areas, is working to reconnect all of the biodiversity corridors across the Amazon. Photo by Dahr Jamail. From original article.

    Previous to his current job, Manfrinato was a member of the University of Sao Paolo's Amazon research group, which bore the idea of ecological corridors. This is why he was given the position he has in the government: to implement these ideas on the ground.

    "Protection is connection, and vice versa; it has to be both," he said.

    Claudio Angelo is the head of communications for Climate Observatory, an NGO. A former journalist, he now runs a news website for a vast network of 41 Brazilian NGOs which produces annual estimates of the country's greenhouse gas emissions.

    Angelo explained to Truthout that observable shifts in rainfall patterns are now becoming common across the country, along with a shifting of the timings of the wet and dry seasons. Plus, like much of the world, Brazil is seeing far higher temperatures than ever before. He points to some farming regions that have already seen 6C increases.

    "Brazil has warmed faster than the global average, since we are in the tropics," Angelo said. "Since 1961, it is 1C hotter in Brazil, and it took us half the time to warm the same as the rest of the world."

    Angelo noted that the Amazon has seen two 100-year drought events (extreme drought events that only happen every 100 years) in a five-year period -- the first in 2005 and then another in 2010.

    "The feedback mechanisms that exist between deforestation and climate change are my biggest concerns," he said. "Deforestation was 46 percent of our emissions last year, so our main focus is on mitigation. Hence, we are advocating for zero deforestation in Brazil."

    Like Feldmann, Angelo had grown hopeful that his country was finally getting the deforestation of the Amazon under control, until recently.

    "Over the last two years we saw this not to be the case, as we had a 60 percent increase in deforestation in just the last two years," he said. "Because of this, Brazil ranks in the top 10 [countries, in terms of] global greenhouse gas emissions."

    When trees are chopped down, all the CO2 they sequestered from the atmosphere is released. Angelo pointed out the window and discussed the obvious changes.

    "Brazil is still water rationing as we speak, after two record-drought years in a row," he explained. "2015 saw a 45-day heat wave. There is no way you can take off a huge chunk of some part of the planet and think it won't have a major impact on climate change."

    As a climate journalist Angelo has reported from the Arctic, Greenland, Antarctica and deep into the Amazon. But right now, he is most struck by what he is seeing in his hometown of Brasilia. When he was a child, he remembers how cold it was in the evenings during the winter, and how summers were not as hot as they are now.

    "The number of warm nights, when it is not below 20C, has increased 10 times more than it was 30 years ago," he lamented. "Most of the year here now it's just nasty. It's just hot, and it wasn't like this 20-30 years ago."

    Personal experience plays a core role in Manfrinato's motivations, as well. He shared his experience from a recent long hike he'd taken that had a deep effect on his perception of the planet.

    "It was in a newly protected area of Brazil and I came out of there feeling part of that place, meaning, that place is mine, and I'm going to protect it," he explained. "And so, we need everyone to start feeling that way about places ... about the planet. You belong to it because it belongs to you. You don't protect it because it belongs to everybody, you protect it because it belongs to you. The land belongs to me, because I belong to the land."

    Manfrinato continues his work to reconnect wildlife habitat on the local levels. He aims to move it from local to regional connections, then regional to national, then across borders, then continental.

    "We are promoting this internationally," Manfrinato said. "Because without reconnection, we will not survive."
    .

              South Korea's stubborn peace effort        
    SUBHEAD: Peace movement refusing to give up is taking the long view of its campaign. 

    By Jon Letman on 4 August 2017 for Truth Out -
    (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41486-taking-the-long-view-why-south-korea-s-peace-movement-refuses-to-give-up)


    Image above: Jeong Young-hee is a Korean tangerine farmer in Gangjeong village on Jeju island. Like many residents, she strongly opposes the newly built South Korean naval base just two miles from her farm. Photo by Jon Letman. From original article.

    In August, 1945, as Japan smoldered in the ruins of war, the question of what would become of the Korean peninsula after 35 years of Japanese occupation and a Soviet army advancing southward spurred the hasty selection of an artificial division along the 38th parallel drawn by two American officials as a border between US and Soviet "zones of occupation."

    That line, never intended to be permanent, hardened like stubborn mud before the newly liberated Korea ever had the chance to form an independent, unified and democratic nation. Today 38°N still marks a potentially catastrophic flashpoint between North and South Korea.

    The DMZ -- demilitarized zone -- despite its name, is one of the most militarized places on the planet. This hyper-militarization, in fact, extends south across the peninsula and today, 64 years after an armistice halted (but never formally ended) the Korean war, South Korea remains peppered with scores of US military installations -- at least 80 by the Pentagon's own count.

    US bases, and the 28,500 US troops and joint military exercises they support, are not only opposed by North Korea; many South Koreans see them as a problematic construct that perpetuates the likelihood of war.

    Despite frequent media coverage of North Korea's highly choreographed military parades, increasing missile launches, and Kim Jong-un's threats to turn Seoul into a "sea of fire," far less attention is paid to South Korea's tireless, well-organized peace movement opposed to militarism on both sides of the DMZ.

    South Korean civil groups and NGOs like People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions are skilled at forming coalitions with peace activists and religious groups opposed to a military buildup, which they see as increasing tensions with the North and militarization across Northeast Asia.

    Your Old Farm Is Our New Base


    Image above: Candle light protests have been held outside the Seongju County office nightly since the deployment of the THAAD antimissile defense system was announced in July 2016. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    With the bulk of US bases concentrated in and around Seoul and within range of North Korean artillery, the US is in the middle of a major realignment of its forces as it consolidates bases, moving tens of thousands of troops, their families and civilian contractors to US Army Garrison Humphreys in the city of Pyeongtaek, 40 miles south of Seoul.

    In 2002, when the US announced its plan to triple Humphreys in size, Pyeongtaek residents living around the base organized fierce protests that raged for five years.

    Thousands of police were deployed, citizens were arrested and villages were demolished. In the end, however, the base's walls were pushed outward, and Camp Humphreys grew from just over 1,000 acres to more than 3,400 acres, making it the US's largest overseas military base in the world.

    Now in the final years of construction, US Army Garrison Humphreys is equipped to serve as the new headquarters for the Eighth US Army and US Forces Korea command center.


    Image above: A representative of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions holds an anti-THAAD banner at a demonstration in Soseong-ri, Seongju County, South Korea. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    The Humphreys expansion is slated for completion by 2020 and will eventually be home to up to 46,000 military and civilian personnel living and working behind razor wire-topped walls and gates.

    The $10.7 billion expansion, the US's largest-ever peacetime military construction project, is being paid for overwhelmingly (around 90 percent) by the South Korean government. In 2016, Gen. Vincent Brooks (now head of US Forces Korea) publicly stated that it's cheaper to station US troops in South Korea than in the United States.

    The Humphreys expansion does have supporters in the community, and many businesses have come to depend on the US military's presence.

    Pyeongtaek's city government, unable to refuse the influx of thousands of US forces, has done its best to promote Humphreys' expansion as an opportunity to court non-military business and infrastructure investment and push for internationalization through increased cultural exchanges with military personnel and their families.

    Still, many residents view the base as an unwelcome intrusion on Korean sovereignty and a source of crime, pollution and noise from military aircraft like F-16s, A-10 Thunderbolts, Chinook and Apache helicopters.


    Image above: Demonstrators march toward the former golf course in Seongju County where the controversial THAAD antimissile defense system is being deployed by the US. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    Since 2002, Kang Song-won of the Pyeongtaek Peace Center has been working closely with residents from communities affected by Humphreys, particularly those who were forcibly relocated from the villages of Daechu-ri and Dodu-ri. Kang works with volunteers to monitor military incidents and accidents around the base.

    Beyond the noise and inherent danger, he told Truthout the most harmful impact of Humphreys' expansion has been the deep divisions sown in the community between base supporters and opponents.

    Giving up, however, is not an option. "Even though we lost the fight against the US military, I think it is still necessary to keep fighting ... against the problems of the US military base," Kang said.

    Island of Peace, Tides of War


    Image above: US Army Garrison Humphreys is a helicopter base in what will soon be the the United States' largest overseas military base. Just beyond the fence are small farming villages. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    An hour's flight south of Seoul is sub-tropical Jeju island. Home to nine UNESCO Global Geoparks and a World Heritage site, the volcanic island is renowned for its natural beauty and biodiversity both on land and sea. Jeju has also been heavily developed for tourism. On the south coast, in Gangjeong village, is the site of a new Korean naval base.

    Muddying its primary purpose, the base is sometimes called the Jeju Multipurpose Port Complex and is touted as having a (future) dual civilian-military function, but for now it's strictly a Korean naval base and headquarters for the South Korean Navy's Mobile Task Force Flotilla-7, which includes Aegis warfare destroyers, KDX III helicopter destroyers and a submarine force command.

    Like the expansion of Camp Humphreys, the 2007 announcement of the Jeju naval base sparked widespread outcry from residents opposed to the militarization of what was dubbed "Island of Peace" in recognition of Jeju's horrific April 3 massacre (1947-54).

    In that massacre, as many as 30,000 island residents were killed by Korean forces over a seven-year period beginning in 1947 during the US military administration that occupied the southern part of the Korean peninsula immediately after the August 1945 defeat of Japan.

    As in Pyeongtaek, Jeju base protesters clashed with the police for years. Base opponents, including the former mayor, were arrested and heavily fined but in the end, the base was built.


    Image above: Many of the residents protesting against the deployment of the THAAD antimissile defense system are elderly farmers who don't want their remote mountain village to be militarized. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    Tangerine farmers Jeong Young-hee and her husband Kang Sung-won have been growing Jeju's famous citrus varieties for 30 years in greenhouses less than two miles from the base. Young-hee and Sung-won are concerned about the environmental impact of the base, especially the effects on the sea -- including soft corals, sea urchins, abalone and other marine life -- and the destruction of what was a sacred lava rock coastal field called Gureombi.

    Construction on the base is not yet complete. Young-hee and Sung-won worry that as it grows, if a future exclusion zone (a zone that would restrict new construction) is declared, it would surround their farm, almost certainly driving down land values.

    Peeling one of her sweet hallabong oranges, Young-hee explains how the base has caused a rift between friends and family members. The base has also divided many citrus farmers and Jeju's famous Haenyeo free divers. "Our relationship was destroyed," says Young-hee, who joined her male counterparts in shaving her head as a gesture of protest against the base.


    Image above: Retired Catholic priest Father Mun Jeong-hyeon holds a daily mass along along a roadside site that doubles as a protest against the Jeju naval base in Gangjeong village, Jeju island. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    In the early days of the struggle, when base opponents pointed fingers at the US accusing it of pressuring South Korea (also known as the Republic of Korea), South Korean officials denied that the base would permanently host US warships.

    This year, in March and June, US warships made their first visits to the Jeju base with short, inconspicuous port calls similar to what was recommended in a 2013 US Army War College strategy research project. Last January, US Pacific Command's Adm. Harry Harris suggested the possibility of deploying the US's newest, most lethal stealth destroyer, the USS Zumwalt to Jeju waters.

    The Jeju navy base became operational in February 2016. Resistance continues daily, with activists gathering each morning in front of the entry gate to perform one hundred bows as a nonviolent, meditative protest.

    Nearby, in a roadside tent chapel, retired Catholic priest Father Mun Jeong-hyeon leads a daily mass, before joining protesters who gather with flags and banners playing raucous music outside the base.

    The mood of the protesters is defiant and the message is serious: they want a shift away from militarization of the Korean peninsula and northeast Asia.

    This week (July 30-August 5), for the eighth year since 2008, apeace march is underway, in which activists are walking from the Jeju naval base around the island to raise awareness of the continuing struggle and to call for peace.

    In Defense of Who?


    Image above: Guards look out from behind a razor wire fence surrounded the new South Korean naval base on Jeju island, South Korea. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    South Korea's latest struggle against militarization began in July 2016 in rural, traditionally conservative Seongju County 135 miles south of Seoul.

    Residents of Seongju and neighboring Gimcheon were caught off guard when the central government, under deposed President Park Geun-hye, offered Seongju to the US as a location for the US antimissile defense Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

    For more than a year since that announcement, daily protests have been taking place in Seongju and elsewhere around the country. In June, an anti-THAAD protest of several thousand people briefly and peacefully surrounded the US embassy in Seoul.

    THAAD manufacturer Lockheed Martin says the system is intended to defend "US troops, allied forces, population centers and critical infrastructure against short and medium range ballistic missiles."

    Seongju residents and Koreans across the country, however, recite a litany of reasons they are opposed to THAAD, from environmental and health concerns to the lack of a democratic process to ever-increasing deployment of foreign weapons, as well as economic repercussions and tension with its neighbors China and Russia.


    Image above: Korean Army personnel stand guard at the Demilitarized Zone/Joint Security Area outside the Military Armistice Commission buildings along the tense border. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    Two weeks before South Korea's snap election on May 9 this year, the US, citing North Korean threats, hurriedly began the deployment of THAAD in what had been a golf course outside a small village called Soseong-ri.

    When South Korea's newly elected President Moon Jae-in learned that his own Ministry of Defense had failed to notify him of the presence of an additional four THAAD launchers, Moon called for a temporary suspension of THAAD to conduct an environmental assessment.

    That suspension, however, is being reevaluated now as South Korea considers deploying additional launchers in response to a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile test last week.

    Like other aspects of the military alliance between the US and South Korea, THAAD is supported by some South Koreans and reviled by others. And like the communities in Gangjeong village on Jeju and Pyeongtaek near Seoul, the people of Seongju and Gimcheon are divided.

    Speaking at a candlelight vigil outside the Seongju County government office on May 30, three local women were eager to share their thoughts with Americans.

    On this 310th day of consecutive protests, the women told Truthout they wanted their lives back the way they were before THAAD.

    They said their community was being torn apart -- even relations between parents and children were being strained by strong disagreements over THAAD.

    Some of their neighbors have given up opposition to THAAD, either accepting it as unavoidable or simply focusing on other matters.

    These women, however, refuse to give up and say they feel a responsibility to attend nightly demonstrations against THAAD. They also admit feeling a growing resentment toward what they see as an unequal alliance.

    "We are starting to have anti-American sentiments even though we don't hate Americans," a woman who identified herself as Mrs. Kim said.

    "To be honest, I want the US military to go home," said a second woman, who also goes by the name Mrs. Kim, adding the English phrase, "Yankee, go home."

    The Truth Is Very Powerful


    Image above: Demonstrators perform 100 bows for peace six days a week as a protest against the South Korean Jeju naval base in Gangjeong village, Jeju island. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    Even as new bases are built, old bases expanded and more weapons imported, what fuels South Korean peace movements in the face of overwhelming power?

    In Seoul, Jungmin Choi who works with Durebang (My Sister's Place), an NGO that provides counseling to foreign women working in bars and clubs near US bases, says those women are living witnesses to the impact of military bases.

    Choi calls the impacts of the bases "indescribably huge" and both tangible and intangible, but insists, "we believe this fight cannot be defeated … we will fight in a creative way with a long-term view."

    On the other side of the country, Jeju base opponent Choi Sung-hee says that even though the Jeju base is operational and US warships have started visiting, the protests must continue.

    Not only does the military know it is being watched, but protests build solidarity with other anti-base movements across South Korea and internationally, in places like Okinawa, Guam, the Philippines and Hawaii, particularly among women.


    Image above: A protester is blocked by a security guard as he sits in silent protest outside the entry to the South Korean naval base on Jeju island. Photo by John Letman. From original article.

    "That's the role of people ... we should constantly demand: we do not need arms, we do not need THAAD, we do not need more military bases," Choi says. "If the people's movement is strong, I think it can also influence the decisions of the South Korean president."

    Nearby, in the St. Francis Peace Center, Father Mun carves messages of peace into wooden boards after each morning's protest. Nearly 80 years old, Father Mun has been a peace activist for decades in Pyeongtaek, on Jeju and elsewhere acting, in his words, as "a witness for truth."

    When asked why he continues to resist in the face of overwhelming power, Father Mun declared, "The truth cannot be thrown away. The truth will stand up some day. The truth is very powerful. So, I believe the truth is going to win all enemies."

    .

              Kauai Council is Climate Change        
    SUBHEAD: The County Council turns down $100,000 in private donations to fund climate action plan.

    By Nathan Eagle on 3 august 2017 for Civil Beat -
    (http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/08/kauai-council-says-no-thanks-to-100k-to-fight-climate-change/)


    Image above: Kauai County Council members 2016-2018 -  Mason Chock, Arthur Brun, Chair Mel Rapozo, JoAnn Yukimura, Ross Kagawa, Derek Kawakami and Arryl Kaneshiro. From original article.

    Opponents of taking the money question whether the county needs its own plan. One said the work should be left to the federal government.

    Kauai County Council members have rejected $100,000 in private donations to fund a climate action plan for their rural island, which is particularly susceptible to rising sea levels, stronger storms and other effects of climate change.

    In a 4-3 vote last week, Council Chair Mel Rapozo and members Arryl Kaneshiro, Ross Kagawa and Arthur Brun opposed a request from Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s administration to accept $50,000 from the Hawaii Community Foundation and a matching $50,000 from the nonprofit Partners for Places.

    They expressed skepticism about the need for a county climate plan, saying they didn’t want to duplicate the state’s efforts. They also felt the county economic development director’s explanation of the potential funding was insufficient.

    “You don’t need a plan to tell you that you help the environment if you walk more, if you bike more, catch the bus more,” Kagawa said. “If the federal government is working on it, let them do it.”

    Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, who along with Councilmen Derek Kawakami and Mason Chock supported accepting the money, pointed out at the meeting that the United States is no longer leading on climate change.

    “Under President Trump, we’re withdrawing from it and really losing face in the world,” Yukimura said, referring to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

    The Paris agreement, signed by 195 nations in 2015, established a goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and laid out plans for countries to work together to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.

    “That’s why the cities now are rising to address it and saying we’re going to do it because it’s affecting the lives of our citizens, it’s affecting the planet and I think this county needs to join in and do that,” Yukimura said.

    The council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee took up the matter again Wednesday, but the deadline had passed Monday to use the foundation’s grant to apply for the matching funds from Partners for Places.

    George Costa, director of Kauai’s Office of Economic Development, said Wednesday that he had been reluctant to disclose Monday’s grant deadline at last week’s meeting because of the way council members had reacted the previous time the administration came before them with a last-minute request to apply for a Transportation Alternatives Program grant.

    At least one council member said the additional information provided Wednesday by the county’s energy and sustainability manager, Ben Sullivan, who was unable to attend their meeting last week, would have changed their vote.

    “Had we had this information last week, this would have passed,” Rapozo said.

    Costa said the administration tries to give the council as much notice as possible, but in this case was uncertain whether the private funding would be available until July — although the county started talking to the Hawaii Community Foundation in January.

    “A lot of these opportunities do come at the last minute,” Costa said.

    Still, Yukimura questioned during Wednesday’s meeting why the county would not want to have the council accept the foundation’s funding, since there was ample time to use it to meet the next deadline in January to apply for a matching grant from Partners for Places.

    Sullivan said there’s still a chance the administration will come back to the council to ask for such approval, but he noted that the foundation is now looking for a nonprofit or other third party to receive the funds. He was not sure if new recipients had been determined.

    “We’re kind of strategizing and rethinking,” Sullivan said.

    ‘Defining Issue Of Our Lives’
    Kagawa said at last week’s meeting that the idea of a county climate action plan reminded him of Kauai’s efforts to address “all this fear” over genetically modified organisms.

    The county passed a bill in 2013 to require GMO companies to disclose more information about the pesticides they use and abide by setbacks for spraying. A federal court later overturned the law.

    “I don’t think it necessarily makes sense that the county is getting into the business of telling people on Kauai what to do to help this problem,” he said. “It needs to be done nationwide.”

    Kaneshiro had his own fears over what a climate action plan might obligate the county to do.

    “Is it going to say airplanes are causing a lot of carbon emissions so we should reduce the amount of airplanes coming to Kauai?” he asked. “Or, you know, vehicles are a main cause of carbon emissions so reduce the amount of miles people can drive on Kauai?”

    Yukimura said the plan would not obligate the county to do anything, but instead would provide data and possible strategies.

    Sullivan said the county’s climate action plan would add a greater level of detail to the data the state Department of Health is collecting about greenhouse gas emissions, for instance.

    Better Communication Needed
    The council members, even those supporting accepting the funding, said they did not get the information they needed from Costa last week. Even Yukimura later called his answers “weak.” But those in favor said it still made sense to accept the money and then work out the details for the plan.

    Kawakami, who was concerned about the message last week’s vote would send to future potential donors, said he wants a plan that produces results.

    “At what point do we get some tangible recommendations on what we need to do with our wastewater facilities, with our county roads and state highways being impacted by sea level rise, and when do we get some sort of tangible to-do list instead of studying this thing?” Kawakami said. “If we study this thing to death then by the time we come out with any real action plan it’s going to be too late.”

    Costa said $10,000 of the grant would have gone to a greenhouse gas study that looked at emission levels from various sectors, such as electricity, the landfill and transportation.

    He said $40,000 would have gone to community engagement, $10,000 would have been for contingencies and the rest would have been used to contract with the University of Hawaii’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning to drive the plan.

    Rapozo said at last week’s meeting that community engagement could be part of a county plan to address climate change, but he questioned spending the money on that, even it wasn’t from Kauai taxpayers.

    “I don’t understand how you can get information on a plan with community engagement,” he said. “When you’re doing a plan, I think you’ve got to use scientific data.”

    This was the third time the council has rejected funding a climate action plan. Last year, the Hawaii Community Foundation said it would provide $75,000 if the county chipped in $30,000, Costa said.

    Kagawa said last week at the meeting that he still did not trust the administration when it comes to addressing climate change.

    “I don’t believe they’ll have the plan with the silver bullet to solve the problem,” he said. “That’s just my gut.”

    Yukimura, in an email trying to rally her constituents after the vote, called climate change the “defining issue of our lives.” She said Kauai’s fragile and unique environment in particular has a great challenge ahead that demands leadership, community involvement and consensus on a course of action.

    In April 2016, Sullivan tried to convey the urgency of coming up with a plan to address climate change while encouraging the council to support the mayor’s $30,000 budget request.

    “It’s past time for us to champion this,” he told The Garden Island newspaper at the time.

    On Wednesday, Sullivan said in an email that the mayor is committed to developing and implementing a climate action plan and the Hawaii Community Foundation has been “extremely supportive.”

    “Despite some communications challenges, today’s meeting seemed to illustrate that our County Council, and quite a few people in our community are also in full support of this effort, so I am confident that we will find a way forward with this work,” he said.

    Darcy Yukimura, the foundation’s senior philanthropic officer on Kauai, said the island still has the opportunity to be a leader in the state.

    Read more about the administration’s plan below.
    (http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3912056-Council-OED-7-31-17-C-2017-168-Development-of-a.html?embed=true&responsive=false&sidebar=false




    .

              Saving Hawaiian cultural sites        
    SUBHEAD: Fearing future development of a valley rich with Hawaiian history, community members want preservation.

    By Blaze Lovell on 31 July 2017 for Civil Beat  -
    (http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/07/the-fight-to-save-ancient-hawaiian-archeological-sites/)


    Image above: Tim Pickering, the owner of about 400 acres in Ohikilolo Valley. He said there are no plans now to develop the land. From original article.

    This is a fight to save ancient Hawaiian archeological sites. Fearing future development of a Leeward valley rich with cultural history, some community members are pushing for preservation.

    Glen Kila’s family has defended parts of the Waianae Coast from development for generations. The family traces its genealogy to the aboriginal inhabitants of the area.

    They consider one of their most sacred sites to have been under threat by foreign developers and mainland owners since the 1980s.

    Now, luxury developments in nearby Makaha have spawned a new round of worries that this area in Kea’au Valley, known as Ohikilolo, may face a similar fate if nothing is done to preserve the land.

    More than 600 acres of former ranchland in Ohikilolo have been eyed at various times as a possible landfill, golf course and luxury subdivision.

    What is so important about this valley?

    Drivers passing by the ranchland just off Farrington Highway see just trees and possibly some cows grazing in a field. But beneath the brush hides the densest collection of archeological sites on the island, according to an archeological study conducted in 1992.


    Image above:  Detail part of of Moku & Ahupuaa map of leeward Oahu showing ahupuaa areas of Waianae including Keaau and Hikiolo done by  Juan Wilson. Click to enlarge.  From (http://www.islandbreath.org/hawaiinei/M6Oahu/M6OahuRasterFile.png).


    The study was originally done for a proposed golf course, and researchers recorded 461 sites in just 60 acres of the valley.

    What may look like piles of rocks to some people are actually the remains of a once-vibrant community that existed more than 1,500 years before the time of Kamehameha I.

    Kila, a former teacher and principal on the Waianae Coast, is spearheading a movement to turn Ohikilolo into an area for kanaka maoli (Native Hawaiians) to practice their culture as well as a place for the public to learn about that culture.

    “There’s a lot of history that hasn’t been shared … right now we are releasing it so that we can protect the land,” Kila said.

    Other community members, including state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, are on board with the idea of trying to preserve Ohikilolo.

    Most of the land is owned by the Pickering family of Arizona, and any push toward creating a state conservation district in Ohikilolo would require approval by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources and cooperation from the family.

    One of the family members, Tim Pickering, told Civil Beat that there are currently no plans to develop the area.

    As a first step, community members have asked Shimabukuro to request that the state conduct a study that not only considers the archeological sites in the area, but also analyzes how those sites relate to Hawaiian culture. Such a study could be used to recommend the property to the National Registry of Historic Places.

    Sacred Lands
    The aboriginal families of the Waianae Coast considered Ohikilolo to be part of Kanehunamoku — the sacred lands of Kane, the Hawaiian sun deity.

    They believe that in this valley, the first human, La’ila’i, was born. In the Kumulipo, the Hawaiian creation story, La’ila’i becomes the mother of the Hawaiian race.


    Image above: From ().

    Ohikilolo and the rest of the Kea’au Valley represent a complete ahupua’a, a land district stretching from the mountains to the sea.

    Residents of each ahupua’a depended on the others for survival. Coastal dwellers would often trade their fish to valley residents for taro or sweet potatoes, for instance.

    “It was a living community made of Native Hawaiians that took care of the land,” Kila said.

    In Ohikilolo, the people adhered to the concept of Ka’anani’au — meaning to manage the beauty of time — that regulated land areas through wet and dry seasons.

    Kila says the archeological sites could demonstrate the interplay between Native Hawaiian religion and culture. The 1992 study found tools for agriculture and fishing, rock piles that may have once been heiau (Hawaiian temples), foundations for dwellings and walls to divert water for farming.

    “The archaeological remains here may be the last representative of a complete prehistoric settlement system on leeward Oahu,” the report said.

    After being deeded to a servant of Kamehameha I, spending much of its history as a ranch, and getting glances from a Japanese corporation for a golf course and the city for a dump, parts of Ohikilolo became the property of the Pickerings.

    Residents On The Lookout
    Cynthia Rezentes, Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board chairwoman, said possible development in Ohikilolo by the Pickerings has been an issue for seven years. In 2007, Robert Pickering acquired 735 acres of land in Ohikilolo and the surrounding area for $3.8 million, according to property documents.

    Around 2010, the Pickerings first had the idea to put a luxury housing development on the property, Rezentes said.

    Tim Pickering told Civil Beat that the land was never developed because he couldn’t find any investors nor could he negotiate retrofitting the area with roads and adding sewer lines. Pickering hasn’t filed for any building permits or conditional use permits on the agricultural land.

    Residents were worried when they recently found a $3.5 million real estate listing from Chaney Brooks & Co. for the 60 acres that includes most of the archeological sites, but representatives of the real estate company told Civil Beat that the listing is from about six years ago and the property is no longer on the market.

    In the time that Pickering had the property on the market, even creating a website to try to sell it himself, he only had one person who ever contacted him about it, but that “faded pretty fast,” he said.

    “It’s just staying the way it is,” Pickering said. Development “wouldn’t happen for a long time if it happens at all.”

    In March, residents worried that Makaha La, another development, would stretch into Ohikilolo.

    But Tom Tisher, a real estate agent working with Makaha La, said that the new subdivision would be in Makaha, not Ohikilolo.

    The potential for development of Ohikilolo still troubles some community members.

    “It’s a waiting game to see whether or not they want to package something again,” Rezentes said. “But they need the draw. If you can get investors to tap into something like this you can potentially build something.”

    Hiking To A Temple
    On a recent weekend, Chris Oliveira took a small group of hikers up a Makaha hillside to a sacred site. The people of Waianae have traditionally been stubborn, said Oliveira, Kila’s nephew.

    In fact, while other Hawaiians were converting to Protestantism, many who lived in Waianae became Catholic. Stories tell of the people’s ancestors being so bold as to call the fire goddess Pele a malihini — a foreigner, he said.

    From the road, the hillside wouldn’t necessarily catch anyone’s eye. But the terraces are actually man-made retaining walls stacked to create a temple out of the mountain.

    Hawaiians “believed that the preservation of land is more important than the ambitions of man,” Oliveira said. “You see constructions that add to the already natural surroundings … Who could build a bigger temple than this?”

    The temple has been ravaged by time and desecrated by a large water pipe that once ran across the hill, Oliveira said.


    Image above: About 200 acres, parts of which contain burial sites and petroglyphs, are being used for a solar farm. From original article.

    Next to the temple is a large solar farm covering burial sites and petroglyphs.

    A solar farm and other military developments such as the Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station and U.S. Army practice range in Makua Valley are just a few in a long line of developments that have covered up the history of the Waianae Coast, Kila said.

    In World War II, the beach fronting Pokai Bay became a recreational center for military officers.

    Kila’s relatives once owned portions of that land and refused to leave. They were onipa’a, he said — stubborn. When they resisted, the military shut off their water and electricity and moved them away in trucks.

    In the 1960s, much of the coast was designated for hotel developments. Many landowners, including Kila’s family, stood to gain financially if they sold out to would-be hotel and condo builders, Kila said.

    Pokai Bay was supposed to become a yacht harbor for residents who would have moved into condos along the coast. The development would have destroyed a heiau that is still used for cultural practices and ceremonies today, Kila said.

    Kila’s family went door to door along the coast to convince property owners, as well as legislators who originally backed developers, to block the proposals. It worked. Now, the only buildings near Pokai Bay are the military recreational center, several small home and one apartment building.

    The World As A Canoe
    When Kila was being taught by his elders, no videotaping or even writing was allowed. Stories, prayers and chants needed to be remembered and passed on orally.

    In addition, public sharing of their cultural practices was forbidden.

    They were even reluctant to reveal the location of many sites for fear they would be destroyed.

    He’s more open now, however, and wants to fight further development by educating the public on the cultural significance of different areas.

    “We believe that by preserving Ohikilolo, not developing it, and expanding it as an educational system, the whole world can learn about who we are as human beings and our relationship with the ‘aina,” Kila said.

    Kila and Oliveira run the Marae Ha’a Koa, a cultural learning center in Waianae. Its focus is the “preservation and perpetuation of the rich cultural heritage of the Waianae Coast,” according to its website.

    Oliveira has taken the helm of education efforts on culture and regularly takes community members to historic sites. He also has authored several children’s books on Native Hawaiian culture.

    Kila said his kuleana, or responsibility, is to pass on his knowledge; Oliveira’s is to spread, chronicle and contextualize it.

    In the 1992 study, researchers recommended that the area surveyed in Ohikilolo should be recommended to the National Registry of Historic Places. The study was only done on about 60 acres of the Pickerings’ land, and some community members think more archeological sites exist in other areas of the valley.

    To eventually protect the entirety of the valley, Kila has suggested the state conduct a Traditional Cultural Properties study.

    TCPs go beyond analyzing physical features and include the cultural significance of an area.
    Shimabukuro said she will contact the Historic Preservation Division of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to see what can be done to begin the TCP process.

    Community members have requested that she also ask for access to Ohikilolo for cultural practices.

    Shimabukuro, who has been involved with preserving Ohikilolo since earlier this year, said that eventually she, and others in the community, want the land to be designated as a conservation district.

    The state law for creating a conservation subzone in Ohikilolo includes cooperating with the landowner as well as creating maps and conducting additional studies of the area, according to state documents.

    Because of its archeological sites, Ohikilolo could be eligible for the highest conservation subzone, protective, which would effectively ban most development there.

    “This world is one canoe. If we jump up and down in a canoe, it hulis. It turns over, and we all perish,” Kila said. “We can’t have people hurting it or one group of people jumping up and down and turn the world into nothingness.”

    Read the 1992 archeological study below.
    (http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3899943-Kea-au-Valley-Study-1992.html#document/p1)

    • Blaze Lovell is an intern for Civil Beat and a senior at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He was born and raised on Oahu and graduated from Pearl City High School.

    .

              New GOP Rules for Discussing the President        
    We're still trying to get used to the idea of Democratic nominee Barack Obama actually being President of the United States.

    To help us get acclimated, the wingnut freakazoids have kindly provided criticism that follows the new GOP Rules for Discussing the President. Steve Benen explains.

    DEPT. OF POTS AND KETTLES.... Either the president's conservative critics have very short memories, or they assume we do.

    SNIP

    The irony is almost overwhelming. A loyal Bushie, who heard his boss spend years engaging in shameless demagoguery (see "clouds, mushroom" and "uranium, from Africa") based on nothing but neocon fantasies, believes presidents have to keep their rhetoric in check and never forget to be "truthful." Sure, Blakeman, tell us another one.

    Keep in mind, Obama's dire warnings about the economy are well grounded in reality. It's not "insane" to fear an economic collapse given the situation we're in. The president has a choice -- pretend the news isn't scary, or give honest assessments while vowing to act. Bush preferred the prior approach; Obama prefers the latter.

    What's more, have you noticed the bizarre double-standards we've seen emerge in recent weeks?

    When Bush uses over-the-top language to convince Americans about perceived security threat, he's being "presidential." When Obama issues dire warnings about the economy, he's being "pessimistic."

    When Bush ignores the congressional minority, he's being "principled." When Obama engages the congressional minority but declines to give them what they want, he's being "partisan."

    When Bush trashes constitutional norms, it's evidence of "seriousness." When Obama is in the Oval Office without a jacket, he's being "disrespectful to the presidency."

    When liberals criticize Bush during a crisis, they're traitors who are aiding and abetting the enemy. When conservatives criticize Obama during a crisis, they are doing their patriotic duty.

    Good to know.

              Upcoming Appearance: Wisconsin Historical Society, March 18, 2017        

    On Saturday, March 18th, I will be speaking at the Wisconsin Historical Society. The location is Room 126, Memorial Library, 728 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin and I hope to see you there! Lectures will include: Genealogy Cloud...

    Upcoming Appearance: Wisconsin Historical Society, March 18, 2017 is a post from: High-Definition Genealogy


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