Ambi Pur’s New TVC Focuses on Refreshing Monsoons        
Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 4, 2017:-Ambi Pur’s Smelly to Smiley campaigns have always challenged and conquered the toughest and most pungent odours in a real time set up with live experiments. The third edition of the Smelly to Smiley campaign focuses on yet another very relevant odour issue that most have us have encountered – the problem of the lingering monsoon odour that plagues all Indian households during the season. While monsoons have always stood for happy, fun times, growing up brings us face-to-face with monsoon-related issues. Akin to the advertisement format that has become synonymous to Ambi Pur, the new TVC is a real-life experiment at a real consumer’s home, where a unique sensorial challenge is conducted. After all, how often would you come across people with blind folds and pegs on their noses?

This interesting play on the senses reveals that a home, which may look immaculately clean, may, in reality, be perceived as unclean because it is doused with the damp monsoon odour. This TVC, conceptualized by Grey Group, features Brand Ambassador Boman Irani who presents a reality check in context to the damp, lingering odours that specially torment during monsoons. Launching nationally on August 03, the TVC positions the New and Improved Ambi Pur, with odour-clear technology, as the perfect solution to restore freshness to your favorite season. 

The recently released findings from a survey conducted by AC Nielsen, commissioned by Ambi Pur, unearthed the extent of suffering that these damp, musty odours impose on all of us. In fact, 9 out of every 10* women felt that monsoons bring issues within the household such as drying clothes inside, that lead to a musty damp odour.
 
Nidhish Garg, Brand Manager, P&G Home Care India, comments: “To drive awareness regarding the New & Improved Ambi Pur with patented odour-clear technology, we have launched the 3rdleg of the very popular Smelly to Smiley campaign. The brand stays with its ideology of putting the product to torture tests against relevant odour issues, and this time we take on the musty odour that all Indians face during monsoons. The TVC captures live reaction of a consumer who experiences the monsoon odour when visiting a friend’s home that looks perfectly clean. The same consumer sees Ambi Pur in action and how it completely eliminates the monsoon odour as opposed to temporarily concealing it with a fragrance. This format of communicating with our consumers through live experiments helps in building brand salience and credibility.”
 

Ambi Pur’s Brand Ambassador, Boman Irani further adds, “Monsoon is my favourite season but we all know the challenges that come with it, right from drying clothes inside to the rigorous cleaning regime. The new TVC shows that the house that looks clean may not actually smell clean due to the overwhelming moisture-heavy air giving out a feeling of lack of hygiene. It is always fun shooting for Ambi Pur ads, as well as extremely reassuring to witness the brand live up to toughest home odours in live experiments, year on year! This time too, Ambi Pur in its new avatar, truly eliminated the musty monsoon odour. So, it’s time to stop being enslaved by this moldy smell and refresh your monsoons with Ambi Pur.”

The New & Improved Ambi Pur uses a distinct formulation that focuses on odour removal, not just on emitting the fragrance. P&G has created a trademarked ‘Odour-clear technology’, which has been brought to India in July. The new technology fights odour at a molecular level, neutralizing it completely, and leaving behind a subtle fragrance, thus truly eliminating all tough odours.

All Ambi Pur fragrances, including the newly launched Sandalwood fragrance, are available across stores at a price of Rs. 299.

Agency Credits:
Lead Creative Agency: GREY Düsseldorf
Local Support: GREY Mumbai
Production House: Casta Diva Pictures, Mumbai

About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves consumers in India with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Vicks ®, Ariel®, Tide®, Whisper®, Olay®, Gillette®, AmbiPur®, Pampers®, Pantene®, Oral-B®, Head & Shoulders® and Old Spice®. P&G operates through 3 entities in India of which 2 are listed on NSE & BSE. The listed P&G entities are: ‘Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Limited’ and ‘Gillette India Limited’, whereas the unlisted entity (which is a 100% subsidiary of the parent company in the U.S) operates by the name ‘Procter & Gamble Home Products Private Ltd.’ In the last 12 years, P&G’s signature CSR program P&G Shiksha has built and supported 1000 schools that will impact the lives of 10,00,000 underprivileged children across the country by providing them with access to education. Please visit http://www.pg-India.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G India and its brands.

          (To Heal) - Genesis - Driving the last spike (no replies)        
We came from the North,
and we came from the South
with picks and with spades
and a new kind of order
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
They'll never see the likes of us again

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?


Genesis - Driving the last spike

Leaving my family behind me
not knowing what lay ahead
waving goodbye, as I left them in tears
remembering all we'd said

I looked to the sky, I offered my prayers
I asked Him for guidance and strength
but the simple beliefs of a simple man
lay in His hands, and on my head (my head)

I gave everything that they wanted
but still they wanted more
we sweat and we toiled
good men lost their lives
I don't think they knew what for

I sold them my heart
I sold them my soul
I gave everything I had
Ah, but they couldn't break my spirit
my dignity fought back
fightback

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?

We worked in gangs for all we were worth
the young boys pulling the wagons
We were digging the tunnel, shifting the earth
It was then that it happened.

No one knew how the cracks appeared,
but as it fell they all disappeared
stone fell like rain

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
(Can) Can you breathe?

The smoke cleared, the dust it settled
No one knew how many had died
All around there were broken men
They'd said it was safe, they'd lied
you could hear the cries, you could smell our fear
but good fortune that day was mine
and it occurred to me that the heart of a good man
it seems is hard to find.

Ah, can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?

We worked, how we worked like
the devil for our pay
through the wind, through the snow,
and through the rain

Blasting, and cutting through God's country like a knife
sweat stinging my eyes, there has to be a better life

Ah but I can hear my childrens' cry
I can see the tears in their eyes
memories of those I've left behind
still ringing in my ears
Will I ever go back again?
Will I ever see her face again?
O, I'll never forget that night
As they waved goodbye to their fathers

We came from the North,
and we came from the South
with picks and with spades
and a new kind of order
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
They'll never see the likes of us again

Driving the last spike,
lifting and laying the track
with blistering hands,
the sun burning your back

Oh, but I can hear my childrens' cry
I can see the tears in their eyes
memories of those I've left behind
still ringing in my ears
Well I'll always remember that night,
As they waved goodbye to their fathers

We followed the rail, we slept under the stars
digging in darkness, and living with danger
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
they'll never see the likes of us again.

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
(Don't) Don't you hear me?
(Don't) Don't you see?


Context

(To Heal)(Management innovation) - '..Teal Organizations to start healing the world..'

(In The Electric Universe) - '..Reading “The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences” caused me to reconsider my views on death..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) Dream - Semco Style


Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross

You just feel what you want it to be

          'The WMO says that the "extreme and unusual" climate and weather trends have continued into 2017..' (no replies)        
'The WMO says that the "extreme and unusual" climate and weather trends have continued into 2017. At least three times this winter, the Arctic experienced the equivalent of a heatwave, as powerful Atlantic storms drove warm, moist air into the region.

Changes in the Arctic and the melting of sea-ice are also leading to a shift in atmospheric circulation patterns impacting other parts of the world. This is causing unusual heat in some areas - In the US, over 11,000 warm temperature records were broken in early 2017.

"Even without a strong El Niño in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system. We are now in truly uncharted territory," said David Carlson, World Climate Research Programme Director at the WMO.

In the face of all this information, climate researchers around the world are irked by the attitude of the Trump government in Washington.'

- Matt McGrath, 'Extreme and unusual' climate trends continue after record 2016, March 21, 2017


Context

Update (February 11, 2017) - '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..')

'..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..'

          Update (February 11, 2017) - '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..') (no replies)        
Update February 11, 2017: 'In an interview on Monday with E&E News, Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post, and from the way his criticisms were portrayed in the Mail on Sunday article.

“The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data,” he said, “but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was.”

Climate Home, a nonprofit site based in London that offers news and analysis, also weighed in on one of the central contentions of Mr. Rose’s article, that the publication of the NOAA paper had "duped” policy makers into adopting the Paris accord. The site contacted representatives to the talks from 10 countries; none said that the paper had any influence.'

- Henry Fountain, No Data Manipulation in 2015 Climate Study, Researchers Say, February 7, 2016


Update February 09, 2017: 'Dr Bates’ main complaint is that Dr Karl and his co-authors did not follow strict procedures required for NOAA’s ‘operational’ data. It is not yet clear whether Dr Karl should have subjected his research data to the same procedures. Dr Karl, who retired from NOAA in August 2016, has not yet had the opportunity to respond fully to Dr Bates’ allegations.'

- LSE: More fake news in ‘The Mail on Sunday’, February 5, 2017 (Wikipedia Bans Daily Mail As 'Unreliable' Source, February 08, 2017))


'..a failure to observe proper ethical standards..'

'Dr John Bates’s disclosures about the manipulation of data behind the ‘Pausebuster’ paper is the biggest scientific scandal since ‘Climategate’ in 2009 when, as this paper reported, thousands of leaked emails revealed scientists were trying to block access to data, and using a ‘trick’ to conceal embarrassing flaws in their claims about global warming.

Both scandals suggest a lack of transparency and, according to Dr Bates, a failure to observe proper ethical standards.

Because of NOAA ’s failure to ‘archive’ data used in the paper, its results can never be verified.

Like Climategate, this scandal is likely to reverberate around the world, and reignite some of science’s most hotly contested debates.'

- Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data, February 4, 2017


'Whatever takes its place, said Dr Bates, ‘there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.

..

Dr Bates said: ‘How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity – and failed.’ '


'Dr Bates retired from NOAA at the end of last year after a 40-year career in meteorology and climate science. As recently as 2014, the Obama administration awarded him a special gold medal for his work in setting new, supposedly binding standards ‘to produce and preserve climate data records’.

..

Less than two years earlier, a blockbuster report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which drew on the work of hundreds of scientists around the world, had found ‘a much smaller increasing trend over the past 15 years 1998-2012 than over the past 30 to 60 years’. Explaining the pause became a key issue for climate science. It was seized on by global warming sceptics, because the level of CO2 in the atmosphere had continued to rise.

..

In the weeks after the Pausebuster paper was published, Dr Bates conducted a one-man investigation into this. His findings were extraordinary. Not only had Mr Karl and his colleagues failed to follow any of the formal procedures required to approve and archive their data, they had used a ‘highly experimental early run’ of a programme that tried to combine two previously separate sets of records.

..

Dr Bates revealed that the failure to archive and make available fully documented data not only violated NOAA rules, but also those set down by Science. Before he retired last year, he continued to raise the issue internally. Then came the final bombshell. Dr Bates said: ‘I learned that the computer used to process the software had suffered a complete failure.’

The reason for the failure is unknown, but it means the Pausebuster paper can never be replicated or verified by other scientists.

..

Whatever takes its place, said Dr Bates, ‘there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.

Dr Bates said: ‘How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity – and failed.’

NOAA not only failed, but it effectively mounted a cover-up when challenged over its data. After the paper was published, the US House of Representatives Science Committee launched an inquiry into its Pausebuster claims. NOAA refused to comply with subpoenas demanding internal emails from the committee chairman, the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, and falsely claimed that no one had raised concerns about the paper internally.'

- Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data, February 4, 2017


Context '..conduct more meetings on ethics .. Respectful discussion of different points of view should be encouraged.' - John Bates

Climategate: Follow the Money - By Bret Stephens

Those Who Control the Past Control the Future, Climate Data Edition, February 5, 2017

'..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..'


'Trees are the best known ‘technology’ to cool our planet'

Focus Fusion - '..So, production reactors by 2020 or so.'

(Earth Defence - Earth Shield) - Faraday - Tesla - 'The Accelerating Winds of Venus.' (Electric Universe - Solar Climate Change)


(The Electric Universe - Earth Defence - Earth Shield) - Electric Fossils and Thundercrabs

(The Electric Universe) - '..weather systems .. an electric “wind” surrounds and often precedes an electric arc.'

(Thymology - Haptopraxeology) - '..entrepreneurship .. actions he will carry out and estimates the future effect of those actions..'


'...The peer review process is broken...' - '...don't have the "situational awareness"...'

On the Mail on Sunday article on Karl et al., 2015, February 5, 2017

          'We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war.' - Sidney Drell (no replies)        
'..My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

'The harsh rhetoric on both sides increases the danger of miscalculations and mistakes, as do other factors. Close encounters between the military aircraft of the United States and Russia have become routine, creating the potential for an unintended conflict. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. None of their senior officers has firsthand experience making decisions during an actual nuclear crisis. And today’s command-and-control systems must contend with threats that barely existed during the Cold War: malware, spyware, worms, bugs, viruses, corrupted firmware, logic bombs, Trojan horses, and all the other modern tools of cyber warfare. The greatest danger is posed not by any technological innovation but by a dilemma that has haunted nuclear strategy since the first detonation of an atomic bomb: How do you prevent a nuclear attack while preserving the ability to launch one?

..

..the Cuban Missile Crisis, when a series of misperceptions, miscalculations, and command-and-control problems almost started an accidental nuclear war—despite the determination of both John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev to avoid one. In perhaps the most dangerous incident, the captain of a Soviet submarine mistakenly believed that his vessel was under attack by U.S. warships and ordered the firing of a torpedo armed with a nuclear warhead. His order was blocked by a fellow officer. Had the torpedo been fired, the United States would have retaliated with nuclear weapons. At the height of the crisis, while leaving the White House on a beautiful fall evening, McNamara had a strong feeling of dread—and for good reason: “I feared I might never live to see another Saturday night.”

..

The personnel who command, operate, and maintain the Minuteman III have also become grounds for concern. In 2013, the two-star general in charge of the entire Minuteman force was removed from duty after going on a drunken bender during a visit to Russia, behaving inappropriately with young Russian women, asking repeatedly if he could sing with a Beatles cover band at a Mexican restaurant in Moscow, and insulting his military hosts. The following year, almost a hundred Minuteman launch officers were disciplined for cheating on their proficiency exams. In 2015, three launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana, were dismissed for using illegal drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, and amphetamines. That same year, a launch officer at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for heading a violent street gang, distributing drugs, sexually assaulting a girl under the age of sixteen, and using psilocybin, a powerful hallucinogen. As the job title implies, launch officers are entrusted with the keys for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles.

..

..A recent memoir, “Uncommon Cause,” written by General George Lee Butler, reveals that the Pentagon was not telling the truth. Butler was the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, responsible for all of America’s nuclear weapons, during the Administration of President George H. W. Bush.

According to Butler and Franklin Miller, a former director of strategic-forces policy at the Pentagon, launch-on-warning was an essential part of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (siop), the nation’s nuclear-war plan. Land-based missiles like the Minuteman III were aimed at some of the most important targets in the Soviet Union, including its anti-aircraft sites. If the Minuteman missiles were destroyed before liftoff, the siop would go awry, and American bombers might be shot down before reaching their targets. In order to prevail in a nuclear war, the siop had become dependent on getting Minuteman missiles off the ground immediately. Butler’s immersion in the details of the nuclear command-and-control system left him dismayed. “With the possible exception of the Soviet nuclear war plan, [the siop] was the single most absurd and irresponsible document I had ever reviewed in my life,” Butler concluded. “We escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.” The siop called for the destruction of twelve thousand targets within the Soviet Union. Moscow would be struck by four hundred nuclear weapons; Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, by about forty.

After the end of the Cold War, a Russian surprise attack became extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, hundreds of Minuteman III missiles remained on alert. The Cold War strategy endured because, in theory, it deterred a Russian attack on the missiles. McNamara called the policy “insane,” arguing that “there’s no military requirement for it.” George W. Bush, while running for President in 2000, criticized launch-on-warning, citing the “unacceptable risks of accidental or unauthorized launch.” Barack Obama, while running for President in 2008, promised to take Minuteman missiles off alert, warning that policies like launch-on-warning “increase the risk of catastrophic accidents or miscalculation.” Twenty scientists who have won the Nobel Prize, as well as the Union of Concerned Scientists, have expressed strong opposition to retaining a launch-on-warning capability. It has also been opposed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn. And yet the Minuteman III missiles still sit in their silos today, armed with warheads, ready to go.

William J. Perry, who served as Secretary of Defense during the Clinton Administration, not only opposes keeping Minuteman III missiles on alert but advocates getting rid of them entirely. “These missiles are some of the most dangerous weapons in the world,” Perry wrote in the Times, this September. For many reasons, he thinks the risk of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than it was during the Cold War. While serving as an Under-Secretary of Defense in 1980, Perry also received a late-night call about an impending Soviet attack, a false alarm that still haunts him. “A catastrophic nuclear war could have started by accident.”

Bruce Blair, a former Minuteman launch officer, heads the anti-nuclear group Global Zero, teaches at Princeton University, and campaigns against a launch-on-warning policy. Blair has described the stresses that the warning of a Russian attack would put on America’s command-and-control system. American early-warning satellites would detect Russian missiles within three minutes of their launch. Officers at norad would confer for an additional three minutes, checking sensors to decide if an attack was actually occurring. The Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack System collects data from at least two independent information sources, relying on different physical principles, such as ground-based radar and satellite-based infrared sensors. If the norad officials thought that the warning was legitimate, the President of the United States would be contacted. He or she would remove the Black Book from a briefcase carried by a military aide. The Black Book describes nuclear retaliatory options, presented in cartoon-like illustrations that can be quickly understood.

..

Although the Air Force publicly dismissed the threat of a cyberattack on the nuclear command-and-control system, the incident raised alarm within the Pentagon about the system’s vulnerability. A malfunction that occurred by accident might also be caused deliberately. Those concerns were reinforced by a Defense Science Board report in January, 2013. It found that the Pentagon’s computer networks had been “built on inherently insecure architectures that are composed of, and increasingly using, foreign parts.” Red teams employed by the board were able to disrupt Pentagon systems with “relative ease,” using tools available on the Internet. “The complexity of modern software and hardware makes it difficult, if not impossible, to develop components without flaws or to detect malicious insertions,” the report concluded.

In a recent paper for the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, Andrew Futter, an associate professor at the University of Leicester, suggested that a nuclear command-and-control system might be hacked to gather intelligence about the system, to shut down the system, to spoof it, mislead it, or cause it to take some sort of action—like launching a missile. And, he wrote, there are a variety of ways it might be done.

..

Strict precautions have been taken to thwart a cyberattack on the U.S. nuclear command-and-control system. Every line of nuclear code has been scrutinized for errors and bugs. The system is “air-gapped,” meaning that its networks are closed: someone can’t just go onto the Internet and tap into a computer at a Minuteman III control center. At least, that’s the theory. Russia, China, and North Korea have sophisticated cyber-warfare programs and techniques. General James Cartwright—the former head of the U.S. Strategic Command who recently pleaded guilty to leaking information about Stuxnet—thinks that it’s reasonable to believe the system has already been penetrated. “You’ve either been hacked, and you’re not admitting it, or you’re being hacked and don’t know it,” Cartwright said last year.

If communications between Minuteman control centers and their missiles are interrupted, the missiles can still be launched by ultra-high-frequency radio signals transmitted by special military aircraft. The ability to launch missiles by radio serves as a backup to the control centers—and also creates an entry point into the network that could be exploited in a cyberattack. The messages sent within the nuclear command-and-control system are highly encrypted. Launch codes are split in two, and no single person is allowed to know both parts. But the complete code is stored in computers—where it could be obtained or corrupted by an insider.

Some of America’s most secret secrets were recently hacked and stolen by a couple of private contractors working inside the N.S.A., Edward Snowden and Harold T. Martin III, both employees of Booz Allen Hamilton. The N.S.A. is responsible for generating and encrypting the nuclear launch codes. And the security of the nuclear command-and-control system is being assured not only by government officials but also by the employees of private firms, including software engineers who work for Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Lord Des Browne, a former U.K. Minister of Defense, is concerned that even ballistic-missile submarines may be compromised by malware. Browne is now the vice-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit seeking to reduce the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction, where he heads a task force examining the risk of cyberattacks on nuclear command-and-control systems. Browne thinks that the cyber threat is being cavalierly dismissed by many in power. The Royal Navy’s decision to save money by using Windows for Submarines, a version of Windows XP, as the operating system for its ballistic-missile subs seems especially shortsighted. Windows XP was discontinued six years ago, and Microsoft warned that any computer running it after April, 2014, “should not be considered protected as there will be no security updates.” Each of the U.K. subs has eight missiles carrying a total of forty nuclear weapons. “It is shocking to think that my home computer is probably running a newer version of Windows than the U.K.’s military submarines,” Brown said.In 2013, General C. Robert Kehler, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the risk of cyberattacks on the nuclear command-and-control system. He expressed confidence that the U.S. system was secure. When Senator Bill Nelson asked if somebody could hack into the Russian or Chinese systems and launch a ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead, Kehler replied, “Senator, I don’t know . . . I do not know.”

After the debacle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union became much more reluctant to provoke a nuclear confrontation with the United States. Its politburo was a committee of conservative old men. Russia’s leadership is quite different today. The current mix of nationalism, xenophobia, and vehement anti-Americanism in Moscow is a far cry from the more staid and secular ideology guiding the Soviet Union in the nineteen-eighties. During the past few years, threats about the use of nuclear weapons have become commonplace in Moscow. Dmitry Kiselyov, a popular newscaster and the Kremlin’s leading propagandist, reminded viewers in 2014 that Russia is “the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust.” The Kremlin has acknowledged the development of a nuclear torpedo that can travel more than six thousand miles underwater before devastating a coastal city. It has also boasted about a fearsome new missile design. Nicknamed “Satan 2” and deployed with up to sixteen nuclear warheads, the missile will be “capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France,” an official news agency claimed.

..

Russia’s greatest strategic vulnerability is the lack of a sophisticated and effective early-warning system. The Soviet Union had almost a dozen satellites in orbit that could detect a large-scale American attack. The system began to deteriorate in 1996, when an early-warning satellite had to be retired. Others soon fell out of orbit, and Russia’s last functional early-warning satellite went out of service two years ago. Until a new network of satellites can be placed in orbit, the country must depend on ground-based radar units. Unlike the United States, Russia no longer has two separate means of validating an attack warning. At best, the radar units can spot warheads only minutes before they land. Pavel Podvig, a senior fellow at the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research, believes that Russia does not have a launch-on-warning policy—because its early-warning system is so limited.

For the past nine years, I’ve been immersed in the minutiae of nuclear command and control, trying to understand the actual level of risk. Of all the people whom I’ve met in the nuclear realm, Sidney Drell was one of the most brilliant and impressive. Drell died this week, at the age of ninety. A theoretical physicist with expertise in quantum field theory and quantum chromodynamics, he was for many years the deputy director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator and received the National Medal of Science from Obama, in 2013. Drell was one of the founding members of jason—a group of civilian scientists that advises the government on important technological matters—and for fifty-six years possessed a Q clearance, granting him access to the highest level of classified information. Drell participated in top-secret discussions about nuclear strategy for decades, headed a panel that investigated nuclear-weapon safety for the U.S. Congress in 1990, and worked on technical issues for jason until the end of his life. A few months ago, when I asked for his opinion about launch-on-warning, Drell said, “It’s insane, the worst thing I can think of. You can’t have a worse idea.”

Drell was an undergraduate at Princeton University when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. Given all the close calls and mistakes in the seventy-one years since then, he considered it a miracle that no other cities have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon—“it is so far beyond my normal optimism.” The prospect of a new cold war—and the return of military strategies that advocate using nuclear weapons on the battlefield—deeply unnerved him. Once the first nuclear weapon detonates, nothing might prevent the conflict from spiralling out of control. “We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war,” he said.

..

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin confront a stark choice: begin another nuclear-arms race or reduce the threat of nuclear war. Trump now has a unique opportunity to pursue the latter, despite the bluster and posturing on both sides. His admiration for Putin, regardless of its merits, could provide the basis for meaningful discussions about how to minimize nuclear risks. Last year, General James Mattis, the former Marine chosen by Trump to serve as Secretary of Defense, called for a fundamental reappraisal of American nuclear strategy and questioned the need for land-based missiles. During Senate testimony, Mattis suggested that getting rid of such missiles would “reduce the false-alarm danger.” Contrary to expectations, Republican Presidents have proved much more successful than their Democratic counterparts at nuclear disarmament. President George H. W. Bush cut the size of the American arsenal in half, as did his son, President George W. Bush. And President Ronald Reagan came close to negotiating a treaty with the Soviet Union that would have completely abolished nuclear weapons.

Every technology embodies the values of the age in which it was created. When the atomic bomb was being developed in the mid-nineteen-forties, the destruction of cities and the deliberate targeting of civilians was just another military tactic. It was championed as a means to victory. The Geneva Conventions later classified those practices as war crimes—and yet nuclear weapons have no other real use. They threaten and endanger noncombatants for the sake of deterrence. Conventional weapons can now be employed to destroy every kind of military target, and twenty-first-century warfare puts an emphasis on precision strikes, cyberweapons, and minimizing civilian casualties. As a technology, nuclear weapons have become obsolete. What worries me most isn’t the possibility of a cyberattack, a technical glitch, or a misunderstanding starting a nuclear war sometime next week. My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

- Eric Schlosser, World War Three, By Mistake, December 23, 2016


Context

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

          '..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..' (no replies)        
Update February 11, 2017: '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..')


'A new study has shown that a 2015 NOAA paper finding that the Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct.

..

This paper is another reminder why it is so important to invest in the temperature measurements that are needed to create long-term climate records. We really need uninterrupted measurements that span many years/decades if we want to truly understand the Earth’s changing climate.

..Now let’s move on to solving the problem.'

- New study confirms NOAA finding of faster global warming, January 4, 2017


Context

Focus Fusion - '..So, production reactors by 2020 or so.'

(The Electric Universe) - '..weather systems .. an electric “wind” surrounds and often precedes an electric arc.'

(Global Infrastructure Upgrade) - Mexico's former president: Global infrastructure needs an upgrade

          '..another Cold War that may last even longer than the war with world communism.' (no replies)        
'..until Muslim scholars find a Koran key to the free world and lead their followers to an entrance.'

'Economists pondering about human action distinguish between four types of individual incomes; the Koran permits only two, which explains much poverty in the Muslim world. Economists speak of labor income which flows from services rendered either in self-employment or working for an employer; the Koran smiles upon this basic kind of income. Economists also discern interest income which, reflecting human frailty and mortality, flows from the differences between man’s valuation of present economic goods and future goods; the Koran condemns “riba”, that is, interest income, and threatens all creditors who may be tempted to demand “riba” with “the fire prepared for unbelievers.” Economists also like to wax eloquent about entrepreneurial income, commonly called profits, which may be earned through correct anticipation of economic changes; failure to anticipate changes correctly may inflict entrepreneurial losses. The Koran simply prohibits economic activity that involves uncertainty, risk, or speculation and may earn “ghara.” The prohibition obviously discourages and hampers economic changes, adjustments, modernizations, and improvements that are uncertain and risky.

..

Muslim clerics are the tutors and preceptors not only of Islamic theology but also of social and economic ideology. Surely, they may not descend to the level of envy but may fly into anger and passion about the sinful behavior of all non-believers, that is, Christians and Jews, who grow rich in market economies, engaging in uncertain, risky, and speculative economic activity and prospering on riba and ghara. For some clerics the United States is the “Great Satan” and Israel his little offspring. It cannot be surprising that faithful followers abhor, fear, and hate the Great Satan and wish him evil. When a few Muslim fanatics flew into the World Trade Center in New York, killing more than 2,900 men and women, and another hijacked plane hit the Pentagon, killing 189 employees, jubilant masses thronged streets across the Muslim world, celebrating and rejoicing about the destruction and massacre.

..

..Today, the United States is in the early stages of a long struggle with radical Islamism that has been waging war against this country for some thirty years. Radical Islamic states have been breeding, sheltering, and financing the terrorist armies and radical clerics are invoking divine favor upon them.

The Western world, and especially the United States, is facing the prospect of a long and bitter war with a fanatical enemy. It is a desperate enemy because powerful forces of change are eroding its very ideological foundation. Modern communication technology has opened the windows of the world and is allowing people everywhere to observe Western mores and living conditions. A network of communication satellites, for instance, is continuously receiving, amplifying, and rebroadcasting signals to earth. Western ideas are reaching the minds of people everywhere and changing social, economic, political, and educational institutions. It cannot be surprising that Muslim autocracies like to keep the windows closed by monopolizing and disallowing access to such technology.

It is doubtful that the U.S. military will crush and completely render inactive a desperate enemy consisting of an organized guerilla force of Allah-fearing men and women. A small army of suicidal fanatics, a diminutive percentage of one billion and three hundred million Muslims in 206 countries, may wear away the patience and resolve of the American public and its political and military commanders. Such a possibility does not in any way intimate a victory and sway of Muslim fanatics over the forces of the West. Its paramount strength does not rest on brute military might but on its free and open way of life, its private property order and individual enterprise system. Its windows are wide open and its busy subjects are at work all over the world, simple ambassadors or even missionaries of its order. Even if the United States should ever stumble and lose its way, the windows are wide open and the bright light of individual freedom and the private property order would remain visible in many other parts of the West. It is unlikely that it can ever be extinguished.

The U.S. military is not going to conquer many Muslim countries, but individual freedom and the private property order may in time..

..

We shall know the future only when it comes. But our thoughts like to live in the future, and what they see is another Cold War that may last even longer than the war with world communism. They see the Muslim world in a crisis which causes a few revolutionaries to strike at Americans. Insurgents may continue to lash out until Muslim scholars find a Koran key to the free world and lead their followers to an entrance.'

- Hans F. Sennholz, In Another Cold War, 2004


Context

'..the battle of ideas taking place in the Muslim world..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - '..is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school?'

          KDE and NVidia (updated)        

KDE Project:

The above combination was never a painless experience, still at some point in past it seemed to be better to have a NVidia card on Linux then anything else, so I continued to buy them whenever my system was upgraded. Lately although it started to make me rather bad. I have two computers, one that is a 4 core Intel CPU with 8GB of memory, the other is a Core2Duo with 3GB. The latter is a Lenovo laptop. Both have NVidia, nothing high end (Qudaro NVS something and 9300GE, both used with dual monitor setup), but they should be more than enough for desktop usage. Are they?
Well, something goes wrong there. Is that KDE, is that XOrg, is that the driver? I suspect the latter. From time to time (read: often), I ended up with 100% CPU usage for XOrg. Even though I had 3 cores doing nothing the desktop was unusable. Slow scroll, scroll mouse movements, things typed appearing with a delay, things like that. Like I'd have an XT. I tried several driver version, as I didn't always have this issues, but with newer kernel you cannot go back to (too) old drivers. I googled, and found others having similar experience, with no real solution. A suspicion is font rendering for some (non-aliased) fonts, eg. Monospace. Switching fonts sometimes seemed to make a difference, but in the end, the bug returned. Others said GTK apps under Qt cause the problem, and indeed closing Firefox sometimes helped. But it wasn't a solution. Or there was a suggestion to turn the "UseEvents" option on. This really seemed to help, but broke suspend to disk. :( Turning off the second display and turning on again seemed to help...for a while. Turning off the composite manager did not change the situation.
Finally I tried the latest driver that appeared not so long ago, 256.44. And although the CPU usage of XOrg is still visible, with pikes going up to 20-40%, I gain back the control over the desktop. Am I happy with it? Well, not....
As this was only my desktop computer. I quickly updated the driver on the laptop as well, and went on the road. Just to see 100% CPU usage there. :( Did all the tricks again, but nothing helped. Until I had the crazy idea to change my widget theme from the default Oxygen to Plastique. And hurray, the problem went away! It is not perfect, with dual monitor enabled sometimes maximizing a konsole window takes seconds, but still in general the desktop is now usable. And of course this should also make me have more uptime on battery.
Do I blame Oxygen? No, not directly. Although might make sense to investigate what causes there the NVidia driver going crazy and report to NVidia.

So in case you have similar problems, try to switch to 256.44 and if it doesn't help chose a different widget style.

Now, don't say me to use nouveau or nv. Nouveau gave me graphic artifacts and it (or KDE?) didn't remember the dual card setup. Nv failed the suspend to disk test with my machine and doesn't provide 3D acceleration needed eg. for Google Earth.

UPDATE: I upgraded my laptop to 4.5.1 (from openSUSE packages).Well, this broke composition completely, I got only black windows. I saw a new driver is available (256.53), let's try it. So far, so good, even with Oxygen. Let's see on the long run how it behaves, I didn't test it in deep.


          The Secret Behind How To Buy A House With Bad Credit        
Let me guess, the question "How To Buy A House With Bad Credit?" has been playing on your mind for a long time now.

It seems every one around you is getting on the mortgage ladder and leaving you behind. You know being able to put a deposit down and being able to afford the monthly mortgage repayments is well within your financial capabilities, but unfortunately no mortgage lender will even look twice at you because of your credit history.

Well actually lets face facts, that's not strictly true. You do have the occasional lender who contacts you and is more than willing to lend you the money that you need. However, let me guess, they want to charge you an extortionate rate of interest and the monthly repayments are unbelievable. So what do you do?

It now appears that there are many intermediary companies with mortgage lenders on their books who are willing to help you in your quest. These companies will normally charge you a very small one-time fee..and i mean small! Once you are on their books, they will provide you with online and telephone support and a huge database of mortgage lenders willing to help you in your plight and show you how to a buy a house with bad credit.

The great thing about this is the mortgage lenders will look to secure a home loan for you and it won't cost the earth. Once you have that all important mortgage in place and are committed to making your monthly repayments, this in turn will help to repair your credit rating, thus meaning a wider range of creditors will be available to you in the future.

How about if you need to Refinance Your Home With Bad Credit? Is that any different as you already own your own home?
          Turkey and Sweet Potato Pot Pie with Flaky Biscuit Topping        

This pot pie is inducement enough to cook a turkey, and makes the days after Thanksgiving as delicious as the feast itself. Using sweet potato instead of regular has a surprisingly big—and delicious—impact on the flavor, thanks to their earthy-sweet flavor. Continue reading

The post Turkey and Sweet Potato Pot Pie with Flaky Biscuit Topping appeared first on Pots and Pans.


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blog entry 65

6262558
          The biggest Earth Holes        
Sometimes our planet Earth scares us with something realy unusual and shoking. This is something you probably did not know about the Earth. These giant holes in the earth’s crust, created by nature or by human hands. Monticello Dam was constructed between 1953 and 1957. The dam is a medium concrete-arch dam with a structural […]
          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



  •           Healing Plants         
    Garrigue - Teucrium creticus

    Although I never intentionally created my perfume with aromatherapy mindset, I found them to be very healing throughout the years. Partially because of the creative process itself - the bringing together of contrasting and conflicting elements that represent such aspects within my psyche. And partially because I actually felt the plants' healing energy through wearing the perfumes:
    Grounding, soothing, reviving, reminiscent of the places and people I missed and longed for, helped me get through many rough patches and heartbreaks that permeated the majority of my years on this earth.

    While moving my vast collection of fragrant materials, I realized that at my fingertips I have an entire pharmacopeia. This is also true for some of my fragrances. A few weeks ago I started the day with intense sense of grief and feeling very heavy hearted and anxious. I had to fill orders that morning, and make samples of Ayalitta. I dabbed some on and no less than fifteen minutes later I noticed that I am feeling more grounded and that the anxious hole opening at the pit of my stomach started to close... It could be partially explained by power of association and past experiences wearing this scent while being in a similar state of mind and finding it soothing. Also, I think another big part has to do with the actual plants in it and their healing powers, namely sage (both Spanish and Clary), rose, jasmine, neroli and patchouli.

    Part of my moving back to my home village was for reconnecting with nature and Mother Earth in a more immediate, hands-on manner. I wanted to not only smell the spirit of the plants that I love and cherish, but also experience them int heir living state. I wanted to see how they grow and turn the brown soil and sunlight they absorb into myriads of different colours, shapes, flavours, scents and therapeutic properties.

    Behind my home is a mountain, and on it grow wild many fragrant and medicinal plants. It's awe-inspiring how many remedies are gifted to us by Mother Nature. If we only listen and learn her secrets, we have the potential to heal gently and find cure for many of our physical and emotional pains and misalignments. Plants are such benevolent creatures, I am now beginning to understand on a more immediate level why so many tales and myths about plants associate them with a spiritual being, such as an angel, nymph or even a god or a goddess.

    The properties and aromas of the plants here fascinate me. They feel familiar (and in fact I know many of them since forever) - yet I keep meeting new plants that are either highly fragrant or medical; and those that I do know keep surprising me with new uses and therapeutic potential that I never knew existed.

    For example: I came across a very ambery-spicy-herbaceous-smelling herb that has quite resinous leaves., growing in rather rocky areas up on the mountains here. I could not ID it because it never had flowers when I saw it. I tried brewing it into teas (even though you probably shouldn't consume something you haven't even identified yet!), tincturing it, and also drying the leaves, which I want to incorporate into incense. Just yesterday I saw someone post about it and was able to immediately recognize it - Chiliadenus iphionoides (כתילה חריפה)Turns out it has not only a delicious aroma but also many uses for diseases in respiratory system, as well as the heart, digestive system, skin conditions, wounds, fever, overall weakness and joint inflammation.

    Teucrium (Germander) is another new discovery for me - for both its fragrance and myriads of medicinal uses. And also I am going to dedicate an entire post to the various thymes and oreganos that grow here, which aside from their well known culinary significance in regional and international cuisine - are also extremely valuable medicinally; and I'm also warming up to their fragrance per se (a rare occurrence in perfumery, really). Vitex agnus-castus (שיח-אברהם מצוי) always eluded me with its fragrance, and now I'm also discovering its healing properties, especially for women's health.  And last but not least - I discovered that clary sage is actually a wild plant here as well, and was gifted two tiny plants from Neta Fink who visited my studio last week. I am feeling very inspired to study these plants - both old friends and new ones - explore properties and work them into new applicable products that would be both fragrant and healing.
              Tea with Pan        
    Danger - Mines! Golan Heights

    When arriving in the arid, volcanic and mine-dotted land of the Golan Heights, it is hard to imagine that within it hides some of the most luxurious water resources of the country.

    Golan - Banias

    The strip of lush green in the midst of dead, dry grasses is in fact the creekside forest of the Banias creek. It is named after the Greek goat-god, Pan (Arabic does not have the letter "P" so it was replaced over the years with a "B" and stayed that way) , and the city of Panias that dwelled around its springs at the foothill of Mount Hermon (all the snow that melts penetrates the earth and comes out of these springs, and some others, into three creeks - Haztbani, Banias and Dan, which later joint forces to become the Joradn river). And inside that greenery hide sites such as this lovely waterfall:

    Pan's Waterfall
    We took two separate hikes, one to the Banias Fall (seen above) and another to the Banias Springs and the Temple of Pan. In contrast to the heat and dryness above the creek's canyon, it is hard to imagine a more befitting place for worshipping the green god Pan. You truly can feel the presence of the life force running through the creek, and even eighteen years in water-rich BC does not taint the wonder at such sight. The vegetation is spectacular, and includes side by side fig trees and Syrian maples, carobs, oaks and even ferns that grow alongside the pebbled creek and on the waterfall's rocks. There is a hanging trail there for part of the hike as well. And one more interesting point is a colony of rock hyrax that not only saw from up-close, but also smelled their dungy droppings - a mixture of civet, castoreum and maybe even a little bit of funky smell of goat droppings... you can see one of these creatures (a youngster) hiding among the carob tree's nooks and crannies, in the photo below. It looks a little bit like a squirrel because it is so blurry - but it does not have the typical long tail. Or any tail at all, for that matter.

    Carob Hyrax Colony


    Temple of Pan
    Our second hike began at the springs of the Panias and the sacred area of the Temple of Pan which in fact are the ruins of three ancient Greek temples that were the core of the city of Panias): One for Pan, which is in the cave you can see in the photo of the springs, to which goats were sent as sacrifice, to ask Pan to bless the livestocks with fertility and health. Goats that disappeared in the river were considered to be received; those who left traces of blood were signs for trouble and prayers that were not accepted. Next to it was a temple for Zeus. And on the very far right - the temple and gravesite for the dancing holy goats. I am assuming these are the ones that were received as sacrifice. There are many other sites and remains along the Banias creek, namely a Druze prophet's graveyard at the top of the cave for Pan (Nabi Khader, which is their name for the prophet Eliyahu AKA Elijah), Agripas' palace, an old flour mill (operated by the creek), a synagogue, and more. The caves below formerly had statues of Pan and other gods and goddesses.

    Temple of Pan

    I was overjoyed by the wonderful smell of fig leaves, so green, fresh and slightly milky. The true scent characteristics of any watery area in Israel. And also there were maple trees, some reaching giant proportions, with many impressive hollows and hiding places. Fig leaves and cool creek's pebbles are a classic scent combination, made entirely by nature... I wish I could bottle that!

    Traveling Tea Party at Pan's Creek
    As we walked towards the old mill and Agripas' palace, we found a cool, shady spot to brew a cup of tea. And speaking of classic combinations: I brewed lemon verbena tea, and poured the concoction into my gourd to make a truly South American mate. Lemon verbena (Aloysia citriodora) also originates in Argentina. We enjoyed it with some halva and ka'akat isfar which I will tell you more about at a later post. My only regret is not having more cups and not inviting the American tourists that sat next to us to catch their breath. Something to think about for party.
              Sweat        
    Preparing for the Sweat Lodge

    Before a journey, there is preparation. And ours, though not stretching very far (we were set to go to Mount Hermon the next day) - had a purpose of cleansing and freeing one's mind from past heartbreak - I felt a strong urge to join a sweat lodge in the neighbouring community, on the way to Jath, called Adama.

    It is strange that in all my years in Canada I never entered a sweat lodge, and even stranger that my first one would be lead by someone who is not from the First Nations. But I had a good feeling about the lady leading the ceremony. She learned the traditions from teachers in the Sierra Nevada, and so the plants were very different from those I'm familiar with from the West Coast that were burnt in some ceremonies I've attended. Cedar from the Sierra Nevada mountains is a completely different tree than the redcedar I learned to associate with the West Coast incense. There were also copious amounts of copal, both white and black and at times mingled with rose, that were burnt on the hot lava rocks. We were so close to the earth, and our hearts, and the very centre of the earth. We were a group of (mostly) strangers, yet felt so together and supported, safe and connected.

    It's hard to explain the process of a sweat lodge. It is all very physical, yet at the same time works so deeply on the emotional, psychic and spiritual level. It was very challenging for me to take part in it - I hate to sweat, and I suffer from heat more than most people. But it was exactly the healing, cleansing and purifying thing I had to experience at that point in time. Coming out of it was almost like being reborn into the fresh air again, with new lungs and a new heart.
              Homily: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time C        
    Jesus says that he did not come to establish peace, but rather division...and that he came to set the earth on fire, and how he wishes it were already blazing! Was he just having a bad day with his disciples…or hitting home a point that we often miss? Take a minute and check it out and see what Jesus was really talking to you and me about!
              Yurt Life         
    We are moving into my mom's charming little yurt today!

    While waiting for our permanent home to be renovated (which, as it turns out, takes even longer than building a new home) - we've been living semi-nomadic life for close to four months now, about three of them in a yurt.

    Life in the yurt is different. There is no way around it (pun intended). For one thing, it provides a round space, that encompasses most of life's functions in one area: cooking, eating, reading, puzzling, snuggling, cat-feeding (an extra duty we've picked up on the way to freedom - not unlike an unwanted pregnancy that you just can't get herself to terminate), office work (whenever my MacBook Air has enough power to work for me - not to mention its battered battery now needs replacement, which turns out to be a HUGE ordeal in the land of milk and honey), Pilates practice, and even occasional entertaining (when it rains even my dear family avoids it like the plague). It's not truly all in one space, because it actually has an annex to the north, with the washroom (including a shower and a compost toilet - a killer combination for dirt and cleanliness), as well as a sleeping den which has beautiful greenery all around it, as it is built from old wooden windows.

    That beauty comes with the price of this space being as cold as the outdoors in the winter. In the summer this room is actually a lifesaver, because the yurt collects way too much heat, although it is much better insulated than the sleeping den - even when its skylight is open. We don't have an oven, but were able to pull together delicious and nourishing meals from the two-flamed gas stove, and have even prepared some raw treats for our daily tea parties. To be perfectly frank - mostly, we've been lazy and buying baklava and cookies whenever we are in the vicinity of a bakery - so I am now in the know of where to get good baked goods. I'm sure this knowledge will come in handy in the not so far future, even after we're back to our productive baking life. When it comes to baking, it's always good to have a good back-up plan.

    Of course, that did not stop us from being experimental in the kitchen, trying new ingredients such as nigella seed spread and authentic freekeh, which is an amazing way of preparing green wheatberries by burning them off the wheat chaff. The result is a smoky, nutty grain that is delicious and easy to cook (and digest) and really gives unmistakable character to dishes (the one I bought in Canada was actually stale wheat dyed green). More on that in another post!

    To sum it up - living in a yurt is "an experience". Just like camping is an experience. In camping terms this is a five star facility. I'm sure with its running water and gas-operated refrigerator it is also considered a luxury in comparison to straw huts in Africa or yurts in the Mongolian steppes. You get the picture. It's an experience. And we're three months into it and can't wait to experience something else.

    To lift the edge off the nervous anticipation for proper housing, I've decided to compile a little list of fragrances (both mundane and wearable) that will let you into this experience, even if just a little... This compilation is a random array of fragrance fit for yurt life, even though I imagine most people who choose to live in this humble abode would rather dab some animal fat and cooked cabbage juice behind their ear than any designer's fragrance. Nevertheless, I find the task amusing, and I hope it will make for a fun read.

    We are moving into my mom's charming little yurt today! Here is a view of the inside.

    I also hope that my mom does not get hurt because apparently in our parts of the world, patience ("Savlanut") is considered a virtue (which very few uphold), and also belongs grammatical to the same root as the word suffering ("Sevel"). And in this part of the world, stating the facts is considered complaining... I'm sure those who choose to live in a yurt or even just stay in it for a short amount of time will thoroughly enjoy it - it is cute, rustic, pretty, calm and completely in tune with nature. You get to experience all the elements - fire (sun), air (wind), water (we have running water, and thankfully also very little of water leakage despite its very temporary feel); and last but not least - you can't get any closer to earth than this. It is a very, very earthy dwelling and you really feel Mother earth's belly as you tickle it with your slippers walking to and fro. Last but not least: nothing compares to coming out of the yurt at night and seeing the clear black skies dotted with bright stars.

    Muscs Kublai Khan - for the obvious body odour effect - musk-enhanced unwashed hair and sweaty armpits with hints of rose and aldehydes.

    Kiehl's Fig Leaf & Sage - milky herbacous weirdness. It's unusual yet very easy to wear and has a freshness without being boring. It also goes well with the cucumber and parsley scented products we currently have in the house - hand wash, shampoo and conditioner. Something green and clear-smelling yet non pretentious.

    Aromatics Elixir - an earthy, big sage scent that is sophisticated yet at the same time rustic enough to wear in the wilderness. Especially grateful for it on cold wintry days.

    Arabie - the spice market, sweat and dusty cobblestones - and all the spices I have in storage (and don't have in my kitchen) kvetched into one bottle. Awesome.

    Coco Noir - the opposite of yurt life: polished, elegant, artificial and urban. Jasmine, berries and plums, rose, patchouli, musk and vetiver with a a dusting of cocoa.

    Poivre Samarkand - because I heard that there are also yurts in Samarkand (Uzbekistan). Can't find any perfume inspired by Mongolia (which is where the yurts supposedly originate). Besides, it's a perfect sprinkle of heat on those chilly nights when the shower runs only boiling water or ice cold ones, and when you step out of the shower it's the same temperatures as outside (not as extreme as in Canada, but 5-11c is cold enough to feel like real winter).

    Musc Nomade (Annick Goutal) - I'm picking this one because of the name alone. I remember smelling it very vaguely and that is was vegetal and delicate... Admittedly I'm also too lazy to go digging in my shipping container now and find the little box where I "filed" all my music samples but I'm pretty sure I've only tried it once when I was in Paris.

    Tam Dao - if you've ever encountered compost toilet, you know that it's the human equivalent of hamster cage. pine or cedar shavings are used to cover up the mess, and the result is a more subdued version of human waste, that eventually turns into a nice scent of the forest floor. Anyway, this explanation made me think of Tam Dao, which is a fine sandalwood and cedar fragrance and also has some clean smelling musks underneath, to make you forget all the other business.

    Tea for Two - We've been enjoying my limited selection of teas that I make a point of finishing off. True to form, we've been brewing lots of chai, which I've been already giving you plenty of recipes for... And of course Hulnejan - the wonderful root brew of galangal, dried ginger and cassia bark.
    Zangvil also reminds me of this "witch brew" with its notes of fresh and dried ginger, honey, amber, jasmine and ginger lily.

    Finjan - we've been drinking lots of espresso on the stove top mocha machine, and lots of Arabic/Druze/Turkish coffee (each nationality claims it as their own - but essentially this is very dark roasted coffee with cardamom that is brewed on the stove). The latter is well represented in the perfuem I created titled Finjan (the name of the little porcelain "shot" cups that you sip the coffee from; mistakenly, most Israelis refer to the little pot used to brew it as "finjan" - but its real name is "Ralai").

    Mastic - Whenever it rains or gets really chilly, the mastica bushes and wild ivy behind the yurt release their fresh, green-balsamic scent. Grin's smell encompasses this verdant freshness with its notes of galbanum, violet, oakmoss and a classic floral bouquet.

    Geranium and Wild Oranges - My citrus orchard was overcome by wild orange shoots, and I've really let it go. We finally pruned the orchard this fall, which mean an overwhelming amount of wild oranges that had to be put into use somehow. The result? An orange cello with a touch of herbs from the yurt's garden, among them rose geranium. One sip of this liquor is enough to uplift the spirits.





              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!
              Popular Science: "Are We Alone: Searching for Life in Space"         

    Popular Science (part of Time) is offering a supermarket glossy booklet “Are We Alone? Searching for Life in Space”. 96 pages.

    There are some highlights not seen before in other booklets like this.  One is an examination of the seven earth-like planets around the Trappist M-star 39 light years away, with planet E having the best chance for Earth-like temperatures, and an artist’s rendition of the surface of a moderately cold Planet F.

    There is some discussion of the earth-like planet around Proxima B. an M-star and the closest to Earth at 4.2 light years.


    There is a lot of attention to Europa and its subsurface ocean and likelihood of life, as well as Encedalus.  But Titan gets mentioned only in passing with the possibility of silicon-and-methane based life.  Ironically, my own Science Honor Society project in 1960  had speculated about silicon-based life, but I was hardly as accomplished as Jack Andraka (who came 53 years later, however, and that matters).  I had tried some experiments in my father’s workshop with an acetylene torch that I recall very little about now.

    There is also an article about the idea of aliens eating electricity, which has been the subject of horror movies before (“Kronos”).

    There is mention of the possibility of a Dyson Sphere around Tabby’s Star, as well as other theories, and a nice drawing of what it could look like.
     

    There’s also an essay about keeping Mars biologically clean. 

              "The Uninhabitable Earth", by David Wallace-Wells, long piece in New York Mag         

    David Wallace-Wells has a long article in New York Magazine July 9, 2017, “The Uninhabitable Earth”.

     The subtitles are “Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak, sooner than you think”, and “When will the planet be too hot for humans?  Much, much sooner than you think”.

    The author thinks that today’s teenagers will see the catastrophic collapse.

    One of the biggest dangers is sudden release of methane from permafrost.

    In some parts of the world, it will not be possible for humans to survive outside.  Their bodies just can cool fast enough.

    There’s also the astonishing statement that the spurt in standard of living in the West really occurred only once, with the industrial revolution.



    The author notes that it may be common throughout the Milky Way for civilizations to rise and fall.  They don’t survive long enough to have a good statistical chance of finding one another across light years.   In the video above, Harvard professor David Kipping notes that methane degrades quickly and says that Wallace could be overstating the methane risk.
     
    It may have been possible for Venus to host life more than a billion years ago, before a sudden catastrophe led to runaway greenhouse effects.  Both Venus and Mars may be sites of tragedies and we don’t know it yet.

    Nev Schulman ("Catflish") shared this in his Facebook feed tonight.


              NatGeo: "The Next Earth": what if mankind does have to find a new home?         

    National Geographic has a special coffee table issue “The Next Earth: What Our World Can Teach Us About Other Planets”, by Tom Jones and Ellen Stofan.   Somehow I'm reminded of the 1990s series "Earth II" with Anthony Saboto.

    There is a spectacular photo of Chixulub, Yucatan, Mexico, where a 6-mile long comet crashed 65 million years ago and changed the history of Earth and made us possible.

    There is a lot of comparable geology of Venus and Mars, both of which have volcanoes larger than any on Earth (even the Yellowstone Caldera).

    There is a pretty thorough exploration of what we know about possible life on Mars and in the ocean of Europa, and some discussion of Titan (I have a review of a BBC film about Titan today on my movie’s page).



    But the most interesting photo probably occurs on p. 106, an artist’s sketch of a desert landscape on an Earth-like planet in the Goldilocks zone around Proxima Centauri B, a red dwarf star, the closest to Earth.  The planet is probably tidally locked, which would make the habitable area of perpetual twilight and mild temperatures smaller. Tidally locked planets may have strong winds.

    Stephen Hawking is reported to have said that mankind has about 100 years to escape Earth (by drawings straws?)

              Bari Wood: "The Tribe"        

    Today, I had a reason to remember the 1981 novel "The Tribe" by Bari Wood (that is Bari Ev Wood Posterman),

    I read the Signet paperback when living in Dallas, It concerns a modern day NYC cabal of Jewish concentration camp survivors, who get chased by ghosts from the past called golems.

    As I recall, the golem is something of a invention of idol worship, where the celebrant wants to invent a god on Earth.

    This was a graphic and compelling novel.  As far as I know, it never became a movie, but it should have. Maybe the subject matter would drive Hollywood away, but there is a taste of "Rosemary's Baby" in the style.

    I guess a "Tribe" can be a vehicle for distributed consciousness.

    Immigration attorney Jason Dzubow used a cartoon image of a golem for a blog post on "The Asylumist" today, here.  Dzubow, however, called the illustration a picture of Godzilla. (v. Bambi).



              Popular Science: "The Future of Space Travel"         

    Popular Science offers a “Special Edition” mag “The Future of Space Travel”, 96 pages, from Times Books.

    There are many short illustrated articles in 5 parts, “Places We’re Going”, “How We’ll Get There”, “How We’ll Survive There”, “Other Tools of Exploration.”.

    There is a wide variety of interesting information. One fact is that Proxima Centauri, in a 3-star system that is the closest to the Earth, may have a rocky planet in the “GoldiLocks” zone. The shortest time that it is technologically possible to send a robotic probe on a photon light sail with laser accelerator would be about 20 years, which means it would take 24 years to get the photos and information back as to what the planet looks like.  It is about 8000 times as far to this star system as it is to Pluto.



    The other most interesting section is “The Everyday Life of an Astronaut”.  This would be very important for a voyage to Mars, for example.  It raises questions as to who would go:  what about childless or single people?  The long exposure to zero gravity is bound to cause physical deterioration, so this is not a place for pretty preppies.  Essential body functions are different.  You bathe with soap that does not have to be rinse off but stays on the skin to disintegrate. Without gravity, it is hard for your body to sense when it needs to urinate.
     
    There is an artist’s closeup of Europa on page 8, a closeup on Pluto on p. 16.  There is an article on space mining on p. 16.  I didn't see any discussion of Titan.


              Clear Quartz Healing Stone : A Quartz for Everyone        

    Clear Quartz Healing Stone : A Gift from the Earth

    Clear Quartz embodies the concept of clarity and the value of becoming a vessel for the light of the Divine. It brings clarity of thought and purpose to one’s

    The post Clear Quartz Healing Stone : A Quartz for Everyone appeared first on The Golden Triangle.


              [Hands-on] Middle-earth: Shadow of War, a AAA game in name only        

    Warner Bros. International Enterprises has a mobile version of Middle-earth: Shadow of War that is currently available on the Play Store for pre-registration. Luckily I have gotten my hands on an APK and have sideloaded the game in order to let all of you know how it plays in advance of the title's release.

    I would like to briefly mention that Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a soft-launch title that is currently only available in the US for pre-registration.
    Read More

    [Hands-on] Middle-earth: Shadow of War, a AAA game in name only was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


              Middle-earth: Shadow of War is up on the play store for pre-registration        

    There is an upcoming Android version for Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and you can pre-register for it today on the Google Play Store. It looks like it will be your standard free-to-play hero collection RPG with plenty of gacha mechanics. You can undoubtedly expect to collect and upgrade countless characters from the Lord of the Rings franchise, all while being tasked with the job of overthrowing Sauron. Let's just hope that the gameplay actually turns out to be good.

    Read More

    Middle-earth: Shadow of War is up on the play store for pre-registration was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


              Ubisoft's disturbing equine fetish continues with Horse Adventure: Tale of Etria        

    image (3)Someone at Ubisoft really loves horses. Possibly to a creepy and/or illegal-in-most-jurisdictions degree. In 2014 the publisher released a mobile version of Howrse, a sort of horse-themed management/pirate math game. Then in 2015 they brought us Horse Haven Adventures, which may or may not be about a demonic princess riding the mythical Mares of Diomedes across a defeated and despoiled Earth. Now they're back with Horse Adventure: Tale of Estria, a third horse-themed game seemingly unconnected to the other two.

    Read More

    Ubisoft's disturbing equine fetish continues with Horse Adventure: Tale of Etria was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


              Versus Evil releases Guild of Dungeoneering, an RPG that will increase in price over time        

    guildofdun

    Independent game publisher Versus Evil has so far released two Android games - The Banner Saga and Fear The Walking Dead: Dead Run, a tie-in with AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. Today it's third game hits the Play Store, titled Guild of Dungeoneering, a role-playing game based around restoring your guild to its former glory in your role as Dungeon Master.

    Dungeoneering is already available on Steam for Windows and macOS (the trailer above is for those versions, thus the cursor), so to see it come to Android should be a boost for the platform and Google Play.

    Read More

    Versus Evil releases Guild of Dungeoneering, an RPG that will increase in price over time was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


              Drawdown Gives Us 100 Uplifting Climate Solutions        

    Drawdown Offers 100 Uplifting Climate Solutions

    Reverse

    Adapted from Mom’s Clean Air Force blog post by Kerry Trueman

    If our current administration’s head-in-the-sand approach to climate change leaves you with a sinking feeling, I’ve got just the book to buoy you: Paul Hawken’s Drawdown.

    Drawdown leapt onto the New York Times top ten bestseller list in its first week of release, validating Hawken’s belief that a positive approach to this potentially overwhelming crisis is the best way to address it. He characterizes global warming not “as an inevitability, but as an invitation to build, innovate, and effect change.”

    The Project Drawdown campaign invites you to join a global community of visionary individuals who’ve got an astonishing range of ideas on how we can tackle our climate crisis, no matter where we live or who governs us.


              Fight Energy Waste from Your Phone        

    Fight Energy Waste from Your Phone

    Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 10.51.20 AM

    Have you noticed stores that keep their doors open while running the air conditioning on hot summer days? Has this bothered you? Now you can do something about it!

    Join Keep It Cool, a national campaign mobilizing consumers to help convince retailers to close their doors and stop wasting energy. Participating is easy. All you have to do is spot front doors on shops, and use Facebook Messenger to drop a pin on a national map that tracks all of the stores identified with doors open or closed.


              Fire girl Mahi        
    At first glance one may be fooled by the doll-faced Mahi. Mahiya Mahi is no doll, she is a fire woman. She claims that she likes to argue and fight. Conversing with possibly the new heartthrob of Bangladesh's silver screen, I was lucky to face only the other side of Mahi, who was having a hard time sitting still. She is incredibly jumpy and bubbly; like the girl-next-door you wish you had. Combined with a great sense of humor her charming and down-to-earth personality, Mahi, within a short span of time, has become one of the most sought after actresses in the world of cinema in Bangladesh. Mahi is not just pretty-faced; she also has the curves - slim and slender with an ideal height, and the face of an angel.
              Field Museum Educational Investments in Pembroke        
    Environment & Conservation

     

    The Field Museum Keller Science Action Center’s Youth Conservation Action (YCA) Team partnered with Lorenzo R. Smith Sustainability and Technology Academy (LRSSTA) for the 2016-2017 academic year. The team is working with teachers to provide Mighty Acorns (3rd – 5th grade) and Earth Force (6th – 8th grade) programming to educate students about nature and stewardship in the Pembroke-Hopkins Park community. Students participate in field trips and in-class activities that allow them to make connections to nature in their backyard, such as The Pembroke Savanna Nature Preserve (Ball Hill). Field Museum is excited to be collaborating with The Nature Conservancy and local landowners to get LRSSTA students outdoors.  

    After a successful year at the Pembroke Public Library, LRSSTA is the new home of Rooted! The Richness of Land & Culture, an exhibit co-developed by Field Museum and PHP residents that highlights the significance of this ecosystem and local human history. We encourage members of the community to enjoy this exhibit.


              With an emphasis on culture, a new kind of nature trail emerges along Chicago’s south lakefront        
    Environment & Conservation

    North of the Margaret Burroughs Beach, a Caracol-inspired gathering space with a Mesoamerican hop scotch game is be part of a new trail in the Burnham Wildlife Corridor. This is one of five sites installed in by teams of artists and community-based organizations whose designs are inspired both by local ecology, as well as the heritage of communities adjacent to the south lakefront.

    Moving along the trail, just past the 31st Harbor, an intertwined monarch butterfly sculpture crowns a hill, this design will be circled with common milkweed. West of Lake Shore Drive on 31st Street, south on the trail, a Scholar's rock sits in a grove of mature oak trees; have a seat and imagine the sounds of traffic as waves from an ocean, urban nature at its best. Crossing 39th street/Oakwood, on the west side of Lake Shore Drive, designed for growth every year, sculpted willow branches take organic shapes. The woodchip trail continues, a fallen tree hugs a bird sculpture born from the Sankofa symbol, a soulful reflection on nature.

    The Gathering Spaces, part of the Roots & Routes Initiative, were curated by a volunteer committee comprised of arts professionals and community leaders. 

    Caracol Opening

    Caracol, Burnham Wildlife Corridor, Roots & Routes, Habitat Restoration, Pilsen, Contratiempo, Chicago, Lakefront
    Photo by John Weinstein, © The Field Museum


    1. Caracol

    Lead artists:  Georgina Valverde, Diana Solis, Jose Terrazas

    Non-profit partner:  contratiempo (Pilsen) – preserves and highlights the cultural identity and contributions of the Spanish-speaking

    Latino population in the United States.

    Description:  Drawing on rich connections from the natural world and cultural symbolism, Caracol (“snail” and “shell” in Spanish) represents the immigrant's desire to belong while maintaining the core of memory and identity. Snails perform a critical role in the food chain, breaking down plant matter and aiding in the nutrification of the soil. Likewise, immigrants economic and cultural contributions enrich and revitalize the host society. Caracol´spiral-shaped structure suggests ongoing movement from the core to a widening exterior—from the familiar to the unknown.  The installation includes a table that can function as a work or picnic table, and as a painting surface for a series of murals featuring the interplay of language and images, a stage, and a hopscotch game that uses Mesoamerican numbers.

     

    La Ronda Parakata

    Gathering Spaces, Burnham Wildlife Corridor, Chicago, Festivals, Summer, Spring, Latino art, African-American art, monarch butterfly, sankofa, bronzeville, pilsen, chinatown, scholars rock, La Ronda Parakata
    Photo by John Weinstein, © The Field Museum

    2. La Ronda Parakata

    Lead artists:  Hector DuarteAlfonso “Piloto” Nieves

    Non-profit partner:  Casa Michoacán (Pilsen) – promotes cultural, social, and sporting activities between the Mexican and immigrant Michoacán community, with a transnational vision.

    Description:  This project is a circular sculpture inspired by the magic symbolism of the butterfly, harmony with nature, and migration.  It is demarcated by a delicate sculptural ring or “ronda” of interlocking butterfly forms. The center of the space features native plants and cement blocks that are being repurposed as rustic seating.

     

    Set in Stone

    Gathering Spaces, Burnham Wildlife Corridor, Chicago, Festivals, Summer, Spring, Latino art, African-American art, monarch butterfly, sankofa, bronzeville, pilsen, chinatown, scholars rock, Set in Stone
    Photo by John Weinstein, © The Field Museum

    3. Set in Stone

    Lead artists:  Andy Bellomo, Anna Murphy

    Non-profit partner:  Chinese-American Museum of Chicago (Chinatown) -- promotes the culture and history of Chinese-Americans in the Midwest through exhibitions, education and research.

    Description:  This project is an interpretation of a traditional Chinese “scholar’s rock” by sculpting, molding and fabricating a sculpture that emulates the magnificence felt through viewing these rocks. The scholar’s rock sculpture is placed at the center of a tranquil rock garden with hand-carved log benches for viewing/contemplation.

     

    Sounding Bronzeville

    Gathering Spaces, Burnham Wildlife Corridor, Chicago, Festivals, Summer, Spring, Latino art, African-American art, monarch butterfly, sankofa, bronzeville, pilsen, chinatown, scholars rock, Sounding Bronzeville
    Photo by John Weinstein, © The Field Museum

    4. Sounding Bronzeville

    Lead artists:  Fo Wilson, Norman Teague

    Non-profit partner:  Bronzeville Community Development Partnership (Bronzeville) -- focuses on information technology, heritage tourism, hospitality workforce development and training, preservation and sustainability in Bronzeville.

    Description:  This site includes several organic, amorphous sculptural forms that rise from the ground in different heights and shapes, covered with native plant material. Some of these forms serve as seating, and some have “sound ports” or “nesting ports.” These openings allow for visibility through the forms as well as opportunities for specific audial experiences between people. This piece commemorates and remembers the strength and resilience of thousands of African-Americans who made the journey from the South seeking better opportunities North with 100 years of the Great Migration.

    Architects: Monica Chadha and Mike Newman; Landscape Architects Nilay Mistry and Nathan Wright; Willow Furniture Maker and Consultant Dave Chapman

     

    Sankofa for the Earth

    Gathering Spaces, Burnham Wildlife Corridor, Chicago, Festivals, Summer, Spring, Latino art, African-American art, monarch butterfly, sankofa, bronzeville, pilsen, chinatown, scholars rock, Sankofa for the Earth
    Photo by John Weinstein, © The Field Museum

    5. Sankofa for the Earth

    Lead artists:  Arlene Turner Crawford, Dorian Sylvain, Raymond A. Thomas

    Non-profit partner:  South Side Community Art Center (Bronzeville) -- preserves, conserves and promotes the legacy and future of African American art and artists, while educating the community on the value of art and culture.

    Description:  This project features a “Sankofa” bird made from mixed-media and recycled materials. In Africa, a bird looking backwards over its tail represents the Sankofa symbol, which means “go back and fetch it.” It is an understanding that our past(s) holds important information to move us forward in life. There is a mosaic on the exterior of the bird and mural on the interior representing Bronzeville history. QR codes are integrated into the mural design to allow visitors with smartphones, to access sites with information about the images included in the mural, as well as, information on Bronzeville, the Chicago Park District and the Field Museum.

     

    How to get to the Gathering Spaces: 

    Gathering Spaces Map


              On Sale Moda Fandango Kate Spain Layer Cake NEW by TheKnottedBobbin        

    Sold



    This is a really pretty line by Kate Spain. There are florals, strips, prints, florals and alot of great colors! Rich aquas, browns, reds and yellows are set off by a creamy background.


    Kate Spain creates a beautiful line of Spanish inspired prints for Moda. The patterns share a distinct pottery or tile feel. Continuing that influence, the colors have weathered dustiness akin to earthen ware, pottery, or tile. Let your creativity flow with this unique collection by Moda.

    Contents: 42 10"x10" quilt fabric squares, cut, with pinked edges, and packaged by Moda
    Please note: There are duplicates of some of the fabric squares to make 42.
    Colors: berry red, summer sky blue, brick, ivory
    Fabric line/collection: Fandango
    Designer: Kate Spain
    Manufacturer: Moda
    Please note: These are NOT flannel or brushed cotton.
    100% cotton, quilt shop quality fabrics from my smoke free, pet free home



    How to slice a layer cake:
    1. Cut 5” x 5” to yield 4 4 ½” x 4 ½” finished squares.
    2. Cut twice diagonally to yield 4 8 ½” quarter square finished triangles (trim ¼”)
    3. Cut 5” x 5” to yield 2 4 ½” x 4 ½” finished squares and 2 ½” x 2 ½” for 8 2” x 2” finished squares.
    4. Cut 5” x 5” and cut once diagonally to yield 8 4” finished half square triangles.
    5. Cut 3” x 3” to yield 9 2 ½” x 2 ½” finished squares. (trim 1”)
    6. Cut 2” x 10” to yield 5 1 ½” x 9 ½” finished strips.
    7. Cut once-diagonally to yield 2 9” finished half square triangles.
    8. 4 4” x 4” finished circles.


              Sequels on Order for September and Beyond        

    These young adult sequels and series titles are now on order.

    Bits & Pieces by Jonathan Maberry The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick Catacomb by Madeline Roux
    Chantress Fury by Amy Butler Greenfield Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne Earth Flight by Janet Edwards
    The Edge by Roland Smith The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass
    The Keeper by David Baldacci Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter
    Maid of Wonder by Jennifer McGowan Outrage by John Sandord and Michele Cook Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
    Sophomores and Other Oxymorons by David Lubar Storm of Lightning by Richard Paul Evans Vivian Apple Needs a Miracle by Katie Coyle
    The White Rose by Amy Ewing Winter by Marisa Meyer  

     

    Blog: 


              Comment on EarthBound News Roundup (July 2017) by Bits of Pop        
    I had Mother 3 imported when it was released and played through it without knowing Japanese. Years later I played it in English once the patch was up.
              Comment on EarthBound News Roundup (July 2017) by CrouchingMouse        
    @schmeg: It's possible he played through the game in Japanese with (or without) a translation guide before the fan translation was completed. It took about 2 years from the time the game was released, and a lot of people didn't want to wait for the patch.
              Comment on EarthBound News Roundup (July 2017) by schmeg        
    ".... so he’s experienced the game entirely in Japanese" Uh....probably not?
              Comment on EarthBound News Roundup (July 2017) by Mato        
    Oh yeah! I can't believe I forgot, I even had some of my EarthBound books as a prize for it!
              Comment on EarthBound News Roundup (July 2017) by Xi        
    One bit of news was Earthbound was the grand finale game run for Summer Games Done Quick 2017... it was a glitchless run that raised a lot of money for charity; you (yes, you holding the controller!) should check it out if you get a chance!
              Comment on EarthBound News Roundup (July 2017) by Xi        
    Happy MOTHER day, everyone! :D
              Comment on EarthBound’s Off-Camera Secrets by Sandis        
    If you keep switching between maps you can see a big yellow thing with eyes on the screen.
              Comment on EarthBound News Roundup (June 2017) by Xi        
    So excited!
              Comment on EarthBound News Roundup (June 2017) by DJ        
    Oh the games I'd include if we could get a full 30 on the thing like the NES Classic... However, it's still an interesting deal. I mean, I'm getting it solely for Starfox 2, but it's a good gift for some kids who may know Undertale and want to see what all the fuss on Earthbound was all about. I'm a bit disappointed that the NES Classic didn't bother including Beginnings, namely because the Wii U NES emulator is pretty shoddy.
              â€˜Laughter Shocks’: 13 Best Tweets About the East Coast Earthquake        
    Did you feel it? That was the question du jour after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia rocked the East Coast from D.C. to Boston. The temblor’s commotion also shook up Twitter with tweeters trying to make sense of the spontaneous shaking. Here are some of the best tweets.
              Report confirms 2016 was hottest year on Earth — third record-breaking year in a row        
    The annual State of the Climate report attributes the new high to a strong El Nino and long-term global warming.
              England’s dire north-south health gap is a scandal that must end        
    The north-south divide in England needs fixing or the country risks more despair, premature death and political earthquakes, says James Bloodworth
              Space cucumbers may help plants grow better water-seeking roots        
    Away from Earth’s gravity, cucumber roots head towards water. Mimicking that moisture-seeking behaviour on our planet could help plants adapt to drought
              NASA’s planetary protection officer will defend Mars, not Earth        
    A NASA job advert has made for excited headlines, but the agency isn’t hiring someone to protect us from aliens – it wants someone to protect alien microbes from us
              Voyage to study Earth’s mostly submerged hidden continent begins        
    The research ship JOIDES Resolution is on its way to take samples from Zealandia, a continent that lies mostly below the waves
              What the first flower on Earth might have looked like        
    Some time between 250 and 140 million years ago, the very first flower bloomed – an enormous evolutionary study offers clues about its appearance
              Hand Therapy Using Hand Bath        
    Special Recommend information on A H1N1 (swine flu)
    As it is known to all, currently we human being are all faced with a big enemy-A/H1N1 flu (swine flu) which has been threatening our life. Now the situation is worsening. As health and medical to AH1N1organ, we shoulder more responsibility to handle outbreak of this emergency.

    In TCM, A/H1N1 belongs to epidemic febrile disease of TCM which is the same as human avian influenza and SARS and similar to A/H1N1 flu syndrome differentiation and treatment of TCM prevention and cure. It is advocated “dispelling wind, reducing fever and dissipating dampness in clinical.

    TCM center will provide latest Special Report Globally on the A/H1N1 flu; and you still can find the Symptoms and Prevention about A/H1N1 flu ; further more, TCM prevention for swine flu provides latest global news; Chinese medicine prevention for A/H1N1 flu ; Chinese herbal medicine and so on.


    Hand bath is a steaming and washing therapy. The hot steam from an herbal decoction is used to heat the hands which are then soaked in the warm decoction after it gradually cools down. Diseases can be cured by the hot stimulation applied to the meridians and acupoints of the hand and by the gradual absorption of herbs through the skin.

    1. Origin and classification of steaming and washing therapy:

    Steaming and washing therapy originated in ancient times. Among 52 ancient herbal therapy recipes unearthed from the Han Dynasty Mawangdui Tomb, eight were used for steaming and washing therapy. This indicates that steaming and washing therapy has been used by Chinese people to treat diseases for at least 2,000 years. This therapy is also mentioned in classical medical books of the Han (206 B. C.-220) and Jin (265-420) dynasties. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), this method was used to treat carbuncles, cellulitis, skin rashes, dermatitis, frostbite, hand and foot diseases, and gynecological and eye disorders. In the Kin (1115-1234) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties this method was classified as an essential medical therapy. In the Qing Dynasty ( 1644-1911 ), Wu Shangxian, a famous physician of traditional Chinese medicine, divided this therapy into smoking, steaming, shower, sitz bath, and hot ironing. It is a folk treatment used by common people to treat acute sprains, bone injuries, and contusions with a good therapeutic results.
    Steaming and washing therapy can be classified as general and local. Local treatment includes steaming and washing therapy for the hand, foot, and eye, and sitz baths. Hand bath is steaming and washing therapy for the hand.

    2. Function and characteristics of hand bath:

    As demonstrated by the experiments of modern medicine. steaming and washing therapy with hot and moist air can promote the absorption of herbs through the skin, dilate the skin's small blood vessels, promote the circulation of blood and lymph, enhance the phagocytic functions of the reticuloendothelial system, increase the permeability of cellular membranes, and promote metabolism by stimulating the sensitive sensory nerves scattered along the skin. The effective components of herbs used in steaming and washing therapy can directly kill the pathogenic germs on the skin. According to the theory of traditional medicine, the meridians of the hand are closely related to the organs and meridians of the entire body. Therefore, this therapy can clear stagnation in meridians, adjust bodily deficiency and excess, and promote circulation of qi and blood.
    The hand bath is simple, cheap, and easy to learn and practice, with numerous indications and good therapeutic effects, and without any harmful side effects. It is most useful for patients proscribed from taking drugs.

    3. Methods of manipulation:

    1) The proper recipe is selected according to the diseases and the basin, towel and sheets are prepared in use.
    2) The hot decoction of herbs is poured into the basin and the hands and arms are put over the basin. Cover the arms and basin with a sheet to reserve the hot air from quickly escaping away. Some boiled water may be added to the basin to maintain the temperature. After the decoction is cooled down to an adequate temperature, the hands may be soaked and washed in the decoction.
    3) After steaming and bathing, the hands should be dried with a towel and protected from attack of wind and coldness.
    4) The steaming and washing therapy may last for 20-30 minutes, twice a day.

    4. Precautions:

    I) The water used to boil the herbs should be adequate to prepare a decoction of the proper concentration. Aromatic and volatile herbs should be boiled for only 10-15 minutes; and roots, stems and herbs in large clumps should be boiled for 30
    minutes.
    2) The temperature of the decoction for bathing and soaking the hands should be monitored to avoid burning the skin.
    3) These decoctions are not for oral administration.

    More information from TCM and health: Hand Therapy Using Hand Bath
              A trip to London and down memory lane...        
    Last Wednesday, I walked with the Ramblers after a break of two weeks;  I was invigilating on the two previous Wednesdays. There are some evening walks coming up which I am looking forward to. I love evening walking. There's a special evening walk on the 21st June which will be the longest day of the year and it's starting at 8.30 pm - in the pub!


    I changed into this outfit after walking 7.5 miles. I bought the scarf with pearls in a charity for 1.00; the top and trousers are also charity shopped. The scarf is to compensate for a low neckline; it was too warm to put a camisole under this top. All jewellery charity shopped.


    The trousers from M&S have gone to the charity shop bag. They're too long and too big and do nothing for me even though they are cool and comfortable in the hotter weather. My new pink floral trousers  bought on a recent rummage in Stevenage and Hitchin are their replacement; one in and one out wherever possible...


    These are my new (retail) shoes. They have a t strap which you can't see in this photo.

    I walked again on Thursday - another 7 miles. It was a very warm day; 25 degrees by the time I finished.  I was trying to recce a new walk for the Ramblers Winter Programme. I tried a footpath I hadn't tried before but it took me nowhere. Not because it didn't lead anywhere but because the footpath was so overgrown I couldn't see where it was meant to take me. I walked around the perimeter of a huge field; climbed over a gate in a farmyard (naughty Veronica!) and found myself a few feet away from where I started!


    Everything is charity shopped. The linen top is a French label but I can't remember where I found it; likewise the three quarter leggings.


    Mary Jane's bought in a charity shop in Ely in May 2016.


    Headscarf and all jewellery charity shopped. The earrings were one of  the three for a 1.00 I bought on last Saturday's rummage in Hitchin.


    On Friday, I took my middle grandson to London for a day out. He wanted to go to the Houses of Parliament so we had a guided tour. This was taken on the tube to Westminster.


    The  House of Commons terrace where you can take tea...


    I look very rotund in this photo taken outside Westminster Abbey!

    Tunic; charity shopped; trousers; Lidl last summer; Mary Jane's charity shopped; all jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought online. I bough the African print bag at a car boot sale a couple of weeks back.

    We had a lovely day; we went to Canary Wharf (his choice); the Monument and then I took him on a tour of the area where I grew up and went to school i.e. Maida Vale/Paddington.


    This is the first house I ever lived in; 144 Elgin Avenue, London W.9.  I was born in 1954. Mum and Dad rented one room in this rather posh house. I checked today's house prices on this street; a one bedroom flat for 785.000; three bedroom flat 999,900; a four bedroom flat over a million. These are flats not houses! It is absolutely incredible and to my mind, obscene.

    When my brother Mark was due, Mum, Dad and I moved here:



    I spent the next 13 years of my life in this 3 roomed basement flat with my parents and two brothers. We had no bathroom, an outside toilet; no central heating or hot water. I shared a room with my brothers until I was almost 15 years old; my parents slept on a sofa that converted to a bed all the years we lived here. Relatives from Ireland came and stayed - sometimes for months at a time until they got established and moved out.

    Again, I checked the prices of properties in this street; a three bedroom maisonette; 1,395.000. A four bedroom house 1,800,000. My parents privately rented throughout the 1950s and 1960s; in the early 1960s Mum and Dad got the opportunity to buy the entire house above for a little over 700.00! My Dad didn't want a mortgage - he was a strictly cash up front person - so they declined the landlord's offer...

    In 1969 having been on the housing list since I was born; Mum and Dad moved to a council maisonette in this house in Portnall Road, W9.


    The top left hand window was my bedroom - the box room! We had a bathroom and indoor toilet; a separate living and dining room; Mum and Dad had their own bedroom and my brothers shared a bedroom. It was heaven to us.

    I checked the prices on this street, too. A one bedroom flat; 500,000. Two bedroom maisonette; 699.000. Not as pricey as the other two streets but a whole house must sell for over 1,000,000. Astonishing - and still obscene. How on earth are ordinary working people ever going to afford to buy anywhere to live in London? The rents are also ridiculous; eldest grandson spends 70% of his earnings on rent.


    This was my old school - Paddington and Maida Vale High School for Girls (PMVHS). It was situated in Elgin Ave near to the first house I ever lived in and it took me less than 10 minutes to walk to school.

    I asked my grandson what he thought of where I grew up and his reply was - 'all the house you lived in are the same'. This was very true; all Victorian terraced houses. There was a huge house building boom in the Victorian era and many of us continue to live in and love these old houses.


    On Saturday I went to see my son. Everything charity shopped except the shoes. Dress by Mantaray; jacket by M & S bought in Kettering for 4.00.


    All jewellery charity shopped except watch.


    Necklace bought in Derry for 2.50.


    Woke up on Sunday to more terrible news.


    Top; Store 21 sale; trousers; Primark, charity shopped 99p rail at Barnardo's, Great Denham. Orange shoes also charity shopped.


    All jewellery charity shopped. Necklace bought at Oxfam in Newport Pagnell last summer for 2.50.

    On Monday, I volunteered at the Red Cross shop. I do so enjoy working there. I have a laugh with colleagues; we sort a mountain of stuff and sometimes I find wonderful things. My special area of responsibility is the jewellery. I found a rather 'good' piece on Monday in some stock from another Red Cross shop - a gold bracelet with purple stones. I showed it to my colleague, as I could see it looked special. He has a jeweller's eye glass and it was marked 18 carat gold. He took it to a a local jeweller who buys gold and silver; who then confirmed it was gold -  and the purple stones were real amethysts. He gave us (Red Cross)  95.00 for it!


    This was Monday's outfit. The green harem pants are from Next and I bought them on my first visit to the new Barnardo's in Great Denham last year. When I got them home the elastic in the waist was gone, so I never wore them at all last year. This year I had the idea of wearing a large elasticated belt I have around the waist of the trousers to hold them up - unfortunately you can see the belt outline  under my yellow patterned M & S charity shopped top! The jacket came from the Guild House and the Mary Jane's were charity shopped in Ely last year.


    All jewellery charity shopped except earrings which were donated by my daughter.

    On Tuesday I went to volunteer at the Food Bank and in the evening I had Poll Clerk Training for the election on Thursday.


    Jewellery and tunic charity shopped. The tunic is from Red Cross 1.99. The earrings were bought in a shop in Bath on my 50th birthday with birthday money I was given by my family.


    Navy trousers, Primarni; cardigan, Studio catalogue about four years ago and shoes local retail.


    I invigilated for the Open University on Wednesday all day in Luton and on Thursday I poll clerked. My day started at the polling station at 6.15 am and I finished at 10.50 pm. There was a steady stream of people coming in to vote all day and it went surprisingly quickly, but I was really tired when I got home. Luckily the polling station is only across the road from my house!

    The Chrome Book is holding up although there are more distractions on the screen in the form of coloured lines but hopefully it will last until I can afford to buy a new one.

    I plan to chill out all weekend to compensate for my extremely busy week. I hope you all have a great weekend; the forecast is looking good...

              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?

              Half term and some more pattern!        

    I managed to get out for a walk on Sunday, but I just did road and street walking - 6 miles. It was bitterly cold and very damp.


    I was in a monochrome mood on Sunday - I'm sure it's the weather. Everything is charity shopped except the brogues which were bought from a Tesco outlet store about 2 years ago, and the black jeans from Lidl. I had to put a cardigan over the tunic for extra warmth. This short sleeved M&S cardigan has proved very useful. It reminds me that I saw a navy blue short, short sleeved cardigan on Saturday, in Cancer Research for £1.00 and I didn't buy it! What on earth was I thinking?


    All jewellery charity shopped, too.

    It was half term this week. I do enjoy the break from the school run. I still went into the Red Cross on Monday. I picked up a blue homemade waistcoat from the Ragbag and will probably wear that on Friday when I go to see my son. It was a really cold day but it was bright and sunny; my spirits were immediately lifted by the sunshine. Unfortunately, I still had the lurgy.


     This is the tunic I bought on Saturday - it's by Influence and it's made of knitted material, so it's warm. Jeans; Next, also charity  shopped  on Saturday. Boots: DDB.


    I added the trusty short sleeved cardi for added warmth.


    Earrings, Bedford market; turquoise ring, Sainsbury's; all other jewellery, charity shopped.

    I didn't go to the food bank on Tuesday; I didn't think it was fair to spread my germs to everyone. It was okay yesterday in the Red Cross as I was the only person at the back of the shop.

    I went for a 6.6 mile walk on Tuesday instead. I retraced the walk I led last Wednesday but in reverse. It turned out to be a lovely day and the wild life and birds were abundant. I disturbed a Muntjac deer drinking at a stream. I also disturbed a buzzard and 4 pheasants; all of whom flew off in a panic making very annoyed noises. I saw a sparrowhawk;  dunnocks, meadow pipits, blackbirds, chaffinches, blue tits, wood pigeons, a wren and several gulls, rooks and crows in a field - splashing about in the huge puddles left by all the rain we've had.


    Look what my Valentine bought me! I'm so lucky to have such a good man...


    On Wednesday I felt really rough and decided to chill out. I only went out to pick up the grandchildren both of whom were staying on Wednesday night.


    Everything is charity shopped. The skirt is from M and Co; boots from Tesco; jacket from Next. It's a bit like my Country Casuals mustard jacket - it goes with lots of things. I used to wear it a lot when I was teaching; I've had it about 7 or 8 years.


    This necklace was bought on Saturday in Age UK Northampton,  for £1.99. Earrings from Sainsbury's and bangles, watch and ring charity shopped.


    I went to see my son on Friday. Everything charity shopped except boots and earrings - both from Sainsbury's.


    The black maxi dress is by Item, which is a part of Tesco's; I think. I can't remember where I bought this dress. The long jacket is by Primarni and I bought it in the Barnardo's in Great Denham for £1.99. I love the colours. I have lightweight green trousers and a similar coloured green top that will look fab with this jacket when the weather gets warmer!.


    My necklace, rings and bangles are all charity shopped.

    I've been playing a lot of Monopoly with the grandsons this half term. They have both beaten me. The youngest grandson gets really excited with all the money  - even if if he has to give me rent and I give him change! We are playing the adult version so the idea of millions is quite intoxicating...

    It was my eldest brother's birthday on Monday; he's 13 months older than me but we only met him in 2013! I will write a post about how he found us - we didn't know of his existence until February 2013. So, my three brothers, my OH and I went out to celebrate Julian's birthday on Saturday.


    Only my jacket and jewellery is charity shopped. The jacket, which is a favourite of mine, was bought on the £1.00 rail in Wellingborough Age UK.


    The white top was bought in the La Redoute sale in 2015 and the trousers were bought this year in the sale. I nearly always buy something in the La Redoute sale. I also bought a coat  in the same sale this year - see below. The boots were DDB.




    We had a lovely Thai meal, caught up with each other's news and had lots of laughs - all in all a really good night. My birthday is next and I've proposed we go to London for the day. Julian lives in London and always travels to us for birthday celebrations so it would make a change for him and us.

    I'll keep you posted!

              Donald Trump warns journalists, calls them most dishonest human beings        

    Washington: Describing journalists as the most dishonest human beings on Earth, US President Donald Trump has said he has been "running a war" with the media and warned them of consequences for falsely reporting that less number of people attended his inauguration.

    "We had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed.

    I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field," Trump said.

    "I say, wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out, it looked like a million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there.

    They (media) said, Donald Trump did not draw well. I said, it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them away, but God looked down and he said, we're not going to let it rain on your speech," he said.

    "Then I walked off and it poured right after I left. It poured. But, we have something that's amazing because, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was, it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.

    And I turn on -- and by mistake I get this network, and it showed an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people," he said.

    "Now, that's not bad, but it's a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around in the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20-block area, all the way back to the Washington Monument, was packed.

    So we caught them, and we caught them in a beauty. I think they're going to pay a big price," Trump warned.

    Trump was speaking at the CIA headquarters.

    He told his top spy agency that this is the reason for him visiting the CIA headquarters as the media has portrayed that he has differences with the intelligence community.

    "The reason you're my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth," Trump said amidst applause and laughter from the CIA officials attending his maiden address to them.

    "They sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you're the number-one stop is exactly the opposite.

    They understand that, too," he said and then said that the crown strength of his inauguration was being accurately being written by the media.

    Then Trump listed out another incident.

    So a reporter wrote that Trump took down the bust, of Martin Luther King.

    "It was right there. But there was a cameraman that was in front of it. So a reporter writes a story about I took down. I would never do that because I have great respect for Martin Luther King. But this is how dishonest the media is," Trump alleged.

    "I only like to say that because I love honesty. I like honest reporting. I will tell you, final time -- when you let in your thousands of other people that have been trying to come in -- because I am coming back -- we're going to have to get you a larger room," Trump said indicating that he would have a bigger room for the White House press corps.

    Donald Trump warns journalists, calls them most dishonest human beings
    Section: 
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    News Source: 
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              Something Wild in the Earth        
    Excerpt from the poem "On Burials" published in All the Night Wings by Loren Eiseley
              Hallowen... pero solo si eres bruja (Ideas y Recetas de última hora)        


    Halloween (tradicionalmente Samhain) es una intervención mágica donde las leyes mundanas del tiempo y el espacio están temporalmente suspendidas y la barrera entre los mundos desaparece.
    Comunicarse con antecesores y amores fallecidos es fácil para este tiempo.
    Originalmente la "Fiesta de los Muertos" era celebrada en países célticos, dejando comida ofrecidas en los altares o en la entrada de las puertas para "los curiosos muertos".
    Hoy en día muchos wiccanos todavía conllevan esa tradición.
    Simples velas eran encendidas y dejadas en las ventanas para ayudar a guiar a los espíritus de antecesores y de los amados a el hogar.



    Se ponían más sillas en las mesas y alrededor de las chimeneas para los invitados invisibles.


    Se ponían manzanas en las aceras y en los caminos para los espíritus perdidos o que no tenían descendientes.


    La mesa y/o el Altar de Otño lo puedes decorar con: maíz indio, heno, calabazas, calabacines, nueces....

    En Samhain se abre el portal hacia el mundo de los muertos y es el momento perfecto para trabajar la adivinación y las invocaciones de los muertos.

    SIMBOLISMO DE SAMHAIN:Los Misterios Obscuros, El Renacimiento por la Muerte, La Tercera Cosecha.

    SIMBOLOS DE SAMHAIN:Manzanas, Gatos negros, Escobas, Calabazas.



    HIERBAS DE SAMHAIN:Mugworth, Mandrágora, Salvia, Paja, Hojas de roble, hiedra
    COMIDAS DE SAMHAIN:Calabazas, Manzanas, Nueces, Nabos, Carne de vaca.
    INCIENSOS DE SAMHAIN: Menta.
    COLORES DE SAMHAIN: Negro, Anaranjado, Blanco, Oro, Plata.
    PIEDRAS DE SAMHAIN:Todas las piedras negras, de preferencia obsidiana y azabache.

    RECETA DE BIZCOCHO DE CALABAZA (SUPERFÁCIL Y REQUETEBUENO!! )


    Para que aproveches la calabaza cuando hagas tu linterna!!!


    INGREDIENTES

    1/4 kg de azúcar
    1/4 kg de harina
    1/4 de calabaza hervida
    3 huevos
    1 copa de aceite de girasol
    1 sobre de levadura
    1 cucharada de azúcar glas
    75 grs. de choco rallado
    PREPARACIÓN:


    Hervir la calabaza y dejar escurrir

    En un bol mezclar el azúcar, harina, huevos y levadura y aceite

    Una vez mezclados añade la calabaza y el choco

    Engrasar con margarina o mantequilla un molde para tartas, forrarlo de papel aluminio (también untado) y colocar la masa dentro.

    Meter en el horno (previamente precalentado y dejar unos 20 minutos.

    Espolvorear por encima con azúcar glas!


    Truqui: antes de sacarlo del horno, píncha el bizcocho con un palito, si el palo sale húmedo déja el bizcocho un pelín más dentro del horno!


    COMO HACER UNA TRENZA DE LAS BRUJAS (WITCH CORD)



    Trenzar una Witch Cord es un acto tradicional en la noche de Samhain.

    Simboliza el cordón que nos une al otro mundo, además de ser una representación simbólica del cordón umbilical.
    La Wich Cord se confecciona usando lazos en los colores apropiados que simbolicen aquello que quieres atraer para tu vida en el año mágico que se inicia

    ROJO Alejar enemigos, atraer fuerzas, coraje, vencer obstáculos.
    NARANJA Prosperidad y progreso
    ROSA Amor
    NEGRO Protección y alejar la mala suerte
    VERDE Abundancia
    AMARILLO Salud y progreso en los negocios
    BLANCO Armonía

    Se puede elegir un máximo de 3 colores diferentes que representarán tus deseos, en caso de ser de un solo color utiliza los 3 lazos del mismo color

    MODO DE HACER

    Coje 3 lazos del tamaño de tu altura y comienza a trenzarlos siempre mentalizando lo que quieres atrer hacia ti, pidiendo protección y ayuda y bendición.
    Cuando hayas terminado, pega o cose algunos símbolos a lo largo de la cuerda que representen tus objetivos (corazones para el amor, pequeñas monedas para el dinero....)
    Coloca tu cuerda en algún lugar importante de la casa el día de la celebración de Halloween (samhain)... después cuélgala en algún lugar de tu casa que esté a la vista y recuerda los objetivos que te motivaron a confeccionarla. Así tu voluntad será activada :)

    gracias a :

    mi libro de las Sombras, tampoco recuerdo de donde saqué esta información hace ya bastante años.
    Heaven & Earth Designs por la deliciosa ilustración
    Wicca_vzla.org, por la información

    Montarse en una Escoba de Plata de Silver RavenWolf
    La Agenda de las Brujas
    knowth.com por las maravillosas fotos de Samhain



              Snatcher Alien- The Invasion        
    Snatcher Alien- the Invasion Prepare you for an alien attack. Crazy Aliens come to the earth for snatch things like food, vegetables, animals, energy. Sound Crazy, but itu2019s true. We need to save the earth from aliens. nnInkcadre presents the Snatcher Alien- The invasion where we have Added 50+ challenging Different Level. Reach the target […]
              Taking earth        

    Taking earth Film Complet 2017 Big earth

    Cet article Taking earth est apparu en premier sur Site de streaming gratuit vf et vostfr.


              People of Earth Saison 2 VOSTFR        

    People of Earth Saison 2 Episode Streaming complet HD Regarder la série People of Earth Saison 2 Episode Streaming VOSTFR complet gratuit,

    Cet article People of Earth Saison 2 VOSTFR est apparu en premier sur Site de streaming gratuit vf et vostfr.


              Tag! You're It        

    Biologists catch and tag big sawfish in Florida waters

    Food for Thought

    Once a common top predator throughout coastal seas around the globe, sawfish have become remarkably rare. Indeed, today most populations are threatened with extinction. So spotting even one of these animals is reason to rejoice, notes Beau Yeiser of Mote Marine Laboratory in southern Florida. And this week, "we are nothing but giddy," he reports.

    He and colleague Tonya Wiley just returned from a 2-day sawfish-scouting expedition during which they tagged a 7-foot male on Oct. 16. At that size, the strapping youth may be 5 to 7 years old, Yeiser says. He cautions, however, that estimating age is challenging "as we try and piece together the life history of this species. We don't even know its size at maturity yet."

    These animals—essentially flattened sharks with wings—are members of the ray family. Only one species of this fish remains in U.S. waters, mostly off of Florida. Over the first half of the 20th century, this smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) was fished to the brink of extinction—largely by accident.

    Although many cultures eat sawfish—the animals' fins are especially prized in Asia as the featured ingredient in a pricey soup—most of the animals in U.S. waters were landed and destroyed as bycatch, that is, nuisance species hauled in by commercial fishing fleets. The dire status of sawfish globally won these animals protection, last month, under a treaty banning international trade in endangered species (see Hammered Saws).

    So far this year, Yeiser and Wiley have caught just 14 sawfish, most of them less than 4 feet long. Those would still be little kids, considering that these fish are almost a yard long at birth. Then again, the pair had expected only small ones because they've mainly been cruising coastal shallows this year in hopes of running into newborns and youngsters.

    The scientists attach a numbered identification tag to the dorsal fin of every sawfish they catch—and then release the animal.

    But last week's catch was so big that it qualified for a second identifier: a pop-up archival tag, or PAT. These recording devices are so heavy that they're reserved for large sawfish—at least 7-footers. To date, only some dozen of these animals have received PATs. Costing at least $4,000 each, these data-storage systems collect information every minute, for months, on the depth at which its host is swimming, the water temperature, and light levels. The latter information gets plugged into a computer program that roughly gauges the animal's geographic coordinates at any moment.

    Researchers program a PAT to pop off the fish on a particular date. Once it floats to the surface, it sends its stored information in spurts, twice a day, to a satellite. That orbiting relay station then shoots those data back to Earth and the scientists' email addresses.

    Last week's sawfish encounter took place in a southern Florida national wildlife refuge, in very shallow water. Investigated as a possible nursery, Yeiser says "I was expecting any sawfish that I might catch to be perhaps 4 to 5 feet in length." Instead, he found a much older juvenile. "But that's the beauty of this [sawfish] project; you never know what you are going to get when you're scouting a species that has not been studied much!"

    Yeiser named the youth that he tagged last week Raloff. Hmmm—I like the sound of that. Its tag is programmed to pop off on March 15. Stay tuned for an update on my namesake's travels.

    If all goes well, that is.

    A 7- and an 11-foot sawfish each received PATs in May. Although the satellite tags had been programmed to pop off 3 months later, they actually surfaced within just a couple weeks, Yeiser says—and were never recovered.

    So, each time biologists deploy the pricey devices, he says, "we just cross our fingers that they won't pop up early—or get lost in the middle of the Gulf."

    Don't try this yourself

    The sawfish is an endangered species, so federal law forbids its capture—except by researchers who have been granted a waiver. And even they need to release an animal after measuring and tagging it.

    It's against the law to even harass the animals. Still, anglers may inadvertently snag one of the toothy marvels. When that happens, this species "should be released by keeping the fish in the water and cutting the line as close to the hook as possible," according to guidelines issued late last year by the National Marine Fisheries Service in St. Petersburg, Fla. "If it can be done safely, untangle the line if it is wrapped around the saw. Do not handle the animal or attempt to remove any hooks on the saw, except for with a long-handled dehooker," NOAA says.

    Biologists request that any anglers who sight a sawfish report their encounter to the Mote lab. Its scientists are maintaining a database to help them identify important habitat for these endangered animals.

    As interesting as these piscine oddities are, biologists would prefer that the public give the fish a wide berth. The primary reason: Approaching the animals can stress them, chase them from what should be waters safe from predators, or even interfere with their reproduction.

    But there's another reason to steer clear, according to Captain Harvey Lee Hamilton, who charters a fishing boat out of Pineland, Fla. "I've caught plenty of sawfish in my life, and I'll tell you: They're dangerous. I'm still scared to death of them." Their saws—which he terms blades—are edged with dozens of razor-sharp "teeth." The muscular animals slash those saws from side to side to kill prey or defend themselves.

    Says Hamilton: "Those fish get big, with blades that can go to at least 5 foot." And they slash those blades "so fast," he says, "that they could slice your feet off." Indeed, he told Science News Online: "I'd rather fight a shark than a sawfish."


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

    Citations

    Beau Yeiser and Tonya R. Wiley

    Center for Shark Research

    Mote Marine Laboratory

    1600 Ken Thompson Parkway

    Sarasota, FL 34236

    Smalltooth Sawfish Coordinator

    National Marine Fisheries Service

    Southeast Regional Office, Protected Resources Division

    263 13th Avenue South

    St. Petersburg, FL 33071
    Further Reading

    2006. Mote scientists to help eBay identify species in new sawfish ban. Mote Marine Laboratory news release. Jan. 25. Available at [Go to].

    Mote Marine Laboratory. How you can help save the U.S. smalltooth sawfish. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff. J. 2007. Hammered saws. Science News 172(Aug. 11):90-92. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2002. Clipping the fin trade. Science News 162(Oct. 12):232-234. Available at [Go to].

    Sawfish in Peril: Sawfish Education Program. Available at [Go to].

              Kommentar zu Docs & Demo von Ragnar Hanas        
    Hello, Thanks for a nice plugin - gpx track upload worked immediately. But I cannot get my Panoramio pictures to show in the map: [map style="width: auto; height:400px; margin:20px 0px 20px 0px; border: 1px solid black;" maptype="HYBRID" pano="yes" panotag="ragnar.hanas/Helgoland" gpx="http://valborg.betamed.se/wp-content/uploads/1507-08-danmark runt-final.gpx" elevation="no"] Am I missing something? Do the photos have to be transferred to Google Earth before I can view them? Thanks for helping, Ragnar
              Earthworm Jim molaba más antes        
    Viendo el siguiente vídeo comparativo de diferentes versiones de lo mejor que ha parido -y parirá Dave Perry en toda su vida, aunque MDK2 tiene su aquél, me quedo de calle con la versión de MegaDrive de Earthworm Jim. Todo ilusionado que estaba yo con la versión hachedeizada, y no sé como se las han ingeniado para sacarle todo el encanto visual 2D repleto de animaciones y encasquetarle unos colores pobres y renders incluso hasta para la nevera colgante. Si no me equivoco, la versión de MegaDrive está disponible en la Consola Virtual, o sea que pasando de Wiiware ( de todas formas creo que que por ahora sólo está a la venta para XBLA; PSN y Wiiware a esperar tocan ) y decantandóme por el clásico primigenio. Vivan las 2D, mueran los renders !


              Inglewood Community Garden Thrives with Art, Culture & Music!        
    Inglewood, California  Written by Ginger Van Hook May 20, 2010
            Inglewood Community Garden is a dream students at Morningside High School have realized today with the help of Inglewood City Council member, Ralph L. Franklin of District 4, Teachers and Mentors, Miss Roshondra Woods, World History Teacher, Mr. Shawn Stanton at Morningside High School with Mr. D'Artagnan Scorza, Director at The Social Justice Learning Institute, and Mr. Sirls, the Principal of Morningside High School. Photography Ginger Van Hook, 2010
    For some of the students, it was hard to believe that these beautiful green corn leaves had come from all this dirt and gravel, but the miracle on Yukon and 107th Street in Inglewood was in full bloom. A student by the name of Jazz told the audience that she has been disheartened at first to see that this was a big empty lot with what seemed endless rocks. Then the students started clearing the land and putting their hearts and souls into the earth and the soil responded to their efforts to grow everything from tomatoes to chilies, jalapenos, lettuce, squash as well as herbs like parsley and oregano too.




    'Jazz' told us about the transformation of the garden and the friendships that she had made. She explained how there was a new community where before there had been an empty space. The audience cheered for the success of the students and there was a heightened sense of community achievement in the air. There was a slight breeze coming from the ocean that brushed the leaves of the  tomatoes and the peppers ever so slightly. The sun beat down upon the earth and music filled the air. Musicians played the guitar and percussion rhythms with their hands and their bodies moved to the beat. Guests were invited to take a water bottle from the center of the garden and in ceremonious ritual to bless the land with the names of their ancestors. I watered a patch of tomatoes and recalled my grandparents in the past. It was hard to remain objective. I was involved. I was now a part of this new blessing upon the community.  I was no longer a reporter, witnessing for the writing of a story, I was pulled into the land, the dirt, the rocky earth and right into the story, taken in by the aroma of fresh tomato leaves and the scent of strawberry flowers and consequently, the encouragement of artistic, poetic, talented new friends.


    D'Artagnan ScorzaDirector for The Social Justice Learning Institute 
    said his students are working on a Food Initiative




     Mr. Sirls, the Principal of Morningside High School, gave the students and supporters encouragement then went over to the wall and autographed his hand print in green.
    Mr. Sirl leaves his mark on the community garden wall.










    Janet Simmons read her poem that she wrote for the Inglewood Community Garden:

    I dedicate...
    I dedicate...
    my words,
    my voice,
    my sound,
    and my choice...
    of speech
    I speak of here.
    I dedicate...
    I dedicate...
    what I have seeked here
    throughout, without and within this garden
    I dedicate...
    I dedicate...
    my rough hands
    and my
    rock indented knees
    my wind tormented hair 
    and 
    the dirt infected breeze
    that flows through this garden
    like a stream of music through my ears
    When it comes down to it
    this would not mean as much
    without you, me, us
    so
    I dedicate myself to you.


    There were cooking demonstrations and watermelon slices.


    The Los Angeles Times came to cover the event and I captured Glenn Koenig working in earnest covering the tree planting ceremony. This Photo is by Ginger Van Hook, but at least four or five reporters were on scene to witness this miracle transforming strangers into friends, and smiles turning lives into a tight knit community bonding over vegetables and issues of social justice, friendship and healthy meals...All good things going on in the City of Inglewood!

    Julie Prejean a Forestry Senior Manager for TREE PEOPLE 
    came to support the garden opening and to donate and help plant  a special tree. 
    She told her eager audience of new gardeners that they could choose its name.

    City Council Member Ralph L. Franklin praised the students, 
    teachers and supporters for taking the initiative and making it all happen, 
    and 'what a beautiful day it is for a planting ceremony!'



    USC reporter Christine Trang from the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism
    interviewed various participants and was preparing her report for southlareport.com

    Inglewood Artists and supporters, Ken Ober, Renee Fox and Ceres Madoo, Alumni Relations at Otis College of Art and Design came to support the Morningside High School Community Garden Opening Ceremonies. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook 2010.

    As an Inglewood Artist I was invited to attend this event, thanks to Ceres Madoo and when I arrived,  I did not know what to expect; but whatever it was to be, I knew this was a GREAT IDEA! As I milled about I got the opportunity to meet Mr. D'Artagnan Scorza who told me how the students from Morningside High School had gotten together to discuss civic engagement, how to show school spirit,  how to improve the community and how to better serve the needs of the school district.  The students themselves came up with the concept of a community garden, but at first, did not  have the means to make it happen. The original students were from Miss Roshondra's class and Mr. Shawn Stanton's class. A good idea took root then and there. One thing led to another and with the help of Inglewood City Council Member Ralph Franklin, their project got the encouragement and the support they needed right there from the school district's land.  
    This property belongs to the school so now the students are able to 
    develop a way to empower themselves to be a self sustaining community 
    with healthy nourishing meals for its students. 
    No better way to grow fine artists, fine students and fine citizens
    than to take the seeds and cultivate, 
    water frequently, daily, encourage with wisdom and respect for the land.
    The students have a great number of plans which includes a farmer's market, music, art and culinary culture events.























              The Art Of The Summer Garden 2009        
    A Photo-Journal Feature
    written and photographed by
    Ginger Van Hook



    Features Beverly Hills Artist
    LINDA KUNIK
    "PLANT IT FORWARD"


    Local Beverly Hills Artist Creates Art
    From Her Garden
    Launching a new project called
    “PLANT IT FORWARD”

    A local artist and resident of Beverly Hills turned her garden into an art form by creating a project called “Plant It Forward”. Linda Kunik, an artist and alumna from Otis College of Art and Design has initiated a project to enhance her artistic community as well as inspire local artists to do the same. “Plant It Forward” is about establishing community while reconnecting with the earth, a vision which includes artists bartering for vegetables either by working in the garden or helping in the documentation of the garden’s delights by photographing, videotaping and or journaling about the experience. Ms. Kunik believes trading services for food in these tough economic times makes sense because while cultivating the soil, a group of artists will also cultivate friendships and nourish the community. The foundation of Linda Kunik’s work is to get back to the roots of sustainable agriculture. “Plant It Forward” does exactly what it says. The seeds are planted now and the fruits of this labor go forward to feed people who take from the harvest the inspiration to plant their own gardens.

    “…My vision is for everyone to have their own garden, large or small and if that is not possible, to raise enough awareness for the people to shop locally and support their local Farmer’s Markets…” Ms. Kunik states as she points to the five large gardens she created in the back yard of her home, replacing flowerbeds and lawns in order to plant vegetables, herbs and fruit trees. Kunik wanted to give back to her community, raise awareness of the need for personal gardens and utilize the artistic medium to make her statement. “My work has always referenced the land. From my early days as a watercolorist painting landscapes to later works making paintings of deforestation or global warming; the beauty and fragility of the earth has been a recurring theme. Combining my agricultural practice with my art-making seems to be an natural evolution.”

    The prospect of jumping into an artistic adventure to produce homegrown fruits and vegetables with a group of fellow artists was contagious. Thus the enthusiasm carried this labor of love into the summer as Ms. Kunik worked with a group of artists to bring in soil, create raised beds and began to fill them with the seeds of tomatoes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, corn, and a variety of herbs, citrus fruits and assorted vegetables. Some of the artists participating in Plant It Forward include Juna Amano (Painting & Sculpture), Marissa Magdalena (Installation, Performance and Drawing), Ofunne Obiamawe (Photographer), Suzanne Oshinsky (Videographer), Michiko Smith (Painting), Whitney Stolich (Photographer) and Ginger Van Hook (Photographer) as well as the new artists joining every week.

    It is the zenith of summer now and already some of the tomatoes have ripened looking fat, juicy and red. In recent weeks, there have already been harvests of endive lettuce, carrots and radishes. The important element in the formation of this garden is the artistic component of Ms. Kunik’s vision. The raised beds and gardens are shaped into asymmetrical forms with a walking path between them. Large Sunflowers adorn the corners of each of the vegetable beds and the aromas of fresh tomatoes and rosemary mixes with the fragrances of roses and lavender permeating the air in her back yard.

    Linda Kunik has written a blog about her work and continues to support the arts by highlighting the artistry of organic gardening in photography and painting. She also founded a community artist forum called the O Salon. The O Salon is where artists network and take part in conceptual critique as well as share information about each other’s works. Ms. Kunik is involved in a number of professional organizations including the Los Angeles Art Association, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Docent Council and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

    Linda Kunik photographed beside her painting
    Exhibition at Gallery 825 in Los Angeles, California, 2008
    (Photo by Ginger Van Hook)

    Plant It Forward-the starving artist project
    http://plantitforwardla.blogspot.com
    lindakunik@gmail.com
    www.lkunik.com

    Additional artists websites and blogs:

    • Juna Amano (Painting & Sculpture) http://junaamano.blogspot.com

    • Marissa Magdalena (Installation, Performance and Drawing) www.marissamagdalena.com

    • Ofunne Obiamawe (Photographer) www.RepublicofPeace.com

    • Suzanne Oshinsky (Videographer) http://isoareyesore.blogspot.com/.

    • Michiko Smith (Painting)

    • Whitney Stolich (Photographer) www.whitneystolich.com

    • Ginger Van Hook (Photographer) www.gingervanhook.com
    • http://gingersartjournal.blogspot.com

    • Luke Van Hook (Painting) www.lukevanhook.com








    "Plant It Forward" : The week of June 07, 2009

















    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 01, 2009





    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 08, 2009




















    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 15, 2009





















    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 22, 2009










    "Plant It Forward" : The week of July 29, 2009








    "Plant It Forward" : The week of August 5, 2009

    Artist, Linda Kunik planted a garden to share with fellow artists.


















    "Plant It Forward" : The day of August 08, 2009

    HARVEST DAY!










































    "Plant It Forward" : The Week of August 12, 2009






























    "Plant It Forward" : Week of August 19, 2009



















              The Art of Lovin' Animals --- Featured Group of Artists Inspired by Their Beloved Pets.        
    "Enilde And Our Children" Oil on Panel 42" x 60"
    Painting by Luke Van Hook, 2003
    Painting and Photograph copyright by Luke and Ginger E. Van Hook, 2004
    Courtesy of the Van Hook Collection

    The Art of Lovin' Animals
    Features a group of artists inspired,
    motivated or influenced by their beloved pets
    and appear in this blog in the following order:

    Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom,
    Monrovia Association of Fine Arts supporters
    (KidsArt Studio, PaintNPlay Art Studios, Tyson & Tillman Skate Dogs)
    Family Dog and Cat Hospital in Monrovia, California (displays animal artwork).
    Ginger Van Hook, Luke Van Hook,
    Alex in Welderland, Elena Wolek, and Zareh.

    Additionally as part of the "Art of Lovin' Animals"
    there is a special book and movie review of
    John Grogan's book "Marley and Me", and the recent hit movie
    starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson


    Written by Enilde G. Van Hook with special thanks to all participating artists!


    Do you remember your first pet? I do. I even have a picture of how much bigger my cats’ paws were than my two feet put together at the age of three. My mother, tells me I had a yellow duck, a small dog and a large yellow tabby cat that owned me as a child.
    These three pets were protective, possessive and they were my first companions as I ventured out, for the first time, into my wild back yard of dirt and weeds. I was born in Rosario Argentina and to me now as an adult, my backyard is still my world. I live in Los Angeles, California but the romance of the Argentinean Pampas is not lost on me. From the pictures of my past, I gathered that my Belgian Grandfather, Francisco, ran a plant nursery in Buenos Aires and that my father, Luis, grew up to be an inventor in America. But the most unique connection I have to my past is my relationship with animals. I’ve had a pet at almost every age as I grew up. The importance of this type of companionship has not been explored enough in the art world, at least, this is my opinion. This is the reason I am blogging about the subject of the art and inspiration of lovin’ pets. I hope to instigate discussion, if not compassion. I hope to motivate an artistic response to my thoughts as well. You may have a completely different experience, so I personally encourage you to post your comments after you read this entry.
    This is what I asked myself for the subject of the essay for Ginger's Art Journal. What is the relationship of animals and pets to the art world? How involved are animals throughout the art strata? How much inspiration is gathered from the love of a pet? Can that even be measured? Does the love of a pet inspire political causes? Activism? How does one explain the pangs of loneliness from the loss of a pet? Does the death of a pet make an artist create more art? Does the gift of a new life of a pet inspire hope and renewal in artists? How do artists express their love and affection for the four-legged critters of our earth? How do animals, pets, pet trees, pet rocks or pets of any kind affect the process of making art?
    There are a number of artists that I have followed for a period of time to investigate the questions that will make up this entry. Studying the work of a number of local artists from the Los Angeles and surrounding areas that work with pets in their art practice, I will present some of their unique stories with photos. The artists, in alphabetical order, include Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook, Alexandra from Alex in Welderland, Lena Wolek and Zareh. Additionally, the art of lovin’ animals has made a seamless transition from the literary art into the film arts so I will discuss one of my favorite books by John Grogan named “Marley and Me” as it compares to its latest movie version of “Marley and Me” starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson which opened in December for Christmas Day.
    The method selected to choose these artists was random. I began my animal photographic study in 2006. Through my daily practice of studying the arts, I have come across people who were “in my back yard” and came to connect with me in a special way. I didn’t set out to write a story about animals. I merely went about my daily routine of photographing people and artwork that caught my “eye” because I was at the right place at the right time. Believing that the universe has a special plan for me, I allowed this story to evolve of its own volition. What I discovered both surprised me and opened me up. What I mean by this is that I was surprised to discover that artists who had pets had a great deal in common with other artists who had pets. Most people know and understand the history that reveals how the Egyptians revered cats and how the dog is considered “man’s best friend”. While it was common to have general conversations about how great it was to have pets and create pet portraits, I rarely came across artists that spoke to the deeper underlying significance in the arts about this specifically. While doing this research, I came across the most extreme case of worshiping our pets. The act of cloning has been in the news ever since the cloning of “Dolly” the sheep, but did you know that now there is a company that has launched itself into a commercial venture to clone man’s best friend? I discovered this and lots more so enjoy the new year in 2009 with a renewed commitment to your beloved pet. This is an ongoing story so don’t feel left out if your best friend isn’t included in this entry. I’m still reviewing artwork and pet portraits,
    feel free to send me an email about your animal story and I’ll include it in the followup stories!

    *********************************************************************************

    JOSHUA ELIAS
    Fine Arts Painter

    Joshua Elias, Exhibition, DCA Fine Arts
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Winston and Lucille read art literature on the couch and
    wait for Joshua Elias to become inspired to feed them.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    Paintings by Joshua Elias
    Art in the making at the Brewery Artist Colony
    Los Angeles, California, 2008
    Studio visit by Ginger Van Hook
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook
    Artist brushes belonging to Joshua Elias
    The instruments by which Joshua Elias creates the canvas of weather and inspiration.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    DCA Fine Arts Gallery, Joshua Elias with Mathew Heller and his girlfriend
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook 2007
    Joshua Elias, Exhibition at DCA Fine Arts Gallery
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Joshua Elias with his cats Winston and Lucille
    in his studio at the Brewery Arts Complex in Los Angeles, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008

    Joshua Elias
    Artist Statement

    Art has become about large quantities of Resin, masquerading as Content. The focus has been on Process, confusing it with Content. Enough. I wish to focus on Content. Story and Vibration lead the way for me to paint.

    I work in oil because of the depth and movement that it allows for me, as a medium. I focus on Landscapes that are rearranged. Traveling spirits act as guides, to the movement of a particular painting. The influence of Moorish architecture and its many doorways offers and allows entryways into paintings.

    At present we are in a period of Time where there seems to be long standing fights over Space, Time Religion, Money, Ideology, and Relationships. Enough. The one thing we do all share is Weather. Through the action of Creating our own environment, our own personal Weather, the Repositioning of Weather can illuminate and allow for more Creation to happen, more of a Life Force to shine and to take shape.

    ï¿_ Joshua Elias

    Courtesy of the DCA website
    *************************************************************************************************************************



    SIMONE GAD
    Fine Arts Painter, Collage Artist, Actor and Performer
    Simone Gad, Artist, Solo Show, L2Kontemporary Gallery
    February 2008 Chinatown, Los Angeles, California,
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008


    Selfportrait with Max and Bella/Autoportrait avec Max et Bella
    Private collection, photo courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005
    Gad/Rin-Tin-Tin Collection Long Beach Museum of Art
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005


    Picture Holocaust Clowns - Pinups 127, Gad and Poodle
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Selfportrait with Cat and Jesus
    Private collection, Courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Hommage a Ma Mere 2005 Painting Collage
    Copyright and Collection- Simone Gad
    Courtesy Simone Gad-Artist
    Photograph by Antonio Garcia





    Autoportrait avec Kashmir, painting collage 2005/06
    Courtesy Simone Gad- Artist and L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California. Copyright Simone Gad


    Portrait of Bella, the Brindle cat, acting secretary for Artist, Simone Gad
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008



    Bella the Brindle Cat, (on the Marilyn and JFK Installation)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of
    Jesse Bonderman and Simone Gad,

    Bella, the Brindle Cat #2 (Marilyn Installation)
    Photo courtesy of Jessie Bonderman and Simone Gad


    Portrait of Simone Gad, Artist with companion, Bella.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Portrait of Bella
    The Brindle cat, Artist assistant, model
    and loyal companion to Simone Gad.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Max and Bella pose for pictures in the window of Simone Gad's artist studio
    Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Simone Gad poses with one of her paintings of Chinatown
    during her solo show at L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008



    Enilde Van Hook writer's notes: I met Simone Gad at an exhibition of her work in Chinatown in the spring of 2008. The L2Kontemporary Gallery is a unique gallery located at 990 N. Hill Street #205 in Downtown Los Angeles (90012), California. I received an email from ArtScene, a wonderful source of local Art Events that is produced by the staff of Coagula Art Journal. Special thanks to Michael Salerno and Mat Gleason, because somewhere in the announcement, I read that Simone Gad was a Belgium-born artist and this led me to want to meet her to talk about the art in Belgium, where my grandfather had been born. Once I attended her exhibit and got a chance to meet Simone, I realized there was a distinct cultural connection we had through our reverence to the animals. She used images of her cats to make intriguing and poignant self-portraits and insightful photographic collages.
    I have followed Simone Gad’s work into 2009 and you will enjoy visiting her site through the L2Kontemporary Gallery located in Chinatown in Los Angeles: Follow these links to get to know a renaissance artist, a versatile film and TV actress, a woman of many talents and an artist who has a great deal of compassion to show for her animal friends: visit the online gallery site at http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view her solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume which may be viewed at saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name.
    Special thanks to the L2Kontemporary Gallery for cooperating with my interview! (www.L2Kontemporary.com and L2Kontemporary@sbcglobal.net and phone: 323-225-1288)

    Simone Gad
    Artist Statement and Biography: 2009

    I've been showing in museums and galleries for 40 years-am a 6 times grants recipient, including a CRA Grant 1986, the Woman's Building 1985/6, New Orleans Contemporary Museum of Art 1984, the Gottlieb Foundation-NYC/Painting Medical Emergency Grant, Change Inc-Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Grant-both in 2002 for painting and medical emergency, and Artist Fellowship Foundation Grant in 2007-NYC. I am included in the Archives of the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian-Washington, DC, and will also be included in the Lyn Kienholz Encyclopedia of Los Angeles Artists who have shown between 1944 and 1979. In Los Angeles, I am represented by L2kontemporary Gallery-Chinatown, Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, and am showing in Spain. I am also in the traveling museum exhibition-Your Documents Please thru 2010 in Japan/Europe/Mexico curated by Daniel Georges of Brooklyn, NY. I was born in Brussels, Belgium to holocaust survivor parents, from Poland. We came to the US in the early 1950's and settled in Boyle Heights/E.L.A, after arriving at Ellis Island. My mother got me into show-biz at the age of 4 upon our immigration. I grew up in the entertainment field as a young actress-have been working professionally in film, tv, commercials and theatre ever since. Have always had a dual career-.visual/performance artist and actor. George Herms and Wallace Berman were my first mentors. Al Hansen was my mentor from 1972 to 1995 when he passed away in Koln, Germany.

    My cats Max and Bella Bettina Kashmir are my inspiration for many of my painting collages-have been so for many years. I've always been inspired by my cats and dogs that I've had since I arrived to this country from War torn Europe. My father got me my first dog-Teddy Queeny when I was a child living on Folsom Street-We had just returned from a movie on Brooklyn Avenue when we saw the puppies on our way home. I was allowed to have one-and I was so happy. But my mother hated animals and wouldn't let me keep my pet with me in my bedroom and it cried all night. I was heartbroken when I got home from Nursery School the following day and found that my dog was gone. My mom told me she had sent it to New Jersey to live with my Tante Sally. I wasn't allowed to have any animals after that. Years later I visited my aunt and asked her if she had taken care of my Teddy Queeny and she told me she never did-she never got the dog-didn't know what I was talking about. I realized that my mother had lied to me and had possibly killed my beloved doggie. I had moved to Topanga Canyon for a while in the late 1960's-that's where I got to know Wallace Berman and George Herms. I was given a miniature sheppard-who I named Lady. She was my constant companion and I adored her. She was run over by a couple of friends who were staying with me one night. I found her bleeding from her mouth by the driveway. She died in my arms and I could feel her spirit leave her body. We buried her the next morning. I was devastated for years. A friend of mine gave me a dash-hound and I took it home to be with me when I left Topanga and stayed with my parents for a while. I named her Wiggle Butts because she had this habit of wiggling her behind when she walked. I was not allowed to keep her-once again-so I called a friend and had her drive from The Canyon to pick Wiggles up and take care of her for me. When I left my parents and got an apartment, I got a cat-Nathaniel-my very first cat-who was with me for 15 years until he passed away. It was then that I started to incorporate animal objects into my collages-in the mid 1970's.

    copyright Simone Gad 2009

    http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view Simone Gad’s solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume-you may also get it on saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name-

    ************************************************************************************


    BETTY GLASS

    Focus One Gallery in Monrovia, California. Sponsored by M.A.F.A.,
    the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts and Focus One Community Credit Union.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2006

    Betty Glass celebrates Christmas with Lulu at home in 2008.
    Lulu, wearing her new holiday sweater,
    pokes her nose into the gift bag
    to see if she likes what Santa has brought her.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty Glass and James Glass.
    Turtle Painting, Watercolor Artwork by Betty Glass reminiscent of her pet turtles.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Trojan Horses, Watercolor painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Hummy, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee and Sugar, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    memorializing the life of her beloved friends.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee (5-17-80 --- 4-20-94)
    the larger white and orange Brittany on the right,
    and Sugar (7-20-90 --- 12-24-04)
    the smaller Brittany on the left.
    "Beloved Friends and Forever in our hearts!"
    Loyal Friends, Inspiration and Companions
    to Artist, Betty Glass and her family.
    (Special thanks to husband, James Glass
    for his technical computer assistance
    with digital photography formating of Betty Glass Artwork.)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass


    Enilde Van Hook, Writer's Notes:
    I met Betty Glass through the Monrovia Association of Fine arts in 2006. We were showing together at the Focus One Gallery on Huntington Drive in Monrovia, California. When Betty came into the gallery, she was toting her adorable poodle named Lulu. I was charmed immediately and I just had to have a photo of this beautiful female pooch with a twinkle in her eye and the gumption to come into an art gallery where only humans gathered. This little poodle had no clue there was any difference between her and her owner, and she acted like she was looking at the art just like everyone else. At the time, I considered this a very cultured poodle and I told Betty so. Betty giggled and let me take her snapshot with Lulu and then we did not see each other again until we had another show together, also at Focus One Gallery two years later in December of 2008. When I saw Betty this time, I saw the connection of her artwork and the love of her animals come through her work and later, she agreed to participate in the interview for my blog. You may enjoy Betty Glass's artwork by visiting her website at www.bhglassart.com

    Betty H. Glass
    Artist Statement about Animal Art

    Through art we communicate our feelings and thoughts.
    Our art reflects what experiences in life have influenced us.
    I have had a lifetime of pets
    ranging from goldfish, parakeets, and turtles and, of course,
    the loyal dog—always your friend even when the sky seems to be falling.
    I am still sketching and painting animals, birds, and fish.
    The softness of their fur, the texture of their feathers and fins,
    the variations of color are very appealing to me,
    because color is part of my artistic signature.
    Sometimes they are presented in a realistic fashion.

    Other times I use animals in a more stylized way—
    using their shapes as patterns, semi-abstracting them and their background.
    For example, my painting Trojan Horses shows flattened stylized figures of horses.
    Hopefully artistically pleasing and calling to mind ancient Greece.





    The Art of Lovin’ Trees-- 
    Featuring Artist Joel Tauber
    Story dedicated to Joel and Alison
    in celebration of their joyous engagement on November 9th,
    2008

    Written and Researched by Enilde Van Hook
    Story Consult and Editing by Luke Van Hook
    Painting, www.lukevanhook.com
    Photography, www.gingervanhook.com
    Writing, www.enildeingelsvanhook.com


     America is having a love affair with trees and California is second to none in leading its appreciation of trees. Digging deep into the roots of this story, I have followed and researched the tree culture specifically in Los Angeles where our love of trees has spawned a unique pop tree culture relating to art. Our popular tree culture today includes but is not limited to tree sculptures, tree paintings, tree photographs, tree videos, tree poetry, tree songs, tree jewelry, tree movies and even tree love affairs. 


    Tree Earing created by Joel Tauber for his Sick-Amour Tree in Pasadena, California.
    Additional Tree Jewelry created by Joel Tauber to adorn the Sick-Amour Tree includes leaf jewelry, as well as the male earing and the female earing that hang from the tree below.  
    Photos of tree jewelry courtesy of  Susanne Vielmetter Gallery 5795 West Washington Blvd., Culver City, California 90232 www.vielmetter.com   infor@vielmetter.com (323-933-2117)


    Sick-Amour Tree in the parkinglot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, protected by barriers installed by Joel Tauber in his quest to save his beloved tree. Tree wearing the earings looks hot!  Photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery.
    Leaf sculpture by Joel Tauber
    Female tree earing by Joel Tauber.
    Male tree earing created by Joel Tauber, photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, 2008

    For the record, our love of trees goes way back to the dawn of time when we were swinging in the trees, however, our love has grown and matured since then. The Greek and Roman heritage of literature and art bestows us with intoxicating stories of their Gods having entanglements with humans. Some of their deities were known as protectors of trees and nature such as Dionysus the Greek god of agriculture, fertility, wine and merriment. He was later renamed Bacchus by the Romans and reported to be the Tree God. Back in the day when artists carved trees into stone and marble relief sculptures to worship in the temples of their mythological gods, people celebrated the sacredness of trees, grapevines and sometimes the unions of gods and mortals. There was Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees who married Vertumnus, the god of fruits and gardens. Digging deep enough, one is sure to find stories of deities mating with trees and spawning children of the harvest for instance.

    In modern literary circles there are a number of great imaginative family favorites written about trees, like “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Then there’s the infamous story of how Robinson Crusoe lived in a tree-house, and of utmost importance to our American history of trees, we propagate the very memorable legend of ‘Johnny Appleseed’.

    In our contemporary times we have a legend in the making too. I have been fortunate to witness the emergence of a new ‘Johnny Appleseed’ and interestingly enough, the story involves a recent romantic love affair between one special tree and a mortal that is well worth pursuing the story. Sometime in the fall of in 2007, I met Joel Tauber. This is the artist who I believe was struck by a mythological bolt of lighting, so to speak, pertaining to one of the Greek or Roman deities’. Joel Tauber is said to have fallen head over heels in love with one particular Sycamore Tree in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. My chance meeting with this now famous mortal under the influence of an enchanted mystical spell, has led me to research the mysteries intrinsic in the charms of trees. I too have been struck with the frailty of trees, their vulnerabilities, and their enormous strengths and inspiration. This together with my own personal experiences with trees has prompted me to come out of my shell and discuss the subject in all seriousness.

    My own personal background is not in trees. I am simply a tree-lover from childhood. For a little over ten years, my professional background was in radio as a disc jockey and on-air personality. I listened to music, reviewed songs and kept tabs on the pop music culture. I worked in the Los Angeles market as well as Santa Barbara, California; Eventually I moved to expand my work experience in neighboring radio markets like Reno, Carson City, Lake Tahoe and Gardnerville/Minden, Nevada. It was through traveling that I saw some of the most beautiful trees along the routes through Northern California and Northern Nevada!
    While I drove from one radio market to another over the years, I watched the trees go by at the various speed limits along the highways of my life’s journeys. Thus you will understand when I tell you that often I see art and life, for that matter, through a series of moving images in my head which include a music bed. 
    I was eleven years old when in 1970, Joni Mitchell wrote and released a song called ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ whose lyrics surpassed the test of time and is currently in airplay by a glut of new groups. The lyrics began with “…They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum and they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em.” One of the barometers I use to gage the influence of any particular song, music or artwork that I come into contact with is if it will surpass the test of time, among other important criteria. This song became one of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics made so much sense to me.
    When I met Joel Tauber, I was introduced to the enormous scope of his Sick-Amour Tree-Baby Project. It was then that I suddenly started hearing Joni Mitchell’s song in my mind again, only this time, as I got in my car, Counting Crows was performing the song. When I started doing more research on the song that I could not get out of my head, I was struck by how many artists had re-recorded the song and barely changed anything about the words. There is Amy Grant, who upgraded the dollar amount from $1.50 to $25 when singing about how much the museums charged people to enter. Additionally there is Green Day, Sarah McLachlan, Charlie Barker, Bob Dylan, Moya Brennan, Ireen Sheer, Donnie Eidt and a host of so many others that have recorded ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ it was simply overwhelming!
    I think the importance of the lyrics to this one particular song is that it reveals the fact that people love trees and hate parking lots. The message is that if it weren’t for our trees, we could be living in a frying pan! The impact of this single song is that it reveals what is really going on in people’s minds. There is a reason why so many artists are flocking to re-record the lyrics in their own way.











    Not only are trees involved in the music arena, trees as subjects, are very involved in politics as well. Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin at the time, took a leading role in developing the celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd 1970 as a way to commemorate our environmental concerns. Arbor Day is presently celebrated as well with the first ceremonial tree planting in Washington D.C. on April 27th in 2001, all evidence that goes to prove the people of our planet do care about what happens to our trees.


    Trees stand as a testiment and memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King

    Dr. Martin Luther King is memorialized with trees along Expositon Blvd. across from the Los Angeles Coliseum and down the street from the University of Southern California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook


    Online sources on the subject of trees are rich in number. For instance, eighteen years ago, here in Los Angeles, a multi racial group of volunteers planted 400 Canary Island Pine trees along seven miles of road on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s life. Today, this living homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to thrive and keep the dream alive for his followers. The founder and President of www.treepeople.org is Mr. Andy Lipkis and he keeps tabs on the trees to make sure all 400 trees stay healthy.



    Mayor Antonio Villarigosa is the person to thank for the ‘Million Trees Initiative’ he signed into effect in May of 2006 and Los Angeles residents can learn how they too can receive up to 7 free trees to plant on their property. Visit the website at www.milliontreesla.org to learn the details.   Also in Portland, Oregon there is www.friendsoftrees.org and in Bellingham Washington you will find www.geocities.com. There is also the International Society of Arboriculture called ISA and can be accessed by visiting www.isa-arbor.com. You will also find a great deal of valuable advise on the growth and care of trees at www.treesaregood.com and check out Tree Care Industry Association TCIA as well.



    Mark Dion created an art piece titled "Library for the Birds of Antwerp" which is also a good example of how art is vitally connected with our tree culture and how it connects Mark Dion to his PBS special where he removed a dead tree from the forest and recreated its living components in a city scape in Washington.  From the "20th Century Artbook Phaidon Press 1996", the caption reads: "Using props from the natural and man-made world, Dion has constructed an installation that explores contemporary attitudes to science and the environment. He has created a fictional and hybridized situation in which the trappings associated with knowledge, learning and classification--such as books and photographs--are juxtaposed with natural elements including birds and wood.   The representation of nature is a fundamental subject in Dion's art, and here he takes on the role of sociologist/anthropologist and blurring the boundaries between authentic and fake, representation and parody. By adopting the persona of a scientist and by satirizing man's obsession with categorization, Dion questions the values of the Western world.  His subject matter is heavily influence by popular culture.  In Dion's world we might witness Mickey Mouse as an explorer, or Clark Kent interviewing Dr. Frankenstein." (Photo and contents are used in this story for purposes of artistic review.)

    In the art world, an artist named Mark Dion was featured in a documentary film report that aired in 2007. To view the video one may visit on the Internet by going to www.pbs.org and find Mark Dion as he took the subject of trees and made an art piece that explored what would happen if one were to take a tree after its death, take it out of its familial context of natural forest, and re-create the ecosystem in an environment that would otherwise be a hostile urban setting, needless to say, a cityscape. Just outside of Seattle Washington, he states, a Hemlock fell on February 8th, 1996…and so begins an elaborate experiment that pits optimism against reality." The PBS special is very detailed and you will enjoy the depth of research and work that Mark Dion went to to take a tree out of the forest and recreate the setting in the city.  The difference between the artwork presented by Mark Dion and  the artwork presented by Joel Tauber is in the nature of the life of the tree. Mark Dion works with a dead tree and its living components, and Joel Tauber creates life out of a tree seed and duplicates it all over his community.


    Thus I’ve discovered for myself that when I researched the subject of trees, I discovered Joel Tauber wasn’t alone! However, instead of creating an experiment in ecology, Joel Tauber goes further than Mark Dion does with this concept of eco-systems and their frailties. Joel Tauber begins a journey that could eventually repair the eco-systems that man has destroyed. This is where Joel Tauber takes the lead in the art world and becomes not only the realist but the optimistic hope for trees in desecrated forests all over the country.
    Joel Tauber’s work as a living project of art in 2008 has resonance and his story is well worth telling again and again. He is certainly not the first, nor the last to get involved in the love of trees, but he is the first in contemporary times to have been associated with a mythological and mystical occurrence of reproducing tree babies out of just hugging one lonely tree.


    The last time I saw a man hugging a tree, he was hugging the tree for all the wrong reasons. At the MOCA, Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, some years back I was viewing an exhibition that was in town by the Utah born artist now working in Los Angeles, Paul McCarthy. While this work of art depicted a very raw and unsettling sculpture of ‘tree-lovin’ it had nothing whatsoever to do with the love of any tree. The work displayed a timely political statement about our government rather than the love for trees, but bear in mind that the thought involved images from man’s intimate involvement with trees both in the biblical sense and in the sense of man’s raping of the planet. Joel Tauber’s work counteracts the devastation of many years of neglect for our trees with a very basic recipe for the renewal of our commitment to our green-leafed friends. Now, when I see the image of Joel Tauber hugging his Sycamore Tree in Pasadena, I get a whole new perspective for the love for our planet, our trees and our environment as a whole.

    "The Garden" by Paul McCarthy from The 20th Century Art Book, 
    Phaidon Press Limited, page 280. Photo is used for purposes of artistic review.
    The caption in the book reads as follows: " 'The Garden'  is a full-scale tableau of an outdoor, woodland scene, complete with leafy trees, shrubs and rocks.  This tranquil picture of nature is rudely interrupted by the presence of a middle-aged, balding man with his trousers round his ankles, engaged in a wholly unnatural act. From one side of the installation, his actions are not immediately apparent, being partially hidden by the tree trunks and foliage, but the sound of mechanical activity draws the viewer in to discover the shocking sight of a man copulating with a tree.  This robotic figure, with its endlessly repetitive movements, is both comical and crude, and is intended by McCarthy to question notions of acceptable public behavior and sexual morality.  McCarthy is a lecturer at UCLA as well as an artist. His sculptural installations evolved out of his earlier performance work which focused on his own body engaged in extreme and disturbing acts."




    To further explain this romantic entanglement between a tree and a mortal, I cite some important historical facts. Back in 2005, Joel Tauber was in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, when he spotted a particularly lonely and neglected Sycamore Tree. There are hundreds of thousands of trees in Pasadena, and a great number of them thrive very well on the grounds of the Rose Bowl, should you ever drive through this luscious community of tree and rose-lovers, you will see. But Joel Tauber focused his attention on one specific lonely tree. He started to note more and more how cars would hit the bark of the tree and scrape it, injuring the tree repeatedly. Joel Tauber became a witness to this tree’s life. Taking compassion and friendship upon this particular tree, Tauber began to film the area of the parking lot where the tree was growing. He got the idea to put up solid barriers to protect it from cars and also carried water in large plastic bags to irrigate the tree. Soon, Tauber found himself as a one-man band, orchestrating a symphony of activities leading to editing mass quantities of tree footage, fighting City Hall, and embarking on a quest to save this tree from infertility using tried and true guerilla tactics that would make tree-huggers stand and salute. To personally view the Sick-Amour project, along with the giant scale tree sculpture installation exhibited at Susanne Vielmetter Gallery in 2007, you may visit www.vielmetter.com.













                   Recently, I had the privilege and opportunity to discuss Joel Tauber’s work with Susanne Vielmetter and she was delighted to tell me what a wonderful sense of humor that Tauber exhibits in all of his works of art. Susanne Vielmetter reviewed the Underwater project with me as well as the Flying Project which Tauber presented.
    She explained how deep down, she feels Tauber is on a quest for meaning in his work and that he has a keen sense of humor that unifies and makes his ideas successful. She states that he uses the comical and the tragic in the Tree-Baby project to address the issues of urban living in our time and very subtly pokes fun at the problems innate in urban planning. The real irony of a small Sycamore tree dying of thirst in a parking lot of a beautiful park in a paradise-like valley, alongside the 110 Pasadena Freeway where 80% of the territory is plastered with concrete and the water below runs along asphalt channels of the Los Angeles River is not lost on Tauber, she explained. To contrast, Susanne Vielmetter cited that parks in Europe allow for weeds to grow naturally on landscapes that are not covered with concrete. Joel Tauber’s projects were initially presented at the Susanne Vielmetter Gallery located at 5795 Washington Blvd., in Culver City, California. The response Susanne Vielmetter’s Gallery received was incredibly exciting, even though at first, some folks thought Joel Tauber was a nut; he went on to prove just how serious he really is about changing the landscape of our environment, one tree at a time.



    Joel Tauber has a large body of video artwork, photographs and developing tree babies, (the children of a mortal and a Charmed Sycamore Tree) and one may also visit www.joeltauber.com.
    As I learned more and more about Joel Tauber’s project, I realized how blessed we all are that tree-lovin’ is not a singular act of love or even a fleeting love of art. I realized how connected we all are to our environment and how the idea of having a special friend ‘the tree’, any tree in any state, in any country for that matter is a beautiful connection to have. The connection that Joel Tauber has to his Sycamore Tree is in synch with the love that the country is experiencing during our new millennium. We have all become acutely aware of the fragility of life; we realize now more than ever that we must respect our dependence on our environment and value our trees.

    The first thing that struck me about Joel Tauber was that we had the love of trees in common. He seemed a bit shy, unassuming and humble yet I was later to learn the enormous power he wielded for this one frail and neglected tree in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl in California. I was truly inspired by the level of involvement and commitment he had demonstrated for his own beloved Sycamore Tree which he had turned into a full-blown art-project including video, photography and sculptured jewelry. (He did it all!) He named this work the Sick-Amour Project mainly because he said he felt this tree was ill from the lack of love and the inability to have tree babies to fulfill its legacy. I had never personally met someone with such an extreme love and dedication to one particular tree. In our local newscasts, I had heard stories of people who became very emotional when a land developer was about to cut down a tree they considered a relic of their community; in which case people got very nasty about the issue and would chain themselves to the trees or surround the location with demonstrators that would shut down the jobsite. That’s when the news crews would come in with their cameras and boom mikes and the news helicopters would hover in circles above the trees trying to capture the ‘event’ that was creating all the uproar. A very recent example of this type of community behavior is written about on the front pages of the Los Angeles Times where Eric Bailey, a Times Staff Writer, wrote an extensive story about the tree-issues pertaining to Scotia, California where activists are protesting the logging of the Great California REDWOODS! Read the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times, August 24th, 2008 or visit www.latimes.com online to learn how the tree-sitters are doing today.

    But Joel Tauber is a different type of activist. He doesn’t consider himself an activist at all. He merely states, humbly, just for the record, that he loves this one particular Sycamore Tree and it is an outrage to him to see how his new best friend is being suffocated under a six-inch blanket of black tar and asphalt. Better yet, Joel Tauber does something about it. Not with a crew of forty thousand demonstrators, not even with a crew of forty residents. He does this on his own, quietly challenging the laws of the city of Pasadena and humbly takes responsibility for the care and nurturing of his new best friend. I was touched. At once I began to marvel at his potent idea.



    The art of loving our trees has grown roots in the higher levels of the art world as well. For instance, if one were to visit the J. Paul Getty Museum both at the Getty Villa which recently re-opened in Malibu and at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, you will find the love of trees has grown branches on all the hillsides surrounding both properties. There are lucky Sycamores and fortunate Pines; there are Pomegranate trees, Apple trees, Pear trees, Jacaranda trees and trees that just look good in a vista overlooking the ocean. Millions of dollars went into the development of artistic gardens which envelope the California landscape against a backdrop of the Pacific Ocean on one edge and the rolling hills of Malibu on the other.






    Over in the area of the Miracle Mile, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is celebrating an enormous renovation of its facilities and you guessed it, there are aisles and isles of gigantic palm trees lining the walkways to the entrance of the museum in concert with a unique and flamboyant architecture that has drawn the attention of the art-world with the generosity of Eli and Edythe Broad of the Broad Foundation. The Broad Contemporary Art Museum is the new wing at the LACMA and is considered the largest space in the country devoted exclusively to contemporary art. With a ‘living art display’ dedicated to the iconic palm trees, not native to California, Robert Irwin has developed a plein-air walkway through ‘Palm Gardens’ as one makes their way to the entrances of the museum.





    Lush green trees thrive all over Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Bowl where Joel Tauber fell in love with a Sycamore Tree.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2008




     The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California  is also home to some of the most exquisite antiquities in its museum history which includes sculptures amid a forest like atmosphere. Currently at the Norton Simon Museum, among its many exhibitions, one may enjoy the artwork of Ruth Weisberg, Dean of the Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. Opening on October 17, 2008 the Weisberg exhibition at the Norton Simon runs through March 2, 2009. Additionally a lecture by the artist is planned where Weisberg discusses: Guido Cagnacci and the Resonant Image on Sunday November 16, 2008.  The Norton Simon Museum of Art is located at 411 West Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California. Ruth Weisberg was instrumental in selecting the work of Joel Tauber to be permanently planted on the Main University Campus of USC on January 24, 2008 where a tree planting ceremony was held and attended by numerous members of USC faculty, staff, students and guests. The location of the new tree-baby, child of the Sick-Amour Project, currently exists on the Exposition side of the campus between Gate one and the Fischer Gallery, across the street from the Museum of Natural History. 


    In Pasadena, where lovers of trees line every street of the city as the landscapes are lush with all types of trees and where these wonderful healthy trees keep cool the throngs of tourists who visit the Rose Bowl every year, is also home to the Norton Simon Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Both locations are areas where tree-lovin’ may be experienced alongside some of California’s best-known artworks. Visit the NORTON SIMON MUSEUM at www.nortonsimon.org located at 411 West Colorado, Pasadena, California 91105 or visit the PASADENA MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA ART at www.pmcaonline.com at 490 East Union Street, Pasadena, California.



    In San Marino, California, the art of trees, gardens and succulents has found a worthy haven at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens spanning an area of 120 acres dedicated to the fine arts founded by Henry E. Huntington in 1928 as the very first public art gallery in Southern California. Along with English portraits and French eighteenth-century furniture, one will delight in tours of the unique garden paradise established for the pure love of the botanical arts.


    On the hillside along the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, one may also enjoy walking along the elegant landscapes of the Skirball Cultural Center and Museum grounds and witness the serenity of the trees as Weeping Willows slope their leaves to the ground, and gentle breezes sway the branches of Sycamores, Oaks and Birch trees. Visit the Skirball Museum online at www.skirball.org, or enjoy a personal walk along the grounds and explore the tributes to culture at 2701 North Sepulveda, Los Angeles 90049.

    Trees at the Skirball Museum and Cultural Center thrive and enjoy the mild California climate.


    In San Diego, one enjoys walking through a vast museum complex housing 15 unique museums in Balboa Park, not to mention to the collection of rare cactus and enormous Eucalyptus trees (just to name one tree type out of numerous ones) which shade the paths leading from one museum to another.

    Each of the locations I have mentioned or described here is where I personally walked through, witnessed, and or photographed sophisticated artistic tree landscapes of the California terrain.

    The Roots of my personal anxieties: Why I care.

    The impact of my meeting Joel Tauber coincided with an important event that took place for me way before I knew about his Sick-Amour Tree project and was what eventually led me to throw myself into this frenzied study of trees over this summer. Thus I do not necessarily consider myself struck by any of the Greek or Roman gods. I believe my influence came with a special awareness of the frailty of trees with this personal story:

    A little over one year ago, on June 30th, 2007 I was walking our dog Sasha, around the block for one of our frequent walks. I rounded the corner to the next block when I was taken aback as I witnessed a set of ‘city’ crewmembers slaughtering what appeared to be a California Oak tree. I had grown quite fond of that particular Oak on my many walks while I was writing my first novel. As a matter of fact, I had used that model of tree to describe a forest of these trees in a chapter in my first fiction novel. I especially love the sculptured texture of the Mighty gnarly Oaks. This tree had been the one to rekindle my relationship with the trees of my imagination. My stomach got queasy when I saw how it was being destroyed. I would have thrown-up, but I got a hold of my emotions and took Sasha home. Not only did I return to the scene of the slaughter, but I brought my camera to document the death and dismemberment of this great oak; I was so distraught that I returned again to the site, without my camera this time, and begged the men to stop for a moment while I sought out the seeds for this tree. To my surprise, the men stopped and helped me search for the seeds.








    When I got home, I had no idea what to do with the seeds. I called a couple of nurseries until a gentleman at a nursery in Marina del Rey explained to me that I had to wait until the pods dried up and slit to get at the seeds and plant them. So, I waited until the pods were black and wrinkled. I split them according to the directions I had gotten from this kind anonymous arborist. (He suggested a process much like that which squirrels have for cracking the pods.) I photographed the seeds and compared them with the larger seed of an apricot fruit tree and the seed of a maple tree.






    Once properly documented, I planted them in a small brown pot. Two weeks later, the first seed came up. A few days later another seed appeared to take root. On the one-year anniversary of the re-birth day of this Great Knurly Oak tree, July 20th, 2008, I documented how large the great twin oaks had become. The highest little bitty branch was about fourteen inches tall. I estimated this tree had grown a little over an inch every month. A compassionate act of kindness yielded a new life on the impulse of grief. The impulse of grief affected not only me; there is an entire world of tree-lovers mourning the losses of their favorite tree friends in surrounding communities.












    What about the subconscious feelings innate in developing a relationship with a tree? For instance, what draws people to want to save a particular tree? 

    I can really only speak to my own experience in that my relationship with trees started when I was a child.

              Luke Van Hook Paintings Now at Brand Library Galleries "Circle in the Square" Yesung Kim, Barbara Kolo, Susan Sironi, Cheryl Walker thru Sept 5th 2008        
    The Entrance to the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale, California hosts a prominent postcard of the show "Circle in the Square" now exhibiting through September 5th, 2008


    PHOTO-JOURNAL BY GINGER VAN HOOK


    Photo above: 
    Cathy Billings, Art Librarian and Gallery Manager of the 
    Brand Library Art Galleries and Co-Curator of 
    "Circle in the Square" selected Luke Van Hook 
    as one of the artists to show his circle paintings 
    which explore Giotto's fabled "perfect circle.
    Photo below: 
    Alyssa Resnick, Senior Library Supervisor, Gallery Director 
    and Co-curator pictured with Luke Van Hook.
    Both ladies made studio visits all over Los Angeles and surrounding communities in search of the "perfect circle" of artists to represent the illusive qualities of the circle.
    It takes over a year to prepare for a large show at the Brand Library Art Galleries and no one will have a better story to tell you about the waiting process than Galleries Manager and Curator, Cathy Billings or Alyssa Resnick, Senior Library Supervisor and Gallery Director. These ladies traveled to Inglewood, California for a studio visit to see Luke Van Hook's circle paintings some time in the early summer of 2007. They told Luke that they were preparing to curate a show of artists working on the motif of the 'circle'.  They had already reviewed a number of artists and found making the final decision difficult, first because there were a number of artists who worked with this subject and secondly, the talent was very competitive. The subject of the circle and how each artist approaches this topic is worth dedicated study in and of itself.  These lovely ladies, Cathy and Alyssa, with a keen eye for artistic talent, selected a total of five talented artists to show together this summer.   
    Here you will find photos of how each artist expressed their obsession with the circular form.  I'll begin my blog entry with a brief history of what I believe may have led Luke Van Hook to painting the circle and continue with the photos and biographical information of the additional four artists each selected for working with the motif of circles, independently of each other, with their own unique and individual interpretations of the circle: Yesung Kim, Barbara Kolo, Susan Sironi, and Cheryl Walker.
    Luke Van Hook began his present study of the circle in 2005. He first discovered the legend of Giotto's "Perfect Circle" in a class about ancient history; but the idea didn't sink in at first. He needed time to reason with his quest. While Luke approached the specific task of painting the circle with thin paintbrushes and applying layer upon layer of color to a raw naked canvas, I set about trying to understand what the hell prompted my husband to go circle crazy in the first place.  I started researching what the circle meant and I found a lot of literature in the realm of magic, rituals, mathematics, secret societies and romance. But my first impression was that the circle was a way to get back to the beginning of things.  Then I delved deeper.  Was Luke trying to say that he was going in circles?  Were we at this artistic point in our lives as a result of a past life?  Was our circular existence referencing our cycle of birth, death and rebirth?  Or was the answer more basic than that, like "the earth is round and it's an orbital thing.' There were other issues on the table I was urged to deal with also.  Were these circle paintings partly influenced by the school we had attended?  Once we leave school we are expected to make works of art that have fresh meaning and to blow out the cobwebs of old thinking.  While at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, Luke Van Hook studied all the required areas to excel in his chosen profession as a fine arts painter including the figure, landscapes and abstracts. But the abstract visual image is what finally drew Luke back in.  Could it be the understated obvious fact that the big 'O' (which formed a circle on every memo, syllabus and brochure in the name of Otis College) was influencing him subconsciously?  
    Luke's earlier work involved intricately small hatch marks that evolved into large abstract images full of vibrant colors.  This work was very reminiscent of Jasper Johns.  So where did this circle idea really emanate from?  Did his hatch marks get married or what?  Observers of Luke Van Hook's work have stated that it raises the question, 'Is it a painting or a drawing?  Is it text or writing?'  Luke will often begin a row of circles that reads from left to right just as western literature is expressed.  But sometimes he changes his mind, and the direction of his technique, and he starts to paint his rows from right to left. At other times, he completes a horizontal column of circles which refers more to ancient Asian forms of writing going from the top, down.
    During his graduating year at Otis College in 2004, Luke went on a mission to explore machine technology as it pertained to replacing humans.  He painted large canvases with a number of faces and shapes that represented cyborgs expressing the fear, uncertainty and ambivalence that humans have toward our technological future.  But once out of school, a full year later, in 2005 Luke seem to have turned a corner.  He seemed to have replaced his fear of technology with a competitive defiance that defied all reason.  Luke started working with his father-in-law, in his machine shop, where he started to observe how everything around him involved the circle in one way or another.  He watched the machines (Fadal CNC's- numerical control production machines) in action. The tool would spin in circles, plunging in and out of aluminum, stainless steel and plastic materials. The space left behind was almost always a perfect circle.  Perhaps, this was Luke's starting point. It was the first time he'd really seen a machine make simple circles and Luke probably said something to himself like 'I can do this! Just watch me!' then promptly, decided to take on his destiny. To compete with a machine, may have been the early impulse that drew Luke to paint the circle, but the legend of Giotto's 'perfect circle' was what has kept Luke going full steam ahead into production of abstract works of art.  The initial pieces he created were prototypes. These were the experiments he and his father-in-law Luis Ingels, worked on before moving into the hand made pieces. As his first experiment, Luke inserted a paint brush into the collet of the machine and programmed the coordinates to match the canvas. He overshot his calculations and the brush came crashing down upon the canvas; the collet smashed the brush right through the canvas and even broke the frame. Perhaps, Luke might have thought as he and my father, Luis, looked at each other, 'it was time to go back to the drawing board'. Undaunted by initial failure, Luke did complete an entire series of machine made circles before he went on to the main event, the competition of drawing the circles, one by one, by hand.  
    Each piece of artwork created since his first attempts, is meticulously reinvented into creative visual landscapes layering circles upon circles of color schemes in gradations of complementary hues.  The colors reveal very subtle changes.  The circles pull the eye in.  The images seem to have a life of their own, a vibrant quality of pushing the viewer to look for patterns while pulling the eyes into fishers, crevices, or 'wormholes' as one collector observed. I have witnessed the intimate evolution of Luke's circles only because I have the honor and privilege of being Luke's wife.  The fact that I am discussing my husband's art work is of significance only in the sense that it is somewhat rare, although not unheard of, for the artist's loved one to interject a provocative discussion of the artwork publicly in a blog; however, this is a sign of the times we live in today and I feel blessed as a writer to have this open forum to share with you the joys and struggles inherent in Luke's artistic process.
    The way I see it, Luke has taken on  the impossible task of creating the perfect circle, where no perfect circle has ever existed before, despite Giotto's legend.  All mathematical equations to date reveal that there is no perfect circle. It is a myth. So why Luke has persisted in this impossible feat only reminds me of the story of Don Quixote. Here is where I see Luke chasing his windmills. This is where in my imagination, I view the circles on the canvas as Luke's quest for the impossible dream and his circles are his windmills.  His paintbrush is his sword.  Thus Luke 
    Van Hook's paintings, for me, exhibit all the romantic qualities innate in a love story.  Seeking to please his beloved Lucia, these references emerging from raw canvas could be read practically like text.  Some art collectors saw the circles as Braille text or some secret code or language.  The secret, I think, lies in Luke's love of sports!  Sometimes I interpret this circle code to reflect images of the sports activities I see Luke enjoy daily;  I make visual connections to the circles on the wheels of his bicycles which hang in his studio or his skate boards that decorate the rafters of the painting bays or even the wheels that drive his car which sits resting on almost perfect circles on the driveway.
    For a while, I was convinced that Luke's enthusiasm for cycling was directly influencing the subjects of his paintings because one day, I was staring at one of his earlier images, (which is hung lovingly on the wall of the dining room right over the microwave oven); I saw it hanging next to a photograph of Luke participating in the 'Death Race 1999', a bicycle ride that cycle enthusiasts pursue along the most dangerous mountainous roads known as the California Alps in Northern California at the edge of the Northern Nevada border where Markleeville meets the Carson Valley.   The image Luke had painted in 1998, while recovering, ironically, from a broken ankle suffered in a bicycle race in Minden; was the image of three bicycles in a dead heat on the gray pavement with the yellow dividing line providing a ground for what appears as three large helmets (representative of the riders) in red, green and yellow.  The eventual emergence of Luke's hatch marks from work created in 2000, can be seen on the helmets and if you are really looking for this, (with your microscope) you may even find, the very beginnings of the influences which have eventually led to this mad case of circle paintings!  The circle imagery you might be searching for could have started at the base of the bicycle's anatomy with the wheels spinning along the highway to Kingsbury Grade, somewhere near Genoa, along the bottom of the hill leading to Lake Tahoe.  I comfort myself as painter's wife, that even Picasso had his periods, as did Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gogh, Monet and Gauguin and so long as Luke Van Hook doesn't try to cut off his ear we are doing just fine with these circles.


    But don't take my word for it. Luke Van Hook's circle paintings are something you should see for yourself.  The subtlety of the work is difficult to capture on film, although I tried my best to create a video after struggling with photographing the stills for three years.  But even the video work fails to reveal the whole story.  You've got to stand in front of one of these pieces to involve yourself in the novella of Luke's life.  Although I can decode a small portion of what I see through his work, the rest of the circles on the canvas are still a vague mystery to me as well.  Every relationship has its secrets.  Thus Luke and I, as artists, are no different.  Even when we know each other, there are elements of surprise and adventure that we have yet to tell each other.  The mystery in his canvases is what really thrills me to see Luke's work on display under gallery lighting! (Sales don't hurt my enthusiasm either!)





    When I think of Luke Van Hook's circle paintings, today, in 2008, I often think of Luke riding a skateboard doing 'ollies' and then trying for a loop-de-loop in mid-air.  This is because in January of 2008, Luke begged for a skateboard for his birthday and little did I know what would happen when I wrapped it up for him!  He has returned to the love of his youth.  Luke Van Hook has come full circle to his beginnings to land on his home base. The skateboard has also flown in mid-air, in harmony with gravity, and both land as one in a perfect execution of a move I would never dare try to do myself.  I see each circle on the canvas as Luke's attempt to catapult his work into the mainstream of the art-world with each rotation of the paintbrush on the surface of the canvas.  This is where I see Luke Van Hook in mid catapult, surfing on the air, light in transition, from youth to inspired maturity; from student to master, with paintbrush in hand landing and continuing to roll on four wheels with a great big shit-eating grin on his face. ('four' being the lucky number of his numerology charts). I see the ordered struggle, the innate joy in the success of one loop-de-loop after another. And once in a while, I also see the crash landing and the bloody injuries.  What is more important is that Luke gets up and does it again each and every time.  Luke has to begin again with each new circle, every circle becoming a part of a larger layer of community, thus his canvases vibrate with activity, mystery, romance and adventure.  I find my own meanings in each image  as it develops day by day and I am privileged to stand beside him, admire and witness the struggle of our Don Quixote in the new millennium, first hand.
    There is still time to see these painting up close and personal. The Brand Library Art Galleries is part of the Glendale Public Library, located at 1601 West Mountain Street in the City of Glendale, 91201  Telephone:  818-548-2051/ fax 818-548-2713 ;  visit the Brand Library Art Galleries online at   www.brandlibrary.org    to  check for Library hours.
    Cookie Gallegos, Ana Porras and Martha Ingels attend the opening of "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook. Brand Art Library Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008 Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    (From left to right) Margo Payne, Lynn Nantana-Green and Angela Williams attend the exhibition "Circle in the Square" in support of Luke Van Hook.
    Lynn Lantana-Green came to support Artist, Luke Van Hook at the opening reception of "Circle in the Square" an art exhibition held at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.  Photos by Ginger Van Hook
    Kevin Powell came to support Luke Van Hook and enjoy the paintings at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California, August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist Luke Van Hook brought home-made pies to his reception of the exhibition "Circle in the Square". In addition to painting, Luke Van Hook has a reputation for making awesome pies from scratch. Photographed milling around the Double Fudge Pican Pie and the Sweet Berry Pie were the grandchildren of Hector Sticker. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    (From left to right) Claudio Sticker, Hector Sticker, Peter Bolten, Martha Ingels, Luke Van Hook and Luis Ingels attend the reception of  "Circle in the Square". Luke Van Hook and Luis Ingels worked together to create circles on canvas with the use of robotic CNC machines. After creating a little over a dozen machine-made paintings, Luke went on to compete with the machine and do the circles on his own by hand, one by one. Each circle is represented as being one breath and Luke Van Hook states that these are the marks he is leaving behind which define his existence during this lifetime as he continues to pursue the legend of "Giotto's Perfect Circle". Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    From left to right, Ohannes Berberian, his daughter Melanie, Luke Van Hook and Rouzanna Berberian attend the opening reception of "Circle in the Square" at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008.  Ohannes Berberian owns DigiTECH Camera Repair in Monrovia, California (www.digitechcamerarepair.com). Luke Van Hook and Rouzanna Berberian are both fine art painters and members of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (M.A.F.A.). Rouzanna Berberian is a teacher in the after-school arts programs supported by M.A.F.A.  which promotes the goal of enhancing the lives of those within the community through interaction with the arts and to increase the opportunities of children through art education. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    From left to right, Kathleen Zgonc, photographer Frank Zgonc and artist Luke Van Hook attend the opening reception of 'Circle in the Square' at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008. Frank Zgonc is a an executive member of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts in Monrovia, California. Frank Zgonc is the vice-president and official curator of Monrovia's yearly October Art Festival. This year the October Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday October 11th and 12th, 2008 at the Monrovia Community Center located at 119 W. Palm Avenue in Monrovia. Free and open to the public, this art event will feature work by photographer Frank Zgonc; (Scheduled from 10 am to 6pm both days).  There will also be an Opening Night Celebration Saturday, October 11th from 7-9:30 pm where the special Renaissance Award will be presented to a worthy individual who has made significant contributions to the arts. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Mr. and Mrs. Luke and Ginger Van Hook attend the opening reception of 'Circle in the Square' at the Brand Libraries Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 in Glendale, California.  Luke Van Hook an artist working from Inglewood, California earned a BFA  at Otis College of ARt and Design.  For several years, Van Hook has been exploring in his work, Giotto's fabled "perfect circle".  Over time the single-minded focus on the perfection of the circle has been subsumed by the artist's interest in the aesthetic and expressive qualities of the circle. New works depict ritualistically repeated circular brushstrokes on canvas, hemp, and other materials. Van Hook states that he began " as a challenge to myself to see if a perfect circle was possible; these circles have now morphed into a challenge to myself to see if a perfect circle is  possible. These circles have now morphed into a study in patience. The sense of time and the marking of time is inherent in the meticulous application of paint. The viewer can appreciate these temporal qualities but is also compelled to bring their own  interpretation to the work. Are these circles pure abstraction? Combined do they conceal deliberate shapes and forms? or are they perhaps a secret code or language? Van Hook has exhibited at TAG Gallery, Focus One Gallery, and the Bolsky Gallery in  Westchester. Luke Van Hook's painting may also be viewed on his website: www.lukevanhook.com
    Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten


    Kevin Powell comes to support Luke Van Hook for his opening reception. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Jason Porras attends the opening reception to support Luke Van Hook in his endeavors to pursue Giotto's legend of the 'Perfect Circle'. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo By Ginger Van Hook.


    Zoe Hengst, Ginger Van Hook and Martha Ingels attend the opening of "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten.
    Zoe and Jopie Hengst walk through the center of the exhibition "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook at the opening night, August 2, 2008. Paintings by Susan Sironi in the background. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.

    Cookie Gallegos, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook pose for photographs in front of Luke Van Hook's painting at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 Glendale, California. Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten.

    Cookie Gallegos and Ana Porras watch the dance performance choreographed by Cheryl Walker, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California.
    Paintings by Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Paintings by Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Yesung Kim poses for a photograph in front of her paintings at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 02, 2008, Glendale, California. Yesung Kim from Upland, California, was born in Seoul, South Korea and holds MFA degrees from Chung-Ang University and Claremont Graduate University. Kim's mixed media pieces are seductively simple. Ordinary brown packing string is deftly applied to a painted canvas creating organic shapes that shimmer and reflect light. At times these shapes appear to be on the brink of an amoeba-like division as they spread and expand, dropping off the edge of one canvas and continuing on to another. Kim  cites the natural world and light and color as the underlying themes that both inspire and permeate her work.  Following solo shows at the Seoul Museum of Art and the Seoul Arts Center, Kim's work was most recently exhibited at the San Bernardino County Museum's Multi Media Mini Show. More information about Kim's work can be found on her website: www.yesungkim.com
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Painting by Susan Sironi, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 Glendale, California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Glass curtain by Susan Sironi, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008,Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Cheryl Walker designed a curtain of vinyl layers of color called 'Waterfall IV' that became the backdrop for a beautiful dance performance using the 'circle in the square' theme exhibited at the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale California, August 2, 2008. Cheryl Walker holds in her hand some of the vinyl circles that were placed upon the windows at the exhibition hall. Her vinyl circles upon the windows created an illusion of  the stained glass effects. The dance piece entertained a large audience on opening night as artists, collectors, art appreciators and family and friends celebrated the mythologies, geometries, magical and mystical qualities of the circle.   Dance Performers Liz  Curtis, and Martha Carrascosa performed a dance which included participation from members of the audience.  
    Members of the audience interacted with the dancers Martha Carrascosa and Liz Curtis at the Brand Library Art Galleries participated in creating a colorful cascade of window art on August 2, 2008 in Glendale, California.
    Audience watches dancers Liz Curtis and Martha Carrascosa from Glendale Community College as they perform a choreographed piece by Cheryl Walker, artist. "Circle in the Square", Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California, August 2, 2008.  Photo By Ginger Van Hook
    Dancers Liz Curtis and Martha Carrascosa performing dance choreographed by artist Cheryl Walker, (within the green curtain), Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Cheryl Walker engaged in performance art intersecting with window art using the artistic theme of 'Circle in the Square'. Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, CAlifornia August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.

    Cheryl Walker smiles happily on opening night, Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California. August 2, 2008. Cheryl Walker, a Los Angeles artist, earned her BA in art in her home state of Minnesota, and her MFA from California State University, Long Beach. In this exhibition Walker created two large site-specific installations of vinyl, oil pastel and natural and artificial light.  Walker explains that the driving force behind her work is "human interaction and improvisation in response to a natural phenomenon or situation." Trained as painter, Walker's installations have some of the qualities of painting; when viewed head-on the suspended layers of vinyl can appear to be two-dimensional because of their transparency and the cut shapes and forms applied to the vinyl are reminiscent of brushstrokes--but removed from the wall these works are thrust into what she calls an "interactive field of play." The fluidity of the material she works with and her interest in collaboration between the artist and the viewer have inspired Walker to create works that can be transformed into performance pieces by dance, music and in-situ art-making. In this exhibition, a dance performance captivates the audience on opening night at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. August 2, 2008.  Photos By Ginger Van Hook




    Barbara Kolo, Artist from "Circle in the Square" poses for a photograph in front of her painting with her husband Mr. Kolo. Barbara Kolo, a Santa Monica Artist, earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Kolo Participated in a successful two-person show at the Brand Library Art Galleries in 1999. The Brand Library Art Galleries are pleased to present (nearly ten years later) a new body of work by Barbara Kolo that connects to that which was here before. In those works and these, her focus is on representing organic materials. The current large scale acrylic on canvas works are saturated with color; the stippled application of paint creates organic shapes and patterns representative of the natural world.  The subject matter is open to each viewers interpretation, where one may see a birch forest at dusk, others may see the  bold aesthetic of pure color and abstraction. Kolo has had recent solo shows at Topanga Canyon Gallery and the Off Rose Gallery in Venice, California. More information about Kolo's work can be found on her website: www.barbarakolo.com Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook






    Barbara Kolo poses for a photograph during opening night celebrations for the exhibition, "Circle in the Square" at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Augusts 2, 2008. Glendale, California.


    Susan Sironi,  an artist living in Altadena, California posed for her photograph in front of her paintings at  the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. August 2, 2008.  Susan Sironi earned her BFA at California Sate University, Long Beach. This exhibition will showcase Sironi's recent paintings as well as her Glass Curtain installation which is comprised of conjoined antique optometric lenses. Her paintings are about texture, color and process. Small dabs of oil paint are painstakingly applied to aluminum, building up an intricate, thorny surface. Highly textured and multihued when viewed up close, this surface belies the color play minimalist color-field appearance of the work at a distance . In the artist's own words "texture and color play equal roles in these works. They ... set up contradictions within each piece. Painitings  that seem to invite touch and intimacy are also reserved and automomous. Time and process are weighed against a static and minimal structure. Sironi's work was most recently seen in the Brea Art Gallery's Made in California exhibition, at the Chouinard School of Art Gallery, and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.  More information about Sironi's work can be found on her website: web.mac.com/susansironi/susan/sironi/Welcome.html.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook.  

    Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.



    The Entrance to the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale, California hosts a prominent postcard of the show "Circle in the Square" now exhibiting through September 5th, 2008

                       Luke Van Hook paintings are now showing at the Brand Library Art Galleries in
              The Art of Reading Leads to the Art of Writing at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the UCLA campus in Westwood! by Enilde Van Hook        

    When is a library, not a library? When it’s a Book Festival where the books come out to play! The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books celebrated its 13th year of book promotions on the UCLA campus with an estimated attendance of over 140,000 people who love to read books!
    Here is where the traditional library, once thought to be a stuffy, hush-hush, nerdy and quiet setting transforms itself into a megalomaniac fair of books and stories and documentaries just waiting to come alive. Books become the roller coaster of emotions, the merry-go-round of ideas, the bumper cars of change and the Ferris wheels of fiction.


    In this day and age, the traditional library has undergone a radical change in our culture…it has gone outside, yes outside the box, outside the building and outside under yonder shade trees to re-invent itself. Unlike the regular library, where one checks out a book and must return it within a specific amount of time, this type of literary environment goes beyond just borrowing a book. This activity steps into the realm of personal libraries. This is where the reader amasses his or her own library collection of favorite authors, books, books on tape, digital recordings of books, even recordings for the blind and dyslexic by going outside the comfort of indoor lighting and venturing into the elements of nature.



    The weekend of April 26th and 27th, under weather conditions reaching over 90 degrees in Westwood, the Pacific Ocean breeze quietly slipped in and around the leaves of Ficus trees, Great Oaks, Pines, and luscious landscaped lawns of one of our most prestigious institutions of higher learning; on the campus of UCLA, surrounded by noble buildings of great learning and ample gardens of exquisite greenery, what promised to be adventure at first, had indeed become an obsession for learning, an unquenchable thirst for more information about one’s world…who was in it in the past? Who’s in it now? Where’s the planet going? Who killed who? Or Whom? What artist leapt to his death from the bridge of misunderstanding? The answers were all there waiting to be revealed once you ventured out into the Festival of Books to bring home some new friends! This was my third year visiting the LA Times Festival of Books.




    As I came upon the first of the booths, I saw a long line of people, fanning themselves in the hot sun with only partial shade for some while others brought lawn chairs, umbrellas and water bottles or coolers and bared the heat while reading the LA Times or a comic book they’d purchased while sipping lemonades from the local vendors. “Get your lemonade!” a man shouted from the center of another line of readers waiting for an author. As I made my way down the narrow aisles of celebrity book fans I looked up in time to see that Valerie Bertinelli was about to emerge and I could already see a wave of nervous cameramen and camerawomen with their trigger fingers anxiously poised above their focused lenses. I felt in good company. I too was about to sign copies of my book today. The Kingdom Of Nuts and Bolts, was being released to the reading public and I was headed over to join the authors at booth 715 sponsored by THE GREATER LOS ANGELES WRITER’S SOCIETY.






    I was invited to join the Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society recently and have discovered the treasures of its membership as well as the benefits to career and community. The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring writers of all levels in the craft and business of writing. The society works to provide continuing education and a forum for the marketing of a writer’s work. The society is guided by a philosophy of “writers mentoring writers of all disciplines” and their website (www.glaws.org) details their variety of resources, welcoming writers from all over California and the country to learn more about the craft.















    I knew I had gotten to the right booth when I saw the buttons they were passing out. “What’s Your Story?” As I was about to take the hot seat of an author…I kid you not; the seat was hot because the sun cast its rays upon the storytellers’ table; I thought to myself again, ‘I’m in fine company!’ I had heard that Gay Talese, Julie Andrews and Tommy Lasorda were telling their stories and here I was, a humble little writer of my first fiction novel about to tell my own.
    I resorted to taking pictures to relax my own photo-happy-trigger finger. I always enjoy a good shutterbug moment and this was no exception. So, I took pictures of the authors I was with, while I signed a few books myself.








    I met Leslie Ann Moore, the author of Griffin’s Daughter, and I learned she wrote romantic fantasy (which I overheard her telling a reader that she had won an award). I visited her website at www.leslieannmoore.com and was inspired by her story that she is a veterinarian, writer and belly dancer too!






    I also met Mike Robinson the author of Too Much Dark Matter, Too Little Gray (which personally as a photographer, I liked the title.) I learned that Mike Robinson is the author of seven novels and two collections. Mike also sold a number of short stories to print and electronic magazines, anthologies and podcasts. Visit Mike’s website at www.freewebs.com and learn that he too is stalking BIG FOOT!






















    On Saturday, another author I had the opportunity to meet at the GLAWS booth was Matt Pallamary. We sat together as our fans lined up to talk to us about our books. (Maybe our lines weren’t as long as Valerie Bertinelli’s for her book “Losing it: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time” but we had a following, nonetheless!) Matt has written his memoirs detailing his spiritual journeys to Peru where he worked with shamanic plant medicines. His most recent book is titled Spirit Matters and his website is www.mattpallamary.com. This was a serendipitous place to be sharing space with Matt Pallamary as I had the rare opportunity to discuss some of my own spiritual stories from my early childhood in Argentina. The Kingdom of Nuts and Bolts is a story about a five-year-old boy named Miguelito, who can see things that others can’t and this makes him special and extra inventive. He has a special magic friend named Hector (made out of nuts and bolts) who teaches him to fix things. The story, a comedy, is set in Buenos Aires, Argentina using the popular genre of South American writers, that of Magical Realism. The story explores an imaginative spirit world set in the 1930’s and is told from the perspectives of a fly, a witch, a seagull, an angel, a demon and two little brothers. The paperback version is available through www.enildeingelsvanhook.com.
    and coming soon to www.amazon.com so check the website in mid May for available stock.























    Several new, emerging and established writers joined us at the Festival of Books in the GLAWS booth #715. Among them was Joan A. Friedman, a Ph.D. who is an identical twin, herself, and has over thirty years of experience as a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of twin-related issues. Her new novel, Emotionally Healthy Twins is a comprehensive guide on how to raise twins who are self-realized and distinct individuals.





    Dr. Joan Friedman posed for a photo-op alongside two of the movers and shakers of GLAWS; Tony Todaro, one of its original founders (Sci-Fi aficionado) and an established strategic consultant (Todaro Communications) as well as John Weiskopf, the author of The Ascendancy.








    The Ascendancy is an appropriate story for today’s times, as John Weiskopf has created a new world mythology at a volatile point in history. His latest novel brings modern day imagination to the old story of Jack in the Beanstalk. The premise of this novel is that a beanstalk starts growing out of the rubble of the World Trade Center and the protagonist Jack Tott, a twenty-six-year-old musician, believes that if he climbs the beanstalk, he will somehow find the means to help save his dying sister. This book is available through www.johnweiskopf.com.
















    I met Sandra Walter, the author of The Creator State (www.sandrawalter.com) a story where actors discover a unique state of consciousness and art changes reality. Pictured here to the right is the author of Akira's Army by Keith Kowalczyk as he tells the story of Ray Quincy who becomes a prisoner of war while on his family vacation on a small South Pacific Island (a novel available through midnightpressbooks.com) Also pictured in booth #715 are Tony Todaro, Neil Citrin, and John Weiskopf.









    I also had an opportunity to talk to Robin Reed who was also releasing her first novel called Xanthan Gumm. Robin Reed writes in the science fiction genre about hard working creatures called ‘Humans’ who labor to make stories that are loved throughout the Galaxy. One young alien dreams of going to the ‘Forbidden Planet Earth’ to perform in the movies and wants to become famous like his idol, E.T. This book is available through www.barstowproductions.com.






    On Sunday at the LA TIMES FESTIVAL OF BOOKS, I had the distinct privilege of sitting at the author’s table with Film Educator and author Charles Domokos. His work in education especially in the cinema and film-editing field has a long history of contributing extremely technical post-production knowledge to film students at USC School of Cinematic Arts, Loyola Marymount and Los Angeles City College. His book titled: Non-linear Editing: The Cutting Edge provides the foundation for the college-level media student to make the leap into the world of film and HD-based professional post-production, as practiced in the Hollywood media community. His book is available through Amazon.com; Barnes&Noble.com or www.GoGardner.com.



    While sitting under the canopy of a nearby Elm tree, our booth enjoyed a little more shade and relief from the heat on Sunday, just enough to share our experiences and challenges of our publishing our first books. Charles and I also shared some of our inspirations to write and joked around that in our booth alone, we had the resources for taking my story of The Kingdom of Nuts and Bolts and turning it into a movie using stop-frame animation to create a Hollywood environment for my animated critter made of nuts and bolts and feathers named ‘Hector’. We figured we had a whole production team from writing the screenplay to filming, editing and strategic marketing with Tony Todaro!



    Speaking of Tony Todaro, one of the founders of GLAWS, I learned he is a prolific fiction writer as well. He is now working on a final draft of his next novel, “What Comes Around” a story set in a future city by the name of San Angeles, a metropolis divided by rivers and gangs after the ‘Big One’ (the big anticipated earthquake Angelino’s often fear, has already happened in this story) has rearranged the real estate and politics of the Southland. Just a little sneak preview of his upcoming book, finds Fed Corp Special Crimes investigator Major Xander Hunt in the midst of two murder mysteries to solve: the death of prominent physicist Allan Dunwharton, and after a series of battles and attempted assassinations, (perhaps even his own death). Hunt has kept his aging body alive with a concoction of drugs and nanobots, despite decades of damage as a black-ops agent, and the terminal cancer eating at his guts. (Imagine here the actor Sean Connery as the wise, aging officer in the Untouchables, though Hunt thinks of himself as the younger version of a Kevin Costner character.) Tony Todaro is a strategic marketing consultant with a long history in the music business and now shares his expertise with his fellow authors in GLAWS!



    With a philosophy of “writers mentoring writers of all disciplines” GLAWS holds monthly informative meetings, often with nationally-known guest speakers, offers critique groups, advice in the craft and business of writing, conducts special events including writers conferences and seminars, and promotes its vision through many businesses and social opportunities.
    In April I had the opportunity to attend one of the membership meetings to hear the science fiction and fantasy writer, Tim Powers, author of Anubis Gates and winner of the Philip K. Dick Award. He spoke at length about the essence of “plot” or what actually happens in a story. He encouraged writers to think of the question ‘why’ and then dig deeper and ask no, ‘why, really?’; ‘why really is the character motivated?’ He also gave us an overview of what it is like to be a writer at work. He stated that he had cultivated a sense of both guilt and fear. “Afterall, I play with the cat while truckers have jobs…” In a brief moment I had to talk with him before he got on the podium, he stated that I should write down imaginary bets… but not to do it in my head. He urged me to write thoughts down directly onto the keyboard. In his presentation, he also shared some of the advantages to writing down your ideas and character traits onto index cards and spreading them around your workspace. Maybe one day, if you are experiencing ‘writers block’; maybe the landlord comes around knocking, blows open your door and tromps all over the index cards mixing them up every which way; well, he said, ‘you never know when that might have helped your plot strategy a little!’ TIM POWERS chuckled.

    The headline of today’s blog stated that the Art of Reading leads to the Art of Writing. I strongly believe this because I can attest to the significant verbal, literary and visual growth that a child can attain while immersed in a supportive community reading program. That, in and of it-self is where the art of reading leads directly to the successful art of writing. Exposure to the arts at a young age in a person’s life greatly enhances the chances this experience will foster a love of story telling as well as an appreciation for the authors and artists of these works that influence the mind at a critical stage in our development.
    I am an example of an After School Reading Program child. My first exposure to library books came about at approximately the age of 8 when I stated participating in the Duarte Public Library After School Reading Program and simultaneously the Monrovia Public Library system in California.







    I personally see this important correlation between early reading and early writing because I began to keep a diary at the age of twelve after reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I went on to improve my reading skills by practicing my writing skills in my journal and reading even more each month until I had practically consumed all the books I could in the children’s section of the Duarte Library. I seem to recall that by the age of thirteen I was already into the adult section where I promptly fell in love with science fiction and The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. (At the time, I made no physical distinction between the right or left section of the Duarte Library but I did get into trouble with my mother who discovered one day that one of my books had an identifying label from the adult section of the library…I no longer remember what the name of that book was, because I didn’t get to read it…only that it had a harmless picture of a cat on the cover and I distinctly recall how disappointed and rather humiliated I was when I had to return the book to the librarian and admit that I had rules at home I had to follow that superceded library freedoms.)





    My consolation was that I was a rebellious child so after that, I no longer checked out the adult books to take home—I just spent my free time reading the contraband stories, sitting cross legged on the floor between the stacks by the light of a window where a beautiful oak tree cast intermittent sun, shade and childhood inspiration; Under these conditions, I finished reading Pearl Buck’s novel The Good Earth. I can’t stress enough the importance of reading in a young person’s life. I admired writers without even knowing what they looked like. Often I didn’t see pictures on the covers. I just knew their voices by the way they would write their sentences. I feel I learned about life, lived through the characters and had adventures I couldn’t even dream of having all through the art of reading a wonderful book.

















    By the time I was sixteen, I had obtained my first job away from home. The Duarte Public Library hired me to work as a ‘page’ part time while I attended high school. I was able to devote even more time to filing and flipping through the pages of my most beloved writers and fondest friends. I recall taking a whole summer to finish the novel Hawaii by James Mitchner. These books were my education and entertainment away from the classroom and the schoolyard. By the age of eighteen, I was working for the USC Bookstore during freshman year of college and the Doheny Library by my sophomore year of college.

























    Now fast forward to the present day in 2008. I have written and self-published five books of poetry and recently released my first novel, The Kingdom of Nuts and Bolts here at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the campus of UCLA. Was it an accident that I developed into a writer? (In my particular case, I am also a photographer and an artist.) (www.gingervanhook.com) (www.enildeingelsvanhook.com) I don’t think this is a random event. I think there are no accidents in the universe. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe in cause and effect. I believe that if you want to end up with a delicious cake, you need to prepare the recipe with proper ingredients. The ingredients leading to the successful art of writing requires nothing short of fresh time, young minds, good books and positive parental and community encouragement to read. The art develops naturally as the heat of age ripens the stories into cupcakes of our culture for everyone to enjoy!

    I attended the Duarte Festival of Authors in October of 2005 in Westminster Gardens, in Duarte California just to visit with and enjoy a moment listening to Ray Bradbury as the featured keynote speaker, presented by The Friends of the Duarte Library.



    We also support the Monrovia Arts Festival Association which is undergoing a change of name this year. In addition to the changes featured in Monrovia Library Park, with the new Library construction, Monrovia Arts Festival Association is about to be renamed the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts to better define the role of the arts in the community of Monrovia.
    The Monrovia Arts Festival Association will continue to serve the arts and artists as well as the after school art programs in Monrovia as well as surrounding communities and schools. I firmly believe, the younger a child is exposed to the arts, in terms of reading, writing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, digital media, comic book art and art history just to name a few of the variety of arts, the more creative a child will grow into adulthood and the more rewarding our communities will be to thrive in.
              viviendo en la tierra de alicia bay laurel        
    Viviendo en la Tierra

    “Celebraciones, avisos de tormenta, fórmulas, recetas, rumores y danzas campestres
    recolectadas por Alicia Bay Laurel.”

    Kachina Ediciones quiere editar por primera vez en castellano la guía clásica para la vida natural, bohemia y alternativa en el campo escrita por Alicia Bay Laurel en la comuna Wheeler Ranch en el norte de California a finales de los sesenta. La biblia del movimiento back-to-the-land y las comunas hippies de la década de los setenta que capturó el espíritu de toda una generación. 

    Para esta edición en castellano, Kachina Ediciones ha puesto en marcha una campaña de financiación que finaliza este domingo 11 de junio, si la campaña finaliza con éxito, el libro estará a la venta el próximo mes de septiembre:

    Colabora en el crowdfunding para la edición de Viviendo en la Tierra

    Viviendo en la Tierra es para aquellos que prefieren cortar leña para el fuego antes que trabajar en una oficina para pagar la factura de la compañía eléctrica. Un libro diseñado sin índices, sin capítulos, sin reglas ni estructuras, un libro que se construye sobre el aprendizaje del día a día.

    Escrito e ilustrado a mano por Alicia Bay Laurel cuando esta tenía tan sólo 19 años, como si se tratara de un diario, originalmente fue concebido como una guía destinada exclusivamente a distribuirse internamente entre las comunas. El libro fue publicado por The Bookworks en Berkeley, California y se agotó inmediatamente. Random House lo reeditó en 1971 y vendió más de 350.000 copias en pocos meses convirtiéndose así en un New York Times Bestseller. Viviendo en la Tierra cambió radicalmente la forma de concebir un libro y con su estilo ha influido durante décadas a numerosos artistas y diseñadores.



    Más allá de su utilidad como una guía DIY de artesanía, jardinería, construcción, remedios caseros y recetas, Viviendo en la Tierra documenta la vida en las utópicas comunas de finales de los sesenta. Traducido al japonés y al coreano -y ahora por primera vez al castellano-, en 2012 el libro fue elegido como uno de los 101 libros de cocina americanos más influyentes del siglo XX. Entre 2016 y 2017, fue expuesto en varios museos en retrospectivas sobre la cultura hippie.
    Pero además, para muchas personas, Viviendo en la Tierra es una fuente de inspiración espiritual, ya que es un exponente del placer de la vida sin apenas dinero ni bienes materiales, viviendo en contacto con la naturaleza y protegiéndola, viviendo en armonía con los demás.




    Alicia Bay Laurel (1949, Hollywood, California) creció en un ambiente intelectual estrechamente relacionado con las artes y políticamente activo. Tras cursar estudios de arte, con diecinueve años se trasladó a la comuna Wheeler Ranch donde comenzó a escribir e ilustrar Viviendo en la Tierra, libro que le dio fama y reconocimiento internacional. Además de escritora e ilustradora, Alicia es una cantautora y música de éxito y ha grabado siete discos desde 1970. Fue alumna del reconocido guitarrista John Fahey y en su carrera ha tocado géneros tan dispares como el psych folk, el blues, la canción protesta o la música Hawaiiana.

    En 1973 en colaboración con Ramón Sender Barayon -hijo del escritor Ramón J. Sender y conocido activista del movimiento hippie de los 60- escribió e ilustró el libro Being The Sun, que más tarde se convirtió también en disco.
     
    Se trasladó a Maui en 1974 y desde entonces ha ejercido numerosas profesiones, incluyendo entre otras muchas la de fotógrafa submarina, empresaria o profesora de primaria.

    Coincidiendo con la edición revisada y actualizada de Viviendo en la Tierra en el año 2000, Alicia hizo una gran gira musical de promoción por Estados Unidos. Desde entonces Alicia vive entre Estados Unidos, Panamá, España y especialmente Japón, país en el que goza de un enorme reconocimiento y en el que continúa realizando numerosas actuaciones musicales y colaboraciones artísticas para libros, publicidad e incluso para diseño de moda. 




     
    “Este puede ser perfectamente el mejor libro de este catálogo, es un libro para la gente; por eso, si eres una persona, es para ti; si eres un perro, sin embargo, y no sabes leer demasiado bien, también es para ti, porque tiene dibujos, Alicia, Alicia, Alicia, ella es nuestra Bradford Angier particular.”
    --The Whole Earth Catalog, JD Smith, 1970.

    "VIVIENDO EN LA TIERRA es toda una experiencia vital. Nos presenta toda la información principal del Whole Earth Catalog con la calidez y el sentimiento que una chica con un melódico y apasionado nombre como Alicia Bay Laurel puede poseer. Es como una carta interminable que Alicia te escribiera sólo y únicamente a ti."
    --The Village Voice.



    “Ver, tocar o acariciar VIVIENDO EN LA TIERRA es maravilloso. Sus dibujos y diseños irradian calidez, simplicidad y sinceridad. El libro en sí es un objeto que induce a la serenidad y a la buena voluntad. Su información es realmente útil para todo aquel que desee disfrutar de las cosas buenas de esta vida en cualquier parte del mundo."
    --Raymond Mungo, The New York Times Book Review

    “Quiero hacer todo lo que pone en este libro. Si no puedo hacer todo lo que pone en este libro, entonces quiero soñar sobre ello, porque yo sé que si lo hago, seré una mejor persona hasta la médula de mis huesos.”
    --Shuntaro Tanikawa, poeta japonés

    (fotos de la comuna Wheeler Ranch de Bob Fitch)

    Colabora en el crowdfunding para la edición de Viviendo en la Tierra

              rod hamilton and tiffany seal ~ versatile ambience        

    rod hamilton and tiffany seal ~ versatile ambience
    (ehse records, 2016)

    Rod Hamilton and Tiffany Seal are an electronic music duo from Baltimore, MD. Their instrumental album, Versatile Ambience, was performed live to cassette. eshe records

    When I enjoy something very much it seems hard to write about it just because I have some kind of fear – so many things to express, such intense feelings... Sometimes it feels like trying to embrace the sea waves. Thinking about this tape I tried to avoid comparisons, but it's impossible not to mention Tuluum Shimmering or Dream Safari or Black Joker or early High Wolf to describe the feeling this recording gives me. Being a huge fan of 2009-11 psych drone tape music, when everything was so lo-fi, psychedelic and sweet, I can't avoid nostalgia while listening to something like this. Blissful vibes of xylophone sound, calm ambiences, tape-hiss-infused loops and weird new-agey feeling of relaxation on the edge with psychedelic revelation... So deeply warm and embracing sound, that it's almost impossible to break the listening into parts – only pressing repeat button feels like right choice. Your trip will feature tropical islands, jungle & mighty rivers, warm deserts and calm oases, therapeutic relaxation sessions, third eye opening, flying with the bees over unearthly beautiful flowers... Okay, think you already get what to expect here! So don't hesitate and grab your piece of this charming exotic beauty. Absolutely recommended and highly gratifying sounds for your inner self.

    listen ~ buy


              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


              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

              88th Academy Awards        
    ------------
    Note 1: This is the fourth consecutive year when I am doing this. Hopefully this one will be much more readable compared to my previous attempts. Hopefully. (prev: 87th, 86th, 85th) This year, I also wrote a story with the tag-lines of the Oscar-nominated movies.

    Note 2: I suspect the ratings for this year's Oscars are going to be very low. I mean, outside of #OscarsSoWhite, Studios and producers need to freakin' make the movies available for viewing online (or in theaters)! I will pay money to watch these movies BEFORE the Oscars goddamit! Events are successful when people talk about it. And to talk about it, people need context. What should we talk about instead of the movies themselves, Clooney's tux, JLaw's stumble, host's fumble, and hot cleavages?
    ------------


    This is one of those years when I am not particularly attached to any movie that has been nominated. Atleast not for the big awards. But this year's Animated and Documentary nominations are a bunch of powerhouses compared to any year in recent history for these categories. It beats me why Inside Out didn't get a Best Picture nod. This just might have been a year when a Pixar movie, or any animated movie for that matter, won the top prize. Instead, we get Oscar-bait movies such as Room, Bridge of Spies, or even The Revenant. Mad Max getting in there is quite a surprise, not so much in retrospect. And yet, the top prize this year remains wide open, probable front-runners being Spotlight, The Revenant, and The Big Short, with the race getting more interesting than the movies themselves.

    Emily Blunt's omission from Supporting Actress and Villeneuve's from Director (yep, I loved Sicario!) seems a little strange, but Villeneuve's time will come. His every successive movie gets better than the last! And Quentin, what did you do? He is forgiven though for getting too indulgent, considering that he might be nearing the end of his filmography. I hope though that I get to see him, among others, getting a Directing Oscar some day. Some day.

    Right then.




    Category / PickNomineesVishesh TippaniHit / Miss
    Motion Picture


    Spotlight

    The Big Short

    Brooklyn

    Bridge of Spies

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant

    Room

    Spotlight
    The Big Short: After The Wolf of Wall Street's rollercoaster ride, this seemed like pony carousel. I mean, we get it. Financial meltdown happened, and no-one responsible went to jail. Bravo! Selena Gomez explaining Collateralized Debt Obligations was cute though. Heh.

    Brooklyn: It gets a lot of things right. Saoirse Ronan is an absolute delight to watch on screen, with a well-deserved Actress nomination for her. And the way the movie transports you to the 50s is incredible, effortlessly shattering a lot of things we take for granted today. And we are not talking about an ancient era, just 60-70 years ago. Brooklyn also does not resort to evil-looking people to further the plot in a way Titanic did, and in a way that makes the protagonists' struggles relatable, real, and very palatable - in a way that triggers a "Life is such," response rather than "They deserved this".
    "I'd forgotten what this town is like. What were you planning to do, Miss Kelly?" 

    Bridge of Spies: This is the "America is the best country in the World" movie for this year. Although both Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance nailed it with chiselled performances. Coen brothers wrote this, perhaps it would have been a much better movie if they directed it as well.
    "Aren't you worried?"
    "Would it help?"

    Mad Max: Fury Road: This movie was an adrenalin-induced delight without end. Stunning camera work, absurdist humour, and louder than loudest everything, so much that one literally felt exhausted after the movie did not give any breathing space during.
    "WITNESS ME!"

    The Martian: Someone please explain to me why Inside Out is not in this category, and why The Martian isn't in the Best Animated movie category instead? What is the line between special effects and animation? Considering the state of the art for motion capture and 3D rendering techniques, maybe it's time we do away with the distinction. Anyway, The Martian falls flat compared to Gravity, or even Interstellar. Maybe it was just an excuse to rescue Matt Damon... again.

    The Revenant: A lot of people, including the Academy, seem to be particularly fond of Iñárritu. I find his movies boring, the technical brilliance notwithstanding. Birdman was perhaps Iñárritu's most enjoyable movie, and I didn't want Birdman to win (Boyhood... sigh). If The Revenant wins this one, of which there is a more than significant chance, it will be several firsts, perhaps the most interesting one being successive wins by the same Director. Sure looks like Leo's year though.

    Room: This was a hit or miss and all over the place. Some scenes were striking, in particular the one towards the end where Brie Larson goes back to the Room. Jacob Tremblay was spectacular until he was inside the room, and made his escape. After that it seemed like the director just didn't give a shit anymore.
    "There's so much of "place" in the world."

    Spotlight: This is my favourite movie from this category. Tense, crisp, great characters, performances, writing, Spotlight ranks high up there.
    "We got two stories here: a story about degenerate clergy, and a story about a bunch of lawyers turning child abuse into a cottage industry. Which story do you want us to write? Because we're writing one of them."
    Hit!
    Director
    Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

    Adam McKay, The Big Short

    George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

    Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

    Lenny Abrahamson, Room

    Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
    As much as I loved Spotlight, I am not sure if Tom McCarthy's time has come for a directing Oscar. The race mostly seems between Iñárritu and Miller, both of whom are really fine directors. If Iñárritu pulls this one off, back-to-back Director Oscars would be a tremendous feat.

    Although, if I had my way, Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman (directors of Anomalisa),  Andrew Haigh (director of 45 years), would have found a spot here. And when-o-when will Denis Villeneuve's (Sicario) time come?
    Hit!
    Writing (Original)

    Spotlight

    Bridge of Spies

    Ex Machina

    Inside Out

    Spotlight

    Straight Outta Compton
    Bridge of Spies is probably in here because... Coen brothers. Perhaps the movie would have been significantly better had they directed it as well.

    Ex Machina had some really smart writing as well, reminded me of "Her" in a lot of ways.
    Ava: "What will happen to me if I fail your test?"

    I loved the fact that Inside Out got nominated for this, if not for Best Picture. They really got me from the moment the "train of thought" arrives. As cheesy as that is, really made me chuckle.
    "Take her to the moon for me."

    And as much as Tarantino would like to say "I truly believe in the material" for The Hateful Eight, he needs to sit on the bench for this one.

    Spotlight though, crisp, taut, engaging from start to finish truly deserves this one.
    "If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them."
    Hit!
    Writing (Adapted)

    The Big Short

    The Big Short

    Brooklyn

    Carol

    The Martian

    Room
    The Big Short is a no-brainer for this. I haven't read the book so I do not know how it reads, but this is one of those examples of an "adaptation", from a non-fiction, that would have truly meant a LOT of work.

    Aaron Sorkin could have been slipped in here (for Steve Jobs), again adapting a non-fiction. Plus, in my opinion, his approach with the source material was remarkable and creative. With all the different sorts of issues Steve Jobs ran into during production, Sorkin was probably the only one who did the cleanest job for this movie.
    Hit!
    Actor

    Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

    FINALLY, LEO! Boy am I waiting for his acceptance speech! SIXTH nomination, and what a journey! A story of survival, revenge, and life is also possibly the most fitting way he could have won this one!

    But this doesn't go without mentioning the other quite remarkable performances in this category. Trumbo felt a lot like Argo, even besides the 'Hollywood making a movie about Hollywood thing' and John Goodman's huge (literally) presence. And I love this "genre" (if you may) too - Sunset Bldv., Chaplin, The Artist, to name a few.

    Michael Fassbender did a fine job and literally saved the movie, but the most striking performance for me from this movie would definitely be that of Winslet's.

    There are some roles where it is unimaginable for anyone else doing them except for Eddie Redmayne (you know, the kind of feeling we get quite often for Benedict Cumberbatch). I doubt anyone else would have been able to do Theory of Everything or The Danish Girl.
    Hit!
    Actress


    Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years



    Prediction: Brie Larson
    Cate Blanchett, Carol

    Brie Larson, Room

    Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

    Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

    Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
    Brie Larson seems sealed for this category. She isn't on my top 3 out of these 5, so I will be a little bummed about this one.

    I am conflicted between Charlotte Rampling and Saoirse Ronan for my top spot. 45 years is a stunning film, and deserved much more than the solitary nomination it received, but Charlotte is really the heart and soul of the film. After Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) lost to JLaw, I would be too pleased to see Charlotte win this one, for a movie that has too many similarities to Amour.

    I wouldn't mind Saoirse winning this one either. Her nuanced performance in Brooklyn left you yearning for more.
    Hit!
    Supporting Actor

    Christian Bale, The Big Short


    Prediction: Sylvester Stallone
    Christian Bale, The Big Short

    Tom Hardy, The Revenant

    Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

    Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

    Sylvester Stallone, Creed
    The one thing that I loved about The Big Short was Christian Bale's performance. In the very limited time that he occupies the screen, every freakin' scene is fireworks. He would be my pick for this one, but Sylvester Stallone makes for a great Oscar story, so yeah... Mark Rylance.
    Supporting Actress

    Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs


    Prediction: Alicia Vikander
    Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

    Rooney Mara, Carol

    Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

    Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

    Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
    It's a shame that Alicia Vikander got nominated for The Danish Girl instead of Ex Machina. I am nuts about Alicia Vikander, she is what I would call "vanilla" beautiful. I know she is beautiful, I don't know why, and I find it hard to be able to figure it out. It's like she only registers when she's in front of me, but poof as soon as she's not, enigmatic almost. I think it was a stroke of casting brilliance to cast her in Ex Machina, a role which hinged significantly on this quality of hers in my opinion. You know, artificial... but not really, feels real... but can't put a finger on why.

    But between her performance in The Danish Girl, and Kate Winslet's in Steve Jobs, my vote definitely goes to Kate. Them glasses. Sigh. And a performance that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Fassbender's as Jobs, that's really something.
    Hit!
    Animated Movie

    Anomalisa


    Prediction: Inside Out
    Anomalisa

    Boy & The World

    Inside Out

    Shaun The Sheep Movie

    When Marnie Was There
    What a collection of movies in this category! This is a collection which is missing The Peanuts Movie and The Good Dinosaur - movies which in any other year would have made the nomination cut and might even have won!

    I want to especially talk about three movie here, Anomalisa, Inside Out, and Boy & The World, although Shaun The Sheep and When Marnie Was There are brilliant movies in their own right.

    Anomalisa is one of those movies that leave you going "How on Earth did they pull this off on screen?!" The stillness of this movie, the calm, the poise, the detail - both in the little things and the not-so-little things - is astounding. I could write at length about this movie, but anyone who has spent any time travelling to a smaller city in the US (especially to the mid-west) will get all intricate details they have managed to so gloriously capture. The absolutely shocking sex scene, the long takes, the movie playing almost in real time... Anomalisa is an anomaly done right when it comes to pushing the boundaries of what can be done on animation.

    Talking about pushing the boundaries of animated films, Boy & The World is gorgeous! Such raw beauty, it is a spectacle to behold. Lovingly crafted hand-drawn animation, the colors, the playfulness, the airiness, the fireworks-y sparkle, the dazzle, every still of the film could be a framed painting in an art gallery. This is how, I wish, The Peanuts Movie had been made. HAND-DRAWN! I hope we get to see more of Alê Abreu's work.

    Inside Out is almost surely going to win this one. Don't get me wrong, it is a great film, perhaps one of Pixar's top 3, if not the best. But it is going to win it for the wrong reasons. Animation has very little to do with what makes Inside Out a great film, which is why it was much better off getting a Best Film nod, along with the Writing nod that it deservedly received.
    Hit!
    Cinematography

    Sicario


    Prediction: The Revenant 
    Carol

    The Hateful Eight

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Revenant

    Sicario
    The Hateful Eight is on this list because... 70mm, Ben Hur lenses, yada yada yada. It's not the tooling that maketh a genius. Nope. But okay Quentin, you were indulging yourself, you are allowed to do that, of course.

    It will be a big surprise if The Revenant does not win this one. The cinematography, after all, is one of the biggest reasons why it has been getting oh-so-much love. But, have you seen Sicario! Especially the one scene where they perform the extraction from Mexico, sent a chill down my spine. That is a scene in the same league as the car scene from Children of Men.
    Hit!
    Editing

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Big Short

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Revenant

    Spotlight

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    If there is one award that Mad Max truly deserves, it's got to be this one. How do you even cut this movie?! Hit!
    Production Design

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    Bridge of Spies

    The Danish Girl

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant
    Hit!
    Score

    Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

    Bridge of Spies

    Carol

    The Hateful Eight

    Sicario

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    The Hateful Eight, again, is here because... Morricone. This is probably Academy's last chance to give a real Oscar to Ennio Morricone rather than the honorary one they had to give him a few years ago.

    Sicario and Star Wars (obviously) truly deserve a special mention though.
    Hit!
    Visual Effects

    The Revenant

    Ex Machina

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    The Martian

    The Revenant

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    This category is really losing its significance extremely fast. It is too hard to tell what's special effects and what's not, considering almost every movie undergoes huge transformation during post-production. Ex Machina.
    Deserved!
    Documentary

    Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom


    Prediction: Amy
    Amy

    Cartel Land

    The Look of Silence

    What Happened, Miss Simone?

    Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For  Freedom
    Just like the Animated Feature Film category, this was another powerhouse collection of films. I wouldn't mind Amy winning this one, Asif Kapadia is an accomplished director, his Senna ranks amongst my favorite movies. And, to be fair, Amy is an amazing movie, except, I didn't care a lot about the subject matter.

    Winter on Fire, on the other hand, is a movie extremely relevant in today's day and age, and has managed to put together some really spine-chilling footage and beautifully. It also managed to give a first-hand glimpse into a country that we (I) know so little about, and around events that are being played out right now on the global political arena.
    Hit!

    Total: 13 / 15




              87th Academy Awards        
    ------------
    Note 1: Hello, and welcome to the annual edition of my pretending to understand how the average-age-55-years-white-American-old-men vote to find the best movie of the year! It's almost like how the new Pope is picked. Almost.

    Note 2: Post 3.0 is going to be awesome, just like my previous two posts. Also, this year, a bunch of us got together to make an AWESOME app for Oscars - Award Street. Check it out!
    ------------


    This year is pretty much going to be Boyhood vs. Birdman. A lot of people are going to get their predictions wrong this year depending on which way The Academy leans, unless your prediction is that a movie whose name starts with the letter 'B' is going to take home the grandest prize, and you can be sure about nailing it. Personally, I want to be screaming "It's a boy!" when it's announced. That man, Linklater, deserves a trophy by now. He got nominated for the last 2 movies of the 'Before' trilogy, and has made cult classics like Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Waking Life, and School of Rock. He might just walk away with 3 trophies in his hands this year and that would be AWESOME. If The Academy leans towards Birdman instead of Boyhood, it will be sad, and them trying incredibly hard to be cool. Boyhood is an achievement, period. A movie event we are going to be talking about for a long, long time. It will be fitting if Boyhood is announced for the Best Picture, and this plays:

    I don't wanna be a big man
    Just wanna fight like everyone else


    No major controversies with the nominations, although no love for Nightcrawler, The Lego Movie, and no cinematography nod for Interstellar broke my heart a little. But then, what's an Oscar without a little heartbreak, right?

    Right then, let's get on with it.




    CategoryPredictionPickVishesh TippaniQuotesHit / Miss
    Best Motion Picture of the YearBoyhood
    I think this category isn't even a contest. Boyhood is by far the best movie on this list. Also, instead of the standard Film/Director split the Academy is known for doing, I think this year is going to see a Film/Writing split, between Boyhood and Birdman.'You know how everyone's always saying seize the moment? I don't know, I'm kind of thinking it's the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.'Miss. Birdman. Oh well.
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading RoleMichael Keaton, Birdman
    Another year, BC! This year's going cleanly to Mr. Keaton.'A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing.'Miss. Well, I am glad. Great performance by Eddie Redmayne in Theory of Everything.
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading RoleJulianne Moore, Still AliceRosamund Pike, Gone GirlThe chills Rosamund Pike gives you! Goodness. I wish she won this one, but she won't.From Gone Girl: 'I'm the cunt you married. The only time you liked yourself was when you were trying to be someone this cunt might like. I'm not a quitter, I'm that cunt. I killed for you; who else can say that? You think you'd be happy with a nice Midwestern girl? No way, baby! I'm it.'Hit!
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting RoleJ.K. Simmons, Whiplash
    The only thing going for Whiplash. Simmons' powerful performance made this movie worth a while. His performance took me back to when I was in school.'There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.'Hit!
    Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting RolePatricia Arquette, Boyhood
    Boyhood could very well have been called 'Motherhood', and it would have remained as true. Patricia deserves this gold!'I just thought there would be more.'Hit! YAY!
    Best Achievement in DirectingRichard Linklater, Boyhood
    Please. Starting to feel a little bad for Mr. Anderson though. Maybe Mr. Anderson is destined to be seventh time lucky another year.'I finally figured it out. It's like when they realized it was gonna be too expensive to actually build cyborgs and robots. I mean, the costs of that were impossible. They decided to just let humans turn themselves into robots. That's what's going on right now. I mean, why not? They're billions of us just laying around, not really doing anything. We don't cost anything. We're even pretty good at self-maintenance and reproducing constantly. And as it turns out, we're already biologically programmed for our little cyborg upgrades. I read this thing the other day about how When you hear that ding on your inbox, you get like a dopamine rush in your brain. It's like we're being chemically rewarded for allowing ourselves to be brainwashed. How evil is that? We're fucked.'Miss. Iñárritu, Birdman. Oh well. Another year, bigger movie, Linklater!
    Best Original ScreenplayBirdmanBoyhoodThis is going to be a close call, but I think Birdman will pull through in the end. Also, if it does, the Best Picture announcement is going to induce double the nervousness. Writing/Film split seldom happens. The last time this happened was with Argo (2012), and Million Dollar Baby (2005) before that.From Boyhood: 'I mean, what makes you think that elves are any more magical than something like a whale? Yoy know what I mean? What if I told you a story about how underneath the ocean, there was this giant sea mammal that used sonar and sang songs and it was so big that its heart was the size of a car and you could crawl through the arteries? I mean, you'd think that was pretty magical, right?'Hit!
    Best Adapted ScreenplayThe Imitation Game
    The better crop are the ones in the original writing category. The adapted is pretty non-exciting, unless American Sniper takes it because of the emotions involved.'Do you know why people like violence? It is because it feels good. Humans find violence deeply satisfying. But remove the satisfaction, and the act becomes... hollow.'Hit!
    Best Animated Feature Film of the YearHow to train your Dragon 2
    No nomination for The Lego Movie was really disappointing. Nothing much here.
    'Some of us were just born different.'Miss. Big Hero 6. Blah. I couldn't care less without The Lego Movie nomination.
    Best Achievement in CinematographyBirdmanThe Grand Budapest HotelNo nomination for Interstellar was a disappointment. A win for Grand Budapest would redeem it.'You're looking so well, darling, you really are... they've done a marvelous job. I don't know what sort of cream they've put on you down at the morgue, but... I want some.'Hit!
    Best Achievement in EditingBoyhood
    This is a no contest. Editing footage spanning 12 years into this masterpiece!'I find myself so furious at all these people that I am in contact with just for controlling me or whatever but you know they are not even aware they are doing it.'Miss. Whiplash. :/
    Best Achievement in Production DesignThe Grand Budapest HotelInterstellarWell, I am going to pick Interstellar for whichever category it's nominated in!From Interstellar: 'Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.'Hit!
    Best Achievement in Costume DesignThe Grand Budapest Hotel

    'You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed that's what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant... oh, fuck it.'Hit!
    Best Achievement in Makeup and HairstylingThe Grand Budapest Hotel
    A lack of Theory of Everything here was a little bit surprising.'I must say, I find that girl utterly delightful. Flat as a board, enormous birthmark the shape of Mexico over half her face, sweating for hours on end in that sweltering kitchen, while Mendl, genius though he is, looms over her like a hulking gorilla. Yet without question, without fail, always and invariably, she's exceedingly lovely.'Hit!
    Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original ScoreInterstellar
    Zimmer's score made Interstellar more grandiose than it already was. Just 1 win for him from 9 nominations, I think he can use another win, and deservedly so. Theory of Everything has a good chance of taking it away.'Those aren't mountains, they're waves.'Miss. Grand Budapest Hotel. This movie is on a roll tonight! Desplat deserved a win, nominated for 2 movies this year, and 7 before this.
    Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original SongSelmaThe Lego MovieI like 'Lost Stars' from Begin Again. But my pick is The Lego Movie because it was AWESOME, and these buggers did not give it a nod for Animated Feature.From The Lego Movie: 'All this is true because it rhymes.'Hit!
    Best Achievement in Sound MixingInterstellar
    There was a bunch of controversy around Interstellar's sound. It doesn't matter. A couple of IMAX viewings is what those buggers need.'You're telling me it takes two numbers to measure your own ass but only one to measure my son's future?'Miss. Whiplash. For not giving it to Interstellar, I tell you, Academy, "Not my tempo."
    Best Achievement in Sound EditingInterstellar
    see: above. Although, American Sniper might snatch this one. Also, I think Fury should have gotten a nod here.'And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us.'Miss. Sniper made a headshot at TARS.
    Best Achievement in Visual EffectsInterstellar
    This is a no-contest. Why are there even other nominees?!'Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.'Hit! Although it's sad that Interstellar might end its count with this.
    Best Short Film, Live ActionThe Phone CallButter LampThis is the first time I got to watch all the live-action shorts before the event. Pretty great movies, all. My favorite's got to be Butter Lamp, for the sheer ingenuity of script.
    Hit!
    Best Short Film, AnimatedFeast
    It's a dog's life.
    Hit!




    Total:
    13 / 21


    Who are you rooting for?


    87th Academy Awards...

              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.


              Stranger than fiction        



    Before sunset.

    Good morning. It's a wonderful life, jackass. High and low since you went away. Gone with the wind, the lady vanishes. Dazed and confused. That was then... this is now. Devil wears prada, following breakfast at Tiffany's. I'm not there. Wish you were here, the best years of our lives. Stand by me, life is beautiful.

    My life as a dog. Coffee and cigarettes. Thank you for smoking up in the air. Kiss kiss bang bang. What's up, Tiger Lily? 'I know where I'm going!'. Whatever works.  Man on wire, walk on the wild side. Small time crooks take the money and run! Breathless chase. Speed. Snatch. Catch me if you can. Dirty rotten scoundrels. There will be blood. Kill! Carnage, pulp fiction. Extremely loud & incredibly close. Anatomy of a murder, blood simple. The act of seeing with one's own eyes, eyes wide shut. Shame, the killing. Anything else? Apocalypse now.




    Before midnight.

    Hunger. The unbearable lightness of being.

    It happened one night, October sky, the Milky Way, city lights. Through a glass darkly, I saw the odd couple. The boy in blue, that girl in yellow boots. A beautiful mind, little miss sunshine - the dreamers. He said, she said - "I love you to death", "I love you too, like crazy." Stolen kisses. Night on Earth, stranger than paradise, bigger than life. Spellbound. And the ship sails on. Play it again, Sam.




    Before sunrise.

    A walk with Love and Death. The green mile. The long walk home. A night to remember.

    Once. 2 or 3 things I know about her. Great expectations. Letter never sent, somewhere lost in translation. The silence, the prestige, unforgiven. Bad timing. Do the right thing. Make it right being there. Requiem for a dream. The pursuit of happyness, love, and other impossible pursuits. Finding Neverland. Inherit the wind, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind singin' in the rain. Dil chahta hai the road to El Dorado, days of Heaven, city of God. Good morning. It's a wonderful life.

    Amour.
    Hollywood ending.



              Marko Peljhan: «L’utopie matérialisée du Makrolab» (1/2)        
    Entretien avec l’artiste slovène Marko Peljhan, à l’origine du Makrolab, ce medialab du futur, qui, depuis 1997, se pose partout dans le monde et accueille artistes, hackers, scientifiques. Première partie en climats tempérés. Ljubljana, correspondance Le 6 juin 2017, à Ljubljana, la galerie Kapelica accueillait la conférence internationale Earth Without Humans et présentait Somnium. Cette... Voir l'article
              ECU ALUM WRIGHT FOUNDS MATCHA GREEN TEA COMPANY        
    Brandon Wright poses at his tea farm in Japan.

    One of Brandon Wright’s career goals is to ultimately build a traditional Japanese wood tea house in Oklahoma City.

    The East Central University alumnus currently resides in Uji, Kyoto, Japan and is the founder of the Tai-an Tea Company. Three weeks after graduating from ECU in 2014, Wright moved to Japan to start his own organic Matcha green tea company.

    “I am very proud of graduating from ECU,” said Wright, who left the university with a degree in exercise science and was an Ada resident. “ECU taught me numerous skills that has helped me prepare for my career path such as organization, teamwork, presentation skills, time management, communication skills, problem solving, adversity and dedication skills.”

    Wright also has an office in Oklahoma City, but spends much of his time in Japan, monitoring his tea farm.

    Matcha is a Japanese tea made from powdered green tea leaves, which are grown and dried in specially designed processes, after which they are ground to create a fine powder. Matcha is traditionally used in the Japanese tea ceremony and to flavor food.

    Considered benefits of Matcha is that is highly nutritious, contains antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins.

    “If anyone consumes a cup of organic Matcha every morning, it will improve the way they feel mentally and physically,” Wright said. “Matcha is nature’s pre-workout, detoxifier, focused energy, and best of all, it helps fight diseases. Matcha is Japan’s best-kept secret that has been a factor in their long-life expectancies and overall health.”

    Wright’s exposure to Matcha green tea came in 2005 during a three-week high school exchange program.

    “I took part in a Japanese tea ceremony lesson and I knew at that moment, this is what I would do for my career,” said Wright. “Matcha is 100 percent plant-based nutrition grounded into fine powder and consumed as tea. Matcha contains zero fillers, chemicals, GMO’s or pesticides.”

    Wright’s future plan is to stay in Japan for 5-10 more years, but to ultimately build a traditional Japanese wood tea house in Oklahoma City.

    “We want to bring cultural diversity to Oklahoma, using an amazingly healthy organic

    Japanese green tea,” Wright said. “This is great culturally and for overall health.”

    Wright says that his company ships organic Matcha directly from Tokyo to Amazon.com, which allows it to be shipped overseas safely and quickly. The company’s first Matcha line is called “Seijaku,” which translates to an enlightenment.

    “We truly believe if you consume our Matcha, you can reach your own version of complete silence or peace within yourself,” said Wright. “Matcha was first given to the Monks and Samurai because it was said to give them focused energy during meditation and alertness during battle.”

    According to Wright, ECU had a hand in him making his dream come true.

    “This has been a very hard three years in Japan. My company is 100 percent registered in Oklahoma, but my home office is located in Japan because I live here,” Wright said. “Therefore, I must follow Japanese laws and regulations and the Japanese are 1,000 percent more detailed about business development. I have had many setbacks since starting this journey, but I never gave up because of what ECU taught me.”

    Wright credited ECU instructors in the Kinesiology Department such as Matt McGaha, Jason Prather, Jillian Bailey, Jillian McCarty and Jeff McGaha with preparing him for his business journey.

    “The teachers, staff and faculty at ECU were all amazing. Anytime I needed to speak to a teacher about anything, they were always there for me,” said Wright. “Everyone from the teachers, library, Wellness Center, financial aid, cafeteria workers and janitors were all down to earth and truly loved their jobs and helping all students, ECU is an amazing school and I will always be very proud of where I came from.”

    For more information on the Tai-an Tea Company go to the website at Taian-tea.com or Facebook page at Tai-an Tea Co. The Amazon direct shortcut to the product page is: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y5Z2CRX/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_awdo_t2_LXuwzbJ7W1CKH. The Facebook page features daily posts and information regarding Matcha or Japanese tea history.

    -ECU-

    For Immediate Release: 

    Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                    East Central University Communications and Marketing

                                  580-559-5650 or or 405-812-1428 (cell)


              Season 4 title card sketches: part 1        
    Here's some sketches for title cards i got to design.  Michael Deforge drew all the bananas in the Return to the Nightosphere card.  you can see all the final versions here.









    -a
              wizard eyes...        
    here's some concept sketches for spirits I drew for "beyond the earthly realm"episode of adventure time, the majority of them weren't used in the episode so some of the unused ones worked their way into my creatures zine.





    -a
               The Vagina Diaries: Enter Our World         
    The Vagina Diaries: Enter Our World

    The Vagina Diaries: Enter Our World
    Contrary to popular belief, women are not from Venus, women are from Earth! Discover the raw and hilarious truth about what really goes on in the female mind. Are we, women, really that complicated? Do situations that happen to us really happen to others? Men, have you always wondered what is really going on in her mind? Prepare to laugh, squint and learn the truth! Tune in every week! Don't forget to share with your friends and subscribe! Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/VDiaries1
    Submitted by: The Vagina Diaries
    Regular
    Keywords: vagina diaries vaginas girl code what guys don't know vulgar humor real life women durst sex real talk
    Views: 12,636


              A Systematic Review on the Use of Psychosocial Interventions in Conjunction With Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Addiction        
    imageOpioid use and overdose rates have risen to epidemic levels in the United States during the past decade. Fortunately, there are effective medications (ie, methadone, buprenorphine, and oral and injectable naltrexone) available for the treatment of opioid addiction. Each of these medications is approved for use in conjunction with psychosocial treatment; however, there is a dearth of empirical research on the optimal psychosocial interventions to use with these medications. In this systematic review, we outline and discuss the findings of 3 prominent prior reviews and 27 recent publications of empirical studies on this topic. The most widely studied psychosocial interventions examined in conjunction with medications for opioid addiction were contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy, with the majority focusing on methadone treatment. The results generally support the efficacy of providing psychosocial interventions in combination with medications to treat opioid addictions, although the incremental utility varied across studies, outcomes, medications, and interventions. The review highlights significant gaps in the literature and provides areas for future research. Given the enormity of the current opioid problem in the United States, it is critical to gain a better understanding of the most effective ways to deliver psychosocial treatments in conjunction with these medications to improve the health and well-being of individuals suffering from opioid addiction.
              Local Flavor Community Potluck Picnic & Earth Oven Bake, June 25        
    Summer’s begun and the last Saturday of the month is here — time for Newbury’s monthly potluck and wood-fired pizza party, a celebration of locally grown, seasonal food!   Local Flavor Community Potluck Picnic & Earth Oven Bake First Parish Church of Newbury, 20 High Road – Route 1A, Newbury, MA 01951 Saturday, June 25, […]
              In Search of Galveztown        
    Rob Mann is Louisiana’s Southeast Regional Archeologist with a professional expertise in historical American archeology. He can identify the teacup and other artifacts unearthed from the Cambre greensward— fragments of French faience and coarse Spanish earthenware, brick rubble, nails, chunks of coal, pieces of bone— as evidence of daily life of the residents of Galveztown, a Spanish colonial community perched at the confluence of Bayou Manchac and the Amite River between 1779 and
    1806.

    See http://maryannsternberg.com/files/Galveztown.pdf (PDF)
              Audio Push "Planet Earth Is Live" Video        

    Audio Push drop the visuals for "Planet Earth Is Live"
    http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/audio-push-planet-earth-is-live-video-new-video.42504.html
              A birthday break        
    How do you celebrate a major birthday in my position? Ten years ago, and ten years before that, it was through travel to special new parts of the world. Somehow that didn’t seem so appropriate this year – not that there aren’t still many countries I would really love to go to, but travel is now a normal part of my life so it wouldn’t have marked this birthday out as special.

    I thought about gathering my local friends together for a big dinner in Dakar, but ruled that out quickly as it would have meant telling them why, thus making me the centre of attention for the evening, which I would hate. I thought too about a few days’ luxury in a top hotel somewhere like Venice, but really that would be more enjoyable as part of a couple.

    Then I remembered what I had read about an eco-lodge called the Collines de Niassam in Senegal, some 150km down the coast from Dakar near the villages of Palmarin. I’d been to Palmarin before, and loved the area. Just getting there involves an hour or more of driving across bare, open salt flats, with little to see except bare earth, water, sky and birds. It’s a bleak yet majestic landscape. The lodge offers a little bit of luxury amongst this bleakness, but in a development that blends in with the landscape rather than shutting it out.

    So I booked myself for a couple of nights into one of their four wooden huts built on stilts above a lagoon. There are activities on offer, and I went on an evening drive in a horse and cart to watch hyenas gather before their evening hunt, but otherwise I just relaxed. A colleague had brought me an English Sunday newspaper the week before, which I had saved, but I spent a lot of time just sitting in a deck chair gazing at the lagoon – at the herons, gulls, avocets and pelicans that were a constant presence outside my room. I also went walking in the bush – yes, more birds, but also the physical pleasure of just walking, knowing I was in a reserve and so would not encounter demands for presents from snivelling children, nor their parents trying to sell me necklaces or poor quality carvings. In fact I didn’t see anyone during either of my two long (2-3 hour) walks, just hornbills, bee-eaters, kingfishers, parrots and francolins. On the drive to the hyenas I also saw flamingos and jackals.


    The food was great too. Set meals with no choice whatsoever, but I was perfectly happy with dishes such as pumpkin and prawn soup and grouper fillet flambéed in tamarind sauce. I didn’t drink much but their Cape Verdean rum cocktails were also pretty good!


              WANT TO MAKE GOOD & EASY MONEY DURING THE HUNGRY GHOST FESTIVAL? TRY THIS!        

    As the Gate of Hell opened last night, scores of Singaporean began the age old tradition of burning incense and money to the deceased. But did you know, for the brave, desperate and foolhardy, this is also the time to strike it rich and make some serious cash.

    Rumour has it that selling salt in a cemetery is one of the easiest ways to earn fast money. Wanting to preserve their decomposing bodies/states, spirits roaming the Earth need salt, lots of it to maintain their presence. And when there's a demand, supplying this demand would make one loads of money.

    First, any prospective salt seller has to pack his salt into multiple packets such that his supply will never run out for the night. After that, just before dusk, make his/her way to a suitable spot in the cemetery and sit down comfortably while bowing your heads. Then comes the waiting game, the salt seller has to be patient and follow the rules of this trade.

    It is rumoured that the two important rules are: 1) Never look up at all times during his stint in the cemetery 2) Never fall asleep or leave the selected spot until the day breaks. If one violates any of these rules, your life would be in grave danger.

    If one is able to resist the urge to peep at the "customers", the buyers would put the money onto the seller's hands after taking the salt. When the morning finally arrives, quickly pack up and leave with your stack of money. According to those who tried it before, these are not hell bank notes but cold hard legal tender.

    Are you brave enough to try this out this 7th Month?

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              At least smoke them in designated areas        
    I really have to ask, I don't mean to be rude, but would you gamblers please stop smoking vulture brains?. I mean, I know you think it brings you luck, but you're killing them, you know?
              Gear Spotlight: Ember Moc campsite shoe, by Teva        

    Welcome to another installment of Gear Spotlight from FREESKIER. Here, we provide a close-up look at the gear and accessories that everyone should know about. The goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. […]

    The post Gear Spotlight: Ember Moc campsite shoe, by Teva appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Gear Spotlight: Vermont Classic vintage reissue sunglasses, by Julbo        

    Welcome to another installment of Gear Spotlight from FREESKIER. Here, we provide a close-up look at the gear and accessories that everyone should know about. The goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. […]

    The post Gear Spotlight: Vermont Classic vintage reissue sunglasses, by Julbo appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: You’ve gotta have the Quest 2.0 Long Leg undies, by Saxx        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review, from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up […]

    The post Editor’s Review: You’ve gotta have the Quest 2.0 Long Leg undies, by Saxx appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Gear We’re Testing: A portable solar power station, a go-everywhere duffel bag and car-camping essentials        

    Welcome to another roundup of Editor’s Reviews from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear we’re testing. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up […]

    The post Gear We’re Testing: A portable solar power station, a go-everywhere duffel bag and car-camping essentials appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Q-Core SLX sleeping pad, by Big Agnes        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Q-Core SLX sleeping pad, by Big Agnes appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Goal Zero portable power station and solar panel kit        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Goal Zero portable power station and solar panel kit appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: The North Face Base Camp Duffel        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: The North Face Base Camp Duffel appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Gear We’re Testing: A one-gallon jug, a go-everywhere blanket and 12 awesome sunnies        

    Welcome to another roundup of Editor’s Reviews from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear we’re testing. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up […]

    The post Gear We’re Testing: A one-gallon jug, a go-everywhere blanket and 12 awesome sunnies appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Luminoodle LED light rope        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Luminoodle LED light rope appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: The Rumpl blanket for every occasion        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: The Rumpl blanket for every occasion appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: YETI Rambler one-gallon jug        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: YETI Rambler one-gallon jug appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Gear We’re Testing: Fjällräven camping essentials, Flylow mountain biking shorts and DPS Skis        

    Welcome to another roundup of Editor’s Reviews from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear we’re testing. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up […]

    The post Gear We’re Testing: Fjällräven camping essentials, Flylow mountain biking shorts and DPS Skis appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Abisko Shape 2 four-season tunnel tent, by Fjällräven        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Abisko Shape 2 four-season tunnel tent, by Fjällräven appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Flylow Cash mountain bike shorts        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Flylow Cash mountain bike shorts appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro portable speaker        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro portable speaker appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Gear We’re Testing: Modular backpacks, waterproof hats and stylin’ shirts        

    Welcome to another roundup of Editor’s Reviews from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear we’re testing. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up […]

    The post Gear We’re Testing: Modular backpacks, waterproof hats and stylin’ shirts appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              This snapback hat from 686 repels water just like your raincoat        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post This snapback hat from 686 repels water just like your raincoat appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Topo Designs Klettersack        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Topo Designs Klettersack appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Boundary Prima Modular Backpack        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Boundary Prima Modular Backpack appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Stio Harkin Shirt        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Stio Harkin Shirt appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Limited-edition BioLite “coffee lover’s bundle”        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Limited-edition BioLite “coffee lover’s bundle” appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Men’s AP Pant, by Mountain Hardwear        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Men’s AP Pant, by Mountain Hardwear appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Turtle Shell 3.0 waterproof, bluetooth speaker, by Outdoor Tech        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Turtle Shell 3.0 waterproof, bluetooth speaker, by Outdoor Tech appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: GoPro HERO5 Black        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: GoPro HERO5 Black appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Arcade Rambler Belt        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Arcade Rambler Belt appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Gear We’re Testing: Shoes, Cooler Tubes, Trousers and Chinos        

    Welcome to another roundup of Editor’s Reviews from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear we’re testing. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up […]

    The post Gear We’re Testing: Shoes, Cooler Tubes, Trousers and Chinos appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Mountainsmith x FREESKIER Cooler Tube        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Mountainsmith x FREESKIER Cooler Tube appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Patrol USA .32 Pants        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Patrol USA .32 Pants appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Flylow Dacker Chino Short        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Flylow Dacker Chino Short appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0 sunglasses, with PRIZM lens        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0 sunglasses, with PRIZM lens appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Gear We’re Testing: Shirt jackets, board shorts, packs and puffies        

    Welcome to another roundup of Editor’s Reviews from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear we’re testing. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up […]

    The post Gear We’re Testing: Shirt jackets, board shorts, packs and puffies appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Alpha Shirt Jacket, by Strafe Outerwear        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Alpha Shirt Jacket, by Strafe Outerwear appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Progressor Insulated Hybrid Hoodie, by The North Face        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Progressor Insulated Hybrid Hoodie, by The North Face appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              9 board shorts to live in while you wait for winter’s return        

    We love recommending the best ski gear on Earth to our loyal readers. But now it’s summer and we want to continue aiding you in making smart gear purchases. So, we’ve gathered up nine of our favorite “boardies,” fit for a variety of style preferences. Here’s to enjoying a fun-filled summer while you wait for […]

    The post 9 board shorts to live in while you wait for winter’s return appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Deuter Rise Tour 45+ backpack        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Deuter Rise Tour 45+ backpack appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Gear We’re Testing: Gimbals, skis, bindings, tools and gadgets        

    Welcome to another roundup of Editor’s Reviews from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear we’re testing. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up […]

    The post Gear We’re Testing: Gimbals, skis, bindings, tools and gadgets appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Black Diamond Boundary Pro 107 ski, Alpine Start Hoody and Fritschi Tecton 12 binding        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Black Diamond Boundary Pro 107 ski, Alpine Start Hoody and Fritschi Tecton 12 binding appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: Leatherman Wave multi-tool        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: Leatherman Wave multi-tool appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Editor’s Review: GoPro Karma Grip        

    Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains […]

    The post Editor’s Review: GoPro Karma Grip appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Gear We’re Testing: Speakers, headphones, hiking boots, spring shells and outerwear        

    Welcome to another roundup of Editor’s Reviews from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear we’re testing. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up […]

    The post Gear We’re Testing: Speakers, headphones, hiking boots, spring shells and outerwear appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


              Comment on The Crypto stock that’s better than GBTC by ghostface        
    Was there recently some insider purchases on the open market? He supposedly got into mining to learn the crypto currency/blockchain business with plans to use that in circling back to security. So far just his secure phone idea. Not sure if this will all pan out but if we compare blockchain excitment to 1999 dot com bubble where there were new ipos and re-imagined stale companies adding dot com to their name and stocks galore exploding higher every day. Under the current situation there is a a dearth of choices on the securities front with a lot of money still learning and wanting to chase any crpto/blockchain story. The money has yet to rush into the limited stocks offering a home to the demand imo. I had forgotten about this one. Thanks for the heads up.
              DrupalCon attendee map        

    View Larger Map | download KML file

    The map above shows the approximate locations of over 400 of the DrupalCon Barcelona 2007 attendees, based on the city or country they entered when registering for this year's DrupalCon. People travelled from every continent except Antarctica (maybe next year?) to visit the conference though most attendees travelled from Europe or the US.

    If you're reading in an RSS reader, or if you prefer using Google Earth rather than Google Maps, you may want to load up the KML file, otherwise you'll need to move the map around a little to make Google Maps load all the locations for you.

    (Sorry for all the pushpins. I was hoping to move beyond pushpins but the GeoCommons server didn't seem to like my file, probably due to the lack of attribute data in it.)


              DrupalCon Barcelona 2007 this week        

    DrupalCon Barcelona 2007Tomorrow I'll be traveling down to Barcelona with my colleagues for this year's DrupalCon.

    Much like last year's OSCMS Summit (which basically turned into a DrupalCon) and DrupalCon Brussels it will be a great chance to meet up with other Drupal developers and users, see what others are using the platform for, join in discussions about its future and hopefully promote some of the pieces that we've been developing at work or have sponsored.

    I'll hopefully be doing a lightning talk on the use of Drupal as a GeoCMS - if there are enough people interested - perhaps demonstrating some Google Earth integration through the KML module, GeoRSS integration, or even WFS integration (if I can get it working before then).

    If you're going to DrupalCon and are interested in the geo aspect of Drupal (or geo in general), let me know or catch me there - I'll be the one with the 'geodaniel' name badge.


              The Nations Turned into Hell        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: The Nations Turned into Hell
    Subtitle: The Times are Perilous
    Speaker: G. D. Fulton
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Radio Broadcast
    Date: 12/30/1986
    Bible: Psalm 9:17; 2 Peter 3:1-11
    Length: 16 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: The nations of this earth have forgotten God, and turned to their armaments in an effort to gain -peace- for mankind. But everyone is determined to RULE in their own way, and thus ready at a moment's notice to go to WAR, with all its treachery and unreasonable expense.----Where is Love- Where is an fear of the true and living God- Hear this radio warning from the voice of the late Mr. G. D. Fulton, of Blacksburg SC. This is another of his recorded radio messages, and may it prove a blessing to you who hear it.----Without repentance and turning to God from sin, there will be no salvation, for nations or individuals. It matters not what modern preachers may tell you. Their soft-soap comfort will fail in the hour of testing. TAKE THE YOKE OF CHRIST IN SURRENDER AND OBEDIENCE TO HIM AS HE REIGNS OVER US-
              Christian Conflict in Times of Apostasy - 2        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: Christian Conflict in Times of Apostasy - 2
    Subtitle: Conflict w/ Powers of Darkness
    Speaker: Tom L. Daniel
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Sunday - PM
    Date: 10/31/1971
    Bible: Isaiah 64:1-12; Jeremiah 37:16-21
    Length: 48 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: -Continuing from the morning message,he begins by reading a letter from one of his radio listeners in South Carolina.-----In days of apostasy, God's true people stand out in bold relief against the dark spiritual background. They seek to -fight the good fight of faith,- laying hold on eternal life. The apostates never understand a faithful child of God and often accuse him of being stubborn and unloving.----May God help us to ever -contend for the faith once for all delivered unto the saints------Hear Pastor Tom Daniel in these two expositions -morning and evening services on Oct. 31, 1971- - during his final year on earth. He died Oct. 1, 1972, much beloved of his church members and friends far and near by means of his tape-recorded sermons and radio broadcasts, plus 39 printed booklets of messages.----SOLI DEO GLORIA-
              Christian Conflict in Times of Apostasy - 1        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: Christian Conflict in Times of Apostasy - 1
    Subtitle: Conflict w/ Powers of Darkness
    Speaker: Tom L. Daniel
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Sunday - AM
    Date: 10/31/1971
    Bible: Isaiah 64:1-12; Jeremiah 37:16-21
    Length: 51 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: In days of apostasy, God's true people stand out in bold relief against the dark spiritual background. They seek to -fight the good fight of faith,- laying hold on eternal life. The apostates never understand a faithful child of God and often accuse him of being stubborn and unloving.----May God help us to ever -contend for the faith once for all delivered unto the saints------Hear Pastor Tom Daniel in these two expositions -morning and evening services on Oct. 31, 1971- - during his final year on earth. He died Oct. 1, 1972, much beloved of his church members and friends far and near by means of his tape-recorded sermons and radio broadcasts, plus 39 printed booklets of messages.----SOLI DEO GLORIA-
              The High Cost of Sin        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: The High Cost of Sin
    Subtitle: Preachers who influenced us
    Speaker: Tom L. Daniel
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Sunday - AM
    Date: 6/14/1970
    Bible: Numbers 21
    Length: 39 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: Men are prone to think that they can sin and get away with it. But the Word of God is faithful to warn about the HIGH COST of sinning against God ... The God of all the earth will not clear the guilty sinner apart from the Holy Sacrifice of Christ our Lord.----This is a message by our beloved old pastor in Waco, Texas ... Pastor Tom L. Daniel -1906-1972-. We loved him dearly, and miss him more and more as the years come and go. Thus we had a desire to introduce him to our Internet audience. More messages to follow, D.V. Please listen and tell your friends.
              Begin an All-Out Search for the Lord        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: Begin an All-Out Search for the Lord
    Speaker: G. D. Fulton
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Radio Broadcast
    Date: 5/13/1986
    Bible: Psalm 24:3-6; Isaiah 55:6-7
    Length: 15 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: Have you ever taken out time to SEEK AFTER THE LORD until you found HIM- Dear friends, this all-out search for the Lord is virtually unknown in the religion of the present hour. There is a little -dedication- to Jesus by walking to the front of a church ... but how about a DAILY seeking after HIM- ----BE SURE OF THIS- It is the person who will not be denied a personal relationship with Christ who truly finds Him. Take time out NOW to begin a search for Christ, for the Scripture holds out hope to SEEKERS - seek Him with all your heart -Jeremiah 29-13-.-----God that made the world ... hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth- and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation- THAT THEY SHOULD SEEK THE LORD, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he be not far from every one of us- -Acts 17-24-27-.----The probabilities for you, dear listener, are that if you NEVER TAKE OUT TIME FOR AN ALL-OUT SEARCH you'll never know the Lord- -He that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened- -Luke 11-10-.
              Plagues of the Last Days        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: Plagues of the Last Days
    Subtitle: Preachers who Influenced Us
    Speaker: B. B. Caldwell
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Special Meeting
    Date: 2/24/1973
    Bible: Revelation 15:1
    Length: 45 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: What will happen in the last days- No man knows for sure, but the Word of God gives us some glimpses. Here we see the powers of Satan and demon spirits loosened upon the earth, and what days of suffering it involves-----Hear this old prophet of God. You don't have to agree with him, but he is worthy of your serious consideration and Bible searching.
              Our Bodies Under the Curse of Death        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: Our Bodies Under the Curse of Death
    Speaker: G. D. Fulton
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Radio Broadcast
    Date: 7/9/1985
    Bible: Ecclesiastes 12:7
    Length: 18 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: Not only has God put this fallen world under the curse of judgment, but the bodies of all men -including believers- are under a curse - the curse of death - -Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was- and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it- -Eccl. 12-7-.
              Good Shepherd - Part 2        
    A new MP3 sermon from Freely We Give Broadcast is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: Good Shepherd - Part 2
    Subtitle: Need Part 1
    Speaker: G. D. Fulton
    Broadcaster: Freely We Give Broadcast
    Event: Radio Broadcast
    Date: 7/23/1985
    Bible: John 5:24-25
    Length: 14 min. (64kbps)

    Overview: THIS IS THE SECOND SERMON ON THIS TOPIC ... WE ARE ANXIOUSLY SEEKING TO FIND THE FIRST ONE-----The Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep is the Great Shepherd who will come back to earth to receive them unto Himself.
              Drinking Water Before You Get Thirsty        
    Water is life. While you may go without food for 40 days, you will not survive more than a week without drinking water or some fluid. Water is the most abundant nutrient in the human body as well as the most common substance on earth. An average adult body is 60-75% water. Water is found […]

              Home        
    Home. Where is home. We’ve had a few, us humans. Earth. I guess it all started there. Earth was home; still is, to some. But what about our other planets? What about Mars? Terra? Are they home? Our houses are homes. Or are our homes houses? Either way, I‘d have to have one for it to be one. Now… my Prospector. She’s a home. She’s my home. Where is she though… HA! Who’m I kidding?! She’s right where she ought to be, under my hands, mining! Just me and my Prospector, my Napanee, floating through space. Just floatin’. Minin’. Who needs a ‘home’. --- There’s a feeling one has, when they look at something completely extraordinary that they’ve been seeing their entire life. The feeling someone who lives on the coast gets every morning when they wake up and look out over the ocean. The feeling the best poker player in the ‘Verse gets when he wins the Galactic Invitational for the thirteenth time running. The feeling a mother gets when she has her seventh child. The feeling a 30 year veteran gets during another Vanduul raid. It is perfectly described in one word. ‘Enh.’ The word comes with a shrug, that kind of nonchalant noncommittal shrug that says, well… it says ‘enh’. The word and the shrug go together, like a jam and cheese sandwich eaten by someone with no taste buds. That word and shrug, though, they perfectly embodied the feelings running through Anoty’s head as he looked up through the asteroid field, looked up at all the other small rocks with their small domes, owned by the other prospecting families. Dozens of asteroids of different shapes and sizes and colours, all floating aimlessly, drifting lazily, through the cold black of space. Like cheerios floating in milk when you’ve eaten most of the cheerios and there are just a few left. Except that they weren’t all clumped together like they do in milk, but kept kind of separate in the milk instead, like how asteroids in space float kinda together but not really too close. Anoty had just started the metaphor segment of his English schooling. It was a work in progress. He sat in his room in his house under the force dome and missed his dad. Well, not his house, it was his mothers’ house. But it was his dad that he missed. He remembered his mom, four years ago, sitting him down and saying his dad was dead. That he’d taken the prospector out on a mission, that he’d got himself blown up by raiders. That the UEE had called her, said there wasn’t even a semblance of the ship anymore, or of his dad, the wreckage was so bad. Anoty sat on his bed, thinking. Thinking about his dad, and where he’d got to. Thinking of home. Wondering why his dad hadn’t thought home was with him. For Anoty, home wasn’t in the asteroid belt. Here he was stuck inside a dome on a gyrating asteroid orbiting a small planetoid in one of the most breathtaking displays of orbital dynamics that human eyes have ever seen, a literal stellar stereotype, the distant planetoid hazy through its fuchsia-tinged atmosphere, the closer asteroids and their domes spinning and revolving in a gravitational ballet of the highest magnitude, all seen from a dusty dirt rock with a horizon of infinity. Home was a place where his mom was still happy, and where his dad hadn’t left. --- Shaer hated home. Home was bills. Home was stress. Home was memories. Home was a son who played games all day, who couldn’t get his basic schooling figured out. He’d failed English, math, astronomic, piloting, farming, law, chemistry, and every other conceivable course she could download from the central UEE home-school repository. And every one of those downloads cost credits. To Shaer, home was in default. To Shaer, home was a lifeless rock, completely mortgaged out to pay for a ship for a low-life scum of an ex husband who’d taken the ship and left, sticking her with an idiot child, a worthless rock, and no way to pay the bills. To Shaer, home was the last straw. The final blow in a lifetime of blows. She’d wanted to go to the inner planets, visit Terra, Earth, Mars. She’d wanted to see the ‘Verse, to see where humanity came from. She thought about that, as she smashed the control-panel for the dome, causing the power to fail and the safety-net between the house and the black void of space to come crashing down. She’d always wanted to see Earth, especially. Learn where she’d come from; where everyone had come from. As the air rushed away from those that needed it most, raging like a hurricane, loud as a summer storm, quiet as a whisper, and then silent as death, Shae thought of Africa, of how she’d always wanted to see it. To see where Humanity had come from. To see something that truly was home. --- Anoty, in his panic and confusion, in the terrible, aching last gasps of life, thought of his father, knew that he would come back, that he would save Anoty and his mom. --- Home SWEET home, Dale said, patting the Prospector on the dash. He’d dropped off a load of trellium ore at the refinery, picked up a nice young thing to keep his mind and… other parts… occupied, and was headed back into the black. He’d checked the news. Life was good. Home was wherever he wanted. There was nothing left to hold him back.
              Tic-Talk Tonight: Lonnie Grant         
    Welcome to the newest edition of Tic-Talk, the transcript that follows is the full interview as conducted by Indira Nooyi with our guest interviewee, Lonnie Grant, captain of the Voyager. Interview was carried out on the planet Cascom in the Castra system on 2947-03-12. Indira Nooyi(IN): Good evening and welcome to another edition of Tic-Talk, I’m your host for the evening Indira Nooyi and with me tonight is the captain and pilot of a Freelancer DUR named Voyager. Thank you for joining me tonight, Mr. Grant. Lonnie Grant (LG): Thank you for having me on Indira. I love your show. IN: Thank you. Now Mr. Grant, you just recently discovered a new jump point, would you please tell our viewing audience a little bit about how you came to discover it. LG: Well you see Indira… it wasn’t really the most clever way to discover a jump point. It occurred to me that for the size of the system, Castra has an inordinate number of jump points… I think there were 5. It occurred to me that this concentration might be significant so I started scouring the outer rim of the system with my scanners. After a few days I got a hit on my jump scanners. IN: And upon closer investigation you found this new jump point, correct? LG: Yeah… it took me awhile to triangulate it but eventually I got close enough and she just opened up in front of me. They’re a beautiful sight, jump points. They’re all different… have their own character. IN: Did you immediately travel through it following discovery? LG: It’s always a nervous thing, you know? Plenty of explorers have vanished forever after attempting a new jump point. I guess that’s a long way of saying that I took some time... Wrote out messages for my family and friends and left them in a buoy before I ventured inside. IN: And what did you find on the other side? LG: Well first of all, this particular jump was pleasantly simple to navigate. Some of them can be really nasty. Either way, on the far side I discovered a red dwarf star with 4 major worlds orbiting, along with many other smaller worlds of course. IN: A brand new system then? LG: Yes! This is a fresh jump. IN: So, with that being said this opens up several possibilities to you. What do you see yourself doing with the jump point coordinates? Are you considering selling them to the military or off to a scientific research facility maybe? LG: My plan is to sell the coordinates to the UEE’s exploration and colonization division, and then return to the system to continue my work exploring the worlds it holds.  There’s a lot to learn! IN: That would make you a very rich man, Mr. Grant. Why continue to work and explore when you could retire and live the rest of your life in ease and comfort? LG: Honestly for most explorers… there’s a drive to keep pushing the edge of our knowledge and it doesn’t go away with a full bank account. I will always be most at home on the fringes, searching for the next horizon. Might have to update some of my equipment though! IN: Indeed and you will have the funds to do it. With this being a new system, I know that there is always a push to find new habitable worlds for humanity to colonize. Does this new system have anything that sets it apart from the rest? LG: So this is kind of interesting… This is a tiny star so the worlds orbit close. One appears too close, probably too hot. The furthest planet seems outside the habitable zone… although perhaps some extremophiles could live there. Once again though this is the long way of saying that the middle two planets appear habitable.  One is about the size of Earth and has large oceans covering about 80% of its surface.  The other one is smaller, about the size of Mars, and has limited water - maybe 20% ocean - but appears to support abundant life regardless. I haven’t taken any detailed scans yet… the new equipment would be right up that alley - help me get better quality scans. IN: So, at least two habitable worlds, your find might be more valuable then you consider it to be. If people were to move there today, what would they be calling this system? Do you plan to name it or leave that up to the scientists? LG: Well Indira, you have to understand that it is rare in an explorer’s career that they find anything of really major value. Comets, lucrative asteroids, small black holes… these are common place and enough to keep you going but new star systems are really the dream. I have thought of a name and I will be submitting it, with your approval. I do love your show, so I was going to name the system Indira. IN: Wow, I don’t know what to say, Mr. Grant. I’m very flattered. I only hope that whatever name you choose does the system justice. Sounds like you’ve found yourself a small little paradise. I sincerely wish you luck on your next adventure and again thank you for joining me tonight and sharing your story. Maybe it will inspire the next generation of explorers to go out there and find their own jump point. I’m Indira Nooyi and this has been another edition of Tic-Talk, thanks for joining us and see you next week.  
              Quotes of the Week        

    “These days, it's not just leftie troublemakers who doubt that benefits going direct to big business will trickle down to the rest of us, it's every punter in the street.”  [Economics Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Gittins, 24 July 2017]

    “Six months into his presidency, Donald Trump is saddled with a stalled agenda, a West Wing that resembles a viper’s nest, a pile of investigations and a Republican Party that is starting to break away.”  [Journalists Julie Pace and Jonathan Lemire writing in The Washington Post, 29 July 2017]

    “This White House is broken, perhaps beyond repair. It can’t do anything right. It can’t issue executive orders that are enforceable. It can’t pass legislation. It can’t prioritize the president’s agenda. It can’t get anybody on the same page. In a normal White House, all of those things flow from an empowered White House chief of staff who can execute the president’s agenda and most importantly tell him what he does not want to hear. And none of that is happening.”  [Author Chris Whipple quoted in The Washington Post, 31 July 2017]

    “Yeah. He’s like a conveyor belt for bad overseas ideas.” [Journalist Richard Chirgwin tweeting about Australian Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull on 2 August 2017]

    “By August 2 2017, we will have used more from Nature than our planet can renew in the whole year…..This means that in seven months, we emitted more carbon than the oceans and forests can absorb in a year, we caught more fish, felled more trees, harvested more, and consumed more water than the Earth was able to produce in the same period.” [World Wildlife Fund quoted in the Independent on 2 August 2017]

              Tori's Review: Avalon (Avalon #1) by Mindee Arnett        
    Avalon by Mindee Arnett
    Book One in the Avalon Series
    Published on January 21, 2014 by Balzer + Bray
    Young Adult | Science Fiction | Dystopian
    432 Pages
    Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
    A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

    Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

    Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

    Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.
    Jeth Seagrave lives in a world where a police force called the ITA monitors the planets and people can travel at the speed of light in their spaceships using metadrives. In this futuristic world, Jeth works for a powerful man named Hammer Dafoe, who's basically the equivalent to a drug overlord in today, stealing spaceships and metadrives from the ITA.

    On one of Jeth's missions, he runs into an ITA agent who's willing to work with Jeth to betray Hammer in exchange for information on Jeth's parents who were murdered by the ITA for treason. This supposed alliance starts Avalon off with a bang, which is something I appreciate.

    There are few aspects of Avalon that are memorable--the beginning, Cora, and the ending. The way I see it, Avalon is extremely forgettable. There are strong parts in the novel--again, the beginning, Cora, the ending (in some ways)--but I feel as though the weak parts outweigh the strong. 

    Right off the bat, Jeth is thrown into action and being forced to make difficult decisions. The setback in starting a novel right off the bat is that none of the characters' decisions make sense to the reader, because they haven't connected with any of the characters yet. This was Avalon's biggest flaw to me: I didn't relate to any of the characters whatsoever. I could've cared less whether or not Jeth and his crew died, which is sad. 

    A really strong part of this book, as I mentioned above, is Cora, a little girl who escaped the ITA's clutches with the help of Sierra, a daring AWOL ITA officer, and the assistance of another AWOL ITA officer. Without spoiling the novel, I'll say that Cora's background made Avalon what it is right now. 

    The world-building is lacking immensely. As a reader, I never learned how this futuristic world came to be. These characters are in this universe with spaceships that can travel at the speed of light and practically jump themselves anywhere in space, and yet I'm never told how this was achievable. 

    In conclusion, I think hardcore science fiction lovers should stay away from this novel, but newbies or casual readers could pick this up and enjoy the adventure. Although the world was interesting and the plot was definitely adventurous, I don't think this book has what it takes to stick in my mind, considering I've already forgotten half the characters' names. 

    (Shame on me. I read a lot.)



              Tori's Review: The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa        
    The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
    Book Three in the Blood of Eden Series
    Published on April 15, 2014 by Harlequin Teen
    Vampires | Young Adult | Paranormal
    416 Pages
    Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
    VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

    Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

    With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

    MONSTER

    Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

    In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.
    NOTE: This is the third book in a series. There will be spoilers for books one and two in this review as well as minor spoilers for book three. Very minor, though. Only involving Zeke. (Sorry, guys. Can't write the review without mentioning him.)

    I'm going to start this review off by saying, "I freaking called it when I said that Zeke wasn't dead." It's just that there's no way that the author is going to kill of the main love interest in the middle of the series without a really good reason. I just knew that Zeke was alive. I knew it. Okay, I'm done gloating.

    This was a highly anticipated 2014 release for me, so forgive me when I say that I was disappointed. I read The Forever Song in two days, but there were many slow parts. Forgive me, but in my opinion The Forever Song lacked the qualities that made me love The Immortal Rules and The Eternity Cure so much. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of action in The Forever Song, which I loved, but it just wasn't enough for me. My biggest problem with this book would have to be the pace. The plot was nonexistent for the first 20% of the novel or so.

    My second biggest problem with The Forever Song would have the be the angst level. Allie and Zeke need to realize that they both love each other and they they're going to be happy together. They need to stop complaining. They had some cute moments in this novel, but the majority of the time Zeke was sulking and Allie was making idiotic decisions based on Zeke's benefit.

    Jackal and Kanin will remain my favorite characters in this trilogy. I love that Jackal calls Zeke 'Puppy.' It's so incredibly cute.

    "'Puppy, I am getting so tired of listening to you whine about this,' he [Jackal] snarled at Zeke. 'This isn't rocket science. If you don't want to be a monster, don't be a bloody monster! Be an uptight stick in the mud like Kanin. Be a self-righteous bleeding heart like Allison. Or you can stop agonizing about it and be a f***ing monster, it's actually a lot of fun. But for the love of p***, make some sort of decision. If you don't want to eat babies and nail bloodbags to walls, that's your choice.'"

    I felt the end of The Forever Song was fitting. The title matches the book's purpose, which is great. Although the end made me sad, it wasn't exactly a tear-jerker, per se. (Then again, I don't cry very often...) I think Kagawa handles endings well, which I appreciate. I love good series endings.

    In conclusion, this book had flaws, but the characters make up for the majority of those flaws. I'll miss Jackal since I won't be reading about him anymore, but that's okay. Kanin will always have a place in my heart. I have to admit that I think less of Zeke after The Forever Song, but that's just me. I don't enjoy angsty teens in apocalyptic novels.

    The Forever Song is definitely worth it though if you need to finish the series. I find it a great finale. Not particularly the strongest in the trilogy, but it was well worth the read. I'm honored to have made the acquaintance of Jackal, Kanin, Allie, and Zeke. (Sarren? Not so much.)


              Dombeck receives Ansel Adams Award for leadership in protecting National Forests        

    WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck will receive the Ansel Adams Award from The Wilderness Society Thursday night for his major role in protecting the national forests.

    "Mike was a game-changer,” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. “He restored balance to the management of our 155 national forests, making clean water, recreation, and fish and wildlife priorities, as the law requires. He was the main architect of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which prevented logging and road building across 58.5 million acres of our national forests. It was the capstone of a quarter century of sterling public service with federal land management agencies.”

    A native of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in fisheries biology, Dombeck served three years as acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management before President Clinton appointed him Forest Service chief in 1997. No other person has lead both of this nation’s largest land management agencies.

    Since leaving the government in 2001, Dombeck has been a University of Wisconsin System Fellow and a professor of global conservation at the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He also directs the Smith Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Conservation Biology.

    “Mike was, in my view, the most independent chief that the Forest Service has had since Gifford Pinchot himself,” said Dr. Jerry Franklin, a University of Washington professor often described as “the father of modern forestry.” Pinchot was the first chief, serving from 1898 to 1910. “Mike broke out of the mold and did really innovative things. He did that by design and force of will,” said Franklin, a long-time member of The Wilderness Society’s Governing Council.

    “As our country grows, we continue to chip away at our wild places, losing acre by acre, day after day,” said Dombeck. “Protecting the remaining roadless areas of our national forests is perhaps this nation’s last opportunity to keep our few remaining wild places intact.

    “They are important habitats and anchor points for native plants and animals in the face of a changing climate. These remote areas provide some of the last best hunting and fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities with at least a measure of solitude. In today’s fast-paced society, these are the places where future generations might experience the land as their forefathers did. It has been a privilege for me to have a career working with people who care deeply about the health of the land. They are the ones who have earned this award.”

    The award that Dombeck will receive is named for the celebrated photographer who, until his death, was an outspoken advocate for safeguarding the nation’s natural heritage. “It is noteworthy that Mike is the third winner from Wisconsin,” Meadows pointed out. The award was presented to Congressman David Obey (D) in 2000 and to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson in 1990. Nelson served the state as a governor and U.S. Senator and spent the final 24 years of his life as counselor of The Wilderness Society.

    Other winners of the Ansel Adams Award include former Congressman Mo Udall (D-NM), former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, President Jimmy Carter, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME), Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT), and former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus.

    The Wilderness Society is the leading public-lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

    For a hi-res photo of Dombeck, contact tmiller@uwsp.edu.

    May 18, 2010

              Are Number 10 e-petition debates really a good thing?        
    MPs are to debate e-petitions on the Number 10 website after David Cameron said that all petitions with over 100,000 signatures should be debated in the Commons. This has to be a good thing for democracy - right?

    Well, I certainly welcome one of the debates that's now been scheduled which is calling for the release of full range of documents relating to the Hillsborough football stadium tragedy. In fact, I was one of the 138,613 that have signed this so far.

    However, the other that's to be debated is of a rather more worryingly reactionary bent in that it seeks the cessation of benefits for anyone convicted of an offence during the London riots. This one has received almost a quarter of a million votes, making it by the far the most signed on the site.

    So what can we expect to see coming forward from this initiative? Will it be righteous causes looking to make the way the country is governed more transparent and accountable or will it be a foothold for frothing at the mouth, angry reactionaries and their ill conceived views on what makes a just society? 

    Some 20,000 signatures have already been put to paper (or rather screen) to bring back capital punishment. Fortunately almost 10,000 more petitioners have signed the one calling for its ban to remain. Hopefully that gives us an indication that two-thirds of the country aren't actually bonkers. Which, when you think about it, is probably about right. Problem is, they're just not always the loudest.

    If the most popular e-petition under the last government had been debated, the hapless Gordon Brown would have been faced with a debate calling on him to stand down. So it could be said that Cameron is a brave man for peddling this initiative. However, he's surely safe in the knowledge that Commons' debates rarely lead to any earth shattering change in direction for governments. Therefore this could prove a good way for him to look like he's opening the door to a new kind of politics when really it's nothing of the sort. 

    I suppose the good news is that you no longer have to be a wealthy donor to have an impact on what's debated in Westminster, you just need to find 99,999 other people that agree with you. Then again if you don't have that kind of influence you could always try the old fashioned route of writing to your constituency MP to ask them to raise your concerns in Parliament.

    If I could chose one of the current petitions to get a proper debate it would be the petition calling for public and private pensions to be linked back to RPI rather than the less favourable CPI. The move to CPI in April will see an increasingly poor standard of living for pensioners at a time when fuel and food prices are rising dramatically. Sign it now and let' see if it leads to the government being put on the spot about an issue that really impacts on millions of people's day-to-day lives.

              Falling through Earth        
    Just a quick post for today (busy busy here as usual, stuff should settle down a bit come December …). What would it be like to take an elevator trip through Earth from one side to the other? Apparently, in the remake of the hilariously (poor science-)fiction movie Total Recall, the remake which I have […]
              Living in Earthquake Country: Los Angeles and the Big One        
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              Today, Earth Overshoot Day        

    To gain practical skills for sustainability management, join us at the COMMIT! Forum in DC October 11-12 2017 By Tom Schueneman Today is Earth Overshoot Day. As of today, the year is done for planet Earth, she has given a year’s worth of natural resources.  It may seem counter-intuitive at first. Obviously, we aren’t done with […]

    The post Today, Earth Overshoot Day appeared first on CR Magazine.


              Comment on Goddesses and Rape: The Issue is That we Have Raped Devotion Itself! by Ram Swamy        
    Desh – It is so amusing for me to see your responses! It is like watching the big bad wolf trying his best to look like granny! The wolf fooled little red riding hood, not the hunter! Let me start from the top! If you ignore this question the 4th time, then boy you’ve found yourself in a bit of trouble isn’t it! I asked you three previous times, do you believe in lord Shiva, you ignored the question all 3 times! If you say yes, then you’re a believer (this is by your own definition), and if you say no, you have yourself to answer to because you are disavowing one you hold dear. So which is it? Now let’s address your other statements…. “Do you know you are alive?.....” Is this proof of your “spiritual” credentials? Does one have to be on the spiritual path to know this or is this something that every human being able to verbally communicate knows? Even a little toddler knows he is alive! One has to admittedly be a little older to know about the birds and the bees, but most teenagers who aren’t still living in the past know this! “there is NO Interventionist God “out there”.” So now you qualify the existence (or non-existence) of god by using the word “interventionist”! So who is Shiva then? You have written about him time and time again, which type of god is he? Or do you have another elaborate term to define him? This is what I wrote in my previous comment to you. In my book a seeker is Arjun, the guy on one knee, hands together and listening to Krishna speak! He just asks questions, he doesn’t “know what he knows and doesn’t know what he doesn’t know!” No, I wasn’t there, you definitely write as if you were! I wrote that because I thought you would understand with an image what I was trying to say to you. The fact that Arjun said “no” means nothing, he said no out of ignorance, and then he was lead into the light, but to be lead into the light, he had to listen. That is the lesson to be learned. Another amusing tangent you go on next! Something about being good! Where did I ever even talk about being good? Your ego my friend is a fat one! You read into a conversation what you want, you judge based on your limited “knowledge” which you take a lot of pride in and then you start dishing out your own sermon. Which spiritual being, during a discussion turns around and calls the other person a “chootiya?” Did your guru teach you this? Using words like stupid and idiot to disparage the person you’re speaking to doesn’t show how learned you, just shows how little spiritually evolved you are! Also goes to show childishness and immaturity. Not emphatic, pathetic! Your rant about sai baba, etc. again makes no sense! I never said I believed in sai baba? So you should save your preaching for others who will be fazed by your bluster! And let’s address your final statement, “There is no arrogance is saying what is and what is not.” You my dear friend don’t know much about spirituality anyways, yes, I am sure you can say you are alive! Let's thank the non-intervensionist god for that! You are a believer, a wannabe seeker at best, You have few qualities of a seeker. Here, click on this link, maybe seeing your own guru’s words describing a seeker might ring true! Do you see yourself even remotely like the seeker he describes? Just being a wind bag and blowing hard doesn’t make you knowledgeable or a seeker! http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/sadhguru/masters-words/skeptics-are-true-seekers/ Hopefully you will take some time to pause, find a mirror, look at yourself, shake your head and start all over again. If you’re still uncertain, take this entire conversation to your guru, I am sure he will put you right . Humility my dear friend, humility…your guru is humble…he is your guru and he is humbler than you are! Tells you something, or doesn’t it? I visit your blog once in a while, if you notice, it is your posts on spirituality that have me commenting most, when what you say makes no sense whatsoever, not because I can’t understand the material, but because what you have written is just in such knots. There is no clarity of thought, just big fancy words, bluster and preaching thrown together to make a listless soup. For the sake of your own spirituality, come back to earth from your ego trip and you will find all those answers that yet elude you. Sorry to disappoint you, I don’t respond with words like stupid or idiot even when I am clearly talking to one.
              The Ends of the Earth        
    none
              Protected by the God of Heaven and Earth        
    Strong and Courageous: Part 3
              El calentamiento global y nosotros        
    El calentamiento global y nosotros

    Evaluando nuestra responsabilidad ambiental y profesional

    Por Elaine Harger
    Traducido por Sara Plaza

    Mientras iba conduciendo por las Montañas Rocosas en Montana el verano pasado, se me rompió el corazón al ver un montón de árboles de color óxido esparcidos entre los bosques de un verde imponente habitualmente. En algunos lugares parecía que entre un 20 y un 30 % de ellos estuvieran muertos, y de hecho lo están – asesinados por un escarabajo cuyo único depredador es el frío extremo de los inviernos de Montana, ellos mismos enfrentados a la amenaza de verse extinguidos debido al calentamiento global.

    ¿Qué tiene que ver la muerte de los pinares con la bibliotecología? ¿Es el calentamiento global una "cuestión bibliotecaria"? Muchos bibliotecarios opinan que la provisión de libros, programación y otro tipo de información relacionada con temas medioambientales es suficiente para cumplir con las obligaciones de la bibliotecología. Algunos consideran que necesitamos equilibrar la crisis medioambiental con fuentes que nieguen la responsabilidad humana en ella. Sin embargo, me he dado cuenta de que el calentamiento global está en el corazón de nuestras preocupaciones profesionales de varias formas.

    Hace poco, participando en un grupo de discusión del Northwest Earth Institute, denominado: Changing CO2urse, calculé mi perfil de CO2. La producción media de emisiones de CO2 por persona en los Estados Unidos es de 122 libras [una libra equivale a 454 gramos]. Alrededor de 65 libras están bajo el control de cada individuo, mientras que las otras 57 libras es la parte proporcional que le corresponde a cada persona de las emisiones producidas por los negocios, las industrias, los generadores eléctricos y los sistemas de transporte que constituyen parte de nuestra sociedad actual.

    Comparativamente, la media diaria de las emisiones de CO2 por personas en el resto del mundo es de 24 libras. Y, según parece, los ecosistemas terrestres pueden procesar completamente solo 9 libras de CO2 por día por persona.

    Para calcular nuestro perfil personal de carbono, recogemos las facturas de gas de nuestros vehículos y las de nuestros servicios públicos, y contabilizamos el número de viajes en avión que realizamos al año.

    Mi producción de CO2 alcanza las 34 libras por día, más baja que la media norteamericana, en primer lugar porque voy caminando al trabajo y utilizo mi coche lo menos posible.

    Esta información planteaba una cuestión profunda y desencadenó un periodo de total desmoralización surgida al contemplar sus implicaciones: ¿Cómo puedo reducir mi producción personal de CO2 de 34 + 57 = 91 libras por día a 9? Lo que me permitió salir de mis sentimientos absolutamente derrotistas fue darme cuenta de lo siguiente:

    – En primer lugar, yo personalmente no tengo la responsabilidad de reducir 57 de esas libras: es una tarea que corresponde a toda la sociedad, incluida la bibliotecología.
    – Segundo, cualquier reducción de mis 34 libras personales tendría que incluir mis viajes en avión a los congresos profesionales, que normalmente son los únicos vuelos que realizo.
    – Tercero, formo parte de la tercera generación de productores de CO2. La mayoría de mis antecesores vivieron bien produciendo mucho menos de 9 libras de CO2 por día.
    – Cuarto, la tarea de convertir nuestras vidas de destructoras de la tierra en sostenedoras de la misma está llena de aventura y es tan prometedora como cualquiera de las tareas que ha encarado siempre la humanidad. Todo lo que necesitamos es reactivar algo de ese espíritu humano tan positivo de poder hacerlo, y la bibliotecología puede ayudar enormemente a ello.

    Para quienes comienzan, podéis organizar en vuestra biblioteca una proyección del documental del año 2006, Who Killed the Electric Car?, y preguntarle a la audiencia que imaginen cada estación de gas albergando baterías recargables de energía solar en lugar de gasolina.

    Patrocinar y participar en los grupos de discusión del Northwest Earth Institute, de manera que vuestra comunidad pueda explorar las posibilidades de crear relaciones sostenibles con vuestra región bio–región.

    Viajar por el mundo a través de los libros en lugar de hacerlo como turistas escupiendo CO2.

    Y por último, vamos a repensar los congresos del ALA [Asociación Estadounidense de Bibliotecas]. Dar a los encuentros de invierno y anuales del ALA un toque "verde" no consiste en discutir si los centros de convenciones reciclan o no el papel. Necesitamos repensar la necesidad real de estos encuentros nacionales porque no son sostenibles dadas las actuales condiciones.

    Elaine Harger es bibliotecaria de la Mount Si High School en Snoqualmie, Washington, y miembro del consejo del ALA.
    American Libraries / April 2008 / On my Mind / Opinion

    Ilustración.

              Centre asks states to prepare for monsoon failure        
    Teaser: 
    Policy matters this week
    A community well (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

    Centre urges states to gear up for possible monsoon failure

    The agriculture ministry has ordered all the states and union territories to prepare themselves for a possible monsoon failure and operationalise their drought mitigation strategies. For this, the states and union territories have been permitted to earmark 25 percent of funds under centrally-sponsored schemes as flexi-funds for using them for the mitigation of natural calamities. Also, the ministry has allowed the states to expand the coverage of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in order to tackle loss of production in the event of a disaster.  

    Government rejects funds to Gujarat's SAUNI yojana

    On technical grounds, the Central Water Commission (CWC) has rejected the request to fund the Gujarat government's Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation Yojana (SAUNI). As per the CWC, the detailed project report for the scheme lacks key details in relation to technical feasibility. Along with expressing concerns about the Gujarat government's failure to consult Narmada Control Authority (NCA) and other concerned states, the CWC has also raised questions over the water storage calculation for the project. However, after getting rejected by the Centre, the state government has decided to fund the project on its own. 

    Ramgarh dam encroachment: HC notice to Rajasthan government

    The Rajasthan high court has issued notice to several authorities in the state against the encroachment on the catchment areas of the Ramgarh dam in Jaipur. In 2004, the court had ordered the state authorities to demarcate the catchment area of the Ramgarh dam and declare it a no-construction zone. Further to this notice in 2012, the court ordered to remove the encroachment on the catchment areas but no action has been taken in this regard; even the demarcation of the catchment areas is yet to be done. 

    Telangana to tackle its water crisis using four waters concept

    Telangana Water Resources Development Corporation (TWRDC) has launched the Jal Doots programme in which 50 volunteers of various NGOs will educate farmers, members of small help groups and gram panchayats across 600 villages in the state on various recharge and water harvesting structures. The basis of the programme is the ‘four water’ concept (ground, surface, soil moisture and rainwater) that aims to conserve each drop of water. The programme will encourage farmers to build soak pits at home, farm ponds in field and adopt various conservation methods like tank renovation, silt application and drip and sprinklers for irrigation.

    India ambitious to mine mineral wealth of the oceans

    The Ministry of Earth Sciences has decided to embark on the ambitious Deep Sea Mission. The project, worth Rs 10,000 crore, aims to explore and mine mineral wealth beneath the ocean floor. The project is expected to begin by the year-end in 2017. According to the ministry, the project would be beneficial to the country as it will provide deep ocean energy, deep sea fishing and minerals. 

    This is a roundup of important policy matters from May 8 - 14, 2017. Also, read the news this week.

     

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              In the name of development        
    Teaser: 
    The indigenous community of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been systematically alienated from their land by the colonial and post-colonial policies. A new book chronicles the change.
    The forests and the tribal communities of the islands are being decimated. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

    Pankaj Sekhsaria’s recent book Islands in flux--The Andaman and Nicobar Story is a collection of around 20 years of his writings on the environmental and conservation concerns faced by the indigenous tribal communities of the region. Unlike his previous book, The last wave, a factual fiction adventure story dealing with love, longing and loss, this one is a collection of contemporary developments in the islands. The book is divided into seven parts and several chapters each dealing with the societal and ecological facets of the islands. Issues related to the environment, wildlife conservation and development policies that threaten the island’s indigenous communities have been chronicled by the author who is a long-time member of the NGO, Kalpavriksh.

    Alienation of islanders

    The book begins with the section, Setting the context, in which he writes about the history of the alienation of the island communities living there for over 40,000 years. The author takes a dig at the history writers of the modern democratic Indian state who have left gaping holes in their writings by not sudying the ancient indigenous communities--the Great Andamanese, the Onge, the Jarawa and the Sentinelese. It is here that the author mentions “if the real and complete history of the islands is ever written, the British would not be more than a page and India could only be a paragraph”.

    The indigenous people have been systematically alienated from their resources by the British colonial policies and the post-colonial development-oriented policies of India. The Britishers set up a penal colony in the islands in 1858, the Japanese occupied the islands during the World War II, and during the post colonial period, thousands of settlers from mainland India were brought to the island. Though the islanders put up a fierce fight to defend their territories, the social fabric of the island communities has been violently torn apart and their populations decimated while the settlers outnumbered the original inhabitants. The region is witness to nation building exercises, hinduisation of ‘uncivilized junglees’ and even an attempt to rename the islands. The author calls this as an attempt to “reclaim what was never yours”. No effort has been made by way of scholarship or historical studies to take the islanders’ point of view.

    Forestry is the chief source of revenue in cash in the islands but the system of forestry did not suit the region. The author quotes an official report by the Department of Environment, Government of India that argues that “the forestry system was leading to a preponderance of deciduous elements in the evergreen system that would eventually destroy the whole island ecosystem”. The carrying capacity of the islands has been long exceeded, the author says. Ill-conceived schemes like cattle rearing were introduced for a community that does not consume milk. Tourism is a concern in the islands which have been declared as ‘global biodiversity hotspot’.

    The pristine forests and the people living in the Jarawa tribal reserve that covers half the island is under threat because of the ill conceived Andaman Trunk Road that separates the reserve land from the rest of the island. The Jarawas for whom the forests have been a home for ages have been reduced to begging around the Trunk Road that runs through the reserve. The road has been controversial due to the negative fallouts on the island’s ecology and the indigenous people. The Supreme Court had in 2002 passed an order to close it; the island administration chose to ignore it. Its closure was absolutely critical to protect the Jarawa community, the author says.

    Islands turn colonies

    The author chronicles the colonising of the islands in a chapter of the same name and discusses how the settlers look down upon the indigenous communities. Tension continues between the tribal communities especially the ancient tribal community of Jarawas and the settlers over land rights and there is a lack of political will to ease this even as the population of the Jarawas has been reduced to a few hundreds. “There are opinions that the Jarawas should be assimilated into the modern world, but it is clear that it is exactly this contact with the outside world that is rapidly pushing them towards the brink,” the author states.

    In the chapter, A brief history of logging, Sekhsaria provides an account of the timber operations in the Andamans. He notes how as a part of India’s colonisation scheme, mainlanders were settled here. This was done to strengthen India’s claim over the islands. Incentives were offered to settlers by way of land and royalty free timber. Timber-based industry was promoted and liberal subsidies offered. Forests were exploited to benefit settlers who had little stake in the islands or its natural resources. Timber offered for millions decreased after the 2002 Supreme Court order. The order was in response to a petition by three NGOs to stop logging. The Supreme Court order that banned the cutting of naturally grown trees in the Andamans and Nicobar islands were welcomed by the environmental rights groups. But logging continued within the tribal reserve.

    In the section, Environment, ecology and development, the author stresses the need for evolving sensible conservation policies. The author discusses the consequences of introducing exotic species into the island systems. This has led to irretrievable loss of native species and ecosystems. “The Andaman and Nicobar islands are unsurpassed in their botanical wealth, and the ethnomedical knowledge of the tribals who live here is astounding,” he says.

    In the section, December 2004 and its aftermath, the author discusses the turmoil caused by the tsunami of December 26, 2004 which killed around 3500 people in the fragile Andaman and Nicobar islands, the worst hit area in India. The tectonic activity due to the third deadliest earthquake of the world in the last 100 years caused a significant shift in the islands’ geography with a permanent average uplift of four to six feet while parts of Nicobar islands went significantly under, with the southernmost tip, Indira point on Great Nicobar island going 15 ft down. Apart from dealing with how the tsunami destroyed the island, the section also highlights how the people picked up the pieces and started all over again.

    Leave them alone

    The tsunami waters inundated large areas of the islands causing damage to its coastal and marine ecology. In the aftermath of this turmoil, ecologists have suggested ‘no intervention’ and that ‘leaving areas alone should be the preferred management option’. A disturbing facet of the islands in recent times is its water scarcity. The islands have been facing severe water shortages even during the pre-tsunami period but this got worse after 2004. Fresh water sources got hit by the tsunami.

    Talking about the faulty development planning, the author discusses how the former president late Abdul Kalam in 2005 in the aftermath of the tsunami announced a grandiose vision for the development of the Andamans and Nicobar islands. This included ecologically perilous components like deep sea fishing, exploitation of bamboo, value-added coconut products and tourism.

    A central thread of Sekhsaria’s book has been the neglect and acculturation of the Jarawas, and their losing scuffle with the outsiders. The book presented in a journalistic manner handles the issue very sensitively and the author exhibits a keen understanding of the history of the indigenous people and its ecology.

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              Ramalan Bintang hari ini Paling Lengkap Terbaru        
    banyak sekali ramalan Bintang yang ada di ranah maya terutama di Google, sebab dengan mencari dan mengeteik kata kunci Ramalan Zodiak atau ramalan bintang maka anda akan ditujukan pada beberapa ramalan yang ada dan sangat terperinci, nah kali ini kami Ramalan Indonesia akan mencoba untuk memberikan sedikit Ramalan Bintang Hari Ini untuk anda semua yang memang ingin melihat perkembangan Zodiak anda sehari hari.

    Mungkin saja bisa membuat anda jadi lebih termotivasi dan bersemangat karena melihat ramalan bintang anda baik untuk hari ini, langsung saja deh akan kami berikan atau kami sajikan untuk anda semua di bawah ini :

    Ramalan Bintang Hari Ini :


    Ramalan Bintang ARIES (The Ram)
    Sifat: Cardinal, Api, Personal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I am" (aku)

    Bebas, asertif, individualistik, impulsif, intelektualitas tinggi, keras kepala, ingin menjadi yang terdepan, pemimpin, action oriented (berorientasi pada aksi), Intemperate (tidak terkendali), cenderung ke arah kekerasan, fiery, (berapi-api), straight-forward (berterus terang), ekstrem, sombong (arogan), passionate (penuh dengan nafsu), powerfull (sangat kuat), ada sifat suka menyendiri (loner), fredom-loving (menyukai cinta yang bebas dan tidak terikat)
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Kepala Yang Sering Pusing
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Mars
    Tanggal Zodiak: 21 maret - 20 April

    Ramalan Bintang TAURUS (The Bull, banteng)
    Sifat: Fixed atatu tetap, membumi atau berhubungan dengan elemen tanah/bumi, personal.
    Kata kuncinya: "I Have" (Saya memiliki)

    Imajinatif, sistematk, devoted (mengabdi), patient (sabar), sensual, affctionat (menghargai pertemanan), possesif, sangat berhati-hati, suka hal yang bersifat materi (rasa kepemilikan terhadap sesuatu yang tinggi), menyukai hal-hal yang berbau musik, artistik, keras kepala, solid earthy (keduniawian), kuat, slow (lamban), kind (baik hati), just (monoton).
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Penyakit Sariawan dan Radang Tenggorokan
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Venus
    Tangal Zodiak: 21 April - 21 Mei

    Ramalan Bintang GEMINI (The Twins)
    Sifat: Mutable, selalu bergerak, seperti udara dan air, bersifat personal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Think" (Saya Pikir)

    Logis, selalu ingin tahu, energik, aktif, dapat mengerjakan banyak hal, banyak bicara , berjiwa sosial, mampu beradaptasi dengan baik, cenderung memiliki dua karakter yang berbeda, bersifat seperti air dan logam atau merkurial, kurang sabar, selalu ingin tahu hal-hal yang terbaru
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Olahraga Tertentu dan juga Hindari Kebiasaan Merokok
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Merkurius
    Tanggal Zodiak: 22 Mei - 21 Juni

    Ramalan Bintang CANCER (Si Kepiting)
    Sifat: Cardinal, water, personal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Feel" (Saya Rasa)

    Protektif, sensitif, Keras kepala yang cenderung tidak fleksibel, sangat sayang pada keluarga, home oriented (orientasi utama pada keluarga), helpfull (suka menolong), berkembang dan selalu menyebar, moody (berubah turuti suasana hati), bersikap seperti air yang mengalir ke bawah, cenderung memendam perasaan dan keinginan, emosional, temperamen (tapi tidak terlalu lama / gampang reda), penuh cinta
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Penyakit Maagh dan juga masuk Angin.
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Bulan atau Luna
    Tanggal Zodiak: 22 Juni - 23 Juli

    Ramalan Bintang LEO (The Lion)
    Sifat: Tetap, Api, Berjiwa Sosial
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Will" (Saya Akan, Berkemauan Tinggi)

    Baik hati dan suka memberi, liberal, realistis, berhati besar, proud (menjunjung harga diri), dramatikal, suka membesar-besarkan masalah, passionate (mempunyai gairah yang tinggi), pencemburu, suka dipuja, Bossy (suka memerintah), loves attention (gila perhatian), arogan, terkesan sombong, independent (mandiri), leader (berjiwa pemimpin), berjiwa bebas, egotistic (cenderung ke diri sendiri dan tidak peduli pada lingkungan), kingly (bergaya bak raja), powerfull (bertenaga).
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Jantung dan Punggung
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Matahari
    Tanggal Zodiak: 24 Juli - 23 Agustus

    Ramalan Bintang LEO (The Lion)
    Sifat: Tetap, Api, Berjiwa Sosial
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Will" (Saya Akan, Berkemauan Tinggi)

    Baik hati dan suka memberi, liberal, realistis, berhati besar, proud (menjunjung harga diri), dramatikal, suka membesar-besarkan masalah, passionate (mempunyai gairah yang tinggi), pencemburu, suka dipuja, Bossy (suka memerintah), loves attention (gila perhatian), arogan, terkesan sombong, independent (mandiri), leader (berjiwa pemimpin), berjiwa bebas, egotistic (cenderung ke diri sendiri dan tidak peduli pada lingkungan), kingly (bergaya bak raja), powerfull (bertenaga).
    Kesehatan: Anda mudah sekali capek , dan juga hindari merokok yang memicu penyakit jantung
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Matahari
    Tanggal Zodiak: 24 Juli - 23 Agustus

    Ramalan Bintang LIBRA (Si Timbangan)
    Sifat: Cardinal, Udara, Sosial
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Balance " (Aku Seimbang)

    Kooperatif, diplomatis, selalu berpindah, stylish (bergaya, luwes), suka berpartner, superior yang suka berkembang, menginginkan keseimbangan dengan suka membandingkan, Charm (mempunyai daya tarik sendiri), debative (suka berdebat), open minded (mudah menerima hal baru), memiliki jiwa sosial, kaya akan ide
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Hati dan Lumbar Region
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Venus
    Tanggal Zodiak: 24 September - 23 Oktober

    Ramalan Bintang SCORPIO (The Scorpio)
    Sifat: Tetap, Seperti Api, Sosial
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Desire" (Aku Menginginkan)

    Passionate (nafsu yang tinggi), kreatif, powerfull, selalu ingin tahu, antusiasme tinggi, berdedikasi, pengabdian, pencemburu, selalu menganilisis sesuatu, selalu berevolusi, memiliki daya tarik kuat, memiliki daya hipnotis, menyukai hal yang berbau seksual, pandai dan kreatif, sangat sensitif, cerdik cenderung licik, agresif, self oriented (cenderuh mengarah ke diri sendiri), sadis, misteruis, bisa melakukan perubahan mendadak yang mengejutkan
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Pelvis dan Organ Reproduksi
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Mars dan Pluto
    Tanggal Zodiak: 24 Oktober - 22 November

    Ramalan Bintang SAGITARIUS (Si Pemanah)
    Sifat: Berubah, Udara, Universal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Perceive " (Saya Mengetahui, Saya Memahami)

    Bebas, straight-forward (berterus terang), careles (ceroboh), kasar, tidak berperasaan, sangat berfilosofi, intelektualitas tinggi, Fun-Loving, arogan, berjiwa petualang, suka melakukan perkembangan, optimis, blundering (membuat kesalahan besar), believer (mudah percaya pada sesuatu yang diyakininya).
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Pinggul dan Paha
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Jupiter
    Tanggal Zodiak: 23 November - 21 Desember

    Ramalan Bintang CAPRICORN (The Sea-Goat)
    Sifat: Cardinal, Membumi, Universal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Use" (Saya Berguna)

    Prudent (bijaksana), cautious (berhati-hati, tidak mudah percaya), ambisius (cenderung ingin punya kekuasaan atau otoritas), cerdik namun kadang cenderung licik, kompeten, suka memberi perintah, dan kaku.
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Lutut dan Tulang
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Saturnus
    Tanggal Zodiak: 22 Desember - 20 Januari

    Ramalan Bintang Aquarius (Si Air Mengalir)
    Sifat: Tetap, Air, Universal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Know" (Saya Tahu)

    Demokratis, unconventional (selalu ingin tahu hal baru dan mengikuti perkembangan), tidak mau terikat, selalu terpisah dari yang lain, sering berpindah, ada yang cenderug meng-isolasi diri (membentuk sebuah kelompok tersendiri / suka berkelompok) namun memiliki rasa pertemanan yang tinggi (friendship), berjiwa sosial, eksentrik, elit, menyukai sebuah kejutan, obyektif
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Sistem Saraf Nervous
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Saturnus dan Uranus
    Tanggal Zodiak: 21 Januari - 19 Februari

    Ramalan Bintang Pisces (The Fishes)
    Sifat: Selalu Berubah, Air, Universal
    Kata Kuncinya: "I Believe" (Saya Percaya)

    Imajinatif, sensitive, sulit berkonsentrasi pada satu hal (no-focus), distracted (gampang rusak / patah), feeling (selalu memakai perasaan pada suatu masalah), Duality (memiliki pribadi yang berlawanan) namuni memiliki idealisme dan agamis (spiritual), acceptance (menerima), undiscriminated (tidak pernah membedakan), soul growth (jiwa yang berkembang), artistik, ceroboh, sering gampang menyerah pada keadaan (melarikan diri dari keadaan / tangung jawab / keadaan yang membuatnya sulit) namun memiliki kesabaran yang tinggi pada hal-hal tertentu yang cocok.
    Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Kaki dan Sistem Kekebalan Tubuh
    Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Jupiter dan Neptunus
    Tanggal Zodiak: 20 Februari - 20 Maret

    nah sudah dulu Ramalan Bintang yang bisa kami berikan untuk anda semua, semoga saja bermanfaat untuk anda semua, dan kami akan memberikan banyak artikel seputar ramalan yang lainnya untuk anda semua, Oke,,

              Science Night 9/25        

    Earthflight, A Nature Special Presentation: South America at 7 pm Condors and scarlet macaws take us to the Andes and the Amazon. Giant petrels in Patagonia shadow killer whales. Hummingbirds feed at Iguazu Falls, vultures ride the thermals over Rio … more
              Science Night 9/18        

    Earthflight, A Nature Special Presentation: Europe at 7 pm Cranes and geese rise over Venice, Dover, Edinburgh and the monkey-guarded Rock of Gibraltar. In Rome, the Loire Valley, Holland and Hungary, birds gather by the millions to breed and two … more
              Science Night 9/11        

    Earthflight, A Nature Special Presentation: Africa at 7 pm Fly and arrow-dive with cape gannets among sharks, dolphins, whales and the great sardine run. Soar with fish eagles, flamingoes, kelp gulls and vultures to see the most animal-packed continent with … more
              Science Night 9/4        

    Earthflight, A Nature Special Presentation: North America at 7 pm Snow geese, pelicans, and bald eagles fly over the Great Plains, the Grand Canyon, Alaska and the Golden Gate Bridge as they encounter and engage with bears, dolphins, bison, and … more
              September New Acquisitions!        
    As we head into Autumn, I found a moment to accession the PLL's newest batch of books. All but one are from the Robert Smithson Collection. The following, Spectrum Analysis by Henry Roscoe, is from the Maria Mitchell Collection. This beautiful volume has multiple color images of spectra, such as the "Spectra of the Metals of the Alkalies & Alkaline Earths:"

    A grouping of blue covers
    include:
    The Antarctic Challenged by Admiral Lord Mountevans
    Module, Proportion, Symmetry, Rhythm by Gyorgy Kepes
    The Mystery of Matter, edited by Louise Young

    Kepes founded the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT; his research can be seen in these book spreads:

    A group of grey covers
    include:

    Notebooks 1914-1917 by Ludwig Wittgenstein
    The Cardinal Points of Borges, edited by L. Dunham and Ivar Ivask
    Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

    The last groupings contain

    Revolution for the Hell of It by Free (Abbie Hoffman)
    Shells & Shelling by Ralph Barrett
    Trees of North America by C. Frank Brockman
    The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things by George Kubler
    Art and Culture by Clement Greenberg
    Paul Gauguin's Intimate Journals by Gauguin

    Shells & Shelling is a comprehensive guide that is beautifully designed:

    For any questions about the Library, the Collections, membership, or to check out a book, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com.


              May 2014 Acquisitions        


    Things have settled down at the Library, after returning to its usual space and shelves. Many new members joined the Library during the Portland Biennial; here are some of the resulting new acquisitions!


    Included in this new batch of books:
    Volumes I & II of Robert Graves' The Greek Myths (Jorge Luis Borges Personal Library)
    Paolo Zellini's A Brief History of Infinity (Italo Calvino Personal Library)


    Above is a spread from The Double Helix by James Watson, showing "Linus Pauling with his atomic models." The front cover elaborates on the title: Being a personal account of the discovery of the structure of DNA, a major scientific advance which led to the award of a Nobel Prize. Watson's book is in the Anne Spencer Personal Library, as is Allen Smith's Life in a Putty Factory.


    Space, Time, and New Mathematics, edited by Robert Marks, is a compilation of "writings by Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, Gamow, Wiener, Poincaré, and others." This book, in the Robert Smithson Personal Library, is a great companion to related books by Gamow, Wiener, and more in his collection. The above cartoon likens Einstein to a magician.

    Also new to the Smithson Library:
    Lost Continents: The Atlantis Theme in History, Science, and Literature by L. Sprague de Camp, and
    Language and Myth by Ernst Cassirer


    This beautiful frontispiece and title page is from Robert Mudie's The Earth, from Maria Mitchell's Personal Library. The printing is really extraordinary, with debossed birds on very thick paper; about the printing is stated: Baxter's Oil Colour Printing - 3, Charter-house Square.


    The Zodiac: A Life Epitome, by Walter H. Sampson, not only has a compelling ct ligature throughout the text, but a lovely frontispiece and fold-out at the end of the book. It is from the Robert Smithson Personal Library, along with the related Meditations on the Signs of the Zodiac by John Jocelyn.



    Lastly, is this remarkable book, Within the Circle: Portrait of the Arctic, by Evelyn Stefansson (Robert Smithson Personal Library), with fantastic photographs of land, flora and fauna.


    For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 
              First Lines of New Acquisitions        

    There are many new acquisitions for Spring 2014, mostly from the Robert Smithson Collection. Each new book and their first sentence is listed below, and starting with:
     
    1.  The Language of Magic and Gardening by Bronislaw Malinowski:
       
    The linguistic problem before the ethnographer is to give as full a presentation of language as of any other aspect of culture.

    2.  Seven Types of Ambiguity by William Empson:

    An ambiguity, in ordinary speech, means something very pronounced, and as a rule witty or deceitful.





    3.  Changing: Essays in Art Criticism by Lucy Lippard: (seen above)

    André Ferminier writes: “What has perhaps been most damaging to the art critic is the prodigious gobbledygook that with him takes the place of vocabulary; and the prefaces to exhibition catalogs in particular would provide a classic anthology of the art of saying nothing.”

    4.  The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society by Norbert Wiener:

    The beginning of the twentieth century marked more than the end of one hundred-year period and the start of another.



    5.  Logic Machines & Diagrams by Martin Gardner: (seen above)

    A logic machine is a device, electrical or mechanical, designed specifically for solving problems in formal logic.
     


    6.  Field Book of Ponds and Streams by Ann Haven Morgan: (seen above)

    Minnows and frogs and brown water beetles, scurrying to cover as we approach the shore of a still clear pond, show us that the water has some very lively inhabitants.

    7.  The Modern Technique of Rock Blasting by U. Langefors and B. Kihlström:

    Within some thousandths of a second after the initiation of the explosive there occurs in a charged hole a series of events which, in drama and violence, have few equivalents in civil technology.



    8.   The Message of the Stars by Max and Augusta Heindel: (seen above, outside + next to its dust jacket)

    It is a matter of common knowledge among mystics that the evolutionary career of mankind is indissolubly bound up with the divine hierarchies who rule the planets and the signs of the Zodiac, and that the passage of the Sun and the planets through the twelve signs of the Zodiac, marks man’s progress in time and in space.




    9.  Field Book of Seashore Life by Roy Waldo Miner: (seen above and with Message of the Stars)

    Protozoa are single-celled animals.


    10.  Tropical Trees of Hawaii by Dorothy and Bob Hargreaves: (seen above)

    High among the list of reasons people love to visit Hawaii is the lovely tropical foliage to be enjoyed everywhere and at all times of the year.
     
    11.  Geography Made Easy by Jedidiah Morse: (from the Maria Mitchell Library)

    Geography is a science, which describes the figure, motion, magnitude, and component parts of the earth; the situations, extent, and appearances of the various parts of its surface; its productions animal and vegetable; its natural and political divisions; and the history, manners, customs, and religion of its inhabitants.

    For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 

              Asters, Spores & Silent Spring / January 2014 Acquisitions        

    The first books accessioned to the PLL in 2014 include:

    The Earth and Man: Lectures on Comparative Physical Geography, in its Relation to the History of Mankind by Arnold Guyot (Maria Mitchell Personal Collection), and

    Vasari's Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari (Robert Smithson Collection);

    both seen below, with cartography on display.

     

    Also new to the Robert Smithson Collection:

    The Waste Land and Other Poems by T.S. Eliot,
    The Invisible Pyramid by Loren Eiseley,
    A Concise History of Modern Painting by Herbert Read


    A lovely spread from The Invisible Pyramid, displaying a woodcut at the beginning of The Spore Bearers chapter:


    Connected illustrations are seen from new books from the Anne Spencer Collection:

    Helena Rutherfurd Ely's A Woman's Hardy Garden, and
    Rachel Carson's Silent Spring:


    Other new books:

    Representative Men: Seven Lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and

    A Concise History of Modern Painting by Herbert Read.


    For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 
              To Irthlingborough lighthouse        

    Pevsner says St Peter's, Irthlingborough, is:
    A quite remarkable sight, lying as it does between the village and the river. The church is large and at first seems quite incongruous. What appears to be incongruous is however the survival of not only the church, but also the very tall and dominant tower to the W of the church which belonged to the college founded by the widow of John Pyel, a mercer of London, in 1388.
    This tower (which had to be reconstructed at the end of the 19th century) is called the 'lantern tower' and many books will tell you that it was used as a beacon to guide travellers crossing the valley of the Nene.

    I have to record that I cannot find an authoritative source for that tale, but it ought to be true.*

    Crossing the Nene at Irthlingborough will feature here another day, but for now just enjoy the tower and its position commanding the river.

    * Equally, Lord Bonkers has suggested to me that 'Irthlingborough' may be a corruption of 'Earthlingborough', showing that neighbouring settlements were once occupied by aliens.








              Annual Mormon Book Review        

    Carrying on from last year's review of David Robert's Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy, here is a second review of another Mormon-centered book. Enjoy!

    Jared Farmer. On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008. 455 pages. Cloth: Alkaline Paper. $29.95.


    From the early days of the inception of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the Mormons were concerned with place-making. Joseph Smith, the religion’s founder, initially identified Jackson County, Missouri as the “center place,” where the Garden of Eden had once stood. However, the devout were soon thrown out of the state by the governor, and moved on to Nauvoo, Illinois. Later, after Smith was assassinated, the new Mormon leader, Brigham Young, turned his gaze farther west and in 1846-1847 led a party of followers to Utah, which he claimed as “Deseret”—their Zion. There, the Saints found their “place apart” from the rest of the world.

    Jared Farmer’s 2008 book On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape adroitly traces Mormon place-making in Utah. His story is ostensibly about Mount Timpanogos, a landmark known as “Timp” that unites the skyline above Orem and Provo. But the history involves much more than the mountain. It is a microcosm of Angloamerican settlement in the west. Using a singular landmark, Farmer delves into the importance of creating place out of space. He asks why Mount Timpanogos usurped the importance of the historically and agriculturally significant Lake Utah, and how the Mormon settlers manipulated their turbulent history with the Ute Indians in order to make myths and claim places as their own. The book deals with two centuries of history, as well as the interaction between varied cultures and the sometimes contradictory dogma of the LDS Church. Though complex, On Zion’s Mount is a wonderfully executed book—well written, insightful, and an excellent example of how to use local history to illuminate greater historical narratives.

    The book is divided into three sections, each focusing on a different step in the climb to the veneration of “Timp.” The first, “Liquid Antecedents,” deals with the early history of the Ute Indians and the Mormons. It also concentrates on how bodies of water were significant to residents and settlers in the Utah Valley. This section is compelling, as Farmer explains just how distinct the freshwater Lake Utah was in the arid Great Basin. The lake was a natural landmark for the Utes, who relied heavily on its plentiful supply of fish. In the mid-1800s, it became a landmark for the Mormons, who arrived predisposed to seek out monuments in their new “holy land.”

    Despite the Mormons’ intention to find a locale that was disconnected from the rest of the world, the Utah Valley, where the first waves of Mormons settled, was not a “place apart.” It was populated with Ute Indians, who had lived in the area for centuries. The wellspring for many of these Utes was Utah Lake, a freshwater reservoir southeast of the Great Salt Lake. The Indians there called themselves Timpanogos Nuche—“Rocky River Fish Eaters.” They identified themselves in connection with the body of water. The Mormons entered into an unstable relationship with the Timpanogos; an association characterized by violent fits, uneasy alliances, and contradictory feelings. This fluctuating friendship came with a bond to Utah Lake.

    Both the Timpanogos and the Mormons emphasized the importance of place. The Utes classified bands by “geographic food names” like “Lake People” and “Fish-Eaters.” (25) The Saints were concerned with place as it related to Millenialism. While other religions affected by the Second Great Awakening believed in a prediction of when Christ would return, the Mormons were concerned with where. (36) When the Mormons arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, the hot springs, streams, and of course the Great Salt Lake all contributed to the Saints’ belief that they had found their promised land. In the waters they took healing baths, baptized their children, and fished. These same waters had been frequented by the Utes for decades, if not centuries.

    From their introduction onward, relations between the Mormons and the Timpanogos were rocky. In 1849, the former noticed that livestock was missing, and rallied a group to ride south and confront Little Chief, a Ute leader who lived on the shores of Utah Lake. The chief turned the Saints towards some “mean Ewtes,” who they subsequently slaughtered for stealing.(62) Three days afterward, a band of Mormon men decided to relocate their families to Utah Lake. The Saints settled in the midst of hostilities between bands of Utes. In order to secure their own safety, the settlers at Utah Lake as well as the LDS leadership engaged in unsteady diplomacy and occasional fights with different Indian contingents.

    To complicate the already problematic situation, Mormons arrived in Utah with preconceptions of Native Americans. In fact, Indians were integral to the burgeoning religion’s discourse. According to LDS dogma, Indians were descendants of the “Lamanites,” once followers of Christ who traveled to America before the Babylon captivity. In the New World, the hostile sect broke away from their brothers, the “Nephites.” For this, God cursed the Lamanites with dark skin. The ill-fated group waged war on the Nephites and erased any fragments of Christianity from the land. The last Nephite scribe, Moroni, was the impetus for the Mormon religion. He came to Joseph Smith in a dream and told him where to find the scriptural record of this lost history. With his revelation of the sanctity of the Lamanites, Smith incorporated proselytizing to Indians into the Book of Mormon. The descendants of the Lamanites who converted would be saved during the Second Coming. More importantly, they would assist Christ in destroying the earth as soldiers of the apocalypse. This created a contradictory idea of Native Americans: “They were cursed to be inferior yet promised to be superior. They were destined to save the world, yet they couldn’t save themselves.”(57) Furthermore, dealing with real-life Utes proved harder than the LDS leadership imagined.

    The tension in Saints’ beliefs between “Indian-as-brother and Indian-as-other” continued to influence their interactions with natives around Utah Lake.(61) Young was wary of the amicable relations between his followers and the Timpanogos and wished that the two groups not mix. In 1850, following the murder of an Indian man, the Mormons and the Utes engaged in the “Indian War.” Later, LDS leadership chastised natives for engaging in slave trade with a New Mexican. Though in Mormon thought there were some redeemable Indians, by 1860 Young was determined that the Utes ought to be displaced. He wrote to Washington, D.C.: “It is our wish that the Indian title should be extinguished, and the Indians removed from our Territory (Utah) and that for the best of reasons, because they are doing no good here to themselves or any body else.”(82) By the latter half of the 1860s most of the Timpanogos people moved to the Uinta Basin, estranged from the place upon which they based their identity.

    Following the removal of the Utes, Utah Lake experienced a surge and then a decline in popularity that mirrored the fate of other regional waterways. In the late 19th century, tourists came to the area to take in the healing waters of the hot springs, the Great Salt Lake, and Utah Lake. Additionally, the latter continued to be a distinguished fishery. However, this fame did not last. In the first half of the 20th century, fires destroyed a number of Salt Lake resorts. Overfishing and the introduction of nonnative species affected Utah Lake. The Great Depression and WWII furthered the destruction of water sport popularity. The federal government opened the Geneva Steel plant on Utah Lake; its smokestacks and pollution diminished the reservoir’s beauty and water quality. Even after the plant closed in 2001, the lake had lost its reputation. Residents considered it dirty, shallow, and full of undesirable fish. Furthermore, during the twentieth century Utahans rethought their sense of identity. Instead of revering the hydrological geography of Utah, its residents had turned their gaze upward to the peaks.

    The second section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Alpine Play,” discusses how Utahans built Mount Timpanogos into a landmark. Farmer makes great use of the exclusion of certain places as well as their later inclusion. Using topographical resources from the four western surveys, as well as mormon settler drawings and maps, Farmer shows how Timpanogos went from being an undefined ridge in the Wasatch Range to a distinct massif that overshadowed both the larger Mount Nebo to the south and the historically significant Lake Utah to the west.

    As in the first three chapters, Farmer employs LDS beliefs to form the basis of his argument. The Saints’ theological sense of place included an emphasis on mountains. Settlers viewed their new homeland through religion; mountains pervade world religions as the geographical pathway to God. Peaks were of special importance to Mormons, since Joseph Smith purportedly prophesied that they would “become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.”(150) When the Saints arrived in Deseret, they labeled many geographic sites with biblical names, including Mount Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch range. However, in the 1880s Mormons began to secularize their environment. This shift was motivated by the United States Congress, which outlawed theocracy and polygamy. During what Mormons call “The Great Accommodation,” the Saints rethought the peaks in a patriotic light.

    The King Survey was the first to identify “Tim-pan-o-gos Peak” in 1869.(164) However, no one considered it a defining aspect of the region, and many could not even see it; the massif was just a part of the jagged wall between Provo and American Fork Canyons. It wasn’t until the early decades of the 20th century that residents of Provo “began to visualize a mountain.”(167) The view of Timpanogos from Provo changed as the town relocated to the east of its original home at old Fort Utah. Spurred by the historic importance of mountains to the Mormons as well as the “European vogue of alpine aesthetics,” it was not unnatural for the residents of Provo to revere a nearby peak.(141) By 1910, the town described itself in relation to the mountain.

    The King Survey did more than just identify Mount Timpanogos—the survey also pronounced it (erroneously) the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. In reality, that title belongs to Mount Nebo. However, the claim persisted even after the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey corrected the record, and tourists began arriving to climb the “highest mountain in the Wasatch.”(175) With the boosterism of Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts, Brigham Young University’s athletics director, and the national increase in the popularity of hiking, “Timp” became a recreational landmark. Roberts led yearly hikes to the top of the massif, and along with the claim that they were climbing the highest peak in the Wasatch, boosters “endlessly repeated claims that the Annual Timpanogos Hike ranked as the biggest hike in America, the greatest community hike in the world, and the largest ‘pilgrimage’ to any mountain over 10,000 feet.”(202) The peak, as well as its ascent were powerful symbols of community strength.

    Though the hike was discontinued in the 1970s, the peak remained emblematic of Provo. The Forest Service designated Timpanogos as wilderness. They banned the grazing of domestic animals and introduced mountain goats to the area in 1981. Meanwhile, Provo and Orem transformed from farming communities into suburbia and Robert Redford bought and built up Sundance. These changes emphasized the dichotomy between wilderness and urban areas. With the growth in population of the two cities and the ski resort, Timpanogos increased in importance. In 1996 the mountain’s significance was solidified in Mormon minds when the LDS Church built Mount Timpanogos Temple. Farmer ends this section with a rumination on environmentalism. Despite all the reverence for place, Mormons are not conservationists, and do not engage in preservation of their landmark. “Sense,” he concludes, “is not the same as sensibility.”(238)

    The final section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Indian Play,” investigates how “Timp” was marked with cultural meaning. Farmer examines the place name as well as the legends that surround it. In the nineteenth century, white Americans like Henry Schoolcraft and Lydia Sigourney advocated the use of Indian place-names, despite the usual miscommunication, misappropriation, or blatant invention of “native” words. The American government continued the trend by accepting Indianist names of states. In Utah, “Timpanogos” was a long-remembered name in the Provo region. The Indians themselves were displaced to the Uinta Band, and though the name had originally designated a river, the waterway had been renamed “Provo River.” For locals, associating the mountain with a Native word “gave the landmark a heightened semblance of antiquity and authenticity.”(281)

    Ironically, to further this authenticity, Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts provided the mountain with a fake Indian legend. “The Story of Utahna and Red Eagle, an Indian Legend of Timpanogos” retold a familiar Angloamerican tale of the Indian Princess—the “dark-skinned Sappho” throwing herself from a precipice in response to a suitor.(287) These stories, all of which have suspect providence, used Native American tragedies to deepen American antiquity.(297) In a land without any ancient city walls or moldering castles, a sense of historic depth was created through legend. Additionally, the legends of leaping maidens alleviated whites’ guilt on displacing the Indians across the continent. The tales emphasized either brutish men that the women could only escape by committing suicide or savage societies that forced women to neglect her chosen lover. Either ended with the implicit message: the race of Indians is uncivilized. More importantly, the destruction of these Native maids was self-imposed. In an age when America was dealing with the morality of Indian Removal, it was more convenient for white storytellers that the natives to make the choice of self-destruction.(314)

    The Legend of Timpanogos gained further footing by its performance in Utah. People repeated the story of Utahna and Red Eagle, and the tale influenced an opera, a ballet, and an oratorio. Locals further promoted the fake history by dressing up in war paint and moccasins and climbing the mountain “as Indians.” The mountain was seen as the embodiment of a Native woman; like the “Sleeping Ute” in Colorado, “Timp’s” ridge resembles a slumbering Indian maid. The Mormon use of Indianist music, storytelling, and fashion to create the Legend of Timpanogos was paradoxical in that they paid homage to a romanticized version of the people that they had forced out of the Utah Valley—the Timpanogos’ ancestral home. These cultural performances replaced history with both fiction and selective memory. Modern residents of Utah formed their own heritage; no matter that their memory is based on a fallacy.

    But of course it does matter, which is Farmer’s point. Mormons produced a heritage that all but erased the Utes, just as it effaced the importance of Utah Lake. Instead of concentrating on their forebears’ efforts to colonize a “place apart,” which would necessitate emphasis on their interactions with the Indian inhabitants, Saints overwhelming focused their attention on the successive journeys westward. LDS theologians went so far as to modify the meaning of a Lamanite, so that Amerindians lost their scriptural status.(370) When they did incorporate Native Americans into their heritage, they did so with Indianist fictional stories that obscured history with romanticism. In this way, Farmer’s book acts as a historical monument, countering the heritage attached to Mount Timpanogos. Using “Timp” as a framework for his study, Farmer is able to resurrect the forgotten history of the Timpanogos Nuches and Lake Utah.

    On Zion’s Mount is an outstanding cultural, local, environmental, and religious history. Farmer engages readers with his lucid prose even as he presents the tangled story of Mormons, Utes, and the western landscape. Such excellent writing is especially important when one is reminded of some of the recently popular books on Mormon history: Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven and David Roberts’ Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy.19 Krakauer and Roberts are both professional journalists and authors; their work is aimed at the populace rather than the academy. And yet Farmer rivals these works in its composition and surpasses them in its historic breadth and depth. More importantly for scholars, his argument illuminates the American inclination to transform its landscape and pinpoints those transformations in culture and historic memory. Overall, Timpanogos’ jagged ridge proved an excellent vantage point from which to view Utah’s past.
              Healthcare Innovations and Trends Unearthed at the Digital Health Summit Presented by Living in Digital Times at the 2015 International CES®        

    Dr. Phil McGraw, Samsung, Everyday Health, Walgreens, WebMD among Special Guest Speakers to Uncover Digital Healthcare Revolution

    (PRWeb December 16, 2014)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12397735.htm


              Tribute to Lis        
    Tribute to Lis
    #tributetolis #daringbakers #daringkitchen
    This is the most difficult post I have written.

    Lis the co-founder of the Daring Kitchen die suddenly a few days ago.

    My first challenge (eclairs)

    I first joined the Daring Bakers in August 2008 a little in trepidation and in awe of the baking skills shown in the forums. I remember my first challenge I made cherry flavoured eclairs and after I posted the results I received such encouraging and kind comments I was so impressed and inspired to continue improving my skills. The forums were full of people all dedicated to baking and to making a loving community joined together by Lis and Ivonne (the co-founders of the Daring Bakers). Lis was such a inspiring person she was the driving force of the evolution of the Daring Bakers into the Daring Kitchen (consisting of the Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks challenges).

    Over the years I got to know Lis very well, her wicked down-to-Earth humour had me in stitches on so many occasions her kind gentle manner and warm soul always shone through she was such an inspiration and a force of nature in the baking world.

    When I hear the news of her sudden passing away I was in shock and literally broken hearted. I'm so sad over the news.

    To be honest I'm finding this too difficult to write.

    Lis was instrumental in my becoming a better baker and cook, her spirit will always be remember and honoured by me. From now on whenever I make pavlova I will think of her since she was intrigued and fascinated by the Australian version.

    Here is a link to her obituary 


              SARANG the dream of earth REVIEWs        



    Recensioni di Rockerilla (Aldo Chimenti), Rumore (Vittore Baroni) e Blowup (Paolo Bertoni) al disco d'esordio di SARANG uscito per SILENTES "THE DREAM OF EARTH". Clicca sull'immagine per leggere la recensione.
              Comment on Sansar Creator Beta: personal thoughts by Boudicca        
    "the Creator Preview attracted 10,000-12,000 applicants, of which some 2,000 were invited into the platform, why not simply keep rolling that process forward for another few months?" .........I sooo wish Linden Lab had gone this route. It gives me the rage to keep reading the carping and whining by people who clearly have not taken one second to actually find out what stage Sansar is at right now. What it's capabilities are - and can be, the uses it might be put to. So they moan that it has nothing to offer them, and stamp their feet about their avatar not looking as they want it to. And cast slights on something they have clearly not even tried to comprehend. (But it seems lot's have managed to grab the 'freebie land'! Raced in to stake their claim. Left ......and then proceeded to spread the word about what an awful place Sansar is) Many haven't even bothered finding out if their machine and connection are capable of running Sansar! And then they complain that Experiences take an age to load. God forbid it's their fault for not checking. Reading comments by such blinkered and closed minds makes me wonder how on earth they ever got themselves into SL in the first place. Rant over. As you were everyone.
              LION        




    Película: Lion. Dirección: Garth Davis. Países: AustraliaReino Unido y USAAño: 2016. Género: Drama. Interpretación: Nicole KidmanRooney MaraDev PatelGuion: Luke Davies; basado en la novela “A long way home”, de Saroo Brierley. Producción: Angie Fielder, Iain Canning y Emile Sherman. Estreno en España: 27 Enero 2017.


    El pequeño Saroo, de cinco años, se pierde en un tren en el que recorrerá miles de kilómetros por la India, lejos de su casa y de su familia. Saroo tendrá que aprender a vivir solo en Calcuta, antes de que una pareja australiana lo adopte. Veinticinco años después, y contando tan sólo con sus recuerdos, una determinación inquebrantable y las posibilidades que le proporciona la herramienta de búsqueda Google Earth, comenzará a buscar a su familia perdida, para reencontrarse con ellos.


    Tras una serie de desdichas, un niño mendigo de La India se separa primero de su madre, y después de su hermano. Acaba en un orfanato, donde le recoge una familia australiana que decide adoptarle. Años después, nacerá la inquietud de reencontrarse con los suyos.
    El australiano Garth Davis, forjado en el ámbito de la publicidad y en series como Top of the Lake, debuta con buen pie en la realización cinematográfica, versionando una historia real, recogida por el propio protagonista en su libro “A Long Way Home”. Habrá que seguir los pasos de esta joven promesa, que convierte un film que funciona como excelente publicidad de Google Earth –herramienta que ayuda bastante al protagonista en la trama– en un drama de primer orden, con algunos momentos conmovedores. Se le perdona que atraviese un pequeño bache hacia la mitad del metraje, pues aborda con sobriedad temas como la identidad personal, y la necesidad de conocer las raíces.
    Por un lado Dev Patel se consagra como actor adulto, años después de Slumdog Millonaire, tras una serie de papeles bien ejecutados, como el protagonista de El hombre que conocía el infinito. No sólo mantiene su fotogenia con el paso del tiempo, sino que cada vez interpreta mejor. Choca más que Nicole Kidman vuelva a trabajarse un personaje, defendiendo con vigor a la madre adoptiva, en sus escasas escenas. Por encima de ellos, se convierte en rey de la función el debutante Sunny Pawar, comunicativo niño que interpreta en el primer tramo al protagonista.
    El relato tiene puntos en común con Rastros de sándalo, si bien resultaría extraño que sus responsables conocieran el film español.(DE CINE 21).

    Nunca dejaré de ser un conjunto de piezas pegadas, en el fondo siempre habrá algo roto en mí”, decía A. M. Homes en su novela autobiográfica La hija de la amante, en la que contaba cómo su madre biológica había irrumpido en su vida cuando ella tenía 31 años. De piezas pegadas y profundos rotos también habla Lion, adaptación de Un largo camino a casa, de Saroo Brierley, que lleva a la gran pantalla el australiano Garth Davis.
    Contada cronológicamente, Lion es la historia de Saroo, un niño que se pierde en India y acaba en un orfanato en la otra punta del país. Allí es donde lo encuentran sus padres adoptivos, una pareja australiana que ha decidido altruistamente adoptar niños en vez de tener los suyos propios. Después de unas cuantas penurias de niño huérfano –filmando a Sunny Pawar sin sensacionalismos, con un naturalismo de agradecer para una película que ambicionaba estar en la carrera a los Oscar–, la adaptación de Saroo al nuevo medio es total, y sólo la incómoda presencia de su hermano Mantosh, también adoptado, evidencia que lo que une las piezas pegadas de esta perfecta familia es sólo eso, pegamento.
    Dev Patel interpreta con calidez al Saroo universitario que, al entrar en contacto con compañeros indios, al oler sus cocinas y al verse en sus rasgos, recuerda de pronto lo que durante todos esos años no ha querido ver: sus orígenes. Es así cómo se embarca en un viaje tecnológico para buscar a la madre y los hermanos a los que perdió, y de paso, a sí mismo. Un viaje en Google Earth que parecería de broma si la historia no estuviese inspirada en un caso real. De todas formas, no es en ese viaje donde subyace la capacidad emotiva de Lion, sino en su acercamiento honesto a la adopción, al sentimiento del adoptado y del que adopta â€“maravillosa Nicole Kidman–, a las piezas pegadas, al inevitable vacío de no saber de dónde venimos y quiénes somos.(CINEMANIA).

    Pocas veces se puede hallar en un largometraje porciones dramáticas tan claramente divididas (para bien y mal) como dentro de este estimable primer crédito cinematográfico de Garth Davis (da reparo decir debutante cuando uno ve en su ficha créditos como la rutilante teleserie 'Top of the Lake'). La película posee un arranque narrativa y tonalmente cautivador, el cual progresa con un brío sostenido que, llegando incluso más allá del tercio de su metraje, hace pensar que podríamos disfrutar finalmente de una experiencia inolvidable.
    No obstante, acaba por evidenciar ciertas flaquezas, no sólo por la progresiva relajación en sus ambiciones de originalidad, sino, sobre todo, al perder el control sobre su cantidad de caramelo visual y tonal. Considerando sólo sus momentos mejor resueltos y efectivos, casi todos ubicados en la primera mitad, calificar 'Lion' como obra tremendamente conmovedora sería incluso quedarse corto. Eso pesa más que algunos previsibles minutos de soluciones formularias que, aun desluciendo algo el conjunto, tampoco llegan a arruinar la experiencia.(FOTOGRAMAS).

              May Instagrams        
    Welcome to the May edition of my Instagram favorites. This small collection includes images from Yilan, Miaoli, and Nantou! Contemplating Door #1 or Door #2 GOYB The New Neighbor Looking up on Planet Earth
              Sixty Years Ago Today: England Brought Down To Earth By Magnificent Magyars        

    Seldom has there been one match that has come to define the fortunes of two football nations as appropiately as the afternoon in November 1953 when the Hungarians landed in London. The shock and horror with which the result that afternoon was greeted, however, also indicated the begnning of another trait in the history of […]

    The post Sixty Years Ago Today: England Brought Down To Earth By Magnificent Magyars appeared first on Twohundredpercent.


              The LAPD Is Tired Of Chris Brown’s Bullshit        
    The LAPD thinks they can talk Chris Brown out of being the worst asshole on Earth. Sounds legit.
              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 i